We are so Confident of our Positon that We Refuse to Tolerate Debate

Via Tom Nelson, this guy is certainly a fine example of enlightened scientific discourse:

Climate "skepticism" is not a morally defensible position. The debate is over, and it’s been over for quite some time, especially on this blog.

We will delete comments which deny the absolutely overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, just as we would delete comments which questioned the reality of the Holocaust or the equal mental capacities and worth of human beings of different ethnic groups. Such "debates" are merely the morally indefensible trying to cover itself in the cloth of intellectual tolerance.

Wow.  It is amazing that the discussion of how trace atmospheric gasses might affect global temperature, and whether the climactic reaction to this is one of positive or negative feedback, has become a moral rather than a scientific question. 

Though this may be obvious to readers, its worth repeating once in a while the chain of reasoning that must all be true for dramatic government action to be justified in reducing CO2.  That chain is roughly as follows:

  1. Can the presence of CO2 be shown in a lab to increase absorption of incoming radiation?
  2. If so, can trace amounts (370ppm) of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere be enough to absorb meaningful amounts of radiation and if so, how much?
  3. If CO2 in the atmosphere tends to provide a heating effect, do feedback effects (e.g. water vapor) tend to amplify (positive feedback) or damp (negative feedback) the resulting temperature change
  4. What would the effect of the temperature changes be, both negative AND positive.  Undoubtedly some things would be worse, while others, like longer growing seasons, would be better
  5. How are other natural effects, such as the sun, changing the climate and global temperatures, and how large are these effects compared to man’s.
  6. If the effects in #4 are net negative, and they are large enough even to be recognizable against the backdrop of natural variations in #5, do they outweigh the substantial costs, in terms of increased poverty, slowed development, lost wealth, etc. in substantial CO2 abatement.

The answer to #1 is yes, it is settled science. 

The answer to #2 is probably yes, though the amount is in some doubt, but everyone (even the IPCC) agrees it is probably less than a degree per century. 

Most of the warming in forecasts (2/3 or more in the IPCC cases) comes from positive feedback in #3, but we really know nothing here, except that most systems are driven by negative feedback.  In other words, this is so unsettled we don’t even know the sign of the effect.  (Video here)

#4 is the focus of a lot of really, really bad science.  The funding mechanism at universities has forced many people to try to come up with a global warming angle for their area of interest, so it causes a lot of people to posit bad things without much proof.  If you want to study grape growing in Monterrey County, you are much more likely to get funded if you say you want to study "the negative effects of global warming on grape growing in Monterrey County."  Serious science is starting to debunk many of the most catastrophic claims, and history tells us that the world has thrived in periods of warmer climates.  Even the IPCC, for example, projects only minimal sea level rise over the next century as increases in Antarctic ice offset melting in Greenland.  (more here)

We are beginning to understand that natural variability is pretty high in #5.  Alarmist might be call "sun variability deniers" as they refuse to admit that Mr. Sun might have substantial effects on the Earth.  They are kind of in a hole, though.  They are trying to simultaneously claim in #3 that the climate is dominated by positive feedback, but the same time in #5 claim the climate without man is really, really stable.  These two in tandem make no sense. 

And in #6, nobody knows the answer, but a few serious looks at the problem have shown that aggressive CO2 abatement programs could have catastrophic effects on world poverty.  Which is ironic, since the best correlation with severe weather death rates in the world is not CO2 level but wealth and poverty reduction.  No matter how many storms there are, as poverty has declined in a certain region, so have severe weather deaths, even while CO2 has been increasing.  So one could easily argue that CO2 abatement programs will increase rather than decrease severe weather deaths

So this is the trick people like this blogger use.  They point to good science in #1 and partially in #2 to claim the whole chain of reasoning is "settled science," when in fact there are gaping holes in our knowledge of 3-4-5-6.

As a note, I have never deleted a comment on this site (except for obvious spam), despite many that disagree strongly with my position.

  • clouse

    It appears to me that CAGW is becoming more and more like a religion. With Al Gore as the patron saint preaching to us that we must blindly follow the teachings of James Hansen. And skeptics, who most are just looking for answers, are labeled as “deniers” of the faith.

  • Luis Dias

    Oh well. Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing!

  • Larry Sheldon

    Forgive them! That would be a funny line, except that

    The War On Brown People
    $4.3 trillion (is that still the current estimate?)
    Being forced back into the iron age
    are not funny.

  • Scientist

    Just the same old tired shit again, the flaws in which have been pointed out repeatedly… oh well, here we go again:

    Most of the warming in forecasts (2/3 or more in the IPCC cases) comes from positive feedback in #3, but we really know nothing here, except that most systems are driven by negative feedback. In other words, this is so unsettled we don’t even know the sign of the effect. – rubbish. You really don’t get the concept of negative feedbacks, do you? You claimed recently that the rapid warming in the Arctic was some kind of mystery. In fact, it’s a textbook example of climate feedbacks in action. There is no shortage of evidence for the role of positive feedbacks in the Earth’s climate system.

    The funding mechanism at universities has forced many people to try to come up with a global warming angle for their area of interest, so it causes a lot of people to posit bad things without much proof. – you obviously have no idea whatsoever about how scientists get funding. Ever been near a university? Know any academics? Doesn’t look like it.

    history tells us that the world has thrived in periods of warmer climates – does it now? Why, then, are the world’s richest countries in the temperate zones and not the tropics? Does agriculture do well in droughts? Why did the end of the last ice age coincide with the extinction of megafauna?

    Even the IPCC, for example, projects only minimal sea level rise over the next century as increases in Antarctic ice offset melting in Greenland. – no it doesn’t. AR4 projections under various scenarios ranged from 28-43cm.

    We are beginning to understand that natural variability is pretty high in #5. Alarmist might be call “sun variability deniers” as they refuse to admit that Mr. Sun might have substantial effects on the Earth. – total idiocy. Everyone knows that solar changes have a considerable effect on the climate, but it has been shown time and time again that changes in solar activity are too small to have caused the recent rise in global temperatures. You have been told this time and time again. You have been given the references to follow time and time again (Solanki, Lockwood, blah blah blah). You must have some kind of comprehension problem to still think that solar changes are a viable theory here.

    They are trying to simultaneously claim in #3 that the climate is dominated by positive feedback, but the same time in #5 claim the climate without man is really, really stable. – no, no-one has claimed the latter. It’s something you’ve started making up. Meanwhile, you simultaneously claim that the climate fluctuates wildly, naturally, and yet is dominated by negative feedbacks.

    And in #6, nobody knows the answer, but a few serious looks at the problem have shown that aggressive CO2 abatement programs could have catastrophic effects on world poverty. – quote a source? Or have you made that claim up?

  • Sojourner

    If you’re not allowed to ask questions, it isn’t science anymore. It’s religion.

  • Fred

    Lay off the poor kids. They’re just trying to take over the world the best way they know how.

  • Alex Cull

    Hi Scientist, the megafauna question is an interesting one; I’ve read articles that link their disappearance to climate shifts, and others that blame human hunters (i.e., the “Pleistocene overkill” idea.) Could it have been a combination of the two? (With viruses thrown in as another possible factor?) Also it could be said that the disappearances are not a truly global phenomenon, as much of Africa’s megafauna remain.
    Re solar activity, I take it you do not set much store by the Svensmark “chilling stars” hypothesis? I’ve read the book and found it intriguing, but then no way am I a scientist. As an alternative to the man-made CO2 idea, is it not a contender?

  • MDM

    It is my experience (of 20 years in the sciences at four universities) that funding by grants is highly competitive. Science is a trendy endeavor and projects investigating the latest trendy topics are more likely to be funded. When your income is grant-based (like mine is) you sometimes have to follow the money.

  • Leon Brozyna

    Describing the AGW movement as a religion gives it more dignity than it is worth. It is more like a spoilt, petulant child covering his ears with his hands, closing his eyes, and making loud noises so that any aspect of reality that intrudes on his fantasy world will be blocked. Mix in abusive ad hominem attacks on those not embracing this AGW fantasy and you see how difficult it is to manage this spoilt child.

    There is no such a thing as ‘settled science’. There are huge variabilities in the climate that can’t be explained; AGW is just one other hypothesis trying to bring order out of the chaos. There are also numerous explanations based on possible various cycles of the earth and sun. But in all the hypotheses, the most important fact that needs to be remembered is that correlation does not prove causation.

    While I believe that the prime factor in climate variability is the sun, the correlation between solar activity and climate still needs to address such important questions as to how this effect happens. Even more challenging is for solar physicists to understand what causes solar variability; the SIM hypothesis is an attempt to bring some order to this move for understanding but there still remains an even more fundamental question; if true, how do the gravitional effects cause the observed changes – again, correlation does not prove causation. There’s still a huge amount of work that needs to be done to even begin to get close to bringing order out the chaos. The last thing we need are these petulant children making all that noise and clouding the issues.

  • This is like a child covering their ears with their hands and yelling: “I can’t hear you! I can’t here you! I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you!”

  • Scientist

    Alex Cull – I agree that climate change is not the only explanation for the general Holocene loss of megafauna. For many species, however, its role is not in much doubt. The end of the ice age meant that the woolly mammoth’s habitat shrank to a fraction of its former size, before humans got anywhere near it. For species adapted to a certain range of temperatures, changing the temperature out of that range is bad news, whether the change is up or down. Put an arctic fox in the tropics and it won’t be happy. Put an elephant in the arctic and it won’t be happy. The author’s statement that hot is always good is far too simplistic.

    As for Svensmark, no, I am not convinced at all. Many studies have shown that solar changes were a major driver of pre-industrial climate change, but many studies have shown that during the 20th century, the correlation between solar activity and climate change broke down. Svensmark admits this himself, really – in his ‘reply to Lockwood and Fröhlich‘ he says that After the removal of confusions due to El Niño, volcanoes etc. and also a linear trend…the negative correlation between cosmic-ray flux and tropospheric air temperatures is impressive. What would that linear trend be, I wonder? This paper by Solanki et al. shows the divergence between various indicators of solar activity (including cosmic ray fluxes) and temperatures. They find that even if all the climate variation prior to 1970 was due to solar activity, then only 30% of the variation since can be due to solar changes.

    Basically, it’s very well known that the sun can drive climate change. But it’s very clear that solar changes cannot be responsible for the recent sharp rise in global temperatures.

  • Not very related. Sorry to spam your site, but how’s this for a positive feedback?

    High Gas Prices Cause High Gas Prices

  • davidcobb

    Just the same old tired shit again, the flaws in which have been pointed out repeatedly… oh well, here we go again.
    1) Dominate… can you say it. As in clouds may raise T-min but they reflect large amounts of solar radiation back to space.
    2) Academia is first and foremost a political exercise.
    3) The wealth of the richest countries is based on the industriousness required to survive long cold winters. Also look up Younger-Dryess event. A dramatic cooling at the end of the last ice age.
    4)43cm is 18 inches. Not exactly “huddling on the last mountain tops above water” dramatic is it.
    5)If anyone mentions Lockwood’s “real men don’t need no stinkin calibration” paper again, I will puke.
    6) Hockeystick
    7)Look at the negative effects of $4.00 a gallon gas and the greens want $10.00 or more. And yes, most people consider being a vegan in a tiny apartment without transportation to be negative.

  • Billy Ruff'n

    For the sake of argument let’s assume the worst — that AGM is real and that it is net-net a serious problem for Gaia and mankind. There is another question:

    #7. How should we invest our finite financial / technological resources: a. Trying to reverse AGM? or b. In efforts to mitigate its impacts?

    The “AGM faith community” seems intent on putting all or most of mankind’s “eggs” in the prevention “basket”, but how confident are they (or should we be)that if we spend trillions of dollars in massive carbon reductions we can actually arrest the climate changes they forecast?

    Or, would we be better off if we invested limited global resources in efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, e.g. move people, build seawalls, etc?

    Solutions will come, as they always have, from technological innovation and investment in the actualization / commercialization of those technologies. Resources for innovation are generated and implementation of new technology is funded by growth in the economies of the world. Stunt economic growth through massive carbon taxes, wealth transfers and government-mandated investment programs in “promising” and politically correct new alternative energy sources and we may end up with precious little left to invest in mitigation efforts should the IPCC and the prophets of gloom-doom be wrong about the presumed direct, positive linkage between carbon reductions halting climate change.

    The essence of question 7 is where do you want to place your bets?

  • Adirian

    Megafauna continually goes extinct. It’s pretty much a historical trend. Animals get larger, because there usually seems to be a short-term advantage with scale – and then eventually go extinct, because size is normally directly correlated with reproductive cycle lengths. Short-term shifts in genetic environment, coupled with slow reproductive (and hence adaptive) rates, cause large-scale extinctions of large animals on a fairly regular basis. We’re “between” megafauna in most of the world right now, as a result of the end of the last ice age, after which it hasn’t really had time to recover.

    Richard Dawkins talks about the phenomenon of megafauna extinction cycles briefly in one of his books (It might be Ancestor’s Tale), if you’re interested in some good reading material. There is actually a considerable quantity of material on the subject, as megafauna extinctions have occurred surprisingly often over the past few hundred million years, and not always, as one might be led to believe, after a catastrophe.

    There’s actually a mathematical relationship to describe it:

    http://www.scielo.br/img/revistas/bjb/v64n3a/a05fig02.gif

  • Chris Schoneveld

    We still have little understanding of the effect of deep ocean circulation on climate fluctuations. Until that has been sorted out I reserve my judgement on the causal effect of solar activity and climate change, even though the Maunder Minimum and the Little Ice Age appear to correlate convincingly. We already know that CO2 is not the main driver as has been demonstrated by the lack of tropospheric warming over the satellite era, the absent fingerprint of AGW.

  • Scientist

    Lack of tropospheric warming? Even the UAH measurements, derived by anti-global warming creationists, show that the lower troposphere is warming by 0.13°C/decade.

    It seems to be a favoured tactic of deniers to baldly state “such and such is falsified”, “we know that so and so is now ruled out”, “there is no warming”, and so on, in direct and glaring contradiction to what is actually known. Just saying something doesn’t exist won’t make it go away.

  • Scientist

    Adirian – make html links and people will follow them. Just pasting bare text is lazy.

  • Chris Schoneveld

    Scientist,
    I should have added troposphere in the tropics. The lack of warming there is contrary to the greenhouse gas theory.
    for your info: http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/UAHMSUTrop-m.html

  • Alex Cull

    Hi Billy Ruff’n, re Question 7 I’d mostly agree with you – my response (were I suddenly to become Dictator of the Whole World!) would be to allocate much of the world’s resources to problems that we know are already causing deaths, e.g. war in Darfur and the Congo, and diseases caused by dirty water and poor infrastructure. I’d also spend money on reinforcing the infrastructure needed to save lives whatever the climate does (gradual warming, sudden cooling, more rain, less rain, etc.) Which would probably include levees, sea defences, protecting wetlands, desalination plants, etc. Easy to talk about, less easy to actually do (!) but there we are.

    Perhaps it’s a question of scale. Obviously some insurance is a good thing, but it is possible to be over-insured, and no good if the premium costs more than the thing you’re insuring against.

    And it would be rather silly IMO if we busted a gut in the next decade spending billions on weapons to fight the GW Godzilla, only to find that his diminutive 1/1000 scale cousin Tinyzilla showed up instead. 🙂

  • Scientist

    Why can’t deniers make HTML links? I find this endlessly curious. It’s really not hard. But anyway, UAH data gives a warming trend of 0.06°C/decade in the troposphere in the tropics. RSS gives +0.16°C/decade. Is that what you mean by ‘no warming’?

  • Samuel Pickwick

    The behavior of these fanatical extremists like Alex Steffen on his Worldchanging blog is just amazing. The louder they shout ‘the debate is over’, the more obvious it becomes that it isn’t. And the more they try to stifle debate (and equate questioning global warming with holocaust denial) the more they discredit their own position. It is notable that many of the alarmist blogs (realclimate, tamino, rabett) routinely delete stuff that doesn’t fit with their opinions, while the skeptic blogs like this one and climate audit allow free discussion.

  • Chris Schoneveld

    Scientist,
    Indeed I do not consider 0.06°C/decade a sufficiently meaningful slope. Moreover the fingerprint of greenhouse warming would demand atmospheric trend values to be 2-3 times greater than those at the surface which is not the case as pointed out by Douglass et al: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/DOUGLASPAPER.pdf

  • Scientist

    By what criterion are you deciding what is a sufficient slope to be meaningful? Why do you apparently prefer the UAH numbers to the RSS numbers? Are you aware that Douglass et al used RAOBCORE 1.2 instead of the significantly different 1.4? Have you read either of these two papers? Are you aware that the pattern of tropospheric warming predicted for increased solar activity is very similar to that predicted for increased greenhouse gases? Are you aware that on the other hand, the behaviour of the stratosphere is predicted to differ between the two cases of increased solar activity and increased greenhouse gas concentration? Do you know what the stratosphere is doing? Do you know which scenario its behaviour is matching?

  • Mr Ed

    Of course it is a question of morality – Liberal morality (yes, that is inherently contradictory, but what about modern Liberalism isn’t?)

    Liberal “morality” is simply the exercise of personal self-gratification over all else. Science, politics, reality in general – all must be bent to the will of Liberal dogma, which puts Liberals at the center of everyone’s universe. Liberals must be ensconced in every area and strata of society in order to make life perfect. In the Liberals mind, it would be better for the world to perish than to deny one self-righteous Liberal their rightful place in charge of everyone around them. That would be, you know, immoral!

  • Mr Ed

    Of course it is a question of morality – Liberal morality (yes, that is inherently contradictory, but what about modern Liberalism isn’t?)

    Liberal “morality” is simply the exercise of personal self-gratification over all else. Science, politics, reality in general – all must be bent to the will of Liberal dogma, which puts Liberals at the center of everyone’s universe. Liberals must be ensconced in every area and strata of society in order to make life perfect. In the Liberals mind, it would be better for the world to perish than to deny one self-righteous Liberal their rightful place in charge of everyone around them. That would be, you know, immoral!

  • Sean

    “43cm is 18 inches. Not exactly “huddling on the last mountain tops above water” dramatic is it.” The problem is in land area covered by water, and a lot of area, including in highly populated coastal regions of Asia, is not very high above sea level. Also, it doesn’t take into account recent observations that glacial ice flow can increase up to 500% in the absence of an ice sheet “downstream”, which would seem to drastically increase the rate at which land ice melts (I’ve heard that there are other reasons to believe this a conservative estimate, but I don’t know enough to comment). This is a very serious problem, and shouldn’t be dismissed until we are /certain/ that it’s not happening. The moral problem in global warming comes from the risk of waiting for more and more evidence to pile up until we face serious problems that could have been prevented by acting more cautiously.

    “Look at the negative effects of $4.00 a gallon gas and the greens want $10.00 or more. And yes, most people consider being a vegan in a tiny apartment without transportation to be negative.” That was an extremely poor justification. Firstly, you can’t assume the worst without justification. That’s what you seem to be accusing Secondly, just because people like to be more wealthy doesn’t mean it’s an awful thing if they become less so. There are lots of reasons outside of climate issues to believe that residents of the US will eventually have to live on much less. It may really not be that bad.

    As for points 3-6 in the original post, I will grant that 3 is less settled than we would like it to be. However, it would be nice if we could take “just in case” measures.

    Regarding #4, it seems a hard thing to suggest that a climate for which human societies have not been adapted would be on the whole better than one that they are adapted to. Even if the Earth as a whole would be more livable in the long run if warmer, that doesn’t change the potential for all kinds of negative effects for societies adapted to the climate of the last couple of centuries.

    I might point out that #5 is irrelevant from the perspective of taking after-the-fact measures to deal with global climate change (if it happens, we must deal with it regardless of cause), and that if humans are only causing, say, 1/3 of changes related to global warming it would still be worthwhile to curb emissions in the interest of not exacerbating the problem.

    Regarding #6, presumably dealing with negative effects of global warming would be worth some economic costs. It’s just haggling over the price. You may not like particular strategies for dealing with this issue, but intelligent policies that focused on a more efficient energy economy (as hard as it might seem to expect that from any government) may not cause huge economic problems.

    And there are some problems we have to deal with anyway. Oil access is not the nicest, easiest thing in the world, and neither is coal power. If in the next century we would have problems with a fossil-fuel-based energy economy anyway, is it really so bad to start dealing with the problem now, as opposed to whenever some shortage, inadequacy, or environmental issue is impacting us directly?

    Also, not that it’s relevant, but you misspelled position in the title of this post.

  • Adirian

    Sean –

    “The moral problem in global warming comes from the risk of waiting for more and more evidence to pile up until we face serious problems that could have been prevented by acting more cautiously.”

    – The moral problem is also the risk of destroying liberties and wasting resources pursuing a “cautious” course. An ounce of prevention becomes far more expensive than a pound of cure if there’s only a 1/17 chance of getting the disease. Especially if you have to keep paying for it.

    “That was an extremely poor justification. Firstly, you can’t assume the worst without justification. That’s what you seem to be accusing Secondly, just because people like to be more wealthy doesn’t mean it’s an awful thing if they become less so.”

    – Short answer, and with apologies to other readers: Fuck you. Seriously. Who do you think you are, thinking you’d make better decisions for other people? Going to say that to the Chinese, who are after all set to outstrip US carbon emissions by 2010? How about the Indian people? Russians? The British?

    You’re an asshole, and you deserve the future of privation and starvation and death by element exposure you’d happily condemn those people to, because you have NO idea what wealth means, or what it means to earn it, or what it means not to have it.

    “I might point out that #5 is irrelevant from the perspective of taking after-the-fact measures to deal with global climate change (if it happens, we must deal with it regardless of cause), and that if humans are only causing, say, 1/3 of changes related to global warming it would still be worthwhile to curb emissions in the interest of not exacerbating the problem.”

    – It’s only worthwhile IF IT IS WORTHWHILE. There IS a price tag associated with curbing emissions.

    “Regarding #6, presumably dealing with negative effects of global warming would be worth some economic costs. It’s just haggling over the price. You may not like particular strategies for dealing with this issue, but intelligent policies that focused on a more efficient energy economy (as hard as it might seem to expect that from any government) may not cause huge economic problems.”

    – Ah, more contempt. See, your language is polite, but I’m going to call you on what you are actually saying. You’re saying things can be done. Not even the intellectual honesty to suggest an idea – that is falsifiable. You’re wishing things were different, and expecting – at the point of government’s gun, if you had your way – other people to make it happen.

    Haggling over price is only meaningful when you’re the one footing the bill. You don’t plan to – you will, along with all the poor of the world – but that isn’t your intent.

    “And there are some problems we have to deal with anyway. Oil access is not the nicest, easiest thing in the world, and neither is coal power. If in the next century we would have problems with a fossil-fuel-based energy economy anyway, is it really so bad to start dealing with the problem now, as opposed to whenever some shortage, inadequacy, or environmental issue is impacting us directly?”

    – Dealing with the problem? No, that’s fine. Deal with it. But that’s not what you want – you want to force OTHER people to deal with the problem, and, ultimately, to kill them if they refuse. (Yes, kill. That’s the ultimate threat that makes any government mandate possible. If I refuse to pay the fine they levy against me for refusing your directives, and refuse then to go to jail – then it’s down to force.)

    Your post drips agenda. It oozes it. You’re not even Scientist, who will argue (however badly) the science. I call you on an agenda that has nothing to do with the subject at hand, and a perspective that pretends at Bayesian reasoning in order to avoid any falsifiability. Want to play Bayesian? Play it. Don’t play this pseudoargumentative crap that makes no substantive claims and contributes nothing to the argument. (Seriously. Don’t know enough to comment? Then DON’T. It’s not that hard.)

    What you want is plain – you make it clear in your final sentence. You want it taken care of when the taking care of is impacting somebody ELSE directly. After all, why should you pay the price of your own policies?

  • Mesa Econoguy

    Bingo Adirian, you nailed it. No need to apologize for profanity – these people don’t get it.

  • Loren

    The reason the alarmist are getting more shrill with each passing day is they’re realizing the jig is pretty much up. They know that if they don’t scream their way into getting their way now, very soon the climate tide will have turned completely against them and they won’t get squat. The unwashed masses are waking up to the fact that the debate has barely begun, as opposed to being “over” as the Saint Algore would like everyone to believe. They will have lost their opportunity for more grant money and the ultimate control over every facet of our lives. It’s difficult for them to watch such a great opportunity for global socialism to slip from their fingers.

  • These are the same folks who claim to be very “tolerant” of just about anything, i.e. tolerant of people of differing races, tolerant of people of differing religions (except Christianity), tolerant of gays, straights, etc., etc., etc……..except they are not tolerant of people with different political ideologies, and now they are not tolerant of people with differing scientific outlooks (or maybe that falls under the roof of the formerly mentioned “political ideologies”).
    These folks are turning out to be less tolerant as time goes on.

  • TDK

    Sean: The moral problem in global warming comes from the risk of waiting for more and more evidence to pile up until we face serious problems that could have been prevented by acting more cautiously.

    I’m interested in your belief that you are recommending caution, because on the face of it, the skeptics are the ones saying we shouldn’t spend vast sums of money on the current evidence.

    Perhaps you meant …could have been prevented by being more profligate.

  • Mesa Econoguy

    What is most disturbing about this entire movement is that given the lack of data prior to 1850, the bulk of the AGW movement (and particularly AlGore’s catastrophism) rests on proxy measurement, which is unbelievably suspect.

    They are nearly entirely basing what little evidence exists on the logical fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc. And we now know CO2 rises aren’t even historically post hoc, so there goes most of the basis for this movement.

    Morally, what these people are proposing, specifically enacting draconian economic measures based on incredibly flimsy & suspect science, is indefensible.

  • Alan D. McIntire

    R. Pielke Jr. has an interesting post addressing the issue:

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/

    “Mark Shafer, director of climate services at the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, reviews The Honest Broker in the May, 2008 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. It is a positive review. He writes:

    Pielke’s discussion of climate change politics is excellent. He seizes on the central issue in climate change politics: that those opposed to action (based on value decisions) raise scientific uncertainty as a reason for delay or inaction. In response, scientists focus on reducing or eliminating uncertainty to undermine grounds for opposition to action rather than focusing on the merits of the argument, which is really a values-based decision irrespectie of the science.”

    So the issue of global warming itself, the relative effects, if any, of
    CO2 increases, measurement errors, water vapor feedbacks, solar effects,
    could in theory be a non political quest for information, but in practice the debate is not grounded in science, but political values- A. McIntire

  • “You really don’t get the concept of negative feedbacks, do you? You claimed recently that the rapid warming in the Arctic was some kind of mystery. In fact, it’s a textbook example of climate feedbacks in action. There is no shortage of evidence for the role of positive feedbacks in the Earth’s climate system.”

    So what’s caused the rapid COOLing this past winter then? That arctic ice is back.

    “Know any academics? Doesn’t look like it.” Anyone who’s ever even been a university student knows they’ll get better marks when they hand in a paper that agrees with their prof’s stance on anything, and if they disagree they have to be pretty much bullet-proof. That only gets amplified as you rise.

    “the climate without man is really, really stable. – no, no-one has claimed the latter.” Mann’s hockey-stick graph.

    As for sea-level rise, apparently the Dutch http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=61 aren’t that worried. It also seems to be a case of automatically assuming that any worst-case scenario must be true. I find that a tendency in the alarmist movement all around: that any change and the outcome of all future projects will be uniformly bad.

    “There are lots of reasons outside of climate issues to believe that residents of the US will eventually have to live on much less. It may really not be that bad.”
    – Those who will lose the most will be the middle-class, causing much greater disparity. It is extremes in disparity – not poverty – that is behind most crime, social and political instability, etc. Democracy, social stability and freedom flourish when there is a large middle class.

    “that those opposed to action (based on value decisions) raise scientific uncertainty as a reason for delay or inaction” – I’d say the reverse – that those who argue most for State force in terms of environmental policy who are the ones insisting there is a ‘consensus’ and that the ‘debate is over’ as grounds to push through things as quickly and broadly as possible.

  • kuhnkat

    Scientist,

    the models say the Trop should warm faster than the surface. Both ‘sonde and satellite say the Trop isn’t. The observations are wrong according to Hansen and pals.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Mesa Econoguy

    Correction to my above post (which scientist didn’t catch due to massive reading comprehension problems):

    “CO2 rises” should read “temp rises”. He/she/it was most likely confused by the Latin.

    Oh well, de gustibus non est disputandum….

  • statePoet1775

    breath in the balance

    The Earth is quite dangerous,
    the Universe too.
    For many dangers
    there’s nothing to do
    (if there’s no God,
    we’re simply screwed).

    But with CO2,
    it’s different indeed;
    no burning of carbon
    and please do not breathe.

  • Rob

    They don’t tolerate debate because it will get in the way of their social and economic agenda, not the actual science behind warming. Debate with skeptics does NOT get in the way of advancing the science behind understand the global climate. In the end, all the points raised by skeptics will just solidify our understanding of global climate change, in general.

    The “consensus” should welcome ALL debaters/skeptics/deniers and consider the points raised. If for nothing else: to help improve their models and fill their loopholes. If the science was truly settled, then no more models or changes to models would be needed right (it is settled, no more work needed)? However, Hansen’s models were not complete back in the 80’s (there were updates/additions in the late 90’s). I can’t believe that we (mankind) have perfected the climate model, much less the modeling techniques for such highly complex and open systems.

    Even if “Scientist” were to remove any doubts I have, that wouldn’t change my stance that I want to drive a Hummer, pour cleaning chemicals down the drain, burn barrels of oil in my backyard for fun, contribute to companies who cut down the rainforest, put down my remote control, eat less meat, etc.

  • Rob

    close italics?

  • Rob

    Let’s try this again.

  • mccall

    Scientist said, “Many studies have shown that solar changes were a major driver of pre-industrial climate change, but many studies have shown that during the 20th century, the correlation between solar activity and climate change broke down. Svensmark admits this himself, really – in his ‘reply to Lockwood and Fröhlich’ he says that After the removal of confusions due to El Niño, volcanoes etc. and also a linear trend…the negative correlation between cosmic-ray flux and tropospheric air temperatures is impressive.”

    Wow — did you get your position from an AGW blog? Yours is a dreadful misinterpretation of the Cosmic Ray/Solar hypothesis and Dr. Svensmark’s point. Perhaps you should CAREFULLY read Svensmark’s entire reply to the Lockwood and Froelich paper and more on the theory itself. Your inference is backward from both the hypothesis and Svensmark’s point. The hypothesis is cosmic rays flux is inversely related to temps … or more importantly, solar (winds) UP => cosmic rays DOWN => clouds DOWN => temps UP! According to the hypothesis, it is supposed to be a “negative correlation.” You interchanged solar flux with (inversely related) cosmic ray flux to support your own beliefs, not Dr. Svensmark’s.