A Few Things Ill Considered

Michael Tobis is famous.

(Okay, just until the rabid dogs of the right wing noise machine find another bone to obsess over.)

For the record: Michael Tobis is an intelligent, thoughtful and concerned man who does not deserve to be ridiculed, but rather read closely and contemplated. Pielke is a **** ****** and ******** ****. (Sorry, I violated my own comment policy) who is simply playing a very different game than the rest of us.

Morano and Beck (why that last name??!!) and the rest of the echo chamber are not worth much more than a guffaw.

Maybe there will be something to learn or achieve by whatever comes next…?

Comments

  1. #1 Michael Tobis
    March 5, 2009

    Thanks so much and yet again, Coby. I really appreciate your kind words a great deal.

  2. #2 Adam
    March 5, 2009

    Isn’t it kind of a mark of honor to be attacked by Glenn Beck? Surely, being criticized by someone who is wrong about everything implies that you are 100% correct.

  3. #3 T
    March 5, 2009

    Dr. Tobis and Adam, was Glenn Beck wrong about the stock market crash? How about the peer-review portion of science? Do either of you refute or deny the findings of Dr. Roy Spencer or the THOUSANDS OF CLIMATE SCIENTISTS that agree that CO2 has not ever affected temps, but temperature affects CO2 (only 800 years later)? Why is it that politicians proclaim “the debate is over” and they won’t give up their methodology since politicians shouldn’t step in scientific debate anyway? Listen, I don’t want to cause or assist a planetary catastrophy, but debate and peer-review is what makes the science profession so great. Hundreds, if not thousands of our temperature sensors are in places they simply should not be, like in garages of fire stations and in parking decks. Dr. Tobis, isn’t there a rule stating that sensors shall not be placed within 200 feet of asphalt? I’m all in if we can PROVE CO2 causes anything except plant growth, but one side claims the other is paid off by “Big Oil” and the one side says the other is going to lose funding if they don’t TRY TO PROVE AGW exists. What’s wrong with scientists that won’t give up methodology?

  4. #4 T
    March 5, 2009

    Dr. Tobis, sorry if my post seemed snarky, it’s just that I’m trying to inform myself about the SCIENTIFIC FACTS and not the politics of this debate (which I think is far from over). I have a five year old son that I want to educate about this and I can’t get a straight answer from anyone. I do listen to Glenn Beck, but don’t agree with him on everything. He was right on with his views on the economy, though. Also, I’ve heard about a conference coming up on the mileage tax at the U of Texas. Is that something you are studying or helping out with? Thanks for any response and again apologize for any snarkiosityishness:)

  5. #5 Eli Rabett
    March 5, 2009

    T, you are in the dangerous position of knowing a lot of things which are simply wrong. Coby has a how to talk to a climate skeptic (the link is up there in the right hand corner) with specific refutations of your claims. There is also a blog called skeptical science which has a similar list with explanations ranked by frequency of abuse.

    The bit about thousand of climate scientists is just silly. If you are referring to the Oregon Petition, there are very few climate scientists, if you are referring to Morano’s 600 (morano said 650 but he has trouble with counting), there are again, very few climate scientists. Lots of dentists, TV weather folk and so on.

  6. #6 pough
    March 5, 2009

    …the one side says the other is going to lose funding if they don’t TRY TO PROVE AGW exists.

    I would like to point out that this is just silly. It would make climate science the only science that needs to manufacture a global crisis just to get funding. It also implies that nerds from around the world are avoiding figuring things out and perpetuating a known lie in the hopes of using environmental causes to weasel grant money out of governments. Nerds with no curiosity and no competitive egos. Right…

    What makes it doubly ironic is that we’re discussing Michael Tobis, whose blog is named “In It For The Gold” – a title made in mockery of the idea of climate scientists being greedy liars. They don’t make much money and you can get grants without lying. This should be obvious.

    I don’t mind being snarky, so I’ll just go ahead and say that the greedy liar conspiracy theory of AGW is nothing more than stupidity (and greed) projection. Rest assured the men and women who make it into climate science are not so boneheaded that they’d try anything like that.

  7. #7 pough
    March 5, 2009

    …the THOUSANDS OF CLIMATE SCIENTISTS that agree that CO2 has not ever affected temps…

    I think you’ll find that these people are referred to as just “scientists”, not “climate scientists”. Climate scientists are pretty much in agreement on the whole CO2 thing. There are some exceptions, but they are very few and I still think even they wouldn’t agree with what you’ve said, as written. That list of thousands includes medical doctors, engineers, weathermen and anyone else who can string a few letters after their name. Climate scientists are few and far between on dissenting lists. Much the same as the so-called “dissent from Darwinism” list with very few biologists.

    But if you can get a list of “scientists!”, you can make pretty much anything sound persuasive – no matter that they’re all working way outside their field and no more an authority on the subject than you or I.

  8. #8 Adam
    March 5, 2009

    Hi T.

    Here’s just a quick overview of Glenn Beck
    http://mediamatters.org/issues_topics/tags/glenn_beck

    I would be interested to see a reference for your assertion that he was right about the stock market crash. Can you provide a link to what he said and when? I’m willing to say my statement was poetic license if I can be proven wrong.

    As for the consensus argument, I think this chart shows pretty well where the majority opinions lie in terms of peer-review.
    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/pix/climate_views_bar_chart_10081_image001.gif

    The rankings are scientists who are cited most often (top) to least often (bottom) and their general position on global warming.
    This is a more thorough description of the chart and complete ranking (haven’t gone through the whole thing myself).
    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/climate_authors_table.html
    Note that this ranking doesn’t really specify numbers of ‘alarmists’ or ‘denialists’ (directly), but I think shows a decent overview of the consensus.

    If you’re referring to the Urban Heat Island effect, this has been debunked over and over again.
    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/02/warming-due-to-urban-heat-island.php
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=43
    Those two links should get you started if you’re interested in understanding why that’s a non-starter.

    Not sure if you’re interested in some randomite’s opinion on the mileage tax, but I think it’s a terrible idea, and that we can accomplish the same goal much easier, more cost-effectively and fairer with a straight increase in the gas tax.

  9. #9 Adam
    March 5, 2009

    This is probably bordering dangerously close to a Poisoning the Well fallacy, but I’d also point out that Dr. Roy Spencer also embraces intelligent design, which (for me at least) completely destroys any credibility he may have.
    http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=080805I

  10. #10 Adam
    March 5, 2009

    Coby –

    I think one of my previous comments got filtered out.

    Thanks in advance.

    [Sorry about that, Adam. It's in now. Eli got caught too.]

  11. #11 John Mashey
    March 5, 2009

    T:
    I’m curious: if you want to inform yourself of the scientific facts, how do you go about that?

    Do you read books by real climate scientists? If so, what are your favorites?

    How about journals that publish real science? For instance, for $146 you can join AAAS for a year, and get 51 issues of Science (print), and electronic access to their archives. For $99 you get the digital-only version. Either one is a great deal.

    Do you attend scientists’ lectures where you can see what people say, hear them answer questions, and maybe talk to them? If so, who have you heard? [Of course, this one depends on geography, although most decent research universities have at least occasional public lectures on this. Not everyone is handy, which is too bad, as it's one of the most educational.]

  12. #12 T
    March 6, 2009

    Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions. One more question though, why use a Media Matters link? Aren’t they explicitly linked to the left point of view? See, I’m trying to get real data and not left or right. If that’s even possible. Also, just because someone (Dr. Spencer) believes in God, should EVERY bit of knowledge or data be discounted? There are lots of great minds that believe in God, Allah, and maybe nothing at all, yet they still produce good science. I would hate to throw out any scientist that embraces a religion JUST because you don’t agree with it. Anyway, thanks again. I’ll get to my reading.

  13. #13 John Mashey
    March 6, 2009

    T
    Consider staying away from blogs & websites until you’ve read a few really good books to provide a coherent framework.

    1) David Archer, The Long Thaw, 2008.
    Archer is a world-class climate scientist & carbon-cycle expert, and he writes very clearly.
    This is a 200-page book for a general audience, i.e., minimal math, an easy read.

    2) William Ruddiman, Plows, Plagues & Petroleum, 2005
    This is a anotherbook at that level, written by by another fine researcher, and it is a slightly different look at the issues, including wonderful examples of a few hypotheses that are not yet strong theories, but might get there. Chapter 18 is especially useful for context of all these arguments.

    3) David Archer, Global Warming – Understanding the forecast, 2007.
    This is a bit more detailed book, with a little math, but used as a text for non-science undergrads at U of Chicago.

    I think you can get all those for <$50 at Amazon, if you can’t borrow from local library. I have revies of 1) and 2) on Amazon for more detail.

  14. #14 Adam
    March 6, 2009

    T –

    Sure, Media Matters leans left, but that doesn’t invalidate what they point out, only which targets they go after. Plus, they helpfully organize by pundit, which is useful for situations such as this. They don’t make stuff up. I definitely think you need to consider their inherent bias when looking at the data, but just because there is a bias doesn’t invalidate the data. In any case, I don’t want to get too hung up on Glenn Beck, because this is probably an area we’ll never see eye to eye on.

    I think you’re misinterpreting my comments about Intelligent Design. I don’t care one way or the other what people believe about a divine being, but I definitely draw a distinction between believing in a god and embracing Intelligent Design. They are two very very different things. A very good scientist can be a (devout) believer, and still produce very good science, even in biology (see Francis Collins). Now, that being said, once someone starts advocating Intelligent Design, that’s a whole different thing, and completely unworthy of consideration.

    Good luck with your research.

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