Casaubon's Book

Let us begin with the clear statement that asking whether you have to believe in climate change in no way alters the fundamental scientific consensus, or the tens of thousands of peer reviewed papers.   I personally think the evidence for anthropogenic climate change is very clear.  But that doesn’t change the fact that global warming at this point is viewed as an ideological issue, rather than scientific one, and that many people do not believe that it exists, or that humans cause it.  In fact, while recent extreme weather has shifted the culture somewhat, it seems safe to say that a solid majority of Americans don’t take climate change very seriously.  So do they have to?

In a perfect world, of course, science would be the only area of dispute – once the general scientific consensus emerges and all evidence is taken into account, everyone would do an analytic reading of the science and a majority would emerge from purely rational grounds.  Since, however, we live on earth, not in a perfect world, and pure scientific reasoning has never ever been the grounds for the general public’s take on anything, almost certainly never will be, and is often not the grounds that even most scientists make most of their decisions, let us abandon that idea.  I realize most scientists like to believe that if they just presented the right data or showed the right graph minds would be changed, but human beings don’t work that way – the triumph of reason is not going to happen any time soon.

It is, of course, very satisfying to persuade others to your point of view.  It is also reasonable, when a great deal is at stake for those on either side of an issue to become angry and frustrated at the people who seem not to understand or care about things you care about.  Since many lives, much money and much more is at stake, it is understandable that people on both sides of the issue become polarized and angry on this subject.    For those who believe in anthropogenic global warming, what’s at stake is enormous.  Millions of human lives.  Food security for billions.  Quality of life for everyone and for every future generation.   It is also frustrating when your reasoning is disagreed with on grounds you consider irrational. No wonder they get angry at the “other side.”

Let us note, however, that what’s at stake on the other side is also significant.  The economic and social costs of putting all of our time and resources into addressing climate change are non-trivial.  For the many people who see more critical crises coming, this also risks costing lives and well being.  It is conventional, of course, for one side of an issue to explain at length how others have no reason not to agree with them, but this is disingenuous.  While there are some people who legitimately recognize that the evidence is better on one side of the issue than another, and who use climate change to manipulate, most people who do not take climate change seriously, or don’t believe it could be human caused believe this sincerely, right or wrong.  Their hostility to the other side is based on a perception of dishonesty and misallocation of resources that is sincere – that is, if you believed this, you’d be pissed too.

Let us also note that among those who sincerely believe in climate change IS anthropogenic and that we SHOULD be doing something about it, the vast majority believe not that they should peNicharsonally transform their lives, but that SOMEONE ELSE, probably the government, should do something about climate change.  Moreover, even most climate change believers express no real willingness to make sacrifices or fundamental changes in order to ensure that the precautionary principle is supported.  Despite the fact that we know that we need to make drastic, near-term emissions reductions to reduce climate risk, most people, as Bill McKibben points out in his widely read Rolling Stone essay “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” have no interest in any solution that makes their own lives harder.

“People perceive – correctly – that their individual actions will not make a decisive difference in the atmospheric concentration of CO2; by 2010, a poll found that “while recycling is widespread in America and 73 percent of those polled are paying bills online in order to save paper,” only four percent had reduced their utility use and only three percent had purchased hybrid cars. Given a hundred years, you could conceivably change lifestyles enough to matter – but time is precisely what we lack.”

What they are happy to do is be politically angry at those who disagree with them – to categorize others as enemies of the future and themselves.  The difficulty with this is that this incredible polarization has done no one any good – we are further now from making progress on climate change than we were five years ago – and with significantly less time to do it in.  Feeling angry at the other side, organizing activities that only the left participates in and political opposition take more time than changing individual action, and are less productive in our deeply polarized US.  At this point, climate change opposition has taken hold ideologically on the right, moderate right and most of the US center.  Historically speaking, when the right, moderate right and US center agree on something, the left spends a lot of time tilting at windmills and it loses.  As long as climate change is a politically polarized left-right issue, it is doomed to inaction.

I should say that I also do not agree with McKibben’s analysis of individual action here (indeed, I’ve had this discussion privately by email with McKibben previously, arguing that the emergence not of a bunch of single actions a la changing your lightbulbs, but a of a way of life that people can aspire to and adopt collectively is in fact, one of the most critical projects we can engage in), but I won’t take much time on it – Nicholas Arguimbau has already done a better job than I would at dismantling his argument, so we will lay that aside for today.

The larger question is this – if neither changing people’s practices habit by habit will work, nor will trying to take an issue that should be about science but is in fact about politics and removing its ideological taint while also changing the minds of a 100 million people or so, is there any other alternative?  Do you, in fact, have to believe in global warming to do what is needed?

Well, in the purely political sphere, you probably do.  Carbon tax legislation is probably only going to pass when/if a critical number of people  agree on this issue.  And the difficulty with this is that as climate change helps destabilize economy (note, I am not claiming it is the primary driver by any means, just that more and more disasters makes an already unstable economy weaker), and we also bear the costs of all sorts of other prior stupidities, it is less likely that many Americans, even if they do support  “Someone somewhere doing something about climate change” will actually support exercises on the necessary scale – because it would cost them economically.  Claims that we can adapt smoothly to climate change without massive self-sacrifice are generally made on older analyses tend to be based on energy cuts that are far lower than necessary.

But what if you focus on ends and means, and shift the discussion away from one’s position on climate change, and towards the outcomes one wants to see?  You do have to believe we have a problem of some sort in our culture – it could be a carbon emissions problem, of course, but it could also be an oil depletion problem.  It could be a dependence on foreign resources, or a moral problem with the destruction of the underlying natural basis for human existence.  It could be a religious problem with a way of life that has become both destructive and alien from founding principles, or an aesthetic problem with the fundamental ugliness and emptiness of a way of life.  It could also be an economic problem – an increasing struggle to balance rising energy prices and the cost of natural disasters, occurring for whatever reason.

What I have found over the years is that on this ground, there are plenty of allies that cannot exist over one politicized single issue.  Does that mean you can accomplish everything one would like to?  No, almost certainly not – but in comparison to what we are accomplishing right now in terms of climate change (ie, nothing), it is possible to imagine making changes worth making in lifestyle, community, and at a host of political levels (smaller is often easier) if the ground shifts to other territory.

The local food movement is a primary example of how well this works – there are people who are into farmer’s markets and community gardens because they care about the carbon footprint of their eggplant, but there are also plenty of people in it for other reasons – for moral reasons, for reasons of food justice, to reduce the oil in their agriculture, because gardening is fun, because good food tastes good.  The coalition of people who care about eating on various grounds has been highly successful in making real change – and fairly rapid change.   I don’t need to agree with my neighbor about why we should have a local farmer’s market or a coop – I only need to share a view of the ends we would accomplish.

I admire Bill McKibben, and I agree with him about the critical importance of addressing global warming.  But I think his tactics are wrong – I don’t see the political change he is hoping for happening, or happening fast enough.  Yes, changing the world “one person at a time” is the wrong way, but so is fighting a battle that fundamentally is now about something else.  Yes, there will come a moment when everyone more or less agrees we have to address climate change – but we can’t wait for that to happen, and it probably won’t happen soon.  In the end, what we want is a world where we consume fewer resources and produce fewer emissions.  It would be nice to be able to do that with a consensus about the grounds for doing so – but I think trying to make one is fundamentally a mistake.  In the end, it is the outcomes that matter.

I will be clear – I think climate change is real, it is human-caused, and we are not going to do enough about it fast enough – we’ve made that clear.  At the same time, I also think there is a real and fundamental difference between doing nothing and doing many things to ease the suffering.  Human costs are very different in different scenarios.  So the question becomes – what can we do to make people’s lives better in the future we are building for ourselves?  How can we begin to imagine a different future, starting from the people we are, not the people we wish we were?

Sharon

 

Comments

  1. #1 Connie Murray
    New Jersey
    August 2, 2012

    Climate change is happening here and now, no question. It seems like nothing will be done until it is far too late. The first places affected by climate change will be poor island nations. Few Americans care about poor people, especially poor foreigners. Most people seem too absorbed in their own problems to worry about something as huge and overwhelming as Global Warming.

  2. #2 klem
    August 2, 2012

    Here’s a solution, just find an energy source which is cheaper, more plentiful, and more convenient that fossil fuels. Not carbon taxes which are designed to hurt the poor, or complex Cap&trade schemes which the EU has demonstrated to be the most corrupt commodity market on earth today. Just find something better than fossil fuels, once this is found people will switch to the new energy source. I’m sure its easy.

    Wind and solar need heavy subsidies and are not cheap, nor plentiful, nor convenient. Where I live wind and solar enjoy big subsidies from people like me, I’m not happy to subsidize my neighbors wind turbine only to see it come crashing down during a gale last year. I paid for that.

    Or rooftop solar, where another neighbor climbed on the roof to clean the panels of snow, only to slide off and smash himself on the sidewalk. I paid for that too.

    I’m not happy about how the left seems to be managing my money, especially when it comes to energy related issues, like subsidies for electric cars. Where people buy the car, recieve the subsidy, then return the car and keep the subsidy.

    No wonder the right has gotten pissed off.

    Find a better energy source than fossil fuels and all of this idiocy can go away. Please.

  3. #3 Katharine T
    August 2, 2012

    Couldn’t agree more – so well stated. I’m a libertarian-ish conservative, and although I’m reluctantly coming to believe that climate change is an actual fact, I’ve been totally on board the “change our lifestyles” train for much longer, based on many of the reasons you named. Aesthetics, morality, economics. Yes.

    I’d also add, regarding your second paragraph about the persuasive power of science (or lack thereof) that many people, including me, don’t trust that we’re getting an accurate view of the science when it’s filtered through the lens of a sensationalist, doom-and-gloom media. No, I’m not claiming vast liberal media bias, just that it’s sensationalist – and has been known in the past completely to miss the point when reporting science news. For a person who’s very ignorant about science, knowing which source to trust is difficult. I need the science explained to me on a basic layman’s level, but too often the people who translate into layman’s terms do so with a twist.

  4. #4 Windchaser
    August 2, 2012

    Klem,

    Just find something better than fossil fuels, once this is found people will switch to the new energy source. I’m sure its easy.

    It’s not easy. Solar and wind and nuclear are the best bets, and to make the switch for transportation you also need good hybrid or electric cars.

    We’re putting a lot of money into researching these already. We’ll get there, but it’s going to take at least another few years, and more likely another decade or two to even have a chance of making such a transition.

  5. #5 Stephen B.
    August 2, 2012

    I mentioned a few weeks ago that we have a poster in the dining room of our residential school that says Determine WHAT is right INSTEAD of WHO is right and unfortunately, this is what Bill is somewhat failing to do here. The trouble with taking this tack of looking at WHO is right is that it puts people on the defensive and takes the spotlight off the facts of a situation and puts in on the people involved, their personalities, and other shortcomings. I see people doing this all the time on the Left and the Right. Indeed I have some progressive friends that I largely agree with on many social issues, but they spend SO much time focused on evil, suburban white people, and especially men (even though a bunch of themselves fit the bill) or some other group that they want to paint as good or bad, that they alienate others and take the spotlight off the issues at hand. Similarly, when Mr. McKibben focuses so much on corporations, he also starts down this path of us vs. them.
    And that’s just not helpful.
    In fact, I would say Sharon that one of the reasons you are as persuasive as you are in your writings is that, though you mention groups of people, countries and whatnot, you manage to tone down the divisiveness of your arguments just enough to keep people involved and listening, no matter who they are. Of course you don’t manage this completely, but nobody does and when you don’t manage it, it’s often because of the inability of the reader to also focus on the WHAT instead of the WHO, but there’s no need to help more people make this mistake.

  6. #6 Douglas Carnall
    http://cabinetbeezer.info
    August 2, 2012

    I’m no expert, but the UK’s Stern Report which was economically orientated concluded that the modest cost of taking action would soon be outweighed by the costs of climate change.
    Your problem in the US is that your politics is rotten to core with “campaign funding.” You really do need to re-establish some sort of notion of a government that serves the public interest. Your current position is not “right” and “left” but a corporate kleptocracy hell-bent on running the planet into the wall and seeing who survives. Get a grip! Business is good servant and a bad master!

  7. #7 Composer99
    August 2, 2012

    Let’s be honest here: climate change will hurt the poor most. Doing something to prevent or alleviate it will hurt the poor most.

    Any social change whatsoever involving any kind of negative impact on human welfare will hurt the poor most.

    Now that that’s out of the way, how does klem propose reducing the use of carbon fuels, whose costs are massively externalized (climate change, ocean acidification, and other pollution), without additional pricing?

    It has to happen somehow to get the job of reducing emissions to near-zero done.

  8. #8 Glenn
    Western Washington State
    August 2, 2012

    Klem,

    Peak Oil means you’re losing your Empire Subsidized high energy life, whether you like it or not. I see no solution to peak oil, and thanks to a billion other people like you in the world, no politically feasible solution to Anthropogenic Climate Change either. We homestead and engage in subsistence fishing, not because we think we can “save the world”, but to survive the inevitable collapse that the trajectory of our nation and civilization is heading towards.

    So, you want that cheap energy to replace fossil fuel? Better develop it yourself, because it doesn’t exist in the real physical world.

  9. #9 Brad K.
    Ponca City, OK
    August 3, 2012

    Sharon,

    I stumble over foregoing government programs to address carbon buildup, and then rely on the political concept of a carbon tax (with the arbitrary buying and selling of regulators, politicians, and special interests) government program.

    One thing I wait to “catch on”, is equating government — and corporate — expenditures with the carbon footprint of those expenditures. Taxes collected represent an inflated carbon footprint, creating resources. Taxes then reduce the value of those resources by some portion. When the government re-spends those tax dollars, they create new industries, from health services to munition plants to special interest lobbying efforts to public school grant proposal industries, to exploit those government streams of money..

    The national debt, quantitative easing, etc. appear to generate spurious carbon footprint at the stroke of a pen.

    Perhaps we can add carbon footprint to discussions of government size, balanced budget, and expenditures?

  10. [...] Another response to McKibben comes from one of my favorite bloggers, Sharon Astyk: Do You Have to Believe in Climate Change? [...]

  11. #11 Neil Craig
    http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/
    August 5, 2012

    The only people i know of who have disputed that climate changes is Michael Mann whose Hockey stick originally proclaimed there had been no change for at least 1,000 years, and the IPCC & allies who enthusiastically endorsed this.

    Of course climate changes. The Medieval warm period was warmer than now and the Climate optimum (pre 5000BC) considerably so.

    The question is whether Catastrophic Anthropogenic Glogal Warming (CAGW) is unambiguously happening. Whether the 0.5C a decade from 1979 which Hansen promised has happened (It hasn’t); & whether the measurements are entirely trustworthy (they aren’t – see WattsUp); and whether the alarmists have a record of telling the truth or lying (lying – see climategate, Himalyaygate even Al Gore’s lies etc etc); and whether previous prophecies have been credible (again no – see all the prophecies of more hurricanes and both wetter and drier weather); and whether there is any evidence for the overwhelming positive feedback effects needed to turn a fraction of a degree warming into the prophesised 3C, 5C 6C, 30C

  12. #12 Neil Craig
    http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/
    August 5, 2012

    The only people who denied climate change are Michael Mann, with his Hockey Stick which originally showed flatlining for the last 1,000 years, the IPCC, who used it as their poster, and those who supported them.

    Nobody sensibile believes these deniers. The climate has changed many times – being warmer than now in the Medieval Warming and co9nsiderably warmer during the Climate Optimum pre 5,000 BC.

    The question is whetehr we are experiencing Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) rather than the moderately beneficial sort, or less. On this there is a scientific consensus among independent scientists. Not one single scientist anywhere in the world has been found who claims CAGW is happening and is not state funded has been identified.. On rare occasions when one has been claimed, such as Greg on “scienceblogs” claiming to be an independent climate scientist believer, they have uniformly been proven wrong or dishonest – Greg is actually a government paid assistant anthropology teacher.

    Regretably suchlying, at evey level, among alarmists is endemic and indeed publicly supported – for example Richard Muller, who recently made a wholly dishonest claim to have been a sceptic but seen the light, was previously on record as praising Al Gore for being such a good liar on the subject.

    It is possible that there is somewhere in the world, a single alarmist who is not wholly corrupt and has therefore dissociated themselves from those who are wholly corrupt.

    If so, somebody among the alarmists will be able to name them?

  13. #13 kimyo
    August 6, 2012

    >>once the general scientific consensus emerges

    this is not how science works. ‘consensus’ is a meaningless term. consensus is a term of faith.

    as a scientist, your job is not to get other scientists to agree with you. your job is to devise experiments / record observations which clearly prove or disprove a hypothesis.

    as an example, galileo didn’t have the tech necessary to prove that the earth orbits the sun. however, his observation that venus exhibits phases killed the ptolemaic system.

    at the time, however, ‘consensus’ still fully embraced a demonstrably false conclusion.

    given the urgency they claim, one must demand that the climate change scientists release their models to the public for examination and testing. i have a feeling that the code is laughably simplistic. how can one model something (say the atlantic ocean) when one doesn’t even know the basic parameters? (ie: how much water is in the atlantic? what’s the margin of error on that number? how much water entered the atlantic today? (rivers, rainfall, glacial melt) what was the temperature of today’s inflow? how much water did the atlantic contain in 1800? 10,000bc?

    if you can’t answer those questions with any sort of precision, you can’t model an ocean. if you can’t model an ocean, you can’t model global climate.

    please, prove me wrong. show me your expert on oceans. show me how their models test out. show me their inputs.

  14. #14 Wow
    August 6, 2012

    “show me your expert on oceans. show me how their models test out. show me their inputs.”

    Knock yourself out:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modele/

  15. #15 Wow
    August 6, 2012

    “Michael Mann, with his Hockey Stick which originally showed flatlining for the last 1,000 years”

    An excellent example of a denier rewriting history to suit his rhetorical needs.

    bravo.

  16. #16 Wow
    August 6, 2012

    “One thing I wait to “catch on”, is equating government — and corporate — expenditures with the carbon footprint of those expenditures. Taxes collected represent an inflated carbon footprint, creating resources.”

    Unless they’re manufacturing CO2 as their business, they can move to a low-carbon energy infrastructure. Therefore they will pay less tax than someone who is using higher carbon sources for their energy.

    The business wants ENERGY, NOT CO2.

  17. #17 harold
    August 6, 2012

    Neil Craig demonstrates intense illogic –

    The question is whether Catastrophic Anthropogenic Glogal Warming (CAGW) is unambiguously happening.

    This framing is intensely, shamefully dishonest. Note the weasel words “catastrophic” and “unambiguously”.

    The question is whether the expected value of the costs of doing nothing is greater than that expected value of the costs of reasonable policies to moderate AGW.

    In fact, logically, the situation is the exact opposite of what Neil Craig argues here. He argues that the default is to refuse to moderate current behavior and policy until it is “proven” “unambiguously” that “catastrophic” AGW is occurring. With himself as the judge of what is “unambiguous” or “catastrophic”, of course.

    Imagine if, after several weeks of noticing chest discomfort following exercise, Neil Craig spontaneously begins feeling crushing chest pain that radiates to his left arm. Does this unambiguously prove that he is having a catastrophic myocardial infarction (“heart attack”) or other serious medical issue? Of course not. There are many other possible explanations. Therefore, by his own logic, he should ignore the situation.

    Not one single scientist anywhere in the world has been found who claims CAGW is happening and is not state funded has been identified.

    Although Neil Craig is probably not suffering from delusional disorder in everyday life, his ideology has caused him to make statements with implied delusional, paranoid rationale.

    This essentially implies that state-funded scientists are all biased in favor of AGW.

    In fact, NOBODY “wants” AGW. I wish the denialists were right.

    Virtually ALL climatologists are state-funded, because there are few specific commercial applications of climatology. They gain nothing by recognizing the high likelihood of AGW.

    Meanwhile, it is obvious that scientists employed by the petroleum industry are in a biasing situation.

    When the primary rationale for you position is that “all the least biased scientists, across the globe, are lying in the same way, and a few heavily biased industry figures are telling the truth”, then your position is weak indeed.

  18. #18 klem
    August 7, 2012

    “In fact, NOBODY “wants” AGW. I wish the denialists were right.”

    Absolutely untrue. Almost every alarmist I know wants AGW to be true, they quietly hope and pray that it is true. And they are not a small marginalized group, just look at last summer’s major hurricane Irene. Remember how the media went nuts over Irene, they were hoping that it would cause immense damage, then they could say ‘its climate change its climate change, be afraid be afraid!’. But Irene fizzled, it caused minor, average hurricane damage. Did you notice the disappointment from the reporters of the MSN? I sure did, they were almost teary eyed that Irene fizzled, they hoped that it would kill people, just like my alarmist friends did. The disappointment on the faces of tv news reporters was shameful. I noticed this because I used to be an alarmist, yes I was an alarmist until a few years ago, and I used to quietly hope and pray for destruction like my friends do. I realize now that most alarmists are chronically depressed, they look into the future and see nothing but darkness and misery, they actually hope that this comes to pass. This is the life of the chronically depressed, I’m not an alarmist anymore, when I look into the future my future looks bright and prosperous.

    I’m sooo glad I’m a denier now.

    cheers

  19. #19 Wow
    August 7, 2012

    “Almost every alarmist I know wants AGW to be true, they quietly hope and pray that it is true.”

    So you’re a mind reader??? Tell us, what is the reason they say they hope and pray it is true, given you can hear them hoping and praying for this.

    I don’t think you realise what you’re saying in your haste to pretend that it’s all a leftist conspiracy.

  20. #20 Neil Craig
    http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/
    August 7, 2012

    Harold claims that we should acceot CAGW as true until proof, to his level of satrisfaction, has been produced. That is not who science or indeed any form of inteligent behaviour works. The proper assumption is that you should not assume something unusual is happening until there is evidence supporting int. This is know, to scientific literates as the princciple of mediocrity.

    If Harold hoonestly believes what he is saying he must be publicly on record as saying we ought to build giant spaceships and evacuate Earth immediately in case it gets eaten by a giant mutant space goat (HT Douglas Adams). The fact that there is no evidence whatsoever of such a beast approaching but no firm evidence that it isn’t must have led him to say it must be assumed it will.

    I look forward to Harold, being at least honest if not sensible, provideing links to him having done so.

    His definition of ctastrophe differs from thjat used by the rest of the human race if he does not define an event destroying a large proportion of the total livlihood of the human race as a “catastrophe”, since that is what alarmism is costing and, by definition, if the catastrophe it is meant to prevent (actually ameliorate since alarmists say that even the most rigorous enforcement of Kyoto would hold back catastrophe only a few per cent) is less damaging than the “cure” the cure is no cure.

    If there is no “catastrophe” then destroying the progress the alarmists wish to destroy is automatically evil.

    I note that nobody attemmpts to make any factual dispute of anything I say and must assume there is no factual dispute.

    Wow’s claim that Mann’s original hockey stick did not show previous flatlining is, of course, another example of the very highest standard of honesty to which he and most alarmists ever aspire and also a total and absolute lie, in the tradition of 1984, that could never be accepted by any person or movement with the remotest trace of honesty. I call on any person supporting alarmist who is nonetheless in some degree honest to tell that he is the liar he obviously is. Or not should it prove there nobody, anywhere, in the alarmist movement who values honesty.

  21. #21 Wow
    August 8, 2012

    Well, no need to investigate Mann’s hockey stick (which Whiner here hasn’t linked to so that you won’t easily find out he’s a lying sack of crap), you can just look on this thread and find out of Howard said “we should acceot CAGW as true until proof, to his level of satrisfaction, has been produced”.

    And that will show that whiner here is a lying sack of crap.

  22. #22 klem
    August 8, 2012

    “So you’re a mind reader??? Tell us, what is the reason they say they hope and pray it is true, given you can hear them hoping and praying for this.”

    yes I’m a mind reader, they tell me that they want the next hurricane season to cause more and more damage, so they can claim its due to the use of fossil fuels, that increasing costs due to weather events are all humanity’s fault. These are some of the reasons they hope and pray for this.

    Its not a leftist conspiracy that I’m aware of, I don’t see how it could be.

  23. #23 Wow
    August 8, 2012

    Really? You read those messages in their mind? Or are you, like all wacko lunatic xtians, making shit up again?

    “These are some of the reasons they hope and pray for this.”

    Those, though, aren’t reasons. They’re accusations.

    Your mom may clip you around the ear, you may BLAME your brother with “he started it!”, but that isn’t a reason to want to be clipped round the ear by your mom.

    Your problem really seems to be that you’re being blamed, and you cannot handle it.

  24. #24 klem
    August 9, 2012

    And your problem is that you’re way too emotional and you really don’t like losing.

    cheers

  25. #25 Neil Craig
    http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/
    August 9, 2012

    Sharon has repeatedly said that she will censor gratuitous rudeness substituting for argument but not anything else. A reasonable position, if maintained honestly and one I applied on my own blog when the late disgusting Skip Evans started appearing there, positing obscenities and saying that my not letting them stand proved me a “nazi”. Oviously it proved the opposite – that the disgusting Skip was the nazi.

    In that light I am surprised that Sharon has allowed the equally obscene Wow (arguably slightly more inteligent than Skip in his post mortum state) to use “sack of crap” as a substiture for factual debate.

    Every single person in the alarmist movement who is not a wholly corrupt animal has already pointed out that Wow is lying when he says the “Hockey Stick” was not flat until it reached the currenmt alleged upward blade.

    That is, after all why it is called Hockey Stick.

    That no alaarmist anywhere has actually denounced him thus, does not alter the fact that they must have done so if they are not wholly corrupt animals. It merely proves, beyond any factual dispute, that there is not a single person promoting the CAGW hypothesis who is not personally a wholly corrupt lying fascist.

    Though I am happy to grant that quite a few of them may achieve intellectual levels considerably above the semi brain dead Wow.

    Sharon should now ask Wow to apologise for being an obscene liar.

  26. #26 Dunc
    August 9, 2012

    MBH98 is here, with the relevant figure being figure 5, on the fifth page. MBH99 is here and the relevant figure is figure 3, on the third page. If you think either of them is flat prior to 1850, they you clearly have a rather different understanding of the word to the rest of us. For example, both show a negative excursion of approximately 0.3 degrees in the latter half of the 15th century. Also, MBH99 (which I presume is the paper you originally meant to refer to , as MBH98 does not cover the “last 1000 years”) shows a clear long-term negative trend up to 1850.

    Would you please provide a source for your assertion that “The Medieval warm period was warmer than now”? Presumably you intend this to refer to global temperatures, since you did not include any qualifiers, and I am not aware of any source which could support such a contention.

  27. #27 Dunc
    August 9, 2012

    I have a comment in moderation which contains links to both MBH98 and MHB99, so that people can see for themselves exactly how “flat” those reconstructions are… However, I am aware that Sharon is rather busy right now and so is not moderating this blog full time. Unlike certain other individuals, I am not going to assume that moderation delays imply some nefarious purpose. Some people actually do have better things to do than babysit a blog 24/7…

  28. #28 Wow
    August 9, 2012

    Dunc, you note that neither denialist have bothered with any links.

    This is because they know they’re lying through their back teeth.

    But, for them, this is a Holy War, and anything done in the defence of neoconservatism is not only right, but mandatory.

  29. #29 Dunc
    August 9, 2012

    I’m quite deliberately avoiding speculating as to either their motivations or honesty. It will do no good, and I prefer not to sink to the level of accusing those I disagree with of deliberate bad faith. Whilst I have more than enough history with Mr Craig to have formed a very distinct impression of him, I feel that diverting the discussion to anything other than clearly demonstrable facts is unlikely to improve the quality of the debate.

    Whilst we wait for Sharon to dig my post out of moderation (and I accept that it could well be a long wait, given all that she has on her plate right now), should anyone be sufficiently interested, both MBH98 and MBH99 are easy to find and freely available in full. Although I must confess that I don’t really see why anybody is still so wound up about two papers which are over a decade old and have since been supplemented by numerous more recent (and arguably superior) papers, which confirm the basic results in all aspects.

    However, I would like to ask Mr Craig whether he can provide a source for his contention that “The Medieval warm period was warmer than now”, as I am not aware of any source which could support such a claim. (Assuming he means globally – which he surely must, given the context and the lack of any suitable qualifiers to his assertion.)

  30. #30 Neil Craig
    http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/
    August 10, 2012

    Dinc I am happy to be able to answer your question about evidence that the MWP was warmer than now, which coyncidentally also mentions the flat Hockey Stick lies that Mann made.

    http://thegwpf.org/the-observatory/163-mann-discovers-medieval-warm-period.html

    I now ask to acknowledge that Wow’s claim that the Hockey stick claim had NEVER been shown a straight “handle” for the last 1,000 tears was bioth wholly dishonest and so moronic that no honest or even dishonest but inteligent person could ever have made it. And that, as the refusal of ebery single alarmist, including yourself, proves every single alarmist to be a corrupt fascist parasite with no trace of personal integrity. And apologise.

    Or else, particularly since I have shown you the distinct couretsy of answering your question, explain what evidence you have that the moronic fascist’s claim, which you have supported, was not a lie.

  31. #31 Dunc
    August 10, 2012

    Your link does not support the contention that the MWP was warmer than today globally. It says: “The reconstructed MCA pattern is characterised by warmth over a large part of the North Atlantic, Southern Greenland, the Eurasian Arctic and parts of North America, which appears to substantially exceed that of the modern late 20th century (1961 – 1990) baseline and is comparable to or exceeds that of the past one-to-two decades in some regions.” [My emphasis]

    If we look at the actual paper referenced by your link, we find that the quoted sentence above actually continues: “but which falls well below recent levels globally.” So I’m afraid that this actually says the exact opposite of what you have claimed, and does so in the plainest possible language. You would do well to check your sources more carefully in future.

    As for the evidence that MBH98/99 do not show “flat” temperatures for the last1000 years, I linked to the actual papers (my comment above, dated August 9, 3:59 pm). Go and look at the charts. They are not flat.

    I am certainly not about to apologise to you for pointing out the plain and simple truth, and I am not best pleased by the vile insults you are once again employing against me. However, I am entirely happy that you continue to display your true colours so openly, as there is nothing like someone’s own conduct to illustrate their character. So far your behaviour in this thread has consisted of nothing more than misrepresenting the contents of readily available documents and dispensing thoroughly vile accusations and abuse.

  32. #32 Wow
    August 10, 2012

    What deniers say their link proves and what their link proves are only ever tangentially related. They don’t bother reading anything because they “know” (just like Watts “knew” that there was an UHI bias in the data producing a warming effect, so he kept looking until he found something that looked a bit like it, then stopped) what it ought to say (i.e. “AGW is false”) and don’t see any need to spend any time reading the links.

    So they post a link and say what they think it ought to say and then it’s up to the honest people to read and respond to the lie.

    Which is a lot more work than just making shit up like deniers do.

  33. #33 Wow
    August 10, 2012

    Dunc, sometimes the posts “waiting in moderation” are there because the software went wrong and it’s nowhere near where Sharon can see it.

    Repost it. If the software whines about duplicate postings, then change it enough with filler until it passes.

    But I would say it’s likely invisible to Sharon because the blogging software has gone wrong.

  34. #34 Eric the Leaf
    United States
    August 11, 2012
  35. #35 Dunc
    August 12, 2012

    The post I had in moderation has been published – it’s the one dated August 9, 3:59 pm.

  36. #36 Neil Craig
    August 12, 2012

    You are, of course, being deliberately deceitful Dunc. The “in some regions” quote you give does not come from the author of the article but from the fraud Mann, as you must have known. The fact is that Mann produces no evidence of cooling during the MWP in other regions (eg Northern greenland and Australia). The lack of evidence either way from places uninghabited at the time by people able to write is no surprising and in no way whatsoever serves as evidence that anything different there, in either direction, was happening. For any honest science the evidence from the large bulk of the world and the places evidence is available from is conclusive.

    I accept your contention that the Hockey Sticj “handle” has never been claimed as straight, in the manner of hockey stick handles everywhere, as equally represenung the absolute pinnacle of honesty to which you, or the other alarmists, ever aspire Also wholly abnd completely dishonest.

    If you have evidence that you or any other member of the movement have been more honest than this please produce it. Note that, as in the case above, not having evidence on every single instance of your life, would not justify my making an assumption that at other times you aspire to lower standard of decency (eg raping and murdering children) & I do not do so.

    Unless you can point to a “vile insult” rather than a statement of proven fact that | have made about you, you owe me an apology. As well as for claiming I lied. as well as for supporting Wow’s lies misrepresentations and abuse.

    If you ghave any evidence whatsoever that theree is any memberof the eco movement who has thousands of times more integrity and decency that you and Wow display please provide it. If not the default assumption must be that it doesn’t exist.

    So far your behaviour in this thread has consisted of nothing more than misrepresenting the contents of readily available documents and dispensing thoroughly vile accusations and abuse.

  37. #37 Dunc
    August 12, 2012

    I did not at any time claim that you lied, I merely pointed out that you were (and are) mistaken. Unlike you, I am able to conceive of the notion that people may disagree with me for reasons other than deliberate bad faith. I have been very careful not to speculate as to your honesty or motivations. You, on the other hand, persist in accusing me of deliberate deception.

    Of course the quotes I referenced come from the published scientific paper which the article you linked to was discussing. The article itself simply does not contain any other statements which relate to the topic under discussion, and even if it did, assertions in blog posts are not generally regarded as “evidence” in the scientific sense.

    The rest of your jeremiad makes no sense that I can see, and you have repeatedly demonstrated yourself to be either unwilling or unable to engage in reasonable discourse. Therefore I see no point in continuing this discussion.

  38. #38 klem
    August 13, 2012

    How is it that you people can get into heated arguments over whether the MWP was warmer or equal to today? It amazes me that people believe they can arrive at temperature estimations down to the tenth and even hundred of a degree using evidence derived from tree rings and swamp sludge, hardly reliable. C’mon folks, tree rings and swamp sludge are marginally better than witchcraft, what you’re really arguing over is ideology.

  39. #39 Neil Craig
    http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/
    August 13, 2012

    Possibly because there are $ trilliions at stake and the eco crowd are deliberately using a fraudulant scare story to impoverish humanity.

    I don’t agree Klem that whether it was warmer during the MWP cannot be estimated. Even Mann accepts the the evidence is entirely that it was, even if he personally doubts it is conclusive. The evidence that the Climate optimum per 5000BC was warmer, by a significant margin, is even stronger.

    However ignoring all that.
    If you accept, as you have, that the evidence does not support claims of warming greater than historically, let alone anything that could be called catastrophic with any honesty then you must acept that those making such claims are dishonest and cannot ever, under any circumstances, be trusted – let alone have millions of people impoverished and killed on their word.

    There may inded be legitimate disagreement on elements of weather. It is the ecofascists who have always said otherwise. It is them who said “the debate is over”. It is them who have been caught lying time and again and shown no compuntion about it.

    I am perfectly willing to have an intellectual debate with anybody who has the intellect and integrity to tom do so. We have seen that there is not a single person in the entire alarmist movement willing to acknowledge the obvious truth that Mann’s Hockey Stick was so called because it showed a straight “handle” up to recent times.

    No person with any knowledge of the subject and any trace of personal honesty could deny that.

    It follows with inescapable logic that there is not a single person in the entire ecofascist alarmist movement who is not personally a wholly corrupt liar whose word on any subject is worthless.

    That is merely a matter of fact, and thus is no way insulting to Wow, Donc, Gore, Mann, Hansen or any of the rest of these corrupt scum.

    If there is any logical or factual error there, klem, I invite you to name it. If there is not, to accept it., publicly.

    Yhen we can have a non-heated reasoned discussion about what should be done. It is only when facts are unknown or (as with alarmists and creationists) the idealogically committed deny the plainest facts and are uninterested in reasoned argument that reasoned argument becomes difficult.

  40. #40 TTT
    August 21, 2012

    Klem: Almost every alarmist I know wants AGW to be true, they quietly hope and pray that it is true

    You don’t know what you’re talking about and you don’t know any such people. Nobody hopes for AGW to be real.

    And they are not a small marginalized group, just look at last summer’s major hurricane Irene. Remember how the media went nuts over Irene

    Because the whole media lives and works in the NYC / DC area – it was a hurricane headed straight for them! Why did the media give so much coverage to the DC Beltway Sniper? Why is Mike Bloomberg a nationally-known figure? This is what goes on in their own backyards. Duh.

    Oh, and Neil Craig: even for you, it’s really scraping the bottom to cite Watts as a source. Your teleprompter-boy has now had to admit – TWICE – that that scam he cooked up about surface station locations, jet exhausts, parking lots, blah blah blah was false, and that there had been no error in the temperature record at all. Which was kind of the whole point of Watts’ online following, such as it was. Reminds me of the Heaven’s Gate cultists after the comet came and there really wasn’t their much-desired UFO hiding behind it. When you’re wrong, you’re wrong!

  41. #41 Wow
    August 28, 2012

    “How is it that you people can get into heated arguments over whether the MWP was warmer or equal to today?”

    Takes two to argue. All that’s needed is someone to be wrong and INSIST they are right and someone correcting them and you have an argument.

    However, you’re correct, a warmer or colder MWP doesn’t do ANYTHING to disprove AGW.

    “It amazes me that people believe they can arrive at temperature estimations down to the tenth and even hundred”

    And by rolling a dice 10,000 times I can arrive at a figure of its average roll to 2 decimal places, despite the numbers being integer.

    But like we’ve both said: arguing the toss over that is unimportant.

    Question becomes: why do you do it anyway?

  42. #42 Neil Craig
    August 31, 2012

    Obviously finding the MWP was warmer than now (though not as warm as the Climate Optimum) does do an awful lot to disprove CAGW

    Wow is, of course, creating a false strw man by suggesting that the argument is about whether there is any anthropgenic warming.. The question is whether there is any at or approaching a catastrophic level – except, of course, that there is not a single “environmentalist” or politician who is remotely honest who claims they see such warming. Certainly not that thieving fascist Obama or any members of his Demonazi party.

  43. #43 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    “Obviously finding the MWP was warmer than now (though not as warm as the Climate Optimum) does do an awful lot to disprove CAGW”

    Even if it had happened it would merely mean that the climate is much more sensitive than 3C per doubling.

  44. #44 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    Whiner is driving a car at 90mph and sees a pile up ahead. “No need to slow down, there has been no catastrophic collision with this car yet!”

    What a moron.

  45. #45 Neil Craig
    September 3, 2012

    “Even if it had happened it would merely mean that the climate is much more sensitive than 3C per doubling.”

    Wow that could only start to be sane if you had strong evidence that CO2 had been much higher during the MWP & was causing this “sensitivity based” warming.

    If you have such evidence you should produce it because no other econazi has.

    It is claims of yours like this which have caused every single remotely honest supporter of tha warming scam to denounce you as the moronic corrupt lying Nazi obscenity youn so obviously are. Or can you name a single honest warmist who hasn’t publicly denounced you in such terms?

  46. #46 Wow
    September 3, 2012

    “if you had strong evidence that CO2 had been much higher during the MWP”

    Nope, it doesn’t.

    A warmer than normal MWP shows the climate is a lot more sensitive to forcings. Since the forcing of a doubling of CO2 is the same, an increase in response to forcings means that the climate is more sensitive to CO2 doubling.

    The climate doesn’t know why it’s getting more energy, it only sees more energy.

    Higher solar output? Energy.

    Higher GHG effect? Energy.

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