Enter your email address to receive updates by email:

subscribe in a reader like my facebook page follow me on twitter Image Map
Podcast Message Line: 512-222-3389
Logos Catholic Bible Software

« Aargh! | Main | Writers Strike »

November 07, 2007

Comments

Jason

It is interesting that one meteorologist thinks that global warming might be overblown.

One might think that this reflects broader disagreement among scientists. It does not. There is almost a total consensus among scientists that man-made global warming is real; the dissenters among climatologists can literally be counted on one hand.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686

Excerpt:
"That hypothesis was tested by analyzing 928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords "climate change" (9).

The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position [that man-made climate change is real], evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position."

Foxfier

I dislike pulling out Wiki, but for lists of names, it can't be beat:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

(You must have really, really big hands)

As for why there are not more papers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_controversy#Political_pressure_on_scientists

I believe most (though not all) of us mainly have beef with the idea that global warming is man made, that it is bad, and that we must shut down rather than try to come up with useful solutions. All of these are part of the current "Global warming is true!" fad.

Brian Day

Jimmy,

You sly dog. You return to blogging by posting on a topic sure to start a combox flame war. :-)

Wait a moment while I put my Nomex fire suit on....There, flame ON!

Oh yeah. Man-made global warming is a hoax.

Jason
I dislike pulling out Wiki, but for lists of names, it can't be beat:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

(You must have really, really big hands)

Actually, this list provides impressive confirmation of my claim despite my perfectly ordinary endowment of digits.

Having looked at the list, I count FIVE professors of climatology, meterology or atmospheric sciences who believe that global warming is due primarily to natural causes. FOUR of these professors are retired. That leaves: ONE professor of climatology, meterology or atmospheric sciences who believes global warming is due to natural causes.

Here are their names:

Hendrik Tennekes, retired Director of Research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

Reid Bryson, emeritus professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

William M. Gray, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University

George Kukla, retired Professor of Climatology at Columbia University

Marcel Leroux, former Professor of Climatology, Université Jean Moulin


We would have to include another handful if we started to draw from the list who believe the cause of global warming is unknown. Heck, we might even need to start counting on our toes if we included all of the geology and paleoclimatology professors.


There are 37 professors on this list (assuming I have counted correctly) drawn from fields as far removed as physics, mathematics and astronomy. If we include all the scientists in those fields, there would literally be hundreds of thousands in the world.

Perhaps this list does not include every scientist who doubts global warming, but I see no reason to conclude from the data you have presented that the percentage of qualified scientists who affirm anthropogenic global warming is any less than 99.99%. And that is being charitable.

Jason
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_controversy#Political_pressure_on_scientists

This article is primarily about pressure on scientists to *downplay* the threat of global warming.

The theory that 99.99% of scientists accept anthropogenic global warming because of political pressure is absurd. Most of these scientists have tenure; some need to apply to government organizations for grants, and it's possible these organizations would be less likely to give grants to scientists who propose research which would cast doubt on anthropogenic global warming. However, given that the current administration would welcome such research and given that there are many very well-financed corporate interests who would welcome it as well, such scientists could easily find funding from other sources.

Your claim that the reason there are ZERO published papers arguing against anthropogenic global warming is because of bias among scientists is as absurd as the conspiracy theorists who claim that the Bush administration orchestrated 9/11.

This is a claim that could only be made by someone who is a total outsider to the scientific community. Scientists have their biases like anyone else, but their first commitment is to the truth and they do everything they can to be as objective as possible in their pursuit of it. And of all human endeavors, it is science which most often succeeds in achieving objectivity.

Jason
I believe most (though not all) of us mainly have beef with the idea that global warming is man made, that it is bad, and that we must shut down rather than try to come up with useful solutions. All of these are part of the current "Global warming is true!" fad.

I certainly agree that the implication of anthropogenic global warming is not that "we must shut down rather than try to come up with useful solutions". The most reasonable response is to do a cost-benefit analysis using all of the data available to decide what to do next - a tax on carbon emissions is one step in the right direction which would have other benefits (http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/10/pigou-club-manifesto.html - Greg Mankiw is a former chairmen of Bush's Council of Economic Advisors).

Reasonable and well-informed people disagree about what policies are most prudent in dealing with anthropogenic global warming. Reasonable and well-informed people do not disagree that there is a scientific consensus on the matter.

Foxfier

Jimmy, sorry for the long post.

Jason: physics is a valid direction to come at global warming, given that you have to unravel as much of what is going on as possible to figure out what is causing any given effect.

Astrology involves the sun, which is the source of most of the warmth on earth-- if you bothered to read the quotes, the very first one says that there is unusual solar activity. To automatically exclude the expertise of astrologists is to invalidly limit the possible causes.

Geology looks at evidence of what has come before to see if there is something different going on, such as would be required for man-made global warming. Seeing as many geologists do not specialize only in palioclimatology, it is also wrong to automatically exclude all geologists.

And seeing as NASA had that nasty error in their stats not too far back, mathematics is *also* quite important. Given how complex the math can be, someone needs to check the calculations-- and if you look under the "global warming isn't happening" tab, you'll note that the president of the World Federation of Scientists says the IPCC models are invalid.

You seem to think that because they are not coming at a problem from the aspect of climatology--not any of the other atmospheric sciences, even?--they can't know what they're talking about; I counter that, if there is actual human caused warming going on, then research from the other angles will not contradict and should, indeed, support such a finding.

I will also nitpick and point out that you said "There is almost a total consensus among scientists that man-made global warming is real," not "...among scientists whose authority I accept."

Among those you do not accept:

Reid Bryson, emeritus professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.
William M. Gray, Professor of Atmospheric Science.
Tim Patterson, paleoclimatologist and Professor of Geology.
Fred Singer, Professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences .
Jan Veizer, environmental geochemist.
John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center.
William R. Cotton, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences.
Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science.
Patrick Michaels, former state climatologist.

Foxfier

Reasonable and well-informed people do not disagree that there is a scientific consensus on the matter.

Reasonable and well-informed people do not try to define everyone who disagrees with them as not being reasonable and well-informed.

Jason

Foxflier,

As I pointed out in my original post, I'm glad to accept geologists, physicists and paleoclimatologists have something to say about the matter (I'm a little more reluctant than you to accept that astrologers have any authority ;-) ).

If we do accept that these fields have expertise, we've massively widened the pool of scientists from which we are drawing. If we consider just climatologists, we have 4 or 5 out of a few thousand. If we consider physicists, astronomers and geologists as well, we have 30 or 40 out of a few hundred thousand.

The proportions are the same no matter how you look at it (and yes, perhaps 99.9% is a more reasonable conservative estimate; 99.99% may be too high).

Jason
Reasonable and well-informed people do not try to define everyone who disagrees with them as not being reasonable and well-informed.

This is a fair point. That comment of mine was in bad taste. I regret including it in the post.

StubbleSpark

He ends the article with an allusion to Global Warming's impending doom when the predictions do not come true.

I would like to believe that, but the prophecy has failed time and again in spectacular fashion.

The first prediction set for total Ice Cap meltdown and ocean rise by the year 2000.

Obviously that has not happened. What happened to the prophets? They either melted into the ether or endured the ordeal completely unscathed.

Anyway, that is my main reason why I believe it is a hoax: because the predictions always fail.

Raindrops

To automatically exclude the expertise of astrologists is to invalidly limit the possible causes.

What's your sign?

J.R. Stoodley

OK, I'm more than half posting this to encourage some of you about the value of these combox discussions, which generally never seem to actually change people's minds.

In every previous discussion on Global Warming here that I've seen I've defended the idea, in ways similar to what Jason is now doing. However, gradually the arguements and quotations got to me, and now I'm not sure. It's true that consensus is not scientific. It's true that scientific studies are effected by researcher bias and interest and funding. It is true that the peer-review system is heavily flawed and that papers will be shot out of the water for very unscientific reasons (at least according to a Ph.D. ecology student who was my TA some scientists are very territorial about their area of research and will be overly critical about a paper they see as infringing on their research interests to hopefully prevent its publication, then publish something similar later). If this happens why not other abuses. The scientists would not necessarily be thinking in this case that they are distorting the truth, but if they are so convinced of man-made Global Warming itself and convinced it is of great importance they will approach an anti-global warming paper assuming the scientist is a crack and looking for any and all ways to prevent publication, while a paper purportedly supporting man-made Global Warming while of course it has to be up to standards they will want to see published.

There is also the relatively small percentage of CO2 released into the atmosphere by humans compared to other sources, esp. volcanos. Also there is the much less established issue of what the results of Global Warming would be.

Anyway, the number and quality of dissenters is still less than I would expect if it were all a scam like this guy says, and some of the principles are quite persuasive, so I'm not definitively taking one side or another. I just think we need to take all the doom and gloom prophesies with a grain of salt, at least for a while still.

Foxfier

JR-- my development was pretty much the same, although a bit more simplistic.

I use to trust Scientists, because Science is Science. It's logical. It's rational, you can't lie with science. It goes from the evidence and works up to a conclusion, adding or removing as information comes in.

....Then I started finding out that scientists are humans. And humans are flawed. When you get money by saying "there is a problem. We need to study it!" it's very common to see a problem. If you think that people are a problem on the earth-- as many folks do, for whatever reason-- you're more likely to look to them as the "likely suspect." (this doesn't mean folks are lying, this means that folks are, well, folks)

Jason-- that is only a list of folks who were pissed enough to say anything in public and were noted by those who made the listing in Wiki. As far as I know, there is no mandatory registration of one's view on any subject in science. Thus, we have no information, and any assertion of a percentage is a raw guess-- or an estimate from a very bad sample. (IE, comparing those who do stand to make money from investigating a phenomena, vs those who are not getting money and might be harmed by speaking out against someone's cash-cow)

Scott W.

This is a fair point. That comment of mine was in bad taste. I regret including it in the post.

Fair enough. Unfortunately the cat is out of the bag. Science is infected with ideology and we are in a quandry. We are not going to conduct our own experiments, and yet we (wisely) refuse to trust the new high priesthood in white lab-coat vestments.

matt

I might point out that a significant portion of scientists are atheists, so they're hugely mistaken on a critical subject. Most scientists think they should be in charge of ethics in things like cloning and/or killing human beings at early stages of development.

The "consensus" view of scientists has often been wrong when they wander into this sort of doomsaying (population bomb, global cooling for example).

God Bless,

Matt

Jason
The first prediction set for total Ice Cap meltdown and ocean rise by the year 2000.

Obviously that has not happened. What happened to the prophets? They either melted into the ether or endured the ordeal completely unscathed.

StubbleSpark, please show me the the evidence that a majority of scientists believed either in global cooling or that the ice caps would disappear by the year 2000. It's possible there were individual scientists who made these claims - they were certainly never part of any consensus. Any impression you have to the contrary is a false impression conveyed by the media.

Scientists are well aware of the fallibility of their predictions which is why they use sophisticated statistical procedures to analyze their results. They make their names by proving widely held opinions wrong so if there would be a bias *against* consensus in any field, it is science. Perhaps because of this, I can't think of one example in the modern era (past 50 years), when a theory that 99.9% of scientists believed was correct turned out to be wrong. Modern scientists have enough prudence and historical sense to avoid such outcomes. Can you think of such an example?

Jason
It is true that the peer-review system is heavily flawed and that papers will be shot out of the water for very unscientific reasons (at least according to a Ph.D. ecology student who was my TA some scientists are very territorial about their area of research and will be overly critical about a paper they see as infringing on their research interests to hopefully prevent its publication, then publish something similar later).

This point, and others you make about the peer review system are correct. Papers are routinely rejected for unscientific reasons. The point is that these errors are due to idiosyncratic biases - if a paper presented any kind of convincing evidence against anthropogenic global warming, it would be published in a top journal and its authors would be lauded. Scientists care about the truth and make a very determined effort to be aware of and correct for their political biases; these creep in anyway, but they end up excluding marginal papers ("This is OK, but has several flaws, I don't feel right about it"). Scientists know a good paper which presents compelling evidence when they see it.

I just think we need to take all the doom and gloom prophesies with a grain of salt, at least for a while still.

I think the problem here is your failure to distinguish between the predictions of scientists (which are generally careful and prudent) and the predictions of people in the media or politicians, which tend to draw on only the most extreme views of scientists on either end.

Jason
The "consensus" view of scientists has often been wrong when they wander into this sort of doomsaying (population bomb, global cooling for example).

Matt, see my above post. This is simply incorrect. Show me the evidence of a scientific consensus on either of those issues. There was none. There were only individual scientists whose views were strongly disputed by many others.

Jason
Comparing those who do stand to make money from investigating a phenomena, vs those who are not getting money and might be harmed by speaking out against someone's cash-cow.

There is probably more money to be made from speaking out against global warming than for it - there are many corporations with billions of dollars that would love to have credible scientists oppose global warming.

That is only a list of folks who were pissed enough to say anything in public and were noted by those who made the listing in Wiki. As far as I know, there is no mandatory registration of one's view on any subject in science.

I admit as much, which is why I initially confined myself only to meteorologists and climatologists. If a climatologist thinks global warming is wrong, publishes no papers on the subject and never speaks out about it, they cannot be too confident in their opinion! I expect that the listing on wikipedia probably does list most if not all of the climatologists who oppose global warming.


Smoky Mountain

They make their names by proving widely held opinions wrong

That's a good point -- think Galileo, or Copernicus.

Perhaps short-sighted scientists would be motivated by money and politics, but I suspect that the *really* greedy ones would want to prove global warming to be false to ensure their fame.

Michael

Scientists threatened for 'climate denial'
By Tom Harper, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:24am GMT 3/11/2007

Scientists who questioned mankind's impact on climate change have received death threats and claim
to have been shunned by the scientific community.

They say the debate on global warming has been "hijacked" by a powerful alliance of politicians,
scientists and environmentalists who have stifled all questioning about the true environmental impact of
carbon dioxide emissions.

Timothy Ball, a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, has received five
deaths threats by email since raising concerns about the degree to which man was affecting climate
change. One of the emails warned that, if he continued to speak out, he would not live to see
further global warming.

"Western governments have pumped billions of dollars into careers and institutes and they feel
threatened," said the professor. "I can tolerate being called a sceptic because all scientists should be sceptics,
but then they started calling us deniers, with all the connotations of the Holocaust. That is an obscenity.
It has got really nasty and personal."

Last week, Professor Ball appeared in The Great Global Warming Swindle, a Channel 4 documentary in
which several scientists claimed the theory of man-made global warming had become a "religion",
forcing alternative explanations to be ignored.

Richard Lindzen, the professor of Atmospheric Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology - who
also appeared on the documentary - recently claimed: "Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have
seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labelled as industry stooges. "Consequently,
lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science."

Smoky Mountain

Jason,

It's interesting that you're still posting, though this blog has moved on from the materialism post.

You must be hooked. There's just something about Jimmy.

Jason

One final point. I think some of you are failing to realize just how small the number of scientists who disagree with the consensus on global warming really is. It is about half as large as the number of priests who have spent time in prison for sexual abuse (and there are as many scientists in the fields discussed as Priests in the US).

Of course, I agree that the media's claims about the frequency of sex abuse cases in the priesthood are overblown. But so are their claims about scientific dissent from anthropogenic global warming.

Mull this over a bit more: the percentage of scientists who argue against anthropogenic global warming is smaller than the percentage of priests who have spent time in jail for sex abuse. It's a very small number.

francis 03

Guess I'll weigh in here. It's one thing to disagree with scientists when they start talking about morality, or social policy, or religion, or aesthetics-- which unfortunately they do all too often. But even if they're only human, and even if their opinions are therefore necessarily flawed, when it comes to subject within their actual area of expertise, how can a non-scientist possibly argue with them? I certainly can't do better science than they-- in fact I can't even begin to falsify or confirm any of their findings. For me to second-guess climatologists on global warming would be like a person who has never read a work of the Bible or any Church documents (but has examined a few second-hand accounts of them) coming in and telling Jimmy that he doesn't know what he's doing in the apologetics field. Of course it's possible that the experts are wrong. But I'm not qualified to make that judgment.

So it's interesting when someone who may possibly be an expert expresses an opinion like this one. But as Jason has noted, until many others join him it will simply be interesting.
I think the real debate should be on, assumning global warming is real, what we should do about it. The very smart economists who came up with the Copenhagen Consensus basically said 'nothing; fixing global warming would be too expensive and not worth it.'

bill912

I find the continuous use of the word "consensus" interesting. Science is based on facts, not consensus. Science progresses by challenging so-called "consensus". "Consensus" is not only not science, it is anti-science.

AnnonyMouse

I like the theory that the rise in the salt in the water is causing some of the "melting" of the poles.
The reason I personally feel they are on to something is because there are a lot (offshore drilling, cities near the oceans) that desalinate the water and dump the salt back in. You can record the salt content of water, thus you will have proof. It may not be the only reason, as we have cycles of warming up, but it is something I could agree with knowing how salt affects ice!

AnnonyMouse

ooppps.
That should be
the rise of salt in salt water.

Smoky Mountain

I find the continuous use of the word "consensus" interesting. Science is based on facts, not consensus. Science progresses by challenging so-called "consensus". "Consensus" is not only not science, it is anti-science.

Oi vey. This again?

When we speak of consensus among scientists on a topic, it is to be understood that we're talking about informed consensus.

That is, the individual scientists have presumably analyzed the data and reached a conclusion themselves. By asking a population of scientists to publish the results of their analyses ("consensus") we are likelier to find a correct answer than by relying on the results of any one scientist.

Of course science is based on "consensus" -- informed consensus -- that's the whole point of repeatable experiments. The more times an experiment is repeated (to obtain the same results), the higher the confidence we can have in those results.

bill912

Say "oi vey" all you want; science is still based on facts, not consensus.

studdunker

I would just remind folks that in 1974 some of the same scientists were predicting a global winter(See the 1974 Time magazine article on global winter) . How we got from a global winter to a global summer in just 30 years just shows me how little we really understand the world around us.

On a personal note, not weather related but people related, I have seen many really smart degreed people who couldn't reason themselves out of a wet paper sack. I do have letters behind my name but I am not so naive to think that those letters make me any more correct than the old man down the road that I visit ever so often.

Smoky Mountain

Say "oi vey" all you want; science is still based on facts, not consensus.

Oi vey. :)

Read my post.

Or shall I rephrase it?

Scientist A performs Experiment 1. He gets Result X based on Facts.

Do I trust Result X? Maybe, but it seems early.

Scientist B performs Experiment 1. He gets Result X based on Facts.

Do I trust Result X? Maybe, but it seems early.

Scientists C-Z all perform Experiment 1. They all get Result X based on Facts.

Now it's looking like Result X might be a reasonable thing to believe. Of course we never "prove" anything, but we have good reason to provisionally trust Result X.

THAT is what is meant here by consensus; *not* a poll of scientists mere opinions.

Smoky Mountain

Has anyone found anything regarding the credentials of John Coleman (besides being a TV weatherman)? E.g. does he have a degree in meteorology or a related discipline?

LCB

Game over Jason.

Please consult the 1975 Newsweek (it was Newsweek, not that unfortuante publication Time) special edition dealing with global cooling. Quoting directly from the article, "The evidence in support of these predictions [of global cooling] has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it." Remember, they had a scientific consensus, so they can't be wrong. Right?

Further, over 19,000 scientists have signed on to the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine petition stating, "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."

Jason, you live in Al Gore fairy tale land. I strongly urge you to retreat from it. Shall I continue? Perhaps John R. Christy's recent WSJ editorial would be helpful? But hey, what's the director of the University of Alabama's Earth Science Center know about such things?

Jason, would any amount of evidence, any real reasoned argument, possibly change your mind? I'm not convicned you are open to changing your mind, but you have already decided you have all the answers.

Kay Cee

Here's a copy of a little something I posted on Catholic Answers Forum--

With my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, I would like to present:

Name That Global Disaster!

Here are your clues:

1) It was promulgated within the last fifty years
2) We’ve been told it will wipe out millions of people
3) Statistics regarding it are often exaggerated
4) Its dire effect is taught in schools as though it is fact, thereby scaring children
5) Scientists who disagree are ostracized
6) We have to do something about it NOW (preferably spend millions of your tax money)

Now then, can you pick the global disaster?

1) Impending ice age
2) Overpopulation
3) Acid rain
4) Depletion of the ozone layer
5) Depletion of the rain forest
6) Global warming
7) All of the above

joann

A few points from a "Scientist" though it's biology not Climatology--still we do take courses on the environment, physics, chemistry, statistics, etc. in order to get that degree.
1)Because one scientist agrees with another's research results does not mean they did their own research, they just looked over someone elses. 2)the numbers in statistics like this are easily rendered meaningless by minute wording in the workup process or manipulating formulas. You can get nearly any number you want by wording questions a particular way or choosing to use formula "A" rather than formula "B". 3)we're only using wikipedia as a resource here... how scientific is that? 4) it doesn't take a scientist, especially these days, to learn about any particular issue, all you have to do is read stuff. Scientists are not always endowed with god-like intelligence. My own experience is that there is more ferver than intelligence among college science professors, just based on things like basic living skills. I've met just as many factory workers with the same amount of intelligence as college professors. The only difference is that some are more aware of their brains than others.

Aristotle

Jason,

Caillon et. Al in Science 2003 established, like many other papers have (over twenty, going all the way to 2007) that there is about an 800 year lag between CO$_2$ and Temperature, with temperature changes occuring about 800 years before the CO&_2$ changes. This suggests that temperature causes the carbon dioxide levels, and not the other way around. Other correlations, such as with Methane, suggest the same.

There is no scientific consensus that global warming is human caused. There are over 20 papers in Science alone that dispute this point. But beyond that, even if there were scientific consensus, a common-sense look at the data shows that consensus to be wrong.

Science is based on data. Not a vote. Not some "papal" authority of Al Gore. It seems, Jason, that your views would suggest that you are far more Roman Catholic in your thinking of science than you may care to admit.

LarryD

"Of course science is based on "consensus" -- informed consensus -- that's the whole point of repeatable experiments. The more times an experiment is repeated (to obtain the same results), the higher the confidence we can have in those results."

And what specific experiments have been run to show convincingly that global warming is anthropogenic? Everything I've read is that they're working off computer models, which are only as good as the data which is input. And it's easy to manipulate the data to produce the results you want to see.

AS far as "consensus" goes, once upon a time there was worldwide consensus that the world was flat, and that the Earth was at the center of the universe.

And finally, do a Google search and you'll see that in the 1920's and 1930's, there were articles and stories of how the Earth was headed for times of global warming.... here's a link:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20070814/NATION02/108140063

Now please excuse me as I have to get back to work, driving 150+ miles in my minivan throughout the metropolitan Detroit area as a corrugated carton salesman, increasing my sales so that we can cut down more trees, run expensive equipment, ship more boxes to customers who use lots of energy producing products that people buy when they drive their cars to the stores.....;-)

JoAnna

Is the Weather Channel too poor to afford a proofreader or editor of some type?

Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create in allusion of rapid global warming.

That should be an illusion. I have trouble taking any sort of scientist seriously if he doesn't have the brains to (a) proofread his statements first or (b) get someone else to do it. It just lessens one's credibility, IMO (of course, the fact that I'm a professional proofreader might have something to do with that...)

Esau

Jason, you live in Al Gore fairy tale land.

Don't doubt The Gore and his Gor-y Tale!

For heaven's sake, the guy:

1. Invented the Internet
2. Won an Academy Award
3. Won the Noble Peace Prize


Al Gore is the Hero of Earth and the Whole Human Race!

Praise the Gore!!! NOT!

LarryD

Actually, Joanna, that pull quote wasn't from the Weather Channel, but from a post that John Coleman entered on an independent blog. It seems that he's no longer affiliated with the Weather Channel either. Doesn't change the fact that he didn't proofread all that well - - - eye no eye dont prufrede awl that good ether!

JohnD

If you want to befuddle Al Gore types in one question, ask them:

What caused the end of the last Ice Age, and did humans have anything to do with it?

AmericanPapist

This discussion thread is pointless and sadly typical of the MMGW debate because everyone is arguing about consensus and not the scientific data.

Try to understand this: Consensus is not an argument.

I think it's very telling that the primary "argument" of MMGW proponents right now is that there is a "consensus"!

I've embedded a video related to this topic which features a prominant Australian scientist making this point (and many other helpful ones):

http://www.americanpapist.com/2007/11/weather-chanel-founder-says-mmgw-is.html

Leo

The proposition that the global warming observed since the 1970s has a significant human cause is, in principle an empiricably testable one. Ad hominem is irrelevant.

Anyone who cares to, can study the issues and do the scientific research themselves. If one doesn't have the time, inclination or aptitude to study for a couple of PhDs in the relevant subjects the next best thing is to rely on those who have. If there is a consensus amongst those who have studied the matter it seems to be obstinate to reject their consensus without sufficient reason.

As much as I respect the expertise of some on this blog on theological and moral matters, I would not rely on their judgement on an important matter of medical fact. I (and I think they) would, instead, go to someone who had spent some years obtaining a recognized medical qualification - a qualified doctor. I expect you will find a few doctors who disagree about the efficacy of eg vaccination or whether smoking causes cancer. But if the general medical consensus is that vaccination is good for most children or that smoking kills, I should heed that advice unless I have sufficient grounds. My own desire to continue smoking is not a rational reason to prefer a doctor who says that the risks are exaggerated or for me to say past medical consensuses have been wrong, so what do the quacks know anyway.

Question: Are the IPCC the best qualified scientists or are they global conspirators and charlatans in it for the money?
Who would be able to tell?

Answer: National Scientific Academies would seem to be good judges of real scientific credentials.

The National Scientific Academies of the following countries issued this statement in support of the IPCC

"The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science. We recognise IPCC as the world’s most reliable source of information on climate change and its causes, and we endorse its method of achieving this consensus. Despite increasing consensus on the science underpinning predictions of global climate change, doubts have been expressed recently about the need to mitigate the risks posed by global climate change. We do not consider such doubts justified.”

National Academy of Sciences (US),
Royal Society (United Kingdom),
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Science Council of Japan,
Russian Academy of Sciences,
Academia Brasiliera de Ciências (Brazil),
Royal Society of Canada,
Académie des Sciences (France),
Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany),
Indian National Science Academy,
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy),
Australian Academy of Sciences,
Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts,
Caribbean Academy of Sciences,
Indonesian Academy of Sciences,
Royal Irish Academy,
Academy of Sciences Malaysia,
Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand,
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Source: Royal Society 2001 Royal Society 2005
For the comments of other scientific bodies

The scientific evidence and consensus is with the IPCC. Just as the scientific evidence and consensus is for evolution.

Now of course a consensus can be wrong, but can we now admit the scientific consensus?

Gabriel

I work in the weather industry and know a great number of meteorologists. All of them agree that there is no question that "global warming" is occurring. The big question is: WHAT is causing it?

Many are NOT convinced that man is responsible for the warming. After all, it took global warming to melt the glaciers which covered the Midwest millions of years ago.

But watching the news and listening to the liberal politicians, one would think that there is no question that man is causing it.

I do wonder if this whole global warming issue, which scientists warm will cause giant changes in ocean levels and weather patterns, has anything to do with Scripture prophecy about the end times and "the roaring sea" which perplexes and causes anguish among the people of the last generation:

"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves.." (Luke 21:25)

Tim J.

"After all, it took global warming to melt the glaciers which covered the Midwest millions of years ago."

That was actually a mere 10,000 years ago, more or less. Not even a tick on the geologic clock.

Esau

I work in the weather industry and know a great number of meteorologists. All of them agree that there is no question that "global warming" is occurring. The big question is: WHAT is causing it?

Many are NOT convinced that man is responsible for the warming. After all, it took global warming to melt the glaciers which covered the Midwest millions of years ago.

Gabriel,

Thank you for pointing this out!

If only others would be as informed about this as you are, perhaps not everyone would be so gullible in the Gore-ish mentality that the reason "The Sky is Falling" is due to man!

It still doesn't make sense to attribute Global Warming to mankind when one has yet to conclude that by the relatively sparse evidence for it.

Now, folks seem to think that throwing money on it will actually SOLVE Global Warming!

I believe this money would be better spent if you forward all such monies to my bank account than into Al Gore's piggy bank!

Pseudomodo

"They make their names by proving widely held opinions wrong

That's a good point -- think Galileo, or Copernicus.

Perhaps short-sighted scientists would be motivated by money and politics, but I suspect that the *really* greedy ones would want to prove global warming to be false to ensure their fame."


Galileo was WRONG:

1. He was not an innocent victim on the Church, a Church that encouraged Copernicus and protected Kepler. He could not prove anything at the time.

2. Galileo could not prove the stellar parallax problem - would not be proven for another 200 years.

3. Galileo said planet orbits were circular and not eliptical- he was WRONG and was known to be wrong.

4. Galileo proposed the theory of tides to prove the heliocentric theory - WRONG.

5. Galileo proposed the nature of comets as atmospheric exhalations to prove the heliocentric theory - WRONG.

6. Cardinal Bellarmine challenged Galileo to put up or shut up. Galileo could not put up and would not shut up.

Don't use Galileo as the epitome of an ideal scientist -he wasn't. He was an average scientist who would be very much at home in the modern world of wild scientific speculation.


Michael

"Global warming" is a red-herring. One does not need a Ph.D. to notice that humans impact life on this planet. Even the human migration from Asia to Australia 40,000 years ago wiped out a significant portion of the flora and fauna (e.g. see Miller et al., Science, 2005). The question is not whether or not man-made pollutants are going to raise the average temperature of the earth 0.1 C or 1 C. The question are we or are we not the stewards of the earth? Is it less immoral to clearcut whole swathes of land for houses made of chemically treated pressurized wood than it is to use a condom?

Do we really think that all the smog that we have created since the Industrial Revolution had no noticeable impact on the environment? It's pointless to quibble over the validity of statistical models. All we need to do is take a step back and say "Are we doing everything we reasonably can to reduce our impact on the world?"

Just because a bunch of atheistic scientists who (horror of horrors!) get paid with money happen to agree with a guy named Al Gore doesn't mean that we don't have an obligation to reduce carbon and nitrogen pollution.

Esau

Just because a bunch of atheistic scientists who (horror of horrors!) get paid with money happen to agree with a guy named Al Gore doesn't mean that we don't have an obligation to reduce carbon and nitrogen pollution.


Michael,

There are several things wrong with what you've stated here.

1. How do you know these scientists are all athiests?

2. How do you know that Global Warming is directly caused by man?

3. How do you know that all the money that's being thrown to the Global Warming fund will actually solve 'Global Warming'?

4. What if Global Warming is actually a natural consequence and not a man-made one? What then?


We, as Christians, have an obligation as stewards to this earth placed by God Himself.

Yet, though I was merely an associate scientist, I agree with Staff Scientists as well as Principle Scientists at certain research groups that the evidence has yet to conclude that:

a. Global Warming is CAUSED by man.
b. That man can actually SOLVE 'Global Warming'

Mrs Decentfilms

Scientist who try to disagree with the idea of man-made global warming are ridiculed and risk loosing their funding. I like this quote from Prof. Chris de Freitas of the School of Geography and Environmental Science at Auckland University:

"Science should be open-minded. Good science thrives on debate and discussion and not the reverse. What's happened is the reverse - you claim consensus and marginalize anyone who disagrees with the mainstream. That's very unscientific."

Here is an article about glaciers:

http://www.cnsnews.com/ForeignBureaus/archive/200502/FOR20050216a.html

Here is a new journal article about man-made global warming from the Journal of Geoclimatic Studies:

http://www.geoclimaticstudies.info/benthic_bacteria.htm

Esau

Scientist who try to disagree with the idea of man-made global warming are ridiculed and risk loosing their funding.


There is also the reverse --

There are those scientists who are benefitting here with lucrative sources of grants, which they never before had the luxury of having -- especially at this level, all profitting from the 'Global Warming' scare.

These scientists have much to lose if they were to consider evidence that contradict their agenda.

There have been principle scientists who disregard evidence merely because of the fact that they would lose their precious source of funding if they were to present such evidence as part of their findings and, therefore, do not disclose it as part of their research.

I don't doubt this is the case with certain scientists these days who advocate the 'Global-Warming-caused-by-man' scare.

Now, it seems, that even burning wood is prohibited because Global Warming 'fundamentalists' are shouting how this actually destroys the environment as well!

Can you imagine that???

Burning wood????

So, therefore, our American forefathers (as well as the indians who settled the land before them) must have been culprits as well!

Michael

1. How do you know these scientists are all athiests?

It was sarcasm.

2. How do you know that Global Warming is directly caused by man?

I never said it was. My first sentence was "Global warming is a red herring". There are differences between the terms "global warming", "greenhouse effect", "climate change" and "global temperature". It is a very complex issue. But my post had nothing to do with global warming, per se. So no, I do not know that global warming is directly caused by man although I have little doubt that man is playing a role.

3. How do you know that all the money that's being thrown to the Global Warming fund will actually solve 'Global Warming'?

Again, I never said that. At all. I don't even know that there is a "Global Warming Fund". I know that money is going towards examining the problem and working towards solutions. I'm sure I agree with some of them and disagree with others. Kind of like most things.

4. What if Global Warming is actually a natural consequence and not a man-made one? What then?

Well, then we better get used to being the next Mexico since all the fertile land is going to move north. I, for one, am very interested, as a member of the world's last remaining superpower with an already declining currency, of keeping the status quo. Reducing air and water pollution seems like a pretty simple way of at least taking a stab at the problem. Do you have any suggestions?

There are those scientists who are benefitting here with lucrative sources of grants, which they never before had the luxury of having -- especially at this level, all profitting from the 'Global Warming' scare.

Really? I'm interested in this claim. I have no opinion on its veracity but I would love to see some data on this. Have grants gone up? In amount or in number? Are they more now per researcher than before? Because this claim gets thrown around a lot, casting doubts on the motivations of the scientists; it'd be nice to know if there is some actual truth to it.

Michael

"The scientific evidence and consensus is with the IPCC. Just as the scientific evidence and consensus is for evolution."

It is a completely cheap rhetorical trick to attempt to link these two issues. When one talks about credentialed scientists who dissent from the 'consensus'(forced or not) opinion on global warming one is not talking about Creation Institute scientists. Mentioning one in the same sentence as the other is only an attempt to discredit by false association.

Michael

Now, it seems, that even burning wood is prohibited because Global Warming 'fundamentalists' are shouting how this actually destroys the environment as well!

Actually, this is quite true and has always been the case. A little burning for warmth isn't a problem. It's burning wood (and leaves) to get rid of them when a better solution would be mulching that is the problem.

And yes, our forefathers undoubtedly contributed to affecting the environment. Like I said, 40,000 people killed off most of the megafauna in Australia.

Aristotle

Galileo was a genius, a great scientist, and anyone who suggests otherwise is either simply dogmatic to the point of being unable to think, or is simply ignorant of the man's accomplishments.

Galileo's greatest work wasn't heliocentric theory (though it does explain the motion of planets and moons far more elegantly, and so Galileo was RIGHT about this), but rather motion principles. Though he may not have been the only person to have discovered this (I argue Aristotle understood it very well, and was simply mistranslated and misunderstood), his discovery shifted wildly the paradigm in physics. His philosophy of science, as being a thing of experimentation and theory as opposed to simple observation, changed physics forever in many profound ways.

And I don't see why any Roman Catholic should beat up on the guy; he stayed loyal to his faith.

And sure, like Newton (though not to the same degree), he was pompous, proud, and obnoxious. Not always a good friend.

But an amazing scientist.

That said, global warming is not human caused!

Esau

Really? I'm interested in this claim. I have no opinion on its veracity but I would love to see some data on this. Have grants gone up? In amount or in number? Are they more now per researcher than before? Because this claim gets thrown around a lot, casting doubts on the motivations of the scientists; it'd be nice to know if there is some actual truth to it.


Consider the fact that 'Global Warming' is not only a popular theme these days (e.g., NBC's 'Green' Week, etc.), but one on such a global scale (obviously, it can't help but be), it has opened a host of significant, new opportunities (e.g., job positions) and access to such funding never before available to various scientists.

There are actually members of the IPCC who even oppose the notion that Global Warming is caused by Man; however, they are quickly silenced by crowds of media-hogging pop scientists who promote this ever-popularized notion -- in spite of the evidence not only against it but also the existing evidence that hardly even concludes that this is indeed the case.

There was a video where even members of the IPCC who opposed such a notion submitted their case.

Surprisingly, hardly any attention was given to it by the MSM.

I can't see why their opposing views weren't given a fair shake in the media -- although I don't doubt that it's because it would put a damper on the ever popular "The Sky is Falling" theory as espoused by the likes of Al Gore, a hero for humanity, and those media outlets who have been endorsing such a view and have actually been benefitting from all the hoopla surrounding it.

Michael

I, for one, am very interested...of keeping the status quo. Reducing air and water pollution seems like a pretty simple way of at least taking a stab at the problem. Do you have any suggestions?

The United States has been very good about reducing air and water pollution. Calling carbon dioxide a pollutant is an attack on life and prosperity itself. As for keeping the status quo. Sorry, it ain't going to happen. But one thing we do know for sure is that allowing the global warming agitprops to get their way will be the surest way to diminish the status of the U.S. as their solutions all involve globalist centralizing principles that will reduce U.S. prosperity and transfer wealth away from it.

BTW, Michael with and without the underline are two different posters...in case anyone is confused.

Esquire

The problem is one of language.

There is, no doubt, consensus about some things having to do with global warming (and even man-made global warming) in the scientific community. The problem is that there is no consensus about what exactly the consensus is about.

One person says X. Another person says Y. Another person says X+Y. Another person says X+Z, but not Y. Another person says X'.

Rather than dealing with X or Y or Z or X', we deal with everyone agrees about X and/or Y and/or Z and/or X'. That turns into everyone agrees about X and Y, which turns into everyone agrees about X. Which, of course, isn't the case. But it's a lot easier than dealing with X or Y or or Z or X'.

Add to that the fact that the most vocal and visible supporters of X are also the most irrational, and will conclude (because it suits their own purposes) that the sky is falling.

Add to the equation many rational people sitting on the sidelines who don't care to get in the fray. They look at the sky and see that it is not falling, and that it is indeed quite incapable of falling. And they see a few vocal lunatics yelling that X is causing the sky to fall, and they quite reasonably conclude that because X is not, in fact, causing the sky to fall, maybe X does not exist at all.

And they see scientists who are supposedly part of the consensus that X exists claiming that they never said X, but rather Y or or Z or X', and they quite reasonably conclude that there is, in fact, no consensus that X exists.

And then they are told that everyone who has not said "not X" must be included within the X exists crowd as well, so that the consensus that X exists is indisputably quite large, swelling to 99.9% or larger (assuming, of course, that one is charitable).


Matthew Siekierski

Esquire, you're probably right about everything you said in there. Even if I did have to read it twice to make sure I understood it.

Leo

MrsDecentfilm,
I think you may have been duped by the reference to the "Journal of Geoclimatic Studies" edited by "Dr Hiroko Takebe" based at the "University of Okinawa".

These sites claim there is no such institution or scientist, and it is an elaborate practical joke:
http://www.desmogblog.com/spoof-website-touts-global-warming-death-were-you-duped
http://bluecrabboulevard.com/2007/11/07/fraud-alert/

I've been trying to verify the existence of the said University and academic - so far without success eg finding a web page of the "University of Okinawa" showing "Dr Hiroko Takebe" as a member of the "Climatological Department" as a would be a good start. The whois info shows it was registered from Wales!

You may wish to verify for yourself - I could be wrong - I stand open to correction.

Foxfier

Exquire-- good logical formating.

quasimodo

Consensus is not science. Counting heads is not science. The number of "scientific" theories that once held "consensus" status that are now considered garbage is legion.

Our computer models cannot reliably predict tomorrow's weather and you think they can predict what will happen in 100 years? Our computer models cannot take historical data and produce accurate information about today's weather (unless you very carefully cherry pick the data - which they do, by the way). Mars is warming - did we cause that too? People claim that dust storms on Mars are responsible for warming there. Where is the energy coming from to cause the apparent increase in dust storms? Is the increase in dust storms a cause of the warming or a result? Mercury is warming, too. We gonna claim that dust storms on mars are causing that too? Why do the proponents always gloss over hte fact that increases in CO2 are a lagging indicator and not a leading indicator?

It is unusual, in the history of this planet, for there to be polar ice caps - we are technically still in an ice age. They come and go naturally.

Global warming is a scam perpetrated by those who want to control you.

Maureen

Re: "disappeared into the ether"

Yeah, 99.9% of scientists and ordinary folks used to believe in the ether, too. Now, most people don't even know what that expression means.

Furthermore, there used to be orange groves in Kent. That was a lovely time. Many eons before, it was even hotter -- there were hippos in the Thames. And that was another pleasant time.

So, although I don't believe we're in any kind of global warming period or that humans cause a significant effect (volcanoes, animal methane, and the like being far more important), I don't think it would be a bad thing if it got warmer. Just because we've had the misfortune of living in a miserable and chilly period ever since the Little Ice Age began (triggering the bad bits of the Middle Ages, the Reformation, and the witch craze), doesn't mean the world has to suffer through it forever.

David B.

The Concensus: "Global Warming is real, and you better agree that you are destroying the world...or...or else!!!


Really, Algore has started his own religion, and is doing everything anti-Catholics accuse Catholics of doing: the selling of indulgences (carbon off-sets), hypocrisy (C4 jets), the promoting of an idea that is half-baked (man-made warming), and anyone who dissagrees with Al god..er..Gore is burned at the stake.

David B.

Er..Consensus.

Esau

Really, Algore has started his own religion

Don't bad-mouth The Gore!

He won the Noble Peace Prize as well as an Academy Award, for goodness sakes!

Mary

Having looked at the list, I count FIVE professors of climatology, meterology or atmospheric sciences who believe that global warming is due primarily to natural causes. FOUR of these professors are retired. That leaves: ONE professor of climatology, meterology or atmospheric sciences who believes global warming is due to natural causes.

Disgusting.

Are you claiming that scientists have to pass in their scientist badge when they retire?

In fact, because retirement means that you are no longer competing for posts, raises, grants, etc, it diminishes the rewards you can get for going along with the party line and also the punishment you can get for dissent. Therefore, if retired scientists are saying it's false, it is stronger evidence than if unretired ones are -- less motive to lie.

Leo

There is, no doubt, consensus about some things having to do with global warming (and even man-made global warming) in the scientific community. The problem is that there is no consensus about what exactly the consensus is about.

The scientific consensus is: recent global warming has a significant human cause. The major doubts are about the severity of the future impact.

No doubt Esquire's methodology could also be used against the medical consensus that smoking causes cancer.


No-one on the IPCC doubts that earth's climate is very complex and has interrelated multifactorial causes.
They do not doubt that for most of this planet's long history that natural causes have been the only causes of climate change.
Only evolution deniers might doubt that in the last couple of centuries we have released quantities of CO2 which were slowly absorbed over millions of years.
CO2 levels are now at the highest they have been for at least 800,000 years.
And the planet is warming - this no longer doubted by the deniers.

Can we separate the different causes, especially the human from the natural causes?
How much, if any, human cause is there? - this is the nub of the scientific question.
Given the scale of the calculation involved, computer models have to be used. Details here (Grids 135km x 135km at 38 athmospheric and 40 oceanic levels).

A model is another name for a theory, albeit a very complex quantified one in the case of climate.
But are they testable?
How accurate are they?
Have they been fabricated to give the 'right' result?
Does the model/theory correspond with the observations?

Competing theories can be tested against the observations.
One way of testing is to "play/run" the models' equations from different time periods and see which models predictions best corresponds with the observed reality. This will help to eliminate arbitrary doctoring of a particular model.
A model which corresponds with the observations is more likely to be true than one which does not.

The conclusions of various groups' modelling is:

natural causes alone (Milankovitch cycles, sunspots, solar activity, volcanoes etc.), cannot explain climate variations since the mid 1970s,

but by adding human causes we get a prediction much closer to observations.

Sir David Attenborough was once a climate sceptic, believing that it can all be explained by natural causes and cycles. He changed his mind. In this 3 minute excerpt from the last 5 minutes of Are We Changing Planet Earth (BBC/Discovery/ Open University 2006) he graphs climate change with Prof Peter Cox
Youtube same clip on 5min.com

If these models were fabricated or self-deluded it would be possible for others to produce their own climate models which show the opposite. As far as I know this has not been done - someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

NB Measuring thermometers have only been available for about the last 150 years so quantified models cannot be quantifiably tested much earlier than this time.

quasimodo

What is the scientific consensus on ideal body fat?

What is the scientific consensus on the health effect of eating a high fat diet?

What is the consensus on the health effects of drinking alcohol in moderation? What is the scientific consensus on what moderation means?

What is the scientific consensus on plate tectonics? What was it years ago when every school kid in the world noticed that South America looks like it fits right into Africa?

When they first discovered the ozone layer they also discovered the ozone hole - in other words scientists have never known a time when there was NOT an annual ozone hole - yet the presence of the ozone hole is declared to be a problem. It could be perfectly natural recurring feature of the atmosphere.

What was the scientific consensus on alar?

Science pumps out crap and consensuses from around steaming piles of it everyday.

JoAnna

(Psst... Esau... it's the Nobel Peace Prize, not the Noble Peace Prize.)

I'll try to stop now, I promise. :)

bill912

Excellent points in your posts, quasimodo. I've got another question: What is the consensus on what the earth's ideal temperature is?

Leo

consensus - schenmsus. Guess I'll stop going to the doctor then, and eat as much animal fat and smoke as much as I can, do no exercise and inject myself with heroin when I'm bored. :)

Esau

(Psst... Esau... it's the Nobel Peace Prize, not the Noble Peace Prize.)

Thanks JoAnna for the correction! ;^)

Darn that dynamite guy!

AnnonyMouse

Acutally, Leo, regarding the animal fats, not the other things you listed, your body does need these, in small amounts. NOt the concoted plactic that is being passed as healthy stuff these days.
Such as real butter should be used over margarine or some immitation.

Raindrops

Millions of people have found that animal fats are not necessary.

Mrs Decentfilms

This article that I sent earlier seems to be a hoax!

It seems like none of these folks really exist . . .

http://www.geoclimaticstudies.info/benthic_bacteria.htm

Esau

It seems like none of these folks really exist . . .


None of us do... really...

Mrs Decentfilms

OK, so THIS guy is no hoax. My good friends in Alabama have him as their TV chief meterologist, and they like him a lot.

He has some interesting stuff on his blog about intolerance in his field:

http://www.jamesspann.com/wordpress/?cat=19

http://www.jamesspann.com/wordpress/?p=650

Leo

I haven't read the original paper so I can't say how fair James Spann's spin is. I doubt if any here can even properly understand the paper's abstract

Scientific consensus rarely changes due to one observational paper alone. Results need to be repeated. If doctors had a knee jerk reaction to every medical paper published they would be radically changing their minds every week. No doubt these new observations will be fed into the climate models and the revised models will be tested against the observations. Meanwhile the 'scientific jury' is still on the side of human-caused climate change. I suspect that some of the the deniers want absolute proof before taking action. I'm not sure if any amount of evidence would convince some sceptics.

This matter is seen as a scientific one in most of the developed world with cross-party consensus on the facts, though not necessarily on the solutions, but in the US even the scientific facts are highly politicized.

Regarding intolerance and improper influences - there are allegations on the other side as well.

Climate Change Research Distorted and Suppressed by Bush administration

Climate scientists pressured on climate change

Top climatologist accuses Bush Administration of trying to gag him

As with the tobacco lobby's shills, there are allegations that many of the AGW deniers are funded by oil companies,

List of Exxon funded sceptics

Oil lobby payments

Esau

Meanwhile the 'scientific jury' is still on the side of human-caused climate change.


1. What comprises this 'scientific jury' you speak of?

2. What substantial data exactly has warranted such a conclusion?

3. What is the standard error in these?

4. Who are the authority figures for such subject matter?

5. What is the actual consensus of all such scientists?

6. What exactly are their individual findings?

7. Do their individual findings actually support "The Sky is Falling" theory and that Man is responsible for it?

Esau

Correction:

4. Who do you believe are the authority figures for such subject matter?

Raindrops

Is there some special connection between people who post on Christian message boards and denial of global warming?

Leo

Esau, on authorities, I refer you to my comments on the IPCC and National Scientific Academies of Nov 8, 2007 9:41:53 AM

If your point-by-specificity is serious rather than rhetorical you will want to read the IPCC sources, methodology etc. for the detailed answers - you'll find it here http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/wg1-report.html It will take some time to read.

On the value of consensus in general - it depends upon what that consensus is based upon. Unexamined commonly held assumptions are probably worthless as consensus or anything else eg it was once almost universally agreed that a heavier object will fall faster than a lighter one - now known to be false by experiment/observation.

Consensus does not in itself guarantee scientific truth. In science the quality and quantity of experiment and observation is more important. My point is that if one cannot do the experiment/observations oneself or one is unable to evaluate complex evidence oneself then it is rational to rely on the evidence-based consensus of those who are best qualified - as with medical facts.

David B.


None of us do... really...

You getting nihilist on us, Esau?

And remember, folks, it's D + avid and B = David B.

Foxfier

Raindrops - is there some special connection between those who post without substance and those who will not give an email or website?

David B.

Is there some special connection between people who post on Christian message boards and denial of global warming?

I know Nothing! Nothing!

What is the scientific consensus on plate tectonics? What was it years ago when every school kid in the world noticed that South America looks like it fits right into Africa?

This guy, www.creationscience.com, disagrees with the plate tectonics theory. FWIW.

David B. (moi)

That Posted by: | Nov 8, 2007 5:03:15 PM wuz moi.

Esau

Leo,

Consensus does not in itself guarantee scientific truth.

THANK YOU FOR POINTING THIS OUT!!!

Thank God, somebody actually understands that!

I wish you had mentioned this on another thread!


In science the quality and quantity of experiment and observation is more important.

Actually, there is more to it than just that --

In my experience, the conclusion made on a body of data is only as good as the operating assumptions.

If the assumptions are faulty, no matter the data, the conclusion made by the experimenter are utterly flawed one way or the other.

That is because the way a Scientist makes sense of experimental data is by making certain assumptions; thus, the conclusion is only as good as the assumption(s).

Where there were faulty assumptions made, the conclusion will be just as faulty.

Esau

David B.

You getting nihilist on us, Esau?

Nihilists kick a_ _! Only kiddin'!

Foxfier,

Is there some special connection between people who post on Christian message boards and denial of global warming?

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens!

Now why would you say something as insulting to us no-email/no-web-ies? =(

Russ72

CO2 levels are now at the highest they have been for at least 800,000 years.

So if we stoppeed adding now, how exactly do we get all this stuff back into the center of the earth?

Brian Day

Is there some special connection between people who post on Christian message boards and denial of global warming?

No, but there is a lot of skepticism of people who post on Christian message boards of man-made global warming.

Foxfier

*winks at Esau* Why, dear sir, just as there are folks posting on a Christian message board in support of human-based warming, there are those who do not give internet-tracking and yet post substance.

It may not be hugely *common*, but I doubt anyone here would suggest you don't have substance!

*sings* Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens....

Raindrops

Raindrops - is there some special connection between those who post without substance and those who will not give an email or website?

No.

Raindrops

there is a lot of skepticism of people who post on Christian message boards of man-made global warming.

Atmospheric physicist John Houghton describes, "I lecture a lot to Christian audiences — I am a Christian myself, so I have Christian connections — also at universities, colleges, and to people in business and government. These days I give 40 or 50 lectures a year, on average about one per week... On the whole, Christians have been lagging behind many other groups in their concern for the environment, care for the Earth, and care for poor people."

Leo

Is there some special connection between people who post on Christian message boards and denial of global warming?
Hmmm ...
The US has the highest proportion of climate change deniers and the highest proportion of religiously-motivated evolution deniers in the developed world. Connected? Amongst many Evangelicals I suppose you could find a common root in distrusting scientific consensus both on evolution and climate; perhaps a common root between UN End-Time conspiracy and UN climate conspiracy to control the world somehow.

But on the other hand, sites like Slashdot and Reddit seem to be full of vociferous atheists who are also climate denialists. I think the correlation is not to do with Christianity but with the US and certain views which are polarized there, which the rest of the developed world accepts in a non-party political manner.

Despite some ad hominem here, suggesting that:
- most of the scientists involved are atheists
- AGW is a new age religion.

Consider this

Vatican announces plans to become first "carbon neutral state" in the world

Climate change a grave issue says Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI reiterated his concern for the environment, saying that the attention being given to global warming is very important.
...
"Care of water resources and attention to climate change are matters of grave importance for the entire human family," the Pontiff added. "Encouraged by the growing recognition of the need to preserve the environment, I invite all of you to join me in praying and working for greater respect for the wonders of God’s creation!"

Intervention by the Holy See at the 9th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change 2003
Both scientifically and politically, it has been recognized that human activity is a significant factor in climate change. Further, human actions can play a crucial role in the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. The consequent ethical responsibilities are not limited only, however, to single acts of individuals, but apply equally at the level of technical, economic and social structures and at the government level. There is, therefore, an ethical obligation incumbent on all individuals and societies, particularly certain sectors of society, to assure that all activity is oriented towards the common good, with special care and consideration for the poor.

Holy See statement to the UN on Sustainable Development
However, all is not gloom. Encouraging signs of greater public awareness of the interrelatedness of the challenges we face have been emerging. The unease created by predictions of disastrous consequences of climate change has awakened individuals and countries to the urgency of caring for the environment. Environmental degradation caused by certain models of economic development makes many realize that development is not achieved through a mere quantitative increase of production, but through a balanced approach to production, respect for the rights and dignity of workers, and environmental protection.

Pope leads eco-friendly festival
"Before it's too late, we need to make courageous choices that will recreate a strong alliance between man and Earth," [B16] said.
"We need a decisive 'yes' to care for creation and a strong commitment to reverse those trends that risk making the situation of decay irreversible."

Vatican to build solar panel roof
Pope Benedict has criticised "the unbalanced use of energy" in the world. Last year he said environmental damage was making "the lives of poor people on earth especially unbearable".

What is the Holy See's current position on Climate Change

US Conference of Catholic Bishops
As people of Faith, we are convinced that "the earth is the Lord's and all it holds….We believe our response to global climate change should be a sign of our respect for God's creation.
---
Of course, Popes and Bishops' Conferences are not specially guided to pronounce on matters outside of faith and morals, but B16 is surely not an atheist, a neo-Pagan, dishonest, foolish or a scammer "out to control us" with GW alarmism as some here would characterise "GW believers".

Mike Petrik

Houghton's last claim is unsupported nonsense, unless one takes it hyper-literally. What a dope.

Jason

I think Leo handled many of the above objections well. Just a quick rundown of responses:

Francis 03: I'm was heartened to see your post. The only qualification I'd make is that the Copenhagen Consensus is perhaps inaptly named as there is no consensus among economists about how best to deal with global warming - not that you implied otherwise. I'd certainly agree with you that the members of the Copenhagen Consensus are very smart and their opinions are certainly worth considering.

On a personal note, not weather related but people related, I have seen many really smart degreed people who couldn't reason themselves out of a wet paper sack. I do have letters behind my name but I am not so naive to think that those letters make me any more correct than the old man down the road that I visit ever so often.

I hope you're not a medical doctor!

Game over Jason.

I hope I have continues! I hate it when I have to restart all the way at the beginning of the first level, that's just a waste of time.

Please consult the 1975 Newsweek (it was Newsweek, not that unfortuante publication Time) special edition dealing with global cooling.

Newsweek does not a scientific consensus make. Evidence for a scientific consensus would be: results of a survey of scientists or studies tabulating the viewpoints expressed in published papers.

Jason, would any amount of evidence, any real reasoned argument, possibly change your mind? I'm not convicned you are open to changing your mind, but you have already decided you have all the answers.

Yes, if some reasonable percentage (maybe 10%?) of climate scientists felt that anthropogenic global warming was not occurring, then I would be much more cautious in my judgment but would think that anthropogenic global warming was probably occurring. If 50% of scientists disagreed, I would have no opinion on the matter at all since I have no expertise in this field.

Your charge that I think I have all the answers seems completely unfounded - what claim of mine is it in response to?

With my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, I would like to present: Name That Global Disaster!

It's true that the media often exaggerates the claims of scientists. I've never disputed that. All I'm saying is that in the case of global warming, the consensus among scientists is real and not fabricated by the media.

1)Because one scientist agrees with another's research results does not mean they did their own research, they just looked over someone elses.

This is a fair point, which is why I initially cited a survey of the peer reviewed literature and not a survey of scientists themselves. This gives us a better impression of the number of independent sources of evidence being marshalled to support their viewpoint (I agree that this does not resolve all of the methodological questions about how best to conduct such a survey).

There is no scientific consensus that global warming is human caused. There are over 20 papers in Science alone that dispute this point. But beyond that, even if there were scientific consensus, a common-sense look at the data shows that consensus to be wrong.

Aristotle, I doubt there are over 20 papers in Science alone that dispute this point - could you list them or link to some other resource that lists them? It's true that the survey I reported earlier of the scientific literature extended only until 2003; it's possible things have changed dramatically since then but I doubt it - I would expect that there are some papers challenging anthropogenic global warming, I think they are just a very tiny percentage of the total papers on the topic (even I was surprised that the earlier paper found zero). Do you know of any follow-up surveys to the one I linked to in my first post on this thread that might suggest otherwise? I would certainly be interested to know if things had changed since 2003.

AS far as "consensus" goes, once upon a time there was worldwide consensus that the world was flat, and that the Earth was at the center of the universe.

Smoky explained the fallacy with this point - there is a huge difference between arbitrary consensus and informed consensus.

And what specific experiments have been run to show convincingly that global warming is anthropogenic?

Climate scientists are well aware of the shortcomings of their models and of what kinds of evidence are most convincing - they know far more about this than you because they spend their time thinking about and analyzing these shortcomings. Despite this, almost all of them conclude that anthropogenic global warming is real. This is because the evidence comes from a variety of independent avenues, some experimental, some based on computer models. But don't take my word for it - ask the scientists who spend their lives arguing with one another about what evidence is reliable, trying their best to win acclaim by proving their colleagues wrong, and yet still somehow agreeing that anthropogenic global warming is real.

I think it's very telling that the primary "argument" of MMGW proponents right now is that there is a "consensus"!

A climatologist could outline in great technical detail all of the arguments, but you could not appreciate them without the requisite expertise. You have no basis for assessing them. Your only basis for reaching a conclusion is to determine what people more informed than you think. This is why I appeal to the consensus among climatologists with the understanding that this consensus emerges from their extensive analysis of the underlying data.

Many are NOT convinced that man is responsible for the warming. After all, it took global warming to melt the glaciers which covered the Midwest millions of years ago.

The evidence I cited and the evidence Leo cited above referred specifically to the scientific consensus on *anthropogenic* global warming - that means man-made.

There is, no doubt, consensus about some things having to do with global warming (and even man-made global warming) in the scientific community. The problem is that there is no consensus about what exactly the consensus is about.

The consensus is about whether man-made global warming is occurring; if you mean that there is no consensus about the extent of this warming and what costs we should be willing to bear to avoid it, then you are correct.

Our computer models cannot reliably predict tomorrow's weather and you think they can predict what will happen in 100 years?

Of course, you know better than the scientists who spend their lives analyzing the question and determining the validity of these models - you act as if scientists had never considered the possibility that their models might be incorrect, when in fact this concern is central to the process of doing science.

Yeah, 99.9% of scientists and ordinary folks used to believe in the ether, too. Now, most people don't even know what that expression means.

This is false. Even prior to Michelson-Morley there was a great deal of controversity about all the formulations of the ether theory. To the extent that it was accepted at all, it was only because there were simply no viable alternative hypotheses.

Disgusting. Are you claiming that scientists have to pass in their scientist badge when they retire?

No, but retired scientists are less likely to be up to date on the most recent evidence. I don't see how this claim is at all "disgusting" - either way, it happens to be true.

No doubt Esquire's methodology could also be used against the medical consensus that smoking causes cancer.

Excellent analogy. Interestingly, the most prominent scientific opponent of man-made Global Warming - Richard Lindzen - also doubts that nicotine causes cancer...

What is the scientific consensus on ideal body fat?

There is none, although there is agreement that too much is bad - which leads us to an absolutely essential point. Scientists are quite willing to point out when they don't know something. This is why we should listen when they say they do know something.

Donald R. McClarey

Wow! I thought Hiroshima and torture threads generated responses!

Let us assume for the moment, purely for the sake of argument, that Man has contributed to global warming. What scientific evidence is there that Man can counteract such global warming?

The comments to this entry are closed.

January 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31