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Archive for Sunday, September 25, 2011

U.S. disbelief in climate change persists, deepens

September 25, 2011

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— Tucked between treatises on algae and prehistoric turquoise beads, the study on page 460 of a long-ago issue of the U.S. journal Science drew little attention.

“I don’t think there were any newspaper articles about it or anything like that,” the author recalls.

But the headline on the 1975 report was bold: “Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” And this article that coined the term may have marked the last time a mention of “global warming” didn’t set off an instant outcry of angry denial.

‘Desire to disbelieve’

In the paper, Columbia University geoscientist Wally Broecker calculated how much carbon dioxide would accumulate in the atmosphere in the coming 35 years, and how temperatures consequently would rise. His numbers have proven almost dead-on correct. Meanwhile, other powerful evidence poured in over those decades, showing the “greenhouse effect” is real and is happening. And yet resistance to the idea among many in the U.S. appears to have hardened.

What’s going on?

“The desire to disbelieve deepens as the scale of the threat grows,” concludes economist-ethicist Clive Hamilton.

He and others who track what they call “denialism” find that its nature is changing in America, last redoubt of climate naysayers. It has taken on a more partisan, ideological tone. Polls find a widening Republican-Democratic gap on climate. Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry even accuses climate scientists of lying for money. Global warming looms as a debatable question in yet another U.S. election campaign.

From his big-windowed office overlooking the wooded campus of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., Broecker has observed this deepening of the desire to disbelieve.

“The opposition by the Republicans has gotten stronger and stronger,” the 79-year-old “grandfather of climate science” said in an interview. “But, of course, the push by the Democrats has become stronger and stronger, and as it has become a more important issue, it has become more polarized.”

The solution: “Eventually it’ll become damned clear that the Earth is warming and the warming is beyond anything we have experienced in millions of years, and people will have to admit...” He stopped and laughed.

“Well, I suppose they could say God is burning us up.”

Convincing argument

The basic physics of anthropogenic — manmade — global warming has been clear for more than a century, since researchers proved that carbon dioxide traps heat. Others later showed CO2 was building up in the atmosphere from the burning of coal, oil and other fossil fuels. Weather stations then filled in the rest: Temperatures were rising.

“As a physicist, putting CO2 into the air is good enough for me. It’s the physics that convinces me,” said veteran Cambridge University researcher Liz Morris. But she said work must go on to refine climate data and computer climate models, “to convince the deeply reluctant organizers of this world.”

Global temperatures rose by 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit in the 20th century. And the mercury just kept rising. The decade 2000-2009 was the warmest on record, and 2010 and 2005 were the warmest years on record.

Satellite and other monitoring, meanwhile, found nights were warming faster than days, and winters more than summers, and the upper atmosphere was cooling while the lower atmosphere warmed — all clear signals greenhouse warming was at work, not some other factor.

The impact has been widespread.

An authoritative study this August reported hundreds of species retreating toward the poles, egrets showing up in southern England, American robins in Eskimo villages. Some, such as polar bears, have nowhere to go. Eventual large-scale extinctions are feared.

The heat is cutting into wheat yields, nurturing beetles that are destroying northern forests, attracting malarial mosquitoes to higher altitudes.

From the Rockies to the Himalayas, glaciers are shrinking, sending ever more water into the world’s seas. Because of accelerated melt in Greenland and elsewhere, the eight-nation Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program projects ocean levels will rise 35 to 63 inches by 2100, threatening coastlines everywhere.

The Arctic Ocean’s summer ice cap has shrunk by half and is expected to essentially vanish by 2030 or 2040, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center reported Sept. 15. Ashore, meanwhile, the Arctic tundra’s permafrost is thawing and releasing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

These changes will feed on themselves: Released methane leads to warmer skies, which will release more methane. Ice-free Arctic waters absorb more of the sun’s heat than do reflective ice and snow, and so melt will beget melt. The frozen Arctic is a controller of Northern Hemisphere climate; an unfrozen one could upend age-old weather patterns across continents.

Doubters, deniers

In the face of years of scientific findings and growing impacts, the doubters persist. They ignore long-term trends and seize on insignificant year-to-year blips in data to claim all is well. They focus on minor mistakes in thousands of pages of peer-reviewed studies to claim all is wrong. And they carom from one explanation to another for today’s warming Earth: jet contrails, sunspots, cosmic rays, natural cycles.

“Ninety-eight percent of the world’s climate scientists say it’s for real, and yet you still have deniers,” observed former U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, a New York Republican who chaired the House’s science committee.

Christiana Figueres, Costa Rican head of the U.N.’s post-Kyoto climate negotiations, finds it “very, very perplexing, this apparent allergy that there is in the United States. Why?”

The Australian scholar Hamilton sought to explain why in his 2010 book, “Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change.”

In an interview, he said he found a “transformation” from the 1990s and its industry-financed campaign, to an America where climate denial “has now become a marker of cultural identity in the ‘angry’ parts of the United States.”

“Climate denial has been incorporated in the broader movement of right-wing populism,” he said, a movement that has “a visceral loathing of environmentalism.”

An in-depth study of a decade of Gallup polling finds statistical backing for that analysis.

On the question of whether they believed the effects of global warming were already happening, the percentage of self-identified Republicans or conservatives answering “yes” plummeted from almost 50 percent in 2007-2008 to 30 percent or less in 2010, while liberals and Democrats remained at 70 percent or more, according to the study in this spring’s Sociological Quarterly.

A Pew Research Center poll last October found a similar left-right gap.

The drop-off coincided with the election of Democrat Barack Obama as president and the Democratic effort in Congress, ultimately futile, to impose government caps on industrial greenhouse emissions.

Boehlert, the veteran Republican congressman, noted that “high-profile people with an ‘R’ after their name, like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann, are saying it’s all fiction. Pooh-poohing the science of climate change feeds into their basic narrative that all government is bad.”

The quarterly study’s authors, Aaron M. McCright of Michigan State University and Riley E. Dunlap of Oklahoma State, suggested climate had joined abortion and other explosive, intractable issues as a mainstay of America’s hardening left-right gap.

“The culture wars have thus taken on a new dimension,” they wrote.

Comments

melott 3 years, 3 months ago

Interesting that we're the only country where this is a big issue. Maybe that's because our per-capita carbon footprint is so large.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Actually, if you look up the numbers, you''ll find that our per capita carbon footprint is much larger than those countries.

Our CO2 emissions number in the teens per capita, while all three of your examples are under ten per capita. In fact, ours are about 3x as high as those.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

You're kidding--you really can't figure out why per capita emissions doesn't matter? That it really doesn't matter that the majority of what is already up there was put up there by the developed nations, with the US leading the way? Or that individual actions have a greater impact in the US precisely because we have higher per capita emissions? Or that we have the financial and technological resources that less developed countries don't have? Or that if we develop the low carbon technologies that it will benefit our economy? Do I need to go on?

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

That's all true.

But, there is also a point that total emissions matter, perhaps more, than per capita ones, in some cases.

If a certain country has lots more people, but a lower per capita rate, it may in fact be putting more CO2 into the atmosphere than one with fewer people and a higher per capita rate.

No?

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

Of course--both matter, which is all I was trying to point out. Perhaps the most important thing for both high and lower per capita countries is that whoever develops a modern, low carbon lifestyle will be in the driver's seat in the same way that Asian auto makers grew and surpassed Detroit because Detroit chose to ignore the writing on the wall for too long.

The US can choose to use its higher per capita resources to develop low carbon technologies or use those same resources to persist in using technologies that will become as obsolete as the gas guzzlers have become. And because we have fewer folks to convert, we can do it more quickly and sell that technology to the rest of the world instead of vice versa.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

There's no paper here. Anybody got a carbon credit to spare?

Fossick 3 years, 3 months ago

"But the headline on the 1975 report was bold: “Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” And this article that coined the term may have marked the last time a mention of “global warming” didn’t set off an instant outcry of angry denial."

Perhaps because it was right in the middle of hysteria about a new ice age:

"A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972... Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earth’s average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras — and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average. http://sweetness-light.com/archive/newsweeks-1975-article-about-the-coming-ice-age

No one denies that climate changes. You can't have dinosaurs or ice ages without it. Since we're apparently not going to get an ice age any time soon, I look forward to the return of the dinosaurs, personally.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

Funny how you conveniently forgot to continue the story: the concerns about the possibility of an impending ice age was coupled with a realization that we really didn't have enough data to tease this out. So funding was allocated to collect more data, which not only showed that another ice age was not coming anytime soon, but that the opposite was happening and the concern should be about warming, not cooling, in the coming decades.

Funny how folks ignore the whole story.

Fossick 3 years, 3 months ago

You're right, I missed that in the 1975 Newsweek story. Maybe because it wasn't there.

There's no need for me to 'continue the story,' as it is obviously covered in the original article. There was, however, a need to illustrate something missed in the original article - the extrapolation of trends does not good science make. But it always makes a good story.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, if your knowledge of a topic is limited to what you read in a 1975 Newsweek article, then I suggest you widen your horizons. It's very easy with the internet, you know. The science has progressed considerably since 1975, and it is certainly important and relevant to place that single article within the proper context.

Fossick 3 years, 3 months ago

"They lie about their data."

Sure, but there's more to it than that - they interpret their data within a framework, in this case Global Warming / Climate Change / whatever the euphemism of the month is. In the above Newsweek article*, the numbers measured were from 1945 to 1967 and 1964 and 1972. Why? There's no objective reason. Those numbers were chosen because the data within them fit the model, the theory, which was at that time "New Ice Age." Those data best illustrate the theory. Other data did not fit the theory and were therefore ignored. It's as scientific as a scientist who tries to prove that all cars are green by sitting on a highway and counting green cars - while studiously ignoring cars of every other color.

When Gore wrote in 2007 that: "The climate crisis offers us the chance to experience what few generations in history have had the privilege of experiencing: a generational mission; a compelling moral purpose; a shared cause; and the thrill of being forced by circumstances to put aside the pettiness and conflict of politics and to embrace a genuine moral and spiritual challenge," he was letting the cat out of the bag. Climate change is not a scientific issue, it is therapy for a lost generation that is desperately seeking meaning, significance, and a moral purpose.

  • which by coincidence was published in the same 1975 our author links with global warming.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

I'd say that you're more motivated by a "sense of mission," a very politically and ideologically focused one, than Gore is.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

I'll make a stab at it, mustrun. For Al Gore, it may be close to a religious fervor, much as, say, Senator Glenn's fervent faith in how exploring space gives the young a purpose in life, something to dream for.

Does either Al Gore or Senator Glenn's belief and hopes for the youth of our country have any influence on the science of climate change or the science of space travel? Hardly. I can easily separate the two and judge both on their own scientific merit without ever resorting to how it is being played out on the political/emotional front.

hujiko 3 years, 3 months ago

Wow, that one source sure proves that anthropogenic climate change is a huge lie! I really liked the ad hominem attacks, sure shows the clear, objective head that the author has.

Nice try.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

The climate does change. It has not been static at any time in recorded history. Ice cores and other data from pre-recorded history show cycles of change in the earth's climate. What the headline is doing is confusing that with the myth that humans are responsible for the current changes. Experiments at CERN suggest that the big blazing ball of fire in the sky has a lot to do with our weather. The sun changes too. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/24/breaking-news-cern-experiment-confirms-cosmic-rays-influence-climate-change/ No matter how much the Goreacle rages, cosmic rays don't care if we give up technology and all go back to living in hollow trees.

llama726 3 years, 3 months ago

No matter how much you insist, NO ONE is asking you to go live in a tree or give up technology. In fact, we're looking to advance technology. Haven't you noticed that as technology progresses, it takes less and less energy? High efficiency light bulbs and carpooling are wise investments to save money for yourself. You act like it's unreasonable to save money. Why?

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

Someone with a firmly held opinion is never bothered by facts.

I thought everyone knew that.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Is that a firmly held opinion you have? :-)

ihatelv 3 years, 3 months ago

Climate change, yes. Man made global warming, no.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

It's not an either/or proposition. Both could be true. Both are true.

llama726 3 years, 3 months ago

There are people who present bad data for every single movement that interacts with public interest. This isn't unique in that regard. The insistence on hanging onto 1 to 2% of fraudulent studies, rather than a large, large majority of studies from different scientists (some of whom received little, if any money for their efforts) is the reason that people are so "unsold." Our media doesn't help matters by simply presenting every issue as a simple dichotomy and reducing everything to simple, five-to-seven paragraph blurbs where they give two differing opinions as quotes, then don't offer any fact checking (because they can't. Few, if any in the media, are capable of understanding that level of information). So, people are eager to line up into their political camps. If people who don't understand would say "I just don't understand," it would make more sense.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

Unfortunately, your comments only add to the confusion. While it's true that Antarctic sea ice has increased, the mass of ice on the Antarctic continent has been decreasing, which is consistent with global temperature increases. If you really care to understand this, a good place to start is here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice.htm

Yes, it's a complex issue, antarctic ice specifically and climate change in general. But it is too important to ignore, and folks need to educate themselves about those complexities for that reason.

Chris Golledge 3 years, 3 months ago

"...fudging information like the hockey stick graph.."

Which graph and what was fudged?

Here is a starting point if you need one:

2000 Year Temperature Comparison.png

2000 Year Temperature Comparison.png

Mike Ford 3 years, 3 months ago

I laugh as Denier Candidate Perry's state prays and begs for water and denies science... how Texas of them....I laugh as Oklahoma Senator He!! No Imhofe rails against global warming even as the people in his state who support alternative fuels to fossil fuels that Oklahoma has try to with futility to convince Mr, Stubborn otherwise. Haskell has had Alaska Native elders come to Lawrence for almost a decade talking about the changing of their environment due to man and yet the loudest and the dumbest gain the stage...only in america....

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 3 months ago

Maybe you should leave the stage and go sit in the audience.

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

Science is based on evidence and logical reasoning. The facts don't change even if a majority choose to "disbelieve" it, because scientific truth isn't a matter of belief, it's a matter of fact. For a long time in the past, most people believed that smallpox was caused by an imbalance in the body's humors, or by miasmas, or by sin. But that didn't change the fact that it was caused by a microbe. So Republican candidates can "disbelieve" all they want; it won't change the facts.

camper 3 years, 3 months ago

It is fairly easy to measure CO2 levels, fairly easy to keep an eye on the polar caps to see if they are shrinking. But yes, virtually impossible for the average person to decipher Einstein's theory on relativity.

voevoda 3 years, 3 months ago

By your logic, Liberty_One, we should never act on scientific evidence that is beyond the ordinary layperson's ability to understand. If you don't understand the science, then who are you to say which policies are "drastic and potentially harmful"? On the issue of climate change, the vast majority of scientists, including virtually every one who is expert precisely in this area, agrees with the scientific majority and not with the politician-naysayers. Personally, I think that it's more reasonable to go with the vast majority of knowledgable scientists, who do understand the science, and to doubt the self-serving statements of politicians and crackpots.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Good points-- and to bring it a little closer to home-- if the same denial were applied to medical science, only doctors, pharmacists and biochemists would ever take medicines, prescription or otherwise.

Chris Golledge 3 years, 3 months ago

So, you really have no idea, but you have chosen to believe those that are telling you it is not that big a problem. OK, clear enough.

What missteps?

Chris Golledge 3 years, 3 months ago

And, who told you the policies were drastic and harmful?

Surely not those from oil-producing states like Texas (Bush, Perry) or Oklahoma (Inhofe).

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 3 months ago

Doubter: Someone who is not convinced until they have seen the data and/or heard opinions of experts.

Denier: Someone who cannot be convinced despite the data and the opinions of experts.

Rick Parry and his ilk are deniers, plain and simple.

devobrun 3 years, 3 months ago

Person who is usually right: One who has the wherewithal to view the data and come to the conclusion that pernicious mischief is afoot. Because it usually is. Big Oil, Republicans....are just 1/2 of the mischievous lot. People are people, ywnm. Limiting the evil to big oil is the mistake of the left. The alternatives like corn-based ethanol and solar panels is just a budding scam.

If the alternatives really worked....Exxon would be there first and all over it. Oh wait, they were. In the early 1970s, Exxon was the major developer of solar technology. They abandoned it because it didn't work. It still doesn't work.

The left just has a hard time learning because they are so bigoted against capitalism.

melott 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, but numbers of people do have an impact on public policy. So when the deniers (whose style so, so much resembles that of creationists) deny the anthropogenic climate change, they do prevent us doing much about it. And that will affect everyone, and generations to come, not just the deniers. Just like fear of cretinists denies our children a good education in biology. Except the climate change problem is worse than one country having ignorant children.

The fossick thing is a standard cut and paste. The 70's ice age thing was mostly a media thing, not a scientific concensus. A few people thought it was a problem, and Newsweek and others seized on it. Whereas now we have much more information and a scientific consensus.

A difference between this and the cretinist movement is that the climate denier thing is well-funded. In this case it more closely resembles the big lie campaign against the link between tobacco and lung cancer, emphysema, etc. You can't believe how hard it was to get the anti-tobacco warnings and other things out there, in face of all that.

Fossick 3 years, 3 months ago

"Whereas now we have much more information and a scientific consensus."

Is there any other area of science in which a consensus itself is the clinching evidence in favor of a pet theory? If not, that ought to tell us something about how this science measures up to others. It's funny that Liberty mentioned Einstein's Theory of Relativity. If there ever was a scientific consensus in a real science, it's that nothing can go faster than the speed of light. Oops: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/faster-than-light-measurement-shocks-physicists/2011/09/23/gIQAkIPvqK_video.html At least the physicists have the good taste to allow people to disagree with the consensus.

Of course the 70s Ice Age was a "media thing". This is no different except that there are even more careers to be advanced because there's more money at stake. On both sides, not just one.

But I notice that you did not bother to argue that any of the facts, presented by NOAA scientists and others, were incorrect. There were falling temperatures. There was diminished sunlight. and there was lots and lots of snow. I'm old enough to have shoveled it. The only thing that was missing was customized computer models that would allow scientists to extrapolate short-term trends into the dark and scary future. They were forced to wing it. And they were wrong. They would have been wrong even if they had models. Because they chose the data that fit the story, just like I said.

We have those models now, but models are not evidence. Statements about the future are not evidence. But I do wonder - real scientists like physicists rejoice when others kick their cherished consensus to the curb. They take that as progress. Climate scientists and their media pilot fish take it for mental illness.

Maybe that's because one of them is science and the other is politics in a lab coat.

melott 3 years, 3 months ago

Of course anyone can disagree with a scientific result. But we do it based on science. Regarding the speed of light: Just wait. This will be checked. It might stand up to replication. It probably won't. Check back in a year or two.

In the 1970s, there was no 98+% majority of people, who had cross-checked models against data. There was no set of resolutions by multiple scientific organizations (AGU, APS....) because no such claim would have been supported by them.

You will not find many people who actually wrote scientific papers in support of the oncoming ice age idea.

I have to say, my acceptance of this is based on simple physics. I understand the radiative transfer behavior of carbon dioxide and methane. It has nothing to do with short-term trends.

It's not mental illness. It's big oil and coal money.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

"We have those models now, but models are not evidence. Statements about the future are not evidence."

But models are the only kind of evidence that we'll ever have about future events. And the potential future events are anything but trivial. These events could very likely mean mass extinctions to rival those of the ancient past-- and one of those extinctions could include the human race, or at the very least, a die off of billions of people.

So if it comes down to allowing coal and petroleum countries to maintain record profits, or putting our efforts and resources into developing technologies that will allow the perpetuation of the habitability of the planet for existing species, including humans, I'll take the latter.

Fossick 3 years, 3 months ago

"[M]odels are the only kind of evidence that we'll ever have about future events."

Yes, yes, a hundred times yes. But their necessity to fill that need does not make them evidence. That said, I suspect* that you're willing to accept just about anything that justifies your aptly-documented animosity toward 'record profits.' The ideological knife cuts both ways. I also suspect those who fly off to Cancun each year to tell us to use only one square of TP agree with you.

But don't worry, the oil will likely run out long before the dieoff. Well, maybe shortly before it. Coal is a different story, but it won't fill the gas tank.

I obviously don't deny climate change. I think it killed the dinosaurs and it surely killed the Viking colonies on Greenland. It might have even started and ended the last half-dozen ice ages. I don't even deny anthropomorphic climate change. But having 2 degrees in Computer Information Systems and (soon to be) 2 in history makes me skeptical of models, consensus, and especially conventional wisdom, however derived, about the future. The past is full of people who knew the future. Take heart, the odds are pretty good that these people are just as wrong about it.

  • After all, if you're willing to take a shot at my motivations, I might as well return the favor.

Fossick 3 years, 3 months ago

Now, lest you think my skepticism of models is some kind of an ex post facto rationalization of my dislike for climate change, let me pull a Merrill and cut-and-paste part of something I wrote* right when the 2007 financial crisis hit. It will serve two purposes. The first will demonstrate that my dislike of models extends to modern financial models (how uncapitalist of me, I know), and the second - call it peer review if you'd like - will show whether I was correct against the 'consensus' of financial experts who assured us that the problem was both 'subprime' and 'contained':

"Models are not science and they are not finance, they are mathematics and are therefore captive to literally a million variables, events, tides, occurrences, trends, and changes in trend which must necessarily fall, unknown and unaccounted for, outside the model.

"When the model fails, it is easy to look back and discover why, to see what was missed. We didn't count on El Nino. We didn't expect housing prices to stall. And it's tempting to say that with every fix, NOW the model is correct, NOW the model will tell us the future. It will not and cannot, because the computer thinks precisely as its programmer thinks, only faster...

"The problems in the current market are far deeper than simply subprime; subprime was a fuse on the bomb, not the bomb. Central banks all over the world have not created a half trillion in new money in the past week and injected it into the market to paper over the 3% (delinquent) of the 13% (subprime) of US mortgages that have gone bad. They are dealing with the colossal and coordinated failure of the alternate universe of global financial models to account for that tiny percentage of loans. http://elborak.blogspot.com/2007/08/and-you-call-yourself-scientist.html

  • Or worse, Cait's Holocaust denial. ** I guess it won't be a Merrill after all

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, but I'm just not buying your comparison of climate modeling (based on careful observation of natural phenomenon) and the speculative business of computer arbitraging, which really is nothing more than a rather elaborate attempt to cheat at a crap game, wherein all your opponents are also trying to cheat.

Please explain how they are even remotely similar.

Fossick 3 years, 3 months ago

"Please explain how they are even remotely similar."

First of all, I must correct your ignorant assertion that econometric models are "the speculative business of computer arbitraging." Econometric models attempt to recreate the statistical world within which the macroeconomy operates.

You remember all that noise about jobs saved or created? An econometric model was used to determine exactly what the economic impact would be if $x was spent over x months. It was incorrect obviously, but that was the point. Econometric models are also used to determine that if the Fed buys this many long bonds and sell this many short ones (Operation Twist) the result should be x% change in mortgage rates and create x jobs. It won't work, but that's the point. Econometric models are also used to rate bonds (they don't work), to buy and manage quant funds (they don't work) and to set interest rates and reserve requirements.

The beauty of econometric models is that they look just like science, They are based on past relationships, our understanding of economic law, with assumptions built in where we have no data. And they don't work, consistently needing to be updated to take into account stuff that should have been in there but we didn't know about until the model failed to properly predict the future. In that sense, they are exactly like global warming models. Except more expensive.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, but it's not at all the same. Human behavior is NOT predictable in the same way that the various inputs into the climate are. They follow the rather predictable laws of physics, while human economic behavior is determined by very unpredictable underlying human behavior patterns-- patterns which often defy any sort of logic, meaning they are very resistant to modeling. Not to mention that any sort of economic modeling will be greatly affected by the ideological prejudices of those designing the models. And despite the paranoia to the contrary (that even you demonstrate) scientific research on climate change is much less prone to ideological biases. (unless it's funded by Exxon, in which case it is likely wholly ideological.)

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

For the love...... fine, bozo, Detail your strategy for getting countries like Brazil, India, and China to stop burning fossil fuels when that's exactly what's pulled them up into the world trade powers they are today. "Take the latter"........but when you wake up you're still gonna be right here with us.

Yes, I do believe we have a climate change in motion. And I believe that "man-made" climate change is one of the most arrogant and ridiculous things I've ever heard.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Yea, and I bet that you believe that in a game of chicken, being the first to veer away from collision is an indication of diminished manhood, not a recognition of the idiocy that lies ahead.

Fossick 3 years, 3 months ago

Did you actually expect a strategy? The sad reality is that Bozo, like other Progressives, is caught between two opposite realities. They want lessened environmental impact, yet they demand actions that result in more impact. They want fewer cars, but the want the government to build more highways to employ people. They want us to downsize our lives, yet they want the government to stimulate aggregate demand. They want us to use less, yet they want everyone creating things.

If she really wanted to reduce carbon emissions, she would demand less government stimulus, would would necessitate less economic activity, which would immediately result in lessened carbon output. Depression is great for reducing carbon emissions.

Instead she has to flop between her proletarian demand for living wages for everyone and her sans-culotte hatred of the economic activity that makes it possible, as well as her demand that we artificially increase our economic activity through debt but that we artificially decrease it to save polar bears. It's no wonder these people are bursting at the seams in anger and frustration.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

BTW, very little of your straw-man post reflects what I actually believe. Not that you really care.

Fossick 3 years, 3 months ago

Funny, I thought the same when I read your previous comment. Fair is fair, I suppose.

Now, how about that strategy?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

I have to admit that I don't recall exactly what I said in my previous comment, but I recall enough to know that it shouldn't have warranted removal.

It appears admin has resorted to removing anything that anyone complains about, for whatever reason-- sadly, not an unusual occurrence around here.

Fossick 3 years, 3 months ago

It was essentially that I wanted to drive the bus off the cliff (or a similar metaphor) as quickly as possible. However, I did not complain about it. Worse things have been said about me and have not killed me yet.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

I didn't believe that it was you that had complained. Who knows who did, or why admin felt compelled to remove it.

Chris Golledge 3 years, 3 months ago

So, what is your theory?

That every physicists since Tyndall and Arrhenius has been wrong, and CO2 does not interact with IR light?

Fossick 3 years, 3 months ago

I don't have a theory on global warming. I understand the current theory as much as most people. I don't have an opinion on how much human activity impacts the current climate.

Where I do have a theory is probably laid out in the above: mathematical models of reality cannot model a single hurricane with accuracy. To believe that they tell you what the average temperature is going to be a century from now is the height of gullibility. Especially when even the users of those models come up with a new 'revision' almost quarterly:

May 2011: "While the satellite-based metrics for the period 2000–2010 depart substantially in the direction of lower climate sensitivity from those similarly computed from coupled climate models, we find that, with traditional methods, it is not possible to accurately quantify this discrepancy in terms of the feedbacks which determine climate sensitivity." http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/

July 2011: Nucleation is therefore likely to be important for climate. However, the physical mechanisms of nucleation are not understood, so global models have been based on theoretical calculations or have been adjusted to match observations. CLOUD aims to understand the nucleation process and therefore provide reliable aerosol physics to reduce the uncertainty in climate forcings and projections. http://press.web.cern.ch/press/PressReleases/Releases2011/downloads/CLOUD_SI_press-briefing_29JUL11.pdf

And therein lies the problem I mentioned earlier. All the future science is filled in with guesses, and every time we learn something, it might (or might not) change the model significantly. To project the results of today's models a century into the future does not give you evidence, it gives you a fairy tale.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

There is really no controversy over whether a substantial introduction of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere will cause significant climate change. We've been doing that for well over a century now, and it's accelerating. The models are primarily for predicting the rate and the scale of the climate change this will cause. If we continue doing what we are doing, it's pretty much guaranteed that we'll create climate conditions that aren't conducive to sustaining life on this planet as we currently know it.

So do we ignore the models that say this will happen sooner rather than later merely because they might be off by a decade or two, or exaggerate the effect by a negligible amount?

I'd say something about driving off a cliff, but that's apparently forbidden around here.

Mike Ford 3 years, 3 months ago

can't have it both ways...I will not leave the stage due to the power of dumb... dumb is what you advocate for...right??? liberty...are you admitting you don't get the intellect of people like Einstein??? that's what I thought.....

Armored_One 3 years, 3 months ago

Holy Beaver Biscuits!! Are you connecting to your inner Shatner? LOL

camper 3 years, 3 months ago

Just step away from the politics and the pundits (George Will's of the world), look at satellite photos of the polar ice caps in recent decades, look at CO2 measurements, permafrost melt and ask yourself a question. This is what I do.

I will never associate myself with the deniers. I truly hope they are right. But if by chance they are wrong and there are terrible consequences (probably long after we are gone), the deniers will go down as possibly the most foolish humans to ever walk the face of this earth. Is anything sacred to them if they are willing to ignore and deny something as important as this? Can they see beyond the small window of time they live in, not worrying about future consequence?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Yea, they get all apoplectic about an abstraction, the fiscal deficit of the US Govt, and leaving an abstract fiscal debt to future generations, they have no problem leaving a very real debt-- an uninhabitable planet-- to kids that are alive today, and especially to their kids and grandkids.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Why the disbelief?

It all boils down to money and shareholders. The energy people have nice subsidies on their platters = impossible to go broke. Isn't odd this industry claims it is losing money if they only clear $50 billion in a year instead of $65 billion in a previous year = consumers are suckers.

Energy consumers pay for use,pay for subsidies,pay for insurance,pay for golden parachutes, pay for bailouts of mismanaged corporations and pay shareholders. Consumers NEED TO DEMAND nationalized energy across the board. Our cost of living would drop and the cost of goods should drop as well.

The insurance industry won’t insure against nuclear power plant accidents. Nuclear power plant operators rely on a government-backed "Price-Anderson" insurance scheme that limits their liability in the event of an accident or attack.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Global Warming

The Earth is warming and human activity is the primary cause. Climate disruptions put our food and water supply at risk, endanger our health, jeopardize our national security, and threaten other basic human needs. Some impacts—such as record high temperatures, melting glaciers, and severe flooding and droughts—are already becoming increasingly common across the country and around the world. So far, our national leaders are failing to act quickly to reduce heat-trapping emissions.

However, there is much we can do to protect the health and economic well-being of current and future generations from the consequences of the heat-trapping emissions caused when we burn coal, oil, and gas to generate electricity, drive our cars, and fuel our businesses.

Our country is at a crossroads: the United States can act responsibly and seize the opportunity to lead by developing new, innovative solutions, as well as immediately putting to use the many practical solutions we have at our disposal today; or we can choose to do nothing and deal with severe consequences later. At UCS we believe the choice is clear. It is time to push forward toward a brighter, cleaner future.

*What is Global Warming? When CO2 and other heat-trapping emissions are released into the air, they act like a blanket, holding heat in our atmosphere and warming the planet. Overloading our atmosphere with carbon has far-reaching effects for people everywhere. Learn more: http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/global_warming_101/

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

*Global Warming Science & Impacts What does the science say about global warming and what are the connections between climate data and the changes we see around us—and those we expect to see in the future? Learn more: http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Global Warming Contrarians* Why has it been so difficult to achieve meaningful solutions? Media pundits, partisan think tanks, and special interest groups funded by fossil fuel and related industries raise doubts about the truth of global warming.

These deniers downplay and distort the evidence of climate change, demand policies that allow industries to continue polluting, and attempt to undercut existing pollution standards. UCS fights misrepresentations of global warming, providing sound, science-based evidence to set the record straight.

Learn more: http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/global_warming_contrarians/

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Who can reduce global warming emissions?

We can—together.

Our individual efforts are important, but the biggest impact on climate change will come from large-scale changes—well-reasoned international, national, and regional policies; thoughtful, systematic efforts to reduce polluting fossil fuel energy sources and unsound land use practices; and steady progress toward a cleaner, sustainable future.

Learn more : http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/big_picture_solutions/big-picture-solutions.html

http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Wasn't global cooling going to be the end of the world as we knew it a few decades ago?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 3 months ago

No, you're thinking of "nuclear winter".

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Killing the ozone layer = dangerous impact:

Protecting the Stratospheric Ozone Layer

Ozone can be good or bad depending on where it is located. Close to the Earth's surface, ground-level ozone is a harmful air pollutant. Ozone in the stratosphere, high above the Earth, protects human health and the environment from the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation. This natural shield has been gradually depleted by man made chemicals.

Ozone in the stratosphere, a layer of the atmosphere located 10 to 30 miles above the Earth, serves as a shield, protecting people and the environment from the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation. The stratospheric ozone layer filters out harmful sun rays, including a type of sunlight called ultraviolet B. Exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) has been linked to cataracts (eye damage) and skin cancer. Scientists have also linked increased UVB exposures to crop injury and damage to ocean plant life.

Scientists have been monitoring the stratospheric ozone layer since the 1970s. In the 1980s, scientists began accumulating evidence that the ozone layer was being depleted. The ozone hole in the region of the South Pole, which has appeared each year during the Antarctic winter (our summer), often is bigger than the continental United States. Between 1978 and 1997, scientists have measured a 5 percent loss of stratospheric ozone-a significant amount.

The 1990 Clean Air Act required EPA to set up a program for phasing out production and use of ozone-destroying chemicals. In 1996, U.S. production ended for many of the chemicals capable of doing the most serious harm such as CFCs, halons, and methyl chloroform.

Unfortunately, it will be about 60 years before the stratospheric ozone layer heals.

Because of the ozone-destroying chemicals already in the stratosphere and those that will arrive within the next few years, stratospheric ozone destruction will likely continue throughout the decade. September 24, 2006, tied for the largest ozone hole on record at 29 million square kilometers (11.4 million square miles). The year 2006 also saw the second largest sustained ozone hole.

The Clean Air Act includes other steps to protect the ozone layer. The Act encourages the development of "ozone-friendly" substitutes for ozone-destroying chemicals. Many products and processes have been reformulated to be more "ozone-friendly." For instance, refrigerators no longer use CFCs.

Sometimes it isn't easy to phase out an ozone-destroying chemical. For instance, substitutes have not been found for CFCs used in certain medical applications. The limit on the production of methyl bromide, a pesticide, was extended because farmers did not yet have an effective alternative.

For more information about stratospheric ozone, visit www.epa.gov/ozone.

devobrun 3 years, 3 months ago

And none of us will be around to test the hypothesis that decreasing CFCs will cause more stratospheric ozone to be formed. The CFC agenda was a test of the notion that untestable science can proceed on the basis of scare tactics. It was a smashing success. CO2 became the next pollutant to be demonized. Indeed, if people were to call CO2 an air pollutant 60 years ago, atmospheric scientists would have a hoot. CO2 is what plants breath. None of this is science because none of it can be tested. Hypotheses followed by all the bad things that will happen if we don't do something is politics. The reason that people in this couontry don't believe it is because we smell the stink of politics. In Europe, people are quite accepting of politics. They have lived in a world that is completely dominated by politics for generations.

We lived in a world substatially removed from politics until the last coupla decades. We are quickly becoming Europeanized, and that means top-down proscription. Well, we haven't completely lost our sense of self yet. That is why we can still question authority, but that spirit is fading.

melott 3 years, 3 months ago

Actually, the decline in the ozone layer has stopped. It is no longer getting worse each year. It appears to be starting to heal.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

"We lived in a world substatially removed from politics"

That's just plain absurd,

devobrun 3 years, 3 months ago

The 1950s was so dominated by young veterans that government and politics were way behind the eightball. Individualism domnated. Communism and socialism were anathema, bozo. Plastics, electronics, business, Wall Street......and the USA was so powerful and controlling that the world was all about America.

I'm not saying it was perfect. Of course not...but all empowering it was. America was it. And America was not about government. It was about business, individuals, not top-down proscription.

Your statement that you find my characterization of the world...pre-1970 to be absurd is your present day bias. Big oil, big business and individualism (Ayn Rand) produced an ethos of can-do. It also avoided humanitarian thoughts and feelings. Thus, you got an economy that blossumed and an emotional crash of pills and alcohol. Marylin Monroe anybody?

But we could pay for what we had. Today's world is all about feelings and fixing people. Fixing the environment. Not being an individual and hating big business.

And we cannot afford it. We are going broke because we are living in like the rest of the world. We have become Europe, 1955. We are South America 1963. We are China and the Societ Union 19....whatever.

We traded big business for socialism and it ain't working. Oh btw, GE is not a capitalist institution. It is owned and operated by the government. All big businesses are today.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

The USA is 5% of the worlds population consuming 25% of the world's energy...

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

You can choose to stop using fossil fuels right now. That would help save the planet.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 3 months ago

People who deny global warming rank up there with Holocaust deniers. It's not like the evidence isn't all around us; melting ice caps, the severest drought ever seen in the SW US, water becoming nearly as precious as oil, an ozone layer so destroyed in the Southern hemisphere that Aussies and Kiwis refuse to go outside without long sleeves, hats and sunscreen in 110F temps. The toll it's taking on flora and fauna in the environment is tremendous but deniers refuse to recognize that toll, even when it's hung on the end of their noses. They will continue to deny it until our own country faces famine that will make Somalia, Angola and Ethiopia look like Thanksgiving bounty. On a side note, it does make me wonder what the super rich like the Kochs will do when that comes about. Money is neither nutritious nor hydrating.

blindrabbit 3 years, 3 months ago

Part of the reason for disbelief in the U.S. is the fact that a few individuals who profit from the energy industry sway the common sense of the portions of the population that are skeptics of anything that is not religiously based. As an example, most of the political skeptics are either stockholders, consultants or politicians from energy producing areas. Two of the most vocal, never mind if they make sense, are Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, and his neighbor Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma. Interestingly, these two states have borne the brunt of drought and range fires as well as unusually violent spring weather the last several years. Both of these individual are exponents of fundamental religious dogma that justifies man's reaping and raping the environment as long as it is OK by God. They will continue to deny because the allure of money from polluting industries overpowers the evidence and their open-mindedness.

llama726 3 years, 3 months ago

Worst case scenario: We make some changes that lower our energy consumption and thus help us save some money. We're wrong, and the planet is fine. What's the downside?

Best case scenario: All of the above, except the planet wasn't fine, and our changes at least mitigate the damage that could be coming.

Seems silly to go into much more depth than that.

Mike Ford 3 years, 3 months ago

it's apparent that we have luddites in our midst and the crazy floods, giant tornadoes, big snows, and long droughts mean nothing to the corner preacher wannabes unless they can spin it to their advantage or listen to politicians purchased by oil and energy conglomerates. Why practice conservation when these people want the apocolypse to justify their religious visions like I see channel surfing on channel 22....to them thinking is an option not a necessity and the preachers and am radio feed on this....if we're all on the titanic why not let them run to the front of the boat with their denial....

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

"To anyone having the least little doubt about climate change..." As the headline writer did, you are misstating the question. You are confusing the fact that the climate is always changing with the theory that human activity is causing the climate to change.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Your caps lock is sticking sometimes. You may want to have somebody look at that.

conservative 3 years, 3 months ago

While it is possible that our little planet heating up is happening there are real problems with the sources that insist it is being caused by man's actions. Yes studies have shown that CO2 can increase temperatures but it is hardly the only factor in change. Does that mean we shouldn't do everything we can to promote advancement of nonpolluting technologies? No, but we also shouldn't destroy our own economy by trying to do things instantly and unilaterally. Second problem is that yes global warming doomsayers are correct that you can't point to one storm of 12 inches of snow and say see global warming is a myth. What they fail to mention is that climate change is constantly happening in cycles that cover thousands of years (with or without man's presence) and that it is just as incorrect to point to a 30 year trend and say it's proof of global warming.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Since this has been discussed for the last 40 years, I hardly think we're acting "instantly".

I'd say it's about time for us to do something.

conservative 3 years, 3 months ago

The biggest problem I have with the scientists who insist that climate change is being caused by humans is that during the same time period that they point to earth's rising temperatures and shrinking ice caps, the same effects were noted on mars. with similar effects being seen in the same same time frame on mars it certainly points to a difference on a much larger scale than humans can influence.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

Are you referring to the research done by Lori Fenton at NASA, comparing 1 day in 1977 with 1 day in 1999, showing a 0.65 C degree change between the two days? Well, that study doesn't really show anything, since 1) it only included 2 days 22 years apart, with no data before, between or after those 2 days; 2) Mars has an orbit that is more eccentric than the earth's; 3) Mars has no oceans, significant life and very little atmosphere to buffer the temperature swings. So it most certainly does NOT point to a difference in the sun's output so much as it points to a difference between the two planets.

melott 3 years, 3 months ago

That's certainly the silliest thing I have seen in years. The Mars thing just shows how desperate these folks will get to rationalize their denialism.

It reminds me so much of creationism. "So if people came from monkeys why are there still monkeys?' The same brilliant thinking.

camper 3 years, 3 months ago

Human activity, minimized by some, can cause environmental changes. Farming practices and lack of soil conservation contributed to the Dust Bowl. Just one small example, but proof that yes, us humans can be detrimental to the environment that we live in.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 3 months ago

Why do you kill the ozone layer with your dangerous and polluting lawn mowers? Lawn mowers are far more polluting than a car.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

That's a misleading comment.

While lawn mower engines may in fact have fewer emissions controls than automobile engines, one generally uses them far less often.

It takes me about 1/2 gallon of gas to mow both my front and back yards, and I do that no more often than every 2-3 weeks.

Most people use their cars much more than that, don't you think?

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Some people run 2-cycle lawn mowers almost every day during the mowing season. Those are the professional planet killers.

Armored_One 3 years, 3 months ago

Nobody disagrees that carbon, methane and other such chemicals trap heat.

Nobody disagrees that there are greater concentrations of those chemicals in the air than any time in recorded history.

Nobody can agree on what effect it is going to have. This staggers the imagination.

If you can't release heat, then obvious the temperature rises. The denser the concentration of what is retaining the heat, the greater the temperature rises.

Last I knew, if the temperature rises, that means it's warmer. Since these chemicals surround the globe via the atmosphere, then logic requires the next step to be that it will cause a global warming effect.

The lack of logic isn't what scares me, though.

It the fact that no one seems to have ever used a thermometer in their lifetime. Are we in the Dark Ages and no one bothered to tell me? Sheesh, thanks a lot people. LOL

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

In climate news from Uganda: "Climate Change May Kill People Eventually But Carbon Credits Eliminate The Wait! A followup to Andy's sidebar headline from this weekend. Arson and murder, brought to you by environmentalism. Which now resembles a stereotypically nasty form of corporate imperialism. This is a NYT link, just so you know. KICUCULA, Uganda — According to the company’s proposal to join a United Nations clean-air program, the settlers living in this area left in a “peaceful” and “voluntary” manner. People here remember it quite differently. “I heard people being beaten, so I ran outside,” said Emmanuel Cyicyima, 33. “The houses were being burnt down.” Other villagers described gun-toting soldiers and an 8-year-old child burning to death when his home was set ablaze by security officers. Yikes! How awful! What on Earth for? Across Africa, some of the world’s poorest people have been thrown off land to make way for foreign investors, often uprooting local farmers so that food can be grown on a commercial scale and shipped to richer countries overseas. But in this case, the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming..." http://minx.cc/?post=321843

melott 3 years, 3 months ago

Excellent post, snap. This is just like the creationists showing how evil and wrong evolution is because it led to Social Darwinism.

gatekeeper 3 years, 3 months ago

It seems hard to believe that people still deny basic science. To understand the ignorance, all you have to do is remember that there is an entire museum about creationism in KY and they have many exhibits explaining how man and dinosaurs lived together in harmony until the great flood. How can you expect these people to understand basic scientific fact when they think man rode dinosaurs and every word of the bible is fact? My favorite exhibit there is where a velociraptor is peacefully watching a lady by a creek. Of course, he had no desire to eat her because they coexisted peacefully. Laws of nature mean nothing to these idiots.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 3 months ago

To quote George Carlin, "The Earth will shake us off like a bad case of fleas."

ivalueamerica 3 years, 3 months ago

The switch of belief has everything to do with politics and little to do with science.

tbaker 3 years, 3 months ago

The briefest search of the web produces plenty of reasons for the disbelief in climate change to persist:

The Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in Britain is one of four places in the world where global temperature data sets are compiled. Someone (apparently an insider) hacked into the CRU's computer system, and on Friday posted online 1,079 emails and 72 documents. Dr. Phil Jones, the director of the CRU, has said the emails appear to be genuine.

Dr. Jones and his global warming alarmist colleagues have a fundamental problem: The planet hasn't warmed since 1998, and -- according to satellite measurements -- has cooled significantly in the last two years. The emails indicate how they dealt with it. Blogger Ed Morrissey (Hot Air) summarizes:

"Prominent environmental scientists organize a boycott of scientific journals if those journals publish scholarly material from global warming dissidents.

"The scientists then orchestrate attacks on the dissidents because of their lack of scholarly material published in scientific journals.

"The scientists block from the UN's report on global warming evidence that is harmful to the anthroprogenic global warming consensus.

"The scientists, when faced with a Freedom of Information Act request for their correspondence and data, delete the correspondence and data lest it be used against them.

"The scientists fabricate data when their data fails to prove the earth is warming."

The heart of the scientific method is falsifiability. Scientists share data with each other to see whether or not their experiments can be replicated. By massaging data to meet a preconceived conclusion, and by hiding data from skeptical colleagues, Dr. Jones and his associates were acting more like scam artists.

For instance, in an email Nov. 16, 1999, Dr. Jones told three other scientists: "I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps for each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." ("Mike" is Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University, author of the "hockey stick" graph of global temperatures which Canadian researchers Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKittrick demonstrated to be fraudulent. "Keith" is Dr. Keith Briffa of the CRU, whose temperature graphs from tree ring data from Yamal, Russia, also have been shown by McIntyre and McKittrick to be unreliable.)

Ken Lassman 3 years, 3 months ago

Old, old wives tales, these accusations. Never mind that the East Anglia "climategate" science has been exonerated no less than 6 times by independent investigations. Furthermore, the evidence for climate change is much more comprehensive than the global temperature calculations of East Anglia and includes a diverse set of data including sea surface temperatures, ocean heat, sea level increases, ice cap extent, glacial mass reductions and sea acidification, for starters. There is simply no other way to attribute all of this diverse data without incorporating the influence of anthropogenic emissions and the catalyzing effect they have on a wide range of planetary dynamics.

Chris Golledge 3 years, 3 months ago

You have been drinking the Kool-Aid, I see. Where to begin...

"significant" cooling? Really? what is the trend and what is the confidence interval? Because, generally, you have to have at least a couple of decades of data in order to get any statistical significance out of the noisy temperature data. Which is kind of why the questioner picked 1995 for his starting point when asking Dr. Jones if there had been statistically significant warming. Knowing the math, Dr. Jones was obliged to answer 'no'. If the questioner had used 1994 as the start year, Dr. Jones would have had to answer 'yes'. Incidentally, the warming since 1995 is now significant.

BTW, the papers that Dr. Jones objected to were used anyway. Boy, how's that for a rock-solid conspiracy?

The material that was deleted was not the subject of the FOI request. BTW, would you not be a bit peeved to receive a dozen to a score of FOI act requests per day? Can you document when anyone has actually published any work based on the information released?

Blah, blah, blah...

BTW, I'm curious; Dr. Mann incorporated instrumental data into a graph, and he told the reader what he had done; in what way is that a nefarious trick, and what was hidden?

Would it be too much trouble to fact-check what you have been told? Or, is it too easy to believe that everything is peachy?

ivalueamerica 3 years, 3 months ago

where you fail science and education is that there is no 100% definitive proof one way or the other, it is a preponderance of the evidence.

However, you refuse with all your might, no matter what, to accept that and instead will ONLY float with the theories that support your politics.

Until the evidence is more weighted against global warming, I am sticking with the scientific method instead of the emotional or political method of weighing evidence.

Because anything less is uneducated and silly.

melott 3 years, 3 months ago

This persists the idea--false--that the idea of future climate change is based on extrapolation of current trends. That is not the case. We have been aware that there has been a flattening of the curve, probably due to extra particulates and/or increased cloud cover from cosmic rays. 5 years ago I predicted that the deniers would seize on this affect (the cosmic ray change was somewhat predictable based on solar cycles).

tbaker 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm all for clean air to breathe, water to drink, and food to eat. Everyone I care about is affected by it. If there is a cleaner way to do all the things mankind does, then by all means, lets do it. If cleaning up man's behavior in the name of saving the Earth is your goal, then I suggestr you pack a bag and head for the third world. Start with China. Most of the nasty stuff going into our atmosphere comes from somewhere other than the US.

Just don't tell me man-made carbon dioxide is ruining the planet becuase it is causing some "greenhouse" effect. Thats just pure bunk a child could see through. Water vapor is 95% of the greenhouse gases, CO2 is 3.618% and man made CO2 is even more miniscule, only 0.117%. CO2 molecules in the atmosphere are so diffuse that is impossible for CO2 to cause global warming. Repeat: CO2 can NOT cause warming. If you think the climate is getting warmer, then common sense should lead you to take a long hard look at the number #1 generator of heat in the solar system - the sun. Overlay global average temperature with solar cycles. (this assumes we accurately measure global average temps, and we don't)

Of course the Al Gore crowd won't accept this becuase this whole debate is about giving government yet more control over human behavior. If it turns out the sun is the reason why the earth gets hotter and colder at various times, then it's hard to use climate change as a reason to put more government into people's lives.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

"Repeat: CO2 can NOT cause warming."

And if you click your heels three times, and keep repeating "There's not place like home," all will be well.

Chris Golledge 3 years, 3 months ago

I probably should not indulge you, but OK; here is an overlay of total solar irradiance, global mean temperature, and CO2.

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:132/plot/pmod/mean:12/normalise/scale:0.25/plot/esrl-co2/mean:12/normalise

Would you mind acknowledging your factual errors before posting more?

melott 3 years, 3 months ago

If CO2 has increased about 40% since the Industrial Revolution, can your claim about the fraction of human-made CO2 be correct?

I won't bother with the rest.

tbaker 3 years, 3 months ago

Yawn......according to KU, there used to be a 900' thick glacier sitting on my property here in lovely Leavenworth county, and it sat there for about 50,000 years. Then one day about 12,000 years ago, it got warmer and the glacier melted. Obviously humans didn't cause this radical climate change. What I find amusing is the fact the very same scienticifc community, whose word on man-made "climate change" we are supposed to accept on faith, are the exact same bunch of people who cannot explain what ended the last ice age.

So please, by all means, bother to tell me why any rational person would pay any attention to the gloom and doom predictions of people claiming man is warming the planet when they can't even explain why the planet warmed the last time.

I won't bother with the rest.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

"So please, by all means, bother to tell me why any rational person would pay any attention"

Why? Any such explanations obviously couldn't be intended for you.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Your logic is flawed, and your attitude odd.

Whether or not we can explain what happened 12,000 years ago has little bearing on an analysis of what's happening today - it's entirely possible that climate change can be caused by a number of different factors, and has been caused by different factors in the past than in the present.

The question is whether our activities now are contributing significantly to climate change in a way that's harmful to other species, the environment, and ultimately human life as well.

If they are, then it would be in our own best interests to change those activities.

Centerville 3 years, 3 months ago

The 'hide the decline' people have no one to blame but themselves. They thought they had a nice little scam going.

tbaker 3 years, 3 months ago

Jafs - the merit of my logic is self-evident. The same people who cannot explain why a factual event occurred the last time the Earth got warmer simply do not have any credibility when they purport to know what is causing the Earth to warm now. Were they able to prove what caused the last warming event, they would definitely be worth listening to now. Since they can't, they are not. That is just common sense. The bottom line here is we are working with enormous time scales and yet we only have a tiny fraction of data to work with, and the reliability of that data is highly questionable. Assuming the very best case scenario, we have only been accurately measuring global average temperature for maybe the last 60 years, and even with such a generous assumption, freshman statistics will show you that the error rate in temperature samples used is greater than the claimed temperature rise. Back in the late 70s, the same government scientists (who we are supposed to believe now) were trying to scare us with the coming ice age. Remember that? Volcanoes and the ocean itself are by far much larger sources of CO2 and other "greenhouse" gases. Many, many, many multiples of the amounts human activity produces - and this assumes CO2 is causing some greenhouse effect (which it cannot) Just consider it's molecular weight and see if something with that weight can behave the way CO2 is supposed to be behaving. (can't) In the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)" published a peer-reviewed article that began: “Data for global surface temperature indicate little warming between 1998 and 2008." Furthermore, global surface temperature actually declines 0.2 °C between 2005 and 2008.” This cooling trend has continued past 2008 despite a warm, El Nino-influenced 2010. The shoddy data collection that is managing to get done is showing the Earth to be cooling - not warming.

A recent paper in "Science" found that 5,000 years ago, at the end of the Holocene Optimum warming, there was 50 per cent less Arctic ice than there is today. Somehow, the planet and polar bears survived. And yet, official climatology tells the public that today’s Arctic melting is “unprecedented” and that polar bears—despite the largest populations ever recorded—are endangered.

Global Warming is a load of horse dung Jafs, designed to scare people and give the government greater ability to control people, but like I said to begin with: I'm all for cleaner, more environmentally friendly ways to do what humans do simply because I have to live in this environment, and so does everyone I care about. These are sound, practical reasons to care about the environment. This is why I giggle when some Global Warmer who laps up this tripe as gospel goes off the rails and accuses me of being irrational.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

Your logic is non-existent.

Scientists weren't around with all of modern science and technology 12,000 years ago.

It's patently absurd to ask them to explain an event from that time with any certainty.

I'll leave the rest of the refutation to scientists who have more data available than I do - every time this discussion has taken place online, I have found that the scientists are more credible than the "deniers".

tbaker 3 years, 2 months ago

I'm supposed to be the "denier" here? Giggling....

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

Giggle all you like.

Your position is like somebody who goes to the doctor for a headache, gets diagnosed and a treatment recommended, and then says "Before I accept your diagnosis, I also demand that you diagnose a headache I had when I was a kid, there aren't any medical records, my parents are dead, and I don't remember much about it."

Any reputable doctor would refuse to try such a thing - it's simply not possible without more information.

Chris Golledge 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, for the sake of entertainment, I'll say that

"Were they able to prove what caused the last warming event, they would definitely be worth listening to now. Since they can't, they are not. That is just common sense."

is like saying, "I won't believe that Booth killed Lincoln until it can be proven who killed Oetzi."

Besides, have you not heard of Milankovitch cycles?

Keep on galloping there Gish.

jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

The logical error you're making is the assumption that warming can only be caused by one thing, in all times and places.

georgeofwesternkansas 3 years, 3 months ago

The climate change people do not want to change the world. They want to rule it.

camper 3 years, 3 months ago

TBaker says "Thats just pure bunk a child could see through. Water vapor is 95% of the greenhouse gases, CO2 is 3.618% and man made CO2 is even more miniscule, only 0.117%."

I will assume this data is trustworthy. But 0.117% man made CO2 might be an enourmous amount or a miniscule amount relative to the volume or space of the atmosphere. And that 0.117% might just lead to increased water vapor (which has a green house effect). Here is how. If man made CO2 causes even the slightest warming effect, the air will be warmer. Warmer air can hold more moisture. More moisture in the air translates to increased water vapor. Repeat cycle.

And all of this is assuming your source is accurate.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

An ounce of botulin toxin, distributed properly, could kill everyone on the planet. But an ounce isn't really very much, is it? I'm guessing tbaker would be willing to eat an ounce of that toxin just to prove his point, wouldn't he?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Actually, I exaggerated-- an ounce will only kill 30 million people, or a little more than 10 times the population of this state.

I wonder how much plutonium tbaker would be willing to inhale? Surely 1/1000 the of gram couldn't hurt, could it? After all, small quantities of anything, regardless of their physical or physiological properties, never do any harm, because, well, it's small. You may not believe that, but if you have studied the science of "Only Size Matters" the way tbaker has, you'd understand.

Barry Watts 3 years, 2 months ago

I'm not too worried. We will either evolve or become extinct. It is how it has supposedly happened for millions of years. To the polar bears, I say the same thing. Evolve or become extinct. Survival of the fittest! (Evolutionary theory can be very depressing.)

Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

The earth has been both warmer and cooler than it is now. If all humans disappeared tomorrow, the earth of the future would continue to go through climate cycles where it would be both warmer and cooler than it is now. bozo speculating about poisoning people won't change anything.

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