Democrats & Liberals Archives

Republicans Obstruct Climate Change Action

Despite the rantings of Republican skeptics, the House passed an energy bill that begins to address the expected climate change problems caused by the tremendous growth of CO2 in our air. Naturally, the bill discourages use of oil and encourages use of carbon-free fuels and auto efficiency. Already, Bush said he would veto it and Republican senators killed it with a mock filibuster.

Here are some of the measures:

  • A 40% increase in fuel efficiency for new cars and light trucks by 2020, for a fleetwide average of 35 miles per gallon

  • Repeal about $13 billion in tax breaks for oil companies and steer the revenue to incentives to promote cleaner energy sources, and for fuel-saving and emission-reduction technologies

  • Require utilities to generate 15% of their electricity by 2020 from cleaner sources, such as the sun and wind

  • Mandate a fivefold increase -- to 36 billion gallons by 2022 -- in the amount of domestic alternative fuels, such as ethanol, that must be added to the nation's gasoline supply

  • Promote energy-efficient lightbulbs

  • Require more energy-efficient appliances

  • Establish a program to train workers for so-called green-collar jobs
The big drawback for Republicans seems to be the removal of the $13 billion oil-industry tax break. Any removal of a tax break is called a "tax increase." Everybody knows that the oil industry is among the most profitable industries we have. They do not need a tax break for exploration. Exploration of polluting and CO2-spouting oil should be discouraged, not encouraged.

But Republicans stick with those industries that brought them to power. They do not realize that these energy industries will fade away and be replaced soon with clean carbon-free-fuel industries.

Yes, the House bill does what it can to quicken the change to cleaner energy industries. So Republicans complain, as did Rep. Joe L. Barton, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee:

I don't think the country wants the government controlling energy, and that's what this bill leads us to.

Republicans do not want "the government controlling energy," yet they want to give a $13 billion tax break to oil companies. We have their number. They do not want the government helping industry, except when it helps their industrial friends.

Some, like a Republican commenter called Jack, want to solve the climate change problem with a carbon tax. I think he needs to talk to his Republican friends in Congress who want to keep the $13 billion tax break for the oil industry.

As long as Republicans obstruct any action towards reducing CO2, the climate change problem will get worse and worse. When will Republicans wake up and face the challenge?

Posted by Paul Siegel at December 7, 2007 8:06 PM
Comments
Comment #240270

Paul,

This is a perfect example of what’s earning our party the label of a “do nothing” congress. Well, duh! The Democrats in the House and Senate have been trying like hell to make changes but we run into one stone wall after another.

We Dems are castigated for lacking conviction on one hand and then we’re met with equal disdain when we attempt to compromise. Hmmmm, could it be that the Executive branch has grown too powerful?

Pelosi blew it when she said that impeachment was off the table. Actually, IMO, both Pelosi and Reid are worthless as ………………..

I’m losing faith in my party. I want better.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 7, 2007 9:17 PM
Comment #240278

Looks like you’re not alone Kansas Dem, gallop poll showed that: Iraq War has 40% approval, Congress has 20%, and 69% say electing this Congress was a mistake.

Oh, and Paul, the rest of the world is slowly figuring out the (humans causing) global warming hoax.

Posted by: rahdigly at December 8, 2007 12:30 AM
Comment #240281

Paul,
I just wish the Democrats would develop a spine, and refuse to compromise. If the Republicans want to filibuster in order to continue subsidizing Big Oil and Big Coal with taxpayer dollars, and if Bush insists on protecting those subsidies with a veto, then the Democrats need to refuse to pass any energy bill whatsoever.

Let’s make absolutely sure everyone in the country understand who stands for alternative energy development, and who stands for subsidizing Big Oil & Coal with taxpayer dollars.

Rahdigly,
How can you say “the rest of the world is slowly figuring out the… global warming hoax”? Australia just kicked out the political conservatives & John Howard, and the new politically liberal government made supporting Kyoto one of its first priorities.

The author, Peter Foster, is an advocate of “free markets.” Surely he would oppose subsidizing Big Oil and Big Coal with taxpayer dollars!

Do you?

Posted by: phx8 at December 8, 2007 1:48 AM
Comment #240287

CO2 concentration doesn’t drive climate.

http://www.ecoworld.com/home/articles2.cfm?tid=445

You Chicken Littles would be amusing if you weren’t so dangerous.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22882599-25717,00.html

I take that back. You’re too absurd not to be amusing.

Posted by: traveller at December 8, 2007 6:10 AM
Comment #240291

I thought name calling and attacking the poster was off limits. Whats with the “chicken littles” comment. That seems like baiting to me.

Posted by: Carolina at December 8, 2007 9:03 AM
Comment #240296

Carolina,
Are you familiar with the story of Chicken Little?
The term is commonly used to refer to fearmongers who worry that “the sky is falling”.
My favorite sobriquet for the rubes in the global warmng cult is lemmings but Chicken Littles seemed apropos here.

Posted by: traveller at December 8, 2007 10:49 AM
Comment #240301

If and when the gop figure out you can make money off of global warming is when they will start beliving.

Posted by: Jeff at December 8, 2007 11:47 AM
Comment #240303

traveller

“You Chicken Littles would be amusing if you weren’t so dangerous.”

AMEN. funny how the news media, and the extreme enviornmental movement choose to ignore any evidence, or opinions that might challenge thier theory that the sky is falling. the planet has undergone many changes over it’s history, and most likely this is just the natural ebb and flow of things.

BTW have you heard the latest nutty idea to introduce kangaroo digestive bacteria into cows and sheep to try and remove co2 and methane from thier farts ? pretty scary that nutjobs like these could actually be allowed to make important decisions about our future energy policy.

Posted by: dbs at December 8, 2007 11:54 AM
Comment #240304
How can you say “the rest of the world is slowly figuring out the…global warming hoax”? Australia just kicked out the political conservatives & John Howard, and the new politically liberal government made supporting Kyoto one of its first priorities.


And the new, liberal leader of Australia backed off that Kyoto (II) agreement; they didn’t go through with it!

Posted by: rahdigly at December 8, 2007 12:12 PM
Comment #240305


It seems pretty obvious that when it comes to nutjobs, the right wingers aren’t about to take a backseat for anyone.

Posted by: jlw at December 8, 2007 12:30 PM
Comment #240308

Well Paul
Once again ,sadly, you have ample evidence about just how hard it will be to actually change from fossil fuels. The propaganda mill of the oil oligarchs is working overtime. They have managed to politicize,to devide,this issue into left and right. It will take a major,sustained, disaster
for the incredibly gullible flatearthers to come to grips with reality. I mean something along the lines of the desertification of the plains states. Its like evolution theory in a way. There is no amount of evidence that will convince some that the literal account of creation in Genisus is not the whole story.Its become a matter of theology for them,hence accusations of cultism etc. comming from them.The scarey part is they still have an influence on public policy as evidenced by the filibuster justifications given by the Rep prostitutes in the senate.I say, let them filibuster. Let them stand there and make dangerious fools of themselves.
We will eventually get away from fossil fuels but it will take a lot longer than it could and cost us much more dearly. In the developing world it is not theory,not a debate. They are facing the effects everyday.The increased intensity of typhoons,flooding,crop failures are something to be dealt with,not argued about. At some point effected countries will have no choice but to insist we change our behavior.That,coupled with with major climate caused disasters of our own and being bled dry in oil wars will turn us into a second class power. At that point,maybe,just maybe whats left of the world will change from fossil fuel use.This is the path the oiligarchs are choosing for us. Its them or us and it is now.

Posted by: BillS at December 8, 2007 12:57 PM
Comment #240309

BillS

“It will take a major,sustained, disaster
for the incredibly gullible flatearthers to come to grips with reality.”

so anyone who would dare question or challenge the validity of your man made global warming theory, is a flat earther huh. seems your willingness to consider contrary opinions is proof of your own bias, and agenda, or so it would appear.

Posted by: dbs at December 8, 2007 1:06 PM
Comment #240310

correction; that should be your ( unwillingness ) to consider contrary opinions.

Posted by: dbs at December 8, 2007 1:10 PM
Comment #240321

BillS,
Good comment. I suppose “flat earthers” pretty much sums it up. But if it makes the flat earthers feel better, I agree with you that little will be done about Global Warming until an event happens which is so extreme it demands action. Unfortunatley, Global Warming is the kind of problem which requires long lead times to address, and upfront investments; that is something we as a society are not well equipped to face.

Pretty sickening, pretty disheartening. If a scientist like Pielke says Humans are causing global warming, but it is because of land use rather than greenhouse gases, we are supposed to disregard the 212 scientists who signed the Bali Declaration calling for greenhouse gas reductions. Apparently, if one scientist proposes a theory without support, we should depend on it; but if 212 scientists agree and present evidence, we should disregard them, because anytime two or more scientists get together and agree, they must have an ulterior agenda, and therefore their evidence does not count.

Every single major scientific institution in the world agrees with humanity is causing Global Warming. Not one credible institution disagrees. Not one. But by flat earth logic, if more than one scientist agrees, it’s political, not science, and must be disregarded.

Posted by: phx8 at December 8, 2007 3:35 PM
Comment #240341

dbs, consensus of scientific opinion based on empirical data and correlations of probability and statistics, while not perfect, is the best science available to human kind to address infinite variabled projections based on finite data sets.

Flat earthers, wanting to keep taxes at bay, seize upon the small possibility in probability science that the projections could be wrong out of selfish concern in total disregard for the future and those who will have to live in the consequences of our actions or inaction.

Flat earthers have always existed in populations and always will. That too is probability that one can count on regardless of situation or circumstance, policy or proposal. Fortunately for mankind, consensus is the paradigm for action mankind is inexorably moving toward, and that means flat earthers will have to accept their minority status and almost never getting their way.

In the science of probability, it is also true that once in a great while, a person deemed a flat earther will actually be proven right, and not wrong. But, it won’t be because they rejected empirical probability science, but, because they embraced it and saw the relevance of a variable the majority failed to appreciate. In which case, they never were a flat earther in the first place.

Flat earther’s reject empiricism if its proscriptions will cost the flat earther’s something they hold dear, power, money, etc. There will always be flat earthers probability science predicts. That should be some consolation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 8, 2007 9:14 PM
Comment #240342
As long as Republicans obstruct any action towards reducing CO2, the climate change problem will get worse and worse.

So, the obstruction as you claim is that they didn’t want to remove the tax breaks for big oil.

Couldn’t the Democrats have just removed that one section, as a compromise, and pushed on with the rest to get this passed? You know, working together with the opposition to get something not perfect as opposed to nothing? Compromise?

It seems that the Dems are just as bad as the Reps on this one…

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 8, 2007 9:21 PM
Comment #240343
humanity is causing Global Warming

It’s comments like this that are part of the problem, I think…

Global Warming is a natural occurance that we need to survive. Even the scientists don’t know HOW MUCH humans are affecting the current rise in global warming or how much is caused by other reasons, only that it is a part of it. And yeah, we should all be good stewards of the earth. But when ridiculously ‘religious’ statements are made for political purposes it only causes inaction and a social divide that we are seeing now, much like how ‘with us or against us’ is being used by the other side with their religion…

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 8, 2007 9:24 PM
Comment #240346

Rhinehold,
Please write the complete sentence as I wrote it, or use ellipses to indicate only a portion is being quoted. Maybe you were doing me a favor because I wrote “with” instead of “that.” Allow me to correct that one word, and present the quote again.

“Every single major scientific institution in the world agrees that humanity is causing Global Warming. Not one credible institution disagrees. Not one.”

Cite a credible scientific institution that disagrees with that statement. You will not, because there is none. But by all means, go for it. Name one. If you cannot name one, please explain why not, and remember the explanation must embrace institutions from countries such as Australia, Germany, the UK, and so on.

My statement is in no sense ‘religious.’ It does not invoke supernatural explanations for what is happening. This is a matter of science: add over five gigatonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere every year, and the result is easily foreseeable.

Posted by: phx8 at December 8, 2007 10:09 PM
Comment #240348

phx8,

You completely missed my point, of course.

Humanity can not CAUSE Global Warming. Humanity can ‘add to the effect’ but without humans on the planet there would STILL be Global Warming.

And of course Humans add to the effect, because we exist. If we didn’t exist then and only then would we not add to it.

The problem is HOW MUCH are humans affecting the current rise in Global Warming, and that is still unknown, even in the Scientific Community. Models are used to try to figure that out it is still an unknown. Some say we have done too much damage, other say we can lower the affect that humans have, still others say that we don’t affect it enough to be able to alter the current cycle we are in.

You mistake my disgust for statements like ‘Humans Cause Global Warming’ that does nothing but further misunderstandings about what it is we are talking about with saying that humans are not responsible for the global rise in temperatures we’ve seen over the past few decades.

So yes, I’m sure if you ask a scientist ‘Are humans CAUSING Global Warming?’, most will be polite and understand what you are really asking, but will admit if pressed that you are actually wrong in your assumptions.

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 8, 2007 10:48 PM
Comment #240350

Rhinehold,
Actually, I think the case has already been made. It is true for the current trend. Humans are causing Global Warming.

No one disputes periods of warming & cooling have occurred in the past. Those periods can be explained by naturally occurring, cyclical changes in the shape of earth’s orbit, tilt, & wobble.

There are periods which do not fit the astronomical cycles. One exception might have been caused by a very large meteor impact. Another might have been caused by massive volcanic eruptions.

The current warming trend cannot be explained by astronomical cycles, or any other natural occurrence. The earth is at a relatively neutral point. Again, there is no natural explanation for the current warming.

The warming trend matches the introduction of increasing amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by humanity. The amounts introduced can be measured. It translates into a a net gain of 2 - 3 parts per million/year of C02.

A lot of people have spent a lot of time looking for natural explanations, and none is apparent. Nature, by itself, should not be setting off a noticeable trend one way or antoher, neither warming nor cooling.

Humans are causing Global Warming.

Posted by: phx8 at December 8, 2007 11:33 PM
Comment #240352

Just love how the term “flat earthers” was used earlier to describe the skeptics; the flat earthers were the “CONSENSUS”, not the skeptics. But, some of you can go on and think you can rewrite history.

Also, PHX8, you clearly didn’t respond to the fact that you claimed Australia was in support of the Bali talks and then I sourced where they did an About-Face on deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. And, this is after “Australia just kicked out the political conservatives & John Howard, and the new politically liberal government made supporting Kyoto one of its first priorities.”
:-)

Posted by: rahdigly at December 9, 2007 12:30 AM
Comment #240355

phx8, you keep missing my point, which I’m going to suggest is most likely my fault for not being able to explain it clearly enough, so I’ll quit.

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 9, 2007 12:52 AM
Comment #240357

Rahdigly,
The Australians have rejected the medium term goal for 2020, because it would require large, immediate cuts and costs. However, the new government embraces in principle the long term goals. It is a “liberal” government facing a difficult situation.

What will the Australians actually do? That remains to be seen. Australia is a very interesting country when it comes to Global Warming. It is the largest coal exporter in the world. It is also a country more vulnerable than most to the impacts of Climate Change. If you find the subject of Australia and its geography interesting, I would highly recommend the chapter on Australia in Jared Diamond’s book, “Collapse.”

Meanwhile, the negotiations in Bali are not going well. Developing & industrrialized countries disagree on who should bear the burden. There might be some positive steps to preserve rain forests, but that’s about it so far. 212 of the world’s leading climatologists signed a petition, the Bali Declaration, calling for immediate action.

But scientists do not have power, and they do not have money, and they do not depend upon violence. They use a professional jargon is incomprehensible to most people.

Good luck. I think we’re going to need it…

Posted by: phx8 at December 9, 2007 1:22 AM
Comment #240358

PHX8, Bills et al,
I know its hard guys but hang in there. We are dealing with people who believe Genesis is a factual account of the history of the earth. We are dealing with people who have been fed mis information for years by their idols and leaders. We are dealing with people who believe a vast conspiracy is under way to undermind their very way of life albeit without a shred a proof. We are dealing with people who have for decades been calling names and laughing off anything to do with the environment. It is ingrained in their minds. They cannot help but react to facts with outrage. They are outside of their comfort zone so they resort to the usual tatics of denial, name calling and blaming the messenger. Its going to take time and a means for them to save face and embrace this issue as their own.
In the past few months I have seen improvement,on a personal level, by ignoring the conservative dittoheads I know. Trying to present any factual evidence was challenging for the reasons I stated above until I started ignoring them when they spoke about the subject. Recently they actually went on about the climate change issue for almost 2 minutes before they realized it and then resorted to the usual “liberal conspiracy” nonsense. Yes that is progress, considering the indoctrination they have recieved the past decade.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 9, 2007 1:26 AM
Comment #240368


Over the next 100 years, the amount of wealth that will be expended to cope with damage and displacement of people because of global warming is going to be enormous. It is probably to late to avoid most of that cost.

Posted by: jlw at December 9, 2007 10:22 AM
Comment #240375

j2t2

you’re kidding right? so let me see if i understand this. anyone who questions your man made global warming theory, or tries to present evidence to the contrary, is just ignorant. would that be the an accurate assumption?

i don’t believe any of us “flat earthers” are opposed to trying to be good caretakers of this planet. we are just highly suspicious when you extreme enviornmental types claim disaster, doom and gloom are a forgone conclusion unless we do as you say.

funny how you guys are always in your minds the enlightened ones ahead of the curve, and we are always the ignorant knuckle draggers who refuse to recognize your ultimate wisdom. kind of arrogant, don’t you think?

if those so called ditto heads you speak of actually have opinions based on other research you might want to actually take the time to listen. you might learn something, but of course i guess that would mean admitting you could be proven wrong. i forgot you guys on the left are never wrong, NEVER MIND.

Posted by: dbs at December 9, 2007 12:50 PM
Comment #240376

When the whole global warming debate started I asked myself “Self, what’s the truth? Who’s right and who’s wrong?”
So I went on a quest to find the objective truth. After months of research looking at the argument from both sides I reached some conclusions.
1. Weather and climate are extremely complex, chaotic systems regulated by the complex interactions of many factors which often seem incongruous. We have only recently become aware of some of the factors and have no idea how they interact with the rest of the system. There are likely factors we are not yet aware of that once they become known to us will change our assessment of the effects of other factors.
2. The alarmism about anthropogenic global warming began with an assumption of causation from an observed correlation, which has since been proven false.
3. Global warming alarmists and their acolytes insist that we completely ignore the many factors and their complex interactions that are climate and concentrate on one minor factor, atmospheric CO2; a gas which comprises approximately 1/3 of 1% of the atmosphere, whose atmospheric concentration has increased by approximately .003% and regard this vital plant nutrient as a pollutant. In geological history our current atmosphere is CO2 deficient.
4. The predictions of dire consequences of anthropogenic global warming are based on computer models which are not supported by
observation.
5. Global warming isn’t global.
6. The current warming trend started in the mid 1800s with the end of the Little Ice Age. The current CO2 concentration increase started approximately 100 years later.
7. Weather and climate are cyclical in nature. Nothing that has been observed since the global warming hysteria started is unprecedented.
8. While man can affect climate, the belief that man can regulate climate is hubris of the worst kind.
9. Global warming is a hoax.

Questions then arise such as, “Who is behind this hoax?” “Why?” “Why do scientists buy into it or go along with it?”
To answer those questions one must look first at the solutions being proposed to “solve the crisis”.

All of the proposed solutions are variations of government control and regulation, some more draconian than others, all socialist or fascist in nature. There has never been a shortage of do gooders (or malefactors) who want to control the lives of other people, for their own good of course. Now they can do it “for the planet”.

That answers the “Why?”, now “Who?”
We can start with the UN, an organization created by Communists and Socialists to promote world socialist government.
Environmentalists; misanthropists and luddites who regard man as a cancer and our technological society and standard of living as a curse. I don’t see many committing mass suicide or living a stone age existence. Hypocrites.
Greedy people who see a gold mine in the gulliblity of others; con artists.
The gullible, unable(or unwilling)to distinguish between propaganda and the truth.

To understand why so many scientists go along one must understand the nature of the scientific establishment. To get along you must go along. Those who challenge orthodoxy don’t get research grants. The political reality is that one of surest ways for an institution to get lots of money is to tie global warming to whatever they’re chasing money for. The surest way for a scientist to end his career is to challenge it. The myth becomes self perpetuating.
Many of the scientists aren’t even trained in fields related to climatology or meteorology at all. Look at the list of scientists on the IPCC(some of whom object to having their names included). Most scientists are expert in their field of study but that doesn’t make them any more knowledgable than laymen in other fields.
Some actually believe in global warming.(that sentence has religious connotations) Unfortunately, a college degree doesn’t confer wisdom or common sense.

I’m not real impressed by 212 scientists (in what fields?) signing a political document with foregone conclusions. Nor am I impressed by consensus, which is politics, not science. We skeptics could claim consensus too, except that the 15,000 scientists who signed the petition saying that there is reason to doubt global warming can’t possibly be from credible institutions.

I find it amusing and ironic that those of us who use science to challenge established orthodoxy are called flat earthers by people who not only ignore, but deny science in faithful, zealous defense of orthodoxy. You really should think about what the phrase means.
If the science supports global warming I can be convinced. Unfortunately, you lemmings have shown that dogma trumps science.
Until science stops disproving global warming I’ll wear the label of “denier” proudly as a badge of honor, though “heretic” is more accurate.

Posted by: traveller at December 9, 2007 12:52 PM
Comment #240379

dbs, “anyone who questions your man made global warming theory, or tries to present evidence to the contrary, is just ignorant. would that be the an accurate assumption?”
dbs Im not trying to say you, anyone else posting on this blog, or the people I referred to are ignorant. To question, debate, and/or present evidence is a good thing. My point is that when the questioning, debate and presentation of evidence comes from people and groups that are funded by Exxon and others with a vested interest and is overwhelmingly rejected, then its time to put those biases aside and work to quantify and to rectify the problem. There will always be those that find a small flaw in anothers research and such but its time to err onn the side of caution now.

“i don’t believe any of us “flat earthers” are opposed to trying to be good caretakers of this planet. we are just highly suspicious when you extreme enviornmental types claim disaster, doom and gloom are a forgone conclusion unless we do as you say.”
d, Im not calling you or anyone else a flat earther,or ant other name for that matter. Im not an extreme environmental type either. I can understand that you and others of like mind are suspicious of those that forecast doom and gloom. I dont understand why you would think this problem is not at the very least partially man made. I question why one would go the the other extreme and deny not only the doom and gloom scenario, but the likelyhood that there is even a problem with climate change. Im not asking that you do what I say, but would you at least consider that even if its only a small problem that you could do something other than deny a problem at all? Hell, worse case we move from dependence on foreign oil to energy independence.
dbs “funny how you guys are always in your minds the enlightened ones ahead of the curve, and we are always the ignorant knuckle draggers who refuse to recognize your ultimate wisdom. kind of arrogant, don’t you think?”
d, now who called you or implyed that you are a knuckle dragger? certainly not me, nor have I noticed it on this thread. My point in my previous comment is that there is a lot of disinformation, and propaganda out there. Anyone who listens to Rush and his kind know this. Its easy to get caught up in the name calling and conspiracy theories Rush espouses, especially when the drumbeat is so loud and continues for such a length of time. That doesnt make you(or me)ignorant nor a knuckle dragger just human. Its also human to not want to admit to being wrong despite growing evidence to the contrary, after taking a position on an issue early on.

dbs,”i forgot you guys on the left are never wrong, NEVER MIND.”

d, its not just those on the left, its those on the left and center now. And while Im sure most of us would like to beleive we are never wrong we of course know better. Hopefully we are terribly mistaken on this issue but if this is one of those times where we are right I would feel foolish 20 years from now telling my grandkids that I chose to do nothing despite the call from scientist worldwide to do something.


Posted by: j2t2 at December 9, 2007 1:30 PM
Comment #240380

traveller


“All of the proposed solutions are variations of government control and regulation, some more draconian than others, all socialist or fascist in nature. There has never been a shortage of do gooders (or malefactors) who want to control the lives of other people, for their own good of course. Now they can do it “for the planet”.”

i think we all remember the tv ads in the 60s with the indian with tear running down his cheek. i also would say we can agree the practices of the time of dumping raw chemical sludge into our waterways, and the pumping of tons of smoke and soot into our air was a problem. we’ve come a long way since then.

our problem is that those who you point out want more control over our lives, do so in an bit by bit fashion. whether it’s higher taxes, bigger gov’t run programs, gun control, or taking of our personal proprty rights. they know that if they attempt to do it all at once they’ll fail, but if done in small increments the goal can be achieved over time. it’s the old story about putting a frog in a pot of boiling water. obviously he’ll jump out, but if you put him in a pot of cool water and gradually heat it, by the time he realizes whats happening it’ll be to late. this IMO is the only way they can achieve thier goals, and when challenged,why they become extremely hostile.

Posted by: dbs at December 9, 2007 1:42 PM
Comment #240381

j2t2

i don’t deny that those who have political influence have an agenda, but that includes the eviornmental lobby. lets be honest what better way to gain more control than turn an otherwise inert gas into an enviormental catasrophy. i don’t have a problem with increasing fuel efficiency, so long as the goals are realistic. this is part of the solution. we also have our own vast reserves of oil, and those who refuse to allow us to develope them. the single largest energy supply we have in this country, i believe is coal, and the technology to cleaner use of this fuel is avalable.

we have to take advantage of all resources available, and that includes developement of alternative energies, BTW IMO the use of ethanol is foolish in the long run. using one of the worlds largest food staples to produce energy is a mistake.

Posted by: dbs at December 9, 2007 2:05 PM
Comment #240382

traveller and dbs, its a political conspiracy? So deny there is a problem and it all goes away. Accuse the environmentalist, luddittes, lemmings, hypocrites, greedy people, gullible people et al yet never a name or group with evidence to back it up, always the vague and ambigious.
You make my point from comment #240358 much better than I can. For that I thank you.

“i think we all remember the tv ads in the 60s with the indian with tear running down his cheek. i also would say we can agree the practices of the time of dumping raw chemical sludge into our waterways, and the pumping of tons of smoke and soot into our air was a problem. we’ve come a long way since then.”
yes we had come a ways since then unfortunately the progress has been rolled back. But thats not my point, I would ask why progress was made, was it due to government regulation or the free market taking care of the problem. Right, government regulations were needed then to solve the problem. Unfortunately until such time as the free market can instill enlightned self interest of the Adam Smith variety(as Mr. Remer would say)in the market I dont see the free market being able to solve the problem. So what do we do deny the possibility of a problem blaming a vague conspiracy or work to resolve the problem with the governments of the world?


Posted by: j2t2 at December 9, 2007 2:20 PM
Comment #240385

One thing that always kills me about this global warming “debate” is: if it turns out to be a “hoax” what will we have lost by reducing greenhouse emmissions?

Our dependence on fossil fuels? What’s the downside to that?

Cleaner air? Again, what’s the downside?

Less need to permanently alter the earths landscape and waterways through mining?

Please someone tell me what the downside to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels is.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 9, 2007 2:34 PM
Comment #240386

j2t2

“So deny there is a problem and it all goes away.”

i think that is the problem. you haven’t convinced us that there really is one. co2 isn’t a pollutant. it’s expelled by all living creatures. you would have me believe that my breath is a toxic pollutant. although before i brush my teeth in the morning it might very well be, just kidding! chemical waste, and sulfur dioxide that were spewed out during the 60s are toxic pollutants, co2 is not.

perhaps you should address some of the facts and figures in travellers post. you seem to disregaurd them, as you accuse us of disregaurding yours.

Posted by: dbs at December 9, 2007 2:44 PM
Comment #240387

KansasDem

“what will we have lost by reducing greenhouse emmissions?”

freedom from more un needed gov’t regulation our lives. when it comes to my freedom, i will not yield because sometthing MIGHT happen. freedom once surrendered to gov’t regulation is rarely recovered.

Posted by: dbs at December 9, 2007 2:53 PM
Comment #240388

DBS: so you want freedom to pollute in any way you see fit? Good one.

Posted by: womanmarine at December 9, 2007 3:16 PM
Comment #240389

dbs,

If dependence on Arab, Persian, and Venezuelan oil is your idea of freedom ……….. well, I don’t know what to say, other than just sigh.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 9, 2007 3:18 PM
Comment #240390

Rhinehold-
Why are you invoking religion? We’ve established these things by scientific means. Have doubts that CO2 warms the atmosphere? Direct observations indicate that CO2 does in fact absorb and randomly retransmit heat radiation. Have doubts that human’s could be responsible for the rise in CO2? Well, the mix of isotopes indicate that a great amount of the CO2 is from ancient sources, sources only we could contribute CO2 from.

Have doubts that the CO2 could cause climate change? Well nobody can seem to create a model where some change doesn’t occur as the result of all the CO2 we’ve been pumping into the system.

Humans aren’t in control of anything else than the CO2 we’re pumping out. Everything else is pretty much out of our control, and we better understand that very quickly, because that is what motivates many of us to our sense of urgency. It’s like a boulder perched on a cliff’s edge, or an avalanche barely clinging to a mountainside. We didn’t put every part of this mechanism into action, and it could act independently of us, and has in the past. Boulders have rolled down hillsides before, unaided, as avalanches have occured with no idiots to set them off with snowmobiles or imprudent noisemaking.

But nothing of that fact means we can’t nudge the rock off the edge, and nor trigger an avalanche. Nor does the fact that climate has operated on its own for billions of years mean that it can’t respond to the vast quantities of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere by our activities.

It is not faith that justifies the conclusions on Global Warming, it is trust in what the scientist tell us. I can understand why some would cite previous bad calls by science to raise questions about current conclusions. However, there is a salient question here that many Global Warming Contrarians are not answering: are their claims better founded, better proven? Or are they just insisting that we take their claims on faith and act accordingly?

That’s the thing. The argument is whether we should act without absolute certainty. But that’s not the way real world problems work. We constantly make decisions based on incomplete and not absolutely assured information. We have to, because all information we get is imperfect.

However, we can ask of scientists, both those who oppose Global Warming and those who support it, that they prove their claims according to the disciplines and the checks and balances that are part of the Scientific community.

At this moment, the contrarians are asking us and the world to act on their claims with less evidence and scientific basis for their claims. With science, you don’t wait for perfection to fall in your lap. You do your best with what you’ve got, building up from the best information you got. Being wrong is a risk, but it’s not a pointless risk. We pay attention to how we’re wrong, when we find out so, and we take another direction.

But the claim that Anthropogenic Climate Change Theory is wrong must be backed by more than just denial. It is a scientific assertion that must itself be proved. Until it is proved, and proved conclusively to the scientific community, we laypersons have no real reason to distrust the findings that scientists currently have, and if the science is right, no time to screw around acting like it’s not a likely problem.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 9, 2007 3:44 PM
Comment #240391

dbs,
CO2 is a pollutant. If you look up the definition, here is what you will find:

“A substance or condition that contaminates air, water, or soil. Pollutants can be artificial substances, such as pesticides and PCBs, or naturally occurring substances, such as oil or carbon dioxide, that occur in harmful concentrations in a given environment. Heat transmitted to natural waterways through warm-water discharge from power plants and uncontained radioactivity from nuclear wastes are also considered pollutants.”

Traveller,

1. There will always be some uncertainty about climate and Global Warming. At some point the weight of evidence becomes overwhelming, and justifies action. We are there.

2. Proven false? Really? Please cite a credible scientific institution which says this. You have the entire world to choose from, with countries whose political philosophies run the full gamut. Name one. Just one.

3. This point provides some specifics. Where did you get these numbers? Ozone is measure in parts per ten million, and ozone matters a great deal to us, yet we do not dismiss it because it occurs in small quantities. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It is measured in parts per million. And why would you write this?

“In geological history our current atmosphere is CO2 deficient.”

Are you saying the Pre-Cambrian atmospheric composition would be a good thing for human beings?

4. Climate models match observations on a large scale. They predict northern latitudes will heat up first, and heat up the most. That is precisely what we are seeing.

5. “Global Warming isn’t global.” That is true in the sense that Climate Change is a more accurate term, because Warming may change air and ocean currents in unpredictable ways.

6. Here is the data on CO2 v the Industrial Revolution:
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png

7. What is being observed is unprecedented. Humanity is introducing large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Temperatures have increased measureably since the Industrial Revolution, and will increase more. There is no natural explanation for the increased temperature, no astronomical or natural explanation which fits the evidence.

8. Why is it hubris to think humans can affect climate? That makes no sense whatsoever, unless you are throwing sense aside and appealing to supernatural explanations.

9. Sheesh.

The 212 scientists are climatologists from many different countries.

I have presented scientific data to you many times, Traveller, but you continue denying it. You deny it because you do not like the political implications. Fine.

Watch out for that fluoridated water!

7.


Posted by: phx8 at December 9, 2007 4:08 PM
Comment #240393

womanmarine

“so you want freedom to pollute in any way you see fit? Good one.”

appearently you need to read some of my earlier posts. if you had you’de realize that isn’t what i said.

Posted by: dbs at December 9, 2007 4:10 PM
Comment #240394

KansasDem

“If dependence on Arab, Persian, and Venezuelan oil is your idea of freedom ……….. well, I don’t know what to say, other than just sigh.”

see my post to womanmarine # 240393

Posted by: dbs at December 9, 2007 4:13 PM
Comment #240396
But the claim that Anthropogenic Climate Change Theory is wrong must be backed by more than just denial.

Stephen,

I didn’t say that, did I? In fact, it bolsters the point I was trying to make, since you made sure to make the differentiation between the phrases that I was arguing against.

Are you willing to say, without qualification, that ‘Global Warming is caused by Human Beings’? Not Anthropogenic Climate Change, not that the current Global Warming trend is advanced by humans, but the statement I quoted?

That’s where religion comes into it, Stephen. The use of absolute terms in a field that by its very nature is full of theories and unknowns, ignoring the many different aspects that are involved, aspects that we are learning more about each day and constantly chainging views, is what I would call a religion…

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 9, 2007 4:19 PM
Comment #240402

Rhinehold-
You’re talking a matter of semantics. What’s more, it’s irrelevant. The only operative question is whether the science is good. While a person is free to take the science on faith, they, if they desire, can seek out the information so they don’t have to take it on faith. Can you say that the opposite conclusion is true yet?

No. People on either side can take their conclusion on faith, but the people who wish to have a more solid basis for their conclusion can see for themselves. Should the lack of critical thinking skills on the part of some in the public be the reason to discount the theory established properly by others properly trained in those skills?

What you have here is an ad hominem argument, whose only purpose (not necessarily yours) is to cast doubt on what might otherwise be accept on non-fallacious grounds. There are plenty of truths uncritically accepted that remain truths nonetheless.

Bad logic does not negate believed truths. It does, however impair our ability to distinguish truth from whimsy. However, that is much less the problem of those who trust the Global Warming theory, and more the problem of the contrarians, who lack real scientific grounding for their beliefs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 9, 2007 5:13 PM
Comment #240403

Stephen

“The only operative question is whether the science is good. While a person is free to take the science on faith, they, if they desire, can seek out the information so they don’t have to take it on faith. Can you say that the opposite conclusion is true yet?”


it is you who are claiming the scienctific theory is correct. it is up to you to prove that this is so,it’s not up us to prove it isn’t so. the burden of proof lies in your court.

Posted by: dbs at December 9, 2007 5:46 PM
Comment #240404
What’s more, it’s irrelevant.

No, it’s very relevant, Stephen.

By using absolutes and as a result ignoring any of the arguments against a position, you are cutting off all legitimate discussion of a topic that we should be having. It ends up being another ‘war’ that lines people up in political camps. Those of us who accept that humans, by existing, of course alter our environment and should be good stewards of it but question some of the more outrageous claims and methods of resolving the issue are left out in the cold, much like other areas, and we just further divide the country, playing into the hands of the two major parties.

And statements of fact that are not, like many made by Al Gore, touted by his supporters as being a leader in ‘Global Warming’, do nothing but give ammunition to those who do not agree that we should be doing anything about protecting our environment or good stewardship.

The only real way to approach this subject is through fact and acceptance of what we don’t know, not trying to shout down anyone who might not agree with a position 100%. Open, clear and accurate communication, without partisan squabbling and powerplays on both sides, will and always have gotten people farther than what I see pass for ‘debate’ these days.

This article is a perfect example. Instead of saying ‘hey, we agree 85% here, let’s compromise and get something moving forward that we can address later’, the measure stalled, neither side budged and we have nothing now, except a political football to be put into play in 2008.

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 9, 2007 5:55 PM
Comment #240405

“By using absolutes and as a result ignoring any of the arguments against a position, you are cutting off all legitimate discussion of a topic that we should be having.”

Rhinehold,

I just don’t get it. What is the downside to attempting to negate our carbon footprint on this planet?

Who will we have caused harm to by trying to negate the human impact on this fragile planet?

I can’t help but think if global warming ends up being total hogwash that we’d still be better off reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

Who will suffer because of the actions congress is seeking in this legislation?

Posted by: KansasDem at December 9, 2007 6:11 PM
Comment #240406

“I just don’t get it. What is the downside to attempting to negate our carbon footprint on this planet?

Who will we have caused harm to by trying to negate the human impact on this fragile planet?

I can’t help but think if global warming ends up being total hogwash that we’d still be better off reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.

Who will suffer because of the actions congress is seeking in this legislation?

Posted by: KansasDem at December 9, 2007 06:11 PM”

Who is going to pay for it?

Posted by: tomd at December 9, 2007 6:45 PM
Comment #240409

“Who is going to pay for it?”

tomd,

Have you paid attention at all to the subsidies paid to oil companies? Or the tax breaks? The exemptions from “use tax” regarding public lands?

In one way or another we’ve been paying big oil and big coal dividends for decades far beyond what we pay in costs of usage of their products.

An estimated two trillion dollars spent on westernizing Persia and Arabia just in the past decade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And thousands of dead Americans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tens of thousands of dead Arabs!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hundreds of thousands of displaced Arabs!!!!!!!!!!!!

And OIL undeniably at least plays a part in that toll!

If nothing else oil provides the resources for the Arabs and Persians to wage war against Israel.

This is just insanity ………… and we seem to be blinded by some kind of BS that just doesn’t even begin to hold water.

Color me stupid I guess!

Posted by: KansasDem at December 9, 2007 8:55 PM
Comment #240410

KansasDem,

I just don’t get it. What is the downside to attempting to negate our carbon footprint on this planet?

Who says there’s anything wrong with it, KansasDem? Why are you so against debating the issue?

This is a perfect example of what I am talking about! I am not against eliminating fossil fuels, moving towards cleaner energy sources or achieving energy independance. In fact, I think we should be doing all of these things, and I do my part as best I can.

BUT, I can’t sit by and let people making outrageous arguments and state them as fact without challenging them. I think semantics are important because they define the paramaters of science. I do not think it makes sense to enter into very bad agreements because of an irrational fear that we are going to ‘destroy the planet’. Yes, we are, by existing, altering the planet around us. Changing weather patterns because we alter rivers, wind channels and vegetation locations are bad things but we aren’t prepared to do anything about them. IF we can get past the powerstruggle that is causing this issue to be so polarizing that people assume that if you ‘aren’t with us you’re against us’ and continue trying to figure out just what EXACTLY is going AND look for solutions, we may find that we are, once again, falling into the Chicken Little trap that we’ve fallen into so many times in the past, traps that have caused billions of dollars of busy work for little or no gain…

I just can’t buy that the only thing affecting the planet’s temperatures are autombiles, especially since we have been decreasing the amount of pollution that they put out for decades. The system is FAR too complex for such a simple answer, I’m sorry to say. And presenting it as such to people who are willing to not do the leg work in looking into the issue for themselves, the sheep, is not the best way to deal with this issue.

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 9, 2007 8:56 PM
Comment #240411
If nothing else oil provides the resources for the Arabs and Persians to wage war against Israel.

This is exactly the problem with the middle east, one that will never be resolved, no matter how many ‘peace conferences’ we have, until oil no longer props up illegitimate regimes that would have been toppled decades ago without the power that having that oil provides.

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 9, 2007 9:00 PM
Comment #240412

Dependence on foreign oil is a separate issue. We have plenty of carbon here to burn.
Wyoming is building the clean coal plants that both Al Gore and George Bush debated were needed. Oxidation or burning fuel is the most abundant energy we have. Our bodies also make energy and give off CO2. Isn’t the byproduct of burning gasoline CO1 and we have government mandated equipment to add another oxygen and produce the deadly greenhouse gas CO2? Maybe we should go after them.
It appears this debate is simply begging the question: Claiming something unproven is a fact and all who dispute it must prove an unproven claim to be false.
Predictions do not qualify as proof, nor do hypothesis. The climate docs have a terrible record at predicting.
I recall Stephen making the claim in a previous thread that the increased CO2 has been proven to be man made. Since molecular structure is hypothetical and not observable how can you differentiate?



Posted by: Kruser at December 9, 2007 9:09 PM
Comment #240418

dbs-
No, it is up to the critics of Global Warming to prove their case correct by scientific means. The burden of proof is on everybody making a claim. So far, those who subscribe to Anthropogenic Climate Change have met the burden of proof. Those challenging it have not.

Rhinehold-
Look, it’s not absolute. It’s merely a matter of standards. To consider something scientific, you have to question conclusions and come to conclusions in a disciplined, informed way. Just the question by itself has no credibility.

We’ve lost this sense of earned authority, and simply scrabble after it nowadays. It’s what sickens me about the whole tone of the political debate. The people who talk of Sound Science and Junk science in the political debates are people who grasp onto all kinds of straws, who never asked whether the scientists were smart enough to follow up on things first.

Like solar irradiance for example. How many on the conservative side have brought that up, despite the fact that scientists have very likely been over that ground years ago? My God, would that be obvious, and what’s more, easy to measure!

Have you entertained that thought that your particular questions have already been answered, or that you’re not seeing things from the proper frame of reference? The reality is, many people have taken it upon themselves, in order to protect their interests, to teach the controversy, to leach science of its credibility by emphasizing the tentative side of it, rather than then the strong, critical, consensus-directed disciplined of it which makes science more than just arbitrary pronouncements of temporary truth.

The only reason this issue is such a political football is that some people have a lot to lose if the status quo isn’t reinforced. They’ve preyed on people’s unfamiliarity with real-world science and its standards. Their biggest problem is that both nature and public opinion are catching up to them.

This isn’t about “chicken little” There is actual evidence to support the alarming conclusions being made. The question you have to ask yourself is whether the strength of the evidence against the theory is anywhere close to matching what is for it.

As for the politics of things? If it isn’t discussed, you’re not going to get agreement. There is a price to be paid for trying to do everything alone, and we’re already paying it.

If we have doubts, there are ways to answer them. But we have to accept that we can’t just work according to any rules we like, if the results are to be valid.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 9, 2007 10:32 PM
Comment #240420

Kruser-
Have you consider that Carbon Dioxide has always been a product of gasoline combustion? The reason to reduce Carbon Monoxide, which is a product of incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons, is that it bonds to Hemoglobin and causes people to go into hypoxia. And it’s just one chemical that catalytical converters process so that they’re made into their less polluting forms.

You talk about what’s unproven, but that’s a red herring. We can talk about what’s likely to be true, given a disciplined examination of the evidence. Absolute proof is impossible in the real world, since there’s always something else you might not know yet. The best you can do is a high likelihood of correctness.

As for CO2 being proved to be manmade?

First, Molecular structure is not hypothetical, not for CO2. Understanding that is part of how they explain the different windows of absorption for CO2. Second, it’s not molecular means of indentification which are important, since all CO2 shares the same structure.

It’s nuclear. Simply put, it’s radiocarbon dating of a sort. New carbon, just taken out of the atmosphere, has Carbon 14 in it. Stuff that’s been buried in the ground for ages has had the unstable isotope decay. If you see that most carbon has had its Carbon 14 decay, you can figure out that it’s not new. Since we’re the only beings to release such masses of Carbon 14 light CO2, it stands to reason that we’re the ones.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 9, 2007 11:14 PM
Comment #240421

“I just can’t buy that the only thing affecting the planet’s temperatures are autombiles”

Rhinehold,

I think you’re right, but that’s only part of it. Getting off coal is a larger part and more complex. Overpopulation is the greatest problem ……….. along with the need for more and more and more ……….. vehicles, and space, etc!

Do you think it’s an accident that the “baby boom” in the USA tapered off? Or did manipulation of the $$$$$$$$$$$$$ result in changes to the typical American family?

You’re smart enough to know the answer. Now we’re facing a challenge that’s easy in comparison. And many new jobs will be created in the process.

We can either choose to be on the cutting edge of the new technology or we can wait, and wait………..

IMO the wise thing to do is invite change rather than wait for it to catch up with us.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 9, 2007 11:17 PM
Comment #240422
IF we can get past the powerstruggle that is causing this issue to be so polarizing that people assume that if you ‘aren’t with us you’re against us’ and continue trying to figure out just what EXACTLY is going AND look for solutions

Gee, where have we heard this kind of rhetoric before? And I sure haven’t heard it in this context, although I am sure you infer it.

Posted by: womanmarine at December 9, 2007 11:42 PM
Comment #240423

By the way, the Bush administration is doing its best to undercut Bali and any international cooperation. The 2012 agreement will require 36 major industrialized countries to ratify the new agreement for it to take effect. Bush is attempting to lead 16 of those industrialized countries into a separate agreement with voluntary limits. If enough other countries go along, it will destroy the coordinated, international approach.

Posted by: phx8 at December 9, 2007 11:46 PM
Comment #240424

“We have plenty of carbon here to burn.”

Wow, that’s a great example of denial.

“Wyoming is building the clean coal plants that both Al Gore and George Bush debated were needed.”

Yeah and good ol’ RED state Kansas just rejected building two new coal burning plants …….. and I’ve listened to more “we emit more CO2 just breathing” BS than I can stand. That argument is not only false, it’s just downright stupid.

It basically amounts to saying that I might as well $h!t my pants because the smell follows me anyway. Actually it amounts to everyone should $h!t in my pants because it stinks anyway!

Posted by: KansasDem at December 9, 2007 11:54 PM
Comment #240428

Stephen,
Do you have a reference for the method of telling the difference between new and old carbon 14 atoms? From what I can gather, it is impossible to tell the difference. Carbon dating measures the amount of carbon 14 left in a sample in accordance to what is static in the atmosphere. This is assuming it actually has been static for thousands of years. Every reference I can find says that the point of decay of each atom is imposssible to know. We just know the amount of non decayed atoms left. Please give a non global warming website if possible.

Posted by: Kruser at December 10, 2007 1:20 AM
Comment #240429

kansasdem,
You shouldn’t get upset. Breathing harder contributes to greenhouse gases.

Posted by: Kruser at December 10, 2007 1:25 AM
Comment #240432

dbs sorry 8 hour drive to work. anyway
dbs, “i think that is the problem. you haven’t convinced us that there really is one. co2 isn’t a pollutant. it’s expelled by all living creatures. you would have me believe that my breath is a toxic pollutant. although before i brush my teeth in the morning it might very well be, just kidding! chemical waste, and sulfur dioxide that were spewed out during the 60s are toxic pollutants, co2 is not.”

d, there is another substance that is expelled out the other end of every breathing thing on this planet yet I dont feel the need to breathe it. So whats your point, are you actually trying to say co2 is not an issue?
If you are debating whether co2 is good and desirable as a component of the air we breathe I once again suggest the auto exhaust test. In case you havent heard of this it works like this; put your automobile in a garage and leave the engine running. inhale the air in the garage. Then report back on your findings. BTW dont do this to long people have been known to die from this and we wouldnt want that to happen over a little test.
As far as travellers facts, I didnt notice any facts of any import just hyperbole and vague accusations of conspiracy without a shred of proof. Besides would you believe me if a disputed those “facts”. I didnt think so.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 10, 2007 1:58 AM
Comment #240442

Kruzer-
You’re not trying to tell the difference between new and old C-14, you’re trying to tell the difference between it being there and it not being there.

In the upper atmosphere, nitrogen gets bombarded by Cosmic rays, often bare atomic nuclei, and that changes some of them into Carbon-14. C-14 doesn’t just wink back out of existence. It changes back into Nitrogen. Radiocarbon Dating tries to get a good reading on the ratio between these isotopes. Since it has a known half-life, you can calculate how long the carbon’s had to decay, and get a estimated time for when the plant or animal died.

Past a certain point, though, it’s useless for getting a specific date. But if you want to distinguish between old sources and new, C-14’s absence in atmospheric carbon can be used to demonstrate that it isn’t simply coming from outgassing of oceans or from plants giving it up.

That’s what happened here.

In 1955 Suess detected a “contamination” of recent wood by stable carbon. This carbon had to come from the burning of fossil fuels. For carbon-14 is continually renewed in the atmosphere as cosmic rays strike nitrogen atoms and convert them to the isotope, but in ancient coal and oil, the radioactive carbon-14 has all decayed away.

Additionally, there’s something interesting going on with other carbon isotope ratios that further proves its us. I’ll post back with more.

Oh, one last note: you can’t necessarily tell when an atom will decay, but you can know what the probability of it decaying within a time period will be. Quantum physics is funny that way.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 10, 2007 9:49 AM
Comment #240443

My son was in medical research. He is in finals right now so I can’t bug him. He decided to get licensed as a pharmacist because all his peers told him that to continue, he would have to inflate results to get grants. Having a way to make a living looked better to him and he could continue research later without financial stress. Much of our published medical research is fundamentally flawed due to the fear of losing funding. Simply look at the financing and you will see the results. These are all good scientists.
We are being asked to believe another group of scientists who are committed to predict random events. The research is even more dependant on results for finances. The field is full of inaccurate predictions even when it is working at its best. I just don’t see the logic in conforming anything around their conclusions.

Posted by: Kruser at December 10, 2007 9:56 AM
Comment #240444

Thsi guy can’t have any credibility. He’s only an “IPCC scientist”.

http://www.globalwarmingheartland.org/article.cfm?artId=22430

Of course, since global warming isn’t politicized and the science supporting global warming is so solid, the advocates of global warming welcome dissenting views.

http://www.globalwarmingheartland.org/article.cfm?artId=22401

The science is, of course, settled and there is no rational argument to dispute claims of impending doom.

http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=22352

And the 17,100 scientists who have signed this petition are not credible.

http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p37.htm

Posted by: traveller at December 10, 2007 9:57 AM
Comment #240445

Excuse my lack of science knowledge, but how do you know that carbon14 levels have always been the same? How do we know the past carbon levels for comparison? Do they establish dates for carbon levels in their samples by carbon 14 dating? Is that circular reasoning?

Posted by: Kruser at December 10, 2007 10:04 AM
Comment #240452

traveller,

It’s always good to do a little bio on people. Your first source, Christopher Walter Monckton, also infamously said in 1987, “there is only one way to stop AIDS. That is to screen the entire population regularly and to quarantine all carriers of the disease for life.” Of course he has since recanted.

And, regarding climate change Monckton admits, “a finance house [asked] me to look into it to see if it was anything the financial sector should worry about.” Well, indeed, his opinion couldn’t possibly be biased to fit the agenda of those seeking said opinion :^/

http://tinyurl.com/yn7c6v

Posted by: KansasDem at December 10, 2007 11:46 AM
Comment #240454

If Monckton is not to be trusted, how did he get on the IPCC? And what does that have to do with the knowledge that the IPCC report was altered by politicians after the scientists were done with it before it was published?

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 10, 2007 11:59 AM
Comment #240456

BTW,

Well, indeed, his opinion couldn’t possibly be biased to fit the agenda of those seeking said opinion

Couldn’t this be said of the scientists employed (via grants) by politicans with a political agenda?

The funny thing is, as someone who more than not agrees with conserving our environment and going green on energy, this kind of crap just pisses me off. Why not just evaluate what the critics are saying and knock it down with science instead of bringing motives into question? Once we find out if they are wrong or not, then perhaps figure out why, but if the devil himself paid a scientist to look into something and that scientist found out that something that was previously thought to be true was not, should we ignore those findings just because the devil paid him?

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 10, 2007 12:07 PM
Comment #240459
It appears this debate is simply begging the question: Claiming something unproven is a fact and all who dispute it must prove an unproven claim to be false. Predictions do not qualify as proof, nor do hypothesis. The climate docs have a terrible record at predicting.


Right on! It doesn’t matter though, to some it’s a religion. They need to force the world to believe them so the taxpayers can pay for the carbon taxes & fines; while they find new ways to make the world dependent on them. It’s pretty pathetic; however, it’s easy to debunk them and it’s funny to watch their “diciples” try to drill their message home to us. Ha!

Posted by: rahdigly at December 10, 2007 12:37 PM
Comment #240462

That’s “disciples”. :)

Posted by: rahdigly at December 10, 2007 1:51 PM
Comment #240466

Kruser-
It is well known that many of the Climate Contrarian groups are in part financed by energy companies with a vested interest in fossil fuels. You complain about potential speculative conflicts of interest concerning research funding. But much of the talking points you cite are from sources who accept quite a bit of funding from energy companies and politically conservative institutions who also accept money from the same people.

These connections are direct and provable.

They often publish their papers in journals outside of the field, without the peer review process that would allow independent verification of their claims.

As for C-14? 5730 years is what it takes for half of a certain amount of C-14 to decay. Once you’ve calibrated for the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere, you should be able to date things with some degree of accuracy.

But fossil fuels, which have been underground for tens if not hundreds of millions of years would have long since seen their C-14 decay into Nitrogen.

It’s the absence of this kind of Carbon that points to fossil fuels, and thereby to us. Carbon from natural sources would have a certain amount of C-14 present, absorbed from the atmosphere, especially now that nuclear testing has raised radiocarbon levels in the atmosphere.

Traveller-
Christopher Monckton has a classics degree. Wagner is an optometrist and a financial analyst. The Heartland Institute gets its funding from Oil and Car companies.

And of those 17,100 signatures, Very few of those belonged to people qualified to speak to the science of it.

Please, tell us more about this credibility problem we have.

Rhinehold-
Well, you see, critics were brought in to red-team the conclusion. I’m not certain, though, what role he played.

As for motivations? Yours is the side talking about the findings as if they’re politically motivated. What do you think you’re doing?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 10, 2007 2:44 PM
Comment #240465

Here is a list of contributors to the IPCC’s 4th Report report, Working Group I.

http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Annexes.pdf

I notice Monkton, who has no scientific credentials, is not on the list of IPCC contributors. His arguments have been trotted out before, and rejected. Credible scientists say he is wrong. But if Monkton says so, and even wrote a letter to the IPCC, apparently everything he says must be true.

What a flake.

The Heartland Institute is a front for polluters. It has received $100,000 to $200,000 per year from Exxon since 1997.

Posted by: phx8 at December 10, 2007 2:44 PM
Comment #240467

How long have we been able to monitor c14 levels in the atmosphere? We really don’t know that the levels remained static for thousands of years. Our method of monitoring speculates this level. Increased carbon levels from a volcano or a large disaster will cause more c14 due to the increased amount being bombarded by cosmic rays.
The biased medical research I mentioned is also examined by peers.
I admit to being biased on this matter, not by religious or political views but by working outdoors all my life. Weather related science cannot be trusted due to it being based in speculation toward random events. The farmers almanac is just as accurate as they are. Why is this? The winner is simply the one who picks the right number similar to a lottery. They cannot predict hurricanes, tornadoes or even the weather three days from now. They cannot tell if there will be a warm winter next year or a hot summer. I don’t adjust next weeks work schedule by their predictions. Why would I allow national policy and our future energy needs to be affected in any way by their “science”?

Posted by: Kruser at December 10, 2007 3:27 PM
Comment #240468

Rhinehold,

Stephen Daugherty did a much better job than I could explaining why “political motivation” does matter in this “debate”.

The right has painted this as a left vs. right issue from the get go. I don’t feel I’d be exaggerating at all to say the right truly has developed Gore Derangement Syndrome over the whole issue.

For me anyway the whole climate change controversy is a moot point. It’s only one of several reasons we need to actively pursue a shift away from fossil fuels. Where it rests in “pecking order” among all the other reasons really doesn’t matter.

Posted by: KansasDem at December 10, 2007 3:50 PM
Comment #240470

Kruser,

Here is a good article on the history of the discovery of Global Warming, with an emphasis on CO2. It includes paragraphs on C14. The article is somewhat long, but for the most part pretty readable.

When it comes to the role of CO2 and Global Warming, over the decades there have been brilliant insights as well as bad assumptions; above all, there has been a scientific process in progress. It crosses many fields of study, and includes separate lines of evidence. The bar for proof is high, and a lot of previous attempts to hurdle it & prove CO2 causes Global Warming failed. Some were wrong. Some turned out to be right, but could not provide indisputable evidence, and when it comes to science, that is failure.

It is only within the past decade that the evidence has become overwhelming, mostly thanks to data from the Greenland and Vostok ice cores, as well as some breakthrough measurements of ocean heating & CO2 absorption in 2005.

Posted by: phx8 at December 10, 2007 4:35 PM
Comment #240472

Kruser-
I think you’re missing my point. C-14 is always present in the atmosphere. When something that recently has died releases its carbon into the atmosphere, part of that carbon should be C-14, because it hasn’t had time to go through nuclear decay. If, though, the C-14 gets buried for tens of millions, even hundreds of millions of years, it will nearly all decay. Now if you burn that, the C-14 in the reaction products will be just as absent.

If, then a large amount of the new carbon in the atmosphere lacks C-14 in its mix, then you have good reason to believe it’s fossil fuels we’re burning, and not decay products or the oceans belching up recently dissolved CO2 or Methane.

You mention other sources. Primary source of C-14 is atmospheric, from cosmic ray bombarded nitrogen. It may flucutuate, but there are ways to allow for that fluctuation.

One thing is to gain samples from trapped air of the Earth’s atmosphere. That’s part of where ice cores gain their importance. If you’ve ever looked into an Ice cube, you see plenty of bubbles. If you look at them, you can get an idea of how much C-14 is in the air in a given time period.

As for Biased medical research? The trick is, you raise a possibility, but provide no evidence that it’s anything but that. It could be that way, just as I could get a piano dropped on my head on the way home from work.

In terms of “randomness”? Weather’s not random. Chaotic, yes, random, no. Weather’s actually a determinant system, meaning you can forecast conditions, given enough information if you have the right data at your hands with the right resolution of detail in time and space. Unfortunately, it’s so sensitive of a system, that any number of small things can and will knock your prediction out. That’s why nobody can tell you you’re going to get rained on in a week. probability is the best they can do.

But we’re not talking weather here, we’re talking climate. That means you’re not getting as specific in the time and place. It’s like the difference between asking whether a limo’s going to pass in front of a building on a particular day, and asking whether during a month at a certain time of year limos will be tend to pass by a place.

Will a place tend to get snow on a regular basis? Will temperatures stay around a certain average? What kind of fluctuations will be common? (El Nino’s with Ecuador, Monsoons with India, etc.)

It’s much less problematic to predict that than to predict the week’s weather, where you have to get more specific, and talk about one area in particular.

They’ve gotten things right enough, with this difficult, unruly science and their models, that they have a degree of crediblity with their claims. The question you should ask, is who’s doing better than them at this point?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 10, 2007 5:19 PM
Comment #240473

Great comments, Stephen. Explaining C14 & measurements of isotopes in the atmosphere, and doing it in an understandable manner, well, that is no small achievement! Hats off!

Posted by: phx8 at December 10, 2007 5:46 PM
Comment #240476

stephen


“No, it is up to the critics of Global Warming to prove their case correct by scientific means. The burden of proof is on everybody “

no it’s not. it is you who are demanding WE change our ways because of eminent doom. the burden of proof is yours. if your not willing to prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt, why should WE do as you demand ? prove it or leave US alone.

Posted by: dbs at December 10, 2007 6:15 PM
Comment #240478

j2t2

“If you are debating whether co2 is good and desirable as a component of the air we breathe”

it is a natural component of the air we breath, as is nitrogen, and probably a few other components that i’m leaving out.

i think my point is that i’m not sold on the theory that humans are setting in motion major changes in the average temp. on this planet, and until someone convinces me, i’m not changing my ways, or taking it seriously.

Posted by: dbs at December 10, 2007 6:29 PM
Comment #240481
Yours is the side talking about the findings as if they’re politically motivated. What do you think you’re doing?

My side? I’m sorry, but I don’t have a ‘side’ on this one, I just want to see accurate, non-hysterical, scientificly sound discovery here. The problem is that it is for the most part hard to come by. When government reports come out laced with political alterations and scientists start abandoning real science just to stay in the good graces of the oil companies, weeding through what is really going on is much harder to do than you seem to want to make it. I’m not about to just ‘accept’ political junk just as I wouldn’t accept oil company junk, without looking it up. And I am CERTAINLY not buying the argument that civilization is going to end because of it. Sorry, but altering our environment is not the same as destroying it completely, and I don’t know any respected scientists suggesting that is going to happen.

The right has painted this as a left vs. right issue from the get go. I don’t feel I’d be exaggerating at all to say the right truly has developed Gore Derangement Syndrome over the whole issue.

KansasDem, Stephen just said that there were sides and now you are telling me there aren’t?

The problem with Gore is not the right, it is GORE. Had he not made exaggerated and unproven (now disproven) statements as factual then he may have retained his credibility. He is out hunting ManBearPig and anyone with an open mind and some training in psycho-analysis will see what is really going on with him.

Now, that doesn’t change the facts that are actual facts, but by presenting nonfacts as such, much like Moore, he gives those who are presiposed to disbelieve their causes ammunition.

Of course, the fact that some scientist or another accepts money from oil companies for their research does NOT invalidate their research. It may be invalid, but it has to be invalidated based on science, not where the money came from. To do otherwise is wrong.

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 10, 2007 7:24 PM
Comment #240486

If you don’t know when or if a limo drives by a building then you can’t predict how many will drive by over a given time. Climate is dependent on weather. Predicting a day, a month, a year, a century, it is all the same system only a different snapshot in time.
Does carbon 14 decay while in an ice bubble or does that stop it? If it continues while in a bubble it would be of no importance and we would be left with guessing static levels and ratios again.

Posted by: Kruser at December 10, 2007 7:47 PM
Comment #240497
And of those 17,100 signatures, Very few of those belonged to people qualified to speak to the science of it. Please, tell us more about this credibility problem we have.


Why don’t some of you bloggers show your (scientific) credentials before you go on trying to sabotage scientists that don’t agree with the man-made global warming “religion”?!! Come on Stephen, Phx8, Kansas Dem, and the rest of you. Step up and show us!

Posted by: rahdigly at December 10, 2007 11:07 PM
Comment #240499

dbs-
It is being proved. You just won’t acknowledge the legitimacy of the science, despite the fact that pretty much everything’s being done to check and cross-check the results. If the scientists nearly all agree, your response is to say consensus doesn’t matter, or that they’re corrupt in some fashion.

Your people don’t seem to respect scientific authority on matters. When somebody says something’s the case, and you don’t like it, you talk about some paradigm or fact vindicating you in the future, or you use legalisms like “beyond a reasonable doubt” to act like this is some sort of court case where your opinion is innocent until proven guilty.

Your side is so intent on being left alone on so many issues that it’s practically impossible to convince you guys of anything, much less make any kind of reasonable compromises. Meanwhile things are unfolding exactly as you said they wouldn’t. The Global warming, despite all the noise the Right Wing made IS happening.

Rhinehold-

When government reports come out laced with political alterations and scientists start abandoning real science just to stay in the good graces of the oil companies, weeding through what is really going on is much harder to do than you seem to want to make it.

It’s not that hard. Just don’t trust them unless somebody corroborates their information. Many of these same institutes talked of “sound science” before when they worked for cigarette companies, saying cigarettes were not carcinogenic, that they were not addictive.

Turns out they knew both, and not only that, worked to make their cigarettes even more addictive.

Here’s the problem: in science, you have to enter with an open mind, but also a skeptical one. The skeptical mind must eliminate possibilities, at least on a tentative basis, when the evidence indicates it must.

How you establish what’s fact and what’s not is important.

Here’s the question: do both sides have equal claim to the authority they seek?

Kruser-
re:Limos
You can’t predict how many, but you can take your observations and produce an average. A ritzy hotel might have a high average, giving it a limo-heavy climate, while another building might be Limo-poor. There would be reason for certain places to see more of a certain kind of behavior around them.

re:climate
Weather and climate are two different ways of looking at the same system. Weather is what we observe day to day, the transient behavior. Climate is the structure beneath that, which makes one kind of weather more likely than another. To observe weather in an area, you have to be pretty specific about conditions, and simulate results in a shorter, more intense time-frame. Climate is defined as an average over the long term. You’re not trying to predict specific behavior, but rather the general course of the behavior instead.

re: C-14
Nothing stops the nuclear decay. That’s mediated by forces that could give a crap less about whether the C-14 is in a bubble.

The only thing the bubble does is trap the air, preventing it from mixing with the atmosphere outside, a sample of the old atmosphere uncontaminated, hopefully, by the current atmosphere. Some C-14 would decay, but the point is to figure out how much C-14 was in the air to begin with, so you can establish how much the creature should have absorbed, and therefore what the amount you find means.

You can also get other isotopic measurements, measurements of dust, and, of course, CO2 levels of the time.

Science is about taking disciplined guesses, and refining them further until they are an acceptable means of deriving new information.

I really wish people would allow for the fact that these people know how to do their jobs, instead of assumuing that just because they haven’t seen a particular bit of science on something that the scientists haven’t seen it either.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 11, 2007 12:08 AM
Comment #240503

Rhinehold, “My side? I’m sorry, but I don’t have a ‘side’ on this one,” sure you do just like the rest of us. Those in power make sure we have a side and your no different from the rest. That is why for anything to change it has to affect the pocketbook of the Limbaughs and Gores of the world, they are who we get our marching orders from.

dbs “i think my point is that i’m not sold on the theory that humans are setting in motion major changes in the average temp. on this planet, and until someone convinces me, i’m not changing my ways, or taking it seriously.” yeah we been hearing that for some time now. So what exactly would you consider proof beyond a reasonable doubt on this issue? What amount of information would it take for your preconceived notions to be overwhelmed to the point that you would actually seriously consider changing your mind? The whole “freedoms” thing you expressed earlier reeks of “any excuse will do” considering we live in a country that requires you to get a permit to protest in most cities.

rahdigly, “Why don’t some of you bloggers show your (scientific) credentials before you go on trying to sabotage scientists that don’t agree with the man-made global warming “religion”?!!” really, do we also have to show our poly sci degrees to make political commets now, or perhaps our divinity school papers to pray or preach. Get a grip dude this is a blog and for you to try to stifle the freedom of speech of others because you cannot agrue your position effectively shows the weakness of your position.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 11, 2007 1:44 AM
Comment #240518

j2t2

question; how much of the slight temp. increase is caused by humans, and how much is caused by naturally occuring cycles on this planet?


question; why is it that the scientists who claim we are the problem ,are taken at thier word, and those scientist who disagree, are accused of having a political agenda? sounds somewhat hypocritical to me.

Posted by: dbs at December 11, 2007 12:10 PM
Comment #240540

dbs
The answer to your question is simple. Its because the “scientist” that refute the evidence of man cause climate change are financialy supported by commercial interest with a stake in maintainning the status quo. This is similar to the tobbaco industry finding doctors that declared smoking safe.

Posted by: BillS at December 11, 2007 2:35 PM
Comment #240551

Dbs,
Scientists have suspected Global Warming would occur for decades, since before WWII. However, they could not prove it. There were too many unknowns, and not enough data. Questions about climatological history could not be answered, and other questions about the absorption of atmospheric CO2 in the oceans could not be addressed. It is only within the past decade that enough proof has finally been gathered to say with a high degree of confidence (better than 90%)that humanity is causing Global Warming.

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2007 4:03 PM
Comment #240553

J2t2, debating is one thing; but, bad-mouthing and (frankly) sabotaging a person’s career b/c they don’t believe with their viewpoint is just ridiculous. The bloggers, that I mentioned, have made comments that these scientist (skeptics) aren’t qualified: this one has a 30 years experience in “enviornmental waste”, this scientist’s background “is in astronomy, not in climatology.”. So I’m asking, if they are going to debunk every single scientist’s credentials (just b/c they disagree), then show their crendentials.

I’m in total disagreement with the “consensus” of scientist; mainly, b/c I don’t believe “consensus” is scientific. And, when I disagree, I source other scientist; I don’t say this scientist doesn’t have the write credential, I just back it up with other scientist.

Like I said before, step up!

Posted by: rahdigly at December 11, 2007 4:32 PM
Comment #240554

Rahdigly,
Debate the issue. If you feel someone is being attacked, defend them. If you feel someone is qualified, and their qualifications are attacked, then defend their qualifications. If a person does good research despite lacking a degree, no problem- defend their research.

In my opinion, you are introducing links which do not stand up to scrutiny. Many- not all, but many- AGW skeptics seek to create uncertainty without providing proof or alternatives. Many- not all, but many- are paid by Exxon and other Big Oil/Big Coal organizations to create doubt. Many are not scientists. They are lobbyists. Some are radical free market enthusiasts. They only need to create enough doubt and uncertainty to prevent action, because it is profitable for them to do so.

There are perfectly legitimate skeptics. There are areas of uncertainty when it comes to AGW. But as time goes by, there are fewer and fewer uncertainties, and the objections seem more and more implausible.

Posted by: phx8 at December 11, 2007 5:05 PM
Comment #240562

I appreciate the well thought out answers.
There is a difference in observable science or things that are in real time. Conduct an experiment and see the same results over and over. It becomes a fact to all the observers.
Studies about thousands of years of climate have to assume numerous variables. So many in fact, since they weren’t there and no sophisticated equipment existed to take the precise measurements needed to make calculations, they have to be called “best guesses”. Weathermen guess about the present and climatologists are at a far worse advantage and have much more of a margin of error because they depend on guesses of unobservable things. (To put a date on a bubble of ice you use carbon 14 dating then use the date to say how much carbon 14 was in the air at that time. Does that make sense?)
That isn’t where it stops. Science that speculates future events is even more inaccurate. Just look at economy science. They have no clue really what is going to happen in the future. Weather and our climate are even more unpredictable.
I am not really sure why we apply the word science for studies of the past and speculations about the future when neither are observable with any accuracy in the present.
We can go back and observe the recorded scientific predictions of the past decades and apply them to today to prove the hypothesis of their unreliability. That would truly be a scientific study.

Posted by: Kruser at December 11, 2007 9:48 PM
Comment #240579

Kruser, speaking of well thought out I think your comment should be included in that category.
I would agree that the information coming out of the IPCC is our best guess based upon information available and the variables and complexity of the subject.
Considering the options available to the people of the world on the climate change issue it seems a no brainer to proceed according to the current assessments of these scientist. We can nay say and pick apart each and every statement they make, we can delibertely confuse the issue for monetary gain, we can ignore their warnings and on and on. But what is the downside to not moving in a positive direction?
So far those opposed to the concept of climate change have highlighted
1. vast conspiracy to destroy our freedom
2. the science is not 110% conclusive so we shouldnt do anything.
3. its a plot
4. our economy will tank
5. They use scare tatics to make us fearful
and so on..
as reasons to continue to ignore the threat.
Yet the upside is less dependance on foreign oil, new technologies being developed and cleaner air.
Why not move ahead on this?

Posted by: j2t2 at December 12, 2007 10:37 AM
Comment #240581
Debate the issue. If you feel someone is being attacked, defend them. If you feel someone is qualified, and their qualifications are attacked, then defend their qualifications.

Excellent! That’s why I asked some of you bloggers to defend “your” qualifications; which neither one of you have done (I might add). You challenged their credentials and I’m challenging yours. What makes you more qualified than them?! Step up!

Posted by: rahdigly at December 12, 2007 12:03 PM
Comment #240613

Rahdigly-
Science is not a field where one can normally make effective contributions just on a lark. The old days when “natural philosophy” was a hobby some well-to-do nobles engaged in are over. Science is now a professional competitive field where the shear expanse of knowledge and research has made specialization a fact of life.

There is so much to research in the climate sciences, from ocean currents, thermohaline circulation, atmospheric physics to solar activity and orbital fluctuations, that a legitimate argument can be made that expertise in this field requires work and long, dedicated labor. If a person does not even have a degree in the sciences, Like Christopher Monckton and others, what is their to establish them as reliable authorities?

If they had the weight of a career and were well respected by their colleagues, that might make up for that. But a vast majority of the experts you appeal to have spent the majority of their careers in other fields.

Many of these will not put their papers before peer-reviewed panels, where others could verify or debunk their work before it was published.

What your side leaves us with, all too often, are people who were not formally educated in the field, who spent most of their careers specializing in some other field, and who seem ill at ease with doing the few things that might lend their work some authority, otherwise. To explain this, your side often appeals to the unfairness of a non-egalitarian system, or invokes politics, but it all amounts to rationalizing a separate path for these scientists and so-called scientists that lacks many of the processes that keep scientific work authoritative and accurate.

One of the major fallacies in logic is the appeal to inappropriate authority. We are just commentators on this site, and not claiming that authority ourselves, instead appealing to the authority of others. In a specialized world where not everybody is qualified to speak everything, that is what we do when we argue beyond our field of knowledge. We raise the authority of our arguments by appealing to the authority of our sources.

Okay, that in mind, how do you justify an approach where you’re citing experts outside their field, some not even in the same category of expertise?

Or maybe all you’re looking for are sources to say what you’re wanting to say. Well, it’s a free country. Just don’t expect people to treat your argument as valid on their account, or your facts or questions as authoritative. I know it doesn’t seem fair to you, but the truly fair path for everybody is a process where authority is not decided by whose opinion is politically correct to the powers that be, but instead by who has done the work, and done the research to qualify as an authority.

As for consensus?

It’s value is not in its infallibility, but rather the sheer difficulty of getting a theory through all the different levels of checking and cross-checking, such that most scientists accept it as established theory.

If you want to know what’s on solid footing, it pays to pay attention to what is being accepted and what is not, what the objections are, and what they aren’t. One of the principle ways in which science is misinterpreted relates to the tendency to treat science as an individual pursuit, which geniuses who come up with new discoveries out of the blue, and authoritative results where one person’s findings magically become a wave that spreads over the paradigm of the field.

Your side is constantly exploiting this misconception, attempting to challenge the overall consensus by cherrypicking amongst the critics and their criticisms will-nilly.

The question is not whether one person can discover the pearls of truth, but whether others can follow in their footsteps and validate, verify their findings. If they cannot get a consensus of those experts on their side, then why are we to consider their claims as authoritative and superior to the others?

Your side relies on too many unprovens and unprovables. If most experts cannot find reason to agree with your findings, why should we take them seriously?

Kruser-
The trouble with weather is you can’t stick the Earth in a box and test it under control circumstances.

As for guesses? There’s a lot more backing meteorologists and climatologists than simple guesswork

As for dating ice bubbles? There are other ways to date them, to establish their place in the sequence of time. These sciences do a lot to make up for such situations that are beyond their control. Trust me, they know what they’re doing.

On the subject of economics, its what’s called a soft science. This, though, is mostly due to the fact that it deals with Human factors, Weather and Climate, by contrast, deal mainly in physics. At least here, thermodynamics and chemistry can be modelled reliably

Science is the study of the real world, and you can’t stick everything in a lab, or under your control. We observe and study many things that don’t behave themselves such that the science remains simple.

You should read some more on the subject. Science is about discipline more than it is about absolute predictability. Sometimes, as with quantum physics, you can’t predict exactly when something will happen, but you can understand how it does. Quantum physics runs your computer. Just because you don’t know exactly what an electron will do in a circuit doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to manipulate it, to get it to tend to act a certain way, even if you can’t absolutely guarantee it.

I think you need to get better read in the subject before you continue your critique of it. I think you’re working off of some serious misconceptions about what makes something scientific.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 12, 2007 6:14 PM
Comment #240625

Uh huh! So, no one will “step up” and show their credentials?! Guess I’ll have to stick with the scientist that don’t believe in a consensus.; remember, Galileo and others who had to suffer through the “dissent” of the “consensus” crowd and probably had their credentials questions by those who didn’t have
equivalent (science) credentials.

Remember, when the alarmist debated the skeptics, and the skeptics won, the alarmist scientist didn’t attack the skeptic scientist’s credentials. They debated the issue.

Climate Realists Beat Alarmists in New York Debate

Posted by: rahdigly at December 13, 2007 12:16 AM
Comment #240629

rahdigly,

So this means you will be supplying us with your “credentials” soon. Right?

Posted by: Rocky at December 13, 2007 6:03 AM
Comment #240644

http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/global_warming/2007/12/10/55974.html?

Posted by: traveller at December 13, 2007 10:59 AM
Comment #240647

http://www.livescience.com/environment/050505_earth_bright.html

Posted by: traveller at December 13, 2007 11:08 AM
Comment #240648

http://www.livescience.com/environment/071212-arctic-clouds.html

Posted by: traveller at December 13, 2007 11:10 AM
Comment #240651

The science is settled.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: traveller at December 13, 2007 11:21 AM
Comment #240656

traveller,

At best the links you have supplied prove that there isn’t enough data to be conclusive.

And you think that proves something?

Curiously, most of the pundits from the right always like to point to the winter weather here in the States as proof that climate change is a fallacy, as if the rest of the world’s weather changes don’t count for anything.

Posted by: Rocky at December 13, 2007 12:26 PM
Comment #240664

Still think the global warming hoax isn’t a vehicle for world socialism? Pay special attention to the second paragraph.

http://www.climatenetwork.org/bali-blog/ngo-bustle-in-bali

“In the morning I went to a civil society meeting which was attended by a
range of organisations engaged in social justice issues. The organisations
included La Via Campesina, the international peasants movement that works
primarily on food soveriegnty, and a large contingent from WAHLI, (Friends
of the Earth Indonesia). A common theme was that the “solutions” to
climate change that are being posed by many governments, such as nuclear
power, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and biofuels are false and are not
rooted in justice
. Another point was that as this current ecomonic system
got us here in the first place, a climate change response must have at its
heart a resdistribution of wealth and resources
. An important question
that was posed was whether social movments reform the response to climate
change (ie the Kyoto Protocol, carbon markets etc) or reject them.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to stay and find out whether agreement was
reached on this as after lunch I headed off to the Climate Action Network
(CAN) International Strategy meeting.”


Is their banner pic the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro?
heehee

Rocky,

“And you think that proves something?”

See post #240651

Posted by: traveller at December 13, 2007 2:07 PM
Comment #240667

I am an independent raised by republican parents but turn off by their the bible thumping(when it suites them). I also am sick of the tree hugging green weenie’s that believe in an ideal world but have no realistic plan to get there.

So now that I have made everybody mad on this forum let me just say I served four years in the Marine Corp. I have had periods where I was more republican and periods where I was more democrat. Now I am just a registered independent that can’t understand why so many people kiss the ass of big oil. What is in it for you to side with these republicans who back big oil at all costs.

Who cares to what degree humans are affecting global warming. Our curency is worth less and less, the trade defecit is at an all time high, we keep borrowing money from China at interest. Gas prices are rising every year and show no signs of slowing down and the Worlds largest reserves are in countries that are unfriendly to us.

So we could help to stablize our own economy by becoming energy independent. We have so much coal it’s crazy, clean coal could be a huge boone to our economy and help put a dent in our demand for foreign oil. Also nuclear power is the most effective way of to make carbon free energy and nuclear power plants are good for the economy, nuclear scientists get paid well. We can still import oil from canada and drill off the coast of Mexico until hydrogen is ready to take over for good. If we get to a point where can tell Hugo boy and OPEC to go to hell then why would republicans be against going green? Well because alot of them get their bread buttered by big oil, fine that is their reason. Why are all the ditto heads(normal citizens) joining their cause? Are you all getting hit off by big oil? NO.

I am down with going green through nuclear, clean coal and any other means that makes since. I am loyal to this country not big oil and I think the only way we can be assured of a stable economy in the future, is if we find a way to become as energy indepent as possible.


Posted by: jason at December 13, 2007 2:36 PM
Comment #240681

Traveller-
The best scientist among those in the first article is the Christy guy. What I would warn you, though, is that one paper does not constitute a paradigm shift, and it’s irresponsible journalism to tout it as destroying things. Maybe they’re right. But like everybody else, they’ll have to prove that.

Your second article, the one concerning reflectance has a section at the bottom that you should read. I’ll quote the relevant point:

One theory is that if humans pump out more aerosols, the small particles will work to reflect sunlight and offset global warming. Charlson calls that “a spurious argument, a red herring.”

Greenhouse gases are at work trapping heat 24 hours a day, he notes, while sunlight reflection is only at work on the day side of the planet. Further, he said, greenhouse gases can stay in the atmosphere for centuries, while aerosols last only a week or so.

“There is no simplistic balance between these two effects,” Charlson said. “It isn’t heating versus cooling. It’s scientific understanding versus not understanding.”

In essence, they’re dealing with two different aspects of the heat equation on the planet. Even if the planet reflects some more light, increased CO2 still prevents the infra-red radiation from escaping into space, day or not, rain or shine. Or to given an example, We absorb more radiation than Venus here on Earth, but because Venus has a thick CO2 atmosphere, it’s way hotter.

From the next article, we get this quote:

Kay says the result of this work highlights the importance of the influence of weather pattern variability on an already stressed-out Arctic system.

“As Arctic sea ice thins, its extent is more sensitive to year-to-year variability in weather and cloud patterns,” Kay said. “Our data show that clearer skies this summer allowed more of the sun’s energy to melt the vulnerably thin sea ice and heat the ocean surface.”

This speaks to the complexity of the interaction. It’s difficult to deny CO2 driven warming in the Arctic. The only reason changes in sunlight are having a larger effect is due to the fact that Climate Change is making the system less robust.

As for magma warming greenland’s ice? Maybe so. Keep something in mind, though: there’s not a limit of one cause to one phenomenon. The public is not always aware of this, but one of the most important and most tricky aspects of science is sorting out causes and effects from one another.

If it’s contributing to the melting, the question will be how much.

However, you and others are jumping to conclusions based on this information, and that is not a scientific way to go about things. And if you’re not going to bother to do this scientifically, then why should we disparage and ignore those who have paid their dues to gain their authority on the matter? You’re wanting something for nothing here.

The only way to be sure about global warming is to wait until it happens. If we wait, we may have resolved our uncertainty, but we will have next to no choice as to how to deal with the problem. Waiting to deal with problems until they become blindingly obvious and insanely difficult to deal with has become a hallmark of the approach of many in politics.

A stitch in time saves nine, people. If you want certainty in life, you have Death and taxes. Otherwise, we have to make information on the best understanding we have. The best understanding we have is that we are the reason that CO2 is increasing so rapidly, and that this is bringing about changes in our climate. Our best chance to deal with this problem is now. The later we wait for certainty to establish itself, the harsher, not the gentler the measures necessary will become. Those who want to minimize the impact of global climate change must start now, because it only gets tougher and more expensive from here.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 13, 2007 5:39 PM
Comment #240775
So this means you will be supplying us with your “credentials” soon. Right

First of all, SIGH!!!!

Now, take a look at Comment #240553; read it, then that will anwser your question.

By the way, Stephen, Phx8, Kansasdem, you still haven’t “stepped up”; guess that tells us what you’re made of.

Posted by: rahdigly at December 15, 2007 2:10 AM
Comment #240836

Stephen,
Well, that’s quite a condescending post.
You would warn me, eh? As for the “section at the bottom that you should read”, what makes you so sure I didn’t read ALL of the articles?

You should come up with a better example than Venus. It’s millions of miles closer to the sun than the earth and it’s atmosphere is many times the density of Earth’s. It’s also almost pure CO2. None of that matters though, does it, since it’s CO2.

“However, you and others are jumping to conclusions based on this information, and that is not a scientific way to go about things. And if you’re not going to bother to do this scientifically, then why should we disparage and ignore those who have paid their dues to gain their authority on the matter? You’re wanting something for nothing here.”

I believe this is an example of projection.
You need to read post #240651 and reread it as many times as it takes to understand it. It apparently went over your head.

The only way to be sure about global warming is to study atmospheric science, including ALL of the factors which influence climate, along with history-human and geologic. Stop denying the proofs that CO2 is, at most, a minor climatic factor and does not drive climate (linked many times in various threads on WB so I won’t link them here).

Part of the problem you global warming lemmings have is that you’ve cried wolf too many times. We’re tired and bored with all the crises that keep popping up requiring urgent, immediate and invariably socialist action or “WE’RE ALL GONNA (insert favorite terrible consequence here)”.
The other and biggest problem you have is that observation contradicts the computer models your fearmongering relies on. The Northwest Passage has been open before, glaciers constantly advance and retreat, polar bears survived at least one period when there was no ice at all in the arctic and I could go on and on. None of the changes that have been observed are unprecedented. None of the predictions of doom and gloom are based on science. They are conjecture at best and there is no reason to believe they are anything other than politically driven fearmongering, just like the other “crises” that were going to “end the world as we know it”.
What is being observed are changes in weather patterns that are well within the known limits of variablity. Our society is geared largely toward what we are used to and adaptations that are often inconvenient or uncomfortable will be necessary, but there is no crisis; the earth doesn’t have a fever, as history shows.

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=164002

This is what the global warming hoax is really all about.

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=d5c3c93f-802a-23ad-4f29-fe59494b48a6&Issue_id


Posted by: traveller at December 16, 2007 11:50 AM
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