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Ron Johnson: “The science of global warming is unproven. It just is.”

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"Ron Johnson: “The science of global warming is unproven. It just is.”"

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Millionaire executive Ron Johnson, Wisconsin’s Republican U.S. Senate candidate, continues to deny the existence of global warming. Freak floods caused by historic rainfall are ravaging the state, during the hottest year in recorded history, which has brought climate catastrophes to every corner of the globe. Brad Johnson has the story.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Johnson insisted that the “science of global warming is unproven“:

The science of global warming is unproven. It just is.

“I’m not even sure if, if it were a fact, whether we could do anything about it anyway,” he concluded.

Watch Ron Johnson blame “sunspots” for global warming in August [and explain that all CO2 does is "help trees grow"]:

Despite decades of rapid planetary warming, and the consensus of every major scientific academy in the world that greenhouse pollution threatens the future of human civilization, the voters of Wisconsin are poised to send Johnson as part of a tsunami of global warming deniers to the highest legislative body in the nation.

– Brad Johnson in a Think Progress cross-post.

Related Posts:

‹ Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) rejects idea that “government has to do something”

The first rule of vindicating climate scientists is you do not talk about vindicating climate scientists ›

34 Responses to Ron Johnson: “The science of global warming is unproven. It just is.”

  1. Ceri Morgan says:

    From what he says in this interview his position sounds perfectly reasonable, and I don’t think your mockery is justified.

    [JR: I understand that lots of people don't follow climate science and are easily suckered by the poll tested anti-science talking points developed by Big Oil and special interest polluters. But he is running for US Sen. and spouting unmitigated unscientific nonsense. Mockery is a rather mild response. Future generations I expect will be cursing our names for electing climate zombies like this.]

  2. Leif says:

    “All CO2 does is help grow trees.” How does Ron know that? Because “Science” tells him so. The very same “Science” that is telling him the earth is warming.

  3. Artful Dodger says:

    These people make baby jesus cry and god facepalm on a daily basis. And yes, the mockery is quite justified. I’m fed up with the willful ignorance and denial from know-nothing oligarchs whose $$$ is too tied up in the status quo.

  4. Mimikatz says:

    How about a local letter-to-the-editor campaign with the theme “What is Ron Johnson’s denial of climate change going to cost Wisconsin?”

    This might be done in other states such as North Carolina. In the next 6 years, the term of anyone running for Senate this year, we will probably see more record high temperatures by 2012, more extreme weather events, an ice-free Arctic in the summer of 2015 or 2016, and 400 ppm CO2 by 2016, with attendant consequences.

  5. Peter M says:

    In the case of Johnson being elected- its like the blind leading the blind.

    Probably only one half in the state actually believe in AGW- and of that half how many know the details of the science?

    Nationally the results are not much different.

    As James Hansen said recently ’2012 should be another record breaking year for heat and extreme weather’- after the La Nina of 2011 passes.

    Beyond that as MimiKatz has said things are going to get worse- and fast. Passing 400mmp in 2015 should be a milestone- if the media even reports it- and an ice free arctic significance is sure to have more not so good feedback’s in the planetary climate.

  6. Sime says:

    #1 Ceri Morgan

    The prospective senators position is clear in that he has aligned himself with the rest of the [snip] deniers and “Climate Zombies”.

    You on the other hand are not a US politician restrained from speaking the truth due to special interests ergo you can use your brain and learn the truth should you choose so to do…

    Try here http://www.skepticalscience.com/

    and then here http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/index/

    … and yes it is exceptionally complex which is why we have experts, and exactly why politicians who know absolutely nothing about the subject should shut up and refrain from embarrassing themselves.

    Science is cool to these people as long as it does not upset the apple cart… well tough that ain’t how it works!

    “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?”

    – Nobel Laureate Sherwood Rowland (referring then to ozone depletion)

  7. What we are witnessing is not science versus deniers, it is Democrats versus Republicans. II is definitely politics where good propaganda is important to win an election. In a battle of science versus propaganda, science is at a disadvantage. Propaganda is simple and emotional; science is complicated and analytical. Guess who wins!

    Few voters have a decent science education. The vast majority of Americans have had a woefully inadequate science education, especially in physics, necessary to understand global warming. Unless Democrats can come up with persuasive, emotional arguments to support action against global warming, the Koch propaganda machine will win.

  8. Bill W says:

    Beavis and Butthead have grown up and are running for Congress.

  9. Jeff Huggins says:

    As Sure As The Sky Is Blue

    I saw a recent comment on CP that made me say “aha!” It mentioned why the sky is blue. Sorry that I can’t recall who made the comment.

    But this struck me. Perhaps it has been done before, in various explanations of climate change, but I haven’t seen it used in simple clear narratives meant to help change people’s paradigms and “get” the reality of things, so here’s the thought …

    Everyone can relate to the notion that the sky is blue — that it looks blue to us. Well of course, the fact that the sky is blue has to do with how lightwaves interact with, and scatter as a result of, certain molecules (and their atoms) in the atmosphere — mainly nitrogen and oxygen.

    Lightwaves interacting with molecules in the atmosphere . . . blue sky.

    Of course, global warming is a result of how other molecules in the atmosphere interact with electromagnetic waves in a different part of the spectrum. And that interaction has been understood, at the molecular level, for a very long time. That interaction is just as real, of course, as the one that causes the sky to look blue.

    Although I’m not putting the matter eloquently here, the point is this: The fact that everyone can relate to the sky being blue can help provide a very helpful segue or “entry point” into a simple narrative discussion about the reality of climate change. If someone says, “how can climate change possibly be real?” or “it all seems too magical or fantastical to me” or “c’mon, do you expect me to believe that CO2 molecules, which are invisible to me, absorb lightwaves that are also invisible to me?”, an initial response can begin with, “Do you know why the sky is blue?”

    Anyhow, a helpful simple explanation (too detailed for the narrative, but helpful to understand) can be found here:

    http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/sky_blue.html

    (By the way, if anyone can explain it better than the discussion at the link, or if the discussion at the link is somehow not quite right, please let us know. I’m not a sky-being-blue expert myself. I am a Beatles fan though: “Because the sky is blue it makes me sad.” Especially these days!)

    Be Well,

    Jeff

  10. Roger says:

    Another way of looking at this is to lament the quality (or lack of same) of science education in this country.

    If the Wisconsin Senatorial candidate’s statements seem logical and worthy of serious consideration to Ceri Morgan, then woe unto all of us.

    “For us to be contemplating fixing something that is not proven is absurd”. What is absurd is to think that we can release 50,000,000 year’s-worth of carbon sequestration (most oil and coal were laid down during the Carboniferous Age, 350-300 million years ago) in 150 years and _not_ have an effect on the environment — now _that’s_ absurd.

    Thinking that we can wait and see what happens, _that’s_ absurd.

    Sorry Ceri, but mockery is a relatively polite response to anyone who would spout such nonsense, especially when that individual aspires to being one of our 100 US Senators.

  11. Some European says:

    Leif: Heck, how do we even know for sure if CO2 exists? I think it’s unproven.

    Meanwhile, in realworldistan:
    “Tens of thousands of tons of wheat flour will be imported [into Afghanistan] from Kazakhstan by the private sector to alleviate food shortages before the winter, officials say.
    Pakistan, the main, traditional exporter of food to Afghanistan, has banned wheat exports after catastrophic floods; Russia has done the same.”

    “Chronic food insecurity causes major health problems and leads to maternal and infant morality and morbidity, experts say.”
    source:
    http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=90673

    But hey, that’s only one opinion of a few UN-funded experts.
    Besides, everybody knows that acting on climate change will only make the poor people poorer. Maybe, one day, they’ll even thank us for having stood up against those environmentalist wacko’s who would like to take everybody back to the stone and ice age.

  12. To accept the reality of climate change requires acknowledgment that money must be spent in huge amounts for stuff the liberals have been clamoring for for decades. It would expose the propaganda of Big Oil and Big Coal for what it is: life threating lies.

    These guys need the lies to keep their jobs.

  13. Esop says:

    RSS results for September just in: warmest September in the satellite record. Sorry deniers.

  14. Jeff Huggins says:

    Science and Government, Eliminating Excuses, Seminars

    An idea . . .

    Sometimes you need to be persistent and eliminate all available excuses . . .

    The leading scientific organizations that signed the eighteen-organization statement late last year, sent to the U.S. Senate (including the AAAS, the American Chemical Society, and many others), should do the following:

    The organizations should team up to offer in-depth, full-day, easy-to-understand, in-plain-English seminars on the reality, science, implications, and available ways to address climate change, offered as sessions to all members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate as well as to all candidates for those bodies.

    Each session should include top-tier, highly-credible scientists who can explain each facet of the matter clearly: the very best of the bunch. The program should be developed to a tip-top quality and should be easily understandable and fact-based. It should be sponsored by all the top scientific organizations of any relevance to the climate change matter, including the most respected general scientific bodies.

    These seminars should be offered for free to all members of the two bodies mentioned, at the location of their preference — i.e., in their home state or in Washington D.C. Seminars should be offered to individuals or to small groups: In other words, if necessary, there might have to be 600 or more of the seminars actually conducted, although some folks, including many Democrats and others who already understand the matter, could attend in groups. All in all, there might have to be 250-400 seminars. Again, they should be offered for free, and at any location the attendee(s) request. To be scheduled on dates convenient for the attendee(s).

    In other words, the seminars should be offered in a way that leaves no possible sensible excuse to someone for choosing to not attend one. At the “end of the day”, so to speak, not a single Senator, Representative, or serious candidate for the Senate or House, should be able to sensibly and credibly say that she or he wasn’t able to attend without seeming and being silly and without losing credibility entirely.

    The people doing these seminars should, of course, understand the responses to all of the B.S. questions and standard arguments of the denialists. Also, each seminar should include a great facilitator and communications expert, and also each one should contain at least one person highly familiar with the ethical-human dimensions of the matter, able to talk about, and address, the key ethical dimensions of the matter.

    This is one of the types of efforts needed. In my view, far too many plans are made that are TINY compared to what’s needed, and then we all complain about how we’re getting out-maneuvered. We should make it so that it’s not sensibly or responsibly possible for a Senator or Representative or genuine candidate to NOT attend such a seminar without feeling foolish and without losing credibility on the matter. And, these things have to be done way in advance. If we want to be better positioned to hold Senators’ and Representatives’ feet to the fire two years from now, when key votes are taking place again, we have to start NOW with such initiatives, because it will take four months to develop an excellent seminar, several months to offer them to people, and six or nine months to actually do them all during a period that allows any reasonable person to actually attend.

    I’m not joking. We have to eliminate the excuses, or try very hard to do so. If the leading scientific organizations don’t do something like this, regarding a matter like climate change where the stakes are so high, in my view they aren’t doing what the task calls for.

    With funding, anything can happen. Who will be the rich folk(s) who will provide the funding to make it possible for the leading scientific organizations to offer and perform a top-notch full-day seminar to every single member of the Senate and House, including candidates? Although I have no idea how much such a thing would cost, even at $30,000 cost per seminar, and even if there had to be 700 seminars performed, and even if the initial seminar development cost were $5 million, and even adding $2 million to manage and administer the whole thing, the whole thing could be done for less than $30 million. There are many PAINTINGS that cost more than that, and many folks have homes (or second homes) that cost more than that. Some people make much more than that in ONE YEAR. So, it’s not impossible. It’s very do-able. Someone just has to make it happen.

    Not a single Senator or Representative or serious candidate should be left with any excuse, at the end of the day, to not have the benefit of a full, top-quality, totally-credible climate change presentation and discussion given by a group of top-quality folks, at her/his convenience, even in private (in other words, with her/him as the only audience member) if that’s preferred. The whole thing could be done for less than $30 million. There are many people out there who could write such a check and make it happen. The scientific organizations need the will and the financial means to do it.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  15. What explains the high concentrations of zombie meat heads in the Republican party? How do these guys get elected?

    I wouldn’t mind if this wasn’t costing the planet – no move on international stage until US gets its act together.

  16. It’s all about grief.

    Everyone, in their own way will grieve the loss of civilization. Each of us goes through the same emotional process as grieving for any loved one or object loss. Like personal grief, the mannerly convention is to respect the emotional expression – knowing that it may be shown in many ways… and never to insist that someone begin grieving before they are ready.

    It is rude of denialists to promote such anti-reality. I express my grief with anger toward those who do not see it – and I really have no business bothering those denialists. Climate denialism itself is classic grief. A denier is just someone in mourning. But denialism as a political movement is made up of emotionally grieving performers, ideologue wack jobs and bag boys for the Plutocracy.

    I draw the line where someone moves from personal distress to insisting I play along with their destructive drama.

    Big difference between anti-science and anti-reality
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vuW6tQ0218

  17. The Observer says:

    I have a question regardling climate change that I would like politely answered.

    There is a graph existing showing the estimated global temperature change for a very long range of time – to the tune of several thousand years, back to the “medieval warming period.” This is the hockey stick debate.

    A wealth of well referenced documentation on the controversy is presented here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy

    So my question is – do we really know anything regarding the truth about global warming?

    I’m not denying that our emissions are causing atrocious effects, one of which is definitely global warming. Also, oceanic acidification. However, the focus on “warming” rather than “environmental prevention” is what concerns me – we just don’t know exactly whats going on, it seems. Again, I agree that our pollution is catastrophic in nature, which is obvious by the exponential increase we’ve put into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution.

    But warming the focus? It seems that the warming part naturally happens to me – and that our pollutants may be causing a bigger, even more detrimental problem that we aren’t addressing by focusing on the “warming.”

    [JR: We know that warming in recent decades is unequivocal and that humans are very likely to be the primary cause. Spend some time on Skeptical Science. The climate does indeed change for both natural and man-made reasons -- but the key point is that it only changes when it is forced to change, and now human emissions are overwhelming the natural forcings. If we stay on our current emissions path, the latest science says we likely risk multiple catastrophes, including 9F warming this century. You can find a recent literature review here. I would note that ocean acidification by itself is reason enough to reverse current emissions trends.]

  18. mike roddy says:

    Whether Johnson gets elected or not, US Senators are no better than the court sycophants of Louis XVI. Instead of groveling to the King, they gleefully roll in whatever filth they can find if it pleases the wealthy.

  19. Peter Sergienko says:

    That’s a lot of stupid packed into 2:37.

  20. paulm says:

    Rich denial! May his grand kids make it.

  21. Chris Winter says:

    “The science of global warming is unproven. It just is.”

    Mr. Johnson, you are unelectable. You just are.

    Tit for tat. Arguments of equal quality.

  22. Timothy Chase says:

    Jeff Huggins wrote in comment 9:

    Everyone can relate to the notion that the sky is blue — that it looks blue to us. Well of course, the fact that the sky is blue has to do with how lightwaves interact with, and scatter as a result of, certain molecules (and their atoms) in the atmosphere — mainly nitrogen and oxygen.

    Lightwaves interacting with molecules in the atmosphere . . . blue sky.

    Of course, global warming is a result of how other molecules in the atmosphere interact with electromagnetic waves in a different part of the spectrum. And that interaction has been understood, at the molecular level, for a very long time. That interaction is just as real, of course, as the one that causes the sky to look blue.

    I think this will help some people. Particularly as you can point to the sky, and they realize that the thicker the atmosphere though which sunlight has to pass the more the absorption. They can see that in the case of a sunset where more of the short wavelengths are scattered and absorbed as the atmosphere becomes thicker. But sometimes I think a somewhat more technical explanation may help.

    I am not thinking in terms of the quantized states of vibrational, rotational and rovibrational excitation of greenhouse gas molecules, either. Certainly we understand things down to that level and can virtually derive the absorption spectra from the first principles of quantum mechanics. But we don’t need to go that far. We can reach for something more technical which is nevertheless visual — like the one you give above.

    However, I would like to pose this in the context of a situation, show different possible responses to variants on the problem — but then responses that I think are typically better — in large part because they are visual.
    *
    “Mere Correlation” and It’s “Falsification”

    A lot of times “skeptics” like to argue as if the only reason why we think that raising the level of carbon dioxide will warm the planet is due to some sort of correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide levels.

    This is implicit in for example arguments that carbon dioxide was rising more or less continuously from 1940-75, yet there was some cooling early on and the temperature more or less plateaued until about 1975. Of course at such times you can point out that we actually do have a fairly good idea that rising levels reflective aerosols (resulting from sulfate and nitrate emissions) reduced the solar radiation making it to the surface, and then go on about how we know how much was being emitted and the uncertainties involving the forcing of reflective aerosols and so on.
    *
    Alternatively, “skeptics” may argue that temperature always rises first and therefore we are mistaking the effect for the cause. At this point you can argue that, well, yes there were other causes for the warming throughout much of the past several million years during the Milankovitch cycles due to the orbit and inclination of the Earth, but that without the feedback due to carbon dioxide and ice sheets we wouldn’t be able to account for the severity of the swings in temperature.

    Or you may argue that rise in temperature typically precedes rise in cabon dioxide concentrations, but we know of times when rise in carbon dioxide levels preceded rise in temperature. For example, with the flood basalt supervolcano in India that erupted 56 million years ago and likely melted methane hydrates along the nearby continental plates. Or the flood basalt supervolcano in Siberia that erupted 251 million years ago and likewise resulted in the release of massive quantities of methane — where methane is a more powerful greenhouse gas which has a shorter halflife than carbon dioxide but over time results in carbon dioxide through a process of oxidization where much of the carbon dioxide will hang around for a very long time.
    *
    Something More Visual

    Of course there are times for such responses to “skeptics”. But I think it is helpful if you can point to something a bit more visual, something that demonstrates our actual understanding of the physical mechanism whereby carbon dioxide raises temperature.

    You can point to the absorption spectra of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

    Please see:

    Atmospheric Transmission of Radiation
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Atmospheric_Transmission_png

    With an infrared camera it is possible to show carbon dioxide actually reducing the transmission of radiation.

    Please see:

    CO2 experiment: Iain Stewart demonstrates infrared radiation absorption by CO2
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeYfl45X1wo

    When you reduce the rate at which energy — in the form of thermal radiation — escapes the atmosphere but keep the rate at which energy enters the atmosphere constant, by the principle of the conservation of energy we know that the amount of energy in the system must increase. This will be thermal energy and therefore things are going to heat up. And they will keep on heating up until sufficient thermal radiation is emitted at the surface to compensate for the increased “opacity” of the atmosphere (roughly analogous to fog) for the rate at which energy in the form of radiation escapes from the top of the atmosphere to equal the rate at which energy in the form of sunlight enters the atmosphere.

    Now oddly enough skeptics are most likely to react angrily to Iain Stewart’s CO2 experiment than to the absorption spectra. They may call it dishonest. (In what way? — you may then ask.) Or they may argue that the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the tube are entirely unrealistic.

    But then you can point out that while they may be unrealistic for a tube of that length, what matters in the Earth’s atmosphere is the entire atmospheric column, from the surface of the Earth to the top of the atmosphere. We have added a couple or so kilograms of carbon dioxide to every square meter of the Earth’s surface. And it is highly unlikely that Mr. Stewart put than much carbon dioxide in the tube.
    *
    You may also bring up satellite imaging of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere.

    Here is a fairly nice image:

    NASA AIRS image of CO2 concentration from 2003:
    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMod/PIA09269_modest.jpg
    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA09269

    It shows not simply the absorption of thermal radiation by carbon dioxide, but the variation in the amount of thermal radiation that is escaping from the top of the atmosphere in those parts of the spectra in which carbon dioxide absorbes radiation — where the variation is due to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide.

    Here is a similar view, but in the form of a movie:

    Aqua/AIRS Carbon Dioxide with Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide Overlaid (Sept 2002 – July 2008)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-bhzGvB8Lo
    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a003600/a003685/index.html

    Increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide will increase the height from which thermal radiation finally escapes the Earth’s atmosphere. That radiation will get emitted from higher up in the atmosphere where it is colder. The layer from which the radiation escapes has to warm up to emit upwelling infrared sufficient for energy leaving the system to balance the rate at which energy enters the system. And given the increased distance from this layer to the surface and a nearly constant lapse rate (that is, the rate at which temperature drops with increasing altitude) this will imply a warmer surface.

    All of this is fairly staightforward — and it is quite visual. Perfect for someone who insists that you show them. Seeing is believing.

    Of course none of this is going to help someone who is determined either not to understand or intent on pretending that they do not understand. But for someone who is actually willing to understand it should help them a great deal.

  23. Sarah says:

    Another race that may put a denier in the house is Michigan’s 1st district (Stupak’s open seat). The republican, Dan Benishek, has signed something called the “no climate tax pledge”, promulgated by, you guessed it, “Americans for Prosperity”, with a few other fringe groups. It states, rather bizarrely, that the signatory will “oppose legislation relating to climate change that results in a net increase in government revenue.”

    The democrat, Gary McDowell is gaining ground, but has a ways to go.

    Jeff, I’d join in your legislator education initiative. But I think it would have to be voter education, too. And media, as we realize from reading this site. Forgive the military terms, but perhaps we need a bunch of climate communication boot camp sessions to teach concerned citizens to go forth and raise the issue everywhere, counter denierists arguments, and present clear facts. They should be deputized to demand action from their elected officials from the local county commission to the president, and to speak publicly at every town hall meeting or other public appearance by a legislator. There are real grass roots out there to be tapped.

  24. David B. Benson says:

    Ronny baby is all unwittedly right.

    Because in science (as opposed to mathematics and logic), nothing is ever proven. Instead one uses the scientific method to establish as certainly as may be what is cause and what is effect.

    Now Ronny baby, is the sun going to rise tomorrow morning? … Oh, how do you know that? … Aha, as certainly then as you should know that this decade will be hotter than the 2000s. Which were hotter than the 1990s and so on back a few decades. … Oh, you didn’t know that? Then you don’t have the data, yourself, to apply the scientific method.

  25. Deborah Stark says:

    …..“I’m not even sure if, if it were a fact, whether we could do anything about it anyway,” he concluded…..

    Yes. Well.

    Thanks to you and your ilk AT LEAST TWENTY YEARS have been wasted when we could in fact be well underway by now with the transition to a clean-energy infrastructure in this country.

    (Don’t get me started…..)

  26. Artful Dodger says:

    Joe: Please delete comment #3. It is a forgery using my Name, as you can tell by my email address since I have posted here frequently. Thanks, and have a great day!

    [JR: UPDATE -- That person has been posting here longer than you.]

  27. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Johnson’s status as ‘millionaire’ says it all.Market capitalism is the force destroying the planet’s biospheres, and societies from Greece to California. It is a system that rewards the worst amongst humanity with larcenous fortunes, accumulated, not by a lifetime of hard graft (reserved for the serfs) but by inheritance or one or other type of theft. Until market capitalism is removed and replaced with a system where life is the highest good, not the dead stuff of money, we are doomed. The hour, need I say,is late.

  28. Artful Dodger says:

    This is the other Artful Dodger (the one from comment #3): I too have been using that moniker here, with my same email address for at least 6 months now going back. Not sure if you were here first or not and sorry for the confusion.

    I’ll see if I can’t come up with something else, as I’m not married to the name.

    [JR: UPDATE: I'll handle this offline.]

  29. Jay Alt says:

    Jeff Huggins #14
    The leading scientific organizations that signed the eighteen-organization statement late last year, sent to the U.S. Senate (including the AAAS, the American Chemical Society, and many others), should do the following:

    The organizations should team up to offer in-depth, full-day, easy-to-understand, in-plain-English seminars on the reality, science, implications, and available ways to address climate change, offered as sessions to all members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate as well as to all candidates for those bodies.

    The AMS has been spreading the word right across from the capitol for 5 years now.

    http://www.ametsoc.org/atmospolicy/ESSSarchiveclimatechange.html#32408

    It’s hard for a message to get through when the recipients don’t want to hear it.

  30. Roddy Campbell says:

    candidate, continues to deny the existence of global warming. Freak floods caused by historic rainfall are ravaging the state, during the hottest year in recorded history, which has brought climate catastrophes to every corner of the globe. Brad Johnson has the story.

    In an interview with the Associated Press, Johnson insisted that the “science of global warming is unproven”:

    The science of global warming is unproven. It just is.

    “I’m not even sure if, if it were a fact, whether we could do anything about it anyway,” he concluded.

    Watch Ron Johnson blame “sunspots” for global warming in August [and explain that all CO2 does is "help trees grow"]:

    Joe:

    ‘Despite ……. the consensus of every major scientific academy in the world that greenhouse pollution threatens the future of human civilization…..’

    I’m still wondering where that comes from? It’s warming, we’re causing it, but I haven’t seen a consensus on the end of civilisation?

  31. Roddy Campbell says:

    apologies, sloppy cut’n'paste.

    The last 5 lines only.

  32. Chris Winter says:

    Roddy Campbell wrote: “I’m still wondering where that comes from? It’s warming, we’re causing it, but I haven’t seen a consensus on the end of civilisation?”

    You won’t see such a consensus until/unless civilization actually collapses — and maybe not even then.

    I don’t think anyone serious is today making a flat prediction that civilization will end. Many are warning that, if things go on as they are, its ending is a real possibility.

    But plenty of people are accusing others of making the flat prediction. They call it CAGW, or catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, and attempt to use it as a reductio ad absurdum to discredit the opposition.

    Think of this analogy to a threat to the future of civilization:

    A man works hard until age fifty to build a career. Then, because of an economic downturn caused by a foreign government, he loses his job. No one will hire him for a similar job because of his age. He’ll survive. He’ll probably earn enough to keep a roof over his head and food on the table. But the life he had dreamed of and planned for is gone.

    This is much like what might lie ahead for civilization if things get really bad. Not ending, probably not total collapse. Just a long spell of misery haunted by shattered dreams.

    Notice I wrote “might lie ahead.”

  33. Roddy Campbell says:

    Chris Winter – I was just asking, politely, what justification there is for stating ‘Despite …… the consensus of every major scientific academy in the world that greenhouse pollution threatens the future of human civilization….’

    There is no such consensus ‘of every major scientific academy’. You might believe there is such a threat, I might, I’m sure Joe does, but it’s just silly to over-hype and over-state.

    Imho.

    [JR: Never liked the word consensus. But there is an broad understanding that failure to restrict GHGs threatens multiple catastrophes that strike at the heart of human civilization." In my mind, the sentence as written is not unreasonable, but that's why I write 1000-word blog posts. Single sentences are easy to dismiss.]

  34. Leif says:

    The future of human civilization in jeopardy? Let me offer a quote from a book: “Dirt, the Erosion of Civilization” by David R. Montgomery.

    “Meanwhile, global grain reserves– the amount of grain stored on hand at a given time– fell from a little more than a year’s worth in 2000 to less than a quarter of annual consumption in 2002. Today the world is living harvest to harvest just like the Chinese peasants in the 1920s. Now that is progress.”

    This state of affairs is primarily a factor of another slow acting and poorly responded to problem, erosion of topsoil, but the parallels with AGW are strikingly similar.

    This year with ~ a third of the Russian wheat crop not available, (because of climatic disruption?), and 20 million Pakistan folks off their land, my guess is we have increased starvation. Next year perhaps the USA corn belt takes a hit? You do not know but my guess again for what it is worth. The future of civilization is in jeopardy and not that far down the road, Ruddy.