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Gravity is Bringing Me Down

Al Gore in Slate responding to climategate:

“The physical relationship between CO2 molecules and the atmosphere and the trapping of heat is as well-established as gravity, for God’s sakes. It’s not some mystery.…”

Now where have I heard the “as well established as gravity” mantra before?  Hmm.  It’ll come to me in a moment.

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63 Responses to Gravity is Bringing Me Down

  1. Hi Barry:

    I’m surprised that Al Gore didn’t compare AGW to Darwin’s theory, claiming that AGW is as well established as it.

    Consider that in the nineteenth century the geosynclinal theory was proposed to account for how mountain ranges originate. This theory hypothesized that large trough-like depressions, known as geosynclines filled with sediment, gradually became unstable, and then when crushed and heated by the earth elevated to form mountain ranges. Geologists as late as 1960 confidently asserted that the geosynclinal theory provided the answer. Thus in the 1960 edition of Clark and Stearn’s _Geological Evolution of North America_, the status of the geosynclinal theory was compared favorably with Darwin’s theory of natural selection:

    “The geosynclinal theory is one of the great unifying principles in geology. In many ways its role in geology is similar to that of the theory of evolution, which serves to integrate the many branches of the biological sciences…. Just as the doctrine of evolution is universally accepted among biologists, so also the geosynclinal origin of the major mountain systems is an established principle in geology.” (p. 43)

    Whatever became of the geosynclinal theory? Within ten years following this statement the theory of plate tectonics, which explained mountain formation through continental drift and sea-floor spreading, had decisively replaced the geosynclinal theory.

    Forget about gravity. Evolution is the gold standard of scientific certainty!

  2. Gore may be right. It depends what is covered by The physical relationship between CO2 molecules and the atmosphere and the trapping of heat

    It is accepted by all climate scientists (mainstream and sceptic) that CO2 and other GHG molecules reflect heat (IR radiation) back to the earth and thus reduce heat loss due to radiation. It is also accepted that if there were no GHGs in the atmosphere the earth would be about 60 degrees F colder. This follows from the laws of black body radiation which is about as well established as any law of physics.

    The dispute is about how much additional warming will additional CO2 cause. If it were only the universally accepted greenhouse effect the additional warming would be very small. The real dispute is about positive feedback effects and their importance.

  3. A bit (way) off topic, request for a new thread. PhysOrg has a very intreguing article relative to ID.

    http://www.physorg.com/news179664799.html

    The scientists say introns are inserted into the genome far more frequently than current models predict. … And surprisingly, the vast majority of intron DNA sequences the scientists examined were of unknown origin.

    “The thinking has been that these insertion events are very rare because they always have bad effects,” said postdoctoral fellow Abraham Tucker.

    Does this not look like evidence of design? The more precise the intronic data must be, the less likely that evolution did it.

  4. “Gore may be right. It depends what is covered by The physical relationship between CO2 molecules and the atmosphere and the trapping of heat.”

    The only problem is that Gore equivocates on global warming to the same extent that Darwinists equivocate on evolution. Global warming can mean natural variances in temperature which no one disagrees with just as evolution can mean small changes brought about by natural selection. But in each case very little actual knowledge/science is claimed to be the equivalent of knowledge of biblical proportions, i.e. knowledge of the sort that the Jewish prophets claimed.

    What most people are interested in are these vast claims of prophetic knowledge about the past and the future.

  5. A couple of asides.

    DARPA was originally set up to be the space program in the US but political battles led to the organization of NASA. DARPA which had no reason for being then set out to do other projects. One of them was the monitoring of nuclear explosions by the Soviets. They set up listening stations all over the world and to get real time information connected them to the telephone lines. Thus, the invention of the internet. But as a side benefit of this was a monitoring of seismic movements all over the planet and a confirmation of plate tectonics.

    Second, I thought that the geological information says that heat changes precede changes in CO2, not the other way around. So as the temperature rises, we expect to see rises in CO2 to follow. I am certainly not very knowledgeable on this but I believe this was one of the criticisms of Al Gore’s dog and pony shows and his movie.

  6. #4

    Second, I thought that the geological information says that heat changes precede changes in CO2, not the other way around. So as the temperature rises, we expect to see rises in CO2 to follow. I am certainly not very knowledgeable on this but I believe this was one of the criticisms of Al Gore’s dog and pony shows and his movie.

    Jerry

    It has been known for a long time that temperature rises cause an increase in CO2 (for a number of reasons) as well as CO2 causing an increase in temperature. So when the temperature increases for other reasons – which happens – you can expect to see a subsequent increase in CO2. This is one of the positive feedback mechanisms that the climatologists try to model.

    What interests me is how many people know that the majority of climatologists are wrong without knowing much about this complicated subject.

  7. “What interests me is how many people know that the majority of climatologists are wrong without knowing much about this complicated subject.”

    I do not pretend to be knowledgeable let alone an expert on climate. But I find the above comment to be typical knee jerk. Two things:

    The rapid politicization of this area with vast social changes seen as a result. The affirmers are the usual suspects so it leads many to suspect the motives of these suspects especially when adherents within the community think the proposals being formulated are ill conceived.

    Second there is a large disagreement within the community as to the actual science with the subsequent attempt to silence them.

    I am sorry but human nature leads me to fight such an approach. There is no way I believe the proponents have the betterment of the planet, climate wise as their objective. Their motives lie elsewhere.

  8. I’m still waiting to hear about the group of scientists who are both evolutionary biologists and climatologists.

    It is clear that carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation effectively. Any organic chemistry student looking an the infrared spectrum can tell you that independent of climate science. (Duh.)

  9. “I’m still waiting to hear about the group of scientists who are both evolutionary biologists and climatologists.”

    Diid you ask this? It is a rather stupid question so that may be the reason it wasn’t answered.

  10. I wish I had a nice warm blanket of CO2 surrounding my apartment just now to help keep the heat in =p.

    I suggest that we work on a CO2 bomb. If things get too warm we explode the bomb (or however many are required) in the atmosphere and convert the CO2 to something else.

    Any suggestions on what CO2 can be converted to and what sort of bomb might be required to bring it about?

  11. 12

    Everyone is free to comment here, but if snarky putdowns are all you have to offer, don’t be surprised if you find yourself in the same category as olin, i.e., “no longer with us.”

  12. Al Gore has cut his throat so many times with his own words on AGW and GW… does it really matter what he says anymore?

  13. Al Gore answers:

    Q: Why does the Copenhagen meeting matter?

    A: We face the gravest threat that civilization has ever confronted.

    …really…

    If you take just the fact that within the last thousand years that it was much warmer than today, or just the fact that any warming trends up to the present began before the industrial revolution, how can any rational person take this guy serious?

    Al Gore’s only “power” is given to him by the media. If the media were doing what a truly free press should do, then Al Gore would have been publicly and politicaly discredited on this discussion a long ago. And AGW would be in it’s place in the hstory boooks as a hoax.

    Thank God for the internet.

  14. I just read a great comment over at telic thoughts. One of the commenters named Todd said that those who support Global Warming are using ID to support their position. In other words they have determined that it was intelligent intervention that has caused our climate problems. Here is his comment:

    “ID is relevant to climate science because AGW detection is design detection. Indeed, the science is attempting to demonstrate an anthropogenic ‘signal’ in climate from natural ‘noise’.”

    So let’s hear it for all the Global Warming enthusiasts here and elsewhere. They are practicing ID science.

  15. Jerry – that is fairly disingenuous, even if you are quoting this flippantly.

    I don’t think that climate scientists are detecting ‘design’, are they?

    We are aware of our input of CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere; this is what makes it feasible in theory to separate a human-caused signal from natural processes.

    ID, however, is about inferring the signature of ‘design’ by arguing that the actions of an unknown designer would be manifestly, qualitatively different from natural processes.

  16. a bit off the topic:

    Would it not be interesting to know the Meyers-Briggs profiles from all the comments on this subject and the correlative profiles of ID?

    Sorry if this is far TOO off topic (heaven forbid) , but I would be curious to know.

  17. Any suggestions on what CO2 can be converted to and what sort of bomb might be required to bring it about?

    Plants in Space anyone?

  18. Here’s a thoughtful post, well worth reading, from Watts Up With That:

    Climategate reaches the British House of Lords

    I loved this quote:

    There is the issue of the science, which I had previously taken as given; but many people’s faith is being tested. We are often told that the science is settled. I suppose that is what the Inquisition said to Galileo. If so, why are we spending millions of pounds on research? The science is far from settled. – Lord Turnbull, December 8th, 2009.

    And there’s more:

    We need to purge the debate of the unpleasant religiosity that surrounds it, of scientists acting like NGO activists, of propaganda based on fear, for example, the quite disgraceful government advertisement which tried to frighten young children – the final image being the family dog being drowned – and of claims about having “10 days to save the world”. Crude insults from the Prime Minister do not help.
    – Lord Turnbull, December 8th, 2009.

    To put it all in perspective:

    There are major controversies not just about the contribution of CO2, on which most of the debate is focused, but about the influence of other factors such as water vapour, or clouds – the most powerful greenhouse gas – ocean currents and the sun, together with feedback effects which can be negative as well as positive.

    Worse still, there are even controversies about the basic data on temperature. The series going back one, 10 or 100,000 years are, in the genuine sense of the word, synthetic. They are not direct observations but are melded together from proxies such as ice cores, ocean sediments and tree rings.

    Given the extent to which the outcome is affected by the statistical techniques and the weightings applied by individual researchers, it is essential that the work is done as transparently as possible, with the greatest scope for challenge. That is why the disclosure of documents and e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit is so disturbing. Instead of an open debate, a picture is emerging of selective use of data, efforts to silence critics, and particularly a refusal to share data and methodologies.

    It is essential that these allegations are independently and rigorously investigated. Naturally, I welcome the appointment of my old colleague, Sir Muir Russell, to lead this investigation; a civil servant with a physics degree is a rare beast indeed. He needs to establish what the documents really mean and recommend changes in governance and transparency which will restore confidence in the integrity of the data. This is not just an academic feud in the English department from a Malcolm Bradbury novel. The CRU is a major contributor to the IPCC process. The Government should not see this as a purely university matter. They are the funders of much of this research and their climate change policies are based on it.

  19. “So emissions trading could establish a new world order for a sustainable planet, one based on the sharing of the earth’s ability to absorb harmful emissions. To allocate that ‘resource’ fully and properly will, in turn, require resourcefulness and imagination across the globe.”

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/i.....;aid=14294

    Nevermind that crazy talk, there never was a conspiracy for acheiving a single global government…PURELY coincidental… just stay in vogue with your views and ignore those crazy conspiracists.

    Denial and apathy of this clear trend will leave people waking up with their children as slave in a formerly sovereign nation – ruled by super rich cartels.

  20. #7 Jerry

    I am not quite sure why you call this a knee jerk reaction. It is actually based on quite a lot of consideration of how we should relate to “accepted expertise”. The overwhelming majority of climatologists believe that there is significant AGW and it will grow. It is, of course, completely reasonable to be sceptical about their view. The accepted science has often proved wrong in the past. All I am saying is that scepticism should either be based on your own deep knowledge of the subject or your trust of other experts. (I have great respect for Steve McIntyre). To raise technical objections of your own when you do not understand the subject is jumping to conclusions and actually to potentially weaken the sceptical position in the long run.

  21. bFast,

    Does this not look like evidence of design? The more precise the intronic data must be, the less likely that evolution did it.

    Very cool. Hopefully Conrelius Hunter or Paul Nelson will want to tackle it.

  22. 23

    Please read the book “A Primer on CO2 and Climate” by Howard C. Hayden.

    Hayden is Professor of Physics at the University of Conneticut.

    Read in particular pp54-59.

    In a nutshell CO2 can only make a limited contribution to warming. Increased CO2 doesn’t produce ever increasing warming effects. It can’t do this because of the limited absorbtion capacity (wavelength restricted) of IR radiation by CO2 molecules.

    Read the book and the cited pages. This book is a science based discourse not a superficial “comment” from a scientifically ignorant politician.

  23. “The accepted science has often proved wrong in the past. All I am saying is that scepticism should either be based on your own deep knowledge of the subject or your trust of other experts.”

    See

    http://www.populartechnology.n.....rting.html

    This is an indication that the science could be wrong and given the political nature of this and the revealed emails, it almost makes it assuredly a farce. We have a model on how they do it in science in the evolutionary biology arena and on that I am extremely well informed so I can be an expert in how the academy works (taught at a university for 8 years) and how intellectually and morally bankrupt it is.

    “To raise technical objections of your own when you do not understand the subject is jumping to conclusions and actually to potentially weaken the sceptical position in the long run.”

    I am not personally raising technical objections except a lot of knowledgeable people question the basic data. After listening to the depth of the dissenting opinions and the rapid politicization of this by the left, I can be almost positive it is a fraud. If it wasn’t a fraud, they would take a completely different approach. (I can be an expert on human behavior.) Especially regarding the remedies that are being recommended. It is one thing to control pollution, it quite another to try to change the complete behavior of a society to fit some pre determined norms.

    Yes your comment was knee jerk. I haven’t seen a remark from you yet that didn’t fit a pattern that was more political than logical like it was pre determined by a template you are reading from. I haven’t read all your comments here but as of today those I have read look like they have been scripted by something you have been given to read. So the fact that you support the global warming agenda, is just another reason to be skeptical since you have proven to be a reflexive and intransigent bellwether for non response to rational discussions.

    Just as an example, I gave anyone reading my comment an opening and they did not even venture through it, especially you. That was the rapid politicization of the issue. But no, you did not bite and there is the fact that people who agree that the climate is warming believe the proposed solutions are counter productive and harmful. So one has to question the motives of those who are in Copenhagen and whether they actually believe it is true but see an opportunity to advance a political agenda. Your comments fit that mold perfectly. They are best described by political motivation, not interest in science. You pretend to respect science but at every turn here it appears at best superficial so as I said to me you are a bellwether of bad thinking. If you were interested in science your remarks over the last couple years would be quite different.

    Sorry for the frank analysis (pun intended) but all your comments fit a stereotype and are knee jerk and your pretense for an interest in science is questionable.

  24. #23

    Deric

    Please read the book “A Primer on CO2 and Climate” by Howard C. Hayden.

    Hayden is Professor of Physics at the University of Conneticut.

    Read in particular pp54-59.

    It would take a long time for me to get access to this book. However, I have done a formal class on climate change with the Open University which discussed the same point which is well known. Without positive feedback loops increasing CO2 and other GHGs would cause diminishing increases in temperature. In one sense the whole debate is about the effect of those positive feedback loops.

    Venus provides evidence that sufficient CO2 can cause very large increases in temperate. I am not claiming it is remotely comparable to earth – the atmosphere is mostly CO2 – but the result is a surface temperature of over 400 C (while it would be about 0 C without any CO2).

  25. “ID, however, is about inferring the signature of ‘design’ by arguing that the actions of an unknown designer would be manifestly, qualitatively different from natural processes.”

    I do not think it is disingenuous. I thought the comment was extremely insightful. The global warming controversy is trying to eliminate naturalistic causes so what is left is intelligent based. It is similar to the basis of forensic science which often tries to eliminate one form of intelligence from another and from naturalistic causes. So it is a form of design detection because the evidence does not fit any naturalistic pattern. Just because it is not what is usually argued in ID, does not mean it not the same process.

    Yes it was flippant but any time I can rub it in to automatons who are anti ID here and appear to be reflexively pro global warming, I will do it. The correlation between the two is not a perfect 1.0 but it seems like it is pretty close.

  26. 27

    Mark, thank you for your comment.

    Hayden explains the Venus situation:

    Venus has 250,000 times the CO2 concentration compared with Earth. That is it make up virtually 100% of the Venusian atmosphere. As such the CO2 molecules are so numerous that they will be absorbing virtually all the IR radiation. Hence the estimated surface temps of about 400C. (Also I’d imagine the solar intensity in watts/m2 on Venus is significantly higher than that on Earth).

    Other sources suggest that on Earth the initial 200pmm of CO2 absorbs the bulk of “absorbable wavelengths” so further addition of CO2 shows a marked reduction in absorbtion capacity. Not zero but reducing rapidly and progressively (asymptoticallY) towards zero.

  27. 28

    That should be 200ppm. Sorry.

  28. #24

    Jerry

    I am sorry, I should make it clear that my comment was not directed at you. You admit your ignorance of the subject and are quite explicit in basing your opinions on your faith in the minority of experts who are sceptical.

  29. #27

    Deric

    As I say there is no way I can read the Haydon book in a reasonable timescale. I have always understood that the crude relationship between CO2 concentration and global temperature increase is logarithmic. So every doubling of CO2 concentration leads to the same absolute increase in temperature. Look for example at this sceptically oriented web site:

    http://brneurosci.org/co2.html

    which discusses the relationship between CO2 and temperature in great detail and concludes:

    The net effect of all these processes is that doubling carbon dioxide would not double the amount of global warming. In fact, the effect of carbon dioxide is roughly logarithmic. Each time carbon dioxide (or some other greenhouse gas) is doubled, the increase in temperature is the same as the previous increase.

    As discussed, the key thing being the positive feedback.

    You talk of “other sources” which say the increase in temperature is asymptotic. Maybe you could be explicit about those sources?

  30. Mark Frank

    I have to say that on this occasion I agree with you, when you write that “scepticism should either be based on your own deep knowledge of the subject or your trust of other experts.” If my experience of following the global warming debate over the past few years has taught me nothing else, it is this: that the only person who can successfully critique a climatologist’s theories is another climatologist. (Non-specialists can of course question the reliability of their data, or their use of statistics, but that is another matter.)

    I often keep up with the latest on global warming at http://www.climatedebatedaily.com/ , which is a very useful resource for those following the debate on a daily basis. During the past few months, I have seen a professor of geology (Ian Plimer) routed in debate by a journalist (George Monbiot), after he got basic facts wrong in his book (e.g. that volcanoes emit more carbon dioxide than humans). The authors of Superfreakonomics were no fools either, but they made a claim (that black solar panels exacerbate global warming) which, it turns out, could have been easily refuted with simple arithmetic.

    Nowadays, I tend to listen carefully to what climatologists such as Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen have to say. I’m especially impressed with Roy Spencer, because he never overstates his arguments, he never gets hot under the collar, he isn’t afraid to criticise other sceptics whose theories he might disagree with, and he admits when he’s got something wrong. He’s a scientists whom I respect.

  31. vjtorley

    It is always nice when you agree with me on something. Your web site looks rather a useful resource.

  32. I am highly critical of anyone who supports the current AGW agenda. For two reasons.

    1. It is obviously ultra political and just a charade in order to get political control over the means for production in the world. If anyone doesn’t see this then they are operating with real blinders on and their judgment should not be trusted. If they do see it then their judgment is not suspect but their motives are at best “foul.” If you think this is paranoid then why did the US EPA declare this wee the air we exhale a pollutant which is the first step to control emissions as they see fit.

    2. These people of both stripes are preventing a rational analysis of the situation. If there is indeed global warming going on that is man made they are preventing an honest assessment of the situation. With all the political machinations being implemented and the subsequent distorting of research there is no way it is possible to get an accurate reading of the science. All the politicians, journalists and scientists at Copenhagen should agree to a moratorium and agree to open and honest science before meeting again in 5 years to discuss it rationally. Of course they will not do this but because of this they should be fought as hard as possible.

    I suggest that those who want an alternative opinion on this by someone who says warming is going on, watch the following by one of the major climate persons in the world.

    http://reason.tv/video/show/ro.....with-bjorn

    We are not going to get anything positive at Copenhagen. We are watching a travesty unfolding.

  33. Here’s a good overview of the fraud:

    http://www.americanthinker.com.....s_hid.html

  34. Those wanting to watch the video interview I linked to can watch a 4 minute excerpt at the top of the page or the whole 30 minute interview at the bottom of the page. If after watching this you are still for what the UN is doing, then there is no hope. This is an interview of someone who says the earth is warming.

    http://reason.tv/video/show/ro.....with-bjorn

  35. Here’s a potentially useful resource for getting more information we need on climate modeling data:

    http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/

    What’s the American equivalent? Does anyone know?

    And here’s an excerpt from Dr. Roy Spencer’s blog, Can Global Warming Predictions be Tested with Observations of the Real Climate System?

    Furthermore, the computer codes for the climate models now being used by the IPCC should be made available to other researchers for independent testing and experimentation. The Data Quality Act for U.S.-supported models already requires this, but this law is being largely ignored. (Emphasis mine – VJT.)

    Mark Frank: thanks for the compliment.

  36. Barry, Other moderators,

    You should read this and give it a separate thread:

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/o.....s/?print=1

    It is by Frank Tipler and is about truth and science and Climategate. So the thread about science and certainty is appropriate as is this thread is appropriate. It is so descriptive of science and how it now practiced in the West. as well as what we can expect from our left leaning politicians if they get the power they want.

  37. Here is something else for food for thought to see if there is substance for past science manipulating data to foster a social goal. Rachel Carson, , Alfred Kinsey, Margaret Mead all falsified their data with epic social results.

    http://www.americanthinker.com.....senko.html

  38. http://www.relevantmagazine.co.....difference

    This is mostly a site for Christian young adults. The article makes the case that dealing with climate change is a moral responsibility for all Christians because the negative effects of climate change will disproportionately affect the poor. However, read through all the comments on the article. Overwhelmingly, the commentors are skeptical of AGW and are not buying the thesis of the article.

  39. Um, apparently the comments have all disappeared. In fact, just a few minutes ago I read through two pages of comments. Very strange.

  40. nvrmnd, here’s a link that shows the comments:

    http://www.relevantmagazine.co.....q-comments

  41. Hence the estimated surface temps of about 400C.

    We should be able to survive that.

  42. Ethical Bankruptcy at the American Physics Association.

    Physicists not be left out are all joining the ethically bankrupt biologists and climatologists in large numbers. The guy asked to evaluate the APA position on global warming has received tens of millions of dollars to investigate global warming.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2.....4504.shtml

    Will there be any honest scientists left standing when it is all over. Yes there will be several but there will be an attempt to marginalize them before it is all over.

  43. The list of lies keeps growing longer and longer…

    Would You Like Your Temperature Data Homogenized, or Pasteurized? A Smoldering Gun From Nashville, TN . Guest post by Basil Copeland.

  44. #45

    vjtorley

    As far as I can see this link does not accuse anyone of deceit. In fact all it discusses is

    a) the temperature record at single station shows a different trend according to which global temperature record you use

    b) a proposed alternative method for detecting warming trends

    In fact near the end he concludes:

    And overall – I.e. if a similar kind of analysis is applied to all of the stations in the HadCRUT3 data set (or “subset”) – I will not be surprised if there is not some evidence for warming. But that has never really be the issue. The issue has always been (a) how much warming, and (b) where has it come from?

  45. Someone said that the historical temperature data used by the AGW climate people is based on one tree in Siberia. Yamal peninsula data. Now that sounds absurd but it checks out. These guys were using one tree to overturn all other climate data. The medieval warming trend and the little ice age were wiped out by this falsification to make it look like the 20th century was abnormal.

    Just look at how much the world is being moved by the falsification of 3-4 people with this data. Could you say that these clowns have caused tens of billions of dollars to be spent based on their lies.

  46. I read somewhere that the climate data was based on 12 trees in the Yamal peninsula but that when the net was cast wider and data from a much larger number of trees in the area was taken into account, the apparent trend disappeared. What I haven’t seen is anything about the reasons why the rings from just those 12 trees was used, assuming all this is true.

    The problem is that, even if there was fraud at the CRU – and this has not yet been established – it does not make the question of global warming go away. We still need to find out the extent of the threat and what, if anything, we need to do about it or can do about it.

  47. You have to understand that without the data from those few trees, global warming disappears. There is no hockey stick and the Medieval Warming period was much warmer and the 20th century is just a normal trend rising from the Little Ice Age.

    So it is a fraud based on a few trees in Siberia that was manipulated to eliminate the warming and cooling trends of the past 1000 years. Recent so called warming is just normal fluctuations seen over the past 1000 years.

  48. The meetings in Copenhagen are not about global warming. That is a facade for something else. It is about the world sharing of money from North American and Europe to the rest of the world. No one expects anything of consequence to change in terms of temperature and the real issue is extorting money from the industrialized countries and transferring it to the developing world under the guise that they will be damaged by global warming.

    There is no proof that any country has been damaged but the money will be transferred in anticipation of future damages. You should see what Bolivia wants.

    The whole thing in Copenhagen is a farce and few if any know what it is about. The main meetings are about money. The people have been scared by false climate data in order to send money around the world. If the average person knew this they would be outraged but the press and the Democrats are suppressing this as well as the EU. I was listening to 3-4 economists explaining what it was all about last night.

  49. There is a 2 hour debate at MIT on the Hadley CRU scandal: The Great Climategate Debate. Panelists: Kerry Emanuel ’76, PhD ’78
    Judith Layzer PhD ’99
    Stephen Ansolabehere
    Ronald G. Prinn SCD ’71
    Richard Lindzen

    Lindzen is fantastic.

  50. #51

    Great link todd. I highly recommend it to anyone whatever their persuasion. I thought all the panelists did well.

    All panelists (including Lindzen) seemed to recognise

    1) That this is not a yes/no issue. It is subtle and complicated.

    2) Scientists (and indeed others) need to get away from an antagonistic approach.

    (It also interesting to note that twice during the debate the public scepticism of evolution was held up as an example of how easily the public could get things wrong – neither sceptics nor warmers challenged this.)

  51. “It also interesting to note that twice during the debate the public scepticism of evolution was held up as an example of how easily the public could get things wrong – neither sceptics nor warmers challenged this”

    This should mean that neither group knows what they are talking about. I bet none of these guys could defend their beliefs in evolution. Since they would be the first ones on the planet to do so.

    Relevant to Climategate, there is one and only one issue, whether the hockey stick data was fudged. For the hockey stick to be true all the history of six centuries has to be rewritten not climate data. I think not.

  52. Jerry, I must disagree with you on all counts.

    @49

    Recent so called warming is just normal fluctuations seen over the past 1000 years.

    I know of no one who disputes the importance of normal cycles in the climate. The broader issue, as I understand it, is that human production of CO2 and other greenhouse gases may contribute over and above the natural cycles. The effects of this are very likely to be increased average temperatures – there is no debate I know of about whether CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas. This should be sufficient cause for at least caution.

    @50

    If the average person knew this they would be outraged but the press and the Democrats are suppressing this as well as the EU. I was listening to 3-4 economists explaining what it was all about last night.

    I think it would be a fallacy to say that 3-4 economists are able to correctly evaluate the entire purpose and value of Copenhagen. They are bound to view Copenhagen from a financial viewpoint, and leave the politics and science to more qualified commentators.

    Why would the press, the Democrats and the EU collude to give their own nations’ money away senselessly? This makes no sense as a conspiracy theory – they believe the mainstream science.

  53. I just listened to the MIT discussion and found it sort of a waste of time. I should not say that because the pro global warming offered no science to back up their position. It just confirmed by assessment of most academics as sort of useless folks. It was four for global warming and one skeptic. And guess who talked science and guess who talked BS. It was sort of like the evolution debates. The skeptics talk science and logic, the others talk about something else.

    The issue is solely over the hockey stick graph. And the data has been destroyed that supposedly supported this graph. That is why this is such a humongous issue. These scientists should spend the rest of their lives in orange jump suits and not be lauded as they have up to this time.

    The hockey stick analysis supposedly rid the world of the medieval warming period and the little ice age and said they never happened. It said there has been no major temperature fluctuations in the last 1000 years and the Vikings never settled Greenland and farmed or did Scots grow vineyards in the 1100′s nor did they skate on the Thames during the 1500′s . Because if each existed then today’s temperatures would not be extreme but sort of average. So in fact there could have been global warming in the last 150 years and it might be just normal temperature fluctuations. And if it has been accelerated by human activity, then it hasn’t gotten close to a range where it poses an imminent danger.

    So when people debate this issue, the validity of the hockey stick is the most important thing they should keep in mind. The second most important thing they should keep in mind is that the corrections to global warming if in fact it exists are varied and the least effective solution is what is being proposed currently, namely cap and trade. And the reason this solution is being proposed is that it will enable governments to extract large amounts of money from the public without calling it a tax.

  54. “Why would the press, the Democrats and the EU collude to give their own nations’ money away senselessly? This makes no sense as a conspiracy theory – they believe the mainstream science.”

    If this were true, they would behave quite differently. The proposed legislation is the least effective way to attack global warming but the most effective way to extract money from the people. So your analysis is proof that they are not concerned about the climate but how to get hold of money.

  55. If someone decides to watch the MIT broadcast, the lone skeptic is Richard Lindzen. Here is a recent article he wrote about the topic.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....25400.html

  56. I am interested that Jerry and vjtorley are such fans of Richard Lindzen.

    Are you aware that he regularly attacks some Global Warming arguments as making the argument for intelligent design look rigorous by comparison? For example, in this recent paper page 3.

  57. “I am interested that Jerry and vjtorley are such fans of Richard Lindzen.”

    I never heard of him till yesterday. I have paid little attention to the details of the global warming debate till the last couple weeks and have heard of the term “hockey stick” a few times but never knew it significance till the last few days. I never was aware that the key element in this was the hockey stick graph and this now looks like it was fabricated. Without the hockey stick, the whole global warming community would be laughed out of any sensible discussion.

    Here is a question for Mark Frank and anyone else who defends the global warming advocates. Would any of your issues have nearly the same merit if the hockey stick graph is false and has been shown to be pure fabrication?

    What I noticed before learning about the implications of the hockey stick graph was a trend and that it was the same group of left wing crazies that were pushing for it and they seemed to be using the same techniques as was used in evolution. Marginalize anyone who disagrees with you and never debate the substance of the key issue. Notice Mark Frank and others do not debate the substance of the key issue but seems to appealing to authority. Witness Mark’s comment

    “It is actually based on quite a lot of consideration of how we should relate to “accepted expertise”.”

    That is blindly submit to O’Brien and say 2 + 2 = 5 or 2 + 2 = 3 or 2 + 2 = 4 depending upon what the party wants.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/o.....s/?print=1

    Every one of the anti ID people seem to be members of O’Brien’s party for both evolution and global warming. They have no capacity to think, only repeat what the party wants them to think. Maybe tomorrow they will be asked to believe 2 + 2 = 0.

  58. #59

    I am sorry Jerry – I did not realise you were essentially new to the GW debate.

    You ask:

    Would any of your issues have nearly the same merit if the hockey stick graph is false and has been shown to be pure fabrication?

    I am sorry that to answer this needs a little preamble and clarification. This makes for a much longer comment than I would like.

    The GW debate need not be so polarised as the politicians, journalists (and much of the blogging world) paint it. There is no question that man’s activities have increased the GHGs in the atmosphere and that increasing the GHGs makes the earth’s surface warmer than it would otherwise have been. You would be hard put to find a sceptic scientist who would deny this. The question is how much difference and what effect would that difference make. That is a continuum from a very small increase with little effect, to a lot and much effect. On top of that people may vary in the range of uncertainty in that estimate (it’s like the difference between the mean and standard deviation).

    I am not an expert in this incredibly complicated field and therefore have a very wide range of personal uncertainty. Even the experts are pretty uncertain and say so.

    That is the end of the preamble. To return to your question. How much difference would it make if the hockey stick were shown to be false? It depends in what way false. Suppose it were demonstrated that there is no evidence that the hockey stick is the shape that Mann suggested (That of course is quite different from evidence that is a different shape. It still might be.) This mainly increases the uncertainly of any estimate of future temperature rise because one line of evidence has been removed. But there are plenty of other reasons for supposing it may happen. On the other hand if it were shown there was evidence for dramatic natural climate change in the past millenium then that suggests GHGs make a relatively small difference and while we may be concerned about climate change the solution is not to cut out GHGs.

    I should point out that the e-mails make little difference to the credibility of the hockeystick. McIntyre’s concerns were already public knowledge, explained in published peer reviewed papers, and taken account of in the latest IPCC assessment. The lost data relates to the current temperature record (not proxy data) and there are several other independent data sets which give much the same picture (NASA for one).

  59. My objections have been clearly stated in each post.

    The hockey stick phenomena should be the main thrust of the debate. Because the truth of its premise is the basis for all the debate in terms of potential crisis. If in fact there was a medieval warming then the current temperatures are not anomalies presaging global problems. Essentially there may be lots of time to act if needed and there should be no rush to anything.

    Second, the best policies are far different from what is currently advocated. One has to wonder why such bad policies are advocated. It does not take anyone with half a brain to figure that out. It involves money not results. Why aren’t people protesting that. I find that interesting.

    So far, no one I have seen has been able to obviate this logic which is not mine but others who seem to have their heads screwed on right. When the anarchist at Copenhagen are arguing for something, it immediately says to me, this is a political event and not a science or humanitarian event. The average person hasn’t a clue about the essence of this debate and when I explained it to a couple friends in the last couple days they were amazed.

  60. #61

    Jerry

    The average person hasn’t a clue about the essence of this debate and when I explained it to a couple friends in the last couple days they were amazed

    I have been following this debate since 2001. The more I understand, the more complicated it seems (ID is a doddle compared to AGW), and my opinion still wavers. I am impressed that you managed to understand so much in just two weeks that you are now certain about what is important, who is right, and the motivations of those who are wrong.

  61. “I am impressed that you managed to understand so much in just two weeks that you are now certain about what is important, who is right, and the motivations of those who are wrong.”

    I have been following it for several years without knowing the details and following who is for it. That has always been the revealing part of the debate. When you get inveterate liars such as the Green Parties, Al Gore and Barach Obama, you have a good idea that it is probably nonsense. I just didn’t know why till the last few days. But my instincts which have been honed by watching these phonies over the years and how they operate is enough to tell one that something is wrong. It is nice to see one’s instincts validated.

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