Can we have a REAL scientific debate now?

(I find the existence of climate change deniers absolutely fascinating. If they are wrong, and climate change is real, the consequences will be calamitous for our society. If they are right, and climate change is not real, we will still have undertaken a shift to energy sources with many advantages for our economy,  environment, and our health. Given this equation, the motivation for anyone who is not directly employed by the fossil fuel extraction industry to argue against climate change is hard for me to understand. Maybe it is a stalking horse for Republican fearmongering, and that is enough. Do you have a conflict of interest, Shep., do you think this will serve the broader interests of the G.O.P., do you just like being a contrarian on BMG as a matter of principle, or is it something else? In any event, let it never be said that this issue cannot be debated on BMG.   - promoted by Bob Neer)

One facet I love about BMG is its capacity for debate (most of the time.)  Although I hardly ever agree with the political views of its bloggers, there was always the room to debate.

Except on “global warming,” a term since changed to “climate change.”  I was always skeptical of climate change, or at least its man-made caused. And for that I have been called a “denier”, a term meant to invoke something more heinous …  ”holocaust denier.”  Maybe not on BMG so much, but certainly around town.

No debate, not even dismissal of my position, but a personal attack.

I wonder, given the stunning revelations from the leaked East Anglia emails and subsequent academic scandal spreading throughout the scientific community, how do proponents of climate change here at BMG respond to what reads like a full confession by climatologist Phil Jones?

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134 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. This doesn't change much.

    One scientist has offered to basically "revise and extend his remarks" as they like to say in Congress, but there is still plenty of evidence of a warming trend.  Even the large amount of snow this winter is evidence of warming because the warmer the atmosphere, the more moisture it holds, which will fall as snow when the temps do get below freezing.  The scientific and meteorological consensus still says we are warmer and I attended a USGS program last year explaining all the trends and the (admittedly mixed) causes thereof.  Darwin and Galileo recanted a lot of what they had to say too, but all of the respective concepts have been constantly retested, and yes, tweaked where appropriate by others.  I have yet to see credible contrary actual evidence (Simply casting doubt doesn't count as evidence.) not connected to industries with a stake in this.

    • Er, Christopher, in order for that moisture

      to turn to snow there has to be cold artic air involved, as you pointed out.  Have you noticed that there seems to be a pretty good supply of artic air lately?  Just wondering.

      • And you know the difference between climate and

        weather, right?   Just wondering.  

        • Try a different cool aid for a change:

          • Ha ha ha....okay.

            Well THAT certainly does it!  

            Are you seriously offering Daily Mail newspaper article as some sort of evidence?  Are you for real?  

            Here's what you need to look up:   hypsithermal.  Once you've done a little reading on that subject and understand what a hypsithermal interval is, I'm hopeful you'll stop swinging Daily Mail articles as bludgeons against science.  BTW, you need a new put-down.  Kool-Aid is so 90s.  

            • I was going to send you this link on the olympics discussion board.

              Evgeni Plushenko is the favorite to wind the men's figure skating. As an afficionada you will enjoy this clip.  As you can see, figure skating as sport is just as much if not more popular in Russia than in the US.

              • Oh, I agree entirely.

                He's spectacularly graceful and talented.  

                When I was young and watching this stuff with my family (back in the 70s) the Soviets were the people to beat.  The cold war sort of rivalry was writ large.    Who can forget the drama of Alexander Zaitsev and Irina Rodnina?  lol.  

          • Daily Mail refuted

            by some actual climate scientists.

            (I am unable to paste any text from the RealClimate article for some reason, Please click the link and read it there.)

      • Warm weather in the arctic -> colder temperature in the mid latitudes

        Here's a graph of recent temperature anomalies:

        In December, Western Greenland had temperatures in the 50s, while Britain was getting a rare snowfall.  Of course the British snowstorms got far more press.

        To analyze global climate, you need to look at global data, looking out your window doesn't cut it. Overall, last year was quite warm, the second or third warmest on record according to NASA.  That parts of North America had slightly below average temperatures doesn't really show anything either way.

    • Other things which don't exist

      My ability to live in a Amish community tomorrow

      The High Altitude Auroral Research Project and EISCAT plus the other three unknown installations globally

      The insane geo-engineering proposals to combat global warming which have been in mainstream media do include Chemtrails, that tin foil hatter subject which has been ongoing for at least a decade now.  Plenty of references here even in congressional bills Kucinch Space Preservations Acts original and the watered down one later Huchinsons Weather Modification Act S 517

  2. Here's something for you...

    An interesting read:


  3. A REAL scientific debate

    beginning with "confessions"? This is a scientific debate like the sort they have in the pages of Us magazine.

    As I've written elsewhere, the deniers are convinced some huge hoax or some enormous groupthink error is being perpetrated. The deniers are convinced of this underlying narrative. As a result, there's no debating them. Everything rational one can say is reinterpreted as an attempt to deceive — and the more rational, the more deceptive. It's a waste of time.

    So a short answer to your question is "No, we cannot have such a debate."

    • Because of the dishonesty of certain scientists,

      with UN complicity, we will probably have this debate, whether you want it or not. Please stop using the word "denier"--would you like to be called a "hoaxer"? By "we" I don't necessarily mean here on BMG, but more of a public discussion in the media.

      • The phrase $quot;denier$quot; is accurate and sound

        I get called a "hoaxer", and far worse, all the time on blogs populated by deniers. Not to mention "socialist", "communist", "anti-American", etc., etc., etc.

        The scientific evidence for global climate change is overwhelming and compelling, just as the evidence of the Holocaust is overwhelming and compelling. The "arguments" of the deniers are always specious, unsupported by theory or fact, and relentlessly repeated.

        There is no scientific debate about the reality of global climate change, just as there is no scientific debate about evolution or relativity. In spite of millions of dollars of special-interest funding, there are no peer-reviewed papers in relevant journals supporting the various canards of the deniers. Their answer? That a "vast conspiracy" blocks such publication. Yeah, right. Just like the similar vast Jewish conspiracy that "promotes" the Holocaust.

        Edgar, if you want to discuss peer reviewed papers that, in your view, describe important science that is being missed, I think you'll find an eager audience here (I'll certainly be interested). Failing that, I encourage you to take it somewhere else, like the Accuweather blog — life's too short.

        • Tom, there are no peer reviewed papers, apparently, that take the opposite

          point of view.  That is probably because most educated people with common sense recognize that climate change has always existed--since day one of the planet. (How can one be silly enough to want to prove that there is no such thing as climate change?) If indeed we are in another hypsithermal epoch, there may be a human influence. How do we prove that?  And by the way, the accuweather blog is an interesting site, especially for the numbers of people that it has managed to rile up both pro and con on the issue. Got to tell you, too, that I am surprised that you are defending name calling. You know that I apologized to you once for same, not only because I was wrong but also because I assumed that you were above that kind of talk.

          • I fear you miss the point

            The global climate changes that have been and are being observed are not explainable in natural terms. The observation that "climate change has always existed" is a red herring. We know, by and large, what factors caused the primordial climate changes (things like orbital forcings, volcanic action, variations in insolation, that sort of thing). We know that those factors are not causing the current change.

            Furthermore, observing that the global climate was also hot several million years ago — and is therefore "natural" and non-threatening — is intellectually dishonest. Homo sapiens sapiens didn't exist several million years ago. Perhaps some take comfort that a large enough fragment of our prehistoric ancestors survived climate trauma to allow our species to continue evolving. I don't.

            Regarding the "name calling", I avoided the use of the term "denier" 4-5 years ago. As the science has become more and more clearcut, the deniers have become correspondingly extreme.

            We are now in a political culture in which I am "liberal" because I advocate basing national policy on peer-reviewed science.

            That, Edgar, is both alarming and shameful. It is rightwing extremists, exemplified by the deniers, that lead the charge. It is a mob, driven by the things that have always driven mobs, and I am tired of being polite to them.

            I am a "warmist". I am a "liberal". I am a "radical". I am a "leftist". I am a "socialist" when it comes to health care and education. All those are labels that are accurate and true and each carries a connotation that is often accurate and true.

            In my view, in America of 2010, the same is true for "denier". It is a label. It carries strong connotations. I suggest that those connotations are accurate.

            I stand by my use of the term.

      • In some contexts I will use the word $quot;denier$quot;

        A conversation in which I would not use it would involve an examination of what you take as a given, e.g., "UN complicity". A debate about "complicity", hoaxes, and the like is not a debate about climate science.

        • I would posit that the run of the mill liberal

          bases his or her beliefs on climate change due to an underlying narrative as much as many conservatives do their denial.  

          I don't endorse climate change nor deny it because I simply am uninformed on the matter and refuse to take either sides narrative.  However, I appreciate how it would benefit national security to achieve energy independence - plus, who likes smog and smoke?  

          My issue is with matters such as cap and trade, simply because it would be wrong to establish such a market in the country when there is no true public consensus on the issue.  This isn't like fuel efficient cars or windmills and the such where it's a no-brainer.  Schemes like cap and trade waste energy (no pun intended) by causing furur and anger in public when it could be used pushing projects such as Cape Wind.  

          Yaknow, KBusch, keeping the world healthy and clean is the type of narrative that would sit well in the religious crowd, framed correctly.  However, the far left has done such a good job alienating themselves from religion that the idea of a progressive telling a conservative Christian that God would have wanted you to maintain His creation in a manner befitting its maker would be met with derision.  Think of it like JohnD trying to give you some sincere advice: you'd be thinking "what's this asshole got up his sleeve..."  

          • $quot;bases his or her beliefs on climate change due to an underlying narrative$quot; - No

            Some of us went to school. And paid attention in science class. So when sciencey people speak, we can understand basic terms, concepts, and data models.

            My god, are you that daft?

            "It's all about belief for me, so it must be for you, cuz I can't understand how people might actually be able to make a real determination based on the complexity." Except, a lot of us do. It's called reading and science comprehension. You might want to try it sometime.

            Sorry, but I can't hold anyone who doesn't want to bother to do the real work anything other than in contempt. This isn't a debate, it's a farce.

            • Oh, so you're saying that awareness of climate change

              is a result of across the board scientific literacy that seems to be based on political affiliation?  The idea that there isn't a narrative to climate change on both sides is very naive.  Rather than throwing a minor fit and insulting me (GOSH, WHY WON'T THESE STUPID, STUPID CONSERVATIVES LISTEN TO ME?!?!)  you should just change the focus of the conversation.  

              "Hey there, Tommy Republican.  Yeah, that Yukon is nice, but my Fusion Hybrid cost so much less, I bought a super-premium sound system and put chrome 22's on it.  Oh, would love to stay and chat, but the light just turned Green (zing) and I'm going to now accellerate faster than you.  Bye!"  

              The US Auto market has been shifted from Excursion Culture to Hybrid Culture in a mere decade using market economics.  The Fleet MPG requirements (can't remember the gov't law term)  is going to be outpaced because of the market rather than what the law is.  

              Expand this argument to other segments of the economy - power, living, everyhting.  

              Your response to my comment is yet more proof that failure to communicate is a problem in the climate change action community.  But what do I know?  I'm daft.  

              • Straw man

                We're not saying "listen to me," we're saying "listen to them" - where them is scientists who've spent their lives trying to understand the subject at hand. Like these people. You don't seem to want to listen to what they are saying, for some reason.

                The mpg requirement that you can't remember is called CAFE, and it has been consistently and strenuously opposed by the domestic auto industry every time there is any movement to raise it. Market forces have not had the effect you claim they are having, so "expanding" that argument to "everything" would be a waste of effort.  

              • Oh, come one.

                The idea that there isn't a narrative to climate change on both sides is very naive.

                Are you that naive??

                What has happened to the SCIENCE of climate change is what has happened to the SCIENCE of evolution.  Anti-intellectual ideologues invested in their personal BELIEFS are trying to create an equivalency between what they choose to believe and the vetted scientific data.   The problem is that people who understand reason, people who understand how the scientific method works, and people who value rational and vetted conclusions are unwilling to cede ground to the vocal anti-science contingency.   Hence the predicament we find ourselves in now in which people like Jim Inhofe characterize the efforts of the science community to educate   the public as "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."  

                The same mechanism is at work in the young earth creationist "science" movement.   Shall we talk a little about that?  Shall we talk about the "science" that has sprung up regarding the age of the earth, about the tarted-up Christian creation story known as "intelligent design"?  Shall we talk about their "science," too, as if it's valid in the same way that the recent spate of anti-climate change science is "valid"?

                While the American political leadership continues to appear to all the world like a bunch of daft, superstitious Huns exploiting the world's resources and nations for a cheap gallon of gas, at least we can take some comfort in the notion that there are nations out there who do value science, who do value data, and would prefer to act in accordance with what the data suggests than hitch their wagons to the anti-intellectual, anti-science crackpots like Jim Inhofe who are in positions of leadership in this nation.  

                • Just so we're clear

                  do you hereby solemly swear that you hold the belief that there is not a large segment of people who believe climate science, not because they have actually read or believe any science, but because they believe the underlying narrative or accept what others (people, not scientists) have told them without actually investigating it themselves?  

                  • See my comment to you above.

                    People, including you and I, trust science now and have trusted science for years in every aspect of our daily lives without questioning or "reading" the research.    Your point is irrelevant.  

                    • Yes we do question it.

                      Science comes and goes all the time.  Way back when, it was geocentrism and alchemy.  Today, people question vaccines, Einstein, many subjects.  Just because we accept many aspects of science without questioning doesn't mean we should accept ALL science like a bunch of sheeple.  

                    • Science does not $quot;come and go.$quot;

                      Good grief.

                      Alchemy was not science.

                      Geocentrism was not science.

                      Do you even know what science is?  

                      Clearly you don't understand what science is and what science does.  Science continually questions--THAT IS THE NATURE OF SCIENCE!  So YES, OF COURSE, science advances thinking all the time--from Einstein's theory of relativity to black holes to string theory--to rethinking, retesting, re-evaluating, and re-producing.  Science ADVANCES; it is not a static discipline.  The science around climate changes has been on for YEARS!  Climatologists take a new result, they kick it around, retest it, refine it, incorporate new data, and continue to publish findings.  My God.    It does not, however, advance because people like you question the validity of the research; it advances because scientists continue to be scientists.  HFS.  

                      I'm going to be blunt:  when you write something like the comment above, you reveal to us that you posses, indeed, the very characteristics of conservatives you claim to eschew.  It is clear that you do not understand the first thing about science.  You cannot discern the difference between scientific advancement, which comes as a result of scientists refining and retesting and questioning findings and the effect of skeptical people who base their questions on ignorance or religion or political ideology.  And if you can't do that, I'm pretty sure you're not ever going to be able to separate your politics from your ibuprofen.  

                • But didn't you hear, Lightiris?

                  Climate change/global warming is "just a theory"!:)

          • Science doesn't require consensus.

            it would be wrong to establish such a market in the country when there is no true public consensus on the issue.

            Public consensus?  What does that mean when we're talking about something that the public doesn't know a damn thing about?  I mean, is there public consensus that that mixing drain cleaner with ammonia can cause an explosion?  Does a lack of consensus (or even knowledge) change at all the chemical fact that mixing the two can indeed cause an explosion?

            We elect our legislators in a democracy.  Ever since the Dems took the POTUS, the GOP has started making murmurs like bipartisanship and consensus is required, an important part.  Hogwash.  Know what's important?  50%+1.  This is a democracy.  This isn't a family deciding on what movie to go watch.

            You get 50%+1 of the votes, you write the law.  The other 49% can go suck eggs.

            Oh, and PS

            However, the far left has done such a good job alienating themselves from religion

            This is such nonsense I don't even know where to start.  The right has co-opted Jesus by pushing him into state, separation be damned.  It tarnishes both nation and religion, but they ride it all the way to the polls.  Keeping religion out of politics is respectful.

            • I will start by saying

              That religion isn't necessarily something you can keep out of politics, because it is a part of a persons identity.  Would you think it's respectful to keep gender, sexual orientation, race etc out?  That said, I see your point and amend my comment to say "The far left has done such a good job of alienting themselves from evangelical protestants".  

              I mean, is there public consensus that that mixing drain cleaner with ammonia can cause an explosion?  Does a lack of consensus (or even knowledge) change at all the chemical fact that mixing the two can indeed cause an explosion?

              No, but does that mean we should implement a program that is incredibly controversial and expensive when we could stop people from setting up meth labs in their basements through other means?  

              Your comment also seems to dismiss the idea of public consensus and endorse democracy all at once.  

              You get 50%+1 of the votes, you write the law.  The other 49% can go suck eggs.

              This would be true if politicians were elected solely on the climate change issue.  However, since everyone has a laundry list on their minds when they cast a vote, democracy is a lot messier than the 50+1 utopia.  

              • Science is NOT a democratic phenomenon!

                Basic scientific method cannot be put up for a vote.  Would the Earth become flat if the majority said so?  Would the sun start to revolve around us?  Of course not.  Consensus on this matter has been reached by the ones who know what they are talking about, but need not be reached by the public at large.

                • Scientists producing evidence

                  and politicians communicating and putting things into action are different.  I'm commenting on the latter aspect rather than the former.  

                • Margarine, anyone?

                  The history of recommendations from nutrition science are an example where some kind of scientific consensus has proven remarkably off the mark.

                  The narrative I hear from the deniers makes it sound as if climate scientists were producing something like tobacco science. As if there were a gigantic Global Warming Industry funding university chairs and buying the conclusions it wanted.

                  Even nutrition science and its recommendations are tilted by a huge industry set upon feeding corn to crowded, dyspepsic cows.

                  Skepticism is not ipso facto wrong, but it is not automatically right either.

              • Consensus implies super-duper majority

                and we don't require super-duper majority to write policy.

                We require a majority* to declare war. We require a majority to allow executions. We require a majority to decide how to spend trillions of dollars.

                We merely require 2/3 of the House, 2/3 of the Senate, and 3/4 of the states to agree if we want to shred the Constitution.

                Cap-and-trade (or carbon tax) will be a relatively small part of the economy as compared to war, or as compared to Social Security.  Neither of those require consensus, and they're both more expensive and they have a much bigger impact on the lives of individuals.

                Your comment also seems to dismiss the idea of public consensus and endorse democracy all at once.

                That's exactly right.  Consensus is irrelevant; democracy is what matters.

                As for eroding the majority based on dirty clothing, that's just plain silly.  The standard is 50%+1.  That's the standard for all "regular" laws, including laws which rename post offices and laws and laws which incarcerate (or kill) Americans, laws which determine when certain people are allowed to telephone you, and laws which allow the US to legally kill anyone else.  Yet you want a special higher threshold called consensus for this particular issue, one which is both important and nowhere near as dangerous or invasive as other laws which require a mere majority.

                Nonsense, good sir.  Nonsense.  That's not what the Constitution requires, and given the immense importance relative to the low necessary intrusion, it's a standard which certainly shouldn't be applied.

          • Nicely stated

            I think stomv is perhaps right here. On a number of matters (drug safety, levels of dioxin in the drinking water, etc.), we don't look for public consensus.

            And generally, the argument for cap and trade, in the pre-hyperpartisan period, was that it would bring free market goodness to bear on the problem of lowering CO2 emissions.

            And yes, yes, yes, I have not a clue as to how to appeal to conservative Christians. Any Christian who didn't think I had a secret secular agenda probably doesn't know me very well!

            • The difference is

              that chemicals in drinking water and drugs have here-and-now effects.  I'm not saying polar bears don't matter, but someone getting cancer and the thought that based on this evidence, XY&Z calamaties may occur 50 years from now are difference circumstances requiring acts of government.  That, I think, changes the requirements for public consensus on matters of public health.  

              As far as market action, phase one of the EU ETS has lacked almost as much free market goodness as it has effects on emissions.  I guess we'll know in like 2013 if the baseline argument is for real or if it's a bust, but until we know, we should hold off on putting a similar system into effect here.  

              • Alternative to cap and trade

                If one accepts that we must reduce CO2 emissions, then the alternative to cap and trade is a system of fines and prohibitions. That seems much worse to me. It's difficult to predict what innovations will and won't work, and it seems like the kind of predicting into which the government shouldn't waddle.

                • That's why we need to hold off on it for a few years

                  We don't have to predict if its an innovation in market economics that works, because we can sit tight and just watch.  

                  • No, we can't.

                    Inaction now results in much more difficult requirements later.

                    Infrastructure takes time to build.  You can't mythical-man-month these things.  Building a wind power plant down Cape will take 10+ years in total.  Even if every roofer were installing PV on roofs full time, we couldn't install enough in a year to make a big dent.  Appliances and autos have lifetimes -- the sooner we start requiring higher efficiency, the sooner those high efficiency modes gain market share.

                    Cap-and-trade is just a portion of the overall needed plan, and it's complexities demand that we start sooner, not later.  We won't get it perfectly right the first time.  We won't if we wait either.  So, lets get started and revise as needed.

                    In the mean time, worried about cap-and-trade?  Fine.  How about pushing the Republicans to support a more aggressive CAFE standard?  More aggressive EnergyStar requirements?  A national building code with minimum ASHRAE 90.1 standards?  A national RPS requirement (allowing for efficiency to replace some generation)?  More money for commuter and city-to-city rail infrastructure?  A higher gasoline tax?  Zoning policies which discourage sprawl but instead encourage smaller attached homes and mixed use?  A mortgage interest Schedule A policy which doesn't make the interest on a bonus room, finished basement, 4th bathroom, 3 car garage, or multiple guest rooms tax deductible?  Reducing or even eliminating the financial subsidies given to companies developing oil, gas, or coal energy?  Implementing and strengthening the environmental regulations surrounding the development of oil, gas, or coal resources?  Significantly ramping up true high speed fibre in urban and suburban areas, thereby allowing substantially more telecommuting and teleconferencing?  Changing the way education is funded so much with local dollars, thereby helping to make urban areas more attractive, since urban areas have far lower carbon footprints per person?  Reducing the amount of bases and troops we have worldwide in conflict zones and otherwise, since the US military is the single largest consumer of fossil fuels worldwide?

                    Unsure about cap-and-trade?  OK.  But are you pushing for any of the dozens of other policies which will reduce our carbon footprint?  Do you require similar consensus for those too?  While not all Democrats are on board for any of the proposals I list above, the fact is that Republican leadership has fought against every one of those proposals, sometimes for decades.  Cap-and-trade is a single, broad, market based policy which doesn't require much meddling.  The alternative is a long list of regulations and policies, some of which are listed above, which each only take a nibble of the problem.

                    • Will answer in greater detail later, but yes

                      I think we should be very aggressive in energy star, CAFE standards (thanks!) and a myriad of other policies.  Subsidies for coal should be limited to clean coal, though, rather no subisidies for any coal.  

                    • There is no such thing as $quot;clean coal.$quot;

                  • We sat tight...

                    That's the problem. Indeed, what steps we take now to help ameliorate or remedy the human contribution to climate change may be too little, too late. Impacts are being felt as we speak, and might not actually be reversible.

                    Now, the question is just how bad the worst of it will get - and if we do finally take action now, maybe the worst of it will only be moderately disastrous rather than completely so.

                  • FAIL -- we need to do risk management instead

                    We don't have the luxury of waiting. Instead, we need to do classical risk analysis:

                    1. What is the cost of each risk management strategy (including the strategy of doing nothing)?

                    2. Given a management strategy: 2a. What is the expected cost if the risk being managed occurs? 2b. What is the expected cost if the risk being managed does not occur?

                    3. What is the probability of the risk being managed coming to pass?

                    Unless you are prepared to argue that the probability of anthropogenic global warming occurring is effectively zero, the costs of its impact are so immensely staggering that they dwarf the costs of the various strategies under consideration.

                    To make matters worse, we have already squandered a decade while we sat on our hands during the prior administration. That period of inactivity raised the stakes immensely, while simultaneously compressing the time available for any mitigation strategy.

                    If you see a movement in the corner of your eye that looks like a really big truck coming really fast towards your young children while they dilly-dally across the street, do you wait to see whether it really is a truck, and wait to see if its driver sees your kids, or do you instead scoop your kids up and run like hell?

            • Before we dump on Christians too much on this particular topic...

     should be pointed out that the environment is one issue where at least some even conservative evangelicals have been starting to come over.  They usually frame it as a responsibility to be good stewards of God's Creation.

          • Let's Look Closely At What JoeTS Wrote

            "I don't endorse climate change nor deny it because I simply am uninformed on the matter and refuse to take either sides narrative."

            He's saying what science says is as equally valid as what denialism says.  But if his doctor tells him to take antibiotics for his pneumonia, and his anti-medicine uncle tells him to just drink herbal tea, I'll bet you he follows the doc's prescription.

            "it would be wrong to establish such a [cap & trade] market in the country when there is no true public consensus on the issue."  After just parroting Charlie Baker's pretense of "not knowing what's true," he then claims we can't do anything without "true consensus."  He moved the goalposts all the way outside the stadium.  Majority rule is enough  for this.

            What's this JoeTS got up his sleeve? He's adopting rhetoric to stop America from doing anything about global warming for years, when we could be the leader now.  The Pentagon has already accepted that global warming is real and will accelerate instabilities that could threaten us, but the Republicans are saying things they know aren't true just to get political gain out of it.

            Republicans are putting Party ahead of Country.

            • I'm dizzy from all the spin.

              He's saying what science says is as equally valid as what denialism says.

              No, I'm saying that I DON'T KNOW what is valid.  My perspective is from someone who hasn't read more than cursury information, nor have I seen an inconvinient truth.  

              Therefore, I'm basing my reccomendations for what is good policy on my knowledge of the subject.  However, I'm getting the same treatment as a global warming ignoramus as I would if I was a denier.  I'm not interested in reading a million articles online or having a debate whether something in a peer reviewed journal is still valid given all the BS that's been going on lately.  

              Goodness, Joel, quit with the high horse "party before country!!!!" bologne.  I wouldn't put the Republican Party ahead of going bowling.  

              Oh, and P.S. to the cap and trade thing -- I hold my position that we should sit back and way for phase II in the EU ETS to pan out to see if this system even works  before we drop the billions it would cost to implement it.  To put it another way, Russia is in the process of invading Afghanistan over there, so let's see how it goes over for them before we make an attempt.  Ha.  

              • You're missing the point--again.

                You accept science every day in your life when you brush your teeth, turn on a light, drive your car, go to the doctor, get your cholesterol checked, put your food in the refrigerator, follow a recipe, fire up your computer, take some ibuprofen for your headache, and post a rejoinder to someone on BMG.   You accept at face value the years of research that entered into each practice or product because you have a certain level of confidence in the scientific community that has made your life immeasurably better.   VALIDATING the science has not been an issue or a concern.

                So, of course you're not "interested in reading a million articles" any more than you were interested in reading a million articles about the development of toothpaste or low-energy light bulbs or the efficacy of ibuprofen or acetaminophen or whatever your NSAID of choice is.   You trusted the science.  Only NOW, because your political spectrum has issues with the science, do you suggest that you are actually unbiased but just haven't read the science?  

                The notion is silly on its face.  You have qualms about climate change because your political party suggests you should.  We weren't born yesterday.  

              • Hi-falutin' words for someone who can't figure it out.

                "to the cap and trade thing -- I hold my position that we should sit back and way for phase II in the EU ETS to pan out to see if this system even works  before we drop the billions it would cost to implement it"

                You know what phase II in the EU ETS is, but you don't know if global warming is the consensus view of 95% of climate scientists?

              • Interesting...

                I hold my position that we should sit back and way for phase II in the EU ETS to pan out to see if this system even works  before we drop the billions it would cost to implement it.  

                While the EU ETS is the largest 'market' in the world for trading emissions credits, it is by no means the first, nor the most complex, cap and trade system ever devised by the hand of politicians.  Did you think that it was? It certainly appears that you think this is the case, based upon your above quoted comment...

                RGGI is, broadly speaking, a cap and trade system.  We've had a cap and trade system on sulfur emissions since the 70's.  Part of the reason the EU went with the ETS was because of the demonstrated efficacy of the system. It usually works very well.

                So, ah, no... we should NOT sit back and wait for ETS to 'pan out'.  We know it works.

              • Joe, it's bizarre that the Michael Griffin's thoughts

                on the matter have never crossed these hoaxers' minds: PST Washington -- NASA Administrator Michael Griffin says that while global warming is changing Earth's climate, he's not convinced that is "a problem we must wrestle with."

                The NASA chief -- whose agency has come under fire in Congress for cutting several programs designed to monitor climate change -- also says it's "rather arrogant" for people to take the position that today's climate is the optimal one." Who is to say that the present climate is "the" ideal one. In fact many Russians are joking that the global warming worshipped by the hoaxers would actually enable them to open up Siberia to be the breadbasket of the world.

                • Ha ha! What a funny joke!

                  many Russians are joking that the global warming [phenomenon conclusively demonstrated by all relevant science to be both real and manmade will] actually enable them to open up Siberia to be the breadbasket of the world.

                  It will also kill or displace hundreds of millions of people, mostly in the poorer countries of the world, who haven't got the resources to move to where they won't be under threat of flooding, to buy enough food when their local crops are killed by the salination of groundwater brought about by rising sea levels, or to evacuate or shelter from the increasingly severe storms we have started and will continue to see.


    • Am I reading the same article?

      Phil Jones is basically saying that:

      (1) ok, there's been no global warming since 1995.  He explicitly recants his own research. (2) oops, the hockey-stick data is totally missing (does Michael Mann have a set?) (3) the Medieval Warming Period happened, and was likely global in nature (4) retreating Himalayan glaciers?  Oops again.

      Additionally, the emails suggest that LITTLE or NO peer review of Jones/Mann/IPCC was possible as they refused to release their data.  

      In terms of scientific proof of global warming by the Godfathers of Climate Change, if others cannot replicate the results of scientific test -- anyone remember cold fusion? -- then it's a hypothesis not proven.  And now the data is lost or destroyed.

      In this case, the "scientists" involved, through disclosure of their emails, have been deceiving their peers and the public alike.  Intentionally.

      Indeed, the issue of scientific fraud was raised by UK authorities but the statute of limitations has run out.

      Sorry to disappoint, but the debate is HAPPENING.

      • *LOL* @ bostonshepherd

        You're offering a piece in the Daily Express in a discussion you began about "REAL" scientific debate?

        You're too much. lol

        • Tom, it's an interview, not a Op Ed piece

          Are you saying that Phil Jones was misquoted?  Am I reading the article wrong?  Sounded to me like he has retracted some of his research claims, no?

          And there's no original data?

          If this was reported in the NYT, would you find it more credible?

          • *ROTFLMAO*

            You just don't quit, do you?

            Do you keep a deck of right-wing talking-point cards conveniently arranged on your desk, so you can pull them out whenever you like? Jeesh!

            Let's see, here's a few lies gems we can apparently look forward to:

            - Michael Mann's "discredited hockey stick" - James Hansen's seventies-era claims of a coming ice age - Anthony Watts' research discrediting the surface temperature record

            All repeated loudly. All utter and complete rubbish. And no, I will not refute them. I refuse to do your homework for you.

            And no, I would not find the NYT more credible — though in fairness, the NYT would most likely not bother to run such a piece until there was a journal article to support it, and then would include a link to that article.

      • If it is happening

        It's not happening on the basis of the article you're quoting.

    • Exactly right.

      No science is going to convince the "deniers" or "skeptics" or whatever you want to call them at this point.  Climate change has jumped the shark, so to speak, and now resides in the realm of hoax and conspiracy theory.  The science has been done, and anyone who claims there is any "debate" about that is a) lazy, b) disingenuous, or c)ignorant.   Climate change has received a toxic injection of politicization, ensuring no rational treatment of the topic is forthcoming.   The "deniers" or the "skeptics" have a vested interest in rejecting the evidence and furthering their narrative; they're not going to give that up any time soon, even though the overwhelming body of science is not on their side.

      This issue is a perfect example of how this generation's crop of scientists is poorly trained.  There's a reason MIT is now requiring eight semesters of English for its undergraduates:  science, as a discipline, is unable to communicate effectively.  It's not enough to hole up in your lecture hall or your lab and shun the unwashed masses, but that is what science has done.  I've had a lot of conversations with educators as well as my own family members who are PhDs in hard sciences--genetics, geology, biology, virology--who all seem to indicate that this is a serious concern among the nation's university leadership.  My brother-in-law even went so far to say that at his research university, the tipping point for graduate students getting good fellowships is a) their ability to reduce complex ideas into lay terms--in writing and b) their demeanor.  The geeky, socially awkward science kid with the straight As is going to find s/he has some competition based on skills that they do not have.  Fortunately, there are a small number of outliers to this trend--Brian Greene, Neil deGrasse Tyson, V.S. Ramachandran, and Neil Shubin to name a few--but the history is not good--and we're living the consequences.  Science, too long ensconced in its labs and ivory towers, has become an object of ridicule rather than admiration.  Neil deGrasse Tyson is particularly eloquent on this topic.   Carl Sagan is  is more likely weeping than laughing in his grave at what has happened since his groundbreaking dream of bringing complex science to the masses so that people can understand and make informed decisions.

      The corresponding ascendancy of anti-intellectualism in the United States is a concomitant problem and is as likely to ensure our relegation to the international back row sooner rather than later, all the hand-wringing by conservatives about wanting "good schools" notwithstanding.  

      • You mean to say that science spokesperson AlGore failed, too?

        • I would say that Gore's status

          as an object of ridicule  on the right precluded him from being an effective spokesperson for anyone residing on the right side of the spectrum.   Again, in hindsight, Gore's efforts probably did more to fuel the rejection of the science among conservatives than anything else.   If the science community had it to do over again, I suspect they might have taken another route.  Unfortunately, however, the damage is done, and while I appreciate his commitment, he is much too polarizing a figure to be successful in communicating the message.  Indeed, the message has been rejected by the right, and there's no turning back now.  They're invested.  

          • I disagree

            as much as Gore may have been a convenient way for the right to ignore, he has served to mainstream climate change in a way nobody else had come close to doing.  Al Gore's work raised the general understanding of what "climate change" implies and what causes it from geeky-sci-types to the vast majority of Americans.

            That 1/3 of America would immediately reject anything Al Gore claims is important doesn't negate the reality that another 1/3 paid close attention and adjusted their priorities, and the middle 1/3 at least understand that it is a reality, albeit perhaps not one worth doing anything about right now.

            Without Al Gore, I don't believe the left side of America's political spectrum would consider climate change as obvious an issue of importance as civil rights, public education, or helping the poor or the working person.

            • I don't believe I'm saying that Al Gore

              has done anything wrong.  As I look back on my comment, I see, indeed, that I never suggested he did anything unwise or inappropriate or that his influence hasn't been positive in some circles.  My comment speaks directly to Gore's inability to influence the right in any meaningful way and the fact that his presence in the debate is inflammatory by dint of who he is.  To the extent that Gore made climate change meaningful to a lot of people on the left as well as to a lot of apolitical people goes without saying.  These people, however, are not the problem; those who viscerally reject the science are, and many of those are people who detest Al Gore.

              I do still argue that, had we known what we know now, a different approach that didn't involve such a polarizing figure would have been advantageous in the long run.  Had the scientific community been skilled at communicating their concerns in a way that didn't politicize the issue, we might be in a better place than we are now in getting people from all over the political spectrum invested in change.   This isn't a criticism of Gore per se, but rather a criticism of the science establishment who seemed to abandon any responsibility years ago for communicating effectively with the public.

            • i do think al gore

              had a special responsibility, though, which he neglected.  he was uniquely positioned to carry the environmental message, yet chooses to so openly personally a non conservationist.  

          • Prime example of shooting the messanger

            It's the epitomy of laziness on the other side to take pot shots at Al Gore.  He is not afterall a scientist, but he has a bully pulpit by virtue of his political standing that even many Nobel winners do not.  Of course, he jointly holds such a prize now with a UN commission that DOES include experts, so that would usually count for something among people without an ax to grind.

      • Science done? Close the US Patent Office?

        From what I can tell, not that there's a word of it in the mainstream media here in the US, there's sufficient reason to question the scientific methodology of Phil Jones, Michael Mann, the CRU, and the resulting conclusions of the IPCC.

        The words from Phil Jones's mouth, unless the Times (UK) and the Daily Mail have grossly misrepresented what Jones is now saying, raises doubts that the climate research to date is accurate and honest.

        I find their running interference on the data -- not releasing it, knowingly violating the UK FOIA, and now it's missing -- and suppressing peer review, revelations from the stolen emails, damning.

        Maybe there is climate change, and maybe it's anthropogenic.  But before we commit trillions of dollars to fund perhaps ineffective schemes to combat warming, including growth-killing cap-and-trade legislation, I'd like to be certain.

        You can call me an anti-intellectual Luddite all you like, but such legislation is still part of a political process, and "climate change", as a burning issue to the American public, is waaay down on the list.

        • Ok, I will...

          You wrote:

          You can call me an anti-intellectual Luddite all you like

          Ok, I will. When you repeat already-refuted lies and distortions (such as "revelations from stolen emails") you proclaim your anti-intellectualism loudly and clearly.

          You clearly refuse to read the peer-reviewed literature on climate change. You demonstrate no awareness of the many widely available explanations that translate those to lay terms. Like a proof-texting fundamentalist Protestant, you cherry-pick bits and pieces that, taken out of context, appear to reinforce your bias — while ignoring the massive volume of information that demolish your claims.

          The science that is done is, for example, the thermodynamics and quantum mechanics that explain the mechanism by which atmospheric CO2 acts to warm the surface of the Earth.

          The US Patent Office does not entertain applications for perpetual motion machines. Claims that atmospheric CO2 "cannot be a major player" are similarly absurd. No climatologist has time or patience to argue them again and again. The same is true for "natural" forcings such as volcanic influences, cosmic rays, and solar variability.

          There is lots of climate science to be done, and precious little time to do it. That's why it is so pointless, and so damaging, to force the parts that are done to be re-argued over and over and over again because you don't like the answers.

          If you want to have a "REAL" scientific debate, you need to start by familiarizing yourself with the real science.

          That's your job, not ours.

    • The WSJ today disagrees with your assessment.

      This topic will be much more open in the future. Don't shoot me;  I am just the AlGore-like messenger of this fact.

      • The WSJ naturally disagrees.

        Their opinion page has never been anything but rabidly conservative in its approach and has never acknowledged the legitimacy of the science on this topic.  Indeed, right in their own text is the "climategate" dog whistle we've all come to know and love.  

        Between the Daily Mail and the WSJ's opinion page, you're actually doing a fine job of helping us prove our point.  

        • What I should have made clearer is that I believed

          the  mass media would pick up the topic to discuss. KBusch believes that the case is closed. After the week-end revelations you will probably see more discussion, even if you believe the case is closed. Of course WSJ will always have the evil, conservative position.

          • But but but

            The WSJ editorial page is just crazy: the newspaper, to which my household subscribes, is not bad.

            • Did you read James Taranto's column this afternoon?

              As for the WSJ I feel the same way about the Globe.  The Business and Sports sections are excellent and I never miss them.

              • In search of rationalizations

                I argue above that deniers are convinced that there's a hoax and so they grab any rationalization they can find for it. From the above linked article, I read

                The IPCC has also cited a study by British climatologist Nigel Arnell claiming that global warming could deplete water resources for as many as 4.5 billion people by the year 2085. But as our Anne Jolis reported in our European edition, the IPCC neglected to include Mr. Arnell's corollary finding, which is that global warming could also increase water resources for as many as six billion people.

                From which, I conclude that your editorialist has not thought about how to get the 4.5 billion people short of water to move into the guest rooms of the 6 billion with more water. Perhaps because some of them in Bangladesh will floating in it?

                In any case, I found reading the piece to be similarly self-refuting.

      • Whoa!

        The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial parroting the right-wing party line despite overwhelming evidence of its falsity?

        I'm shocked.

      • WSJ has ALWAYS been wrong on this

  4. Solar coronal mass ejection

    Essentially radiation from the sun generated by huge solar flares is enough to bring down the power grid in (hint) northern latitudes, which has already happened. Now one can not propose a solution for that.  You can't sell a global Bernie Madoff bank of carbon oppression based upon that theory.

    Now as to the rest of science look to Dark Mission to start the quest for real things you just have never heard of.  Why because other interests have suppressed these things for decades at least and perhaps millenia.

    All this technology and we still know not who we are.

    • That's not fair. Your always taking sides with lightiris and kbusch.

    • This is nuts. Magnetic storms don't warm the Earth.

      A bunch of plasma once knocked out the power grid in Quebec.

      That's not connected to whether the sun warms up the Earth.

      Greenhouse gases are a simple, clear, relevant reason for Earth's temperature to warm up.  A high-CO2 atmosphere is the reason Venus is hotter than Mercury, even though Mercury is much closer to the Sun (and therefore getting more energy per square meter in radiation).

      "All this technology and we still know not who we are."

      Please, this is supposed be a scientific debate.  Let's stay away from poetic generalizations.

      • It comes down an omission in the whole discussion

        The logical prudent discussion should revolve around how to feed max numbers of people with the technology we have. Climategate is just a repeat of PNAC gate, molding the opinion first then ramping up the war.  Gee, I forgot about swine eleven, the global eugenics effort.  Now that would be green would it not.

        Now if I were able to distance my contempt of the Satanism involved in CO2 carbon oppression I would be so inclined to look at real science not pro-actively corrupted from this scam which took multiple years to set up.

        I have to say that not only do I not buy it, I think it's beyond criminal negligence to focus all the enviornmental improvements we could be doing into the singularity of CO2. We are going to be dead by hundreds of other ways well before the oceans rise.

        That plus I am old enough to have seen several green movements come in and go out like fashion follows generations.  None of them ever took off and the esoteric evidence points to deliberate suppression of energy science, for profit and control purposes of course.

        • Did that idea hit you

          like a diamond... right in the forehead? Did you dream about a snail crawling on the edge of a knife?

          • No this took many years

            of study, observations of people, events, politics, science alternative websites on everything from Hopi prophecy to how elite Ayn Randians think sociopathically.

  5. Uh, I don't think so

    A "REAL" scientific debate starts with conflicting research described in peer reviewed publications in relevant fields.

    You want to have a "REAL" scientific debate? Please offer even one cite of a peer-reviewed paper that describes research that you think is being overlooked.

    • Sarbanes-Oxley tech lock down

      Plus if you want to study science somebody has to pony up the bucks.  Only things with the potential to generate profit ever get funded(see Bernie Madoff carbon oppression bank above)

      The exception is the military of course and the Air Force will own the weather about now. 2025

    • I'm looking for the peer review of Jones's and Mann's work

      And that means review of Jones's and Mann's work using their models and their original data.  Has this been done?

      But now that the raw data have been conveniently destroyed, we'll just have to take it on faith that their claims are correct.

      No one could replicate the lab results of cold fusion, either.

      Maybe Jone & Mann and the CRU and the IPCC are all spot on.  But I don't think the raw data have been disclosed and run through their model by critical peers.

      • You're trolling

        It's as easy for you to find Michael Mann's publication list as anyone else; here is a good starting point (scroll down to "Refereed Journal Articles").

        No "raw data" has been destroyed. What you think or don't think doesn't matter for squat, and I see zero evidence that you are remotely familiar with the peer review process, never mind who reviewed Dr. Mann's many publications and how "critical" they were.

        Your cheapshot about cold fusion exemplifies why I label you a "denier". I'll resist the temptation to engage any further with you on this topic, such exchanges aren't worth my time.

  6. Here is the full Q&A with Prof. Jones.

    It's better than the breathless reporting and selective quoting that is going on.

    Why do you want a real scientific debate on BMG?  A more appropriate place to ask your questions would be here.  But check this site first because your skeptical arguments denying climate change have probably been asked and addressed already.

    • Patrick, the first author on $quot;this site$quot;

      said that Dunning-Kruger paper had won a Nobel Prize.  The fact of the matter is that it won an Ig Nobel prize. And we are supposed to accept his "scientific" thesis?  

      • No it doesn't.

        One of the best titles for a scientific paper has to be the Ig Nobel prize winning "Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments".

        • Ah, but the origianl did say that:

          John, D-K won an Ig Nobel, not a Nobel.

          "I have nothing else to add that hasn't been said, so I'll provide the obligatory illustration. Response: Whoops, thanks for clarifying that, an embarrassing error." Comment #6 corrected the author who then changed his post. The fact remains that he really didn't check out his facts when he first wrote the article.  I'd say he was  fool number one to prove the Dunning-Kruger theory.

          • Whatever.

            Don't bother reading the site.  Evolution is false. The human eye is too complex.  God will fix the climate if it ever gets broke, which it won't because God loves us.

            • $quot;whatever$quot; is the best that you can do??

              Are you trying to imply, also, that those who disagree with you are denying evolution?  The fact is that the author demonstrated that he is not as all-knowing as he thought. Setting up straw men will not change that fact.

              • I'm implying that you dismised the site because of a typo.

                What's the use of talking with someone like that?

                Also also, I see a lot of similarities and overlap between climate denialists and those who deny evolution.

                • I wouldn't decribe confusing Ig Noble with Noble a typo.

                  It sounds like Alaska being close to Russia, if you know what I mean.  Ok for lefties to stretch the facts but that Sarah Palin is one dumb woman. Ha.

              • Would you like a cite...

                to the published on-the-record comments of Dr. Roy Spencer (a wonder-boy of the denier crowd) denying evolution, or of Senator James Inhofe, rather famously asserting the same?

                The sad truth is that many (of course not "all") of the loudest voices in the denier community also similarly deny evolution, and use similar arguments against both.

                I also might add that the same "institutes" (actually, right-wing propaganda machines) that pump out denialist rubbish also claim that asbestos is safe, tobacco is safe, and truckloads of similar garbage.

                The fact is that there is no peer-reviewed science that seriously challenges the fundamentals of anthropogenic climate change. None.

                I invite you to post any if you think you can find them.

  7. It's not a debate when one

    side presents evidence and the other side says, "No, sir!" As Monty Python says, that's not an argument, that's a contradiction.

    The larger problem with discussing the issue is that the science is complex enough that most of us have to accept authorities on what's happening rather than develop our own informed opinions, and when it comes to accepting authority, we'd prefer to trust the vast, vast majority of scientists and the reality-based community rather than the Petroleum Institute, the National Chamber of Commerce, or United Nations paranoiacs.

    Global warming, incidentally, means the globe is warming. This warming leads to climate change. Given that the effects of global warming are quite probably catastrophic, it makes sense to address it. It's a cost-benefit analysis.

  8. Links to military climate change research

    Here and here are Derepartrment of Defense links relating to military research on climate change - IMHO climate disruption would be a more precise term.

    While the global trend is toward warming, planetary weather patterns show local extremes.  Hence ice melting at the polls and snow in Florida for example.

    This research did not start under Democratic or progressive auspices, nor is it underttaken under those auspices now.

    Folks on both sides of the aisle forget that the Obama military/foreign policy model largely derives from Bush I.

    • $quot;Department$quot;

      Lousy touch-typing skills.

    • Global Warming Accelerates Security Threats.

      The Pentagon's science experts accept global warming, as we learn from the Quarterly Defense Review (QDR)

      Climate change and energy are two key issues that will play a significant role in shaping the future security environment. Although they produce distinct types of challenges, climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked. The actions that the Department takes now can prepare us to respond effectively to these challenges in the near term and in the future.

      So it doesn't make sense that so many Republicans, who should have our country's best security interests at heart, use this sort of rhetoric about global warming not being real.  Climate change will accelerate instability in several regions of the world where the US' interests must be protected with the military.

  9. Phil Jones said mankind caused global warming.

    As Patrick below linked to, here are key answers from Jones in bold type (questions have letters in front of them)

    C - Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling?

    No. This period is even shorter than 1995-2009. The trend this time is negative (-0.12C per decade), but this trend is not statistically significant.

    D - Do you agree that natural influences could have contributed significantly to the global warming observed from 1975-1998, and, if so, please could you specify each natural influence and express its radiative forcing over the period in Watts per square metre.

    This area is slightly outside my area of expertise. When considering changes over this period we need to consider all possible factors (so human and natural influences as well as natural internal variability of the climate system). Natural influences (from volcanoes and the Sun) over this period could have contributed to the change over this period. Volcanic influences from the two large eruptions (El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991) would exert a negative influence. Solar influence was about flat over this period. Combining only these two natural influences, therefore, we might have expected some cooling over this period.

    H - If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?

    The fact that we can't explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing - see my answer to your question D.

    I - Would it be reasonable looking at the same scientific evidence to take the view that recent warming is not predominantly manmade? No - see again my answer to D.

  10. Pardon my use of bandwidth

    From 1880 to 2010, Global Mean TempsThe globe is warming, and any rude emails from Phil Jones have nothing to do with it.

    You can find a scientist at MIT who'll deny global warming. You can find a PhD at Berkeley who denies HIV causes AIDS.  You could even find a brilliant physicist named Einstein who would tell you Quantum Mechanics could not be true.  In all three cases, the brilliant iconoclast scientist was wrong because they were arguing against the mountains of experimental data & observations that the vast majority of scientists accepted.

    • And don't forget this chart!

      All those damn cars the Vikings were driving back between 700-900 A.D. were a killer for warming the air.

      • Just because some parts of the North were warm

        does not mean the globe was warm.

        Jones stated in his BBC interview that "There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia" and that "For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions."

        This is a terrible elementary mistake for someone like R.W. Spencer to make in putting that graph out to the public, but as a person who rejects evolution, it is clear that Spencer lets his politics override his own education.

        Look, JohnD, you Republicans have been wrong about 1) George W. Bush being a good President 2) Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction 3) America being able to afford Bush's Tax Cuts 4 Millionaires

        and now you are doubling down against actual scientific consensus with a graph from a guy who works for the Heartland Institute which has received $800,000 from ExxonMobil to "research" climate change.

        It's okay to be a Republican, but being a Republican does not mean you have to spout the propaganda ExxonMobil pays for.  I'll give McCain & Graham credit for not joining the deniers on this issue.

      • JohnD, your chart shows the same problem.

        It doesn't show what you think it shows.  The big issue is the rate of change of climate.  Notice how your chart uses a 30 year moving average -- which helps to suppress the magnitude of fast changes.

        So notice that in both charts, 1900 is at -.1C.  Check out 2000: it's at +.6C.  That's a swing of +0.7C in 100 years.  You find me another swing of +0.7C in a 100 year period on that chart.  There's one more -- at the start of the Little Ice Age.  It's the swing that causes lots of trouble quickly, especially in an era with so much built infrastructure so close to water.

        We're at +.6C, and showing no sign of slowing down.  If we keep getting hotter, we're the boiled frog.

      • You really don't care about getting things right do you?

        Just more taunting.

        Taunting with charts is still taunting.

      • One problem, John -

        Your chart does not actually show global temperature.

        Both the so-called "Medieval Warm Period" and "Little Ice Age" were regional phenomena, from which one is mistaken to hope he can extrapolate global trends. The paleoclimatological record in fact suggests that the globe was slightly cooler during that so-called "warming" period.

  11. Oh for cryin' out loud.

    As has already been pointed out, the Daily Mail bit badly twists Dr. Jones' statements to push an agenda, and you're much better off reading the full interview at the BBC.

    David Brin has the answer to why people call you a "denier" instead of a "skeptic" -┬áit's not an attack, and it's not an attempt to link climate change denial to holocaust denial: but you aren't skeptical.  You're resolved to believe there's no such thing as anthropogenic global warming regardless of the evidence, despite your lack of scientific expertise, and despite the overwhelming evidence and scientific consensus among the people who actually study the climate.

    Editors, is it really appropriate to frontpage this kind of nonsense?  Some positions are too self-evidently false to deserve a "fair discussion," as though each side had some valid points.  Much as Congressional Republicans are not debating in good faith with the Democrats and the Dems should wise up and quit trying to play nice with them already, climate change deniers (and creationists, and anti-vaxxers, and "alternative medicine" pushers, and all the other groups that try to incorporate rejection of science into the law and culture) are not arguing in good faith.

    • Don't put words in my mouth

      When the indisputable becomes disputable, when Phil Jones backtracks on some his indisputable claims, I become skeptical of the theology of global warming, especially its anthropogenic origin.

      You claim:

      despite the overwhelming evidence and scientific consensus among the people who actually study the climate.

      It appears that the "people who actually study the climate" have some explaining to do.

      Maybe they'll successfully defend their work.  I'm all for that.  But they need to defend it now.

      • $quot;I become skeptical$quot;

        Really? You BECOME so? That's not what I've seen. You come to the debate wanting to hear what you want to hear.

        Secondarily, looking at said Jones interview IN FULL CONTEXT, I find you are full of shit. No, I won't moderate my language, because that's how full of shit you are.

        There is nothing here. End of story. You have nothing, bubkus, nada, zilch, zero, zip.

        It is not worth debating with nothing. Nothing equals nothing, you can't debate with a vacuum of evidence.

        This whole thread of yours is a sham. You aren't interested in a debate and you never were, and your whole premise stinks of talking points.

      • Prove me wrong

        Is your skepticism all spongy and amorphous or are you saying that there is an or two element wrong with the climate change consensus? What precisely do you doubt?

        And using words like "theology" don't constitute an argument.

      • Science is not theology

        "Their work" has been adequately defended for decades now.

  12. Argument only makes the crisis worse.

    Enough.  The climate crisis is running ahead of our ability to control it.  While we need to control carbon emission by fuels, also needed is population control and resource use.

    China has a one couple, one child policy for years.  Wise Canadians are calling for the same.  With 7 billion people on the earth, each producing ~100 watts of output and converting air to carbon dioxide, the savings given the earth will be enormous.  We need change our population outlook now.  Make multiple children to a couple an act of treason to the earth.  It is no less.  

    We must change to a vegetarian society.  Animals use up too much of the earth's resources.  Americans use 10 calories of energy to get 1 calorie to the dinner table.  Bring back local farms.  We can use the prison labour, which is now so wasted, to escape from the tyranny of machine farming.  Put displaced people to work on the farms.

    Start today with new tax laws.  Instead of giving credit to parents' on the tax return for each child, fine them for each child.  Israel and South Africa already use long-tern birth control on some of their populations.  Make it mandatory here for all the population.  Initiate a moratorium on single family or duplex housing.   Build only apartments.  Massachusetts already gives a credit for renting - make it national.  If congress won't go along, make the changes under executive order and abolish congress.  These are dangerous times. All life on earth is at stake.  Enough of these mealy-mouthed politicians that half-heartedly call for weak laws.  

    We need change now. We need drastic change.  

  13. No.

    Isn't going to happen.  The views on either side have become quasi-religious with respect their absolute certainty that they have discovered the One Truth-- and the vehemence with which heretics are denounced, as on this thread.  The increasing number of scientists on both sides who seem to have allowed their politics to interfere with their own research does not help at all.

    The recent news, abused by the skeptics/deniers/Evil People Who Must Be Stopped At All Costs!, noting that deep ocean temperature has played a significant role in the last few decades' warming, and the previous few decades' cooling-- but that this is a decades-long equivalent of seasonal weather that does not necessarily alter the Big Climate Trend--demonstrates that those who are absolutely certain that they know how the planet's climate works, has worked, and always has worked are likely to be humbled by the complexity of the planet.

    I remain convinced that the industrial activity of people has contributed to a warming climate to a degree that is difficult to measure because it is obscured in myriad damping mechanisms and amplifying feedback mechanisms.  I remain convinced that this does indeed pose a threat, the magnitude of which is quite difficult to determine.

    The policy problem then becomes: well, we're pretty sure something bad might happen, and the only cures are either Hugely Extensive or hopelessly utopian, so let's subordinate every other priority for a long, long time just in case.

    Despite the falling-sky hysterics one often finds among those who claim to believe that this is The Biggest Issue That Has Ever Been, I have always found it notable that these same folks do not advocate what would seem most sensible if they believe that catastrophe is indeed imminent:  rapid expansion of the best "carbon-free" power presently available: nuclear and hyrdoelectric.  If burning fossil fuels means that civilization ends, then we should be spending the stimulus money starting thousands of new power plants, and damming every flowing stream we can find.

    Instead, we have "newer" renewable technologies like wind and geothermal that, while promising, are growing from such a small base that they can't possibly have an impact for many decades, by which time we'll be extinct anyway.

    It is almost as if someone on the Titanic could see the iceberg right in their path, but then insisted upon trying to steer the vessel with a canoe paddle.  Hard to take them seriously, even if I'm about to have a very cold swim.

  14. A $quot;real$quot; debate

    with a dining room table.

    Great, Bob. Just great.

  15. Oy.

    Bob, if Shep were genuinely interested in a "real debate", he might have engaged in one over the several years he's been posting on this site.

    He's not. He's not open to evidence. He changes the goalposts, fixates on one "weakness" in order to attempt to discredit mountains upon mountains of research and data, and uses a wide variety of intellectually dishonest tactics. This is trolling.

    Sorry, I don't particularly find this kind of thread enlightening. The scientific question is, for all practical purposes, done. The meaningful question is political: How to persuade people who actually are persuadable -- not trolling ideologues like Shep.

  16. If you think you are smarter than, say...

    The National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration The World Meteorological Society The United Nations NASA The National Academy of Sciences of the United States The National Academy of Sciences for thirty-something other developed nations The American Geophysical Union The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution The UK's Royal Society Any and all legit university science departments And about +95% of credentialed (read: mostly Ph.D) climate scientists in the world

    If you think you, bostonsheperd, are smarter than all of these collective organizations, then by all means deny global warming.  You must be a scientific genius or have access to some top secret info that the rest of us have to deny credence to the above organizations and dismiss them as looney. Congratulations, you are the smartest man in the world and you should use your talents to educate the world on how we are all being duped by NASA, The National Academy of Sciences, The UN, Woods Hole, NOAA, etc...

  17. NASA  (The graph)
  18. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climatic Data Center
  19. World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  20. American Meteorological Society
  21. National Center for Atmospheric Research "How do we know Earth is warming now?"
  22. Earth System Research Laboratory - Global Monitoring Division "Climate Forcing"
  23. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
  24. Jet Propulsion Laboratory - California Institute of Technology "Global Climate Change" "How do we know?"
  25. American Geophysical Union (world's largest scientific society of Earth and space scientists) "Human Impacts on Climate"
  26. American Association for the Advancement of Science "The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now"
  27. The United States Energy Information Administration "Greenhouse Gases, Climate Change, and Energy"
  28. Massachusetts Institute of Technology "Report: Human activity fuels global warming"
  29. California Institute of Technology "How We Know Global Warming is Real" "The science behind human-induced climate change"
  30. Atmospheric Sciences - University of Illinois - Champaign "Evidence continues to mount that human activities are altering the Earth's climate on a global scale."
  31. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution "Global Warming"
  32. The UK's Met Office Hadley Centre "Climate change - the big picture"
  33. The UK's Royal Society "Climate change controversies: a simple guide"
  34. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Based in Switzerland) "Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report"
  35. Japan Meteorological Agency "Global Warming Projection Vol.7"
  36. The Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society "Our climate has changed substantially." "Global climate change and global warming are real and observable."
  37. Royal Society of New Zealand "The globe is warming because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions."
  38. National Geographic Magazine
  39. Scientific American Magazine
  • But tblade!

    Every single one of those institutions are part of a vast million-scientist conspiracy! Come on! I can prove it! LOOK AT THE BOOOOOOOONESSSSSS....

  • Here's the thing...

    I wonder, given the stunning revelations from the leaked East Anglia emails and subsequent academic scandal spreading throughout the scientific community, how do proponents of climate change here at BMG respond to what reads like a full confession by climatologist Phil Jones?

    Why do I have to defend Phil Jones... ?  Why don't you defend history??  Nobody ever used this logic  when Philip Morris was found to have undertaken deliberate, lengthy and widespread efforts to undermine public confidence in science in what turned out to be one long egregious lie?

    My mother smoked for a great deal of my childhood.   At the time, in the 60's, 70's and 80's, the tobacco companies refused to admit the link between cigarettes and cancer, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.  Jesse Helms was, informally, known as the Senator from Big Tobacco...  I don't think that, ever you, would take that position today...  The evidence is overwhelming.

    Scientists 1, anti-scientist businessmen/polluters/lobbyists 0

    But wait, there's more...

    Back in the 70's scientists all over the world said that the rain, all over the world, was becoming more acidic.  Very clear correlations were made between emissions of sulfur, from industry smokestacks, and the increased acidicity of the rain.  The backlash against this was twofold A) denial that it was occurring and 2) extreme lobbying against any and all efforts to curb pollution via smokestacks.  Job killing anti-business leftists, I think , was the way I first heard about the issue...

    30 years on, after successful efforts to curb sulfur emissions via smokestacks, equally clear correlation is continue to be seen between the decreased smokestack emissions and acidicity in rain.

    Scientists 2,  anti-scientist businessmen/polluters/lobbyists 0

    At about the same time, scientists all over the world noted strange happenings with the ozone layer, the protective blanket of 03 that allows life as we know it to happen, mainly the layer was getting smaller and had holes: again with pretty clear correlations between the use of clorohydroflourocarbons (CFCs).  An international effort to ban CFCs was successful, but not without the same tired denial and obstruction from businesses,  and, after a lag period, the rate of disuse of CFCs correlates, pretty clearly, with a clear slowing of the rate of depletion of ozone.  

    Scientists 3, anti-scientist businessment/polluters/lobbyists 0

    There's more:

    Polyhalogenated compounds, commonly noted as 'Dioxins',  often used as an industrial strength herbicide, (Agent Orange, for example, was a dioxin) has a tale that follows the same trajectory: scientists note correlations between pollution and the polluters.  The polluters deny this, and fight changes. Changes are made and ...

    Scientists 4, anti-scientist businessmen/polluters/lobbyists 0

    Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) Same story...

    Scientists 5, anti-scientist businessmen/polluters/lobbyists 0

    Need I go on... ?

    OK.  In 1946, American coal miners threatened to go on strike to get better health and safety conditions, because the mine owners refused to believe that the continued ingestion of coal dust was unhealthy, or that the job itself was that unsafe.  In order to prevent widespread economic distress Harry Truman seized the mines and commissioned a study to determine who was correct... I wonder what the result of THAT was... hm.. oh yeah..

    Scientists 6, anti-scientists businessmen/polluters/lobbyists 0

    Cigarettes/tobacco,  acid rain, ozone, dioxins and pcbs and coal mines... what do they all have in common?   Oh yeah... they were all first denied and then roadblocked endlessly. The reasons for the roadblocks, or so I was told, were 'economic'... as in "job killing" and 'economic destruction'.

    Here's the thing: no economic dislocation, of any kind, ever occurred:  we stopped deliberately using pcbs and dioxins and we didn't face economic collapse. In fact, agribusiness is bigger than ever...  We still mine coal (at somewhat safer levels, though more needs to be done).  We've reduced the acid in the rain and banned CFCs without the predicted economic devastation.  In some places sulfur in the atmosphere was reduced through regional cap n trade programs.  

    Here's the other thing: scientists who've 'won' these debates never charged into the arena cheering themselves on, or even spent much time in shadenfreude, laughing at the debased and shamed polluters.  Why?  Cause they're scientists.  They don't do what they do for profit or glory. They do it for the life of the mind.  Once they figure something out, they move on to the next implications.

    The theoretical underpinnings of your arguments, that's there's no correlations and, even if there was, economic distress would follow, have never ever proven to bear out in practice: no matter how many times they've been trotted out..   In short, you have no valid reasons to be "skeptical", there's little danger of what you say you fear happening (if thats what you say)  happening.  When are you going to get tired of running the same old playbook?  Especially since it doesn't have a particularly good record of either coherence or success?

    • You forgot about

      Poland Asbestos. Also, lead. Also, mercury. Also, pretty much any harmful substance that an industry can make money from. It is entirely realistic to expect corporations to deny that their enterprises create any harm. This is not to say that the corporations are evil, it's just recognizing that their interests are served by such denial. Willfully ignoring that reality may be evil. It is at least foolish.

      To pretend that an entire class of scientists raising alarms are somehow serving their own interests - the way industries deny the harm their products create - is ridiculous.

  • I've seen the needle and the damage done...

    The problem is...

    do you think this will serve the broader interests of the G.O.P., do you just like being a contrarian on BMG as a matter of principle, or is it something else? In any event, let it never be said that this issue cannot be debated on BMG.   - promoted by Bob Neer

    Our strengths are our weakness... in weakness we are strong... To wit: liberals and progressives are, by an large, consensus junkies. We wish to think of ourselves as compassionate and levelheaded and willing to allow people to speak their piece... And, by and large, we are compassionate and levelheaded and this is a good thing. But, like any good thing, it can be misused and manipulated even to the point of debating something that, frankly, has long since been settled.  Making use of liberals and progressive sense of seriousness about issues and debate were the basis for the 2002 Resolution on the Use of Force in Iraq and the subsequent war.  The thinking and strategy here is no different.  The same arguments used against climate change were used, with little ultimate success, against asbestos, leaded gasoline, lead paint, acid rain, cigarettes, mercury, ozone depletion via CFCs, dioxins and PCBs, among other man made issues like worker health and safety (specifically coal miners and the aformentioned asbestos).  At some point, even those who earnestly believed that asbestos didn't cause problems, had to admit they were wrong.  At some point, we had to de-lead paint and admit that, yeah, it was a problem. At some point, gasoline refiners were forced to remove the lead that they had put in the gasoline as an 'anti-knocking' agent.  At some point, the earnest debaters had to admit that tobacco products and cancer were strongly correlated.  At some point, sulfur emitting smokestacks were limited by cap n trade programs and out-n-out regulations and the level of acidity in rain decreased.  

    This is not a new debate. We've been having this debate since some creative genius discovered that putting lead into paint made it brighter...  But, like those past examples, the time has come for the earnest debaters to  admit that the debate is over: the reality of human induced global climate change is here.

    "let it never be said that this issue cannot be debated"

    I think that BostonShepard, and anybody else who wants to come and debate their issues here owes Bob both a debt of thanks and the respect to debate earnestly.  Noting the spun interview of Phil Jones, who contributed a portion to the 2000 IPCC summary, itself a rather tame document especially when compared to the 2007 IPCC summary, as somehow reason to revisit the entire debate is not something done in earnest.

    Neither the IPCC, nor Phil Jones, conducts original research. Other people send Phil Jones their data and he, and his team, correlates it. The IPCC is merely a report of reports: a survey of the scientific literature that is itself edited by politicians before publication.  But the raw data is overwhelming as is the consensus of a clear majority of scientists.

    Consensus is here.  Climate change is real.

    History shows that problems like asbestos, leaded gasoline, lead paint, acid rain, cigarettes, mercury, ozone depletion, dioxins and PCBs, among other man made issues, are solveable once consensus emerges and solutions are undertaken. Furthermore, economic disaster, oft foretold by manufacturers of asbestos, gasoline, sulfur emitting power plants, cigarettes, CFCs, dioxins and PCBs, and a raft of other pollutants, has never resulted from these solutions. Never.

    Consensus has emerged and now is the time to solve the problem.  

    • Yes, and this kind of discussion supports that consensus

      With respect to the views of my esteemed co-editor, I think that this kind of thread has an effect -- albeit infinitely more polite and respectful, which is a good thing -- similar to that of Rep. Frank's straightforward comment. Shep's position is revealed as ideologically driven and factually feeble, with simultaneously strengthens the position of reality-based rationalists, and helps to explain the political challenge faced by climate realists.  

      • Not sure I buy that

        Shep's position is revealed as ideologically driven and factually feeble

        But that's not exactly, well, a revelation.  The problem isn't that there hasn't been a full and thorough debate on these issues, or that it isn't abundantly clear to anyone who looks at the facts that the denialist position is both flatly false and intellectually bankrupt.

        I'm not convinced it is a good thing to be polite and respectful to people who spout nonsense yet expect to be taken seriously.  Should we have a debate with a Birther, a Truther, a flat-earther, a creationist, a geocentrist, an antivaxxer?  Taking them seriously doesn't strengthen the reality-based position, it weakens it.

      • Digging deeper

        One thing I take from this discussion is some curiosity as to what the conspiracy theory coming from the Right really is. What is the best statement of that theory? What evidence do they really have that a terrible hoax has been perpetrated?

        Without addressing the hoax accusation, the differently-winged will continue to try to nitpick their way out of this. They imagine they live in a very dramatic mystery novel where the slightest hint of disharmony could be the winning clue.

        • It is $quot;ad hoc$quot;

          In other words, they make it up as they go along — just like everything else they say. "Evidence"? They don't need no stinking evidence. You sound like some kind of marxist socialist communist fascist liberal anti-American terrorist.

          For example, they'll say "there isn't any warming". Then, when proven wrong, they'll say "but it isn't cause by humans". When that is proven wrong, then they'll say "but it isn't harmful"" — and so on an so forth, ad nauseam. Sooner or later, their chain of "reasoning" will generally cycle back onto itself. When you identify that point, the argument will generally shift to a personal attack on you.

          The "conspiracy" has many branches, you see. The leading scientists are paid by the "environmental lobby" (now that's a crowd with deep pockets). The peer-reviewed journals suppress contrary papers to please their advertisers (!). The peer-reviewers, together with the authors, suppress contrary papers to preserve government funding. Or to seek private funding. Etc., etc., etc.

          One good rule of thumb is to look for evidence of transferal or projection. The most outspoken deniers often reveal their own skeletons with the charges they hurl at we "warmists". When you hear Anthony Watts rant about "corporate shills", go dig into how his own site and organization is funded.

          Just for fun, go do some backgrounding on Marc Morano. He is a key publicist for the movement, he was the spokesperson for Senator Inhofe for a long time. Mr. Morano has a "colorful" history.

          There really is a great deal of similarity between the operations of the deniers and the creationist and young-earth movements.

          • A victory in conventional war

            I guess I'm hoping to meet the adversary in a pitched battle, prevail, and get a signed surrender treaty. Hence my hunt for the best representatives of Denier's Hoax Theory.

            However, if it's all ad hoc guerrilla stuff, the low intensity effort will last decades.

            • *lol*

              Well, seeing as how the ad-hoc guerrilla war against reason began thirty years ago with the cascade of lies that accompanied the first campaign of Ronald Reagan, I think there's every reason to believe it will continue in the same vein for the foreseeable future.

              All kidding aside, I think that's why the "war on terror" is so pathologically appealing to the rightwing — it creates a permanent and pervasive canvas against which to paint their messages of fear, hate, insecurity, doubt, and the rest of the tools that despots and tyrants have always used to control the masses.

              • Nostalgia...

                All kidding aside, I think that's why the "war on terror" is so pathologically appealing to the rightwing - it creates a permanent and pervasive canvas against which to paint their messages of fear, hate, insecurity, doubt, and the rest of the tools that despots and tyrants have always used to control the masses.

                Just like dear ole daddy did, in the Cold War...   good times, good. times.

  • Sorry there is no debate about basic science

    There is debate about modeling and timing of consequences or to put it simply how bad things get at a particular time and where, and there is debate about feedback effects, but there is no debate about the basic science.

    The best thing, Boston Shepard, would just be to admit that you are wrong--what were are seeing is a closed circuit loop in which you and others like you only believe want you want to believe.

     At this point 97 percent of active climatologists believe that people are causing global warming and that 97 percent may well be an underestimate.

    If, BostonShepard, you were unfortunate enough to have a particular kind of cancer and you met with 100 oncologists and 97 of them advised a particular treatment would you ignore them?

    Ok, let's pretend that we're libertarians and ask the same question about someone you were responsible for: if you had the tragic fate of seeing a child with cancer (and I would not wish this for anyone) would you ignore the advice of 97 out of 100 oncologists then?

    The problem with your skepticism is that it affects others: basically you and others like you are choosing to try to destroy the world's future environment for all of us.

    As an historian I would say that climate change denial is not directly analogous to Holocaust denial but neither is in any way shape or form a responsible position.

  • Courtesy of USA Today

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