RealClimate

Comments

RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Regarding geologists, about a year ago, The Geological Society of America issued a new position statement, which was certainly fine. Of course, that might have had something to do with the panel that put it together, whose members generally had 100+ publications apiece. People might not recognize Donald Paul, he used to be CTO at Chevron (and at least from one talk he gave, pretty sensible.)

    Comment by John Mashey — 25 Mar 2011 @ 1:01 AM

  2. I’m surprised that you cite approvingly the Editorial by Trevors and Saier. They say: “…the capitalistic systems of economy follow the one principal rule: the rule of profit making. All else must bow down to this rule… The current USA is an example of a failed capitalistic state in which essential long-term goals such as prevention of climate change and limitation of human population growth are subjugated to the short-term profit motive and the principle of economic growth.”

    In a world where the governments of most major economies are right-of-centre pro-capitalist ignoring the science behind climate change and presenting a strongly worded anti-capitalist diatribe will not advance understanding of the issues.

    [Response: I agree – that part of their argument is not strong. – gavin]

    Comment by Ron Manley — 25 Mar 2011 @ 1:47 AM

  3. Congrats to the nominees for the Climate Change Communicator of the Year award. There’s a glaring omission in the list, though…

    Comment by CM — 25 Mar 2011 @ 2:56 AM

  4. Thanks for the v. useful round-up. I went and looked at the Geological Society statement. It ends with this delicious understatement – “In the light of the evidence presented here it is reasonable to conclude that emitting further large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere over time is likely to be unwise, uncomfortable though that fact may be.”

    Comment by Dwight Towers — 25 Mar 2011 @ 3:58 AM

  5. On 6 June I am going to call my Illinois State Board of Elections [1-217-782-4141] [http://www.elections.state.il.us/] and get the information on getting on the ballot for the primary election to get into the US Congress. I suggest that RC leaders should run for the US Senate. It is the next logical step.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 25 Mar 2011 @ 5:22 AM

  6. Thanks for a plain-spoken statement on these “choices of ignorance.”

    (Speaking of that phrase, though, the transitional sentence it begins would (IMO) be better off without it, as it’s confusing following directly upon the link to the very thoughtful statement of the UK Geological Society. I read that twice, thinking “Surely they’re not criticizing the UKGS!” And thanks specifically for linking to that useful summary; I’m going to download the PDF and bookmark the URL.)

    It is chilling to see the degree of foolishness and ignorance on exhibit from an assemblage I’ll just call ‘some honorable members’–following the long Parliamentary tradition of avoiding gratuitous insult, no matter how well-founded and richly deserved it may be.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 25 Mar 2011 @ 7:18 AM

  7. give me sumshine, give me some rain … give me another chance, I want to grow up once again ….

    Comment by S. Majumder — 25 Mar 2011 @ 8:15 AM

  8. The idiocy truly runs rampant amongst certain ideological groups in the USA, from top to bottom.

    Representing the bottom end, here is a particularly inane comment that was posted to my hometown newspaper’s “climate-change” on-line forum (linky http://forums.signonsandiego.com/showpost.php?p=4340635&postcount=8):


    Do you know what the allowable ppm of CO2 is for submarines?

    Now the only question is, which USA Senator or Representative will be the first to pick up this ball and run with it?

    Comment by caerbannog — 25 Mar 2011 @ 9:30 AM

  9. You know you are on the losing side when you are reduced to an ad hominem method of calling those who dissent from your views “ignorant”. The ancient tactic of depicting yourselves as “science” and “experts” is nothing new in political agendas. It’s just not enough to win.

    [Response: Unfortunately your point is kind of undermined by the fact that you appear to ignorant of what the term ‘ad hominem‘ means. ;-) – gavin]

    Comment by cwon1 — 25 Mar 2011 @ 10:25 AM

  10. On the contrary;

    1. appealing to one’s prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one’s intellect or reason.
    2. attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument.

    The base of people who disagree with you are “ignorant”, that isn’t the message that is nothing new and a constant theme of agw supporters??

    [Response: When someone makes an ignorant statement – let’s take a real example, John Boehner’s claim that climate scientists think that CO2 is a problem because it is carcinogenic – it is not ‘ad hom’ to point out that this is wrong, and that he appears to be ignorant of the whole basis for concern. His consequent argument that nothing should be done about CO2 emissions thus arises from a false premise, and so can rightly be dismissed. You go much too far however, if you argue that because some arguments against CO2 emissions are based on ignorance, everyone who argues against CO2 emissions cuts is ignorant. This might be true, or not, but it doesn’t follow logically. I have certainly never claimed that everyone who disagrees with me on some topic is ignorant about that topic, and you would be hard pressed to find any evidence that this is what I think. There is however profound ignorance among people who argue about this in the public sphere – confusing climate change via CO2 with the ozone hole, misunderstanding the nature of attribution, whether CO2 is even a greenhouse gas, what a greenhouse gas is, etc. But the most important issue, and one which further undermines your point, is that ignorance is curable, it is not inevitable, and it certainly isn’t an insult. Everyone, including you and I, is ignorant about many things – I (like you I hope) aim to reduce that ignorance bit by bit. It would be nice if more people aimed to as well. – gavin]

    Comment by cwon1 — 25 Mar 2011 @ 10:40 AM

  11. I’m also, like Ron Manley #2, extremely surprised that you cite the T&S editorial.

    “Humanity certainly needs to be immunized with a vaccine for ignorance, and we propose that that vaccine is education. But education would have to be coupled to restrictions on people, agencies, and corporations determined to follow the profit motive, and in so doing, undermine the intelligence of the populace. Just imagine the outcome: ignorance would fade into the background, and discrimination, racism, intolerance, terrorism, crime, and fraud would be countered by the larger more rational segments of the human population.”

    “However, this goal can only be achieved when the inferior ideas and thoughts in ignorant human minds are eliminated from the equation and replaced with superior ideas resulting from a sound education.”

    Pretty terrifying stuff. Will I be held down while my “inferior ideas and thoughts” are eliminated and replaced with “superior” ones?

    Inferior thoughts? Seriously?

    If a nation disagrees, and continues to follow ‘the greedy interests of profiteers’, will they become an “inferior” nation, in need of re-education?

    [Response: Didn’t say we agreed with all of it–and that section IMO should have been worded much better–they do go over the top in places. But they make some good points as well.–Jim]

    Comment by Hot Rod — 25 Mar 2011 @ 11:06 AM

  12. ‘You know you are on the losing side when you are reduced to an ad hominem method of calling those who dissent from your views “ignorant”.’

    And a former ‘skeptical’ habitue of this site, writing this morning on another forum, challenged me to show him “the source” for the claim that climate models and theory in general both show that greenhouse style warming should be asymmetrical between hemisphere. (The execrable Joseph D’Aleo had presented this as a reason that greenhouse theory ‘must’ be wrong, since a CO2 molecule can’t ‘know’ where it is located.) I gave him 3 sources–of many, many such, from Arrhenius to Hansen 1988 to the TAR (see, for example, p. 719.)

    Was he ignorant? Or “willfully ignorant?”

    Or just a bald-faced liar?

    It’s hard to know, for sure–based upon past history, he won’t even acknowledge the existence of these sources, which seems like willful ignorance–but perhaps he reads them, understands them, then chooses to ignore their existence as “inconvenient.” By my lights, that would make him a liar.

    But *none* of the choices are an ad hominem, since they all proceed from his own words, not a pre-existing assessment of his character and/or knowledge.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 25 Mar 2011 @ 11:39 AM

  13. Jim – comment on my comment #11 – my take, having now read it seven times, is that the bad points outweigh the good ones by a margin.

    The echos it gives off in different places – re-education, inferior, ignorant humans, superior ideas (theirs, no doubt) – and at another point I found myself humming ‘Imagine’ ironically – lose it any underlying meaning.

    The ‘anti-capitalist diatribe’ as commenter #2 described it, is schoolboy 1.01 – I wrote nonsense like that in the seventies at High School.

    Comment by Hot Rod — 25 Mar 2011 @ 12:42 PM

  14. Willful ignorance is not ignorance of the diagnosis so much as rejection of the pre_scription (spam word? argh). In the denialist mindset, the imperative to reduce carbon dioxide emissions means an attack on their lifestyle. And yep, that’s what we hear from the environmentalist side: cutting, conserving, carbon tax, etc, so there is natural resistance from the other side, who fear higher energy costs and draconian regulations.

    So this is an energy issue. But for those who fear their cheap energy will be taken away, it’s all too easy to lump climate science in with the political \greens\ and loath everything equally. Fear isn’t conducive to accepting reality or carefully choosing a target of displeasure.

    If the cure for cutting carbon includes abundant, cheap energy, a lot of ears on the \rejection of science\ side will suddenly perk up. We can more or less bypass the issue of AGW if, well, the greens start embracing a comprehensive, realistic energy policy that includes nuclear as well as renewables.

    If energy is abundant and cheap, that will diminish the effectiveness of the argument that regulations are too costly, and environmental regulations can be broad and strict, and strictly enforced.

    Comment by seamus — 25 Mar 2011 @ 1:45 PM

  15. Ron Manley wrote: “… anti-capitalist diatribe …”

    It is beyond dispute that the generation-long, organized campaign of global warming denial, deceit, delay and obstruction in the USA was created, and continues to be funded and guided, by fossil fuel corporations driven by a “short-term profit motive” — namely, the one billion dollars PER DAY in profit that those corporations are raking in from business-as-usual consumption of their products.

    That the fossil fuel corporations in particular have promoted denial is not in itself is not an indictment of “capitalism” as a system — obviously the “capitalist” system includes for-profit businesses who not only acknowledge the problem of AGW but seek to profit from providing solutions (e.g. manufacturers of wind and solar technology) and/or seek to protect themselves from AGW-driven losses (e.g. insurance companies).

    However, it does raise some fundamental questions about the power of extreme wealth in the US economic system which allows it to subvert important public discourse in such a way.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 25 Mar 2011 @ 1:47 PM

  16. 14, SecularAnimist,

    However, it does raise some fundamental questions about the power of extreme wealth in the US economic system which allows it to subvert important public discourse in such a way.

    I don’t blame it on the system, but rather on a temporary cultural weakness in today’s American society. I also expect a backlash to eventually arise, much like the political activism of the sixties and seventies.

    For now, I feel like my own generation burnt out and sold out on ideals, so that certain qualities like duty, honor, and service simply aren’t on anyone’s radar (as opposed to a firm belief in every man for himself, nice guys finish last, and self-service first). The idea that maybe people need to individually sacrifice something for the future, or for the country or perhaps the world as a whole, is completely alien to everyone.

    Extreme wealth hasn’t purchased this fortunate and pliable position. We grew into it all on our own.

    As much as modern conservatives like to throw around the word “values,” it has no real meaning, or depth to it, beyond the idea of trying to make other people change their lifestyles to suit a comic book preconception of how an idealized suburban life should be lived.

    I blame this in part on eliminating the draft (as much as I never wanted to surrender years of my youth, or expose myself to personal risk, for such an enterprise). The whole idea of serving one’s country in some capacity has been completely lost to current generations. Profit is the only apparent motive for doing anything in contemporary U.S. society.

    But as I said, I don’t expect it to stay this way, and maybe climate change will be the issue that tips the scale. When the day comes that people can no longer deny what’s happening, and people realize just how deep of an unnecessary hole has been dug because society lost that balance between individuality and community, then the pendulum will swing back.

    In fact, the sheer vocal stupidity and extremism of the current collection of conservative congressmen, senators and pundits may well be what we need to help push the pendulum too far in the wrong direction, so that that back swing comes that much sooner, and more powerfully… maybe in time to save ourselves from becoming the capitalist grasshopper in a world that will soon be survivable only for society conscious ants.

    Comment by Sphaerica (Bob) — 25 Mar 2011 @ 2:18 PM

  17. 14 seamus: “So this is an energy issue.” No, it really isn’t. It is a “Who gets to be rich” issue. See 15 SecularAnimist. If the fossil fuel companies win, everybody looses. We can get the energy we need without fossil fuels.

    RC group and “Nature” exactly correct, including all of the words that have been objected to. There is only one truth, and it is the truth of science. Wrong answers have consequences that are bigger than train wrecks. It is long past the time for mincing words. It is time to tell it like it is, no matter who thinks it is impolite. Our very survival as a species depends on taking the correct actions.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 25 Mar 2011 @ 2:41 PM

  18. pull no punches in a recent editorial, describing the numerous societal problems caused when those with the limited perspective and biases born of a narrow economic outlook on the world, get control. These include the losses of critical thinking skills, social/community ethics, and the subsequent wise decision making and planning skills that lead a society to long-term health and stability.

    I am pretty sure that won’t work. Your general sanctimony and self-righteousness merely make you more vulnerable to the sniping of the skeptical bloggers. This is especially true if your pay comes from the taxes collected from taxpayers by the police power of the state.

    I have said this before, and I’ll try one more time: you can’t defeat the hog by wrestling it in the mud; you’ll just get dirty and exhausted, the hog loves it and weighs 400 lbs with short legs and really strong muscles. He’ll always win. Unless it’s a she, in which case she’ll always win.

    [Response: You seem pretty confused about just what group of people it is that wants to mud wrestle and on what the difference between self-righteousness and knowledge is.–Jim

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 25 Mar 2011 @ 3:08 PM

  19. #14–Seamus, that hasn’t been my experience.

    To take just the most extreme example, Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” prescribed a very sugar-coated set of remedies indeed. Yet that made no difference to the ferocious attack on the film, Mr. Gore, and on climate science in general.

    The reason, I believe, is simply what Edward Greisch says: it’s really about who gets to be (or stay) rich. At bottom, the denial industry is a spectacularly successful Astroturf operation driven by two things (IMO.) First is vested interest–Exxon, the Koch brothers and the like have been funding and directing a massive PR effort in order to protect their business interests–as much from competition by renewables as from regulation! Second is politics–climate change has emerged as an issue which can reliably energize a certain portion of the Republican base, and which has thus become a reliable source of political capital and/or cash income for certain “merchants of doubt.”

    These guys, quite frankly, don’t give a damn about what we say. (Rhett Butler reference semi-intentional.) Our words must be directed toward the middle–in fact if not always in appearance.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 25 Mar 2011 @ 4:01 PM

  20. I guess I wasn’t clear; my bad, I’ll try again. It’s time to move past the “debate” about whether AGW is real or not. We know it’s real, the denialist knows it’s real too, but doesn’t care. He’ll baldly call the science false because he fears the (imagined or not) consequences. He only cares about cheap, abundant energy. Provide that, and he’ll let go of the AGW debate.

    Comment by seamus — 25 Mar 2011 @ 4:42 PM

  21. 18 Septic Matthew: We understand what you are saying. Being nice hasn’t worked. The situation is getting desperate. We have to try something new. What?

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 25 Mar 2011 @ 5:03 PM

  22. 20 seamus: Cheap relative to what?

    Fossil fuels (and nuclear) appear to be cheap because their market price do not include all of the externalities such as health and environmental costs. Those industries have also been receiving tax breaks and other subsidies for decades.

    Comment by EOttawa — 25 Mar 2011 @ 7:00 PM

  23. The so-called “conservatives” of CC-denialist fame have nothing to do with economics (except who’s padded their wallets).

    Excerpts from an email I just got:

    We are very pleased to announce three exciting events happening at Bard College starting next week…

    ————————
    Come learn about “Climate Capitalism” (see: http://natcapsolutions.org/ ), the new book by Hunter Lovins and Boyd Cohen, which shows how innovators, entrepreneurs, and companies are proving that sustainability is profitable. Hunter Lovins is President and founder of the Natural Capitalism Solutions , an organization whose mission is to educate senior decision-makers in business, government and civil society about the principles of sustainability.

    GASLAND: This documentary film covers the controversial issues involved with natural gas drilling in the United States, and the Halliburton-developed drilling technology called “fracking,” or hydraulic fracturing that is currently under intense political debate in New York and elsewhere. See trailer at http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/trailer

    CARBON NATION: …an optimistic, solutions-based, post-partison documentary about climate change that offers solutions to a low-carbon economy, increased national and energy security, better health, and a cleaner environment. Even if you doubt the severity of the impact of climate change, or just don’t buy it at all, this is still a compelling and relevant film. see http://www.carbonnationmovie.com/home

    Those really into $$ green $$ would be going green.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnatnathan — 25 Mar 2011 @ 7:06 PM

  24. According to the EPA, CO2 is a pollutant that is harmful to humans. If this is true, then why are we permitted to drink hundreds of billions (and billions and billions!) of liters of carbonated beverages?

    I don’t recall any human being harmed by the CO2 pollutant in soda pop and club soda, beer, sparkling wines and in Scotch and soda. Or the residual CO2 in freshly-baked bread. Or the CO2 spewing out of the barbie!

    Comment by Harold Pierce Jr — 25 Mar 2011 @ 7:14 PM

  25. 18, Jim in comment: You seem pretty confused about just what group of people it is that wants to mud wrestle and on what the difference between self-righteousness and knowledge is.–Jim

    On that you and I disagree. Both sides want to mud wrestle (read the introduction to this thread), but for one side it is definitely a losing strategy.

    [Response: Well er, actually, no, they don’t, and if you were a scientist yourself, instead of a self-appointed critic, you might realize that. Scientists, by and large, want to do their science, and they are tired of being attacked for doing their best at it, by clowns who don’t know what they’re talking about. Kapish? Sort of like the schoolyard bully who pushes and pushes and then when finally gets pushed back, claims the other is trying to pick a fight. As for reading the intro, thanks, but I wrote it so I think I’m good on that score.–Jim]

    21, Edward Greisch: We have to try something new. What?

    I always recommend the same thing: stick to the science and avoid attributions of corruption, attributions of motive, calling your opponents tools of the corporations, and so on. You have lost the last few rounds because you have gotten away from your strengths and fundamentals. So prepare for a long struggle and focus on your strengths and fundamentals.

    Another winning strategy might be based on something that Brian Dodge wrote a few days ago. Instead of telling your opponents that they are all wrong, ignorant, stupid and corrupt, ask them to comment on each others’ beliefs and elaborate upon them.

    [Response: No need to ask, they already do that in spades at various sites on the internet]

    It is widely reported and I think widely believed that, in Congressional testimony, a highly respected scientist predicted 1C of global warming in the 1990s and an additional 2C-4C of global warming in the 2000s. If true, that person might refrain from calling other people unscientific. No need to dig the hole deeper — at least a humble electrician can fix the electrical wiring in your house, but a mistake of the magnitude I cited (if in fact it occurred, which I have not independently checked yet)

    [Response: So let me get this straight–you are accusing an un-named scientist of wrong statements re global warming during Congressional testimony but you yourself have not checked to see whether what you are saying here in public is in fact correct or not, and then are further stating that this un-named person should not speak any more on the topic. Do I have that right?–Jim]

    really undermines confidence in subsequent warnings from the same scientist, and makes the electrician look like a genius by comparison. It would probably help your cause if John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich would remain silent.

    Lastly, follow the money: lots of people who believe in global warming depend on stipends from governments (this excludes Al gore but includes GE and Siemens), money that is taken by force from the earnings of non-government employees. A lot of voters who are net payers of taxes really do not like being lectured and hectored by people who are net recipients of taxes. I have worked with people who feel morally superior to taxpayers precisely because the taxpayers sell a product or service that customers actually want to purchase, instead of a service that depends on the police power of the state. That is arrogant and unseemly.

    [Response: When all else fails, trot out the old “you scientists are all arrogant siphons of the taxpayers, in it for the money” argument. It’s always interesting how it doesn’t take too long before those of you with disdain for the government show what motivates you on these issues. You don’t have the first idea of who gets what from “the government”. But I’m sure you can probably fill me in on what I get and what motivates me in what I do–after all, you’re the man in the know on all of this.–Jim ]

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 25 Mar 2011 @ 7:27 PM

  26. So, Harold, you barbecue on a closed room often, do you?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Mar 2011 @ 7:40 PM

  27. #25–You’re trolling, Harold; but the answer, of course, is that pollutants need not be toxic in all amounts or all locations.

    For another example, phosphorus is natural, and in fact is an essential nutrient for human physiology. Yet it, too, can be a pollutant, and is currently causing serious problems in the waters of the lower Great Lakes once again.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 25 Mar 2011 @ 7:40 PM

  28. Bob@16 “qualities like duty, honor, and service”

    There’s always been a bit of suspicion surrounding such notions unless they’re imposed on individuals, as in families, military service, Welsh Methodist church communities. I can remember being accused of doing certain things to help other people to ‘get the rewards’ of the glow of personal satisfaction when I thought it was my duty, because of the circumstances, to do those things. I also believed that my work as a public servant was both honorable and valuable. This is not a popular view. Not even among public servants – those I worked with were scathing about other public servants whose functions they’d never performed themselves.

    We see it all the time in Oz in universal accusations of greed, dishonesty and laziness against public servants and politicians. I doubt many of these people are saints. I also doubt the accusations are true. Most politicians work extremely hard. Most public servants are conscientious.

    Some among these groups may be mistaken or misguided, but it’s up to citizens to vote politicians out to get rid of silly notions and vote in favour of others with reasonable, practical proposals. They will thereby change some functions of public services they disagree with (though I doubt the status of public servants and teachers and the like will rise in the popular mind any time soon.)

    Comment by adelady — 25 Mar 2011 @ 7:46 PM

  29. Seamus “He only cares about cheap, abundant energy.”

    Perhaps he should look up …. at that nuclear reactor in the sky.

    Now that’s what I call cheap and abundant.

    Comment by adelady — 25 Mar 2011 @ 7:53 PM

  30. Ah, I see cwon1 is carrying on the long tradition of libertarians not understanding what an ad hominem fallacy is. Allow me to demonstrate:

    “Cwon1, you are an idiot,” is NOT an ad hominem.

    “Cwon1 is an idiot, so you shouldn’t pay attention to anything he says,” IS an ad hominem fallacy.

    It is a fallacy because WHERE informations or arguments come from is irrelevant to their validity. I don’t care if you barbecue babies on the weekend. If you raise a valid point, it needs to be addressed on its merits. Of course, I won’t be holding my breath while we wait for Cwon1 to raise a valid point.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Mar 2011 @ 7:54 PM

  31. Harold Pierce,

    I offer you the following wager. You spend 1 day breathing an atmosphere that contains 80% CO2 and 20% O2. If you survive I’ll give you my house. If you don’t survive you give me $300K. (Details of the transfer of your money to me will of course need to be worked out in advance.)

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 25 Mar 2011 @ 7:58 PM

  32. CO2 pollution @ 24

    Gee whiz, I wonder if it could be a matter of how much CO2, where, and when— not to mention that we’re talking about the harmful effects of polluting the climate not your stomach, hmmm?

    I just love how troll logic magically transforms a debate about reality into a rhetorical fantasy land centered on gluttony.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 25 Mar 2011 @ 8:18 PM

  33. “We can more or less bypass the issue of AGW if, well, the greens start embracing a comprehensive, realistic energy policy that includes nuclear as well as renewables.”
    It might help if denialists like Ed Whitfield R-KY, member of the House House Energy and Commerce Committee, got on board, instead of bragging “In September of 2008 I was able to help usher through Congress a measure which limits the amount of Russian uranium that can be imported into the United States.” That not only raises the price of nuclear power, but makes it more likely that weapons grade Uranium falls into terrorist hands, in order to protect ~2000 jobs at the Paducah Gas Diffusion Plant. He is kinda between a rock and a hard place on this issue, though – more nukes means less coal, a 3.25 billion dollar Kentucky industry. Which is why he is a strong supporter of subsidies (“incentives”) for CCS, coal to liquids, coal gasification, coal to clean your house, wash your floor, babysit your kids, wipe your – well, I exaggerate. The nuke problems resulting from the tragedy in Japan are a huge disincentive as well.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 25 Mar 2011 @ 9:25 PM

  34. “Pretty terrifying stuff. Will I be held down while my “inferior ideas and thoughts” are eliminated and replaced with “superior” ones?” – 11

    Are you so unwilling to learn that you feel it will be required?

    Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 25 Mar 2011 @ 10:10 PM

  35. “Lastly, follow the money: lots of people who believe in global warming depend on stipends from governments (this excludes Al gore but includes GE and Siemens), money that is taken by force from the earnings of non-government employees.” – 25

    Force? You paid your taxes willingly. And if you didn’t want to pay it is a simple matter for you to avoid paying them. Move to a different country where you aren’t taxed. Go float in a boat in international waters…

    The fact is, you paid your taxes willingly because you recognize that being a member of your chosen society provides you with greater benefits than the price of maintaining that society, which is in part the tax that you willingly pay.

    No force is involved. You benefit, you pay your dues. It is often called the social contract. A contract you can opt out of at any time.

    What is preventing you Randite Tards from leaving and realizing your full free market potential?

    Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 25 Mar 2011 @ 10:15 PM

  36. @16 Spherica “Extreme wealth hasn’t purchased this fortunate and pliable position. We grew into it all on our own.”
    I strongly disagree with that statement. Not that we haven’t been
    weak on intellectual integrity as a people, and we haven’t demanded
    it of our public politicians and media either. But there has been a
    well funded long term effort to bend the rules, as well as to fund
    market fundamentalist propaganda. A lot of this happens by quietly
    changing rules and proceedures below the radar. We used to have a
    fairness doctrine. And the FCC could threaten to yank the licenses
    of broadcasters who egregiously lie. But all these protections of
    public intellectual integrity have succumed to a sustained attack by
    well funded (and very patient) institutions. So we’ve ended up with media
    that consider the impact of what they broadcast on their rich financial
    contributors above the quest for truth and fairness. The current
    intellectual climate is a direct and deliberate result of this sustained
    activity. Sure we (meaning the general public), have been lax in not
    recognizing the danger, and in caring more about the entertainment
    value than the informational value of news etc. But this hasn’t happened
    because of simple drift.

    @30 Ray:
    If a certain person repeatedly shows himself to be ignorant, or deliberately
    misleading, it is reasonable to step listening to him. Signal to noise
    ratio has already been shown to be small.

    Comment by Thomas — 25 Mar 2011 @ 10:19 PM

  37. John at 31

    You should be more careful making bets with this chemist. I would show up wearing a mask fitted with CO2-absorbing apparatus and a system for upping the pressure of residual the 02.

    Comment by Harold Pierce Jr — 25 Mar 2011 @ 10:29 PM

  38. Radge at 32

    I just love how troll logic magically transforms a debate about reality into a rhetorical fantasy land centered on gluttony.

    I think I start working on a letter to the ed of WSJ entitled: Scotch and Soda

    If this chemist troll can get the Wall Street crowd to come over to my side, Lisa J. is toast!

    BTW Being a good troll is hard work

    Comment by Harold Pierce Jr — 25 Mar 2011 @ 11:05 PM

  39. Sorry Harold. You have to breathe the atmosphere.

    (Not your personally modified protection from it.)

    Comment by adelady — 25 Mar 2011 @ 11:27 PM

  40. cwon1 says: 25 Mar 2011 at 10:40 AM
    “2. attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument.”

    All the following skeptic’s arguments have been answered. What has that got to do with their character? Skeptics may be ignorant of some (or most – cf. statements by Boehner, Inhofe, Palin, most of the Republicans members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce) of the rebuttals, but their ignorance is a fact; it’s not an attack on their character.

    1 “It’s the sun”
    2 “Climate’s changed before”
    3 “There is no consensus”
    4 “It’s cooling”
    5 “Models are unreliable”
    6 “Temp record is unreliable”
    7 “It’s not bad”
    8 “It hasn’t warmed since 1998″
    9 “Ice age predicted in the 70s”
    10 “Antarctica is gaining ice”
    11 “CO2 lags temperature”
    12 “We’re heading into an ice age”
    13 “Al Gore got it wrong”
    14 “1934 – hottest year on record”
    15 “It’s freaking cold!”
    16 “Hockey stick is broken”
    17 “It’s cosmic rays”
    18 “Hurricanes aren’t linked to global warming”
    19 “Climategate CRU emails suggest conspiracy”
    20 “Sea level rise is exaggerated”
    21 “Arctic icemelt is a natural cycle”
    22 “It’s Urban Heat Island effect”
    23 “Climate sensitivity is low”
    24 “Mars is warming”
    25 “It’s a 1500 year cycle”
    26 “Ocean acidification isn’t serious”
    27 “Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions”
    28 “CO2 effect is weak”
    29 “Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas”
    30 “Oceans are cooling”
    31 “Extreme weather isn’t caused by global warming”
    32 “Greenland was green”
    33 “Other planets are warming”
    34 “There’s no empirical evidence”
    35 “IPCC is alarmist”
    36 “Glaciers are growing”
    37 “It cooled mid-century”
    38 “We’re coming out of the Little Ice Age”
    39 “Polar bear numbers are increasing”
    40 “Animals and plants can adapt to global warming”
    41 “Greenland is gaining ice”
    42 “There’s no correlation between CO2 and temperature”
    43 “It warmed before 1940 when CO2 was low”
    44 “Satellites show no warming in the troposphere”
    45 “CO2 limits will harm the economy”
    46 “CO2 is not a pollutant”
    47 “Medieval Warm Period was warmer”
    48 “CO2 was higher in the past”
    49 “Mt. Kilimanjaro’s ice loss is due to land use”
    50 “There’s no tropospheric hot spot”
    51 “Arctic sea ice has recovered”
    52 “2009-2010 winter saw record cold spells”
    53 “Scientists can’t even predict weather”
    54 “2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory”
    55 “It’s the ocean”
    56 “CO2 effect is saturated”
    57 “It’s El Niño”
    58 “It’s Pacific Decadal Oscillation”
    59 “Neptune is warming”
    60 “Greenland ice sheet won’t collapse”
    61 “It’s not happening”
    62 “Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans”
    63 “Jupiter is warming”
    64 “Sea level rise predictions are exaggerated”
    65 “Pluto is warming”
    66 “It’s a natural cycle”
    67 “CO2 measurements are suspect”
    68 “Solar Cycle Length proves its the sun”
    69 “CO2 has a short residence time”
    70 “IPCC were wrong about Himalayan glaciers”
    71 “It’s not us”
    72 “Scientists tried to ‘hide the decline’ in global temperature”
    73 “It’s aerosols”
    74 “Corals are resilient to bleaching”
    75 “500 scientists refute the consensus”
    76 “It’s microsite influences”
    77 “IPCC overestimate temperature rise”
    78 “Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate”
    79 “Greenhouse effect has been falsified”
    80 “The science isn’t settled”
    81 “Dropped stations introduce warming bias”
    82 “Lindzen and Choi find low climate sensitivity”
    83 “Phil Jones says no global warming since 1995″
    84 “Less than half of published scientists endorse global warming”
    85 “It’s a climate regime shift”
    86 “It’s land use”
    87 “Hansen’s 1988 prediction was wrong”
    88 “Record snowfall disproves global warming”
    89 “Peer review process was corrupted”
    90 “Humidity is falling”
    91 “It’s methane”
    92 “Global warming stopped in 1998, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2010, ????”
    93 “Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were ignored”
    94 “CO2 is not increasing”
    95 “They changed the name from global warming to climate change”
    96 “CO2 limits will make little difference”
    97 “Ice isn’t melting”
    98 “Earth hasn’t warmed as much as expected”
    99 “Springs aren’t advancing”
    100 “Over 31,000 scientists signed the OISM Petition Project”
    101 “Naomi Oreskes’ study on consensus was flawed”
    102 “CO2 is coming from the ocean”
    103 “It’s global brightening”
    104 “It’s albedo”
    105 “Trenberth can’t account for the lack of warming”
    106 “It’s too hard”
    107 “Ice Sheet losses are overestimated”
    108 “CO2 is not the only driver of climate”
    109 “Arctic sea ice loss is matched by Antarctic sea ice gain”
    110 “Solar cycles cause global warming”
    111 “IPCC were wrong about Amazon rainforests”
    112 “The IPCC consensus is phoney”
    113 “IPCC ‘disappeared’ the Medieval Warm Period”
    114 “Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup”
    115 “Tree-rings diverge from temperature after 1960″
    116 “A drop in volcanic activity caused warming”
    117 “Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted”
    118 “Mauna Loa is a volcano”
    119 “It’s waste heat”
    120 “Renewables can’t provide baseload power”
    121 “The sun is getting hotter”
    122 “Clouds provide negative feedback”
    123 “It warmed just as fast in 1860-1880 and 1910-1940″
    124 “Record high snow cover was set in winter 2008/2009″
    125 “Water levels correlate with sunspots”
    126 “CO2 was higher in the late Ordovician”
    127 “CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration”
    128 “Water vapor in the stratosphere stopped global warming”
    129 “Southern sea ice is increasing”
    130 “Warming causes CO2 rise”
    131 “An exponential increase in CO2 will result in a linear increase in temperature”
    132 “It’s ozone”
    133 “Scientists retracted claim that sea levels are rising”
    134 “Antarctica is too cold to lose ice”
    135 “DMI show cooling Arctic”
    136 “It’s CFCs”
    137 “Melting ice isn’t warming the Arctic”
    138 “Greenland has only lost a tiny fraction of its ice mass”
    139 “Satellite error inflated Great Lakes temperatures”
    140 “Positive feedback means runaway warming”
    141 “CRU tampered with temperature data”
    142 “It’s not urgent”
    143 “It’s satellite microwave transmissions”
    144 “Royal Society embraces skepticism”
    145 “It’s only a few degrees”
    146 “Skeptics were kept out of the IPCC?”
    147 “Soares finds lack of correlation between CO2 and temperature”
    148 “We didn’t have global warming during the Industrial Revolution”
    149 “CO2 only causes 35% of global warming”
    150 “We’re heading into cooling”
    151 “Hansen predicted the West Side Highway would be underwater”
    152 “Ljungqvist broke the hockey stick”

    Are there any other arguments you need answered?

    Re breathing CO2 – From http://wasg.iinet.net.au/Co2paper.html

    “0.03% Nothing happens as this is the normal carbon dioxide concentration in air.

    0.5% Lung ventilation increases by 5 percent. This is the maximum safe working level recommended for an 8 hour working day in industry (Australian Standard).

    1.0% Symptoms may begin to occur, such as feeling hot and clammy, lack of attention to details, fatigue, anxiety, clumsiness and loss of energy, which is commonly first noticed as a weakness in the knees (jelly legs).

    2.0% Lung ventilation increases by 50 percent, headache after several hours exposure. Accumulation of carbon dioxide in the body after prolonged breathing of air containing around 2% or greater will disturb body function by causing the tissue fluids to become too acidic. This will result in loss of energy and feeling run-down even after leaving the cave. It may take the person up to several days in a good environment for the body metabolism to return to normal.

    3.0% Lung ventilation increases by 100 percent, panting after exertion, Symptoms may include:- headaches, dizziness and possible vision disturbance such as speckled stars.

    5 – 10% Violent panting and fatigue to the point of exhaustion merely from respiration & severe headache. Prolonged exposure at 5% could result in irreversible effects to health. Prolonged exposure at > 6% could result in unconsciousness and death. (More O2 won’t help – 95% O2 and 5% CO2 is hazardous. I participated in some oxidative metabolism experiments done under medical supervision where volunteers breathed this mix for one minute; it’s extremely uncomfortable.- BD)

    10 – 15% Intolerable panting, severe headaches and rapid exhaustion. Exposure for a few minutes will result in unconsciousness and suffocation without warning.

    25% to 30% Extremely high concentrations will cause coma and convulsions within one minute of exposure. Certain Death.”

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 26 Mar 2011 @ 12:54 AM

  41. # 31 there does not seem to be much research carried out in this area

    [PDF] Health effects of increase in concentration of carbon dioxide in …
    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    by DS Robertson – 2006 – Cited by 7 – Related articles
    25 Jun 2006 … toxic level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere under lifetime exposure is 426 ppm (Figure 1)4. At the present rate of increase of carbon …
    http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/jun252006/1607.pdf

    [Response: Seems rather dubious to me – the data is obscure, the reasoning faulty, and any supporting evidence loose. I think the EPA or others in this case are likely to be far more credible.- gavin]

    .

    Comment by john byatt — 26 Mar 2011 @ 6:31 AM

  42. Thomas@36,
    Rejecting what a person says after they’ve had a long career of being an idiot may in fact be a rational strategy. It is, however a LOGICAL fallacy–the ad hominem fallacy. Credibility is another thing entirely from logic.

    Unfortunately, a lot of folks think any attack on a person’s creditility is also ad hominem. It isn’t. In fact, credibility of sources should for an important part of any debate. People who don’t understand this fall easy prey to anti-science idjits and anti-reality spin meisters.

    Frankly, I think it is a mistake that basic logic is no longer taught as part of a basic curriculum. It was one of the most important portions of the classical curriculum that ultimately led to the Renaissance. Its absence is leading us back to the Dark Ages.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 Mar 2011 @ 7:07 AM

  43. BD at 40

    RE: What the Russians say about Climate Cycles

    You should check out:

    “Cyclic Climate Changes and Fish Productivity” by K.B. Klashtorin and A.A. Lyubshin, which you can download for free thru this link:

    http://alexeylyubushin.narod.ru/Climate_Changes__and_Fish_Productivity.pdf?

    NB: This mongraph is 224 pages. This book is not about climate science. The Russian edition was published in 2005. The English translation was published in 2007 and was edited by Gary D Sharp.

    By analyzing a number of time series various phenomena influenced by climate, they found that the earth has global climate cycles of 50-70 years with an average of about 60 years and which have cool and warm phases of 30 years each. They summerize most of the fish studies thru early 2005 that show how this cycle influences fish catches in the major fisheries.

    The last warm phase began in ca 1970-75 (aka the Great Shift) and ended in ca 2000. The global warming from ca 1975 is due in part to this warm phase. A cool phase startedinn 2000, and their stochastic model projects that it should last about 30 years. See Fig 2.23 p 54.

    See also Fig. 2.22 (p. 52) and Table 2 (p. 53). They show that increasing world fuel consumption (i.e., increasing CO2 emission) has no effect on the 60 year global climate cycle. That is to say, they show that increasing CO2 concentration in the air does not cause global warming.

    Comment by Harold Pierce Jr — 26 Mar 2011 @ 7:59 AM

  44. Please stop with the “geologists are different” meme when it comes to the anthropogenic influence on climate. It came out of left field in the posting above and is as false now as it was three years ago. Yes, some geologists are contrarians, and so are some geophysicists, etc. I hope I don’t need to list the many preeminent geologists who have contributed to the current understanding of how Earth’s climate works.

    Comment by Mike Palin — 26 Mar 2011 @ 9:53 AM

  45. I’d love to see this conversation return to the subject matter, even though as an amateur of science I rarely have anything to add to the discussion except when it goes in the direction of fake skepticism, promotion of dis/misinformation, and anti-factual-science propaganda. However, I will treasure Brian Dodge’s careful exposition of the vast fact-based information available at #40, borrowed, I believe from Skeptical Science, which provides responses geared to the level, time available, and attention span of the reader, a kind of one-stop shop for recycled/stale talking points. This should not be necessary, and these hardworking, honest, and intelligent scientists have real work to do – but preventing that from happening is part of the intention of trotting out all these old arguments for the many-hundredth time.

    “Skeptic Arguments and What the Science Says … the one line responses are just a starting point – click the response for a more detailed response.”
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    For a thorough overview of what is known about how heat-trapping/greenhouse gases work, I’d go over to this site’s “start here”:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/

    On what’s going on in Russian science, I’d look over what Snapple has to say as he makes a thorough study of this – his commentary is educational if a bit detailed and can be found in comment sections worthy of study. One isolated article does not make a database. In any case, cycles are part of climate and weather, and no credible scientist ignores them. They are observed and studied but none of them changes the overall trend since increasingly reliable measurements are available (1800-1850) which demonstrates a sharp spike in short recent history, the “hockey stick” metaphor with it’s oft-misrepresented kink at the medieval warming period – how a metaphor with a kink disproves the data eludes me.
    Of course, you are too “smart” to learn the basics, and feel all these guys are in a giant conspiracy to hide the truth (going on for the last two centuries, OMG) but you’d be less naked in public if you did so. Really intelligent people are not unwilling to admit their ignorance.
    If someone studied chemistry, they must have learned something about how atoms interact (my brief career as a biochemistry student at MIT was blessed with this information) which should make it clear that they have effects that are not easily oversimplified by comparison with carbonated beverages.

    There are many sources that explain the way heat is absorbed, emitted, and reflected in the various layers of our atmosphere. I’d suggest a simple straightforward study of this material before presenting simplistic gotchas at a science site populated with people who not only understand the science but have taken it further.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 26 Mar 2011 @ 9:54 AM

  46. Harold Pierce: “By analyzing a number of time series various phenomena influenced by climate, they found that the earth has global climate cycles of 50-70 years with an average of about 60 years and which have cool and warm phases of 30 years each.”

    Except they don’t stand up to statistical scrutiny:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/8000-years-of-amo/

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 Mar 2011 @ 9:54 AM

  47. Harold@43 “A cool phase started in 2000, and their stochastic model projects that it should last about 30 years. … they show that increasing CO2 concentration in the air does not cause global warming.”

    Given that the decade from 2000 onwards is the hottest ever recorded, I’m not convinced their argument has a lot to offer. If you’d like to encourage others to pursue this further, I’d personally like to see you show something indicating that this signal failure is a mere irrelevance to their larger argument. If it’s a central issue, then they’re just flat-out wrong.

    Comment by adelady — 26 Mar 2011 @ 10:04 AM

  48. 39 Adelady,

    Thanks. I was sure I had said he had to breathe the atmosphere. More to the point, I wonder why he felt he needed protection from the lifegiving gas CO2? I purposely allowed him a full atmosphere’s worth of O2. He had already assured us that CO2 was safe in any concentration. Bah. I am violating Pearson’s First Law. I hate when I do that.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 26 Mar 2011 @ 10:06 AM

  49. OK, returning to the subject, still a little OT, I came across a superb item from one historian at Wisconsin, who took the trouble to identify what’s wrong with the emerging McCarthy-like persecution there. It is very well written and gave me strength and hope that intelligence is far from dead in our country.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/opinion/22cronon.html

    He got an unexpected response: a comprehensive request for emails. Being wise and literate, he penned a lengthy understanding of what is going on and started a blog:
    http://scholarcitizen.williamcronon.net/2011/03/24/open-records-attack-on-academic-freedom/

    I read this with my heart pumping it was so good. I could wish that the likes of Phil Jones had his rhetorical skill. A few extracts:

    “I confess that I’m surprised to find myself in this strange position, since (as I said in my earlier blog post) my professional interest as a historian has always been to research and understand the full spectrum of American political opinion. I often spend as much time defending Republican and conservative points of view to my liberal friends as vice versa. (For what it’s worth, I have never belonged to either party.) But Mr. Thompson obviously read my blog post as an all-out attack on the interests of his party, and his open records request seems designed to give him what he hopes will be ammunition he can use to embarrass, undermine, and ultimately silence me.

    “One obvious conclusion I draw is that my study guide about the role of ALEC in Wisconsin politics must come pretty close to hitting a bull’s-eye. Why else … the need to single out a lone university professor for such uncomfortable attention?”

    I hope that the whole world will read the article in full, so these extracts are only teasers in the hopes that those who appreciate good writing and clear thought will take a look. more:

    “”When should we be more cautious about applying such laws to universities?

    “… When FOIA is used to harass individual faculty members for asking awkward questions, researching unpopular topics, making uncomfortable arguments, or pursuing lines of inquiry that powerful people would prefer to suppress. If that happens, FOIA and the Open Records Law can too easily become tools for silencing legitimate intellectual inquiries and voices of dissent—whether these emanate from the left or the right or (as in my case) the center. It is precisely this fear of intellectual inquiry being stifled by the abuse of state power that has long led scholars and scientists to cherish the phrase “academic freedom” as passionately as most Americans cherish such phrases as “free speech” and “the First Amendment.”

    “It is chilling indeed to think that the Republican Party of my state has asked to have access to the emails of a lone professor in the hope of finding messages they can use to attack and discredit that professor….

    “It also makes me wonder how a party so passionate in its commitment to liberty and to protecting citizens from abuses of state power can justify resorting to this particular exercise of state power with the goal of trying to silence a critic of its own conduct.”

    I was also fascinated to see that Professor Cronon is an environmental historian and wrote this in 2001: “When the GOP Was Green”
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F06E7DC173AF93BA35752C0A9679C8B63

    So one last thought, joining Ray Ladbury in a request for education. All students need to learn history and geography with a global focus over time. Those who don’t study history are going to repeat it.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 26 Mar 2011 @ 10:13 AM


  50. See also Fig. 2.22 (p. 52) and Table 2 (p. 53). They show that increasing world fuel consumption (i.e., increasing CO2 emission) has no effect on the 60 year global climate cycle. That is to say, they show that increasing CO2 concentration in the air does not cause global warming.

    If you really believe this, then how do you explain the Eocene “hothouse” climate of 34-56 million years ago? Back then, the Sun was ever so slightly dimmer than it is now — so that rules out the Sun as a cause. The latitudinal distribution of the continents was similar to what is today — so that rules out forcing related to land/ocean albedo changes.

    If you believe that increasing CO2 concentrations does not cause warming, then what is your explanation for the Eocene Hothouse? Please back up your reasoning with credible scientific sources — i.e. no arm-waving.

    Comment by caerbannog — 26 Mar 2011 @ 10:46 AM

  51. Harold Pierce:

    You should be more careful making bets with this chemist. I would show up wearing a mask fitted with CO2-absorbing apparatus and a system for upping the pressure of residual the 02.

    So after arguing that CO2 is harmless you won’t take the bet unless you can protect yourself from CO2.

    So typical…

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Mar 2011 @ 11:56 AM

  52. 18 Septic Matthew: “self-righteousness” is wrong. Scientists are the opposite of self-righteous. It is NATURE’s opinion, not our own opinion. Our own opinion is irrelevant.
    11 Hot Rod: “Inferior thoughts? Seriously?” No. Again, it is NATURE’s opinion, not our own opinion. How do you suppose we invented the computer you are using to read this? Was it by making up whatever theory we pleased or was it by doing experiments to discover the mathematics that Nature obeys? In fact, we discovered the truth of Nature. We did not just make stuff up. Computers work and the internet works and so on. Why do our machines work, at least for a while? Because we scientists discovered truth, not opinion.

    See: “Revolutionary Wealth” by Alvin & Heidi Toffler, 2006. As the Tofflers say: “Science is different from all the other truth-test criteria. It is the only one that itself depends on rigorous testing.” They go on to say: “In the time of Galileo . . . the most effective method of discovery was itself discovered.” [Namely Science.] The Tofflers also say that: “The invention of scientific method was the gift to humanity of a new truth filter or test, a powerful meta-tool for probing the unknown and—it turned out—for spurring technological change and economic progress.” All of the difference in the way we live now compared to the way people lived and died 500 years ago is due to Science. The other truth filters have contributed misery, confusion, war, fanaticism, persecution, terrorism, inquisitions, suicide bombings, false imprisonments, obesity, diabetes and other atrocities.

    See: “Science and Immortality” by Charles B. Paul, 1980, University of California Press. In this book on the Eloges of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1699-1791) page 99 says: “Science is not so much a natural as a moral philosophy”. [That means drylabbing [fudging data] will get you fired.]
    Page 106 says: “Nature isn’t just the final authority, Nature is the Only authority.”

    Got that? Nature isn’t just the final authority, Nature is the Only authority. That means that scientists are NOT the authorities. NATURE is, and when you try to violate Nature’s laws, things go rather badly for you. For example, jump off of a tall building and try to violate the law of gravity.

    Likewise, if we as a species violate Nature’s laws of climate, things will go rather badly for us as a species.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 26 Mar 2011 @ 12:24 PM

  53. 25, Jim in comment: So let me get this straight–you are accusing an un-named scientist of wrong statements re global warming during Congressional testimony but you yourself have not checked to see whether what you are saying here in public is in fact correct or not, and then are further stating that this un-named person should not speak any more on the topic. Do I have that right?–Jim

    You have it almost right — there is an implicit question: When I check, will I find that a climate expert (maybe more than one) has made exaggerated claims in testimony before Congress, claims since found to have been disconfirmed? Will I fine that these mistakes were not acknowledged or corrected? Will I find that the people who made the exaggerated claims, and their supporters, positively do not understand that a history of false claims erodes their credibility and the importance of their policy recommendations?

    Consider the congressional testimony of a scientist whose name escapes me now, who warned of the dangers of CO2-induced ocean acidification by placing a piece of chalk into vinegar. It’s silly, considering that living organisms are not made from chalk and that the oceans will not acquire the pH of vinegar. After some discussions of the actual science, it will become well recognized that the stunt was an “alarmist” stunt of no importance. Once might have been forgivable, but a series of such exaggerations will make such a scientist a legitimate target of anti-AGW lampooning; if the person furthermore claims that her critics (I think it was a woman) of being “anti-scientist” the subsequent lampooning will be even sharper and more effective. Her problem, and the problems of other scientists who have made exaggerated claims in Congressional testimony, is not that they were too kind and their opponents too anti-science. Does it matter in the discussion today that I have not, as I would if I followed Hank Roberts’ advice and provided a source? I don’t think so; accurate and fully sourced accounts are abundant on the web and in print. My point is that if pro-AGW forces want to succeed they should either become perfect and beyond all reproach, or else they should focus entirely on science and quit casting aspersions on the intelligence, knowledge and integrity of opponents. In five years time you might regain some of the political and policy clout that you have lost in the last 2 years or so.

    My opinion is that, if you truly believe that you have lost policy influence purely because your opponents have been anti-intellectual while you have been too science-focused, then you’ll never regain your lost influence. Of course I could be wrong, everyone is wrong sometimes. My prediction is that if you really “pull no punches”, then your influence will decline even further.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 26 Mar 2011 @ 3:03 PM

  54. Septic Matthew @ 53:
    Consider the congressional testimony of a scientist whose name escapes me now, who warned of the dangers of CO2-induced ocean acidification by placing a piece of chalk into vinegar. It’s silly, considering that living organisms are not made from chalk and that the oceans will not acquire the pH of vinegar. After some discussions of the actual science, it will become well recognized that the stunt was an “alarmist” stunt of no importance.

    Well, to each his own. My good friend the coral reef expert who has now become an environmental educator because he is so worried about what is happening to the oceans thought it was a great demonstration which very effectively illustrated what was happening to coral reefs.

    Comment by Charles — 26 Mar 2011 @ 3:22 PM

  55. re #54: well with good friends like this, you dont need enemies!

    Comment by Bill — 26 Mar 2011 @ 3:36 PM

  56. @ 2 Ron Manley
    \…presenting a strongly worded anti-capitalist diatribe will not advance understanding of the issues.\
    Only in the USA where unfettered capitalism is one of the issues. The rest of the world says, \Yeah, we knew that.\

    Comment by chris — 26 Mar 2011 @ 3:38 PM

  57. For some reason I had a problem with the link to Trevors and Saier. Here is a link to an HTML page:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/4v7347161782r243/fulltext.html

    Comment by chris — 26 Mar 2011 @ 3:43 PM

  58. Chalk in vinegar sounds like a good, vivid ‘teaching moment’ to me. Much better than learning the hard way.

    http://www.ptreyeslight.com/Point_Reyes_Light/Home/Entries/2010/7/29_After_30_million_deaths,_farmer_seeks_new_seed.html

    Comment by adelady — 26 Mar 2011 @ 6:01 PM

  59. 53. Septic Matthew says:

    My opinion is that, if you truly believe that you have lost policy influence purely because your opponents have been anti-intellectual while you have been too science-focused, then you’ll never regain your lost influence. Of course I could be wrong, everyone is wrong sometimes. My prediction is that if you really “pull no punches”, then your influence will decline even further.

    So… you are saying we shouldn’t defend the science behind AGW, but rather let the anti-science thugs have their way with long-ago debunked straw man arguments that contradict each other most of the time? Just because the majority of the voting populace isn’t (by all appearances) educated well enough to tell the difference? As others have already pointed out, critical thinking has gone the way of the dinosaurs. That’s something we need to change, and pronto!

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 26 Mar 2011 @ 6:02 PM

  60. “You should check out:
    “Cyclic Climate Changes and Fish Productivity” by K.B. Klashtorin and A.A. Lyubshin, which you can download for free thru this link…” Harold Pierce Jr — 26 Mar 2011 @ 7:59 AM

    I did, back when you brought it up in February, and which I discussed here.

    They claim to have observed periodicities of 16.8, 17.5, 23, 26, 32, 39, 53.9, 54, 55.3, 55.4, 57, 60, 60.2, 72, 75.8, and 99 year cycles in various fish populations that “…correlate well with the predominate spectra of climate fluctuations…”. They don’t mention specifically which climate fluctuations – temperature, rainfall, ENSO, PDO, AMO, NAO, ice core isotopes, tree rings, or whatever. Not only does correlation not imply causation, they say “It is thus not our goal to discuss particular mechanisms of the climatic processes.”

    You cannot get this curve or trend from any combination of the periodic functions they claim. Note that the temperature has been above the trend since 1995.

    @ Susan Anderson – yes, I neglected to cite http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php for the list of refuted arguments.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 26 Mar 2011 @ 6:30 PM

  61. #41

    # 31 there does not seem to be much research carried out in this area

    [PDF] Health effects of increase in concentration of carbon dioxide in …
    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    by DS Robertson – 2006 – Cited by 7 – Related articles
    25 Jun 2006 … toxic level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere under lifetime exposure is 426 ppm (Figure 1)4. At the present rate of increase of carbon …
    http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/jun252006/1607.pdf

    [Response: Seems rather dubious to me – the data is obscure, the reasoning faulty, and any supporting evidence loose. I think the EPA or others in this case are likely to be far more credible.- gavin]

    your response is in accord with my own reading of the article but it does raise the question of what would be a maximum safe whole of life atmospheric concentration with regards to health , All references(EPA} refer to short term high levels.
    Is research needed into safe whole of life concentrations or would it be considered a level beyond anything that may be realised over the next century ?

    Comment by john byatt — 26 Mar 2011 @ 6:48 PM

  62. According to the EPA, CO2 is a pollutant that is harmful to humans. If this is true, then why are we permitted to drink hundreds of billions (and billions and billions!) of liters of carbonated beverages?” – 24

    “If it were not true, then why does your body go to great lengths to collect and remove it from your body as a metabolic waste product.

    Hold your breath for 60 seconds if you wish to experience high internal CO2 levels.

    Get back to us with your observations.

    Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 26 Mar 2011 @ 8:52 PM

  63. Septic Matthew #53, you may be right that the influence of science will be reduced in America (I dunno, maybe you all really are as stupid as Hollywood would have it), but 1. America isn’t the world, and 2. Watch that influence come flooding back the next time you need something explained to you.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 26 Mar 2011 @ 8:57 PM

  64. “As others have already pointed out, critical thinking has gone the way of the dinosaurs. That’s something we need to change, and pronto!” – 59

    The thinking skills of Americans has been in decline for decades.

    Given that adults are pretty much unreachable – particularly those who support the TeaPublican Party, the only hope you have is training the next crop of children.

    That will take a minimum of 20 years. Is that what you mean by “fast”.

    Do you think that you have the time?

    Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 26 Mar 2011 @ 8:59 PM

  65. Vendicar Decarion #64, your pessimism would be better founded were it not for the fact that adults can learn things too, and let’s face it, Nature (the phenomenon, not the journal) is the best teacher of all.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 26 Mar 2011 @ 9:52 PM

  66. I could at least have spelled your name right. Sigh…

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 26 Mar 2011 @ 9:54 PM

  67. “It’s silly, considering that living organisms are not made from chalk and that the oceans will not acquire the pH of vinegar.” – 53

    Where do you think Chalk comes from? You know… Here on planet earth, it is composed of the calcium carbonate frames and exoskeletons plates of living organisms.

    What is chalk made from on your home planet of Conservadopia?

    We could of course show you electron micrographs of the effects of higher ocean acidification on the chalk frames of ocean organisms, as this has been studied in good detail.

    Here are two.

    1. Before Ocean Acidification.

    http://www.ocean-acidification.net/OAimages/GephyrocapsaOceanicaBefore.gif

    2. After Ocean Acidification = 2x atmospheric increase in CO2.

    http://www.ocean-acidification.net/OAimages/GephyrocapsaOceanicaAfter.gif

    “In almost all calcifying organisms tested, ranging from single-celled organisms up to reef building corals, there is a decrease in the ability of the organism to produce calcium carbonate in more acidic waters. One study has documented the changes in two species of coccolithophores grown under conditions expected by the end of this century, where both species show significant decreases (25 – 45%) in calcification rates and clear signs of structural damage in their shells, which may affect their physical functioning and reproduction. However, not all species of calcifying organisms are negatively affected by increased acidity, and more research is needed to understand these mechanisms and possible adaptation pathways.”

    Dr. Maria Hood – Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission – UNESCO
    Dr. Hans-Otto Poertner – Alfred-Wegener Institute
    Dr. Victoria Fabry – California State University San Marcos
    Dr. Jean-Pierre Gattuso – Laboratoire d’Oceanographie Villefranche
    Dr. Ulf Reibesell – IFM-GEOMAR

    Feely, R.A., et al. (2004), Impact of Anthropogenic CO2 on the CaCO3 System in the Oceans, Science, v305, 362-366.

    Riebesell et al. (2000) Reduced calcification of marine phytoplankton in response to increased atmopsheric CO2, Nature 407, 364-367.

    Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 26 Mar 2011 @ 10:51 PM

  68. Funny,
    I did not read all of the refuted arguments that Brian posted, but 8 of the first 10 have not been refuted. I stopped reading at that point because it seemed ridiculous to continue. If you want to refute skeptical arguments, you have to do better than that.

    Comment by Dan H. — 26 Mar 2011 @ 11:18 PM

  69. 59, Steve Metzler: So… you are saying we shouldn’t defend the science behind AGW, but rather let the anti-science thugs have their way with long-ago debunked straw man arguments that contradict each other most of the time?

    63, One Anonymous Bloke: you may be right that the influence of science will be reduced in America

    I have written repeatedly that AGW scientists should focus on the science. Stunts, exaggerations, “pulling punches”, writing about the corrupting influence of corporate money, speculations about other dishonest motives, open scientists (not science itself) to effective ridicule.

    Any scientist who ever wrote or said that AGW implied the absence of cold snowy winters will have that quoted relentlessly whenever anyone attributes cold or snow in some place to AGW. It is not the science that lost credibility, but the scientists. Same for the atmospheric scientists who said that Hurricane Katrina portended the perennially increased hurricane activity that didn’t happen: the science has received undiminished respect.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 27 Mar 2011 @ 12:13 AM

  70. Septic Matthew #25,

    I’m sorry to hear that you live under the jackboot of tyranny. For those of us who live in democracies, this is how it works:

    1. Government employees pay taxes, like everybody else. (Where do you live? The Ottoman Empire?)

    2. Government employees are “net recipients” of taxes because they are net producers of public goods and services. This means they do work. Pay for work is considered fair exchange.

    3. Some of the taxpayers that are government employees or fundees are scientists. They sell their highly skilled labor at government rates in a competitive market. In return for funding they produce knowledge.

    4. Knowledge is a good that taxpayers are willing to pay for. (We know this because, in democracies, taxpayers have voting rights and choose their governments in free and fair ballots. They have consistently elected governments that choose to use some of their tax money to fund scientific research.)

    Still, there are some people who neither produce knowledge, nor seem capable of benefiting from it, yet feel entitled to lecturing and hectoring net producers of knowledge. They even compare government-funded science with police-state rule. This is, as you put it, arrogant and unseemly. Not to mention embarrassingly silly.

    Comment by CM — 27 Mar 2011 @ 1:27 AM

  71. Septic Matthew #53, re: chalk and vinegar,

    We’ve been over this before. It’s a red herring.

    Do you also think it’s silly and misleading to use the contents of a fruit bowl to illustrate the motion of planets in the solar system, since the Sun is not an orange, and the planets are not plums? It’s called “metaphor”. Educators often use it.

    In this case, it’s a close metaphor, as ocean acidification will actually cause the calcium carbonate shells of marine organisms in some parts of the ocean to dissolve long before the oceans even become acidic, let alone reach the pH of vinegar.

    Comment by CM — 27 Mar 2011 @ 1:53 AM

  72. What puzzles me about you guys is why you let Steve McIntyre (and many others) make what seem to me to be very damaging points, attacking the credibility of the “real” climate scientists, without presenting the counter arguments. This has been going on for quite a long time now.

    Surely, with the undoubted firepower you can marshal, you can go to Steve and present chapter and verse as to where he is mistaken. Can’t you?

    Your failure to do so is being noticed in the wider community.

    [Response: First off, we do not have an official role as spokespeople for the whole community. Secondly, the number of unjustified and baseless accusations against climate scientists from McIntyre and others is huge – far in excess of anyone’s capacity to respond. Third, the responses almost always would consist of a long and repetitive cataloging of methodologies, exhortations to RTFR, and long explanations of what is being done. Sometimes this is warranted, but most times it is not. This has been repeated often enough that there is no longer any expectation that engagement will alter anything – either the intensity of the accusations, nor the level of debate – so the enthusiasm needed to do this is sorely lacking. And what is it for? Does it advance our knowledge of climate sensitivity? Does help constrain impacts? No, it is just another pointless diversion. – gavin]

    Comment by mondo — 27 Mar 2011 @ 2:33 AM

  73. Septic Matthew #25, 53, re: unnamed scientist in Congressional testimony,

    Enough innuendo already. Who are you talking about? When?

    Not Hansen’s 1988 projections, I presume. As has been repeatedly discussed on this blog, they have lately turned out to be on the high side, but nowhere near what you’re insinuating.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/hansens-1988-projections/
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/updates-to-model-data-comparisons/

    Comment by CM — 27 Mar 2011 @ 4:24 AM

  74. Mondo,
    Now Just a cotton-pickin’ minute. Is it seriously your contention that climate scientists must reply in detail to every argument from every blinkered ideologue solely for the benefit of said ideologue’s deluded acolytes? Surely, the time of actual scientists could be spent better doing actual science and educating those who actually want to learn.

    I believe you have things bass ackwards. It is McI and his ilk who are avoiding engagement in the only place where it counts–in the peer-reviewed literature.

    Now by “wider community” do you mean that we must convince blinkered ideologues or have the clue over at McFraudit put on weight lately?

    [Response: ‘mondo’ is a troll. we won’t be seeing any more of him here now. – moderator]

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 27 Mar 2011 @ 9:00 AM

  75. Dan H @68:
    I did not read all of the refuted arguments that Brian posted, but 8 of the first 10 have not been refuted.
    Who claimed that they had been refuted? Are you changing the words because you read carelessly or because you wanted to twist the argument in your favour?
    The claim was that these repeated arguments had been answered. Many of the arguments are possibly true, but do not help the denialists claims that anthropogenic climate change is not taking place or need not be a concern, for example #2 “Climate’s changed before”.

    Comment by Richard Simons — 27 Mar 2011 @ 9:00 AM

  76. Dan H. @68,
    Hmm, let’s see:

    1 “It’s the sun”–insolation hasn’t changed appreciably since 1950. Next!

    2 “Climate’s changed before”–utterly irrelevant. Next!

    3 “There is no consensus”–97.5% of atively publishing in climate science agree that we are warming the climate significantly; there is not a single professional organization of scientists or national academy that dissents from the consensus–Next!

    4 “It’s cooling”–2010 was the warmest year on record. All but 1 of the 10 warmest years on record have been since 2000. Next!!

    5 “Models are unreliable”–http://bartonpaullevenson.com/ModelsReliable.html

    Next!!

    6 “Temp record is unreliable”–all 5 major temperature indices agree on the trend. So does BEST. Next!!

    7 “It’s not bad”
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/catalog/climind/pdsi.html
    and there’s LOTS more

    8 “It hasn’t warmed since 1998″–See 4. above
    9 “Ice age predicted in the 70s”–since when was Newsweek a reliable source of scientific information

    10 “Antarctica is gaining ice”–Not according to the best measurements available from GRACE– and irrelevant, even if true.

    Dan, I’m beginning to wonder if you are paying attention.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 27 Mar 2011 @ 9:21 AM


  77. 6 “Temp record is unreliable”–all 5 major temperature indices agree on the trend. So does BEST. Next!!

    Not only that, but a competent programmer/analyst should have no trouble verifying the fundamental validity of those temperature indices in just a few days, using publicly-available raw temperature data. In particular, NASA’s “Meteorological Stations” temperature index is particularly easy to reproduce, to a darned good approximation (presuming that one is reasonably competent).

    Comment by caerbannog — 27 Mar 2011 @ 10:41 AM

  78. “…but 8 of the first 10 have not been refuted.” Dan H. — 26 Mar 2011 @ 11:18 PM

    Which 8? What evidence can you cite in support of any of those arguments? Which 2 do you accept as refuted arguments?

    I’d like to add a (self refuting) argument #153 “Warmists refer me to the incomprehensible “scientific” literature, then call me willfully ignorant when I don’t read it”

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 27 Mar 2011 @ 11:38 AM

  79. I realize I am persona non grata here (and I do agree with the general premise of this post), but I have to question the validity of this statement, unless I am misreading it:

    “Aside from the obvious difference that humans are not altering the nitrogen concentration of the atmosphere, as they are with (several) greenhouse gases…”

    What about this study (and there are innumerable others):

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090604144322.htm

    ScienceDaily (June 5, 2009) — More and more, scientists are getting a better grip on the nitrogen cycle. They are learning about sources of nitrogen and how this element changes as it loops from the nonliving, such as the atmosphere, soil or water, to the living, whether plants or animals. Scientists have determined that humans are disrupting the nitrogen cycle by altering the amount of nitrogen that is stored in the biosphere.

    The chief culprit is fossil fuel combustion, which releases nitric oxides into the air that combine with other elements to form smog and acid rain. But it has been difficult to know precisely the extent to which such emissions have altered the nitrogen balance.

    Researchers from Brown University and the University of Washington have found a new way to make the link. The scientists show that comparing nitrogen isotopes in their deposited form — nitrates — can reveal the sources of atmospheric nitric oxide. In a paper published June 5 in Science, the group traces the source of nitrates to nitric oxides released through fossil fuel burning that parallels the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The group also reveals that the greatest change in nitrogen isotope ratios occurred between 1950 and 1980, following a rapid increase in fossil fuel emissions.

    “What we find is there has been this significant change to the nitrogen cycle over the past 300 years,” said Meredith Hastings, assistant professor of geological sciences at Brown and the paper’s lead author. “So we’ve added this new source — and not just a little bit of it, but a lot of it.”

    To make the link, Hastings, with Julia Jarvis and Eric Steig from the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, examined at high resolution for the first time two isotopes of nitrogen found in nitrates in a Greenland ice core. The core, 100 meters long and taken at the peak of the Greenland ice cap in June 2006, contains a record of nitrates from about 1718 to 2006, according to the group.
    Tests showed the ratio of the nitrogen-15 isotope to the more common nitrogen-14 isotope had changed from pre-industrial times to the present.

    “The only way I can explain the trend over time,” Hastings said, “are the nitric oxide sources, because we’ve introduced this whole new source — and that’s fossil fuels burning.”

    [Response: Gail, you’re not persona non grata here, at least not from my perspective. -mike]

    Comment by Gail Zawacki — 27 Mar 2011 @ 11:52 AM

  80. This is a great posting. And wonderful discussion. Thanks so much

    Science meets with a strong challenge when facing the forces of personal opinion. Congress and carbon capitalists can pontificate platitudes but they cannot change the fundamentals of climate science.

    The boundary of science and politics is nicely defined by observing the strange illogical proclamations twisted to fit the particular political or economic stance. However, this allows science to more clearly navigate political waters – just sail forward until hitting the reefs of misinformation and bad science – beyond that, there be monsters.

    Hmm… perhaps a congressional hearing is like a weather event, (oh jeekers, there must be an elegant metaphor in here somewhere) – it is born of political climate, and yet can be an anomaly of any changing political climate. Note the rhetorical hot air, the chaotic storm clouds and lightning strikes. Eventually it passes and then to prepare for the next big storm. Difficult to model and predict.

    Comment by richard pauli — 27 Mar 2011 @ 12:06 PM

  81. Septic Matthew #69 Sure, scientists can always look for better ways to communicate, so let’s just imagine how that’s going to go: Scientist “we have determined finding A is a significant factor in phenomenon B”. Congressman Shill (Rep): “You used a trick to hide the decline!”

    It seems to me that credibility is not the issue.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 27 Mar 2011 @ 12:12 PM

  82. This is the presentation that SM is thinking of, as presented by Dr. Lubchenko — to Congress and many other venues.

    http://www.noaa.gov/video/administrator/acidification/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Mar 2011 @ 12:56 PM

  83. Gail,

    Presumably the referral to nitrogen was to molecular nitrogen (N2) which makes up a little shy of 80% of the air. Human activity is not appreciably changing this concentration, nor is any harm expected from molecular nitrogen.

    The sources you quote deal with reactive nitrogen in its various forms (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, etc; one of these, N2O, is actually a greenhouse gas), which is a whole different ballgame and one where human activity indeed had an important influence.

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 27 Mar 2011 @ 1:01 PM

  84. And if he either listened to or read the scrolling text under the presentation, it’s explicit: the ocean isn’t as acidic as vinegar or dilute vinegar; rate of change is faster in the illustration. Then she shows the photos of pterapods in sea water at the ph expected at current rates of change, and the change over time.

    How fast? 100x faster than any change in acidity experienced by marine organisms in at least 20 million years.

    When do corals start to fail? Mid-century.
    When do pterapods get compromised badly? End of this century.

    Roughly 2/3 of the published research has been since 2004.

    Sadly, SM is as usual reposting talking points not looking at primary sources.

    We need better septics.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Mar 2011 @ 1:07 PM

  85. #84–

    I knew all that sounded familiar. Thanks, Hank.

    As I said a while back, removal of context is reliably a staple denialist tactic. It’s always good to check the sources–there’s nothing so well-phrased that it can’t be twisted by a determined propagandist. They’ll just change a few words if need be. . . as, for example, has been repeatedly done in the “hide the decline” affair (where it has often been falsely claimed that climate data was altered), or the “it hasn’t warmed since 1995″ meme, where the word “significant” is often excised.

    #79, 83–Yes, it would be rather remarkable if human emissions were somehow able to increase the c. 80% of atmospheric mass accounted for by N2! Increased NOX, on the other hand, seems a sure bet, even without the interesting story that Gail pointed to.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 27 Mar 2011 @ 2:31 PM

  86. 73, CM: Not Hansen’s 1988 projections, I presume. As has been repeatedly discussed on this blog, they have lately turned out to be on the high side, but nowhere near what you’re insinuating.

    81, One Anonymous Bloke: Sure, scientists can always look for better ways to communicate, so let’s just imagine how that’s going to go: Scientist “we have determined finding A is a significant factor in phenomenon B”. Congressman Shill (Rep): “You used a trick to hide the decline!”

    As far as I can tell from reading the archives, James Hansen’s written testimony to Congress has always been pretty good — a little on the high side (perhaps, but it’s too soon to tell), but very reasonable.

    70, CM: 2. Government employees are “net recipients” of taxes because they are net producers of public goods and services. This means they do work. Pay for work is considered fair exchange.

    I agree with that. My comment was about people who think that working for the government is superior to working for the companies that are taxed by the government. I am glad that I don’t work for the cigarette companies (or substitute your favorite evil company), but were I paid out of taxes paid by cigarette smokers I would not claim any moral superiority.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 27 Mar 2011 @ 3:47 PM

  87. 71, CM: Do you also think it’s silly and misleading to use the contents of a fruit bowl to illustrate the motion of planets in the solar system, since the Sun is not an orange, and the planets are not plums?

    It would depend on the claim being made, wouldn’t it? You wouldn’t claim that the plum and orange accurately represented the respective masses or sizes of the earth and sun, would you? You wouldn’t claim that the your orbits of the fruits had the correct sizes relative to the sizes of the fruits, orbits of the planets, and sizes of the sun and planets, would you? You wouldn’t claim that your planets had the same constituents as the plums, would you? You wouldn’t claim to be able to predict the future of the sun from the rotting of the orange, would you?

    To answer somebody’s question, chalk is what remains after everything else has rotted away; nothing living is made from chalk, but from HCO3 incorporated into complex biological matrices. Dumping chalk into vinegar is a metaphor for nothing that is going to happen.

    If it is true that climate scientists have never said anything worth mocking, then my comments are moot. Did climate scientists never make predictions of permanent drought in the Sierra Nevada Mountains or Queensland Australia, or predict ever increasing hurricanne activity after 2005? Did no one ever predict a 2C – 4C rise in temps in the 2000s?

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 27 Mar 2011 @ 4:35 PM

  88. #2 That comment seems to me to be admirable and correct and congratulations to them for saying it.

    Comment by calyptorhynchus — 27 Mar 2011 @ 5:24 PM

  89. Ray,
    I am beginning to think that you are the one not paying attention. If you continue to forego the science for politics, then I think you will remain ignorant of the facts. I will give you point #4, because the planet has neither warmed nor cooled during that timeframe. I agree that point #2 is irrelevent, so I do not see wh y skeptical science is addressing it. Other than that, their rebuttals are laughable, especially #3. I cannot believe that people are taken in by that survey. The denailists are even using it to show how many scientists do not believe that the world has warmed. I cannot believe that you would agree with them.

    Comment by Dan H. — 27 Mar 2011 @ 6:34 PM

  90. > nothing living is made from chalk, but from
    > HCO3 incorporated into complex biological matrices.

    You believe this, why?
    What source are you relying on for this belief?
    Why do you trust your source?

    Perhaps reading would help.
    I suggest Google Scholar would like to be your friend.

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=white+cliff+dover+fossil+image
    will find for example this:

    [PDF] What Corals are Dying to Tell Us About CO2
    K Caldeira – Oceanography, 2007

    “The word “Cretaceous” comes from the
    Latin word creta, meaning chalk, a form
    of calcium carbonate. The famous white
    cliffs of Dover consist of chalk depos-
    ited during the Cretaceous period in
    the form of billions of shells of micro-
    scopic organisms. These organisms were
    mostly coccolithophores, single-celled
    algae enclosed within calcium carbonate
    shells. Hence, the Cretaceous is named
    for the chalky deposits produced by
    abundant marine microorganisms with
    calcium carbonate shells….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Mar 2011 @ 7:25 PM

  91. Septic Matthew #86, #87 “Did Climate scientists…” You’re the only one saying they did, and now you’re asking whether it’s true or not. You also allege the existence of “…people who think that working for the government is superior…” In a day or so, will you start asking whether they exist too? I don’t think you actually have any evidence to support your assertions at all.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 27 Mar 2011 @ 7:35 PM

  92. P.S. for SM:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=kjQ4AQAAIAAJ&pg=PA109

    I also recommend p. 185.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Mar 2011 @ 7:37 PM

  93. Re. 24 Harold Pierce Jr — \According to the EPA, CO2 is a pollutant that is harmful to humans. If this is true, then why are we permitted to drink hundreds of billions (and billions and billions!) of liters of carbonated beverages?\

    * United States Environmental Protection Agency – Aquatic Life: Ocean Acidification and Marine pH

    Ocean acidification refers to the decrease in the pH of the oceans caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Oceans have been absorbing about one-third of the anthropogenic CO2 emitted into the atmosphere since pre-industrial times. As more CO2 dissolves in the ocean, it reduces ocean pH, which changes the chemistry of the water. These changes present potential risks across a broad spectrum of marine ecosystems.

    * Geological Society press release – Acidifying oceans spell marine biological meltdown ‘by end of century’
    * Papers on ocean acidification/a>
    *
    The 800 lb. Gorilla in the Ocean
    * Ocean acidification: global warming’s evil twin
    * Anoxic event
    * New Film on Ocean Acidification Reveals Unseen Face of CO2 Pollution
    * Ocean acidification disorients fish, riles up scientists
    * An Ominous Warning on the Effects of Ocean Acidification

    There you go. In case you’re in the USA, you can now write to your legislator and tell them to get off the EPA’s back. But in advance and just in case…

    New climate disinformer fad: Ocean acidification denial

    Comment by J Bowers — 27 Mar 2011 @ 7:58 PM

  94. Septic Matthew, Uh, just exactly where did you see gummint employees claiming superiority over corporate workers? Good Lord, Man, do you even live in the same country I do? Gummint workers have been utterly slandered by politicians ever since Reagan!

    And as to whether any climate scientist has ever said anything risible, that simply misses the point. In science, we rely on the consensus and not on what any single scientist says. The consensus among active scientists–constrained by the best available evidence–has an excellent record of prognostication.

    The consensus among denialists–constrained by…well, mostly making crap up–not so much. Ridicule is just about the only strategy I know of for treating those who employ the ridiculous strategy of refusing to consider the evidence.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 27 Mar 2011 @ 7:58 PM

  95. Dan H.@89, Hmm, I saw no reference to politics in my post. I saw facts–facts that you very carefully avoided in your reply. Now why was that, I wonder. I would also note that 3 (the number of points you even bothered to sidestep) is not equal to 10 (the number of points you claimed were absurd).

    So, Dan, why, if there has been no warming since 1998 was 2010 the warmest year on record–and this despite being a much less severe El Nino than 1998? Why are the 10 warmest years but 1 all in the past decade?

    Also, the claim of consensus is not based on a single study. Even Bray and von Storch find similar numbers. Moreover, you again utterly failed to address my second point–the fact that no professional or honorific society of scientsts dissents from the consensus position. Must have slipped your mind, huh?

    Maybe you’d care to actually address the facts in the arguments, Dan, rather than simply whistling past the graveyard. Or we’ll sweep up the ashes of your credibility (it’s not much of a job) and leave them for you by the door.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 27 Mar 2011 @ 8:16 PM

  96. FWIW, there is a major difference between nitrogen (N2) molecules in the atmosphere and nitrogen atoms in the biosphere. Basically the latter are NOx, N2O and various nitrates. There is no measurable difference on N2 mixing ratios in the atmosphere. Again, FWIW, there are minor (ppm) variations in O2 mixing rations which can be attributed to humans. (google Ralph Keeling)

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 27 Mar 2011 @ 8:20 PM

  97. SM’s offering fits in the denial-contradictions collection:
    “CO2 is life” and “nothing living is made from chalk” are a pair.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Mar 2011 @ 8:35 PM

  98. “I will give you point #4, because the planet has neither warmed nor cooled during that timeframe.” Dan H. — 27 Mar 2011 @ 6:34 PM

    Now that’s laughable. Also counterfactual, fallacious, false, faulty, in error, incorrect, mistaken, specious, and untrue. In short, Dan H’s unsupported bloviations suggest he may be a troll.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 27 Mar 2011 @ 8:50 PM

  99. 84, Hank Roberts: When do corals start to fail? Mid-century.
    When do pterapods get compromised badly? End of this century.

    I have written too much for one thread already, but I will say that those are testable hypotheses. My prediction is that the population levels will fluctuate independently of atmospheric/ocean CO2 concentration; the frequencies of genes and mechanisms sensitive to CO2 will change, but not as much as when mosquitoes adapt to pesticides. Too bad we won’t be around to see which hypotheses fair the best.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 27 Mar 2011 @ 10:12 PM

  100. #97–But “neither warmed nor cooled” is almost true, if by “that timeframe” you mean 2002 to the present!

    What’s really laughable is the implicit argument that hey, “3% of climate scientists is a whole lot of people!”

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 28 Mar 2011 @ 6:05 AM

  101. #52 Edward Greisch. I may be being unfair but you seem to be suffering the same disease as Trevors and Saier. The implications of their editorial, to a European, that humanity (in their case the US specifically) is held back by ignorant uneducated masses clinging idiotically and religiously to beliefs that are transparently (to the educated) false and stupid, are deeply unattractive.

    The language of ‘inferior’ and ‘superior’ (the latter’ll be them, then) thoughts leads on, to a European mentality, to re-education, Brave New World, even forcible birth control and questions of universal suffrage – I know they didn’t say any of those things, but the tone of (their and theirs) superior judgements and thoughts, the positive dislike of capitalism, free markets and the profit motive, certainty of the need for population control (presumably preferably the inferior, to up the percentage of the ‘superior’), absolutely startled me and also scared me a little.

    “… this goal can only be achieved when the inferior ideas and thoughts in ignorant human minds are eliminated…” Can you tell me that sentence (fragment) doesn’t scare you in its meaning and tone just a little bit?

    The certainty that if only these fools were properly educated THEY WOULD THEN AGREE WITH THE AUTHORS – my word that’s arrogant and ugly. Does this pair have an ounce of doubt or humility?

    As to scientists discovering truth, and therefore by implication being more perfect, ‘superior’ even, in their ability to forecast what’s around the corner, I refer you to Future Babble and the work of Tetlock at Berkeley.

    Comment by Hot Rod — 28 Mar 2011 @ 7:33 AM

  102. SM, that’s clueless.
    You pretend you haven’t undestood the chemistry.
    You claimed you are a scientist, some time back?
    Carbon dioxide, bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate.
    You can understand this with high school chemistry.
    NOAA’s links will help anyone who wants to understand it.
    The rate of change is documented. So are the solubilities.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Mar 2011 @ 9:53 AM

  103. Hot Rod, Would you prefer:

    “… this goal can only be achieved when we get people to abandon their bat-shit crazy adherence to ideas that are demonstrably false.”

    There. Feel better, tone troll?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 28 Mar 2011 @ 9:54 AM

  104. Ray Ladbury – given that the goal referred to was specifically controlling population growth, that would mean that the desire to have children was bat-shit crazy, an idea that was demonstrably false.

    If that’s really what you mean, then whoops, you have Trevors and Saier disease too.

    But I suspect you didn’t look at the context of the quote.

    Comment by Hot Rod — 28 Mar 2011 @ 10:06 AM

  105. @53 Septic Matthew says- “My point is that if pro-AGW forces want to succeed they should either become perfect and beyond all reproach, or else they should focus entirely on science and quit casting aspersions on the intelligence, knowledge and integrity of opponents.”
    Perhaps you should follow your own advice about casting aspersions on the integrity of your “opponents.” Your description of some dishonest scientist standing in front of congress telling them that chalk in a glass of vinegar is a literal representation of ocean acidification is flat out false. Video of the actual testimony is here.

    Pay close attention when Dr. Luchenco says (emphasis mine) “I want to be crystal clear here. The ocean will never be as acidic as vinegar is. I have used it here simply as a visual demonstration of what happens when you increase the level of acidity in a solution- what happens to calcium carbonate shells. To show you what actually happens in seawater… the seawater that is projected to be affected by increased CO2 by the end of this century, I have a video clip…”

    As for your assertion @87 that nothing living is made of chalk, but from carbonates in organic matrix, this is not only wrong, but disingenuous. Living coccolithophores- the plankton responsible for England’s chalk deposits- are surrounded by extracellular plates of CaCO3. The outer layer of each mature scale is pure chalk with the only organic component being the base plate underneath. Similarly, corals build their CaCO3 skeletons on an organic matrix, but below the calicoblastic layer that matrix is lost, leaving behind an almost pure aragonite skeleton. Furthermore, solitary and phaceloid corals often have no tissue overlaying this skeleton outside of the calyx itself, so again you have CaCO3 with no organic matrix in direct contact with seawater in living organisms.

    Your claim is disingenuous because even in those organisms where the CaCO3 retains its organic matrix, the ability to calcify is still highly dependent on the carbonate chemistry of the surrounding seawater- the fact that it is laid down on an organic matrix doesn’t provide protection.

    Comment by Mike G — 28 Mar 2011 @ 10:50 AM

  106. Why are you anti-education, Hot Rod?

    If you consider the recent Congressional hearings, is there any part of those proceedings that wouldn’t have been improved if the participants just had a clue what they were talking about?

    Now, capitalism is great – but pretending it should be allowed to run free and uncontrolled – only someone who is ignorant of the facts or has some vested interests would make such a claim. Capitalism with no control is just anarchy.

    Trevors and Saier (2011) may read a little like a sermon – but I think the reason you dislike it so excessively is that it is very hard to fault it.

    For example, statistics show that there is a link between smoking and education. Still. Decades after the dangers became apparent. Is that acceptable to you, or is the generation of profit more important than human life and wellbeing?

    Or your concern about population – ask Hans Rosling. Population growth is linked to healthcare and education. It just is. You need to train health professionals, you need to raise the quality of life. Longer education leads to better wages and smaller families. This is already happening, it has been happening for decades. It is not some sort of wild guess about the future.

    Education, education, education. It’s called the “silver bullet” for a good reason.

    Comment by Didactylos — 28 Mar 2011 @ 11:10 AM

  107. Septic Matthew #86, 87,

    Re: Congressional testimony

    I take it you weren’t talking about Hansen, then, but inquiring minds still want to know: about whom?

    Re: government work

    My comment was about people who think that working for the government is superior to working for the companies that are taxed by the government.

    Well, I saw you painting a picture of government workers as thugs who shake down others for money and feel good about themselves for doing so. That’s the real problem here – not “ignorance,” but a subculture that cultivates a pathological resentment, distrust and hatred towards “elites” in general and “government” in particular, as a means of rationalizing away any evidence they’re shown. And you were feeding it. I think you’re better than that.

    Re: ocean acification, vinegar and chalk, and other metaphors

    No, of course I wouldn’t stretch my fruitbowl demonstration of the solar system further than the metaphor reaches. Neither did Lubchenko. If you missed Hank’s video link above, here it is again:
    http://www.noaa.gov/video/administrator/acidification/

    Our knowledge of ocean acidification is not extrapolated from experiments with chalk in vinegar. It’s the other way around. Chalk in vinegar is a passable illustration of one principle involved in ocean acidification. You know the difference.

    nothing living is made from chalk, but from HCO3 incorporated into complex biological matrices.

    You mean CaCO3. And I agree there’s a difference between lifeless chalk and a calcium-shelled organism that will actively strive to maintain its integrity, and that evolution has probably equipped with one or two tricks to do that. So as the water gets more and more carbonized, the chalk will just peacefully dissolve. The organism will struggle harder and harder to keep its shell. Until it loses the struggle.

    Captcha: dintsee oceanogr

    Comment by CM — 28 Mar 2011 @ 11:59 AM

  108. “…certainty of the need for population control (presumably preferably the inferior, to up the percentage of the ‘superior’), absolutely startled me and also scared me a little.”

    Population control is a dead certainty. It will be achieved by education, fair economic policies, and social/political consensus, decreasing birthrates; or it will happen naturally through war, famine, and pestilence, increasing death.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 28 Mar 2011 @ 12:23 PM

  109. Didactylos – I’m not anti-education. T&S make a presumption that if people were better educated they would agree with T&S about what needs to be done – I don’t like that. Especially if I have to join Milton in a dumpster raid. :)

    I don’t know what you mean about uncontrolled capitalism. I think T&S made some weird comments re capitalism which caused an early commenter to describe it as an anti-capitalistic diatribe, not inaccurately.

    We may need a CINC debate on smoking – I’d say it correlated best in a causal way with income, and income and education correlate, and round and round we go. But my instinct is generally that low income causes smoking, not low education except as a second effect by causing lower (relatively) income. However badly educated you are the idea that you are ignorant about smoking dangers is somewhat laughable these days, so lack of education, in my book, is not causing smoking (I assume you mean in the USA).

    I don’t think T&S is very hard to fault – it read like an evangelist sermon perhaps, but sentences like ‘The current USA is an example of a failed capitalistic state in which essential long-term goals such as prevention of climate change and limitation of human population growth are subjugated to the short-term profit motive and the principle of economic growth.’ are frankly odd, especially since US resident population growth has been rock steady at 1% for around 50 years, which is hardly ‘failed state’ territory even if you’re a freegan.

    Education and wealth lead to smaller families – agreed.

    Anyway, enough already. I think they’re a pair of unattractive crackpots, you think their editorial is hard to fault, so we may have to politely recognise that we won’t agree! Have a good evening.

    Comment by Hot Rod — 28 Mar 2011 @ 12:30 PM

  110. Hot Rod, what is bat-shit crazy is the desire to bring more children into the world than the planet can support. We are already well beyond that number. Human population is going to decrease. The only questions are:
    1)whether we will take charge of the issue and do it in an equitable, intelligent and non-Draconian fashion
    2)how much permanent damage we will do to the planets ability to support us along the way
    3)what level human population will finally stabilize at.

    If you would care to actually learn something, I could direct you to some reading that outlines the sorts of actions needed. They include things like:
    1)increasing education for women and girls
    2)increasing living standards
    3)decreasing infant mortality.

    Do you have problems with any of those?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 28 Mar 2011 @ 1:03 PM

  111. Hot Rod: “T&S make a presumption that if people were better educated they would agree with T&S about what needs to be done – I don’t like that.”

    Who cares what you like? The presumption is entirely yours, since T&S make no such assertion. It certainly fits your paranoid and delusional false frame of a global (or is it just ‘European’? What country is that again?) social_ist conspiracy, but that just identifies you as a bigot, which brings me back to my first remark.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 28 Mar 2011 @ 1:49 PM

  112. Everybody: Ignore Hot Rod. He is a provoker. He is trying to get us angry for his own amusement. What he refuses to understand is that the alternative to our way is an otherwise inevitable population crash. When I said things will go rather badly for us as a species, I was referring to the population crash that will happen circa 2052. We have been over that ground before. What we mean by population crash has been discussed before as well. I was referring to work by Aiguo Dai, Barton Paul Levenson, Brian Fagan, Jared Diamond, William E. Rees, K. E. Trenberth, and T. Qian.

    “Population crash” means that the human population of Earth goes from somewhere between 7 and 9 billion down to somewhere between zero and 3 billion. Extinction is included in the possibilities. The primary reason will be the collapse of agriculture. Sorry to have to mention that again. If we do not change our own path, Mother NATURE will change our path for us. Evolution has been driven by climate change before. Just remember, Hot Rod, we told you so.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 28 Mar 2011 @ 1:52 PM

  113. Hot Rod:

    It’s odd that you should trip over the causality question so badly. I think the reason is that there are multiple senses in which we talk about “education”. There is the trivial sense, in which people can be informed or not about issues such as smoking or climate (and can lead to paradoxes where supposedly well-educated people are lamentably ignorant about certain fields) and the social sense, when talking about demographics and the number of years spent in full-time education.

    There is very clear evidence that education in this second, social sense is the driver of both economic success (better educated people get better wages) and health. It is in this indirect way that the smoking link works.

    It all comes back to education in the end, which is why it is absolutely criminal to place financial bars to getting a good education.

    In the wake of all the financial scandals of the last decade or so, it is hard to argue that capitalism can’t be improved, or that regulation isn’t needed.

    Finally, I think you are taking the discussion of population out of context. The passage is discussing global issues, and this is expanded on later. While it is true that US policies and failures have led to a virtual third world for the poorest Americans, it is the failure to consider long-term sustainability that has the bigger global impact. Besides, what makes you think a growth rate of 1% is small? It’s not; it is the global average. And it is exponential.

    This is education in the first sense. Hot Rod, get your facts right, and things make a lot more sense.

    Comment by Didactylos — 28 Mar 2011 @ 1:56 PM

  114. I found this article by a former physics professor interesting. There’s a baby, or two, in his bathwater that I won’t throw out, but he provides a scientific rebuttal to anthropogenic climate change that should be answered scientifically, and non-dismissively, by climate scientists who assert anthropogenic climate change is a reality. I submit it for review and commentary….maybe a separate post can be created that addresses the points he puts forward..

    http://activistteacher.blogspot.com/2011/03/on-gargantuan-lie-of-climate-change.html

    I do agree with him in the sense that there appears to be concerted effort by the Establishment to co-opt and exploit anthropogenic climate change and that will serve to undermine efforts to not only bring accurate awareness of the crisis, and let’s face it, it is a crisis, but also to usurp any and all proposed solutions to the matter, which in the end, may be so watered down and misdirected that they may not be solutions except in name only.

    Environmental scientists and government agencies get funding to study and monitor problems that do not threaten corporate and financial interests. It is therefore no surprise that they would attack continental-scale devastation from resource extraction via the CO2 back door. The main drawback with this strategy is that you cannot control a hungry monster by asking it not to shit as much. … All in all, the best way to not pollute and destroy the environment is to not pollute and destroy the environment. The best way to not exploit others is to not exploit others…..

    It’s about exploitation, oppression, racism, power, and greed. Economic, human, and animal justice brings economic sustainability which in turn is always based on renewable practices. Recognizing the basic rights of native people automatically moderates resource extraction and preserves natural habitats. Not permitting imperialist wars and interventions automatically quenches nation-scale exploitation. True democratic control over monetary policy goes a long way in removing debt-based extortion.

    Again, I’m not defending his denial, but he raises some valid questions that should be answered and some of his points, which I have highlighted, have merit.

    Comment by Morocco Bama — 28 Mar 2011 @ 1:57 PM

  115. Ray said – 1)increasing education for women and girls…

    I think increasing education for men and boys might be an even more important element in a lot of places…

    Comment by Joe Cushley — 28 Mar 2011 @ 2:15 PM

  116. Morocco Bama wrote: “a former physics professor … provides a scientific rebuttal to anthropogenic climate change”

    With all due respect, this so-called “rebuttal” by Denis G. Rancourt is nothing but a compilation of pseudoscientific nonsense.

    “The points he puts forward” are nothing but groaningly tiresome, copied-and-pasted denialist talking points, all of which have long-since and many times over been thoroughly debunked. And of course there is the usual haughty, arrogant and condescending tone characteristic of one who is utterly ignorant of the most basic scientific facts, who is thereby absolutely certain that he has found the “truth” that hundreds of brilliant, diligent scientists who have studied the issue for decades have missed.

    I disagree with your suggestion that they deserve a “non-dismissive” response. They deserve to be harshly dismissed as the utter drivel they are.

    I recommend that you spend some time with the “Start Here” section of this website, and with the debunkings of common denialist arguments at SkepticalScience.com — where you can see each and every bogus claim in Rancourt’s article thoroughly refuted.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 28 Mar 2011 @ 2:29 PM

  117. Joe, I think Ray is talking about the existing gender inequality in school enrolment. The gap has closed a lot recently, but is still there.

    Comment by Didactylos — 28 Mar 2011 @ 2:50 PM

  118. Morocco Bama:

    SecularAnimist has accurately summarised the main body of your “scientific rebuttal”. It’s badly cooked nonsense.

    But these extracts you pull out for our consideration – they don’t even make sense. It’s like someone read some denialist talking-points, misunderstood them, then went on a big bizarre rant.

    The important point that you both appear to be missing is that climate change exacerbates existing problems. Lack of clean water, malnutrition, malaria, AIDS – just a few issues that will become bigger problems in a warming world.

    Comment by Didactylos — 28 Mar 2011 @ 2:58 PM

  119. #112–Sorry, I think “dismissive” is entirely appropriate.

    For example, he claims more CO2 from “anthropogenic animal breathing” than fossil fuel burning? I don’t think so. . .

    But it doesn’t matter. The carbon from exhalations isn’t fossil–it’s already part of the carbon cycle and doesn’t increase atmospheric concentration over time.

    Logic fail.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 28 Mar 2011 @ 3:06 PM

  120. Ray Ladbury #30:

    “‘Cwon1, you are an idiot,’ is NOT an ad hominem.

    ‘Cwon1 is an idiot, so you shouldn’t pay attention to anything he says,’ IS an ad hominem fallacy.”

    It seems to me that this is a trivially flawed argument. If you were to say “Cwon1 is smelly” then that wouldn’t be ad hominem – as you merely throw an insult at someone. But to say “Cwon1 is an idiot” is to imply that he is “a person affected with extreme mental retardation” (Merriam-Webster). Clearly there is an implication that Cwon1’s ideas are unlikely to be worthy of great interest. Why would you listen to an idiot?

    And surely, that is ad hominem.

    [Response: Actually it isn’t. If someone unfortunately suffered from ‘extreme mental retardation’, that might be quite sensible grounds to discount their opinion. However, for someone ‘smelly’, there is no obvious connection between their odiferous properties and the quality of their opinion, and so ‘X is smelly, so don’t listen to them’ is clearly fallacious. Merely being insulting is not ad hom, nor is forming an opinion about someone’s state of idiocy based on the quality (or lack of it) of their arguments. – gavin]

    Comment by James Evans — 28 Mar 2011 @ 3:14 PM

  121. Hey, this sounds pretty hopeful:

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/PracticalArtificialLeafPR

    (Dr. Daniel Nocera of MIT, at the American Chemical Society meeting Sunday.)

    Not an energy “silver bullet,” but potentially quite helpful, I’d think.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 28 Mar 2011 @ 3:34 PM

  122. Sorry, kludged the tinyurl a bit, and you’ll have to click “Proceed to this site.”

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 28 Mar 2011 @ 3:36 PM

  123. #112 Morocco Bama,

    I’m sorry, but “activistteacher” doesn’t raise any valid questions, and what he does raise has been debunked over and over. Scientists shouldn’t be wasting their time on this. If you want to pick out a specific argument or two that you’re wondering how to refute, the rest of us might try to help out. But otherwise, it’s tempting to follow Brian Dodge’s lead upthread and just point to the whole list of debunked arguments at http://skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    Activistteacher is a left-wing mirror image of the right-wing crowd I had in mind above when I talked about a subculture that cultivates a pathological resentment, distrust and hatred towards “elites” in general and “government” in particular, as a means of rationalizing away any evidence they’re shown. I’m just wondering if there are two distinct such subcultures on the left and the right, or whether the extremes blend into each other, as they have a way of doing.

    Now, if at least the political parts of his rant made any kind of sense… but they’re just plain incoherent.

    Comment by CM — 28 Mar 2011 @ 3:43 PM

  124. Oops, should have known I’d be piling on. Sorry.

    Comment by CM — 28 Mar 2011 @ 3:45 PM

  125. “It seems to me that this is a trivially flawed argument. If you were to say “Cwon1 is smelly” then that wouldn’t be ad hominem – as you merely throw an insult at someone. But to say “Cwon1 is an idiot” is to imply that he is “a person affected with extreme mental retardation” (Merriam-Webster). Clearly there is an implication that Cwon1′s ideas are unlikely to be worthy of great interest. Why would you listen to an idiot?

    And surely, that is ad hominem.”

    Cwon is an idiot, therefore his statement is garbage = Ad hominem fallacy.

    Cwon, that argument is garbage, therefore you are an idiot = Not an ad hominem fallacy (although doesn’t necessarily follow).

    Cwon, you’re an idiot = not even an argument.

    Confusion arises because people like to use the term ad hominem without attaching the crucial words fallacy or argument. So it ends up just something people say in place of the much weaker and victimhood-invoking ‘you’re just being mean’.

    Comment by Bud — 28 Mar 2011 @ 5:15 PM

  126. An ad hominem is a classical rhetorical fallacy that you certainly want to avoid if you are trying to win a formal debate governed by the rules of classical rhetoric. It is rarely applicable to real life.

    In classical rhetoric, if I tell you that you should take a salesman’s praise of the used car he’s trying to sell you with a grain of salt because he has a financial interest in convincing you that that rusty clunker is a great deal, I have just committed an ad hominem “fallacy” and lost the “debate”, because the salesman’s motives have nothing to do with the “validity” of his “argument”.

    In the real world, what I told you is common sense, and if somebody even has to tell you that, you are probably just the sort of gullible mark that a dishonest used car salesman loves to have walk on to his lot.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 28 Mar 2011 @ 6:04 PM

  127. Re 79 Gail Zawacki – I think what was meant was that we are not significantly impacting the N2(g) concentration in the atmosphere (and presumably the total N of the atmosphere of all forms including N2(g)), distinct from the N cycle, acid rain, soil, and biological effects thereof, etc.

    Comment by Patrick 027 — 28 Mar 2011 @ 6:31 PM

  128. James Evans, You are missing the point of the ad hominem fallacy. Logic does not deal in what is probable, merely what is possible–that is not logically contradictory. It is quite possible that even an idiot could impart useful information–e.g. about the building being on fire–in which case we would be not just unwise, but guilt of a logical fallacy if we did not pay attention to the information.

    Credibility is another thing entirely.

    I bring this up because it illustrates how foolish it is to expect logical debate from denialists when they fail to grasp even the basics of logic.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 28 Mar 2011 @ 6:40 PM

  129. Joe Cushley, Actually, the correlation is stronger for educating women. This may be in part because women are more underserved to begin with. This UNESCO page has a pretty good treatment:
    http://www.unesco.org/education/tlsf/TLSF/theme_c/mod13/uncom13t01s005.htm

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 28 Mar 2011 @ 6:55 PM

  130. Most people don’t even realise that a compliment can be “ad hominem’, it just isn’t ‘the ad hominem fallacy’ unless it’s then used to imply veracity.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 28 Mar 2011 @ 7:35 PM

  131. Morocco Bama, Jeez, can’t you warn a dude when you are linking to weapons-grade stupid like that?! My only regret is that the author of the piece is so irony impaired that he will not be able to appreciate. That piece is beyond WRONG, beyond NOT-EVEN-WRONG. That piece is self-parody.

    That guy should not have been fired for his grading practices. Rather, he should have been fired because he doesn’t know the first thing about physics. The man is a pathetic, ignorant food tube.

    And frankly, I don’t know what is more pathetic: his arguments, the fact that you find them credible or your pathetic concern trolling.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 28 Mar 2011 @ 8:20 PM

  132. Oh please, get back to talking about real stuff, just leave these argumentative nonsense-promoters alone. I think we’ve got the generic answer: check debunked thousand of times-told talking points at skepticalscience, go to Start Here on this site, and if you don’t get it, don’t waste people who actually study stuff’s time. Too many of you are tempted to respond to garbage designed to get you to do just that. Just skip it and move on, rather than feeding it.

    Any mother of a two-year-old knows how to use a time out. Please do so!

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 28 Mar 2011 @ 8:57 PM

  133. Susan Anderson #130 I vacillate between your view and the view expressed by others that it is always worth debunking nonsense – I have been reading RC for quite some time, and one thing has impressed me. Not once, not one single time, has a denier come here with good grounds that they can defend, and boy does it show! In the meantime, the debunking of their drivel provides me with links, arguments, scientific references, usually accompanied by a steep learning curve.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 28 Mar 2011 @ 10:09 PM

  134. Ray:

    Morocco Bama, Jeez, can’t you warn a dude when you are linking to weapons-grade stupid like that?!

    He did, with his handle. He apparently doesn’t even understand that Obama’s from Kenya, not Morrocc! :)

    Comment by dhogaza — 28 Mar 2011 @ 11:04 PM

  135. I received an email From: Donald Brown
    Subject: Article on The Urgent Need to Reform US Higher Education on Climate Change
    The following was linked to:
    http://rockblogs.psu.edu/climate/2011/03/universities-and-the-need-to-address-global-climate-change-across-disciplines-and-programs.html

    The linkage to “Into Ignorance” is obvious, but I think the need is more general and more radical than Dr. Lemons realizes. Namely, the need is for every major, even fine arts, to require the Engineering and Science Core Curriculum.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 29 Mar 2011 @ 1:24 AM

  136. “Septic” Matthew @ 69:

    I have written repeatedly that AGW scientists should focus on the science.

    In a contest between scientists (who normally only deal with honest arguments) and lying advocates (e.g. Monckton) who keep repeating the same discredited talking points over and over again, who do you think will convince those who don’t like the consequences of the science?

    I’m sorry but just explaining the science will not win the argument. It won’t stop the lies.

    Comment by Chris O'Neill — 29 Mar 2011 @ 5:03 AM

  137. There have been even more strongly worded editorials in the scientific literature recently as well. Trevors and Saier (2011)*, in a journal with a strong tradition of stating exactly where it stands with respect to public policy decisions and their effect on the environment, pull no punches in a recent editorial, describing the numerous societal problems caused when those with the limited perspective and biases born of a narrow economic outlook on the world, get control. These include the losses of critical thinking skills, social/community ethics, and the subsequent wise decision making and planning skills that lead a society to long-term health and stability.

    Well.

    It doesn’t look to me as though atmospheric scientists all have a history of pulling punches; it looks to me like the recent decline (or so I perceive it) in confidence in AGW is partly due to a decades-long history of exaggerated claims about imminent adverse effects of great magnitude, and a decades-long history of impugning the integrity of all private-sector scientists who disagree with you. To me, you are Brer Rabbit striking the tar baby again. If I am right, as I obviously think I am, then your strategy will be self-defeating (though I should also note that Brer Rabbit outwitted Brer Fox in the end, and some Republicans in the current Congress are acting as dumb as Brer Fox.)

    If you think I’m wrong, then go for it! Punch away!

    134, Chris O’Neill: I’m sorry but just explaining the science will not win the argument. It won’t stop the lies.

    You have conflated two goals. You can not “stop the lies”, but you can “win the argument” with science. What you can’t do is win the argument by calling your opponents “liars” if you have ever made mistakes or expressed unfounded exaggerations.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 29 Mar 2011 @ 9:24 AM

  138. Here’s one that you might address some day:

    http://www.jcronline.org/doi/abs/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00157.1

    James Hansen was quoted in an article in Salon as saying that an expressway he could see would be underwater soon; the author of the article quoted Hansen as subsequently supporting his earlier prediction. To the public, this makes Hansen look ridiculous, though his written testimony to Congress did not predict such an event. To anybody who said in the period of 1980-2000 that the global mean temperature increase was “accelerating”, the 2000-2010 temperature record is an embarrassment; his, or her, reduced credibility in political circles is not because he or she “pulled punches”, but because of being loudly wrong.

    [Response: What is your point? That sea level rise is uniquely not going to affect the west side of manhattan? Hansen’s statement about what would happen at 2xCO2 is neither ridiculous nor alarmist. We are not there yet, and if anything, expectations of SLR in the light of recent GRACE results are greater than they were in the 1970s. – gavin]

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 29 Mar 2011 @ 9:55 AM

  139. The Koch Bros are now passe; it’s all about ALEC (just read #49 above). Wonder about the concerted (dare I say well planned) attack against the environment, etc. Now this is within the purview of my study of world views and climate change, so it is not OT.

    Bill Cronon has the dope on ALEC (excerpts from http://scholarcitizen.williamcronon.net/2011/03/15/alec/ ):

    …one of the most critical accounts of ALEC’s [American Legislative Exchange Council] activities was issued by Defenders of Wildlife and the Natural Resources Defense Council in a 2002 report entitled Corporate America’s Trojan Horse in the States. Although NRDC and Defenders may seem like odd organizations to issue such a report, some of ALEC’s most concentrated efforts have been directed at rolling back environmental protections, so their authorship of the report isn’t so surprising. The report and its associated press release are here:
    http://alecwatch.org/11223344.pdf
    http://www.nrdc.org/media/pressreleases/020228.asp

    As mentioned in #49 they are doing an FOIA request on all of Cronon’s emails now. Sound familiar?? See: http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2011/03/my_worlds_collide.php

    Some of my environmental anthropology colleagues are suggesting that we help out those legislators & send them bcc of all our emails, so they won’t have to go thru the trouble of filing an FOIA request for our emails. We just have to remember to clean up our language — no “stupid #@*%$# alec.”

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnatnathan — 29 Mar 2011 @ 11:05 AM

  140. Septic Matthew:

    James Hansen was quoted in an article in Salon as saying that an expressway he could see would be underwater soon

    Hansen wasn’t asked if it would be underwater soon, but whether a doubling of CO2 could lead to it being underwater. The interviewer provided the timeframe, but of course, neither Hansen or any other scientist imagines CO2 doubling in the interviewer’s supposed timeframe.

    Of course, this denialist claim you parrot is all based on a recollection by an interviewer of something that took place many years ago, and no transcript has been provided, so we don’t even know if the interviewer is recollecting correctly.

    Regardless, Hansen’s answer – assuming the interviewer’s memory is anywhere close to correct, was in regard to a doubling of CO2, not a particular timeframe.

    Do you understand why people question your objectivity? You could find this out on your own … instead, you accept such misrepresentations uncritically and use them to smear climate scientists.

    Comment by dhogaza — 29 Mar 2011 @ 11:33 AM

  141. How much arithmetic and statistics are UK chancellors (finance ministers) required to know?

    The originally private correspondence between Sir John Beddington (UK’s chief scientific advisor) and Nigel Lawson is perhaps more revealing of the latter’s skills than his public writings which are intended for a non-technical audience. They have just been released as a result of a FOI request.

    Lawson

    I have become increasingly puzzled by the proposition that warming brings about more water vapour, which in turn causes more warming, which then presumably produces more water vapour, and so on ad infinitum. This implies a runaway instability which, if true, would have made the planet uninhabitable long ago.

    Beddington

    The existence of a feedback in the climate (or any other) system does not imply a runaway feedback … the way in which the planet achieves energy balance is more complex than your simple argument for a runaway instability.

    Yet Lawson still denies that he has made a single scientific error.

    It appears that a degree in Philosophy , Politics and Economics does not include any reference to a geometric series, which omits time delays, or for that matter in the use of simple algebra (using self consistency) to disprove the runaway conclusion.

    Lawson in his book:

    “There has been no global warming since the turn of the century”,

    Beddington:

    “…short-term temperature trends are meaningless in the context of global warming… In order to see the effects of greenhouse gases, it is necessary to examine the long-term trend, which has clearly been upward (global average temperatures are now about 0.75°C warmer than they were 100 years ago, and the last decade has been the hottest since records began).”

    Lawson.

    “The essence of your point seems to be the assumption that, while the temperature record over 20 years (from 1980 to 2000) is immensely significant, the temperature record over 10 years (the first decade of the 21st century) is of no significance at all. I know of no scientific basis for this seemingly arbitrary distinction.”

    Lawson once visited Realclimate; perhaps he should have returned (or read Grumbine and Tamino).

    Comment by Deconvoluter — 29 Mar 2011 @ 11:45 AM

  142. Reference for my previous comment:

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2011/03/letters-between-lord-lawson-and-uk-government%E2%80%99s-chief-scientific-advisor-reveal-a-critical-view-of-his-climate-sceptic-arguments

    Comment by Deconvoluter — 29 Mar 2011 @ 11:47 AM

  143. SM – why don’t you actually read what Hansen says about SLR in his peer-reviewed papers, and the other articles and books he has authored. Had you, you would realize there is something wrong with the story about the Expressway.

    The article contains a miscommunication of some sort as it presents a view of SLR that simply does not exist in Hansen’s writings.

    What weighs more, articles written by Hansen, or the Reiss interpretation in notes he wrote about a conversation?

    Comment by JCH — 29 Mar 2011 @ 1:16 PM

  144. Amazingly, this story is NOT all over WUWT and the wannabes! ;-)

    http://www.climatechangedispatch.com/Latest-News/apology-to-dr-andrew-weaver.html

    Seems that as of March 5, Tim Ball has retracted pretty much every lie he told about Dr. Andrew Weaver. Good!

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 29 Mar 2011 @ 3:10 PM

  145. Entities like Septic Matthew want the discussion to be all about stuff that scientists get wrong (preferably ‘loudly’ wrong, in its view), and not at all about the stuff they get right (loudly or not).

    And of course, the stuff that skeptics get wrong is right off the table.

    Comment by Steven Sullivan — 29 Mar 2011 @ 4:01 PM

  146. Re :#144

    Link has either been diverted by a hacker or is incorrect.

    Comment by Deconvoluter — 29 Mar 2011 @ 6:04 PM

  147. Deconvoluter – link works for me [might be your browser that’s hijacked!!] – it’s pretty much a copy from denialist “Dr” Tim Ball of the newspapers retraction of his article – a couple months after the paper made good.

    captcha: one provin :)

    Comment by flxible — 29 Mar 2011 @ 6:23 PM

  148. “Sceptic” Matthew:

    134, Chris O’Neill: I’m sorry but just explaining the science will not win the argument. It won’t stop the lies.

    You have conflated two goals. You can not “stop the lies”, but you can “win the argument” with science.

    You have missed the point. Just stating the science does not stop people from corrupting what scientists say. For example, when a scientist says:

    “If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow, the average temperature of the planet’s not going to drop for several hundred years, perhaps over 1000 years”

    it was corrupted into:

    “It will not make a difference for 1000 years,”

    by a politician who has no real interest in getting the science right.

    So you just don’t realize that just stating the science is not enough. For whatever reason, people will come along and corrupt what the scientists say.

    Comment by Chris O'Neill — 29 Mar 2011 @ 7:24 PM

  149. Re Tim Ball apology link – the first time I tried it, it didn’t work, but it was up at 20:45 EST. I noticed comments are disabled – when you first saw it, flxible, were there comments?

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 29 Mar 2011 @ 7:54 PM

  150. “You can not “stop the lies”, but you can “win the argument” with science.”

    There’s no consensus on that – &;>)

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 29 Mar 2011 @ 7:59 PM

  151. 143, JCH: What weighs more, articles written by Hansen, or the Reiss interpretation in notes he wrote about a conversation?

    That is an important point and I am glad that you asked it. I can’t tell from the other respondents above whether James Hansen has actually repudiated the quote and claimed that it was inaccurate. Reiss clearly wrote that he thinks its accurate and that he heard James Hansen clearly say that he supported it.

    One problem we have is that scientists are quoted by media, even friendly media such as Salon and the NYTimes, as saying vocally much more extreme positions than what they have written in peer-reviewed journals or submitted in written form for Congressional testimaony. When that happens, the scientists need to quickly clarify that they have been misquoted, as Mojib Latif did about a year ago (was it about a year ago?)

    Other example include the many off-the-cuff comments about the year in which the Arctic would be ice-free in the summer. And there are the many off-the-cuff predictions that AGW would lead to snow-free England and D.C. And there were the many assertions by scientists that Hurricane Katrina would be followed by much elevated hurricane activity in subsequent years. I think that the accumulation of such sayings in the press and on tv have done more than any other single thing to make AGW promoters lose the confidence of the polity. No scientist who wants to be taken seriously should ever again say, more or less, this last event (or last 2 years) shows that AGW is accelerating even faster than we thought.

    138, Gavin in comment: Hansen’s statement about what would happen at 2xCO2 is neither ridiculous nor alarmist.

    If that particular effect of sea level rise is dependent on 2xCO2, then it won’t be imminent.

    in same comment: We are not there yet, and if anything, expectations of SLR in the light of recent GRACE results are greater than they were in the 1970s.

    There was a discussion on this thread a few months ago about whether AGW does or does not predict diminishment of total Antarctic snow and ice mass occurring in the 2000s. At least one model predicted more accumulating mass for a time, followed by decreased accumulation. If mass is actually decreasing, then that model is disconfirmed. Contrary evidence was actually cited, some of the pro-AGW commenters here claiming that recent work showed accumulating ice mass in line with recent modeling. Now might be a good time for the absolute most trustworthy statement about model results and measurement results.

    A clarification: I wrote that marine skeletons are “made from” HCO3; I meant in the same sense that concrete is “made from” water, not in the sense that they are “made of” HCO3. As I understand it (jump in!) marine skeletons are not “made from” CaCO3, but from dissolved Ca ions and other Ca compounds. CaCO3 is the principle residue after a long process of decomposition. The only scientifically based projection about the influence of increased CO2 dissolved in the ocean water is that the distributions of the genes governing the construction of the skeletons. There is no science-based reason to believe that any population of small, rapidly reproducing plants or animals will become extinct.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 29 Mar 2011 @ 8:22 PM

  152. Sorry I’ve been busy dealing with my two-year-old tantrumic mother, which was why time outs were on my mind. If you’re ever stuck with a demented elder, remember that all the techniques that work with children work with them too. to return to the topic, please understand that I am NOT against presenting lots of good argument, and I have learned and enjoyed learning vast amounts by carefully reading almost all credible commentary here, and following through links. I’m for it.

    I’m just against continuing the argument once the phony skeptic refuses to budge.

    I’m thrilled about Cronon.

    I’m also thrilled about Mann.

    I think the shenanigans at the top are now becoming more apparent to the guy on the street. Unfortunately, their “leaders” are lagging in understanding and continue to claim that caring is communism.

    I’d best desist, as this site is no place for politics except those directly involving science.

    BTW, my home is somewhere around 5 feet above sea level on an inlet in Boston Harbor. The increase in overflow on the banks of the Channel a block away is now quite obvious to all; it is no longer rare, but accompanies almost every spring tide, especially when accompanied by storms. I have a great picture of a jellyfish floating above the lawn!

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 29 Mar 2011 @ 8:48 PM

  153. “Sceptic” Mathew:

    What you can’t do is win the argument by calling your opponents “liars”

    I wasn’t calling anyone a liar. I was merely stating the proven fact that Monckton is a liar (and often dishonest). Stating a fact is not a “name-call”. A “name-call” is a statement of derision that is not necessarily based on fact, e.g. I might call Monckton an idiot and that’s a name-call but it’s not a statement of fact. Stating he’s a liar, on the other hand, is a statement of fact.

    Comment by Chris O'Neill — 30 Mar 2011 @ 2:59 AM

  154. #150–“There is no science-based reason to believe that any population of small, rapidly reproducing plant or animals will become extinct.”

    OK, here’s a cite:

    Surface ocean pH is already 0.1 unit lower than preindustrial values. By the end of the century it will probably become another 0.3 to 0.4 units lower1,2, meaning [H+] will increase by 100 to 150%. Simultaneously, the aqueous CO2 concentration [CO2(aq)] will increase and [CO32−] will decrease, making it harder for marine calcifying organisms to form biogenic CaCO3. Substantial experimental evidence indicates that calcification rates will decrease in low latitude corals3,-5, which form reefs out of aragonite, and in phytoplankton that form their tests (shells) out of calcite6,7, the stable form of CaCO3. Calcification rates will decline along with [CO32−] due to its reaction with increasing concentrations of anthropogenic CO2

    CO2 + CO32− + H2O→2HCO3

    even though surface waters remain supersaturated with respect to CaCO3, a condition that previous studies have predicted will persist for hundreds of years8,4,9.

    That’s from Orr, et al, 2004. Nature, I think.

    So, yes, the building blocks are ions.

    But no, CaCO3 is a product of metabolism, not “decomposition,” and declines in calcification rates aren’t a matter primarily of genetics, but of chemistry. Of specific concern are aragonite and calcite.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 30 Mar 2011 @ 7:30 AM

  155. #150 (bis)–

    More specific to the question of possible extinction from Orr et al, 2004:

    New experimental evidence suggests that even shells of live pteropods dissolve rapidly once surface waters become undersaturated with respect to aragonite9. Here we show that when the live subarctic pteropod Clio pyramidata is subjected to undersaturation, similar to what we predict for Southern Ocean surface waters in 2100 under IS92a, marked dissolution occurs within 48 hours at the growing edge of the shell aperture (Fig. 6). Etch pits formed on the shell surface at the apertural margin, which is typically ∼ 7 μm thick, as the < 1-μm exterior (prismatic layer) peeled back (Fig. 6c), exposing the underlying aragonitic rods to dissolution. Fourteen individuals were tested. All of them showed similar dissolution along their growing edge, even though they all remained alive. If C. pyramidata cannot grow its protective shell, we would not expect it to survive in waters that become undersaturated with respect to aragonite.

    If the response of other high latitude pteropod species to aragonite undersaturation is similar to that of C. pyramidata, we hypothesise that these pteropods will not be able to adapt quickly enough to live in the undersaturated conditions that will occur over much of the high-latitude surface ocean during the 21st century. Their distributional ranges would then be reduced, both within the water column, disrupting vertical migration patterns, and latitudinally, imposing a shift towards lower latitude surface waters that remain supersaturated with respect to aragonite. At present, we do not know if pteropod species endemic to polar regions could disappear altogether or if they can make the transition to live in warmer, carbonate-rich waters at lower latitudes under a different ecosystem.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 30 Mar 2011 @ 7:38 AM

  156. #150 (3eme)–Is that “science-based” enough for you, SM?

    Granted, one could quibble that it better supports “may become extinct” better than “will be become extinct.”

    But either way, concern is merited.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 30 Mar 2011 @ 7:41 AM

  157. Possibly clarifying the idea that CaCO3 is the product of “decomposition,” Wikipedia says that:

    Aragonite is a carbonate mineral, one of the two common, naturally occurring, crystal forms of calcium carbonate, CaCO3 (the other form is the mineral calcite.)

    “Long decomposition”–“long” meaning millions to tens of millions of years–could refer to this:

    Aragonite is metastable and is thus commonly replaced by calcite in fossils. Aragonite older than the Carboniferous is essentially unknown.

    However:

    The type location for aragonite is Molina de Aragón (Guadalajara, Spain), 25 km from Aragon for which it was named in 1797.[1] An aragonite cave, the Ochtinská Aragonite Cave, is situated in Slovakia. In the USA, aragonite in the form of stalactites and “cave flowers” (anthodite) is known from Carlsbad Caverns and other caves. Massive deposits of oolitic aragonite sand are found on the seabed in the Bahamas.

    Aragonite forms naturally in almost all mollusk shells, and as the calcareous endoskeleton of warm- and cold-water corals (Scleractinia). Because the mineral deposition in mollusk shells is strongly biologically controlled, some crystal forms are distinctively different from those of inorganic aragonite. In some mollusks, the entire shell is aragonite; in others, aragonite forms only discrete parts of a bimineralic shell (aragonite plus calcite).

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 30 Mar 2011 @ 7:57 AM

  158. “. . .the many off-the-cuff comments about the year in which the Arctic would be ice-free in the summer.”

    Septic Matt, you may be the victim of an assumption here. Though there have surely been SIE comments that have been ‘off-the-cuff,’ the most famous sea ice prediction currently in play, Dr. Maslowski’s projection that an ice-free Arctic could occur by 2013, was not ‘off-the-cuff.’

    It’s been subject to ridicule by the usual suspects, to be sure; and it’s more audacious than any other ‘heavyweights,’ to be sure; but it could still very well be correct. And it’s definitely based upon analysis. See his 2010 presentation (and note the collaborators):

    http://soa.arcus.org/sites/soa.arcus.org/files/sessions/1-1-advances-understanding-arctic-system-components/pdf/1-1-7-maslowski-wieslaw.pdf

    Just to clarify, Maslowski’s definition of “ice-free,” like his work generally, focusses upon ice volume, not extent:

    This projection is based on a combined model and data trendline focusing on ice volume. By “ice-free,” Maslowski tells me he means more than an 80% drop from the 1979-2000 summer volume baseline of ~200,00 km^3. –Climate Progress (Joe Romm)

    I must also note a high irony here: the WUWT crowd have laughed at Maslawski, but have glorified PIPS 2 because the Navy designed it for operational use and ‘depends on it to keep multi-billion dollar nuclear subs safe.’ (Paraphrased.) Yet who did the Navy put in charge of developing PIPS 3?

    You guessed it–Wieslaw Maslowski!

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 30 Mar 2011 @ 8:21 AM

  159. 117 Didactylos and 128 Ray Ladbury

    I think you’ve slightly missed my point, understandably as it was made a little flippantly and sloppily. Of course, actually getting females into education is massively important and there is an obvious correlation between female education and falling birth-rates. However, the patriarchal and often theocratical societies which predominant in areas of high birth-rate are controlled by males. They need educating in the need for female education…! That’s my point. I’m not holding my breath.

    Comment by Joe Cushley — 30 Mar 2011 @ 8:42 AM

  160. That is an important point and I am glad that you asked it. I can’t tell from the other respondents above whether James Hansen has actually repudiated the quote and claimed that it was inaccurate. Reiss clearly wrote that he thinks its accurate and that he heard James Hansen clearly say that he supported it. – Septic Matthew @ 150

    There’s an article about it on “Septical” Science that has some Hansen comments on the matter.

    Comment by JCH — 30 Mar 2011 @ 8:43 AM

  161. Yawn. SM has become boring, recycling old stuff long debunked as though it were new. Someone forgot to change to a new userid when reloading the bot? Or SM has quit bothering to check the stuff before copypasting, I suppose.

    Look the stuff up, SM. Uncritical rebunking is a low form of septicism.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=627

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Mar 2011 @ 12:57 PM

  162. Septic Matthew #150,

    The only scientifically based projection about the influence of increased CO2 dissolved in the ocean water is that the distributions of the genes governing the construction of the skeletons. There is no science-based reason to believe that any population of small, rapidly reproducing plants or animals will become extinct.

    I thought they weren’t made of chalk, anyway? Goalposts shifting a bit? Not that I’m complaining. Whether and how fast various marine organisms can adapt to our extremely sharp CO2 spike is a valid and important question, so I’m glad if we can move on from discussions of Lubchenko’s visual aids.

    I do not share your apparent confidence on this. Science does not tell us that evolution will preserve every tiny species from extinction, or that it will make things all right no matter how we screw up. The closest past experience that compares in magnitude is the PETM, and extinction-wise, that’s hardly a happy thought, especially given that the present rate of change is probably a good bit higher.

    Anyway, this is not only a question of extinctions. Whether species adapt, migrate, or dissolve into oblivion, they will be under severe environmental pressure that could have all sorts of disruptive consequences through the marine ecosystem and food chain.

    What would you have told the Irish in the 1840s? That the only scientifically based projection was a change in the distributions of genes governing blight resistance, and that there was no science-based reason to believe that potatoes would become extinct? Cold comfort, even if true.

    Comment by CM — 30 Mar 2011 @ 3:16 PM

  163. 2, Ron Manley: I’m surprised that you cite approvingly the Editorial by Trevors and Saier. They say: “…the capitalistic systems of economy follow the one principal rule: the rule of profit making. All else must bow down to this rule… The current USA is an example of a failed capitalistic state in which essential long-term goals such as prevention of climate change and limitation of human population growth are subjugated to the short-term profit motive and the principle of economic growth.”

    In a world where the governments of most major economies are right-of-centre pro-capitalist ignoring the science behind climate change and presenting a strongly worded anti-capitalist diatribe will not advance understanding of the issues.

    [Response: I agree – that part of their argument is not strong. – gavin]

    That isn’t just “not strong”, it’s an insulting rant. It impugns a large class of people whose money you want to take from them for your own purposes. What’s worse, it won’t play in Peoria, or East Moline, or Schaumburg or any other place where people earn their livings growing crops or manufacturing things. It will lose you votes, and probably be read back to you in mockery whenever you testify in Congress. I recommend that you immediately repudiate it strongly.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 30 Mar 2011 @ 8:41 PM

  164. 161, CM: Science does not tell us that evolution will preserve every tiny species from extinction, or that it will make things all right no matter how we screw up.

    Science tells us that changing the chemical environment of a population of small, rapidly reproducing organisms will not eliminate them: examples include MRSA, XDRTB, DDT-resistant mosquitoes and quinidine-resistant plasmodium. The coral will survive increased CO2. As your potato example illustrates, we can be less confident that they will survive an epizootic of a naturally evolving blight or predator.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 30 Mar 2011 @ 8:49 PM

  165. Have been playing with words, and have come up with a different descriptive term for fake skeptics:

    “bullying anti-science zealots”

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 30 Mar 2011 @ 11:00 PM

  166. > a large class of people whose money you want to take
    > from them for your own purposes.

    It begins to become clear, doesn’t it?

    > Science tells us …. The coral will survive

    Rate of change, SM, that’s what you keep ignoring.

    > we can be less confident that they will survive an
    > epizootic of a naturally evolving blight or predator.

    You already know the species of that worrisome “naturally evolving blight or predator” — obviously, the one increasingly causing the ocean pH change.

    Except _this_ species could be smart enough to avoid doing the damage.

    Likely cost? Most of the money’made’ by avoiding externalized costs long enough for the damage to become apparent — about now.

    Fermi paradox at work.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Mar 2011 @ 11:34 PM

  167. Oh, and SM, that money you’re so intent on protecting?

    It’s borrowed money.
    Those who’ve had use of it are being called on to begin paying it back.

    Ocean pH rate of change is, what, 100x faster than anything in the past?

    Do you even understand why do the scientists tell you to worry?

    “Source of Half Earth’s Oxygen Gets Little Credit
    Jun 7, 2004 … In the process of photosynthesis, phytoplankton release oxygen into the water. Half of the world’s oxygen is produced via phytoplankton …

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/06/0607_040607_phytoplankton.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Mar 2011 @ 11:40 PM

  168. I know SM won’t change, but for those who want to read:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=ocean+ph+change+photoplankton+photosynthesis+productivity

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=ocean+ph+change+photoplankton+photosynthesis+productivity&as_sdt=0%2C5&as_ylo=2010&as_vis=0

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1529-8817.2010.00815.x/full
    OCEAN CLIMATE CHANGE, PHYTOPLANKTON COMMUNITY RESPONSES, AND HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS: A FORMIDABLE PREDICTIVE CHALLENGE†
    Gustaaf M. Hallegraeff, 10 MAR 2010
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2010.00815.x
    © 2010 Phycological Society of America

    “Prediction of the impact of global climate change on marine HABs is fraught with difficulties. However, we can learn important lessons from the fossil record of dinoflagellate cysts; long-term monitoring programs, such as the Continuous Plankton Recorder surveys; and short-term phytoplankton community responses to El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) episodes. Increasing temperature, enhanced surface stratification, alteration of ocean currents, intensification or weakening of local nutrient upwelling, stimulation of photosynthesis by elevated CO2, reduced calcification through ocean acidification (“the other CO2 problem”), and heavy precipitation and storm events causing changes in land runoff and micronutrient availability may all produce contradictory species- or even strain-specific responses. Complex factor interactions exist, and simulated ecophysiological laboratory experiments rarely allow for sufficient acclimation and rarely take into account physiological plasticity and genetic strain diversity. We can expect: (i) range expansion of warm-water species at the expense of cold-water species, which are driven poleward; (ii) species-specific changes in the abundance and seasonal window of growth of HAB taxa; (iii) earlier timing of peak production of some phytoplankton; and (iv) secondary effects for marine food webs, notably when individual zooplankton and fish grazers are differentially impacted (“match-mismatch”) by climate change. Some species of harmful algae (e.g., toxic dinoflagellates benefitting from land runoff and/or water column stratification, tropical benthic dinoflagellates responding to increased water temperatures and coral reef disturbance) may become more successful, while others may diminish in areas currently impacted. Our limited understanding of marine ecosystem responses to multifactorial physicochemical climate drivers as well as our poor knowledge of the potential of marine microalgae to adapt genetically and phenotypically to the unprecedented pace of current climate change are emphasized. The greatest problems for human society will be caused by being unprepared for significant range expansions or the increase of algal biotoxin problems in currently poorly monitored areas, thus calling for increased vigilance in seafood-biotoxin and HAB monitoring programs. Changes in phytoplankton communities provide a sensitive early warning for climate-driven perturbations to marine ecosystems.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Mar 2011 @ 11:49 PM

  169. Septic Matthew (#163), you said

    (…) changing the chemical environment of a population of small, rapidly reproducing organisms will not eliminate them (…) The coral will survive increased CO2.

    “Rapidly” is relative to the rate of chemical change. Your conclusion does not follow. Hoegh-Guldberg et al. say, in response to Baird and Maynard, that while some coral species have generation times measured in years,

    The majority of coral generation times (…) are still long (decades) relative to the accelerating pace of climate change, throwing doubt on the scope of most coral species for rapid adaptation.

    If you have access, you should read the full exchange:

    Andrew Baird and Jeffrey A. Maynard, “Coral Adaptation in the Face of Climate Change,” Science 320, no. 5874 (April 18, 2008): 315-316 (doi:10.1126/science.320.5874.315),

    with a response by the authors of

    O. Hoegh-Guldberg et al., “Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change and Ocean Acidification,” Science 318, no. 5857 (December 14, 2007): 1737-1742 (doi:10.1126/science.1152509)

    Comment by CM — 31 Mar 2011 @ 3:16 AM

  170. FWIW, my five cents’ worth to RC on Trevors and Saier, since people are making an issue of it: Among your many interesting Friday reading tips, this was a dud link. T&S perhaps illustrate a mood of frustration with ignoramus political attacks on science. But they were just venting, and their piece was out of place in a journal, not because of the political analysis, but for want of one. The impolitic phrasing didn’t help. Sure, there were things worth saying in T&S, which could have made an okay blog post. But you guys put such things better in your own words.

    Feigned outrage omitted to avoid repetition.

    Comment by CM — 31 Mar 2011 @ 4:54 AM

  171. #162–“. . .it’s an insulting rant. It impugns a large class of people whose money you want to take from them for your own purposes. . .”

    No.

    There is no insult to working people or anyone else; you are reading that in. I presume it’s because you have certain beliefs about what someone who criticizes capitalism ‘should’ or ‘must’ think. (I may be wrong; I can only guess, after all. But the ‘money you want to take from them for your own purposes’ bit is suggestive.)

    There is a statement that 1) the “current US” supports profit making, and 2) fails to support “essential long-term goals” such as mitigating AGW and population control.

    And, as far as I can tell, both statements are objectively true. The majority (both parties and most media) lauds free enterprise, and clearly sets it as normative, even ideal. That’s supporting profit making, isn’t it? As to the long-term goals, well, do I even need to say anything?

    There is also, of course, a rather pejorative description of the US as a “failed capitalistic state.” I see that as a weakness in the argument that they are trying to make, because:

    1) “Failed” implicitly contradicts the word “current,” found earlier in the same sentence. Is this subordination of long-term to short-term considerations permanent and structural, or is it amenable to political change (or choice?)

    2) It drags in great swathes of political and ideological baggage which distract from an argument that could be framed much more cleanly in terms of enlightened (or unenlightened!) self-interest. (On that point, we’re probably much more in agreement than otherwise–even though in writing this very comment I am exemplifying the distraction factor.)

    Perhaps that’s what Gavin describes as “not strong;” or perhaps not. I can only guess there, too.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 31 Mar 2011 @ 7:00 AM

  172. #163–\Science tells us that changing the chemical environment of a population of small, rapidly reproducing organisms will not eliminate them. . .\

    No, it doesn’t tell us any such thing.

    It tells us that it may not eliminate them.

    Anoxic ocean conditions (a sterling example of a ‘changed chemical environment’) are associated with mass extinctions, possibly including the PETM extinction, which eliminated \about 96% of all marine species.\

    While I’m \alarmed\ about AGW and ocean acidification, I doubt that a PETM-like event is very likely. But as far as I know, it can’t actually be ruled out on present knowledge. We don’t have guarantees that ‘the coral will survive,’ or that ‘dinoflagellates will survive,’ or even that ‘H. Sap will survive.’

    Blithely assuming that worst cases can’t come about (so we don’t need to think about them) lowers the probability of that last–by how much, no-one can presently say.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 31 Mar 2011 @ 7:23 AM

  173. Dan H. says: “…farmers know that warmer temperatures and wetter climates yield more bountiful harvests.” [note: that post was moved to ‘borehole’ -moderator]

    And of course it doesn’t matter at all how that heat and water are distributed, does it? I mean if all the precipitation occurs in 2 weeks so that the farmer’s field is too waterlogged to plow and then there’s no rain the rest of the season, that’ll be just fine, won’t it?

    And if all the rain comes at the end of the season so the crop can’t be harvested, I’m sure the grain will wait for us, won’t it? Or if the rains become completely unpredictable so that farmers have no idea what crop to plant, well I’m sure they’ll still somehow get a bumper crop, right? And if it never freezes so the weeds and insect pests live on through the winter, well, we’ll just dump more herbicide and pesticide onto the field. I’m sure the environment won’t mind.

    Dan H., have you given up any pretense of reasoned consideration, or are you just taking a couple of weeks off from rationality?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 31 Mar 2011 @ 8:17 AM

  174. Good heavens! More water is beneficial? Tell it to Pakistan, China, Australia, Thailand, the banks of any large river, etc. (of course some of these places have exaggerated extremes of drought as well). Unfortunately, farmers in the upper midwest are also about to be plowed.

    The point is we’ve known since at least the 1970s that climate change would likely exaggerate extremes, and even before the mechanisms of developing excess emissions began to be clearer. We live in a delicate balance in a rare window that supports life, and we are exploiting that window to the point of extinction for the profit of a lucky few.

    Even now, world food supplies are being affected, and this is only the beginning in terms of geological time.

    Explaining away each excess event may serve short term profits for the corporate few (perhaps you don’t know that all the info you mine so eagerly is supported by think tanks and other resources whose techniques have been refined since the era of big tobacco, but you’re doing their work anyway) but the big picture is getting really nasty. Getting people to focus on their entertainment until the flood or drought or war or famine is at their door is more like the scary scenarios of the likes of 1984 than the people you are implying are trying to steal your money. They are just trying to sound the alarm; you are trying to get them to ignore it.

    We are about to have another one of nature’s demonstrations in the good old US of A, up in our northern midwest. Watch the news from a station near you.

    This, for example, is a small piece of what we are expecting:
    http://forums.accuweather.com/index.php?showtopic=25909
    “MODEL CONSENSUS IS THAT PATTERN WILL REMAIN PROGRESSIVE IN THE 4-8 PERIOD WITH THE NEXT IN A SERIES OF SIGNIFICANT SHORTWAVE TROUGHS LIKELY MOVING INTO THE PLAINS DAY 6-7. IT IS CERTAINLY POSSIBLE THAT A SIGNIFICANT SEVERE EVENT COULD EVOLVE OVER THE PLAINS BY DAY 6-7…SPREADING INTO THE LOWER MS VALLEY AND SERN STATES DAY 7-8 AS MOISTURE RETURNS NWD THROUGH PRE-FRONTAL WARM SECTOR.”

    That’s “just weather” but totally characteristic of the predicted danger facing us in this present.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 31 Mar 2011 @ 9:43 AM

  175. Update on last year’s Amazon drought, with a real paper forthcoming in GRL:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110329150453.htm

    Short version: “Yup, it was really bad, and no visible recovery yet.”

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 31 Mar 2011 @ 11:14 AM

  176. SM, you’re Greenspanning.
    http://www.google.com/search?q=“with+notably+rare+exceptions”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 31 Mar 2011 @ 11:21 AM

  177. Susan’s link shows tornadoes. I’ve seen the Mississippi and Cedar River flood. It’s pretty amazing.

    Comment by Snapple — 31 Mar 2011 @ 6:03 PM

  178. Dan, you have a habit of only addressing only tiny portions of the points people make–and those only to dismissively wave your hand. Should you care to actually look at the literature, you may discover that yields on many crops go down with increasing temperature. You would also note that frost free years are indeed a problem for pest and weed control. In short, you would find that everything you are ignoring is where the problem is.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 31 Mar 2011 @ 6:12 PM

  179. Only few blog spaces available so I used this one.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1n2oq-XIxI&NR=1

    This guy says that the Earth can be modelled as black body so there are no feedforwards or feedbacks- isn’t that eloquent. All due to correct analysis of solar radiation- we get less reflection due to less cloud formation when there the sun is at its peak.
    No IPCC fudge factors are needed for modelling and the Earth is no especially forcing factor sensitive- volcanic eruptions only cause small changes in temperatures unlike the IPCC models- His model is twice as accurate. Depending somewhat on future solar activity, the temperature forcing due to projected carbon emmissions will be modest a few degrees not a total disaster.

    Of course you’ll have to request the full paper to fully test it.

    [Response: Same old, same old. There is no trend in cosmic rays since the 1950s and so even if the CR-climate link was as strong as postulated (very unlikely) it doesn’t impact the recent attribution question. His ‘cloud cover’ change diagram is fiddled – the real data does not look like that – especially when brought up to date (see Gray et al, 2011). The attributable change in SLR is also overestimated (by ignoring volcanoes and assuming that there are no other forcings or internal variability). His statement about the over-estimate of volcanoes in models is also completely wrong (see Hansen et al, 2007). – gavin]

    Comment by Michael — 31 Mar 2011 @ 7:36 PM

  180. For Michael–he’s been here in person; google
    site:realclimate.org +Nir++Shaviv

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 31 Mar 2011 @ 8:40 PM

  181. “This guy says that the Earth can be modelled as black body…” http://lasp.colorado.edu/~bagenal/3720/CLASS5/EarthBB.jpg

    One could model earth as a giant turnip being carried on the back of a turtle, but since that doesn’t agree with reality either, it won’t be any more explanatory.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 31 Mar 2011 @ 9:20 PM

  182. Interesting to see that Bas van Geel is a co-author on the Gray et al paper that Gavin references in his in-line response above. Presumably he’s on there because of the Holocene palaeo aspect of the paper and not because of the final section on modern climate change. I say this because, a couple of years ago he gave an absurdly simplistic seminar in my department, basically arguing standard skeptic talking points and that it was all the Sun wot done it.

    Comment by SteveF — 1 Apr 2011 @ 2:29 AM

  183. 166, Hank Roberts: “Source of Half Earth’s Oxygen Gets Little Credit Jun 7, 2004 … In the process of photosynthesis, phytoplankton release oxygen into the water. Half of the world’s oxygen is produced via phytoplankton …

    Are you saying that an increase in the CO2 concentration of the ocean threatens the health of the phytoplankton? If not that, do you have some other point? Was the chalk in the vinegar supposed to be a metaphor for the threat of CO2 to phytoplankton? Will phytoplankton growth start to be stressed in 50 – 100 years?

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 1 Apr 2011 @ 2:49 AM

  184. Thanks Snapple, I grabbed the first report indicating extreme weather (and at the largely conservative AccuWeather) but I was indeed referring to the floods which are predicted to once again top records this year. It will be pointed out that this is normal, but normality is not floods that destroy a way of life, and that’s what they’re beginning to do. Sniping from the sidelines to people struggling with consequences is not particularly helpful, and shows a narrow mind. If selfishness is patriotic and compassion is social-ist, the latter shows humanity and I prefer it.

    As hundred-year events come every year or three, we will have to up our idea of what constitutes a big flood, won’t we.

    The global incidence of ever-increasing extreme events is now well under way. This summarizes some recent work in Nature:
    http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Climate_Modelling_And_The_Rain_999.html

    Just coincidentally, the next article there mentions the Thai floods which are currently breaking records.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 1 Apr 2011 @ 8:17 AM

  185. Matthew@182 – Phytoplankton growth is beyond stressed already, may well be none left in 50 years. Phytoplankton depend on marine biogeochemical processes being affected by the vinegar you’re adding to the oil being spilled on those troubled waters.

    Comment by flxible — 1 Apr 2011 @ 9:06 AM

  186. As hundred-year events come every year or three, we will have to up our idea of what constitutes a big flood, won’t we.

    Just coincidentally, the next article there mentions the Thai floods which are currently breaking records.

    18 months after the last record breaking Thai floods.

    Comment by flxible — 1 Apr 2011 @ 9:23 AM

  187. #184–And that study was building on an earlier finding, Gregg, 2003.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-09/nsfc-opl091603.php

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 1 Apr 2011 @ 11:39 AM

  188. –and Gregg et al. found some coastal *increases* in 2005:

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/chlorophyll.html

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 1 Apr 2011 @ 11:42 AM

  189. Ray Ladbury wrote: “Dan, you have a habit of only addressing only tiny portions of the points people make–and those only to dismissively wave your hand.”

    Dan H. has a habit of repetitious, rote regurgitation of falsehoods, distortions, sophistry and long-since, many-times-over debunked talking points. He consistently and relentlessly dismisses or ignores the many, many comments that others have patiently posted which demolish his scripted, copied-and-pasted rubbish.

    I humbly submit that it is long past time to consign Dan H. to the “boor hole”, if not to ban him from this site entirely. It would be respectful to the other commenters. Dan H. has made his contempt for honest discussion and his contempt for other comments abundantly clear. However polite his prose may be on the surface, it is nothing but the deliberately time-wasting activity of a classic “troll” and exudes blatant contempt for other participants in these discussions.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 1 Apr 2011 @ 12:18 PM

  190. SecularAninmist #188. It is really very simple to set up multiple avatars. Thus ‘DanH’ can easily become ‘JaneQ’. Banning these avatars is like trying to exterminate rats. As a novice to these pages, I found comments like these persuasive at first – although rebuttals more so, thanks to the moderators and the likes of your good self. I agree though, DanH is past his use by date, and so are his talking points.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 1 Apr 2011 @ 1:59 PM

  191. “We need better septics” Hank Roberts.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 1 Apr 2011 @ 2:11 PM

  192. Piggybacking Ray # 172 RE: Boreholed Dan: “…farmers know that warmer temperatures and wetter climates yield more bountiful harvests.” Yeah Dan, Canadian farmers have that warmer and wetter thing to thank for that 12-15 million acres of wheat that was lost last year. But hey, at least the crop didn’t freeze, right? Ray, Susan, et al covered the rest of your half-thought.

    Comment by ghost — 1 Apr 2011 @ 5:22 PM

  193. When it comes to geologists, you have to separate the petroleum geologists from those of us who don’t make nearly as much money (and some of us are unemployed).

    Comment by Shirley J. Pulawski — 1 Apr 2011 @ 7:40 PM

  194. Warmer and wetter is better? Absolutely right.

    Wheat sprouting in the unharvested ear bypasses all that pesky harvesting, storage, seeding, fertilising malarkey.

    Comment by adelady — 1 Apr 2011 @ 10:38 PM

  195. 184, flxible

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/07/critical-ocean-organisms-are-dis.html

    If it is true that phytoplankton is (are?) disappearing at a rate of 1% per year, and have been since 1899, that’s about a 60% decline beginning before there was significant anthropogenic CO2 — that is, nothing like the accumulation since WWII. And if it is true that phytoplankton are responsible for converting 50% of all the CO2 that is converted to O2, then the decline in the phytoplankton contributes significantly to the increase in CO2. If in addition it is true that the decline of the phytoplankton is due to the temperature increase over the last 100+ years, then the warming is responsible for much of the CO2 increase, as claimed by a few of the skeptics.

    I don’t believe that either, but it is a straightforward implication of the propositions presented in the paper. The forecast for the future is bleak: in 50 more years they’ll be reduced another 50%, approximately, and another 50% approximately by 2010. Obviously it is important enough to keep studying.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 2 Apr 2011 @ 2:26 AM

  196. It’s time to move past the debate about whether Global Warming is real or not. Our use of cheap, semi-abundant fuel for energy is changing our planet like no other species has (except maybe when (pre)plants started creating oxygen). Another example of the impacts of humans: When CO2 falls out of the atmosphere (which it does eventually) and into the oceans it acidifies the water, which then, in turn, eats away at calcium carbonate (what makes up the shells of many ocean critters). We are rapidly making changes to this planet and many of them may not be fully known/recognized for a very long time…but they are real changes none-the-less. Stop fighting, Stop arguing, START making some changes, Start encouraging the use of alternative energy- before it is too late.

    Comment by MissT — 2 Apr 2011 @ 11:03 AM

  197. We need to move past the debate about whether Global Warming is real or not. Humans are altering this planet like no other species ever has (except maybe the (pre)plant spcecies which added oxygen to the atmosphere). Another Example of human impact: When CO2 Falls out of the atmosphere and into the oceans (which it does eventually) it acidifies the water, which, in turn, eats away at anything made out of calcium carbonate (most of the ocean creatures’ shells). Humans are changing the planet in ways which may not be fully realized or taken into consideration for many, many years. But the changes are real, and will have their effects non-the less. So Stop the arguing, Stop the fighting, START making life-style changes, Start encouraging Alternative energy/Alternative fuels….Before it is too late to make a difference.

    Comment by MissT — 2 Apr 2011 @ 11:11 AM

  198. “Aside from the obvious difference that humans are not altering the nitrogen concentration of the atmosphere, ”
    Dear me, looks like a case of nearsightedness. The concentrations of the gases in the atmosphere add up to 100%. So any increase in the amount of CO2 has to cause a similar decrease in all the other gases. I haven’t seen any studies of the effects of reduced nitrogen and oxygen on the reaction rates of NOx in the upper atmosphere that produce most of the fertilizer on the planet. Since the amounts involved are so large, even small changes could be significant. We know plants are highly sensitive top nitrogen levels in the soil. Has anyone been following those to see what is happening to non-agricultural soils?

    [Response: increasing CO2 does not lead to a decrease in N2 in terms of partial pressure. But since the relative abundance is something like 20,000 to 1. On the other hand O2 is going down very slightly, because of the need for oxygen in the combustion of fossil fuels (Ralph Keeling etc). But again, the 100ppmv increase in CO2 is far more important than the concomittent decrease in O2, because there is 5000 times more O2 than CO2. – gavin]

    Comment by George — 2 Apr 2011 @ 6:17 PM

  199. > So any increase in the amount of CO2 has to cause
    > a similar decrease in all the other gases.

    see http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/tim_curtin_thread_now_a_live_s.php

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Apr 2011 @ 12:37 PM

  200. 195 George! Thanks for that. Hilarious!

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 4 Apr 2011 @ 10:07 PM

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Close this window.

0.591 Powered by WordPress