Ideology in the Service of Global Warming is No Vice

Both the right and left are biased in their reading of the science, and that's OK.

Global WarmingMysi(new stream: www.flickr.com/photos/mysianne) / Foter / Creative Commons AttributionThe decibel level in our national debate about global temperature went up several notches this week. The White House noisily released a report full of dire claims about the havoc manmade global warming is causing in America—and Republicans, equally noisily, denounced this as "liberal gloom and doom."

The left has a deep ideological need to hype this issue, and the right to minimize it. And despite the deafening political noise on what ought to be a scientific matter, Americans must not be tempted to reach for their earplugs in disgust. After all, these ideological wars are how democracies sort out their differences.

The president's National Climate Assessment report claims that climate change is no longer a distant threat. It's already here and it's causing torrential downpours and hurricanes, rising sea levels, heat waves, and wildfires. Preventing future devastation, the White House says, will require "bold" (read: expensive and painful) action pronto to limit the nation's greenhouse gas emissions.

Republicans are having none of it. They have dusted off their own report, prepared for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last summer, which points out that the observed warming—0.8 degrees C since 1895—is much milder than previously expected and can't possibly be blamed for these extreme weather events which, they claim, are no worse than before.

Why do Republicans so stubbornly resist the climate change story? It's not like when a tornado touches down, it spares them, targeting only Democrats. Conversely, why are liberals so eager to buy the climate apocalypse? It's not like they can insulate themselves from rising energy prices or job losses that a drastic energy diet would produce.

The answer is that each side is driven by concerns over whether this issue advances or impedes its broader normative commitments, not narrow self-interest.

The right's chief commitment (which I share) is to free enterprise, property rights, and limited government that it sees as core to human progress. So when the market or other activities of individuals harm third parties or the environment, they look for solutions in these principles.

If overgrazing threatens a pasture, to use a classic example, the right's answer is not top-down government diktats to ban or ration use. Rather, it is to divvy up the pasture, giving ownership to farmers—or privatizing the commons. The idea is that what individuals own, they protect; what they don't, they abuse.

But there is no pure free market or property rights solution to global warming. There is no practical way to privatize the Earth's atmosphere or divvy up pollution rights among the world's seven billion inhabitants in 193 countries. This creates a planet-sized opening for the expansion of the regulatory state. Hence, right-wingers have an inherent need to resist the gloomy global warming narrative.

This is a massive conservative blind spot. But it is, in many ways, matched by liberals' tunnel vision.

It is no secret that liberal commitment is less to promoting individual liberty and more to curbing capitalistic greed, which the left views as the great enemy of social justice and equality. At first blush, environmentalism and egalitarianism appear in conflict given that the environment is something of a luxury good that rich folks generally care about more than the poor.

Indeed, this conflict is why the 1960s New Left, driven primarily by humanistic concerns such as eradicating poverty and eliminating racism, shunned the emerging environmental movement for over a decade, according to University of Wisconsin's Keith M. Woodhouse. Many in the New Left condemned the first Earth Day in 1970 as "the white liberal's cop out" and believed that a preoccupation with overpopulation, for example, was "racist hysteria."

Lefties and enviros merged into the modern-day progressive movement only when the New Left was persuaded that environmental degradation and social injustice were manifestations of the same greed-ridden system. Global warming, in a sense, combines this twin critique of capitalism on the grandest possible scale, indicting the rich West for bringing the world close to catastrophe by hogging a disproportionate amount of the global commons, leaving less for the developing world.

This is why, despite the demonstrated impossibility of imposing a global emission-control regime after the failure of the Kyoto treaty, liberals continue to demand that the West unilaterally cut emissions, even though this will arguably make little difference to global temperatures. It is a matter of cosmic justice, as far as they are concerned.

Indeed, if there is any doubt that liberal alarmism no less than conservative skepticism is driven by ideological commitments—and not a realistic assessment of actual risk and achievable solutions—research by Dan Kahan of Yale University ought to put it to rest. He found that when geo-engineering—pumping sulfates into the atmosphere to deflect heat—is offered as the solution to climate catastrophe instead of emission restrictions, liberals become far more questioning of global warming science. Why? Because, presumably, it does nothing to curb Western greed. Conversely, geo-engineering makes conservatives far more accepting of the science, likely because it avoids Big Government.

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  • UnCivilServant||

    Is this a reprint? I seem to recall reading this exact wording somewhere before.

  • UnCivilServant||

    This column originally appeared in The Week

    Which is odd, because I don't read that publication, so where did I see this article?
  • some guy||

    I think it was either linked here or at some other aggregatore like Drudge or RealClear. Maybe you saw it through one of them.

  • mr simple||

    Reason does this all the time: They post a link to the original article with a short blurb about it, then a week later reprint it in its entirety here. Sometimes they even get a third post out of it somehow.

  • ||

    You've been conditioned by Cathy Young.

  • some guy||

    The politicization of Climate Science has done terrible harm to the actual field of Climate Science. It will take at least a generation for the politicization to fade and at least another generation for the field to recover as an objective study of the subject. I pity any young person who truly wants to understand how the climate works and doesn't care about "saving the world." They are out of luck.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Do you think climate science is the only field that's been politicized?

    Doubtful. It's systemic.

  • some guy||

    Of course not. But climate science has suffered more from politicians than any other field I can think of.

  • Free Society||

    It is systemic. That's why virtually every field in academia that has potential political ramifications is dominated by the left. Entire schools of economics dedicating to teaching students how to cherry-pick data and reinforce pro-government theories.

    If the implications of a field of study could bring about more government, you know the left will harp on it hard. Other propositions like evolution, don't face the same corruption and the only people looking to corrupt such fields of study are people with supernatural beliefs to vindicate.

  • Tony||

    How did liberals get so good at dominating academia and science and most other respectable institutions in the world? They must be very clever and devious. One wonders why the Good and True libertarians don't figure out some of their methods, for the sake of humanity.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Libertarians and righties do things. Make money, build business's, etc. Lefties stay in school.

    Righties tend to be engineers, lefties tend to stay in theoretical pursuits. I think its that simple. Also I think lefties are more attracted to the nice ordered, sheltered world of academia where Progressive fantasies seem to work. Also the teacher/student relationship fits the patriarchal personalities of most Progs.

  • Tony||

    If you think science is just some ivory tower bullshit, I don't know what to tell you. You're too far gone. Let's just make it clear who actually inject ideology into things like science. It's people who care more about their ideology than they do facts. And we need look no further than climate change to separate the wheat and chaff. Science isn't optional. If you think it is, you don't deserve to be listened to about anything.

  • Libertarius||

    What passes for climate science today is just old-fashioned rationalism.

  • Torontonian||

    Except that science is supposed to test theories against observations, and discard those theories which don't conform with the real world.

    When models and observations disagree, I'll go with the observations.

  • Tony||

    What do you think has been observed? A climate that hasn't changed?

  • KPres||

    A climate that hasn't changed?

    LOL! They don't call it 'climate change' for nothing!

  • gimmeasammich||

    What do you think has been observed? A climate that hasn't changed?

    Well for one, the fact that this was one of the snowiest winters on record. 15-20 years ago people were screaming that snow would be a thing of the past by this time. Model: 0, Observation: 1.

  • LynchPin1477||

    You can't cite a single year to either support or falsify climate change.

  • Torontonian||

    What has been observed is a climate that has warmed much less than models have predicted.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|5.13.14 @ 11:05AM|#
    ..."Let's just make it clear who actually inject ideology into things like science."...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAlMomLvu_4

  • Edwin||

    //If you think science is just some ivory tower bullshit,

    That's not at all what he said, asshole

  • Free Society||

    How did liberals get so good at dominating academia and science and most other respectable institutions in the world?

    A university system dominated by government funding and policies, for starters. Unfortunately for libertarians who want to use the same tricks, they'd have to rely on government power to an extent that renders them as non-libertarian.

  • Tony||

    As the world's foremost moralists of entrepreneurship and ingenuity, you'd think you could figure out how to beat the sniveling parasitic liberals and winning respectability in the marketplace of ideas. Guess the conspiracy is just too vast. Tell me again how liberals rely on playing the victim card?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|5.13.14 @ 11:54AM|#
    'As the world's foremost moralists of entrepreneurship and ingenuity, you'd think you could figure out how to beat the sniveling parasitic liberals *with the guns*'

    Fixed.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Both FS and Tony bring up legitimate points here, once you get past Tony's snark. Government consumes a significant fraction of GDP but only a small percentage of that goes towards funding university research or something similar. So if there was a sufficient ROI *and* that ROI accrued to the investors that made it (rather than being widely dispersed), the private sector certainly could and probably would surpass government funding for basic research. However, the ROI for basic research is often widely distributed, so in practice, as FS points out, private sector funding tends to be lacking.

  • Robert||

    Interesting. Up until ~50 yrs. ago, the academy was understood as a bastion of conservatism. The stereotype of the professor was as a hide-bound apologist for the status quo. I'm not sure when that image started, but it goes back a ways, and I wouldn't be surprised if it went back to the beginnings of academics. So the change is all the more remarkable.

  • David Lango||

    How about those Chemtrails? http://lango.us

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Hence, right-wingers have an inherent need to resist the gloomy global warming narrative.

    Those who recognize the evidence of global warming as manufactured through shoddy data gathering and flawed modeling and the conclusions as an exercise in groupthink (at best) are being marginalized in this article!

  • ||

    Agreed. Messages like this have no business on a libertarian website.

    there is no pure free market or property rights solution to global warming.

    There are hundreds, probably thousands, possibly millions of free market solutions, each individually tailored to the problem they need to solve at a price point that makes sense.

    What there is not is a one-size-fits-all policy labelled "Implement in case of global warming" and the fact that the only reason it needs to exist is so that the state can implement it is something everyone should oppose.

  • Free Society||

    there is no pure free market or property rights solution to global warming.

    Spoken like a true power worshipinmg statist. "There's no alternative to govenrment power" is just intelectually lazy at best and outright disingenuous at worst.

  • Banatu||

    Doubly agreed.

    I am so.friggin.sick. of the 'if you don't believe in global warming you must be a Republican' crap.

  • Rhino||

    I agree as well. Libertarians don't pretend to have all the answers. And that is the virtue of liberty. Anyone who tells you "this is how it WOULD work" is really a central planner. There's nothing wrong with saying, "I don't know how it would work, but what we've got certainly doesn't work and is immoral."

  • David Lango||

    They're spraying poison on us without our knowledge or consent. Start watching the sky. Note the difference between a normal jet contrail and the streaks clear across the sky.

  • Drake||

    Shame on us for not agreeing to the destruction of what's left of the free market, the suppression of all technology, and the return to a feudal system. All based on an unproven hypothesis and cooked data.

  • Tony||

    Quick get under the bed, the alarmists are coming!

  • AndrewR||

    We don't have to get under the bed - we have guns. When the CAGW crazies come for us, it just creates a target-rich environment...

  • GroundTruth||

    I'll take "bland consensus" ( reasoned conclusion based on all available evidence) over "democracy" (where the vote of my grandmother with a ninth grade education counts the same as that of my neighbor with a PhD in geology).

  • UnCivilServant||

    We've got neither, we've got ideological lock step, ideological dissent and evidence based rejection.

  • ||

    If your Grandmother is like mine, she lived through the Dust Bowl and two 'Palm Sunday Outbreaks' without indoor plumbing and has more first-hand experience in climate disasters than the Ph.D. could ever have, even if he tried. She could take some highly-educated botanists to task as well.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    "Consensus because Credentials!!!!!"

    Sorry, that's not valid evidence.

  • Jordan||

    I'll take liberty over both.

  • Tony||

    I'll take cupcakes and blowjobs.

  • Pathogen||

    Stand on your principals...

  • GroundTruth||

    That was the way the system was supposed to work, and did for about the first 50 years of the Republic.

  • David Lango||

    Not me. One of them no doubt has common sense, and the other is educated beyond their intelligence and no doubt has blind faith in the theory of missing links. We need those two votes to cancel each other out.

  • Rich||

    There is no practical way to privatize the Earth's atmosphere or divvy up pollution rights among the world's seven billion inhabitants in 193 countries.

    But we'll sure as hell try!

  • TruthInAction||

    Chuckle. Reads like a CYA memo.

  • Drake||

    The only way I've found to deal with the climate warriors and their communist solutions is to point out that they have found a new religion.

    While they are usually atheist who doubt the existence of God, they have absolute faith in the climate change hypothesis. And they even believe in State imposed solutions.

    It's a fanatical crazy new religion. When I say it, there is a hurt confused look in their eyes and a I can see them resisting the temptation to self-examine.

  • Pathogen||

    Introspection is for losers.. we must believe, in order to belong...

  • LiveFreeOrDiet||

    I have found I cannot have an "ideology-free" conversation about a lot of subjects because people will accuse me of picking my facts according to the outcome I supposedly want. What I do is critique their predictions and claims, and in the case of AGW they don't hold up well at all. I first noticed this about sea level rise because of having visited William the Conquerer's "island fort," known as Pevensey Castle. Pevensey is not on an island anymore. It's landlocked a mile from the coast.
    Sea level was higher when Harold II was defeated at the Battle of Hastings than it is now.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    You castle theory of sea level doesn't hold water. Wikipedia says it was built on high ground on a peninsula near marshland, and that silting and land reclamation have pushed the coastline out.

    Nothing to do with sea level.

  • Just another preacher||

    Well how about the sea dwelling dino fossils that have been found near the middle of Tennessee? Check it out... unless we are going to blame the SUVs that the dino drove...
    http://www.memphismuseums.org/coon_creek-overview/

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Can't tell if you are a troll, comedian, or just plain stupid.

    There's a huge difference between 65+ millions of years and Roman times.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Each simply needs to make the best possible argument for its own and question the other, letting the broader polity draw its own conclusions.

    I get what Dalmia is saying here. I even agree with, to a degree. But in a limited-government republic, if one ideology imposes on people's liberty, then a libertarian should reject it, the broader polity be damned. And that has nothing to do with the issue of climate change specifically.

  • Rhino||

    exactly. I remember learning the same philosophy as Dalmia promoted in grade school on the virtue of democracy. That if you get enough people to vote, the right course of action is generally taken. I was a little disappointed when i read the line you highlighted.

  • wareagle||

    Why do Republicans so stubbornly resist the climate change story?

    Umm, because the story doesn't stand up under scrutiny?

  • On The Road To Mandalay||

    What is inane, is that a bunch of arrogant politicians (both DemoCRAZIES and RePOOPlicans) in our silly ass society have taken over any sane discussions on a variety of issues at which most of them are not really qualified to discuss on a professional basis.

    All sorts of things are now the ideological property of a bunch of egotistical, and self-serving a holes who have scant education in many of the national problems (or non problems) they like to yap about.

    For example, politicians are now expected to be experts on abortion and take a position for or against it. And yet, how many Members of Congress have Medical degrees? How many Members of Congress are trained meteorologists?

    Take Al Gore who pushes the global warming ticket. Even a superficial reading of his background reveals that he never did very well in science academically. And yet here is is on an almost daily basis assaulting the general populace about something that is the prevail of trained climatologists.

    What's the old saying? Is it "Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one" or something along those lines. By all means, let us consult politicians about almost everything under the f***ing sun. After all, they are all experts in just about everything. Aren't they?

  • JWatts||

    Well, this is certainly a better than normal article by Dalmia.

    My thoughts as a libertarian leaning conservative:
    Industrial society has been increasing the CO2 content of the atmosphere above the average level seen for several hundred thousand years.
    The Earth is still in the grasp of an Ice Age.
    The increase in CO2 should theoretically raise the planets average global temperature.
    Evidence over the past few decades points to a mild warming that's at the low end of almost all the model based predictions.

    So, I would expect us to see a continued mild warming and that won't likely cause catastrophic climate changes. That man kind will adjust to the changes without much dislocation. That we should spend some money on mediation of the affects and some money on reducing the cause, but not a great amount of money.

    I'd prefer to see a gradual move away from coal based electrical grids to a renewable/nuclear supported grid. Not only to reduce CO2, but also to reduce the ongoing fuel extraction costs associated with mining and to prevent the other contaminant that coal plant tend to add to the atmosphere.

    The US has managed to produce a substantial amount of nuclear power (far more than any other country on the planet), and a substantial amount of renewable power (more wind+solar power than any other country on the planet) with lower average electricity rates. I'd like us to continue on that economical trend.

  • Free Society||

    It's usually some crap about the nuances of Indian politics that no one outside of India gives a fuck about.

  • gimmeasammich||

    I read up until you wrote "man kind" and then got sidetracked reading about Mick Foley.

    Back to your post, what makes you think that there has been appreciable warming, even a slight one, that has been caused by man? From what I have seen, the research doesn't hold up under much scrutiny. Do I think it is possible that man has caused some warming? Yeah I think it's possible. The degree to which is what is up for debate. Is it the equivalent of pissing in the ocean, or pissing in a glass of water? That's where the science isn't settled.

    The costs associated with nuclear make it prohibitive against coal for now, mostly because of federal regulations. I know, I used to work at a nuclear facility. I saw first hand the crap that they make even proposed power facilities go through. The paperwork for one took about ten years and millions of dollars to complete and was a stack literally over 17 feet high. The result? NRC: "No for now. Maybe some time in the future."

    I'm all for nuclear and alternative energy, *provided* the cost-to-benefit ratio isn't all screwy when compared to current options.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Bull.

    This is not at its heart ideological. Some people may choose a side based on ideology, but the essence of the matter is science, and it always has been. But for many, those who believe in the dangers posed by AGW believe what the clear majority of science is telling them, including every single major science organization in the country, as well as most climate scientists. And those who disagree believe in what the minority in science (Judith Curry, etc.) are telling them.

    And in between are the Rush Limbaughs and Senator Inhofes. The minute Shikha says something like "The president's National Climate Assessment report..." it feeds into the ideology question, so she is just as guilty. The NCA first issued a report back in 2000, and this is only the latest. And it comes from over 250 scientists as well as the National Academy of Sciences, so when they say strong action is required, its science saying it, and the President only reiterates it.

    And quite honestly, that's the fact that so many on the right and Libertarians just can't get over...science is warning us. And because it goes against their ideology, it just has to be a conspiracy.

  • John||

    That is a a first class bit of question begging. "The Science Says so" is called assuming your conclusion there son. What the "science" says or does not say is the entire issue.

    Moreover, even if it did say what you think it does, no one has ever offered a solution to the problem. Cutting the Western World's emissions does no good if the developing world's emissions swallow that cut. And cutting the developing world's emissions is condemning billions to poverty and death. That is not an option. In the end, you have a problem that you have no solution for and expect Americans and other westerners to literally watch the lights go out and be reduced to third world level poverty while be subjected to the most most economic system man has ever devised all in the name of "doing something" which you know and admit will have no effect on the problem.

    The only response to you and your ilk is go fuck yourself. We are not going to let you use a manufactured problem that you can't even solve even if it were real as an excuse to implement your evil, failed and horrific economic ideology.

    The right doesn't need to come to terms with science. The left needs to come to terms with 1989 and the total failure and innate evil of central economic planning. All "global Warming" is is the left latching onto something to avoid that reckoning.

  • Jackand Ace||

    The science says it, I don't THINK it. This is from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest general science organization in the world:

    "The overwhelming evidence of human-caused climate change documents both current impacts with significant costs and extraordinary future risks to society and natural systems. Climate scientists agree: climate change is happening here and now. We are at risk of pushing our climate system toward abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts. The sooner we act, the lower the risk and cost. And there is much we can do."

    And this just one of the science organizations saying the same. The NCA offered solutions in the report, you just don't like them, which is hardly a negation of the science.

    But go ahead, post the statement from some other science organization that tells us the opposite.

  • John||

    None of those solutions are practical or in any way politically feasible. The third world is not going to give up its economic growth period. And without that, CO2 emissions are going to continue to go up.

    At this point, there is no reason to worry about it anymore. It will either happen or it won't and there is nothing the US can do to change that.

  • JWatts||

    "The overwhelming evidence of human-caused climate change documents both current impacts with significant costs and extraordinary future risks to society and natural systems"

    Sure, give me a dollar value for significant costs please? Or even better, tell me what the exact observable effects will be over the next 10 years? And if you can't, well now there's the rub, isn't it.

  • Tony||

    See the word "unpredictable" up there? That's one of the big problems. Because something is unpredictable doesn't mean you get to insert whatever version of reality you want in place of the observed one.

    Lots of predictable things--sea level rise, increasing desertification, droughts, ocean acidification--are bad enough. But every now and then we notice that some species has dominated its environment because of changing climate and thrown everything out of equilibrium, or something.

    The fact is nobody can calculate the dollar cost of climate change, but it is pretty much indisputable that the less we do the more it will cost.

  • Edwin||

    //pretty much indisputable that the less we do the more it will cost.

    Not really. YOU guys have basically set it up as an all-or -nothing thing because of the way the theory works. Either we stop the growth of CO2 and top global warming, or we don't and all the flooding happens. Where the hell is there a middle ground? Assuming there is, now all of a sudden you're not only do you know it's happening, you know exactly how all the little details are going to happen, and that small changes can make big differences in how it will play out. That's bullshit

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Oh dear another one who needs to see the Feynman lecture on the scientific method.

    Climate change is a tautology...and slick marketing by the warmer crowd.

    Lots of contradictory evidence for CAGW. In fact, the warmers have not come up with a theory and subsequent test that can be falsified.

    If it disagrees with experiment, it’s WRONG. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.” -- Feynman

    So without a proposed experiment or test you got nothing. There was a theory that said temp was correlated with CO2 but they cannot adequately account for the 17 year flattening of global temps. They make assumptions that CO2 has a positive feedback with water vapor but have not come up with an experiment that verifies that assumption. The feedback could be negative...nobody really knows.

    Your appeals to authority and consensus are tiresome betraying a lack of understanding of the way science is supposed to work.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Oh and btw Judith Curry used to be a warmer but the prediction that hurricanes would increase in number and strength has been debunked (her area of specialty). Given the way she has been treated by her colleagues, she flipped.

  • Tony||

    "or what his name is"

    Yes, so let's not whore out the names of dead scientists for our ideological purposes. It's kind of appalling.

    There is a massive amount of evidence in this field. Much of it confirms long-understood physical processes and much of it is novel and frightening. But to say there's no real science is to not understand or to willfully ignore it.

  • Free Society||

    Everytime there's inclimate weather, politicians and scientists lock arms, stand up, and say "See this is evidence of global warming." but when there is a mild summer or cold winter those same people stand up and say "Weather events are a poor indicator of climate."

    It's no wonder the alarmists have reached the conclusion they've reached and no wonder those conclusions are always so dire. Evidence in support of your theory trumps all countervailing evidence regardless. All evidence to the contrary of your theory is dismissed out of hand.

  • Tony||

    So link me to a respectable scientific journal that disputes the mainstream findings. Or do you suppose you get to claim that there's "evidence to the contrary" regardless of what science says, just because you want to?

  • Redmanfms||

    So link me to a respectable scientific journal that disputes the mainstream findings.

    This game has been played with you over and over again Tony. You define "respectable" as only what agrees with you. When people present articles from sources that have been actually cited by the IPCC, you ignore them.

  • Tony||

    So, link?

  • Redmanfms||

    So, link?

    I'm not going to play your game.

  • Free Society||

    No one is denying that human's have an effect. The assumptions about multiplier factors, the Earth's resilience, mitigating factors and the validity of computer models have been consistently proven wrong. The effects of that change have been consistently proved wrong. If they were consistently correct we'd be living in a Mad Max scenario since the 80's.

  • Tony||

    You don't know what you're talking about. Even if models have been wrong in the past, so what? What does that have to do with current science on the matter? Unlike bullshit dogmas like libertarianism, science improves itself with evidence.

  • Free Society||

    Those models are CENTRAL to the theory that economic freedom destroys the planet. Those models, upon which so many policies and prophecies rely, are wholly inaccurate. It's the equivalent of a homeless man with a sign saying "the end is nigh", being proved wrong simply by the non-manifestation of the end times.

  • Redmanfms||

    Even if models have been wrong in the past, so what?

    They're still wrong. It's not the past, it's the now.

    What does that have to do with current science on the matter?

    The dire consequences are based on these so far wrong models.

    Unlike bullshit dogmas like libertarianism, science improves itself with evidence.

    Neat, care to explain why the climate projections have continued to be so wildly inaccurate and slot that into the "not a bullshit dogma, science, evidence" thing?

  • Edwin||

    //Even if models have been wrong in the past, so what

    THEN YOU"RE FUCKING WRONG AND YOUR THEORY IS WRONG, MORON

  • Torontonian||

    Here ya go:

    Otto et. al (2013) http://www.nature.com/ngeo/jou.....o1836.html

  • anewrepublic||

    Otto will be dealt with, and swiftly.

  • I. B. McGinty||

    I get to claim there is evidence to the contrary because, as a scientist, I did my own research and came to a different conclusion. I would recommend you do the same.

  • ||

    Yes, so let's not whore out the names of dead scientists for our ideological purposes. It's kind of appalling.

    To be fair, they started it.

    When you can't get certified as a scientist without agreeing and all the living scientists are busy whoring themselves out, who's left?

  • Pathogen||

    ".. unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts.."

    Nothing screams "the science is settled, and the debate is over" quite like "unpredictable", and "potentially".
    Those are dangerous words to be used so casually when asking the developed world to give it all up, and crawl back to the caves..

  • Redmanfms||

    We are at risk of pushing our climate system toward abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts.

    That's the problem right there Cochise. Rational people don't upturn their entire existence over vagueries.

    Besides, if the impact is "unpredictable" how can it possibly be determined that it will highly damaging?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Except that what the AAAS says is happening isn't actually happening.

    The models they cite don't match what the planet is actually doing based on observation.

    Which means that science is saying one thing and some scienceists are saying another.

  • AndrewR||

    "The science says it". What science? Real science is created by those who follow the Scientific Method. The cretins you follow aren't scientists - they openly and publicly refuse to follow the Scientific Method.

    Phil Jones to Michael Mann, July, 2004: "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow - even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !"

    "Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it. "

    Fraud after fraud after fraud by those you call "scientists" make it clear that "science" is not what is being done. Look up Yamal, Upside Down Tijlander, Hide The Decline, Short Centered Principle Components Analysis, etc for starters.

    Why should we believe ANYTHING that comes from those who engage in deliberate scientific fraud? Or even those who by their silence, support those frauds?

  • Jackand Ace||

  • I. B. McGinty||

    "1. Climate scientists agree: climate change is happening here and now."

    Who are these climate scientists and who do they work for?

    "2. We are at risk if pushing our climate system toward abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts."

    It's not predictable now. And scientists do not know how much warming is needed to trigger these changes. Is it 1 degree? 100 degrees?

    "3. The sooner we act, the lower the risk and cost. And there is much we can do."

    They don't say exactly what in this summary, but if CO2 concerns you that much plant some trees.

  • JWatts||

    "1. Climate scientists agree: climate change is happening here and now."

    Ok, give me as specific narrow prediction on climate change for the next 10 year period and let's observe the accuracy.

    "2. We are at risk if pushing our climate system toward abrupt, unpredictable, and potentially irreversible changes with highly damaging impacts."

    What's the risk? Quantify it.

    "3. The sooner we act, the lower the risk and cost. And there is much we can do."

    There were multiple predictions from over a decade ago, that if we didn't act by the middle of this decade global climate change would be irreversible. Were those predictions right? If so, that means number 3 is wrong. If, they were wrong, then why should I believe this prediction.

  • ElevenOnly||

    "1. Climate scientists agree: climate change is happening here and now.

    Oh it is is it? I'll just leave this here

    No we're not warming

  • AlexInCT||

    There is a lot to find in a name. There is a reason that the AGW cultist changed from using "global warming" to "climate change" in their predictions of Armageddon should anyone stand in their way of more nanny state socialist government, and that's because they could no longer defend the 'global warming" tag. The fallacy with this idiotic cult is the assumption that climate is fixed. Climate has varied, drastically, throughout the existence of this planet. There is no optimum or stable temperature, and that’s because the system is so complex, with so many things causing changes. Radiation from the sun, other stars, all that radiation the energy trapped in our oceans, volcanic and other tectonic activity, oceanic currents, water vapor, and a plethora of other factors, many with far larger impact than any role played by CO2, that have always been behind the climate changes throughout Earth’s history are conveniently ignored, dismissed, or minimized by these cultists, and it is on purpose. It’s a ludicrous affront to the power of nature for these cultists to pretend man is solely responsible for the changes. Their focus ignores water vapor, a far more powerful and abundant climate affecting agent, and focuses on CO2 precisely because they can then blame man and peddle their pseudo-marxist solutions.

  • AlexInCT||

    Referring to these AGW cultists as watermelons is not an accidental anaogy, because the reality is that whenever you scratch the surface of one of these green people you will find a deep red marxist in the middle.

    Nobody has done as much damage to the credibility of the scientific community than these AGW cultists. Settled science is an afront to the scientific method and the fundamental belief that you are only right if you are never proven to have gotten it all wrong like they have. The cultists love to pretend that anyone opposing them isdoing the bidding of a special interest, but they want you to ignore they are owned by the biggest special interest ever, the one with the deepest pockets, the nanny state.

  • OneOut||

    The Ross Ice Shelf was already shrinking by almost one mile per year when it was first discovered in 1850 by Robert Falcon Scott during the Age of Sail.

  • Sevo||

    Yeah, and Gore featured photos of glaciers calving in his agit-prop film, so the world id coming to an end!

  • ||

    This is not at its heart ideological. Some people may choose a side based on ideology, but the essence of the matter is science, and it always has been.

    Science, since it's inception, has been ideological;

    "The discovery of the alphabet will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves… You give your disciples not truth but only the semblance of truth; they will be heroes of many things, and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing." -Plato, The Phaedrus

    Hypothesis generation is ideation in it's purest form. To say that ideology has nothing to do with science is like saying breathing or distinguishing color has nothing to do with science.

    Just over a century ago, Malthus knew we were headed for an evolutionary bottleneck. Lord Kelvin knew that X-rays were a hoax, radio was useless, and that powered flight was impossible. Fourier and Arrhenius knew that the only way we would avoid a global winter was to increase atmospheric CO2.

    It'd be awesome to believe that people have since stopped making bold claims and large-scale bad decisions like the one's above. But that would be shooting yourself in the foot, and ignoring the even more horrendous bad decisions that have happened since then.

  • soflarider||

    If you respect science as I do, and are scrupulously rational and honest, you must admit that no climate models have yet proven to accurately predict what the weather is going to do. You might believe in GW/AGW but the hard facts are not supporting your beliefs.
    There are a myriad of instances when scientific consensus has proven to be incorrect.
    For instance, there was once a scientific consensus that dendritic cells had no effect on immunity. Go learn how that turned out.
    http://www.rockefeller.edu/abo...../rsteinman
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-15156342
    That's just one example.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Examples like yours actually work against the deniers.

    The consensus from science has not always been man is warming the climate through fossil fuel emissions. In fact, it was the opposite. Back in the 80's, when a few in the science community were speaking out about the dangers of AGW, it was primarily ignored. There were only a few warning of potential danger. In fact, none of the science organizations that I mentioned above gave it any credence.

    But as time went by, more and more data was collected which highlighted the danger, and more and more in the science community became alarmed. Its following the same path as the hypothesis that smoking causes cancer...and dendritic cells are part of our immune system.

  • soflarider||

    Throughout the history of science, consensus has been reached on a variety of topics which were subsequently disproven. There's a term that describes this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....c_theories
    GW gained some scientific attention in the 1970s while media hype was largely directed toward global cooling.
    I'm not necessarily dismissive of the existence of GW or AGW but as a pragmatist, I recognize that the recommendations of AGW believers are illogical and impractical.
    I'm all for energy efficiency and the development of technology to provide low cost energy but believers seemingly ignore or summarily dismiss the consequences of the remedies they suggest.

    Furthermore, as an unabashed skeptic of almost everything, I question the motives of the people who support this for ideological reasons, especially when the majority of that group supports this blindly and champions other questionable objectives. Their fervor and treatment of people who disagree with them is identical to religious fundamentalists.
    Maybe I'm a dupe, but when other skeptics point out that theoretical climate models don't agree with the current observed temperatures, that smacks of dishonesty and bad science.
    This, coupled with the unyielding, un-nuanced approach of AGW zealots, puts me firmly in the group of so called deniers.
    I'm OK with that.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Treatment of people that resembles the fervor of religious fundamentalists? Ever read the comments here at Reason?

    So what are the motives of National Academy of Sciences? American Geophysical Union? AAAS? In the past, we always believed their motives were the advancement of scientific principles. In fact, Lincoln created the National Academy because he realized how important science was, and he wanted the best to advise future administrations.

    We suddenly are their motives questioned around AGW? How come they are on the take for the first time?

  • Sevo||

    Jackand Ace|5.13.14 @ 5:03PM|#
    "Treatment of people that resembles the fervor of religious fundamentalists? Ever read the comments here at Reason?"

    Poor Jackand Ace! Continually called on your bullshit and butt-hurt as a result.
    Let me look for my sad face!
    -------------------------
    "So what are the motives of National Academy of Sciences? American Geophysical Union? AAAS? In the past, we always believed their motives were the advancement of scientific principles."
    Well, you might have done that; others might see them as self-perpetuating bureaucracies.
    -----------------
    "In fact, Lincoln created the National Academy because he realized how important science was, and he wanted the best to advise future administrations."
    Irrelevant bullshit.
    -----------------
    "We suddenly are their motives questioned around AGW? How come they are on the take for the first time?"
    "Suddenly"?
    You should learn some logic, or continue to be butt-hurt

  • soflarider||

    You seem to be either blind to or ignorant of the cult, bureaucracy and industries built up around environmental activism. Here's a book that might educate you, if you care to learn.
    http://www.amazon.com/Climate-.....+of+crisis

    The comments at Reason are a far cry from the scope and depth of what the environmentalist sphere and their cohorts in the media put out on a constant basis.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Read the comment just above yours...now there is religious fervor...or at least infantile fervor.

    I read Allit's book. Did you? He is critical of both sides in the climate debate.

  • Jackand Ace||

    I get the feeling you did not read the book, so let me quote the summary from the page YOU cited:

    "Environmentalists see their critics as greedy special interest groups that show no conscience as they plunder the earth while skeptics see their adversaries as enemies of economic growth whose plans stifle initiative under an avalanche of bureaucratic regulation.

    There may be a germ of truth in both views, but more than a germ of falsehood too. America’s worst environmental problems have proven to be manageable; the regulations and cleanups of the last sixty years have often worked, and science and technology have continued to improve industrial efficiency."

    Did you get that, SFR? Regulations on the environment (from the GOVERNMENT) worked in the past, and both sides would do well to be reasonable.

  • soflarider||

    I have. It's too bad that the Environmentalist Industrial Complex isn't more reasonable. Instead of taking wins (like the huge reduction in air pollution from automobiles) and working with their opponents, they take things too far. An extremist approach is bound to bring out the extremists on the other side.

  • Tommy_Grand||

    Though I disagree with VP Gore on this topic (all topics?), I will defend him against your attack. If his argument, on global warming or any other subject = logical + sensible, then his lack of academic qualifications should not discredit it. There are scads of highly-qualified scientists on both sides of the global warming debate, but even if all (or nearly all) of the Phds lined up on one side, that fact would not undermine or refute a solid, logical, evidence-based argument shouted by some wild-eyed, long-haired hill-billy. The argument is valid or invalid. Logical or illogical. Substantiated or unsubstantiated. We can't get lazy and judge a scientific proposition by its author's degrees (or lack thereof). I admit that in an emergency, when I don't have time to examine all the evidence, I will trust a medical doctor over an un-credentialed healer. But if I have time to think, reflect, and research, I will listen to all options. Global warming is not going to destroy the earth in the next 18 months. Climate change might have some very harmful effects in 40-90 years. We should neither ignore the problem nor rush to implement potentially disasterous half-baked "solutions."

  • Rhino||

    I would argue that, even if AGW is correct, we would just adapt to the changing environment. We have the technology. People thrive in every climate and place in the world. Whether we're contributing to it or not. The climate changes over time. it's not a big deal.

  • Redmanfms||

    My theory has long been that all of these manufactured apocalyptic scenarios have been manufactured and promoted expressly for the advancement of Communism in the West.

    Not even in the socialist democracies of Western Europe have people accepted the kind of rationing of everyday life (like they have for something most people rarely ever use, like health care) outside of war. This left the communists needing to concoct scenarios as dire and needing of immediate and overwhelming effort as war. Which is why we've seen the various environmental bugaboos over the years, overpopulation, global cooling, overfishing, global warming, climate change. There is always some kernel of truth, like an expanding population, a series of extra cold winters, reduced fisheries production, 1-2 degrees of temperature rise over 200 years, but that kernel is taken blown to massive over proportion and then portrayed as signs of impending TEOTWAWKI.

    The dead giveaway is that the policy prescriptions are always the same, regardless of the crisis. The solution is always centralization of power, rationing, price fixing, and outright banning of certain products.

  • John||

    It is no coincidence that global warming became a cause for the left in the late 1980s. All it is is a way around the failure of socialism. Sure it fails and causes misery, but we have to do it to save the planet!!

    It is so pathetic that if it wasn't so dangerous it would be funny.

  • Tony||

    At the most generous we have two competing apocalyptic claims. You don't get to bitch about alarmists when you're claiming (each time straight from GOP talking points, almost down to the letter) that any climate change mitigation policies will destroy the economy and cause widespread misery.

    Of course one claim has all of science behind it and the other has Republican donors and talk radio hosts backing it. So who can say?

  • Redmanfms||

    If anybody needed any further proof that AGW is a religion, you have it here.

    This reads exactly like the creationist counter argument to Darwinism.

  • Tony||

    When did creationists (accurately) claim that they had science backing them up while evolution only had talking heads and well-funded ideological organizations behind them? Isn't the reverse true?

    Denialism is so much like the creationist movement (and the tobacco-doesn't-cause-cancer movement for that matter), it's almost as if there's a template for being anti-science.

    Not long ago everyone here flat out denied that the greenhouse effect was real. In increments you slowly accept the basics but persist in denying aspects you think you can get away with denying. Creationists did the same. First, the earth was 6,000 years old and all life has descended unchanged from Eden. Fast forward and they've all but accepted it, trying to find instances of alleged irreducible complexity or other tiny gaps in knowledge into which they want to shove God.

    But it's not up to charlatans and amateurs to decide what's scientifically valid.

  • Redmanfms||

    But it's not up to charlatans and amateurs to decide what's scientifically valid.

    Cute.

    Of course, it is really convenient for your argument that you get to play arbiter of who is a charlatan or amateur.

  • Tony||

    No, by all means ignore me. But if you want to talk about what current science says, there is an entire Internet out there and presumably at some point you were taught how to distinguish reliable sources from fraudulent ones.

  • kbolino||

    how to distinguish reliable sources from fraudulent ones

    Find a model at least 10 years old whose predictions have tracked with the actual history of climate since it was published.

    That's what reliable means. Predictions were made, they were tested against the evidence, and they held up.

    Surely, our feeble minds are too frail for the task, but a fucking genius like yourself could do it.

    If you can't prove your claim, then it's wrong.

  • Pathogen||

    "..You don't get to bitch about alarmists when you're claiming (each time straight from GOP talking points, almost down to the letter) that any climate change mitigation policies will destroy the economy and cause widespread misery.."

    *We* set the boundaries on debate, if you don't accept *our* premise without rebuttal, you are not allowed to make whatever argument you were going to make, which we were going to casually ignore...

  • Rhino||

    Actually, your characterization of climate skeptics is a straw man. Climate change mitigation policies certainly destroy jobs or prevent their creation. And even where they create jobs, the jobs are created in lieu of jobs in sectors that are more demanded by the people. So people, usually the poor, do suffer from these policies due to lack of potential jobs as well as raised cost of living and this is pretty much just to the direct benefit of special interest green energy companies or crony campaign contributors and lobbyists.

  • ||

    that any climate change mitigation policies will destroy the economy and cause widespread misery.

    Don't need to.

    any mitigation will spend money that does nothing to solve a non-problem.

    By the way the IPCC agrees. In their most recent report they say mitigation will cost more then doing nothing.

    Even the climate change "consensus of scientists" agree that we should do nothing.

  • Libertarian||

    But the important question is: will "Globe Girl" replace "Lobster Girl"?

  • Tommy_Grand||

    If President Obama really wanted to achieve his climate change agenda, he could just say: "Dear GOP: I just instructed Pelosi to sponsor a bill that implements [radical carbon emission reductions, 1 trillion green energy investment, or whatever]. It also repeals Obamacare + ends all federal Affirmative Action. You have 30 days to vote up or down."

  • mrvco||

    I have a great idea... why don't we set up an international "carbon exchange" to (legally) transfer money from global megacorps to already wealthy Elites?... that will fix everything!!!

    The biggest credibility problem with Climate "Whatever we label it today" Change is that the proponents rely almost exclusively on baldfaced fear-mongering, while proposing long-term "solutions" of questionable merit that appear to be nothing more than a money grab, while doing almost nothing to address any current issues (e.g. drought, pollution, urban warming, etc.) in the short to mid-term.

  • Tony||

    Whereas libertarians have solid, detailed plans to deal with those short- and mid-term problems, I take it?

  • Redmanfms||

    That's just the thing Tony, we aren't egomaniacs like you, we don't claim to have the answer or "plan" to solve all the world's ills.

    Demanding that we have to present a detailed counter proposal of the same totalitarian nature is not an argument.

  • Tony||

    So why don't you shut up and get out of the way? Doing nothing is not cost-free or some kind of default. It's an active choice with major consequences.

  • Redmanfms||

    So why don't you shut up and get out of the way? Doing nothing is not cost-free or some kind of default. It's an active choice with major consequences.

    No Tony, it is the negative hypothesis.

    And you have to prove that it will have dire consequences. So far, the fact that every prediction that has been made by the warmistas has been flat out wrong and they still can't explain why the observed data has failed to match their models for well over a decade doesn't lend much credibility to your claim that not following your policy prescriptions will have "major consequences."

  • Tony||

    You're just lying or misinformed. I can't help you. Go read. It's all you can do.

    Nevertheless, doing nothing is always a positive choice with consequences. In this case major ones.

  • Redmanfms||

    You're just lying or misinformed. I can't help you. Go read. It's all you can do.

    Really?

    Care to provide me with the climate models that have been predictive?

    Nevertheless, doing nothing is always a positive choice with consequences. In this case major ones.

    Something you have yet to provide any evidence for.

  • Rhino||

    I would argue that to stop doing immoral things like stealing or threatening people with guns is a great start. Seems Tony buys into the "necessary evil" fallacy.

  • Tony||

    I offer you Google. Presuming you have fingers, you can type "global warming evidence" or some such language, and read what strikes you as unbiased, reliable sources. I don't have time to educate you about something you obviously willfully refuse to understand.

    If you accept the plain evidence, doing nothing doesn't actually mean doing nothing. It means continuing to increase the concentration of CO2 in the chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans unchecked, with whatever consequences that brings. That's not doing nothing, is it?

  • kbolino||

    You keep talking about "reliable" sources, yet you are unable to provide any. That either means they don't exist, or you are too lazy to find them.

    Why should I give a fuck about your opinion if you can't be bothered to prove it?

  • AndrewR||

    Google? How about a real source - from someone who believes CO2 is a greenhouse gas and increases in CO2 will lead to warming? Steven McIntyre, a real scientist (he uses the Scientific Method), at Climate Audit?

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/0.....hronology/

  • Sevo||

    Tony|5.13.14 @ 12:00PM|#
    ..."doing nothing"...

    This is shitball lefty code for "not doing what the authorities tell you to do"
    Sorry, shitball lefty, we ARE doing things, just not the slow suicide you promote.

  • ||

    Doing nothing is not cost-free or some kind of default. It's an active choice with major consequences.

    Well you think global warming is a problem.

    The US has solved that problem with fracking and burning gas instead of oil and coal which has lead to drastic reductions in CO2 emissions. In fact more dramatic reduction then any proposed mitigation could have done. Let me state this again for emphasis: Doing nothing solved the problem better then any proposed action to address the problem could have.

    Problem solved with no plan. I suggest we keep doing stuff like that and let problems solve themselves at no cost to anyone.

  • Ballz||

    BOOM!

  • Rhino||

    you are confusing libertarians with communists or fascists. Libertarians recognize that when something is beneficial, you don't need a gun to the head to make it happen and so the world is continuously made better through voluntary exchange and respect for property rights.

  • Bubba Jones||

    The fundamental problem with the global warming debate is that it assumes the endpoint. IF global warming THEN statism.

    Both sides have agreed to this short hand. There's no room for the more obvious point that neither side can actually influence the climate, therefore the argument is pointless.

  • Libertarius||

    Such is the joker of rationalism, which could properly be called rationalization-ism. You start with a conclusion, then misuse deductive logic as a means to rationalize your goal-seeking.

    A long stream of philosophers did it. Marx did it. The AGW collectivists are doing it today.

    And Rothbard did it, too.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Interesting non-sequitur, you Randian, you.

  • Torontonian||

    Here's the true state of "consensus" in climate science... buried in a footnote on page 14 of the latest IPCC WG1 Summary for Policy Makers:

    "No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies."

    Nothing says "consensus" like "lack of agreement".

  • Pathogen||

    They agreed to disagree... CONSENSUS!. Game, set, and match.

  • Mmsndobson||

    "1960s New Left, driven primarily by humanistic concerns such as eradicating poverty and eliminating racism, "

    I divert a little from environmentalist alarm and raise the notion that the "New left" mentioned in the article, and the progressive movement that followed, was first motivated by the draft. I believe this caused a huge schism in the population. Those who were rich enough to avoid it and those who weren't. Many sought refuge in the universities and stayed. The extreme polarization we see today between the left and the right, I believe, is the remnants of that extreme divide. Extreme enough to start making important issues political. I am not arguing the validity of the draft but trying to shed light on why we are where we are today.

  • Rhino||

    That's an interesting perspective. I would say that those who were able to dodge the draft by joining the universities would likely grow very skeptical of authoritarian power structures, and therefore, would likely be on the libertarian side. Since the universities have really been on the side of liberals since the last draft, i'm not sure you are correct. Although, the liberals of the day were bucking authoritarian power structures in many respects.

  • Robert||

    That's a good question: Why would those seeking refuge from the draft adopt the stance of the "left"? I suppose it could've been from a base oppositionalism: If they want us to fight the communists, let's become communist.

  • GILMORE||

    I find it somewhat amusing that the left proudly wraps itself in the mantle of SCIENCE when using the humdrum fact of 'mildly increasing planetary temperatures' to attempt to force through their vision of Top Down Controlled Economies.... yet seem to abandon any pretense to anything even remotely 'scientific' when it comes to any other area of the Known Universe.

    Dear Tony, et al =

    - So you are the Wise and Thoughful Scientifically Minded Ones. I will accept your self declaration for the moment. Please explain to me why any of the following policies naturally derive from your Mature and Thoughtful and Scientific approach to Facts =

    - Corn-Derived Ethanol
    - Halting the Keystone Pipeline
    - Massive subsidies for Electric Cars

    If you fail to provide any cogent and rational justification of these policies, I then ask follow-up question #2?

    - what fucking good is your Climate Change 'wisdom' if your policies are so fucking stupid?

    Thank you

  • Tony||

    I don't support ethanol subsidies or building any more fossil fuel infrastructure anywhere in the world. I believe in taxing or legislating fossil fuel energy out of existence and massively subsidizing research, development, and deployment of zero-emission energy technology, to whatever extent that it's possible.

    But good attempt at hiding the fact that you believe in bullshit, trust radio fat men over scientists, and only support policies that oil billionaires want you to by pretending that liberals are somehow worse on this issue because ethanol.

  • GILMORE||

    So =
    refusal to answer the question.

    nor any explanation why the left continues to support these idiotic policies.

    Try again where you actually address the points I made... *scientifically*, instead of rhetorically.

    Its also amazingly how scientifically Tony seems to have deduced what I "believe" without me saying anything, but onl daring to call out lefty policies - ones which he in unwilling to acknowledge or defend - as being stupid.

    On a scale of 1-10 in intellectual dishonesty? I think we're nearing perfect 10.

  • Tony||

    I did answer the questions. Ethanol subsidies are not a "leftist" policy, but a corporatist one. Liberals don't support them. The Keystone pipleline? I suppose we're operating under the assumption that it's obviously a necessary and good thing to do. Yeah, I wonder where I got the idea that you rely on fat radio men for your thoughts.

    What is your policy idea? Keep burning fossil fuels unchecked? That's not doing nothing, and it's not evading responsibility. It's a thousand times worse than whatever it is you're accusing liberals of.

  • kbolino||

    It's a thousand times worse than whatever it is you're accusing liberals of.

    PROVE IT

  • Brian||

    You do realize that your policy ideas are just that: Tony's policy ideas.

    When democrats begin strongly advocating for legislating away fossil fuels and dumping massive amounts of money for new sources of energy, be sure to let us know.

    As it stands, the government's position is to sound like they're going to address global warming, without ever really doing it.

    Also, never mind the glaring contradiction of government economic stimulus, highway programs, etc. and claims of "Look at how much economic activity we've stimulated!", followed by a switch of topics and screeches of "OH MY GOD! All this economic activity and highway traffic are killing the planet! Who did that?!?"

    In short, your policies are just as utopian and unrealistic as libertarians.

    Sure, through a democratic process, libertarians could convince people to reduce the size and scope of the government. Good luck with that.

    Sure, through the democratic process, Tony could convince people to tax themselves out of fossil fuels, sign up for more expensive energy, while waiting for new energy moon shots. Good luck with that.

    Your idea of "doing something" is to sit around and pretend that someday, someone will do something. Meanwhile, you have a car, and places to go. Your policy opinions merely allow you to pretend to be responsible and doing something, when you're really not.

  • GILMORE||

    "Tony|5.13.14 @ 1:52PM|#

    I did answer the questions.

    No you didn't - you simply ducked by saying "I believe in X". No one cares what position you personally have. The people you seem to think are on the side of "Science" have implemented horrible, counter-purposive policies that have cost billions and done less than nothing positive from an environmental perspective; the opposite, in most cases.

    Acknowledging this, is in your mind, somehow less important than endlessly claiming that the "DO NOTHING-ISTS" on 'my side' are 'a thousand times worse'.

    Its convenient to compare actual failures to theoretical ones, but not very scientific.

    "Ethanol subsidies are not a "leftist" policy, but a corporatist one"

    Remarkable that Obama made an Ethanol industry lobby pick the head of the Agriculture dept as one of his first major appointments.

    http://www.democracynow.org/20.....ormer_iowa

    Your rhetorical flailing is noted.

    Every policy democrats have put forth addressing 'climate change' has been a screaming piece of shit. You do not own the high ground - you own a legacy of failure and ineptitude.

    Fracking, for instance, has been the single best things in helping reduce carbon emissions. You, and idiot liberals like you, naturally oppose it.

  • Edwin||

    There is only one policy recommendation that could possibly actually be done in the real world (remember, we're not China's and India's bosses, they're not going to just listen to us just because jackasses like you yell "IT'S SCIENCE!")

    A) Go full nuclear for all power in America
    B)Give China and India and the developing world nuclear power technology and encourage them to use only that
    C) Get rid of all zoning and land use laws and enncourage massive urbanization, including creating new cities from the ground up
    D)stop all immigration. People from poorer countries live wealthier, more carbon-demanding lives when they live here. So fewer people burning up carbon is fewer CO2 emissions

    These are all things that you jagaloons oppose, either ideologically or in practice (i.e. the land use thing)

  • newshutz||

    India is working on a promising path for nuclear (fission) power that the US abandoned, because it was not useful in making weapons. (Thorium reactors)

    The way things are going, we are going to be buying nuclear technology from India.

  • AndrewR||

    For Tony and his statist ilk, "science" is what is used to justify collectivist policies. Just like "Aryan science" and "Soviet science".

  • Robert||

    Similarly, I have a motiv'n to make drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, pesticides, food additives, & other goods appear safer and/or more effective than they are, to maximize the chance that their sale will be allowed. And people therefore have reason to discount my pronouncements on those subjects for that reason. It can't be helped.

  • ||

  • GregMax||

    Nice psychological analysis of nothing.

    Facts: It is a basic principle of the scientific method that measurement devices MUST all be calibrated to each other and to a degree at least as fine as the measurements you are taking. Second, you CAN NOT generalize a conclusion to a greater degree of specificity (.8 C or tenths of degrees) if you haven't measured on EVERY SINGLE INSTRUMENT to that degree of specificity. If you don't get this you don't get the scientific method.

    Forget the dozens of other reasons conclusions about human caused climate change are bullshit speculation, the simple fact that they use uncalibrated measurements, from sources across the globe over a hundred years, and that those measurements are not done to the tenths of degrees COMPLETELY INVALIDATES the scientific merit of the conclusions.

    There are tens of billions of cubic miles that make up the troposphere of this planet and the idea that anyone has done research using actual scientific principles that can accurately represent the relative distribution of energy in that large a volume over 100's or even thousands of years is grossly ignorant. The idea that "climate scientists" have proved humans have caused the cumulative energy in tens of billions of cubic miles of atmosphere to increase to the tenths of degrees over 100 years is truly idiotic.

  • kbolino||

    When talking about the scientific method, stick to what it is actually about: hypothesis, test, conclusion.

    It is mathematically sound to specify an average of many numbers to a greater precision than any of the individual numbers. Statistics 101: aggregation of unbiased values reduces uncertainty.

    The real problem is establishing whether or not the values are biased. That is a valid line of criticism.

  • GregMax||

    Bull . . . shit. Statistics isn't a magic spell that validates flawed method. So science is "actually about" hypothesis, test, conclusion?
    How you test, and how you apply the data is absolutely the validity of the scientific method, not just yelling "statistics!" and claiming your conclusions fit the data you've assumed. You are obviously ignorant of the premises of genuine scientific method.

  • kbolino||

    You are conflating the concept of the scientific method with its application in the context of modern technology. I never told you to reach a specific conclusion, I told you to improve the quality of your reasoning.

    You will never convince people like Tony, but in order to convince people who aren't dyed-in-the-wool nutjobs, your arguments have to be unimpeachable.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Why do Republicans so stubbornly resist the climate change story?

    Because the simple and obvious truth is that a 'climate change' of eight tenths of a degree across the entire planet is simply and obviously insignificant. That's why.

  • Jackand Ace||

    ...said the frog sitting in a pot of boiling water about the slight initial increase in water temperature.

  • GILMORE||

    Said the Malthusian

  • Sevo||

    GILMORE|5.13.14 @ 3:22PM|#
    "Said the Malthusian"

    This is the point. Jackand Ace seems to be one of those imbeciles akin too Ehrlich; totally ignorant of the fact that humans are not lab rats with no capability of intelligent response.
    If it is not just plain projection, it's a monstrous ego, such that *he* thinks *we* need direction from he and Tony.

  • Azathoth!!||

    You are aware, aren't you, that the frog jumps out when it gets too hot? That the science shows us that this metaphor doesn't work in actuality?

    Real science.

  • ||

    It was 50 where I live not 12 hours ago, now it is like 80.

    How the fuck is a 0.8 degree change over 50 or so years going to boil me again?

  • Garagefather||

    "Ultimately, cacophonous ideological battles are far more likely to generate the right answers to tough issues rather than a bland consensus."

    Where is there any evidence this is the case?

    It just sounds like another boring attempt by Reason writers to sound magnanimous about the issue.

    Sadly, Reason has this false belief that they can play both sides when most of the largest and most important tenets of their Libertarian philosophy is soundly rejected by the progressive side. A much smaller portion of Libertarian philosophy is rejected by conservatives but Reason does its best to pretend they are somewhere in the middle of it all. In the end they sound as bland and predictable as congressional consensus is.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "liberal commitment is less to promoting individual liberty and more to curbing capitalistic greed"

    Capitalist greed, global warming, poverty, racism, sexism, ...

    Funny how the solution is always more government power. One might be tempted to say that more government power *is* the point, and all the supposed causes are rationalizations for that power.

  • Edwin||

    What real evidence does AGW even have?

    Temperatures recorded on devices where right next door parking lots have been paved and nobody taking that shit into account

    Assumptions about temperature based on tree rings when any idiot could tell you a tree could grow faster or slower because of any number of things

    Assumptions about previous CO2 levels based on air trapped in ice (remember, they're asking us to spend a TRILLION dollars, so we better be ABSOLUTELY sure about this shit. How can we be so sure that in the snow deposition process and thousands of years under the ice the air imbibed hasn't changed at all?)

    a complete failure to predict the actual climate

    negating their own premise, from which the only conclusion could be to encourage nuclear power and give it to CHina and India; it's the ONLY way we'll ever reduce CO2 emissions world wide

    A complete ignoring of the basics of stable systems (which Earth is), by exorbitant claims of runaway effects. If the CO2 warming thing is a runaway effect, then why the hell isn't the planet currently burning hot?

  • Edwin||

    A complete ignoring of the issue that the warming might be good for humans, and the question of how fast it will happen. Even if it takes 100 years, which is short in geologic time, that's still PLENTY OF TIME for humans to adjust. Indeed, there is an implicit claim that not only is AGW is proven, but far more detailed versions of it are, where we know for sure how it will happen super suddenly and the sea level will rise like 20 feet in a year or something. So do we know for sure that humans are contributing to global warming, or do we know this more super detailed version? Which is it? Where is the extra evidence for all those details?

    And all these predictions based on models that they REFUSE to release to the public (the computer code). It's science, but it's secret?

    Is that about the long or short of it?

  • Jayburd||

    HIDE THE DECLINE, BABY! Of course, more studies will have to be done.

  • Jayburd||

    And what, exactly, does the Big Lie achieve?

  • 0844/8531/19D/42A...RETIRED||

    I have been saying for a while now everytime someone tries dragging me into this arguement. Studies either for or against global warming are backed by someone with a political agenda. Go to Yahoo news on any article that has to do with GW(CC) look at the comments click on their name showing their other comments, if they are for climate change they will also have made comments that are; anti-gun, pro gay marriage, pro-choice and anti-prohibition. If their comments are against climate change their other comments will be; pro-gun, anti gay marriage, pro-life and for prohibition. All just sheep following the flock and their sheppard. I for one will not believe anything I see or hear on the subject until the funding for the research can't be traced back to someone with an agenda.

    It is pretty shitty too because when we talk about environmental conservation we aren't talking about saving the world, we are talking about saving the human race.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Well, some good news for all of you deniers when this past March came in as the 4th warmest March on record.

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article.....ler-normal

    "Northern Siberia was 9 degrees (5 C) warmer than normal."

    Alas, none of you live in Siberia.

  • Sevo||

    So
    .
    .
    .
    .
    what?

  • 0844/8531/19D/42A...RETIRED||

    I believe that our climate is changing. I believe that mankind's polution is contributing to those changes. My questions are: What extent is humanity's impact? How do we fix it?

    If we took the Carbon Tax off the table I would be willing to bet money that the right and the left would find a common ground. The Carbon Tax is a joke!

  • Jackand Ace||

    What you suggest is a logical approach...at least its an acceptance of the scientific facts. Its the solutions that need to get hammered out and compromised with.

    Sadly, we are not even at that point. We still are at the point of denial of any problem. See the recent comment from Senator Rubio as one example.

  • Sevo||

    Jackand Ace|5.15.14 @ 8:50AM|#
    "What you suggest is a logical approach...at least its an acceptance of the scientific facts."

    That would be nice if you'd do so.

  • Jackand Ace||

    By the way, my point about Siberia is simply this...the US was blessed with the best natural resources in the world, including its climate. Its why we were able to become the world's breadbasket.

    If you lived in Siberia, and were asked if you would take a warming climate, you would jump at the chance. If you lived in what was the best climate in the world for food production, you would be a fool to do so.

    After all, I'm an American.

  • Sevo||

    Jackand Ace|5.15.14 @ 8:54AM|#
    "By the way, my point about Siberia is simply this...the US was blessed with the best natural resources in the world, including its climate."
    Bullshit.

    "After all, I'm an American."
    Please don't pollute the gene pool

  • soflarider||

    "Northern Siberia was 9 degrees (5 C) warmer than normal."

    And yet it just recently snowed in Colorado. In May!
    I think this is where you're supposed to come back and say that anecdotal evidence doesn't prove the absence of climate change.

  • Libertarian Loon||

    “Why do Republicans so stubbornly resist the climate change story?...The answer is that each side is driven by concerns over whether this issue advances or impedes its broader normative commitments, not narrow self-interest.”

    NO! The reason is that there is absolutely no scientific basis for the claims of significant human-caused global warming. You can't treat science as if it were fashion or religion. Simply repeating, many, many times as fact that humans are causing global warming does not, in any way, constitute proof or even evidence that humans cause global warming. The way we decide this is through a process called SCIENCE. If you can't prove it, you must claim that you don't know. If you don't know, then you can't assume that you DO know just because all the right people have repeated the thing many, many times. THAT is why rational people will not accept this completely fake, political fraud.

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