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  1. >>>I ask them to predict for me the annual increase in temperature over the next few years.

    Which ones did you ask. Specifically? Or is this just a rhetorical pose?

    Comment by Auntie Dogma — January 3, 2011 @ 12:16 pm - January 3, 2011

  2. I tried to explain it to a GP lefty in November. He promised to “get back to me” or something – then he ran and hid.

    Second, AGW theory is crap. It is illogical. The Earth does have a natural greenhouse effect, and it is primarily driven by the presence of water vapor in the atmosphere. The effect of water vapor dwarfs the effect of CO2 or other gases. It makes no sense that increasing CO2 by a few hundred parts per million would create a greenhouse effect. It’s collosally dumb.

    Algore though he had a neato chart where higher CO2 coincided with warm periods in the Earth’s history… He got the causality backward. The increase in CO2 always *lagged* the temperature increases [ed: by a few hundred years]. Higher temperatures meant warmer oceans which caused the oceans to expel their [dissolved traces of] CO2. Lower temperatures meant cooler oceans which caused the oceans to re-absorb their CO2. Thus, higher temperatures – again from that giant natural fusion reactor, the energy of the Sun – caused higher CO2, not the other way.

    Third, AGW theory has repeatedly made predictions which have failed…

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 3, 2011 @ 12:17 pm - January 3, 2011

  3. Granny,

    Well let’s see…

    He could have asked the Poles and Russians, since they got it right.

    Or maybe Piers Corbin since he, unlike the Global Warmers, has been accurate about 85% of the time.

    Either way, he’d get a hell of a lot more accurate readings than asking those who believe, despite the lack of evidence, in globull warming.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 3, 2011 @ 12:54 pm - January 3, 2011

  4. Global Warming isn’t based on science, but politics; the elites want to use it as a Trojan Horse for Communism. These fools tried the same thing in the 1970′s & 1980′s during the “Global Cooling” scare. Their answer is always the same: Communism.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — January 3, 2011 @ 12:58 pm - January 3, 2011

  5. When politicians make funding for scientists contingent upon finding evidence that a phenomenon exists, the response to which will result in a vast expansion of the power (and wealth) of politicians, is it any wonder the scientists and politicians will conclude that such a phenomenon exists?

    Comment by V the K — January 3, 2011 @ 1:02 pm - January 3, 2011

  6. And, as I just e-mailed to Dan, 2010 will not be the hottest year on record. As expected, due to the mid year fade of the El Nino and the establishment of La Nina conditions, temps took a late year nose dive and 2010 failed to beat the 1998 mark. As of this moment, average world temp is back to the decade average, meaning there is still no temp rise evident for at least a decade. As was 1998, 2010 temp was abnormal due to a strong El Nino. It wasn’t as strong as 98, but it was strong enough. I expect, if the ENSO / temp correlations hold to the usual pattern, the first few months of 2011 will be below average temp wise.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 3, 2011 @ 1:07 pm - January 3, 2011

  7. Sonic

    Watt’s up with that shows that even if 2010 was the ‘warmest’ it’s still cooler than 9099 other years in the past 10,500.

    Not that facts matter to the globull warming zealots.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 3, 2011 @ 1:27 pm - January 3, 2011

  8. Live… It’s funny. i’m a former geology major (calc killed the dream) and the farther you go back in time the more that the evidence is simply stacked up AGAINST CO2 as being so closely associated with temp. I’m not saying that CO2 is not a GHG, but in geologic history, there has never been shown a strong consistent correlation between CO2 and temp rise… except that CO2 has almost always FOLLOWED temp increases, and not the other way around.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 3, 2011 @ 1:43 pm - January 3, 2011

  9. Logic and Reason contradicts Faith??? I am SHOCKED!!!

    Comment by Delusional Bill — January 3, 2011 @ 2:39 pm - January 3, 2011

  10. I’m sure CO2 is a greenhouse gas. But… dwarfed by others, like water vapor. CO2 is a few hundred parts per million. Water vapor is tens of thousands of ppm, in the lower atmosphere.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 3, 2011 @ 2:57 pm - January 3, 2011

  11. (continued) Each molecule of CO2 does of course hold more heat energy than H2O, as it is a little over twice the molecular weight. But that doesn’t come close to overcoming H2O’s 2 order of magnitude advantage in quantity.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 3, 2011 @ 3:02 pm - January 3, 2011

  12. H2O has a much wider absorption band for energy. The difference is that CO2 holds the energy a lot longer, therefore retaining the heat.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 3, 2011 @ 3:13 pm - January 3, 2011

  13. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ben Grivno and others. Ben Grivno said: Crushing New Evidence Shows Absence of Correlation Between Temperature Change & CO2 http://goo.gl/uWmpf #TeaParty #p2 #ocra [...]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention GayPatriot » Absence of correlation between temperature change and CO2?!? -- Topsy.com — January 3, 2011 @ 3:15 pm - January 3, 2011

  14. I always found it an odd coincidence that the Earth’s ideal temperature seems to have been the one that prevailed during the youth of the baby boomers who now dominate science and politics; and that any variation from that “norm” represents catastrophe, so they say.

    Comment by V the K — January 3, 2011 @ 3:19 pm - January 3, 2011

  15. And the Global Warmists still don’t seem to give a crap about all the death and destruction wrought by Dihydrogen Monoxide every year. It seems to be rather bad in Australia these days.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 3, 2011 @ 4:17 pm - January 3, 2011

  16. Also, the price of lightbulbs are gonna skyrocket thanks to our beloved libtards.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1343554/Eco-bulb-cost-treble-Makers-cash-ban-old-style-bulbs-kicks-in.html

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 3, 2011 @ 4:22 pm - January 3, 2011

  17. Must be too many facts here for Leeliee’s global warming prattle

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 3, 2011 @ 8:21 pm - January 3, 2011

  18. TL, I was just thinking that.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 3, 2011 @ 8:39 pm - January 3, 2011

  19. WOW… Already 18 posts in, and no one has called us “deniers” yet!

    PS. Personally, I prefer the term “Jester” myself… But that’s just me.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 3, 2011 @ 9:05 pm - January 3, 2011

  20. I am surprised at this post. I enjoy TGC when it focuses on Politics Left, Center, and Right. It is one thing to oppose drastic measures costing trillions of dollars to alleviate global warming. It is another to doubt its presence and effects upon the global environment. I am also uncomfortable using other bloggers’ citations: especially in a scientific matter, I want to know their credentials.

    Please consider the research of my now deceased teachers from UCSD and Scripps, Profs. Dave Keeling and Roger Revelle. From Prof. Keeling, we have the Keeling Curve. Prof. Revelle began CO2 studies in 1957. The Keeling Curve provides the method for calculating the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere as a standard and as a yardstick against which its increase through fossil fuel burning and land use changes can be measured and predicted. BTW Prof. Keeling was given the National Medal of Science by Pres. Bush in ’02.

    While extremely costly political solutions may not be ideal, neither is pretending that, because scientific analysis is cautious and occasionally contentious, global warming does not exist. Somewhat like the juxtaposition of Art and Commerce, Science and Politics are not happy bedfellows. I tread carefully when I see either discipline presuming it knows enough about the other.

    Comment by Bryan — January 3, 2011 @ 9:35 pm - January 3, 2011

  21. Bryan, you should read the comments more closely. No one is disputing that C02 levels have increased. However, the catastrophic implications of the (comparatively minuscule) human contribution of C02 to the atmosphere claimed by alarmists have not been demonstrated; nor has there been any significant, appreciable, validated universal increase in global temperature.

    Comment by V the K — January 3, 2011 @ 9:41 pm - January 3, 2011

  22. Here is where I go to breathe less polluted air when it comes to all the CO2 chatter and such. Maybe others might like to look it over:

    http://antigreen.blogspot.com/

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 3, 2011 @ 9:57 pm - January 3, 2011

  23. There is no increasing skepticism in science. There is certainly a band within which there is legitimate debate on climate modeling and the net effect of humans on the climate, however the scientific consensus is only in doubt in the blogsphere. It’s ironic that you highlight solar radiation should be looked at as that is obviously factored into the climate models. What’s especially interesting is that we’ve been at an extended solar minimum for several years now and there has been no cooling, as you would expect from an extra long and deep solar radiation minimum. You can see the trending in solar activity and compare it to the temperature record. You can do the same with greenhouse gases. There is trends for one (greenhouse gases) and not the other. They have performed model sensitivity analysis to show even when the models are gamed most favorably towards one climate driver over another, given the level of changes in those things what percentage of the global temperature change can it account for. Once again, greenhouse gases are the smoking gun.

    For me the debate is over. It’s like arguing over which way to turn the Titanic before you hit the iceberg but after it was too late for it to change course. We lack the will to make enough difference to prevent us from reaching the tipping points which are still approaching as fast as the worst case models predicted they would. Will the planet end? No. Will life on earth end? No. Will human life end? No. In the end we just made getting out of a much bigger world of suck than we needed to encounter just that much more expensive–and probably cost many more than necessary millions of peoples their lives over the next few decades.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 3, 2011 @ 10:58 pm - January 3, 2011

  24. Mr. Moderate states (#23):

    however the scientific consensus is only in doubt in the blogsphere.

    Really? Then correct this, if you will, please.:

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/12/30/lawrence-solomon-75-climate-scientists-think-humans-contribute-to-global-warming/

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 3, 2011 @ 11:52 pm - January 3, 2011

  25. So the one “peer reviewed” study that may controvert dozens, if not hundreds (thousands?), of other studies to the contrary is suddenly the bible of climate change for conservatives?

    It only proves what I’ve always thought, progressives look at evidence and then form conclusions based on that observation, conservatives form their conclusions and find evidence to support their beliefs.

    Comment by Countervail — January 3, 2011 @ 11:55 pm - January 3, 2011

  26. Countervail,

    Read the link in #24 and give me your best “progressives look at evidence and then form conclusions based on that observation” explanation.

    Thank you, so very much.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 4, 2011 @ 12:03 am - January 4, 2011

  27. It only proves what I’ve always thought, progressives look at evidence and then form conclusions based on that observation,

    Horseshit! Stalinists make up “evidence” in order to scare the masses into sacrificing their liberty and money. While asshole liberals who come up with poisonous, child killing lightbulbs to “save the planet”, they’re getting richer while the people get poorer.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 4, 2011 @ 12:14 am - January 4, 2011

  28. @Heliotrope let’s start with the articles statement, “The two researchers started by altogether excluding from their survey the thousands of scientists most likely to think that the Sun, or planetary movements, might have something to do with climate on Earth.” Umm that would literally exclude everyone since all climate models take into account all of those things. Why do people like to pretend that the models don’t take into account very dominant terms like solar radiation variations, water vapor variations, et cetera. They all do.

    I find a rich irony in the comment, “The two researchers also decided that scientific accomplishment should not be a factor in who could answer.” This is my favorite canard used by climate change skeptics. Most of their scientists aren’t in the field of study relevant to it, in the same way that creationists like to trot out “scientists” that have nothing to do directly with the theory of evolution.

    Look at the consensus among climatologists. You have a small handful out of hundreds who claim that humans are insignificantly contributing to climate change, but even most climatologists that skeptics bring forward at most question the level of human contribution and often are simply quoted out of context and fully support the scientific consensus on the issue.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 12:17 am - January 4, 2011

  29. A scientific consensus?

    ——————

    “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a wide-spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible”

    - Bertrand Russell (Socialist/Pacifist)
    .

    Comment by gastorgrab — January 4, 2011 @ 12:26 am - January 4, 2011

  30. Anyone who tries to talk about “scientific consensus” should be instantly disqualified from the discussion on the grounds that they know nothing about science. (Science does not work by consensus.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 4, 2011 @ 12:53 am - January 4, 2011

  31. Real science is not achieved through consensus.

    I repeat, when politicians pay scientists to say anthropogenic global warming is happening, it’s not much of a surprise that a number of scientists will agree with the politicians.

    Comment by V the K — January 4, 2011 @ 5:19 am - January 4, 2011

  32. So, then, Mr. Moderate, you do not dispute the numbers concerning the 2500 UN IPCC scientists who did not join the “consensus” as the press proclaimed?

    You do not dispute that the 97% “consensus” is arrived at by doing the math on 75 of 77 selected scientists?

    You do not dispute that figures don’t lie but liars can figure?

    Come back, please, with some real stuff instead of talking of canards and irony. Math is math is math. Either there is an unassailably huge “consensus” or there is not. And if there is, we need to know exactly what they agree on before we turn Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Joy Behar, Sheila Jackson Lee and Paris Hilton loose to use them as the masters of our tax and cap destiny.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 4, 2011 @ 7:59 am - January 4, 2011

  33. Actually consensus is how science works. A new hypothesis or theory is postulated and demonstrated in experimentation by one researcher (or collection of researchers). It is then attempted to be reproduced independently by other researchers. There is a lot of back and forth and tweaking and re-experimentation and if it looks like the results are valid and it better describes physical behavior than other theorys/models then it becomes the prevailing model. It isn’t consensus as in taking a random poll of everyone and their sister and seeing how they “feel” about it.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 8:02 am - January 4, 2011

  34. Much work has been done beyond and outside the IPCC. The number of climatologists in the world is in the hundreds, not thousands. They have not only done a good job of predicting several features that we are seeing today (permafrost melting, glacial recession, polar ice cap melting, shifts in precipitation patterns) but have continued to do so far after the 2006/2007 era. Their models are converging not diverging. Even in the IPCC report the climatologists, save for a small handful, did not debate the premise of anthropogenic climate change or that the degree was less than significant. There were debates on which of the bounds of the three cases.

    A significant portion of the IPCC did not deal with the science of modeling the climate but the science of modeling the impact of climate change on the global economy and population. That process has significantly higher uncertainty and there is much more debate in those areas. Even there there is a lot that has been accomplished in the intervening four years, but the original comments (and mine) were on the science of climate change.

    You’re right, math is math. The math is that the overwhelming majority of climatologists studying the problem (as well as the data and models available) confirm that the climate is changing, that greenhouse gases are driving that and that humans contribute the overwhelming majority to the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases. You’re right math is math, and the math says that anthropogenic climate change is a very real and present phenomena.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 8:12 am - January 4, 2011

  35. Mr. Moderate,

    Assuming that the math is correct (when it isn’t) the models are correct (when they aren’t) and that Science is made by consensus (it’s not), you would be absolutely correct.

    After all, if the data was unassailable then surely the US wouldn’t need to lie about it.

    Of course Europe is enjoying the mild winter predicted in October by the Met office using all those models.

    The consensus was that global warming was making winters dryer and cooler, while snow was, “a thing of the past.”

    Of course, unlike the above scientists people who get it right consider the sun a factor.

    But hey, when you discount all the data, facts and information available… then yes the world is warming and mankind is doing it.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 4, 2011 @ 8:32 am - January 4, 2011

  36. Interesting article on how initial scientific findings tend to fail to be confirmed over time.

    No matter how many scientists agree on a thing, it doesn’t make it true unless the results of the experiment can be replicated and consistently produce the same result. The climate, in contrast, is apparently behaving in ways that defy the models that were constructed to predict its behavior. In other words, the experiment has refuted the hypothesis.

    Climate is an enormous and complex mechanism. It’s hubris to assume that humans have a lock on understanding it in all its complexity; much less controlling it.

    Comment by V the K — January 4, 2011 @ 8:33 am - January 4, 2011

  37. The math is that the overwhelming majority of climatologists ….(numbers, please)

    … studying the problem (as well as the data and models available) confirm that the climate is changing, (since when didn’t climate change?)

    … that greenhouse gases are driving that and that humans contribute the overwhelming majority to the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases.

    It is my understanding that CO2 is 3.618% of the atmosphere that it is calculated that man-made CO2 is 0.117% of that. I am instructed that we must have CO2 for life.

    I do not rely on the dead Dixie Lee Ray for ignorant comfort, but I take heed in her words: “Such increases (of CO2) have occurred in the past without any help from us at all, and this time is probably no different. Most likely, the causes were and still are colossal cosmic forces quite outside human ability to control.”

    Now, I am not a climatologist nor am I an expert in reading the climate of eons past. But those who claim such skills have found that there are variations in the amount of CO2 over the history of the planet. Man has been around in the modern homo sapiens sapien sense for 3500 to 5000 years. A nano-second in planet Earth time. His numbers have skyrocketed in the past 100 years. We have cut and burned and driven automobiles and released fluorocarbons and whatever. But we have yet to do one Krakatoa size event such as the 535 AD or the 1883 AD eruptions.

    And the climatologists have really got the sea-water acidity increase prediction to explain. And how much of the surface of the earth is totally unmonitored for accurate precipitation data?

    For all the seeming “proof” that man made greenhouse gasses are a “crisis” to be addressed, there is way too much fiddling with the numbers and hiding of the data and screwy holes in the models to be very convincing. You people look more like Chicken Little every day.

    Yet you continue to point to consensus rather than proof.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 4, 2011 @ 9:36 am - January 4, 2011

  38. Mr Moderate:

    It’s ironic that you highlight solar radiation should be looked at as that is obviously factored into the climate models. What’s especially interesting is that we’ve been at an extended solar minimum for several years now and there has been no cooling,

    And yet, statistically, during that period there has been no warming either.

    Look at the consensus among climatologists.

    Yes, and look at what happens when climatologists dip their little toe outside of “the consensus” POV. Dr. Roger Peilke Sr. is labeled a “denier”, when, if you actually read his work, he clearly is not. Dr. Judith Curry got slammed and labeled a traitor at Real Climate for simply having conversations with one of the most prominent “denier”. Dr Roy Spencer, who is in charge of the UAH satellite system that measures global warmth, is called Rush Limbaugh’s climate doctor. Up until the embarrassment of the “Climategate” e-mails, it was almost impossible to get a skeptically minded paper through the peer review process, because the “consensus” scientists, or “The Team” as we call them, dominate the review panels. An entire panel at one of the Climate journals was pressured, r.e. shamed into quiting because they published one paper that went against the consensus (a paper that didn’t meet the “high standards” of Dr Michael Mann, who is later shown to ignore the very same standards in his own work). Virtually all of the funding that is done in climate science flows to grants that are going toward research that builds on the alarmist POV. Very little goes toward poking holes in it.

    My point is, the consensus that is there in climate science, is a forced one. Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt, the IPCC, and the other prominent climate scientists have for years made sure that the flow of scientific inquire only flowed in the direction they preferred.

    For me the debate is over.

    That Sir, is why I can’t trust your assessment on this topic.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 4, 2011 @ 11:17 am - January 4, 2011

  39. I want to see the Global Warming fanatics put their money with their mouth is. I want a group of Global Warming believers to go to Antarctica in the middle of Winter wearing on bathing suits; they must live in their bathing suits & exposed to the elements of Mother Nature. As usual with Global Warming believers, they are all talk & alot of hot air. This includes the MSM folk such as Katie Couric soon to be ex-CBS & Matt Laurer of the Today Show among others.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — January 4, 2011 @ 11:31 am - January 4, 2011

  40. “It is my understanding that CO2 is 3.618% of the atmosphere that it is calculated that man-made CO2 is 0.117% of that. I am instructed that we must have CO2 for life.”

    That’s the first part of your error. Man-made greenhouse gases are the far biggest contributing factor to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations over time. To whit, all volcanic activity in a given year produces about 130-230 million tons of new greenhouse gas emissions (Gerlach, T.M., 1992, Present-day CO2 emissions from volcanoes: Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Vol. 72, No. 23, June 4, 1991, pp. 249, and 254 – 255) versus billions of tons per year by humans (http://lgmacweb.env.uea.ac.uk/lequere/co2/carbon_budget.htm).

    Furthermore you want some greenhouse effect to make the planet habitable. The problem is that the 3.6% of the gases skew it a few degrees one way or the other, which ends up having rather large scale effects on the climate.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 11:48 am - January 4, 2011

  41. “The math is that the overwhelming majority of climatologists ….(numbers, please)”

    Every single climate research institution on the planet, let’s say 95% of climatologists. The one who is closest to being a complete denier of the anthropogenic climate change basis is Dr. Roy Spencer. The rest that are often quoted aren’t climatologists, are simply questioning degree but not saying the human component is negligible or simply being misquoted.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 11:51 am - January 4, 2011

  42. “And yet, statistically, during that period there has been no warming either.” There should have been a cooling is the point. Now we are exiting solar minimum and going towards solar maximum, and what do you know but that the warming is now picking up. At least this cycle is supposed to be a relatively low one to help mitigate the warming.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 11:53 am - January 4, 2011

  43. #42. Then how to explain that in the past 10,500 years, 1934, 1998, 2010 (all contenders for warmest year) are only 9099 in the list of warmest years?
    “The climate has been warming slowly since the Little Ice Age (Fig. 5), but it has quite a ways to go yet before reaching the temperature levels that persisted for nearly all of the past 10,500 years.”

    Curse those Romans and their CO2 emissions!

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 4, 2011 @ 12:00 pm - January 4, 2011

  44. “And yet, statistically, during that period there has been no warming either.” There should have been a cooling is the point.

    Not necessarily. You see, this is where the unknowns get you into trouble. The unknown here is the propensity of the worlds oceans to act as both a buffer when it comes to climate change, and as an agent of change itself.

    Now we are exiting solar minimum and going towards solar maximum, and what do you know but that the warming is now picking up. At least this cycle is supposed to be a relatively low one to help mitigate the warming.

    You really need to pay closer attention to things. Solar activity has again been in decline, the effects of solar changes may not be immediate (again, climate is a complex dynamic system which contains many buffers) and again the warming that almost put 2010 above 1998 was caused by the same phenomenon that created 1998 as the hottest year in the first place – a strong El Nino. And unlike the causal link between a rise in CO2 and a warming world, the causal link between a strong El Nino and a strong temporary world temp increase is firmly established by past, repeated observation.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 4, 2011 @ 1:05 pm - January 4, 2011

  45. Ahem, (adjusts glasses) Mr. Moderate, would you please reread my comments about KraKatoa. You took my two earth climate changing events and morphed them into “all volcanic activity in a given year.”

    Suppose, Mr. Moderate, that we are on the cusp of the new, overdue, ice age. Shouldn’t we be pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere like worker ants to stave off the rolling freezing over of all that is near and dear to us? Were we not seriously having that conversation just a matter of a few years ago?

    I do not belittle counting tree rings in Siberia, but, if done honestly, it is small “proof” that we must reorganize Western society and excuse the two largest populations in the world which pollute like no group in modern history has accomplished. (Have you traveled around China? Did you breathe deeply?)

    This consensus science group should have among them a group of writers who can spell out their case and explain to us morons why they could only find Al Gore his scam machine to promote doomsday.

    Glenn Beck can teach more in an hour and make it stick than any other person in popular communications. Where is the consensus science crowd in capturing his lead and waking up the TEA Party and ACORN and Grannies Against Greenhouse Gases?

    Why do we have to rely on Pelosi, Streisand, Baldwin, Gore, Moore, and others whose credentials appear highly botoxed to speak on the topic?

    Isn’t it passing strange when a consensus of scientists can’t sell their Sham-Wows?

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 4, 2011 @ 1:10 pm - January 4, 2011

  46. Apologies to The Livewire and Sonicfrog for my amateurism in addressing Mr. Moderate. I gladly cede his fulminations to your capable frisking.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 4, 2011 @ 1:17 pm - January 4, 2011

  47. @SonicFrog, the variability of the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon is again one of the parameters of the models, not some major new gotcha unknown. Those sorts of variables are part of what creates the best, middle and worst case scenarios.

    As to solar cycle, you can see at the link here, solar activity has been on the decline for the better part of 60 years, yet the climate is warming. If the theory is that heating is caused by increasing solar output, that’s an interesting daat point. An especially strong El Nino produced the artificially high 1998, but certainly doesn’t explain the prolonged elevation and now increasing of temperatures again. Incidently, the curve will turn up again as we are beginning another 5-7 climb to solar maximum.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 1:55 pm - January 4, 2011

  48. “Suppose, Mr. Moderate, that we are on the cusp of the new, overdue, ice age…Were we not seriously having that conversation just a matter of a few years ago?”

    Actually, no we were not. There was no scientific consensus on long term trends in climate motion either way in the mid-1970′s and early 80′s when those big title media stories that people like to trot out were written. In fact scientific committees to establish dominant climate modeling began in the 1970′s, moved to the creation of the IPCC in the early 1990′s and didn’t come to an overall affirmative consensus that climate change was real and human induced (and modelable) until the last IPCC meeting.

    As to your question on China, now teh worlds biggest green house gas emitter, it’s the same problem we have in the west and here. None of the major civilizations have the will to fix the problem so we will not be fixing it. There are natural tipping points which we will reach in the next decade which will make the human contribution at that point moot. The two tipping points I refer to specifically are methane emissions from melting permafrost and the ocean saturation points. At that point humans could cut their emissions to zero and the process will still be runaway.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 2:00 pm - January 4, 2011

  49. “This consensus science group should have among them a group of writers who can spell out their case and explain to us morons why they could only find Al Gore his scam machine to promote doomsday.”

    Sorry I guess they are too busy doing real science to actually worry about who their pet media whore is. It’s an interesting point to make though. All the raw data sets are publicly available. If the science was so flawed it wouldn’t take but a few hundred thousand dollars in grant money and another few hundred thousand in computer equipment to highlight it definitively. The oil and gas industry and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others, spend millions on media blitz campaigns to turn public opinion while never addressing the supposed scientific issues by coming up with their own research. That sounds pretty penny wise and pound foolish to me, unless of course they aren’t interested in the science but just making sure nothing is ever done about it since it’s a bit too inconvenient to them.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 2:02 pm - January 4, 2011

  50. Livewire, no one says the climate is static before humans got here. Climates change naturally over the course of many cycles (orbital, solar, one time events like comet impacts et cetera). However this one is caused by us. It’s sadly not rocket science. If the fact that climate changed in the past is a rationale to not care for it now, then so be it. Look at how drastically local climates changed over the course of relatively small global temperature changes. That is what we will have to be dealing with as a result of our activities. Is it some BS doomsday scenario like in “Day After Tomorrow”? No. That’s some ludicrous Hollywood suspense movie. It will be as real as the dustbowl of the 1930′s wiping out the mid-West, but it will be far greater area and permament. It will be having to worry about building sea walls in major coastal cities as the sea levels rise. It will be about figuring out how to deal with the potable water problem as there is reduced snow accumulation and melt to recharge aquifers. That’s not a “free” thing but something that will cost trillions to fix.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 2:07 pm - January 4, 2011

  51. Sorry Mr M. I thought you were connecting the 24 month solar sunspot cycles to this year. My bad.

    On the chart you posted – I’m not in the Rush / Hannity / Beck “It’s the sun stoopid” camp. As your graph shows, it’s just not that simple. The usual “proof” they give for the dominant sun hypothesis is “Mars is warming, Saturn is warming, Neptune is warming”. not only are each of those points not true, but, if solar activity was strong enough to have an effect on Saturn and Neptune… the planets much closer to the sun… that would be us… would be fried!

    Yes the sun has an effect, and the cosmic rays issue is still an unanswered question. But again, it’s a complex system…

    Have to go work now (should have been doing that two hours ago), but will respond later if time allows.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 4, 2011 @ 2:21 pm - January 4, 2011

  52. And yet, Mr. Moderate can provide no proof, no links that this one is ’caused by us’ unlike every other spike in warming.

    of course even the IPCC had to admit their efforts at supressing contradicting data, flaws in their claimate models, and now we’ve a nice warm Europe to support their-

    Whats’ that? Record snows and cold? Oh, never mind.

    The models have been shown to be flawed for years.

    But then facts seem to be anethma to Mr. Moderate.

    Like the ones I posted here

    Oh, and as to the seas rising not so much. Much like Mr Moderate’s arguments, the data was flawed.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 4, 2011 @ 2:31 pm - January 4, 2011

  53. Just one more quick thing. About that 97% of all climate scientists blah blah blah….

    Ever wonder where that figure came from, and the statistical validity of that figure? Here is the background. If you know anything about survey structure and statistical accuracy, I would be embarrassed to have my name on the survey that produced that figure.

    But it makes a great talking point.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 4, 2011 @ 2:33 pm - January 4, 2011

  54. @SonicFrog, sorry for the confusion. Yes it’s a very complicated problem which is why the world governments have spent millions building computers large enough to run very detailed models to determine nuance. The general trend is pretty well defined even on simplified models however.

    Just as you are not in the “it’s the sun stoopid” and probably not in the “oh it’s just water vapor” camp, I’m not in the “sky is falling” “what if Day After Tomorrow is real” or “Al Gore mancrush camp.” I’m simply looking at the economies of what we have to address and the repercussions of delayed or no action. Impending cataclysm we are not going to be facing, but there will be some relatively large scale changes which we will have to address. Those costs are not insignificant. Combine that with other ancillary benefits like not having to worry about depeleting fuel sources, better air quality and getting our tails out of third world crap holes because we are beholden to them for energy interests are all good reasons to be proactive rather than reactive to this situation.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 2:35 pm - January 4, 2011

  55. Livewire, it’s really quite simple to show causation. Every other warming event had warming initiated by some other process which then caused greenhouse gas levels to rise. At that point greenhouse gas emissions dominated the warming until the system collapsed down to a lower temperature state. In the record this time we have greenhouse gas concentrations starting before the temperature rise. Looking at the variables that have been tracked that could be driving global temperature the only one with sufficient ability to have pushed temperatures (based on how they have varied over the last ~150 years) is greenhouse gases. We can measure not only the levels but the sources of the elevated greenhouse gases, between natural processes (like volcanic activity) and man made processes. We know that humans are the preponderance of the rise in greenhouse gas levels. Therefore humans are what has induced this warming phase. It is also interesting to note that the rate of rise is also unprecedented. Because the gas concentration and release rates are easy to quantify is why it’s easy to point to humans as the definitive cause of that rise.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 2:38 pm - January 4, 2011

  56. Livewire, our first link was on climate change’s impact on extinction. I have already stated that the modeling used to determine impacts of climate change are far less refined and locked in than the models defining climate change itself. Part of that is the less inherently physics based that modeling is.

    Your second link is on the group the UN actively selected for oversight of the IPCC itself. It’s conclusions were for modifications needed to further improve the efficacy of the IPCC but that, “The process used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to produce its periodic assessment reports has been successful overall, but IPCC needs to fundamentally reform its management structure and strengthen its procedures to handle ever larger and increasingly complex climate assessments as well as the more intense public scrutiny coming from a world grappling with how best to respond to climate change.” Further it concluded, “…that the [review] process is thorough, but stronger enforcement of existing IPCC review procedures could minimize the number of errors. So overall the IAC didn’t call into question the IPCC or their results but was offering further suggestions for process improvement.

    Incidently the notion that sea levels are rising is not bunk but actually well established in the measurement data. Link here

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 2:50 pm - January 4, 2011

  57. You do realize that a) that page cites the very people who wrote the flawed report, and b) the climate data on wikipedia has long been biased.

    Entertaining though.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 4, 2011 @ 2:58 pm - January 4, 2011

  58. Then go to the source data and look at it there. I know, I know, reality on this seems to have a liberal bias. Sorry.

    Comment by Mr. Moderate — January 4, 2011 @ 3:46 pm - January 4, 2011

  59. A new hypothesis or theory is postulated and demonstrated in experimentation by one researcher (or collection of researchers). It is then attempted to be reproduced independently by other researchers. blahblahblah

    There was consensus on the “Hockey Stick” and they refused to release their data so that it could be independently verified. Eventually, though, it turned out to be utter crap. Consensus is NOT how science works.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 4, 2011 @ 5:34 pm - January 4, 2011

  60. @ #21 V the K, I did read the comments, but I was responding to Daniel’s initial posting. As far as your remark “nor has there been any significant, appreciable, validated universal increase in global temperature” goes, I cited Profs. Keeling and Revelle because their research did just what you say is not available. They conducted experiments at Mauna Kea Observatory as well as ones using the oceans as a carbon sink. Keeling’s models, and the work continued by his son at Scripps, provide a method of determining rates of increase in CO2. There are many journals in marine biology, environmental sciences, climatology to peruse. These subjects interest me, and I do the research myself rather than read that of bloggers who may not have done the same. I fear discussion about global warming ends up like a bad remake of “Inherit The Wind.” It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

    Prop. 23 in the past California election was clearly proposed and supported by interests vested in the status quo of fossil fuels. Hence it was voted down. If one believes costly and draconian measure against global warming are bad for employment, then I feel applying an arbitrary unemployment level after which additional pollution measures may be instituted is equally capricious. And that point was Daniel’s at the end of his post.

    Comment by Bryan — January 4, 2011 @ 6:10 pm - January 4, 2011

  61. Not to mention the left has a loooooong history of creating hoaxes and frauds with the purpose of inciting fear and/or anger and they all build “consensus” around the lie. Usually lives are destroyed, either literally or figuratively, and freedom can be extinguished. When the lie is exposed, rarely are there any consequences. The liberals shrug it off, ignore the body count, and move on to perpetuate another lie to control the people.

    I don’t see Global Warmism as being all that different from Tawana Brawley or the Jena Six.

    Here’s a few examples:

    Top 10 Hoaxes Perpetrated by the Left and Trumpeted by a Complicit Media

    http://www.newsrealblog.com/2010/12/20/top-10-hoaxes-perpetrated-by-the-left-and-trumpeted-by-a-complicit-media-1/

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 4, 2011 @ 6:46 pm - January 4, 2011

  62. Furthermore, nobody knows what to do about Global Warmism, but they DO know that whatever it is requires bilking ASS LOADS of money from the United States.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 4, 2011 @ 6:48 pm - January 4, 2011

  63. In # 54 Mr. Moderate drops a bomb:

    Impending cataclysm we are not going to be facing, but there will be some relatively large scale changes which we will have to address. (…) Combine that with other ancillary benefits like not having to worry about depeleting fuel sources, better air quality and getting our tails out of third world crap holes because we are beholden to them for energy interests

    It seems to always happen with a liberal. Argue about one issue and then the underlying issue seeps out and we see that the first issue was all window dressing.

    I am in favor of fueling our economy on free, abundant, clean energy. The history of the world can be summed up in heat calories and how many you can use without knocking yourself out personally.

    So, what is it, Mr. Moderate? Nuclear power? Butterfly farts? Perpetual motion machine horsepower? Flashlight batteries?

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 4, 2011 @ 10:50 pm - January 4, 2011

  64. getting our tails out of third world crap holes because we are beholden to them for energy interests…

    Isn’t Canada our top oil exporter?

    And anyways, the price of gas at the corner Rudolph Hess Mart is $3.09. Bet the Saudis would’ve loved to have some Slurpees in Hawaii.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 5, 2011 @ 2:51 am - January 5, 2011

  65. You guys get way too excited about this stuff. You clearly don’t understand what is at stake, nor comprehend how the process of true scientific discovery works, if you actually consider the issue of climate change to be completely settled by this paper.

    Comment by Levi — January 5, 2011 @ 11:59 am - January 5, 2011

  66. You clearly don’t understand what is at stake, nor comprehend how the process of true scientific discovery works, if you actually consider the issue of climate change to be completely settled by this paper.

    Yes, we do understand “what is at stake”, crafting economically disastrous policy based more on alarmist rhetoric than actual science. Your first post in this long conversation strengthens that assertion. You state “You clearly don’t understand what is at stake“… Absolutely what you would expect from the alarmist crowd. You show no ability to actually discuss the finding in this published paper.

    There is nothing more unscientific than to say “The science is settled”. As strong and robust as Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity is, a theory that could be considered “settled” if their ever was one, do you realize there are still scientists legitimately challenging its limits… and finding them! It breaks down at the sub-atomic level – quantum mechanics (note that it’s been a long time since I looked at this stuff, so I may have phrased it poorly).

    The scientific method DEMANDS that a theory only stands the test when it is open to all comers. Yet the demands of the climate science community, that their science is “Settled”, an unreal claim for anything scientific, actually stifled the pursuit of any legitimate research that could add to the knowledge of climate. Climategate certainly was over-hyped by the anti-AGW zealots, and far more damning than the uber-AGW is willing to admit – some of the “investigations” cleansing the scientists of their arrogance and hubris were laughable. The bitter truth for the AGW gatekeepers is that they no longer have the tight hold on the peer review process. For the first time since I’ve been following the AGW debate in 1992, skeptical papers are finally fetting through. Although it doesn’t “disprove” AGW, the publishing of this paper does put a bit of a dent in the CO2 / Temp correlation… Which is exactly the way that scientific discovery works.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 5, 2011 @ 1:22 pm - January 5, 2011

  67. Shorter Levi:

    I don’t care how much things are debunked, I’m going to declare debate over even though I can’t refute the arguments presented. I also can’t can’t refute ILC 44 days after I said I would, so I’m jsut going to plug my ears and say debate is over.

    Hush Levi, adults are talking.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 5, 2011 @ 1:25 pm - January 5, 2011

  68. The scientific method DEMANDS that a theory only stands the test when it is open to all comers. Yet the demands of the climate science community, that their science is “Settled”, an unreal claim for anything scientific, actually stifled the pursuit of any legitimate research that could add to the knowledge of climate. Climategate certainly was over-hyped by the anti-AGW zealots, and far more damning than the uber-AGW is willing to admit – some of the “investigations” cleansing the scientists of their arrogance and hubris were laughable. The bitter truth for the AGW gatekeepers is that they no longer have the tight hold on the peer review process. For the first time since I’ve been following the AGW debate in 1992, skeptical papers are finally fetting through. Although it doesn’t “disprove” AGW, the publishing of this paper does put a bit of a dent in the CO2 / Temp correlation… Which is exactly the way that scientific discovery works.

    That’s all perfectly reasonable. Because of the nature of climate change, I would agree that anyone claiming that it’s settled science one way or another is being a little too over-eager and probably a little misleading. The scale of the systems and the geological time frames involved make this an extraoridnarily complex issue, and a lot of extremely complicated work has to be done to figure out answers to specific questions about the climate in the past and present, and there’s a lot of straight-up guessing about the climate of the future. It’s not like anyone has ever lived through a period of human global industrialization – and it could be 5,000 years before human beings have enough data to be able to make heads or tails of what’s going on with the climate today.

    But I’m not the one who needs the ‘this is how science works’ lecture. You might want to try that on Dan, however, because he seems to think that it’s perfectly reasonable to ask someone to predict the temperature for the next few years in order to settle issue of how and why the climate is or isn’t changing. You conservative types aren’t really known for being the best scientists, and have a reputation for defending the kind of establishment forces who profit most directly from inaction on environmental policy. And yet the entire conservative blogosphere wants to break out the champagne anytime one of these skeptical papers get published, as if it were completely conclusive.

    Comment by Levi — January 5, 2011 @ 5:10 pm - January 5, 2011

  69. You conservative types aren’t really known for being the best scientists

    Levi has spoken.

    A poll was taken and it is consensus opinion among the best scientists that conservatives suck at science. In fact, we should not let conservatives study science, because they take up valuable space that would produce much better results if liberals were there instead.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 5, 2011 @ 5:29 pm - January 5, 2011

  70. You conservative types aren’t really known for being the best scientists,

    But the scienticians who rake is beau coup tax payer cash are. Not to mention Algore, who couldn’t even steal an election, flying around the world is the best scientist there is. Nevermind how much money he makes.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 5, 2011 @ 6:25 pm - January 5, 2011

  71. That’s all perfectly reasonable. Because of the nature of climate change, I would agree that anyone claiming that it’s settled science one way or another is being a little too over-eager and probably a little misleading.

    A little misleading??? To quote Climate Scientist Stephen Schneider:

    On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change.

    To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.

    So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have

    Do you get that?

    They were encouraging each other to lie in order to get the public policy they thought we needed. The Climate Science community is a victim of its own hubris, hoisted on its own petard, as you will. Do you wonder why so many mistrust them? Limbaugh and Becks warped views on this probably wouldn’t resonate with so many. So many things have been blamed on Global Warming… and still are.

    * The frogs are dying because of global warming.

    * The bees are dying because of global warming.

    * It’s snowing because of global warming.

    Nope. Nope and Nope. I’m pretty much in Dan’s camp. If, in the next five years, with the sun below average TSI, and the oceans Atlantic and Pacific both in a cool cycle, yet, the expected warming resumes (it ian’t there now) I will lean more into the AGW camp.

    Gotta go. The mate just got home.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 5, 2011 @ 8:13 pm - January 5, 2011

  72. Poor Levi,

    All he can do is yell and stomp his feet.

    Let’s recap.

    Levi’s climatologists say that the ice is shrinking.reality is different

    Mr Moderate’s Sun is being more active reality.

    Al Gore links hurricanes and global warming. reality…

    Levi’s 2500 scientists in consensus more reality

    The surface is warming! no, wait…

    Oh no, the recent warming is too large for the sun- not so much

    It’s not that Levi’s ignorant, he’s just not from this world.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 5, 2011 @ 9:01 pm - January 5, 2011

  73. Levi has spoken.

    A poll was taken and it is consensus opinion among the best scientists that conservatives suck at science. In fact, we should not let conservatives study science, because they take up valuable space that would produce much better results if liberals were there instead.

    Well actually, there was a poll taken.

    6% of scientists identify as Republican, 9% as conservatives. Going the other way, 55% Democrats, 52% liberal. Of course, that’s all probably a coincidence.

    http://people-press.org/report/528/

    So yeah, there was a poll taken.

    Comment by Levi — January 6, 2011 @ 1:24 am - January 6, 2011

  74. You conservative types aren’t really known for being the best scientists…

    Levi, you do see the fallacy in your argument. There are two

    (1) Just because there are only 15% self identified conservative scientists in this one survey, does not mean that conservatives do not make good scientists, and

    (2) It’s only one survey, and you already warned everybody else that you shouldn’t make assumptions based on one study.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 6, 2011 @ 1:31 am - January 6, 2011

  75. “So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have”

    Do you get that?

    They were encouraging each other to lie in order to get the public policy they thought we needed. The Climate Science community is a victim of its own hubris, hoisted on its own petard, as you will. Do you wonder why so many mistrust them? Limbaugh and Becks warped views on this probably wouldn’t resonate with so many. So many things have been blamed on Global Warming… and still are.

    * The frogs are dying because of global warming.

    * The bees are dying because of global warming.

    * It’s snowing because of global warming.

    Nope. Nope and Nope. I’m pretty much in Dan’s camp. If, in the next five years, with the sun below average TSI, and the oceans Atlantic and Pacific both in a cool cycle, yet, the expected warming resumes (it ian’t there now) I will lean more into the AGW camp.

    Gotta go. The mate just got home.

    Uh, yeah. A little misleading. Look, he’s not telling people to lie – he’s telling people to advertise their cause. It’s a little misleading. I think that’s the perfect description of it. It isn’t some horribly sinister global conspiracy to dismantle the oil companies, they’re just trying to finesse it a little to generate public support. He wasn’t telling people that they should make up whatever they thought would sound good.

    So yeah, I’ll stand by misleading.

    And to answer your question, I don’t wonder why so many mistrust them. Conservative media tells people not to trust them, and they hand down their conclusions in a much more authoritative fashion, and who have a vested interest in virtually all environmental regulations not passing. They’re not interested in finding out the answers to these questions – they’re more than willing to assume the conclusion that just so happens to benefit their economic interests. Just another one of those coincidences, I guess.

    Comment by Levi — January 6, 2011 @ 1:40 am - January 6, 2011

  76. <blockquote<Levi, you do see the fallacy in your argument. There are two

    (1) Just because there are only 15% self identified conservative scientists in this one survey, does not mean that conservatives do not make good scientists, and

    (2) It’s only one survey, and you already warned everybody else that you shouldn’t make assumptions based on one study.

    1. They were separate poll questions, so I’m afraid you don’t get to add them together. The best you can claim is 9%. And while that says nothing about the quality of those 9%, it does say something about the conservative movement’s interest in science in general, doesn’t it?

    2. I was taunted specifically about a poll being taken and I remembered seeing an article about this not too long ago. It’s not terribly surprising and I don’t suspect it’s an outlier, since I’ve seen similarly small numbers in the past. Of course you shouldn’t read too much into those things, but what can I say? They’re out there, and they’re interesting. I can tell these things interest you too, by the way you immediately began spinning the results to make it seem like your side was better represented than it was. If we’re doing the math, it would mean that 107% of scientists are either liberals or Democrats. :)

    Comment by Levi — January 6, 2011 @ 1:51 am - January 6, 2011

  77. First – I did er in add the two together… What can I say – It’s late.

    But my second point on that is still valid.

    “So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have”

    It isn’t some horribly sinister global conspiracy to dismantle the oil companies, they’re just trying to finesse it a little to generate public support.

    I said absolutely nothing about oil. That’s not “finessing” as you call it… That’s called a lie by omission. What you’re saying is you don’t mind that a whole field of science lies to the public, as long as it accomplishes a finer goal. Remember the drug Viox? It was pulled from the market because the manufacturer did not fully disclose that the drug had more side effects than was originally reported.

    I’m sorry, but the moment a scientific field endorses scare tactics and lies by omission, they run the risk of losing credibility. And guess what? They have!

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 6, 2011 @ 2:46 am - January 6, 2011

  78. One final thought – Why is it OK for climate scientists to exaggerate data and tell lies by omission in order to get the results they want, yet when Bush or Cheney or “death panels” Palin does the same thing.. Why, They must be prosecuted! Bit of a double standard there.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 6, 2011 @ 2:54 am - January 6, 2011

  79. Sonic,

    Levi and double standards? i’m shocked!

    Note again how he can’t refute any of the data I posted via links. Levi, like most socialists, believes that if he yells and ignores reality enough then he’ll get his way.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 6, 2011 @ 6:38 am - January 6, 2011

  80. One last pithy comment:

    “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

    Said by non other than University of East Anglia’s Climate Chair Dr Phil Jones. Yep! That’s good scientific ethics right there.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 6, 2011 @ 11:18 am - January 6, 2011

  81. Oh, and Levi, earlier I saw that either you, or Mr Moderate refered to Dr Roy Spencer as a denialist. You can label him all you want. But, especially with the re-emergence of La Nina, short term climate observations are supported better by his PDO forcing hypothesis than the IPCC CO2 driven one. And note that Spencer DOES NOT claim that CO2 is not a driver, but simply that the IPCC’s assigned sensitivity to the gas is too high. The paper Dan cites supports Spencer’s theory, as do the recent drop in temps.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 6, 2011 @ 11:39 am - January 6, 2011

  82. Okey-dokey, Levi. Here is your Pew Poll disclaimer:

    A total of 1,411 of the 5,816 sampled members in the e-mail group completed the interview for a response rate of 24%. In the mail group, 1,122 members of the 4,182 sampled completed the survey for a response rate of 27%. The overall response rate for the study was 25% (2,533 completes/9,998 sampled members). Nearly all respondents completed the survey online; however, a very small number requested to complete the survey in another mode; twenty interviews were completed by telephone.

    Nonresponse in surveys can produce biases in survey-derived estimates because participation may vary for subgroups of a population, who may differ on questions of substantive interest. In order to correct for these biases, weighting is often employed.

    Pew only surveyed selected members of AAAS.

    Those who responded favored high government involvement in research and had a generally low opinion of private business. Without saying as much, Pew polled scientists employed mainly in colleges and universities who are dependent on federal grants to pay for the stuff they break.

    I will contact Pew (I have worked for them often) to find out if they have statistics concerning this poll to determine how many respondents were employed in industry such as petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, metallurgy, etc.

    You really should be more careful about confusing polls and facts.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 6, 2011 @ 11:54 am - January 6, 2011

  83. One final thought – Why is it OK for climate scientists to exaggerate data and tell lies by omission in order to get the results they want, yet when Bush or Cheney or “death panels” Palin does the same thing.. Why, They must be prosecuted! Bit of a double standard there.

    I don’t know what else you want me to say. I said it was misleading and that I don’t agree that it’s a wise strategy. But to equate the predictions and conjecture of climate scientists to the deliberate distortions of war criminals like Bush and Cheney, or the straight-up bullsh*t of Sarah Palin about death panels, is simply incorrect. In one case, you have a group of people trying to predict all possible scenarios based on the ever-changing properties of a complex system, in the others, you have people making stuff up out of whole cloth.

    If you and I wanted to talk baseball, and I predicted that the Colorado Rockies would win the World Series, and in our discussion I focused on all of that team’s strengths like their young shortstop and ace pitcher, while ignoring the weaknesses like the questions about the catching position and the bullpen – would it be reasonable to say that I was lying to you if after the season, they didn’t even make it to the play-offs? Of course not. When the weatherman says it’s not going to rain, and it does, does that make him a liar?

    Comment by Levi — January 6, 2011 @ 12:26 pm - January 6, 2011

  84. Pew only surveyed selected members of AAAS.

    Those who responded favored high government involvement in research and had a generally low opinion of private business. Without saying as much, Pew polled scientists employed mainly in colleges and universities who are dependent on federal grants to pay for the stuff they break.

    I will contact Pew (I have worked for them often) to find out if they have statistics concerning this poll to determine how many respondents were employed in industry such as petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, metallurgy, etc.

    You really should be more careful about confusing polls and facts.

    You do whatever you want to do. You asked for a poll and I gave you one. Everyone knows that conservatives are effectively absent from scientific academia, and if you think you’d make up the difference by including scientists employed by industry, I think you’d be mistaken.

    But whatever. Business, religion, and the military are typical conservative strongholds, the arts and education are typical liberal ones. We all know it’s true. But if it’s that important to you, then you go ahead and chase down another poll.

    Comment by Levi — January 6, 2011 @ 12:38 pm - January 6, 2011

  85. But to equate the predictions and conjecture of climate scientists to the deliberate distortions of war criminals like Bush and Cheney, or the straight-up bullsh*t of Sarah Palin about death panels, is simply incorrect.

    Yeah, but the latter are politicians… it’s what we expect them to do!

    Just kidding.

    I’m sorry, but both groups lied to the public in order to achieve their goals. There is no wide spread support in peer review lit that the oceans WILL rise twenty feet in the next century (James Hansen), there is no support in peer review lit that the climate sensitivity is 16 – 20 degrees (Dr Richard Alley), yet these people who call themselves scientists say this anyway, not as conjecture, but as matters of certainty!

    I’m sorry, but there is no excuse for either party not to relay the data honestly.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 6, 2011 @ 1:05 pm - January 6, 2011

  86. When the weatherman says it’s not going to rain, and it does, does that make him a liar?

    …If it can be shown that the immediate forecast says it’s going to rain, he knew that, yet he continues to say it won’t, then, yes, you could call him a liar. If he knows it’s going to rain based on the forecast, but instead predicts not just rain, he says a full fledged category 5 hurricane will develop, even though he knows the conditions do not support hurricane development… Then yes, he’s lying.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 6, 2011 @ 1:19 pm - January 6, 2011

  87. Sonic,

    Even Levi’s vaunted wikileaks (which, remember did report the administrations lies and bribes on Copenhagen) didn’t show that ‘Bush lied’

    Levi’s attempts to call President Bush a liar on the Iraq war have been debunked again and again. Yet, like his fellow socialist Gobbels, he beleives that if he repeats it enough, it becomes true.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 6, 2011 @ 1:35 pm - January 6, 2011

  88. Yes, there is no evidence that Bush “knew” there was no weapons of mass destruction. It’s fair to say he truly believed there was. He used the data that confirmed his suspicions while setting aside, ignoring, or rejecting the data that suggested otherwise. He also used past behavior of Saddam to make projections of what might happen if Hussein did get weapons as a justification to take action. That sound familiar?

    It’s pretty well established that Bush did not see all the data concerning WMD’s and Saddam, that it was cherry picked before it got to his desk, though I doubt it would have changed his mind. Regardless, here is the question “How did we end up going to war with Iraq???”.

    To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.

    There is no difference. Different causes – Same strategy.

    Game. Set. Match.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 6, 2011 @ 1:56 pm - January 6, 2011

  89. PS. Scratch my use of “Game. Set. Match.”. It’s grandstanding and a lapse on my part. I don’t like it when other people do it, and I don’t like it when I do it.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 6, 2011 @ 6:28 pm - January 6, 2011

  90. Levi, in my comment (#69) I merely suggested that your entirely stupid statement in #68 (“You conservative types aren’t really known for being the best scientists…”) was doubtlessly one of your “facts” grabbed from a useful poll.

    So, being the Pavlov’s dog that you are, you heard the poll bell ring and you came running here with your poll in your salivating yammer.

    Now you shift the playing field and try to make this your point:

    Everyone knows that conservatives are effectively absent from scientific academia, and if you think you’d make up the difference by including scientists employed by industry, I think you’d be mistaken.

    Sorry, fido, but that assertion is a long way from your original set of “facts”:

    6% of scientists identify as Republican, 9% as conservatives. Going the other way, 55% Democrats, 52% liberal. (#73)

    It is you, the poll brainiac, that started out with “You conservative types aren’t really known for being the best scientists…” and produced a poll taken of scientists in academia.

    Guess what, you refugee from systematic logic, I have been in liberal academia for close to 50 years. That is why I am so educated to the sloppy and/or malfeasant cause and effect thinking of the run-of-the-mill liberal blowhard and/or plutocrat.

    Now go read a poll.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 6, 2011 @ 6:39 pm - January 6, 2011

  91. This will probably be my last post on this thread – I just wanted to point out that the scientists at Real Climate aren’t very good at fact-checking!

    http://sonicfrog.net/?p=4790

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 7, 2011 @ 3:34 am - January 7, 2011

  92. Yes, there is no evidence that Bush “knew” there was no weapons of mass destruction. It’s fair to say he truly believed there was. He used the data that confirmed his suspicions while setting aside, ignoring, or rejecting the data that suggested otherwise. He also used past behavior of Saddam to make projections of what might happen if Hussein did get weapons as a justification to take action. That sound familiar?

    It’s pretty well established that Bush did not see all the data concerning WMD’s and Saddam, that it was cherry picked before it got to his desk, though I doubt it would have changed his mind. Regardless, here is the question “How did we end up going to war with Iraq???”.

    That’s entirely different – whether or not Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction was not something that should have been predicted, it’s something that could be certifiably known. And the Bush administration was advancing unilateral policy decisions with the statements they were making. You let me know when a climate scientist forces a crisis by getting into power and banning CO2 emissions overnight, then these two scenarios may have some rough parity. Otherwise, what we have here are climate scientists making their best guesses, versus some neo-cons propagandizing the country to start a war. They’re not the same thing in any way, shape, or form.

    Comment by Levi — January 7, 2011 @ 6:01 am - January 7, 2011

  93. Levi, in my comment (#69) I merely suggested that your entirely stupid statement in #68 (“You conservative types aren’t really known for being the best scientists…”) was doubtlessly one of your “facts” grabbed from a useful poll.

    So, being the Pavlov’s dog that you are, you heard the poll bell ring and you came running here with your poll in your salivating yammer.

    Now you shift the playing field and try to make this your point:
    Everyone knows that conservatives are effectively absent from scientific academia, and if you think you’d make up the difference by including scientists employed by industry, I think you’d be mistaken.
    Sorry, fido, but that assertion is a long way from your original set of “facts”:
    6% of scientists identify as Republican, 9% as conservatives. Going the other way, 55% Democrats, 52% liberal. (#73)
    It is you, the poll brainiac, that started out with “You conservative types aren’t really known for being the best scientists…” and produced a poll taken of scientists in academia.

    Guess what, you refugee from systematic logic, I have been in liberal academia for close to 50 years. That is why I am so educated to the sloppy and/or malfeasant cause and effect thinking of the run-of-the-mill liberal blowhard and/or plutocrat.

    Now go read a poll.

    I don’t see anything inconsistent about those statements. I think that conservatives are generally terrible at science. You guys have a habit of being on the stupid side of lots of scientific controversies. Conservatives also rail against institutions of higher learning because of their liberal bent. To say that conservatives aren’t the best scientists and that they aren’t represented in significant numbers in academia is completely consistent, I would say.

    Comment by Levi — January 7, 2011 @ 6:14 am - January 7, 2011

  94. “You conservative types aren’t really known among my type for being the best scientists…”

    Agreed. Finally. Agreed.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 7, 2011 @ 8:34 am - January 7, 2011

  95. “You conservative types aren’t really known among my type for being the best scientists…”

    Agreed. Finally. Agreed.

    Well, again. Conservatives are generally on the wrong side of scientific issues (environmental policy, stem cell research, evolution in schools), so yeah, I guess it is my type that thinks you people don’t know anything. The movement doesn’t really help its reputation by generally railing against universities and liberal professors and teachers’ unions either. There doesn’t seem to be much of a ‘Let’s Get Smarter’ plank in the conservative platform; you want to abolish the department of education and implement a voucher system? Oh yeah, that’s a real pro-active plan right there. We have morons like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin throwing fits about end of life planning and scholastic descriptions of certain events and figures in American history. It’s because you guys are more controllable as a voting bloc when you’re ignorant and proud of it.

    Now, as far as your criticism of the Pew poll goes, why aren’t there more conservative scientists teaching in universities? There’s nothing stopping them, right? They could be members of the AAAS, but they’re not? Why aren’t there socially conservative, small government, free market conservatives teaching astro-physics or geology? To be sure, there are a few out there, but the numbers are so skewed that you have to believe that they’re either being forced out or that there simply aren’t a whole lot of conservatives interested in science. What’s the more likely explanation?

    Comment by Levi — January 7, 2011 @ 11:27 am - January 7, 2011

  96. You know what isn’t being discussed anymore in this thread? The actual climate science.

    I attribute that to Levi’s influence. For example, Sonic first brought up Bush, but Levi expanded it to “war criminals like Bush and Cheney”. Anything to avoid discussing the actual climate science (which of course he can’t, because the facts don’t favor his position).

    I admit that when Levi entered at #65 and #68, he did puff and bloviate about the scientific process (which his past comments have shown him to know little about). That is still not actually discussing the science involved. Just a distraction. Likewise with the nonsense about polls, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 7, 2011 @ 11:50 am - January 7, 2011

  97. You let me know when a climate scientist forces a crisis by getting into power and banning CO2 emissions overnight, then these two scenarios may have some rough parity. Otherwise, what we have here are climate scientists making their best guesses, versus some neo-cons propagandizing the country to start a war. They’re not the same thing in any way, shape, or form.

    Have you not been paying attention?
    ]

    Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said the only way to reduce global emissions enough, while allowing the poor nations to continue to grow, is to halt economic growth in the rich world over the next twenty years….

    He said politicians should consider a rationing system similar to the one introduced during the last “time of crisis” in the 1930s and 40s.

    Do you have any idea what the economy was like in the 30′s and 40′s? You think that this economy, as broken as it is is bad, just try those on. 15 to 25% unemployment. Lack of easily available basic food stuffs like milk and butter. People hopping trains to go from town to town to find a meal and a place to sleep.

    And he’s sugar coating the changes that would have to take place in order to reduce carbon emissions substantially. This about this – Economic growth has slowed over the last three years during this world wide near depression. Has it reduced carbon emissions worldwide? Answer is here.

    Here the next recommendation by climate science on how to avert the looming disaster:

    “Food that has traveled from abroad may be limited and goods that require a lot of energy to manufacture.”

    In order to grow a third world economy into a second, and eventually a first world country, those third world countries have to build things and grow things, and also be able to sell them abroad. That’s how every first world nation has become a first world nation…

    Every…

    Single…

    One….

    Not only will that mean the current third world countries would have to greatly increase their own energy generation in order to do these things, which means more burning of fossil fuels, but, if this brilliant man of knowledge has his way, these countries will have no market to sell to if we in the first world are all on rations and limit imported food…. DUH!

    It makes absolutely no sense, yet you put your trust in these people to run your life.

    In closing, Climate scientists are not acting like the worst-case scenario is a guess.. It’s a certainty!!!! ! Like Bush and the WMD issue, they have already determined their model results as certainty, and they will accept nothing that suggests the contrary!!! If they could gain power, they would virtually ban CO2 emissions overnight! As I’ve highlighted in this post, It really IS the only way to stop global warming!

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 7, 2011 @ 1:02 pm - January 7, 2011

  98. In closing, Climate scientists are not acting like the worst-case scenario is a guess.. It’s a certainty!!!! ! Like Bush and the WMD issue, they have already determined their model results as certainty, and they will accept nothing that suggests the contrary!!! If they could gain power, they would virtually ban CO2 emissions overnight! As I’ve highlighted in this post, It really IS the only way to stop global warming!

    Again, when these guys are in positions of power and are pushing through their agenda, you might have some footing to call them liars. Until then, they’re predicting what kind of scenarios we might see and outlining steps we might need to take to avoid them. I don’t recommend implementing these kinds of policies all at once, but there are lots of things we can do to transition the economy over time to be based on more renewable and efficient forms of fuel. The economy can actually grow if we do this stuff correctly, and since it’s likely we’ll need to have greener technology in the future regardless, shouldn’t we want the American economy to be its pioneers and patent-holders?

    There are a lot of impending environmental problems that we’ll have to confront this century aside from just global warming. Global population continues to increase and that means more demand, more scarcity, more overcrowding, more disease, more instability, more garbage, less biodiversity, less arable land, less water, lower air quality, less space etc. That’s going to take its toll on the environment and on the global economy regardless of whether or not global warming is occuring, and these are problems we can begin to head off in the present day by transitioning off of oil and other dirty energy sources. Needless to say, if global warming is occuring, then all those problems are amplified tenfold. Why risk it? I understand the reluctance to destroy the American economy, but that’s not a serious suggestion. So why the insistance that absolutely nothing be done? Because the energy industry has developed a successful business model, the rest of humanity has to defer their health, safety, economic opportunities, and possible existence, to a corporate profit motive? Pfffft.

    By the way, rationing is a silly idea, but look how fat we are as a nation. We’re clearly over-consumers and careless wasters (I include myself in this), which I wouldn’t exactly call sustainable behavior or admirable character traits. We’ve enjoyed these luxuries for a long time, but at some point you have to throttle back. Some of this comes down to how much you feel obligated to people that are going to be living here in, say, 400 years. They’ll be dealing with the consequences of the things that we do today, and I think that’s worth some consideration.

    Comment by Levi — January 8, 2011 @ 9:30 am - January 8, 2011

  99. You know what isn’t being discussed anymore in this thread? The actual climate science.

    I attribute that to Levi’s influence. For example, Sonic first brought up Bush, but Levi expanded it to “war criminals like Bush and Cheney”. Anything to avoid discussing the actual climate science (which of course he can’t, because the facts don’t favor his position).

    I admit that when Levi entered at #65 and #68, he did puff and bloviate about the scientific process (which his past comments have shown him to know little about). That is still not actually discussing the science involved. Just a distraction. Likewise with the nonsense about polls, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.

    I don’t think it’s going off track to note the generally anti-science attitude of the conservative movement in a thread that’s expounding a new scientific finding. If you want to talk about temperatures and CO2, then go ahead. I don’t think this paper conclusively rules out that CO2 and temperature aren’t related. Ice cores show that CO2 tends to lag behind temperature increases, but CO2 seems to accelerate warming once its released. The facts are that CO2 is still a greenhouse gas and that it is theoretically possible for too much of it in the atmosphere to cause temperature change. For you to dismiss that as irrelevant based on some occasional publishings is completely unscientific.

    Comment by Levi — January 8, 2011 @ 9:38 am - January 8, 2011

  100. Again, when these guys are in positions of power and are pushing through their agenda, you might have some footing to call them liars.

    Come on Levi, that is a horrible determination of what is and isn’t a lie. And I don’t think they are flat-out liar either.

    BTW – Just to be clear, I am not one to call them “liars”, and I don’t think most of the science is “a fraud”. Some of it is arguably sloppy, but CO2 IS a green house gas. They are however blinded by their certainty, and will, as the late Prof Schneider said in the quote, do and say things that go way beyond scientific principled ethics to advance their agenda.

    I don’t recommend implementing these kinds of policies all at once, but there are lots of things we can do to transition the economy over time to be based on more renewable and efficient forms of fuel…

    I understand the reluctance to destroy the American economy, but that’s not a serious suggestion.

    You may not, as you are a rational person…. But they do! Prof was NOT kidding! He was serious! Sad thing is, in order to reduce CO2 in a timely fashion, the only way it CAN happen, is to implement policy WORSE than he is prescribing. And it gets worse. This is a quote from Prof David Shearman, assessor of the 33rd and 4th IPCC Report:

    Government in the future will be based upon . . . a supreme office of the biosphere. The office will comprise specially trained philosopher/ecologists. These guardians will either rule themselves or advise an authoritarian government of policies based on their ecological training and philosophical sensitivities. These guardians will be specially trained for the task….

    Chapter 9 [of his book on solutions to Climate Change] will describe in more detail how we might begin the process of constructing such real universities to train the ecowarriors to do battle against the enemies of life. We must accomplish this education with the same dedication used to train its warriors. As in Sparta, these natural elites will be especially trained from childhood to meet the challenging problems of our times.

    You continue

    … these are problems we can begin to head off in the present day by transitioning off of oil and other dirty energy sources.

    I don’t disagree. The problem is… There is nothing viable at the moment to take its place. Of the two least polluting energy sources, solar is much more promising than wind. The research to increase the amount of energy derived from solar is coming along nicely, and I think in 20 years you will see the price of this tech become more affordable. But it’s not there now. Wind just isn’t efficient for the money invested in large scale plants. This is a tech that would be better suited for small scale use. Obama is right in his push for more nuclear, but those on the far left won’t allow that, the only source of carbon free energy that is already proven to meet the demands.

    To put it simply, we just don’t have anything to substitute for oil, not because of the “evil oil corporations”, but because nothing exists to take oils place. And when something viable and cost effective does emerge, it will come from, end be supplied by them.

    Levi, I know the other guys here harass you a lot, but I for one think you’re an OK guy and like our back and forth..

    Gotta go.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 8, 2011 @ 5:07 pm - January 8, 2011

  101. Ice cores show that CO2 tends to lag behind temperature increases, but CO2 seems to accelerate warming once its released.

    I’ve read that paper that makes that assertion a while back. I didn’t find it very convincing. The problem is that while the temps steadily decline even though the CO2 is still very high, which should not happen if CO2 was amplifying the greenhouse process as they claim. The paper does a very poor job of enplaning how that can happen.

    To be clear. I’ve been following this debate for a very long time – since 92 when I got to see Carl Sagan at a presentation (still one of the highlights of my life). I am a former geology major, and don’t come to my skeptical view of climate science lightly. But it is from an informed position.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 8, 2011 @ 5:16 pm - January 8, 2011

  102. Levi, I know the other guys here harass you a lot, but I for one think you’re an OK guy and like our back and forth..

    I thought you didn’t like to grandstand or something? Good luck to you, SF.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 8, 2011 @ 8:48 pm - January 8, 2011

  103. The facts are that CO2 is still a greenhouse gas… For you to dismiss that as irrelevant based on some occasional publishings is completely unscientific.

    And of course I did no such thing; as anyone can see who has read my comments in this and other threads.

    See, for example, where I specifically said this:

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    But Levi, I know that lying and misrepresentation are your stock-in-trade. I do not expect any better of you.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 8, 2011 @ 8:51 pm - January 8, 2011

  104. sorry typo, “See, for example, -comment 10- where I specifically said…”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 8, 2011 @ 8:52 pm - January 8, 2011

  105. ILC, When Levi doesn’t have the science on his side, he’s forced to resort to two options. Ignore (which you’ll note he does when we post links and his own words that he can’t refute) and distort.

    I’ve been off the grid (was with a friend who just delivered a really sick baby, it’s still touch and go) but, again, Levi can’t respond to the links that are posted, just calling us ‘anti-science’

    For example on the Stem Cells issue. Scientists have found dozens of cures from adult stem cells. Heck Monash university has even shown that fat cells can be made into stem cells. cutting up babies has resulted in 0 cures. Even if fetal stem cells were useful, pulropoint cells, suck as in umbilical cords, are able to be harvested.

    Likewise with the liberation of Iraq, President Bush acted on the intelligence showing that Hussain had not disposed of his weapons (correct) and was gearing up to resume production after the sanctions were lifted (correct). He also cited the number of UN resolutions that were broken.

    These facts, like the facts on global warming, are inconvenient to Leelie

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 9, 2011 @ 12:41 pm - January 9, 2011

  106. I don’t disagree. The problem is… There is nothing viable at the moment to take its place. Of the two least polluting energy sources, solar is much more promising than wind. The research to increase the amount of energy derived from solar is coming along nicely, and I think in 20 years you will see the price of this tech become more affordable. But it’s not there now. Wind just isn’t efficient for the money invested in large scale plants. This is a tech that would be better suited for small scale use. Obama is right in his push for more nuclear, but those on the far left won’t allow that, the only source of carbon free energy that is already proven to meet the demands.

    To put it simply, we just don’t have anything to substitute for oil, not because of the “evil oil corporations”, but because nothing exists to take oils place. And when something viable and cost effective does emerge, it will come from, end be supplied by them.

    Not sure if you’ll still be around, but I do want to say something about this in case you check it out. I know that there isn’t some already-perfected technology waiting in the wings that the powers that be are conspiring to keep from us. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t anything that can be done now. Like I’ve said, we’re a nation of over-consumers and excessive wasters, and by adjusting our levels of consumption and waste we could have a tremendously positive effect on the global environment while still burning coal and oil.

    This will take some willpower – we’re accustomed to have lots of room and lots of big things in this huge country of ours, and that’s led to lots of sprawl where we end up building subdivisions on good farmland, which means food has to be shipped in from someplace else on highways that are increasingly congested. It’s nice that we can all have a big yard, but these big yards have a cumulative effect, and while it may or may not be warming the planet, it is certainly making us even more dependent on what is going to eventually become an increasingly scarce resource. We need to be walking and biking to the places we work and buy our goods from, we need to have a good broadband network so that more people can work from home and stay off the roads, we ought to be investing in high speed rail networks and better public transportation for cities and megalopolises, etc. This is stuff that we can work on now while we wait for the technology to catch up – to not start doing this kind of stuff leaves us burning the candle at both ends while putting faith in an easy technological solution that may or may not come.

    Comment by Levi — January 10, 2011 @ 4:16 pm - January 10, 2011

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