January 2, 2008

"Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers...."

John Hawkins collects 40 "obnoxious" quotes from 2007, including a few I don't remember seeing before, like that one from Ellen Goodman, some that are very familiar, and some that I don't agree are obnoxious.

181 comments:

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Althouse reads "Right Wing News?" Who would have guessed that?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Althouse reads "Right Wing News?" Who would have guessed that?


She's admitted reading Kos too. What's your point?

Simon said...

From the linked story, Roseanne Barr said:
"Anyone in congress who refuses to save our union from these traitors by doing nothing needs to be recalled."

How does one "recall" a member of Congress? Even if there were a law on the books to do so, wouldn't it violate Art. I §§ 2 Cl. 1 and 3 Cl. 1?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'll tell you, I don't think I ever fully realized the insane rage that possesses the Left until I read those quotes.

George said...

'I'm going to have to put the baby away.'

--Sensitive crusading playwright Arthur Miller upon learning that his newborn son Daniel was born with Down's Syndrome. Miller, famous for writing the words 'Attention must be paid,' then had the infant institutionalized and pretended he didn't exist for the next 40 years, according to the September 2007 Vanity Fair.

"I don't want to be unkind to Burt, because I'm very respectful of him, as a person and an artist, as a former husband and as a father to Nikki, but he had no connection with her....He does regret it, and he has said, "I'm terribly sorry. Had I known I never would have done that.' Nevertheless, it destroyed her."

--Movie star and mother Angie Dickinson referring to her former husband the sensitive Burt 'Make It Easy on Yourself' Bacharach whose daughter Nikki suffered from Asperger's Syndrome and who "held her father responsible for her 10 years of incarceration" in a "hospital" before her suicide, according to the January 2008 Vanity Fair (on sale in December 2007 and not available online).

Tom said...

It is John Hawkins, not Jack.

He is part of Linda Chavez' 10% nativist group- a quote that is quite reasonable and not at all obnoxious.

Windbag said...

Geraldo Rivera, Ted Rall, Bill Maher, Jimmy Carter...finding an asinine statement in that group is about as difficult as finding sand on a beach.

Henry said...

""Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers....""

...except that global warming deniers hate everyone. That must make them worse, right?

* * *

I'm really looking forward to the retrospective analyses of global warming in 20 years. If the sunspot crowd is right, the temperature will have stopped rising about 5 years ago. If the consensus people are right, global warming will be in process and ... nothing much will have changed (a few tenths of a degree in world temperature, a few inches in ocean levels).

Then there's the alarmists. They, it must be said, have a lot of chips on the table.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

I'll tell you, I don't think I ever fully realized the insane rage that possesses the Left until I read those quotes.

An early entry for the "40 dumbest Althouse blog comments of 2008."

SteveR said...

I find it distasteful when Global Warming (as in human caused global warming as it is presently understood as a science)is linked with the Holocaust. A variety of Godwin's Law.

Hoosier Daddy said...

An early entry for the "40 dumbest Althouse blog comments of 2008."

What's wrong Cyrus? Truth hurting a wee bit?

Simon said...

Henry - indeed. There was this over the weekend (noting the tendancy of the media to overhype or underreport weather events depending on how well they comport with the Gorethodoxy), and then this morning there's this (noting that computer models of the climate fail the most basic test of validity).

Maybe 2008 will be the year when someone finally answers the question I posed almost a year ago, which we'll all recall neither Doyle nor any other Gorelista had an answer to the last time it came up on the Althouse blog.

Simon said...

HoosierDaddy, just ignore him. He's not worth the time or pixels. New year's resolution: don't feed the trolls.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I find it distasteful when Global Warming (as in human caused global warming as it is presently understood as a science)is linked with the Holocaust.

Well no one ever said many on the Left could account for taste. Those who make comparisons with Bush=Hitler clearly have no concept of history. Or those who think we're living in a fascist police state have never actually been to one.

rightwingprof said...

I really couldn't care less about Kathy Griffin's statements about anything. I fail to understand why she exists at all.

tightspotkilo said...

I find it distasteful when Global Warming (as in human caused global warming as it is presently understood as a science)is linked with the Holocaust. A variety of Godwin's Law.

It's a tactic. It's an effort to mute dissenting views and skepticism altogether by marginalizing through labeling. It's like when those advocating traditional values are called homophobes. Precisely the same dynamic going on there.

Hoosier Daddy said...

HoosierDaddy, just ignore him. He's not worth the time or pixels. New year's resolution: don't feed the trolls.

It's not that easy. I have moral qualms about starving trolls. To think they'd be shrivled up husks because I didn't try and provide some kind of enlightenment goes against my No Troll Left Behind policy.

tightspotkilo said...

Oh yeah, one more thing, put me in the category that says that anyone who goes on national TV and tells Jesus to "suck it" is being obnoxious. They just are. No ex post facto rationalizations cure it.

Tex said...

Is there a corresponding list that any leftists have compiled? If not, can anyone here provide some examples that would fit on that imaginary list?

The Drill SGT said...

How does one "recall" a member of Congress? Even if there were a law on the books to do so, wouldn't it violate Art. I §§ 2 Cl. 1 and 3 Cl. 1?

California, where she likely lives has a Recall process for state officials, so she is making that leap to Congressional ones.

Eli Blake said...

I don't think that comparing global warming denial to the Holocaust is accurate.

Given that it involves science and the tiny (but well-funded) percentage of scientists who are 'skeptics,' I'd liken denial of global warming to belief in creationism, UFOlogy or ESP.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Given that it involves science and the tiny (but well-funded) percentage of scientists who are 'skeptics,' I'd liken denial of global warming to belief in creationism, UFOlogy or ESP.

One needs to separate and define terms.

Most/many people, but not all think that the world is warming. That is Global Warming.

fewer folks think that Global Warming is caused by man and is reversable.

Many folks think that there is insufficent data and little proof of causality (which isn't the same as coorelation)

Eli Blake said...

simon:

Let me answer that for you.

It is true that in past episodes of warming, you are right that an uptick in CO2 was not the initial impetus (we may not know what was, possibly a reduction in volcanic activity or maybe a solar cycle, either of which could have occurred over hundreds of years.)

However, there are two facts which you fail to look at. The first is that the measurable uptick in CO2 we see now was certainly not due to an earlier cycle of warming (in fact 600-800 years ago the earth was in what was known as the 'little ice age,') so it is hard to come up with any other source for it than human activity, and

the second, and crucial difference is that while in the past the increase in CO2 was likely the result of natural processes as you alluded to and therefore had to have an initial impetus, the present increase does not need such an impetus, and is also occurring much faster (with significant amounts of CO2 being added to the atmosphere in decades, rather than centuries.)

While you may be right that in the past something else initially caused global warming, the science is certainly there that CO2 can cause warming (see Venus, or Mars for that matter which would be much colder even than it is if its thin atmosphere wasn't mostly carbon dioxide,) and since we are now adding the requisite CO2 to the atmosphere, human industrial activity has in effect replaced whatever the catalyst was that caused it to be added in the past.

rcocean said...

Rosie's comment about Steel is more funny/stupid than obnoxious. Fire can't melt steel, Ha!Ha! - next Rosie will tell us that fire can't melt rock.

And Coulter & KG were just making jokes.

Behar, OTOH, really is a hater and the same is true of Geraldo! We have to assume Behar really speaks for Walters; since she is a nobody and Walters hired her.

Eli Blake said...

I'd also like to add why I am absolutely convinced of the reality of climate change:

I've hiked up a mountain here in Arizona, and found evidence of a forest fire there in the not too distant past (burnt tree stumps, pieces of burned wood). But there are no trees growing there now, just desert vegetation.

So whatever caused trees to grow there in the past is no longer true. Too hot, too dry, take your pick. But since then I've noticed that on the slopes of some other mountains here. When trees grow back, the treeline tends to be higher up the mountain.

Now, before anyone makes the point, fires have come and gone. Probably the mountain I was on has burned a hundred times or more since the ice age. And always if it did the trees grew back. But not anymore.

I know, that was unscientific. Granted. But it was damn convincing.

Fen said...

I guess the IPCC is also in "denial"

Their complaints:

1) the models don't accurately reflect reality

2) the bureaucrats changed some estimates by a factor of 10 [ex: 60 inch rise in sea level VS 6 inch]

3) the bureaucrats changed facts and conclusions presented in IPCC reports AFTER the scientists had all signed it [Ann should be familiar with this stunt, see: Letter from prominent legal scholars re Clinton Impeachment]

More here:

"Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.

...This blockbuster Senate report lists the scientists by name, country of residence, and academic/institutional affiliation. It also features their own words, biographies, and weblinks to their peer reviewed studies and original source materials as gathered from public statements, various news outlets, and websites in 2007. This new “consensus busters” report is poised to redefine the debate.

...Many of the scientists featured in this report consistently stated that numerous colleagues shared their views, but they will not speak out publicly for fear of retribution. Atmospheric scientist Dr. Nathan Paldor, Professor of Dynamical Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, author of almost 70 peer-reviewed studies, explains how many of his fellow scientists have been intimidated.

...This new report details how teams of international scientists are dissenting from the UN IPCC’s view of climate science. In such nations as Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, Russia, New Zealand and France, nations, scientists banded together in 2007 to oppose climate alarmism. In addition, over 100 prominent international scientists sent an open letter in December 2007 to the UN stating attempts to control climate were “futile.”

Paleoclimatologist Dr. Tim Patterson, professor in the department of Earth Sciences at Carleton University in Ottawa, recently converted from a believer in man-made climate change to a skeptic. Patterson noted that the notion of a “consensus” of scientists aligned with the UN IPCC or former Vice President Al Gore is false. “I was at the Geological Society of America meeting in Philadelphia in the fall and I would say that people with my opinion were probably in the majority.”

The distinguished scientists featured in this new report are experts in diverse fields, including: climatology; geology; biology; glaciology; biogeography; meteorology; oceanography; economics; chemistry; mathematics; environmental sciences; engineering; physics and paleoclimatology. Some of those profiled have won Nobel Prizes for their outstanding contribution to their field of expertise and many shared a portion of the UN IPCC Nobel Peace Prize with Vice President Gore.

Additionally, these scientists hail from prestigious institutions worldwide, including: Harvard University; NASA; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the UN IPCC; the Danish National Space Center; U.S. Department of Energy; Princeton University; the Environmental Protection Agency; University of Pennsylvania; Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the International Arctic Research Centre; the Pasteur Institute in Paris; the Belgian Weather Institute; Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute; the University of Helsinki; the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S., France, and Russia; the University of Pretoria; University of Notre Dame; Stockholm University; University of Melbourne; Columbia University; the World Federation of Scientists; and the University of London.

The voices of many of these hundreds of scientists serve as a direct challenge to the often media-hyped “consensus” that the debate is “settled.”

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=f80a6386-802a-23ad-40c8-3c63dc2d02cb

Eli Blake said...

drill sgt:

See my answer to Simon.

I have to go now, I'll check back tonight.

The Drill SGT said...

I know, that was unscientific. Granted. But it was damn convincing.

Eli, lest I be considered a Holocaust denier :)

I'm willing to agree that the earth is getting warmer. I am not willing to rule out reasons other than man made actions. My predisposition is to attribute it to natural events. I am not convinced that actions of man are the driver.

we'll see.

Simon said...

The Drill SGT said...
"[How does one 'recall' a member of Congress? Even if there were a law on the books to do so, wouldn't it violate Art. I §§ 2 Cl. 1 and 3 Cl. 1?] California, where she likely lives has a Recall process for state officials, so she is making that leap to Congressional ones."

Does tend to suggest how seriously we ought to take her if she can't tell the difference between the California legislature and the Congress of the United States, dudn't it.

Eli, so presumably you would agree that when Gore wheels out that graph as evidence for his theory, it's a shell game: the graph is meaningless because (by your own concession) the warming cycle now taking place is unrelated to earlier warming events? I mean, it seems to me that your argument boils down to this: while previous warming cycles concededly weren't initiated by rises in CO2 concentration, (a) CO2 does have an undoubted greenhouse effect to a debated extent, (b) both mean temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentration are presently rising, therefore (c) the present temperature rise is a cause not a correlate of the rise in CO2 concentration. Is that what you're saying?

Eli Blake said...
"I'd also like to add why I am absolutely convinced of the reality of climate change"

That's a red herring: the correct answer to "climate change" is "yes, it does." There is no debate whatsoever that the climate changes. The meat of the debate is over what forces drive it, how much it's going to change and how much of a concern that is, and as a function of the answers to those two questions, what if anything we can and should do about it.

Gedaliya said...

I know, that was unscientific. Granted. But it was damn convincing.

The tree line of your mountain has fluctuated numberless times since the mountain was formed. The tree line goes up, the tree line goes down. This has been happening for countless eons.

Why do you think this is occurring because of "global warming"? Ascribing the absence of new trees in a particular place at a particular time to "global warming" is silly...even fatuous.

I do wonder what all you global warming alarmists are going to do once the entire thing is debunked in the next couple of years. If the past is prologue, you'll probably turn to some other chicken-little crusade without even the slightest hint of embarrassment.

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

Hoosier Daddy said...

The meat of the debate is over what forces drive it, how much it's going to change and how much of a concern that is, and as a function of the answers to those two questions, what if anything we can and should do about it.

Well one part of the debate for me is what exactly constitutes an optimal climate? When I hear how we must stop climate change, stop it to what? At what point prior to man pumping CO2 into the air should be hearken as the best of times for the climate?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Simon wrote:

Maybe 2008 will be the year when someone finally answers the question I posed almost a year ago, which we'll all recall neither Doyle nor any other Gorelista had an answer to the last time it came up on the Althouse blog.

The problem with this statement is that it's completely untrue.

I addressed your question here and here, and reminded you of these responses when you whined about this same issue in August.

I hope this refreshes your memory. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

althouse too said...

For a more comprehensive list of scientists who do not believe in AGW, go to www.oism.org and reference Petition Project. There is a list of over 19000 scientists sho have signed on as "deniers". The list grows continually. If you are affiliated with a university, you will certainly find names of people you may know! The intimidation mentioned above is real. If you are on the wrong side, you do not get funding, and you do get ostracized. More than one state climate director has been deposed because he/she objected to legislative AGW matters. Delaware was the most recent. To go back to President Klaus's comments it is easy to see the parallels to the communist police state in regards to the manner any dissent from the "Al Gore party line" is treated.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Hoosier wrote:

What's wrong Cyrus? Truth hurting a wee bit?

Yeah, Hoosier, that must be it. Sheesh.

Since you have been reasonable in the past, I'll withdraw my comment if you can explain why it is sensible and fair to conclude (as you have done) that the selected statements of Sally Field, Roseanne Barr, Rosie O'Donnell, Joy Behar, Sheryl Crow, Bill Maher, etc... represent the political thought of "the Left."

Good luck with that.

AllenS said...

There has been climate change every day and every year forever. When the meterologist on tv says that the average temperature for the day is 50, that means that half of the days are warmer and the other half of the days are colder. People are suffering from weather mania. It's actually funny that people in the 20-60 year old range think that they know anything about what the climate should be.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

For a more comprehensive list of scientists who do not believe in AGW, go to www.oism.org and reference Petition Project.

The Petition Project is headed by Frederick Seitz. Seitz began working for RJ Reynolds in 1979 as a consultant but "by 1989, the CEO of R.J. Reynolds, William Hobbs, concluded that 'Dr. Seitz is quite elderly and not sufficiently rational to offer advice.'"

It's good to see the deniers have Dr. Seitz on their side.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Since you have been reasonable in the past, I'll withdraw my comment if you can explain why it is sensible and fair to conclude (as you have done) that the selected statements of Sally Field, Roseanne Barr, Rosie O'Donnell, Joy Behar, Sheryl Crow, Bill Maher, etc... represent the political thought of "the Left."

I guess its because it is consistent with what I have heard the Left spout off for the last 20 years that I have been paying attention to politics.

Maybe you and I have a different definition of what a leftist is.

Fen said...

It's good to see the deniers have Dr. Seitz on their side.

That is the type of "argument" that makes me even more skeptical. If the "science" was sound, there would be no need to prop it up with personal attacks and fallacious appeals to conformity. The Science should be able it speak for itself. It does not, hence the need to discredit anyone who raises legitimate questions.

Devolving to your/their standards, I might as well parrot: "Lets just say that global warming hoaxers are now on par with 9-11 Truthers".

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

allens wrote:

When the meterologist on tv says that the average temperature for the day is 50, that means that half of the days are warmer and the other half of the days are colder.

No comment. I just thought this post deserved an encore...

tightspotkilo said...

People are suffering from weather mania.

It's the bane of the instantaneous mass media age.

There have always been weather extremes going on simultaneously, floods in one place, droughts in another, freezes here, hot spells there, windstorms, hurricanes, tornados, but it took world-wide 24-hour instant news to take it all out of context and make it seem new and unsusual. And it took the leftards, bless their black little hearts, to take it further, to seize on it for exploitation as a political religion, and in their BDS to sometimes even actually blame it on one man in particular. And when we normal folks get a hoot out of it, it really gets that vein in their neck throbbing.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Hoosier wrote:

I guess its because it is consistent with what I have heard the Left spout off for the last 20 years that I have been paying attention to politics.

I have to conclude, then, that you haven't been paying close attention.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

What is the possibility that the CO2 rise we are now seeing is the lag from the last warming, and not a precursor to a new warming?

Eli:

How can the physics of warming change? If all other warmings are followed by a CO2 rise, how did the physical science change to allow the warming to be followed by the CO2 increase?

Also, on your mountain/treeline issue- Treeline changes and polar icecap melting are changes that require massive temperature change; 10 degrees or more, maybe even 30. So explain this for me- all expert agree on an average increase of 1 degree in the average world temp. If some areas have risen by 30 degrees, where has it dropped by 29 degrees to create our average?

Henry said...

Eli, your comment reminds me a book titled Changes in the Land. It details the enormous impact on New England ecology caused by agricultural practices of the European settlers.

Deforestation, irrigation, wild-fire control, urban development, and species introduction has far greater impact on local environments than global warming.

Fen said...

Cyrus: Seitz began working for RJ Reynolds in 1979 as a consultant but "by 1989, the CEO of R.J. Reynolds, William Hobbs, concluded that 'Dr. Seitz is quite elderly and not sufficiently rational to offer advice

Source please.

"Several members of the Institute's staff are also well known for their work on the Petition Project, an undertaking that has obtained the signatures of more than 19,000 American scientists opposed, on scientific grounds, to the hypothesis of "human-caused global warming"

http://www.oism.org/

Hey Cyrus, what about the other 19,000 scientists? Are you ready to impugn their credibility too? I've got all day. Lets start off with the first 100...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"So whatever caused trees to grow there in the past is no longer true. Too hot, too dry, take your pick"

And the Arctic as well as the Antarctic were once tropical paradises full of trees and animals.
http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/2006-05-31-arctic-tropic_x.htm

What ever caused then not to grow there anymore?? Too cold. Maybe this warming is just Momma Earth getting back to normal. Your little narrow observations over your minuscule life span mean nothing in the big scheme of things and in the billions of years that the Earth has been in existance.

Take your pick.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen wrote:

The Science should be able it speak for itself.

The science does speak for itself. However, for those who don't understand the science and don't like the findings, there is the comfort of denial.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I have to conclude, then, that you haven't been paying close attention.

You're free to conclude anything you want.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen,

Here's the source you requested.

AllenS said...

Let's take a look at what we know about Our Mother the Earth: the earth is about 5 billions years old. At one time, it was so warm that there was no ice anywhere and dinasours were walking about crapping like crazy. Fast forward. Then the earth got so cold that there were large glaciers all over and one extending down to where I live. That was only about 20,000 years ago, and then they melted. Think about what it must have took to get the earth so cold, and then get it so warm as to melt those glaciers. Does anyone really think that they can project the future of the climate, if they are unable to explain the wide range of temperatures that we know already happened?

Hoosier Daddy said...

The science does speak for itself. However, for those who don't understand the science and don't like the findings, there is the comfort of denial.

Cyrus,

Does the science tell us what the optimal climate should be?

Fen said...

Cyrus: The science does speak for itself. However, for those who don't understand the science and don't like the findings, there is the comfort of denial.

So the 400 scientists [many former IPCC] and the 19,000 scientists who signed onto the Petition Project don't understand the science? Geez man, you're not making any sense.

Fen said...

Cyrus: Here's the source you requested.

Thanks. The context is interesting - "Smoking & Health: Basic Scientific Research No.2"

If you were anti-tobacco, you would say Big Tobacco smeared Sertz to prevent discovery. Then, as a Global Warming Hoaxer, you could turn around and use Holtzman's hearsay to imply Setz is a loon. How very convenient.

Do you have anything better to offer?

AJ Lynch said...

Hey Happy New Year Everyone...

I noticed on this list and the one Ann posted the other day that the really crazy statements were almost all from liberals. Is that a coincidence or do oft-quoted libs tend to be unhappy idiots? My answer is they are unhappy idiots.

AllenS said...

"the future of the climate"

Sorry, about the inability to speak clearly, but it's only +2 outside right now, and I'm froze. Tomorrow it's going to be +29 and then maybe this weekend +40. Oh, no! What's this?

Simon said...

An Edjamikated Redneck said...
"Eli: How can the physics of warming change? If all other warmings are followed by a CO2 rise, how did the physical science change to allow the warming to be followed by the CO2 increase?"

Well, advocatus diaboli, I suppose one reply to that would be that you're assuming that there can only be one mechanism that can cause warming phases. If there's more than one such mechanism (which I think is part of Eli's point) it's unnecessary for the physics of one mechanism to change in order for the another mechanism to come into play. So, in earlier warming phases, rising temperatures of whatever cause have caused an increase in CO2 concentration (outgassing from oceans, as I suggested in my reply to GarageMahal here, is a theory that would seem to fit the data), which might have played a statistically minor role as an exacerbator. However, that CO2 was neither an initiator nor a primary driver for previous warming phases doesn't vitiate the point that CO2 does have greenhouse properties, and could theoretically be the primary driver of a warming event raised to a high enough atmospheric concentration. Does that anticipate your reply, Eli?

MadisonMan said...

When the meterologist on tv says that the average temperature for the day is 50, that means that half of the days are warmer and the other half of the days are colder.

Please learn some statistics.

If one day is 99, and 49 days are 49, the mean temperature is 50. Not all distributions are normal.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Hoosier wrote:

Does the science tell us what the optimal climate should be?

Optimal for whom?

Blake said...

in the past the increase in CO2 was likely the result of natural processes

Eli,

What is it now, if not natural? Why is Man and his activity excluded from the natural?

I trust we've all read this in the NYT? It points out that 2007 was cooler (and calmer, hurricane-wise) than the predictions suggested.

Global warming, if it was real or not, if it was man-made or not, is probably over.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Simon- My point, which I believe you caught, is that this is the only instatnce we are aware of that CO2 has behaved differently with repect to warming.

Is it because this warming has somehow managed to confound physical law, or is because the data is able to evidence a mythical point this way?

I think most will agree we are still in the grip of the last warming cycle, which started about 20,000 years ago. Is the CO2 upswing being touted as evidence that we are flooding the atmosphere with carbon just the predicted lag from the last warming cycle, or has that upswing been accounted for?

I'll be the first to admit that some of the higher science methodology is beyond me, but I do like to think I can at least follow a logical path and have a basic grounding in phyical processes. The idea that this warming is able to behave differently than any in the past is not logical.

On that same vein; if the CO2 rise both follows and causes a warming, how does the planet cool again? It would seem to me that a warming causes a CO2 increase, which inturn would cause a warming; an upward spiral of one feeding on the other. Where, and how, does it end?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Does the science tell us what the optimal climate should be?

Optimal for whom?


Well gee you tell me. I'm not the one claiming that the so called global warming is necessarily to the detriment of the planet.

althouse too said...

To Cyrus......Do you understand the science? Taken college Physics, Biology and Chemistry? Meterology? Know how many variables are in the computer models? Understand multivariable calculus? Unfortunately for most people, rhetoric is their only guideline with respect to AGW. Not too many people have a sufficient background in science to draw any worthwhile conclusion. That's why we rely on Ann to explain legal issues; many of us are not law professors! If you understand the science AGW Agnosticism is the only reasonable and logical position. They are not deniers, merely a jury with insufficient evidence to reach a verdict.

Fen said...

To Cyrus......Do you understand the science?

No, he does not. Thats why his points are based in rhetoric instead of science. Like everyone else here, he is forced to rely on experts.

So it comes down to the usual: "his" experts VS "my" experts. His argument to date has been that my experts are all corrupted or senile, while his are magically immune to the same forces. Sounds more mystical than scientific.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Does the science tell us what the optimal climate should be?

Optimal for whom?"


Good question. Since there are more plants on the earth than people, and since plants LOVE CO2 and warmer temperatures, perhaps the plant's optimal climate should be considered. There are also more insects on earth as well. Possibly their optimal climate is more important to them as a mass of living beings than the climate that we measly humans have gotten used to in the last century.

The idea that we can preserve species, climate or anything else in the natural world in some sort of timeless state is just ridiculous. It is also pretty conceited to assume that the optimum for US is what the rest of the earth and species need. As my Mom used to say. "The world doesn't revolve around YOU and life isn't fair. Get over it."

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that the thing that bothers me the most about the AGW hysteria is that it is being run by a guy who got a C+ and D- in his only two science courses in college, and those were bonehead science courses to boot. Then, I am told that if I don't agree with it, I don't know enough science.

Most of the "science" I have seen so far has been mathematical models, and the generated reports include numerous provisos and limitations that seem invariably to be dropped from the reporting by those who probably don't have the scientific background of Al Gore (see above).

And, indeed, almost everyone who has tried to convince me of AGW has done so with a significantly weaker grasp on science than I have, and, in particular, mathematical modeling.

The other thing that I drives me crazy is the assumption that the Earth, humanity, etc. would be worse of if AGW were actually be true. And, yet, historically, man has been better, not worse, off when the Earth has gone through warming spells. Yes, some are going to do worse - I am thinking in particular of those who have improvidently built too close to the ocean.

Finally, while AGW proponents invariably look to any indicia of bias in those questioning the theory, no one ever looks at the possibility of bias in those pushing the theory. The reality is that many of the "scientists" pushing the theory are getting grant money to support the theory. Also, note that NBC, which had a Green week or so, is owned by GE, which is apparently one of the biggest players in nuclear and solar energy.

So, right now I am a AGW skeptic. Not a denier, but rather, a questioner. I question whether it is happening, and probably more importantly, whether it is better or worse for us.

Freder Frederson said...

Maybe 2008 will be the year when someone finally answers the question I posed almost a year ago, which we'll all recall neither Doyle nor any other Gorelista had an answer to the last time it came up on the Althouse blog.

Simon, just because you pose a patently obvious question on your blog, and someone offers an entirely reasonable and obvious answer that you choose to ignore, does not mean that the question was not answered.

But we will go over it one more time so you get the point. Your pointless little discussion might have fooled the very dense, but you forgot one salient point (which some of your brighter commenters pointed out), the historic cycles did not have the added influence of man pumping billions of extra tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere upsetting the natuaral balance. No equilibrium will be reached as long as we are releasing all the CO2 sequestered over the last 4 billion years (which is after all what we are doing by burning fossil fuels).

That CO2 traps radiant heat and that as the concentration of CO2 in air increases more radiant, ground level heat will be trapped is an induspitable and demonstrable fact. Other factors may mitigate this phenomenom in the complex system which is the earth's atmosphere, but the basic thermodynamics cannot be disputed.

rightwingprof said...

"When the meterologist on tv says that the average temperature for the day is 50, that means that half of the days are warmer and the other half of the days are colder."

Actually, you're describing a median temperature, not a mean temperature.

Bruce Hayden said...

To Cyrus......Do you understand the science?

No, he does not. Thats why his points are based in rhetoric instead of science. Like everyone else here, he is forced to rely on experts.


To some extent, I disagree. In many cases, you just need to be able to read between the lines on what a study actually shows and what it is purported to show, often by those who don't read them critically. At least with the papers on mathematical modeling, which seems to be the major basis for much of the AGW claims, the papers almost invariably include enough assumptions, limitations, and provisos to greatly limit their real usefulness in supporting that theory.

Which, btw, it appears, at least to me, that the theory seems to have more support among the modelers than it does among climatologists who don't spend their time modeling.

Freder Frederson said...

Also, note that NBC, which had a Green week or so, is owned by GE, which is apparently one of the biggest players in nuclear and solar energy.

Oh yeah, GE, also one of the largest manufacturers of jet engines, has a vested interest in pushing global warming theories.

Bruce Hayden said...

That CO2 traps radiant heat and that as the concentration of CO2 in air increases more radiant, ground level heat will be trapped is an induspitable and demonstrable fact. Other factors may mitigate this phenomenom in the complex system which is the earth's atmosphere, but the basic thermodynamics cannot be disputed.

And, of course, the devil is in the details, or in this case, in all the various feedback mechanisms that seem to be ignored by Mr. Frederson.

Doyle said...

She's admitted reading Kos too.

Wrong. A few weeks back she made a point of saying she didn't read Kos, back when she linked to a list of the "Worst Kos Diaries" by a fellow wingnut.

More recently, she attributed her aversion to Kos as purely aesthetic (it's the site's "clutter").

Also, I thought the offending quote in the title was meant to point out the ridiculous persecution complex of global warming deniers.

Freder Frederson said...

Hey Cyrus, what about the other 19,000 scientists? Are you ready to impugn their credibility too? I've got all day. Lets start off with the first 100...

I would be very dubious of their vetting process. I checked out the website to see what it would take to sign their petition. All you have to do is send in a pre-printed letter and attest to the fact that you have a BS, MS, or PhD in a "scientific" discipline. While it does ask for your name and address and what your degree is in, it doesn't even ask for the name of the institution that granted your degree.

I bet anyone could claim to be a "scientist" and get their name added to the petition.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

hoosier wrote:

I'm not the one claiming that the so called global warming is necessarily to the detriment of the planet.

Nor am I. I don't think "the planet" cares one way or another.

On the other hand, if you are referring to human opinion, "optimal" undoubtedly varies from person to person. Therefore, the concept of "optimal" climate change isn't particularly useful unless you sharpen your question (e.g., what is the optimal climate from a US economic perspective?).

Also, you should consider the consequences of the rate of climate change, even if (ultimately) climate change is judged by some standard to be beneficial.

By the way, Hoosier, after reading Blake's comment (Global warming, if it was real or not, if it was man-made or not, is probably over.), I withdraw my suggestion that your earlier comment has any chance of making the 2008 Althouse Dumb Post List. (And Pogo hasn't even started posting yet!)

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

althouse too wrote:

To Cyrus......Do you understand the science? Taken college Physics, Biology and Chemistry? Meterology? Know how many variables are in the computer models? Understand multivariable calculus?

Yes. Thank you for asking.

Freder Frederson said...

And, of course, the devil is in the details, or in this case, in all the various feedback mechanisms that seem to be ignored by Mr. Frederson.

Umm no, where did I say that. Simon is the one who is posing irrelevant questions and using inapplicable historical examples to explain his discomfort with global warming theories. I was just explaining why it is different this time and the historical example he is losing so much sleep over (and apparently presents so much of a cunundrum to him--no wonder he couldn't get into law school), really isn't an issue at all.

Of course he was just being plain dishonest when he said no one could address his "concerns", as they did right there in the comments.

I've told you before Simon, if you're going to lie, don't provide a link to where your lie is exposed.

Simon said...

An Edjamikated Redneck said...
"Simon- My point, which I believe you caught, is that this is the only instatnce we are aware of that CO2 has behaved differently with repect to warming. Is it because this warming has somehow managed to confound physical law, or is because the data is able to evidence a mythical point this way? ... The idea that this warming is able to behave differently than any in the past is not logical."

Right, but I think what Eli would say is that there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than during previous warming phases, perhaps to the extent that it's sufficient to be a primary driver in and of itself. And it is logical that since Carbon Dioxide has a greenhouse effect, a sufficient concentration of it could produce a warming phase - the question's how much does it take to accomplish that? This graph provides a long view over the last 400,000 years, while as this one shows, present CO2 concentrations are higher than even the peaks of earlier warming phases. The question's whether that's enough to cause a chain reaction in the absence of the external driver responsible for earlier events, and that's assuming, by the way, that there isn't an external driver present (e.g. increased solar activity). So that suggests an answer to the question posed above: It stands to reason that 300ppm isn't a high enough concentration to sustain a warming phase, otherwise the warming phase that ended about 320,000 years ago would presumably have continued once the primary driver fell out of the picture. Right now, concentration's approaching 390ppm - is that enough? That's the $64,000 question.

"On that same vein; if the CO2 rise both follows and causes a warming, how does the planet cool again? It would seem to me that a warming causes a CO2 increase, which inturn would cause a warming; an upward spiral of one feeding on the other. Where, and how, does it end?"

Right, it'd become a feedback loop, at least until such point that there was either no more carbon dioxide to pump into the atmosphere, at which point it'd plateau (although presumably, ceteris paribus, temperature might well continue to rise).

Freder Frederson said...

By the way, Hoosier, after reading Blake's comment (Global warming, if it was real or not, if it was man-made or not, is probably over.), I withdraw my suggestion that your earlier comment has any chance of making the 2008 Althouse Dumb Post List. (And Pogo hasn't even started posting yet!)

Yeah Blake, you might want get out the dictionary and check out the definitions of "climate" and "weather".

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

fen wrote:

To Cyrus......Do you understand the science?

No, he does not.


Wrong as usual Fen. I've attempted to discuss scientific aspects of climate science with you before and found that our exchanges are severely limited by your ignorance of the subject.

The fact that you continue to refer to global climate change as a "hoax" speaks for itself.

Fen, why don't you move on to ranting about those nutty 9-11 Truthers? Those loons deny all available evidence in order to spin their delusional conspiracy theories. Pretty crazy, huh?

Freder Frederson said...

Right, it'd become a feedback loop, at least until such point that there was either no more carbon dioxide to pump into the atmosphere, at which point it'd plateau

And of course CO2 will plateau because absent human activity (or massive volcanic activity which can work either way), CO2 will cause increased plant growth, which in turn acts as a carbon sink (and of course, much later that turns to coal and oil). But now we are upsetting that balance.

As pointed out, previous rises have occurred over a much longer time frame, allowing more time for adjustment of plants to the new climate(as far as we can tell there have been several catastrophic climatic events that have mostly been cooling events from the almost instaneous injection of particulates into the atmosphere and even a minor one in recorded history--the year without a summer which was caused by a volcanic eruption and caused mass starvation in Europe and probably worldwide). The current warming trend is occurring at a pace that apparently will not allow trees and coral reefs (another carbon sink) to move to areas more to their liking.

bill said...

Also, note that NBC, which had a Green week or so, is owned by GE, which is apparently one of the biggest players in nuclear and solar energy.

Not true, NBC is owned by the Sheinhardt Wig Company. Here's the description of the GE org chart:

Actually, GE owns Kitchen-All of Colorado, which in turn owns JMI of Stanford, which is a majority shareholder in Pokerfastlane.com, which recently acquired the Sheinhardt Wig Company, which owns NBC outright. NBC owns Winnipeg Iron Works, which owns the Ahp Chanagi Party Meats Corporation of Pyongyang, North Korea (which manufactures the Whoopi Goldberg Meat Machine).

Synova said...

Eli: "Now, before anyone makes the point, fires have come and gone. Probably the mountain I was on has burned a hundred times or more since the ice age. And always if it did the trees grew back. But not anymore."

You don't know how long it took for new trees to grow any of the other times. I don't know what sort of trees you've got there but here in New Mexico where I am it's mostly Pinon and a whole lot of it is dead from bark beetles. This stuff grows slowly, really really slowly. When I hike through it I don't see new trees either. Where are the new trees supposed to come from if the old trees aren't dropping seeds? And if a few trees grow from old seeds that have fallen down between rocks and not gotten eaten by anything, it takes decades, I've heard numbers for pinon of 70 years, before they are mature enough to produce pine cones and more seeds.

We also have some incredibly ancient ruins here and also have what I've heard might be the oldest archaeological site in the South West. Historically we know that there were people here but they seem to have been here for a couple of hundred years and then disappeared for even longer times in between and then people come back again and then they disappear for even longer. It seems that this environment is just marginal enough that it will support people for a couple centuries and then it won't support people anymore and then eventually it improves again.

It could easily be that the fire happened right when climate changed just enough that it's not a good environment for new trees to grow. But it's *normal* for climate to go in cycles.

Pogo said...

I am excited by the news that if the temperature does swing up a few degrees, overall more land will be available for farming, and less starvation will be the result. I have read estimates that the net result will be positive for humans.

How wonderful.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Honestly, how can any "most obnoxious quotes" list from 2007 not include this from President Bush?

It's sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeded from doing important work because his good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons.

However, this is one of my 2007 favorites, courtesy of Michael Weiner (aka Michael Savage) of The Weiner Nation fame:

You know, the Gore-leone crime family is now the number one crime family in the world, when you think about it. He's about to pull off the biggest scam in the history of the world. It's bigger than any bank heist, bigger than any drug deal. It's bigger than any counterfeiting scheme, and he's doing it all nice and natural with a little help from the socialist perverts in Norway, who gave him a Nobel Prize.

Why do I call them socialist perverts? Answer: because they are. By and large, 90 percent of the people on the Nobel Committee are into child pornography and molestation, according to the latest scientific studies.

AJ Lynch said...

How I categorized the 40 quotes:

9 by Hollywood liberals.
9 by various other liberals.
5 by Dem elected officials.
4 by liberal pundits.
2 by miscellaneous MSM.
2 by former elected officials.
1 by closeted Republican.
1 by outrageous Rep. Pundit.
1 by idiot Dem. mayor.
1 by dumbass Rep. pundit.
1 by foreign dictator/ lunatic.
4 by all other.
40 = total.

hdhouse said...

To all my anti-global warming dandies out there...

I am looking at the ocean as we speak...i can see south onto the atlantic from southern long island and quite frankly the water is the color grey and aside from the breakers (still nw wind at 30 sustained) if you look out far enough from shore the horizon is flat.

I know conclude that ocean water is grey colored and the earth is flat.

I'm sure I can hi-jack 19000 names (and did you ever start to check out the supposed signers referenced about??...I did and their names appear saying no to global warming, on petitions against the Bush regime for fake science, a whole bunch of places) and I can make some bullshit "center for the study of..." which is as much science as voodoo is catholicism, and we can go from there.

the idiocy of global warming skeptics is perhaps one of the great pesudo-scientific scams of all time...right up there with flat earth and blacks are lazy as far as i'm concerned.

the silly POVs expressed and the just dumbass "i don't believe" expressed higher up is sucn an assault on logic and common sense, not to mention science itself, that you bullies of the truth should be made to kick yourselves hard in the ass until you get it.

I have about as much patience with some of you as I do with rush limbaugh. i swear.

Simon said...

Harry, if it's such an assault on reason, there ought to be a cohesive and scientifically sound answer to the questions I've posed before, and none has been offered here or in any previous thread (despite protestations by certain persona non grata that they have replied previously, they have not answered the point).

ShadyCharacter said...

hd, I'm asking this rhetorically because I know that you either won't answer or any answer you give will be a self-serving lie (it's not like you haven't established a reputation here at chez althouse!):

When, three or four years from now anthropomorphic global warming has been relegated to the dustbin of history along with countless other faddish theories and outright mistakes that consensus science has settled on (like anthropomorphic global cooling[1], the impossibility of continental drift[2], the impossibility of stomach ulcers being caused by bacteria[3], phrenology[4], every Malthusian enviro-doomsday scenario spun in the 70’s and 80’s - population bombs, mass starvation etc…), will it register on your psyche at all? Will you stop for a moment and think to yourself, “why was I so gullible?” Will you feel any chagrin at the idiocy of your arguments with the critical thinkers (i.e. skeptics) you engaged with anonymously on this and other forums?

The answer, of course, is no. You aren’t arguing science, you’re arguing politics. AGW is simply the topic du jour. You take the received liberal wisdom on this or any other topic and then bray it out as loudly and energetically as you can. After a couple of years of measured cooling when the theory has disappeared down the memory hole, you’ll have found some other opportunistic stick to beat on your political opponents with and you will spare nary a thought for your previous position on AGW.

[1] http://www.denisdutton.com/cooling_world.htm
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_drift
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicobacter_pylori
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrenology

Simon said...

(On the other hand, I'm not a "global warming skeptic" so maybe that remark wasn't aimed at me.)

althouse too said...

The problem with depending on CO2 to explain warming is twofold. First it is not an effective greenhouse gas and second it exists in very very very small concentrations. Even ten times the current level of CO2 gives 3000 parts per million, a small factor. Currently, we have 300 parts per million. There are many other gases which are much more potent greenhouse gases which exist in much higher concentration in the atmosphere such as water vapor. The problem with relying on historical CO2 concentrations is that we weren't there to accurately record them. We really don't know exactly what the concentrations were, we can merely extrapolate.

Simon said...

ShadyCharacter, I think you mean anthropogenic not anthropomorphic.

ShadyCharacter said...

Simon, no. I believe in anthropogenic global warming, as should every right thinking individual. It's settled science that human activity is the cause of global warming [1]!

What I refuse to accept is the idea that global warming itself posseses human characteristics.

The world's not getting warmer because Gaia is angry. That's just stupid.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inconvenient_Truth

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

simple simon wrote:

[I]f it's such an assault on reason, there ought to be a cohesive and scientifically sound answer to the questions I've posed before, and none has been offered here or in any previous thread (despite protestations by certain persona non grata that they have replied previously, they have not answered the point).

Asked and answered, multiple times, Simon. You seem unable to differentiate between an answer you don't understand and no answer at all. It's a distinction worth learning.

It seems to me that a serious-minded person who genuinely wants an answer to a question will doggedly pursue an answer rather than simply periodically whine about his own willful ignorance of the subject. I know your question has been asked and answered multiple times elsewhere, so I'm left to conclude that you aren't really looking for an answer.

Also, dear boy, although I hate to have to instruct you, you clearly don't have a sound understanding of the rules of etiquette. As a guest at the Althouse blog, you are entirely out of line when you openly refer to any other guest as persona non grata. If a guest at this blog is no longer welcome, it is the prerogative of the blog hostess to so indicate. Of course I realize that you are running hard to be recognized as the official Althouse blog toady, but by referring to another guest as persona non grata, you risk offending the hostess. You will, I hope, direct your apology to her.

Just remember, Simon, you can cry if you want to, but it's not your party.

AllenS said...

MadisonMan said...

"Please learn some statistics."

Please learn to read. I said:

When the meterologist on tv says that the average temperature for the day is 50, that means that half of the days are warmer and the other half of the days are colder.

Watch your local tv dude/dudette tonight, they will say:

"the average high for today is...

and the average low for today is..."

You will not hear them say: "the mean temperature" nor will you hear them say: "median temperature".

Pogo said...

Also, dear boy, although I hate to have to instruct you

And thus Cyrus retains the title for Most Insufferable Commenter, again for 2008. All thrust and parry, but no there there. A bore, really.

Congrats!

Doyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doyle said...

Even ten times the current level of CO2 gives 3000 parts per million, a small factor. Currently, we have 300 parts per million.

This chart shows that we're at around 370, and it has risen exponentially from around the 300 level. So as a % increase, that's huge.

When you say it's a small concentration... compared to what? 3000? Well yes I suppose that's true, but if you compare it to what it's been in the past, instead of an arbitrary number, it's very high.

We really don't know exactly what the concentrations were, we can merely extrapolate.

Yes, extrapolate from data which are obtained through observation (of ice cores)! Crazy stuff, that science. Just because the measurements may not be as precise as those we can get now, you can't just disregard the conclusions without first identifying some flaw in the research. It's not witchcraft or anything.

hdhouse said...

i'll bite, simon. what is your question? what is it you don't get? you are, by estimation, one of the two or three really bright bulbs on here and it bothers me greatly that such an obvious set of facts and truths eludes you.

this isn't a political debate. this is a science debate. this is just too easy and obvious. it isn't rocket science, it is observable, measureable and complex but explainable.

Revenant said...

This chart shows that we're at around 370, and it has risen exponentially from around the 300 level. So as a % increase, that's huge.

Since we began directly measuring CO2 levels in the late 1950s the growth rate has been linear, not exponential. Maybe you meant "exponentially" in the colloquial sense of "by a lot", but since we're discussing a scientific question here you should probably stick to the scientific definitions of terms.

Secondly, what matters isn't the percentage increase in a gas, but the increase in its percentage of the overall atmosphere. For example, going from 0.00000001 ppm to 0.000001 ppm would be an increase of 10000%, but that doesn't mean that a 0.000001ppm concentration is significant. Going from 300ppm to 370ppm means that CO2 went from comprising 0.030% of the atmosphere to 0.037%. In contrast, water vapor is 0.25% of the atmosphere, and 1% to 4% of the troposphere (i.e., the part of the atmosphere ostensibly responsible for the greenhouse effect).

Revenant said...

it isn't rocket science

I'll say. "Rocket science" has put thousands of satellites and probes into outer space. In contrast, global warming theory has made zero accurate predictions of world temperature.

hdhouse said...

oh revenant..please. please. please.

Trooper York said...

You know when I used to go to strip clubs before I was married; I noticed that the silicone breasts were never as warm as the natural ones. When you would come into the Foxy Den after a hard night of downing brews and shots at the South St. Seaport, you wanted to take off your cap and put your head in between two large and warm breasts. It was my preferred version of global warming.

Now back to the science. Carry on Mr. Wizard.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

revenant wrote:

Maybe you meant "exponentially" in the colloquial sense of "by a lot", but since we're discussing a scientific question here you should probably stick to the scientific definitions of terms.

Actually Revenant, your criticism of Doyle's post is unfair. If you read his comment, you'll note that he didn't reference carbon dioxide concentration changes since the late 1950s (as you did). Therefore, while it's true that the growth rate since the late 1950s has been roughly linear, it's not true that it's been linear for periods beginning at earlier times.

Revenant said...

oh revenant..please. please. please.

Nice scientific argument, HD. I can't understand why such solid reasoning doesn't convince more people.

Simon said...

Harry, I appreciate the compliment, and the difficulty I have - as someone who doesn't think of themselves a a "global warming skeptic" is precisely that it's a scientific problem. Science problems aren't answered by consensus.

The problem I have is the question posed here, as recently expanded on in variuous comments in this thread. Simply stated, the problem is as follows. Gore likes to wheel out a chart demonstrating that changes in historical temperatures and CO2 concentrations closely track one another throughout the Vostokh Ice Core data, in support of the conclusion that the former is caused by the latter. However, when you run the numbers yourself (or even look closely at hi-res versions of the graph, although that's harder), it becomes clear that changes in temperature lead rather than lag changes in carbon dioxide concentration - hence the "lag lead problem" tag. Furthermore, in each of these cycles, once carbon dioxide starts to rise, if it had playing a significant role as an exacerbator we would expect to see the rate of temperature change increase as the effect of CO2 as an exacerbator is added to that of whatever is the primary driver. That isn't what we see; rate of change remains functionally constant. Furthermore, this trend is symmetrical: after the peak of the warming phases, CO2 concentration again tracks - but lags - temperature in falling, and the rate of temperature decrease remains relatively unaffected by the decrease of CO2. (That's also a problem in itself as I noted in my 14:00 comment above - even with CO2 concentration in the 300 ppm range, that wasn't enough to sustain the warming phase once the primary driver was removed.)

As you say, it's a scientific debate, and no one seriously disputes that the scientific evidence conclusively shows that historically, CO2 concentration and temperature changes are correlates. But correlation is not causation, and outside of really really esoteric areas of quantum theory, a putative cause can't precede its supposed effect. There are various reasonable theories one can posit that can account for the data (the most plausible to me, although I'm not wedded to it, is that as the mean temperature goes up, the oceans warm slowly and begin to outgas CO2, and shortly after mean temperature begins to drop, the oceans cool slowly and reabsorb CO2).

For these reasons, I think it's plain that in previous warming cycles, carbon dioxide was not the primary driver of a warming phase, and even when levels rose, it didn't contribute significantly to it. That having been said, that's by no means to deny, as I noted upthread, that it couldn't do or isn't now. 300 ppm wasn't enough to sustain a warming event driven by some other primary driver (increased solar output seems a reasonable postulate); presently, CO2 concentration is at nearly 400 ppm - is that enough to initiate and drive a warming phase through the sort of feedback loop noted above? If not, all else being equal, what concentration is required? And for that matter, why assume all else to be equal when we know from the above that there is some other force that can have a huge impact on mean global temperature? Why assume static solar output, for example, or zero net orbital jitter?

Now, I don't deny that carbon dioxide has a greenhouse effect. That isn't the point. Nor do I deny that industrialization has dumped oodles of CO2 into the atmosphere. The problem is that previous warming phases were plainly caused by something other than carbon dioxide, yet those who advance what I call (for want of a better term, and tongue in cheek) the Gorethodoxy insist - on the basis of political consensus at the IPCC, which is not only unsatisfactory to resolve but antithetical to a scientific debate - on the one conclusion whose weight the data can't possibly bear: that CO2 caused those earlier warming phases. From this, they reason that if CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and if atmospheric CO2 concentration now slightly higher than it was at the height of the biggest warming phase on record, then if the earth is warming that must be the cause.

It seems to be true (from available data) that in this instance, temperature rise did follow CO2 concentration increase. But again, correlation is not causation; comparable concentrations of CO2 have failed to sustain warming phases before, so why assume that they must be causing (rather than correlating with) temperature changes now, particularly when it means following people whose record of reading the data is, as we've seen, questionable? Since scientists have failed to identify the primary driver of previous warming phases, and advance an interpretation of CO2's role that's at war with the available data. It seems to me that a reasonable person might ask what that other driver was and whether it could be playing a role now.

Revenant said...

Therefore, while it's true that the growth rate since the late 1950s has been roughly linear, it's not true that it's been linear for periods beginning at earlier times.

Doyle's claim was that we had risen exponentially from around 300 to around 370ppm.

When we first began directly measuring atmospheric CO2 in the late 50s we were at 312. We then increased linearly from 312 to the 370s. So even if the increase from 300 to 312 had been exponential (and it wasn't), the claim that the increase from 300 to 370 was exponential would still be false.

Cedarford said...

I note some of the quotes, like Sheryl Crowe's were not obnoxious, but stupid. ( just from a stupid gal flitting about in her private jet unable to comprehend toilet paper is part of the energy-independent, carbon-neutral forest products industry.)

And 7-9 "human snake" remarks led by Ted Rall's. (The last one). Remarks not obnoxious, but so off they are proof the utterer is a hateful snake. Behar is in this group.
************

Hayden - And, indeed, almost everyone who has tried to convince me of AGW has done so with a significantly weaker grasp on science than I have, and, in particular, mathematical modeling.

That is true of those who lack any science or math training that assert it is obviously true because they have Faith the dogma was properly enunciated by great men and women, such as Noble Algore and Ellen Goodman..

Still, we do see signs of global warming and human activities putting an unprecidented "species activity" strain on the planet unlike anything except the 1st cyanobacteria changing out atmosphere to an oxidizing one from a reducing one.

We know the world is warming, we know CO2 level is rising. We don't know IF the two are related, or if so, by how much. We need research, but we also sometimes must act on imperfect information and THIS IS one of those times.

But not on CO2. That is the worst thing - to focus on the symptom of the root cause, and the effect of the symptom while quite consciously ignoring the root cause by common assent among environmentalists, goverments and scientists.

The root cause is too many people chasing dwindling resources and making some basic, unavoidable pollution.

A million people or less lived on the world for almost all our history. We slowly grew in the last 6000 years to 1 billion at the start of the 20th Century. Now it is 6.7 billion. By 2050 it may be 12 billion.

1. We have deforested 2/3rds of the trees that existed on tropical and temperate lands.

2. We did the Megafauna extinctions while still few in number. Now we are told to anticipate habitat loss and China/Africa love of wild game products will trigger another Great extinction with major species vanishing from nature and existing only in zoos or preserves, seed banks, or not existing at all.

3. Two billion people have exceeded the abilities of ecosystems to sustain them long-term. Borlug and his scientists in the Green Revolution warned that technology only gave humanity one respite from lack of food and water and population must go to 2 billion or so to be sustainable - and the odds are technology will not be as successful next time.

4. We have begun to run out of adequate resources with no "exciting high tech solution" as the "no limits growth people" claim will easily be found to substute for them.
Not just oil. Readily available arable land. Helium. Vanadium. Graphite deposits. Ocean fisheries. Niobium. Mined and renewable fresh water. All now going into shortage, no substitute available.

4. CO2, flourocarbons, heavy metal and estrogen pollution of water appear to be unavoidable pollutants of civilization.

5. Because of overpopulation, there is no unpopulated, adjacent place to move when an ecosystem collapses or the sea engulfs Bangladesh (130 million people).

Unccontrolled, rising CO2 levels are just an effect of human overpopulation, and by no means the most urgent give possible mass extinctions, 500 million displaced high-breeding Muslims and Africans demanding a right to go to as yet unspoiled lands or they will die. Or critical resource shortages challenging our ability to keep a rising standard of living in the 1st World.

The time to act is not when "perfect scientific proof" of AGW caused by man are proven beyond reasonable doubt by lawyers in court. The time to act is now if you believe a reasonable threat exists. I believe we must act now on population, getting enough energy mainly to fight the population explosion until we can reduce to sustainable levels where Bangladesh's submersion. We must prevent the Mass Extinction, even if that means people will die. We must prevent 500 million to 4 billion surplus people driven off their lands by collapsing ecostsems do not submerge 1st world nations under their high-breeding masses - even if that means lots of people must die.

hdhouse said...

simon...i'll respond tomorrow. fen has given me a headache and this thread has given me heartburn

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

simon,

"Your" question has been answered here and here.

I suspect other commenters will stop trying to help you answer "your" question if you continue to make no effort to learn.

Revenant said...

Cyrus,

Both of your linked "answers" simply repeat the hypothesis that other factors start the warming process and CO2 kicks in as an amplifier hundreds of years later. Simon addressed that idea in his question, and pointed out that those offering it as an answer need to explain (a) how it is that we know that CO2, rather than the mysterious "other factors" that have historically caused EVERY global warming event, are to blame for the current warming trend, and (b) why it is that the warming trend didn't significantly alter once CO2 levels began to rise, if C02 has the major effect it is described as having.

Synova said...

It's so hard to tell with you, Cedarford, but was that a sarcastic exposition of the blatant fallacies involved in demands to "act now just in case?"

You sound just like that guy explaining how in the lifetime of his *cats* that red-state America will flood and the blue staters had to be ready for the influx of refugees to make darn sure they were kept as second class citizens unable to vote.

rcocean said...

I just want to say that I love Ann Coulter, and don't think she's obnoxious at all.

Thank You.

Synova said...

If people want to "act now, just in case" to reduce pollution and convert to nuclear fuel, I'm all for it.

The problem with most "act now, just in case" demands (and figuring that the "just in case" is considered a lie to suck in the skeptics... there is no "in case" because it's a sure thing) is that the changes either won't do what they supposedly are supposed to do or would actually make it worse *and* that every "solution" invariably will cause *for sure* harm to economies and real people will suffer.

Reducing pollution and converting to nuclear to carry the base power load (or whatever the term is for that) has multiple real-word sure benefits. Everyone wants clean air and water and a nice place to live. Nuclear power is a two-fer, providing clean, reliable power, and a way to end our dependency on imported oil.

Though Cedarford makes a point (I'm not sure what point he was trying for but...) that if the doom is true the way to avoid it is not some nice clean solution of happy socialism (which is itself a lie more likely to result in greater pollution and less efficient use of resources). It's massive destruction of society and people to the point we manage to reduce our small contribution to total CO2 and even smaller contribution to total greenhouse gases by anything that could conceivably make a difference.

But it has to be near total destruction and setting humans back to Earth Friendly hunter gatherer type society because anything *less* than that would result in a breakdown of order but wouldn't result in human inability to recover industrialization (without the advances today that make it possible to chose to be green.)

When Sheryl Crow gets off her jet and talks about doing little things to change our lives... it just means she, and those like her, don't really think that the threat is real.

Ann Althouse said...

BTW, I highlighted the quote not because I don't believe in global warming, but because I think it's absurd and offensive to compare questioning about something that's predicted to happen in the future with questioning whether the Holocaust happened.

Simon said...

Revenant said...
" Simon addressed that idea in his question, and pointed out that those offering it as an answer need to explain (a) how it is that we know that CO2, rather than the mysterious "other factors" that have historically caused EVERY global warming event, are to blame for the current warming trend, and (b) why it is that the warming trend didn't significantly alter once CO2 levels began to rise, if C02 has the major effect it is described as having."

I'd add to that summary (this is wordy, but can't be helped): (c)(1) why it was that even with a 300ppm CO2 concentration, temperatures dropped anyway once the effect of the primary driver fell away at the conclusion of previous warming events and (c)(2) what concentration of CO2 would sustain high temperatures temperatures based purely on CO2 concentration?

These are serious questions. I'm not asking anyone to pick sides, I just want people to think about it. Science is about questioning everything; "[i]f the history of science teaches anything it's that the scientific consensus has often been wrong. Time and again, science has been dragged forward kicking and screaming by those who dissented from the consensus; the theories of Galileo, Newton, Einstein and Bohr, for example - now all accepted as tantamount to settled fact - did not emerge as products of the then-existing consensus, but athwart it." Maybe the gorethodoxy is right, I'm open to that possibility, but it can't be taken seriously until it convincingly answers these very basic problems with the thesis - problems that aren't answered by mindless repetition of factoids that aren't in dispute and aren't dispositive and circular reasoning arising from them. Until the Gorelistas can answer the question "what was the primary driver of previous warming events" - and they can't claim it was carbon dioxide because as they repeatedly tell us, this is about science and a scientific theory that flies in the face of available data isn't a scientific theory - they can't conclude that the same force isn't at play here.

We're asked to make a profoundly harmful series of policy choices (which by amazing coincidence happen to correlate with the preexisting political preferences of the Gorelistas) based on a theory has the kind of gash in its hull that sent the Titanic to the bottom of the Atlantic. I wouldn't care if we weren't being asked to make policy changes as a result of this thesis, but right now, the data simply doesn't support the policy remedies asked for.

MadisonMan said...

why it was that even with a 300ppm CO2 concentration, temperatures dropped anyway once the effect of the primary driver fell away at the conclusion of previous warming events

Milankovitch forcing. In other words, variations in the orbital geometry of the Earth. When the North Pole is cool in the Summer, glaciation is favored.

Fen said...

Freder: I would be very dubious of their vetting process. I checked out the website to see what it would take to sign their petition. All you have to do is send in a pre-printed letter and attest to the fact that you have a BS, MS, or PhD in a "scientific" discipline. While it does ask for your name and address and what your degree is in, it doesn't even ask for the name of the institution that granted your degree.

I bet anyone could claim to be a "scientist" and get their name added to the petition.


Then I call.

Submit your name and lets see what happens. If you're correct, think of all the fun you'll having marking the days you were able to avoid detection, thus discrediting the site with *proof* rather than unsupported assumption.

Fen said...

Cyrus Pinkerton: I've attempted to discuss scientific aspects of climate science with you before and found that our exchanges are severely limited by your ignorance of the subject.

Another lie. When you discuss the scientific aspects, you invariably cite sources [like Mann and now the IPCC] that have been discredited. For example, you are still dodging the statements by scientists that served on the IPCC. Allegations that the IPPC bureaucrats changed certain data in the report by a factor of +10x, or that they made significant changes to the reports AFTER the scientists signed on to them. When I ask you to address these inconsistencies, you go all personal and flame. If you think thats a "scientific" discussion, then you are simply not the credible proponent you see yourself as.

The fact that you continue to refer to global climate change as a "hoax" speaks for itself.

Deliberately fudging "scientific" reports = "hoax"

Fen said...

/just one example:

Pierrehumbert: Reason for Methodology Used by IPCC is “Illegitimate”

Steve McIntyre: In the IPCC case, there was an active truncation of “inconvenient” data which had the effect of concealing a mismatch from the reader. Worse, the matter was clearly and explicitly brought to IPCC’s attention and they refused to address the concealing.

In Pierrehumbert’s words, there was no “legitimate reason” for what IPCC did, but a “very good illegitimate reason”. It’s gratifying that Pierrehumbert and realclimate are lending their authority to the condemnation of such practices.


http://www.climateaudit.org/

Will your response be to ignore this criticism and launch a personal attack against McIntyre?

BTW, re your appeal to authority ["Cyrus informed, Fen ignorant"]. have you attempted to replicate McIntyre's experiment? If not, why not? Or, as I said earlier, are you merely repeating what your cherry-picked experts have said?

Hey, if you feel I'm too partisan or jaded re this, then don't bother to convince me. Convince Simon instead. He's more intelligent, more open and objective, and has a better trained mind. Seems like a fair proposal...

From Inwood said...

I join as WVA has seemingly put the game away. For the tenth time. Wait…

Anyway,

Cedarford

Your point is well taken except that sometimes (a) vocalizing stupidity at the top on one’s voice or (b) when one has a podium for reasons other than the subject of his or her pontification amounts to obnoxiousness.

Prof A’s point about GW is being missed. Everyone here is fighting the GW battle when the issues seem rather civility and demonization of ones opponents.

AJ Lynch.

Wow, so 3/4ths of the perps here were Dems, Libs, or MSMs! Why am I not surprised?

Allens

There really is a difference among the terms

mean/average
median
mode.

In most cities, the mean/average, median, & the mode for temps on a comparable day of the year are roughly the same, but in the following non-temperature example the figures representing these terms are different & all are meaningless except to statisticians:

If the head of a firm ($68 million per) has a lunch with three partners ($15, $10, & 5 million per respectively), ten new hires (one @ 180,000, one @ 185,000, two @ 190,000, one @ 195,000, two @ $200,000 & four @ $215,000 each, and his executive assistant ($100,000 per) & three waiters are present in the room (each $33,333 per),

the average/mean compensation in the room would be about $5.5 million;

the median (number which has an equal number of numbers > or < itself) compensation would be $200,000; and

the mode (cluster or magnet number) would be $215,000.
*******************

If the ten new hires at the end of that year, counting bonuses, each made amounts ranging from $230,000 to $265,000, with four at $230,000, two at $250,000, one at $255,000, two at $260,000, & one @ $265,000, then for these ten,

the average/mean compensation would be $246,000;

the median would be $250,000

the mode would be $230,000.

Regarding temps or measured snowfalls, In NYS, the mode in NYC is more important than the average or even the median (you can expect a measurable snow fall from mid Feb to St Pat’s day), whereas in Watertown the figures representing all three terms are close. NYC has a 20+ inch snowfall every 10 yrs or so (& usually a big one on St. Pat’s day) & that distorts daily averages for say 10 year periods. In Watertown it snows on Memorial Day as I found out one summer camp at Ft Drum!

Eli Blake said...

Simon:

You've pretty much stated what I was arguing. The only thing I would add is that while the carbon dioxide presently in the atmosphere is already there, the question that also follows is how much further it will rise depending on what strategy we follow to change the concentration curve. Since you are right that we don't know what the 'limit' is that the earth can absorb without the CO2 itself being a driver, it makes sense to at least consider ways to reduce the speed with which we are increasing it.

In doing so, we have to acknowledge that there is a cost/benefit associated with pretty much anything we do. Clearly there are the extremes (i.e. do nothing-- with no cost difference from what it would cost to continue along the same path that we are now, or the other extreme to ban all activities which produce CO2, which would obviously be absurd and pretty much destroy all civilization.)

However, there are in between steps that won't require any draconian changes in individual lifestyles but could have significant emissions savings. For example, the energy bill which (finally) passed this year and provides for higher fuel efficiency standards for automobiles. In fact, I'd look at that as a win-win for most people (though maybe not for oil companies or in the short term for auto manufacturers) because not only will it result in less emissions but demand for fuel will fall, resulting in lower prices (and I don't know about you but I'm sick of paying $3 per gallon for gas).

I'd also suggest that working to produce as much energy as possible from non-CO2 or low-CO2 emitting sources (be that solar, hydroelectric or even nuclear) won't make much difference in the lives of most people (you turn on the light and it comes on as long as there is electricity from some source) but it will work to lower the curve of projected future CO2 concentration.

Similarly, investments in public transit (or better, planning communities that are less spread out to begin with, and enhancing internet capabilities that reduce the need for any kind of travel) and making appliances more fuel-efficient are a win-win plan. They are better for the planet, but they are also better for consumers in the long run via lower energy bills.

Ironically, I think that supporting industrialization (though clean-burning industrialization) in developing countries, especially ones with lots of forest is part of an overall strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (since a lot of it is created by 'slash-and-burn' agriculture in countries like Brazil and Indonesia) and frankly keeping forests alive as part of a carbon sink is important to reducing planetary CO2 concentrations.

Now, when I propose these kinds of things there are some on the right who automatically have a knee-jerk reflex of suggesting that I want to make people freeze in the dark (or alternatively call me a hypocrite because I own a car.) However, nowhere in this post have I suggested that anyone give up anything they have now. Let's just do it smarter.

As a summary, I will point out that not long ago I had an online discussion with a conservative about automobile fuel-efficiency standards (this was about a yaer ago, before the energy bill) and he argued that making automakers increase standards would harm our economy, because we would fall behind other countries. So I then pointed out that the other countries we import cars from already make those automakers comply with those standards in cars they sell there. So then he changed and said that we would be at a competitive disadvantage with China. I'm not sure if there are any plans to import cars from China (though their standards also require over 35 mpg, mainly since China lacks much oil) but I asked him this: So you are saying that being more inefficient is an advantage for us? He answered that yes he thought it was.

Being inefficient has never been a long-term advantage in any competitive field. I'd like to see us move forward from that.

Simon said...

Eli Blake said...
"Since you are right that we don't know what the 'limit' is that the earth can absorb without the CO2 itself being a driver, it makes sense to at least consider ways to reduce the speed with which we are increasing it."

Two questions arising from that: would it not make more sense to focus research on figuring out historically what has been the primary driver, and second, while conceding the limitations of modelling, is there any way to model that question on a theoretical level?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

simon wrote:

Until the Gorelistas can answer the question "what was the primary driver of previous warming events" - and they can't claim it was carbon dioxide because as they repeatedly tell us, this is about science and a scientific theory that flies in the face of available data isn't a scientific theory - they can't conclude that the same force isn't at play here.

Simon, you fail to differentiate between initial and driving forces. The primary driving force need not be the initial driving force.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

fen wrote:

When you discuss the scientific aspects, you invariably cite sources [like Mann and now the IPCC] that have been discredited.

Goofy. Neither the IPCC nor Mann have been discredited. Referring to scientists or organizations as "discredited" is a favorite ploy of science deniers when they are confronted with scientific findings they don't like. This isn't your first attempt to use this ploy, Fen, and I'm sure it won't be your last.

Truly pathetic.

Crimso said...

"given me heartburn"

Anthropogenic coronary warming?

Two issues to think about.

1) Do the models (which I take to be the source of the widely-held belief that global warming will be catastrophic) correctly predict the past? If not, ignore them and their implications. Talk to me when you can get a positive result for a "positive control" (if I may apply actual bench research terms to virtual "experimentation").

2) In slogging through this thread, I began wondering about the whole outgassing idea. Its been a while since I've had my courses in thermodynamics (which were primarily concerned with vapor-liquid equilibria), but the increase in temp that drives CO2 out of solution will also drive more water vapor into the air. If the amounts of water vapor coming out with the CO2 are great enough, then outgassing of CO2 doesn't matter. The water vapor does. What are the relative amounts? Beats me, but surely someone has done the research.

3) Bonus: Correlation does not equal causation. This has been noted repeatedly, and I think that even supporters of AGW know that. The major problem is that determining cause and effect becomes much more difficult the more complicated the system. Climates are extremely complicated systems.

Crimso said...

"The Petition Project is headed by Frederick Seitz. Seitz began working for RJ Reynolds in 1979 as a consultant but "by 1989, the CEO of R.J. Reynolds, William Hobbs, concluded that 'Dr. Seitz is quite elderly and not sufficiently rational to offer advice.'" "

Good thing you're not trying to discredit Seitz...

Tully said...

Neither the IPCC nor Mann have been discredited.

Folks, you can translate that statement as "They're not discredited no matter what as long as Cyrus remains a True Believer in the Church of the Gorecalypse."

Will your response be to ignore this criticism and launch a personal attack against McIntyre?

You may consider that as having been decidedly answered in the affirmative, Fen.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I’m not a GW skeptic, I’m simply not convinced that it’s the end of days if the global temps rise 1 or 2 degrees. To be totally honest, and I am surprised that some of the GW adherents aren’t calling BS, is when Gore and company started the whole ‘carbon offset’ scheme. Spin that any way you want but its buying indulgencies, period. If we’re talking global catastrophe in 10-20 years, carbon offsets are dangerous, immoral and hypocritical. I also call BS when the UN panel is talking about ‘carbon taxes’ on wealthy nations in which those taxes be used to help the ‘under developed’ nations. Well for me the mask came off right there because that is nothing more than wealth re-distribution. Telling the US to reduce carbon emissions while China or India can continue to crank out coal plants with impunity pretty much demonstrate to me that carbon emissions aren’t so bad, just those coming from the West.

As I have said before and will say again, the doomsayers of GW sound a lot like the same ones 30 years ago when it was global cooling, or the population bomb, or we’re running out of resources by 1980. I mean seriously, with those track records, I think a wee bit of skepticism is in order.

MadisonMan said...

Neither the IPCC nor Mann have been discredited.

Folks, you can translate that statement as "They're not discredited no matter what as long as Cyrus remains a True Believer in the Church of the Gorecalypse."


If you want to discredit them, you should post the data, or a link to data, that discredits them. Namecalling isn't science. The great Wisconsin historian Frederick Jackson Turner advocated going to the original source. That's especially good advice when discussing Global Warming.

Re: Average Temperatures. Yesterday, Madison's average high was 26. The mean of the 30 temperatures used to compute the average high was 26.44. There were 16 high temperatures above 26 and 14 below 26.

Freder Frederson said...

Submit your name and lets see what happens. If you're correct, think of all the fun you'll having marking the days you were able to avoid detection, thus discrediting the site with *proof* rather than unsupported assumption.

First of all I don't want my name on the list. Secondly, I have a B.S. in chemistry and am one semester away from an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, so I would legitimately qualify as a scientist under their definition so it would hardly be a test of their vetting process.

One of you who doesn't have a science degree and denies global warming needs to lie and send it in.

Eli Blake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freder Frederson said...

"[i]f the history of science teaches anything it's that the scientific consensus has often been wrong. Time and again, science has been dragged forward kicking and screaming by those who dissented from the consensus; the theories of Galileo, Newton, Einstein and Bohr, for example - now all accepted as tantamount to settled fact - did not emerge as products of the then-existing consensus, but athwart it."

Nice sentiment Simon, but with the exception of Galileo, completely untrue. Of course linking to a quote as though it was the product of some great mind was a neat trick--until the link is followed.

Again, I don't know why you have this obsession with 300ppm of CO2. We know that CO2 levels will continue to rise because we are adding extra CO2 to the atmosphere beyond the ability of the earth to absorb it. You would find the exact answer to the questions you claim are unanswered if you bothered to do the least little bit of research.

I imagine you know this but you choose to harp on these issues because they make you appear as though you have discovered a flaw in the theory.

Eli Blake said...

Simon:

Two questions arising from that: would it not make more sense to focus research on figuring out historically what has been the primary driver, and second, while conceding the limitations of modelling, is there any way to model that question on a theoretical level?

There is no contradiction between doing theoretical research and also taking practical steps (such as those which I outlined) that will reduce our carbon emissions while not making major changes in lifestyles.

I'm not at all opposed to spending more on basic research (in fact I've been distressed by how much funding has been cut for basic research in all areas of science the past few years) but that should not be used as an excuse for delaying practical steps that we could be taking now.

Continuing to do research and taking practical, non-disruptive steps that we have the ability to take isn't an 'either-or' proposition, and there is no reason to pitch it as one.

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"[Why it was that even with a 300ppm CO2 concentration, temperatures dropped anyway once the effect of the primary driver fell away at the conclusion of previous warming events?] Milankovitch forcing. In other words, variations in the orbital geometry of the Earth. When the North Pole is cool in the Summer, glaciation is favored."

Am I understanding you correctly: your argument as to why the mean temperature dropped notwithstanding a 300ppm CO2 concentration is a net reduction in solar forcing? If you buy that orbital geometry could have such drastic effect on climate, why don't you believe that changes in solar forcing could be the primary driver for the entirety of the warming-cooling phase? I mean, it seems to me that you're trying to have it both ways: you want to take Milankovitch cycles to explain cooling in spite of CO2 concentration, but you don't want to take them to explain the antecedent warming phase. How's that consistent?


Eli Blake said...
"[Simon asked whether it not make more sense to focus research on figuring out historically what has been the primary driver.] There is no contradiction between doing theoretical research and also taking practical steps (such as those which I outlined) that will reduce our carbon emissions while not making major changes in lifestyles."

I don't really find speculative harms that are in tension with extant scientific data a sound basis for policy decisions. But it depends what the practical steps are; it's very easy to say "not making major changes" or "non-disruptive" in the abstract, but when it's fleshed out into proposals, I wonder how minor they would actually be. Reductions in unnecessary flights, for example: would insisting that Gore accept his nobel prize by video call instead of flying transatlantic to receive it in person be "non-disruptive"? As long as they aren't steps that can cause economic harms and impose significant government-imposed restrictions on individuals, I don't have much of an objection in the abstract.

Eli Blake said...

Actually, I figured out who is more like global warming deniers while I was listening to talk radio this morning.

They were discussing the economic and social impact of Arizona's indoor smoking ban that went into effect last May, and there was a caller who dialed in and was an unreconstituted smoker. The caller said that there was never any proof that either first or second hand tobacco smoke causes cancer, and that you can't point to any particular person with cancer or emphysema or heart disease and say that their condition was specifically caused by cigarettes.

The talk show host argued that while the caller was right in terms of specific individuals by now there was so much statistical data to the contrary that anyone who suggested that smoking didn't cause cancer was on the 'lunatic fringe.' The talk show host finished by telling the caller that if he walked into a convention of health professionals and made that claim, or insisted that his life insurance company charge him the same rate as non-smokers pay, they'd laugh at him.

I will remember that next time I get into a debate with someone about global warming. Because while it was surprising to me to still hear that there was anyone out there pushing that particular viewpoint on the radio this morning, or that anyone subscribes to it anymore, it was not so terribly long ago (within the memory of many of us) that scientists, funded by the Tobacco Institute, were regularly questioning just about any report that came out about smoking and health.

Freder Frederson said...

If you buy that orbital geometry could have such drastic effect on climate, why don't you believe that changes in solar forcing could be the primary driver for the entirety of the warming-cooling phase?

Because this has already been accounted for in current models.

Simon said...

Eli, did I say something to offend you? Have I been unreasonable or irrational in the way I've raised and argued points here? Because it seems to me that in reply to my comments, you just compared me to people who deny the link between carcinogens and cancer. Now concededly, you made the comparison between such people and "global warming deniers," but while I don't count myself as part of that group, I suspect you might not accept that. Why is it that so many Gorelistas insist on insulting people who try to reaon out what Harry absolutely correctly characterized as a science question (or spend time pondering whether skeptics are more like holocaust deniers or people who don't accept the link between smoking and cancer) often as a substitute for actually engaging on the merits?

Roger said...

Can anyone involved in this discussion tell me if Mann's "hocky stick" model has been replicated independently using Mann's original data? Replicability remains one of the most important issues in evaluating theories.

Eli Blake said...

Simon:

I outlined a number of such changes that we could make in my 11:18 PM post last night.

How exactly is it an infringement on your lifestyle to require that automobile manufacturers install a carbuerator in your car with standards similar to those already in use in Europe and elsewhere by 2020 (a change they fought tooth and nail for years by claiming it would require them to do a bunch of research?) How is it an infringement on your life if we help Malaysia develop its economy so that subsistence farmers can do something else and quit burning so much rainforest? How is it an infringement make our use of fuels more efficient? How is it an infringement to plan future development so that people won't have to drive as far, or have other alternatives to driving? How is it an infringement on your life if the city chooses to build a light rail system instead of widening a freeway? You can still use the freeway if you'd prefer, and the idea of the light rail system is that if you build it then there will be less traffic congestion and you won't need to widen the freeway. If you want to change nothing at all about your lifestyle, you could as an individual do that, but as a society these changes make sense.

It sounds like you've bought some of the propaganda bandied about by the petroleum industry who will lose money if the demand for their product drops but they can't say that so instead they pay scientists and spend a lot of money otherwise to put out there every obfuscation that they can. And to sell it they have to claim that there will be some drastic change in your lifestyle, because otherwise people wouldn't buy into it.

I've already been buying the energy efficient bulbs. You know what? They produce as much light as the old bulbs, and I have yet to have one burn out and have to replace it.

althouse too said...

A good article by Dr. Oleg Sorotkhtin, serious Russian researcher. Russians aren't big on hype. Go to http://en.rian.ru/20080103/94768732.html. Well written, no nonsense.

MadisonMan said...

If you buy that orbital geometry could have such drastic effect on climate, why don't you believe that changes in solar forcing could be the primary driver for the entirety of the warming-cooling phase?

Belief has nothing to do with it. Ask what the facts show: observations from ice cores show the pulses of Milankovitch forcing. It's cold when the Northern Hemisphere summers are coolest -- when aphelion is in northern Hemisphere Summer, when the orbit is highly elliptical, when the tilt of the Earth's Axis is most extreme.

You can say that you believe that solar variations are causing the changes, but you will have no facts to back up your belief. It would be similar to believing that extraterrestrials are causing it.

Freder Frederson said...

Why is it that so many Gorelistas insist on insulting people who try to reaon out what Harry absolutely correctly characterized as a science question (or spend time pondering whether skeptics are more like holocaust deniers or people who don't accept the link between smoking and cancer) often as a substitute for actually engaging on the merits?

Gee Simon, do you think it has something to do with the fact that you call people Gorelistas yet get offended when people don't treat you with respect?

Also, your questions have been repeatedly answered yet you continue to beat the same dead horse as though your supposed "unanswered questions" have not been answered. What more do you want? We don't understand what your question is any more.

Someone else will probably have to address Simon since he is ignoring me.

Roger said...

Eli: with respect to the relationship of smoking and cancer, the issue to me is the use (or misuse) of the word "cause." Causality cannot be proved by correlation alone. It is necessary to show exactly how normal cells turn cancerous when exposed to a carcinogen. Correlation, in turn, must be based on some kind of theory that has some kind of "face validity." It is the nature of correlation that two variables can always be correlated, but correlation is meaningless unless there is an underlying theory to link the two.
(I am NOT suggestion that components of tobacco are non-carcinogenic; I am only suggesting the layperson's use of "cause" is often misued in the context of science.)

Eli Blake said...

No, you haven't said something to offend me. And I'm sorry you thought that was a personal attack, it wasn't.

As for the smoking and cancer argument, I wasn't specifically thinking about you, it was just this 'blast from the past' reminded me of what kinds of arguments were being made just about a decade or two ago by scientists who were funded by the Tobacco Institute as they tried to ward off any kind of restriction on smoking by saying that we needed to do more 'research'. I found the parallel to the kinds of arguments we now hear about global warming striking.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

How is it an infringement to plan future development so that people won't have to drive as far, or have other alternatives to driving? How is it an infringement on your life if the city chooses to build a light rail system instead of widening a freeway? You can still use the freeway if you'd prefer, and the idea of the light rail system is that if you build it then there will be less traffic congestion and you won't need to widen the freeway. If you want to change nothing at all about your lifestyle, you could as an individual do that, but as a society these changes make sense.


Eli, there is absolutely nothing about these steps that makes them onerous, as long as they are voluntary, but the devil may be in the details.

The track record of the do-gooders also makes me suspect the final result will not be voluntary.

Look at the smoking issue; look at seatbelts; look at transfats- how long were these just voluntary "good ideas" before we got railroaded, for our own good?

On the automobile issue & the new CAFE- why is it any of your (or the government's) business if I want to drive a car that gets 10 MPG? as long as I wish to spend my 3, 4 or even 5 bucks on a gallon of gas to go 10 miles instead of 30 or 40, why the Hell shouldn't I be able to?

And this is just the first of the "voluntary" measures to go into law and become a legal requirement.

How long until I am forced to ride public transport to and from work, or move into a smaller house, because mine is bigger than the law will allow for the size of my family?

Your proposals are, for the most part, sane and as long as they remain voluntary I have no issue with most of them; i just highly suspect they wouldn't remain voluntary for long.

Roger said...

With respect to the issue of global warming and rising sea levels, it would seem that prudence would dictate that new flood plains be drawn to reflect varying predicted sea level rises, and insurance companies (or some government agency) should start requiring insurance for those choosing to live in areas that will be subjected to flooding. Money is such a great acid test of beliefs.

Eli Blake said...

Roger:

I understand that. In fact I have a master's degree in mathematics with a specialization in statistics. And as I pointed out, the talk show host was right in that can't be shown that any person's cancer was caused by tobacco (and by implication it can't be absolutely proven that tobacco 'causes' cancer.)

At the same time there is enough evidence of a statistical nature, and enough in the way of serious consequences if in fact the people who believe that smoking does cause cancer are right (the effect on our health care system alone is enough of a justification) to justify the changes that have been made in terms of where people can smoke. Smokers in the end can still smoke, but we as a society have decided collectively that we'd prefer to live in a less smoke-filled environment in the future.

Similarly, the preponderance of evidence, everything to CO2 levels to observations of rising sea levels and generally warmer average temperatures worldwide, together with the real economic consequences that can be expected in the event that proponents of global warming are right, might not be enough to justify drastic changes, but it is enough to justify small changes (like asking car companies to put in cars for sale in the U.S. market the same carbuerator they use for sales abroad).

As I said though, the real reson I brought up the smoking thing was that when I heard a guy calling in this morning and giving essentially the same line that we heard from the Tobacco Institute in the 1980's and 1990's, it made me realize that there was a parallel between the two situations. The tobacco companies certainly paid a lot of scientists to publically be skeptical of every report that was done on smoking.

And I'm even one who (as a statistician) readily will acknowledge that some research on smoking has been de-emphasized because the results doesn't fit the agenda (for example, smokers tend to weigh less than nonsmokers of the same age, race, gender, income and activity level; and smokers who have access to tobacco while studying a list of words, are more likely to commit them to long-term memory, though less likely to have them in short-term memory.)

Simon said...

Eli, I think there are answers to those points to one extent or another, but I think I'll leave that to others to hash out. I'd rather focus on the part that I'm really interested in - the science debate rather than its policy implications - and withdraw the relevant part of my 9:53 comment. We're never going to agree on the policy response, because that's naturally shaped by policy, but we can at least hope to find some kind of common ground on the science aspect, and I think it's the science that's dispositive of the question. As to the AGW vs. smoking thing, I don't deny that many AGW folks are irrational blowhards - but so are many gorelistas. That's the condition of the vast majority of people, seems to me. ;)

MadisonMan said...
"You can say that you believe that solar variations are causing the changes, but you will have no facts to back up your belief.

But he also said...
"Ask what the facts show: observations from ice cores show the pulses of Milankovitch forcing. It's cold when the Northern Hemisphere summers are coolest -- when aphelion is in northern Hemisphere Summer, when the orbit is highly elliptical, when the tilt of the Earth's Axis is most extreme."

Which of these mutually irreoncilable statements do you want to advance as your argument - the first, which asserts there are no facts to support the view that changes in solar forcing can have an effect on mean temperature, or the second, which asserts the fact that changes in solar forcing can have an effect on mean temperature?

Simon said...

Sorry, I meant "We're never going to agree on the policy response, because that's naturally shaped by political views," which are of course external to the science debate.

Roger said...

Eli--thanks for your comments--As a statistician you must be driven absolutely bonkers by the general ignorance surrounding your discipline and the imprecision by which studies are reported, even by reasonably reputable science editors, in the media. I suspect not many folks understand iterative techniques, especially monte carlo simulation, made possible in the last twenty years have changed the nature of statistics.

If you have not used it before, see this website for Joinpoint--a great new tool for detailed analysis of regression trends: srab.cancer.gov/joinpoint/

Eli Blake said...

e.r.:

Short answer: You CAN drive a car that gets 10 mpg, if there is enough demand for one. The new CAFE standards say that the average car has to get 35 mpg by 2020. If there are enough people who want 10 mpg vehicles then the automobile manufacturers can still make them as long as they balance it out by making some cars that get, say, 50 mpg.

For that matter, you don't even have to go through a car lot, because the new law exempts you if you choose to build (or pay someone to build you) a custom car that gets whatever mpg you wanted it to. If ten mpg is that important to you then you can still get it.

Simon said...

"[Despite the increasing regulation, s]mokers in the end can still smoke."

This is a tangent and I shouldn't say anything but it's worth noting: first they'll say you can't smoke in public places. Then they'll say you can't smoke in quasi-public places, i.e. privately-owned public accomodations. Then they'll say you can't smoke in a private home if there are children in the home (which is, ironically enough, a far more sensible policy response to concerns about smoking than banning it in public accomodations). If they enact universal healthcare, they'll ban smoking, period, for obvious reasons, and I'm sure there'll be steps between the last two mentioned. Liberty is often eroded one nibble at a time rather than taken in one bite.

Eli Blake said...

OK, simon.

We'll agree to disagree. Thanks for an intelligent discussion.

Simon said...

Having disclaimed talking about policy responses in part because I doubt we can agree on them as a matter of politics rather than views on climate science, the thought does occur that maybe there's one policy respone we could agree on, Eli. I'm not opposed to limited regulation that helps assist the operation of the free market - I'm against banning cigarettes, but I'm fine with a labelling requirement for cigarette manufacturers to prominently display "using this product will probably kill you" on the package. You want to let consumers make rational choices. So while I wouldn't be fine with a regulatory requirement that car companies put in cars for sale in the U.S. market the same carbuerator they use for export models, I would be happy with a regulation that says if you're already building an export model with carbuerator B, you have to offer carbuerator B as an option on domestic models. That seems a minimally invasive way to accomplish a potentially worthwhile policy goal. If there's really value to it, the market for models with carbuerator A will presumably dry up as everyone options carbuerator B.

Eli Blake said...

roger:

I'd be entirely in favor of allowing insurance companies to consider the effect of rising sea levels in setting rates, except for one detail:

Most house insurance policies exempt flood damage. People take for granted that their homeowners insurance policy will protect them against any disaster, including fire, wind, earthquake, floods... BUT IT DOESN'T! It will protect you against fire, winds or earthquakes (though in some places like California earthquakes are not included). But not floods. You have to purchase separate flood insurance (along with separate earthquake insurance if you live in a place where earthquakes are not covered-- but dang it, earthquakes are covered if you live in Minnesota.) Most people find this out the hard way, and it's why it was such a big deal after Katrina as to what portion of the damage to houses was caused by wind (covered) or water (not covered.)

This issue is instructive of the relationship between official Washington and the insurance industry however. Years ago they got Congress to pass the law allowing them not to cover flooding. This enables them to either not pay, or sell additional flood insurance to everyone. Later they made the supplemental flood insurance mandatory for people living in certain designated flood plains. Then a couple of years ago, after Katrina, they got Congress to pass a law that says in effect that all levees that were constructed prior to 1987 will be considered to no longer exist as of 2009, in determining what is and what is not a flood plain. This will cause millions of people to see their rates rise when they are forced to buy mandatory flood insurance. They needed the money from everyone else to cover the losses they did have to pay due to Katrina and other recent hurricanes. So they got Congress to pass that law, because they have lobbyists and you don't.

Eli Blake said...

See this link on how homeowners policies don't cover flood damage.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Eli, let me say that I have been a car nut for over 40 years and have been studying the industry for a few years now, so on CAFE let me give you a little insight.

First, you keep mentioning "the European Carburetor” that allegedly gets 60 MPG- it doesn’t exist. Foreign cars get higher mileage by being smaller, lighter and with smaller engines, and most cars (I’m tempted to say “all”, but absolutes are seldom right) use fuel injection, and I’d say FI has been on the majority of cars since the late 1980’s.

Second, have you asked yourself why Americans suddenly leapt from station wagons to SUVs? I can tell you why- CAFÉ basically outlawed station wagons. Yes the Combined Average Fleet Economy was only 22 MPG, but (as a statistician you will be better versed in this formula than I) for every 20 MPG station wagon GM sold they had to sell 2-3 28 MPG Chevettes. When everybody wants a station wagon, not a Chevette, GM is basically giving away Chevettes so they can sell wagons. (Look at the end of model year sales even today- US carmakers are basically giving away high mileage cars (No credit/Bad credit sales & leases and then future repossessions) to avoid the CAFÉ fines.) SUVs are trucks, and fall under a different CAFÉ, so instead of Mom and Pop climbing into a 20 MPG wagon that they can’t afford to buy, as they are paying for the car and the CAFÉ fine, they buy a 15 MPG Explorer, which is initially cheaper, as it isn’t subject to the same CAFÉ.

Raising the CAFÉ will only exacerbate the issue; the new standard also applies to trucks, so I can only guess what will happen now, but my guess is a new class of vehicle will be developed that falls out side the CAFÉ so we will still be getting the size vehicle that Americans want and need and the automakers will figure a way around the CAFÉ.

The second point you make is that I can still get a custom car built. Maybe, maybe not. Lets assume the law would allow it (something I am not sure of, unless you are talking about a customization of an existing vehicle) Now you have once again set this up (like Al Gore’s carbon credits) as an elitist benefit, and not something generally accessible to the populace, who are back to public transport.

This also goes to prove my initial point about how the voluntary becomes the illegal pretty quickly.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I will remember that next time I get into a debate with someone about global warming. Because while it was surprising to me to still hear that there was anyone out there pushing that particular viewpoint on the radio this morning, or that anyone subscribes to it anymore, it was not so terribly long ago (within the memory of many of us) that scientists, funded by the Tobacco Institute, were regularly questioning just about any report that came out about smoking and health.

Eli,

Along those very same lines was it not so long ago we were given other global problems as I mentioned before by the scientific community that never came to pass or were simply replaced by another looming catastrophe?

You are quite correct about the tobacco industry but in the case of global warming, I too tend to follow the money and see more than a few people who stand to make a whole lot of money at the expense of the general populace.

That being said, I don't think any of the things you mentioned we should try an enact are necessarily bad and would welcome them. I would put massive oversight on aid to developed nations as we have seen in the past, much aid has been provided with little to show for it.

As for a light rail line, count me in for one here in Indianapolis but I could use some help in lobbying for it as one of the main obtstacles is...yes, an environmental group.

Eli Blake said...

Simon:

In effect that's what the new CAFE standards accomplish (though Congess passed it and the President signed it so in fact it's a done deal.) As I explained in my response to edumakated redneck, car companies can still choose to make cars with poor fuel mileage if there is a demand for it, because the law only states that the average fuel mileage for cars made by 2020 will have to increase to 35 mpg. I would actually prefer myself to drive a car that gets about 60 mpg (as some hybrids already do) so if I want that car and he wants his 10 mpg car then the car company could satisfy both of us and still be in compliance with the law.

Really, the only losers are the oil companies because this will cause a reduction in demand for their product, which is why they've fought it so hard. But I look at it like all the blacksmiths who fought against the sale of motorcars when they first came out. The dumb ones kept fighing and fighting as fewer and fewer people needed horseshoes. The smart ones looked at the cars, figured out how they worked and opened their shops to cars by becoming mechanics on the side. Eventually they quit shoeing horses altogether and became fulltime mechanics.

Eli Blake said...

And this has been a fascinating discussion, but unfortunately I have to go.... take my car to the mechanic for a scheduled oil change.

MadisonMan said...

Simon, I thought you were suggesting that solar output was changing, not solar forcing. To the best of my knowledge there is no credible information that changes in the solar output (that is, the Solar Constant) in the past have caused the changes in temperature observed in ice cores. So my apologies for taking this discussion in an unnecessary direction.

My understanding is that the Earth should be moving in to a period of cooling -- and that agrees with doomsayers back in the 1970s, when the first climate extractions into the past were being made. So why do observations show warming?

Revenant said...

Eli,

There is no contradiction between doing theoretical research and also taking practical steps (such as those which I outlined) that will reduce our carbon emissions while not making major changes in lifestyles.

Well, we're already taking such steps. If that's good enough, what more is there to discuss in terms of public policy?

But I think you've missed a pretty important point, which is that it has not yet been established that raising the global temperature would result in net harm to humanity. It is impossible to do a cost-benefit analysis without that bit of knowledge. Warming with either (a) do net harm to us, (b) have pluses and minuses that about equal out, or (c) be a net benefit. If either (b) or (c) is true then any amount of money we spend stopping global warming is money badly spent.

Revenant said...

car companies can still choose to make cars with poor fuel mileage if there is a demand for it, because the law only states that the average fuel mileage for cars made by 2020 will have to increase to 35 mpg.

Well, no, not really.

If the average fuel economy for the cars an automaker sells has to be 35mpg, that means that for every 20mpg car sold, they need to sell a 50mpg car as well. If demand for the 20mpg cars is very high and demand for the 50mpg cars is very low -- and this has pretty much always been the case -- the automakers have a problem.

This is why the effect of CAFE standards thus far has actually been to increase the number of cars on the road and the amount of fuel used -- in order to sell the profitable models that people actually want, automakers subsidize the sale of cheap, fuel-efficient tin cans in order to drive up their overall fuel economy.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Especially if our activities are causing a warming that is holding off a cooling that will once again throw a glacier over half of North America!

Tully said...

MadisonMan said: "If you want to discredit them, you should post the data, or a link to data, that discredits them."

OK. Here.

As the National Academy of Sciences investigative report put it: “Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that ‘the 1990’s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium ...’

This report shows that the planet warmed for about 200 years prior to the industrial age, when we were coming out of the depths of the Little Ice Age where harsh winters froze the Thames and caused untold deaths.

Trying to prove man-made global warming by comparing the well-known fact that today's temperatures are warmer than during the Little Ice Age is akin to comparing summer to winter to show a catastrophic temperature trend.”

Discrediting the IPCC4 Executive Summary is simple--it's contradicted by the Summary Reports for the chapters, which are themselves not coherently synthesized empirical compilations but "expert opinion" summaries. Re-writing reports as they travel upward through bureaucratic layers is a poor way to maintain consistency of empirical validity.

It's not "denialism" to note that the evidence offered does not come close to fully supporting the claims made for it.

Ann Althouse said...

Revenant, are you saying there are people who just wouldn't have a car and the fuel they wouldn't burn is more than the fuel not burned by all the people who do buy and use those very cheap fuel efficient cars? I think people need to drive, and they'd be driving bad old cars and not buying new cars. Why isn't it a good thing that the people who are doing us the favor of burning less fuel are getting an immense savings on the price of a car while the people who want to be inefficient must also pay a hefty price? I don't see the problem.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Ann, in support of Rev's comment-

I have been tangentally (sp?) tied to the auto industry for a few years, and this is a common occurance-

Mom and Dad come in to buy a new Cadillac, and the dealer will throw in a new Geo, or some such, for the kids or in a couple of instances I am aware of, for the live-in maid or aupair (sp?).

So now we have another car on the road that, absent CAFE, would not have existed.

Have you ever looked at the CAFE fines? I will have to check to be certain, but IMS they are millions for each 1/10 of gallon the fleet is over the standard. The reading is a compilation of each vehicle sold times its average fuel economy.

The government also picked up afew bucks a few years ago by recalculating the AFE on all vehicles, which lowered the CAFE for each manufacturer by a couple of MPG.

AJ Lynch said...

Inwood:
I was not making a "no shot" statement.

I was trying to point out that the Right Wing News list was as full of libs and lefties as Ann's Quotes of the Year list- as least when the smart, poignant items were removed from Ann's list.

Why do you think that is that libs/ lefties are so prone to saying really dumb things?

AJ Lynch said...

Sorry for the typo..."No shot" should read "No Shit".

Revenant said...

Revenant, are you saying there are people who just wouldn't have a car and the fuel they wouldn't burn is more than the fuel not burned by all the people who do buy and use those very cheap fuel efficient cars

Yes, that's what I'm saying, and I think there's some pretty good empirical evidence that I'm right. For example, the ratio of cars to people has increased since CAFE standards went into effect, as has our per-capita fuel consumption.

I think people need to drive, and they'd be driving bad old cars and not buying new cars.

Well they do that, too.

This is oversimplified, but there are basically two kinds of cars: the ones people want, and the ones people don't want but which car companies have to sell anyway in order to raise their average fuel economy. In order to sell the latter, car companies slash the prices, which places those cars within the price range of people who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford cars at all. This also drives down the cost of "bad old cars" too, since they're now competing with bad NEW cars.

It also has the effect of making the ownership of multiple cars financially possible to families which otherwise would be forced to get by with a single car. This was the case with my family for a while -- we had one decent family-sized car, and one crappy econobox that either my dad or my mom drove to work.

MadisonMan said...

Why do you think that is that libs/ lefties are so prone to saying really dumb things?

For the same reason right wingers do. That would be because they don't know when to keep their yapper shut.

AJ Lynch said...

Madison Man:

I challenge you - look at Ann's list - most of the dumbest most outrageous statements are from libs like you.

Be honest with yourself for once.

MadisonMan said...

AJ Lynch: If by Ann's list you mean the one she linked to above, put forth by rightwingnews.com, is it any wonder it's populated by leftists? (With some exceptions).

Or are you referring to another of Ann's lists?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Tully,

Not suprisingly, your post about the NAS report is entirely misleading. In fact, your selective citation from the report is quite simply dishonest.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Report "Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Past 2,000 Years" from 2006 concludes that the Mann et al. study "has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence". Here's the relevant section of the NAS report:

The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence that includes both additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions and pronounced changes in a variety of local proxy indicators, such as melting on icecaps and the retreat of glaciers around the world, which in many cases appear to be unprecedented during at least the last 2,000 years.

The committee found that "it can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries. This statement is justified by the consistency of the evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies."

The report also concludes that any statistical shortcomings in MBH are "small in effect." (This finding is consistent with the findings of researchers using other statistical methods.) Roger A. Pielke, Jr. judges the NAS report to be a "near-complete vindication for the work of Mann et al."

Other researchers have addressed this issue too. Wahl and Amman (2006) used centered PC analysis on the MBH data and produced a "hockey stick" (with similar variability) that is very little different from that produced by MBH. Rutherford (2005) used a different statistical method on the data and also produced a similar "hockey stick" shaped graph. In short, these studies support the basic findings of the original MBH work.

In short, Tully, your attempt to deceive by misrepresenting the conclusions of the NAS report has been caught. Better luck next time.

Synova said...

Even with multiple cars a person can only drive one at a time.

I certainly know people who have a commute car and a family car (or weekend impress-the-babes car).

I don't know that an individual family will drive more if they have more cars. They *will* have more cars. And the manufacture of that car is not without a carbon debt, itself.

Having highly fuel efficient cars is a good thing. A person would think that the market would support a demand for cars like that. Why doesn't it? We have mountain snow and road issues where I am so a whole lot of people have SUV's . (I just stay home until it melts.)

How does trying to force manufacturers to sell what people don't want to buy actually work?

How does selling vastly under priced small vehicles relate to municipal plans to try to move people to mass-transit?

Last time the station wagon died.

This time, it may be that light-rail or expanded bus systems and related urban plans to increase mass transit are still-born.

Synova said...

Well, I've got teenagers.

I suppose the answer to "will a family with more vehicles drive more total miles than one with fewer vehicles?" is most certainly "Yes."

Revenant said...

I don't know that an individual family will drive more if they have more cars.

Yes, they will.

Revenant said...

A person would think that the market would support a demand for cars like that. Why doesn't it?

Because it isn't physically possible to produce a safe, large, decently-powered vehicle while also maximizing fuel efficiently. Roughly speaking, the more fuel-efficient the car, the worse it will actually be at performing the function you bought it for -- namely, transporting stuff safely from point A to point B.

Simon said...

Synova said...
"How does trying to force manufacturers to sell what people don't want to buy actually work?"

As The Matrix pointed out, the problem is choice. That's why they don't want market solutions - they want to regulate the manufacturers to remove consumer choice. When that doesn't work, they'll move to regulating what you can do (including buy) more directly - it would only be logical. After all, the fate of the world's at stake.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

althouse too wrote:

A good article by Dr. Oleg Sorotkhtin, serious Russian researcher. Russians aren't big on hype. Go to http://en.rian.ru/20080103/94768732.html. Well written, no nonsense.

I've never heard of "Oleg Sorotkhtin, serious Russian researcher." What is his claim to fame?

By the way, your link is bad. Why am I not surprised?

Hector Owen said...

It took me about a minute to find this: A cold spell soon to replace global warming. You know, Cyrus, if you Google a name, such as "Oleg Sorokhtin", you can sometimes find references. According to this memoir [page 9], Sorokhtin was one of the first Russian geophysicists to sign on to continental drift theory (plate tectonics).

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

You know, Hector, you should address your post to "Althouse too," not to me, as it is his errors that you are correcting.

"Althouse too" cites "Dr. Oleg Sorotkhtin" (note spelling please), "serious Russian researcher." I know of no Russian scientific researcher by that name. In addition, "Althouse too" provides a faulty link. I've invited "Althouse too" to provide more information and/or corrections. As expected, "Althouse too" has moved on to a new drooling spot.

Now, I've read the opinion piece you cite, and it appears to be pseudo-scientific gibberish. I assume you find it nonsensical as well and are posting it for chuckles. It wouldn't suprise me if this is the kind of garbage that "Althouse too" regards as "serious."

In any case, Hector, your droolerese-to-english translation service may have some takers here at Althouse, but I'm not one of them. I'd prefer to leave the droolerese of "Althouse too" and friends as is; translation to english doesn't improve it. Thanks anyway.