June 06, 2006

Global Warming? Chill Out!

An excellent column which engages not the facts of the case for or against global warming (the causality, not the presence of it) but rather the state of the debate, or lack thereof, on such a crucial, public policy matter. First, David Harsanyi suggests the proper way for discerning members of the totalitarian left (aren't they all totalitarian?) clinging, in this instance, to their cherished pet cause, global warming:
You'll often hear the left lecture about the importance of dissent in a free society.

Why not give it a whirl?

Start by challenging global warming hysteria next time you're at a LoDo cocktail party and see what happens.

. . .

So next time you're with some progressive friends, dissent. Tell 'em you're not sold on this global warming stuff.

Back away slowly. You'll probably be called a fascist.

Don't worry, you're not. A true fascist is anyone who wants to take away my air conditioning or force me to ride a bike.
Harsanyi's main message is directed toward the pushers of the current fad, including hysterical scientists and demagogic politicians--Algore, not just their nattering acolytes:
Admittedly, I possess virtually no expertise in science. That puts me in exactly the same position as most dogmatic environmentalists who want to craft public policy around global warming fears.

The only inconvenient truth about global warming, contends Colorado State University's Bill Gray, is that a genuine debate has never actually taken place. Hundreds of scientists, many of them prominent in the field, agree.

Gray is perhaps the world's foremost hurricane expert. His Tropical Storm Forecast sets the standard. Yet, his criticism of the global warming "hoax" makes him an outcast.

"They've been brainwashing us for 20 years," Gray says. "Starting with the nuclear winter and now with the global warming. This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we'll look back and see what a hoax this was."

Gray directs me to a 1975 Newsweek article that whipped up a different fear: a coming ice age.

"Climatologists," reads the piece, "are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change. ... The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality."

Thank God they did nothing. Imagine how warm we'd be?
Gray isn't alone in his criticisms, and finds an ally down the road from CSU at CU (nice to see Colorado scientists demanding free and open debate in scientific matters:
Another highly respected climatologist, Roger Pielke Sr. at the University of Colorado, is also skeptical.

Pielke contends there isn't enough intellectual diversity in the debate. He claims a few vocal individuals are quoted "over and over" again, when in fact there are a variety of opinions.

I ask him: How do we fix the public perception that the debate is over?

"Quite frankly," says Pielke, who runs the Climate Science Weblog (climatesci.atmos.colostate.edu), "I think the media is in the ideal position to do that. If the media honestly presented the views out there, which they rarely do, things would change. There aren't just two sides here. There are a range of opinions on this issue. A lot of scientists out there that are very capable of presenting other views are not being heard."
It is great to see the MSM challenged, but if Pielke waits for the MSM to finally do its job by reporting news rather than creating or directing it, he might see another Ice Age come and go. . .

Thankfully, Harsanyi points out just some of Algore's hypocrisy:
Al Gore (not a scientist) has definitely been heard and heard and heard. His documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," is so important, in fact, that Gore crisscrosses the nation destroying the atmosphere just to tell us about it.
Unfortunately, in both the public sphere and the scientific community, dissent is being squelched in favor of the more "trendy" view:
"Let's just say a crowd of baby boomers and yuppies have hijacked this thing," Gray says. "It's about politics. Very few people have experience with some real data. I think that there is so much general lack of knowledge on this. I've been at this over 50 years down in the trenches working, thinking and teaching."

Gray acknowledges that we've had some warming the past 30 years. "I don't question that," he explains. "And humans might have caused a very slight amount of this warming. Very slight. But this warming trend is not going to keep on going. My belief is that three, four years from now, the globe will start to cool again, as it did from the middle '40s to the middle '70s."

Both Gray and Pielke say there are many younger scientists who voice their concerns about global warming hysteria privately but would never jeopardize their careers by speaking up.

"Plenty of young people tell me they don't believe it," he says. "But they won't touch this at all. If they're smart, they'll say: 'I'm going to let this run its course.' It's a sort of mild McCarthyism. I just believe in telling the truth the best I can. I was brought up that way."
In the 17th century Galileo was condemned by the Church--not scientists, mind you--for having "heretical" views. At least one might say that they were operating out of erroneous faith, or at the worst, keen on maintaining religious control of science. But the scientists/hippies/enviro-wackos of today have a new religion, one that says man is the root of all evil, that human activity is out of balance with nature and is poisoning the Earth, and that that activity must be curtailed--and demands that there be absolutely no dissent. The present Galileos like Gray and Pielke face not the stake, but public disapprobation orchestrated by Algore's minions. Like Harsanyi says, just try suggesting an alternative viewpoint on global warming, and see the reaction you get. That's how you'll discover the true fascists of today.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets see some Bush butt licking journalist in Colorado "talks" to some dip do from hey seed state and is turned to a single article on global cooling. Well Bush bot why not look at the May 30 TH Christian Science Monitor which had a article where a 2004 Science magazine survey of all peer-reviewed scientific studies of climate change showed 928 papers supporting man-made global warming. None denied it.” -
Republicant's hot air is the real cause of global warming.

Tue Jun 06, 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The global warming debate often gets dumbed down. Weather or not the biosphere is getting hotter on average is largely irrelevant. Global climate has never been a constant. What is important is if climate changes are occurring faster then then living systems can tolerate and if human action is the cause of it. Looking at the amounts of carbon we are moving from underground to the atmosphere is hard to believe that there will be no effect. What is in question is what those effects will be.
-John Gillnitz

Tue Jun 06, 03:24:00 PM  
Anonymous jim said...


a) no one is trying to take away your air conditioner. what people are trying to do is increase fuel efficiency in cars, and try and find other ways to generate electricity than gas or coal.

isn't that terrible? gosh, someone better stop them.

b) AL Gore is repeating what scientists are saying. Don't argue with Al Gore. Argue with the scientists.

all of whom **overwhelmingly agree** that global warming exists, and is a threat.

And almost of the professional 'experts' just happen to tied to oil companies - and more importantly have published **no** peer-reviewed articles that refute global warming.

c) do you have the right to let your septic tank seep into his well water?

That's what you're doing to your neighbors, if you refuse to do something about global warming. and here's the thing: if it gets into your neigbor's water, then very soon it will get into yours as well.

Tue Jun 06, 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Lazerlou said...

And it would be a good idea to just get a basic idea about the laws of thermodynamics. When you burn fossil fuels you are releasing 90% of the energy that has taken hundreds of millions of years to store in the chemical bonds in hydrocrabons into the atmosphere as heat in an instant. You are also releasing CO2 that acts as greenhouse glass. Causation is tough to prove in science, but from what I understand, anyone with any credibility on the subject admits global warming is happenening due to human behavior. We know global warming is happening, just looking at pics of glaciers over the last 20 years can show you that. And we know humans are dumping CO2 and heat intoteh atmosphere in extraordinary levels. Those two points are undispuatble. Causation is the only issue and it is a murky one that is hard to prve. that certainly doent mean it isnt true, if impossible to prove.

Why be skeptical though? Why be such a cynic? Why not be careful? Do you own Exxon futures?

Tue Jun 06, 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger Chasm said...

Roger Pielke, the Colorado climatoligist, posted a response to the excerpted article on his web page yesterday. He has a very dry and scientific manner his geeky attempts to distinguish between "global warming" and "climate change" seem to imply he has an issue with the actual science. His bottom line, as he put it in his weblog:
"I am not skeptical of a substantial human forcing of climate change including the subset of climate change that is referred to as “global warming”!"

Translated from scientist speak, that means, "I believe human activity is causing global warming"

Hope that clears that up.

Tue Jun 06, 05:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Lindata said...

What is amazing to me is how political this issue is and has been from the beginning because the initial concerns were picked up by hippie envinronmental types. After that association no amount of scientific fact will sway the true belivers on the right. But the problem with reality is that it is real. So the hurricanes get stronger, and the glaciers melt, and the species die-offs continue. At some point you on the right will be arguing that the submerging of Florida is just a coincidence. But you will look really stupid doing it.

Tue Jun 06, 06:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Devil's Advocate said...

And CO2 is good for you. It turns you all pink and healthy-looking.

It explains why the rightnutters keep voting for the Gas & Oil Party.

They are also the 30%ers whose scientifical ignorance is abysmal. See, the right-nutters have all been denied a decent education (must be because of blacks, Hispanics, women, and gays). So, they believe that the earth is flat, that dinosaurs frolicked with Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden, and that today -- 666 -- would be Rapture Day.

They are also the ones without souls, conscience, or ethics. But then again, they are dangerous psychopaths...

Thank goodness, a majority of Americans realize that the inmates are running the asylum.

Come November, the psychopathic filth that has been running this country will be out of a job.

Then, we will lock you all up where you belong, in institutions for the criminally insane.

Tue Jun 06, 07:27:00 PM  
Anonymous JML said...

"...that human activity is out of balance with nature and is poisoning the Earth..."

The problem here is that we ARE slowly poisoning the Earth. If you don't believe me, I invite you to conduct the following experiment:

Items you will need:

1) A car, or if a car is not available, any gasolie powered internal combustion engine will do.

2) Enough gasoline to run the car or engine for a few hours.

3) An enclosed space, ideally a garage. (This experiment will take twice as long to complete in the 2-car garage as it will in a 1-car garage, so choose wisely.)

Here's what you do:

1) Drive your car or install your gasoline powered engine in the garage or whatever suitable space you have. 2) Close all doors and windows, sealing yourself inside with the car/engine. 3) Fill the tank with gas. 4) Start the car/engine. 5) Stay in the garage/space until all of the gasoline is consumed. 6) Let me know how this turns out.

Now, hopefully, none of you are stupid enough to take me up on my suggested experiment. Why would you? - You would obviously (or, maybe not obviously; I suppose you could say some prayers) die of carbon monoxide (among other things) poisoning. However, I do mean to illustrate that for every tank of gas you burn, you emit enough pollutants into the atmosphere to kill yourself. Multiply that by how much fuel you consume, and how much fuel every car in your town consumes, how much every car in your state, every car in America, every car in the world consumes and, subsequently converts into pollutants, and it becomes clear that every time we start our cars, we contribute, however minimally as individuals, to a larger change in the chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere.

I don't see how there is any debate to be had about this, except perhaps a debate about how quickly the changes will occur and what the near-future consequences will be, never mind far-future consequences.

This is something that we all have chosen to engage in. Likewise, we all need to start plotting a new path forward. We can do this if we want to.

Tue Jun 06, 11:02:00 PM  
Anonymous trrll said...

Can anybody really take seriously an article that recycles the old, long-debunked "Newsweek predicted an ice age in 1975!" stupidity, as if Newsweek were some kind of scientific journal?

For the record, the potential of CO2 to produce global warming was recognized even back in 1975, although the models at the time were not good enough for anybody to be certain how much that would be offset by the cooling effect of particulate pollution. It was also unclear at the time how much heating to expect, considering that the effects of human activity would be superimposed on an expected natural cooling trend. However, nobody in the scientific community thought there was any chance of an ice age any time in the next several hundred years. Newsweek was presumably indulging in alarmism to sell magazines.

Wed Jun 07, 07:52:00 AM  
Anonymous tom said...

For a rebuttal to Bill Gray's "the earth is flat" view of global warmings effect on hurricanes, see this April 2006 article on Real Climate here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/04/gray-on-agw/

Wed Jun 07, 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the most ridiculous article I have ever read. The assertion the scientific community engages in some "sort of mild McCarthyism" is ludicrious. If you have sound evidence to back up all of your assertions, then the scientific community will listen. Einstein was not rejected when he introduced relativity, turning Newtons laws into approximations.

I am a nuclear physicist working on my Ph.D, and my lab does research on global warming. we produce 11C, which we use to make radioactive carbon dioxide. because 11C will decay in a resonable period of time, we can monitor the amount of carbon dioxide a plant of absorbs and observe the long term effects. to date no one at my lab has received any threatening letters or been asked to appear before the house unscientific activities committee.

My lab has never been pressured to manipulate our results (I have helped on the 11C experiments). I am not beholden to one result at all. I fit my data and publish the results that i get. we don't have some insane agenda. that is the other part of this that angers me. what do the scientist have to gain from this? are we making billions of dollars off of fossil fuels like exxon? what are the motives for perpretrating a lie like this. does it make any sense at all?

Wed Jun 07, 06:36:00 PM  

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