November 29, 2011

"The climate religion fades in spasms of anger and twitches of boredom."

Bret Stephens characterizes belief in cataclysmic global warming as a religion and examining how religions die:
As with religion, it is presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people pretending to an obscure form of knowledge that promises to make the seas retreat and the winds abate. As with religion, it comes with an elaborate list of virtues, vices and indulgences. As with religion, its claims are often non-falsifiable, hence the convenience of the term "climate change" when thermometers don't oblige the expected trend lines. As with religion, it is harsh toward skeptics, heretics and other "deniers." And as with religion, it is susceptible to the earthly temptations of money, power, politics, arrogance and deceit....

Religions are sustained in the long run by the consolations of their teachings and the charisma of their leaders. With global warming, we have a religion whose leaders are prone to spasms of anger and whose followers are beginning to twitch with boredom. Perhaps that's another way religions die.
That's it: It's a religion devoid of consolations.

152 comments:

SGT Ted said...

*insert frothing lefty diatribe denouncing Althouse as a reichwinger here*

TosaGuy said...

I saw one of those TerraPass bumper stickers on a car while leaving work last night. There are still suckers out there.

rhhardin said...

Marx is mostly dead and Freud is totally so

Freud was a more rigorous thinker than modern pyschobabble gives him credit for.

TWM said...

True believers will never give up, but the majority of people are not going to crash already damaged economies over this religion any longer. So, yeah, it's dead for all intents and purposes.

Al Gore still got rich off of it so there's that though . . .

ndspinelli said...

This religions Pope is a "sex crazed poodle" and it's New Testament was exposed as a forgery via Climategate.

Tim said...

"With global warming, we have a religion whose leaders are prone to spasms of anger and whose followers are beginning to twitch with boredom. Perhaps that's another way religions die."

...and a religion whose leaders are prone to spasms of denial that they are making shit up.

Pianoman said...

Religions that depend upon the "charisma of their leaders" are doomed to fail. Those religions that have survived have done so because of the principles of their faith.

As it continues to decline, AGW's adherents are becoming more and more hostile to those who refuse to believe.

It's looking a lot less like Catholicism, and a lot more like Scientology.

chrisnavin said...

Well, one of the consolations of religion is dreaming of our doom collectively (instead of perhaps individually) and predicting it, and controlling it, while promising salvation.

Don't immanentize the eschaton!

The science of course, is still being done (and climate change actually occurring), but it's good to get a better look at all the people who need climate science to be a lantern in the darkness, and the rallying cry for a whole political philosophy

Pianoman said...

@TWM: "True believers will never give up, but the majority of people are not going to crash already damaged economies over this religion any longer."

+1

And by the time the world economies get their financial house in order, there will be too much evidence against AGW.

They had a few victories (incandescent bulbs in the US, Kyoto, Australia), but the AGW proponents didn't win the long war.

Without some kind of cataclysmic series of weather events and/or serious warming worldwide (on the order of 5-10 degrees), there's no way that the AGW crowd is going to get any of the legislative and economic restructuring that they desire.

chrisnavin said...

Climate change "possibly" occurring, or perhaps not occurring at all. Skepticism still holds up decently.

Chris said...

Brilliant. And applicable to so many fad-sci movements of the last 50 years.

Chris said...

And btw, if climate change is a religion, have you noticed how CERN is it's unofficial Vatican?

jimbino said...

"...presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people.." is an interesting use of "caste."

Oligonicella said...

Boy, when you drop beliefs, you go all out. What do you think carbon footprint is all about? GW. Your religion until recently.

David said...

Climate change is inevitable. The only question is whether human activity is going to cause a change of disastrous proportions.

The current proponents of radical action to avert man made climate change have done a great disservice to the world via their lies and exaggerations. This remains a serious issue. Their malfeasance has derailed a rational examination of the potentialities and policy choices.

J said...

Oil plutocrats pay WSJ hacks to write unscientific hype such as this. Stephens is just doing his job on the knob for Big Oil.

Paul Zrimsek said...

We need an extension to Godwin's Law to stop us having to put up with so many "(Other guy's opinion) is a religion" arguments. They're really getting old.

MadisonMan said...

I'm not certain that religion = AGW is a good metaphor.

I ponder the (now-changed) rites for the Catholic Church. Every good religion has rites. What are the rites of the AGW religion?

I haven't been to church, btw, since the rite language was changed. I'll probably go in two weeks. Boy, that's gonna be interesting.

Michael said...

Oil Plutocrats.

Right.

edutcher said...

The problem for the enviro-nuts is that they were taken over by the Commies after the Soviet Union imploded, so you have 2 religions trying to meld together 2 sets of lies and make it look like truth.

At least the theists know Christ and Buddha really lived.

The Crack Emcee said...

The word is "cult," but I'll take it.

And I told you so,...again.

Jay said...

J said...
Oil plutocrats pay WSJ hacks to write unscientific hype such as this. Stephens is just doing his job on the knob for Big Oil.


Byro in the house, dropping crazy knowledge!!!

Dave said...

I agree with Paul. Climate change was just a road to power. It's less a religion than a method of advancing the self interest of the elite.

The Crack Emcee said...

Pianoman,

It's looking a lot less like Catholicism, and a lot more like Scientology.

Because that's all it ever was. Now, to the important question:

Why do we allow it - if it was obvious to me it was obvious all along - and why do we allow for the perps to get away with it?

Al Gore should be facing our own version of the McCarthy hearings or the Nuremberg trials. If it was up to me, he'd already be Saddam or Ghaddafi - running for his life.

Seeing Red said...

Another 400 environmental regs are coming down the road.

It's got to stop, they're killing us.

Richard Dolan said...

MMan: "I'm not certain that religion = AGW is a good metaphor."

Agree completely, and it was odd to see Bret Stephens using such a weak metaphor in the WSJ. The notion that a theory grounded in propositions that themselves cannot be verified is not a useful definition of religion, but it's the one that Stephens is using.

Take his opening sentence: "As with religion, it is presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people pretending to an obscure form of knowledge that promises to make the seas retreat and the winds abate." Change the word religion, and substitute pretty much anything: politics, business, academia, journalism, blogging, blog commenting, you name it. It's just a truism that any endeavor in which people are involved will have some "spectacularly unattractive people" in it, and some of them may achieve a place of (temporary) prominence or authority. But none of them is "prsided over by a caste" such as Stephens postulates, among other reasons because none of them is a unitary activity.

His whole screed is rhetoric without any core. Like most sterotypes, it has just enough connection to reality to cause some to confuse it with insight, but it's just complete crap.

AGW may well be bad science in service of a political agenda; part of the methodology of those pushing that agenda may involve arrogance, deception and trickery; and that agenda may well fit with the usual 'progressive' dream of a society led by experts who will bring us all into the Promised Land if only we will let them. But no one who actually cares about religion or knows anything about it is likely to confuse the two.

Pianoman said...

@Crack: "Why do we allow it - if it was obvious to me it was obvious all along - and why do we allow for the perps to get away with it?"

Because fear is a powerful motivator, arguably the most powerful there is.

As the facts came to light, Joe Sixpack gradually came to the realization that catastrophic AGW probably wasn't true. We're still in that phase where the marginal believers in AGW are questioning their beliefs, and gradually dropping off the bandwagon.

In a few years, all that will be left is the true cult members. And the lawsuits, of course. New converts will be hard to come by.

Had Al Gore died in the middle of the AGW promotion, the cult would have had a martyr that they could worship (a la L. Ron Hubbard). Unfortunately, they'll need to advance The Cause (TM) without one.

Crack, I know that you hope people learn from their experiences. I *do* believe that the next "cataclysm cult" that comes along won't have nearly the influence that AGW did, thanks to alternative media. But there will always be people who are looking for simple, quick solutions to difficult problems ... and so there will always be markets for cults to exploit.

Christopher in MA said...

"What are the rites of the AGW religion?"

I'm open to correction, but AGW I have no problem with. It certainly is possible to believe that human activity has altered the atmosphere somewhat. But to believe that we have - by our mere presence - altered it beyond any normal range and beyond the ability of nature to adapt is, IMHO, nonsense.

Of course, when your Nicene Creed begins "We believe in Algore, the prophet almighty, who tells us the planet has a fever. . ," I doubt you're open to argument.

Can't say I can think of rites (other than flying first class in order to spread the GW gospel), but I can think of commandments:

- Thou shalt not question.
- Thou shalt not emit carbon without a credit.
- Thou shalt not covet thy Algore's carbon emissions, as He knows better than you.
- Thou shalt hide the decline.
- Thou shalt beggar thy First World nation as penance for thy sins.
- Thou shalt SHUT UP, because THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED! (I thank J for exemplifying this commandment).

glenn said...

Beside all that AlGore has his Hollywood sweetie, a house by the beach, and a billion dollars from his carbon futures scam. Mission accomplished.

JAL said...

What are the rites of the AGW religion?

Rites?

Trappings:

CFLs in every socket in your house.
A Prius.
A $1000 mountain bike.
Loves wind mill farms (in someone else's yard).
Ban Nuclear Power bumper sticker.
Blood for Oil Bumper sticker.
Anti coal.
Anti drilling anywhere for anything.
Anti-hydroelectric dams (except for Algore who keep his houseboat on one of the bennys.)
An iPhone.

...

Doc Holliday's Bastard said...

Same as it ever was. People need something to believe in, though that is hugely varied (Godhead, the State, Science...etc.) New religions have to be full of true believers or else they die out because they don't have the ability to handle skepticism adeptly, and skeptics can easily poke holes in beliefs. It takes a long time to build a real theology (if it can ever even be built), and until that time, the fanatics banding together may be the only way to save the belief system. (Hell even with a full theology, the fanatics sometimes take control).

Bryant said...

And, like many other religions that are on the decline, the climate change religion allows you to feel superior to the deniers and tells you who to have contempt for.

Mike said...

Stephens says "cap and trade is dead". Au contraire mon cher, a cap and trade bill was passed by the morons in the California legislature and signed by the chief moron in the governor's mansion.

California--on a race to beat Greece to the bottom of the economic heap.

traditionalguy said...

The Climate Control Or Else You a All Die religion was total myth from the get go.

What is good to learn out of this farce is how easily it could hijack scientific jargon, declare itself infallible and threaten heretics with arrest and murder among "an educated population."

Every thought they uttered was palpably false, and no one dared to say boo to them.

The trace gas CO2 that tied them into a claim to all the money in the world as theirs to control was so small that it was a joke. And even then CO2 has no heat trapping ability in an open atmosphere not enclosed in a glass jar. Science indeed.

The easy challenge was,"Where is the glass jar?" But fear of being called uneducated , like the Darwin Religion has done to thinkers, made all of the educated fools run and hide.

The Carbon Criminals are in need of defrocking by the so called Universities that harbor them like they harbor Penn State's pet child rapists.

J said...

You need to shut the fuck up, Chris know-nothing.

In fact recent studies (Mueller) confirm the temp.increases, and higher levels of GHG. But in Limbaugh-land or the WSJ, who gives a fuck about science? Lies and hype will do as well as research.

J said...

That's you Byro-Jay. As the IP traces show, perp. Buh bye, pedos of A-house

Doc Holliday's Bastard said...

J you're actually proving Chris kinda right. Muller did find increase temperatures but specifically did not tie them to GHG in his research, leaving very open the possibility that there is another non-man made cause (such as the sunspot cycle we're entering). What he did say is that we should reduce pollution, not exactly a hugely controversial statement.

Original Mike said...

"But to believe that we have - by our mere presence - altered it beyond any normal range and beyond the ability of nature to adapt is, IMHO, nonsense."

It's not a linear system, so it's not beyond the pale to worry about big changes in climate (e.g. the north Atlantic current shutting down and turning northern Europe into an ice box). Nature would adapt, but that would be small solace to, say, the Brits.

RichardS said...

And if it's a religion it ought not to be taught in schools. . . .
I'm being flip, but I do mean to point to a problem. The classic, institutional definition of religion is central to our establishment jurisprudence. Meanwhile, the borader, humanistic definition, is central to our free exercise jurisprudence. The result is a mess, and is biased against religions with an institutional base.

J said...
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MadisonMan said...

And even then CO2 has no heat trapping ability in an open atmosphere not enclosed in a glass jar. Science indeed.

Not so. Carbon dioxide does excellently at absorbing radiation at, say, 14 micrometers.

J said...

"kinda"

And you're mumbling and cyber-stalking again, white trash AZ-acid head. Mueller established the temp. data as accurate but did not offer a definitive statement on GHG. So you're wrong, not kinda, but altogether, fundie boy (your white supremacist church is traced, as well, perp, and Digby, DU and many other people know who you really are know Byro-Klanqueer.)

sorepaw said...
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The Crack Emcee said...

J,

In Limbaugh-land or the WSJ, who gives a fuck about science?

I know you're too stupid to get this (Oh, boy, do I know it) but it's the skeptics who care about science, because to be a scientist is, first, to be a skeptic. Richard Feynman, who - if he knew I was quoting him for the likes of you - is probably rolling over in his grave:

There is one feature I notice that is generally missing in "cargo cult science." It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty — a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid — not only what you think is right about it; other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you've eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked — to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can — if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong — to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.


You, Sir (And, boy, do I use that term loosely) are a tool,...

sorepaw said...
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bgates said...

What are the rites of the AGW religion?

There's Earth Hour, where devotees sit in the dark to show their love for Gaia (not to be confused with Earth Day, a celebration started by an older Gaia cult which has admittedly been largely absorbed by the warmists);

Viewings of the Oscar- and Nobel-winning sacred prophecies;

The ritual sacrifice of high-paying blue collar domestic jobs in the energy sector....

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

sorepaw said...
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J said...

Brainfart away, Gumphousers. Thats what Auntie Ann the yokel-enabler is here for.

J said...

Wrong again, Byro-sorepaw, AZ acid head (being watched by LA DA's office as well,)

Steve McIntyre works for the oil industry, dumbass, and you don't know fock about his research anyway. He at times has confirmed AGW.

Seven Machos said...

I've been saying exactly what this person says for a long time, though not as eloquently.

Here it is, the 21st Century, and we have a movement of intellectuals who tell us that the gods will change the weather if we change our behavior. They've merely taken out the part about the gods, which makes the whole thing even more barbaric and stupid.

sorepaw said...
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J said...

Complete drivel is you, Byro the AZ retard.

McIntyee is an oil man, dumbass. Even your dimwitted hippie cronies could do better than that, you bag of white trash garbage. McIntyre would laugh at your yokel schtick as well. Just STFU, crack fag.

J said...

McIntyre worked for the oil industry, dumbass, and you don't know fock about his research anyway. He at times has confirmed AGW.

Drug test time, crack-boy

Oclarki said...

What's a Byro?

J said...

Prior to 2003 (McIntyre) was an officer or director of several small public mineral exploration companies. He retired from full-time work, but still sometimes engaged in mining consultancy.(ie, oil and gas exploration).

You lost again, Byro-sorepaw, queer AZ mormon. Maybe finish that Nursey AA, or at least work on
your Billy Idol imitation, hijo de puta.

Seven Machos said...

J. -- Did you see that Gabrielle Giffords served Thanksgiving dinner at a military base last week? I told you she was still alive. You didn't believe it.

What I don't understand is why your doctors allow you to have Internet access in spite of your condition and your crimes.

Jay said...

What are the rites of the AGW religion?



-Celebrating Earth Day
-Pretending that when someone has a Prius they reall care
-Pretending that recycling is good
-Not doing even a basic critical examination of this "settled science"
-Accepting the astounding hypocrisy of the "environmental" rich leftists who have their own jets, SUVs, 25,000 sq ft homes, etc with utter silence.

For starters.

Original Mike said...

"I'm not certain that religion = AGW is a good metaphor."

I don't know if Michael Crichton was responsible for the religion metaphor, but it was pretty convincing in his hands.

Seven Machos said...

I'm not certain that religion = AGW is a good metaphor.

It's not a metaphor.

Patrick said...

MadMan, the changes in Mass are not as dramatic as advertised, at least in these parts. A few of the changes tripped up the priest in our parish, but only a few lines of what the congregation recites are changed, particularly the Confiteor and the Creed. I found it interesting that the cadence of the Creed, even after the language change is the same. I wonder how hard they worked at that? It must have taken some time to come up with "consubstantial" to replace "one in being."

sorepaw said...
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kcom said...

"Steve McIntyre works for the oil industry, dumbass, and you don't know fock about his research anyway. He at times has confirmed AGW."

Total crap. As sorepaw points out. In fact, Steve McIntyre's background is in the mining industry. What the hell does that have to do with fossil fuels and oil companies? He's currently the Chairman of the Board of a gold mining company. Burned any gold in your car engine lately?

And more to the point, he's a trained mathematician and statistician.
- finished first in the national high school mathematics competition of 1965
- degree in math from the University of Toronto
- graduate of Oxford University where he studied politics and economics
- received a scholarship in mathematical economics at MIT (although declined to attend)
- 30 years using those skills in the mining industry to find new resources

And that's the expertise and the skills he brought to looking at the statistical data used by the hockey stick climate scientists. And what he found was severely wanting. Their claims just didn't stand up to examination because their data was bad and their statistical analysis was incompetent. In some cases, they simply did not understand the limitations of their own statistical methods (which McIntyre's background made clear to him). And they compounded all their mistakes by hiding things and obfuscating what they couldn't hide. They played the Dan Rather card - "my sources are unimpeachable" (until you actually looked at them, which they are/were doing they're best to prevent you from doing).

"He at times has confirmed AGW."

He's never "confirmed" AGW. He's never tried. All he has ever tried to do is get answers to his questions about the data they're using and why they are manipulating it the way they are. It's a simple scientific question: You claim x, show me how you got x. They have twisted themselves into knots trying to escape those questions. (Hint- that's because their answers are so weak and their methods so suspect.)

timmaguire42 said...

I disagree that AGW is a religion without consolations. On some level, I think it's greatest feature is hope.

Let's face it, climate change is real and scary. It's smashed cities, brought down empires, ruined vacation spots. But if we can convince ourselves that we have the power to warm the planet, then it necessarily follows that we have the power to cool it.

Over time, we're bound to get better and more precise, adjusting the weather as needed to maximize crop yields, make it warm on spring break and sunny on your wedding day.

Climate scientists are witch doctors shaking bones at the sky to appease the gods, and without them we are helpless against the elements.

Seven Machos said...

You people who can't get your head around the obvious fact that climate change is a religion need to understand that you are inhibited by your views of Jesus Christ. This is true even if you don't believe in Jesus Christ.

You need to look at the Old Testament, to Judaism before the Rabbinic era, and to other religions. This will help you see the issue more clearly.

Also worth your consideration in this regard is the truly revolutionary way in which Christianity has impacted the world.

John Lynch said...

Supposedly secular people have been producing apocalyptic religious movements for 100 years. We've had eugenics, overpopulation, and global warming. And that's leaving out socialism. All these movements demanded that we all change our ways to avoid cosmic doom.

The consequences of failing to follow the prescriptions of faith- genetic degeneracy, mass starvation, and rising oceans- never happen. Despite this, the predictions of doom keep coming. And when I dare be skeptical of any of these things, the hate flows in rivers.

People need to be more skeptical. I don't mind religion because it's honest about what it is. These supposedly secular millenarian movements are far more dangerous because they lie about their own nature.

ricpic said...

Wow, Bret Stephens TOWERS over all the stupid dolts who fall for religion. It must get harder and harder for enlightened shits to put up with benighted religious dolts. Why not just shoot them and get rid of the clutter?

traditionalguy said...

At this point, anyone who still believes that CO2 can ever make our atmosphere, open to outer space, into a heat trapping "dirty carbon" greenhouse is either a deliberate liar or utterly ignorant of any Science involved.

That makes Barack Obama and his henchmen deliberate liars...but we already knew that.

Aheitman said...

Green is the new Red. Ask any of the anti-capitalist Occupy folks about their stance on Climate Change and it will sound almost identical to their stance on Corporations, Government, etc.

MadisonMan said...

@tradguy, see my comment at 1153. I'm not sure why you suppose CO2 cannot intercept outgoing radiation and re-radiate it back down to Earth.

wv: nonosci (!)

Seven Machos said...

Mad -- I also don't understand why people wouldn't believe that a god -- the only God -- would impregnate a woman with his Godly Semen to create a perfect Man God who would roam a small portion of the earth in obscurity for about 35 years only to be killed by Roman authorities and Jewish high priests.

The mind boggles.

Alex said...

Brainfart away, Gumphousers. Thats what Auntie Ann the yokel-enabler is here for.

So these are the ravings of a lunatic.

Alex said...

Madison Man - we've been globally cooling for 10+ years.

MadisonMan said...

Seven, I'm not sure if you're talking to me (You talkin' to me?) or not.

Mere mortals cannot know the wisdom of God. Or something like that.

Scott M said...

So these are the ravings of a lunatic.

Not exactly. That's just what the court-ordered stenographer was able to cobble together.

MadisonMan said...

Alex, it's nice to know you've been cooling your heels in the hoosegow for 10+ years. That explains the perversity of your comment stream.

Alex said...

We've been globally cooling since 1998

Seven Machos said...

Madison -- I am talking to you. The point is that both stories are fantastic and we cannot know if they are true or not. There must be faith.

Both stories also involve the Fall of Man, by the way, which is one of the central issues any religion seeks to address -- be that religion Christianity or Climate Change.

JAL said...

... perfect Man God who would roam a small portion of the earth in obscurity for about 35 years only to be killed by Roman authorities and Jewish high priests.

The mind boggles.


And dang. Nobody noticed. Did you notice that?

MadisonMan said...

Alex: Here is something more recent than a 2006 Newspaper article.

The 'cooling since 1998' was a valid statement because 1998 was so very anomalously warm.

@Seven, the A in AGW and the projections into the future based on Climate Models of dubious values are beliefs.

Facts, such as the shrinking annual extent of the Arctic Sea Ice cover cannot be argued away as beliefs held.

JAL said...

I want someone to explain why Greenland is called "Greenland."

That might contribute the AGW discussion.

Seven Machos said...

Facts, such as the shrinking annual extent of the Arctic Sea Ice cover cannot be argued away as beliefs held.

Except that this is not any kind of accepted fact and, even if it was, there is no connection between what people are doing and the phenomenon. And even if there is, which there is not, but even if there is, it is silly to say it is a bad thing.

If climate has always changed, why is it bad now?

The connection between what you suggest as fact and the badness of it, and the human cause of that badness -- that is the religious nexus.

Alex said...

What the AGWers fail to recognize is we are in between ice ages.

Alex said...

Personally I'd rather live in a warming climate then have ice sheets down to where I live.

Roger J. said...

as does Oclarki can someone PLEASE tell my what "byro" is--more and more commenters are using it.

MadisonMan said...

Except that this is not any kind of accepted fact

I'll sit here and wait patiently for you to provide a link to data that shows that annual mean ice cover over the Arctic Ocean is increasing.

I have made zero claims that the changes are human-caused, or bad.

Alex said...

I'll sit here and wait patiently for you to provide a link to data that shows that annual mean ice cover over the Arctic Ocean is increasing. I have made zero claims that the changes are human-caused, or bad.

If you don't think they're human caused or bad, why are you harping on it?

Seven Machos said...

Madison -- I'll sit here and wait patiently for you to demonstrate that is remotely possible to measure ice cover over oceans in any meaningful way, let alone average it.

How many monads are there in the ice?

Roger J. said...

Seems to me that temperature increases, measurement of the arctic ice etc are all empirical questions--I fully accept the climate is warming--but I remain agnostic as to the cause--

MadisonMan said...

I'll sit here and wait patiently for you to demonstrate that is remotely possible to measure ice cover over oceans in any meaningful way, let alone average it.

Microwave instruments -- such as on SSM/I now -- have been detecting sea ice for 40 years. (Link)

I'm still waiting patiently for your link.

Seven Machos said...

I fully accept the climate is warming

I do not. Imagine if someone in, say, 1850 or 1950 were to have said that their measurements are precise and could measure unfathomable square miles of things. What would you say? Why do you think our measurements are so much more precise now?

Now imagine someone comparing measurements from 1850 or 1950 to now. Those measurements then were primitive. You know this. Therefore, the comparison is ridiculously invalid, regardless of the questionable quality of our measurements now.

Seven Machos said...

Madison -- I don't accept the measurements. There is no actual count. There cannot be.

MadisonMan said...

I think you mean to say: I don't believe the measurements.

Enjoy your religion?

Seven Machos said...

Madison -- Skepticism is the opposite of faith. Questioning is the opposite of belief.

Roger J. said...

I understand 7 Machos point--I do think we are better able to monitor and collect data on global temperatures now that we were able to 150 years ago. I do agree that those temperatures need to be looked at over some decent interval of time. Allowing, for example, temperature data collected near urban heat islands.

My understanding is that satellite technology and sensing can assess those temps.

MadisonMan said...

I'm still waiting for your data that shows annual ice cover is increasing.

Alex said...

I'm still waiting for your data that shows annual ice cover is increasing.

Fraud.

traditionalguy said...

MadMan... There are no test data showing CO2 outside an enclosed system re-radiates any measurable heat, which is the model's ASSSUMED trapping mechanism.

There have been tests run and rerun that show the opposite to be true.

Why do you continue to believe in the malarky that is THE ASSUMPTION made in all of the AGW climate models? Those are the ones that have not forecast anything correctly.

Think it through. An 0.0038% trace gas molecule, even if increasing to 0.0076%, would not have any power to trap radiated heat even if the atmosphere was enclosed the ASSUMED glass dome.

The Climate Criminals have recently recanted and said the sensitivity to increases in CO2 are maybe 1/3 as great as the assumed must be true the day before.

And that is a face saving admission only and still assumes the 1/3 re-radiation occurs.

Bruce Hayden said...

Kinda puts things in perspective: How we know they know they are lying.

As for J's claim that one of the people who successfully debunked Mann's hockey stick received oil/gas/coal money, so what? It is a fallacious red herring argument, both ad hominem and an appeal to motive. And, as a red herring type of fallacious argument, it says much more about the one making the argument, than about the validity of his point.

Roger J. said...

While obviously can debate science and underlying data validity, the more salient question to me is: what do we do about it from a policy standpoint--I see nothing but draconian proposals that will vitiate the economies of the developed and developing world--a heavy price to pay for uncertainty.
We are going to remain dependent on hydrocarbons for the foreseeable future I think. Thank gaia we got rid of those terrible incandescent light bulbs.

Steve Koch said...

Althouse is slyly tapping a wedge between the religious right and the non religious right. Also, Althouse may still reflexively vote Dem but she is in the process of discarding a big chunk of the Dem catechism.

Religion satisfies an innate, important need for people. Once belief in God (as traditionally defined) becomes passe in your sector of the culture, your sector of the culture needs to find a new religion. The new religion has to be bigger than yourself, important, obviously good, and allow its adherents to feel morally superior to the nonbelievers. Environmentalism fulfills those requirements.

The fact that the overwhelming majority of those alarmed by man made global warming don't actually understand the pertinent science is no problem because, for them, environmentalism is a religion.

This is not to imply that environmentalism is inherently wrong or evil but just that it can be turned into a religion.

Milwaukie guy said...

Arctic ice cover bottomed out in 2007-2008 or something. Search the archibes at Watts Up With That or go to NOAA or NASA.

Milwaukie guy said...

Archives. And sea ice extent is also determined by winde patterns that sometimes push more ice into warmer waters.

Milwaukie guy said...

Wind. This is fun.

wv: undens: Where's the unden button?

Seven Machos said...

Madison -- You want data proving that you cannot obtain accurate data?

That's silly.

Ralph L said...

We've had eugenics, overpopulation, and global warming
Soon we'll be back to the first two in order to help the third.

They used to tell us Venice and SE England were sinking, but they're still dry. Have sea levels actually changed?

Scott M said...

Where's the unden button?

You should be able to find it by going to your browser's options/settings/archibes/winde

Roger J. said...

Milwaukie guy--I suspect the world's ocean currents would also play a role, but from limited knowledge of oceanography, these currents will lag considerably behind surface temperatures. Oceans are a large heat sink and it would take considerably more time for ocean currents to be affected by surface temperatures.

MadisonMan said...

You want data proving that you cannot obtain accurate data?

That's silly.

No, I'm looking for your data that shows Annual Arctic Sea ice is increasing per your claim at 312.

Seven Machos said...

I have not claimed in this thread and make no claim that any ice is increasing, or decreasing, or staying the same.

Please do read carefully.

MadisonMan said...

Milwaukie (sic) guy: Link

As with the comment Warming Stopped in 1998, Sea Ice Decrease ended in 2007 is valid only because 2007 was so anomalous. The rebound since then is not great.

Grandma Bee said...

JAL asked why Greenland is called "Green". Earth's temperature has fluctuated, depending on sunspot activity and other natural phenomena. When Erik The Red discovered Greenland, the Earth was in one of these warmer periods. Danes settled grassy areas and raised cattle on the shores of Greenland.

Beginning about 1300, the temperature started to cool. Over three centuries, the earth experienced what some call the "Little Ice Age". The temperature cooled enough to drop the temperature in Greenland dramatically; and Northern Europe got noticeably cooler. The Danish colonies in Greenland either died out or were abandoned. Archaeologists studying Danish cemeteries in Greenland found evidence of dramatic differences in nutrition in the skeletons over time, as Greenland became less green and people could no longer farm.

Original Mike said...

"Think it through. An 0.0038% trace gas molecule, even if increasing to 0.0076%, would not have any power to trap radiated heat even if the atmosphere was enclosed the ASSUMED glass dome."

Huh?

John Cunningham said...

One of the emails disclosed in the 2nd tranche of released info is from a prof who tested the "hockey stick" findings in the Mann-Bradley-Hughes paper of 1998. he generated 1,000 separate time series of random numbers and ran them through the MBH algorithm. Every one created a hockey stick graph, exactly like the original "data." http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/27/climategate-2-email-briffa-replicates-mcintyre-mckitrick-produces-hockey-sticks-out-of-noise/

can any sane person avoid seeing this as the biggest scientific fraud in history?

Bruce Hayden said...

Milwaukie guy--I suspect the world's ocean currents would also play a role, but from limited knowledge of oceanography, these currents will lag csonsiderably behind surface temperatures. Oceans are a large heat sink and it would take considerably more time for ocean currents to be affected by surface temperatures.

As I understand it, without looking it up, the issue is that the current for a couple of years pushed a lot more ice out into the Atlantic, and that was when the ice cover thinned so much. Then, the currents switched back to a route that jammed the ice up a lot more, so it didn't get out into the Atlantic as much. Which means that we are now back where we were historically most of the time.

This does illustrate one of the problems with claims to AGW - we just don't enough yet about the oceans to accurately model such - how it handles temperatures, how currents are caused at different depths, how much CO2 is sequestered, etc. And, keep in mind that the bulk of the Earth's surface is covered by water, and that water has not been accurately measured over a sufficient duration of time and depth for temperature and CO2.

Roger J. said...

Bruce Hayden--thank you for expanding on my point so eloquently.

You comment also goes to the basic issue of how to model a complex system. Given the amount of variables involved, it seems to me to be a daunting task. One, that I think, has yet to be accomplished.

Milwaukie guy said...

That is, sometimes wind and currents push sea ice deeper into the Davis Strait, where the waters are relatively warmer so more melts. Sometimes it goes the other way and jams the ice into a thicker pack.

wv: culmatic [awesome]

Roger J. said...

Milwaukie guy--is it fair to say that sea ice depth is as much a function of wind and currents as it is a function of external temperature? I would say yes, but your take?

And the effects of surface temperatures in the arctic are also a function of the relative shallowness of the arctic sea.

Roger J. said...

the shallower the sea, the greater the effects of surface temps. In the ocean abysses, the thermocline is very deep. Less so for shallower seas.

Amartel said...

Religions that last have some basic underlying human truth(s) to them. Completely absent in the AGW religion which was, in essence, a denial of humanity. Literally, breathing = pollution.

Seven Machos said...

Amartel -- I disagree vehemently. Isn't breathing = badness the short version of The Fall of Man in the Genesis story, after you take out the narrative conventions?

Revenant said...

Completely absent in the AGW religion which was, in essence, a denial of humanity. Literally, breathing = pollution.

The notion that humans are fundamentally sinful and bad for the world around them is one of the oldest concepts in human religion.

It isn't the reason AGW is waning in popularity -- it is the reason AGW was so popular in the first place!

Bruce Hayden said...

Thanks Milwakee and Roger for clarifying a bit about the effects of current on the northern ice pack. I remember reading about it a bit ago, but didn't look it back up. So, thanks.

wv: bless - somehow applicable to this discussion about the AGW religion.

Bruce Hayden said...

You comment also goes to the basic issue of how to model a complex system. Given the amount of variables involved, it seems to me to be a daunting task. One, that I think, has yet to be accomplished.

Or, maybe more accurately, a task that has probably not been done that well.

By necessity so far, a lot of assumptions and simplifications have to be made in order to model the earth's climate over any decent amount of time. But, I think it is becoming ever more obvious that the modelers over-simplified and made unsupportable assumptions and simplifications. For example, we keep coming back to the sensitivity of the temperature in the models to CO2 concentrations, and how so many of the models have apparently, from the latest research, greatly overestimated it. And, I expect that the models do not even come close to accurately modeling either cloud cover or ocean temperatures, which are likely much more important in determining global temperature than CO2 concentrations.

Chuck66 said...

And just like those who get corrupte and use their churches for personal inwealthment. Think about the television preacher with the mansion, and think about Algore with his speaking tours, books, movie, and mansion and yacht.

sorepaw said...
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sorepaw said...
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Joe Schmoe said...

as does Oclarki can someone PLEASE tell my what "byro" is--more and more commenters are using it.

You are Byro. I am Byro. We are all Byro.

We are the Byro-Borg. J will be assimilated.

Milwaukie guy said...

I remember when I first started reading about the AGW climate modeling, they would occasionally mention that they didn't have the computing power to model cloud cover, so that was completely out of the first models.

Now the computing power is there to model clouds but, as others have said, the climate system is so complex—oceans and atmosphere and the sun and the piddly things we do locally—that all modeling is still choosing what data to include and it remains to be seen if any model can really do climate predictions accurately.

World of killer hurricanes anybody?

wv: lizes: What Tenneseans call what Al Gore does.

Synova said...

"They used to tell us Venice and SE England were sinking, but they're still dry. Have sea levels actually changed?"

Donno a bit about England or Venice, but Florida is sinking and Central Canada is rising as the plate rebounds from the weight of now-absent glaciers. (The New Madrid quakes were probably from these isostatic adjustments.)

Anyhow, my point is, oceans aren't the only things that rise and fall.

And according to my (admittedly introductory level) textbook, sea levels have never been so low, and the graph goes to nearly 150 million years ago. It seems like someone must have gotten the assumptions they're using dreadfully wrong, somehow, because it's not just the horrific 20 meter global disaster that Gore frightens us with, but supposedly between 150 to 200 meters higher for 100 million years before dropping in the last 50 million years from 250 meters to the 0 = "sea level" present.

That seems silly, actually. But it does make a person wonder. When we have known History of Warm periods and serious science suggesting +200 meters in sea level was normal for 100 million years... how did someone decide that either warmer weather or rising oceans was an assault on Gaia?

David R. Graham said...

"That's it: It's a religion devoid of consolations."

You got it, girl. :-)

David R. Graham said...

"Freud was a more rigorous thinker than modern pyschobabble gives him credit for."

This is true. Marx was as well. He was in fact a theologian.

Revenant said...

When we have known History of Warm periods and serious science suggesting +200 meters in sea level was normal for 100 million years... how did someone decide that either warmer weather or rising oceans was an assault on Gaia?

They are presumably comparing to the climate that existed during the period of human civilization, which only goes back a few tens of thousands of years.

Certainly life can survive on a much warmer Earth; the question is "can WE?".

Synova said...

It doesn't work to scare people if it's not about humans being comfortable, but that hardly goes with the "humans bad" part of the religion, nor with the "civilization bad" part of the religion.

I'm not disagreeing that it's all about whatever it takes to scare people, or that it would certainly be inconvenient if the sea level rose 20 meters. I just find the anti-human tenets of environmentalism inconsistent, and thought it was interesting.

Bruce Hayden said...

Certainly life can survive on a much warmer Earth; the question is "can WE?".

Why wouldn't we be able to?

A couple of things seem to get glossed over. First, plants grow better in warmer climates AND with increased CO2 concentrations. Also, if the Earth is warming, it will most likely not warm evenly - the northern and southern areas will warm much more so than the tropics. So, if the global temperature were to go up by 5%, the tropics wouldn't go from 100 to 105 and the north and south from 30 to 35 (for instance), but rather, the tropics might go from 100 to 101, and the northern and southern areas from 30 to 40. (These are just hypothetical numbers to make the point).

Also, if you look at the globe, one thing that jumps out is that the bulk of the land mass is in the northern hemisphere, and a large part of that is in the north, much of it not being farmable due to being frozen. The warming would likely free up billions of acres of potential farm land across Russia/Siberia and Canada.

And, keep in mind that we are talking decades, if not centuries. That means that moving crops north as low lying areas (supposedly) flood, will be close to painless. Sure, farmers around the world may not be able to farm the same types of crops that their great grandfathers did, but there is likely to be a lot more farmland overall. Besides, even if that didn't work out as I suggest, we are moving quite quickly towards hydroponically farming algae, etc.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add to my last - we know that some of this is true, because there is a lot of evidence of farming in northern climes during the Medieval Warming Period of crops that currently grow much further south. Like, maybe, grapes in Vinland?

And note that the best explanation of why the Vikings were able to colonize Greenland and the Canadian coast, and then pulled back, was that the colonization was during that Medieval Warming Period, and when we started into the Little Ice Age, these communities collapsed. They just couldn't grow enough food to survive.

And, you wonder why the warmists were so aggressive in trying to minimize the Medieval Warming Period? Well, this is one more reason.

Revenant said...

I just find the anti-human tenets of environmentalism inconsistent, and thought it was interesting.

Oh, the hard core of environmentalists basically hate people, sure. But the popularity of the "warming will doom us all" meme stems from that innate feeling that we all deserve to be punished for our sins.

Revenant said...

Why wouldn't we be able to?

You're just listing reasons why things *could* work out okay.

Certainly things could work out fine. Could.

Scott M said...

I couldn't help but notice Gabe Hanna's been noticeably absent throughout all of this.

John said...

Re arctic ice extent:

There has never been that much ice in the arctic and it has always come and gone.

1) Look at this picture of the USS Skate.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USS_Skate_(SSN-578)_surfaced_in_Arctic_-_1959.jpg

In 1959 it sent to the North Pole, under the ice and surfaced. Wikipedia says the ice was 61" thick. That's not a lot of ice.

2) In the 1960's, there was uncertainty about how to get the Prudhoe Bay oil to the lower 48. The first plan was to do it by tanker ship through the arctic to the East Coast. The SS Manhatten was modified and made at least one voyage across the top of Canada before they decided a pipeline would be a better way.

3) A Soviet icebreaker once made it all the way to the North Pole, smashing ice all the way.

4) We have this story from the Washington Post. In 1922:

"The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway."


So let's not hear any more about how the North Pole is melting, OK?

John Henry

MadisonMan said...

Here is a plot for you.

(Source)

John said...

From Climategate email 536 David Thomson to Phil Jones:

That the data are so unreliable between the 30s and 60s means we don’t know for sure what happened in terms of global-mean temperatures during that period.


Since the baseline for global warming, giving the 0.8 degrees, starts with a minimum cold temp in 1932 or so, this leaved the whole 0.8 degree warming suspect.

The email seems to imply that data before 1930 is OK but does not say why it was OK, suddenly went bad for 30 years and is OK again. The impression I get is that Thompson thinks it is bad because it doesn't look right. That is, it doesn't agree with what he wants to see the data say.

John Henry

John said...

Speaking of measuring temperatures, there are at least 3 ways that temperature averages have been calculated:

1) Take the day's max and min and assume that the midpoint is the average.

This is not a bad approximation but is only an approximation. Mercury thermometers that indicate maxs and mins have long been available.

2) Take hourly temperature readings, every hour on the hour. Not that the timing is important. If readings are not done on time, it will skew the average.

This will give a more accurate average but requires a lot more work. Even if a recording chart thermometer is used someone still needs to do the calculations.

3) Automated integrating temperature recorder. This will give the most accurate average but they have only been relatively affordable for the past 20 years or so. I bought some in the early 80's for my company and spent more than $20,000 each.

I once got a temperature series from an airport site for a year and put them in an Excel spreadsheet. I had it calculate the min/max average and the 24 reading average. There was considerable difference. Around a degree, as I recall.

It was not consistent, either. In summer months, the min/max gave a warmer reading than the hourly average and colder in the winter. Perhaps vice-versa, don't remember at this point.

So we have all these world temps going back a century, calculated at least 3 different ways. I doubt that they even know how each one was calculated.

Yet somehow we are supposed to believe that they are comparable?

Not in this lifetime. Not in this world.

John Henry

John said...

"Not that timing is important..."

Should be

"Note that timing is important..."

Scott M said...

Naw. It's better the first way if you know it's purposefully ironic.

MadisonMan said...

@John Henry, it's worse than that. In Madison, for example, the highs and lows were once computed from temperatures taken at 3 different times: Midnight, 7A and 4P -- or something like that. Those aren't bad points to choose (well, 4 PM in winter is, but...) But 3 distinct points. Now, of course, the highs and lows are taken from recording thermometers. Don't recall when that change happened.

That's why I like integrated quantities, like ice cover. When the metric for ice-cover is, for example When can this buddha be taken across the frozen lake to the shrine or When does the structure built on the ice fall into the lake in Spring -- that's going to be a similar measurement from year to year.

John said...

Madison Man,

Good point about temps. I did not mean to say that the 3 ways I mentioned were all inclusive, just that these were 3 common ways and not comparable.

I would not be surprised if there were 10-12 different ways that average temps were computed.

I would agree with you about ice in/ice out data if I had any confidence that it was measured in some objective way.

Make that "in one objective way". Even if they use "when we can transport the Buddha...", do they use that same definition every year? Is the Buddha transported at the same location every year? Have they changed to a lighter/heavier Buddha at some point?

I don't trust ice in/ice out measurements because there is no indication that they are consistent. They might be. But we don't know.

Another issue is selectivity. When this came up here a couple days ago I looked to see if I could find any data. One I found said that they had data from somethign like 700 lakes. They had selected 150 of them to look at trends. No word on why not all 700. No word on why those particular 150.

I didn't pay much attention after that.

John Henry

sorepaw said...
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Steve Koch said...

Ocean heat content is an integrated measurement and much better than ice cover.