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Krauthammer, Part 2: The real reason conservatives don’t believe in climate science

By Joe Romm  

"Krauthammer, Part 2: The real reason conservatives don’t believe in climate science"

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Part 1 discussed the odd anti-science part of Krauthammer’s screed, “Carbon Chastity: The First Commandment of the Church of the Environment.” I ended by asking, Why does he break faith with so many conservatives and worship at the altar of evolution science, but stick with them on climate denial? My book discusses this general question at length, and offers the answer:

The answer is that ideology trumps rationality. Most conservatives cannot abide the solution to global warming-strong government regulations and a government-led effort to accelerate clean energy technologies into the market. According to the late Jude Wanniski, Elizabeth Kolbert’s New Yorker articles [on global warming], did nothing more “than write a long editorial on behalf of government intervention to stamp out carbon dioxide.” His villain is not global warming, but is the threat to Americans from government itself.

George Will’s review of Michael Crichton’s State of Fear says: “Crichton’s subject is today’s fear that global warming will cause catastrophic climate change, a belief now so conventional that it seems to require no supporting data…. Various factions have interests-monetary, political, even emotional-in cultivating fears. The fears invariably seem to require more government subservience to environmentalists and more government supervision of our lives.”

[Note: Will also believes in evolution -- he actually called it "a fact." For a debunking (with links) of Crichton's laughable collection of disinformation, see "Global Warming, Tsunamis, and Michael Crichton's Big Blunder."]

As the NYT‘s Andy Revkin explained about the recent skeptic denier delayer conference in New York, “The one thing all the attendees seem to share is a deep dislike for mandatory restrictions on greenhouse gases.” What unites these people is their desire to delay or stop action to cut GHGs, not any one particular view on the climate.

It is nearly impossible to win an argument with a conservative or libertarian who hates government-led action. Yes, you can try to point out all the great things the government has done (the Internet, anyone?) and try to point out that they invariably support government-led action for military security, and, of course, government subsidies and regulations to promote energy security, at least as it applies to oil industry and nuclear energy pork.

I have a different argument — if you hate government intrusion into people’s lives, you’d better stop catastrophic global warming, because nothing drives a country more towards activist government than scarcity and deprivation. Interestingly, Krauthammer understand this point abstractly, but since he has no understanding of climate science, indeed he has no interest in learning about the subject at all, he gets the argument exactly backwards.


If you read Krauthammer’s whole climate article, he tries to focus the discussion not on science (which he clearly doesn’t understand) but on environmentalism (which he thinks he does) — this is a very common denier debating tactic, since deniers are in fact usually debating environmentalists, not scientists, because most scientists don’t like to engage in the public arena. He writes:

Yet on the basis of this speculation, environmental activists, attended by compliant scientists and opportunistic politicians, are advocating radical economic and social regulation. “The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity,” warns Czech President Vaclav Klaus, “is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism.”

Do you know any serious scientists? “Compliant” is the last word one would ever use to describe them. Indeed, the best way to get famous in science is to be a skeptic, to disprove a widely held belief.

This paragraph restates the heart of why conservatives hate climate science. It requires action by government, which, for conservatives, is the same as socialism (again, except when it comes to government action on behalf of the nuclear and fossil fuel industries, which is good ‘ol capitalism). Krauthammer continues:

Environmentalists are Gaia’s priests, instructing us in her proper service and casting out those who refuse to genuflect…. And having proclaimed the ultimate commandment — carbon chastity — they are preparing the supporting canonical legislation that will tell you how much you can travel, what kind of light you will read by, and at what temperature you may set your bedroom thermostat….

There’s no greater social power than the power to ration. And, other than rationing food, there is no greater instrument of social control than rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society.

Here is where the conservatives have it backwards. The solution to global warming — the strategy needed to avoid 450 ppm — does not require rationing food or energy. It primarily requires a government-led strategy to aggressively deploy clean energy technologies (see here). That strategy preserves the energy abundance that has made modern civilization possible.

But if we hold off today on government action that focuses for several decades on preventing catastrophe, we will almost guarantee the need for extreme and intrusive government action in the post-2030 era, perhaps lasting centuries. Only Big Government–which conservatives say they don’t want–can relocate millions of citizens, build massive levees, ration crucial resources like water and arable land, mandate harsh and rapid reductions in certain kinds of energy–all of which will be inevitable if we don’t act now.

Ironically, Krauthammer is afraid of climate strategies that are “economically ruinous and socially destructive,” and says the greatest form of rationing is food rationing. Well, if we follow the talk-much do-little climate strategy of conservatives, then we are all but certain to end up at 1000 ppm by century’s end, and that would be economically ruinous and socially destructive (see “Is 450 ppm politically possible? Part 0: The alternative is humanity’s self-destruction“). And long before then, with peak oil prices that we haven’t prepared for, hundreds of millions more people to feed and increasing desertification, drought, and loss of inland glaciers, we will be rationing food. And water.

The scarcity and deprivation of 1000 ppm could last for hundreds of years. Conservatives can’t stop 1000 ppm by their anti-science anti-government rhetoric. But they can prevent progressives and moderates from stopping 1000 ppm by blocking aggressive climate legislation. How ironic — and tragic — it would be if conservates’ short-term quest to avoid a bigger government led to a permamently huge government.

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48 Responses to Krauthammer, Part 2: The real reason conservatives don’t believe in climate science

  1. max boykoff says:

    I hope in the next parts you’ll pursue this statement that you made a bit more centrally:
    “It is nearly impossible to win an argument with a conservative or libertarian who hates government-led action.”
    You (correctly in my view) place this at the center of the quandary, and therefore it deserves ongoing critical scrutiny….e.g. WHY are there such inconsistencies in support/resistance to gov’t intrusion (as you rightly state)?WHY do you consider it ‘nearly impossible’ when it appears so critical? WHY is mandatory better than voluntary anyways on climate mitigation? does the same go for adaptation?
    Thanks Joe.

  2. John McCormick says:

    I tried this in Krauthhamer Part I…no effect…maybe its crap. But Joe’s comment column is free, so what the heck:

    [edit] Ideology
    Krauthammer is generally considered a conservative or neoconservative. However, he is a supporter of legalized abortion[11][12][13], an opponent of the death penalty[14][15][16][17], an intelligent design critic and an advocate for the scientific consensus on evolution, calling the religion-science controversy a “false conflict” [18][19], a supporter of embryonic stem cell research (involving embryos discarded by fertility clinics),[20][21][22] and a longtime advocate of radically higher energy taxes to induce conservation.

    He sounds like me. He sounds like a candidate who would get my vote. But, I am an acolyte in the Church of the Environment.

    I believe Dr. Krauthhammer has not had the benefit of sitting with a Gavin Schmidt, Mike MacCraken or Susan Solomon (not Al Gore) to defend his point of view. He should have no difficulty doing that if that discussion is held in confidence. Publicly ridiculing someone in his position and with his reach on public opinion may only harden him. Exploring his beliefs with professional scientists such as those I mention could either serve to quiet or soften him. Either way, we get to deal with an influential denialist in private and maybe we reap the benefits.

    There are people out there including the Washington Post Editorial Board who can facilitate this. Come back with your thoughts on this suggestion.

    John McCormick

  3. Dennis says:

    After reading Krauthammer’s column, both of your responses to them, and today’s (sunday) George Will (also deserving of a response from you), it’s painfully clear that these climate deniers do nothing more than assume the worst motives of scientists and have never read scientific research without assuming some underlying, evil bias inherent in the work. Even as more and more conservatives realize that they can’t stop scientific facts from coming out, they will continue to put up roadblocks any way they can.

  4. Dave says:

    The answer to Max’s question can be found in the body of literature on framing, the best example of which is George Lakoff’s newest book – released just this week, The Political Mind – Why You Can’t Understand 21st Century American Politics with an 18th Century Brain. It has to do with the science and literal physical makeup of the human brain – which is a cumulative result of thousand’s of years of genetics plus our own personal real life experiences. Most of it is subconscious. I highly recommend Lakoff’s new book.

    I believe that John McCormick’s accusation and admonishment of perceived “public ridicule” is an example of a reflexive versus reflective response which distracts from the heart of the matter. Joe was engaging in no more public ridicule than some of Dr. Krauthhammer’s statements. What Joe is getting at is the deep framed metaphors that formulates Dr Krauthhammer’s (and all of our) political and moral views. What we need is less hiding of this kind of thing (i.e. talking “in confidence”) and more open discussion. After all, I believe Joe is commenting on a what Dr Krauthhammer wrote for public consumption.

    There is no more powerful metaphor that appeals to me personally than the notion of survival. The 450 ppm vs 100 ppm choice will be no less than a choice of survival for millions of people in the future. Amongst those millions will be my descendants for whom I naturally have the greatest empathy. I don’t want them to have to deal with any more scarcity and deprivation than necessary, or the wrong kind of “big government” – the kind that is undemocratic.

    Joe Romm has nailed the problem. George Lakoff nails the explanation of and solution to that problem.

  5. Badgersouth says:

    “Today I’d like to focus on just one of those challenges, and among environmental dangers it is surely the most serious of all. Whether we call it “climate change” or “global warming,” in the end we’re all left with the same set of facts. The facts of global warming demand our urgent attention, especially in Washington. Good stewardship, prudence, and simple commonsense demand that we to act meet the challenge, and act quickly”

    The above is from the prepared remarks by John McCain on Climate Change Policy delivered at the Vestas Training Facility in Portland, Oregon on May 12, 2008.

    Do Krathammer and his ilk actually believe that Jon McCain is a “Gaia priest”?

  6. John,

    Krauthammer’s positions are those of a libertarian (liberal on social issues, conservative on economics to put it crudely) and actually more consistently opposed to government intervention in society than those of a standard conservative who is willing to have government legislate morality. Krauthammer is driven by ideology not by lack of information and, as Joe has correctly pointed out, for such ideologues the growth of government is the gravest danger of all.

    For more on the role of ideology in climate denialism, check out my essay:

    Why Climate Denialists are Blind to Facts and Reason: The Role of Ideology

    at:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/5/12/143145/743/173/513430

  7. Ronald says:

    There is a comparison that we need an effort such as World War II to get out of the global warming problem. The effort might be closer to that of the American civil war.

    The loyalties of the people at that time were primarily to their neighbors and to their neighbors culture and economics. Even though slavery was a horrible institution which corrupted owner, slave, society and government, the system was still defended because it was the economic and cultural system. Even defended to the point of war.

    Should people have the freedom to own slaves?

    I will agree it is fair to compare those who want to use carbon fuels to those who were for slavery. There is a level of horror there that we can all agree to is not there with carbon fuels. It’s the loyalties of culture, economics and politics I’m trying to describe.

    Should people have the freedom to burn carbon fuels even if any one of us were to burn carbon fuels there is no problem, but if everybody burns carbon fuels we risk having a planet not easily lived in.

    The loyalties to that question will go to what that persons neighbors think, and to the cultural and economic system their own lives are based.

    Before the 1860’s many people moved out west to vote so the new states the country was adding would vote for either being slave state or free state. Primarily, those from the north wanted free states, those from the south wanted slave states in an attempt to overwhelm the argument by votes in Congress. People’s way of life was threatened.

    Which also goes to explain why some still want carbon fuels. While those who think that carbon fuels are a risk to future humans on the planet, it is a way to get out of economic poverty and a kind of slavery to human and animal labor.

    Which is why we need to make sure that there are clear alternatives to a carbon fueled world and that everybody will have access to them so that we can make the change to a non-carbon fueled world.

  8. Ronald says:

    We can argue against nuclear power because it costs to much or any of the other reasons given in the website. But I would make the argument that it’s needed.

    Why nuclear? Because our country has it’s capitol in Washington DC. Because we have an electoral college to select our President. Compromise.

    Washington DC. was selected for our nations capitol even though it was mostly swamp land. It was selected because it was neither in the north or in the south. The electoral college was partly selected because of slavery compromises to the south. The north could have held out for rational purity in all of their government, but they understood the need for regional compromises. How could anybody vote for a government that ‘holds these truths that all men are created equal with the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ but still have slavery? They left it for future generations because they had to work with the government that they had.

    How will we be able to close coal mines and coal electrical power plants? It will be much easier if those people who work in carbon fuels industries and neighborhoods in carbon fuels industries have alternative employment in non-carbon fuels industries. Have a nuclear plant built next to every fourth coal plant where possible.

    Let conservative politicians have a bone. Do you want to be right, or do you want to solve the problem?

  9. hapa says:

    the “compliant scientists” — all floppy-woppy, their masculinity in question — gives you that little extra fascist push — picturing the great green (vaginal!) octopus astride (or a-squish) the world, dampening many the casual friday or golf outing.

    how DARE the world get damp and dark! SOCIETY is a MATH PROBLEM! for MEN!

    ronald: nuclear is a small contribution to job and tax base; wind power and solar PV are sources of local revenue. also, many existing plants will be going offline, and new nukes will be replacing old nukes, before offsetting coal plant closures.

  10. Tom in Texas says:

    “compliant scientists”:

    James Hansen: “Hansenizing”: Torturing the data till it confesses, even to crimes it did not commit.

  11. Tom in Texas says:

    450ppm? 1000ppm? When did ppm become a measurement of temperature? What happened to degrees C, K, F, and R?

    The Gorebull Warming Cult now measures temperature in ppm?

  12. Joe,
    I read Krauthammer’s piece and its rhetoric deserves some careful examination. I am no fencer but I am seeing in some people’s style of argumentation what I would call “parries” and “thrusts”. As in fencing, the parries are those moves designed to be defensive and the thrusts are those moves designed to score points against your opponent.

    Krauthammer’s argument is a clever mix of parries and thrusts, though by no means a work of art. I had never read anything before but he starts out by saying that he is “not a denier” and intuitively thinks that pumping C02 in the atmosphere is not a good idea. He then goes into the part which you have been highlighting which is his “thrust” at his political (and scientific) opponents.

    He then pretty much falls into the “delayer” camp, calling for more research and more certainty about the AGW theory. The motivator is as you have pointed out a primary distrust of government intervention in the economy.

    To argue more effectively against him, though, you might also bring his parries into the picture or at least acknowledge them. They are statements of identity that may in fact be sincere on his part. They are not as important as his overall argument but will serve to distract less critical readers and will bring along people into his argument who are less certain than you are that the science speaks for itself.

  13. Oops, Never read anything before “by Krauthammer” that is… I am semi-literate ;-)

  14. Joe says:

    Tom — Who is talking about measuring temperature in ppm?

  15. hapa says:

    joe: it seems to be a new talking point, third time i’ve run into it lately: “if enviros were really serious about fighting global warming, they’d be advocating reducing the temperature with [insert vague reference to ridiculous geoenginnering project here], not advocating ineffective measures to reduce weak influences like CO2, yadda yadda yadda”

  16. Tom G says:

    Somebody in Texas has been in the loco weed….

  17. Uosdwis says:

    Much as the South is still fighting the Civil War, the flat-top haircuts of the 60s are still at war with the hippies. No disrespect, senator Tester of Montana.

  18. Jay Alt says:

    Dave makes excellent points about framing. The Lakoff group has recently considered some environmental frames. Especially Joe Brewer of the Rockbridge Institute.

    http://www.rockridgeinstitute.org/climate

    As a starting point , see (approximately) 3rd article down –
    Why We Are Losing the Global Warming Battle

    The red bullet points are the familiar conservative frames of everyday ideas –

    Here are the first two:
    1. Nature is a resource to be exploited.
    2. Wealth is measured simply by money.

    compare them with the progressive frames proposed in the article –

    A) Nature is the basis of our survival. We depend upon breathable air, drinkable water, and other “environmental services” in order to live. If we destroy the life-support systems that nature provides, we’ll need to sink some serious money into building them on our own (sounds like an April Fool’s Joke to me).

    B) Wealth is well-being. This includes the empowerment that comes with monetary wealth, but it is significantly broader: emotional and physical health, having good friends, living in a flourishing community, etc. All of these are forms of wealth because they increase our well-being.

    The other frames are about fundamental foundations of ideas like economy and the environment, polluting, markets and government. see article

    Now all you have to to is incorporate these ideas into your thinking, speech, life and everyone else’s and we’re home free.

  19. Paulidan says:

    For me its the giant nuclear orb in the sky. For some reason my puny libertarian brain, long atrophied, believes the source of all energy on the planet might have something to do with the variation of energy. Just a retarded thought…

  20. ScaredAmoeba says:

    Paulidan Says:

    ‘For me its the giant nuclear orb in the sky. For some reason my puny libertarian brain, long atrophied, believes the source of all energy on the planet might have something to do with the variation of energy. Just a retarded thought.’

    Yawn!
    Not all energy on Earth comes from the sun! It is granted that currently most of it does.
    Note evidence only from ISI peer-reviewed sources is accepted!

    Assuming it’s solely due to the sun, please ask yourself these questions:
    Would the RATE of warming be increasing [accelerating] or decreasing [levelling-off]?
    Would you expect the difference between day-time and night-time temperatures increase, decrease or stay the same?
    Would we expect the expansion of the Troposphere and contraction of the Stratosphere?
    Would we expect warming or cooling of the Stratophere?
    Would we expect Solar output to have increased or decreased in the last fifty years or so?
    Would we expect a positive or negative correlation between solar output and temperature?
    What evidence is there that the sun’s output has increased?

    AFAICT climate scientists [at least the reputable ones who actually work in climate science rather than those active in PR & propaganda for fossil-fuel interests], consider that numerous factors combine to produce the heat balance of the Earth. They look at the evidence from numerous sources and solar effects are currently small, although the evidence suggests that solar effects have been much more significant in the past.

    It is known that GHGs reduce heat loss – hence the 33 degree C warmer Earth. We know that GHGs have been increasing. So even assuming the sun is responsible for some warming, the warming from the GHGs will still be having an effect.

    Even if some of the recent warming is caused by the sun, since AFAICT we can’t turn the sun down a notch or move it further away. We would still need to reduce human caused emissions of GHGs.

    [Note: Looking at the Sun backwards through binoculars or telescopes only makes it LOOK further away!
    (Warning to Homer Simpson types: don't look at the sun! SHRIEK! [burning smell] MY EYES! DOH!)]

  21. Bob B says:

    Joe, are you afraid to put the true face of AGW religion on display?

  22. Joe says:

    AGW is science. If you don’t understand that, you are at the wrong blog.
    What Krauthammer (and I guess, you too) are peddling is religion.

  23. Bob B says:

    Conservatives are afraid of Marxists pushing AGW as fact and redistributing wealth based on that:

    “It’s more progressive than taxation, it tends to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor; it’s transparent; it’s easy for everyone to understand, you all get the same carbon ration.”

    We are also afraid on indoctrinating our children and telling they should die early if they use too much carbon.

    Both links to mainstream press articles you are afraid of posting

  24. NorthCoaster says:

    AGW is not Science, it is a belief system that uses selective/tainted scientific data and information to support the scale of it’s effect on world climate. Climate Change is a cyclical phenomenon and is most directly related to the sun’s energy output. This is beginning to show up in the immediate past with the cooling of the last few years since 1998. When you chart three items starting with 2007 into the past, CO2, Sunspot cycle and temperature, CO2 climbs as a generally straight line and Sunspot cycle and temperature generally parallel each other in a cyclical pattern. Man is affecting his environment in many ways that influence climate but not to the extent that AGW enthusiasts would have us believe.

  25. ScaredAmoeba says:

    AGW is not a theory, religion or belief system. It is the consequence of looking at the objective scientific evidence.

    For those who disagree with this statement, SHOW US THE SCIENCE! PROVE IT TO US!

    Demonstrate with science that you are right!

    Prove your arguments aren’t ideological pseudo-scientific rubbish, by citing any world recognised scientific organisation that accepts them.

    If there is a conspiracy: show us the objective evidence!

    It is not good enough to make ridiculous claims like ‘the moon is made of cheese’! You have to prove it. And the ONLY way is with substantial amounts of objective P-R science.

    As Michael Tobis said recently:

    “If, by some chance, you wanted to make a coherent skeptical case you would need to argue

    1. climate is well understood
    2. greenhouse gases matter very little on Earth for some reason
    3. the recent warming is well understood and attributable to other forces, including in the vertical and horizontal distributions which match climate model predictions..,

    ..,Alternatively there is this simpler goal. Demonstrate that it is possible to construct a climate model of comparable or better quality to what we have that has dramatically lower greenhouse gas sensitivity. Computers are cheap these days and decent compilers are free. Go to it.”
    http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2008/06/getting-things-backwards.html

    Continuing to snipe and blather on isn’t convincing. You need to understand that we can ONLY be convinced by the science. You will never convince us without the science!

    So have you got the objective science or not? If so, share it with us! If not, please go somewhere else!

    BTW: the OISM garbage, is well, it’s error-filled, cherry-picked pseudo-scientific garbage!

  26. ScaredAmoeba says:

    Ronald Says,
    You’re dead right! Lester Brown, Founder of the WorldWatch Institute made the same observation.
    January 6th, 1942 State of the Union Address President Roosevelt said ‘We’re going to produce 45,000 tanks, 60,000 planes, 20,000 artillery guns, 6 million tons of shipping, enormous logistical challenge fighting two wars on the opposite sides of two oceans’. No-one had ever seen numbers like this before. But what the President and his colleague realised was that the largest concentration of industrial power in the world at that time was in the US automobile industry…, After he gave the State of the Union Address, Roosevelt called in the leaders of the automobile industry and said because you guys represent such a huge share of our industrial capacity we’re going to have to depend heavily upon you to reach these goals. And they said ‘Mr President, we’re going to do everything we can, but producing cars and all these arms is going to be a real stretch’. Roosevelt said ‘You don’t understand, we’re going to ban the sale of private automobiles in the United States’

    But watch Lester Brown’s video, made in 2006. Listen to what he says about oil & etc. What prescience! The part about Roosevelt starts at19.20.
    http://www.poptech.com/popcasts/popcasts.aspx?lang=&viewcastid=28

  27. NorthCoaster says:

    Amoeba,

    Check out the latest NASA reports on climate change on the other planets of the Solar System. Do you think that there is a common thread? Couldn’t be the Sun could it?

    Check out the latest reports on Artic and Antartic Ice accumulation. Couldn’t be the change in airflow patterns could it?

    Go to the primary sources for your information and see what is being written by supporters, skeptics and those doing good solid science that aren’t promoting one side or another. Then make your own personal determination about whether “The Climate Science is settled”.

    Historically, the Vikings traveled out across the North Atlantic during the Middle Ages Warm Period and retreated back to Iceland and Scandinavia with the following cooling. There is evidence in sea floor sediments for this. Can you explain that particular warming and cooling cycle? Micheal Mann eliminated that historical climate fact in his “Hockey Stick graph”. That attempt to rewrite climate history alone should make a person want to look more deeply into the science of Climate.

    Why go somewhere else? This is an interesting and entertaining site especially when you try to chase posters elsewhere. It’ll be fun to just lurk about and watch the site devolve into a blog for only AGW posters.

  28. Bob B says:

    “AGW is not a theory, religion or belief system. It is the consequence of looking at the objective scientific evidence.”—what???

    It is indeed a theory with NO OBJECTIVE proof–it is N OT FACT—only in simulation fantasy land that does not include PDO,ENSO,AMO drivers

  29. hapa says:

    so you walk into the spooky house, you do, with the banging shutters (*shudder*) and the spiderwebs and decomposing drapery.

    “ohhhhhhh…” says the wind through the house. *shudder*

    across a sea of dust on the floor like a moonwalker you explore the dark.

    “cohhhhhhh…” says the wind again. your footsteps are the only ones.

    but you’ve frozen — the wind’s was not the only voice. will it come again, or is this picture-perfect horror house bringing your oldest nightmares to life in your mind?

    “cohhhhhhhh-oal is not dehhhhhhh-ead…”

    *shudder*

  30. Bob B says:

    “cohhhhhhhh-oal is not dehhhhhhh-ead…”

    Thank God–and we have several hundred years of it to use–great cheap energy

  31. ScaredAmoeba says:

    NorthCoaster,
    Half truths won’t cut it! You know or should know by now that such cheap shots are irrelevant.

    Please explain how it could be the sun warming the planets, since it hasn’t increased in output for ~50 years.
    Not all the planets and moons are warming either. There are numerous reasons for warming. But what about Uranus? It’s cooling. It would be hard to explain with a simple explanation!
    Neptune may well be seasonal, orbital or both, seasons are likely to be ~40 years. The Neptunian year is ~168 years, so observations are incomplete.
    Many climatologists consider small solar effect to be likely, even though solar output is at a minimum, but the mechanism isn’t understood and the maximum effect is going to be small. Since GHGs account for most of the warming.

    Science is never settled. And only the septics / denialists claim as such as a strawman! New science comes in and we learn something new. Something that trolls can’t and denialists won’t!

    hapa – Your buffoonery is – Zzzzzz!

    Bob B – Silly comments that sound like trolling.
    You should try getting your facts right. Try something constructive.

    Maybe you three should hold hands or something, you seem to hang around together.

    Try reading the science.
    No more feeding the trolls. Without peer-reviewed science or deliberate trolling, comments will just be ignored.

  32. Bob B says:

    “Science is never settled. And only the septics / denialists claim as such as a strawman! New science comes in and we learn something new. Something that trolls can’t and denialists won’t!”

    You have to be joking right?

    It has become a cliche from the AGW crowd that the science is settled on AGW.

    Skeptics believe the science is not settled and are now counting the days and years (~6-10Yrs) the the IPCC forecasted warming is not happening. Recently German modelers (in a “peer reviewed” journal) have finally discovered the PDO and AMO–and walla–they predict cooling for the next 10—20yrs. Yes indeed the science is not settled

  33. Joe says:

    Bob — you deniers are have or disinformation talking points down pat. I gree the science is not settled. As i have said many times, e don’t know yet whether unrestrained greenhouse gas emissions will be catastrophic or very catastrophic.

    “Recently German modelers (in a “peer reviewed” journal) have finally discovered the PDO and AMO–and walla–they predict cooling for the next 10—20yrs.”
    Try Reading this blog someday and you’ll find out how untrue that particular statement is. They predict rapid warming starting in a few years.

  34. Bob B says:

    Joe, this comes from the “Right Wing” BBC and Nature if you don;t delete the link:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7376301.stm

    It does not say rapid warming–it says cooling

  35. Joe says:

    Bob — 1) It does not say “cooling” — it says “no warming.”
    2) The BBC writer misread the study, as I explained a month ago.
    3) I thought you read this blog. Guess not.

  36. NorthCoaster says:

    Amoeba etc.,

    You’re not being open to the directions a number of us are pointing to. Personal attacks like you are engaging in are a way to win your battle but lose the war because visitors will just give up and move on. The best sites are full of opinions on all sides of the Climate issue and are truly interested in the Science underlying the Climate Change issue.
    My father is a biologist and taught us many valuable lessons as we were growing up. The primary lesson was to use the Scientific Method to investigate any hypothesis. When the facts related to observations don’t match the hypothesis, the hypothesis needs to be changed or the method of observation needs improved and the process starts again. Atmospheric CO2 is rising asymptotically but temperature is cycling. The supposed correlation doesn’t exist therefore they are unrelated.

    I have spent all of my life engaged in ecologically friendly pursuits locally and globally. I have been a member of Lester Brown’s World Future Society for at least 30 years so I know that our future can take many directions. There are many contributing factors to climate change including man’s foot print on the earth and atmosphere. To single out CO2 as the sole change agent of temperature change is an attempt to control the World by people who “know better than anyone else” what is good for us.

    Gone for now but I’ll be back to see how you’re doing.

  37. Bob B says:

    Do you mean this where Real Climate is betting against the modeled cooling?

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/09/betting-on-warming-or-cooling/

  38. Joe says:

    Bob — What are you talking about with that link?
    Did you even read my original post on the subject?

    Northcoaster — you attack a strawman. Nobody ever said CO2 is the sole changing to the temperature, but it has now become the dominant one, and will increasingly overwhelm all other temperature drivers.

    There is no evidence whatsoever for your claim that “temperature is cycling” — so if you are an environmentalist, you are in a very small minority of those who don’t actually accept the basics of climate science.

    Come back when you understand just how wrong you have been.

  39. Bob B says:

    What I am talking about is that it is unclear. And the facts that the RC folks seem fit to bet out to 2015 shows that they believe the intent was to show cooling to 2015.

    [JR: Again, read my post on the subject. But I just can't deal with your continued mischaracterization of what the study said. It NEVER said global cooling. Try reading it.]

  40. NorthCoaster says:

    The recent Army comment on the solar link to warming is here,

    http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/06/army-vs-global.html

    Check it out—Pro-Con discussion at the Wired Blog.

  41. Bob B says:

    Coldest May in satellite records:

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2

    sure likes like global warming is a big concern–NOT

  42. Bob B says:

    Coldest May in the Tropics no less

  43. Bob doesn’t even understand the basic concept that the temperature in May or any other month in any particular place is weather. Not climate. And it’s only one place, not global.

  44. msn nickleri says:

    Bob doesn’t even understand the basic concept that the temperature in May or any other month in any particular place is weather. Not climate. And it’s only one place, not global.

  45. I recommend the new book “The Carbon Age” by Eric Roston

    This is not just another global warming book. It’s a facinating book about the beginnings and development of the planet, it’s atmosphere, it’s lifeforms and how carbon with it’s unique properties make it all possible. Excellent description of the carbon cycle – how carbon cycles through the atmosphere, soils, oceans, life forms etc.

    It took 60 million years for coal to develop in the earth from carbon accumulating out of the carbon cycle and being locked away in coal deposits. Now we are releasing this 60 million year accumulation in 150-200 years, or a geological nanosecond.
    I would like a skeptic to explain how this is part of a natural cycle, or is anything like any natural cycle that the earth has been through before. I mean ones that didn’t wipe out 90% of life on the planet.

    It took 100 million years to replace the biodiversity that existed before one of the great dying offs.

    The excess CO2 from man is dissolving in the oceans, creating carbonic acid. We are acidifying the ocean at a rate that is extremely alarming. The consequences could be devastating.

    Not only do coral and the shellfish we are familiar with depend on a certain pH level in seawater, so do coccolithophores, tiny plankton that are armored with calcium carbonate shells, just like the more familiar shellfish and coral. Except these little guys are critical to a balance in the carbon cycle that has supported life as we know it for hundreds of milions of years. And besides that, they are very bottom of the food chain that all other sea life depends on.

    They cannot survive in acidic water. And they are one of the biggest carbon sinks on earth. Their shells eventually fall to the bottom of the deep sea, locking carbon, in the form of calcium carbonate, out of the carbon cycle, and thereby helping keep the cycle in a balance that has supported life as we know it.

    from the book

    “Humans have sped up the global carbon cycle at least one hundred times faster than usual, transforming the world into one that we eventually might not recognize as our own.
    Manmade global warming is a geological aberration, nearly meteoric in speed.”

    another source says the same thing.

    “Basic chemistry leaves us in little doubt that our burning of fossil fuels is changing the acidity of our oceans,’ said John Raven, professor of biology at the University of Dundee, UK. ‘The rate of change we are seeing to the ocean’s chemistry is a hundred times faster than has happened for millions of years. We just do not know whether marine life which is already under threat from climate change can adapt to these changes.”

    http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2005/July/01070501.asp

  46. Theodore says:

    The real reason many conservatives don’t believe in climate science is that some of those climate history charts go back more than 6000 years.

  47. Raphael Canaris says:

    Richard Mercer said

    “Bob doesn’t even understand the basic concept that the temperature in May or any other month in any particular place is weather. Not climate. And it’s only one place, not global.”
    HOW CAN YOU BE MORE IGNORANT!
    Weather is different from climate.
    EXPLAIN WHAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CLIMATE AND WEATHER IS PLEASE!