Skeptical vs. Gullible Environmentalism

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The July/August issue of Foreign Policy features a debate between Carl Pope, the Sierra Club's executive director, and Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and Global Crises, Global Solutions. Unsurprisingly, Pope accuses Lomborg of promoting false choices, while Lomborg thinks Pope is just not thinking. Money quote from Lomborg:

Prioritizing really means some things must come last. Of course, we can make some investments in the environment without sacrificing economic progress, but we cannot make them all. Because the United States can afford F-16s does not mean it can also afford all environmental initiatives. We have to carefully spend our resources where they will do the most good. The solar installations you champion easily cost $450 apiece. Better-constructed $10 stoves can significantly reduce indoor air pollution. Do we want to help one family a little or 45 families a lot?

Ronald Bailey reviewed The Skeptical Environmentalist and uncovered the agenda behind the attacks on Lomborg's science in 2002. Charles Paul Freund deflated the PC attacks on Lomborg's honesty in 2003.

(Thanks to Johan Ugander for the link.)

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  1. The “sky is falling” crowd is trying to save us from scientific FACTS, just as MADD is trying to save us from evil fermentation.
    I`m drowning in a sea of saviors.

  2. I don’t want either of these guys setting policy, but Pope beats Lomborg in my book with, “Leadership doesn?t mean picking the lowest?hanging fruit, one at a time. It means acting on our wiser, not our greedier, instincts.”

    Lomborg talks as if taking action to prevent poisoning our kids must be balanced against numerous, equally weighty priorities. Bullshit.

  3. Hot damn…”It’s for the children” after only three posts.

  4. Oops, accidentally posted prematurely. Yes, stopping malaria, providing drinking water and other urgent needs must be addressed, but he presents false choices. There is as much economic gain as loss by replacing polluting practices with more resource efficient/ less polluting ones.

  5. Lomborg talks as if taking action to prevent poisoning our kids must be balanced against numerous, equally weighty priorities. Bullshit

    Oh Really? What do you mean poisoning kids? What if the “poison” you are talking about effects maybe 2% of kids and even then over a very long period of time. In a country where kids are routinely dying of preventable diseases like malaria and cholora, perhaps providing safe water and killing a few mosquitos might be a little higher on the priority list than the mecury level in the fish they are eating. It sucks to kill a few birds with DDT, but sucks a lot more to be one of the 100s of thousands of people who die of maleria every year needlessly because the disease was almost wiped out when DDT was widely used. All Lomborg does is point out the obvious, there are not unlimited resources and you have to make choices. Unfortuneatly, angry Gia worshipers like Pope aren’t too interested in making informed policy choices.

  6. Ah, now I am motivated to finish Lomborg’s book. It reads too much like a reference book, which I guess was needed, to make it a cover to cover read.

    So why can’t EnvironMental Patients? stick to the topic? When asked the question, why do they flit off to some other instance where only they can save the world? And why do they prefer reefs, mangroves and old growth forests over humans?

  7. Eric,

    Depends on the way you implement the envrio-friendly policies. From guys like the Sierra Club, it’s always, “Stick to those polluting, COPORATE BASTARDS!” Meaning, they kinda like the idea of adding red tape and other government bullshit, which many times have terrible environmental consequnces.
    These are the same guys who for years fought a)nuclear power, b)promotion of intellegent use of DDT for malaria, and c)expasion of government proteceted lands to save “diversity” (when those lands products will probably be “leased” later anyhow to some big buisness with ties to X senator from Y state). They also harp on the depletion of X, Y, and Z resources when a good solution would be to establish property rights for the judicious administration of resources and to stave off the tragedy of the commons. Fisheries are a great example of this because with international waters, no one owns the fishes so everyone out for themselves and no reason to keep them stocked, while some form of property rights has the liability of the depletion of fish on the owner who most probably will try to restock his dwindling resource.
    Their policies aren’t stellar, I’m more willing to listen to Lomborg just so I don’t have to listen to another enviro-harpy bleat more crap.

  8. All together now:

    1. Nothing has infinite value.

    2. Nothing has zero cost.

    3. There is always a margin.

  9. Frank,

    I agree completely. I worked as an intern for the Justice department in law school. One of the cases I worked on involved a national forest in Indiana. The forest was home to an endangered bat. The forest was also being invaded by juniper trees, a rather worthless tree that was bad for the forest and the bat. The forest service had a program to log the juniper trees. It was a good plan. A few logging companies got ceder to make furniture out of and the forest was rid of an invasive species that crowded out the native flora. Great idea. Who do you think showed up to stop the logging? The Sierra Club. They sued and held up the project for years. Meanwhile, the junipers continued to expand and the bat continued to loose habitat. Why, because the Sierra Club and their followers are nuts. They are not interested in the environment. They are interested in stopping everything no matter how benificial it may be. I have no use for any of them.

  10. Lomborg talks as if taking action to prevent poisoning our kids must be balanced against numerous, equally weighty priorities. Bullshit.

    Scarcity is a myth? Wait until economists find out about this!

  11. “Unfortuneatly, angry Gia worshipers like Pope aren’t too interested in making informed policy choices.”

    Unfortuneatly, John, there is no prohibition against using DDT for mosquito eradication, only for agricultural spraying. Maybe you should make more informed policy comments.

  12. “And why do they prefer reefs, mangroves and old growth forests over humans?”

    And more importantly, when did you stop beating your wife?

    When you skipped out on that class where they explained how mangroves protect inland areas from storm surges, and that the hardest-hit areas of Indonesia during the Tsunami were those with no mangrove barriers, was it to smoke crack, or to put a puppy in a blender?

  13. Joe,

    There are some 300 to 500 million reported cases of malaria each year, 90% occurring in Africa. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about two and a half million people die of the disease each year, again, mostly in Africa, the majority of them poor children. Indeed, malaria is the second leading cause of death in Africa (after AIDS) and the number one killer of children there (with about one child being lost to malaria every thirty seconds). Many medical historians believe malaria has killed more people than any other disease in history, including the Black Plague, and may have contributed to the collapse of the Roman Empire. Malaria was common in places as far north as Boston and England until the twentieth century. Two thirds of the world lived in malaria-ridden areas prior to the 1940s.

    That devastation all but stopped during the time that DDT use was widespread, around 1950-1970. Indeed, the discovery that DDT could kill malarial mosquitoes earned Dr. Paul M?ller the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1948. DDT, a chemical pesticide synthesized by M?ller in the late 1930s, was initially used against houseflies, beetles, various farm pests, and typhus-carrying lice on the bodies of World War II soldiers and civilians. America and England soon became the major producers of the chemical, using it to fight malaria-carrying mosquitoes, especially in tropical regions.

    In all, DDT has been conservatively credited with saving some 100 million lives.

    Europe and North America have not harbored malarial mosquitoes since the 1940s. In one of the most miraculous public health developments in history, Greece saw malaria cases drop from 1-2 million cases a year to close to zero, also thanks to DDT. Meanwhile, in India, malaria deaths went from nearly a million in 1945 to only a few thousand in 1960. In what is now Sri Lanka, malaria cases went from 2,800,000 in 1948, before the introduction of DDT, down to 17 in 1964 ? then, tragically, back up to 2,500,000 by 1969, five years after DDT use was discontinued there.

    See http://www.acsh.org/healthissues/newsID.442/healthissue_detail.asp

    Perhaps you would like to get one thing right on here once in a while.

  14. Unfortuneatly, John, there is no prohibition against using DDT for mosquito eradication, only for agricultural spraying. Maybe you should make more informed policy comments.

    And of course that ban didn’t have any effect on the production and availability and cost of DDT did it joe?

  15. Around the time of the DDT ban, Dr. Charles Wurster, chief scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, may have revealed how some environmentalists really feel about human beings when he was asked if people might die as a result of the DDT ban: “Probably…so what? People are the causes of all the problems; we have too many of them. We need to get rid of some of them, and this is as good a way as any.”

    BTW, I don’t refer to these assholes as angry Gia worshipers for nothing.

  16. Was something in there supposed to contradict my statement that DDT is still usable for mosquito control?

    Maybe you’d like to address a point being raised once it a while.

  17. I guess the people in Sri Lanka and sub-saharan Africa just stopped using it for fun. Of course it was banned, otherwise why was its use stopped?

  18. Countries have found themselves faced with malaria upsurges due to pressure from such international aid organizations to avoid DDT use, according to a report in the March 11, 2000 British Medical Journal. The use of DDT in Mozambique, noted the Journal, “was stopped several decades ago, because 80% of the country’s health budget came from donor funds, and donors refused to allow the use of DDT.”

    Perhaps this will explain it.

  19. Groups like the EDF and the Sierra Club have effectively banned DDT by refusing to give aide to any country use uses DDT even for mosquito control.

  20. John,

    You merely regurgitate Lomborg’s spin when you say, “In a country where kids are routinely dying of preventable diseases like malaria and cholora, perhaps providing safe water and killing a few mosquitos might be a little higher on the priority list than the mecury level in the fish they are eating.”

    It is NOT a choice of doing one or the other. They all can and should be done promptly. Reducing Mercury requires no public funds, simply taxing the shit out out toxic emissions, rather than letting the heaviest polluters do so at everyone else’s expense.

  21. DDT is banned in the US and most developing countries, I believe that while DDT is not banned per se, the fact is DDT is not used due to enviro pressure from developed countries and since many environmental and health initiatives in Africa are paid for by developed countries, DDT is not used because it’s not environmentally friendly. The alternatives being used are not as effective as DDT in controlling malaria carrying mosquitoes.

    Clean water, clean air, cleaner power sources, etc will save more lives than stopping global warming. That seems to be clear. But its not sexy enough for a brochures and mass mailings.

  22. joe thinks that with proper zoning regulation you can keep mosquitos away from people working in agriculture.

  23. requires no public funds, simply taxing…

    LOL!!

  24. where can one get some of this ddt joe? i don’t see it at home depot.

  25. It is a choice Eric. These countries do not have a lot of money. Lonborg gives a great example. Why are spending millions on dollars on solar panels when we can save lives right now by giving people clean burning stoves for $10 a pop? There is only so much aid money to go around and these people are living on a few dollars a day. But that is not good enough for environmentalists because for most of them its a religion. Telling someone like Pope that people living in shacks have bigger needs than a $450 solar panel is telling the Pope this whole communion thing is a little unnecessary.

  26. John,

    The disease was never almost wiped out via the use of DDT (especially in Africa). DDT has to be part of a broad startegy of malaria control; it isn’t a magic bullet.

  27. Kevin,

    DDT production wasn’t banned in the U.S. until the late 1990s. It still remains in production in other countries.

  28. John,

    Also, note that malaria was easier to eradicate in southern Europe, the U.S., etc. because they never had resevoirs of the more virulent types of malaria, because the sort of disease environment is tougher to deal with in many Africa nations, etc.

  29. Hakluyt

    I thought DDT was banned in the mid seventies by the EPA. But am probably wrong but DDT was not being used in the US by the mid 70’s and pressure was put on the rest of the world to stop using it.

    Someone was making fun of cherry picking low hanging fruit and how that was not really a solution. But isn’t that the way progress is made, continually picking off low hanging fruit? Not letting the perfect being the enemy of the good and all that. The enviro religious have lost sight of that, or something to that effect. Its all fundraising and dire (and I mean DIRE) threats to the worlds ecosystem with only the tiniest hold on reality and no sense of economic reality or setting priorities. One more cliche and I will stop, when everything is a priority, nothing is

  30. Damn libertoid mosquitos have no respect for zoning boundaries!

    “Clean water, clean air, cleaner power sources, etc will save more lives than stopping global warming. That seems to be clear. But its not sexy enough for a brochures and mass mailings.”

    That must explain why environmental groups never address issues like clean air, clean water, and clean energy.

  31. John,

    From my limited knowledge, I agree with Lomborg that stoves make more sense than photovoltaics where a choice in spending aid money is to be made, and that fuzzy priorities are chronic to giant foundation-funded enviros.

    Reducing pollution, however, is often not a matter of how to invest limited resources, but of political will to stop powerful corporations from profiting by dumping their feces on the public at large.

  32. The disease was never almost wiped out via the use of DDT

    Even so, partially wiping out a disease that kills millions is a pretty good thing. We don’t need perfect when we’re talking about numbers like that.

    The point is that the ban on DDT here and in Europe was based on flimsy science at best, and has essentially made it impossible to use where it is needed most. Those who point to the technicality that it’s still available when the practical result of the ban is that millions die from an otherwise cheaply preventable disease are being disingenuous to the point of outright dishonesty.

  33. kevin,

    Its use in the U.S. was banned long before the 1990s, yes. But it was still made here until the 1990s (one plant was in Tennessee as I recall). Many other countries still make and/or use the stuff and it continues to be used illegally in crop production.

    I’m not anti-DDT, but its also true that John’s trade-off between birds and DDT is, well, silly and it at heart a false-choice. DDT at the levels needed for malaria control as we understand them today isn’t going to cause much of an impact on bird species like its over the top use in the U.S. in the 1950s. Indeed, from the perspective of cost, efficacy, and other Lomborgian virtues, DDT was simply over applied as a malaria control at the time, and that over application also caused some setbacks as far as resistance was concerned.

  34. Joe

    Yea, a stupid turn of phrase, but enviro wackos seem to be more interested in Global warming and reducing energy usage instead using the money to actually make things better in developing countries or support market economies taht will make society richer and can support more enviromental clean up. Sensible, prioritizes solutions or even reasoned debate was not part of the agenda. They alone have the answer yada yada yada.

  35. Brian Courts,

    DDT in massive quantities (the sort of quantities used in the 1950s and 1960s) does cause reproductive problems in birds. There’s nothing flimsy about this. Large doses also increase the liklihood of pest resistance, which also isn’t flimsy science.

    As to it being banned, well, I have some Tanzanians for friends (all of them have malaria, BTW) and they regularly use DDT in their house.

  36. I think a lot of people confuse a ban in agriculture (which has proven to be relatively ineffective anyway) with a ban as malaria control.

  37. You are right there is no trade off between birds and DDT. I never meant that it was. Rachel Carson was wrong. I just don’t feel like argueing the merits of Silient Spring. Yes, if poor millions of gallons of the stuff over crops, it probably does some harm. DDT doesn’t have to be used that way. It can be used in small amounts around homes. This combined with things like screens and better drainage almost eliminated the disease. Despite this fact, as pointed out above, international aid groups continue to insist that countries ban all uses of DDT. Its absolute insanity.

  38. DDT in massive quantities (the sort of quantities used in the 1950s and 1960s) does cause reproductive problems in birds.

    Hakluyt,

    If you’re talking about egg shell thinning, then many studies have cast a serious doubt on that claim. So, I’d say flimsy isn’t all that unfair a description. As for resistance, yes that can certainly be a problem but is no justification for a ban.

    Also anecdotal evidence that some people have DDT available is not the same as refuting the fact that it is not being widely used where it could undeniably save tens or even hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of lives right now.

  39. “Yea, a stupid turn of phrase, but enviro wackos seem to be more interested in Global warming and reducing energy usage instead using the money to actually make things better in developing countries”

    Here’s the kicker, randroids:

    If the enviro wackos are right about the consequences of GW, the ‘developing countries’ are screwed. A rise in sea level wipes out Bangladesh pretty much forever; a good chunk of what remains of India’s productive land; etc. Since most developing countries are close to the equator, GW is likely to hurt rather than help their growing seasons.

    But go ahead and tell them how they should be asking for cleaner burning stoves (which still emit a ton of CO2).

  40. Yes, it’s pretty clear they do. But hey, “you care more about birds than people” is, apparently, a pretty tough line to pass up.

    Big J Joe, awareness of the problems with the anti-development strain of environmentalism was the reason the concept of “sustainable development” has gained sway over the environmental movement.

    You want anger, you ought to see what the hard greens had to say about the 1992 Rio conference.

  41. “If you’re talking about egg shell thinning, then many studies have cast a serious doubt on that claim.”

    Brian,

    Bullshit. Citation, from somewhere not of the techcentralstation.com ilk.

  42. This is not a topic I am terribly familiar with, but I don’t have the time to research it right now, so please forgive me if this is way off base.
    It is my understanding that the DDT/bird conflict is not necessarily a flaw with DDT, but rather the application of DDT. Widespread spraying causes the DDT to get into the food/water supply in large quantities, which causes the problems with the bird eggs.
    But if it were used on a smaller scale, say inside dwellings, wouldn’t that help control mosquito populations without the chemical getting into the ecosystem? At least, not in the quantities that mass-sprayings would?
    I grew up in the tropics, and twice a year an exterminator would come around and spray the inside of the house. I guess I’m wondering why DDT couldn’t be used the same way.
    Of course, I still use Deet, when I can find it, skin cancer risks be damned. I effin’ hate mosquitoes.

  43. BTW, did anyone see the pro-Intelligent Design column in TCS?

    Yup, evolution didn’t happen, sure as rising sea levels make kittens fuzzier.

  44. evidence that environmentalism is a religion:

    1. A book (Silent Spring) written in lyrical language is treated as eternal truth despite being thoroughly repudiated by science.

    2. Observance of pointless rituals like recycling.

  45. So what’s wrong with just saying “Where malaria is present, use of DDT in mosquito abatement AND as an agricultural pesticide should be acceptable. Where malaria is not present, use of DDT should be limited.”

    I just don’t get this silly idea that the lines need to be drawn along the lines of land use (zoning) rather than a general geographic presence of the disease it reduces.

  46. Sorry for the late question. The answers appeared between me deciding to post, and me posting the…well…post.

  47. Here’s the kicker, randroids:

    Typical thoughtful comment by M1EK again…

  48. jc,

    The difference between agricultural spraying and mosquito control is not just land use. The material is applied in vastly different ways.

    Mosquito control involves treating living quarters and surrounding areas with small, targetted quantities.

    Agricultural spraying involves dousing the entire acreage of a farm with the stuff. The quantity, the area covered, and the amount put into groundwater are vastly different.

  49. Evidence that libertarians are really just Republicans:

    “1. A book (Silent Spring) written in lyrical language is treated as eternal truth despite being thoroughly repudiated by science.”

    A lie

    “2. Observance of pointless rituals like recycling.”

    Stupid (priced landfill space lately?)

  50. M1EK,

    Of course the Enviro wackos are not right about global warming. They may be right that its getting warmer, but even they, in rare moments of frankness, admit that no on knows for sure how much human activities contribute to the warming and even if it does contribute none of the proposals on the table, most especially the vaunted Kyoto protocal, do enough to stop warming. The world was about 3 degrees warmer 4000 years ago than it is today. Why? No one really knows or understands. One thing people do understand; is that any “sollution” for global warming such as it is, involves environmental groups and governments having a lot more of our money and control over our lives. Funny how things seem work that way.

  51. Bullshit. Citation, from somewhere not of the techcentralstation.com ilk.

    Thoughtfulness seems to be in vogue around here today eh? How about you cite me the studies that show the damage from someone not of the Rachel Carson / Paul Erlich / environmental ilk? Nice of you to demand citations of me and not provide any of your own…

  52. If the enviro wackos are right about the consequences of GW

    Yes, and if Paul Ehrlich was right, you’d be starving right now. We can play the IF game all day long.

  53. John,

    Most proposed solutions for global warming involve cap-and-trade. The rest of your rant doesn’t even deserve a response, except to say that your characterization of the science on GW is dead-wrong; it’s as close to settled as the link between smoking and lung cancer was when the only skeptics were funded by tobacco companies.

  54. So, uh, care to point to any National Science Foundation claiming that Paul Erlich’s case had been proven?

  55. “1. A book (Silent Spring) written in lyrical language is treated as eternal truth despite being thoroughly repudiated by science.”

    A lie

    You’re right. Lyrical was far too generous a word.

  56. joe,

    Thanks, but I already knew that. Seems like using it strictly as mosquito abatement around living quarters really isn’t enough. So use it on the crops, too. Then when the disease is gone, stop using it on the crops.

  57. M1EK,

    We know you can’t be right, because of Paul Erlich.

    la la la la la la Paul Ehlich la la la la la

    Hey, look, Time Magazine had a story about Global Cooling thirty years ago! You know, that magazine that keeps putting angels on the cover? That’s pretty much the same thing as NOAA declaring the case for the dangers of Global Warming to be undeniable, right?

  58. Sorry to question your religous beliefs M1EK.

  59. “Scarcity is a myth? Wait until economists find out about this!”

    D’OH!!!!!!!!!

    anybody wanna buy a shitload of books. real cheap… abundant supply…. seeking demand curve to rise…. rise up demand curve! rise up and eradicate the market failure brought about by this evil myth

  60. “How about you cite me the studies that show the damage from someone not of the Rachel Carson / Paul Erlich / environmental ilk?”

    shells:

    https://www.reason.com/rb/rb010704.shtml
    http://www.environmentalreview.org/vol01/anderson.html

    general criticisms of the DDT myth:

    http://info-pollution.com/ddtban.htm
    http://kenethmiles.blogspot.com/2004_02_01_kenethmiles_archive.html#107570569615970184

  61. John,

    I’m basing my ‘belief’ on the statements of the entire field of climatology, which, bar a few folks on the payrolls of the oil and coal companies (seriously), have been speaking with one voice on the subject for quite a while.

    Seriously, did y’all totally zone out during the 1950s through the 1970s with tobacco or what?

  62. Check what most environmentalists are saying and under it all is “There are just too many niggers in the world”. They really don’t care if poor people have anything, they just want them to go away.

    So bring on that malaria. It’s doing its job.

  63. Climate science, like the science of any large chaotic system is hardly settled and hardly certain. Global warming is a theory that has explained a few observations but also produced computer models and predictions that have proven to be wildly inaccurate. Global warming advocates in the 1990s claimed that the tempature would rise much faster in the last ten years than it has. Indeed the whole idea of being able to predict global tempatures and climate to such an acurate degree as to be able to predict over a span of ten years is pretty rediculous on its face. There are reputable scientists who disagree with global warming and there is plenty of data that the current climate models cannot explain. Despite this, global warming adherents cling to the theory like it is as well established as Maxwell’s equations or Relitivity. Its not and the global warming advocates want the world to spend trillions of dollars that could be spent more productively elswhere based on an unproven highly speculative theory.

  64. M1EK (apologies, but your handle reminds me of a brit/canadian zip code)
    “have been speaking with one voice on the subject for quite a while.”

    the one voice has been “mankind has been changing the climate to the detriment of all”. In the 70s and early 80s, it was cooling and the second coming of an Ice Age. Don’t you remember “In Search of” where they were talking about climate change for the colder?

    it changed, what, in 1984 or something? And cold weather in Jan 1995 was cited as being “proof” of CO2 going through the roof, while the colder than normal summer in 1998 was given as “wild departures from the historic mean, due to global warming” (cite: berlingske.dk/grid/vejret)

    You have mentioned something valuable that I feel all sides in this shouting contest conveniently ignore about their own side: most groups have financial or other gains from their POV being accepted as the “truth”. You’re half right about the oil/coal companies fudging. The other side does it, too. we see this in the herbal lobby and in the pharma lobby. As long as there’s governmental booty as a prize, the fucking liars will seep out from under the rocks.

  65. whoops – sorry M1EK – the cooling has been mentioned on the ID part of the board. SJKjr is overwhelming us with his “nayah nayah” argumentation style. It’s almost as effective as “groin-to-foot” style developed by a now-extinct tribe in upper mogumbia.

  66. John,

    You’re spouting stuff that’s five to ten years out of date – you need an update to your playbook. Please, stop, you’re embarassing yourself.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=94
    http://www.exxonsecrets.org/
    http://www.trump.net.au/~greenhou/home.html

    for starters.

  67. la la la la Climate models are perfect forcasters la la la la Climate models that include worldwide global economic trends are accurate predictors la la la la Our accurate historical record gives us all the information we need la la la la Global warming is sure to cause worldwide flooding…I saw it in Waterworld la la la la

  68. DRF,

    There are people in this world, some of them energy companies, who stand to make a lot of money if emmissions trading and efforts to reduce CO2 emmissions ever get off the ground. But they would never fund any research in hopes of capitalizing on Global Warming or anything. Never. Anyone who supports Kyoto or other efforts to control CO2 does so out of completely pure motives and commitment to the truth. Unlike all of the oil company flacks who object.

  69. John,

    I never meant that it was.

    That’s a flat out lie.

    Here’s your earlier statement:

    It sucks to kill a few birds with DDT, but sucks a lot more to be one of the 100s of thousands of people who die of maleria…

    Brian Courts,

    What do you mean by birds? Apex predators? DDT is also toxic to some aquatic life (indeed, it can harm some types of fisheries because it will impact inshore breeding grounds).

    Ahh, even Ronald Bailey will tell you that DDT is widely used in countries like Tanzania and South Africa. Of course when he writes these things in his articles he must be, well, you know, telling a lie. 🙂

    What will end malaria is a vaccine; the example of India is a case in point. There, use of DDT has lead to resistance and a rebound in malaria cases for example. What DDT and other devices allow for is malaria control.

    The near religious zealotry of pro and anti-DDT types is rather amusing.

    John,

    People in the know about the issue call it “climate change”; people not in the know (whatever side they take) call it “global warming.”

  70. drf,

    Thanks for bringing up global cooling. Here’s your link: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=94

    You’re full of it, in other words. Peer review did its job in the 1960s and 1970s – there was insufficient evidence to show anthropogenic short-term cooling of the climate, and so it didn’t make it into the major journals of the day. To compare this to the current peer-reviewed GW science is misleading at best.

    Both can be true, of course. Consider if my car is parked on an uphill incline – if I let my foot off the brake and the gas, the car rolls downhill (cools); if I hit the gas, the car starts going uphill (warms). Have I disproven gravity?

    “You’re half right about the oil/coal companies fudging. The other side does it, too”

    The oil/coal companies throw around millions of dollars at think-tanks which don’t require any peer review. The remaining 99% of climatologists must make do with government grants and are actually subject to, you know, real science rules and stuff.

  71. M1EK,

    Real climate.org? Exxon secrets? Oh yeah, those are some unbiased sources. Let me see if I can find the John Birch Society website to respond. Keep things on the same level here.

  72. That’s right. tee hee hee.

    And perish the thought of, say, a government controlling and taxing such permits and CO2 futures and forces them into law… Nah. they’d never do that.

    dammit – i have to wipe the water off the computer screen. at least THAT’S easy to clean off. I mean, that’s what I’ve heard… yeah. Andy told me. Yeah. my friend andy. that’s the ticket.

  73. Brian Courts,

    The reason I’m concerned about its impact on aquatic life is due to how it might effect shrimp breeding grounds, my family being heavily involved in the shrimp industry. Its flat out poisonous to shrimp and other like animals.

  74. John,

    The facts, apparently, have an environmental bias. Sucks to be you.

  75. Hyakut,

    The call it “climate change” because in their warped view of the world, the climate can never change without some evil human being responsible for it.

  76. M1EK:

    i guess you don’t remember the “In Search Of” after all. That was broadcast, and I remember being a kid and wondering if they were gonna lace the ice caps with a black material to absorb sunlight. Those things were discussed. I don’t know how mainstream, but to say that it wasn’t brought up and discussed and considered is not true.

    As for your other comments, when I lived in Denmark, “global warming” was accepted as fact, no discussion, no presentation of facts. The models that were presented and discussed did not predict what was happening. There was a huge publically funded Danish enviro research devoted to that. It was not peer reviewed. As I say, both sides do it.

    So i guess trying to be insulting when someone is trying friendly engagement is your method.

    You don’t know where I’m coming from, so to declare that I’m “full of it” based on a question that i remember from the time and that you can look up yourself isn’t that nice.

    You remind me of my brother in law

  77. Bullshit. Citation, from somewhere not of the techcentralstation.com ilk.

    MP,

    For research results try:

    Tucker, RK & HA Haegele. 1970. Bull Environ Contam. Toxicol 5:191-194 (Neither egg weight nor shell thickness affected by 300 parts per million DDT in daily diet)

    Jeffries, DJ. 1969. J Wildlife Management 32: 441-456 (Shells 7 percent thicker after two years on DDT diet)

    Anon. 1970. Oregon State University Health Sciences Conference, Annual report, p. 94. (Lowest DDT residues associated with thinnest shells in Cooper’s hawk, sharp-shinned hawk and goshawk)

    Postupalsky, S. 1971. Canadian Wildlife Service manuscript, April 8, 1971 (No correlation between shell-thinning and DDE in eggs of bald eagles and cormorants)

    Krantz WC. 1970 (No correlation between shell-thinning and pesticide residues in eggs)

    Pesticide Monitoring J 4(3): 136-141

    Why pelican eggshells are thin. Nature 239: 410-412

    Hickey, JJ and DW Anderson. 1968. Science 162: 271-273

    Fed Proc 1977 May;36(6):1888-93 (“In well-controlled experiments using white leghorn chickens and Japanese quail, dietary PCBs, DDT and related compounds produced no detrimental effects on eggshell quality. … no detrimental effects on eggshell quality, egg production or hatchability were found with … DDT up to 100 ppm)

    Scott, ML et al. 1975. Poultry Science 54: 350-368 (Egg production, hatchability and shell quality depend on calcium, and are not effected by DDT and its metabolites)

    Then we also have the finding of the administrative law judge at the time of the EPA hearings after the evidence was reviewed: “DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man… DDT is not a mutagenic or teratogenic hazard to man… The use of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds or other wildlife.”

    [Sweeney, EM. 1972. EPA Hearing Examiner’s recommendations and findings concerning DDT hearings, April 25, 1972 (40 CFR 164.32, 113 pages)

  78. Aye carumba! Confused with MD…gotta devise a new nick…

  79. drf,

    ” guess you don’t remember the “In Search Of” after all.”

    I remember some talk about global cooling, and I remember that it was a “this might happen, and it’s mostly natural” talk, and I know now that it didn’t reach the level of the scientific journals.

    IE, the analogy you and yours try to draw to today’s science about GW is false.

  80. John,

    No, we call it climate change because “global warming” isn’t a very good way of describing, well, climate change.

    drf,

    What we know is that we’ve had approximately a one-degree uptick in the last hundred years or so (with a intervening period of cooling to boot). That is if we accept the less than perfect means of temperature measurement available to us for surface measurments (and that issue gets complicated with whether that is a more accurate measure than above surface measurements). Whether that’s due to man, the sun, etc. is not known. Its not totally out of this world to look at whether it is man-made though. Indeed, making it sound totally ludicrous seems to be the agenda of the anti-climate change crowd.

  81. Apparently the only acceptable peer review is from those who agree with you.

    And, John, I’m hoping that the traders in carbon go the way of carbon trading’s biggest advocate from the 90s. Anyone remember. Enron traded in a lot of other phoney commodities as well. teehee

    I wonder to this day why Kennyboy gave Dubya all that dough. Why if he’d helped algore steal the election he’d still be in bizniz today

  82. Brian,

    You also must explain why, after DDT went away, so many of the bird populations recovered. Good luck.

  83. Aye carumba! Confused with MD…gotta devise a new nick…

    Ugh!! My mistake and apologies… been a long day already and I just don’t have time to keep up with this thread so it all starts to blend together in a blur. What was that Max said yesterday? “I’m drunk so my memory is a bit hazy. Oh well back to work.”

  84. Brian Courts,

    Of course those hearings of course presented peer-reviewed material which made opposite claims. It would be sort of nice for you to present something that isn’t so old though.

  85. Yea, drf, your absolutely right. Both sides have something to gain. The sierra club v ExxonMobilEarth. I dunno what the yearly budget of the sierra club is, lets be real generous and call it 250 million. ExxonMobil made 7.25 BILLION in profits last year, and still wont pay for its role in Valdez spill, which I think we all can agree was its fault due to a negligent drunken fool captain. So, whos got more to gain? And who has an established reputation for shirking responsibility in a clear case of fault?

  86. “Apparently the only acceptable peer review is from those who agree with you.”

    No, there’s only one “peer review”, and the scientists funded by Exxon don’t even attempt it, because they wouldn’t get anywhere – their papers are high-school caliber at best.

    What the hell is wrong with you?

  87. Hak,

    Yes, of course, but I’m no certainly expert for one thing, just looking up cites because it was demanded of me and that is apparently when most the work was done on this issue, which makes sense. Are there a significant number of recent (or even old) findings in opposition?

  88. Brian Courts,

    I will tell you though that current research on the issue of eggshells and DDT is pretty thin. 🙂 That’s why you’re unlikely to find much in the way of new material.

  89. Whether that’s due to man, the sun, etc. is not known. Its not totally out of this world to look at whether it is man-made though.

    No its not. It’s totally out of this world to spend trilions of dollars in money and lost economic growth on the basis of what you yourself admit is “not known.” I don’t think anyone is saying man made climate change is impossible. We just don’t know enough to justify the kind of massive intervention being advocated.

  90. Brian Courts,

    As I recall, Bailey had an article on this issue in 2003 that might prove helpful.

  91. You also must explain why, after DDT went away, so many of the bird populations recovered. Good luck.

    No I don’t. Do I need to offer the trite reminder that correlation doesn’t equal causation. Lots of other changes in the environment over that same time period were going on. I’d say it is your burden to prove it was DDT.

  92. “No I don’t. Do I need to offer the trite reminder that correlation doesn’t equal causation”

    A. Some science (peer-reviewed) indicates that DDT thins many birds’ shells.
    B. Some other science (peer-reviewed?) indicated that DDT didn’t thin some other birds’ shells.
    C. When DDT was banned, some birds recovered.

    Occam’s Razor anyone?

    Ronald Bailey’s piece is a good one to start with, if you’ve previously understood the science in the way you apparently have (“all birds did just fine under DDT”).

  93. John,

    Please, keep the hysteria to yourself.

  94. Indeed, making it sound totally ludicrous seems to be the agenda of the anti-climate change crowd.

    I can’t speak for the crowd, but my take is that I simply haven’t seen anything that convinces me that something must be done. I fully support continued research into climatology. However, it appears that the environmental crowd is not only convinced that something must be done but they also believe it must be done now and that it is a top priority. Throw in the gloom and doomsters of The Day After Tomorrow crowd, and you have a full blown panic.

  95. “We just don’t know enough to justify the kind of massive intervention being advocated.”

    John,

    This is an outright lie. We know plenty to justify the kind of intervention being advocated, and every climatologist that isn’t in the pocket of Exxon and their ilk will tell you so.

    Only those who think that ANY intervention in the current state of affairs is ‘massive’ would make the ridiculous claim you did. A cap-and-trade system with CO2 emissions set at 1990 levels, frankly, ISN’T a massive intervention.

  96. Why is that hysterical? The Kyoto Protocal would have done tremendous economic damage. Controling CO2 emmisions is basically pig latin for controlling consumption and the standard of living. Expecting more than “we don’t know but think it might be the case” as the basis for enacting such a monsterous policy, is anything but hysterical.

  97. MP,

    Reducing CO2 emissions by taxing carbon has so many other positive effects (in terms of reducing other negative externalities) that I find it difficult to believe that anybody but a hide-bound Randian could argue it shouldn’t have been done a long time ago.

    I keep coming back to this: why is it that so many self-identified libertarians hate the idea of taxing pollution when the pollution is one they emit from their SUVs’ tailpipes?

  98. Anyway, the point remains that malaria control doses of DDT (which leads to the real problem for birds – the metabolite DDE) aren’t going to do much harm to birds, fisheries, etc., thus we have a false dichotomy in place that both DDT zealots and anti-DDT zealots have set up.

  99. “Why is that hysterical? The Kyoto Protocal would have done tremendous economic damage.”

    That’s hysterical. I suppose catalytic converters caused the Great Depression too.

  100. The major conclusions are: (a) the net global cost of the Kyoto Protocol is $716 billion in present value, (b) the United States bears almost two-thirds of the global cost; and (c) the benefit-cost ratio of the Kyoto Protocol is 1/7. Additionally, the emissions strategy is highly cost-ineffective, with the global temperature reduction achieved at a cost almost 8 times the cost of a strategy which is cost-effective in terms of “where” and “when” efficiency. These conclusions assume that trading in carbon permits is allowed among the Annex I countries.

    http://www.iaee.org/en/publications/kyoto.aspx

    Oh Yeah, Kyoto is just a small intervention.

  101. John,

    So, when did $176 billion turn into trillions? Like I wrote, you’re being hysterical (and dishonest).

  102. That is present value, adjusted for inflation it is trillions in future money. Further, regardless of what it is, it is a lot of money to spend in a very ineffecient way on very shaky science.

  103. Hakluyt,

    More importantly, you are being dishonest or delusional if you believe that Kyoto would be in efficient or cheap by any standard.

  104. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

    I just like fucking with true believers. I do the same for all bible thumpers.

  105. Hakluyt,

    And its $716 Billion, not $176 Billion. Who exactly is being dishonest?

  106. A. Some science (peer-reviewed) indicates that DDT thins many birds’ shells.
    B. Some other science (peer-reviewed?) indicated that DDT didn’t thin some other birds’ shells.
    C. When DDT was banned, some birds recovered.

    Occam’s Razor anyone?

    MD, your response doesn’t begin to address the issue of all the other changes going on in the environment so appealing to Occam isn’t going to help you. Sorry, but nice try. There is a substantial amount of science addressing these issues as well. Which population are you referring to specifially that recovered? Citations claiming link to DDT please.

    Also I never said there as no effect. I said the science was too flimsy to base a ban on. Even the EPA agreed with that. Only the intervention of the then EPA director Ruckelshaus who was paying off is Audubon Society friends changed that. He refused to release any of his materials on which he claims to have based the ban, rebuffing not only the administrative law judge but a FOIA request by claiming they were simply memos. It seems pretty clear to many who have looked into it that the ban was not about science but about politics.

    Ronald Bailey’s piece is a good one to start with, if you’ve previously understood the science in the way you apparently have (“all birds did just fine under DDT”). (emphasis mine)

    Condescending punk statement and putting words in my mouth – in quotes even!… nice juvenile way to make your point, MD.

  107. John,

    You are the dishonest one. You’ve lived twice so far in this discussion.

    More importantly, you are being dishonest or delusional if you believe that Kyoto would be in efficient or cheap by any standard.

    *yawn*

    Instead of dishonestly fabricating arguments for me, why don’t you actually let me voice my own thoughts on a matter? Thanks. No, I never supported Kyoto. No, Kyoto would not have cost trillions of dollars (which your source admits). Its the latter claim that I found hysterical. Opposing something doesn’t give you license to be dishonest about what you oppose. *shakes head at the silly Republican*

    Finally, to suggest that you are adjusting for inflation with your first remark on costs borders on the absurd. One doesn’t have to have too much incredulity in their veins to realize that you overstated the issue and when you found a source on the matter after your overstatement you simply ignored your original claim and instead dropped the number well below trillions. Here’s a suggestion; before you make claims, research what you want to make a claim about. 🙂

  108. lived twice = lied twice

  109. John,

    Indeed, your incessant flip-flopping, etc. gives your opponents ammunition and a reason to simply ignore your statements as that of a fool. You know, for a guy who claims that he’s practiced a lot in federal courts, you sure don’t act like it. A federal judge would get pissed off by these sorts of tactics and you’d be well on the way to losing your case because of them.

  110. Nice to see a certain someone back in such fine true JB/GG form. Man he was so fucking mellow for a while. Creepy, almost.

    heeheehee…snicker…chortle…snort

  111. Whether the cost of $716 billion or two trillion, Kyoto is one of the great boondoggles in history. To say that we should spend this kind of wealth on basis of shaky and unproven science is insane public policy. I have yet to see anything that disproves that.

  112. Brian Courts,

    The scientific consensus is that in apex species of birds that it does cause egg-shell thinning.

    It seems pretty clear to many who have looked into it that the ban was not about science but about politics.

    Or it could have been about both. Indeed, you seem to be commiting yourself to a tu quoque fallacy.

  113. John,

    Whether the cost of $716 billion or two trillion, Kyoto is one of the great boondoggles in history.

    From the standpoint of an argument with someone who is a Kyoto advocate flip-flopping between those numbers undermines the credibility of your argument.

    To say that we should spend this kind of wealth on basis of shaky and unproven science is insane public policy.

    Well, maybe you ought to address that statement to someone who actually advocates for the continuation of Kyoto (after it dies in 2010). I swear, you’re like a broken record dude.

  114. I did address it to someone who supported Kyoto, M1EK. It was an interesting conversation until your dumb ass butted in. I don’t recall including you in it or asking for response. If you don’t support Kyoto, then stop argueing for it and stay out of the conversation.

  115. Or it could have been about both. Indeed, you seem to be commiting yourself to a tu quoque fallacy.

    Yes, Hakluyt, it could have been about both – but the balance of the scientific evidence clearly did not favor a ban according to the judge. When a politically appointed director (who did not attend the hearings – and please no one inform me that it was a Nixon appointee, I know) reverses the findings and is a member of one of the most vocal proponents of the ban I am not being unreasonable to conclude that politics was the motivating factor.

  116. M1EK:

    you don’t what “me and mine” are about. However, throwing that out twice says something only about you. Look what happened to Bj?rn after his book came out. The Danish PC science police went after him for nonspecified reasons. They basically went after him the way Jerry Fallwell goes after weak atheists. 🙂 To say there’s no economic incentive for some members of the pro global warming theory camp to fudge is astounding. Pro and anti gun control sides work the same way.

    With the prize being either billions in charges or power and presteige and federal grants, yes, I remain skeptical of those who are cocksure and have “the Answer”.

    Matt: do you have any idea the crowding in due to publically funded projects would bring in? Hell, look at iraq and the clamoring about those projects. Yes, pro global warming organizations have lots to gain here. The comparison of budgets doesn’t change that. And when there’s gov’t spending involved and POWER from it, there’s gonna be dishonesty on all sides concerned.

    For example: the 1990 level was originally problematic, because the USSR levels were higher than the CIS levels of CO2. All of europe wanted the benefit from the credits. And the Austrian excuse for not adhering to the protocol, which technically should be codified in their law, was that they didn’t want to hinder themselves, economically. (from Diepresse.at)

    Just because I’m skeptical on the motives of the crowd that says “global warming is false. well, it might exist. but that’s a good thing” and i’m skeptical of the crowd that says “everybody but a corrupt few and some brave, poor people fighting against huge evil corporations (that’s a good theme for a lifetime movie!!!) know the truth”.

    But instead you choose to react in the way that paints you to be nothing more than a rude person, claiming about “me and mine”. I am pleased to disappoint you on this.

    As Hak noted, the global warming theories have not predicted what’s going on. Like I said: both sides seem bent as hell here.

    Instead of considering this point and looking at falsehoods spouted all around, you choose to be insulting, and throw blanket accusations about “me and mine” out there.

    With such powers of prediction, maybe instead of pursuing your interest in environmental matters, maybe a career in the carnival might be in order.

  117. John,

    I haven’t argued for it. That’s your third lie. How many can you tell in this conversation? *LOL*

    Like I wrote, you’re like a broken record. You can’t have a conversation with someone who opposes Kyoto but at the same time isn’t willing to make hysterical claims about it.

    And I’ll enter any conversation I feel like entering. Plus, I’ll note that you made no effort to dissuade me from making any statements on these matters until you were shown up for your foolishness. Do grow up and quit whining. You’re like a big crying baby. *waaah* *waaah* *waaah*

    Anyway, my suggestion is this, if you don’t like my comments, don’t answer them. 🙂

  118. Brian Courts,

    …but the balance of the scientific evidence clearly did not favor a ban according to the judge.

    Probably because the judge was belaboring under the old standard of review for scientific evidence.

    …to conclude that politics was the motivating factor.

    That would be an interesting statement if I had argued that politics weren’t involved (indeed, it would make it a rare governmental decision if politics weren’t involved).

  119. drf

    Why don’t you just admit it. You’re an SUV-driving, suburban republican.

    True believers live in a dichotomous paradise. If you disagree, well, you’re just evil. It’s as simple as that. Must be nice.

  120. drf,

    Well, even more to the point, if indeed anthropocentric climate change is underway one has to ask how bad things will get? We’ve had a one degree uptick and things seem fine (I’m willing to change my position though if something convincing comes along to attack my point). How bad will a two degree uptick make things? Or a three degree uptick?

  121. _,

    We’re trading in our Grand Cherokee for a better mileage vehicle. 🙂

  122. “Just because I’m skeptical on the motives of the crowd that says “global warming is false. well, it might exist. but that’s a good thing” and i’m skeptical of the crowd that says “everybody but a corrupt few and some brave, poor people fighting against huge evil corporations (that’s a good theme for a lifetime movie!!!) know the truth”.”

    translates to:

    “Some people say the Earth revolves around the Sun. Others say the Sun revolves around the Earth. We report, you decide!”

    In this matter it’s easy to tell who’s lying and who’s legit. Follow the money.

  123. That would be an interesting statement if I had argued that politics weren’t involved (indeed, it would make it a rare governmental decision if politics weren’t involved).

    Of course, and no, I wasn’t claming you did – it was in response to your saying that it could be both science and politics – which is technially true but not really supported by the evnidence.

  124. drf says Matt: do you have any idea the crowding in due to publically funded projects would bring in?

    Not sure what projects your referring to. Yes, we live in a system where federal dollars goes toward research and as climate change has become a major issue it has sucked up a higher percentage of those funds. And yes, on a libertarian site I expect to find folks who oppose publicly funded research on principal. But, given the reality of said research, doesnt it make sense to throw more money at things that seem most pressing? And as more research indicates a larger and growing problem, more research goes towards understanding it.

    I just get the sense that with the lib/repub crowd the immediate reaction towards any enviro issue is ‘they are wrong, lets find/fund the research that says so’. It aint necessarily so. See ozone hole issue/ increasing skin cancer rates on the southern tip of Chile.

    Hak,
    your wait and see attitude, coupled with an earnestness for the truth, is well taken. I wish others could be so Reasonable. But here is the question: At what point do we act? What is proof beyond a reasonable doubt? Given, climate is immensely complex, beyond our full understanding at this point in time. So was Iraq, but we had to make some decisions. Thats what politics is sometimes, making decisions without being able to be fully informed. I just dont accept the good faith of most of those in the anti-kyoto crowd. I think most of them are gambling, knowing that if CC is true, it will be to the detriment of many others worse than us. Even after a few Carribbean islands go under, there will still be lots of folks who will say ‘but we cant wreck our economy!’

  125. So was Iraq, but we had to make some decisions.

    I’m not sure that using Iraq as the model for making decisions while lacking good information is the best analogy for one proposing to decide in favor of climate motivated economic policy. Unless, of course, you somehow believe that the Iraq invasion was a good decision. 😉

  126. Anthropogenic climate change has taken place since man first put plow to earth. After thousands of years of anthropogenic climate change, humans number over six billion. Some consider that a good thing.

  127. i’m simply terrified of the predictions i’ve read about global warming. within 100 years, temperatures will be ONE DEGREE HIGHER! ocean levels will be 18 INCHES HIGHER! a few acres of land will no longer be arable (but a few acres that are not now, likely will be). mankind will simply not be able to survive a one degree temperature increase, nor will people be able to MOVE AWAY from waters rising one inch every five years. let’s just wipe out humanity now, since everything is our fault anyway. the earth, which is our “mother” and not just a big rock, will be grateful for our mass suicide.

  128. “let’s just wipe out humanity now since everything is our fault anyway. the earth, which is our “mother” and not just a big rock, will be grateful for our mass suicide.”

    I couldn’t agree more Jimmy. M1EK and Hakluyt – how about you guys going first. I promise the rest of us will be right behind you.

  129. drf,

    “In Search Of…” IN FUCKING SEARCH OF?!?

    You’ve got to be shitting me.

    “Global Climate Change” is a term that the media machine has been pimping, like “Death Tax,” to try to reframe the debate through linguistic tricks.

  130. Jimmy,

    Do you not listen to Art Bell? One degree more and humans will be wiped out by superstorms.

  131. I see people, like drf, who absolutely tee off on the “Intelligent Design” pseudo-science. People who absolutely pick apart its pretensions to scientific rigor, its insistence that whatever gaps remain in the data are proof of evolution’s falsity, its conflation of the legitimate disagreements within evolutionary biolagy with faith-based denial of the theory as a whole, its continued existence in unscientific advocacy journals based on papers that no real scientist would bother to blow his nose on, and its manufacture of a controversy that doesn’t exist…

    And then I see them fall for exactly the same bullshit when it’s put out by the fossil fuel industry’s shills.

    I cannot believe you people are so unaware.

  132. M1EK,

    Not only will implementing Kyoto cost $716 bajillion without adding or protecting any value…

    but if we ban leaded gasoline, there will be no automobile manufacturing in the United States by 1975.

    Damn chicken littles, every moderate step towards sanity and the sky is falling.

  133. “thanks”, Joe.

    hey – I was about nine years old. grin.

    but i’d like to put a halt to you talking about/to me that way – I have made it sufficiently clear that i don’t trust either side when it comes to hysteria/ lack of hysteria. since i actually am trying to be skeptical on each side here – since there’s a huge upside for either camp if their views become policy.

    Hey Anon – how do you post sans email etc? Pretty cool. But does this mean I have to move to Naperville and trade my El pass for a SUV and start voting anti pro choice? Hokae. if you say so.

    Joe – show me where your strong accusation holds? Yes, you do describe my feeling on ID. If you think that it’s science and your objections are true, well, that answers the question. But seriously, show me how and where i fall for that bullshit? because i dare question the canon of global warming theories that don’t predict reality?

    being such a dick to me, when what you’re saying about me isn’t true. I have cited why i don’t trust either side, and you say that.

    what the fuck is with you? you tee off and be such an absolute fucking asshole to me here when there’s no reason to be like that. I’m really puzzled why you would behave like that to me.

  134. All right, maybe you weren’t the best target.

    I’m just so sick of the completely bogus attempt to present the brief “Global Cooling” fad of the mid-70s with the broad, well supported consensus behind global warming, I’m immediately suspicious of anyone pushing that line.

  135. Fair enough, Joe.

    I really appreciate that.

    And I understand your skepticism. I was merely naively throwing a thought out there. I was unaware of “global warming” until the mid 80s.

    The one that really ticked me off was the denial of the damage of Acid Rain. I worked collecting data on our lake in the northern adirondacks during the mid to late 80s on acid rain – the same acid rain many “global warming apologists” denied (those who don’t deny global warming, but claim it’s “good” – my cato institute did that, and i’m dubious of that claim – let’s stick to the question of whether humans are causing it first).

    And I agree with you on science vs pseudoscience. And I was not trying to present that POV on “cooling vs warming”. Apologies for throwing that false impression out there. Actually I was unaware of that bogus attempt. I apologize for presenting something that seemed such a dubious attempt. I merely tried throwing something out there that i remember from being a kid and a topic that was scary :). I was trying to point out what i (naively?) thought was a discussion point of the 70s. I was thinking of the comment in terms of doubting human-generated climate change, and the contradictions i’ve seen from all sides and angles on this. I don’t feel I can trust the motives of mainly any side, due to the power, presteige, and dollars at stake.

    However, my disgust (as an anti smoker who used to have reactions to smoke when i was young) applies to your exact reflex that you cite, whether it’s the pseudoscience furthering a cause I actually like (i did enjoy going to a bar in NY where i didn’t come back smelling like smoke) – i completely disagree with the pseudo science. You are correct with my version of ID. And I really want to adhere to the same standard on this topic, too. Or gun control or legalization of certain drugs. (although I do own a .22 target rifle, i’ve never tried any drug that’s illegal in the US right now. the only drugs are the kind you can purchase at a coffee shop or a bar 😉

    And I share that reflex towards pseudoscience.

    Until the public health nannies really come up with something, I’m for smoking in establishments – we’re all adults and we all can assess the risk for ourselves. Sure, there are some slippery slopes there, i’m not phrasing it well (again), i agree with your skepticism in going after that lobby (one where the result is beneficial to me to a degree). I do try to look at certain (philosophical?) issues with that POV.

    AND! I agree with you about being suspicious of the exxon valdez people. Hell – you pointed out a few months ago about some public policy issue (i think it was about public housing and public transportation and welfare and problems in getting to jobs) – you nailed it perfectly. I really enjoy your input and want to contribute to the conversation, too. I don’t ever want to be mean or snarky and apologize (publically) if and when i am.

    You have the cast iron balls to face the rudest, meanest, bullying-like comments, and i respect that. I sent you an annoyed email about this topic, and you rose above the fray to note (above). I appreciate you doing that. Even though we do disagree on some issues, your balls to note that here speaks volumes.

    Please keep it up, and remember, i do want to learn if i’m wrong. I do like good studies, and i’m willing to consider if my views contradict observed behavior.

    (full disclosure to the rest: I sent Joe an email about how i preceived the tone of his disagreement – he did respond here – for that I’m grateful, and I appreciate him doing that. Even though we disagree on this matter, I respect the time he took there to comment. Thank you, Joe)

    It is for this reason I like this board. Whether it’s on iraq where, I guess, my position is now mostly-fixed anti (since the justifications I understood never were proven (WMDs, 9/11) – but I was willing to give the administration the benefit of the doubt – okay I was wrong about that), or whether my positions on public housing – a position where Joe knows more than I do – or physics (Thoreau), etc. I want to learn more and don’t like “not knowing”. People post with sources and links. We have the opportunity to take the responsibility to learn the issues. That is a cool thing.

    This is why i like (after the moment is over, of course) when people disagree with me – I hope I can use it as a learning process. My (strong) reaction was that I didn’t like what i interpreted to be a misdirection tactic. I did email Joe, and he has responded. Thank you.

    Thank you, Joe.
    Now, let’s go mix it up on other issues!
    Ready? GO!!!!

    Respectfully,
    drf

  136. Mr. Zip Code,

    I remember some talk about global cooling, and I remember that it was a “this might happen, and it’s mostly natural” talk, and I know now that it didn’t reach the level of the scientific journals.

    Then you probably don’t remember a novel called _Ice_. It was all about how the world population died off and the few survivors had to learn to live like eskimos…..because another ICE AGE was coming. Because, of course, of all the horrible things man had done to the environment.

    Anyone who claims they “know” what’s going on with the global climate, no matter which side they fall on, is not being honest. Maybe people are contributing, but it makes no sense to assume people are all of it — or even that people are the dominant contributor.

    And as more research indicates a larger and growing problem, more research goes towards understanding it.

    Matt, you don’t get it. Mr. Zip Code sort of does.

    In this matter it’s easy to tell who’s lying and who’s legit. Follow the money.

    Okay, let’s start following……

    Look at the branches of science most deeply involved in “environmental” research. Where do those scientists work?

    Keee-RECT!! The vast majority by far work for the GOV’T!!!!!! They live on government handouts.

    Now, gov’t handouts are much like drugs. Soon, you need more and more to get the same effect. So what research results do you need, in order to feed your budding habit and make a genuine career for yourself?

    Hint: the answer is not “ho hum, everything is fine”.

    I don’t trust Exxon scientists.

    I don’t trust gov’t funded scientists either, whether they work in universities or gov’t labs. The motive in both cases it the same.

    Which doesn’t mean objective truth cannot be had. It just means I don’t trust 98% of either side’s claims.

    This is doubly true because I am, in fact, expert enough at fluid dynamics and thermodynamics to have some grasp of what they’re putting into those “climate” models that claim the sky is falling. The assumptions they’re making often don’t even pass what I’d call a first order sanity check.

    Yes, I do believe the majority of the climate modellers are faking it. And I am scientifically literate enough to make that kind of judgement.

    It’s really, really hard to justify anything close to the Kyoto Protocol under these conditions.

  137. Let’s start with a few points.

    Point 1: There is little or no doubt that there is an anthropogenic component to global climate change.

    Point 2: There is little or no doubt that a significant portion of global climate change is non-anthropogenic (increased solar radiation, natural climatalogical cycles, etc.).

    Point 3: Anyone who tells you that *any* current model of the climate is anything but the most basic approximation of a subset of the overall components of climatological dynamics is either an idiot or is deliberately deluding themselves. It is almost certainly the case that modelling the global climatological system with any meaningful degree of predictive ability is practically, if not entirely impossible.

    Point 4: There is some fixed subset of the complete set of possible solutions (or remedies) that can be implemented at any one time. One can pick and choose among the members of the set, but the quantitative value of the subset will remain essentially constant.

    Point 5: The probability of the effective implementation of any solution that is to the detriment of the standard of living (or expectations) of any population group approaches zero.

    In principle, if not in particulars, I side with Lomberg in the general tenor of this debate. Acting upon the most attainable (those with an initially higher return over expenditure coefficient) and most easily realized members of the solution are the most logical choices for our initial efforts to minimize the anthropogenic component of climate change (any who argue that our efforts should include an attempt to ameliorate the non-anthropogenic components must realize that even if such efforts are theoretically possible, they must be subordinate to the amelioration of the anthropogenic contributions).

    On a practical level, the only solutions that have any chance in hell of actually being implemented are those that work to minimize the effects of human activity while maintaining or improving the standard of living (for all people). Noble sacrifice is accepted by very few, if the solution requires noble sacrifice from the majority, it will not be successful. One may wish it were otherwise, but history and a study of human nature clearly do not support such a belief.

    Additionally, any solution must be non-discriminitory, i.e., all parties must abide by the exact same set of rules, without any exceptions at all. The instant any party has any advantage in the scenario (perceived or otherwise), all other parties will clamor for their own advantages, setting the stage for any manner of maneuvering, up to and including complete non-compliance. Not one of the currently proposed global scope ‘solutions’ provides this non-discriminitory characteristic.

    Having the members of all sides of this debate continually arguing past one another does nothing to engender the kind of interactions necessary to implement meaningful and effective changes. All sides exhibit a refusal to accept that their opponents are sincere in their beliefs. It is automatically assumed that the opponent is clearly (and willfully) wrong, and the fact that the real solution is most likely somewhere in between the opposing positions is entirely discounted (if it’s even considered at all).

    It is not an admission of failure (or heresy) to admit that all sides of this argument are driven by ideological and political motives. It is also not heretical to admit that there are well-meaning, honest people of integrity on all sides of the issue as well. We are dealing with a system of such inherent complexity and subtlety that we may never have the ability to make any kind of truly definitive statement about that system. We’re going to have to work within the bounds of consensus acting on realistic assessments of the inertia of human behaviour.

    As with every other polarizing position, the actual answer lies somewhere between the extrema of the opposing viewpoints. As long as we keep arguing past one another, it’ll be that much harder to recognize the real answers.

  138. I basically agree with your first three points, but the last two seem a bit obscure to me.

    Noble sacrifice is accepted by very few, if the solution requires noble sacrifice from the majority

    Why? Because people would rather be happy than miserable, and that means not sacrificing their material standard of living. I see nothing evil in that.

    I see nothing “noble” in those people who are willing to sacrifice it so easily.

    One may wish it were otherwise

    Why should anyone wish it were otherwise?

    It looks to me like your first three points shoot down the premises of the rest of what you say.

    the most logical choices for our initial efforts to minimize the anthropogenic component of climate change

    But as you said, it’s far from clear that the anthropogenic component is even dominant. So why do we need to “do” anything at all?

    But suppose I conceded the assumption that “something has to be done”. Given the magnitude of our ignorance, it must also be conceded that we have no clue what we should do.

    (any who argue that our efforts should include an attempt to ameliorate the non-anthropogenic components must realize that even if such efforts are theoretically possible, they must be subordinate to the amelioration of the anthropogenic contributions).

    The earth has undergone cyclic climate changes for untold thousands of years. There is zero evidence that anything needs to be done.

    The idiots who are predicting doom and gloom are often (though not always) making straight-line extrapolations of present trends. But the cyclic climate swings we know about from the past have not behaved this way.

    I’m open to being convinced that we ought to do something. I’m not saying human pollution is of no consequence. If it isn’t now, at some point that probably will change. What I’m saying is, we still don’t know what pollution is of what consequence.

    Squandering our resources (I mean our economic capital) on wild guesses at what might “fix” the problem — if there even is one — is an act of grand stupidity.

    We need evidence, data, knowledge, that we simply don’t have. “We can’t wait for that, we have to do something now” is not a valid counter argument. The “something” has to be defined before one can rationally advocate “doing it”.

    If we just take wild shots in the dark about the “something”, then given the complexity of global climate it isn’t impossible that we’d be doing as much or more harm than good.

  139. Kahn,

    “Yes, I do believe the majority of the climate modellers are faking it. And I am scientifically literate enough to make that kind of judgement.”

    And your experience is in fluid dynamics.

    How is this different than Roy Spencer claiming that evolution is a fraud?

  140. I thought the massive scientific consensus behind global cooling reached its pinnacle with the Time Magazine cover, but now that I learn there was a NOVEL written about it, the scales have fallen from my eyes, and I now realize that the scientific community had exactly the same level of confidence about global cooling that it does towards global warming.

    Wow. A novel. Did it have pictures of boobies?

  141. “Wow. A novel. Did it have pictures of boobies?”

    hrumph. I dunno. when I got the copy, those pages were somehow stuck together.

    *grin*

    cheers,
    drf

  142. You know Kahn, you dont sound like a scientist. And you didnt claim to be one, maybe you just wanted to throw a big scary phrase and you wouldnt get questioned.

    This is doubly true because I am, in fact, expert enough at fluid dynamics and thermodynamics to have some grasp

    But here’s the deal. I too, have some education in these matters. And while Im not scientist, I know enough to understand that scientists are by nature conservative. Not politically, necessarily, but conservative in their predictions and estimations because they know if they are shown to be wrong, it undermines peoples confidence in science, and their own credibility (Have you no shame, Paul Ehrlich?). And so when you claim some barely related expertise, then throw a bad pulp sci-fi novel out as exhibit a, then make the ridiculous claim that you dont trust 98% of either sides claims (note again the psuedoscientific percentage given; are you sure its 98% or could it be just 96%? Please provide your confidence level.), you reveal a profound disrespect towards science as a whole.

  143. …cuz, it it’s cold out…

    heh. heh heh. heh heh heh heh heh heh.

  144. Blast me for bringing up the novel if you want. But it is based on the “science” of the same people who have now done a 180 in the middle of the road…..

    And your experience is in fluid dynamics.

    How is this different than Roy Spencer claiming that evolution is a fraud?

    Do you have any clue how much climate models depend on fluid models? Your reply indicates that you don’t.

    fwiw, I’m an engineer, PhD. If you want to claim I’m too stupid to understand the fluid dynamics involved in climate models, that’s your choice.

    You would, however, be quite wrong.

    while Im not scientist, I know enough to understand that scientists are by nature conservative

    You underestimate the power of wishful thinking to prevail over reason.

    Does anyone think this is the first time in human history that it’s happened? The Catholic Church generally likes to run a few centuries behind science, just for one example.

    you reveal a profound disrespect towards science as a whole.

    Now you’re catching on.

    Have you ever spent any time, up close and personal, with the scientists who work in these areas? I have.

    Are you aware that “scientists” have historically been quite jealous of us engineers, because we tend to get research money much easier than scientists have?

    Academic scientitsts have often been a desperate bunch, trying by hook or by crook to get some research funds. Not all of them are dishonest, but you’re fooling yourself it you think their motives are pure as the driven snow.

    You exhibit a profound level of confidence in our modern day witch doctors. Change the name to “scientist” if you like. But many of them simply are not as interested in “honesty” and “objectivity” as they are in getting that next research grant.

    Matt, aren’t you the one who said above that we don’t understand global climate? Well, it’s because our models are way too crude to be accurate. All I’m doing is indicating that those models are, in fact, extremely crude and unreliable.

    If anybody tried to design an automobile or an airplane using such gross approximations (as are common in climate models), they’d get laughed off the design team. Yet “scientists” make these extremely crude approximations, then predict the end of the world, and you — you buy it hook, line, and sinker.

    It has become The Gospel because a “scientist” says so……

    You guys have your very own modern day witch doctors.

  145. Kahn

    Why don’t you just admit it. You’re an SUV-driving, suburban republican. And on the payroll of a coal company to boot.

  146. M1EK: This might be addressed in all of these posts, but you state that the relationship between pollutants and global warming is the same as that between smoking and lung cancer.

    There was an article referenced on this site within the last month which showed that only 10% of people who smoke get lung cancer.

    How does this minor effect relate to your comparison?

  147. Curious,

    Nice try, crackpot.

    Kahn,

    I trust the climatologists a hell of a lot more than I trust you. You are, like it or not, about as qualified on climatology in general as Spencer is on evolution.

  148. By the way, Kahn DOES sound like a lot of my fellow engineers, and not in a good sense. I’m distraught daily at how many fall for pseudoscience crap like he’s been spouting. You can pretty much tell the type by the writings – anybody who talks about the scientific establishment being for sale for grants is somebody you need to send to the tinfoil shop.

  149. MIEK:

    Since I don’t understand what you mean, could you please explain why you are insulting me?

  150. The link between smoking and lung cancer is well understood, and people who try to cast doubt on it are like those who grasp at straws to try to discredit evolution.

    Even if your 10% number were true, if only 0.1% of the general population develops lung cancer, the link holds. Heck, even if 8% of the general population develops lung cancer.

    Focusing on that 10% number calls you out as a crackpot.

    HTH.

  151. My question was whether your analogy is bad or worse than smoking. If there is only a 10% change in the earth due to global warming, then why should more than 10% of the world’s resources be used to stop it?

    However, calling me a crackpot because I mention that 10% of people who smoke get lung cancer? Seems like that’s a reaction by someone who does not want to hear the truth about their false idols, dude.

  152. Since nobody brings in Ronald Bailey’s Article on this. Is he lying? Are the issues he presents false? Which oil companies pay him (*that was a joke)?
    From his article. This could be why people are skeptical of ideological oil company whores and as well ideological environmentalists.

    “In his review, Lovejoy simply ignores the many overblown assertions (including his own) during the past two decades that 40,000 — or 100,000 or even 250,000 — species are going extinct each year and that as many as half of all species on Earth would be extinct by the year 2000. Yet he declares that the biologist Norman Myers, who first offered the 40,000 figure, “deserves credit for being the first to say that the number [of species going extinct] was large,” even though Myers “did not specify the method of arriving at his estimate.” Lovejoy is essentially commending Myers for making up a number to get public attention.”

  153. Kaaaahhhhhhhhnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!

    Don’t misunderstand, I’m not blasting you for bringing up the novel.

    I’m blasting you for bringing up the novel instead of bringing up reams peer-reviewed studies, meta-analyses by the NSF and NOAA, and action plans to deal with problem, produced by corporations whose awareness of their self-interest leads them to conclude that the problem is real, and must be dealt with.

    You know, evidence of the scientific establishment’s acceptance of “global cooling” theory that bears at least a passing resemblance to its global warming analogue.

  154. “If there is only a 10% change in the earth due to global warming, then why should more than 10% of the world’s resources be used to stop it?”

    Are you really this dense? A 10% change in the earth’s climate which occurs over a short geological timeframe could and almost surely WOULD reduce the carrying capacity of the globe by far more than 10%. Think ice age.

  155. M1EK, no, not dense, but certainly not convinced by arguments where I’m called names without being given facts.

    I’ve worked 17 years in healthcare and the social sciences with both serious researchers and squishy MSWs and I?ve learned there is a big difference between people who actually understand what they are talking about and people who call others names just to hide their own ignorance.

  156. You know Kahn, you dont sound like a scientist

    Ever seen the Navier-Stokes equations? Know what Stoke’s hypothesis was? Do you know what an invicid flow solution is, and do you know anything about boundary layer theory?

    I’m an engineer, not a scientist. In any case, you’ve condemned me as a fool.

    Same to ya. Don’t let me mess with your witch doctors, it’d ruin your whole metaphysics. Then, you’d probably need some squishy MSW’s, and I’d have to help pay for it out of my tax dollars. What a concept.

    I’m blasting you for bringing up the novel instead of bringing up reams peer-reviewed studies

    Okay, that’s fair enough. Sigh. I’ll have to go dig it up again. Not sure how much of the info I’ve got is online.

    Why don’t you just admit it. You’re an SUV-driving, suburban republican. And on the payroll of a coal company to boot.

    Crap, you caught me with my pants down.

  157. Ever seen the Navier-Stokes equations? Know what Stoke’s hypothesis was? Do you know what an invicid flow solution is, and do you know anything about boundary layer theory?

    Now Ive got you talking like a scientist again, which I take as no small victory. And I wasnt challenging your experience in Fluid Dynamics, your ability to model the flow of fluid around a static body, or a sloping grade. I was pointing out the ridiculous in your claim to scientific expertise coupled with your derision towards other science. Its funny, you bringing up the class attitudes between scientists and engineers, grant envy and such, as if the inbred superiority of engineers couldnt have polluted your outlook just a bit. It cuts both ways. And yes, Im the one who said we dont fully understand climate dynamics. And I posed the question to Hak, ‘at what point do we act? what is the goalpost?’ because we’ll never know all about climate. So what is your burden of proof? We lost an ice shelf the size of Rhode Island recently, waiting for one the size of Nebraska? Texas? 2% of the Caribbean cayes underwater? 10%? Oh yea, this is a libertarian site, ive got it, FEMA clamoring for 20 billion dollar retaining wall around New Orleans.

    Those are not rhetorical questions; my attitude towards climate change is two-pronged, hope the Republicans are right, and find out what its going to take to change their minds and prepare for those consequences accordingly. Because nothing will happen till a strong majority is on board. So im honestly curious as to your point of capitulation.

  158. Now Ive got you talking like a scientist again, which I take as no small victory

    I work with people from all walks of life and I have to communicate with all of them. Most of them can’t follow a technical discussion, and get annoyed if I go too deep on them. So I deliberately try not to go over people’s heads when I talk.

    Unless I think somebody needs to see some of it, just to convince them I’m for real. In which case I’m ready to go when the need arises. You know, convection cells can be a real SOB to model well. Especially when you’ve got simultaneous mass transfer and chemical reactions going on.

    The model just gets uglier the longer you look at it.

    But okay, I see your position. I disagree with your hedging. But I can at least respect it as far more rational than many people I’ve seen.

    Maybe my being an engineer has colored my view. But when it comes to climate models, scientists too quickly and easily dismiss the insights of engineers as irrelevant, if not outright stupid.

    I think that attitude is a serious mistake, for reasons that could easily fill a book.

    At any rate, my capitulation point is probably frustratingly high to you. I need some serious evidence that we aren’t just experiencing a normal cyclic swing before I’m going to agree to spending scads of money on “global warming”.

    You know, it’s a lot harder to grow crops around the Mediterranian today than it was 2500 years ago. We have no idea what was going on at the poles back then. We have no way of knowing that what’s happening today, isn’t just part of the natural course of things.

    I’m with Ron Bailey. Suppose there really is a big problem. The longer we go on (without spending mass resources on a problem that may not be a problem), the more likely we’ll know more, and have better technology in the future. Which will make us better armed to face the problem, if it materializes as a clear problem.

    To frost the cake (in my mind), nobody has convinced me that any of the proposed “fixes” are even going to do any good. In which case, why should I be willing to spend a fortune on it?

    Show me some substantial evidence that a) there’s a real, man-made problem and b) that there’s a real, man-made solution that would actually solve the problem, and then I’ll be on board. Not until then.

    You and I may have to agree to disagree.

  159. We’ve both approached a tone of mutual respect, which may not be worth a damn, but the idealist in me appreciates. One final quibble.

    To frost the cake (in my mind), nobody has convinced me that any of the proposed “fixes” are even going to do any good. In which case, why should I be willing to spend a fortune on it

    Without launching into the hazy nebula of Kyoto, I would just repeat the following argument I begin with all my non-sci literate repub friends, just to establish the point at which we differ. And you would be suprised (I hope!) at how many would fight me on this: Without the greenhouse effect of the gases that compose our atmosphere, their would be no life on this planet. The blanket effect of our atmosphere is *known*, as well as anything can be. Now, the impetus for climate change research begins (yes, we’ve established it can be corroded, as anything can be, with greed, careerism, etc) with the concern that as we add to the known and measurable components of our atmospheric blanket, the retainer of warmth on this planet, that which allows for the slow release of life comforting heat throughout the solar evening, is it really so Gaia-worshipping crazy, so metaphysically (your word) impossible, to suggest that adding to our blanket might increase the established warmth retaining properties of said atmosphere? I merely ask. And so as to your ‘fixes’ supposedly beyond our epistemelogical grasp, why not start with thinning, then maintaining, the blanket? Is it really that druid-loving crazy? Forgive me this foray into psuedo-psychologizing, but I suspect the problem is not with the science per se, but with what the implications of the fixes are. I cant imagine too many anti-kyoto types being up in arms over ninth level proofs bout reducing Dimethyl Acetamide.

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