April 15, 2015

"Personally, I find that the most objectionable feature of the conservative attitude is its propensity to reject well-substantiated new knowledge..."

"... because it dislikes some of the consequences which seem to follow from it—or, to put it bluntly, its obscurantism. I will not deny that scientists as much as others are given to fads and fashions and that we have much reason to be cautious in accepting the conclusions that they draw from their latest theories. But the reasons for our reluctance must be rational and must be kept separate from our regret that the new theories upset our cherished beliefs."

Wrote F.A. Hayek in "Why I Am Not a Conservative," quoted by Jonathan Adler at The Volokh conspiracy in a post titled "What does it take to convince libertarians and conservatives that climate change is a problem?"

117 comments:

Tank said...

Name that fallacy !!!

Fen said...

One, its not a conservative attitude, its a scientific one.

Something about the Scientific Method that people like Hayek have abandoned.

If your computer model predictions fail to match observable data for 18 years, which do you adjust? The computer models or reality?

Its people like Hayek that are the "deniers"

sparrow said...

Fen is right on

mccullough said...

Cognitive dissonance applies to most everyone, conservative, liberal, libertarian, etc.

tim maguire said...

"What does it take to convince libertarians and conservatives that climate change is a problem?"

How about an honest review supported by evidence? Hayek is not a conservative because conservatives do not genuflect before his hobby horses when they are outside his area of expertise? He's got a good example, but he's misidentified the culprit.

theribbonguy said...

I'll take "Increasing My Research Funding" for $1000 Alex.

traditionalguy said...

But why would anyone believe total lies dressed up in the clothes of "a new knowledge?" That is only mass insanity.

SJ said...

Does this mean that liberal efforts to ignore the heritability of IQ are anti-scientific?

caveat: I'm barely a knowledgeable lay person on the subject of heritability of IQ. But the impression I have is that Liberals--as well as conservatives--deny the facts.

MadisonMan said...

Rejection of science is not a Conservative-only problem. Some extremely liberal people think Vaccinations are worthless, when all scientific evidence points to the contrary.

When Science is subsumed by politics from either side, bad things happen.

AReasonableMan said...

Fen said...
Its people like Hayek that are the "deniers"


Hayek has been dead for 25 years so I doubt he had an opinion on the issue.

Phil 3:14 said...

What we do in response to "established science" does matter.

Patrick said...

Commenters going off on Hayek for his position on global warming go a long way toward proving the general point.

tim maguire said...

AReasonableMan said...Hayek has been dead for 25 years so I doubt he had an opinion on the issue.


Oops, so it's really a case of a liberal yet again manipulating the words of someone conservatives generally admire in order to lie to them about what their heroes believe?

If only I could be surprised...

tim maguire said...

Patrick said...Commenters going off on Hayek for his position on global warming go a long way toward proving the general point.

No we don't. We just don't follow Hayek that closely so we were successfully lied to. That's quite a different thing.

Hagar said...

The AGW hysteria is based on temperature readings from the last 150 years or so, and they have fudged those.
This is like predicting the stockmarket for next week by an intense study of the trading in the last 5 minutes on Friday.
But we know a lot more about the stockmarket than that, and we likewise know a lot more about the climate variations on earth over the ages.
We still have not explained either the stockmarket or the climate cycles, but we do know that they occur.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

I started out believing the whole shebang without question, same as I would believe most things presented based on having some training in physics and mathematics and a basic trust in science reporting.

Then I started out on the web getting into arguments with "deniers" about the science, and basically I was getting my ass kicked on fundamental questions. This had never happened before, for example, while arguing with those who believed in "Intelligent Design" who unfailingly presented fatally flawed arguments that were fun to trash. Now I was the one presenting fatally flawed arguments, and no matter how hard I tried to get answers to these questions from whatever sources I could, and I do read the literature, and I have read the IPCC reports, these flaws are never answered.

Once could go to, for instance, SkepticalScience.com, AKA SKS, and see all manner of strawmen, or obviously misinformed skeptical arguments knocked down, but the real, cut to the heart, objections are never answered.

So my suggestion would be to not look at it as a political argument, but a scientific one, and the problem of "conservative opposition to science" goes away.

Fen said...

Hayek has been dead for 25 years so I doubt he had an opinion on the issue.

Still makes him a science denier. Just a dead one.

"Great mind for economic theory, his legacy tarnished by his denial of science"

What a waste.



Brando said...

In other news, people of all political stripes tend to want to only believe things that support their existing worldview, lifestyle, and policy desires. Film at eleven.

jimbino said...
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jimbino said...
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Virgil Hilts said...

You can accept the probability of AGW without agreeing that more power should therefore be given to hypocrites like Gore and Obama to regulate anything and everything. The reaction to the AGW chapter in Superfreakonomics showed pretty conclusively that the goal of the activists was not to stop or retard global warming; it was to use the "crisis" as a means of obtaining more control over people.

Fen said...

Tim: I started out believing the whole shebang without question, same as I would believe most things presented based on having some training in physics and mathematics and a basic trust in science reporting.

Yup, same here.

"Now I was the one presenting fatally flawed arguments, and no matter how hard I tried to get answers to these questions from whatever sources I could, and I do read the literature, and I have read the IPCC reports, these flaws are never answered."

Worse, I was trashed for asking those same questions, by the people I respected as authorities on the science. That's what finally made me realize I was dealing with ideologues and not scientists.

Then I found Climate Audit and WattsUpWithThat. Shortly after the Angelina data leak revealed what a hoax the AGW crowd was foisting on us.

The "HarryReadMe" file was the final nail in the coffin. I know enough about computer programing to recognize they were massaging the data and tweaking the results.

A sum of two squares that returns an increasingly negative value? Seriously?

tim in vermont said...

A funny incident with Skeptical Science came at the time they accidentally left a discussion page intended to be internal, open to the public.

It turns out that their scientific consultants don't believe that the "Hockey Stick" is good science, or even right by accident, as some have claimed.

Behind the SKS Curtain

Basically, Steve McIntyre had loudly complained about all of the exact scientific abuses that were eventually revealed by ClimateGate. In fact, if the emails had not been admitted to as genuine, one could have wondered if McIntyre had written them. What was the response? Widespread attempts to trash McIntyre's reputation.

PackerBronco said...

What would it take to convince me?

Why don't you start with one of the basic tenets of science: a falsifiable hypothesis?

jimbino said...

Climate change has been a fact for billennia. Change can be positive or negative in its effects on humans.

If negative, there are many ways to combat it. Carbon taxes and subsidizing alternative energy are expensive ways that socialists prefer, because it keeps gummint involved in controlling our lives.

One sure alternative solution, apparently supported by the pope, is to put a stop to the rabbit-like breeding.

It has not been clearly established that climate change is anthropogenic, but, if so, it is the rampant breeding that both exacerbates any problem and produces the only cohort to benefit long-term effects of any painful present taxes and sacrifices made to combat climate change.

Non-breeders have no stake in that endless cohort of the breeders' progeny and should not justly be taxed to combat climate change or to pay for any other benefits that accrue only to the progeny of the breeders.

A physicist, I'm a climate-change skeptic, not because I don't think the evidence is lacking, but because I'm sure of our socialist gummint's determination to use it as just another excuse to tax and spend, to control our lives, to favor alternative-energy lobbying and other wasteful pet projects, and to further the transfer of wealth from the child-free, who by not breeding are already helping to solve the problem, to the breeders, who, if climate-change be deemed anthropogenic, are clearly its major cause as well as the major contributors to species extinction and water and energy shortages.

tim maguire said...

tim in vermont said...Once could go to, for instance, SkepticalScience.com, AKA SKS, and see all manner of strawmen, or obviously misinformed skeptical arguments knocked down, but the real, cut to the heart, objections are never answered.

Indeed, that's one way to tell how strong someone's position is--do they address their critics strongest arguments? Or their weakest?

Frankly, to the extent that there is a scientific consensus, it is much closer to the mainstream skeptical position than it is the alarmist position. Alarmists get around this problem by lying about both the consensus and the skeptics.

Fen said...

You can accept the probability of AGW without agreeing that more power should therefore be given

Yup. The skeptic's position is basically this:

1) yes, the earth has been warming
2) yes, humans have contributed to it
3) no, that contribution is not significant enough to invoke Global Socialism.

rhhardin said...

Climate science is what astrology would look like if it had linear regression.

There'd be more graphs in the horoscope but the same accuracy.

Adler is an idiot.

rhhardin said...

well-substantiated should have no hyphen. "Well" is an adverb and can only modify the adjective. Adler is no good at grammar either.

MayBee said...

"Someone I admire said something I agree with about something, so I can use his quote to apply to every issue I believe in"

See also:Martin Luther King Jr

Michael P said...

I wonder what he would say about modern "liberals", and progressives in particular. The UVa rape hoax in Rolling Stone did not reflect well on their confirmation bias, and the too-common reaction on the left (fake but accurate redux) showed outright epistemic closure.

traditionalguy said...

What evidence would we like that trace gas co2 has an effect on climate. How about one drop of factual data. There are no such facts in existence.

Theoretical co2 heat trapping in the troposhere has been totally missing because it does not happen.

The best the Big Fraud sci-fi boys can come up with is a theory of hidden heat to explain its not being there.

L. Ron Hubbard was better at creating a religion from fears than the Warmingology Hoaxters are.



Brando said...

I'm a skeptic not as to whether the earth has been warming (which should be measurable if done properly and correcting for local conditions) but as to whether we can determine that human activity is a significant contributor to that warming. Regardless, I think conserving resources and reducing our dependency on fossil fuels is desirable for other reasons--less need for oil from volatile regions, less local air pollution, economic benefits of lower energy needs--so my skepticism is not driven by policy desires. It's driven by the normal (and healthy) skepticism we should all have when presented with an unproven (or unprovable) theory.

If global warming has been proven to be significantly caused by human activity, then prove logically why this is the case--not with data showing the earth is getting warmer (that's not the question) or that human use of fossil fuels has increased (that's correlation, not causation). If you can't do it, then quit insulting those who aren't convinced. It's like getting mad at someone for not sharing your religious beliefs.

tim in vermont said...

have no idea how one deals with this– to be candid, McIntyre or Watts in handcuffs is probably the only thing that will slow things down. Note that i did not say “stop”. These guys are relentless, and have many faithful followers. SKS propagandist.

I don’t mean to be the pessimist of the group here but Mc brought up some very good points about the original hockeystick. The confidence affirmed to it by many on our side of the debate was vastly overstated and as has been shown in the recent literature greater variability on the centennial scale exists than was shown. The statistical methodology used by Mann did rely too much on tree rings which still are in debate over their usefulness to reconstruct temperature and particularly their ability to record low-frequency temperature variations. I’ve personally seen work that is unpublished that challenges every single one of his reconstructions because they all either understate or overstate low-frequency variations. My personal experience has been that Moberg still has the best reconstruction and his one does show greater variability. That’s why I don’t like to talk the HS stuff, because I know a lot of people who have doubts about the accuracy of the original HS. Dr Robert Way, published and widely cited climate scientist and expert.

Quayle said...

"What does it take to convince libertarians and conservatives that climate change is a problem?"

1. A final data set void of the cumulative variations of multiple sequential assumptions, and void of repeated tweaking, trimming, and massaging.

2. A clear demonstration of which variations in the data set are the result of humans, and which are the result of the same causes as the various ice ages, and a clear explanation on the process that was used to determine such.

3. A process void of political influence and supposed political meaning, and in particular void of sanctimony and self-righteousness.

4. A process void of social pressure on the scientists.

5. A scientific process that can demonstrate conclusively that their conclusions on this are final, and will not later be (re) massaged, jury rigged, plastered with ad hoc amendments, or later refuted by another paradigm.

6. A process void of financial gain for scientists to arrive at a particular outcome.

7. A process void of non-scientist advocates (such as Gore) who have blatant financial conflicts of interest in a particular outcome.

8. An appreciation by the sanctimonious people like Jonathan Adler that the first rule of science is that it doesn’t lead to truth, it leads only to better explanations.

9. An appreciation by the sanctimonious people like Jonathan Adler that the second rule of science is that it must remain tentative forever.

10. An appreciation by the sanctimonious people like Jonathan Adler that the third rule of science is that when the current scientists refute the past science, the history gets rewritten to appear as though it was all one inevitable, inexorable, seamless flow of knowledge to arrive at where we now claim is true, rather than a messy, lurching, murky mud wrestle of opinions and discarded ideas, highly influence by unscientific things like standing, stature, eminence, reputation, and pack-like aggression.

11. (for good measure) – a corresponding acknowledgement and appreciation by folks like Jonathan Alder, that there is far more clear and undisputable evidence that “Family Warming” and “Family Change” lead to more human suffering than Global Warming and Climate Change ever will.

[By the way, if items 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10 are, in fact, removed from the process, then the process won't be science at all, because science is infused with all of those thing and always has been]

tim in vermont said...

Frankly, to the extent that there is a scientific consensus, it is much closer to the mainstream skeptical position than it is the alarmist position.

This is the nut of the matter, as my quote from Dr Way above, a widely respected "consensus" scientist demonstrates.

Skyler said...

Adler is a climate change ideologue and nothing will change his mind, especially not facts. That makes his citing of this 60 to 80 years old quote from Hayek especially ironic, or should I say hypocritical?

Anthroprogenic climate change has been scientifically debunked time and again, and the leading proponents of the "theory" have been shown repeatedly to be liars and con artists trying to shake down governments.

Of course even a layman can easily see, should he decide to see, that there is no way that we can discern a global average temperature to within a tenth of a degree in any way that holds meaning for the climate change theorists. It's all hogwash from even the most fundamental level.

But Adler won't see that, he fancies himself more enlightened than those who see the truth. I'm sure he gets invited to more soirees at the university this way, too.

Skyler said...

Fen, Hayek died in 1992 at the age of 92. He knew nothing about global warming. Your attack on him is misplaced.

MayBee said...

The arc of history is long, and it bends toward global warming.

tim in vermont said...

To defend the alarmist for a minute here, they have an impossible burden if required to provide a "formal proof" since the fallacy of the consequent, If A then B, B, therefore A, can never be ruled out on a scale this vast.

But the objections to the alarmist argument are, in fact, answerable by data. The data just don't show the answer the alarmist would like.

theribbonguy said...

You have to hand it to the Goreacle..that Carbon Tax grift will go down in history as one of the most successful scams of all time.

I believe in climate change..DUH!!..the climate has been changing since forever. To wit, when the Vikings landed on that lush shore with fertile farming soil they christened the new land Greenland. You know, that Greenland that is now mostly ice.

Never mind the fact that one volcano eruption belches more "warming" gases than the industrialized world as a whole produces in a year..it's my Grand Cherokee that is causing the globe to warm up (or not).

Burning fossil fuel effects the climate sure..just as a mosquito bite effects my blood pressure.

Skyler said...

Someone else: "Hayek has been dead for 25 years so I doubt he had an opinion on the issue."

Fen: "Still makes him a science denier. Just a dead one."

I don't know for sure, but I suspect that the quote by Hayek was more in reference to something akin to the Scopes monkey trial, and that means he was dead on.

Time to retreat, Fen. Don't dig the hole deeper.

jimbino said...

rhhardin:

well-substantiated should have no hyphen. "Well" is an adverb and can only modify the adjective. Adler is no good at grammar either.


You should reveal where you learned grammar, so we know what school to avoid.

The phrase in the OP that you refer to ran:

well-substantiated new knowledge.

Since well is both an adjective and an adverb, clarity requires the hyphen, so that the reader doesn't think well new knowledge An explanation is here:

http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/hyphens.asp

Tank said...

MayBee said...

"Someone I admire said something I agree with about something, so I can use his quote to apply to every issue I believe in"

See also: Martin Luther King Jr


This made me laugh because it's so true.

tim in vermont said...

The arc of history is long, and it bends toward global warming

I would be very interested to know how you know that, since I respect your opinions generally.

MayBee said...

Tim-
Thank you! I'm not being serious. I'm just using MLK to do what Adler did.

tim in vermont said...

so that the reader doesn't think well new knowledge An explanation is here:

A mistake no native speaker of English would make since it is nonsensical, even if, in other contexts, 'well' could be used as an adjective. I would be interested to hear a use of well as an adjective without a verb in play, like for instance "well chuffed", or "well substantiated", BTW. Always willing to learn. 'Well' modifies 'substantiated,' not 'knowledge.'

MadisonMan said...

Frankly, to the extent that there is a scientific consensus, it is much closer to the mainstream skeptical position than it is the alarmist position.

Any good scientist is by nature skeptical.

A better statement of the 'scientific consensus' IMO is that there is plenty of data that suggests the Earth is warming. (Data that suggests the Earth is cooling is a lot harder to find -- but there is data that can be interpreted to show not much happening: there's plenty of noise in any dataset) This warming is consistent with theories of what should happen as CO2 increases. I know of very very few scientists who would disagree with those two statements (that are, admittedly, very bland).

Almost every one would say that more observations are needed (especially in the ocean).

Whenever you look at a dataset, ask yourself: Why did the presenter choose the start date they did? Why are they showing, for example, annual means vs. decadal?

Quayle said...

Never mind the fact that one volcano eruption belches more "warming" gases than the industrialized world as a whole produces in a year..it's my Grand Cherokee that is causing the globe to warm up (or not).


Yes, yes!

We're told that the entire observable universe – plants, stars, suns, solar systems, galaxies – were sent hurling outward from the force of an immense explosion - the Big Bang - the energy in such a system being completely unfathomable by humans.

Notwithstanding, whether or not you drive a Prius to the local grocery store is somehow a crucial question to the future of mankind, and a huge step in making a difference in this vast, incomprehensibly powerful system of uncontrolled mass and energy.

Now that is science for you! They can tell you the exact trailing digits down to the n-th decimal place, but they’ve completely lost all sense of how far off they are on the significant digits or the order of magnitude.

tim in vermont said...

Almost every one would say that more observations are needed (especially in the ocean).

But they don't, the alarmists, the political players on the alarmist front, for example, the author of this article, don't. They say it is all "settled" and why don't conservatives just "believe" it? What is wrong with conservatives?

tim in vermont said...

I would like somebody to explain how the same heat is heating both the oceans and the stratosphere over the past two decades. That would be a great question to have answered.

Mike said...

Fen: A sum of two squares that returns an increasingly negative value? Seriously?

OMG Fen's now a math denier too! Dude the consensus newmath is that a hidden negative forcing number is causing that square's sum to be negative. Get with it already.

MadisonMan said...

But they don't, the alarmists, the political players on the alarmist front

They're not being scientists.

I feel somewhat like the Moslems in Kenya who said the killers of the Christians at the School aren't real Moslems.

PB said...

We've got to go back to the true meaning of liberal and conservative. I find republicans to be more liberal with a wide range of views withing the party while I find the Democrats to be conservative and unwilling to give up their belief systems in spite of evidence and dthey are increasingly intolerant of differing viewpoints.

tim in vermont said...

Almost every one would say that more observations are needed (especially in the ocean).

What is really telling is that they created a massive observation program for the oceans, called Argo, which observed down to 200 0 meters, where no warming was found, so naturally, models were whipped up to show that the warming is below 2000 meters, and the cry that our observations are inadequate to see it was sent out.

Sure, observe more, go deeper with instruments, whatever is required to kill this meme good and dead, but just know that the alarmist case is growing increasingly desperate on this front.

John said...

For me, a liberal/libertarian, not a conservative, it would take some evidence.

Perhaps publication of the raw unadjusted temperature data would be a place to start.

Perhaps a discussion about the methodology of how and why it was adjusted.

Perhaps an explanation of how they can take temperatures from about 20% of the earth's surface, taken at varying times and places with varying instruments of varying accuracy and determine 0.8 degrees warming over the past 100 years.

Perhaps models that actually allow prediction of the past. Perhaps once we get those we might have some faith in models that predict the future.

Perhaps data that stays the same. We've had no increase in temps since 98. They ran through 50+ reasons to explain how they had predicted this and how it proves global warming. Nobody bought any of them. Now they are saying that temps actually have been increasing since 1998. Last year was the hottest year ever!

And so on.

It's called "science".

Stop doing the rite thing and start doing the right thing.

John Henry

Ignorance is Bliss said...

tim in vermont said...

I would be very interested to know how you know that, since I respect your opinions generally.

In ~6-7 billion years the sun will become a red giant. The arc of history is very long, and it bends toward an awful lot of global warming.

Mike said...

"What would it take..." he asks?

There's no simpler formulation that Glenn Reynolds' maxim:

"I'll believe global warming is a problem when the people who insist it's a problem start acting like it."

When will Tom Steyer and Al Gore give up private jets and ginormous mansions? Never.

tom swift said...

some training in physics and mathematics and a basic trust in science reporting.

A bizarre attitude. "Science reporting" is not "science", and there's nothing particularly trustworthy about it.

tim in vermont said...

One question the alarmist political types might answer is why a warming world is worse than the ice age the planet had been sliding into prior to the industrial revolution.

chuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

They need to acknowledge that the system is chaotic because it is nonlinear, incompletely and, in fact, insufficiently characterized, and unwieldy. The scientific method was created in order to constrain people's speculation (e.g. inference or created knowledge) and to establish a separation of science and philosophy. They need to stop conflating the logical domains and recognize the limits of human and enhanced perception and processing.

Their "well-substantiated new knowledge" has accuracy inversely proportional to the product of time and space offsets from an established frame of reference, the scientific domain. Their models and speculation, including extrapolation, may produce a path that intersects with the scientific domain, but today they are a subset of the philosophical domain.

Finally, a global statistic is virtually meaningless unless their is an overwhelming global process. The real world is partitioned into local and regional sets, with diminishing global dependence. An ensemble of estimates or educated guesses will will still produce an estimate or educated guess.

Also, a consensus is a political and social construct. It is a tool to control people. It is not a scientific concept, other than through a consensus of evidence, observed within the time and space-limited scientific domain.

Freder Frederson said...

I'm barely a knowledgeable lay person on the subject of heritability of IQ. But the impression I have is that Liberals--as well as conservatives--deny the facts.

So in other words, you are just talking out of your ass.

chuck said...

And he quotes Bailey at Reason. Heh. Adler is wrong, of course, but one expects academics to be wrong about such things. Dyson's interview is more interesting, and Dyson actually knows something about the subject and very smart.

JAORE said...

What I find objectionable about liberals is that every issue is a crisis requiring a big government solution. Robbing the treasury or imposing restrictions on my life follow as the night does the day.

Freder Frederson said...

Never mind the fact that one volcano eruption belches more "warming" gases than the industrialized world as a whole produces in a year..it's my Grand Cherokee that is causing the globe to warm up (or not).

This of course is not a fact. It is in fact, an outright lie.

Even if it was true, volcanoes also spew vast amounts of cooling materials (e.g., ash and sulfur compounds).

Sebastian said...

What Quayle said.

"What does it take to convince libertarians and conservatives that climate change is a problem?"

Necessary but not sufficient conditions:

1. For alarmists to stop lying.
2. For alarmists to stop being thugs

Hayek was right to call for respect for evidence but could have tempered his faith in reason.

Of course, there are mindless forms of knee-jerk conservatism.

But intellectual conservatism is not the blind rejection of novelty but skepticism toward all evidence, all pet theories, all paradigms, as the fallible products of humans prone to error.

Fernandinande said...

SJ said...
Does this mean that liberal efforts to ignore the heritability of IQ are anti-scientific?


"This" doesn't mean that, although it is anti-science, and surprisingly pervasive: ever hear any politician of any affiliation refer to it? Cooties.

Here is an amusing table of "Yes-but" anti-science excuses (Table 2, under "Mob science").

tim in vermont said...

Freder, I agree with you that anthropogenic CO2 probably exceeds volcanic by a fair bit, multiples of it, but it is not as settled a question as you seem to think.

but in between tantrums, the steady breathing of volcanoes quietly sheds upwards of a quarter of a billion tons of CO2 every year.

We think. Scientists' best estimates, however, are based on an assumption. It might surprise you to learn that, well into the new century, of the 150 smokers I mentioned, almost 80 percent are still as mysterious, in terms of the quantity of CO2 they emit, as they were a generation ago: We've only actually measured 33.

If the 117 unsampled peaks follow a similar trend, then the research community's current projection might stand. But looking through such a small window, there's no way of knowing if what we have seen until now is typical or not. It's like shining a light on a darkened globe: randomly, you might hit Australia, and think you’d seen it all – while on the edge of your beam, unnoticed, would be Asia. Our planet's isolated volcanic frontiers could easily be hiding a monster or two; and with a bit of exploration, our estimate of volcanic CO2 output could rise even higher.
- LiveScience.com

Fernandinande said...

CO2 is good.

[Freeman] Dyson argues that CO2 has many direct and staggering consequences for the life on Earth that are more important than the indirect and questionable influences via the climate. For example, the 40% rise in CO2 since the Industrial Revolution meant about a 20% increase in the agricultural yields per unit area (in average: results vary). I like to use the same square-root formula."

tim in vermont said...

Since plants evolved in a period of much higher CO2 than today, their stomata, pores for taking in CO2, are currently wide open, because they are sucking all the CO2 they can, as CO2 rises, these stomata close, making plants more drought resistant.

Of course theoretical harm to the planet, based on guesses formalized into models, outweigh proven benefits, every time. Why do they enhance the atmosphere of a greenhouse with CO2, I wonder?

David said...

Ridiculous again. Of course climate change is a problem, and of course it exists. The issue is the nature and extent of the problem, and what should be done about it. And of course the pesky issue of exaggerating crises (not just climate change) to increase governmental control.

Many so called conservatives are a lot more comfortable with change than so called liberals. We conservatives just have a lot more confidence in the ability of people to adapt to new conditions without government directing the show.

"The climate is changing, in ways that are not fully understood or accepted, but we can adapt."

"The climate is changing, in ways that are not fully understood or accepted. We must stop it from changing so do what the government says."

Which approach is more "conservative?"

MadisonMan said...

Since plants evolved in a period of much higher CO2 than today, their stomata, pores for taking in CO2, are currently wide open, because they are sucking all the CO2 they can, as CO2 rises, these stomata close, making plants more drought resistant.

Why are you assuming that plants stopped evolving as CO2 concentrations changed?

Michael McNeil said...

[T]he climate has been changing since forever. To wit, when the Vikings landed on that lush shore with fertile farming soil they christened the new land Greenland. You know, that Greenland that is now mostly ice.

You're not the first person to fall for the Vikings' (specifically Erik the Red's) marketing acumen in naming “Greenland” a subcontinent drenched in ice (as he put it, in ‘The Saga of Erik the Red’: “people would be attracted to go there if it had a favorable name”).

And let's be clear, while we're dismissing myths in this thread, the myth that “Greenland” was (significantly more) green at the time that the Vikings colonized it is just that: untrue. Rather, Greenland has not lost any appreciable amount of ice (nor gained more) since the end of the Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago.

Then, as now, Greenland consisted of some 1,833,900 sq. km of “Inland Ice” sheet sprawling over a subcontinental domain 2,166,086 sq. km in size. This leaves (ahem) some 332,186 sq. km mostly NOT covered in ice — which is an area about the size of Norway (which is where most of these Vikings, i.e. “Norse,” came from originally). Note that the Viking settlements in Greenland were located along coastal fiords basically exactly where modern Greenlander towns such as Nuuk can be found.

Face it: Greenland for a very long time (since the end of the last interglacial, the Eemian, some 115,000 years ago, when large parts of the Greenland ice sheet apparently did melt) has never been really green.

Smilin' Jack said...

A better statement of the 'scientific consensus' IMO is that there is plenty of data that suggests the Earth is warming.

Whether the Earth on average is warming or not is a scientific question. Whether such warming constitutes a "problem", and what if anything should be done about it, are not scientific questions, but subjective judgments. In my judgment, it should be a bit warmer outside.

Mark said...

I'm not a reader of Hayek, but I would think he would strenuously protest his words being distorted and used to justify the ideology of the global warmists, climate changists, etc., which all basically are a subset of leftism.

No one -- no one -- denies that the climate changes and that there has been change over time, up and down, more active and less active. But climate change per se is is not the issue.

The issue is whether human activity has any significant impact on weather and to what degree. Does humanity doing X lead to some undesirable result in the climate? And does humanity not doing X remedy that?

Some things, yes, human activity can make worse, e.g. the quality of the water in our streams and lakes, from which we get our drinking water. We can either keep them clean or we can dump our sewage in them and you can all go drink s**t. Same with the air we breath. Very few people would have any objections to reasonable anti-pollution controls.

But the other activity as it affects the climate as a whole for a period or over time? Not only do the measurements over a miniscule period of time of human existence show it is not the case, even if there were not a single human on the planet, there would be climate change, sometimes great, sometimes minor.

Moreover, all these efforts to return humanity back to the 1700s, making life significantly harder and thus, not only more expensive, but less healthy, every "remedial" action taken could be wiped out naturally by the earth or the sun or some other natural phenomenon.

It is the arrogance and hubris of the ideologues who think that they are can control the universe that is the problem and is the most anti-science position out there.

theribbonguy said...

"This of course is not a fact. It is in fact, an outright lie."

You're a dick.

I admit that this is not a universally excepted fact, but I didn't "lie".

A quick "google" would show that there is opposing opinions on it's veracity. Not so shockingly, the alarmist camp has gone out of its way to refute it.

My larger point stands. The climate is in a constant state of flux..it was ever thus. Many, many variables contribute to it, only a small fraction of which we are beginning to understand. The single largest of which is that big fusion reactor we orbit...which is why temperature trends on Earth ape those in the rest of the solar system.

When I was in middle school in the early 70's we were treated to the onslaught of current science that man's pollution was turning the earth into a ice ball and we had to act NOW!!!! or we were all doomed. One piece of propaganda we were fed as Science!, stated unequivocally that no life would be able to survive past 1985!! I was scared shitless for a couple years after that.

Turns out that a few of the Scientists! that were spewing that crap are now pushing warming.

Is the globe heating or cooling?..I don't know. Will the heating/cooling make things better or worse?...I don't know. And neither does anybody else.

Terry said...

I am an AGW agnostic.
However, if the the Earth is warming, and that warming will lead to ecological disaster, and it is caused by CO2 emmissions, we are doomed.
Either we will maintain our democratic institutions, and nothing will be done (people will not willingly vote to be poor), or we will live under a totalitarian dictatorship, where every aspect of our lives will be measured and controlled by a super-state. Most Americans will not be able to choose where to live, how many cars to own, or how many kids they can have.
The Left would prefer option 2, whether or not AGW is real.

tim in vermont said...

Why are you assuming that plants stopped evolving as CO2 concentrations changed?

What difference does it make? The experimental data shows that plants given more CO2 are more drought resistant. The evolution part of it is just a speculative reason for that factual finding.

Some believe that plants have been sequestering CO2 so successfully up to now, in coal seams and oil deposits, for example, that they were getting close to starving themselves.

Critically, as [CO2]a approaches low levels (180-200 ppm), experimental evidence indicates that the primary productivity and nutrient demand of forest trees and grasslands declines, together with proportional and total carbon allocation to roots (and therefore mycorrhizal partners). Such responses reveal the potential for non-linear effects of CO2 starvation in diminishing weathering activities by terrestrial vegetation and its mycorrhizal partnerships.

jimbino said...

Tim in Vermont:

so that the reader doesn't think well new knowledge...

A mistake no native speaker of English would make since it is nonsensical, even if, in other contexts, 'well' could be used as an adjective. I would be interested to hear a use of well as an adjective without a verb in play, like for instance "well chuffed", or "well substantiated", BTW. Always willing to learn. 'Well' modifies 'substantiated,' not 'knowledge.'



Part of good writing is not to lead the reader down a primrose path of misunderstanding, requiring him to back up and re-read the sentence.

Your error is in thinking that well is an adverb. Wrong: it is also an adjective and adjectives modify nouns, not other adjectives.

I think your confusion comes from your not understanding that a string of nouns, adjectives and adverbs that modifies a noun has to follow strict rules.

You can say dressed woman or well woman or well-dressed woman but not well dressed woman if you want to avoid confusion.

In English, we can say the house was built well or even the house was well-built or it was a well-built house.

Jason said...

Libtards who lost their minds when Charles Murray published "The Bell Curve" are cute when they try to lecture us about the the proper attitude towards science.

MadisonMan said...

Some believe

Right.

Jeff said...

1. The evidence that the climate is changing is weak. CO2 keeps going up, but for the past 17 years, temperature has not. Suspiciously, the increased temperature trends stopped about the same time we started getting satellite data which couldn't be "adjusted" to show a warming trend.

2. Suppose it is warming. Does it matter whether or not the warming is man-made? No, not unless you assume that we can only reverse it if it is man-made. What if it turns out that there are inexpensive ways to combat the warming that don't involve less energy use? And why is it that almost everyone who thinks global warming is a big problem also opposes nuclear power?

3. Is warming a bad thing? Longer growing seasons are probably a good thing, more CO2 probably helps plants grow, and many more people die from cold than from heat. Why do we automatically assume that warming is a bad thing?

We have seen this movie dozens of times before. One scare after another is dreamed up to justify the expansion of the regulatory state. Alar, anyone? Three Mile Island? Silent Spring? GMO's? Silicone implants? All of it bullshit.

So say all of us robots.

tim in vermont said...

Quite a comeback, MadisonMan. I see that rhetorical arguments are all you have, fine. I have noticed that the whole case for catastrophic global warming seems to be based on such rhetoric.

Some think that the climate is going to warm catastrophically, some think it isn't. It is simply an accurate assessment of the current thinking. The article I quote refers to scientific findings, not simple speculation.

jimbino, every example you gave of the use of well has well as an adverb. "well built", "well endowed", "feeling well"

Well is an adverb, full stop:

Rule 3. An often overlooked rule for hyphens: The adverb very and adverbs ending in -ly are not hyphenated.

Incorrect: the very-elegant watch

Incorrect: the finely-tuned watch

This rule applies only to adverbs.


Then you have your own "Rule 10":
Rule 10. As important as hyphens are to clear writing, they can become an annoyance if overused. Avoid adding hyphens when the meaning is clear.

It turns out it is correct to use the hyphen because you should hyphenate compound adjectives, and a compound adjective may contain an adverb. An argument you never made, which is sort of interesting but none is required in this context to make the meaning clear, so I guess it is a wash in the end.

Tregonsee said...

As a PhD physicist (UW-Madison) now retired, the last paragraph quoting Bailey is the reason I am comfortable being a "denier." From start to finish, every "fact" quoted with serene certainty is either unambiguously false, or well on the way to being proved so. If you read the current scientific literature, not just the IPCC version, it is obvious that researches not totally politicized are looking for, and finding, other factors which are as important as CO2 levels. Viewed from that perspective, there is an element of desperation creeping in to many warmists' pronouncements.

damikesc said...

Wrote F.A. Hayek in "Why I Am Not a Conservative," quoted by Jonathan Adler at The Volokh conspiracy in a post titled "What does it take to convince libertarians and conservatives that climate change is a problem?"

1) Warming ACTUALLY occurring.

2) Data that hasn't been changed.

3) A definition of what the "right" temperature should be.

4) What would a Libertarian do to correct it and not violate every tenet of Libertarian philosophy.

Why don't you start with one of the basic tenets of science: a falsifiable hypothesis?

That'd also be nice. Also, "climate change" is a weasel term. Climate changes all of the time. Their complaint was WARMING, which, clearly, they have doubts about now.

My view is basically that humans are almost irrelevant to Earth. We're like gnats. Nothing we can do can approach what the Earth does to itself. For us to believe that we can is the height of arrogance.

Whenever you look at a dataset, ask yourself: Why did the presenter choose the start date they did? Why are they showing, for example, annual means vs. decadal?

Also, how do they handle the improvements in measurement tech now as opposed to the start of the period studied?

Terry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kcom said...

"What does it take to convince libertarians and conservatives that climate change is a problem?"

Short answer: integrity.

Scott M said...

You have to hand it to the Goreacle..that Carbon Tax grift will go down in history as one of the most successful scams of all time.

A better scam than ethanol?

kcom said...

Longer answer:

I have a science background and at one time would have been inclined to tend to believe most anything a "real" scientist came out with. But the shabbiness of the global warming argument opened my eyes. When I first read about it many years ago I could tell the argument was being pushed without integrity.

So they claimed that CO2 was going to push temperatures up. What effect would that have, I asked myself. What would be the positives and negatives? And where would the balance lie?

Lo and behold, I learned there were only negatives - no positives. There would be more floods, more droughts, more storms, more heat waves, more hurricanes, more of everything and anything that was bad. And not one good thing.

That just beggared belief. Surely, some parts of the world would benefit - the far north for instance. Or regional areas. Or places that would get more rain that are currently just scraping by. Etc. But no, not one positive would happen to one person to balance the negative. And that's when I realized they were making a political argument, not an argument about the real world. The real world simply isn't that black and white. And the fact that they refused to acknowledge any kind of balance or tradeoff showed they weren't arguing science. They were doing what activists do, not what scientists do.

The deeper you delve, the more obvious the lack of integrity is. See Climategate references above. (And, no, fake exonerations don't count.)

Robert Cook said...

"You can accept the probability of AGW without agreeing that more power should therefore be given to hypocrites like Gore and Obama to regulate anything and everything."

The President does not formulate bills that create government regulatory powers and activities. Congress, our (choke) "representatives" in Washington, have that responsibility and power.

The President can only approve or veto bills that come before him from Congress.

Richard Dolan said...

That the climate changes over time is obvious, and that changes in atmospheric chemistry can contribute to that process also seems obvious. I have no problem accepting the notion that increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 play a role in that process.

Whether any of this is a 'serious problem,' however, is not a question answerable by a physicist or chemist, even less so by a 'climate scientist.' Instead, it's a straightforward issue of economics -- what are the costs and benefits that will result from different climates; and assuming that an increasing level of atmospheric CO2 is a significant driver in that process, what are the costs and benefits of trying to alter the process of climate change?

As to the latter question, it's quite clear that the costs of converting from a fossil fuel-based economy to something else (in order to reduce the production of CO2) are staggeringly enormous, while the benefits are quite small -- slowing by a small amount the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 which in turn would have a vanishingly small impact on the projected increase in ocean levels or other imagined results of climate change. All of that is true even before you factor in the benefits from projected climate change -- longer growing seasons in more northerly and southerly latitudes, etc.

There are also distributional effects -- some parts of the globe would be more impacted than others -- but those are very difficult to take into account. Much of the developing world (India for sure, China too but they pretend otherwise) will not sacrifice economic growth by taxing CO2 production. Some small island nations might disappear entirely. But no one suggests that those distributional effects change the cost/benefit analysis per se -- they just show that costs and benefits are unequally distributed.

But unless someone comes up with a way to make that equation generate a different result -- and it's purely a cost/benefit equation -- the entire discussion in terms of public policy focused on accepting huge costs to reduce the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 makes no sense at all.

Terry said...

Robert Cook wrote:

"The President does not formulate bills that create government regulatory powers and activities. Congress, our (choke) "representatives" in Washington, have that responsibility and power.

The President can only approve or veto bills that come before him from Congress."


WASHINGTON — President Obama will use his executive authority to cut carbon emissions from the nation’s coal-fired power plants by up to 20 percent, according to people familiar with his plans, which will spur the creation of a state cap-and-trade program forcing industry to pay for the carbon pollution it creates.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/29/us/politics/obama-to-offer-rules-to-sharply-curb-power-plants-carbon-emissions.html?_r=0

The fact that Cook believes in AGW is prima facie proof that AGW is false.

theribbonguy said...

"A better scam than ethanol? "

I did say "one of the the most successful" ;)

But yes, I think this trumps ethanol. That one actually put some coin in the farmers pocket, and it's mostly domestic. Carbon Tax puts the money solely in the grifters pockets on a international scale.

To many "the earth is doomed" scams to keep an accurate scorecard I'm afraid.

Anthony said...

I hate the term "Climate Change" for exactly the reason it was substituted for Global Warming: to deny "Climate Change" is to deny reality.

Of course, what the "Climate Change" proponents are doing themselves, were one to follow their argument logically (I know, I know. . .) is to support Climate Stasis, which is to deny reality.

We trust science; we don't necessarily trust scientists.

Sebastian said...

"Why don't you start with one of the basic tenets of science: a falsifiable hypothesis?"

I have yet to encounter, in print or in person, an adherent of any AGW or CO2-driven climate change theory who is willing to state a hypothesis that, if proven wrong, would lead them to give up their theory.

Did I miss an example?

I have also yet to encounter any such adherent who can say what the right climate is, by comparison with which "climate change" is a problem.

Did I miss one?

jimbino said...

Sebzastian: Here's my falsifiable theory: putting a stop to our "breeding like rabbits" will end AGW.

William Chadwick said...

What does it take? Well, not having climate change being touted by chronic liars whose basic politico-economic consists of legalized looting, and who even when they try to be honest, are consistently wrong about nearly everything. If you caught a retarded pickpocket trying to lift your wallet, would you be inclined to believe him if he told you the sky were falling?

MadisonMan said...

Some Believe is right up there with It is thought that.

As you say, Some believe? Well, some don't. This is making the same arguments and using the same tactics as those who want to bend you to their will using the cudgel of climate. If that's your goal, well, check the success box.

A better way is to quote the study by name. Smith and Jones suggested in a 1992 study that ...

Drago said...

jimbino: "Sebzastian: Here's my falsifiable theory: putting a stop to our "breeding like rabbits" will end AGW"

Lets start with retroactive corrective measures.

We can start with your parents offspring.

Unknown said...

First Jimbino, then all Democrat politicians, then all staff for Democrat politicians, then all members of the executive branch below, oh, attorney general. Then everybody in Hollywood. That should about do it. We'll never miss 'em.

Unknown said...

If I have to throw in all Republican politicians to get the deal, well, we could talk.

Anthony said...

You know, we used to kind of joke that the only thing that would disprove global warming would be global cooling.

We now know that is not the case. Change the term to "Climate Change" and you've removed even that potential test.

Kind of like when Microsoft got rid of General Application Errors in the old Windows; they didn't get rid of them, they just renamed them to General Protection Faults.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

The President does not formulate bills that create government regulatory powers and activities. Congress, our (choke) "representatives" in Washington, have that responsibility and power.

LOL, Someone forgot to tell Robert that Obama has a pen and phone.

Krumhorn said...

The problem with labels, such as 'conservative' or 'liberal', is that the meaning has changed over the last hundred years or more. I, like Hayek, regard myself as a classic liberal, but we call ourselves conservatives. It is not a resistance to change and embrace of authority so much as it is an embrace of free markets, strong national defense and individuals living freely under a government that has expressly limited powers.

The libruls of today are rationalists. Their collectivist views are inextricably linked with central planning and state domination.

When viewed through that lens, one can easily determine the intended outcome of the warmingists' corruption of science.

Adler is an idiot. That is not a label that changes over time.

- Krumhorn

Terry said...

Clearly Adler considers Hayek a voice of infinite authority on matters economic and political. Ladies and gentlemen, we have won.

UNTRIBALIST said...

Why I am a Climate Change Skeptic: Patrick Moore, Ph.D., Co-Founder of Greenpeace

Saint Croix said...

1) An acknowledgment by liberals that our planet has always had massive climate change. The earth is always getting colder or getting warmer. We've had five frickin' ice ages when the planet was covered with ice. Did humanity do that, liberals?

2) An acknowledgment by liberals that much of the "science" has been shoddy manipulation of data, by Michael Mann among others. Mann has decided to sue his critics for slander. Hey, yeah, let's lock up Galileo while we're at it. Ass!

3) An acknowledgment by liberals that Al Gore was heavily invested in a carbon credit trading corporation, and that he joined Kleiner Perkins to fund and profit from the green boondoggle.

4) An acknowledgment by liberals that China and India need to modernize if they are going to lift their people out of poverty, and they will modernize by burning carbon fuels, and we do not control China or India.

5) An acknowledgment by liberals that even if we reduce carbon emissions, there is zero evidence that this will cool the planet. Indeed, liberals can't even agree if we should be trying to cool the planet, since they substituted "climate change" for "global warming" when the planet ceased to warm, on its own, over 15 years ago.

Saint Croix said...

Adler, to his credit, has written and written well about the free speech implications of Mann's stupid lawsuit

theribbonguy said...

Here is a nice compilation of the "settled science" that I mentioned in an above comment I made about scaring the shit out of a class of 7th graders in the 70's.

https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/1970s-ice-age-scare/

This crap was proselytized to us with absolute certitude.

Note the Government orgs. that backed it. Now compare it to todays piffle.

Terry said...

Robert Cook wrote:

"The President does not formulate bills that create government regulatory powers and activities. Congress, our (choke) "representatives" in Washington, have that responsibility and power.

The President can only approve or veto bills that come before him from Congress."

And Adler:

"In a series of posts at “Notice & Comment,” the blog of the Yale Journal on Regulation, Professor Andy Grewal documents two additional cases in which the IRS has rewritten the PPACA’s tax credit eligibility requirements so as to expand eligibility beyond what Congress authorized. Combined with other instances of the IRS and HHS disregarding the PPACA’s plain text, it appears the federal government has little regard for what the PPACA actually says."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/04/14/how-the-irs-repeatedly-rewrites-obamacare-tax-credit-provisions/

Cook's self-beclowning continues.

southcentralpa said...

The important test of a scientific theory is its ability to predict. All the predictions of melted polar ice caps, temperature rise, coastal flooding, more/bigger hurricanes, island nations disappearing ... none have come true. Makes it a little hard to take them seriously

dbp said...

"What does it take to convince libertarians and conservatives that climate change is a problem?"

The simple answer is "proof".

I think most reasonable people agree that the climate can be expected to change over time. Skeptics ask, "How do you know that whatever change comes must be a detrimental one"?

If you can show this, then can you also show that your proposed "remedy" costs less than the benefits it would provide?

I didn't think so.

Michael McNeil said...

The important test of a scientific theory is its ability to predict. All the predictions of melted polar ice caps, temperature rise, coastal flooding, more/bigger hurricanes, island nations disappearing ... none have come true. Makes it a little hard to take them seriously.

Global warming predictions haven't not come true, because (few people notice that) the models in question (supporting global warming) project a sea level rise of a mere 1 meter (about 3 feet) by the end of the century: i.e., the year 2100. Note that we are only about 1/7th of the way through this century, with some 85 years to go. The big sea level rises, according to these models (up to about 60 m, or some 200 feet), are not forecast to occur until future centuries. This detail is never emphasized and always obscured, because otherwise people would say, why worry about something so far away? — and that would spoil the narrative and endanger the hysteria that AGW proponents seek to foster.

walter said...

Tim wrote "I started out on the web getting into arguments with "deniers" about the science, and basically I was getting my ass kicked on fundamental questions."

So..claim the science is settled and stigmatize asking questions.

Let's not forget Obama's '08 campaign promise to regulate towards skyrocketing electricity costs. Anyone who could think beyond the "historic" nature of his election could see he his reckless mindset.

Even if you accept the saddled "science", what is presented is an inverted Pascal's wager where following the prescription wreaks huge havoc.

jimbino said...

Michael McNeil says:

The big sea level rises, according to these models (up to about 60 m, or some 200 feet), are not forecast to occur until future centuries.

What is the justification for taxing and hampering the lives of those now living in order to secure the distant speculative future of the breeders' progeny? In the distant future, the living will have other options.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.