December 1, 2009

"Climategate: Follow the Money."

"Why did the money pour in so quickly? Because the climate alarm kept ringing so loudly: The louder the alarm, the greater the sums. And who better to ring it than people like [Phil] Jones, one of its likeliest beneficiaries?"

148 comments:

Big Mike said...

That's partly true -- science runs on grant money and finding a way to be the big dog as far as the hottest scientific topic is concerned is practically a license to print money.

But it would be good if everybody remembered the penchant of the MSM to overhype things, and one of their favored tactics is to build up the person who forecasts the greatest calumny. You aren't too young to remember Y2K, are you? The basic problem there was that dates recorded as 010100 (January 1, 2000) would collate before 311299 (December 31, 1999) and this would screw up the logic of a lot of programs.

But who did the press build up as the Y2K expert? The guy who ran around predicting that "airplanes would fall out of the sky!" So there's an element of that in the mix.

traditionalguy said...
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Anthony said...

That's irritated me for some time, the difference paid to environmental organizations (or even university researchers) and corporations. Somehow, corporate money in any amount is dirrrrrty while government or (liberal) foundation money is gooooood or at least entirely irrelevant.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Follow the money?

A good deal of the money headed toward one Albert Gore, Jr., author, filmmaker, venture capitalist, lecturer, non-scientist, alarmist, soon-to-be billionaire, jetter-arounder, and non-question taker at his many public appearances.

Deemed a liar by the British courts, and a prophet by gullible American media.

Andy said...

What you call Climategate would better be known as the Althouse Flat Earth Society.

Have you rejected science because it conflicts with your high-consumption lifestyle, or because it conflicts with your right-wing politics?

AprilApple said...

The subject is so politicized, that I remain a global warming skeptic on both sides. One thing is for certain; There is no grant money for scientists to attempt to dis-prove man made global warming.
and that is interesting...

Michael Hasenstab said...

Have you rejected science because it conflicts with your high-consumption lifestyle, or because it conflicts with your right-wing politics?

I have rejected the "science" of AGW because it conflicts with truthful, peer-reviewed research; and in fact, substantial evidence exists that it was contrived using manipulated data.

Have you rejected the truth because it conflicts with your left-wing politics?

Michael Hasenstab said...
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AllenS said...

I believe that the top of Andy's head is flat.

Scott M said...

Point of order:

It's still technically fall.

miller said...

I hold neither to AGW or anti-AGW.

I simply say this: show me the data.

Oops. It was lost.

k*thy said...

I, too, am on the fence. For the sake of future generations I hope it’s not happening. But I can't for the life of me understand why so many are so hellbent on taking the risk that it’s not.

Richard Dolan said...

The science is hard to follow for most people, and so they resort to substitutes (bias, self-interest and the like) to try to get a handle on the debate. It's a way of looking at climate issues through a political marketing lens -- they're selling (and using all the usual PR tricks of expert pitch-men), trying to get you to buy. The trouble with looking at any complex social phenomenon only that way is that it typically leaves you without any path forward -- the same substitutes (bias, self-interest, etc.) can be thrown at anyone, and doing so just keeps the focus on attacking the messenger. At some point you still have to deal with the message.

Richard Lindzen's piece in today's WSJ tries to tackle the science -- what the data shows, what it doesn't, where the soft spots in the analysis are, etc. The scandal of Climategate is that the CRU scientists lost sight of the need to stick with science, to debate the Lindzens of their profession in exclusively scientific terms, with open and accessible data and modelling code and all the other normal protocols of scientific debate. Their emails make it quite obvious that they decided to take a different path, and will now pay the price of being dismissed as political hucksters.

That's very unfortunate, even if it's also true that the CRU team deserves (in the reap-what-you-sow sense) what they are in the process of getting. It's all well and good to understand how motives can color positions and arguments, and there's no doubt that money is a pretty good motivator (if it weren't, economics as a discipline wouldn't make much sense). But the climate issues have gotten too many people riled up, on both sides, and too much is at stake. Both the science and the economics (in classic cost/benefit terms) need to take center stage. Yet the whole thing is stuck in political marketing mode, and the 'follow the money' mantra is a way of keeping it there. It isn't a way forward, and that's what's needed now.

Michael Hasenstab said...
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MadisonMan said...

Andy...This is the coldest winter in 20 years. Peer review that data.

Fifth warmest November on record here in Madison.

I'm not sure what your point, or mine, has to do with climate, however.

Joe said...

How much did the explosion of university as a heavily subsidized enterprise play into all of this?

Rhetorical question: when you churn out lots of hacks, what else do you expect?

The flip side is that dumping the department of education, pell grants and the student loan industry would probably do more to advance genuine science than anything else. At the very least, we'd reduce the number of people getting useless degrees.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Madison Man; how many days of weather does it take to make a climate?

10 days? 10 months? 10 years? 1000 years?

It seems that 3 warm winters is a climate predictor, but 3 cool summers is not.

WV: pullyb- What a southern parrot says; Pully b wantin' a cracker

SteveR said...

Good science does not rely on consensus and in fact, rejects it. Politics is another matter. The use of terms like "settled science" means its not settled science but something proponents don't want to support scientifically.

ergo: follow the money

AJ Lynch said...

"Follow the money" is what the media once did. Of course, that was when they were still called reporters and before they became journalists!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

k*thy said...

But I can't for the life of me understand why so many are so hellbent on taking the risk that it’s not.

I suspect that many of the people that you consider 'hellbent on taking the risk' would be perfectly happy to take significant steps in the right direction, such as building enough nuke plants to replace our baseline coal power.

And I do understand why some of the people on the other side are hellbent on a solution that involves a significant increase in government control and regulation of the energy sector.

lucid said...
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Christy said...

Sounds to me like Dr. Jones should have used some of that $19M he got from '00 to '06 to QA his model and his data.

wv: amonsts Amongst friends who is gonna criticize your data?

lucid said...

On an issue of the dimensions of climate change--where the proposed solutions could sharply curtail economic activity, thus leading to deaths from declines in medical resources, coronary disease, increased homicides, and other forms of social deterioration--responsible scientists would want their data to be widely available, to be openly reviewed and critiqued, and to be subject to the most searching forms of peer review.

That these scientists at the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia went to great lengths to hide their data--even destroying original data rather than making it available to others--is a sign that they knew there was something dangerous in open disclosure and that they pursued their own selfish career and financial interests at enormous risks to literally billions of people.

I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that deliberate scientific malfeasance at this level, and with these policy implications, is a crime against humanity.

lucid said...
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Michael said...

"I, too, am on the fence. For the sake of future generations I hope it’s not happening. But I can't for the life of me understand why so many are so hellbent on taking the risk that it’s not."

This is the modern version of Pascal's wager re: the existence of God. Very fitting since AGW is the true religion of the true modernist. Odd how everything is truly upside down. The liberals support orthodoxy while the conservatives challenge it, the liberals side with the government and the press while conservatives are skeptics.

Photog714 said...

k*thy said: I, too, am on the fence. For the sake of future generations I hope it’s not happening. But I can't for the life of me understand why so many are so hellbent on taking the risk that it’s not.

What is "the risk"? The answer depends on raw data (which CRU evidently has deleted) and on predictive climate models (which CRU has clearly manipulated in myriad ways).

If you're already convinced there's a great risk, then you're not on the fence. You've swallowed the Kool-Aid.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Photog714-

That doesn't follow. You don't have to believe that you house will burn down to believe that there is a risk of it burning down, and to take action to reduce and/or mitigate that risk.

Likewise, you do not have to believe in AGW to believe that it is a possibility, and that step should be taken now to reduce that risk.

MadisonMan said...

Climate "normals" in the US are 30-year means. They are re-computed every 10 years, so there were 1961-1990 normals that were used from 1991-2000, and 1971-2000 normals have been used since 2001.

When the 1981-2010 normals are computed, Madison will have warmer normal temperatures in winter because the famously cold winters of '76-'77 and '77-'78 will be gone from 'normal' -- replaced by milder winters in the 2000s. So it should be harder to be above normal and easier to be below normal starting around 2011.

traditionalguy said...

K*thy...If warm weather was a threat, everyone knows how to adjust to those longer growing seasons with a few shade trees and fans. People do well in Columbia under the equitorial heat. We are accustomed to 95+ F summer months here in northern Georgia. On the other hand if cold weather arrives, then we are screwed without lots of cheap Oil, Gas, Coal, Fur coats, and skilled Ice Road Truckers for our Interstates. Why are you so hellbent on risking colder weather by cutting back on the very CO2 usage we need to warm us back up? Its worth a few trillion dollars and loss of sovreignty in the USA to avoid that risk of freezing to death. But don't fear because there is a new political leader very familiar with the solving of cold weather problems with her common sense and duck tape.

Joe said...
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Joe said...
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lucid said...

On an issue of the dimensions of climate change--where the proposed solutions would sharply curtail economic activity, thus leading to deaths from declines in medical resources, coronary disease, increased homicides, and other forms of social deterioration--responsible scientists would want their data to be widely available, to be openly reviewed and critiqued, and to be subject to the most searching forms of peer review.

That these scientists at the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia went to great lengths to hide their data--even destroying original data rather than making it available to others--is a sign that they knew there was something dangerous in open disclosure and that they pursued their own selfish career and financial interests at enormous risks to literally billions of people.

I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that deliberate scientific malfeasance at this level, and with these policy implications, is a crime against humanity

Acting to reduce CO2 emissions will impose very grave life and economic costs on billions and billions of people. We should only do it if we are sure it is necessary.

traditionalguy said...

The difference between a warming and a cooling globe: when it warms you sweat more and stay in shady places between 9:30 aM and 6:30 PM. The Roman Empire did its best work in a 500 year long warming period. But when it cools you freeze to death and experience famines leading to deadly plagues among the weakened and frozen huddled masses. We simply cannot risk any reduction in the life giving CO2 levels in our atmosphere. Baby it's cold outside.

Sloanasaurus said...

Likewise, you do not have to believe in AGW to believe that it is a possibility, and that step should be taken now to reduce that risk.

Hey.. your right. How about this solution: Lets build 100 nuclear power plants. If this was the Climate bill, it would pass tomorrow. Yet for some reason, warmers don't want to build power plants, they want to reduce consumption and transfer wealth.

What is so insidious about all of this is that now that we know the data is all bogus, the warmers still believe - its their faith... their religion. Remember the priest that came out and scolded us after the meteor hit. He said, hey, you need to conform - after all why take the risk of not conforming....

Sloanasaurus said...

I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that deliberate scientific malfeasance at this level, and with these policy implications, is a crime against humanity

This is a great point. The climate fraudsters are on the level of other historical baddies. Except we were lucky this time. Catching these guys in their fraud is akin to getting a copy of the "final solution" before it was implemented.

It is unbelievable that the warmers are unwilling to adjust their views after the fraud has been exposed.

AJ Lynch said...

Yesterday, Rush said this Global Warming fraud had ruined the American auto industry. It certainly contributed to its problems. Maybe the American taxpayers, the current owners of GM & Chrysler, should sue the Global Warming zealots for damages? I bet there are some lawyers out there who'd like to take this case!

Mom said...

You don't have to believe that you house will burn down to believe that there is a risk of it burning down, and to take action to reduce and/or mitigate that risk.

Yes, but I wouldn't spend every penny I could find to avert all possible risk that my house might burn down without balancing the expense of the action against the actual likelihood of fire (and neither would you -- is your house built entirely of fireproof materials, equipped with fire hydrants and sprinklers in every room, and supplied with your own personal fire department stored in the garage? What's that you say? You can't afford all that? Who cares -- don't you want to avert the risk of fire?)

The problem with the "precautionary principle" as you are applying it here is that you are leaving out the fact that actions taken to reduce or mitigate the risk aren't free and have their own consequences, including harmful ones. Does it really make sense to take actions to avoid the potential risk that your house might burn down when you know that those same actions will definitely, no doubt about it, cause harm to the family that lives in it? The drastic cutbacks in carbon emissions that we are told will be necessary are not free and will hurt people, at least in the short term and especially in less-developed countries: less food, less technology, less comfort, less medical care, more suffering. Are you sure that it makes sense to inflict certain harm on everybody, and disproportionately on those who can least afford it, in order to avoid the possibility of harm to some?

Scott M said...

Let's do a little mental gymnastics here for a sec and take the worst-case scenario (from the true-believer's point of view) in which AGW turns out to be a huge boondoggle at best, a fraud at worst.

Think about what this will do to both American and British influence around the world. Think about the general decline in opinion of our scientific prowess on the heels of one of the greatest scandals of our time.

Given that it's all hogwash, the loonie left could ironically end up doing far worse damage to the American image abroad than any cowboy diplomacy ever did.

Mom said...

And here's an example of what I was saying about the unintended consequences of well-intentioned actions (not to mention how little we know about the complex interactions of climate systems) -- it turns out that repairing the ozone hole may have accelerated global warming!

http://www.popsci.com/environment/article/2009-12/study-finds-ozone-hole-repair-contributes-global-warming-sea-level-rise

Michael Hasenstab said...

The countries that figured out AGW is a huge politically-driven mistake are all too eager to push productive western nations into a horrific agreement at Copenhagen that will further weaken the most productive nations.

Larry J said...

dix said...
You all have your head in the sand. There hasn't been a consensus this strong since the 'Saddam has WMDs' slam dunk. You need to listen to the people who know.


As an astute commenter on another site noted, there's an easy way to tell politics/religion from science.

Quantum Physics is a theory.
Relativity is a theory.
Evolution is a theory.

But "AGW is settled science" and "the debate between capitalism and socialism is over."

Salamandyr said...

I, too, am on the fence. For the sake of future generations I hope it’s not happening. But I can't for the life of me understand why so many are so hellbent on taking the risk that it’s not.

K*thy, anthropocentric global warming *may* be real. There's absolutely no evidence for the worst case scenario, but like my winning the powerball, it *might* happen.

However, the steps that our political panjandrums want us to take to avert this hypothetical doomsday scenario *will*, not might, but will have substantial deletorious effects. Our lives will be smaller, meaner, more bounded by the limitations of scarcity. Travel will be curtailed, technological progress will be slowed. The desperate masses of the third world will have a boot thrust onto their necks to keep them from joining the developed world. We'll become 21st Century peasants, with lives bounded by the distance we can travel by foot in a day, unless perhaps we are given permission by our masters to go further. Cures that would save millions will go unfound.

All that *will* happen if they succeed. And the worst part, we know it won't have a single solitary effect on global temperatures. So why do we want to inflict such damage on ourselves for no benefit?

MadisonMan said...

the "science" of AGW because it conflicts with truthful, peer-reviewed research; and in fact, substantial evidence exists that it was contrived using manipulated data.

I'm curious what you consider to be the science of AGW.

The unfortunate thing about the leaked emails is that there are people who think that there is no actual data supporting the fact that the Earth is warming, and that -- for example -- Ice is melting where it hasn't melted for quite some time. (Check this link, for example).

Projecting these present-day observations into the future is the challenge, and I think that's where the vortex of the leaked emails should be centered. Not the actual data.

jayne_cobb said...

Some interesting stories out regarding global warming today:

1) Apparently a typo moved glacier melt from 2350 to 2035

here

and

2) Apparently the self-repairing ozone is contributing to global warming

here

Sloanasaurus said...

Projecting these present-day observations into the future is the challenge, and I think that's where the vortex of the leaked emails should be centered. Not the actual data.

Right, except that the earth has warmed and cooled since the beginning of the planet.

Apparently a billion years ago, the sun was 1/3 less intense, yet evidence shows that the earth had oceans at that time that were not frozen). - so how does that happen?

Comrade X said...

who betrayed this country? who played on our fears?

MadisonMan said...

Sloan, assuming you actually want to know the answer, and are not just parroting some talking point you read somewhere:

The presence of large mountain ranges has a profound influence on the planet -- a cooling influence. Two ways: One, the higher regions are cooler, just 'cause the atmosphere normally cools as you go up (for levels that are in the range of a mountain range, at least). Also, large mountain chains also block flow, and a lack of horizontal mixing allows cold air to develop over the Winter Pole. In other words, it's very hard to get warm air in India up over the Himalayas and into Siberia to temper the climate there. If the Himalayas weren't there? Much easier for warm air to advance north.

Whether or not the oceans are entirely ice-free will also depend on how easily equatorial waters can mix to the Poles. At present, the Arctic Ocean is somewhat isolated from the warmer waters of the Atlantic.

bagoh20 said...

Jayne, That typo is absolutely typical and I see that as the strength of the bias. The Himalayan glacial melt predicted for 2350 was typo-ed to 2035. I believe the reverse typo would be nearly impossible. People involved likely bias all kinds of data subconsciously because it needs to violate our preconceptions in order to be noticed as wrong. I expect there is a lot of one-way adjustments both purposeful and accidental in this subject's library of data and analysis.

Maguro said...

Ice is melting where it hasn't melted for quite some time. (Check this link, for example).

But sea ice extent and thickness are affected by many factors apart from global temperature, most notably the strength and direction of wind and ocean currents. Every bit of melted ice in the Arctic cannot be traced to global warming.

Paul Zrimsek said...

MM, I give you credit for considerable knowledge in this area but you seem to be answering a question other than the one Sloan is asking. He wants to know whether anyone has definitively solved the Snowball Earth riddle, which as far as I know they haven't.

bagoh20 said...

MadisonMan, that link about Artic sea ice is pretty lame. Basically an anecdote. The "permanent" sea ice is called "multi-year ice" meaning it is not permanent, but does melt occasionally, and when it does, it is not a disaster or the end of Polar Bears.

bagoh20 said...

How do we get any trust in the research on climate now? It is a very important subject to human civilization yet I fear it will be politicized permanently and to great detriment to the world. This is regardless of whether AGW is real, serious, reversible or not.

If it's real then we may not respond because we cannot trust the boy who called wolf. If it is not true and everything is just fine, we may do enormous damage to the world economy or even create unknown climate problems with our attempts at fixing what ain't broken. I think we are screwed.

I am hopeful that mother earth is just too big and complicated to let us mess things up. Certainly she has absorbed bigger impacts than us and turned out ok. But, we are tenacious little busy bodies.

Florida said...

Breaking:

The world's leading global warming scientist at Britian's East Anglia University, Phil Jones, has been fired from his post amid allegations he faked data. An investigation of his work has begun.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j_dt9Bjj5yVV7k1PAyDnVHKvKtgAD9CAM0VG0

Scott M said...

@Florida

I'm on pretty much the same side of this thing you are, but let's be fair. He's "temporarily stepping down". That's not necessarily being fired.

traditionalguy said...

The really scary part of this is that Jones and his accomplices would have pulled off their Fraud if memories of 1998's warmer than usual year had not been followed by this year's lack of sunspots inducing a sudden cooling due to excess cloud formation. It's the amount of Water Vapor in the Cloud Formations stupid. So a renamed Climate Changing Crisis had to replace the original Warming Crisis over at the World Governance Capital. Now they will have to pretend that the Weather Cooling Crisis can be controlled by the UN in exchange for all our money paid to poorer countries. It always was and always will be a basic Protection Racquet run by Doctor No and his friend Soros over at the UN.

Scott M said...

@traditionalguy

You need to add “Dispatches From The Bunker” at the end of posts like that. :)

Brian said...

bagoh20 said:

"How do we get any trust in the research on climate now? It is a very important subject to human civilization yet I fear it will be politicized permanently and to great detriment to the world. This is regardless of whether AGW is real, serious, reversible or not. "

By not making AGW the sole reason to do these things. As has been mentioned many times, if environmental policy had been to reduce the use of coal not just from fear of AGW, but also because it is a particularly dirty fuel, and that green energy solutions like wind and solar are desirable alternatives, then you can throw a few billion here and there toward it. You can throw a few billion towards battery technology for automobiles, including fuel cells. Sell it as a national security issue to become independent of foreign oil. Stress the technological breakthroughs as something we can sell to developing countries as they get richer and want cleaner air and water (we're already trying to convince the Chinese to get onboard with green energy for this reason). Or a straightforward carbon tax to help pay for this, instead of a cap-n-trade scheme where this is hidden. And wise up that if the french can figure out how to get most of their electricity from nuclear power safely, then there's no reason we in the U.S. can't do that as well.

Not doomsday scenarios. Not this "you rich rethuglikkkan science deniers/birthers/creationists hate earth" crap.

MadisonMan said...

He wants to know whether anyone has definitively solved the Snowball Earth riddle, which as far as I know they haven't.

Not that I know of either -- though for obvious reasons, I'm not a climate scientist.

I do think the Snowball Earth riddle is a red herring as far as Climate Prediction goes. How is the ability to explain it relevant? I'd much rather focus on the ability of a climate model to predict back 1M years, a span when the Solar Output is pretty well known, and the physical geography of the Earth is pretty well known, and then try to go forward with it, than try to solve the Snowball Earth problem, a problem for which the initial conditions aren't known, the boundary conditions aren't known, and even the solution isn't known. Talk about ill-posed! (But it does seem like a nice way to guarantee work for life, since you'll never know if you're right or wrong, but neither will anyone else).

Beaverdam said...

Damn a bunch of global warming. I want to see Floridas boobs. The real ones, not some phony manipulated data kinda boobs. Real boobs.

mariner said...

MadisonMan,

re: mountain ranges.

OK.

Air from the southern tropics is not inhibited by any significant mountains from flowing over Antarctica.

The cold Southern Ocean waters are not restricted by land masses from mixing with tropical waters from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Yet Antarctica is covered by a permanent ice cap. That ice extends to the surrounding ocean, and it is not shrinking; in fact it is growing.

AJ Lynch said...

Looking at the big picture, this scam really takes away a lot of credibility and power from the thoroughly corrupt United Nations. That is a very good thing!

wv = naler ...yes I would hit it!

floridaenterprise said...

"He's 'temporarily stepping down'. That's not necessarily being fired."

Don't be fooled by the use of the Associated Press' passive voice in this article. The AP use this passive voice when they're sugarcoating something they don't want to report.

The University required that Jones relinquish his post. He was not given a choice. He was fired from the Climate Research Unit. They're just putting it kindly.

He still works at the university as a professor only because he enjoys tenure there. But an investigation has begun of his activities there which may result in his being booted entirely from the teaching staff.

Again ... he was forced to resign. Fired. He did not voluntarily resign. He was forced to by the University in a face-saving attempt.

MadisonMan said...

Does an expanding Antarctic ice sheet mean the Earth is warmer or colder?

Why?

(I should use this as a quiz question).

Where does the moisture come from that is feeding the expanding ice sheet? Is the horizontal spread occurring with no change in the vertical depth of ice? Those two questions are very important.

Joe said...

Does an expanding Antarctic ice sheet mean the Earth is warmer or colder?

Neither. Recent research indicates that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation combined with the Arctic Oscillation are what is influencing the current growth and shrinkage of the arctic ice sheet.

traditionalguy said...

The next shoe to fall will be the Fear of warming Industry announcing the firing tens of thousands of ceative Propagandists and disaster script writers. The jobs picture is getting colder now.

MadisonMan said...

Joe, I said Antarctic.

David said...

I'm no fan of Professor Jones, but how can they "fire" him without more investigation? These documents came out only a few weeks ago. They are complex and subject to misinterpretation. Jones has not had a chance to respond in any comprehensive way.

I see at least two possible explanations. First, he was not forced out. He truly is surrendering certain duties pending an investigation. Second, there is even more evidence of fraud and intimidation by Professor Jones than we are aware of.

I don't know what the law is in the UK. But in the USA the emails and perhaps other information on the East Anglia server would probably be legally accessible to the university and its representatives.

Have they looked? If so, what did they find?

Photog714 said...

Ignorance is Bliss said: That doesn't follow. You don't have to believe that you house will burn down to believe that there is a risk of it burning down, and to take action to reduce and/or mitigate that risk.

Read my post again: If you're already convinced there's a great risk, then you're not on the fence. You've swallowed the Kool-Aid.

Did you get it that time? GREAT risk.

The warming alarmists are proposing measures that would devastate global economies and greatly expand government powers. That's hardly comparable to taking out an fire insurance policy on your home. We would have to be at very great risk indeed to follow the advice of the alarmists.

John Lynch said...

There's an incentive when crying wolf to make the wolf as large as possible.

Scott M said...

Michael Crichton is off somewhere laughing his ass off.

I meant what I said earlier, though, in terms of this all turning out to be bupkis. That will affect global attitude toward the US more toward the negative.

The BASIC countries have already declared that they will not be bullied by the richer nations into any detrimental agreements. Australia is set to have national elections where one of the central issues pits the AGW liberal crowd against the conservative skeptics. Other heads of state around the world are openly questioning hamstringing whole economies for what might happen.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Does this mean I get to keep my incandescent light bulbs and buy a flat screen television larger than 48 inches.

Woooheee!!!

Now if we can get back transfat Crisco for frying chicken, it will be a trifecta

Cedarford said...

In the U.S., the House intends to spend $1.3 billion on NASA's climate efforts, $400 million on NOAA's, and another $300 million for the National Science Foundation. The states also have a piece of the action, with California—apparently not feeling bankrupt enough—devoting $600 million to their own climate initiative.

I would make a plug for NOAA. They are, like the Coast Guard, a high-performing organization that makes good use of each dollar in funding. They are not politicized and have excellent ties with other country's weather services, notably India, Australia, and Japan. They are the folks that have the best knowledge of oceans, monsoons (with India), and ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) - again, with India.

I have no problem with funding good research. Besides giving climate models new, good data - all the future data NOAA can get directly translates into benefits in other fields - hurricane forecasting, monsoon crop advice from SE Asia/Australia through Iran, great guidance for shipping firms, US Navy, etc., etc.

vbspurs said...

Phil Jones steps down and Barack Obama increases troops in Afghanistan. This is a great day for everyone, some just don't know it yet.

Cheers,
Victoria

Big Mike said...

@Cedarford, I agree with you as regards NOAA.

david7134 said...

Some of the commenters have indicated that conservatives are against the concept of global warming because we do not desire to give up our life styles. As a conservative I have to indicate that there is some truth to the statement, but only when you consider that the life style that you want us to accept is utter poverty.

The concept of human induced global warming seems like an absurd concept in that their is no way that we can test the theory. CO2 has been blamed as the source of the warming, but no one can indicate how surface CO2 which is heavier than air gets into the upper atmosphere without increasing the level at the ground. Then, no one can explain how CO2 has such an effect on containing heat on the surface when the same concept is not proven in the lab.

Lets look at the alternatives that we are asked to use to reduce CO2. There is wind power that is only about 25% efficient. Now wind power requires production of wind mills and my examination of these indicates that their manufacture is not environmentally friendly. In addition, these sources require batteries and other storgae devices that pollute more than the average car. Almost all alternative sources are the same.

But nuclear power is excellent as an alternative to carbon producing power sources. Yet no one on the left as called for the immediate building of reactors.

Then there are the taxes. All of the nations that sign on to this bull want excessive taxes on energy. This is supposed to drive down demand, but taxes of this nature only cause inflation. Then we are to take the money we obtain and send it to third world countries. How does that help anything?

This whole concept stinks even before you get to the manufactured climate data. I am for a clean environment. But this is not what is happening here, we are under attack by our own government that is attempting to distroy our country. Why?

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

@bagoh20: I've read the data was thrown out in the early 1980s. Data storage density was much less then. I've thrown out original data filling drawers and drawers of mag tape.

But then, I am not asking the world to enter into a future of deprivation and want based on my (now missing) data.

traditionalguy said...

David7134@4:43...That was a beautiful summary of what the skeptical ones among us have been saying over and over for a long time. Thanks for the comment.

Original Mike said...

Well, except David's claim that we do not understand the physics of greenhouse gasses. The presence of water, methane, and yes, CO2, in the atmosphere makes the earth warmer than if they were not there. You will have to search far and wide for a scientist who disputes that.

AprilApple said...

The solution to Man-Made Global Warming? Global warming fanatics have created some costly wealth-redistribution schemes. Hard to imagine why anyone would remain skeptical.

You can buy carbon credit offsets at the SF airport now. Pay up, suckas.

John Stodder said...

It's not the GW that is really in doubt. Just the A. And not even A or not-A. In theory, more CO2 leads to more GW, and CO2 comes from A. It's the question of the sensitivity of the GW to the A. That's what is still not known, and can't be known unless you have good paleoclimate data, which Jones et. al. pretended to have but in fact did not.

So we lack answers.

We don't know whether or not it would be effective to stop all that excessive A. It's not even a matter of relative costs anymore. Is it worth doing at all (for GW purposes. I'm leaving good old pollution, peak oil and ME politics out of it for now)?

Obama's likely reaction is to split the difference, but the data is now suggesting that since we don't know A, the dividing line for the difference can't be found. If we spend a lot of money to make A = a, it still might be money wasted. GW might still happen. Or, GW might not happen, irrespective of how much A we do. Even AA might be okay.

These scientists really blew it. New scientists are needed on this problem.

Michael Hasenstab said...

AGW is the Womens Studies of science.

chickenlittle said...

Then we are to take the money we obtain and send it to third world countries. How does that help anything?

I think it helps assuage guilt amongst certain thinkers.

Guilt: it's part of the whole Gaia religion thing.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Next thing you know, geologists will find huge deposits of crude oil in the northern plains, and natural gas deposits from upstate New York to southern Pennsylvania. And none of it will be the byproduct of decomposing dinosaurs.

AJ Lynch said...

Micheal H wins the thread at 534PM!

Yesterday, I saw something on the web about the Greenpeace Research Director. So I google his name and learn he has a BA and an MA. I go to his undergrad college, Hamspire College, where he majored in Environmental Studies! So I check out the college website and find out you only need to take about 3-4 real science classes when you major in Environmental Studies at Hampshire College.

Thank God the world's many human sheep will now learn this AGW is such a scam.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It's not the GW that is really in doubt. Just the A.

Maybe in the short term we can stipulate that the world has been getting warmer since the last mini ice age.

However, what is the ideal temperature for the Earth. IS there even an ideal temperature. What if the ideal for the bulk of life (not just measly little man but the bulk of life forms) on this Earth is several degrees warmer. Something along the lines of the Jurassic? Hmmmm?

Someone needs to explain to me why a bit warmer, along the lines of the Medieval Warming Period, would be worse than freezing our asses off and having a limited growing season with limited areas in which to grow crops.

I don't mean Venus warm, but seriously....what is the disaster?

Now that the scientists have been caught fudging the data, hiding the data and basically out and out lying, how can we ever believe them again. The suspicion that we are all being played for fools has become more than just a suspicion.

If they read me yesterday's weather report I wouldn't believe it.

david7134 said...

Mike,
Are we really sure that CO2 causes warming of the earth? Has anyone really explained the chemistry of such a concept? From my reading it is mostly observation that has to do with increasing CO2 levels that are tied to data indicating a warming earth. But we now know the temperature data is suspect and for that matter, how do you really take the temperature of the earth?

I would say that water vapor may influence our relationship to the sun, but when it gets to gases the concept gets a little fuzy. If the gases are in high concentration, then they might have an effect. But with CO2 we are talking small quantities. Then as I said how does it get there. Then do you really think we can influence such a massive chemical reaction as the atmosphere?

As with everything else, we need the government out of this as soon as possible.

traditionalguy said...

John Stodder...The GW has gone down while the A has gone up. Therefore the A has no driver effect on GW unless there is an over riding massive cause of the sudden cold air. That is the "C for Climate" in the new puzzel that Jones and friends claim the Know all about working from the ocean current systems. The answers my friends are blowing in space winds. The causes are not here on the earth, rather the causes are in space from the sun's storms interacting with cosmic rays. All the governments can do is arise to the challenges of warming and cooling swings. Gore and Obama as good Democrats are using propaganda to steal all of our money and wipe out all of our industrial strength by the creative use of Cartoons of disasters we should fear so that they can pull off an armed robbery they call a Cap and Trade Tax.

miller said...

My reasons for being skeptical of so-called AGW:
1) I'm skeptical of new discoveries unsupported by data.
2) I'm skeptical of something called "consensus" being equal to "science." As Einstein said, if AGW is right, you only need one person to support it. You don't need "consensus."
3) I'm skeptical of the Next New Thing being trotted out to support the omnicompetent state. The agenda behind AGW is the desire for the benevolent state to control the multitudes, and the desire also includes the hope that the early proponents of AGW will be the controllers and not the controllees. No thank you, but I do not want to be an ant in that colony.
4) I'm skeptical of AGW because I'm not that old & yet I remember the hysteria about global cooling. The scientists simply switched too easily & yet kept up the same hysteria that WE MUST DO SOMETHING NOW!

John Stodder said...

Maybe in the short term we can stipulate that the world has been getting warmer since the last mini ice age.

However, what is the ideal temperature for the Earth. IS there even an ideal temperature.


Basically agree. The answer my chagrined friends who are AGW activists are giving me to the news of this scandal is "the polar ice caps are still melting." And that is probably true, at least for the North Pole. But just as we don't know if there is an ideal Earth temperature, we don't know if there is an ideal amount of polar ice, or an ideal number and size for glaciers.

The earth will at some point do something that will kill off most mammalian life. Too hot or too cold. But even then, we can't really complain about it. Earth is an unstable place. Those mountains we all like to worship and thank God for? God didn't put them there. It was a series of violent earthquakes. It's all well and good to climb to the top of one of those mountains and feel like you're communing with nature, but you're also communing with a massive amount of destruction, standing on a spot that might have been covered with ice not too long ago in geologic time. Maybe for some of us, the current climate is a security blanket against the day when this planet will just shrug us off into oblivion. I say, Gaia... Do me! It's your world, I just live in it.

wv: antyc How I'm feeling right now.

Neil' said...

I don't know why so many people here think that attempts by some flawed people to suppress dissent casts much doubt on the basic theory. Haven't you heard of cops/prosecutors "framing a guilty guy" - they want to be sure he's convicted, so they "improve" the evidence. That doesn't prove he's innocent, that's a separate matter.

The idea of AGW has been around since the 1800s, such as the classic paper in 1896 (Wikipedia):
Svante Arrhenius, 1896b, On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground, London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science (fifth series), April 1896. vol 41, pages 237–275.
This was based on CO2 absorbing infrared, which has to make it warmer. More CO2 means a warming stimulus. The knowledgeable skeptics only doubt how much effect it will have, not the basic idea. The theoretical basis is the strong point, the findings are support. It's like interest rates and the economy - the effect is hard to predict, and other things interfere, but it's a real influence.

The global cooling was never a consensus. I have my 70s earth science textbook talking about global warming, as well as 1965 Time-Life Weather. The recent leveling of temperatures is widely believed to come from the "PDO" (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) which is a change in circulation patterns. Wikipedia refers to "2008: The early stages of a cool phase of the basin-wide Pacific Decadal Oscillation.[5]" Other theories include solar activity etc. Well, if something *else* caused the cooling, that doesn't disprove the idea that CO2 stimulates warming, it just means it's competing with other stimuli. What will happen when those other, compenstory stimuli give out? We don't know if something else can counter the warming effect. It's a risk factor, that doesn't have to be certain to be dangerous.

I see a lot of hunching here based on intuition and ad hominem stuff, that is not real science. Come up with better skeptical but real science, not stuff like what creationists say about the age of the Earth etc. BTW, much of why Y2K not being so bad, was people doing something first to prevent it. That's the whole point, to make for an "self unfulfilling prophecy."

John Stodder said...

The theoretical basis is the strong point, the findings are support. It's like interest rates and the economy - the effect is hard to predict, and other things interfere, but it's a real influence.

I don't think anyone challenges the theory. But the degree of climate sensitivity to CO2 is not yet confirmed to be comparable to the interest rate's effect on the economy. Unless you think an interest rate increase of 0.0000025 would make a noticeable difference.

traditionalguy said...

Neil'...Thanks for reminding us of the presumed effect of CO2 ppms rising causing warmth in the Atmosphere. That should come in handy to pump out massive CO2 infusions as today's colder weather threatens growing seasons, freezing living things and resulting pandemics among famine weakened cold people. That can join with our contingency plans for Particulate Dispersal to cool the Atmosphere if and when the sun spots come back and trigger another warming trend some day. Both are rational solutions and are going to require lots of efficient energy usage, the best of which will come from abundant Oil and Coal in the USA. Ok? If you still need a better system of absolution from Guilt for being born alive, try the Catholic or Protestant traditions. Please do that on your own without taxing me to pay for Establishing for you a Government Church of Carbonless Footprints.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The ideal temperature is probably associated with the somewhat stable climate that existed for the last 10,000 years since the agricultural revolution occurred. But what do I know? I'm just a marching soldier in the liberal/atheist/"Darwinist"/physical chemistry of CO2 army. And since the advent of agriculture is characterized as a "revolution", it must be inherently bad. It sounds vaguely Bolshevik, or like some movement that occurred during the 1960s - which, as conservatives tell me, were an inherently bad decade almost by definition.

Now DBQ is interesting in that she has actually stated that she doesn't care much her species and, by extension, I assume the civilization it brought forth. If we don't adapt then we don't deserve to live, said the Bunny. Which is a rather interesting opinion coming from someone with such a shaky handle on the facts of planetary history (despite having an obvious interest in it). But I don't assume most humans would share her strange opinion. Or should. You see, it's quite difficult for someone's genes to survive, let alone their memory, or any form of posterity for that matter, if their species doesn't. Oh well.

Even the lemmings don't extend their practices to the level of their entire species.

In short, since I feel that comedy can obscure one's sense of purpose if taken too far, I'll just point out how bizarre it is that someone would rail against any science in support of transitioning our energy resources into something that won't dry up in the next three generations, while seeming to not have a clue about how widespread drought or flooding would affect the economy. If Bunny wants to be the first to synthesize her entire diet in a Petri dish, she's welcome to do it. But most people have the good sense to assume that growing our own food under the conditions in which we've been doing it since the dawn of humanity might be a good, and conservative, idea.

Other than that, keep trying to convince everyone of the economic, conservative virtue of preserving an industry that's been in existence for a few hundred years while you put into jeopardy a much more important one that's been in existence for thousands. The one we rely on to eat and survive - which one would think is more essential than driving a specific sort of vehicle or heating one's home with a specific sort of fuel.

wv: sesomati

Somatic. Automati. Open Sesame!

Neil' said...

John, the direct effect of CO2 can be calculated (from the absorption) and would add about 2 degrees C over about fifty years from current CO2 trends if "all other things are equal." Your picking some tiny interest rate is again, just an intuitive concept and not "science." You don't get CO2 effects from intuitions about how much effect "so little gas" can have.

traditionalguy: WTF? The science is about infrared, not hating being born. Did a scientist writing in 1896 hate being born? And what to do about it or not, like taxes, has nothing to do with the science. This is what Charles Johnson was complaining about for good reason: weird psychological segues in the face of any issue, instead of solid thinking.

BTW if you are sick of taxing some to pay for others or their pet projects, then I want my money back for agri subsidies, for the child tax credits (up to 100k income, not just the poor) that Repubs support, for letting traders (cap gains) pay lower rate than our earnings from production, money wasted screwing around in Iraq when Bush didn't even finish it in Afghanistan, and so on.

John Stodder said...

I'll just point out how bizarre it is that someone would rail against any science in support of transitioning our energy resources into something that won't dry up in the next three generations, while seeming to not have a clue about how widespread drought or flooding would affect the economy.

See, this is an inaccurate caricature. If this is who you think you're standing up against by demanding action at Copenhagen or some such thing, well no wonder. You must be bug-eyed with fear.

But the reality of skepticism, whose legions have grown enormously in the past three weeks thanks to Mr. Jones of CRU, is that many of us recognize the desirability of transitioning to cleaner energy for reasons other than the presumed Biblical apocalypse -- such as dwindling supplies of oil, pollution from coal and the opportunity for this nation and others to achieve a little more energy dependence.

We're obviously not indifferent to to the prospect of widespread drought or flooding, we just don't think you've made your case that unless we ACT RIGHT NOW, this is what is remotely likely to happen. It's not even what the IPCC predicts! You are aware that within the 10,000-year span of human civilization, the earth has tried on several climates, and before we're done, it will try on a few more, and it's unlikely to be because of us that this will happen. I remain open to persuasion that CO2 will bring us untold horrors, but the news of the past few weeks underscores that there is, as yet, no reason to think it will.

The problem you are facing is not indifference to flood and drought. It is that not everyone shares your belief system, which relies more on faith than empirical evidence -- a position strongly reinforced by the cache of documents, data and e-mails. You can continue to believe that CO2 is going to kill us all, but stop claiming the moral or intellectual high ground until you can actually prove it.

wv: alypie A term of endearment for Ritmo Brasiliero.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The only proof of it will come when it does or does not happen - and the fact that I have reinforced this in every thread makes you the liar for mischaracterizing my position. If you want to continue subjecting the earth to this experiment until you get results that satisfy you then you are just as arbitrary in what you choose to react to as anyone else - including AGW proponents. Including scientists. Including everyone.

If an effect that you find convincing is seen at 0.04%, then what? The THEN WHAT is WE'RE FUCKED. At that point, adapt to a situation that you hope is not extreme or piss off. Because good luck either taking CO2 out of the atmosphere at that point or finding some other incredibly less direct way to adapt. It would take a lot longer to see a reversal.

You are quite happy to declare - at 0.038% of atmospheric composition - that AGW is debunked as a fraud. What I want to see is your declaration that nothing will occur at 0.039%, 0.04%, and every increment thereafter because otherwise you are the one who is saying that caution and foresight is too much to ask for - indefinitely and forever. Until you might happen to be proved wrong. Which would be a real bummer now, wouldn't it?

You can hate climate science and the CRU all you want. The science proposing a reason for why warming wouldn't be a concern is much shakier than what they've got to go on.

At least I have a reason for proclaiming the intellectual and moral high ground. Refute any of the above and we'll see if you can shift it back. But I predict you can't and this is all you've got.

It's easy for skeptics to assume they're right after the fact. It's just not possible to accept that they ever gave a damn about the possible stakes involved, though and the risks they took with the public - and that's what you can't stand to hear.

traditionalguy said...

Neil'...The segue into carbon footprint reductions at massive costs to the USA and massive profits for the High Priests of CO2 Sin Atonement by money payments is all that anyone has been debating other than endless speculations about whose guess sounds best among many guesses about how much CO2 ppms in the Atmosphere means any thing at all. "I don't know" is the only honest statement made about that so far. So quit acting startled when forced to hear about the real issue before us. It is climate change being sold as a magic potion by witch doctors dressed up as Climate Scientists. Follow The Money.

Big Mike said...

@Neil, I found it interesting that you originally tried to pose as a disinterested person who understands the science involved, then immediately resorted to ad hominem arguments when even slightly challenged.

Now let's take a look at AGW and this time let's really try to be dispassionate about it, shall we?

First, we need to separate the question of whether the CO2 model of AGW pushed by the CRU people adequately describes what is happening. The answer to that is that the observed climate data since the CO2-based model was promulgated does not fit the prediction. A real scientist would understand what that means -- the model is broken and cannot be used.

There is actually a part B to this. CO2 is by no means the worst of the "greenhouse" gases. Methane is much worse, as is good old dihydrogen monoxide. But the impact of water vapor in the atmosphere is hard to model (for every atom of CO2 created by burning saturated hydrocarbons there are slightly more than 1.5 atoms of H20 created, but H20 forms into clouds which reflect sunlight and may in the end be lowering surface temperatures), so the CRU people didn't bother incorporating it into their model. It's one thing not to incorporate H2O into their model, but if they were doing real science they were duty-bound to own up to sources of uncertainty in their models. And as sources of uncertainty go, water vapor is a huge one.

And there's a part C as well. Are you aware that the greatest source of CO2 in the atmosphere is due to slash and burn agriculture? Not only does it introduce CO2 into the atmosphere, worse yet it removes trees that would otherwise absorb CO2. Before you make me give up my car and walk the 9 miles to work I think I'd like to see this wildly wasteful practice brought to a halt.

Next, how conclusive is the data on which the CO2-based model for global warming rests? This is the crux of "climategate." I'm given to understand that the raw data is
long gone and what is available has been heavily massaged. Can we trust the CRU people not to have fudged the data during the massaging process? Trick question! Without the original data available for review, and without documentation to describe what massaging was done and why, the resulting massaged data is utterly useless from a scientific perspective.

Third, is global warming good or bad? There has been no honest debate over this point, and, apparently, Neil, you have no intention of participating in one. What seems to be the case is that the effects of global warming are not uniform -- Florida and Venezuela will not warm as much, relatively speaking, as the higher latitudes. We should see longer growing seasons in Montana and the Dakotas. Will that not be good? If a Northwest passage does open up, will that not save transportation costs shipping goods between Asia and the US East Coast?

Fourth, although most people agree that the earth is currently in a warming phase and that mankind probably is at least partly to blame, the scientific consensus surrounding the CO2 model as pushed by the CRU staff never truly existed. What did exist, according to the Email messages, was a concerted effort to block review of their data and methodology, as well as a concerted effort to block publication of skeptical views, extending even so far as to try to get a journal editor fired. This is not science.

And there's a part B to this one, too. History is littered with consensuses that proved to be false. We're not talking flat earth here, we're talking about the scientific consensus that African-Americans were inherently mentally inferior to Caucasians. Heck, there even once was a consensus among basketball coaches that African-Americans would never be very good at the game. I suppose you believe that one, too? Or are these two consensuses at the bottom of the same rubbish bin that the CRU's CO2 model is heading for?

Neil' said...

Big Mike, ad hominem is a fallacy in which you imply personal issues count against the idea itself. It does not mean, you can't criticize people directly for their mistakes and flaws. As for the claim a real scientist would pull back from a model if the correlation wasn't strong (or yet): no. Like I said and you admit, CO2 is just one stimulus among many. The net result depends on lots of things, and so muddy results don't disprove "X is a stimulus." The GH gases are stimuli because of their IR absorption, that is a given.

Sure there is room to argue about whether the effect is bad (I didn't say much about that anyway.) It has been debated all over, regardless of whether done *here* or by little ol' me. It is a risk factor as I've said. Criticizing the certainties of some scientists is no excuse for reverse certainties, scoffing, etc. We need better science, sure. And again, the flaws of this group don't ruin the work or reputations of the mass of "climate scientists" all over the world, most of whom believe that GH gases are a real stimulus to climate change, and therefore a risk.

Neil' said...

BTW, all the problems, especially slash and burn, would be less with lower population/population growth.

Big Mike said...

Sure there is room to argue about whether the effect is bad ... It has been debated all over...

Really? Where? All I've ever seen from the AGW crowd (as magnified by the MSM, Al Gore, and his acolytes) is scare talk that the world is doomed -- doomed!

And, BTW, I really do know what ad hominem means, thanks, and you really were indulging in it.

(And while I'm at it, the model is broken and I really cannot believe that any scientist should ever advocate massive restructuring of a stable and productive economy based on a broken model.)

traditionalguy said...

Neil'...I was feeling bad about confronting you, the pure scientist, with the inherent political prize at stake in this debate. And then you had to go and throw in the brilliant idea that we can eliminate "Extra People" as part of the Final Solution to the Air Problem. By saying that you exposed one of the oldest political agendas known.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

You sure are creative, Traditional Guy.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Prosperity, for what it's worth, is known to decrease population growth. So I blame it on the conservatives.

Seriously, man. What are you smoking? Can I have some of that?

Elliott A said...

Does anyone here realize that the AGW CO2 reconstructions are from ice cores while accurate and voluminous direct measurements of atmospheric CO2 have been kept since the early 1800s? That CO2 concentration was higher at the end of the Little Ice Age in 1825 and in 1940 than today.
Personally, I trust direct unadjusted measurement to adjusted ice core data. As far as CO2 goes, read Dr. Lindzen's article in today's WSJ. He is chair of MIT's atmospheric science department. It is a good explanation of CO2's actual role in heat retention.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I like how Lindzen subtitles his article: Confident Predictions of Catastrophe are Unwarranted.

I wonder when the denialists will declare: Confident Predictions of Stability are Warranted.

Lindzen's doing damage control with the equivocating statements that should have been underscored all along. But going with the second by-line would have been a more honest reflection of the WSJ's editorial stance.

Elliott A said...

@Ritmo-

There has been no change in ozone concentration, holes etc at all since the ban. The accepted truth is that they had no effect on the atmospheric ozone. DDT didn't do all the bad things it was accused of and millions have died unnecessarily of malaria. WMD's were piled up in Iraq. Whoops! Time and time again, drastic action to combat some global menace has had two results: 1. No impact to the problem. 2. Major negative impacts elsewhere.
AGW is in the same club.

Elliott A said...

Lindzen knows more about this than virtually everyone on the planet.

traditionalguy said...

Ritmo...How old are you? I am old enough to have personally known many Americans that seriously believed that we should impose the teachings of the Eugenic Scientists to save the world. They usually had no more than an heir and a spare in their families, as you say.Their error was in a belief in the zero sum game equation that believes people are net consumers, so that by killing off half of them we all get twice as much left over for ourselves. Herr Hitler learned much of his theory from these Americans. Our abortion industry was legalised and has been protected for exactly these reasons. It is always lurking like a spiritual disease that can infect many otherwise nice people. The only known antidote is an immunization with Love as defined in I Corinthians 13 by a Jewish writer whom Christians call St. Paul, although he was not from Minnesota.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I accept Lindzen's authority and thank you for providing the article. But this made no sense to me:

The notion that the earth's climate is dominated by positive feedbacks is intuitively implausible, and the history of the earth's climate offers some guidance on this matter. About 2.5 billion years ago, the sun was 20%-30% less bright than now (compare this with the 2% perturbation that a doubling of CO2 would produce), and yet the evidence is that the oceans were unfrozen at the time, and that temperatures might not have been very different from today's. Carl Sagan in the 1970s referred to this as the "Early Faint Sun Paradox."

For more than 30 years there have been attempts to resolve the paradox with greenhouse gases. Some have suggested CO2—but the amount needed was thousands of times greater than present levels and incompatible with geological evidence. Methane also proved unlikely. It turns out that increased thin cirrus cloud coverage in the tropics readily resolves the paradox—but only if the clouds constitute a negative feedback. In present terms this means that they would diminish rather than enhance the impact of CO2.


Unless I'm entirely misreading something, the second paragraph contradicts the first.

Also, since the denialists think appealing to anyone's authority is ridiculous, I don't see why I should. Unless he created the heavens and the earth, they really don't care to hear what the chair of a prestigious department has to say about this or anything else - unless it bolsters their claim.

And ironically enough, the chair does make reference to the much vilified "consensus". The point isn't consensus over a good idea per se. It's the fact that anyone with a better, more convincing idea wouldn't have come forward and presented it.

wv: stiffi

no joke!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Strange links to Jesus, Hitler and abortion notwithstanding, the credit crunch pretty much does show that the conditions under which people would prefer to be net consumers are alive and well.

And so does the national debt that piled up right under the last administration's nose.

Malthus was wrong. But to bet that people can be as stupid and shortsighted as they can be wise is a safe bet. Sometimes the disincentives are not properly understood.

I think Jesus referred to this as "sin", though, declared that none of us were free of it, and had the misfortune of living before Adam Smith. But the guy who's supposed to reconcile the sinfulness of greed and selfish interests with the "blessings" of the prosperity it alone is professed to bring apparently hasn't arrived, yet.

Even the crucifixion of Adam Smith wouldn't make capitalism a theology.

John Stodder said...

Ritmo, I don't recall characterizing your position at all. I was responding to your caricature of those who disagree with you. You continue that caricature with this gem:

"If you want to continue subjecting the earth to this experiment until you get results that satisfy you then you are just as arbitrary in what you choose to react to as anyone else - including AGW proponents. Including scientists. Including everyone."

As if adding CO2 to the atmosphere was my goal! From everything I've read about CO2 in the atmosphere, I think it's correct to say its ultimate fate is subject to other dynamic forces, particularly the oceans, that also influence the composition of the atmosphere. As well, the question of whether the greenhouse effect will ever take effect is more complicated than what you're laying out here, given the impact of CO2 on cloud formation.

The question is not do I want to continue with my evil CO2 experiment. Like most things in life, it comes down to a choice among less-than-optimal alternatives. My evil CO2 experiment is one. We understand the risks, and we also understand the theory hasn't borne out as the climate models forecasted, so there is reason to question the theory's degree of validity.

Then there's another experiment, which you favor, which is to see what happens when you try to establish a global regime to force down CO2 emissions at a relatively rapid pace, ahead of suitable replacement technologies (assuming there was any consensus over what those replacements should be). In Gore's words, making the fight against global warming "the central organizing principle of world civilization." Not "a." "The."

So we would be experimenting with a new kind of government that would oversee and allocate the use of energy as we transition to cleaner sources, however long that would take. For such a regime to have any point -- for it to avert the disaster you envision -- it would have to have strict powers of enforcement on supranational basis. A combination of the UN, the IRS and the U.S. Marines, charged with making sure that everywhere from Tucson to Timbuktu, no one was using more fossil fuel than binding compacts directed they could use.

Market capitalism would have a hard time functioning in such a stringent regulatory environment even if it was run cleanly by saints immune from the corruption of power. But how it would work in the real world would resemble how political power is used now -- flatterers, relatives and lobbyists would enjoy the spoils of power, gangsters would dip their beaks into the stew, and those without connections would live lives of relative poverty. For Americans, that might be a realm of gray but survivable limits, leavened by energy-conserving entertainment devices. For those countries still trying to rise out of poverty, it could mean mass starvation.

(cont.)

John Stodder said...

(part 2)

But wait, you might say. What about clean energy? Nobody would be poorer than they are now. Solar energy would make everything possible that fossil fuels make possible today. Right?

I doubt it. Not because clean energy is impossible -- I think it's very possible. But it will develop much more quickly in response to incentives and price signals than it will if it is centrally planned. And those incentives are looming as oil supplies dwindle.

Government has a role -- I favor taxes on energy use to encourage conservation -- but each government needs to choose its own path. Freedom from fossil fuels will be very rewarding to the first society that figures it out, but it won't happen if you insist on re-organizing society to centralize economic decisions.

Many fear what global warming will bring. But just as you fear the floods and droughts of AGW, I fear what central planners enforcing global limits on CO2 emissions will do to the livelihoods of billions of people. I fear the incredible waste and corruption of an ineffective, corrupt central planning system that would give us the worst of both worlds - continued high levels of emissions and too-powerful governments, leading to grinding poverty for a world that has been striving for centuries to escape it.

Trust in time. Trust the market. Trust the Constitution and democracy. Evil people don't want to get rich while the world drowns in flood or dries up from drought. The capitalist system responds to needs as they arise, and will do so again if you let it. If your CO2 fears prove legitimate, allow human ingenuity to address it.

P.S. I have never before run up against a character limit for a comment, til now. Yikes!

Jen said...

Scrub an otter with Dawn dishwashing detergent for 3 hours to get the oil off and then form an opinion.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Boone Pickens' interest in wind is enough to convince me that the regimes forced upon us by "capitalists" (i.e. monopolists of natural resources) are close enough to transition for even the people who use the "rich men should be for it" argument to be convinced of its feasibility.

Hell, I would put a post, a blade, some wiring and a magnet on my own roof if I had enough of a rise in value to care to invest it that way now. Everyone should.

Is that constitutional, democratic and capitalistic enough for you?

traditionalguy said...

Ritmo...Your response has me confused now. The wisdom of investing in people's lives rather than consigning them to the obsolete people dump as dead costs is a very timely issue. Jobs were always a result of organised people borrowing capital and responding to supply and demand to produce and market a product that someone will pay for. That is a genius that Americans can could still do as well as they ever did, but now those jobs are automatically done overseas. Adam Smith explained markets to us, but he was neither a Malthusian nor a Benthamite whose ideas are again seeking to control our minds by slipping in that old Extra People suggestion easily because our economy is dead in the water. These are very dangerous times.

Jen said...

Addendum: No. No. After the scrub THEN watch them die of lipidosis. Then form an opinion. Overprivileged bastards.

miller said...

As long as there are people salivating to be in control of other people, we will have these false crises.

AGW was Global Cooling and it will become something else - because what is important is the CRISIS and not the data.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

You know, I never got this obsession with capitalism as if Adam Smith was a prophetic saint of unparalleled genius. He was a fine writer, and had a talent for making a mundane subject seem interesting. But I never saw what he wrote as a manifesto of anything that was unintuitive.

As for the development of modern economies, I suppose my roots are too far from feudal Europe to see this "development" as wondrous and awe-inspiring. In the barter-heavy bazaars, markets and trade-routes of the Near East, there weren't many earthly lords to swear loyalty to. Call me privileged, I guess, but all this and we managed to care for our grandparents too. I guess the usury that Europe relied on despite relegating it to the undesirables for so many years didn't hurt, either.

A social conscience is not a bad thing. And granny never feared that the only reason for caring for the earth and the network of people and creatures already in it was so that she would be prematurely turned into the dust that inhabits it. Go figure.

John Stodder said...

But I never saw what he (Adam Smith) wrote as a manifesto of anything that was unintuitive.

I think the philosophy of capitalism is based more on observing than prescribing. It's more or less how people organize themselves in the absence of an overweening central authority. It's not a panacea, but it is based on the idea that panaceas don't really exist. Which after xx years, I've come to appreciate as essential wisdom.

miller said...

Capitalism is what happens when adults freely exchange value.

Socialism is what happens when parents take control of their children's and their house slaves' money.

Capitalism created the automobile and the jet.

Socialism created the gulag.

I'd put my money on capitalism.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

More reductionist dichotomies and fallacies.

Who funded Hitler? The Socialists!

I'm not advocating any panacea either, John. Just not feeling threatened by a sensible and competent action every now and then by someone who just happens to get paid to be in charge. Sounds like good capitalism to me. I don't know about you, but I ain't interested in letting a dime of my money go pay for someone so willing to fuck things up, or to push an ideological reaction at the expense of a reasonable, well-thought out response, or to engage in meaningless rhetoric and demagoguery in the debate chamber while ignoring the nation's needs.

Nope. No payment to someone who gets paid to be a part of a governing body that they have the nuttiness to declare meaningless, irrelevant, obsolete. Someone else can pay them to do nothing productive and declare their own job as contemptible.

wv: cocoific

Something having to do with cocoa, or coitus, being terrific.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
miller said...

Or, I could say that capitalism has let me explore many possibilities in life - I've had many different jobs, and have been well-off as well as poor. I've been free to make many choices for careers.

From what I saw in Europe, socialism breeds rigidity, statism, and despair. I don't recall a single friend in Germany who is now doing something different than what he was doing 20 years ago; in the meantime, I've had a wide variety of interesting jobs at several companies. Who knows - maybe my next job will be to write a book about living under Man-Child's devolution of the American dream.

Methadras said...

Ah, indentured bureaucratic governmental world body political patronage is grand isn't it?

miller said...

This just in:

Glenn Beck says "The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming and it is a travesty that we can’t."

Oh wait. That wasn't Glenn Beck. That was one of the scientists holding to the fake data about AGW.

miller said...

I have a hard time keeping the players straight. I mean, here we have scientists changing the raw data to match their beliefs - and they are called scientists. I kid you not.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

In Europe I saw the opposite. Europe has more homogeneous countries, so perhaps any analogy will come up short. But there they had a sense of community that has been lacking in America. There I didn't perceive that everyone else can fuck off as long as Mr. Numero Uno gets his cut.

Any Republican who runs on the platform that government does nothing good, and that he, therefore, proposes to do the least he can do, should forego his salary.

Therein lies the central paradox of modern, American political conservatism.

Of course, none of them will. Which makes them massive hypocrites. But this wasn't picked up on until Bush followed that paradigm to its logical conclusion: massive incompetence of unprecedented proportions and a GOP more obsessed with image and politicking than with governing.

People have a funny way of figuring things out.

Methadras said...

Andy said...

What you call Climategate would better be known as the Althouse Flat Earth Society.


Oh hey look, it's a series of words strung together trying to form a modicum of cohesive thought. blah blah blah little CO2 monkey, blah blah. You'll get it soon enough little fella.

Have you rejected science because it conflicts with your high-consumption lifestyle, or because it conflicts with your right-wing politics?

Rejecting science? No one here is rejecting real, legitimate objective science. However, politically charged, enviro-kook biased, leftist ideology based science should be rejected wholesale. I'm a mechanical engineer, I'm also a conservative, I'm a right-winger, and a christian as well. Accepting science isn't my problem because my life and my occupation are a produce and by-product of science. Hell, I've developed instrumentation/sensors for the purposes of gauging any number of climatological indicators. I have no problem with science. I embrace science. However, when it is used as a battering ram to forward an agenda that is a lie, is rooted in political behavior modification through the use of governmental policy as a function of taxation as referenced against scientific 'consensus' of a known natural cyclical occurrence as a happenstance of human involvement without a single shred or iota of evidence to bolster said theory, well then I have a serious problem with that and I will reject it on it's face if not on it's merits with extreme prejudice.

You've said nothing, little monkey, other than try to bombast your way into a controversy you seem ill-equipped to discuss outside of throwing meaningless epithets at a political philosophy you have no clue about.

Bruce Hayden said...

I have a hard time keeping the players straight. I mean, here we have scientists changing the raw data to match their beliefs - and they are called scientists. I kid you not.

Actually, I don't think that that is quite correct. The raw data is probably pretty much still available. Now what raw data was used is a question. But, probably not the biggest one.

The problem is that we (man) doesn't have very accurate temperature readings for very long or over much of the world. Sure, the U.S. has decent records, excluding siting, etc. problems (such as urbanization). But not for all that long, and not for much of the rest of the world. The ocean is probably the worst, but maybe not by much. Up until recently, ocean temperatures were apparently taken by ships in well defined shipping lanes, primarily in the Northern Hemisphere. Which leaves out much of the oceans.

But, in order to get a global, instead of a U.S., or U.S. plus Western Europe, climatic temperature, they needed apparently to factor in the rest of the world. And, to do that, the Earth was apparently gridded. But many (probably most) of the grids really didn't have reliable temperature data, or, indeed, may not have had any until very recently. So, what to do? Apparently, they essentially interpolated that information. BUT, the techniques and the rationale behind it wasn't apparently consistent or documented. Or, if it ever was documented, this information is either not being disclosed, or has been lost.

miller said...

And then there's this:

"President Obama's climate czar, Carol M. Browner, and White House spokesman Robert Gibbs might think that Climate-gate is a nonevent, but on Monday Pennsylvania State University announced that it was launching an investigation into the academic conduct of Michael Mann, the school's Director of the Earth System Science Center. And Tuesday, Phil Jones, the director of the Climatic Research Unit at Britain's University of East Anglia, announced that he would stand aside as director while his university conducted an investigation."

Two heads are rolling so far. Will there be more?

As someone else said, I'll believe there's a crisis when the people who SAY there's a crisis start LIVING like there's a crisis. (I'm talking to you, Algore and your private jet & your Costco-sized house.)

miller said...

True enough - the raw data has been disappeared, but there is a chance that interpolation and interpretation can cover some of the information.

I was watching a replay of "The Company" the other night, and it's amazing what can be deduced.

However, scientists hiding and destroying data especially when it hurts their "cause" is a terrible thing. I thought science was about truth, but to the emotional proponents of AGW it seems to be about power.

As the hot-house president said, "you can't keep living in a house heated to 72 degrees." Why such people think they have the right to control my thermostat when they are in shirtsleeves in their own comfy chair is beyond me.

And what is more incredible is the number of Americans who are perfectly ok with being ruled as subjects instead of governed as citizens.

Amazing.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Hey Algore! None of your carbon offsets are worth a damn until they go to artists in Idaho to fly on planes, too!!!

I like the idea of declaring the launch of an investigation as evidence of guilt - especially when it comes from people who complain about tainted evidence and how it proves their own ideas.

Florida said...

Cedarford Erroneously Claimed: "I would make a plug for NOAA. They are, like the Coast Guard, a high-performing organization that makes good use of each dollar in funding."

What a horrible joke. This is why you cannot trust anything that Cedarford writes. He's uninformed.

The Coast Guard is a government agency. And as such, it never makes good use of any dollar of funding.

Even the NY Times, hardly a conservative think tank, has no love for the money-wasting US Coast Guard.

NY Times: "The Coast Guard, supposedly America's first line of defense against water-borne terrorists and drug smugglers, has been staggered by a shipbuilding scandal of enormous proportions.

"A long-term modernization program to replace nearly all of the Coast Guard's ships, planes and helicopters — begun four years ago in the wake of 9/11 — is foundering while its projected costs are skyrocketing."

Read the rest of the sorry story of Coast Guard incompetence here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/14/opinion/14iht-edships.3898853.html

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

Ritmo said...In Europe I saw the opposite. Europe has more homogeneous countries, so perhaps any analogy will come up short. But there they had a sense of community that has been lacking in America.

Bingo! Now you're finally getting somewhere. Just keep working on that observation and see where it leads you. And maybe visit one of Paris's Algerian banlieus to see how the legendary Euro welfare state works when that homogeneity and cultural cohesion is lacking.

Paul said...

"Market capitalism would have a hard time functioning in such a stringent regulatory environment even if it was run cleanly by saints immune from the corruption of power."

Bingo.

That's all AGW has ever been about. The destruction of capitalism and the implementation of socialism.

How convenient that a transnational government is called for to "combat" AGW.

How convenient that central planning must replace individual initiative and decision making.

How convenient that AGW came along to rescue the international socialist movement when the Soviet Union collapsed and it's credibility as an economic model was shown definitively as an abject failure.

How convenient that while Marxism-Socialism was always touted as ultimately providing a higher standard of living through the elimination of wasteful profits and hoarding of wealth by evil capitalists...and the shambles of the Soviet economy putting paid to that claim...that AGW comes to the rescue and posits that we actually need a LOWER standard of living and by God socialism is just the thing to give us that lower standard of living!

The left believes in one thing. The rule of the masses by an enlightened central planning elite. AGW, socialized medicine, economic crises, war, anything can and will be used to animate the hoards of leftbots to gnaw away at the foundations of democracy, free markets, and individual liberty.

Original Mike said...

Are we really sure that CO2 causes warming of the earth? Has anyone really explained the chemistry of such a concept? From my reading it is mostly observation that has to do with increasing CO2 levels that are tied to data indicating a warming earth.

David. I may have misunderstood your initial post and you may have read more into my response than was there. I took your initial post to say that the physics of the greenhouse effect was not "proven". My response is that there is no doubt that i) the atmosphere is transparent to shorter wavelength visible light, ii) the earth absorbs this light, iii) this energy is reradiated at longer wavelengths, and iv) molecules such as CO2, H2O and others absorb energy at these longer wavelengths. This effect heats the atmosphere. I'd be stunned to find any scientist who disputes this mechanism.

However, I did not make any claim regarding whether increased CO2 has warmed the planet. I'm not even sure that the planet is warming. I've heard that all us scientists reached a consensus on this matter, but I must have been out of the room when this vote was taken. I was drinking a lot of iced tea at that meeting, so I was probably in the bathroom at the time.

Neil' said...

traditionalguy, you aren't "traditional" in any legit sense. Your gross smear about eugenics is just the worst sort of ad hominem trash I talked about. If Big Mike really cared about it (instead of only when it's from a critic), he'd have lit into that instead ever so (previously) mild dabblings, if any. Saying there's an advantage to less people is a material claim, it does not show a means to the end. Maybe prevention of implantation is "killing a person" but then millions of people do it all the time, not just some "far left." So I guess you want the government to decide what people can do with themselves in private, a funny idea for a libertarian. Or you are a "Christian"? Then you wouldn't bullshit and slander with a sneaky slide from talk about how many people per se, to eugenics (which is about the "quality" of the people.)

Net consumer/producer: people are both, if you separate raw materials versus finished products. We use the former to make more of the latter. The former are being use up, and hard to replace. If less people, oil would cost less from less demand, that is basic econ. Maybe people like you should help to pay for the extra cost from population growth in the past X years? If no birth control/abortion, oil would have gone to $200/gal easy by now. I accept time limits on abortion, but keep in mind that most libertarians are against controlling it, so don't give us that crap about "the left" and abortion.

Also, don't forget net "production" versus production per person. More people means more of the former, but less of the latter because we are spending effort to accommodate the increased population, that we could let by if just providing high SOL to the existing stable population. And don't make the broken window fallacy that accommodating that creates jobs, the effort could be spent serving the existing stable number if no growth.

Paul: Really? AGW just about destroying capitalism? I shouldn't have to keep reminding you that classic paper presenting the modern concept of CO2-induced global warming, with the valid reasoning based on absorption of infrared, was published way back in 1896 by Svante Arrhenius. He thought the warming would be good for the Earth, so I don't suppose he was trying to scare people (nor was he presumably looking ahead to help the upcoming USSR etc. find excuses to impose socialism and destroy capitalism.)

It is true, that these CRU investigators did wrong. You do know, that doesn't disprove the basic theory behind the science. Remember the Piltdown hoax? That being a hoax doesn't disprove evolution. You can't argue a "material point" from people's failings. we should do about it, etc. Like Original Mike says, the warming stimulus is real, the same way interest rates are a real influence on the economy. The model is not broken, that is the theoretical construct and not the body of claimed data. It may be wrong anyway, but that is a separate issue. The valid job for skeptics now is to disentangle the data and models and see how much effect it is really likely to have, critique claims of what we should do about it or not, etc. BTW OM, a consensus need not AFAIK be a "unanimous" conclusion. And the CRU is just one bunch among a slew of scientists worldwide, most of whom accept the basic outline of a warming risk.

traditionalguy said...

Neil'... Saying that there is an advantage to having less people living on the planet is not a new idea. But it is an evil idea used traditionally to justify every manner of evil being done to those categorised as the Extra People standing in the way of eveyone else's ideal life. So your tradition may be eternally at war with my tradition. So be it.

Paul said...

"Paul: Really? AGW just about destroying capitalism? I shouldn't have to keep reminding you that classic paper presenting the modern concept of CO2-induced global warming, with the valid reasoning based on absorption of infrared, was published way back in 1896 by Svante Arrhenius. He thought the warming would be good for the Earth, so I don't suppose he was trying to scare people (nor was he presumably looking ahead to help the upcoming USSR etc. find excuses to impose socialism and destroy capitalism.)"

Gee and the idea lay pretty much dormant until right...after...the...fall... of... the...Soviet Union, whereupon it was seized with vigor and zeal by the left with an agenda to regulate energy consumption and industrial output and cripple Western economies while transferring wealth to poorer nations.

Obviously a coinky doink!!

Neil' said...

Ironically, some have accused nuclear advocates (Thatcher in particular) of pushing it to disadvantage carbon. It's still valid, you stil don't get the idea of natural science versus social science. But the latter is relevant, just has to be kept separate.

I don't know what tradition traditionalguy can mean, since opposes libertarian (not "left" is it?) ideas from a right-Christianist perspective. Part of the irony.

traditionalguy said...

Neil'...My tradition is one that honors covenant loyalty and faithfulness among men, even to the point of sustaining widows and orphans. That is also the Christian tradition. Laissez faire economics and libertarian independence in Ayn Rand's view do in fact work as great economic engines. Yet weak people have a value because Christ died for them. Also the Guardian personality types among us simply refuse to let extra people die for the good of the greater number, as collectivist determined by an elite. That kind of self preservation argument sounds rational, but it means that the group is no friend of mine. I will probably be next in line for abandonment to an early death if I support them. Shalom.

Dudley Do-right said...

I'm NOT on the fence. AGW is bunk. CO2 is converted to oxygen by plants. If the AGW crowd really thought CO2 was a problem, why wasn't research being done on determining which plant varieties and crops could convert CO2 to O2 more efficiently? Why no research into bio-engineering that would develop plants even more efficient at converting CO2 into O2?

The answer is obvious. CO2 wasn't a problem and the AGW crowd knew it. The global warming fiction was the lever they were going to use to "take over the world". Last thing they wanted was to remind people that there are natural mechanisms capable of dealing with CO2.

Wonder what the mad scientists and their political henchment will try next now that this has fallen apart?

vw=ingise Tonite's episode: Pinky and the Brain, ingise of climate scientists, try, and almost succeed, at taking over the world.

Skookum John said...

AGW is the Womens Studies of science.

Any college major with "Science" in its name is not science, and anything with "Studies" in its name isn't worth studying.

Neil' said...

Dudley, of course plants can absorb CO2 - there has to be enough of them to do it, regardless of efficiency variations among kinds. With more and more people on Earth, more plants get cut down or quickly recycled as crops (which re-release it soon instead of long sequestration like trees do. So support having more forests and less "development."

As I've said to many here, you can't just dump on a scientific claim using political intuitions and the like. If you have a genuine *physical* argument to doubt the case for AGW, the signature paper about cause by CO2 absorption of IR being written way back in 1896 (!), then bring it up. Otherwise you are just as worthless as Moon-landing deniers saying "I just don't think it was possible" etc.