Videos: I would rather see them as text if it is just a person speaking. Sound only would be better than video. I can see video, but my bandwidth causes them to be broken into segments of a few seconds each. Bandwidth isn’t really the issue. Text is easier to deal with, re-read and understand, quote, etc.. You could add still pictures if you think we need to see the person’s face. Videos are “nifty” and new, but really not as useful. Just because you can is not a good reason to do it.
I need help finding something, if someone can point me to it, please? I read the NYT piece, and it occurred to me that I want to know how we figured out that pre-industrial levels of CO2 were 280 ppm, and for how long they’ve been stable. I know it’s basically from ice cores, but I don’t know any more detail than that. When I google it, I end up on denialist sites that claim the ice cores are inaccurate, that there’s a gazillion other measurements that conflict with those numbers, that plant stomata give us different numbers, and so on, blah blah. Since pretty much anyone can say anything when it’s not peer-reviewed (which isn’t perfect but hopefully winnows out at least the most egregious tripe), I don’t really care. I’m a lot more interested in the actual scientific investigation.
Any resources you can point me to are much appreciated!
Comment by Maya from the peanut gallery — 28 Dec 2010 @ 10:35 AM
Easier and faster
I just tested this by trying to recall some details about recent improvements in understanding the data from the ice cores. So I googled ‘Easterbrook Alley notes’, opened this link:
Wyoming, thank you! The data description has journal references, too, that will be helpful. I’m not going to run the data myself, but I do want to know how someone else ran it. I very much appreciate your help.
Comment by Maya from the peanut gallery — 28 Dec 2010 @ 12:39 PM
beyond the ice core record (which has been extended back 800,000 years or so):
There are four primary proxies used for pre-Quaternary CO2 levels (Jasper and Hayes, 1990; Royer et al., 2001; Royer, 2003). Two proxies apply the fact that biological entities in soils and seawater have carbon isotope ratios that are distinct from the atmosphere (Cerling, 1991; Freeman and Hayes, 1992; Yapp and Poths, 1992; Pagani et al., 2005). The third proxy uses the ratio of boron isotopes (Pearson and Palmer, 2000), while the fourth uses the empirical relationship between stomatal pores on tree leaves and atmospheric CO2 content (McElwain and Chaloner, 1995; Royer, 2003). (AR4 WG1 ch. 6.3.1)
You could use Nic Miloslav’s Zvon site, linked in the OP, to look up the references and learn more.
I would like to know what you guys make of the claims by George Monbiot in the Guardian and Judah Cohen in the NYT, that the recent cold in Europe and other places has been caused by “global warming”. Is there a valid scientific basis for these claims?
Thanks for highlighting several relevant and important items. For those of us who don’t have enough time for much deep study, it’s very nice to have summaries like this to winnow out highly relevant items.
Good links and summary, except that you left out Greg Craven’s impassioned speech. The fact that he makes some working scientists uncomfortable should not detract from its importance.
Many of us have been saying the same thing he did for quite a while, which is: the time has come for climate scientists to go beyond simple communication of the current state of the science. Every day, you are passionately attacked by cynical instruments of industry, and a scream may be a better response than a mutter. The oil and coal companies are, after all, steering us to hell on earth, and you are the ones who are going to have to fight them.
The important work that you have accomplished has created the responsibility to work toward inspiring people to act on it. Policy and evidence are now so intertwined that the time has come to speak more passionately, and to do so in public, in front of the media. Kind of like what Steven Schneider did so well.
Alley and Santer were great on television, and there are others with comparable talent. Your presence alone at that hearing showed Rohrabacher and Michaels to be just what they are. Don’t wait for another hearing to give them another spanking. It might hurt you too, but you will be doing it for their own good.
Comment by David B. Benson — 28 Dec 2010 @ 8:54 PM
#19 – Mike Roddy
There is a transcript of Greg Craven’s speech posted on his website. He presentation certainly evokes much emotion and I imagine it was much stronger in person. I think he’s probably correct in that there must be another way to convince the public of the severity of the problem of climate change. I’ve tried when I had the opportunity, especially when I worked on a few political campaigns. The trouble is, the political process these days doesn’t allow for such concerns to be moved to the top of the agenda. Most people are concerned with their own welfare, with jobs and the economy being today’s main focus. Worse, politicians don’t get elected by promising austerity, which is what would be required to deal with the situation.
There are also other sides to the problem, such as Peak Oil, which some say has already passed. Once the oil production begins to decline and the price spirals upward, the outcry will be to give us more, as the economy could slide into an even more serious problems. The vast majority of the population has mo clue about finite resources and ecological limits, only worrying about putting food on the table today and paying the rent on the first of the month. If that weren’t enough, at least 25% of the US population sees the Bible as absolute truth and another 25% or so takes the message as given to be the basis of their lives, thus these folks will oppose anyone who tries to tell them otherwise. The US conservatives, typified by the Tea Party Movement, appears to be just as serious about their view that there’s no problem with global warming as Mr. Craven appears to be in his rant. The country appears to be slowly tearing apart, separating into opposing camps, much like what happened 150 years ago when the South decided to leave the Union.
I deeply wish I knew how to bring people back to an understanding that we all live on the same Earth and must protect it’s natural life support systems. I fear that the only way will be for some massive calamity to hit all of us so hard that we have no other choice. That would certainly be painful and there’s no guarantee that things wouldn’t just revert to conditions last seem hundreds of years ago, including a much smaller population on Earth. I’ve felt that way for a long time, which may be one reason I have no children…
I read the piece about the Keeling curve in the NY Times. I am not surprised you liked it but definitely worried. I think the following passage says it all:
“But the essence of his scientific legacy was his passion for doing things in a meticulous way. It explains why, even as challengers try to pick apart every other aspect of climate science, his half-century record of carbon dioxide measurements stands unchallenged.”
Note how indignated the author is about the terrible people who dare to question the climate dogmas. But the whole idea of science is to “try to pick apart every aspect” in all fields and most scientists are happy when their work is challenged in a serious away. The way this article is written gives a strong impression that climate science shuns this kind of scrutiny. Is that a sound attitude of a sound science and sound scientists?
ES 22: If that weren’t enough, at least 25% of the US population sees the Bible as absolute truth and another 25% or so takes the message as given to be the basis of their lives, thus these folks will oppose anyone who tries to tell them otherwise.
BPL: Did you miss where 86 leading evangelicals from Al Sharpton to Pat Robertson signed a statement saying Christians need to do more to protect the environment and fight global warming?
Read the book “Merchants of Doubt”, its says an awful lot regarding the political system, the media system (equal airtime to both sides of the argument) and covers all that has hapenned when scientific findings upset the capatalist system which would mean one of several things inlcuding job losses, loss of revenue, loss of influence and hence foundations are founded and odd but politically charged arguments are put forward that have worked for many a year.
It is a very eye opening read but for many here it will just reinforce that what is already known and that is any weakness in the scientific arguments on ACC/AGW is exploited as needing more research (scientists have to acknowledge this I suppose as its in their nature)and hence action and legislation is delayed.
18 MikeA: Utube is NOT universally accessible. What about people who are still running Mac OS9? .txt is universally accessible.
[Response: We are discussing multiple methods to get information across, not suggesting that video be exclusive. We are very conscious that not everyone in the world has broadband and a new MacBook Air.... - gavin]
One of the scientists who does the Rapid Response spoke at a church:
\Retired astrophysicist Dr. Ray Weymann of Atascadero weighed in on some hot and cold topics covering “Astronomy’s Role in Climate Science” last Thursday at the United Methodist Church in San Luis Obispo.
Weymann explained everything from the composition of the earth’s atmosphere to ice age cycles and the evolution of the sun in a two-hour presentation as part of the The Central Coast Astronomical Society (CCAS) monthly meeting.\
Instead of attacking religion, you should be speaking about how Christians and other faiths can be stewards of the earth.
I am an expert on Soviet propaganda about religion.
I get really sick of poorly-informed people writing that religious people believe the Bible and not global warming. If you are really an expert on what religious people believe, why don’t you cite your sources for your statistics? Or did you just pull them out of your hat?
The Bible does not address the issue of global warming. It does say that men should be \stewards of the Earth,\ and that is what climate scientists are saying we should do.
Climate scientists and the Bible agree about this moral issue.
The Vatican considers global warming a serious problem. Their UN representative gave a speech about it at the UN.
Religion is an extremely important political influence. When you denigrate scientificially uninformed religious people and announce that they are against global warming, you may actually antagonize them and cause them to become denialists.
You are telling people that if they are religious they must reject global warming, and if they are ignorant, they may agree with you!
Communists always harped so on science versus \ignorant\ religion, even as their \scientific\ Marxism-Leninism was anything but scientific and had nothing to offer about science or morality. They certainly denigrated the environment in their country. And they built their communist paradise with the slave labor of millions of religious people whom they denigrated for their ignorance.
These days, Pravda hilights good points about religion and denigrates climate science. This is why we have an amazing pnenomenon: ignorant conservative blogs are quoting Pravda.
Is that what you want? If so, keep trashing religion as an enemy of climate science.
The communist propaganda apparatus always used cooperative clergy to promote the Soviet foreign policy—\peacemaking\ in international meetings. The communists recognise the power of religion and try to coopt it for their political agenda.
Islamist radicals love it when Americans denigrate Muslims. They understand that denigrating Islam helps their side.
Religious people are being told BY DENIALISTS that faith is at odds with the science of global warming. The denialists recognize how important religion is to people, so they try to enlist it on their side.
Why do you want to give aid and comfort that canard? Why not tell how the Catholic Church is addressing global warming in the UN so religious people read about that?
Instead of dissing religion with uninformed stereotypes, Why don’t you write about churches who have famous scientists speak to their members about how we can be stewards of the earth?
If people see that scientists come to their churches to discuss how Christians can be \stewards of the earth,\ they will listen and learn. They won’t listen to you if you characterize their faith as ignorant.
Even the denialists, like the communists, are fooling people by claiming they have scientific truth.
Steven Jorsater: “But the whole idea of science is to “try to pick apart every aspect” in all fields and most scientists are happy when their work is challenged in a serious away.”
Oh very true, but the “picking apart” usually isn’t applied to areas of science that have been well established for decades to centuries, and it isn’t usually applied by food tubes who are utterly ignorant of the science involved. That kind of thing tends to piss just about any expert off. Google “Dunning-Kruger”.
BPL: Did you miss where 86 leading evangelicals from Al Sharpton to Pat Robertson signed a statement saying Christians need to do more to protect the environment and fight global warming?
Me: and then there’s deeply disturbing things like this. ‘Various conservative Christian leaders have united with the Cornwall Alliance for the release of a shocking new 12-part DVD series, “Resisting The Green Dragon,” that attempts to debase and discredit the environmental movement by portraying it as “one of the greatest deceptions of our day” that is “seducing your children” and “striving to put America and the world under its destructive control.”‘
[Response: As Ray mentions below, this is very much a reflection of political, not religious, stance. Since discussions of religion almost invariably go off the rails at some point, can be please move back to scientific issues? Thanks. -gavin]
Comment by Maya from the peanut gallery — 29 Dec 2010 @ 9:54 AM
Actually, there’s solid evidence that religious affiliation affects beliefs about climate:
Steven Jörsäter: Note that the article says “challengers” not “scientists”. Real scientists can and do improve on all areas of climate science. It’s their job, and it’s how science works.
Unqualified challengers, though – self-appointed auditors, floundering out of their depth – what useful contributions have they made? The vast majority of such “sceptics” have contributed nothing at all. The very few that are actually qualified and have put in the work have contributed only insignificant corrections to minor details, and have not advanced the field of climate science in the slightest.
The article isn’t quite right, though. The more extreme deniers are quite happy to tilt against the Keeling curve, with the most ludicrous and nonsensical arguments. But those nutters are quietly ignored even by the self-appointed, self-described “sceptics”.
I wish people spent more time being sceptical than they do pretending to be sceptical. The sheer gullibility and credulous belief of so many self-described sceptics is just crazy. Confirmation bias is a powerful thing.
[edit - sorry, but this is not the place for those kinds of religion/science discussions. There are many other locations to discuss them, but very few where people can focus on climate. Please take it there.]
This is the only thing I’d like to say about religion, and I don’t think it’s too far off the rails: Any strategy for communicating the science to the public — let alone any strategy for promoting policy measures — needs to carefully analyze different segments of public opinion and look for ways they can be won over to your point of view, rather than needlessly alienated from it. With a fairly religious public like the American one, that means, among other things, that you have to consider carefully the kind of data Ray (#32) points to, and the kind of arguments Snapple (#29) makes (and that I, for one, agree with).
Discussing climate science as found thru conferences and publications from the AGU and other science oriented organizations is great fun. But, lacking ways to transmit this knowledge into the public mind, there’s really no point, IMHO. One might as well be recording a slow motion disaster movie, as the Earth’s natural life support systems continue to degrade and populations begin to die off. Indeed, this is the doomer viewpoint, which is what I think we are likely to experience. I think the conflict between religion and science has very much to do with the problem as we know the American public is hopelessly ignorant of basic science. When push comes to shove, people will not accept the restrictions in their life styles which will be necessary to cut our carbon emissions until the damage becomes so obvious that it will be too late. I’m an engineer who has been intensly focused on energy issues and have been aware of the Limits to Growth scenario for more than 35 years. I have yet to see how society will replace our present massive use of fossil carbon in time to minimize the impact of the decline in available low cost liquid fuels after Peak Oil.
BTW, if you are really going to ignore discussion of religion in the climate change discussion, please delete Snapple’s post, #29. Else, you all would appear to have a pro-myth, anti-science bias. Not that this is unusual these days…
[Response: Really? You think I have a pro-myth anti-science bias because I don't want discussions to get derailed by repetitive and uninformative discussions that have been hacked to death in almost every other blog site to no result whatsoever? Whatever. This discussion is closed. - gavin]
How odd. The so-called “Evangelical” Cornwall Alliance doesn’t identify a single religious leader or a single religious denomination on its home page.
There are two guys who don’t seem to be clergymen on the front page. And Lord Monckton. Last time we heard from him, he was dismissing Dr. John Abraham’s Catholic University as a “Bible college” because he supported AGW.
No religious denomination is mentioned. This organization just characterizes itself as a “Leading Evangelical Group.”
Which one, it doesn’t say.
One guy, James Tonkowich, claims vaguely:
“My skepticism about [anthropogenic global warming] arises from the fact that as a physicist who has worked in closely related areas….”
The other guy, E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D.,
is a “spokesman” for this so-called “alliance.”
This is a “religious” organization the same way that some denialist sites characterize themselves as “scientific.”
I don’t think any real Evangelical groups had anything to do with the creation of this front group. The sponsors are trying to fool gullible people into thinking climate denialism is an Evangelical position so they will sign the petition and send money.
This is why it would be nice if scientists could speak in real churches. I note this front group is co-oping the theme of stewardship of the earth.
Blame denialists, not religious people for this fake site.
“What will happen to jobs, living standards and families under restrictive energy policies?
Pennsylvania is lucky. Even amid this prolonged recession and depressingly high unemployment (9.5% in PA), families and businesses in the Keystone State are still paying just 9.4 cents a kilowatt hour for electricity.
That’s due in large part to the fact that Pennsylvania gets 53% of its electricity from coal. A lot of people vilify that black rock. But just think how much easier it is to cool our homes and cook our food at this price – or operate a factory, farm, office, store, hospital, school, church … or government agency.”
Here is his CV. It doesn’t say he is a physicist, as he claimed on the Cornwall Alliance site. He claimes to have a degree in Theology.
Steven Jörsäter #25: You have missed the important points so completely that my head hurts.
Yes indeed, it is essential and honorable to try to think how scientific conclusions might be picked apart and challenged. Also (and this you don’t mention), in the arena of public life that we all inhabit willy-nilly, after a reasonable amount (indeed an amount far beyond reasonable) of picking and challenging has already occurred, and the conclusions still look pretty solid at their core, there comes a time when any citizen of good will and decent judgment must begin to demand action. Perhaps milder actions at first, then with increasing urgency as the situation requires.
Many of us citizens of good will and decent judgment passed the point of demanding those first, rather mild, actions about 20 years ago. How about you?
I have a suggestion for your video page: The Dessler-Lindzen debate [http://www.desmogblog.com/debating-science-and-policy-lindzen-defensive] that took place earlier this year at the University of Virginia School of Law. For me, the best part is Dessler’s presentation. He does a great job explaining the climate sensitivity equation and how it accounts for feedbacks. The production quality is poor, but Dessler‘s presentation makes up for it.
[Response: Not sure about the Auburn U. video. I had a stinking cold and could barely focus. Plus the slides were somewhat messed up during the conversion process for the video (and I'm not completely sure they were quite what I showed in any case!). There are some better versions of basically the same talk around i.e. here. - gavin]
I’m in the midst of a debate at a Climate Crock video, about UHI effect, etc. It started with me citing the reasons why the sun can’t be responsible for late 20th century and 21st century warming. I offered the argument about nighttime temps rising more than daytime. The reply from RealOldOne2 was that the greenhouse effect should increase warming equally day and night, and that the warm nights are a signature of UHI.
MASTER LIST……….One-line link/listings (i.e., author’s names, RC article titles, or categories) are sufficient for directed research among like items.
But they aren’t adequate for someone just browsing for something interesting to watch. The material is of varying duration, and ranges from the lecture hall to CSPAN to a (extreme) weather report. Better:
Title/link (~2007)(~60min) originator
Consistency is not a virtue. This is the obvious place to add links to other discussions, the original paper, etc.
CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER……….is the obvious first organization for a master list. [The category each item fits into can be mentioned in brackets - to make the search among categories easier.]
There’s obviously less interest in the older videos in a field that has progressed as quickly as climate science. Any exceptions can be highlighted in the accompanying descriptive text.
The greatest interest will be in the most recent listings, for people catching up on what’s newly available. From an AGU presentation or press conference. A NPR interview. Or from NOVA, last night:
Secrets Beneath the Ice(Dec28,2010)(53min) NOVA
About ANDRILL’s drilling beneath the ice in Antarctica.
[Arctic and Antarctic climate]
OTHER……….Crock of the Week & Potholer 54 should eventually get separate listings for each episode, for distribution into different categories.
Some TED talks belong. And how many Universities have lecture series?
Continuing programming……….deserves separate mention: ‘Climate TV’(Canada) and ‘The Climate Show’(Hot Topic). And in audio there is ‘Irregular Climate’(Scruffy Dan).
Video lectures……….like David Archer’s, also deserve separate mention.
‘AUDIO’……….material should also be collected, since it’s of similar interest to the same people. Separation can be maintained by simply prefacing audio entries: ‘AUDIO’.
BENEFITS……….should far outweigh the efforts. Individual listings are likely to be sent in by the institutions that produced the videos, or the participants themselves. Some viewers will contribute a listing because they believe that other people should also see it.
Consider the most obvious benefit. People who are on the fence ‘climaticly’ are more likely to watch a video, than read Tamino.
Comment by Same Ordinary Fool — 29 Dec 2010 @ 7:12 PM
Realoldone2 is wrong for two reasons. Firstly the increase in warm nights is global, UHI only affects urban areas. UHI can’t explain warming over oceans, in the lower atmosphere and the rapid warming in areas like the arctic where few people live.
Secondly he has the greenhouse effect wrong. The prediction of the greenhouse effect is faster warming of nights than days. From memory solar warming would be expected to warm days faster.
“The influence is in general greater in the winter than in the summer, except in the case of the parts that lie between the maximum and the pole. The influence will also be greater the higher the value of ν, that is in general somewhat greater for land than for ocean. On account of the nebulosity of the Southern hemisphere, the effect will be less there than in the Northern hemisphere. An increase in the quantity of carbonic acid will of course diminish the difference in temperature between day and night. A very important secondary elevation of the effect will be produced in those places that alter their albedo by the extension or regression of the snow-covering (see p. 257 [omitted from this excerpt--CJG]), and this secondary effect will probably remove the maximum effect from lower parallels to the neighbourhood of the poles.”
Churches often have speakers on the issues of the day. Many churches would be very interested in attending a lecture by a scientist. Ordinary Christians and scientists are both concerned about truth. Most people probably never heard that NASA and the National Academies say there is global warming. They probably never heard that all the major scientific organizations say there is global warming.
You really should google this James Tonkowich if you want to understand how denialists hope to exploit religion.
James Tonkowich is a former head of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD). This used to be a good organization in the 1980s. They used information from the best Soviet Studies scholars. They exposed Soviet propaganda about the “happy lives of Soviet believers.” I used to be friends with their former President many years ago.
I supported them because they told the truth about religious persecution and exposed Soviet propaganda. But times change.
Now, the IRD have been coopted by the denialists who hope to exploit religion in defense of the fossil fuel industry. James Tonkowich calls scientists leftists and claims that global warming is a heretical “new religion.”
One one site claims he is a physicist. Another site claims he has a Theology degree. So what is true?
Considering my former affiliation with IRD and my published articles, it would be pretty hard for the IRD to get away with calling me a “leftist” who has embraced the “religion” of climate change.
Rather, the IRD has embraced the very dishonest disinformation tactics it once exposed. It’s very sad.
Here’s a December recap from AccuWeather. The temperature map shows unusual warmth over Northeastern Canada, even though it was colder to the south. The flow over the North Atlantic just now (the images will change with time) looks much like that of last year, when the flows from the southwest could not penetrate the dome of high pressure over the Nordic Seas. Instead, the flow split, with some portion of the flow turning back to the northwest over the Labrador Sea. That flow kept southern Greenland very warm last winter. Perhaps this pattern will continue this winter as well.
From Mark Twain on Global Warming P1, time index 48 seconds..
“In late 2009 emails stolen from a british climate lab showed global warming scientists engaged in a systematic manipulation of the scientific process, and sometimes outright lying, several top scientists associated with the IPCC are implicated.
Now that he and other’s have been caught red handed, the IPCC scientist at the center of the warmergate scandle Dr. Phil Jones admits not only might the world may have been much warmer in the past, but there has actually been no global warming for 15 years.
His admission is startling given that a celebrated 2007 access,emt the IPCC in which Jones played a pivital roll said the evidence that the world was and would continue warming was unequivaquible. Then in January 2010 the IPCC reluctantly admitted errors in their report>”
These statements are examples of defamation of character and are actionable in court.
Failure to defend ones self agains such accusations not only emboldens the enemy, but also gives the impression of guilt in the undecided.
Take action, or continue to lose the war.
[Response: Just what the hell is it you think these guys have been doing the last six years brother, playing pinochle?--Jim]
Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 31 Dec 2010 @ 1:22 AM
Wow! Many thanks to Miloslov Nic, and to you for linking to his work.
Comment by Septic Matthew — 31 Dec 2010 @ 11:11 AM
At year’s end, this is a good time and place for me to thank the moderators for maintaining this web log and permitting me to write here.
Ray Pierrehumbert’s book is out imminently, and when I get it I shall spend much time reading it and working with the programs. It’s all available at his web site, but I prefer actual books still.
Many thanks to all discussants, and have a good and prosperous New Year.
Comment by Septic Matthew — 31 Dec 2010 @ 11:17 AM
#51 Snapple and others,
Here’s an in depth look at The Cornwall Alliance. They appear to be another “astroturf” group, masquerading as a real organization. Who would have guessed? Of course, given that they point to videos from Lord Monckton as a source of their “science”, their anti-AGW bias should be obvious. These PR guys are slick…
Gavin, I’m disappointed about your quite sharp reactions to commenters’ tangents about religion. Yeah it’s OT, but scientists are starting to realize how important it is to deal with public perceptions, as frustrating and horrifying as this experience can be.
Refining climate science is extremely important. Communicating the essence of climate science to the general public- and overcoming obfuscation that is based on ignorance and greed- is about 50 times more important.
We don’t know when the most damaging changes will occur, or how terrifying our future will become. That should not impede the necessity of mixing it up in public. Scientists have often been viciously attacked throughout history. The best preventive action may be for you to stick your chins out and throw some punches.
My own paradigm of public perception is Hollywood movies, which are far more trivial than religion. That is the world we live in, though- and the people who are trying to tear your work apart dwell on the dark side. I’ve seen you and others stand up to them before. Don’t stop now.
[Response: What do any of your comments have to do with not wanting yet-another-religion-vs-science-blog-fight here? My point was only that if people want to discuss that (and obviously some do), there are plenty of blogs and fora that are more suitable. My attitude would be the same if people wanted to discuss GM foods, or vaccines, or abortion or states' rights or health care. There are interesting conversations to be had, but just not here. Don't read any more into my statements than that. - gavin]
“Failure to defend ones self agains such accusations not only emboldens the enemy, but also gives the impression of
guilt in the undecided.”
Most scientists have neither the money nor the time to take the legal route against all the defamation that is out there. It’s asymmetric warfare.
I discussed this some in CCC, see especially the discussion of defamation law on p.184.
Andrew Weaver does have one in progress against the National Post, but I think that may be a lucky combination.
I think there are solutions, but they aren’t here yet, although I’ve talked to some of the relevant folks. Maybe one of the solutions will start happening in 2011. This is another case where I miss Steve Schneider.
[edit - Note that comments where you simply insult people are not going to fly. Either tone it done, or go elsewhere. This is not up for discussion.]
Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 1 Jan 2011 @ 3:30 PM
An interesting paper currently hurtling around the denialosphere: “Warming Power of CO2 and H2O: Correlations with Temperature Changes” by Paulo Cesar Soares in International Journal of Geosciences (www.scirp.org/journal/ijg/).
[Response: Indeed. This is possibly the worst paper I've ever seen published. It hasn't even been proof read, so peer-review seems a little unlikely as well. There is one quotable line which pretty much says it all: "The volume of data and information is fantastic and one may unwarily select partial data and show bias results." Indeed. - gavin]
I am new to blogging so forgive me if I do not follow protocol. I just have a few thoughts I want to share.
I watched with interest Dr. Oppenheimer’s piece. I am a simple soil scientist that travels thoughout PA and I have a background in environmental science. Although I had been taught global warming and its implications at Cornell though various courses in the early ’80s, this knowledge lay buried for many years. Indeed, when Dr. Hansen made front pages in 1988, I presumed that society would act on the knowledge that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that man’s emissions would effect the earth’s energy budget. Seemed simple to me. Fast forward to about 5 years ago when an Uncle (former asst. dean at Katz at Pitt and one that introduced me to C.P. Snow many years ago) stated that a group of scientists concluded that the earth had crossed a line of no return. That statement stuck with me. A few months later, in the middle of January at latitude 41.122, my patunia were blooming outside. The shock of this combined with what I was seeing in my field work, made me realize that I had better bone up on the science to see what was up.
Like Oppenheimer, I spent the next few years reviewing the published literature and viewing lectures from Yale, MIT, Cornell, etc. Although I recognize Dr. Oppenhiemer’s statement about speaking with scientific authority is valid, I also believe it is every scientist’s duty and responsibility to speak of what they do know whether or not they have published. I believe it is possible to assimilate a large body of peer reviewed knowledge and form a professional (though not expert) opinion.
Most people I discuss this with have absolutely no scientific background so I stick to the basics: CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that its concentration are increasing. When asked, I will explain in more detail the chemistry and physics of the science. I also carry copies of the National Academy’s reports in my Prius. Indeed, this has changed more minds then my little ten sentence lectures. And, often I am met with religious or political argument, but thats the way it goes. However, maybe I have planted a seed that will grow.
I believe that if ALL scientists speak up and challenge those in denial, needed work on adaptation and mitigation can begin. All scientists should include the medical, and engineering fields as well. And, because of the urgency of the problem, I would suggest that every scientist spend a part of every day educating the public. It is very easy to stike up conversations with people while going through your daily routines. Please take this time to drop a line or two about the seriousness of the problem. Everyone always talks about the weather as a matter of course, and this is the crack in the door for which you can make a couple of statements. Your news however will likely be met with skepticism but it may plant the seed for which they can form a conclusion based on what they see happening around them in the environment in which they live. Indeed, if enough scientists from all fields speak out, those linked to the fossil fuel industry and the disinformation they spread will be marginilized. Look at how racism is no longer tolerated in society and how racists are largly marginalized in society. It took large numbers of people speaking out over a period of years for this to occur.
I would also suggest that science quickly move to find technological sinks for CO2 before we all cook. Uunfortunately, though my reviews of the papers, I too have moved over to that group of scientists that think we crossed that line a number of years ago. As a parent, it is a heavy emotional load to carry but I hold out some hope that man will survive this mess we have created. Unfortunately, I don’t hold this hope for civilation. Collapse in the near future is a fore gone conclusion in my book, but it is not from this book I preach to the public.
Again, I urge all to speak up in every way they can. Unfortunately, although a good first step, I do not think the AGU goes far enough in their ask a scientist web page. The situation is much to grave at this point.
BTW, For Comment 22: Eric, I read Greg Craven’s speech you provided and agree as per my comment in No. 67. Thank you. And, just to scare my relatives, I forwarded it along within an email. At least they will know I’m not alone.
Perhaps if all scientists, engineers, geologists, medical scientists, agronomists, teachers, etc. keep talking about it, we can get to a critical mass.
Thank you for the AGU links, I enjoyed the ice cores talk immensely. I agree that for a low-bandwidth connection it would help to provide a link to a transcript, but this was very cool. Wish my profession had gotten to the point of making our talks available online for free! Maybe next year.
Comment by Halldór Björnsson — 3 Jan 2011 @ 8:44 AM
I was struck by Greg Craven’s comment “… I will abandon ship and run for the lifeboat with my family to create what resilience I can for me and mine.
How tragic, how sad, how pathetic that I have come to that. But that pathos has power if it is shared in a way that no information, no data, no evidence can ever bring. You know it is the last stand when the hippie liberals start to collaborate with the survivalist nut jobs. And that’s happening right now. I’m a member of those discussion forums.”
I have contingency plans to fall back on if various adverse impacts of global warming start happening faster than even I expect – how to provide necessity X, or avoid impact Y if Z hits the fan. It would have been interesting to poll AGU attendees to see what percentage have considered these things on a personal level – e.g., have you thought about how you would cope with rationing, or food riots? (I think that something as extreme as food riots is a low but not zero probability; being prepared doesn’t mean counting on likely scenarios, and gathering information by lurking on various bleeding edge forums can help; knowledge is power).
Recaptcha oracle says – “until worse”
Clearly Greg Craven has thought about this. The as yet uneducated public might pay more attention if they knew that a significant number of scientists were considering bad case scenarios, and how they might affect them personally. How many climatologists have invested their “lucrative” grant money in beach front property? In the interest of full disclosure, I own a sailboat (not dependent on fossil fuel) that I keep at the Carolina coast. Potential impacts from hurricanes, or fuel costs, played a part in my decision to buy it, instead of a condo, or power boat.
There are nonlinear social feedbacks when civilization starts to break down. Not all the lifeboats from the Titanic were optimally occupied, but those in less full boats were more likely to survive. If you area aboard a full sixteen person boat, it can probably hold 17, maybe 18, but at some point everyone’s life is put at risk. Do you err on the side of caution, to insure that 16 survive? Can you think rationally if the conditions are so dire?
Brian Dodge quoted Greg Craven: “You know it is the last stand when the hippie liberals start to collaborate with the survivalist nut jobs.”
Actually, “hippie liberals” were moving out of the cities and going “back to the land” to found self-sustaining “off-grid” communes 40 years ago.
The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee, founded by hippie visionary Stephen Gaskin and his followers in 1971, is one such community that is still thriving. They practice and promote “a wide range of social and physical technologies appropriate to low-cost, high satisfaction community living” including “right livelihood cottage industries, solar building design, permaculture, micro-enterprise, mushroom cultivation, composting and gardening, and regenerative hardwood forest management”.
There is actually quite a lot of overlap between the technologies, living practices, and social innovations that are needed to solve the problem of AGW, and those that will be needed to survive it.
For example, if you put PV on your roof and establish an organic garden, you are simultaneously reducing your personal GHG footprint and preparing to ride out disruptions of the electric grid and the food supply.