Nature has started Climate Feedback, a blog on climate change. One of the first posts is by Roger Pielke Jr, who claims

Even the venerable New York Times is prone to completely botching a discussion of the science of climate change. In a front page article today, the NYT reports on how the National Arbor Day Foundation has updated plant hardiness maps to reflect recent changes in climate. (A plant hardiness map presents the lowest annual temperature as a guideline to what plants will thrive in what climate zones.) The NYT misrepresents understandings of variability and trend and in the process confuse more than clarify.

However, it is Pielke Jr who has completely botched the discussion.

He writes:

The new map updates a 1990 USDA map based on 1974-1986 data, and replaces it with data from 1990-2006. In most places the range of increased average minimum temperature has moved north as can be seen from a difference map between the two time periods. The difference map, shown here, has the horizontal lines because the zones used are so broad — 10 degrees — that the differences are only noticeable at the margins of the zones.

The New York Times reports that these differences can all be attributed to human-caused climate change, using the case of Atlanta as an illustration:

Using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Arbor Day map indicates that many bands of the country are a full zone warmer, and a few spots are two zones warmer, than they were in 1990, when the map was last updated.

Atlanta, which was in Zone 7 in 1990, is now in Zone 8, along with the rest of northern Georgia. That means that areas in the northern half of the state where the average low temperature was zero to 10 degrees Fahrenheit are now in a zone where the average low is 10 to 20 degrees. A scientific consensus has concluded that this warming trend has largely been caused by the human production of heat-trapping gases.

Because the zones span 10 degrees (or 5 degrees in the case of the 1990 USDA map) and the largest change shown on the difference map is 2 degrees, then clearly no location has jumped 2 zones! This is just an error.

Indeed it is, but the error is Pielke Jr’s. The difference map shows not the change in temperature, but the change in zones (Hint: the legend says “Zone Change”). The largest change is not 2 degrees as Pielke Jr thinks but 2 zones. NYT 1 Pielke Jr 0.

Pielke Jr continues:

More important than this simple mistake is the claim in the NYT that the changes in temperature observed in Atlanta can be attributed to human-caused greenhouse gases. In fact, the IPCC argues that it needs 30 years of records to detect trends, much less make attribution. In fact, the IPCC report just out has reported that the U.S. southeast has actually cooled over the period of record as shown below.

i-07da1b3d92cac812bf73aeac683a38f8-usseipcc1901-2005.png

But Pielke Jr has shown the trends since 1901 even though the IPCC only stated that most of recent warming is anthropogenic, not warming since 1901. Right next to the graph that Pielke Jr chose to present is one that shows trends since 1979 (AR4 Chapter 3 22Mb pdf):

i-42ae7de162f2134a78c12a7cf9b38ae2-usseipcc1979-2005.png

The graph shows that the US South East has warmed since 1979. Now it is true that the IPCC has only attributed warming mainly to human influences over the past 30 years and at the level of continents, but the trend in the US South East over the past 15 years is similar to that over North America over the past 30, so the NYT is justified in attributing to human influences. NYT 2 Pielke Jr 0.

Hans von Storch and Eduardo Zorita have a post on the hockey stick that is going to annoy everyone involved in the hockey stick wars:

In October 2004 we were lucky to publish in Science our critique of the ‘hockey-stick’ reconstruction of the temperature of the last 1000 years. Now, two and half years later, it may be worth reviewing what has happened since then.

The publication in 2004 was a remarkable event, because the hockey-stick had been elevated to an icon by the 3rd Assessment Report of the IPCC. This perception was supported by a lack of healthy discussion about the method behind the hockey-stick. In the years before, due to effective gate keeping of influential scientists, papers raising critical points had a hard time or even failed to pass the review process. For a certain time, the problem was framed as an issue of mainstream scientists, supporting the concept of anthropogenic climate change, versus a group of skeptics, who doubted the reality of the blade of the hockey stick. By framing it this way, the real problems, namely the ‘wobbliness’ of the shaft of the hockey-stick, and the suppressing of valid scientific questions by gate keeping, were left out.

Mann and company are not going to appreciate the insinuation that they were involved in the suppression of valid scientific questions, while McIntyre is already hopping mad that he wasn’t given credit for totally smashing the hockey stick.

Update: Since I can’t post images in the comments, here is a graph (from the NCDC) of Jan temperatures in the US. It warmed 2°F per decade.

i-aa75e34a850d2dcb79f33315b6eafa0d-usajan1976-2007.png

Comments

  1. #1 Tim Curtin
    May 8, 2007

    Tim Lambert: I would be obliged if you would provide your server’s name and address etc, as I see you do not apply your disemvowelling policy to attacks on me like those of Lee.

  2. #2 Chris O'Neill
    May 8, 2007

    “Nah, Canuckistan growers are just better at it.”

    Maybe, but if you want to live a long time then whatever you do don’t repeat that in a pub in an Australian wheat belt.

  3. #3 Dano
    May 8, 2007

    Timmy C wants to erase both his copious misstatements and the ease for which the commenters above pointed out his buffoonery. Pansified threats are merely the cover.

    How does it feel to have your weak FUD thrust parried by every commenter with one hand tied behind their backs, Tim C?

    It is this easy with all the bots, as they have nothing. The scientific case is such that all advanced societies on the planet – even in Murrica – is debating adaptation and mitigation.

    They have moved on. Buh-bye buffoons! Bye-bye! Good luck! Byyyyye!

    Best,

    D

  4. #4 Ian Gould
    May 8, 2007

    “If Tim Curtin resides somewhere where the equivalent of SLAPP torts exist, perhaps some should be investigated, if the false accusations of defamation are a persistent, intimidating pattern designed to have a chilling effect on controversy. But only if so.”

    Tim C. threatens lawsuits every so often. (I was the past recipient of one such threat.)

    I wouldn’t worry overly much about such threats.

  5. #5 Hank Roberts
    May 8, 2007

    I gave the NNature blog a five minute head start on posting this one, a closeup (thanks to Aaron for the high resolution image) on what’s inside the Big Red Circle.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/52288953@N00/490746298/

  6. #6 Hank Roberts
    May 9, 2007

    Lest we forget:
    “If CO2 has increased by 100 ppm since 1750, then non-CO2 must have decreased by 100 ppm since 1750.”

    Gresham’s Law of Atmospheric Gases

  7. #7 Ian Gould
    May 9, 2007

    Don;t forget “Banning chloroflurocarbons has led to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.” (That’s a paraphrase Tim c. no need to threat legal action.)

    Or “Maximum summer temperatures in Dubai are 10 degrees Celsius higher than virtually anywhereelse on the planet.” (Antoher paraphrase Tim C.)

    Or “None of the IPCC papers are of sufficient statistical rigor to get accepted into a top-rated econometrics journal like Econometrica. (Except for the ones that were published in Econometrica.)” Yes Tim that’s another paraphrase.

  8. #8 Marion Delgado
    May 9, 2007

    Damn, Ian Gould – Mr. Curtin is, well, like something out of a novel. If someone that accepted climate science wrote a Crichton-style novel, say, and needed an evil, annoying climate science denialist to say ridiculous straw man things all the time. only, not so convincing.

    The more I blog-search Mr. Curtin, the wider and rounder my eyes get. They’re like dinner plates by now.

  9. #9 Hank Roberts
    May 9, 2007

    But we digress.

    Back to Pielke?

  10. #10 Eli Rabett
    May 9, 2007

    Ah yes, TC, one of the best, a true bully, swings from both sides, both a victim bully and an assertive bully at the same time, AB/VB is our Tim Curtin.

    “Gunsalus distinguishes between traditional, assertive bullies, who throw their weight around with bluster and force, and ‘victim bullies,’ who use claims of having been wronged to gain leverage over others.(pp. 123-4) Unlike simple passive-aggression, victim bullies use accusations as weapons, and ramp up the accusations over time. Unlike a normal person, who would slink away in shame as the initial accusations are discredited, a victim bully lacks either guilt or shame, honestly believing that s/he has been so egregiously wronged in some cosmic way that anything s/he does or says is justified in the larger scheme of things. So when the initial accusations are dismissed, the victim bully’s first move is a sort of double-or-nothing, raising the absurdity and the stakes even more……”

  11. #11 Hank Roberts
    May 9, 2007

    Would someone good at addition and subtraction care to take a look at the big red circle and sum up the total trend enclosed therein? I think the circle’s way too big to describe what’s inside it as “cooling” — a far smaller rectangle could be so labeled correctly.

    No doubt a drafting error that will be corrected as soon as it’s pointed out.

  12. #12 Valuethinker
    May 10, 2007

    Dano re #86

    As you certainly know, but others probably don’t, the lands that will open up for farming in Canada with global warming are not particularly fertile. This is my understanding from talking to western Canadian farmers.

    We are talking here about scrub pine forest, often on post glacial deposition (gravel, sand etc.). The soil is alkaline, precipitation is limited (most people don’t realise how *dry* northern Canada is– a major problem for tar sands development is the lack of water).

    Current Canadian agriculture pushes the northern limit of the very fertile bowl of soils that is the Great Plains.

    A longer growing season will be helpful, but the northern frontier of cultivation can’t move much.

  13. #13 Valuethinker
    May 10, 2007

    #99 – Lee

    I don’t know if you’ve been to Egypt, but one quickly realises there that the whole project of growing wheat in the desert is something of a political scam.

    Otherwise these very poor people, with a high birth rate, would move into the slums around Cairo and Alexandria (Cairo has 20 million people already, 1/4 of the country). There, the islamic fundamentalists are the main political force.

    Similarly in the Middle Nile region, there is huge rural poverty and political unrest (foreigners are not allowed to travel there) and the government subsidises agriculture as much as it can.

    President Mubarrak has staked his political reputation on ‘making the desert bloom’ an old Nasserite dream. Regardless of cost or efficiency. It’s part of the raison d’etre of the political state in Egypt.

    The whole thing is an ecological disaster. The ending of the Nile floods has meant widespread soil salination, and huge waste of resources. Plus the ancient temples at Karnak and Luxor will be gone in 200 years, due to water penetration from the ground.

    The same is true in Saudi Arabia, by the way. The rural families have the highest birth rates, and the greatest susceptibility to islamic extremism. The government accordingly subsidises *wheat growing*, using ground water resources which will someday be exhausted. This is to prevent unrest, and further migration to the cities. Wheat growing, in the dryest country in the world.

    (actually Libya is in a similar situation– Quadaffy pipes water from under the Sahara to farmer’s fields on the coast)

  14. #14 Tim Curtin
    May 10, 2007

    J (@ #94): Thanks – of course I was confusing start of financing/construction in 1957 with completion.

    Lee the charming gentleman with such brave new world courtly manners (@ #99), re your points:
    1. I agree – but you did none of that. Making a sweeping statement – cold freezing winters are good for yields -invites a single refutation (a la Karl Popper), namely, not true for Egypt vis a vis USA.
    2. You are wrong,Egyptian wheat farming is less subsidized than ANY farming in the USA and EU, which is what annoys both the latter in the WTO context.
    3. You are telling fibs. First I assume you are as capable as I am of finding the FAO via Google and of navigating FAO once there. The difference between us is that the page you found had egregious arithmetic errors (implying total wheat production of 1.2 mt p.a.) when the text gave the correct figure of 6.8 mt. Using your language, which in my case will lead to disemvoweling by Tim Lambert, so I will have to save this to my hard drive, you are by your own admission nothing more than “a despicable lying little fuck”.
    4. The Aswan High Dam does more than provide water for up to 3 harvests a year, it also supplies most of the power for all Egyptian industry and cities (including fertilizers). Why should the wretched wheat growing Egyptian peasant be expected to pay for the total cost of Aswan, as you propose? You are indeed again no more than in your words “a despicable lying little fuck”.
    5. Garbage. Egyptian consumers pay far less for their bread than you do. You are the one ripped off by your own government for its outrageous subsidies to all agriculture in the USA. You, brave anonymous Lee, (no doubt you were a schoolyard bully as your despicable anonymity is typical of same) are the one who in your words is “a despicable lying ,little fuck”, for your advocacy of world solutions (Kyoto #2) that screw the wretched of the earth everywhere except in the USA with its fat farmers like Gore and Bush (with their tax loss ranches).
    6. You said “Are you trying to imply that my [Lee] statement that it is expensive to grow wheat in a hot desert climate means that I want the Egyptian “peasantry” to go hungry?” Yes, like all the bleeding hearts on this blog, who want said wretched to give up energy use so that Gore Lee Eli & co continue to enjoy their own incredible consumption levels. Once again, using your words, you are “a despicable lying little fuck”.
    Lee (@ #100). More of Lee’s “despicable lying little fuckery”. The Nile delta still uses the barrage laid down by the British over 100 years ago, so remarkably little new investment was needed.
    Dano as ever fits Lee’s epithet, “a despicable lying little fuck”.
    Ian Gould yet again suffers amnesia – I suggested that not me but Gary Kasparov had good grounds to sue him, but then Ian is regreattably – I had held hopes he could do better -just another “despicable lying little fuck”.
    Eli: sadly, is also another “despicable lying little fuck”, as he last year suppressed my responses to him about industrial production and consumption of CO2.

  15. #15 Tim Curtin
    May 10, 2007

    Valuethinker (#113). I should have known from your anonymity that you are yet another “dllf”. Your claim that “The whole thing is an ecological disaster. The ending of the Nile floods has meant widespread soil salination, and huge waste of resources” is total fabrication. How do you reconcile that claim with the FAO Prodstat data that the dllf Lee still cannot locate showing that the area harvested (for the top 12 food crops) in Egypt has increased by 151% (from 2.4 mn. ha in 1980 to 3.6 in 2005, and the average yield by 158%, from 8.9 t/ha to 51.2 in 2005, for a total gain in production of 238%, well in excess of the population increase?

    Very eaasily of course, because like Ehrlich and his fans on this blog led by Lambert, you would be much happier if food production in Egypt had fallen behind people, so that they would all starve to death, as devoutly wished by all the AGW mob. The proof of my statement is in your fraudulent claim that the Egyptians only achieved this remarkable performance because of “subsidies”. Quis ipsos custodiet? in this context that means who paid the subsidies? – certainly not the Egyptians en bloc (can you subsidise yourself?), nor you and all your fellow travellers.

  16. #16 Lee
    May 10, 2007

    Curtin – restating yoru refuted points is nto a defense of them.

    1. I never stated that cold freezing winters are good for yield. I stated that the breadbaskets are in regins with cold winters. I clarified why that is in the post to which you are directly responding, as had several others previously. You have conspicuously not responded to those clarifications.

    2. Egyptian wheat production is heavily subsidized BY THE IRRIGATION PROJECTS and its cost. As I clearly stated at least twice above. And again, as ive said several times now, the issue is the cost of infrastructure and the ongoing costs of production, given that we are talking about responses to shifting ag zones. Production subsidies are irrelevant, infrastructure subsidies are dead on target.

    3. Tim, Tim Tim… You will perhaps note that subsequent to your posting the source you used, Ive relied on that source in responding to you. I initially posted a page that disagreed with you – it is a FAO page I found when you did not cite your source. Attacking me for using your source now that you have provided it is a bit off. wouldn’t you say?

    4. Wher eon earth did I “propose” that “the wretched wheat growing Egyptian peasant be expected to pay for the total cost of Aswan?” Where? I haven’t argued against Aswan, I haven’t ever argued against subsidizing Egyptian wheat farmers, I haven’t argued against the irrigation system. I’m simply pointing out that they are damned expensive,and that wheat production in Egypt is impossible without such investments,a and that wheat production in the temperate wheat belts is possible with dramatically lower capital expense. If you would bother to respond to what I say, rather than to your incorrect imaginings of my motivation, you might come off with at least a bit of credibility.

    5. Tim, Tim… again, stop responding to things I haven’t said. I’m not arguing for or against subsidies in this thread. As an aside, I happen to think that subsidies to us agriculture are damaging to both the US economy and to farming and economic advancement in much of the developing world. I haven’t made those points because they are irrelevant to the necessary minimum capital COST and ongoing COST of production. Which, again, is the point when discussing shifting agriculture n response to warming, and is the point you are failing to address.

    6. uhhhh… WTF?

  17. #17 dhogaza
    May 10, 2007

    Very eaasily of course, because like Ehrlich and his fans on this blog led by Lambert, you would be much happier if food production in Egypt had fallen behind people, so that they would all starve to death, as devoutly wished by all the AGW mob.

    Yawn. It’s 5:27 AM here on the west coast of the United States, and I’ve just awakened after a very pleasant night filled with dreams of Egyptians slowly starving to death as my friends and I devoutly thank God for AGW …

    People actually listen to this Curtin idiot? He makes Limbaugh sound like an Einstein.

  18. #18 James
    May 10, 2007

    I don’t know if you’ve been to Egypt, but one quickly realises there that the whole project of growing wheat in the desert is something of a political scam.
    Otherwise these very poor people, with a high birth rate, would move into the slums around Cairo and Alexandria (Cairo has 20 million people already, 1/4 of the country). There, the islamic fundamentalists are the main political force.
    Similarly in the Middle Nile region, there is huge rural poverty and political unrest (foreigners are not allowed to travel there) and the government subsidises agriculture as much as it can.
    President Mubarrak has staked his political reputation on ‘making the desert bloom’ an old Nasserite dream. Regardless of cost or efficiency. It’s part of the raison d’etre of the political state in Egypt.
    The whole thing is an ecological disaster. The ending of the Nile floods has meant widespread soil salination, and huge waste of resources. Plus the ancient temples at Karnak and Luxor will be gone in 200 years, due to water penetration from the ground.
    The same is true in Saudi Arabia, by the way. The rural families have the highest birth rates, and the greatest susceptibility to islamic extremism. The government accordingly subsidises wheat growing, using ground water resources which will someday be exhausted. This is to prevent unrest, and further migration to the cities. Wheat growing, in the dryest country in the world.(actually Libya is in a similar situation– Quadaffy pipes water from under the Sahara to farmer’s fields on the coast)

    These people have the temerity to try to feed themselves? Good lord!

  19. #19 Ian Gould
    May 10, 2007

    “These people have the temerity to try to feed themselves? Good lord!”

    Yes, God forbid the Egyptian government stop giving out billions in hand-outs, spent about half as much money to import grain instead and spent the balance on health and education.

  20. #20 Ian Gould
    May 10, 2007

    “Ian Gould yet again suffers amnesia – I suggested that not me but Gary Kasparov had good grounds to sue him, but then Ian is regreattably – I had held hopes he could do better -just another “despicable lying little fuck”.”

    So Tim when you were demanding my address and claiming to have consulted your lawyer you were doing so on Kasparov’s behalf?

  21. #21 Ian Gould
    May 10, 2007

    “The proof of my statement is in your fraudulent claim that the Egyptians only achieved this remarkable performance because of “subsidies”. Quis ipsos custodiet? in this context that means who paid the subsidies? – certainly not the Egyptians en bloc (can you subsidise yourself?),”

    I guess French and Japanese farmers aren’t subsidised either.

  22. #22 Dano
    May 10, 2007

    Very eaasily of course, because like Ehrlich and his fans on this blog led by Lambert, you would be much happier if food production in Egypt had fallen behind people, so that they would all starve to death, as devoutly wished by all the AGW mob.

    You know the morons have nothing when they trot out this canard.

    Best,

    D

  23. #24 dhogaza
    May 10, 2007

    Hank’s link is hilarious.

    Hans Erren, skeptic gadfly, schooling Tim Curtin on the basic physics of CO2 acting as a GHG. And sounding like a confirmed AGWer while doing so (because Curtin is being such an idiot).

  24. #25 dhogaza
    May 10, 2007

    Sorry for the multiple post, I was getting an HTTP 500 server error, but apparently AFTER the data was posted to the database.

  25. #26 Hank Roberts
    May 10, 2007

    Oh dear.

    Who can we trust for science reporting — NotNatureBlog, or USA Today?

    http://blogs.usatoday.com/weather/2007/05/sizzling_summer.html

  26. #27 Tim Curtin
    May 11, 2007

    Ian Gould: subsidies in Egypt may well go more to the urban consumer of wheat than to the peasant producer

  27. #28 Ian Gould
    May 11, 2007

    Tim, settign aside the usual rancour.

    I think we can probably agree that Egypt would benefit from the staged withdrawal of both production subsidies and food price subsidies over an extended period and their replacement by income support payments targeted at both the peasant farmers and the urban poor.

  28. #29 z
    May 11, 2007

    “To see a change of 2 zones requires a temperature change of >10 degrees if the zones span 10 degrees each. You can let me know where average minimum temperatures have increased by 10 degrees over 30 years.”

    Well, New Haven, CT where for various reasons including gardening and random curiosity I have been keeping tabs on official minimum yearly temps since the mid 1980s, when they would hit -10 F with annual regularity; for the last 5 years, they have failed to go down as far as 0 F, which is why we have had our FDA hardiness zone bumped up one. My own remote reading/logging outdoor thermometer, new for this year, records a minimum of 2 F, achieved once.

    Any other requests?

  29. #30 z
    May 11, 2007

    “Current Canadian agriculture pushes the northern limit of the very fertile bowl of soils that is the Great Plains.”

    Yes indeedy. The Canadian prairie, i.e. the northern extent of the American midwestern prairie, is a triangular area west of the Rocky Mountains, with the northernmost tip in central Alberta, running down through southern Saskatchewan, and catching just a sliver of southern Manitoba. Further north than that, all the topsoil was glaciated away leaving the granite “Canadian Shield”, which is terrific if you are mining, not so much if you are trying to grow wheat. Ask Ian Tyson.

  30. #31 z
    May 11, 2007

    “Warmer “coldest” days, and fewer frosts are good things, are they not? Certainly this balances some of the gloom and doom alarmism.”

    Except for minor things like day length; for the folks who tried to “drop out” in the 60s and homestead and grow crops in northern Alberta, the temperature (which can be dealt with using…. greenhouses, ironically) is less of a problem than the large swing in day length. Plants just don’t get enough light to do much of anything until pretty close to the equinox; then they respond to the looooooong daylight later on by synthesizing vast quantities of small molecule sugars without time to metabolize them further or polymerize them, so you end up with nice looking large plants which turn out to be basically soft sponges filled with largely tasteless and nutritionless bland juice.

    The other problem is timing. The aforementioned annual -10F cold snap in CT would occur between Christmas and New Years. The current coldest point of the year comes much later, which many plants cannot handle. They fail to go into dormancy, even show new growth, and end up with serious frost damage, despite the low temperature being not as low. http://vvv.state.ct.us/caes/FactSheetFiles/PlantPathology/fspp056f.htm for instance.

  31. #32 z
    May 11, 2007

    “triangular area west of the Rocky Mountains”

    Or east, if you prefer the “conventional” system of compass notation.

  32. #33 JB
    May 13, 2007

    Z:

    When Pielke said “You can let me know where average minimum temperatures have increased by 10 degrees over 30 years”, he didn’t really mean that. He was speaking in Pielkespeak which is a particular kind of rhetoric.

    Besides, if you provide one example, he’ll undoubtedly say it was just a fluke and ask for two..and if you provide two, he’ll say it was a double fluke and ask for three….

  33. #34 Hans
    May 16, 2007

    I can’t remember seeing so many invectives at one time and in one place – I know you are not personally as full of visceral vituperation as is manifested in the writing above. If I were to meet you all personally I am sure that my impression would be one of having met many charming and knowledgeable people.

    Why do so many of you feel you need to get the last word, as if such bragging rights enable you to claim “HA, I won the argument” à la Nelson Muntz on the Simpsons. Does anonymity justify rudeness?
    What is the point?
    I would have thought [naïvely, it seems] that the idea herein is to have an ‘exchange of ideas’?

    As to the underlying pessimism I seem to detect, please don’t sell yourselves and others short. The human species is NOT destroying itself. Whatever happens, we will cope, we always have, and we always will. That may be an inconvenient truth but it is no convenient lie.

    As for various crops, agricultural practices, and adaptability of plants and farmers, please see NYT link for growing wine grapes in tropical locations in recent article “Napa Valley? Bordeaux? No, but Still Wine Country” at link
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/15/business/15wine.html

  34. #35 Robert S.
    May 16, 2007

    Hans, I believe the reason is that details and minor errors are what’s being discussed, which leads to this sort of thing. Also often the participants aren’t discussing the same thing, so it just goes ’round and ’round.

    I’m quite sure a nice get-together would be fine, because everyone would have to decide on something to talk about, do it real time, and wouldn’t have any links or papers. So I doubt anyone would spend an hour or two saying “yes it is” “no it isn’t” back and forth. Assuming nobody brought slides or handouts. :)

    Either that, or it would turn into a brawl.

  35. #36 Hans
    May 16, 2007

    Thank you Robert S.
    Very refreshing to read such a civilized entry.
    Yes, I agree with your analysis about what might cause this short-circuiting of what is probably good behavior on the part of such participants in other “normal” settings.
    And you have raised an interesting area of social study (which someone somewhere is already no doubt doing research on).
    And my inference of what you are suggesting, of having all the participants meet in a live setting now, after all the entries have been posted, would be fascinating.
    I for one, would not expect not the “brawl” but instead something similar to a person with road rage rushing out of their car only to see that the driver in front of them that they were just swearing at, is a nice quiet 79-year old Miss Daisy-type, or someone who has just had a petit mal seizure and just could not start driving for the medical emergency they were experiencing.
    Either way, our humanity would likely manifest itself (one would hope).

  36. #37 Eli Rabett
    May 16, 2007

    Hans, it appears that you and Robert S are engaged in a concern troll duet. Quite amusing.

  37. #38 z
    May 17, 2007

    “The human species is NOT destroying itself. Whatever happens, we will cope, we always have, and we always will. That may be an inconvenient truth but it is no convenient lie.”

    On the other hand,
    “Cerulo, a professor at Rutgers University, wrote a book last year called Never Saw It Coming. In it, she argues that we are individually, institutionally, and societally hellbent on wishful thinking.”

  38. #39 Chris O'Neill
    May 18, 2007

    Hans Erren, 27 Aug 2005:

    “Why is it that we worry about temperature in 2100?
    The effects in 2100 are caused by emissions in 2080.
    Everybody in this forum will be dead by then, and also their children.”

    Hans Erren, 16 May 2007: “The human species is NOT destroying itself. Whatever happens, we will cope, we always have, and we always will.”

    “Always” meaning “until the year 2100″. BTW, I’m not certain that all my children will be dead by then. (Don’t mention grandchildren etc.)

  39. #40 Ian Gould
    May 18, 2007

    “As to the underlying pessimism I seem to detect, please don’t sell yourselves and others short.”

    You mean the alarmist anti-free market arguments put out by Tim Curtin and others about the ruinous cost of reducing emissions.

  40. #41 Robert S.
    May 18, 2007

    Ah, Eli. Because I have some differences of opinion with some viewpoint? Troll? I’m not trying to stir anything up, so um, no. That would be you. But thanks for the comment, it was quite amusing.

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