March 13, 2007

"I don't want to pick on Al Gore."

"But there are a lot of inaccuracies in the statements we are seeing, and we have to temper that with real data."

The NYT has an article on scientists who think Al Gore is overdoing it on global warming:
Some of Mr. Gore’s centrist detractors point to a report last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body that studies global warming. The panel went further than ever before in saying that humans were the main cause of the globe’s warming since 1950, part of Mr. Gore’s message that few scientists dispute. But it also portrayed climate change as a slow-motion process.

It estimated that the world’s seas in this century would rise a maximum of 23 inches — down from earlier estimates. Mr. Gore, citing no particular time frame, envisions rises of up to 20 feet and depicts parts of New York, Florida and other heavily populated areas as sinking beneath the waves, implying, at least visually, that inundation is imminent....

So too, a report last June by the National Academies seemed to contradict Mr. Gore’s portrayal of recent temperatures as the highest in the past millennium. Instead, the report said, current highs appeared unrivaled since only 1600, the tail end of a temperature rise known as the medieval warm period....

In October, Dr. Easterbrook made similar points at the geological society meeting in Philadelphia. He hotly disputed Mr. Gore’s claim that “our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this” threatened change.

Nonsense, Dr. Easterbrook told the crowded session. He flashed a slide that showed temperature trends for the past 15,000 years. It highlighted 10 large swings, including the medieval warm period. These shifts, he said, were up to “20 times greater than the warming in the past century.”

Getting personal, he mocked Mr. Gore’s assertion that scientists agreed on global warming except those industry had corrupted. “I’ve never been paid a nickel by an oil company,” Dr. Easterbrook told the group. “And I’m not a Republican.”
Read the whole thing.

195 comments:

Al Maviva said...

Al Gore: Do you deny global warming?

Global Warming Denier: Well, I have some real questions about the mechanism and the effect of human activity, but I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition...

[Enter Cardinal Fang and two cronies]

Fang: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapons are fear mongering, alarmism, and fanatical devotion to Al Gore!

Mike said...

Gore exagerrating? They must be mistaken. Don't they know he won an Academy Award?

Simon said...

"[A] report last June by the National Academies seemed to contradict Mr. Gore’s portrayal of recent temperatures as the highest in the past millennium. Instead, the report said, current highs appeared unrivaled since only 1600, the tail end of a temperature rise known as the medieval warm period ... Dr. Easterbrook ... hotly disputed Gore’s claim that “our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this” threatened change." (Emphases added)

Is that a pun?? ;)

Fen said...

And don't even go into Gore's Carbon Offset Scheme. The one he uses to offset the 12x energy he uses? He "buys" carbon credits from a company he founded. He sits on the board. Likely gets a check for it. He might as well be buying stock to offset his footprint. No wonder he cavorts around the globe fearmongering everyone into buying offsets. What a racket.

Anthony said...

Gore exaggerated his claims?

No way, next you'll be telling me that Roger Smith really did meet with Michael Moore.

Mike said...

Anthony, of course he did. Don't you know Michael Moore won an Academy Award?

Kirby Olson said...

It's difficult to evaluate a film like Gore's. It seems that it would be convenient for the Democrats to focus attention on that, and do a Chicken Little routine.

My five-year-old told me as a fact the other day, "Dad, did you know that polar bears are hungry because the ice caps are melting?" Something he'd picke dup in kindergarten.

How do I check this fact for myself? Did a polar bear slip on the ice and fall in or something? What is this statement based on, and how many scientists were responsible for coming up with the endangered polar bear routine due to melting ice caps.

I personally would like to get winter down to about 15 minutes, and I think it would be nice if Greenland were to turn green once more, so that its name fit more precisely.

Doyle said...

[Barf]

Doyle said...

Why didn't you excerpt this part, you mindless hack?

“On balance, he did quite well — a credible and entertaining job on a difficult subject,” Dr. Oppenheimer said. “For that, he deserves a lot of credit. If you rake him over the coals, you’re going to find people who disagree. But in terms of the big picture, he got it right.”

Crimso said...

They actually make the claim that few scientists dispute that humans are causing global warming. That is pure hogwash. I know many who do (myself included), for the simple fact that it is not a testable hypothesis. I wish I could publish things that I'm pretty sure of, but for which I have no experimental data.

Doyle said...

That is pure hogwash.

No, it's not.

Dash said...

Doyle,

she doesn't quote Oppenheimer because he is the advisor behind Gore who was responsible for the accuracy of the content. Of course he would think it was basically right.

Doyle said...

You're right. My mistake.

Global warming is still a problem to which carbon emissions contribute, and Ann remains a mindless hack.

Simon said...

Killer rejoinder there, Doyle:

"[H]uman[] ... caus[ed] global warming ... is not a testable hypothesis."

"No it's not."

That's a cast-iron argument sure to win over skeptics.

Crimso said...

Are you a scientist? Because I am, pal. I know science when I see it, and what Gore and his buddies are peddling ain't science. And before you go appealing to the NAS or whoever else you want to cite, show me the experiments demonstrating that humans cause global warming. It'll take you a long, long time to find it, because it's not there.

Dash said...

As long as we are calling people hacks how about the NYT writer who included that worthless quote by Oppenheimer and another from Hanson? I would certainly hope that his two closest advisors would agree with his content. Couldn't they find anyone slightly more impartial to quote in his defense?

Doyle said...

Global warming skeptics are to be mocked, not persuaded.

Dash said...

Is that because stooges can't be trusted with the facts?

AJ Lynch said...

I read this story yesterday.

I wonder if Hillary could be behind the story? Is she attempting to get people to undermine Gore's core appeal (to Dem voters)?

mcg said...

I agree with Doyle; global warming skeptics are to be mocked. The only thing is, I know of nobody who doubts the planet is warming. It's the cause we're getting at.

And when Gore shows a several-hundred-year temperature/CO2 graph in his movie, and says "When CO2 rises, the planet ges warmer"---only to find out that the CO2 rises lag the temperature rises by several hundred years---then I begin to wonder precisely who ought to be mocked.

Doyle said...

It's because the remaining stooges at this point aren't likely to change their minds short of major disaster. No matter how much warmer it is now than at any point in history, they'll just keep waiting for this "natural variation" to work itself out.

Fen said...

I read this story yesterday. I wonder if Hillary could be behind the story? Is she attempting to get people to undermine Gore's core appeal (to Dem voters)?

I wondered too. I'm still shocked that the NYTs would run something like this.

NSC said...

Global warming skeptics are to be mocked, not persuaded.

Right back at cha, bud because I mock global warming nuts like Gore all the time.

Oh and over 17,000 scientists have signed a petition with the following statement:

We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.


Here is the link - check it out.

http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p357.htm

I would say that constitutes disagreement on the global warming issue, but maybe just saying that is mocking global warming nuts.

Doyle said...

The NYT was incredibly tough on Gore in 2000, as even Republican suckups Mark Halperin and John Harris acknowledge in "The Way to Win"

The Gore-as-serial-exaggerator meme is alive and well.

mcg said...

No matter how much warmer it is now than at any point in history, they'll just keep waiting for this "natural variation" to work itself out.

You mean, as opposed to signing treaties whose effect on this supposed cataclysm is negligible?

nick danger said...

I wondered too. I'm still shocked that the NYTs would run something like this.

Global warming is over, it's jumped the shark. Mainstreamer lefties have realized that even if all their claims are true, no disaster is forthcoming any time in the foreseeable future, which makes it useless as a political tool.

Having no political utility, it will return to being a mainly greenie-only issue.

Fen said...

And before you go appealing to the NAS or whoever else you want to cite, show me the experiments demonstrating that humans cause global warming

High Priest: "We will not show you our experiments because the science is settled. No more debate."

Thats what makes me a skeptic. If the science was settled, they'd be willing to debate it, to hold it up to scrutiny. And they can't do that.

paul a'barge said...

Geez.

I once went on a goose hunt in N. Texas, when the Canadian geese are in the midst of their migration south.

It sounded like ... Doyle.

Fen said...

Oh and over 17,000 scientists have signed a petition with the following statement:

Easily discounted. All 17,000 are on Exxon-Mobil's speed dial. Yup. And none of the alarmists need government grants to continue their "research".

Doyle said...

MCG -

If by that you mean "Instead of doing anything about carbon emissions" then yes.

The we-can't-do-anything-to-stop-it-so-why-bother argument is as dumb as it gets. If it seems plausible that a cap and trading scheme would reduce emissions and that in turn would slow global warming, it should be looked into.

I don't understand the economic objection to doing ANYTHING meaningful to limit carbon emissions just on principle. That position is stupid bordering on the insane.

SteveR said...

The inconvenient geologic truth is humans will be lucky to survive as a species long enough to merit any more than a sedimentary layer a few millimeters thick.

Science and politics make for a very bad combination. Throw in money (funding, grants, etc.) and a big helping of ego, and the "truth" is the rarest of commodities.

Fen said...

Yup. Look at the way Gore lives. Even he doesn't believe his own bs.

Henry said...

My five-year-old told me as a fact the other day, "Dad, did you know that polar bears are hungry because the ice caps are melting?" Something he'd picke dup in kindergarten.

Polar bears are thriving.

One big problem with Global Warming fearmongering is that it distracts from real environmental problems. For example, Gore uses the retreating snows of Kilimanjaro as evidence of global warming when it is not. It is actually evidence of deforestation on the slopes of Kilimanjaro.

Given the more moderate projections of the National Academies report, almost all projected global warming disasters will be lost in the noise of more tangible, local effects.

We'd do better paying attention to air quality, ground soil, and waste disposal than worrying about CO2.

For another example of false fear, consider the potential displacement of coastal peoples. This sounds scary, but the migration of peoples is a constant historical phenomenon. A two-foot rise in ocean levels will have a negligible effect compared to the impact of economic development in the neighboring town.

Genghis Khan swept across Asia and deposited tribesmen on the shores of the Black Sea without any need for a weatherman.

nick danger said...

I don't understand the economic objection to doing ANYTHING meaningful to limit carbon emissions just on principle.

Because so far all proposals follow the politician's logic:

1. There is a problem that requires something to be done.
2. This is something.
3. Therefore, it must be done.

Palladian said...

The thing that we anti-alarmists object to is the religious tone of the enviro-alarmists. This is not science, it's the opposite of science. Gaia is not angry. I don't like science to be debased by crude animism and even cruder politics.

The funny thing, noted by many others before me, is that "global warming" has occupied the place vacated by religion in the minds and souls of the left (forgive the generalization). The claims of environmental alarmists (as opposed to actual environmental scientists and other rational people) cannot be questioned. You will be accused of heresy and abused. The judgement day is approaching, atone for your sins! Buy carbon indulgences. Hang your heads in shame, for you bear the original sin of being modern man! You must go to the revival sermon (An Inconvenient Truth), you must devote yourself to an ascetic life! Repent!

Meanwhile, hopefully there are some rational adults left who are actually working on solving the problems that can be solved. The most joyous day that lies in our future is the advent of technology to replace the internal combustion engine. The people smart enough to carry us to that day aren't wasting their time with this superstitious claptrap.

But environmentalism, like religion, can be sincere or it can be a way to scam people out of their money. Mr Gore and his entourage are sure getting fat off this gravy train, aren't they? I await the skeptical nature of the left to finally kick in and question the real motives of these carnival barkers.

JohnAnnArbor said...

A two-foot rise in ocean levels will have a negligible effect compared to the impact of economic development in the neighboring town.

As we've already seen in the Great Lakes, where lake levels have varied by that much or more over the last century.

Anthony said...

This is actually quite similar to a big debate that has been going on in archaeology for years, called the Overkill theory. Many large mammals (and many smaller ones, too) went extinct at the end of the Pleistocene and a group headed by Paul Martin have argued that humans were the primary cause.

What has been particularly interesting about that particular theory is that is has largely become immune to empirical testing. Whenever anyone pointed to empirical data that seemed to disprove, or at least weaken the Overkill theory, its proponents simply changed the theory so that the existing evidence was now predicted by the theory! For example, initially they argued that there should be abundant evidence of human hunting of extinct species (e.g., New Zealand, which there is) but when some archaeologists examined the published data and found that there was, in fact, very little evidence of hunting, the Overkill partisans decided that, well, it happened so fast that there really should be very little evidence.

As Grayson and Meltzer (see here) have argued, Overkill has been driven in large part by a Green political agenda, and very often pushed by people (e.g., Jared Diamond) will little expertise in the actual archaeology they are using to argue the point.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't understand the economic objection to doing ANYTHING meaningful to limit carbon emissions just on principle. That position is stupid bordering on the insane.

First, it isn't a question about not doing something, as much as not spending trillions of dollars, as would have been mandated under Kyoto, for what seems to be turning out to be at least partially a natural phenomen.

Secondly, it still isn't clear that there would be a net advantage to us if temperatures were to rise a bit. For example, a lot of Canada and Russia/Siberia might be opened up to agriculture - probably more than a billion acres net increase per 100 miles that agriculture can move north. There have been no realistic analysis of the tradeoffs.

Doing something just to do something, and feel good about doing something, is just plain silly. Even if Global Warming were primarily human caused, and we determined that it would be advantageous to man to mitigate this, we still haven't addressed how to most economically and ecologically do that. Maybe it is time to revisit nuclear energy. There are many other things that we could do that might help - what is most economical?

Anthony said...

BTW, this sentence should read:

"For example, initially they argued that there should be abundant evidence of human hunting of extinct species (e.g., New Zealand, which there is) but when some archaeologists examined the published data and found that there was, in fact, very little evidence of hunting in North America, the Overkill partisans decided that, well, it happened so fast that there really should be very little evidence."

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add to my last that anything that Doyle (or Al Gore, et al.) wants to do himself to make himself feel better about solving the Global Warming problem is fine with me. My problem is when his need to feel good about himself by doing something, anything, translates into an attack on either my liberties and/or my pocket book that I mind.

In short, Doyle, spending your own money is fine, just don't spend any of mine until we know whether it is necessary and the best way to do so.

Fen said...

not spending trillions of dollars, as would have been mandated under Kyoto, for what seems to be turning out to be at least partially a natural phenomen.

Especially when the experts tell us we would need 30 Kyoto's to decrease Global Warming by 0.1% [a tenth of one percent, for the Math challenged]

"A short-term target and timetable, like that adopted at Kyoto, avoids the issue of stabilizing concentrations entirely," Wigley says. As a result, it will at best delay the predicted warming trend by just a few decades. Jerry Mahlman, director of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton, adds that "it might take another 30 Kyotos over the next century" to cut global warming down to size.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/278/5346/2048

AllenS said...

10,- 15,- 20,000 years ago, there was a glacier where I'm sitting typing this. What made the glaciers melt? I'm going to go out on a limb, and say it was global warming. What caused the earth to get so warm? Is the warming still occuring?

If you can't explain the past, you cannot possibly predict the future.

chuckR said...

The GW proponents point to field measurements and computer simulations that show serious problems. As an engineer who has done computational fluid dynamics analysis on much more tightly controlled and much smaller environments, I have a real problem believing the simulations of the world's climate decades from now - brought to me by the people who can't reliably tell me the weather next week except by peeking at satellite pictures.

I think that not only are they unlikely to have the answer, they are unlikely to sufficiently understand the parameters of the question. (There are enough scientists who have pointed out methodological flaws in field work to support that). This is only reinforced by the calls for the scientific equivalent of cloture, by the calls for ostracizing unbeliever scientists and by the use of the word consensus. None of that is science.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Bruce, your missing the point; Doyle (et al.) doesn't want just control over themselves; they want control over the rest of us.

And when they have control, they can use that control to buy the credits necessary to live as they do now, while denying those same luxuries to the masses.

Hmmm... Sounds like Communist Russia, don't it?

Dewave said...

Global warming nuts like Doyle are simple religious zealots. They know the sience behind their claims is so exceedingly dubious that it wouldn't stand up to most cursory examination, so they attempt to block any debate on the subject at all by claiming that 'the science is settled' when in fact, they really just want to *ignore* the science.

There are *thousands* of scientists who don't believe that the warming is man made. This includes prominent pioneers in the global warming awareness movement like Claude Allegre.

People who claim that the science is settled or deny the existence of a large number of scientists skeptical of the alarmist claims hawked with religious fervor by the eco nuts are either liars or fools.

Dewave said...

Also, Al Gore's 'offsets' scam is the biggest piece of crap ever, and anyone who recommends this as a solution to global warming is simply illustrating how cavalierly they are treating the problem.

If Gore *really truly* believed in what he preached, he'd be ditching the limos and the jet rides and cutting his energy costs down by a factor of twenty or so.

If emitting greenhouse gasses is harmful to the earth then paying someone some money to let you emit those gasses doesn't do a thing.

It's just a ploy to let the rich people, who generate far more greenhouse gasses than does anyone else, continue to live exactly as they have lived, while enacting ruinously repressive restrictions on the everyday man and woman.

And that's really what it all boils down to: being able to control what other people do, using 'global warming' as an excuse.

The earth has been warming and cooling in cycles for how many thousands and thousands of years? We're a tiny rock orbiting a huge ball of fire and we're supposed to believe that the rise of one degree of temperature over decades is somehow catastrophically bad? That's absurd.

And even if it was, the leap from that to claiming that man is primarily responsible is even more absurd and even less well supported.

ShadyCharacter said...

If you believe in Global Warming or not, you MUST watch this documentary that just aired on the BBC (yes, the BBC), house organ of the Church of Climatology.

It's actually the entire documentary, about 90 minutes, but it effectively DEBUNKS global warming. I'm guess that as this gets more play, the air will be let out of the whole GW mythology. But that's just my two cents.

I watched that execrable “Inconvenient Truth” movie (my law firm actually sponsored in office showings, kind of like that iconic apple superbowl ad back in the 80s). If I can suffer through that, you GW faithful should be willing to test your faith with the following.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9005566792811497638&q=the+great+swindle

Doyle said...

The BBC, eh? You know they also produced a multi-volume documentary on how the moon landing was faked. It's a big company.

Doyle said...

If emitting greenhouse gasses is harmful to the earth then paying someone some money to let you emit those gasses doesn't do a thing.

This is nonsense. Al Gore a) can't very well travel by bicycle all over the world and b) shouldn't have to because he's rich and he can afford to pay other people to "ride bicycles" for him.

Who are the real Communists here?

ShadyCharacter said...

HAH!!!

I KNEW doyle wouldn't watch the documentary. "B b b b but that might challenge my faith in GW!"

Not a single one of the Global Warming sheeple on this message board will watch that video. It's the exact same dynamic that kept Christians from watching that "Jesus and Mary mouldering in the tomb" documentary from James Cameron a few weeks ago.

Even though they think it's hogwash, they don't want to expose themselves to it JUST IN CASE it introduced new doubts.

Just go ahead and stick your fingers in your ears and sing "la la la la" Doyle. When the truth about this scam of biblical proportions filters into the mainstream you're just going to look like more of an idiot than you normally do. Of course, you'll have a lot of company!

Doyle said...

I KNEW doyle wouldn't watch the documentary.

Who said I wouldn't watch it?

ShadyCharacter said...

Doyle: "Who said I wouldn't watch it?"

Well, since you played the discount the source as unreliable so I don't have to engage the argument card ("The BBC, eh? You know they also produced a multi-volume documentary on how the moon landing was faked. It's a big company.") I just kind of assumed.

You know what they say about assuming...

I actually want you to watch it Doyle, not just play partisan gotcha games.

Everyone, watch it. If you disagree with any of it's themes, let me know why!

ShadyCharacter said...

that should have been: "I actually want you to watch it Doyle. I do not want to just play partisan gotcha games."

Christy said...

I, too, was wondering why the NYT was wandering off the reservation with that article. I like the thought of Hillary being behind it. Mrs. Clinton lost me with the "vast right-wing conspiracy" paranoia, but she is winning me back bit by bit. I can also accept that the NYT has always been against Gore and this is just a continuation. Mark the time and date! I accepted something Doyle said.

Naked Lunch said...

Doyle
Thermometers are religious, can't you see thru this? It takes faith to believe in temperature readings. Fanatic Alarmists like Al Gore are literally directing you to hang your head in shame [NOW!] and atone for your original sins by worshiping and bowing down at the altar with other environmentalist alarmists, cultists, and leftists. So let's just hang on, take a deep breath, and let rational adults like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Dick Cheney, and Sean Hannity to continue to lead the way on this one. You don't think they would have anything but what's best for all of us in mind, do you?

Al Gore made a movie - one can't get any more kookier, religious or alarmist than that! And he uses electricity. WHAT a hypocrite!

Oh, Falwell and Robertson et al are NOT religious kooks, there is no such thing as a Christian religious kook. They have real faith, unlike Gore's fake faith, and are free to tell us how to lead our lives.

Doyle said...

Well, since you played the discount the source as unreliable

I was just pointing out that the "BBC" imprimateur is not the proof of reliablity you seemed to be suggesting with your parenthetical "Yes, the BBC."

But hey, how do you think I knew about the documentary trying to disprove the moon landing? I'm open to new ideas.

Doyle said...

So let's just hang on, take a deep breath, and let rational adults like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Dick Cheney, and Sean Hannity to continue to lead the way on this one.

Yes, that's probably for the best. I shouldn't indulge my leftist fantasies of an all-powerful world government crushing economic growth to the greatest extent possible.

MadisonMan said...

Kirby Olsen: As I understand it, the polar bears are dying meme arises from the decline in pack ice. One way that polar bears find food is by lying by seal blow holes and waiting for the seals to surface to take a breath. Less ice -> less blow holes -> less food opportunities.

Of course, that ignores the fact that Polar Bears can get food elsewhere or that seals aren't hunted quite so much anymore and are therefore more plentiful.

ShadyCharacter said...

I'm glad to hear it Doyle. I'd really like to hear what you have to say after you take a look at the documentary.

Naked Lunch, your prose is very persuasive. I think you've changed a lot of hearts and minds with your rhetoric here today. You should be very proud of the great influence you undoubtedly have over readers of every partisan persuasion. You should watch the documentary too. It's clear you are an open minded fellow! :)

aaron said...

This documentary makes an Inconvenient Truth look like a bad infomercial for Heaven's Gate.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9005566792811497638

ShadyCharacter said...

It looks like google might have killed the original video as an example of doubleplus ungoodthink.

Here's an alternate link.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4520665474899458831

Theo Boehm said...

I await the skeptical nature of the left to finally kick in and question the real motives of these carnival barkers.

That will happen when that *other* climate change event occurs:  Hell freezes over.

Sloanasaurus said...

I am relieved to find so many on this board that recognize the global warming sham for wthe sham that it is.

If you are an environmentalist, the global warming movement is your worst enemy. It is sucking out all the money. Soon if you want to save a tree or a river, it will be easier to get money from the gun lobby who wants to save the forests for hunting rather than cut down all of the trees to build wind farms.

If global warming alarmists really cared about global warming they would be promoting nuclear power. Nuclear power is really the only politically viable method to reduce CO2 emissions. Instead, the alarmists promote a socialist answer such as forcing everyone to conserve or do carbon trading.

Nuclear power allows us to use all the power we want with no emissions. It seems like such an obvious compromise......

Doyle said...

Sloan -

I agree that nuclear seems like it should be a good way to go. Of course, it is more expensive than coal, which is the preferred energy source of the hardcore global warming denier. We are, after all, the Saudi Arabia of Coal.

So if you're willing to pay more for the nuclear (including the costly inspections, waste disposal etc.), is it not possible that spending some money on scrubbers for existing power plants or raising fuel efficiency standards would also be good ideas?

aaron said...

Doyle, the BBC label does nothing for the doc. It stands on it's own. Recommend watching it. It is good, much more substantive than An Inconvenient Drivle.

Steven said...

Palladian: "the skeptical nature of the left"? Oh, stop. You're killing me.

MadisonMan said...

There are some people in that article that I would not listen to, specifically those at something called a Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. It strikes me that people in such a place either can't get funding as a scientists, or they are committed to changing how people behave through implementation of policies. No thanks.

AJ Lynch said...

Madison Man: That sword cuts both ways. One of the loudest groups espousing global warming is The Union of Concerned Scientists.

They have a history of refusing to listen to research or even do certain types of research. See this link below to a relevant post on my blog.

http://theringleader.blogspot.com/2007/02/union-of-concerned-scientists-or-some.html

Dewave said...

I agree that nuclear seems like it should be a good way to go.

Ironic then, that all the eco-freaks were loudly decrying any attempt to build nuclear power plants during the past couple decades.

The earth, as we know, goes through warm and cold cycles. Right now the earth may well be getting warmer. Is this bad? If so, what is the *ideal* temperature of the earth? And if we were to enter a 'cooling cycle' would the eco-freaks advocate pumping the air full of greenhouse gasses in an effort to compensate?

IF the earth warming one tenth of one degree over a decade is actually is a significant problem and IF mankind is actually the primary contributor to the problem THEN we should look at valid and reasonable ways to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, and enact these methods ONLY IF the benefit from the reduction in green house gasses outweighs the cost and bother and economic loss from implementing them.

But I will stoutly deny there is any problem at all until people like Al Gore start acting like there is one. I'm not going to take global warming seriously until the whole 'carbon offsets' claptrap stops being pointed to as a valid means of combatting global warming.

As soon as the prophets of global warming start making personal sacrifices to cut back their own greenhouse gas emissions to reasonable levels, I'll pay attention.

Until then, they're simply pseudo-scientific fear mongers, like the folks who claimed last year was going to be the mother of all hurrican seasons or even, going back a decade or two, all the folks complaining that the population boom would kill the earth. Or even, going back a few MORE years to the 60's and 70's the folks who claimed we were about to experience a new ice age.

You see, you must understand: there is a large section of alarmists who constantly warn about the impending apocalypse caused by this or that activity and how life as we know it is going to end. This is simply there latest fad, and as completley without scientific basis as all previous 'end of the world' fads that came to nothing.

HazBen11 said...

So let me get this straight. Global warming and cooling is a natural process the Earth has experienced for at least the last 15000 years. Today we think its warming again. Since this is a natural phenomenon that may or may not be enhanced by human activity, we need to stop it?

This strikes me as a very odd thing for environmentalists to support. Isn't interfering with nature to environmentalists like garlic to vampires?

That aside, I have no problem with clean technologies that may cost a bit more because I really like clean air. I don't want my kids to have the smog alerts that kept me inside classrooms during recess time. Going green makes a lot of sense health-wise. As for changing natural climate change - that's a pipe dream. But we have to do something now!

Sloanasaurus said...

Much of the anti-nuclear came from liberal union types who did not want to lose union coal jobs. More nuclear means lease union jobs for coal minors. Today, with unions less powerful, this lobby no longer exists.

I don't know if Nuclear is more expensive than coal....The fact that many nuke plants exist and are in use must mean that they are not that much more expensive.

But, Nukes are the only feasible political alternative. Passing laws to drastically reduce economic growth is politically impossible in a democracy. It will lead to unemployment, which will lead to the unpassing of those laws.

Building more nuke plants is politically feasible because the so called "global warming deniers" would support it.

Nevertheless, it is a better alternative than telling people they can only take one vacation.

Pogo said...

On my news last night:
Global Warming causes Frostbite!!

PATRICK CONDON Associated Press
Frostbite, equipment damage end latest Bancroft-Arnesen trek

MINNEAPOLIS - A North Pole expedition meant to bring attention to global warming was called off after one of the explorers got frostbite.
....Then there was the cold - quite a bit colder, Atwood said, then Bancroft and Arnesen had expected. One night they measured the temperature inside their tent at 58 degrees below zero, and outside temperatures were exceeding 100 below zero at times, Atwood said.

Atwood said there was some irony that a trip to call attention to global warming was scuttled in part by extreme cold temperatures.
"They were experiencing temperatures that weren't expected with global warming," Atwood said.

"But one of the things we see with global warming is unpredictability."

Anthony said...

This strikes me as a very odd thing for environmentalists to support.

Not at all, really, it's perfect for them:

-- It's global so they can finally say they're trying to save the whole freakin' planet.

-- It's global so they can claim to need to control the entire world.

-- Energy use is basic to all Western societies so they get to control everything from the bottom up.

-- Oil and auto companies are the biggest of the big, bad, nasty, evil corporations, so they can go after them.

-- It requires massive restructuring of the economies and social order -- perfect!

-- It's complex and diffuse enough as a phenomenon, and the science is so iffy that it's impossible to verify easily ==> you can just keep saying "consensus".

-- Everybody experiences weather so to hype it all you have to do is point to every weird weather event and say "Look! Global warming!"

-- Finally, they win either way, just like with the ozone hole: If (actually, when) the climate starts cooling again, they claim success; if it keeps warming, they can keep flogging it.

Doyle said...

There is an astonishing amount of bad faith argumentation from the global warming deniers. You really should be pretty embarrassed to have your position hinge on how much electricity Al Gore uses, or imply that anyone is advocating federal legislation to limit vacations to one per family per year. Then there's the willful ignorance of how cap and trading schemes do still achieve a cap, and how offsets do (if you just take off your Right Wing Idiot glasses for a minute) in fact make Al Gore "carbon neutral."

I just can't wade through this crap anymore. See you cretins next time.

MadisonMan said...

dewave, no credible meteorologist was claiming that last year was going to be the worst ever hurricane-wise. Every prediction I read -- and I read just about all of them -- started with an acknowledgement that '05 was a record year and that the likelihood of two record years in a row was very small.

If you're going to write nonsense, have the decency to be brief.

ShadyCharacter said...

Doyle, you are overlooking the actual arguments people are making and picking out the ad hominem argument and acting like it is the only ones being presented.

Everyone is reading the entire message board so when you ignore arguments 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 and whine that people are only making argument 5 (conveniently the weakest "argument") everyone recognizes your tactic for what it is. Intellectual cowardice. This impression is heightened by your announcing that you are RUNNING AWAY from the arguments you are unable or unwilling to respond to.

“I just can't wade through this crap anymore. See you cretins next time.”

The one consistent characteristic of you left-wing trolls is that you come onto a board and make you bad-faith arguments and then repeat them ad naseum until the reasonable people get tired and cede the board to you. You can then declare triumph over the “cretins” and get that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with “victory”.

The fact that you are actually walking away shows that you don’t actually have any confidence in the position you are espousing. You’re exhausted because you simply don’t know whether global warming is true, and you don’t have the resources to figure it out. You simply know that as a good little leftist, you are SUPPOSED to believe in the myth.

I have a solution for you. Watch the damn video I posted the link for a little while ago. Confront your demons head on and see if your leftist cant can stand up to a rigorously presented scientifically based rebuttal to the Global Warming hysteria.

Your non-engagement shows that global warming has really jumped the shark. Even it's defenders don't actually BELIEVE in it, they simply like the results that flow from OTHER PEOPLE believing in it.

Kind of like these same leftists think of Christianity and organized religion in general...

Sloanasaurus said...

There is an astonishing amount of bad faith argumentation from the global warming deniers. You really should be pretty embarrassed to have your position hinge on how much electricity Al Gore uses

Actually its not, because deep in the bowels of the global warming argument is that almost all conservatives correctly recognize that global warming alarmism is just a front for socialism - both economic and cultural. Why else would the debate over global warming divide so much along liberal and conservative lines.

Hypocritcal actions on the parts of people such as Al Gore are very revealing of the socialist point of view and should be presented.

If it wasn't a front for socialism, all the global warming alarmists would be advocating nuclear power, which they are not.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You really should be pretty embarrassed to have your position hinge on how much electricity Al Gore uses,

I think you’re missing the point Doyle. I think it is pretty embarrassing to make a documentary condemning excess carbon emissions and then have a 10K sq ft home which uses 20x the energy the average family does. It’s called leading by example. Kind of like preaching about how Jesus would condemn our greed while living in an $8 million home.


and how offsets do (if you just take off your Right Wing Idiot glasses for a minute) in fact make Al Gore "carbon neutral."

Again this is missing the point. If you fervently believed excess carbon emissions were bad for the environment would you not reduce your own emissions as much as possible in addition to contributing to organizations etc which will invest in alternative energies? Basically offsets are the equivalent of buying the Supersize Big Mac meal but settling for the small Diet Coke. The appropriate analogy would be a veggie burger and ice water would it not?

I just can't wade through this crap anymore. See you cretins next time.
It would be nice if you could offset the ad hominem remark with a nice compliment no?

TMink said...

Two pieces of data helped clarify my knowledge of climate change.

First, we are not experiencing global warming, we are experiencing solar system warming. The data from Mars and Venus exhibit the same warming trend we are experiencing.

Secondly, I learned about the LCO and the GCO: short for Lesser and Greater Climactic Optimum. Any google seach of these terms will bring up hours of scientific data and discussion.

The scientific data shows that the solar system is indeed slightly warming due to cyclical changes in the sun. I do not think that this has anything to do with our need for energy independence, the fact that keeping our environment clean is a good thing, and that living a healthy life style involves good stewardship of the earth. All those are great ideas that I support.

The religion of Environmentalism holds humanity as the Great Satan, and any facts to the contrary are attacked, besmirched, and shouted down. That sounds more like radical Islam than Communism to my ears.

Trey

Doyle said...

You don't even know how ridiculous and paranoid it sounds to suggest that Al Gore doesn't care about global warming, do you?

It's just naive to think that in addition to being the world's foremost advocate for carbon emissions, he should also live in a tent and walk everywhere he goes.

Beginning a sentence "If Al Gore really cared about global warming..." just makes you sound like another dishonest wingnut.

Fen said...

But one of the things we see with global warming is unpredictability.

MiniSci
2:35 expert malquoted
Global Warming ungood
Climate Change doubleplusgood

[pssst! don't forget we're now supposed to all use Climate Change not Global Warming. We have never used Global Warming. We have always used Climate Change.]

Doyle said...

Buying offsets OFFSETS the carbon that he's responsible for emitting!

Gah! I can't escape the stupid! It burns but I can't look away!

michael a litscher said...

Increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations lag temperature increases by 800 years.

It is fitting that the same people who believe atmospheric CO2 can transport it's greenhouse effects backwards in time by 800 years are the same people who believe socialism could actually work, and that George Bush is responsible for the fighting between the Sunnis and Shia which began in the seventh century.

Anyone who has taken high school chemistry can tell you that gasses do disolve in liquids, and that all other things being equal, the concentration of disolved gasses in liquids is inversely proportional to temperature. Raise the temperature of the liquid, and the dissolved gasses precipitate out.

But then, telling the Gore-voting true-believing Prius-driving art-history major that temperature is the cause, and CO2 is the effect, well, you might as well Be Galileo claiming that the earth rotates around the sun.

michael a litscher said...

Gah! I can't escape the stupid!

Yes, you're stuck on stupid. We see it, too.

Robert said...

A rebuttal of sorts. http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/3/12/233737/021

mcg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Buying offsets OFFSETS the carbon that he's responsible for emitting!

No. It doesn't. It HOPES that the company getting the money is out planting trees in Africa and investing in carbon-free tech. And in Gore's case, its an expense to a company he founded, who's board he sits on, where he likely gets a paycheck. He's buying stock in a company he has a financial interest in. Its a pretty crafty scheme. I guess he's crazy like a Fox!

mcg said...

The we-can't-do-anything-to-stop-it-so-why-bother argument is as dumb as it gets. If it seems plausible that a cap and trading scheme would reduce emissions and that in turn would slow global warming, it should be looked into.

This is nonsense, Doyle. If the global warming alarmists are truly correct about the consequences of our current situation, then it does absolutely no good to waste resources and energy on efforts that will do nothing to stave off those consequences. That energy should instead go into the fight for the change that is truly necessary.

Even by the standards of those who claim we needed it, the Kyoto treaty is the equivalent of sticking one's finger in a cracking dam. Oh, but at least I'm doing something.

It is, frankly, an indication that the alarmists really aren't serious about addressing the claim they are trumpeting, only in punishing the most developed countries for their productivity and the least developed countries for being poor (by preventing them from expending the energy to be otherwise).

Doyle said...

Yeah Fen, I'm sure he's doing something that obviously dishonest without anyone noticing. He's not under any kind of scrutiny in that regard.

Doyle said...

only in punishing the most developed countries for their productivity

Mmmmm... Baad faith wingnuttery... aaaghghghghghh...

mcg said...

I agree that nuclear seems like it should be a good way to go. Of course, it is more expensive than coal, which is the preferred energy source of the hardcore global warming denier. We are, after all, the Saudi Arabia of Coal.

Actually, that would be China. And they are rapidly becoming the single largest greenhouse gas producer, and that growth cannot help but continue because a large fraction of their population is still catching up on the development curve.

I mean, hey, I gotta hand it to them, they're willing to drown large swaths of their land in the name of hydroelectric generation.

And of course, they're a Kyoto signatory, so that must mean they're one of the good guys, despite the fact that they are not required to actually reduce carbon emissions under that agreement! There's that darn finger in the dam again.

Revenant said...

You don't even know how ridiculous and paranoid it sounds to suggest that Al Gore doesn't care about global warming, do you?

Of course he cares about global warming -- he's making millions of dollars off of it.

If you're asking if he cares enough about the dangers of global warming to make even the simplest personal sacrifices to help prevent it, on the other hand, the answer's obviously "no". Of course, that's the answer I give too, so I'm not judging. :)

Naked Lunch said...

You see, you must understand: there is a large section of alarmists who constantly warn about the impending apocalypse caused by this or that activity and how life as we know it is going to end. This is simply there latest fad, and as completley without scientific basis as all previous 'end of the world' fads that came to nothing.

You just described the Rapture. At least the Church of Climatology have thermometers to go by to tell us if we're in pre-Trib or mid-Trib, or pre-wrath rapture.

And if global warming is a religion - I see alot of religious bigotry on this board. Sad. But Al Gore must be a powerful prophet if the anti-religious bigots knows his utility bills and stock portfolio!

mcg said...

Well, Doyle, would you like to propose another reason why the international community would sign onto a treaty that is completely ineffective against the threat that it claims to address? I mean, I suppose I should never ascribe to malice what could be explained by idiocy, I admit, but...

Doyle said...

Actually, that would be China.

Are you sure?

Joe said...

Fen, it's not just Climate Change, you have to say Drastic or Catastrophic Climate Change, or even Climate Chaos, because without the modifiers, you won't be able to scare the children enough to care.
My personal favorite was Naked Lunch's assertion that thermometers prove global warming.
Why do the GW religionists never respond to the fact that warming has been detected on other planets? Or that the geologic record shows that CO2 levels rise as a result of warming and do not cause the rise in temperature? What a bunch of silly, superstitious twits. The earth's orbit is elliptical, not a perfect circle, and the ellipse varies. The orbital variation causes a variation in the amount of solar radiation. And so the planet warms or cools as a result. We are in a period of warming and have been for 20,000 years.

mcg said...

Wow, I didn't even realize it was this severe: On average, China is building a new coal-fired power plant each week.

Revenant said...

Oh, one more thing -- "carbon offsets" are, themselves, a limited resource. There is only a finite amount of space you can cram full of newly-planted trees, for example -- and, of course, the act of doing so also renders the land useless for other purposes.

So people who burn fossil fuels like crazy to light up their gigantic mansions like Vegas casinos aren't making up for the sin by planting some trees and buying some carbon offsets. They're just ensuring that those carbon offsets won't be availble for offsetting NECESSARY carbon production somewhere down the line.

mcg said...

Doyle---yes, you're right about coal reserves. We also have more oil that Saudi Arabia too, actually---though until recently we didn't know how to get at much of it (that which is locked in shale.)

But in terms of coal-fired energy production, China's outstripping us like mad.

Doyle said...

Shale plays are mostly natural gas.

michael a litscher said...

The fact that Al Gore built a 10,000 square foot eco-whorehouse makes him the Jimmy Swaggart of the enviro-movement.

The fact that you lefties won't tell Al Gore to go back to his mansion and shut the hell up demonstrates you don't have the limited sense of Jimmy Swaggart's former followers.

"Oh, but Al Gore buys carbon offsets!" you say. Yea, and Swaggart prays extra extra hard. BFD.

Fatmouse said...

Oh, Doyle. Of course Gore thinks that global worming is a problem.

It's just that he doesn't think that he is the problem.

The richest 0.0000001% of the elite really doesn't produce that much carbon. A couple thousand billionaires can jet around the world, build giant houses and throw huge awareness-raising parties without putting a significant amount of CO2.

The problem is when the rest of us, the proles, the unwashed masses, the loathsome middle class, get the insane notion that we deserve to live well. To drive big cars, own our own homes and take a vacation to Hawaii. How dare we? Don't we realizing we're ruining the Earth for Gore?

The world would be saved if only we would accept the wisdom of our betters and all move into nice, state-controlled public housing towers and commute on public trains, leaving the rest of the world for them to enjoy.

(And thanks for calling us commies, Doyle. But note that real commies like yourself only admire the ultra-rich when they think they're better than us and use their wealth to Change Things For Our Own Good.)

mcg said...

Doyle---yes, but new mining techniques and today's high prices are changing those dynamics.

mcg said...

Doyle---here's some fightin' words for ya: coal liquefaction! :-)

Doyle said...

Hey I'm all for it. I own stock in Foster Wheeler, which makes the relatively clean coal boilers (selling like hotcakes in Middle East and Europe), and I think but have to check that they can do the liquefication business too.

Took a beating today (with everything else) down to around $54 if you want to nibble, and that's not intentionally bad advice because I think you're ass backwards politically :-)

Mike said...

Doyle said: "So if you're willing to pay more for the nuclear (including the costly inspections, waste disposal etc.), is it not possible that spending some money on scrubbers for existing power plants or raising fuel efficiency standards would also be good ideas?"

Scubbers??? For CO2??? Doyle, do you have the faintest idea what you're talking about?

aaron said...

"It would be nice if you could offset the ad hominem remark with a nice compliment no?"

Hah! That's great.

LoafingOaf said...

I would've hoped that a documentary film with the word "truth" in the title would not play so recklessly with reality.

The difference between 23 inches and 20 feet is huge. I was wondering why they keep building in NYC if it's gonna soon be underwater. If climate change is a slow-motion process, there's plenty of time for technologies to develop to counteract whatever impact humans are having on it, and we don't need to wreck our economy.

Personally, I'm more worked up over AIDS and malaria in Africa, which kill thousands every day and are urgent problems we can actually do something about right now (thanks to our prosperous economy that greenhouse effect fanatics wanna wreck to avoid worst-case scenarios that are actually science fiction).

But the 00's is becoming the decade of the B.S. left-wing propaganda documentary, from Bowling for Columbine to F 9/11, to An Inconvenient Truth. They throw every award they can find on these dishonest films, they openly don't care that they are dishonest, sometimes it seems they're proud of their dishonesty, and then they characterize themselves as the "reality based".

Kudos to the New York Times for remembering (at least in this instance) that their duty is to report about global warming and to critically examine it, not to be mindless campaigners and for those insisting we must embrace the worst-case, deceptive scenarios offered up by nutty, overzealous politicians.

Gahrie said...

You know, whenever I think of Gore and global warming, I tend to flash to thoughts of Clancy's Rainbow Six.

Is the antagonist in that book really all that implausible?

nvittal said...

Global warming thing is getting hysterical. Gore definitely gets some credit for this! ;)

Jeffrey said...

Al Gore not only invented the internet but also global warming. It's very difficult to deny him his position as both the twentieth and twenty-first century's most powerful cranium. All that energy that his mansion sucks down must really be going to maintain his supercomputer brain as he cogitates whether to eat the twinkie or not.

Albert Gorestein.

The Goracle.

All bow down!

*

Justin said...

Doyle said:

Al Gore a) can't very well travel by bicycle all over the world and b) shouldn't have to because he's rich and he can afford to pay other people to "ride bicycles" for him.

And then later said:

...offsets do ... in fact make Al Gore "carbon neutral."

Shouldn't he be "carbon negative"?

I'm not going to discount carbon offsets or even question Al Gore's financial motives. I think carbon offsets could be a useful component of a global carbon reduction strategy. And if Al Gore can make money off of them, good for him. It's a very new concept that still has some kinks to work out.

But if I believed that global warming is the existential crises Al Gore says it is, I certainly wouldn't be content to stay carbon neutral. Especially if there were areas of my lifestyle where I could significantly reduce my carbon output.

Al Gore uses extraordinary amounts of energy. That he buys carbon offsets does not change this. If he were to take a few steps toward lowering his gross output (such as flying commercial, living in a smaller house, etc.) while still buying his carbon offsets, he would be doing more to fight global warming than he is doing now. The fact that he seems unwilling to make any personal sacrifices (except spending money on offsets) leads me to believe that he is not as serious about global warming as he wants the public to believe.

The global climate change movement would do well to avoid adopting Al Gore as their hero. He has done more to raise awareness than probably anyone else, but he simply does not come off as credible. His moralizing, preaching, and hypocrisy do more harm than good.

I'm ready to be convinced one way or the other that global climate change is a) anthropogenic b) imminently dangerous and c) reversible. But all I hear from both sides is dogma. One sides believe is an unparalleled threat and anyone who disagrees is a cretin. The other side believes it's all part of an evil scheme to take over the world and that the best reaction is err on the side of more carbon emissions.

Global climate change is serious. It has wiped out entire species before, it can do it again. But before we go tinkering with our atmosphere, we need to know what we're doing, and if it really is necessary. We need honest scientific study on the subject. And we need honest debate on the solution. We'll get no where as long as politicians use it for political gain and pundits use it as an insult to their opponents.

MadisonMan said...

michael litscher, I'm not sure what you're suggesting. CO2 changes lag temperatures by 800 years -- so it was really warm 800 years ago and that's why CO2 levels are increasing now? And the documented rise in CO2 levels isn't anthropogenic? And all the tests that show that it is are wrong? Is that what I am to infer? (Can I ask any more questions?)

It would be quite a paradigmatic shift to show that rises in CO2 concentration in the past 150 years are not anthropogenic. You can be famous if you prove it.

Dewave said...

You really should be pretty embarrassed to have your position hinge on how much electricity Al Gore uses

Not at all. Al Gore's position is that people use too much energy. Therefore, the amount of energy used by Al Gore is extremely relevent.

I know you don't like the his hypocrisy being revealed in such a striking manner, but it's a perfectly valid inconsistency to point out.

and how offsets do (if you just take off your Right Wing Idiot glasses for a minute) in fact make Al Gore "carbon neutral."

Nonsense. Carbon offsets are a foolish and flawed scheme. Flinging money down the black hole of some incompetent bureacuracy that may or may not plant trees in some faraway land(which is the only place they can find space) that may or may not live the many years it takes to reach maturity and have any impact whatsoever on carbon dioxide levels is NOT offsetting carbon emissions. It's a feel good gesture designed to distract the gullible public from Al Gore's massively above average carbon emissions.

Anyway, carbon neutral isn't good enough. If Gore *truly believed* in what he said, he would sacrifice to reduce the carbon emissions he personally creates. He does not do this. Ergo, he does not really believe the problem is as pressing as he makes it out to be, and is simply trying to milk paranoia and hysteria for what it's worth.

It's quite simple, and no amount of mewling that Gore shouldn't be held to the same standards he wants to impose on other people is going to change that fact.

BrianOfAtlanta said...

Robert posted an interesting link:

A rebuttal of sorts. http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/3/12/233737/021

I followed this "rebuttal" until I got to a link purportedly showing that global temps are currently rising at 10x historical rates.

The problem is that the link uses the temperature history of Antarctica to derive this 10x figure, and continental antarctic temps haven't risen at all in the past 50 years. So, antarctic temps may have been rising at 10x the normal global rate up until the 1950's, but if that's true, then once mankind started dumping massive quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere that 10x warming in Antarctica came to a screeching halt.

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

I finally remembered what 'carbon offsets' reminded me of: the old catholic practice of buying 'sin offsets' or indulgences.

Commit a sin, give the church some money. Behold! You are now 'sin neutral'.

The level of religious fervor with which both these schemes touted is also striking.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Doyle says: Buying offsets OFFSETS the carbon that he's responsible for emitting!

You can't really think this is a correct strategy to reduce the evil CO2 that someone is using? Talk about the stupid.

How about this. Litter offsets. I like to throw my trash out the car window as I go along the highway. To offset, I'm going to hire a couple of homeless guys to follow behind me to pick up most of the trash.

One of my favorites...Not my idea but funny. (sorry I don't remember who posted this) Methane offsets!!! I hire you to eat all bland foods so I can consume massive quantities of cabbage and beans and other methane gas inducing foods. I will emit lots of smelly methane gas but the offset is that you will be bound up tighter than a conga drum and emit no gas. Better yet I'm also going to offset my emissions social effects and hire you to follow me around and take the blame and look embarrassed for me when I emit gas.

There are lots of offsets. Drinking offset. Smoking offsets. Infidelity offsets. I screw around on my spouse twice and offset it by two nuns who pledge celibacy in a convent. You get the idea. Talk about stupid. How stupid does Al Gore think we are??.....nevermind. We know the answer to that. He thinks we are all dumber than boxes of rocks.

iftheshoefits said...

"Buying offsets OFFSETS the carbon that he's responsible for emitting!

Gah! I can't escape the stupid! It burns but I can't look away!"

Take a gander at carbontradewatch.org. These are global warming true believers, but their take on carbon offsets isn't very pretty.

Besides, from everything I've been able to gather, Gore only buys offsets (starting very recently) for his electrical consumption, and only on one of his houses for certain. As for the rest of his consumption, his investment firm doesn't sell carbon offsets: it "covers" him as an employee. Whatever.

Carbon offsetting is big bidness. Global warming, whatever else it is, is a large cottage industry. And as someone who works in the solar industry, I'm getting the distinct impression that not to many GW advocates really care if the various measures being proposed have the intended effect. It seems to be all about getting someone else to do something, not doing something one's self. Which goes against the basic conservation argument for at least a generation: that is, personal responsibility for what you consume.

So in the end it isn't that much different from any other political argument. Fine, politics is what it is, science is just being used as a convenient cover in this case.

Smilin' Jack said...

Warming, schwarming...the real threat to civilization is the next ice age, which history suggests we are overdue for. The current anthropogenic warming provides a valuable thermal cushion which may delay or even prevent the next catastrophic advance of the glaciers. Of course, we can't be absolutely certain that another ice age is imminent...but can we really afford to take that chance? I think not...so I do my part by driving my SUV as much as possible. My efforts will remain unsung in my lifetime, but centuries from now, when climate change is completely understood, I bet every town square will contain a monument to our SUVs and their heroic drivers, saviors of the planet.

pete said...

I'm not sure what you're suggesting. CO2 changes lag temperatures by 800 years -- so it was really warm 800 years ago and that's why CO2 levels are increasing now?

800 years ago the Vikings had farms in Greenland. The Medieval Warm Period (~800 - 1300 AD) is well documented historically, but is strangely absent from Al Gore's temperature vs. time graphs.

Christy said...

Carbon offsets were originally designed to allow coal fired plants which couldn't meet higher EPA standards to continue operation. It made sense in that we really needed to keep those old plants on the grid. And in that need the dirty power helped pay for the newer cleaner energy that would replace the old. Individual offsets, as more than just a metaphor for what we all should be doing to keep the planet clean, is just silly.

Bruce Hayden said...

There are any number of problems with carbon offsetting, as is done by Gore and his Hollywood friends.

To start with, if the problem is immediate, then taking credit for the next 99 years of CO2 absorbed by those trees that you "planted" makes little sense when "offset" against your CO2 emissions today. Of course, this also ignores that trees apparently also generate methane, which is another greenhouse gas...

But then, most of these tree swapping schemes only plant the trees, and don't bother to escrow the money to maintain them for the next 99 years. And since they are being planted in the 3rd World, once they are big enough, and those who took the carbon credits for planting them have turned their interests elsewhere, whatever carbon that has been collected by those trees is liable to go right back up into the atmosphere as the small trees are harvested to heat someone's dinner.

If it sounds like a scam, too good to be true, that is because it is. As a previous poster pointed out, carbon or energy offsetting is merely a 21st century version of the indulgences that helped incite the Reformation.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, pete, but that doesn't answer my questions does it? How does the warmth of 800 years ago have meaning for today's increases in CO2 concentrations?

Look how nicely, by the way, that little climatic shift played out for the Vikings.

Bruce Hayden said...

Christy has hit on one of the major problems with carbon offsetting. For it to work, you need firm caps on everyone's CO2 generation. And then, those who use less than their caps can sell their underage. It is called Cap and Trade and does work, since different companies have different costs of reducing their CO2, sulpher, etc. production, and the net cost of overall compliance can be reduced by having those who are high cost reducers buy reductions made by lower cost reducers.

But Al Gore's carbon offsetting fails because we don't have firm worldwide CO2 caps with teeth. So, instead of him buying one company's actual reduction of CO2 more than required, his scheme is buying pretend reductions that may or may not have any real effect. Because there are no firm caps in place, there cannot be any realistic offsetting.

Now we can see why Kyoto was so popular - it translated into carbon caps. BUT, it exempted the countries most likely to drastically increase their CO2 generation on the grounds that they were developing nations (as indicated above, notably China).

But because Kyoto was not universally applicable around the world, Cap and Trade was still only going to work marginally.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Doyle said: "It's just naive to think that in addition to being the world's foremost advocate for carbon emissions, he should also live in a tent and walk everywhere he goes.

I'm not saying he should, I'm saying he's displaying a huge amount of hypocrisy by living in a energy hog mansion and jet setting around the world in a private plane. Hey, I don't have a problem with that kind of lifestyle but I tend to question what is wrong with driving a Ford Expedition and grilling outdoors 365?

Are you saying its ok to do that as long as I pay $X.XX to ACME Carbon Offset Inc? Not to beat the dead horse analogy but that smacks of buying indulgencies from the Church so I can shag the farmer's daughter with a clean conscience.

No Doyle he doesn't have to live in a tent but I have a wife and 1 kid and live quite comfortably in a 2500 sq ft home so what's his excuse?

Clearly you are in the same position of some extreme Christian wingnut trying to explain away Jimmy Baker's indiscretions so the best thing to do is concede this one cause it has looser written all over it.

pete said...

Yes, pete, but that doesn't answer my questions does it? How does the warmth of 800 years ago have meaning for today's increases in CO2 concentrations?

It answers your first question: There is evidence that the climate was warmer 800 years ago.

As for your second qestion, CO2 solubility in water is inversely related to temperature. There's a lot of C02 dissolved in the ocean, and as the ocean warms some C02 is emitted into the atmosphere. The observed time lag between warming and the rise in C02 levels may be due to the slow speed of mixing by deep ocean currents.

That's pretty speculative. But it is even more speculative to assert that A (increased C02 concentration) causes B (increased temperatures) when B occurs first.

I worked as a lab technician in the early 90s, before Global Warming got so hyped up. I took lots of CH4 and NOx measurements from various natural and non-natural sources. Nobody thought much about C02 back then - It was known that CO2 is a very weak greenhouse gas.

However nobody could show large enough anthropomorphic sources of CH4 or NOx, so they went back to C02 and added in huge feedback-amplifications with water vapour (which is a powerfull greenhouse gas) to their models and presto, they got scary predictions, media attention and grant money.

I got out of that line of work because as folks got excited about global warming, lots of rich students were willing to do lab assistant work for peanuts,

XWL said...

Yes, pete, but that doesn't answer my questions does it? How does the warmth of 800 years ago have meaning for today's increases in CO2 concentrations?

The recent documentary, that aired on Channel 4 in Britain (not the BBC), is up on YouTube for the moment.

(there are worse ways to spend 75 minutes)

They put forth some sensible and scientifically based arguments against human activity being the driving force behind global climate change.

Their main case is that Vice President Gore got the relationship between warming and C02 precisely backwards, and this fallacy has driven all sorts of faulty assumptions.

In summary, warming causes the release of CO2, not the other way around as Gore asserts, and the Antarctic ice cores confirm that CO2 is a lagging indicator of past warming, and not a portent or cause of future warming.

My poor summary of the argument which you hopefully will watch for yourself is as follows, CO2 is only .054% of the total atmosphere, and even amongst 'greenhouse gasses' its potential effect is dwarfed by the energy trapping potential of good old fashion water vapor.

Human activity, in of itself is even a very small percentage of the small percentage of the greenhouse gasses that is CO2.

A large source of CO2 (which humanity has no control over) is the release of deeply trapped gasses from the ocean depths. Oceans are huge things and trap massive amounts of dissolved gas, which they release very slowly. Sustained changes in temperature on the surface takes centuries to effect a change in deep ocean temperatures (on the order of around 800 years as previously mentioned).

As so happens a huge spike in surface temperatures is believed to have happened about 950 years ago, and continued for about 300 years.

So if the CO2 lagging theory is true, we are merely in the middle of a period where CO2 emissions will continue to rise (at times rapidly), regardless of human activity.

Notice I didn't say anything about warming and CO2. That's because all this extra CO2 has nothing to do with the current warming trends.

We have had cooling trends while there have been high concentrations of CO2, and we've had warming trends as CO2 concentrations have dropped.

According to a theory that has support from 600 million years of data, and not just 600,000 years of data, solar activity is the primary cause of global climate change.

Active solar periods=warming, less active solar periods=cooling, end of story, end of story.

The solar wind, when active, deflects more of the cloud forming cosmic rays (which are believed to be the primary cause of clouds in the upper troposphere). So, active sun, fewer clouds, fewer clouds and warmer temperatures.

This explanation works not only for geologic timescales, but also helps predict global climate on a more immediate basis (as in the next year or two).

But mainly, watch the video, it's entertaining in its fashion, and as a bonus for all you lefties, it puts the blame for concerns about global warming firmly at the feet of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (over a desire to promote nuclear power and ween GB off of a reliance on frequently striking coal miners, and foreign oil).

The Exalted said...

I think you’re missing the point Doyle. I think it is pretty embarrassing to make a documentary condemning excess carbon emissions and then have a 10K sq ft home which uses 20x the energy the average family does

he should be embarrassed because he's rich? this is one of the stupider arguments here (and elsewhere)

AlphaLiberal said...

So, a newspaper conservatives routinely dismiss is now 100% correct when it agrees with them.

Never mind that a newspaper is not a peer-reviewed science journal. Nor that the author interviewed scientists who are not expert in the field.

Here's a review of the article for those with open minds.

The Exalted said...

eh, it sure is strange how conservatism and science don't mix.

the supreme leader bush has admitted global warming is a problem -- didn't you guys get the memo?

Revenant said...

he should be embarrassed because he's rich? this is one of the stupider arguments here (and elsewhere)

What is truly stupid is your equating "living a life of senseless excess" with "being rich". Gore's being criticized for the former, not the latter. Being rich doesn't mean you need to live like some wanna-be Saudi prince.

There are plenty of rich people who fly commercial airlines and live in normal houses, simply because their egos don't require them to pay for luxuries they don't even need.

eh, it sure is strange how conservatism and science don't mix. the supreme leader bush has admitted global warming is a problem

So, to clarify -- conservatism and science don't mix, and the highest-profile conservative in America believes in global warming. So is global warming not science, then?

AlphaLiberal said...

I wanted to address the "logic" exhibited by posts such as this form Sloansaurus:
Actually its not, because deep in the bowels of the global warming argument is that almost all conservatives correctly recognize that global warming alarmism is just a front for socialism - both economic and cultural. Why else would the debate over global warming divide so much along liberal and conservative lines.
Wow! This is stunning thinking.

A) You're alleging a conspiracy of massive dimensions - and one that has sucked in captains of industry on behalf of environmentalists. It's just not plausible.

B) You've decided to evaluate scientific questions based on the political positions of some of those who have agreed the theory is sound.

C) You've allowed your hatred of environmentalists to override your thinking faculties.

AlphaLiberal said...

Yeah, that's right. George Bush has come out and said, time and again but more clearly recently, that global warming is real, it is happening and it is caused by human activity.

So, is he in on this massive environmental conspiracy too? is John McCain part of the conspiracy?

Keep an eye out for those black helicopters!

reality check said...

Ann, would you read MediaMatters', RealClimate's, Grist's, and Deltoid's takes and see if your article needs an updating?

Media Matters is of course a media watchdog. The last three are science blogs, and real climate and grist specialize in environmental science.

The links above discuss the inaccuracies and misrepresentations in the Times article, and go through the science and Gore's movie.

They specifically address the "23 inches" and show how that statement is misrepresented and how the science behind that statement does in fact allow for Gore's 6 meter rise.

I know you're not a scientist and don't claim to be, so I thought it would be helpful to point you to these science blogs.

I know you wouldn't want to mislead your readers on something so important.

If you read these and fail to see any need to update or correct your post, it would be good to understand why that is. Perhaps you find the science inconclusive or the credentials of the blogs and organizations less than impressive.

If you don't update and don't explain why after having this pointed out and after understanding you are not a climatologist yourself, but you are a Professor, we'll of course be forced to conclude that your aim is in fact to mislead people.

The Exalted said...

What is truly stupid is your equating "living a life of senseless excess" with "being rich". Gore's being criticized for the former, not the latter

yup, this is the argument, and it is still stupid. conservatives want to be the "wealth police" now?

So, to clarify -- conservatism and science don't mix, and the highest-profile conservative in America believes in global warming. So is global warming not science, then?


i mean, are you serious with this?

The Exalted said...

AlphaLiberal said...
I wanted to address the "logic" exhibited by posts such as this form Sloansaurus:

Actually its not, because deep in the bowels of the global warming argument is that almost all conservatives correctly recognize that global warming alarmism is just a front for socialism - both economic and cultural. Why else would the debate over global warming divide so much along liberal and conservative lines.

Wow! This is stunning thinking.


yup AL, this is the kind of informed commentary ann's center left blog attracts...

The Exalted said...

HazBen11 said...
So let me get this straight. Global warming and cooling is a natural process the Earth has experienced for at least the last 15000 years. Today we think its warming again. Since this is a natural phenomenon that may or may not be enhanced by human activity, we need to stop it?


dying is a "natural process" that "may or may not be enhanced by human activity" that most take some pains to avoid...

blake said...

The methane-gas offset gag originated at Protein Wisdom, I believe.

I'm a global warming denier. I think it has been getting warmer, but that period is over now and we're going to see shifts to colder temperature (Smilin' Jack's joke aside). Observations 30 years from now will show this cooling trend. Our grandchildren are going to wish for GW.

I also think gasoline gets a bad rap. Besides replacing coal, it also replaced horses. Filthy, often diseased, beasts that layered the streets of Manhattan with feces. 100 years ago, we were breathing in dried animal dung. Mmmmmm, natural.

I think we can (and will) do better but I don't think it'll be easy.

reality check said...

I think Doyle pegged this article correctly. It was printed mainly to fit into the Gore as exaggerator meme, just as Ann selected her heading to fit into her "smear the dems" theme.

I wish she would just make that one of her tags.

AlphaLiberal said...

As it turns out, this writer has made a habit of writing climate skeptic articles.

But I was checking out this article about how Tony Blair has led the UK to accept legally and aggressive binding limits on global warming pollution.

And I sat in awe of this massive environmnental conspiracy. It's an environmnental conspiracy sooo powerful it has enlisted nations around the world behind the goal to make environmentalists powerful.

Damn! Althouse's fans have busted us!

NSC said...

If you don't update and don't explain why after having this pointed out and after understanding you are not a climatologist yourself, but you are a Professor, we'll of course be forced to conclude that your aim is in fact to mislead people.

Who exactly is she misleading? Every person here who is not a global warming nut seems to have done quite a bit of research on their own. The Professor simply pointed us to an article that points out the incaccuracies in Gore's Oscar baby - many of which we already knew.

I for one don't need the good Professor to lead me anywhere. We just seem to be heading down the same path on this issue.

AlphaLiberal said...


RealClimate has reviewed this article
. Here's one point they make on the author (Broad, I'd like to meet his sister):
------------------
Among the worst, is this one

"Mr. Gore, who highlights the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and cites research suggesting that global warming will cause both storm frequency and deadliness to rise. Yet this past Atlantic season produced fewer hurricanes than forecasters predicted (five versus nine), and none that hit the United States."
..snip...
Additionally, this is a clear misrepresentation of what Gore actually stated in his book. Gore indicated that it is primarily Hurricane intensities which scientists largely agree should be expected to increase in association with warming surface temperatures, and specifically notes that

"There is less agreement among scientists about the relationship between the total number of hurricanes each year and global warming."
------------------
I remember Gore making this point because I wasn't sure if the peer-reviewed science projected more hurricanes.

The article Althouse and her legions of climate skeptics are enjoying so much seems to have a few key falsehoods.

Revenant said...

yup, this is the argument, and it is still stupid.

Yawn. Come back when you have a real defense for Gore's obvious lack of concern for his impact on the environment.

conservatives want to be the "wealth police" now?

I already explained to you that wealth and conspicuous consumption aren't the same thing, so do please try to keep up.

dying is a "natural process" that "may or may not be enhanced by human activity" that most take some pains to avoid...

Yet you support crippling our economy -- and thereby shortening our average lifespans -- in order to prevent possible harm to people who don't even exist yet.

Interesting. Not intelligent, but interesting.

AlphaLiberal said...

Revenant says:....
"Yet you support crippling our economy..."

This is so uninformed, so typical.

Do you even realize that conservatives have used that same argument against: seat belts, air bags, smog regulations, sulfur pollution, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc..?

California has among the greatest environmental regulations in the country and a long-term thriving economy.

HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU HAVE TO BE WRONG BEFORE YOU ABANDON THIS ARGUMENT?

The Exalted said...

Yet you support crippling our economy -- and thereby shortening our average lifespans -- in order to prevent possible harm to people who don't even exist yet.


weird -- i cant remember writing that?

AlphaLiberal said...

D'ow! I should have clarified conservatives argued against action on pollution. Not against pollution, which would unfairly represent their actions.

The Exalted said...

conservatives want to be the "wealth police" now?

I already explained to you that wealth and conspicuous consumption aren't the same thing, so do please try to keep up.


oh, yes, so smart. i don't recall anyone appointing you the arbiter of what is an "acceptable" use of wealth and what is not.

Yawn. Come back when you have a real defense for Gore's obvious lack of concern for his impact on the environment.

meh, as if one man's house could have any impact. he could live in the taj mahal for all i care. this is the united states, some people have more wealth than you do, get used to it. that doesn't disqualify them from public office or from working on the behalf of policies they support.

come back when you're not a hack, thanks.

ShadyCharacter said...

These Alphas and Exalteds are a real hoot. Now that GW has jumped the shark, I bet it's not even a year from now that we'll be looking back on GW hysteria with the same chagrin that we look back on equally silly fads, like the macarena and parachute pants.

Two years from now all these "realty-base" uber-credulous buffoons like RC, Alphy and Exalty and Doiley are going to be posting on the latest enviro-quack theory du jour and saying "I never believed in Global Warming"!

(maybe they'll come up with a theory that anthropogenic magnetic fields are causing the poles to flip and gravity will turn off with the only cure being to give up all electronic devices or buy magnetic offsets)

What I love best about Global Warming is it exposes leftists as a group as being the MOST credulous, LEAST intellectually serious, and just all around STUPIDIST grouping of people on the planet. I mean underinflated basketball dumb. What should you expect from the people who brought you Marxism and socialism...

ShadyCharacter said...

I'd stick around and continue this "conversation", but honestly it's just a waste of time. The global warmingists are either too stupid to read and respond to any of the skeptic arguments already presented on the thread or are willfully impervious to reason, so engaging further with them is about as useful as trying to convince a scientologist that Thetons don't exist...

I'm thinking they're actually just not that bright.

I do love how they wait until the rationalists on the board stop posting, have made their points without receiving any useful counter-arguments all day. Then they come over as a group to talk about how smart they are.

:)

reality check said...

That's because we have jobs and don't spend the day in the basement at MySpace and AltHouse.

mcg said...

meh, as if one man's house could have any impact. he could live in the taj mahal for all i care. this is the united states, some people have more wealth than you do, get used to it. that doesn't disqualify them from public office or from working on the behalf of policies they support.

Fantastic! Then, since one man's energy consumption doesn't have any impact, then I choose that one man to be me.

Theo Boehm said...

Gee, do you think if I put up something about Global Warming on my own boring, moribund blog I could get all this traffic?

Look at all these comments.  Althouse gets 4 comments about what I think is a fairly amusing thread on her ex's blog, and 150+ and counting on Global Warming.  Anyone for bets on 300 before this thread rolls off into oblivion?

On the other hand, even if I got a zillion hits and 300 comments on my blog, if they were about Global Warming, that would pretty much define boring and moribund, wouldn't it?

You just can't win.

mcg said...

That's because we have jobs and don't spend the day in the basement at MySpace and AltHouse.

Gotta agree with you on this one---it's funny how often people accuse blog commenters of ditching an argument when in reality they just had to actually get stuff done... :)

Paul Zrimsek said...

All you non-climatologist wingnuts should shut up and accept non-climatologist Tim Lambert's defense of non-climatologist Al Gore.

AlphaLiberal said...

fen says he won't get going on carbon offsets, but there fen goes...
And don't even go into Gore's Carbon Offset Scheme.
Well, let's. Offsets were also opposed by many or most environmentalists when the concept first came up. It was the "markets are always the solution" crowd who pushed this idea the most.

Offsets and carbon trading are market approaches to lowering carbon emissions. And, dewave, because this involves market mechnisms, rich people use it more than the poor. Agreed.

The net result of the offsets and the polluting activity make a big difference. Though I agree with Cheney, conservation is a virtue.

Besides, the outfit that ran the attack on Al Gore two days after the Emmies is ‘not a legitimate group.’ They are, however, tied to the American enterprise Institute and other right-wing "think tanks."

How did they, suppposedly, get Al Gore's utility bills anyway?

mcg said...

Were you hoping nobody would click on that link? Because it doesn't present particularly strong support to your claim about the group.

MadisonMan said...

If I may inject some facts into this discussion over the din of the beliefs:

I remember Gore making this point because I wasn't sure if the peer-reviewed science projected more hurricanes.

On what time-scale? In general, seasonal predictions don't get peer-reviewed because by the time peer review finishes, the forecast is decidedly stale. The forecasts from this past season (for the Atlantic) were overly optimistic in hurricane formation mostly because they underestimated the strength of a developing El Nino in the Pacific. El Ninos generate unfavorable wind patterns that disrupt Atlantic hurricanes. In addition, there were an unusually large amount of African dust events -- and that dry air also disrupted hurricane formation. Such dust events are also hard to predict.

Long term predictions of hurricanes in a 2xCO2 world are mixed. You can find studies that show an increase in stronger hurricanes (I think Tom Knutson was the author on some of those) and you can find others that don't. Satellite data (a recent study by Kossin here in Madison) show enhanced hurricane formation lately, but only in the Atlantic. The signal in the Pacific is clouded (sorry!) by oscillations like El Nino and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

(there are worse ways to spend 75 minutes)

Spoken by someone with high-speed access :)

There's a lot of C02 dissolved in the ocean, and as the ocean warms some C02 is emitted into the atmosphere. The observed time lag between warming and the rise in C02 levels may be due to the slow speed of mixing by deep ocean currents.

The problem, as I see it, with using dissolved oceanic CO2 to explain the ever increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere: They are higher than they were in the 1300s, as documented by ice cores. The CO2 in the atmosphere has been shown to have an anthropogenic source through carbon dating (carbon locked up in fossil fuels has depleted C14, recently respired CO2 does not) -- even if the CO2 were locked into the deep ocean by the thermohaline circulation, which has an overturning timescale that isn't very well known (I've seen estimates between 200 and 2000 years!) it's not there long enough to become depleted of C14.

In fact, present concentrations of CO2 exceed any observed in the past 600K years, as inferred by trapped gases in ice cores.

Paul Ciotti said...

I don't trust the climate change hysteriacs. Some of them act like a religious cult. They send death threats to CO2 skeptics, they try to equate them with Nazis by calling them "climate change deniers," they advocate Nuremberg type trials "for climate crimes against humanity." These are not reasonable people defending a reasonable hypothesis.

As for the IPCC, it's just the United Nation's progaganda arm for scentific issues. They claim that goblal warming caused hurricane Katrina in 2005 and that 2006 would be even worse. When 2006 turned out to be a percently normal hurricane year, they explained that away by saying the other thing about global warming is that it causes a lot of weather variability. They have invented a heads-I-win, tails-you-lose scenario. When the weather is bad it's because of global warming. When the weather is good, that's because of global warming too. No matter what happens, the cause is global warming.

aaron said...

mcg, that's not true. I often abandon blogs to watch important tv shows like 24, southpark, house, family guy, lost, and smallville.

TMink said...

Reality Check, your around 7 pm post was a model of clarity and persuasive prose, up until the last two paragraphs where you got snarky.

I am nitpicking, but only to point out the difference between a logical and compelling post and an attack.

The post was really impressive. Great job, I hope you post many more like it.

Respectfully,

Trey

TMink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlphaLiberal said...

Here's a kind of funny background missing from the NY Times article.

Some of These guys have been proved wrong before and have been out denying global warming with shifting arguments again and again. I don't think any of them publish on the subject in the peer-reviewed scientific press, which is key to buildung scientific knowledge.

ya got maybe a few facts not handled in (boring) scientific precision. But nothing to disprove the need to, actually, be alarmed.

Are there any skeptics here who think the greenhouse effect is for real?

AlphaLiberal said...

So, Mr Ciotti, do you think the greenhouse effect is for real?

Sloanasaurus said...

Offsets and carbon trading are market approaches to lowering carbon emissions. And, dewave, because this involves market mechnisms, rich people use it more than the poor. Agreed.

There is nothing free market about Carbon trading it if there is an artifical cap placed on the total amount of emissions. An artifical cap makes Carbon trading a wealth transfer program and nothing less.

I will respond to your prior points:

A) You're alleging a conspiracy of massive dimensions - and one that has sucked in captains of industry on behalf of environmentalists. It's just not plausible.

I am not alleging a conspiracy. I merely argue that most global warming alarmists sdvocate socialist solutions to the issue. They say we need things like world government to solve the problem. God help us.

B) You've decided to evaluate scientific questions based on the political positions of some of those who have agreed the theory is sound.

There is little science. It is all theory. It's all about evaluating risk. There is a large segment of the population who would prefer to take the risk of dealing with the consequences of global warming rather than risk losing our freedoms in combating global warming. If the global warming alarmists were able to propose solutions which do not reduce economic growth and do not regulate the economy in massive ways, such solutions would get more support (i.e., nuclear power).

C) You've allowed your hatred of environmentalists to override your thinking faculties.

I don't hate environmentalists, I just like them better when they are not around.

Cedarford said...

Sloanasaurus - I don't know if Nuclear is more expensive than coal....The fact that many nuke plants exist and are in use must mean that they are not that much more expensive.

But, Nukes are the only feasible political alternative.


Nukes are cheap right now, making a killing selling electricity now natural gas prices have quadrupled.

Nukes have the potential to be far cheaper, as well as far safer, more reliable, and with only 1% of the already small waste volume they produce. That is because of the idiot Carter, we do not reprocess unused uranium and transuranics from fuel. Our fuel is "Once-through" - which only taps "fissions" 1% of the uranium that could be fissioned or "bred" into a fissionable fuel isotope. Transuranics generated are not recovered, the intensely radioactive, but short half-life actinides (fission fragments) remain mixed, and the whole core load of once through fuel is considered "waste".

New reactors with breeding and reprocessing capacity would use 99% of the potential fuel energy, constantly making more fuel than consumed. The cores would be designed to passively cool, eliminating meltdown danger. The transuranics which are the long-lived parts of fuel waste would be burned for energy. The separated out actinides would be set aside and decay off to safe levels in only 200-300 years of storage...not the 30,000 years Carter and other idiots said was needed so "deadly plutonium" was not reused for energy, but always treated as waste.

Nukes look even better when we realize that if we are lucky enough to get fusion to work - we still live with radiactive waste generated from pure fusion. And the most efficient, low cost fusion may be fusion reactors surrounded by a blanket of not yet fissionable U-238 which IS fissionable when a fast neutron hits a chunk of U-238 about 24% of the time. So 1/5th of the fusion events that produce 17.4 MEVs of energy then go on to cause a 200MEV fission event. 70-80% of the remaining neutrons would create usable plutonium for use in fuel.

[Presently, 10% of US, Japanese, Korean, and 30% of French electricity comes from getting rid of the old Soviet HEU and plutonium weapon components forever by burning them as fuel rods (diluted way down)]

=================
I don't know about CO2. It could be a problem. I tend to side with those that say it should be treated as a problem until proven otherwise. I do not agree with the Pollyannaish claims that we shouldn't worry about it at all until a major crisis happens, then "exciting high technology" will fix the problem then..."as it always does".

Sometimes the "exciting high technology" available does bail us out. Sometimes, all the magic high tech minds are unable to solve a human-induced problem.....like human trade bringing smallpox & Black Death to most human populations - every scientist and alchemist worked the problem and failed. Or the potato blight. Famine and flight was the way that ended..not some miracle cure for the Black Sea area mold that hit the Peruvian tuber.

I also think we have finite hydrocarbon supplies and unchecked population growth. So we should not just burn through all the stuff but leave plenty to future humans for non-energy uses...and we have to stop the happy talk stupidity that we can go ahead and have 800 million people in America and 13 billion in the world without mass wildlife extinctions, environmental collapses and horrific standards of living because "growth solves all that with exciting new technology and solutions".

reality check said...

Ann, here is an interesting take on the issue of Al Gore's supposed hypocrisy. It is by Glenn Sacks, a radio host that champions men's and father's rights, and someone that has been called a rightwing nut job by many self-identifying feminists (like your friend Amanda.)

Typical Stupid American Politics

What is this conservative pundit's take on Al Gore's electric bills?

Just as the 2004 election was decided partly on the critical issue of what John Kerry did or did not do on a Swift Boat in the late 1960s, it now appears that, at least for the moment, the debate over global warming and climate change will revolve around the crucial issue of Al Gore’s utility bills. And now Arnold Schwarzenegger’s forward-looking efforts on the global warming issue are being impugned because of his frequent plane flights from Sacramento to his home in Los Angeles. To learn more, see syndicated columnist Debra Saunders’ Do as I say, not as I spew.

I wouldn’t particularly want to defend Gore and Schwarzenegger’s energy use, but this is typically stupid American politics. If what Gore and Schwarzenegger say about climate change is true–and I think it more or less is–then we have a terrible problem on our hands, and Gore’s and Schwarzenegger’s personal energy bills are completely irrelevant.


Ann, are you actually proud of the swiftboating that you endorse in your posts?

Sloanasaurus said...

Don't apologize for Al. He has damned himself as a viable advocate for global warming alarmism. How could someone today sit through a speech made by Al urging us to conserve without thinking of Al's excessive emission lifestyle so reminiscent of a politburo croanie. I along with many others relish in his demise because he is a fraud of the first rate. We can be sure that Al will still have his useful idiots to command, but his days are numbered.

Bea Arthur said...

You know, all the hot air about this topic should make people afraid of melting the real estate Santa's workshop sits on.  They haven't even finished the Christmas toys.  Then what would all the little boys and girls do?

"Sorry honey, no bicycle this year.  Al Gore just melted the North Pole.  He talked and talked too long.  Some people say he did it by heating his mansion and flying around in big jets to tell people not to heat mansions and fly around in big jets. But that's not true.  Actually, it was all the millions and millions of yawns from bored people."

Too much carbon dioxide.  And about methane...well, we're not going there.  There's too much bathroom humor these days.

You know, I "believe" in the Power of Positive Thinking.  I don't "believe" in some effing science theory.  It's either true, like the Law of Gravity, or it's not, like the Swine Flu epidemic.  Trouble is, there seems to be a lot more money in Global Warming than Swine Flu.  Given that, even if it's a crock, it could be around longer than "Hair" or "Cats."

Don't get me wrong.  I'm all in favor of not f***ing up Mother Earth.

Just don't bore me to death with the same crap over and over again while you're pretending to save the planet.

hdhouse said...

Hey...all reasonable people....:

do you want to be on the side of the science observed by Rush Limbaugh and a minority of the scientific community (you have to remember there are "outstanding" creationist scientists too) or would you like to go with the overwhelming majority on this?

just a thought. you know what they say....if you put your head in the sand what people see first is your ass.

Revenant said...

Do you even realize that conservatives have used that same argument against: seat belts, air bags, smog regulations, sulfur pollution, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc..?

And you realize that lefties pulled the same "we're doomed" bullshit about overpopulation, global cooling, mutually assured destruction, welfare reform, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc..?

That the steps needed to eliminate excess CO2 production would destroy the economy is a simple fact. I honestly don't care if you're enough of a moron to argue with it; it isn't my job to educate every dipshit leftist in the world. :)

Revenant said...

Hey...all reasonable people....: do you want to be on the side of the science observed by Rush Limbaugh and a minority of the scientific community (you have to remember there are "outstanding" creationist scientists too) or would you like to go with the overwhelming majority on this?

Hey, reasonable people --

Do you want to personally spend thousands of dollars every year for the rest of your lives "preventing" a distant future disaster predicted by a science that has never made a successful long-term prediction? Or would you rather, you know -- not?

That's the real option, here, and why I think the global warming hysterics are so funny. People bitch, moan, scream, whine, and demand Congressional inquiries when their energy bill climbs by ten or twenty percent. The notion that they're going to sign on to pay through the nose to save a bunch of people they'll never meet from a disaster that may never happen is just plain funny. Even funnier is the idea that China and India will sign up for this, too -- and of course, if they don't then we're "doomed" regardless.

Hoosier Daddy said...

meh, as if one man's house could have any impact. he could live in the taj mahal for all i care. this is the united states, some people have more wealth than you do, get used to it.

Sigh you just don't get it do you? No one here is whining that Gore has a huge house or that he is using 20x the energy the average schelp on the street uses. The issue is he is lecturing eveyone on excess energy consumption he believes is causing global warming and he's one of the biggest users. Are you really that blind by leftism to completely discount that kind of hypocrisy?

that doesn't disqualify them from public office or from working on the behalf of policies they support.

Well it certainly doesn't do much for his credibility either. He can fly private jets to the grocery store for all I care but he doesn't get to lecture me that I drive an SUV and how I need to reduce my carbon footprint to save the planet so the polar bears and penguins don't all drown.

This is like trying to reason with a 2 year old.

NSC said...

The thing I see here is the main point - global warming is NOT settled science nor it is settled politics - and frankly the only thing that annoys me about the other side of this debate is their attitude that it is settled and no one can argue against it now if they are "informed and rational."

Well, we are informed and rational and we don't believe you. Get used to it.

BTW, I just bought a new Honda Pilot SUV. Yeah, I know it contributes to global warming but not to worry, I planted a small pine tree to offset it.

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cokaygne said...

Geez, i actually wasted my morning reading all these comments, but it was fun. Personally, since I'm not a scientist, I don't know what to believe. I do think that a lot of us Americans probably do live an excessive life style that is harming the environment We could afford to and should dial it back a bit. Just don't go religious on me and start screaming about "truth" and "disaster" before I've had my coffee.

Pogo, thanks for pointing to the article about the idiot who was going to walk across the North Pole to prove global warming and got frostbite for his trouble. He must've been in a cocoon. Here in Maine we're about halfway between the Equator and the Pole, and we know winter is cold and that you can get frost biet if you're not careful.

Dust Bunny Queen, your comment was the best. I never laughed so hard reading a 'political' blog.

Thanks to all of you. And since I live in a 2000 square foot house and drive a little Subaru, I'm hoping that Big Al's carbon offset check will be in the mail.

cokaygne said...

CORRECTIONS:

Sorry, Pogo, the guy was trying to draw attention to global warming, not prove it is real. I did like his snappy comeback about variability, though, when it was pointed out that his frost bite calls attention to the fact that it is cold up there in winter.

frostbite NOT frost biet.

Justin said...

hdhouse said:

do you want to be on the side of the science observed by Rush Limbaugh and a minority of the scientific community (you have to remember there are "outstanding" creationist scientists too) or would you like to go with the overwhelming majority on this?

The overwhelming majority of the scientific community once believed the the sun revolved around the Earth.

Science is not a democratic process.

The Exalted said...

This is like trying to reason with a 2 year old.


ah, coming from the "scientists want a world government" "wealthy people can't comment on global warming" crowd, this is particularly rich.

(would you ever, ever comment on a republican's personal activities affecting his ability to push an environmental, economic or social agenda? of course not, you'd say "stay the f* out of his business!")

you're welcome to keep your heads in the sand, i certainly cannot take them out.

hopefully you're right, but i suspect that 99% of scientists are correct and not bent on some nefarious leftist plot to "destroy the economy" and "install world government." (maybe 1%).

are their steps worth undertaking? well, that is a different exercise than the determination as to whether 1) is global warming real, and 2) if we are the cause.

but i know not conflating arguments is very difficult for you people...

i'm going back to my coloring books then, cheers.

Christy said...

As to the gloriously high standards of envirnmental protection in California and their booming economy --- on average they import 20% of their power from dirtier plants elsewhere. And I just looked at Monday's numbers and it looks to me that they were importing 25% that day. Seems to me that the moral position would be to refuse power from plants that cannot meet California standards. Hmmm. What would happen to that economy if suddenly they lost 20 - 25% of the power on the grid?

aaron said...

Cedarford,

Actually, research is the proper risk management approach. The "worry about it until it's proven irrelevant" approach is not a sound risk management policy. Think of the insurance industry, which has served us well and is often credited with allowing the major capital investments that have driven our economies for the past 600 years (see Against The Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk). Insurance works in two ways, it pools resources so that they are available when unpredictable, but expected events occur, such as car accidents. Secondly, insurance invests in broad, low risk markets so that resources are available when the unexpected happens. It works by making the proper resources available when catastrophe strikes.

Risk mitigation is used only when both risk and cost can be measured. The risks of AGW mitigation policies can't be measured (it's not significant relative to vastlly larger naturally existing risk). The proper coarse of action is to identify what is likely to happen and what will be needed to respond to those events and invest.

Hoosier Daddy said...

ah, coming from the "scientists want a world government" "wealthy people can't comment on global warming" crowd, this is particularly rich.

Are you dense? Can you please point out where I or anyone ever said rich people can't comment on global warming? The point which seems to be completly beyond your graps is rich people living the high life in energy chugging mansions while telling us middle class, SUV driving, charcol grilling common folk how we have to reduce our carbon footprint. Sure Al can comment on it all he wants but his comments are meaningless when he's using 20x the energy the average (read: Common Folk) uses.

(would you ever, ever comment on a republican's personal activities affecting his ability to push an environmental, economic or social agenda? of course not, you'd say "stay the f* out of his business!")

If his/her/it's personal activities conflicted with his pushing the agenda you betcha I would.

but i know not conflating arguments is very difficult for you people...

Considering 'you people' like to now refer anyone who questions global warming and its causes are akin to Holocaust deniers, that's rich.

i'm going back to my coloring books then, cheers.

Good idea. Make sure you stay inside the lines.

The Exalted said...

here you go, "science" (from the real climate site):

"The lag between CO2 and temperature in PAST epochs has been beaten to horseburgers--basically why would we expect CO2 to lead in the past. Nobody has suggested CO2 is the only variable that can cause climate to change. In past epochs, the warming started via some other cause (orbital perturbation etc.) and then ghg were released as permafrost and the oceans warmed, prolonging and intensifying the warming.

You say Earth has survived past warming epochs greater than the present one--certainly true. However, nothing like this has occurred during the epoch of human civilization--that is what is at risk here."

The Exalted said...

more "science," cover your eyes:

"Does this prove that CO2 doesn't cause global warming? The answer is no.

The reason has to do with the fact that the warmings take about 5000 years to be complete. The lag is only 800 years. All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data.

The 4200 years of warming make up about 5/6 of the total warming. So CO2 could have caused the last 5/6 of the warming, but could not have caused the first 1/6 of the warming."

The Exalted said...

Considering 'you people' like to now refer anyone who questions global warming and its causes are akin to Holocaust deniers, that's rich.


i attribute your lack of knowledge to ignorance, not evil...

johnstodder said...

I am not a scientist, but I have a solution to making global warming policy.

Q: Is there more CO2 in the atmosphere now?

A: Yes.

Q: Is the earth getting warmer?

A: Yes.

Q: Is it getting warmer because of the additional CO2?

A: Maybe, maybe not.

Q: Is it getting warmer because of human activity?

A: Maybe, maybe not. Warming and cooling is clearly a cyclical phenomenon on Earth, and has been since long before the appearance of the human race. However, since we're on the upswing, we don't know where it's going to stop. That uncertaintly is where all the scientific speculation is.

Q: Should we try to control CO2 emissions?

A: Yes, but only up to the point where the economy would be disrupted. The unintended environmental consequence of a more Draconian effort to reduce CO2 emissions is that a world economic collapse owing to a high-cost CO2 control regime would also be bad for the environment. The environment is always worse where the economy is worse. Besides, even the most green advocates say it might be too late to change anything -- the CO2 that's already in the air can't be removed quickly.

Q: What about alternative energy and conservation?

A: It's a wonderful thing. But wind and solar are not reliable enough for baseload power. Nuclear power creates as many environmental problems as it solves. Ethanol production is problematic for the world's food supply. Conservation will be overwhelmed by population growth. All these things are worth pursuing for other reasons, but are no panacea.

Q: So what do you think we should do?

A: Apply science to mitigating the problem. Assuming warming will continue even within the known historical weather cycles, you will have a problem if rising seas, melting snow and stronger storms occur. It will impact life on the coasts, near rivers, and could greatly impact the food supply. Maybe not all for the bad! But the prudent thing to do is prepare for the various likely scenarios of global warming as if they're going to happen.

Q: Wait a minute... you say you believe in global warming but you don't sound like an environmentalist with these kinds of answers... are you secretly a skeptic?

A: Any thinking person has to be a skeptic about anything where you are predicting the future. It doesn't call your credentials into question, nor your fealty to a healthy planet.

Q: So why aren't you following Gore's lead and suppressing all doubts so we can unite to fight global warming?

A: Because, first of all, he wants to fight the wrong battle. He's looking at prevention. I think we should be doing preparation. Secondly, and most importantly, I think the environmenatal leadership has gotten so deeply into this one issue that they are ignoring potentially more significant issues.

Q: What could possibly be more important than the future of the planet?????

A: Water.

Cedarford said...

diggeraaron -

Risk management theory says that if you see a major possible risk, you research it - yes...but you also seek to eliminate the risk if the cost of doing so is low -even if the research is incomplete.
You order people to shut down suspect wells, water carted in from a safe town, and boil non-drinking water in a cholera epidemic - even though it adds considerable cost and inconvenience and the wells might not be the source.

Most risks are eliminated without a lengthly academic process to "prove risk" as long as the substitution is reasonable to do and if it doesn't turn out to be right, just go back to the old practice.

The switching costs are high with fossil fuels....however...and Kyoto does nothing to address population doubling in 50 years or new major polluters unchecked.

But it is incontrovertable that CO2 has gone up 30% since the industrial age started - that hydrocarbons are enormously valuable for things other than energy creation and we should ensure adequate reserves are left to subsequent generations. We also have much of the oil stocks in countries that are unstable, psychotic, even - and threaten us with massive economic depression even a possible WWIII.

So we should be taking actions to use substitute energy sources, even outside the global warming controversy.


John Stodder - Nuclear power creates as many environmental problems as it solves.

That is an assertion. What adverse environmental air, water, land pollution is associated as "unavoidable" with the use of nuclear power?
Greenies developed a visceral hatred of nuke power early on because it greatly conflicted with the organic hemp, do with less materialism, let's live like our noble savage ancestors did in harmony with all the animals of Gaia sappy vision they had in the 70s. They used TMI and Chernobyl to pump up the fear.

Long-lived wastes? New generation reactors burn it up.

Large waste volume? 1/500,000 the waste volume of coal usage imposes on us. 1/900 the waste volume associated with solar energy components production, life cycle.

Safety? - For equivalent energy use, nat gas and coal "spew" far more radioactivity out than nukes do. New gen plants further reduce risk of rad release.

Hoosier Daddy said...

i attribute your lack of knowledge to ignorance, not evil...

Setting up that straw man again. Allow me to point something out. I never denied global warming is occuring. The state I live in used to covered under a glacier so evidently global warming has occured at some point.

What I have been questioning is Gore's hypocrisy in condemning over use of carbon emissions and then using 20x more than the average family (and spare me the offset nonsense). That is my issue with AlGore. Don't have a 10K sq ft mansion, 2 other homes and jet set around the world in a private jet and then lecture me on my carbon footprint. If you haven't figured it out yet, then you're not reading what I am saying.

Don't forget to stay within the lines.

reality check said...

Sigh,

We have given you in this thread some very credible, easy links to follow that debunk the article, and you failed to address those links and why you found them to be not credible or issue you an update to your post.

Since you are putatively a law professor and not a climate scientist, I can only assume your lack of action is because in fact, you intend to mislead people.

For someone that today was upset with Paglia for her smear, your behavior here is identical, no, it is worse, because you have the correction.

You are intellectually dishonest.

Shame on you. Shame on your institution for putting up with your antics.

mcg said...

Bjorn Lomborg argues that addressing AIDS, malnutrition, and malaria is decidedly more important than addressing climate change.... that if we are forced to choose, we should chose those.

Yes, he even defends why letting Bangladesh be flooded in 2100 is better than letting certain other priorities go unaddressed. (Though ideally he would agree we should "do it all.")

mcg said...

reality check, don't be an idiot. this comment thread speaks for itself, for better or worse. It is part of the narrative, and it doesn't "demand" any particular "action" from Ann.

johnstodder said...

Cedarford, you obviously know a lot more about the current status of nuclear technology than I do.

But just as someone pointed out, accurately, that the public wants us to take action on global warming, but not let energy bills rise, the public will react viscerally against nuclear power, egged on by the technology's foes.

I realize Stewart Brand and other former anti-nuke fighters have switched sides. What I note is that they are being pilloried for having done so, notwithstanding their years of environmental leadership.

If we go down the road of thinking nuclear power is the answer to our energy problems in the future, I predict political gridlock. At least until Jackson Browne dies.

Kirk Parker said...

cokaygne,

"frost biet" is what they have in The Netherlands.

aaron said...

Cedaford, you don't shutdown the well because someone says there may be a cholera epidemic in the distant future.