Obama on Dealing With the Climate Change Naysayers



While I was away last week, a climatologist I know called me up and asked if I'd heard President Barack Obama's "cleantech" speech at MIT. I hadn't. So what's up? My caller suggested that I might find this section interesting:

The naysayers, the folks who would pretend that this is not an issue, they are being marginalized.  But I think it's important to understand that the closer we get, the harder the opposition will fight and the more we'll hear from those whose interest or ideology run counter to the much needed action that we're engaged in.

Only opponents have interests or are benighted ideologues? Of course, the defenders of the status quo climate have no interests other than the public's and no ideological commitments whatsoever. But the president continued:

There are going to be those who cynically claim—make cynical claims that contradict the overwhelming scientific evidence when it comes to climate change, claims whose only purpose is to defeat or delay the change that we know is necessary.

So we're going to have to work on those folks.

My climatologist caller was wondering what the president might mean by "work on those folks"? Hmm.

NEXT: Obama Signs Federal Hate Crime Law

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  1. It’s always “folks” with this guy.

    1. It makes him sound less threatening as he extends his power. Like Huey Long.

    2. He’s makes ‘folksy’ sound insanely sinister.

      That’s some true fucking talent right there.

    3. Maybe he’ll make GM produce “folks wagons”.

  2. It’s always “folks” with this guy.

    You have no idea how hard it was for his handlers to get him to stop calling the audience “my niggaz”.

    1. winner!

    2. winner AND racist!

  3. Never mind that there are people at the highest levels of the push to save us all from AGW that have stated things like “we shouldn’t be asking shat can we do about global warming, but what can global warming do for us.” or, “the science is secondary to the policy goals”. Never mind that the agreement they want signed at Copenhagen creates an organization to enforce conformity to their standards, and to collect and redistribute funds to those who have been wronged by the evil rich first world countries.

    There is absolutely no ideology pushing their agenda, and the science is settled. Just ignore those skeptics, their all idiots, and their degrees and body of work amounts to nothing of value. Ignore the contradictions, the lack of modeling accuracy, the failure of predictions, and the poor methodology used to build those models and their predictions.

  4. we shouldn’t be asking shat can we do about global warming

    Why not? Go ahead, ask me.

    1. Well, this new and disproved technology has screwed with me again. I had posted a one word comment “Shat!” with a link to another site. Apparently, a single linked word is a moderatable event.

      It’s not spam! Damn you Squirrel! And damn your threaded comments!

      1. Squirrels are nothing after you’ve faced Nomad and won.

        1. Dude, you beat Nomad twice!

      2. If you were linking to 2 girls, 1 cup, let me be the first to thank the Mighty Squirrel.

        1. But I was linking to Shat!

  5. My climatologist caller was wondering what the president might mean by “work on those folks”? Hmm.

    Allow me to translate from Chicago to American: Work them over. Bring back jobs for union enforcers. Revoke their broadcast licenses.

  6. Sweet! We are saved by the all-knowing Kirk…er…Bill…Save us oh wise one!

  7. Work them over.

    With a two-by-four- er, the full might of the nanny state’s benevolent fist.

  8. First we start with the knee caps, if breaking those don’t work, then we really get rough.

  9. OK, I get it now! Obama *is* Darth Sidious!

    It was the hooded cape that threw me off. Really.

  10. When Bush called people “folks” everyone said he sounded like a retard because of it.

  11. Neighbor: “Where’s Ron these days?”

    Mrs. Ron: “Getting some work done.”

    Neighbor: “Really? Gee, that’s what you said 2 weeks ago. Hey, spooky how that guy that washed up on the river bank looked just like Ron. Whew! Weird. Well, good to know he’s alright!”

    1. Wade Wilson was the guy who washed up on the riverbank, sorry for the spoiler.

    2. “Spook” is racist!

      1. Depends on what kind of spook it is.

  12. “work on those folks”

    In reducation camps run by the 250,000 teachers whose jobs were saved or created by the stimulant program.

  13. Hey Obama, you stupid Harvard ‘educated’ retard: asking questions is part of science.

    Obama, how much do humans contribute to the current warming on Earth? Is it 1%, 10%, 80%?

    How much do humans contribute to the current warming on Mars? Is it 1%, 10%, 80%?

    I want those questions answered before your stupidness decides to spend trillions of dollars, not after, fuckbag.

  14. You people do not know more about this subject than the scientific community. You may think you do because of the web sites you read, but you don’t. Denying scientific reality is no way to advance the appeal of libertarianism. I realize that a global catastrophe is not something that can be dealt with by sprinkling magic freedom dust, and that’s probably a big reason why you guys are so resistant to the facts, but a successful philosophy is one that can deal with any set of facts, isn’t it?

    1. You don’t know the difference between your face and a toilet.

      1. Trick comparison. There is none.

        1. not quite true….a properly functioning toilet only accepts incoming streams of waste.

          Tony’s face, however, appears to be functioning properly, but waste is streaming out of it at an alarming rate.

    2. I will believe that global warming/climate change is a big, real issue when the easiest, most immediate solution is proposed as a solution. That’s nuclear power.

      Until then, it seems odd to argue that apocolypse is right around the corner, and that the answer (changing lightbulbs/solar/wind) is to essentially turn that corner and go onto the next one.

      1. Actually, the big power companies disagree. They keep bailing on nuclear because it costs too much.

        1. Why does it cost so much?

    3. Seriously Tony: If a a global catastrophe is right around the corner, why are we spending trillions for a solution that is around a second corner, when a completly viable solution that won’t turn the economy to sludge is right in front of us?

      1. The economics of nuclear make it problematic. The plants take too long to build, require too much capital, and as a result end up giving you much less bang for your buck than other existing tech (wind, solar, improved building design, etc…). It will be in the mix in the longer term, surely, but primarily with newer cheaper distributed systems like the one they are working on in Los Alamos (http://www.culturekiosque.com/nouveau/seen/hyperion_nuclear_battery212.html)

    4. You people do not know more about this subject than the scientific community.

      I suspect we know at least as much about the politics of global warming as they do.

      And last I checked, the “scientific community” was pretty deeply divided on all manner of global warming issues.

      1. When was that? 1974? How about checking again.

        1. Please, oh please say “the science is settled”. I need a drink.

    5. “Denying scientific reality is no way to advance the appeal of libertarianism.”

      Of course not, but your masters obviously seem to think that this is an acceptable tactic when it comes to forcing socialism upon the masses.

      Can you provide any *credible* evidence to support the idea that global warming is anything other than a scam?
      Or will you just send us another invisible pink rainbow-farting unicorn?

      1. Hmm, you raise an interesting point about burden of proof.

        Which stance seems more likely?

        That increasing the proportion of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere for more than a century has no effect on the global ecosystem worth paying attention to, and that the vast majority of climate scientists and every national scientific organization on the planet are either duped or involved in a massive conspiracy to defraud humanity–the motives of which are unclear at best.

        Or that you, random internet person, don’t know what you’re talking about?

        1. The motives of the politicians involved are crystal clear – to increase their own power as much as possible.

          To the extent that honest scientists have been duped into supporting that pre-determined conclusion, that is unclear at best.

          1. You don’t think politicians could come up with a somewhat less convoluted way to increase their power?

            1. If politicians are smart enough to have started this conspriacy clear back in the 1800s, they DESERVE to be your overlords.

        2. I live for your kisses!

        3. Ahhhh….

          More rainbow-farting invisible pink unicorns.

          Color me surprised.

        4. Tony,
          30 years ago, scientific consensus held that stomach ulcers were usually the result of stress or spicy foods. The scientific consensus was wrong. Now, we know the majority of stomach ulcers are caused by bacteria.

          So scientific consensus can be wrong. There is a reason why science is not done by consensus. Science by consensus has been wrong in the past, and it will be wrong in the future.

          1. 90 years ago, scientific consensus agree that Eugenic and the elimination of undesirable genes from the population will save the world.

            1. Well it might have saved us from the likes of Tony and Chad.

          2. I hate the vagueness of this argument. You could say this about virtually anything! Sure, the vast majority of those working in life sciences subscribe to the principles of evolutionary biology, but the consensus could be wrong! Well, that’s dandy. Such an argument basically says nothing worthwhile.

            1. How about the fact that the information regarding the rising temperatures over the last 200 years is credited to core samples from 1000 year old trees.

              Over 200 trees were checked, 50 of which matched the necessary criteria. However, the scientists running the study would not allow a peer review. Recently, an article was written in Science magazine, and others demanded the data. What they found was that only 3 of the 50 viable tree core samples were utilized to create the graph. When all 50 core samples were utilized, no significant warming (and actually a statistically insignificant cooling) was found to actually occur.

              Of course, the original scientist has made a career of endorsing GW.

              1. citation needed.

    6. The scientific community is quite large and not all of it is on board the Global Warming bandwagon.

      Check out the Watts Up with That? blog for an example of accomplished scientists who dispute AGW consensus.

      Note that the word consensus is also meaningless in science. You can either prove something, or you can’t. AGW advocates can’t prove their theory, and therefore they have to resort to the consensus argument.

      1. You can’t prove anything in science either. Proof is for math or logic. Science is empirical.

        1. That’s superficially true from a Popperian perspective, but when a hypothesis has been tested hundreds or thousands of times, by many different experimenters, in many different ways, and all of the resulting data are consistent with the hypothesis, it’s essentially proven true.

          Obviously that’s not the case with AGW since the hypothesis does not lend itself to testing very much.

    7. Look, the data here on GW is sketchy at best. We’ve only been tracking weather patterns for about 100 years or so, and not very thoroughly for most of the time. Meterologists still can’t provide really accurate models of weather patterns. Don’t give me that “core sample” bullshit either. Archeological evidence can only give general averages on a point source. There are so many possible factors that making the positive determination that pollution (which has only gotten really bad within the last 60 years or so) is causing any gross climate alteration is ludicrous at best. Okay?

    8. Facts are such tricky things. That’s why most sciences use theories and people selling something use facts.

  15. Shut the fuck up, Tony.

  16. One of the best articles on global warming:

    Freaked Out Over SuperFreakonomics:
    Global warming might be solved with a helium balloon and a few miles of garden hose.

    1. But that’s not as cool as a space elevator. We need one of those instead.

    2. And sulfur dioxide. You left out the main ingredient.

      I saw that on TV the other night. I think it was a John Stossel special. I agree with what the scientist said, If gobal warming turned into a real doomsday scenario, we would have that garden hose in the sky in a couple days.

  17. Shuty the fucking god damn hell up Tony.

  18. Seriously, is the hedging and denial of scientific reality a method of coping with the fact that libertarianism has nothing to offer to solve this problem? I’m really curious.

    1. Fail. Solution offered above (with Thanks to a Reason article)

      But thanks for playing.

      Now STFU.

      1. I have no problem with nuclear power. How are free market fundies gonna implement a massive global shift to nuclear power when the status quo is so profitable for some at the moment?

        1. Actually, Tony, the same people who want us to run around screaming about how the world is ending due to climate change are the same people who absolutely positively don’t want nuclear on the table as an option.

          We might not have built a single new nuclear plant in 40 years, but the French have been hard at work, and have solved many of the waste disposal issues.

          1. I don’t think that’s true. Some may think it’s not the best solution because of the time it would take to shift to nuclear when other options are more feasible. But I would denounce any irrational opposition to nuclear as much as you would.

            1. Oh, really?

              Then you can start here:

              or here:

        2. Tony: By dropping many of the federal regs that make nuclear power plants currently all but impossible to build.

          YOU may not have problems with nuclear power, but many, 99% even, of global climate change worriers and their political hounds don’t feel the same way. Global warmers never talk about the nuclear solution.

          And I wouldn’t support government pushing it, BUT, if a catostrophe TRULY were around the corner, wouldn’t Obama be negligent in not pushing and funding nuclear?

          1. Clearly, Big B, you don’t know anything about your opponents. Unlike you, I spend a lot of time hanging out with treehuggers. Most of us consider nuclear a necessary evil.

        3. Tell me, who erected all of the barriers to constructing new nuclear power plants? Also, might that not have some effect on profitability?

          1. No! Only greed stops the businessmen and industrialists from doing great things to help humanity!

          2. Indeed. Anti-nuke types are like anti-death penalty types: throw up every delay and roadblock possible, and then they say “See how slow and expensive it is!”

    2. The best solution to the problem is to do nothing and wait until the global warming hysteria subsides.

    3. There you go, assuming your conclusion again. What “problem” is libertarianism supposed to be solving?

      1. There you go, denying scientific reality again.

      2. The problem with Libertarianism is that it ignores the State as a solution to our problems.

        Or something.

        1. Seems to me the problem is that it ignores reality if reality insists that government be involved at all.

          1. So now you, Tony, are the ultimate arbiter of reality? And you have decreed that governments shall be the only solution to problems that you yourself have decreed to be really big and scary?

            Even if that ignores the fact that governments are the largest polluters in the world? You do know that the US military is exempt from EPA regulations, don’t you?

            1. I would MUCH prefer to debate whether or how much government should be involved to solve this particular problem then go around in circles with people who for the most part deny the facts in the first place (so they don’t have to answer the question).

              1. There those damn facts are again. Sure you’re not selling something?

              2. What I really like to ask of people who bitch and moan about global warming: do you still support the government building and maintaining roads while simultaneously subsidizing the automobile industry with such acts? Whatever the negative effects of industry, a huge chunk of the gross global warming would be chopped off had government not gotten involved.

    4. The proposed solutions will do liitle or nothhing what the supposed problem is but will almost certainly have devastating effects on the world economy and human liberty.

      Liberalism has nothing to offer for that problem and in fact seems to welcome the dismantling of the industrilized nations as a desirable outcome.

      And you wonder why we are sceptical at best?

      1. Yes, spending 1-2% of our GPD in order to prevent serious environmental damage and possibly avert a disaster will just DEVASTATE the economy. I mean, dear God, that’s like TEN MONTHS of economic growth. I will have to wait until OCTOBER 2050 to get my IPodBrainInterface 7 instead of having it in JANUARY. Clearly, that would be much, much worse than losing half the species on the planet, flooding the homes of two hundred million families, melting all the glaciers than provide crop water for a third of the world’s population….

        Clearly, our distant decendants will thank us for devastating the environment and trading it for tons of cheap Chinese shit.

  19. No, you’re not curious, fuckface. Fuck yourself.

  20. STFU Tony. Or at least explain to me what “scientific reality” is being denied. Scientific reality is reality as confirmed through some sort of empirical scientific method; predictions about the earth’s temperature 500 years from now are by definition immune to measurement, and thus can’t be scientific reality.

    1. Does it not occur to you that scientists might have sufficient knowledge without having complete knowledge?

      Changes are happening to earth’s ecosystem in the present day that scientists can and do measure. Indeed, most times when scientists make predictions related to climate change, the reality tends to be worse.

      It’s completely illogical to take skepticism about what scientists can know and say the solution is just to do nothing. They know enough. The debate, to the extent that there ever was one, is over. Consult any credible source on the subject (not reason!) and you’d know that.

      1. Credible sources are ones that agree with me.

        1. What a nihilist you are! One wonders how you make it through the day without any sense whatsoever of what sources of information are credible.

      2. argumentum ad verecundiam – Tony doesn’t understand this stuff, and he assumes you don’t understand this stuff, so we should all just listen to the “experts”…but only the ones who say the things that Tony wants to hear.

      3. Tony: Are changes occuring: Yes.

        But there is a big difference between change, and man-made change.

        Assume that temperatures in the the 1950s are the “de facto” temperature for the planet, a planet that has undergone severe shifts in climate time and time again WITHOUT humans, is arrogant to the extreme.

        And that’s the worst part of enviros: They arrogantly assume that the temps “they” chose, ones from the 1950s, must be the “right” ones.

        1. First of all, it is accepted scientific fact that changes in average global temperature are due to human activity.

          Even if it weren’t, why would that make a difference? So it would be a natural disaster rather than a man-made one. I’d think either would warrant attention.

          1. There you go again, mixing up your “political facts” with your “scientific facts”.

            It is accepted scientific fact that human activity has an effect upon global average temperatures.

            The precise nature of that effect is still being debated, as there are many other factors involved in climate change, such as solar output, volcanism, and natural cyclical changes, such as El Nino/La Nina.

            As for why that would make a difference, look at the “solutions” being prescribed to fix this problem that we don’t fully understand: massive changes in infrastructures and economies, changes which will undoubtedly push many people back into poverty. The argument lies in which is worse: the poverty created by global warming, or the poverty created by the proposed fixes for global warming.

            1. I don’t see how it’s proven one way or the other whether green investment will increase poverty or reduce it. It’s definitely nowhere near as certain as what the effects of large increases in average global temperature will be.

              1. “green investment” — even choking down the Orwellian implications is hard.

                You do understand that any current solution except for nuclear WILL raise the cost of energy, right? In fact, that’s the whole idea behind carbon rationing…to raise the cost of traditional energy sources to the point where wind/solar/geothermal/etc are competitive?

                And do you understand that paying more for energy drives the cost of EVERYTHING else up?

                1. Perhaps. So? Maybe energy was too cheap. The costs of polluting our shared environment have never been factored in, after all.

                  1. Nope. Absolutely nothing has been done about pollution in America. Not a single thing.

                  2. Obviously energy is too cheap, Tony can afford to run a computer.

                  3. And now we get down to the brass tacks of environmentalism.

                    What you’re really selling is neo-puritanical asceticism. Humans have become tainted by sin and avarice, and we must renounce worldly things in order to gain salvation.

                    All you’ve done is change the threatened consequences from eternal hellfire to global warming.

                    Blah, blah, blah, take your religion elsewhere.

                    1. No, actually. Is everyone on this site like 80 years old? You act like environmentalists are still this 1970s spotted-owl-obsessed stereotype.

                      We’re not interested in people’s moral rectitude, we’re trying to rescue the planet from ecological catastrophe.

                    2. With all due respect, Tony:
                      Rather than seeing the world as merely one of bourgeoisie raping the poor, you observe the bounty (with attendant fears) of living in a free society, and in your confusion, you announce, “Most Americans are bourgeois”, a postulate confirmed by your own upper-class status, and thus the real proletariat is Teh Trees and Junk, which is being raped by Mankind. To prevent the imminent ecological nightmare, you give to Nature your right to property in your life and livelihood, which you thought belonged to Nature anyway. These freedoms will be conferred through Government in the form of Carbon Permits, which will determine your fate in the hierarchy, at the head of which stand The Trees and The Sea Level and Environment Stuff Important to Scientists, and the representatives of the Earth’s Interests, The State and Corporations, whose stewardship of such Interests you wouldn’t begin to question. It’s too much fun being a trendy liberal. “Americans have too many choices anyway,” you think.

          2. Total and complete bullshit. If you bother to really look at the science you will see that you scientific fact is not a fact at all. You want and need to believe what Al Gore has told you because it fits your need for there to be a climate crisis. There is no crisis. It is a lie.

          3. “First of all, it is accepted scientific fact that changes in average global temperature are due to human activity”.

            I agree, what’s more, it’s proven scientific fact that the last ice age was caused by the cavemen roasting all of those lovely wooly mammoths (IMO at the behest of “big wool”).

            P.S. I’m SO proud of my boy, it seems only yesterday that I was sending him off every morning on that short little school bus, and now look at him!

      4. I’m quite familiar with the science, actually. It’s just that Monte Carlo simulation stretching millenia into the future with little idea of how to specify the underlying parameters doesn’t meet my definition of sound science.

  21. Please stop feeding the troll. He’s quite fat enough as is.

  22. I don’t doubt the science that strongly indicates anthropogenic climate change is real.

    I do doubt that any of the proposals on the table will do anything to solve the problem. Rather they will hinder economic growth which is the greatest positive factor in cleaning up the environment.

    I also do not doubt that Tony is a complete dumbass and a substandard troll.

    1. I don’t think anything “on the table” is quite enough to solve the problem either.

      But I don’t understand how economic growth leads necessarily to cleaning up the environment. Economic growth could be said to be the primary causal factor, since the largest economies pollute the most.

      1. Once again, the facts don’t fit your predetermined conclusion, Tony.

        China produces more pollution than the US, but its GDP is much smaller.

        China: 3.2 Trillion
        US: 13.8 Trillion

        [the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency] says China produced 6,200m tonnes of CO2 last year, compared with 5,800m tonnes from the US. Britain produced about 600m tonnes.

  23. At one point leeching was a consensus science.

  24. Tony: I should know better, but have you considered the possibility that climate scientists don’t know enough (hardly anything?) about how something as complicated as the global economy works?

    1. I appreciate the point. I know that I personally don’t know enough about climate science to form my own theories. But I do know enough about modern science to know that when the vast majority of relevant scientists say something is happening, then it more likely is happening than not.

      1. At one point in time the vast majority of scientists thought the earth was flat, too.

        The one indisputable fact about “science” is that it is wrong almost all the time. The fact that the track record of science is far better than the track record of religion or politics is no reason to think that science therefore always gets the benefit of the doubt.

        But I can’t stop anyone from his need for gods.

        1. Well, science is the best we can do, and at the very least the burden of proof should rest on those who deny what the vast majority of scientists say is so.

          1. No, actually…science says that the burden of proof lies upon those making the claims, not the ones denying them.

            1. Not really. A denial of something is just as much a claim. The question here is whether the vast majority of scientists are correct or whether Russ 2000 is. Do you think we should assume Russ 2000 is until the vast majority of concerned scientists prove otherwise?

              1. You keep missing the point. Consensus is not the proof of science.

                The question is whether global warming (or whatever the term-du-jour is) is a long-term trend (and in the time line of earth, long-term means tens of thousands of years) or whether it is a short term trend that will run its course and then stop and possible reverse.

                Those are valid questions in science. In politics it’s a stupid waste of time because of the time frame. Because another valid scientific question is “What sort of long-term damage to the planet could be done by trying to eliminate short-term climate change?”

              2. Well it’s a good thing you trust Scientists [tm] because you don’t have a fookin clue about how science actually works.

        2. I don’t think that there were any scientists, as we understand the term, at any time when most people believed the earth was flat.

          1. I don’t think that there were any scientists, as we understand the term, at any time when most people believed the earth was flat.


            1. OK, what scientists were there, who were scientists in the modern sense, who ever believed that the earth was flat? Science as we know it really wasn’t invented until the 16th or 17th century, by which time no educated people believed that the earth was not a globe.
              Fix your own damn self, jackass.

              1. Yeah, fuck you Archimedes!

                1. I am not saying that no one ever made any scientifically important discoveries. But science as we know it did not exist when those people were around. Aristotle, for example, had a lot of wrong ideas about how the world works that he did not bother to test.

  25. We already were aware that Tony has no idea what the word “libertarian” means. Now it turns out he’s unfamiliar with the concept of “science,” too. As obnoxious as he is, i’m really starting to feel bad for the guy.

    Fuck off, Tony. For your own sake.

  26. Tony’s crying as we speak, isn’t he?

    1. Goddamn right he is. I warned him wut would happen if mah vittles wernt on the table when I got home!

  27. Not to get back to the post or anything, but . . .

    This Obama guy has a real nasty streak, doesn’t he? Which would be fine, if he aimed it in the right direction. But he only ever seems to bust it out on Americans who disagree with his policies and politics.

  28. I doubt doubt the climate is changing, it’s been changing for billions of years. What I do doubt is government effectiveness of trying to stop climate change – seems like a stupid idea on the face of it. A relatively simple environmental program like cleaning the trash out of the parks is a major undertaking rife with failure for governments.

  29. Here’s a headline on washingtonpost.com for a column by Dana Milbank:

    The last flat-earther

    Milbank: Sen. Inhofe, prolific global warming denier, faces a hostile climate in the Senate

    This, unfortunately, is what we’re up against.

  30. 10,000 years ago there were glaciers in Ohio. Now, there aren’t. The notion that there is not climate change is spurrious. The predictions that some scientists have made as to the effect of human activity on cliamte change is the rub. And those predictions are not unanimous. So, the issue becomes political. I say, let’s wait until SOMETHING goes underwater before we go nuts.

    Don’t talk to me about the polar bears. Fuck them, and the ice they rode in on.

    1. Pelosi, maybe? Pretty please????

  31. We can’t predict tomorrows weather with anything close to 100% reliability. I’d say once you get more than 2 days out, its 50/50, at best. The 10 day is probably wrong 75% of the time.

    So, yeah, its reasonable to assume guys with similar backgrounds can predict out 50 years. Why wouldn’t that make sense?

    1. There’s a difference between weather and climate, and between meteorology and climate science.

      It’s actually easier to predict differences in average global temperatures on a long scale than it is to predict differences in weather on a short scale.

      1. So, Tony, what would be an example of a correct prediction in average global temperature on a long scale? When was the prediction made? When was it corroborated by actual observations?

      2. Tony–Please tell us what he “correct” tempertaure of the planet is supposed to be. And why.

        We’ll wait.

        1. JW, please educate yourself on this subject at least to the degree necessary for you to realize what a stupid question that is.

          1. that is quite the response. is your typical response to a valid question to tell someone they are stupid?

          2. There are no stupid questions – only stupid bastards who don’t want to answer them.

          3. So you don’t know what the right temp is, but you’re sure we’re doing horrible things to the climate.

            Momma taught me never to argue with a religious zealot.

        2. I believe the correct answer to this question is “Spin the wheel.

  32. Don’t talk to me about the polar bears. Fuck them, and the ice they rode in on.

    It’s possible that polar bears are merely litter from the ice age.

  33. Re: Tony,

    First of all, it is accepted scientific fact that changes in average global temperature are due to human activity.

    That would be despite such pitiful climate-changing forces like, oh, the Sun, or clouds?

    Even if it weren’t, why would that make a difference? So it would be a natural disaster rather than a man-made one. I’d think either would warrant attention.

    If it were a natural disaster, I would ask you how would taxing people’s energy production/consumption be able to avert it.

    Also, you are begging the question – you readily assume that the supposed climate changes are a disaster in order to argue for averting the disaster.

  34. It’s possible that polar bears are merely litter from the ice age.

    So is humanity, if you think about it.

  35. Assuming that the threat of global warming is all its cracked up to be, I can think of several libertarian solutions to the problems it will create.
    -Stop subsidizing people to live on the coasts and flood plains. This will greatly reduce the economic and human harm caused by more severe weather.

    -As mentioned above, stop political interference with construction of nuclear power capacity.

    -Let people do what they do so well and adapt to changing circumstances. The world is always changing, often directly because of what people do. People have been dealing with this for thousands of years.

    – If all else fails and we do face massive global catastrophe, then lots of people will die and economies will fail and everything will end up the way a lot of so called environmentalists apparently want it to be anyway.

    1. Great, at least we can get a discussion going assuming that the facts are the facts.

      Your solutions are not all that satisfying. “Let people adapt” is another way of saying “let lots of people die.” You don’t think there’s a role for coordinated action in order to prevent something like that?

      1. All I can say to this is that I don’t think that any of the coordinated action that has been proposed can work. People are going to keep burning oil until it is no longer economically viable. People are going to drive cars as long as that is the most convenient way to get around. If you believe that global warming is here and is a major problem, then it is going to happen no matter what any government does. We need to deal with how to deal with problems it may cause, not try to change human nature to stop something that is probably inevitable. This is the adaptation I was talking about. If there is going to be more coastal flooding, then people need to think about relocating from coastal cities that are likely to get hit by big storms. If currently good farm land is going to turn into desert, then people need to look at what other land might become suitable for farming if climate changes. Things are not going to stay the same as they are now forever no matter what anyone does.

        1. Adaptation may be necessary, but if the biggest ecological disasters can be averted, I think we should give it a shot.

          Lots of people here are making what amounts to an argument from ignorance (the science isn’t 100% settled, therefore we should do absolutely nothing). But there’s another side to this: we may not be aware of the extent to which climate change may cause problems. For all we know reality may be worse than what is predicted–and what is being predicted if we continue to burn CO2 emitting fuels is bad enough.

          The whole point of legislation on this subject is to change the economic incentives so that people burn less oil. It may not even be necessary to erect an artificial incentive structure–just make polluters pay for the external costs they’re imposing (that could logically include consumers as well).

          1. but if the biggest ecological disasters can be averted

            I go back to a variant on a philosophical question: If the Mississippi Delta floods to a point higher than ever in the last 500 years and no one lives there, is it a disaster?

            The disaster isn’t the storm or the quake, the disaster is the political/economic incentives that convince millions of people to erect dense tracts of housing in areas not fit for it.

            1. So the disaster in this case is the political/economic incentives that have allowed the continued emissions of greenhouse gases.

              1. If you want to call it a disaster, you can though I don’t agree with you.

                The economic incentives to allow people to harness energy have also allowed them to live in fewer storm-or-quake-prone densities, and more sanitary conditions. It’s more likely the reverse – the desire to live in more sanitary conditions and less disaster-prone conditions ARE the economic incentives that spurred man to find ways to harness energy.

                The more likely scenario is one of disaster shifting. Which means the whole debate is nothing but a mass jerk-off. But if that’s your area of interest, go right ahead and donate your own time and money to the research while I donate my time and money to my own interests. Just spare me the sales pitch.

  36. I, personally, am pretty pissed that A) temps are so much higher than during the ice age and B) that we humans had so much to do with it.

  37. Re: Tony,

    You people do not know more about this subject than the scientific community. You may think you do because of the web sites you read, but you don’t. Denying scientific reality is no way to advance the appeal of libertarianism.

    There is enough information from dissenting scientists to conclude that the issue of AGW has not been settled at all. In fact, since average temperatures have been tapering down, the highly touted computer models that purportedly predicted higher temperatures by now have been thoroughly discredited. So, I would not be as willing to accept your appeal to authority.

    I realize that a global catastrophe is not something that can be dealt with by sprinkling magic freedom dust,

    You areb begging the question, Tony – how do you know there will BE a disaster or that higher temperatures necessarily translate to disastrous climate changes? Just because some people say it could be a disaster does not mean it will be a disaster.

    […]and that’s probably a big reason why you guys are so resistant to the facts, but a successful philosophy is one that can deal with any set of facts, isn’t it?

    It is one thing to deal with a set of facts, and quite another to succumb to hysterical appeals for action in the face of the unknown.

    1. Dissenters among RELEVANT scientists (not lists of engineers and veterinarians you anti folks like to come up with) are far outnumbered.

      Surely the consensus doesn’t have to be 100% before the question can be considered settled enough to warrant action. And as long as all we’re doing is appealing to scientific authority, surely it is less rational to put your faith in the minority rather than the majority.

      1. How ironic. What do you think a “climate scientist” is, anyway?

        Consensus? Only 36% believe in AGW anymore. I’d say that’s a pretty strong argument for doing nothing.

        1. 36% of climate scientists? I don’t think so.

          1. This just in: 90% of journalists think journalism is really important!

          2. According to this guy,

            Although the media often reports that the IPCC conclusion is based on the “consensus of 2500 world experts,” there are perhaps not more than a few hundred genuine climatologists in the world. A large number of the participating IPCC scientists are basically meteorologists, whose study areas are physical processes of weather phenomena, not necessarily weather forecasting; their main scientific interests do not include understanding climate change that has occurred in the past. There is also a large group of scientists in the IPCC study group whose primary expertise is in computer modeling.

            So if you put those 100 climatologists in a room and asked them about AGW, I’m sure you’d have a hard time getting them to agree on anything but the most inconsequential statement of fact.

            The field of climate science is wide open at this point, and the IPCC is not to be trusted on this issue. In 10 years we’ll be laughing at our current primitive understanding of the world’s climate, and at the sheer level of certainty expressed by James Hansen et al.

      2. Action: OK, lets put the money and energy we are putting into solar, wind and all of Obama’s other blah blah blah Green projects into Nuclear.

        I repeat: If a problem existed, a real problem, it would be negligence to support solutions that were too long range to solve the problem and that would wreck the economy while ignoring one that would. NEGLIGENCE.

        I don’t think anyone here would oppose lowering the restrictions on nuclear power plants and letting solar and wind fight it out. But EVERYONE here will reject being TOLD they have to purchase light bulbs that will have little impact from their greatly reduced income.

  38. Now only 36% believe the Earth is being warmed by manmade sources.

    It’s really not surprising at all, though. AGW rests on some very shaky evidence, which has only recently come to light because the “scientists” involved have been assiduously avoiding requests to share their data (which is crazy when you think about it: “I have evidence we need to spend trillions of dollars or the world will end! What? You want to see my work? No way!”).

    When you get down to it, the whole thing falls apart without the hockey stick, because otherwise you don’t need CO2 to explain anything; as this graph shows, the proxy averages indicate the Earth saw very similar warming around 1200. But for all the cries of “consensus” the hockey stick is the product of a relatively small group of people who all cite each other and tend to be environmentalists — and some of them appear to have done some very bad things with the data; this year, it’s started to look more like a hoaxey stick.

    Meanwhile, AGW proponents’ predictions both short- and long-term haven’t panned out. The Arctic wasn’t ice-free this year or last, hurricane activity is dropping off the charts, the 1988 IPCC predictions were all too high, and the methane prediction turned out to be way off too.

    All in all, it’s looking more and more likely that trace concentrations of CO2 just aren’t that important to climate.

    I think most people are open to the idea of AGW, but the evidence just isn’t there, at least not yet. If temperatures spike over the next 10-20 years, we might have to reconsider, but if a cooler PDO pushes them down AGW may be regarded as the Club Of Rome prediction of its day.

    (links for above here)

    1. I hardly think the majority of Americans are equipped to understand whether the evidence is there or not.

      1. Oh, I think they’re doing quite well.

        Did you know crowds’ predictions generally do better than experts?

        (Democracy is so troublesome. If only we could be governed by an unelected elite…)

        1. Wow who knew you could do science just by polling the American public.

          1. This from the crowd who keep talking about “consensus.”

            Is polling science or not? Make up your mind!

            1. BTW, if you follow the link you will find the polling is the RESULT of a ton of science…

            2. Consensus among relevant scientists not the general public.

              1. I don’t know of ANY scientists who are relevant because of predictions. Scientific relevance comes from discovering something that already exists that hadn’t been known before. I can accept Norman Borlaug as a relevant scientist, but any predictions he made are probably shaky. Worth listening to, perhaps, but not worth taking as gospel.

                1. Relevant meaning they spend their careers studying the subject at hand. That makes them the best authorities available.

                  1. “Relevant meaning they spend their careers studying the subject at hand”

                    That’s like asking priests if God is real. Hey, they spend their whole lives studying the issue, right>

                    Seriously, James Hansen is getting arrested at coal plants. It’s unlikely he or anyone working for him is being objective about this.

                  2. And that’s fine. I can listen to them talk about their data. What they are unable to talk about is empirical data from any successful and failed experiments because such data does not exist. That doesn’t mean their work is invalid, but it certainly does mean their predictions are not worthy of political action.

              2. Polling scientists is not science.

                1. But they papers they publish are. And they overwhelmingly refute your argument. The best you can do is pick a few data points and a few phrases from a few papers written by a few scientists, and ignore the other 99%.

                  1. Show me a few of your favorite papers which establish that there are feedback effects above and beyond normal climate forcings due to CO2. I’ll wait.

      2. Re: Tony,

        I hardly think the majority of Americans are equipped to understand whether the evidence is there or not.

        I hardly think YOU have the power to determine the level of stupidity of the majority of Americans. You show yourself as pedantic in your demeanor.

      3. The ERBE data alone is devastating to the GCMs. They have the radiative relationship upside down!

        Speaking of upside down, amazingly enough Mann flipped over a graph in his data to turn cooling into warming…

        Did anyone ever stop and wonder why the Hokey Stick only appeared in the 1990s? It’s not paleoclimatology didn’t exist before…

        I think the public is considerably smarter than the average “climate scientist.”

      4. I absolutely agree, Tony. The morons here prove it time and time again.

        Why they put their faith in a handfull of cherry-picked data points from an ultra-small fraction of the scientific community is beyond me. It clearly is a pathology of some sort. Worse yet, they are too blind to see it.

        What part of “every major scientific organization on earth” exceeds their ability to comprehend?

        1. “Why they put their faith in a handfull of cherry-picked data points”

          Funny, that’s precisely what AGW proponents do.

          1. Uhhh, thousands upon thousands of peer-reviewed publications is not “cherry picking”. Choosing individual years (or even seasons) as baselines rather than using 5 or 10 year rolling averages, however, IS cherry picking. So is grabbing one line out of a paper, and twisting it into meaning something that the authors themselves disagree with. Even worse, you guys repeat the distortions even after the authors attempt to correct you.

        2. chad: i absolutely agree, tony

          me: who the fuck cares?

  39. Re: Tony,

    Dissenters among RELEVANT scientists […] are far outnumbered.

    Last I saw, Tony, the scientific process is not a democracy. Thoughts do not become facts by majority vote.

    Surely the consensus doesn’t have to be 100% before the question can be considered settled enough to warrant action.

    Actually, Tomy, the consensus can be 100% and still not warrant action, because the action itself, sans the power of prediction, could be more harmful than beneficial.

    As far as appealing to authority goes, Tony, I am not the one that says “Scientists know more than everybody else”. I prefer to listen to the arguments, and use logic. I, for one, do not ger the question by assuming that a changing climate is a disaster in itself – YOU are the one committing that fallacy.

    1. That’s “I, for one, do not BEG the question”…

    2. The arguments are very simple, OM.

      CO2 causes warming.

      There is more CO2, released by man.

      There is warming.

      All other known potential causes of warming have been studied intensely and found to either not be contributing or not contributing very much.

      What other conclusion could a rational person draw other than more CO2 will cause more warming?

      Climate change will not necessarily be a “disaster”. It will surely be an problem, probably a serious one, and is potentially disasterous or even apocalyptic.

      1. The refutation of this is very simple, Chad

        You state:

        There is more CO2, released by man.

        There is warming.

        All other known potential causes of warming have been studied intensely and found to either not be contributing or not contributing very much.

        What other conclusion could a rational person draw other than more CO2 will cause more warming?

        There is more CO2 in the atmosphere since 1998 and the temperatures are pretty much flat. Hence your simple model is falsified. Care to try again ?

          1. Chad made the statement. That the function was driven by CO2 and all other factors were minor and ran into a simple refutation.

            If you want to argue a more complex model or even that space aliens (or the illegal type for that matter) feel free. It is however pretty clear it is not “just CO2”

  40. Anyone remember the 1980s. You know, when “climatologists” and other experts predicted global COOLING.

    I can’t wait until 2030, when Global Enlargment or some such has replaced warming, just so that I can laugh in these guys’ faces.

    Of course, our GDP will be 50% of what it is today because of them and others, which will take some of the fun out of it, but still.

    1. I am sorry, but the “global cooling” myth has been refuted repeatedly. Please do your homework and quit wasting other peoples’ time. It insults them and makes you look like an even bigger idiot than you already are.

      1. Really? The PDO has been debunked?


        1. No, the myth that large numbers of scientists were claiming that the earth was cooling in the 70s has been debunked.

          Also, I am sure you caught the wonderful AP article yesterday. The sent the temperature data to four leading statisticians, not telling them what the data was. All four concluded that there has been no cooling trend in the last eleven years.
          In other words, you are have allowed yourself to be fooled by noise.

          1. I suppose if it is in the news it is true Chad. How impressive!

            1. Are you claiming that the statistics professors are wrong, or that the AP is making it all up?

  41. Has anyone noticed that the continents are drifting further and further apart?

    Its happening every year for which we have human measurements. Since 1950, the continents are like, .5 inch further apart. At this rate, they’ll collide in like 2320.


    We must reverse this Man-Made Global Enlargment! Begin work on girders and giant nets to attempt to stop the coming Enlargment!

  42. Addressing a campaign rally for Deeds at an arena at Old Dominion University, Mr. Obama used a device that served him well during his presidential campaign ? especially before African-American audiences.

    “Go out and get your cousin who you had to drag to the polls last November, Cousin Pookie, you go out and get him and you tell him ‘you got to vote again this time.'”

    – Barack Obama

  43. Consensus about what?

  44. Just a response to Tony:

    Why I don’t believe in the credibility of man-caused global warming:

    First of all, temperatures and climates are supposed to change. Hell, even the north and south poles switch places. This isn’t the first time the Earth has warmed up a little and it won’t be the last.

    Second, consensus isn’t science. Just because a number of scientists get together and have a sleep over to sign a petition doesn’t mean they have proven anything. At best, it means they all have the same opinion. At worst, it means they all get their funding from the same people and want more money to continue doing badly designed experiments.

    Third, when you create models of anything, you have training data and testing data. You use the training data to teach your model how to work and then you use your testing data to verify that your model is accurate.

    All the models for Earth’s climate that scientists have come up with are not adequate to make future predictions because they could not accurately predict the changes in climate that are known to have happened – ie, the little ice age.

    Fourth, there may be plenty of studies saying the Earth’s temperature may be going up. It has yet to be proven that man, or the Industrial Revolution, is the cause of it.

    As far as the “they’re scientists, they must know what they’re talking about” argument…

    BULLSHIT! First of all, find a pair of testicles and some self esteem. You aren’t as dumb as you think you are, and the scientists aren’t as smart as they think they are. Just because you don’t have a degree in climate science doesn’t mean you can’t look at a “scientific” study and recognize flaws in logic and methodology.

    And to wrap up, I’m highly suspicious about anything involving climate change because it has so much money driving it. These scientists get all their money to do research and feed themselves from the government. So, they design their research to reflect what the government wants to see because they’re more likely to get funding that way.

    1. “As far as the “they’re scientists, they must know what they’re talking about” argument… ”

      For an example of why this is bad, the Catholic Church did this for centuries…

    2. You aren’t as dumb as you think you are

      Yes he is.

    3. I haven’t made a single point about data anywhere on this thread, so you’re right that my argument basically amounts to an appeal to authority. But better to appeal to the authority of relevant scientists than the authority of crackpots. Nothing is certain, but I highly doubt that the vast majority of concerned scientists are wrong and random internet dude is right. I’ve studied the actual science to some degree, but I’m simply not trained in the field and so any conclusions I draw–or you draw–I will treat with more skepticism than I do what relevant scientists conclude.

      1. Try this on for size:

        Have ever actually looked for a scientist that you would deem credible that has a different opinion?

        As the other comments pointed out, you seem to think that any scientist that doesn’t agree with popular opinion is automatically not “relevant.”

        1. I indeed have looked for such people, but they are outnumbered over 30:1. Knowing that there are always a few people who will never change their minds no matter what the evidence, I safely conclude that these three percent are not worthy of particular note.

          1. Yeah, that’s what most of us have concluded about you and Tony.

      2. “But better to appeal to the authority of relevant scientists than the authority of crackpots.”

        Hansen is a crackpot. Gore is a crackport. Briffa is a crackpot. Mann is a crackpot.

    4. Just because you don’t have a degree in climate science doesn’t mean you can’t look at a “scientific” study and recognize flaws in logic and methodology.

      Exactly. This isn’t an appeal to authority, it’s an appeal to stupidity.

      1. Measuring millennia of temperature changes by the last 50 years is like measuring Tony’s dick by looking at just the tip: inaccurate, unreliable and ultimately disappointing to the examiner.

  45. My favorite part about the insanity of the green movement is that you could pave half the country with solar panels and build windmills on top of them and you wouldn’t even come close to making a dent in our energy consumption. Solar and wind have had decades of government subsidies to help them compete in the generation market and even with subsidies they can barely push single digit percentages for electricity production.

    Apparently math is hard, or something.

    For a great breakdown on the math problems inherent in “renewable energy” plus a great dissection on the issues surrounding it both politically and economically, check out this masterpiece from the Stephen Den Beste-


    1. Wrong. The 10% efficient panels which exist today would only require a small square in AZ, NV, or NM. Take a poster-sized map. Stick your index finger out there somewhere. THAT is how much land you would need.

      I am sure you are able to do the math on your own to confirm this. It is about junior high level stuff.

      1. To do what, exactly? I think you need to define what you would consider a “dent.”

        1. A “dent” in my estimation would be somehow contributing larger than single digit percentages of electricity production. In 2006 all renewable energy electricity production amounted to less than half of Hydro.

          I would say until it breaches single digits it’s not even worth talking about.

          1. Do you know that when we decided to get off our asses and join in WWII, we increased our airplane production nearly a hundred fold in just a few years?

            Your logic makes no sense. It’s like saying I shouldn’t leave the house, because I have only taken one step so far, and it has only gotten me 1/10000th of the way to my goal.

        2. That would cover the electricity use of the entire US. Stick your thumb on the map as well, and you have enough energy for everything we do (though not in the right form).

          1. How much electricity does the US consume Chad? In 2005 numbers we consumed about 3.8 terrawatts.

            Wanna try that math again?

      2. Here’s some math for you Chad.

        In 1998, the State of California consumed 13.496 billion gallons of gasoline. A gallon of gasoline yields about 130 million joules. So when you do all the math, you end up with about 1.755 * 1018 joules, which is an impressively large number.

        One anti-solar-power advocacy site gives the “yearly average” solar power density in Albuquerque as 240 watts per m2. (That appears to be a 24-hour average; another site says that it’s 700 watts in daylight.) Then presuming that southern California is similar, each square meter of mirrors would be struck by 7.573 billion joules per year.

        So if you assume 100% conversion, you’d need 231.7 million square meters of collection mirrors to make this work. 231 square kilometers.

        But it isn’t going to be 100% efficient. That’s impossible, and it isn’t going to be remotely close to that. The mirrors won’t reflect perfectly and some of the sunlight will heat the metal instead of reflecting. The conversion process into hydrogen will be extremely inefficient. If you get 10%, you’ll be doing really well.

        So we’re talking about paving 2300 square kilometers of California desert with mirrors. That’s a strip 13 kilometers wide stretching from San Diego to Los Angeles. It’s an area twice the size of San Francisco.

        Perhaps I exaggerated about “half the country” but the point I was making is that there is a very good reason that we aren’t already doing this. It is an inefficient use of technology to solve a problem. If it wasn’t, we’d already be doing it.

        1. 2300 square km. Yep, that is about right. So an area 150 km square, or about 100 miles on a side. Like I said, a finger on a poster map.

          Of course, we could get a lot of that from rooftops, so we really wouldn’t need that much wasteland.

          1. Again, to do WHAT?

            Also, not every place in the US is as open to constant sunlight as Arizona.

            1. my bad, i missed the comment above.

            2. Actually, solar insolation doesn’t vary as much as you think. No, not every place is AZ. But most places get more than half that much on average. Well, except WA, MI, and AK.

              1. Solar works well in WA. The solar cells actually end up being more efficient in the cooler temperatures…the increased efficiency overcomes the disadvantage from the cloud cover.

          2. That’s for California Chad. Not the whole country. And that is assuming you get 10% conversion, which is a very generous estimate for that scale of production.

            1. I said that we would need something a hundred miles squared on a side, which is 10000 square miles or about 25000 square kilometers…for ALL of the US’s energy. You were talking about a fraction of CA’s energy. In any case, a 100 x 100 mile square of land is a finger print on a poster map.

              Production thin-film panels are rapidly passing the 10% mark. Silicon-based cells are in the mid to high teens.

      3. Unfortunately for you, the eco-weenies have opposed exactly this – a large scale solar plant in the Mojave desert. Might upset the delicate eco-system. So you aren’t paying.

  46. For the record, the Polar and Alaskan Brown (Kodiak) bears are the same species. That is, they can breed with each other and unlike horse/donkey hybids (mules) the offspring are fertile.

    Go here for an introduction to the topic.

    1. To call them the same species requires a non-standard definition of species. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bear#Classification

  47. Remember: Holocaust deniers and global-warming deniers are equally evil. So sayeth Pope Albert.

  48. Consensus about what?

  49. James|10.28.09 @ 5:32PM|#

    Just because you don’t have a degree in climate science doesn’t mean you can’t look at a “scientific” study and recognize flaws in logic and methodology.

    Please pick a random paper in Science or Nature and find a flaw. Good luck.

    Do you realize how many times this data gets scrutizined, by literally dozens of people (many of whom have every incentive to find them) before it gets published? I doubt it.

    Do you want to hear the story of a typical journal paper? It starts off as an idea a professor or grad student has. They write a proposal to get a grant to do the work, which is scrutinized by a group of senior scientists and is highly competitive. Assuming it gets through this hurdle, the grant is given and the students (or post-docs) do the work. Of course, the entire research group regularly gets updates on the work and chances to critique. The student also has to present the data in their department as well as at external conferences, where it is critiqued again and again (by people who have no skin in the game). The professor will also be presenting the data, and professors take great joy in finding holes in other peoples’ work. Oh, and there is the student’s dissertation committee, who closely watch over what is going on throughout the process. At some point, the work gets mostly finished, and the student starts writing their papers and dissertation. The papers are sent out for peer review (which are blind, and editors are generally knowledgable enough to avoid most conflicts of interest). For a good journal, the paper will be sent to three to four people for review, but in reality, they often pass it to their team members, so probably a dozen people give it a good going over.

    So by the time the thing is even published, literally hundreds of people have seen the data, only a fraction of whom have any incentive other than to get the right answer.

    And guess what? Very little ever gets through that is later found to be wrong. Should it be a surprise to anyone?

    1. You missed my point.

      I wasn’t saying there’s a huge problem with numerous false studies being published.

      My main point was that just because you’re not a scientist doesn’t mean that you can’t read a scientific paper and come up with your own valid questions and criticisms.

      Not all scientific research is done within universities, either – as was used in your example.

      The peer review process within universities is usually very thorough. However, cases like the Sokal Affair come to mind where other scientific journals might have a peer review system that’s more porous.

      1. Research in climate fields is mostly done at universities, as there is no direct profit it in. The work done at government labs is significant in this field as well, but much of this is in collaboration with one university or another and therefore passes through that process in some form.

        The Sokal affair was humanities, which I agree, are somewhat of a joke. You can’t BS science, because someone will eventually fail to reproduce what you did.

        1. The issue about where their funding is coming from is still an issue.

          In order to get funding, scientist have to design studies on topics that government agencies want to hear about – and nothing’s hotter than global warming right now. To keep getting funding, those experiments have to give results that the government agencies want to see.

          As far as reproducing results…climate models are basically a complex serious of equations, so running the simulation again and again with different sets of data is going to give you results that agree with each other. It doesn’t point out anything that could be inherently wrong with the equations themselves.

          That’s why it’s important that climate models be required to predict anomalies like the little ice age. Otherwise, it’s not an accurate representation of reality.

          1. You really don’t know how it works, do you? The choice of which grants to fund is as far removed from politics as any decision made on this planet. If were any other way, scientists would be in an uproar instantly.

            1. I work for a national defense contractor, so I’m fully aware of wear money for research and development comes from. I’ve also had my fair share of association with university research.

              If it doesn’t come from the government, it comes from corporations. You aren’t going to suddenly make the argument that corporations don’t have any political agenda, are you?

            2. Yes, grants are generally given to institutions and scientists which have gotten desirable results in the past.

              That’s called ‘selection bias’.

        2. Don’t be so cocksure, Chad.

  50. Psychology papers get peer-reviewed all the time, and half of them are purest crap. There’s a big problem dealing with complex, chaotic systems. I appreciate fully how hard it is to prove any position in things like climate or human behavior, but it also makes strong claims about those fields really difficult to make without facing legitimate criticism and skepticism.

    There is also a valid concern about at least some climatologists having a monetary interest in setting off alarms. After all, without AGW as an issue, who is going to throw billions their way? This doesn’t make their claims wrong; it just gives us a reason to pause before accepting them. Again, this is just for some of the scientists in the field, not all of them.

    Another major problem in climatology is the data’s fourth dimensional aspect. Climate on Earth changes dramatically over time. Why? Do changes we see today principally reflect an anthropogenic component or not? Even if they do, can we realistically do anything more than adapt to the changes? What if they don’t?

    I think people tossing around the word consensus should think about what they’re trying to imply. I bet the actual points on which climatologists truly agree are much less far-reaching than you think. There is (and that may be was) a warming trend that likely has a human-caused component. That’s it.

    1. Considering that some of the more vocal proponents of AGW theory, especially Al Gore, are loath to admit the existence of a Medieval Warm Period, I don’t trust a thing they say.

    2. ProLib,

      The issue of claims is important here. The vague “true” or “not true” claims used in the debate are typically not specific enough to be called scientific claims.

      The climate sciences make a large number of specific claims that are very well supported.

      The more difficulty questions involve specific second order consequences of warming. So, for example, while it is pretty easy to predict the warming trend, it is hard to predict the effect on species, the effect on the economy, etc…

  51. This little bastard is going to work you over.

    1. This is why I hate children…little snotrag.

  52. Pro Libertate|10.28.09 @ 6:32PM|#

    I think people tossing around the word consensus should think about what they’re trying to imply. I bet the actual points on which climatologists truly agree are much less far-reaching than you think. There is (and that may be was) a warming trend that likely has a human-caused component. That’s it.

    No, there is consensus on much more than that.

    Take a look at the American Chemical Society’s position. It is quite representative of mainstream scientific thought.


    Some highlights, emphasis mine:

    “Careful and comprehensive scientific assessments have clearly demonstrated that the Earth’s climate system is changing rapidly in response to growing atmospheric burdens of greenhouse gases and absorbing aerosol particles (IPCC, 2007). There is very little room for doubt that observed climate trends are due to human activities. The threats are serious and action is urgently needed to mitigate the risks of climate change.

    The reality of global warming, its current serious and potentially disastrous impacts on Earth system properties, and the key role emissions from human activities play in driving these phenomena have been recognized by earlier versions of this ACS policy statement…”

    “The effects of projected unmitigated climate change on key Earth system components, ecological systems and human society over the next fifty years will be profound and, quite possibly, irreversible”

    “The costs of unchecked climate change in economic loss, human misery, and loss of ecosystem services are likely to be enormous.”

    “Recommendation 2a ? The U.S. should immediately adopt nationwide goals for rapid and deep reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions and develop effective economic drivers to achieve these goals.”

    1. Dude, those are conclusions, not proof of anything. And the ACS may have some climatologists lurking around, but it’s primary an organization of chemists and related professions.

      Honestly, I’m not taking a political position on this debate. I’m taking an epistemological position.

  53. Understanding E = mc2

    This is not an insignificant amount of electricity. If we covered every rooftop in the county with solar collectors, we could probably power our indoor lighting plus some basic household appliances ?

    during the daytime.

    The problem arises when solar enthusiasts try to claim solar power can provide base load power for an industrial society.

    There is no technology for storing commercial quantities of electricity. Until something is developed ? which seems unlikely ? wind and solar can serve only as intermittent, unpredictable resources.

    1. Really? We have over 20GW of storage on the grid today. Much of it has been there for decades.

      There is a nice technical article out there floating on the net on how we could build an 18GW pumped hydro facility at Niagara, and only change the level of the lakes by one inch each day. And of course, batteries, flywheels, and compressed air are pulling in investments faster than you can count them.

      You simply lack imagination.

  54. A few decades ago, there was strong scientific consensus that thalidomide couldn’t penetrate the placenta wall. Thank God no one thought to question the consensus there.

    1. Doubtful. How many papers were there confirming this “consensus”? A handful, likely. In which case, the “consensus” was along the lines of “As of this time, there is not sufficient evidence to conclude that thlidomide can penetrate the placenta wall”, which at the time, was true.

  55. The fact that solar requires massive subsidies and in many case mandates is abundant evidence that it is not a viable technology for achieving the reduction in carbon emissions AGW advocates want.

    Solar Economics: Would You Pull A Lever to Get $12,000 if Somewhere in Massachusetts a Person Lost $58,000?

    So ? I officially reverse my past conclusions that home solar does not pay. It can in fact be a good investment ? for you. For the country, it is a terrible investment.

    Your neighbors are contributing $57,930 in subsidies while you receive just $12,081 in benefits.

    The remainder, just over $45,000, is a dead-weight loss to the economy. It is money destroyed by the government.

    This is surprisingly like the ethics problem of pulling a lever to get a million dollars but someone you don’t know in China dies.

    The only difference is that you get $12,000 and someone you don’t know loses $58,000.

    1. Of course, fossil fuels also receive massive subsidies. The newest report out last week put just the health damage at $121 billion per year in the US. That is, of course, more money than the industry makes. The damage to the environment is more uncertain, but of a similar magnitude and probably greater.

      So every time you burn a gallon, how many dollars of damage are you putting on your neighbors?

  56. I’m shocked a bunch of Chicago politicians would say something like that. Shocked I tell you.

    Where are my winnings?

  57. Chad,

    A person with an excess of imagination is considered delusional.

    This is where you are at with the technical aspects of alt energy.

    For example, you mentioned pumped storage which is the only existing method of storing utility scale amounts of energy. A pumped hydro facility is a dam.

    No surprise here the same environmentalist that are pushing alt energy as a way to reduce carbon emissions hate the dams that are required for pumped storage to work.

    Understanding E = mc2

    Environmentalists began objecting to hydroelectric dams in the 1960s precisely because they occupied such vast amounts of land, drowning whole scenic valleys and historic canyons.

    They have not stopped objecting. The Sierra Club, which opposed construction of the Hetch-Hetchy Dam in Yosemite in 1921, is still trying to tear it down, even though it provides drinking water and 400 megawatts of electricity to San Francisco. Each year more dams are now torn down than are constructed as a result of this campaign.

    1. Dams on rivers are often environmental disasters. Pumped storage facilities, which move water between two artificial lakes, a large lake and an artificial one, or two large lakes can be done with minimal impact.

      Take a look at the one in Ludington, MI. It is a perfect example.

    2. speaking of E=MC^2

      The first will bring tears to your eyes due to laughter. The second is just freakin kool.


  58. Chad,

    One other thing, the pumped storage facilities you are pushing as a fix for global warming actually emit a tremendous amount of greenhouse gases.

    Al Gore and his technically clueless supporters like yourself are causing environmental destruction at a scale that dwarfs anything exxonmobil does.

    World’s dams are ‘contributing to global warming’

    “Often it’s accepted that hydropower is a climate friendly technology but in fact probably all reservoirs around the world emit greenhouse gases and

    some of them …emit very high quantities of greenhouse gases even comparable to, in some cases even much worse than, fossil fuels like coal and gas,”.

    1. Duracomm, you are confusing rive dams with the small artificial lakes or large natural lakes that pumped hydro facilities use. Dams on rivers are an environmental mess, as I mentioned earlier. You are only proving that point.

  59. Well, he can’t really say “work over” without giving the whole game away.

  60. Chad,

    You are breathtakingly technically ignorant.

    Your technical ignorance is leading you to push for energy policies that are tremendously destructive to the environment.

    Pumped hydro for utility scale energy storage requires large volumes of water. This brings up all of the environmental problems mentioned in my previous comments.

    No amount of hand waving on your part can change the cold, hard, technical facts.

    If you really want to help the environment sit down, shut up, and stop pushing for environmentally destructive forms of energy production.

    1. Fortunately, we have 20% of the world’s fresh water sitting happily between some of our biggest power loads and some of our biggest renewable power sources. Sometimes we are just downright lucky, aren’t we?

      All the pumped hydro we could ever want to build won’t budge the levels of the great lakes by more than an inch or two per day. The biggest environmental “problem” at Ludington has been issues with fish getting caught in the intake valves, which has largely been solved with a system of nets.

  61. Um, It’s been proven that Mann (hockey stick) cherry picked his data in order to show historical warming. Out of the 50 trees that met the standards professed in his papers, he chose 3. Not to mention the error in his modeling software. (simply google hoax, you’ll see deniers of the hoax…of course, they’re the people who produced the paper). Mann makes his living promoting AGW.

    He did not allow peer review (data was only uncovered recently due being partially published in Nature)


    Other than that, you have models based on “Global Mean Temperature” which can hardly be predicted, which have been proven inaccurate for the most part. Even if they were 100%, you need to question the accuracy of models that can predict future trends, but not past ones.

    Other than that, Tony and Chad, you have a “consensus” of politicians and journalists.

    If you have any other proof you’d like to reference, provide a link.
    I’m open the suggestion that there’s warming (earth’s climate does change). I’m open to the suggestion that man may be the cause.

    I have yet to read or see any proof that has yet to be vindicated or peer reviewed in any meaningful way. Even any that are, need to be continuously reviewed with scientific rigor as new information becomes available. As a new, barely testable science, we owe humanity that.

    Based on that, I do not support wasting trillions of dollars and upsetting world economics.

    It’s that simple. So before you say 30:1, peer reviewed thousands of times, etc. Provide some actual information.

    1. There are many climate models currently in use that do quite well predicting past trends. Including the little ice age.


      1. I would interested in reading that, but I don’t have access to that server…

      2. Crap, sorry deadlink.

        Here’s the “cherry picked” hockey sticks put together on a single graph.


        1. That’s a pretty picture, but you climate guys need to learn that showing people graphs with no explanation as to what any of it means *shouldn’t* convince anyone of anything.

          Also, plotting 13 different sets of data on one coordinate system is never a good idea because no one can see what’s going on.

          1. Perhaps as a general rule, but it is a pretty clear graph nonetheless.

  62. I don’t know why we can’t just attract, harnass and store lightening strikes?

  63. “So we’re going to have to work on those folks over.”

    Fixed it. There was a typo on the telepromter.

  64. As if Ronald Bailey has any credibility on these issues.

  65. “http://www.lewrockwell.com/blo…..41453.html”

    Libertarians are so easily lead. You just posted a link to a paleo-Libertarian site (Reason appears to be paleo now as well) that references Howard Hayden as a AGW denier.

    Hayden also denies that HIV causes AIDS. So, he’s just another aged scientists who is out of touch. Science is full of them, but fortunately, the peer review process gives most of them limited influence.

    You guys are like freak magnets. Your entire thought process is fueled by wacky claims, and marginalized individuals.

    It’s getting worse now that you have run off sensible followers, and are being flooded with Teabaggers, and other mental midgets.

    You reap what you sow.

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