February 25, 2012

"Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about."

"It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is."
It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.
Professor Richard Lindzen, via Instapundit, who compares the global warming hysteria to Y2K.

ADDED: "Why the Climate Skeptics Are Winning/Too many of their opponents are intellectual thugs."
The Gleick episode exposes again a movement that disdains arguing with its critics, choosing demonization over persuasion and debate. A confident movement would face and crush its critics if its case were unassailable, as it claims.

142 comments:

rhhardin said...

Y2K was an actual crisis waiting to happen, averted by means of several years of software fixing.

Whether the public at large had to be in on it is another matter, aside from the news interest in what might turn out to have been overlooked.

rhhardin said...

What he doesn't know about the science behind climate change probably isn't worth knowing.

A cliche that's untrue.

A lot is worth knowing about climate that is not known by anybody, and is not likely to be known by anybody very soon.

EDH said...

The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes.

Sandwiched in between is the debatable efficacy and cost of attempts to interrupt that trend by lowering human greenhouse gas emissions, particularly through coercive government action.

madAsHell said...

So, he's conceding that he hasn't a clue, but there really is a problem somewhere.

Why do idiots always have the loudest megaphone?

virgil xenophon said...

The absolutely killer take-away quote from Prof. Lindzen is:

"Claims that the earth has been warming...and that man's activity have contributed to warming ARE TRIVIALLY TRUE BUT ESSENTIALLY MEANINGLESS"

Bob Ellison said...

It's an inapt comparison. The Y2K scare had a certain date of armageddon, an easy disprovability (did it happen?) (and disprovability is one of the hallmarks of good science), and, to many of us in the tech sector, a laughable plausibility. Also, the money behind Y2K was mostly tech con-artists with no political affinity; the money behind AGW is environmentalists with great affinity.

AGW or its cousin will rise again. It has no date and no disprovability, and it is grounded in a pseudo-science that even very smart skeptics like Lindzen tend to muddy with lots of numbers and fancy equations.

What rhhardin said: even Lindzen pretty much says this in his presentation. rhhardin, I'm starting to think your comments here are the most important ones.

SGT Ted said...

They don't yet know about C02 increasing temperatures in the atmosphere.

They say it happens in the lab.

But, the empirical evidence from the actual atmosphere so far disproves it, showing that increases in C02 come after the temperature increases, rather than proceeding it. The empirically observed temperature increases in other planets in the solar system that have no C02 also undermines the C02 AGW theory.

Don't even get me started on the Garbage In, Garbage Out atmospheric models that cannot predict anything near reality.

The alarmists are desperately clinging to C02 driven AGW, when the emerging evidence is pointing to solar fluctuation as the main cause. Otherwise, the damage to their egos and sinecures would reach into the billions of dollars of grant research money and gold plated UN conferences.

Original Mike said...

"The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak"

Well, thet're based on their models (i.e. the increment of rise per an increment of CO2). The accuracy of the models is everything.

Rusty said...

"Claims that the earth has been warming...and that man's activity have contributed to warming ARE TRIVIALLY TRUE BUT ESSENTIALLY MEANINGLESS"




Blasphemy!!
Shun Him! Shun Him!

Don't Tread 2012 said...

We're pretty sure that we really don't know all of the mechanisms involved. Or something like that.

The only sure thing is the uncertainty.

Corollary:

The left must construct scenarios with which they can insert themselves as 'saviors'.

It is within these saving scenarios where their legislative shamanism damages the natural order of things.

Deniers and skeptics are good.

William said...

It is plausible to assume that the sun rotates around the earth. Smart people believed that for years and had accurate models to account for and predict the movement of the spheres. It is plausible to assume that all these smokestacks and exhaust pipes must have some effect on the weather. With enough finesse, perhaps smart people can even create a computer model that will predict next month's weather. I wonder which group is the Inquisition and which individual is Galileo in the current dispute....

edutcher said...

Uh, the climate thing was about redistribution.

Either this guy is real gullible or in on it.

Just ask the founder of Greenpeace.

Maguro said...

Legislative shamanism, that's good. I picture Al Gore as a witch doctor, hope that 's not racist.

Lem said...

This professor appeared in the skeptical British documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle

There were claims that some of the interviews and graphs in the doc were edited/manipulated to favor AGW skeptics.

Skepticism has always been in short supply.. skeptics are the minority.
Why should I be skeptical of skeptics.. Skepticism is the safest limb to hang out at.

Quaestor said...

rhardin wrote:
Y2K was an actual crisis waiting to happen, averted by means of several years of software fixing.

Y2K was a manufactured crisis of overblown proportions. The "fixes" as you call them amounted to long overdue updates and/or replacement of spaghetti-coded legacy systems. I administered and supervised the "repair" of one such legacy installation, specifically a student loan management system written in CICS.

All the department heads of my company were in a blind panic in 1999. They'd read the stories in the Big Media organs, seen the documentaries and the 60 Minutes article, presented in her best breathlessly earnest style by Leslie Stahl. They were convinced the financial loses caused by Y2K would be catastrophic, and that any amount expended to fix it would be money well spent. I tried to calm their fears. I tried to reason with them. I pointed out that in all my years in IT I had never seen a date calculation actually done with the last two digits of the year, that such a calculation method was so clumsy that no one but a freshman CS student would try it, that CICS was designed from its inception to handle dates internally using the Julian system, and that any programmer (who are inherently lazy) would use the Julian function and not try to re-invent the wheel, that the two-digit representation on their reports was done to save space on the page and had nothing to do with how the date was actually calculated, and to no avail. It was decided to hire two consultants who would report to me to fix our code, both retired IBM mainframe developers. They each got 100K for seven moths work. They actually did some valuable by commenting several modules and subroutines that lacked any in-depth documentation, thereby fixing stuff that should have been handled better by systems programmers given too little time and too few incentives to comment every line like they did in school. In the meantime I was told to fix the Y2K "problems" on our workstations and servers, and to hire any help I might need and to purchase anything required.

In the end we did very little. Based on the actual expenditures and the lost time I figure the Y2K panic cost my employers $600K, give or take. Just as a lark I kept a copy of the pre-fix system running in emulation on a PowerPC box I kept on my credenza with a handful of dummy accounts as a data. It never crashed or produced a specious report.

bagoh20 said...

The fact of importance here is that no matter what will happen or what we want to, we will not be able to affect the climate through politics. That simple fact obliterates the need for everything except further study and planning for dealing with what we learn, period.

bagoh20 said...

At my employer, we never got around to doing any of the recommendations to deal with Y2K, and we were pretty computerized, just to busy to do it.

Following 1/1/2000, absolutely nothing happened - zero, nada, ziltch. It was less of a problem than any typical computer virus since then.

Bender said...

The only sure thing is the uncertainty.

And another only sure thing is that mankind does not -- and cannot, ever -- control all of the variables. And those that man can control are trifling compared to the variables that man can never control.

Two examples -- solar activity and geological activity. Both of which have caused periods of cold and hot, and both of which could in a matter of seconds, regardless of what man may or may not do, cause us to plunge into another ice age or turn the polar regions tropical.

Nature is going to do whatever nature wants to do -- we are not the bosses here.

Jay said...

They are sometimes overtly dishonest.

Sometimes?

The entire premise is dishonest!

Writ Small said...

In the late 90's, Hershey's tried to force in an ERP upgrade which would simultaneously address Y2K issues and ugrade their supply chain planning. The effort was rushed, bungled and caused product shortages at Halloween plus a major drop in their stock price.

Ironically, it was the overreaction to Y2K rather than the event itself which caused the most damage.

Joe said...

It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is.

It clearly isn't.

As soon as scientists figured out how to measure gases in the early 1800s, they did including atmospheric CO2. Several did extensive measurements and recorded them. Using the same techniques, modern scientists have made measurements and found that CO2 concentration hasn't changed a whole lot.

One very important point of these experiments is that they once again show that proxies, such as ice cores and tree rings, are fairly inaccurate--they can show some trends, but the notion that they show accurate numbers is rather absurd.

This isn't to say CO2 may be increasing, but to say that it's not at all clear whether it is, whether that's worldwide or what the normal concentration actually is.

Joe Schmoe said...

I was early in my career at a software company for Y2K. For us it was overblown. A lot of our clients seemed to think it was overblown as well, but used the occasion to upgrade a lot of older hardware and software. It was easier to get that stuff into company budgets as the executives had to hedge a little bit against the threat.

It caused a bit of a Cash-for-Clunkers effect, at least in my region. IT spending was down for several years after that. Some was due to the economy after 9/11, but some was also due to companies closing their purse strings after blowing out their IT budgets up to Y2K.

Quaestor said...

rhardin wrote:
Y2K was an actual crisis waiting to happen, averted by means of several years of software fixing.

The Y2K "crisis" benefited no one but the vendors who made a killing out of re-selling old products as Y2K-proof updates to perfectly serviceable installations. If I were a conspiracy-minded person I'd suspect a deliberate hoax, just as I suspect AGW is mostly a hoax intended to curtail liberty and greatly increase state power over the lives and fortunes of individuals.

Joe said...

Re Y2K.

On January 2, 2000, I started a new job. The company was in crisis, but not because of Y2K, but because their anti-virus policies were non-existent and their critical server network had gotten infected.

Joe Schmoe said...

Oh yes; our company, like many other hardware and software companies at the time, did extensive Y2K testing on our products prior to Y2K. We all released statements about how our testing showed no adverse effects, but we couldn't guarantee our clients would have the same results just because we couldn't account for all the variability like different hardware, operating systems, other programs, etc. I remember seeing lots of statements like that at the time.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"Nature is going to do whatever nature wants to do -- we are not the bosses here."

Exactly right.

That's the humility part, the trait that is absent in leftists.

Lack of humility leads to so much suffering.

Show me a humble leftist, and I'll show you a radiator for a VW Beetle.

Quaestor said...

Joe Schmoe wrote:
It caused a bit of a Cash-for-Clunkers effect...

I hadn't considered that before, but the coincidence in time between the post-Y2K decline in IT spending and the NASDAQ collapse is interesting.

Bob Ellison said...

Joe and Joe Schmoe, my company made audio software-- sorta like Photoshop for audio. We got enough emails and queries RE: Y2K that we finally posted (in 1999) a web page stating that our software did not process dates at all, so don't worry, folks. The hysteria reached all corners.

edutcher said...

Agree with Quaestor on Y2K. We had to do a lot that exact same stuff - although we had long since ditched spaghetti code, but a lot of hot fixes had to be redone.

Joe said...

Re Y2K.

On January 2, 2000, I started a new job. The company was in crisis, but not because of Y2K, but because their anti-virus policies were non-existent and their critical server network had gotten infected.


They had just gone to computers, right?

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"Ironically, it was the overreaction to Y2K rather than the event itself which caused the most damage."

Aha! Unintended consequences rears its ugly head, once again.

Never underestimate the reaction, the hysteria as others have pointed out.

Notice how the dems manipulate the media, and in turn, lazy Americans.

Marshall McLuhan is nodding in affirmation.

Quaestor said...

Bob Ellison, did you work for Syntrillium Software?

AJ Lynch said...

I still have a T-shirt that says "I AM Y2K COMPLIANT".

Bob Ellison said...

Quaestor, yes, I was one of Syntrillium's founders.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

The tipoff with AGW was the people who were most voluble about it-- politicians who had a lot to gain from the panic.

Y2K may have been more like the swine flu epidemic that didn't happen in the late seventies. The dire predictions got people to take measures which may have actually averted dire consequences. Post-game everybody felt sheepish that the crisis never arrived.

Quaestor said...

Bob, I'm honored. Cool Edit was a killer I really enjoyed. I now use it in its Audition CS5.5 incarnation. I hope you got a bundle for it.

Joe Schmoe said...

QSTR, the NASDAQ croaked way more over the hysteria in internet stocks. An internet retailer named boo.com raised $250M in funding, spent $135M and sold about $250K worth of product their first (and last) year.

I'm talking more about IT spending as an industry. It was down to flat for several years after Y2K, irrespective of NASDAQ. NASDAQ may have reflected the weakness in the sector, but overall NASDAQ's shooting star and burnout were way more influenced by the internet stock craze.

Of course, that's just my amateur opinion.

Cedarford said...

Joe said...
"It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is.

It clearly isn't.

As soon as scientists figured out how to measure gases in the early 1800s, they did including atmospheric CO2. Several did extensive measurements and recorded them. Using the same techniques, modern scientists have made measurements and found that CO2 concentration hasn't changed a whole lot."

==================
Just as the Left is not served by quackery, neither is the Right. To wit, Joe's claim above, which is utter bullshit.

Atmospheric gas percentiles were measured, extensively and accurately in multiple, repeatable experiments in the 1800s. About 284 ppm in 1832, 390 ppm in 2011.

To check the years before the industrial Revolution and confirm 19th century measurements, trapped gases in Antarctic ice samples in layers of the last 10,000 years were analyzed. The samples show CO2 was in rough equilibrium until the industrial age and accompanying population explosion started. 260-280 ppm 10,000 years ago, 265-280 in 1830s, and a steady, measured rampup since then. As CO2 generation-removal was no longer in equilibrium.

It doesn't look catastrophic, but man IS increasing concentrations and we know that "ah, peshaw, parts per million is trivial, dad blasted! argument does not hold up well given we see the huge environmental impact of other trace gases, like ozone in even lower ppm ranges.

I don't see catastrophy. I see something in the environment no longer in equilibrium that COULD become a problem down the road.

Joe Schmoe said...

Joe and Joe Schmoe, my company made audio software-- sorta like Photoshop for audio. We got enough emails and queries RE: Y2K that we finally posted (in 1999) a web page stating that our software did not process dates at all, so don't worry, folks. The hysteria reached all corners.

Bob, yours was one of the more unambiguous, direct statements. Most, including the company I worked at, implied that we can't guarantee for sure that nothing will happen, so maybe you should upgrade to our latest product...no question lots of IT salespeople were using Y2K to meet and exceed their quotas.

traditionalguy said...

Lindzen pulls the classic maneuver of running to get back ahead of his followers. He is about 7 years late to the party. But his surrender is welcome, even if he still mutters the falsehood about CO2 being a warming gas.

The Climate Depot website has single handedly crushed 15 years and 15 billion dollars spent on construting highly educated fronts for a hoax sting.

So anybody want to bet on how long an uncensored internet will survive attack?

Quaestor said...

Lindzen pulls the classic maneuver of running to get back ahead of his followers. He is about 7 years late to the party. But his surrender is welcome...

Lindzen isn't late to the party. He's been on the anti-catastrophe side since the beginning.

Original Mike said...

"Ironically, it was the overreaction to Y2K rather than the event itself which caused the most damage."

That's my fear about AGW. Cap and trade, megabucks into nonviable energy generation (wind, solar), refusing to develop fossil fuel resources; all of these responses to the belief that the world is going to "end" may just bring about that very result.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ahh yes, the thuggery. People forget about all that during the rhetorical back-and-forth, pretending as though it was always just a nice intellectual debate between honest brokers with a simple difference of opinion.

It most certainly wasn't.

Those ugly, intimidating, behind-the-scenes actions are why terms like "Nazis" get thrown around - accurately - only to be dismissed by the uninformed or those with short attention spans. That they were always wrong and most will pay no price for setting us on that expensive course - just as the Nazis were - makes the connection even more clear.

This is the price we pay for creating an ethic-less society.

bagoh20 said...

"The samples show CO2 was in rough equilibrium until the industrial age and accompanying population explosion started. 260-280 ppm 10,000 years ago, 265-280 in 1830s, and a steady, measured rampup since then. As CO2 generation-removal was no longer in equilibrium."

It's all about the time frame. Pick the right one, and you can claim anything.

The current rise in CO2 and Temps is not unusual, and is, in fact, typical of the planet from far before we could have had anything to do with it. In other words, it's normal.

Even according to the U.N.

Quaestor said...

ofNornLindzen and the late great Michael Crichton arguing that GW is not a crisis in 2007

Quaestor said...

bagoh20 wrote:
It's all about the time frame. Pick the right one, and you can claim anything.

Beat me to it.

Christopher said...

The Y2K/AGW comparison is an unfortunate one--a mild distraction from the swindle of global warming hysteria.

On some other thread this week on another site I can't track down now, a lot of professional geeks weighed in to say the reason a lot of systems didn't grind to a halt during Y2K was because they spent a lot of time fixing it. Depended on the system but in some cases it actually could have been serious.

As opposed to global warming hysteria, which, when all is said and done, is a con.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Matt Taibbi wrote a long article in Rolling Stone a couple of years ago called, "The Great American Bubble Machine", in which he linked Goldman Sachs to various bubbles that have occurred since the Great Depression. Then he talked about what the next bubble will be.

Carbon credits.

Had the "cap and trade" bill that passed the House become law, it would have resulted in a market for carbon credits that would have had a notional value of $1 trillion annually.
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405?page=7

(page 7, under heading titled "Global Warming")

Venture capitalists have invested tens of billions in alternative energy development so we cut back drastically on fossil fuel energy.

School children are indoctrinated to be fearful about man made climate catastrophe some time in their future if the benevolent government does not use its coercive force to restructure the economy and prevent it from happening.

Too many people have too much vested in the scam for it to ever go away completely.

PackerBronco said...

It really comes down to this: there is strong evidence that a little global warming has occured; there is little evidence that a lot of warming has or will occur, but there is no strong evidence that a lot of global warming has or will occur.

garage mahal said...

Lindzen isn't late to the party. He's been on the anti-catastrophe side since the beginning.

Lindzen is the guy that testified on behalf of tobacco companies that the connection between smoking and lung cancer was weak.

Maguro said...

Just as the Left is not served by quackery, neither is the Right. To wit, Joe's claim above, which is utter bullshit.

Atmospheric gas percentiles were measured, extensively and accurately in multiple, repeatable experiments in the 1800s. About 284 ppm in 1832, 390 ppm in 2011.


Yeah, but the Earth wasn't created in 1832, so your point is invalid. Go back 20 or 30 million years and you'll see that life has thrived with CO2 levels many times higher than today. There is no reason to believe that CO2 levels of 500, 700 or even 1,000 ppm would be catastrophic to humaniit

Bob Ellison said...

garage, Lindzen would probably testify to the dangers of the stuff you're smoking.

Quaestor said...

garage wrote:
Lindzen is the guy that testified on behalf of tobacco companies that the connection between smoking and lung cancer was weak.

False. Garage promotes a myth, as usual.

Alex said...

We should try to keep CO2 levels about 400ppm to avert an ice age.

Rusty said...

Antarctic ice samples

You mean Arctic sample don't you?

Alex said...

CO2now.org states we are already in 'danger' zone above 350ppm!

Panic time people.

n.n said...

Their credibility became suspect when they bypassed argument and evidence with appeals to emotion. It may have been the scientists, but it was certainly the executive and marketing arms of this agenda, politicians and activists, respectively.

They are heavily invested, including capital and reputation. Their intransigent and chaotic behavior would suggest they are incapable of withdrawing without suffering significant fiscal and social damage.

It is unfortunate that the greatest victim of all will be science and derivative enterprises.

Alex said...

Upper safety limit is 350ppm CO2

Read this and weep deniers!!!

Joe said...

About 284 ppm in 1832,

How about 481 ppm in 1827?

Or 320-400 pm in 1863/64, which showed a strong seasonal variation?

390 ppm in 1876?

390 ppm in 1940?

Some measurements showed level in excess of 470. More importantly, the ice cores don't match the actual measured data. This is critical; alarmists have repeatedly favored proxy data over actual data.

The actual measured evidence is that CO2 levels have been dropping slightly since the early 19th century.

Alex said...

Joe - read the report about CO2 forcing.

Joe Schmoe said...

Garage, your Alinsky tactic is backfiring. He never testified for tobacco companies against a smoking/cancer link. James Hansen, the former NASA and current AGW scaremonger, though, has made millions off his AGW scaremongering. Just like Al Gore.

Methadras said...

CO2 is .036% - .039% of total atmospheric gas. CO2 isn't the problem. Warming has happened pre-humanity. Cooling has occurred pre-humanity. Water vapor in the atmosphere is the real issue, but there absolutely nothing you can do about it unless you know how to stop oceanic evaporation. And even then, you would creating a catastrophe on an unimagined scale. The science is clear, that if any warming is occurring, is a natural phenomenon that is being created by the sun, since the sun is the originator of Terran weather. Any other weather patterns that originate from that input are an outcome of that input.

The only real question to ask these fools is, what should the ideal surface temperature of the earth be to satisfy you.

garage mahal said...

Quaestor
After double checking my claim about Lindzen I would have to rate it as "mostly false". That's the problem with the internet.

garage mahal said...

I see Joe Schmoe beat me to it.

MadisonMan said...

CO2 levels as a function of time.

Bob Ellison said...

Garage, welcome to the Internet. You come across as mostly honest. Good on you.

AJ Lynch said...

If you don't recognize Lindzen's name and his background when you hear it, you are an uninformed dope. To then tie him to tobacco and lung cancer makes you an even bigger dope ala the NYT's Charles Blow.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Joe Schmoe said...

I'm talking more about IT spending as an industry. It was down to flat for several years after Y2K, irrespective of NASDAQ.

Yes. As a general rule of thumb, companies replace machines every three years. But sometimes it's two, and sometimes it's four or five or longer. And every company is replacing at different times. So there is a relatively steady rate of new machine sales.

Then along comes Y2K; and a large number of companies decided that the cheapest and fastest way to be safe was to buy new machines with the latest software already installed. Your Cash for Clunkers analogy is very appropriate: it essentially pulled forward a bunch of sales, and it also temporarily synchronized that big chunk of the market. So there was a temporary surge in system sales (and not to contradict you, but I do think that had an impact on the NASDAQ, as it made those companies look more attractive); and then followed an extraordinary slowdown in sales, right around the time the Internet bubble was bursting. The bubble was the core problem, but the Y2K Clunkers were a small driver (among other larger drivers) of both the bubble and the fall.

traditionalguy said...

Quaestor... Sorry, I was wrong about Lindzen this morning. In a big hurry I got his name mixed up with another's.

roesch/voltaire said...

Well there are some things Lindzen doesn't know which may change his mind, for example in the debate between him and Gerald North,Lindzen said he would come around the general IPCC view if satellites found robust evidence that a number of the carbon dioxide feedbacks (i.e. clouds) were definitively positive. Now, he says, it’s unclear whether such feedbacks are positive, negative or neutral.
In terms of no temp increase since l997, it is interesting to note that the five hottest years on record have all occurred since then.
The human time frame is so short, but I hope Lindzen lives long enough to make a decisive conclusion.

Original Mike said...

"Garage, welcome to the Internet. You come across as mostly honest. Good on you."

New around here, aren't you. Garage may be the most disingenuous poster here.

Synova said...

It's not CO2, it's methane.

My son suggested the development of methane collecting devices to be worn and then turned in to have the methane extracted.

Perhaps a "pad" could be developed that could be used like fuel pellets in wood burning stoves.

(Why do *you* think that mattresses are so flammable?)

:P

Bob Ellison said...

Synova, your son's idea reminds me of an idea of mine: create a universal battery-charging device that's charged by motion (like automatic watch re-winders), and put them in the hands of street vagrants. Imagine wandering down Central Park, running out of phone power, and giving some guy $5 for a battery swap!

Well, there are probably a few details to be worked out.

garage mahal said...

Original Mike
I'm honored that you think I should be able to do better.i noticed you rarely expect the same from 99.99% of the conservative commenters here.

DADvocate said...

"climate is changing: it always is."

Having taken intro geology, this is an argument I've made many times.

Global warming, aka climate change, is power over your life. Greens want to force you to live as they see fit. Most liberals and conservatives want you to live as they see fit. Politicians seek power for the sake of power. Libertarians want you to live as you see fit, as long as you leave the rest of us alone.

Writ Small said...

@R/V

You really should read through Lindzen's presentation as he specifically addresses the issue of positive and negative feedback and why it is critical to the validity of ALL current models. It sounds like a technical distraction, but that single assumption is truly the difference between global disaster and a complete non-issue. Lindzen provides several scientific studies convincingly backing up the idea that the feedback is indeed negative.

I found the whole speech fascinating. I have not delved into the current debates, but the science and math Lindzen presents is accessible to anyone with decent math background (sorry Garage). Also, Lindzen puts lots of explanatory text in the slides, which makes it easy to follow in the absence of his voice.

Here is how Lindzen sums it up.

Perhaps we should stop accepting the term ‘skeptic.’ Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition. Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition. Twenty years of repetition and escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, the failure to improve the case over 20 years makes the case even less plausible as does the evidence from climategate and other instances of overt cheating.

In the meantime, while I avoid making forecasts for tenths of a degree change in globally averaged temperature anomaly, I am quite willing to state that unprecedented climate catastrophes are not on the horizon though in several thousand years we may return to an ice age.

sonicfrog said...

First, Bob E.... Thank you very much for Cool Edit. That was one heck of a program (still use Audition 1.5 every once in a while).

It's funny. Anthropogenic Global Warming has everything to do with atmospheric reactions to the presence of extra CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Prof. Lindzen is an atmospheric physicist at MIT. Now, think of all the alarmist scientists who make news about global warming, he is the only one who is a dedicated atmospheric physicist.

That doesn't make him right or THAT MUCH BETTER than the colleagues he disagrees with, but he does have authority on this subject.

jimspice said...

Nope. Sorry. That is NOT the argument of the vast majority of deniers. They refuse to admit the basics, even that it has warmed over the last 15 years, yet alone whether man is responsible for it.

chickenlittle said...

Synova said...
It's not CO2, it's methane.

Synova wrote: My son suggested the development of methane collecting devices to be worn and then turned in to have the methane extracted.

He's got the right goal but the means are lacking.
Methane is the simplest alkane. Alkanes are paraffins, a word which derives from little affinity; methane lacks affinity handles.

The corralling of methane would be a useful trick (outside of oceanic clathrates)--and would be akin to herding argon away from air. But for Heaven's sake let the boy dream--this is exactly the sort of curiosity and drive we need.

chickenlittle said...

BTW, it's not common but I'd wager that that OED etymology link I referenced is incorrect.









crickets

Synova said...

How about... 15 years is geologically non-existent.

(I'd have said "trivial" but trivial is more like "we don't count hundreds of thousands of years of missing material as an unconformity because that time frame is trivial.")

Quite seriously, I think that showing a warming trend in the time frame of a human life-time is something that requires extraordinary proof.

Asking the alarmists to adequately support the foundation of the thesis, when many of us remember just a few decades ago being warned of the impending ice age and crisis and need to sprinkle the glaciers of greenland with soot... that's reasonable. Fussing that laypersons just take the experts word for something so profoundly contrary to common sense is not reasonable.

Original Mike said...

"That is NOT the argument of the vast majority of deniers."

I don't see that that matters.

Synova said...

"The corralling of methane would be a useful trick (outside of oceanic clathrates)--and would be akin to herding argon away from air."

Darn. Though I understand it doesn't persist in the atmosphere for very long, though I have no idea what amounts to "very long". I was thinking in terms of a method of chemical sequestering, so you busted my bubble for sure. My son, I believe, was thinking more in terms of a fart catching bag. :-) (No, he is *not* twelve.)

I ♥ Willard said...

when many of us remember just a few decades ago being warned of the impending ice age and crisis and need to sprinkle the glaciers of greenland with soot

Is this a reference to the mythical "scientific consensus" of a coming ice age from the 1970s?

The only people who "remember" that are old and suffering from dementia.

Synova said...

I actually missed the Ice Age thing, so it had to have been in the mid-80s. My baby sister says she remembers it.

When *I* was in school it was either nuclear winter, or if someone thought that might have a political solution, it was simply pollution killing everything, over population, Soylent Green or that moronic movie Silent Running.

When someone has been crying Wolf for your entire lifetime, and the identity of the Wolf changes with the decade, someone new crying Wolf should keep that in mind.

The validity of those other claims of crisis and disaster is irrelevant. Or rather, the invalidity of them is the *point*.

Quaestor said...

jimspice wrote:
They refuse to admit the basics, even that it has warmed over the last 15 years, yet alone whether man is responsible for it.

There's no need to admit that since when such a claim is likely to be false.

BTW, the UK Meteorological Office (equivalent to our National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is no friend of the anti-AGW viewpoint.

If you want to keep your cred you gotta keep current, jimspice.

Rusty said...

Bob Ellison said...
Garage, welcome to the Internet. You come across as mostly honest. Good on you.



My.You set the bar rather low, don't you.

I ♥ Willard said...

Lindzen is the guy that testified on behalf of tobacco companies that the connection between smoking and lung cancer was weak.

I never heard that he testified on behalf of tobacco companies, but he is definitely skeptical about the strength of the link between smoking and lung cancer. Then again, he's a smoker, so he's motivated to live in denial about the health risks associated with his habit. It's what a lot of smokers do.

More interesting is Lindzen's stated willingness to make bets that global average temperatures in 20 years will in fact be lower than they are now. What he doesn't admit readily is that he wants 50 to 1 odds.

Demanding 50 to 1 odds speaks volumes about Lindzen's confidence in his own position.

I ♥ Willard said...

I actually missed the Ice Age thing, so it had to have been in the mid-80s.

If you missed it, you can't say you remember it, right?

Don't worry, it never happened. It's just a bit of revisionist history that has been debunked pretty thoroughly. It's still good for soundbites though.

Bender said...

When *I* was in school it was . . . over population, Soylent Green or that moronic movie Silent Running

Don't think that the over-population crowd, which never went away, isn't part of the contraceptive mandate crowd.

It's not just about "women's rights" or "reproductive health," it is also about saving the planet -- saving the planet by getting rid of the people. The greatest danger to the environment is human beings, so human beings must be eliminated. We reduce our carbon footprint by reducing our human footprint.

Writ Small said...

Nope. Sorry. That is NOT the argument of the vast majority of deniers. They refuse to admit the basics, even that it has warmed over the last 15 years, yet alone whether man is responsible for it.

Does the presence of bad arguments against catastrophic global warming strengthen it as a theory?

Oshbgosh said...

William,
How can you wonder? One group says the science in settled, the other has an open mind to inquiry.

Original Mike said...

"Don't worry, it never happened. It's just a bit of revisionist history that has been debunked pretty thoroughly."

You're either an idiot or a troll.

But I repeat myself.

Original Mike said...

"Does the presence of bad arguments against catastrophic global warming strengthen it as a theory?"

Exactly.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I ♥ Willard said...

Demanding 50 to 1 odds speaks volumes about Lindzen's confidence in his own position.

His clearly stated position is that global warming has been occurring and that the increase in CO2 should cause more. Have you seen anywhere where he has said he believes that trend will reverse in the next 20 years? ( More likely it would have to reverse within 10 years to get back below where it is now. )

Synova said...

"It's not just about "women's rights" or "reproductive health," it is also about saving the planet -- saving the planet by getting rid of the people. The greatest danger to the environment is human beings, so human beings must be eliminated. We reduce our carbon footprint by reducing our human footprint."

And science is never the answer, is it.

I can not figure how it has become anti-science to think we don't have to revert to pre-industrial life and enforce a "footprint" that can live like that instead of viewing human ingenuity and science as the most valuable resource of all.

Every so often someone being "brave" looks forward to the bird flu wiping out 80% of all people, or else explains (bravely) that putting a sterilization agent in the water might become necessary and needs to be done in developed nations first (nevermind actual rates of reproduction).

The bird flu one (and yes, love, I do specifically remember the bird flu fantasy, though I'm sure it was just the one particular community college prof that was suggesting this) was rather amusing.

An 80% human die off might be a good thing, you see. Because there would be so many fewer people. Except, myself being a science fiction sort used to thinking about what happens *next*, I immediately wondered where the survivors would get their birth control.

So this fellow's "brave" idea was that maybe an 80% die off of humans would be good for the planet... and he never thought that (completely ignoring the disease associated with lots and lots of rotting bodies) that the remaining population wouldn't be able to maintain infrastructure and industry, would most likely revert to agrarian necessities and would have an 18th century view of proper family size and NO contraceptives.

How long would it take to replace 80% of the population if family size went from barely replacement to as many as a womb could produce until it gave out? If instead of two children I have eight? If instead of having two children at age 35, I have eight starting at age 15?

I swear these people do not *think*.

Bob Ellison said...

jimspice, there are problems with the AGW conjecture, and there is no single Satan pointing them all out. Well, there might be. But wanting a single Satan doesn't necessarily make Satan rise.

There are problems, as Professor Lindzen's presentation shows. Lots of issues.

My biggest issue with the AGW conjecture is that it is so dependent upon computer models that have not been well tested.

If I were in charge, I'd say give me a model, freeze the code, make predictions for five years or so (since long-term predictions are what these models are all about-- change the time span if you like), and then compare the predictions with reality. A few years ago, we had models with long-term predictions. Lindzen points out that they were largely wrong: the models predicted rapidly rising temperatures, but mean global temps have been largely flat for about fifteen years.

But the modelers keep dicking with their programs and saying they'll get it right; the conjecture is still true; the data needs more massaging. That's not allowed in normal industry. Only in academia is such silliness allowed. Why is this happening?

Writ Small said...

Wikipedia says . . .

Lindzen's final proposal was a bet that if the temperature change were less than 0.2 °C (0.36 °F), he would win. If the temperature change were between 0.2 °C (0.36 °F) and 0.4 °C (0.72 °F) the bet would be off, and if the temperature change were 0.4 °C (0.72 °F) or greater, Annan would win. He would take 2 to 1 odds.

Incidentally, in an old Michael Crichton interview (Watch it here) , he specifically addresses the bad science in second hand smoke (go to the 4:22 mark). I suspect that since Crichton and Lindzen were debate partners, they both pointed to that example of junk science in their skepticism of catastrophic global warming. The first part is even more interesting as Crichton explains the parallels he sees between environmentalism and religion.

Also, if you haven't found it, Lindzen's excellent speech is here: Lindzen’s speech PDF

Maguro said...

My biggest issue with the AGW conjecture is that it is so dependent upon computer models that have not been well tested

Oh, but the computer have been tested, and they've failed miserably.

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".

"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.

wildswan said...

Think about the retreat of the glaciers from Lake Michigan in relation to Industrial Age "warming". For hundreds of thousands of years the glaciers went up and down Lake Michigan - from the top down to Milwaukee and back up to the top. Thirteen thousand years ago the glacier retreated from Milwaukee but this time it went way past the top of Lake Michigan. It went all the way across Canada over the years up to the Arctic Circle. That is global warming - not caused by the industrial age. It is still going on. And how do you distinguish that from the effects of the industrial age?

Original Mike said...

Hey, Jimspice. You still here. Want to play real science? Please discuss Lindzen's third slide

DADvocate said...

Surely, jimspice jests. He couldn't have picked the past 15 years by accident.

garage mahal said...

It seems like all the AGW skeptic links are always to a British news media source. Dailymail. The Independent. The Telegraph.

Right next to the "World Average Temperature graph at trhe DailyMail you can find stories like Salma Hayek's pre-Oscar bash transparent dress, and Pamela Anderson's overplucked eyebrows.

Bob Ellison said...

DADvocate, I'd say you might be right...and Original Mike, maybe you're just doing infield work, so to speak...

But whether jimspice him/herself actually believes what he/she wrote, I worry about the possibility that idiocy like that is common. I suspect it is. Witness garage's latest. UK source = false?

People are not thinking here. It's all emotional.

Original Mike said...

Garage - just go read Lindzen's presentation.

Original Mike said...

It's in English (which seems to be damning, in your mind).

Maguro said...

Right next to the "World Average Temperature graph at trhe DailyMail you can find stories like Salma Hayek's pre-Oscar bash transparent dress, and Pamela Anderson's overplucked eyebrows.

Did you read the article? Lots of academic and government scientist types are quoted talking about how the models don't work.

Though I can see how you may have been distracted by Salma Hayek in a transparent dress. That's understandable.

garage mahal said...

It's in English (which seems to be damning, in your mind).

And yours, apparently. You haven't been able to come up with a compelling reason that I've seen why we should believe Lindzen. Just go read it! isn't very convincing.

Original Mike said...

I'm not asking you to believe anything. Just asking you to do your homework.

Original Mike said...

Ahh, never mind. It's over your head.

garage mahal said...

Just asking you to do your homework.

Why would you trust someone as disingenuous as me to read a scientific paper?

I bookarked it. I can't guarantee you I'll read it though. Certainly not with this head cold

Writ Small said...

Just go read it! isn't very convincing.

Fair enough.

Lindzen offers many reasons to doubt catastrophic global warming, but the most compelling is the following.

All current models (Lindzen lists all eleven) use a positive number for “feedback.” Feedback is the notion that not only will an increase in CO2 cause an understood rise in global temperatures (this is understood and agreed), but that the rise in temperature itself will cause additional warming from, for example, more water vapor or cloud formation. This positive feedback is very bad. Think of getting a microphone too close to a speaker. That screech you hear is positive feedback of sound. The analogue of that to temperature would be a nasty impact to the earth. However, it is possible the feedback effect is zero or actually negative, which means other factors will mitigate rather than amplify the impact of CO2. This means a rise in carbon will correspond to a slight rise in temps, and we’ll have milder winters (pardon me while I stifle a yawn) but no catastrophic risk.

Now, while all eleven models use a positive feedback factor, the observational data based on evaporation data show the feedback to be negative. In fact, billions of years ago, the output of the sun was significantly less than today, but the temperatures on earth were not as dramatically colder as any of the existing models would predict. The oceans were not frozen. If the feedback is negative, it is basically game over for catastrophic global warming. We can spend our billions of research dollars on more important things such as making dresses even more transparent. Not to mention that the slight rise in temps we exect to endure will provide a greater number of days in the year when transparent dresses are appropriate to wear.

bagoh20 said...

"It seems like all the AGW skeptic links are always to a British news media source."

My link at 11:57am is to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). A simple graph of temperature and CO2 levels for the last 450,000 years from ice cores. That single piece of information destroys the AGW argument totally. It clearly shows that NOTHING SPECIAL IS HAPPENING with our climate that hasn't happened regularly over and over again forever. The whole AGW argument is nothing more than selecting a data range that meets the desired agenda. The data shows that yes, it has been warming and CO2 has been rising, but it is due to reverse very soon, just like it has every approx. 130,000 years before like clockwork - a very slow, but reliable clockwork.

Synova said...

Hm... speaking again of methane capture...

If the existing methane metabolizing microbes preferentially metabolize methane, (say that three times fast), perhaps something can be done akin to filters after all.

Granted, that would be using science to solve a problem instead of crippling the economy with Luddite foolishness.

chickenlittle said...

If the existing methane metabolizing microbes preferentially metabolize methane, (say that three times fast), perhaps something can be done akin to filters after all.

Methane monoxygenases (MMO) was all the rage a decade ago. They solved the X-ray crystal structure of the active site even. I've lost track of the research and don't know where it ended up. I do know that the "sequestering" aspect was mainly just a hydrophobic effect coupled with a high energy trap inside. In other words, only small, non polar things like methane can swim inside and get converted to an alcohol. There wasn't really a "storage" aspect per se. If you want read about how nature stores methane, try googling "clathrate"

Synova said...

Oh!

Now *that* is very cool. I'm not sure what is cooler... clathrates as a potential energy source or wondering if they can be constructed or encouraged to grow.

Synova said...

I should say that the "OMG WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE" part is also rather fascinating.

DaveW said...

Wow a global warming post and only just over 100 comments and none after midnight. The AGW farce truly is dead.

Remember when they were calling it global warming? Then they started calling it anthropogenic global warming. Then when it became clear the globe wasn't warming the way they predicted they started calling it climate change.

Of course climate change is a completely different phenomenon than man-caused global warming. The climate is changing and always has changed over time.

But if you don't agree with AGW theory you are now 'denying' that climate change is occurring.

And they've been refusing to debate skeptics for years. The 'science is settled' they said. But now they 'just want to have a debate'.

The whole thing is deeply dishonest and transparently false, obviously so to anyone that takes the time to scratch at it for an hour or so.

Rusty said...

Synova said...
Oh!

Now *that* is very cool. I'm not sure what is cooler... clathrates as a potential energy source or wondering if they can be constructed or encouraged to grow.


I don't know but judging by where they're found in nature I think it would be cheaper just to tap cows.

If you follow popular engineering magazines at all you'll find that about every other year or so somebody invents a "revolutionary" internal combustion engine that is going to "revolutionize" the way we drive. you know. More efficient. it turns out that the internal combustion engine in its current incarnation is amazingly efficient.
Remember the Wankle Engine?
It was never really intended to be an internal combustion motor. it was originally designed to a high altitude air compressor for WW2 German fighter planes.
OK
I wandered off enough.

Joe Schmoe said...

Rusty, good point. I remember a few years ago when inventor Dean Kamen was buying up web site URLs with 'Stirling Engine' in them. The buzz was that he'd finally cracked the puzzle and had created a high-efficient Stirling engine that was economical to produce. So maybe we were on the verge of having individual home power plants that could supply all of our electricity on a tube of propane?

And....then he comes out with the Segway.

I ♥ Willard said...

You're either an idiot or a troll.

Oh snap, an ad hominem rebuttal! How utterly convincing.

I ♥ Willard said...

His clearly stated position is that global warming has been occurring and that the increase in CO2 should cause more. Have you seen anywhere where he has said he believes that trend will reverse in the next 20 years?

Oh, okay, you didn't understand Lindzen's argument. He claims that AGW is small (quite small, in fact) compared to natural climate variability. However the terms of his bet are inconsistent with this claim, i.e., if he really believes that natural climate variability dwarfs AGW, then he wouldn't require 50 to 1 odds.

Lindzen won't put his money where his mouth is. That says it all, really.

Quaestor said...

Willard wrote:
Oh snap, an ad hominem rebuttal! How utterly convincing.as a rebuke to Original Mike'sYou're either an idiot or a troll.

...fair enough...

then Willard wrote
Lindzen won't put his money where his mouth is. That says it all, really,... Wow.

It seems trolls are so confirmed in their, shall we say provocative, forensic style that they can't put it aside long enough to gain credibility. Thus Willard after handily deflecting Original Mike's critique proceeds to confirm it in his very next post... Wow.

Bruce Hayden said...

Ah, Y2K. I have fond memories there. Was working at the time as the only in-house attorney in the facility that housed our Y2K command post, in a company that at one time sold more mainframe computers than IBM. It was great fun watching midnight move around the world. When Sweden didn't go dark, we were pretty sure that we were safe (the Swedish National (electricity) Grid was the last user of one of our obsolete, archaic, and otherwise non-supported computer systems).

In the end, I had to be the bogeyman though. The company ordered in pizza to celebrate, and I said "no" to the beer, on liability grounds.

Original Mike said...

Willard: You stated about the prediction that the world was headed for the next ice age:

"Don't worry, it never happened. It's just a bit of revisionist history that has been debunked pretty thoroughly."

It happened. I know because I read and studied it in the 70's, when I was in college. If you believe what you said, you're an idiot. Personally, I give you the benefit of the doubt, and believe you are a troll.

Original Mike said...

Here's another Willard pronouncement from this thread:

"The only people who "remember" that are old and suffering from dementia."

I stand by my insult.

chickenlittle said...

I'm guessing that Willard invested a lot of intellectual credibility on AGW being gospel truth at one point.

Otherwise, why all the unserious mockery?

I ♥ Willard said...

I know because I read and studied it in the 70's, when I was in college.

Well that certainly represents substantial evidence. o_O

I ♥ Willard said...

Otherwise, why all the unserious mockery?

Mr. Little, I can't take seriously people who ignore well established facts. Mockery is all they deserve.

gk1 said...

What ever happened to "cap and trade"legislation warmists? I don't see your favorite president and party pushing that any more. Its like it never existed for some reason. I presume they will push it again if they ever get all the levers of power again. But its almost like they want to distance themselves from this scam. Interesting.

I ♥ Willard said...

The only people who "remember" that are old and suffering from dementia.

Because it's a myth.

Original Mike said...

Global cooling was taken seriously. There wasn't a "consensus" as there is now. Actual scientific debate was taking place, in contrast to the stifling environment of today's climate science.

Synova said...

Except that no one was claiming any sort of "scientific consensus"... probably because that is a rather new thing. Was anyone saying "this is a scientific consensus, so shut up" in 1970? I don't think they were.

So what was a "Myth?"

The "myth" article is "was there a scientific consensus".

The claims made here have been... did teachers traumatize my baby sister in elementary school, and did I study this looming disaster in college.

Not a myth.

Maguro said...

Paul Erlich was a big proponent of global cooling alarmism back in the 70s - it was part the overpopulation hysteria he was promoting at the time - and is a big proponent of global warming alarmism now.

plus ├ža change...

I ♥ Willard said...

I guess I underestimated how poor some colleges are.

Synova said...

It's not "poor" to teach about various ideas just because they weren't part of a "consensus."

I went to a little seminar the other day having to do with 4Vesta and data collected by the Dawn probe thingy. Mostly it was researchers from the Meteorite Institute so I was a bit out of place, but it was really interesting. In any case, the conclusion was two lists. One list was "This is what we expected to find and we found it." The other list was "This is what we expected to find and we found something different."

That, to me, seems like how science is supposed to work. And the more interesting of the two lists is the one about what was different from expectations. Isn't it?

Where have we gotten this notion that science is supposed to be about the consensus when it's mostly about the data that falls outside the current paradigm?

Original Mike said...

"Where have we gotten this notion that science is supposed to be about the consensus when it's mostly about the data that falls outside the current paradigm?"

Climate science has turned into advocacy. I guess that's understandable if you think you're saving the world. But what if you're wrong? The field is too immature not to still be doing science rather leading a societal crusade.

I ♥ Willard said...

It's not "poor" to teach about various ideas just because they weren't part of a "consensus."

Hold on a second... if your college class introduced you to the main scientific ideas associated with climate research of the era, that's great. But then you wouldn't have taken away this:

many of us remember just a few decades ago being warned of the impending ice age and crisis and need to sprinkle the glaciers of greenland with soot

What good college science course of that time would have left you with that impression? An impending ice age? A cooling crisis? Sorry, but a good college course in climate science of that era would not have emphasized "an impending ice age."

I ♥ Willard said...

There wasn't a "consensus" as there is now. Actual scientific debate was taking place, in contrast to the stifling environment of today's climate science.

Scientific debate was taking place among scientists. That's what's changed. Now the "debate" is a public debate frequently being carried by nonscientists (e.g., TV weatherman Anthony Watts who doesn't even have a college degree, self-proclaimed climate expert James Taylor who is a Heartland Institute lawyer, etc...).

The fact that the majority of Althouse followers don't have a degree in a scientific field and aren't knowledgeable about climate science doesn't keep them from having a strongly held opinion on the subject which they eagerly share as if it has the same value as an opinion based on scientific facts.

Carry on.

Synova said...

Except that the people being told "the science is settled, shut up" do often have degrees in scientific fields.

And it's not the deniers that have taken the debate to the ignorant public. I did note that you only listed that side of it.

In the end, though, appeals to authority are flawed and doomed to fail.

I ♥ Willard said...

Except that the people being told "the science is settled, shut up" do often have degrees in scientific fields.

For example?

Bruce Hayden said...

The fact that the majority of Althouse followers don't have a degree in a scientific field and aren't knowledgeable about climate science ...

Course, if we are looking at people with no scientific training, we need look no further than Mr. Inconvenient Truth himself, Algore (Jr.) If I remember right, he got a C- and a D+ in his two bone-head science courses in college. And, he was able to understand the "science" enough that he could show entire cities being submerged, almost over night.

Now, of course, the only way that could happen is if the CO2 feedback were on the scale of Nancy Pelosi's Keynesian multipliers. With the reality being that any rise in the oceans (assuming there is one) is low enough that there will be several generations of buildings in those cities before the cities could get swamped.

But, his graphics were striking, and that is what apparently important.

One thing that is not mentioned as much as it should be, is that if any warming (assuming there is any) seems to be affecting winter much more than summer. This means that we have the potential for opening up billions of acres of farmland to farming, without worrying about losing that much to heat or flooding. Which, apparently, is a bad thing, at least according to Algore and his friends and minions.

MikeR said...

Wow - who said this?
http://climateaudit.org/2012/02/24/heartland-publishes-gleick-emails/#comment-326135
"If I were the CAGW sales manager, I would view one of my key missions as focused marketing to the precise sort of people that make up the audience at Climate Audit, Lucia’s, Bishop Hill, Jeff Id and to a portion of Watts Up: highly educated professionals, including scientists from other fields, who are interested in the climate debate,
who are technically competent and who haven’t reached an opinion on whether climate is a big, medium or small problem (including me.)

The audience has to be treated more like investors than high school students i.e. if you’re pitching to investors and they don’t invest, you can’t “fail” them or tell them that they’re stupid or tools of the fossil fuel industry; you have to think about why your pitch failed and what you can do better, and leave on good terms with the investor and maybe you’ll have another chance later on. It’s madness to condemn this audience as “deniers” or “ground troops” of the fossil fuel industry – madness both on the part of the activists who do so and madness on the part of the broader climate “community” that tolerates and even honors such conduct from its activist wing.

Also too many of the self-appointed sales people for CAGW are too wrapped up in their own self-importance and are unlikable to an extended audience. Indeed, if I were CAGW sales manager, I could hardly imagine a sales force more unlikely to succeed. This is quite aside from whether the message is right or wrong. If it’s important to actually persuade someone on the fence that CAGW is an imminent danger, then it’s important to talk to people on the fence or even in opposition (to get them on the fence.) It’s also probably important to retire some of the self-appointed sales people – thank for their service politely but get spokesmen who can build trust with a wider community."