A Few Things Ill Considered

Scientists Aren’t Even Sure

This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


Objection:

Even the scientists don’t know that the climate is changing more than normal and if its our fault or not. If you read what they write it is full of “probably”, “likely”, “evidence of” and all kinds of qualifiers. If they don’t know for sure, why should we worry yet?

Answer:

Unfortunately, “likely”, “evidence suggests” and “probability” is the language of science. There is no proof, there are no absolute certainties. Scientists are always aware that new data may overturn old theories and that human knowledge is constantly evolving. Consequently, it is viewed as unjustifiable hubris to ever claim one’s findings as unassailable. But in general, the older and more established a given theory becomes, the less and less likely it is that any new findings will drastically change things. Even the huge revolution in Physics brought on by Einstein’s theory of relativity did not render Newton’s theories of Classical Mechanics useless. Classical Mechanics is still used all the time because is is quite simply good enough for most purposes.

But how well established is the Greenhouse Effect?

Greenhouse Effect theory is over 100 years old. Even the first predictions of Anthropogenic Global Warming came in 1896. Time has only strengthened and refined those ground breaking conclusions. We now have decades of very detailed and sophisticated climate observations and super computers crunching numbers in one second it would have taken 1 million 19th century scientists years with a slide rule to match. Even so, you will never ever get a purely scientific source saying “the future is certain”.

But what certainty there is about the basic issue is close enough to 100% for all practical purposes that it should be taken as 100%. Don’t wait any longer for scientific certainty, because we are there. Every major institute that deals with climate related science is saying AGW is here and real and dangerous, even though they will not remove the “very likely” and “strongly indicated” qualifiers. The translation of what the science is saying into the language of the public is this: Global warming is definitely happening and it is definitely because of human activities and it will definitely continue as long as CO2 keeps rising in the atmosphere.

The rest of the issue, how high will the temperature go, how fast will it get there and how bad will this be, is much less certain. But no rational human being rushes headlong into an unknown when there is even a 10% chance of death or serious injury, why should we demand 100% certainty before avoiding this danger? Science has given the human race the dire warning with all the urgency and certainty we should need to prompt action.

We don’t have time or reason to wait any longer.


This is just one of dozens of responses to common climate change denial arguments, which can all be found at How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.


“Scientists Aren’t Even Sure” was first published here, where you can still find the original comment thread. This updated version is also posted on the Grist website, where additional comments can be found, though the author, Coby Beck, does not monitor or respond there.

Comments

  1. #1 David Wells
    December 6, 2008

    Hi, Correct me if I am wrong but even the ipcc agrees that co2 caused by humanity only relates to 3/4% of the half of one percent of co2 in the atmosphere and there is still no evidence that co2 has caused the climate to heat up or cooled down. Also since 07 temperatures have declined yet according to the warmists co2 is rising, contradiction.

    Tell me what happens when the World has spent every penny trying to stop co2 rising only to find out belatedly that temperatures continue to rise or the globe gets colder demanding that we burn more fossil fuels just to keep warm. You have the same situation here that you will get some support for your mythology and self preseveration demands that you continue to push your message, if it gets really cold and your windfarms prove unable to supply a realiable power supply with all of the gas burned in an effort to fill in the gaps then we will see the warmists being burnt at the stake with whatever fossil fuel still remaining.

    Of all scandal mongering I have live through the warming idea most be the worst.

    This planet has always changed and if it doesnt change because of what we do it will continue to change of its own volition. What you guys are trying to push is the idea that provided we remove co2 we can carrying on consuming every natural resource on the planet indefinitely, an absolute myth, yet your prescribed solution will mean a more rapacious increase in natural resource depletion then ever before, precisely where do you think the World will get all of the natural resouces from to replace every vehicle on earth with a battery electric equivalent and the copper to make 45 meter long cables for each wind turbine and then still have enough gas left to conver gas into hydrogen and burn to generate power when the wind stops blowing.

    Whatever your taking it has to be illegal.

    There are 23 million cars in this country and hundreds of millions in the rest of the World, the alternative, stay in the house and look at the walls and presumably keep a cow in the garden, Oh sorry that will produce methane.

    Barking mad!

    David Wells

  2. #2 GrecRI
    December 7, 2008

    Unfortunately Coby, based on the way the IPCC operates, we can’t really say that this ‘warning’ comes from science. They have strived to silence and distort the science.

    If you want to say that ‘we’ve been warned by politicians posing as scientists’, I would agree.

    Regarding the ‘super computer’ comments, the computers are only as good as the program. I am not aware of one case where they have correctly predicted the temperature even 10 years out. Did you see any models from the IPCC predicting cooling or even a leveling off for the last 10 years? I didn’t.

    Yet we are supposed to believe that they are accurate when predicting 100 years into the future.

  3. #3 Crakar14
    February 16, 2009

    Coby you said

    “Unfortunately, “likely”, “evidence suggests” and “probability” is the language of science. There is no proof, there are no absolute certainties. Scientists are always aware that new data may overturn old theories and that human knowledge is constantly evolving.”

    Now read this link:

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Global_Warming/Indian_experts_find_bacteria_to_beat_global_heat/articleshow/4134025.cms

    Now, this bacteria has been there all along. This is not an invention or a development, they just stumbled across the thing.

    The point here is that the people pushing human-caused global warming are operating without all the facts. That should be obvious since their dire warnings have not come to pass.

    Which means we should not alter our lives or more to the point surrender our money and freedoms to them just yet.

  4. #4 Chris Winter
    April 3, 2009

    crakar14, do you think that these bacteria are somehow preventing CO2 from causing global warming?

    If so, how do you explain the measured rise in CO2?

  5. #5 Crakar14
    April 5, 2009

    Hi Chris,

    The point of the post was to reaffirm what Coby said, in that new data can arise to overturn old theories so no i do not think this bacteria would be slowing GW in any measurable way.

    Having said that let me say this the IPCC has fingered CO2 as the culprit with little or no evidence to support thier theory. Rather than spend 20 years and 50 billion US dollars on real climate science they have wasted it on 2 day conferences padded out to two weeks at the most luxurious locals throughout the world trying to convince politicians and the general public via scary stories, in essence they have accomplished nothing.

    By that i mean the evidence condeming CO2 now is exactly the same as it was 20 years ago, but in the mean time real scientists running on shoe string budgets have achieved much more and some thing the IPCC could never do, they have studied the climate and have come up with some amazing discoveries the bacteria being one of then and the effects the sun has on the Earths climate is another there are many more examples.

    In the meantime Hanson et al is still running around telling scary stories trying to prove CO2 induced GW is gunna gitcha.

    In regards to the measured rise in CO2 levels, i would assume that some of the rise is via volcanic eruptions and the like, some via the warming oceans (lowering via cooling oceans)and some via man and lets not forget CO2 follows Temp by about 800 years so therefore the present day CO2 levels are somewhat controlled by the past.

    To state that all the rise is from man would simply be an untruth.

    Hope this clears up my post

    Cheers

    Crakar

  6. #6 Adam
    April 6, 2009

    Crakar -

    Here’s a graph for you to look at:
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/graphics/lawdome.gif

    Can you tell me what interesting historical event happened in the rough period between 1800 and 1850, which shockingly matches up with the approximate time that we see a sharp increase in CO2 concentrations?

    hint:
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/glo.html

  7. #7 Crakar14
    April 7, 2009

    Thanks for the links Adam, unfortunately they do nothing to add to the debate, i suggest you re read my post………………….Ok now what did i say? well i said that “To state that all the rise is from man would simply be an untruth.”

    Since you have a closed mind mentality as already mentioned let me explain in more simpler terms. From about 1900 CO2 levels were about 285 and now they are about 385 so that is an increase of about 100ppm.

    Some of this rise is from mans activities for sure, can you tell me how CO2 spewed out of the Mt Redoubt volcanic eruption? can you tell me how much CO2 has een released by the oceans since 1880-1850?

  8. #8 Adam
    April 8, 2009

    Crakar -

    Fair enough, I misread your comment. My apologies. I do agree that mankind is not responsible for the entirety of CO2 concentration increases.

    I couldn’t tell you how much CO2 was released from the volcano or other natural sources since the 1850s, but my initial response is that there’s no reason to suspect it’s significantly more or less than before that time. I don’t have any references to back this up, so I’d be willing to be over-ridden by any available facts.

    The point remains that we see a very sharp increase in CO2 concentrations shortly after the onset of industrialization. We know the burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide. We know that emissions have increased enormously decade-over-decade since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, and will continue to increase in the near future. It is silly to gloss over these facts with some dismissive statements about volcanoes and what not.

  9. #9 Mr Magoo
    May 2, 2009

    “The translation of what the science is saying into the language of the public is this: Global warming is definitely happening and it is definitely because of human activities and it will definitely continue as long as CO2 keeps rising in the atmosphere.”

    I am sorry but this is a ludicrous statement to make. I have read a few of these counter-arguements and can conclude that they are not written by somebody with significant scientific training or ability. Furthermore they are not written by somebody with any great intelligence.
    I am not decided one way or the other on man made climate change nor should any true scientist be at this stage.
    The problem is we have too many less intelligent people taking up issue and making great noise.

  10. #10 Adam
    May 2, 2009

    Mr Magoo -

    I am not decided one way or the other on man made climate change nor should any true scientist be at this stage.

    If you’re considering the available evidence, you should reach the same conclusion as most real scientists.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_consensus_on_global_warming
    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/02/there-is-no-consensus.php

  11. #11 Richard Jensen, Ph.D.
    May 9, 2009

    This conflation of pragmatics with TRUTH demonstrates the argumentative confusion people, including Coby, have about what science CAN, in principle, do: “Even the huge revolution in Physics brought on by Einstein’s theory of relativity did not render Newton’s theories of Classical Mechanics useless. Classical Mechanics is still used all the time because is is quite simply good enough for most purposes.”

    Einstein’s theory OVERTURNED Newton’s! They are not compatible physics! Einstein is NOT a sort of “extension” to Newton! The fact that for coarse-grained applications one can “get by” with Newton says nothing about the TRUTH of Newton’s theory. If Einstein is correct, then Newton was WRONG! The fact that he had good reasons for thinking as he did, and the fact that lots of people believed him for a long time, does not make him any less WRONG!

    Coby is here arguing that a certain level of consensus for some period of time is more or less equivalent to “true,” but his own example is actually a counterexample. The idea that time (and/or consensus) justifies confidence is just bad history of science.

    The “consensus argument” is nothing but an ad populum fallacy, like, “More Americans choose Chevy pickups than any other brand.” And Coby makes his version even more fallacious by saying things like, “you should reach the same conclusion as most real scientists,” which is a blatant ad hominem attack on those scientists that do not harmonize with the consensus.

    Getting everybody on a bandwagon makes it no less of a bandwagon, and the history of theoretical science shows that neither time nor consensus provide ANY insight into TRUTH.

  12. #12 Richard Jensen, Ph.D.
    May 9, 2009

    Coby summarizes: “But no rational human being rushes headlong into an unknown when there is even a 10% chance of death or serious injury, why should we demand 100% certainty before avoiding this danger? Science has given the human race the dire warning with all the urgency and certainty we should need to prompt action.”

    False dichotomy: Coby is in effect arguing, “Either we are irrational or we accept a consensus (?) view about the nature of the problem along with particular means of overcoming the problem.” But there are MANY other alternatives besides just these two.

    We might, for example, BE rational by saying that there is only a percentage chance that the current consensus (?) is correct, and that we should be MORE convinced before we engage in the sort of significant, costly, and untested means for solving a “problem” that we only see a percentage chance that it exists.

    Or, we might, for example, believe in a general principle of “living dangerously,” feeling that the risk/rewards ratio is generally suitable.

    There is more going on here than a conflict about scientific evidence. A LARGE part of the subtext of the debate concerns VALUES. The false dichotomy utterly collapses that significant subtext, treating the choices as STARK, when actually they are not.

  13. #13 coby
    May 10, 2009

    (Re: comment 11)

    Richard,

    Without getting too philosophical, I think you have some confusions about “TRUTH” and scientific theories. Theories are models of reality, they are not supposed to be reality. Newtonian physics is a useful model for many, many things. Relativity is a better model as it covers Newtonian things plus many more things. But as the saying goes, “all models are wrong, but some are useful”. So I would really caution against proclaiming one model to be the “TRUTH” and another to be “WRONG” when it is often, as in the case of classical mechanics vs relativity, better describe as more and less complete.

    Regardless, let’s file this one under “entirely missing the point”.

    Cheers,

  14. #14 Chris
    May 10, 2009

    You’re quite right Coby. All models are wrong, but some are useful. Unfortunately, the GCMs have not been useful. They have been wrong. Unless you’re willing, like Gavin, to do ludicrous things like ignore recent data, this conclusion is fairly solid. In fact, it’s quite interesting that a model that should be getting MORE accurate over time (since weather noise and other unexpected things will tend to cancel out) is actually getting less accurate with time.

  15. #15 Paul in MI
    May 10, 2009

    Gents,
    All the back and forth over when mans release of CO2 became important and whether or not it causes global warming seems to be somewhat irrelavent to the larger issue of “what will be the future impact of global warming?” in light of the current situation of no appreciable warming and a possible long term cooling.

    Certainly it is not something simple enough to be resolved in this forum.

    What can be resolved in this forum though, is an agreement on what is, in fact, happening now and we can observe what happens tomorrow.

    Which is how Crakar explains it as >
    “The point here is that the people pushing human-caused global warming are operating without all the facts. That should be obvious since their dire warnings have not come to pass.”

    I, for one, would like to observe a while longer. Let’s see one of these irreversable changes occur and witness the catstrophe. Then you’ll have my attention.

    In other words to move forward on a solution to a possible problem, we should at a minimum see some of the predictions come to pass. And then we should debate (through elections and other means of free society) what we will do about it, if anything.

  16. #16 Richard Jensen, Ph.D.
    May 11, 2009

    Coby, you assert that I completely miss the point. So, perhaps you can explain it to me.

    Here’s my confusion. You tried to set me straight by claiming that, “Theories are models of reality, they are not supposed to be reality.” Ok, I’m with you on the “not supposed to BE reality” part. Obviously a theory cannot BE reality. Reality is what it is, while a theory is what it is. They are different “things,” so the former cannot BE the latter. Good, I’m with you.

    What I’m not clear about is what you think a “model” is and what it is supposed to do. If I paint a picture of a bit of scenery, many stylistic factors come into play, but my picture more or less “represents” the scene I was “modeling” my painting after.

    Now, you seem to be suggesting that theories don’t even TRY to be representational. If that’s the case, then theories are like paintings drawn entirely from imagination, in a vacuum, devoid of connection to the real world. But, in that event, it’s hard to see what “use” they could be regarding the real world. I mean, in that case, how could ANY “model” be falsified?

    So, you must be suggesting that there is SOME sort of “connection,” which I’m calling “representational” (since you don’t seem to like “true”).

    Now, help me here. What is it that makes a theory “useful?” THAT seems to be the big question, if I’m with you. If you say that the theory can “effectively” or “accurately” predict future events, then I can see what you mean by “useful.” But, it seems to me that terms like “effective” and “accurate” are extremely “truth laden” terms.

    Furthermore, it is my understanding that THAT is not the sufficient condition for what a scientific theory does. If “accurate predictions” were all that qualified a theory as “useful” in the scientific sense, then astrology, psychics, wild guesses, and (God help us) even religion can make accurate predictions!

    No, the thing that supposedly sets the scientific method apart is the nature of the “representational” connection between the claimed entities and mechanisms of the theory and the facts of the world. There has to be SOME connection between a theory and the REAL world (the way the world TRULY is) in order for the theory to be “useful” in a genuinely scientific sense. So, to avoid my contention that you are conflating pragmatics with truth, you now seem to be punting on what science even IS.

    When I believed that you were conflating, I was at least sympathetic to your effort to maintain some connection between “useful” and “true.” But now you seem to be stating that “useful” and “true” come COMPLETELY apart! In this context, that move seems to be deeply question-begging, because you now seem to be saying that GW-theory is “useful” (in some unknown sense) regardless of whether or not it is “true” (appropriately representational).

    But, if GW-theory has NO connection to truth, then the definition of “useful” is whatever a particular person or group says that it is. So in that sense, GW-theory’s definition of “useful” is EXACTLY what is at issue here! Skeptics are questioning how “useful” GW-theory is, and just saying that it is very “useful” doesn’t offer any comfort.

    This is not some “fine philosophical point.” It is THE point. Either GW-theory is “useful” in the sense that it (to some significant extent) “represents” the way the world really is, or it does not. If it does not, then the GW camp has no business trying to get billions of people onto their bandwagon. On the other hand, if GW-theory IS “useful” BECAUSE it can cite a host of representational content, then there is NO need to talk about Newton and degrees of surity, etc. In that event, I’m truly baffled what this particular page was supposed to accomplish. Perhaps you can help me most by telling me that.

    But your opening paragraph essentially states that there is “enough” of this representational quality in GW theory. Thus, you liken it to Newton’s physics by saying that whether or not it is “correct” or “true” is really insignificant because (like Newton’s physics), GW theory will remain “useful.”

    Now, however, the asserted disconnect between “useful” and “true” is really pressing. There was a county in, I think, Indiana that somebody (who knows how or why?) started noticing had a very interesting correlation that spanned several decades. The number of Baptist ministers in the county was strongly correlated with the divorce rate in the county. Both increased and decreased together (in quite linear fashion).

    So, in the spirit of the complete disconnect between “useful” and “true,” I develop a non-representational “theory,” call it my “minister theory” or M-theory for short. I simply monitor the number of Baptist ministers in the county and begin predicting the divorce rate. My “theory” has ONE pre-theoretical connection to the real world: the number of Baptist ministers in the county. Yet, from this ONE point of data, I am able to employ my “theory” with astounding accuracy to predict the divorce rate in the county! My “theory” has astounding predictive capacity, and it is very “useful” in that key sense (not to mention that being able to predict such things can be imagined to have all sorts of value to the county (hiring of more or fewer magistrates, as just one example)).

    But, you will say, this is not a “scientific” theory because my “theory” has nothing to say about the REASONS why its predictions work. My “theory” has no entities, forces, CAUSES (the key point here), or mechanisms. But notice that this is the VERY sense in which my “theory” is lacking in “representational” quality. My “theory” doesn’t “represent” ANYTHING about the world. NOTHING about my “theory” could be said to be “true.”

    For my theory to be “useful” in the scientific sense, it must make its predictions BECAUSE the theory asserts the existence of entities and causes in the real world! When a “theory” is falsified, it is the theory’s entities and causes that are really falsified. A “theory” is just a shorthand term for a set of claimed entities and causes.

    NOW it matters very much HOW “representational” a “theory” really is. Its “usefulness” is a function of the “accuracy” of its representation of the way the world really is. So, to say that “all models are wrong,” but some are more “useful” than others is to GUT the supposed claim to fame that science enjoys!

    When you help yourself to Newton as an example, you are actually weakening your case in my mind. Astronomical observations and a relatively simple gravitational equation are child’s play compared to the vastly complicated web of related components of global climate! Newton’s theory has coarse-grained “usefulness,” but the “usefulness” evaporates as soon as the actual entities and causes of the theory are what is at issue in your needs! For GW-theory to be “useful” in the relevant sense, it must outline a vastly complicated web of entities and causes, and its capacity to do that is EXACTLY what skeptics question. So, your dismissive “we’re sure enough,” really begs the question at the crucial point!

    If you punt and say that the representational (“true”) quality of a theory simply does not matter, then you beg skeptics to accept your predictive power just on the face of it. But, then, your “model” is not qualitatively different from a psychic’s predictions about climate. If he/she gets it “right” often enough, then THAT approach has predictive power and is “useful” in the relevant sense.

    Conversely, if you assert that your model is “useful” (predictive) BECAUSE of its representational qualities, then you have brought me right back where I started. A “theory” (the set of supposed entities and causes) must in some robust sense be TRUE (accurately represent the real world). If it is not TRUE, then ANY “usefulness” (predictive capacity) it might have is “good” ONLY to the point where the supposed entities and causes are the issue!

    But that is RIGHT where skeptics ARE regarding GW theory. The opening objection was that we are not yet “enough” confident about GW theory (its purported entities and causes). YOUR response was that we OUGHT to be confident enough, that we can never be “sure,” and that (even though Newton was wrong) Newton’s theory is still “useful.” But Newton’s theory is NOT “useful” in ANY setting in which the TRUTH of his purported entities and causes is actually the issue! Correlatively, GW-theory will not be “useful” regarding the vastly complicated global climate insofar as its purported entities and causes are not CORRECT!

    If you wish to merely ASSERT that GW-theory is correct, you may do so (to a yawning response by skeptics). But to claim that GW-theory is “useful” (in the relevant sense), you MUST provide reasons for thinking that GW-theory is CORRECT (true), and that cannot be done by simply using Newton to punt regarding our uncertainties!

  17. #17 JLD
    July 25, 2009

    Yes,
    What Richard said.

    I am rarely never amazed at what people think,
    (Anything and everything.) but I am always perplexed as to the reasons why people believe what they believe.

    And if I knew that, then I would be able to predict GW myself with 100% assurity.

  18. #18 erstwhile
    August 23, 2009

    OMG Richard Jenson(PhD!!) – Einstein did not overturn Newton. Newton’s theory, as set out by the great man, has predictive power that works, and still works today. Einstein’s work has greater more accurate predictive power. It’s demonstrably better in certain circumstances and so closer to the underlying truth. But neither are true in the black and white sense you seek. That’s all there is to it. A good theory and a better one. Both useful. They are not two contrary positions in a legal case, at loggerheads.

    (hope that’s not a PhD in Science)

    (I wonder is this all there is to the problem of global warming deniers – people who can’t deal with fuzzy data?)

  19. #19 erstwhile
    August 23, 2009

    As for the rest, a scientific theory is useful if it has demonstrable predictive power. end of story. It need not in fact map in its detail to any comprehensible real world model. It may simplify significantly, for example, so long as its predictive power remains intact. Of course it is normal for theory to at least seek to have explanatory power that helps us understand how the world really is, but that is optional. Not a physicist obviously.

  20. #20 erstwhile
    August 23, 2009

    One can argue about the representational quality of a GW model, but the only important question ultimately to ask is whether it has accurate predictive power – something which can obviously be tested.

    There are many computational methods such as neural networks for example that follow the same scheme whereby mechanism and its capacity to absorb systemic fundamentals outweigh all other issues. Representational correspondence is always to be considered useful, but prediction is the true measure of computational solutions. And one must remember that with models we inherently allow for error – we are dealing with statistical estimations – not theoretical from first principle steps.

    (not a computational scientist either methinks)

  21. #21 erstwhile
    August 23, 2009

    And so, to any reasonable impartial scientific observer, though GW theory clearly has holes, it is useful. In precisely the same fashion of newton-einstein, someday we may expect a better theory of climate to emerge, perhaps even one that will moderate the predictions we currently have. But it is unlikely to overturn the present theory in any deep way, since the present theory has significant predictive power – it is not wrong, except in the farcical sense of not being completely right (hmm, perhaps a maths PhD). We’re not going to see an embarrassing press conference form the IPCC saying whoops we were wrong. The volume of scientific work is too significant and the consensus in the work too great for the entire climate scientist community to be that far out. (I’d say it far far more likely that one of these days the pope will come out to the balcony some sunday morning and say, look we’re had a chat me and the bishops and actually we think there is no God) The models based on current GW theory have strong predictive power, even if the finest bunch of deniers (which I mean in the positive sense) debate their capacity to predict accurately enough to sensibly invoke radical political action (and even they are sensible enough not to deny that ultimately they might). The important thing is that as the years have gone by and as the theory has developed, and the models have been enhanced to accommodate new knowledge and understanding, the general pattern of prediction remains unchanged – that there is a problem with humans inducing significant climate change, already and into the future. This is a key clue for any watchers of science that a discipline is making steady progress, that they are essentially correct and likely to be increasingly so in the future. We have EVERY reason to believe that climate scientists are right about what they say so far, and very very few reasons to doubt the progress they are making, but more importantly, we as people and citizens of the world, dependent on its climate for our well being, have every reason to accept their analysis (via meta-studies such as the IPCC, the conclusions of pretty much any relevant scientific body you can think of etc.) as to where their scientific work is leading them. To reject their conclusions based on trivial flaws is reckless, if not down right pigheaded stupidity.

  22. #22 Chris
    October 2, 2009

    Here’s the bottom line: does it really matter if global warming is real, or if human beings really are destroying the world. Not so much. the issue is how we treat the planet that we all call home. and the answer is, as of present, very poorly. Not acceptable. is it truly a political issue to preserve our planet and her natural resources. NO, it is clearly a moral issue. and the question i present to all who say global warming is a political sham, or other misgiving, is WHY NOT? why not emits less ozone gases? why not produse less waste? why not use more effiecent light bulbs and electric products? why the f* not? cmon people take care of our earth as if it was your own home, because it is, so why not?

  23. #23 PaulinMI
    October 2, 2009

    so why not?

    What would you give up?
    =============================
    Progress on treating aids?
    Improvements in cancer treatment?
    A little less food to go around?

    And who makes it your choice?

  24. #24 Kristjan Wager
    October 5, 2009

    Why do deniers always invoke medical treatments and aid as alternative funding? Why never consider that the funding could come from stuff like pork bills or the military budget?

    Also, they fail to understand that climate change will have a deeply negative impact on world health and world food production, which would mean that not spending money on fighting climate change will lead to more diseases and more poverty.

  25. #25 PaulinMI
    October 5, 2009

    so why not?

    What would you give up?
    =============================
    Military expenditures?
    Pork in spending bills?
    What else of your choice?

    And how would you do that?

    [Not sure about the "denier" part??]

  26. #26 crakar14
    October 5, 2009

    Chris,

    “Here’s the bottom line: does it really matter if global warming is real” Yes of course it does.

    In 1988 Jim Hansen utter those famous words in the US congress and since then billions of dollars have been spent on finding the evidence to support the theory (so far unsucessfully), billions of dollars have been spent on meetings and talkfests at the worlds most exotic locations and billions of dollars have been spent feeding the propaganda media machine to indoctrinate the masses.

    And what have we got for all that money being spent? Nothing thats what. Oh yeah sure we have hundreds of useless wind farms and a few extra solar panels neither of which can replace coal and gas so now we hear the distant beating drums of the nuclear power lobbyists. Tell me Chris how is a nuke plant good for the environment?

    And amongst all the bullshit and propaganda we are still poluting the rivers and oceans of this world with toxic waste, over fishing and destroying fish breeding grounds with our fishing practices.

    We are still pumping water from natural water ways so we can grow rice and cotton in the deserts, the artesian basins of this world are still being pumped dry without a care.

    Here in Australia the government has tried unsuccessfully to introduce a TAX on CO2 whilst at the same time have offered the coal, oil and gas industry 5 billion dollars to continue as usual and additional money to search for new oil, coal and gas fields to exploit, why would they do this?

    So yes Chris is does matter because we need to find the problem before we can find the solution.

  27. #27 mandas
    July 11, 2010

    Who says scientists don’t have a sense of humour:

    ">http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119396631/abstract?

  28. #28 Wow
    January 11, 2012

    “Correct me if I am wrong but even the ipcc agrees that co2 caused by humanity only relates to 3/4% of the half of one percent of co2 in the atmosphere”

    You’re wrong.

    We raised the CO2 in the atmosphere by nearly 40%. And half of what we emit has gone into the oceans.

    “and there is still no evidence that co2 has caused the climate to heat up or cooled down.”

    You’re wrong. Cooling stratosphere, warming troposphere, nights warming faster than days and poles warming faster than the equator show CO2 warming.

    “Also since 07 temperatures have declined”

    The temperature trend since 2007 is not negative. PS can you let us know where in denial-land the script was changed from “since 1998″ to “since 2007″. Thanks in advance.

  29. #29 Wow
    January 11, 2012

    “based on the way the IPCC operates, we can’t really say that this ‘warning’ comes from science.”

    Yes we can.

    This warming comes from science.

    There you go. Said.

    “They have strived to silence and distort the science.”

    False.

    It’s people like Glenn Beck who have called for the ritual suicide of climate scientists who dare say that big business is doing something bad.

  30. #30 Wow
    January 11, 2012

    “I am not decided one way or the other on man made climate change nor should any true scientist be at this stage.”

    And how do you come to that conclusion? The proof of AGW is longer lasting than the proof for semiconductors, nuclear radiation and nearly as long as gravity.

    How much evidence have you had to ignore to be able to pretend that “any true scientist” should be skeptical of AGW any more?

    I would suggest you try some education and make a little less noise.

  31. #31 Wow
    January 11, 2012

    “Einstein’s theory OVERTURNED Newton’s! They are not compatible physics! Einstein is NOT a sort of “extension” to Newton!”

    Looks we have a failed or fake PhD here.

    Newton’s laws were NOT overturned. They’re still used to send probes to asteroids and the outer planets. SR and Newtonian gravity are still completely compatible WITHIN THE RANGE OF LOW GRAVITY REALMS.

    Such proclamation as of truth (especially after your fake outrage against just that thing) is double ironic when you’ve made such a cock-up of it too.

    “The “consensus argument” is nothing but an ad populum fallacy,”

    Mathematicians have consensus that 1+1=2. Is this therefore false? Humans have a consensus that the world is round. Is this false?

    You have no PhD. You’d be unable to progress even through school with the idea that just because it’s agreed that such a thing is correct IT MUST BE FALSE.

    “Getting everybody on a bandwagon makes it no less of a bandwagon”

    But if it’s true, is it still “a bandwagon”? And if it is, why, then, is being “on a bandwagon” necessarily wrong?

  32. #32 Wow
    January 11, 2012

    “Unfortunately, the GCMs have not been useful. They have been wrong.”

    Really? And you know this how?

    You see, this:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/hansens-1988-projections/

    indicates that they’ve been very accurate, even the older coarser and uncoupled models of the 1980′s.

    So where did you hear that the models have been wrong? Did you check Hansen’s model results? Or did you just assume that since some hack told you they were wrong, THEY WERE WRONG.

  33. #33 Wow
    January 11, 2012

    “What would you give up?
    =============================
    Progress on treating aids?
    Improvements in cancer treatment?
    A little less food to go around?

    And who makes it your choice?”

    I don’t choose cancer treatment research or AIDS cure research, so in what sense are these “my choice” to have in the first place?

    Give up the stone-age idea of “burn stuff to keep warm and give us light” is what I’d do.

    Why are you stuck in the stone age, paul?

  34. #34 Wow
    January 11, 2012

    “so why not?

    What would you give up?
    =============================
    Military expenditures?
    Pork in spending bills?
    What else of your choice?

    And how would you do that?”

    How do you choose Military expenditures now? You don’t. So how are they our choice to give up.

    And, since you’re probably a ‘merkin, your military is bigger than the next three military powers combined (IIRC). Maybe you can afford to spend a little less on them?

    And since the militaries of the world are moving to renewables (which can be made on-the-spot, as opposed to needing supply lines that can be cut), why do you choose not to follow suit?

    And do you LIKE pork spending in bills? Why then don’t you choose to cut that?

    PS can you explain why these must be cut if we’re going to stop burning fossil fuels. There seems no connection to AGW and your spending cut scaremongering.