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November 15, 2007

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Mike

Jim

Are you familiar with "Climate Audit"? If you take the time to read the material there, and there is a lot of it, I think it will make you question this statement:

"Since the mid twentieth century the uncertainties in global and hemispheric mean temperatures are small, and the temperature increase greatly exceeds its uncertainty. In earlier periods the uncertainties are larger, but the temperature increase over the twentieth century is still significantly larger than its uncertainty."

When making decisions on this scale, it should be of the utmost importance to ensure that the raw data is accurate. I am not convinced that it is.


I agree with your conclusion, however, that because there is some risk, and to increase our energy security, we need to aggressively develop non fossil fuel energy sources, alternative fuels and PHEVs...etc.

fjh

The science of measuring climate changes let alone temperature changes on a regional, let alone a global level is barely a decade old.

In the early 1970's, I worked on relieving the pressure on cities to adapt expensive air pollution abatement equipment; pressure brought on by 'models' that used point source data.

I quickly found out about the impact of urban heat plumes on particulates; and that the location of the monitoring equipment made all the difference in the model.

Change the location of the air sampling stations; and everything changes.

KYOTO's scientists used point source data to prove that 'evil' corporate polluters were at fault; ignoring theories of radiative forcing due to upper atmosphere levels of water vapour deposited by high flying airplanes---whose increase in traffic coincides nicely with the increases in temperatures noted by the Northern European universities who made up the backbone of supporters for the KYOTO PROTOCOL.

Find the right data, and you can then construct your theory; or come up with the theory and find the data to support it.

Until we have reliable, verifiable, truly global data collection that accurately measures climate change; then any predictions and explanations based on whatever exists going back who knows how far, is speculative at best; and scientific heresy compounded by left wing ideology at worse.

Aviation is the culprit; and reducing ground level CO2 will only harm photosynthesis and that will eventually harm all of us.

Mike, fjh:

The science of measuring climate changes ... is barely a decade old may be a true statement, but the data I referred to,
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/
taken from JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 111, D12106, Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: A new data set from 1850, http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2005JD006548.shtml (abstract only), is the result of many years of research by very reputable scientists and is the 3rd revision of their data. For an explanation of how their data was compiled see: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/ . They have made every effort to include data from every source available, with judicious selection as explained in the previous link. The graph I referred to, which is the basis for my opening statement, in this comment, is evident in their graph. It clearly shows the trend of rising temperature and the uncertainty of that data. Their data is not the final word on the subject, but it is a studied commentary.

I make no claim to be an expert on climate change, but I do believe that we have been in a period of rising templeratures since the late 19th century and that the most likely explanation is ghg emissions. I also know that it is likely that their were similar periods in the fifteenth century. The earths population was much less in earlier periods and the consequences had less impact.

I was not familiar with Climate Audit and have briefly reviewed their site and find it very informative. In their non-technical overview they do say their work does not disprove global warming.

Jim from The Energy Blog

Anonymous Hollywood blacklist dodger

Climate Audit is a good blog on this subject.

Just wondering... Did you ever stop to wonder if GW might be a *good* thing...?

http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pdupont/?id=110010626&mod=RSS_Opinion_Journal&ojrss=frontpage

Tom Garven

Either agreeing or disagreeing that global warming is real is not the question for me. For me it's doing what is right for the planet/environment.

As soon as plugin series hybrids become available at mass produced prices I will buy one.

As soon as LED lighting becomes competively priced with CFL's I will purchase them.

As soon as solar/electric panels reach a $1.00/watt I will install 4kw.

When bio-diesel is available in my area I will buy it.

So if global warming is proven to be a plot by corporate America to profit from trading carbon credits so be it.

If global warming is real - I will try to do my part.

Al Fin

If the science is settled and the debate is over, there is no need for more research. The IPCC has done its job and it is time for the dictatoriat for the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Administration to be installed.

I feel better knowing that.
;-)

Poptech

Start with an inconvient truth...

NO 'Consensus' on "Man-Made" Global Warming

http://www.populartechnology.net/2007/10/no-consensus-on-global-warming.html

jlw

You know, I'd have a lot more respect for the skeptical point of view on global warming if it weren't so driven by political reaction. Environmentalists point one way, therefore conservatives must pointthe other. That's not a fact-based debate--it's just pathetic.

Even the new front on the war against the war against global warming--the "global warming is good" meme--is just ridiculous after a moment's reflection. Higher CO2 better for plants? The plants we depend on were evolved in an atmosphere with lower CO2 concentrations; the ones which will floursih will be the most opportunistic--weeds.

Everyone likes warmer weather, right? Except, our civilization was developed in the world world's existing (or sadly, former) temperature and rainfall regimes. Changing the climate means stranding a lot of infrastructure that's been built in hostile environments. (Think the drought in the Southeast is bad? During the much-ballyhooed Medieval Warm Period, the Eastern Seaboard was in the grips of a multi-century drought and a water shortage in the Southwest wiped out the Anasazi.)

And can the newly warmed areas actually inherit the responsibility to feed the world? Much of the soil in northern Quebec, for instance, is poorly suited to grow anything but pine forests. I believe the same is true of Finland.

Global warming is good for us? Sure--it's about as good for you as dioxin.

JD

JLW, you had me until you incorrectly ascribed the fall of the Anasazi to drought. There is more than enough archaeological evidence to prove that the Anasazi were their own worst enemy. Check out Jared Diamond's "Collapse" for a detailed look at how they destroyed themselves.

Gary Reysa

I come from the world of airplane design -- in designing airplanes, there are lots of issues that effect the safety of flight that you can't be sure of. Most engineers feel that the best way to address these issues is to get the best data you can, and then make conservative assumptions, because if you don't hundreds of people could die.

To me the same argument holds for global warming, except that is millions of people who will die.

I don't think that most people would want to ride of airplanes if they were designed with anything but conservative assumptions -- I don't understand why a lot of people are willing to "throw the dice" when it comes to climate change.

Gary

eric

>Just wondering... Did you ever stop to wonder if GW might be a *good* thing...?

Umm, yeah. Abandoning coastal cities all over the planet because of rising sea levels is a good thing? You are kidding, right?

jlw

JD:

Here's what the Bureau of Land Management says about the Anasazi:

The Ancestral Puebloan farmers were relatively successful in the Four Corners area for over a thousand years, but by AD 1300 they had left the entire region. Long-term climate changes that reduced crop yield may have been among the reasons that the Ancestral Puebloans finally moved away from their former homeland.

Tree-ring records and other indicators show that persistent drought and/or shortened frost-free seasons affected this region during several prehistoric periods, including the early 900s, the early 1100s, and the late 1200s. Each of these periods corresponds to shifts in settlement pattern. The last period (late 1200s) witnessed the final, widespread Puebloan migrations out of the Four Corners. Other factors responsible for this exodus may have been deforestation or other kinds of environmental degradation, a growing scarcity of land or other resources, and/or political conflicts related to these problems.

The Ancestral Puebloans may have reached the limit of the natural resources available to them. When crops consistently failed, the people moved to a better location. Archaeologists also see evidence of social changes over time, changes perhaps related to internal pressures or to outside competition from non-Pueblo groups.

http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/ahc/who_were_the_anasazi.html

It's really not an essential part of the argument, though. Regardless of what happened to the Anasazi, it is almost certain that the more the climate changes, the more likely it is that currently fertile and well-watered regions will be unable to support the populations living on them. Also, it is far from certain that regions that will gain a more beneficial climate will have the soils necessary to sustain high-yield agriculture. And even if we are lucky enough that climate change "winners" can match the production of climate change losers, the costs of building up the needed infrastructure in these new regions will be far greater than the cost of restricting greenhouse gas emissions in the first place. It's something like being too cheap to change the oil in your car and having, instead, to replace the engine six months later.

GreyFlcn

Did you ever think that NCPA might be an unobjective GOP thinktank?

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=National_Center_for_Policy_Analysis

disdaniel

fjh "Until we have reliable, verifiable, truly global data collection that accurately measures climate change;"

This is what the world climate community has worked on over the past 20 years. Most believe that the current data-set whatever flaws might remain, provides compelling evidence of climate change.

"then any predictions and explanations based on whatever exists going back who knows how far, is speculative at best"

Aren't predictions always speculative? If you had absolute perfect and complete climate data, would "predictions" be any less "speculative"?

Anonymous Hollywood blacklist dodger

Amazing how people would dismiss this article

http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pdupont/?id=110010626&mod=RSS_

Without actually READing it...

You might want to actually READ it before you make a judgment on it.

READing things before commenting on them makes you seem a lot more intelligent than commenting on it without READing it, in fact, READing articles is much better than not READing articles, give it a try you might like what you READ.

eric

Well, it doesn't surprise me that the Urinal would post such a piece. And in reality it is just an opinion piece, that is based on work done by a GOP thinktank.

We should be basing our opinions on what the science has to say. Not some thinktank with an obvious axe to grind.

amazingdrx

I am a big fan of the seeries plugin hybrid too. but i think the parallel version that Audi has come out with is a better transitional design.

It keeps the standard front wheel drive internal combustion system, then adds an electric motor and batteries to the rear wheels. This would allow car companies to go plugfin hybrid without major redesign and retooling.

They could fit the availability of plugins to the demand, taking less risk to do it. And this would allow simple conversion of used cars. It's a low tech, low cost, low risk way to reduce liquid fuel use by 90%.

Series hybrids can come online as solid oxide fuel cell backup generation and better battery technology makes the internal combustion engine finally, thankfully obsolete.

Ronald Brak

Do any commenters here believe:

1. Human activity has not increased the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

2. CO2 is not a greenhouse gas.

If you don't believe one of the above points I don't see how you can honestly claim that human activity is not affecting the climate. If you do believe one of the above points then your understanding of how the world works is drastically different from the mainstream scientific view and you are a crank. Perhaps you are a crank who will revolutionize humanity's understanding of the world. Good luck with that.

Ken Talton


JLW and Greyfalcon,
The healthy skepticism the right has had for the global warming hysterics IS reactionary in a way.

The environmental movement was pretty much taken over by lefties, especially after the fall of the USSR.

Leftism has never worked, instead it has rendered millions of innocents dead, wrecked economies and left its most "successful" nations weak economies on a demographic death spiral.

But, like mid 19th century Christian apocolyptics trying to distract attention from the great disapointment, the lefties watchword has become "next time fer sure".

For a time after the end of the cold war however, this was a hard sell. So to foist their utterly unworkable philosophy on the rest of us they embraced GW as an anticapitalist and anti American argument. Kyoto, and much of their rhetoric is about hyperregulating the private sector and holding America back.This has as much a political and idealogical bent as any on the conservative side.

Conservatives can additionally be forgiven for skepticism when the boosters of GW don't seem to believe in it themselves. The lefts approved approach is idiocy like Kyoto,which the Europeans who signed it are cheating on, and which ignored major polluters like China and India. (China recently surpassed the US in net CO2 emissions). The left opposes nuclear power, OWWEOL*, supports unworkable boondoggles like ethanol, and fly around the world lecturing about global warming....in jets (they could at LEAST use a blimp).

The Bush admin, for all its many, many faults has pushed fuel cells, nuclear power, thermal depolymerization and has gotten a CO2 agreement that includes China (and therefore is relevant...quite unlike Kyoto).

Bush has therefore done more practical good in this regard than those who are identified with this cause.

There are far worse environmental problems than GW and unlike GW (which is a perfect storm of solar heating of the whole solar system, coming out of an ice age and CO2 emissions...all at he same time) things like acid rain, mercury in the environment,the ecological collapse of the oceans and poisoning of groundwater supplies are almost entirely anthropegenic in nature.

None of this means that continuing the stupid experiment of defecating into our atmosphere is wise. I and many conservatives support fossil fuel carbon taxes as opposed to the carbon caps/ carbon credits that are just Ponzi scheme vaporware. We support nuclear power, and with the scads of cheap carbon free energy that can provide the thermal depolymerization plants and other biofuel processing plants it can make possible. The current administration is also looking at SSPS arrays for the first time since the early 80's.

Academics are left leaning by nature because they exist in a fairly Malthusian environment (they depend upon grants from a growth restricted limited budget that is frequently dependent upon public financing) and have limited interaction with the day to day operations of a capitalist economy. This makes them very unsuited to performing the sort of cost benefit analysis the solution to this problem requires.

*(OWWEOL= Offshore Windmills Within Eyesight of Lefties :)

Anonymous Hollywood Blacklist Dodger..
Put down the crack pipe and back away from the keyboard.

While likely not quite the cretaceous-tertiary scale calamity that the hysterics suppose, (there have been numerous similar changes in climate over the last million years) a huge shift in rain patterns and the rising of sea levels is certainly going to be disruptive at the very least. It is very unlikely to fall under anyones definition of "good" unless you live in the Yukon territory....even then your mosquito problem will be even worse.

Will

I don't think we need any data at all: the prospect of man-made climate change is a reasonable hypothesis given what we know about the physical properties of greenhouse gasses and the increase in atmospheric concentrations of said gasses.

The hypothesis is that if there is more of the stuff in the air, which there is, the atmosphere will, all other things being equal, trap more heat. The only question is how much difference this will make, and how the biosphere will react.

Those are important questions worthy of scientific study, but the reasonableness of the hypothesis is certainly enough reason for us to act, and act now.

I don't think this point is pushed clearly enough by environmental scientists who are mainly concerned with the question of how much difference our actions will make. And it makes wrangling over the evidence we so far have in support of the (already reasonable) hypothesis quite tedious. We will have collected data appropriate to accept or reject it only in hundreds, possibly thousands of years. That does not mean we have nothing which could motivate us to change our ways right now.

eric

Will-

You have no clue whatsoever about what it means to be on the left. I can only surmise that you get a steady diet of talk radio and Faux news which gives you a highly distorted view of the world.

Let's stick to climate change here. We can debate what measures we should be taking, and what is likely to be effective.

Will

Blimey Eric!

My response was somehow political?!

It was meant to be a comment about the role of climatic evidence in assessing whether the 'upward-trend' hypothesis was correct.

The point was to distinguish such empirical research from the hypothesis itself, and to claim that in itself, the hypothesis is reasonable.

Judging whether the hypothesis is correct is, I'm claiming, different to judging whether it is reasonable. We judge that it is reasonable given our knowledge of the physical properties of GHGs and the fact that we are putting more of them into the atmosphere. Given that background knowledge, it is unreasonable not to accept the hypothesis as a working one.

This helps to convince people who keep saying that nothing has yet been proved that lack of proof is no excuse for thinking that the negation of the working hypothesis is just as reasonable a position to hold as the hypothesis itself.

Mike

"If you don't believe one of the above points I don't see how you can honestly claim that human activity is not affecting the climate."

News Flash: Nobody believes this. The difference between the right and the left is that the AGW left thinks: The climate is changing. It seems that human activities may have some contribution to this. The change attributed to nature is good, the change attributed to man is bad. Nature Good, Man Bad. Man does bad things. All bad things are caused by man. All change is caused by man. All change is bad. This is the mindset that produces this:
http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

The AGW left are the ones who insist there is no God and that man came only from nature, yet they regard man as separate from nature.

If one is not skeptical about something, and does not require proof, then they take the information given on FAITH. Many of the AGW left have only FAITH in the IPCC; the IPCC and Al Gore are their Gods.

ZK

Ronald,

Ever since humans existed they have been increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, by breathing.
And CO2 has always been a greenhouse gas.

But those two facts do not imply that human-produced CO2 always had an effect on the earth's climate worthy of action.

Doug

Just read this great book. Lomborg is not a warming denier, but is excellent in separating fact from hype. He skewers Kyoto and Gore by contrasting carbon taxes with other economic alternatives. Everybody should be required to read this book before commenting on global warming.


Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming (Hardcover)
by Bjørn Lomborg (Author)

Engineer-Poet

Quoth Ken Talton:

to foist their utterly unworkable philosophy on the rest of us [lefists] embraced GW as an anticapitalist and anti American argument. Kyoto, and much of their rhetoric is about hyperregulating the private sector and holding America back.This has as much a political and idealogical bent as any on the conservative side.
And the only reason they've been able to do this is because those on the "right" (aka wrong) side of the issue have engaged in denial, obfuscation and outright lying rather than taking it seriously and head-on.  Had they insisted on internationally-levelled carbon taxes as part of the WTO instead of working so hard to keep environmental regulations out of it, this would not be an issue.

Instead, the right ceded all the moral authority on this to those they hate, and are now stuck with increasingly shrill and transparent falsehoods because they cannot admit that they were wrong.  They would take less damage if they reversed course now, rather than allowing the left to win more converts and elections over the issue.

Bush has therefore done more practical good in this regard than those who are identified with this cause.
Bush has utterly failed to promote IGCC (which has been running fine at the 250 MW scale since the 90's) and two of his first actions upon taking office were to sign big tax preferences for gas guzzlers and kill the PNGV (the US hybrid car program) to replace it with a hydrogen-car program.  Said "Freedom Car" program would take at least 20 years to yield fruit and was designed to favor fossil fuels with the economics (it's cheaper and more efficient to make hydrogen from natural gas and coal than RE, but for electric it's the other way around).

Alex McCloskey

My grandfather a professor at UCSD pointed me to this article citing a reliable technique for measuring the mean temperature of the ocean (devised by his colleague Walter Monk).

http://www.sc.doe.gov/sub/Accomplishments/Decades_Discovery/101.html

marcus

E-P hits the nail on the head.

Danzig

Could someone tell me what the Average Global Temperature was yesterday (November 16, 2007)?

Anyone?

I want to keep my database up to date.

Ken

When every peak scientific body says the science behind AGW is sound, when every scientific body that does work on Climate change says it's real and happening now I can only conclude that the abundance of climate change denialists here get their opinions from places like Climate Audit and similar and accept what they say unquestioningly (a matter of faith). I do have faith in the very good scientific institutions that have served us so well. They all say the science is sound and the physical evidence says AGW is real. The Left/Green/antiamerican conspiracy view of the issue is not supported by evidence. AGW is.

Tony

You can't scare people into taking action on global warming - it will never work. Humans are primarily motivated by economics and not much else. I don't know if global warming is real or not, don't know if we're causing it or not either - not sure it really matters to be honest...but I do think a huge change is coming that will benefit the planet (and us) in the long run...electric cars, green energy, LED lighting, etc.

This problem will likely solve itself through economics. Every day I see oil go up another buck barrel, I know change is coming that much faster... I think everybody needs to chill out a little instead of trying to figure out who's right and wrong...

Engineer-Poet

Economics does not work when the person who has to take an action is not its direct beneficiary.  Economics did not stop electric consumers in Ohio from dumping sulfur in the atmosphere to fall in the mountains in New York and Quebec; lawsuits did.  Economics did not clean up the LA smog, or the eutrophication in Lake Erie; mandated catalytic converters and phosphate-detergent bans did.

The implications of this are left as an exercise for the student.

Ronald Brak

ZK, I'm not sure what you are trying to say, but it is not human produced CO2 from breathing that we need to be concerned about, but rather CO2 produced by human activity such as burning fossil fuels and some land clearing practices. This is because all the carbon we breath out originally came from plants or from animals that ate plants and the carbon in plants was absorbed from the air, causeing the CO2 breathed out by us and absorbed by plants to be in balance. But burning fossil fuels and some land clearing practices result in carbon being added to the atmosphere that is not balanced by absorption by plants. This results in an increase in atmospheric levels of CO2 which result in a stronger greenhouse effect. Burning fossil fuels and land clearing have increased atmospheric CO2 levels by over a third since the start of the industrial revolution.

Mike

"When every peak scientific body says the science behind AGW is sound"

But not every scientist. Of course those that don't aren't real scientists; are they? What is a "peak" scientific body anyway? By "the science is sound" you mean the models are accurate, right? And, you mean that anything with global warming or climate change attatched to it is sound, right?

"when every scientific body that does work on Climate change says it's real and happening now"

Nobody can argue with that. But to you that means it is a huge change and it's all caused by man and it's bad , right? And climate change is the same as AGW, right?

"I do have faith in the very good scientific institutions that have served us so well."

Very good scientic organizations do not make alarmist statements or demand radical unwarrented action, politicians do.

Tony

Engineer-Poet,

Your exactly right - to bad this isn't a *local* problem that we could just sue someone over. Your line of reasoning is what the Kyoto treaty is all about, but it hasn't worked out so well, has it?

If you give people an economic reason to take action and they will...they always have in the past...

Rick

I'm starting to expect a new regime of global cooling to start to manifest itself for the first half of the 21st century ... and that won't be good - cold kills.

That said, I also think it's a shame we burn hydrocarbons at the rate we do when there are better, cleaner options.

Engineer-Poet

Don't talk to me about the Kyoto treaty, Tony.  It was put together by diplomats so they could have an accomplishment to point to, whether it had workable mechanisms to achieve worthwhile goals... or not.  As we both know, the goals fall far short and the mechanisms haven't come close to meeting them.  It's true that it was probably the most that the signatories would have agreed to at the time, but now it's an obstacle (not the least for being a patent failure).

The way to fix this problem is to slap a price on fossil carbon emissions (and other GHGs like SF6, N2O and CF4).  No nation should be left out; non-signatories should be unable to export goods to the carbon-restricted block, among other measures.  We need other, legislated measures like bans on unsequestered coal-fired powerplants and efficiency upgrades throughout our economies.

Rick

don't expect any of that to happen - no country seems likely to agree to this kind of binding agreement...Something like the following is more likely....we agree to seriously think about possibly reducing ghg....if we don't change our minds and if our economies don't experience any hiccups along the way.

I think thats the best you can expect.

Tony

Engineer-Poet,

Your suggestions make sense and I'll think they'll work great on Fantasy Island, but what about the *real* world? The only viable governing body is the UN and they're happy to sit on the sidelines while atrocities like Darfur go on year after year. I mean, Who supposed to *slap* around these non-signatories - maybe we could threaten them with a visit from Al Gore - that might work. ;)

Cheap green energy is the only viable solution - your not gonna force anybody to anything. Personally, I can't believe the good fortune in getting OPEC to keep crude prices this high for so long - it's truly a gift. Don't lose sight that the *only* reason other *green* energy sources are getting a look is due to expensive crude. It's not because of Al Gore, his crap movie, or alarmist scientists - it's expensive crude, period. If you want a solution to globally warming, pray for $200/barrel oil.

Mike

The amount of foolishness that has been pumped into the public sphere in the last 25 years about how unregulated markets will solve everything is reflected in some of the comments above. The free market religion needs to be exposed for what it is, a rigid system of secular beliefs as unworkable as a rigid Communist ideology.

We all want to be facing reality with as clear a view as possible of it. With regard to the issues of negative human influence on the natural environment, the Right has tended to be wrong because it has bought free market religion hook, line and sinker. It has lost the "conservative" in the old sense of the word attitude towards our natural inheritance. They are so afraid of regulation of markets that they are willing to deny, deny, deny reality. Regulation doesn't mean the end of capitalism but these people seem to think that it is a Communist plot.

In some cases regulation is intrusive and inferes with the economy and in other areas absolutely essential to keep the economy from "eating" the natural basis for its existence. Free market believers cannot even countenance the latter thought despite so many instances where unregulated business did a lot of damage to itself and to others.

Howard Gibson

Global Warming is still more a religion than a science. See my link at http://greendebate.blogspot.com/2007/11/there-must-be-some-kind-of.html
/We know "believers" are in, but it just doesn't make it right.

Mike

Howard,
I think you are a little confused about what science is. You are engaging in "name calling" by simply applying a pejorative label to something that you don't like. In this case the label is "religion" and the thing you don't like is almost the entire science of climatology (except for a few fringe people who advance alternative hypotheses that support what you want to believe).

Science means establishing a falsifiable hypothesis and collecting a lot of data BY MANY INDEPENDENT OBSERVERS. The data is in (reams and reams of it) and anthropogenic global warming has NOT BEEN FALSIFIED by the data.

It sounds like you're someone who doesn't really care about this kind of thing and just wants to sling mud but in any case I put that in for you.

In my previous post, I think I accurately used the word religion to describe what free market advocates do in resisting DISCONFIRMING data to their hypothesis that free markets are ALWAYS the way to go. A religious adherent RESISTS data that would suggest that their view of the world is at least incomplete if not totally inappropriate to the task at hand. Religions, especially fundamentalist ones, don't want to "let in all the data" while science is all about organizing and LOOKING FOR more data. In economics, unfortunately, this kind of attitude is rarely the case on many sides of debates about what is the right thing to do; economic philosophies become belief systems.

Ken

Mike,(the Mike who thinks AGW is a cult belief) - you said "Very good scientic organizations do not make alarmist statements or demand radical unwarrented action, politicians do." Do you mean that scientists, when their studies reveal a significant cause for alarm, should be silent and leave it all up to politicians? I think they are not only entitled to speak out, I think they are negligent if they don't. I also suggest that a lot of people would be arguing that they don't really believe in the validity of their work if they were silent - the same ones who don't like them speaking out?
There has been ample opportunity for convincing alternative explanations for the growing body of physical data (quite apart from the results of modelling) that show global warming. There are lots of powerful vested interests to ensure alternatives aren't ignored. Scientifically sound alternatives that stand up to scrutiny have not emerged. Mostly those that get put forward involve first of all ignoring everything that has been learned about climate so far.

Mike

Ken

Yes, there is some risk, but what the level of risk is and what action to take are matters of judgment. Personally, I am rather risk adverse, which is why I wrote in the first post:

"I agree with your conclusion, however, that because there is some risk, and to increase our energy security, we need to aggressively develop non fossil fuel energy sources, alternative fuels and PHEVs...etc."

I separate the GW debate into three categories:

The actual physical record
The models predicting the future
What action to take

There is legitimate debate in all three categories, but the AGW left say that there is no debate and that we must accept their solutions; this is what I object to.

Paul F. Dietz

I would be more impressed with the nay-sayers about climate models if they could point to physically realistic models that did not predict warming as CO2 (and other greenhouse gas) levels increased. The oil and coal companies have billions of dollars riding on the climate models being wrong, so why haven't their scientists come up with such countermodels? Instead, we have people like the chief scientist of BP saying the problem is real.

The anti-AGW denialists have all the hallmarks of dysfunctional pseudoscience, very much like so-called 'creation science'. Evidence is selectively quoted or misquoted, balanced assessments are not made, and errors are repeated despite correction. One cannot help but draw the conclusion that those on that side are more interested in making their case than in establishing the truth.

Mike

"I would be more impressed with the nay-sayers about climate models if they could point to physically realistic models that did not predict warming as CO2 (and other greenhouse gas) levels increased."

This a perfect illustration of the delusional thinking of AGW advocates.

"physically realistic models"

Like the ones that predict the weather?

Everyone knows that CO2 makes the earth warmer. You don't need a model for that. The fact that you think so indicates your ignorance. The question is, how much? Is it a big deal? Does it justify spending an enormous amount of money?


Paul F. Dietz

Like the ones that predict the weather?

An excellent example of an oft-repeated piece of idiocy, Mike. You illustrate my point about dysfunctional denialists very well.

Weather and climate are different things. Weather is the specific state of the atmosphere. Climate is statistical information about the behavior of the atmosphere. It is quite possible for a chaotic system to be inherently unpredictable in the first sense, but quite predictable in the second. For example, one cannot predict what face on an unbiased die will come up when the die is rolled with sufficient vigor -- but one can predict that each face will come up with equal probability.

Anyway, you appear to not be denying that CO2 increases will warm the Earth. So in what sense is AGW wrong? Are you saying that the current CO2 increase is not due to human actions?

Harvey D

Questions:

Should unregulated free market enterprises really care about anything else but profit?

The bible of free market has always been the survival and growth of profitable enterprises, certainally not our living conditions, health, GHG emissions, climate warming and other similar costly foolishness (in their eyes).

Government imposed laws and regulations is (has been and probably will be) the only way to compel free market enterprises to pay more attention to the environment (earth and its inhabitants).

Why would they spend resources ($$$) to clean up the mess they created unless they are compelled to do it?

Isn't is our collective responsability to elect people who will inact and duly apply such environment protection laws and regulations? If we do not, we can only blame ourselves.

One of those days, people who do not collectively take proper actions to protect the environment, may be sued, if smart lawyers can be founded to take the case.

CujoQuarrel

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Posted by: amazingdrx | November 16, 2007 at 12:11 AM

Do any commenters here believe:

1. Human activity has not increased the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

2. CO2 is not a greenhouse gas.
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Point #1: Man does produce CO2. But what percentage of the CO2 found in the atmospehere is man made?

Point #2: CO2 is a greenhouse gas. But what percentage of the total ammount of greenhouse gasses found in the atmosphere is it? (CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas in the atmosphere)

Anyone want to give the two numbers above?

Mike

Paul

I'm well aware of the difference between climate and weather. You think climate models are accurate, fine. Can you point me to one that has been sucessful predicting climate ten years in the future?

"So in what sense is AGW wrong?"

To the extent that people say the debate is over, demand radical action and blame every possible thing on it. As I said in the very first post, because there is some risk, I think we should be taking aggressive action to develop non fossil energy, but you still label me a denialist.

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