February 4, 2007

The polar-bears-on-the-melting-ice-cap photo.

You've all seen it. This photo atop all the articles about the new report on global warming.



(Go to the article to see the larger size.)

Here's my question. How many people look at that picture and think the polar bears were living on some ice and it melted around them and now they are stuck?

And, yes, I realize a polar bear can drown... if, say, it's exhausted and swimming over 50 miles. But basically, these things can swim 15 miles easily, at a speed of 6 miles an hour, and they use the edge of an ice floe as a platform from which to hunt. Where's the photograph of the bear chomping down on a cute baby seal?

And, no, I'm not denying that there's global warming, even as I sit here a double pane of glass away from minus 12° air. I'm just amused at human behavior, such as the way it is possible to feel arguments at us. In particular, we are susceptible to argument by animal. We love the animal, if it's pictured right, in a way that pulls our heartstrings.

There is a sharper edge, voiced by a great director in his movie about bears and man: "I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder."

ADDED: I just remembered that last night I had a dream in which I was carrying around a stuffed-toy polar bear! And I saw this picture yesterday. See? This is how to get into people's heads! This is how opinion is really formed.



With bears!

146 comments:

AllenS said...

My question, is this: If the photographer turned around 180 degrees, what would that picture show?

Headless Blogger said...

I had a similar thought about that polar bear photo. Was I supposed to conclude that man-made global warming has caused polar bears to lose the ability to swim?

For all the photographer and I know, those bears purposely climbed that ice flow to get a better look at their prey.

Peter Palladas said...

"I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder."

Quite true of course, but then Werner Herzog is a guy whose 'method' of directing is to inject chaos into the hearts and minds of his actors through open hostility and occasional homicidal threats.

If he'd taken that photograph of the bears they would have been a mile safe inland before he opened up with ice-floe melting flame-throwers.

Ron said...

I once a reference to how we are seduced by "charismatic megafauna." I always liked that turn of phrase...

Bissage said...

Ann Althouse asked: "How many people look at that picture and think the polar bears were living on some ice and it melted around them and now they are stuck?

Just about everybody, I dare say. That was the first thought that popped into my head. Sure, why not? The textual context is melting ice and there's a picture of melted ice with no immediately apparent way the bears could have climbed up there.

Okay, but how long did I think that? Oh, I don't know, . . ., two seconds?

Is the New York Times trying to poison the minds of children? Well, that’s pretty farfetched, but it’s a better explanation than the NYT sincerely believing that photo fairly illustrates the article.

RFTR said...

Ann, I believe you're looking for this.

Or how about this one? It sort of combines the two, showing a polar bear on a tiny little piece of ice—which he (or she) has coated in a seal's blood.

Stephen Macklin said...

I doubt there would be much need for the photographer to do a 180. I wouldn't be surprised that if the framing of the photo eliminated the left most piece of ice and showed what was cropped on the right, the whole thing is probably attached to the ice shelf.

If you're going to show a picture implying that the polar bears are adrift on an ice flow, then show the whole thing adrift.

Balfegor said...

There is a sharper edge, voiced by a great director in his movie about bears and man: "I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder."

Or as Tennyson put it, "Nature, red in tooth and claw."

Re: Bissage:
Is the New York Times trying to poison the minds of children? Well, that’s pretty farfetched, but it’s a better explanation than the NYT sincerely believing that photo fairly illustrates the article.

I don't think that's really the thought process here -- either of them. It's probably more that polar bears are cute, and cute sells. If there's some vaguely on-topic reason to throw polar bears in, they might as well.

Sort of on the polar-bear-eating-seal topic -- generally that's not the side of nature we play up. On the other hand, I don't know where it was that I saw this, but I recall a childrens' animal program where there was footage of lions or some other big cat chasing down, killing, and eating a giraffe and they dubbed it all with the cat as a masher and the giraffe going "Please sir! Please sir! Let me alone!" Funny, but a little ghoulish.

SMGalbraith said...

"Will to life goes with will to power. To exist is to be unjust, since it is impossible not to encroach on the will of another."

Forget about the clash of civilizations, it's the clash of wills.

Warning: Never read Schopenhauer on a cold wintry night.

Freder Frederson said...

What's your point? There has been a lot of research has been done on polar bear populations and their is strong evidence that they are declining due to the loss of sea ice in the arctic. Even the U.S. Department of the Interior has recommended them being listed as threatened because of the loss of sea ice. And whether or not you believe in global warming or not, you can not deny the well documented fact of the retreat of the the ice cap in the Arctic over the last few decades.

Ann Althouse said...

Freder: My point is obviously about the use of emotional argument through photography. I say nothing about the actual scientific research other than that I'm not talking about it.

AJ Lynch said...

Ann:
Just read Freder's comment re your innocuous polar bear photo "observation" and his comment has disappointment and disapproval all over it.

Can you actually sense that disapproval and disappointment when you walk thru Madison or socialize with fellow faculty?

Mark said...

Quite true of course, but then Werner Herzog is a guy whose 'method' of directing is to inject chaos into the hearts and minds of his actors through open hostility and occasional homicidal threats.

Don't be too hard on the guy. If you had to deal with this all the time, you might occasionally resort to a threat or two as well.

ShadyCharacter said...

"According to the WWF there are some 22,000 polar bears in about 20 distinct populations worldwide. Only two bear populations -- accounting for about 16.4 percent of the total -- are decreasing, and they are in areas where air temperatures have actually fallen, such as the Baffin Bay region. By contrast, another two populations -- about 13.6 percent of the total number -- are growing and they live in areas were air temperatures have risen, near the Bering Strait and the Chukchi Sea.
As for the rest, 10 populations -- comprising about 45.4 percent of the total -- are stable, and the status of the remaining six is unknown. Conclusion: based on the available evidence there is little reason to believe the current warming trend will lead to extinction of polar bears.
These bears have survived for thousands of years, during both colder and warmer periods, and their populations are by and large in good shape. Polar bears may face many threats, but global warming is not primary among them. Global warming alarmists are like the wizard of Oz, asking the public fear the spectacle, but not to pull back the curtain and unmask them for the charlatans they are."

Am I the only person who's still convinced that the global scientific consensus of the late 70's and early 80's that we're in for a period of global cooling is correct? After all, how could scientific consensus on something as straightforward as climate science be wrong?

Jay Manifold said...

Too bad there's no polar bears on Mars, I guess.

Bissage said...

Wait a minute. Maybe I just clued in.

I never understood the idea of “truthiness.” Is this it? Is the photo truthy? Does it have a truthy caramel center? Yes?

Perhaps there’s hope for me, yet!

P.S. You know, now that I’ve come to love Big Brother, I’ve also come to realize that’s a pretty good photo. It’s tastefully done. After all, it would be overkill to have a photo of a cute polar bear with a single tear running down its face. Right?

Zeb Quinn said...

I'm just amused at human behavior, such as the way it is possible to feel arguments at us. In particular, we are susceptible to argument by animal. We love the animal, if it's pictured right, in a way that pulls our heartstrings.

Oddly, animals seem to work much better that way, i.e., to pull at the heartstrings, than even do pictures of human children.

Cedarford said...

Icebergs always melt. The picture was clearly framed to give the impression that the polar bears were isolated, home melting underneath, and hosed.

I don't mind pictures that are set to give an emotional impact and advocate one point of view. That is part of the power of pictures and how they are used.

Nowadays, with the Internet you can't get away with being a MSM anti-war manipulator simply showing a picture of a S Vietnamese chief blowing the brains out of a captured VC.

Now you get the background - VC was part of a terror squad that had killed several children and the whole city was under attack and courts and police stations were shutdown. The VC was caught red-handed after killin a woman and her two kids and his summary execution was legal and authorized under martial law.

I would like to editorialize that the top environmentalist NGOs have made a sort of pact with the Left NOT to mention population explosion and illegal immigration as driving CO2 generation. The USA is cast as the great villain, but we use less carbon than our peers in 1968 - we just have double the population, and will be up to 420 million due to Open Borders and Anchor babies by 2050, completely negating any conservation measures the environmentalists advocate.

And while environmentalists cluck about Kilimanjaro's shrinking ice cap and how terrible it is for the critters, they completely ignore the 8-fold population growth in Kenya and Tanzania since 1945. Which has put every wildlife reserve within 200 miles of Kilimajaro under great peril from woodcutters, poachers, and farmers outside the reserves taking every drop of water they can that once fed the wildlife reserves. Clucking about evil American SUVs devestating African wildlife, hypothetically - one day in the future - is acceptable. Pointing out the facts on the ground - tens of millions of landless masses that have outbred the capacity of the land to sustain them and who are destroying whole ecologies along the Sahel is politically impermissible to the Left. (And to right wing religious fanatics who see unsustainable birthrates of 8-9 kids per woman in the poorest lands with the least resources as a gift from Jesus).

Peter Palladas said...

I never understood the idea of “truthiness.” Is this it? Is the photo truthy? Does it have a truthy caramel center? Yes?

Ah, that was the word I was searching for on here the other day. Thanks for the reminder.

So it's 'Truthiness Blair' for me from now on. Perfectly sums him up. Cool.

Freder Frederson said...

"According to the WWF there are some 22,000 polar bears in about 20 distinct populations worldwide. Only two bear populations -- accounting for about 16.4 percent of the total -- are decreasing, and they are in areas where air temperatures have actually fallen, such as the Baffin Bay region. By contrast, another two populations -- about 13.6 percent of the total number -- are growing and they live in areas were air temperatures have risen, near the Bering Strait and the Chukchi Sea.

Talk about selectively taking quotes from a report (which btw was published in 2002, before the Canadian government undertook a major study of its polar bear populations and found decreasing weights and declining populations) to support conclusions contrary to that in the report cited. Maybe you should have referenced the title of the WWF report, Polar Bears at Risk.

My point is obviously about the use of emotional argument through photography. I say nothing about the actual scientific research other than that I'm not talking about it.

Of course not, Ann Althouse never talks about actual scientific research. She merely posts a picture that accompanies an article and report on global warming and implies (but doesn't outright state) that it is deceptive. Ask a question--"How many people think the poor wittle fuzzy bears are stuck?"--and follow it up with a science fact--"these ruthless killing machines can swim fifteen miles and rip your throat out"--and you can get away with anything.

And you are not denying that there's global warming--did I mention that it's -12 in Madison (of course temperatures like that weren't even worth mentioning thirty years ago but we'll skip over that point) today.

And then you go on to make a snark about truthiness. You really don't get Colbert, do you?

Freder Frederson said...

Am I the only person who's still convinced that the global scientific consensus of the late 70's and early 80's that we're in for a period of global cooling is correct?

There simply was no scientific consensus on global cooling. It is a myth concocted to denigrate the scientific consensus of global warming ("if all the scientists were screaming global cooling thirty years ago why should we believe them when the turn around and change their tune 180 degrees). So yes, you are probably the only one.

Eugene said...

Think of the picture as a simple extension of comic book morality. A comic book illustration. In order for certain human beings to present themselves as saviors of the universe, other human beings must be cast as destroyers of the universe. For if the danger were posed by the tidal wave of humanity as a whole rather than the machinations of a handful of evil-doers, then earnest activists proposing to bear up the globe like Atlas would strike the rational mind as a perhaps inspiring but ultimately pointless and dangerously naive exercise.

Nothing approaching even a plurality--let alone a majority--has emerged politically showing the slightest inclination to take the steps necessary to check anthropogenic global warming. If the EU and Japan--countries with flat and in some cases negative population growth--can't take the baby steps required to meet their Kyoto targets, and Congress (regardless of party) would never sign off on Kyoto in the first place--or back a massive nuclear power program or double the retail price of gasoline--then it's time to stop playing make believe and start dealing with reality.

Serious people do not entertain proposals to prevent (but if we could send a man to the Moon--!) earthquakes or volcanoes or tidal waves. But there are concrete steps we can take to cope with the effects. On the other hand, the value of global warming as a religion does seem to hold great sway. Believe and you will be saved! Al Gore found his true calling--as a preacher. It's all about the passion of the crisis.

AllenS said...

I remember the 70's. I also remember the late 50's and 60's. Global cooling was what the scientists of the era were saying.

Tully said...

There simply was no scientific consensus on global cooling.

In all of my science training I never heard "consensus" used as a scientific term. Because it's not one--science is based on hypothesis, evidence, testability, and replicability. Not on counting noses. Several centuries ago, there was a firm "scientific" consensus on the flatness of the earth, on the earth as the center of the solar system, orbits as perfectly circular, and on illness as being an imbalance of bodily humors.

It is a myth concocted to denigrate the scientific consensus of global warming.

And that there is flat-out BS. The history of global cooling speculation and predictions includes the world's top scientists of the time, the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, the World Meteorological Organization, the journal Science, and a cast of many distinguished others. Major public notice of the theory came through an article in the April 28, 1975 issue of NEWSWEEK.

And some pretty respectable scientists maintain that we're heating a cyclical peak in warming, and that it's getting ready to head back down. But they don't get the press.

Carter said...

Don't forget Alaskan musk ox, not quite as blood-thirstily cute, but still misinforming about public policy issues. This herd grazing in beautiful, pristine, lovely nature is nowhere near the proposed drilling site, but the photo is frequently used to illustrate ANWR stories.

jvg1249 said...

Here's a link to the original posting of the bear on the ice photo at issue. Link courtesy of Instapundit.

http://www.whoi.edu/beaufortgyre/dispatch2004/dispatch02.html

Funny, from Woods Hole Oceanographic Istitute, no mention or even hint of a melting ice cap in the photo. Quite the opposite, in fact.

vnjagvet said...

Freder:

Your comments here have all of the characteristics of a provocateur's.

And you have bad manners, to boot!

Where on earth did you get the idea that the sensational 1970's Time and Newsweek articles on the Coming Ice Age were not based on the highly publicized scientific opinions of the day?

I suspect you were not as interested in current events then as you purport to be now.

jvg1249 said...

Lest I be thought inaccurate, the link from Prof. Reynolds was on this topic but to a post that contained the link to the Woods Hole post. A link once removed, perhaps?

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

Eugene: If the EU and Japan--countries with flat and in some cases negative population growth--can't take the baby steps required to meet their Kyoto targets,...

Agreed. It's my limited understanding that the failure of the EU signatories is actually much worse than recorded. That's because the baseline year for Kyoto is 1990, right before the UUSR and Eastern Bloc countries collapsed (a corresponding drop in greenhouse gases followed). Under a carbon trading credit program, Eastern Europe has been selling its credits to the western signatories.

I'd be interested in seeing some normalized data from signatory countries that does not factor in these emission credits. Obviously there has not been a reversal in emissions but has any country even reduced the growth rate of these emissions?

Old Dad said...

Pinchy's just trying to peddle his fish wrap, and he needs all the help he can get. Did you see those Q4 losses?

Eugene, great post. The bear snap would make a great holy card for the Church of Envirowhackos.

Tully said...

Dan Riehl has the appropriate links to the origins of the picture--and the fact that the expedition that took the picture found the ice thicker than they expected.

http://www.riehlworldview.com/carnivorous_conservative/2007/02/the_polar_bear_.html

r. baker said...
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The Drill SGT said...

As Dan and Tully said...

The picture was taken in 2004. This link seems to be from the orginal observations.

http://www.whoi.edu/beaufortgyre/dispatch2004/dispatch02.html

Note the other shots on the page describing huge ice shelves and you can see the mainland a couple of miles off.

They noted:

The main ice pack is all around and it is breathtaking to see and hear the LSL slowly crack and break it.

The Captain’s only concern was the amount of ice that may be surrounding the mooring sites, but was confident with the experience of John Kemp (WHOI) and the rest of the team. Later that day the LSL drove through the ice to the first of four moorings,

Later on a mother and cub were also spotted on top of an extraordinary ice block.

salvage said...

Where's the photograph of the bear chomping down on a cute baby seal?

Uh Ann? They can't find any to chomp on.

Part of the problem.

Do try and pay attention.

Y'know it's people like you that make me think that an environmental collapse and the mass culling of humanity that would result may not be such a bad thing.

The stupid will be the first to go.

vbspurs said...

With bears!

We've all seen that famous caricature of Teddy Roosevelt sparing the life of the teddy -- one that propelled them to be eponymously-named, after all.

But have you guys ever seen just how Mickey Mouse-looking that bear cub looks?? Look at that those ears.

Tell me, when have you ever seen a bear with those ears? (Or indeed, a mouse...).

Talk about suggestibly insidious. The Disney Corporation gets their dirty, money-grubbing globalisation paws into everything!

/paranoid activist

Cheers,
Victoria

Old Dad said...

Sarge, et al,

So Pinchy's gang took the photo completely out of context. It's still so very "truthy."

The AP would have photoshopped a dead polar bear floating in tbe background. Let's give the Timesmen a break here. They're fibbing for a good cause. That's all that really matters.

Freder Frederson said...

Several centuries ago, there was a firm "scientific" consensus on the flatness of the earth, on the earth as the center of the solar system, orbits as perfectly circular, and on illness as being an imbalance of bodily humors.

I'm glad you put "scientific" in quotes since it shows a glimmer of honesty (or maybe you were being facetious and I am just giving you too much credit). If you knew the first thing about the history of science you would know that the scientific method, and the concept of a scientific consensus, was developed until the eighteenth century. All the examples you cite predate the invention (for lack of a better term) of science as the term is used today.

And just to add an additional snark, perfectly circular orbits of planets was never an accepted theory. From the earliest days of mankind, we have known the planets orbits were not circular.

The history of global cooling speculation and predictions includes the world's top scientists of the time, the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, the World Meteorological Organization, the journal Science, and a cast of many distinguished others. Major public notice of the theory came through an article in the April 28, 1975 issue of NEWSWEEK.

That climatologists posited that the world went through periods of warming and cooling and that some (but hardly a consensus) thought that temperature data from the post-WWII era indicated that the world might be entering a cooling period was certainly entertained in the late seventies. But the predictions were much more speculative and the mechanisms and evidence not well developed (certainly much less so than current global warming theory to which it is continually compared). The popular press exaggerated the speculation into scientific gospel especially after the midwest was hit with a few particularly cold and harsh winters in a row.

It was hardly a consensus that it was occurring or a long term trend at the time--which was the argument made above.

I lived in Chicago in the seventies and was in high school. I remember watching the news one of those winters (either '78 or '79) and the anchor asked the weatherman if the frigid weather meant we were entering a new ice age. The weatherman (I think it was John Coughlin) said he had called a climatologist at a local university and asked that question. The climatologist told him that cold winters didn't matter. The only way you could tell if you were entering a new ice age was in July. John asked "Really, how?". The climatologist responded, "If there is snow on the ground in July, then you can start worrying about a new ice age."

vbspurs said...

stuffed-toy polar bear

Da Bears!

This is obviously a sign from the Deity allowing a little flutter on the Chicago Bears.

Ann, follow that tattooed girl's face to Goldencasino.com now, and place a fiver on Da Bears to win!

Cheers,
Victoria

GM Roper said...

Frederson is partially correct, the report cited is in fact about 4 years old. However, newer reports including 2006 are available and contradict Frederson. A wrap up of the plight of the white fuzzies can be found here: http://gmroper.mu.nu/archives/210361.php which includes a letter from Dr. Mitchell Taylor, a polar bear expert from the Canadian Government and refutes the "extinction" brouhaha.

I suspect that as soon as the true believers can figure out a way, we will see a polar bear with a single tear coming out of his eye. But that still won't give them truth on their side, even if it does approach "truthiness."

Old Dad said...

Freder,

You probably should back modern science's birthday up at least a hundred years. Francis Bacon's Novum Organum spells it out pretty well in 1620. Of course, Bacon gave the credit to Aristotle who did do rather crude but scientific experiments. And there's good old Archimedes in the tub--Eureka!

Joe said...

I believe the earth is warming and has been since the last ice age. Whether it is due to human agency, the degree to which it is, and whether we can do anything about it, is questionable. Evidence of global warming of other planets is a big clue that it is more likely a function of solar radiation. As I understand it, all global warming speculation is based on computer models, and there are simply too many variables to make it accurate. You can make a computer model come out however you want, depending on what goes in. The fact that this UN report is a summary of scientific studies not yet completed shows it is a political, not scientific, document.

Tom Hilton said...

I'm just amused at human behavior, such as the way it is possible to feel arguments at us. In particular, we are susceptible to argument by animal. We love the animal, if it's pictured right, in a way that pulls our heartstrings.

I agree...but I don't think this is a great example of it. The polar bear isn't the argument; the polar bear illustrates the argument, which is based on sophisticated analysis of a tremendous amout of data.

Better examples would be the pictures used by PETA or the anti-choice movement, in which the cute-thing-being-harmed image is the totality of their argument.

Freder Frederson said...

Frederson is partially correct, the report cited is in fact about 4 years old. However, newer reports including 2006 are available and contradict Frederson.

Actually they don't. The best-studied populations are indeed decreasing as this report documents. Now, you may not like the conclusions of the report or argue that some populations may be increasing or stable(and you'll not that one of the arguments is that the far northern populations--where global warming would not yet have much of an impact--are doing just fine)or we don't want these nasty bears around people anyhow, but to argue that recent studies are wrong or that the Arctic ice cap is not retreating requires one to have his head pretty far up his butt.

Oh, and so sorry for being rude. No one on this site is ever rude to me or the other lefties who post.

Freder Frederson said...

As I understand it, all global warming speculation is based on computer models, and there are simply too many variables to make it accurate.

Well then, you don't understand it very well at all.

PatCA said...

rftr,
Stop demonizing those polar bears! That's culturally appropriate behavior for them, so who are we to judge?

It won't be long before we see a human being torn to shreds by a polar bear he is attempting to 'save'.

Cliff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freder Frederson said...

Francis Bacon's Novum Organum spells it out pretty well in 1620. Of course, Bacon gave the credit to Aristotle who did do rather crude but scientific experiments. And there's good old Archimedes in the tub--Eureka!

While Novum Organum provides a philosophical underpinning for the scientific method, it still lacks the important step of experimentation, prediction and verification and relies almost entirely on passive observation of nature. That would take another 150 years or so.

Dave said...

salvage, if "The stupid will be the first to go" then your post indicates we won't have to be putting up with you much longer.

And, freder, *you* obviously don't understand the argument, either. Absent the Climate models (and the argument on what variables to include) there is precisely *zer0* testable evidence for _any_ global climate change. The fact that your particular political desires can be supported by claiming that models are evidence, they are not.

Models are either suggestive (i.e. they give you good ideas of places to look for testable data) or they're confirmatory (show a fit between a theory and available data). These models don't, currently, fit to the data to any of the theories, they *project* (with a huge amount of uncertainty) predicted data into the future.

Not that it matters, because if the glaciers started advancing at a rate of a foot a day tomorrow, you and your partisans would just claim that was part of Global Climate Change and proved that we need a Reverse-Kyoto to start pumping huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Annie said...

The really piquant detail is that you dreamed of a stuffed-toy polar bear -- and Treadwell had a stuffed-toy bear in his tent.

Is your dream-maker observing that we're all being forced into a sentimental relationship to bears?

vbspurs said...

Is your dream-maker observing that we're all being forced into a sentimental relationship to bears?

Heh, that vaguely sounds like a New Agey Boomer complaining to his/her shrink about his folks' parenting skills.

"And by giving me a teddy bear when I was 2, they forced me into a sentimental relationship to bears, instead of allowing me to honour these noble creatures with whom we share Mother Gaia, on their own terms.

No wonder I am so effed up!"

Cheers,
Victoria

Naked Lunch said...

Old Dad

I assuming you've been around the block, one should be able to figure this out without citing one statistic. Why would oil companies be spending millions of dollars for opposition research if there was no damning evidence to their bottom line? They aren't spending it on a small group of lefty enviro-whackos.

I don't know how this got be such a toxic partisan issue. The reason the Right furiously denies global warming is because they don't want the Left, to be right on such a hugley important issue.

If the same group of scientists were predicting a catastrophic meteor smashing into the earth in 50 years; would you believe them then?

Harry Eagar said...

Professor Althouse, you should believe the globe is not warming, because it isn't.

At least, not demonstrably over the past century, which is the period the AGW crowd needs to use.

Polar bears are a good place to start. Consider the year 1907. How many humans were making temperature readings in polar bear country? Close to zero.

In the southern hemisphere below 50 degrees latitude? Zero.

Central Asia around Tibet? Zero again.

Central Pacific? Nearly zero.

Amazon basin? Nearly zero.

Southwest Asia? Zero, except along the coasts.

Inescapable conclusion: Nobody has any precise idea what the global temperature was a hundred years ago, and so we cannot say whether today's temperatures are higher or lower.

There is powerful evidence that if temperatures have risen over the past century, the amount has been very small. Ask farmers.

Are they abandoning crops because the weather has changed, or are they expanding crops into areas where they could not be grown in the 19th c.?

Of course they are not.

Global warming is a hoax.

Peter Palladas said...

OK I get the picture...Bears by 17 tonight, right?

This is the guy who has never recovered emotionally or financially from Superbowl XXIII, when the '49ers were trailing the Bengals (in Miami yet again) 16-13 with three minutes to go and Joe Montana with the ball on his own eight yard line.

Absolutely clear that he would drive down the field into fieldgoal range, resulting in a full-time tie and thus completing my half-time tie / full-time tie huge, huge bet - 3-3 at half-time.

No other option was sensible. Don't risk the turnover I could hear the coach begging.

They get to the 35 yard line, back to the 45 on a penalty, then forward to the 18 (with a 27 yard pass to Rice - run not pass you fricker!) and on the to 10 with two yards to needed to complete the play.

Hold on and get the tie I screamed - just fall on the frigging ball - but no the bustard only goes and throws the 10 yard pass to John Taylor for a winning touchdown.

92 yards, 3 minutes and collapse of my domestic economy.

Go the Bears!

Cliff said...

On behalf of my fellow baby seals, all I can say is "Way to go!"

We seals just love that photo. I even framed it and hung it in my den.

Take our polar bears. Please.

J said...

Althouse: Now just as relevant as Stephen Cobert, and just as noisy about bears!

Freder Frederson said...

There is powerful evidence that if temperatures have risen over the past century, the amount has been very small. Ask farmers.

Are they abandoning crops because the weather has changed, or are they expanding crops into areas where they could not be grown in the 19th c.?

You make statements that are patently untrue just because your gut tells them they are true? That is actually the definition of truthiness.

Freder Frederson said...

Absent the Climate models (and the argument on what variables to include) there is precisely *zer0* testable evidence for _any_ global climate change.

So are you saying that there is no evidence that CO2 and other greenhouse gases actually trap reflected radiant energy, which explains the mechanism for global warming theories? Because if that is your contention, it is one hundred percent wrong.

It is demonstrable in the lab and explainable through thermodynamic principles and the chemical properties of the gases in question. Based on those properties you can predict how much heat increased levels of CO2 in air will trap, and demonstrate it in the lab.

Theo Boehm said...
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Old Dad said...

Naked Lunch,

That's easy. Let's assume that your claim is right (and I'd be shocked if it weren't). The oil companies do oppo research for the same reason that Hillary Clinton does. They are adressing a perceived threat. There are well funded envirowhackos out to ruin them.

Of course, the whackos can't, but they are an annoyance. Let's face it. We're going to buy gas until it is gone. The Global Warming Movement is a PR stunt in search of funding. Exxon is merely buying its own PR--just like Green Peace.

AJ Lynch said...

Someone mentioned:
"Under a carbon trading credit program".

I suspect the next UN financial scandal will involve these carbon trading credits. Were these devised by an ex-Enron bigwig?

Freder Frederson said...

The fact that your particular political desires can be supported by claiming that models are evidence, they are not.

If you want a model that demonstrates the theory, go into a greenhouse on a chilly but sunny day. Then maybe you will make the connection as to why they are sometimes referred to as "greenhouse gases" (they act just like the glass in a greenhouse).

Freder Frederson said...

Were these devised by an ex-Enron bigwig?

Actually, they were first proposed as pollution trading credits in the Clean Air Act reauthorization that was passed during the first Bush administration.

Tully said...

Where's the photograph of the bear chomping down on a cute baby seal?

Here ya go! Yum yum!

http://www.poinography.com/images/wh7e/Polar_bear_kills_seal.jpg

As I understand it, all global warming speculation is based on computer models, and there are simply too many variables to make it accurate.

Got it in one! Anthropogenic forcing theories are based on incomplete partial models of a highly complex and poorly understood open system. They are not capable of direct asessment by experiment. And even the base measurements that those models are based on are highly disputed, with major error factors and areas of disagreement, and thus don't agree with each other in particulars or results.

Well then, you don't understand it very well at all.

Federson? I'm quite cognizant of the history of science, including Lysenkoism, and spent my share of time in academia constructing, assessing, and deconstructing scientific and statistical models while picking up a pair of graduate degrees. I'm VERY much aware of the shortcomings of the modelling used by the doom-criers of anthropogenic forcing. Apparently you're not.

The anthropogenic hypothesis is possible, but not proven by any means, certainly not as to quantifiable predictive results. You simply can't accurately model an open complex system without knowing ALL the factors that can affect it, and having accurate data as to same. To use such partial and incomplete models as predictive iterative models is idiotic. To claim such models as definitive when they purposely exclude KNOWN factors affecting model behavior (as almsot all climate models do) is little more than dogmatism presented as "science." Which it isn't. It's dogma.

Tully said...

Another "polar bear snacking on seal" photo....

shttp://www.polarfoto.com/en/reisen/lance1995/foto01.jpg

Yum yum!

Tano said...

"How many people look at that picture and think the polar bears were living on some ice and it melted around them and now they are stuck?"

My guess? Nobody.
Because everybody knows that polar bears can swim. I mean, we do have zoos, and we do take our kids there, and ....

Bissage said...

Theo, that was absolutely hilarious!

Thanks.

Naked Lunch said...

Old Dad,
Exxon isn't doing oppo research on enviro-whackos, they are funding research to directly discredit scientists, and their data. It would be hard to believe they would be just worried about their "image".

Oil companies do not want cheap energy mass produced from American companies other than themselves. How great would that be if we could put farmers, and entrepeneurs to work, and not have to deal with the latest Bearded Wonder? This is what Americans are great at, or least used to be. And I say this as a hypocrit, not a hysteric. I collect gas/diesel guzzling Mercedes ;)

Joel said...

The reason the "right" is against the claim of man made global warming is because it is not based on fact or hard science, it is used as a political lever to justify removing god given rights (a system of control). global warming is the secular left's invented religion to justify telling thier fellow man how to behave.

I predict that they try to outlaw or regulate the cooking and consuming of beans (within 50 years) due to it causing higher emissions of greenhouse gases when cooked improperly.

There really is no need for global government unless you have global problems, so invent a global government and all those overpaid politicians and bureacrats will eventally find some global problems to justify thier continued expansion of power.

Eugene said...

The work of Johannes Kepler's life was proving that the planets don't turn through space in "celestial spheres" or circles, but in elliptical orbits. What a waste! Apparently everybody already knew it!

The theory of celestial spheres had been the foundation of European astronomy for a mere 1500 years, and even Kepler could never completely abandon the allure of Platonic solids. Astronomers operating under the Ptolemaic model and using celestial spheres had indeed accounted for the retrograde of Mars and eccentricities in planetary motion. They were still wrong.

One powerfully compelling aspect of the Ptolemaic model that Kepler and his predecessors got hung up on was its sheer elegance and the way it just seemed to "fit" all their preconceptions. Except ultimately it didn't. A good-looking model is not the same as a fact.

Incidentally, if there was an asteroid out there threatening to hit the Earth, any astronomer--or anybody with a moderately powerful telescope and the requisite math skills--could make the same observations and calculations. (Many comet hunters are amateurs.) Nobody would be required to take anything on faith.

The reason the heliocentric model won out is not only because it was a better theory in terms of the scientific method, but because it yielded better practical results (the reason Copernicus came up with it in the first place). Likewise, if we are indeed in a "race to save the planet," then I'd like to see some more robust and pragmatic planet saving going on.

I predict, though, that 1) China will prove far more worried about the economic implications of not building a lot more coal-fired power planets than by any speculative threats posed by global warming; 2) after a great deal of hand-wringing, nobody else will actually do anything to "prevent" global warming either (yes, it's the "prisoner's dilemma" writ large); and 3) the world won't end.

Old Dad said...

Naked Lunch,

I'm all for cheap energy and for unleashing American entrepreneurship to make it.

My bet is that Exxon spends a lot more trying to obsolete their product to be first to market with a replacement than they do debunking global warming mumbo jumbo. All I'm saying is that there is serious money at play on both sides of the issue. As a result, there are what used to be called "camp followers." Some wear suits. some wear lab coats.

fdcol63 said...

Josef Goebbels proved just how gullible "intelligent" people can be to propaganda and lies.

The anti-American Left, and their fellow travelers in the hysterical "environmental protection" and "global warming" factions, are using these causes (including Kyoto) to rally world opinion into accepting a global government headed by the UN as the only legitimate authority that can save us from ourselves.

This should frighten all of us who don't want to submit our sovereignty to the blue-helmeted jackboots of the UN.

Freder Frederson said...

The reason the "right" is against the claim of man made global warming is because it is not based on fact or hard science, it is used as a political lever to justify removing god given rights (a system of control). global warming is the secular left's invented religion to justify telling thier fellow man how to behave.

I mean really, how much proof is enough? What would convince you that global warming is real and that it is mostly caused by man. Obviously, computer models will never be good enough because we will never know enough about the climate with enough certainty. Historic records won't be enough until every square meter of the earth is covered with temperature monitors.

Yet you are willing to embrace theories to explain undeniable phenomena such as the retreat of the glaciers and the arctic ice pack even of those theories are less well developed and more speculative, require the distortion or outright fabrication of facts, than the prevailing explanations. Oh, its increased radiation from the sun. Or the glaciers aren't shrinking they're actually growing. Or its cold today, therefore global warming is a lie. Or its all natural (even though there is a well-documented increase in CO2--which is known to trap radiation--over the last 100 years).

Yet you are willing to believe the most dire predictions of absolute economic catastrophe resulting from even the most modest limits on greenhouse gas emissions with almost no supporting evidence while of course discounting any potentially benefits of such cuts.

I guess one question I would like to ask. Why wouldn't increases in greenhouse gases lead to higher global temperatures? Is anyone here seriously denying that CO2 levels have not increased significantly over the last 100 years. Is anyone questioning the thermodynamics?

Naked Lunch said...

Old Dad said...
Some wear suits. some wear lab coats.

My dad was a lab coat, and once told me to never trust a man in a pin striped suit. But we agree the ideal course ahead. Still not quite sure why your money is on the suits though ;)

Ann Althouse said...

Freder: You sound like a lunatic. I quite clearly said I didn't disbelieve global warming even though it's very cold today. Why are you acting like I present the coldness of today as an argument against global warming? You're so obviously the sort of person who sees what you think you're going to see that you make your seeming interest in science look like one more political thing about you.

Old Dad said...

Naked Lunch,

My Dad started out in overalls but ended up in a suit. He always hated the tie, though.

He told me to keep my hand on my wallet.

Gahrie said...

Chicken Little (aka: Freder Frederson)

Please explain how man's actions are causing Mars and Jupiter to undergo global warming?

Or maybe you'd care to try and explain why Earth's warming is caused by man, but Mars' and jupiter's is caused by some other source?

Freder Frederson said...

Freder: You sound like a lunatic. I quite clearly said I didn't disbelieve global warming even though it's very cold today.

Did I say you didn't believe in global warming? Of course not. I never said such a thing. Yet now you are calling me a lunatic. Of course you never said you believed in it either, you just refuse to deny it and now "didn't disbelieve" it. Hardly the same as believing it, is it?

Now you sound like a lunatic, accusing me of accusing you of saying things you never said.

You were just critiquing the pretty picture. And I was just asking why you were critiquing the pretty picture. I thought you were trying to make a point about the dishonesty of the global warming people, but I was mistaken, you were making a point about the use of "emotional argument" through photography. Heck, you could have made the same point using that "Hang in There" poster you posted a couple months ago. This post has nothing to do with climate, politics, or science (ignore the labels, they don't mean a thing).

Then lefties like me go and ruin your point by turning this into a discussion about global warming and scientific theory in general rather than the "emotional arguments" inherent in including a picture of polar bears on a report about global warming (especially when there have been recent reports indicating that polar bear populations might be negatively affected by global warming).

Joe said...

Freder,

You make the mistake of many a semi-educated layman on the subject of so-called greenhouse gases. This is illustrated by your use of an actual greenhouse as a metaphor, which is very misleading. For one, these gases do not prevent convection.

Another mistake you make is assuming that there is a direct correspondance between rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and temperature increase. In fact, the correlation is very weak. From the 1940s to the late 1970s, CO2 was increasing, but global temperatures were decreasing. Moreover, any correlation that may exist would decrease as CO2 concentrations increase. (It's also critical to point out that past records show that increased CO2 concentrations FOLLOW high temperatures, not precede them--based purely on the historical record, we are about to enter an era of global cooling, not warming.)

A bigger point is that CO2 is a very insignifcant "geenhouse" gas. It makes up only about 0.038% of the atmosphere. Water vapor is by far the most important component in maintaining the temperature of the earth an its atmosphere.

Earlier you also made the statement that glaciers were shrinking or at least not growing. That's just plain false. SOME glaciers are shrinking, others are static and some are growing. Furthermore, some glaciers that are shrinking are doing so not to any global warming effect that may be happening, but due to local conditions. Mount Kilimanjaro being the prime example--the overwhelming evidence is that shrinking glaciers on it are due to a massive decrease in the forests surrounding the mountain which has significantly decreased the local humidity and rainfall. The real shame is that concentrating on anthropoligic global warming as the cause has prevented practical reforestation efforts from being made that would likely have a profound effect. (I should also point out that Mount Kilimanjaro is an inactive volcano that could erupt at any time, destroying its glaciers in the process.)

Finally, just for the record, what should the temperature of the earth be?

Joe said...

Freder, one more thing. There is not only no evidence Polar Bears are negatively affected by an increase in arctic temperature, they are, in point of fact, helped by it. Cherry picking one population of bears does not make for good evidence.

Ask yourself; why would slightly higher temperatures decrease the polar bear population? (You do know that even under the wildest predictions, the arctic isn't going to warm to 50 degrees F.) Plus, if cold was such an asset to Polar Bears, why aren't they common above 88 degrees north latitude?

I posit that any decrease in polar bear populations would most likely be due to a decrease in seal and walrus populations which, in turn, is most likely due to overfishing and direct disruption of those habitats by humans. Point being once again that there IS something we can do about it, but it has nothing to do with reducing greenhouse gases.

Freder Frederson said...

Please explain how man's actions are causing Mars and Jupiter to undergo global warming?

Well, this is the kind of reasoning I love. Global Warming theory is bad because we don't have enough information to predict the earth's climate. We simply don't have enough information about the past climate history of the earth to even know for sure if the earth is really getting warmer. Our data doesn't go back far enough. The computer models suck because we don't have enough input and they are too simplified.

But wait, Jupiter and Mars, which we have exponentially less data on, and absolutely no historic temperature data, and have atmospheres nothing remotely like that of the earth, may be getting warmer. Therefore any warming on earth cannot be caused by man.

Even if this is true and the radiation from the sun has increased in the past few years, guess what, it has been accounted for in the models and can not account for all the warming. Besides, increased solar radiation would cause be most pronounced at the equator and less so at the poles. Just the opposite is the case.

I still haven't received a response to my question. Why shouldn't increased CO2 in the atmosphere increase temperatures? What is the mechanism that would counteract that scientifically demonstrable effect. btw most of the models actually show that something has depressed the effect of the increased CO2, that if warming were based entirely on CO2 levels it would have warmed more than the actual recorded increase.

Tully said...

LMAO. Frederson conceded the "debate" on his part as being completely about some quasi-religious faith and not about science at all, right here:

Obviously, computer models will never be good enough because we will never know enough about the climate with enough certainty

The entire anthropogenic forcing debate is completely model-dependant.

I guess one question I would like to ask. Why wouldn't increases in greenhouse gases lead to higher global temperatures? Is anyone here seriously denying that CO2 levels have not increased significantly over the last 100 years. Is anyone questioning the thermodynamics?

First, that's THREE questions. In order: calls for speculation and negative proofs, a.k.a., non-scientific and fallacious reasoning; the bad grammatical construction aside, the forcing advocates leap from a to z without covering the rest of the alphabet, making the question a "so what?"; and lastly, yes, the thermodynamics is in question, as being only one small part of a very large and complex open system that is only partially modelled, and poorly at that.

But it's really all about faith, isn't it, Frederson? Because it's clear to me you don't understand the science OR the modelling, and are apparently unequipped to assess them.

Joe said...

Freder, the point about observable warming on Mars and other planets is that it supports the theory that the current warming trend on earth since the late 1970s is due to solar dynamics, including a documented increase in solar intensity.

Freder Frederson said...

Ask yourself; why would slightly higher temperatures decrease the polar bear population? (You do know that even under the wildest predictions, the arctic isn't going to warm to 50 degrees F.) Plus, if cold was such an asset to Polar Bears, why aren't they common above 88 degrees north latitude?

Because bears hunt on sea ice. If sea ice forms later in the fall and retreats earlier in the spring (as it has undoubtedly been doing for the last twenty years), then the bears spend less time on the ice during their prime hunting season when they build up most of the fat and bulk that sustains them for the summer (when they basically become scavengers). Longer stretches off the ice mean longer periods without their major food source, which in turn means starvation for some bears and eventual extinction of those populations at the southern reaches of their range.

If you bothered to link to the reports I provided or even do a little research, you would learn these things.

Joe said...

A note on computer models. You'd think you could take the known data from 1900 and use those models to project temperatures every decade since. You can't. This makes the computer models worthless.

If you don't 1900 as a start, fine, use 1960. You'll still find the computer models hopelessly wrong.

Those doing models know this so they tweak the model to reflect what has happened AND to produce the results that agree with their hypothesis. THIS IS NOT SCIENCE.

danny said...

Exxon isn't doing oppo research on enviro-whackos, they are funding research to directly discredit scientists, and their data. It would be hard to believe they would be just worried about their "image".

Umm, just who do you think the enviro-whackos are?

Exxon and other oil companies aren't "just" worried about their image, they are rightly worried about their business being negatively affected by an all-out assault from those who oppose them and who will use any means necessary to do so. They would be stupid not to confront them with opposing data. For some reason however, you seem to think they shouldn't have this right. Does that mean if you owned a business, and folks were making things up in an attempt to put you out of business, you would just let this happen unopposed?

Hmm, well, I guess it depends on whether it "feels" good, lol. Isn't that how libs make their decisions?

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, the point about observable warming on Mars and other planets is that it supports the theory that the current warming trend on earth since the late 1970s is due to solar dynamics,

And my point is that in order to discount global warming you fully embrace a theory that has even less empirical evidence and is more speculative than the one you don't like (and doesn't even disprove it--both could be occurring at the same time).

You state a long laundry list of reasons why global warming theory is bad and then propose a counter-theory that is even more flawed. Pardon me for seeing the irony.

Tully said...

You use the word "empirical." I do not think it means what you think it means.

Tully said...

Hey, folks, this is just as much fun as arguing with creation scientists, isn't it? :-)

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

Freder, polar bears hunt in a variety of ways. They do not have to hunt on polar ice. Even if they did, there is still plenty of ice up there. You are under a bizarre assumption that the polar ice cap is vanishing.

Second, I did read the cherry picking reports you picked and they don't establish anything. They studies a select group of bears and did so VERY poorly. Good God, the report even admitted they didn't even COUNT the damn bears several years.

Until the early 70s, it was open season on bears. Since then hunting has been generally banned. Since then bear populations HAVE INCREASED ON THE WHOLE.

Hmm, lets look at the NCPA report. Oops, only the populations of 2 of the 20 distinct polar bear population groups are decreasing. Ten populations are stable. 2 populations are increasing. Damn those statistics. http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba/ba551/ (The report also finds there isn't overall arctic warming. Damn you actual measured science--shakes fist.)

A closer look at what's actually happening shows that direct human activity--hunting, fishing, etc,--are having a far greater effect.

R C Dean said...

a decrease in seal and walrus populations which, in turn, is most likely due to overfishing and direct disruption of those habitats by humans.

Namely, Eskimos and other arctic-dwelling ethnic groups.

In short, the best thing we could do for polar bears is terminate the hunting rights and related cultural traditions of Eskimos and others.

Any takers? Feder?

If not, then you really care about man's impact on polar bears, but must have some other agenda in mind.

Gahrie said...

"But wait, Jupiter and Mars, which we have exponentially less data on, and absolutely no historic temperature data, and have atmospheres nothing remotely like that of the earth, may be getting warmer"

They are using the same data to deduce warming on Mars and Jupiter, as the ecowackos are using on Earth...shrinking ice caps on Mars and increased storm activity on Jupiter.

Oh by the way, the difference in the amount and breadth of tempature records between Earth and the rest of the solar system is insignificant, both in real terms and statistically.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

And my point is that in order to discount global warming you fully embrace a theory that has even less empirical evidence and is more speculative than the one you don't like

Your fucking kidding me right? The evidence for increased temperatures due to increased solar activity and orbital dynamics is extremely solid. That this happens is beyond despute, the ONLY debate is the extent to which solar cycles affect temperature, not that they do.

(I've long been befuddled by the denials of the religion of global warming that there are greenhouse gases that trap solar radiation, but that an increase in solar intensity [just one solar factor] has no effect on the so-called greenhouse effect. This is just plain stupid.)

(Taking just CO2, the empirical evidence--that is based on actual measured results--is that increases of atmospheric CO2 concentrations follow global high temperatures. Other evidence is that the effect of CO2 is logarithmic [on a decreasing scale.])

Tully said...

Careful there, Joe. You might confuse him by using real science.

Eugene said...

Good point about Creationism. Posit first that the Earth was created some 6000 years ago in its "finished" form, just the way (and at exactly the right temperature) God intended, and the curious convergence between Creationism and global warming alarmism becomes all the clearer.

Like fundamentalists of all stripes, the global warming alarmist maps the world against the primeval Eden of a by-gone age and promises a future heaven, but only if we genuflect before his particular cross.

Man (especially modern man) is a fallen creature, responsible for bringing sin into the world. Any change is bad, and rapid change is downright evil. Tomorrow will be worse than today unless we repent and confess the one true God.

Like the Fundies who interpret every twitch in the Middle East as proof that the Second Coming is nigh at hand (wherein the heretics will get toasted, and serves them right!), every weather report is offered as convincing proof of the looming apocalypse.

And your sins will be forgiven if you buy a Prius. Oh, sorry, that's medieval Catholicism. But, hey, I didn't say it wasn't an ecumenical movement!

ShadyCharacter said...

I repeat, why shouldn't we believe in global cooling as posited in the 70's? As laymen we'd have to take it on faith either way. It's not like we have any reason to trust these politicized "scientists".

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, polar bears hunt in a variety of ways. They do not have to hunt on polar ice. Even if they did, there is still plenty of ice up there. You are under a bizarre assumption that the polar ice cap is vanishing.

Apparently, you are under the bizarre assumption that polar bears do not limit their hunting almost exclusively to sea ice and that the buildup of fat during prime hunting season is not crucial to survival during the ice free months. You also apparently mistakenly believe the north polar ice cap is not shrinking.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Logically I look at it this way. Assume science is correct (and not fudged, smudged or just an outright fabrication), and the average temperature has gone up a degree. If this means the Polar Regions have suddenly gotten warm enough to melt, doesn’t that mean these areas have warmed by MORE than a degree? And doesn’t the law of averages say that is if one number goes up by, say 5 points, in order for the average to only go up 1 point, some other number must go down by 4 points? If the Polar Regions have warmed, where has it gotten cooler?

Or let’s assume the Polar Regions have warmed by the required one degree between frozen and melting. If that one degree was all it took, how cold could they have been in the first place? Did they warm from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 33 degree Fahrenheit?

The Earth is around 4 billion years old. Over those 4 billion years the climate has changed around thousands of times. Fossil evidence of tropical climates in Antarctica is well known. The fact that the eastern half or the United States was at one point under a 40 feet of warm water, and at another under 40 feet of ice is also well known and borne out by fossil evidence.

Why is this change any different?

Aristophanes said...

Frederson: but to argue that recent studies are wrong or that the Arctic ice cap is not retreating requires one to have his head pretty far up his butt.

Oh, and so sorry for being rude. No one on this site is ever rude to me or the other lefties who post.


I doubt that you are sorry for the rudeness. And if others have been rude to you that is your problem with them, not me. I'm not arguing about the size of the ice cap my issue was the polar bears and Taylor who you poo-poo'ed was part of the study that you cited. Too, the study you cited is remarkable for it's study of the various populations and subpopulations and almost all of those sections ended in 1.) More information will be available in the near future; 2.) The population is increasing; 3.) The population is decreasing; and 4.) We are unable to discern which direction the population is going.

This is hardly scientific proof of a significant decline in the populations of polar bears. However, even having said that, it is obvious that Ms. Althous' article was not about the decline of Ursus Maritimus but about the dishonesty of the photograph implying that the bear's ice home had suddenly melted around them and left them "trapped."

Again, the scientific community is right to be concerned about the state of the polar bear population, but its decline has not been proven and it should be obvious that they survived the Eemian warm 'optimum' in which temperatures were some 2.0 to 3.5 degrees warmer than today's temperature. How do you suppose that happened? Further information In the north of Scandinavea, January temperatures are suggested as having been 8 deg.C higher. As we can believe that temperatures above Scandinavea would be fairly stable in Northern Canada, Alaska and Russia, we can also be fairly certain that the polar bears didn't rent any freezers in order to survive that onslaught of warmer weather and subsequent shrinking of any ice.

I'll refrain from inserting any rude comments, and I'll allow you to be the holder of that little bit of vituperousness.

monkeyboy said...

I wonder if during the original ice age, people blamed themselves for the increase in the ice, and wondered what they had to sacrifice to make the bears go away.

Oligonicella said...

freder

Looked at your reference. Interesting. The following tables summarize two columns.

Estimate risk of future decline (10yr)
very high = 3
higher = 3
lower = 4
very low = 3
no estimate = 7

current status
not reduced = 6
reduced = 4
severely red. = 2
data deficient = 6

Looks like your own link says it's a push on bear populations.

LoafingOaf said...

Freder Frederson said...
What's your point?

A responsible news media is supposed to report as accurately as possible, but on the global warming issue the media has decided they are on a mission to persuade the public to support a cause. This should make anyone increase their skepticism, even while acknowledging that the cause is a good one. The media uncritically embraces the worst, most fear-mongering forecasts and wants people to believe the scariest doomsday scenerios, and thus will distort things, and selectively report the science, in order to persuade people to become more urgent about global warming.

Here is what a scientist on climate change - Prof. Stephen - once said:

[W]e need to get some broadbased 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... Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

I'm a mere layperson, so I feel I have to go along with so many scientists saying there's global warming and we should be concerned. So I am concerned, even though I really don't know what the hell is going on with the climate or whether it's caused by humans or cycles of nature. Furthermore, I have in fact adjusted my lifestyle to be more environmentally friendly, in contrast to, for example, John Edwards who is outlining his campaign to save the planet from his new 28,000 sq. ft. mansion!

But even as a layperson, I can look beyond movies like The Day After Tomorrow and Al Gore's presentations and see that a lot of people are purposely hyping worst case scenerios in order to win over the public. When I see hype it makes me distrust the media, and the scientists, who are on a mission of public persuasion. Yeah, people have gotta know the worst-case scenerios from scientists, but also should know that the worst-case scenerios are unlikely. (They also should've been told the truth about Kyoto.)

It's not considered newsworthy when scientists find evidence that, for example, Antartica might have increased snowfall and will gain in mass. Or that it will probably take thousands of years for Greenland's ice to disappear - plenty of time for technology to develop. Or that scientists are now substantially downgrading how high sea levels might rise. These sorts of things can be found in the IPCC's report - http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM2feb07.pdf - but not in my local newspaper.

The media doesn't wanna report any findings that might make you think things might not be as bad as Al Gore is warning.

LoafingOaf said...

Oops, I forget to add the scientist's full name to this:

Here is what a scientist on climate change - Professor Stephen Schneider - once said:

[W]e need to get some broadbased 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... Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

He's a climate expert and he said that to Discover Magazine. Had to Google to figure out where I'd saved that quote from. The quote was used in this article: http://www.johannorberg.net/?page=articles&articleid=143&b

So some of them admit doing what Althouse points out.

Carl said...

The bear is obviously named Yukon Ursus Cornelius, and he's escaping a Bumble.

Jay Manifold said...

Local troll "Freder Frederson" said:

"Mars, which we have exponentially less data on, and absolutely no historic temperature data, and have atmospheres nothing remotely like that of the earth, may be getting warmer. Therefore any warming on earth cannot be caused by man."

Over 10,000 filar-micrometer and red light CCD measurements of Mars' north polar cap have been taken over the past 40 years, and they show that it has been shrinking.

Every human being on Earth could disappear tomorrow and global warming would continue.

Don't you get it? We have to adapt. Stasis is not an option. Period.

Christy said...

The entire film March of the Penguins was designed to make us beat our chests and swear off SUVs. Unfortunately the early narration also mentions that the Emperor Penguin lifestyle is a recent (in evolutionary terms) adaptation to the ice after their temperate world disappeared.

I also like to remember that the first life forms on this planet polluted themselves out of existence. They couldn't exist in the oxygen rich atmosphere they excreted. But, Hey, I can live with that.

It is all about change.

I've done a bit of modeling of thermodynamic systems over the years, even have a few published papers to my credit. Nothing nearly as complicated as climate modeling, though. And I agree that we don't have the correct data not the quantity of data needed to validate the models for global warming.

My experience also tells me that while we all want a clean healthy environment, environmental activists get absolutely orgasmic if they can stick it to big business. Thus we see Exxon fighting back. But go ahead and believe that Exxon scientists are bought and paid for if you like. Also know that the labs and universities are full of programs that continue to be funded only as long as they can stir the global warming pot. Financial incentive exists on both sides.

Harry Eagar said...

Freder sez: 'Historic records won't be enough until every square meter of the earth is covered with temperature monitors.'

That was aimed at me. The point, though, Freder, was that around 1907 two-thirds (or more) of the square meters were not observed.

No records. Nil, nada, zip, zero, not any.

There are no global temperature records earlier than 1979. And those are of upper layers of the atmosphere.

There are no global surface records until the 21st century.

Jay said...

From the WSJ via, appropriately enough, Small Dead Animals

http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/005307.html

The bullet:

Polar Bear Population

1950's 5000
65-70 8-10,000
1984 25,000
2005 20-25,000

Couple of things. The picture was taken in summer. Ice bergs (and these are what my friends in Newfoundland call "bergies") melt in summer.

Various Canadian studies suggest that there are a couple of sub-populations which are declining and a number of others which are increasing.

RES said...

Hmmmm ... back in the mid-19th Century wasn't it the consensus of the scientific community that Louis Pasteur was a dangerous nut? And how long has it been since the consensus of the scientific community was that the atom was indivisible? Hoorah for scientific consensus!!!

And I saw a picture the other day proving Global Warming is occurring in the third world! There were scads of emaciated brown people lying enervated, barely clad and clearly exhausted from the heat! You could look it up, just Google St. Tropez!

douglas said...

“Where's the photograph of the bear chomping down on a cute baby seal?
Uh Ann? They can't find any to chomp on.
Part of the problem.” – Salvage

“Because bears hunt on sea ice. If sea ice forms later in the fall and retreats earlier in the spring (as it has undoubtedly been doing for the last twenty years), then the bears spend less time on the ice during their prime hunting season when they build up most of the fat and bulk that sustains them for the summer (when they basically become scavengers). Longer stretches off the ice mean longer periods without their major food source, which in turn means starvation for some bears and eventual extinction of those populations at the southern reaches of their range.”-Freder

How about this: Polar Bears in different communities have differing hunting habits and techniques. Some groups primarily hunt the on-land dens of the seals. The Baffin bay group may be particularly affected for reasons having little or nothing at all to do with the sea ice. Perhaps 1800 is about the size population that area can support with adequate food sources. There is nothing in the polar bear studies linked here that even consider competition for territory or food supplies. It’s a pretty badly written study besides.
Not as bad as “which in turn means starvation for some bears and eventual extinction of those populations at the southern reaches of their range”. Extinction means the ENTIRE species, not a single population concentration. Starvation for some could in fact mean MORE food available for the other remaining bears, and they might well live on quite happily. It’s at least as likely as Freder’s convictions.

This one really made me bust up:

”Even if this is true and the radiation from the sun has increased in the past few years, guess what, it has been accounted for in the models and can not account for all the warming. Besides, increased solar radiation would cause be most pronounced at the equator and less so at the poles. Just the opposite is the case.” – Freder

So, it’s a non-factor, but they accounted for THAT in the models… like you know what they accounted for or not in the models- and to generalize like that, what a zealot.
How then to explain the melting of the Martian ice caps due to solar radiation increases? Shouldn’t the warming have been equatorial, especially given that convection would be next to nil on Mars? Also, since you’re the one pointing to the polar regions as a forewarning of global warming, you must realize that it would hold true for the solar scenario as well, right? You do understand what convection and conduction are, right?

What are you, a freshman in college?

Oh, and some liar claimed 50mpg from his Jetta Diesel-


Gov. milage data:

2005 Volkswagen Jetta
Fuel Economy
Fuel Type Diesel
MPG (city) 32
MPG (highway) 43
MPG (combined) 36

Okay, maybe he’s not lying and he only drives on downgrade highways. Sorry.

And I love Jettas, I drive one.

Barry said...

Global warming is like Watergate: follow the money. Who stands to gain or profit should national governments cave to global warming alarmism?

Freder Frederson said...

What are you, a freshman in college?

Granted, it was not very well written so I will try again.

I don't dispute that there has been a measurable increase in radiation from the sun recently. But just like greenhouse gases, any predicted effect on earth's climate would suffer the from the exact same shortcomings that makes you so dismissive of greenhouse gas caused warming. We have a thick atmosphere that partially shields us from solar radiation. Simply looking at another planet with a much thinner atmosphere and saying solar radiation is responsible for the melting of the ice caps (which aren't even water ice) on Mars (which of course is a huge leap in and of itself), therefore it must be primarily responsible for the retreat of ice caps on earth is ridiculous.

That being said, increased radiation may be responsible for a portion of the global temperature rise. But just because it accounts for a portion of the rise, it doesn't mean that greenhouse gases are not the primary agent.

As for my wife's Jetta. When did I ever say it was a 2005. You forgot to factor in two things before you accused me of lying. First, diesel engines have quite a long break in period, so unlike gasoline engine you can actually expect better gas mileage, especially after you have 10,000 miles or so on the odometer, than EPA estimates. Secondly, our Jetta is a 2001, which has a smaller engine than the 2005 (I think they upped the horsepower from 95 to 110). The 2001 had mileage ratings of 42 city and 49.3 highway. I believe I said that we get up to 50 mpg on the highway, which of course is well within reason. That was on a trip from New Orleans to Phoenix on I-10, which has got to be one of the flattest stretches of highways in the country (except for a few mountains around El Paso).

RogerA said...

Perhaps its time for the "credentials" card. I, for one, would be very interested in the educational background and other CV type information on some of the participants in this conversation. I am assuming, Freder, for example, is a nobel laurate in Biology, Thermodynamics, Statistical Modelling, Oceanography, and meterology. How about the rest of you? Oh wait: Freder: arent you a CPA? in New Orleans? I think you shared that with the group.

What a maroon.

Fatmouse said...

I'm late to the party, but wanted to reply to one of Feeder's insults towards us ignorant righties:

"If the same group of scientists were predicting a catastrophic meteor smashing into the earth in 50 years; would you believe them then?"

Yes, I would, if they could show proof - I'd even accept one of those dreaded "computer models" us wingnuts fear so much. It'd go like this:

"Here's the position and velocity of the meteor. Here's the position and velocity of the Earth. Here are all the significant gravity wells in the area. Now watch as the meteor hits the earth."

Astronomers have been reliably predicting the motion of heavenly bodies for thousands of years. In the past century physicists have done a great job shooting rockets at things millions of miles away. If they say a rock will hit earth and can show their math, I'll believe them since they've proven themselves time and time again.

On the other hand, "climatologists" haven't done shit.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder: arent you a CPA?

Uhh, no I'm not. I'm a chemist who has spent most of my career as an environmental scientist. Currently I'm working on a masters in environmental engineering. So I bet I know a lot more about science and the environment than most of you posting on this site.

RogerA said...

Freder--so do you or do you not have an MS--it isnt clear from your post--the only thing that is clear is that you are a chemist and that you are working on an MS. From that I would infer you have a baccalaurate degree. If that is so, I think you are making a really foolish bet.

trantor said...

Freder, since you are claiming to be a near-expert on the CO2 impact on climate, what about the fact that the impact of CO2 is a horizontally-leveling off curve? i.e, each doubling of CO2 contributes less and less to its impact on greenhousing?

Lets begin with an atmosphere of 0 CO2. Then add 50PPM to it. We get a GH effect of "L". Now we double the CO2 to 100. We get a change in L to about 1.4L. Double CO2 to 200PPM, and it increases to about 1.6L. Double it to 400PPM, and it increases to 1.8L. Double it to 800PPM and it increases again, to lets say 1.9L. The next doubling to 1600PPM gives very little increase, lets say to 1.95L. and on and on.

Historically, CO2 levels, as you must know, have higher than 4,000PPM. Was the earth a furnace back then? No. In fact, when a chart of CO2 atmospheric levels is plotted against earth mean temperatures, over geologic time, there is almost NO correlation. Some of the coolest periods have been associated with 3,000PPM levels of CO2. Some of the warmest periods have been associated with the CO2 starved levels of todays atmosphere.

I am sure you know all this. Yet you blather on with this "anthropogenic global warming" nonsense. What about the science? Yes maybe it makes "common sense", but science is not consensus, it is hypothesis, testing, theory, etc. What is in the geological record to support this theory, when we have wildly varying CO2 levels to measure against?

The US government funded global warming advocates to the tune of 60 billion dollars in recent years. That is a lot of incentive to keep this issue going.

I do agree we should focus on cleaner, more efficient energy sources, and put oil to better use (materials sciences) than simply burning it.

But this concept of mankind-caused "in the past 30 years" global warming is a total fraud. Fortunately, a few scientists are brave enough to investigate alternative models, and indeed, it appears the triggers for planetary weather cycles are primarily cosmic in nature (solar, cosmic radiation, etc.) I don't think mankind can be blamed for 60,000,000 year weather patterns after all, can it? And lets not forget the impact of magnetic cycles, which seem to be correlative, if not causative, os some of the biggest climatological upheavals in historical records.

Climatology is about cycles. Study cycles and you will understand climate much better. There are thousands of cycles, from 60 year, 100 year, 600 year, ten thousand year, etc. It is all in the geologic record, well before the SUV was invented.

Ponder what the meaning of science is, while you are still in school. Someone forgot to teach you the basics. Whether it turns out that man is involved with climate changes or not,you will be the better for looking at the science, rather than a consensus-based vision. Lets not go back to medieval science methodology, metaphorically burning the opposition to the stake.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, since you are claiming to be a near-expert on the CO2 impact on climate, what about the fact that the impact of CO2 is a horizontally-leveling off curve? i.e, each doubling of CO2 contributes less and less to its impact on greenhousing?

I never claimed to be a "near-expert" on the CO2 impact on the climate. What I object to is the reflexive dismissal of global warming theories apparently because there is some massive international conspiracy to foist this hoax upon the world.

You say "what about the science?" Yet the prevailing weight of the scientific evidence supports "this 'anthropogenic global warming' nonsense." You tell me to "[p]onder what the meaning of science is, while you are still in school. Someone forgot to teach you the basics." Yet your dismissive attitude to the evidence of anthropogenic global warming belies a closed mindedness that shows you have forgotten the basics (if you ever understood them at all).

As for cycles, well maybe you need to examine the cycles again to figure out why a lot--in fact most--of the people who have devoted their lives studying this agree with me, not you.

Which raises the question. If I am so ignorant of science, closed minded, why is the prevailing scientific opinion so stacked against you? Are we really supposed to believe that the advocates of global warming (whoever this nefarious group is) are really better funded than those who would present alternative theories. Exxon-Mobil made $36 billion last year!

Freder Frederson said...

Freder--so do you or do you not have an MS--it isnt clear from your post--the only thing that is clear is that you are a chemist and that you are working on an MS. From that I would infer you have a baccalaurate degree. If that is so, I think you are making a really foolish bet.

Even without my work experience--and my BS was almost twenty years ago--, I bet the majority of people commenting here don't have science or engineering degrees.

RogerA said...

IOW, you have a baccalaurate in chemistry (congratulations, BTW, as hard science degrees are worthy things) and are working on a Master's Degree (also a worthy undertaking). That was my question. Thanks

trantor said...

Oops, I guess science is about consensus. Galileo might have kept his head had he remembered that.

No global warming promoter can or will answer the question about how, if CO2 is such a powerful warming agent, could the earth have withstood levels of 3,000PPM and higher, with recurring ice ages, no less. And the end-carboniferous, with a climate similar to todays, was one of the exceptions, with an atmosphere starved of CO2, by historic levels. Did mankind also cause the great Permian warm-up?

CO2 doomsayers conveniently forget to mention that the average CO2 level in geologic history is nearer 3,000 PPM, than 380. (although the last 150 million years show a steady reduction in CO2 levels.) In 600 million years of geologic history, atmospheric CO2 levels have never been lower. And, the earths temperature is essentially at a 600 million year low. Higher levels of both are inevitable at some point, one would suspect. But that negates the GW agenda, doesn't it?

For mankind to be provably altering the climate, it means that a climactic cycle is being interrupted, according to an established theory.

What theory would that be? What theory predicts climatological trends, without human influence? There is none.

How can a person of science claim "anthropological global warming", when they, and every other AGW advocate, have absolutely no idea what the climate trends would be otherwise?

I know, you don't, Freder, but you are absolutely *certain* that humanity must be doing something to adversely affect the climate, right?

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Why is this GW cycle anthropological?

Blame the boomers.

The Sun has shown out of their collective arse for the last sixty years, and now that their lives are winding down they have to face the fact that they have realistially accomplished nothing.

But they MUST have had SOME impact on the Earth- and it turns out it was driving big cars, heating and cooling their massive homes and using fossil fuels. Now that they are about to become fossils themselves, its time to ban all that good stuff.

Hence they have a two fold impact- they have caused the Earth to warm by their actions, and they have caused a retrograde motion in the American economy.

I don't know how the world will survive with out them.

Christy said...

Freder,
I bet the majority of people commenting here don't have science or engineering degrees.

What is your point? Only a consensus of qualified opinion holds any water for you? So if only one person here had expertise and disagreed with you, that opinion is worthless?

nodak boy said...

I was shocked to see the photo of the polar bear standing over the seal on the blood-red ice floe.
Nuke the polar bears, those brutes.
Wait. At least he didn't use a club.
Wait. See what (hannah)-barbarity global warming is causing?
Wait. Just a degree or two more Celsius and the seals will have the upper hand.Er, flipper.
Wait. If we all drive our SUVs into the ocean, will the resulting decrease in pollution outweigh the effect of the higher sea level?
Wait. Doesn't bear pee melt ice?
Wait. Can we lower the ocean level, one seal at a time?

nodak boy said...

THE GLACIER IS COMING!! RUN!!!!
01/29/2007 | 12:13

Pack ice in Iceland’s Westfjords

“Iceland’s ancient enemy” (Landsins forni fjandi), or pack ice, has returned. The fjord of Dýrafjördur is almost blocked by ice, and inhabitants say they have never seen anything like it.

“This is a very impressive sight,” Helgi Árnason, farmer at Alvidra in Dýrafjördur, told Fréttabladid. “I have lived here my whole life, but I have never seen so much pack ice before. Forty years ago large ice bergs drifted onto beaches [in Dýrafjördur], but it was nothing compared to this.”

A helicopter from the Icelandic Coast Guard flew over the Westfjords yesterday to investigate the situation. The crew concluded that it is not safe to sail in Dýrafjördur, except for very experienced sailors, but said the ice is melting quickly due to high ocean temperatures and warm air temperatures.

Árnason said the pack ice has not affected the lives of the people who live in the area. “Smaller wooden boats will have to stay ashore,” he said, “but bigger boats can make it out to sea. Only during the day, though. It is dangerous in the dark,” Árnason added.

Árnason is not worried by the situation. “This [pack ice] used to be Iceland’s ancient enemy, but we stay calm while the situation doesn’t worsen. This is just to remind us where we live,” he said.

The winter of 1967-68 was known as the “Great Winter of Pack Ice” when ice blocked sailing routes, damaged ships and fishing gear and caused profit loss in the fishing industry and a shortage of supplies.

When pack ice was more common, polar bears were known to migrate to Iceland from Greenland on drifting ice floes. The last time a polar bear was spotted and shot in Iceland was in Haganesvík, north Iceland, in February 1988.
© Copyright icelandreview.com (Heimur hf)
Iceland Review • Borgartúni 23 • 105 Reykjavik • Iceland • Tel.(354) 512 7575 • Fax.(354) 561 8646 • icelandreview@icelandreview.com

Birkel said...

Please, just one Lefty, point me to the computer model that can take information available in 1900 and produce the weather we actually got in 2000.

Until then, please check your assuredness at the door.

douglas said...

”Simply looking at another planet with a much thinner atmosphere and saying solar radiation is responsible for the melting of the ice caps (which aren't even water ice)…”
Water or dry ice, why is that relevant?

“… on Mars (which of course is a huge leap in and of itself), therefore it must be primarily responsible for the retreat of ice caps on earth is ridiculous.”
And you’re not making huge leaps? By the way, the thinner atmosphere would reduce the sum of the solar effects on warming, so I’m not seeing how pointing that out helps your argument. Why it’s ridiculous that if the same star that irradiates Mars and Jupiter at greater distances is warming them, then it is likely warming us (unless the atmosphere is somehow shielding us entirely from it’s effects, but we know that’s not the case). How much may be up for debate, but to ‘reflexively dismiss’ it in such a manner doesn’t indicate an openmindedness to competing theories that every scientist should have.

”That being said, increased radiation may be responsible for a portion of the global temperature rise. But just because it accounts for a portion of the rise, it doesn't mean that greenhouse gases are not the primary agent.”
Great. Now, since you are making the positive assertion, burden of proof is on you. Besides your conviction on the topic (which you’ve demonstrated quite sufficiently), what have you got? What does any scientist have, really? Interesting theories, but unfortunately, little else. That you take those theories and ideas as gospel speaks more of you than of we, the critics. I must say though, that you are tenacious, and I’ll be first to admit that it’s much easier being the skeptic than the one making the proof.

”Freder: arent you a CPA?

Uhh, no I'm not. I'm a chemist who has spent most of my career as an environmental scientist. Currently I'm working on a masters in environmental engineering. So I bet I know a lot more about science and the environment than most of you posting on this site.”


I’m more interested in arguments and the actual data in studies than in opinions, which is about all you’ve offered us, unfortunately.

”What I object to is the reflexive dismissal of global warming theories”

Freder, what we object to is propaganda instead of science; theology in lieu of analysis and honest debate; and those who are making the positive assertions not bearing the burden of proof, as is their responsibility. I think most here are not ‘reflexively dismissive’ of global warming theories, but unbacked claims of veracity based on half-knowledge (and in my opinion, a healthy dose of hubris) isn’t winning us over. We’re not quite ready to toss out centuries of human technological advancement that have made our lives safer and more secure for insufficiently substantiated theories. I admire your tenacity, but it does have the echo of the zealot. The good scientist would consider such skepticisms and address them through study, and see what the results bring- whether affirming the original theory, or not. We test theories, we don’t ‘prove’ them; unless you have an agenda.

”Are we really supposed to believe that the advocates of global warming (whoever this nefarious group is) are really better funded than those who would present alternative theories. Exxon-Mobil made $36 billion last year!” -Freder

”The US government funded global warming advocates to the tune of 60 billion dollars in recent years. That is a lot of incentive to keep this issue going.” –Trantor

Better funded is irrelevant, the point is that those on both sides could be tarred with the ‘it’s for money’ brush. Why bother even getting it out? It isn’t science, that’s for sure.

Harry Eagar said...

”What I object to is the reflexive dismissal of global warming theories”

Not reflexive, Freder, reflective.

I know what I thought when I first heard about the theory of runaway greenhouse warming (I took notes and saved them), and at first it seemed plausible.

Upon reflection, though, I wondered how anybody knew what the temperature of the globe had been 100 years before. And the answer, of course, was that they didn't know.

They were just making crap up.

Kirk Parker said...

Tully,

"Several centuries ago, there was a firm 'scientific' consensus on the flatness of the earth"

Actually, there was no such concensus, but don't let that get in the way of your Truthiness.

Trantor,

"Galileo might have kept his head had he remembered that."

Uhh, Galileo did keep his head, at least until he died of old age. What the heck is going on with the imaginative histories today???

douglas said...

More thoughts on this one:
”Freder: arent you a CPA?

Uhh, no I'm not. I'm a chemist who has spent most of my career as an environmental scientist. Currently I'm working on a masters in environmental engineering. So I bet I know a lot more about science and the environment than most of you posting on this site.”


As a chemist working in environmental science, I'm sure you could tell us a great deal about what pollution does to air and water, but is that really any background from which to claim expertise in global climate change? It strikes me as being a tangetial connection, at best. Sure, you might be more familiar with methods and standards than most, but beyond that...?

Oh, and I also wanted to say sorry about suggesting you might be lying about the 50mpg diesel Jetta thing. I'll have to consider one next time.

El Presidente said...

Global warming is clearly a problem.

Like all problems the answer is Socialism.

trantor said...

Kirk (and others)

my bad on Galileo. Condemned, yes, beheaded, totally wrong.

Tully said...

Actually, there was no such concensus, but don't let that get in the way of your Truthiness.

Not until late Greek culture, apprx. around the time of Pythagoras, did the spherical earth come to prominence. Until then (and for a couple of centuries after) the Babylonian/Hebraic flat earth model was the "consensus" view. But, of course, science isn't about "consensus." That's a logical fallacy, the argumentum ad populum. Science is about evidence and testability.

Likewise, it took Kepler and Copernicus to kill off the "consensus" Ptolemaic view of circular orbits and geocentrism, ridding us of all those pesky epicycles.

Uhh, Galileo did keep his head, at least until he died of old age.

Yep. Kept his head, but was tried and convicted of heresy by the Inquisition for advocating heliocentrism, his works banned, and sentenced to house arrest for the remainder of his life. It was a century after his death before he was "rehabilitated" by the Church, and his remains allowed to be interned on hallowed ground.

I've had my review copy of the IPCC draft report since last May, when it was opened for commentary to qualified reviewers. (Yes, they required professional credentials and references--mine are sufficient, thank you.) All several thousand pages of it. Much of the referenced research is excellent, it's the political re-write and obfuscation and dismissal of the limitations of that research that goes entirely overboard. The "meta-report" and the "Policymaker's Summary" significantly misrepresent the state of the research and the associated probabilities and limitations of same. The authors of the individual studies and models are much more forthcoming about those--but that part doesn't get into the summary.

I was required to agree to not release any details of the draft report prior to official publication before I received my copy. I have scrupulously adhered to that agreement, and will continue to do so. I do note, however, that there is a copy posted online, for all those who would like to peruse same. Professional researchers and statisticians will get a good laugh out of it.

douglas said...

Tully ,thanks.

I loved this at JunkScience:
" As everyone is probably by now aware, Friday, February 2, 2007 marks the release of the IPCC's political document: Assessment Report 4, Summary for Policymakers. The media seem to be operating under the misapprehension this is equivalent to the release of IPCC Working Group I Contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis -- this is regrettably neither true nor even close to the truth.

Bizarrely, the actual report will be retained for another three months to facilitate editing -- to suit the summary! IPCC procedures state that: Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers or the Overview Chapter (Appendix A to the Principles Governing IPCC Work, p4/15) -- this is surely unacceptable and would not be tolerated in virtually any other field (witness the media frenzy because language was allegedly altered in some US climate reports). "


Perfect illustration of what we've been discussing this entire thread.

J. Peden said...

I move we nominate Freder as either proxie or poster boy for the Global Warming Alarmists. Or we could just take Piltdown Man.

Gary Hladik said...

From Freder Frederson: "So I bet I know a lot more about science and the environment than most of you posting on this site."

But not about greenhouses, apparently.

Sappho said...

The picture has not been photoshopped but it still doesn't portray what it is claimed to portray. In fact, the photograph was taken by an Australian photographer in summer and there is no indication that the bears were in any danger. The photo turned into a game of "Chinese whispers" as the story behind it was lost.

"They did not appear to be in danger…I did not see the bears get on the ice, and I did not see them get off. I cannot say either way if they were stranded or not."

— Email from Amanda Byrd to Media Watch

Sappho
http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s1887890.htm

desnmoor said...

The photo is contrived as all photos are but it doesn't change the fact that the polar bears are indeed in crisis. I would ask those who choose to think this is just a "picture" and they are just animals that "can swim"...what if these were people? What if instead of the mammal facing the most threat from global warming were not polar bears but were the native people of the artic? Would we then say, "well they can swim" and ignore the facts? No! Because animals are imaged it becomes easier not to change our thinking because they can't show emotions like we do. If a polar bear could cry and beg us humans to please stop our polluting ways to save their lives, I know it would be hard not to. Animals are worth just as much as us.

desnmoor said...

The photo is contrived as all photos are but it doesn't change the fact that the polar bears are indeed in crisis. I would ask those who choose to think this is just a "picture" and they are just animals that "can swim"...what if these were people? What if instead of the mammal facing the most threat from global warming were not polar bears but were the native people of the artic? Would we then say, "well they can swim" and ignore the facts? No! Because animals are imaged it becomes easier not to change our thinking because they can't show emotions like we do. If a polar bear could cry and beg us humans to please stop our polluting ways to save their lives, I know it would be hard not to. Animals are worth just as much as us.

desnmoor said...

The photo is contrived as all photos are but it doesn't change the fact that the polar bears are indeed in crisis. I would ask those who choose to think this is just a "picture" and they are just animals that "can swim"...what if these were people? What if instead of the mammal facing the most threat from global warming were not polar bears but were the native people of the artic? Would we then say, "well they can swim" and ignore the facts? No! Because animals are imaged it becomes easier not to change our thinking because they can't show emotions like we do. If a polar bear could cry and beg us humans to please stop our polluting ways to save their lives, I know it would be hard not to. Animals are worth just as much as us.

DougBoston said...

According to the photographer, Amanda Byrd, the photo was taken in August...seem the global alarmists forgot to tell us that...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=500424&in_page_id=1811

earth-warrior said...

1. Global warming is NOT a HOAX. Listen to world news instead of local news and you'd see that floods are happening at historic levels. Most people who believe it is a hoax is indifferent, ignorant, and basically uneducated. Not only that, watch out for those 'Exxon' scientist.

2. Polar bears are NOT 'things'. They are living creatures who deserve a chance at life.

3. Why don't we drown people and see how they like it.

4. Without animals to bring our compassion forward - humans would never lift a finger. Humans are selfish and what's one picture to help them do the right thing? After all, our politicians can lie to us night and day and get away with it.

Stephen said...

Good one!

CordialCaitlan said...

This isn't about the photographer, or the angle in which he or she took that photo. YES Polar bears CAN swim. But if you had to swim over 60 miles to find one ice cap to sit on, don't you think you'd get a little tired as well? THAT'S why they're dying. They don't only depend on those ice caps to rest, but to get their food. When there are no ice caps, there are no seals. Polar bears weren't built to hunt under water.
It's pretty sad that some of you are being so apathetic because polar bears eat seals. I'm not a member of PETA, and I'm not vegetarian, vegan or anything of the sort, but last I checked, we kill cows and lamb for protein, and wear the fur of already extinct animals.
Take a look in your own backyard.
They have to survive just like we do. and WE are jeopardizing their way of life. Polar bears were put on the Endangered Species act, yet the Administration said they would take no steps to stop massive oil and gas development in their habitats. so yes, WE, US HUMANS, are helping the extinction of Polar bears.
And because of the climate change, Grizzly Bears are moving farther North into Polar bear territory, as well as the other way around. Grizzly bears were built to hunt and kill, Polar bears were built to swim, it's obvious who will come out on top in a fight to the death.

We treat our earth like crap, That picture being taken in August has little to do with that picture. I doubt those polar bears would be sitting on that ice cap if there was one 2 miles away that was in better condition.
Call it global warming, call it climate change, call it whatever you want. We're affecting the state of our planet. Quit being so ignorant.

kita1987 said...

I just have one thing to say; all of you are completely ignorants, please read the news or scientific reports and stop saying the most ignorant and stupid arguments I have ever read.

Polar bears must eat "cute baby seals" it is part of the life cycle. Polar bears eat them because they need them, that is their basic and almost only source of food, however, men kill them in horrible ways just to get their so beautiful sking !!!!!!!!!!
The fact is we are destroying our planet, the one that we need in order to survive, if we destroy oue planet where are we going to live??????

STOP BEING SO IGNORANT PEOPLE AND OPEN YOUR EYES AND MINDS PLEASE