May 14, 2007

The global warming article I'd like to read in the newspaper.

I keep reading about how hybrid cars and compact fluorescent lightbulbs can reduce the production of greenhouse gases, but I have yet to see an article about the savings that could be achieved if we were to stop delivery of newspapers and magazines and do all of our news reading on line.

For example, The New Republic has a nice "Good Citizen's Guide to Reducing Global Warming" -- PDF -- but they never say you really ought to cancel your subscription to the physical magazine The New Republic and read on line. You should still pay them for full access on-line, and you should buy TimesSelect for the NYT, but isn't it shameful to have this whole stack of newsprint delivered every day?

(And speaking of environmentalism and shame and not worrying about the economic effects on a particular business, shouldn't it become socially unacceptable to drink bottled water?)

176 comments:

Tim said...

Of course, in the social etiquette handbook on global warming, there are black-letter exemptions for media newsprint, private jet travel and unnecessarily large residential accommodations for global warming alarmists. So while you and I are supposed to wipe with one square, drive Flintstones-like pedal cars and light our homes with fluorescent bulbs, they get to live as they always did, due to massive "I care more than you" carbon offsets.

Where can I get the t-shirt?

Internet Ronin said...

Yes, it should be socially unacceptable. We should all stop working elsewhere, and devote all our time to subsistence farming, exchanging any extra produce with neighbors within walking distance only.

Sloanasaurus said...

Global warming jumped the shark when Al Gore's excessive lifestyle was revealed. If the advocates themselves do not believe in the danger, then why should anyone else believe it. Most all global warming advocates are overt hypocrites.

Take the money out of promoting global warming alarmism and the movement will die overnight. It's all a sham.

Unfortunately, there is still too much money in it for it to go away anytime soon.

Btw, I heard you can by various other types of offset credits on Ebay, such as homophobic offset credits. If you mistakenly have a homophobic thought - have no fear - an offset credit is available. Maybe Al is selling those too.

SteveR said...

"shouldn't it become socially unacceptable to drink bottled water?"

Yes, its another inconvient truth.

Along with meat, fish, and dairy.

jim said...

Someday, Ann, you may wish to face up to the fact that a person, by the very act of breeding, places a greater claim to the world's resources and makes a greater pollution footprint than anyone who switches to a Humvee, bottled water or newsprint! If a person feels he needs to breed, he should do so in Somalia, where the kid will go on to consume and pollute at a fraction of what the profligate Amerikan kid does in a lifetime.

Its silly and irksome to non-breeders to criticize their relative spartan lifestyles! There needs to be a market where non-breeders can sell consumption and pollution rights to the breeders.

Uncle Jimbo said...

Not to mention the noxious chemicals used to make newsprint and the others used to print the paper. Print is an ecological nightmare.

I have asked John Nichols several times how he can work for two print pubs, all I got was his devilish grin.

Cordially,

Uncle J

George said...

The print media business is already in dire trouble. Advertisers and people in the biz all know that readers have migrated to the web.

Once E-ink becomes commercially available as scrollreaders or, more likely, the next time there's an oil shock (Oh, any day now!) and the price of gas doubles or triples, you will see scads (and when I say 'scads' I mean 'scads') just scads of magazines and newspapers either go belly up like fish or convert significantly to the Web.

Guess the cover price of Harper's...

$2.95
$3.95
$4.95
$5.95
$6.95
$7.95....

It's $6.95, which, with tax, brings the total to close to $7.50!

MadisonMan said...

shouldn't it become socially unacceptable to drink bottled water?

Well, if you live in some farming communities in southern Wisconsin with drinking water that is contaminated with pesticides, maybe not. But just drinking it because of someone's idea of cachet -- a resounding yes. I was happy to hear that Chez Panisse no longer serves bottled water. I hope that's a trend.

I'm also lucky not to live in that part of Madison served by that Manganese-tainted well.

Jim Gust said...

Years ago I read about an exploration of an old midwestern dump site. With a single exception, everything in the dump had decomposed beyond recognition. No sign of disposable diapers, for example.

But the newsprint had survived. The explorers were able to read the 50-year-old newpaper stories, not just the headlines.

I agree, stop printing newspapers.

Christy said...

Do I get an offset because I wash and refill the bottles with the local water?

Sloanasaurus said...

Do I get an offset because I wash and refill the bottles with the local water?

It's definately worth a stroll around the block in your SUV for no particular reason.

Simon said...

Slightly OT: I'd like to see a global warming story explaining how putative cause can follow its supposed effect. I don't understand how the revelation that rises in CO2 changes lag rather than lead global warming doesn't basically eviscerate what I had undstood to be the Gore thesis that rises in CO2 has historically caused climate change and ergo is so doing today.

MadisonMan said...

Simon, the data show warming. It's hard to explain away data. This figure, for example. Or just about any Lake Ice plot from the past 150 years. Or Lilac blossom time. When I was young you very rarely had lilacs blooming before Mother's day -- now, it's common. The real question: is this a trend or an oscillation?

Do not confuse the actual warming with the mankind is doomed scenarios.

vet66 said...

Global Warming, IMHO, is a red herring being foisted on the U.S. and the world to weaken the superpower status of the U.S. It also takes the wind out of the sails of the global war on Islamic jihadists by trotting out the global warming bogeyman.

Buying diesel powered vehicles was supposed to save gasoline consumption since diesel requires less refinement than boutique gasoline. Buying so-called hybrids is supposed to decrease the use of gasoline with a reliance on battery assist.

The predictable outcome is a luxury tax on diesel fuel/engines and the cost of replacing batteries in hybrids wipes out any savings in gasoline usage.

The rhetorical question here is who is the bigger idiot:

a. The snake oil salesman;
b. The person buying the snake oil;
c. Both A and B.

Since Edwards, Kerry, Kennedy, Pelosi, et al, have such big mansions, maybe we can all move in with them in the ultimate hippie commune!

The diaper-wearing NASA gal had the "Right Stuff" when she didn't use any toilet paper at all. We should all wear diapers and design a vehicle that runs on depends!

Tom said...

Wow. I loved this post, and all the comments - especially about getting an offset for re-filling bottled water bottles.

Glad to see the backlash is developing!

JSinger said...

Simon, it'll take me a while to get my head around that discussion, but I have to say it's the most thoughtful, most courteous, best documented exchange I've ever seen in blog comments.

Frankly, if I were you I'd hesitate about linking it here...

AJ Lynch said...

Ann, this post gets the mind working even though I am a global warming skeptic.

How about if Congress did all its work via videoteleconferencing?
That way the Reps and Senators could stay in their home district- bet most of them would not like that.

And it would devastate the Beltway economy.

Peter Palladas said...

There is only one way to 'save the planet' and that is to destroy all humans.

There are days when it is a sore temptation. This is one such.

Therefore...

We should not only abandon bottled water but also any attempt at proper urban sewerage systems.

Make everyone sick with cholera, then, as they flee back to the country, starve them by prohibiting all but hunter gathering with weapons carved from wood and stone.

Any survivors should be made to battle to the death in, say, Death Valley.

What Do We Want? Apocalypse!

When Do We Want It? Now!

Education should also be banned.

William Cobbett was right - it only makes people restless and curious above their stations.

Fewer literate people, less need for anyone to write anything, anywhere, anyhow.

Schools Out For Ever!

...What is this sudden, collective Western guilt for existing? Why have we become such terrble self-haters?

vet66 said...

Further, one of Wisconsin's own verified what most of us new already. The air is drier the higher you go in altitude. Try going skiing without chapstick! 80% of the radiation from the earths surface is absorbed in the first 30 feet of the atmosphere. CO2 is what is supposed to prevent the escape of radiation by burning a hole in the atmosphere. If 80% is absorbed by water vapor in the first 30 feet of atmosphere the residual heat is insignificant.

Then there are those pesky problems with Greenland which is not really green anymore. I doubt if the Vikings sailed all the way to Greenland/Iceland to practice snowboarding!

Climate change is a way of life!

dix said...

I guess it all depends on whose ox is being gored

Eli Blake said...

The idea that we should read the paper online is meritorious-- and I like it. Of course, (since I moonlight delivering papers before I go to my real job) I can tell you that the majority of subscribers are over 60-- meaning that 1) they don't tend to read stuff online as much as younger people do, and 2) wait about ten or twenty years and this problem will largely solve itself.

As to the bottled water stuff, I'd argue that bottled water is largely necessary because of all the poisonous stuff that has infiltrated our other water-- in other words, if we'd gone green years ago then you'd be right-- but living (for example) in the rural area where I do, tap water is likely to contain pesticides, and I'm sure in the city it contains worse stuff than that. And keep in mind that the Bush administration actually raised the legal concentration of Mercury and some other pollutants that is allowed to be dumped into the environment.

However, what we see next:

Here we have yet another example of a bunch of right-wing ignoramuses howling about how being 'green' means having to reduce your lifestyle. It does not mean that at all-- for example, it is not a reduction in lifestyle to require a car that gets better mileage or to get your electricity from a renewable source. It is not a reduction in lifestyle to build a mass transit system (especially since if you still choose to drive you can, and there will be less traffic on the road). It is not a reduction in lifestyle to start using lightbulbs that produce the same amount of light but use less electricity. It is not a reduction in lifestyle to stack your paper or your aluminum seperately for recycling. Nor is it a reduction in lifestyle to do as Ann proposes-- to read news online (note that although I deliver papers right now for a few extra bucks, I don't have a subscription-- because I get most of my news right here-- and if I really want to read an article in the paper that isn't available online then I can wait until the next day and read a 'recycled' newspaper.

Here is what I would call the right-- Suckers! For years, the oil industry and the auto manufacturers propagandized (plus, of course, spreading significant amounts of money around to the campaign funds of key members of Congress) against higher CAFE standards for cars. The reason was quite simple-- the more gas that was used, the more they could sell you, and the higher the demand the higher the price (= big bucks). The car manufacturers loved the profits they made on big SUV's and didn't want to have to downsize.

But neither could say that outright. So the anti-environmentalist propaganda was generally of the 'going green means you'll freeze in the dark' variety.

And once again, we see that some people have bought it hook, line and sinker.

Ironically, the right has recently 'discovered' fuel mileage after the President proposed raising it-- probably spurred by the twin realizations that 1) we won't be getting all that cheap Iraqi oil that was once envisioned, and 2) high demand and correspondingly high prices help empower Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez. Well, welcome to the club, to those who have jumped on with the President anyway, we've been saving a seat for you.

I'm sure that P.T. Barnum made a lot of money off of gullible Republicans. And he would today, too.

Sloanasaurus said...

It does not mean that at all-- for example, it is not a reduction in lifestyle to require a car that gets better mileage or to get your electricity from a renewable source.

It is a reduction in lifestyle if the total cost of the car getting better milage is more than the car getting less milage. This is the whole point being made by what you call "right-wing ignoramuses." Anyone will support something that actually is more efficient and costs less. What the ignoramuses do not support is government imposed mandates that end up costing more for no reason other than a fictional belief that we are all going to drown in the future.

Why support laws that make life more difficult for people, but provides no meaningful return for the increased cost?

That would be absurd.

Freder Frederson said...

Ann, for someone who doesn't not believe in global warming, you sure do like to ridicule efforts at curbing it.


I don't understand how the revelation that rises in CO2 changes lag rather than lead global warming doesn't basically eviscerate what I had undstood to be the Gore thesis that rises in CO2 has historically caused climate change and ergo is so doing today.

Simon, follow the lead of your heterosexual man love and stick to commenting on things you at least you pretend to be an expert in--the law. In the past CO2 rises have lagged climate changes (possibly as more trapped CO2 were released by previously frozen bogs and marshes at higher latitudes). The reason that this climate change is different is that it looks like the rise in CO2 is the cause, not the effect. We know that CO2 does indeed cause warming (and so as more natural CO2 is released through a warmer climate, the warming may accelerate), it is a demonstrable fact through classic thermodynamic principles and experimentation.

Code Red said...

Print media will go the way of the dodo bird.

I know the sarcasm isn't looking for a real response, but I'll share anyway! A response by a socially conscious liberal nerd might be: poor people can't afford to be connected and additionally, it would kill legitimate magazines and newspapers that are designed to stimulate intellectual thought rather than push social agendas! (like playboy magazine, for example)

For now, outside of T.V., print media provides the best cheap resource for news and entertainment. Global warming,... eh, I'll worry about that problem on a rainy day, ;)

Code Red said...

Ann, for someone who doesn't not believe in global warming, you sure do like to ridicule efforts at curbing it.

Well, does she or doesn't she? I kid! :P

amba said...

shouldn't it become socially unacceptable to drink bottled water?

Not if drinking chlorinated tap water contributes to breast cancer risk.

Kirby Olson said...

The Progressive is therefore Backwards.

Mike said...

Wow, the carbon offset credits I should get for never having bred should allow me to do any damn thing I want for the rest of my life!

Freder Frederson said...

It is a reduction in lifestyle if the total cost of the car getting better milage is more than the car getting less milage. This is the whole point being made by what you call "right-wing ignoramuses."

The fleet average mpg of automobiles in Europe is about 50% greater than in the U.S. Europeans, even when adjustments are made for climate, use about 25% less energy per capita than Americans. People in this country could significantly reduce their use of energy (and production of greenhouse gases) without significant cost or impact on their lifestyle.

Since the late eighties, instead of making cars more fuel efficient, auto manufacturers have simply made them more powerful and bigger. Although the trade off between horsepower and fuel efficiency is not one to one, they are related. If the automobile industry had compromised and reduced horsepower by say 20 percent (say 180 hp instead of 220 out of a standard V-6) and increased gas mileage ten percent, think what a difference that would have made.

Sloanasaurus said...

it is a demonstrable fact through classic thermodynamic principles and experimentation.

It has also been demonstrated that the effect on warming from C02 starts to drastically taper off after the initial impact.

Freder Frederson said...

It is a reduction in lifestyle if the total cost of the car getting better milage is more than the car getting less milage

And what do you call it if you bought a Chevy Suburban when gas was $1.50 a gallon (or less) and now it is over $3.00?

Freder Frederson said...

It has also been demonstrated that the effect on warming from C02 starts to drastically taper off after the initial impact.

Would you care to provide data for your assertion?

Fen said...

The fleet average mpg of automobiles in Europe is about 50% greater than in the U.S.

They also have cleaner diesel, something we haven't caught up with yet.

Europeans, even when adjustments are made for climate, use about 25% less energy per capita than Americans.

They also produce less.

And are getting 15-20% of their energy from nuclear power. France is pushing to increase that to 50%.

People in this country could significantly reduce their use of energy (and production of greenhouse gases) without significant cost or impact on their lifestyle.

Only if the enviros let us build more nuclear plants.

Freder Frederson said...

Only if the enviros let us build more nuclear plants.

Choice of generation has nothing to do with using less energy. Conservation means the energy doesn't need to be generated at all.

Freder Frederson said...

They also have cleaner diesel, something we haven't caught up with yet.

Actually we have, as of a couple months ago. Regardless, whose fault is that?

Simon said...

MadisonMan - With due respect, I think you're thrusting at a strawman. I didn't in my comment or linked post dispute that warming is ocurring. The question I posed was, regardless of whether this is a trend or an oscillation, how can the assertion of increased CO2 concentrations as a cause of historically-comparable temperature fluctuations survive the revelation that the increase in the supposed drivers lag rather than lead their supposed effects? My post could be summed up in two old chestnuts: correlation is not causation, and cause must take place before effect.

JSinger - I appreciate the compliments, but I think that in the main, Ann has attracted a very high quality supporting cast in the comments coffeehouse. Even Freder and Doyle are fully capable of participating substantively when it suits their purpose. Granted the exceptions seem to swallow the rule lately, and today appears to be no exception.

Peter's comment makes me think of George Carlin's riff on planet change - that environmentalists talk about saving the planet, but the planet is doing just fine. The people are f*cked, however; the planet isn't going anywhere: we are.

Bill said...

Althouse: ...but I have yet to see an article about the savings that could be achieved if we were to stop delivery of newspapers and magazines and do all of our news reading on line.
... isn't it shameful to have this whole stack of newsprint delivered every day?


The potential savings don't seem that great to me, since paper isn't made from fossil carbon, but from carbon recently removed from the atmosphere. And if the paper winds up in a landfill, the carbon will be sequestered for an indefinite, but possibly quite long, time.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

A couple of thoughts-

Have you ever noticed a 12 ounce bottle of water is $1.09, and a 12 ounce bottle of cola is $.89? What do they put in the cola that makes it cheaper than water?

I don't drink bottled water as a rule, but I do have a filtering system at home.

Second point- Has anyone ever questioned where the SUV came from?

I can tell you- it ws generated by the CAFE standards so lauded here a few minutes ago. Europeans may be able to get by with a smaller car, as they ususally have less distance to drive. I would be surprised to find that an average European travels more than half the distance the average American does in a year by any means.

Because we travel farther by private auto than any other country we need larger vehicles. When we were children most of us traveled by station wagon, a very practical auto design, basically outlawed by CAFE. when the cars became smaller and less powerful folks converted to trucks, not controled by the CAFE, and the mini-van and SUV were born.

CAFE is another example (like Prohibition; the War on Drugs and Safe Sex Campaigns) proving human wants cannot be legistlated. CAFE tried to force us into GEOs and Prius's. Instead we went into SUVs.

On Global Warming, I read this article in the local paper yesterday (didn't have it delivered- drove the car to get it so much ofr those carbon credits) {http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070513/EDIT02/705130307/1021/EDIT&GID=dD4HrUx+43LTmU6VACYEK7moQL0DzYq2hjs5J1vR26I%3D} (tried the link thing & couldn't get it to work).

This writer equates the idea that running your car in a closed garage, where carbon monoxide will kill you with, with running your car in the great outdoors, where the carbon dioxide will build up and kill you. She is allegedly a graduate student in environmental health.

Whether the earth is getting warmer or not is not because of a few extra CO2 molecules- my SUV has as much effect on global warming as the flea on my dog's butt has to do with his bad breath.

vet66 said...

No discussion of global warming, Middle East oil dependency, and electrical generation would be complete without discussing NIMBY.

I recall the Kennedy's were all for wind generation as long as it didn't spoil their view of Chesapeake Bay and the waters off the Hamptons. It was okay to put it where the unannointed lived and worked but not the glitterati!

The 'greens' eschew nuclear power and new fuel refineries because of environmental concerns. As a result the Powder River Basin is mining coal faster than mexican water through a first time tourist. In most cases this coal is being hauled by railroads for a thousand miles to get to the generating plant.

That is having an impact on the environment. Meanwhile, the "Burning Man" get together is in high gear for Nevada this summer. I wonder how much climate change is affected by a bunch of naked hippies, assorted hangers-on, and Dead Heads toking weed driving around in VW buses?

Whether one rages against the Machine or works for the Machine the results are still the same. If we all resorted to campfires to cook and keep warm the smoke would obliterate the sun.

What are we really talking about here?!

AlphaLiberal said...

Or if my newspaper delivery folk stop delivering via energy wasting SUV!

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

vet66-

Not to mention that burning all the trees would remove that carbon scrubbing force from the ecosystem.

Maybe we need to burn buffalo chips, like the pioneers?

What about the fireplace logs I get at the grocery store? any idea how many carbon credits I get by burning fake wood?

Jennifer said...

I thought it *was* socially unacceptable to drink bottled water - among the hardcores anyway. In Eugene (where I spent my time living amongst the hardcores) we all refilled nalgene type bottles instead of buying Dasani, etc.. And Genesis juice came in glass bottles that you could return for $0.25 to be reused for the next batch.

I have to admit I do buy bottled water now - but in the big tubs not the little individual sizes. I can't drink the tap water here. Blech! Hawaii water has spoiled me for all time.

And I totally agree about the print media. My mother was horrified we didn't have newspaper delivery last time she visited so she bought us a subscription. I dutifully recycle it every day, but I still feed bad about it. :P

Jennifer said...

Hmm...make that "I feel* bad about it..."

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, for someone who doesn't not believe in global warming, you sure do like to ridicule efforts at curbing it."

Huh???

When have I EVER said I don't believe in global warming? Hint: NEVER!

HOW am I ridiculing the efforts at curbing it here? I'm saying there are other things that are never mentioned. I'm encouraging better efforts at reducing greenhouse gas-producing consumption. The only thing I'm at all ridiculing here is the media for not mentioning some obvious things.

They're certainly promoting the fluorescent lightbulb industry, but they protect other businesses, most notably their own.

But not just their own. Why don't they tell us to cut back on travel? Why don't they tell us to just buy less stuff? Every time you're about to buy anything, why don't you stop and ask yourself if you really need it? Try to resist buying one thing for everything you buy, especially if it's contained in any sort of packaging. Every time you plan a vacation, make it as close to home as possible. Don't bike around France, if you live in Wisconsin. Bike around Wisconsin.

Why don't they shame us for being overweight and therefore obviously consuming more food products (and packaging) than we need?

There are so many things they don't demand. But as for the damned lightbulbs, well, go out and buy plenty of those!

I say the media fall way short and need to step up and spread the sacrifice around. I'm assuming there's a big problem to be solved, and anyone who thinks so ought to be demanding more of themselves than adopting some different lightbulbs (which are full of mercury and a new environmental problem).

Sloanasaurus said...

Choice of generation has nothing to do with using less energy. Conservation means the energy doesn't need to be generated at all.

What purpose would there be to conserving energy or to using less energy. What end does conserving energy on its own achieve other than to reduce the standard of living for humans on the planet.

The point about nuke plants is if the global warmists really had the goal of reducing global warming rather than a goal of global collectivism, they would be advocating nuke plants because building nukes plants is the most politically feasible way to reducing CO2 emissions. Any plan that requires severe reduction in energy usage is not politically or practically possible in America.

The real goal of the global warming alarmists is collectivism, which is why nuclear plants are not part of their agenda.

Sloanasaurus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Simon -- I can only caution you not to accept that something will not happen because it hasn't happened that way before. (Sorry about the double negative) I have my doubts that the latest warming is all CO2, all the time. But I think it's plausible. My chief beef with alarmists is that they are imperiling believability of others in my profession in the future :).

By the way -- how do you cite to the actual quote in a thread? I can't figure out how you're creating that url.

Sloanasaurus said...

I have decided to forego using my private jet this year and air conditioning the guest house. I want to do my part to save the planet.

Cedarford said...

Bill said...

"Althouse: ...but I have yet to see an article about the savings that could be achieved if we were to stop delivery of newspapers and magazines and do all of our news reading on line.
... isn't it shameful to have this whole stack of newsprint delivered every day?"

"The potential savings don't seem that great to me, since paper isn't made from fossil carbon, but from carbon recently removed from the atmosphere. And if the paper winds up in a landfill, the carbon will be sequestered for an indefinite, but possibly quite long, time."

The wood products industry is a rare industry in that it is closed carbon loop and creates more energy (from biomass wastes) than it consumes. It also helps regenerate aquifers in drier regions of the West by reducing water evaporation - adding to the fresh water available.

Except the paper mills. While the energy use does not negate the positive balance of the industry
overall, that is where your see "enviromentalists" recently insist on the heavy energy use be "clean" electricity from hydro or natural gas. The fresh water use is huge with paper mills, and they used to be among the heaviest polluters.

The idiots that came up with "newspaper recycling" as amongst the greatest causes of the 70s were for the most part technologically illiterate. The old mills pollution problem cleaned up well with new generation plants. The "Save a Tree" recycle newsprint!! notion was stupid from the start because forestry was sustained yield long before the Children of the Age of Aquarius ever sucked their first doobie.

And the ecos never realized that "recycled" paper is just paper that is not carbon sequestered in landfills or burned in trash to energy plants to make pretty clean electricity in most locales in the USA, now.
Moreover, the fossil energy used to collect, sort, transport, clean the wood pulp of all additives, adding huge amounts of bleach to rewhiten it.......is more than vigin paper made from all those copiously growing and regenerating trees. Recycled paper also uses more water and chemicals per ton of paper made.
Yet the morons believe that once anything is an officially embraced 70s cause, it can never be let go. No nukes, only solar makes sense. Recycle paper! Plastics too, though the industry can't use much of it because different sorts of plastic contaminate the feedstock and the most energy efficient solution for waste plastic is just tossing it in the garbage and burning it to make electricity.

Others have mentioned the biggest cause of fossil energy use is growing human population. Open Borders and illegal immigration, plus "high-breeding rate" populations in the 3rd world wiped out all the energy conservation efforts of the last 30 years. Yet it is almost unheard of for an Lefty environmental group to ever bring up how all Kyoto goals & conservation is negated by more Juans and Abduls swarming into sustained or negative population growth countries and welcomed by clueless Lefties and Bush Corporatists/Owner Class.

LoafingOaf said...

I'm okay with newspapers gradually going to online-only, but please don't do it to magazines! Will I have to lug a laptop to the toilet? To the dentist office? To the barbershop? On the rapid transit? And I like to read magazines in bed before I fall asleep.

I'll credit the environmentalists for getting me to pay more attention to one thing: How many plastic bags I get from stores. I try and recieve as few plastic bags as possible from stores, which is a pretty easy change. Would be even easier if stores didn't try and use as many as possible for whatever reason. They'll give you a plastic bag for one candybar if you're not paying attention.

I dunno, I think I have a relatively efficient lifestyle, and I really don't see too many people living as efficiently as I do. I live in a Democrat stronghold where persumedly most residents are all into Al Gore. Each election virtually every house on my block has signs up pushing Democrats. There's only two houses on my block without an SUV parked in the driveway. Mine (with a lil Toyota), and an old marine who had a Bush sign up in 2004. We were the only ones in our neighborhood who didn't vote for Kerry, far as I could tell. Until I see these neighbors getting rid of their SUVs, I will not even consider flourescent bulbs (which I suspect would annoy my eyes).

Simon said...

"By the way -- how do you cite to the actual quote in a thread? I can't figure out how you're creating that url."

Blogger embeds names in the posts, but the link that it provides you with - I have no idea why - is missing a key letter. So what you want to do is right-click on the timestampbeneath someone's post, and that'll get you a URL like this: http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/05/global-warming-article-id-like-to-read.html#8874416094727323867. To fix that URL so that you can actually link to it, insert a "c" between the hash and the number, i.e.: http://althouse.blogspot.com/2007/05/global-warming-article-id-like-to-read.html#c8874416094727323867. You can then link to this url as with any other. This is true of all posts on all blogspot blogs, and I have no idea why it is apparently beyond their ken to fix such a simple issue.


MadisonMan said...
"I can only caution you not to accept that something will not happen because it hasn't happened that way before."

The problem there is that Al Gore trolls around the country showing that pretty little graph of historical temperatures vs. historical CO2 concentrations, touting it as proof that something will happen because it happened that way before. So I think it's perfectly reasonable to say that if that's the proof Gore is holding out, when that proof is shredded, it's on him to come up with something better. I'm not saying that CO2 concentration isn't driving climate change, I wasn't a skeptic before and I don't really think of myself as a skeptic now. But when Gore rests his case on a demonstrably erroneous empirically-verifiable assertion, when it turns out to be false, people are going to ask questions! ;)

It's absolutely a relevant question to ask, if previous warming events were accompanied by rises in CO2 but weren't initiated by (or apparently even driven in significant part by) those rises, what did start them? There is a massive hole in the global warming thesis, and to be quite frank, I have my suspicions that what's really driving this isn't concern for the climate, but a sense of glee among left-leaning proponents that now they can stick it to their traditional enemies - big corporation and personal freedom - in the name of saving the planet. At a minimum, it's an intriguing coincidence that all of a sudden the left proclaims a massive global crisis facing us, the only solution to which is massive government control over people's lives and the dismemberment of the commanding heights of industry - which is exactly what the left's been urging for some time before they hit on global warming as an excuse.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Simon,

It seems to me that you are possibly confusing two separate issues. The first is the matter of a lag of CO2 concentrations behind temperature change on extremely long timescales (glacial-interglacial). This is not a new idea; Lorius (1990) and others predicted this based on Milankovitch cycles coupled with several positive feedback mechanisms. One of these positive feedback mechanisms is rising greenhouse gas concentrations (including carbon dioxide). The Lorius et al predictions are qualitatively consistent with recent data and calculations. From recent data analyses we can see that quantitative estimates of the carbon dioxide-temperature lag show that it is small compared to the length of the time period in which the temperature changes. Consistent with what we know about the direct radiative effects of carbon dioxide on climate, carbon dioxide acts as an amplifier in the process. So, in these instances of glacial-interglacial climate change, although atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations did not initiate the climate change, they certainly did contribute to the temperature changes.

Not having seen Gore's film, I don't know if he claims that historically increases in carbon dioxide concentration initiated climate change. However, the evidence is solid that atmospheric carbon dioxide contributed to glacial-interglacial climate change. I suspect this is the basis of Gore's argument to which you refer. If so, then his claim is correct, and is entirely consistent with predictions of future warming.

Jeff said...

Eli, you ignorant slut.

It is not a reduction in lifestyle to build a mass transit system (especially since if you still choose to drive you can, and there will be less traffic on the road).

How do you plan on paying for this?

Oh, by taking away more of my money.

That won't effect my lifestyle, no, not at all. Who needs money when you can be a smug, socialist greenie?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

cedarford wrote:

Others have mentioned the biggest cause of fossil energy use is growing human population. Open Borders and illegal immigration, plus "high-breeding rate" populations in the 3rd world wiped out all the energy conservation efforts of the last 30 years.


Increasing global population is a significant problem, and not just as it bears on energy use. However, "open borders" and "illegal immigration" are strictly red herrings here.

Michael said...

Sunspot activity precedes global warming, indicating that the sun is the cause. CO2 concentrations lag global temperature, indicating that it's an effect, not a cause.

Then there is global warming on other planets (Saturn, Pluto, and Mars), and since no one has provided evidence of SUVs running around on those planets, the common denominator is the sun.

So let's ignore all this and blame the effect for the cause. Why? Because the red-green alliance can't instigate collectivism, punitive regulations on capitalistic bourgeois private business, and social engineering on a global scale if the sun is to blame.

Besides, does anyone know what the correct globally averaged temperature is supposed to be? Is it imprinted somewhere along the equator, like the correct pressure on a tire? Is it listed in the back of the owners manual?

Given that records show temperature has been variable since before man invented the wheel, let alone the SUV, that Greenland was once green, that oil fields in Alaska indicate it too was once green, that our poles are covered in ice, I could just as easily argue that currently the earth is unnaturally cold.

MadisonMan said...

Simon said...(Wow! It Works! I never realized the time was clickable...Thanks!)

To answer your following question, as cyrus notes, previous warmings/coolings were driven by Milankovitch forcings, that is, changes in the orbit of the Earth. The Eccentricity of the Earth's orbit, the tilt of the axis, and times of perihelion/aphelion all vary with periods of 100000, 41000, and 21000 years, respectively. When Summers are cool in the Northern Hemisphere (Large Axial tilt, highly eccentric orbit, aphelion in the Summer), glaciation is favored. That amplifies the cooling until you emerge from the period of cool summers and glaciers melt.

If I recall the variations correctly, Earth is emerging out of a period of relative warmth, as shown by ice core data, meaning glaciation is to be expected in the future -- I think that was part the origin of a lot of the cold Earth scenarios in the 70s -- that and the effect of more aerosols in the atmosphere.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

michael,

I would hate to say that your previous post is the dumbest I've ever seen, but it's certainly in the running.

The global climate change discussion has nothing whatsoever to do with determining a "correct globally averaged temperature." Presumably most of us would prefer a global climate that is similar to what we have now (i.e., a climate that accomodates human existence). This would also include consideration of the local effects of climate change (e.g., flooding, coastal erosion, etc...).

It's clear that you don't understand the science of global climate change. And it's obvious that you don't read much, as no scientist claims that all climate change is caused by changes in concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Your "analysis" sounds a lot like a Limbaughism: nonsensical garbage force fed to gullible radio listeners who are then expected to regurgitate it at parties and other social gatherings.

As I struggle to find something positive to say about your comments, I note that you associate planetary temperatures with the existence of the sun. On that basis, it's fair to say you understood something from your science lesson when you were in first grade. May I suggest you borrow a science book from a second grader and pick up where you left off?

johnstodder said...

As to the bottled water stuff, I'd argue that bottled water is largely necessary because of all the poisonous stuff that has infiltrated our other water-- in other words, if we'd gone green years ago then you'd be right-- but living (for example) in the rural area where I do, tap water is likely to contain pesticides, and I'm sure in the city it contains worse stuff than that.

If this is true, then cities like Los Angeles and New York have been wasting an awful lot of money upgrading their water storage and delivery systems to meet stringent, mandatory EPA standards.

There is such a disconnect here. Activists push for higher standards, the standards are met, but the activists continue to spread paranoia about public water sources.

The water most American cities pump out of their wastewater treatment plants is cleaner than the water people drink in most of the world!

(I grant the point to Eli and others who live in rural areas, only because I'm not aware of whether EPA enforcement has come to smaller communities. There might be exceptions based on size and revenue base to implementing these expensive upgrades.)

Look, I drink bottled water in the car and in the gym, for convenience. We charcoal-filter our water at home. My wife and I disagree as to why we do this. I say: Taste. She would say: To avoid being poisoned. But no matter how you look at it, it's proof you can drink tap water at home.

Sloanasaurus said...

The global climate change discussion has nothing whatsoever to do with determining a "correct globally averaged temperature." Presumably most of us would prefer a global climate that is similar to what we have now (i.e., a climate that accomodates human existence).

Cyrus, you don't know much either - you can't because no one can prove global warming "science." It is not science at all. It is all theory. The point about the desired global temp stems from the idea that global warming may be a good thing overall for humans on the earth. Higher temps have existed before and have led to an increased standard of living for humans. In contrast, global cooling has been devestating. If this is the case why would we want to stop global warming even if we thought it was possible to stop.

LoafingOaf said...

I guess I'm puzzled by why I should feel "socially unacceptable" if I go to a vending machine for a portable beverage and punch the Aquafina button instead of the Pepsi or Orange Juice one. I'm perfectly happy drinking tap from a fountain when I want a quite quenching of my thirst, but at the times I am buying a bottled water, if the bottled water weren't available I'd buy some other bottled beverage. So what difference does it make, except that drinking a water instead of a Pepsi is better for me?

I understand there are people who almost entirely use bottled water, even for ice cubes! Hey, I wouldn't do that, but what a great country that people are so prosperous they can afford to if they want.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

johnstodder,

Drinking water in rural areas is often very poor. In particular, people who get their water from private wells are especially vulnerable to unpleasant contaminants.

Also, I would add bottled water as an essential item for people who travel to (most) other countries. And if you travel by airplane, make sure you use bottled water only on the plane. Water on airplanes is notorious for containing bacteria like coliform and E. coli.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

Higher temps have existed before and have led to an increased standard of living for humans.


Huh? When was this?

Jim said...

I got more than a little tired of the doom & gloom in the pages of National Geographic magazine, interspersed with glossy advertisements for fancy cars and tropical vacations. So I let my subscription lapse.

As a result my so-called carbon footprint is now smaller AND I avoid their preaching every month. Life is good.

Steven said...

But the newsprint had survived. The explorers were able to read the 50-year-old newpaper stories, not just the headlines.

Which is to say, the carbon in the newsprint was safely sequestered in the landfill, rather than having been returned to the atmosphere by bacteria biodegrading the paper, thus reducing atmospheric carbon.

Really. If you want to remove carbon from the air, you can't do much better than to take a tree farm, plant fast-growing trees, cut the trees down, bury the tress in a landfill designed to stop them from rotting, and replant on the farm. Each cycle removes /lots/ of carbon and puts it underground -- just like coal and oil.

Turning them into newsprint and transporting them to individual homes and back between cutting them down and burying them adds some extra pollution, but also makes the process financially feasible.

On the other hand, Internet publications require electricity (largely derived from fossil fuels) to operate, and take no carbon out of the atmosphere.

So, it's not clear, to armchair analysis, whether print or online fights global warming better; the trucking of the newsprint might overcome the sequestration effect enough to make the burning of fossil fuels for electricity a better choice.

However, it is completely clear that virgin paper and landfilling is vastly superior from a carbon perspective than recycling paper. If you recycle paper and buy recycled paper, you are unquestionably contributing more to global warming than if you didn't.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

Cyrus, you don't know much either - you can't because no one can prove global warming "science." It is not science at all. It is all theory.


Yes Sloan, all climate data is theory. Indeed. Black is white. Up is down.

Thank you for correcting my understanding of science, Sloan.

Eli Blake said...

sloanasaurus:

It is a reduction in lifestyle if the total cost of the car getting better mileage [SIC] is more than the car getting less mileage. [SIC]

How so? If you hadn't noticed, the cheapest cars on the market just happen to be the most fuel efficient as well. And when gas is costing $3 a gallon, people have to redefine 'cheap.' Also, notice that European and Asian manufacturers, who produce a lot of those small efficient vehicles, have been making a lot more money than our own manufacturers. Funny how facts and results contradict your theoretical argument.

Edumakated redneck:

Keep in mind though they have invested in Europe in a system of mass transit that makes most driving unnecessary. And after the initial investment, the system is relatively cheap too, requiring only the cost of operators, maintenance and some extension to keep up with population growth.

But hey, drive your SUV. Drive it a long way. And flip a hundred dollar bill at the cashier every time you fill it up. I have a car with a ten gallon tank that gets 40 mpg, and I probably get about as far with a tank of gas, and for a lot less $

Sloanasaurus said...

Higher temps have existed before and have led to an increased standard of living for humans. Huh? When was this?

Many historians argue that the increased prosperity that began in the high middle ages is attributable to what is now known as the medieval warming period. Warming may not be so great for resorts in southern spain, but it will be nice for those who live on the North Sea.

Sloanasaurus said...

Yes Sloan, all climate data is theory. Indeed. Black is white. Up is down.

I did not say all climate data is theory. However, science usually means something that can be repeated and tested over and over with the same results. You can use mathematical formulas to split atoms, predict orbits, eclipses, melt ice, etc.. Global warming is only theory based on science. None of the theories can be proven in any lab. One can argue that CO2 is a greenhouse gas that may increase temps based on lab experiments, but no one really knows by how much or if other factors will negate the increase when the theory is applied to the earth as a whole.

MadisonMan said...

Many historians argue that...

This sentence suggests that historians also argue that climate had nothing to do with any increased standard of living. Why do you believe one set of historians over the other?

Sloanasaurus said...

If you hadn't noticed, the cheapest cars on the market just happen to be the most fuel efficient as well.

Aren't you proving my point. If someone can buy a car that gets better gas milage cheaper than a car that gets worse gas milage, you will sell more of those cars as the price of gas rises.

However, if the cost of a car that gets better gas milage is more in totality (including the cost of gas) than the SUV that gets worse gas milage, then how does mandating that we buy the more "efficient" car help us?

Radish said...

Every time you're about to buy anything, why don't you stop and ask yourself if you really need it? Try to resist buying one thing for everything you buy, especially if it's contained in any sort of packaging. Every time you plan a vacation, make it as close to home as possible. Don't bike around France, if you live in Wisconsin. Bike around Wisconsin.

Why don't they shame us for being overweight and therefore obviously consuming more food products (and packaging) than we need?


Uh, who are you, or Congress, or Algore, or anyone else who isn't my mother that you can tell me what I do and don't need? Bike around Wisconsin and eat whatever you like, but don't presume to tell me you know better than I do about what I need to eat and where I need to go.

(Apparently "celebrate diversity" does not apply to cars, meals, hobbies...)

Sloanasaurus said...

This sentence suggests that historians also argue that climate had nothing to do with any increased standard of living. Why do you believe one set of historians over the other?

You could make that argument. However, I have never heard anyone argue that the warmer weather during the medieval warming period was detrimental to civilization.

Certainly climate change will have winners and losers. Warmer weather will be great for farmers in the upper midwest and Canada - it will increase the growing season. Not so great for farmers farther south because of reduced water, etc... Considering that more land mass lies towards the poles rather than the equater, it is logical to assume that warmer weather would be better for humans because it would allow use of more land mass.

blake said...

What we need is to find a better, cheaper source of energy.

And we need to expend whatever energy is necessary to get it.

Then, we need to install a series global thermostats and weather control devices in orbit.

Hey, that's the way they would've solved it in a '50s sci-fi story.

And it beats wiping with one square. On so many levels.

Simon said...

Cyrus"
"It seems to me that you are possibly confusing two separate issues. The first is the matter of a lag of CO2 concentrations behind temperature change on extremely long timescales (glacial-interglacial). "

I'm referring to the fact that when you graph the Vostok ice cores, temperature starts to go up, followed about 800 years later by CO2, and once it peaks, the dopping temperature is also matched by a drop in CO2 concentration that once again lags by about 800 years. At most, this proves that when the temperature rises, CO2 rises. But it seems to me that the most likely explanation for that is outgassing from various stores, most likely the oceans; moreover, if the presence of enhanced CO2 levels were actually driving the temperature rises in a positive feedback loop, one would expect to see two things: the rate of temperature increase would become steeper after a certain point as the feedback loop started to become a significant driver compared to the underlying cause, and also, the CO2 level ought to drop before the temperature level dropped. But neither of those two things happen, according to the Vostok ice cores.

I don't doubt the truth of your observation that "although atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations did not initiate the climate change, they certainly did contribute to the temperature changes," your task is to (a) identify the primary driver and (b) quantify just how much of a contribution CO2 made to those events. The data certainly suggests that CO2 went up, but it doesn't suggest (notwithstanding that we know atmospheric CO2 has a greenhouse effect) that the effect was statistically significant. Suppose we stipulate that solar activity is the primary driver. If CO2 is a significant contributor, wouldn't you expect to see that as the temperature rises, the rate of increase would accelerate as the solar activity was supplemented by rising CO2 levels? And wouldn't you have to concede that if even at their peak CO2 levels aren't enough to sustain a high temperature once the solar activity recedes, that obviously while CO2 can exacerbate, it can't cause or maintain?

The evidence that I've seen is not at all "solid that atmospheric carbon dioxide contributed to glacial-interglacial climate change"; it shows correlation, not causation, and while it doesn't disprove the common-sense thesis that CO2 contributes, it doesn't prove it either, and throws some doubt on it.

blake said...

Sloan,

I've heard that in warmer times, you get a surplus of food and a population boom. In "A Short History of Practically Everything" (I think) Bryson says that ice ages have typically spurred human development. (There's only speculation as to why, IIRC.)

I think the Medieval Ice Age and the plague went together, though.

vet66 said...

Cyrus;

Regarding a recent global warming trend, we refer to the time period around 1000 A.D. Eric the Red was thrown out of Norway, ended up in Iceland, was exiled to Greenland and settled the verdant coastal are of Greenland.

Check interglaciation periods in google.

Simon said...

Cyrus,
Instead of throwing ad hominem at Michael, you might want to try engaging with his substantive point. So you say Michael "do[es]n't understand the science of global climate change," which is a fairly gutsy statement given that climate "experts" have apparently yet to determine what is the primary driver. What is your reply to his substantive point, which is that global climate change is primarily driven by the sun, not by atmospheric carbon dioxide?

Rick said...

As a manager of a small apartment building (56 suites) I put Hundreds of free local papers directly into the bin every week. Always 100% untouched, unread - multiply that by hundreds of buildings in Vancouver. Crazy system.

Simon said...

Jim said...
"I got more than a little tired of the doom & gloom in the pages of National Geographic magazine, interspersed with glossy advertisements for fancy cars and tropical vacations. So I let my subscription lapse."

I particularly liked their recent issue "celebrating" 400 years since the founding of Jamestown, where they went out of their way to emphasize how much the colonists (whom they inexplicably referred to, without exception, by the Indian word for strangers) came here and screwed everything up.

Dave said...

Radish has it right. There have pretty much always been only two kinds of people in the world: Those who want to force others to do what they should and those who don't. Reading these comments really makes that clear, I think.

And global climate science is probably about where alchemy was before it was replaced by chemistry. It has theories and computer-generated models, but it doesn't have repeatable, testable experiments. Maybe AGW is right, but as one who models on a smaller scale, I would *never* make such strong claims based on models which, by necessity, make reducing assumptions for the sake of parsimony and include, by necessity, 'fudge' factors in order to make the outcomes match up with current reality.

Models are just great for making good guesses as to what to look for next. They are (usually) really crappy for deciding policy.

MadisonMan said...

Certainly climate change will have winners and losers. Warmer weather will be great for farmers in the upper midwest and Canada - it will increase the growing season. Not so great for farmers farther south because of reduced water, etc...

Canada is much farther away from water sources, so I'm not sure how well the warmer temperatures will translate to increased yields. Of course, if the Arctic Ocean opens up, then that's a whole new source of vapor -- but that'll also mean a whole lot more snow to shovel in the winter in N. Canada. :)

Henry said...

(And speaking of environmentalism and shame and not worrying about the economic effects on a particular business, shouldn't it become socially unacceptable to drink bottled water?)

Oh, Ann, you are just SO DAY-BEFORE-YESTERDAY.

Rich, Upscale Flavors, and Organically Correct, The New York Times, May 13, 2007.

BLOOM, a Hastings-on-Hudson newcomer, carries Pellegrino, but your waiter won’t pressure you to buy it or even ask if you’d prefer "bottled or tap." Instead, glasses will be kept full of the double-filtered water the restaurant serves and cooks with, part of its commitment to being environmentally correct. [...]

Freder Frederson said...

When have I EVER said I don't believe in global warming? Hint: NEVER!

But when have you ever said you did believe in global warming? Hint: NEVER!

Even here again you only claim that you have never said you don't believe in it. That is why I am careful to say that you have never claimed to have never said you do not disbelieve that global warming may or may not be occurring even if it is 40 below in the middle of July in Madison and Polar Bears can swim forty miles and still rip your throat out that doesn't not prove one way or the other that global warming is not occurring.

Your position on this could not be more clear.

Freder Frederson said...

was exiled to Greenland and settled the verdant coastal are of Greenland.

Will you stop pretending that Greenland in 1000 was some lush paradise. The areas where the Norse settled were in sheltered fjords where life was harsh and always on the margin. The small settlements never totaled more than a couple thousand people and those parts of Greenland remained green even during the intervening years. Just a week or two of extra winter or ice in the fjords was enough to doom the settlements. Those same areas are seeing the return of agriculture for the first time in seven hundred years thanks to global warming.

Freder Frederson said...

The wood products industry is a rare industry in that it is closed carbon loop and creates more energy (from biomass wastes) than it consumes. It also helps regenerate aquifers in drier regions of the West by reducing water evaporation - adding to the fresh water available.

Cedarford, as usual you are full of shit. Your first statement is deceptive at best. The second is absolute fantasy. The Kraft process for producing paper does indeed generate its own fuel source, the black liquor from the pulp. But to claim that some paper manufacturing processes generate an excess of energy means that the entire wood products industry "creates more energy than it consumes" is hyperbole. And while forests are indeed good for aquifers, they could exist, and even be managed more effectively, in the absence of a wood products industry.

P. Rich said...

Bottled water? No problem. What about those nasty champagne bubbles, not to mention carbonated pop. All that CO2, all those belches. Terrible. Just terrible.

Cedarford said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...
cedarford wrote:

Others have mentioned the biggest cause of fossil energy use is growing human population. Open Borders and illegal immigration, plus "high-breeding rate" populations in the 3rd world wiped out all the energy conservation efforts of the last 30 years.

Increasing global population is a significant problem, and not just as it bears on energy use. However, "open borders" and "illegal immigration" are strictly red herrings here.


I'll leave the "red herring" charge for others to decide. Immigration and children of immigrants is now 90% of US population growth. With current patterns, the US Census Bureau predicts the US population will be 363 million by 2030, 410 million by 2050, 720-790 million by 2100.

In 1970, America had 220 million people. We were dependent on foreign sources for 30% of our oil energy. Thanks to easy technological solutions - the simplest and cheapest to do - the emphasis on conservation! conservation! conservation has proudly led us to us using 30% less energy per capita and 20% less oil.

Yet we are now 70% dependent on foreign oil and our nations "Quad Load" (quadrillion BTUs of energy consumed) - our net carbon energy use, has grown each year.

Why?

Quite simple, Cyrus.

While we have "conserved" to far less oil, carbon use per capita, all those conservation savings have been wiped out, negated by explosive American population growth. Mainly from the Immigration Reform Act of 1965 causing mass immigration and decendents of the flood of legal and illegal immigrants pouring in.

In any serious discussion of energy policy, urban gridlock environmental degredation - with lost wildlife habitat, and hopes of more conservation, alternative energy, meeting Kyoto goals - that discussion cannot happen without understanding and factoring in global and USA demographics. But many such discussions deliberately avoid that 800 pound gorilla. It makes people uncomfortable to be told that all the per capita energy savings from recycling aluminum cans gained in the last 30 years were negated by the extra energy needs of 2 months of illegal immigration in 2006.

benjamin said...

Those same areas are seeing the return of agriculture for the first time in seven hundred years thanks to global warming.

But why were those places so warm seven hundred years ago?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

Many historians argue that the increased prosperity that began in the high middle ages is attributable to what is now known as the medieval warming period.


What a bizarre argument. First, the term "medieval warming period," as used by historians, corresponds to a regional, not a global, phenomenon. Overlapping this time period, many areas (e.g., western North America, Africa, etc...) experienced prolonged drought. Second, the change in temperature in the Northern hemisphere during this time was less than half a degree Celsius.

The so-called "Little Ice Age" that followed is also not considered a global phenomenon. This period corresponds to a cooling of the Northern Hemisphere of less than one degree Celsius.

Sloan, I can't imagine what you were thinking when you cited this example. It's true that crops perform better when weather is mild. However, crops don't do well in periods of prolonged drought. Because you see the "medieval warming" period in the context of European history, you ignore the regional drought conditions and effects on local populations elsewhere.

You also ignore the magnitude of the temperature change. The slight warming trend during the "medieval warming period" is small in comparison to the temperature anamoly we have now.

The fact that you compare relatively gentle regional climate pattern changes to global climate change suggests to me that you don't understand the potential consequences of relatively fast and significant changes in global climate.

LoafingOaf said...

Freder Frederson said...
But when have you ever said you did believe in global warming? Hint: NEVER!

Even here again you only claim that you have never said you don't believe in it. That is why I am careful to say that you have never claimed to have never said you do not disbelieve that global warming may or may not be occurring even if it is 40 below in the middle of July in Madison and Polar Bears can swim forty miles and still rip your throat out that doesn't not prove one way or the other that global warming is not occurring.

Your position on this could not be more clear.


You know, anyone can go to Google and pull up the cases being made for or against global warming theories, and then play as a climate expert during their lunch break. But some of us haven't fully worked out what exactly to believe or not to believe yet. Shouldn't it be enough for Althouse to be following the debates and news stories? I recall she dutifully watched Al Gore's film, even. It looks like you're just bothered that she is waiting and seeing how the facts and debate develop, and that she highlights hypocrites in the politics of the issue.

You sometimes strike me as someone who considers himself an expert on every issue under the sun, and you get obsessive in comment sections (often belligerently taking them over) due to your inability to handle anyone not agreeing with you 100%. But how can you be an expert on everything when you spend all day posting on blogs? Some of us are more humble.

Freder Frederson said...

But why were those places so warm seven hundred years ago?

We don't know and we simply don't have enough data to find out why. What does your question have to do with the current warming trend? We are pretty sure what is causing this one.

Freder Frederson said...

Shouldn't it be enough for Althouse to be following the debates and news stories?

No it is not enough. She claims she has never denied global warming yet she never has stated what her opinion is on it. But she just loves ridiculing everyone who is concerned about the issue and pointing out anything she sees as hypocrisy in their personal lives. If she spent less time worrying about their personal lives (or watching American Idol) maybe she could actually form an actual opinion on the issue rather than just making fun of people.

HDJim said...

Ugh, first time poster, nothing makes my blood boil when it comes to environmental issues than dragging out the old "the real problem is too many people" shtick. It's the oldest trick in the doom monger's book and is even worse than cynically using the environment as a smokescreen to advance socialism since socialists don't actually, on a theoretical level at least, hate people. You just cannot get any more obnoxious than seeing everyone but you and your like-minded friends as worthless consumers of resources the world would be better off without.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

simon wrote:

Instead of throwing ad hominem at Michael, you might want to try engaging with his substantive point.

What is your reply to his substantive point, which is that global climate change is primarily driven by the sun, not by atmospheric carbon dioxide?


Simon, I don't believe Michael made a substantive point. That is why I responded as I did. However, since you disagree, let's review Michael's comments again. Here's what he wrote:

Sunspot activity precedes global warming, indicating that the sun is the cause.

Am I supposed to take this argument seriously? (The rooster crows before the sun rises; therefore the rooster causes the sun to rise?)

CO2 concentrations lag global temperature, indicating that it's an effect, not a cause.

Am I supposed to take this statement seriously? (Apparently Michael does not believe in positive feedback mechanisms. Are you familiar with autocatalysis? The ice-albedo feedback mechanism? The role of oxytocin in uterine contractions?)

Then there is global warming on other planets (Saturn, Pluto, and Mars), and since no one has provided evidence of SUVs running around on those planets, the common denominator is the sun.

Do you accept Michael's suggestion here that global warming is completely dependent on solar activity? (Incidentally, it's fascinating to discover that while Michael claims to know quite a bit about the climate history of Pluto, he has yet to learn that Pluto is no longer considered a planet. Go figure.)

So let's ignore all this and blame the effect for the cause. Why? Because the red-green alliance can't instigate collectivism, punitive regulations on capitalistic bourgeois private business, and social engineering on a global scale if the sun is to blame.

This is mindless babbling--it's nothing but an attempt to construct a nonscientific strawman argument. Moving on...

Besides, does anyone know what the correct globally averaged temperature is supposed to be? Is it imprinted somewhere along the equator, like the correct pressure on a tire? Is it listed in the back of the owners manual?

Simon, have I missed the substantive point yet? As I noted previously, anyone who refers to a "correct globally averaged temperature" doesn't understand basic climate change science.

Given that records show temperature has been variable since before man invented the wheel, let alone the SUV, that Greenland was once green, that oil fields in Alaska indicate it too was once green, that our poles are covered in ice, I could just as easily argue that currently the earth is unnaturally cold.

I still haven't seen that substantive point you promised, Simon. What we learn from Michael here is that temperature is variable (who knew?). We also learn that Michael is completely unfamiliar with the temperature record of the earth for the last 2 and a half million years or so.

Simon, I believe Michael's post got the response it deserved. If you see some value in what he says, feel free to reply directly to him. But don't expect me to pretend he wrote something of any substance or intelligence. He didn't.

AJ Lynch said...

Cyrus & Freder = 2 predictable deutchbags. Isn't that a great word to describe these two?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

cedarford wrote:

Immigration and children of immigrants is now 90% of US population growth.


This is absolutely wrong. The study by Bouvier and Grant (which is probably what you meant to cite) finds that in the next 50 years, approximately 60% of the US population growth will be attributable to immigrants and descendants of immigrants. However, this estimate makes assumptions about immigration and birth rates that are unlikely to remain valid.

The rate of growth of the US population is slowing. In the twentieth century, the rate of population growth averaged 1.3% per year. The Census Bureau estimates the rate of population growth for 2007 at 0.9%. Rates of population growth for a few other countries (from the CIA World Factbook) are

Japan 0.02%
Britain 0.3%
China 0.6%
Canada 0.9%
Brazil 1.0%
Mexico 1.2%
India 1.4%
Nigeria 2.4%


(An interesting note on population growth rates: Utah has the greatest "natural rate" of population increase at 1.5%)

cedarford, there's no reason to believe that immigration is the driving force behind (or a significant factor in) global population growth. It's a red herring in discussions about global climate change.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

aj lynch wrote:

[something typically insipid]


I see the science deniers have summoned their "ace in the hole." AJ, you'll be glad to know that I think of you as something that sounds a lot like "ace in the hole."

OdysseusInRTP said...

Simon,

Cyrus can't actually refute your points.

The best he/she can hope for now is to try and label your comments as not relevant.

His strong refutation of the points you make consist of "Are you serious?" and "I missed the substantive point."

It's not worth it.

Freder Frederson said...

Cyrus & Freder = 2 predictable deutchbags.

Yep Cyrus, apparently we are some kind of bags for Germans.

vet66 said...

Freder;

I use ice core samples! What do you use? Snow cones?!

LOL

In 2.5 billion years when the sun goes "Red Giant" the last left-wing democrat will blame George Bush for planet warming just before he is vaporized by the evil Rovian sun.

Lou Minatti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lou Minatti said...

I wrote about this last week.


I did a back-of-the-napkin calculation. Cancelling newspapers would remove the equivalent carbon footprint of 250,000 families. That's electricity, natural gas and gasoline.

AlphaLiberal said...

One thing I've always tried to avoid is "hairshirt environmentalism." Like celebrities using one square of toiler paper. Uh-uh.

Plus, online completely lacks the community feel you get from hard copy local news.

Sloanasaurus said...

Because you see the "medieval warming" period in the context of European history, you ignore the regional drought conditions and effects on local populations elsewhere.

That is an interesting theory, however, I do not recall hearing about any other corresponding long term problems in any other areas of civilization during that time. I have also read that the temp was 3-4 C warmer, not the 1/2 degree you claim and that the climate change was world wide.

I am not sure why the global warmists deny that the sun is the main culprit for warming. First, it makes common sense. Second, temps correlate highly with solar activity unlike CO2, which tends to follow warming by almost 1000 years. Third, solar activity has recently caused global warming on Mars.

A few conclusions: Most likely the earth is warming now. Humans have little to no influence on the warming. There is nothing we can do to stop the warming. We have been through warmer periods before. Warming is better generaly for humans than cooling.

Sloanasaurus said...

An interesting question that should be asked is: why is global warming a left/right issue? Why do most liberals embrace it while most conservatives think its a sham? I can't think of any other similar type of issue.

The only explanation has to be that liberals are comfortable with the proposed solution - collectivism, while conservatives would rather die than embrace collectivism.

In conclusion, this means nothing substantive will ever be done about greenhouse gases unless someone invents cold fusion or we build nuclear plants or there is a bloody civil war and the conservatives lose.

In the meantime, liberals are going to have to come up with ways to implement global warming policies without affecting the economy. Because the moment the first jobs are lost to the new policies, will be the moment the policies are undone.

Prediction: Global warming remains a fund raising issue and nothing more.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

simon,

I think you are still perhaps a bit confused by the data you are looking at.
The graph to which you refer shows that carbon dioxide concentration increases lag Antarctic deglacial warming by approximately 800 years. This is a relatively short time period given the total duration (5000 years) of the temperature and carbon dioxide increases. However, we know that this gradual warming in Antarctica preceded Northern Hemisphere deglaciation by roughly 6000 years. This means that the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration increases clearly preceded Northern Hemisphere deglaciation. Many paleoclimatologists now regard carbon dioxide as the likely primary driving force in past climate change rather than simply as a secondary response or feedback mechanism.

It appears that in the case of glacial terminations, carbon dioxide is not the initial driving force. Deglaciation is probably initiated by some other factor (e.g., Milankovitch cycles, Atlantic ocean circulation slowdowns, etc...), which influences first the temperature change in Antarctica and then the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Carbon dioxide then plays a key role in amplifying the initial temperature increase through its greenhouse effect. This acts as a positive feedback mechanism, as carbon dioxide continues to be released from the ocean as the climate warms.

This situation of course differs from anthropogenic carbon dioxide increases. Kump (L. R. Kump, Nature 419, 188, 2002) notes the importance of distinguishing between internal influences (deglacial carbon dioxide increases, for example) and external influences (e.g., anthropogenic carbon dioxided increases) on the climate system. However, the fast atmospheric feedback mechanisms for carbon dioxide are applicable for both internal and external carbon dioxide increases.

I'm not sure this answers all of your questions, but rather than trying to anticipate further questions, I'll try to respond to anything else that you find puzzling.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

That is an interesting theory, however, I do not recall hearing about any other corresponding long term problems in any other areas of civilization during that time.


sloan, no offense, but I can't control what you know and what you don't. But as Casey Stengel said, "you could look it up."

I have also read that the temp was 3-4 C warmer, not the 1/2 degree you claim and that the climate change was world wide.

You're wrong that the temperature was 3-4 degrees warmer during the "medieval warming period." You could also look that up, if you really care to know.

I am not sure why the global warmists deny that the sun is the main culprit for warming.

If you have scientific evidence to support your claim, why don't you publish it?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

An interesting question that should be asked is: why is global warming a left/right issue?


I don't find that it is, or at least not nearly as much as is suggested here. However, to the extent that I meet science deniers, they are usually rightwingers. For instance, I suspect you won't find anyone running for the Democratic nomination who doesn't believe in evolution.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

OdysseusInRTP wrote:

[nonsensical garbage]


odysseusinrtp, if you can identify an intelligent, substantive point in Michael's post, by all means, respond to it. I've twice indicated that there's nothing approaching a valid scientific point or logical argument in his comments for me to address. Consequently, his post got the response it deserved.

Now, if you can be bothered to put down your pom-poms for a moment and try to have a serious thought which you can then craft into a coherent question or statement, I'll discuss the topic with you. Otherwise, I'll mock your lame posts just as I did with Michael and AJ.

I may not agree with Sloan or Simon, but at least they are thinking. Would it be asking too much to expect the same from you?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

freder wrote:

Yep Cyrus, apparently we are some kind of bags for Germans.


I think you are greatly overestimating AJ's intelligence.

Sloanasaurus said...

sloan, no offense, but I can't control what you know and what you don't. But as Casey Stengel said, "you could look it up."

Screw you Cyrus. If you claim there are instances of long term climate problems during this time you tell me.

Sloanasaurus said...

I don't find that it is, or at least not nearly as much as is suggested here. However, to the extent that I meet science deniers, they are usually rightwingers.

Calling someone a "science denier" who is skeptical that humans are causing global warming is pathetic. That Human CO2 emissions causes global warming is a theory that has many many contradictions. It is not science. Moreover, because the theory is so intermingled with leftist politics, the common sense position is to be skeptical.

Science is something that can be proved in a lab. Something that can be used to predict a subsequent event. We can use science to tell us when ice melts. No one, however, can tell us what the temp of the earth will be in 50 years. In the same manner evolution is also a theory. No one can prove in the lab that proteins evolved into humans.

Unlike evolution, however, the humans causing global warming theory is nonsensical, especially when the size of the earth is compared to the impact that humans have on it. For example, all the known oil reserves on the planet could fit into cube about the size of one percent of the volume of lake superior. How sensical is it to assume that burning only 1% of lake superior into the atmosphere would affect the climate of the entire planet for a long period of time.

Evolution, in contrast makes more common sense, and therefore, it is a more acceptable theory.

Again, none of this matters because adopting something like Kyoto is politically impossible in America because of electoral politics.

Michael said...

Simon, Cyrus is just pissed that someone dared to question his eco-theism and point out some inconvenient facts.

Hence, ad hominems mixed with bullshit, with no attempt to refute anything.

Cedarford said...

HDJim said...
Ugh, first time poster, nothing makes my blood boil when it comes to environmental issues than dragging out the old "the real problem is too many people" shtick. It's the oldest trick in the doom monger's book and is even worse than cynically using the environment as a smokescreen to advance socialism since socialists don't actually, on a theoretical level at least, hate people. You just cannot get any more obnoxious than seeing everyone but you and your like-minded friends as worthless consumers of resources the world would be better off without.


Ugh, indeed! HDJim appears to be just another supply-side neocon moron claiming resources are unlimited and - "high tech" will be the solution to all humanity's problems, including Iraq , true believer.

Such acolytes ignore the actual decline in the standard of living that is happening in many overpopulated lands like Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Pakistan - and choose to ignore how American Open Borders and 3rd world invasion has degraded our quality of life and completely negated any habitat preservation, energy conservation gains.

Cyrus goes mendacious: "Immigration and children of immigrants is now 90% of US population growth."

This is absolutely wrong. The study by Bouvier and Grant (which is probably what you meant to cite) finds that in the next 50 years, approximately 60% of the US population growth will be attributable to immigrants and descendants of immigrants.


Cyrus cleverly tries obfuscating. His study omits illegals and grandchildren and great grandchildren of immigrants. Which is akin to saying a nuclear bomb is no more explosive than a firecracker if you only account for the 1st 2 generations of prompt bomb matter fissioning and ignore the subsequent generations of exponential power increase.

Illegal and legal immigration IS 90% of USA population growth - directly or through immigrant progeny.

Fact remains: USA population now 300 million. 108 Quads of energy. to add 120 million more in under 50 years adds 43 more quads of energy. To accomodate 3rd world masses pouring in, would mean a reduction of .369 Q per million down to 25.8 Q per million, another 30% decrease, just to stay where we are in carbon use - Let alone the extra 38% reduction in net carbon use to make us on par with competitors carbon usage that doesn't have a 3rd world invasion sanctioned and underway.

All in an era when oil supply is at peak or slighty past it. It makes no sense for "8-10 Strongly preferred" Western nations to be the place 4 billion people want to get in, by any means..

Minitti - did a back-of-the-napkin calculation. Cancelling newspapers would remove the equivalent carbon footprint of 250,000 families. That's electricity, natural gas and gasoline.

That's a few months worth of newcomers - legal invaders with the 1965 Act - or, alterantively -another 1/4 million a year with Dubya's Open Borders.

Freder - Freder Frederson said...
Cyrus & Freder = 2 predictable deutchbags.

Yep Cyrus, apparently we are some kind of bags for Germans.

I think the bag you are thinking of that you best resemble as Islamic enemy-lovers - is used German condoms.

Michael said...

Cyrus Pinkerton: Am I supposed to take this argument seriously? (The rooster crows before the sun rises; therefore the rooster causes the sun to rise?)

Just to demonstrate your ignorance of even grade school physics, I'll answer just this one.

If this "rooster" is a fusion reaction 332,946 times the mass of the sun *, then yes, that "rooster" would indeed influence both the time and maner in which the sun rose. In fact, the sun would be orbiting that "rooster", rather than the other way around.

* the relationship of the sun to the earth

amba said...

What about the energy used by reading news online? The energy costs of building and running computers and associated technologies, and the toxicity of extraction, manufacturing and disposal? That seems to be as "invisible" in this whole discussion as the energy costs of Al Gore's tour.

Kev said...

"I try and recieve as few plastic bags as possible from stores, which is a pretty easy change. Would be even easier if stores didn't try and use as many as possible for whatever reason. They'll give you a plastic bag for one candybar if you're not paying attention."

That's the truth. I often stand there and make the cashier fill the bags even more--not in a nasty way, but usually joking about how I'm not one of those customers who cares if things touch each other. (Put the shampoo in with the chicken; it doesn't bother me. My trip home is only five minutes as it is.)

But what happened to the simple brown paper bag? Surely it wasn't as bad for the environment as plastic, was it?

Sloan--your first spelling of "mileage" was correct; I'm not sure why Eli used {SIC] (especially in all caps) when quoting you later. (Though I was surprised to find out that your alternate spelling of "milage" is in fact acceptable, at least here. I'd never seen that before in my life.)

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

Screw you Cyrus. If you claim there are instances of long term climate problems during this time you tell me.


sloan, I already did tell you, and you replied that you'd never heard of it. How is that my fault?

Here are a few examples to support my claim:

1. From "Large Wind Shift on the Great Plains During the Medieval Warm Period", Sridhar, et al, Science 21, Vol. 313. no. 5785, pp. 345 - 347, July 2006:

"The trend and structure of the dunes record a drought that was initiated and sustained by a historically unprecedented shift of spring-summer atmospheric circulation over the [Great] Plains."

Also see "A 10,000 year record of dune activity, dust storms, and severe drought in the central Great Plains," Miao, et al, Geology, v. 35, no. 2, p. 119-122, February 2007.

2. From "Climate and the Collapse of Maya Civilization," Peterson and Haug, American Scientist, v. 93, p. 322-329, July-August 2005:

"In recent years, evidence has mounted that unusual shifts in atmospheric patterns took place near the end of the Classic Maya period, lending credence to the notion that climate, and specifically drought, indeed played a hand in the decline of this ancient civilization."

3. See also

Stine, S., 1994: Extreme and persistent drought in California and Patagonia during Medieval time, Nature, 369, 546-549.

and

deMenocal,P.: Cultural Responses to Climate Change During the Late Holocene , Science, Vol. 292, no. 5517, p. 667 - 673, April 2001.

sloan, I'm sorry if my response offended you. I apologize for not taking a sufficiently serious approach to my blogging responsibilities at Althouse. (However, it is true that "you could look it up.")

Jimmy said...

Ann, I think the process has already begun for people my age. I started reading the nytimes on the web and I I have never ever actually bought a paper copy of the nytimes.

The few times I see a paper copy of the nytimes I am surprised to see what I asume are trivial stories appear on the front page and what I consider to be major stories appear on pg A9.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

Calling someone a "science denier" who is skeptical that humans are causing global warming is pathetic... however, the humans causing global warming theory is nonsensical.


sloan, if you want to remain skeptical about global warming, that's fine. I applaud healthy skepticism. But don't you see that your declaration that "global warming theory is nonsensical" reveals that you aren't simply remaining skeptical? It appears to me that you've made a judgment about global warming theories, and given that you aren't a scientist, I wonder what you base your rejection of global warming on.

To me, this is an example of "science denial." You don't like the science, so you reject it as not meeting your definition of science. You claim "science is something that can be proved in a lab." But this arbitrary and narrow definition rules out significant chunks of universally accepted scientific research. At the same time, you imply that you accept at least a bit of evolutionary theory, but how much of evolutionary theory has been "proved in a lab?"

Please, sloan, remain skeptical. Don't buy into global warming until you hear a convincing theory and see some evidence to support it. But in the meantime, remain open-minded. Climate change research is science, whether or not you like the theories.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

michael,

If you believe your previous comment "pointed out some facts," then I overestimated your intelligence. However, I will give you a second chance to prove me wrong. Please indicate how you believe the sunspot cycle has caused deglaciation, and please explain quantitatively how solar activity is responsible for recent warming trends.

I eagerly await your substantive response.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

cedarford wrote:

Illegal and legal immigration IS 90% of USA population growth - directly or through immigrant progeny.


You've twice claimed this, and although I've corrected you once (along with a source citation), you decline to cite a source for your claim. Unless you can refer me to your source for this assertion, I'm left to conclude that you have no source.

Incidentally, to present your claim in the way you have is fairly meaningless, as you don't reference a time period or define "immigrant progeny." Consequently, you still have lots of room to maneuver even though you've been cornered. For example, you can claim that your use of the word "immigrant" includes all non-native Americans. It will be amusing to see what you come up with (assuming you have the courage to respond), but please do cite a source.

His study omits illegals and grandchildren and great grandchildren of immigrants.

This is simply untrue. Bouvier uses estimates of NET migration (including illegal immigration) that are higher than previous Census Bureau estimates. (These are also higher than INS estimates.) There is NO omission of illegal immigrants as you claim.

Furthermore, Bouvier calculates the number of all immigrants and all offspring of immigrants in his total. The fact that you get this wrong shows that you are both unfamiliar with his study and that you are unaware of the way in which population feedback mechanisms work.

cedarford, I can't imagine how you got the important details of the Bouvier & Grant study wrong. Perhaps you should have read it before commenting on it.

Please, go do your homework and get back to me, but only when you have something accurate to report.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

cedarford wrote:

I think the bag you are thinking of that you best resemble as Islamic enemy-lovers - is used German condoms.


Yes, of course, it follows logically that since we disagree about the role of "immigration" in global climate change, I must be an "Islamic enemy-lover."

I'm overwhelmed by your "logic", cedarford. If you ever decide to apply for a job as Bill O'Reilly's monkey, please let me know so I can write a letter of recommendation for you.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Michael wrote:

If this "rooster" is a fusion reaction 332,946 times the mass of the sun *, then yes, that "rooster" would indeed influence both the time and maner in which the sun rose.


I think this post speaks for itself.

Michael, if it makes you feel better, I now have evidence that your first comment isn't the dumbest I've ever seen. Thank you.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

For the record, global climate change proponents and skeptics agree that solar activity influences temperature. (It is agreed that volcanic activity can influence temperature as well.) The point of disagreement is on how much these natural variations influence global climate change patterns.

Climate models incorporate our current state of knowledge about all radiative forcing, including sunspots and greenhouse gases. Models using only natural forcing do not explain recent temperature anomalies well. The same is true for models using only anthropogenic forcing (although they do a much better job of reproducing temperature data from the last 100+ years). However, models that incorporate both natural and anthropogenic forcing on global climate best reflect recent temperature anomalies.

ShadyCharacter said...

So one of the many many apocalyptical scenarios spun by the global warming high priests, um, I guess I mean scientists, is that one of the effects of global warming would be the counter-intuitive cooling of Europe.

Well, they just announced that scenario is not going to play out... http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/15/science/earth/15cold.html?ex=1336881600&en=1f5c634c48f8716a&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Makes you wonder how many other claims about global warming are simply the bullshit results of plugging 75 unproveable assumptions into a climate model program and taking the results the computer spews out as gospel...

Sloanasaurus said...

To me, this is an example of "science denial." You don't like the science, so you reject it as not meeting your definition of science. You claim "science is something that can be proved in a lab

Har Har. Cyrus, your use of the word science is intended to relay that humans causing catastrophic global warming is a fact. It's not a fact It's a theory that has some basis in science. It is also a theory that is contradicted by science.

Sloanasaurus said...

Here are a few examples to support my claim:

The Mayan example is a good one if it is true.... it's still only a theory. It proves that Climate change was world wide. It's also interesting to note that other civilzations in the same temp zones did not suffer and disappear... notably the middle east or northern africa. Civilization continued to thrive in those places.

Ann Althouse said...

amba: "What about the energy used by reading news online?"

In my case, when I have the paper NYT open, I also have the computer on. But in any case, the newspaper requires the production of the paper and ink, the transportation of the product to the printing plant, the operation of the printing plant, and the transportation of the newspaper to distribution points and private residences. How many tons of stuff is driven around in trucks and cars every day to deliver a newspaper? Then, it must be disposed of, more trucks, etc.

And don't forget the electricity you need for the lighting to read the paper page that does not generate its own light like the computer -- though if you sit by the window and rely on sunlight, that counts for doing a little.

I'm not saying everyone should give up the paper if they like it. I myself haven't done so yet. But I think we should all notice the things we COULD do and select a few things that we feel would suit us best and do those.

I'm finding myself reading the paper paper less and less, and I'm not going to continue delivery after I cancel here and move to NYC. Part of that is, I'm lazy! It would take some trouble to set up the new delivery, so it's a convenient time to stop. And when I do it, I'll give myself some environmentalism credit.

Pogo said...

Forecasting climate change beyond a day or so is utter nonsense. Always has been, always will be. Even the weather tomorrow is hard to predict with any precision, much less what the weather will be like a year or 10 years from now.

"No one is a good predictor of anything."
"Accuracy [in forecasting] degrades rapidly as you extend it through time."

Nassim Taleb The Black Swan.

Deriving conclusions and patterns solely from past data ignores the fact of rapid massive changes that have occurred in the past, and destroy such predictions. Conservation is a good in and of itself. But it does not require one to join the eco-religion cult.

The gloom-and-doomers are present in every generation and their basic message devolves to getting rid of humans, the virus of Sacred Planet Earth. I disagree.

OdysseusInRTP said...

Simon,

"Climate models incorporate our current state of knowledge..."

Can you point me to the climate model that accurately predicts the weather next Tuesday?

How 'bout Tuesday a year from now?

Thanks.

MadisonMan said...

Even the weather tomorrow is hard to predict with any precision,

That's untrue. 1-day forecasts have improved vastly in the past 20 years. The last metric I saw showed a skill at 5 days now that's equivalent to the skill at 2-3 days 20 years ago.

It is now exceedingly rare (but memorable!) that a big storm is unforecast. The lead time is now usually at least 3 days.

If you live on the west coast, you're still getting poorer forecasts than us in the continent or on the east coast, however. Blame the lack of data upstream.

The two commenters preceding my comment make the common mistake of conflating climate and weather prediction, by the way. Yes -- weather prediction -- will it be sunny tomorrow? -- skill degrades with time in a model. Climate prediction shows no such degradation in skill (You can argue that there's no skill to begin with, however). Statements like "Can you use your climate model to forecast the weather next Tuesday" serve only to make you look very ignorant.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

OdysseusInRTP wrote:

Simon, "Climate models incorporate our current state of knowledge..." Can you point me to the climate model that accurately predicts the weather next Tuesday?


Since I'm the commenter who is quoted, I'll assume you intended to direct your question to me but found my name too difficult to spell.

Your question indicates that you don't understand the difference between climate and weather. Don't worry, this is a common mistake made by people who don't have a clue about basic global climate change science but feel compelled to babble mindlessly about it anyway.

If you will take the time to learn the difference between a meteorologist and a climatologist, you will perhaps be able to understand why your question isn't clever (as you evidently thought it was when you typed it).

How 'bout Tuesday a year from now?

See my response above.

Thanks.

My pleasure.

Pogo said...

That's untrue. 1-day forecasts have improved vastly in the past 20 years.

They have indeed improved. It's quite good for storms a few hours away, but after a day, the reliability degrades exponentially, and they remain quite often inaccurate. Few people would be foolish enough to bet money on whether it will or will not rain tomorrow based on the forecast.


the common mistake of conflating climate and weather prediction
Given that weather and climate are merely descriptions of atmospheric behavior using different measures of time, I would have to wonder if those making this claim don't know what they are talking about.

These two both suffer from the same problem, and climate 2 or 3 decades out is considerably harder to predict than weather just 2 or 3 days out.

The same data previously suggested a coming ice age in the 1970s, but now, come new data points, we are to believe that the Earth is dying of heatstroke. Bullocks. In 10 years the gloomy Eco-Malthusians will be bitching about something else.

We only know what has already occurred. We know precious little about what will occur. If the climate predictions are so infallible, the smart money would be abandoning the hottest regions in the US. But housing prices are in fact rising in those areas. Instead, the smart money is selling useless junk to the True Believers of G. Warming.

Global Warming predictions are as useless as horse racing predictions.

OdysseusInRTP said...

Wow! Let me tell you what I do know. You are quite rude.

I didn't put your name because the thread is dieing.

If only I could figure out how you taking the time to comment on that relates to my question.

As so often before you can't come up with an response that is meaningful.

Climate is observed weather over a period of time.

Are you making the claim that an accurate climate model wouldn't be useful in weather forecasting?

If so then that says quite a bit about your understanding of the subject matter.

I asked a specific question, but you can't respond with something intelligent, only rude.

Can you point to any climate model that can accurately predict the weather next week or next year?

Obviously, you can't because it doesn't exist because humans haven't obtained the expertise to do so.

Continue, to be rude all you want. It doesn't change the fact that you are the one who chooses to be ignorant on the subject and assume you know something when you don't.

MadisonMan said...

Can you point to any climate model that can accurately predict the weather next week or next year?

I know of no climate modeler who has tested this -- if by weather you mean will it rain in a week. Or are you looking for an accurate mean global temperature next week? Climate models do that very well. Many climate models have been developed out of work that also benefits weather forecast models, however, so it wouldn't surprise me if a climate model suitably initialized did well with a one-week forecast (as well as a weather forecast model).

However, whether or not it rains in a particular location within twelve hours a week from now, or a year from now, or a decade from now, is of little interest to a climate modeler -- but of great interest to a weather forecaster. The climate modeler will just want to make sure that, say, Madison WI gets about 33" of rain each year, with a spread that is consistent with observed variability.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

pogo wrote:

The same data previously suggested a coming ice age in the 1970s


This assertion is pure rubbish. I've debunked a similar claim fairly recently here, but apparently pogo wasn't paying attention. Either that or pogo is all too happy to repeat something that is not factually correct because it serves a political purpose.

In any case, "the same data" was not available in the 1970s. This is known by everyone who is even slightly informed about the science of climate change. Also, there was no scientific consensus about future climate change in the 1970s. This is well established by looking at National Academy of Science reports, Royal Society reports, etc...

pogo, now that you know better, please stop repeating this myth.

Pogo said...

Bugger off, Cyrus. I was alive then, reading it as it happened. The freeze theory was all the rage. Saying now that it wasn't so is historical revisionism.

Damn eco-Stalinists, always with the airbrush.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

OdysseusInRTP,

Let's review your "specific question:"

Can you point me to the climate model that accurately predicts the weather next Tuesday?

Hmmm. This remains an idiotic question. Apparently you still haven't learned the difference between meteorology and climatology. Would you mind trying to understand the distinction before asking your question a third time?

How 'bout Tuesday a year from now?

Still a dumb question. See above for an answer.

Thanks.

No problem.

Pogo said...

MadisonMan
I agree that knowing the average rainfall in a year is somewhat different than the rainfall on any specific day.

But I simply don't have any faith that climate experts can predict more than a seaon or two out, in the same way a weatherman can't predict more and a day or two out.

Once you start talking decades from now, I know that it's all hoodoo.

ShadyCharacter said...

Let's not forget these bozos predicted an abnormally busy hurricane "season" last year and were 100% wrong. Climate/weather, tomorow/10 years/100 years, it's all increasingly bullshit when you get further than a few days out.

It's a simple point. Models are crap, pure and simple. Most of the variables that are input into the models are themselves guestimates. Vary them just a little and you get massively different results projected 100 years out. Crap in, crap out. It's modern day astrology.

Well, at least astrology is usually right (that is vague enough to be arguably true in any circumstance that emerges). The Global Warming cultists get to hand their hat on the 100 year horizons for their predictions.

Not as bold as some of your braver sects who predict the apocalypse is happening in 9 months.

When they do give a short horizon prediction based on their climate models, like the busy hurricane season, they seem to bat less than 50%...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

pogo,

Clearly your memory is faulty then. The National Academy of Sciences reports still exist and prove your claim wrong. The Royal Society reports still exist and prove your claim wrong. The scientific journal papers still exist and prove your claim wrong. Obviously you were as ignorant about science then as you are now.

Also, much of the data that is the basis of modern climate change theories and models was NOT available or known in the 1970s. To claim otherwise is simply a lie.

pogo, you really ought to stop repeating the "1970s ice age" myth after having been shown multiple times that it's not true. However, if you think you can gather and present evidence to prove that it is correct, please do so; I'm anxious to see your evidence if it exists. On the other hand, knowing the track record of the science deniers in here, I'm sure you'll find some reason or another why you can't support your assertion. If, as I expect, I don't see a substantive reply from you, I'll assume that you've finally realized that your bluff has been called.

OdysseusInRTP said...

Via your inability to actually respond to my questions I think we can make some conclusions about your position.

You concede that there is no climate model that can be used to accurately forecast the weather during the course of the next year, yet you purport that there are climate models than can accurately predict the climate 10, 20 , 50 or a 100 years from now.

Interesting position.

Pogo said...

Re: "I'll assume that you've finally realized ..."

Don't be such a blowhard, Cyrus. I'm still a wage slave, you putz. Not answering you immediatelyt might just mean I am busy getting paid.

Pogo said...

Kee-riced on stick, Cyrus, it's even on Wiki.

"In 1972 Emiliani warned "Man's activity may either precipitate this new ice age or lead to substantial or even total melting of the ice caps".[10] By 1972 a large majority of a group of leading glacial-epoch experts at a conference agreed that "the natural end of our warm epoch is undoubtedly near";[11] but the volume of Quaternary Research reporting on the meeting said that "the basic conclusion to be drawn from the discussions in this section is that the knowledge necessary for understanding the mechanism of climate change is still lamentably inadequate". Unless there were impacts from future human activity, they thought that serious cooling "must be expected within the next few millennia or even centuries"; but many other scientists doubted these conclusions."

"in 1974 the National Science Board, the governing body of the National Science Foundation, stated:
Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end ... leading into the next glacial age. However, it is possible, or even likely, than human interference has already altered the environment so much that the climatic pattern of the near future will follow a different path. . ."



"Later in the decade, at a WMO conference in 1979, F K Hare reported that:

"Fig 8 shows [...] 1938 the warmest year. They [temperatures] have since fallen by about 0.4 °C. At the end there is a suggestion that the fall ceased in about 1964, and may even have reversed.
Figure 9 challenges the view that the fall of temperature has ceased [...] the weight of evidence clearly favours cooling to the present date [...] The striking point, however, is that interannual variability of world temperatures is much larger than the trend [...] it is difficult to detect a genuine trend [...] "


Blow it out your ear, you eco-Stalinist you.

MadisonMan said...

Shady, the reason for the hurricane season forecast bust (made by people who don't make climate predictions, incidentally) is well known. If you forecast hurricanes assuming an El Nino is not present, and one develops, well then something will go wrong.

You may ask: Well, why didn't the climate models predict the onset of El Nino? Climate models predict the general statistics of El Nino occurrences, not the occurrence of each individual one. It's similar to predicting 63.5" of rain annually in New Orleans...a climate model should, on average, do that. That's not to say that each year will have that much rain, however, or that a prediction of rain on May 15th will verify. Climate doesn't care about such variability.

Pogo said...

"In 1973, Nicholas (Nick) Shackleton nailed it all down for certain. ...The long cores proved beyond doubt what Emiliani had stoutly maintained — there had been not four major ice ages, but dozens. The analysis showed cycles with lengths roughly 20,000 and 40,000 years, and especially the very strong cycle around 100,000 years, all in agreement with Milankovitch calculations.(41) Extrapolating the curves ahead, the group predicted cooling for the next 20,000 years."

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

OdysseusInRTP,

Apparently you've decided that willful ignorance is your best strategy in this debate.

I concede that this strategy suits you.

When you learn the difference between climate and weather, get back to me. Until then, find someone else to award with your attention.

Pogo said...

"...on January 11, [1970] The Washington Post told readers to “get a good grip on your long johns, cold weather haters – the worst may be yet to come,” in an article titled “Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age.” The article quoted climatologist Reid Bryson, who said “there’s no relief in sight” about the cooling trend. "

Pogo said...

"Fortune magazine actually won a “Science Writing Award” from the American Institute of Physics for its own analysis of the danger. “As for the present cooling trend a number of leading climatologists have concluded that it is very bad news indeed,” Fortune announced in February 1974."

MadisonMan said...

Extrapolating the curves ahead, the group predicted cooling for the next 20,000 years.

Shoot, anyone looking at the Vostok Ice Core temperature graph, as here, for example (Found by google search, btw), can predict cooling.

ShadyCharacter said...

MadisonMan, can you respond to my point about the basic craptitude of these models generally?

If the inputs are crap (and they are), and the variables chosen are crap and non-comprehensive (and they are), how can the output be anything but crap?

It's like economic models. "if we posit inflation of X (a made up guestimate) and population growth of Y (a made up guestimate) then our models show the result Z (crap times crap being crap squared)." Tweak X one way and Y the other and you get diametrically opposed results. Tweak X just slightly and the results can be off by 50%. Put in a 100 year horizon for your predictions and you might as well have a Roman consul interpreting the flight of birds or an animist reading entrails...

PS, does everyone else have to log in each and every time to post a comment? Could the new log in system be any more irritating, or is it just irritating me?

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Couple of points Cyrus, since you seem to be the self acknowledged expert on weather and climate-

How many days of weather does it take to make a climate?

I also second Pogo- I remmeber the '70's, especially the late '70's, and we were constantly bonbarded by stories in the news from the experts about the coming ice age. It was based on the WEATHER, after several extremely cold winters.

They also were telling us the problem was auto exhaust and CO2, creating an insulating layer blocking the sun's heat.

Do I have a link? Nope.

The MSM and their cohorts have buried all the data.

MadisonMan said...

Shady, after I say that I think you're wrong, since I don't think the models are 100% crap, there's not much to add, is there? Maybe if you said exactly what was bad about them, I could answer more constructively. The models do what they are designed to do and the biggest problem, IMO, is that interpretation of results is something that most journalists fail at, miserably. Mostly this falls under the category of ignoring all the caveats the scientist will tell them. At any scientific conference, a person presenting results from a model of crap would not necessarily be laughed out of the room, but they would find their funding dry up very quickly.

Re: Logging in each time. I'm using firefox 1.0.7 on a linux box, and don't have to. On my iMac at home, I can't post at all from firefox, but I can from my IBM laptop, also running firefox (not sure which version)

Pogo said...

I believe, MM, that my point was that in the 1970s, quite a few people really believed we were heading towards a global cooling, and wasn't it a disaster?

Cyrus denies this existed. But there it was.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

pogo,

Let's start by reviewing your claim:

The same data previously suggested a coming ice age in the 1970s

This has already been established as incorrect based on the fact that the data available to climatologists today far exceeds that which was available to climatologists in the 70s.

Here's a claim I made in my response:

[T]here was no scientific consensus about future climate change in the 1970s.

You've challenged this claim, and I've invited you to provide evidence to disprove it. Let's review what you've cited.

1. In 1972 Emiliani warned:

Man's activity may either precipitate this new ice age or lead to substantial or even total melting of the ice caps

Your first example shows that a single scientist, paleoceanographer Cesare Emiliani, argued that anthropogenic forcing might lead to global warming (through greenhouse gases) or cause global cooling (through particluate pollution). This hardly serves as an example that there was scientific consensus on a coming ice age. It shows that Emiliani himself was uncertain about the relative importance of various factors in driving global climate change.

There are two interesting aspects to this quotation. First, it supports my claim rather than yours. Second, you appear to have intentionally omitted the preceding quote about the state of scientific consensus regarding global climate change in the early seventies:

While neither scientists nor the public could be sure in the 1970s whether the world was warming or cooling, people were increasingly inclined to believe that global climate was on the move, and in no small way.

Again, this supports my position rather than yours and demonstrates that there was no scientific consensus about a "new ice age" in the 1970s.

2. Here is your next citation, from a Wikipedia summary:

By 1972 a large majority of a group of leading glacial-epoch experts at a conference agreed that "the natural end of our warm epoch is undoubtedly near";[11] but the volume of Quaternary Research reporting on the meeting said that "the basic conclusion to be drawn from the discussions in this section is that the knowledge necessary for understanding the mechanism of climate change is still lamentably inadequate". Unless there were impacts from future human activity, they thought that serious cooling "must be expected within the next few millennia or even centuries"; but many other scientists doubted these conclusions.

This passage suggests uncertainty in the scientific community about the impact of anthropogenic forcing on global climate mechanisms. Again, it supports my claim that there was no consensus among scientists that a "new ice age" was on the way.

3. Here's another citation you skipped, oddly. It's from a summary of 1970 "Study of Critical Environmental Problems:"

[The report] "considers increasing carbon dioxide likely to increase global (surface) temperature."

With regard to the influence of aerosols, the report states

"in general it is not possible to determine whether such changes would result in a warming or cooling of the earths surface."

Again, there's no evidence of a scientific consensus on global cooling here. This supports my claim and undercuts yours.

4. From the National Science Board:

Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end ... leading into the next glacial age. However, it is possible, or even likely, than human interference has already altered the environment so much that the climatic pattern of the near future will follow a different path.

Once more, this shows that there was no consensus on global cooling. In fact, this NSB statement is entirely consistent with what we've learned in the past 30 years or so. Human activity is leading us down a path to global warming. This summary supports my position rather than yours.

5. You've skipped references to the 1975 National Academy of Sciences report, a report which likely best approximated "scientific consensus" about global climate change in the mid 1970s:

Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data....Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions.

That doesn't sound like a prediction of a "new ice age" to me. Does it sound like one to you?

Let's see what else the 1975 US National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council Report "Understanding Climate Change: A program for action" said:

We do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate.

And this:

Climatic change has been a subject of intellectual interest for many years. However, there are now more compelling reasons for its study: the growing awareness that our economic and social stability is profoundly influenced by climate and that man's activities themselves may be capable of influencing the climate in possibly undesirable ways. The climates of the earth have always been changing, and they will doubtless continue to do so in the future. How large these future changes will be, and where and how rapidly they will occur, we do not know.

Again, there is no statement here of scientific consensus about a "new ice age." In fact, it is clear that the "scientific consensus" at this time, as represented by the NAS report, is that sensible climate change predictions were not yet possible.

6. You cite a report by Hare in 1979:

Fig 8 shows [...] 1938 the warmest year. They [temperatures] have since fallen by about 0.4 °C. At the end there is a suggestion that the fall ceased in about 1964, and may even have reversed.
Figure 9 challenges the view that the fall of temperature has ceased [...] the weight of evidence clearly favours cooling to the present date [...] The striking point, however, is that interannual variability of world temperatures is much larger than the trend [...] it is difficult to detect a genuine trend [...]


This collection of pieced-together phrases truly misrepresents Hare's conclusion from that conference:

Conclusion. No simple conclusion emerges from this review...

More to the point, what was the consensus view of scientists at the WMO meeting? This is what the keynote speaker concludes:

In recent years we have come to appreciate that the activities of humanity can and do affect climate. We now change the radiative processes of the atmosphere... The potential consequences of increasing atmospheric CO2 resulting from fossil fuel combustion are already a major concern...The implications of further projected increases [in CO2] are uncertain, but the weight of scientific predicts a significant global surface temperature increase.

Again, this contradicts your claim and supports mine. There is NO evidence here that there was scientific consensus on a "new ice age."

7. pogo concludes:

Blow it out your ear, you eco-Stalinist you.


Yeah, pogo, you really showed me by supplying me with examples that consistently support my claim and consistently undercut yours. Way to go, pogo!

Now pogo, will you finally give up the myth of scientific consensus in the 1970s on a "new ice age?" Don't you find it humiliating to provide examples that show that you are fibbing when you repeat that myth?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

pogo,

Do you expect me to respond to your two Reid Bryson citations? As you surely must know if you are citing him, Bryson in no way represented scientific consensus on global climate change in the 1970s.

Consider these observations from a short history of the science of global climate change:

Most climate experts disagreed with Bryson...

...Bryson's theory, was publicly attacked by other climate scientists as "sloppy" and full of "patent nonsense"

In his defense, Bryson remarked "I am probably the most misquoted climatologist in the United States."

Sorry, pogo, Bryson did not ever represent scientific consensus in the 1970s on the subject of climate change. Moreover, his view was clearly a minority view. Don't pretend that the scientific community had embraced his theories.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

redneck wrote:

How many days of weather does it take to make a climate?


Hey! Finally an intelligent question!

It takes years, not days. Climatologists examine climate patterns on time scales of tens of years, at a minimum. Of course, it depends on area of interest. For example, paleoclimatologists typically look at much larger time scales (e.g., thousands of years to millions of years, although smaller time frames are also used as appropriate).

There are no hard limits here on time scales, but the idea of looking at climate patterns on a daily basis really makes no sense whatsoever.

Pogo said...

Cyrus,
All you're doing is applying current knowledge to past events. That's always quite easy.

Moreover, you make the mistake of thinking that some formal conclusion had been drawn about the evidence at the time, or that a conclusion was possible to draw, or that some august body was able to even make such a determination. Further, you forget that it is the popular press (then) that drove public policy much more than scientists ever did. And they thought the Coming Ice Age was the new threat.

Indeed, lots of folks thought there was global cooling in the 1970s; it was in the most-read papers and magazines at the time, and the very same demands for policy changes then are occurring now.

Cyrus, you are simply wrong. Give it up. Trying to throw the past down the memory hole or focus on your supporting evidence (while ignoring the rest and claiming a certainty that never ever existed) does not provide support for your view, it merely exposes your efforts as dishonest and partisan, rather than scientific.

Finally, your pretentious attempt at brow-beating is embarrassingly juvenile. Knock it off.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

pogo,

Your memory seems to be very poor. This is a summary of what we've been talking about:

pogo: The same data previously suggested a coming ice age in the 1970s.

cyrus: There was no scientific consensus about future climate change in the 1970s.

pogo: I was alive then, reading it as it happened. The freeze theory was all the rage. Saying now that it wasn't so is historical revisionism.

cyrus: You really ought to stop repeating the "1970s ice age" myth after having been shown multiple times that it's not true. However, if you think you can gather and present evidence to prove that it is correct, please do so; I'm anxious to see your evidence if it exists.

pogo then produces evidence that shows there was NO scientific consensus on a "coming ice age" in the 1970s. This supports my claim rather than his.

Then instead of admitting he is wrong, or simply slinking away, pogo returns to write this:

pogo: Moreover, you make the mistake of thinking that some formal conclusion had been drawn about the evidence at the time, or that a conclusion was possible to draw, or that some august body was able to even make such a determination.

Apparently you don't know what my assertion of "no scientific consensus" means. Essentially you are trying to defend yourself by denying your initial claim.

Let me make this simple for you, pogo; I accept your concession.

Thanks for the chat pogo; it's been swell.

Pogo said...

Re: "I accept your concession"

Your delusions aside, Cyrus, you argue like my little brother did in grade scool. You may find it impossible to admit, but there was quite a bit of talk about The Coming Ice Age in the 1970s. Nothing you've written "proves" the opposite at all, except in your head.

It's inconvenient for that fact to resurface, especially sicne therir alarmist tendency is the same method used by the Al Gore tools.

You can call all the folks who believed it then idiots (or pretend they didn't exist), but folks who were alive then remember nevertheless. And we think it's quite funny. More so when you get all red-faced about it.

So by all menas, claim victory and take your ball and go home. Really. Do that.

ShadyCharacter said...

MadisonMan, don't know if your still sticking around, but I stumbled across an article in Wired this morning that completely explains my disgust with the climate models usefulness.

http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/news/2007/05/phytoplankton

Global climate models are missing a good chunk of plant information that could significantly alter long-term climate change predictions. A new technique for modeling phytoplankton -- microscopic plants in the upper layers of the Earth's waters -- could reveal a much more accurate picture.

"(Other) modelers have populated their oceans with three or four kinds of plants, said Mick Follows, a researcher in MIT's Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate. "We’ve represented a much more diverse community, and allowed it to have interactions that regulate it more naturally."

...

"The data, published recently in Science, could profoundly impact climate models."

So, apparently, they left an input out, phytoplankton of all things, and now they're revising the output. Okay, I guess NOW they have every variable in the climate picture (and every variable is weighed appropriately). Right?

Nope, they could be missing dozens or hundreds of variables and could be attributing incorrect weight to the variables they're using. Look on wikipedia about climate models and the impact of clouds. Based on one's "assumptions" about the effect of cloud cover, the whole "science" of predicting future climate change based on these models can vary hugely...

It's not science. It's reading entrails...

Pogo said...

But Shady, Cyrus has proof, I tell ya, PROOF!

Plus, he's already declared victory, so, there you go.

MadisonMan said...

Yeah, I'm still here

Plankton can affect climate through Dimethyl Sulfide emissions that can become cloud condensation nuclei. So a warmer earth with more plankton emitting DMS becomes cloudier and cooler. A warmer Earth may also be cloudier because of more evaporation. More clouds usually means less incoming solar radiation at the surface and cooler -- although even that can vary depending on the height of the cloud.

Anyway, I caution you when reading that article -- the author is trying to sell you something. Well, not you in particular, but the greater scientific community: That Modeling Plankton could make a big difference. That's one of the challenges of climate modeling: finding out the things that are truly important. Yes, there are hundreds of variables. Which ones are most important? The answer to that remains elusive.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Cyrus, explain to me then why when we have 3-4 warm summers we have climate warming?

By your own definition this is 'weather', not 'climate'. By your definition we would need 20 years of abnormally warm summers and winters to show a climate change. I haven't seen it. Again, even believing we have warmed for 50 years, by your definition this is meaningless, as climate is taken by centuries of data, not decades.

And, like it or not, if there was not a scientific concensus in the '70s about global cooling, then there isn't one now about global warming.

Unfortunately none of the myriad of articles, in every major publication, are on line, but since you seem to have have more time for this than any of the rest of us, go look at Time, Newsweek, National Geographic or any other mag from 1978-1982 and report back. If you are honest about it you will say exactly what Pogo and I have said.

What this proves is simple- the econuts will say anything, based on any flimsy excuse, to claim the human infestation of Mother Earth is killing the planet. Sensible people know the planet was around for billions of years before man came along (unless you are a closet Literal Bibleist Cyrus?), and has warmed and cooled multiple times with out any input from man or his technology.

MadisonMan said...

By your definition we would need 20 years of abnormally warm summers and winters to show a climate change.

Climate 'normals' in the US are for 30 years and are changed every 10. So normal now is related to the average from 1971-2000. When new normals are computed in 4 years for 1981-2010, 'normal' winters will be much warmer -- the very cold winters of '77-'78 and '78-'79 will leave the average, and the warm winters of the past few years will be included.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Madisonman; basically what you're saying is that the models used to predict climate change are unreliable because we still don't know all of the factors that may effect climate change?

Yet the models are compelling enough to require massive new regulation?

Computers were originally developed to do the massive calculations required to predict weather back in the '40s. It was quickly proven they didn't have the capacity to do the calculations.

Our weather forecasts now are more based on radar and satellite imagery than the observed conditions calulations science in the forties thought capable of predicting weather.

Yet, based on a fact set that we have no idea how incomplete it is, we are expected to believe we can model not just 5 days, but 100 years of weather?

And some wonder why we can be skeptics.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

And once those abnormally cold winters are removed from the calculations and the average temperature increases, or returns to a more normal degree, based on dropping those abnormal temps from the callation, that will leave the difference between the average normal and the current 'abnormal' high even closer, right?

Dealing another blow to the warming models, right?

MadisonMan said...

what you're saying is that the models used to predict climate change are unreliable because we still don't know all of the factors that may effect climate change?

That's actually what you're saying, but it illustrates one of my chief complaints about Global Warming. Any good scientist will choose his or her words very carefully to impart a precise meaning. And then someone comes along and paraphrases it, completely changing the meaning.

Skepticism about model results is a good thing. Skepticism on hearing that something must be included in a model because otherwise results are trash is an especially good thing. However, the basic model physics are quite robust. No one will support a model that gives results that are easily shown to be erroneous: You can't publish such results, and if you don't publish, your funding will dry up.

Computers were originally developed to do the massive calculations required to predict weather back in the '40s. It was quickly proven they didn't have the capacity to do the calculations.

Well, meteorologists are no longer using 1940s technology, are they? The computer simulations on ENIAC were remarkably simple : no accelerations, no clouds, very little variability in the vertical, no temperature gradients, greatly reduced horizontal resolution, no topography...

My opinion is that you are searching for reasons to ignore the model output. Instead you should be trying to understand the reasons for model shortcomings and trying to understand how those shortcomings affect the results. This is the part of model result reporting where modelers and journalists really fail.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

MM, your point is well taken.

Your right, I am looking for reasons to throw out the whole model for one simple reason- there are folks who are using these models to make LAW; law that will affect almost every aspect of my life. Everything from what kind of transportation I use to where and how I live, including what kind of light bulb I can buy, all because of a model we cannot be sure is delivering a competent result.

Your right about meterologists no long using '40s technology to predict weather, but are the global warming folks using the same thesis to predict climate?

I admit to being a redneck, one who doesn't trust anything I can't understand, and trust less the snake oil salesman who tries to assure me what they are selling is right, even if it doesn't look right to me.

It's always been my experience that if you can't explain something in basic terms, its because it doesn't make sense anyway. The old canard about me not knowing enough to understand is a dog that don't hunt in my neck of the woods.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I also meant to add:

The use and development of these models are a good scientific exercise, and when it can be proven by a track history that a specific model can predict future climate for a given future period, then I will revise my opinion of taking them form the lab to the real world.

MadisonMan said...

when it can be proven by a track history that a specific model can predict future climate for a given future period

That's a pretty high bar. It's hard to validate a model if the observations needed to validate it have yet to occur. :)

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Don't you agree that the model should be validated before changes are made to the environment based on the model?

I remember a few years ago when a paper was published claiming cold fusion had been developed and the scientific community went ballistic because although the procedure was published, it was not reproduceable.

Should these same experiments with climate modeling be reproducable as well before adjusting the original?

ShadyCharacter said...

Madison, it's the EXACT same phenomenon as in the sphere of economics. For decades, thousands of VERY smart economists applied Keynsian (sp) theory and modeled the effects of this government interference with the economy, and that government interference. If we set the price of corn to X and mandate a minimum wage of Y and set unemployment benefits at Z etc... they made all kinds of predictions based on models AND IMPLEMENTED POLICY based on the output of the models.

Now these theories and the models have largely been relegated to the dust bins of history, after doing untold amounts of damage.

The exact same problems as with these climate models. The sincere economists thought they had a handle on the appropriate variables to include. They thought they had a handle on the weights to ascribe to variables. They had confidence in the results their models were spitting out. AND THEY WERE COMPLETELY WRONG ON ALL COUNTS!

The economy (like the climate system) is TOO COMPLEX to accurately model except in very circumscribed circumstances. The policy prescriptions that the Global Warming furor is attempting to foist on the public with these scare-mongering doomsday scenarios are based on 100 year time frames. The models are ABSOLUTELY useless at those horizons. This is a huge mistake that the left is dragging the world kicking and screaming towards. And it's the skeptics who are slandered in press and maligned and marginalized.

This entire debate is POLITICS and not SCIENCE.

MadisonMan said...

shady, I've had this discussion (argument?) with my nephew (an economist/statistician) before. Let me tell ya -- the amount of effort expended on model validation by economists is virtually nil -- at least by meteorological and climatological standards. It reminds me of where oceanographic modeling was 10-15 years ago where the big benchmark was: Does the Gulf Stream separate at Cape Hatteras or not (never mind if it separates for the right reason!)

Anyway, the HUGE advantage meteorology has over economics, as far as modeling is concerned, is that liquids/gases in the atmosphere and ocean DO behave as predicted by the Navier-Stokes equations. You do have to account for some effect statistically -- but such effects are very extensively tested.

Your beef appears to be with politicians, not with scientists. I'll repeat that almost all scientists, when presenting results, will preface their comments with a boatload of caveats. Those caveats are all too often dumped by the side of the road.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

pogo wrote:

Cyrus, you argue like my little brother did in grade scool.


Holy shit pogo! Your little brother used to best you in debate when he was in grade school?