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Adventures on the East Side

Filed under: — gavin @ 15 March 2007 - (Türkçe)

So that was …. interesting.

First off, I’d like to thank the commenters for all of the suggestions and ideas to the previous post. They were certainly useful. In particularly, the connection with the difficulties faced by evolutionists in debates vs. creationists proved to be very a propos. Our side played it it pretty straight – the basic IPCC line (Richard Somerville), commentary on the how ‘scientized’ political debates abuse science (me, though without using the word ‘scientized’!) and the projections and potential solutions (Brenda Ekwurzel). Crichton went with the crowd-pleasing condemnation of private jet-flying liberals – very popular, even among the private jet-flying Eastsiders present) and the apparent hypocrisy of people who think that global warming is a problem using any energy at all. Lindzen used his standard presentation – CO2 will be trivial effect, no one knows anything about aerosols, sensitivity from the 20th Century is tiny, and by the way global warming stopped in 1998. Stott is a bit of a force of nature and essentially accused anyone who thinks global warming is a problem of explicitly rooting for misery and poverty in the third world. He also brought up the whole cosmic ray issue as the next big thing in climate science.
Update: The transcript is now available – though be aware that it has not yet been verified for accuracy. Audio + Podcast.

The podcast should be available next Wednesday (I’ll link it here once it’s available), and so you can judge for yourselves, but I’m afraid the actual audience (who by temperament I’d say were split roughly half/half on the question) were apparently more convinced by the entertaining narratives from Crichton and Stott (not so sure about Lindzen) than they were by our drier fare. Entertainment-wise it’s hard to blame them. Crichton is extremely polished and Stott has a touch of the revivalist preacher about him. Comparatively, we were pretty dull.

I had started off with a thought that Lindzen and Stott, in particular, would avoid the more specious pseudo-scientific claims they’ve used in other fora since there were people who would seriously challenge them at this debate. In the event, they stuck very closely to their standard script. Lindzen used the ‘GW stopped in 1998′ argument which even Crichton acknowledged later was lame. He also used the ‘aerosols are completely uncertain’ but ‘sensitivity to CO2 from the 20th Century is precisely defined’ in adjoining paragraphs without any apparent cognitive dissonance. Stott didn’t use the medieval English vineyards meme (as he did in TGGWS) – but maybe he read the RC article ahead of time.

The Q&A was curious since most questions were very much of the ‘I read the Wall Street Journal editorial page’ style, and I thought we did okay, except possibly when I suggested to the audience that the cosmic ray argument was being used to fool them, which didn’t go over well – no-one likes being told they’re being had (especially when they are). My bad.

The organisers asked us afterwards whether we’d have done much different in hindsight. Looking back, the answer is mostly no. We are scientists, and we talk about science and we’re not going start getting into questions of personal morality and wider political agendas – and obviously that put us at a sharp disadvantage (shades of David Mamet?).

One minor detail that might be interesting is that the organisers put on luxury SUVs for the participants to get to the restaurant – 5 blocks away. None of our side used them (preferring to walk), but all of the other side did.

So are such debates worthwhile? On balance, I’d probably answer no (regardless of the outcome). The time constraints preclude serious examination of any points of controversy and the number of spurious talking points can seriously overwhelm the ability of others to rebut them. Taking a ‘meta’ approach (as I attempted) is certainly not a guaranteed solution. However, this live audience were a rather select bunch, and so maybe this will go over differently on the radio. There it might not matter that Crichton is so tall…


490 Responses to “Adventures on the East Side”

  1. 351
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Re 346: Steven, first to your questions:
    If we saw a 15 year cooling trend, we would have to re-examine our understanding of the drivers of climate. That does not mean throwing out current models, but rather looking to see if some other factor is contributing significantly–that’s the way science usually works. If a model works well, much of it is retained in its successor. You can see the imprint of classical mechanics in both relativity and quantum mechanics precisely because classical mechanics works over a broad range of phenomena. In physics, this is known as the Correspondence Principle.
    Different climate epochs have had different drivers. However, ALL of them had drivers–change does not just happen. Some of the drivers of the system must change if the system is to change. While paleoclimate is a difficult discipline, we have sufficient understanding of it to be confident that in most cases we know what caused climate to change. In the current case, there is only one big change–the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Solar output has not changed much at all. The next most important factor is the greenhouse effect. Water vapor, the most important greenhouse gas hasn’t changed sufficiently to explain the effects and has only a short residence time in the atmosphere. CO2 is next on the list–it has changed dramatically (up 40%), and that is sufficient to explain the changes we are seeing. Nearly every other factor is WAY DOWN the list in terms of its potential contribution. The famous “cosmic ray hypothesis” suffers from a fatal flaw–GCR fluxes aren’t changing.
    Your statistician’s arguments need to be considered. Every threat needs to be considered and ranked according to the risk it poses. Other studies show a much smaller risk from large meteoric and cometary impacts. Space is mostly empty space. The potential of some putative future risk does not excuse inaction on the risks we know we face today.
    On the question of scientific certainty–don’t take the reluctance of scientists to speak in terms of certainty as a confession of doubt. Science provides greater real certainty than any other way humans have of knowing things. However, it does so in the language of probability. As such scientists’ language tends to be couched in terms of “we believe”, or “we think” or “it is probable”. We know that it is possible to flip a coin 100 times and have it come up heads each time, but if we did so, we’d suspect the coin was loaded. A layman would say–”Hey, that coin IS loaded.” A scientist would say, “Hey, that coin is probably loaded.”
    Finally, you have a lot to learn about scientific consensus–it is not a one-man-one-vote affair. There is no voting at all. It is merely a bunch of scientists getting together and agreeing–overwhelmingly–on what the evidence supports. It is like a jury, but every member is a forensic pathologist or a criminal psychologist–you ain’t gonna get OJ off with this jury. But the conclusion it will come to will always be conservative–that is less strong–than what the evidence indicates. Why is it important? Because without it, science can be led astray by very influential individual. This happened in the case of Newton’s corpuscular theory of light. British scientists were swept along by Newton’s force of personality and it set British optics back decades relative to the continent. On the other hand, Einstein rejected quantum mechanics and the physics community went right ahead and embraced it–exactly the right thing to do. The number of climate scientists who reject the anthropogenic hypothesis is tiny–a dozen or so. Those that embrace it are in the thousands. Then there are those like me–not experts, but we understand enough to see the model holds together well, and we certainly have no dog in that fight–nothing to gain by embracing anthropogenic causation.
    I will once again recommend Helen Quinn’s excellent essay:

    http://ptonline.aip.org/journals/doc/PHTOAD-ft/vol_60/iss_1/8_1.shtml

  2. 352
    Dan Lawless says:

    For those who do not believe global warming is an issue, or think only liberals are conerned, I suggest you read these quotes:

    “The risks to society and ecosystems from increases in CO2 emissions could prove to be significant – so despite the areas of uncertainty that do exist, it is prudent to develop and implement strategies that address the risks, keeping in mind the central importance of energy to the economies of the world.”
    -Exxon Mobile(Worlds largest corporation, Forbes)

    “We were one of the first energy companies to acknowledge the threat of climate change; to call
    for action by governments, our industry and energy users; and to take action ourselves.”
    -Royal Dutch Shell(Worlds 3rd largest corporation, Forbes)

    “The likely effects of global warming include a greater frequency of extreme weather conditions: droughts; heat waves; and floods caused by rising sea levels.Carbon dioxide concentrations have risen from an estimated 280 parts per million (ppm) before the industrial revolution, to 380 ppm today. During the last century, the earthâ��s surface temperature rose by about 0.6°C.”
    -British Petroleum(Worlds 4th largest corporation, Forbes)

    “As stated in its 2003 Climate Change Position Statement, ConocoPhillips recognizes that
    human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is contributing to increased concentrations
    of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere, which can lead to adverse changes in global
    climate.”
    -ConocoPhillips(Worlds 10th largest corporation, Forbes)

    “It may surprise you a little bit, but maybe it’s because I’m a hunter and a fisherman, but I think we need to a pay a little more attention to what we need to do to protect our environment,” he told the Houston Forum Club. “When you have energy companies like Shell and British Petroleum, both of which are perhaps represented in this room, saying there is a problem with excess carbon dioxide emission, I think we ought to listen.”
    -James Baker

    “First, we know the surface temperature of the earth is warming. It has risen by .6 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years. There was a warming trend from the 1890s to the 1940s. Cooling from the 1940s to the 1970s. And then sharply rising temperatures from the 1970s to today.”
    -George W. Bush

  3. 353
    Steven Soleri says:

    I keep hearing this statement of a “small faction of countering sientists”. Grandiose statments of 12 climate scientists disagreeing with “thousands”. This is completely disingenuous. We/you know that only a very small fraction of GW advocating scientist actually work in the climate field. The remainder are model builders, biologists, mathematicians, geologists and yes even human behaviorists. This is the X-section of UN IPCC scientists.

    As one researcher has noted “we should listen most to scientists who use real data to try to understand what nature is actually telling us about the causes and extent of global climate change. In this relatively small community, there is no consensus, despite what Gore and others would suggest”.

    Here is a small sample of the side of the debate we almost never hear:

    [[Appearing before the Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development last year, Carleton University paleoclimatologist Professor Tim Patterson testified, "There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth's temperature over this [geologic] time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years.” Patterson asked the committee, “On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century’s modest warming?”]]

    This debate is far from being over. And yes if I include all scientists that disagree with man made global warming one can produce thousands of names as well. It is a neat hat trick to say thousands agree (of all scientists/technicians) and then only include those actual paleoclimatologist’s that disagree. It works the other way as well. So pleeeeease do not offer up the old ratio’s which the public is beginninig to well understand.

  4. 354
    Dr. J says:

    Exxon Mobile? Right.

  5. 355
  6. 356
    Dan says:

    re: 353. No, the debate is actually over within the scientific community. And specifically the climate science community. The list of scientific institutions that have all concluded there is a real danger:
    NASA GISS http://www.giss.nasa.gov/edu/gwdebate/
    NOAA http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalwarming.html
    IPCC http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/index.htm
    NAS http://books.nap.edu/collections/global_warming/index.html
    SOCC http://www.socc.ca/permafrost/permafrost_future_e.cfm
    EPA http://yosemite.epa.gov/OAR/globalwarming.nsf/content/index.html
    UK RS http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/page.asp?id=3135
    AGU http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/climatechangeresearch_2003.html
    NCAR http://eo.ucar.edu/basics/cc_1.html
    AMS http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/jointacademies.html
    CMOS http://www.cmos.ca/climatechangepole.html
    http://nationalacademies.org/onpi/06072005.pdf
    Every major scientific institute dealing with climate, ocean, atmosphere agrees that the evidence says the climate is warming rapidly and the primary cause is human CO2.
    See also this joint statement endorsing the conclusions of the IPCC issued by the Australian Academy of Sciences, Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts, Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Canada, Caribbean Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, French Academy of Sciences, German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina, Indian National Science Academy, Indonesian Academy of Sciences, Royal Irish Academy, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy), Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and Royal Society (UK).
    http://www.royalsociety.org/displaypagedoc.asp?id=13619

    (Kudos to http://illconsidered.blogspot.com/)

  7. 357
    Dick Veldkamp says:

    Re #346 Cooling and warming

    Cooling: If the next 15 years showed cooling, AGW scientist would not rest until they had found an explanation for it, and incorporated the new phenomenon causing it in their models.

    Cooling/warming before the industrial revolution. Yes, that happened, and the natural forcings are known. Basically all these forcings have remained constant over the last century or so, so they cannot explain what is happening now. At the same time we dumped lost of CO2 into the atmosphere, and should expect warming on solid physical grounds. And that is exactly what is what we see.

    I don’t understand why people like you are so bent on denying the obvious connection between GHGs and current GW. If I showed you a graph with two lines following the same pattern, and both showing a sharp spike in the 20th century, anybody’s normal reaction would be (even without knowing what was in the graph): “Hey, these lines behave similarly – I wonder if there’s a (causal) connection! And clearly something’s going in the 20C, because there’s no spike like it anywhere else.’

    Then we investigate, and find that we can explain the whole thing qualitively and quantatively – based on known physics, build a model that reproduces the records, etc, etc. Layman’s conclusion: GW theory is right. Scientist’s conclusion: there is an X probability etc.

    Why then would you reject that GW/GHG theory?

  8. 358
    guthrie says:

    Steven, unfortunately your quoted section nicely proves that you are not interested in science.
    Neither, clearly, is Prof Patterson.

    Nobody is saying that CO2 is the only driver of climate. Prof Patterson is making a logical fallacy, by suggesting that because it has been cold in the past, with high CO2 levels, that this shows that CO2 levels are not related to climate.
    Meanwhile, in opposition to this, we have the wide field of modern climatolgoy, relying upon modern data and models. Guess which one is more accurate?

  9. 359
    Julia R says:

    FYI – Looks like the podcast is available now at: http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/downloads/global_warming.mp3

    It’s not actually linked yet from the NPR site, but it is an NPR report/summary. Here’s the Intelligence^2 page for the event. http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/Event.aspx?Event=12

  10. 360
    Hank Roberts says:

    Come ON people, use the search tools instead of just proclaiming opinions.

    Please.

    You _can_ look quotes, and people, up and post knowledgeable comments about them based on facts available by looking.

    Regardless of your political bias -OR- that of the person you’re talking about, look at the person’s published work — follow the cites, in refereed journals — see if it’s respectable as science, eh?

    People can be of different political opinions — maybe even blinded by their own politics on some issues.

    It doesn’t mean their work isn’t good science. Look at the work.

  11. 361
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    Re #353, maybe the cold climate during high CO2 period had to do with the earth’s wobble or orbit….or maybe the cosmic rays just weren’t doing their thing (that’s sort of a new theory, so we need to find out if there were substantially less cosmic rays back then).

    Remember, climate is very very complex, and the causes and consequences are very complex (including biota dying out), and that’s why we need scientists from all fields to study it — including psychologists to find out why people are so crazy to keep on causing AGW when they should know better by now.

  12. 362
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Anyone familiar with Project Steve? It is a list of the biologists named Steve who believe in Evolution. Maybe we could do the same thing with climate change.
    Scientists who publish in the field of climate change and support the anthropogenic model for climate change and are named Steve (or Michael, or David–Gavin or Thibault might be a stretch.)
    I mean we keep hearing about this groundswell of opposition against the prevailing view, but then we get quotes from the same tired old voices. So, Steve, care to name a dozen climate scientists who have published at least once in the field in the last, say 2 years and who oppose the idea of anthropogenic causation. Oh, I don’t think Patterson counts, as I don’t think he’s published anything in a peer reviewed journal on a relevant subject.

  13. 363
    Dave Rado says:

    Re. 347

    No, to the contrary, across the world the consensus scientists have been listened to and respected, resulting in significant policy changes taking place. One example: Just look at what has occurred in the UK in the past month.

    I think there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors going on with British Government policy, unfortunately – see here for instance.

  14. 364
    Rod B. says:

    re 343: fairly decent point, raypierre. But I recall in my near neophyte exploration of AGW, I have seen a half-dozen or so different formulas for CO2 forcing over the years. Granted, some might have just been plain wrong; and most were in the same (very large) ballpark. But to say that it hasn’t been fine-tuned is dumbing down “fine-tuning.”

  15. 365
    P. Lewis says:

    Re #353 (Steven)

    Here is a small sample of the side of the debate we almost never hear:

    [[Appearing before the Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development last year, Carleton University paleoclimatologist Professor Tim Patterson testified, "There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth's temperature over this [geologic] time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years.” Patterson asked the committee, “On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century’s modest warming?”]]

    Prof. Patterson obviously didn’t (and still doesn’t apparently) believe in the effects of aerosols in cooling and is/was taken by Dr Veizer’s galactic cosmic ray theory:

    When CO2 levels finally began to increase dramatically in the postwar years why was there a concomitant interval of about 30 years of cooling? One would think that if CO2 had such critical control over climate that the relative abundance of CO2 in the atmosphere would be in lock step with global temperature. Many researchers realize the difficulties that are presented by trying to make CO2 the key factor in climate change. As a result there has been renewed research, much of it in the past year or so, into the idea that there really is a connection between variability in solar output and global temperature.

    Both subjects are covered on RC if you’d care to read them.

    Prof. Patterson made his “450 million years ago” speech in 2005, which is coincidentally the year that Saltzman and Young produced this Geology article: Long-lived glaciation in the Late Ordovician? Isotopic and sequence-stratigraphic evidence from western Laurentia (press release here). In late 2006 Saltzman’s co-workers presented papers at the Geological Society of America Meeting (Philadelphia, October), the press releases for which can be seen here and here.

    One wonders what Prof. Patterson might make of this work by Saltzman and co-workers, especially in light of his 2005 comment (it’s obviously still work in progress, so perhaps it’s cobblers).

    Yes, ~450 Ma the CO2 levels were high, much higher than today, but it seems they dropped something like 40% (from 7000 ppm to 4400 ppm) into the ice age.

    This cold episode might have to do with the supercontinent Gondwana moving over the South Pole and/or weathering-induced drawdown of CO2 courtesy of the newly formed Appalachians (and recently exposed rocks on account of sea-level drop caused by Gondwana glaciation), and/or CO2 drawdown as plants invaded the land? Perhaps there was a long Maunder-minimum-type of event, too (much too long ago for a 10Be signal presumably). And since the Ordovician ice age lasted about ~1(+/-0.5) My, this is ~10 eccentricty cycles, ~20 tilt cycles and ~40 precession cycles (which would presumably also have an effect).

    Volcanic activity was prevalent throughout the Ordovician (presumably the sustained cause of very high CO2 levels). If that were the case, then one might also presume large amounts of stratospheric dust and sulphate aerosols being present (negative feedbacks). Perhaps a palaeo(climato)logist might like to confirm/deny some of these details (as my understanding is woefully inadequate going back this far).

    One wonders what the effects may have been like then with “today’s” CO2 levels, except it probably couldn’t happen – for obvious reasons. Extremely frigid, anyway, I’d warrant.

  16. 366
    John L. McCormick says:

    Folks, this thread seems to have attracted its share of diversionaries and I see no benefit from accommodating them. As small as is their number, they cannot assuredly sway a national election so be done with them.

    We have all had encounters with seemingly sincere and lucid types that strike up conversations to which we wish we had not been subjected. Such are the occasional and sometimes frequent visits of RC contributors who have nothing to offer but odd-ball questions or pontifications based upon limited or no knowledge of the subject that seems not to impede, in any way, their foolish and trollish monologue.

    We easily recognize them and some (brave souls..e.g., Barton and Ray) try to appeal to their intellect and honesty to suss out what they are saying and offer reasoned retorts. Too often, there is no positive product but RC accommodates their next drivel and eventually hit the delete key when they overstep the bounds of decency.

    I say, recognize the bottom feeders early and take away their right to abuse the hospitality and commradory of RC. When we recognize a repeat offender who evidently refuses to read and response to legitimate retorts, PULL THE CORD and dump them into the BOZO BIN. Democracy has its limits and time is the most critical factor in this discussion of AGW.

    This web page is too vital to be open to false sceptics!

  17. 367
    Rod B. says:

    a hodge-podge of being picky:
    Ray says Climate Scientists supporting AGW number in the thousands. “Thousands”?? Do all of the climate scientists together number in the thousands??

    For the record, Ray, your implied really good jury of smart guys is precisely the type of jury that no prosecuter or defense lawyer wants. Want to get out of jury duty? Tell ‘em you got a PhD. Why is that? Because lawyers know that degreed guys are totally self-assured, think they’re the smartest in the world, and probably don’t need to hear the evidence to figure it out and so won’t.

    re 350: If Occam’s Razor is taken literally, GHG is not the simplest answer.

    To Steve’s statement that “older more contemplative scientists were very reluctant to speak in the realm of “conclusive evidence” or “consensus” when discussing theory” Dan replies that ‘yeah, but we’re right and needn’t be bothered with any of this doubt stuff.’ Which I think was Steve’s point.

  18. 368
    Jake says:

    Widely accepted scientific fact has changed though-out history and will continue to do so.

    Rob

    I loved your reply even though Richard Ordway might say you were politic or emotional. Quickly, you posted that we have to look at all problems GW, terrorism, renewable resources, global security, nukes etc.

    The answer? Cut all oil use. If GW was really caused by emissions than cutting their use would help. Terrorist would lose funding from their oil selling friends. It would also shift the balance of power, money and security… yes, it sounds political because it is, (not on my behalf though, just by the fact that we are all in this together). I loved your reply the most since you brought up some real issue that need more subscriptions, (attention)

    Richard, how could this topic NOT be an emotional one if the fate of the human race is at stake? I’ll tell you, if one does not agree with the GW theory then there is no need to fear. I am not saying that you are in fear only that I am not. This is not a topic for emotion as it may cloud judgment, the only factor here is knowledge and the lack of. Example: Can CO2 really stop the Sun’s radiation from leaving our atmosphere? Yes, if it were the same type of radiation on it’s way out and it was not effected by the radiation the Earth emits. However that is not the case hence the absorption rate of CO2 on radiation is not great enough to stop it.

    Ray,

    Scientific prediction is fine for small experiments, designs etc because if we are missing some variables we will find out, fail and try again. Earth on the other hand has no control model, no examples to follow, it is unique and vast in history that humans know absolutely nothing about. Scientific prediction has been wrong in the past even though at the time it was crazy to think they were wrong. I do agree that variation is the spice of life so yeah, alt energy sources can only benefit everyone, new jobs and markets and finally new very much needed competition, sweet.

    Hank Roberts,

    I’m Jake a real person and I do own a few silly websites but that does not motivate me to choose between following the crowd or thinking for myself, (Is that ok by you?). I will not ask if you are a real person as it doesn’t matter, only the content on the subject you offer is relevant if there was some.

    When I first heard of GW I thought, “who in their right minds would think that humans know enough about the Earth’s temperature to predict such a thing?” Earth has been around for 4 billion years, if it’s life span was that of a 12 inch ruler the life span of all humankind would not be as big as one of the lines that marks the inches. The Earth’s average temp should be 49.? … according to what humans know. However according to what humans do NOT know it could easily be 59.1, we don’t know. We talk about world temperature records of 50, 100 or even 200 years, what? Would we not have a better idea of the working of our own planet if we had records for 10,000 , 10 or 100 million years? I think we would but we don’t have those records. It’s almost like judging a book by it’s cover.

    gringo, you wrote,

    “Climate modelers do not and do not even try to predict how warm or cold it will be…”

    Like I said the Earth has always been warming and cooling and since we are NOW in a warming mode, (I do agree warming) and we now have the technology to measure it 12 different ways so some people put it all together and say it will keep warming. That is why people refer to GW has life threatening…because the temp is going to keep rising, (going to = predict). Also, there are countless mentions of 2030, 2050, 2086 aka the future. Always referrals to, “If we cut emissions now then by the year so and so, (the future) our CO2 count will be whatever. Where? Everywhere including this web page. People are using the information to predict something the Earth has never seen before. Climate modelers may not predict but everyone else is and that’s the cause of the whole dooms day idea.

    Yes gringo, the weather people are good at telling us tomorrow’s weather but have you ever remembered what they said the weather would be last week for today? Try it, listen to what they say for next week and write it down and then see how close they were not on average.

    Daniel,

    I believe it is known with near certainty that the Earth would freeze if the CO2 and methane in the atmosphere were removed.

    Really? Is it well known that no other gas would take it’s place with near certainty? Is it known what confines or controls the layer of ghg to it’s location and size? Is it known what a dangerous high or low level of these gases really are? Is it known that CO2 stops radiation from entering the lower atmosphere the same way it is said to stop it from leaving?

    If it is truly known that CO2 is warming the Earth why are we all, (including many reading this right now that do believe in GW) still driving to and from work everyday and going on planes etc. Why do we still have 16 planned Space Shuttle launches on the books for the near future? Why aren’t the big auto manufacturers building and promoting electric cars? Since GW is so widely accepted you would think it would be an enormous market. Honestly, no one is doing anything about it other than discussion. If GW was totally wrong it would be much wiser not to take the chance and actually do something anyway but no one is not even to make money off of it. Then again, many are making money off of the topic hmmm… I don’t think they would like to see it go away, just a thought.

    Thank you

  19. 369
    Dick Veldkamp says:

    Re #366 React on diversionaries (John McCormick)

    There is something to be said for practicing John’s idea to stop reacting to people who simply do not want to know the facts about global warming. I think Hank Roberts made the same point a little while ago.

    How about giving some posts (the extreme cases, say) a standard answer (in green ink): “Please read the FAQ first”, or “Go to How to talk to a climate sceptic” (http://gristmill.grist.org/skeptics) ?

  20. 370
    John L. McCormick says:

    RE #369

    Dick, #368 made your case clear to all of us. Jake said of Hank Roberts:

    [I will not ask if you are a real person as it doesn't matter, only the content on the subject you offer is relevant if there was some.]

    That is vulgar.

    Even a casual visitor to RC comes to respect, even be astonished by, Hanks knowledge, reasoning and helpful links to things none of us would come upon without that nudge. Thank you Hank.

    Yes, RC moderators can have a few automatic links to previous threads to get the diversionaries to read and learn. Give them a quite room with lots of light to study basics and come back to the discussion with understanding and a new pride in accomplishing something useful.

    Being a responsible adult is truly a challenge and I am watching my recent high school graduate wrestle with some of his challenges.

    Nothing about AGW will be easy but survival is our nature.

  21. 371
    P. Lewis says:

    Re #368
    The errors contained within your message Jake are many; so many that it is difficult to know where to start: from a misunderstanding of the difference between weather and climate, to a basic lack of knowledge about the textbook physics behind IR absorption and CO2 (from which you then continue to make erroneous suppositions), to a complete lack of knowledge of what is happening in the hybrid and electrical vehicle market (Honda, Mazda, Toyota, … and very recently GM getting in on the act – are these big enough players? Bear in mind it can take ~5-10 years to get a car from initial concept to production).

    Perhaps your message should have Dick et al.’s (#369) tags “Please read the FAQ first”, or “Go to How to talk to a climate sceptic” attached.

  22. 372
    Nick Gotts says:

    RE #353 “Appearing before the Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development last year, Carleton University paleoclimatologist Professor Tim Patterson testified, “There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth’s temperature over this [geologic] time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years.” Patterson asked the committee, “On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century’s modest warming?”

    Patterson’s failure to understand that different causal factors can have predominant influence at different temporal (and for that matter spatial) scales is really quite remarkable. To make the point as simply as possible, the factor most likely to account for differences between the temperature where I am (Scotland) now and in 12 hours time is neither CO2 levels nor the amount of radiation the sun is producing, but that this bit of the Earth is currently facing toward the sun, and in 12 hours, it won’t be. The general point of different factors predominating at different temporal scales, however, is by no means limited to the domain of terrestrial temperature or even of science, and I suggest you consider it in any context where you have appropriate expertise. To give a non-science example, how much munny (misspelling needed to get past spam filter!) I have available for immediate use has a monthly rhythm determined by regular inputs and outputs, on somewhat longer scales is most affected by things like holidays, on a longer scale still by career progression and life-stage, and on still longer scales by my aptitudes and career choices, and the fact that I was born into the lower middle class in a rich country.

  23. 373
    Steven Soleri says:

    It seems that the argument of the dissenter is either discounted out of hand on this site or very easily glossed over. Look, this is how the casual observor to the GH gas debate views the subject (and it is the casual observor that you must convince).

    To believe CO2 is causing our earth to warm, one must believe:

    [edited--see comment policy, item #7 ]

  24. 374

    [[If the observational record for the next 15 years showed a cooling trend would you be willing to admit the science was totally flawed?]]

    Yes, that would certainly require an explanation.

    [[ Can you imagine the impact such a likely occurence would have on the credibility of scientific consensus hence forth.]]

    It’s not likely at all. At this point, it’s damn near impossible. I suppose a major asteroid hit could do it.

    As for the scientific consensus — that’s how modern science works. What do you suggest replacing it with?

  25. 375

    [[Ray says Climate Scientists supporting AGW number in the thousands. "Thousands"?? Do all of the climate scientists together number in the thousands??]]

    Here’s a way to check: Enter into an Excel spreadsheet all the names on articles in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Geophys. Res. Letters, and Journal of Atmosphere Sciences for the past 20 years. Sort them and eliminate duplicates. Then count the remainder.

    Oh, and include the various climatology journals in other countries.

  26. 376
    Chuck Booth says:

    Re # 367 “If Occam’s Razor is taken literally, GHG is not the simplest answer.”

    Occam’s Razor (“Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate” or “plurality should not be posited without necessity”; http://skepdic.com/occam.html) does not mean the simplest answer is the correct, or best, one. It means an answer shouldn’t be more complex than is required to explain an observation. If the empirical evidence that the earth is warming up could be explained by increased influx of cosmic rays (or, for that matter, Martian scientists aiming a laser at earth) , there would be no need to invoke CO2. But, the computer models of the climate cannot account for observed temperature increases without factoring in elevated levels of CO2, which is perfectly consistent with basic atmospheric physics (as Arrhenius recognized over a century ago). It would be easy for climatologists to increase the complexity of their models, but, as the RC moderators have frequently pointed out, adding new factors that are known to have minimal impact on climate would not improve the predictive power of the models. So, in keeping with Occam’s Razor, they don’t make their models more complex than is necessary.

  27. 377

    [[I believe it is known with near certainty that the Earth would freeze if the CO2 and methane in the atmosphere were removed.

    Really? Is it well known that no other gas would take it's place with near certainty?]]

    Yes. CO2 by itself only provides about 7 K of the 33 K Earth greenhouse effect, but if temperature fell that much, water vapor would also fall (the Clausius-Clapeyron law), and it provides a lot more warming. Take out the CO2 and the methane and yes, Earth will very likely freeze over.

    [[ Is it known what confines or controls the layer of ghg to it's location and size?]]

    Yes, this is part of the discipline of “geochemistry.” A good overview, though a bit dated now, is J.C.G. Walker’s “The Evolution of the Earth’s Atmosphere” (1977). There have been many articles over the years tracing all the major gases in the Earth’s atmosphere and most of the minor ones.

    [[ Is it known what a dangerous high or low level of these gases really are?]]

    OSHA limits are a good guide. If you mean dangerous level as greenhouse gases, well, it’s not so much the level that’s the problem as rapid change in the level.

    [[ Is it known that CO2 stops radiation from entering the lower atmosphere the same way it is said to stop it from leaving?]]

    CO2 doesn’t really stop or trap infrared radiation, it absorbs it. It also absorbs sunlight, but much, much less. Thus sunlight gets to the ground without much being absorbed, but the infrared light from the ground does get absorbed on the way back out. The greenhouse gases heat up and they, like the surface, emit infrared light. Some of that goes back to the ground. Thus you have both sunshine and “atmosphere shine” warming the ground, and the ground is warmer than it would be if there were no greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The more the greenhouse gases, the warmer the ground, other things being equal.

  28. 378
    James says:

    Re #376: [If the empirical evidence that the earth is warming up could be explained by increased influx of cosmic rays (or, for that matter, Martian scientists aiming a laser at earth), there would be no need to invoke CO2.]

    But the logic is reversed there. The warming has been predicted to happen, deduced from radiation physics and the known increase in CO2. We expect to see it, and when we do, take it as confirmation. if we didn’t, we’d look around to see what other things might also be happening to cancel out the expected warming, as with the 1940-1970 aerosol cooling.

  29. 379
    Steven Soleri says:

    Well tried to shed some light on your responses and why convincing a plurality of policy makers and the public of man made GW is not going to happen…..but sadly I seem to be censored on this site. First time out of all the sites I visit on GW. It must be truly comfortable singing to only the choir. Well….time to put my jacket on and work on the Alfa, it is unusually cold here in Portland this spring.

  30. 380
    Chuck Booth says:

    Re #378
    James,
    I don’t disagree with your comments about CO2. My point was that RodB.’s comment (#367) that AGW is not the simplest explanation appears to me to be a mistaken application of Occam’s Razor – there may well be simpler explanations for global warming (I used cosmic radiation as that seems to be a favorite one put forth by the skeptics; I have no idea what explanation Rod B. was referring to), but Occam’s Razor doesn’t “require” that the simpler explanation be the correct one. CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas, and any model based only on rising CO2 levels would have low explanatory and predictive power. Instead, the models include all of the factors thought to have a significant effect on climate, and exclude those factors considered to be trivial – that is, models incorporate an appropriate level of complexity to explain the empirical data, but are not more complex than necessary, which is consistent with Occam’s Razor. This doesn’t rule out the possibility that the models could be made more (or less) complex in the future, as new data come to light.

  31. 381
    Marc says:

    …”cosmic ray argument was being used to fool them, which didn’t go over well – no-one likes being told they’re being had (especially when they are). “….

    Weeell, frankly I’d say it was more the “oh you little brains are being fooled, I’d explain it to you, but it’s hard to do so on .. a level playing field that people here will understand” response that turned people off. Your point may be 100% valid, but your delivery was pretty condescending and a bit insulting. Not your intent I’m sure, but that’s how you came off.

    An individual named Jason also pointed out the remarkably high level of emotion present in the GW camp, so again, to dismiss your opponents as the types appealing simply to the emotions of all those little brains out there, seems a bit hypocritical, and the only real overt personal attack made to appeal to the crowd – a comment about solving the energy crisis by tapping Phillip Stott – came from someone named Gavin Schmidt, who I think is the author of this post. So Gavin, I think you’re letting your emotions get the better of you. [edit]

    [Response: I have no idea why anyone would think that was an ad hom, or an example of emotions out of control. It was a joke based purely on his hyperactive mode of delivery. You might not think it funny, but it wasn't insulting. - gavin]

    That said, I’ve one question that I hope hasn’t been answered here too frequently. Why is it that one group refers to a 0.6C increase in temp while another refers to a 1.0C increase temp over the same period? How is it that there isn’t agreement on such a simple point?

    [Response: It's closer to 0.8 deg C now, 0.6 C was the best estimate in 2001. -gavin]

  32. 382
    Mark A. York says:

    Local conditions Steven, do not a rule make. The censorship is within your realm. The public is already convinced, even if certain partisan audiences are not. I thought Gavin’s responses in the debate were excellent, but the audience clearly liked the hypocrisy of advocates thesis of Crichton. Since it is the overall CO2 contribution, not just from a handful of private jets, and the space program, that make the increase real, this is a red herring. Advocates should take this to heart though and remove this excuse from the table.

  33. 383
    Hank Roberts says:

    The many of us who chime in with pointers to others’ knowledge are trying to be as helpful as a good librarian, and as useful as an honest reporter; I try to be a reliable pointer, as do many other readers whose names come up.

    It’s the scientists to whom we owe respect and credit–many names we don’t see often. They’re doing the work.

    —”Don’t Mistake the Finger Pointing at the Moon for the Moon” — Zen Buddhist Saying.

  34. 384

    [[Well tried to shed some light on your responses and why convincing a plurality of policy makers and the public of man made GW is not going to happen.....but sadly I seem to be censored on this site. First time out of all the sites I visit on GW. It must be truly comfortable singing to only the choir. Well....time to put my jacket on and work on the Alfa, it is unusually cold here in Portland this spring. ]]

    “I weep for you,” the walrus said,
    “I deeply sympathize.”
    With sobs and tears he sorted out
    those of the largest size,
    Holding a pocket handkerchief
    before his streaming eyes.

  35. 385
    Jake says:

    I’m not confusing weather with climate,

    I’m comparing how they are both being predicted, need I say incorrectly. If there was no prediction for the climate in relation to ghg then there would be no worries or discussion such as this only further study yet the IPCC has graph after graph with dates from 2000 to 2100 or even 2300. Yes weather prediction is only in the lower atmosphere, (trop) and it is not always correct on it’s predictions for one week. While the climate includes all of the layers of the atmosphere and is subject to 50 or 100 years of prediction. How is it we can be mistaken on a small part of all over a short time but we are correct on a much larger area over a much longer period of time? Do you see what I mean now? I’m comparing human information analysis, (small area, one week : : large area, 100 years?).

    My lack of knowledge? Didn’t you notice I was asking questions like, if CO2 were removed would it be replaced by another ghg? Not would things get hotter but would they be replaced? It would if the size of the ghg layer were regulated by the constance of the Sun, Earth and their relationship which in effect are exactly what regulate our entire climate. It also would if water vapour and ozone stopped absorbing the bulk of solar ultraviolet radiation but that it unlikely. CO2 is only 3.6% of ghg and humans only contribute 3.2% of that or 0.11% of all CO2. Thank you Barton, yes CO2 stops radiation as well by absorbing it on the way in which is minor in comparison but still a help. Now, with more CO2 being produced even more of it will be absorbing radiation on the way IN making the Earth cooler unless the increase of CO2 is counter balanced or replaces other ghg. How could it be counter balanced? The layer of ghg are not one thin layer all by themselves, they take up most of the trop and stream into the stratosphere at distances of 20 to 30 kms upward world wide. These layers are only the way they are based on the constance, 0.11% of the atmosphere does not out weigh the effects of the Sun, Earth relationship.

    Is the rapid change you speak of plus one degree in the past decade in the northern hem and minus one degree in the southern hem according to IPCC? What about the 4 degree fall in the 70s or late 80s…that’s rapid.

    Electric cars not hybrids are the answer. If we did make hybrids and continued we would keep on making them and selling them and their population would fall back to dangerous levels of emissions again because they still use gas. The trouble here is not just building an electric car as good as gas car but they can only go up to 90 mph, they have limited distance and the fuel is home based so far. The major trouble is placing them in our society everywhere, this is a major shift life style, economics, comfort and reliability.

    Today in the News:

    Ugh now it’s polar bears could go extinct by 2100, come on people. Even the News is all about guessing about what would happen in 93 years due to global warming, (always assuming the temps will go up up and away). That’s not News, it’s hysteria. I know I know, bad news sells even if it is just a guess, I mean a prediction.

  36. 386
    Hank Roberts says:

    This shows you don’t understand the basic discovery about how this works:

    > with more CO2 being produced even more of it will be absorbing radiation
    > on the way IN making the Earth cooler

    You should read the AIP history, at least the part about Arrhenius and his discovery.

    Once you get that part, you won’t make the above mistake, and everything else will be possible to follow; until you do, no wonder none of it makes sense.

  37. 387
    Steven Soleri says:

    “I say, recognize the bottom feeders early and take away their right to abuse the hospitality and commradory of RC. When we recognize a repeat offender who evidently refuses to read and response to legitimate retorts, PULL THE CORD and dump them into the BOZO BIN. Democracy has its limits and time is the most critical factor in this discussion of AGW.

    This web page is too vital to be open to false sceptics!”

    Hey Barton got the Alfa running good and I’m back. By the way what car are you driving these days and hope that computer is running off solar panels. Have you been able to find any geo-thermal vents for heating your house. Please tell us all your carbon foot print before instructing the rest of us.

    This why the GW proponent folks will never win the long race….you are working against gravity (and the historical record). You would pretend that a theory with such a complexity of variables it defies any emperical study should be outside the realm of challenge. Well the challenges are easy. For every correlative graph you provide I can match you with a published data graph showing CO2 in not a cogent variable (and my graphs will not show a downward “hocky stick”). For every conclusion of proxy data supporting GW I can show you a published paper showing the opposite conclusion. If the moderator will so accept I will certainly post them here and can match you for published study to published study. Just why do you think Chricton was so effective….you say theatrics…I say facts are on his side. In a couple of responses he actually made (and not by intention) the GW proponents sound reaching and ridiculous. I am not saying the learned scientists ARE ridiculous just that their debate points were strained. In fact I DO NOT consider myself qualified to counter their research but I do have lot’s of sources that do. Chricton is very well researched on the subject and has the done the leg work and found the fallacies. Again if the moderator allows we can list his foot noted conclusions as well.

    I have worked and provided code for 20 years on fire modeling and thermodynamics and without a doubt trying to model the climate using one or two control variables and then using “feedback” mechanisms to make the scenario “happen” borders on the absurd. Am I saying a GW proponent is wrong…absolutely not…but the observational, sattelite, historical and physical data does not bend their way at this point in time. At least not enough to resign the 3rd world to worsening poverty and the US to a very controlled life. There is one last reason GW proponents will never win the hearts and minds: If we were to implement Gore’s economy wrecking recommendations it would create such a depression that the politics would change on a dime and the public would want some heads. Remember: “it’s the economy stupid”

  38. 388
    Ben Kalafut says:

    Perhaps someone else can take a turn at whack-a-mole over on http://freestudents.blogspot.com , a fairly well-read liberal (libertarian) weblog done by the head of a German think-tank.

  39. 389
    Mark A. York says:

    “How is it we can be mistaken on a small part of all over a short time but we are correct on a much larger area over a much longer period of time?”

    Because the longer view is easier to predict than the short term. This has been pointed out over and again. January will be colder than July, but how chaotic local weather will be is difficult to predict until it gets too close to avoid. A higher global mean temperature means more chaotic local weather patterns; 1 degree and counting. What part of this is so hard to understand?

  40. 390
    Rod B. says:

    re 371 P. Lewis, are you trying to refute Jake by saying atmospheric CO2 can/does not absorb in the same IR band if the radiation is from the sun, like it does from the earth??? I never knew CO2 was that smart…

  41. 391
    Rod B. says:

    re 371 – part 2 — in support of: If memory serves I think Ford also has a hybrid on the market.

  42. 392
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Jake, forecasting weather is much more difficult than forecasting climate. Two ways of seeing this. With weather you are trying to forecast an event, whereas with climate you are looking at an average behavior. If you were asked to pick the closing price of a stock on the NYSE 5 days running, you would very probably fail. However, if you invest in a 401k, you are betting that on average, the stocks that make up your portfolio will rise over time–a much more probable proposition. Moreover, weather is a very complicated phenomenon, depending on prevailing winds, solar input, barometric pressure and so on. Climate depends only on the conserved quantities like energy, angular momentum, etc. This makes it much easier to get right. Now, you should realize that climate is chaotic, so no one can truly predict how it will respond. However, if you draw comfort from this, you are crazy–an unquantifiable risk is always a greater concern than even a high risk. Given that climate cannot be predicted, it is difficult to see what would be a truly alarmist prediction other than thermal runaway, a “Day After Tomorrow” scenario or something like a mass extinction. Short of scenarios like these, it is hard to eliminate serious consequences as impossible.

  43. 393
    Steve Funk says:

    I thought your side did fairly well when you were grappling on specific issues of fact, but the continuing references to scientific consensus turned me off. As for the hot exchange with Lindzner on the NAS report, if I remember correctly, the exact word they used to describe climate reconstructions more than 400 years old was “plausible.” In my old Webster’s Collegiate dictionary, plausible means apparently credible but possibly way off the mark. The suggested synonym is “specious.”

    [Response: Lindzen, as usual (see here, here, and here) was being highly misleading at best. Gavin's characterization was indeed, as on all major points of the debate, correct. You should carefully read our previous post on the NAS report. Quoting from that report:

    The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence that includes the additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions and documentation of the spatial coherence of recent warming described above (Cook et al. 2004, Moberg et al. 2005, Rutherford et al. 2005, D’Arrigo et al. 2006, Osborn and Briffa 2006, Wahl and Ammann in press), and also the pronounced changes in a variety of local proxy indicators described in previous chapters (e.g., Thompson et al. in press). Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium.

    Of course, Lindzen committed an even worse error of omission by failing to note that the IPCC, in a far more deliberate and exhaustive international assessment, came to the far stronger conclusion that recent Northern Hemisphere warmth likely exceeds that for at least the past 1300 years. Indeed, a stronger statement than that reached in the previous 2001 IPCC report. -mike]

    My vote would have been undecided before, and still undecided afterwords.
    I would like to see a debate between Robert Samuelson and the English guy who wrote the report on economic impacts of AGW. I didn’t detect much expertise on either team on economic issues. Personally, I don’t think there is a chance to reduce CO2 emissions without mandatory population control, and that would be a very Orwellian world.

  44. 394
    Rod B. says:

    re 375,376: Barton, If you include every Tom, Dick and Harry who ever wrote anything about climate, I suppose it is many many thousands…

    Chuck, good and more precise point about Occam’s Razor

  45. 395
    Mark A. York says:

    They’re touting the victory all over the wingerville web including the Senate minority site.

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=5ac1c0d6-802a-23ad-4a8c-ee5a888dfe7e&Region_id=&Issue_id=

    The line used is Gavin lost bcause he called Crichton tall. This really is the best they can do.

    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/001957.html

    Somebody should try to get Marohasy here to see what exactly it is she does believe. The other site trumpeting the loss is too insignificant to link. He’s been here before and is still brain dead. Nothing new there. Some are just lost and always will be.

  46. 396
    Rod B. says:

    re Gavin’s comment in 381. Hold The Phone!! Maybe I missed it in the details of the report, but is it accurate that in 2001 IPCC et al said the temp increased 0.6 degrees in about 100 years, then 5 years later say Oops! we meant 0.8 degrees? Are they saying it rose 0.6 in hundred years but another 0.2 in only five years??? Or that they royally screwed up the “measurements” in 2000?

  47. 397

    [[How is it we can be mistaken on a small part of all over a short time but we are correct on a much larger area over a much longer period of time? Do you see what I mean now?]]

    I have always seen what you meant, and I thought I explained why it was wrong. I’ll try again with an example from nuclear physics. Take a large amount of carbon-14. We have no way of knowing which 14C nucleus will decay next — it’s probabilistic at the most fundamental level of reality and we will never be able to know which one is next, no matter how good our instruments get. But for the large amount, we know with pretty good certainty that half those nucleii will decay in about 5,570 years. Similarly with weather and climate. Climate is not just “weather continued for longer.” It’s an average over the underlying conditions.

    [[CO2 is only 3.6% of ghg and humans only contribute 3.2% of that or 0.11% of all CO2.]]

    CO2 is 40% higher than when the industrial revolution started, and that’s almost all from fossil fuel burning. Your 0.11% figure is completely bogus. Whoever you got it from didn’t know what they were talking about.

  48. 398
    Jerry Magnan says:

    The debate between both sides of the GW debate seems to be those who assert the degree of certainty of the pro-GW science against those who assert the uncertainties within the pro-GW science. One part of what is driving both sides is their vision of the realistic technical manageability of climate change by humans.

    But another part is their vision of the economic and social costs and benefits for managing climate change, and the social desirability of absorbing the costs and achieving the benefits versus developing adaptive strategies to that change. Both sides, of course, will, depending on their position, accent or demphasize either the costs or benefits. But what is scaring the bejebus out of many people about the pro-GW crowd is that policy will be driven by hysterics like Gore and Hansen who emphasize: outlier scenarios for the future; the need for massive societal and economic dislocations now; and take particular glee that when all is said and done, the hysterics will be driving the societal bus through micro- and macro-management of American energy use, which will allow them to thereby control just about every aspect of American life. And make no mistage, those policy prescriptions are draconian, are based on one side of the debate that says of GW is exclusively anthropogenic, and thus the dismissal of skeptical critiques as “science fiction” can be seen as self-serving.

  49. 399

    [[Please tell us all your carbon foot print before instructing the rest of us. ]]

    Your premise is bogus. I’m not saying everyone should abandon technology. I’m saying they should switch to alternative energy sources. My carbon footprint will go down when my local utility is running off wind and solar power and the car I drive once or twice a week can run off ethanol or biodiesel. In the meantime your challenge is stupid, wrong, smarmy, and offensive.

    [[This why the GW proponent folks will never win the long race....you are working against gravity (and the historical record). You would pretend that a theory with such a complexity of variables it defies any emperical study should be outside the realm of challenge. Well the challenges are easy. For every correlative graph you provide I can match you with a published data graph showing CO2 in not a cogent variable (and my graphs will not show a downward "hocky stick"). For every conclusion of proxy data supporting GW I can show you a published paper showing the opposite conclusion]]

    No, you can’t. The study has already been done. Someone went over the past 900 or so papers on climate change in peer reviewed journals and found that none of them — not one! — disputed that human-caused climate change was happening. Any “graph” showing that “CO2 is not a cogent variable” is bogus, because honest graphs are constrained by the data. I can show you a “graph” that shows that “relativity is not a cogent variable,” but I can’t do so honestly and neither can you.

    Yes, there are “papers” disputing AGW. NONE of those papers have appeared in peer-reviewed journals. They’re all on the internet or in political or corporate foundation studies. Lindzen got a couple of papers on the subject published in real journals, but in neither paper did he try to show that CO2 had no effect. No one who understands radiation physics would take such a stance. It would be like saying gravity makes things fall up. The real world doesn’t work that way.

  50. 400
    Jerry Magnan says:

    Re: Lindzen – “in neither paper did he try to show that CO2 had no effect”. Did either paper say CO2 had at least some effect?

    Are there peer-reviewed papers out there that posit the possibility that CO2 increases are a lagging effect re: temperature change? Or other p-r’d papers that claim some climate effect by sun activity or cosmic rays? Or that there has been wide statistically significant variations in temperature or CO2 concentration since the last ice age or the last 2000 years?


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