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Inhofe recycles unscientific attacks on global warming, NYT’s Revkin gives him a pass

By Joe Romm on December 21, 2007 at 6:50 pm

"Inhofe recycles unscientific attacks on global warming, NYT’s Revkin gives him a pass"

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So Sen. James “global warming is a hoax” Inhofe (R-OK) issues a report in which he claims:

Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called “consensus” on man-made global warming.

“Padded” would be an extremely generous description of this list of “prominent scientists.” Some would use the word “laughable” (though not the N.Y. Times‘ Andy Revkin, see below). For instance, since when have economists, who are pervasive on this list, become scientists, and why should we care what they think about climate science?

I’m not certain a dozen on the list would qualify as “prominent scientists,” and many of those, like Freeman Dyson — a theoretical physicist — have no expertise in climate science whatsoever. I have previously debunked his spurious and uninformed claims, although I’m not sure why one has to debunk someone who seriously pushed the idea of creating a rocket ship powered by detonating nuclear bombs! Seriously.

Even Ray Kurzweil, not a scientist but a brilliant inventor, is on the list. Why? Because he apparently told CNN and the Washington Post:

These slides that Gore puts up are ludicrous, they don’t account for anything like the technological progress we’re going to experience…. None of the global warming discussions mention the word ‘nanotechnology. Yet nanotechnology will eliminate the need for fossil fuels within 20 years…. I think global warming is real but it has been modest thus far – 1 degree f. in 100 years. It would be concern if that continued or accelerated for a long period of time, but that’s not going to happen.

And people say I’m a techno-optimist. So Kurzweil actually believes in climate science — rather than the reverse, as Inhofe claims — but thinks catastrophic global warming won’t happen because of a techno-fix that stops emissions. If wishes were horses … everyone would get trampled to death. In the real world, energy breakthroughs are very rare, as we’ve seen, and it’s even rarer when they make a difference in under several decades.

Then we have the likes of this from Inhofe’s list:

CBS Chicago affiliate Chief Meteorologist Steve Baskerville expressed skepticism that there is a “consensus” about mankind’s role in global warming.

Wow, a TV weatherman expressed skepticism. If only the IPCC had been told of this in time, they could have scrapped their entire report. Seriously, Wikipedia says “Baskerville is an alumnus of Temple University and holds a Certificate in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University.” I guess Inhofe has a pretty low bar for “prominent scientists” — but then again he once had science fiction writer Michael Crichton testify at a hearing on climate science.

I don’t mean to single out Baskerville. Inhofe has a lot of meteorologists on his list, including Weather Channel Founder John Coleman. I have previously explained why Coleman doesn’t know what he is talking about on climate, and why meteorologists in general have no inherent credibility on climatology. In any case, they obviously are NOT prominent scientists.

Then we have people like French geomagnetism (!) scientist Vincent Courtillot, geophysicist Louis Le Mou«l, geophysicist Claude All¨gre, geomagnetism (!!) scientist Frederic Fluteau, geomagnetism (!!!) scientist Yves Gallet, and scientist Agnes Genevey — whose “research” on global warming is brutally picked apart by RealClimate here and especially here (and again here by other scientists), who together “expose a pattern of suspicious errors and omissions that pervades” their work.

So, yes, the Inhofe list is utterly ignorable compared to either the IPCC report or the Bali declaration by actual prominent climate scientists. The notion it is relevant to the climate debate is laughable, as even a cursuory examination makes clear. And yet in an article unhelpfully titled, “Climate Consensus ‘Busted’?” the NYT‘s Andy Revkin amazingly writes of it:

The perennial tug of war over what average people should think and do about human-caused global warming has just experienced another big yank, this time from those saying actions to cut greenhouse gases are a costly waste of time.

Big yank? More like Inhofe is letting go of the rope. Revkin continues

But when you sift through the studies, what emerges (to me at any rate) is not so much the shattering of a consensus as a portrait of one corner of the absolutely normal, and combative, arena in which scientific ideas emerge and either thrive or fade.

What does Inhofe’s list have to do at all with the normal scientific process? What do meteorologists and economists have to do with the normal process of climate science? Should scientists really be influenced at all by one inventor’s wild claim that nanotechnology will eliminate fossil fuels in 20 years. Or by a contrived and mistake-riddled study by geomagnetists?

One final (depressing) note: How effective is Inhofe’s media outreach compared to that of the entire community of climate scientists? Well, according to technorati, as of today, Friday the 21st, the IPCC Synthesis report has had 278 blog reactions since its release November 17, whereas Inhofe’s “report,” issued just yesterday (Thursday), has already had over 300 blog reactions.

We have a long way to go if we’re going to triumph over the disinformation and preserve the health and well-being of the next 50 generations. Let’s all redouble our efforts in the new year.

UPDATE: You can find some more excellent debunking posts here and here and here.

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170 Responses to Inhofe recycles unscientific attacks on global warming, NYT’s Revkin gives him a pass

  1. David B. Benson says:

    Yu8p. Have to keep plugging…

  2. Ron says:

    Allow me to be the first Doubter to admit there is disinformation coming from all sides, so nothing really surprises me anymore. We just need to try to be sure of our facts and employ critical thinking when we read these things.

    So, a few questions -

    The Senate report claims that only 52 scientists participated in the 2007 UN IPCC Summary for Policymakers. Is this true? I had heard the number was in the thousands, didn’t I? Why the huge discrepancy? Is this a blatant fabrication by the Denialists in the Senate?

    The Senate report quotes over 400 scientists. Would you say they are all nuts? If so, what would you say this says about the state of climate science in general?

    Also, can you comment specifically on some of the scientists quoted in the article – like Nathan Paldor, Madhav Khandekar, Robert Durrenberger, Antonio Zichichi, Vincent Gray, Eigil Friis-Christensen, and David Wojick? Are these guys certifiable nut jobs? Did any of them participate in the IPCC?

    Of those 400 scientists, you point out that some are meteorologists, physicists, and economists – not climatologists. I wonder: Did any meteorologists, physicists, or economists participate in the IPCC? If so, “why should we care what they think about climate science“?

    Also, I’ve had a lot of trouble finding the actual list of IPCC scientists and their specialties. Do you have the list of the thousands of real scientists involved, or do you have a link? That would be greatly appreciated.

    You yourself are a scientist – isn’t that correct, Joe? Although you weren’t involved in the IPCC, you do have strong opinions. What field is your degree in?

    The senate report also lists some other scientific fields covered by the 400 skeptics – among them oceanography; geology; biology; glaciology; biogeography; oceanography; chemistry; mathematics; environmental sciences; and engineering. Are any of these fields germane to climate science? Are any of these fields represented among the thousands of IPCC participants?

    And just how many IPCC participants were actual climatologists?

    Your answers will help shed some light on this contentious topic. Thanks.

  3. copper potts says:

    “oceanography; geology; biology; glaciology; biogeography; oceanography; chemistry; mathematics; environmental sciences; and engineering.”

    you can’t compare those to your local tv weatherman. if you have researched the IPCC wouldn’t you understand why those people are consulted? the scientists will tell you about how GW is effecting the oceans. the glacier people what’s happening with the glaciers and so on.

  4. A Siegel says:

    This is an excellent post.

    Per se, the problem is not the people’s fields but their openess to actual facts and their honest analysis of the facts. I very much appreciated your approach to this. The Kurzweil comment is a devastating example of the disingenuous and deceitful nature of Inhofe’s material.

    As you seem to have seen, my approach was to simply take the first three so-called “peer-reviewed” studies and look them up on Real Climate. As some one who has both been a peer reviewer (and had my work go through the process), I find the analysis devastating and strong evidence that there was not a serious, probing review that went on before the articles’ publications.

    Like you, I am in awe (terrified) by the skill of the denier machine team. Note that they (Inhofe / Morano) released this basically after all the other Congressional offices were out the door for the Holiday break. Thus, when will the Majority have a say about the shoddiness of this item published in a way that uninformed people might actual think that this is the Committee’s view of the world.

  5. Paul K says:

    Yes. Inhofe is a denier. He believe it’s a hoax. That probably puts him in the “way out there” category. He is not a skeptic. Skeptics believe that those in climatology who state that man made CO2 will, without doubt, cause a climate catastrophe in the next hundred years or so that will devastate civilization are misreading the data.

  6. Ronald says:

    You wrote at the end of the article that for those who think that global warming will be a huge problem and triumph over disinformation and all, the efforts will have to be redoubled. I would agree with that. But what is the plan? Do climatologists talk about how to get the message out in round table discussions? Is there a plan besides what is already going on? More of the same?

    I’m ready to do something more than just reduce my own fossil fuel usage, but what exactly would that be?

  7. dlcox1958 says:

    Revkin has been a consistent biased reporter on climate change. Example-he attempted to stir up a tempest about objections to Gore’s film from IPCC scientists as a piece when Gore won the Nobel prize. Revkin then used as
    primary opponents (1) an economist, and (2) John Christie, who is a long time climate change denier and no longer an IPCC member-he is also the co-PI on the satellite based measurements which were eventually debunkes. Earlier in the year he cited scientists who thought the film was inaccurate. One (the first quoted) was an obscure geophysicist from Western washington University, which is not a PhD granting research university in the sciences.

    Revkin, together with folks like Carl Hulse, Adam Nagourney, John Tierney (now writing science columns!) and one other whose name escapes me at present are part of a group of reporters at the NYT who consistently provide articles with a conservative slant. At least in Tierney’s case he is identified as a columnist.

    Sheesh!

  8. Dean says:

    I have a B.S. in Geological Engineering, which means nothing except to illuminate my starting point on this issue. I hesitate to speak of what I have become convinced of because I despair. However, silence is worse. I am convinced that most educated, average folk believe as Ron above does. My understanding is that we as humans have evolved and are “wired” to react quickly and effectively to immediate threats (lions, fire and head-on collisions), while we are virtually incapable of appropriately comprehending threats that take a long time to come to fruition although in plain view the entire time. Therefore, I believe (as James Lovelock does – and it is a calculated belief, not a scientific fact) that humanity is facing a bottleneck of biblical proportions. Those in power will not relinquish their power and source of income. The crucial issue is not about transferring income to those less fortunate – it is about paying some money now to avoid paying even more later. I have very rarely in my career been able to convince those in power to do this for any reason, let alone a global one (greed and the tyranny of the immediate being what it is). Therefore, if you desire prosperity for your grandchildren and probably yourself, buy no property below elevation 20 ft msl (200 ft to be sure), secure access to fresh water by installing a deep water well inside your house or locate on a fresh water lake, get off the grid by installing photovoltaics while they are still available, set up a geothermal heating and cooling system, learn to grow your own hydroponic food, build a concrete house (very affordable really) with overlapping fields of fire, and install a commercial ice maker to placate the needy hordes that will come your way. Somebody please tell me how our present civilization can cope with 1/4 of its population having to relocate in the span of only one decade? It will be like the sacking of a global Rome. The science is indisputable, the only question (in my mind) is when will it all go down.

  9. MWG says:

    Thank you, Dean.

    Your post is the very first I’ve read that offers me, a 40-something resident of Michigan, information I can actually use to personally prepare my family for what is to come.

    I’m no scientist, but I shouldn’t have to be a scientist to understand common sense, and neither should anyone else in this country. As Dean noted, the big problem is that those in power are doing their best to obscure the real facts so that they can continue to rake in the bucks. It’s hard for average folks like me to know who to trust for this type of information, since everyone seems to have their own agenda, including the media, itself. I agree that the urgency of global climate change is difficult for most people to grasp precisely because it doesn’t present itself as an immediate danger, and while people should be concerned enough to start taking action, it would not be beneficial to cause a panic, either.

    I’m saddened that this country’s lack of leadership on this issue will cause my grandchildren to read about glaciers in their history books rather than their science books. I’m actually ashamed of being an American in this context, because it’s difficult for citizens of other countries to differentiate the personal views of our citizens from those of the government of this country.

    For precisely these reasons, and many more, I wished that Al Gore would have run for president, though I greatly admire his ongoing work on global climate change. A unifying voice of leadership and integrity would have gone a long way in restoring the faith of the citizens of this nation and the faith of the other nations of the world in US.

  10. Ron says:

    Do none of you Believers have the courage or ability to answer my questions head-on? This is sad. And poor Mr. Siegel is terrified.

    My post above simply asked some probing questions, but every one of you side-stepped them.

    You want to believe that those 400 scientists are all nuts, but some of those scientists participated in the IPCC. Many of those scientists are sure nuff real climatologists. If they are nuts, then you have to admit that some of the IPCC folks were nuts. That’s a tough one.

    It’s certainly possible, don’t you think, that you could have nuts on both sides of the issue? Can’t you guys just relax the rhetoric a bit and discuss this like big boys?

    And why is it so hard to find a complete list of the IPCC participants anyway? This should be out there somewhere. Anybody want to post a link?

    And Ronald, I can assure you: In the long run, the truth will win, whatever that is. It may take a good, long while to get through the disinformation coming from both sides, but eventually the fight will die down and the science will mature.

    So, take a deep breath, try to relax, and let’s see if there is a clear-headed person among you who could take a stab at my questions. Where is Joe, anyway?

  11. Admiral says:

    Ron, if you don’t mind me asking: Have you checked out the other links at the end of the post?

    Also, it would be nice if you cited some of your sources for your information – ie the “52 scientists” number or even the “thousands of scientists” number. Also, keep in mind that it could be that these 52 scientists were merely collecting all the data from thousands of scientists. So while thousands of scientists could have participated in the report, only 52 really made it. No big conspiracy theory there, is there?

    If we strictly have a war with numbers here (and since we’re talking about smart people here, numbers do matter), the thousands of scientists rolling with the most respected body on climate change in the world is up against Inhofe’s shaky list of 400 “scientists”. How can you really compare?

  12. Bill from Pittsburgh says:

    This is simply a propaganda war at this point. The US has no real news media capable of reporting of discussing science issues. If you doubt this listen to NPR, but make sure you have pulled over and stopped your car. The stupidity of the questions and commentary will probably cause you to drive unsafely.

    Science and technology have been dumbed down in K/12 to the point of no possibility of presentation, perhaps a faith-based solution is more in order? Yes, in fact I read this in a letter to the editor of our local paper from a home-schooled student. Climate change is simply wrong. God controls everything, don’t worry, the scientists are all wrong. We are in very serious trouble here people! The average citizen does not understand science, the scientific process, peer review and paradigm evolution. Oops, can’t mention evolution (I was told this at a local museum when talking with students from a *Christian School*). Sorry!

  13. lgm says:

    You are wrong about Freeman Dyson. He is a great scientist. Project Orion may have been impractical in the end, but it is a clever idea.

    We can dispute the nutty ideas of senior scientist without denigrating their work. People politely disregarded Einstein’s opinion of quantum mechanics without heaping scorn on relativity. If you have arguments against Dyson’s views on climate modeling, he as much as anyone would want you to make them. Ad hominem attacks on Dyson himself don’t help.

  14. Boris says:

    Ron, You asked about a million questions, so don’t get testy that no one answered.

    You asked about specific scientists, the only one i know about is Vincent Gray, who is has a degree in physical chemistry. He claims to be an “expert IPCC reviewer,” but all you have to do to make such a claim is request a copy tor review. Anyone can be a reviewer.

    But a quick google shows David Wojick has PhD in mathematics and is associated with the Heartland Institute, which has a track record of lying about climate (including James M. Taylor fabricating a quote in the Chicago Tribune.) I don’t trust anyone associated with Heartland, but I’d be willing to look at Dr. Wojick’s papers on climate. I couldn’t find any though.

    That’s the interesting part: asking these skeptics for their arguments. One of the “400″ complains that water vapor is the most important GHG and therefore the IPCC is wrong. The IPCC knows all about water vapor, so this is about as dishonest or ignorant as it gets.

    “Can’t you guys just relax the rhetoric a bit and discuss this like big boys?”

    “relax the rhetoric” and “big boys” in the same sentence. Do you see the contradiction there?

    “And why is it so hard to find a complete list of the IPCC participants anyway?”

    Science doesn’t progress via lists. But the list for Working Group I is available here:

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Annexes.pdf

    BTW, do you know where a clear list of the “400″ is? There appears to be some double and triple counting going on.

  15. Ben says:

    I guess the best question is who has been published in “true” scientific journal for peer review and found to be credible. From what I understand. There are a number (small number) of scientists that are global warming deniers. But none of them have withstood peer review…not one. Case closed. Until you have been peer reviewed, its just hypothesis.

  16. Leon L. Peterson says:

    I read Weather Channel founder John Coleman’s four short articles on global warming and climate change. http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/11338421.html,
    > http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/11595211.html,
    > http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/11621966.html,
    > http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/11821366.html
    Its hard to know where to start, but why not with qualifications. Mr. Coleman need not apologize for being a mere TV weatherman. Science really is about the facts, not position, not personality, not celebrity. After all, if in 1905 the musings of a lowly clerk in the Swiss patent office on
    the relativity of space and time could change science and the world
    forever, then maybe a mere weatherman in a San Diego television station
    stands a chance of contributing to our understanding of the earth’s
    climate. But if Mr. Coleman wants to persuade inquiring minds that
    global warming is a scam he should probably rely less on opinion and conclusory statements and focus on the evidence (with citations) underlying those opinions and conclusions. Even if a scientist the stature of the late great Albert Einstein himself should declare global warming to be a scam, the reaction from other reputable scientists (and critical readers) would be a simple, “Okay, why? What’s the evidence, where’s your data? ” So break out your red pen and read Mr. Coleman’s articles with the eye of an editor who is reviewing a topic of grave significance.
    >
    Maybe I am spoiled by having spent a considerable amount of time over the past 18 months researching both the peak oil and global warming issues, but I was disappointed by what I can best characterize as Mr. Coleman’s sloppy writing, research and analysis. For example, apart from its grammatical and spelling errors, what does this sentence mean: “When the sun is more active and the earths magnetic field in energized, less cosmic rays which have a low cloud enhancement capability can penetrate the atmosphere from space.”? And what about, “All energy on earth comes from the sun…..”? Mr. Coleman seems to have missed the class on the churning gravitational and nuclear energy forces that lie just beneath the earth’s crust. Etc., etc., etc. And science really does not depend on being an eloquent or even very careful writer. the discoverer of a new comet need only grunt and point. It does help though,in getting your point across, to be careful in your presentation.>
    If one is just inclined to look for comforting reassurance about global
    warming I suggest tuning into Rush Limbaugh for his daily debunking of
    global warming. How can you question “Talent on loan from God?”. Or just put Ziggy Marley’s “Three Little Birds” on the stereo. “Don’t worry, be
    happy, every little thing is going to turn out right.” But if you want to
    be informed by the science underlying what seems to be an overwhelming
    consensus among scientists worldwide, I suggest having a Google alert on
    your email for “global warming” (and I suggest adding “peak oil”). Google
    will daily email you an unedited update of links to a wide range of
    sources on the issue(s). Read them all and you will very quickly find yourself directed to websites that offer an amazingly high quality of writing,
    research and analysis.
    > There is much to be said for an optimistic outlook on life, but, as
    Scripture says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose
    under the sun.” Ecclesisates 3:1-8. Presumably, that includes seasons of
    discontent. And given — in my humble opinion — credible and persuasive
    scientific evidence that a great turning in the life of mankind is at hand,
    the time to prepare as best we can is probably upon us. Here is a link
    to a very good article on preparation:
    > http://anz.theoildrum.com/node/3250#more
    LLPete

  17. N. Johnson says:

    I believe at least one actual scientist on the Inhofe list has had his views misrepresented.

  18. Ron says:

    Admiral,

    Are you referring to the 578 blog posts (now probably a few thousand)? No, I didn’t read them.

    The ’52′ came from the Senate report article. I simply asked if the claim was accurate. The ‘thousands’ came from Al Gore and others. Again, just trying to determine the accurcy of these claims and what they mean.

    And it’s an interesting comparison, because many of these scientists show up on both lists, as it were; they are IPCC participants and

  19. Ron says:

    Hey, what happened? My post got cut. Let me try again.

    And it’s an interesting comparison, because many of these scientists show up on both lists, as it were; they are IPCC participants and skeptics at the same time. So that puts the lie to the statement that there is no debate, doesn’t it?

    Bill,

    I agree with what you say about NPR, public education, and the state of scientific knowledge among the citizenry.

    The propaganda isn’t helping, is it?

    Boris,

    There’s double counting because, as I said already, some IPCC scientists are also skeptics. It’s only confusing because of the roar of propaganda.

    Ben,

    Case not closed. The shocking truth is that many ‘nuts’ and skeptics have been peer reviewed.

    Johnson,

    No big surprise. As I noted, there is disinformation coming from all sides.

    Try these simple rules of thumb i have developed: All politicians are crooked. All journalists and (especially) bloggers have an agenda. All scientists have tunnel vision.

    These won’t be true 100% of the time, but near enough that they should help you cut through some of the hooey.

    And where is Joe? Still out shopping? I’d like him to tell us whether or not he’s a climatologist or what.

  20. Dan Grunloh says:

    And where is Joe? Still out shopping? I’d like him to tell us whether or not he’s a climatologist or what.

    I don’t think you are trying at all. !!!!

    Click on the “ABOUT CLIMATE PROGRESS” link for the bios
    and a link to Wikipedia. If this is so difficult how do you expect
    to understand global warming? Sheesh.

  21. Boris says:

    Joseph, there’s something wrong with your blog as my default fields show Dan Grunloh’s information.

    Don’t worry Dan, I won’t spam you. But perhaps fake email addresses are in order if you don’t want them published.

  22. Paul K says:

    Hmmm and now Paul Kelly’s info came up. Screwy.

  23. Boris says:

    Oops, forgot to erase Paul’s info. Sorry, Paul.

  24. Boris says:

    “There’s double counting because, as I said already, some IPCC scientists are also skeptics. It’s only confusing because of the roar of propaganda.”

    No, Ron. I meant that Inhofe appears to count Lindzen and etc. three or four times. I don’t think there are 400 on his list, especially when you get rid of economists and biologists.

    As for skeptics who are part of the IPCC, they are, of course, welcome. I know Christy engages and Lindzen used to. As for debate, what do you think there is debate about?

    Your claim that “both sides” engage in dishonesty is not, in my opinion, borne out by the facts. Bring your worst case of dishonesty by someone you deem an alarmist and I’d wager I could bring five worse cases by prominent skeptics.

  25. Ron says:

    Boris,

    I’m not sure how to decide what is a worst case, but Al Gore certainly comes to mind. And I’m sure on the denial side you might point at Inhofe. What’s your point?

    Do we have to pick apart Al Gore’s movie again? Joe apparently is standing by every statement in the movie, but that’s his job. Most of the rest of the Believers, however, will admit he’s way over the top if you press them a little bit.

  26. David B. Benson says:

    Here is (an attempt at) a link to something Ron, in particular, ought5 to read about Inhofe and his ’400′:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/12/22/73147/008

  27. Joe says:

    Geez, Ron, can’t a guy take it slow one day!
    Please identify the errors in Gore’s movie. You’ll find it is very hard to do.

  28. Paul K says:

    Ron,
    Joe is not a climatologist, an environmentalist, an optimist or a Republican and you already know all that. Arguing the science here is an exercise in futility. All new information that does not fit the “man is causing climate catastrophe” template will be ignored by the true believers. NASA researchers find a decadal ocean oscillation cause for arctic sea ice melt – forget about it. Improved ice core analysis showing CO2 ppm increases follow rather than precede historic warmings (a reversal of pre 2003 science) – it changes nothing. NAS panel says bristle cone pines, the basis for the Mann hockey stick graph, should not be used in temperature reconstructions – what do they know? Now nine years of no warming trend despite ever increasing CO2 emissions – well you just wait until next year, mister. And so it goes.

  29. Michael says:

    Ron,
    Many of your questions can be answered by going to the IPCC website and looking at the thousands of citations in the back of the reports. They are all from peer reviewed journals. Go to climate science websites and look up the data and the arguments around the data. This was not all planned out as a huge conspiracy to fool you or the American public. Your implicit trust of Inhofe and distrust of the IPCC is striking.

    You need to do your own research about these things rather than bother other posters here to “tell you the truth” while expecting them to lie to you. You seem to have “issues” about people lying to you. I don’t know you as a person, but you seem to be trying to continually reinforce your view that people are lying.

    While your own personal psychology is not really relevant, what is relevant is your sense of entitlement to having people explain things to you that are already out there. I’m troubled more the degree to which discussions continue to revolve around whether climate science is true. We in the US have been far too tolerant of what the historian Richard Hofstadter called “the paranoid style”. Sometimes unpleasant truths are just that: unpleasant truths.

    There was a report today that there was an unprecedented epidemic of a tropical disease called chikungunya in Europe similar to dengue fever.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/world/europe/23virus.html?hp

    You can discount this report because it is in the New York Times but then you have to ask yourself: would the New York Times falsify or select this story to hype its “pro AGW” bias? It would be a major scandal if it were a fabrication: the story if true is newsworthy whatever your attitudes about AGW theory. So if your answer is “Yes, it is a product of bias”, my suggestion is start researching “paranoia” and “paranoid personality” on the internet: You should be worried about yourself first before you concern yourself with affairs of the world.

  30. Michael says:

    Ron,
    Many of your questions can be answered by going to the IPCC website and looking at the thousands of citations in the back of the reports. They are all from peer reviewed journals. Go to climate science websites and look up the data and the arguments around the data. This was not all planned out as a huge conspiracy to fool you or the American public. Your implicit trust of Inhofe and distrust of the IPCC is striking. You need to do your own research about these things rather than bother other posters here to “tell you the truth” while expecting them to lie to you. You seem to have “issues” about people lying to you. I don’t know you as a person, but you seem to be trying to continually reinforce your view that people are lying.

    While your own personal psychology is not really relevant, what is relevant is your sense of entitlement to having people explain things to you that are already out there. I’m troubled more the degree to which discussions continue to revolve around whether climate science is true. We in the US have been far too tolerant of what the historian Richard Hofstadter called “the paranoid style”. Sometimes unpleasant truths are just that: unpleasant truths.

    There was a report today that there was an unprecedented epidemic of a tropical disease called chikungunya in Europe similar to dengue fever.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/world/europe/23virus.html?hp

    You can discount this report because it is in the New York Times but then you have to ask yourself: would the New York Times falsify or select this story to hype its “pro AGW” bias? It would be a major scandal if it were a fabrication: the story if true is newsworthy whatever your attitudes about AGW theory. So if your answer is “Yes, it is a product of bias”, my suggestion is start researching “paranoia” and “paranoid personality” on the internet: You should be worried about yourself first before you concern yourself with affairs of the world.

  31. Joe says:

    Gosh, Paul K, I didn’t think you’d be one to rehash long-debunked Denier talking points.

    The NAS panel endorsed all of basic findings of Mann et al.’s hockey stick. I have even blogged on that, as has RealClimate.

    Nine years of no warming trend? Are you serious? A “trend” is not one year. 1998 was anomalously hot because of an El Niño, as everyone knows. As I have quoted NASA, “The six warmest years in the GISS record have all occurred since 1998.” The trend is unmistakable.

    IF you seriously don’t think we’ve been warming for the past 9 years, then I assume you’d be happy to take a $1000 bet against the claim that this decade will be warmer than the 1990s, and that next decade will be even warmer. If not, why repeat such tripe?

    I and many others have explained why temperature rise usually (but not always) precedes CO2 rise by a few hundred years. CO2 is NOT typically the trigger for warming episodes. Typically, orbital changes trigger the initial warming, which then triggers a CO2 feedback that causes more warming and leads to an accelerated rise in temperature and CO2. There is no “reversal of pre 2003 science.”

    Arctic sea melt is caused by a multitude of factors — but the extreme warming is clearly the largest single factor in the THREE decade trend of ice loss. Yes, when ice gets thin, it is more vulnerable to wind and shorter time-scale effects — but that just means global warming makes the ice (and species and ecosystems) vulnerable to other environmental changes, not that the warming isn’t happening.

    I’m surprised you would trot out such long-debunked talking points.

    I’m not a climatologist or an environmentalist, but I am a technologist and physicist who did his thesis work on physical oceanography (in the Greenland Sea), and has closely followed the peer-reviewed literature and interviewed the top climatologists for 20 years, and I have published books and articles on climate science and solutions.

    I am a techno-optimist in that I believe the climate problem can be solved, but I am a political realist in that I see little evidence that the human race has the wisdom and will power to take the necessary action — though I wouldn’t waste my time blogging if I didn’t retain hope the outcome remains in doubt. if anything makes me pessimistic, it’s when a smart guy like you peddles long-debunked denier talking points.

    No I am not a Republican nor a conservative. I work for the Center for American Progress, which, like most progressive organizations, is desperately trying to fight the suicidal right-wing disinformation campaign and to avoid destroying the livability of this planet for 1000 or more years.

  32. Ron says:

    Paul,

    I know Joe is a physicist, not a climatologist. I just wanted to see what he would say about it.

    Michael,

    If you dig a little further into the Asian tiger mosquito and chikungunya story, you will find it’s actually a bit different and more interesting than the ‘global warming made them do it’ idea.

    First off, according to Wikipedia, “This species is able to survive in a wide range of habitats and conditions, including cold mountainous areas”.

    If you dig around a bit, and don’t just read the press releases, you’ll learn that these bugs have been documented as a spreading pest for at least 100 years. They came to America (yes, they are here) in used tires from Japan.

    Second, and the most interesting part of the story, is the virus. It turns out that it has undergone a mutation that allows it to be transmitted by the Asian tiger mosquito. That’s the explanation for the outbreaks. The only link to global warming is the prediction that global warming could make such outbreaks worse.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071207091940.htm

    So, is the NYT article a fabrication?

    No. But the headline is a stretch, don’t you think? Certainly it’s misleading. Do you suppose the journalist has an agenda? Perhaps this is just a good example of disinformation.

  33. Paul K says:

    Joe,
    To say the NAS panel endorsed Mann is spin. It was critical of both the statistical methods and the proxies used. I invite anyone interested to read the report and decide for themselves. We are definitely in a warm period, but the upward trend that was evident from 1975 to 1998 has pretty much flat lined since. That is not a talking point. It is the data. Projections of catastrophe seem to be based on a linear progression due to increased CO2 in the atmosphere. I find it worth noting that we are not now seeing that progression. I also find it odd you would call the NASA arctic sea ice study published just a few months ago a “long-debunked denier talking point.” It is the latest and best science. The science is fascinating and confusing to a layman like me. One thing is assured. Climatology is far from giving its last word on forcings and feedbacks, upper and lower troposphere dynamics, proxy interpretation and modeling accuracy. I personally think whether or not we agree on AGW is irrelevant to our shared desire to see fossil fuel replaced by non carbon based energy. Reaching that goal is still vital even in the highly unlikely event Imhofe is correct and AGW is a hoax. Maybe you enjoy the science repartee as do I, but I like climateprogress most when you concentrate on policy and innovation.

  34. Ron says:

    I am a techno-optimist in that I believe the climate problem can be solved, but I am a political realist in that I see little evidence that the human race has the wisdom and will power to take the necessary action

    If you mean to say that you have little faith in government fixes, then I’m right there with you, Joe.

    Know what? You could probably classify me as a techno-optimist, as well. I’m all for greener technology and getting away from carbon-based energy; it’s dirty and it may run short someday. I’ve said all this before.

    Where you and I disagree is on the ‘sky-is-falling’ propaganda campaign and the proposals for more government (especially global government).

    So I’ll ask you again: What do see wrong with promoting private sector R & D in this area? If you got off the propaganda bandwagon, guys like Paul and I might get behind you.

  35. Joe says:

    I have a lot of faith in government “fixes” — how do you think we won WWII, put a man on the moon, developed the internet???

    I have published many posts on why R&D ain’t gonna avoid 20 to 80 feet of sea level rise, even if conservatives wouldn’t veto it, which they obviously would, given their actions of the past month.

  36. Michael says:

    Ron,

    You’re delivering us an almost clinical display of this phenomenon:

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

    If you are sincere in your questioning, rather than politically motivated, I suggest you look into this for yourself.

    The newspaper does not say: “Global warming made them do it” this is your paraphrase that then leads to your erroneous train of thought. You’re either actually or willfully confused about science and causality. You are using a Newtonian conception of causality. Most science, including much of biology, cannot go forward with the billiard ball hitting billiard ball type of certainty that you seem to wish or at least claim to wish for. You seem to be smart enough to understand that but maybe I am overestimating your intelligence.

    And the newspaper headline isn’t a stretch either if you consider that headline writers need to condense information: I looked over the article you linked to and the contribution of global warming is clearly stated in it. You are asking people to only speak of the most proximal cause and not the context which enables the proximal cause to occur in the first place. In this case the mutations of a virus are really not news…they mutate all the time.

  37. Ron says:

    I see little evidence that the human race has the wisdom and will power to take the necessary action

    I have a lot of faith in government “fixes”

    I’m confused, Joe. How do I reconcile those two statements? Do you make some important distinction between ‘humans’ and ‘government’; do you mean something like ‘the masses’ and the ‘rulers’? What am I missing here?

    And as for your 3 big examples of good government fixes: WWII was the result of a grand conspiracy, or over-lapping conspiracies, but that’s a discussion for a history blog I suppose; the moon landings were cool, but pretty damn expensive for what we got out of it; and the internet was indeed sparked by government activity, but became what it is in the private sector – way beyond anything imagined in the original project.

    And who is predicting 20-80 feet of sea level rise, besides you? Can you supply a link? I don’t think even Al Gore has predicted that!

  38. Ron says:

    Michael,

    Can you copy and paste the part of that article that clearly states the contribution of global warming?

  39. Ron says:

    And seriously, Michael: You may want to take a closer look at that article on denial yourself. It can happen to anybody if they aren’t careful.

  40. Michael says:

    Ron, I am not the one setting myself against the vast weight of scientific data because he doesn’t like the conclusions (or insists that the conclusions be delivered to him a billiard ball to billiard ball type causality chain with absolutely no doubts left).

    Here is your quote from the article you cited:

    “Both mosquito species are currently present in the U.S. and the Asian tiger mosquito is spreading in Europe. The findings suggest that, especially with the global climate warming, CHIKV could expand to new geographic locations.”

    Without warming: no tiger mosquito in Europe. There are so many tropical diseases that are expanding their range that you are going to have to find all kinds of mutations to explain them. You appear to be sticking your head in the sand.

  41. Boris says:

    Ron,

    Working climate scientists endorse Gore’s view. He m,ay step over the line in a few cases–for example, I feel he should have made it clear that Greenland and the WAIS are not likely to melt this century.

    Then take someone like Dr. Patrick Michaels, who testifies before congress about James Hansen’s 1998 model predictions and erases what Hansen called the “most likely” scenario, leaving only the scenario for ramped up fossil fuel burning. As a result, Hansen’s model looked to be far out of agreement, when in fact it was quite close. Did I mention that Michaels has a “Dr.” in front of his name and is actually trained in climate?

    Paul,

    Here are some lessons from a mathematician on trend lines and noise. The 1998 argument is weak, weak, weak:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2007/12/16/wiggles/

  42. Ron says:

    especially with the global climate warming

    Yep, that’s all it says. Sorry, Michael, but I don’t think the “contribution of global warming is clearly stated in it”.

    Let’s not forget that “this species is able to survive in a wide range of habitats and conditions, including cold mountainous areas” and is already doing so, has been doing so for at least a century. The disease outbreak is due to the virus in that area having mutated.

    Mystery satisfactorily explained. No climate connection necessary. Not much of a connection even implied in the article, in fact; it was just sort of mentioned in passing.

    Perhaps some subtle disinformation; or does that sound too paranoid? That one sentence fragment sure caught your imagination, though …

    Probably somewhere in the grant proposal were the words ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’, but of course, these guys weren’t climatologists either, so what do we care what they think anyway, right?

    Let it go, Michael. There’s more compelling evidence for you elsewhere to use against me.

  43. Michael says:

    Ron,
    Your response makes little sense… You seem to be having a dialogue with yourself and ignoring the preponderance of what I have said and for that matter what is happening in the world around you. You are currently stuck in the “disformation” rut.

    You need more help than I can give you. I’m not going to waste any more time discussing this with you. I would urge others on this blog to do the same.

  44. Paul K,
    I am not any sort of scientist and even I knew much of the stuff you brought up was debunked a long time ago and is only repeated by those who haven’t gotten the news flash. That doesn’t mean global warming is happening, or is manmade, it just proves you are speaking through your hat. Yes, if you insist, I’ll be happy to step outside.

    Ron,
    I’m glad to see your argument now seems to hinge entirely on the activity of a single fly. If this peice of claptrap from the deniers is later debunked, will you finally pull your head out of the sand? I’d hope so, otherwise you won’t be able to find “outside.”

  45. Ron says:

    Sure, No Name, I’ll not argue about the skeeters again if you or Michael or somebody can show me how global warming contributed to the situation, but I think I made my point pretty well – and wasn’t planning to argue it anymore anyhow.

    And Joe, I’m still wondering:

    I see little evidence that the human race has the wisdom and will power to take the necessary action

    I have a lot of faith in government “fixes”

    I’m confused, Joe. How do I reconcile those two statements? Do you make some important distinction between ‘humans’ and ‘government’; do you mean something like ‘the masses’ and the ‘rulers’? What am I missing here?

    Boris,

    Yes I know working climate scientists endorse Al Gore, but many don’t as well. What’s the point? Would a show of hands settle it?

  46. Marion Delgado says:

    Why I would simply ignore Ron: He’s a liar and a troll, poking sticks to see how much of your precious time he can waste. For example:

    One question assumes there are 400 names. there are not. Ron’s lying. What Inhofe, who is a general science denialist on multiple issues, including evolution, did was repeat names over and over, first as separate entries then as groupings.

    One assumes of the separate names on there that all are scientists. they’re not. Ron is lying. Many are economists or people with no science training to speak of.

    His statements about the IPCC are lies. You cannot argue with an authoritarian sociopath. That’s my prediction/hypothesis. Anyone who disagrees, keep on, but AFTER THE FACT I want you to re-evaluate your experience and see if I was right. That’s all I ask.

  47. Dano says:

    If this peice of claptrap from the deniers is later debunked, will you finally pull your head out of the sand? I’d hope so, otherwise you won’t be able to find “outside.”

    No. Denialists do not let little things like refutation stop them. They will, as always, simply recycle old arguments or find some other tenuous thread to cling to. Never fear. This will happen.

    Best,

    D

  48. Ronald says:

    Ron,
    You wrote’ ‘The moon landings were cool, but pretty darn expensive from what we got of it.’

    Are you nuts? That may have been a pretty cheap display of American possibilities and inspiration for the United States and the for the people of the world. We were going thru a Cold War with the Soviet Union at that time and any good press for us was good. The space race was a part of Cold War thinking. But we were also going thru the very dispiriting Vietnam conflict. Those landings inspired many to become Engineers. You are very much endowed with tunnel vision.

    The best example of good government intervention is safety with motor vehicles. In 1973, the United States had more than 57 000 vehicle crash fatalities on our highways and roads. In the 1960’s a systemantic motor vehicle safety program was started to make safer motor vehicles. The private car companies were telling us, it’s just about driving better, not about smashing our heads against a windshield when we get into a crash. Good thing politicians didn’t believe the libertarians in the world, your face and car, to bad if it smashes.

    Motor vehicle safety we being mandated from government in motor vehicles, roads were made safer with vehicle crash examinations so problems could be fixed and eventually harder laws against drunk drivers were made. Some years later in the 1990’s the number of fatalities was somewhere around 40 000 a year, quite a drop from 1973’s 57 000, especially with the increased number of miles driven. If we had the same rate of death to mileage rate in the 1990’s as 1973, we’d have over 100 000 people a year die on our roads, more deaths than we lost in Vietnam, every year!

    Much of that effort to reduce traffic deaths was from Ralph Nadar, who up to the mid 1990’s was part of legislation that saved a quarter of a million lives from vehicle crashes.

    Well, what is going on here? Part of it is about how we as humans perceive risks and how we can look at risks as a government.

    If someone tells me that I have a one in 10 000 risk of something or a two in 10 000 risk of something, that might not change how I view the risk. But to a government, that might be the difference between 40 000 people dying on our highways to 80 000 dying on our highways. Governments can make appropriate action not available to individual people. Simply is.

    When we’re in our motor vehicles, doesn’t matter what our politics are, we, our children, grandchildren, friends and everybody, are at the reality of the safety we built into the motoring system. Doesn’t matter if we can make arcane arguments about government in our lives, it would only matter if there is a crash barrier if we need it, or the drunk driver was taken off the road.

  49. Ronald says:

    Ron,
    You have a real problem with problem identification. The reality of global warming is a million times more of a problem to human civilizations than the movie ‘An Inconvient Truth’ or how we talk about it. Begging the question, sure. But what respect do you have for yourself calling for ‘Where is Joe’, like some sick child.

    Clearly the listing of these ‘400’ names of whatever they are, is not comparable with the IFCC reports or the science consensus of global warming. Kind of burns your chaps doesn’t it. From reading your posts I’ve come to the conclusion that you are more crooked, having an agenda and have tunnel vision more than anyone here and for those that you claimed had those traits.

    You wrote me to tell me that someday we will know what the truth is about global warming. It’s very clear to me we have a good handle on what the truth is now. Just because some can’t accept inconvient truths doesn’t make it less true.

  50. Ronald says:

    We might agree on something.

    There is a ‘science consensus’ that global warming as it’s commonly called is caused by man-made release of global warming gases in the atmosphere.

    Then we might agree that there are some scientists who disagree with the ‘science consensus.’

    That there are some scientists who disagree with the science consensus does not mean that there isn’t a science consensus, just that some scientists disagree with the science consensus.

    The same could be said about, did humans from the United States from 1969 to 1972 land on the moon and come back to earth or was what we saw on TV done in some back Hollywood studio lot. I would say there is a consensus of people saying that we did land on the moon. Some people disagree with that, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a consensus that we did in fact land on the moon.

    Where science is being done, there is a consensus about global warming. Where politics, informing people, and on ideas of what we should do now, there isn’t a consensus.

    We have a science consensus on global warming.
    Some scientists don’t agree with that consensus.
    We don’t have a political consensus on global warming.

  51. Ron says:

    Marion & Drano,

    I’m a bit grumpy today. Please show me specifically where I lied in any of the above posts.

    If you can’t, then shut the hell up and let the folks with the brains speak for themselves.

  52. Paul K says:

    Boris,
    Thanks for the link. Open mind is a site I visit on occasion. Tamino is pretty sharp. Just to be clear, I am not arguing that global warming “ended in 1998″, only noting the lack of trend since then. Most anomaly graphs are plotted against a 1960 – 1990 temperature average baseline and the long term trend indeed shows warming. The question is will 21st century warming be 1C – similar to the 20th century and not much of a problem or 2C – most likely according to IPCC and manageable/preventable or 4C+ – the disaster scenario.
    No Eponym At This Time,
    Let’s see what has been debunked.
    1) NASA researchers find a decadal ocean oscillation cause for arctic sea ice melt. This study is very recently published. If you or anyone else knows of any credible refutation, I’d be happy to read it.
    2) NAS panel says bristle cone pines should not be used for temperature reconstructions. That is a direct quote from the panel’s report. That and the other criticisms were disputed, as Joe pointed out, on realclimate which is of course Prof. Mann’s own website.
    3) Improved ice core analysis showing CO2 ppm increases follow rather than precede historic warmings. Again, this is simply scientific fact. AGW theory states that once the warming begins, CO2 produces feedback which amplifies and extends the warming. I think you will find that within climatology understanding of feedbacks, forcings and senstivities are incomplete and evolving.
    4) Temperature anomaly since 1998. As I’ve said, I find this more interesting in terms of future policy than of science. I don’t know how one debunks plots on a graph.
    As to whether I’d like to step outside, it’s 16 degrees with bitter winds here in Chicago today. So if we do, let’s be sure to wear gloves and long underwear.

  53. Michael says:

    I’ve given some thought to my interaction yesterday with Ron on this board and come up with observations about the mechanisms of GW denial, perhaps applicable to Inhofe and others as well.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to accuse Ron of lying, which he may be, to dismiss his position as inconsequential. He simply denies that there is anything like a distal or ultimate cause, that there are only proximate causes. It’s like you might be running through a burning forest and a burning tree falls on you: is it because that tree was weak already and it happened to fall sooner than the others around it? Or because there was a fire? As a practical matter, lawyers, judges and juries need to distinguish between these causes all the time in legal proceedings.

    Ron and other denialists like him either habitually or strategically deny that there are distal causes only focusing on the proximate causes of x or y phenomenon. In my argument with him above, he seemed to be satisfied entirely by the fact that a virus had mutated which for him ERASED the contribution of warming to the vector of the virus being able to transmit that tropical virus in temperate areas.

    Or alternatively, for some reason, he and other denialists may sometimes suggest that ultimate causes exist but in the case of the climate there is a peculiar exception.

    The effect of this denial is to deny THAT ACTION IS POSSIBLE. We cannot DO anything about viruses mutating..it just happens. On the other hand, we can do something about global warming. But denialists don’t want you to DO anything about it. They want to freeze you with the DOUBT that they so love to seed in their opponents; maybe they themselves are frozen by doubt and they just want to “share the love”.

    It reminds me of a book I loved as a child, The Phantom Tollbooth. In that book, the protagonist(s) meet a series of demons that appear eccentric but not immediately menacing. Many of these demons do nothing more than waste the time of the protagonists including having them do mindless tasks like moving a heap of sand from one place to another using tweezers.

    I’m afraid Ron has acted like one of these time-wasting characters here, by appearing to be intelligent, curious, and moderately well-informed he has tempted many of us into arguing with him. However he seems resistant to grappling with the fundamental issues and seems to only gain from the attention he gets.

    My concern is not so much his role here but more in general, how do people of good will and understanding of the issues take the next steps and move to ACTION around GW and other energy/environment challenges.

  54. Boris says:

    “NAS panel says bristle cone pines should not be used for temperature reconstructions. That is a direct quote from the panel’s report.”

    No it isn’t. The NAS panel said “strip-bark” bristlecones should not be used because there is evidence they are affected by CO2 fertilization. Full-bark bristlecones are not designated in this way.

    Also, you need to reread tamino’s post. You can’t cherrypick 1998 and say the trend is down, especially when, as tamino illustrates, random noise will produce outliers such as 1998. It’s just not a convincing argument when speaking of climate.

    Further, you say:

    “I think you will find that within climatology understanding of feedbacks, forcings and senstivities are incomplete and evolving.”

    Undoubtedly true, but climate sensitivity to CO2 is very likely between 2`C and 4.5`C. Feedbacks are certainly positive. In other words, all evidence points to significant warming in our future.

  55. Joe says:

    Hmm. Ron and Paul K = Ron Paul! Coincidence — I think not.

    Ron writes: “WWII was the result of a grand conspiracy, or over-lapping conspiracies” — sounds like we are in the tinfoil hat zone. You can’t just post a line the rewrites all the history books and not back it up.

    Paul: The Nature article on the Academy study was headlined: “Academy affirms hockey-stick graph.” Was that spin too?

  56. Sheryl Crowe says:

    What a thing of beauty, the Hockey Stick graph.

    Dr Mann, you are to be congratulated for your demonstration of how a function you assume assumes the form you want when it is plotted.

    I wonder – did he feel pride when he looked at that thing published in newpapers and so on?

  57. Ron says:

    I’m sure I’ll never convince some of you that taxation is immoral and government is very inefficient, but I feel moved to challenge socialist and fascist ideas when I hear them.

    As to the science of global warming, I have again and again challenged the basic hypothesis behind all this that increasing CO2 causes climate warming. But all I get is silence, insults, or a link to somebody who says “CO2 causes warming”.

    It’s a point of faith for some of you people, but nobody seems able to back it up with real cause & effect evidence. Sure, you can look at things like melting ice and claim it’s caused by CO2; or you can look at increasing ice elsewhere and say ‘that doesn’t count’, but one important thing you can’t do is adequately validate the hypothesis! (That’s why there really IS a debate going on among scientists, and the reason the issue is so contentious and propaganda-filled is because there’s also a lot of money at stake).

    I know you’ll just insult me again, but let’s see if anybody can validate the hypothesis. What will it be this time – silence, insults, or another link that states the hypothesis?

    As far as I know there has never been a believing climatologist stop by this blog, but perhaps one of Joe’s climatologist friends could enlighten me once and for all and then this troll that annoys you so much might go away.

    BTW – The only insult that bothers me is when you call me a liar. Then you have to back it up with something.

    Michael,

    You simply imagined more into that article than was really there. Don’t worry about it. It happens sometimes. Let it go.

  58. Ron says:

    Joe,

    It doesn’t have to be a foil hat fantasy, or even be secret to be a conspiracy. FDR’s and others’ complicity in the Pearl Harbor attack, for instance, is well-documented. Suppressed, yes; but well-documented and certainly not a fantasy or a secret.

    And for a history blog I might want to explore some questions I have, like why did Hitler move Rommel out of Europe and send him to the desert? Bad move for bright guy. Or why did he so ill-equip his forces he sent into Russia? Hadn’t he ever heard of Napolean? And what did he mean as a young man when he vowed to bury Germany? All good questions for a history blog.

    And did you know this: I was quite surprised to see a few years ago a Bible, printed in phonetic Navajo, published in 1912. Something to make you go, hmmmm.

    And Joe, you don’t have to wear a foil hat to understand that people do indeed conspire with each other; powerful people especially; usually for money, but sometimes just for power over other people.

    It might not even be a stretch to say that all wars are the result of conspiracies of one sort or another between powerful people.

  59. Ron says:

    And no: we aren’t Ron Paul.

    Paul understands my moral arguments, but can’t quite let go of his befief in the supremacy of government.

    He often feels that the end justifies the means.

    He doesn’t entertain any conspiracy ideas.

    He understands the science and technology better than I do.

    He is better educated than me, but I have a much higher IQ.

  60. John Mashey says:

    Go over to DeSmogBlog or Rabett Run or Deltoid, all of which are focused on teh silly Moran piece.

    For rehashes of high school science,
    ike the amazing fact that Greenhouse effect works,
    - that basic radiation physics is understood
    - that higher CO2e forces temperatures higher
    - that CO2 has been rising
    - and that isotopic signatures make it absolutely clear that the extra CO2 is from humans burning fossil fuels

    don’t waste Joe’s time here, go over to RealClimate for whatever level of depth you want, and working climate scientists who answer reasonable questions.

    Even better, many universities have public talks, and talking *live* to real climate scientists (as opposed to pontificating about fantasized arguments among real scientists) is even better, for anybody who is actually evidence-based.

    JOE: please consider a policy statement diverting basic climate science rehashes elsewhere. Greasemonkey+killfile doesn’t work on your blog yet, so one must ignore people manually. I pine for usenet Killfiles…

    This blog is too valuable for the unique topics to be overrun.

  61. Ronald says:

    I could understand the frustration of someone who tried to understand the science of global warming from reading blog comments. To understand the science you have to study the science.
    Schreek! ! Imagine someone making the comment on this blog ‘oh, we have drought in the southwest and southeast, an example of possibly global warming.’ Then someone reading that statement and thinking ‘so that’s the science of global warming, there’s drought some places.’ The science of global warming goes way beyond that. This is just a climate comment blog, not a science blog.
    This morning I heard the comments on TV; the way the media is now a days going 70 miles an hour, nobody would be able see any pearls of wisdom. And fully vetted science is wisdom. And that’s what the climatologists have done in the peer reviewed literature. What we have is a group who for political and economic reasons find that finding inconvient and worse.
    And most people are not going to hold your hand through that learning process. It takes work sometimes. Many people don’t want to do the work, they would much rather push on the Big Red Easy Button of talk radio or internet bloggs.

  62. JJohnson says:

    Man. There are times I seriously just want to throw in the towel; eat, drink, be merry – never have kids, and then laugh when I’m 83 and the planet is dying. Sure, I’ll be dead soon, but what do I care? Then I can laugh at the morons who’ve spent all this time trying to cover the problem up in pursuit of the almighty dollar. What’s a dollar gonna get ya when you’re planet’s baking right?

    *sigh*

    But I can’t do that. As grumpy as I get, as absolutely FED UP with people as I get… yah, we gotta save the stupid planet and its moron inhabitants.

    Why can’t it be something easy, like giant bugs from outerspace? You wouldn’t have many people denying the existence of said giant bugs when getting stepped on I don’t think!

  63. Ronald says:

    Ron,
    why did Hitler invade Russia? For Oil.

    An army needs oil to run on and the German war machine needed lots of it, but hardly any domestic supplies. They saw the Russian oil fields in south Russia and other areas Russia controlled. They knew if Germany invaded just the oil fields, Russia would attack them with their full army still intacked. But if the German Army would attack in what worked 100 percent well for them up to that time in a blitzkrieg (lightning war) they could knock out the Russian army. Hitler thought he could win with what he won with in every battle that he used before.
    Hitler thought Russia would fold like Poland. He was wrong. Russia did a lot of things not anticipated like moving industry across the country. Now military historians tell us he had half the Army that he needed to do the job, but when you’re a true believer and you disregard the advice of your best generals, thats what you get. Hitlers formal military training was up to a corporal. He thought he couldn’t lose.

  64. IVEATCH says:

    This planet and the Lifeforms that dwell on it have adapted to change in the past. Hopefully this adaptation for what many of today’s Biologist’s have identified as the Holocene extinction event will not be as drastic as what was required from the survivors of the Late Devonian period.

    Perhaps it is time for the Lemurs to fianally achieve their potential for further evolutionary development? Maybe a society dominated by the female of the species would be a more nurturing one …….. ?

    Best Regards,

  65. Ron says:

    pursuit of the almighty dollar

    Yes. Follow the money.

    Take a look at whose money we’re talking about and who wants to get their hands on it and whose pocket it goes into in the end.

    I’m not asking people to pay more taxes or pay more for energy, or buy carbon credits, or give more control over to government (federal OR global), or suggesting any sort of re-distribution program, or even being paid to write in this blog.

    Look at Maurice Strong, the grandfather of this environmental hype – he wants a $trillion fund for this project (where do you spose that money would come from?). Look at Al Gore – he sells carbon credits (wouldn’t you like to have a product that governement would mandate people buy).

    JJ -

    Don’t think for a minute that these ‘green warriors’ aren’t out for a buck and more power, or that we ‘deniers’ and ‘doubters’ expect to see a dime for our efforts. All I’m trying to do is get people to exercise their grey matter.

    And Senator Inhofe, for example, may be a nut of a sort (and a politician, so beware of course), but ask yourself in what way he’s after your money; what does he stand to gain with his ‘denial campaign’, compared to what the Believers want.

  66. gnuorder says:

    Ron
    There is no debate among real scientists. The place scientists have a debate is in peer reviewed scientific journals. There are no global warming skeptics with scientific credentials publishing their research and data in peer reviewed journals disproving global warming or the impact humans have had on it. What we do have is skeptics with varied credentials making claims based on their opinions, not research, in your typical main stream media. This is called PR, not science.

  67. Ron says:

    Gnu World Order,

    You didn’t actually read the Inhofe piece, did you? You’ll find that some of those ‘unreal’ scientists have good credentials and have published solid, peer-reviewed papers.

    Go ahead, check it out. It’s a good idea for you to know what your ‘enemies’ are up to, anyway. Stop and think; don’t just stampede with the herd like a … well, like a gnu.

  68. gnuorder says:

    One problem with the debate on global warming is that most people wouldn’t understand the language and concepts behind scientific research and thus dont read the scientific journals. It takes people like Al Gore to condense that information into something we can read and understand. They take liberties in order to speak more plainly about the subject. The skeptics then dishonestly or perhaps mistakenly attack those liberties as if they are attacking the science itself. Take for example, the attacks on the claim that global warming causes more hurricanes. I dont think there has been any scientist who has made that claim. I dont think even Al Gore has. The claim is that global warming will effect hurricanes, just as it effects all weather patterns. Everything else equal, it would be true say with a warmer ocean, there would be more frequent and stronger hurricanes. There are other weather patterns that also affect the formation and strength of hurricanes, such as El Nino and La Nina. The fact that we had a few years of more frequent, stronger hurricanes and then a few years where they have been less frequent and weaker does little to prove or disprove global warming.

  69. Boris says:

    Ron said:

    “You didn’t actually read the Inhofe piece, did you? You’ll find that some of those ‘unreal’ scientists have good credentials and have published solid, peer-reviewed papers.”

    Very, very few of Inhofe’s scientists have published papers on climate. Those that have have seen there work refuted by dozens of scientists. When deciding public policy, we do not follow the lead of people who cannot convince their peers of their arguments. Otherwise we would listen to Duseberg and not act on HIV because he thinks AIDS is not caused by HIV. What’s the point of having a National Academy of the Sciences if we’re not going to listen to them?

    Your libertarian ideology has no solution for a tragedy of the commons, so I’m sure a problem like global warming must be frustrating to deal with.

    If you want to know why we are certain that CO2 causes warming, you should read Spencer Weart’s “The Discovery of Global Warming,” which is available free online at the AIP’s website. He also includes all relevant references, so you can do the research yourself.

  70. Dr Richard Blackmoor says:

    Science is about Data and empirical evidence , it is not about personalities or number of people for or against.
    If opponents of the obvious want to attack the ever warming climate they should use data and empirical evidence .
    The Senators fossil fuel producing contributors speak louder than this silly piece.

  71. Dr Richard Blackmoor says:

    One thing I never get: even if a person denies Global Climate change or man’s Environmental impact , using clean renewable , decentralized energy, having clean air and water and preserving the forests and creatures of nature are so much better then a continuing use of dirty, expensive energy from some unfriendly nations, destruction of forests and the creatures within them and the breathing and drinking of polluted air and water.
    I know few American’s who aren’t scientists who can even explain what the scientific method is and it is sad.
    Also the Moon landings and NASA created so many great things in electronics .
    Music technology benefited to a high degree from the NASA program.
    If you like music and computers you should appreciate NASA and its Mercury, Apollo programs . (and NASA Today).
    Scientific research is always valuable.

  72. Doug says:

    Somehow I think we can find 400 cross dressers that accept the fact of global warming. I wonder if we could submit that list to Congress to challenge Inhofe’s?

  73. idioteraser says:

    Can people bother to actually learn the history of Albert Einstein?

    He was actually a great student. He was working at the patent office because he couldnt’ get a teaching position at a university teaching physics. He was job hunting for two years since there were no positions available for him to do work at a university. He graduated with a degree in physics not teaching because guess what at a university you have to know the subject and professors actually do research and publish stuff from time to time. In fact he was already had work published in a peer reviewed respected and widely known scientific journal.

    Gasp he actually did what pretty much every other university, college professor namely work at normal mundane jobs till they got into the university to do teaching and research.

    Tons of other famous scientists worked regular 9-5 jobs after graduating with a degree because untill you get a job at a lab or university or college or whatever you need to earn money to live. Most people do not go straight from graduation to working in the field they work mundane jobs for a few years.

    This list of 400 is a well known evolution denier tactic because it makes it seem like there are a considerable number when in reality it’s pretty much the same number of geologists, cartographers that believe the Earth is flat.

    You could also find 400 child psychologists who swear that autism children are the offspring of space aliens with humans.

    Somehow you don’t notice the flat earthers and other such nuts don’t get any attention when name lists come from them. The number of scientists involved in biological, geological fields that accept evolution numbers in the millions with less then 1% of scientists not acception evolution with everyone of the deniers admitting the denial to be religious based. The number of scientists involved in climatogical fields that don’t accept global warming guess what it’s not 50% or 25% it’s also less then 1%.

  74. One of the 400 says:

    Not everybody has the time to analyze the work of others, to arrive at a rational conclusion the analysis is wrong

    Not everyone has the ability either

    Not all of those that could do it, have the courage to stand up and say, the analysis is wrong

    Not everyone has the courage to put on an Army uniform and risk getting blown to pieces in Baghdad, either (and some would say it is foolish anyway)

    but the country has survived for more than 200 years

    and the residents of the country given the freedom to all to speak as they will

    because there are such people

  75. Kostya says:

    Here in Helsinki, Finland, we have just enjoyed a snowless Christmas with temperatures above freezing. Certainly not the first Black Christmas in southern Finland, but now they are more common. The warm weather led to a discussion during Christmas sauna that what the IPCC researchers may ultimately be criticized for is not hyping the problem or alarmism, but underestimating the fierceness of climate change. As I see it, IPCC researchers are in a similar situation to what Galileo faced with earth-centric members of the priesthood (he had many champions within the Church as well). In the end, the Church’s solution was to ask him not to discuss his views openly, largely based on an argument that Bible language indicated a non-moving earth. But as Galileo persisted, Pope Urban VIII asked Galileo to at least lay out a “fair and balanced” discussion of the issues in the to-be-published Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. In the book, Galileo simply set out the geocentric proponents’ arguments as they had been presented. This made the Church look ridiculous. That was it — house arrest forever. It took 360 years for the Church to admit it had given Galileo a shoddy deal.

    Remember Danish thinker Bengt Flyvbjerg’s first maxim: Power defines reality. Sure, Inhofe thrives on the notion that he’s the heretic, even as he shills for his carbon lords. But IPCC researchers know that they need to keep their message fair and balanced, and even say from time to time that “Inhofe makes an excellent point.” They must go through this degredation not just to keep research funding coming, but because alarmism about climate change today is still tantamount to heresy in some circles.

  76. Mark says:

    Things I have learned from reading this thread:

    1. Global warming is real.
    2. There will always be people who deny obvious reality.
    3. There is a person called “Ron” somewhere who has no life other than to post shallow, argumentative screeds on political websites.
    4. Many people are unable to resist arguing with “Ron” despite the vapidity of his/her posts.
    5. Overall, reading this was a waste of time.

  77. Joe says:

    Kostya — yes, the IPCC has not gone a great job on the communications side, as I have posted.

    Mark — yes, my apologies. I hope this post and thread has some value. There are a lot of “Rons” in the world, and their views, however impervious to the facts, are worth hearing.

  78. Jimbo says:

    Okay its fine to follow Al “I invented the internet” Gore who has show that he can read a cue card and memorize a few facts fed to him … he didn’t do the science while VP and living off the government teat his whole life … opps I forgot that his daddy (a Senator) also raped the Earth and Al continues to in Tenn via strip mining…

    But we cannot believe the opinion of a renowned futurist and inventor like Kurtweil or the rantings of meteorologists because they only read cue cards.

    Way to go guys. Vet the list closely on both sides … starting with ALGORE

  79. Marion Delgado says:

    Mark:

    I feel my hypothesis is looking very sound so far. I would reformulate it more precisely:

    Screwing around with lying trolls is an unproductive research program.

    It wastes time, it feeds the troll, and more trolls are attracted to the food source.

  80. Ron says:

    “In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.” – Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day 1970

    “It’s terrible to have to say this. World population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day.” – Jacques-Yves Cousteau

    “We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” – Stephen Schneider

    “I’d say the chances are about 50-50 that humanity will be extinct or nearly extinct within 50 years. Weapons of mass destruction, disease, I mean this global warming is scaring the living daylights out of me.” – Ted Turner

    “A total world population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.” – Ted Turner

    “The answer to global warming is in the abolition of private property and production for human need. A socialist world would place an enormous priority on alternative energy sources. This is what ecologically-minded socialists have been exploring for quite some time now.” – Louis Proyect

    ” We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing — in terms of economic socialism and environmental policy.” – Timothy Wirth

    “It seems an easy choice – sacrifice the tree for a human life – until one learns that three trees must be destroyed for each patient treated. Suddenly we must confront some tough questions. How important are the medical needs of future generations?” – Al Gore in Earth in the Balance

  81. Joe says:

    Global warming is real (conservatives secretly know this).
    —David Brooks, N.Y. Times columnist, 2005

    We don’t torture.
    –W

  82. Ron says:

    “You know the one thing that’s wrong with this country? Everyone gets a chance to have their fair say.” – Bill Clinton

  83. Kevin P says:

    Listen to both sides of “experts”. I’ve heard the arguments, and I tend to agree with Climatology professors whos life is all research compared to a bunch of idiots who have reasons ($) to stall any information and action getting out there.

    The 25% of the country (conservatives) think that if its repeated enough, it becomes true. You can’t stop progress, because the truth always comes out.

  84. Ron says:

    “A zebra does not change its spots.” – Al Gore

  85. mack says:

    Please note that there are also actual many paid internet disinformers, as well as lots of nutcases who have turned denialism almost into some kind of religion. I’ve learned that it’s usually a waste of time to bother with them, especially since in many cases even when they pretend to have an “honest disagreement” they aren’t actually concerned with the truth, but only in taking up your time and energy.

    For example, I have no idea if the guy posting as “Ron” is like this, but he starts out in his first post as a “concerned doubter” then proceeds to ask a list of questions/concerns that he could probably find in a few minutes of Google searching. Some look like they were just made up on the moment (i.e. things like “I heard about there being thousands not hundreds so what’s the truth about that?”) and he doesn’t provide any link or citation. Now look, if I honestly care about what’s probably the most important issue facing the planet, or even if I am alleging nearly all the world’s scientists are in on some bizarre conspiracy to defraud everyone, I’d think it would be common sense to do a little research on this matter. If I am going to be arrogant enough to attempt to debunk practicing scientists in their proper fields, I’d still at least have the decency to write coherently and back up what I’m saying. This just seems to be a pattern with certain denialists, pretend to be honestly concerned but ask irrelevant/absurd questions (the more the better), then ignore anything said of substance and when you finally are refuted just leave the blog/forum/etc. Even if you don’t win any arguments you still can take up others time, derail meaningful discussions, and give the appearance of some major controversy.

  86. john says:

    It is abundantly clear that Ron has no interest in dealing with reality. He employs the tired old tactic of saying “show me” then refusing to look. If he indeed were interested in a real dialogue, he would have read the thousands of cites and sites he’s been referred to and his questions would either have ceased, or he would have been forced to acknowledge that his problem with AGW was not fact-based, but rather a function of faith.

    His continued assault on government, suggests the kernel of his problem. If he acknowledges that AGW is occurring, that it is proceeding as rapidly as it is, and that its consequences will be (indeed, already are) unacceptable, then he must also acknowldege that his prescious unconstrained market and private sector are inadequate to the task — in fact reliance on the myth of the magic markets and the myth of the bumbling bureaucrat is precisely what created global warming. What Ron is left with is anathema to his core philosphy: government — even (UGHHH) international governance — is central to solving the problem.

    He’s much like a medieval scientist, struglling to resolve empirical fact with preconceived notions. This of course requires blinders, iconoclastic questions, and an ability to be completely imprevious to the answers, no matter how reasonable or reliable.

    If I were not opposed to censorship, I would suggest that Joe simply not allow his posts. But I am, so I suggest another approach: we completely ignore him from now on. He’s not seriously looking for truth, he’s frivolously trying to deny it.

    Ignore him completely. He adds nothing, and to the extent that we engage him, he subtracts a great deal.

  87. Ron says:

    I’m not a ‘paid denialist’, but I would take the job if the money was good.

    But don’t forget, guys: Joe is a ‘paid believer’. As far as I know, though, Joe is not hanging on the taxpayers’ tit, so I’m really not bothered by that.

    Mack,

    Here’s a link about the claim of thousands. You can find many more.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003946883_nobellocal13m.html

    ” …. thousands of other researchers from all over the globe — including dozens from the Northwest — who are sharing the Nobel Peace Prize.”

    I was asking about the accuracy of claims from both the IPCC side and the Inhofe side. Re-read what I posted, if you care to, but I’m so sorry if such questions make you uncomfortable.

    It could easily be that both sides are inventing the figures. I would buy that. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

    John,

    The “tired old tactic of ‘show me’” is called ‘skepticism’, it is what drives science.

    ‘Consensus’, on the other hand, is what drives politics.

    And if engaging me really “subtracts a great deal” from your position, then thank-you, my efforts must be effective; in which case, you really would be ‘wise’ to ignore me.

  88. john says:

    The tired old tactic was not just “show me,” it was show me and consistently ignore the replies, allowing you to raise the same “show me” questions over and over, long after they were soundly discredited. Just as you did in this post.

    And at some point, the preponderance of evidence has to make a dent in skepticism, or knowldege has no meaning (as it most certianly does not in your theology) — that’s why I included the little primer on the scientific method for you.

    And now, I’m going to take my own advice. I’m not going to engage you in discussion, no matter how irritating your infantile attempts at sophistry become. In my opinion, you’re clearly not a serious observer of the science — as evidenced by the fact that you ignore most of it and distort the rest — you have zero interest in uncovering truths, and you are intent on spreading doubt soley because any other conslusion threatens your libertarian dogma.

  89. Jay Alt says:

    Yes Ron –
    More than two thousand scientists were involved in writing the IPCC reports.

    Earlier, Boris gave this link to the annex of the Scientific Basis, WG1 –

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Annexes.pdf

    Authors for that 1st report are at the bottom of the file. The 1st page lists 36 people and there are more than 12 pages. So that’s about 430 authors alone.

    Two additional Reports were written (Impacts & Mitigation) and then a 4th, the Summary Report. The 2nd and 3rd Reports were written by experts in those fields and would therefore be a completely different set of authors.

    Here is the author/reviewer list for the 2nd Report – WG2 – 33 pages of them.
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg2/ar4-wg2-app.pdf

    The WG3 authors won’t load at the moment – but here are 7 pgs of people who reviewed it-
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg3/ar4-wg3-annex4.pdf

    I notice that Dr. Phil Mote, whose numbers you question, is an author of WG1.

    Personally, I asked an author a question about the writing process last spring. He explained the WG1 document went thru 3 review stages. And before it was outlined it had a zero-order review to make sure it would address everything required. So they used at 3+ sets of reviewers for that report.

    Those honored include authors and reviewers. Our local university listed 8 people in the Atmospheric Sciences Department as having contributed. Only 3 were authors. But 2 others who I congratulated said they had been asked to review many sections the WG1 report.

    Yes indeed, more than two thousand scientists helped write and check the IPCC reports.

  90. Michael says:

    Unfortunately libertarianism, spurred by the overblown novels of Ayn Rand and the generous funding of some fairly greedy billionaires, has become an article of religious faith among an alarming number of people in this country. Alan Greenspan, our central banker for 15 years, was an acolyte of Rand and his legacy may very well be tarnished by the sub-prime debacle, where it was obvious in 2004 or earlier that we were experiencing a bubble…the second bubble of his tenure. While not extreme in his utterances, he erred on the side of unregulated markets in his action or inaction with the result now that many in the financial industry now wish they had been regulated just a little more. Freelance commenters who do not have to manage huge sums of money and capital are freer in their praise of unrestrained praise of markets. These commenters like Ron can stoke their utopian dreams of no government involvement on message boards without having to face the actual dilemmas of business and government.

    Unfortunately these people are market absolutists…to them the market is magic. Any contribution of government to the welfare of people, including themselves is in their accounts erased. I believe markets can make remarkable contributions to welfare and wealth but there are also other tools in our toolbox that can work better depending on the problem. If we take the example of California, our state laws have increased our energy efficiency over the last 30 years to the point where we are using the same amount of energy per capita as we were 25 years ago (while the rest of the country has risen substantially). Most other states do not have these laws. To try to figure out how this could have been done with market solutions is a form of religious observance: most businesses here are happy enough with this regulatory regime.

    But if you so much as breathe or suggest to these people that government can do something positive, they fly off the handle. We’ve seen this with Ron here: no invective is too much for those who so much as suggest or imply that a government-assisted solution may be quicker, more economical, fairer etc.

    It would be great if people spontaneously did what was in their long-term best interest but sometimes they don’t. This is hard for someone like Ron to grasp.

  91. Dano says:

    Unfortunately libertarianism, spurred by the overblown novels of Ayn Rand and the generous funding of some fairly greedy billionaires, has become an article of religious faith among an alarming number of people in this country.

    Nah.

    A small percentage of very persistent, dedicated really squeaky wheels. If we ignore them some will go away, the rest won’t get access.

    Best,

    D

  92. Ron says:

    If anybody can show me where I said government was incapable of ever doing anything positive, please show me. I’ll be happy to own up to my mistake if I really said that. I suspect, however, that Michael is imagining things again.

    What I’ve intended and tried to say all along is that government is much less efficient than the private sector, and that taxation is morally wrong.

    I’m not all that concerned about what the mugger spends the money on; it might be something good; might be a quick fix; might even be inexpensive. But what’s the point? It doesn’t refute my assertion that taxation is robbery.

    It would be great if people spontaneously did what was in their long-term best interest but sometimes they don’t.

    Frustrating, isn’t it? Makes you want to step in, take their money, and spend it the ‘right way’, doesn’t it? I understand where you’re coming from.

  93. Ron says:

    Thanks, Jay.

    I’m happy to buy the assertion of ‘thousands of scientists’ involved. Mack thought maybe I made that up.

    Somebody else (I think in this thread) also said that all you have to do is request a copy for review to be called a reviewer. Maybe I’ll do that.

  94. Ron says:

    Speaking of Ayn Rand,

    Her novels are over blown to some degree, and often fairly difficult reading, but should be read anyway and pondered by thinkers. And don’t forget her non-fiction; at least as important.

    Her philosophy, however is Objectivism, not libertarianism, although there certainly is some overlap.

    Objectivism is basically athiest in it’s approach, while libertarianism is more closely aligned with a Christian ethic (though doesn’t necessarily have to be in practice).

    As to Greenspan: he was indeed a Rand ‘acolyte’. But read some of his early essays, such as the ones included in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, and you’ll come away wondering about when he sold out. He’s a very intelligent guy, but apparently changed some his views on economic regulation over the years.

    many in the financial industry now wish they had been regulated just a little more

    That is a funny statement. It may well be true, but it’s funny to think that in the rough & tumble world of finance, there might be people blaming others for not telling them what to do.

  95. Black Wallaby says:

    Coming back to the lead article;
    May I complement the author for speed reading and mastering in a matter of hours over 88,000 words in the main report and the over 500 links to substantial scientific papers and references etc. Well done….a truly extraordinary performance!

    But, let’s look at paragraph 3:

    QUOTE: “Padded” would be an extremely generous description of this list of [400] “prominent scientists.” Some would use the word “laughable” (though not the N.Y. Times‘ Andy Revkin, see below). For instance, since when have ECONOMISTS, who are PERVASIVE on this list, become scientists, and why should we care what they think about climate science? UNQUOTE (Capitalization Emphasis added)

    OK, let me quote some more statistics:

    The number of experts under the broad definition of “Economist” within the 400 experts of various disciplines was 16, which amounts to 4% of the total. The word ‘economist’, just like ‘physicist’, is but a lexeme expandable to many things. Many economists have particular skills such as complex data handling and an understanding of statistical science which may be lacking in many scientists, including physicists. For instance, one of the sixteen is Ross McKitrick whom together with Steve McIntyre, a geologist, both being expert in understanding complex data, unravelled the fraud of the Mann et al 1998 Hockey-stick. There is also the case of these guys correcting NASA GISS temperatures recently to show that the 1930’s were warmer than recently. This beneficial process of the cross sharing of inter-disciplinary skills is unfortunately scorned by certain scientific elitists. There are too, of course matters of “economics” policy and other peripherals to the declared science, and an area where this is famous is the “Stern Report”, to which presumably the author does not object.

    Consequently, I submit, that amongst the various disciplines in the 400, a 4% representation of environmental economists, including IPCC advisors statisticians, and authors on climate change etc, seems about right!

  96. Black Wallaby says:

    I quote a post from above, in full…….please, all visitors, consider it carefully:

    Sheryl Crowe Says: December 23rd, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    What a thing of beauty, the Hockey Stick graph.

    Dr Mann, you are to be congratulated for your demonstration of how a function you assume assumes the form you want when it is plotted.

    I wonder – did he feel pride when he looked at that thing published in newpapers and so on?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Well, the Manna graph was perfectly what the IPCC wanted.

    And, I compare: In my long-gone youth, I and friends, raided a remote camp-site of some other unsuspecting friends, whilst they were “up at the pub” and carefully peeled-off the labels of their various canned foods, and substituted everything for baked beans, such that when they opened say a can of peaches, it turned out to be beans. Everything the same….imagine the consequences on a three-day camp!

    It was the best thing I have ever done!

    I think that Mann et al, and “RealClimate” have a similar feeling of satisfaction as I still have over “baked beans”

    It’s just unfortunate that the real priorities in the world are thus forgotten

  97. Jay Alt says:

    You, too. Can be a Leading Climate Scientist -

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/05/you_too_can_be_a_leading_clima.php

    The standards are just that low -

  98. Ron says:

    Michael,

    In what way do you feel that ‘article’ by Robert Locke is required reading? Was that really the best piece of anti-libertariansim you were able to find?

    He begins:

    Free spirits, the ambitious, ex-socialists, drug users, and sexual eccentrics often find an attractive political philosophy in libertarianism

    He equates “Free spirits, the ambitious (?!), ex-socialists” with “drug users and sexual eccentrics.”

    I think Mr. Locke has some ‘issues’.

    He goes on to say:

    libertarianism is basically the Marxism of the Right. If Marxism is the delusion that one can run society purely on altruism and collectivism, then libertarianism is the mirror-image delusion that one can run it purely on selfishness and individualism

    So Mr. Locke would like us to buy the premise that opposites are actually the same thing after all? That’s a tough one to wrap my head around.

    And he seems to miss the point entirely that libertarianism is, at it’s core, concerned with the initiation of force. He defines it as:

    Libertarianism offers its believers a clear conscience to do things society presently restrains, like make more money …

    its followers feel like an elect unbound by the moral rules of their society. …

    claiming that everything that is good is so because we choose to partake of it …

    the reduction of the good to the freely chosen means there are no inherently good or bad choices at all, …

    as libertarianism defines the good as the freely chosen …

    This contempt for self-restraint is emblematic of a deeper problem …

    its root dogma that all free choices are equal …

    Michael: Have you seen this definition used anywhere else?

    He goes on to say that Libertarians need to be asked some hard questions, so let’s take a look:

    What if a free society needed to draft its citizens in order to remain free?

    Let’s re-state this question in clearer terms: What if a non-coercive society needed to become more coercive in order to remain non-coercive?

    He throws that silly question out there without answering it. Maybe you can answer it for him?

    What if it needed to limit oil imports to protect the economic freedom of its citizens from unfriendly foreigners?

    Are these ‘unfriendly foreigners’ initiating force in some way? He doesn’t really say, so it’s unclear again what he’s trying to say.

    What if it needed to force its citizens to become sufficiently educated to sustain a free society?

    And yet again, I’m not sure what his agenda is here. I would agree that education is very important, and currently our mandated education system leaves much to be desired, but maybe you understand him better than I do and could explain.

    What if it needed to deprive landowners of the freedom to refuse to sell their property as a precondition for giving everyone freedom of movement on highways?

    Let’s go back to basic libertarianism for a moment: Robbing people to pay for highways is not libertarian. This question is a red herring, assuming that building highways is an important function of government. It’s not a question that would come up under a libertarian government.

    What if it needed to deprive citizens of the freedom to import cheap foreign labor in order to keep out poor foreigners who would vote for socialistic wealth redistribution?

    Huh? “Import” foreigners to keep out the foreigners? Please help me here, Michael, since you seem to understand this better than I.

    This guy truly has issues. I think maybe some libertarian has kicked sand in his face at some point. Read the link below too. It’s a screed against the “nerds” of Silicon Valley (and he touches on libertarianism again).

    http://www.vdare.com/locke/locke.htm

    If you can find some more well-reasoned anti-libertarianism, I’d enjoy reading it.

    Jay,

    Thanks for the link. Maybe we should all join the thousands of IPCC participants. Sounds like fun. Do you think, if we had done this earlier, that we could have shared in the prize money?

  99. Max says:

    We should be very thankful to the author of this blog for taking his invaluable time to share with us uneducated mortals his infinite wisdom on why we should ignore the recent report to the US Senate by several uninformed and misguided individuals, who deny the obvious scientific truth about alarming anthropogenic global warming as outlined by IPCC, the only true scientific body monitoring and predicting climate change.

    It is reassuring to learn from this article that none of these deniers as listed below are as imminently qualified as the author himself to have a relevant opinion on any and all aspects of AGW.

    Partial list of deniers (134 are PhDs): Aitkin, Akasofu, Alexander, Allegre, Austin, Backhaus, Baliunas, Ball, Balling, Bashkirtsve, Battagli, Beck, Borel, Borlaug, Botkin, Brassell, Bredenkamp, Brosnahan, Bryson, Carruthers, Carter, Chilingar, Christy, Clark, Cotton, Courtney, Beboutritter, deFreitas, deLaat, Deming, Dilley, Douglass, BuBois, Dyson, Easterbrook, Egorov, England, Evans, C., Evans, D., Evans, W., Everett, Frank, Frauenfeld, Friis-Christensen, Frolov, Gauldie, Gerlich, Giegengack, Glatzle, Goldberg, Goldstein, Golubchikov, Gray, T., Gray, V., Gray, W., Greyber, Hackbart, Hald, Hayden, Heiss, Herman, Hissink, Hoyt, Hughes, Illarionov, Ingolfsson, Jaworowski, Jenkins, Kaerner, Karlen, Kear, Khandekar, Khilyuk, Kininmouth, Koerner, Kop, Kouffeld, Kramm, Kroonenberg, Kukla, Landsea, Leahy, Legates, Lemay, Leonov, Leroux, Lin, Linqvist, Lindzen, Lupo, Malberg, Mangini, Mashnich, Massen, Maunder, McFarquhar, McIntyre, McKitrick, McLean, Michaels, Michel, Milne, Moene, Mogil, Moore, Morner, Motl, Murty, Nicol, Noble, Nowell, Ollier, Osokin, Paldor, Paltridge, Patterson, Pearson, Pekarek, Pielke, Plimer, Pratt, Priem, Radhakrishna, Raina, Rancour, Reiter, Roper, Rorsch, Scagel, Shoneveld, Segalstad, Sharp, Shaviv, Shaw, Dheahan, Singer, Smith, Soon, Sorochtin, Spencer, Sun, Sutherland, Svensmark, Tennekes, Tol, Uriarte, van der Lingen, van Loon, Veizer, von Storch, Walcek, Walker Ward, Watts, Wegman, Wilksch, Wilson, Winterhalter, Wojick, Wust, Ziatsev, Zichichi, Zweerink.

    Max

    PS I hope the author will enlighten us as to how many of the above deniers are on the payroll of Exxon-Mobil or some other nefarious group, which stand to make huge profits from denying the obvious anthropogenic global warming, thereby endangering all future life on this planet. Thank you.

  100. Max says:

    Jay Alt wrote:

    “You, too. Can be a Leading Climate Scientist -

    http://scienceblogs.com/ deltoid/ 2006/ 05/ you_too_can_be_a_leading_clima.php

    The standards are just that low -”

    Is the IPCC hiring? Where can one apply? I would like a trip to Bali.

    Max

  101. Rob Elliott says:

    As an economist this is an amusing debate.

    I suggest you read this blog post of mine. Are economists really pervasive?

    Your original post is simply misleading and I would appreciate any comment you may have on this post.

    http://globalisation-and-the-environment.blogspot.com/2007/12/400-economists-for-climate-high-jump.html

  102. Dano says:

    the obvious scientific truth about alarming anthropogenic global warming as outlined by IPCC, the only true scientific body monitoring and predicting climate change.

    Funny, lad.

    Almost every national academy of science on this planet has stated that man-made climate change is pretty much what the IPCC said (the IPCC projects, they don’t predict.

    But nice try anyway. On second thought – strike that. Not even a nice try.

    Best,

    D

  103. Michael says:

    Ron,
    I’ve done a little reading about your belief system because I find your way of arguing so peculiar. You evade the main thrust of what is said and pick at little problems that you see, ask rhetorical questions, and redefine issues entirely in your own terms. It’s as though you’re off in your own world but think you are interacting with other people. For instance, you did not really grapple with the criticisms of Mr. Lowe. He comes up with a very nice formulation that libertarianism is the mirror image of Marxism in that Lib. believes that you can found a society based entirely on selfishness while M. believes that you can base a society on altruism. I think it’s safe to say we have both altruistic and selfish motivations so you are dealing with only one slice of human nature. I don’t see you confronting this fundamental weakness of your philosophy anytime soon.

    On a fundamental level you are concerned only about coercion or its opposite freedom; everything else is secondary or non-existent. This makes the climate problem that we are grappling with here clearly secondary or non-existent: it is just another field upon which for you the forces of statism are out to coerce yeoman businesspeople to do things they don’t want to do. The climate has no specific reality based flavor to it for you that might require a situation-specific set of responses.

    Coercion can be a social evil but I don’t see it as an absolute evil and neither do many of the people who post here. Therefore I don’t think you’ll find many takers for your ideology around here. Maybe you will have more luck on college campuses where some young people have still unformed ideas about how the world works. On the other hand I hope you don’t spread what I think is a pernicious and damaging philosophy though that is probably too much too hope for.

  104. Dano says:

    Maybe you will have more luck on college campuses where some young people have still unformed ideas about how the world works.

    Eh. Most on campus read Ayn Rand in Jr High and have rejected it by the time they get to Uni. Anyway,

    Michael,

    I find the ideological belief system and rhetorical tactics you describe just above to be quite impervious to narratives, facts, systems, optics, or images that do not comport with the concretely-formed and impenetrable belief system and the well-honed, prolific, prolix and tenacious squeaky wheel on which to deliver it.

    Most of us long-time commenters on the web are satisfied with tallying for amusement the myriad contradictions in stances and statements – the cognitive dissonance if you will – rather than attempts at changing POV.

    When I advise decision-makers, I find very, very, very, very few instances where the ideological narrative you decry has actually taken hold and caused impetus, action, motivation, galvanization, change, etc. In fact, I personally don’t know of any, but I remember a staffer in Seattle talking about a particular talking point that had temporary play but died quickly after votes were counted.

    Best,

    D

  105. Ron says:

    Michael,

    Start here in your reading, if you want to prepare for your next argument about libertarianism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism\

    By the way, the author of the article you linked was ‘Locke’ not ‘Lowe’. Slow down; you’re reading too fast.

  106. Paul K says:

    Michael,
    I think you and Mr. Locke wrongly conflate objectivism and libertarianism. The libertarian world view is based not on selfishness but on free will. For example, you and I probably agree on the absolute necessity of replacing fossil fuels within the next fifty years. Our reasons may be totally different and our means to the end may be too, but the goal is the same. What is more important to you, to convince me that we face climate catastrophe or find areas where we might agree on solutions?

  107. Dano says:

    My grad concentration was in environmental planning with a year of urban ecology, undergrad in environmental hort.

    When stovepiping and looking at a few narrow views: small l ideologies and me occasionally see eye to eye.

    Big picture: hoo boy.

    Best,

    D

  108. Michael says:

    Ron,
    Typical of you to point out a typing error rather than address the main issues…you are apparently not very eager to deal with the key gaps in your philosophy and its real world impacts. Remember that we wouldn’t be able to have this nice dialogue or for that matter Ron Paul wouldn’t be able to have such success if the big bad old US government hadn’t invested in the Internet with all of our hard earned tax dollars many years ago.

    Paul K and Ron,
    The pure clean libertarianism that one or both of you represent probably has substantial overlap with Objectivism on a number of practical points. Rand and her novels have been pretty key in spreading a libertarian-esque viewpoint in the US.

    Quote from Wikipedia:
    “According to Reason editor Nick Gillespie in the magazine’s March 2005 issue focusing on Objectivism’s influence, Rand is “one of the most important figures in the libertarian movement… Rand remains one of the best-selling and most widely influential figures in American thought and culture” in general and in libertarianism in particular. Still, he confesses that he is embarrassed by his magazine’s association with her ideas.”

    While the principle of liberty or free will sounds better to you guys, libertarians including Ron (and I haven’t been following your contributions Paul) in practice are protesting here what you feel to be potential coercion by the state in the form of taxes or other laws in response to climate concerns. Ron takes it as holy writ that he doesn’t have to or shouldn’t have to pay taxes, which he protests on the ground that they are a form of coercion. The fear of that coercion seems to be so strong as you would try to re-write the science and abundant real world evidence to fit your political philosophy.

    In fact, one would think, as much of this revolves around money, that greed more than concern about liberty, would be motivating factor. But I am not going to go there now. You may actually be as purely driven by belief in human liberty and hope for a libertarian utopia as you claim to be.

  109. Paul K says:

    Michael,
    Where Ron and I differ is that I accept the reality of the social contract. Also, I have no desire beyond the occasional tweak to dissuade anyone of their belief in the catastrophic AGW scenario envisioned by Joe and others. As for Ron Paul, I think he is a total whack job.

  110. Max says:

    Hey Dano, a question.

    Why do you think you are more intelligent or better informed than the hundreds of guys that are mentioned in the US Senate report?

    Max

  111. Black Wallaby says:

    If we can GET BACK TO the original SUBJECT of the “famous 400” in the LEAD ARTICLE, and how they compare with the IPCC, somewhere up above Ron wondered about the identity of “the thousands” in the IPCC, and Jay Alt gave a rather simplistic response. So dare I say?……….

    The really important fraction of the various IPCC reports, is the SPM, (Summary for Policy-Makers), and it is the slightest of all of the reports.
    It is purportedly based on the very substantial WG1 report called “The Scientific Basis”, although that report is, astonishingly, published AFTER the SPM, presumably in order to pick-up any necessary changes to the “science” arising from SPM review/modification by policy-makers or whomever.

    Chapter 9 of WG1 is the most important, because it gives the consensus guess level on the probability that global warming is caused in some part by human activity. For your entertainment, here is a brief extract from a very robust and substantial study of the review process of the whole of WG1, see link below for more information, perhaps starting at page 12, initially

    EXTRACT: “…The critical chapter, [9] that which attributed recent warming to human activity, was reviewed by 54 individual and 8 government representatives but almost 1/3rd of reviewers made just one comment.
    - 37 of the 54 had a vested interest in the report, as editors or having papers cited
    - 26 authored or co-authored papers cited in the final draft
    - 10 reviewers explicitly mentioned their own papers in their review
    Just 7 reviewers of that chapter appear to be independent and impartial but 5 of those made just
    one comment for the entire chapter.
    Just 5 reviewers explicitly endorsed the chapter in which it was claimed that humans have a
    significant influence on climate but not one of those 5 has impeccable credibility…”

    http://nzclimatescience.net/images/PDFs/ipcc_review_updated_analysis.pdf

    Concerning the WG2 and WG3 reports, they should, by definition, be driven by WG1, and are not really part of the prime scientific process.

  112. Dano says:

    Why do you think you are more intelligent or better informed than the hundreds of guys that are mentioned in the [report commissioned by a lone US Senator who is not a scientist]

    Max,

    First, I’m not sure why you have to argue that I claimed I was, unless that’s the only thing you have to go on.

    Second, when I want a busted pipe fixed, I don’t call a roofer or concrete guy. I call the person who does the work every day – a plumber. Sure, these folks are in the building trades and there’s a chance that they could do the work, but I’m not spending my money on that chance.

    And you Max, presumably, in real life are intelligent and informed enough to call a plumber when you have a busted pipe.

    Why then, on The Internets, do you infer that you prefer a roofer? It’s likely as I described above: the concretely-formed and impenetrable belief system must maintain that choosing a roofer is an acceptable choice for the fix.

    In the real world, an exhaustive review of all the papers produced by plumbers says that the piping is likely corroded and will corrode by x time; real, rational people are going to ask the plumber how long they have. They may ask the opinion of the janitor, the mechanic, the septic tank cleaner. But their opinions won’t have the weight of the plumber.

    On The Internets, some loudly proclaim that the septic tank cleaner’s opinion on the fate of the pipe carries more weight than the plumber’s.

    Suuuuure, Max.

    Sure.

    Best,

    D

  113. Ron says:

    Oil and coal reserves are a finite resource; the supply will eventually run short or run out. Correct?

    I wonder what a worst case scenario would look like – in other words, what if oil and coal use continued unchecked until it was gone. How long would that be? What would the projected warming look like? How long after it ran out would climate return to ‘normal’?

    This would be an important calculation under a few different scenarios, all assuming the CO2 hypothesis is valid:

    First, if we libertarians had our way, and we actually lived with a non-coercive government, we might not be able to take any action on climate. That’s a purely hypothetical case, of course, since we don’t live under a non-coercive government.

    Second, governments might not be able to reduce emissions enough to make much of a difference. If so, the ‘worst case’ calculation needs to be done.

    Third, assuming we really are seeing a warming trend, science may eventually find that the phenomenon is being driven by a combination of human and natural causes, in which case our global warming mitigation measures might be ineffective. In that case it might make more sense to spend money on adaptation measures and basically just let the oil and coal run out ‘on their own’.

    So, what would we be looking at? A hundred years of a warming trend? More? How high would the average rise? How long after the carbon-intensive fuels ran out would climate start to rebound?

    Michael,

    If you feel the need to pigeonhole me, you may call me a natural-rights libertarian. And I really am just as rigid in my ethics as I sound. I have spent many years refining my personal system of ethical ‘beliefs’ and I do try to ‘walk the talk’ in my personal affairs.

    Drano,

    You have mentioned above that you are schooled in environmental planning and urban ecology and that you advise decision makers.

    What do you do for a living?

    I’m guessing maybe you are the personal assistant to Al Gore’s gardener. Am I close?

    Paul,

    There is no such thing as ‘the social contract’. The baseline is individual rights; there is no such thing as ‘collective rights’.

    And it’s too bad that you don’t feel any compulsion to “dissuade anyone of their belief in the catastrophic AGW scenario”. Skepticism invigorates science.

    Even if the doomsayers are correct and the skeptical scientists are all nuts, we shouldn’t let individual rights be trampled without at least an intellectual struggle.

    Getting away from dirty technology and moving toward clean technology is certainly a good thing, but the end does not justify the means. There are other ways to do it (more ethical, more efficient) besides a government crack-down, even as Joe continues to diss private investment.

  114. Dano says:

    I like it that the best Ron can do is ‘Drano’ an ‘Algore gardener’.

    You got no game, son.

    Best,

    D

  115. Ron says:

    Paul,

    A bit more on ‘social contract’ and individual rights:

    You sound like you’re perhaps closer to Rousseau in your perception of a social contract, but bear in mind his ideas are, in large measure, the basis (or apology) for socialism.

    I’m closer to Spooner.

    The bottom line is simply this: The use of force nullifies the ‘contract’.

  116. john says:

    I thought my comment was quite witty, Dano.

    So what do you do for a living? Won’t you tell us?

  117. Ron says:

    Hoo Boy!

    Sorry, John. I failed to clear out your info before posting.

  118. Max says:

    Message to Dano

    Hi Dano,

    Your somewhat convoluted analogy did not answer my question, regarding the relative technical competency of the hundreds of contributors to the US Senate report versus your own, but it did bring up a new point.

    If I have a leaking pipe, I see it before my very eyes. I either fix it myself (if it is nothing major) or I call in a plumber.

    I do not call in a plumber with a fancy computer to run model studies on my piping that conclude that it is more likely than not that I will have a leaking pipe within the next 100 years unless I cough up an exorbitant price today to (maybe) prevent this from happening.

    And I certainly do not fall for such a scam and then actually pay this exorbitant price based on a plumber’s computer model study predictions.

    There’s no real leak, Dano. It’s only a “computer-generated-virtual-maybe-future-if-these-guys-really-know-how-to-predict-what-is-going-to-happen” leak, so don’t call the plumber just yet. Get another opinion and use your common sense.

    Get the difference?

    Regards,

    Max

  119. Dano says:

    My analogy, Max, was about how we perceive who is competent to judge something.

    Some can choose to believe that people who do not perform research in a specific discipline are better qualified to comment on that discipline than the researchers in it. We can. Wecanwecanwecan!!!!! But that would require suspension of rational thought and/or a thought process impervious to narratives, facts, systems, optics, or images that do not comport with a concretely-formed and impenetrable belief system.

    Some can also choose to ignore thousands of papers detailing the evidence for the comforting words emanating from Rush, NewsMax or whatever ideological outlet we use to pre-chew our information.

    The rest of us will point out the logical inconsistencies and cognitive dissonance in such a stance, and point out that folks with these beliefs don’t have access. The world is passing you by. Buh-bye!

    And Ron, you are just trying to change the subject. If you wish to keep distracting away from your obfuscations and mendacicizations by implying that I’m refusing to answer a question, here’s a mirror. Annoying tactic, innit?

    Best,

    D

  120. Ron says:

    Dano,

    Doesn’t annoy me. I’m not nearly as concerned as you are about one’s ‘qualifications’ to speak on a subject. Just thought you might want to explain yours.

    But you are calling me a liar again.

    You should cut and paste any and all lies you think I have told and defend your accusation, or folks are likely to conclude that it’s YOU who are the liar.

  121. Michael says:

    Ron,
    Thank you for the straight answer re: your beliefs rather than the usual evasive rhetorical (or personal) question.

    As nicely as you’d like to wrap those core beliefs in words like “natural rights” or “freedom”, in effect here on this board you and some others who share a similar view are always showing a concern about coercion. You are putting so much effort into obfuscating the conclusions of most climate scientists because of the entailment that a coordinated approach to this crisis is warranted. This coordination means to you that you will be coerced into paying money to some program or changing your behavior in some way to remedy the situation.

    So in effect, the anti-coercion portion of libertarianism is the operative one for you and maybe for these other gents when you try to show how climate science is wrong.

    I’m sorry that coercion is such a concern for you but that doesn’t erase the fact that for social groups to function coercion is inevitable…it’s just a matter of which types of coercion are preferable and appropriate to the situation. Anti-coercion mechanisms are important as well but that doesn’t erase the need for coercion. Also, you are obviously overlooking the massive coercion involved in unregulated market forces in which the parties in those freely entered into contracts that you guys so love are incredibly unequal.

    In addition to anti-coercion, I believe libertarianism and its echos in American conservatism are in part a creature of massive energy subsidy by fossil fuels. Freedom costs something and it costs, in part, a lot of extra energy which allows people to live more autonomously and separately than they would if they didn’t have access to massive amounts of cheap stored energy. The physical mobility that this allows us here in the US has become part of the cult of liberty disconnected from other aspects of life. (freedom is also a value for me but not the only one)

    So I guess you guys are fighting here for the continued access to those energy subsidies that are vital to your political philosophy (but toxic to the planet). It is such a fragile belief system that you are unwilling to countenance that we need over the next few decades together to build a new sustainable energy system that would allow us to continue in our relatively free and autonomous ways for thousands of years.

  122. Paul K says:

    Michael,
    You’re making a lot of wrong assumptions. Libertarians advocate the free flow of goods and services without favor or penalty from the state. I don’t think you’ll find any thread here where Ron or I defend subsidies to oil companies. In fact, I have said that, if we’re going to have subsidies, they should not go to oil and ethanol but to wind and solar. I would guess you have never been self-employed or owned your own business. The statement: “the massive coercion involved in unregulated market forces in which the parties in those freely entered into contracts that you guys so love are incredibly unequal” shows a deep misunderstanding of the marketplace. The ability of unequal entities to freely associate for mutual benefit is the key to market function.
    I won’t speak for Ron, but I – unlike our gracious host Joe – am an environmentalist. I fully agree with you that we need over the next few decades together to build a new sustainable energy system. Waiting for the government to give us or coerce us into that system is, in my opinion, a fool’s game. Congress has shown itself incapable of meaningful action. The U.N. promises it will get around to talking some more about “doing something” in a couple of years. There are other ways. Perhaps we can explore them together.

    p.s. There is something very Orwellian in the words “cult of liberty.”

  123. Max says:

    Message to Dano

    Hi Dano,

    In your recent double-talk you spouted lots of words, but did not address my question. It was quite simple: what makes you think YOU are more qualified to judge what is happening than the hundreds of individuals quoted in the US Senate report?

    Since in two posts you have not answered my question, I assume you have no valid answer.

    Regards,

    Max

  124. Black Wallaby says:

    How about you philosophers above get back to the subject article…..broadly…..”Inhofe’s 400″? You know, how does their competence compare with the IPCC, and stuff like that?

  125. Ron says:

    Michael,

    Paul did a good job at addressing your misunderstanding of libertarianism, so I won’t belabor the point too much. I’d just like to say that I am just as opposed to the taxes and subsidies we have now as to any taxes and subsidies that might be proposed.

    I must add, however, that I too found some of your comments to be rather Orwellian; a bit chilling, to be frank.

    But I also want to say that I appreciate your intellectual honesty and courage in openly stating your support for a coercive government. There are others on this blog who would never admit to such a thing, but will nevertheless support coercive actions. Though I obviously don’t agree with you, at least you are being honest, and I sincerely appreciate that.

    And two other quick points:

    The history of libertariansism goes back much further than, and was not created by, massive energy subsidies, or by the modern so-called ‘conservative’ movement.

    However, I agree in part that Freedom costs something and it costs, in part, a lot of extra energy which allows people to live more autonomously and separately than they would if they didn’t have access to massive amounts of cheap stored energy, which is one reason I oppose the UN’s plans for control of energy and global government, or any other action that unfairly restricts energy use.

    Most of the policy proposals I have seen so far would unfairly hurt the poor folks and the developing nations. As you say, especially in a technological world, freedom requires energy. ‘Dangerous’ levels of CO2 aside, people still need to eat and heat their homes.

  126. Black Wallaby says:

    Ron reurDecember 28th, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    If you are the same Ron as he before this blog went off topic, I thought your comments were good, and looked forward to more.

    However, why would any visitor interested in the lead article want to know your opinions on Rousseau & Spooner?

    Can we get back on topic please. (and the others of course….perhaps it is deliberate, you know, if you can’t win a debate, change the subject)

  127. Ron says:

    Mr. Wallaby,

    That is a no-win argument for all sides. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle: The IPCC is a political organization, so some dishonesty is par for the course. The Inhofe report was published by a political organization, so again some dishonesty is to be expected.

    Both sides probably have inflated their numbers; both sides include ‘nuts’ in their ranks; and whichever way you want to argue it, it doesn’t address the question of how strong or weak the science is, or the merits of any proposed actions.

    I’ve said before, we need to cut through the propaganda that’s coming from all extremist camps.

    I myself am an extremist I suppose, poltically and philosophically, but I try to steer clear of propagating disinformation as much as my understanding allows.

  128. Michael says:

    Paul,
    Your religious devotion to the unregulated marketplace is becoming evident. There is an ideal of the marketplace that you propound and the reality that means we are compelled to make choices that are in effect coercive or coerced. Unregulated markets are ruled largely by fear and greed and tend towards boom and bust (we went through this experience in the 1890′s here and may be headed there again). There is also a tendency towards oligopoly and monopoly power as advantages accrue rapidly to certain players. Not the same kind of coercion that laws require but circumstances that rapidly force people into very restricted choices or none at all.

    You are correcting my representation because it does not accord with your ideal, never-existent ideal of the market. Your view of the market is a mirror image of how socialists and communists used to speak about socialism/communism: a place of harmony and symmetry…no evil can be ascribed to it… Yes, in the ideal market in your mind this doesn’t happen but just look at history…please.

    Both you and Ron are smart guys but you subscribe to an incredibly STUPID economic philosophy (which may simplify your thinking in ways that suit you): it is stupid because it proposes just ONE mechanism to distribute goods and establish values for those goods. If you have a hammer….

    By “cult of liberty”, I mean politicians like Bush (yes I know he is not as pure as you are but) and libertarians like yourselves who make liberty the single fundamental positive value and forget about all the rest that support liberty and other values. You are overvaluing liberty and undervaluing things like security, community which in another philosophy might have equal footing with liberty or maybe take priority. For you, because you are cultists, this kind of talk is anathema…one must always kowtow to liberty or else one is a dangerous commissar!! Orwellian!! No value can possibly compete with liberty!! Your focus on a single value is monocular and myopic.

    Ron,
    I’m not “for” coercion. I think you are mistaking my statements of fact for advocacy. I am simply observing that some coercion is involved in living lives in a complex society or in any society for that matter. I was coerced as a child to behave by my parents and I am grateful for that. I am coerced to drive around the speed limit by the state police and even though I don’t like it, it is for my own and the planet’s good. Because this is a religious value for you, you are unable to think about coercion in a neutral way…it is simply an evil.

    Libertarians and their fellow travelers severely underestimate (or selfishly don’t care about) what the results would be of trying to “free” society of what are and what they think of as coercive traits. The effort to get rid of these coercive functions of government would be violent and unpleasant and lead to a place of great human misery as all those other values (mentioned above) would be sidelined in favor of libertarians’ favorite(s). It is (right) revolutionary vision that will also lead to its own Reign of Terror despite all the marvelous ideals that dance in your minds.

  129. Black Wallaby says:

    Ron,
    As I said, you (?) started off well, but now seem to be admitting that you can’t handle the topic. If you don’t want to talk about it please go and be philosophical somewhere else. (don’t confuse and discourage visitors by being irrelevant)

    Pls don’t be offended, I think you are a bright guy

    Joe,
    I think I’ve twigged that you are the author of the lead article…yes/no?
    Do you want everyone to change the subject?

  130. Black Wallaby says:

    Testing

  131. Black Wallaby says:

    Hey you philosophers, below, please stop annoying people who are wanting to comment on the lead article:

    Dano Says: December 27th, 2007 at 9:33 pm
    Paul K Says: December 28th, 2007 at 7:33 pm
    Michael Says: December 28th, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Joe, are YOU wanting to change the subject?

  132. Ron says:

    Mr. Wallaby,

    I’m glad you liked my opening volley in this thread (yes, that was me), but all I really did was ask a dozen or so questions.

    Some of what I asked was answered, and I didn’t argue with the answers or pick them apart.

    The questions I think were the most important were left unanswered. You may have noticed that nobody mounted much of a challenge to my initial premise which was there is disinformation coming from all sides. That is an uncomfortable idea for some people to grapple with; the idea that there might be ‘nuts’ or crooks on their own team. Joe made a half-hearted attempt, but soon lapsed into silence.

    And along the way we have talked about libertarianism and mosquitos, exchanged funny quotes, there has even been some picking apart of the Inhofe report and the IPCC, and I flushed out a guy with dangerous collectivist leanings.

    I was sort of enjoying this thread, but if you’re getting bored, try the homepage -

    http://climateprogress.org

  133. Paul K says:

    Black Wallaby,
    Joe has long since gone on to other things. As to the Imhofe list, it is political theater. The fact is there are about 300 true masters of climatology and many students and and some of them are contrarians. Their voluminous work is published on a regular and continuing basis. Some of it is ignored, some accepted and some disputed. Information about most of it is available on the web for anyone interested in climate issues.
    Joe puts up posts like this because he is committed to saving humanity from the certain climate catastrophe he sees in our future. Because the post is filed under politics, it draws discussion that wanders. It has been one of if not the longest thread.

  134. Black Wallaby says:

    Ron,

    Look, you are a bright guy, but your para. 3 is a bit of a surprise.
    Is it not a glaring GIVEN that in a debate of a scope like this, there MUST, will ALWAYS be, extremists on both sides. (Whom speak with forked tongue) One does not need to be a philosopher to comprehend that evident truth. It does not need any discussion surely?

    May I remind you that this thread is basically about “Inhofe’s 400″.

    You and Paul K and Michael and sometimes Dano, are the intruders and destroyers on this should-be-open-accessible/comprehendable-to-visitors debate, and you have the gall to suggest that I go somewhere else!

    F-word expletive-off Ron!

    Ron et al, please take your enjoyment somewhere else.

    (But welcome back if you can actually contribute)

    JOE
    JOE
    JOE, wherefore art thou?
    DO YOU WANT TO HAVE THE DEBATE paralysed/deflected WITH OTHER TOPICS?

  135. Ron says:

    Mr. Wallaby,

    You also have to understand that conversation and debate proceeds quite differently in a blog than elsewhere. We don’t have to look each other in the eye, for one thing, so it’s easier to toss insults or call each other liars. However, a record is made of every word we utter (unless the blog owner deletes it, which Joe sometimes does), so it’s tough to deny saying something; and we also have recourse to search tools and ‘cut & paste’ – things unavailable during an argument over the table at the pub, for instance. It’s also easy to simply ignore things an opponent says, or to easily drop out of the conversation altogether and perhaps re-appear later with another identity. And in these particularly long threads things tend to get off-topic and confused, or some lines of the argument get lost in the shuffle.

    Also understand that this is a professional blog – Joe is a paid Believer. Some arguments are tough to get off the ground. For instance, Joe and the other Believers will not spend much time rationally discussing the science; they prefer to repeat the hype and point to observations about climate, but won’t seriously discuss the underlying hypothesis. And scientists who disagree with the IPCC’s ‘consensus’ view are usually simply labeled crackpots.

    Go to the homepage and look at Joe’s posting of the cartoon. I asked a question there that he probably will never answer. That’s just part of the ‘blog experience’ I guess.

    Ya just gotta keep plugging away.

  136. Ron says:

    Mr. Wobbly,

    See what I mean about this blog thing being different from real-life conversations? I had posted my last post before I saw that you were getting pissed off (pissed anyway, eh?).

    Good thing this conversation wasn’t at the pub.

    I never said or tried to imply that in every debate there MUST be extremists on both sides. I said in THIS debate, the one about global warming, there is disinformation coming from all sides. If you can’t see it yet, I probably can’t help you.

  137. Black Wallaby says:

    Hi Ron

    Reur December 29th, 2007 at 1:22 & 1:30 am
    Yes, crossing posts are tricky, and I see I also have one from Paul K

    What you say is all good stuff, but I’m confused by your last para….slow down, I think you misread it!
    Yet, I think that we agree, that people on both sides of the AGW debate can “speak with forked tongue”, let’s leave it at that.

    It’s very interesting what you and Paul K explain on Joe.

    Nevertheless, you philosophers are intruding and interfering with the original debate, unless you change course, as I’m sure you are capable of doing, by putting aside your personal pleasures.

    If not, please F-word-off

    Regards, Black Wallaby

    BTW I am not violent “at the pub”

  138. Hal says:

    Libertarianism does not mean free reign to harm others. In a libertarian society, I cannot lob firebombs onto my neighbor’s property. Nor can I spray poison gas at him. Air pollution, whether ozone, particulates or CO2, falls under the same principles. If CO2 is really harmful, regulation of CO2 emissions is perfectly compatible with libertarian principles. I am causing harm to others when I emit CO2 and I should pay the consequences of that.

    Now, the exact mechanism for that payment is where you might see some disagreement. Some libertarians would call for redress via courts and lawsuits. If Al Gore emits an excess of CO2 and it harms me to the amount of, say, one thousandth of a cent, then I should be able to sue him for that amount, and likewise for other emitters. But clearly this scheme is not practical, due to transaction costs. Such tiny amounts cannot be dealt with by individual lawsuits.

    A more efficient solution, still largely consistent with libertarian ideas, would use the power of the market to restrict harmful emissions in the most cost effective manner. Either a carbon tax or tradeable carbon emission rights allow us to set up a system where individuals pay the costs of the harm they inflict on others. Coase’s Theorem, from economics, shows that the exact mechanism doesn’t really matter; as long as the costs are paid, emissions will be reduced to the optimal level (which will be greater than zero!) and in the most cost-effective manner possible.

    Now, setting up such mechanisms does involve government, which libertarians tend to mistrust. But most libertarians do grant certain legitimate powers to government, and enforcing property rights is typically one of them. In this case we are essentially identifying a property right in clean air and setting up efficient mechanisms to protect those rights.

    Private ownership of property has proven to be a highly efficient and effective method for allocating resources, leading to maximal social welfare. Problems arise when, instead, resources are treated as a commons with no private property right enforcement. Dealing with global warming must be dealt with by these same principles. Stop treating the air as a commons which anyone can pollute at will. Hold people responsible when they infringe the rights of others by emitting harmful substances. This is the libertarian approach to addressing global warming.

    Libertarians should not be afraid to look at the facts squarely. Global warming is no threat to libertarian principles. In fact, libertarian ideas can lead the way by showing the importance of market based concepts to determine the price paid by CO2 emitters. Carbon taxes and carbon emission rights are fundamentally based on libertarian ideas of private property. They can bring the power of the marketplace to bear on this increasingly urgent problem.

  139. Ron says:

    Hal,

    Yes, I see. You are absolutely correct. In that way of looking at it, if we treat the air people breathe as their private property, then regulating the content of it (voluntarily, of course) makes perfect sense.

    My only problem with the idea, in practice, would be getting all those checks to the citizens, and how much the government processing would cost. That is where you intended the money to go, correct? To the people harmed?

  140. Dano says:

    It was quite simple: what makes you think YOU are more qualified to judge what is happening than the hundreds of individuals quoted in the US Senate report?

    I never claimed I was. That’s your tactic to distract away from something. It doesn’t work.

    Best,

    D

  141. Ron says:

    Hal,

    I thought of another point we’ll need to consider.

    If we are going to treat the air as private property, we’ll have to recognize the property rights of the polluters as well; they will have an equal property interest in the air.

    I guess that’s two points, because we’ll have to realize that everyone is a polluter to one degree or another, even if some people are doing nothing more than emitting CO2, and we’ll have to work that into the equation somehow as well.

    Whew! Sounds like a great idea, but it’s sure going to be complicated.

    What do you think, Hal?

  142. Ron says:

    Drano,

    Any luck yet finding the lies you say I told?

    I am in breathless anticipation.

  143. Dano says:

    My, my, my.

    There’s a lot of handwaving going on now. I never said you lied, Ron. Show where I did.

    Is your rhetoric so weak you must make up things besides infantile namie-names? Is this the best you can do?

    Best,

    D

  144. Ron says:

    And Ron, you are just trying to change the subject. If you wish to keep distracting away from your obfuscations and mendacicizations

    That’s where i thought you were calling me a liar. If I’m mistaken, then please accept my apology.

    The word that confused me was mendacicizations.

    I thought you were attempting to use some form of the word ‘mendacity’.

    What were you trying to say?

  145. Peter Foley says:

    Micheal, Your willingness to destroy my freedoms in pursuit of an alleged environmental problem shows how the the Global warming Cult is peopled with “fellow travelers” intent on using the real or imagined threat of climate change(mostly for the better, unless you live on the low coast.) Why not present your socialist beliefs outside of the GWC’s tent? What group of fools wants any sort of world government? After years of highly skilled leadership demonstrated by the EEC and the UN? Your meme that the individual rights can be trumped at any time by pseudo intellectual environmentalists when they invoke a possibility the average temperature might rise 1/3 of 1% is just a new version of tyranny. If you want to live in a Hive or a Herd– make sure you’re the Bull/Queen bee and not the sacrificial calf/drone given to the predators daily. By the by I’ve read a large part of the IPCC data– the elephant in the parlour is the fact the Southern and oceanic temperature data is crap and real crap– some ‘data’ points are thousands of miles away from actual locations where data was collected pre-satellite. To invoke Einstein again, try a little thought experiment about pre-automated thermometers,(how many lows/highs were missed by the human recorders?) Calibration of the actual thermometers? The near total lack of data pre 1900 for five out of seven continents? Just the fact of continuous observation of temperature will generate higher highs then the prior method of hourly checking. Follow the money–no crisis no growth in climate science funding, corner one of the alarmists and ask them on the down low if they are moving to high ground? Many big government control freaks are piling on the latest attempt to disenfranchise the individual and castrate the western economy.

  146. Ron says:

    Peter,

    I postulated some rules of thumb somewhere above, one of which was that ‘all journalists (and especially bloggers) have an agenda’.

    I think we are getting down to the nitty-gritty now of what Joe Romm’s real agenda is.

    http://climateprogress.org/2007/12/28/global-warming-cartoon-toles/

    Also, check out the links to the upper right, Joe’s most popular posts, and check out the archives. Get a feel for his overall campaign.

  147. Michael says:

    I’m glad that our little dialogue here has gotten some libertarians actually grappling with some of the real issues here instead of constantly bewailing the potential onslaught of a coercive government

    Mr. Wallaby,
    You haven’t been participating in the blogsphere long if you are concerned about the purity of this thread. Just post away about what you are interested in and see if people engage in a dialogue around this. If Joe is interested in reviving Imhofe he can start a new thread that deals explicitly with this issue…which I believe he will as the whole issue of who has authority in the climate debate will continue to simmer…

    Ron,
    You show dangerous atomistic leanings…a willingness to throw society and our natural environment into chaos in search of an abstract ideal in your head. If I confront you about the extremity of your beliefs as they affect these discussions here, I don’t know if that makes me your opposite. For instance, I used to work to support dissidents in the former Eastern bloc. I don’t know if you’ve ever done such work.

    Peter Foley,

    You are showing signs of your religious devotion to libertarianism or some brand of right-wing property-rights based political philosophy. The last time a political philosophy became a religion (under Communism) it was a disaster!!

    Your mind has been filled with propaganda, so you cannot see a moderate centrist, pragmatist who wants to deal with the issues at hand if he or she were standing right in front of you. Anyone who so much as suggests that a COMBINATION of market and state-led initiatives is going to be solution is immediately SUSPECTED of being a HERETIC!!!

    Either you are sincere in your beliefs and very ill-informed or slightly disturbed.

  148. Ron says:

    Michael,

    dangerous atomistic leanings…a willingness to throw society and our natural environment into chaos in search of an abstract ideal in your head.

    I’m not sure what word you were searching for, but I don’t think ‘atomistic’ was it.

    Look, you have been outed. You said yourself that you don’t value individual freedom nearly as high as some other things; that force is an important tool in managing society.

    At least you are honest in your beliefs, and I applauded that.

    And maybe you feel you’re being ganged-up on, but that really isn’t the case. Only I, and a couple other “Cult of Liberty” types, are attacking you. The rest of the people reading this, including Joe, are silent about your postings because they agree with you on the principle that it’s necessary to force people to do what’s in their best interest or in the best interest of the majority.

    So relax. You may sound like a nut to few of us cultists, but you’re actually in good company.

  149. Peter Foley says:

    Some idle thoughts regarding the global warming cult 1. It is faith based- actual proof of the climate changing as predicted is neither necessary nor wanted. If my “Jesus” returns I can no longer run your life-”Jesus” would. If we actually knew how the warming worked we could change it with out destroying our carbon based economy. No power hungry bishop actually wants the return of the Messiah on their watch. If we have actually warmed up the globe why not spend a couple of hundred Billion on a space based sun shade? Much cheaper than any of the tree hugger alternatives. Like all actively growing cults other less successful cults are trying to hijack its direction, like ZPGers, Vegetarians, Socialists, and world government nuts.
    My agenda is the halting of any anti-growth memes such as the present climate change mafia. It is okay for the “shakers” to form a dead end community but not for them to force the rational majority to drink the ‘Kool-Aid’.

  150. Peter Foley says:

    Micheal, Forgive me, I didn’t refresh my web browser before posting. I was worshiping at the local property rights church- where is that at anyway? Is Wall street the Vatican?
    I thought the political systems that ignored the fundamental right to property had failed in the past century. Even the PRC has surrendered partially to the “cult” of limited property rights.(Why hasn’t the global climate change myth taken over in Beijing?)
    A moderately wrong person is still wrong. Read the irrational ideas you post ” A state led-initiative” Did the USA achieve consciousness this morning-has the NSA computer reached the Turing point? Is that thought some perversion of the Gaea myth?
    The wisdom of the need for separation of church and state is becoming ever clearer to me.
    If I am mentally ill, Heal me with the light from the truth of your position. If I am uninformed(code for I disagree with your religion) teach me the facts (Dogma of the GWC) I haven’t posted any of my beliefs- they are not germane to rational discussion of the alleged climate problems. I’ve posted several facts regarding the science behind the IPCC claims.
    I hope you can use your amazing trans Internet diagnostic skills to fund some sort of carbon indulgences trading site.
    Being labeled as crazy and Heretical (can one be both at the same time? isn’t insanity a defense to Heresy) by a left wing tree-hugger is sign I am closer to reality then my pathetic critic. I don’t use religion to make day to day decisions. You ought to try living with some type of reality based world-view. It is much more effective then a Magical/faith/cult based world-view. Try to focus on my facts and conclusions not cutting me down personally, Muddying my reputation will not improve your faulty facts or conclusions. Sincerely Yours, Pete

  151. Max says:

    Black Wallaby wrote: “May I remind you that this thread is basically about ‘Inhofe’s 400’”.

    Agree with Black Wallaby that we should try to get the discussion back to this point.

    Why are these scientists not qualified to have a valid opinion on what is happening and what may happen over the next hundred years to global climate?

    Andrew Dessler over at gristmill was going to enlighten us on this point, but has remained silent.

    Dano has expressed some general opinions but has brought no specific facts.

    Ron made an excellent opening shot but also brought no specific reasons on why the people quoted in the US Senate report are not qualified to have a valid opinion.

    If no one has any real facts to bring here, other than some vague “ad hominem” attacks of one or the other individual on the list, then we must assume there is no reason to believe that these individuals are any less qualified than the IPCC writers to have a valid opinion on what is happening and what may happen over the next hundred years to global climate, thereby confirming that there is no real “concensus in the scientific community” on potentially disastrous AGW, as some would have us believe.

    Believe this is Black Wallaby’s point. If not, he can correct me.

    Max

  152. Joe says:

    Ron — if this were Survivor, you would have been voted off a long time ago. Everyone has an “agenda” — mine is to avoid ruining the health and well-being of the next 50 generations.

    Honestly — telling someone to “check out the links to the upper right, Joe’s most popular posts, and check out the archives. Get a feel for his overall campaign.” What do you think the most popular posts (and archives) are there for — so people will read them and figure out what this blog is about, and, hopefully, learn something — which you obviously haven’t!

    I have been mellow in letting most posts go by, figuring too much is better than too little, but your postgs are increasingly off-topic, incoherent, and/or willfully misconstruing what I and others have written — and pissing everyone off. So I will apply a tougher standard to you in the future.

    Post your doubts and links to denier/delayer talking points if you want, but 1) stay on topic and 2) stop misstating what I and others believe and/or have written. It is very destructive to productive discussion.

  153. Ron says:

    Joe,

    I’m a bit shocked at the level of hatred towards libertarianism, and shocked at some of Michael’s comments especially, but that’s off-topic, so I won’t pursue that any further for now.

    I don’t believe I have been incoherent, or seriously misconstruing what has been said, but I’ll try to get back on topic.

    Max asked:

    Why are these scientists not qualified to have a valid opinion on what is happening and what may happen over the next hundred years to global climate?

    In a nutshell, they ARE qualified; just as qualified overall as the people that participated in the IPCC and reviewed the reports. In fact, in most cases they ARE people who participated in the IPCC and reviewed the reports.

    The very fact that these folks are dissenting just shows that there really is a debate going on within the scientific community.

    However, there are some folks in the sky-is-falling community who want you to believe the science is well-established and there is no debate. You’re only supposed to listen to one side of the debate (that isn’t happening anyhow), and swallow every bit of hype they offer.

    The question is ‘why?’ what do they stand to gain?

    Some possible answers might be [self-censored] who have historically sought more power and control over people, bigger government, etc. These folks often have good intentions, but their desire to use force ‘in everybody’s best interest’ gives them away as nothing more than [self-censored]. And then there are just the regular old crooks, like [self-censored], who stand to put a lot of money in their own pockets with a mandated carbon trading scheme; or self-styled ‘experts’ like [self-censored] who have built a career on the hype.

    Is that any clearer?

    Obviously, I’m not in the least convinced of the validity of the AGW hypothesis, but my real concern is the stupid policy proposals being put forward by people like [self-censored] that will do nothing but damage the economy and further strip away our freedoms.

    Look into the CP crystal ball and see what the future has in store for us -

    http://climateprogress.org/2007/11/30/global-warming-prediction-presidential-politics/

  154. Max says:

    Message to Ron

    Hi Ron,

    You wrote to Joe: “I’m not in the least convinced of the validity of the AGW hypothesis, but my real concern is the stupid policy proposals being put forward by people like [self-censored] that will do nothing but damage the economy and further strip away our freedoms.”

    I personally believe you are spot on, Ron. The AGW hypothesis is something that can be argued based on its scientific merits, and there are obviously differing opinions on this within the ”scientific community”, regardless of what some AGW proponents try to claim.

    The policy proposals are something else. Almost everyone who has expressed an opinion on these agrees that they will damage the world economy and that they will not result in any significant changes in global climate. They will, however, “strip away our freedom” (as you say) at the expense of “big brother”.

    And they will open the door to very large sums of money being shuffled around by UN politicians who have shown a profound propensity for corruption and graft in the past where large sums of money were involved.

    Regards,

    Max

  155. Black Wallaby says:

    JOE, JOE, JOE,

    Hello JOE, I know you are there, Reur December 29th, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    As I see it, putting aside that you are very cross with Ron, there are two fundamental divisions………….penso

    1) You (?) raised a lead article (“Inhofe 400″) which was pregnant for discussion, and there was interesting intercourse thereon until…….

    2) A phase 2 developed where a bunch of philosophers hijacked the debate and went totally off topic on hiPalutinliberertariosomethingorover.

    Nevertheless, there was a clear enjoyment between these philosophy fruitcakes and I for one also enjoyed some bits of it. I move that their intellectual level is highly creditable, and should be encouraged to flourish, but that it should not hijack your lead post.

    Thus, I suggest, could you please excise the philosophical wanderings from your lead post, put them somewhere else, and allow them their separate pleasures on a new blog

    If you do this, it may allow you original lead to continue with fruition.
    Otherwise, it seems to be a corpse.

  156. Michael says:

    Mr. Wallaby,
    You still don’t get that blogs are not “pure” discussion forums but range around the topic. Asking Joe to edit or police the blog in the manner that you suggest goes against some of the fundamental precepts of this part of the Web. I know I am shocking some of the libertarian attack dogs on this board by declaring these libertarian sounding principles but there you go. As you will note below this is not entirely “off topic” in a general sense. You are construing “topic” narrowly.

    This post is also already “old” so you are not going to find many people happening upon it to take up your pleas for the discussion that you want to have.

    You can be gosh darn sure, as I already told you above, that the issue of authority in climate science is going to come up again and again and again. So you will have plenty of opportunity to have others maybe possibly respond to your views.

    Joe,
    I have participated in turning the discussion to libertarianism because I see others being tempted by the jibes of Ron and others and I thought that the basic disagreements between libs and others are at the root of these disagreements. Though Ron is extreme and sophomoric in his devotion to the purest of libertarian sentiments, a lot of the people who are resisting a thorough examination of the climate data are, as you know, either paid hacks for the extractive industries, or people who misguidedly feel as though our current energy and energy policy system is “freer” than a future more sustainable one. The latter group are actually concerned about the representation of the science OR are just mucking around with the science to delay what look like inevitable state programs.

    Peter F,
    I am showing a little more concern for your reputation on the Internet than you are by truncating your last name … if that is really your name it is not a good move to post your full name with rambling slightly incoherent posts. You came out and misrepresented my views and created a red herring out of what I posted here as well as what many climate scientists are saying about what is happening out there in the world beyond political debates. I responded which was perhaps a mistake.

    Your responses just sound very weird to me. I say that beyond any political disagreements we might have….there are some nuggets of a recognizable political sentiment and then just odd language. I am not going to pretend that you said only the coherent things and have a discussion with you.

    I also have no idea if you are actually crazy nor do I care: I just left that open as a possibility given the fact that you entirely distorted what I was saying and ended up writing some pretty crazy things here.

    Beyond your own personal situation, I am concerned that the libertarian religion in general does attract people with a tendency towards paranoia whatever the state of their mental health.

  157. Ronald says:

    Ron and Max

    There’s a question about the Inhofe 400 that you could maybe answer for me and it’s not meant to be an innocent question. What happened to the 19 000 signitures in the Oregon Petition that came out it 2001 and why can Inhofe only come up with 400 now?

    A drop of 98 percent might not mean anything to you guys, but hell to science, that’s the difference between round earth and flat earth people.

  158. Dano says:

    RE: mendacicization as opposed to lying.

    Definition: given to or characterized by deception or falsehood or divergence from absolute truth

    Some of the 400 scientists participated in the IPCC – well, two cite themselves as ‘expert reviewers’, but that is the limit of their participation.

    You are, perhaps unwittingly, spreading a falsehood that they participated in the IPCC – mendacious tales of their participation.

    HTH,

    D

  159. Max says:

    Well, now, Dano has enlightened us on “mendacicization” (did he mean “mendacity”) “as opposed to lying”.

    This is sort of like getting across an untrue message without making a claim that could be proven to be perjurious in a court of law.

    IPCC have good experience in this, but guys like James Hansen, Al Gore and the UN Secretary General are the real experts.

    There may be some “far out” guys in the “denier” camp that also fit this bill, although non come to mind off hand.

    Maybe Dano can give us some specific examples in the “denier” camp.

    Or maybe he was just kidding (or bluffing).

    Max

  160. Peter Foley says:

    Micheal, just responding to to your three sided label of me, I was confused- I am either nuts, practising some tiny sects religion or just garden variety ignorant. In the future I’ll try to use smaller ideas and won’t assume you’ve encountered the Western canon of knowledge. You support the faulty idea that it is okay to take away from individuals with out compensating the losses.
    Calling a political philosophy a religion and and psycho magnet, my what a wide tar brush. The little I’ve encountered of your ideas seem to be some 21st century version of “1984″ or the former USSR, I disagree with you so I must be crazy. Mandatory rehabilitation perhaps?
    Regarding the original gist of the post:
    One, Freeman Dyson has done more for modern society any hundred climatologists, By the By the US was only months away from using “Orion” as an interplanetary spaceship drive. The nuclear bomb space drive was ended by the nuclear test ban treaty of the mid Sixties.
    Two, Regarding Kurzweil’s idea that we can grow out the global warming if it is actually happening. I agree with the premise but I personally am not to excited about his singularity idea, To many ways for an Artificial intelligence to decide to end its creators. Thomas Malthus has been wrong for over two hundred years until one day he’ll be right once if humans adopt some type of anti growth meme, such as carbon trading, sustainability, locavores, or Una-bomber class memes (the irony of neo-Luddite memes spreading through the Internet is priceless). Any thing that lowers the annual rate of global growth even one percent dooms billions to years of unnecessary poverty. Ask a coast dweller if they’d rather relocate or lower their lifetime income 300%?
    Third, While the French Geomagnetism study may be fertilizer, the idea that the magnetic fields aren’t important to the survival of our society isn’t. One more reason to fund the field and orbit more data gathering satellites. The idea that changes in the earth’s magnetic fields would change the net and gross amount of solar radiation to impact the Earth and its atmosphere is a no brain-er. Now let us find out the actual facts and mechanics–they could hold the key to humans controlling their climate. Belittling a poor study without offering any constructive ideas on repairing their errors doesn’t seem to further an enlightened science based rational world view.
    Finally any actually original thoughts on how to create an accurate data base about the Earth’s ACTUAL temperatures pre- 1900 with out a time/space machine? What about pre steamship ocean temperature data? The IPCC data is a lot of hot water and not very many oysters for a majority of the globe pre satellite era. Let’s hear some honest means to prove A-the world’s climate is changing for the worse. B-that burning carbon is the proximate cause. C-Is the change globally bad? and what is the total change? E-What would be a rational response if ABCD were true?

  161. Max says:

    Message to Ronald

    Hi Ronald,

    Sorry, cannot answer your question on “Inhofe’s 400”. Maybe he was short of time or figured that statements from a few hundred climate specialists and scientists would do the trick. Ask him directly.

    Do not understand your analogy to “98 percent and flat earth”, but I guess you are trying to get some kind of a point across.

    The whole point is that the much-ballyhooed so-called “consensus of the scientific world” is a myth, and I believe this was the point Inhofe was trying to make.

    But for me this whole “consensus” argument is irrelevant anyway. In Wegener’s time the “consensus of the scientific world” agreed that his plate tectonics / continental drift theory was wrong. Twenty years after his death it became the new paradigm.

    Right now the “scientific consensus” or prevailing paradigm (as expressed by IPCC) is that AGW is driving climate change.

    Maybe Svensmark’s CERN study will bring a new paradigm shift, as Wegener did, and AGW will end up on the ash heap of scientific history. Who knows?

    Regards,

    Max

  162. Ron says:

    Ronald,

    Re the ’19000′, I’m not really up on that one to be honest, but I believe it was discredited, at least to some extent.

    I hate to be the one to say that, since I’m such a big Denier, but there it is.

    Names on a petition or ‘consensus report’ or whatever don’t really impress me all that much anyway.

    The problem, with both sides of the debate, is that there really aren’t very many ‘real’ climatologists out there or others with real insight and expertise in climate. For sure there aren’t 19000.

    And we have a hard time evaluating their insight, because only history will show who was right. The science of climatology is really pretty new. Up until fairly recently, climatology was considered to be a sub-field of meteorology, but that has somehow been reversed in people’s minds and meteorologists are now looked down upon (unless they support one’s own opinions). The hype and propaganda has seriously confused things.

    We should be giving every real scientist a fair hearing and trying to cut through the hype.

    Personally, I’m more concerned about policy decisions that will hurt us all economically. That’s the more immediate danger.

  163. Justin says:

    Follow the money. Carbon off sets anyone? The sky is falling!

    BALI, Indonesia – An international team of scientists skeptical of man-made climate fears promoted by the UN and former Vice President Al Gore, descended on Bali this week to urge the world to “have the courage to do nothing” in response to UN demands.

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/925

    Astrophysics knows two solar activity cycles, of 11 and 200 years. Both are caused by changes in the radius and area of the irradiating solar surface. The latest data, obtained by Habibullah Abdusamatov, head of the Pulkovo Observatory space research laboratory, say that Earth has passed the peak of its warmer period, and a fairly cold spell will set in quite soon, by 2012.

    http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20080103/94768732.html

  164. Max says:

    Justin’s links are interesting.

    “Earth has passed the peak of its warmer period, and a fairly cold spell will set in quite soon, by 2012. Real cold will come when solar activity reaches its minimum, by 2041, and will last for 50-60 years or even longer.”

    This could become a real “win-win” situation.

    If the Bali boondogglers have their way and can quickly bamboozle the world’s governments into submission, the money-shuffling carbon taxes and cap and trade schemes will have been in full swing by 2012, when reduced solar activity starts to cool things off.

    The IPCC can then take a bow and claim credit for having reversed the previous warming trend.

    The NY Times headlines will blare: “The IPCC’ cap and trade schemes have reversed global warming!”

    Al Gore and the IPCC chair can then collect another Nobel peace prize for having saved the planet from almost certain extinction.

    Everybody wins!

    Well, almost everyone, because some poor jerks had to pay for this whole circus.

    Guess who?

    Max

  165. Joe says:

    I’ll lay anyone $1000 that the next decade is hotter than this one. Heck, I’ll even give 2-to-1 odds. The solar stuff has long, long, long since be debunked.

    Justin, Max — any takers? I thought not.

    I just love people who refuse to accept the hundreds of scientific studies the IPCC bases its conclusions on, but become true believes for one study that confirms their view (did I mention the solar stuff was debunked a long time ago?).

  166. Max says:

    “I’ll lay anyone $1000 that the next decade is hotter than this one. Heck, I’ll even give 2-to-1 odds.”

    Whose record are you going to use?

    Stick with Hansen, baby, and you can’t lose…

    If all else fails, you can always put in some parking lots or tall buildings next to your weather stations. Or, since things are heating up so badly due to AGW, hang in a couple of window AC units next to the thermometers.

    Watch out for those satellites, though, they may trip you up.

    Max

  167. Max says:

    In January 2007 the UK Meteorological Office predicted that 2007 would be “the hottest year on record”.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/04/phew_what_a_scorcher/

    Met office scientist Katie Hopkins said: “This new information represents another warning that climate change is happening around the world.”

    The article went on to say, “The long-term prognosis is alarming. As Reuters puts it: ‘Most scientists agree that temperatures will rise by between two and six degrees Celsius this century due mainly to carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels for power and transport.’”

    It’s great to be able to predict a whole year’s average temperature, and even to predict that it will be a “record hot year”.

    Let’s see how well the UK’s Meteorological Office really did.

    Under the eye-catching headline, “2007 ‘second warmest year’ in UK”, BBC tells us what really happened on a global scale.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7169690.stm

    Turns out the top 10 were (from hottest to coolest): 1998, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2001, 1997 and 1995.

    OOPS! So, despite the eye-catching headline, 2007 was number seven out of ten and not the “record hot year” at all. If you only take the years in the 21st century, 2007 ranked only number five out of seven, so it was kind of a “blooper”.

    So much for predicting temperature for a whole YEAR in advance.

    But cheer up, folks, as the article said IPCC’s scientists can predict (or project, as they prefer to call it) that “temperatures will rise by between two and six degrees Celsius” a whole CENTURY in advance.

    Too bad none of us will be around in 2100 to see how well (or poorly) they actually did.

    Max

  168. Dean says:

    Max, your post begs the question! I agree that predicting any given year will be the hottest or coolest or stormiest or whatever is certainly not scientifically valid – all of the data points in the graphs of global warming proxies are continually going up and down, even as the overall trend moves in one direction. However, I recall reading that as it turns out, 2007 was the second hottest year on record. But even if we accept your list of “hottest to coolest” years, doesn’t it seem odd that all of those years are very recent – within the past 18 years, and that EVERY year of this millenium has been in the top ten so far???? Your list is really that of the “Top Ten Hottest Years on Record”. I wouldn’t take Joes bet at all.

  169. LT says:

    Scientists should always be encouraged to question the majority view of scientific opinions.

    But it is not science to put out misleading quotes like this list by the Right Wing Heartland Institute has done.

    Drill down into the context of these supposed skeptics — and you will see the majority on the list either have NO real climatology expertise else believe the climate models have too much uncertainty to make a call either one way or another. Dr. Joanne Simpson for example says “What should we as a nation do? Decisions have to be made on incomplete information. In this case, we must act on the recommendations of Gore and the IPCC because if we do not reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and the climate models are right, the planet as we know it will in this century become unsustainable. But as a scientist I remain skeptical. ”

    http://climatesci.org/2008/02/27/trmm-tropical-rainfall-measuring-mission-data-set-potential-in-climate-controversy-by-joanne-simpson-private-citizen/

    Without an honest quoting by real scientists and on their complete views, this list is TRASH — drawn up by Right Wing ideologues and nothing more!