“No Disagreement Whatsoever”

I continue to be fascinated by the parallels between economic and climate science and their internal debates.  Both sciences study horrendously complex systems where controlled studies to parse cause and effect are difficult if not impossible to structure.  And both seem to have the same pressures towards politicization, with very similar results.  With a few words changed, this could easily have been written by a climate skeptic about any number of Mann/Hansen/et. al. statements:

Mr. James Fallows
National Correspondent, The Atlantic

Dear Mr. Fallows:

This afternoon on National Public Radio you proclaimed that “there is essentially no disagreement whatsoever” among economists that more stimulus spending is necessary today [emphasis in the original].

You are misinformed.

Last year, hundreds of economists signed a petition, circulated by the Cato Institute, whose key clause reads “it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today.”  Among the economists who signed this petition in opposition to ‘stimulus’ spending are three Nobel laureates in economics (Edward Prescott, Vernon Smith, and my colleague James Buchanan).  Others signers include Chicago’s Eugene Fama and Sam Peltzman, Harvard’s Jeffrey Miron, Texas A&M’s Thomas Saving, Cornell’s Rick Geddes and Dean Lillard, University of Virginia’s Lee Coppock and Kenneth Elzinga, Duke’s Michael Munger and Edward Tower, University of Rochester’s Mark Bils and Ronald Schmidt, Rutger’s Michael Bordo and Leo Troy, University of Southern California’s John Matsusaka and Kevin Murphy, and one of the world’s preeminent scholars of money and banking, Carnegie-Mellon’s Allan Meltzer.

Perhaps these economists and the many others who’ve signed this petition (including myself) – and who continue to speak out against what we believe to be the folly of ‘stimulus’ – are mistaken.  But for you to announce publicly that there is “no disagreement whatsoever” among economists that more stimulus spending is desirable is so wildly inaccurate that it borders on being irresponsible.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

I compared macroeconomic and climate models in my Forbes column here.

  • WaldoCato

    “this could easily have been written by a climate skeptic about any number of Mann/Hansen/et. al. statements”

    But it wasn’t. Here again we’ve got economics and not climate science in yet another unsupported analogy. It would seem that Mr. Meyer has run out of any real fuel to burn and so he’s throwing the junk inside the house onto the fire.

    And, of course, the Cato Institute and a petition, one of America’s most trustworthy institutions with one of its most scientifically accurate surveys.

  • Sean

    Perhaps you should point out the path the German’s took when the financial system collapsed. They tightened their belts and cut spending. Only this past week or two, there was a headline that noted German unemployment is the lowest its been in years. Is that a data point that counts for anything?

  • Greg2213

    “this could easily have been written by a climate skeptic about any number of Mann/Hansen/et. al. statements”

    “But it wasn’t…”

    And it easily could have been since it’s exactly the sort of thing that the warmists would say. Regardless what youi might think of the excellent Cato institute, the FACT is that there is a large number of economists who disagree with Mr. Fallows, therefore his statement is, at least, ignorant.

  • Ike

    Dr. Boudreaux is a known Keynesian Denier, who takes money from Big Oil Business Something. He should be drummed out of the profession, and tried for crimes against humanity, for poisoning the minds of young economists with unsupported notions of Animal Spirits and Invisible Appendages. He might as well be a Creationist.

    (Hey… I’m getting the hang of this. Being a self-righteous, clueless, ad hominem-slinging ass is rather addictive!)

  • Geoff

    Just an observation. I haven’t been here for awhile, but I notice immediately that Waldo(insert appropriate Fantasy Name generator suffix) is still here. I find it virtually impossible to keep up with the volume of information available on “climate change” (127 million results returned through Google), or “climate change skepticism (489,000 results). Even changing skepticism to scepticism returns 716,000 results. But Waldo seems to find time to continually come to this site, put up by someone he feels is completely unqualified to comment on climate change, and post at length his rebuttals. If Warren Meyer has, in fact “run out of any real fuel to burn” why in the world are you still here, Waldo?
    Warren Meyer seems to have really struck a nerve. Interesting.

  • ADiff

    The analogy is apt, and highly accurate. The problem is when a particular position on a scientific question (if either Economics or Climate Science deserve that appellation) is ideologically and politically charged. Objectivity is thrown out the window, except perhaps as window dressing, in the face of what folks want to believe, or think needs to be believed…..

    Any appeal to a ‘consensus’ is a warning sign of such a situation. Whenever such argument is broached it should be a sign to take a closer look….

  • ADiff

    Geoff….that’s because Waldo is a Political Activist, pursuing an ideological agenda. For the Waldo’s of the world being right isn’t the issue, and accuracy isn’t the issue. For the activist it’s not about finding the truth as best it can be determined…because they already ‘know’ the ‘Truth’… For them it’s just about selling it.

  • Grant

    ADiff,

    Interesting perspective – it seems there is a lot of this syndrome going round on both sides of the table. Out of interest, where do you stand on the whole subject of ‘global warming’? Perhaps a brief summary. Are you (understandably) sitting on the fence?

  • ADiff

    To simplify it I think there’s been some warming going on for some time, at least since the end of the LIA, and at least some of it appears related to changes in atmospheric CO2, including the warming trends in the 70s – 90s. But the trends are not “unprecedented” and do not appear in any way indicative of any catastrophic change in the volatility of climate in general. So far it would appear to me that we (humans) certainly appear to be having an impact on climate, but not an especially dramatic one. I also think the observable trends not suggestive of any catastrophic environmental impacts requiring any extraordinary organized response. All this said, I think it behooves us to improve our monitoring and measuring capabilities, not so much perhaps as insurance against any dramatic change ‘sneaking up on us’, but in the general interests of tackling a challenging and barely explored area of scientific knowledge, the determinants of long-term changes in climate. In general I see no reason to conclude the direction or magnitude of climate volatility any different than it has ever been, at this point, and no reason to worry about CO2 (or any other anthropomorphic by-product) in that regard (there may be other reasons for concern over some such, but not these). I also believe the adaptive capacity of humans and organized human societies (and most especially largely ‘free market’ societies) more than sufficient to adapt successfully to the changes current observations suggest will occur, regardless of their direction (and we’re much more able to deal with warming than with cooling, by the way). I also believe the benefits of any ‘warming’ may actually out-weight the disadvantages, and that most, if not all, the catastrophic predictions associated with ‘Global Warming’ are either not happening at all, or are vastly exaggerated in the Climate Advocacy community and the media in general. I think other, more restrictive, sources of ‘climate change’ more challenging, notably desertification due to land use patterns, such as occurs in north and western Africa and in parts of south and central America, more justifiably in need of organized interventions. I also think that the extent of human land use patterns may make some restricted populations of plants and animals either more vulnerable (including to new competitors) and this may well deserve some highly targeted and creative interventions, as determined by a reasonable case-by-case analysis.

    I hope that goes some ways to explain my own personal view on these matters.

  • ADiff

    PS – I’m also at bit of an advocate of a kind myself….in my case for modern Nuclear Power generation…. As I see this a the most environmentally ‘clean’ source capable of economically (esp. in absence of unreasonable ‘safety’ and regulatory restrictions) the amount of power a modern advanced society needs. I see advanced economies as being far more efficient, producing far lower levels of impacts on local, regional and global environments…and affluent societies seem to have far lower population growth rates too…so I see economic development and affluence as the most likely solutions to ‘the environmental problem’ in general. I think that Wind and Solar are largely (but not entirely) ‘feel good’ Chimeras, that invest in fundamentally unproductive directions, to the detriment of goal 1 (see above)…..

  • stan

    Global warming is all about politics. Fallows’ was writing about politics. Left-wing statements about politics follow the same template. If he had been writing about economists or scientists with whom he disagreed, he would have slandered their motives. Same playbook.

  • Waldeoff

    **** “why in the world are you still here, Waldo?”

    I consider it my duty to humanity.

    **** “Warren Meyer seems to have really struck a nerve.”

    Yes. Or, actually, it is not so much Mr. Meyer per se, but the entire denialist community. Plus this place has a number of interesting characters who I’ve come to know—ADiff among them.

    **** “But the trends are not ‘unprecedented’ and do not appear in any way indicative of any catastrophic change in the volatility of climate in general.”

    This, of course, is not what the majority of the scientific community says. But that does not stop ADiff. He seems pretty certain of his own evaluation.

  • Geoff

    How’s that going for you Waldo? Your service to humanity.
    For the most part, these kinds of sites have a fairly exclusive clientele of proponents having a deep-rooted conviction in the tenets of the site’s author. So, who in humanity is benefitting from you being here? Invariably, you must admit, you find yourself tilting at windmills, not unlike a skeptic on realclimate or a believer on climateaudit. Perhaps you do this to gain a better understanding into the mind of the “denialist.” Perhaps it humours you. Perhaps, as you say, there are actually some “interesting characters” to be discovered. Of course, there are interesting characters in all walks of life, so why come here, where you are almost universally shunned, to find companionship? I think a dating site would be more suited to your needs. AGWarmersNeedLoveToo.com for example.
    But seriously … although I rarely am … why not expend your energy going into the schools and show those blank slates some pictures of polar bears on ice-bergs or calving glaciers or big pictures of hurricanes or huge, belching chimney stacks. I’m sure they would welcome you with open arms and even clap at the end of your presentation, even as their parents would before bundling them all off in their SUVs to drive 2 blocks back home. And you could walk away satisfied that your duty to humanity was done and you could sleep soundly.

  • Pauld

    Adiff says
    “**** “But the trends are not ‘unprecedented’ and do not appear in any way indicative of any catastrophic change in the volatility of climate in general.”

    Waldo says:
    “This, of course, is not what the majority of the scientific community says. But that does not stop ADiff. He seems pretty certain of his own evaluation.”

    Waldo, this strikes me as an empirical question that can be easily resolved. The current warming between 1970 to the present is comparable to the warming from 1900 to 1940 when CO2 emissions were not playing a major role. So the current warming is not unprecendented. Do you dispute this?
    Adiff further states that trends, “do not appear in any way indicative of any catastrophic change in the volatility of climate in general.”
    Over the past hundred years temperatures have gone up about .7 degrees C. Do you find this actual trend to be alarming or indicative of catastrophic change?

  • Wally

    What a humble man, he’s only fighting for what’s right for HUMANITY!

    Obviously one can’t even begin to have a rational conversation with someone like that.

  • There’s another way the two groups are tied together… The warmists are constantly making policy prescriptions about the economy. So not only do they not appreciate the complexities of the non-linear dynamic climate system, they also miss the fact that economics makes climatology look simple (human systems are even more complex, and far more non-linear).

  • Waldo of La Mancha

    Excellent questions, my droogies.

    **** “How’s that going for you Waldo? Your service to humanity.”

    Excellent beyond compare.

    **** “who in humanity is benefitting from you being here?”

    You all are, although you may not realize it yet.

    **** “Invariably, you must admit, you find yourself tilting at windmills”

    Not at all. Don Quixote believed he was fighting giants. That is not how I feel about the good peeps here. You might not be giants…nope, not giants of any sort, real or imagined.

    **** “Of course, there are interesting characters in all walks of life, so why come here, where you are almost universally shunned, to find companionship? I think a dating site would be more suited to your needs. AGWarmersNeedLoveToo.com for example.”

    Is there such a site? Interesting. Well, to be frank, it’s not companionship I seek here, but service to humanity. Besides, my significant other would be PO’d if I visited AGWNLT.com.

    **** “why not expend your energy going into the schools and show those blank slates some pictures of polar bears on ice-bergs or calving glaciers”

    In the first place, I don’t particularly like little kids. In the second place, I am not convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the polar bears, or any of us for that matter, are imperiled by global climate change. I don’t know if AGW is real of not. But what I do heartily expect is that sites such as this one do tremendous damage to the investigation of this phenomenon (real or not) which makes scientists defensive, politicians aggressive, and the media and the Internet a new source of scientific evaluation which people seem to take seriously. Take, for instance, Pauld’s extraordinarily simplistic and disingenuous statement below:

    **** “The current warming between 1970 to the present is comparable to the warming from 1900 to 1940 when CO2 emissions were not playing a major role. So the current warming is not unprecendented. Do you dispute this?”

    Nope. But the scientists—-you know, the experts who actually do the research and evaluation—-do.

    **** “What a humble man, he’s only fighting for what’s right for HUMANITY! Obviously one can’t even begin to have a rational conversation with someone like that.”

    This from that man who once posted: “I love how you attempt to sneakily stick in a little ad hominem attack while playing the victim card here.”

    Become rational, Wally, and someday we might have a rational discussion.

    Hugs and kisses all.

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    You think you’re doing a service to humanity by talking to a few faceless, made up names on an internet blog and you want ME to be rational? One can only laugh.

    Now, you might have a shadow of an rational argument that this site, and one’s like it, can cause extremism, but does possibly causing extremism actually make one wrong about anything? You’re still just launching into an emotional attack, and not making logical, rational, or factual argument.

    You know, maybe its my service to humanity to teach you that you’re not doing any services for humanity by talk to me or Pauld….

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    Pauld: “The current warming between 1970 to the present is comparable to the warming from 1900 to 1940 when CO2 emissions were not playing a major role. So the current warming is not unprecendented. Do you dispute this?”

    You: “Nope. But the scientists—-you know, the experts who actually do the research and evaluation—-do.”

    And really, the scientists dispute this: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif

    Current data does not support any “unprecedented” warming, one needs the models (which are not data) to do that.

  • Waldolly

    You take yourself and this place a wee bit too seriously, Wally.

  • Adiff

    Folks with a “duty to humanity” (or the planet, the environment, what-have-you) are a plague on all of us. They sure take a lot on themselves (what a psychiatrist might refer to as an “omnipotent child” syndrome, perhaps)… Of course what it all boils down to is their being so certain they’re ‘right’ and know better than anyone who doesn’t agree with them, that they should be the ones to decide things for everyone else. Like so many of recent generations they’ve been told since they were toddlers they were “special”, that they “made a difference” … I mean, all that ‘self-esteem’ bullshit has to mean something, right?

    What better than saving the world…kind of hard to be more ‘special’ than that, eh?

    Sorry guys, you’ll have to come up with another ’emergency’ … (yet again).

    If you want to be a hero, why don’t you join the military…it has the advantage of actually being authentic, and actually having some chance of being beneficial to us….as opposed to the counter-productivity of all these imagined environmental ‘disasters’ and ’emergencies’ …

  • Adiff

    On second thought, having been in the service, since you need to be a ‘hero’, do all the decent normal folks serving there now a favor…and don’t join up. I wouldn’t wish any would-be messiahs on all the decent and honorable ordinary folks trying to do their part in an imperfect, dirty and very difficult job.

  • Waldiff

    Thank you, ADiff. That was very moving.

    I’m glad to know that you are not so certain that you are ‘right,’ because I got the impression you do think you are ‘right’ from a number of your own posts in the past.

    For my own part, I’ve always wondered (sometimes aloud) how much a priori political beliefs play into the “debate” about global warming. You know, how much of a personal-cum-political agenda dictates the “empirical” evaluation by some people of the phenomenon. I’ve always felt that there was a strong political agenda behind the denialist position—and, at the risk of sounding like a messiah, I think I might be ‘right.’

    Thanks to the honorable folk in the Middle East–let’s hope they come home safe.

  • ADiff

    Afghanistan isn’t in the Middle East. And Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t the only places overseas our citizens serve.

    You strike me as little more than a Climate Alarmist and a ideological activist, nothing more.

    Of course I could be wrong about that….but I think I’m right about that, at least.

  • Waldo Alarmed

    Ideological? Not nearly so much as you. You are the one who has compared climate science to Eugenics—a fairly untenable and extremist viewpoint.

    Alarmist? No. I do not know if there is such a thing as AGW. And if there is such a thing as AGW, I have to wonder if it really is a catastrophe waiting to happen, or are we simply going to experience warmer, more fertile climates?

    It would seem that you, like Wally and Alex, must stick to this notion of my being an “ideological activist” in order to score debate points, but you are simply arguing a strawman again and again. I’ve said it before and I will probably post it many more times: I don’t know what is happening with the climate, and neither do you. I do believe that you, however, and the other denialists are actively damaging the hunt for truth in this matter with your own brand of idealism which you consistently, stubbornly refuse to acknowledge. That’s what I find alarming.

    And thank you, I meant to include the servicepeople in Afghanistan and the other parts of the world — let’s bring them all in safe.

  • ADiff

    Actually if I argued with you, all I’d be doing is arguing with an ideological straw-man, who’s only purpose is to try to score rhetorical points. That’s not worth the trouble when it’s obvious to anyone exactly where you’re coming from. Not only are you a proponent of socialist government intervention in society and the economy, who sees AGW alarmism as their ‘main chance’, but you’re an isolationist too…well, at least where defending traditional national interests are concerned anyway….I rather suspect you’d love it if we were fighting for the Palestinians or Chavez or some other leftist pet cause celebre’ like that….. Anyway, knock yourself out saving the world there.

  • Waldo says wooaah…

    Wooaaah…..

    If you are posting tongue-in-cheek, ADiff, that’s some pretty funny stuff.

    If you are not, and I suspect you are not, in fact posting tongue-in-cheek, you have just proved me ‘right.’

    Still don’t think that makes me a messiah however…

  • Pauld

    Waldo: You say
    “Take, for instance, Pauld’s extraordinarily simplistic and disingenuous statement below:

    **** “The current warming between 1970 to the present is comparable to the warming from 1900 to 1940 when CO2 emissions were not playing a major role. So the current warming is not unprecendented. Do you dispute this?”

    Nope. But the scientists—-you know, the experts who actually do the research and evaluation—-do.”

    Waldo, I have posted below an interview of Phillip Jones by the BBC wherein he agrees with the point I make. Since you seem to disagree with Professor Jone’s position, I was wondering if you could point me to the source of your information.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8511670.stm

    Q&A: Professor Phil Jones
    Phil Jones is director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA), which has been at the centre of the row over hacked e-mails.

    “The BBC’s environment analyst Roger Harrabin put questions to Professor Jones, including several gathered from climate sceptics. The questions were put to Professor Jones with the co-operation of UEA’s press office.

    A – Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

    An initial point to make is that in the responses to these questions I’ve assumed that when you talk about the global temperature record, you mean the record that combines the estimates from land regions with those from the marine regions of the world. CRU produces the land component, with the Met Office Hadley Centre producing the marine component.

    Temperature data for the period 1860-1880 are more uncertain, because of sparser coverage, than for later periods in the 20th Century. The 1860-1880 period is also only 21 years in length. As for the two periods 1910-40 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different (see numbers below).

    I have also included the trend over the period 1975 to 2009, which has a very similar trend to the period 1975-1998.

    So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.

    Here are the trends and significances for each period:

    Period Length Trend
    (Degrees C per decade) Significance
    1860-1880 21 0.163 Yes
    1910-1940 31 0.15 Yes
    1975-1998 24 0.166 Yes
    1975-2009 35 0.161 Yes

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    >It would seem that you, like Wally and Alex, must stick to this notion of my being an “ideological activist”<

    You did that to yourself when you said you're doing some duty to humanity.

    And don't try to tell me you where just "joking". People reveal their true beliefs through "jokes" all the time.

  • Geoff

    Waldo:

    denialist.

  • Geoff

    Waldo:

    “Alarmist? No. I do not know if there is such a thing as AGW. And if there is such a thing as AGW, I have to wonder if it really is a catastrophe waiting to happen, or are we simply going to experience warmer, more fertile climates?”

    denialist.

  • Waldomanity

    **** “And don’t try to tell me you where just ‘joking’ “.

    Who said anything about joking? Think of me, Wally, as a soothing gondola of reason gently guiding you along the tumultuous river of unreason. I am like Yoda to your Skywalker, the blind kung fu master to grasshopper, Hayden to Mozart, Ezra Pound to T.S. Eliot, Peter Grant to Led Zeppelin, Martin Luther to Pope Leo…or maybe those analogies are a bit reaching…maybe more like Dean Martin to Jerry Lewis…

    Or (perhaps more appropriately) a tweedy young school master patiently tutoring his charges, doling nuggets of wisdom such as, “Just because you fail to understand Professor Schmidt’s paper, Wally, does not mean it’s Professor Schmidt’s fault,” or “There’s a difference between being a denialist, Geoff, and admitting that one is uncertain about something such as climate change which, unless one is an expert in the field, one is probably not qualified to comment about; I know it’s a difficult distinction, but with growth you’ll understand.”

    Or, “Pauld, if your point is that a scientist somewhere mentioned that there are statistically similar periods in climate history, congratulations (and yes, I am familiar with Jones’ BBC interview), but to cut to the chase, supposing you were hoping to prove that AGW is empirically denied based upon a cherry-picked sampling of climate history is not really a viable approach since one can excerpt virtually any section of a graph to make it say whatever one wants. And don’t forget question E from the interview…

    **** “How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?
    **** “I’m 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 – there’s evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.”

    And, by the way, this was perhaps the silliest and most pointless conversation yet on CS, and yes I’ll take full responsibility for getting it started. I did not fully realize how literal and impressionable the CS tribe is, although perhaps I should have. My bad.

    Methinks this is another dead thread, no?

    The thread is dead!!!
    Long live the thread!!!

  • ADiff

    Waldo: an eTroll

  • pauld

    Waldo: Nice try playing a little “bait and switch’ with me. Let’s rewind this discussion.
    First, Adiff said:**** “But the trends are not ‘unprecedented’ and do not appear in any way indicative of any catastrophic change in the volatility of climate in general.”

    You responded, “This, of course, is not what the majority of the scientific community says. But that does not stop ADiff. He seems pretty certain of his own evaluation.”

    I then responded: “Waldo, this strikes me as an empirical question that can be easily resolved. The current warming between 1970 to the present is comparable to the warming from 1900 to 1940 when CO2 emissions were not playing a major role. So the current warming is not unprecedented. Do you dispute this?

    You replied: “Nope. But the scientists—-you know, the experts who actually do the research and evaluation—-do.”

    In a later post you assert that my empirical claim is “extraordinarily simplistic and disingenuous.”

    So I cited none other than Dr. Phillip Jones, who agrees with my position. He says “As for the two periods 1910-40 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different (see numbers below).”

    Now, you are trying to get away from the empirical question I framed by trying to (falsely) attribute a motive to me. You suggest that I was “hoping to prove that AGW is empirically denied based upon a cherry-picked sampling of climate history.”

    No, that is not what I was trying to do. What I was trying to do was to show that Adiff was empirically correct when he said current trends were not “unprecedented” Adiff’s position is correct. I haven’t seen any evidence to support your position that my statement is incorrect that , “the current warming between 1970 to the present is comparable to the warming from 1900 to 1940 when CO2 emissions were not playing a major role.

  • Pauld

    Waldo, as to Dr. Jone’s response to question E:

    “How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?

    I’m 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 – there’s evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity. ”

    I find nothing in this answer with which I would disagree. None of the prominent skeptics such as Dr. Lindzen, Dr. Spencer or Dr. Christy would disagree with Dr. Jone’s statement. Notice how evasive his answer is to second half of the question.

  • Waldod

    **** What I was trying to do was to show that Adiff was empirically correct when he said current trends were not “unprecedented”

    But they are “unprecedented,” my friend, according to the scientist above. The current warming trend is unprecedented because, at least according to Jones, it “is due to human activity.” That is an unprecedented occurrence.

    Perhaps you may blame me for poor word choice. If all you were trying to do is show that a scientist, somewhere, sometime, responded to rather leading question by responding that yes, there have been times in the climate’s history when it warmed and this warming was not caused by CO2, then fair enough; ADiff has one example of the above–congrats and my apologies.

    If you were trying to imply anything else about the climate debate, I don’t think it’s been shown. The case still stands that the scientific community believes human activity is the cause of significant global warming, which is not what ADiff is and has been saying for some time.

    And I fail to see how Jones’ answer was at all evasive; he says very clearly that he agrees with the IPCC assessment report. Clean and simple.

  • BoredofWaldo

    “The case still stands that the scientific community believes human activity is the cause of significant global warming”
    They also believe that gravity controls the universe and that comets are made of icy debris.
    Scientists also believe smashing lead ions together gives a glimpse to billions of years before lead existed.(their scenario)
    Right or wrong I would rather a Mormon knock on my door than a Waldo(blah) at least they know they have a faith and not waste their time on non believers and resort to calling anyone deniers.
    To stay so strongly committed to the current accepted truth gives us inquisitions and suppression of new thoughts. This is not education it is eradication of freewill the enemy of the WaldoNazis.

  • pauld

    Waldo, it is tough to admit you were wrong. I understand.

  • Boredofpauld

    Science should be about fact, not who is nearly right and nearly wrong and back it up with the best arguments.
    Children argue Adults discuss.
    What is fact ?
    In science very little is established fact … only accepted as a fact!

  • Everything you need to know about global warming in the UK but were afraid to ask:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28bRgmwecKE

  • Wally

    So, in order to prove Adiff is wrong, Waldo has to morph his statement to include the cause of the warming, which of course can’t actually be proven…

    Sure, it is logically likely that CO2 is causing more of this warming than from 1900-1940, but no one can actually prove how much. No one can even prove what caused the 1900-1940 warming in the first place, so the comparison of just how unprecidented this “cause” is, is completely impossible.

    Yet, here is our savior, Waldo, telling us exactly what we need to believe regardless of truth.

    And even if we do believe, Adiff’s state is still true. He never mentioned a cause, simply the trend. Waldo, obviuosly lives by the motto of “when you’re proven wrong, change the subject.”

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    “The case still stands that the scientific community believes human activity is the cause of significant global warming, which is not what ADiff is and has been saying for some time.”

    This is what Adiff said:

    “I think there’s been some warming going on for some time, at least since the end of the LIA, and at least some of it appears related to changes in atmospheric CO2, including the warming trends in the 70s – 90s. But the trends are not “unprecedented” and do not appear in any way indicative of any catastrophic change in the volatility of climate in general.”

    What part of that are you disagreing with, without resorting to strawmen or appeals to motive? He clearly states that at least some warming is due to CO2, but that there is no evidence for this warming leading to some sort of catastrophy. So, you’re argument that Adiff is disagreing with some common belief in the scientific community regarding “significant warming” is completely off base.

  • ADiff

    As Warren’s pointed out, it seems the Waldo’s of the world want us to believe there’s “no disagreement whatsoever” about the truth of whatever it happens to be they want us to believe…..

  • Professor Don Boudreaux knows of what he speaks. He and many others, including me, are followers of Hayek, not Keynes. Keynesian economics is largely voodoo. Government spending is a kinda-sorta stimulus IF DONE PROPERLY; however, it is generally weak and not long lasting. The Obama Administration used stimulus spending as a vehicle to pay off its supporters and not to stimulate the economy. Only the innovation and imagination of a relatively free private sector can stimulate the economy on a long-term basis. Everything else is socialism at best and communism at worst.

  • Wally

    GPHanner,

    You mean to tell me that a few months of getting $3500, or what ever it was, to buy a new car so long as you destroy your old one is not stimulus done properly? Shocking!

  • GP Hanner

    No, Wally, it is not. Take Kathleen Parker’s advice and go pore over “The Economist” for a few years.

  • WAldo Entranced

    Okay…

    So let me see if I understand:

    Pauld “empirically” proved that ADiff made a statement that is true. ADiff’s statement was that a scientist once stated that the era between the beginning of the century and the start of World War II, when CO2 was not a major forcing agent, was statistically similar to the era beginning after the Summer of Love and continuing to the present, when CO2 is potentially a major forcing. And Jones on a BBC interview answered a direct but limited question about this very subject in the affirmative. Mind you, he simply agreed with a BBC interviewer.

    This would seem to indicate that climate science which focuses on CO2 is misguided, which is what I mistakenly thought the point was.

    However, the statement that 1900-1940 is equivalent to 1970 to the present is not necessarily important in the scientist’s evaluation because he, at least, is certain that the warming in the last 50 years is due to human activity. Which is why I posted that “the experts who actually do the research and evaluation” actually think recent global warming is “unprecedented”—which again, is what I thought ADiff’s point was. But to point this out is somehow a “bait and switch” (?) tactic on my part.

    So apparently ADiff’s statement that Pauld has empirically” proven true had absolutely nothing to do with the general debate we see on this website and in the media, which is normally about the validity of climate science. ADiff’s statement was very simply that once upon a time a scientist stated that there were a number of statistically similar weather decades in the 20th century and nothing more.

    Okay. My bad. I apologize Pauld and ADiff. Jones agreed with a BBC interviewer that there are statistically similar decades in the 20th century. You have proven that ADiff made a true statement. Apparently this “empirically” proven statement has no bearing on what the scientist in question actually believes, but he did make the statement. Congrats on “empirically” proving…what exactly?

    And once again, we’ve had a hilariously pointless conversation on the site. And once again, I’ll take the blame.

    Oh dear, oh dear…

  • pauld

    Waldoconvuluted: So much simpler, shorter and accurate to say “I was wrong”.

  • Waldoconvuluted

    I was wrong.

    I’m just not sure about what.

  • Hasdrubal

    Not to derail the thread back to the original topic, but I would like to note that economists actively discuss the validity and value of their methods. The spring 2010 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives had a symposium assessing the field in the 25 years since Leamer’s original “Let’s Take the Con out of Econometrics.”

    Leamer’s contribution to this latest discussion, “Tantalus on the Road to Asymptopia,” (The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 24, Number 2, Spring 2010 , pp. 31-46(16)) beside being one of the great paper names for the year is an excellent discussion of the limits of the type of modeling both economists and climate scientists do. I recommend it for anyone interested either in the question of why economists can’t predict the future well or why people are leery of climate scientists who say they can. And it’s written by a bona fide expert published in a real, peer reviewed, journal!