Don't Panic Over Global Warming


Just a tiny bit toastier

That's the message in a Wall Street Journal op/ed today signed by sixteen prominent scientists. The scientists note that warming has been less than predicted by climate models:

Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 "Climategate" email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." But the warming is only missing if one believes computer models where so-called feedbacks involving water vapor and clouds greatly amplify the small effect of CO2.

The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. 

For some background on global temperature trends, University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologists John Christy and Roy Spencer did an analysis in December, 2011 of 33 years of satellite temperature data and report

Globally averaged, Earth's atmosphere has warmed about 0.45 Celsius (about 0.82° F) during the almost one-third of a century that sensors aboard NOAA and NASA satellites have measured the temperature of oxygen molecules in the air.

This is at the lower end of computer model projections of how much the atmosphere should have warmed due to the effects of extra greenhouse gases since the first Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) went into service in Earth orbit in late November 1978, according to satellite data processed and archived at UAHuntsville's ESSC.

"While 0.45 degrees C of warming is noticeable in climate terms, it isn't obvious that it represents an impending disaster," said Christy. "The climate models produce some aspects of the weather reasonably well, but they have yet to demonstrate an ability to confidently predict climate change in upper air temperatures."…

"Part of the upward trend is due to low temperatures early in the satellite record caused by a pair of major volcanic eruptions," Christy said. "Because those eruptions pull temperatures down in the first part of the record, they tilt the trend upward later in the record."

Christy and other UAHuntsville scientists have calculated the cooling effect caused by the eruptions of Mexico's El Chichon volcano in 1982 and the Mt. Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines in 1991. When that cooling is subtracted, the long-term warming effect is reduced to 0.09 C (0.16° F) per decade, well below computer model estimates of how much global warming should have occurred.

Since warming is not proceeding as forecasted by the climate models, the scientists writing in the Journal conclude:

Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world's economy. Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically.

A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls. This would be especially beneficial to the less-developed parts of the world that would like to share some of the same advantages of material well-being, health and life expectancy that the fully developed parts of the world enjoy now. Many other policy responses would have a negative return on investment. And it is likely that more CO2 and the modest warming that may come with it will be an overall benefit to the planet.

The whole WSJ op/ed is well worth reading.

For more background, see also my recent column, Weathering Man-Made Climate Change which concludes with these observations: 

…between 1970 and 2008, 95 percent of deaths from natural disasters occurred in developing countries. Bad weather produces death and destruction largely when it encounters poverty….

First, recent research indicates that man-made climate change has not been nor is it likely to be a big contributor to losses stemming from weather disasters in the next few decades. Second, boosting the wealth of poor people through economic growth is their best protection against meteorological disasters in the long run, whether fueled by future man-made climate change or not.

And also my 2009 column, Is Government Action Worse Than Global Warming? Short answer: Yes. 

NEXT: New Congressional Budgeting Plan: Use Savings From Cutting Imaginary Spending to Pay for Real Spending

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  1. How long until we hear “those scientists are just pawns of Big Oil and Halliburton! The science is already settled and all legitimate scientists agree!” (add your own mouth foam)

    1. Damn, you exposed us!

      We would have gotten away with it, if it hadn’t been for you meddling commenters.

      1. Soobie-Goobie-Doo!

      2. Rooby-Roo!

      3. You traitor!!

        Spending money on climate alarmist propaganda!!!

        The BEST project is funded by unrestricted educational grants totalling (as of March 2011) about $635,000. Large donors include Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Charles G. Koch Foundation,

    2. Anacreon|1.27.12 @ 11:28AM|#

      How long until we hear “those scientists are just pawns of Big Oil and Halliburton!…

      Dude, they said this *in advance*

      1. Fuckin’ prawns….

        /District 9

        WAIT! OH! “Pawns”…pawns…hahahahaha! Got it! Never mind.

  2. I will never panic on that shit. I have my own problems. And the collective world has bigger problems. Climate change can blow me.

  3. Teh Science Is Settled:

    Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice

    And some wonder why others think news media + “science” = politics

    1. You missed a key word there: social conservative beliefs.

    2. SOCIAL conservative beliefs. You must be one because they are the only ones going around spreading this story, trying to conflate social and fiscal conservatism.

      Everybody knows bible-thumpers who hate gays, muslims, and immigrants are stupid prejudiced assholes. The science really has been settled on that one for at least 60 years, back when social conservatives were the backbone of the democrat party.

      1. It’s not like conservatives are the only ones with prejudices, though. Would be interesting to see a similar study on partisanship.

  4. Prominent?

    How prominent can they be if they don’t agree with the consensus?

    1. Prominent enough for the “consensus” to notice them.

    2. Burt Fucking Rutan! And a former Apollo astronaut!

      The scientists have nice pedigrees. What aerospace guys know about climatology is debateable and I wish they’d have left them off the list. They are certainly smart people who probably have solid skills and good bullshit detectors, but they don’t have expert credentials in this debate.

      1. This debate is a demonstration of the limits of “expert credentials”, adn the need to rely on good bullshit detectors.

        1. True. But given Burt Rutan’s opinion and the guy who is a professor of atmospheric scienes at MIT, I feel much better about the idea that even if the models eventually become even slightly predictive or effective at hindcasting, the professor of atmospheric sciences will still be current on whether or not the models are bullshit or not.

          1. You don’t need to be a so-called expert of “climate science” to be able to read a graph and understand basic concepts. Give me a break; the math and science are not too difficult for mere physicists and lowly aerospace guys to understand.

            1. I don’t disagree, but just because I can solve a 2-body problem, doesn’t mean I can comment on everything in orbital mechanics.

              1. You don’t need to be able to ‘comment on everything in orbital mechanics’ to understand the theory and the so-called science that suppports it. Most people studying the environment focus on a specific area (aerosols, pressure, solar radiation, etc.), a piece of the puzzle. Anyone claiming to understand all the factors affecting climate are liars, ignorant, or ‘climate experts.’

                1. I think you meant “and ‘climate experts.'”


            2. FAR too complex for the likes of you mere mortal!

              1. But the science is settled. Nothing to report here. It’s settled.

        2. “This debate is a demonstration of the limits of “expert credentials”, adn the need to rely on good bullshit detectors.”

          ^ Gold Star ^

      2. Expert credentials set off my bullshit detector.

      3. OK, being an aerospace engineer or an astronaut does not inherently convey expertise about climate science, but it also doesn’t exclude that they might have climate science bona fides. Astronauts are smart people; Buzz Aldrin had a PhD in orbital mechanics.

        Having said that, it would be better to avoid using people without relevant expertise to try to disprove this.

        1. No, I’ll grant that both Rutan and the other guy are both intelligent, numerate, and probably well-read on the subject for amateurs, as well as having worked in industries where the bullshit:survival ratio is extremely low. I just don’t think their signing on to this carries any obvious weight. And I would never argue with Buzz Aldrin, I don’t want to be punched out by an 85 year old.

          1. Actually that’s where you’re wrong. Aerospace engineers are probably the preeminent experts on thermal gas dynamics (i.e. how the atmosphere reacts to changing composition and temperature.) If anyone can think of a field that would have more expertise on how a gas behaves at the molecular level please correct me.

            1. A very good point. My apologies to aerospace engineers. D’oh!

        2. The burden of proof is on those making the claim.

          I am not a herpetologist, but I know a rattlesnake when I see one.


          I was raised on a farm, so I know the difference between horse-apples and tomatoes.

          All true statements.

      4. Besides being able to fake scary graphs and design computer models that always validate their opinions, what exactly is it that makes anyone an expert on climate?

        The self appointed experts admit that they don’t even know what the “correct” temperature of the planet is supposed to be, and yet we are supposed to take a 1 degree variance over a century as proof that we are all doomed?

        1. Hey, I just woke up from a long nap. It’s fucking Hot as hell here!

          1. Hey, I just woke up from a long nap. It’s fucking Cold as hell here!

            1. Hey, I just woke up from a long nap. It’s juuuust right!

  5. was it really too much effort to shop “DON’T PANIC” in yellow over that pic of Earth?

    1. And maybe stick some little green arms to the sides too.

      1. arms would take more effort, so omitting them is understandable.

        1. that’s a disarming comment from an obvious expert in arms control. Global wARMing indeed.

          1. did I mention I am drunk…and stoopid?

    2. With that title, Bailey missed a golden opportunity for a Hitchiker’s Guide reference in the alt text. I was hoping for something incorporating “mostly harmless.”

      1. Don’t blame Bailey. Besides, nobody’s prefect.

        1. Mos’ Def’ ain’t even prefect any more. He ain’t even Mos’ Def’!

  6. Scientists are unqualified to authoritatively comment on public policy. They should stick to the facts.

  7. I have too much invested in Climate Change to be daunted by a tiny decade of obstinate global temperature.

  8. Just because I have no fucking idea what I’m talking about doesn’t mean I’m lying.

  9. Global Warming: Don’t Panic

    Mobile Thread Devourer: Panic!

  10. Having done computer modeling as an undergrad in U of MD (chemical reactions taking place in the vicinity and aftermath of the plasma produced by lightning bolts), I know a little bit about the subject of computer models.

    The models being used in climate science are utter shit that is embarassing:

    1) The variables associated with each grid point aggregate numerous parameters excessively.

    2) The grid points are too sparse.

    3) The initial conditions are too often guess-work (there are numerous grid points whose initial values are based on averaging values from weather stations hundreds and even in some cases thousands of miles away.

    4) The tuning of the models to accurately hindcast the past is conducted by using aerosols as a fudge actor. Different models that are cited as widely agreeing with each other vary widely in the concentrations of aerosols they predict.

    4) All of the models model cloud formation crudely. Nobody understands how clouds work despite the fact that they essentially control the Earth’s albedo.

    5)Ditto the effects of the daily cycle of the sun – despite the fact that the major driver of what’s happening in the atmosphere is the heating and cooling cycle caused by the Earth’s rotation.

    6) The most accurate models make predicitons about the temperature profile of the atmosphere that are wholly absent, namely a hotspot in the troposphere at certain latitudes.

    One of the interesting fallouts from the whole Climategate 1.0 leak was the release of crappy computer code and the harry Readme file which was a log of sorts by a grad student trying to fix a precipitation model. It showed that the top climate scientists bring their same pathetic philosophy of misfeasance in statistics to computer programming.

    If I had submitted these models to Dr Boyd at U of MD as my work, he’d not only have put a hold on my degree, he would have probably kicked me out of the Physics department entirely.

    The great thing about science is that reality eventually prevails. Frauds can’t persist more than a few decades or a century at most. And I will experience shadenfreude as the people who tried to destroy the world economy and mire billions in grinding poverty have their reputations flushed into the sewer of history.

    1. their reputations flushed into the sewer of history.

      You will be disappointed. The promulgators of this fraud are part of the same team that can never bring itself to denounce supporters of fucking Stalin, for crying out loud. They will just move on, salaries and pensions untouched by their criminal malfeasance.

      1. They’re already fucked, dude. No one will trust them ever again. They may keep their jobs, they may be feted by fellow travelers, but no real scientist will ever hitch their wagon to them, ever, because doing so risks their reputation as well.

        They may not get the scorning they so richly deserve, but they’re toast.

        1. I wish I shared your optimism on this. One thing I’ve learned from observing the political world over the years is that being wrong matters for exactly jack and shit.

          What matters is your ability to swing your dick and move policies that help your TEAM and make a name for yourself. The other is the power of the follower. Paul Ehrlich hasn’t been right about one fucking thing in 40 years, yet he’s still considered an “expert” and people trip over themselves to give him awards for thinking the right things.

          As long as there are vested interests and sycophantic shit sippers who lap up every pronouncement (I know people who fucking worship Gore), these clowns will always have a job.

          1. I don’t care about awards. No scientist who has a real reputation will ever put their name on a paper with these guys, ever. The entire scientific community, even if it isn’t said out loud, will shun association with them. I don’t mean they won’t be invited to cocktail parties; I mean they won’t be invited to participate in a study, because the study is instantly tainted if they are on it.

            Like I said, it’s not as severe as they deserve, but they’re essentially finished. Oops.

            1. I wish you were right, but the problem is that their politics and end-game are shared by too many in their profession and by a whole lot of people outside of the science.

              I fear that they’ll survive this with little more than a few snubs here and there.

              This science is highly politicized and has become a huge money area (grants, etc.). That gives it and them some serious momentum.

        2. I doubt it. Zero consequences, at least beyond maybe some short-term distress.

          1. Oopsy!

        3. Rachel Carson was a liar, fraud and base simpleton, yet she’s still considered a saint… truth, unfortunately, doesn’t matter.

      2. We may have to wait until everyone now working in climate science is dead, or at least retired, but the truth will out.

        The same thing happened with both plate tectonics and warm-blooded dinos.

        These people, at least the Pharungulites, represent themselves as objective devotees of truth, but are as doctrinaire as the worst fundie.

        1. Hold up. What’s this about plate tectonics?

      3. The real tragedy would have been if we did implement some carbon reduction scheme like they wanted, and then when the global warming didn’t happen they would have fucking gloated all over our faces about how right they were. It would have been like Obama continuing to claim that the stimulus created jobs except worse.

      4. I don’t know…I make it to a certain age and I might be up for slaughtering them.

    2. Every major investiment house used rocket scientists, PhD’s in physics and maths,…..z1kg7MPN1T

      as well as the Maestro, to design financial instruments of UTMOST COMPLEXITY – these are people with ginormous brains, and with their Nobel prizes and such, they know far, far more than this motley crew commenting here…
      Which is why my house has tripled in value….
      WHAT??!?!?? but, but, but…house prices HAVE NEVER DECLINED NATIONWIDE – I got forumulas, I tells ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. When Genius Failed.

    3. chemical reactions taking place in the vicinity and aftermath of the plasma produced by lightning bolts

      that sounds like pure awesome.

    4. As somebody who did smaller-scale atmospheric modeling for my master’s thesis, I generally agree with your criticisms (though I’m not sure the grid scales and initial conditions are that big a deal when you’re talking long-range climate models). While I’ve been out of the game for almost nine years now, last I checked they’re still not entirely sure if upper-atmospheric water vapor is a positive or negative feedback. Climate models are useful tools for many things, and even with all the uncertainty I don’t think they should be ignored when considering climate policy, but I think the overselling of these model projections (also known as “fear-mongering”) by pro-warming factions has only served to further doubts about the entirety of climate science which is unfortunate because–“consensus” jokes on H&R aside–it really is pretty damn clear that anthropogenic warming has occurred.

      1. Name one natural positive feedback loop.

          1. Nope. Otherwise we’d be dead of it. CO2 has been at least 10x higher than is today.

            1. Try again. If CO2 were the ONLY THING that impacted climate, you would be correct. But of course it isn’t.

            2. This does a pretty good job of explaining how CO2 works as a positive feedback.

              1. That article is completely science free. It doesn’t do a good job of explaining anything.

            3. More seriously, we know that plant and algae growth responds directly to increased CO2 concentration. Ocean surface CO2 levels (in the water) have not risen significantly even though air surface CO2 concentration has. This would violate Le Chatlier’s principle unless there was some mechanism for utilizing the CO2 — like algae and plants. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere does not cause runaway CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

              1. You’re arguing against a strawman. I never said it causes runaway CO2. There are all sorts of positive and negative feedbacks; atmostpheric CO2 is, in and of itself, a positive one. Obviously modeling requires understanding all of the feedbacks and their respective levels, including the impact of algae and plants as you correctly note.

                1. And you’re seriously going to dismiss a study that “analysed the most comprehensive collection of records to date on temperatures and atmospheric CO2 from ice cores prior to the industrial revolution – between 1050 and 1800” as “completely science free”? If I wanted to have a debate with somebody who simply ignores science they don’t like, I’d go visit an anti-vaccine website.

                  1. Try posting a link to the journal article instead of 3 quotes from a prof. I have no clue whether it is really the most comprehensive thing ever, or if that’s what the professor’s press release called it.

                2. Wait, who is arguing against a strawman? I asked you to tell me about a total cycle that was positive in nature. You’re telling me that there are dampeners on CO2 concentrations, therefore its positive?

                  1. Given your comments so far, you clearly know enough about science to know that that’s overly simplistic. Atmospheric CO2 is, on the whole, a positive feedback. That doesn’t mean that certain factors can’t dampen the feedback. That doesn’t mean that other conditions may be stronger than that feedback. I never suggested otherwise.

                    1. Still unable to produce the link after 2.5 hours, CMS? I declare Brett the winner.

        1. Government Expansion. (or are we using the definition of natural that excludes man?)

      2. it really is pretty damn clear that anthropogenic warming has occurred.

        So, the paper arguing that the recent warming trend (since capped, in defiance of all models) wasn’t unusual historically, is wrong?

        1. The fact that similar warming may have occurred in the past doesn’t refute that recently-observed warming was in part due to human activity. I agree that the human impact is uncertain and largely overstated, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening at all.

          1. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

            Still waiting.

          2. I think it would be insane to say that human activity has had no effect whatsoever on the climate. The question is, of course, whether that change is substantial and materially detrimental.

            As you’ve said and many others have indicated in the past, the real consensus, such as it were, is that we’ve experienced a general warming trend and that there is likely some anthropogenic components to that trend. That’s it. It’s unfortunate that some have elevated that small consensus to some sort of general “consensus” (which doesn’t exist in the scientific community) that we’re causing massive warming and we’re all going to die really soon.

            1. That pretty much sums up my take on it, Pro Lib. I think it’s silly to take that basic understanding and blow it up to ludicrous predictions of future doom. However, I also think it’s silly to stick your head in the sand and pretend like an entire field of science is full of a bunch of rubes who have been duped by some liberal academic conspiracy. Like Ron Bailey, I started out as a global warming skeptic when the science supported being a skeptic. But over the past ten years, the evidence has panned out to where we can say that, more likely than not, human action is impacting the climate (even if the extent of it is highly uncertain).

              1. The problem with that is that as CO2 levels rise and the temps remain largly the same (over the last 10 years), it becomes less and less likely that CO2 is a statisticly significant factor.

                It’s like saying, well yes, the lower air pressure in the rockies can cause a bullet to move faster. Except no one says this when someone gets shot in Colorado because it’s not significant enough to matter.

                So when you say things like:

                But over the past ten years, the evidence has panned out to where we can say that, more likely than not, human action is impacting the climate (even if the extent of it is highly uncertain).

                You show that you don’t think it’s significant either. So why even bring it up?

          3. Well, if that’s the extent of the claim, its trivially true.

            And, I should note that you shouldn’t wave away the importance of previous warming trends comparable to the one in the 90s. AGW models depend on cascades that are set off because its getting warmer.

            Those cascades didn’t occur in similar warming trends in the past, so there is good reason to suspect they won’t happen now.

          4. The fact that similar warming may have occurred in the past doesn’t refute that recently-observed warming was in part due to human activity.

            Define what you mean by “in part”, and provide links backing. Do you mean 99%? 10%? 1%? 0.1%? If no one knows what that number is, then the theory is computer-modeling bullshit.

            1. Argh. Just saw this after posting.

              Glad to see someone else bringing this up.

              I say to the true believers and so-called climate scientists when I talk to them: if the science is so settled, then that number should be easy to produce with numerous citations to back it up.

      3. So what % of total warming does anthropogenic warming represent?

        1%? 5%? 20? 97.238?

        Citation needed.

    5. My concern is that decades, or a century, leaves time to do a lot of wrong. I do not have ideas on how to reduce the time, but greater transparency in the peer-review/publishing process might help?

    6. The purpose of computer climate models is to give politicians an excuse to control every activity that involves the use of energy .

      In that respect they have been quite effective.

      1. wouldn’t it be easier to add a ‘climate clause’ to the constitution (at least in US)?

  11. You deniers are hilarious.

    1. Kennef……oh thank god! You’re not dead!

    2. you know who else was hilarious?

    3. There is a difference between denial and prioritization. There are much better things to spend money on than trying to stop the tide.

    4. A lot of us accept AGW, but not catastrophism. And I thought your side was about truth and honesty.

    5. What’s the frequency, Kenneth?


    THE CULT OF CATS ? The ASPCA – Humane Society ? Feral Cat Society

    The Cult of Cats

    Now, cults and the deification of animals as Gods is nothing new and in fact pre-dates the dawn of history what has really taken our interest is that in a modern so called society the American ? Israeli Military Industrial Complex ? [THE EMPIRE] that such a cult would have gained such a huge foothold politically, and economically in such a so called advanced society but this is in fact what has happened, the rights of cats supersede that of all members of this society. The [ASPCA] The American Society for the Protection of Cruelty against Animals ? The Humane Society ? and Feral Cat Society have established such a Cult of Cats they even have [TV] Television Show broadcast [Animal Cops], across the entire national media, showing the legitimate power they and their members ship exercises, and make no mistake the power they bring to bear is scary to say the least, one can only read their websites and a chill runs down your back. These organizations have taken their Cult Religion and the Worship of Cats to the point that the natural balance, economy and the national security of its own national [EMPIRE] are at risk.

    The Natural Balance, Economy

    The Cult of Cats in The Republic of California, the County of San Diego, has destroyed the natural balance of nature, with a [1/2M] One-Half Million population of unchecked Cat population over running and destroying natures balance, endangered species, and the flora and fauna, of that community, the economy is suffering under the unchecked control of the Cat population caused by the Cult of Cats, land owners, home owners, hotel owners all suffer under the thug enforcement by the Cult of Cats and its Animal Cops, in San Diego County a hotel was put under the gun by the Cult of Cats for steps it may or may not have been taking to end the Cat Scourge, to its economic interests, may humans suffer allergic reactions to cats which effected the hotels occupancy rates, and therefore its economic bottom line, and that of the tourist industry as a whole. In one community in that County of the Republic of California a landowners property is over run with cats, one elderly woman in her eighties came out of her abode tripped over a cat not hers, fell and broke her hip, which resulted in a hip replacement and many months of suffering and pain, another elderly woman with terminal cancer requested the member of that communities Cat Cult to please help by not allowing their cats to urinate relieve themselves around her loggings, do the adverse effects caused to her in her last days upon her returning home after radiation and chemo therapy treatments which were causing her to vomit under normal circumstances alone but the cats only increased her distress, but was meet with a letter of threat letter being placed in her mail, combined with threatening phone calls, to the point were she finally left the community to end her days in a less hostile environment. The landowner himself a financial supporter of the Cult of Cats himself has made numerous to come to some sort of rapprochement, as his property also runs along side of a school and one of his residents grandson came down with Ringworm a disease which can only be treated but never cured was only separated from the school by a chain link fence, only to be rebuffed, and has come to the point were he prays that cats can be found with distemper within his community which would force a removal of all cats from his business and property.

    The [EMPIRE’S] National Security Threat

    Now, the Cult of Cats, has created a valid National Security Threat to its own [EMPIRE], in that cats are the perfect biological agent median, they are protected by the Cult of Cats to the point there are no limits to the access that cats have to any and all areas within Republic of California, the County of San Diego, a major Military Complex of the Military Industrial Complex of the [EMPIRE]. We know that biological warfare agents can be transferred between species, as can be proven by the transfer of Syphilis from a monkey species of South America to the Spanish population of Europe, the Black Plague from rats to same population, and the modern day transfer of Ebola to various African Tribes, and cats transfer as has been previously stated Ring Worm, and beyond that cat scratch fever, rabbis, and the list goes on. But what [IF] these diseases were made into Super Strains or even better Super Strains of Biological Agents of other types transferable to the human population of the San Diego County Military Industrial Complex, which would spread across the entire [EMPIRE] not only unchecked by even aided by the Cat Cult of the [EMPIRE]. Cats prove the perfect agent for the introduction of such a Biological Warfare Agent, think about it a huge protected unchecked population, the perfect stealth fighter, with full access to all property, and human contact the members of the [EMPIRE] military industrial complex personnel, inject a few dozen cats on one side of the Mexican boarder and placed them over the fence line of the [EMPIRE] and wait. It would never happen, maybe, maybe not but we have learned that one should beware of never, saying never to One half million possible biological agents.


    1. Yay, Herc’s back!

    2. I suspect Warty may be the grand mufti of the Cult of Cats.

    3. I’m with HERC on this one–dogs are much better than cats.

      1. Oh God… Don’t rouse the cat people.

      2. No way, man. Ok, maybe they are. But I’d still rather live with cats. Dogs are so demanding. If I wanted that, I’d have a kid. At least children eventually turn into human beings.

        1. See, I tried to complete the whole dogs vs. cats argument in one short post.

        2. At least children eventually turn into human beings.

          Feature or Bug?

          1. Having had children, dogs, and cats – cats are easiest to care for, but would eat you if you died, and would NEVER back you up in a fight. Kids are expensive and a fucking PAIN IN THE ASS for a long time before the payback of driving you home from the bar and shit. Dogs are kind of needy, but TOTALLY back you up in a fight and would lie by your dead body for a long time before eating you if you died, waiting for you to wake up and feed/water them.

            Therefore – dogs.

            /infallible logic

            1. Both – Cats to keep me humble, Dogs for unswerving devotion.

      3. Cats suck. And in every place, there is always a crazy disgusting old hag in a van feeding the feral cats.

      4. Dogs, talk about an entitlement mentality…

      5. How do you know that the cult of dogs isn’t even worse.

        1. The first rule of Dog Cult is, you don’t talk about Dog Cult.

    4. and beyond that cat scratch fever, rabbis..

      The Cult of Cats has rabbis?

    5. These organizations have taken their Cult Religion and the Worship of Cats to the point that the natural balance, economy and the national security of its own national [EMPIRE] are at risk.

      So cats are responsible for the downfall of western civilization?

      I love it. Herc for Philosopher-King.

      1. We could do worse.

        Hell, we are doing worse.

    6. Also, God Bless you and Keep you, Herc. Welcome back, old friend!

    7. Fuck you Herc!


    Yay!!!! The Herc vs. WI cage match is on!!!

    1. Are you kidding? No contest. Herc wins.

  14. Fail pic; needed the cover of “Don’t Panic!” on the front.

  15. Speaking as a Cat Cultist, I have only this to offer:


  16. Globally averaged, Earth’s atmosphere has warmed about 0.45 Celsius (about 0.82? F) during the almost one-third of a century that sensors aboard NOAA and NASA satellites have measured the temperature of oxygen molecules in the air.

    Plainly, we are doomed.

    This planet will be uninhabitable in a matter of days. To the escape pods!

    1. All of the currently available escape pods were built by the Russians in the 70s. Might I suggest mineshafts?

      1. Fuck it. If we’re gonna die, I’ll die with my monocle on.

  17. AGW hasn’t killed anyone, yet several billions dollars has been spilled talking about the hypothetical possibilities that could make coastal areas much more damp. This disregards the fact that coastal submersion has been occurring since the continents started splitting (see “Harappan” (Indus Valley) civilization).

    Meanwhile, a million people die from a disease like malaria every year. A MILLION. And instead of getting a movement together to use the same things to help the third world eradicate malaria like we did in the West, we have wasted billions of dollars arguing how many angels dance on the head of the AGW pin.

    It’s disgusting. Kudos to the scientists in this essay that stood up for common sense for once.

    1. This is really it. It doesn’t matter that much whether or why the Earth is getting warmer. People will adapt like they always do. It’s too bad that some coastal areas and tiny islands might get swamped. But the whole world shouldn’t be put on hold because some people in the Seychelles might have to move.

  18. A clever AGW advocate would liken this to the 100 Authors Against Relativity. However, it’s much easier to simply point to the deniers and make the disturbing throat noise from the Body Snatchers remake.

    1. And if the 1916 Mercury transit observations hadn’t matched Einstein’s predictions, they’d have been right. See, there was an experiment that directly tested his hypothesis.

      1. Yes, real scientific hypotheses have a null hypothesis. Which is why I’m also skeptical of string theory.

  19. The whole WSJ op/ed is well worth reading.

    Not to me. The argument put forward appears to suffer from problems of cherry picking. Just because warming in the last several years has not matched expectations does not invalidate the models. The data over the past century shows a clear warming trend. This seems just another recycled garbage argument.

    1. Please explain how a model which diverges widely from observation is still valid.

    2. So you clearly didn’t read the article, or you would have noticed this line-

      In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years.

      -which puts to rest your objection that “The data over the past century shows a clear warming trend”. Try looking at the climate beyond the cherry picked time periods that the AGW crowd continues to push.

      Also ask yourself why we had a little ice age and a medieval warming period that had nothing to do with human activity, more than a few hundred years ago.

      1. Climate clearly isn’t static, and it hasn’t been in our history. Identifying a trend doesn’t explain causes.

        Also, if it’s valid and actually understood science, it should have some predictive value. If cataclysmic AGW advocates predicted that we’d stop warming for a decade or so, then that would be some evidence in their favor. Otherwise, it’s just guesswork, and it’s not the basis for taking any dramatic steps.

        1. Don’t bother with the troll. He already said he concluded the article wasn’t worth reading without reading it. Epistemic closure combined with that level of arrogance is difficult to overcome.

    3. Just because warming in the last several years has not matched expectations does not invalidate the models.

      LOL. Srsly.

      That the models don’t accurately predict results is the precise reason they are invalid.

    4. If your model cannot accurately predict actual events, then it’s got a flaw. That flaw may be big, or it may be small. But it’s still a flaw that shows your theory isn’t accurate. And if your theory isn’t accurate, then you can’t say “the science is settled.”

    5. “Just because warming in the last several years has not matched expectations does not invalidate the models. ”

      Let me restate this for you:

      “Just because the models are wrong doesn’t mean the models are wrong.”

  20. Just because warming in the last several years has not matched expectations does not invalidate the models.

    That’s exactly what Chicken Little said!

    1. Just because the models were wrong doesn’t mean they were wrong.


  21. Thank you Wall Street Journal, but we’re way ahead of you.

    1. Now that Big Money has figured out that greendoggles aren’t much of a cash cow, and that AGW will be used to tax and regulate their profits away, rather than fill their pockets with loot, they’re willing to come out against it.

      1. i.e. Big Money has realized that US is broke & green subsidies can’t continue for very much longer.

  22. Ron, When you finally announce that you’ve been wrong on the science, can you do it at a public event, say Wurstkuche in Venice? That’d be fun.

    1. I don’t think that much of this necessarily contradicts AGW. It does however support the case that we just really don’t know much about how climate works. And I think that that is the only really honest position to take. Being absolutely certain that AGW is wrong is just as dumb as being absolutely sure that the science is settled.

    2. Why do you think that will ever happen. Just because the CO2 impact on climate is minute and barely worth bothering with doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a real effect.

  23. Sorta on-topic:
    “Obama touts another green company in State of the Union. It immediately goes bankrupt.”…..s-bankrupt

    1. That is a good one. I would be laughing my ass off if not for the epic scale of theft from the american people.

      1. It also occurs to me that there might….just might….be a connection between the execs at Ener1 and Obama. I wonder……..

        1. I googled Ener1 executives obama ….
          Looky what the first hit was;

          “Thomas J. Snyder, non-executive Chairman of Ener1, has close ties to Obama. Obama appointed Snyder to his Roundtable on Affordability …”

          I am shocked! Shocked I tell you!

          1. Ya know, I just didn’t bother to check, since it would have been one of those ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ items.
            Well, you *can’t* make this stuff up! Too funny!

  24. Two points: The WSJ seems to think that scientists that claim climate change are doing it for the money and that those who deny it are doing because they wish to save us from the money grubbing others… yet no one asks where the biggest “follow the money” solution leads….. to corporations who might be impacted by the changes needed…. No seems to ask if the newly denying scientists just are pissed no one listened to their pet theory and so decided to attack everyone else… why ask such troubling questions when it might undermine your personal world view?

    1. Re: muffler,

      why ask such troubling questions when it might undermine your personal world view?

      Why indeed. Why indeed.

    2. The sums spent promoting the CAGW cult are easily two orders of magnitude greater than that spent opposing it.

      And the attempts to deny positions and funding to people who didn’t toe the cult’s line, explicitly intended to create a chilling effect, are quite real.

      It’s kind of amusing that Steve McIntyre, who is supposedly a shill for oil companies has to beg people for money to get the plane tickets to attend a conference, while BP is giving block grants to people like Jones to go to places like Cancun.

  25. The WSJ seems to think that scientists that claim climate change are doing it for the money and that those who deny it are doing because they wish to save us from the money grubbing others…

    Look! Someone else who didn’t read the article!

    Here’s what the scientists from the article have concluded- “Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of “incontrovertible” evidence.

    How do you get “the newly denying scientists just are pissed no one listened to their pet theory and so decided to attack everyone else” out of that?

    1. I have had extensive experience arguing and debating with climate scammers. You are wasting your time. They are as intractable as any religious fanatic. They will employ every single fallacy against you. Their argument changes every time you point out flaws. No matter what you say, no matter how unassailable your logic or irrefutable your evidence, in the end, they close their eyes and start ” lalalalalalallalala I cant hear you!”

      Followed by ” You are stoopid so shut up!”

      Go away a few days and come back….they start all over again from the beginning. It is tiring, gives you grey hair and gets you nowhere. Fuck em.

      1. I think it’s born out of some kind of irrational guilt.
        You know, all this human activity is so harmful to Mother Nature. It’s a crime! Human activity must be causing harm because it must. It couldn’t not.
        Therefor it is. And anything bad that happens must be caused by human activity because human activity must be causing bad things.
        Or something like that.

        1. Actually there is a good explanation for it. We humans are wired to see ourselves as the center of everything. Everything must be about us cuz we are so important. It is the same wiring that gives birth to religion ( which might explain the religious nature of the AGW crowd ).

        2. the self loathing in these people is amazing. spend some time in DU. it is de rigeur for them. american society sucks. europe is much better. suburbia sucks (movies like smallville and american beauty are praised for exposing same.). our culture sucks (dumb amerikkans who love watching american idol is my favorite, since AI is based on a very popular british tv show). our technology sucks, and is leading to ruin, dumb americans and their gas guzzling SUV’s, etc.

          few things are more satisfying to a “i know better than the poor huddled masses” type people than the idea that EVERYTHING we do is leading to the death of gaia. if only we could be more like the noble red man (whale hunting excepted) and be “stewards” of our environment.

          1. I think you are summing it up pretty well. The real agenda is the sabotage of our society. I have a theory on why they hate it so much.

            see post below

            1. i think you are spot on. these are the same people who would have been screaming “burn baby burn” not too long ago. they HATE our society. there is also a unabomberesque respect for ludditism amongst them

      2. this is sadly, hardly unique to climate scammers. we see it in ideologues of ANY stripe.

        the same people who vociferously defend ron paul from race card plays about the newsletters, all of sudden trot out the race card when advocating open borders and opposing those who believe in borders and national sovereignty

        granted, i 100% agree that global warming is religiously adhered to… it’s far from just theory for these people. it is a CAUSE.

        that sets aside the issue of whether or not APGW is happening, and how robust it is. i can respect somebody who believes or disbelieves in it. MEGO when i am dealing with a religious fanatic of the position, though

        1. How about gun-control nuts?

          1. imo, they are worse, because they are almost always rank hypocrites on the 2nd vs. the other amendments, they are more likely to play the gun as penis canard and other such rubbish, and they won’t even consider stats that support RKBA

            their arguments are overwhelmingly based on emotion, and at least with AGW, there is a lot that we don’t know, and thus one can fill in the gaps. frankly, i have no concrete opinion on AGW, but i see way more “reasonableness” amongst both sides of THAT debate vs. gun control, which just brings out the serious stupid in people

            you can’t go 20 posts into a gun control thread w/o the penis canard, the “you just want to arm everybody canard”, the “people with guns violate my rights to FEEL safe” etc. they really are special

            1. Gun control nuts are emotional turds who rightfully could never be trusted with a gun, so they feel nobody else (excepting of course people who have gone through government training) can be trusted either.

              1. That was meant as a reply to S, not d.

            2. Three “canard” usages! Don’t ever change, dunphy.

        2. I can’t respect someone who believes the AGW religion because one of the pillars is using force of government to control any activity that could potentially change the climate, which means controlling everything.

          Fuck them.

          With a stick.

          1. we’ve had this discussion before. ultimately, i respect my political/ideological opponents. individuals may gain my scorn, but i would never judge a person’s character or reflexively like or dislike, let alone loathe them, because they have a different vision of the role of govt.

            1. I can’t respect people who want to use hired muscle (you) to control people who are otherwise minding their own business.

              Fuck them.

              Perhaps if I was the hired muscle I might feel differently about it, since it meant more heads to bust, but I’m not.

              1. we are accepting applications

                just make sure to dumb down your stanford binet, polish your jackboots, and learn to scream “stop resisting” while weilding your “tactical baton” like a seal bludgeoning fascist.

                also helps to have a kick-ass 70’s porn stache

                1. also helps to have a kick-ass 70’s porn stache

                  That’s funny.

                  1. It is funny. Now when I read dunphy’s posts I’ll be picturing this guy.

                2. I wasn’t aware that fascists were big on seal-bludgeoning.


                  1. I’d say joke, not spoof.

                    1. you would be correct, sir

    2. Incontrovertible.

      I don’t think that word means what you think it means…

  26. Eh. Climate changes, human action or no, and that change can come slowly or very suddenly. That’s a fact, unless you think the world was created 6000 years ago. The sort of people who are worried only about anthropogenic changes aren’t really focused on protecting humanity from natural cataclysm, they’re focused on punishing those who sin against Gaia.

    1. “Eh. Climate changes, human action or no, and that change can come slowly or very suddenly. That’s a fact, unless you think the world was created 6000 years ago”

      You mean ESPECIALLY if you think the world was created 6000 years ago. Cram the Earth’s history into a 6000 year window and shit happened fast. Take for example 40 days of rain causing the entire world to flood. Now that’s some concentrated climate change.

  27. In response to Dunphy above.

    In the mid 1800’s the mississippi river was the most dangerous waterway in the world. The property and lives lost on it were equal to the resto f the world combined. No one, not one person, dared to operate a salvage business on it.
    James Buchannan Eads, when he was 22 years old, designed a salvage ship and diving bell ( the bell from a 40 gal whiskey barrel ) and started to salvage. His first contract was for 400 tons of lead ingots that had sunk. He hired a professional diver and went out. The diver could not locate the lead so Eads donned the bell himself and dove in.

    He went down 65 feet in a swift current and zero visibility. He said he sunk to his waist in the bottom and could feel sand moving from the current 2 feet below the surface. He was able to locate the lead and salvage all of it, one ingot at a time.

    Does the term ” balls of steel ” occur to anyone else?

    Eads also built the first steel bridge over the mississippi at St. Louis. He also was the first to open the mouth of the mississippi. The army corps of engineers had worked on it for 35 years, but Eads accomplished it in less than a year.

    All his life, every step of the way, he was fought by lesser men who could not accomplish what he could. They were midgets trying to knock down a giant. By that, I mean they were attempting to make themselves appear larger by making him smaller.

    I think this is a very similar mentality to the ‘hate america’ crowd, if not the same.

    1. Btw, depending on who you ask, Eads is on the list of top engineers of all time. He is behind Leonardo Da Vinci and Thomas Edison.

      1. yes. it’s also similar to those whois reflexively distrust achievement, which is par for the course amongst liberals, since their very goal is to make society more egalitarian.

        people who are successful in ahletics MUST be cheating and/or a one in a million luckbox. couldn’t be because of hard work. the rich, despite extensive evidence to the contrary about income mobility, must just be silver spoon recipients or just freak luckboxes since our society is stacked against the poor being able ot ever achieve anything

        they do like the “academic elite” , since they are the true source of all wisdom, and of course if only they were properly respected in our antiintellectual nascar/american idol luvin amerikkan culture, we would be much better off. they would gladly cede all power to run people’s lives to the academic elite

        1. This is where we differ, not in kind but in degree. They wish to cede power on my behalf as well, and that is not acceptable. I am more apt to feel as sarcasmic does with the ‘fuck em with a stick’ attitude. what these people are doing is a direct personal attack.

          That can be a dangerous way to look at things, so sure, I temper it. But….fuck em with a stick. I have no problem calling them out for what they are.

          1. i think that’s reasonable. it’s just that , again, i don’t make character judgments or dislike people because i disagree with their viewpoints.

            i can find a viewpoint abhorrent in many cases, without thinking the same about the person

            kind of the whole loving the sinner, hating the sin thang

            1. I don’t despise these people for their viewpoint.
              I despise them because they want to force their viewpoint down my throat.
              It’s the force part that I despise, not the viewpoint itself.

              1. I despise them for their viewpoint because it tells me about their outlook and motives and I find them despicable creatures. Contemptable.

              2. Also, forcing their viewpoint down your throat is an integral part of their viewpoint.

              3. I don’t despise these people for their viewpoint.
                I despise them because they want to force their viewpoint down my throat.
                It’s the force part that I despise, not the viewpoint itself.

                It’s like the difference between your average southern baptist and your average methodist. Same basic viewpoint, but only one of them gets my scorn, since only one of them is trying to force me to live the way they want.

          2. When someone advocates giving power to people who would use it to intentionally lower my standard of living as a matter of principle, I view them as a threat.

            And thus despise them.

      2. Edison? The guy who invented that diabolical incandescent light bulb that wastes so much energy off as heat?

        Fuck him! He’s responsible for Global Warming!

        1. The very same one.

          I once was asked to leave a class because in the discussion of Eads and his accomplishments some dolt ( yes, way back when we had OWS types ) stood up and started cussing Eads as an example of ‘white mans efforts to oppress native people’. He said that lead was probably used to make bullets to kill indians. I could not help myself, I replied that it was a shame it was only 400 tons.

          Perfessor asked us to leave. I was back for the next class, dolt did not return.

            1. Yeah, I am a real sweetheart.

  28. Not worried at all.

  29. Global warming mya be no big deal, but I assure you manbearpig is very real. I’m super serial.

  30. I seem to remember a posting by Mr. Bailey about 10 years ago in which he pronounced himself a global warming believer. Is this an epiphany in the other direction???

    1. rxc|1.27.12 @ 3:14PM|#
      “I seem to remember a posting by Mr. Bailey about 10 years ago in which he pronounced himself a global warming believer. Is this an epiphany in the other direction???”

      I’m not Ron Bailey and don’t presume to speak for him, but I further don’t think it’s as simply decided as you propose.
      I’m convinced, by the evidence, that there is ‘climate change’. Further, I’d be amazed if the climate were static over any sort of time-span.
      *BUT* I’m not convinced the change is in any way catastrophic, nor am I anywhere close to accepting that the government has any role’ in ‘mitigating’ the effects.

        1. 2.5 spoof.
          Shithead would have included a rant about how libertarians aren’t satisfied until Granny is eating Alpo.

    2. No, this is proof that you can believe that human activity is some part of the cause of global warming, and ALSO think that it’s really no big deal.

  31. The science of climate change, or why libertarians cannot be taken seriously. Their central claim is to reason, but they’ll hunt for confirmation of unreasoned prejudice as hard as anyone. If you guys were true to your own supposed principles, you would defer to the scientific consensus (“consensus” meaning 97% of climate-specialized scientists). But you’re not true to your own principles. A sad and embarrassing spectacle.

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