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Polluter appeasement — should we question the patriotism of deniers?

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"Polluter appeasement — should we question the patriotism of deniers?"

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Independence Day may be the best day to ask ourselves — what is the greatest, preventable threat to Americans’ life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness (LLPH). The answer is simple — human-caused global warming. Certainly there are other major threats to LLPH, the gravest of which is probably terrorists using weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapon, in this country.

Between Homeland Security and the Pentagon, we spend billions of dollars every month to try to prevent terrorism. Indeed, President Bush and John McCain say Iraq is the central front in the war on terror. If so, the government spends more than $20 billion a month just to fight terrorism — of which more than half is new money we were’nt spending before 9/11 (and we spend more than $50 billion a month total on military and homeland security). And those who oppose such spending are routinely labeled unpatriotic or even appeasers.

But unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions are by far the greatest preventable threat to Americans’ LLPH (see “Is 450 ppm politically possible? Part 0: The alternative is humanity’s self-destruction and Part 2: The Solution“). Yet the government spends virtually nothing to fight global warming — certainly no significant amount of new money has been allocated for this major threat (the Clinton Administration tried, but the Gingrich Congress reversed that effort, reducing or zeroing out every program aimed at climate mitigation or even adaptation).

Indeed most conservatives, including John McCain, oppose merely continuing existing incentives for carbon-mitigating strategies like solar and wind power. Conservatives in Congress seem likely to strongly oppose any major effort at a legislative solution (see “Anti-science conservatives must be stopped“).

Hmm. What should we call people who actively oppose efforts to save America from the horrors posed by the greatest threat to Americans’ LLPH? Deniers? Delayers? Worse? The main reason I am bringing this up today is that conservative columnist Tony Blankley, Newt Gingrich’s former press secretary, questioned the patriotism of environmentalists on the Diane Rehm show yesterday:

I’d like to put forward a proposition for this discussion. I’ve thought about this over time. I think patriotism is a form of love — love of country. And like other loves, they can be more intense, they can be faithful, they can be intermittent, they can be weak.

By the way which means that the opposite of patriotism isn’t necessarily treason; it may simply mean indifference or divided sentiments. And I think in that way, there can be a person who is more patriotic and it doesn’t mean the person who is less patriotic is a traitor….

I would take it [to] another area where I think patriotism is slipping … people who have views on the environment may feel that they’re more loyal to the environmental principle than they do to American advancement. We see this very specifically on the question of the Kyoto treaty where people who believe in environmentalism to that degree say we should give up our economic expansion while other parts of the world don’t have to for the general good interests of the world.

Pathetic. Why does Diane Rehm or anyone else listen to him?

Very clever of Blankely not to define “the environmental principle” — a nonexistent term (try googling it). Also very clever of him to define action on Kyoto as giving up our economic expansion — even though, of course, it meant no such thing.

Personally, I’m not an environmentalist, and I don’t believe “in environmentalism” though like everyone else, I have “views on the environment.” I do firmly believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for Americans (and everyone else). Unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions could destroy all three.

A couple of decades ago, the nations of the world decided the rich countries should take action to reduce emissions first because 1) we caused the problem and 2) we got rich doing so. President Bush’s father agreed, and the U.S. Senate signed off on that unanimously. [People seem unaware of this fact so I will blog on it later.]

The nations of the world asked the top scientists of the world to summarize the state of scientific understanding every few years and make conclusions that had to be signed off on by every country word for word. That led to Kyoto and now it has lead to very, very dire scientists who are begging us for action, which they make clear will not prevent continued economic development (see “Desperate Scientists” and “Absolute MUST Read IPCC Report: Debate over, further delay fatal, action not costly“).

It also led to an active effort by fossil fuel companies and conservative think tanks to spread disinformation aimed at blocking action. Our top climate scientist thinks the people who fund such efforts might face trial for crimes against humanity. I seriously doubt that — mainly because the most serious consequences of this disinformation campaign will not be evident until after the funders (and the disinformers) are dead.

But anyone who understands science realizes that ignoring what the IPCC says is self-destructive for any nation — especially since the IPCC almost certainly underestimates how harsh the consequences are and how quickly they will be upon us and how even more quickly they will be all but unstoppable (see “Disputing the ‘consensus’ on global warming“).

If we fail to heed the warning of our top scientists, if we fail to adopt the low-cost strategies need to avert the incalculably high-cost consequences (widespread desertification, large and rapid sea level rise, loss of the inland glaciers, extinction of most species, fatal acidification of the ocean, and on and on), nobody is going to be writing books labeling us “the greatest generation.” We will at best be “the greediest generation” and perhaps even “the first unpatriotic generation” since we were the first who would not bear any burden or pay any price to preserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the next generation.

But that is how future generations will label us. We haven’t failed yet. Should we question the patriotism of deniers? That is a tough call, made even tougher since they question our patriotism even as we fight to save their children and their children’s children from their own ignorance and indifference.

I suppose the answer is “no,” we shouldn’t stoop to their tactics — readers can weigh in with other views — but I will say that if we are going to save this great nation, progressives are going to have to fight back much harder against the despicable actions of the deniers who practice polluter appeasement. Whatever we are currently doing, it ain’t enough.

The time to act is yesterday.

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81 Responses to Polluter appeasement — should we question the patriotism of deniers?

  1. hapa says:

    moving the window of love of country beyond the reach of petty criminals can be done without useless smears. tar the fossils productively, where they’re weak, make both cases at once — (a) we can see they have no business sense, only wanting prosperity for some, because (b) managed, forward-thinking transition is how we keep ahead of circumstances.

  2. Greg N says:

    Interesting piece and happy July 4th to you all.

    During World War II, America gave up its wealth and wellbeing in order to fight totalitarianism in Europe.

    It was a global crisis, met and defeated by a global alliance, and the economic and human cost was many magnitudes larger than what we need to pay to solve the CO2 crisis.

    That was a time of true patriotism, a big sacrifice by a generation to ensure the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for millions of Americans to come.

    It’s not really much to ask for a fraction of that patriotism now, to give up a small economic adjustment in return for the wellbeing of many generations of Americans as yet unborn.

  3. Lou Grinzo says:

    “…but I will say that if we are going to save this great nation, progressives are going to have to fight back much harder against the despicable actions of the deniers who practice polluter appeasement. Whatever we are currently doing, it ain’t enough.”

    And how we do that is the $64 trillion question.

    Frankly, I don’t see how we can significantly slow down, let alone stop and reverse the effects of the deniers. As I tell people all the time over on my own site, one of the most depressing things you can do is set Google Alerts for “global warming”, “IPCC”, “James Hansen”, etc., and make sure you include blogs in the alerts, not just news sites The tidal wave of garbage that shows up in your e-mail from these alerts will be truly stunning.

    There are two problems here:

    1. The strong anti-authoritarian streak in Americans. I’m astonished by the number of well educated people who believe that global warming and/or peak oil are some sort of vast, complicated, decades long conspiracy and not simply what the experts say they are. Just the number of people who use the phrase “New World Order” in this context is enough to make one weep for the future of this country.

    2. In practice, the Internet (and particularly the Web) is not the horizon-broadening tool we all hoped for once upon a time. Instead, it’s turned out to be a perfect way for people to indulge in info-cocooning, where we immerse ourselves in the virtual company of like-minded people.

    No one can change a denier’s mind or get him/her to stop repeating the same ridiculous, and endlessly debunked, talking points online. The absolute best we can hope for is a huge effort to try to cut down on the rate at which the deniers gain new members. That’s not a very optimistic view, I admit, but after fighting this battle for years that’s where I’ve grudgingly arrived.

  4. paulm says:

    Great piece! Happy 4th to all.

    I have started and I suggest we each keep sending letters to the editors of all media expressing our concern and requesting they examine the facts and the on going debate and try to be part of the solution.

    If this can turn into a ground swell I think we will get an important component in making the message clear to the public, motivating timely acceptant of the situation that will drive the political will and the change of life style required by society.

  5. Daniel Haran says:

    What do you mean, you’re not an environmentalist? How exactly would you define it that you don’t qualify?

    [JR: I am a physicist and energy analyst, who has also studied physical oceanography. The environment has never been my primary concern.]

  6. Earl Killian says:

    Ideologues are the real enemy of America (and the world). Deniers are simply one of the most pernicious types of ideologues.

  7. llewelly says:

    I’m astonished by the number of well educated people who believe that global warming and/or peak oil are some sort of vast, complicated, decades long conspiracy and not simply what the experts say they are.

    Honestly, this makes me laugh. For years I was told over and over again that it was environmentalists who were conspiracy theorists, who believed in an evil cabal of world-controlling and world-destroying businesses and governments. So I laugh pretty hard now that anti-environmentalists have become such dedicated conspiracy theorists. I know, I know, I should cry – but there is no laughter in heaven.

    In practice, the Internet (and particularly the Web) is not the horizon-broadening tool we all hoped for once upon a time.

    When I first encountered this notion, as young computer-science major (circa 1995 or so), it seemed like one of the cheesiest and most flagrantly dishonest marketing lines I’d ever heard. Like something you might find on the side of a bottle of Echinacea, sold by a company which donated huge funds to Senator Orrin Hatch. David Brin had described info-cocooning in his 1989 book Earth. Yes, I know, it was fiction – but at the time, info-cocooning seemed likely. Really, the idea that the internet would be horizon-broadening is something you believed because the unscrupulous and self-deluded majority of the computer industry spent billions making you believe it.

    No one can change a denier’s mind or get him/her to stop repeating the same ridiculous, and endlessly debunked, talking points online.

    I think this is another internet illusion. True, no-one will change their mind during an online argument. And surely, they won’t admit how wrong they were – they’ll change their pseudonym and pretend they always had their new view. I’ve watched a number of friends and acquaintances switch from active denialism to moderate acceptance of AGW. But more importantly, for every denialist you argue with, 10 or a 100 or more lurkers are reading the argument. Those are the people whose minds are changed. It’s not the few individuals whose posts you are responding to that you should thin of. It’s the dozens of readers who should be your real audience. A denialist is really just a foil.

    In the end you need to look at the changes in attitudes recorded by periodic surveys – more people and policy makers today believe AGW is a serious danger than did 10 years ago. (Granted, if it takes 10 more years to convert the rest, we’re in serious trouble …)

  8. annefarr says:

    Happy 4th of July everyone.

    When concerned about deniers, particularly those powerful ones in Congress, it is helpful to think about the results of a survey by Opinion Research Corporation called “A Post Fossil Fuel America: are Americans ready to make the shift?” Perhaps this site has already reviewed it, as it was completed October 2007.

    It finds that: 75% of Americans (ie 65% of Republicans & 83% of Dems) would support a 5 yr moratorium on new coal plants if there was a stepped up investment in clean safe renewable energy… and 55% of us agree that global warming is a problem and we have limited time to get to solutions… and … 80% of Americans agree that “the effects of global warming require that we take timely and decisive steps for renewable, safe clean energy sources… and we cannot afford to postpone decisions since there are no perfect options” It added that 9 out of 10 Americans are willing to reduce energy demand by taking add’l personal efficiency and conservation steps home.

    This is what you won’t read in the Wall Street Journal. But look up the study and share it with any elected official whose commitment to dealing with AGW is less than strong. They will know, or you can tell them, that these numbers will only get stronger. This study was based on calls to 1000+ people in all regions and has a margin of error of 3 points.

    now go party-hardy.
    Annefarr

  9. Newt and the Neocons must be terrified.

    Treason is quite an escalation of language. The treason is to the atmosphere of our planet, hence our nation too. And Newt should not worry about the economy, because all global economies are subservient to a healthy planet.

    NeoCon Denialists try to lay claim to that word before it can be used against them. Because while they worry about labels, they ask us to forget actual deeds that are globally treasonous: active suppression of science in government agencies, invoking a secret energy policy that appears to fund oil companies rather than a healthy future for the US and may included “preventive war”.

    They should be very worried. Because the worse things get, the more folks will be looking to blame. And the blame lands on Republicans like a turd on a table — they try to ignore it, deny it and now delay it as much as possible to escape culpability.

    The very future of unbridled capitalism will be pitted against a rapidly changing world. Soon, millions of climate refugees outside the US, and citizens within will suffer storms, floods, drought and fire. (Oh, that’s today) Americans will be perplexed by the calls for burning more coal and oil and mumbling blame elsewhere.

    Newt seems to want to move the serious and provable legal charge of treason, into the radio-talk-show-name-calling region where they can escape responsibility. Their counter-attack has been to challenge and deny the scientific connections between climate catastrophes of all sorts, and the predictable models and scenarios that are really no surprise to those who study them.

    I suspect denialists know they will lose this and are trying to buy time. The Insurance industry gets it, Russia knows the Arctic will be ice free soon, this denialist PR push seems to come from the fossil fuel industry.

    Denialists are not acting like flat earth believers, or Holocaust deniers, or Elvis Spotters. They are influencing and hindering survival. This is global treason.

  10. David B. Benson says:

    Somebody want to find the definition of treason in the U.S. constitution and key it in here?

  11. –noun
    1. the offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
    2. a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state.
    3. the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.
    [Origin: 1175–1225; ME tre(i)so(u)n

  12. Here is most all of it

    –noun
    1. the offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
    2. a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state.
    3. the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.
    [Origin: 1175–1225; ME tre(i)so(u)n

  13. —Synonyms 1. Treason, sedition mean disloyalty or treachery to one’s country or its government. Treason is any attempt to overthrow the government or impair the well-being of a state to which one owes allegiance; the crime of giving aid or comfort to the enemies of one’s government. Sedition is any act, writing, speech, etc., directed unlawfully against state authority, the government, or constitution, or calculated to bring it into contempt or to incite others to hostility, ill will or disaffection; it does not amount to treason and therefore is not a capital offense. 2. See disloyalty.
    Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
    Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

  14. US Constitution:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    Wikipedia offers a much deeper discussion of the term
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treason
    Oran’s Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as: “…[a]…citizen’s actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation].” In many nations, it is also often considered treason to attempt or conspire to overthrow the government, even if no foreign country is aided or involved by such an endeavour.

    Outside legal spheres, the word “traitor” may also be used to describe a person who betrays (or is accused of betraying) their own political party, nation, family, friends, ethnic group, religion, social class, or other group to which they may belong. Often, such accusations are controversial and disputed, as the person may not identify with the group of which they are a member, or may otherwise disagree with the group leaders making the charge. -snip-

    The Cold War saw frequent associations between treason and support for (or insufficient hostility toward) Communist-backed causes. The most memorable of these came from Senator Joseph McCarthy, who characterized the Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman administrations as “twenty years of treason.” McCarthy also investigated various government agencies for Soviet spy rings; however, he acted as a political fact-finder rather than criminal prosecutor. Despite such rhetoric, the Cold War period saw few prosecutions for treason.

    On October 11, 2006, a federal grand jury issued the first indictment for treason against the United States since 1952, charging Adam Yahiye Gadahn for videos in which he spoke supportively of al-Qaeda.

  15. Paul K says:

    Article III, section 3: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

  16. Lou Grinzo says:

    Just to be clear, I’m well aware of the evolution of our views of the Internet and the Web. Hell, I was using very heavy duty networking in 1980 that consisted of over 1,000 mainframes around the world connecting a few hundred thousand people. (I was a programmer at an IBM development lab; we had really cool toys when most people still thought “explorer” was some guy named Magellan.)

    Among the ranks of computing professionals there was a lot of optimism about what the Web could be, since it would make the Internet vastly more accessible.

    My point in all this is that the way it’s really turned out–the Web as an incredibly high-gain amplifier for our preconceived ideas–has resulted in far more polarization than we had before.

    And given how utterly useless most media outlets have become, I have no freakin’ idea how to combat the deniers.

  17. Robert says:

    **************************************************************
    Independence Day may be the best day to ask ourselves — what is the greatest, preventable threat to Americans’ life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness (LLPH). The answer is simple — human-caused global warming.
    **************************************************************

    Maybe not, if oil keeps doubling in price every couple of years. Globally I agree, but in certain countries (US, UK, etc) the cost of imported energy is a major, major threat to our entire economy and could plunge us into some sort of 3rd world status over the next decade.

  18. David B. Benson says:

    Thank you all. ‘None dare call it treason’ because it isn’t.

    Need a better term for those engaged in the tragedy of the commons.

  19. It took me years to get the hang of what all these “MyYahoo”, MyYouNameIT” tabs on the Web were… to me information is something that comes from a “world out there” and informs me. Sure I know about subjective filters and biases…but still you are looking for that “signal” from a world that is not just your pre-conceived notions about the world…

    So yes I think info-cocooning is a big challenge. The enterprise of science and scientific cooperation which requires a unified corpus of data and fora in which to argue about the interpretation of the data is a direct challenge to info-cocooning. So it is little wonder that info-cocooners are particularly resistant to scientific claims about AGW or GHG concentrations.

    Also, I would agree with Lou that there is an anti-authoritarian streak in America that has shuttled between the left and the right through the years, which makes it difficult for many to accept the authoritative claims of scientists as somehow privileged information. People want to think that every opinion is equally valuable. But in some circumstances, you want to have experts who spend almost all their time studying something and then tell you “the truth” that is based on the data. We have, in America, been calling this type of authority into question for at least the last 30 years. Occasionally our “skepticism” has a productive outcome but in the case of AGW it would appear to be a tragic fixation on one’s own ornery opinion.

    On the bright side, the voices of deniers will resonate less and less with the silent majority as our political establishment starts to better reflect the scientific reality (i.e. in January 2009).

  20. hapa says:

    the poison-the-well project came before the public internet and drew plenty of blood in that time. i see reactionary net-chat as 24/7 talk radio with no waiting line to get on-air. combine that with net addiction and what can you do. euphoric xenophobia. their family has to save them.

    it’s true about any partisan though. lots of people on dailykos need to be rescued. but at least there you have some commitment to face reality, among the writers. it’s not all about the think tank talking points o’ the day.

    last year peter schwartz, in/famous futurist, and others, described a major climate vulnerability, in impacts of climate change (pdf).

    Since the 1950s, pop culture has become much more volatile and fast-moving, in no small part because of the advent of new mass and social media, including the internet, video-sharing, podcasting, and the handheld devices for creating, distributing, and consuming information. What has emerged is a global popular culture of paranoia, ripe for exploitation by political opportunists. That climate change is likely to unfold in a series of excursions from the mean will serve to continually mask the broader trend — and a paranoid culture of half-wisdom and rumor-mongering could amplify these excursions. For example, climate change skeptics could use a five- to 10-year global cooling excursion to debunk climate science in the media. This possibility should especially concern those wishing to construct rational long-term policies appropriate for GHG emissions abatement and impact mitigation plans. If such a surprising global climate excursion toward cooling by chance took place just as global politicians put together a workable global GHG abatement plan, opportunists might seize the excursion as an excuse to dismiss the need for abatement. Others might blame the sudden random cooling on the excesses of the abatement regime itself, not realizing that the abatement could not possibly yet have had any effect on the weather. The chance that the political will to enforce an abatement scheme might unravel in the face of such an unluckily timed climate excursion is unlikely, but far from inconceivable.

    this was in january 2007, 2 months before the great global warming swindle aired and obviously before “global cooling” hit the talk circuit this year.

    (they were also concerned about pop-culture alarmism complicating “any political efforts to develop rational and fair, cost-benefit measured, technocratic responses to climate change.” you know, rational and fair, where crooked politicians and ignorant heads of business decide how much of a risk to take, for all humanity.)

  21. Paul K says:

    Info-cocooning certainly is a big challenge. Check out the blog roll here at climateprogress or at tamino, RC and gristmill. Compare them to the blog roll at a major skeptic site like climate audit.

  22. civil behavior says:

    This is an email I sent out last night before the fourth………..

    Hi to all my family and friends,

    I’m sure everyone is busy preparing to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend but I feel compelled to ask you to listen to my plea for a different kind of independence day we need to be celebrating.

    For those who know me too well you are aware that I have become a political junkie in these last few years. For those who aren’t, welcome to y current passion for outreach to save humanity!!

    For most of our adult lives since the late 60’s I think many of us thought we could relax in the knowledge that government for all intents and purpose was supposed to be doing its job as outlined by the founding fathers.

    Just as a refresher, the Preamble to the Constitution is as follows: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Followed by the Bill of Rights (or more commonly known as the Amendments to the Constitution, of which there originally were ten and are now twenty seven) the original founders of this country had settled on a document that though is imperfect in many ways gave a secure foundation in a working relationship of government and its people who are governed.

    Here comes the inconvenient part. It’s not working. The people who elect representatives to use the power delineated in the Constitution are working for special interests not for the common wealth. From WIkipedia: The original phrase “common-wealth” or “the common weal” comes from the old meaning of “wealth,” which is “well-being”. The term literally meant “common well-being”. Thus commonwealth originally meant a state or nation-state governed for the common good as opposed to an authoritarian state governed for the benefit of a given class of owners.

    Without getting into lengthy constitutional explanations for the benefit of argument, I believe that it’s time some common sense must prevail. Bottom line, today we have ourselves a dysfunctional centralized government. We are being ruled by the corporatocracy. With corporations given all the same rights as a person, we have been overwhelmed by the money that corporations can wield in having laws passed that literally bestow more power upon them. With more money, they have bought the rights accorded to we the people as elucidated in the preamble to the constitution. We the people’s rights have become secondary to the rights purchased by the major corporations.

    Everything we have built as a community in the past with neighbor supporting neighbor has now been usurped for the conveniences of what the corporations have made seem so necessary to our way of lives today. Making us dependent on them not interdependent on each other. We have been brainwashed to believe we cannot live without all the trappings of modern life. Don’t get me wrong. Flushing toilets, a necessity. Refrigerated food, done deal. But how much is enough. How easily have we been conned into believing the necessities of life include so much of what we are consuming as precious resource.

    So what kind of independence has that given us? What we are seeing now in my humble opinion is that all this “freedom” issued in the form of paper markers (dollars) has become an unsustainable debt load. Dollars valued in oil were designed and minted for us to “shop” to buy the trappings of the American dream which we were told was good for the commonwealth. What we have come to learn is that it is nothing more than a pyramid/ponzi scheme. As we are finding out, nothing can grow forever at an ever-increasing rate. Unrestrained, unlimited and unregulated growth is unsustainable As time moves on, the emphasis of ever-increasing growth becomes omnipresent, it has been quantified and institutionalized in the societal structure, encouraging over consumption, over development, and excessive expectations, pushing economic stress to its upper limit of expansion, eventually inciting conflict and spawning war to insure growth fueled by the worlds resources. Essentially we have come to learn that the distinction between usury and interest is an arbitrary legal determination with no basis in mathematics or reality.

    So we have watched the large fossil fuel industries use aggressive marketing campaigns to maintain the upper hand in persuading millions to allow them to supply the world with machines and fuels that are harming the sustainability of this place we call earth. This is not idle speculation. If need be I can provide the “doubters’ with plenty of evidence that others with more knowledge of this impending calamity can and will quell all argument to the contrary. Unfortunately for us many of these corporations have the money (from our indebtedness to them) to buy people to propagandize their deceit and it has now become standard practice for them to sow the seeds of doubt while the debate rages on as to “who dunnit’? If only to extend their bottom line a little further. Only one problem. The earth is dying beneath us as we are seeing in the latest onslaught of extreme weather. What needs to happen now is a new “revolution of independence” eliminating our use of unsustainable resources that are accumulating more greenhouse gases that are extending far beyond the boundaries ever envisioned by nature’s interdependent behavior. Technology alone will not save us without a concerted effort to conserve and steward.

    So where are we now? Extremes of weather. That’s where. Projected, prognosticated and theories proven to be all too real.

    Extremes, definitively one of the signals that the climatologists who have been raising a red flag for almost a decade , and more urgently of late, have been trying to communicate. Extremes of weather are a result of the climatological increase of temperature trending upward. You can banter on endlessly about whether carbon causes temp increases but the consequences of carbon forcing and temperature trending upwards has now taken a much more deleterious turn. Feedbacks from the forcing of carbon are now beginning to rear their ugly heads faster than expected. Science is finding the rapidity of the changes are alarming. We are witnessing a progressively exponential surge in feedbacks with the melting of the perma frost in Alaska and the Siberian tundra being one of the most dangerous indicators of an unhealthy planet.

    Lest we not forget, in the last few years the climatologists have joined hands with other disciplines. Paleontologists, geologists, physicists and biologists along with climatologists are now all working together to better understand the stresses put on the earths ecosystem. Multiple scientific disciplines warning of the same results. There are some terrific books and very informative websites that for those who are willing to educate themselves further. I have a great reading list if anyone cares.

    This is not just a natural phenomenon reoccurring that the earth has been through before over millions of years ago. The changes that are taking place today are changes that in the history of earth have resulted in extinction due to other causes but today are caused by the unleashing of carbon by humans. This is no longer a debate. Not in the scientific world. Maybe in the world of Limbaugh, CEI or Exxon but not in the community of scientists. This turn of events has been brought to bear by the human species on earth and is now the most obvious reason for the war, certainly causation for the droughts, floods, fires etc. and yes, even the food crisis, economic instability and the rise in gas prices have their origin in the dependence we have on fossil fuel. We have succumbed to being our own worst enemy.

    In essence we are diminishing the very planet on which we depend for the health of our own species and our economy. It is the earth that makes us and our economy possible. If our planet isn’t healthy, we lose many of those materials on which we depend. And if the services provided by the planet become degraded, our health and economy suffer. This has become our present dilemma. Wish as you might otherwise, the economy ultimately depends on the resources of the planet. Bringing new clean alternatives online is urgent. Relegating the old fossil fuels to obscure use is imperative.

    I am not a scientist. I can fancy myself a soothsayer if I wish. A sort of oracle if you will. But I definitely am a firm believer in the cosmos. That “”We are part of the Earth and it is part of us. This we know. The Earth does not belong to us. We belong to the Earth.” (attributed to Chief Seattle) is my daily mantra.

    James Lovelock, a very wise scientist that originated the Gaia theory (named after a Greek goddess) proposes that living and non-living parts of the earth form a complex interacting system that can be thought of as a single organism. I liken his theory to the functioning of the human body. As much as what there can be with certainty, there comes a point where infringements on the bodies systems where equilibrium can no longer be maintained and death ensues. As large as earth is I believe it can and will come to a similar point at which mother nature has a point of no return and will collapse as the system we know of today. Even without 100% certainty are we willing to risk that eventuality? Let us think long and hard as to whether the price of hubris where we think man could conquer or ignore nature and the price of squandering our resources to the point of influencing climate and destroying our life giving environments is really worth the cost of our freedom to choose how we think we should live our lives without regard to the whole.

    I ask each of you to reexamine everything and anything you can do to make even more changes within your own lifestyles that will contribute to energy independence from fossil fuels. Share with others that which you have learned and become a part of the solution of a renewed earth community and reject the premise of empire building for domination of earth resources. I ask each of you to reject calls for increased drilling for a fuel we know causes greenhouse warming. I ask you to lobby your representatives and senators for getting us out of this war and using that 14 million dollars an HOUR for an Apollo program for clean renewable energy and goods. I ask you to lobby them for increased CAFÉ standards for automobiles now not in the future. That could very possibly be too late. We are all on this boat together and rearranging the deck chairs does not prevent the ship from taking on water once it hits the iceberg.

    I want to close by relating a paragraph or two of one of my mentors in the fight to have people understand what the scientists are trying to make us aware of. It goes as follows:

    “The scientists are telling us that what the science tells them is that this – unless we act quickly and dramatically this, in Churchill’s phrase, is only the first sip of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year. We have to rise with this occasion. We have to connect the dots. When the Superfund sites aren’t cleaned up, we get a toxic gumbo in a flood. When there is not adequate public transportation for the poor, it is difficult to evacuate a city. When the wetlands are turned over to the developers, then the storm surges from the ocean threaten the coastal cities more. When there is no effort to restrain the global warming pollution gasses then global warming gets worse, with all of the consequences that the scientific community has warned us about.

    My friends, the truth is that our circumstances are not only new; they are completely different than they have ever been in all of human history. The relationship between humankind and the earth had been utterly transformed in the last hundred years. We have quadrupled the population of our planet. The demographic transition has been occurring more quickly than was hoped for, but the reality of our new relationship with the planet brings with it a moral responsibility to accept our new circumstances and to deal with the consequences of the relationship we have with this planet. And it’s not just population. By any means, the power of the technologies now at our disposal vastly magnifies the average impact that individuals can have on the natural world. Multiply that by six and a half billion people, and then stir into that toxic mixture a mindset and an attitude that says it’s okay to ignore scientific evidence – that we don’t have to take responsibility for the future consequences of present actions – and you get a collision between our civilization and the earth. The refugees that we have seen could well be the first sip of that bitter cup because sea-level rise in countries around the world is already mobilizing millions of environmental refugees. The other problems are known to you, but here is what I want to close with:

    This is a moral moment. This is not ultimately about any scientific debate or political dialogue. Ultimately it is about who we are as human beings. It is about our capacity to transcend our own limitations. To rise to this new occasion. To see with our hearts, as well as our heads, the unprecedented response that is now called for. To disenthrall ourselves, to shed the illusions that have been our accomplices in ignoring the warnings that were clearly given, and hearing the ones that are clearly given now.

    Where there is no vision, the people perish. As Lincoln said at another moment of supreme challenge that the question facing the people of the United States of America ultimately was whether or not this government, conceived in liberty, dedicated to freedom, of the people, by the people, and for the people – or any government so conceived – would perish from this earth.”

    I would add: It’s your choice.

    HAPPY ENERGY INDEPENDENCE DAY……….

    With love from one little being on planet earth,

    (my name)

  23. Paul,
    I’m taking your point to be someone must have a more of a firm grasp on reality if the blogs on their blogroll have more divergent opinions or have at least one blog that doesn’t agree with their general point of view?

    That isn’t necessarily the case. They could be accepting some as more trustworthy and holding up others as examples of “wrong” thinking. Your skeptic friend might just be trying to make a hash of any trend or pattern that is observed…

  24. Paul K says:

    Michael Hoexter,
    My point is that the danger of cocooning cuts both ways.

  25. hapa says:

    paul i have some goalposts i need moved. do you work by the hour?

  26. Paul K says:

    hapa,
    I doubt you could afford my hourly rate. Actually, what I’d like to move is away from fossil fuels. That’s why I’ve formed Replacing Fossil Fuel, an association dedicated to financing the deployment of alternative technologies. Perhaps you’d like to join.

  27. llewelly says:

    When concerned about deniers, particularly those powerful ones in Congress, it is helpful to think about the results of a survey by Opinion Research Corporation called “A Post Fossil Fuel America: are Americans ready to make the shift?” Perhaps this site has already reviewed it, as it was completed October 2007.

    In case anyone is wondering, the survey annefarr refers to is here . First link when googling ‘A Post Fossil Fuel America’.

  28. hapa says:

    paul k,
    join your association? i’d need to see a prospectus, unless there are brownies and juice involved.

  29. The Kivalina lawsuit is called the most dangerous litigation in America.

    http://www.legalreforminthenews.com/2008PDFS/AJP-SLF_Kivalina_5-13-08.pdf

    Native village of Kivalina is suing ExxonMobile and a bunch of others over both global warming and the free speech of describing the issue.

  30. It is not Treason, it is just business.

    Changing my mind here after reading of the Kivalina suit. Clearly now disinformation and denialism is a business and legal tactic of the fossil fuel industry. This explains why most other nations are way ahead of the US in discussion and understanding the problem.
    http://www.climatelaw.org/cases/country/us/kivalina/kivalina

    It does not excuse it, just explains it.

  31. Commenting on the Register article
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/03/goddard_polar_ice/

    The Register is a very respected and well followed site that reports on the digital world. In computer science, generally, something works or it does not. Digital is on/off or yes/no – with no other answer in between

    From what I read about climate science there are tons of studies and mountains of data all converging in an attempt to describe a fluid environment. There is lots of evaluation. Digital conclusions really do not fit here.

    I plan to read about the climate from RealClimate.org and when it comes to computational reporting I will stick with The Register.

  32. john says:

    This notion of information cacooning is a shibboleth. The key point is how and why information coalesces

    In sites dedicated to applying or reporting on the application of the scientific method to AGW, information coalesces around a consensus because ideas which are not supported by observation and data are discarded.

  33. Daniel Haran says:

    JR – Google has a few definitions of environmentalist:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3Aenvironmentalist

    By saying you’re not one, you treat it like a dirty word, the same way women say “I know women aren’t treated equally in our society, and I’d like that to change, but I’m not a feminist”.

    It’s not a dirty word, and treating it as such hurts your allies. Please reconsider.

  34. Since inaction on climate change damages the country’s economy and security, the only conclusion is that the deniers hate America.

  35. Greg N says:

    I don’t consider myself an environmentalist either, even though I argue for the strongest possible actions on greenhouse gases.

    I’m pretty much “single issue”, whereas “Environmentalism” is something more.

    For example, I’m pro nuclear (if the economics are right), whereas environmentalists are anti no matter what the economics are.

    And environmentalists have a tendency to oppose wind farms in sensitive ecological areas, whereas I’m in favour (again, given the right economics).

    I don’t think understanding climate change and the CO2 problem automatically turns you into an environmentalist; it’s not “deniers vs environmentalists”.

  36. Peter Foley says:

    If it is treasonous to damage the USA’s economy, all anti-carbonistias are much more indictable than the those who council waiting for actual proof of CO2 forced climate change before unilaterally crippling our economy.

    Who among the clan of anti-carbon will post a bond for damages We and others suffer when the lack of need for any action regarding use of carbon fuels returns to the status Que ante the present mania?

    It is much easier to prevent a larceny then attempt to recover the monies after the crimes are committed. At what level of economic damages and loss of property rights does the exercise of my natural rights require me to take direct action to preserve my sacred rights?

    While my future economic progress might be destroyed by the enactment of bogus anti-carbon laws, third and fourth Worlders will be locked into at least two or three more generations of grinding poverty and early death.

    Without the widespread use of carbon based liquid fuels how will the poor countries ever achieve the wealth required for freedom? Enactment of the anti-carbon laws will lead to deaths of millions of poor. The greens may even out do Mao in total dead.

  37. Earl Killian says:

    Peter Foley, who among the greenhouse polluters will post a bond for the consequences of their actions?

    It is actually deniers like yourself who are locking the third world into generations of poverty and death. The worst part is that you are doing it deliberately. believing your ideology trumps their rights and science and truth.

  38. Peter,
    Why don’t you transfer some of that holiness and sacred aura you put on our present economy to an economy and natural environment that for instance the next generation might enjoy, not just you? You’ll find that you will need a good deal less “proof” that GHG emissions are effecting the climate.

    In fact, you are displaying an ignorance of how science works by asking for proof. Proofs only exist in the hermetic world of mathematics and logic. No one has ever “proved” Newton’s laws of gravity. They’ve been confirmed many times and not falsified but never proved.

    In asking for proof, you deniers are asking us to enter a world of unreality; the real world requires us to work with just a hair less certainty (which you guys know somewhere…otherwise you would never cross a street for lack of “proof” that a 200 mph vehicle wasn’t about mow you down).

  39. exusian says:

    Peter Foley, thanks for demonstrating very clearly that for you it’s not at all about science, but strictly about your own political ideology. I can now rest assured that there is no need to reply to anything you may subsequently write.

  40. David B. Benson says:

    Suitable titles for deniers include

    despoilers
    sociopaths

  41. David,
    Name-calling isn’t bringing the debate to a more productive level. Some deniers may be like those folk but some are just very stubborn people who are using a double standard when it comes to science and energy policy. Some are ignorant and some are just people for whom denial is their first line of defense.

    Exusian,
    Same deal, putting Foley in the “do not reply” category IS engaging in “info-cocooning”. Who knows he might utter another doozey that will enable you to display your erudition and sharp debating skills. As someone pointed out recently, it’s really the many undecided readers whom you want to listen to your arguments, not the “ossified” deniers whom you may be directly responding to.

  42. John Hollenberg says:

    > Same deal, putting Foley in the “do not reply” category IS engaging in “info-cocooning”.

    Plus, there is always the (remote) possibility that Foley is defending his position here, but secretly researching a plugin hybrid for his next vehicle purchase in 2010 :-)

  43. David B. Benson says:

    Michael Hoexter wrote “Name-calling isn’t bringing the debate to a more productive level.” and then later wrote “… ‘ossified” deniers …”

    Hmmm?

  44. Paul K says:

    How about someone confronting Peter Foley’s central premise that the cure is worse than the disease.

  45. DWPittelli says:

    Are people who oppose nuclear power plants unpatriotic, or only people who oppose solar? And is Ted Kennedy on the “unpatriotic” list, because of his personal NIMBY issues with wind?

    Snark aside, disagreeing on the best means to effect an end is not the same thing as opposing the end.

  46. Peter Foley says:

    I been threatened with being indited with a crime that can carry a death sentence, treason. I’ll rightfully react immediately and with extreme effort to counteract the perpetrators of the violations of my civil rights.

    Even if emitting CO2 becomes illegal(Is breathing to be criminal?) here in the USA it is illegal to enact an ex post facto law.

    Micheal Hoexter, Removing from the poor the opportunity to advance their economy because there might be a one degree rise in world temps over a hundred year period, is incredibly selfish.

    Exusian, my ideology doesn’t allow minorities to run the world by their religious dogma. My ideology allows others to abdicate their personal freedoms, but not seize control of the levers of power through a misguided dis-honest mania. I’ll use all force necessary to preserve my freedom, but I won’t engage in any sort of pseudo-intellectual nanny stat-ism. Have you read ANY current peer reviewed data regarding the actual trend of the global Temps, land or sea?

    David B. Benson, I’m not advocating the suspension of democracy and the enactment of a new Supra-national level of unneeded bureaucracy that will take acts of revolution to restore current freedoms enjoyed by the present free world. Hell hopefully will have special conditions for do-gooders afterlife. Who is the sociopath, the one who forwards environmental fascism or the rational actors that want actual proof of a causal link between Co2 ppm’s and a radically warming Global climate before destroying the economic basis for our freedoms.

    John Hollenburg, I’m filling the bunker’s armory with pre-Obama fire arms.
    I’m saving up for a dual fuel refrigerator to preserve my food during the wind mill brown outs and federally ordered power free days to come. During the day job I sequester carbon to satisfy irrational LEED requirements, eight hard copies of all data to meet the latest capital destroying environmental regs that don’t actually save any net energy when the energy costs of the added expenses are included.

    I read all the bogus data JR pushes just in case at some time in the future the actual science data and theories begin to match CO2 forced-AGW. So far Joe’s positions are diverging ever farther from reality. He’s either suffered a psychic break or trapped in the web of misinformation he’s generated.

    Threatening people who disagree a weak theory that is unsupported by observations of the Earth’s recent climate with capital punishment will I hope lead to some sort of reaction by the authorities.

  47. David B. Benson says:

    Peter Foley — The causal link was hypothesized by J.J. Fourier in 1829 CE and demonstrated by John Tyndall, in his laboratory, in 1850 CE. You could read aout this hisotry in “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

    but I fear you are too (fill in the blank) to do so.

    In any case, many reports suggest that 1–2% of GWP will suffice. It is time to act now, before drastic social re-organization occurs.

    For continued denial will certainly lead to ‘climate wars’ and the four horsemen will have many, many field days.

  48. From the Kivalina complaint:

    p. 69
    269…The Conspiracy Defendants have engaged in agreements to participate in the intentional creation, contribution to and/or maintenance of a public nuisance, global warming. The Conspiracy Defendants participated and/or continue to participate in an agreement with each other to mislead the public with respect to the science of global warming and to delay public awareness of the issue so that they could continue contributing to, maintaining and/or creating the nuisance without demands from the public that they change their behavior as a condition of further buying their products. At all times the Conspiracy Defendants were concerned that the public would become concerned by global warming and that the growing concern would force a change in the Conspiracy Defendants behavior which would be costly. Delaying these costs was the major objective of the conspiracies described herein.

    270. The Conspiracy Defendants have committed overt acts in furtherance of their agreements. The Conspiracy Defendants have participated in an agreement with each other to mislead the public with respect to the science of global warming, either individually or through their various industry fronts or trade associations, and have included overt acts that furthered their intentional creation, contribution to and/or maintenance of a public nuisance, global warming.

    We might want to see what the courts say
    http://www.climatelaw.org/cases/country/us/kivalina/kivalina

  49. Paul K says:

    Richard Pauli,
    The fatal flaw in this fishing for a tort case is in the complaint which states that “global warming is destroying Kivalina through the melting of Arctic sea ice”. The science is clear. AGW is not the cause of arctic sea ice melt.

  50. John Hollenberg says:

    > Have you read ANY current peer reviewed data regarding the actual trend of the global Temps, land or sea?

    These trends can only be observed over relatively long periods of time, due to the amount of weather “noise”. Realclimate has an article on this that suggests time spans of less than about 15 years have too much noise to be useful. Thus, stating that there is “global cooling” or slowing of warming over a short period of time (5-7 years) is not meaningful. This well thought out article can be read here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/uncertainty-noise-and-the-art-of-model-data-comparison/

  51. Peter Foley says:

    DBB, CO2 ppm’s up 50%, temp’s up less than one part in 288 over the last 120 years. Bring some thing just a little more connected please. Why has it stopped the last ten years–no models allowed for the now ten year hiatus in temp increases. Just the power plant delays in the USA has cost us hundreds of billions in increased power bills. The CO2 mania has already cut growth world-wide, G. Britain in a prefect example test case of the harm the scare has caused.

    To win the next war, the USA needs to maintain the ability to outproduce any conceivable combinations of enemies, thus we need clean, reliable, cheap carbon, and nuclear power. The misapplied eco memes have already killed millions with the DDT ban and the end of use of CFCs. Even now millions go to bed hungry due to anti GMO nut jobs. Eco-tyrants have a history of collateral damage that far exceeds the benefits of the bans.

    Have you yet done the math on the impossibility of JR’s 6 degree temp rise? Black body radiation is a mature science. I’ve studied physics at the university level and understand the Greenhouse effect that has increased Earth’s average surface temperature ~30 to 40 degrees C above the atmosphere free average. Obviously your theory that climate sensitivity is 6 degrees per CO2 doubling is totally inaccurate as all current data refutes your position.

    Try reading some literature that is not internal to the church of CO2-AGW.

  52. Um, David Benson, I guess I’m for accurate name-calling and preferably not using nouns that are kind of global condemnations. It’s better to use verbs or adjectives if you can (though I am tempted to call names myself). I guess I also felt as applied to our current resident denier (a noun) the nouns you chose in that post were off-base. He seems more confused than anything else.

    Or you can revel in my inconsistency. The choice is yours…

    Paul K,
    Peter Foley’s problem is that he takes the most dire cartoonish view of what a carbon constrained economy would look like and then compares it to a fairly optimistic view of the direction that our current economy and climate is heading. So, yes, within his “world” the cure looks a lot worse than the disease.

    Peter Foley,

    You are assuming that developing countries will take and MUST take the same path that more developed countries have to development. Why can’t they take a different path that relies more on energy efficiency and renewable energy? Why do they have to repeat the mistakes that we have made? Because you are afraid of carbon regulation?

  53. Peter Foley,
    What “next war”? Explain… Which enemies are you talking about?

  54. Peter Foley says:

    Michael Hoexter, If I err regarding the negative effects the anti-carbon/anti-energy jihad, it is under estimating the total losses to world GDP.

    All “managed” economic experiments have grossly underperformed their freer competitors thus far in human history. A true consensus position.

    Hopefully the emerging economies will avoid any moronic price control schemes, baseless “environmental” driven product bans and dead end memes as sustainability/ZPG and others.

    If there actually was an ongoing measurable increase in Global temps demonstratably caused by the creation of CO2, I would be for the cheapest, least destructive method of stopping the temperature rise, Which would most likely be some sort of space based 0.5% sun shade.

    At some the USA will be forced to preserve its sovereignty, I intend to work towards preserving our survivability as nation through all possible futures. Presently this irrational ban on carbon is a greater threat then any other including radical Muslims, PRC, or a Russian empire. The carbon ban lowers funds available for the defense of our nation and funds our potential enemies.

  55. John Hollenberg says:

    > If there actually was an ongoing measurable increase in Global temps demonstrably caused by the creation of CO2

    Even the Bush administration admits that Anthropogenic Global Warming is real, now that the court has forced them to release their report. In addition, there is work being done on the security aspects of Global Warming. You have moved into the realm of pure fiction here.

  56. Badgersouth says:

    Until such time as the United States changes the mission of its Military-Industrial Complex from building “bigger and better” Weapons of Mass Destruction to finding ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the negative impacts of climate change, bold and decisive American leadership on the global warming front will be nothing more than a hollow shell . Unfortunately, the Bush-Cheney-Rove propaganda machine convinced the majority of Americans that they had more to fear from terrorist bogeymen than they did from climate change. This is the Bush-Cheney Regime’s penultimate crime against humanity!

    Peter Foley: The fact that the US spends as much per year on National Defense as the rest of the world combined is not only absurd, it is obscene and immoral.

  57. Peter Foley says:

    John Hollenburg, Either Bush 43 is an idiot, or he is an evil Genius, either version of fantasy has his support of Carbon forced AGW as meaningless.

    Do you ever brother to read the current global temps, land, sea, and air?

    Badger-south, The fact that you can even spout such silly nonsense shows that you are living in one of the zones of freedom the USA help create.

    We have more to fear from the Eco-fascists then Muslim fundamentalists. As soon as the West fires up CTL plants, the issue will be dealing with the broke natural oil producers.

    Your last statement hasn’t been true for years, if ever. Even if it was, freedom involves the probability that errors will be made in allocating resources, As a percentage of our economy our defense spending is well below any post Korean War period of the Cold War. Sans Iraq, spending is lower then dis-barred Billy’s terms.

    Weapons of Mass destruction? We’ve pretty well retired most of the really big H-bombs, the damn fusibles keep decaying=high maintenance. Your ignorance of the present focus of the DOD matches your climate knowledge.
    Ask an Iraqi Kurd if we spend to much, or a Vietnamese if we spent enough. If you’re an American, get a passport and I’ll loan you the money to emigrate to anywhere that have you.

    Your emoting about “Climate Change” shows you have abandoned all rational discourse about the issue. I hope some friend or family member can help with a return to sanity before it effects your work or personal life negatively.

    The only bold and decisive leadership needed is a declaration of sanity, and halt to self-destructive regulations that aren’t required to mitigate a non-problem.

  58. exusian says:

    Michael Hoexter, given Peter Foley’s subsequent rants containing outright factual errors (CO2 up 50%, millions of deaths due to the US–not world wide–ban of DDT and the word-wide ban of CFCs, the fallacy of a ten year lack of temperature increase), hyperbole (breathing to become criminal), and use of phrases such as “religious dogma,” “eco-tyrants,” “church of CO2-AGW” and “use all force necessary to preserve my freedom” bear out my decision to not engage his fights of paranoid fantasy.

  59. John Hollenberg says:

    > Do you ever brother to read the current global temps, land, sea, and air?

    Yes, I read about them on Realclimate.org, the place where scientists hang out and discuss these matters. You may be interested in a scientific approach to this matter (but if you were you probably would have already read the article I cited above):
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/uncertainty-noise-and-the-art-of-model-data-comparison/

    If you had read and understood this, you would know that you need a time period of about 15 years or more to separate the climate signal from the (weather) noise. All indications when using these longer time periods are that AGW is real and continuing.

    PS Your attention to detail is so great that twice you haven’t even bothered to correctly cut and paste my name so as to spell it properly.

  60. John Hollenberg says:

    > bear out my decision to not engage his fights of paranoid fantasy.

    Turns out you were right. I won’t be replying to Foley in the future.

  61. Exusian,
    You have a point there…but unfortunately the chords that Foley plays over and over again have a resonance in less fantasy-prone and idiosyncratic people. You have Paul K, for instance, finding wheat in Foley’s chaff.

    Hofstadter’s essay on the “Paranoid Style in American Politics” still has relevance…there are a lot more established folk who are mouthing off in a way that is similar to Foley. Recently, as Joe pointed out, Krauthammer’s paranoid fantasy about carbon regulators made it the Washington Post’s editorial page. In America, you don’t need to reach clinical levels to spout paranoid visions.

    I believe it is important to engage with these accusations because otherwise you will get blindsided by them over and over again if you are arguing for some form of regulation of energy. Foley is beyond our “help”, but people listening into the discussion will learn from debates with the paranoid folk in the denier crowd. Paranoia is a compelling narrative that people get wrapped up in, especially about events that are outside of their immediate experience (what would many action and mystery movies be with paranoia?).

    To move forward on this, Americans are going to need to put at least some trust in regulation of some sort. The anti “guvermint” rants that were fashionable for 30 years need to be confronted head on, over and over again…otherwise people start believing that everything the government does (other than military defense) is screwed up.

  62. Badgersouth says:

    Peter Foley: I presmue that you are quietly buying up coastal property in Florida. If not, you should be.

  63. David B. Benson says:

    Peter Foley — CO2 up 387/288 = 1.34375 since 1850 CE. Using the standard radiative forcing formula for 3 K climate sensitivity delivers up the temperature increase from the 1850s decade to the current (not-yet-finished) decade; really quite a good fit, given climate variability.

    While a climate sensitivity of 6 K (your figure) cannot be totally excluded, it is exceedingly unlikely to be so high.

    Do understand that the climate is highly variable, noisey if you like, on time scales shorter than centennial. So don’t give me mere decades unless you use proper statistics.

  64. David B. Benson says:

    Michael Hoexter — I wasn’t thinking about our resident pest. More along the lines of ‘traitor’ thrown about early. But I view that inappropriate (incorrect) for ExxonMobil, etc. So I though of the other words that you didn’t care for.

    Anyway, consistency is the hob-goblin of small minds. :-)

  65. Paul K says:

    Michael Hoexter,
    My first comment about or to Peter Foley was to only use mutually accepted sources. I suggested NASA because it employs the most climate scientists. I identified his central position, that the cure is worse than the disease and asked for someone to refute it. My position is that some cures are worse and some cures aren’t. Take Exusian’s advice.

  66. Earl Killian says:

    David Benson, you left out “foolish”, the most important word in that quote.

  67. Peter Foley says:

    Big brother is blocking my replies, I think He’s afraid we’ll end up with a ‘solution’ set that doesn’t employ every former mid-level liberal administration lackey. Many supposed Greens are just riding the mania into positions of authority and power, seeking a low party number.

  68. Greg N says:

    > bear out my decision to not engage his fights of paranoid fantasy.

    Agreed, but I can’t resist a good laugh at the following:

    “temp’s up less than one part in 288 over the last 120 years”

    I’d love to know just what the “parts” are! If the temperature rises from 15 degree C to 16 can I claim it’s up “one part in 15″? If it rises from 1 degree C to 2 can I claim 100% rise?

    Makes me suspect the “I’ve studied physics at the university level” claim is a little over-enthusiastic!

    Also very interest in the “Britain in a prefect example test case of the harm the scare has caused” claim. I haven’t noticed any harm personally – mainly because Britain has done bugger all to deal with the problem. (Britian’s approach: Let’s give car makers voluntary targets they won’t bother about… Let’s talk about buying nuclear reactors from the French in ten years time… Let’s spend the next two years discussing whether wind turbines might be a good idea for this windy island…)

  69. Badgersouth says:

    As a card-carrying, bleeding-heart liberal, am I requried to feel sorry for Peter Foley?

  70. Peter Foley says:

    Greg N, That is degrees Kelvin, you know the number used to make all those high fluten equations work out regarding gases and black body radiation. ( Your ignorance is showing) Better to remain silent, and be thought a fool, then to speak, and remove all doubt.- St. Thomas Aquinas

    How’s G.B. growth rate? How does Green London compare to equal sized cities without silly anti-carbon regs.

    I’d stock up on brown-out mitigating goods, APUs for your PCs, and drinking water at home and work. Remember to pack the freezer with ice blocks (extra source of potable water in the long outages) to get a day or two more use out the soon to be ice box.

    How many factories getting built in the power free zones? Every year with out new Coal or Nuclear plants will lower Brits standard of living forever, I’d rather have a strong healthly ally then a weak sister.

    Badger-South, No pity needed for the sane, Let not your hearth be heavy, there still a chance you can bootstrap your self closer to rational worldview based on actual facts and working theories. Seek out data and people outside the church of warming for a more balanced accurate climate information. Keep your faith based self separate from the part that interacts with reality. Add some unprocessed raw data to the green spun pap you’re living on. Spend a hour or two learning the science before giving away several years worth of your future earnings.

  71. Greg N says:

    Ah, degrees K. Wonderfully absurd! So if CO2 triples and temperatures go up 20 degrees K you’ll be able to say “CO2 ppm’s up 200%, but temp’s up less than one part in fifteen”.

    But as you seem to think Planet Earth is a black body I suppose anything’s possible…

    > “How’s G.B. growth rate? How does Green London compare to equal sized cities without silly anti-carbon regs.”

    The growth rate has been superb for the 15 years to 2007, thanks. London in particular became more and more prosperous, arguably the most successful city in Europe over this time.

    Trouble is, that performance was largely based on financial services, international banking and the like. So things aren’t looking too good right now.

    And that proves the point. The booms and busts of free markets have dramatic impacts on standards of living. CO2 measures, on the other hand, have trivial impacts in comparison.

    Take the price of electricity in the UK. The European Union’s climate levies have added about 0.6% to the price of electricity over the past five years. But the wild swings of the commodity markets have added 85% to the price in the past year.

  72. Greg N says:

    Oh by the way –

    > “Better to remain silent, and be thought a fool, then to speak, and remove all doubt.- St. Thomas Aquinas”

    Err… that wasn’t Thomas Aquinas. Rather an amusing mistake to make – you’d better remain silent next time!

  73. David B. Benson says:

    Thomas Aquinas :-) :-)

  74. John Hollenberg says:

    Note to self: resist urge to treat paranoia with talk therapy rather than medication :-)

  75. Badgersouth says:

    Damn!!! I just bit my tongue off.

  76. Peter Foley says:

    Greg N. Spend just a little time with the Climate modelers and actual scientists, have some one you trust tutor you. (The amount of black body radiation increase would be proportional to 288 to 4th power/308 to the 4th power) Which would require a thirty % increase in retained solar energy. How many centuries would be needed to warm the first mile of Earth’s crust/ sea 20 degrees?
    If Co2 ppm’s triple total rise ~ less then 3 degrees K at 2 degree /doubling sensitivity.

    Regards the quote, Mea culpa, I thought I read that ~25 year ago, in a biography about Dante’s hero, evidently it is a slightly modified proverb, but I did run across an actual quote of doctor Angelica’s about embarrassing one’s faith with irrational beliefs in false science theories.

    The Laffer curve works even in the old country. Just the hint of CO2 caps and trading schemes have cost the USA billions in lost expansion and investment in CTL plants is doomed until the regulatory horizon is cleared of socially destructive climate myths. Just the destroyed wealth buried in windmills and solar exceeds your posted % in GB. I’d assign about half the increase in fossil oil prices to artificial barriers emplaced to substitute goods by the anti Co2 clan. The other half to big money traders leaving Real Estate and the equity market for the commodities.

    John Hollenberg, Drugs shouldn’t be your first line of defense, Try using your paranoia in a proactive way–check out all alleged facts for congruence to reality. Isn’t your paranoia just the precautionary principle writ large? Don’t allow your natural evolutionary tendency to paranoia to used against yourself by pharmaceutical corporations and greedy MDs. Stay strong and fight the chemical restraints. Unless of course your truly nuts.

    Badger-South, I was hoping for at least an index finger. Doesn’t even the biting of your tongue place you on probationary status with the Vegan members of the Warmist clan? A bleeding tongue liberal perhaps?

  77. Badgersouth says:

    Peter Foley: Your propensity to view the world in black and white and to evoke religuous/classical figures leads me to deduce that you were schooled by Jesuists.

  78. John Hollenberg says:

    Remember folks, projection is a common attribute of paranoia.

  79. Peter Foley says:

    Here is a repost of of July 6th.
    David B. Benson How doesyour math work from 1850 to 1980? Same equation still fit? Or 1908 to now. Your own statement at the end of your post defanged your premise. How is the black body math problem coming along?– still a chance to return to the world of working science.
    When decadal stats supported the church of warming they were approved, Next year will eleven year stats be heresy?

    John Hollenberg, Sorry about the name, I haven’t yet been writing it for 30 years to form a meaningful statistical trend. My take is the revisionist stats will allow the semi-rational to maintain their belief long after the fact train has left the climate science station.–Yes I actually read that thread–Keep your friends close and your “enemies” closer.

    Excusian, 500,000 a year = million every two year of malaria deaths by lack of cheap DDT to spray for vector mosquitoes. CFCs death rate is much slower, mostly lost economic expansion and more expensive and in efficient refrigeration, thus food poisoning and starvation from spoiled foods storage/transit. Any act that shrinks world disposable income worldwide causes formerly preventable deaths. The threat of treason charges earned the Eco-tyrant label. Join us or life in prison, what a choice. As regards to the religious dogma/ Co2-AGW church, it is a social model of the cohort of Greens which I think has many similarities. Presently the internal strife between the deluded members who profess ongoing warming opposing the slightly more rational members who postulate we’re in a short term cooling trend caused by X, but the messiah of heat will return are entertaining. It is like Jim Jones reality T.V. without so far all the bloated corpses, (except where the mania has already killed through wealth destruction).
    The cost/ Benefit analysis are rarely remotely accurate, overstating the upside and usually ignoring the future ongoing costs.
    Micheal Hoexter, I’m not anti-government, just anti- unnecessary government–which completely describes any anti-carbon acts.
    A competant nanny-state, now that is scary. Or world government based on an Eco-myth, when would it dissolve? Paranoid, some pseudo-intellectuals with weak morals want to impose a world government, destroy my means of achieving financial freedom, freedom of movement, freedom of thought, and the ability to pursue happiness all for a phony Eco-threat. Post carbon mania, how will any actually needed global environmental effort be undertaken after the betrayal of trust the current disinformation campaign will yield?

    Badger-South, The seas where rising before the mania started, they’ll continue to rise a short foot over the next hundred years, No, I won’t buy Ted Kennedy’s compound, it’s doomed, some things happen even without evil carbon causing them.
    Paul K. I base my opinions on the latest from all four common Global temp sources.
    My position the patient isn’t even outside of normal operating ranges, treatment of a healthy planet without a ‘fever” is felonious malpractice.
    And if sick the cure is amputation for a hangnail, again still evil malpractice. Step away from the patient, put the saw down, and raise your hands and surrender to the authorities without any further bad acts.

  80. msn nickleri says:

    And if sick the cure is amputation for a hangnail, again still evil malpractice. Step away from the patient, put the saw down, and raise your hands and surrender to the authorities without any further bad acts.