Science

What Planetary Emergency?

Dispatch from day two of the International Conference on Climate Change in New York

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March 9, New York—Assume that man-made global warming exists. So what? That was the premise of a fascinating presentation by Indur Goklany during the second day of sessions at the International Conference on Climate Change. Goklany, who works in the Office of Policy Analysis of the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the author of The Improving State of the World: Why We're Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet, made it clear that he was not speaking on behalf of the federal government.

Goklany's talk looked at three common claims: (1) Human and environmental well-being will be lower in a warmer world than it is today; (2) our descendants will be worse off than if we don't stop man-made global warming; and (3) man-made global warming is the most important problem in the world. Goklany assumed that the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) consensus view on future temperature trends is valid. For his analysis, he used data from the fast track assessments of the socioeconomic impacts of global climate change sponsored by the British government, the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, global mortality estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), and cost estimates from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

From the Stern Review, Goklany took the worst case scenario, where man-made global warming produces market and non-market losses equal to 35 percent of the benefits that are projected to exist in the absence of climate change by 2200. What did he find? Even assuming the worst emissions scenario, incomes for both developed and developing countries still rise spectacularly. In 1990, average incomes in developing countries stood around $1,000 per capita and at aroud $14,000 in developed countries. Assuming the worst means that average incomes in developing countries would rise in 2100 to $62,000 and in developed countries to $99,000. By 2200, average incomes would rise to $86,000 and $139,000 in developing and developed countries, respectively. In other words, the warmest world turns out to be the richest world.

Looking at WHO numbers, one finds that the percentage of deaths attributed to climate change now is 13th on the list of causes of mortality, standing at about 200,000 per year, or 0.3 percent of all deaths. High blood pressure is first on the list, accounting for 7 million (12 percent) of deaths; high cholesterol is second at 4.4 million; and hunger is third. Clearly, climate change is not the most important public health problem today. But what about the future? Again looking at just the worst case of warming, climate change would boost the number of deaths in 2085 by 237,000 above what they would otherwise be according to the fast track analyses. Many of the authors of the fast track analyses also co-authored the IPCC's socioeconomic impact assessments.

Various environmental indicators would also improve. For example, 11.6 percent of the world's land was used for growing crops in 1990. In the warmest world, agricultural productivity is projected to increase so much that the amount of land used for crops would drop to just 5 percent by 2100, leaving more land for nature. In other words, if these official projections are correct, man-made global warming is by no means the most important problem faced by humanity.

Next up on the impacts panel was Paul Reiter, head of the insects and infectious disease unit at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Members of the global warming fraternity frequently worry that climate change will exacerbate the spread of tropical diseases like malaria. Reiter began his talk by pointing out that malaria was endemic in Yakutsk, the coldest city on earth, until 1959. In 1935, the Soviets claimed that malaria killed nearly 4,000 people in Yakutsk, a number that dropped to just 85 in 1959, the year that the disease was finally eradicated, in part by using the insecticide DDT.

Reiter then described a vast new research program that he is participating in, the Emerging Diseases in a Changing European eNvironment, or EDEN project. Sponsored by the European Union, the EDEN project is evaluating the potential impacts of future global warming on the spread of disease in Europe. The EDEN researchers have been assessing outbreaks of various diseases to see if they could discern any impact climate change may be having on their spread.

Reiter cited a recent analysis of the outbreak of tick-borne encephalitis in the early 1990s in many eastern European countries. The epidemic occurred shortly after the fall of communism, when many former Soviet bloc countries went into steep economic decline. After sifting through the data, it became apparent that the tough economic situation forced many eastern Europeans to spend more time in forests and farms trying to either find wild foods or grow more food on farms and in gardens. This meant that their exposure to deer ticks increased, resulting in more cases of encephalitis. Since the epidemic was coincident with the fall of the Soviet empire and the end of the Cold War, one of Reiter's colleagues quipped that it was caused by "political global warming." Reiter noted that 150 EDEN studies have been published so far and that "none of them support the notion that disease is increasing because of climate change."

Finally, Reiter pointed out that many of the claims that climate change will increase disease can be attributed to an incestuous network of just nine authors who write scientific reviews and cite each other's work. None are actual on-the-ground disease researchers and many of them write the IPCC disease analyses. "These are people who know absolutely bugger about dengue, malaria or anything else," said Reiter.

The final presenter of the panel was Stanley Goldenberg, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division in Miami, Florida. Again, he stressed that his views were his won, not that of any government agency. Goldenberg is particularly annoyed by former Vice President Al Gore's repeated claim that man-made global warming is making hurricanes more numerous and/or more powerful. For example, at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland in December, Gore flat out stated, "The warming ocean waters are also causing stronger typhoons and cyclones and hurricanes."

Goldenberg acknowledged that hurricanes have been more numerous in the North Atlantic in the last decade. But when one looks at the data from the 20th century two, factors stand out. First, the number of hurricanes has increased So have sea surface temperatures. QED: global warming causes more hurricanes, right? Not so fast, says Goldenberg. The perceived increase in the number of hurricanes is actually the result of observational biases. With the advent of satellites, scientists have become much better at finding and identifying hurricanes. In the first half of the 20th century, he pointed out, if a storm didn't come close to land, researchers would often miss it.

The second factor is that researchers have identified a multi-decadal pattern in the frequency of hurricanes in the North Atlantic. There was a very active period between 1870 and 1900, a slow-down between 1900 and 1925, another active period between 1926 and 1970, a period of fewer storms between 1970 and 1995, and the beginning of a new active period around 1995. According to Goldenberg, this new active period will probably last another 20 to 30 years. Goldenberg was a co-author of a 2001 study published in Science which concluded:

Tropical North Atlantic SST [sea surface temperature] has exhibited a warming trend of [about] ) 0.3°C over the last 100 years; whereas Atlantic hurricane activity has not exhibited trend-like variability, but rather distinct multidecadal cycles….The possibility exists that the unprecedented activity since 1995 is the result of a combination of the multidecadal-scale changes in the Atlantic SSTs (and vertical shear) along with the additional increase in SSTs resulting from the long-term warming trend. It is, however, equally possible that the current active period (1995-2000) only appears more active than the previous active period (1926-1970) due to the better observational network in place.

Since this study was published, much more data on hurricane trends has been collected and analyzed. "Not a single scientist at the hurricane center believes that global warming has had any measurable impact on hurricane numbers and strength," concluded Goldenberg. He also suggested that some proponents of the idea that global warming is exacerbating tropical storms have backed off lately. Clearly the former vice president hasn't gotten the news yet.

Yesterday, Bailey walked among the climate change skeptics and reported on talks given by Czech Republic and European Union president Vaclav Klaus and MIT climatologist Bruce Lindzen. Read about it here.

Tomorrow: The last day of the International Conference on Climate Change will feature presentations on the Pacific Decadal Oscillation's effect on global temperature trends, the economic impacts of carbon rationing, and how policymakers deal with scientific information.

Ronald Bailey is Reason magazine's science correspondent. His book Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution is now available from Prometheus Books.

Bonus video from the conference: Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) on the contradictions inherent in much of green policy:

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  1. The concensus says that Climate Change is bad. What is so hard to understand here?

  2. Nothing at all. The majority is always wrong, hence….

  3. They were not wrong in the last US election.

    Hope and Change in your face baby!

  4. Oh yeah the “consensus” is always correct.

    The earth was actually flat back when that was the consensus opinion. It only rounded itself out later on.

    The sun and the stars actually did revolve around the earth back when that was the consensus opinion. The universe spontaneously rearranged itself later on.

  5. Anything that fits the ideology, right, Ron? I mean, if science contradicts the dogma, then fuck science. Jesus, you right-wing loons just never fucking give up.

  6. We have had higher global temperatures in the recorded past. But we have not had sea level increases of 18 feet in the recorded past. Or polar bear extinctions.

    I’m not skeptical of climate change. The climate changes because that’s what the climate does. But I am skeptical of the political class trying to micromanage everyone’s lifestyle. If they’re so concerned, they should be first to get neutered and sterilized. Set an example for the rest.

  7. Gilbert Martin is living proof that typing does not require a brain.

  8. Gilbert Martin is living proof that typing does not require a brain.

    Pure, ironic gold.

  9. At least someone thought of the polar bears, if only to malign them.

  10. I mean, if science contradicts the dogma, then fuck science.

    That’s Al Gore’s new motto.

    The consensus says that Climate Change is bad. What is so hard to understand here?

    Well, whoever believes that Climate Change is “bad” must go to another planet, because here on Earth, the climate ALWAYS changes.

  11. New at Reason: Ron Bailey on Climate Change Skeptics

    These are not climate change skeptics. They are climate change policy skeptics. Big difference.

    Almost as big as the difference between climate change science and climate change policy, a massive leap that the alarmists and proselytizers take without the slightest justification.

  12. “That’s Al Gore’s new motto.”

    Oh I don’t know. He’s pretty much committed to the old standard — Do as I say, not as I do.

  13. I already asked Ron yesterday in another post if the title was correct – I don’t think I got a reply, so the innuendo must seem fine to him.

    Again, there are no Climate Change skeptics, only Anthropogenic Global Warming skeptics. There are also, like MikeP said, skeptical of current Climate Change policies.

  14. You’re all fucking dupes.

    http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Climate_Change/Science/Skeptics.asp
    Who are the climate change skeptics?
    Despite the international scientific community’s consensus on climate change, a very small band of critics continues to deny that climate change exists or that humans are causing it. Widely known as climate change “skeptics” or “deniers”, these individuals are generally not climate scientists and do not debate the science with the climate scientists directly – for example, by publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals or participating in international conferences on climate science. Instead, they focus their attention on the media, the general public, and policy makers with the goal of delaying action on climate change.
    Not surprisingly, the skeptics have received significant funding from coal and oil companies, including ExxonMobil. They also have well-documented connections with public relations firms that have set up industry-funded lobby groups to – in the words of one leaked memo – “reposition global warming as theory (not fact).”

  15. Gilbert Martin,

    Yeah, because since the consensus was wrong once (before modern science existed!), it’s always wrong. Please do offer some more of your profound logic.

  16. I may not be a climatologist and just some git that recently no longer has to wear a drool bib and helmet. But I learned a long time ago that the statements “BUY NOW,” “YOU MUST ACT NOW,” or any alarmist screaming the world is ending is generally some asshole trying to sell you a super shammy, dicer/slicer, or Bassomatic. This theory has become applicable to just about every political action taken in the last 10 years. I’m starting to think fear is more addictive than crack.

  17. You anti-planet people playing word games are not hiding your Corporate Takeover of the World agenda one bit.

  18. The headline is incorrect and biased.

    People are skeptical that humanity is causing current warming trends. I have yet to talk to a scientist, layman, or anyone who will even give me an estimated percentage impact that human beings have.

    That is how unsettled the science is. No one will go on record saying that humanity is causing 1%, 10%, 40%, or 95% of the current warming.

  19. Right on Lefiti!

    Don’t forget, Ron Bailey is both an owner and on the dividend gravy train of ExxonMobil.

  20. the skeptics have received significant funding from coal and oil companies, including ExxonMobil

    Holy crap, Lefiti is LoneWacko?!?

  21. Gilbert acts as if like the discovery of the world’s roundness is a recent one for him. I wouldn’t be too surprised. I think it makes perfect sense to trust Gilbert over scientific consensus.

  22. Lefiti,
    Despite the international scientific community’s consensus on climate change…

    This is a misleading statement – climate change is a fact, in that the climate changes, ALWAYS. What’s being debated is man-made global warming, and for that there is NO consensus – that is a lie.

    Not surprisingly, the skeptics have received significant funding from coal and oil companies, including ExxonMobil.

    Another lie – many CLIMATE scientists that do not hold the same views as Al Gore have not received grants from ExxonMobil.

  23. Uh. Did you all read the article? The researchers Ron writes about all accept the science as presented by the IPCC and then go on to ask what those conclusions actually mean in the future for humanity.

    It is far, far from obvious either (a) that a warmer world is a worse world or (b) that a wealthier world that doesn’t go to great lengths to address GHG emissions is worse than a modestly cooler world that does.

  24. Given the recent data that shows there is probably not a large positive water vapor feedback (as AGW models have assumed), it’s very unlikely trace amounts of CO2 could drive a large positive shift in climate over the next 100 years.

    Remember, there may be a lot of climate change science being done, but there is no scientific basis for AGW proponents’ global warming predictions.

  25. ExxonMobil is making the world run out of oil for their own selfish profits.

  26. Can I stop panicking now?

  27. This is a misleading statement – climate change is a fact, in that the climate changes, ALWAYS. What’s being debated is man-made global warming, and for that there is NO consensus – that is a lie.

    The only reason human civilization exists at all is because the planet has undergone a remarkably stable period of climate activity. This alone should tell you how precarious our position is and should give anyone pause when you think about the levels of greenhouse gases we’ve been dumping into the atmosphere over the past century.

    So what you’re saying is that a) climate always changes and b) its changing probably can’t be a result of human greenhouse dumping. That is almost a direct contradiction.

    We might have been doomed from natural climate change at some point in the future anyway. But to completely dismiss our ability to affect it is to be willfully ignorant of both logic and the data.

  28. “Not surprisingly, the skeptics have received significant funding from coal and oil companies, including ExxonMobil. They also have well-documented connections with public relations firms that have set up industry-funded lobby groups to – in the words of one leaked memo – “reposition global warming as theory (not fact).””

    Holy crap, really? Jesus, where the hell have you been? What the movement seriously needed was someone with the guts to say the skeptics are funded by ….ExxonMobile. Seriously, we would be way ahead of the game by now if you had simply come out earlier. At least we now have this nifty little info to work with. Did you throw “peer reviewed journals” in as a bonus? Dude, where have you been hiding? We’ve needed you.

  29. And, of course, as Ron points out, there would be little point in solving the problem even if it did exist.

    Global warming is primarily a convenient political crusade for environmentalists. Whether or not global warming actually exists or will cause more harm than the proposed solutions is largely irrelevent to the AGW crowd.

  30. Here’s something from those Exxon-loving, science denying hacks at NASA:

    Unlike the surface-based temperatures, global temperature measurements of the Earth’s lower atmosphere obtained from satellites reveal no definitive warming trend over the past two decades. The slight trend that is in the data actually appears to be downward. The largest fluctuations in the satellite temperature data are not from any man-made activity, but from natural phenomena such as large volcanic eruptions from Mt. Pinatubo, and from El Ni?o. So the programs which model global warming in a computer say the temperature of the Earth’s lower atmosphere should be going up markedly, but actual measurements of the temperature of the lower atmosphere reveal no such pronounced activity.

  31. This is not to mention the fact that there wouldn’t even be oxygen in our atmosphere to breathe if not for “climate change” caused by oxygen-producing microbes in the early stages of life. If microbes can affect massive global climate change, why can’t humans? It’s just chemistry.

  32. Let’s see if Tony and Lefiti can address actual arguments instead just calling people Exxon hacks and flat-earthers.

  33. In 1990, average incomes in developing countries stood around $1,000 per capita and at aroud $14,000 in developed countries. Assuming the worst means that average incomes in developing countries would rise in 2100 to $62,000 and in developed countries to $99,000. By 2200, average incomes would rise to $86,000 and $139,000 in developing and developed countries, respectively. In other words, the warmest world turns out to be the richest world.

    Ron, I’m not sure how the conclusion follows from the facts presented. Wouldn’t it be better to compare incomes if we do nothing to incomes if we attempted to stop AGW?

  34. “ExxonMobil is making the world run out of oil for their own selfish profits.”

    You betcha.

    They are in a secret cabal with Vlad Putin and Hugo Chavez to do just that.

  35. The only reason human civilization exists at all is because the planet has undergone a remarkably stable period of climate activity.

    Actually, no, we’re in the middle of an interglacial. That’s why sea levels have been rising for thousands of years.

    Also, higher temperatures are a relatively picayune concern compared to an ice age, which would kill off most of the human race. Given that this is an interglacial and Earth has gone into Ice Ages at CO2 concentrations ten times higher than the current count, we should probably worry more about that than a few degrees of warming.

  36. My theory goes like this

    The green movement don’t give a shit about the planet

    they’re puritans

    they want you to have less

    therefore any green won’t say we can increase efficiency of carbon neutral stuff

    any solution they have an issue with,

    can’t build dams they displace people,
    can’t use nuclear cus off the waste,
    wind kills birds,
    solar fucks up natural habitats like deserts.

    The only solution they come up with is people should have less

    they’re puritans
    same psychology different god

    That attitude will actually fuck things up more

    Alt-energy is uneconomic

    fossil fuels are about $4/KWh
    alt energy is on average $/KWh

    Using SUPPLY and DEMAND

    If people consume more energy the price of alt energy remains the same

    but the price of fossil fuels increases

    Greens are actually fucking shit up by trying to get people to use less

    Thankfully the Chinese and Indians are increasing their energy consumption at a nice rate
    which should act to push up th price of fossil fuel
    and hence make Alt-energy viable

    Greens talk about Gaia but won’t let her do her thing
    If you really dig Gaia
    let her do her thing
    There’s no better example of Gaia style Darwinian bottom up organization than the free market

  37. Jordan,

    Yes, and satellite measurements don’t have the heat island problem. GISS may just be tracking the spread of civilization.

  38. “Gilbert acts as if like the discovery of the world’s roundness is a recent one for him”

    Nope – and neither is the discovery of the perfect vacum residing between your ears.

  39. “But to completely dismiss our ability to affect it is to be willfully ignorant of both logic and the data.”

    Or inherently egotistical.

    Bfffffftt! Aaahhhhh.

  40. Jordan,

    Yes, and satellite measurements don’t have the heat island problem. GISS may just be tracking the spread of civilization.

    Indeed. I have a link to surfacestations.org handy, in case the trolls try to bring up that bs.

  41. Hey, if it can get to the point where I can grow vineferous grapes in Iowa, then I don’t have any problems with millions of dark-skinned people getting flooded out of shore lines on the opposite side of the earth. Those people are just way beyond my monkey sphere.

  42. Ron, I’m not sure how the conclusion follows from the facts presented. Wouldn’t it be better to compare incomes if we do nothing to incomes if we attempted to stop AGW?

    Indeed, I think a step was missed.

    To fill in the data, we can go with the IPCC SRES, which well expresses the tension between global warming and wealth. The high growth scenario A1 predicts a worldwide per capita yearly GDP in 2100 of $80,000. The more environmentally conscious scenario B1 predicts that number to be $50,000. The expected warming for the latter is 1.8?C while for the former it is 2.8?C to 4.0?C depending on whether a low-carbon energy source is found to be as cheap as present-day high-carbon sources.

    So we have to ask our descendants a century hence: Would you spend one third of your wealth per person per year to have a world that had experienced one third less warming?

    It is hard to imagine their saying “Yes” without really really understanding the costs of that extra third of warming.

  43. MaterialMonkee

    Are you British or Latin American today?

  44. Here’s something from those Exxon-loving, science denying hacks at NASA:

    Jordan, good lord! That site is from 1997! The satellite data discrepancy has been resolved for several years. For instance, see this article by Ron Bailey.

  45. MikeP, thanks.

  46. stuartl,

    Ron conclusion was:

    Right now the available data sets appear to strengthen the case for arguing that the lower-end model projections for future temperature increases are more likely ones.

    And that was in 2005, since which things have been relatively flat or cool. And that was before it was shown the water vapor feedback is probably not a large positive, and may even be negative, which pretty much crushes the whole “CO2 changes are driving climate” theory.

  47. Jordan, good lord! That site is from 1997! The satellite data discrepancy has been resolved for several years. For instance, see this article by Ron Bailey.

    Whoops! Although, Bailey’s article doesn’t seem to contradict it by much. Whereas the NASA article states “So the programs which model global warming in a computer say the temperature of the Earth’s lower atmosphere should be going up markedly, but actual measurements of the temperature of the lower atmosphere reveal no such pronounced activity.”, Bailey’s article concludes:

    Right now the available data sets appear to strengthen the case for arguing that the lower-end model projections for future temperature increases are more likely ones. Christy concludes, “The new warming trend is still well below ideas of dramatic or catastrophic warming.”

  48. Here’s the most recent comparison. GISS has 85% more warming than UAH.

    Visit surfacestations.org and it’s pretty clear why. It’s an obvious problem.

  49. I anticipate global warming will turn my homestate of Maine into a tropical paradise and, more importantly, monkey habitat.

    Whenever someone tells me global warming is bad, I just think, “Monkeys in Maine!” And I’m cheered up.

  50. these individuals are generally not climate scientists and do not debate the science with the climate scientists directly – for example, by publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals or participating in international conferences on climate science. Instead, they focus their attention on the media, the general public, and policy makers with the goal of delaying action on climate change.

    May I introduce you to

    http://www.climateaudit.org/

    and

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/

    to name just two.

  51. Bailey: “[G]lobal warming is not causing diseases to spread…hurricanes are not becoming stronger or more numerous.

    Heretic! Gather the faggots!

  52. these individuals are generally not climate scientists and do not debate the science with the climate scientists directly – for example, by publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals or participating in international conferences on climate science. Instead, they focus their attention on the media, the general public, and policy makers with the goal of delaying action on climate change.

    Also you might want to go back and actually read the fucking article….Ron names quit a few scientists who are published and do debate the issues.

  53. Tony,
    The only reason human civilization exists at all is because the planet has undergone a remarkably stable period of climate activity.

    Compared to what?

    This alone should tell you how precarious our position is and should give anyone pause when you think about the levels of greenhouse gases we’ve been dumping into the atmosphere over the past century.

    No, it tells me you’re begging the question – you ASSUME climate is “stable” in order to argue that “change” will be bad. The problem is defining “stable”. Compared to what? Has the Earth ever suffered an era of “unstable” climate? What would that look like?

    So what you’re saying is that a) climate always changes and b) its changing probably can’t be a result of human greenhouse dumping.

    No, I am saying that climate always changes, period. Whatever humans can do could not possibly change that fact, making the IDEA behind lowering CO2 emissions to “stabilize” climate an exercise in futility.

    We might have been doomed from natural climate change at some point in the future anyway. But to completely dismiss our ability to affect it is to be willfully ignorant of both logic and the data.

    The data has not shown we can change the climate in any significant way – there is no direct link between increasing amounts of CO2 and warming, considering the mean temperatures of the Earth have not increased in the last 10 years, despite an increase in energy usage. Apart from this, the effectiveness of CO2 as an infrared energy absorbent diminishes exponentially after a threshold, which means no amount of CO2 that we load will trap more heat than what is being trapped right now. The concentrations of CO2 that exist today are already reaching the threshold where more CO2 will not increase temperatures in any significant way.

    http://brneurosci.org/co2.html

    Absorption of Infrared Radiation

  54. A question to those who understand the AGW is, if not outright bullshit, wildly overstated: when do you think it’s proclaimers will start to doubt themselves? What do you think they’ll do?

    Not just public figures and scientists, I also like to speculate about all the Team Blue friends and acquaintances I have, whom I’ve learned not to voice my climate denialism nearby.

  55. I have no interest in having a pissing contest about the data. If your mindset is such that you cherry-pick dissenting voices to confirm what you want to believe, you’re not engaging in scientific thinking in the first place.

  56. “Are you British or Latin American today?”

    Welsh

    livin in a latin country for 6 years

    that probably makes me Frenchish

  57. when do you think its proclaimers will start to doubt themselves?

    If recent history is any measure, it will be when mankind has moved on to more pressing concerns. I give it another six years.

  58. FTG,

    I mean stable compared to the usual changes in climate over earth’s history. Human civilization (which required the development of agriculture) required an abnormally stable period that allowed humans to settle.

    My point was just to illustrate that, indeed, as Gilbert claims, the climate does change on its own–but it’s pretty fragile, and humans have been lucky.

    I would almost go as far as to say the burden of proof is on those claiming that massive dumping of CO2 into the atmosphere can’t causing radical change. To acknowledge the tendency of the climate to shift but to dismiss the possibility that it can shift due to major changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere seems incoherent to me.

    Link all you want to studies that confirm what you have already decided to believe. All I know is the IPCC and all of the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries have agreed that human greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for observed global temperature increases. Of course they could all be a part of Al Gore’s conspiracy to… do something.

  59. ed – thank you for the discreet typo correction

  60. Wouldn’t a net temperature increase mean less fuel use? I mean if it’s warmer outside I don’t have to run the furnace (or WEAR THAT FUCKING UGLY SWEATER I GOT FOR CHRISTMAS). and that would mean less CO2 and that would lead to less warming…holy fuck Global warming leads to Global cooling

  61. when do you think its proclaimers will start to doubt themselves?

    Never. At the point when doubt becomes inevitable, they will switch to another intellectual fad, and forget they were ever warmenistas.

  62. How can deaths attributed to climate change be counted accurately? Climate change can not be clearly defined compared to something like cholesterol, since cholesterol can be easily measured while it is basically impossible to distinguish between normal climate and “changed” climate. How can you say someone has died due to “changed” climate as opposed to “usual yet unpredictable” climate?

  63. the discreet typo correction

    I serve the punctuation gods.

    At the point when doubt becomes inevitable, they will switch to another intellectual fad, and forget they were ever warmenistas

    You mean there isn’t a Population Bomb????

  64. This is not to mention the fact that there wouldn’t even be oxygen in our atmosphere to breathe if not for “climate change” caused by oxygen-producing microbes in the early stages of life. If microbes can affect massive global climate change, why can’t humans? It’s just chemistry.

    That took billions of years as per this article not 100 years as you imply for anthropomorphic climate change.

    The only reason human civilization exists at all is because the planet has undergone a remarkably stable period of climate activity. This alone should tell you how precarious our position is…

    It appears over the past two million years while humans were evolving on Earth, there have been multiple glaciations, the last taking 100,000 years to cycle, as per this article. Certainly not a remarkably stable climatic period.

    I don’t need a reference to know that Tony isn’t paying attention to science, just to idle chat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  66. Certainly not a remarkably stable climatic period

    Yep. Politics is measured in minutes, not eons.

  67. Colonel,
    Deaths can’t be attributed to climate change that’s why you have to make the shit up.

    Tony,
    Look to the sun (son), for there you will find your answers.

  68. I have no interest in having a pissing contest about the data. If your mindset is such that you cherry-pick dissenting voices to confirm what you want to believe, you’re not engaging in scientific thinking in the first place.

    Let me rephrase that for you: “I can’t refute what you’ve said so I’ll just continue to toss around ad hominems. Because that’s how real scientists roll.

  69. “Let me rephrase that for you: “I can’t refute what you’ve said so I’ll just continue to toss around ad hominems. Because that’s how real scientists roll.”

    Beat me too it.

    Brrrffffffttt. Aahhhhh.

  70. stuartl | March 10, 2009, 4:01pm | #

    In 1990, average incomes in developing countries stood around $1,000 per capita and at aroud $14,000 in developed countries. Assuming the worst means that average incomes in developing countries would rise in 2100 to $62,000 and in developed countries to $99,000. By 2200, average incomes would rise to $86,000 and $139,000 in developing and developed countries, respectively. In other words, the warmest world turns out to be the richest world.

    Ahh, the joys of extrapolating even minor exponential growth rates far into the futures. Anyone want to take bets on these numbers? Since “worst-case” usually means 5% chance statistically, the authors should be willing to take a 20:1 bet that people will not have an average of $92k per person in 2100.

  71. Jordan | March 10, 2009, 5:14pm | #

    I have no interest in having a pissing contest about the data. If your mindset is such that you cherry-pick dissenting voices to confirm what you want to believe, you’re not engaging in scientific thinking in the first place.

    Let me rephrase that for you: “I can’t refute what you’ve said so I’ll just continue to toss around ad hominems. Because that’s how real scientists roll.

    I give data to people with open minds. I give insults to close-minded partisan hacks. That means you.

    You aren’t even smart enough to know that you have been repeatedly refuted, or are too dishonest to admit it. Why would I waste my time refuting you yet again?

    Peer review >>>> crackpot websites

    Game. Set. Match.

  72. Certainly not a remarkably stable climatic period.

    I’m not talking about the entire time humans have been on earth. I’m talking about the time it took for them to develop agriculture, resulting in the civilization we all now live in.

    I can’t refute what you’ve said so I’ll just continue to toss around ad hominems. Because that’s how real scientists roll.

    I can refute it, but I’m not to that point yet. First you have to be willing to put things in context of ALL available data and not just go surfing around for fringe studies that confirm what you already believe.

  73. I’m not talking about the entire time humans have been on earth. I’m talking about the time it took for them to develop agriculture, resulting in the civilization we all now live in.

    You’re aware that during that time we have had both a Medieval Warm Period and a Mini Ice Age, yes?

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

    For a smart layman’s approach to this topic that will help you realize that worrying about “Global Warming” is nothing compared to the actual heavy-weight threats mentioned above, check out Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything.”

    “Global Warming” (scare quotes and all), even when it’s re-branded as “Climate Change” (as though something inevitable is something humans can band together and control) is truly laughable.

    If we are really worried about global extinction-level events, then we should immediatlely jump-start several Manhattan Project-style endeavors to deal with the sun going kaput, Yellowstone blowing its top, or a really big space rock slamming into the Earth.

  75. Isn’t it time to move on to some really important issue? Like Bill O’Reilly has with -“Omigod, the killer chimps need to be rounded up and imprisoned.”

  76. I’m simply referring to the present interglacial that I’ve been lectured to about on this very site, a period of remarkable stable climate in which all major populations developed agriculture pretty much simultaneously.

    Nothing more than interesting anthropology.

  77. So, as I said, you’ve both got nothing, aside from shouting “the science is settled!” Not one of you has provided a single shred of evidence in this thread. All 3 of the studies cited in the Ron Bailey article that stuartl linked are peer reviewed. You know, the article that concludes, based on those studies, that “Right now the available data sets appear to strengthen the case for arguing that the lower-end model projections for future temperature increases are more likely ones. Christy concludes, “The new warming trend is still well below ideas of dramatic or catastrophic warming.” Your move, genius.

    I can refute it, but I’m not to that point yet. First you have to be willing to put things in context of ALL available data and not just go surfing around for fringe studies that confirm what you already believe.

    If it’s so simple, then surely you can put it in context for me, huh smart guy? Or point me to data that contradicts it?

  78. Various environmental indicators would also improve. For example, 11.6 percent of the world’s land was used for growing crops in 1990. In the warmest world, agricultural productivity is projected to increase so much that the amount of land used for crops would drop to just 5 percent by 2100, leaving more land for nature. In other words, if these official projections are correct, man-made global warming is by no means the most important problem faced by humanity.

    I find this extremely hard to believe. How can global warming double the productivity of agricultural land in 90 years? Since warming will also increase droughts and floods, the increase in productivity would have to be more like 2.5, I think, to achieve this.

    I realize that Ron Bailey is just one guy, but I wish he’d do more than just transcribe the claims of these presenters.

  79. So, as I said, you’ve both got nothing, aside from shouting “the science is settled!” Not one of you has provided a single shred of evidence in this thread.

    You’re not listening. There are massive amounts of evidence you’re welcome to go study. It’s free and on the Internet even. But you have to be willing to put all evidence in context. All deniers do is ignore the huge volume of mainstream science on the subject in favor of the few sources that they like. I can no more summarize all the available data on climate science in this thread than I can all the data on evolution or quantum theory. The burden of proof is not on me. I agree with the consensus of all mainstream science organizations on the planet.

  80. “The burden of proof is not on me.”

    Actually dude… the burden of proof IS on you… because it’s you and not the “deniers” who are advocating massive, freedom & economically crippling governmental intervention.

  81. I agree with the consensus of all mainstream science organizations on the planet.

    No you don’t because “all mainstream science organizations” do not agree on global warming.

    You are just cherry picking the IPCC.

  82. Sean W. Malone | March 10, 2009, 6:26pm | #
    Actually dude… the burden of proof IS on you… because it’s you and not the “deniers” who are advocating massive, freedom & economically crippling governmental intervention.

    You aren’t smart enough or honest enough to know that you have been “proven” wrong. Just what would you consider “proof”? You don’t even know enough to know that science can’t prove anything in the first place.

    All the world’s leading scientific organizations are saying that YOU ARE WRONG. Doesn’t that just shake your tiny libertarian brain just a whee little bit? If it doesn’t, you are beyond hopeless. You are being willfully blind to your own psychological failings. Do you not know how strongly you tend to believe what you want to hear, and how strongly you shut out evidence that contradicts you? You are clearly particularly bad in this respect, as you heed the twisted interpretations of three papers over the overwhelming consensus of thousands.

  83. So you can’t refute those sources, and you can’t produce any of your own, even though they are all over the internet, and you’re asking me to prove a negative. That’s quite the trifecta. And yet again, you retreat to the scurrilous consensus claim.

  84. joshua corning | March 10, 2009, 6:39pm | #
    No you don’t because “all mainstream science organizations” do not agree on global warming.

    Which one doesn’t?

    PS:) Right-wing crackpot think tanks are not “mainstream scientific organizations”.

    PPS:) I have probably talked to more scientists in the last four days than you have in your life, squared.

  85. Jordan | March 10, 2009, 6:46pm | #

    So you can’t refute those sources, and you can’t produce any of your own, even though they are all over the internet, and you’re asking me to prove a negative. That’s quite the trifecta. And yet again, you retreat to the scurrilous consensus claim.

    Fork over a couple hundred bucks and enlighten yourself

    http://www.sciencemag.org
    http://www.nature.com

    There is no higher scientific source than what I have just given you.

    As for refuting “those sources”, I am sure the guys over a realclimate have already refuted your twisted and exaggerated interpretations of those studies. The data itself is probably valid.

  86. I find this extremely hard to believe. How can global warming double the productivity of agricultural land in 90 years? Since warming will also increase droughts and floods, the increase in productivity would have to be more like 2.5, I think, to achieve this.

    I realize that Ron Bailey is just one guy, but I wish he’d do more than just transcribe the claims of these presenters.

    Global warming is not going to double productivity…technology will….and the same warming we are going to get is the same warming we have already gotten with the same increase in drought and floods that we have experienced over the last 100 years.

    A period of time when we have far more then doubled food per acre productivity.

    unless you are claiming that increases in droughts and floods will increase exponentially with warming…a claim i have never seen made even by loons like Al Gore.

  87. There is no higher scientific source than what I have just given you.

    On what evidence do you base this claim?

    As for refuting “those sources”, I am sure the guys over a realclimate have already refuted your twisted and exaggerated interpretations of those studies. The data itself is probably valid.

    That’s very scientific of you.

  88. Chav- if you would actually read some of the articles in the peer-reviewed journals Nature and Science you would find that there is nowhere near a consensus on the theory of anthropogenic global warming.

  89. Colonel_Angus | March 10, 2009, 6:55pm | #

    Chav- if you would actually read some of the articles in the peer-reviewed journals Nature and Science you would find that there is nowhere near a consensus on the theory of anthropogenic global warming.

    Strange. I must have missed the articles that contradict climate change theory. Can I have a citation?

    Jordan | March 10, 2009, 6:54pm | #

    There is no higher scientific source than what I have just given you.

    On what evidence do you base this claim?

    Impact factor of the journals, which is the standard measure of prestige. Wow, are you really this childen? Why, mommy? Why? Why?

    Science and Nature >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Crackpots

  90. joshua corning | March 10, 2009, 6:52pm | #

    Global warming is not going to double productivity…technology will….and the same warming we are going to get is the same warming we have already gotten with the same increase in drought and floods that we have experienced over the last 100 years.

    Ahh, gotta love basing everything on wild and long extrapolations. Never mind that crop yield growth is slowing, just like economic growth, in developed nations.

  91. PPS:) I have probably talked to more scientists in the last four days than you have in your life, squared.

    I fucking doubt it. But nice elitist attitude there:

    “I talked to more scientists therefore I am right and do not have to explain anything”

    Give me a break.

    but this one is even better:

    I am sure the guys over a realclimate have already refuted your twisted and exaggerated interpretations of those studies.

    So not only are you an elitist but you are soooo 1337 that you don’t even have to understand or explain problems with global warming some other guys did the work for you.

    seriously you think we have not heard

    “there is a consensus”
    “anyone who disagrees with it is a right wing nut job”

    Why even come here to tell us that bullshit when it is obvious we want to debate the nitty gritty of it?

  92. http://www.sciencemag.org
    http://www.nature.com

    There is no higher scientific source than what I have just given you.

    …for curiously political and opinionated definitions of “scientific”.

  93. joshua corning | March 10, 2009, 7:13pm | #

    I fucking doubt it. But nice elitist attitude there

    Yes, I am an elitist. I’ve earned it.

    I talked to more scientists therefore I am right and do not have to explain anything

    Plenty of scientists have already explained it for you. You refuse to listen because you are blinded by your own ideology.

    I am not going to waste my time summarizing arguments that you have already heard and have chosen to willfully ignore. Instead, I am just going to insult you, which is more appropriate for someone of your diminished mental capacity.

  94. “All the world’s leading scientific organizations are saying that YOU ARE WRONG. Doesn’t that just shake your tiny libertarian brain just a whee little bit?”

    Aside from this being actually completely wrong, since plenty of leading scientific organizations don’t support the idea that we should massively expand government or fuck up our economies over these issues, I’m not exactly sure why your rather venomous attack was directed at me and my “tiny libertarian brain”, considering that was the first comment I posted on this thread, merely pointing out that it is people like you who need to prove an imminent danger.

    You have yet to do that. The best you can do is regurgitate computer simulations of what you think might happen. But again, this board is ostensibly discussing an article on which all of the “major” sources you cite were accepted as completely scientifically valid – yet which still disagreed with the mainstream conclusions.

    For the record, I have never particularly doubted research that shows a warming trend, I’m also perfectly comfortable saying I don’t know enough to know if CO2 is or isn’t the main cause. However, I am not such an idiot as to believe that the sky is constantly falling or that even *if* the sky is falling, that means we should break the backs of millions of people moving towards international totalitarianism in a flailing attempt to prop it back up.

    I also am rather a student of history – and a big big big fan of science – and my tiny little brain has also proven smart enough to recognize repeating patterns. One of which is that Malthusian doomsday scenarios are virtually always completely wrong.

    Partly this is because of the predictor’s hubris and fallibility of their models & limits of knowledge. And partly this has been because relatively free people tend to innovate & find solutions to problems.

    The real question I have for you Chad, is, do you want to live in a world where millions of intelligent people are free to innovate and compete for the best solutions (pluralistic & voluntarily), or do you want to live in a world where an “environment czar” dictates what we should all be doing virtually arbitrarily, while stifling any technology that doesn’t fit with his specific plans?

    I know which of those two worlds, the free vs. the planned, has historically produced real innovation. I also know which of those worlds values liberty and which values conformity. I also know which of those worlds gets people to change their behavior voluntarily, appealing to their wants, needs, and future desires balanced with practical cost-benefit realities and which of those worlds relies on force, guns, coercion and removes the incentives to do anything but the minimum “as required by law”.

    My tiny libertarian brain is also smart enough to have noticed a pattern of government officials not actually doing what they say they’ll do for the reasons they claim… and instead doing whatever is in their political interest largely based on personal and political considerations…

    I think I’ll keep my trust in freedom, thanks Chad.

    Implicit in your arguments, rants and ad homs, is the view that you have every right to *force* people to do what you want them to do… what you believe is “best”, and also, without providing an unchallenged or even very satisfactory view of the future outside of hyperbolic polemics.

    Science & Nature >>>> Crackpots… yes.

    But that’s not really the debate here is it? Though of course it’s a nice strawman.

    PS. Does anyone else here ever wonder why it’s not only acceptable, but indeed a very frequent attack of the “pro-world catastrophe” crowd to say that the “deniers” are funded by Exonn Mobil, but no one ever bothers to mention that there is an incentive for scientists to favor government solutions because most of them are paid by government?

    Even if their data is 100% correct all the time (which we know it isn’t), their government-oriented solutions are still dumb.

    But people like Chad don’t seem to understand the difference between saying “These are the facts” and “This is what we think we should do about them.”

  95. Gilbert Martin is living proof that typing does not require a brain.

    Lefiti proves my point that chatbots are retarded.

  96. All 3 of the articles I mentioned were published in Science magazine, Chad.

  97. Clearly, you didn’t even read the links I posted, before dismissing them out of hand. Thanks for demonstrating who the dishonest hack is, here.

  98. “Ahh, gotta love basing everything on wild and long extrapolations.”

    Kind of like computer models of climate change that constantly have to be adjusted because they couldn’t accurately predict ten minutes from now.

    Also, I would scratch nature off the list of reputable journals, since half the shit in there reads like oppinion articles in newsweek. You know, crackpot shit, not testable science.

  99. Well, whoever believes that Climate Change is “bad” must go to another planet, because here on Earth, the climate ALWAYS changes.

    It would have to be Mercury.

    The other planets have atmospheres and thus climates.

  100. Oh Colonel,

    You don’t get it! It’s *ok* to base everything on wild & long extrapolations if you’re also advocating statism.

    It’s not ok if you’re advocating freedom.

  101. Does anyone else here ever wonder why it’s not only acceptable, but indeed a very frequent attack of the “pro-world catastrophe” crowd to say that the “deniers” are funded by Exonn Mobil, but no one ever bothers to mention that there is an incentive for scientists to favor government solutions because most of them are paid by government?

    Because someone has to be the villain opposed to their noble totalitarian goals.

    I wonder if these fools have anything to say or write about the TTAPS study. I would guess they deny it much more than Nazis deny the Holocaust.

  102. From this rundown of today’s conference:

    Mr Solomon was particularly telling in the description he made of damage that is being inflicted on the environment by third-world countries who are trying to comply with the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. A primary problem is the purchase by first-world countries of carbon sinks, as an offset of their emissions at home. This is done through mechanisms such as planting a new eucalyptus plantation, which requires, for example, cutting down an old growth forest, or moving farmers from their already cultivated land. In either case, traditional fishing, farming and foresting rights are being lost, and many persons displaced from their homelands. “Environmentalists in the third-world are not buying this”, said Mr Solomon, “they are organizing into strong local associations and groups to fight to maintain their property rights”.

    Can anyone provide evidence or illustration of this?

  103. But we have not had sea level increases of 18 feet in the recorded past.

    Speaking of sea level increases, I read about an idea for power generation that would consist of digging a trench across north Africa to flood the Sahara from the Mediterranean. The upshots would be: 1) power from the inflow, 2) a large section of the Sahara becomes a new sea, 3) world sea levels drop a couple of feet, and 3) tree-huggers go apeshit over a desert becoming a new salt-water habitat.

    Sounds like a win all around to me, as long as it’s not done with tax money.

    -jcr

  104. There is no higher scientific source than what I have just given you.

    Sure there is, it’s called the physical universe. Journals aren’t sources, they’re outlets.

    -jcr

  105. You know what I love?

    Scientific amateurs, who have strong ideological predilections, assuming that based on their investigations they have proven the consensus of people with years, sometimes decades, of more training and experience than them, wrong.

    And not assuming it’s their stupid ideological predilections that may have led them to be wrong….

    Sigh…Let me make my usual challenge….You scientific genuises have obviously interpreted the relevant data correctly, in a way that the consensus of experts with way more training and experience than you have never thought to do, so, tell me, what OTHER scientific consensuses are wrong? I mean, surely your amazing powers are not limited to this one area in which you ideologically have a dog in the fight? You’re just gifted, though amatuer, scientists, and you can break through bogus scientific consensuses like ex lax through an old ladies home. So surely you can name another area where your mighty powers have discerned that the scientific consensus is wrong, right?

  106. Jordan | March 10, 2009, 7:40pm | #

    All 3 of the articles I mentioned were published in Science magazine, Chad.

    I only see one Science article. It is 8 years old, and doesn’t even make a relevant point. All it does is point out a natural cycle, which does not imply that a human-induced cycle could not also be occuring. Newer data is pointing towards an increase in hurricane intensity, but not frequency.

    This Paul Reiter guy, who talked about infectious diseases, seems a bit odd. Bailey reports that “Reiter noted that 150 EDEN studies have been published so far and that “none of them support the notion that disease is increasing because of climate change”, yet if you go to the EDEN website and look at their most recent annual report, the first paragraph of the summary says:

    In recent years, several vector-borne, parasitic or zoonotic diseases have (re)-
    emerged and spread within Europe with major health, ecological, socio-economical and
    political consequences. Most of these epidemics are linked to global and local changes caused by either climate change, human-induced landscape changes or the direct impact of human activities.

    Either Bailey is mis-reporting, Reiter is mis-representing, or some other major disconnect is occuring.

    Which brings me to a more relevant point. You moron denialists can’t even read through the spin these guys are putting out. For example, note that Reiter said “is changing”, not “will change”. You can be darned sure if he could have said the latter, he would have, because it is far stronger. He didn’t. Why? Because the evidence must be against him. Just by hearing his spin, you should have been smart enough to read between the lines and realize that EDEN must have found that diseases will increase.

    Read for yourself.

    http://www.eden-fp6project.net/

  107. Colonel_Angus | March 10, 2009, 7:48pm | #

    Kind of like computer models of climate change that constantly have to be adjusted because they couldn’t accurately predict ten minutes from now.

    Still confused about the difference between weather and climate? Go back to third grade, you idiot, and try to pass science class this time.

  108. You know what I love? Hacks who love to babble on about scientific consensus, but only present ad-hominem attacks in support of their side.

    blah…blah..blah… consensus challenge… blah…blah

    Here ya go:

    * the theory of continental drift proposed by Alfred Wegener and supported by Alexander Du Toit and Arthur Holmes but soundly rejected by most geologists until indisputable evidence and an acceptable mechanism was presented after 50 years of rejection.
    * the theory of symbiogenesis presented by Lynn Margulis and initially rejected by biologists but now generally accepted.
    * the theory of punctuated equilibria proposed by Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge which is still debated but becoming more accepted in evolutionary theory.
    * the theory of prions -proteinaceous infectious particles causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathy diseases- proposed by Stanley B. Prusiner and at first rejected because pathogenicity was believed to depend on nucleic acids now widely accepted due to accumulating evidence.
    * the theory of Helicobacter pylori as the cause of stomach ulcers. This theory was first postulated in 1982 by Barry Marshall and Robin Warren however it was widely rejected by the medical community believing that no bacterium could survive for long in the acidic environment of the stomach. Marshall demonstrated his findings by drinking a brew of the bacteria and consequently developing ulcers. In 2005, Warren and Marshall were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work on H. pylori

  109. I don’t know why you guys waste your time on an overstuffed gasbag like Chad.

    He’s obviously bellowing in here to compensate for being an insignificant pipsqueak in the real world.

    You guys are just feeding him what he wants.

  110. Not one of the global-warmist true believers has picked up my gauntlet.

    “No one will go on record saying that humanity is causing 1%, 10%, 40%, or 95% of the current warming.”

    Any takers with a citation or two? The science is so settled after all.

  111. I thought earth was headed for catastrophe
    I thought global warming was for real
    Polar ice is melting
    (I used to say)
    Temperatures are high
    (I used to say)
    Pretty soon we’re all just gonna die

    Then I got a brain
    Now I’m a denier
    Not insane
    Like I used to be
    I’m informed
    I’m a denier
    Gore’s a big liar yessirree

    I thought truth was more or less a give-and-take
    Theories could be proved by taking polls
    Once you get consensus
    (I used to say)
    Then it’s Q.E.D.
    (I used to say)
    There’s no need to test empirically

    Then I got a brain
    Now I’m a denier
    Not insane
    Like I used to be
    I’m informed
    I’m a denier
    Gore’s a big liar yessirree

  112. Which one doesn’t?

    Oddly enough, the one field of science that actually has the most relevant opinion on AGW — the field of scientific forecasting — seems the miost adamant that AGW predictions are worthless.

    Today yet another scientist has come forward with a press release saying that not only did their audit of IPCC forecasting procedures and found that they “violated 72 scientific principles of forecasting”,

    Today, a founder of the International Journal of Forecasting, Journal of Forecasting, International Institute of Forecasters, and International Symposium on Forecasting, and the author of Long-range Forecasting (1978, 1985), the Principles of Forecasting Handbook, and over 70 papers on forecasting, Dr J. Scott Armstrong, tabled a statement declaring that the forecasting process used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lacks a scientific basis. [2]

  113. consensus of experts with way more training and experience than you have never thought to do

    Expert predictions have a poor track record (it’s one of the principles of forecasting!) especially predictions of impending DOOOOOOOOOM.

    Also, the “consensus” tends to be driven by ideology, not science; the people the IPCC invite are typically environmentalists. This is a bit like inviting 100 tax “experts,” all hardcore Marxists, to a conference, and then announcing a consensus that higher taxes are better. At taxpayer expense.


  114. Jordan | March 10, 2009, 9:59pm | #

    I only see one Science article.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/309/5740/1548
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/309/5740/1556

    Obviously, you neither read the articles nor understood the abstract. Apparently, you believe any article about climate with the word “cooling” in the abstract refutes global warming. *facepalm*

    Here is the wiki page concerning these measurements, referencing one of these articles and the authors of the other directly.

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

    Warming, warming, warming my friend.

  115. TallDave | March 10, 2009, 11:40pm | #

    Expert predictions have a poor track record (it’s one of the principles of forecasting!) especially predictions of impending DOOOOOOOOOM.

    We only have to be right once….

  116. TallDave | March 10, 2009, 11:34pm | #

    Which one doesn’t?

    Oddly enough, the one field of science that actually has the most relevant opinion on AGW — the field of scientific forecasting — seems the miost adamant that AGW predictions are worthless.

    Uhh, wtf? Do you even read what you write? According to this guy’s logic, we should just lurch blindly into the future, because, like, uhh, modelling stuff is hard. He has ZERO expertise on climate change.

  117. JB | March 10, 2009, 11:05pm | #

    Not one of the global-warmist true believers has picked up my gauntlet.

    “No one will go on record saying that humanity is causing 1%, 10%, 40%, or 95% of the current warming.”

    Any takers with a citation or two? The science is so settled after all.

    The IPCC’s “very likely” implies 90-95% certainty.

    That was easy. What do I win?

  118. Since warming will also increase droughts and floods,

    Speculation.

  119. We only have to be right once….

    Sounds like the guy who asked every woman he met if she would sleep with him.

    He only needed to be right once too.

  120. So surely you can name another area where your mighty powers have discerned that the scientific consensus is wrong, right?

    We know for absolute fact that the TTAPS study is perfectly accurate.

    Therein lies the solution to the global warming problem.

  121. Expert predictions have a poor track record (it’s one of the principles of forecasting!)

    So crackpot agenda-driven denial should be substituted for the best available data-driven predictions?

  122. P.S. This site gives me a lot of problems posting. Stupid crap that shouldn’t happen. Why can’t you guys go find some entrepreneurial ubermensch to solve your sub-par site design?

  123. Obviously, you neither read the articles nor understood the abstract. Apparently, you believe any article about climate with the word “cooling” in the abstract refutes global warming. *facepalm*

    Obviously, you didn’t read the summary I posted earlier. Apparently, you think you can read people’s minds.

    Warming, warming, warming my friend.

    But not catastrophically. And nowhere near definitively linked to human activity.

    P.S. This site gives me a lot of problems posting. Stupid crap that shouldn’t happen. Why can’t you guys go find some entrepreneurial ubermensch to solve your sub-par site design?

    The site works just fine for me.

  124. We only have to be right once….

    “Once” makes no sense; AGW either exists or it doesn’t, so you’re either right or wrong. And being wrong is much worse: if the Earth is cooling, the results of anti-AGW efforts could be far worse than warming, in addition to making us all poorer in the meantime.

  125. Way too late for this to matter, but Sean’s 10 Mar, 7:25pm post was excellent!

    I am actually in university right now (a 35-yo returning student), and I get to hear my science teachers (my astronomy and geology teachers, mostly) contradict themselves on a variety of occasions, which continually reminds me to keep a skeptical and open mind.

    That’s all I really have to add. 🙂

  126. According to this guy’s logic, we should just lurch blindly into the future, because, like, uhh, modelling stuff is hard.

    Clearly you did not read it. What it says is they should do a scientific forecast, following the rules of forecasting, rather than just throwing together computer models that says whatever AGW proponents want it to say with no regard to how forecasts should be done, and then taking a poll.

    Of course, the IPCC won’t do that, because if they used scientific methods it wouid immediately become clear they cannot forecast climate with any reliability at all.

    It’s telling that the same people who throw around “denialist” are quite anti-science when it comes to the actual scientific process, which is built on skepticism and following empirically-derived procedures that give accurate results.

  127. So crackpot agenda-driven denial should be substituted for the best available data-driven predictions?

    That’s a pretty accurate description of what the IPCC is doing.

  128. Wow. Chad sure wasted a lot of time saying he wasn’t going to waste time. But in the words of Townes Van Zandt, “Living’s mostly wasting time.”

  129. But it don’t ever feel so good…

  130. From Wikipedia:

    Feedback effects due to clouds are an area of ongoing research. Seen from below, clouds emit infrared radiation back to the surface, and so exert a warming effect; seen from above, clouds reflect sunlight and emit infrared radiation to space, and so exert a cooling effect. Whether the net effect is warming or cooling depends on details such as the type and altitude of the cloud, details that have been difficult to represent in climate models.

    And from Joni (a Canadian):

    Ive looked at clouds from both sides now
    From up and down, and still somehow
    Its cloud illusions I recall
    I really don’t know clouds at all

  131. chad @ 5:27 — The paragraph you are blasting me for was from Bailey’s article. That is why I italicized it.

    And I agree that the whole idea of making predictions out 100 and 200 years based on linear growth rates is dangerous. However, in this case the speakers are using the global interventionist’s own methods to argue against intervention. As in turnabout is fair play.

  132. So crackpot agenda-driven denial should be substituted for the best available data-driven predictions?

    Give me one good reason – just one – why, if global warming is such a threat, we should not just increase the amount of dust in the stratosphere to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the surface (TTAPS study)?

  133. Uhh… Because we could always do that later?

  134. the results of anti-AGW efforts could be far worse than warming, in addition to making us all poorer in the meantime.

    Yeah using modern, clean power tech to reduce greenhouse gases to pre-industrial levels would be FAR worse than losing most coastal cities, etc.

  135. Give me one good reason – just one – why, if global warming is such a threat, we should not just increase the amount of dust in the stratosphere to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the surface (TTAPS study)?

    I don’t know. Maybe that’s a good plan. Since we’ve been putting off action for so long drastic plans like this might be necessary.

  136. Since we’ve been putting off action for so long drastic plans like this might be necessary.

    Read the IPCC reports. Seriously. You should at least have some clue what the science is that you imagine you are defending.

    With regard to GHG emission, the past is inconsequential compared with the future.

    The lion’s share of the CO2 that will cause warming later in this century will be emitted by our descendants. They will be emitting far more both because they are wealthier and therefore greater users of energy, but also because populations that now live on subsistence without generated power will be bringing brand new energy sources on line.

    If you were to stop all CO2 emission today, the temperature a century hence would be but 1?F warmer. Predicted disastrous climate change is not our fault: It’s our ultra-rich progeny’s fault. Frankly, I think those bastards should deal with the problem as they see fit — whether that be squelching new emission, bringing new technology to sequestration, or simply adapting.

  137. Predicted disastrous climate change is not our fault: It’s our ultra-rich progeny’s fault. Frankly, I think those bastards should deal with the problem as they see fit — whether that be squelching new emission, bringing new technology to sequestration, or simply adapting.

    I think the consensus is that if we don’t do something now, it won’t be possible to do something in the future.

  138. I think the consensus is that if we don’t do something now, it won’t be possible to do something in the future.

    You have got to be kidding.

  139. Lefiti | March 10, 2009, 3:40pm | #
    You’re all fucking dupes.

    yadda yadda yadda

    Widely known as climate change “skeptics” or “deniers”, these individuals are generally not climate scientists and do not debate the science with the climate scientists directly – for example, by publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals or participating in international conferences on climate science.

    yadda yadda yadda

    Not surprisingly, the skeptics have received significant funding from coal and oil companies, including ExxonMobil. They also have well-documented connections with public relations firms that have set up industry-funded lobby groups to – in the words of one leaked memo – “reposition global warming as theory (not fact).”

    epw.senate.gov U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

    Michael Ejercito | March 10, 2009, 8:03pm
    Sweet!!! first invoker of Godwin’s law!

  140. Chad,

    Are you illiterate? What percentage is ‘very likely’?

    They said that ‘very likely’ is 90-95% certain.

    Does ‘very likely’ translate to 51%, 70%, or 99% of current warming trends are caused by man?

    Man may play a role, but even the most retarded global warmist admits that nature has an impact. The big thing called the Sun happens to matter.

    With the science being so settled, I want to see a percentage figure for man’s impact and I want it backed up with data.

    If you can’t easily find that (which you can’t, I’ve asked leading global warmist ‘scientists’ for it), then guess what? The science isn’t nearly as settled as you and others claim it is.

  141. This isn’t the first time the thought that global warming might not be such a bad thing, but this article is pretty sparse. A more thorough analysis of the pros and cons would be useful for discussion. In any case, reducing pollution, increasing energy efficiency, and other ‘solutions’ proposed are noble-enough causes on their own that we don’t really need climate change scaremongering to justify them.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty thoroughly convinced that we’re causing a substantial impact on greenhouse gas and that they have a role in warming the weather based on the data, I just don’t think this nonsense catastrophism is warranted. Whatever change comes of it, we’ll have plenty of time to adapt. Just as some species will die new ecological niches will emerge and from them new species. The big thing here is fear of change; we have this sense as a species, or as a culture, that everything must be preserved the way it is *right now* if we’re to survive. This is, of course, ridiculous.

    Life as a whole does not stop being just because of a few degrees temperature change, and we as a species certainly won’t perish because of it. We survived ice ages, massive plagues, wars, the competition of other species time and again throughout our (much longer than often recognized) history; we’ve adapted to almost every environment on the present earth and to many that preceded it. We’re not going anywhere, biological life is not going anywhere, and our planet is not going anywhere.

  142. I think the consensus is that if we don’t do something now, it won’t be possible to do something in the future.

    You have got to be kidding.

    What makes you think that?

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