December 7, 2009

"In Face of Skeptics, Experts Affirm Climate Peril."

Affirm? We're doing affirmations now? "Skeptics"... affirmations... is this religion?

162 comments:

peter hoh said...

Next thing you know, someone's gonna tack up 95 theses.

JAL said...

Yup.

Dennis said...

Yes, it is religion.

Tony O. said...

It's a headline, dummy.

Chase said...

We all know that the New York Times has a liberal bias. But has any of the Times "news" articles been more slanted and full of loaded language than this one?

This article is the kind of thing I pull out and show to the liberal lemmings whenever I hear them complain about Fox News.

Maguro said...

Yes...just substitute caviar wedges for communion wafers and you've got it.

XWL said...

Sen. Al Franken needs to do his Stuart Smalley act, and do a PSA for environmental awareness:

A Daily Warming Affirmation, by Stuart Smalley (faces mirror)

Hi globe, feeling warm, aren't you, it's hard, I know, Mother Gaia is having hot flashes, and we need to affirm we're going to help her through her ecological menopause.

So everyone in the world, turn to your mirrors and affirm;

We're warm enough, we're advanced enough, and doggone it, we need to reduce our reliance on modern technology, and destroy our economies to save the planet.

Elliott A said...

Why not, the prize is within reach! Putting your boot on the neck of everyone else with the billions rattling around in your pocket. If they go down in flames, they will blame those devilish skeptics. Too bad they're not holding the fiasco in Madison and see what Mother Nature thinks of their arrogance.

John Stodder said...

"I...state your name,"

"I...state your name,"

"Do swear or affirm"

"Do swear or affirm"

"Climate peril."

"Climate...gate!"

lucid said...

The only real cure for this is voting.

Elliott A said...

The 'experts "affirmed" Iraq's possession of WMD's before the war. It is not hard (sadly) to get the sheep in line and following. This is why Algore talks about shepherds. Taking the lambs to slaughter. In 1931, one wouldn't term the German people as evil, yet they wholeheartedly supported Hitler. It is merely human nature to become enmeshed in the apocalyptic fervor, and for directionless people to believe in something.

Kensington said...

Let us pray...

Mother Gaia,

PLEASE SMITE THE HERETICS!

SMITE THEM INTO THE GROUND!

Amen.

SteveR said...

"In recent days, an array of scientists and policy makers have said that nothing so far disclosed — blah blah blah yada yada yada — undercuts decades of peer-reviewed science."

That coming from the same group that participated in the fraud and did the peer review. No one involved at this point is neutral much less oppossed. They made sure of that. THAT'S the problem.

ObamaNation said...

Ha, you stooopid Rethuglican hacks. You have skeptics, and we have experts.

Pwned!!!

Henry said...

Very odd quote in the middle of the article:

“The physics of the greenhouse effect is so basic that instead of asking whether it would happen, it makes more sense to ask what on earth could make it not happen,” said Spencer Weart, a physicist and historian. “So far, nobody has been able to come up with anything plausible in that line.”

Revkin and Broder present this as an affirmation of the consensus. Yet it trumps everything else on the table. All the talk of accelerating change and tipping points is utter nonsense if you don't know why it hasn't happened already.

The consensus predictions for climate change are notably unalarming. Urbanization has and will make far more dramatic change in people's lives than a 1 meter rise in sea levels. Deforestation, despite being tagged as a global warming culprit, has far more impact on local ecosystems and populations than the whole planet.

The only way that the Copenhagen horde can justify their centralized, top-down interventions is by proposing speculative disasters that go far beyond anything established by the actual science.

Beneath their certitude, fundamental questions about the mechanisms of global climate remain unanswered. This is a science built on sand.

kentcabe said...

Better late than never................

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...


Affirm? We're doing affirmations now? "Skeptics"... affirmations... is this religion?

If you remember Flip Wilson's Reverend LeRoy, it's the Church of What's Happenin' Now.

Frankly, I always liked Reverend Ike. He wanted nothing to do with the welfare state, and that's why Norman Lear Alinskyized him.

Elliott A said...

The 'experts "affirmed" Iraq's possession of WMD's before the war. It is not hard (sadly) to get the sheep in line and following. This is why Algore talks about shepherds. Taking the lambs to slaughter. In 1931, one wouldn't term the German people as evil, yet they wholeheartedly supported Hitler. It is merely human nature to become enmeshed in the apocalyptic fervor, and for directionless people to believe in something.

This ain't Germany in the early Thirties - it just seems that bad.

David said...

I do swear (or affirm) . . .

Mark O said...

God bless us, every one.

JohnAnnArbor said...

"Are you now or have you ever been a skeptic concerning global man-made climate change?"

Methadras said...

Where do you start with this level of fakery? This makes Madoff look like a stooge compared to the conspiracy these frauds cooked up and are still trying to foist on the world.

Elliott A said...

The boomers are the first group ever to get progressively more stupid as they age. They forgot the old adage from their youth, "Don't trust anyone over 30!"

JAL said...

I am with Henry. All the Way.

wv phsoso
They affirm, instead of being phsoso about it.

John Stodder said...

Interesting that while RealClimate is trying to clear up what they believe is a mischievous effort by denialists to falsely attribute the "science is settled" remark to climatologists (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/unsettled-science/), you have political commentators declaring that the science is, too, settled, such as Marc Ambinder (http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/12/the_timing_isnt_coincidental_as.php), who indulges in some Palinesque vivid writing here:

"Climategate" aside, here's what we know: a blanket of greenhouse gases is suffocating the earth. The thickness of this blanket is highly correlated with human activity, including deforestation and development. Rising levels of carbon dioxide are acidifying oceans and destroying coral reefs -- the bottom of the food chain. Most scientists strongly believe, but do not know for sure, that temperatures will rise fairly steadily over the next century, throwing human life as we know it into chaos. It is hard to get rid of carbon dioxide, so the natural policy to reverse or stall the warming trend would be to reduce the amount of carbon emitted. Much of the science is settled, but parts of it, particularly temperature projections, are subject to large margins of error -- though often, this error redounds to the benefit of those scientists whose projections were too conservative.

To be sure, Gavin at RealClimate would probably recognize Ambinder as an ally and applaud him. He's an alarmist and obviously prefers that political commentators also be alarmists, especially right at this "historic" moment.

But evidently, he recognizes the political and reputational danger of scientists being associated with such sweeping, categorical affirmations. This is what invited the unwelcome scrutiny of Climategate, the sense (which I would contend RealClimate did a lot to promote) that even highly credentialed scientists from the most prestigious institutions who didn't go along with the consensus were either dumb or sell-outs and that people like Armbinder should not listen to them -- like Odysseus tied to the mast.

In another post from today, RealClimate excoriates all the media that is giving any airtime to the wrong experts -- in this case NPR and the NY Times. These two outlets are accused of publishing "balanced" stories instead of "true" stories, as if, when it comes to AGW, these two are mutually exclusive. The post ends with a demand that reporters henceforward use their rolodexes -- but apparently only after the wrong scientists have been culled from them.

So, what the alarmist/scientific community is saying, I guess, is, "No, the science isn't settled, but anyone who disagrees with us is not worthy of inclusion in the public policy debate regardless of credentials and above all shouldn't be accorded media attention. But don't accuse us of suppressing their views, because, hey, scientists don't do that. They're free to express their views. Your job as lay persons is to know enough to ignore them."

I can't imagine liturgical debates of the medieval era about angels dancing on the head of a pin were any clearer.

SMGalbraith said...

I can't think of a major or even semi-major issue over the past quarter century (if not ever; how's that for a reach?) where there has been a greater divergence of opinion between political elites and the mass public.

Not just here but it appears in all of Western Europe and much of the industrialized world.

Something is going to have to give on this one since there appears to be no "third way" to bridge the gulf.

traditionalguy said...

The NYT is letting us know that the affirmation is an act of will that there shall be a new Global Currency created called Carbon Credits Units in place of silver and gold certificates. This Money shall be legal tender for all debts public and private all over the planet. This new world order will require a central computer program to administer/police it and a Military Force to hunt down the black marketeers. Whether it ever warms or cools any climate in the future has NOTHING to do with what they just affirmed.

Elliott A said...

SM- As the political elites continue to move leftward, they care less and less what the proletariat thinks. They alone know what is best for us!

rcocean said...

Notice how the article keeps talking about vague unnamed "Scientists" and "Experts" who affirm the peril.

This reminds me of TARP and the current Health care bill where the MSM doesn't seem interested in telling us the actual facts or giving us both sides - but pushing us to support a POV.

John Stodder said...

A commenter to Armbinder's post typifies what lay people who can't handle that there might be room for doubt about AGW seem to think:

What I find disturbing is the notion that we could poor (sic) millions and millions of tons of toxic wast (sic) into the environment, and not expect it to alter it.

Of course, we do alter the environment, and cause damage -- at the point where we dump said toxic waste. But this is now felt to be a kind of contagion, the wages of sin. It's not just a particular estuary or coal-mining region that's been harmed, it's the whole planet. The damage is severe and yet somehow unknowable (all the talk about probabilities). It's like the condition of the soul in Calvinism. You might already be doomed to hell and not know it, but you better get right with God and maybe...no guarantees because you might be too late... but maybe you won't roast in eternity.

It was an effective means of shutting people up and controlling their behavior 400 years ago, so why wouldn't it work now? s

SMGalbraith said...

I can't recall the person who observed that "the state is the religion for those who no longer believe in religion."

A bit of an overreach - it's not "immanentizing the eschaton" - but I'm not sure how much of one.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The physics of the greenhouse effect is so basic that instead of asking whether it would happen, it makes more sense to ask why on earth you saps are still giving us money to look into it.

Fixed.

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

AGW is the new alchemy; very smart people assuming that because it makes such a compelling story (in alchemy, it was the idea of the ultimate mutability of nature; in AGW, it is the much more troubling assumption that human progress is harmful to the planet) then the underlying premises must be true, regardless of the state of the data.

And of course in both instances there is a sizable profit motive underlying both disciplines' most ardent backers.

JAL said...

And then there is this.

Interesting ice core data from Greenland (!) for 50,000 years.

JAL said...

wv garblize

What they're continuing to do in Copenhagen.

Jason (the commenter) said...

They're using healthcare reform to take over the hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and insurers. Next they'll use the EPA to take over the manufacturing, mining, and electricity generating companies. They need a reason and they'll take whatever they can get.

tonejunkie said...

It's good seeing conservatives more and more often using religion as a pejorative. Yes, it's all going according to plan...

Pogo said...

Who will be the new Jews,and what new hellish mechanism their Final Solution?

miller said...

What's crazy is that our rulers have decided to ignore science.

What's in it for them?

miller said...

I can see people like Gore lusting after power and money - but really, what's in it for the others?

John Stodder said...

It's good seeing conservatives more and more often using religion as a pejorative.

Two big, false assumptions about the skeptics. Skeptics are not all conservatives, and neither all skeptics nor all conservatives are religious.

Except in your cloistered imagination.

It's actually hilarious. When I express a skeptical thought, people like you often will make the leap that I am also a creationist. The two positions could not be more incongruous. It requires faith against reason to believe God trumps evolution, and it requires faith against reason to believe we are facing "climate peril" due to CO2 emissions. I'm surprised more of you guys aren't creationists. You're at least cousins.

William said...

I don't know my Ptolemy from my Galileo, but it's easy to recognize who is using the tactics of the inquisition to suppress the heretics within their midst.....I'd feel more confidence in the orthodox view if I saw its adherents demanding an end to private jets and the building of nuclear plants. Some forms of global warming are more warming than others however.....There is no known downside to using less oil from Saudi Arabia and having cleaner air. Liberals should look to themselves and their shoddy salesmanship to try to understand how their positions have become so hopelessly mangled with those of special interests. Don't use wealthy malpractice lawyers to sell healthcare reform and don't use people who use private planes to sell global warming.

Montagne Montaigne said...

It's a solace to see that Saudi Arabia is out in front as the major country questioning the scientific basis for global warming.

It shows their laudable, errr, skepticism. And their umm, valiant defense of American industry against, umm, liberals... so that they can continue to benevolently provide us with their fuel and not let the liberals take all the factories and guns away.

God Bless Saudi Arabia.

Skookum John said...

Something is going to have to give on this one since there appears to be no "third way" to bridge the gulf.

I propose five thousand tranzis hanging from lampposts.

blake said...

is this religion?

No! No, no, no, no, no, no.

Yes.

cold pizza said...

Oh MY GAWD! They've got EXPERTS! All we've got is you, a law professor, and a bunch of rednecked hillbillies!

Doomed, I tell you. We've doomed!
-CP

wv: consta--the capital of Turk

tonejunkie said...

Two big, false assumptions about the skeptics. Skeptics are not all conservatives, and neither all skeptics nor all conservatives are religious.

Where did I say any of that? Talk about false assumptions. Could you be a bigger hypocrite? No. It was a generalization and an absolutely true one that most climate change skeptics are conservatives (here in America at least) and vice versa -- most conservatives are climate change skeptics. And most conservatives are religious. Go ahead and deny it. I'll be surprised if you don't based on this one idiotic post of yours alone.

Titus said...

This is an outrage and I am outraged.

Will the outrage ever end?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

tonejunkie said...

It's good seeing conservatives more and more often using religion as a pejorative.


Its pejorative when the adherents of the "religion" have tried to raise temporal objects to the level of God. It shows that their professed antipathy to religion is just talk, but that they don't have the humility to accept the existence of a being greater than themselves.

Theo Boehm said...

What I want to know is, will the liturgy be in Latin or linear equations?

Lamenting in Madison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Titus, as you well know, outrages never end.

tonejunkie said...

Its pejorative when the adherents of the "religion" have tried to raise temporal objects to the level of God. It shows that their professed antipathy to religion is just talk, but that they don't have the humility to accept the existence of a being greater than themselves.

No, because I see climate change skeptics hurling "religion" as an insult in this context interchangeably with "dogma," so they're not keeping religion elevated and charging us as hypocritical wannabees as you suggest, but are actually using it with a negative connotation.

Theo Boehm said...

What facts?
What theories?
Lamenting.

Jen said...

Carl Sagan's Last Interview

Will the next astronomer, humanitarian, and genius step forward and weigh in here?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

tonejunkie said...

No, because I see climate change skeptics hurling "religion" as an insult in this context...


Well, you're wrong because we are charging you with being hypocritical wannabees. AGW doesn't have an exalted place in your consciousness because it is indisputable scientific fact-- it obviously isn't. It has that exalted place because you need something to plug into that vast empty space that atheism forces you to carry around. Once again, if you had any humility at all you would be able to see that your intellect is not the greatest thing in the universe.

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

This is not religion in the sublime sense of the risen Christ or the enlightened Buddha or the other insightful traditions people have evolved to explain their relationship with the Transcendent.

The fact that putative religious people use the word "religion" in a pejorative way for what is at once crude, heretical "religion," and perverted science should not surprise the unbiased observer.

You see, outside of places where speech codes impose Newspeak to prevent thought about the matter, spiritually inclined people have always understood that not all religions are of equal worth.

And those who study Science know the same about branches of their own discipline.

tonejunkie said...

Well, you're wrong because we are charging you with being hypocritical wannabees. AGW doesn't have an exalted place in your consciousness because it is indisputable scientific fact-- it obviously isn't. It has that exalted place because you need something to plug into that vast empty space that atheism forces you to carry around.

Maybe you realize it, maybe you don't, but by coupling those two charges -- 1) we're wannabees 2) we're consciously aware AGW isn't a fact -- you just said that the existence of God isn't a fact.

Will you confirm that? Just curious.

vbspurs said...

OT: NYT's Ethicist receives a question from a tortured liberal at a law firm -- "Is it okay to discriminate against conservatives in the hiring process?".

You can't make this stuff up.

Fred4Pres said...

So is this Inherit the Wind or the Trial of Galileo?

John Stodder said...

Could you be a bigger hypocrite? No.

Oh, I think I could be a much bigger one. There are lots of role models for me if that was my goal.

While I figure out how to do that, you might want to read this Pew survey:

http://people-press.org/report/556/global-warming

Democrats, Independents and Republicans are all less persuaded of global warming than they were six months ago by significant numbers, and an even steeper decline compared with three years ago.

In 2006, 91 percent of Dems believed in it. Now it's only 75 percent. 79 percent of independents believed in it. Now it's only 53 percent. 59 percent of Republicans believed in it. Now it's only 35 percent.

Those numbers are for global warming, period. The numbers of those who believe in human-caused global warming: 36 percent today, vs. 47 percent three years ago. Breaking that out into affiliations:

D's -- was 57 percent now 50
I's -- was 54 percent now 33
R's -- was 31 percent now 18

The point is while perhaps it's true that most conservatives are dubious about human-caused global warming, it is flat out untrue that most skeptics are conservatives. Half of Democrats hold that position!

Now, tonejunkie, in the spirit of your post I suppose I should call you a name. You big crapweasel! Yeah, you heard me! Crapweasel!

Palladian said...

It's not religion, it's dogmatism. That is, the ugly, violent, restrictive, oppressive adjunct of religion, left over when belief in any salvation is taken away. Humans have an intense need to feel superior to and eventually dominate, oppress and destroy those that they perceive to be the "others", the outsiders, the unbelievers. Religion is one way. Dogmatic, statist environmentalism is just a newer way to do it.

Whether it's a jackboot, a Papal slipper or now a hemp and sisal sandal, humans will always find a footwear to use to stamp on another human's face forever.

LonewackoDotCom said...

I can't think of a major or even semi-major issue over the past quarter century (if not ever; how's that for a reach?) where there has been a greater divergence of opinion between political elites and the mass public.

Oh, really?

P.S. Those who support AGW also tend to support that since it increases their power. Yet, many of the same elites or semi-elites - including corrupted rightwingers or the useful idiot bloggers who just repeat CEI/AFT talking points - who oppose AGW don't have a problem with giving the far left even more power.

There's money or at least support to be obtained from both sides of AGW, but it's only from one side of that other issue and many of those opponents are on the side with the money.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Within the Althouse sphere, the major problem for those who are open-minded is that there's no one who can be trusted.

The left leaders are using this issue to push their larger agenda and to obtain money and control. Those like leftwing bloggers and the MSM act as the foot soldiers and shock troops, trying to punish those who would disagree.

On the right side, some of those claiming that AGW doesn't exist are basically fronts for energy companies. The rightwing bloggers and pundits act in the same capacity for them as the leftwing bloggers do.

And, none of them can be trusted.

tonejunkie said...

The fact that putative religious people use the word "religion" in a pejorative way for what is at once crude, heretical "religion," and perverted science should not surprise the unbiased observer.

Still, the implication is that a non-religious mindset is more objective and rational than a religious mindset -- which, of course, it is.

Alex said...

Let's declare some truths:

* AGW is a religion
* most conservatives are religious Chrsitians
* those Christians deriding the AGW-religion, are doing so on the grounds that it is not THEIR religion
* the rest of us secular-types are against ALL religion

there, back to Titus' regularly scheduled ass-pounding.

Alex said...

tonejunkie - I am a center-right libertarian atheist. But I do not pinch loaves.

Theo Boehm said...

My point is that being quite objective and rational, and understanding there is a realm of metaphysics that confounds our reason, are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, these ways of understanding support each other.

Many people, including scientists, fill that metaphysical realm with well-evolved religion.

Many people don't. More's the pity.

And many people syncretize crap social philosophy and junk science to fill the void.

Blessed are the poor in spirit.

MamaM said...

Red letters and yellow stars worked too, for those needing to pin blame.

Theo Boehm said...

Any and all human activities have been turned to the service of power grabs, including religion, traditionally, and now, science.

I say, applaud and use the science, practice the religion, and stop the power grab.

Steven said...

“The physics of the greenhouse effect is so basic that instead of asking whether it would happen, it makes more sense to ask what on earth could make it not happen,” said Spencer Weart, a physicist and historian. “So far, nobody has been able to come up with anything plausible in that line.”

At which point, somebody sane interjected:

"If I drop a gallon of boiling water in the Arctic Ocean, I have indisputably raised its temperature. Simple physics demands it. There is no mechanism to prevent the temperature increase. And yet no one would worry about the integrity of the polar ice cap. Scale matters.

"It is not enough to say that increasing the level of carbon dioxide from 250 parts per million to 500 parts per million will result in a higher temperature. To determine what the appropriate level of response is, you have to find out whether that doubling is most like dropping a gallon of boiling water in the ocean, in a swimming pool, or in a bathtub."

Synova said...

"The fact that putative religious people use the word "religion" in a pejorative way for what is at once crude, heretical "religion," and perverted science should not surprise the unbiased observer.

You see, outside of places where speech codes impose Newspeak to prevent thought about the matter, spiritually inclined people have always understood that not all religions are of equal worth.
"

Close.

I don't think it's *worth* so much as it's a recognition of what religion is apart from the focus of that religion, worthy *or* unworthy.

It's similar to how a cult is more rightly understood in relationship to the level and type of psychological control than defined by the object of worship.

Anthropologists can look at vastly different cultures and say *that* is their religion and can describe it even if the religion is different than any other and doesn't have a god at all. Because it serves a *function* in the lives of the people.

For some people Atheism *functions* as a religion for them; it gives meaning and order to their life. For other atheists it does not. It's as wrong to say that atheism is always a religion as it is to say that atheism is never a religion because it has no god.

It seems pretty clear that AGW operates and functions as a religion for a whole lot of people who can be seen to be acting in religious ways and who use AGW to create order and meaning in their lives.

But beyond providing meaning, order and even identity we also see that there is doctrine that must be accepted and words of doubt or denial that can't be uttered and all on the basis of authority.

Not even most religions discourage questioning and doubt or depend so heavily on the authority of priests with special knowledge and access to god as does AGW.

The church grew and had this influx of new people who asked questions and wanted those questions answered, wanted to argue the doctrine, and the answer was... we've already figured this out, no more discussion or debate will be allowed, and if you don't fall in line you will be shunned... and we'll warn others what the consequences are for skeptics and deniers.

This isn't just religious behavior... it's cultish behavior.

Gahrie said...

I can't think of a major or even semi-major issue over the past quarter century (if not ever; how's that for a reach?) where there has been a greater divergence of opinion between political elites and the mass public.

Cuo Buono?

Alex said...

Synova - for me atheism is not the structure of my life, it simply derives out of my reasoning. I really resent the notion that atheism = religion.

reader_iam said...

Interesting that this is a Revkin [1/2-] bylined article (there's a co-byline).

More interesting is (especially some particular examples of) the chosen phraseology and diction.

***

[Consider my eyebrow raised.]

tonejunkie said...

... it is flat out untrue that most skeptics are conservatives. Half of Democrats hold that position!

What, you've never heard of conservative Democrats? They're listed by name in your link. Most of that skeptical Dem half are conservative, I guarantee. Take a closer look.

I specifically said conservatives as a group -- it doesn't matter if they're Republican, Independent, or Democratic -- as long as they're conservative. They're who I'm talking about when I say most AGW skeptics are conservatives.

Nice try, but have a lollipop and go sit back down on the bench.

Alex said...

tonejunkie - your attempt to smear all AGW-skeptics as conservatives is factually challenged.

Methadras said...

Alex said...

Synova - for me atheism is not the structure of my life, it simply derives out of my reasoning. I really resent the notion that atheism = religion.


You shouldn't resent atheism = religion because that mere thought shouldn't even enter your mind. Atheists frankly shouldn't even care or acknowledge that they are such because in so doing they distinguish themselves against those that oppose the very idea of being an atheist. Simply go on about your life deep in the thought that any acknowledgment of a diety should be simply answer with, "A diety? What's that?" and enjoy the rest of life this way.

Alex said...

Methadras - you sound like a typical snark-filled theist. For me atheism is about freedom from ALL religions including Jesus & AGW.

Paul said...

You AGW alarmist scaremongers are welcome to your religious dogma. After all we in America believe in religious freedom.

We also hold to the idea of the separation of church and state.

mrkwong said...

I would just ask why anyone would consider it 'conservative' to be unwilling to take supposed experts (like the degreed economist, railway engineer, and UN kleptocrat Pachauri, and the unfortunately voluble Dr Jones at CRU) at their word rather than expecting them to show their work?

I found it telling that some UN functionary, not Pachauri but the name now escapes me, would compare the Climategate release to Watergate. I'd though the more direct comparison would be to Ellsberg, Sheehan and the Pentagon papers, but I'm happy to let him have Watergate as his basis. Does he understand what became of the Watergate perps?

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

The only real cure for this is voting.

Ah, but that's the beauty of climate regulation. They're aiming to make governance associated with transnational organizations, and therefore mere voting doesn't really come into it.

It will all be decided by experts, you see.

reader_iam said...

For me atheism is about freedom from ALL religions

Now, there's an interesting definition of (or, more precisely, re-defining of) the word "atheism."

tonejunkie said...

tonejunkie - your attempt to smear all AGW-skeptics as conservatives is factually challenged.

Copy and paste where I did that. Go ahead. You'll fail.

Alex said...

Now, there's an interesting definition of (or, more precisely, re-defining of) the word "atheism."

It does seem to me in the public debate that atheism really means anti-Christian. I just wanted to clarify where I stood with that. I am against all the ancient religions, plus the newer ones(Marxism, environmentalism, etc...). Basically anything that is NOT based on the scientific method.

John Stodder said...

What, you've never heard of conservative Democrats?

You got me there tonejunkie. You are just incredibly foxy. You knew all along that only 18 percent of voters self-identify as liberals. You really can't have much of a consensus about anything in this country if at least some conservatives aren't on board.

n said...

I somehow posted this on the wrong thread, sorry:

I listened a little to the Carl Sagan piece. Regrettably he chastised Rep's for disbanding the Office of Science/Tech office.

Yet 3 years before this interview the research on advanced nuclear reactors had been stopped by Kerry, Durbin and Clinton. This has a much bigger impact on us now.

The Left love to namecall Conservative "anti-science" which is not true. The anti-nuke energy fervor has been fanned by the Left. In fact the Left tend to be on the Luddite end of things.

The Left still has a hard time looking past ridiculous
"solutions" like windmills.

If we dropped all AGW funding and put it into adv. nuke, 30 or 40 years from now we'd be much better off. But that's too visionary for the "progressives"

Clyde said...

@ Elliot A -

As I noted in a previous post, Gore's not a shepherd.

He's a Judas goat, betraying the flock to its doom.

He thinks he's the 23rd Psalm, but in reality, he's just taken his 30 pieces of silver (or a billion, more likely) to wreak havoc on the lives of most Americans. He's a false prophet, a liar and a father of lies. The truth is not in him.

Epiphany said...

Not so much a religion as a cult. A Cargo Cult to be precise....

rhhardin said...

Affirming is a performative, not a declarative.

There's no actual event it fits into in this case, though.

You're to imagine a solemn ritual.

Largo said...

It does seem to me in the public debate that atheism really means anti-Christian. I just wanted to clarify where I stood with that. I am against all the ancient religions, plus the newer ones(Marxism, environmentalism, etc...). Basically anything that is NOT based on the scientific method.

Alex,

Would it be fair to say that you are committed to the scientific method as the foundation of your beliefs?

Mark said...

Alex:

I am curious: with a reliance only on the scientific method, how to you avoid falling into a solipsistic nihilism? Are you all alone, with the universe just a hallucination spun from your fevered imagination, or are there really other minds in the universe with whom you are having this conversation? What experiment using the scientific method will tell you which is the case?

If I understand Plantinga (and I probably don't), most of the philosophical proofs of God's existence fail. But they fail in exactly the same way that proofs of the existence of any other mind in the universe but your own also fail.

So maybe you make a leap of faith, and assume that there is a universe beyond your own mind, that there are other minds in that universe. I encourage you to do so.

But it is not obvious to me that such a leap of faith is more scientific than a leap of faith that affirms a loving creator.

rhhardin said...

There is no scientific method.

Science works off of curiosity, not method.

It's curiosity that's suppressed in global warming, not process.

Process is exactly what's taking over.

That's what affirmation is trying to prop up.

Lockestep said...

So much of this is being pushed outside of the representative arena, it is frightening. EPA bureaucrats end-run Congress by declaring CO2 a harmful gas. Obama tries using International conferences to force the US to behave in certain ways. Both the GOP and the Democrats seek to pass laws where the decisions are left up to "experts".
Time for some good old fashioned redneck populist upheaval. We can start with throwing out everyone in Congress in 11 months.
I'd also love to see an Amendment prohibiting Congress from ratifying any treaty which subjugates the law of the US to any other body, and prohibits funding for the enforcement of any such agreements.

Bozo said...

I think this is the kind of 'affirmation' they are looking for...

"Inside A UFO. Alien Abduction, Hypnosis, Psychiatry, Quantum Physics And Religions Face To Face: Skeptics And Believers From A To Z"

kentuckyliz said...

Here's a fun fact. Obama's EPA has shut down coal mining, and the power companies are importing Chinese coal. KY coal is cleaner.

WTF greenies!!!!

They protest MTR but where are the protests against rock quarries?

Quit using cement and gravel! You're defacing the earth!

Michael Hasenstab said...

If AGW is the new religion, then John Coleman is the new Martin Luther.

I ask the same question of the AGW believers that I've asked previously. Still waiting for an answer.

How, exactly, did mankind cause the great glaciers in North America to begin melting some 10 million years ago?

Marshal said...

The article claims the attendees gather "against a background of renewed attacks on the basic science of climate change."

Thus we are once again shown the alarmists' disingenuousness. The "attacks" are not on basic science, but rather against the remedies proposed by politicians and activists. If the "basic science" supported these remedies there would be no need for this misdirection. Instead the environmentalist response to their own conniving is to double down rather than come clean and address the issue honestly. It's the modern equivalent of "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain".

rhhardin said...

Aeronautical engineers use computer models.

They however work within well explored regimes. The model is verified against what it predicts already.

That's the field that "pushing the envelope" came from. It means working near where the model is questionable.

They know when they're doing it, because it actually is a science.

They test the prediction against data before they use it for real.

Climate modelling pushes the envelope against zero data, and they have no clue that they're doing it.

They just like the lab coats.

nygoe said...

Heh, You're slow Ann.

People have been calling it a religion for a while now.

Paco Wové said...

"The "attacks" are not on basic science..."

Well, they are in the sense that the attacks are on the validity and integrity of the underlying data sets, and the methods used to transform them. "Garbage in, garbage out", and all that.

rhhardin said...

The underlying data sets are the least of the problem.

There's no science behind the computer models that use them, whether the data is valid or not.

The actual equations, to the extent they're known, are too hard to solve.

This doesn't stop them.

Computer models always grow in the direction that there is funding.

It's an evolutionary thing. Models that don't predict something that conjures funding simply die, leaving the others.

Sloanasaurus said...

The EPA pronouncement is basic fascism. If there is no backlash to all of this we are destroyed as a free society

The Obama fiscal mismanagement is horrid. 10% deficits for a decade to come? and even more and more spending coming down the pipe. How has it come to all of this? Obama has to be repudiated. He is destroying our standard of living and taking away our freedoms. This is outrageous.

Largo said...

Mark,

I believe Plantinga's version of the Ontological Argument yields the following conclusion, not that God exists, but: if God exists, then God necessarily exists. It rules out merely contingent existence. (Put another way, if God does not exist, then God cannot exist.)

As far as his arguments that warrant Christian belief go, his conclusion is this: if God exists, then our belief in him is warranted. The upshot being that if a skeptic claims that Christian belief is unwarranted, it is incumbent on him to establish that the belief is in fact false (a stronger claim).

Plantinga is fun, but it's been a while since I last read him.

Fred4Pres said...

Are we members of the Church of Althouse? Polite witty dialog for all mixed with devotional photographs.

Matthew said...

The whole Global Warming thing is sort of like "H.G. Wells and Aldus Huxlex Meet James Burnham".

You want to see how committed people really are? Hold them to their own hypocritical standards on AGW. Challenge them to live two weeks without switching on a single light, or taking a solitary hot shower.

Take away that iPhone, Blackberry or laptop, remind them of the damage that's done to Mother Earth on behalf of those devices. They have to avoid television, movies, bars and restaurants, because they pollute the enviornment and waste energy created by burning fossil fuels. Challenge them to live up to their own ideals and use mass transit -- everday.

Challenge them to avoid buying anything that has plastic, styrofoam, refined metals, or artificial materials in either it's ingredients or packaging.

Take their jobs away, since those things only encourage the use of fossil fuels, destruction of the rain forests, and dead polar bears.

Challenge them to volunraily deprive themselves of the fruits of the modern society they live in, and return to a more primitive, simpler and sustainable lifestyle, and...

See how quickly they change their minds about AGW.

Try it. I've already converted one the idiots back to the Dark Side with this challenge (Easiest $100 I ever won, too. The boob lasted all of five days before he was jonesin' a Starbucks and missing his e-mail. Human beings are sooo predictable when it comes to comfort and convenience).

Bissage said...

Affirm? We're doing affirmations now? "Skeptics"... affirmations... is this religion?


For spectators like me, sitting this one out on the sidelines, it’s getting difficult to tell which side is the Rebel Alliance and which side is the Galactic Empire.

Meade said...

peter hoh said...
Next thing you know, someone's gonna tack up 95 theses.

yeah... or 94 more bad poems.

kcom said...

"It will all be decided by experts, you see."

I'd rather be ruled by Ernst Stavro Blofeld. At least he's less of a blowhard.

"Climate modelling pushes the envelope against zero data, and they have no clue that they're doing it."

Exactly. What exactly is the track record for predicting the climate 100 years from now? How many times have they been right and how many times have they been wrong? What level of confidence should we ascribe to their predictions based on their track record?

Oh, that's right, there is no track record. There is zero data and zero experience in predicting the climate 100 years in the future. It's like putting a new race horse into his first race and betting your life savings and those of all your friends and family that he is going to win, because you just know it. After all, didn't he run really fast in his workouts.

SMGalbraith said...

Oh, really?

Re immigration/amnesty.

Fair point but I was referring to a global issue not just a US matter. The gap between elites and non-elites (for lack of a better phrase) on this question across the planet is stunning (broad brush strokes on my part).

Moreover, while we could cobble together some sort of compromise on immigration I see no middle ground on this controversy. If the planet and the populace are doomed as many elites believe, then the massive changes - not reforms - in our lives must be done.

No half measures, no third way, no compromises.

the wolf said...

"In Face Of Evidence, Experts Affirm Climate Peril."

Corrected.

ricpic said...

We all know the name Gore and the names of a few scientists, Phil Jones is one of them, caught in the East Anglia coverup. Beyond them who else figures prominently in the Global Warming movement? Who exactly has been jetting into Copenhagen? Anyone know? Links?

traditionalguy said...

The alliance among those preaching AGW as settled facts and the Viceroys of industry and communications/computer fields is not explainable withouy the missing awareness that this is all about installing the new Global Currency. The love of the control that comes from controlling the money is rearranging relationships underneath the surface. There SHALL be a new computer credit based money eliminating all old money with debit card devices. Politically that event requires this faked end of the world weather crisis to force everyone into the transition stage. The Euro was currency was issued by agreement 7 years before the EU was actually a legal Government in Europe. Carbon Credit Units will become our only currency administered with a New York Stock Exchange like computer system controlled by ???. No one will legally buy or sell anything without using this Computer of existing Carbon Credit Ownership being traded as the sole legal medium of exchange. After all, Carbon is in, on, and around every item that exists...especially food, clothing and shelter for carbon based life forms. Seeing this future coming is causing many strange bedfellows in the realm of international cooperation. Who will be in on the inside and become super wealthy and who will be left out? The drumbeat slander of innocent CO2 ppms will fade away when the Global Currency Coup D'etat has been completed. Has any one noticed that the Copenhagen Assembly Members include many of the world's richest folks?

Comrade X said...

we're gonna need a bigger cross

Shanna said...

How, exactly, did mankind cause the great glaciers in North America to begin melting some 10 million years ago?

Time travel?

My consistent problem with all the AGW folks is that no one has yet convinced me (and few even attempt it) that warmer is worse than colder, as far as the temperature of the earth. That step has been skipped and it's the most important one, after 1. determining that it is actually getting warmer, 2. determining why it is getting warmer, 3. determining what are the most effective means of stopping it from getting warmer and 4. if those means are worth it, or if they have worse consequences for mankind than leaving it alone.

Of course, we've skipped most of those steps to jump right to THE WORLD IS ENDING.

MadisonMan said...

You want to see how committed people really are?

You forgot hair shirts.

Roger Sweeny said...

Shanna,

I think there are two legitimate arguments for 1. why warmer probably isn't better and 2. why there should be less CO2 in the atmosphere.

1. All that we've built, all our farms, etc. are in places where they are useful now. If things get warmer, rain patterns will change, sea level will rise, etc. Depending on how much warmer things get, lots of things will have to change and that will be costly and messy.

2. Carbon dioxide combines with water to make carbonic acid. Oceans are getting increasingly acidic, which changes things, some in bad ways. For example, a lot of reef building coral doesn't do well in acidic water.

Unfortunately, there is presently no technology that can provide us with lots of energy and is also cheap and carbon neutral. IMHO, money and attention should be going there, not into forcing people to do less with less.

MadisonMan said...

Carbon dioxide combines with water to make carbonic acid.

The solubility of carbon dioxide in seawater is inversely proportional to temperature. As the temperature increases, CO2 should leave the ocean, and the availability of CO2 to make carbonic acid should drop, leading to less acidic sea water.

wellington said...

The other obvious thing about this headline is the blatant manipulation of the reader: Since it pitches "experts" against "skeptics" it must be that the skeptics are no experts. That’s nonsense, of course. I’d like to know what skeptical climate scientists think of the headline. I expect most of them would say that it doesn’t matter what a bunch of hacks call them. After all, another New York Times genius belittled Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket research in a 1920 editorial by saying:

“(Goddard) does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. … (he) seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.”

Andrew Revkin and John Broder are in the right company. The warmists question Revkin’s reliability and loyalty to their cause but “Andy” can still deliver the goods.

DADvocate said...

One must admit that being a disciple of the Church of Climate Change (CCC), saving the Earth and all mankind has much more appeal than being saved by the disciples of some guy who died/lived/rose over 2,000 years ago.

DADvocate said...

Unfortunately, there is presently no technology that can provide us with lots of energy and is also cheap and carbon neutral.

Ever heard of nuclear?

Patm said...

Yes, of course it is a religion. The Christian bloggers have been saying this for years now, and they'd know, since they understand the whole "true believer" mindset. Yes, it has it's prophets and its pope. Yes, it has its rubrics, its rules, its myths, and its "evil" one (that would be Bush). It has a savior and it even has a liturgy of sorts and -best of all- it sells indulgences called Carbon Offsets for the remission of carbon sin.

It's totally a religion. There is no god but gaia, and Al Gore is her prophet.

From Inwood said...

Theo Boehm.

Best comment of the thread:

"What [you]want to know is, will the liturgy be in Latin or linear equations?"

Actually, the AGW true believers have produced manmade C9H9N.

*********
tonejunkie: OK, I understand. What you’re saying is “Conservatives, the robots, affirm: 'We were always at war with science.'” Right.

From Inwood said...

vbspurs:

OT: NYT's Ethicist receives a question from a tortured liberal at a law firm -- 'Is it okay to discriminate against conservatives in the hiring process?'.

"You can't make this stuff up."

UPDATE in NYT: Actually, he did discriminate.

I've brought it up on the Hastings Discriminating Thread.

Roger Sweeny said...

MadisonMan,

You are absolutely right about CO2 being less soluble in warmer water. However, once CO2 has reacted with water to become carbonic acid, it is no longer a gas. What you have left is carbonite, C03 minus, ions.

(Carbonate ions and hydronium ions will often react to bring back the water and carbon dioxide, and the carbon dioxide may then go back into the air. The higher the ocean temperature the more CO2 will go back into the air. But the slight ocean temperature differences that are happening now are swamped by the increase in CO2 in the air.

Roger Sweeny said...

DADvocate,

Alas, at present nuclear isn't cheap.

brian gulino said...

The article was a balanced summary of the climate controversy caused by publishing these letters. The article reported on the genuine doubts raised by There's no winning with you Ann.

Had they not published, you would have criticized them for ignoring the issue.

And, as a writer yourself, you know that verb "affirm" does not have the same newage connotations as the noun "affirmation".

Cheap shot.

DADvocate said...

at present nuclear isn't cheap.

It's cheap enough. 80% of France's electricity comes from nuclear. Our navy uses nuclear power on many ships and subs. Known technology. Very doable.

Alex said...

It's amazing. It's hardly enough for some of you that I'm against AGW on scientific grounds, but I must be a God-worshipper! Amazing how you god-believers can reconcile things...

Bruce Hayden said...

Probably to no one's surprise, they used the IPCC graph, which was to a great extent based on work by the "experts" at the root of ClimateGate. For one thing, you can see how they eliminated the Little Ice Age through the use of proxies.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think there are two legitimate arguments for 1. why warmer probably isn't better and 2. why there should be less CO2 in the atmosphere.

1. All that we've built, all our farms, etc. are in places where they are useful now. If things get warmer, rain patterns will change, sea level will rise, etc. Depending on how much warmer things get, lots of things will have to change and that will be costly and messy.

2. Carbon dioxide combines with water to make carbonic acid. Oceans are getting increasingly acidic, which changes things, some in bad ways. For example, a lot of reef building coral doesn't do well in acidic water
.

1. Except that you presuppose that the change in temperature is going to be so fast that there will be inefficiencies due to our inability to compensate quickly enough. And, maybe if you could extrapolate the 20 year trend ending in about 1998, that might be plausible. But, in retrospect, that steep temperature graph contained a lot of natural warming, which has now apparently reversed.

2. On the other hand, historically, man has done much better in a warmer climate, and much worse in a colder one. Part of the reason for this is that, surprise, surprise, plants grow better with higher CO2, and a warmer climate results in more farmland, converted from frozen tundra (just look at a globe and notice the shape of the Northern Hemisphere continents).

As with everything, some species do better in a warmer climate, and some do better in a cooler one. Ditto for CO2. Unfortunately for your point, more will probably do better with a higher CO2 and temperature.

sonicfrog said...

I'm good enough

I'm smart enough

And gosh darnit, people.... Oh. Well. Two out of three isn't bad.

VerWord: actour

Jim C. said...

tonejunkie said No, because I see climate change skeptics hurling "religion" as an insult in this context interchangeably with "dogma," so they're not keeping religion elevated and charging us as hypocritical wannabees as you suggest, but are actually using it with a negative connotation.

No, we're using it because it has a negative connotation to YOU and the left. Because YOU consider it an insult. It's one of Alinsky's principles - hold them to THEIR OWN standards.

And it seems to have hit a very sore spot. Rather than the researchers releasing the raw data, they circle the wagons and, like you, change the subject.

Besides, even if one thinks religion is good, one can think religion masquerading as science (like creationism) is bad precisely because it's bad science.

But in the case of climate "peril", the science is really shaky, just to judge from the avoidance of releasing the raw data (as I said above). Honest, reputable scientists would lay everything on the table, not try to "redefine peer review" and other underhanded maneuverings.

The more they and you object and try to obfuscate the point, the worse you all look and the more science in general is brought into disrepute. I hope that's what you want, because you're succeeding brilliantly. That's not what I want.

Sofa King said...

1. All that we've built, all our farms, etc. are in places where they are useful now. If things get warmer, rain patterns will change, sea level will rise, etc. Depending on how much warmer things get, lots of things will have to change and that will be costly and messy.


Yes, well, not to put too fine a point on it, will these adapative measures be more or less costly and messy than the proposed avoidance measures? And don't forget to add to the cost avoidance measures the cost of the adaptive measures times the probability factor that the mitigation won't work. And don't forget that money spent now is more expensive than money spent in the future.

Isn't that the whole point? If these changes will occur over a cenury or more, isn't there a case to be made that the sensible thing is to deal with these changes as they happen, rather than engage in economically wasteful avoidance strategies that may only cripple our ability to adapt in the future?

Blithely asserting that there will be costs to failing to deal with the problem is not an argument, because dealing with the problem has costs as well.

Furthermore, as has been pointed out, "there is presently no technology that can provide us with lots of energy and is also cheap and carbon neutral" is obviously wrong. Nuclear power is currently generated for costs that are reasonably low - and this is with ancient, 70's-era designs! The chief roadblock is regulatory hurdles and anti-nuclear hysteria, not operating costs.

elHombre said...

Alex wrote: AGW is a religion; ... those Christians deriding the AGW-religion, are doing so on the grounds that it is not THEIR religion ....

This statement is just anti-Christian nonsense for which there is no evidence.

Here's Alex explaining why he is so full of shit: ... tonejunkie - I am a center-right libertarian atheist. But I do not pinch loaves.

There you have it.

Bruce Hayden said...

Isn't that the whole point? If these changes will occur over a cenury or more, isn't there a case to be made that the sensible thing is to deal with these changes as they happen, rather than engage in economically wasteful avoidance strategies that may only cripple our ability to adapt in the future?

I think that the assumption is that the change is going to happen much to fast to cope with through normal change mechanisms. But, I would also suggest that that position is based on two falacies. First, that the warming of the 1980s and 1990s is going to continue (it hasn't). Second, that there is significant positive feedback, and a tipping point at which the climate will spiral out of control. But, at present, it looks more reasonable that the feedback loop is slightly negative, if anything, and clearly not steeply positive, as would be required for the sort of fast paced climate change that would justify massive changes.

Sofa King said...

The IPCC itself said that sea levels would rise 18-59 cm in the 21st century. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to believe we could deal with a 2 foot sea rise over 100 years at a much lower cost than the proposed avoidance measures.

Fen said...

See, this is why the non-religious need Religion. Their spiritual needs are displaced into man-made things. Diefication of Obama. Mother Earth as the New God. Very dangerous.

BTW, anyone want to buy some carbon credits? Fire sale! Down to 15 cents per tonne from $7.15. Act now! and we'll throw in some Enron stock for a mere $19.99.

Sofa King said...

To add to the previous: especially so when you factor in a probability, even a small one, that the IPCC is wrong. If it is, and we adopt all these expensive avoidance measures, then we've spent a fortune for almost no gain - and we won't even know it. On the other hand, if we follow an adaptation and mitigation strategy, and the IPCC turns out to be wrong, we will save that fortune AND have the benefit of hindsight.

Alex said...

elHombre - I am saying that some Christians are being hypocritical about AGW religion. The ones who say that "intelligent design" is scientific.

Fen said...

Yes YOU! For a mere 15 cents per tonne, you can buy Indulgences from Al Gore. Imagine showing off to your friends around the dinner table:

"Sure I molested the babysitter, but I BELIEVE! in AGW!! So I can't be a total cad"

Roger Sweeny said...

Bruce,

You are absolutely right that the faster the warming, the harder it is to adapt to. But any change is going to require adaptation, and any adaptation will be costly. This will be especially true when optimal change would require crossing national borders. If Bangladesh loses farmland, India is not going to welcome the people who are flooded out.

Warming will certainly mean that some land which is now too cold to farm will have a longer growing season. Once the land is cleared and drained, roads and houses are built, and people are moved, it may well produce significant amounts of food. However, warming will probably mean lower rainfall in significant areas of present farmland. How it nets out, no one knows.

There are always trade-offs. Global warming catastrophists say it will be all bad. They are wrong. But it will not be all good either.

Roger Sweeny said...

Sofa King points out two big problems. Global warming will have costs but so will any strategy to combat it. You don't want to spend more than you save.

But it's impossible to really know what anything will cost or what it will accomplish. The uncertainties are just too great.

So, many people fall back on what they wanted all along. Big government people want more power and money for governments. Small government people don't.

Bruce Hayden said...

You are absolutely right that the faster the warming, the harder it is to adapt to. But any change is going to require adaptation, and any adaptation will be costly. This will be especially true when optimal change would require crossing national borders. If Bangladesh loses farmland, India is not going to welcome the people who are flooded out.

Well, yes, but you are still assuming a fairly short time frame. Let us assume something different. For example, let us assume that in 100 years, Bangladesh will be able to support only 90% of what it can support now at those standards of living. And, all of a sudden you realize that, wait, population may plateau over that time and a 10% out migration will not be all that hard to handle.

It is only when you assume truly massive changes over a very short period of time, that you ask the sort of questions that you do.

Warming will certainly mean that some land which is now too cold to farm will have a longer growing season. Once the land is cleared and drained, roads and houses are built, and people are moved, it may well produce significant amounts of food. However, warming will probably mean lower rainfall in significant areas of present farmland. How it nets out, no one knows.

How can you say that "warming will probably mean lower rainfall in significant areas of present farmland"? We have no idea of that is true, or if it will actually mean more rainfall. Keep in mind that warmer air has a higher carrying capacity for water than cooler air (which is part of why we get snow in the Sierras, Wasatch, and Rockies).

Besides, again, you assume a very short time frame. A more realistic one is probably a century or two, not a decade.

There are always trade-offs. Global warming catastrophists say it will be all bad. They are wrong. But it will not be all good either.

Of course it won't all be good. But we have no reason to believe that it will be worse, and have plenty of reason to believe that any change will be over such a period of time that man can adapt to it without much additional expense.

Bruce Hayden said...

The IPCC itself said that sea levels would rise 18-59 cm in the 21st century. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to believe we could deal with a 2 foot sea rise over 100 years at a much lower cost than the proposed avoidance measures.

But we know where the IPCC got a lot of their data (just look at the graph I linked to above). And 2 feet over the next century seems highly unlikely. Much more likely a couple of inches.

In any case though, you are right. Even if the rise were 2 feet, no matter how unlikely that is, it is pretty much trivial to compensate for that over a century. Buildings wear out, and when rebuilt, they can be rebuilt on ground a couple of feet higher. Farm land wears out too, goes fallow for any number of reasons, etc., and if there is indeed global warming, all that tundra up north that would be unfrozen could be made arable instead.

Synova said...

"But any change is going to require adaptation, and any adaptation will be costly."

If we really and truly wanted to do violence to the Earth we'd find a way to achieve a state of climate stasis.

It would be unnatural and likely beyond damaging... we could look to flood control for an example of how stopping natural cycles changes the very things that mitigate the damage and severity of flooding making the problem much worse and requiring even stronger efforts and interventions to maintain control.

What if we could do that to the entire planet?

The thing is that the climate is naturally *not* static. The climate changes rather drastically as a natural process. Places that were underwater are now dry. Land that was dry is now submerged. Areas that were green and fertile are now desert. Glaciers have receded and glaciers have grown.

In other words... we're going to have to adapt.

And the good thing is that adapting is the one thing at which human beings are profoundly talented.

Roger Sweeny said...

Bruce,

Even over a fairly long time frame, change is costly. If rising sea level makes your waterfront property underwater property, you aren't going to be happy no matter how long you have to adapt.

And while warmer air holds more water, the water doesn't rain out until the air cools. Warmer conditions will mean lower rainfall in various areas. Near the end of the last ice age, the Great Basin of Nevada was a garden. The Great Salt Lake was ten times bigger and emptied into the Snake over Red Rock Pass. It ain't that way no more.

I think the chances are better than even that change is happening and that it will be fairly costly. Unfortunately, at the present time, all the methods of trying to stop the change are even more costly.

elHombre said...

Alex wrote: elHombre - I am saying that some Christians are being hypocritical about AGW religion. The ones who say that "intelligent design" is scientific.

That may have been what you were thinking. It bears no reasonable resemblance to what you wrote. Additionally, there is no correlation of which I am aware between believing intelligent design is "scientific" and believing AGW is not.

Alex said...

Additionally, there is no correlation of which I am aware between believing intelligent design is "scientific" and believing AGW is not.

If you can't see the stunning hypocrisy then that's your problem. The breathtaking irony of Creationists accusing AGWists of not abiding by the scientific method! Madness!

Dewave said...

Alex, he asked for evidence of a correlation between people who say that intelligent design is settled science, and those who don't think AGW is settled science. You haven't provided anything of the sort.

Even if it were true, that wouldn't make their claims that the activists like Jones and Mann are not conducting science at all any less accurate.

The global warming alarmists are sounding more and more like a religion every day. It seems to be a mesh between neo-pagan earth worshipers who view man as a blight upon gaia, and power hungry bureaucrats who view environmentalism as the next vehicle to implement socialism.

The emails and code from CRU indicate that what is going on is about as far from rigorous dedication to science as it is possible to get. Science relies upon transparency, honesty, and rigorous dedication to altering the theory to match the data, all verified by independent skeptics. Jones and Mann work very hard to make sure none of that happens.

Bruce Hayden said...

Even over a fairly long time frame, change is costly. If rising sea level makes your waterfront property underwater property, you aren't going to be happy no matter how long you have to adapt.

You are still talking a decade or two, not a century or two, which is likely more reasonable. As I pointed out earlier, buildings, at least in this country, are routinely replaced. In a couple of decades, regardless of sea level, it is likely that your beach front house will have to be replaced regardless. Almost assuredly within the next century. And that is the time to move it. Besides, why should I, sitting about a mile above sea level, pay for your beach front house? I doubt that there is enough water on the planet to put my house under water, even if Antarctica melted (which it isn't doing right now), etc.

Keep in mind that the hypothesis that the sea will rise any faster than that is based on the assumption that there is significant positive feedback between CO2 and temperature, and more likely, the feedback is slightly negative. The reality, not theory based on tree rings and hockey sticks, is that the detected ocean level increases right now are extremely small, closer to maybe an inch or two a century, not 20 feet, as predicted by Photoshopper AlGore.

I am not sure what you can say about global warming causing drying in some parts of the world based on an ice age. All that snow and ice causes a lot of climatic disruption.

But we can say (despite the work by the ClimateGate scientists to debunk this) that the temperate climate of the Medieval Warming period disappeared in the Little Ice Age, and appear to somewhat be coming back. The Vikings were forced to retrench from Vinland and Greenland, and likely mostly from Iceland, as a result of that cooling.

DADvocate said...

The breathtaking irony of Creationists...

Waiting in line at Sam's Club Sunday, I noticed the guy in front of me had on a polo shirt with "Creation Museum" embroidered on it. With a slight smirk on my face, I wondered if he believed in AGW too.

Roger Sweeny said...

Bruce,

If I knew that any significant climate change would take "a century or two" and if I knew that it would be as mild as "an inch or two a century" of sea level rise, I would say, "No problems, mon."

But that's not what I think a reasonable reading of the evidence suggests.

When I say that global warming will dry some areas of the globe, I am not just saying it "based on an ice age." Rain does not fall unless warm moist air is cooled. Some times that means rising--say, against the windward slope of a mountain. More often it means meeting a mass of cool air. The warmer things are, the less cool air there is.

elHombre said...

Alex wrote: The breathtaking irony of Creationists accusing AGWists of not abiding by the scientific method! Madness!

As far as I know you just made up that accusation to justify taking another cheap shot at Christians and Jews.

Nevertheless, here's an interesting exchange from a debate between David Quinn and Richard Dawkins, aka Darwin's Rottweiller:

Quinn: You can’t answer the question where matter comes from! ....

Dawkins: I can’t, but science is working on it.

I'm guessing that if Dawkins has no scientific explanation for the creation of matter, neither do you, Alex. Therefore, given the history of science, it is inordinately obtuse of you to imply that a belief in divine creation is incompatible with the pursuit of science.

elHombre said...

Alex also wrote: It's hardly enough for some of you that I'm against AGW on scientific grounds, but I must be a God-worshipper! (12:55 PM)

While several people have taken issue with your nasty and illogical comments about people of faith, I don't recall anybody expressing an interest in who or what you worship.

Apparently, you are delusional.

reader_iam said...

If it makes you feel better, Alex, I couldn't care less whether you're a god-worshipper, a God-worshiper, or a worshipper of whatever "The" God [(or god) (or g-d)(or whichever other title)] you wish you to name.

Does it make you feel better?

reader_iam said...

[not to mention, Alex, that I couldn't care less whether you're a non-believer in a god or a particular "the: god, or gods, or if you're specifically a believer in not believing in a god or gods--and/or so on, so on and so on iterations.

Just to be clear. Is that clearer?

And, again, does that make you feel better?]

Bruce Hayden said...

If I knew that any significant climate change would take "a century or two" and if I knew that it would be as mild as "an inch or two a century" of sea level rise, I would say, "No problems, mon."

But that's not what I think a reasonable reading of the evidence suggests
.

What evidence? Real measurements of real ocean levels? Or some sort of models showing such ocean level increases? I will suggest that the scientists who actually measure the level of the ocean have not seen anywhere near the level that is being used to scare us. In real life, we are seeing an inch or two a century. Not a year.

And the models showing major temperature increases are falling apart right now. More every day. Here is one today: Some of the “Homogenized” Temperature Data is False, where the temperature data for Australia seems to have been heavily massaged to show a temperature increase, when there has actually been a temperature decrease, over the last 60 years.

Wake up. It looks more and more like much of the AGW data has been fudged to give desired results. It will take years to dig through all of it, but everywhere people are looking there is smoke, suggesting even more fudging.

Let me further add that much of the predicted catastrophe not only depends on climatic temperature data that is more suspect every day, but also on the assumption of a strongly positive feedback loop between CO2 and temperature, where we will soon supposedly come to a tipping point where the climate will spiral out of control. The problem with that is that such a strongly positive feedback look looks more and more implausible, and, indeed, is more likely to be slightly negative. After all, the CO2 concentration has been higher and lower, as well as the temperature. So, why didn't it spiral out of control in previous times? Rather, it looks like both plant and animal life thrived.

Is it really rational to spend literally trillions of dollars trying to make minimal changes to our global CO2 output, when the models predicting global catastrophe seem to be unraveling right now?

When I say that global warming will dry some areas of the globe, I am not just saying it "based on an ice age." Rain does not fall unless warm moist air is cooled. Some times that means rising--say, against the windward slope of a mountain. More often it means meeting a mass of cool air. The warmer things are, the less cool air there is.

First note that what is important is the relative temperature between the two air masses, mostly not the actual temperatures. One air mass will be cooler than the other, and will thus cool it, even if both are warmer.

Secondly, warmer air masses coming off the oceans will be able to carry more water vapor, which, when it hits, for example, the Sierras, will rise, cool, and dump. But since there is even more water vapor, the dump will be even greater. So, skiing here around Tahoe will be even better - hopefully.

So, where water falls may move around a little bit. But I don't see major disruptions, and even if the models predict major disruptions (which they really can't accurately given the level of science right now), it is all dependent upon the theory that there is major global warming going on right now, and as I noted above, those models and theories are becoming more problematic every day.

And, without runaway temperature increases (which depends on the strongly positive feedback assumption), any effect is going to be on the order of centuries, instead of years.

Roger Sweeny said...

Bruce,

If you're having a discussion with someone, it's not a good idea to tell him to "Wake up." That can turn it into an argument.

You are absolutely right that there are major problems with all the big climate models. However, there are various other evidences of warming. Plants and animals are moving north. Canada is greening--which, as you pointed out, means that potential farmland is opening up there. There is more glacial ice in some places and less in others and the net seems to be a loss.

Looking at all the evidence, I think there will be problems even if there is no tipping point and no runaway warming. The fact that Al Gore wildly exaggerates doesn't mean nothing significant will happen until a century from now.

I was wrong in my explanation of why there would be less rain. You are right that it is a matter of relative temperatures. If all temperatures went up equally, there would be no net change. However, colder areas have been warming more than warmer areas leading to some shrinkage in differences. And, as you say, the change will be uneven, with some places gaining precipitation and some losing. Tahoe may gain and Bretton Woods may lose.

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