Lukewarmers, Denialists, and Other Climate Change Skeptics

Impressions and reporting from the Sixth International Climate Change Conference

Climate change politics is very nasty. So nasty, in fact, that the mud started flying even before the start of last week's Sixth International Climate Change Conference (ICCC6) in Washington, D.C. Hosted by the free market Heartland Institute, the conference gathers the world's climate change skeptics and their heterodox friends—and controversy reliably ensues.

The Prebuttal

The day before the conference started, the left-wing Center for American Progress (CAP) arranged to have a media teleconference [MP3] as a kind of pre-emptive strike. The CAP teleconferencers included Joseph Romm who runs CAP’s climate blog, Pacific Institute hydroclimatologist Peter Gleick, and former House Science Committee chair Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY). Romm characterized the ICCC6 as part of “a dwindling number of increasingly vocal people who spread disinformation on climate science and who attack and harass climate scientists.”

Romm then cited a June 28 statement of concern issued by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) which deplored the “harassment, death threats, and legal challenges” being faced by some climate scientists. The AAAS specifically mentioned recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) inquiries about the work done by climatologist Michael Mann, the principle scientist behind the “hockey stick” paleoclimate data suggesting a dramatic recent rise in average global temperatures. The AAAS letter concludes, “We are concerned that establishing a practice of aggressive inquiry into the professional histories of scientists whose findings may bear on policy in ways that some find unpalatable could well have a chilling effect on the willingness of scientists to conduct research that intersects with policy-relevant scientific questions.” I agree.

At the ICCC6, I mentioned the AAAS letter to climatologist Patrick Michaels, who is now a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute. Michaels puckishly replied that he was happy to hear that Romm and the AAAS were now defending him against legal harassment and death threats. For the record, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has asked the House Science Committee to look into Michaels’ funding sources and Greenpeace is rumored to be renewing its FOIA request to the University of Virginia where he once worked for his emails and other documents.

Most of the questioning by reporters during the teleconference focused on whether or not the Republicans in Congress could be persuaded to adopt policies aimed at mitigating the impacts of man-made global warming. Boehlert remained relentlessly optimistic, but Gleick concluded, “I am actually not optimistic that the American public or American policymakers are really going to tackle this issue.” Why? Because the policy issues are too difficult. Boehlert, deploring the way that issues were discussed nowadays, lamented, “The way to get attention in the media today is to make the most outrageous statement.” Earlier in his opening remarks, Romm asserted, “For decades now climate scientists have been predicting that if we kept pouring billion of tons of heat trapping gases into the atmosphere that the planet would warm up, that ice would melt and we would see more and more extreme weather, heat waves and intense deluges in particular. And now it’s coming true. And I think we have moved from the era from predictions to observations of climate change.”

Climate Sensitivity

Prebuttally prepared, off I went to the ICCC6. The conference was supposed to open with a keynoter by fierce climate skeptic Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.). Apparently feeling “under the weather,” Inhofe sent a note highlighting some achievements such as derailing the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade scheme, but noting that “our work is far from over.” So instead, the conference opened with a talk by Patrick Michaels that centered on Climate Coup: Global Warming’s Invasion of our Government and Our Lives, a volume he edited dealing with policy and scientific topics related to climate change.

Michaels mentioned a study published in the February 17 issue of Nature arguing that man-made global warming is contributing to more intense deluges. Michaels said that he had looked at the heaviest day for the year precipitation trends in the U.S. starting in 1900 and he found that it had indeed gone up, from 2.53 inches to 2.6 inches. He observed that it was likely that Americans can adapt to this much extra rainfall. Michaels also mentioned that the Rasmussen daily presidential approval index fell into and has since stayed in negative territory almost immediately after the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill. Coincidence?

Unlike many participants at the ICCC6, Michaels describes himself as a “lukewarmer.” “There is a human influence on the climate, but it’s not the end of the world,” he said. How much warmer does Michaels expect the world to get? About 1.6°C over the next century based on trends in the global temperature records. For example, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that “the linear trend for the past 50 years of 0.13°C (plus or minus 0.03°C) per decade.” The satellite temperature record compiled by researchers at the University of Alabama in Huntsville finds the tropospheric temperature trend to be 0.14°C per decade. Michaels notes that these trends are at the low end of the climate computer projections, suggesting that the models are overestimating climate sensitivity. Climate sensitivity is defined as how much the average global surface temperature will increase if there is a doubling of greenhouse gases (expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents) in the air. The vexed question of climate sensitivity will come up many times during the conference.

The first panel of the conference featured Anthony Watts, proprietor of the popular climate change skeptic blog Watts Up with That?, retired University of Winnipeg geographer Timothy Ball, and Patrick Michaels. Watts is the guy behind the project showing that a surprisingly high number of U.S. weather stations are badly situated. Tim Ball is a self-described long time skeptic of global warming orthodoxy.

Michaels reprised a bit of his earlier talk, but addressed concerns about recent warming in the Arctic. Proponents of catastrophic warming worry that the world could soon see ice free summers in the Arctic Ocean which would lead to rapid melting of Greenland’s ice cap producing a disastrously high rate of sea level rise. Michaels cited some recent paleoclimatology by European arctic region researchers that strongly suggests [PDF] that the Arctic Ocean experienced ice free summers, perhaps for hundreds of years, some 12,000 years ago and Greenland’s ice cap did not melt then. In addition, Norwegian researchers reported in 2010 that the Arctic Ocean had much less ice cover 6,000 years ago than it currently does. More recent research by German climatologists suggests that the Arctic Ocean will not experience an ice free “tipping point” during this century.

Michaels again noted that the current temperature trends are lower than climate computer models predict. Why? Michaels asserted that this disjunct between models and the current trend occurs because ocean surface temperatures are massively misspecified in the models and because CO2 and methane in the atmosphere are going up slower rates than projected.

Geeks vs. Gougers

The second session of the ICCC6 was devoted to the “economic realities” of climate change. Suffolk University economist David Tuerck has looked at all the various programs adopted by states to mandate the production and consumption of “green energy.” For example, 38 states already mandate renewable portfolio standards (RPS) which require utilities to purchase specified percentages of electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar. Tuerck calculates that the RPS mandates in Colorado, Minnesota, and Montana will raise electricity rates in those states by 37 percent, 24 percent, and 18 percent, respectively. Tuerck says that the contest over green energy is between geeks (his side) and gougers (green energy companies). The geeks insist that governments should adopt only those policies that pass a cost benefit analysis. His example of a gouger is the Cape Wind Project’s offshore wind farm in Massachusetts. His analysis finds that Cape Wind’s costs will exceed its benefits by more than $1 billion. “It is easy to show that state level green energy initiatives are a waste of money,” declared Tuerck. He added if one truly wanted to mitigate climate change, a national carbon tax is the only thing that makes sense.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • fish||

    It would be worth it to see the whole planet go as long as I knew that douchebag Joe Romm was being incinerated as well!

  • Drave Robber||

    “If free market advocates shrink from their responsibilities, others will dictate policy.” Denning is right about that.

    In other words, "let us screw ourselves before others screw us"?

  • ||

    Isn't the responsibility of free market advocates to persuade others to not dictate policy?

    Otherwise, it kind of turns into a "slavery is freedom" thing, doesn't it?

  • ||

    There you are.

    "Efutue servus dominum!"

  • ||

    Or maybe there should be a comma: "Efutue, servus dominum!"

  • Tony||

    Slavery IS freedom!

  • ||

    Oh, hey, thanks, I can use it now!

    "Efutue, servus dominum!"

  • Paul||

    Does it mean the same thing in English?

  • ||

    This is unconfirmed, but it's supposed to mean "Fuck off, slaver!"

  • ||

    Thanks. I need a motto for the Dean coat of arms, and I don't think I can do better than that.

  • ||

    Have it reviewed for grammatical correctness by your local Latinist before you carve it in marble, for my Latin is questionable at best.

  • Ska||

    OK, I can use your guys' help on this one. I was making a guild name for my new Guild Wars guild when it comes out, and from Catallus I wanted to use something like Irrumans Acerbum to translate as the Grievous Face-fuckers. Do I have it covered or do I need some grammar clean up?

  • ||

    Um, not sure. Shouldn't it be Acerbum Irrumans, though?

  • Ska||

    Dude, I don't have the foggiest when it comes to Latin grammar. That's why I'm on HnR asking for help. ;)

    I just figured the Italian "adjective follows the noun" grammar rules would apply...

  • ||

    Actually, maybe you're right. Facefuck if I know.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Have you tried wiki's entry for Latin profanity? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_profanity

  • ||

    An refert, ubi et in qua arrigas? That's got to be from a letter to or from Antony.

  • Cytotoxic||

    +1

  • angus||

    In other words, "let us screw ourselves before others screw us"?

    -1

    The solution to climate change is to price carbon footprints into the consumer market and expand that market by a massive reduction of non-free market expenditure.

    Short version: The solution to climate change is [...] a massive reduction in government spending.

  • Rand-Gillespist Theoretician||

    When the revolution comes, the climatologists will be drug out in Koch Square and shot!

  • Rand-Gillespist Beautician||

    Also, people will be required to get a shitty hair-cut!

  • Old Mexican||

    Lukewarmers, Denialists, and Other Climate Change Skeptics


    It is very difficult to believe that, despite all evidence of the contrary, there are people who are skeptical of climate change, since it is devastatingly obvious that the climate changes all the time.







    Oh, sorry, you are talking about AGW skeptics!!

  • Old Mexican||

    "Climate sensitivity is defined as how much the average global surface temperature will increase if someone comments about the Earth's girth on that new dress."

  • Some Internet Guy||

    As an attendee, I thought you wrote a fair, excellent review Ron. Thank you!

  • ||

    This thread should be fun.

    I should just go home early so i can post here for the rest of the day.

  • Old Mexican||

    Michaels said that he had looked at the heaviest day for the year precipitation trends in the U.S. starting in 1900 and he found that it had indeed gone up, from 2.53 inches to 2.6 inches.
    We were promised year-long droughts, not more water! Where are my droughts???
  • Ben Wolf||

    Texas is having the worst drought in it's history.

    And quite frankly it's rather disengenuous for Pat Michaels to talk about U.S. rainfall in regards to a study on global rainfall. Which of course was the point.

  • Ben Wolf||

    Actually, anyone who would be interested in understanding intensification of the hydrological cyle in the U.S., rather than Michaels completely undocumented, gross oversimplification should read this:
    http://downloads.globalchange....../water.pdf

  • ||

    In other words if anything changes it is man made climate change. That kind of stuff really sells to the math and statistics ignorant. That pdf is just a bunch of cherry picked nonsense. You have to believe that climate never changes not to see the manipulative chartmanship going on in that propaganda piece.

  • Ben Wolf||

    Let's also not forget the continent of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in 60 years.

  • Shmenge||

    So 60 years ago, before global warming, they had a drought that was just as bad or worse?

  • +1||

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Unlike many participants at the ICCC6, Michaels describes himself as a “lukewarmer.” “There is a human influence on the climate, but it’s not the end of the world,” he said. How much warmer does Michaels expect the world to get? About 1.6°C over the next century based on trends in the global temperature records.

    Maybe if the conference would instead focus on figuring the exact amount of Chinese pollution it would take to balance out our pollution maybe we could sustain the planet's apparently single temperature at a balmy 71°F.

  • spencer||

    Waiting for the crazy.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    wow...you waited a whole 4 minutes for that. HERC 2012!!!

  • spencer||

    He does deliver!

  • ||

    COLD WAR ARMS RACE HEATS UP- [RI-BRIC] members sign deal!

    [RI of the [BRIC]] Cold War Arms Race

    Now, to somehow still have the mistaken notion that the Cold War ever ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall, is like believing in the tooth fairy, a deity, or Santa Clause. Well maybe not Santa Clause after all the Christmas Gift that will keep on giving in any Cold War, deals in arms made during the Cold War. And, so it is with the deal just struck along with many others that have been made in the past between two of the members of the [BRIC] Brazil, The Russian Federation, India, and The Democratic Peoples Republic of China, Sphere of Influence, the [RI] The Russian Federation and India which have reached an agreement to the tune of [€23.8B]Twenty-Three-Point-Eight Billion Euros, as reported by the [R] ambassador Alexander Kadakin, and excepted to be signed by Dmitry Medvedev, in which the [R] of the [BRIC] which supplies [70%] Seventy Percent of the arms to the [I] of the [BRIC] on his trip to the [I], hot on the heels of Vladimir Putin who agreed to supply [16] sixteen nuclear reactors, adding [63K] megawatts of power to the [I] from the [R], beginning with [2] new reactors at Tamil Nadu in southern [I] of the [BRIC]. The [I] and [2nd] Second largest arms buyer, which has been a purchasing agent for [7%] Seven Percent of the World's arms exports, during the past [5] Five years, latest in toys from the [R] is a new [R] stealth fighter jet aircraft that top's the American-Israeli's Military Industrial Complex [F-22] Raptor in performance, its not only an arms sale but a combined business venture as [RI] will share joint jet and missile development and production of [R] - [MiG-35's], and looking to purchase or manufacture an additional [126] One-Hundred-Twenty-Six, multi-role combat aircraft for its air force, plus missiles such as the recently-tested Brahmos supersonic cruise missile, with additional maintenance contracts worth about [€3.9B] Three-Point-Nine Billion Euros, in doe-ray-me. Santa hurried down the [R] chimney with a pen in hand, and were is Viktor Bout the Merchant of Death, in a American-Israeli Military Industrial Complex Prison, talk about getting a lump of coal in your stocking, especially since the pot at the end of that rainbow is [€79.3B+] Seventy-Nine-Point-Three Billion Euros plus to be purchased by the [I] from the [R] from the pot of gold [4th] largest military and defense wish list at the end of the rainbow too boot.


    [American-Israeli Military Industrial Complex Cold War Arms Deals]


    But, there have been and we should expect more counter arms deals to be made by the bested American-Israeli Military Industrial Complex as it will no doubly be selling arms too Pakistan while the [AF-PAK] Afghanistan-Pakistan Quagmire continues with Pakistan the best supply route to the land locked battle site can't let the [I] have less toys in their stocking, and then there is the Nationalist Chinese breakaway providence of Taiwan, since the American –Israeli Military Industrial Complex has drawn a line in the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan, marking what is its industrial base of the Mainland of Japan at the cost of Okinawa, the [ROK] Republic of South Korea with its new War Hawk President at the cost of the Korean People with any taught of a peaceful reunification or peace at all, along with sticking it in the eye of the [C] of the [BRIC] by its own sale of arms to the breakaway providence of Taipei with a sales package of [€4.5B/$6.3B] Four-Point-Five-Billion Euros/Six-Point-Three-Billion-Dollars, in military support to the National Chinese consisting of a [€2.2B/$3.1B] Two-Point-Billion-Euros/Three-Point-One-Billion-Dollars, package of [60] Sixty, Blackhawk [UH-60M], Helicopters, and [€2.9B/$4.1B] Two-Point-Nine-Billion-Euros/Four-Point-One-Billion-Dollars, worth of [114] One-Hundred-fourteen, [PAC-3] Patriot anti-missile systems, [12] Twelve Harpoon anti-ship missiles, [2] mine-sweeping ships and communications and surveillance equipment .the who said the Cold War was over, it was just in neutral for a little while, it just picked up were it left off. And you taught the Cold War had Ended with all its Arms Deals and Spying, silly boy tricks are for kids, [START] Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, Naw, just Start your engine's it's off to the races.

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN

  • PantsFan||

    outstanding.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hey, Hercule... I have a cousin who lives in South Bend, Indiana.

    Which makes just as much relevant sense as your postings.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "Noter Dame" SUCKS!!!

  • Almanian||

    ^^THIS^^

    Fuck Touchdown Jesus while we're at it!

  • Ray||

    Cool story, bro.

  • spencer||

    I think reason should collect his posts and publish a book- and them promote the shit out of it on this blog every single day.

  • Grandpa Whithers||

    See. Cop DO get forced to take leave without pay:

    Breast-feeding cop forced to take leave without pay

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/.....ithout-pay

    And mistreat thir K9 partners:

    North Texas Police K9 Dies After Being Left In Hot Car

    http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/0.....n-hot-car/

  • ||

    What a dumbass cop. She should've just driven drunk or used excessive force... Then she could've simply been put on "administrative leave" WITH pay (or, even if she was suspended without pay, the union would've reimbursed it).

  • Brett L||

    "Lukewarmers, Denialists, and Other Climate Change Skeptics"

    I'm surprised the Inquisition didn't show up and auto de fe everyone. Well, I guess that's not a carbon neutral form of punishment.

  • ||

    Say, what is the appropriate way for killing off Deniers?

  • ||

    Toss them in a volcano.

  • ||

    Oh, okay, that makes sense.

  • ||

    "And so, Trekkies were executed in the manner most befitting virgins, by being thrown into a volcano."

  • ||

    Do you (and Bender) think there is a strong correlation between Deniers and Trekkies?

  • ||

    You're certainly not refuting the correlation. Especially since you are also a thin crust denier, the worst and most filthy kind of denier there is.

  • ||

    I don't deny thin crust exists.

    Monday is not your best day (today being a virtual Monday if not Monday in fact). I'm surprised your commenting enemies don't save all of their attacks on you for Monday. Between 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. PT.

  • ||

    You deny the complete superiority of the thin crust, making you even worse than someone who merely denies its existence; for you have had the opportunity to sample and see the clear truth, yet you still deny the thin crust's ascendance.

    This is why you must be excommunicated and never allowed in New York, New Jersey, or New Haven ever again.

  • ||

    Fine by me, Cruster.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Hey...


    Crust fags!

  • fyngyrz||

    Oh, thin crust exists; it's only when lunatics cut it into squares instead of proper pie-shaped slices that it causes a problem. I *really* don't respect people who can't handle their pizza correctly.

  • ||

    I prefer thick crusts myself. Thin crusts are kind of effete, don't you think?

  • fyngyrz||

    FTFY: You mean, thin crusts are kind of "elite."

  • Episiarch is retarded||

    you know, repeatedly referencing a mediocre cartoon isn't witty, it's pathetic

  • ||

    You could throw them into the ocean that way their carbon is more easily absorbed.

  • ||

    Is there a carbon-neutral method of launching Deniers into the sun?

  • Paul||

    Launching any denier into the sun is an automatic carbon negative (or would that be positive?).

    If not for deniers, Global Warming would have long since reversed. But for the deniers, we continue to spew CO2 into the atmosphere. We'd have long transitioned to Solar Ovens and apartment composting.

  • Ray||

    Well, it worked for Lord Xenu and the Thetans.

  • Anomalous||

    Certainly, no one would have expected that.

  • ||

    I think it's a pretty big deal that Michaels, like Bailey, as come around to accept AGW as a reasonable conclusion based on the data. I was not aware of that, but admittedly, I stopped following this tiresome Deniers!/Fascists! debate a few years ago.

    In any event, both fall into the "What's the big deal, anyhow?" camp. I'm still far from convinced that even the most hyperbolic Gore "NY will drown!" scenario is that big a deal.

    Of course, the fact that my house is (intentionally) 50' above sea-level, and that I'll eventually have some ocean front views, plays no part in my reasoning.

  • Jose||

    Michaels has been saying the same thing for at least ten years. He hasn't "come around to accept" anything. He was a lukewarmer before the term was coined.

  • Tman||

    Spencer asserts that if climatologists don’t really know what caused earlier changes in climate, they can’t accurately estimate climate sensitivity.

    This should be the end of the conference. I still don't understand how on one hand you can predict catastrophic warming based on a relatively small sample size of data over the last few decades and yet with a sample size of several hundred years for the Medieval warming period you can't even come up with any answer at all for why it was warming.

    This is the giant elephant in the room, and I still haven't seen a reasonable answer as to why this is.

  • ||

    This should be the end of the conference.

    The conference is a skeptics conference. Yes Spencer is right but if everyone went home what he was saying would still be ignored by the "consensus"

  • ||

    That's been my position since day one. As far as I know, we can't say what causes the normal climate cycling in and out of ice ages and what-not.

    If you can't define the baseline, you can't identify a departure from the baseline. If you can't model normal climate cycling, you can't model abnormal climate change.

  • ||

    In fairness to the climate modelers, if you can observe long-term cycles you can incorporate them into models without necessarily understanding the cause of said cycles. That being said, I think a lot of climatologists shot themselves in the foot a good fifteen years ago by overselling the certainty of their models. Had they been more honest from the beginning, I think we would have long ago progressed to the real debate--how confident we are in predictions for future warming--rather than bunkering down into the "fer it" and "agin it" camps.

  • Tman||

    In fairness to the climate modelers, if you can observe long-term cycles you can incorporate them into models without necessarily understanding the cause of said cycles.

    I agree but what sticks out like a sore thumb in this story is that this is exactly what AGW's are doing with the current models. They are incorporating piles of data on said cycles with a fraction of understanding as to why these cycles happened, and then proceeding to make predictions for the future based on said non-understanding.

    Other physical sciences require that you understand the reason for why such cycles happen (re:Hypothesis!) before you make predictions based on models using this data.

    It's like China saying fifty years from now that "We know that Apollo flew to the moon. We don't know how it worked, but that's ok because we built a rocket that sorta looks like it and we're pretty sure it will get to the moon too." You wanna be the first one to test out that rocket?

  • Ben Wolf||

    The cycles are fairly well understood. Some more so than others, but the assertion we know very little is flatly incorrect.

  • Tman||

    So Ben, what is the general consensus for why there was a Medieval Warming period and then a subsequent "Little Ice Age"?

    What caused this anomalous climate change?

    And how would you then apply said cyclical explanation in to the current warming trend?

    Being totally serious, btw. Not trying to be snarky or anything.

  • ...crickets...||

  • ||

    It is believed that the "Little ice age" was caused by a volcano. The Medieval warming part is a different question.

  • Furthermore||

    Wait a minute, I thought the LIA was caused by the Maunder Minimum....

  • ||

    In fairness to the climate modelers, if you can observe long-term cycles you can incorporate them into models without necessarily understanding the cause of said cycles.

    As von Neumann said:
    "With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk."

    If they believe they can make predictions based on a curve fit they are pathetically naive.

  • Ben Wolf||

    Milankovitch Cycles.

  • Cytotoxic||

    That explains some but not the Little Ice Age or the MWP.

  • Ben Wolf||

    We didn't have satellites and thermometers in the Medieval Period. That's why we have to use proxies to reconstruct the data.

  • Tman||

    This is true, but the lack of satellites and thermometers hasn't seemed to stop us from determining that there was definitely a warming period and subsequent little ice age based on a variety of proxy sources (ie. Vikings took advantage of ice-free seas to colonize Greenland).

    So why did this happen?

  • Ben Wolf||

    The Little Ice Age is believed to have been a combination of decreased solar activity and increased volcanic activity throwing particulate matter into the atmosphere and blocking incoming solar radiation. The Medieval Warm Period is more difficult to nail down because the evidence indicates it wasn't a globally synchronous phenomenon. It was warm in Europe at a different point than it was warm in New Zealand, for example. The evidence is that it wasn't a global phenomenon.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Actually, recent evidence points to the MWP being a global(ish) phenom. Sediment in Brazil and other proxy in China show warmer temps at about the same time.

    What eruptions happened in/before the Little Ice Age?

  • Ben Wolf||

    Some of the eruptions were documented at the time. For example the eruption of Tambora which caused Europe's "year without summer."

  • Tman||

    The Little Ice Age is believed to have been a combination of decreased solar activity and increased volcanic activity throwing particulate matter into the atmosphere and blocking incoming solar radiation.

    Oh. So as Cyto asks, which volcanoes? And is the volcanic action any different and/or more prevalent than it is today? How about the solar activity? What do they use to measure solar activity during the MWP?

    I've looked for answers myself to these questions and I haven't found anything that would resemble a hypothesis. I've found plenty of words like yours -"it is believed to be" but nothing resembling any kind of workable theory. This does not seem to me to be a well understood phenomena, or as you put it "The cycles are fairly well understood". In fact, the more I look, the more confident I am that the assertion we know very little is not "flatly incorrect". Perhaps you have a link or reference that goes in to more detail?

    The Medieval Warm Period is more difficult to nail down because the evidence indicates it wasn't a globally synchronous phenomenon.

    This is not what I've read. I've read several studies indicating that they've found evidence for both the MWP and LIA in just about every corner of the world including Antarctica (Unstable Climate Oscillations during the Late Holocene in the Eastern Bransfield Basin, Antarctic Peninsula).

  • Ben Wolf||

    The paper you link to does not suggest the MWP was a global event, it suggest climatic conditions on the Antarctic peninsula were rapidly shifting during the time-frames of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.

  • Ben Wolf||

    Had to go back through several hundred bookmarks to find this link on Global Signatures relating to the LIA and MWP (referred to in the article as the Medieval Climate Anomaly).
    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann.....ence09.pdf

    In short certain areas of the planet were as warm or warmer than today, but the globally averaged temperature was lower than present values.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Oooh...that's a Mann paper. Not trustworthy by default. His paper may still be right, but you're going to have to cite the specific part that demonstrates how they know the average global temps of the MWP.

  • Ben Wolf||

    There are others, but unfortunately the ones I can link to are all behind a paywall.

  • Ben Wolf||

    I can point you to the supporting data Mann and his team used. In fact I'd encourage anyone interested to learn to understand this kind of thing for themselves, do their own analysis.

  • Ben Wolf||

  • ||

  • Tman||

    The paper you link to does not suggest the MWP was a global event

    I didn't say that link was. I was using it as example of the MWP not being confined to anomalous regions. But if you want a paper that does suggest this, there is this one-

    Was the Medieval Warm Period Global?

    The geographic pattern of Holocene climate fluctuations remains murky, but several things are clear. The Little Ice Age and the subsequent warming were global in extent. Several Holocene fluctuations in snowline, comparable in magnitude to that of the post-Little Ice Age warming, occurred in the Swiss Alps. Borehole records both in polar ice and in wells from all continents suggest the existence of a Medieval Warm Period. Finally, two multidecade-duration droughts plagued the western United States during the latter part of the Medieval Warm Period. I consider this evidence sufficiently convincing to merit an intensification of studies aimed at elucidating Holocene climate fluctuations, upon which the warming due to greenhouse gases is superimposed.
  • Ben Wolf||

    Had to go through the books again to get a more comprehensive list of confirmed volcanic activity:
    1812, La Soufrière on Saint Vincent in the Caribbean
    1812, Awu on Sangihe Islands, Indonesia
    1813, Suwanosejima on Ryukyu Islands, Japan
    1814, Mayon in the Philippines

    Plus Tambora in Indonesia. This combined with the Maunder and Dalton Minimums had an effect of about -1 degree Celcius.

  • Sean Healy||

    I thought the Little Ice Age started 250 years before these volcanoes. Why did it get particularly cold from 1550-1850?

  • ***crickets****||

    crickets

  • ||

    He noted that the atmosphere contains around 800 million tons of carbon dioxide and that humans are emitting 8 billion tons per year.

    Ron you might want to double check these numbers.

    Do you mean 800 billion and not 800 million?

    Or perhaps it was Soon who misspoke.

  • ||

    Or perhaps it was Soon who misspoke.

    opps

    I mean

    "Or perhaps it was Denning who misspoke."

  • ||

    JC: it's billion. Typo. Thanks.

  • Ben Wolf||

    Humans emit 32 billion tons of CO2 per year, about 6 billion tons of carbon. Someone made a major mistake here.

  • ||

    BW: According to the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the amount of carbon emitted from burning fossil fuels in 2008 was 8.7 billion tons. I suspect that Denning was offering a ballpark figure to illustrate his arguments. I evidently transcribed his remarks incorrectly. I have now corrected the text and added a link to the CDIAC data. Thanks.

  • Max Stirner||

    I think many conservatives/libertarians are scared off by the progressive power grab, and aren't really paying attention to the science. Which is understandable, but we should be arguing politics more than the science. Look how many companies are going green simply because it sells. Environmentalism is fashionable right now, so let the market do what it's supposed to do.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's not about saving the planet... it's ALL about the progressive power grab.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    If environmental problems are solved by the free market, does anyone wanna make any bets as to how long it will take Al Gore to suck the end of a gun-barrel?

  • ||

    I'll believe there's something to the science, when the people who tell me I should change my life because of the science, change theirs.

  • Environmentalists||

    See, it's the redneck hicks in Alabama who drive SUVs and smoke cigarettes that are destroying the environment.

    How does flying a humble private jet from state to state, conference to conference, destroy the environment?

  • ||

    See, the South is hotter than other places because of its racism and general nekulturny. This excess heat is warming the rest of the planet. Therefore, the South should be nuked by the Enlightened One.

  • ||

    I think many conservatives/libertarians are scared off by the progressive power grab, and aren't really paying attention to the science.

    If anything the crappy science of climate change pushed me to become a libertarianism.

    Environmentalism is fashionable right now, so let the market do what it's supposed to do.

    This is not true for the past few years more americans place the economy above the environment. This is the first time this has happened since they polled this question.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/116.....nment.aspx

  • ||

    here is a more recent poll

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/146.....nment.aspx

    On the graph the up and down of 2010 I think can be explained by the Gulf oil spill.

  • Achtung Coma Baby||

    That's the whole fucking reason that people despise environmentalists. They have little to no economic sensibilities.

    Only when the economy is thriving can people devote attention to helping the environment.

    For the average environmental activist, who tend to be well-off, elitist types, it is easy to find the time to care about how their carbon emissions are threatening the climate. But if you're a single mother of three* who needs that fucking SUV to carry her kids around...Well, FUCK THE ENVIRONMENT!

    * Assuming you don't see motherhood as a burden.

  • Paul||

    Environmentalism is fashionable right now, so let the market do what it's supposed to do.

    The market is doing what it's supposed to do. It's showing us via price inputs that going green is often:

    1. Expensive
    2. Less efficient than many tried-and-true methods of production.
    3. Sometimes doing more damage to the environment than helping it.

  • Knutsack||

    If it was just the market doing what it's supposed to do, then I wouldn't have a problem. The problem is when the politicians start acting like they're the market.

  • Tony||

    So are you saying that political coziness with the green tech industry outweighs coziness with oil and coal? Are you saying it with a straight face?

    You could take away all the current subsidies for oil and coal and they'd still have an infrastructure and institutional advantage.

    All you guys are doing is demonstrating exactly why waiting around for the market to decide is a bad idea. But then some of you manage to cure the cognitive dissonance by pretending that science is a giant worldwide conspiracy to enrich Al Gore. I'm sure this position will go down in history as the victor.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Okay, let's give NO breaks or subsidies to oil companies AND green-tech businesses.

    I'm for it. Are you?

  • TONY||

    THE CONSISTENCY BURNS

  • ||

    I'm with you on no subsidies, but I'm all for any tax break for anyone at any time.

    -jcr

  • Tony||

    If they're applied inconsistently won't that distort the market?

  • ||

    So are you saying that political coziness with the green tech industry outweighs coziness with oil and coal?


    It's not just the "green tech" industry, it is also the green NGO's along with the stupid green voters. Politicians get elected with votes if were not already aware.

  • Knutsack||

    Where did I say anything about oil and coal?

    Just keep believing what you'd like me to say. It will be much easier for you that way.

  • Ben Wolf||

    Cite?

  • Ben Wolf is retarded||

    You first, you're missing several

  • ||

    Of that amount, two tons are being absorbed by the oceans and two tons are being absorbed by plants, leaving four tons per year in the atmosphere.

    actually this sentence seems pretty weird as well.

    If only 4 tons are being absorbed wouldn't that leave 7,999,999,996 tons in the atmosphere?

  • cw||

    I think he meant "two billion" absorbed by plants and another "two billion" absorbed by the ocean.

  • ||

    I think the point above about not knowing why changes occurred in the past is well taken. When the end of the last ice age, for instance, can be explained to 'our general satisfaction' then maybe we can lend some credence to models predicting catastrophe in the next hundred years.

  • Ben Wolf||

    The end of the previous Ice Age CAN be explained, but Muller won't accept it. So he continues to spread misinformation.

  • Umm||

    Christians have an explanation for the cosmos as well, but I don't accept that either. I'm sure they think I'm spreading "misinformation", too.

  • ||

    “If free market advocates shrink from their responsibilities, others will dictate policy.”

    Because free market advocates have been so successful at stopping other government interventions, haven't they??

  • ||

    Now there's a valid criticism for once.

  • Ben Wolf||

    1) there is no "dispute" over Milankovitch Cycles. There is only Richard Muller. The scientific community overwhelmingly accepts that Milankovitch Cycles result in Ice Ages and Interglacials.

    2)There has not been a single reconstruction indicating the Medieval Warm Period was a global event. Not one. Not even by "skeptics".

    3)For the fourth time you cite the fraudulent Spanish study which claimed to demonstrate green energy kills jobs. The study did not reveal how this occurs, nor did it identify what jobs are destroyed. It simply claimed they were without providing any evidence whatsoever. At this point I have to question the sincerity of your efforts.

    4). You'd better examine the numbers in your final paragraph and confirm they came from Denning, because they are waaaaay off. Humans emitted 32 billion tons of carbon dioxide in 2010, not 8 billion. About 45% of that is absorbed by the oceans, not "two tons".

    Frankly the Gish Gallop manner in which you report on these things is frustrating, because it makes proper discussion difficult. It would be nice to see a change.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I actually took you seriously until I read number 3 and your mask fell off. Christ are all you people dishonest watermelon assholes!?! The green economy DOES NOT WORK. What kind of criticism is this anyway-can't find the jobs? Do we have to label every fucking one?

    Concerning MWP see my above post.

  • Tony||

    You cannot possibly know whether a green economy will work (by which I assume you mean it is profitable), because you have no experience of a world that does not heavily subsidize the non-green status quo in many direct and indirect ways.

    That's entirely separate from the fact that we don't have a choice in the matter. We have to move to a green economy because oil will not last forever, so we might as well figure out how to do it sooner rather than later so that we can preserve the limited resources we have. Don't you think?

  • Cytotoxic||

    because you have no experience of a world that does not heavily subsidize the non-green status quo in many direct and indirect ways.

    You and I live on different worlds. I live in the real one, with massive Canadian gas taxes, you live in fantasy world.

    We aren't running out of fossil fuels. Shale gas and shale oil will keep us going for decades. There's no discoveries all the time. Hell, Israel's sitting on almost as much as the Sauds. Keep paddling. It's amusing to watch you fight.

  • Tony||

    Oh dear... the very fact that we're exploring expensive and invasive extraction techniques is clear evidence that we're running out. Two countries with more than two billion people are rapidly industrializing. You do not live on this planet at all. This one has a sun and no technical impediments to exploiting it for energy. The only impediments are politicians cozy with the industrial status quo and the idiots who spread their anti-science propaganda. You guys aren't normally shy about assuming future technology will solve problems (thanks to capitalism), but here it's utter hostility to the very possibility of innovation.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Shale gas and oil are no longer expensive, so wrong.
    The sun's light is too dilute and intermittent to use. If it weren't they wouldn't need subsidies. Not that you give a shit about 'facts' or anything else related to reality.

  • The Sun||

    Oh, so NOW you're for exploiting!

  • Untermensch||

    Tony, it's not hostility to solar power: it's hostility to the government declaring by fiat (and subsidizing) solar power in the absence of any demonstration that it is cost-competitive or a net benefit (economic or environmental) when manufacturing costs are factored in.

    This one has a sun and no technical impediments to exploiting it for energy.

    If there were no technical impediments, there would be no need for the government to subsidize it and protect it. There are a lot of technical impediments and more substantial natural ones: we don’t all live in the Mojave.

    I suspect that most of us, if you stripped out the assumption that Top Men know better than anyone else and can pick the winner through their unfailing instinct, would be fascinated by solar panels. A lot of libertarians have even used them on their own (paying full price and not being forced to use them) but still object to the government trying to get involved.

    You’re using the false logic summed up by Bastiat: “It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

  • Tony||

    Untermensch, again you're ignoring the fact that the energy status quo is heavily supported by governments, despite (and because of) the fact that it is comprised of the most profitable industries in the world.

    The fact may very well be that absent government support energy would simply naturally be more expensive for everyone. You can hardly indict an industry for not matching a heavily subsidized and entrenched status quo. We just need to change the incentives. We can do it without subtracting any freedom at all. A lateral move toward subsidizing green tech shouldn't alarm you anymore than the status quo does, and the bonus is we're not killing the planet, in case that means anything to you.

  • ||

    Tony,

    Electricity generation will not have any effect on oil consumption because we don't use a significant amount of oil to generate electricity.

  • sevo||

    "Oh dear... the very fact that we're exploring expensive and invasive extraction techniques is clear evidence that we're running out."
    No, it means it's worth looking for. Asshole.

  • ||

    "Oh dear... the very fact that we're exploring expensive and invasive extraction techniques is clear evidence that we're running out."

    Uh, I think we do that cause many of the areas where we could easily get it have caribu, and as we all know easy drilling where caribu are would increase the caribu divorce rate so we've made it illegal.

  • ||

    ... because you have no experience of a world that does not heavily subsidize the non-green status quo in many direct and indirect ways.


    The EIA analysis says you are wrong. On per unit of energy the "green" energy is heavily subsidized. Of the “status quo” energy sources nuclear has the highest subsidy at $1.59 per MWh. On the “green” side wind and solar get $23.37 and $24.34 per MWh.

    The real ignorance, which is quite typical of the green crowd, is that the vast majority of “green” subsidies go into electric generation when only about 3% of our electricity is generated with oil. To add insult to injury that 3% is mostly from a low value byproduct (residual oil) from the refining process that has no other use. IOW, windmills and solar panels won’t do squat to reduce our oil usage.

  • ||

    The scientific community overwhelmingly accepts...


    1. The scientific community have historically overwhelmingly accepted a lot of stuff that turned out to be wrong. Appeal to authority is not science.

    Try again.
    2.Loehle, C. 2007. A 2000 Year Global Temperature Reconstruction based on Non-Treering Proxy Data.

    3. It took 571,000 euros to create one "green" job compared with 259,000 euros in the rest of the economy. I question your grasp of simple math.

  • Ben Wolf is retarded||

    "The scientific community overwhelmingly accepts"

    Don't care, science isn't done by consensus, and claiming consensus matters AT ALL to scientific method disqualifies you from this discussion

  • ||

    As someone who grew up in Vermont in the 60's-70's, I can remember several hyped stories about a new Ice Age. It was supposed to be caused by man also. The theory was that all of the pollution in the air would block or reflect sunlight causing it to cool. It wasn't hard to believe given the winters we endured.

    But eventually, I decided it was all crap. Just like the notion we would run out of gas by the 1990's. 25 years later, it wasn't hard to be skeptical about global warming.

    I suspect that the climate has a lot more to do with sun cycles than anything we do. And it appears that scientists are just beginning to form an understanding of how all that works.

    In the end, it looks like it's more about politics and funding than any actual policy.

  • Ben Wolf||

    There were two studies suggestIng global cooling in that period, and at least nine which suggested global warming. The magazines decided to run with the global cooling meme. That's it. No global cooling scare by environmentalists, just a couple of academic papers.

  • Cytotoxic||

    And magazine editorializing is inconceivable today wrt AGW. Can't happen.

    Given the lies spread by environmentalist, which have killed millions of people and made many more suffer, it's wise to be skeptical of their claims.

  • ||

    Ben, you're a real True Believer. It's fun watching you Kool-Ade cultists squirm as you try to patch all the holes in your religion. It amuses me.

  • Tony||

    I wasn't quite sure, but yes it does appear that your misplaced arrogance extends to thinking you're smarter than the worldwide scientific community.

  • ||

    I didn't give you permission to address me, sockpuppet.

  • Episiarch is retarded||

    Shouldn't you be making a ten year old Futurama reference to pretend you're current?

  • sevo||

    Resident shit-head proposes shining example of "appeal to authority":
    I wasn't quite sure, but yes it does appear that your misplaced arrogance extends to thinking you're smarter than the worldwide scientific community.
    Asshole.

  • Tony||

    Because there is a logical fallacy called "fallacious appeal to authority" doesn't mean all authorities are wrong about everything. 97% of American scientists disagree with you on this question of science. Does that even sink in?

  • ||

    Because there is a logical fallacy called "fallacious appeal to authority" doesn't mean all authorities are wrong about everything.


    It doesn't mean they are wrong or right, it means that it is not a logical argument. Nobody is arguing they are wrong because there is a consensus. OTOH, you want to argue they are right because there is a consensus. Science advances on the evidence, not on the opinions of "scientists". Does that even sink in?

  • Tony||

    Whether they are wrong or right is not an equal likelihood.

    On any other topic you would agree with me. Somehow climate science among all other disciplines is completely infested by vast conspiracies.

    You don't need formal logic to conclude that if 97% of experts say something is true, it is required of you to consider the possibility. You are being fallacious in the extreme with this distracting bullshit. You want to claim you are smarter than 97% of American scientists. You aren't. Glad to help.

  • ­­­||

    AT LEAST 97% of Christian clergymen believe in virgin birth. It is required of you to consider the possibility.

  • Tony||

    Oh how clever never heard that one before!

    One wonders how you can be an expert on the facts of fantasy bedtime stories.

  • ||

    I think your requirement is reasonable. If 97% of scientists agree about something it could be true. And, for the first 6 or 7 years I looked at GW, I thought it was likely true. But, none of the predictions turned out as they said they would. I now have a reasonable reason why I can not believe the 97%.

  • ||

    97%? I want names, all of them. Anything less means you've just made that up.

  • Tony||

    It would be much, much easier to list the skeptics. You know, those engineers and pediatricians you guys take as better informed than the world's scientific consensus.

  • ||

    97% percent of scientists? That number would have to include a great many who aren't climate scientists--in fact, the majority of that 97% would be scientists from other fields of study.

    And, since you people have this tiresome habit of including social 'scientists' in your definition of scientist the number of actual competent scientists that actually know what they're taking about falls even further.

    Oh, and the logical fallacy known as 'appeal to authority' refers to the practice of expecting deference without proof simply because the opinion comes from a noted source. If proof is included(and with AGW, it NEVER is), it is not an 'appeal to authority'.

  • Tony||

    But no amount of data will convince you. There are plenty of credible sources for you to consult that hasn't convinced you that right-wing crackpots are lying to you. So I'm hoping to appeal to the sheer overwhelming unavoidable incongruity you must feel by being on the other side of 97% of the very people we turn to for such questions. Do you think you're better informed or cleverer than they?

    The ability to hang onto dogma in the face of overwhelming, obvious, smacking-you-in-the-face facts is very interesting to me.

  • lol||

    Likewise

  • ||

    How do you explain their predictions turn out to be false. And, quite false, too?

    Doesn't this suggest to you the likelihood they are wrong?

  • ||

    But it is good for dogs and bad for goldfish.

  • Sean Healy||

    Are you crazy? How could the behavior of the biggest source of energy in the solar system have anything to do with climate variability here on Earth?

  • Tony||

    “There is a human influence on the climate, but it’s not the end of the world,”

    And this is the moderate voice at the conference. But what makes these kooks think they get to tell the rest of us that doing absolutely nothing to mitigate environmental harm is the policy we must swallow, because they say so? What if they're wrong and scientists are right? It's a possibility you are required to consider if you think you're entitled to flap your ignorant pie hole about a question of science.

  • TONY MOUTHBREATHER||

    It Team you vs Team Scientist. There are no other divisions.

  • Tony||

    When 97% of American scientists say something, it's probably true. At the very least you suppose it could be and consider the costs and benefits. There are no other positions on this matter.

  • sevo||

    "At the very least you suppose it could be and consider the costs and benefits."
    You should try that some time and get back to us.
    Or not.

  • BigT||

    97% is pure BS. And even if it were true would be meaningless. Science is about observation, not polls.

  • Tony||

    It's true and it's most certainly not meaningless. Such a poll is relevant when you're talking about the people conducting the observations, isn't it?

  • BigT||

    Over 31,000, mostly scientists, have signed the Petition Project. So you need to find 970,000 scientists willing to sign on to the AGW bullshit to make your 97%. Good luck, douchebag.

    http://www.oism.org/pproject/

  • ***crickets****||

    And Tony runs away.

  • Tony is retarded||

    "It's true "

    No, it isn't liar. Prove me wrong with facts.

  • ||

    When 97% of American scientists say something, it's probably true.

    LMAO. Get a book on the history of science you ignoramus. Then tell us how the scientific consensus of Eugenics turned into such a startling success. The history of science is full of examples of the consensus being wrong. As Max Planck astutely observed "Science advances one funeral at a time".

  • Tony||

    The history of science is full of examples of the consensus being wrong.

    Therefore all scientists are always wrong? Or just on the topics that are politically inconvenient for you?

  • ||

    Tony quit the false dichotomy. They are not always right or wrong. You, on the other hand, are so politically driven that telling lies is quite okay with you.

  • ||

    You, on the other hand, are so politically driven that telling lies is quite okay with you.

    I have to agree with that. I mentioned today that TARP, Stimulus and government lead Fanny and Freddy are the reasons we are broke...

    His response was to call me a racist.

  • Tony||

    You're the one trying to argue with 97% of American scientists on a scientific matter, and I'm the liar?

    I'm not even bringing this to the level of facts. It's simply required of you as a thinking person to take 97% of scientists and every scientific organization in the world seriously.

  • BigT||

    "Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts"
    -Richard Feynman

  • ||

    You're the one trying to argue with 97% of American scientists on a scientific matter, and I'm the liar?


    Wow are you stupid.

  • Tony is retarded||

    "You're the one trying to argue with 97% of American scientists on a scientific matter, and I'm the liar?"

    Exactly, you are the liar.

  • ||

    Eugenics wasn't science, though, it was engineering. Scientists are your best source on science, nothing else. I mean, do you honestly head straight for your neighorhood particle physicist for movie reviews?

  • ||

    Eugenics wasn't science, though, it was engineering.


    Engineering is applied science. Most of what passes for science in academic research is closer to engineering then it is to science.
    Eugenics wasn’t science or engineering in any way shape of form. It was bigotry masquerading as science.

  • ||

    Eugenics, as in the idea of selectively breeding humans for traits one wants, is very workable. It works just like any other animal breeding system.

    People were/are just real squeamish about that.

  • ||

    Eugenics, as in the idea of selectively breeding humans for traits one wants, is very workable.


    I suppose it is if you want blue eyes and blond hair. Other than that you will have to explain why Asian immigrants were one of the targeted groups with the Eugenics movement. Contrast that with how Asians as a group enjoy above average success both financially and academically now. That is but one example. I would suggest if you get the chance visit the Holocaust museum and read the news clippings on Eugenics. The similarities of those old paper clippings to the ‘save the world for the sake of humanity’ propaganda of today is chilling.

  • Tony||

    “There is a human influence on the climate, but it’s not the end of the world,”

    And this is the moderate voice at the conference. But what makes these kooks think they get to tell the rest of us that doing absolutely nothing to mitigate environmental harm is the policy we must swallow, because they say so? What if they're wrong and scientists are right? It's a possibility you are required to consider if you think you're entitled to flap your ignorant pie hole about a question of science.

  • sevo||

    One more strawman from the resident shit-head:
    "But what makes these kooks think they get to tell the rest of us that doing absolutely nothing to mitigate environmental harm is the policy we must swallow, because they say so?"
    Shut up, asshole.

  • Realist||

    Hey, Bailey you ever going to get a science degree???

  • ||

    No.

  • Realist||

    That's the idea....stay ignorant!

  • Apogee||

    Because a degree in science is a degree in omniscience!

    Nobody with a degree in science has ever erred before!

  • Realist||

    A science journalist should have a degree in science.

  • Apogee||

    Which field of study? The physical sciences? "Social" sciences?

    Of course, then the argument would be that Ron isn't qualified to make statements about fields in which he isn't a specialist.

    A personal attack at Ron (about his "qualifications") is just a fallacious way of avoiding addressing what he's saying.

  • ||

    What did Mao say about a treaty? "It's just a piece of paper."
    So is a degree.
    Anyone who wants to learn about the scientific method of finding things out can spend a few hours with Carl Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World" for instance.

  • Realist||

    Carl Sagan was a liberal dickwad with an agenda.

  • ||

    An agenda is simply "a list of things to be done." per my dictionary. If you have ever made such a list then you too have had an agenda.

  • Realist||

    The fact that you would quote Mao...tells it all.

  • ||

    I've also quoted Richard Nixon. What does that tell you?

  • Realist||

    You're full of shit!

  • ||

    And u r my toilet!

  • angus||

    I am concerned AGW is occuring and seems scientifically sound. Politically I am a small government type. So obviously the solution to AGW is to slash the size of government. Where is a libertarian, small government or similar political lobby pushing this obvious solution to AGW? Could Reason do it? Shall we try?

    To all you "climate scientists" who appear on these threads - SHUT UP. Every boondoggle piece of leftist drivel that is couched as a "solution" to climate change (subsidy, cap, emissions, fuel standards) is attacked on the basis that AGW is false by "climate scientists" referring to many obscure studies, but this isn't the forum for that sort of scientific debate - you could try maybe Nature? If you are a "climate scientist" with strong opinions on AGW, keep them to yourself and treat this as a theoretical exercise - if AGW were occuring how might it best be solved?

    BTW - I have seen some of the "climate scientists" on other threads making sensible comments about the absurdity of wasteful big government programs, try doing that here.

  • angus||

    Way I figure is price the carbon footprint into the consumer market using a local comsumption tax and eliminate all other distortions to the consumer market. Distortions being all government borrowing, all subsidies and all other taxes.

  • Tony||

    If there were a small-government solution to climate change, libertarians wouldn't need to expend so much effort being science deniers on this issue. The fields of science people choose to ignore aren't chosen at random. They tend to be the ones that challenge our deeply held worldviews. Most of the people here have chosen to prefer the comfort of their worldview over the fleeting satisfaction of learning something new.

  • Apogee||

    Most of the people here have chosen to prefer the comfort of their worldview over the fleeting satisfaction of learning something new.

    Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Sing it, socky!

  • Tony||

    Stuff it. We can disagree about a lot of things, but whether to trust modern science over right-wing crank websites is a no-brainer, and you guys would completely agree if it were on a scientific matter you weren't emotionally invested in.

  • ||

    A doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels, all else being equal, would produce a 1 degree C rise in temperature. Nobody disagrees with this. All the climate models assume a positive feedback which amplifies the effect of CO2. The models assume that a rise in temperature will also cause an increase in evaporation resulting in more water vapor, the main green house gas. All well and good. The problem is that clouds are made of water vapor. Low clouds reflect more incoming energy out than they trap and therefore are a negative feedback. High clouds hold more energy in than they block and are therefore a positive feedback. The problem is nobody has been able demonstrate if the cloud feedback is negative or positive. So essentially the “consensus” is based on the unproven assumption that the cloud feedbacks are positive and therefore the climate sensitivity is positive. IOW, the consensus is based on a belief. I learned all that from those right wing publications called peer review journals.

    What the consensus boils is a bunch of scientist that know more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing. Climate scientist is a generic term that has no meaning other then in political circles. No one is an expert in physics, chemistry, and biological sciences all of which play a part in the climate. Those basic sciences can be broken down into hundreds of sub field specialties which is where most of the scientist operate. Most of the scientist that compose the consensus have no knowledge of the fundamental issue with cloud feedbacks as it is not their specialty. Their opinion means nothing.

    The only no-brainer here is Tony gets his politics masquerading as science from left-wing crank sites as a substitute for actually learning or discussing any real science. He uses a pretense of science as a façade to cover his fanatical left wing religion. In fact Tony won’t touch the science above as no religious fanatic will allow their beliefs to be challenged.

  • ||

    But you don't trust modern science. You Believe in Modern Science.

    You and your ilk are the first ones to leap on the anti-nuke bandwagon, the 'frankenfoods' bandwagon, you have no actual grasp of how science works, you hold to the idea that it is Progress, and Progress is Good.

    You deride those who question evolution--and then make statements that show that while you Believe in evolution, you have no idea how it works and are vehemently against it's normal functioning.

    Understand, Tony, or fake Tony, or sockpuppet, or whatever you are, your own repeated reliance on your 'consensus' reveals you for what you are. You have no real conception of how science works, you think your 'majority' actually has some meaning.

    For you, Science is Faith.

  • Durp Tony||

    97%! Science is �! It's all about da 97%! Science, science, science!

    99999999999997777777777%! DERP!

  • Tony||

    Often the simplest explanation is the correct one.

    Or maybe 97% of American scientists have been duped by Al Gore.

  • Tony||

    You really don't know what you're talking about. I am not anti-nuke (provisional--let's see what happens in Iowa).

    I understand the science of evolution much, much better than you do, apparently, otherwise you wouldn't say idiot things like "its normal functioning" as if that actually meant anything.

    If 97% percent of scientists say something, you are required to listen if you are going to run your mouth about the topic.

  • Apogee||

    Tony - you're the only 'no-brainer' here.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    If there were a small-government solution to climate change, libertarians wouldn't need to expend so much effort being science deniers on this issue.


    If my aunt Thelma was not a slut, she would not spend so much time denying it.

    Nice work, Aristotle.

    The fields of science people choose to ignore aren't chosen at random.


    The East Anglia/IPCC band-of-shysters being proof of that, of course:
    "The sun has nothing to do with anything!"
    "The Alps are losing their snow!"
    "There are less polar bears than ever!"

  • angus||

    Re: Tony,

    If there were a small-government solution to climate change, libertarians wouldn't need to expend so much effort being science deniers on this issue.

    The Emission Cap and reduction response adopted by the EU has resulted in a reduction in emissions, but an increase in the EU net carbon footprint accelerating harm to the planet. Even America by doing nothing (infested as it is by right wing cranks who insist on shoving their heads into the sand) is better for the planet than the leftist Green-economy EU.

    We better hope there is a small government solution to AGW, otherwise we are screwed. The leftist Greens are killing the planet.

  • ||

    I know Thelma. She just likes to have fun.

  • ||

    Oil is primarily used for transportation and cannot be practically substituted with electricity.

    1. Switch oil based energy use to natural gas.

    2. Build nuclear for electricity.

  • ||

    Tony, exactly how far would the pants have to fall off of the "global warming is a big deal crowd" before you could see their junk hanging out? Since failed predictions, fraudulent models, bad data, data substitution, data destruction, data manipulation, and data suppression failed to make you wonder if they were more interested in pursuing a lucrative exploitation of people what exactly would it take?

  • Idiot Savant||

    What is so bad about saving the earth?

  • ||

    George Carlin's "The Planet Is Fine":

    We're so self-important. Everybody's going to save something now. "Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails." And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don't even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven't learned how to care for one another, we're gonna save the fucking planet?

    I'm getting tired of that shit. I'm tired of fucking Earth Day, I'm tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren't enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world save for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don't give a shit about the planet. They don't care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don't. You know what they're interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They're worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn't impress me.

    Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We've been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we've only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we're a threat? That somehow we're gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that's just a-floatin' around the sun?

    The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles...hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages...And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet...the planet...the planet isn't going anywhere. WE ARE!

    We're going away. Pack your shit, folks. We're going away. And we won't leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe. The planet'll be here and we'll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet'll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance.

    You wanna know how the planet's doing? Ask those people at Pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, how the planet's doing. You wanna know if the planet's all right, ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble, if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. Or how about those people in Kilowaia, Hawaii, who built their homes right next to an active volcano, and then wonder why they have lava in the living room.

    The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we're gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, 'cause that's what it does. It's a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed, and if it's true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new pardigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn't share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn't know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, "Why are we here?" Plastic...asshole.

    So, the plastic is here, our job is done, we can be phased out now. And I think that's begun. Don't you think that's already started? I think, to be fair, the planet sees us as a mild threat. Something to be dealt with. And the planet can defend itself in an organized, collective way, the way a beehive or an ant colony can. A collective defense mechanism. The planet will think of something. What would you do if you were the planet? How would you defend yourself against this troublesome, pesky species? Let's see... Viruses. Viruses might be good. They seem vulnerable to viruses. And, uh...viruses are tricky, always mutating and forming new strains whenever a vaccine is developed. Perhaps, this first virus could be one that compromises the immune system of these creatures. Perhaps a human immunodeficiency virus, making them vulnerable to all sorts of other diseases and infections that might come along. And maybe it could be spread sexually, making them a little reluctant to engage in the act of reproduction.

    Well, that's a poetic note. And it's a start. And I can dream, can't I? See I don't worry about the little things: bees, trees, whales, snails. I think we're part of a greater wisdom than we will ever understand. A higher order. Call it what you want. Know what I call it? The Big Electron. The Big Electron...whoooa. Whoooa. Whoooa. It doesn't punish, it doesn't reward, it doesn't judge at all. It just is. And so are we. For a little while.

  • Idiot Savant||

    So george carlin goes from Giaist to Nihilist in one little bullshit rant that doesn't even make sense and you're sold?

  • ||

    Where do I say I am sold on anything Zippy? This is George's screed not mine. You must get all yer exercise jumping to conclusions.

  • Idiot Savant||

    Sound like you got sold, dude

  • ||

    Maybe you should get the bird shit out of yer ears.

  • christian louboutins||

    they were more interested in pursuing a lucrative exploitation of people what exactly would it take?

  • Gail Zawacki||

    Climate scientists are NOT being truthful - they can't model unpredictable tipping points, so abrupt, violent changes from amplifying feedbacks (already well underway) aren't part of the consensus. I tried to tell the participants at the Heartland Institute that it's baked in the cake, but they had a bunch of security guards throw me out...you can see pictures here:
    http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/.....ss-at.html

  • ||

    I know this really nice doctor you should meet with.....

  • TheOtherSomeGuy||

    Romm then cited a June 28 statement of concern issued by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) which deplored the “harassment, death threats, and legal challenges” being faced by some climate scientists. The AAAS specifically mentioned recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) inquiries about the work done by climatologist Michael Mann, the principle scientist behind the “hockey stick” paleoclimate data suggesting a dramatic recent rise in average global temperatures. The AAAS letter concludes, “We are concerned that establishing a practice of aggressive inquiry into the professional histories of scientists whose findings may bear on policy in ways that some find unpalatable could well have a chilling effect on the willingness of scientists to conduct research that intersects with policy-relevant scientific questions.” I agree.

    Mr. Bailey, I'm ashamed for you. I know that you won't feel upset about defending a person crying about peer review, but I do.

    Every scientist producing worthwhile research WANTS people to review their work, replicate it if possible, and ask lots and lots of questions.

    They don't whine and cry when their someone goes back for another look at their work, that's for certain.

    This bitching from Rohm is a sure sign of how degraded the science community has become, not a valid critique of the process. These aren't "scientists" if they are scared of review, they're "priests".

  • Tony||

    These aren't "peers" they are anti-science crusaders with an agenda.

  • ||

    You obviously never actually read anything on their sites...They are far from anti-science, and as far as having an agenda, everyone does, it's just these so called "anti-science crusaders" aren't actually benefiting financially from their work (at least not in any meaningful amount), while the "scientists", are.

  • ||

    Oh, also, when your research is shoddy, and your methodology is flawed, everyone but friends are going to be viewed as "anti-science crusaders with an agenda".

  • ||

    Tony continues to project.

  • Yet another Dave||

    I do think we need to take care of the planet as best we can, but I don't agree that climate change is a done deal. It wasn't all that long ago that the consensus of scientists was that we were heading for a second ice age, now were melting the Earth. And I have seen reputable scientists interviewed that disagree with the general consensus that global warming is a reality.

    Like I said, I'm all for taking care of the planet - to me, that just makes sense, regardless of whether climate change is a reality or not. However, it seems to me that the climate change frenzy is what's been fueling the econazis to push through legislation banning gas guzzler cars and incandescent light bulbs. For this reason, I would think the more prudent stance of the average libertarian should be skepticism.

  • ||

    The earmarks of a scam;
    1. Time is short.
    2. You must act now or something bad will happen.
    3. Acting means paying money or putting yourself at a disadvantage.
    4. If you catch the front-man for the scam in a lie, he will create a distraction and pretend the lie never happened.

    Yes, the prudent stance is skepticism. Extreme skepticism.

  • MrGuy||

    Sounds eerily like the Bailout, except for #4, they just said nothing. Maybe the government is getting more ballsy?

  • BigT||

    TARP, auto bailout, stimulus, debt ceiling. "never waste a crisis" - Rahm Emmanuel

    These guys are shameless.

    "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people. -- H. L. Mencken

  • ||

    Whenever liberals warn us of a grave threat, and say that a massive increase in government power is our only hope for salvation, we should be skeptical.

    If the globe starts cooling again, the Phil Jones' of the world will start warning us of the threat of global cooling as they did in the 1970's. Here's a good column on it: http://historyhalf.com/the-global-warming-agenda/

  • ||

    I remember seeing an illustration of an early medieval woodcut in one of my middle school textbooks and I wish so much I could find another example of it. It was an explanation of the universe as some europeans understood it at the time.
    It was circular in shape with Adam and Eve standing in the center, holding hands and looking into each others eyes. Around them were various animals, all looking at Adam and Eve. Above them in the clouds were Angels on the wing, all looking down at Adam and eve. Above the Angels in the firmament was God, looking down at Adam and Eve. Below them under the ground in little tunnels were demons and imps, all looking up at Adam and Eve. Below that were the pits of hell and Satan, yes, he had his attention focused on Adam and Eve also.
    If anyone has seen this or knows where I can get a likeness of it, please let me know.

  • MrGuy||

    Not a single mention of Climategate... An inconvenient truth if you will.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MrGuy,

    Not a single mention of Climategate... An inconvenient truth if you will.


    Well, that's because they were exonerated! You see:

    a) A panel of government-paid scietists reviewed the evidence behind the accusation that government-paid scietists had commited scientific fraud, at the behest of government-paid bureaucrats.
    b) The government-paid scietists found that the government-paid scientists did not commit any fraud!

    See? The system works!!!!

  • ||

    Allow me to suggest something that makes this whole issue moot. The only logical way to produce energy is both the best economical option and the best environmental option. Hands down, a thorium flouride reactor (TFR)could produce power for a third of either coal or natural gas. Reason should write and article as to why this is true. A TFR consists of little more than a pump, a pipe with a bulge, a heat exchanger, and tons of thorium flouride salt. No massive core vessel, concrete containment, emergency cooling systems, thousands of fuel rods and waste issues that make conventional reactors unaffordable. Even more impressive, a single TFR with a core the size of a conventional reactor could power the state of California! Imagine, a plant that is cheaper to build than a coal plant and has essential no fuel costs or any significant potential for a release of radioactive material!

  • ||

    "Watts is the guy behind the project showing that a surprisingly high number of U.S. weather stations are badly situated." It has been known for many years before Watt that some weather stations are not in perfect spots. But Watts own report and paper, and previous studies, show that this has not had any impact on perceived changes in average temperatures, or even the range or variability. Check it out. If facts matter.

  • nike shoes UK||

    is good

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement