Who Decides?

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Who Decides?

A Guest post by Evan Jones.

We are currently in the midst of a serious policy debate on the highly technical subject of world climate change. What is it happening? Why is it happening? What are we to do? And ultimately who is to decide what we will do? I attempt only to answer the last of these questions here.

The important decisions facing this world will, in the future as in the past, be decided not by experts but by laymen: the public at large and/or our elected officials. In a significant majority of important policy cases, the decision makers are not expert in the field. They are (usually) not scientists, economists, historians, or strategists.

It is notable that a technocratic, authoritarian “solution” has been advanced on many occasions, including, recently by David Shearman, Joseph Wayne Smith in The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy, which seriously recommends rule “by experts and not by those who seek power”.
http://www.greenwood.com/catalog/C34504.aspx

Seeking power but not in the name of seeking power is, however, an inherently self-contradictory proposition. The free citizen and his elected representatives alone have the right, and wherewithal to make these decisions.

Yes, experts must inform us. In fact, their advice is indispensable. Without expert advice, many of our decisions would be made in a fog of ignorance and uncertainty. The expert has a special status and a deserved esteem. However, it is the role of the expert to inform, not to decide. This is as it should be. The alternative is a technocracy which not only excludes the common citizen from the decision making process, but results in intramural conflict between the technocrats themselves.

A courtroom operates along the same lines. In many cases, the advice of the expert is essential. Only the expert can inform us about a DNA match, a bullet grooving, or even mundane details of, say, phone records. It may be fairly said that in many if not most cases, both the decision and the remedy hinge on expert testimony.

Yet it is not up to the expert either to reach a verdict or to pass sentence. And it up to the judge to act as “gatekeeper”, not the experts. It is very poor form for an expert to refuse to divulge data or methods. It is at the very least an anti-scientific attitude and should be regarded by the layman as such.

Experts are excluded from the jury, deliberately separated from the decision process. In the realm of politics, the unelected expert plays much the same role as in a trial: Decision makers may well call upon expert testimony and advice. But when it comes down to the hanging chads, the expert has only his vote as an expression of power, a vote with no more absolute weight than that of Joe Shmoe.

In the role of advisor, the expert has a considerable obligation. He is expected to be truthful and objective. He is expected to limit his advice to his realm of expertise. He is expected to tell the story straight and not exaggerate for effect or to ensure a particular course of action.

He is expected to be responsible. He is, in a sense, our shepherd. He must not cry wolf for “amusement” nor in response to every passing shadow. This is important. There are real wolves out there, and there are times when only the shepherds can provide us with warning. The obligation of the shepherd is not only to cry wolf when there is a real potential danger but also not to cry wolf when there is not. The decision whether or not to cry wolf is up to the shepherd, not the public at large.

This leaves the layman in a difficult position, for the public, as decision makers must pay heed to a cry of wolf. They are not experts on wolves. And the solution to a false crying of wolf is not to ban shepherds. Nonetheless, in terms of climate as well as wolves, the layman can and must play the role of arbiter, and play it well. If the public at large were not capable of deciding basic issues of policy, democracy itself would long since have proven an unworkable farce.

However if the individual expert or decision maker is found to be acting deliberately in bad faith, he may be held accountable. For example, as Steve McIntyre has pointed out, it is against the law to promote a mining enterprise using only the richest ore samples.

But where to draw the line between outright fraud, mere intellectual dishonesty, or irresponsibility becomes moot. What then of the infamous email reported by David Denning, saying, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period,” in order to “pervert science in the service of social and political causes”.
http://www.climatechangeissues.com/files/PDF/conf05mckitrick.pdf

This, if true, is clearly dishonest, but it is not at all clear that it is actionable.

In the climate debate, three examples of legal though clearly deplorable advocacy spring readily to mind.

1.) Heidi Cullen’s suggestion that the AMS should withhold certification from weathermen who did not, “truly educate themselves on the science of global warming,” leaving no doubt as to what the conclusion of said education should be.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heidi_Cullen

Note, however, that it would be perfectly acceptable to decertify (or even prosecute) a weatherman who deliberately misreported an approaching storm in order to make a killing by short-selling the stock of the local insurance company.

2.) David Suzuki’s challenge, “to find a way to put a lot of effort into trying to see whether there’s a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail because what they’re doing is a criminal act,” i.e., those who stood in the way global warming legislation. (This is especially unseemly, coming as it does from an official of a human rights group.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Suzuki

Yet it would be perfectly appropriate to do so in the case of an MP who accepted a bribe from an oil company in return for a vote against GW measures.

3.) David Roberts’ deplorable comment that, “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.”
http://gristmill.grist.org/print/2006/9/19/11408/1106

It is the responsibility of the layman to recognize such statements, whatever their source, for what they are: advocacy of the suppression of free and open debate. He must consider only the legitimate points from both sides of the controversy and come to a rational policy decision.

No matter how complicated an issue may be, it can generally be broken down into basic questions and decision points that can be expressed on the side of a postcard. But in order to do that, the layman requires unbiased advice, or at least the advice of both sides. For the expert to rebuke him with a patronizing “read a book” is an abrogation of responsibility on the part of the expert. It is not the layman’s responsibility to become an expert on every subject requiring a decision. Furthermore, it is a practical impossibility. It is up to the expert to explain his position simply, plainly, and in layman’s terms.

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196 thoughts on “Who Decides?

  1. Great post. John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel at a recent climate conference said:

    An example of the Weather Channel’s heavy-handed moonbattery would be Heidi Cullen’s demand that weather people who won’t drink the global warming Kool-Aid be decertified by the American Meteorological Society.

    Coleman has been fed to the teeth with the global warming hoax, and proposes we fight it by suing carbon credit hucksters for fraud:

    [I] have a feeling this is the opening. If the lawyers will take the case — sue the people who sell carbon credits. That includes Al Gore. That lawsuit would get so much publicity, so much media attention. And as the experts went to the media stand to testify, I feel like that could become the vehicle to finally put some light on the fraud of global warming.

    What do you think about this?

  2. This is exactly the message that I have been trying to get across to people. But when you get unholy alliances between “scientists” and politicians, how do you get justice, other than to go to court? And would someone explain to me why the mainstream media is so biased in this? Does crying wolf really sell that many more newspapers? Or has the educational system failed so badly that the average voter can absorb only 20 second sound bites? Where can we start cleaning up this fradulent mess?
    Remember, a century of adjustments does not a trend make.

  3. What do you think about this?

    I think the pendulum is beginning to swing the other way, or, at the very least, slow down.

    Great post Evan.

  4. I share your concerns about scientific practice. This is really nothing new. This particular hoax does indeed threaten human lives, en masse. Having a conscience, we must call the charletan, a charletan. Guess which side I am on.

    The hockey stick curve was a clue. And of course, follow the money. But above all, watch out for the collectivists.

  5. “A Guest post by Evan Jones” leaves me feeling that what should be a powerful opinion piece loses its cutting edge through lack of judious pruning.

    I make this criticism only because Evan’s post is powerful, and is important, and is one I would like to link to in various forums and blogs as carrying a useful and necessary message.

    In its present form I feel it would fail to inspire the thought and comment it deserves… and so be lost.

    I could not have written it, Evan; nor could I prune or edit it, but I will check back to see if you find positive value in my opinion and perhaps prevail upon our host to allow you to make changes.

  6. Evan,
    In my humble non scientific opinion I think your post should be mandantory reading for all scientists and climate scientists in particular. I find it very disturbing when the methodology and the raw data are denied for others to use in study. It is also disturbing when known debunked data or findings are used for later papers and models.

    I thank you for the good post and the time it took to formulate. it is like a breath of fresh air. Perhaps some time the experts will find that the common man is the one that will make the decision.

    Again thanks for your effort and time

    Bill

  7. Hi folks,

    Evan Jone’s article is written in such a way that us laymen can get. Great job! The fact that the issue of Global Warming is political scares me, and Evan gave encouragement there is hope that integrity exists within our community of “experts” by clarifying what an experts job is in the scheme of life.

    I still believe global warming is an issue, but have great admiration for whoever Evan Jones is. Thank-you very much, Evan.

  8. George M said:

    “This is exactly the message that I have been trying to get across to people. But when you get unholy alliances between “scientists” and politicians, how do you get justice, other than to go to court?”

    I’m not sure the courts are going to be much help. I’ve got a post up at the moment about an expert witness in a UK trial who had some startling things to say about the “consensus”.

  9. I think a class-action suit could be filed by businesses and parties who have incurred losses and damages because of fraud-driven legislation, regulation and emissions trade. Remember the claim is that CO2 is a pollutant – it’s not. But still, many people are now making investments and business decisions based on this dubious premise. In Germany we are paying energy taxes through the nose because of this “science”. Clearly many governments have used this to empty the pockets of the taxpayers, and to regulate their lives.
    Also a huge number of 3rd world citizens are really beginning to suffer, even die of starvation, because of the higher food prices driven by the bio-fuel farce.

  10. Several politicians have properly identified the crisis with which we are now confronted, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Al Gore, Michael Bloomberg, John McCain. Thatcher was one of the first.

    The raw data which has been amassed over the last half century at the Mauna Loa station in Hawaii speaks for itself. The primary and over riding factor determining today’s climate changes is atmospheric CO2. So powerful is this effect that for all practical purposes all other parameters can be ignored.

    The earth has always undergone great climatic and temperature changes. It is the “rate of change” that distinguishes the present from the past, a rate Tim Flannery estimates to be thirty times greater than what took place at the end of the last ice age. To ignore the conclusions of this fine naturalist and scientist, a rare combination, is a serious mistake. He is reminiscent of Alfred Russel Wallace who had those same characteristics and was one of the first to recognize the perils associated with an elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    “No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men.”
    Thomas Carlyle

    I predict that before the end of this decade, those who question the influence of the Age of Technology on the survival of our civilization will be scarce as hen’s teeth. In my opinion, it is much too late to do anything about what amounts to a predestined suicide. It ironic that Homo sapiens, the youngest and last true mammalian species to ever appear, may be the one with the shortest life span, possibly under 150,000 years.

    “Everything is determined… by forces over which we have no control.”
    Albert Einstein

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns…A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

    john.a.davison.free.fr/

  11. I propose here and now a COUNTER ATTACK BRAINSTORMING SESSION, to come up with strategies to fight this fraud. Mr. Gray’s idea of sueing is a very good possibility. Some of my own:
    1. Publicly demand that alarmists put bets down on their alarmist scenarios, e.g. sea level rises, malaria etc. (They won’t).
    2. Step up the demand for debate.
    3. Place more full page ads in major papers.
    3. Publicly demand that the USA Today, NYT, LAT, Globe etc. stop printing and distributing hard copy editions of their papers, as this only kills trees and produces massive amounts of CO2. They should tell their readers and advertisers that the news will be in the internet only.
    4. Sue the private jet industry, as their machines are planet destroyers. (Yes, we would have to play the role of a tree-hugger in this case). Imagine Gore and Hollywood having to give up their prized jets.
    5. Demand there be legislation limiting the size of a home. Do Gore and all them stars need such big energy-gobbling homes? Wouldn’t 1000 sq.ft. per occupant be enough? They ought to lead by example.
    5. Boycotts
    6. ?
    7. ?
    8. ?
    Readers ought to add to this list. Don’t worry about feasibility. Let’s just throw down a lot of ideas. I’M SURE WE’LL SURPRISE OURSELVES AND COME UP WITH SOMETHING INTERESTING AND EFFECTIVE.

  12. To me, the world you are describing sounds like some sort of Utopian fantasyland; it is certainly not the planet I inhabit. In what passes itself off as democratic government, politicians will make decisions and form policy based on the prevailing majority public opinion. In other words, they will act in a manner to protect their party’s political longevity. If the public has been persuaded that the tooth fairy is real and endangered, legislation will be enacted to protect the tooth fairy, even if in the mind of the legislators the prevailing belief is absurd, and the legislation will damage the society they have been elected to protect.

    Therefore, we develop a society which is shaped by majority public opinion, no matter how detrimental the shaping may be for members of that society. When the prevailing beliefs of the public have been moulded by relentless propaganda from authority and expert alike, and embraced by a mass media that is of like mind, how can any truth penetrate? In the minds of the public, a belief (especially one that is emotionally appealing), will win above any rational truth.

    If the authorities, experts and persuaders have an agenda which has its foundation in ideology, power, control, wealth and corruption, noble truth will be a weak warrior in a battle against these forces. I would like to dream that integrity and truth will prevail, but I must be pragmatic.

    My strong curiosity in the whole AGW debate is what proportion of activists, advocates and alarmists are ideological fellow travellers, what proportion are opportunists, and what proportion are just gullible dupes – useful idiots?

  13. I will repeat what I have said as this question comes up more and more:
    Everybody remembers Eisenhower’s warning about the, “military-industrial complex,” shoot, it has become the siren call of some.
    Few if any recall — and it is never repeated — the second of the two specific warning he made in that very same speech:

    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” (emphasis added)

    The scientific-technological elite, Eisenhower truly was prescient. Read the speech, it could have been written today.
    DKK

  14. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower

    This is from the “Military Industrial Complexe” speech, and seems to be more relevant now than ever. Funny how you never hear this part quoted.

  15. Al Gore should be held legally responsible for in effect, yelling fire in a crowded theater.

  16. Oh, boy, Anthony. Christopher Booker, in a nice article about the New York conference in the Telegraph in England, mistakes you for Steve McIntyre. Find the article most easily through RealClearPolitics.
    ================================

  17. Whilst agreeing that, in a democracy, decisions should be taken by elected politicians, it is reasonable to expect them to listen to expert opinion. That said, what is the downside of taking Pascal’s wager with regard to curbing carbon emissions? If we attempt to reverse the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide by the various means available (renewable energy sources, increased efficiency, higher insulation etc, etc) and Climate Change turns out to be unrelated to CO2, then we have conserved fossil fuel for future generations, perhaps will have cleaner air, developed new technologies… but if we do nothing and the worse predictions turn out to be true, the consequence for many on this planet today and many more in the future is bleak.

  18. While I ostensibly detest politics, I believe that the issue has left the scientific arena and entered that of power and economics. Lawyers and legislators are now in control. Yes they will listen to scientific arguments, but only those lucid and brief.
    Our one great boon is that the weather is within everyman’s wheelhouse and if we pay close attention to our audience we can influence the action. Thank God, the warmening is past, at least for my remaining span.

  19. The US constitution restricts the federal government to a limited number of powers which are mostly spelled out in Article 1 Section 8. Nowhere does it say the government can ban light bulbs or provide subsidies for corn based ethanol. Unfortunately the people let the government out of that box long ago and now government feels it has the authority to do whatever it pleases. The real key to getting things back under control is to elect officials who will strictly ahdere to the constitution. ( By the way, Each and every member of the house, the senate, the white house and the courts takes an oath to uphold the constitution. But not many of them actually do that.)

  20. My strong curiosity in the whole AGW debate is what proportion of activists, advocates and alarmists are ideological fellow travellers, what proportion are opportunists, and what proportion are just gullible dupes – useful idiots?

    As an off-the-cuff guesstimate, here’s my take:

    10% ideological fellow travellers
    20% opportunists
    70% gullible dupes

  21. GeorgeM — (And would someone explain to me why the mainstream media is so biased in this?)

    The underlying problem is that reporters tend to be politically left, and the left seems to have made a career at presuming that it is smarter than the right. Many of the most vocal AGW posters (e.g. you can find them on NYT’s dotearth) also write on DailyKos and/or “green” sites advocating socialist and/or fascist political policy. The rational moderate democrat has been replaced over the years with the far left, and the modern left either has to embrace AGW and anti-war and so on or be lumped together with the anti-abortion, anti-science crowd.

    Surely you can’t have missed the sneering tone from many/most of the AGW supporters equating skeptics with flat earthers, fundamentalists who think the world is 6000 years old and won’t abide by evolution, and so on. They think they’re battling dense sheep manipulated by the vast right wing big oil led conspiracy machine; it doesn’t really occur to them that skeptics can be as smart as they are and simply don’t agree with their conclusions.

  22. Alan Fox — (That said, what is the downside of taking Pascal’s wager with regard to curbing carbon emissions? )

    Bringing up the wager is indicative of not understanding the premise. The wager is premised on there not being a downside to belief, and this isn’t applicable in this situation. If Pascal bets there is a god nothing happens as a consequence if the bet is wrong.

    If we DO SOMETHING NOW (i.e. equating to the bet there is a god) there could be an unintended consequence as we don’t truly understand what we’re doing.

    In other words Pascal’s wager doesn’t apply, can’t apply, and I cringe every time I hear this brought up.

  23. I’d like to point out that there is a huge difference between scientific skepticism and being a pro bono lobbyist for the coal/oil/gas industries. I personally welcome Antony’s website because he adds a good discussion to the science, especially with surfacestations.org. There is very little to no discussion of different viewpoints going on in the AGW community that I can see, so a skeptical look at the data is important.

    There is definite danger in the scientific community being beholden to the public coffers, but what the the alternatives if you value science in society? The science could be beholden to the bottom line of publicly traded companies, would the truth come out then? And private funds that would support science could also have some sort of bias–think of the big science institutions funded by the Carnegies and Rockefellers. If science was completely beholden to current private funds with the benefactors still alive, might it be somehow subject to bias?

  24. “The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it”

    ~ H L Mencken

  25. Drew Latta — (If science was completely beholden to current private funds with the benefactors still alive, might it be somehow subject to bias?)

    I figure one can’t claim bias merely due to corporate sponsorship. Many misrepresent the “follow the grant money” observations about academia; they respond to these with a sneering tone suggesting that the observer assumes the professors receiving grants are lining their pockets. If you say “follow the grant money” you get laughed at as if you’re trying to make the case that professors are getting rich from the proceeds.

    Obviously the observers are pointing out that grant recipients are gaining power and prestige within their fields; this is far better than mere money.

    The upshot is that infighting for prestige has just as much a potential for bias as corporate sponsorship. And in my opinion, power/prestige is far more abused — corporate sponsored research has more riding on the outcome of being wrong. Academics can be wrong but regarded as important; e.g. look at Paul Ehrlich, who’s still a respected prof despite being laughably wrong in his predictions of worldwide famines in the 80’s.

  26. I’m sorry but I own the comparison between pascals wager and the precautionary principle. When I first floated this notion it caused a meltdown at Tamino’s Open Mind, which was apparently closed for repairs and has since lost it’s mind.

    Anyway, if a scientist told you that an asteroid was going to hit the earth in 2100, destroying all mankind would you let him and him alone decide what to do? would you let 50 scientists decide? 1000? ,2500 ?

    WHO gets to decide. I’d carpe deim. that’s my choice

    I’d party like it’s 2099.

    REPLY: Having seen it in virgin prose over there on {insert adjective of choice here} mind, I certify that Mosh owns the “comparison between pascals wager and the precautionary principle” – Anthony

  27. The truth about the reality of global warming has already been disclosed by the meticulous record keepers, those who. without a political agenda, have always been the real scientists. Gregor Mendel was one such person, ignored in his own time. Only a fool would deny the present crisis and God knows there are enough of them. Cyberdumb is crawling with them.

    “If you tell the truth, you can be certain, sooner or later, to be found out.”
    Oscar Wilde

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable…..Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”
    John A Davison

    john.a.davison.free.fr/

    REPLY: You mean like where the “meticulous records” taken in nonstandard measurement environments are then adjusted by the “meticulous record keepers” to make the past cooler, increasing the temperature trend, such as in these two examples?

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-52-another-ufa-sighted-in-arizona/

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-51/

    …or maybe the university atmospheric sciences department where they measure the climate of the parking lot out front?

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2007/07/25/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-24/

    Of course only us “fools” would question such things in the climate record. Look around Mr. Davison, your lack of research into the issue beyond reciting what is commonly seen in the MSM doesn’t play well here. Try evolving your argument a bit yourself.

  28. “The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it”

    ~ H L Mencken

    I believe there’s supposed to be an “almost” in front of that “always”.

  29. The earth has always undergone great climatic and temperature changes. It is the “rate of change” that distinguishes the present from the past, a rate Tim Flannery estimates to be thirty times greater than what took place at the end of the last ice age.

    And Flannery knows this how? What part of Paleontology gives him this mystical knowledge?

  30. Suing for carbon credits? Toward what end? That would just make Al a maryter, and this “scientific” debate has too many religious undertones already.
    Clearly the Earth isn’t burning. Clearly there is no such thing as a runaway greenhouse effect. Clearly the climate science is perpetrating a fraud.
    There won’t be any recourse for us via the vote. Machinations by the media will quash any politician who bucks the consensus.
    Our only recourse is the court.
    Instead of trying to sue Al Gore for his carbon credits, I propose we attack the source of the climate change resurgence. As Lord Monckton did for English schools, we need to attack “an inconvenient truth” and have it banned outright from public schools, or heavily editted to conform with reality before it is fit for presentation as a teaching tool.
    The media coverage from this action will be enough to open up the field politically, then we will see change.

  31. Obviously the observers are pointing out that grant recipients are gaining power and prestige within their fields; this is far better than mere money.

    Large grants from Soros and the Kerrys doesn’t hurt either.

  32. Mr Davidsion,
    You say:
    “It is the “rate of change” that distinguishes the present from the past, a rate Tim Flannery estimates to be thirty times greater than what took place at the end of the last ice age. ”
    Please try to finally understand that Michael Mann’s HOCKEY STICK curve has been exposed as a FARCE. The temperatures are not rising dramatically. Look at the satellite data.
    Concerning your predictions of doom and gloom, I have yet to find a single scientist, naturalist or alarmist who is ready to put money down on the scenarios they are “sure” will happen. Why aren’t any of you ready to put money down on your science? Have you so little confidence?
    If you truly believe and have faith in your “scientific” predictions, then put your money down.
    I say that sea levels will not rise more than 7 cm over the next 10 years, i.e. about 2 feet over the next 100 years (Gore claims 20 ft.!). I’m ready to bet a hefty sum of money on this. How much are you ready to put down?
    Come on my friend! Either you put up, or shut up. What’s it gonna be?

  33. I suppose what saddens me the most is that when it is realized that we aren’t headed for catastrophic warming, our information sources will simply go silent on the subject rather than attempt to do any honest education of the public. I suppose it is the realization that I hold that cynical view of those who would inform that is so sad to me. I was brought up with the notion of a free and fair press and in the striving to find the truth and a naive belief that reporters were searching for truth and not simply pushing an agenda. And now it appears that the real press isn’t the traditional press at all. It is Orwellian.

    The saddest thing of all is that I am now not likely to believe anything I read on ANY subject let alone the subject of climate.

    And so the problem is larger than “who decides”, it becomes “who decides” and “on what basis”. Who decides what information is accurate enough to be used to make a decision with? So far the only data I would trust to make a decision is the satellite measurements and they don’t go very far back. I am certainly not going to believe anything put out by a surface station network.

  34. If we DO SOMETHING NOW (i.e. equating to the bet there is a god) there could be an unintended consequence as we don’t truly understand what we’re doing.

    So there is no expected downside to attempting to reduce the rate of increase in carbon emissions other than possible “unintended” consequences.

    I have mentioned Pascal’s wager before

  35. Mr. Davison,
    Sorry for misspelling your name.
    My challenge to bet is addressed to you.
    I don’t wish to turn Anthony’s website here into a casino, but please tell us at which sea level rise you are willing to bet $100,000.00:
    a) 24 inches in next 10 years (i.e. 20 feet soon like Gore says)
    b) 3.0 inches in next 10 years (i.e. 30 in. in 100 years)
    c) 2.0 inches in next 10 years (i.e. 20 in. in 100 years)
    d) 1.0 inches in next 10 years (i.e. 10 in. in 100 years)
    e) 0.5 inches in next 10 years (i.e. 5 in. in 100 years)
    f) other (please specify)

    Tell us on which of the above scenarios you are ready to bet this money on. I’m indeed very curious to know.
    (Odds are he won’t even reply)

  36. Concerning your predictions of doom and gloom, I have yet to find a single scientist, naturalist or alarmist who is ready to put money down on the scenarios they are “sure” will happen. Why aren’t any of you ready to put money down on your science? Have you so little confidence?
    If you truly believe and have faith in your “scientific” predictions, then put your money down.

    Not to mention the fact that the ONLY way to stop the rise of human-caused industrial CO2 is for ALL of us to return to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. There simply is no other way. By Davison’s, and all the other alarmists, refusal to give up his computer at the very least, he and they show that they are nothing but hot air, and don’t really believe there is a problem.

  37. AGWscoffer, a cowardly alias I see.

    How could I arrange a wager with someone whose identity is a secret to everyone except himself? At eighty I will be unable to wait long to collect in any event. The name is Davison as in John Davison Rockefeller. You are obviously a useless, illiterate nothing. I recommend you “hold your piece” as you contribute absolutely nothing to this discussion.

    It is hard to believe isn’t it?

    I love it so!

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

    john.a.davison.free.fr/

  38. hey Anthony, Did you know that in 1992 NCDC selected 138 stations as prime
    stations.. See My post over at CA. JerryB confirms this and has the data.

    It was the best 138 daily stations. selected by 4 criteria. later they expanded this to 1062 stations by relaxing the quality rules, and then to 1221 ( picking up monthly stations I think)

    REPLY: I’ll check it out, what thread on CA?

  39. Pingback: Scientific Consensus Is Not Science | Hennessy’s View

  40. Alan,

    Moshpit is having some fun with you. Anyone who has studied game theory and or apolegetics would see the parallel to pascals wager in a heartbeat.
    It struck me as funny that people (AGWers) would invoke a form of this argument without a clear understanding of it’s historical background.
    boomeranging rhetoric.

    I’m just recalling a funny incident in past that I know Anthony will appreciate
    now, since he’s taken some unfair heat at “the place” that shall not be mentioned.

    Cheers buddy!

  41. There is a downside. It isn’t even hidden.

    But there are those that don’t see a 20% reduction in energy consumption equating to a severe stress on the production, transportation, and consumption of goods. That actually makes it an intended consequence.

    The thing is, we know we don’t have a good handle on what we’re doing. Models published around 1999 show the temperature hockeystick skyrocketing for the term 1998-2008. Ten years later, actual data shows 1998-1999 as a drop, and the whole decade as essentially flat. Lifting a plot from the other thread, , the hockeystick would be entirely off that plot – except in the leftmost twelve months. Where it would be flying out the top of the scene.

  42. Crosspatch, there never was an unbiased press. Mark Twain joked about it once in a book on the funny things kids say in school. One kid was asked to define a Republican and wrote, “A sinner mentioned in the Bible,” to which Twain added, “also in Democratic newspapers.”

    Also, don’t denigrate the surface station network too much. It’s a fine network and not much worse than any other long term measurement system. The real problem is that it’s being used beyond its capabilities by looking for trends that are buried inside the error bars and are so small that the trends themselves have been biased as Anthony’s survey seems to indicate.

    I say ‘seems’ because IIRC, only 33-50% have been surveyed and it’s unlikely that those surveyed were selected randomly, thus the survey may not be representative. That doesn’t mean the survey was deliberately biased. Some stations are easier to get to than others, which makes them likely to be visited first. Being close to where people live (i.e., urban proximity) would tend to make them easier to visit.

    Yes, the survey so far isn’t promising but not all of the ‘votes’ are in. The next step after that would be to determine how much bias was imparted. But what the bias means is that the error bars will get wider which just means that trends below a certain magnitude will become harder to resolve unless a reasonable method of adjusting for it can be found.

    And even if it turns out the bias is ZERO, the temperature record alone would be insufficient to establish any significant man-made causal effect on global warming.

  43. M. Jeff.

    Exactly. Let’s stipulate that Nasa scientists tells us that we will be hit
    by an asteroid in 2100 and that it will destroy the earth. And this is
    rocket science guys. This isnt climate models and weather stations on parking lots. This is F=MA. That rock is hittin our ball o dirt.

    Does this scientist get to determine our policy toward armageddon?
    Does he get to tell people how much money they have to invest to
    avert a disaster that they wont be alive to see?

    Should we give up everything to avert the disaster? Nothing? something?
    how much? Should we try even if its impossible. That’s ethics, not rocket science.

    So science has it’s place. just the facts maam.

  44. For John A Davidson: Since the shift from Glacial to Interglacial conditions at the end of the last glaciation happened in ca 40 years I strongly doubt that the climate is changing 30 times faster now, even if Tim Flannery says so.
    N. B. No human greenhouse gases were available 11600 years ago.

    Ref: Taylor, K. C. et al.: 1997. The Holocene-Younger Dryas Transition recorded at Summit, Greenland. Science 278(5339):825-827.

  45. “I’m sorry but I own the comparison between pascals wager and the precautionary principle.”

    Buddha himself already argues in 6th century BC that regardless of whether the difficult concepts of rebirth and karma are valid, acting as if they are brings tangible rewards here and now.

  46. Trying to keep up!

    1.) Thanks for your kind words. Noted and appreciated.

    2.) For all of those who want to sue, you have to be a little careful. (Not that I don’t feel your pain or nothin’.) What makes us WANT to sue is insufferability and arrogance. But one can’t sue for that. It’s free speech. One must prove actual fraud, not in a mere intellectual sense, but in a legal sense.

    I admit that Al Gore has somewhat the same responsibility of St. Mac’s mine owner to make a good faith assay before hawking (alleged) snake oil. But that is a rather heavy burden of proof—and that knife cuts both ways. That is not to say that one should concede the field. Remember, most people started out believing in Paul Ehrlich and Dennis Meadows. But that pair did not prevail in the legislative arena.

    3.) For a cut-down version::
    –Delete all examples: paragraphs. 2, 4 and everything after 11 except the last one.
    For a REALLY cut-down version:
    –go with the first sentence of each paragraph, only!

    Minor errors I should have caught:
    Para 3, line 3, delete comma before “recently”
    Para 5, line 1, change “advice in” to “advice is”
    Para 8, line 1, delete comma after “Experts”
    Para 13, line 4, End the sentence in a question mark: (political causes”? )

    4.) I agree with the rejection of Pascal’s conundrum. Paul Ehrlich tried to pull that one in 1968, and my answer now is the same as my answer then. (And it is the same answer given in the above comments.)

    I propose a reverse-Pascal. Go ahead full guns burning fossil fuel (esp. India/China) and build up massive world affluence and technology. Then the crisis, if it exists at all, will probably be very easy to solve. (I like the mammoth-Mylar-reflector-in-space idea. It can be adjusted as needed and is not irrevocable such as seeding the atmosphere with gunk. It may not yet practical, but soon will be.) and who know, a fuel alternative may pop up long before then (fusion, maybe? Hydrogen? Whatever.) without sacrificing trillions a year (which would condemn the poor to continuing poverty).

    I.e., we should not try to dodge the crisis; we can outrun it, plain and simple.

    5.) The courts and the legislatures may or may not “help”. But it is there where the decisions must be made, not in the laboratory. We may decide wrong. But we also can adjust, midway. (AGW, even if “true”, is NOT a frantic, imminent emergency, caterwauling to the contrary.)

    6.) Big names have signed on. But basic facts and factors, not names, will affect my thoughts on the matter. I want the points of view and alleged facts on that side of that postcard, not a list of celebrities. What Carlisle says it true—but the reverse of what he says is true, also.

    7.) I must also point out, as many have before, that there have been enough false cries of wolf (all with a suspiciously similar solution) to cause me to hesitate before making serious sacrifices that will affect me, personally, not so much (I may have to change lightbulbs), but the world’s poor very much (they will remain poor).

    8.) I don’t mind a brainstorming session—so long as it remains within the realm of table-pounding (i.e., free speech, and not gratuitous harassment. As I said, the harassment knife cuts both ways.

    9.) politicians will make decisions and form policy based on the prevailing majority public opinion

    Majority and supermajority rule is what we’ve got. If we’re lucky. It beats the alternative. Better mob rule than lab rule. (I will be in there swinging.)

    10.) Agree with Ike on bureaucrats and scientific-technological elite. (I have my gripes about his military-industrial complex speech, however!) I also mostly agree with Mencken; he had a shrewd understanding of human nature.

    11.) I note the lining up of the AGW debate with “like policies”. I think this is human nature, but I strive to judge the AGW debate on its merits and not its personalities.

    12.) I worry about the grant money.

    13.) The Rev is right. We need due diligence. We need to regard resistance to due diligence with a very jaundiced eye. And I think the PDO is in better correlation with 20th century weather patterns than CO2, though I do not entirely discount CO2 as a factor. Rate of change does not alarm me as it does others. Man’s CAPABILITIES are undergoing an even greater rate of change. Our capability to deal with climate is increasing faster than the globe is warming. (Unless we cripple those capabilities by wasteful diversion.)

    14.) Re betting. You’d think that if they were 90% sure, they’d give us 5-1 odds, no?

    15.) Yes, if the MSM is wrong, it will go silent. Same as with population and resources. But that is the way of the wicked world. Besides, they’ve kicked up such a massive fuss that the silence will speak more loudly than it did previously. And if that comes to pass, the skeptics sure as heck won’t be silent!

  47. replace the word “experts” (or “scientists”) with “philosophers” and you will find that this idea is exactly what plato said 2360 years ago. nothing new under the sun. and still wrong! read karl popper book “the open society and its enemies” where that idea is destroyed, the book, 60 years old, is still actual, and a must read

  48. Prof. John A. Davison,
    Lol! That’s the reaction I usually get when I demand a bet. They shoot in a last word, and run for the exit like a bat out of climate hell. But I’m not giving up on you.
    Pierre L. Gosselin is my name, and it’s a pleasure to meet you.
    Are you ready to do business now?
    So, what will it be?
    …a, b, c, d, e or f ?
    Don’t disappoint me now. Ya’ll telling us the planet’s gonna heat right up and do a whole lot of awful things to us and the polar bears.
    No deal?
    Don’t feel bad…Gavin Schmidt also refused to bet, and ran.
    AGW aint the crisis here, it’s all that hot empty air emitting from the mouths of people like you.

  49. Fox — (So there is no expected downside to attempting to reduce the rate of increase in carbon emissions other than possible “unintended” consequences.)

    I didn’t say that, and I’m not interested in rehashing the well worn and otherwise absurdly obvious sociopolitical consequences of it.

    Pascal’s wager only works when there is nothing that can be lost. You can’t conjure up new meanings for “nothing.” Suffice to say that pascal’s wager doesn’t have squat to do with the present situation and leave it at that. You can’t invoke it because it simply doesn’t apply and isn’t in context.

    Time to find a new argument, Mr. Fox — one that is logically consistent.

  50. ‘You are obviously a useless, illiterate nothing. I recommend you “hold your piece” as you contribute absolutely nothing to this discussion.’ ~ johnny davidson

    Johnny, that statement alone answers any and all questions about you. Henceforth you shall be IGNORED as the leftist agw hystericyst that you are.

  51. Heck Evan,
    They’re 90+% sure, and I’m offering them even 1:1 odds!
    You’d think they’d be jumping all over this hot deal.
    Maybe in their language…
    “very likely” really means 30% chance
    “likely” really means 10%
    “unlikely” really means “no chance!”

    They gotta be living in an awfully confusing world.

    Prof. Davision: The money could go to charity.

  52. Good article. Unfortunately it ends with a premise the weakness of which explains why so little headway is possible against the public mind that is carefully tracked by the policy making politicians. Details on georgerebane.com.

  53. Mr REPLY

    I do not argue and I do not try to convince. Arguments and debates are for lawyers, politicians, evangelists and congenital atheists like Pharyngula Z. “godless liberal” Myers, Christopher “hiccup” Hitchens and Richard “blind mountainering watchmaker” Dawkins, all of whom have abandoned the real world to dedicate the rest of their useless lives to the cause of Universal Altheism.

    I am a scientist with a PhD which I earned in 1954, probably before you were born. Facts and facts alone are what matter. Not a word that I have published has been challenged in the refereed journal literature in which I published it. Only on internet blogs am I denigrated, lectured to, and baned. Everything we “really know,” cold hard facts, plead for a disastrous future. Those who choose to ignore or challenge those facts are fools. It is as simple as that.

    I recommend you consult the weather reports and then tell me or anyone else that we have nothing to worry about. Records fall daily for precipitation amounts, high winds, tornados, blizzards and flooding as abnormally warm moisture laden Gulf air collides with arctic cold fronts to wreak havoc across the United States. A cold year was to be expected as Polar ice continues to melt. The 80 calories per gram that requires was drawn from the atmosphere. God they are now gowing broccoli in Greenland which some are si

    It is hard to believe isn’t it.

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

    john.a.davison.free.fr/

    Mr. Reply says:

    I have only one thing I can say that refutes the immutable logic and clear understanding of fact that you demonstrated above and below, and that is: “Nuts!

  54. Sorry I didn’t get to finish so I will do it here.

    (si)lly enough to flaunt as a good thing! DaveScot/David Springer did exactly that over at Uncommon Descent. That kind of mentality is really scary. When ideology confronts facts, ideology may carry the day but will never win the war for the truth.

  55. I figure one can’t claim bias merely due to corporate sponsorship. Many misrepresent the “follow the grant money” observations about academia; they respond to these with a sneering tone suggesting that the observer assumes the professors receiving grants are lining their pockets. If you say “follow the grant money” you get laughed at as if you’re trying to make the case that professors are getting rich from the proceeds.

    I agree with your assessment. Ego and prestige are much bigger drivers in most scientific communities than money, and most private sourced and corporate sourced grant money is probably pretty free from heavy-handedness. Generally the funding source doesn’t much matter, I agree, I was just asking those questions thinking if only one type of funding existed. Its more likely that when transparency in methods and reporting fails to materialize there are problems.

    However, the business-as-usual attitude towards energy is flat out dumb sure, its relatively cheap and easy now to use fossil reserves, but what about 20+ years in the future?
    The real question is: if AGW isn’t real and the data supports it, what is our energy future? Do we continue to invest money in researching alternative energy sources and more efficient ways to use energy? Or do we say, “Meh, who cares, its not going to hurt anything to continue to use long-term unsustainable mineral reserves?” I personally prescribe to the precautionary principle on the AGW issue. No need to panic, but lets start doing something to move down the road to non-fossil energy and more sustainable ways of doing things. There are other benefits to not producing fossil CO2 than just supposed greenhouse warming. Its common sense in my mind.

  56. Mr Reply in bold type.

    I note that you found it necessary to close the other thread on which I was commenting. How any times have you had to resort to that tactic and do you intend to do it with this thread too? I have no intention of allowing anyone to muzzle me without exposing it every time it occurs. I spread my heresies wherever I am allowed, supremely confident of my positions both on global warming and organic evolution which I regard as the two most pressing issues of our time. As for claiming that Tim Flannery is not a climatologist – that is like saying that Gregor Mendel was not a geneticist. His book, “The Weather Makers” is the most significant summary available on the CAUSE of global warming. That it is occurring is not to be questioned and in my opinion neither is the cause – steadily increasing levels of atmospheric CO2. Everythig else is negligible in comparison.

    There is an interesting parallel between the factions debating organic evolution and those debating global warming. In both instances there is no question that both have occurred. The only issue is the MECHANISM. It is the MECHANISM that is the province of science which is all that I am interested in and I will continue, wherever I am allowed, to offer what I believe those MECHANISMS to be.

    Any port in a storm and the devil take the hindmost.

    “Mankind fiddles whle earth burns.”

    john.a.davison.free.fr/

  57. Mr. Reply says: When the thread becomes all about you, rather than the original topic, it becomes pointless to continue it. I suspect that most of the other blog operators have banned you not because of your views, but because you hijack threads regularly, just like you are doing to this one.

    You M.O. has been that it tends to become all about you and your views, and not about the topic at hand.

    So I’ll be democratic about it. Fellow blog citizens, lets have a show of hands!
    On the question of John A. Davison, stay or leave the island?

  58. Dang, I have to recalibrate my arrogant ass meter. I thought I was god’s gift to humanity.

    REPLY: No you’re God’s gift to oblate spheroids. ;-)

  59. Stay, but warned that hijacking will not be ALLOWED! Stick to the specific subject of the thread. His passion does not trump that of others!

  60. Re: Davison: He’s already lost his mind, so his replies and our replies to him serve no purpose. Boot him off.

  61. I recommend you consult the weather reports and then tell me or anyone else that we have nothing to worry about. Records fall daily for precipitation amounts, high winds, tornados, blizzards and flooding as abnormally warm moisture laden Gulf air collides with arctic cold fronts to wreak havoc across the United States. A cold year was to be expected as Polar ice continues to melt. The 80 calories per gram that requires was drawn from the atmosphere. God they are now gowing broccoli in Greenland which some are si

    It is hard to believe isn’t it.

    What I find hard to believe is that YOU actually believe this crap. Again, why haven’t you given up your techno lifestyle? No answer? I didn’t think so. You’re a hypocrite, plain and simple.

    Show me these daily falling records. Are they right next the list of thousands of species which go extinct every year? Or the hundreds of thousands who supposedly die every year due to “climate change”?

    Records mean nothing. They only show that our ability to detect has gotten better. 100 years ago we would have had no idea about half the tropical cyclones which occurred simply because no one saw them. The same with rainfall, high winds, floods, droughts, etc at nauseum. These things have always occurred, and as more deadly events than they are now. The only difference is 24 hours news, satellites monitoring the surface of the planet, aircraft everywhere. More people to see and detect these so-called record events. Show me some proof or shut the hell up. SHEESH!

  62. Drew Latta: “No need to panic, but lets start doing something to move down the road to non-fossil energy and more sustainable ways of doing things.”

    What about nuclear fission. We have it, it’s clean and it’s safe. Zero CO2 emissions. There is no problem with it. It’s “green” as it can be. It is cost effective. The only thing wrong with it is that it’s not politically correct. Why is that? I don’t know. Do you?

    REPLY: Four reasons: 1) The China Syndrome 2) Silkwood 3) Three Mile Island 4) Chernobyl

    They all scared the pants off everybody.

  63. This whole damn blog is about global warming and that is exactly what I have been talking about. Now finish up your polling and make a decision. Don’t make the decision yourself. Pass the buck to your drooling, mostly anonymous, mindless clients to do it for you. You have some real beauties gracing what is supposed to be a forum on global warming. This is not a forum. It is just one more “groupthinktank” like Pharyngula, Panda’s Thumb, EvC, Uncommon Descent and RichardDawkins.net

    It is hard to believe isn’t it?

    I love it so!

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”
    John A. Davison

    john.a.davison.free.fr/

    REPLY: Ok thanks for helping this decision along. Lets look again at one of your very first posts, which I’ll repeat here for posterity.

    I was publishing in the best scientific journals when you unfulfilled, unpublished, cowardly snot bags weren’t even born yet. …I am not angry. I am hostile!

    adios

  64. Considering the circumstances, I must recuse myself. But, seeing as how I have a direct interest, I’d just as soon keep in vaguely on-topic. Not that I’m a topic cop or anything.

    But danger to society relates to what needs to be done (or not) and therefore to who decides it. And I’d have to say loss of land weighs heavily. If it gets too warm, we lose land to SL rise. If it gets too cold, we lose land to ice.

    The Who Decides issue comes into it when one considers it is a different ox being gored in either event.

    That brings internationalism into it. We already have two layers: public and legislators + judges. Legislators are (in theory) our mouthpieces. Judges are the referees, who enforce the rules. But if we add treaties into it that adds another layer. .

    Treaties are sometimes necessary. And for them to be meaningful, compliance is necessary. But they are further removed from the public than normal law, and supercede it in much the same way federal law trumps state or local law. And if we keep adding layers, eventually democracy becomes mere oligarchy, especially if treaties come with their own organizations and “commissions” composed of unelected officials.

    (BTW, my SL bet is “e”. In fact, if PDO indicators mean anything, there may not be much of any rise at all. We could be entering a bit of a cooling phase. In any case, not even the IPCC thinks there’s going to be much in the way of melt over the next century–most of their estimate is thermal expansion.)

  65. One other problem with fission. Compared with coal and oil, it ain’t cheap (IIRC about 2x the cost). As for safety, those new pellet reactors are a work of common-sense genius.

    I think the solution (if it comes to that) will yield to tech and wealth. So I am in favor of tech and wealth, even if it does involve burning more coal and oil for the next two or three decades. The disadvantage of selling this point is that it is counterintuitive. The advantage is that is basically involves “doing nothing” (i.e., business as usual), and mankind generally has an inclination to do that.

  66. Four reasons: 1) The China Syndrome 2) Silkwood 3) Three Mile Island 4) Chernobyl

    They all scared the pants off everybody.

    Of course, if you count the number of people who have died in Coal Mining over the years, the nuclear problem pales in comparison.

    And, if we don’t keep trying we’ll never get better, meaning safer and more efficient.

  67. Re: Leave or stay

    Leave. I have not a lot of time on my hands and I just wasted too much of it wading through that dreck.

  68. Drew Latta — (The real question is: if AGW isn’t real and the data supports it, what is our energy future? )

    Simple. Spaceborne solar. We already know how to do this. Nothing new needs to be invented, and a supply of Unobtanium isn’t required. What does need to happen is engineering expertise, like building like structures in space. (Oh my, perhaps that’s what the ISS is *really* doing for the US — giving us a platform we can test techniques with and learn from. Maybe it ain’t quite the boondoggle everyone says it is.)

    Now, before you dump all over this with the obvious conclusion that a spaceborne power sat needs 35 sq km (pick any ridiculously big number) of solar arrays, PV isn’t the only way to harvest energy. In fact there are other tests the US has conducted besides the ISS — oops I meant to say that there are sats powered by things other than PV… e.g. we have some sats powered by stirling engines. Heat. The sun spits out a lot of that, too. In short, I’ll reiterate: We know how to harvest solar energy in space and get it to earth. It’s merely engineering details that need to be solved. And frankly it appears that they’re being solved.

    I don’t worry about future energy needs; there’s a fairly big ball of burning hydrogen about 93 million miles off, and this puts out a lot more energy than we need. People yakking about wind and such are IMnotveryHO are not overly bright and they’re chasing rainbows. None of that stuff is scalable, so it hardly matters even if it works well enough. Perhaps this is a good thing because it gives them something to do rather than stand in the way. Let them natter on about enviromentally happy fluffy bunnies and let the rocket scientists do their thing.

  69. Let him stay. Just as the mechanism for the development of the ‘irreducible complexities’ is unknown, so is the mechanism by which the sun’s output is magnified into climate changes. Think about that one, John.
    ============================

  70. randomengineer – really interesting idea, spaceborne solar energy. In defense of wind, it seems to work really well in developing countries that lack the infrastructure to supply power over distance. Setting up a windmill and generator is cheaper and faster (by many years) than waiting for power lines and a grid.

  71. I don’t have a problem with Dr. Davidson staying. I haven’t read anything that he’s written that deserves a response, though, so anyone who engages him is just pissin’ up a waterfall.

    I’ve been thinking about the topic of this thread all day, and the one thought I keep coming back to is a statement that Bob Carter made to me in an email last fall in response to my question to him about how he thought this whole debate would eventually shake out.

    I’ve posted the whole of Dr. Carter’s message before, but this one statement seems apropos to the topic of this thread:

    The environmental debate in general, and AGW in particular, have already inflicted profound damage on our post-enlightment society and are attacking the very roots of the scientific method, and future historians are going to look back and marvel at our stupidity which, Lysenkoism apart, is unparalleled in history. Most sinister of all is the fact that around 3 generations of school children (all since around 1990) have now been indoctrinated with an anti-scientific attitude to environmental matters, and the most able and oldest of these persons are already starting to move into senior managerial positions.

    There’s no doubt in my mind who’s going to be making the decisions. I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

  72. I think it would be extremely dangerous to rely on extremely fragile systems like space based solar. A stray meteor or a massive solar flare could knock the entire array out and plunge the planet into a dark age – literally and figuratively. A similar problem exists with nuclear plants which take a lot of time to restart if they need to be shutdown for some reason. The power outage on the east coast a few years ago was exacerbated because it took so long to restart Ontario’s nuclear plants.

  73. The issue of regulating CO2 emissions will end up in court. It will have nothing to do with Al gore, melting ice, or drowning bears. It will be over observed data vs. computer model (CO2 induced global warming) and how our goverment (US) handles the Data Quality Act and the Supreme Court ruling based of sound science.

  74. Anthony, regarding the banning of trolls, I’d rather just see them go unfed. It’s entertaining and sometimes even thought-provoking to read their first posts. However, when they get a snippy reply they go into rant mode and get tedious. Just ignore and they’ll go back under their bridges most of the time.

  75. SIR!

    Those types can be very easy to convince. They have never heard the other side. When they do–and it MUST be done in reasonable terms–it hits them like a sledgehammer.

    If you start out with, “X is a fraud,” you have half-lost the battle off the post. If you star out with, “I’m not so sure about X and I have my reasons,” you often can get a fair hearing and second thoughts.

    Also remember that there is almost always damage when “sacrifices are made” in a mistaken cause or in an ineffective manner. One cannot undo the past. One must instead attempt to undo the damage and make sure the lkesson is learned.

    But we start getting into the distasteful subject of the dialectic around now . . . pretty soon I start up with the “Tactics, Comrades, tactics” routine and all I really want is the story told simply, straight, and from both sides.

  76. But we start getting into the distasteful subject of the dialectic around now . . . pretty soon I start up with the “Tactics, Comrades, tactics” routine and all I really want is the story told simply, straight, and from both sides.

    Which is fine, but people like Davison, by his own admission, doesn’t want to debate, he wants to declare, and if we don’t bow down, then we’re all against him in some conspiriatorial way. I really couldn’t care less whether someone has a Phd or not. I’ve known some very well-educated people who had zero common sense.

  77. I’d let Johnny stay, but just shun him. Like the crazy old aunt that you keep in the cellar, let him sit there and ramble, unchallenged. How do you argue with someone who is peerless anyway? (He is … just ask him!)

  78. We can always find the lad on the web if we suffer pain from his dismissal here. Cut the noise(maker).

  79. Re: Leave or stay

    He should stay of course.

    It is always a good thing when someone comes along and repeats again and again how he is so much better then me because his mother squeezed him out of her uterus before my mother mother squeezed me out of her uterus.

    Indeed his sole argument seems to be that he was born in the 1920’s.

    For the record, I was once a believer, then neutral. Now I no longer believe in AGW, but my mind remains open. If proof comes along, it will no doubt sway me.

    Prof. Davison seems to have a very closed mind for a scientist. Is that how science works these days?

    1) One’s mind is made up.
    2) One searches for the papers and facts to support it.
    3) One ignores any evidence to the contrary.

    That is religion, not science.

  80. Pressed submit too soon->

    The Phd physicist I eat lunch with most work days is an AGW-denier. Naturally his opinion doesn’t matter as he was born after Prof Davison.

  81. There is no “other side,” and there is no “debate”. There is only hard reality that matters: the kind of reality that is being revealed daily by 3000 weather stations and recorded continuously for over a half century at the station at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. I cannot duplicate my GLOBAL WARMING thread here but I invite everyone to comment on my blog where they can be certain they won’t be treated with the kind of arrogant contempt that I am receiving here.

    The truth of the matter is that those who frequent the typical internet weblog are terrified at the prospect of presenting their views in a neutral venue. That is especially true of the blog owners who pretend their critics do not exist. Sometimes they will send their “goons squads” out to do everything they can to denigrate their adversaries but mostly they let those “goons” do the denigrations right at home where they do everything in their power to discourage any departure from the ideology of the blog owner.

    I love the crap I take from some of the local “goons” here and elsewhere, especially the ones that are stupid enough to use their real names. I collect their venom and publish it on #71 on my WHY BANISHMENT? thread. Anonymous blowhards are beneath my contempt and serve only to degrade the quality of the forum they inhabit, so I don’t even bother collecting their vitriol. This weblog sure has its share of them. Most blogs do.

    “Birds of a feather flock together.”
    Cervantes

    “Conscience does make cowards of THEM all.”
    after Shakespeare

    I love it so!

    SOCKITTOME

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

    john.a.davison.free.fr/

  82. I do believe johnny is the kinsella of global warming.

    Let him stay, I guess. Every court needs its jester.

  83. If Prof Davision refuses to tell us at what sea level he’d be willing to put down real money, and continues to emit hot air, then I say boot him out.
    Either he puts up, or shuts up.

  84. Pingback: Daily Blogger - Monday, March 10th, 2008 | Jack's Newswatch

  85. To go back to his original post:

    Sez Mr. Davison

    Several politicians have properly identified the crisis with which we are now confronted, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Al Gore, Michael Bloomberg, John McCain. Thatcher was one of the first.

    I, too, remain deeply impressed by the moral and scientific authority of these politicians.

    Further, sez he

    The raw data which has been amassed over the last half century at the Mauna Loa station in Hawaii speaks for itself. The primary and over riding factor determining today’s climate changes is atmospheric CO2. So powerful is this effect that for all practical purposes all other parameters can be ignored.

    I also find that ignoring contrary evidence supports my arguments enormously.

    It is the “rate of change” that distinguishes the present from the past, a rate Tim Flannery estimates to be thirty times greater than what took place at the end of the last ice age. To ignore the conclusions of this fine naturalist and scientist, a rare combination, is a serious mistake.

    I have found that ignoring Lord Kelvin’s (a fine scientist and president of the Royal Society) conclusion that heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible, is equally inadvisable.

    Mr. Davison, your opinions are risible.

  86. Let him stay. He serves as a good example of what many of us believed before we became more informed on various issues.

  87. I love the crap I take from some of the local “goons” here and elsewhere, especially the ones that are stupid enough to use their real names. I collect their venom and publish it on #71 on my WHY BANISHMENT? thread. Anonymous blowhards are beneath my contempt and serve only to degrade the quality of the forum they inhabit, so I don’t even bother collecting their vitriol. This weblog sure has its share of them. Most blogs do.

    So we’re stupid if we use our real names, and blowhards if we use an alias. I see. In your little putrid world we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Collect all the venom you like. We’ve got yours collected here. And it exposes you for the senile old dotard that you are.

    REPLY: Ok no more feeding the troll. Just let it go

  88. There is no “other side,” and there is no “debate”. There is only hard reality that matters: the kind of reality that is being revealed daily by 3000 weather stations

    Well, that’s part of the problem. The raw data is adjusted upwards. (NOAA adjusts .3°C over the 20th century; GISS probably more.)

    Then there is the siting of the stations, the station history adjustment (SHAP) and the fill-in of missing data from surrounding stations (FILENET, still a great mystery), and highly dubious UHI adjustment. I’ll take the TOBS adjustment on it’s face–for now–though I’m not so sure I should (the theory is sound, but practice has been lacking).

    The stations were designed for weather last/next week, not for tenths of a degree over a century–that overwhelms the MoE.

    And the PDO cycle corresponds better with the 20th century fluctuations than does the current CO2 rise–assuming the ice core proxies are accurate, which I am starting to look at. (That makes sense as the ocean is denser than the atmosphere and has a lot more joules at its desposal.)

    CO2 plays a role, but as to how much of a role is highly disputed. It’s anywhere from 8% to 30% of the Greenhouse Effect, according to the “debaters”.

    And while satellites use an independent measure, I am stuill curious as to how the proxy is converted.

    Furthermore, the temps have not matched the models ever since those models were developed.

    That is my “side of a postcard” take on it. (I could have done it in fewer words.)

  89. I say boot the senile bipolar royal loon snotbag believer in Gaia,
    aka Johnny “the debate is over” Davison.

  90. Mr Davison has an outstanding sense of irony. He claims people will not be treated with contempt on his own blog, while he is the treating people with contempt. He chastises people for using their real name and threatens to ‘out’ them, and when they use an alias he calls them cowards and beneath his contempt.

    He then quotes: “birds of a feather flock together” as if that is supposed to mean something. Judging by the frequency of his posts in this blog, we are all flocking with him?

    But my favourite section of his recent vitriolic rant:
    “Sometimes they will send their “goons squads” out to do everything they can to denigrate their adversaries but mostly they let those “goons” do the denigrations right at home where they do everything in their power to discourage any departure from the ideology of the blog owner.”

    My dear sir, you have described the actions of those that worship at the alter of AGW perfectly. Why you are living proof.

    Please can you tell us how the data from the 3000 weather stations you mention can be valid if so many of the currently surveyed ones show such a heat bias and that trend continues amongst the unsurveyed ones? And while you are at it, can you explain why the raw data has been rejected in favour of making the past colder to make the present appear warmer?

  91. (moonbat)”Democracy failed long ago. The EEEEEVVVIILLL robber barons subverted it, and now, the only way to put things right, is for THE PEOPLE to rise up as a dictatorship of the prolitariat.”(/moonbat)

  92. Mr. Davidson,

    Since your entire argument relies on an appeal to authority, could you point me to your 5 most recent peer-reviewed journal articles on the topic of climate change?

    Thanks.

  93. Martin, whoever that is and I suspect we will never know. Anonymous blowards like you are a dime a dozen. They never contribute anything of substance anywhere they surface.

    Opinions mean absolutely nothing. All that matters in the world of science is hard indisputable data. The source of my conclusions is the records revealed by 3000 weather stations which collectively indicate a drastic alteration in the world’s climate. All the bar graphs and pie charts in the world do not matter a fig. El Nino, La Nina and all the other manifestations of the world’s weather are not primary causes. They are the effects of a single overwhelming primary cause which is the constantly increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 concentration. Those that ignore this reality are fools.

    Opinions, debates and conjecture have no place in science and never did have. No advance was ever influenced by debate or discussion and many have been retarded by it. Denial of an anthropogenic global warming and the mindless support for Godless Darwinian mysticism are two perfect examples.

    On my GLOBAL WARMING thread I present links to the only sources that matter, the silent testimony of the Mauna Loa station, the 3000 or so world’s weather stations and the correlations that can be drawn from that hard data . Anyone who is not shocked at the changes in the world’s climate is not an objective observer of the natural world and their denial should be held up for all to see which is exactly what I have been doing and will continue to do.

    As for the insults which continue here and elsewhere, they will find their way to my message #71 on my WHY BANISHMENT? thread. Don’t worry Martin, yours will not appear. I do not honor cowards who must hide their identity, only those who are stupid, unprincipled and arrogant enough to divulge it.

    Incidentally Martin, whoever you are, it is Dr., not Mr. Davison and has been for 54 years.

    I love it so!

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

  94. When I first read the post that mentioned the several politicians that had identified the crisis, I thought the poster was joking, so risible was the citation; Thatcher, for the record, embarked on a campaign to crush the British Coal miners in 1983, and commisioned a scientist (Tickle, if I remember correctly), to ‘prove’ that emissions from coal caused global warming. It is also well known that her PR advisor advocated that she carve out a niche in an area which would be difficult for other European leaders to challenge – she has a degree in biochemistry you see – and the platform of environmentalism was ideal for this.
    Blair, is simply one of the most disgraceful political leaders of not only mine, but any generation. Blair stood – and still stands – for one thing – Tony Blair. I don’t want to dilute the thread any more, but these figures quoted are all politicians, so what’s the point?

    If quoting political figures is an argument, then I would like to quote the Czech president – Klaus. He alone recognised that the ‘problem’ of AGW is a fraud.
    And if the weight of argument is a function of the number of persons cited, I call on Richard Lindzen, Timothy Ball, Fred Singer, Lubos Motl, Roger Pielke.

    Apart from this non sequitar, I believe that the recent trend in rising temperatures is solar driven. If there it is in fact due to greenhouse gases as warmists claim, there should be a ‘fingerprint’ of a hot spot in the mid troposphere, but there is none. Correlation does not imply cause and effect, and the fact the CO2 can absorb long range IR does not tell us how much doubling CO2 levels will raise temperatures. Steve McIntyre has challenged anyone to produce a definitive engineering quality paper on the sensitivity of temperatures to CO2, and guess what? None has been produced.

    Any assertions such as ‘AGW is bleedin’ obvious’, ‘only a fool would dispute it’, ‘weather records are being broken all the time’, is not science. I’m sorry, but the case for AGW is weak. So I’ll shut up now.

    Good night

    “All the worlds a stage”, W. Shakespeare.

  95. Leave the island. Appeals to some vague authority and a wish to save us against our will are not my ideal of democracy.

  96. This John A Davison on his blog “proclaims, EVOLUTION IS FINISHED.” This is code for saying he has the insecure frozen-in, fixed-in-place mindset that is just so disconnected, maladaptive. i.e. Rote learners like this do not have the capacity to evolve.

    It is fascinating how some people strike you as insecure, disconnected products …. hardly a carbon based lifeform like the rest of us. Whilst it is not uncommon for most people to at times become disgruntled with modern life in general, may I suggest that it is the mind that is playing tricks and that some observational diligence may just help things. Rather than mind over matter it needs to be mind out of matter.

  97. It’s too bad that our side is so queemish about using the government mechanisms available to us. The Warmers don’t share those qualms.
    Conservation groups sue over polar bears

    This is a direct result of Al Gore’s movie.
    You seem contented to make silly bets with people whose livelyhood depend on never admitting that AGW is a hoax.

    Is there one thing in that movie which is true? Is there a single assertion in it that has passed the test of scrutiny? How many of you here on this messageboard have children in public schools being force fed this death cult dogma?
    You wouldn’t sit still as teachers taught the kids about the virtue of suicide.
    So why are you content to let them infect the minds of future generations via “An Inconvenient Truth” without a challenge?

    Put up or shut up yourself.

  98. Indigo~ I find it hard to believe that he can say ‘evolution is finished.’

    He just repeated one of his earlier posts almost verbatim.

    Surely, he is an evolved Parrot.

    (no offense meant to real, Thinking parrots)

  99. In California teachers are holding a rally on the Capitol steps, beseeching Governor Arnold to not cut their jobs.
    The State is 16 Billion in the hole. Which means they don’t have discressionary funds to fight a legal battle over the validity of AIT.
    If the thing is pushed school districts across the State will roll over like obedient hound dogs.

    Let the thing be pushed. No more then that, take AGW by the throat and shake the life out of it.
    Is it a matter of not having the proper lawyers to argue the case?
    Fred Thompson isn’t doing anything.
    Is it a matter of not having money for a prolonged battle?
    The Coal industry is none too fond of Al Gore. If you ask nice I bet they could find a spare million or two for the cause.

    Is it that in some niggling corner of your mind you harbor a belief in AGW?

  100. Fred Singer is the biggest charlatan of all time. Anyone who would cite him is oblivious to reality and incapable of objectivity.

    These several reponses to my assertions are living proof of Einstein’s lifelong determinism –

    “Our actions should be based on the ever-present awareness that human beings in their thinking, feeling, and acting are not free but are just as causally bound as the stars in their motion.”

    This weblog, like most, is little more than a magnet for like minded ultra-liberal “prescribed,” born that way,” “dyed-in-the wool” victims of their predestined fate to contribute absolutely nothing of value to the intellectual world. Most of the participants have never published a word in a refereed scientific journal, at least not one that dealt with the subject of the weblogs they frequent. If they had they would most certainly not remain anonymous. Anonymity is nothing but license for abuse of ones adversary while remaining secure from identification. It is one of the most despicable and revealing features of a degenerate human personality. This forum, like most, crawls with such vermin.

    Even many that disclose their identity, like P.Z. Myers, Wesley Elsberry and Richard Dawkins have never published a significant word on the subject they so rabidly defend. I suspect the same is true for the internet “experts” on global warming as well.

    “Men believe most what they least understand.”
    Montaigne

    Watts up with that? is no different, no better, no worse than P.Z. Myers’ Pharyngula, RichardDawkins.net, Panda’s Thumb, EvC, ARN, Uncommon Descent and most all other weblogs and forums. Nothing of significance has ever come from any of them. They are nothing but intellectual fraternities spontaneously populated by like minded victims of their predestined lot to never amount to a hill of beans. They are genetically homozygous and homogeneous “groupthinktanks” with no agenda except to see their names, mostly anonymous, appear in the ephemeral, utterly useless world of cyberdumb.

    Meanwhile, real scientists discover and then publish their findings under their real names in refereed scientific journals. That is what I did for a half century. Now, in my dotage, I am content to expose chicanery, arrogance, stupidity, cowardice and intellectual bigoty wherever I find it. It is a dirty job but some one has to do it and I enjoy the opportunity immensely!

    I love it so!

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

    john.a.davison. free.fr/

  101. Mr. Davison, why do you keep repeating the same rhetoric over and over, and say that no one should DARE question your opinion? Its getting old. Frankly, its that outright fascist (and I mean that in a nice, HG Wells “liberal fascism/enlightened” sort of way) mentality that turns so many people off. Repeating lies often enough doesn’t make them true, and repeating trivialities over and over doesn’t make them significant. You seem to be a deeply troubled individual, I pity your inability to tolerate disagreement. Its sad really.

  102. Whilst I regularly drop into Anthony’s blog and greatly respect and admire his contribution, this is the first time I’ve actually strayed to the comments section, and it will probably be the last. To have actually acknowledged the presence of a troll was immature, responding to him was juvenile, but then to keep it up was infantile. As for suggesting and then harping on a wager, well that is just beneath contempt. The original thread topic is completely lost, and the whole discourse has degenerated into meaningless drivel. It only takes the simple but essential discipline of never reading beyond the first rant and never, ever making mention of it.

    REPLY: Spot on Adams, thread hijacking, which is my issue with Mr. Davison.

    So that we can all get back to a semblance of order. Mr. Davison can no longer post comments. The reason is as I stated: thread hijacking on two different threads, not for what he says or his views but because he simply repeats the same thing over and over until somebody engages him.

    I’m just as guilty as others of feeding. But the solution is clear.

  103. I stand on everything Ihat I have ever published and on every statement I have ever presented on every forum where I have been allowed to speak, including Watt’s Up With That?

    The only issue is what are you going to do about it? If you choose, you can do what EvC, ARN, Uncommon Descent, RichardDawkins.net, Pharyngula and Panda’s Thumb did long ago and deny me a voice here as well. That choice is yours alone.

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

    john.a.davison.free.fr/

    REPLY: My choice is that if you want to make points about things you believe in, you are more than welcome to do so. Unlike the majority of people here, you have you own blog. My advice is that you concentrate on that and exercise your ideas there, where you can expound to your heart’s content. If you wish to post simple RELEVANT comments here for example, something like this:

    “I have a treatise on the role of man’s evolution as it relates to global warming that you may find interesting, see it here at this [URL]“

    I’ll be happy to post simple things like that, so that people who choose to do so can visit your blog and discuss the issue there. But no more hijacking of the threads here, no more repetitive posts saying the same thing over and over again. But you’ll have the opportunity to suggest discussion on your forum. That’s not banishment, but the ability to suggest redirection as a courtesy.

    Bear in mind that any more than a sentence or two with URL where it can be discussed on your blog is all that I will post. If you are unhappy with that decision, so be it, but you’ve been rude, condescending, repetitive, and disruptive, and all the while being completely unapologetic for doing so. My patience (and that of many others) is thus at an end for this boorish behaviour.

    In closing, I’d like to point out this from the policy page: “Everyone who visits here is welcome to post, but please treat your visit like you would a visit to a private home or office.” So like a rude house-guest that has overstayed his welcome, off you go, but we’ll still post the occasional postcard with a return address from you if you wish.

  104. John A Davison seems quite disgruntled with poor old Richard Dawkins whom i have generally found a pleasant personality. I don’t see much connection between Dawkins and skeptical thoughts on AGW unless it is to do with the anthropic principle.

    My disenchantment with Dawkins is that he still believes in a finite, expanding universe a la the big bang cosmological nonsense model. Now that is belief in belief or religion which generally builds down from some anthropic principle using deduction. Of course even though billions is spent, they will not find one skerrick of deductive evidence for a finite gravity only universe. It is not hard to see AGW alarmism similarly.
    e.g.
    All the people involved with the bigbang nonsense and AGW are not about DISCOVERY but are involved in an outcome directed pseudo science trying to force/fudge raw data to conform to something that is expected to be seen. I believe that good scientific knowledge is learned, by studying those things that do not fit what you expected. i.e. WHY this particular data set is not conforming to the conventional theories.

    To this day we see lies built on lies because of this now obsolete assumption of finite universal causality where people prefer not to need the real world when they can have an inexorable and schemingly designed fake one ……. and throw in god (a big teddy) as a perpetual broadcaster too? As two examples …. AGW and the big bang fictions.

  105. All that matters in the world of science is hard indisputable data. The source of my conclusions is the records revealed by 3000 weather stations which collectively indicate a drastic alteration in the world’s climate

    This simply isn’t true. Many show cooling over the last 100 years while others show warming. Nothing is settled. Show me 3000 weather stations that ALL show warming, then show me the cause. Put up or shut up. So far you’ve only made gratuitous assertions, which can be just as gratuitously dismissed.

  106. So that we can all get back to a semblance of order. Mr. Davison can no longer post comments. The reason is as I stated: thread hijacking on two different threads, not for what he says or his views but because he simply repeats the same thing over and over until somebody engages him.

    Of course, like Hansen, he’ll claim that you’re attempting to silence him. I didn’t think they let people like him have internet access at the Home.

  107. FWIW, I favor, for lack of knowledge and grounding, in an infinite universe in which there may be an enoromous number (possible one of those “non-dense infinities”) of big bangs.

    But this is a climatology blog not of the astrophysics kind.

    So back to the actual topic:

    My last paragraph. And yes, it is a tall order. One that is commonly unavaliable on a whole host of important subjects, and therefore regarded as impossible to achieve.

    If one were to boil down global warming points to one side of a postcard, you’d get a metapostcard with perhaps a dozen or so of the most basic poits, each point of which would merit a postcard of its own.

    The most casual observer could easily learn the issues on card 1. He wouldn’t know all the answers, but at least he’d be able to frame the questions. Anyone who cared to look into the subject casually (the “one evening rule”) could easily get the second set of posdtcards under his belt.

    That is about as much as a standard voter will warehouse on most subjects. The idea is to draw up those “postcards” in such a manner as to allow the voter to “drill down” on any given point. The probelm is that we all to often begin drilling down without even having warehoused the very basic broad spectrun (i.e., postcard #1.

    It is up to the experts and the teachers among us to make sure that the limited space it utilized to effect. We are not teaching man as we would have him; we must teach him as he is, with all his modern limitations (and advantages).

    FOR EXAMPLE

    If you are going to learn the history of China (all of it), postcard #1 consists of a list of the major dynasties (and interregnums) with perhaps a single sentence characterizing each one. And perhaps athe most prominent dozen names and achievements. That’s it.

    The next set of postcards is one dynasty (or “time of troubles”) apeice. With a sentence or two on each of the main military/political, cultural/religious, economic/wealth issues and people.

    Once you know that much, as little as it its, you cn go ANYWHERE.

    You’d be very surprised how many honors students of Chinese history can’t rattle that off (even the first postcard’s worth). Too much damn Southern Sung peasant life gets one lost in the muck if one does not have command of the signposts. Yes, drilldown is necessary for specialization. But before you can take off your skin anbd dance around in your bones, you lack perspective.

    This is very basic knowledge and can be easily acquired in a very short period of time by the layman. But one he has it down (or at least has his reference handy) he can hang any piece of knowledge on the tree.

    The expert all to often can’t bear to do this. He must needs shove moldy tomes at a body and drone on for hours of confusing details, leaving one overwhelmed, discouraged, and possibly less wiser than before. But when he does this, he is not performing his most necessary function to society at large.

    It is my intention to do that first double set of postcards for Global Warming. And the third set as well. Drilling down ONLY as necessary so as to inform the controversy (as opposed to providing a full course in Earth Science, Biology, and Wave Physics).

    There are a lot of these issues voters must deal with besides GW, for example, economics and military/foreign policy. So we must make the GW knowledge very basic, very easy, and very informative so as to leave enough room for the others. (Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “I would have written you a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time.”)

  108. Prof Davison — (Don’t make the decision yourself. Pass the buck to your drooling, mostly anonymous, mindless clients to do it for you.)

    Anthony — as one of the drooling, mindless, anonymous “clients”, I say he stays, and uncensored at that. Unlike the petulance and sheer arrogance of Tamino, RC, etc this place is civilised — and it is just now becoming better known. Wait until the bot swarm hits if you think the Prof is bad. Skeptics are a number of things, and civilised is among the qualities. We’re polite, and we’re polite because we work at it — any idiot can sling mud and be a jerk. It takes no special ability. Politeness suggests restraint. There is little that speaks louder than this, especially to the newcomers who will inevitably stop in and judge the goings-on as this place gains fame.

    StevenMosher — I defer to your superior skills in Pascal-Fu.

  109. Anthony and Evan, there are benefits in flushing out all manner of responses. I’ve been concerned for some time that if we believe in the importance of the human desire to communicate, then we have to believe in reason and that requires open public debate. In the past i’ve had a great deal to say about the stooopidity of the big bang religion because nothing cannot be the cause of something if there ever was such a thing as nothing which is impossible anyway. Here with the hot topic of climate we see a similar anthropic mindset with its priest class and afraid to grasp the big picture.

    For supposed expert scientists to get our universe so glaringly wrong for close to a hundred years with their absurd fiction simply points to a failure of the peer review process which is now evident in this issue on earth’s climate. It also points to some glaring inadequacies with the popular media. e.g. Debate isn’t happening in science in Australia which should represent the warning sign that there is something rotten to the core.

    All we see on very important scientific issues is the rise of a particularly nasty media priest class with an obvious promotion of ugly `scientism’. This is a formula that holds scientists above criticism and unaccountable to anyone. It is an anti-democratic view of the world.

    Have we reached the frontier of our knowledge and there are no more new mysteries? Hardly. The main challenge here is our ability to separate cause from effect (which we all do to some degree every day) …. i.e. what drives change that creates derivatives else we will simply be left with this psychosis giving us closed systems “experts” who do their best to design their own climate with their faulty modeling, and unable to see outside the earth’s troposphere.

    Evan, I appreciate your thoughtful article, and I agree, there are many compelling reasons in life …… political, pragmatic, economic, health and environmental, for improving our environment and life, for conservation of energy and water, for developing alternative fuels to finite fossil fuels, etc, but human contributed global warming with its CO2 fear mongering is not one of them.

  110. randomengineer

    You claim “we’re polite and we’re polite because we work at it.” That is partly true, but some of you have made my insult list on #71 on my WHY BANISHMENT? thread. For documentation I recommend you consult that thread.

    I think it is an encouraging sign that I have lasted as long as I have here and I appreciate that. That elevates this blog above the several that have summarily banished me for stating my sincere convictions.

    I am a deeply religious person who believes there is a purpose in the universe and that each of us is predestined to be what we are. I am a determinist like Albert Einstein and I make no bones about it as I have stated on my weblog and elsewhere.

    My Providence is to resurrect some of the greatest minds of the past and present, minds that have often been treated with contempt or ignored. Those great minds served to provide me with the raw materials for my own contributions which I have published.

    It is true that I have published nothing on the issue of global warming and probably won’t. But that will not stop me from declaring my convictions on whatever venues are available. It is also true that I am intolerant of those that are, for whatever reason, unable to recognize that which is so transparently evident to myself. If my stance is unacceptable there is nothing I can do about it. We are all victims in a sequence which I have described in my 2005 paper – “A Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis.”

    I am convinced that the way we each view the world is also largely predetermined, a position supported by studies on separated monozygotic twins. One of the most significant books of recent times is William Wright’s “Born THat Way” which summarizes that evidence. I feel the same way about Tim Flannery’s “The Weather Makers.” When one encounters another writer who has independently reached the same conclusions that you have reached yourself, that can exert a powerful influence on ones world view. It certainly has in my case.

    “No sadder proof can be give by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men.”
    Thomas Carlyle

    I am also convinced with the greatest mind of all time that –

    “Our actions should be based on the ever-present awareness that human beings in their thinking, feeling, and acting are not free but are just as causally bound as the stars in their motion.”
    Albert Einstein

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

    john.a.davison.free.fr/

  111. You’d be very surprised how many honors students of Chinese history can’t rattle that off (even the first postcard’s worth).

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all. I read last week that over 20% of high school students can’t find the @$#&^%! PACIFIC OCEAN. And yet, those people VOTE — they vote for representatives who will (in line with the topic of this thread) make important decisions for them.

    Evan, I didn’t quite get your previous reference to post cards. Thanks for clearing it up. I think it’s an excellent idea. I hate to keep bringing up my email exchange with Bob Carter last fall, but he made so many great points that I think parts of it bear repeating, especially as they pertain to the topic of your post:

    the essential science of the global warming issue is actually very simple (despite all the attempts by the IPCC and others to obfuscate the issue), and able to be understood and assessed by any interested, normally educated person.

    I’m prime evidence to the truth of what Dr. Carter says. Most of the math, physics and statistics goes right over my head, but I understand the basics.

    In order to accomplish what you suggest, you need only possess two qualities: a basic understanding of the topic and the ability to put it into words that even a dummy can understand. “CLIMATE FLASH CARDS FOR DUMMIES — I like it! There are a number of regular visitors (including yourself) to this blog that possess both of those qualities. As I stated near the end of a previous thread, one of the first post cards has to describe what normal is, how it’s measured (and whether or not the measurements can be trusted). And that’s what this blog is really all about — right?

  112. Evan, I found your post on “postcard knowledge” very interesting. Up until Jan. ’07 I believed the hype about AGW, simply because that was all I heard, and I am (or was – I don’t know where I stand now politically) a Democrat. I would occasionally see these ridiculous letters in the paper saying GW is a hoax blah blah, liberals blah blah, and decided I’d respond for once, figuring it would be a slam dunk rebutting them. So I was really looking for proof of AGW, and expected to find it easily. I didn’t. Something about the AGW arguments rang hollow, and it always revolved around C02, and their ASSUMPTION that it drives or can drive climate. It was upon this foundation that all of their horror story predictions were based. The problem was, they never proved it. It didn’t take long for me to become a skeptic, and I began (and continue to) writing anti-AGW letters based on science, not politics. If you want a good exercise in distilling the argument against AGW, try doing so in 250 words max. It really boils down to; it’s not C02, it’s the sun that drives climate. With only 250 words you can do some drill-down into the second set of cards, but not much.

  113. I think we should take a lesson here. If we start taking ourselves too seriously, we’ll end up as misguided as the “experts”.

    It seems we can’t even recongnize parody these days.

    [Whether he's joking or serious, I'm still laughing!]

  114. Evan,

    Better you than me. After your first post card states that CO2 concentrations have gone up to a whopping .038% of the total atmosphere, and temperatures might have risen by .6c over 100 years – where do you go? If you talk solar cycles, earth axis, cosmic rays, the entire effort will be dismissed.

    As I attempt to dial down my cynicism, I think that there is a strong undercurrent of rational people who a starting to smell a rat in the conventional wisdom on AGW and may be receptive to a cohesive message. The challenge will be getting the information into their hands.

    As for the post topic, you know who I think should decide – the Free Market! People operate in their own best interest and use their dollars to their advantage. I am all for conservation of resources because it is to my economic advantage to do so. If you allow energy resources to trade at market prices, those prices will influence where research and development dollars are spent. When oil was $11 a barrel, there was no economic incentive to explore or develop alternatives. Now that we are at $ 107 the incentive is there and will be exploited.

    I recently went to the Energy Dept.’s web site and calculated what it would cost to replace ½ of my $200 monthly electric bill with solar. To save that $100 would cost $100.000 in a new solar system. Their calculator, factoring in increased home value and not maintenance stated that it would be 45 years to get a return on my investment. I think I’ll let the TVA continue to make my power. But as technology advances, chasing those energy dollars, new batteries and panels will be developed and when the same system can be bought for $10,000, I just might take the plunge.

    The government has no constitutionally defined role here. I am reading a John Adams biography and really wish this nation could return to that clear thinking about the role of government, and what it should and should not be. As an example, how has mission creep seen the National Aeronautics and Space Administration involve itself in atmospheric temperatures? I understand that these departments are first about their own survival. We need a political class that can say no.

    The government subsidies of ethanol have wreaked havoc on food prices. Allowing artificial, government inspired market influences on the energy market will further weakening the economy. With the war on terror, the mortgage mess, the housing slump, the threat of inflation, the weakening dollar, the oil price spike – we don’t need a carbon tax, or a windfall profit tax either.

  115. Bob_L — (As for the post topic, you know who I think should decide – the Free Market! )

    One problem overall is that there are at least two classes of skeptic. The most prevalent is the political skeptic who is suspicious of the abuse of science by what can only be described as environmental fascists. This suspicion is exacerbated by the continuing and mounting evidence that these environmentalists have an agenda and will stop at nothing to promote it as follows —

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3508263.ece

    This article has nothing to do with AGW per se but does illustrate the mind set. One can expect a Dan Ratheresque statement to follow to the effect that this paper may have been misquoted but it’s still true.

    Who decides? Ultimately what the environmentalists and the Malthusians and the various cousins of this group want to implement a top down regime ruled by the “intellectuals.” Certainly this appeals to those who are or consider themselves to be intellectuals — why would it not? Their problem is that the US is a republic, and this group has no chance of succeeding without overturning the constitution. The best they can hope to attain is to twist the electorate via indoctrination. The fact that sites like this exist says that this is not going to happen without a major pissing match, and my money says they’re ultimately going to lose. The answer? WE the people will decide.

  116. Has anybody visited Mr Davison’s Blog?
    Under “Global Warming” there are over 50 comments, only about three are by others than Mr. Davison. This seez all!?!
    (Sorry for being off topic)

  117. Has anybody visited Mr Davison’s Blog?
    Under “Global Warming” there are over 50 comments, only about three are by others than Mr. Davison. This seez all!?!
    (Sorry for being off topic)

    Yeah, I took a look at it. It’s just him talking all over himself. The funniest part, though, was where he says if we apologize (those whom he named, such as me) our names would be removed from his hate list. ROTFL!!! This coming from the “man” who’s first post called everyone here snotbags. Who should be apologizing to whom?

    Another funny thing, he embodies EVERYTHING he accuses others of being/doing.

  118. All we see on very important scientific issues is the rise of a particularly nasty media priest class with an obvious promotion of ugly `scientism’. This is a formula that holds scientists above criticism and unaccountable to anyone. It is an anti-democratic view of the world.

    That’s what I see, too. Partly. But if that were not true we would not be here formulating methods to combat it. Those postcards are a first step to breaking the cult.

    As I attempt to dial down my cynicism, I think that there is a strong undercurrent of rational people who a starting to smell a rat in the conventional wisdom on AGW and may be receptive to a cohesive message. The challenge will be getting the information into their hands.

    Yes. The information needs to be well formatted. It has to be fair; I admit the chance that AGW theory may be valid to a greater degree than I believe. Any rational argument must admit falsifiability.

    Conventional wisdom has been wrong before on issues like this (e.g., population, resources). When the argument was put simply, squarely, but without polemics, the “movement” fell apart.

    I’ve been concerned for some time that if we believe in the importance of the human desire to communicate, then we have to believe in reason and that requires open public debate. . . . Here with the hot topic of climate we see a similar anthropic mindset with its priest class and afraid to grasp the big picture.

    Therefore a simple yet comprehensive pov covering the “Big Picture” points of both sides needs to be made available.

    I’m prime evidence to the truth of what Dr. Carter says. Most of the math, physics and statistics goes right over my head, but I understand the basics.

    In order to accomplish what you suggest, you need only possess two qualities: a basic understanding of the topic and the ability to put it into words that even a dummy can understand. “CLIMATE FLASH CARDS FOR DUMMIES — I like it! There are a number of regular visitors (including yourself) to this blog that possess both of those qualities. As I stated near the end of a previous thread, one of the first post cards has to describe what normal is, how it’s measured (and whether or not the measurements can be trusted). And that’s what this blog is really all about — right?

    Yes, yes, yes, yes (and yes).

    I found your post on “postcard knowledge” very interesting. Up until Jan. ‘07 I believed the hype about AGW, simply because that was all I heard, and I am (or was – I don’t know where I stand now politically) a Democrat. . . .
    If you want a good exercise in distilling the argument against AGW, try doing so in 250 words max. It really boils down to; it’s not C02, it’s the sun that drives climate. With only 250 words you can do some drill-down into the second set of cards, but not much.

    One day we shall retake liberalism and restore it to its true meaning. Until then, I am kindly offered a (GOP) Big Tent, under which I gratefully shelter.

    As for the scientific controversy, yes, it is an issue of boiling it down. First into a tiered selection of “titles”. Those titles then expand into brief explanations. And so on. One can get a lot of info into very few, easy to understand words.

    Better you than me.

    Okay.

    As for the post topic, you know who I think should decide – the Free Market! People operate in their own best interest and use their dollars to their advantage.

    Agreed. And I think mankind is in a position to plain old outrun this crisis–if it IS a crisis–but only so long as we do not self-mutilate our economy. That’s MY take on Pascal.

    The government subsidies of ethanol have wreaked havoc on food prices.

    True liberals ought to consider how this (and cutting back on ANY development) devastates the poor of this world.

    One problem overall is that there are at least two classes of skeptic.

    Both kinds of skepticism (and acceptance) get their “card”. An important part of the decisionmaking process involves the, “How often are these guys RIGHT on issues like this?” and the “How much does it REALLY cost?” questions. We are a republic and, as you say, we need to USE that.

  119. “One problem overall is that there are at least two classes of skeptic. The most prevalent is the political skeptic who is suspicious of the abuse of science by what can only be described as environmental fascists. This suspicion is exacerbated by the continuing and mounting evidence that these environmentalists have an agenda and will stop at nothing to promote it”
    The other class, I guess would be the science-based skeptic, except that once you know about the science it seems it would be nearly impossible to ignore the political side. So, I see myself as both. However, when trying to convince people who are ignorant of the science it is crucial to leave the political side out.

  120. Bruce — (The other class, I guess would be the science-based skeptic, except that once you know about the science it seems it would be nearly impossible to ignore the political side.)

    The problem is that it’s nigh impossible to be a science skeptic re climate simply because it’s nigh impossible to be a climatologist, and you have to have a great deal more than rudimentary knowledge in order to form a reasonable opinion. I mean really, do you know enough about statistics to have a truly valid opinion on Mann’s use of PCA? (Even the statisticians don’t all agree on this stuff…) This is why despite tons of research and reading and immersion in this stuff I would still regard myself as more political skeptic than otherwise — I simply don’t know enough to have a valid opinion on the science itself. The secretiveness (Mann’s data, Hansen’s algorithms, etc.) just frustratingly adds more of “I don’t know.”

    I think the pro AGW side people (esp. Tamino et al) use this to their advantage; their approach is that you can’t even qualify for scientific skepticism if you can’t read and understand the peer reviewed papers. Therefore if you’re a skeptic then you’re usually relegated to political argument, and you just lost the exhange. Certainly I’m taking some license here, but I doubt that I’m incorrect overall: that’s their schtick. It’s little wonder so many people visit (e.g.) RC and come away awed at the science and contemptuous of the skeptics. They don’t know any more than the skeptics do — and usually less! — and they ain’t about to admit it.

    I would like to see some science that’s accessible to the public, stuff that can easily be digested and you don’t have to have a PhD in atmospheric physics to simply fathom the arguments. This is among the reasons why I champion this site to those I know; I think what goes on here is generally understandable to the public at large and gives them a feel for things. And ultimately this place is about is real science.

  121. Davison is just another fatalist which comes from all that indoctrination and rote learning. There is no determinism here when he says ….. “If my stance is unacceptable there is nothing I can do about it. We are all victims in a sequence ……. “. We can observe, however, how particular virus writers have maliciously hacked in on this vulnerable individual with great success and penetrated all bases by disabling mechanisms essential to human functioning. Some may call this funny but it is quite tragic and a lesson in life. i.e. Don’t become a worshipper. Never worship. It is love that always maintains the critical functions of the mind and does not cripple life but worship certainly does a pretty good job with various degrees of destructiveness and depression where we see it can only create false versions of the world that clash with the reality.

    On another thread at Anthony’s here I followed up Jim Arndt’s post to Cloud_temp_tropo.pdf and found the quite remarkable Erland Happ. For an inspirational person go to Erl’s place at ….

    http://www.happs.com.au/pages/research.html#anchor

    Strikes me that Erl is highly motivated, humble and quite perceptive when it comes to climate matters. Rather that seek and ye shall find NOTHING he best exemplifies the opposite ……. FIND and Ye SHALL SEEK.

  122. randomengineer

    “I would like to see some science that’s accessible to the public, stuff that can easily be digested and you don’t have to have a PhD in atmospheric physics to simply fathom the arguments.”

    We are back to Evan’s last paragraph:

    “For the expert to rebuke him with a patronizing “read a book” is an abrogation of responsibility on the part of the expert. It is not the layman’s responsibility to become an expert on every subject requiring a decision. Furthermore, it is a practical impossibility. It is up to the expert to explain his position simply, plainly, and in layman’s terms.” (that last requires true intellect)

    Roy Spencer does a good job, so does Anthony. I can’t name a team member off hand who does. You mainly get snark.

  123. I can’t name a team member off hand who does. You mainly get snark.

    Bob, I assume by “team” you mean the hockey team. Is that at all surprising considering who founded RC.Org? Hint, she’s not a scientist.

  124. Yes, they do.

    You mainly get snark.

    Yes, and what we need is noblesse oblige. They never stop to consider that if everyone was an expert in their field, THEY wouldn’t be anything extraordinary.

    This is an age of incredible specialization and an unprecedented degree of knowledge. The Information Age. It’s not ust computers, it’s information, itself.

    In order to coordinate it, we need to catalogue and organize it better.

    When superagriculture came along, mankind beat the Malthus equation. But it also led to the dustbowl. We must avoid an “information dustbowl”.

    The best way to avoid that is to get the general population up on the very gross basics. Once that is done, knowledge can be accessed as needed and catalogued as acquired.

  125. BTW, I am very grateful to the Rev for this forum–and for this opportunity.

    THANK YOU, REV! So say we all.

    In order to move on to more knowledge, we, the laymen, the PEOPLE, must first reassert our authority, and, with the willing help and cooperation of the experts, assemble the basic building blocks on the immensely complicated issues of public policy that face us.

  126. John A. Davison,

    Can you support your ad hominem attack claiming that “Fred Singer is the biggest charlatan of all time.” Please advise.

    I personally think that Al Gore is a charlatan and huckster as well. Follow the money!

  127. Randomengineer.

    “StevenMosher — I defer to your superior skills in Pascal-Fu.”\

    Pffft.

    don’t play Eiron to my Alazon:

    I am a sandbagger from way back. I have no skills.

  128. Does he mean S. Fred Singer, colleague of Dennis Avery? If so, I must disagree with him. I do not regard him as a charlatan at all.

    I am indeed working on that set of postcards (filecards, if you prefer). The above essay was, in effect, based on around a dozen headings. I intend to cover the entire Global Warming ground in the same manner. (Including a “history of the debate”.) That is to say, you may regard all this as part one of a larger work.

  129. Evan Jones and Stephen Mosher.

    I am no longer allowed to comment on this blog because my views are at odds with those of Anthony Watts. He has smade that impossible. That is the same reason I cannot comment on Uncommon Descent, EvC, ARN, RichardDawkins.net, Panda’s Thumb, After The Bar Closes, Pharyngula and other “groupthinktanks” each of which is dominated by a personality incapable of unbiased discourse.

    You may ask about S. Fred Singer on my blog or by private email and I will document that the man is a charlatan. I obviously will not be able to answer your question here. That is something that you should be very concerned about.

    However, if you are able to view this message, you will find ample documentation on pages 244 nd 245 of Tim Flannery’s book, “The Weather Makers.”

    Good luck!

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

    REPLY: Your views don’t concern me, but your behaviour here does. For example, the blanket name calling, the ad hominem attacks. You ask people to apologize to you, but you’ve not issued one simple apology for your unprovoked name calling (drooling, snotbags for example) here. Why is that?

  130. ‘I am no longer allowed to comment on this blog’ ~ jd

    *blink* so… I imagined reading that just now?

    (sorry Anthony, could not resist)

  131. Well, my frontal exposure worked didn’t it? Watts does not want to be identified as an ideologue, so he let me speak for a change. The important thing is that he never presented my most significant message.

    [REPLY: No I did that to illustrate that you are doing exactly what you accuse me of, being a "blog bully" By posting such things then saying "well it worked" you clearly admit to employing that tactic.]

    When I first submitted a message here I was greeted with a barrage of insults, mostly from anonymous sources. That is the way I have been greeted at most forums. I may even have cast the first rock. I can’t remember. I believe that an impartial, quantitative appraisal will reveal that, insult for insult, mine stand in a miniscule minority here as in every other forum where I have been able to speak. I collect insults. Others should do the same. It is very revealing.

    [REPLY: " I may even have cast the first rock. I can't remember." yes you did, and several. ]

    While I am a Roman Catholic, my temperament is primarily Old Testament in nature. Besides, as I have made very clear, I am a convinced determinist who, contrary to Catholic dogma, has rejected Free Will. In short, I am a sinner. My daughter has promised that I will have a priest at my bedside to take my confession and to prepare me for the hereafter. So I am also a hypocrite don’t you know. The important thing to remember is that no scientist worth a nickel has ever let his religion influence his science and some have gone to the stake for it. Galileo got off lightly considering the fact that he hadn’t proved his point. He had plenty of goofy ideas as the Jesuits pointed out and his treatment of Kepler was scandalous. Neverthless, he will always be honored as the inventor of the scientific method.

    [REPLY: Then apply this passage "What you sow so shall you reap". So don't sow insults anymore any you won't get any in return.]

    It is interesting how there is a clear correlation between godless Darwinism and congenital atheism and I suspect the same may be true between denial of global warming and atheisim as well. Certainly the vast majority of academics are atheists for what that is worth. Both have obvious political affiliations as well and I detect a definite liberal tendency here as in most internet forums and weblogs. I’ll bet most of the clients here are Bush haters. Someone already denigrated Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

    If it will help any, I humbly apologize for my insults.

    [REPLY: Thank you, now here is what I'm going to do, I'm going to offer you a clean slate. You can post a comment, on topic, without insults, without repeating it over and over again on multiple threads. However, if you stoop to name calling again, such as calling the other participants "snotbags, droolers, etc" you will be banned for good.

    I recommend that you examine the policy page. If you can't abide by it, let me know now.

    Use your second chance wisely.]

    “The devil made me do it.”

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

  132. “if we apologize (those whom he named, such as me) our names would be removed from his hate list.” Reminds me of Nixon’s blacklist, which it was an honor to be on.

    “I simply don’t know enough to have a valid opinion on the science itself.” I just don’t agree with that. The layman can understand enough of the basics to know that AGW is pure unadulterated baloney. To a large extent, in fact, we may be better able to see the forest, not just the trees.
    There is one scientist who recently did boil down the info into laymen’s terms – I imagine at least some here have seen it:

    http://middlebury.net/op-ed/global-warming-01.html

    If only Davison would read THAT instead of trash like “The Weather Makers”. Oh well. There’s no hope for him.

  133. steven mosher — It’s wierd that for most calls for implementation of the precautionary principle around the blogosphere there appears to be few if any voices (like yours) who can correctly place this notion in the proper context. And when they do point this out, they are roundly booed for the trouble, or worse, castigated as being an imbecile or tool of BigOil. It’s as if there’s a built-in blockage of fathoming Pascal’s implications. Surely this is indicative of an understanding limited to the sound bite level. Whether this is by choice, by ignorance, or the result of genetics is unknown (although I have my suspicions…)

    Evan — Regarding a potential “who decides” series there’s a sidebar I’d like to see you explore, which is the unholy marriage of the PeakOil and AGW. I find it odd that there’s a huge overlap between AGW belief and the feelings of certainty re oil depletion.

    What I don’t really quite get is the concern for AGW; if oil is running out as claimed, then isn’t this a plus for AGW? (Less carbon will be emitted because we ran out of oil.)

    Clearly these concepts are at odds, not complementary. My take is that the AGW crowd being wedded to the PeakOil crowd suggests that what’s happening has more to do with Doom Du Jour rather than a solid understanding of the arguments: it seems they don’t think it through.

    The other aspect of PeakOil that’s interesting is the constant claims that Exxon et al are financing AGW “disinformation.” It seems then that the claim is that a crew of ultra bright ivy league grads running a highly profitable business are plotting to use up all the dwindling oil as fast as possible so they they can go out of business (and be reviled by the government and public) as soon as is feasible. Maybe it’s just me but this simply doesn’t make sense.

    Yes I know PeakOil in and of itself doesn’t really have a great deal of relevance… EXCEPT that the same crowd who natters about this is also the same crowd who is the most ardent about the perils of AGW. In terms of relevance to any future essays, it may be helpful to look at the commonalties of beliefs prevalent in the AGW crowd and what we can look forward to regarding future argument(s).

  134. No Anthony Watts.

    I am referring to the link I provided, specifically to the comment March 11, 11:28 and the one that followed. Thank you for allowing the link to stand.

    As for Bruce Cobb, to label “The Weather Makers” as trash labels Bruce Cobb as an intellectual disaster. His “Oh well. There’s no hope for him.” will make the list along with some of his other nasty commentary. The internet teems with such blowhards. They never contribute anything of substance. The remarkable thing is the way they insist on using their real name or so I must presume! I wonder what else he has to offer.

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

    REPLY: Ok folks, lets get back to business, leave Mr. Davison alone. He’s apologized, let’s move on.

  135. I promise. Not another insult. In return I expect not to be edited or deleted. I accept all the insults others heap on me and my sources. I relish them and wouldn’t know what to do without them. I regard an insult to a source as an insult to me. Tim Flannery is not trash. Like myself he is an alarmist and that is not a cardinal sin, at least not yet.

    I repeat my prediction that by the end of this decade and probably sooner, those who deny a human cause for the melting of polar and continental ice, the retreat of glaciers, an increase in global precipitation, violent weather, and dramatic world wide climate alterations will be as scarce as hen’s teeth.

    “As Pogo said ‘We have met the enemy and he is us.'”
    Patrick J. Buchanan, Day of Reckoning, page 160

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

    REPLY: Fair enough, no more insults, we all have better things to do. But in the case of not believing a source, that is the right of the commenter to believe it or not. That is their choice such as is yours to believe in the writings of zoologist Tim Flannery. Let us not equate the beliefs of commenters here about the veracity of third party works to personal insult, lets stick to the science.

    “In return I expect not to be edited or deleted.” I can’t make a blanket promise, if your posts fall outside of the posted policy, I reserve the right to edit or delete them as I do with some other comments. Just play fair, don’t toss insults, and don’t repeat the same post over and over again and you should be fine.

  136. I may even have cast the first rock. I can’t remember.

    I’m afraid you did. And when you throw a rock at a beehive, it is typical that more than one bee responds, you know.

    I believe that an impartial, quantitative appraisal will reveal that, insult for insult, mine stand in a miniscule minority here as in every other forum where I have been able to speak.

    Well, arguably Germany and Japan, in absolute terms, wound up more on the receiving end than, say, the US or Britain. Nonetheless . . .

    FWIW, I agree with you on determinism. (I accept all this as fate.) But I live my life as an emulation of free choice. I don’t really believe a die roll is truly random. But I live my life exactly as if it were random. Same goes for free will.

    I’ll bet most of the clients here are Bush haters. Someone already denigrated Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

    To tell you the truth I like all of them. But for strictly and exclusively liberal reasons, I assure you! #B^1 But we have stayed away from party politics; I like to think we come from all sides of the political spectrum but are here to discuss the science. Yes, what i wrote about was political, but it was political theory writ large, and not intended to be on the partisan domestic level.

    The layman can understand enough of the basics to know that AGW is pure unadulterated baloney.

    I prefer to think of it as adulterated baloney.

    I also consider that there is a (what I consider to be slim) chance I am wrong, and I think that the baloney factor is in the assessment of the degree and the proposed response.

    Let me put it this way: I am about as sure of this as I was that we would not be running out of ANY vital resource, including the Amazon rainforest by the year 2000. Back in the late ’70s that was considered to be an ignorant and sinful notion.

    (I admit we WERE in danger of running out of math and spelling. But we learned how to manufacture that.)

  137. “As for Bruce Cobb, to label “The Weather Makers” as trash labels Bruce Cobb as an intellectual disaster.”
    Actually, I was being kind. It is climate porn. Pure Gaia-worshipping speudoscientific nonsense. And, apparently, Davison’s bible, since he likes to reference and quote from it so much. Guess we know what that makes HIM.

    “His “Oh well. There’s no hope for him.” will make the list along with some of his other nasty commentary.”
    As in Nixon’s blacklist, I am honored.

  138. Evan — Regarding a potential “who decides” series there’s a sidebar I’d like to see you explore, which is the unholy marriage of the PeakOil and AGW. I find it odd that there’s a huge overlap between AGW belief and the feelings of certainty re oil depletion.

    The short answer is “stuff and nonsense”. Oil may be the snot of the devil himself, but whatever it is or is not, we are NOT running out of it.

    We have been through this “peak oil” silliness before (but going by a different tag). Ever since “Pennsylvania 1859″, there has been someone insisting that oil is done for.

    By 1975, there were c. 3.4 tbls potential reserve of oil (including bitumens, shale, tar sands, etc., etc.). Today, a quick scan of wikipedia (a generally pessimistic venue) will reveal figures that add up to 6.5 tbls. That, after all the intervening use. We more or less consistently locate two metric tons of oil for every one we use. Nearly always “estimates” turn out to be lowballed. Now demand is up, exploration (and techniques) continue to improve.

    Yes, there is a finite amount of oil down there. But we probably have only begun to scratch the surface of it. The skinny is that we will eventually move on from oil. But we will run away from it LONG before we run out of it.

    What I don’t really quite get is the concern for AGW; if oil is running out as claimed, then isn’t this a plus for AGW? (Less carbon will be emitted because we ran out of oil.)

    Think “response”. It’s the dialectic. If even those “addicted to oil” can be “brought on board”, then forcible restriction of use and conversion will be more palatable.

    I think we will convert. But it is vital that we do so in such a way that the glorious economic/technological/affluence expansion not be imperiled or restricted. Wealth = Power. Power to physically sculpt the planet and its ecosystems. Power to adjust as needed and/or desirable. As I have said before, if there is a climate crisis (which I doubt), our odds of dodging it are much lower than our odds of simply outrunning it.

  139. Fatalists as worshippers often promote this myth of exceptionalism and thus are not equipped to love which is a tragedy in itself. In the real world we don’t need to believe that, with the advent of consciousness, we can now step outside evolution, go under it, rise above it, or stop it…. for all our actions are evolutionary. We are all artists, we are all scientists and we are all philosophers with a love that cannot ignore evolution as this process occurring at all times with respect to each electron, atom, cell, organ, organism, species, ecosystem, planet, and galaxy?

    I must confess that I just LOVE CO2 because it grows better roses, bigger tomatoes, greens the environment and even leads to stronger, healthy people. As long as plants have three basic things, water, energy and CO2, and enough of the nutrients they need, they will keep growing, and pumping out oxygen. Boy, am i appreciative that plants discovered the trick of turning water, energy and CO2 from the environment long ago, into complex carbohydates and with that extra special spare bit of oxygen. Alternatively, if i was even some obnoxious little weed with this neat little trick to offer, i’d be appreciative of any extra free CO2 fertilizer that would allow me to grow healthier, bigger, stronger and greeener.

    Evan, the glaring problem it that there are numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed a weak media and propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of carbon guilt, that they are in fact displaying intelligence and virtue.

    In postcard one we should expose the monstrous lie that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant that religiously stamps all people as carbon sinners. There is no moral purpose here because all we see are shonks like Flannery, Algorithms, etc filled with fake self-righteousness where facts can be bent or ignored to fit an hypothesis. These charlatans are on a mission to return to pre-Copernican times by pronouncing guilt on everyone in order to extract money from their supposed carbon sinfulness. i.e. a new swindle to make money out of thin air.

    The point about CO2 is that it is not really anything much of a greenhouse gas for planet earth once it gets the early work done and above 0 degrees Celsius. So far every last scrap of existing scientific evidence confirms overwhelmingly that industrial CO2 release is good for people and enhances the biosphere/environment. If anyone can find any plausible evidence please let everyone know.

  140. Anthony

    Btuce Cobb just refuses to stop being abusive. I have no intention of adding his recent insults to the ones he already has on WHY BANISHMENT? #71. I am quite content with –

    “Senile, bipolar, forgot to take his meds.”

    and

    “I say boot the senile, bipolar royal loon snotbag believer in Gaia, aka Johnny “the debate is over” Davison.”

    I am willing to play according to your rules but I am not sure about Bruce Cobb.

    REPLY: OK I’ll edit that out. I think that was from before the “clean slate point” today but I’ll check.

    FOLLOW UP: Ok I checked, all that you referenced is from well before earlier today where I offered you a “do over” if you abided by the rules. So is your “snot bags” comments on us from the beginning of your visit here. I really don’t have the time to go back and sanitize everything, and to be fair I’d have to remove comments from both sides.

    The best I can do is to say that I will intercept and if need be, edit or delete any new comments that may be disparaging to Dr. Davison, or from Dr. Davison’s comments to us also. He’s agreed to be civil, let’s give him the opportunity.

    Now can we all just get along and get back to business and stop the flame war?

  141. by pronouncing guilt on everyone in order to extract money from their supposed carbon sinfulness. i.e. a new swindle to make money out of thin air.

    Indigo, you mean like this

  142. Evan, the glaring problem it that there are numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed a weak media and propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of carbon guilt, that they are in fact displaying intelligence and virtue.

    Unfortunately true. Been through that in the ’80s, but it was the Cold War, population, and resources back then.

    I was hugely encouraged, however, to discover that most of the guys “felt that way” just to get girls. When it came down to actual decisionmaking, they actually (usually) thought with their heads. And, one may hope, some things never change.

    Now I’m in trouble. Thanks a lot.

    Much the same proposed (anti-development) solution is proposed today, and from much the same sort of people who proposed it then. Which pattern arouses my suspicions. Not unlike a nine year-old kid who always has a whole host of seemingly disassociated problems, and somehow the solution for all of them turns out to being allowed to say up until 11:30. (Wait for it, Rev,)

    In postcard one we should expose the monstrous lie that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant that religiously stamps all people as carbon sinners.

    The first postcard would pose the issue. If there was room, it might indicate that CO2 is not poisonous in any way, in and of itself, and that the controversy was over alleged secondary effects, only.

    CO2 would definitely get a secondary card all its own.

    The point about CO2 is that it is not really anything much of a greenhouse gas for planet earth once it gets the early work done and above 0 degrees Celsius.

    I did not know that the GH effect of CO2 was temperature-sensitive at that level. One of the controversies seems to be the percentage of GH effect of CO2. What then become HIGHLY relevant is:

    a.) How much of the TOTAL % GH effect is from CO2?
    b.) How much % an effect does ADDITIONAL CO2 have?

    If those numbers are significantly different at the o°C level, that could be the crux of the debate in practical, if not scientific terms.

    If one stipulates, for example (and I know this is not true), that CO2 was 100% of GH effect under o°C, and 0% of GH effect above o°C, then obviously a doubling of CO2 would be completely meaningless.

    So how much does the effect change and at what temperatures? A reliable answer would rate a line on the CO2 card if the answer would affect policy.

  143. Stan, we have this papal decree that CO2 is a very dangerous pollutant and therein we have one of the most fraudulent concepts ever perpetrated by people … a nasty piece of work for this is the mad-hatter world of carbon cops imposing carbon charges in order to expiate your carbon sinfulness and thereby minimise your time spent in Purgatory. Where does it start and end because the possibilities for corruption are immense? e.g. A carbon charge from the AGW clergy on every birth, annual carbon fees per child and a carbon credit for sterilization? Also if you are large or suffer obesity perhaps then let’s have some additional charges, too. Of course the wealthy will be advantaged and easily able to offset their sinful deeds. Very pre-Copernican I must say because it is all in the mind.

    Of course, alarmist AGW exists but it is all in the mind which is the only place we can find it. It is simply a mind over matter mind virus where people are told they have bad breath. The non infected from little ol me to our giant ball of plasma, sunnyboy, will be deemed heretics, marginalized and punished with plenty of “the end is near” talk of course. AND oh the horror of it all. We are seeing this in the media every day …. cool becomes warm, cold becomes hot, and i dare say that it all is going to get very dirty with all this at stake.

    I particularly don’t want a colder world because of the hardship it will bring to humanity and nature but I must confess my growing desire to flush these charlatans down the dunny.

  144. Indigo

    While it is true that under experimental conditons (and with some difficulty) one can demonstrate CO2 to be a limiting factor for plant growth, it is not likely that this is often a limiting factor in the natural world. Water, light, temperature or mineral nutrients are virtually always the limiting factors. I have watched over the last thirty years the devastating pollution of Lake Champlain due entirely to the phosphates and nitrates associated with agricultural fertilizer, detergents and especially human waste.

    One solution which I have offered is to develop hydroponics on a grand scale to grow corn and sugar cane on our lakes and reservoirs and at the same time cure them of their eutrophic condition. It would neutralize the prospect of drought. We already have the technology. All we need is the engineering to make it possible. To grow corn for biofuel with conventional methods will only further pollute the Gulf of Mexico due to agricultural runoff. If we have the time, which I seriously doubt, we must adopt a whole new strategy which to date we simply are not doing, at least to my satisfaction. We must not only stop what we have been doing, we must reverse it. Our lakes, our rivers our ground water and the oceans, the ultimate sink, have become the sewer for nearly 7 billion human beings. It is untenable.

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

  145. It’s a trace gas. c. 1/25th of 1%.

    It has anywhere between 1x and 7x the effect of water vapor by ppmv. I can never get that answer straight, and I’d sure like to.

    I’d also like to know if the answer is not known and to what extent the experts disagree.

    All that is info for the CO2 “card”.

    “Historical” fog is NOTHING compared with statistical fog. Every time I hear about “lies, damn lied, and statistics”, I think how little that holds on, “lies, damn lies, and paragraphs”.

    Well, I want to know the accurate GH gas effect statistic, within known prameters. And I’d like to have the accompanying paragraph, for that matter. I may have to write it myself, but I WILL have it. (And I want decent citations because I can’t get anywhhere without sourcing it.)

    Disagreement is fine. In that case I want to know the numerical scope of the disagreement.

  146. John A, the limiting factor as i see it comes from the impatient farming practice of feeding the plant rather than feeding the soil. Hydroponics that you mention, with its exceptionally controlled environmental conditions, is the natural extension of this particular mindset. If you put production and the consumer forward as your foremost objective then you will be caught up in the loop where you are unwilling to forego short term gains for the benefit of long term solutions. i.e. the hurried process of squeezing the soil to the point of complete exhaustion, followed by degradation of the whole landscape with a ‘no return’ status and then due congratulations you mug farmer.

    Step outside this loop to a practice where water flow is slowed and captured by numerous retention mechanisms which naturally keeps water on/in the land. Consider the soil climate and that much of the work in the soil is done by the numerous soil organisms and microorganisms that thrive to make “living” soils. This is a complex soil food web teeming with earthworms, mites, bacteria, fungi—all kinds of mostly microscopic, interdependent organisms that release mineral nutrients and create the loose soil structure crops need to thrive. It makes much sense and there is next to no space here to explain nor to examine its full significance. The major point is that with careful patience, sustainable agriculture is then possible and extra free atmospheric CO2 is a healthy, greening bonus as it enters the soil climate.

    ps I feel everyone deserves a break from little ol boing me …. cheers

  147. Indigo

    You can’t even find earthworms in the soils of much of American agriculture. They have been poisoned out of existence. I know from personal experience when I was trying to find earthworms for bait several years ago in the cotton country of Mississippi. I substituted beef liver only to discover that every catfish I caught was loaded with tumors. My suggestions, and that is all that they are, certainly have absolutely nothing to do with politics. They have to do with our survival. In my opiniion it is already much too late in any event.

    That other product of oxidation, water, is also posing the same threat that CO2 is. Why do you suppose world wide precipitation is increasing? Equal molecular quantities of H2O and CO2 are produced with the oxidation of glucose. The oxidation of reduced substrates like gasoline and fuel oil produces a much higher H2O/CO2 ratio. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas too.

    I am flabbergasted that anyone would identify climbing atmospheric CO2 as an extra, free, healthy, greening bonus. I doubt if it is ever a limiting factor outside the experimental laboratory. CO2 is first and foremost a poison.

    Alfred Russel Wallace long ago recognized what we are doing to our planet –

    “Remember! We claim to be a people of high civilization, of advanced science, of great humanity, of enormous wealth! For very shame do not let us say ‘We cannot arrange matters so that our people may all breathe unpolluted, unpoisoned air!'”
    Man’s Place In The Universe, page 257 (1905).

    The simple truth is that we have failed miserably and are now paying the price.

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

  148. The best explanation I can find for AGW hysteria is the demographic fact that 50% of the population is, by definition, below average intelligence. And according to the NIH, 21% of the population can be classified as mentally ill to a greater or lesser degree.

    Thus, we have well over 100 million folks in the U.S. alone who can easily be sold on the notion that the sky is falling, aliens are abducting members of congress, and sea level will be at your doorstep tomorrow morning.

    Excuse, me, I have to go now and change a few laws of physics so I can join the AGW crowd and apply for some grant money….

  149. “CO2 is first and foremost a poison.” Nonsense. C02 is no more a “poison” than water vapor, or even 02 is. The more C02, in fact, the better it is for plants, which is good for us. Yes, the increase of C02 from 335 ppm (pre-industrial level) to today’s 385 has actually been a boon to mankind. Man has contributed roughly 3% of that, the rest from nature, primarily the oceans, due to off-gassing. Yes, C02 has some warming effect (and a good thing, too), but it is logarithmic, meaning the initial rise in C02 has more effect. The warming we’ve experienced has also been good, coming out of the LIA as we were. The indications now, in fact, are that we will be (if not already) going into a cooling period.

  150. The simple truth is that we have failed miserably and are now paying the price.

    Mr. Davison, I ask again, for the third time. If you truly believe there is an emergency, why haven’t you given up all your technology and assumed a hunter-gatherer lifestyle? It’s the ONLY way to reduce human industrial CO2 which you believe is a pollutant and a poison (hey, too much O2 will kill you too, eh?). Failing to do so labels you a hypocrite of the highest order.

  151. I’ll stand with Tim Flannery, thank you very much. I just sent him an email to let him know I am a strong supporter.

    The current warming is trivial compared with the effects associated with it. The earth is an extremely delicate system which can respond violently to even slight disturbances. No dramatic effects may be manifest until the polar sea ice is mostly gone at which time all hell will break loose. I am sorry that no one here can see what I see. I guess there must be something wrong with me. Or maybe others are not watching the weather reports which continue each day to present a frightening scenario, at least to me.

    Sorry to be wasting your time with my heresies. It is nothing new for this old physiologist. After 54 years in the science game, I can still say that nothing I have ever put in print has been shown to be without foundation. Of course there is always a first time, but they better hurry. I can’t live forever.

    I love it so!

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

  152. The Flannery who is not a climatologist.

    Or maybe others are not watching the weather reports which continue each day to present a frightening scenario, at least to me.

    Or maybe there’s really nothing frightening going on, only the spin.

    And you still haven’t answered my thrice-asked question.

  153. AGW/AGCC Religion is powerful, no doubt about it. They believe because they want and/or need to believe. It has nothing to do with science with them. Sad, really.

  154. Jeff Alberts

    I see you refuse to follow Anthony Watts’ suggestions. You know nothing of my life style and never will if it is up to me. All I know about you is that you are crass and have made my list (#71 on my WHY BANISHMENT? thread) because of it. That is all I need to know and I am happy to see to it that others now know that also. I cherish and collect insults and am delighted to share them with others.

    Congratulations.

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

    REPLY: FYI it looks like your website is busted. When I visit http://john.a.davison.free.fr/ gives a 500 internal server error. Just thought you should know.

  155. Just for fun, is there another soul commenting on this weblog that feels we are facing a serious crisis due to the climbing levels of CO2 and, of course, water vapor? Am I the only alarmist here on a forum dedicated to the subject of global warming? If true it is not the first time I have been in that position. It will also be true that this does not qualify as a forum.

    That does not require an answer. Silence will do.

    “Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”

    john.a.davison.free.fr/

    REPLY: I note that there are several, whether or not they’ll reply to you remains to be seen. Did you see the note about your website being brokeN?

  156. My website is not broken. There may have been a bandwidth problem. I have agreed to remain civil but Jeff Alberts has not done so. He is accusing me of being a hypocrite and making ignorant allegations about my life style. He is also interrogating me. I have no intention of responding to anyone who uses those tactics. I don’t even know who he is. If he is allowed to continue in that vein I will simply have to inform others that this is a hateblog. He has also said some hateful things about Tim Flannery. That is also unacceptable by any standard. If you can’t control your clientele just say so. I won’t be surprised. It will just become a matter of record. That is the way it is supposed to be.

    “What happens in cyberdumb stays in cyberdumb.”
    John A. Davison

    Mankind fiddles while earth burns.

    REPLY: Mr. Alberts assures me he will not respond to your posts anymore. I suggest you do not respond to him also. As for Tim Flannery the only thing I can see that was said is that “The Flannery who is not a climatologist.” which is in no way hateful and happens to be true. Flannery is an expert zoologist/field biologist and his written a number of respected bestselling books, but he is not a climatologist by his CV on Flannery’s own webpage.

    I just tried the link to your website here: http://john.a.davison.free.fr/ and it’s definitely not working, I’m just trying to help you so that you know its not working.

    Now lets all move on folks. Please leave Dr. Davison alone, and I mean that most sincerely.

  157. Dr. Davison,

    I assume from your subsequent comments that you didn’t bother to look at the Craig Venter video I linked to at 05:37:02. You really need to check it out. It may actually restore your faith in the future of mankind, particularly the part about using surplus CO2 as a feedstock for a new generation of biofuels.

  158. Yes I did and thank you. I see no reason why we can’t imitate photosynthesis on a grand scale. All these possibilities require energy and that is the problem. My position now as in the past is that it is much too late to do anything to reverse the situation. I believe that is Flannery’s posture as well.

    I am sorry to be so pessimistic.

    “Mankind fiddled while earth burned, past tense.”

    As for being a climatologist, I have no idea what that word even means. It seems to me that anyone can be a climatologist by simple decree. I too study the weather and the phenomena associated with it. Ergo I am a climatolgist. I am also a geneticist, a physiologist and an ecologists and have published in all those areas. Labels mean absolutely nothing. They have only snob appeal as far as I am concerned.

  159. Dear Dr. Davison,

    Thanks for clearing that up, regarding your statement “Ergo I am a climatolgist.”

    I’d point out that I think you mean “c l i m a t o l o g i s t“. It seems to me that if you declare yourself to be one, you should at least spell it correctly.

    Thank you for your continued participation.

  160. Now dump on me for mispelling exposing. I love it so!

    REPLY: Why would I do that? But here is a helpful hint, if you use Firefox, there is a spelling check feature for use within form submissions, it will highlight the word with a red underline allowing you to click on it.

    If you are using Internet Explorer, if you install Google Toolbar it has an “ABC Check” button which will highlight words in forms in red, allowing you to click and get spelling fixes. I hope you find that suggestion helpful.

    Thank you for your continued participation.

  161. I have offered my explanation for the recent cold year. It results from the energy absorption of the 80 calories per gram that is required to convert each gram of ice to water at 0 C. That energy had to come from somewhere. It came primarily from the atmosphere.

    Here is a simple experiment that will illustrate what I mean. Place a 50 pound block of supercooled (say minus 20 C.) ice in bucket in a small unheated closet. Close the door, start the clock and periodically determine the air temperature. I predict that the air tempertaure will drop only slightly until the ice begins to melt and will then begin to drop precipitously and will continue to drop until the ice is nearly all melted. Then of course it will slowly rise to its original level.

    This present trend toward cooling will probably continue for some time but it most certainly does not herald a new cold period of any great duration. That is inconceivable as both poles and the Greenland ice sheet are actively melting and glaciers are receding all over the world. What we are witnessing is a only a transient phenomenon, fully predictable based on the heat of fusion of water, 80 calories per gram. As continental ice melts and the water reaches the sea, the ocean temperatures will also drop slightly but not for long. We all know what will happen WHEN, NOT IF, substantial amounts of continental ice melts. It is happening as I type. Sea levels will rise and coastal cities will be abandoned. It is only a matter of time and there is absolutely nothing that can be done to prevent it.

    I was surprised that Flannery didn’t include this interpretation in his “The Weather Makers” because it is obvious to me that is what we are currently observing. Huge hunks of Antarctic ice are breaking off and tumbling into the sea and Arctic sea ice continues to thin. Glaciers are receding world wide and precipitation amounts continue to rise world wide. These are realities not to be denied. I am convinced that part of the increase in rainfall and snowfall is due to the water produced by the oxidation of fossil fuels as well as, to a much lesser extent, the water produced by nearly seven billion large mammals and the livestock they cultivate for their survival. No animal in the history of the earth ever approached the biomass of Homo sapiens. There are around 7 billion chickens and billions more of cattle, pigs, goats and sheep as well. It is ecologically absurd to imagine that such a situation could survive for long even if there were no CO2 and H2O vapor dominating the climate changes. It has all taken place over the last two centuries and a large fraction of it in the last 50 years. The Industrial Revolution, followed by the Age of Technology, the terminal age for our civilization, have created this nightmare by allowing our numbers to increase a hunded fold, and with it the energy consuming, CO2 producing technology that made those numbers possible. In my opinion man made CO2 and H2O, both greenhouse gases, are the primary cause of it all. All other factors pale in comparison.

    It is a mystery to me that so few of us recognize what an utterly untenable and dismal situation the planet now faces. It often seems to me to be a giant cosmic joke. If it is –

    “La commedia e finita.”
    Pagliacci

    “Mankind fiddled while earth burned.”

  162. Dr. Davidson mentioned being unable to find earthworms. It is my understanding that earthworms are not native to North America, and that they are steadily making their way across the continent. Dr. D., were worms previously found in the area of Mississippi where you tried to find them?

  163. Dr. Davison: Only one problem with your experiment. The closed closet with ice in a bucket is a closed linear system while the earth is an open active non-linear system.

    That’s like comparing apples and aardvarks.

    Much of the earth’s surface would freeze in a matter of days if it were not for solar input. So many forget that important variable.

  164. Just love these greenhousers who are off their face with CO2 original sin, and who ignore anything and everything outside the troposphere. Perhaps John A , truly can dispose of his pollutants, like CO2 by breathing over some roses and carnations who would conveniently just love him. …. but that would be sinfully connecting with nature.

    I see this ice in a bucket example, as someone doing his best with this now obsolete assumption of finite universal causality. This is the single underlining problem with this climate debate. i.e. closed systems “experts” who do their best to design their own climate with their faulty modeling, and unable to see outside the earth’s troposphere. It is no coincidence that we have Fruitloop Flannery wanting to be one of the “Weather Makers”. These joker all assume now is the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that our largest plasma discharge formation the sun is somehow perfect, constant and regular. This is all part of this problem and an absurdity.

    Whilst we get teddy (god) wars and big bang stooopidities it doesn’t get any more anthropocentric than human co2 emmissions causing global warming.

  165. The closet warms up for the same reason once the ice is gone. It receives it energy from the rest of the house.

    I stand by my interpretation because it incorporates the realities that we KNOW for certain are going on. Both poles ARE melting, the glaciers ARE retreating, precipitation IS increasing, violent weather IS increasing. Are there those here who can deny these facts? Are there those here who question the validity of the Mauna Loa weather station data? I have summarized much of this on my GLOBAL WARMING thread and I have repeated it here and at “brainstorms” as well. DaveScot/David Springer over at Uncommon Descent has ignored the facts as well and, as some here have done, celebrated the virtues of higher CO2 levels and warming with very little evidence that those higher levels have any beneficial effect on plant growth in the natural world. He thinks it is grand that they are now growing brocolli in Greenland. That kind of myopic optimism is what I find amazing. The earth over the last relatively few years has been undergoing changes that before man was here took very much longer, thirty times longer according to Flannery. I am not certain about exactly how much faster it is now, but there is absolutely no question that the rate of change in the geophysical nature of the planet is proceeding at an incredible rate at present, a rate, as I see it, that is steadily increasing. If we alarmists are wrong it will eventually become evident and we will look like fools. I will probably be gone before that day comes but as long as I breathe I will remain an alarmist because all the concrete facts plead for that position.

    I do not believe that variations in solar output are contributing significantly to the current scenario which, in my opinion, is dominated largely, if not completely, by rapidly increasing atmospheric levels of the two major green house gases, CO2 and H2O vapor, increases due entirely to an ever increasing technologically advanced civilization, one which I do not believe can survive this century and possibly not the next 50 years. I am not even certain that it will survive the next twenty years and neither is anyone else.

    “Mankind fiddled while earth burned.”

  166. Severe weather increasing? Actually, no. Dr. Davison, I think perhaps you have missed some facts.

    When we look at hurricanes that have made landfall in the last 150 years, there appears to be no discernible trend, and none that seemingly coincides with observed warming trends.

    See the graph of hurricane frequency for the last 150 years.

    On top of that, just last month, NOAA issued a press release saying that “There is nothing in the U.S. hurricane damage record that indicates global warming has caused a significant increase in destruction along our coasts.” The source of the press release was the National Hurricane Center, from Chris Landsea, one of the researchers for the scientific paper that spurred this pronouncement as well as the NHC science and operations officer. They “get it” at NHC, it appears.

    Tornadoes “appear” to be getting more frequent, but wait there’s more to it:

    See this graph from NWS/NOAA. Smaller (F1) tornadoes seem to be on the increase, but not larger ones.
    I see it as simply increased reporting bias. No I’m not talking about talking heads in news stories, but rather, our ability to detect and report tornadoes has increased dramatically in the last 50 years.

    There are three main reasons:

    1) Our 155 strong WSR-88D NEXRAD Doppler Radar Network. This nationwide tool sees tornadoes with more regularity than the old WSR74 and WSR57 C band analog radars which used to be the mainstay of the NWS radar network. Often tornadoes that would have gone undetected and unseen before (such as in unpopulated areas) are reported with accuracy by Doppler radar.

    2) Increased population density. There are more people around in places that used to be uninhabited resulting in more tornado reports where before they went unseen. It is sort of like a twist on that old saying: “If a tree falls in the forest and there’s nobody to hear it, does it make a sound?”

    3) More reporting coverage. TV news and storm chasers make getting tornadoes on live TV almost as regular as watching LA car chases. Helicopters with video feeds, live vans, and just regular folks with a K-Mart video camera in the right place at the right time increase the frequency with which we see severe weather events on TV, resulting in the “feeling” that such events are on the increase.

    Lets talk about that “melting” ice:

    Arctic ice is more than this time last year, the graph from the University of Illinois is indisputable in showing this. Make sure you make your browser window as wide as possible, to see the graph, then click this link.

    Antarctic sea ice is well above normal too, it has just started it’s summer melt cycle, but even so remains above normal. Like above, make your browser wide and click this link

    And about Greenland and Flannery’s statement: ” He thinks it is grand that they are now growing brocolli in Greenland.”

    Well maybe not.

    Apparently, like the growing Arctic sea ice Greenland has a lot of cold and ice too. In fact they have the most sea ice around Greenland in 15 years. Minus 30 degrees Celsius. That’s how cold it’s been in large parts of western Greenland where the population has been bundling up in hats and scarves. At the same time, Denmark’s Meteorological Institute states that the ice between Canada and southwest Greenland right now has reached its greatest extent in 15 years.

    Looks like Flannery is wrong, it doesn’t look like great “broccoli growing weather” to me.

    Now what do you say Dr. Davison, accept what you see from these sources or cast all this actual information aside with some quote? Personally I think you are misinformed by relying on one book “the weather makers”, written by a zoologist, to guide your understanding. Limiting one’s scope results in isolated views.

  167. Here is a fact that you must have missed. It was not Flannery who crowed about growing broccoli in Greenland. It was DaveScot/David Springer of Uncommon Descent.

    I have my sources. You have yours. If you want to declare victory, be my guest. I really don’t care that much any more. There is no place for debate or even discussion in science. There is only discovery and disclosure. The testimony of 3000 independent weather stations, including the Mauna Loa station in Hawaii, tell a different story than what characterizes the posture of Watts Up With That?

    I thank you for letting me present my heresies here. That places this forum a cut above Pharyngula, Panda’s Thumb, EvC, ARN, RichardDawkins.net, Uncommon Descent and other weblogs where I am not allowed to speak at all.

    “Mankind fiddled while earth burned.”
    John A. Davison

    “Let us a little permit Nature to take her own way; she better understands her own affairs than we….Men believe most what they least understand.”
    Montaigne

    “Study Nature not books.”
    Louis Agassiz

  168. “It was not Flannery who crowed about growing broccoli in Greenland. It was DaveScot/David Springer of Uncommon Descent. ”

    I stand corrected, thank you for pointing that out.

    “The testimony of 3000 independent weather stations, including the Mauna Loa station in Hawaii, tell a different story than what characterizes the posture of Watts Up With That?”

    You mean like these? The ones on rooftops, in parking lots, and at sewage treatment plants, and airport runways?

    See this: http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/category/weather_stations/

    Only 13% on NOAA’s stations surveyed so far meet NOAA’s own exposure specs, and we’ve surveyed 502.

    “I thank you for letting me present my heresies here.”

    You are welcome, I hope you came away learning something, I know I did.

  169. John A, when it comes to earth’s climate you are just a petite fart like the rest of us but Fruitloop Flannery, Algorithms, Hansen and co just naturally assume they are the hurricane. i.e. A person with a frothing delusion like this is absolutely convinced that the delusion is real. Understand?

    One of the glaring oversights with these high priests of humans causing global warming is an assumption that our largest plasma discharge formation the sun and our galactic environment doesn’t do anything. Just how terribly wrong can one really be?

    Then some people simply see earth’s climate politically with all the alarmist warmers on the left. But the big misconception here is that sunnyboy doesn’t go to the ballotbox and vote on anything.

    Then we look at the media and all we see on very important scientific issues is the rise of a particularly nasty media priest class. The mainstream media in Australia are not about honest investigative science journalism but do an excellent job of reducing basic science to theology.

    Two programmes I watched last night dealing with anthropogenic global warming should be preceded by a disclaimer that it is propaganda, not a documentary. These programs were about creating alarm through sea levels and melting ice caps which is quite misleading. However the actual facts of the matter are quite the opposite. e.g. Last September, NASA satellites showed the Antarctic Ice Field to be the largest it has ever been in the 30 years it has been observed by satellite.

  170. “Men believe most what they least understand.” Exactly. AGW/AGCC is a belief system, not unlike a religion, based on the pseudoscience. For the adherents, C02 is an evil poison. No amount of science can convince them otherwise, because they aren’t interested. “The Weather Makers”, by fruit-loops flim-flam Flannery is their bible, and he said so, so it must be true.

  171. You and others are welcome to visit and participate on my weblog were you will not be insulted or edited no matter what you say. Thanks again.

    “Mankind fiddled while earth burned.”
    John A. Davison

  172. Mankind is the weather maker. We make the weather. That is the take home lesson in the book by “fruitloop Flannney.”

    Weather is created by differential heating of the earth’s surface. Do not confuse weather and climate.

  173. Weather is also affected by factors that prevent the heat from escaping from the earth’s surface, factors like atmospheric CO2 and H2O vapor concentrations which continue to increase as the Mauna Loa station testifies.

    I wish Bruce Cobb didn’t feel compelled to insult Tim Flannery. It gives the blog a bad name. I admire Flannery and identify with his views. It makes me irritable when he is treated with contempt and everybody knows what that means. Bruce Cobb has already made my list (#71on my WHY BANISHMENT? thread). I thought that stuff was going to stop. Flame blogs are a dime a dozen on the internet and Anthony Watts’ forum doesn’t have to one of them.

    Confident of my position and Flannery’s, I have changed the tense of my signature.

    “Mankind fiddled while earth burned.”
    John A. Davison

  174. Dr. Davison,

    Thank you again for your comments. The issue here really is that you are making claims that can be refuted with facts, and instead of engaging the factual discussion on those claims, you just ramp up with more quotes. Quotes don’t impress us. A book by a zoologist called the “Weather Makers” doesn’t impress us, though it does you. That’s ok, that’s your right. But it is going nowhere here.

    At issue is your refusal to engage the factual debate with real facts, rather you rely on quotes and anecdotes. That is the communications problem. Until you try a different tact, I think the results to your postings will be the same on most any forum you engage. By your own admisson your experiences elsewhere follow this pattern.

    Since you enjoy anecdotes, if I were to pick one that sums up the issue best it would be this one:

    “What we have here…is…failure to communicate” – Captain, Cool hand Luke, 1967.

    Respectfully, I suggest that since we apparently are not communicating well, that we just give it a rest. Have a pleasant weekend everyone.

    This thread is closed then until Monday, since I will not have time to moderate it.

  175. Comments are open again. I’m travelling so there may be long delays between the writing of comments and them showing up.

    Dr. Davison has been permanently banned from this forum for trolling for traffic on another thread. He is the first and only person to earn this distinction, but it appears that has been his goal all along. You can see the reason on this thread in the comments:

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/03/12/new-ams-draft-policy-statement-links-hurricane-katrina-and-climate/

  176. I think the AGW fraud is being exposed, primarily due to the web. But, it’s a painfully slow process, and will be unless the MSM takes notice, which they seem to be, slowly. John Tierny, in an op-ed piece which appeared in the NY Times Jan. 1 wrote :

    Today’s interpreters of the weather are what social scientists call availability entrepreneurs: the activists, journalists and publicity-savvy scientists who selectively monitor the globe looking for newsworthy evidence of a new form of sinfulness, burning fossil fuels.

    In Feb., an editorial in the Boston Globe by Jeff Jacoby titled “Br-r-r! Where did global warming go?” appeared.

    These are only a couple examples, I’m sure there are many more. The pace needs to be stepped up though, to keep them from ramming through harmful legislation. People need to speak out. Write letters. The AGW lie must be exposed. There is too much at stake for it not to be.

  177. Well, I’ll throw in a final comment that when I was staying up in Chappaqua (yes, THE Chappaqua), when I walked up brich lane after it rained I was picking up earthworms right and left from the concrete and tossing them back onthe lawns so they wouldn’t die in the road.

    Can’t speak for anywhere else in the world, but they are up to their butts in eathworms in the NYC suburbs.

    I am working on a “Global Warming for the Layman” paper based on the outlining principles I have expressed earlier in this thread. We’ll see wher that leads.

  178. http://www.iscid.org/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=6&t=000370&p=83#001232

    comment March 24, 18:58

    REPLY: Ah, here we have evidence (follow the link) that the Internet crackpot Dr. John A. Davison is now stooping to doing what he has repeatedly said he abhors; posting anonymously as a phantom in order to get a posting here. It is the childish equivalent of having a tantrum: “look at me!, pay attention to me!”

    He writes at the link above: “Since I have been banned from “Watts Up With That?” I was forced to use a phony email address to introduce my above comment there.”

    Dr. Davison write this down in your scribblelog of incoherent ramblings: you are a hypocritical crackpot!

    I love it so!

    “Mankind fiddles while the universe does whatever it damn well pleases.”

    Now go away and don’t ever come back under any persona. Go order a pizza

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