Environmentalism

Global Warming: White Man's Problem

Why poor countries won't commit to binding emissions cuts

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If I were an environmental activist, I would be despairing right around now about ever getting meaningful action on global warming. Over the last eight years, eco-warriors had managed to convince themselves that the main obstacle to their grand designs to recalibrate the Earth's thermostat was a stupid and callow U.S. president unwilling to lead the rest of the world.

But with Barack Obama in office they no longer have that problem. In fact, they have a charismatic and savvy spokesman who combines a deep commitment to their cause with considerable powers of persuasion. Yet his call to action at last week's G-8 summit in Italy yielded little more than polite applause, and that only when he issued a mea culpa. "I know that in the past, the United States has sometimes fallen short of meeting our responsibilities," he said amid cheers. "So let me be clear: Those days are over."

What did this brave self-flagellation yield? To be sure, he got the attendees to collectively declare that they would never ever let the Earth's temperature rise two degrees centigrade from pre-industrial levels. This is supposedly a prelude to the real horse-trading over emissions cuts that will begin in a Copenhagen, Denmark, meeting this December.

But the depressing thing for climate warriors was that Obama could not get developing countries, without whose cooperation there is simply no way to avert climate change, to accept—even just in theory—the idea of binding emissions cuts. India's prime minister took the occasion to position his country as a major victim of a problem not of its making. "What we are witnessing today is the consequence [of] over two centuries of industrial activity and high-consumption lifestyles in the developed world," he lectured. "They have to bear this historical responsibility." And even before the summit began, China declared the West had "no right" to ask it to limit its economic growth.

Rather than engage with the issues, eco-pundits are grasping for all kinds of fanciful pseudo-scientific theories to explain why Obama's sweet-talking ways are leaving the rest of the world cold. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, for instance, recently blamed the lack of progress on the faulty circuitry evolution has wired into the human brain. According to Kristof, evolution has programmed us to be alert to immediate threats, such as snakes, or enemies with clubs, but not for vastly greater but less imminent dangers that require forethought. If this sounds like a warmed-over, 21st-century version of the Calvinistic crooked-timber view of human nature, that's because it is.

Not to be outdone, Kristof's Nobel Prize-winning colleague at the Times, Paul Krugman, pulled out the folk story about the frog and the boiling pot in his latest column to explain our collective torpor over climate change. Just as the proverbial frog wasn't able to feel the gradually rising temperature before he boiled to death, so too, in Krugman's telling, human beings are not equipped to comprehend the dangers of an overheating planet before they fry to death.

But this psychologizing only exposes the inability of climate activists to take seriously the rational case for inaction. In fact, there is a perfectly good reason developing countries are unwilling to act on climate change: What they are being asked to do is more awful than climate change's implications–even if one accepts all the alarmist predictions.

Consider what would be necessary to slash global greenhouse-gas emissions just 50% below 2000 levels by 2050—a far less aggressive goal than what the enviros say is necessary to avert climate catastrophe. According to U.S. Chamber of Commerce calculations, even if the West reduced its emissions by 80% below 2000 levels, developing countries would still have to return their emissions to 2000 levels to meet the 50% target. However, Indians currently consume roughly 15 times less energy per capita than Americans—and Chinese consume seven times less. Asking them, along with the rest of the developing world, to go back to 2000 emission levels with a 2050 population would mean putting them on a very drastic energy diet.

The human toll of this is unfathomable: It would require these countries to abandon plans to ever conquer poverty, of course. But beyond that it would require a major scaling back of living standards under which their middle classes—for whom three square meals, cars and air-conditioning are only now beginning to come within reach—would have to go back to subsistence living, and the hundreds of millions who are at subsistence would have to accept starvation.

In short, the choice for developing countries is between mass death due to the consequences of an overheated planet sometime in the distant future, and mass suicide due to imposed instant starvation right now. Is it any surprise that they are reluctant to jump on the global-warming bandwagon?

The Waxman-Markey climate change bill that just passed the U.S. House of Representatives wants to force developing countries to accept this fate by resorting to the old and tired method of protectionism. Should this monstrosity become law, starting in 2020 the United States will impose carbon tariffs on goods from any country that does not accept binding reductions. But this is a path to mutually assured economic destruction—not to combating climate change.

For starters, by 2020, when these tariffs go into effect, India and China—with GDPs projected to grow anywhere from 6% to 10% annually—will have much bigger economies with huge domestic markets that they are increasingly opening to each other. Thus they might well be better off forgoing access to the U.S. market than accepting crippling restrictions on their growth.

Also, by then they will have more economic clout on the world stage to enforce their own ideas of who ought to take moral responsibility for climate change. The West's case for restricting Indian and Chinese exports rests on the claim that these countries' total emissions will exceed those from the West within the next few decades. (China's emissions are already at par with those of the U.S., the biggest emitter).

But these countries have, and will continue to have, far lower emissions on a per-capita basis, given that China's are now around one-fifth those of the United States and India's one-twentieth. Thus they would have an equally valid case for imposing countervailing restrictions on American exports based on per-capita emissions. The West might well be the bigger loser in this economic warfare if it is barred from accessing new, growing markets.

Obama obviously understands this—which is why he has condemned the House's turn down the protectionist path. So what should climate warriors do? Right now the only certain way to save lives is by calling off this misguided war on climate change. If and when climate change promises to claim more casualties than poverty and starvation, the world will begin heeding their calls. If, however, these climate-change casualties don't materialize, there would have been no need to act in the first place. Either way, the world has far more immediate and scarier problems than climate change to address right now.

Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason Foundation and a columnist for Forbes. This article originally appeared at Forbes.

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  1. “What we are witnessing today is the consequence [of] over two centuries of industrial activity and high-consumption lifestyles in the developed world,” he lectured. “They have to bear this historical responsibility.” And even before the summit began, China declared the West had “no right” to ask it to limit its economic growth.

    They’re absolutely right. So what say you, Obamatrons?

  2. Of course changes in technology mean that China and India etc don’t have to copy what we did 50 years ago to have success. Just like many places are skipping home phones, and going directly to cell, so they can skip a lot of other stuff that we did.

    For example, China and India will NEVER be able to have the type of car culture we have. Besides the fact that we don’t have the oil for it, they don’t have the space for that many roads.

    Also things like solar power are actually very competitive when you figure in the costs of running utility lines, and building power plants for places that don’t have it.

    If the BRIC countries want a middle class lifestyle, they are going to have to do it differently that we did.

  3. According to Kristof, evolution has programmed us to be alert to immediate threats, such as snakes, or enemies with clubs, but not for vastly greater but less imminent dangers that require forethought.

    So what, Kristof is imbued with the the next step in evolutionary DNA which allows him (and a few chosen elites) to see this danger? Kristof is a sort of X-Man on global warming?

    Kronenborge::

    For example, China and India will NEVER be able to have the type of car culture we have. Besides the fact that we don’t have the oil for it, they don’t have the space for that many roads.

    Say what?!

  4. J sub… I have it on good authority you can run a car entirely off the energy from “regenerative braking”. Thermodynamics be damned.

  5. I like the aircars from India. A very interesting idea.

    Oh, I ran across a new word(new to me anyways).
    I don’t recall where I saw it. Thought ya’ll may find it apropos.

    Treetards.

  6. Just like many places are skipping home phones, and going directly to cell, so they can skip a lot of other stuff that we did.

    They are not doing it so they can skip a lot of other stuff that we did. They are doing it because it is cheaper to put up cell towers than to string wires.

    If the technology is not outright cheaper, the developing world will not adopt it. Nor should they.

  7. Also things like solar power are actually very competitive when you figure in the costs of running utility lines, and building power plants for places that don’t have it.

    Really?

    China and India seem to disagree. But they’re just dumb third worlders who can’t make sound economic decisions, right?

    Peruse this and get back to me.
    ________________________________________________________________
    *sigh* Just like I wrote earlier this week (and linkeed to upthread).

  8. I think the central idea of this thread is very important. We need to understand the real implications and have accurate forecasts of climate change, so that we can make sober decisions about how we will respond — if any response, much less a public policy response, is even necessary.

    There are good arguments to be made that 1) whatever the train is, it has already left the station and we can’t halt it in our lifetimes or beyond; and 2) the expected climate change can actually benefit mankind, so we should embrace and adapt to it, rather than try to alter or reverse it.

    Of course, like the allegation of harmful climate change that we are all familiar with by now, these are just arguments. We should be all about trying to sort out the wheat from the chaff, so we can make some careful, well-informed decisions. If doing something about climate change would seem to be worse for us than the climate change itself, maybe we should just look the boogeyman straight in the eye and confront him.

  9. This is the same idiocy as genetically modified foods. We’d rather you not eat at all than eat something that isn’t “natural”.

    Fuck all the organic, greenie, AGW shitheads with a rusty saw!

    (I feel moderately better now)

  10. # brotherben | July 17, 2009, 5:05pm | #
    # I like the aircars from India. A very
    # interesting idea.

    I believe these are based on the work of Guy Negre of MDI in France. I have been reading about this “imminent breakthrough” for over a decade, and I will believe it when I see it. The latest credible reports I have seen indicate that cars built from this technology have limited range, acceleration, and top speed. They might be competitive against the speed-limited “Neighborhood Electric Vehicles” (NEVs), or useful as local runabouts and jitneys in third-world urban and village areas, but would be basically unacceptable to Americans. Negre himself admitted as much when he recently proposed “hybrid” operation of his compressed-air engine, to run on compressed air in urban neighborhood driving on surface streets, and gasoline or some other conventional fuel for freeway or long-haul trips, where range and performance were key.

    I am actually an admirer of both Negre’s achievement and his tenacity. The AirCar is a fascinating development. But apparently, not all that practical in ways that would impress the American driver. Maybe India’s mileage “will vary” on this point…

  11. Corporate funded alarmist tripe.

  12. For example, China and India will NEVER be able to have the type of car culture we have. Besides the fact that we don’t have the oil for it, they don’t have the space for that many roads.

    I’m with Paul at 4:50.

    What the fuck?

  13. If and when climate change promises to claim more casualties than poverty and starvation, the world will begin heeding their calls.

    Let me guess. You also believe that you shouldn’t hit your brakes until AFTER you crash, correct?

  14. MikeP | July 17, 2009, 5:06pm | #

    If the technology is not outright cheaper, the developing world will not adopt it. Nor should they.

    How can we know which technology is cheapest, when all of them are riddled with massive subsidies? Right now, the biggest rent-seekers win, not the best technologies.

    PS: Coal is the problem. We need to stop building new plants and phase out the old ones as soon as possible.

  15. There is an easy, tried, tested, and reliable way to reduce carbon emissions dratically without reducing energy consumption or the living standards that go with it:

    BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS.

    For the love of God, why is it that the simple, available, known, option of converting to nuclear is never considered in this debate?

    We can ALL have rising living standards and more energy consumption and lower carbon emissions. It’s not a fucking pipe dream like the all-solar/wind fantasy.

  16. JAM,

    I have been reading about this “imminent breakthrough” for over a decade, and I will believe it when I see it.

    I’m with you.

    There are fundamentally different structural requirements for cars versus aircraft. The Navy puts up with a few flying boats, but there’s a reason they bring planes along with them on aircraft carriers. As opposed to just putting wings on the carrier itself.

  17. Chad, stop making me laugh so hard. My abs hurt.

  18. Hazel,

    Sure nukes work and could make sense. But it’s not so clear what their real long term cost is going to be, when you figure in decommissioning them at end of life.

    Fact is, the smartest thing we can do at this stage of the game is start replacing our existing fossil fired plants with newer generation plants (Europeans have done some really interesting things on this front). Doing so would simultaneously be both cheaper and cleaner.

    But just try getting the tags to go build a new base generation station in today’s world. SoCal has been supplementing base capacity with gas turbines (very inefficient and expensive) for a long time because it’s impossible to build new capacity.

    Meanwhile I see our long lost buddy Chad has returned to the village.

    Give him a big round of welcome. Because every village needs its idiot.

  19. It’s nice to see the third world telling us what to do in our proverbial Western Hat on this issue. Go India! Go China! I hope you grow rich soon.

    Because I may need somewhere to go after the village idiots get done trashing this place.

  20. I’m with Paul at 4:50.

    What the fuck?

    Hope springs eternal in the green heart?

  21. Sure nukes work and could make sense. But it’s not so clear what their real long term cost is going to be, when you figure in decommissioning them at end of life.

    Give me a break. We don’t know what the real long term cost of solar, wind, or anything is.

    A. Radiation is not nearly as dangerous as everyone seems to think it is.

    B. Please would everyone get over this feeling that nuclear has, like, cooties or something.
    You get all concerned about “long term costs”, and “decommisioning when it comes to nuclear, but nobody ever gives a shit about indirect costs of anything else. it’s all excitement about geothermal or whatnot, and who-gives-a-hoot.

    But then there’s this wierd “icky” reaction to nuclear. Please, would everyone GROW UP about radiation and nuclear power PLEASE?

  22. Uh, I have this thing called a f***ing PhD in engineering.

    I also used to work for a gas and electric company. We had coal, oil, gas, and nuke base plants, and I worked inside all of them. Been there done that seen ALL the shit you could possibly imagine. We even did studies on solar and wind (never made economic sense).

    Given the choice, I’d live next door to a nuke over any conventional fossil fuel. It’s much cleaner.

    And I don’t do “icky”.

    Fact you apparently don’t know: much of the nuclear industry today and in past history has been underwritten by the government. It really is not clear how the costs of running nuke plants would pan out in the long haul, because the free market has never been able to try it.

  23. Excellent foreign policy:

    “If you don’t accept immediate starvation we will start a trade war with you.” I’m sure our 3rd world adverasaries will not have any tarriffs levied on them, only our allies like India. Obama makes Jimmy Carter look like John Wayne.

  24. However, Indians currently consume roughly 15 times less energy per capita than Americans-and Chinese consume seven times less.

    Argh. When I see math mangled like that I have trouble continuing reading.

  25. Goddamn comment form ate my post. And it was scintillating and brilliant, too.

    Anyhoo, summary:

    I think we’re talking about two differnent technologies when we’re talking about ‘air cars’.

    1. Sky car. Car which flies through the air.
    2. Air car. Car which has a propulsion system driven by compressed air.

    I believe we’re talking about #2. There are some interesting prototypes here.

  26. Fact you apparently don’t know: much of the nuclear industry today and in past history has been underwritten by the government. It really is not clear how the costs of running nuke plants would pan out in the long haul, because the free market has never been able to try it.

    It’s actually a fact most of us know. And we figure that the costs and efficiencies of a government-run nuke plant would probably be on par with a government-run electric company.

  27. Climate change, or “global warming” as it used to be called before proponents decided to rebrand it after people started noticing it wasn’t getting warmer anymore, is a largely mythical nonproblem; the notion CO2 is driving anything more than a degree of temperature change looks increasingly unlikely, and warmer temps have generally been a boon for mankind anyway. It makes a convenient cause celebre (or perhaps I should say raison d’etre?) for environmentalists because there just isn’t much else left to complain about in Western countries: water and air are cleaner than ever.

  28. Ebeneezer Scrooge | July 17, 2009, 7:01pm |

    I also used to work for a gas and electric company. We had coal, oil, gas, and nuke base plants, and I worked inside all of them. Been there done that seen ALL the shit you could possibly imagine. We even did studies on solar and wind (never made economic sense).

    Would it have if the government hadn’t been picking up your multi-million dollar waste disposal tabs?

    Over here in the chemical industry, we don’t just get to dump our trash into the water and air anymore. Instead, we have to pay something approximating the FULL costs of our actions. Not surprisingly, we found plenty of ways to minimize waste and replace really nasty waste with less nasty waste…and pay through the teeth when we fail to do so.

    Why can’t you do this same? Why shouldn’t you?

    And you know what? We can do this DESPITE having to compete with the Chinese, who don’t have to be anywhere near as clean as we do.

  29. “Coal is the problem. We need to stop building new plants and phase out the old ones as soon as possible.”
    -Chad

    I’m with you. Lets get the bureaucrats working on the next “5 Year Plan” on this immediately.

  30. TallDave | July 17, 2009, 7:48pm | #
    Climate change, or “global warming” as it used to be called before proponents decided to rebrand it after people started noticing it wasn’t getting warmer anymore

    Talldave, “climate” is decades, “weather” is years. And in any case, what are you going to say in a couple years, when record high yearly average temperatures are again set due to the brewing El Nino? Or will you just wait until ~2014 during the next La Nina and note that that it is slightly cooler than 2010/11, and again claim the world is again cooling?

    is a largely mythical nonproblem; the notion CO2 is driving anything more than a degree of temperature change looks increasingly unlikely

    Peer reviewed citation, please. Not crackpots’R’us. The real scientists are saying just the opposite, as things are trending towards the worse cases of the last IPCC reports.

    and warmer temps have generally been a boon for mankind anyway.

    We’ve never had temps this warm. How would you know? And in any case, temperature changes are bad in general and strongly correlate to mass extinctions in the fossil records. Sure, life adapts to the new climate….after hundreds or thousands of generations.

    water and air are cleaner than ever.

    Really? By “ever”, I think your data must not go back more than 100-200 years.

  31. MWG | July 17, 2009, 9:21pm | #
    “Coal is the problem. We need to stop building new plants and phase out the old ones as soon as possible.”
    -Chad

    I’m with you. Lets get the bureaucrats working on the next “5 Year Plan” on this immediately

    Easy. Place a moratorium on all new coal plants unless they sequester the carbon. Then require that all power companies decrease their coal use by 5% per year for 20 years, starting in three years. Smack tariffs on any goods produced in countries that don’t do something similar. Was something hard about that?

  32. Hahaha you guys are so narrowMinded. Can’t you see that ChadWinsTheThread?

    Smack tariffs on any goods produced in countries that don’t do something similar. Was something hard about that?

    You see? You’re awfully lucky some people are looking to the future to be a healthy place and not a molten hellhole. We can just smack the evil nations into avoiding the hell-on-earth scenario.

    But seriously climate-change doubters, who did you sell your soul too and is a V-8 really worth it?

    Smack!

  33. nice post..
    ___________________
    Britney
    Entertainment at one stop

  34. brotherben: I saw the Tata Motors announcement of their air car quite some time ago. It intrigued me also. I did an analysis of the basic science involved and was going to post about it but instesd wrote a short story – Doc Science and the Airmobile. http://futureverse.wordpress.com/short-stories/doc-science-and-the-airmobile/

    In short it isn’t practical for most drivers in the U.S. but your millage may vary. And as the article that brought us here points out, Green Solutions are not so practical for the rest of the world either.

  35. Would it have if the government hadn’t been picking up your multi-million dollar waste disposal tabs?

    Yes, nukes still would have been cheaper than solar and wind power.

    But we should qualify that, because powering the US with solar and wind alone really isn’t feasible.

  36. It’s actually a fact most of us know. And we figure that the costs and efficiencies of a government-run nuke plant would probably be on par with a government-run electric company.

    I know a thing or two about how public utilities are run.

    And in spite of all that, I don’t believe we really paid the full bill for producing and disposing of our fuel (both incoming and outgoing). Much of the process was underwritten at the federal level.

    It’s never been clear to me that even if the full weight of free market efficiencies were brought to bear on the electric power industry, that nukes would categorically come out as more cost effective than conventional power plants.

    I rather suspect conventional fuels would still win the day. But there’s no data out there to clearly prove it one way or the other.

    Believe what you will, but having watched it happen from the front rows of the bleachers, in a free market I’d still put my money down on conventional fuels as giving the cheaper solution.

    But in fact, the real problem with this whole hypothetical argument is that electric power could never come even close to being a true “free market”. It’s a highly capital intensive venture and there’s never really going to be lots of competitors running head to head against each other.

    btw, if the Enviro Idiots had gotten out of our way, and let us burn garbage to generate power using some of the new syn gas cooler technologies that are out there, I predict that nukes would have a much harder time competing economically, in all but the most densely populated areas (and even then it’s not clear).

    Syngas coolers are very clean (the bad stuff comes out the other end in highly condensed solid form and never gets to the exhaust stack**), reasonably efficient, and would be my second choice for a next door neighbor if I was living next to a power plant. Natural gas burners would be third choice.

    ** An idea that may be hard for some to grasp, but it’s not easy to see through the trade off of toxicity vs amount of material to be disposed of. You get lots of *pretty* toxic waste coming out of coal burners. You get a little bit of *really* toxic waste coming out of a nuke.

    Which waste stream is cheaper to deal with? I contend that the answer is still not clear.

    It seems very probable that the waste stream coming out of syngas coolers would be cheaper to deal with than coal ash, but we’ve never gotten the chance to find out.

  37. True story: in a certain city in the Northeast rust belt that I won’t name, we once upon a time tried to build a garbage burner to add to our base generating capacity. That was decades ago and the environmental regs didn’t yet make such a venture utterly futile.

    Our idea — and this came out of a public utility — was that the local city government was paying $x/ton to dispose of their garbage in a landfill. So we volunteered to come take their garbage away for free. We’d burn it (mixed with coal slurry), produce both electricity and a hot water (and possibly low pressure steam) loop inside city limits for commercial heating, and then we’d dispose of the remaining waste ourselves. Which by then, would have been substantially reduced in volume.

    It seemed like a win-win story. Until the city government decided that no way were they going to just give all that garbage and let us make money off it. Instead they hired consultants to determine the expected BTU equivalent content of the garbage (which we’d already estimated), and they were going to charge us about the equivalent cost of coal.

    Upon which the economics of the whole venture went out the window. So instead, to this day the city continues to pay to have their garbage hauled off to a landfill.

    A very few years later environmental regulations made the whole idea of a garbage burning plant impossible.

    And so we all lived happily ever after, albeit poorer.

  38. Notice the grand efficiency of government agencies competing with one another.

  39. Easy. Place a moratorium on all new coal plants unless they sequester the carbon. Then require that all power companies decrease their coal use by 5% per year for 20 years, starting in three years. Smack tariffs on any goods produced in countries that don’t do something similar. Was something hard about that?

    No.

    Saying that we should require power companies to decrease their coal use by 5% per year for 20 years demonstrates a gross lack of knowledge about how power generation technology works.

    As you just proved, that’s not hard to do.

  40. Ebeneezer Scrooge | July 18, 2009, 5:21am |

    Saying that we should require power companies to decrease their coal use by 5% per year for 20 years demonstrates a gross lack of knowledge about how power generation technology works.

    Is there something difficult about shutting down your old plants, or not running all of them all the time? A very small utility might have some issues simply because of the limited number of sources they have. They would just have to merge or be very aggressive.

    There is no reason that companies could not build the 5% each year needed as replacements. Hell, we could do 10%.

  41. Whose law is it that the less you know about something the easier it is?

  42. Doh.

    Whose law is it that the less you know about something the easier you think it is to do?

  43. Of course changes in technology mean that China and India etc don’t have to copy what we did 50 years ago to have success. Just like many places are skipping home phones, and going directly to cell, so they can skip a lot of other stuff that we did.

    Isn’t China putting a new coal-fired power generating plant on line about every week or so?

  44. Some variant on Nuke plus re-forestation/plantation will be the only way to stop the CO2 increase. This will probably take 100-years to stop the increase due to the oceanic storage.

    The Disneyland phantasmagorical pipedream of renewables and economic regression are just as ridiculous as the intelligent design thumpers.

    The other point is that we don’t know if warming will cause harm. One clue, every single research result published in the media says the effects are negative. This proves that the research is grant-pandering bullshit.

    China and India don’t have the luxury of fancy ideas designed as a substitute for prozac. Besides, oceanic and freshwater deadzones and PAH particulates are killing fish and people now.

    The global warming focus is the greatest environmental injustice dreamed up since the DDT ban.

  45. The upper tropospheric warming, which was predicted by AGW theory, has not appeared in the measurements.

    There is no evidence of CO2 induced warming, and there really is no consensus.

  46. Talldave, “climate” is decades, “weather” is years.

    It hasn’t gotten warmer in three decades. The UAH satellite anomaly for June was .001 degrees.

    We’ve never had temps this warm. How would you know? M

    The MWP was probably warmer, depending on which proxies you believe. Regardless, higher temps have always meant longer growing seasons and better harvests overall. The Little Ice Age caused crop failures and famine on a massive scale.

    Excess cold is much deadlier than excess heat. This is why vastly more people live on the equator than on Antarctica.

    Really? By “ever”, I think your data must not go back more than 100-200 years.

    Pre-industrial cities were not pleasant to live in. Cholera and dysentery were common.

    Peer reviewed citation, please. Not crackpots’R’us. The real scientists

    It’s accepted by everyone that CO2 can only directly create about one degree of warming. The rest of the warming is supposed to come from positive water vapor feedback, but it turns out water vapor feedback is probably negative.

    Here’s some real scientists:

    “No scientific basis” for global warming predictions.

    Global warming theory is “fundamentally wrong.”

    The crackpots are people like Al “The planet has a fever!” Gore and James “Coal trains are worse than Auschwitz!” Hansen.

  47. Whose law is it that the less you know about something the easier it is?

    One of the Iron Laws. Number 4, I believe.

  48. Dear God, TallDave. Do you realize the extent of your data cherry-picking (making you a liar) or are you just plain that dumb.

    There are many temperature measurements. You pick the outlier in UAH.

    Then you pick out a paper, claiming it says that “water vapor feedback is probably negative” when in fact is says “The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis data on tropospheric humidity are examined for the period 1973 to 2007. It is accepted that radiosonde-derived humidity data must be treated with great caution, particularly at altitudes above the 500 hPa pressure level. With that caveat, the face-value 35-year trend in zonal-average annual-average specific humidity q is significantly negative at all altitudes above 850 hPa (roughly the top of the convective boundary layer) in the tropics and southern midlatitudes and at altitudes above 600 hPa in the northern midlatitudes. It is significantly positive below 850 hPa in all three zones, as might be expected in a mixed layer with rising temperatures over a moist surface. The results are qualitatively consistent with trends in NCEP atmospheric temperatures (which must also be treated with great caution) that show an increase in the stability of the convective boundary layer as the global temperature has risen over the period. The upper-level negative trends in q are inconsistent with climate-model calculations and are largely (but not completely) inconsistent with satellite data. Water vapor feedback in climate models is positive mainly because of their roughly constant relative humidity (i.e., increasing q) in the mid-to-upper troposphere as the planet warms. Negative trends in q as found in the NCEP data would imply that long-term water vapor feedback is negative-that it would reduce rather than amplify the response of the climate system to external forcing such as that from increasing atmospheric CO2. In this context, it is important to establish what (if any) aspects of the observed trends survive detailed examination of the impact of past changes of radiosonde instrumentation and protocol within the various international networks.”

    How deep are you willing to sink in order to try to defend your ideology. Don’t you feel embarassed?

  49. Btw, TallDave, here is a nifty little graph of the UAH data along with RSS and surface measurements.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Satellite_Temperatures.png

    God knows how you can conclude with even one whit of honesty that it hasn’t gotten warmer in 30 years.

  50. There are many temperature measurements. You pick the outlier in UAH.

    I pick the measurement that is done by satellit, because they’re clean. GISS measurements are totally corrupted, both because 80% of the stations do not meet standards and because James “War crimes trials for skeptics!” Hansen keeps running algorithms against them that create exaggerated warming trends.

    The UAH temperature anomaly in June was .001 (and BTW, GISS is the outlier at .65; RSS is much closer to UAH at .075). That means it has not, as of June, warmed over the last 30 years; we are at almost precisely the average. Your graph is missing four years of data.

    As for the paper, which part of “Negative trends in q as found in the NCEP data would imply that long-term water vapor feedback is negative” is confusing you?

    Want more? Another paper found the aerosol cooling has been overestimated by 40%, meaning CO2 forcing is much weaker than GCMs are assuming.

    The forecasting scientists have it exactly right: there is very little reason to believe the GCMs are remotely accurate. There are far more unknowns than the politicians at IPCC are admitting.

    Sorry if real science has been hard on your pseudoscientific scaremongering.

  51. “Talldave, “climate” is decades, “weather” is years…The real scientists are saying just the opposite, as things are trending towards the worse cases of the last IPCC reports.”

    I thought whether happens over decades not years so how can a couple of years of data effect anything. Seems like you pick and choose to suit your argument just like the “real scientists”. BTW, what is a “real scientist”.

    “We’ve never had temps this warm. How would you know? And in any case, temperature changes are bad in general and strongly correlate to mass extinctions in the fossil records. Sure, life adapts to the new climate….after hundreds or thousands of generations.”

    Peer reviewed citation, please….I think your data to prove this point does not exist. How do you know it takes hundreds or thousands of generations for species to adapt?

  52. Since you like graphs, here is a nice one that shows the trend dropping to about zero since 2005.

    Of course, the overall trend is still about .1 C per decade, but it’s entirely accurate to say as of now there is no net warming.

  53. TallDave | July 18, 2009, 11:47pm | #
    There are many temperature measurements. You pick the outlier in UAH.

    I pick the measurement that is done by satellite because they’re clean.

    They are also done remotely (by definition) and are based on models. The fact is, it is heating up down here on the ground, as ice, plants and animals are non-partisan, and do not lie. They are retreating towards the poles and up the mountains all around the world. It must be a liberal conspiracy.

    GISS measurements are totally corrupted

    Yes, sticking a thermometer outside is wildly “corrupt” relative to a roundabout, indirect satellite measurement.

    both because 80% of the stations do not meet standards

    Ok, if that is the case, go ahead and analyze the data from the 20% that do. Is it significant different?

    The UAH temperature anomaly in June was .001 (and BTW, GISS is the outlier at .65; RSS is much closer to UAH at .075)

    It’s funny that you keep screaming “Hansen Hansen” without noting that YOU keep citing data from one of the world’s few prominent denalists. If we want to play the professional bias game, you will lose.

    That means it has not, as of June, warmed over the last 30 years; we are at almost precisely the average. Your graph is missing four years of data.

    As you denalists keep whining, the average temperature hasn’t changed much since 2005.


    As for the paper, which part of “Negative trends in q as found in the NCEP data would imply that long-term water vapor feedback is negative” is confusing you?

    Your inability to understand the word “would”. That “would” means IF this data were correct, ONE PART of the atmosphere would be losing humidity. Given that the measurements are incredibly challenging and that the data flies in the face of first year chemistry and physics, that’s a pretty big IF.

    Again, TallDave, you are cherry picking individual papers out of thousands, and even then, bending, stretching and selectively picking the data within those papers. This is an absurd act of desperation.

  54. Btw, TallDave, you do know that the water vapor feedback was understood over a hundred years ago…again ruling out any vast left-wing conspiracy.

    It is basic science. How can you expect to heat up a pool of water and NOT wind up with more water in the atmosphere above it?

  55. They are also done remotely (by definition) and are based on models.

    Remote is good. Remote means no one is building a tarmac or an air conditioner next to the sensing apparatus. Models for measurement are also fine, as long as they don’t change methods over time, because after all we’re measuring an anomaly, not an absolute.

    They are retreating towards the poles and up the mountains all around the world.

    That’s odd, the poles seem pretty barren to me. Must be a oil company conspiracy to hide those Antarctic rainforests.

    Ok, if that is the case, go ahead and analyze the data from the 20% that do. Is it significant different?

    Probably. Maybe James “I’m getting arrested in front of a coal plant today!” Hansen will let us know.

    It’s funny that you keep screaming “Hansen Hansen” without noting that YOU keep citing data from one of the world’s few prominent denalists. If we want to play the professional bias game, you will lose.

    Who? I cited 5 different studies with about a dozen different scientists. Let me know when they start comparing AGW proponents to Nazis, or get arrested, or demand war crimes trials. I’m pretty sure we’re way ahead.

    Your inability to understand the word “would”. That “would” means IF this data were correct, ONE PART of the atmosphere would be losing humidity. Given that the measurements are incredibly challenging and that the data flies in the face of first year chemistry and physics, that’s a pretty big IF.

    It’s more likely to be correct than not to be, which is why I said “likely” to begin with. You should probably worry more about your own understanding.

  56. You may want to re-read the 2009 water vapor study. They specifically note your earlier study and the problems with such measurements.

  57. It is basic science. How can you expect to heat up a pool of water and NOT wind up with more water in the atmosphere above it?

    Because unlike a pool of water, the atmosphere produces clouds (which block sunlight) and rain (which reduces water content). This probably explains why the Earth’s temperature has never risen much above 22 degrees in 4 billion years.

    For instance, there are processes that can cause the water vapor content of the atmosphere to change, mainly complex precipitation processes, which will then change global temperatures. Precipitation is what limits how much of our main greenhouse gas, water vapor, is allowed to accumulate in the atmosphere, thus preventing a runaway greenhouse effect. For instance, a small change in wind shear associated with a change in atmospheric circulation patterns, could slightly change the efficiency with which precipitation systems remove water vapor, leading to global warming or global cooling

    We analyzed 7.5 years of our latest and best NASA satellite data and discovered that, when the effect of clouds-causing-temperature-change is accounted for, cloud feedbacks in the real climate system are strongly negative. The negative feedback was so strong that it more than cancelled out the positive water vapor feedback we also found.

  58. Here’s another nice graph that explains why you probably don’t need to panic if you own a beach house.

    As you can see, we’ve had long Ice Ages at CO2 concentrations ten times higher than current levels. CO2 just isn’t strong enough to drive temperatures.

    And this little graph helps explain why: ever since Antarctica became isolated, the Earth has been pretty cold.

    We should actually worry a lot more about the next Ice Age. We know it will happen, we really have very little idea when it will happen, and as things stand now it would virtually exterminate the human race.

  59. The article is right on.

    The sad part is that this whole thing has been obvious for many years. Who really believed that India and China would cut their emissions when they are rapidly growing countries, highly dependent on affordable (i.e. fossil) fuel?

    Only the same folks who believe the “scientific consensus” of the AGW alarmists. The ones who call any doubter a “denialist”; the ones who think that having a paper peer reviewed makes it right; the ones who think science is about consensus; the ones who think only oil company funding can cause biased results in science, while ignoring the suppression of younger skeptical scientists in academia; the ones who know the science is settled, when in reality the models are very rough and operating in an untested domain, and are not accurate physical models to being with due to chaos, the tremendous uncertainty about accurate parameterization, and the grossly undersampled spatial and temporal domains.

    Get this, true believers: even if you are right, nobody is going to cause a significant change in the atmospheric CO2 trend as a result of governmental action. IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN. It ain’t gonna happen even if everyone believes the models (which would itsel be a bad day). IT SIMPLY WILL NOT HAPPEN.

    Which means that all the thrashing around with economy killing measures like the Cap and Trade bill. err tax, err corruption machine – will do nothing but enrich some special interests while hurting the rest of us through raised costs and a damaged economy (remember the tortilla riots in Mexico caused by our deranged corn ethanol porkfest?).

  60. TallDave | July 19, 2009, 12:24am | #

    Remote is good. Remote means no one is building a tarmac or an air conditioner next to the sensing apparatus.

    The heat island effect has been studied to death, Talldave, and you damned well know it.
    And please how all the urban heat islands are causing warming to be strongest in the Arctic. That must be a fun one for you crackpots to attempt to explain.

    Who? I cited 5 different studies with about a dozen different scientists. Let me know when they start comparing AGW proponents to Nazis, or get arrested, or demand war crimes trials. I’m pretty sure we’re way ahead.

    You largely cited data that did not even back the claims you were trying to make, let alone your distorted interpretations.

    It’s more likely to be correct than not to be, which is why I said “likely” to begin with. You should probably worry more about your own understanding.

    That’s the thing, Dave. When you make challenging measurements and wind up with something that contradicts common sense, theory at all levels, and data from other sources, you suspect the data. It is obvious from the abstract the authors do. Why don’t you?

    Here’s another nice graph that explains why you probably don’t need to panic if you own a beach house.

    Again, you show something irrelevant. Wholesale changes to the atmosphere and biosphere have occured over that time frame.

    Because unlike a pool of water, the atmosphere produces clouds (which block sunlight) and rain (which reduces water content). This probably explains why the Earth’s temperature has never risen much above 22 degrees in 4 billion years.

    Dave, you do not even know what you are talking about. Basic physics and chemistry (and the world’s most advanced models) predict that you will get more clouds and rain if you heat the planet and add vapor to the atmosphere. What you are willfully ignoring is La Chatlier’s principle, which I am sure you studied when you were sixteen but must have forgotten. When water vapor leaves to form clouds or raindrops, more will evaporate out of the ocean to replace it.

  61. Dave, you do not even know what you are talking about. Basic physics and chemistry (and the world’s most advanced models) predict that you will get more clouds and rain if you heat the planet and add vapor to the atmosphere. What you are willfully ignoring is La Chatlier’s principle, which I am sure you studied when you were sixteen but must have forgotten. When water vapor leaves to form clouds or raindrops, more will evaporate out of the ocean to replace it.

    Those words alone indicate why the cap and trade nonsense will be perpetuated in the United States but not in the developing world- how many millions of absolutely arrogant people like Chad are out there ? Who think that they have all the answers !

    Chad, your brand of alarmism is enitrely based on inaccurate models to say the least – a simple Google search would reveal that. Throw away all those things that you think you “know” – it doesnt matter – because what you most definitely lack is common sense.

    Cap and Trade is ECONOMIC HIRAKIRI for a developing country of the size of India or China. Plain and simple.

    But coming to the point of this article, no one in India or China who has two brain cells will ever agree to the monstrosity of the proposals coming from the US and European nations – if you do REALLY BELIEVE that the world is going to come to an end because of “global warming” ( sorry, climate change right?), you would have to explain HOW the most industrialized nations in the world that have been growing for the better part of the last 75 years should now be dictating to the rest of the developing world (which still has half a billion people living in extreme poverty)

    Another component that Dalmia does not talk about is how this effort by America is rightly seen in India as nothing more than imperialist arm twisting by the Western world – you guys now get to dictate how many coal plants we should and shouldnt have ?

    And WORSE anti nuclear ayatollahs like Markey, Waxman and Obama tried their LEVEL BEST to KILL the India-US civilian nuclear deal – so, we shouldnt be operating coal plants NOR nuclear plants for civilian energy, according to these morons !

    Let me guess how we are “supposed” to live then – generate power by tilting at windmills. Quick, some one call Don Quixote.

    The irony of a black US President trying to arm twist developing nations into subsuming their energy demands for the “good of the world” is just mind blowing.

    What is Rudyard Kipling going to call this ? The Black Man’s Burden ??

    Talk about “meddling” in other countries internal affairs !

  62. I recently crashed into neighbors car. My solution: I will not pay for the damage unless all our neighbors who could one day crash a car also pay some of my share. I find this demand of mine rather reasonable?

  63. One needn’t worry… regardless of what the government tries to do about carbon emissions, the US will reduce it’s emissions in the next couple of years, involuntarily.

    As the economy continues it’s debt-riddled collapse, factories are shut down, new construction is halted, and fewer goods are produced, shipped and consumed, America will inevitably emit less CO2.

    For a precedent example, see Russia or East Germany’s CO2 emissions in the 1990’s.

    Eco-warriors would love to claim a victory for this, which I think is driving some of the urgency in passing a cap & trade scheme before the decline becomes apparent.

  64. The good news is that Washington D.C. finally had its first true summerlike day last Thursday!

    But it only lasted a day though. Today on July 19, we’re right back down to highs of around 83 and lows of around 67. Definitely below normal.

  65. The heat island effect has been studied to death, Talldave, and you damned well know it.

    Then why aren’t they fixing GISS? Why, it’s almost like Hansen isn’t objective, or something.

    And please how all the urban heat islands are causing warming to be strongest in the Arctic.

    Fewer station, larger error, and anyways the Arctic could be warming while other places are cooling. Means nothing.

    You largely cited data that did not even back the claims you were trying to make, let alone your distorted interpretations.

    Heh. Now THAT’S desperation.

    Basic physics and chemistry (and the world’s most advanced models) predict that you will get more clouds and rain if you heat the planet and add vapor to the atmosphere.

    You should tell the GCM modellers that. Clearly you didn’t read the link; they’ve been ignoring clouds.

    The AGW proponents who are asking for trillions in taxes to address the alleged problem have a high bar because they have to prove four separate things:

    1) The Earth is warming. This looked pretty good from the late 1970s through 1998, now it’s a bit more doubtful. The modern proxies suggest the current period is not unusual.

    2) The warming is being driven primarily by CO2. This is much much harder to prove. Historically, CO2 has trailed warming, suggesting the cause/effect relationship proposed here is inverted. Few AGW advocates seem to realize none of the models actually calculate CO2 warming directly, they just look for warming they can’t explain and then assign CO2 as the cause (hence “forcing”). This sort of inductive reasoning is always dangerous, and assumes we have a much more complete understanding of climate than is the case (the mdoels even ignore things we DO know about, see above). AGWers also like to cite Venus (95% CO2) as “proof” of CO2 warming, but tend to ignore Mars (also 95% CO2).

    3) Assuming 1 & 2 are true, this CO2-induced warming is a dangerous trend that will accelerate in the future. This is pretty unlikely; it’s clear from history that NOTHING CO2 does is going to be relevant on the scale of Antarctica moving over the southern pole. We’ve had the same temperatures at 700 ppm and 7000 ppm, so it’s hard to argue CO2 is very strong.

    4) Assuming 1,2, and three is true, spending these trillions will address this issue. Here it really falls apart. China, Russia, Africa, and India will never accept this, so cutting our own CO2 will not do much to fix the problem.

  66. What you are willfully ignoring is La Chatlier’s principle, which I am sure you studied when you were sixteen but must have forgotten. When water vapor leaves to form clouds or raindrops, more will evaporate out of the ocean to replace it./blockquote>

    And what you are ignoring, even though it was pointed out to you before, is that the form of that water is important: if it forms low level clouds (as models and other evidence suggest), it becomes very strong negative feedback, since those clouds powerfully raise the earth’s albedo.

    If one actually thinks that the impact of CO2 on temperature will make any difference in the rate at which humans release CO2 (and it won’t, as the article and several of us said), the one must address the problems with both paleoclimatic data and models.

    Paleoclimatic data is poor – especially the surface temperature record. The GISS data is an example of that. It suffers from many biases (urban heat island being one of them). Supposedly attempts are made to correct for these. Interestingly, each time it is corrected, the resulting time series shows MORE warming. The statistical probability of this happening is low – corrections should refine the data but are unlikely to always shift the slope in the same direction!

    Furthermore, the corrections are very weak. One of the benefits of the internet is that more people can contribute to the analysis of data. For most of the history of the controversy, the raw data was not available, and the researchers refused to release the algorithms. If you think that this is an example of science working the it is supposed to, you are misguided. This is science working the way it used to before modern technology made it possible to tighten the feedback loop through data sharing.

    However, the most important problem is the lack of skill in the models, and the inability of modelers to calibrate them. Economic policy decisions with enormous human impact should not be based on speculative science – which is what modern climate forecasting really is.

    For that matter, serious climatologists won’t use the word forecast, because they know they can’t do it. Instead, they seek to measure sensitivity. But they are not measuring the sensitivity of the atmosphere, they are measuring the sensitivity of their models. Extrapolating that to future atmosphere is extremely weak.

  67. Let me add… one strong sign of pathological science is the demonization of skeptics. In the AGW area, not only are they called “deniars” (to link them holocaust deniers), they also suffer direct threats to their reputation and livelihood if they are scientists.

    You may have noticed that over the last few years, quite a few very senior scientists in the atmospheric field (including the “father of Climatology”) have come out very strongly against the pronouncements of the AGW proponents and the alarmist predictions and policy recommendations.

    The reason these are senior scientists is that they are safe from the career wrecking that happens to more junior scientists if they say the same thing. I personally know scientists in the field who avoid publishing in the field because of the threat to their reputations. I know one who lost all government funding (to the point of having to leave academia) because of his politically incorrect research.

    This is pathological science on stilts. It means that the results coming from the AGW research community are not facing normal scientific feedback – results contradicting the “consensus” hypothesis are not allowed to be published, and research likely to lead to this is not going to be funded. The lack of these counter-trend articles are themselves strong evidence that science has run off the rails in these fields. Consensus in science is NOT normal until the proof is indisputable – so the “consensus” we have here is artificial, and the only thing indisputable (and therefore unfalsifiable and therefore unscientific) are the AGW hypotheses.

  68. ^John Moore :

    That doesn’t just go for climate science. Ostracism is a tactic of choice for progressives in general. Instead of making a rational argument, shun anyone that dissents from the orthodoxy. They sit around in a circle jerk agreeing with eachother and enjoying a feeling of being smarter and superior to the lesser mortals who aren’t “with it”.

  69. I recently crashed into neighbors car. My solution: I will not pay for the damage unless all our neighbors who could one day crash a car also pay some of my share.

    Yeah, very reasonable, it’s called Auto Insurance. Keep trying.

  70. Let me add… one strong sign of pathological science is the demonization of skeptics. In the AGW area, not only are they called “deniars” (to link them holocaust deniers), they also suffer direct threats to their reputation and livelihood if they are scientists.

    The now deceased Michael Crichton talked about this very thing in his essay “Why Politicized Science is Dangerous”, which is must reading for everyone interested in this subject.

  71. I recently crashed into neighbors car. My solution: I will not pay for the damage unless all our neighbors who could one day crash a car also pay some of my share.

    Certain people claim you’re inevitably going to crash your car someday, killing innocent people. The solution: jail you today.

  72. John Moore | July 19, 2009, 2:04pm | #
    Let me add… one strong sign of pathological science is the demonization of skeptics. In the AGW area, not only are they called “deniars” (to link them holocaust deniers), they also suffer direct threats to their reputation and livelihood if they are scientists.

    Skeptics and deniars are entirely different beasts. You guys are largely deniars. The key distinction? Skeptics question the data that supports their beliefs. The folks around here not only accept any data that even provides the tiniest hint that something might be not going 100% against them as gospel truth, and then proceed to exaggerate it to no end….all the while ignoring a thousand times as much data pointing the other way.

    That isn’t skeptism. That is simply denial.

    Pro tip: If you are spending your time reading crackpot sites, which distill and deliberately mis-interpret the data for you, you are not a skeptic.

  73. John Moore | July 19, 2009, 2:04pm | #
    Let me add… one strong sign of pathological science is the demonization of skeptics. In the AGW area, not only are they called “deniars” (to link them holocaust deniers), they also suffer direct threats to their reputation and livelihood if they are scientists.

    You may have noticed that over the last few years, quite a few very senior scientists in the atmospheric field (including the “father of Climatology”) have come out very strongly against the pronouncements of the AGW proponents and the alarmist predictions and policy recommendations.

    If by “quite a few” you mean something like three, you may have a point. Either that, your definition of “senior” is a lot lower than scientists intepret it.

    Please explain how many “quite a few” is exactly, and approximately how large of a pool this “quite a few” comes from.

    I do find it funny that you have to sink to using the dead in order to back up your claims. Never mind that the guy hasn’t done active research in decades.

  74. And btw, I can safely qualify myself as a skeptic, because I spend far more time bickering with you guys than I do preaching with the choir. If you guys have one merit, it is that you can find the “best” data out there for your point of view.

    I say “best” very losely.

  75. Btw, here is realclimate’s smackdown of the heat island argument.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/the-surface-temperature-record-and-the-urban-heat-island/

    Actually, the routinely smack down every argument you guys keep spewing. I highly recommend you pursue the status of “skeptic” and spend three times as much time reading realclimate or climateprogress as you do reading your crackpot sites. Also, there is a nice video series on youtube called “climate denial crock of the week”…greenman hands you guys your rear in a rotten sack in an easily digested video form.

  76. All of this should have been apparent to anybody who gave the matter a little thought back when GW alarmists began yelping. Or maybe I’m missing something big.

    What right do we or any other nation have to dictate to others what they can do with their own natural resources, especially when all they want is to follow the path we have already taken to build a powerful economy and a high standard of living? The U.N. be damned.

    What becomes clear is that the reason Al Gore and the people who elected him Global Warming Czar are so infatuated with this “cause” is that it gives them a theoretical reason to overrule everybody else for the sake of “saving the planet.” But all the brainwashing in the world is not going to convince China and India to be content with their lot, nor should it.

    The tide has already turned on American public opinion, as soon as people started to realize how eliminating carbon emissions is going to hit them where they live.

    If this were really a valid issue, rich liberals in San Francisco and L.A. wouldn’t be leading it, because the prevailing winds carry their carbon emissions to Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, N.M., Colorado, etc.

    Where I live, in So. Utah, btw could really use some acid rain. The soil is quite alkaline in the Colorado basin. Why can’t California build some sulfur belching power plants of their own instead of buying power from us?

    As for Krugman’s use of the “how to boil a frog” story, how dumb can you get? The way to boil a frog is to put a lid on the pot and deprive him of any opportunity to get out when he starts to feel uncomfortable. That parable is one of my pet peeves because it’s so obviously nonsense and yet people to continue to use it.

    A better example would be how do you deprive a free people of their rights and independence? Slowly, by degrees, with blandishments from a government with apparently boundless financial resources (You know. The rich.). You stop teaching critical thinking and the skills needed for informing one’s self in schools and substitute propaganda, and faith in the technocrats who will plan everything for us to bring about paradise on Earth, just like it says in the Constitution, which you also “interpret” into a mangled shell of itself.

  77. better example would be how do you deprive a free people of their rights

    You do not have, nor have never had, the right to dump your trash on my property, nor public property. What makes you think that you do?

    and independence

    Unless you are living on your own little desert island, you are anything but independant.

  78. Actually, the routinely smack down every argument you guys keep spewing

    Heh, right, because science is all about the smack down.

    I loved their response to the forecasting scientists pointing out the GCM forecasts violated 72 scientific principles of forecasting: “Uh, well, our models aren’t forecasts, they’re physcial models, so when we forecast temperatures we can ignore all the rules.” Never mind that forecasting scientists have been studying the predictions of physical models for decades.

    Similarly, when we find that 80% of the stations don’t meet the GISS’ own standards, the response is “so what, we don’t see any difference on windy days.” This for a signal that is tenths of a degree over decades. This is not good science; it’s not even good propaganda. In any case, the heat islands aren’t necessarily urban, they’re often present in rural stations as well (blacktops, air conditioners, etc.) so their point is largely irrelevant anyway.

    Here’s the 90-part series on bad stations.

    The evidence for a serious AGW problem is weak. This is why proponents are generally forced to resort to namecalling: the real science just isn’t on their side.

    What becomes clear is that the reason Al Gore and the people who elected him Global Warming Czar are so infatuated with this “cause” is that it gives them a theoretical reason to overrule everybody else for the sake of “saving the planet.”

    Exactly. This is as much as about power as anything.

  79. Heh, right, because science is all about the smack down

    “Smack down” is a technical scientific term. I wouldn’t expect you ignorant planet-murdering denialists to understand it.

    Enjoy your cell, war criminal.

  80. Good news for beadchfront-property-owning denialists: sea level rise is actually trending flatter. Remember, this is the thing supposed to be thing we’re worried most about re AGW.

    Here’s a simple questions I like to put to AGWers: how many decades of flat or cooling temperatures would convince you AGW is not a catastrophic problem that we need to spend trillions on?

    Surprisingly, many proponents have no answer to this question. Thus AGW is, by definition, not a scientific theory for them, because it cannot be falsified.

    Myself, I was nearly convinced AGW was a real issue in 1998 (at least the warming part, the alleged consequences are still largely speculative). Since then, I’ve been given considerable reason to doubt. But even now, a good decade of UAH readings above the IPCC predictions would convince me we should at least look at the possibility of CO2-induced warming.

  81. CO2 is just the latest excuse for politicians to use to separate the taxpayer from his or her money. Don’t buy it. We can’t control the climate. Even if we could, it would only work if EVERYONE got on board. And they’re not. So what now, are the ENVIRO’s going to take all that Cap and Trade moola and start relocating folks in low-lying areas. Nah, too expensive. They’ll use it to build a green infrastructure that will be less efficient, more expensive, and ultimately not produce enough energy. Oh, and the people who run the green industries will be more to their liking politically speaking. This is a massive campaign to unseat the current business oligarchy and install a new one. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  82. TallDave | July 20, 2009, 12:01am | #
    Good news for beadchfront-property-owning denialists: sea level rise is actually trending flatter. Remember, this is the thing supposed to be thing we’re worried most about re AGW.

    Dave, I really love you. The harder you try, the deeper the hole you dig for yourself. Again, you result to short-term trends to attempt to disprove a long-term trend. The ocean hasn’t risen much during a couple of cooler years? Really? Should anyone be surprised?

    How many times are you going to let a little La Nina fool you? You can’t be that dumb.

    Here’s a simple questions I like to put to AGWers: how many decades of flat or cooling temperatures would convince you AGW is not a catastrophic problem that we need to spend trillions on?

    Five or so. Surely not POINT five, especially a point five that corresponds to two well-understood short-term cooling cycles.

    Even without the climate change issue, we should be spending trillions on this anyway. There are a host of other benefits with respect to clean air, ocean acidification, safety, general health, etc.

  83. That doesn’t just go for climate science. Ostracism is a tactic of choice for progressives in general.

    What is it called when you are whiny and petulant because your science denialism isn’t given affirmative action in public discourse? You want a seat at the table, address the data. All of it, not just the data that allegedly supports your position.

  84. Once again, the alarmists here are using ad hominem attacks.

    Chad

    Skeptics and deniars are entirely different beasts. You guys are largely deniars. The key distinction? Skeptics question the data that supports their beliefs. The folks around here not only accept any data that even provides the tiniest hint that something might be not going 100% against them as gospel truth, and then proceed to exaggerate it to no end….all the while ignoring a thousand times as much data pointing the other way.

    Is see. So by your brilliant, scientific telepathic mind reading, you have deduced that we are cherry picking the data. That when I read, for example, my various AMS journals I am doing it just for the girlie pictures.

    You sir, are blinded by your own prejudice.

    You have failed to address many problems, so I’ll just mention three:

    1) That whatever the science says, mankind will continue to increase CO2 emissions. Hence from a policy standpoint, the scientific debate is moot.

    2) The models cannot be calibrated.

    3) Models skill at cloud droplet size prediction is very low, and cloud droplet size is the most important factor in H2O albedo modulation.

  85. More Brad babblings:

    If by “quite a few” you mean something like three, you may have a point. Either that, your definition of “senior” is a lot lower than scientists intepret it.

    Please explain how many “quite a few” is exactly, and approximately how large of a pool this “quite a few” comes from.

    I do find it funny that you have to sink to using the dead in order to back up your claims. Never mind that the guy hasn’t done active research in decades.

    “Quite a few” is at least in the scores – and that’s SENIOR scientists who are free to express their skepticism.

    Nice of you, btw, to trash the father of Climatology. I’m sure he knows far less about the subject than, say, you do.

  86. The harder you try, the deeper the hole you dig for yourself. Again, you result to short-term trends to attempt to disprove a long-term trend. The ocean hasn’t risen much during a couple of cooler years?

    I don’t think you understand how big a problem this is for AGW scenarios of massive sea level rise. Remember, sea levels have been rising since the Ice Age ended, even in cooler years; what is of concern is the rate of acceleration.

    Do you have any idea what even one flat year does to the already tiny acceleration of the last century? It pretty much destroys it. That means there is NO EFFECT on sea level rise from the alleged warming.

    Five decades? Wow, that’s quite a tall order. But at least you picked a timeframe for falsifiability that some of us will live to see. That’s better than a lot of AGWers do.

    Even without the climate change issue, we should be spending trillions on this anyway. There are a host of other benefits with respect to clean air, ocean acidification, safety, general health, etc.

    Truly laughable. Clean air has nothing to do with CO2 levels. Safety has nothing to do with CO2 levels. General health has nothing to do with CO2 levels. And it’s absurd to spend trillions on CO2 because of ocean acidification when they’ve been fine under CO2 levels ten times higher.

  87. Nobody is going to convince me that the world is getting any warmer. The hottest year in recent Michigan history was 1988. We has about 40 days that summer over 90 degrees and 5 over 100. This year is on track to be one of the coldest on record. So far we have had 5 days over 80. This is after a bitter winter and a very late spring. Farm crops are growing so slowly that production is likely to be down 25 percent. If temps are going to track co2 levels at all, wouldn’t there be a significant increase in temps over a 20 year period?

  88. John Moore | July 20, 2009, 1:39pm | #

    “Quite a few” is at least in the scores – and that’s SENIOR scientists who are free to express their skepticism.

    Nice of you, btw, to trash the father of Climatology. I’m sure he knows far less about the subject than, say, you do.

    Uhh…he is dead.

    Can you provide a list of these scores of “senior” scientists? I know Senator Inhofe tried, and failed miserably.

    http://www.centerforinquiry.net/newsroom/ranking_members_senate_minority_report_on_global_warming_not_credible_says_/

    He could only about 70 that even qualified as “climate scientists” in general, let alone “senior”. There are probably 5000 or people who would qualify as “climate scientists” around the world, a couple hundred of whom probably deserve the title of “senior”.

    Of course, Inhofe then padded his list with 90% TV weathermen and anyone with a PhD after their name who was willing to sign on. He got almost 700 names, but now out of a pool that numbers something closer to a 100,000.

    Hardly impressive.

    Btw, The Center of Inquiry is what true skeptics should aspire towards.

  89. Clean air has nothing to do with CO2 levels.

    Wow, that is so dead wrong I don’t even know where to start. Do you not realize that the vast majority of air pollution comes from the same sources as our CO2 emissions? Coal is the biggest culprit on both accounts.

    Unless we are stupid and try to sequester coal emissions (which will increase air pollution), virtually every other viable technology has far less emissions than coal. Likewise, our vehicles will become increasingly electric, reducing emissions even if powered ultimately by coal, and by a lot if they are not.

    Safety has nothing to do with CO2 levels.

    Perhaps you do not realize how dangerous driving is. It is by far the most hazardous thing that we do every day. There were some interesting studies that showed that the 2006/2007 gas price spike saved several thousand lives.

    And of course, removing Russia and Iran’s hands from our nuts makes us just a wee bit safer too, don’t you think?

    General health has nothing to do with CO2 levels.

    Fewer cars and more public transport = fewer fat-asses. Please leave North America once and see for yourself.

    And it’s absurd to spend trillions on CO2 because of ocean acidification when they’ve been fine under CO2 levels ten times higher.

    “They” might have been fine, but the plant and animal life wasn’t…until it had millions of years to evolutionarily adapt to its new scenarios. We are already committed to the sixth great extinction. How much worse are you willing to let it get?

  90. Do you not realize that the vast majority of air pollution comes from the same sources as our CO2 emissions?

    Yes, but those aren’t CO2 emissions, which have no health consequences. This is like saying “Did you know the vast majority of water pollution has water in it? We need to ban water emissions!”

    Perhaps you do not realize how dangerous driving is.

    You want to ban driving? Perhaps you don’t realize we live in a free country.

    Fewer cars and more public transport = fewer fat-asses.

    What?? How does taking the bus make you less fat? Have you even been on a bus? They are not full of skinny people. Trust me on this.

    Please leave North America once and see for yourself.

    Oh dear God. Those people are skinny because they can’t afford as much food as we can. And do you know why? Because they don’t have big honking industries and ag mechanization that allows 1 U.S. farmer to produce what takes 100 farmers in Cambodia, and 1 U.S. worker to produce ten times the value of a Chinese worker.

    “They” might have been fine, but the plant and animal life wasn’t…

    The plants and animals were fine then and they’re fine now. As with all AGW doom-mongering, the impacts are largely speculative.

  91. He could only about 70 that even qualified as “climate scientists” in general, let alone “senior”. There are probably 5000 or people who would qualify as “climate scientists” around the world, a couple hundred of whom probably deserve the title of “senior”.

    There you go again, treating science like it is a matter of numbers, rather than a process that is extremely anti-democratic on purpose.

  92. TallDave | July 20, 2009, 7:39pm | #

    Yes, but those aren’t CO2 emissions, which have no health consequences. This is like saying “Did you know the vast majority of water pollution has water in it? We need to ban water emissions!”

    Talldave, how hard is it to understand? Almost all technologies that reduce CO2 emissions also significantly reduce air pollution. If you pass laws reducing CO2 emissions, emissions of just about everything else we dump into the atmosphere will go down as well. Given that air pollution kills hundreds of thousands of people worldwide every year, that is quite a non-trivial benefit.

    You want to ban driving? Perhaps you don’t realize we live in a free country.

    So do the Japanese and Europeans…but they drive a hell of a lot less than us, because they haven’t subsidized an ineffecient, expensive, and dangerous car culture. Actually, they are quite a bit MORE free when it comes to transportation. My little old grandmother is essentially trapped in her house unless a family member comes to rescue her. The same is not true of my Japanese friends’ grandmas, who can hop on the train and go wherever they want. If that isn’t freedom, I don’t know what is.

    What?? How does taking the bus make you less fat?

    Do you have a bus stop in your garage? 30 minutes of walking each day makes a huge improvement in your health.

    Have you even been on a bus? They are not full of skinny people. Trust me on this.

    Yes, I have used buses as my primary commuting tool both here and abroad. All you are noting is that poor people are fat in America, and generally only poor people use the bus.

    Oh dear God. Those people are skinny because they can’t afford as much food as we can.

    Wow, you really never have been outside the US, have you. Americans eat garbage compared to what most people around the world eat…and I do mean “most”. I am not suggesting we live like Cambodians, but rather something like the Japanese or Europeans…and yes, they are darned skinny compared to us precisely because of the kinds of changes we need to make with respect to climate change.

    Just think! Fighting climate change = more hot chicks!

    The plants and animals were fine then and they’re fine now.

    You’ve never read anything about the mass extinctions, have you. Wiping out 50% or more of species on earth is not “fine” by any standard.

    As with all AGW doom-mongering, the impacts are largely speculative.

    There was a peer-reviewed paper in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology this year that estimated that 1C = 10% of species extinct. Perhaps you don’t find that scary. I do.

  93. I can tell most of you arguing about pollution are pretty young or you have forgotten your youth. The pollution in the 60’s in the U.S. in some areas was like what we saw in China before the Olympics. We have been very successful in reducing air pollution since then. It is a non problem in most parts of the country. Have you ever heard of the law of diminishing returns. Greens keep trying to get us to spend more money to combat smaller problems when the money could be better spent on something totally different like health care or just left in people’s pockets.

  94. There was a peer-reviewed paper in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology this year that estimated that 1C = 10% of species extinct. Perhaps you don’t find that scary. I do.

    In that case, the world must be a very scary place for you, since that is well within the range of normal climate variation.

  95. John Moore | July 21, 2009, 1:37pm | #

    In that case, the world must be a very scary place for you, since that is well within the range of normal climate variation.

    You are confusing the SIZE of a change with the SPEED of the change. The article is specifically about the current situation, which is happening, in a geological sense, in the blink of an eye. Many species will not have a chance to adapt or migrate due to the rapid chance in climate.

  96. iblain | July 21, 2009, 7:20am | #

    It is a non problem in most parts of the country.

    If you don’t find ~70,000 of your fellow citizens dying each year a problem, I don’t think we have much to talk about.

  97. chad:

    You are confusing the SIZE of a change with the SPEED of the change. The article is specifically about the current situation, which is happening, in a geological sense, in the blink of an eye. Many species will not have a chance to adapt or migrate due to the rapid chance in climate.

    Not in the slightest. A 1 degree C change of climate is within the normal range of SHORT TERM climate variability.

  98. John Moore | July 21, 2009, 6:42pm | #

    Not in the slightest. A 1 degree C change of climate is within the normal range of SHORT TERM climate variability.

    What “short term” are you talking about? Random fluctuations on the yearly or decadal scale are about .1 C, not 1C…and surely not the 3C that we are likely to see in under by the end of the century.

    In any case, fluctuations of that duration are not sufficient to wipe something out. A bad winter or parched summer or two can be handled. Ninety out of a hundred cannot.

  99. Random fluctuations at subcontinental levels certainly exceed 1C, and at global levels can also reach that. For example, Pinatubo produced global cooling of .5C. The “little ice age was a cooling of around 1C, and the recovery from it has been a warming of 1C, so I guess we lost 20% of species from that cycling, eh?

    Frankly, the idea that 1C will cause 10% to go extinct is highly suspicions (and remember, peer review does NOT mean right). Most studies I have seen show species ranges move, not disappear.

    There is also the problem with how you count species? Are we talking species including all bacteria and viruses? Are we just talking warm and cuddly or cute things?

    It’s BS

  100. the econazis want to get as much people killed as possible eh ?

    The fucking liberals (and the fucking conservatives) in the ‘civilized’ west are willing to sacrifice people in the ‘developing’ nations so that they can carry on they fucking dogoodism.

  101. Chad, I don’t believe that air pollution is, all by itself, killing 70,000 people a year. Maybe it is shortening a theoretical perfect life by a few months but then again, the prosperity that cheap energy gives us has probably lenghened that life by many years. Life is about making choices and there are always tradeoffs. Like I said, greens are always trying to get us to spend more and more on fewer benefits.

  102. I imagine that Chad views vaccines as killing and maiming so many people rather than saving so many lives.

  103. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets…in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke

  104. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp.

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