Democrats & Liberals Archives

Dependence and The Long Range Bet of Climate Change

If you’ve ever played a game like StarCraft, you’ll be familiar with what they call a dependency tree, a set of things you have to develop, like buildings, units, or whatever before you can build better and more powerful units, buildings, and defenses. Game developers do this to help mirror one part of the reality of warfare in this simulation, the fact that having certain units depends on having certain facilities, certain kinds of expertise, and so on and so forth. A complex civilization, army, or whatever, doesn’t just spring out from nowhere.

Models, maps, equations... Critics of global climate change science (I'm not going to call them skeptics, since most of the folks doing the criticizing don't hold their views tentatively) point to the incompleteness of models, their simplification of reality as if that's the death-knell for it's status as real science.

But what do you think an equation like Maxwell's laws of electromagnetism is? What do you think the law of gravitation is? In the real world, forces interact, and as quantum physics and Einstein's Theories of Relativity have demonstrated, they're approximations just as much. Hell, even those newer theories are at best imperfect approximations.

Now don't go rushing to the nearest scientist to tell them that. They know it already.

Now here's a nice question: do we still teach Maxwell's laws, Newton's theory of gravitation, and his laws of motion, imperfect as they are?


I think the best way to phrase it is that they're useful to a close approximation in describing and sometimes predicting the way systems will behave. If you step off the top story of a skyscraper, your motion after that will be fairly predictable from a Newtonian framework. Put another way, you won't be going fast enough, and the Earth doesn't have strong enough gravity to make the extra precision that Einstein's relativity allows useful to predicting your motion. Quantum physics was also unnecessary for the invention of the generator, the motor, the electric light, or whatever else. (although it has been useful in refining things, as the computer you're logged into demonstrates)

We can say a model maps onto certain aspects of the environment, when it simulates climate or weather, and leaves off other stuff. The material strength of rocks in a mountain range probably don't figure much into a climate model. The presence of that mountain range, though, would need to figure into it, for reasons you probably can guess if you were paying attention in science class. You can't simulate the behavior of a Monsoon without simulating the Himalayas at the very least.

Models are not developed willy-nilly. Scientists map that model for Climate Change onto results we already know about, to test whether they predict things reasonably well. There are ways to test these models, to improve them.

What there isn't a way to do, is stick the earth in a lab and do tests on it. Models are necessary. Note that the Climate Critics don't tend to dispute the value of those models by taking aim at the science they're based on, or their actual predictive power. They simply call the whole concept into question, without really asking the key questions.

Like, are the predictions their theories make any better? Can you anticipate the behavior of the system with much more reliability? Here, it's not good enough to simply make promises that their theory would be better. You can't expect scientists to replace even a flawed model with something that's got even less predictive power.

That's especially true if their claims, their hypotheses have already been dealt with by the climatologists. From the gist of what I understand, it seems like they did so long ago. I read about them looking at such stuff back in the late 90s.

Here's the other thing: the behavior of our society is strongly dependent on two things: what nature throws at us, and how humans behave amidst it, and in reaction to it.

A big part of the latter deals with our infrastructure. We take that infrastructure for granted, until it becomes compromised. Then we really end up suffering. If you've been through a natural disaster, it'll hit you, and you'll end up crowing with delight over the return of things like electricity, fresh food, drinkable water... or if you've really been hit hard, some kind of home to live in, a community rebuilt. We like to think of ourselves as free agents, but in reality, we're like those units in the video games, dependent on the infrastructure.

Some of the older games have you dependent on agriculture, fields of grain. Others have you dependent on mineral or gaseous resources. We're not too far off from that.

We see the effects of that dependence when crops fail or become damaged. Here we see prices go up. Elsewhere it's more than just prices that can rise or fall, but governments. It might interest you to learn the part that commodity prices played in the Arab Spring, the way that rising food prices fueled the end of Mubarak and Qadaffi's regimes.

Of course, you also have water concerns. As water becomes scarcer, more expensive, water rights become more important.

That's not to mention the psychological direct effects of heat. Or the energy that becomes necessary to keep certain places habitable.

Our roots of dependency run deep, and each dependency represents a weakness where a critical failure could undo much of our advantages, even if we take them for granted as permanent.

We could do what some people suggest we do, and shed all those dependencies. Here's the thing, though: that won't happen without a lot of people dying. We can't go back to being subsistence farmers, living without electricity, communications modern vehicles, and all that other stuff without making our civilization a hell of a lot less capable of supporting our current population.

Our only path forward, in my view, is maintenance and improvement, and part of that maintenance is not tempting fate unnecessarily. I believe this whole resistance to confronting the reality of global climate change will end in a failure to maintain not just the way of life that we enjoy, but even our civilization. I don't think humans will go extinct, we're rather tough, but we will get knocked on our rears if we don't quit pushing our luck.

We base our infrastructure on models of how the climate behaves. We choose which places to put our crops, which places to situate our bridges and our communities by means of risk models that assume that you will only see such and such a strength of Hurricane or Earthquake, such and such a risk of volcanic eruption, and such and such a chance of your local river or other body of water flooding.

While it's unlikely that Earthquakes and Volcanoes will be affected by Climate change, you can bet that the floods, the droughts, the hurricanes, or whatever will become either more common or more powerful. Or both. One way or another, it's going to change the shape of what areas are at risk, of what areas may be sustainably lived in (thanks to concerns about water and food), of where certain crops can be grown, if they can be really grown anywhere at all on a mass scale.

That won't be cheap by any stretch of the imagination. What we don't replace on account of destruction, we may end up replacing simply by necessity. More than that, you'll have constant disruption, a change in the selective forces of which communities can maintain themselves that humankind has never thought to prepare itself for. That may sound like great fun to some, who thoughtlessly, brainlessly hope for the chaos of an apocalypse, but it will be an ordeal for everybody.

To a certain extent, though, we're already going to have to deal with it. The question is, how much further do we want to push our luck?

We are dealing with a bet here. It is of course completely possible that our notions of climate change are wrong, that there's something we don't know about this climate that explains the warming, that means that nothing is going to go wrong in the years ahead. But if we bet that way, we at best maintain a status quo that's pretty bad energy policy, and at worst, risk the very ability of our nation and civilization to endure.

If we take the bet on Climate Change, on its truth, and lose (that is, we find out that it's not real, or not as severe or quick as we thought), then at worst we have economic restrictions we can loosen up and the windfalls of greater efficiency and sustainability that can reduce costly consumption. The upside of the bet is that we can spare generations worth of Americans the costs and the hardship of the changes our actions may be dooming them to.

Some of us have an enthusiasm for making big gamble, but neither the detachment nor the perspective to properly weigh the risks and the rewards of the different positions. In a world where things don't react proportionately, where something so simple as a bet that the Russian Banks wouldn't do anything to undermine the value of the Ruble can send the markets into chaos, where one degree of average warming world wide can have incredible consequences, where one foot of sea level change can change the map of the world, it doesn't pay to take an old-fashion, cavalier approach to the wagers we make on policy. The question shouldn't be whether you are guaranteed success or not. The question should be, What is the gain if you are right, compared to the loss if you are wrong?

When it comes to climate, we have too much to lose to bet against the scientists being right. We can sooner undo economic change than we can climate change.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at June 5, 2014 4:28 PM
Comment #379060

Pedaling fear of the unknown is a typical liberal tactic. The MMGW scare is based upon unfinished science, political ambition, and greed. These same liberals, when told of the dangers of more trillions of debt simply yawn…or worse, laugh.

What Daugherty is promoting here is “Ideology” of the left rather than a consensus of science. Even today, when much more is known about corn ethanol, we find disagreement among the scientific community. One such is found in this article in “ScientificAmerican”.

“If we are going to be using corn-ethanol in any large quantities, we really need to be sure it is having its intended effects,” said Jason Hill, a research associate in applied economics at the University of Minnesota and lead author of the PNAS study.”

“But federal policy is moving in an opposite direction. Pushed by industry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering upping the percentage of ethanol in the nation’s gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent. All of that, at least in the near-term, would likely come from corn.”

In the case of corn-ethanol, as well as MMGW, the left is full of “ideology” and short on “Sound Policy”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 5, 2014 4:48 PM
Comment #379063

Royal Flush-
You pedal a bike. The word you’re looking for is “peddling.”

All science is unfinished. Nothing is final. The new theory, though, has to be better than the old one, a closer fit to facts, able to explain things that the old one couldn’t. Your theories not only fail to satisfy that, but very often retread objections and alternate explanations already explored.

And you talk about greed… Who has the energy sources most people depend upon, not just as a potential, but as an actuality? The fossil fuel companies. Who is already making much, much more than the other people, and already gets billions in federal subsides, tax credits, tax breaks and the like?

The fossil fuel companies. And whose policies are dead-set on enabling their seeking of this bottom line?

Do I need to say it? You’ve basically taken the carcass of exactly those arguments from that side, and like a poor taxidermist draped it on the skeleton of the renewable energy industries. You swallow their arguments whole, not even stopping to question how far these companies would have to go to be on equal standing with the fossil fuel companies. You see greed in the capitalistic behavior of the green companies, but not in the giant energy conglomerates whose revenues and even profits are in the nine figures.

You cite the Scientific American article, and looking at it, here’s what I’d tell you: First, it was a Republican President and a Republican Congress that got us started on Ethanol. Second, that’s not the only form of ethanol or bio-fuel being developed. You pick one fuel, which I’ve actually seen rejected by a number of other scientific sources, much less liberal ones, and say that because of that, the whole Renewables business is doomed.

Rhetoric very often has its own logic, which people will use to twist other facts and figures to their purpose. You rely on that kind of argumentation.

Me, I’m familiar with this stuff from a non-partisan point of view. I’d be able to tell you about cellulosic ethanol, attempts to create petroleum-like brews from algae, among other things.

I’d also be able to tell you that not only is their legislation being brought up in the Senate to cut the mandate, the EPA is already proposing a reduction of the ethanol mandate.

You’re using news, by the way, that’s about five years old. Too many folks underestimate the importance of reading the byline, in my opinion. My article is only six months old.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 5, 2014 6:26 PM
Comment #379065

Ha Ha Ha…fell right into the cow pie didn’t you? I purposefully used an older article to prove how little settled science there really is when it comes to MMGW. Just a few years ago the liberals were promoting corn ethanol you dunce. And, you were among them. And now, you’re making excuses. Tomorrow will be another spin to justify some other failed ideological promotion.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 5, 2014 6:57 PM
Comment #379067

Royal Flush-
Your argument, to put it simply, was that we liberals were all counting on Ethanol as a renewable fuel, oh, and it turns out scientists don’t like it much…

… Well, first, were you careful enough to establish

1) That Democrats, Liberals, and progressives were dead-set on that, and only that;

2) That it wasn’t somebody, like say the Republicans and George Bush who started the policy as part of their Energy Bill?

3) That science had no other alternatives to deliver?

You use this “science isn’t settled” BS as an excuse to just believe what you want to. But Science, even though it’s not settled, doesn’t allow folks that kind of leeway, if they want credibility.

See, there are facts you have to keep in mind. Corn Ethanol is very fertilizer intensive, and you really can only use the sugars from the seed kernels. Other prospective ethanol sources use more than that, with wood-based and cellulose based programs using most of the rest of the plant as biomass, too. Algae and other such things also take a similarly efficient approach.

If you want to confront me with quotes from yesteryear, feel free. I don’t particularly remember being an unreserved fan of it, and I remember a lot of progressives not being big fans either.

Of course, you need to spin your ass off to get out of the whole you’ve dug, so you’ll make whatever unsubstantiated claims you can to avoid embarrassment. Trouble is, I’ve followed renewables on a much more long term basis than you have, so I know about different advancements and setbacks you’re probably not even aware of.

That’s the price of approaching science primarily through political sources. You’ve had your feed filtered by what some think might push your buttons and aid your arguments. I, on the other hand, come to this from a genuine interest in science, and a non-partisan background. I trust science not because I am a liberal, but because I was a science nerd before I was a political one, and the first had more influence on my judgment than the second. The stupidity of the anti-science movements is part of what drove me out of the GOP.

If you want to really know what’s going on, you have to drop your preconceptions and approach the sciences as a good faith student. Put another way, the reason why I like science is that science has mechanisms to stop spin, to make the facts presented more universal, less just somebody’s unaccountable opinion. It’s easier to tell what the truth is.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 5, 2014 7:27 PM
Comment #379068

I’m curious as to how Obama’s EPA regulations that came to be Monday will help renewable resources be developed? It won’t. It will only reduce the emmissions of an existing power source. In fact, when those emmissions have been reduced there will be all that many more reasons to use the existing power sources we have now!

Converting to solar, wind, algae, corn ethanol, ect. is pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking. None of those will successfully power a city as efficiently as a coal-burning power generator. None of them will get a 787 off the ground.

MMGW is just another paranoia generating instance of progressives trying to get what they want. They believe they can use the acid-rain cap and trade model to achieve … what? I don’t know! The elimination of acid rain was the result then. Is the elimination of co2 the goal now? Will I need to buy credits from Algore when I exhale?

I recently read that co2 that is absorbed by the oceans becomes enert and has no effect on warming anything!

The oceans are pretty big and they absorb alot of co2!

And what about those 2 Oxygen atoms? Shouldn’t we be concerned about sequestering them? We would be removing twice as much oxygen as we would carbon! What happens if we remove too much oxygen?

Lions and tigers and bears! OH MY!

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 5, 2014 7:35 PM
Comment #379069

Poor Daughty, he is a wanna be scientist and believes he is because he reads about it and writes fiction. I hold a BS degree, I am a scientist and have the diploma. Reading without learning is a waste of valuable time my friend.

He talks about me spinning what any reasonable person can figure out for themselves. I don’t need a fucking politician to tell me what is true and what is false; what is right and what is wrong; what is science and what is pseudo-science; what is a constitutional right and what is a liberal desire.

First it was global cooling, then MMGW, then global warming, then climate change. Daughty’s position on corn ethanol reminds me of John Kerry when he famously said…”I was for ( ) before I was against ( ).

Daughty’s glorious leader lies all the time and his little followers believe it is the correct thing to do. obama insisted that we could keep our health care coverage, our doctor, pay thousands less in premium…all lies.

This shameless president can stand at a podium and justify releasing five of the top terrorist in the world from our custody in the name of…what? Politics?

Liberals are about politics all the time. The politics of ideology, not common sense or justice. I despise your ideas as worse than worthless. They are downright dangerous to our survival.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 5, 2014 7:51 PM
Comment #379144

Weary Willie-
You know, you ought to do more research before you make broad statements.

That’s why I don’t fall down and worship at your feet, scientifically speaking. You talk about the oceans, but you miss one critical fact: for all the rationalization about oceans absorbing it, you’re neither noting the increase in oceanic acidity, the limited rate of absorption, or the fact that atmospheric concentration of the gas is still going up, an ipso facto sign that it’s not being absorbed fast enough.

Yes, fossil fuels concentrate energy well. However, we can learn to concentrate energy well ourselves. We’ll have to, if we want to continue flying our planes and driving what cars we don’t shift to electric.

In the meantime, fuel sources like coal create a ton of pollution, both in their smoke and their ash. The Fly ash is literal toxic waste, full of heavy metal, tars and other lovely chemicals. The acid rain we talked about earlier? A result of sulfuric acid, itself a product of the sulfur dioxide in the smoke. We successfully dealt with that problem for the most part, but still, your idealization of coal is at best awkward scientifically.

In the meantime, solar becomes more efficient, thanks to the fact that engineering the nano-scale level of the panels borrows on what we’ve learned from making microchips. Wind, using new Rare Earth Metal magnets, is more efficient than it’s ever been. You guys might raise the objections about the birds, but first, more birds get killed by skyscrapers and glass-paneled facades than lie dead at the feet of the windmills, and the windmills themselves are now designed to turn more slowly. You guys can make up all kinds of problems about new energy sources, while you conveniently forget to mention the drawbacks of other forms of generation.

If it were so inefficient, why are power companies, and the Republicans beholden to them, actually charging customers for being net producers of electricity? They can talk about support for the grid, but that’s really just bull. The truth is, solar works well enough that it can threaten centralized power generation. You’re again wrong on empirical grounds.

But I expect you to keep trying to spin science, which is sort of like kicking Wolverine in the crotch. It won’t do him much harm, but it will get him mad.

Regarding the oceans, atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are still going up. Think about that for a second: if the oceans were gobbling it all up fast enough, you wouldn’t have that problem. There are limits to how fast the gases can exchange, to the extent to which warmer oceans can keep the stuff in solution. The story is quite simple, really: the earth has natural systems for sequestering carbon, but they only work so fast, and we’re working against many of them by deforesting and taking the fossil sequestered carbon of hundreds of millions of years and burning it. All that coal represents millions of years of carbon that was taken out of the atmosphere and buried. Then we came along and burned much of that millions of years worth of carbon in just a few hundred years.

As far as oxygen goes, and nitrogen as well, they’re just not good heat trappers. How do we know this? Because we’re not Venus. Venus is what happens when your main atmospheric component, CO2 is a 90%+ contributor. Oxygen and Nitrogen together are that for us, but we aren’t seeing lead melt around us, are we? That’s because those two chemicals, in their diatomic forms are actually incredibly bad at holding in heat. They’re transparent to sunlight, something that would be ridiculously obvious if you thought about it. It’s why our eyes see in the particular wavelengths they do, in fact. You wouldn’t want to evolve eyes that can only see in a wavelength your atmosphere absorbs and scatters, you’d be living your life in a fog bank.

If you want to see what they do scatter, just look up. The sky is blue because they scatter blue to violet and ultraviolet light. Oxygen is even bluish in liquid form. Every chemical has it’s range of absorption, and that’s part of how we know what elements are in a star, or in a sample of a substance from the field.

You can get all hysterical about it, but you don’t hear scientists concerned about oxygen concentration in our atmosphere.

You’re attacking credibility by trying to turn the science into a joke, but you’re not confusing me, you’re just making yourself look rather foolish to anybody who knows their stuff.

Royal Flush-
I make very few mistakes with your name, but I guess respecting people isn’t part of the new conservatism. Neither is science, apparently, one reason why we might be falling behind. Some folks want to believe what they want to believe, and damn it if the pencil-necks tell them any differently.

Just WHAT is your degree in, pray tell? I know science well enough to know that scientists don’t tend to be generalists. They tend to have a field and keep up within that field. More importantly, what’s your job? What do you do with that degree every day?

I ask because you’re trying to trade on your degree and everything as if I have to respect that, rather than be offered any kind of evidence. That doesn’t strike me as particularly scientific. I at least make a point of trying to explain the mechanics of the theory I offer, the best I can, and I make a point of researching the subject a little bit, both to refresh my memory and correct certain mistaken assumptions I might be making before I go in.

I don’t want to misinform people. The evidence of your comments says otherwise about you.

Yes, some people actually thought that global cooling was a possibility. Just like some people thought that there was a luminiferous aether out there in space, to allow the electromagnetic waves to propagate. They thought that might be true, because in the experience of scientists at the time, they thought that a wave had to have something to vibrate in, in order to wash out into the greater world.

Turns out, EM waves are self-propagating. But that didn’t just come to us. Einstein got his Nobel Prize not for Relativity, but for a paper he made explaining the photoelectric effect by positing that light was essentially packets of energy, quantum. later work found that while it acted in some ways like a particle, it also acted like a wave, too.

Cooling was one theory, back in the ages where computer simulations were just warming up, where concerns about particulates and evidence from glaciers was leading to questions about how the Earth would respond.

Then as now, scientists delved into things, and that theory fell by the wayside. You seem to think of scientific theories as the stones in a wall, and if they fall, scientists must be wrong. Thing is, though, scientists discard theories constantly… constantly, though, but not arbitrarily.

See, we have plenty of evidence to back our case. Any theory of yours has to explain that evidence on top of everything else. Simply casting rhetorical doubt is not good enough.

As for my position on corn ethanol, I was against it before this current President was elected. . I even disagreed with my favorite candidate on it. See, adults do have that kind of disagreement now and then. Doesn’t mean we try and destroy our opponents.

But needless to say, I’m firmly setting that range back as far as six years ago.

Here’s the thing: you’re obsessed with treating science as if emotional certainty was what gave things authority, that you had to be right all along to be credible. But the point of science is to probe the unknown, to make hypotheses and see how those go wrong so that reality itself can tell you what’s right, rather than your own ego.

You want a sort of great men of science sort of thing to happen, where some scientists comes along and makes an unambiguous, precise, unquestionable assertion about climate, and that’s that.

But that’s not how things work, not if you want to get things right!

I am not about politics all the time. In fact, I think politics to be the poor, ragged cousin of other disciplines. Science holds more credibility, seems more responsible to me, in no small part because there is greater accountability. Spin can only go so far before it hits a brick wall. In your universe, it just goes on and on, because you care more about what other people think about your issue here, than you care about what disciplined observation and calculation has revealed.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2014 8:58 AM
Comment #379146

I can’t wait for Stephen Daugherty to take up science and leave politics behind. No more Democratics good, Republicans bad! yay!

Now it will be Democratic’s science good, Republican science bad!

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 6, 2014 9:57 AM
Comment #379147

The alarmists biggest obstacle is their “we change everything today, or we all die tomorrow,” message.
People are not stupid, they know that is not true.
Our levels are decreasing and the technology to aide in further decreases is becoming more affordable.

What the alarmists fail to respect, is that science doesn’t drive policy, it’s theory’s help guide them where they are needed.

Posted by: kctim at June 6, 2014 10:05 AM
Comment #379148

Weary Willie-
I would welcome you taking up science, period.

You complain that I’m biased. Logic would tell you two things about that complaint: first that a bias does not make a person automatically wrong; Second, that if the person’s argument is sound and valid enough, it doesn’t matter whether they’ve given other ideas a fair shot or not.

So, even if I’m a bit closed-minded, you still have to do a number of things. If I’m biased, you have to demonstrate what my selective focus has left out, what my buying into a certain idea has blinded me to, truth-wise. It’s not automatic. We don’t know whether your accusations of bias don’t simply spring from your own bias.

Look at how I answered a number of your claims: I went in, and I found countercases to your absolute claims. I exposed your bias implicitly, showing the information that you ignored, the cases you never sought out. You sent your product out into the market having never tested it. I went and I did so.

It’s really this tendency to try and play gotcha, to argue from a purpose of trying to destroy the opponent, not just defeat them, that has you screwing up so much. You’re so intent on proving the opposite case at all times that you don’t put much consideration to how solid the opposite case is.

So, rather than just play the victim card, and accuse me of bias, why don’t you educate yourself in the science I would know and understand, and see where it’s actually appropriate to disagree. Very often, the impulse to argue all points, to fight a war on all fronts, both drains one of energy, and exposes one to making some pretty ridiculous points. You really should only be disagreeing with other people where there’s an actual point to disagreeing. Otherwise, it’s your bias that’s taken you over.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2014 10:28 AM
Comment #379152

Great, Stephen Daugherty! But we’ll have to really be careful when we divy up the 130,000 gallons of fuel UOP produced. The great thing about it is we’ll be able to get rid of all that animal fat and camelia thats been laying around all this time.

How much animal tallow do you think it will take to satisfy the needs of the U.S. economy? Now that the air force and the navy have their 130,000 gallon supply we won’t have to worry about them running out. Let’s get those planes off the ground!

Do you know why they quit making fuel from the grease they fry donuts in? The cops kept following them around!

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 6, 2014 12:13 PM
Comment #379153

There are certain kinds of predictive strategies we use called Heuristics. They are very poor at dealing with events that don’t conform to our normal, everyday experience.

Climate Change, by definition, defies that experience. We only really get a sense of it when it starts upsetting our expectations for normal life, when the heat comes in seasons it shouldn’t, when the rains come or don’t come in a way they didn’t used to.

Thing is, we’re seeing feedback changes to the environment that will accelerate both greenhouse gas increase, AND global warming. For example, the more sea-ice disappears in the Arctic, the more dark, warmth-absorbing sea replaces light reflecting ice. Organic material, freed from the permafrost, is starting to rot in the Northern latitudes.

You can pretend that the folk knowledge is all superior, but the reality is, we went for millennia on folk knowledge, and only made real progress when science came into play. You’re denying that science because it doesn’t fit what you expect. Truth is, though, the world has always been difficult for people to understand.

We need to stop denying what science is saying, because what it says has greater reality than any political belief based on the stubborn refusal to believe that the world can change.

Oh, by the way, we’re not saying that everybody dies tomorrow if we don’t try to stop the excessive carbon emissions now. No, we’re saying that if we wait too much longer, the solution to our problem will be out of our hands.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2014 12:33 PM
Comment #379154

Weary Willie-
Tell me something: wasn’t your point that nobody could lift a 787 off the ground without oil?

Well, it seems like you can.

You make fun of it as a way of distracting people from the fact you were wrong. Wrong you remain, though.

You say, oh, but it’s so small? But petroleum was just instantly adopted? Anybody who had half a notion of the diffusion of innovations could tell your argument was bunk.

Nature doesn’t care whether we’re drinking up the caramel milkshake to create our fuels, or mixing that stuff up from natural ingredients here on the surface. The main difference, though, is that we won’t be putting more carbon in the atmosphere that we’re not taking out of it to generate the fuel.

Of course, these kinds of programs won’t just create themselves, and those making money from what’s being drilled up aren’t exactly in a race to create the fuels that will put them out of business.

Somebody doesn’t want the market to change, so they’re enlisting your help to belittle the alternatives, slow the changeover. Too bad you won’t see any of their money for all the good you folks are doing them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2014 12:48 PM
Comment #379155


“You’re denying that science because it doesn’t fit what you expect.”

Sigh. Now who is stuck in politics?

I didn’t deny or question the science, I question the alarmists fear tactics.
Humans, especially those conditioned to be dependent and wrapped up in materialism, will choose themselves over what what may happen to them in 20 or 30+ years. This is why .99 cent bulbs sell better than $30 bulbs, why larger more comfortable cars sell better than silly looking little death traps with no power.

As has been proven many many times in our country, forced compliance is not the fairest, easiest, or even best way for achieving a personal agenda.

Posted by: kctim at June 6, 2014 1:27 PM
Comment #379156

How’s that corn ethanol workin’ out for ya, Stephen Daugherty? Aren’t people rioting because of food shortages around the world now because we’ve gone on this corn-ethanol binge boondoggle? Now you want to try it with weeds and meat scraps?

It’s easy to get a plane off the ground once. It’s a different story getting a fleet of planes off the ground continuously to replace or even supplement existing sources. We’ve tried that with corn and it doesn’t work. It’s unsustainable, contrary to what you call it.

And stop with the idea that existing oil companies will put themselves out of business by developing alternative sources of energy. That is contradictory on it’s face. If an oil company developes an alternate power source how is that development going to put it out of business? You’ve got to get it through your bias that alternate fuel sources are not as efficient as the existing ones. We can make them more efficient, but trying to generate paranoia in an effort to force a change to a less efficient power source is suicidal. And suicide is nuts, Stephen Daugherty! Stop insisting we go nuts just so your side can get what it wants!

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 6, 2014 1:47 PM
Comment #379157

Before you can call me an alarmist, you must produce a better idea of a timeline that says we got time to wait. You have to prove that climate change proceeds slowly, that its effects don’t compound each other.

Sounding an alarm doesn’t make you an alarmist, if you got a good case for what we’re claiming, and people don’t start claiming otherwise until we start getting into the political realm.

The real alarmists are those in the political realm who are claiming that it’s going to bring world socialism or some garbage like that, economic ruin. Those are the people who are getting people afraid for no reason.

Scientists looking at the West Antarctic ice sheet are saying that it’s basically screwed. That’s ten feet of elevation off of every side of this country. If that, or current facts like the rate of melt in Greenland EXCEEDING IPCC estimates, or ten thousand year old permafrost melting, or the increasing, documented loss of arctic sea ice doesn’t concern you, perhaps you should go and get yourself embalmed. That crap is genuinely alarming, and you’ve yet to really offer me any objective reason why I shouldn’t be concerned. Hell, why YOU shouldn’t be concerned. It’s all manners and etiquette it seems.

I talked about a bet because I understand that some skepticism is warranted. Maybe things have been this bad in the past, and we’re just not reading things right. However, trusting the science, to me, seems like a bet with a better downside than trusting the politics, trusting the people who are just protecting their vested interests. If I’m wrong, if global warming folks are wrong, we’re just a little screwed. If your people are wrong, we are A LOT SCREWED. I think we’ve gathered enough evidence to say that our opinion deserves credibility, that the consequences of Climate change can be extreme.

Want a for instance? Under other conditions, the Heartland has been a desert. An honest to God desert, complete with dunes. Enough climate change, enough warming taking out precipitation, and our bread basket goes the way of the Sahara.

Is it actually possible? Well, go visit the Sahara. There’s a cave deep in the Libyan desert, where it hasn’t rained in years, a cave with pictures of swimmers on it.

People used to live all across the Sahara, but the dessication of the Sahara, in the space of a few hundred years, turned it from a grassland to the Desert we speak of when we talk about deserts.

Heck, something of that nature has actually happened in living memory, if only temporarily. Remember the Dust Bowl?

As for this:

Humans, especially those conditioned to be dependent and wrapped up in materialism, will choose themselves over what what may happen to them in 20 or 30+ years. This is why .99 cent bulbs sell better than $30 bulbs, why larger more comfortable cars sell better than silly looking little death traps with no power.

Look, one reason I got my little rolling deathtrap is that I have no real desire to be trapped at home, unable to travel more than a bare minimum, just because I’m the prowd owner of one of those land barges. Yes, the 99 cent bulbs might sell better. But how about the ten buck LED bulb I got which will last a hell of a lot longer, waste far less of my money in electricity, and give me the same light!

As for Dependence? Look, mister, unless you’re living in a log cabin, raising your own food, shooting all the meat that lands on your table, crapping in an outhouse, there’s very little chance you have the level of rugged independence necessary to boast anything at any of us. And who is it who is coming down on the side of conspicuous consumption anyways? Years of cheap and easy fossil fuel energy has spoiled us, even as its real cost has invisibly altered our lives.

I think people are waking up to the cost, and people like you are doing your best to knock them back to sleep, using economic fears as a distraction. Well, let me tell you, at some point, the free lunch of cheap fossil fuel energy ends. And in a sense, it’s actually been ending, bit by bit, those gas prices being a principle piece of evidence for that.

Now you can wait until the decrease of that availability has us in the depths of another recession, or we can get out ahead of things this time, and put our economy on a permanently sustainable footing. But we can’t make those changes until we make them on the federal level.

Weary Willie-
You haven’t read anything I wrote if you think I support continuing to rely on corn Ethanol. Remember the link I posted? My position was clear even before Obama became President. As for weeds and scraps? Has it occurred to you that for every stalk of wheat, there’s a whole stalk that usually goes unused? Hell, that’s much of the complaint with corn ethanol. You’re just basically making stuff with the kernels in the ear.

Doing more with the waste products means that not only can we free up land to go back to producing food, but we can take even some of the waste from where we make that food, and recycle it into fuel, taking more of our carbon, in real terms, out of the air, rather than out of the ground.

You’re just using one case, one technology, and saying that represents everything. Having kept up with the actual science, I know better. You’re just ignorant, trying to appear like you’re the more savvy individual.

You say what I’m talking about is suicidal, but we have no interest in that. The point is replacement, the point is to develop the technology so it becomes economical. Solar Panels, thanks to advances in nanoelectronic engineering, have become more efficient, more powerful, and are giving the traditional power generation technologies a run for their money.

The far more suicidal course is your way. I’ve got good, scientific evidence on my side that changing our course will keep us from suffering devastating consequences, on top of what is already to come. Right now, I look at my hometown, and know that if the East Antarctic and Greenland Sheets go, where I live will be underwater.

That just depresses the hell out of me. Less depressing is the idea that we could put our noses to the grindstone, promote renewable energy, solar and wind, and prevent the disaster from going any further.

I like to hope. I like to have something to look forward to. The notion that we could lick this problem, and break our addiction to a resource on a downward curve sounds very hopeful to me. Hell, better than that, it sounds better than the naïve hope your people push, the hope that the scientists are wrong and that we can get away with just doing whatever we want forever.

You think its an impulse towards decline, but really, it’s a leap forward we want, an abandonment of a declining, soon to be obsolete set of technologies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2014 3:00 PM
Comment #379158

Doughboy the dunce
You claim not to make it political then you dive into it using political references.

“Weary Willie-
You know, you ought to do more research before you make broad statements”

You accuse WW of making statements about females.

Man alive Doughboy where is your head planted. I am guessing that his head is in the head

I have not heard drivel like that for 24 hours since your whatever you want to call him, has released 5 people who are going to re-enter the battle from afar and kill some more Americans all for the sake of Obama’s legacy.

Let me be very clear. I am glad for one American coming home. He will be dealt with the proper justice. Obama performed in the most idiotic manner possible. He had laws that were simple to follow, but just as he has done numerous times past, he broke the rules.

He has allowed the EPA to run roughshod of established rules and laws to effect Obama’s idea of his own legacy.

I suggest that the returning Sgt and the presiding Commander in Chief be tried in the same court chambers. Oh, we can’t do that because one would be court martialed and the other cannot be. Why not? Obama breaks the rules all the time. Let us fix it for him.

Posted by: tom humes at June 6, 2014 4:06 PM
Comment #379159

I have slightly revised this statement by Daugherty. “I think people are waking up to the cost, and people like you are doing your best to knock them back to sleep, using economic fears as a distraction. Well, let me tell you, at some point, the free lunch of cheap fossil fuel energy money for government to spend ends.”

The liberal left gets all excited about the theorized prospect of climate change causing problems decades or more in the future yet can barely stifle a yawn with the near immediate prospect of bankruptcy by continued run-a-way spending.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 6, 2014 4:13 PM
Comment #379160

I have some advice you should consider, Stephen Daugherty.

If you want to change the way this country powers itself then create a better mousetrap and put it on the market. If it will truly replace fossil fuels people will scarf it up and you will be a very rich man.

That’s how it works.

Government didn’t take away everyone’s candlesticks and bonfires and then make them buy electricity. Government didn’t make everyone’s horse and buggy too expensive to buy by regulating them out of existance and frighten everyone into buying a car.

That’s not how it works.

What you’re promoting is force. You’d think you would have learned that force doesn’t work when you passed the ACA. You’d think you would have learned when you couldn’t pass the AWB again.

If you are so concerned about your home getting flooded you should put more effort into moving, because you have completely ignored something you yourself know already.

You mentioned the Sahara and it’s fertility. Where was the hockey stick that caused the Sahara to heat up, Stephen Daugherty? You mentioned the dust bowl of the ‘30’s. Where was the out of control coal burning power plants and the fossil fuel burning automobiles when that happened? With all of the technology being able to identify co2 in the atmosphere thousands of years ago, why didn’t it identify a spike in co2 in the ‘30’s that caused the dust bowl? Where were all the people when man made global warming caused the Sahara to turn into a desert? Something caused the Sahara to turn into a desert!

Wouldn’t you feel bad if your side got everything it wanted and your house got flooded anyway? The arrogance you exibit by thinking we are going to control the weather is amazing. That arrogance is why people think MMGW is a hoax.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 6, 2014 4:26 PM
Comment #379161

OMG Tom Humes, you sexist racist homophobe! You know you are going to get fired from your job and banned from ever showing your face in public now for that inflamatory, offensive and crass attempt at mean male humor!

Woah is you!

I’ll start the collection for your kids.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 6, 2014 4:34 PM
Comment #379162


Dang man, I’ve been doing my best to be civil and staying away from talking points so that we can have a meaningful discussion and you are just going off the handle.

As I have already said, I am not questioning the science, I am questioning the fear tactics.
The alarmists are the ones saying we MUST act now or face certain doom, it is on them to prove to, and convince, the majority that they are right. THEY want change, it is up to THEM to prove their case.

If they are predicting certain doom if we do not drastically change our way of life this very instant, that is being alarmist.
If they intentionally disregard the progress we have made and continue to make, in order to claim nothing is being done, they are being alarmist.

“you’ve yet to really offer me any objective reason why I shouldn’t be concerned.”

Concerned people work on proving their point in a respectful and dignified manner. Concerned people practice what they preach and lead by example.
Alarmists stereotype anybody and everybody who disagrees with them. They berate them for owning the wrong vehicle using the wrong light bulb. They mock and dismiss them for asking valid questions that have answers that cannot yet be answered.

“Hell, why YOU shouldn’t be concerned. It’s all manners and etiquette it seems.”

Who says I am not concerned? Than I don’t try and do my part? Seems the political realm has reared it’s ugly head here, doesn’t it.

“Is it actually possible? Well, go visit the Sahara. There’s a cave deep in the Libyan desert, where it hasn’t rained in years, a cave with pictures of swimmers on it.”

There are also caves with drawings of Bigfoot, space ships and aliens.
Again, I am not questioning the science.

“Look, one reason I got my little rolling deathtrap is that I have no real desire to be trapped at home, unable to travel more than a bare minimum…,”

Don’t mean to burst your little bubble, but you didn’t come to mind when I made that statement. My point was, and still is, that people who have been conditioned to be dependent and materialistic are only going to buy so-called green technology when it is affordable.

“Yes, the 99 cent bulbs might sell better. But how about the ten buck LED bulb I got which will last a hell of a lot longer, waste far less of my money in electricity, and give me the same light!”

How about it? ALOT of people cannot afford it! For gods sake man, you are forcing us to pay for everybodys healthcare because they can’t afford it, you tell us people are so destitute that they can’t afford a free ID to vote, but now they afford $10+ dollar light bulbs?

“As for Dependence? Look, mister, unless you’re living in a log cabin, raising your own food, shooting all the meat that lands on your table, crapping in an outhouse, there’s very little chance you have the level of rugged independence necessary to boast anything at any of us.”

What does that have to do with the FACT that people are more willing spend on themselves than they are for expensive “green” technology?

Oh, and just for the hell of it, I’ll have you know that you really aren’t that far off about the way I am living. What you have described is very similar to what I have been working towards almost my entire adult life. Rather than buying the latest and greatest, I save for certain things.
That’s part of the practice what you preach thing I also ramble about. I’m not the type of person to say I care about something and then go out and pay for internet, DVDs and stuff because I expect others to do things for me.

“I think people are waking up to the cost”

I think you’re right, to an extent. A lot of the green technology is still way too expensive for many people, but as it continues to become more affordable, I believe more and more people will use it.

“and people like you are doing your best to knock them back to sleep, using economic fears as a distraction.”

Ah, yes. People like me. LOL!

“Now you can wait until the decrease of that availability has us in the depths of another recession,”

Hmmmm? Running around screaming at people and predicting CAT 10 hurricanes, biblical floods and deadly recessions, OR, I can accept that our levels are decreasing and that we are working to continue that trend. That people will continue to “go green” as the technology becomes more affordable.
Tough choice.

“or we can get out ahead of things this time, and put our economy on a permanently sustainable footing. But we can’t make those changes until we make them on the federal level.”

Sounds fine with me. My point is that it’s not going to happen overnight, no matter how much people whine, cry and stomp their feet.

Posted by: kctim at June 6, 2014 4:39 PM
Comment #379163

Daugherty proclaims the purity of science, and I agree. What he fails to recognize is that those who practice science are not all pure as he would imagine. We know of the many outright lies and misdirection of some who contribute to the UN reports.

And, for Daughety, it seems that the only “science” that is acceptable to him is that in which the practitioner carries a liberal label or science he agrees with.

As a scientist I know how easy it is to skew results to suit some objective. To have blind faith in unproven science is unscientific.

There is no doubt in my mind that Daugherty is not interested in advancing knowledge…only his liberal ideology.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 6, 2014 4:57 PM
Comment #379164

Well, insurance companies are not waiting around debating climate change. They are suing cities for not being prepared for catastrophic climate change related events. “For insurance companies, there’s no doubt that climate change is here: They are beginning to file lawsuits against small towns and cities who they say haven’t prepared for the floods and storms that will cost the companies billions in payments.”

Posted by: Rich at June 6, 2014 5:49 PM
Comment #379165

Rich, I am shocked…shocked I tell you reading your link. Are you saying that these mean, nasty, money-grubbing, and politically incorrect insurance companies have changed their spots?

Rather than sue, they can simply increase premiums or drop coverage if they are concerned.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 6, 2014 6:00 PM
Comment #379166

A bit of a chuckle at your response, Royal. But, seriously, the insurance companies realize that increasing premiums or dropping coverage is not a truly viable option when catastrophic climate change events are widespread. They raised premiums and left Florida due to a series of hurricanes in the 90s. But, Sandy in 2012 served warning that the whole east coast is very vulnerable. Severe tornadoes and flooding in the middle and southeast as well as fires and drought in the west coast have served notice that no area of the country is safe from climate change events.

Insurance companies realize that the only viable option for mitigation of climate change damage is massive government spending on infrastructure and other preventive measures.

Perhaps the insurance industry is only hedging on climate change issues but maybe they understand in a hard dollar and cents manner the dangers of procrastination.

Posted by: Rich at June 6, 2014 6:34 PM
Comment #379167

Glad I could provide a little chuckle Rich. Conservatives already have a problem with “massive government spending” which truly has not produced much anyone can point to with pride by either political party.

It is a leap of faith Rich to ascribe any recent tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes, or drought on climate change. Don’t buy into that hype Rich. No respected scientist has made that leap. In some respects catastrophic weather events have lessened in the recent past.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 6, 2014 6:56 PM
Comment #379168

tom humes-
That has to be either one of the more pathetic attempts at word twisting or the worst joke I’ve seen in a while. I’ll let context speak for itself. Little hint: it was used as an adjective, not an appositive.

As far as Bergdahl goes, if he’s a deserter and a traitor, whatever. We’re the people who have more than enough honor to spare, who will bring him home, even if it’s just to throw him in jail. We don’t let the Taliban do our work for us, and we don’t leave any soldier, no matter how unworthy of salvation, behind in the hands of the enemy.

Besides, you folks were saying exactly what I just said just a few months ago. It didn’t become a controversy until it became something Obama did. We are at the end of this particular war with the Taliban, so like with all wars, we’re doing prisoner exchanges. Yes, they might be real bastards, but then that didn’t stop previous repatriations at the end of wars. If we really wanted to keep them locked up forever, we had the option of charging them with something.

You folks are bloody hypocrites, really. You’ve decided that the way to go to war is to lose all control of yourselves, throw away any rules, supposedly because that’s what our enemy would do.

I’m sick of this country lowering its standards because you folks want to feel like tough boys.

Royal Flush-
At least this time you admitted you were making up things you believed I was saying.

I don’t treat deficits as free lunches. I don’t, though, pretend to ignore the economic effects of austerity in a weak economy. What gives? You folks had entirely different ideas when the recession was shallow, and a Republican was in the White House. You went hog wild, and refused to cut anything, saying it was necessary for the economy for it continue.

I don’t share your irresponsible attitudes about fiscal matter, but neither do I share your entirely inappropriate sense of timing as to when to start to pay down debts and reduce deficits.

Weary Willie-
Go look at VHS, and tell me whether the best technology wins. The quality of technology is ONE variable, especially when you have, in essence, a market locked off almost entirely by one kind of product.

The markets reward market position more than market virtue. Crappy products persist, and only go away when the stars align for a superior replacement.

As for what the government did? Traffic laws. Streets turned from primarily pedestrian and beast of burden drawn vehicle use, to that of the automobile. Local, state, then federal authorities building vast ribbons of highways, bridges, and other systems, solely for the sake of encouraging people to drive everywhere. subsidies on oil development, right from the start, leasing of government lands. Remember the Teapot Dome scandal? 1922, and we already had corruption regarding oil development. Government was already in on it then.

You really want to be amused? Read about oil being used by movie stars as a tax shelter. Just the cost of the tax breaks over time tallies up near half a trillion dollars. We’re still paying billions of dollars per year in tax breaks and other subsidies so big oil can pocket the difference. A good deal for shareholders of those companies, but for us?

Remember all the wars, all the defense dollars we’ve ended up spending to protect ourselves from the terrorists and fight the wars that only our oil interest would make sure we were involved in.

As for the Sahara? Heating up isn’t what got it. Drying out is, due to a drop in temperature in certain areas. Changes in rainfall patterns, reductions in moisture… It didn’t have to be warming for it to be climate change.

Ask yourself this: what happens when the unusual droughts become the usual thing?

Two or three years ago, we had that massive drought and heatwave in my state. A great many trees died, a lot of grass got dried out, turned to fuel for fires. Taking a trip into Oklahoma, things didn’t get much better.

Ask yourself what happens if that heatwave becomes the common event, if the trees die not just one year in twenty or forty, but every five years? What do the places that had tree and grass cover look like in a few decades?

I would guess much more like desert locations than they once were. Not lush and green. Reduction in trees also means less drawing up of water through the roots, which means a drop in the water table.

That’s how things go, which ever the direction of the temperature change was, if the result is longer droughts. Soon, you can’t call them droughts anymore. You call them aridity. The heavy rainfalls become the exception.

With all of the technology being able to identify co2 in the atmosphere thousands of years ago, why didn’t it identify a spike in co2 in the ‘30’s that caused the dust bowl? Where were all the people when man made global warming caused the Sahara to turn into a desert? Something caused the Sahara to turn into a desert!

Nature varies according to certain rules. If all of a sudden a volcano erupted in or around a coal deposit (as it did in one hair-raising episode, millions of years ago), and dumped gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere, it would be little different in consequence from what we’re doing. The CO2 would trap heat no differently.

By the way, the Dust Bowl shows us very keenly the difference between affecting a natural system, and controlling it. The soil of the Great Plains had been their for tens of thousands of years. Rich, fertile stuff. Unfortunately, the farmers out there didn’t know how to till it properly, so combined with a big drought and a big crop that unfortunately coincided with the beginning of the great depression, we got a situation where a whole bunch of that soil got exposed to the winds, and literally blew away, some of it reaching all the way to Washington D.C. (not coincidentally, not long before Congress finally acted!)

So, having replaced hardy drought resistant grasses with much less robust wheat varieties, we affected the future of that ecosystem, creating a situation which we then ended up having little control over. We could have better managed the soil, and nowadays, thanks to both the efforts of farmers and federal laws, we haven’t had a repeat of that.

Warming trends and cooling trends occurred before, just like desertification occurred in times past with the Great Plains. But in the case of the Dust Bowl, a natural event, a natural variation in climate combined with man’s actions to create an outcome which man influenced at first, but which then spun out of man’s control.

CO2’s role in warming is well confirmed, you’re arguing on shaky ground there. it might not have been a lead driver, but only amateurs and dilettantes argue that it has no effect. That effect is testable, and has been confirmed.

Wouldn’t you feel bad if your side got everything it wanted and your house got flooded anyway? The arrogance you exibit by thinking we are going to control the weather is amazing. That arrogance is why people think MMGW is a hoax.

What man is doing with CO2 is no different in a certain way than a child tinkling in his bathwater. The child has control over his bladder, but once it’s in the water, natural laws take over, and it diffuses and dissolves in the water according to them. Our will for or against that diffusion cease to matter. The kid can’t take it back, the parent certainly can’t do anything but drain the bathtub and refill it.

CO2 is perfectly controllable while we’re burning it. We make the decision to do so or not do so. After that, though, it’s just going to diffuse in the same way. That kid who urinated in his own bathwater is going to carry the stink of it, if he’s not otherwise rebathed, and the water’s going to take on a certain tint.

The arrogance is to believe that dumping whole Cliffs of Dover worth of CO2 into the atmosphere every year isn’t going to change the color of the proverbial bathwater. it’s got nowhere else to go, and it’s going nowhere fast, thanks to the excessive rate we’re p***ing it out at.

In the past, when it showed up, things warmed up. This was more than coincidence. Now it shows up again, and things are warming up. Not a coincidence there, either. The scientists have done their homework, done their due diligence, and now a bunch of political hacks who have done none of the above are coming in and telling them that not only is what they did wrong, but doing so using arguments that they would know have no value- something they would know, if they had had the humility to study the actual subject for themselves before they had the temerity to go and call people hacks and frauds for their life’s work.

That’s right, you’re the arrogant ones. You come in, thinking you know everything, thinking that you are the ones who have the inside scoop, talking about Galileo, Paradigm shifts, cosmic rays, suggesting things they were looking into back in the seventies and eighties, and finding to be insufficient to have the effects. You criticize their models as if they were just kids making copies of the Millennium Falcon, rather than adults creating sophisticated, scientifically based, computer-runnable models of the Earth’s weather. You folks demand arbitrarily precise climate predictions in complete ignorance of chaotic effects (ala the Buttefly Effect), and then confuse weather and climate, to boot. It’s like having a bunch of bloody drunks come in while you’re performing a concert at Carnegie Hall and heckle you.

The thing that bugs me is that you ask questions that could be asked seriously and respectfully, but instead get asked as a rhetorical exercise in trying to undermine faith in the Science. Not through science, but through crude social engineering hacks. Rather than honestly win your case through scientific prowess, you instead resort to verbal bullying and domination to convince people.


The alarmists are the ones saying we MUST act now or face certain doom, it is on them to prove to, and convince, the majority that they are right. THEY want change, it is up to THEM to prove their case.

We have a bloody consensus. We have them making this case over and over again. But your people choose not to listen, or worse, to turn people against them for saying it. Heck, even you seem to be putting forward this precondition that oh, I might accept Global Warming, but only if I’m not told that time is short on things.

Well, we have Ice sheets in Antarctica that are getting told they have terminal melting diseases. Time is short. That’s pretty much a sound way of putting on it. We’re already to late to stop an appreciable part of it. The question is, can we slam the brakes on this self-inflicted disaster before it gets much worse?

Your complaint seems to boil down to “you’re not being nice enough.” Are people really being nice in our direction? Are the folks who are attributing climate change to a hoax, to a conspiracy by Marxists and greedy scientists being nice to us by any stretch of the term? This has been turned into a political war, yet you’re surprise people are hostile and tired of having the consensus arbitrarily questioned.

There are also caves with drawings of Bigfoot, space ships and aliens. Again, I am not questioning the science.

So, let me get your argument straight: Here’s your argument. I’m drawing an implicit analogy to three pseudo-scientific entities. But I’m not questioning the science.

The science tells us that there was water there. The cave of swimmers is just a vivid illustration of how much it had changed. I mean, that place is very, very remote, so much so that it was rarely visited. Other evidence has come up to confirm that the place did have water all that time ago.

Look, you might not think of yourself as dependent, but you would be lost, perhaps even in danger of losing your life if the society around you crumbled, and you had to be truly self-sufficient. You can criticize people for being green, as if it’s all just some sham, but for people like me, there’s a real desire to be a more responsible generation. However, consumers by themselves can’t fix everything.

I’m tired of all the foot-dragging. I’m tired of people acting like everything has to be done at an individual level. I’m tired of having one side being able to reap all the benefits of corporate power, while the rest of us have to organize, at best, in almost accidental ways.

Thing is, we don’t have to scream about biblical floods. people are seeing extraordinary ones out in the real world. We don’t have to scream about improbable, incredible hurricanes, we’re getting them, and suffering the effects.

The only problem is, we have a bunch of people who are trying to preserve the wealth generation of a few, who actively campaign against the emergence of alternatives. And with the growing campaign finance corruption, thanks to conservative judges, we have to deal with deep pocketed superPACS while trying to make our case, trying to get our policies through.

I abandoned the Republican Party in part because it abandoned simple, good old fashioned science, and let the political sphere get corrupted with bought and paid-for thinktank science meant mainly to support the legislative agenda of lobbyists, rather than provide a real picture of the world our policies have to deal with. That mismatch of policies already killed millions, as decades of Tobacco Lobbyists prevented action from being taken on cigarettes.

Now we see the same people and the same tactics being applied here.

This is rotten science, and rotten politics. To be kind is to sugarcoat the economic and national security consequences of even what has already lined up in the pipeline for us. You’ve made the mistake of trusting politicians and pundits over scientists and experts in the field, of trusting people whose business it is to blarney you, over people whose work is meant to reveal nature itself. I chose science over politics, and I would choose it again. Why don’t you?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2014 6:59 PM
Comment #379169

The thing about prattling on so is that eventually the truth comes out.

I’m tired of having one side being able to reap all the benefits of corporate power, while the rest of us have to organize, at best, in almost accidental ways.
The only problem is, we have a bunch of people who are trying to preserve the wealth generation of a few, who actively campaign against the emergence of alternatives.

That sounds like envy to me.

Like I said, make a better mousetrap and the people will scarf it up. You’ll be a rich man. It’s a zero sum game. You will take from the rich.

Fear and extortion won’t cut it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 6, 2014 7:33 PM
Comment #379170

“We don’t let the Taliban do our work for us, and we don’t leave any soldier, no matter how unworthy of salvation, behind in the hands of the enemy.”

Straight from obama’s mouth to Daugherty’s ear. No need to think, ponder, or consider the consequences of releasing five top echelon enemies. obama is doing Allah’s work in the mind of our adversary. I am ashamed of our CIC in a way I never was before. He has dishonored the service of all our armed forces.

Then Daugherty talks about all the pseudo-science promoted under Republican politicians and claims purity in his party on MMGW. That is extreme bullshit and nonsense. His ideology is his science and his greed and lust for power is its engine.

Daugherty’s lamebrain comments have become disgusting to read and are tolerable only because I feel sorry for him. Why sorry? Because he can’t think for himself and lives in a fairy-tale world. Because he takes to his “pitty-pot” at every opportunity and just like obama blames everyone else for his own failures.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 6, 2014 7:56 PM
Comment #379174

Weary Willie-
Ah, another distraction. No, don’t deal with science, take it back to being socio-politico-economic envy, attacking your opponent’s character as just another person jealous that somebody’s rich.

Hmm. Well, I think if you took aside most people and asked what their feelings would be if they were given a rich person’s money, and the rich person were given feathers up his rear, they’d probably say that the two of them would both be pretty tickled.

So, what does that have to do with Global Warming being true or false? Essentially nothing, but you have to sell that Marxist conspiracy theory because your understanding of the science isn’t enough to power the kind of aggressive attack you’d like to make.

You talk about a better mousetrap, look at the grocery store shelves. Do you think there are so many varieties of Shredded Wheat because because all the brands are popular, or because they don’t want competitors popping up, and crowding out the space is an effective means to prevent that?

You’re idealizing a system, saying the market will fix everything, but that’s a broken, empty promise.

Here’s the thing: I don’t mind leaving the rich, rich, but they have to do right by the rest of us if they don’t want people wondering why its not a good idea to just taxing the hell out of them. As long as people feel the system is rigged against them, they will rebel against it in all kinds of unpredictable ways. If they feel they have a stake in it, they will defend it.

You, unfortunately, buy into a very hyperindividualistic notion of capitalism, filled with Horatio Alger Mythology, and the blind assertion that virtue is what separates the rich from the poor. Trouble is, it’s sometimes just down to luck, salesmanship, and social skills. These aren’t superior people here, just a sampling of regular people given elevated status, status that often goes to their heads.

Royal Flush-
We don’t outsource our military justice to the Taliban. We take care of our own, rather than betray them to the enemy. His dishonor belongs to him. The dishonor in leaving a soldier behind to torment and a slow death would be ours. He can fail his duties, that doesn’t give us excuse or cause to fail ours.

Those Taliban were going home, and Bush released Hundreds of them with a 30% recidivism rate. Under Obama, it’s been more like six percent. Why? Well, the fact that he has a tendency to send Predator Drones after people stupid enough to threaten our country might have something to do with it. Or the fact that we got to Bin Laden, despite where he was living, and how many layers of security were between us and them.

You complain about my motives, quite frankly, because you can’t argue the science. You can only turn people against me.

As for the fairy tale world?

I think a world in which we can endlessly pollute and drive species to extinction without consequence is the fairy tale world. Without our laws, we would like China now, with it’s LETHAL smog (a guy actually died from carbon monoxide poisoning jogging in it), it’s polluted waters, and it’s people dying and being crippled by the toxins in their workplaces.

The fairy-tale world is the one we woke up from in stages as the consequences of our switch to an industrialize economy made themselves known. I live in a real world where market forces don’t ensure people do good, where people are not uniformly rational, where the system doesn’t settle down to equilibrium, left to itself. I live in a world where an uneasy mix of freedom and government is necessary, where we have to allow people to do some things we wish they couldn’t, but where they in turn are obligated to do things they would rather not do.

I believe that only under extraordinarily high tax regimes does cutting taxes necessarily increase revenues, and that while budget balance is good to maintain, there will always be times where the budget takes a backseat to other priorities, like repairing a major economic collapse, or fighting an important war.

Mine is a world of nuances, of tempered expectations and bruised idealism. Mine is a position where, whether you like it or not, compromise is sometimes necessary.

But mine is also a philosophy that says you head the practical data first, and do your best to negotiate politics to get the best outcome in light of the reality of the situation.

It’s you who’s promising people nothing bad will happen, despite what a majority of the scientists of that specialty are saying. It’s you who’s expecting all those people to be not only wrong, but belonging to some ridiculously implausible conspiracy.

If there is tension between us here, it is because I have always started from the concrete, and done my best to ignore or oppose stuff that merely comes from a political angle. Your fantasies conflict with my hard-edged appreciation of reality. I’m the one telling you that the fantasy of eternal fossil fuel reliance is breaking apart at the edges, and you’re the one insisting that the economy should rely on it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2014 9:20 PM
Comment #379175


I am neither buying nor selling. I am simply reporting that major insurance companies are seriously concerned about climate change and the consequences for their companies and industry. They are particularly concerned about the lack of preparedness by government entities.

It is not a political issue for them. It is just business. Just saying.

Posted by: Rich at June 6, 2014 9:53 PM
Comment #379177

IMO Rich it’s just another way for the Insurance companies to bilk the insured out of more money. The MSM and others have played the climate change doom and gloom for all it’s worth and now the Insurance companies are seeing a fresh cash cow.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 6, 2014 10:58 PM
Comment #379188

Insurance companies led the way toward the destruction of the 4th amendment by insisting employers search the bodies of their employees without cause. They said, “Do it or we will charge you more money”.

If that isn’t extortion I don’t know what is. And the government sits back and lets it happen.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 7, 2014 10:38 AM
Comment #379192

Weary has a good point…thanks. Insurance is a product that is sold to an insured after considering risk and establishing a premium directly related to that risk.

I know of no insurance company that works the other way around. If some cities present a greater risk of claims because of perceived damage by MMGW, it is not the job or business of the insurance company to demand that the potentially insured reduce the risk. They either insure or don’t insure.

The left is simply looking for free money to spend on cities that don’t have the incentive to do it for themselves. If money is wasted on pork and buying votes it isn’t likely available to be spent on infrastructure. Detroit is a great example of poor management and wasted resources ending in bankruptcy.

Why would any taxpayer, not a citizen of Detroit, wish to have their taxes increased or spent to bail out spendthrifts?

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 7, 2014 3:28 PM
Comment #379194

Rich Kapitan-
I don’t think you have the science backing you to tell the Insurance companies how to bet the money they underwrite with. Extraordinary disasters, big black swan events, can cause huge losses for them. So what happens if the Science tells you the black swans are going to be visiting more often?

You folks really don’t answer the question: why should people bet on Global Warming being a hoax, a conspiracy foisted on people by mad Marxist scientists? Why should we regard its critics with anything more than the skepticism their opinions deserve, for being based more in personal feelings than solid research?

The extent to which politics dominates your appeals, and those of other Conservatives, tells us something about the direction they approach it from. Confuting Global Warming is about defeating liberals more than it is about actually finding the truth in the natural world. Your petty political rivalries with us should not be the basis for a multi trillion dollar bet on global warming being a problem, or not being a problem.

Unless and until people can reassure everybody with good science that what others have discovered with good science is false, it’s highly irresponsible to let your partisan rancor infect this discourse. We have more important things than your hatred of left-wing politics at stake.

Weary Willie-
The Fourth Amendment does not apply to private individual being searched by other private individuals, except when its done under the color of law. Other laws would come into play, depending on the jurisdiction.

A lot of what you’re complaining about comes down to what is in a contract, and what is enforceable in that contract. If you agree to those searches as a matter of your employment, then Fourth Amendment rights don’t apply. Those are protections against government search and seizure. If they’re acting as part of a government effort, like as security for a diplomat, or whatever, that may be different.

Too many people claim to be constitutional experts, and then forget simple little things like this.

I went and I read the article, and the gist of it works this way: The insurers aren’t simply buying into what Climate Scientists are saying, but are looking at the actual pattern and dynamics of their losses over the last few decades. The Lawsuit, from what is said, seemed to be more a shot across the bow, rather than a shot they figured they could actually find their mark with; they wanted to get the cities’ attention on the subject.

It all goes back to the point I’ve been making for quite some time. Chicago’s storm sewers were built with much less severe rainfall events in mind; folks were expecting storms of that magnitude to remain rare. That they’re becoming more common changes the risk models that these folks are using to calculate premiums and decide what properties to ensure.

Chicago’s far from the only place that has been hit by extraordinary weather, that’s somehow become more ordinary. Insurance companies don’t want to have to keep bailing out municipalities and homeowners because cities and towns failed to properly prepare for the shifts.

Royal Flush-
The left is this, the left is that…

Look, what I’d do is put people to work fixing the places up. They’d be doing stuff for a paycheck, rather than sitting around drawing government checks for little or no work. They’d be helping cities to prepare, preventing more damage that would have the Federal and State Governments bailing them out, and it would kickstart the economy, improving overall revenues by putting more people back in the game as taxpayers.

I much prefer that to the slow burn you folks seem to prefer of letting the economy remain in slow growth, while weather events, (among other things), undermine and overwhelm our infrastructure. Your course of action, contrary to your intentions, actually means more bailouts later.

You can throw around your buzzwords and your megadittos, but at the end of the day, real world problems need to be confronted, along with those we have good reason to believe will be real.

We need to make the better bet here, the one with the lower downside.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 7, 2014 5:25 PM
Comment #379195

SD writes; “Royal Flush-The left is this, the left is that…”

Incorrect, sometimes I say “liberals” and sometimes “liberal left” and sometimes “socialists”. They all represent different degrees of pandering.

He writes; “Look, what I’d do is put people to work fixing the places up. They’d be doing stuff for a paycheck, rather than sitting around drawing government checks for little or no work.”

Finally…something sensible, something workable, something useful. Take off your dunce cap and put a little star on your jammies. I have written the same thing many times and it has finally sunk in…good for you.

In addition to a paycheck they worked for, it will enhance their own self-worth and and encourage, rather than discredit them. Some folks may even discover that they enjoy working for their paycheck and want to do even more to better themselves. What an idea!

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 7, 2014 6:19 PM
Comment #379196

Stephen, I don’t much give a s**t how the insurance companies bet their money. As far as having the scientific knowledge you don’t have it either. Why should people bet that G.W. is real. All my years on this planet, which are far more then you have been, climates have changed each year summers have been hotter and cooler, winters have been mild and they have been brutal. I looked up graphs of climate change through history, some show that the climate we have now is the same as was 4000 years ago with about equal CO2 levels. You see Stephen google is a great thing you can find out a whole lot of things.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 7, 2014 6:29 PM
Comment #379199

Royal Flush-
So you’re just now noticing that this is my attitude? I’ve been saying this for years without you giving me credit for it. It’s not that I don’t think people should be helped, but rather that I have long acknowledged the moral hazards, and also like the idea of improving our nation’s economic bloodflow with improvements and repairs on infrastructure. We really can’t do business well without it.

Rather than look at things on a superficial level, I like policies to serve multiple functions at once. I like elegant solutions to problems, too. But you can’t ignore the real world when you do things that way, because how things actually work determines what will be elegant, and what won’t be.

If it actually worked, cutting taxes to increase revenue would be a neat trick. It’s a trick that didn’t work, so we don’t get cute in that way. Infrastructure spending should be an easily agreeable way to improve both employment and the efficiency of our society’s transportation and utilities, but unfortunately, some take the idea that being cheap and being efficient are the same thing. They aren’t if you underpay what’s needed to get something to work.

Rich KAPitan-
A person with scientific knowledge would roll your eyes at you saying that I didn’t know science, with you then saying that “climates have changed each year…”

The way you write it reflects confusion between weather and climate. Weather varies within a climate, year by year- the line squiggles, and the scientists haven’t told anybody it doesn’t. Criticism on those grounds is less a result of informed dissent, and more misinformed misunderstanding.

These graphs you’re talking about… you wouldn’t happen to have links. The information I get says that your that this is just natural variation has some serious flaws.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 7, 2014 10:47 PM
Comment #379203

Stephen, I googled “Earth’s climate change history” the first site showed hundreds of graphs showing the roller coaster ride our climate has had as far back as 400,000 years ago or more and the CO2 in the atmosphere. It was interesting to see all the differences some had. I mentioned the site in your previous post. Yes some of those graphs showed a natural variation. Don’t argue with me argue with the graphs.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 8, 2014 9:42 AM
Comment #379207

They want to ignore the past history and the roller coster ride climate has had because of the outragous misconception that they can control the weather. The believe all they have to do is convince people to fund their pie in the sky dreams and all the conviences i.e. beachfront property, will be saved.

The real facts are the tax schemes that will be put into effect. Acid rain cap and trade was temporary. Co2 cap and trade will be permanant.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 8, 2014 12:54 PM
Comment #379208

Rich KAPitan Weary Willie-
Imagine sitting in front of a set of stereo speakers, with the weather as the music. Does Carbon Dioxide change the notes? No. It doesn’t change how nature tends to vary. It doesn’t confer control over when it will rain or when it will shine. It doesn’t let us make choices as to where the winds will go, or what today’s temperature is.

All it does, really, is bit by bit turn up the volume knob. Where it’s quiet, it will be a little less quiet. Where it’s loud, it’ll start blasting people back like that guy in the Memorex commercial.

We are changing one general control on climate, really: how much heat gets trapped in Earth’s atmosphere. What it does with all that heat… well, it will be what it would do with that heat if the source was natural. There’s not one consequence for having that much CO2 in there because of natural forces, and another if it comes from us.

The evidence is pretty clear. Our output of CO2 dwarfs other possible sources like volcanoes. Do you think it’s beyond man to put billions of tons worth of CO2 in the atmosophere, when America alone is burning billions of barrels of oil each year?

That’s what is under our control. Very simple. I’m not asking you to believe that the sun is under our control, or the winds, or some other silly thing. Just a simple gas that happens to have profound effects of dozens of degrees on our atmosphere, proven effects, despite the fact that it’s just a trace gas.

The fact that it’s a trace gas, in fact, makes it easier to believe. We don’t even really have to put a lot of gas into the atmosphere, relatively speaking, in order to increase it’s concentration.

We’re not talking about changing oxygen or nitrogen levels, which constitute huge parts of the atmosphere.

We’ve done it before, too: raising the natural levels of a substance far beyond what it was naturally: remember lead? While we burned it in gasoline, it spread all over the earth. If any glaciers survive, they’ll feature a nice, thin layer of ice where lead levels absolutely spike. Automobiles and fossil-fuel burning powerplants are great at broadly distributing their products over a large area. It’s not as if we have just one care, and one power plant, and I’m expecting you to believe that all the difference is coming from that alone.

The scale of our oil consumption is measured in billions of 55 gallon drums, and coal? Billions of tons of coal each year. That’s just us.

You could literally make mountains out of the amount of CO2 we’re putting into the atmosphere, and it doesn’t take mountains to change things.

Willie, let me let you in on a little secret: we’ve just said that the beachfront property is screwed in the long run. The West Antarctic Sheet’s been pronounced terminal, which means an increase of as much as twelve feet, a permanent storm surge for every coastal city and town under that level of elevation at High Tide. Think much of the tip of Florida, the boot of Louisiana, and much of the Texas Gulf Coast, particular the parts where the refineries and oil terminals are.

The question will be, will we adapt to this process, or will we end up basically confounded on all sides. You, in your paranoid departure from reality, might be willing to believe that a conspiracy of this kind would actually work (that is, nobody would have the incentive at some point to expose the lot of them as frauds), but the truth is, the problem is real, and it gets worst the longer we procrastinate. We might take comfort that the people we’re making rich would get richer, but most of us will be too busy dealing with the consequences of their stupidity.

And really, that’s absolutely no fun at all. I like the American way of life. I think we need to make adjustments and a few changes on the back end to make the front end a bit more sustainable. I think if we start now, it’s easier to have it happen as a partnership between public and private interests. We start later, and then it becomes primarily a government response because no other entity will have the power to deal with it.

That’s what you folks don’t realize: the best way to prevent government overreach is to keep the crises to a minimum. The more things screw up, the more people demand the kind of response that makes government necessary. Don’t think that because you’re deferring a mild Government response in all these cases, you’re preventing them altogether.

It’s time to stop treating it as if people simply lose their minds when they turn to us, or give into freebies. That’s just self-serving BS. The truth is, beyond the social liberal parts, the main thing driving people to us are the repeated failures in the private sector.

The real way to prevent socialism is not so crater capitalism with mismanagement, greed and scandals that it becomes the more attractive option.

I’ve got a conservative streak in me, and what I see the GOP doing wrong time after time is putting the agenda ahead of getting things done right. What you see as failures of ideological strength are often the necessary concessions to reality, which when your people don’t make them leave them screwing things up royally, and losing your people power. There’s no use fighting for all this power, only to end up so colossally screwing the pooch with it that people find dogcatcher a questionable job for you.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 8, 2014 5:04 PM
Comment #379209

Stephen, First thing Stephen is explain why some of those hundreds of graphs differ greatly? Second explain how some show a roller coaster ride of climate through the hundreds of thousands of years? Thirdly explain how 400,000 thousand years ago the atmosphere had almost like quantities of CO2? You claim to be a great scientist and know all the answers to man kinds ills so tell us O great one.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 8, 2014 5:43 PM
Comment #379221


You know, for somebody who claims he doesn’t believe politics should play a part in the climate change debate, you sure as hell let it affect your understanding and reasoning skills.
For what seems like the freaking hundredth time, I do not really question the science and I believe we should keep taking steps to continue reducing our levels. What I am trying to get through to you is that your fear tactics and costs are hampering your efforts. That our conditioned materialism has people buying TVs instead of new technology.
It has nothing to do with you guys not being nice, it’s that you act like assholes to anybody who doesn’t fall in lock-step with you. Hell, I pretty much agree with you and look how you are flying off the handle here. Sheesh.

“This has been turned into a political war, yet you’re surprise people are hostile and tired of having the consensus arbitrarily questioned.”

As with most everything else with you guys, you demand everybody agree with and obey what you think and say. When they dare question you, you use hyperbole and stereotypes to get support for having government force people to do what you say. That leads to the resistance you always encounter.

“So, let me get your argument straight: Here’s your argument. I’m drawing an implicit analogy to three pseudo-scientific entities. But I’m not questioning the science.”

No Stephen, I am having a little fun and I am saying that people don’t care about that, they care about eating out, buying TVs and the cost of green technology.

“Look, you might not think of yourself as dependent, but you would be lost, perhaps even in danger of losing your life if the society around you crumbled, and you had to be truly self-sufficient.”

Sigh, no I would not Stephen. The ONLY danger in such a scenario is humans who have not prepared. Would times be tough? Yes. Do I have the experience, training, materials and fortitude to get through it? Yes.
I know individualism, self-sufficiency and personal responsibility really irk you Stephen, but pretending they are impossible to promote your politics is pathetic. Especially when some of your fellow liberals have done their own things.

“You can criticize people for being green, as if it’s all just some sham, but for people like me, there’s a real desire to be a more responsible generation. However, consumers by themselves can’t fix everything.”

But I don’t, Stephen. I criticize people for choosing to spend their money on personal perks and waiting for the cost of green technology to drop.

“The only problem is, we have a bunch of people who are trying to preserve the wealth generation of a few, who actively campaign against the emergence of alternatives.”

Your war on wealth isn’t working. OWS was/is a failure. Maybe 10% actually make up the 99% you claim. Blaming others for your failures is getting very old.
People will accept your policies once you make a valid case for them and their success.

“This is rotten science, and rotten politics. To be kind is to sugarcoat the economic and national security consequences of even what has already lined up in the pipeline for us.”

You don’t have to be kind, you have to be practical. You don’t win people over to your way of thinking by insulting them as a person or their intelligence, and you don’t win them over by using government to force drastic lifestyle changes onto them.

“I chose science over politics, and I would choose it again. Why don’t you?”

I do. I just understand and respect people more than you do.

Posted by: kctim at June 9, 2014 10:09 AM
Comment #379224

Really I don’t think we are developed enough as a planet to have these types of dramatic changes in temperature. I don’t know that it is proven, I haven’t seen the evidence of a change taking place. I hate to side with the right but this all seems up “bunko” street, these claims. Global dimming was a big one a few years ago and now it’s back to the 1960’s fare of global warming. Our planet HAS NEVER produced acid rain and it all seems like the dems are just whooping this out as something to talk about without thought.

Why can’t the left talk about economy or jobs markets as an alternative source of conversation. We can do alot to change the way we communicate to the public about things that really matter. We need more carbon footprints of substance to really impact the way we think.

It’s bullslop, sorry. Climate change is horse-pucky science.

Posted by: simpleheaded at June 9, 2014 10:53 AM
Comment #379225


Even IF “Climate change is horse-pucky science,” there are advantages to accepting proven so-called green technology as it becomes more readily available.
The effects pollution has on us and the conservation of finite resources, to name just a few.

Posted by: kctim at June 9, 2014 12:45 PM
Comment #379228

Rich KAPitan-
Why, oh greater scientist, do you keep on repeating that canard about our artificial variation in the climate precluding natural variation?

You say, oh, the climate changes all the time, it’s just natural variation.

No, just because climate changed all the other times because of natural forces, doesn’t mean our behavior with Carbon Dioxide is somehow exempted from being able to influence things.

Does nature not create dead zones around the mouths of major rivers, since it’s us putting the nitrogen compounds in the runoff? Does nature stop weathering limestone the way it does when we take it out of the ground and make building out of it? Do termites stop eating dead trees when we make building out of them? Does nature not wash away bare soil at a construction site, because we exposed it, and not something like pigs wearing a trail, or a forest fire eliminating the ground cover?

We are not some separate operation here! The only difference between the consequences of a natural carbon release and an artificial one is that we have the capacity to reflect on what we’re doing to the environment, while rotting vegetation, volcanic activity, and limestone weathering don’t tend to concern themselves with what they’re doing. Otherwise, the laws of physics are the same, and the consequences the same. Natural variation still occurs, because that doesn’t depend on whether the CO2 is naturally released or artificially so. It only matters that the CO2 is trapping more heat in the atmosphere that the process has to work out.

The thing to understand about what we’re doing is that nothing else in the environment is really telling us that the warming is natural. We’ve had an 8000 year window of stable weather, without overwhelmingly hot interglacials, or exceedingly cold ice ages. There are no orbital changes or changes in the sun’s brightness that would justify the degree of warming we’re getting, if we took the effects of C02 out.

The sources we control, as opposed to the ones nature controls, have their fingerprints on it, buried carbon doing things rather than volcanic or rotting vegetation carbon doing their thing.

As for why they’re variations? Because climate and weather are things that depend sensitively on initial conditions, and each day you get a different set.

What you need to realize is that the political ideas that are driving the climate criticism are coming from people who likely haven’t had real contact with climate science since grade school, and the naïveté of their assumptions about the state of the science reflect that.

There’s only so much patience one can maintain when the other side is making a political war out of it, where no slander is unused. Just read your fellow conservatives.

The problem is, I’m not being hyperbolic. Things really are that bad. People, though, are being encouraged to indulge that sort of “rare risk means problem out in the far future” heuristic that fails people again and again in situations like hurricanes and Earthquakes.

They look at all the years that things have seemed normal, then assume that change, if it comes, will be slow. The climate record in other places has shown this to be a very faulty assumption.

I don’t believe that indulging people’s laziness is the best idea. I don’t think you can really change things if your idea is to just let them change themselves, because by the time things really become a problem, it will be too late. The situation will have already developed. We’re already too late to save a major ice sheet. The time to stop a leak is when there’s a puddle on the floor, not when it’s spraying and you have a flooded basement.

I also keep saying, the sooner we do these things, the more we can ease into them.

I really don’t get where people like you think most of us are socialists or communists. Folks want to make money, live the good life, not have to do too much work to get things. We’re not about to intentionally inflict economic crises and slavery on ourselves.

The trouble is, you have a bunch of people afraid of losing power who have folks like you on a constant diet of hatred and fear about people like me. Facing that rhetoric, do we really have incentive to be nice? Do we want to be squashed in every conversation as the loudmouth wingnuts berate us for being psychotic commie bond villains?

What would you do if someone were questioning you the way some of these people are questioning me?

Look, I start out with a rather nice, simple argument: that there is far more to lose by betting that one’s right that Climate Change is a Hoax, than by betting that climate change is real, and needs a response. If you lose the first bet, the consequences could be the literal fall of civilization as we know it. I mean, unless you can name a way where our civilization survives the indundation of most ports and coastal cities, where we’re not crippled by droughts or torrential rainstorms…

Well, it can get pretty bad, with the worst case scenarios.

The worst case scenario for being wrong on the climate change bet is that we put pollution controls and infrastructure upgrades that turn out to be unnecessary. It isn’t the end of civilization.

The science tells us, though, that the response isn’t a straight line, or a gentle curve. Climate shifts are often like a switch, some even taking less than a decade. Things build up to a threshold, and then something lets go, and things build on themselves.

Personally, I don’t want my descendants’ lives getting much tougher than my own. I want to leave them less of a mess. But I don’t trust the change to occur on my timeline. Of course I would want to be able to change things at my leisure. Do you think I like having to convince an often lazy, uncooperative public that’s something’s wrong? No.

But you know what? People won’t bat an eye when regulations mean that CFLs and LED lights suddenly become more prevalent. I mean, when I was growing up, the light we used for the attic had an incandescent bulb. The one we’d likely buy today would be an LED. Speaking of LEDs, the final transition of the HDTV changeover means that they will see SDTVs, especially the old cathode ray tubes as relics, much the way I would see a black and white television in my younger years.

I think a combination of factors ought to be employed. Lend people ladders in the market, and pull down the branches within reach. Make it a little easier and cheaper to find efficient cars and appliances, a little cheaper for utilities and energy companies to develop the renewable and the environmental. We’ve lent a ton of support to Fossil Fuel industries, now’s the time to promote a more sustainable energy future.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 9, 2014 1:24 PM
Comment #379230

Stephen, I never said that we haven’t added to the C02 quantities in our atmosphere. I just asked you simple questions that you seem to get all bunched up about. I agree that we should be good stewards of this planet but not to the extremes that some are. We need to explore other sources of energy but until those sources become more readily available and cost effective we’re stuck with what we got. Also to attain this we need to keep government out of the mix and let private enterprise do it’s thing.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 9, 2014 1:48 PM
Comment #379231

Yes Stephen I believe that this planet we live on has NATURAL cycles as is proved by some of those graphs I was talking about.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 9, 2014 2:24 PM
Comment #379232

Rich KAPitan-
Your first question was about hundreds of graphs… that you showed me none of. Can’t answer that question too well, except by way of generalization, not until I see the graphs.

Your second question? Look, climate’s never been a permanent thing. There are always variations and shifts, changes in sunshine and orbit, geography and other things. Nobody in the Scientific community has said differently. Natural variability doesn’t rule out humanities artificial effects, and those artificial effects do not put a stop to natural variation. They change the baseline, more or less.

Your third question? A number of reasons. Could be volcanoes. Could be weathering of Carbonate rocks like limestone. Could be rotting material. Could be droughts killing a bunch of trees and making them more likely to burn. You don’t need humans. But that doesn’t mean that humans can’t create those levels, especially by burning through millions of years worth of sequestered carbon.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 9, 2014 2:25 PM
Comment #379233

Stephen, google “Earth’s climate history graph”

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 9, 2014 3:09 PM
Comment #379235

See Stephen how easy it is to answer questions when asked instead of going into a boring essay of BS.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 9, 2014 3:13 PM
Comment #379236


You have to concentrate on the people who have not made up their mind, and this requires patience. You will get nowhere by labeling them with silly little names like deniers and questioning their intelligence. And, seeing how the climate change debate is basically stalled, predicting the end with every big storm, isn’t helping you either.

It is dishonest to claim ‘IF change comes.’ We have been making changes, our levels are going down and will continue to keep going down.
No matter how bad you want massive change overnight, it’s not going to happen. Steady change though, can. That doesn’t mean doing nothing waiting for people to “change themselves,” but it should give you pause to consider WHY people need time. Cost is a huge issue for many people. How can you complain about the cost of free voter ID cards, but not see it here?

“I really don’t get where people like you think most of us are socialists or communists.”

Because the policies “people like you” support are centered on taking and controlling. You want to control how much money folks make, how they spend what they earn, how they run their private business, how they believe, who they care for, what they support etc…
People like me don’t believe money trumps rights, Stephen, so we don’t support legislating by emotion.

Being a movie guy, you know full well that the villain is usually the guy trying to take something. The policies you support forcefully take, so you are seen as a villain.
I don’t hate or fear you, Stephen. I dislike and fear the policies you support, for good reason, but that is not a personal attack on you. You really should work on that.

“What would you do if someone were questioning you the way some of these people are questioning me?”

I would base each person and their argument on their own merits. NOT automatically go on the defensive and group everybody in the “loudmouth wingnuts” column.

“Look, I start out with a rather nice, simple argument:”

And I started out with a nice, simple observation that maybe the tactics and cost are a bigger hindrance to your cause.
IMO, you are demanding an immediate response to something that you are not going to get one on. Right or wrong, that’s just the way it is.

“Personally, I don’t want my descendants’ lives getting much tougher than my own. I want to leave them less of a mess.”

We ALL want that.

“But you know what? People won’t bat an eye when regulations mean that CFLs and LED lights suddenly become more prevalent.”

They will if the costs are still so high. That is why those things only become more prevalent when people can actually afford them.

Posted by: kctim at June 9, 2014 3:33 PM
Comment #379237

Daugherty writes; “That’s what you folks don’t realize: the best way to prevent government overreach is to keep the crises to a minimum.”

Oh, MY, where to begin. Let me simply ask SD what crisis led to government overreach in both the War On Poverty and our failing Lower Education system? Or, does SD expect us to agree that there is not a government overreach in both?

We do have a Border Crisis, and have had for many years. Where is the corresponding government overreach in this critical area?

I know of no other leftie on WB who displays such a selective memory. Those “crises” he refers to are merely expressions of the ideology of the left. If what they want and desire doesn’t exist, they create a consensus of people to pander to and create a crisis that only they are willing to address with calls for public spending, increased regulations, and/or special favors carved out for the sole use of special interests.

This strategy is unique to the liberal left. They have honed it to to a fine art. We now find that if one is not a liberal they must be racist, female gender hating, legal immigration hating, gay/lesbian hating, health care hating, union hating, public school hating, and on and on they go. If we own a gun we are helping killers. If we favor school vouchers we hate education. If we want people to work for government benefits we are cruel and uncaring. If we love God we hate science. If we don’t express total reliance on computer modeling to predict future climate we are flat-earthers. If we praise the constitution and our founders they call us blind to current complexity that can’t be addressed without thrashing both. If we are pro-defense we are war mongers. If we are pro-capitalist we are for impoverishment of the 90% who aren’t rich.

My friend, I pity anyone who is so challenged that they see spooks and boogymen in everyone who professes a conservative political bent.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 9, 2014 3:34 PM
Comment #379238

Stephen, google “Earth’s climate history graph”
Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 9, 2014 3:09 PM

Thanks KAP.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 9, 2014 3:50 PM
Comment #379239

Rich Kapitan-
I could google, but then I would still not know which graphs you were looking at. There would likely be thousands of them, each of which would probably mean something different. As a person who takes science very seriously, I know there are many different variables in the weather. I also know that when you’re critiquing other people’s science, it pays to know what the exact claims are.

The alternative is me fumbling blindly in the dark for your point, which I have a little too much dignity to do.

As for essays? I try to explain things in as plain of detail as possible. If it’s excitement you want, there’s plenty of rhetorical and narrative BS out there. There are plenty of facts out there that are perfectly boring, but have very unboring effects on one’s life.

Take a look at history, at how much change occurs within just a few years. 2007, it seemed like low mileage vehicles were here to stay. By 2009, they started advertising MPG. 2007, you couldn’t get anywhere regulating Wall Street. 2009, people are wondering why it’s not going anywhere, why some people aren’t going to jail. 2007, it seemed like Gay Marriage was going nowhere. 2014, it seems like it’s going everywhere.

Power tends to resist change until it can be or won’t be resisted any longer. Look at 1980. Look at 1994. Look at 2006. Look at 2010. Look at the way Gay Marriage, Marijuana Legalization, and other issues have turned.

Very often, it’s single events that start a shift, especially when the other side of the argument’s become fat dumb and happy about being on top. That can be anybody, actually, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be in a good direction. Before WWI, Germany was a fairly tolerant, fairly well respected place, renowned for its scientific prowess. War breaks out, and things shift in an uglier direction. It wasn’t as if everything was bright and happy. Undercurrents are always present, whether of redeeming or damning change. The question is, which ones are encouraged?

As far as socialism and communism go?

We didn’t start getting called commies again until we tried to do something about this financial crisis, and the Republicans tried to figure out a way to turn what has been a standard response, historically supported, to market downturns, into something evil.

You call me a commie because I don’t conform to an Ayn Rand Model of perfect Capitalism. That doesn’t make me an actual commie. I don’t believe that we can simply drain all the rich and make people prosperous. If you had to peg things on a spectrum, I’d fix myself between where we are now, and where we went in the 1930s. Some social spending, some government charity, but mainly a focus on generating jobs in the Private sector. I don’t unconditionally love or trust the markets, but neither do I unconditionally love or trust the government.

I am a pragmatist, but I am that not merely in a political direction, but in a practical one. It’s not enough to fix a point halfway between two different kinds of politics. The point is to have it correspond to something real, to deal with things right, not just in a politically favored way.

Royal Flush-
I don’t diagnose government overreach as the cause of every problem, nor the opposite as the panacea for that problem. That is the con game the GOP’s been using to avoid actually having to have a sophisticated system that risks being provably wrong at times.

You can sound smugly sure of yourself saying that it’s big government that caused all our problems, but you can do the same with any intensely believed narrative. Doesn’t make you right, won’t keep you from falling flat on your face.

The right makes too many bets nowadays based on the notion that making any other bet will undermine their support with the Tea Party Right. That’s a problem. You’ve limited your options on just about every issue. Hell, my state’s GOP platform is calling for support for “pray away the gay” therapy, and other crap like that, and while people laugh at my state for how backwards it’s become, your people are promoting Ted Cruz, a man who took the threat of a Government Shutdown and a Debt Ceiling collapse, and managed to get no concessions out of the Democrats that he didn’t already have coming from the original deal. Yet your people lionize him for that.

You guys are sensitive about every little bit of criticism, yet spew yours without concern for the extremity of what you say.

The science is plain. You can explain it in easy terms. The issue is, you and others like you have politicized the issue. You accuse scientists of conspiracy, allege Marxist sympathies, in order to avoid having to actually counter the science itself.

I mean, look at my comments, and then look at those on the right. I keep referring back to results and date, while the criticisms from the right seem to be largely focused on the character of those doing the science, their economic theory of choice, etc. That’s my red flag. When people would rather debate you on the motives of the science and scientists, they’re usually only in it to win the point.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 9, 2014 4:32 PM
Comment #379241

Your right Stephen there are HUNDREDS, just look through them you will be amazed!!!!!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 9, 2014 4:57 PM
Comment #379242

Stephen when I googled it, it was the first thing that I saw, HUNDREDS of graphs showing many different things about the history of climate here on earth. TRY IT YOU”LL LIKE IT>

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 9, 2014 5:01 PM
Comment #379243


Yes, let’s take a look at history.
Acid rain - global cooling - global warming - climate change
The wolf whistles have been going on for decades and people have become leery about changing their way of life.

From your examples, you are fine with government forcing people to comply, I am not. Taxing people into obedience is wrong, and judges pushing their personal agendas against the will of the people, is wrong.
It does nothing but create the division that now engulfs our nation.

But by all means, keep using government to force things onto the people, sooner or later they will get tired of it and the crap will hit the fan. You will not like that one bit, my friend.

“You call me a commie because I don’t conform to an Ayn Rand Model of perfect Capitalism.”

Not true. I VERY clearly say the policies you support are socialistic and cannot co-exist with our Constitution.

You see, we already have social spending and government charity, but you want to keep growing them with each passing year. You want to use government to “make people prosperous,” when, in a nation of free people, the only way to do that is on the individual level.

“The point is to have it correspond to something real, to deal with things right, not just in a politically favored way.”

That’s all fine and dandy, but you are only willing to look at one side of the equation. As long as the issue and the money work out how YOU personally want, you are happy. You see concerns about individual rights as nothing more that “political favors” and dismiss them as not being “something real.”

That is being selfish and elitist, not practical.

Posted by: kctim at June 9, 2014 5:02 PM
Comment #379244

SD wrote; “The science is plain. You can explain it in easy terms. The issue is, you and others like you have politicized the issue. You accuse scientists of conspiracy, allege Marxist sympathies, in order to avoid having to actually counter the science itself.”

What a weird comment. Even those who do the computer modeling and interpreting don’t agree with what you claim. And then, at other times you disparage the many renowned scientists who disagree with the position taken by the MMGW’s and give their thoughtful negative position.

SD is an “all or nothing” kind of ideologist. He says he would be content fixing “myself between where we are now, and where we went in the 1930s.” All liberal all the time.

Well of course you would…any big government spending liberal would identify both Roosevelt and obama as almost God like.

I asked Daughtry, “what crisis led to government overreach in both the War On Poverty and our failing Lower Education system?” He writes; “I don’t diagnose government overreach as the cause of every problem…”

One more time, I will ask the question as to the crisis government responded to in such a huge and harmful way in these two areas.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 9, 2014 5:06 PM
Comment #379245

One more question for SD that he probably won’t answer. Why do we need a larger federal government than we can afford? Obviously, if we can afford it we wouldn’t run a deficit every single year.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 9, 2014 5:47 PM
Comment #379247

Rich KAPitan-
What’s so bloody amazing about the notion that there are thousands of them? Have the sciences not been working for the better part of two centuries on these matters?

What’s amazing is that you haven’t grasped why I want you to be specific. Okay, so there are graphs showing different climate changes over the last few hundred thousand years. You think I wasn’t aware of that?

What I want to know are the specific details, the specific sources, the specific form of the graphs and everything. It’s not just important to have data, or that it goes up and down. There are well known events and transitions involved here. You may just see blur of ups and down, but there are generally agreed periods, ice ages, and interglacials involved, and if all you’re showing me in those graphs are that, then you’re not really blowing anybody’s mind with the assertion that it’s happening.

What we’re interested in here is what’s happen in recent climatic history, after the transition from the last ice age. That is what’s shaped history and civilization since then. Most of what’s happened since then is minor fractions of a degree in difference, and often locally, rather than globally.

I don’t think you are fully informed as to just what climate scientists are actually claiming, or even really the theoretical framework on which their findings are based.

What those graphs mean is that for the longest time, earth swung between extremes of warmth and cold. Our concern is not merely that we are going to start some sort of process, but that as we move it along, the change in the system picks up its own momentum. The time to halt the rolling of a boulder down the hill is not when it’s near the bottom, but at the top, before it’s really picked up speed.

We need to reform on energy now, not force ourselves towards more drastic measures in order to stop or adapt to the changes. The faster we do this, the more likelihood we have of winning a reprieve from the rest of the warming we might experience.

Acid rain was and is real. We reduced it by market mechanisms, too. As for global cooling, that’s a canard, in more than one way.

The first way is this lawyer’s trick of catching a target in a contradiction. Problem is, you’re dealing with science here. The whole point of the academic mix that takes place, with different people exploring different sides of things is to examine an issue from more than one possible perspective. You don’t necessary know in advance what will turn out to be true, and what won’t, and sometimes you’ll actually have to eat crow and backtrack.

If you don’t hypothesize something that turns out to be wrong at some point, you’re probably not doing real science. So what if some people held global cooling was a possibility? What does that mean for the credibility of current theory, especially if the refutation of that theory was part of the basis for belief in the newer theory?

That’s part of what the work at CERN was about, concerning the Higgs Particle. If they found it at certain energy levels, and not others, that had implications for people’s theories. If they didn’t find it all, that would be significant, too, and theories would have to be reformulated. The important thing to realize here is that science lets people imagine the possibilities, but then requires them to shift their points of view, contingent on what they find out. Very often, if you understand what you find out well enough, even if you were wrong, you will discover something, see a path forward.

Now, this might not be a PR-savvy way of doing things, but very often the most PR-savvy folks are not necessarily the most honest. They’ll feed people stuff that feels right, even if the evidence contradicts it.

Behavioral economics is telling us that people don’t shop and invest with their rational minds as much as some assume. But they say, oh, you’re not saying I’m irrational, that I’m not using my brain! And so they turn to rational markets theory, even though there’s a lot of evidence against it because it says that people working in a market are rational, and we like to be rational.

People often latch onto the contradiction with global cooling to say that scientists are confused, don’t know whether they’re coming or going. Problem is, that’s a misrepresentation. Some folks, not even most, held that theory. But over time, results told them that their theory wasn’t the case, so they dropped it. If the evidence says the same about the current theory, they’ll drop it. But the evidence has to say it. It can’t be this sort of “make up your mind” BS. Scientists have to be willing to follow where evidence takes them, even if contradicts them. Einstein believed in steady state, Hubble showed him evidence for expansion, Einstein conceded.

You don’t get anywhere in science by trying to be foolishly consistent, as Emerson might put it. You are trying to discover the hidden laws of nature, and common sense tells you that any time you speculate about what is hidden and unknown, you run a good risk of being wrong. Where science differs from other systems is in how people deal with being wrong.

That aside, Global Cooling, despite its brief media pick-up, was never as broadly accepted as even global warming was at the time. So, when you hold that up as evidence of scientists loosing people by raising alarms… You’re sort of neglecting a number of things: the youth of climatology as an advanced, hard science field. The improvements in computer technology and scientific modeling since then, the use of satellites to get more precise measurements, the constant evolution of the models under the pressures of new information and better understanding of climate phenomena, etc.

As for forcing people to comply? Well, sometimes people don’t do things if they’re simply asked nicely, and sometimes they just need to be done. There are limits to what can or should be done, but I think your limits are far too lenient, and are informed falsely by the propaganda of the industries looking to escape regulation. They claim they’ll do the right thing if left to themselves, and I haven’t really observed them living up to that promise.

Society can’t just be “everybody does what they want!” There have to be constraints, set wisely and moderately. You can be part of that moderation, or you can stubbornly try and refuse to change things, despite the evidence.

What happens, then, as climate change begins to take hold, and people start to panic at the consequences? Long term, how does you freedom survive when the fears of your opposition are validated, and your calls for forbearance are blasted as an enabling of the guilty parties?

The point of doing it now is that you can do things more softly and slowly, ease things in, use the market to weed out the bad eggs, while the climate is relatively stable, while people aren’t in a panic, and looking to grab government power to do something to face the problem.

Start getting results early, and you’re in a better position to prevent government overreach. Put things off until a disaster hardens people’s hearts, and they won’t want to listen to you.

Royal Flush-
The basics of Global Warming are simple atmospheric thermodynamics. Sun shines, warms the earth, Earth radiates heat, heat bounces around in the atmosphere, warming it. Greenhouse gases increase the time spent bouncing around, and we are increasing a key gas by quite a bit from what it was a century and a half ago. The response of the atmosphere in the real world has been a global warming that has only recently shown itself, and tracked well with the unexpected increase in heat.

The tough part of all this are the nuances, and the question of whether the atmosphere reacts to the increased trapping of heat by the CO2 by doing something else that would counteract the warming, like forming reflective clouds, or causing more snows to fall in places, building up patches of reflective snow (radiation bounced back to space, rather than warming the earth.)

So far, the evidence is, whatever negative feedbacks are occurring, the positive feedbacks (reflective ice yielding to heat absorbing dark oceans, organic material in the melting permafrost rotting and giving off CO2 and Methane, etc.) are overwhelming them.

As for your first question there?

Look, mister, writing is a big part of what I do, and I’m also college educated in logic. So I know a complex question when I see one. There are so many frigging assumptions in that question, it’s not funny. First that Anti-poverty policies didn’t do their job (despite the fact that poverty was cut in half by the time Bush took office) Second, that most of the lower education system was failing. Most schools are doing just fine. Some inner city schools need to be straightened out.

The other question, the one you ask in the next comment is as much an insult to my intelligence as the one which preceded it, as it’s obviously loaded with your assumption that we Democrats just suddenly created a lot of government we couldn’t afford. I wonder: were you asking that question when your people started spending more tax dollars, and taking in less taxes?

I’ve always held that the best arrangement, when your economy isn’t in chaos, is to let spending and what people desire in government be balancing negative feedbacks to one another. If you want a lot of government, but don’t want to pay for it, well then you keep a balanced budget, and tax people for the government they want. If they feel it’s worth the price, they accept the taxes. If they don’t, then they’ll reduce government in order to get back the tax dollars, or simply never consider the spending so seriously in the first place. If the taxes are a problem for them, but no nearly enough for them to want to give up their government, the balancing of the equation will lead them not to make imprudent tax cuts, not without considering what they’ll cut.

Problem is, your people make both mistakes, when you get down to it, and from the policy planks I’ve heard from your side, it doesn’t seem like they’re letting go of either one.

So, stop gloating over how bad Democrats are budgeting, and come to the blinding realization that your side has been responsible for setting the ball rolling for much of the debt and deficits of the last forty years, and that Democrats, being willing to actually increase revenues to pay for their government, actually have the more honest and mathematically sound idea of how to run fiscal matters.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 9, 2014 10:29 PM
Comment #379248

Stephen, the point I’m making is that those graphs from places such as NASA, John Hopkins and other prominent Universities and geological institutes show current conditions are not as dire and as dire as you and others like you make them out to be. Also as I said in post #379230 I believe we should be good stewards of this planet but not to the extremes you and others THINK we should. As far as energy goes, yes we need to come up with alternatives but until they become cheap and abundantly available we’re stuck with what we got. Keep government out of the search or else we can expect more Solyndras to pop up. Stephen things can’t be done over night like you want them to be, it takes time to change our energy habits. Who do we believe on G.W.? The left wing chicken little’s like you, or the right wing not so chicken little’s. IMO I’ll stick with doing all I can to be a good steward and that doesn’t mean running around saying ” The sky is falling”.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 9, 2014 11:45 PM
Comment #379250

Rich KAPitan-
You know, our species HAS been through worse climate change.

Thing is, though, you’re looking at this from an abstract perspective, and not even a very detailed one. It doesn’t occur to you that all the other times mankind dealt with climate change of this magnitude, it did so without all the fixed, civilization supporting assets we have now. It did so without billions of people in population.

You’re buying the propaganda of people who want to keep their businesses going at full steam no matter what, who don’t particularly care what happens a hundred years from now, if they’ve got theirs.

This isn’t Chicken Little. The science is good. The trouble isn’t that we can’t survive this as a species. The trouble is, if it gets bad enough, we’re knocked on our asses as a productive, functioning civilization.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 10, 2014 9:01 AM
Comment #379251

Stephen, I’m not buying any ones propaganda. All I’m saying is that until alternate sources of energy become cheap and abundant we’re stuck with what we have. C02 levels are being reduced. The science may be good but the end results of that science are in infancy and I don’t think I or you will see any advances in that science in our lifetime. As I said if you and I are good stewards of this planet and do what we can to clean up our little corners of this planet then we are making advances how minute they may be. All the pushing of government to do anything will only slow down the process. Let the private sector do it. Stephen your last few sentences show that you are a Chicken Little running around saying the sky is falling.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 10, 2014 9:25 AM
Comment #379254


The point about acid rain, global cooling and global warming is that they were touted as bringing the end of the world as we know it. An end that did not happen.

What that means for the credibility of current theory is that people are going to be more cautious about accepting another end of the world life changing theory. It is human nature. Especially after they have seen the success gradual change.

“So, when you hold that up as evidence of scientists loosing people by raising alarms… You’re sort of neglecting a number of things:”

I’m not neglecting any of the progresses we have made in the field, Stephen. What I am doing is including people and their nature into the equation.

“As for forcing people to comply? Well, sometimes people don’t do things if they’re simply asked nicely, and sometimes they just need to be done…”

Such is the difference between living in a free society, and a manufactured society.

“There are limits to what can or should be done, but I think your limits are far too lenient, and are informed falsely by the propaganda of the industries looking to escape regulation.”

I am a Constitutionalist, so yes, my limits are more lenient than most. But it has nothing to do with propaganda. You don’t do yourself, or the policies you support, any good by dismissing their rejection as nothing more than propaganda and lack of intelligence.

“They claim they’ll do the right thing if left to themselves, and I haven’t really observed them living up to that promise.”

To a larger extent, the same can be said about government.

“Society can’t just be “everybody does what they want!””

That’s good, since nobody promotes such a thing.

“There have to be constraints, set wisely and moderately. You can be part of that moderation, or you can stubbornly try and refuse to change things, despite the evidence.”

As we have discussed many many times, there are two sides to doing this, not just the side you support.
Where you based “wise” and “moderation” on the emotional and financial needs and outcomes, others base them on individual rights. Ignoring this fact and forcing compliance has helped lead us to where we are now.

“What happens, then, as climate change begins to take hold, and people start to panic at the consequences?”

It could definitely get ugly, but such dire claims haven’t really been working for the cause, have they.

“Long term, how does you freedom survive when the fears of your opposition are validated, and your calls for forbearance are blasted as an enabling of the guilty parties?”

IF the fears are validated, not when. And that, combined with our conditioned materialism and how anybody with questions are treated, is the problem.

BTW: I am not your “opposition” on this issue, Stephen. And just because I acknowledge the progress we are making and disagree with alarmist tactics does not mean I am in favor of delaying more action that is to come.

“The point of doing it now is that you can do things more softly and slowly…”

That is NOT what the alarmists are doing. They are promoting doom and gloom scenarios and demanding immediate, radical changes.

The problems the alarmists are dealing with are that we ARE getting results. We ARE slowly easing into green technology as it becomes more affordable. It’s just not as drastic as they would like.

“Put things off until a disaster hardens people’s hearts, and they won’t want to listen to you.”

Like it or not, our conditioned materialism is going to have a huge effect on people’s desire to make changes. It just might take them being directly affected before they start passing up their perks and being buying green.
I still don’t believe forced compliance is the answer.

Posted by: kctim at June 10, 2014 10:52 AM
Comment #379259


If this so called “Green technology” costs us more in the long run who needs it? See, the whole thing is about threefold; A: The greener technology pushes costs up on cars, boats and vehicles in general. Secondly B: There’s no evidence we are actually harming the earth with the emmissions we have now.C: It all amounts to pork barrel spending on the governments part in creating new landfills as well as new types of landfill zones.

If we aren’t harming the earth and this is all just bunk science, why make our lives more unmanagable or more unmanagable for future generations?

This is all just a hoopshot from the left that they whip out on Earth-day to show that they are “green” too like they assume we are out here in “Greenlawn USA”. We are not “green”, but yet hassled by the “greens” and recycling could be the least of the hassles I have to go through on a weekly basis. We need to stop the “greenies” now before we are “cornohol-ing” or some other dreaded catastrophe. I can’t afford gas now—(fascetiously) could you or fellow “greenies” make my life all the more expensive and unmanagable when I get home from work?

Posted by: simpleheaded at June 10, 2014 1:47 PM
Comment #379260


I think you have misunderstood my position, or may not have had the time to follow all of what I have posted.

I am in favor of people voluntarily using green technology when it becomes affordable to them.
Even if there is no evidence of our emissions harming the earth, there is evidence that pollution can have a negative impact on our health.
I agree that government abuse happens and that it is a big problem.

If green technology causes your life to become unmanageable, stick with what you want.

Posted by: kctim at June 10, 2014 3:15 PM
Comment #379263

There is a great chance a person could be killed in a car accident. Does that mean people should park their car and start walking to where they need to go?

And if they do, and a tree falls on them and kills them, what have they gained by walking?

Stephen, pack up your stuff and find the high ground to build your next solar powered shanti!

Why the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Is Really Melting. (No, It’s Not ‘Climate Change’)

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 10, 2014 4:32 PM
Comment #379267

Wind Turbines ‘Caused 1600 Miscarriages’ on Fur Farm

This is the latest in a series of incidents where wind turbines have reportedly harmed and altered the behaviour of animals and humans. Last year, a Canadian emu farm, popular with tourists, was forced to close after its animals started becoming aggressive and losing weight when wind turbines were installed nearby.

In March, Breitbart London reported that the deputy chief medical officer at the Irish Department of Health warned that people who live near wind turbines were at risk of “wind turbine syndrome”. Symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, headache, difficulty concentrating and insomnia.

I wonder if it also causes hypocrisy, lying, arrogance, bullying, hubris, denial, and superiority complexes?

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 10, 2014 9:18 PM
Comment #379293

Rich KAPitan-
I believe in a robust approach to the problem. I also believe that at certain points we need to do a little more than just insist by way of moral authority. Businesses have a way of being expedient and lax if they’re not held to certain standards.

I like the notion of telling them something like, “okay, we’re going to hold you to this standard. How you do it, you figure out.” You know, tell them that their lightbulb has to draw less than this amount of watts per bulb, per unit of light. If they want to market CFLs, some sort of advanced incandescent, or some other efficient technology, that’s their choice. Same thing with cars. We don’t care how you get your car this efficient, just find a way.

Temple Grandin, in talking about inspection of slaughterhouses, talked about grading less for particular features of it, lawyered into the small details (you must use this, this, and this, instead talked about doing a pass/fail system. If cattle slipped on this particular surface, you failed your inspection. If it didn’t, you succeeded. Regulate results, rather than the means of getting those results.

It doesn’t serve my purpose to have government be bloated, overly expensive or inefficient, or any of that other trash. I’m not big on pretending, for the sake of social niceties, that something is okay or sustainable or good when it’s not.

I’m not big, either on throwing over more objective standards for more subjective ones, which is part of what really bugs me about the GOP’s opposition of science. They make people’s appraisal about science about their feelings against Marxism, or about their feelings about what’s true or not. Science tries to filter that out, to get things back to a testable, accountable basis that allows us to get past our personal biases to the truth.

Look, you can fault the media for being sensationalistic, but that doesn’t mean that what they were hyping wasn’t bad in and of itself, nor that the science is poor. Journalists often get science very wrong, and I’ll provide a couple of examples when it comes to Weary Willie’s supposed debunking of climate science.

Acid Rain was real. Global cooling was a theory of how our current climate was behaving that was raised, found to be wanting, then discarded, based on the data scientists looked at. Global Warming, whatever hype and journalistic errors there might be, is real, and profound in its consequences.

Not to mention apt to blindside us, if we don’t get our act together. Climate change is often a matter of building to a threshold in the system, and then overtopping that threshold, changing things fairly quickly.

We already got one ice sheet we know is going to collapse. It’ll take centuries, but we know the current shorelines we enjoy are going to be redrawn. Say goodbye, in time, to the boot of Louisiana and the tip of Florida, Miami included. That’s a profound change. You might think it’s objective not to let that affect you, but really, it’s got to bring up some concerns. That we should try and deal with this rationally doesn’t get an argument from me. But for me, rational means you acknowledge when nature’s telling you to get off your dead ass, you just acknowledge the facts on the ground and try not to do things that are counterproductive, or not very useful.

My experience is that sometimes people can organize themselves without a government’s help, and sometimes they can’t. My experience is that sometimes businesses do the right thing because they know their customers will abandon them if they don’t, and sometimes, especially in cases where people are over the barrel on certain needs (like healthcare or energy) businesses don’t give a crap about doing right by the customer.

My belief is that it’s easier to set things up in a calm and wise way if you’re not in denial about the problems facing you. I believe Republicans, if they put their minds to it, could think up ways to fight global warming that would work, and not contradict their principles. Unfortunately, they’re too busy opposing the left and obstructing it, trying to force them to deny global climate change, in order to do that. The Right is including itself out of the conversation, as rational participants.

Quit focusing so much on the niceties of behavior. Politics is rarely polite, especially in a time of political conflict like this one. Instead, be focused on results, and be willing to compromise to get them. You might not necessarily get something you completely like, but you might be better able to get what actually happens more the way you would want it than otherwise.

If you call people alarmists, or chicken littles, or whatever, be damn sure that they’re not right. Study the science, see what the scientists are actually saying. I have, and it’s not good news. I’m not going to sugarcoat what’s happening, just so I don’t get called an alarmist.

Weary Willie-
Your friend completely misinterpreted what the scientist was saying in the first article. You folks tend to have an either/or view of causation, which leads to you saying things like, either humans are affecting climate, or it’s natural variability. Scientists are saying both are happening. Here, the Breitbart author alleges, and you agree, that West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) melting is either caused by global warming, or it’s caused by geothermal heating.

How about both being factors? Simple test for why this would be the case: is there an ice sheet there?

If geothermal energy were enough to explain all the melting, the ice sheet would be gone, because those geothermal features didn’t simply get there yesterday. West Antarctica has seen volcanic activity at those locations since the Cretaceous.

The Transantarctic Mountains however, owe their origin to rifting rather than crustal compression and collision. From the Late Cretaceous Period onwards, there has been uplift and rifting between West and East Antarctica along what is known as the West Antarctic Rift. In places, this rift system is still active today and is the cause of present-day volcanic activity in Antarctica. The continent’s most active volcano, Mount Erebus, is located along this rift system, on Ross Island at the edge of the Ross Sea. It is one of the few volcanoes in the world to have an open, convecting lava lake within the crater at its summit. There are also several inactive volcanoes in the Transantarctic Mountains.

The WAIS has had a long accepted beginning of about 14 million years ago, but other research has pushed that initiation as far back as 34 million years. Either way, ice has existed in that place for millions of years.

There’s no indication that there’s been some kind of increase in geological activity there, so barring that, the collapse of the WAIS could not be explained by geothermal sources, because those forces have been there for the millions of years we know those ice sheets have been there.

The scientist aren’t attributing all melting to them, either. This is just another case of the right wing climate critics grabbing at straws, trying to gain vindication. Only trouble is, they’re not thinking everything through, and their ignorance about the way nature tends to mix causal agents shows through.

As for the wind farms example?

I wish you could see me facepalming at the absurdity.

There are any number of ways to cause birth defects an miscarriages, but how exactly would a wind farm cause them? Infrasound? air pressure?

Look, as this article says we are awash in infrasound, all the time, from both natural and mechanical sources. Hell, you can get it from a bass speaker playing music, I can imagine.

If he’s got a bunch of little critters miscarrying, and it’s not a virus or a bacteria doing the damage… well how about chemicals? Maybe it’s something contaminating his food or water. You jump to the conclusion it has to be the windmill, without even asking the most obvious of question about what was causing things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 11, 2014 12:07 PM
Comment #379295

Stephen, You talk a good fight but IMO that’s all it is, is talk. It takes years of research and money to get things done. Some regulations and HUMAN ingenuity have gotten C02 emissions down to what they are today. The more you push the more you get pushed back. We need to voice our concerns but not in a way that you get the bird flipped at you. You need to lead by example not by force. Solar and wind power are great but not practical at this point more nuclear plants are a good option. Bio fuels can’t be made in quantities that are useful. So like I said we’re stuck with what we have for now and the forseeable future.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 11, 2014 12:46 PM
Comment #379296

You are doing your share of grasping, Stephen Daugherty. I wasn’t born yesterday and I don’t need a lifetime of scientific studies to know volcanoes can appear and grow at an alarming rate where there were none before.

There is also evidence of high power electric lines affecting livestock. I don’t discount the effects attributed to windmills simply because they look like they should have little blond girls in wooden shoes dancing at their base.

As with any newly used technology there could be unintended consequences. Look at the initial stages of electricity. It’s also pretty naive of you to expect me to believe the volcano must have been there all along. How convenient for your argument that “both” could be responsible. Sure, it could be both, but to deny the effects of a volcano under the ice sheet simply to promote the man made theory is self serving.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 11, 2014 1:00 PM
Comment #379297


You are still talking about how the science supports you, while I am still talking about how people don’t support you enough to actually do something.
People are tired of the sensationalism, especially those who are not experiencing any direct negative effects of climate change. You can have all the facts you want, and scream as loud as you can, but if the people aren’t listening to you, the answer is not to scream louder.

“But for me, rational means you acknowledge when nature’s telling you to get off your dead ass…”

What you refuse to acknowledge though, is that we as a country are NOT sitting on our “dead ass.” We ARE decreasing our levels. Could we do more with less disagreement? Sure. But that is not where we are at right now.

“My experience is that sometimes people can organize themselves without a government’s help, and sometimes they can’t.”

Can you not at least acknowledge that forced compliance can be resented and very unproductive? That most of the time it leads to less being done?

“businesses don’t give a crap about doing right by the customer.”

SOME businesses are like that. Not all.

“My belief is that it’s easier to set things up in a calm and wise way if you’re not in denial about the problems facing you.”

And the biggest problem facing you is the lack of support for your cause. How is frantically denying that handling it in a calm and wise way?

“Quit focusing so much on the niceties of behavior. Politics is rarely polite, especially in a time of political conflict like this one.”

Are you not the one who earlier said that this should be about climate change, NOT politics? For someone not wanting politics to be a part of the discussion, you sure fall back on it a lot.

“Instead, be focused on results, and be willing to compromise to get them.”

So why are the current positive results we have achieved, mostly through compromise, not part of this equation?

“You might not necessarily get something you completely like, but you might be better able to get what actually happens more the way you would want it than otherwise.”

Hmmmm? Wouldn’t the gradual positive change we are getting now, instead of the overnight change you call for, be an example of not getting something you completely like, but being better than nothing?

“I’m not going to sugarcoat what’s happening, just so I don’t get called an alarmist.”

And how’s that been working for you?

Posted by: kctim at June 11, 2014 1:03 PM
Comment #379298

Rich KAPitan-
Look, First you’re assuming that Wind isn’t practical. Look at my state though: 25% power generation. It’s practical, and improvements in battery technology will make it more so. Solar? It’s a growth industry. Meanwhile, to stay practical, petroleum companies have to turn to more and more risky or expensive processes.

The thing is, you talk about being stuck, then say, don’t do anything to unstick it. Well, maybe if we did more to unstick things, things would happen faster. Government doesn’t have to do everything, just the right kind of something.

Weary Willie-
It’s often a good idea to read the source.

The source says nothing about a new volcano, so you have no real call to go imagining one to explain the melting of that sheet. It doesn’t even imply that what volcanism is already there is the cause of the WAIS collapse.

What it says is that you have this particular glacier, the Thwaites Glacier, and you have these geothermal hot spots under it. Did scientists just discover there was volcanism in this area? No. They’ve known how active West Antarctica has been for years.

What they’ve done is better mapped out where these warm spots are, helping to build a more accurate picture of how this glacier will move, since melted water acts to accelerate the movement of glaciers. That, in turn, tells you something about the fate of the WAIS, which this glacier serves as an outflow for.

I keep trying to tell you, there’s more to scientific modeling of warming and glacial melting than just simple guesswork pulled from their hats. This is what scientists have been doing for years: examining the earth to find out how the climate operates in the real world, so they can turn around and better model it.

An example is that question of how old the ice sheets are. By looking at sediment deposition from those ice sheets, the glacial till that they carry towards the oceans, scientist determined that West Antarctica, which is largely below Sea level now, was once mountainous. This meant that the WAIS had to be much older.

The result helped vindicate certain climate models, which previously seemed to given a different answer than what the record showed.

It’s a process of refinement and calibration. You miss it entirely because you have a hard-set goal: to disprove global warming. You’re not interested in what you should be: determining what the truth is, whether you want the results to be true or not.

As for windmills and power-lines? Both effects have been examined, and fail to stand up to much scrutiny. You can tell hard luck stories about how people have been affected by things, but scientific methods need to be used to link things.

Look, the way I typically judge whether something is sensationalized is whether an close examination of the facts meshes with the story and the response to the story.

Look above, at my response to Weary Willie. That poor guy wants to believe that the projected collapse of the WAIS is due to volcanos, like Breitbart tells him it is. But his article got things wrong, and the source tells a different story.

Same thing with Windmills. I mean, the changes necessary to cause birth defects and miscarriages would tend to be microscopic, right? Well the top end of infrasound has a wavelength of 17.2 meters, which is something like 56 feet. How does a wave that is AT MINIMUM 56 feet long, cause damage to little minks?

Forget what you might be afraid of. How is it justified?

If somebody is telling you a 56 foot long pressure wave, nowhere near strong enough to cause structural damage, is causing a bunch of little minks to have birth defects, then you have to have one hell of a complicated interaction going on to even begin to consider it as a rational result.

My philosophy is that we should be doing a better job of separating what are plausible problems and threats from implausible ones. I consider global warming a much more plausible threat than windmill syndrome, which I think is mainly hype by folks who see Wind as potential rivals to their energy sources.

I mean, the whole tone of the conversation seems to be gloating over the supposed environmental and human costs of this supposedly green technology, which makes me suspicious to start, but the fact that they can’t get real scientific evidence around to prove that the effects they claim are occurring take that subjective impression and confirm it.

I think the case is good enough on Global Warming to justify a response. If it is, there’s no use me saying that we have all the time in the world to wait for people to come around. There isn’t. The evidence tells us that the more Carbon we put in the atmosphere, the more severe the effect. If we don’t cut down now, the multiples per year and the nonlinear nature of the systems work against us.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 11, 2014 2:42 PM
Comment #379299

We really don’t disagree all that much, Stephen.

I also think the case is good enough to justify a response, but I want a reasonable response that also takes people into account.
We are now a dependent society that has been conditioned to be materialistic. People believe government will take care of them, and they will always choose the XBox over the green technology.

Personally, I do what I can.

Posted by: kctim at June 11, 2014 3:07 PM
Comment #379300

First thing Stephen is go back to school and learn how to read and comprehend. Where did I say do nothing? Wind may be practical in Texas, that’s one state out of 50 and how many wind generators are set up in Texas. No, I said we’re stuck with what we got until alternate sources of energy become more abundant and cheap. I cannot put a wind generator in my back yard nor can I put up expensive solar panels. To charge lithium batteries you still need electrical generation plants which might still be using coal or other fossil fuels. In my area we have a Nuclear power plant. You want things right now but that aint goin to happen young man. When you figure out how to get those things right now let me know!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 11, 2014 3:21 PM
Comment #379302
The findings significantly change the understanding of conditions beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet where accurate information has previously been unobtainable.

Considering the source, Stephen Daugherty, I’d say they didn’t know what was going on under that Ice cube before a few weeks ago.

Go back to your source and show me where it even mentions man made global warming is causing the ice to melt!

I’ve read it, because I’m smart enough to, and there is no mention of man made global warming, co2 buildup, mini elf with icepicks, or politicians full of hot air!

But, for some reason, you insist, because the ice is melting, it’s caused by man made global warming and co2 buildup in the atmosphere!

Oh! Yea! It’s BOTH! Says you!

I don’t deny the earth may be heating up a fraction of a degree or so. I deny that man is causing it and I deny we need to be frightened to death in order to stop it.

How arrogant do you have to be to think you’re going to be able to control the weather? That ice is melting whether we ride bikes or not.

If you think we’re in for flooding of the coastlines then do the responsible thing and prepare for it. Don’t expect everyone else to pay through the nose for pie in the sky government taxes to protect your beach front property that’s going to get wet anyway.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 11, 2014 3:37 PM
Comment #379306

Daugherty wrote; ” Most schools are doing just fine. Some inner city schools need to be straightened out.”

Does your logic tell you this or do you have facts?

I have on occasion written about teacher unions and their policy that required them to dismiss the California Teacher of The Year.

Here’s an interesting view from a California judge who ruled that…”teacher tenure laws deprived students of their right to an education under the State Constitution and violated their civil rights. The decision hands teachers’ unions a major defeat in a landmark case, one that could radically alter how California teachers are hired and fired and prompt challenges to tenure laws in other states.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 11, 2014 4:11 PM
Comment #379314

Rich KAPitan-
Wind’s big over much of the Great Plains, both figuratively and literally. Other states have gotten into it. It’s not for everybody, but power grids can help distribute power from those places to ones where wind is not so plentiful.

Thing is, though, I don’t think we’re going to move very far if we just settle for the status quo until the market starts moving things on its own. Dirty forms of power already have the institutional advantage, which they’re not afraid or ashamed to use, and they haven’t shown much of any scruples about sticking a knife in the back of rival forms of power generation. If we leave it up to them, we won’t be exploring other options until they’re too weak and too expensive to resist. That’s not exactly the kind of head start that will help us lick this problem in the least expensive way.

Weary Willie-
They mention warming waters eating way at the forward portions of the Thwaite glacier. What’s warming the waters around the Antarctic, penguins barbecuing with the kids? More volcanoes?

And what about this weird little idea you have that heat underneath the glacier rules out heat from warming sea water, or melting from temperatures from above? Just what the hell keeps those from happening at the same time? Nature isn’t as picky as ideologues and biased journalists playing at being science critics. Heat is heat, phase change is phase change.

The evidence of where the carbon comes from, and what it’s doing is pretty clear. If you want to hide your head in the sand, fine, but I have a problem with you encouraging other people.

See, the thing is, scientists aren’t just modeling things based on what we do right now, and saying that the future is just because of that. No, they’re factoring the future emissions into the model, an projecting different outcomes based on how much we end up sticking in the atmosphere.

If we start now, moderate measures will have more time to do good. If we start now, technologies will have time to mature and start taking out carbon emissions from the equation in larger amounts. If we start now, we can start pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere with the plants we’re using for renewable fuels.

The sooner we start, the easier it becomes to avoid the really bad scenarios, because each year you add is a multiple on the effect of the technology. You also put yourself at less risk of crossing some unknown tipping point.

Royal Flush-
Statistics tell us that when teachers can be fired for reasons other than incompetence, their work suffers. Tenure doesn’t protect teachers that don’t teach their kids well.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 11, 2014 6:30 PM
Comment #379316

Statistics tell us that when teachers can be fired for reasons other than incompetence, their work suffers. Tenure doesn’t protect teachers that don’t teach their kids well.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 11, 2014 6:30 PM

Obviously you didn’t read my link. That’s OK, we know your mind is closed on such issues.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 11, 2014 6:56 PM
Comment #379317

If we start now
If we start now
If we start now

Doesn’t the 15% drop in emmissions nationwide since the non-kioto treaty mean anything to you, Stephen Daugherty.
Typical leftist methodology. Give them an inch, they bitch because they didn’t get a mile.

Do those future projections include current reductions? Do they factor in future reductions? Do they project until future emissions reach zero? How long will it take to reach zero emissions at the current rate of reduction? Do you still have global warming at zero emissions?

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 11, 2014 7:55 PM
Comment #379318

Let’s go back to the source.

Using radar techniques to map how water flows under ice sheets, UTIG researchers were able to estimate ice melting rates and thus identify significant sources of geothermal heat under Thwaites Glacier. They found these sources are distributed over a wider area and are much hotter than previously assumed.
The geothermal heat contributed significantly to melting of the underside of the glacier, and it might be a key factor in allowing the ice sheet to slide, affecting the ice sheet’s stability and its contribution to future sea level rise.

That’s from your link, Stephen Daugherty. I highlited the part you conviently skipped over. Again, nothing said about co2 or global warming. It’s all geothermal activity.

And another thing. We’ve been experiencing more earthquake activity recently. Are you going to say that is because of MMGW? And, given the displacement of water by teutonic plates shifting wouldn’t that raise sea levels as well? How do you propose/badger people into stopping that from happening?

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 11, 2014 8:04 PM
Comment #379324

Stephen, wind may be good for the Plains States but I don’t think they would be practical for places like N.Y. City. Also how many of those wind generators are set up? From pictures I’ve seen there are acres and acres of them. Don’t you think one Nuclear power plant, which by the way are getting safer to operate, would be better, and the land that those wind generators take up could be put to better use?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at June 11, 2014 11:49 PM
Comment #379332

Royal Flush-
What, you don’t like the idea of judging teachers mainly on their competence? Their ability to teach?

Weary Willie-
The projections are updated as time goes on, so if we’re making progress, they’ll alter it accordingly. As for emissions? They don’t have to reduce to zero. They just have to drop to the point where the environment can absorb it, once again.

You still have some warming, if we reach our goal, since you can’t unring the bell of the previous years gigatons of CO2 and their effect. But it won’t be as huge an effect if we just blindly keep on going.

As for the glacier link?

Your biases are showing. Key paragraph, just a few more down the page:

Knowledge of the heat distribution beneath Thwaites Glacier is crucial information that enables ice sheet modelers to more accurately predict the response of the glacier to the presence of a warming ocean.

A warming ocean. The lede also tells you that they’re not attributing the melting to geothermal sources alone:

Thwaites Glacier, the large, rapidly changing outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is not only being eroded by the ocean, it’s being melted from below by geothermal heat, researchers at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) report in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“…is not only being eroded by the ocean…”

The WARMING ocean.

It’s not even saying that most of the melting is the result of the geothermal heat. You’ve read that into there. What it’s saying is that they’ve found sources of geothermal heat that might make that glacier move faster over those places, be more unstable in those locations, and knowing where those hotspots are, folks modeling its future behavior can better anticipate how it’s going to move and behave.

CO2 doesn’t come up because they’re not really examining the climatological side of the glacier’s situation here. They’re dealing with the geological side of things. What’s more, they used radar to find the hotspots, by finding where there was more melt-water. Water and radio waves were the primary players in this research. CO2, while relevant to the climate and to global warming, was not relevant to the geological activity.

As for Earthquake activity? That depends. Scientists can tell you that much of Canada and the Northern United States is still rebounding, floating back up after having a two mile thick glacier parked on top of it for a few thousand years. So, in places where an ice sheet or a glacier goes away, we might expect some geological activity. Overall stuff? Not so much. I mean, if you have a long term climate change, like the kind that might cause more erosion and weathering on mountains, thickening a plate boundary, that might change things, though it wouldn’t cause additional earthquakes.

What you need to realize is that there are a lot of idiots out there who do quick reads of scientific news, and forget to read the fine print. Like you, they see something that benefits their side or their argument, and they jump at it without fully examining it.

Always read the fine print in science. Science deals with messy real world things, which interact. Yes, you might get more earthquakes in Greenland as the ice sheet melts and relieves the weight on geological faults, but not necessarily more off the coast of Japan, or California.

As for Tectonic Plates? Well, the concept you might be dealing with is Isostasy. The Himalayas are being pushed up by the collision of the Subcontinent of India with Asia, but that mountain chain is also pushing down the rocks at the root of the mountain back down into the mantle. It’s also the reason why Continental Crust rides higher than Oceanic crust, why Oceanic crust buckles under continental: The basalt that makes up the sea floor is heavier than the granite and other rocks that make up the Continents.

As I mentioned, North America’s still rebounding from the last ice age, so to answer your question, global warming would likely cause some parts of the planet to rebound as the glaciers melt from on top of them. Antarctica and Greenland will likely have some serious rebound to do. But that will be a slow process, and mostly upwards.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2014 11:43 AM
Comment #379335

Royal Flush-
What, you don’t like the idea of judging teachers mainly on their competence? Their ability to teach?

Poor boy, still hasn’t read…or understood the link I provided. A judge is forcing teacher unions to consider teacher competence rather than seniority. Obviously, the unions are fighting this ruling as will Daugherty. His spinning is amusing, as usual. That’s the thing about the liberal left. Expert spinners and lousy doers.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 12, 2014 2:21 PM
Comment #379337

Royal Flush-
Conservative media bias. Not only does it deny many conservatives and independents a necessary corrective on the errors of Republican thought, it does something else:

It blinds you to the precedents you’re setting.

Treu’s decision, framed in very high-flown language comparing the decision within itself to the great civil rights cases of our time may just end up forcing California to pay more to educate students, because the law he used to back that decision requires essentially that.

You know, this is the number one reason why Conservatives can’t seem to get the conservative results they want. Not because they don’t get the policies they want, but because in the real world, what emerges from the mix of all those policies is different from what they expect. Rather than be guided by principles to prefer certain results, certain methods, Conservatives often go litmus tests on certain laws, tax cuts included. So, you get one litmus test that says you have to support increases in defense spending and aggressive military policies no matter what, and another that says, “read my lips, no new taxes”, which requires Republicans to attempt huge tax cuts.

Apart, they’re very conservative. Reduce government ant taxes. Confront America’s enemies aggressively. Together, though, they spell out an atrociously ill-conceived, decidedly unconservative result: higher spending, without the revenues to cover it. Deficit.

An eye for good results, rather than just ideological fantasy indulged.

You guys want to break the Teachers Union. Seems like something you’d want to do. But are the alternatives worse? Do Conservatives then get blamed for how bad public education becomes, and rightfully so?

There come many points where you can decide to be a party that talks big but screws up, or you can decide to talk prudently, and do well. Your party’s decided to talk big all the time, and hope that they can outrace the consequences of their mistakes. Fate is not kind to such people.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2014 3:55 PM
Comment #379339

Daughertys wrote; “You guys want to break the Teachers Union.”

Not at all. And, that is not what the judge said or inferred. I want the best teachers in our classroom, not those who have been union members the longest. The rest of your “yawn” was just the same old mush you’re fond of pedaling.

For the left, good results can only be had by huge spending programs. We have more government than we can afford. More programs than we can afford. Much too much waste and fraud.

My friend, you are all formula and no results.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 12, 2014 5:30 PM
Comment #379344

Much of the world is going to hell and obama still praises himself. Just listen to some of obama and biden’s sound bites about Iraq becoming settled and now look at the truth today.

These incompetent boobs will likely cause WWIII before they are finished.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 12, 2014 7:19 PM
Comment #379349

Royal Flush-
Naïve. Everybody knew the place was unstable. We were just making our excuses to get out. Read many of the comments. Most people are not eager to get back into the mix.

If you think you’re blaming this on Obama, think again. This war was screwed up at the beginning, and most of the rest of it was a Vietnam-style exercise in face-saving. If you think Americans were honestly eager to remain in that place one more year, or another… I mean, that would have been another three years at this point.

And for what? What would we instill in those people in that time? After a decades worth of hand holding, of corruption, of morale sapping civil conflict, what do you think was happening. Frankly I was hoping things would unfold better than this, but frankly I am only astonished at the speed of the degeneration, not the fact of it. Obama didn’t do this. Bush did this by chosing an unnecessary war, and worse, letting the one that was necessary, was good, become another quagmire through inattention.

Now you can beat up on prisoners of war and their parents, try and pin the blame for this war’s failures on Obama, but the voters didn’t put him in to win the war, they put him in to end it, just like they did Nixon, decades before. Few people blame Nixon for what happened with Vietnam, because even before he stepped into office, they knew things were royally screwed up.

You want to make this out to be a backstab, but do you know what it really is? Your party shooting itself in the foot, demonstrating thereon out, that it was incompetent in foreign policy. That’s what you folks push the Benghazi and Syria and Bergdahl narratives to try and counter. But we know you flip-flopped on the POW, we know you cheered on that wonderful guy Putin during Syria, and most of us realize that there’s nothing really there on Benghazi besides a tragedy.

You are the incompetent boobs, and the collapse of the middle east is a result of your belligerent policies, which you still to this day can’t take responsibility for as mistakes.

There’s no responsibility left in your party. It’s poison to your people because it means having to make compromised decisions, like reality always demands of us. Uncompromised decisions often turn out to be naïve mistakes, like Bush’s belief in the Iraq war was.

You folks deserve to be exposed on foreign policy for the naïve chickenhawks you are, folks who forgot the lessons of many years of American foreign policy, including that of your party, trying to make your own legends. At last the cost of your hubris is settled, and it is truly high.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 12, 2014 11:31 PM
Comment #379351

We should just let the Democratic party have complete control again. Let them own all of it. Let them do what they did with healthcare to the rest of the country. Maybe then people will wake up and put people like Stephen Daugherty and their self-rightous superiority in their place.

It’s a good time for Yukon Jake’s Patriot Fast.

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 13, 2014 12:35 AM
Comment #379357

“You guys want to break the Teachers Union. Seems like something you’d want to do. But are the alternatives worse? Do Conservatives then get blamed for how bad public education becomes, and rightfully so?”

What about teachers unions prevents public education from becoming worse? (Rephrased, what about teaches unions makes public education better?)

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at June 13, 2014 8:06 AM
Comment #379358

Mike in Tampa-
Workers that are overworked, underpaid, unable to report morale-sapping violations of their rights, and have less job security tend not to be the ones who will take pride in their jobs.

Funny thing about compensation: you can give people a lot less compensation, providing you give them enough to make ends meet, if you provide them with a mission of sorts, the autonomy to do it, and other sorts of purpose-driven positive qualities to their job. If somebody, for example, can get them fired for teaching from one of those books that religious fanatics object to, if they are constantly in fear of being let go unless they adhere to a rigid set of curriculum… well they might not do the job as well as they would if they were just handed a set of goals they had to meet and were told to figure out how to meet them.

You can’t be so hair-on-fire about getting rid of bad teachers that you flush away the proverbial baby with the bathwater. Some conservative judge with an excessive ego can congratulate himself that scuttling the tenure system will be a major step forward for students, but if he makes it harder to keep the good teachers, especially in the riskier areas of town, then he’s improved nothing. If you deal with the 2% of bad teachers that stick around with measures that lose you 10 or 20% of the good teachers, too, then you’ve only shot yourself in the foot.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 13, 2014 9:52 AM
Comment #379365

” I am very optimistic about — about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.

I spent — I’ve been there 17 times now. I go about every two months — three months. I know every one of the major players in all the segments of that society. It’s impressed me. I’ve been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences.” Biden

“White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can be proud of their success in “ending the war in Iraq.”

His statement came just one day after a jihad army linked to al-Qaida captured much of Iraq’s second largest city.

Earnest was asked by a reporter at the daily press conference to describe Clinton’s accomplishments while she was Secretary of State.

“Ending the war in Iraq and winding down in a responsible fashion the war in Afghanistan, and doing that after the success of our our efforts to dismantle and destroyed Al-Qaida core that had established a base of operations in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Earnest answered.

Read more:

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 13, 2014 6:02 PM
Comment #379467

Royal Flush-
Interesting how you now talk about every other subject on this thread other than climate science.

Look, I think what broke here, broke a long time ago. It might have happened sooner if we left sooner, later if we left later, but this result was pretty much baked in by 2006. Nobody was just going to say, “we lost this one.” Instead, it was all about a responsible way out.

I think most people got the subtext. We would leave the Iraqis to decide for themselves whether they’d live up to the training, live up to things, or not.

If you think you can turn this back around on us, you forget the quite well-documented history of blunders, including the disbanding of the Iraqi army, what we spent years after trying to rebuild, with limited success.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 14, 2014 11:36 PM
Comment #379546

Look, I think what broke here, broke a long time ago. It might have happened sooner if we left sooner, later if we left later, but this result was pretty much baked in by 2006. Nobody was just going to say, “we lost this one.” Instead, it was all about a responsible way out. Daugherty

Proof indeed of how inept and seriously flawed our federal government has become under either political party. Yet, SD continues to advocate for more and more government never realizing how broken it has become. His logic tells him that bigger liberal government is better than smaller conservative government. He has no proof of this. He has few examples of it working. He is merely a pimp for big government.

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Comment #379574

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