Home » Culture, Education, Global Warming, Off Topic, Science » Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide

Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide

Great informative article by Canadian climatologist Dr. Tim Ball.

Excerpts follow. Read the whole article at Canada Free Press.

This is what happens when good science goes bad. It’s the same story with orthodox evolution theory.

This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science.

“It is a cold fact: the Global Cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for ten thousand years. Your stake in the decisions we make concerning it is of ultimate importance; the survival of ourselves, our children, our species,” wrote Lowell Ponte in 1976.

Since I obtained my doctorate in climatology from the University of London, Queen Mary College, England my career has spanned two climate cycles. Temperatures declined from 1940 to 1980 and in the early 1970′s global cooling became the consensus. This proves that consensus is not a scientific fact. By the 1990′s temperatures appeared to have reversed and Global Warming became the consensus. It appears I’ll witness another cycle before retiring, as the major mechanisms and the global temperature trends now indicate a cooling.

Sadly, my experience is that universities are the most dogmatic and oppressive places in our society. This becomes progressively worse as they receive more and more funding from governments that demand a particular viewpoint.

I am not alone in this journey against the prevalent myth. Several well-known names have also raised their voices.Michael Crichton, the scientist, writer and filmmaker is one of them. In his latest book, “State of Fear” he takes time to explain, often in surprising detail, the flawed science behind Global Warming and other imagined environmental crises.

Another cry in the wildenerness is Richard Lindzen’s. He is an atmospheric physicist and a professor of meteorology at MIT, renowned for his research in dynamic meteorology – especially atmospheric waves. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has held positions at the University of Chicago, Harvard University and MIT. Linzen frequently speaks out against the notion that significant Global Warming is caused by humans. Yet nobody seems to listen.

Until you have challenged the prevailing wisdom you have no idea how nasty people can be. Until you have re-examined any issue in an attempt to find out all the information, you cannot know how much misinformation exists in the supposed age of information.

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64 Responses to Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide

  1. I found it ironic that right after reading Dave’s post, I found this in my junk e-mail box:

    Global Warming: why it is the Left’s last best chance to gain a stranglehold on our political system and economy… and how we can fight back

    For decades, environmentalism has been the Left’s best excuse for increasing government control over our actions in ways both large and small. It’s for Mother Earth! It’s for the children! It’s for the whales! But until now, the doomsday-scenario environmental scares they’ve trumped up haven’t been large enough to give the sinister prize they want most of all: total control of American politics, economic activity, and even individual behavior. With global warming, however, greenhouse gasbags can argue that auto emissions in Ohio threaten people in Paris, and that only global government can tackle such problems. National sovereignty? Democracy? Forget it: global warming has now brought the Left closer to global government, statism, and the eradication of individual rights than it has ever been before.

    Now, in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism, Christopher C. Horner tears the cover off the Left’s manipulation of environmental issues for political purposes — and lays out incontrovertible evidence for the fact that catastrophic man-made global warming is just more Chicken-Little hysteria, not actual science. He explains why, although Al Gore and his cronies among the media elites and UN globalists endlessly bleat that “global warming” is an unprecedented global crisis, they really think of it as a dream come true.

    Global warming is the ideal scare campaign for those who are doing all they can to secure strict control over society, business, and the minutest details of individual life. For, as Horner explains, if global warming really were as bad as the Leftist doomsayers insist it is, then no policy imaginable could “solve” it. According to the logic of the greens’ own numbers, no matter how much we sacrifice there would still be more to do. That makes global warming the bottomless well of excuses for the relentless growth of Big Government.

    Horner details how today’s environmentalists use strong-arm legal tactics — and worse — against those who dare to point out the weakness of their arguments for global warming. Along the way, he explodes ten top global warming myths, carefully examines the evidence to determine how much warming there really is and what is actually causing it.

    It’s time to stand up to the environmentalist industry and insist: human beings are not the enemy. In breezy, light-hearted and always entertaining fashion, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism gives you the facts you need to do so.

    I really don’t know anything about this book or its author, so I neither endorse nor condemn it. However, there does seem to be some merit in the argument that if global warming really were a man made problem, then we are already beyond the point where simply changing behavior can “solve” the issue. If it isn’t a man-made problem, then what difference will changing our behavior make?

    Given the way Darwin defenders go about defending evolution, why should we expect the science of global warming to be any different. The wise course seems to be to take the role of skeptic.

  2. Global cooling is a lot easier to do than global warming. See Nuclear Winter. Just blow the Gobi Desert (or as much as you need) up into the stratosphere. The dust & ash blocks the sun et viola! Global cooling.

    Now some people will protest, “But Dave, won’t that cause horrible radioactive fallout?”

    Well, yeah, but the horribleness is confined to the rate of cancer increasing. So we better get busy finding a cure for cancer because that’s the key to an easy, painless solution to global warming – if global warming even becomes a real problem. So instead of spending trillions fighting global warming we should spend trillions curing cancer. And if global warming doesn’t become a problem then we still get a cure for cancer to show for our money. That’s a win-win situation!

  3. This post frustrates me. The debate between global warming and evolution seem to be significantly parallel. What frustrates me is the argument from authority — I have such and such a degree from such and such an institiution, I have such and such qualifications, these other guys agree with me and they have their credentials. As with the question of evolution, I would prefer to see actual data, actual evidence.

  4. Thank you bFast.

    I too loathe the “credential” card.

  5. I agree with bFast that the argument from authority is often misused in these debates. It’s of little relvence that such-and-such a guy with qualifications disagrees with the consensus; maybe he’s actually got a pretty daft theory. Simply because “consensus” scientific opinions have been wrong in the past, doesn’t mean we should give equal weight to all opposing views.

    Scientific views that butt up against the consensus view should face an uphill battle simply because most of them are wrong. Global warming and evolution are no different in this respect from any other scientific sub-field; except insomuch as they have an unfortunate criss-crossing with public policy.

    My guess is that many people in the public who are skeptical of global warming are so because of political opinions rather than any informed opinion on climatology.

    Personally, I don’t care if we are warming or cooling; we should be reducing our impact on the environment because we should always be attempting to reduce our impact on the environment. You don’t have to be a Ph.D. to realize that massive excavation and burning of fossil fuels is doen’t *something* to the environment and since we can never be sure if that something is good or bad we should probably be erring on the side of caution. Which is (ironically, given the political lines usually drawn in this debate) a very conservative position.

  6. Mjb2001, “Personally, I don’t care if we are warming or cooling; we should be reducing our impact on the environment because we should always be attempting to reduce our impact on the environment.”

    I wholeheartedly agree. Just last night I was watching a show about lake Erie being cleaned up. It reiminds me of so much other evidence we have seen of man’s activity being destructive to our own back yards, our playgrounds. I support any move we make that gives man a lighter footprint on this planet.

    On the economic front, I don’t buy the doomsayers who suggest that “going green” will be economically desasterous. I am sure it will be economically desasterous for some, but it won’t be disasterous for the guy who is at the forefront in green technology. My plan is to be at the forefront in green technology, if only as an investor.

  7. My guess is that many people in the public who are skeptical of global warming are so because of political opinions rather than any informed opinion on climatology.

    All things being equal, I would agree. However, the problem is where to go and get an informed opinion on climatology. It seems like everyone, scientist or otherwise, has a politcal agenda attached to their interpretation of any scientific findings. How is a non-scientist layperson supposed to know which data is correct and which isn’t, let alone which interpretation of the data is correct and which isn’t. This becomes a critical point since all of those laypersons are also taxpayers who expect their government to spend their money wisely. Who and what are they supposed to accept as being close to the facts and how are they supposed to know?

  8. Why would you want to jump into this fray? It isn’t clear at all that the critics of global warming are right on the science. Some of the science is just intuitive: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, we’re pumping lots and lots of it out there; absent other major causes, a reasonable inference is that some of the recent warming trend is man-made. How much is man-made, to what extent accurate future predictions can be made, what if anything is a proper political response — all debateable.

    But it seems to me that the credibility of ID is likely to be damaged by tying it to criticism of other fields of science that have nothing at all to do with ID — particularly when the science in question is another hot-button issue for conservatives and the religious right.

  9. If you want the data just go here and follow the links. None of you will of course. Facts don’t get in the way of preconceived opinions on global warming.

    If you want to use your intuition a bit just ask yourself how global average temperature can be measured accurately before we started keeping records of it? The biggest part of this myth is the big bluff about knowing what the global average temperature was beyond about 50 years ago. In that 50 years the earth was cooling up until about 1980 then started warming for 20 years and now it’s cooling again.

    The output from the sun varies enough to account for ALL global heating and cooling. The earth has been cycling between warmer and colder global climate for hundreds of millions of years. There’s no evidence that mankind is having any effect. It’s all smoke, mirrors, and wild waving of hands. Twenty-five years ago it was global cooling that was going to destroy civilization. Spare me.

  10. Dennis Prager had an expert on his show discussing this recently. I only heard a few minutes, but the jist was the doom-and-gloom crowd were overplaying their hand for political reasons. The official UN report on Global Warming was revised recently to say that sea levels were expected to rise by less than 12 inches. Compare that to Al Gore’s claim of 20-feet (or thereabouts).

  11. “But it seems to me that the credibility of ID is likely to be damaged by tying it to criticism of other fields of science that have nothing at all to do with ID — particularly when the science in question is another hot-button issue for conservatives and the religious right.” – Dopderbeck

    I think Dave Scott’s post serves the role of “character witness” testifying on the credibility of science in it’s politicized state. If examples can be shown of science being used to advance the public policy agenda of extreme environmentalists, then it opens the door to skepticism when science is used to advance materialist philosophy in the evolotion/design debate.

  12. I have a few questions.

    If we were to successfully reduce our output of CO2, would this NOT have a negative impact on plant life? Animals consume oxygen, and produce CO2. Plants consume CO2 and produce oxygen. If there is less CO2 available to plants then does it not follow that there would be less oxygen available to humans?

    Wouldn’t Intelligent Design theory predict that the Earth, as a system, would have been designed with the capacity to absorb or otherwise deal with whatever mankind (or even nature itself) produces?

    Isn’t fear over global warming much more compatible with a naturalist/Darwinist paradigm than an Intelligent Design paradigm?

  13. If examples can be shown of science being used to advance the public policy agenda of extreme environmentalists, then it opens the door to skepticism when science is used to advance materialist philosophy in the evolotion/design debate

    The problem is that criticisms of the consensus on global warming are being used to advance the public policy agendas of commercial interests, including the oil and energy industries, which are aligned with the hard political right. Thus, siding unequivocally with the global warming skeptics opens the door to skepticism about the political motives behind the ID movement.

    There are politics to go around on all sides. It simply is not the case that all the science supporting anthropogenic warming is corrupt and all the skeptical claims are benighted. Nor is it the case that all the science behind the consensus is just “hand waving”; the “hand waving” claim is itself hand waving. Personally, I’m skeptical of the more extreme claims of global warming advocates, particularly the farther out in time they extend; however, it’s naive to simply blow off every claim about anthropogenic warming.

    It should also be noted that significant segments of the religious / Christian community, including many centrist evangelicals who might otherwise support ID, accept the consensus about anthropogenic warming (see, e.g., the Evangelical Climate Initiative: http://www.christiansandclimate.org/statement). Further, one of the co-chairs of the IPCC, Sir John Houghton, far from being an “extreme environmentalist,” is a devout Christian who bases his views on a Christian theology of creation, not on materialism (see, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_T._Houghton). Of course, there are also religious people who reject the consensus about anthropogenic warming. The point is, it is by no means only a pet issue of extreme environmentalists.

    This particular example, then, it seems to me, is at best a very muddy one and at worst a very bad one.

  14. One more question:

    Is mankind part of nature, or isn’t he? I can’t help but think that the global warming crowd has been duped into thinking that man is an interloper, like man was dropped into nature as an outsider, that nature never had or never will have the capacity to support or tolerate mankind. If mankind is part of nature, then even from a secular/Darwinist perspective, the whole idea that we should be freaked out about global warming seems utterly ridiculous to me.

  15. TroutMac: No one suggests reducing CO2 below natural levels. The idea is to stabilize and reduce the amount of excess CO2 produced by human actities such as the burning of fossil fuels.

    Concerning design and warming, I don’t think it follows that if life was designed, it must have been designed to take whatever abuse people can dish out. If I jump out the window and break my neck, it might suggest I wasn’t designed to fly, but it says nothing about whether I was designed for anything at all.

    More particularly, within the context of Christian theology, people were designed to care for and excercise stewardship over creation. If we abuse that trust and continue dumping pollutants into the biosphere at masive rates, we shouldn’t be surprised that problems result.

  16. Whether man is part of nature in some philosophical aense seems to be irrelevant. Man is most definitely part of nature in the sense that we are dependant on it to sutvive and we have demonstrated the capability on grand scales to make nature incapable of continuing her support albeit on a local to regional scale.

    Environamental management has been a crucial are of investigation for humanity since the dawn of civilization. our lack of understanding for the environment has many times led to great human peril. Whether we are currently leading ourselves into such peril is still very much in doubt.

    That said there still seem to be plenty of reasons for at least some concern and certainly more research. I would suggest that people interested in investigating the matter for themselves read nothing but the actual relevant studies. I wouldn’t rely on either Gore or Inhofe for the interpretation of evidence. Nor would I rely on ANYONE’S naked pronouncements.

  17. dopderbeck: How can we be so arrogant as to think that we know what “natural levels” are? This just begs the question, again, of whether mankind is or is not part of nature, does it not?

    Since ID cannot, strictly speaking, identify the designer or identify the motives of the designer, it’s true that there would have to be some room within ID to consider the possibility that the designer MAY HAVE failed to consider certain eventualities. Although I would say that given the complexity of biological systems and given the extent to which they appear to have been “thought through,” it seems safe to speculate that this designer thought this issue through as well.

    Also, concluding that global warming is essentially a hoax (as I have) does not automatically provide me with justification for the abdication of my responsibilities under God’s dominion mandate. Conservation is a good thing, but it can be taken to a harmful extreme. When it begins to infringe on basic human freedom, then it’s time to re-evaluate.

  18. Quick for instance:

    The author of the article states without support that solar output can explain the temperature fluctuations that we have seen.

    This seems a bit counter intuitive on its face since global temperature warming and cooling trends of the past century have all lasted multiple decades yet the sun’s output is on an eleven year cycle. Furthermore we only have readings of solar output for about thirty years.

    After some brief checking into the solar output claim I found that both NOAA and NASA think that hypothesis is incorrect. That does not of course mean that Dr. Ball is wrong, but I would not be willing to blindly accept expert statements without evidence from either side of the debate.

    If anyone knows more about how solar output can be linked to the longer periods of global warming or cooling I would like to hear it. I will look into it more later when I have more time.

  19. Sorry last post on the thread:

    Even if we were causing global we still would have no idea how to forecast its economic impact with any certainty other then to say that Gore’s predictions have a negligible chance of coming true. We do have an idea of the outrageous sums of money it would take to curb carbon emissions and the dissaterous effect that would have on developing economies.

    I would suggest there are better and farther reaching ways to spend the money. Providing clean water, vaccinations and treatments for common diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and TB to all that need such services would cost a fraction of the costs to curb emissions, would save so many more lives, and would generate considerable amounts of wealth as economies hobbled by disease recover and become viable members of the global economy instead of its most sorry recipients of charity.

  20. As soon as the word “consensus” is mentioned in support of an argument the argument is political. There is no consensus in science. There is only truth in science. Democracy is all about consensus. Science is not a democracy.

    Is there some part of that which anyone here does not understand?

  21. Allow me to recommend Michael Crichton’s novel State of Fear, which illustrates the inherent dangers of politicized science. Crichton draws a parallel between the current debate over global warming and the eugenics movement of the early 20th century.

  22. Wiki cites ID supporters including Phillip Johnson as also saying that AIDS is not caused by HIV. They will now add that ID supporters don’t believe in global warming.

    I think that this “off topic” is unlikely to advance our cause.

  23. I found this NewScientist (2001) article recently that says Mars may be experiencing severe global warming http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn1660

    Obviously there are no humans on Mars, so it is assumed that solar activity is the cause.

  24. Ultimately, this is the point of my earlier questions:

    At the very least, we have two competing “streams” of evidence regarding global warming. One stream says man did it and can resolve it. The other stream says man has nothing to do with it and that it is cyclical. Say what you want about which is credible on their ‘hard’ evidence. (to the extent that anyone has any ‘hard’ evidence)

    A design perspective ought to steer you toward accepting one of these streams of evidence over the other, and I’m saying it should steer you toward the latter stream. I’m not saying that the design perspective PROVES one side to be right and the other wrong. I’m just saying that being a ‘fan’ of the design paradigm ought to align you sooner with idea that this is a non-issue than with the idea that we need to take some sort of drastic actions to avert disaster.

    Having said all that, I really think I’ve been more than charitable in implying that the two streams are equal in their credibility. I remember vividly the scare tactics used on me in 3rd and 4th grade (for me, circa 1977) about the coming ice age. I’m still waiting for it… did I miss it? I must have. Must have been some ice age.

    There is no way anyone can convince me that we have enough reliable information about global temperatures going back far enough into history to be able to reach these sorts of conclusions. DaveScot alluded to this previously and he’s right on.

    These factors and several others all converge in my mind to arrive at the conclusion that global warming is a giant hoax, just as the coming ice age was.

  25. dopderbeck: How can we be so arrogant as to think that we know what “natural levels” are? This just begs the question, again, of whether mankind is or is not part of nature, does it not?

    C’mon Troutmac. We can be pretty darn sure what levels of CO2 plants need to flourish; and we can be pretty darn sure that such levels exist without human input, particularly that plants predate significant human contribution to global CO2 levels by at least millions of years. Your suggestion that cutting human CO2 emissions will somehow harm plant life is patently absurd.

  26. Sun contributes a *minimum* 10%-30% of global warming since 1980 when solar output began being measured reliably:

    http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/2005/09/sunwarm.html

    NASA affiliated researcher at Columbia finds “compelling evidence” solar output has been increasing for over 100 years.

    http://www.space.com/scienceas.....30320.html

    The planet Mars is experiencing global warming. Must be those pesky invisible Martians and their invisible SUVs and invisible coal fired electric generation, huh? :razz:

    http://www.space.com/scienceas.....31208.html

  27. Oh crap. Rowan beat me to the punch on Mars warming. DANG YOU ROWAN! :-P

  28. dopderbeck wrote:
    “We can be pretty darn sure what levels of CO2 plants need to flourish; and we can be pretty darn sure that such levels exist without human input…”

    HOW? Did WE create this universe? Did WE design plant life? That you think we know so much is patently absurd to me. We don’t know jack. Seems obvious to me that if mankind is part of nature, then whatever the CO2 levels are currently, including that which was produced by mankind, constitutes a “natural” level of CO2.

    And by the way… whos’ going to stop breathing first in an effort to reduces our CO2 production. That any part of this argument rests on human production of CO2 when we breathe the stuff out all day long oughtta be enough to send up the red flags.

    idnet.com.au wrote:
    “They will now add that ID supporters don’t believe in global warming. I think that this “off topic” is unlikely to advance our cause.”

    Well, I dunno about the AIDS/HIV question, but try to be a bit more optimistic. If you predict from a design perspective that global warming won’t happen, and then global warming doesn’t happen, then I call that a victory for ID, wouldn’t you?!!

    Besides which, if we, as ID proponents, are wringing our hands about global warming, then we’re not being logically consistent. The other side’s looking for inconsistency.

  29. dopderbeck wrote:
    “…articularly that plants predate significant human contribution to global CO2 levels by at least millions of years.”

    And oh yeah… I don’t buy this either. We don’t KNOW that plants predate humans by “millions of years.” I think that’s another myth.

  30. Thanks Dave for the solar info.

  31. Sorry Dave :)

    To be honest I am wary of saying too much about climate change because I don’t know enough about it, and I don’t want to give people another excuse to not engage with ID.

    But I do suspect that part of the modern day obsession with environmental apocalypse, is people’s need to believe in something more interesting than a world which slowly changes over millions of years. Maybe environmental apocalypse is to Revelations what Darwinism is to Genesis.

  32. I don’t think global warming is happening. Nevertheless, wouldn’t you think that if it does happen, that that might reflect a flaw in the design or a lack of foresight on the part of the designers?

    Just going off of the “priviledged planet” argument.

  33. HOW? Did WE create this universe? Did WE design plant life? That you think we know so much is patently absurd to me. We don’t know jack.

    Ok Troutmac, let me take this logic to its conclusion. If God is the designer of nature, and humans are part of nature, then whatever humans do is “natural” and reflects the plan of the designer. A “design perspective” thus suggests that human-produced C02 emissions will never be a problem. It is thus foolish to try to curtail C02 emissions.

    So, following your reasoning, if humans are committing genocide in Darfur, that likewise is a “natural” act, and we should do nothing to curtail it. Your “design perspective” suggests that if humanity couldn’t withstand genocide, he wouldn’t have designed people with the capacity for genocide, and so either the genocide in Darfur isn’t real or we should just ignore it.

    See, you’re ignoring the effects of human agency. We are part of nature, but our will makes us more than mere nature. My expectation, given what I believe about human nature, is exactly that we won’t care for creation as we are supposed to, and that this will cause human suffering.

    (As to “who will stop breathing first” — um, we’re talking about things like power plant emisions, not people breathing).

  34. “The Rare Earth” book talks about green-house gases being released naturally. If I remember correctly, it had something to do with minerals being exposed to sunlight. When the temperature increased, weathering increased. The increased weathering did something to slow down the release of green-house gases. There is a feedback mechanism that controls the amount of green-house gases in the atmosphere.

    I assume that’s been discussed before, but I haven’t seen it (probably because I haven’t followed this too closely). Are there any comparisons of naturally released green-house gasses vs. man-made green-house gasses?

    I’m not saying that conflicts with anything said by the global warming proponents. I’m just curious as to how that fits in.

    Thanks.

    dl

  35. dopderbeck: You have confused yourself with an equivocation.

    “Natural” has several different meanings. You can’t say that because something is not supernatural (i.e. Natural) that it is a necessary consequence, (i.e. Natural).

    Besides, how can you say that stopping the Darfur genocide is not part of that plan? That is, if you feel like discussing it in those terms.

  36. EJ — I’m not sure what you’re asking. I think you’re actually agreeing with me. I was criticizing TroutMac’s notion that global warming can’t be a problem if life arose as a result of design. Under TroutMac’s logic, if the earth were designed to support human life, there is no way humans could influence the environment in a way that would threaten human life. He seems to be assuming that anything humans can do is “natural,” in the sense of being a necessary consequence of the way humans are designed. But that clearly isn’t true, since humans are designed to be able to exercise free will, including the freedom to destroy the environment that supports us. Our choices concerning the environment aren’t “necessary”; they’re contingent on how we exercise our free will.

    Let’s say, for example, that I dump a truckload of toxic waste in my neighbor’s backyard. If I believe human life is the product of divine design, should I then expect that my neighbor cannot possibly become ill as a result of my actions? Wouldn’t a designer have constructed an environment in which my neighbor could thrive in the midst of toxic waste, given that another intelligent agent such as myself might expose him to such waste? Does my neighbor’s subsequent illness refute the notion of design?

    That’s obivously an absurd conclusion. My neighbor’s initial environment may have been intelligently designed in a way conducive to his health, but my action as another intelligent agent contaminated that original design. Design doesn’t preclude the freedom of other intelligent agents to mess with the original design.

    In theological terms, what we have here is a question of theodicy. Does the possibility, indeed likelihood, that human beings will choose to do evil, in violation of the designer-God’s original intent, vitiate the concept of design? TroutMac’s argument seems to lead in that direction.

    DL — yes, there are “natural” mechanisms that control greenhouse gasses, and the “natural” balance is well-suited to human flourishing. The question is whether human actions are likely to disrupt that ordinary balance by rapidly pumping huge quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere. Common sense seems to suggest it would.

    Actually, I’m a bit surprised that ID folks aren’t looking at global warming from a different “design” perspective. Our ability to dramatically affect human flourishing by altering the balance of greenhouse gasses, if anything, should support anthropic “rare earth” sorts of arguments. It shows just how fragile and unique the conditions for human flourishing are. If the balance of greenhouse gasses hadn’t been relatively stable from the end of the last ice age until the industrial revolution, society as we know it might not exist. The possibility that we can threaten human society by altering that balance supports the notion that the balance was carefully calibrated to begin with.

    This could even serve as a sort of testable prediction for ID: if the world is carefully designed to support human life, significantly altering the balance of environmental regulators such as greenhouse gasses should negatively impact human flourishing.

  37. Dear all,
    I don’t really want to express too strong of an opinion on a thread that is anyway off-topic, but I felt that the discussion would do well to rely a little less on secondary-source tirades from people like Inhofe or Ball (or equivalently shrill individuals on the other side). For what it’s worth, I will say a little bit about the basic scientific argument for human attribution of global warming presented by the IPCC, based on my reading through the third report and the recently-released summary of the fourth. Perhaps this can at least nudge the discussion towards the actual scientific issues.

    First, I’ll assume that you will grant that (1) the earth IS warming and (2) the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide IS skyrocketing due to human activity. If you deny either of these facts, then clearly there is not much to talk about anyway.

    Now, as for attribution of global warming. The relevant phenomena are quantified through “radiative forcing”, measured in watts per square meter. This is about the amount of energy radiating into the troposphere at the tropopause. More specifically, it is the net change in that amount resulting from some external effect. Changes in the energy output of the sun, cosmic rays, and what have you all lead to radiative forcing. Greenhouse gases lead to radiative forcing by reflecting energy that would otherwise dissipate into space back into the troposphere.

    Armed with this conceptual framework, there are three basic questions to ask. First, how much radiative forcing is due to human action, as opposed to solar radiation or other natural effects? Second, how does an increase in radiative forcing affect the global average temperature? Third, what is the relative importance of factors other than radiative forcing — say, volcanic activity or changing ocean currents – in determining global average temperature? These are the relevant questions that can be debated on scientific terms.

    As for the first question, it is, to my understanding, currently the strongest of the three parts of the argument. The best current data indicate that the increase in CO2 concentration due to human activity leads to more than ten times as much radiative forcing as recent increased solar irradiance (1.66 W/m^2 versus 0.12 W/m^2 — so far). To attack this finding, one must show either that the radiative forcing due to CO2 has been overestimated, the radiative forcing due to solar radiation has been underestimated, or that solar radiation can somehow affect the atmospheric temperature in a way not accounted for by radiative forcing.

    As for the second question, the understanding of how radiative forcing affects global average temperature comes primarily from complex models of atmospheric and oceanic circulation, which, when fit to the data under a variety of assumptions, lead to estimates of the response that vary in exact value, but are almost always positive and substantial. The most commonly cited figure is about 0.5 Kelvin for each 1 W/m^2 of radiative forcing.

    Finally, as for the third question. I didn’t get to this part of the report :o) But I hope this has provided an interesting introduction to the real scientific issues in this debate.

  38. “if the world is carefully designed to support human life, significantly altering the balance of environmental regulators such as greenhouse gasses should negatively impact human flourishing.”

    It seems just as valid to suggest that a carefully designed world would be carefully designed to prevent the possiblity of being messed with.

  39. Dave, have you seen this webpage:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoi.....s_edit.php

    Tim Ball has been discredited in a few obvious places it seems.

  40. GeoMor

    If human activity is really the cause of global waming — and global warming will be catastrophic — then Jane Fonda will be responsible for the destruction of humanity, at least if Edward Teller was correct in giving her primary blame for stopping the construction of nuclear plants.

    Anyway, my reason for being more frightened of the politics behind warming than the warming itself is that those crying crisis are not taking the obvious steps to resolve it, but demanding more money and power.

    The same people mongering global warming fear are actually demanding hydro-plants be ripped down in California.

    And generally they are very much opposed to nukes although there are exceptions.

    I see global warming as simply a means to expand the power of central government rather than an environmental crisis.

  41. trib

    The first rule we ought to make is outlawing travel by private jet. Hollywood stars that are all concerned about the environment waste more fuel in one private jet flight than an average family uses in two years.

    http://www.nationalsummary.com....._prius.htm

  42. robo

    I don’t consider nitpicking about exactly how many years Ball was a climatology professor to be “discrediting” anything at all.

  43. geomor

    First, I’ll assume that you will grant that (1) the earth IS warming and (2) the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide IS skyrocketing due to human activity. If you deny either of these facts, then clearly there is not much to talk about anyway.

    Then I guess we don’t have much to talk about. Those are not facts. Warming trends are confined to the northern hemisphere and the temperature measurements are all out of whack by the heat island effect of large cities. CO2 is not “skyrocketing” and it has risen many times in the past before humans were around.

  44. Winston said: It seems just as valid to suggest that a carefully designed world would be carefully designed to prevent the possiblity of being messed with.

    This is true only if you want to deny human free will. Yes, God / the designer could have made a world that could not possibly be messed with, or a world in which people couldn’t hurt each other. That fact that He didn’t, and chose instead to grace us with free will, says nothing about the fact of design one way or the other. (Or, at best, the idea of free will supports the notion of design, since it’s difficult to see how free will could arise from mere materialism).

    DaveScot: Yes, I saw the Lindzen Op-ed when it was first published. There have been several other skeptical Op-eds in the Wall Street Journal since then. Lindzen is one of the main global warming “skeptics” and the WSJ is the skeptics’ paper of record.

    It’s important, I think, to consider what folks like Lindzen are saying. However, it’s equally important to know that Lindzen is only one very controversial figure in a complex scientific and public policy debate. You can’t just cite Lindzen and call it a day, any more than you can just cite the IPCC and call it a day.

  45. doperderbeck

    You can’t just cite Lindzen and call it a day

    Of course I can cite Lindzen and call it a day. Science isn’t a democracy. Only one person need be correct. I say it’s Lindzen.

  46. The first rule we ought to make is outlawing travel by private jet.
    Hey, if there is a crisis sacrifices must be made!!
    And does Barbra really need a house that big?

  47. Of course I can cite Lindzen and call it a day. Science isn’t a democracy. Only one person need be correct. I say it’s Lindzen.

    Well, fine. You can do whatever you want. What should be done by those who want to think carefully for themselves is another matter.

  48. Some time back I was a guest at a prestigious banquet where one of the world’s wealthiest men was giving out grants to “green” groups. I chided the folks at my table: “You wanna do something about global warming? Eat more! We’ve gotta increase the planet’s biomas. Save the rainforest, yes! But the forest’s a steady state affair that doesn’t increase the biomas—at best it just holds its own. But have you noticed how fat the plebs are getting? Well … they’re doing their part! The more people there are and the fatter they get, the more of that CO2 that’s being taken out of the air. So let’s have more babies and, hey! go ahead and eat up!” Anyway they weren’t amused.

    But you’re right—the universal acid of Darwinism eats through every purpose except short term political gain. So I’d say that honest stewardship of the environment hinges on defeating Darwinian nihilism.

  49. “But you’re right—the universal acid of Darwinism eats through every purpose except short term political gain. So I’d say that honest stewardship of the environment hinges on defeating Darwinian nihilism.”

    Come again? Do you know any nihilists? I don’t but I know hundreds of people that believe Enolutionary Theory is at least on the right track. I guess you would call these people darwinists. The acid that you speak of and I know nothing of doesn’t seem to be so universal.

  50. Warming trends are confined to the northern hemisphere and the temperature measurements are all out of whack by the heat island effect of large cities.

    Previously, you said repeatedly that earth’s recent warming can be explained by fluctuations in solar irradiance. Now you seem to be saying the earth is not actually warming, and it’s all some measurement artifact. Which is it?

    Even those skeptics of human attribution who should be taken seriously, like Lindzen, do not deny that the earth is warming.

    CO2 is not “skyrocketing” and it has risen many times in the past before humans were around.

    I’m not sure what you are basing this statement on. In the 650,000 years prior to the industrial revolution, the highest estimated CO2 concentration was 300 ppm; it is now 379ppm and increasing at 1.9ppm per year — a rate which is actually accelerating. Where do you think all this CO2 we release goes?

  51. The acid that you speak of and I know nothing of doesn’t seem to be so universal.

    For your information, Darwinism as a “universal acid” was coined by Daniel Dennett. I doubt all Darwinists would agree.

  52. geomor

    Previously, you said repeatedly that earth’s recent warming can be explained by fluctuations in solar irradiance. Now you seem to be saying the earth is not actually warming, and it’s all some measurement artifact. Which is it?

    Define “recent”. It warms and cools in cycles of varying lengths. From 1940 to 1980 it was cooling, then it was warming until 1998, now it’s cooling again. Added on to this is questionable reliability of the data. The inconvenient fact of the matter is that nobody knows for sure WTF is happening or why.

    In the 650,000 years prior to the industrial revolution, the highest estimated CO2 concentration was 300 ppm;

    This is based on gas trapped ice cores and those are problematic for a number of reasons outlined by a Polish scientist who’s an expert in ice core studies.

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/icecore/

    Moreover, current measurements are all citations taken at the Mauna Loa observatory right in the middle of an active C02 spewing volcano chain. I wonder if there’s a possibly worse place in the world to get a reliable measure of atmospheric gas concentrations. Can you think of one?

  53. Okay I think I know what he meant and no I do not agree. Thanks Patrick.

  54. Jmcd: “Come again? Do you know any nihilists?” Well I remember having this argument in the U with one prof. pontificating, “I’ve come to terms with my total annihilation at death—doesn’t bother me—why can’t these nihilists do the same?” It boggles the mind! What drives these elites? They burn the midnight oil, publish and do not perish in the short term. But all for what?

    Meanwhile outside our sheltered world is the human debris—drugged, dulled, dazed—those hopeless hordes left over from the secularist triumph of the Sixties. Somehow our elites seem able to escape the nihilism they preach—not so lucky is the underclass that they would tax us to hire their graduates to fix.

  55. CO2 concentration in the geologic past has been many times higher as concluded from sediment drill cores.

    http://www.clearlight.com/~mhi.....chor147264

    Life doesn’t end when C02 levels rise. The planet doesn’t enter a runaway greenhouse. Just the opposite happens. Temperature is capped and the planet becomes lush with life from stem to stern.

  56. I don’t know rude. The ex hippies I know are doctors, lawyers and business owners not to mention largely happy husbands, wifes, fathers and mothers. I am sure that there are many disenfranchised people out there from that era but they are people that for whatever reasons gave up.

    One more question. If we at least think there is a good chance that we are annhilated at death, would you recommend that we just sit around for the inevitble? Or maybe we would rather learn to take advantage of our limited time if we hadn’t already and decide what is important to us and go out and make ourrbest go at it? I’ll leave it to you to decide what you would rather do.

    If we do decide to make a go at it, does that not imply a self defined purpose that exists at least subconsciously?

  57. DaveScot, your last comment seems misdirected. No scientists think that global warming is going to lead to the earth being consumed in a hellfire. We are talking about a few degrees of warming and a few meters of increased sea levels. As you say, life itself has no problem with this whatsoever. But what will it mean for human civilization? If you think it would not be very bad — and in some extremely abstract sense, one could argue that loss of coastal cities, mass starvation, tens or hundreds of millions of deaths, etc. would not be that bad in the very long run — then indeed, it’s nothing to worry about.

    (Sea levels during the last period when global average temperatures were 3-5 degrees warmer — about 125,000 years ago — were likely 4-6 meters higher.)

  58. geomor

    No scientists think that global warming is going to lead to the earth being consumed in a hellfire.

    Au contraire. MANY SCIENTISTS BELIEVE RUNAWAY GREENHOUSE POSSIBLE

    mass starvation, tens or hundreds of millions of deaths

    Where does that melodramatic crap come from if not from a runaway greenhouse?

    Oh I know. When the ocean rises anyone who lives near sea level will drown instead of walk to higher ground. And the ones that don’t drown will forget to eat. That must be it, huh?

  59. I don’t hold any definitive stand on global warming, but assuming that the environment of earth is fine tuned for life, tampering with it via introduction of excessive amounts of various gases probably isn’t desirable.

    There are many scientists who say that we (humans) are responsible for global warming. Perhaps we are not, as you say, but either way, we humans were not given the earth to abuse it. We should fight to cut down on environmental pollution, global warming or no global warming. Of course, if we caused global warming environmentalism would be more urgent.

  60. Global warming (GW) relies on mathematical modeling and on “origins” sciences, so it is not really off topic. It is related in the sense it being pseudo or rather “quazi” science, the same labels the ID gets labeled with by the mainstream (evolutionary) science.

    As the graph of CO2 in the geological past indicates (link by DaveScot message 56), the CO2 levels were 7000 ppm, or 20x higher compared to 2005, and, interestingly, are co-related with the Cambrian explosion, which started 542 million years ago. It was in this period that the life on earth arose as if by an explosion of new lifeforms, creating a huge variety in the fossil record that gave Darwin a lot of grief. If the earth could tolerate so much life and CO2 levels so high in the past, why couldn’t it tolerate them again? (From a theist’s point of view, if God allowed so much life to flourish at one time, why are we so worried about human overpopulation breathing out or making CO2 now?)

    The question of the accuracy of the mathematical models of GW is an interesting one, as even the US Senate Sceptic’s Guide points out, (link by DaveScot message 9). GW as science is basically all about “weather” modeling, and it is highly ironic that the environmental agencies which have been criticized for decreasingly accurate weather forecasts, use their modeling “skills” to forecast the GW doomsday scenario. For example, as Dr. Tim Ball pointed out, Environment Canada, which provided one the 19 IPCC models, has been criticized for doing a very poor job with their primary business, which is basic weather forecasts.

    A study was completed 2-3 years ago, which compared the forecast with the actual weather. Basically, the conclusion of the study was that the modern technology & forecasters can reasonably accurately forecast 1 day ahead, (but so can any knowledgeable “quack” who can look outside the window, and observe goats or sheep as one TV station in the US did some time ago). The 3-day forecast is basically akin to a 50-50% coin toss, (really, totally useless as a forecast), and the 5-day forecast is just plain garbage without any meaning at all. I am not sure if the study addressed seasonal or longer term forecasts, but I have a feeling that the pros would badly loose to Farmers’ Almanac which supposedly relies on its secret Sun-spot formula. (Surprisingly many people and business, like in construction, rely on Farmers’ Almanac.) Now, if they cannot accurately forecast 3 days ahead, what are their 300 year predictions worth?

    I tried to Google the original University of Manitoba study, to give a link, but it must have been pulled. However, I found some interesting info on their Weather Central blog (perhaps run by the same people who did the weather accuracy study):

    #1. Verification has shown that value is added by the forecaster to the initial SCRIBE set of weather concepts but only for the first 24 hours. Beyond this period (day 2-3) little or no value is added to the forecast.

    #2. The performance of the automated forecasts was found to trail closely to that of subjective forecasts under an objective verification scheme.

    #3. The question of who is the best forecaster in a particular media market is one that the public frequently asks. The authors have collected approximately one year’s forecasts from the National Weather Service and major media presentations for Oklahoma City. Diagnostic verification procedures indicate that the question of best does not have a clear answer. All of the forecast sources have strengths and weaknesses, and it is possible that a user could take information from a variety of sources to come up with a forecast that has more value than any one individual source provides. The analysis provides numerous examples of the utility of a distributions-oriented approach to verification while also providing insight into the problems the public faces in evaluating the array of forecasts presented to them.

    #5. And my favourite: “The accuracy of temperature and precipitation forecasts for Toronto was studied for the 20-year period 1960-1979. For temperature forecasts, the record indicates a significant loss of skill over the 20-year period in the prediction of maximum temperature for the first day. This was observed not only for the Bloor Street observing station for which the entire 20-year record was analysed, but also for observing stations at Toronto Island, Downsview and Malton. The loss of skill over the years is greatest in winter when temperature is consistently predicted too low at all stations.”

    There are many more…

    ( http://wxcentral.blogspot.com/.....ou-so.html )

  61. 63
    EndoplasmicMessenger

    This article comes to a similar conclusion:

    Science Makes A Move Toward Omnipotence

    “Junk science would be funny it if wasn’t trying to be omnipotent. But as it is, it’s just plain scary.”

    “Science has migrated from the examination of phenomenon through the scientific method of experimentation to the realm of metaphysics by claiming absolute knowledge about everything. And if you are a member of the scientific community who disagrees with the new politically correct official positions you will be considered worse than a Fundamentalist Christian.”

  62. Most climate scientists have only studied thermodynamics and meteorology and because of that favor greenhouse gases as a cause for global warming. They are very good at lobbying.

    Much talk, but how many look at the actual data.

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