Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Unsettled Nature of Settled Science

We've all read the stories about how arctic ice this summer retreated to a record low. That's more proof that global warming is "settled science," right?

Less widely reported is that antactic ice is at a record high. Note how in this article from the New York Times that eight paragrapsh are dedicated to scaring us about global warming before noting that, "Still, he and other scientists acknowledged that both poles were extraordinarily complicated systems of ice, water and land, and that the mix of human and natural influences was not easy to clarify."

And finally, in the very last sentence, the Times admits that: "Sea ice around Antarctica has seen unusual winter expansions recently, and this week is near a record high."

The Washington Times casts a harsh eye on scientific cherry picking.

"And, while it's true that satellite photos have found an ice-free corridor along Canada, Alaska and Greenland and Northern Hemisphere ice at its lowest level since such images were taken in 1978, it's also true that Antarctic ice levels (Southern Hemisphere) are at record highs for that same period.

"That's right, according to the University of Illinois Polar Research Group Web site The Cryosphere Today: 'The Southern Hemisphere sea ice area has broken the previous maximum of 16.03 million sq. km and is currently at 16.26 million sq. km. This represents an increase of about 1.4 percent above the previous SH ice area record high.'

"To be sure, this historic bipolarity of the Southern Hemisphere sea ice maximum corresponding with a Northern Hemisphere sea ice minimum is puzzling.

"The fact that climate illusionists will only reveal the heads side of the coin certainly is not."


Truth said...

For perhaps a 4th time I'd like to ask the same question:

What is the harm of believing in global warming? If we believe in it, take action, and are wrong, then the worst that happens that I see would be a few industries had to comply with additional environmental regulations. Of course that almost certainly would be offset by the increase in manufacturing as well as a boom for farmers as alternative energy sources and technologies were developed. So if we're wrong about global warming, we still stimulate a new industry, create thousands of jobs, and reduce pollution.

If global warming is real however (like 90%+ of the world's scientists believe) then we have done all of that and have quite possibly averted one of the greatest natural disasters of all time.

Whats wrong with that?

Michael said...

Have you given the slightest thought to how damaging to the world economy implementing the Kyoto Treaty would have been? The average estimate was about a 1.5-2% decrease in the GDP. And, according to Kyoto advocates, full implementation would not stop global warming and only reduce the increase in the earth's temperature by a fraction of a degree Celsius by the end of the century.
I personally am not willing to create that much poverty for such a small gain. Besides, even if global warming alarmists are right, who's to say that our current climate is ideal? Earth has been much warmer throughout most of its existence.
Regarding your "boom (sic) for farmers," if 3/4 or all US farmland were devoted to producing ethanol, it would reduce our nation's dependence upon foreign oil by only 10%.

April E. Coggins said...

What does it hurt to convert the poor's staples of corn and wheat into fuel? What does it hurt to put travel and recreation out of the reach of average Americans? What does it hurt to give over even more money and freedom to the government monopoly? And since no one can explain what is causing the alleged global warming, anything and everything can be blamed to cause global warming.

Satanic Mechanic said...

For once will you please STFU about the junk science of global warming. That is complete BS about 90% of scientists believe in it and you know it.
Why don't you go back to watching your "Inconvient Truth" and have your "Gore-Gasm".

Truth said...

I'll start backwards in the comments that have been posted. Satanic, read the following:


In case you don't though I'll sum it up, of the 928 scientific journals surveyed 75% believe in global warming, NONE (0%) refute it. A second study done found that 1 of all of the jounals "refute or doubt" global warming, while a third study again comes up with 0% refuting global warming. So I suppose you are correct, the 90% was incorrect (that was in fact me confusing how sure scientists are that global warming is man-made), but I'd say that 0% of scientific journals refuting global warming is pretty telling. For the 90% believe its man-made view the following:


Now to April, you didn't actually cite...anything, or present any real points. I like the conspiracy government monopoly stuff, but since all I'm saying is the government should provide reaserch oney (more than it is now) and some tax breaks for new companies (as we do for oil companies) and then get out of the picture and let capitalism go I'm thinking you may just be ranting for fun.

Michael, you however do bring up a good point (if you have any articles could you please post them, I'd be interested to read them). Again starting backwards, for the farmers we provide a higher demand for things like corn which means that the price of corn will increase, benefiting farmers. This will likely, and unfortunetly, also increase the price of corn and such products by some extent, and while I am okay with that I realize it may affect people who are poorer. Unfortunetly I've no real idea as to how signifigant this impact may be, so I can't really comment on what action would need to be taken, if anybody happense to find and answer to this please post it as I would again be interested in reading it.

In terms of the Earth's temperature possibly not being ideal consider this. If the Earth's average temperature were to rise by about 2 degrees celcius by the end of the century it will mean drastic increases in sea-levels and an incrase in the strength of tropic storms. This means large coastal parts of countries throughout the world may be submerged. Also it will affect species throughout the world, causing chain reactions throughout ecosystems as there are relationships between different species. Consider that polar bears are seeing their habitats vanish (as they live on ice, and the ice is melting) and as a result they may be endangered in 25 - 30 years. That will have reprecussions on the rest of their ecosystem, it is a result of global warming, and it is only one of I'm sure hundreds if not thousands of species.

For GDP, I guess that I'll have to see the articles before I really can comment, because it would seem to me that taking some of these actions would stimulate industry and create additional jobs. I'd like to say though, the Kyoto treaty would have ultimatly failed for 2 reasons: first it didnt enforce its regulations on developing couintires like China and India and second, it only capped emissions, it did not reduce them. Which is why many people said that it didn't go far enough. I believe the solution is going to be developing new technologies which make our emissions enviromentally friendly, rather than simply trying to limit the harmful emisions we have now.

April E. Coggins said...

Truth: Some things are so obvious, they don't require citation. Such as when the government pays farmers more for their crop if they will convert basic food supply fields into fuel producing fields. That is not free-enterprise, that is the government manipulating the market. This in turn will cause rising food costs and shortages, harming the poor first and foremost. It's basic economics.

If you don't believe in a government monolopy, please point out the competing government. I don't get to choose which government's laws and taxes I support. There is only one. Do you require a citation for that too?

Bruce Heimbigner said...

“If we believe in it, take action, and are wrong, then the worst that happens” is economic growth, you are mistaken. The increased demand for biofuel combined with production problems in Australia has produced record prices for wheat. That is a big plus for my farmer brother and Dad, but terrible news for poor developing countries. For us in the U.S. the increased cost of wheat will have a minor impact on our food prices, because our food is so highly processed (bread, cereal, pre-made soups and pastas and such are already expensive) but in developing countries the price of food (noodles, wheat flour) is closely linked to the price of wheat.

Also, “The surge in grain prices means aid to developing nations from the U.S., the European Union and Australia may drop to 5.5 million tons this year, the lowest since at least the 1970s” http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=aW1UFrIPPw3o&refer=japan

Taking the wrong action with regard to global warming could result in food shortages in poor countries. Maybe you haven't visted any poor countries but you don't see fat people, food is already expensive for them.

A side comment here from my recent visit to Thailand. I was in rural areas most of the time and noticed a strong correlation to Thais in American fast food (and 'coffee')places being noticeably overweight, a reflection on both fast food and increased wealth in Thailand.

Satanic Mechanic said...

Please, you cite stats from pro-global warming groups and the BBC. Sorry, the BBC is a media outlet and not a scietific one. Tell me, do you know what type of scientist investigates weather? A climatologist, a specialist in climate. Did you know the climatologist who came up with the global warming hypothesis refuted it last year?
Did you know that not all climatologists believe in global warming? Did you know that not all climatologists are part of the world organization of climatology (forgot the name of the professional group). It would be the equilvalent of me saying that all electrical engineers belong to I.E.E.E. which is false.
Tell me something truthful Truthy, if you are not too busy watching "Captain Planet", we know you are a WSU student, what is your major and what science education do you have?

Michael said...

Here's a link to a Heritage Foundation analysis of Kyoto. It's amazing how much of this has already come true owing solely to our stupid and ill considered corn ethanol efforts.
You might have heard that corn shortages are already having profound effects in Mexico. The diversion of food to fuel is also showing up as higher prices in everything that uses corn, such as milk production, and in prices of products other than corn. The high corn prices are encouraging farmers to plant more acres in corn and is resulting fewer acres planted in other crops. This is driving up the cost of those crops. The corn shortage is driving up demand and prices for other grains as well. For all of us fat Americans, that's not much of a problem. For those poor countries that liberals supposedly care so much about, it's lethal.
I have often said that I'll take global warming seriously when liberals take it seriously. If global warming is such a threat, then why do liberals reflexively oppose nuclear energy? Why do liberals oppose new hydroelectric dams? Why are liberals so adamantly opposed to environmental engineering, such as phytoplankton sequestration of CO2?
The first two are proven carbon neutral solutions and the other is a promising technology that liberals vehemently oppose whenever it's considered.
The only solutions that liberals will entertain are massive new taxes and intrusive government controls.

Michael said...

By the way, liberals are so insincere about global warming that Ted Kennedy and John Kerry continue to oppose a windfarm near their vacation homes on Martha's Vineyard. As Ted Kennedy explained: "But don't you realize — that's where I sail!"

The Red Knight (aka, Dr. Know) said...

I'm writing this as an avid student of science. Global warming, whether or not it is caused by man, is not a bad thing!!!!

Consider this: we are in the coldest period the Earth has been in for over ten thousand years. That is something Al Gore fails to mention in his movie. He uses the "hockey-stick" graph over and over again, even though it describes temperature trends for only the last one thousand years. In the grand scheme of things, considering the earth is possibly 4.5 billion years old, that is a flash of a moment in time.

Second, research has proven that the sea levels are not rising. In fact, they are lowering. The increased heat from the increased evaporation of the equatorial ocean regions has increased the amount of moisture in the earth's atmosphere. This circulates up there and falls on Antarctica as snow. The glaciers on Antarctica are seeing record increases. The earth is very good about keeping its oceans in a well-maintained balance.

Next, the polar bears are not dying out despite what news channels love to tell you. There numbers have sky-rocketed since the 1980's largely due to human conservation efforts. Those evil evil humans, heh?

Finally, so what if numerous species go extinct as a result of global warming? Life on earth has been going extinct on earth long before humans were around to take the credit, and it will continue despite our best efforts to prevent it. What so many non-science types fail to understand about our earth is that extinction is necessary to genetic variety. Entire ecosystems collapse, entire species disappear from the face of the earth, and life goes on. Where one species dies, others take their place to rise to dominance in any ecosystem. This is a natural cycle that cannot, nor should, be stopped. My only concern is making sure humans don't do extinct any time soon, though it will have to happen eventually, whether by God's hand or not.

Humans are the dominant race on this planet for a reason: we can adapt better than any organism on earth, from the largest mammals to the tiniest virus. If the earth heats up by even 10 degrees, we will still survive.

Eco-nuts (most of which have no science background whatsoever) love to complain about how terrible life will get if the earth changes even slightly. BIG DEAL!!!! The earth will change, and must change!!!! Stop pouting about it. You have no control anyway.

Truth said...

Alright, now we have some intelligent discussion, starting down the list of comments:

April, I was never suggesting the government pay the farmers, only that the government help fund reaserch. What the farmers plant, what they plant it for, and who buys it is up to the market.

Bruce, I think you raise a valid point. As I said, I'm not entirelly sure what to do about the rise in prices save perhaps to allot more government money to foreign aid. Another option, which is touched on by Michael and which I strongly agree with is the greater use of nuclear power to help offset some of fossil-fuel needs we have. I've said before that I don't think this is a good stopping point for us, but I've no problem building seeing many more nuclear power plants built in the US while we continue to develop better technologies (solar for example, if refined to be signifigantly more efficient than it is now would be ideal I believe). Dams have a somewhat higher environmental concern for me (salmon in particular) so I'm kinda in the middle there. I believe that the ones we have now need to continue to be operated, but I'd be hesitant about looking to them as a permanent saving grace. I did laugh however at the predicted 2010 "high" gas prices of about $1.50. Once again though, Kyoto was not the best thing possible for combating global warming, it was a political compromise, but unfortunetly we haven't seen anything better proposed by the Bush administration since we were withdrawn from it.

Satanic, if you had read the article you would know that it was basically a very short summary of a report done by The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is a body of (wait for it) scientists and climatologists. If you want, you are welcome to read the entire report, I'm sure its online somewhere, and I'm pretty sure you'll realize the report says the same thing that article says it does. Furthermore Satanic, I'd just like to note, you haven't actually contributed...anything productive to the conversation, but I do enjoy the 1-2 sentence rants. Perhaps you could work on a full paragraph next time.

Red Knight, I'm not quite understanding what you mean when you say that Earth is the coldest it has been in the last 10,000 years, and then achnowledge that our temperature has been increasing over the last 1,000 years. Are you saying that as an average its colder? Second, the change in sea levels in predicted at about 48 cm by the end of the century, which is about double the rate now (the source is the BBC article I cited above). For the polar bears, see the following article:


In short, it says that the US Geological Survey believes 2/3 of the Polar bears will be gone by the middle of the century if not sooner. This matters, as I'm sure an avid student on science like yourself knows, becuase all things (plants, animals, ect.) are interrelated. Yet, species have been going extinct since the beginning of time (note: dinosours), but again as I'm sure an avid student of science like yourself would know, this rate has increased dramatically in recent years (see the following article for the specific number). We as a species may be able to survive, but will we be able to if our planet changes so much that we can no longer find food (a drastic example I think, but you get the point).


Finally Red Knight, I think its important to note that the first people who came up with the idea of global warming, and those who continue to say its a threat are climatologists and other scientists, the Democrats came on later

Satanic Mechanic said...

That is because I can say much with very few sentences unlike you who writes paragraphs of nothing. I guess you have learned a new word today- Climatologist. Plus you ignored my request on your education background which you fail to give out.
Once again you cite a source from a media outlet, this time from WGBH, the Boston bastion of liberal B.S.
I contribute much, unlike you. When I talk about science and engineering, I know what I am talking about. When you try to talk about science, it is like diareaha of mouth. I hope your toilet is nearby your computer.

Michael said...

Your affection for polar bears and your indifference to humans is at least consistent with liberalism, that favors anopheles mosquitoes to humans.

April E. Coggins said...

Truth said, "I was never suggesting the government pay the farmers, only that the government help fund reaserch. What the farmers plant, what they plant it for, and who buys it is up to the market."

I don't understand your statement unless you aren't aware that the such government interferences are already underway.

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

Just to clear up any confusion in advance, since "truthy" really struggles with this...


Alright, for everyone else, Sarah Silverman's "A Very Convenient Truth":


Takes a little while to get through her and Kimmel talking about other stuff, but it's worth it. Enjoy!

The Red Knight (aka, Dr. Know) said...

Truthy, thank you for your response. What I will say is that you bring up very good points that are hard not to deny, and are largely true. As I tell almost everybody I know, global warming is 90% emotional and only 10% factual. What I mean by that is that everybody takes what are actually few facts about global warming, and invest a TON of emotion, perception, and opinion. You are correct that, about half a century ago, it was climatologists that began to say the earth was warming. Fact. Then they offered theories as to why this was the case. One (and one of many theories) was that CO2 emissions was causing it. This was the theory that green lobbiests ran with and created an emotional basis.

First off, you like to cite many media outlets like PBS and BBC. These are NOT reliable scientific sources. What they do, just like right-wing outlets, is find professionals on the subject that have an emotional interest in a subject like global warming and give their feedback. There are many scientists with PhD's in climatology, geology, and the like that claim global warming is total BS and yet do not get published in journals. Why this is, either laziness on their part or the prejudice of those who review the journals, I really cannot say. I like to use credible sources. Here is an example:

(from Ohio State University)

In fact, less than half of currently published articles actually endorse man-made global warming. Claims that most scientists support this theory are correct--if you consider the scene 15 years ago! New data on the subject has pointed strongly to natural warming, not man-made.

What I mean about time charts is that Al Gore and others look at the time-line in a very relative way. Yes, it is true that over the past 1000 years the earth has been heating up. But when you consider that before that 1000 years, the earth was cooling down, you begin to see that we are now in a time when the earth may be restoring an equilibrium. Consider this: before about the year 1300 AD, wine was a valuable commodity in England due to a long period of warming in Europe. It was so bountiful in England that France (long before the world's authority on wine) threatened to sink English merchant ships!

Then what happened? A little ice age destroyed the wine industry in England. It was so cold that the "wine-line" as it became called dropped south about 900 miles! Since then, it has been too cold to grow grapes well enough in England to produce wine. If the earth's temperature rose high enough to push the wine-line north enough to allow grape-growing in England, we'd only be back to where we were in about 1300 AD. So yes, the temperature we are at right now is actually colder than the average temperature over the last 10,000 years, give or take a century. By all respects, we should be warmer right now if we are to be at an equilibrium.

The predictions made about the sea levels are just that: predictions. It is what we call a "mind experiment." What they did is said "Okay, we can't actually see how the ocean level will react in an experiment, because there's no way we can replicate it in a laboratory. Let's think logically: If the earth heats up, they ice melts. If ice melts, then the ocean will get more water." It IS logical...but flawed. They could not account for all of the variables or the unexpected.


I explained in my earlier reply about ocean temperatures promoting evaporation and snow in the Antarctic, remember? You should also know that the sea level is not the same across the world. Some oceans are higher than others.

Also consider this: archaeologists have found entire cities under the ocean across the world, even as far as two miles out to sea. They are thousands of years old. If the ocean could rise then without the use of SUVs and jet engines, then why can't it rise now independently of gasoline usage?

I acknowledge that the polar bears may be in trouble. But that is again an emotional issue. People like polar bears. I sincerely doubt that people would be as anti-global warming if they used some kind of slug as their spokes-animal. Their suffering is also a lie:


Dr. Taylor, a bear biologists claimed in 2006 that the polar bear population was growing. I'm more inclined to believe a bear biologist than the evening news on an issue like this.

Finally, as I said before, species die and are formed constantly. Any ecosystem is a complex web of interactions between plants, animals, and the environment. But remember this: even if many links in a web are broken, the web remains intact. This is why spiders have used this design for millions of years. They are stable, even when they are in terrible disrepair.

April E. Coggins said...

It's called weather, and we have been experiencing it since I have been alive. History suggests that the world has been experiencing weather for even longer. However, I am happy to hand over control of the weather to the young people who believe they can control it. Please keep in mind that I am getting old and comfy year-round temps of 72 are appreciated.

Truth said...

Satanic, sorry I totally missed the request for my educational background, I'm a Junior Political Science major. However you still haven't contributed anything, since there does seem to be such a problem with reading a media story about a study, rather than the study to both you and Red Knight here are the links to scientific journals which say the same things I have said before (again Satanic, if you were that concerned you would have seen that all the BBC articles have the links to the studies themselves on the right, but I'll post them below, just so that you know right where they are).

For the one on Polar bears

For the 90%+ that climate change is manmade
(Note: thats the summary report written by the IPCC and hosted on BBC for BBC's convinience, if you want the full report you can find in on IPCC's website at http://www.ipcc.ch/)

For the rate of extinction

To April, what I meant by not wanting the government to pay farmers was that if they grow they would not treat them any differently than they treat oil and gas companies now in terms of what the farmers produce for energy. I wanted to say that I wouldn't advocate the government running an ethanol corporation, sorry for the confusion.

To the Red Knight, Robert Essenhigh's article on global warming reversing itself in approximatly 20 years is a nice thought, and one which I pray happens. However I have problems with it for a few reasons, the first of which is that his view is not supported by anyone (or at best by a very very small group), and as such his findings have not been corroborated, despite being published 6 years ago. My other problem with his article is that its not a scientific study, its a viewpoint, and while he is a credible person his lack of experiments in the 6 years since this article to back up what he's saying make me weary.

Also from what I've been reading people don't tend to belive any less now that cliamte change isn't man-made (indeed the trend has been going that its 90%+ likely that its man-made, see the BBC News artice or IPCC article its based off of for that), but rather the trend has been that this may be coinciding with natural warming (however I haven't seen much to suggest thats its anywhere as major of a cause as humans).

For sea level, they note that the average rise in sea level is about 13 cm over 100 years, which is fine. The problem is the IPCC believes that the sea levels will rise about 48 cm, or almost 4 times the average, and therein lies the problem. Yes of course its a an estimate, but its using the best information and technolgy and many of the brightest minds of our time, and that's worth something.

For polar bears, I don't have any special attatchment to them (although they are cute). Rather I was using them as an example of one species which has gotten a good deal of press recently because they are becoming extinct, there are hundreds of species each year (see the report I posted above) which I could have chosen. Furthermore I'm sure that if Red Knight has taken any basic biology classes or probably anything covering biodeversity in upper-level science classes they will have said that the rate of extinction now is signifigantly higher than is has been in the past. For the polar bear article you posted however Red Knight, I respect what he is saying, however he is a single person, not backed up by any numbers or verifiable facts (terms like decreased and overabundance are not quantified in any way), and his piece is a year out of date. Again, I hope he is correct, but we need to do more than hope and pray that these people are right and that global warming is a myth, we need to prepare for it, find the way to do it as fast as possible with the least amount of economic hardship as possible and as effectivly as possible. Wishing didn't get Britain and France out of World War II and it won't help us here (a bizarre analogy I suppose, but the point is made).

Michael said...


Satanic Mechanic said...

Ah Truthy,
That explains your lack of education in science. I do not have to look at your links because I have already seen the claims of the hypothesis of global warming. Once again you confuse hypothesis and theory and fact. There is no "fact" in science, there is only scientific method. I know that is hard for someone like you to understand. Once again we get into this arguement and once again you are too ignorant to understand. I can easily bring up links to cite why global warming is false, NASA and the guy who came up with the hypothesis of global warming has refuted it.
I have had many of these arguements before and I have fought studies too dealing with lack of evidence and ignored variables. Nic and I have had these arguements on the board also. He had enough education and was good at debating the individual studies. You are just a hack compared to him.
Did you read the studies that you have links too? Do you truly understand them? I doubt it. You throw out links like crazy but do you have any individual thought or opinion. You will not make a good lawyer or politician with your sloppy method of arguement.

Truth said...

Satanic, I understand the difference between scientific theory and fact, and I also understand that there are no facts in science. As such things such as gravity are not facts, they are very well supported and commonly believed theories. Same with the atomic theory.

"I can easily bring up links to cite why global warming is false, NASA and the guy who came up with the hypothesis of global warming has refuted it"

So do it. Present studies. Show me facts. Red Knight and I may disagree, but at least he has an intelligent debate. You haven't added a single study, or presented much of an argument. Step up and move beyond your petty personal attacks and try debating policy.

The Red Knight (aka, Dr. Know) said...

Truthy, thank you for your...kind words. And you are right about gravity and atomics as being theories, just like global warming. There is a differnce, however. Global warming cannot be tested, proven, or replicated.

Imagine this: scientific theory is all about taking measurements, observing trends, coming up with hypothesis, and testing them. A good candidate for a legitimate theory is one that can be tested and retested over and over again. This can be done with atoms and with gravity, and has been done for hundreds of years.

Global warming is vastly different. We can take measurments and make hypothesis, but cannot be tested. In a perfect situation we would be able to create another earth exactly like the one we had 100 years ago, but leave out the part about CO2 emissions and see what happens.

We of course, can't do this like we can with cells, atoms, animals, and small ecosystems. We cannot create another planet to use as a control. This is why a subject like global warming is so perfect for stirring up contriversy. It cannot be proven or disproven!!!!

Satanic Mechanic said...

Here you go Truthy,
Once again there are no facts in science. Once again you are too stupid to figure that out. Think of these while you have your Gore-gasm:
Findings of studies.
http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-329es.html I figured I can cite CATO since you cite the BBC and PBS.
Nice article about 500 scientist refuting man-made global warming:
If you have problems with some of the words please feel free to ask or look them up in a dictionary. Also, I have a nice source with international data as oppossed to U.S. data.

Satanic Mechanic said...

Here is the link to the U.N.'s commitee that refuted the hypothesis: http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/McLean/Disputed_Science_of_Global_Warming.pdf

Truth said...

I'll admit, I'm impressed Satanic, you gave evidence. Now tell me however, do you have any thats not 9 years old (see the first three articles). Nevermind that Patrick J. Michaels (4th article) admittedly recieves about 20% of his funding from fossil fuel companies, he actually cut all data that he uses "showing that the earth is not warming" off at 1996 (every year after has shown an increase in global temperatures, a good 11 years). For more on Michaels check out the following, my favorite part however is this

"Dr. John Holdren of Harvard University told the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, "Michaels is another of the handful of US climate-change contrarians... He has published little if anything of distinction in the professional literature, being noted rather for his shrill op-ed pieces and indiscriminate denunciations of virtually every finding of mainstream climate science." [8]

Dr. Tom Wigley, lead author of parts of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and one of the world's leading climate scientists, was quoted in the book "The Heat is On" (Gelbspan, 1998, Perseus Publishing): "Michaels' statements on [the subject of computer models] are a catalog of misrepresentation and misinterpretation… Many of the supposedly factual statements made in Michaels' testimony are either inaccurate or are seriously misleading."


For the WND.com article, I want to point you to a fun disclaimer on the article itself

"**Citation of the work of the following scientists does not imply that they necessarily support our conclusions."

In addition even this article doesn't dispute the idea of global warming, it just says that warming and cooling comes in cycles (which everybody agrees with, the question/belief that studies are showing now however is that its heating up much faster than it has in the past). However the list is good in that it does provide a number of authors and studies which refute some aspect of some part of the global warming argument, I plan on reading some of them once I get some time.

The supposed-UN report (see below) I found to be a fairly interesting read. I had a few interesting things though, first of which is that a very low number of the sources they cite are in existence anymore. It's not their fault, but it does mean that whenever I tried to confirm what they were saying I was unable to.

A quick search however, provided the following critiques of the study, and while much of it boils down to who do you want to believe the one interesting point I want to share was this

"the statement that 20,000 scientists are opposed to the IPCC conclusion of anthropogenic global warming, is based on a non-representative, earlier collection of signatures of mainly non-climate scientists and non-scientists."


I also question whether or not it was an actual UN study, as its not hosted on the UN website, nor can it be found on their site (as every UN study is), nor does it ever mention being a UN study (as every other study the UN comissions says), nor are any authors of the "study" present. So I'm not sure who told you that it was a UN study, but I believe they were most decidedly mistaken, and that its more the rantings of somebody who can make a point sound good.

Its a good try though Satanic. The James Hansen studies were pretty well written and seemed pretty credible, but the 9 years out of date makes me weary. The rest...well it was a good try. Next time perhaps some up-to-date studies.

Now I've no doubt that there are some very credible scientists who don't believe either A) that global warming is happening and/or B) that global warming is man-made, but the overwhelming majority do. However what you're saying is we should listen to the small minority of scientists on this issue, rather than the vast majority.

The Red Knight (aka, Dr. Know) said...

"However what you're saying is we should listen to the small minority of scientists on this issue, rather than the vast majority."

Remember our history, Truthy? At one point, almost all of the world's scientists believed that the earth was the center of the universe. And don't think for a moment that we are smarter than they were. They had their own "irrefutable evidences" to support their theories too.

April E. Coggins said...

I liked this response on Sound Politics:
10. Sorry Bruce, but scientific issues are not settled by a show of hands. Your "consensus" of scientists is meaningless.

Scientific hypotheses are proven or disproven by controlled experiments. To date, there have been ZERO controlled experiments proving or disproving the hypothesis that currently occurring global warming is caused primarily by human activity, as opposed to the counter hypotheses that

(1) currently occurring global warming is the natural result of our being at the conclusion of a 1,500 or 10,000 year post-ice age warming cycle or

(2) that global warming is an artifact of
inaccurate temperature gathering over a very short period of time (probes located in (unnaturally warm) cities for, at most, slightly more than a human life span) or

(3) that it is a result of faulty data normalization (averaging "normal" world temps over only 50 years for the baseline to which to compare annual readings for the so called "temperature anomaly") or

(4) that currently occurring global warming is caused by a cyclical lack of world cloud cover caused by a centuries long cyclical variation in the sun's magnetic field, which in turn causes the diversion of sub-atomic particles from distant galaxies away from Earth that otherwise would form the nuclei in the atmosphere around which condensate water vapor molecules form to make clouds, or

(5) that currently occurring global warming is due to cyclical changes in the energy output of the sun combined with a myriad of other climatological factors on earth.

All of the counter-hypotheses listed that include current global warming could, and likely would, result in increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere as increased temperatures cause an increase in oceanic outgassing (both due to rising temperatures and to more exposed ocean surface in the antarctic and arctic due to melting of the ice cap and receding glaciers - but not the melting of the ice sheets on Antarctica and Greenland, which is not happening) and to increased plant respiration.

That is, increased CO2 in the atmosphere is equally likely to be an effect of global heating as it is likely to be a cause. No controlled experiments have been conducted to discern cause from effect.

Computer modeling is a powerful tool for generating hypotheses, but no credible scientist would substitute a computer model, regardless of its sophistication, for a controlled experiment. But the most zealous advocates of human behavioral changes to fight "Human Caused" Global Warming are not scientists - they are politicians and political columnists. And the public and the popular media is woefully ignorant of the scientific method in general, and of climatology and glaciology, and of the skills needed for independent critical thinking.

By the way, I have been told, and I invite any reader to verify, that there are, in fact, controlled experiments under way at the world's largest particle accelerator at the CERN facility in Europe that are designed to probe the validity of hypothesis number (4) above.

Posted by: srogers on September 21, 2007 05:01 PM

The debate can be found here:

The Red Knight (aka, Dr. Know) said...

Good post, April, though I highly doubt any level of experimentation we are currently capable of will yield anything meaningful.

I work primarily with bacteria, which are relatively simple organisms. Yet, they are so incredibly complex that biochemists and microbiologists alike have a heck of a time trying to preform and re-preform perfect experiments. Before genetic mapping was possible, many new genes were discovered by accident while trying to study others because they interfered with the experimental process.

Now, try considering a single cell a billion times more complex than a bacterium, and the size of a planet. That's what we are dealing with when we consider something as complex as global warming.

Satanic Mechanic said...

Once again your ignorance of science shines in spades. Scientists have been refuting the hypothesis of global warming for years. So what if two of the studies old? Science is filled with studies that go back over a hundred years that are still cited, refuted, experimented on and found whether or not it is a theory or not. Many of Einstein's hypothesises were proven to theories after his death because of the lack of technology. Some of his theories are now in dispute now because of other hypothesises. If you want more studies refuting global warming, then you should use a search engine off actual scientific sites instead of the BBC and WGBH.
Also you should look up hypothesises dealing with nature's global warming, as oppossed to man-made and global freezing due to increased water evaporation. I am sure you have not heard these studies before either. Just like you never heard the term climatologist until I wrote about it.
The Laws of Man do not apply to the Laws of Science. You make a claim about 22,000 scientists but you do not specify what kind of scientists. Are they climatologists or did they grab scientists from different fields. All because 22,000 so-called scientists claim global warming is real does not make the hypothesis true. You cannot "vote" a hypothesis into a theory. There is no democracy in science. There is no ratification by 2/3 of science congress step in Scientific Method.
I know you find that hard to believe because you are a poly-sci major with no formal science education. You will believe any junk science that the media pukes out.

Satanic Mechanic said...

Sorry I missed your post. You are correct, science is not settled by consensus.
I kind of wrote the same thing stating that science is not a democarcy.

The Red Knight (aka, Dr. Know) said...

I'm a big fan of natural healing, such as in medicine (which is where my greatest interests are). As in medicine I think it applies to the earth. The earth has many complex cycles and cascades that we probably don't even know about. Scientists discover new ones every day. If the CO2 level reaches levels too high to sustain equilibrium, then some other mechanism will help combat this effect.

I'll use a good example: After the main eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980, ecologists, geologists, and biologists were are in agreement that the region around the mountain would look like the dark side of the moon for centuries to come due to the level of damage the eruption caused. If you go there now, only 27 years later, you'll find a vibrant, green, and lively landscape full of new trees, flowers, squirrels, elk, etc.

April E. Coggins said...

Satanic: No apology necessary. They weren't my words, I only reposted them here. The discussion thread on Sound Politics was nearly identical to this one, just replace "Bruce" with "Truth."

Truth said...

Satanic, you may note that everybody else I'm discussing this with has presented credible and recent arguments and studies. You on the other hand attempt to pass studies off for what they are not (your "UN study"), present studies done 9 years ago, and present articles which at best try to hide some of the truth. The fact that you are unable to provide any substantial proof to back up your claims, and instead are forced to resort to personal attacks, doesn't make you sound smart or knowledgeable, it makes you look like an idiot.

The way an intelligent debate works is one side presents an argument, the other side presents an opposing argument, and the two sides then present/critique different sources of information which support/oppose their viewpoints. You have not really done any of the above. As I noted, you tend to rely on personal attacks in the hope of making my viewpoint look bad. Have you noticed in whatever research you may have done that scientists don't say "this person clearly has no knowledge of science" but rather say "I disagree with the conclusions drawn by this study and instead I offer the following study and analysis as what is true"? In case you are wondering, you have done a lot of the former and very little of the later. By the way, what educational experience do you have which makes you such an expert on global warming?

April I think you bring up some good points, especially in terms of the notion of no controlled experiments ever being done. However, the problem I have with is that (as the author knows) it is likely we will be unable to conduct any controlled experiments to prove or disprove global warming anytime soon, and all we can really do are controlled experiments which provide possible other explanations for the effects of global warming as well as for the causes, we cannot settle anything for sure. Once again, I'd love to have global warming proven wrong, it would make life much easier. But what if the countless studies and scientists who say global warming is real are correct, and what if it is man-made? Is our response really going to be "well, it could also be caused by increased water evaporation or natural cycles so we shouldn't do anything about it"?

As Red Knight notes, nature is very adaptive, and it will survive. The question however is whether or not this new adaption is one in which humans can live in, and as it turns out I'm not willing to ignore what an overwhelming majority of scientists, journals, studies, and organizations say is real in the hope that its not. I don't want to pass this onto the next generation because we weren't willing to invest the time and money to fix it.

I realize I'm not likely to convince anybody here that global warming is real, like I'd imagine you all have realized you can't convince me its not. My question however, is what evidence would be needed to convince you 1)that global warming is real and 2)that it's man-made. Just curious.

Michael said...

To everyone who thinks that anthropogenic global warming is going to destroy the world, I'd like to remind you that Greenland was so named, not by practical jokers, but because it was once quite habitable. Grapes were cultivated there. Clearly the world (or at least Greenland) was warmer a thousand years ago than it is today. Somehow, humanity and most of God's creatures pulled through.

Satanic Mechanic said...

Actually you lost the debate as soon as you opened your pie hole. You are a just a spoiled liberal who will not take any criticism to what you have been taught. You ramble and throw out links without reading them yourself. You have no real education in the sciences and you still do not know the difference between a hypothesis, a theory and fact. These "personal attacks" that you say I do is because you do not pay attention to anyone else and you lack of understanding of the matter.
I gave you evidence and you immediately throw it away. I doubt you really read the studies I submitted to you and I doubt you undertood it.
Go cry to Al Gore you attention whore.

Truth said...

Satanic, I've read every link that I've presented and all of the ones which you and everybody else have presented as well, you may recall I presented individual critiques of all of the studies you presented, as opposed to your tactic of simply saying none of my information is valid without giving any reason besides the supposed bias of BBC (which was funny, because then you presented a news source which has a very clear bias, at least BBC gives both sides of the issue). Can you say the same thing? Also, in case you were wondering, I've never seen an Inconvenient Truth, and have never read any of Al Gore's books. I formulated my opinions on my own. Can you say the same Satanic, or did FOX news and wnd.com tell you what to think?

Also, I'm not sure where you get the "spoiled liberal who will not take any criticism", but you are very mistaken. I have been very open to other points of view (I have repeatedly asked for articles which present different viewpoints from my own), and after processing both sides of the argument I made my decision.

Oh, and by the way, you never gave me your educational background that makes you such an expert on global warming.

Scotty said...

I like what michael said about maybe we are getting to the point at which the planet will be better off than being as cold as it is now.

As far as more powerful storms go, then we can harness that new wind power for energy, thereby cooling the planet!


Satanic Mechanic said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAA! BBC is not biased.... that is complete B.S. and I do not mean bachelor of science. Yes I put up the CATO link to counter the BBC/WGBH links. Fair and Balanced coverage you know.
Oh by the way- I have two degrees, one in Electronics and Industrial Engineering. I am a trained scientist of sixteen years and five of those were in research of electric and hybrid vehicles. The person who trained me as a scientist was a physicist who worked at one time at FermiLab.

Michael said...

I don't have to cite any research papers to know that the global warming consensus is all a bunch of crap. Whenever there is an event that conforms to their presumption, then it's proof that global warming is real. When there is an observation that contradicts their prophesies, such as the increasing antarctic ice, then they don't know what's going on. I couldn't possibly be that they're wrong. In science, we call this cherry picking data and it's unethical.

Michael said...

And yes, global warming "science" is politically driven.

April E. Coggins said...

I'm too stupid to post links on the reply board, but I have noticed a liberal mantra toward the 800,000 year mark. Why is that? Why is 800,000 years the number that pro-global warming advocates have chosen? The number is too far away for actual study and yet not quite a million. And if 800,000 years is good enough proof for Truth, why is nine years too ancient?

Michael said...

You are very observant April. Whenever you see data selected from specific time periods or intervals, your BS detector should go off. For example, if someone wishes to claim that the snow pack in the Cascades has declined by some dramatically large percentage when compare to 50 years ago, you can be certain that 50 years ago, we had an unusually deep snowpack. And, you have to be very careful when you point things like this out. It could get you fired.