George Will: The Green Bubble Has Burst

Gore_bursts_green_bubble

From the Mt. Pleasant, MI Morning Sun. Graphic by Anthony

WASHINGTON – There once was an Indianapolis concert featuring 50 pianos. Splendid instruments, pianos. Still, 50 might have been excessive.

As is today’s chorus summoning us to save the planet.

In the history of developed democracies with literate publics served by mass media, there is no precedent for today’s media enlistment in the crusade to promote global warming “awareness.” Concerning this, journalism, which fancies itself skeptical and nonconforming, is neither.

The incessant hectoring by the media-political complex’s “consciousness-raising” campaign has provoked a comic riposte in the form of “The Goode Family,” an animated ABC entertainment program on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Cartoons seem, alas, to be the most effective means of seizing a mass audience’s attention. Still, the program is welcome evidence of the bursting of what has been called “the green bubble.”

Gerald and Helen Goode, their children and dog Che (when supervised, he is a vegan; when unsupervised, squirrels disappear) live in a college town, where T-shirts and other media instruct (“Meat is murder”), admonish (“Don’t kill wood”) and exhort (“Support our troops … and their opponents”). The college, where Gerald works, gives students tenure. And when Gerald says his department needs money to raise the percentage of minority employees, his boss cheerily replies, “Or we could just fire three white guys. Everybody wins!” Helen shops at the One Earth store, where community shaming enforces social responsibility: “Attention One Earth shoppers, the driver of the SUV is in aisle four. He’s wearing the baseball cap.”

The New York Times television critic disapproves. The show “feels aggressively off-kilter with the current mood, as if it had been incubated in the early to mid-’90s, when it was possible to find global-warming skeptics among even the reasonable and informed.”

That is a perfect (because completely complacent) sample of the grating smugness of the planet-savers, delivered by an entertainment writer: Reasonable dissent is impossible. Cue the pianos.

“The Goode Family” does not threaten Jonathan Swift’s standing as the premier English-language satirist. But when a Goode child apologizes to his parent for driving too much, and the parent responds, “It’s OK … what’s important is that you feel guilty about it,” the program touches upon an important phenomenon: ecology as psychology.

In “The Green Bubble: Why Environmentalism Keeps Imploding” (The New Republic, May 20), Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, authors of “Break Through: Why We Can’t Leave Saving the Planet to Environmentalists,” say that a few years ago, being green “moved beyond politics.”

Gestures – bringing reusable grocery bags to the store, purchasing a $4 heirloom tomato, inflating tires, weatherizing windows — “gained fresh urgency” and “were suddenly infused with grand significance.”

Green consumption became “positional consumption” that identified the consumer as a member of a moral and intellectual elite. A 2007 survey found that 57 percent of Prius purchasers said they bought their car because “it makes a statement about me.”

Honda, alert to the bull market in status effects, reshaped its 2009 Insight hybrid to look like a Prius. Nordhaus and Shellenberger note the telling “insignificance,” as environmental measures, of planting gardens or using fluorescent bulbs.

Their significance is therapeutic, but not for the planet. They make people feel better: “After all, we can’t escape the fact that we depend on an infrastructure – roads, buildings, sewage systems, power plants, electrical grids, etc. – that requires huge quantities of fossil fuels.

But the ecological irrelevance of these practices was beside the point.”

The point of “utopian environmentalism” was to reduce guilt. During the green bubble, many Americans became “captivated by the twin thoughts that human civilization could soon come crashing down – and that we are on the cusp of a sudden leap forward in consciousness, one that will allow us to heal ourselves, our society, and our planet. Apocalyptic fears meld seamlessly into utopian hopes.”

Suddenly, commonplace acts – e.g., buying light bulbs – infused pedestrian lives with cosmic importance. But: “Greens often note that the changing global climate will have the greatest impact on the world’s poor; they neglect to mention that the poor also have the most to gain from development fueled by cheap fossil fuels like coal. For the poor, the climate is already dangerous.”

Now, say Nordhaus and Shellenberger, “the green bubble” has burst, pricked by Americans’ intensified reluctance to pursue greenness at a cost to economic growth. The dark side of utopianism is “escapism and a disengagement from reality that marks all bubbles, green or financial.”

Re-engagement with reality is among the recession’s benefits.

George Will’s e-mail address is georgewill@washpost.com.

Read the complete column at the Morning Sun

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138 thoughts on “George Will: The Green Bubble Has Burst

  1. (”Support our troops … and their opponents”).

    Perfect! Gave me a great laugh!!!

  2. Will missed the best point though. When people say that the changing climate will have the greatest impact on the world’s poor, they usually omit that the impact will be positive — all by itself, even before you factor in economics.

    Who would deny that increased CO2 will directly increase agricultural output? If the globe also warms, that will extend the growing season in huge regions of the world (e.g. Russia & Canada), leading to further increases in agricultural output.

    If someone asks you, “Do you think increased CO2 will increase global temperature?” the correct response is, “I hope so.”

  3. There once was an Indianapolis concert featuring 50 pianos. Splendid instruments, pianos. Still, 50 might have been excessive

    At least six good chords there, I’d wager.

  4. BAM!

    Is it me, or are we beginning to see cracks in the foundation of AGW?

    As cooling…er…uhm…”nonwarming”… continues, sooner or later they’re gonna have to face facts: we’re not warming according to theory.

    It’ll take a while for the upper echelons to crumble, but more and more I’m seeing some media questioning AGW beliefs.

  5. I’m surprised any television station had the gumption to actually air such a comic strip.

  6. Re: “…six good chords…”: Make that cords.

    And a heap o’ good bailin’ wire beside!

  7. I liked the one about students getting tenure.

    Sad in a way, though, that laughing at one’s opponents is usually the best way to win the political argument.

  8. When the going gets tough, fantasies die on the vine, except in the minds of folk such as those like the NYT TV critic.

  9. …”early to mid-’90s, when it was possible to find global-warming skeptics among even the reasonable and informed.”

    I guess he missed the NIPCC conference.

  10. George Will is a condescending pseudo-conservative elitist, and I generally avoid his op-ed’s, especially after his tirade against jeans (I haven’t worn jeans myself since I was 5, but I still found him petty and childish). That said, I did read this one, and it makes me want to get cable just so I can watch that cartoon. I guess I should give him another chance.

  11. I’d guess Gottschalk gathered greater groupings of grand pianists.
    ======================================

  12. ” Greg Cavanagh (19:52:21) :

    I’m surprised any television station had the gumption to actually air such a comic strip.”

    I agree and it isn’t even on the Fox network. This is very clever satire.
    The comment about the boy apologising about driving too much and the mother saying “It’s OK ,what’s important is that you feel guilty about it” is right on the mark.
    Reminds me of a segment I saw on a business channel this morning, set in Japan, buyers were purchasing Prius’ because it improved their image…..for goodness sake!
    I believe that incandescent globes were stopped from being imported into Australia last November and will be banned from sale from this November.
    This nonsense really makes me angry.

  13. The first episode of the Goode Family was most entertaining, but the next two were painful. The writers couldn’t come close to maintaining the same level of wit and clever spoofing. Big disappointment.

  14. ” …. when it was possible to find global-warming skeptics among even the reasonable and informed.”

    I presume that this means those who only read press releases and a reporters opinion. I look at the science papers themselves and ask myself, how does this fit in with the historical body of evidence ?. Far too many of the ‘disasters” awaiting us are puffed up opinion pieces. When I see headlines warning of vast increases of tropical diseases, I ask, what is the current spread, what are the vectors and what is the historical record. In 1793, 5000 Philadelphians died of Yellow Fever, more than 10% of population. The next summer yellow fever returned, but not as severely, and also in 1796 and 1797. Another severe epidemic came in 1798, killing 1292 Philadelphians.

    Whats new ?.

  15. The world’s human population has exploded in my lifetime, I was born late in the first third of the last century. It might be possible that there is a fixed number of souls for this planet and that number is nowhere near enough to cover six thousand millions plus. Therefore many people are hollow, born without souls, and doomed to spend their lives trying to fill that void with externally applied symbols of wholeness. Remember the healing power of crystals? It is sad to think of all those neglected crystals, gathering dust in the back of the bottom bureau drawer while the hollow ones strive for the maximum in greenie points. In our favor is the media’s flogging the moribund green horse to death. It won’t be long before a large percentage of the population comes to remember that green is the color of bovine semi-solid body waste.

  16. Yes, George Will has done it again.
    “I cannot tell a lie, I chopped down an AGW cherry tree”.

  17. Now then, I wonder who has done the math on global cooling. The big deal that AGW makes is rising oceans. What about the opposite: Falling oceans?
    Less navigable ports and waterways (and fewer deep-water ports), high-centered Suez & Panama canals, new epoch of river-cutting, etc.
    Okay. We’re not going to broil & drown. Now what?
    Do Gore & Hansen go back to Impending Ice Age?
    What’s the sad-eyed image now: Save the Freezing Camels?
    Run for your lives, the Glaciers are coming.
    Desert property at a premium.
    Palm trees are good for America.

  18. …laughter is the best medicine, and satire a very potent weapon.

    The dour, and ever so serious green/left can’t laugh…but ridicule of their fantasies is a tonic to all their opponents.

    Great !

  19. Graphic by Anthony —- Great idea. Good job!

    Some of the comments here and on other posts, especially the previous NASA/solar variation one, indicate smarts, humor, and irony.

    What a good package.

  20. It might be possible that there is a fixed number of souls for this planet and that number is nowhere near enough to cover six thousand millions plus. Therefore many people are hollow, born without souls, and doomed to spend their lives trying to fill that void with externally applied symbols of wholeness.

    Ack! Er, I must beg to disagree. The planet supports a far greater percentage of people at what would have been considered died-and-gone-to-heaven standards. Sure we did the crystal thing (and worse). But in the 1800s it was considered a tempting deal to sell one’s soul to the devil for 7 years of “good conditions” (“good conditions” that would cause a riot in any modern prison), followed by eternal damnation.

    We could support 3 times as many with more elbow room than we have today. Resources are virtually limitless.

    I don’t think working 14 hours a day and living in unthinkably overcrowded conditions (standard for 19th century) was any better than whatever “problems of affluence” we have today.

  21. evanmjones, I think you missed the point about “souls”
    Try reading @ mr.artday (21:04:58) again, slowly.

  22. Run for your lives, the Glaciers are coming.

    Well, during the LIA, they tried prayer. (After a few hundred years they were answered.)

  23. I don’t think our souls are “stretched” John. I think we have “problems of affluence”. I don’t think souls are any better off when they are subject to the problems of near-universal poverty (and throw in a very short life expectancy). In fact, under the latter condition, I think they are greatly more sinful.

    I’ll take modernity of life and soul any day.

  24. Here in the West we are freezing our Royal Canadian butts off.

    Temperatures are projected to drop below freezing this weekend, and it is bloody well June! Let’s hope our gardens and crops survive.

    There are no words strong enough to express our deep disappointment with this LACK of global warming. This winter has been SO long and SOOO cold!

    It is truly regrettable that increased atmospheric CO2 does NOT cause significant global warming. If it did, by now most Canadians would run out and buy an even bigger SUV! I’d drive a Greyhound bus if it would help.

    I suppose burning warmists at the stake would be a bit extreme, and is unsupported by climate science, but at least we could all huddle around the bonfire to get warm.

    Drop another chunk of coal on the fire please luv, and join me under the blankets. And bring some nice hot tea – two lumps luv, with lemon. Ta!

    :^)

  25. The carbon footprint of the average American amounts to 1/300,000,000th of 1/4 of an inch on a line 10 kilometers long, even using the inflated estimates of the IPCC, and not allowing for the upward drag on the average provided by Algore and his sycophants jetting about in their Gulfstreams, to meetings where they discuss new ways to punish the rest of us for having the temerity to still be alive. Even if we could achieve the impossible and completely eliminate the entire CO2 output of the entire country, it would still be only 1/4 inch on that 10K line. Fuel efficient cars, energy efficient buildings, and many other environmentally friendly actions can be justified for for many reasons, but to contend that they will meaningfully affect the climate in any way that will even be perceptible by people a hundred years from now is complete lunacy. To suggest that we must all be compelled to surrender large parts of our personal liberty and future economic prospects to embrace these idiotic feel good notions is criminally psychotic insanity.

  26. Allan M R MacRae (22:41:23)

    Re cold in the West, I agree.

    We are to have 5 to 7 inches of SNOW on Friday June 5 in the northern Sierras centered on Lake Tahoe. While not totally unprecedented, it is quite rare from what I read.

    One would think these kind of events would not occur as the CO2 causes the globe to grow ever warmer. Who ya gonna believe, the computer models or your lying eyes and that snowball that just smacked you in the ribs?

    see Update 4 here:

    http://energyguysmusings.blogspot.com/2009/05/unseasonable-frost-alert.html

  27. Keith Minto (21:00:53) wrote: “I believe that incandescent globes were stopped from being imported into Australia last November and will be banned from sale from this November.”

    I am trying very hard to believe this is not really happening, Keith, as, aside from infuriating me, it instils a feeling of despair that it really is possible to undo the great… no, the magnificent accomplishments of mankind in removing the harsh realities of man in the early eons of evolution to the dignity and comfort our forefathers set out to hack from the wilderness.

    Why this dedication to guilt for progress where once, I believe, there would have been elation? Will the sour inherit the earth? The mindset of so many today runs counter to stories such as the guy who packed his family into the T-model Ford and set out on a journey across America just so he and his family could see some scientific exhibition.

    I am sure there would be similar stories from here in Australia, and in countries all over the world, too, as people grasped with awe and respect the inventions and concepts for an even better world and better and more productive lives. I am glad my own father felt that way. I hope my four see their father that way; and I hope my grandchildren are already beginning to see me that way, young as they are.

  28. evan, I think he’s referring to an old idea or rumor or whatever it’s called that says there are only a set number of human souls. I remember reading Dr. Lobsang Rampa’s books (a Tibetan Monk) who mentioned this a few times.

    However, currently (so the idea goes) there are more people than there are souls available. As a result, there are an increasing number of people wandering around without a soul.

    I bet I could name some names (if this was true). Some of them might be lawyers or investment bankers. Who knows?

  29. evanmjones
    Maybe he means there are x bodies (physical) and fewer y souls (spiritual) and the former without the latter are not ____fill in the blank____.

  30. Just Want Results… (21:36:10) :
    A rabbi walks in to a bar…… and says we’re not all going to die :

    But we all are going to die … eventually.
    Death is not mean, cruel or unfair, only highly efficient.

  31. The cracks are appearing in the marketing campaigns linked to “Greenness” over here too, sales of “Organic” foods are falling as people start to feel the pinch over the economy.
    If you read the statements of James Hansen, about politicians not really doing anything about AGW, it appears that the proponents are finally begining to realise, that it’s not being reguarded in political circles as a real problem.
    They’ve not, yet, twigged that it’s being used primarily as a reasons to tax us more.
    The real start of its demise, will come when a major political party breaks ranks.
    This, however, I don’t expect to occur in the near future, they’re all in the same boat, with seruious National Debts to finance, so need those tax revenues even more.

  32. “The point of utopian environtalism is to reduce guilt”. True. Being a furrier I have been dealing with this truth for my entire professional life. And I`m sure,that even on this blog,there are lots of guys who try to diminsh their guilt of driving big cars,flying intercontinental,eating lots of animals,or doing hundreds of other things by NOT wearing fur. Yes of course,there are explanations for this,but hardly reasonable ones.
    My point is: Hardly anybody will change his views confronted with rational arguments. Emotions will prevail. Therefore,being a rationalist,one will always be in the minority. Good humour and a long breath to everybody on this blog!
    Sorry for my poor English

    Reinhard Bösch

  33. South Park did an episode about smug preachy Prius owners a couple of years ago (the car model was called “Pious” in the show) – so it’s not just the Goode family.

    OT – Hurray – we finally had some “global” warming here in Seattle – two days of hot weather – while Miami was in the cool 80s we had 91 (and a new record for the June 4 date)! The Kuroshio Current must have gushed across the Pacific!

  34. More trouble for the Green bubble: RSS down from 0,20 to 0,09 from april to may:

  35. You Yanks b/do/b have a sense of humour (even if you can’t spell it!) Brilliant stuff – I don’t suppose the BBC will buy it, though.

  36. How do you make bold characters? I suppose I’m going to have to learn how to use HTML.

  37. Would some warmist who agrees that AGW promotes the spread of disease and death please explain how plague flourished in Europe during the Little Ice Age?

    A reasonable and informed sceptic would like to know…

  38. George Will hits it squarely on the nail.
    Thanks for posting this.
    I sent the link to my hopelessly green fundamentalist friend, hoping he’ll someday wake up a realise what a duped fool he’s been all these years.
    Three cheers for Mike Judge as well.

    Sometimes a simple cartoon or a song is what it takes to tip it all over.

  39. Linsay H,
    I read Spencer’s link you provide and found it to be excellent.

    Bösch
    Your English is fine! Don’t worry about it.

  40. Pierre Gosselin (02:03:44) :

    AIR FRANCE 447 crash due to climate change?
    They have no shame.

  41. Adam Gallon (00:44:30) :

    The cracks are appearing in the marketing campaigns linked to “Greenness” over here too, sales of “Organic” foods are falling as people start to feel the pinch over the economy.

    Organic Feed, too. If you want organic, you grow it yourself. There’s no margin in it by the time middlemen are figured in. Just wait until someone figures out they can make an affordable car by bringing back the Model A, including the gas mileage it got.
    Cap & Spill will put us back 100 years as far as Joe Consumer is concerned.

  42. Frank Lansner,
    I wonder if UAH will come in negative.
    They’ve been coming in about a tenth below RSS the last couple of months.

  43. This article is nonsense, because the green movement has only become stronger the last few years and show absolutely no signs of weakening. NONE. They are going to make are lives more expensive, slow down the economy and create meaningless “make-work” job to supplant meaningful activity.

    It Has Only Just Begun!

  44. Roger Carr writes that incadescent lightbulbs are not being imported to Australia. They’ve been banned in the UK too – phased out over the next year or so. The most ridiculous thing about this is that over the last decade millions of Brits have refurbished their homes and installed halogen lights, either recessed into the ceiling or on tracks. The lamps are typically 50 watts each with a 38 degree beam, and six or more are used to replace one hundred-watt bulb – yet it’s the bulb that got banned in order to save energy! The earlier halogens were 12 volts, but now they’re doing them in mains voltage too, but it’s the same wattage either way, yet I read in the home section of a respected national newspaper that we should buy the 12 volt ones because they’re energy-saving! When even Ohm’s law becomes the preserve of only the few, there’s no hope, is there?
    Dave Wendt: Getting us to surrender large parts of our liberty may actually be the goal in all this.
    Reinhard Bosch: There’s nothing wrong with your English.

  45. It’s surprising what can be discovered from Wikipedia, notwithstanding the censorship of articles contradicting the AGW bias. There is mention of warmer times and then much colder times. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_Bronze_Age

    “The Nordic Bronze Age was characterized by a warm climate that began with a climate change circa 2700 BC (comparable to that of present-day central Germany and northern France). The warm climate permitted a relatively dense population and good farming, for example grapes were grown in Scandinavia at this time. However a small change in climate between 850 BC and 760 BC and a more radical one circa 650 BC brought in a deteriorating, wetter and colder climate (sometimes believed to have given rise to the legend of the Fimbulwinter/Fimbulvetr).

    Fimbulvetr is three successive winters where snow comes in from all directions, without any intervening summer. During this time, there will be innumerable wars and brothers will kill brothers.

    There have been several popular speculations about whether this particular piece of mythology has a connection to the climate change that occurred in the Nordic countries at the end of the Nordic Bronze Age, about 650 BC. Before this climate change, the Nordic countries were considerably warmer.”

    Here in the UK at 10-30 GMT the BBC weatherman has just reported that snow is falling across the Pennines. It looks like the Flandrian Integlacial is coming to an end.

  46. Maybe he means there are x bodies (physical) and fewer y souls (spiritual) and the former without the latter are not ____fill in the blank____.

    Well, them cave men musta been pretty darn soulful, in that case. (Even if they were brutal and probably ubiquitously cannibalistic.)

    And good conditions would have to be inversely proportional to soul. Speaking personally, I’ll settle for the good conditions.

    They have no shame.

    Well, they’ve transferred it all over to their opponents, which leaves very little for themselves. Maybe what doesn’t work for souls works for shame?

  47. Would some warmist who agrees that AGW promotes the spread of disease and death please explain how plague flourished in Europe during the Little Ice Age?

    A reasonable and informed sceptic would like to know…

    Little what age?

  48. Disputin (01:40:45) asks: “How do you make bold characters?”

    Substitute arrow brackets (<) for the curly ( } ) brackets shown below:
    Bold = {b} word or words {/b}
    Italic = {i} word or words {/i}

  49. The New York Times television critic disapproves. The show “feels aggressively off-kilter with the current mood, as if it had been incubated in the early to mid-’90s, when it was possible to find global-warming skeptics among even the reasonable and informed.”

    Such a dour grapes attitude! “Aggressively off-kilter” like, oh, Monte Python, Saturday Night Live, Mad TV, … someone needs to tell the nitwit this is called HUMOR!

    Per the CFL and banning incandescents: I think it’s just hilarious that the folks most aggressive about this are often from colder climates. Places like Britain and Canada where the major effect is to move your power consumption from you electric lighting bill to your heating bill… Heck, even here in California it’s usually cool in the evening even if the day was warm.

    Oh, btw, we are continuing cold. Today was 68F at 6 pm. In summer. It’s a lot cooler now in the dead of night. And we’re not the only place it’s cold right now:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/23/south-hemisphere-record-early-snow/

    BTW, I’m all for being efficient and saving my money, but “conserving” for the sole reason of using less is just dumb. We never run out of energy or stuff. There is no reason for Puritanical Guilt. We are not consuming our childrens future. We are not all going to die from some Malthusian Catastrophe. (Regularly predicted for approaching a couple of hundred years now, and regularly wrong. Malthus ignored technical advance. Advance that now puts us at an infinite horizon…)

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/there-is-no-energy-shortage/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/there-is-no-shortage-of-stuff/

    BTW, while most of my fixtures have CFLs in them, they are no panacea. I’m stocking up on incandescents while I can for the places where the CFL is not a good choice. ( I have 4 years worth now, goal is 20 ).

    Where do the CFLs fall down?

    First off, anywhere that needs “instant on” like your refrigerator light or yard security lights. CFLs take up to 5 minutes to reach full brightness.

    Anywhere with frequent cycling. You get about 10,000 on off cycles. Your 10 year bulb can be shot in a couple of years in any location with frequent on / off cycling like, oh, the bathroom. (365 x 10 = 3650 or about 3 years)

    Dimmers. Haven’t found one that dims worth a darn yet, even the “dimmable” ones. Too much of a step function and hum.

    Anywhere you don’t want a mercury spill if broken. Fridge? Oven? Plan to buy a new one if you break a bulb or accept a little Mercury Poisoning. Darkroom? Expect mercury fogged negatives for a very long time (a diminishing problem, but I still have some films…) How about in the nursery? Baby night lights?

    Places that are very cold. The ability to run in very low temperatures may be non-existent or it may just be a very slow startup. I’ve had both.

    Very Low utilization areas. That crawl space in the attic that gets lit up for 20 minutes every 5 years? …

    “Rugged Use” areas like work lights on a drop cord. Yeah, that mercury thing.

    Combined heat and power uses: Chick hatcheries, yogurt makers (cardboard box with lightbulb does it…), lizard warmers, seed starters, …

    There’s more, but I’ll stop here. I’ll just note 2 non-usability issues. Some folks get headaches under fluorescent lighting (I’ve known 2 such folks) and you can’t ever throw one away. The CFL takes special hazardous waste handling… think about it…

    So I don’t mind folks wanting to delude themselves by “being green” and “feeling better”; but I do mind folks forcing their delusional thinking on those of us who are reality based. I don’t care if it is ones religion, green think, or either liberal or radical conservative ideologies. You are free to enjoy feeling good about yourself for embracing whatever nutty belief you like; just leave me a lone and don’t put it in laws.

    That the PC agenda has gotten so grating that it’s spawned a parody gives me great hope that the tolerance for enforced nuttiness is wearing thin among more than just me…

  50. Reinhard Bösch (01:03:42) : My point is: Hardly anybody will change his views confronted with rational arguments. Emotions will prevail. Therefore,being a rationalist,one will always be in the minority.

    Ahmen. I’ve found that being a rationalist just gets rocks thrown at you from all side from all True Believers of whatever sort. Oh Well.

    FWIW, I’ve found it fun to point out to the anti-fur folks that they seem quite happy with leather belts, shoes, and upholstery. (Just look around them for a belt, handbag, shoes, or if they are in a Mercedes, the seats…) Then I ask them why it’s better to use the hide with the hair removed? Remember to duck ;-)

    If they have fabric or plastic shoes, ask why it’s better to have oil spills than use renewable leather. Then ask them if the hide from food animals ought to be thrown away when it could be used for leather? Or do they expect everyone to be a vegetarian too?

    I have no illusions: Life as a farm animal is not good. But life as a wild animal is far less good. Shorter, hungrier, colder, and much more likely to be attacked by another animal. Bunnies in the wild live, on average, about 1 year. Bunnies as pets live 4 to 6 (that’s about the upper bound). On a farm, the herd is guaranteed survival at the cost of part of the young. Rather like people have done for generations with wars and young soldiers…

    Sorry for my poor English

    Reinhard, had you not apologized I’d have thought you a native speaker. I find nothing wrong with your English. It is far better than many folks with whom I grew up… there are some really bad native speakers of English out in the “sticks”…

  51. Politicians are always later than the crowd. In the beginning the crowd was told that the planet was warming because of us. The politicin reacted very late and are actualy only planning to raise taxes on carbon gasses. Now the crowd is strarting to know the truth person by person. The politics strating to like the extra taxes so they stall the truth from comming out.

  52. Greg Cavanagh (19:52:21) :

    I’m surprised any television station had the gumption to actually air such a comic strip.
    My guess is it will run for less than two seasons, get canceled, and the AGW crowd will say that that is proof that there are not many skeptics in the world and that we should get with the program.

  53. While your trashing my show…

    WUWT trashed by NSDIC’s Dr Mark Serreze

    Exclusive: New NSIDC director Serreze explains the “death spiral” of Arctic ice and the “breathaking ignorance” of blogs like WattsUpWithThat

    Ubuntu

  54. If your thinking the MM GW Alarmist will change their views then you are not connected to history. They have said too much, posted too much, published too much, exaggerated too much and repeated the exaggerations to too many people to change.

    In fact, the colder it gets will only trigger more catastrophic MM AGW theory’s. It will not surprise me if a new theory comes into play. Let’s call it the “Rubber Band” theory.

    The current STATE RUN MEDIA will begin reporting………….

    “Somehow through dark CO2 science; unmeasured, undetectable heat is being stored in the special extra Man Made emitted CO2 which now makes up another 1/10,000 th more of the atmosphere. As predicted by new CO2 models this unmeasured, undetectable heat will trigger, at some point just outside the life span of the youngest AGW theorist, an explosion (like a Rubber Band) sending murderous heat throughout the atmosphere and killing 90 percent of this planets life forms. “

    Movie to follow.

    When you start seeing these reports then you will start to understand what Hitler was thinking the last few weeks of WW II.

    Serenity now……………….

  55. I noticed from one of the article’s comments that Joe Romm is bloviating over at http://climateprogress.org about this article, and in the headline article, talks about the “breathtaking ignorance” of sites like WattsUpWithThat (a quote by the new NSIDC director Dr Mark Serraze).

    But it might be a good opportunity for a point by point rebuttal if anyone’s interested. Should not be difficult to see who suffers from Joe’s Anti Science Syndrome (A.S.S.), and who doesn’t…

    Read about his vision for the NSIDC. Sounds like the NSIDC is no longer as much a provider of information, it’s an advocate of preparing for change. Interesting twist, Mark, should we change it to NSIAC, substituting Advocacy for Data?

  56. evanmjones (03:33:45) :

    Surely the global warmers are religious. After we all die form this or that alarm certainly they’d like to believe in resurrection so they can raise us all from the dead just to have us die once more from from this or that other alarm.

  57. I don’t know if the bubble’s burst yet or not, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near it when it does. Think green slimy goo everywhere.

  58. Gestures – bringing reusable grocery bags to the store, purchasing a $4 heirloom tomato, inflating tires, weatherizing windows — “gained fresh urgency” and “were suddenly infused with grand significance.”

    Green consumption became “positional consumption” that identified the consumer as a member of a moral and intellectual elite. A 2007 survey found that 57 percent of Prius purchasers said they bought their car because “it makes a statement about me.”

    I hate to admit it…But we bring “reusable grocery bags to the store” and often purchase over-priced heirloom tomatoes. It has little to do with “fresh urgency” or “grand significance.” We had a bad habit of keeping grocery bags – they do come in handy sometimes. Before long, we would have a couple of drawers full of grocery bags…And then we would throw them away. As for heirloom tomatoes…they look cool and sometimes taste better than regular old tomatoes.

    Of course we tote our “reusable grocery bags to the store” to buy over-priced heirloom tomatoes in a Jeep Commander with a 5.7L Hemi Engine (360hp 12mpg). And just like “57 percent of Prius purchasers,” we bought that particular Jeep because “it makes a statement about” us. (We’re both geoscientists).

  59. CodeTech (23:45:54) :

    evan, I think he’s referring to an old idea or rumor or whatever it’s called that says there are only a set number of human souls. I remember reading Dr. Lobsang Rampa’s books (a Tibetan Monk) who mentioned this a few times.

    However, currently (so the idea goes) there are more people than there are souls available. As a result, there are an increasing number of people wandering around without a soul.

    I bet I could name some names (if this was true). Some of them might be lawyers or investment bankers. Who knows?

    Do we have any peer-reviewed science about these “souls”?

  60. If they have fabric or plastic shoes, ask why it’s better to have oil spills than use renewable leather. Then ask them if the hide from food animals ought to be thrown away when it could be used for leather? Or do they expect everyone to be a vegetarian too?

    I believe they do.

  61. First off, anywhere that needs “instant on” like your refrigerator light or yard security lights. CFLs take up to 5 minutes to reach full brightness.

    I haven’t found this to be a problem at all. I guess it’s about individual taste.

    Anywhere with frequent cycling. You get about 10,000 on off cycles. Your 10 year bulb can be shot in a couple of years in any location with frequent on / off cycling like, oh, the bathroom. (365 x 10 = 3650 or about 3 years)

    Still a lot longer than an incandescent in the same situation.

    I’ve been using the same 2 CFL bulbs in my office (on and off several times a day) for about 5 years now. I think part of the trick is not buying the cheap off brands.

  62. There’s more, but I’ll stop here. I’ll just note 2 non-usability issues. Some folks get headaches under fluorescent lighting (I’ve known 2 such folks) and you can’t ever throw one away. The CFL takes special hazardous waste handling… think about it…

    This is my biggest beef. EnvironMENTALists will soon be clamouring about the increase in mercury in landfills due to CFL bulbs.

    There’s nothing on the packaging that says you have to dispose of them a certain way, or how to clean them up if broken (at least not on any that I’ve purchased). If they are truly dangerous, there needs to be clear instructions in multiple places, and there isn’t.

  63. A toast to George Will (“The Green Bubble has burst”)!

    Science is science – always. I offer the following quote attributed to 19th century scientist, Louis Agassiz, to those clinging to the sinking ship of AGW:

    “The facts will eventually test all our theories, and they form after all, the only impartial jury to which we can appeal.”

  64. My guess is it will run for less than two seasons, get canceled, and the AGW crowd will say that that is proof that there are not many skeptics in the world and that we should get with the program.

    From the sound of it, it’s a satire on those for whom AGW is a religious substitute. Two seasons of satire should be enough.

    And the critic didn’t even realize his superstitions were being mocked.

  65. Allan M R MacRae (22:41:23) :

    Al,

    Hop over the mountains to the interior of BC. Here we are roasting our collective butts off. 37.5 Deg C yesterday. A new record for us!!

    Ah weather, isn’t it fun.

  66. “”” Lindsay H. (00:44:25) :

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/05/a-layman’s-explanation-of-why-global-warming-predictions-by-climate-models-are-wrong/

    I’d be interested in Svalgaards view on Spencers pater. “””

    What I find most illuminating about Spencer’s essay can be seen in that picture of the earth being warmed by that nice yellow sunbeam coming in from the left.
    Notice that right there on the equator facing directly at the sun in abject defiance, there is a red arrow of long wave infra-red radiant emission.

    Got the picture ? No matter the radiant energy pouring in from the sun; that tropical mid-day sunlit surface is still radiating like crazy, and doing far more that its fair share to COOL the planet; in fact it is working about twice as hard as any run of the mill ordinary common garden variety average portion of the earth surface. And if you locate a point somewhere in the middle of the Antarctic winter midnight (Vostok for example), you might find that it is only working at the pitifully slow pace of about 1/6th of the average spot, or 1/12th of that hard working tropical desert surface.

    So don’t knock UHIs; they do more than their fair share to cool the planet, by radiating at a much higher rate than the average. Yes they run at a higher temperature than the average; but the thermal conductivity between the ground and the atmosphere is quite poor, so that temperature excess doesn’t heat the global atmosphere much but the extra heating of the lower atmosphere over that hot spot leads to a vertical thermal that transports even more thermal energy to the upper atmosphere where it can be lost to space.

    Just don’t make the mistake of aplying that UHI hot spot temperature to any other region outside the hot spot; and if you do that properly then you will come up with the correct “average” global temperature. Well you won’t; but in principle you could if you sampled the whole surface properly.

    George

  67. The Green Bubble Has Burst.

    A bubble infers something fun and nice.
    This is more like a boil.

  68. E.M. Smith (03:47:13) Anywhere you don’t want a mercury spill if broken. Fridge? Oven? Plan to buy a new one if you break a bulb or accept a little Mercury Poisoning.

    I asked a mate of mine about mercury in CFLs. He’s worked in the Science Dept of a major university in various capacities for over 20 years and currently he’s a senior (if not head) OH+S co-ordinator for the dept. He has to deal with explosives, radiation, poisons and Lord knows what. I keep telling him when the OH+S job comes up in the English Dept, apply for it!

    As per my mate, when you break a CFL it releases mercury gas, not liquid. All you need to do is clear the room for a few minutes (and I presume ventilate the room for a while.) I know I broke a CFL I didn’t see any liquid mercury. I’m not a fan of mercury by any measure but these precautionary measures seem quite simple. Does anyone have information to contradict my friendly OH+S bloke? :-) Oh.. and bring incandescdants back to Australia! I have a stockpile but that will runout one day!

  69. Well I’ve been green all my life; having grown up with the rationing of WW-II.

    So the soap on my face when I take my 1/2 gallon Navy shower in the morning; becomes the shaving cream I scrape off when I shave. So I have never bought shaving cream in my life; or toothpaste either; which merely serves to get the kid to put the toothbrush in his mouth. (Honey works as well).
    But I do it, so I don’t waste stuff including money. I have CFLs everywhere in my house where they will fit; but that is because my socialist wife never ever turns a light off or closes a door to conserve energy.

    And I do not patronise any business that advertises itself as being “green”. I’d rather they be good at what they would do for me. My IRA investments advisor has been instructed to NOT invest in ANY alternative energy scam; like taxpayer funded solar PEV and such; or wind farms. They will be part of one of the next bubbles that bursts, once people learn that most of them will never make money except off the taxpayer’s back.

    So green-ness is simply a way I prefer to live frugally (which frees up funds for my several recreational extravagances); and I do it because it is good for me; not because some self appointed gurus believe that it somehow is good for the planet.

    Those CFLs will one day be replaced by far more intelligent LED lighting, and then my rabbit ears T&V reception will improve; absent all the RFI emissions from all those high frequency CFL lamps.

    I offset my carbon footprint by buying nice and semi-expensive carbon fiber fly rods; which are carbon sequestration devices; but without oxygen sequestration like some of the proposed insane carbonate burial schemes.

    Now I know some will chastise me for not doing my part to maintain the CO2 levels in the atmosphere so we can grow food for the coming billions of new people; but I figure if I take care of me and mine first, then I will not become a burden on others who are trying to take care of themselves and theirs.

    And yes; George Will is a snob; and also quite wind direction flexible in his core beliefs.

    George

  70. While I understand all the skepticism here about AGW, a backlash against energy conservation and moving away from fossil fuels is a little backwards, IMHO. One would think that during a recession a “reconnecting with reality” situation would lead folks to more energy and money saving ways.

    I guess I don’t understand the new Right-wing/GOP where it is okay to bemoan what used to be revered by said political party as a mid-20th century American do-it-yourself attitude and frugality. Planting a garden, changing to CFL’s, carrying reusable bags to the grocery, weatherizing-these are all things that fit well into the GOP’s idea of a can-do America. I don’t understand why their pundits didn’t get the memo not to knock these things.

    BTW, assuming that a CFL comes close to its expected life span, most of the life-cycle assessments I’ve read say that if we went and smashed all of our CFL’s in our driveways, we’d still emit less mercury using the CFL’s because they use less energy. Since we use coal for 50-60% of our electricity in the U.S. and coal contains mercury, the energy savings of a CFL over its lifespan will also lead to a reduction in mercury emissions.

  71. Talking of snow, just seen a weather forecast on the BBC, mentioned speedily that snow is forecast for central Scotland over the weekend.
    One could see the turmoil taking place behind his eyes. :)
    Also hastily mentioned the “below average” words. If it was hotter than, this would have made a full programme.

  72. {i}The point of “utopian environmentalism” was to reduce guilt. During the green bubble, many Americans became “captivated by the twin thoughts that human civilization could soon come crashing down – and that we are on the cusp of a sudden leap forward in consciousness…{/i}

    A couple points: Utopian environmentalism never sought to reduce guilt, rather to infuse it into each of our lives. Guilt and shame are the psychological crutches of propagandists. Once shame is instilled, penance can be paid. For religions – confessions and sacrifice, for environment – taxes and sacrifice.

    In fact we {i}are{/i} on the cusp of a leap in consciousness. But it is a consciousness of “fear and loathing.” We are becoming more aware of the overt and covert techniques to manipulate behavior. Alarmists had hoped we would not look too closely at their cries and whispers. They hoped we’d be sorely shamed and pony up great wads of cash while they pillaged our economies and managed our minds. That has not happened. Nor will it. Because we have looked behind the curtain and found no wizards or scientists or conservationists – only puritans. Hard, finger wagging, fundamental puritans twisted by frugalism, penance and gaia worship.

    Great to hear of Goode satire! Laughter may be the only permanent thing in the cosmos!

  73. “the green bubble” has burst

    Too optimistic!.
    In the good all days of fairy tales, more exactly, during the Medioeval Optimum, Kings, Queens and Princes reigned happy countries filled of happy people, where due to abundance there were no scarcity, no poverty.
    When climate changed, people rose against those good governments, and asked for help…as you can imagine, those Kings, Queens and Princes, couldn’t feed such a great quantity of suffering mobs, Hamelin town infested with rats (as happened last year-2008)…..then it came the French Revolution, the encyclopedists, the masonry, who devised a philosophy of Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite, who also establish the metric system, a system of measures intended for the whole world…They indeed supposedly made a good thing, those “cruel” governments fell down, republics and democracies appear on earth…Time passed away… a new era of global cooling was beginning..the same organizations that managed to tumble down monarchies now were managing how to overthrow governments of the present and establishing a new order, for this purpose they founded the Club of Rome, they devised a Green Agenda, they einforced globally the metric measures system, an unified standards systems (ISO), the global commerce, Green and “human rights” NGO’s,etc.
    All intended, I think, for the welfare of humanity, BUT this time they will be affecting individual freedom because their goal, a kind of bee-hive or ant-hill will destroy us as free human beings.
    THEY will not surrender that easy, because they are convinced they improved, in the past, humanity. They will not stop until they achieve their goal of a world like the one Aldous Huxley described in his novel “Brave New World”
    They believe themselves to be the patrons of social justice, but they are not: WHEN CLIMATE HAS BEEN BENIGN ON THE EARTH “justice” or goodness for all existed, it does not depend of a particular kind of government, it depends on abundance and this ON CLIMATE.
    Nowadays technology and free economy has eased the way for turning scarcity into abundance, poverty into richness, provided the human spirit is allowed to be free, so WE DO NOT NEED THEM ANY MORE TO MAKE HOW OUR FUTURE.

  74. Drew Latta (09:54:32) :

    While I understand all the skepticism here about AGW, a backlash against energy conservation and moving away from fossil fuels is a little backwards, IMHO. One would think that during a recession a “reconnecting with reality” situation would lead folks to more energy and money saving ways.

    The “backlash” is toward the gov’t and a handful of “do as I say, not as I do” elitists like Al Gore hectoring us about conserving energy, carbon footprints and being green.

    Conserving energy through better energy-use efficiency is a good thing. Conserving energy because the gov’t makes it more expensive and/or scarce is a bad thing.

    Modern prosperity is largely based on our ability to generate more and more wealth per unit of energy used. Making energy more expensive will just make us less prosperous.

    I guess I don’t understand the new Right-wing/GOP where it is okay to bemoan what used to be revered by said political party as a mid-20th century American do-it-yourself attitude and frugality. Planting a garden, changing to CFL’s, carrying reusable bags to the grocery, weatherizing-these are all things that fit well into the GOP’s idea of a can-do America. I don’t understand why their pundits didn’t get the memo not to knock these things.

    The Right-wing/GOP don’t like to be told what to do. Once upon a time that was an American trait, not just a conservative/libertarian trait.

    BTW, assuming that a CFL comes close to its expected life span, most of the life-cycle assessments I’ve read say that if we went and smashed all of our CFL’s in our driveways, we’d still emit less mercury using the CFL’s because they use less energy. Since we use coal for 50-60% of our electricity in the U.S. and coal contains mercury, the energy savings of a CFL over its lifespan will also lead to a reduction in mercury emissions.

    Yeah…But all that mercury will be in our driveways.

  75. I have been using CFLs for a number of years and if my experience is in any way representative the lifespan predictions for them are vastly overstated. Over 40% of mine have expired in time spans not significantly different from long life incandescents. From what I’ve been able to discover, this may be related to specific manufacturer’s techniques and the use of cheaper components to bring the price point down to where the claimed savings are economically justified. As to the hazards involved in breaking one, here is a link to the EPA’s prescription for handling that eventuality. I know they can be a bit OCD about hazards, but it’s still an interesting read.

    ww.epa.gov/mercury/spills/index.htm#fluorescent

  76. Drew Latta:
    While I understand all the skepticism here about AGW, a backlash against energy conservation and moving away from fossil fuels is a little backwards, IMHO. One would think that during a recession a “reconnecting with reality” situation would lead folks to more energy and money saving ways.
    There is no “backlash against energy conservation”. The backlash is against the “green posturing”, the finger wagging, and attempts to control others, through fear-based propaganda (often having nothing to do with reality), and through legislation and taxes. Plus, “moving away from fossil fuels” is actually what is backwards, if you do not have viable, affordable, and dependable forms of energy to move towards. And that is precisely the situation we are in now, with the possible exception of nuclear. But the Greenies don’t even want that.

  77. Drew Latta:

    The reason you “don’t understand the new Right-wing/GOP” anything is because you haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about, and you’re happily slapping a ridiculous label on something where a label doesn’t apply.

    I’ve never heard of anyone (other than wealthy leftists) deliberately wasting resources. Intelligent people don’t waste. If there’s a better or more efficient way to do anything, that is usually the preferable way.

    What “we” (okay, I) mock is the belief that doing these things is somehow “saving the planet”, or “stopping climate change”. It’s not. An individual’s contribution is completely and totally insignificant. Plant your garden or reduce your energy usage for your OWN reasons, and don’t think that everyone else has to share your reasons for anything.

    One day you’ll realize that conservatism, GOP, and “right wing” are three completely separate things, and very few people are completely driven by any of them. Socialist leftists, on the other hand, define their entire lives and all of their actions on their political beliefs.

  78. mr.artday (21:04:58) :

    The world’s human population has exploded in my lifetime, I was born late in the first third of the last century. It might be possible that there is a fixed number of souls for this planet and that number is nowhere near enough to cover six thousand millions plus. Therefore many people are hollow, born without souls, and doomed to spend their lives trying to fill that void with externally applied symbols of wholeness. Remember the healing power of crystals? It is sad to think of all those neglected crystals, gathering dust in the back of the bottom bureau drawer while the hollow ones strive for the maximum in greenie points. In our favor is the media’s flogging the moribund green horse to death. It won’t be long before a large percentage of the population comes to remember that green is the color of bovine semi-solid body waste.

    I think it’s been conclusively proven that there are only 255 original people in the world. This doesn’t mean there are only 255 individuals, it means there are millions of copies of these 255.

    This was first theorized by Dr. Werner von Wormer in 1922 but was largely ignored by the science world. But new NSA face recognition software developed 5 years ago shows Dr. von Wormer was in fact correct.

  79. “Fimbulvetr is three successive winters where snow comes in from all directions, without any intervening summer. During this time, there will be innumerable wars and brothers will kill brothers.”

    That has to be a Tambora and then some volcanic event, surely? Suggesting 800BC ish?

  80. evanmjones (03:42:52) :

    Would some warmist who agrees that AGW promotes the spread of disease and death please explain how plague flourished in Europe during the Little Ice Age?

    A reasonable and informed sceptic would like to know…

    Little what age?

    The one we knew was there before we got hit up the side of the head with the hockey stick. :)

    Hooray for George will. He can be hard to take sometimes, but then he hits a grandslam.

  81. Dave Middleton:
    Modern prosperity is largely based on our ability to generate more and more wealth per unit of energy used. Making energy more expensive will just make us less prosperous.
    …and promoting feverishly and fanatically using less energy it is plainly [snip inappropriate language here - thanks to CP for pointing it out]

    What is really surprising it is that “human rights” NGO’s say NOTHING about it, and it is so because their patrons and/or founders allucinate a world only inhabited only by themselves. Can you imagine a world full to the top of morons?

  82. E.M.Smith (04:08:07) :

    Sorry for my poor English

    Reinhard, had you not apologized I’d have thought you a native speaker. I find nothing wrong with your English. It is far better than many folks with whom I grew up… there are some really bad native speakers of English out in the “sticks”…

    Not all are “out in the sticks.” I can remember correcting my kids, only to find out they were mimicking their English teacher. They like to drove me crazy with “them things”.

  83. Drew Latta (09:54:32) :

    While I understand all the skepticism here about AGW, a backlash against energy conservation and moving away from fossil fuels is a little backwards, IMHO. One would think that during a recession a “reconnecting with reality” situation would lead folks to more energy and money saving ways.

    But most of these things don’t save money. They cost more for less.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with conservation. We are actually much more efficient that we were when the ‘Energy Crisis’ hit in the 1970’s. We can’t gain enough in energy efficiency savings to make up for the projected increase in demand. We are about to experience a new ‘Energy Crisis’ and this one will be entirely our own doing.

    I guess I don’t understand the new Right-wing/GOP where it is okay to bemoan what used to be revered by said political party as a mid-20th century American do-it-yourself attitude and frugality. Planting a garden, changing to CFL’s, carrying reusable bags to the grocery, weatherizing-these are all things that fit well into the GOP’s idea of a can-do America. I don’t understand why their pundits didn’t get the memo not to knock these things.

    I agree, you don’t understand. I don’t care what you do if you leave me alone. Feel free to become more self-sufficient. Live beneath your means, not above it.

    But I also don’t share the need to feel guilty about everything. I guess that’s what sets us ‘right-wingers’ apart — our self-esteem does not depend upon the validation of others.

    BTW, assuming that a CFL comes close to its expected life span, most of the life-cycle assessments I’ve read say that if we went and smashed all of our CFL’s in our driveways, we’d still emit less mercury using the CFL’s because they use less energy. Since we use coal for 50-60% of our electricity in the U.S. and coal contains mercury, the energy savings of a CFL over its lifespan will also lead to a reduction in mercury emissions.

    When I lived in southern Nevada, I bought a lot of CFL bulbs because electricity was expensive (thank you, California) and conventional bulbs put out a lot of heat. The best bulbs lasted a few years. The newer bulbs are less expensive but seem to only last about 1/3 of their rated lifespan.

    Coal does contain mercury but mercury can be removed from emissions. The coal-fired plants in this country are no longer a major source of mercury pollution. The newer the plant, the less mercury emitted. But since we are not building enough to meet future demand, the older, dirtier plants are going to have to stay in service longer.

    The real resistance is because there is no valid reason to believe there is a current or impending climate crisis. The dangers are grossly exaggerated and are based on faulty climate models and statistical quackery, not actual observations.

  84. mr.artday (21:04:58) :

    The world’s human population has exploded in my lifetime

    [snip - inappropriate language here, my thanks to CP for pointing this out.]

    (Recent studies say that all human population could live and prosper in an area such as the state of Texas, without any problem).

  85. “Chances are he won’t be accepted in NASA :-)”

    And he won’t become POTUS until he’s tall enough to read TOTUS… :)

  86. “(Recent studies say that all human population could live and prosper in an area such as the state of Texas, without any problem)”

    And Texas says, “Come on down!!!”
    You can still drive a pickup or an SUV here and you can own a gun for protection, for hunting or just because you want to. We have plenty of nuclear, wind, coal and lots of other kinds of energy here and ain’t no one suggesting we don’t use it. We got beaches, rivers, lakes and lots of pretty hill country. We have industry and people that believe progress ain’t a four-letter word. Our Democrats here are kinda out of the mainstream to the right some and our most prominent Republican is really a libertarian. Actually he is a throwback to the early days of America when the Constitution was still alive. When you drive down a country road here people still wave at you. We have had warming in Texas for a long long time and most of the oldtimers say it’s actually cooler now than when they were growing up.
    You better get down here before we put up the fence on the Red River.

  87. In the last statement “Re-engagement with reality is among the recession’s benefits” – really says it all – “greeness” is a luxury only affordable when the economy is healthy & always only by those who are relatively well off. The greens essentially are sewing the seeds of their own demise because their ideals in general reduce the health of the economy & reduce personal wealth.
    How ironic!

  88. It is the idea of scrap metal drives during WW2. It wasn’t the amount of metal collected. It was the participation.

    I keep telling my mate that if she really wants to do something for the environment throw the refuse into the dustbin. If it becomes worth something the dumps will be mined for it. She pays me no mind. She is on a mission.

  89. Disputin (01:40:45) :

    How do you make bold characters? I suppose I’m going to have to learn how to use HTML.

    <i> for italics on </i> for italics off
    <b> for bold on </b> for bold off

  90. evanmjones asked: Little what age?

    Wiki has a reasonably accurate, easily understood precis. Enjoy. :0)

    I see that I should have included “insert smiley face indicating mordant sarcasm”.

  91. Where do the CFLs fall down?

    Good list, but you didn’t mention the fact that they make one wonder if one is in a mortuary in a psychiatric hospital in a graveyard on Titan.

  92. George Monbiot’s latest: “Newspapers must stop taking advertising from environmental villains”

    But even the claim that we should leave people to make their own decisions is inconsistent and hypocritical. Where are the ads for pornography in these papers?

    We are making decisions on our readers’ behalf and deciding that there are certain points of view they shouldn’t be exposed to, or certain activities in which they shouldn’t be encouraged to engage.

    What I am asking is for the newspapers to refine their view of which advertisements are and are not acceptable. Specifically, I am calling on them in the first instance to drop ads for cars which produce more than 150g of CO2/km, and to drop direct advertising for flights, on the grounds that both these products cause unequivocal and unnecessary harm to the environment.

    Clearly, when George becomes Dear Leader, WUWT will be banned and expressing a skeptical opinion will be a crime.

  93. Wikipedia on global warming? You mean William Connolley on global warming.

  94. Talk about making fun of CO2 induced global warming theory, has anybody been following the comic strip by Wiley, Non Sequitur? He’s right on the money.

  95. “” Drew Latta (09:54:32) : a “reconnecting with reality” situation would lead folks to more energy and money saving ways. “”

    Drill in Alaska until gas is at $1.00 a gallon and stays there, and winter heating cost are cut by 75%. Then we sell the less expensive oil to the rest of the world and come flying out of the recession.

    This is possible and should be done.

    All the while this is happening a 0.25% tax, both here and on exports, could be put on petroleum that would go to study of alternate energy. We then would discover, and have seamless transition to, cleaner, and just as inexpensive, energy.

    END OF STORY. :)

  96. Re: the TV critic: what can you expect from a journalist – these people’s very livelihoods depend on sensation; they are one of the prime forces that initiated, and are maintaining, the AGW scare. Just today, I heard from a colleague that she recently saw a television special on a reputable educational network in Canada “informing” the public that the Irukandji jellyfish (q.v. – nasty little buggers) have shown up in Florida, and that this is a result of AGW.

    Are these people so grossly stupid as to imagine this is even possible? Can they not look at a map of the world and figure the distances involved? What we have here, after extensive Googling, is very clearly a few isolated cases of what is now known as “Irukandji Syndrome”, the result, almost certainly, of a previously unknown jellyfish with similar toxicity finally causing envenenation that has been CORRECTLY DIAGNOSED.

    My reasoning is twofold: first, it has been variously estimated that as many as 12 million lifeforms have yet to be discovered and properly described on this planet. And two – the Irukandji itself, numerous off Australia’s north coast, was not known to science until 1964. Prior to this, people envenenated by this minuscule creature were thought to have suffered heart attacks.

    The line between “respectable” science journalism, particularly on television, has been blurred into nonexistence in recent years, largely due to the AGW scare. Everyone’s on the bandwagon, and the cash registers are ringing. A quick look at the schedule for Discovery Channel will confirm this.

  97. Surely the global warmers are religious.

    They say that most skeptics have a streak of Creationism. I won’t deny that, though I ‘ve never seen it, personally. But I do say that most AGW advocates have more than a streak of Revelationism, and I’ve seen that a lot.

    “Newspapers must stop taking advertising from environmental villains”

    Aw, c’mom; environmentalists have as much right to advertise as the rest of us.

  98. Right now there’s a program on channel 10 here in Australia called Telling The Truth. It’s about 7 people “trained” by Al Gore to be Climate Project Presenters where they “take the message” back to their communities. Crazy, but so funny when they present “climate facts” to their communities. Ah well, I think I’ll switch channels to 7 and watch V8 racing….(Mind you they too are “getting on the ethanol fuel and planting tree to offset their carbon footprint band wagon” – sad really).

  99. Re: George Monbiot.
    A person with a name so rich in anagrammatic revelation of his inner self should be far, far more careful in what he demands and how much of himself he exposes.

  100. It’s a good thing the green bubble burst after we elected a green president, a greener Congress, got over 100 billion dollars in stimulus funds into green initiatives, a cap and trade bill on the verge of passing, the nearing of a global climate treaty being signed, and an energy bill that will strip subsidies from oil, coal, and nuclear.

    HA. Don’t forgot that you see green jobs promoted in commercials and policy everywhere and anywhere.

  101. George E. Smith (09:50:01) :
    ‘I offset my carbon footprint by buying nice and semi-expensive carbon fiber fly rods;…..’
    Under the CO2 Cap and tax, we will need CO2 Czar with a support team of five new government employees per corporation plus a corporate compliance officer with a support team of five new employees to figure out if your fly rod is really carbon natural.
    Of course, to cover the cost (both government and private) there will be a price increase regardless of the carbon footprint.
    You may have to go back to using bamboo.

  102. Pragmatic (10:57:15). Just in case you were following my html advice, I said substitute arrow brackets “<" for the curly brackets "{" in my example. To write an example one has to use something other than arrow brackets or the code becomes invisible and therefore useless for the purpose of example. The word THIS becomes bold when written with arrow brackets, but remains standard when written {b}THIS{/b} way as an example.

  103. LilacWine (09:43:47) : As per my mate, when you break a CFL it releases mercury gas, not liquid. All you need to do is clear the room for a few minutes (and I presume ventilate the room for a while.) I know I broke a CFL I didn’t see any liquid mercury. I’m not a fan of mercury by any measure but these precautionary measures seem quite simple.

    This is true. It also releases dust contaminated with mercury. If this dust gets on clothes or bedding the EPA recommends trashing it. Don’t wash it as they say it will contaminate the washing machine. Yes, the room with a broken CFL needs to be ventilated and everyone needs to leave for 15 mins. or so. The question I have is what if it’s a windy day? If you open all the windows isn’t this just going to blow the mercury-laden dust around the room?

    Also the cleanup is pretty involved. The EPA guidelines keep saying to seal the containers containing the debris in plastic bags and to dispose of them immediately. Cleaning up a broken incandescent is much simpler.

    Mercury is one of those substances whose poisonous qualities vary depending on the vector of entry into the body. I think the way it goes is it’s less poisonous if you swallow it than if you inhale it. The dosage also matters, as with any toxin. I heard a story from someone last year saying that he had come upon many cases of people trying to melt down gold in their own house without proper ventilation. In each case everyone in the house died due to the mercury vapors that were released. So mercury gas is nothing to fool around with.

    If I were a parent I’d be most worried about having one of these bulbs break on me, because I wouldn’t be able to be sure I had gotten all of the residue. If I had toddlers or young ones I’d be worried about them crawling and playing where a CFL had broken in the past unless it was on linoleum, tile, hardwood flooring, or some other hard surface I could wipe down.

    I recognized myself in some of the comments above. I’ve been green a lot of my life. I walk where I can. I don’t use my gas car much, and I prefer small cars, because I don’t need a big car. I recycle all sorts of items as I’m able. I live in a town that believes in recycling and we recycle all the typical stuff, plus many plastics, electronics, scrap metal, phone books, corrugated cardboard, paperboard, and more. I try to turn out lights I don’t use (I use incandescents–not too keen on the mercury filled CFLs). I run fans and open windows instead of the AC if it’s not too hot outside. I reuse my grocery bags when I go to the food store, and I have a few reusable ones. A lot of this is to keep down pollution and energy bills. Plus I don’t like wasting stuff as a rule, though I’m not anal about it.

    The thing that greenies get me on is despite the fact that I pay attention to the science I don’t see good scientific support for the theory of AGW. Quite often the greens don’t have a good counter-argument except to challenge me on my credentials. I’m not a climate scientist, so that makes my own study of the issue invalid. Never mind that James Hansen has no climate science credentials himself if you look at his bio. I don’t have a degree I can point to that gives me instant credibility (though my computer science degree helps some to listen re: the climate models), but I have enough of a head for science that I can tell a good (or at least promising) or bad scientific theory when I hear it. Most greens can only point to anecdotes, which are interesting, but don’t prove scientific points. The argument I hate the most is that “tens of thousands of the world’s scientists say it’s so, so it must be true”. Science is not a democracy. A majority does not define scientific validity. As Einstein said, it takes only ONE scientist with good contradictory evidence to prove a theory wrong. As Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof,” and the evidence presented by the alarmists has been less than extraordinary.

  104. Sandy (12:19:26)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fimbulvetr The time before Ragnarök.

    It was 650 BC when an unexplained climate change affected all the Bronze Age cultures in Europe with colder and wetter climate, and tribes from the Scandinavian Nordic Bronze Age cultures pushed downwards into the European continent.

    Krakatoa was the likely cause of a later mass migration with huge consequences. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_weather_events_of_535%E2%80%93536

    Just Want Results… (18:32:56)

    You wrote “Wikipedia on global warming? You mean William Connolley on global warming.” Indeed I do, hence my opening statement. “It’s surprising what can be discovered from Wikipedia, notwithstanding the censorship of articles contradicting the AGW bias. There is mention of warmer times and then much colder times. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_Bronze_Age

    There are many other references to changing climates being responsible for varying human history. Connolley could not very well go through every article, altering the text to reflect his beliefs, because, for example, any man made CO2 in 650 BC would have been produced by burning wood, not coal. Thus he has to let it stand, (cause unexplained), that a worsening climate just happened to occur at that time. Such a drastic change in the Nordic environment, forced the populations to move south, influencing the peoples with whom they came into contact. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze_Age_Europe

    I am also fairly sure that Connolley would alter this paragraph below, if he thought could get away with it. It’s the sun, not CO2 that warms us and that fact is anathema to him.

    “Don Easterbrook, a Professor Emeritus of geology at Western Washington University, has claimed that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between sunspot activity and measured changes in global temperatures on Earth.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_spots

  105. This blog is becoming obsessed with pianos. They have been mentioned twice in one week now.

    At this point , I would like to offer myself for the post of:

    Honorary Emeritus Resident Pianist, Ex Symposium to WUWT

    As a great-great-great-grandpupil of Beethoven (true), I feel I am excellently qualified for the post (but please, not the acronym).

    By the nature of the job, being an old crock who doesn’t get paid I never turn up to play anything; this a good allegory of the first law of thermodynamics, and yet another illustration that the warmist’s positive feedbacks are wrong.

    The effect of a few (7 or 8) pianos, especially if tuned separately and then brought together, can, like my singing, cause quite severe local precipitation effects; but this is only weather. However, the response (like CO2) is logarithmic, and the effect of 50 may only cause slight local flooding.

    The warmists are desparate now, and may even sieze on this for their cause. So if you need an authoritative article on the effects of grand pianos on global average temperature, then just let me know.

    Back in 2000 I played the Ferrari Steinway (a Model D done out in Ferrari red).
    Is this what stopped the apocalypse in its tracks?

  106. Interesting (For me at least) factoid, the mirrors in the Keck telescope on Hawaii are cleaned with……………….CO2!!

  107. DaveF
    we should buy the 12 volt ones because they’re energy-saving!

    Which tells you all you need to know about the technical knowledge of the average journalist…

  108. Oops, I can see a funny error of omission in the last part of my last post. What I meant to say was:

    “The line between ‘respectable’ science journalism and calculated, self-serving falsehood, particularly on television, has been blurred into nonexistence in recent years…”

    That should clear things up for anyone wondering what the hell I was driving at.

  109. Further: I recently was moved to cancel my membership in the National Geographic Society, the reason being that they have taken up the hysteria: “the tipping point, Earth’s future in the balance” – outrageous childish hyperbole that sells magazines. Enough – they won’t get another dime out of me, and I mean even if they reverse the course they’re on now.

    On this subject: has anyone seen any REAL scientists using this sort of hyperbole? To clarify: is there a single field biologist who is actually saying that we are rapidly approaching a tipping point from which there is no return for life on Earth and that it is the fault of human activity, like that flake Lovelock? I think this is an important point, and I have yet to see any evidence that anyone other than green NGOs, sensational authors, and journalists – ie. professional fear profiteers – is saying so.

    I’ll be watching this thread for replies, thanks in advance for any good information.

  110. @Michael Anderson:

    Further: I recently was moved to cancel my membership in the National Geographic Society, the reason being that they have taken up the hysteria: “the tipping point, Earth’s future in the balance” – outrageous childish hyperbole that sells magazines. Enough – they won’t get another dime out of me, and I mean even if they reverse the course they’re on now.

    Yes, sadly National Geographic is not the magazine it used to be, which was doing quality studies in geographic/anthropological exploration and presenting them to a broad audience. The old issues (pre-2000 or thereabouts) are still classics, of course.

    I have heard marine biologists who have said alarmist things about the climate in the news media. I seem to remember even seeing a botanist on the news saying this sort of stuff some years back. Unfortunately I don’t have names for you. What I criticize them for is I don’t see how they can say what they say authoritatively. They can speak with authority about the effects of climate change on the species they study, though unfortunately even then they can be wrong. I used to often hear news about how the polar bears were threatened by climate change, but then I hear about official government studies that show that their population has actually grown over the last 30 years.

    I’m always surprised to learn that a “scientist” (as they’re billed when they get on the news–just the generic moniker) says that AGW is causing worrisome climate change, and then when the text with their name appears it reveals what field of study they’re in, and it’s often not “climatologist” or “meteorologist”, but “marine biologist”, or some other field not related to atmospheric research.

    It dismays me to see scientists get on the news and blatantly spew politically biased science. They do a disservice to their discipline.

  111. Thanks very much for the reply Mark. I suspect that many “scientists’ – which can of course mean different things to different people – are heavily co-opted by green industry (I love saying that, first because it’s so obviously true, and also because its opposite is of course the first accusation leveled against skeptical technologists and scientists).

    I think the fact that even a few years ago we didn’t see the now-HUGE money machine around environmental scare tactics that we do speaks volumes. I mean, it’s a fad, it’s a la mode, it’s the way right-thinking, aware people behave now. We have had the environmental movement for decades, and the reason it has maintained its relevance (and its employment rate) is by periodically starting a scare. Anyone in marketing knows how difficult it is to maintain the attention of their audience – thus the hyperbole. Not merely “you’ll lose the Fire-bellied Newt”, but “you, and your children, and everything you know and love on this planet are going to be annihilated unless you adopt right behavior – and put your money where we want you to.”

    Here’s a nice quote I just received from my brother, well worth repeating here and anywhere there’s space to put it:

    From the book “Stuff White People Like”:

    “An interesting fact about white people is that they firmly believe that all of the world’s problems can be solved through awareness, meaning the process of making other people aware of problems, magically causing someone else, like the government, to fix it.

    This belief allows them to feel that sweet self-satisfaction without actually having to solve anything or face any difficult challenges, because the only challenge of raising awareness is getting the attention of people who are currently unaware.”

  112. Wikipedia censorship.

    “A “guardian of the truth” on Wikipedia, the global internet encyclopedia, has been caught up in an embarrassing scandal after it was revealed that he created bogus online identities to change entries on the system.

    David Boothroyd – a London councillor by day, a cyber policeman by night – has been forced to resign from Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee after his alias editing gave rise to a major conflict of interest. ”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/wikipedia-sentinel-quits-after-using-alias-to-alter-entries-1698762.html

    Let’s hope William Connolley is the next to be expelled.

  113. @Michael H Anderson:

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Re: “what white people like”

    I see what you’re saying. I’ve viewed the situation slightly differently. A lot of times young people talk about “changing the world”, but when you examine what their world view is like it’s heavily centered on the U.S. So that’s what they’re really talking about. The U.S. IS the “world” to them. There are exceptions, since there are plenty of young people who have travelled to foreign countries and experienced other cultures, so they understand a little about what the rest of the world is like, but this tends to be what I see.

    Re: “green” is a HUGE money machine

    Yes, I’ve been hearing that. Interestingly there are environmental activists who are not playing along. You don’t hear it often. It rarely comes up in the news, but it’s there if you listen for it.

    Several years ago I started hearing complaints from them indirectly that windmills were killing birds, for example. More recently I’ve been hearing from them that solar power plants are going to take up huge swaths of land, and endanger animals and migration patterns. What idealists keep bumping up against is the cost/benefits that go with any change in technology. It’s not all cost-free.

    Lately terms like “big wind” and “big solar” have been cropping up in environmental circles. Again this is muted, but it’s there if you listen for it. Some are seeing the money and power of the “green” movement and they’re wary of it.

    Re: “We have had the environmental movement for decades, and the reason it has maintained its relevance (and its employment rate) is by periodically starting a scare.”

    My first revelation about this was reading Glen Duncan’s book “Goodbye Green” some years ago. He basically says that the environmental movement started because of real issues that needed to be addressed, but once they were addressed, environmentalism became a political tool of certain groups that had nothing to do with what environmentalism started out with. It’s a good book to read for anyone who’s interested in the environmental movement. It’ll give one a “heads up” on what to expect.

    The political Right has been piling on the environmental movement primarily because AGW has been its big issue. While I think they rightly criticize the basis for AGW, I think there’s still a place for environmental activists to do constructive work. I saw a Frontline documentary a little while back called “Poisoned Waters” that talked about pollution problems that have been cropping up in certain waterways on the coasts, like Chesapeake Bay, and it looks like sound analysis to me, not something that’s made up. It talked about what environmental organizations are trying to do to get political consensus on these issues, and interestingly they’ve had to resort to “diversionary tactics”, because most people in these areas are not interested in environmental impacts of pollution when it doesn’t directly affect them. Instead they’ll campaign on issues like urban congestion and noise pollution, real issues that those populations care about, but the real objective of those putting on the campaigns is to try to limit pollution from runoff. They openly talk about this in the doc.

    Sometimes I’ve wondered if AGW is a similar “diversionary tactic” for some real issue, but I have yet to learn what that is. The closest I’ve come is I’ve heard occasionally that the oceans are getting more acidic due to increased concentrations of CO2, which is harming corral reefs. From the evidence it sounds like a real issue of concern, but I’m not sure we know the cause of the increased CO2 in the oceans either. My inclination is to believe it’s natural, but of course scientific analysis would need to be obtained to know for sure.

    In any case I hate the way the AGW campaign is distorting science, regardless of the real agenda. What I worry about is what’s going to happen to the public image of science once it’s revealed and widely accepted (as I predict it will be one day) that AGW is pseudo-science as bad as the fraud that was “cold fusion”? Once government measures based on the idea are put in effect and people feel the negative effects of them, won’t this discredit science altogether in the public mind when this is revealed? That’s one of my worst fears, because then what replaces it? I can only think of superstition and irrational ideas as substitutes. I’d rather not see us return to Medieval thinking.

    The documentary that I think really nailed AGW was “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, broadcast on the UK’s Channel 4 a couple years ago. A quote from it sticks with me. One of the scientists on the show said, “We like to think we live in an age of reason.” One of the points of the show is that we clearly do not.

    It gives the history of the AGW theory and names names: who started it, who’s behind it now, and why, and what the IPCC really is (told by former IPCC members). The evidence the show discusses, what could really be driving climate, is compelling: The Sun, heck, the universe! After I saw it I thought “This makes sense!” The Earth is but a speck of dust compared to the size and power of the Sun, and is even less compared to influences in our own galaxy, so why wouldn’t they influence our climate? I’m not saying that it showed scientifically rigorous proof of what drives climate, but goodness it looks promising.

    It also discusses the consequences of the anti-AGW policies on developing nations, which I think is a story that needs to be told.

    So far I’ve heard only one complaint about the show from a scientist they used as a source. They used several scientific sources, so I think it still stands up well.

  114. Maybe the answer to souls lies in Hinduism. Man is so much more moral and righteous today that more humans are making in back ’round the wheel as humans, and many animals are getting promoted (fewer animals, more humans)?

    Maybe Gore can help things out by coming back as a “bull” frog?

    I’ve viewed the situation slightly differently. A lot of times young people talk about “changing the world”, but when you examine what their world view is like it’s heavily centered on the U.S. So that’s what they’re really talking about.

    Whereas I see the huge difference as the improved lives of the billions in India, China, elsewhere.

    It also discusses the consequences of the anti-AGW policies on developing nations, which I think is a story that needs to be told.

    Gosh, yes.

  115. Here in Australia, Al Gore’s message is now being propagated to the masses via TV ads. On channel 10, there is an ad which shows black balloons popping out of any electical device, TV’s, lights, washing machines etc etc. Yes, that’s right black balloons!!!! What’s interesting is that all these black balloons appear to be significantly lighter than air, picture the last scene from the ad, a row of street houses with hundreds of black balloons soaring up into the sky. Now, if I recall my 5th grade chemistry, CO2 is not lighter than air, it’s the heaviest of all the other major constituent parts of air. So not only is this propaganda wrong, CO2 isn’t black (Buckey balls, C60, are black, thanks to all those arc welders), it’s colourless, and it’s heavier than air, and cannot possibly rise in air carrying it’s own mass as well as the mass of the balloon.

    Anyway, facts don’t matter in the face of propaganda.

  116. @Pat:

    You are right that CO2 is heavier than air. There’s a good video clip on CO2 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0cqsdIsFBU

    It was produced by the BBC and surprisingly it doesn’t twist the science, but just tells it like it is. In one part the host of the segment holds two sets of balloons (interesting that Al Gore used balloons as symbols, isn’t it?). One has helium in it, and floats above her head. The other set contains CO2, and sinks to the ground. And she says, “It weighs TONS. It’s really heavy.” Another interesting part is she shows a group that was running some scientific experiments, seeing what effect increased CO2 levels had on plant growth. The results were conclusive: CO2 is not only essential to photosynthesis, but higher concentrations of CO2 increase photosynthetic action in plants. They show a couple examples of this principle in action. It’s undeniable. CO2 is a great plant fertilizer!

    A video I found (at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrVEM3OdyRc) demonstrates the basics of photosynthesis. Notice in the chemical equation that for every molecule of CO2 that comes into photosynthesis an equal amount of oxygen is produced. So more CO2 now means a more oxygen-rich atmosphere in the future, and by the above example, more biomass.

    Another short BBC video clip I found (at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgGnfYGomGo) shows that CO2 is essential for root growth in plants.

    I think it’s real ironic that CO2 reduction is called “green”. If anything it’s ANTI-green!

  117. Does anyone know how much CO2 an average tree absorbs /hour in average sunlight? People worried about CO2 should just plant more trees, or spread green alge over the oceans that will suck up CO2 like crazy. But global warming drama is not really about CO2 or climate at all is it?
    Its about green derivatives aka gambling , making money out of nothing and control .

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