Via Gareth Renowden:

Q: How many climate sceptics does it take to change a light bulb? A: None. It’s too early to say if the light bulb needs changing.

Though I think the answer should be: None. The light bulb isn’t broken and it will recover by itself and sitting in the dark is better than in the light.

Comments

  1. #1 student_b
    May 8, 2008

    None. They live in the dark ages anyway.

    (That’s the version I’ve heard.)

  2. #2 student_b
    May 8, 2008

    Ups, I’ve mixed the jokes up… I suck. :(

    How many Creationists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Creationists don’t use lightbulbs. They prefer the Dark Ages!!

    From the new !!!CreationBlog!!! here at scienceblogs.

    ;)

  3. #3 ben
    May 8, 2008

    How about “how many climate scientists does it take to change a lightbulb that costs $3,000,000,000,000?

  4. #4 luminous beauty
    May 8, 2008

    ben,

    A: None. Changing light bulbs is for engineers.

    Consider that money is an investment that will pay for itself many times over for thousands of years, while failing to make the investment will certainly lead to the collapse of civilization.

    What are the relative costs?

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    May 8, 2008

    How many concerned scientists does it take to change a light bulb?

    None. Just unscrew the light bulb. Lower the carbon footprint.

  6. #6 Lance
    May 8, 2008

    “…while failing to make the investment will certainly lead to the collapse of civilization.”

    Yes, that’s right a hypothetical increase in average temperature of a few degrees over the next century that has not been in evidence for the last decade and is now projected to be AWOL for at least the next ten years is going to lead to the “collapse” of human civilization.

    I must have missed that part of the IPCC report. Maybe it will be in the next one along with “projections” of flying pigs.

    Talk about an eye roller.

  7. #7 Robert
    May 8, 2008

    Q: How many climate skeptics does it to change a light bulb?

    A: Your ad hominem attacks aren’t funny!

  8. #8 luminous beauty
    May 8, 2008

    …a[n]… increase in average temperature… that has not been in evidence for the last decade.

    Not in evidence only if one does not account for natural variability.

    Are you saying there is no natural variability, now, Lance?

  9. #9 Lance
    May 8, 2008

    “Are you saying there is no natural variability, now, Lance?”

    Quite to the contrary, I am saying that the AGW signal is quite likely swamped by natural variabilty.

    It is nice to hear you mention natural variability though.

  10. #10 dhogaza
    May 8, 2008

    now projected to be AWOL for at least the next ten years

    By who? (trick question!)

  11. #11 luminous beauty
    May 8, 2008

    Quite to the contrary, I am saying that the AGW signal is quite likely swamped by natural variabilty.

    Yes. The 1998 El Niño bumping the trend by a positive ~0.2C and the present La Niña lowering it by an equivalent amount is disguising an AGW trend of ~0.2C/decade.

    I’m glad we can agree.

  12. Q: How many climate skeptics does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: We need more research to answer this question. How much time is needed for this research? Well, we’ll also need to do research to find out how much time will be needed for this research…

  13. #13 Lance
    May 8, 2008

    LB,

    So if natural variability can only be expected to make small negative changes in the temp trend then what exactly caused the 0.4 C rise in the early half of the 20th century before there could have been any expected anthropogenic CO2 response?

    Also what caused the rebound from the “little ice age” that raised global temps by more than the warming trend of the late 20th century?

  14. #14 kent
    May 8, 2008

    In the vein of natural variability we have to wonder how many more La Ninas we are going to get over the next 20 year. If the Co2 effect gets buried so easily by a little bit of cold water then it is a lot weaker than many have supposed.
    Lots is happening out there and just looking at this site would indicate that the debate is still going strong.

  15. #15 dhogaza
    May 8, 2008

    So if natural variability can only be expected to make small negative changes in the temp trend

    Lance further proves his dishonesty by building and demolishing a strawman…

  16. #16 Betula
    May 8, 2008

    If the light bulb is 108 years old and has it’s own web site……you don’t change it.

    http://www.bunnweb.org/centennialbulb/index.htm

  17. #17 Lance
    May 8, 2008

    dhogaza,

    Thank God you’re there to keep my one man deluge of lies and obfuscation from single-handedly toppling the sacred edifice of AGW.

  18. #18 Holly Stick
    May 8, 2008

    Q: How many climate sceptics does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: Seventeen to complain about how crummy and dangerous the swirly new lightbulbs are; forty-three to explain that lightbulbs have natural cycles so if we do nothing the light bulb will eventually get back into its warm light cycle; and three hundred and fourteen to blame Al Gore for inventing the science of lightbulbs to make money and to impose socialist government controls over life in general.

  19. #19 dhogaza
    May 8, 2008

    Thank God you’re there to keep my one man deluge of lies and obfuscation from single-handedly toppling the sacred edifice of AGW.

    Hell, it won’t even earn you your physics PhD, much less overturn established science.

    Now, dear, why do you so rapidly embrace one paper in Nature that suggests there will be a steep drop in temperature over the next 7 years while at the same time you’re totally skeptical about the work of the rest of the field of climate science?

    It wouldn’t be because that one outlier fits your bias, right? You couldn’t possibly be THAT dishonest, could you?

    I mean, you’ve read the paper, digested it, understand why this one paper is right and the work of so many others wrong, right?

  20. #20 luminous beauty
    May 8, 2008

    …what exactly caused the 0.4 C rise in the early half of the 20th century before there could have been any expected anthropogenic CO2 response?

    A quick calculation gives an expected mid-20th century anomaly for CO2 of >0.2C.

  21. #21 Majorajam
    May 8, 2008

    None. Exxon and Philip Morris patronage only covers screwing planets.

  22. #22 Ðano
    May 8, 2008

    Q: How many septics does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A: If hypocrite Algore and green nazis can fly around the world, why should I change my lightbulb?

    Q: How many septics does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A: None. The Free MarketTM will change it for them.

    Q: How many septics does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A: I thought the environazis wanted us to live in the dark ages.

    Badum-BUM.

    Best,

    Ð

  23. #23 anthony
    May 8, 2008

    I was wondering if anybody could tell me about the positive effects of a darkening room, such as enhanced sleep patterns. And until someone can factor in the variability of sun rays, I remain sceptical.

  24. #24 luminous beauty
    May 8, 2008

    If the science was so settled, then why would light bulbs ever burn out? Answer me that, smartypants. It’s obvious the burnt out light bulb hypothesis is fatally flawed.

  25. #25 z
    May 8, 2008

    duh. it’s not the light bulb; IT’S THE SUN, STUPID!!!

  26. #26 dhogaza
    May 8, 2008

    If the science was so settled, then why would light bulbs ever burn out? Answer me that, smartypants. It’s obvious the burnt out light bulb hypothesis is fatally flawed.

    Exactly the kind of pro-lightbulbinazistalinist crap we’d expect from someone named “luminous”…

  27. #27 luminous beauty
    May 8, 2008

    Oh! Oh!

    I’m blinded by the light!

  28. #28 Stu
    May 8, 2008

    The luminosity of the sun is of the order of 10^26 W, so clearly the effect of any single light bulb is so small as to be negligible.
    Besides, we are clearly just returning to the same state as in the well known Medieval Dark Period when there was no light emitted from light bulbs, this is obviously a natural process.

  29. #29 Betula
    May 8, 2008

    Of course, the real question is……

    How many light bulbs would it take to change the climate?

  30. #30 Majorajam
    May 8, 2008

    The black box says 1, but then a similar device also said my light bulb would last 2.5 years and it only did 2. Plus it’s black, so it’s anti-American anyway.

  31. #31 Hank Roberts
    May 8, 2008

    “How many …”

    “Nina Nina Nina Nina I can’t HEAR you …”

  32. #32 Bernard J.
    May 8, 2008

    “In the vein of natural variability we have to wonder how many more La Ninas we are going to get over the next 20 year. If the Co2 effect gets buried so easily by a little bit of cold water then it is a lot weaker than many have supposed. Lots is happening out there and just looking at this site would indicate that the debate is still going strong.”

    It seems to me that the point of ‘natural variability’ is that the phenomena usually encompassed by this term are not cumulative over time, whereas the impact increasing of CO2 is cumulative over time.

    At some point it is inevitable that the effects of ‘natural variability’ and CO2 increase are going to ‘separate’.

    Or do the denialists have a mechanism to explain this away too?

    Oh, and in response to the thread’s question, I didn’t think that climate sceptics believed in the existence of lightbulbs. And if they do exist, thay’ll probably change themselves anyway.

    And anyway, the cosmic rays are brighter than a lightbulb (which doesn’t exist), so it doesn’t matter that it’s out.

    Or maybe we’re just being hysterical about the dark.

  33. #33 Betula
    May 8, 2008

    The skeptic has changed the bulb many times in the past without incident.

    The skeptic realizes the bulb will soon need replacing again and is willing to change it.

    A lighting expert tells the skeptic that if he doesn’t install a ground fault circuit interupter imediatley and replace the bulb with a CFL, his house will undeniably burn to the ground and take his children with it.

    The skeptic appreciates the experts advice, but questions how the expert can be so sure, and then informs him that he doesn’t have children.

    The expert calls the skeptic a Halogen Denier and accuses him of thinking light bulbs are flat.

  34. #34 Eli Rabett
    May 8, 2008

    adapt

  35. #35 Majorajam
    May 8, 2008

    Allow me Eli. None, the climate skeptic believes it will clearly be more cost effective to adapt to the darkness.

  36. #36 Majorajam
    May 8, 2008

    None, you can smell a bristle cone pine just fine in the dark.

    Two, one to change the bulb, the other to keep his mouth foam from shorting the circuit.

  37. #37 Light Bulb Tycoon
    May 9, 2008

    There is no known evidence that light bulbs burn out. Independent tests carried out by SGIO (Some Guy in Oregon) suggest that light bulbs may last for an infinite time. The famous Tennis Racket Graph for light bulb lifetimes has been shown to be an artifact left behind by aliens to side track our evolution to the next stage of industrial nirvana.
    Ice core analysis from James Inhofe’s refrigerator further proves that light bulbs have not been on in that appliance for many years with no discernible impact.

  38. #38 Chris O'Neill
    May 9, 2008

    If the Co2 effect gets buried so easily by a little bit of cold water

    Not for very long.

    Lots is happening out there and just looking at this site would indicate that the debate is still going strong.

    Maybe kent thinks climate scientists debate here. I think kent flatters himself.

  39. #39 Jeff Harvey
    May 9, 2008

    You know, Lance, methinks you strain to much for your reasoning. Let me put it this way: humans have altered the planet’s surface profoundly. We have greatly simplified nature in a huge number of ways. Humans have altered biogeochemical cycles (e.g. the nitrogen anc carbon cycles) operating over stupendously large scales of space and time. Our species has depleted 90% of coastal marine ecosystems of species at the terminal end of the food chain, leading to dramatic shifts in the way these systems function, often leading to flip-flops in the trophic status of species in marine food webs. We’ve depleted many aquifers, drained a huge proportion of the wetlands in temperate regions, fragmented much of the world’s natural forests, eliminated most of the primeval forests from Europe and North America, and have kickstarted the sixth great extinction in the planet’s history. We’ve certainly facilitated the switch from drylands to desert ecosystems, as well as put traces of pesticides in just about every square milimeter on Earth.

    But Lance, you are saying that there just is not evidence that we are altering global climate patterns. Certainly hydrological cycles has been affected by humans through the destruction of forest expanses that play a role in regualting local climate patterns, but you and the other sceptics here somehow believe that the evidence that Homo sapiens can influence large scale climate patterns is circumstantial.

    The facts concerning most human impacts across the biosphere are not circumstantial. What seems apparent is that you’ll never believe the accumulating empirical evidence until it is too late. Read my yesterday’s posting on another thread. To reiterate, EVERY NATURAL SYSTEM IS IN DECLINE. EVERY ONE. There is nothing circumstantial about this. Nothing at all. Too many people look out of the window, see the sun shining, think of today only and then say, “Hey, its alright”. But the gradual, incipient evidence is painting another story. It is just that our species has not evolved to respond to gradual incipient changes; we cannot perceive them. We can only perceive what we are genetically programmed to perceive: instantaneous, very short term threats: a hurricane, a war, a tsunami, an earthquake. This could be our undoing.

  40. #40 Boris
    May 9, 2008

    It seems to me that the point of ‘natural variability’ is that the phenomena usually encompassed by this term are not cumulative over time, whereas the impact increasing of CO2 is cumulative over time.

    Right. I think a better term is “unforced variability.”

  41. #41 Bernard J.
    May 9, 2008

    And also, Kent, on your ramble:

    “In the vein of natural variability we have to wonder how many more La Ninas we are going to get over the next 20 year. If the Co2 effect gets buried so easily by a little bit of cold water then it is a lot weaker than many have supposed. Lots is happening out there and just looking at this site would indicate that the debate is still going strong.”

    The ‘debate’ is only going strong in your eyes, because a few trolls lurk on Deltoid and refuse to see objectivity, even when they are repeated offered the long, long litany of facts. The vain efforts of others to educate these hooting baboons hardly constitutes dignification with the term ‘debate’.

    If one surveyed all the legitimate contributors to the science of climate change, there would be no debate of significance; rather, there would be that word that you are so reluctant to hear – ‘consensus’.

  42. Lance writes:

    So if natural variability can only be expected to make small negative changes in the temp trend then what exactly caused the 0.4 C rise in the early half of the 20th century before there could have been any expected anthropogenic CO2 response?

    I believe the growth of solar irradiance in the early half of the 20th century was one influence. Your idea about CO2 not being substantial until recently is way off, though. Global warming started about 1750; it was just difficult to separate out until recently. But look back with hindsight and it’s impossible not to see it:

    Temperatures 1880-2007

  43. #43 z
    May 9, 2008

    have you fully disproved the hypothesis that you have merely been struck blind?

  44. #44 Dominion
    May 10, 2008

    How many climate skeptics does it take to change a light bulb?

    First off, the light bulb is not burned out, and even if it was, it is not MY fault so why should I change it? Besides, it is far too expensive for me to change a light blub. Why are light Nazis always trying to get me to change my bulb? Also, we are not taking into account all of the wonderful benefits of living in the dark! In fact, after I did all these really complicated calculations, I find that it would take half a million skeptics spending a billion dollars each to change that light bulb. Oh, and you don’t see the Chinese changing THEIR light bulbs do you? Well do you?

  45. #45 steven mosher
    May 10, 2008

    what light bulb?

  46. #46 Lance
    May 12, 2008

    Jeff,

    You say “…humans have altered the planet’s surface profoundly. We have greatly simplified nature in a huge number of ways.”

    Again you are arguing points that I never disputed.

    “We’ve certainly facilitated the switch from drylands to desert ecosystems, as well as put traces of pesticides in just about every square milimeter on Earth.”

    I don’t want to go off on a tangent here but desertification, like many of the topics you mention, is a complex issue that is not as easily categorized as you have stated. Also trace amounts of “pesticides” being found in a wide variety of places is not a global emergency.

    “But Lance, you are saying that there just is not evidence that we are altering global climate patterns.”

    Again you are putting words in my mouth. I have never said that humans have no influence on climate patterns. Effects from land use and some of the other things you mention are clearly in evidence. My dispute is with the idea that we face a “global catastrophe” and the “end of civilization” from expected increases in CO2.

    Empirically verifiable evidence for such a claim simply does not exist.

    “Certainly hydrological cycles [have] been affected by humans through the destruction of forest expanses that play a role in [regulating] local climate patterns, but you and the other sceptics here somehow believe that the evidence that Homo sapiens can influence large scale climate patterns is circumstantial.”

    Again the word “influence” is the issue. I have never claimed that humans have no influence on climate just that claims that we face large increases in temperature from CO2 emissions are highly exaggerated and often for political reasons.

    “The facts concerning most human impacts across the biosphere are not circumstantial. What seems apparent is that you’ll never believe the accumulating empirical evidence until it is too late. Read my yesterday’s posting on another thread. To reiterate, EVERY NATURAL SYSTEM IS IN DECLINE. EVERY ONE. There is nothing circumstantial about this. Nothing at all.”

    Again I am right there with you if you are advocating common sense solutions to preserve bio-diversity, institute sustainable agriculture, and protect natural habitats.

    I’m just not going to pretend that I agree with this climate disaster business to go along with the crowd. If you want to make it a “litmus test” for cooperation on a wide range of environmental issues I think you are making a tragic mistake and missing an opportunity to include a huge number of people that share the large majority of your concerns.

    That is if your primary goal is environmental and not just political.

  47. #47 Barton Paul Levenson
    May 13, 2008

    Lance posts:

    claims that we face large increases in temperature from CO2 emissions are highly exaggerated and often for political reasons.

    No scientist is saying we face “large increases in temperature from CO2 emissions.” The fact is that it only takes a few degrees to seriously mess up our agriculture and our economy. The world’s mean global annual temperature was only 5 or 6 K lower than now at the height of the last couple of ice ages.

  48. #48 BillBodell
    May 13, 2008

    How many surrealist painters does it take to change a light bulb?

    Fish.

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