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EdWort

EdWort

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I'm all for reducing and eventually eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels.

Bearing that in mind, I think it could be a big mistake to rally the support to accomplish this task behind Al Gore and his ilk. It is still debatable whether our current fossil fuel usage causes global warming: So if environmental alarmists gain the support they need to actually affect change, and they're proven wrong that support will quickly evaporate.
The GW crowd says the debate is over since they have a consensus. Hello!

What happened to using facts? The point of the OP is that more and more scientists are seeing through the emotion and looking at the data.

The world is dependent on oil and as more nations become developed, it will go up in price. I would be nice to find other solutions that are affordable, but the market will dictate that.

In the mean time, Congress won't do anything cause it will take 10 years to see any fruit from our labor. They told us that 10 years ago too.

So between high oil prices and the carbon credit scam, we're going to see inflation like never before, as long as we continue to believe the scam.

Here's some interesting info from the BBC of all places.

http://www.moviesfoundonline.com/great_global_warming_swindle.php
 

GunnerMan

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Sorry about the double post, just read this gem.

When they (the big mean nasty oil companies) buy or lease rather land to look for oil on they do so with a good idea it is in at least one area of the plot they lease.
Exactly, there is not oil under ever square mile of earth. Just because a parcel of land is leased to the oil company does not mean it contains oil. It is up to the oil company to explore the site and see if there might be oil there, find out if it is accessable, find out if there is enough down there to justify the cost of setting up shop. All of this is not cheap and could mean a huge loss for them if they drill and get next to nothing. Remember even if there is a ton of oil in a spot it may be inaccessable or cost a lot more to drill. Raise production costs now theres a great idea to bring prices down:drunk:

Hell give the leases to "somebody who will drill." Lets watch and see how much oil we get from this. But hell theres an investment idea for all of you belivers that oil is down there. Keep pushing to get a lease change and throw your well in there.

[joke]
What is it every 100,000 years or something the earth goes into an ice age. So in the end we all freeze to death anyway.
[/joke]
 

k1v1116

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before I start trying to counter your argument point by point, is your case against global warming logical or emotional? Because as the posts and spelling errors add up it seems more and more emotional.
Let me ask you this, where do you think the oil / coal comes from?
 
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EdWort

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before I start trying to counter your argument point by point, is your case against global warming logical or emotional?
Go ahead and counter regardless. My point is that climate changes and we can't do anything to stop it. Buying carbon credits or taxing people won't change anything and doing to to change behavior is wrong, so counter away.
 

GunnerMan

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Interesting you would point out someone elses grammatical errors when you have a hard time of that yourself...
 

PeteOz77

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Is Mankind "Causing" global warming? - Probably not
Is Mankind "Accelerating" global warming? - Probably not
Is Mankind Polluting the planet? - Most definitely.
Should Mankind stop polluting and burning up fossil fuels - Most definitely.

While I agree with Edwort on the theory that there is nothing we can do about "Climate Change", I still think that the rising fuel prices are the BEST thing possible for the entire world. We MUST stop burning fossil fuels, or at least decrease our usage.

If Carbon Credits are the only way to force industry to tighten their belts and pull their head out the sand, then so be it. When it gets too expensive to burn oil, we WILL find an alternative...
 

Pabst Blue Robot

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Really?

Do you remember when our good buddy Al Gore said Gas should be 5 bucks a gallon? he said it needed to happen according to him to save our planet from ourselves.

if you ask me, he said it needed to happen so he could sell carbon offsets.
And this is empirical evidence that carbon laws are the cause of the US recession? Al Gore is in a position to have caused the price of fuel to skyrocket?
 

McKBrew

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I have the perfect solution for anyone who feels it necessary to do their part and help the environment, but doesn't have the financial ability to trade in their vehicle for a Prius. I was going to implement this first and then post the photos, but I'll share it now. It will only work for people who have an open bedded truck or an El Camino. Get yourself a decent size pot and plant a tree or some flowers in it. Strap pot into bed of truck. Ensure you water plants. Make up sign promoting your low/zero emmission vehicle. Low cost solution that is just as effective as fricken BS carbon credits or any other Al Gore sponsored crap out there.
 

s3n8

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Hmmm, good point Kahuna!

Anyone?
Petroleum comes mostly from the excretions of microorganisms after they eat organic material (something we should all be more familiar with than the average joe). The oil deposits that were close to the surface have already been used up.

AFAIK, the US is the only country that teaches kids that oil comes from the bones of dinosaurs.

It seems that Ed is most concerned about inflation and increasing taxes resulting from carbon credits, not global warming. How about inflation from a weak dollar resulting from our staggering debt, and assanine policies from our government? When will we see through the BS that is Ethanol? This is the only war the US has been involved in where taxes were not increased to foot the bill for the war. For the Iraq boondoggle, we just borrowed trillions of dollars from the Chinese and printed more money. We can't do much about the cost of oil, but the current inflation problem is 100% the fault of our government policies.

I know that post may have been a little disjoint, but I am trying to point to the real boogeymen that create the problems.
 

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s3n8, your points are all valid. However the topic here is Al Gore's (and others -- I hate to keep bringing his name up, but he is in the spotlight) alarmist behavior. Proponents of this "movement" tend to equate correlative data with cause and effect behaviors. We shouldn't have to disprove his hypothesis; they have to prove it correct if they hope to gain the support of the average citizen and effectively change the world we live in.

Let me restate that I think we need to change how we produce and consume energy. I just don't think this is the right reason to do so. And I don't like being bullied by public figures with no real technical expertise into believing there's a "growing consensus" about global warming's causes, when everything I've heard lately is that consensus is shrinking.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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s3n8, your points are all valid. However the topic here is Al Gore's (and others -- I hate to keep bringing his name up, but he is in the spotlight) alarmist behavior. Proponents of this "movement" tend to equate correlative data with cause and effect behaviors. We shouldn't have to disprove his hypothesis; they have to prove it correct if they hope to gain the support of the average citizen and effectively change the world we live in.

Let me restate that I think we need to change how we produce and consume energy. I just don't think this is the right reason to do so. And I don't like being bullied by public figures with no real technical expertise into believing there's a "growing consensus" about global warming's causes, when everything I've heard lately is that consensus is shrinking.
To be honest, I think the whole debate has increasingly less to do with real facts on either side and more to do with campaign tactics. It has become a war of strategies and self interest rather than a war for the common good.

I'm not referring to the debate on this thread, I mean the global debate.
 

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Sorry about the double post, just read this gem.

When they (the big mean nasty oil companies) buy or lease rather land to look for oil on they do so with a good idea it is in at least one area of the plot they lease. Keep in mind, one lease can cover 100s of thousands of square miles. So yes, they do have areas they have not drilled in, but just because they own lease to the land dosent meant there is oil under the whole plot.
The enviromentalists would have you think that the oil companies are not drilling on the land they have leased now, but that is just no the case. If the oil companies are as greedy as people make them out to be then why would they not be tapping that land left and right. Because the amounts they have found to be there are not cost effective to drill for.
Not really. Our problems these days are not supply-side problems. If they were, then there would be rationing, lines at the pumps, etc. Certainly, some of the leased sites aren't worth pursuing, but on the whole, there's no lack of supply right now, and all economic models that I've seen indicate absolutely no appreciable drop in crude prices from opening up more offshore drilling. Let me be clear: I support opening up offshore drilling rights. However, I have no illusions that it will make any difference to my wallet until there are supply problems. Just as environmentalists would have you believe that the oil companies are just greedy f*ckers who won't drill on their leased land because they like screwing with us, the other side would have you believe that offshore drilling will bring crude barrel prices down to pre-9/11 levels. They're both BSing.
 

Evan!

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The point is where is the proof that man is causing the warming? The cycle is already there when we were not around and I believe it will be here when we are gone. Relying on data for a logical conclusion is good, provided the data has to been skewed as it has in the past.
That wasn't the point at all; my point was that assuming that mankind has no hand in global warming because, hey, the climate changed before the industrial revolution, is illogical and irresponsible...just as illogical and irresponsible as assuming the opposite. In other words, by eschewing data in favor of blanket statements about the past, you're doing the exact same thing as the enviro-wackos do when they simply assume that any change in climate is caused by humans.
 

adrock

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To be honest, I think the whole debate has increasingly less to do with real facts on either side and more to do with campaign tactics. It has become a war of strategies and self interest rather than a war for the common good.
No argument there. Democrats are using this as a wedge issue so they can say "Look how stupid these Bible-thumping Republicans are! They don't even believe in global warming!"

Conversely, Republicans are using it as a wedge issue among business owners and individuals who can't afford, don't want to, or are too lazy to make wholesale changes in the way they live their lives, regardless of the cost.
 

noisy123

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No, there are no "anti" alarmists. Just folks who can see through the GW alarmists ruse.

We all want clean air and such, and we've led the world in making that happen, so don't go there cause that does not work with the GW carbon scam.

The world has warmed and cooled long before man and his industry. We won't change that cycle no matter how many carbon credits AlGore sells.
"Anti-alarmists" is a charitable term since its the only leg you have to stand on. According to the experts (in peer-reviewed journals - the way of presenting an informed scientific argument), the evidence for nature-driven forcing does not fit the observations. Whether our public response to anthropogenic climate change should be swift and immediate or prolonged is really the only debate left.

Personal opinions of Al Gore are irrelevant to the existence or non-existence of anthropogenic warming. While Al Gore may deserve the ad hominem attacks they don't make the scientific case any less compelling.

Many of you all seem to object to the notion of scientific "consensus," but I am not sure you know what this means. It is not an opinion based on intuition or guesswork but an assessment of evidence by a majority of experts (taken for the benefit of the public) in the field as to whether the anthropogenic forcing theory is the best fit for the observations or whether too many variables are unaddressed. Here is the actual document:
http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch09.pdf

Here is an article which is a brief summary of the affirmative for man-caused climate change:
http://www.whrc.org/resources/online_publications/warming_earth/scientific_evidence.htm

I bring up the million dollar Millenium Prize in Mathematics mainly in jest (for chrissakes, I saw a woman win 1 million dollars for a good cookie recipe and they weren't even from scratch). But honestly, if you have never heard of the Navier-Stokes equations, and don't really understand them, you are in no position to comment on the validity of the climate change modeling produced by today's climatologists. I have worked extensively with these equations, but I would not say that I am qualified to offer a scientific opinion on climate models. Like everyone else, I must rely on the opinions of the scientific experts. Oh sure, I can question them, but until I can pick up the journals and understand exactly what is being said, I am not in any position to offer an opinion of my own. This whole bar-room debate on global warming reminds me a lot of this Onion article:
Bet I can Speak Spanish.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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Oh great, now I feel all stupid again. :(

Good post though, I guess I'd better read it again and skip past the mathematical equation part....and the links.....and all the parts that made me feel stupid.......Sod it, It looks very clever, so I'll just trust it! ;)
 

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s3n8, your points are all valid. However the topic here is Al Gore's (and others -- I hate to keep bringing his name up, but he is in the spotlight) alarmist behavior. Proponents of this "movement" tend to equate correlative data with cause and effect behaviors. We shouldn't have to disprove his hypothesis; they have to prove it correct if they hope to gain the support of the average citizen and effectively change the world we live in.

Let me restate that I think we need to change how we produce and consume energy. I just don't think this is the right reason to do so. And I don't like being bullied by public figures with no real technical expertise into believing there's a "growing consensus" about global warming's causes, when everything I've heard lately is that consensus is shrinking.
So, basically if [your_favorite_public_figure OR anyone_but_Al_gore] was trying to push the country to adopt alternative energy it would be more palatable to you?

You seem to agree with the fundamental principle of what Al Gore is trying to achieve, but are throwing the baby out with the bathwater because you do not like the messenger.
 
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EdWort

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http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch09.pdf[/url]
The report from the IPCC (a United Nations Political organization) has had holes punched through it.

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/press/proved_no_climate_crisis.html

Here are some facts published about it in the above link.
  • The IPCC's 2007 climate summary overstated CO2's impact on temperature by 500-2000%;
  • CO2 enrichment will add little more than 1 �F (0.6 �C) to global mean surface temperature by 2100;
  • Not one of the three key variables whose product is climate sensitivity can be measured directly;
  • The IPCC's values for these key variables are taken from only four published papers, not 2,500;
  • The IPCC's values for each of the three variables, and hence for climate sensitivity, are overstated;
  • "Global warming" halted ten years ago, and surface temperature has been falling for seven years;
  • Not one of the computer models relied upon by the IPCC predicted so long and rapid a cooling;
  • The IPCC inserted a table into the scientists' draft, overstating the effect of ice-melt by 1000%;
  • It was proved 50 years ago that predicting climate more than two weeks ahead is impossible;
  • Mars, Jupiter, Neptune's largest moon, and Pluto warmed at the same time as Earth warmed;
  • In the past 70 years the Sun was more active than at almost any other time in the past 11,400 years.
 

Laughing_Gnome_Invisible

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But one glance at that site indicates it's obvious bias. 'nuff said. It's all smoke and mirrors on both sides.
 

k1v1116

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I agree that the political proponents of global warming are ********, but so are all politicians all the time. the old saying about a broken clock being right twice a day holds true for people as well, just because someone is an ******* and 90% of what they say is BS doesn't mean that everything they say is wrong.
About the Prius and other hybrid cars, they maybe more fuel efficient but to understand the environmental impact you need to look at the manufacturing process too. the production of the batteries that they use is not environmentally friendly.

CO2 enrichment will add little more than 1 �F (0.6 �C) to global mean surface temperature by 2100;
Global warming is kind of a misnomer. The climate we have now is the result of a balance of forces of heating and cooling, the greenhouse gasses we make can throw off that balance not necessarily resulting in the average temperature of the earth going up.
 

Bob

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What I'm saying is, this current warming trend may or may not be caused by mankind; however, the fact that it has happened in the past is absolutely irrelevant to whether or not we are actually causing it. I prefer to rely on the data, rather than just assume it's history repeating itself.
It is not irrelevant in the slightest. In fact, past warming and cooling periods cannot be more relevant. It is also not an assumption; it is an explanation of a possible cause of current observations. It is just as possible an explanation as industrial emissions.

Don't get me wrong; I don't argue that climate change is occurring. I lack a sufficient base of knowledge to refute it. As an historian, I simply argue that such environmental phenomena as the Maunder and Sporer Minima actually happened, completely and obviously without being affected by human heavy industry. To ignore that, to simply dismiss it as irrelevant, is folly of the purest sort.

Reverend JC said:
Do you remember when our good buddy Al Gore said Gas should be 5 bucks a gallon? he said it needed to happen according to him to save our planet from ourselves. if you ask me, he said it needed to happen so he could sell carbon offsets.
While I find that a bit 'conspiracy theorist', I completely agree that petrol should be $5+ per gallon. America has had an artificially-depressed fuels market for decades, while other developed countries have seen comparatively dramatic rises. The current elevation in fuels can be attributed to a concatenation of several factors:

1. The artificially-depressed fuels market in the USA is finally adjusting to the global fuels economy;
2. The $USD is suffering in the international currencies market;
3. The currency pegged to the price of crude oil is the $USD;
4. The USA economy is principally consumerist, and is reaching the point where continued consumption will be unable to support itself;
5. The USA economy is becoming alarmingly inflationist.

I'm sure I missed some rather more obscure indicators. But the main point is that the rise in fuels prices should come as no surprise. The world's other developed nations have been paying much higher fuels prices for decades. We're just catching up!

PeteOz77 said:
While I agree with Edwort on the theory that there is nothing we can do about "Climate Change", I still think that the rising fuel prices are the BEST thing possible for the entire world. We MUST stop burning fossil fuels, or at least decrease our usage.

If Carbon Credits are the only way to force industry to tighten their belts and pull their head out the sand, then so be it. When it gets too expensive to burn oil, we WILL find an alternative...
I agree wholeheartedly that we humans should make every effort to not pollute with wild abandon, should decrease our usage of fossil fuels, should explore alternative means of energy supply, etc. The problem is that this requires a complete shift of mindset on the part of humans everywhere, a shift from "What's in it for me?" or "How can I entertain myself next?" to "How is this thing I want to do going to affect other people and the big blue marble we live on?" That's a very big, seemingly impossible paradigm shift.

When it gets too expensive to use fossil fuels, it'll be because of a lack of supply. Simple as that.

Noisy123 - so what you're saying is that nobody who doesn't understand the minutiae of climate modeling is entitled to an opinion, that "underinformed" means one cannot express feeling on the matter? Is that right? If that's true, we shouldn't have opinions on foreign policy because we're unfamiliar with the processes undergone in diplomatic dialogue. Neither should we have opinions on anything else we understand less than credentialed specialists in that field.

Sorry; I'm throwing the "Excessive Hubris" flag on this one. We are all entitled to our opinions, informed or not. I prefer that opinions are informed, but accept that they need not be. Please don't be so politically naive as to attempt to frighten the underinformed into believing other people because they, the underinformed, cannot comprehend the high science involved. I don't fully understand the science involved. I barely passed high school algebra; there's a reason why I'm a humanities geek. But I can observe dissension within the scientific community as to what exactly is going on.

Have you forgotten that "majority rules" science has been wrong before? History is replete with examples. "We all know this is the way things are," grump the Majority. "But what if!" pipes the Upstart, who is then smacked down until he supports his position, long and loud enough, that the Majority finally listen. Moreover, 51% belief by experts does not make fact. A majority opinion, perhaps, but not scientific fact. Scientific fact only comes when someone who doesn't agree with the fact looks a fool to the most uninformed of bystanders. See "flat earth" theorists. ;)

=Evan!You do not do anyone any justice by engaging in ad hominem attacks, because that's exactly what the "other side" does too. They paint anyone who doesn't agree with their environmentalist agenda as corporate apologizers who just want to be able to drive their land yachts around. Meanwhile, the staunch deniers paint anyone who thinks differently from them as hippies, communists, socialists, etc. It's patently irresponsible on both sides, and I'm sick and goddamned tired of it! It's exactly this kind of ********* polarization that leads to the "with us or against us", digging-in-the-trenches kind of crap that plagues this debate incessantly. Either you're a hippie socialist who believes in global warming, or you're an SUV-driving corporate apologist who doesn't. Who exactly is served by these foolish stereotypes? WTF do motivations really matter? Why can't we look at the facts, rather than these meaningless association games?
My sentiments exactly. But that's the new standard of political debate, and it's not going to evaporate anytime soon. Besides, it's easier to make ad hominem attacks than attack the statements. It's easier to label someone who disagrees with Megan's Law as someone who hates children than someone with a thoughtful stance on individual human rights. Sad, innit?

Regards to all,

Bob
 

noisy123

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The report from the IPCC (a United Nations Political organization) has had holes punched through it.

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/press/proved_no_climate_crisis.html

Here are some facts published about it in the above link.
  • The IPCC's 2007 climate summary overstated CO2's impact on temperature by 500-2000%;
  • CO2 enrichment will add little more than 1 �F (0.6 �C) to global mean surface temperature by 2100;
  • Not one of the three key variables whose product is climate sensitivity can be measured directly;
  • The IPCC's values for these key variables are taken from only four published papers, not 2,500;
  • The IPCC's values for each of the three variables, and hence for climate sensitivity, are overstated;
  • "Global warming" halted ten years ago, and surface temperature has been falling for seven years;
  • Not one of the computer models relied upon by the IPCC predicted so long and rapid a cooling;
  • The IPCC inserted a table into the scientists' draft, overstating the effect of ice-melt by 1000%;
  • It was proved 50 years ago that predicting climate more than two weeks ahead is impossible;
  • Mars, Jupiter, Neptune's largest moon, and Pluto warmed at the same time as Earth warmed;
  • In the past 70 years the Sun was more active than at almost any other time in the past 11,400 years.
Robert Ferguson does not have a single publication in a peer-reviewed journal. He also has received substantial funds from Exxon-Mobil and has every reason to find holes.
Thats fine. Let him. Make the scientists refute his and Lord Monckton's claims. Though I should point out that Monckton gets a fairly regular thrashing for his extremely sloppy science:
Wall Street Journal's reliance on Lord Monckton as a source
Monckton's M-theory
I'm sure another thrashing is forthcoming. I'll be sure to post it when it does.


By the way, the article cited by Ferguson was not in anyway peer-reviewed. Which means there was no scientific evaluation of Lord Monckton's findings but his own. Here is what the journal had to say:
"The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review.
Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of
the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical
Society disagrees with this article's conclusions."
 

noisy123

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Noisy123 - so what you're saying is that nobody who doesn't understand the minutiae of climate modeling is entitled to an opinion, that "underinformed" means one cannot express feeling on the matter? Is that right? If that's true, we shouldn't have opinions on foreign policy because we're unfamiliar with the processes undergone in diplomatic dialogue. Neither should we have opinions on anything else we understand less than credentialed specialists in that field.

Sorry; I'm throwing the "Excessive Hubris" flag on this one. We are all entitled to our opinions, informed or not. I prefer that opinions are informed, but accept that they need not be. Please don't be so politically naive as to attempt to frighten the underinformed into believing other people because they, the underinformed, cannot comprehend the high science involved. I don't fully understand the science involved (think phases of Venus). I barely passed high school algebra; there's a reason why I'm a humanities geek. But I can observe dissension within the scientific community as to what exactly is going on.

Have you forgotten that "majority rules" science has been wrong before? History is replete with examples. "We all know this is the way things are," grump the Majority. "But what if!" pipes the Upstart, who is then smacked down until he supports his position, long and loud enough, that the Majority finally listen. Moreover, 51% belief by experts does not make fact. A majority opinion, perhaps, but not scientific fact. Scientific fact only comes when someone who doesn't agree with the fact looks a fool to the most uninformed of bystanders. See "flat earth" theorists. ;)
No, I am saying I am inclined to believe a majority of scientists who have been tasked with evaluating the details of a problem (down to minutiae) than I am inclined to believe those who don't understand these minutiae. But, as a historian, I am sure you can appreciate that understanding the minutiae is often a requirement for getting the science right (think phases of Venus).

-Majority rules - quite right. I think consensus is a bad way to do science. It is not however a bad way to motivate policy if the accuracy of the findings is not in serious dispute. C'mon, flat earthers! They aren't doing very good science. Have a look at this:
http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/gallery/apollo08_earthrise.jpg
;)

"Excessive hubris" -- not at all -- IMO the hubris is on the side of those who place their own opinions on par with the preponderance of evidence without offering a bullet-proof alternative to the current theory.
Like you, I would also prefer an informed opinion over an underinformed opinion. Also, like you, I can have an opinion on anything I like, but an opinion and a valid scientific opinion are two different things.
 

adrock

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s3n8, your points are all valid. However the topic here is Al Gore's (and others -- I hate to keep bringing his name up, but he is in the spotlight) alarmist behavior. Proponents of this "movement" tend to equate correlative data with cause and effect behaviors. We shouldn't have to disprove his hypothesis; they have to prove it correct if they hope to gain the support of the average citizen and effectively change the world we live in.

So, basically if [your_favorite_public_figure OR anyone_but_Al_gore] was trying to push the country to adopt alternative energy it would be more palatable to you?
I think you're misunderstanding my position on this. I would follow Al Gore's push to adopt alternative energy policy if it were for the right reasons (based on fact, not an unproven hypothesis). If he said "Wake up America! We're too dependent on foreign nations to supply our finite amount of fuel," I'd follow him. He's not doing that. He's presenting his unproven conclusions as facts to scare everyone into following him. This shows that Democrats as well as Republicans are responsible for spreading the politics of fear.

I believe that Al Gore's suggestions with regards to energy policy changes would be good for America........but the ends don't justify the means.

BTW, I have always liked Al Gore: I voted for him in 2000 because he always stood up for his beliefs, IMO. But he's wrong on this one.
 

s3n8

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I do not like Al Gore. But I agree with what he is trying to do (push us to adopt cleaner energy).

It sounds like you understand that we are destroying our environment, and oil is a dead end. Drilling more will not solve our immediate or long term problems. Our best alternative is to invest in clean energy alternatives. I think we're on the same page on all of the above points. I will also concede that we shouldn't be running in that direction because some *****y politician tells us to. We should WANT to do it because it is RIGHT to do it.

Different things motivate different people. Some people can see through all of the BS. Some people do the right thing because their religion, political affiliation, or morals and values tell them that is the right thing. I dislike the sensationalism used to shepherd the American sheeple too, but it is the only thing that seems to capture 90% of the populace's attention.
 

Bob

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No, I am saying I am inclined to believe a majority of scientists who have been tasked with evaluating the details of a problem (down to minutiae) than I am inclined to believe those who don't understand these minutiae. But, as a historian, I am sure you can appreciate that understanding the minutiae is often a requirement for getting the science right (think phases of Venus).
Certainly. I can also appreciate that the inclination to disbelieve the majority if there is more than a single dissenting voice crying in the wilderness, and I'm sure you agree that, on the topic of man's impact on climate change, there are more than a scattered few dissenters. There is a significant enough amount of contrary science to call the whole affair into serious question.

-Majority rules - quite right. I think consensus is a bad way to do science. It is not however a bad way to motivate policy if the accuracy of the findings is not in serious dispute.
I think the crux of our disagreement is the phrase "serious dispute". It is all too easy to dismiss contrary data if it ill fits our preconceptions. Unless I'm horribly mistaken, you do not find the conclusions supporting significant human impact on climate change in serious dispute; I do. Thus I do not find it an acceptable means to motivate public policy. Indeed, until the science is without dispute, it is irresponsible to use it as a political motivator.

"Excessive hubris" -- not at all -- IMO the hubris is on the side of those who place their own opinions on par with the preponderance of evidence without offering a bullet-proof alternative to the current theory.
Frankly, I don't find the issuance of an alternative at all essential. If one can simply point out the errors in a hypothesis, that hypothesis is debunked. A counter-explanation is unnecessary. A counter-explanation is extremely useful in this regard, certainly - I mean, it's not enough to say, "You're wrong, neener neener neener"* - but not necessary. Sometimes the errors are self-evident to all but the researcher who's too close to his work. In this topic, I earlier touched on the historical evidence for natural - i.e., devoid of the hand of man - climate change as a possible explanation for the climate change we are currently experiencing. Surely that brings at least some doubt into the mind of a reasonable man of science as to the "iron-clad" veracity of the prevailing majority view.

Like you, I would also prefer an informed opinion over an underinformed opinion. Also, like you, I can have an opinion on anything I like, but an opinion and a valid scientific opinion are two different things.
Certainly. Research of any type must be supported by data. It is in the interpretation of the data that dissension develops. The uninformed researcher trusts the interpreter to do his job well. It is as an uninformed but interested and reasonably intelligent person familiar with the scientific method and the interpretation of data that I find the most cause for concern.

Given that many if not most of the studies used as support by one or both political sides of this issue are irrefutably linked with a political entity with an ax to grind in this debate, there is an inescapable patina of bias inherent to each study. The hardest struggle in analysis is resisting the urge to make the data fit one's preconceptions; we historians struggle with it as well. Researchers are all to willing to accept only that data which supports their preconception and discard or attempt to discredit the rest. In other words, I don't believe that true intellectual honesty can exist when your research grant money comes from either the Save the Planet movement or the Flat Earth Society. You can't help but think - whether consciously or subconsciously - that, unless you give your patrons something pleasing to them, you might not get another grant. The thought of living another five years on mac-n-cheese might cloud your judgement. You've got that third PhD to pay off, after all.

I recognize my limitations. I am not a climate wizard; I'm a guy who studies old stuff. I can't even begin to understand the vast majority of their calculations. But I understand research and the manner in which unbiased research is conducted, and I have very little faith that scientists in the employ of political entities are practicing good science with intellectual honesty.

The hardest part of this whole debate is that I cannot in good conscience trust anyone's analysis but my own, but I'm not qualified to analyze the data, because I don't have the slightest idea what I'm looking at. So I end up disbelieving both sides to a very large extent and trusting my impressions of the issue, filtered through the knowledge and experience that comprise my worldview. I know - because it's historical and scientific fact - that the earth went through more than a few climate changes completely unrelated to anything man could possible have done to cause or even impact them. I also know - because it's scientific fact - that there are gajillions more of us in the modern age, and we are exponentially more industrialized. That's why my personal belief is that, while humans didn't cause this observed climate change, we do have an impact on it.

That's why I traded from a full-sized pickup truck to a Scion xB. That's why I'm glad I can work from home and avoid burning the gasoline. That's why I recycle, and do all manner of environmentally responsible things. I impact the things I can impact, and leave the political sniping to the politicos and the science to the scientists.

Regards,

Bob

* Philosophically speaking, I find the explanation of "Well, the science is too difficult for you to understand, so you'll just have to trust me" as much complete bullsh!t as the schoolyard "Neener neener neener." That's what I was calling hubris. I just want to tell them, "Try me. I'm a smart guy. Maybe - just maybe - I can wrap my pronounced Neanderthal brow ridge around your concept." See, I believe if you understand a concept well enough yourself you can explain it in terms a layman can understand. If you can't, you don't understand it well enough yourself to be arriving at any conclusions.
 

noisy123

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* Philosophically speaking, I find the explanation of "Well, the science is too difficult for you to understand, so you'll just have to trust me" as much complete bullsh!t as the schoolyard "Neener neener neener." That's what I was calling hubris. I just want to tell them, "Try me. I'm a smart guy. Maybe - just maybe - I can wrap my pronounced Neanderthal brow ridge around your concept." See, I believe if you understand a concept well enough yourself you can explain it in terms a layman can understand. If you can't, you don't understand it well enough yourself to be arriving at any conclusions.
I disagree that substantial scientific disagreement exists on the theory of man-caused climate change. I have seen many arguments propped up as alternative explanations to the current cycle only to see them completely demolished (changes in solar luminosity, earth's orbit changes etc). But my opinion on this is, as you say, as valid as the next man's.

BTW, I agree with the sentiment expressed above, I think its an American virtue that resolutely attacks arguments-from-authority and demands egalitarianism. It's one of the reasons so many Nobels come from this place.

I have always been told by people much smarter than me (who actually get the science) that if you "can't explain it with buckets and sticks you don't understand it." But on the other hand one shouldn't take the buckets and sticks explanation and think they are going to get a working model built with them. I often feel, as a layman in this field, that I am trying to use buckets and sticks to prove a point without understanding the meaning behind the theory. I think that is hubris as well.

Cheers,
Adam

P.S. [Nitpicking] I think you'll agree that "no dissent" is too high of a bar for policy.
 

adrock

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The hardest part of this whole debate is that I cannot in good conscience trust anyone's analysis but my own, but I'm not qualified to analyze the data, because I don't have the slightest idea what I'm looking at. So I end up disbelieving both sides to a very large extent and trusting my impressions of the issue, filtered through the knowledge and experience that comprise my worldview.
Very well put, sir. I think that's the problem most of us are having with the debate. It is difficult for us as critical thinkers to wholeheartedly accept the research of others as non-biased fact; couple that difficulty with the common oppositional attitude "Oh you wouldn't understand this science. You'll just have to trust us," and you've got a recipe for dissention.
 

adrock

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P.S. [Nitpicking] I think you'll agree that "no dissent" is too high of a bar for policy.
[Nitpicking your nitpicking] While I agree that there will always be a couple loonies taking the opposing view simply for the sport of it, I don't believe that's the point we're at here. There are still many well-respected experts in the field that disagree with the majority opinion; as long as a substantial minority exists, this debate will continue. And please don't counter with "there is no substantial minority." As we all know "substantial" is a subjective term, and any further quabbling related to terms like these is semantics, not debate.
 

noisy123

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[Nitpicking your nitpicking] While I agree that there will always be a couple loonies taking the opposing view simply for the sport of it, I don't believe that's the point we're at here. There are still many well-respected experts in the field that disagree with the majority opinion; as long as a substantial minority exists, this debate will continue. And please don't counter with "there is no substantial minority." As we all know "substantial" is a subjective term, and any further quabbling related to terms like these is semantics, not debate.
O.K. Please cite the substantial minority as I do not believe there is one. At least there are not many who disagree with the premise I outlined above. The lists of scientists I know of are in dispute.
Please not the 31k group, that one has been debunked already.

Scroll down to: Lists of Skeptical Scientists
 

Bob

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R Lindzen (MIT): "Most of the climate community has agreed since 1988 that global mean temperatures have increased on the order of one degree Fahrenheit over the past century, having risen significantly from about 1919 to 1940, decreased between 1940 and the early ’70s, increased again until the ’90s, and remaining essentially flat since 1998." The Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2006


H Tennekes (Royal Netherlands Met Ins): "There exists no sound theoretical framework for climate predictability studies." http://www.his.com/~sepp/Archive/NewSEPP/Climate models-Tennekes.htm

Reid Bryson, emeritus professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison:"Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing[.]" http://www.wecnmagazine.com/2007issues/may/may07.html

William Kininmonth, meteorologist, former Australian delegate to World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology: "Natural variability of the climate system has been underestimated by IPCC and has, to now, dominated human influences." http://www.lavoisier.com.au/papers/articles/climatechange.pdf

Tim Patterson, paleoclimatologist: "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. 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?" Financial Post June 2007

William R. Cotton, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University: "It is an open question if human produced changes in climate are large enough to be detected from the noise of the natural variability of the climate system."
http://climatesci.colorado.edu/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/cotton-climate.pdf

Anyway, it is scientific evidence, not consensus opinion, that will prove or disprove man's relationship with climate change. One can form consensus opinion without any evidence at all; see "religion". One can form consensus from disinformation; see "schoolyard rumor mill". One can form consensus out of fear of nonconformity; see "Stalin's USSR". Doesn't make the consensus opinion any more factual, does it?

Cheers,

Bob
 

noisy123

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William R. Cotton, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University: "It is an open question if human produced changes in climate are large enough to be detected from the noise of the natural variability of the climate system."
http://climatesci.colorado.edu/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/cotton-climate.pdf

One can form consensus opinion without any evidence at all; see "religion". One can form consensus from disinformation; see "schoolyard rumor mill". One can form consensus out of fear of nonconformity; see "Stalin's USSR". Doesn't make the consensus opinion any more factual, does it?

Cheers,

Bob
We were talking about motivating policy I thought, for which consensus seems to me a decent bar. Which scenario are you arguing above describes the current state of the climate change consensus? Is it really your position that most researchers are living in an echo-chamber just trying to pay off the loans?;)

BTW I have seen the list you cite, I don't have time to view go through them all, however I will point out that many of their views are considerable more nuanced than one might think by calling them global-warming skeptics. Take Dr. Cotton for example:
http://climatesci.org/2007/05/24/perspective-of-professor-william-r-cotton-on-global-warming/

“I am not exactly speaking out against global warming. But, I don’t think the science is as solid as many lead us to believe. Don’t get me wrong, the science of how greenhouse gases directly affect climate is strong. But where it gets messy is all the feedbacks in the system that the theory relies upon and most particularly the role of clouds. Also when it comes to future scenarios (predictions?) decades or longer I point out there are many other factors affecting climate and some of these can be quite large but often are not predictable. Many of these are related to aerosols either natural (volcanoes) or manmade. Then there is also the wildcard with respect to solar variability impacting climate. I think there is something going on there that we just don’t understand. I try to keep up on papers in that area and so far am not convinced about their physical arguments especially the cosmic ray/cloud cover arguments But just because we can’t explain it doesn’t mean something important isn’t happening."
 

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O.K. Please cite the substantial minority as I do not believe there is one. At least there are not many who disagree with the premise I outlined above. The lists of scientists I know of are in dispute.
Please not the 31k group, that one has been debunked already.

Scroll down to: Lists of Skeptical Scientists
Now, why did you go and use such an obviously biased source? That supports nothing. Besides, the stuff we're supposed to scroll down before reading is nothing more than the purest fluff, masses of statistics about regular people, not scientists. Websites like that aren't sources; they're propaganda. Quoting a site like that is like quoting OffOurBacks.com about abortion rights.

A thought just occurred to me regarding consensus. It's now more than trendy to publicly approve of AGW: it's essential to maintain credibility in the eyes of a credulous public. As the above fluff reference noted, the vast majority of everyday blokes think it's all our fault, so differing from that opinion makes the average blokes wonder if you're really all that smart after all. So even though you might be holding the data that blows AGW out of the water, you just smile and nod. You can see which way the political wind is blowing, so you go along.

Anywho...
 

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Australia is in drought, the major river has dried up, food supply for the world is at an all time low, yeah, not such a bad event.
I'm not saying we cause the drought/floods, but to look outside your window and say the current situation is good is just ignorant.
Things are changing, probably irreversible in the short term. Money is better spent in addressing adjustments that need to be made now. ie, rivers drying up/polluted, build fresh water supplies, regulate farming. Flooding happening? Make better river banks etc. If you think cars cause it all, build the best rail transport ever seen on the planet.
If pessimistic, design new towns where the best water/food supply is. If you blame coal power, build nuclear.
I'm sick of people saying use less, charge more and have no long term plan.
 

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Did you just refer me to an environmentalist website/blog for information? Is this where you get your unbiased, cold, hard facts?

The article you referred me to certainly is well thought out, and appears to prove your point...........because it's been designed to do so! Under the list of skeptical scientists the article states there are 400 scientists that signed a petition questioning the validity of claims into man-made global warming. It proceeds to call them into question as follows:

84 have either taken money from, or are connected to, fossil fuel industries
49 are retired
44 are television weathermen
20 are economists
70 have no apparent expertise in climate science

Even if every name on the list were a climate scientist, there are approximately 20,000 climate scientists in the American Geophysical Union, so 400 would be rougly 2% of the climate scientist population.
The problem here is not that it's lying. It's just misleading. There are certain people that signed the petition that are in almost every one of the categories above. For example a retired economist that ONCE did work for Exxon would be on 4 of the 5 lists above. The article leads you to believe there are 267 individuals whose credentials have been completely debunked when in fact there are likely <150. As a sidenote, when does being retired make you unqualified to talk about the field in which you've been passionate about your entire career? Secondly it leads you to believe that 400 out of 20,000 names would be 2% of the climate scientist population disputing global warming. It doesn't tell you how many of those 20,000 abstained from judgment (which is what I'm doing btw, and likely what most of those folks did too).

See BobNQ3X's list above of respected dissenters.

P.S. BTW, you 2 are quick with the responses! You'll probably have already moved onto another argument by the time I post this.
 

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We were talking about motivating policy I thought, for which consensus seems to me a decent bar. Which scenario are you arguing above describes the current state of the climate change consensus? Is it really your position that most researchers are living in an echo-chamber just trying to pay off the loans?
Not really, no. ;) As I wrote, the urge is hopefully merely subconscious, not a conscious effort.

But it is something to keep in mind when using lists of people and organizations in order to show off 'consensus'. If everyone thinks the Emperor has lovely new clothes on, it takes a certain, shall we say, willingness to expose oneself to unpleasantness to point out that he's naked. It follows that people who are more interested in tenure and stability (sinecure?) than cutting-edge research will shout "Hurrah!" for the Emperor's non-existent breeches and keep quiet about his spotty tuchus.

Call me jaded or cynical or both, but there's my perspective. I shall now retire with what little grace I have, for my mother always told me to avoid politics, religion and UFOs in polite conversation. Since global warming deals with a particularly distasteful admixture of both of the former (and a couple of zany whack-jobs would bring the latter into it if they could) and science, I think I'm just gonna keep quiet from here on in. But I will watch this space until they lock the thread! :D

Bob
 

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I am not particularly inclined to participate in a debate where my personal motives are impugned. The source I cited does go through Imhofe's list, and I did not directly cite the location because the site does not allow me to do so.
Here is the original source against the 400:
http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/inhofe-global-warming-deniers-47011101
I apologize for the implication. I did not intend to cast aspersions on your personal motives.

However, I have very real criteria regarding supporting documentation. I do not consider the website you cited an acceptable resource. I should have worded my statement more carefully.

Bob
 

noisy123

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I apologize for the implication. I did not intend to cast aspersions on your personal motives.

However, I have very real criteria regarding supporting documentation. I do not consider the website you cited an acceptable resource. I should have worded my statement more carefully.

Bob
No problem. I should have read the statement more carefully. Its been a pleasure discussing this with you all. :)

On to beer!
 
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