John Coleman on the state of global warming

Guest post by John Coleman

There is a story I heard that I keep thinking about. It really underlines the problem I have in trying to counter the bad science behind the global warming scare predictions. So here is the story:

A group of over 200 environmentalists were in an auditorium listening to a symposium about climate change, i.e. global warming or climate disruption. One of the speakers asked, “If I could instantly produce a genie with a magic wand to stand here before you today. And if, that genie could wave his magic wand and voila….carbon dioxide would no longer be a greenhouse gas that produced uncontrollable global warming….How many in this room would be happy, satisfied and pleased?” Two people out of two hundred hesitatingly raised their hands. Of the others, some smirked, some laughed and some yelled out, “No, no. Hell no.”

I cannot testify that this event actually occurred. But, I heard it as though it was a truthful report. In any case it haunts me because it demonstrates what I perceive to be something akin to the actual state of affairs in our efforts to quiet the Algorian scare predictions about the consequences of global warming. There are large segments of the population that believe the global warming pronouncements. They have heard them over and over again from people they trust and respect, in school, on television, in the news and in their communities.

They have become “believers”, not unlike those who believe in a set of religious beliefs. All good Democrats believe in global warming, after all, it is the science of one of their key heroes, former Vice President and Senator Al Gore. And all good environmentalists are aboard the global warming band wagon. And, for all of them, the Agenda is what is important. Their Agenda is to eliminate fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine from our civilization. The carbon dioxide, CO2, thing is simply the means to the end. And if the means is not true; who cares. It is only the Agenda that is important. To all of these people, my effort to debunk the CO2 greenhouse gas science is irrelevant.

When I present my scientific arguments in a speech, their common reaction, “so what” and they ask me, even if you are right, isn’t the change to clean energy still the best move for our society? When I make my argument in response, that I also favor alternate energy, but that it will be thirty to fifty years before it can replace fossil fuels as the primary source of power for our civilization and that alternate energy in its current state of development is not economically viable, they doubt my facts. They have heard the hype and bought the dream without stopping to absorb the reality.

Next, when they realize they have not persuaded me to join their point of view, they challenge me with “And, what if it turns out that you are wrong and Al Gore is right? Your argument could cost us everything as climate change makes the Earth unlivable. So let’s just eliminate the greenhouse gases as insurance.” I argue back that the insurance will financially destroy us, wreck our way of life and that because I am right about the science, the move to alternate energy will not make an iota difference in our climate.

At this point, they dismiss me a stupid, old heretic.

My only option is to keep trying. That is why I make the new videos like the one posted on February 22nd. But, I am frustrated and not optimistic about penetrating our scientific institutions and organizations that are in the control of their well paid scientists and persuading them to reconsider the role of carbon dioxide and accept climate reality. What are the odds they will “see the light” and abandon their richly rewarding global warming positions? Nil, I fear.

It appears, as of now, victory, if it were to come, would be on a political level, not a scientific one. Just as “the climate according to Al Gore” has become the Democrat Party mantra, “global warming is not real” has become the rally call of the Republican Party. As a Journalist (I am a member of the television news team at KUSI-TV) I try hard to avoid taking political positions. For instance, I pass on invitations to speak at political events even when handsome stipends are offered.

So I keep focused on the bad science behind global warming. If my team (There are over 31,000 scientists on my team) can make headway in correcting the science, then I will be happy to let the politics, environmentalism and alternate energy movement fight the policy battles without me.

John Coleman

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Watch John’s video that accompanies this essay here at his web site

From comments, here is the link to the story about the group of 200 environmentalists that showed such a poor show of hands:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/programmes/analysis/transcripts/25_01_10.txt

243 thoughts on “John Coleman on the state of global warming

  1. Keep up the real science it will become what is taught in schools eventually. Especially when these alarmists find that their Prius’ stop working because the wind is not blowing.

  2. Hi Anthony,

    You say: “All good Democrats believe in global warming, after all it is the science of one of their key heroes, former Vice President and Senator Al Gore”.

    This kind of statement is very troubling to me! I am a Democrat (though not in the USA at the moment) and a “liberal”, and yet I am sickened by Al Gore and his like. Going by recent comments on the blog there are a large number of liberals who are totally in your camp. Please don’t lump us all together as warmistas and scare mongerers. Truth is greater than political ideology!

    Malcolm

  3. Ooops – sorry, on re-reading I see that it was John Coleman who made those comments, not Anthony. Humble apologies…

  4. a) warmer is better than colder
    b) the science is not settled
    c) as noted above, CAGW has become a religion to many
    d) you rock, Mr. Coleman!

  5. same thing occurred to me, you could present any solid evidence in front of the agw crowd and they would insist alegorical was right anyway.
    we see it happen every day. ;-(
    too much money and power that stands to make more money and power from it.

  6. Mr Coleman: why do you accept the premise ‘clean energy’ versus, presumably ‘dirty energy’?

    Modern technology allows particulates and undesirable gaseous elements to be filtered or scrubbed out, or reduced, where fossil fuels are burnt. Nuclear reactors produce relatively small amounts of waste which can in any case be readily handled and stored.

    Of course ‘clean’ is code word for ‘no CO2′ which is increasingly becoming perceived as a pollutant, since this premise is accepted and unchallenged by the likes of your good self.

    There is however another aspect to consider. How can it be known that alternative “clean” energy will not in time form the basis for some future environmental cause célèbre? We cannot say where it would lead.

    So the notion that a change to alternative or ‘clean’ energy will be beneficial only applies if it is more readily available and more efficient than what we have currently.

    Change for change sake is no benefit.

    And by the way what means ‘clean’? I guarantee its definition will change to suit the enviro-argument du jour. Have we forgotten the enviros were all for oil in place of coal and either was better than nuke?

    Fire and the wheel were innocent enough to our ancestors; they did not know that one day these would lead to ‘the destruction of the Planet’.

    What could be ‘cleaner’ than electricity as a form of energy? Yet it is precisely that and our need to generate it that is at the root of the supposed demise of the Planet.

    Coal saved us from a totally deforested Europe which consequently would have meant a lack of construction materials, a lack of a source of energy for heating, cooking and smelting iron. Coal saved us.

    Then came the ‘clean’ alternative to coal, oil.

    Environmentalism (= people-control, like any religion) then claims absolute prescience that the “clean” energy (which is, currently, anything other than fossil fuel or nuclear) will save the Planet. How can they possibly know?

    It takes us back to how you opened your article, whether Environmentalists will ever be satisfied; the answer is no because their aim is to control and propagate their religious cult.

    Scientific debate with them is as valuable as one with the adherents of any religion. Faith requires no evidence, that is its virtue and reward, and since no evidence exists to support the Faith, that means no evidence can exist to undermine it. Whenever science explains one particular pillar of Faith, the Faithful merely erect another or challenge the science.

    It is time to stop regarding climate change either as a scientific matter or even a political matter, it is religious.

  7. John Coleman is reporting some of the problem and it is not simply bad science. When I read about the different world governments and their almost identical methods of pushing their claims to the urgent need for control of CO2, I wonder.

  8. @John Coleman (“I cannot testify that this event actually occurred”)

    Are you thinking of this BBC radio program?, link to the transcript downunder
    ———————————————–
    Broadcast Date: 25.01.10 2030-2100
    Repeat Date: 31.01.10 2130-2200
    CD Number:
    Duration: 27’ 24”

    Taking part in order of appearance:

    Solitaire Townsend Co-founder and Chief Executive
    of Futerra Sustainability Communications

    Professor Mike Hulme Founding director of the
    Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
    Professor of Climate Change, University of East
    Anglia

    Lord Anthony Giddens Sociologist

    John Gummer MP

    John Sauven Greenpeace director

    Jonathan Porritt former chairman of Friends of the
    Earth, the Green Party and the Sustainable
    Development Commission

    Andrew Simms policy director of the New
    Economics Foundation

    “TOWNSEND: I was making a speech to nearly 200
    really hard core, deep environmentalists and I played
    a little thought game on them. I said imagine I am the
    carbon fairy and I wave a magic wand. We can get rid
    of all the carbon in the atmosphere, take it down to
    two hundred fifty parts per million and I will ensure
    with my little magic wand that we do not go above
    two degrees of global warming. However, by waving
    my magic wand I will be interfering with the laws of
    physics not with people – they will be as selfish, they
    will be as desiring of status. The cars will get bigger,
    the houses will get bigger, the planes will fly all over
    the place but there will be no climate change. And I
    asked them, would you ask the fairy to wave its
    magic wand? And about 2 people of the 200 raised
    their hands.”
    ———————————————————–
    (direct link to textfile)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/programmes/analysis/transcripts/25_01_10.txt

  9. The environmental movement is all about inducing guilt in people, in order to get them to behave the way that environmentalists want them to behave. And one of those behaviors includes having fewer children, in order to reduct the population on the planet, because they haven’t gotten over the Malthusian predictions of people like Paul Erlich. They are determined to make life on this planet as miserable as possible for humans, in order to return it to a pre-homo sapiens condition. It is the Garden of Eden fable, all over again.

    They cherry pick data, take quotes out of context, mis-use analytical methods, spin results, and just plain lie to make their points.

  10. As one “alarmist”, I will stick my hand up and say, “Yes, if you can wave a magic wand and global warming won’t happen, I’ll be happy”.

    Sadly, you can’t do that. All you and your band of 31,000 scientists can do, apparently, is to be part of the problem.

    Picture the frogs sitting in the pot on the stove.

    “Hey guys, anyone want to jump out, I think its getting hot.”
    “Hell no, I’m having a lot of fun here! What makes you say its getting hot?”
    “Well, I’ve taken some measurements – here they are.”
    “So you want me to jump out of this idyllic pot because you and your mates have faked some dodgy measurements? Anyway, I like it hot. Get real.”
    “Based on those measurements and my understanding of stoves, pots and water, I’ve constructed a model which predicts we’ll all be dead in half an hour.”
    “Models schmodels! You can’t prove it to me, and even if you do I’m not listening, so there.”

  11. Excellent essay Mr. Coleman. Like you, I realized a while back that “global warming” (or whatever they wish to call it today) has morphed from a branch of meteorology to a purely political campaign by the world’s “greens”. It has also been corrupted by huge sums of government money (hence the near daily barrage of inane climate science press releases) to the point that we are now willing to spend millions of dollars (in “stimulus” funds) on new computers for climate scientists while citizens go jobless and hungry.

    Meanwhile, I’m shoveling 10″ of new snow and the earth’s “global average temperature” (according to satellite data) is no different today than it was thirty years ago…

  12. You are spot on John but it’s not just the hard left greens we need to concern ourselves about, it’s the mainstream that were all too ready to accept a theory increasingly falling apart on true scientific grounds. Normally a new kid on the block theory like AGW would have to do an awful lot of legwork to gain mainstream acceptance but with this one the mainstream believed because they wanted to believe. They took to it like a duck to water.

    That psyche waiting to be tapped goes right back to 1969, that Apollo moon mission and the birthplace of the Spaceship Earth paradigm as a young, formative, graduazzi generation would see their Earth from out of that porthole and subsequently understand it more and more as a spaceship as those satellites began to map its every move and change. Scientists brought that to them more and more in their loungerooms and increasingly these scientists had to compete with professional media for airspace. It was inevitable that they’d want to sex/jazz it up to compete a la the David Suzukis as the groundbreakers like the David Bellamys fell by the wayside. In the end who needs dull scientists presenting anyway and welcome aboard the Al Gores.
    But it needed more than that and in the left it found a ready army of disciples to spread the word. The very left that were in complete despair after the fall of the Berlin Wall and who had been licking their wounds and sulking in the wings for some time, along with their defunct message. In AGW they would see a light at the end of the tunnel and would come roaring back into favour by riding the Apocalypse. Here at last was their gotcha moment in their long struggle against evil capitalists. The very same capitalists and their dark satanic mills that are going to kill all the kiddies unless thinking, feeling parents everywhere let them run the show.

    They’ve got a point and those of us who still believe in individual freedom, entrepreneurship and level playing field markets need to clearly understand that. Sure they’ve burned up a lot of political and real capital with their lunar policy responses to date, but they still ride the sexier environmental compassion horse while the conservative/market side of politics is stuck on the drab old accountancy nag. We all need to comprehend that and understand that until we address the real underlying environmental questions with the only real answers of the level playing field free marketplace, they will hold the reins of power more often than not.

  13. The story is from BBC Radio 4, 2 part environment special last year. The lady who recounted the story was an environmentalist who was horrified by the answer. I’m not sure whether it was the program Roger Harribin made that pretended to be a ‘mea culpa’ about climate science.

    Does anyone have a recording?

    I wish I had taped it at the time, but didn’t.

  14. I think the story you keep thinking about comes from a remark by Professor Ross McKitrick regarding one of the IPCC’s climate conferences. He asked,

    ” Suppose at 10 AM this morning, the IPCC announced that scientists had discovered rock-solid, 100% incontrovertible proof that CO2 cannot affect the climate.Would this room react with: Joy, jubilation and relief? or Shock, disappointment and despair?

    He reports this in ‘Questions for a Journalist. It is well worth reading.

    Questions for a Journalist

    In fact, if Freedman Dyson had read these questions, maybe he could have held his own with Steve Connor.

  15. I always tell that story with the link…

    Here you go…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/programmes/analysis/transcripts/25_01_10.txt

    TOWNSEND: I was making a speech to nearly 200
    really hard core, deep environmentalists and I played
    a little thought game on them. I said imagine I am the
    carbon fairy and I wave a magic wand. We can get rid
    of all the carbon in the atmosphere, take it down to
    two hundred fifty parts per million and I will ensure
    with my little magic wand that we do not go above
    two degrees of global warming. However, by waving
    my magic wand I will be interfering with the laws of
    physics not with people – they will be as selfish, they
    will be as desiring of status. The cars will get bigger,
    the houses will get bigger, the planes will fly all over
    the place but there will be no climate change. And I
    asked them, would you ask the fairy to wave its
    magic wand? And about 2 people of the 200 raised
    their hands.

    ROWLATT: That is quite shocking. I bet you were
    shocked, weren’t you?

    hth

  16. Wall-la? = Voilà ?

    I would love to have a YouTube clip of this (apocryphal?) environmentalist meeting. If it does not exist could someone please try it at their local Greenpeace meeting? Much as I want to believe it, I am not sure I do!

  17. It is possible to have a scientific victory. The contributing authors and even the lead authors of TAR and AR4 did not have a great deal of power in the editorial process and the reviewers had none. In every team of lead authors there were always a few alarmist types who could put the most dangerous spin on any controversial point of science. Other lead authors, like John Christy or Richard Lindzen, were merely overruled when the final decision went to the Coordinating Lead Authors. Same thing in the review process. I don’t think Steve McIntyre’s reviews comments were ever adopted, although every comment was well-supported. The number of people who were actually responsible for the alarmist nature of TAR and AR4 is rather small.

    This is why I proposed an alternative to the IPCC assessment process. See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/13/a-modest-proposal-in-lieu-of-disbanding-the-ipcc/

  18. I have heard that summary of the talk before. It suggests that the real agenda of these people is control over others, not the simple bannishment of CO2 as a dangerous greenhouse gas.

    I am of the firm view that this scam is so deeply rooted and in bedded in society that the only thing that will break its grip is a prolonged period of cooler weather. If we have 10 to 15 years of cooling as each year passes, it will become ever so more difficult to explain why if CO2 emissions are going up, the temoperatures are falling. The ‘Team’ may be able to slightly adjust the record but one cannot hide copious amounts of the white stuff and washed out BBQ summers. This coupled with the financial pressure put on individuals by the recent economic problems plus increasing green taxes and subsidies which are beginning to come into play which will squeeze individual budgets even more, will cause ever increasing numbers of people to question the AGW mantra. Especially, if one can throw into the mix electricity generating problems caused by the ever increasing use of unreliable sources of power generation such as wind and solar. This will cause a reality check and perhaps enough people will wake and smell the coffee.

  19. Very well said sir. I’ve read surveys of “believers” in various things. Generally the results were 60-75% will change their minds if confronted with irrefutable evidence. The others will not. I hope you continue and don’t give up for the sake of the +60%. You do a good job on TV here as well.

  20. There is a segment of population which hold as a religious belief that industrial development and market capitalism are incurably evil.

    This group finds developments like the collapse of the Soviet Union, the extreme poverty of Cuba, and the growth of wealth in India and Brazil and China to be upsetting and confusing developments.

    For these people, the Man Made CO2 Causes Climate Catastrophe meme is a perfect antidote to their cognitive dissonent distress. Modern industry and capitalism requires burning fossil fuels; burning fossil fuels leads to disaster; therefore modern industry and capitalism are evil. QED.

    Of course they are not interested in entertaining the idea that maybe burning fossil fuels is (or could be) harmless.

    And those that use the meme to obtain tax money and donations are not interested either.

  21. “…I am right about the science,…” – John Coleman, non-skeptic

    Another post by a non-skeptic? It is very open minded of Anthony to post dogmatic rants complete with apocryphal anecdotes (let’s not use the L-word) on an his “skeptics” blog.

  22. I was a guest on our local radio, and had a open minded interviewer. I can say it is thoroughly enjoyable getting some facts out there to the public.
    I read up on varoius blogs everyday, and hope to do another broadcast again.
    Here in Australia we also have ‘an inconvenient truth’ feed to school children. Utter abuse.

  23. Since Mr. Coleman is intending only to paint the scene with a broad brush, he can be forgiven for not being overly meticulous. Even at the broad-brush level , though, it’s considerably wide of the mark to characterize the Republican position (if, in light of a comparison of, say, Lindsay Graham with Jim Inhofe, one can be said to exist) as “Global warming is not real.”

    I wish Mr. Coleman well. But I urge him to exercise more care in crafting his remarks.

  24. Sounds like hell would have to freeze over (literally) before many change their mind. This I don’t get because at this point, the earth would be worse off.

    The world is truly going crazy.

  25. You are wrong about the agenda John.
    The agenda is to simply make the country and the world a socialist paradise with the radical greenies in charge. CO2 is merely a means to that end. The argument has always been political. They are aided by unscrupulous grant seeking individuals seeking to enrich themselves with massive grants for supposed research and adulation from the unwashed masses.
    At the very core you are dealing with those who are honest and those who are not.
    I would submit that your story of the conference whether true or not is a clear indication of who is seeking to profit unfairly from their fellow men.

  26. CAGW is a political argument. Political arguments are mostly a battle of conspiracy memes. Actual scientific evidence (both good and bad) is used as a tool by each side to fortify a position. Keep working to establish the truth of the evidence, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it will keep you out of policy debates. That horse is long gone.

  27. John,
    You might right about the victory taking place at the political level. And the science must continue against the lack of science.
    Here’s one reason why.
    I believe the victory could be generational not just political. The majority of liberals aren’t too keen on having children. Conservatives feel the opposite. The disparity of family size cannot be ignored. If the science of today can win the battle, the next generation will win the war.
    15 degrees here in Western Oregon today [long exhale]

  28. LOL! Of course they didn’t raise their hands. It’s naive to think that the majority of environmental activists give a fig about CO2. CAGW is only a means to an end which is the reversal of modern industrial society. If CO2 were no longer useful to this end it would not please them. Many see man as a blot on the earth and would be happy to see humanity gone or back to some mythical state where we were at one with nature. While some pay lip service to nuclear or fusion energy, many are aghast at the thought (even if it were proven perfectly safe) because that would allow modern society to continue as it is.

  29. Divide and conquer, divide and rule. Democrat or Republican, labor or Liberal. Believer or Denier , left or right.
    We’ve been played beautifully as usual because the actual agenda is promoted regardless once the split is created.
    We might need to start voting like Egyptians, with a clean slate.

  30. I’ve often tried to discuss the AGW with people, for the most part people just get angry with you. Other will make fun of you. I actually find it embarassing, not for me, for them, its like discussing something with an ill informed belligerent child whose views have been created in the playground.

    To begin with most people lack a basic knowledge on the issue. They will also get basic facts wrong and when you correct them they probably don’t believe you or they get angry or make fun of you. This makes having an informed discussion on the real issues next to impossible.

    In my view, the way the debate will be won is by educating the public (or as I call them ‘the mindless masses’). But it is hard to do that when dealing with closed minds. The ‘debate is over’ trick has probably been the most effective propoganda tool in history.

    I would be interested in any thoughts people have on how to educate the public. I would be equally be interested in ‘success stories’ when people have made a sceptic out of a believer.

  31. Here’s an educational tool I use when discussing CO2 based climate change.
    It’s called the CO2 Screen Saver.
    It involves a little work and some basic math…so that cuts out a lot of true believers but it’s pretty straight forward.
    Step 1. Find out how many pixels there are on your computer screen. This number is usually available in the hardware/display section. Assume that this number represents the entire earth’s atmosphere.
    Step 2. Assume that CO2 is currently at 400ppm in the earth’s atmosphere.
    Step 3. Divide the number of pixels on your computer screen by 1,000,000 and multiply by 400.
    Step 4. Find the square root of this number. So for example if you had exactly one million pixels on your screen, the number would be 400 and the square root would be 20.
    Step 5. Go to Google Images and use advanced search to download a square image whose dimensions are the number you calculated at Step 4. In our 1,000,000…400 example above this would be a square 20×20.
    Step 6. Clear the screen of all other images and stare at the tiny speck before you.

    Then ask yourself this question, could something that is so evidently a ‘trace gas’ ever have a sudden destabalizing/catastrophic effect on something that clearly is so ‘vast’.

    You can carry this game further by generating specks to represent ‘the increase in C02 or ‘blocks’ representing the amount of Water Vapour or anything you care to illustrate.

    Now I know this may come across as a bit folksy and simplistic for the folk who are into spectral absorbtion bands etc etc but it does have a remarkably calming effect on some people who in their mind’s eye see Carbon Dioxide as a stifling, overwhelming toxic presence in our atmosphere.
    A lot of these people have been brainwashed and this is a good place to start their re-education.
    Step 3.

  32. “Their Agenda is to eliminate fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine from our civilization. The carbon dioxide, CO2, thing is simply the means to the end. And if the means is not true; who cares. It is only the Agenda that is important. To all of these people, my effort to debunk the CO2 greenhouse gas science is irrelevant.”

    Exactly good sir! Many environmentalists are closet sceptics but who see Co2 as the magic bullet. Drastically lowering co2 means using much less in the way of fossil fuels, the very poorest in the third world will die and not consume the world’s resources, prices of energy will skyrocket killing many old people in the Western world and so on.

    “I also favor alternate energy, but that it will be thirty to fifty years before it can replace fossil fuels as the primary source of power for our civilization and that alternate energy in its current state of development is not economically viable, they doubt my facts. “

    Read about the solar powered classroom in North London that FAILED.

  33. Your comments strike a BIG chord with a blog piece by Zeke over at Lucia’s ‘The Blackboard’ posted yesterday titled “Agreeing”. The thing you and Zeke both discuss is what we can agree on (in various shades of grey) AND you go the extra step and address the Magic Genie sollution and the problem thereafter. I have a strong feeling that most at WUWT agree with your assessment. It presents the mind-warfare problem so well. What most call Warmers and Denialists are two huge groups of people who fundamentally “agree” about what we know for certain and what we think we know, in very general terms. It ain’t the “science” that divides us, it’s the “political, economic, and social” objectives and solutions the other side wishes to impose. The problem that we on this side of the frontlines face is that our infernal internal enemy is only using what they claim to be are Huge, Outlandish “SCIENCE” Differences as their excuse to conquer the world and impose their own rules and system. If we all agree on the essential “science” (pretty much) then what is it really that they want? Why? Who pays for their brave new world? Who gains? Who loses?

  34. Frank K

    I am in amiable discourse with a physicist friend regarding AGW and could make use of the authoritative source that states that the earth’s average global temperature is the same as it was thirty years ago, according to satellite data.
    Thanks

  35. I have enjoyed viewing and showing John Coleman’s previous global warming Internet videos, and would like to view his most recent production (2/22/2011). Does anyone the website for the most video and where can I get a DVD of all three videos on debunking the global warming theory?

  36. All good Democrats believe in global warming, after all, it is the science of one of their key heroes, former Vice President and Senator Al Gore.

    Anthony

    This is one of the annoyances of this blog, where posters make unqualified sweeping statements about particular political positions. I do know plenty of self-described Democrats who can’t abide Al Gore and believe AGW to be wildly overstated or just false. I know plenty of Republicans who can’t abide Sarah Palin and who buy into at least some AGW claims.

    REPLY: If I deleted every comment somebody objected to, we’d have none, while I share your disagreement over this statement as being stereotypically wrong, it is within blog policy- Anthony

  37. John Brookes says: February 26, 2011 at 5:05 am

    As one “alarmist”, I will stick my hand up and say, “Yes, if you can wave a magic wand and global warming won’t happen, I’ll be happy”.

    That’s not what he said. Go back and read it again. You both miss and make Coleman’s point.

  38. Well said, Mr. Coleman. Now you know how difficult life is for any conservative or Republican politician in this country. Show your face and the MSM will do their very best to destroy you, your family, and the horse you rode into town. This fact is so widely known that it has entered American folklore. Ask the ordinary person an ordinary question about the next presidential election and they will tell you that the question will not be addressed because the MSM will put all their support behind democrats and direct their fury at Republicans. Yes, even the democrats will tell you this.

    Republican politicians need a permanent “war room” of the style created by James Carville for Bill Clinton. It needs to be up 24/7, richly financed, employing attractive and highly competent professionals from the right. Jennifer Rubin would be a good example. The purpose of the war room is to engage in rational criticism of the MSM.

    There will be no free speech about political issues on a national level in this country until Republicans invest the money to counter the Left’s control of the MSM. In referring to “free speech,” I mean simply an arena in which candid participants are free to articulate positions without threat of a “Palin is crazy” campaign against them.

    Finally, I am really tired of the US government indoctrinating my children in the religion of global warming and all other fashionable “isms” of the day.

  39. Noted in passing is the fact that the Sierra Club is currently engaged in organizing some of the state government union protests according to the WSJ. And here I thought they were all about preserving the wilderness. /sarc

  40. Just keep pointing them towards the developing world and telling them the facts such as 67% of global coal production is burnt in Asia and the proportion is increasing year by year. China on its own burns nearly 50% per year and planning to construct another 400GW of coal fired generation by 2020. New vehicles sales in China have just exceeded 1 million a year and 120 new airports are planned.
    Without serious commitments to cutting emission by the developing world, our planned efforts are all pain and no gain, just tokenism and futile.

  41. Here’s an educational tool I use when discussing CO2 based climate change.
    It’s called the CO2 Screen Saver.
    It involves a little work and some basic math…so that cuts out a lot of true believers but it’s pretty straight forward.
    Step 1. Find out how many pixels there are on your computer screen. This number is usually available in the hardware/display section. Assume that this number represents the entire earth’s atmosphere.
    Step 2. Assume that CO2 is currently at 400ppm in the earth’s atmosphere.
    Step 3. Divide the number of pixels on your computer screen by 1,000,000 and multiply by 400.
    Step 4. Find the square root of this number. So for example if you had exactly one million pixels on your screen, the number would be 400 and the square root would be 20.
    Step 5. Go to Google Images and use advanced search to download a square image whose dimensions are the number you calculated at Step 4. In our 1,000,000…400 example above this would be a square 20×20.
    Step 6. Clear the screen of all other images and stare at the tiny speck before you.

    Then ask yourself this question, could something that is so evidently a ‘trace gas’ ever have a sudden destabalizing/catastrophic effect on something that clearly is so ‘vast’.

    You can carry this game further by generating specks to represent ‘the increase in C02 or ‘blocks’ representing the amount of Water Vapour or anything you care to illustrate.

    Now I know this may come across as a bit folksy and simplistic for the folk who are into spectral absorbption bands etc etc but it does have a remarkably calming effect on some people who in their mind’s eye see Carbon Dioxide as a stifling, overwhelming toxic presence in our atmosphere.
    A lot of these people have been brainwashed and this is a good place to start their re-education.

  42. Count me as another member of your team. I was on the petition mailing list to which 31000 scientist responded. I didn’t respond, but I did start analyzing the data upon which the CAGW “myth” is based. I have presented my results at

    http://www.kidswincom.net/climate.pdf,

    http://www.kidswincom.net/CO2OLR.pdf,

    http://www.kidswincom.net/arcticseaice.pdf.

    I conclude that (1) burning fossil fuel is having no significant effect on natural climate changes, (2) these changes are measured in combinations of cycles of varying wave-length, and (3) these wave-lengths may be identified using statistical techniques. I find the three most significant wave-lengths are around 308 years, one year, and 19 years (ENSO?). The 308 year cycle will peak out around 2070. Between now and then, we may expect lesser peaks around every 19 years.

  43. Perhaps the Democrat/Republican argument is a bit too broad, but if you evaluate the opponents/proponents in the US governing bodies in the arena of AGW, it is clear that the loudest pro-AGW voices are Democratic and the loudest anti-AGW voices are Republican. Am always leery (or try to be, anyway) of generalizations, but have found that ‘in general’ conservatives tend to be skeptics, while liberal/progressives tend to be warmists. In any case, very few of the lib/prog folks I debate the issue with really have done their homework, so the ‘authority’ argument is invariably their hole card. Hopefully the gradual increase in scientific information from the Judith Curry’s of the world, and the visibility of the Coleman’s of the world will bring the debate back into a true debate. Am actually open to the argument that CO2 is a contributing factor to our climate, just have not seen any actual EVIDENCE that it is a factor I need to worry about. On the contrary, the evidence seems to support an increase in CO2 is good for the planet, not bad.

  44. “Global Warming” and the said goal of reducing CO2 emissions has nothing to do with science or saving the planet. It is a Socialist political agenda. Old School Socialists believe that the government should control the means of production because they know better than the free marketplace. Today’s Socialist’s call themselves Progressives and realize that they don’t have to take control of privately owned corporations and businesses. They can simply act as if they own them by regulating their supply of energy (EPA). If you control the supply of energy with a “smart grid” you control the means of production.

  45. Good article; although I think you mean ‘alternative’, not ‘alternate’. Other ‘bloopers’ noted by others earlier. I usually try to ignore them, but didn’t succeed this time I’m afraid!

  46. I hate the idea that the gravy train scientists will eventually morph into something else- Ehrlich and Schneider switched from imminent ice age to AGW and became heroes in both camps (Ehrlich will even be able to switch back again and say I told you so in the 1970s. I think we should create a “prize” to honour these guys – give out one for each of several categories each year and give a little bio with summaries of their stuff – a bit like the “Darwin Awards”.

    http://bing.search.sympatico.ca/?q=Darwin%20Award&mkt=en-ca&setLang=en-CA

  47. John,
    a very true analysis, sadly (and I have not even watched your video yet, but I will do)
    ‘Solving’ the CO2/warming issue won’t help; the next crisis is already waiting in the wings with some wanting to put badge on everything with how much water it takes to produce it.

    In the meantime even if we should reduce CO2 it is such a pointless exercise. I have put up a guest post on this very issue a few days ago:

    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/the-futility-of-trying-to-limit-co2-emissions/

  48. I too am socially liberal (damn the ban against stem cell research, damn the effort to make abortion illegal and uninsurable, damn the Marriage Act and all that), but fiscally conservative. For some, that is difficult to imagine.

    In my mind, liberals are of two “ends of the continuum” kinds; democrat-ish libertarian independent on one end, and hippy dippy nanny statish on the other end. Conservatives are of two “ends of the continuum” kinds; republican-ish libertarian independent on one end, and socially religiously nanny statish on the other end.

    What warps peoples minds is when a person has a foot on both continuums. I hold beliefs and convictions from the libertarian-independent end of both continuums and am sometimes called a fence sitter. But trust me, I ain’t no fence sitter. It’s just that the two party system does not work for me. No party truly represents me. Which means that stereotypical political statements kinda rile me.

  49. John Brookes said:
    February 26, 2011 at 5:05 am

    “Picture the frogs sitting in the pot on the stove.”

    Your frog in the boiling pot metaphor is more fluff and can be easily answered with another metaphoric story.

    Once upon a time, not so very long ago, there was a small beautiful pond, in a glade, by the forest. In this pond lived 10 happy, frolicking frogs.

    One particular cold morning, one vocal frog noticed a mist rising from the surface of the pond. He immediately shouted “Wake up! Wake up! You sleepy frogs. The pond is beginning to boil!”

    All the other frogs rubbed their eyes in amazement, for indeed, there was steam rising from the pond. Quickly they held a meeting and came to a consensus. Yes! The pond was indeed beginning to boil.

    Emergency plans for pond evacuation were quickly implemented, and the frogs left the pond. 9 of the frogs were gobbled up by snakes and birds. The last frog managed to escape the ravenous predators, but was caught in the opening, by the noon sun, which dried him to a pretzel.

    And the flies, lived happily ever after. GK

  50. The skeptical community should consider adopting the term “Sustainable Energy” as it solution to AGW, as an alternative to “Green Energy”

    The term “Sustainable” energy is politically very powerful because it implies both green energy and affordable energy, for the long term. It is difficult to see how anyone can argue against it, and it provides a means to unite people from both sides of the argument.

    Dr McKitrick made two very powerful points in his report:

    1) The satellite records is the most accurate records and it is trending below the best case IPCC projections. Things are not as bad as forecast, showing that there is time to implement alternative policies.

    2) That if the projections are correct, that a shift to “green energy” will save money and create jobs, why does it require a large UN regulatory structure with carbon taxes, credits and penalties. Wouldn’t companies make the switch to improve their bottom line without regulation if the policies were economical?

    Given that there is time, and companies will switch if it is economical, would in not make more sense for the skeptical community so adopt “Sustainable Energy” as a more reasoned solution to “Green Energy”? The point being that people need ” Sustainable Energy” to survive and prosper.

    “Green Energy” is not a solution if it is not economically sustainable. If it was economically sustainable, why does it require such a large degree of UN regulation, taxes and penalties?

  51. Just chatting to a few environmentist I get the same impression — they seem to want it to be true.

    In which case I wish they would just come out and state clearly what they really want, instead of treating us all like sheep who are supposed to be herded using myths.

  52. Paul:
    ‘I would be interested in any thoughts people have on how to educate the public. I would be equally be interested in ‘success stories’ when people have made a sceptic out of a believer.’

    It is a funny situation these days.The poachers have turned into gamekeepers.
    Taking a few tips off them as to how to undermine ‘the establishment’ would be good.
    And unlike their rise to the top,the majority of people would actually like what you are saying.
    In theory it should be like shooting fish in a barrel.

  53. I’m increasingly disturbed by the “collective think” in which otherwise intelligent people on this blog are engaging. The “Warmistas” consist of a vast number of constituencies, it is not a monolithic bloc. There are honest scientists like Dr. Currey, who are beginning to doubt, there are commercial groups who have a vested interest in their investments, there are politicians looking for power, there are the professional misanthropes – yearning for a non-existant “Golden Past”, other vested groups, and yes, oh yes, there are the young and old Lemmings. Continuing to use collectivist terms will hinder our ability to target the reachable. Crony Capitalists are mostly unreachable – forget about educating GE. Many investors are reachable, and need to have serious effort put into making sure they understand the fraud that is being perpetrated – they don’t invest “Other Peoples Money”, they invest their own, and understanding that long term, natural gas, atomics, and oil are viable, they are reachable. Wall Street invests OPM, and they don’t care about long term, they want traders anyway. Midsized O&G companies are reachable, the Super Majors aren’t until we reach a general understanding that they aren’t cows to be milked. This is not to say that the average employee of a Super Major believes in CAGW, they generally don’t Upstream (Exploration & Production), Downstream they are just like Joe Average, some do, some don’t.

    Those of us who can do public speaking should work that and bring a clearer message. Anyone can give books to friends and relatives – we’ve got a great selection here on WUWT. Let’s be gracious, smile, and leave the listeners with just three points – more confuse. What three points, depends on the response of the listener within your dialog – and it must be a dialog, not a sermon.

    We can win this, we will win this.

  54. John Brookes says:
    February 26, 2011 at 5:05 am
    “As one “alarmist”, I will stick my hand up and say, “Yes, if you can wave a magic wand and global warming won’t happen, I’ll be happy”.

    Sadly, you can’t do that. All you and your band of 31,000 scientists can do, apparently, is to be part of the problem. ”

    Not that he had to. Average LWIR back radiation is 300 W/m^2 – note the “average”. A doubling in CO2 will increase that by about 3.7 W/m^2. What happens on a day with very low specific humidity? Well, much less back radiation, as there is less water vaport. What happens on a very cold day? Remember, 300 W/m ^2 corresponds to the blackbody radiation of an object about 23 deg F warm or -5 deg C. So on a very cold day, when the surface is, say, at this very temperature, there can only be 300 W / m ^2 UPWELLING LWIR, and after absorption and re-emission, at most half of it can come back as downwelling LWIR back radiation. So in that case the backradiation drops far below the 300 W/m^2. I would be tempted to call it a positive feedback towards cooling… runaway cooling, if you will. Much more dangerous than runaway warming. And i didn’t even have to talk about cooling by convection by now…

    Are you still worried about your less than 1 % increase in downwelling LWIR (on average – remember we didn’t see a doubling of CO2 by now, only 40%, so we’re having only about 1.5 W/m^2 increase by now, on average)?

    When Trenberth says events like the Russian heatwave or the Pakistan floods would not have happened without this sub-1% increase in downwelling LWIR, the first question that arises is, what has he been smoking the past 30 years…

  55. “Climate science” is to climatology as astrology is to astronomy. The reason 99.99% of “climate scientists” believe in man-made climate change is because “climate science” is the supposed science of analyzing man-made climate change. It isn’t climatology or meteorology. It’s an invented “science” that starts with a premise (man-made climate change is real), then presents “evidence” to support this premise. Climatology and meteorology are observational, empirical sciences; “climate science” is a belief system anyone can claim to “practice.”

    That “climate scientists” have been able to trick the public, and especially the media, into confusing them with climatologists and meteorologists says a lot about the power of money and dubious academic credentials, and especially about the stupidity of many, many journalists. The average “climate scientist” knows less about climatology or meteorology than the average grade school teacher knows about advanced maths. Learning a smattering of this and that does not a scientist make.

    John Coleman probably knows more about actual climate AND weather than 99.99% of “climate scientists.” However, his left/right division of believers vs. non-believers isn’t entirely accurate, and certainly not in other countries. Here, we can blame the craven self-interests of the Republican Party for pretending to carry the banner of skepticism, and the craven self-interests of the Democratic Party for pretending to carry the banner of reason , both both parties are utterly dishonest. Unfortunately, those who belong to them can only see fault in the reasoning, and members, of the opposite.

  56. “Climate Realist” vs “Climate Alarmist”

    I like these labels! “Realist” has a positive ring to it.

  57. Don R says:
    February 26, 2011 at 6:23 am
    Satellite data ??

    Here is Dr. Roy Spencer’s site:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/

    There you can find “Latest Global Temp. Anomaly … ”

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

    This shows the 1979 beginning as cooler, 1980 at about zero, and the January 2011 value at -0.01 C.

    The same chart and discussion is here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/02/uah-global-temperature-anomaly-goes-negative/

    And the next day there was this report about the other (Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa, CA) regularly reported data set.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/03/rss-global-temp-drops-version-change-adjusts-cooler-post-1998/

  58. Michael A. says:
    February 26, 2011 at 6:28 am
    John Brookes says: February 26, 2011 at 5:05 am

    As one “alarmist”, I will stick my hand up and say, “Yes, if you can wave a magic wand and global warming won’t happen, I’ll be happy”.

    That’s not what he said. Go back and read it again. You both miss and make Coleman’s point.

    Either that or he forgot the /sarc at the end of his post. The frogs in a boiling pot analogy is so simplistic and so non applicable to the earth’s atmosphere – it’s almost as ridiculous as the more popular greenhouse version.

  59. While Coleman’s characterization of the debate in terms of political identity is perhaps uncomfortable, it is nonetheless factual.

    Having spent a good deal of adult life outside the US (I lived for 20 years in Canada and have worked and studied in Russia and Mexico), I was never all that comfortable with the way politics in the US is defined. I therefore consider myself to be neither a democrat or republican.

    I like to think of myself as an independent, but that doesn’t mean I don’t pick sides. I think one would have to be blind not to see that the democrats have chosen the AGW side and the republicans (at least for now) the skeptic side of the climate debate.

    The problem with both parties and the AGW debate though is that each can cherry pick facts to adequately support their position. In politics one does not need a strong factual position to get support – one only needs to have a plausible set of “facts”.

    My own position on AGW is not a political one. I have weighed the science and found the technical foundation for AGW to be flawed. For that reason I cannot support the massive societal disruption that is being promoted as the solution to what I know to be a non-problem.

    Five years ago, by which time I had already arrived at my current understanding of the science of AGW, I was truly saddened that both political parties were following the same path toward societal destruction. Sure there were some democrats and republicans who doubted, but the majority of both parties supported the IPCC and were poised to impose some form of taxation to wean the US from CO2 producing hydrocarbons. They only differed in the degree of pain and destruction they were willing to impose.

    Now it appears that a majority of republican politicians have reversed themselves on the issue. I welcome the change and will support them so long as they continue.

    I still consider myself an independent, but the republicans are the political path currently present in the US that will, at least in the short term, prevent the destruction of our civilization.

  60. Verity Jones says on February 26, 2011 at 7:34 am

    John,
    a very true analysis, sadly (and I have not even watched your video yet, but I will do)
    ‘Solving’ the CO2/warming issue won’t help; the next crisis is already waiting in the wings with some wanting to put badge on everything with how much water it takes to produce it.

    In the meantime even if we should reduce CO2 it is such a pointless exercise. I have put up a guest post on this very issue a few days ago:

    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/the-futility-of-trying-to-limit-co2-emissions/

    And in Victoria, Australia, the various water authorities/companies have now switched from telling people to save water to now use water. Why? Because the previous stuck-on-stupid government (leftist, but I repeat myself) spend $5.xB on a desalination plant. Now that their damns are overflowing, the only way to pay for the profligacy and stupidity is to encourage people to use the now abundant water from the heavens.

  61. Verity Jones says on February 26, 2011 at 7:34 am

    John,
    a very true analysis, sadly (and I have not even watched your video yet, but I will do)
    ‘Solving’ the CO2/warming issue won’t help; the next crisis is already waiting in the wings with some wanting to put badge on everything with how much water it takes to produce it.

    In the meantime even if we should reduce CO2 it is such a pointless exercise. I have put up a guest post on this very issue a few days ago:

    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/the-futility-of-trying-to-limit-co2-emissions/

    And in Victoria, Australia, the various water authorities/companies have now switched from telling people to save water to now use water. Why? Because the previous stuck-on-stupid government (leftist, but I repeat myself) spend $5.xB on a desalination plant. Now that their damns are overflowing, the only way to pay for the profligacy and stupidity is to encourage people to use the now abundant water from the heavens.

  62. Alternative Energy (aka Clean or Green Energy) will never replace fossil fuels/nuclear if the economy/infrastructure is destroyed. Instead, civilization will once again be reduced to primitive means such as sails, water wheels and work animals. The population will be reduced in output to that which cannot sustain the technology required to develop and deploy such Alternative Energies.
    The Agenda is self-defeating in this regard.

  63. Cold fusion provided experimental confirmation of the anecdote of the Carbon Fairy. As I recall, one environmentalist reacted to the prospect of unlimited, pollution-free energy by saying, approximately, “This is dreadful. Now people will never learn to conserve.”

  64. Anyone who questions the political aspects of CAGW should visit the Green Agenda website and read the long list of quotations from various leaders of politics and environmentalism. There is another page on the site with exact citations.

    http://www.green-agenda.com/

    They will be defeated not by rational science, but by the developing Dalton Minimum analog. If you add an analog to the Tambora explosion, a VEI 7, from Katla or a combination from the ‘ring of fire’, then we will see another year without a summer, as an analog to 1816.

  65. @Erik:
    February 26, 2011 at 4:59 am

    The negative reaction to the powers of the “carbon fairy” mentioned by Townsend in that BBC radio program is strictly in accordance with the teachings of Mike Hulme (the second speaker in that program) as evidenced by the following quotes from his book. I’ve always found these quotes amazing coming frm an alarmist, I mean the sheer cynicism (or candor) of it, especially the reversal paraphrase of the Kennedy comment: “We need to ask not what we can do for climate change, but to ask what climate change can do for us”

    Quotes from Mike Hulme’s book (Why We Disagree About Climate Change)

    http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/2010/02/climate-change-global-socialism-and-global-governance/

    …‘self-evidently’ dangerous climate change will not emerge from a normal scientific process of truth-seeking…scientists – and politicians – must trade truth for influence. What matters about climate change is not whether we can predict the future with some desired level of certainty and accuracy.

    Climate change is telling the story of an idea and how that idea is changing the way in which our societies think, feel, interpret and act. And therefore climate change is extending itself well beyond simply the description of change in physical properties in our world…

    The function of climate change I suggest, is not as a lower-case environmental phenomenon to be solved…It really is not about stopping climate chaos. Instead, we need to see how we can use the idea of climate change – the matrix of ecological functions, power relationships, cultural discourses and materials flows that climate change reveals – to rethink how we take forward our political, social, economic and personal projects over the decades to come.

    There is something about this idea that makes it very powerful for lots of different interest groups to latch on to, whether for political reasons, for commercial interests, social interests in the case of NGOs, and a whole lot of new social movements looking for counter culture trends.

    Climate change has moved from being a predominantly physical phenomenon to being a social one…It is circulating anxiously in the worlds of domestic politics and international diplomacy, and with mobilising force in business, law, academia, development, welfare, religion, ethics, art and celebrity.

    Climate change also teaches us to rethink what we really want for ourselves…mythical ways of thinking about climate change reflect back to us truths about the human condition…

    The idea of climate change should be seen as an intellectual resource around which our collective and personal identifies and projects can form and take shape. We need to ask not what we can do for climate change, but to ask what climate change can do for us…Because the idea of climate change is so plastic, it can be deployed across many of our human projects and can serve many of our psychological, ethical, and spiritual needs.

    …climate change has become an idea that now travels well beyond its origins in the natural sciences…climate change takes on new meanings and serves new purposes…climate change has become “the mother of all issues”, the key narrative within which all environmental politics – from global to local – is now framed…Rather than asking “how do we solve climate change?” we need to turn the question around and ask: “how does the idea of climate change alter the way we arrive at and achieve our personal aspirations…?”

    We need to reveal the creative psychological, spiritual and ethical work that climate change can do and is doing for us…we open up a way of resituating culture and the human spirit…As a resource of the imagination, the idea of climate change can be deployed around our geographical, social and virtual worlds in creative ways…it can inspire new artistic creations in visual, written and dramatised media. The idea of climate change can provoke new ethical and theological thinking about our relationship with the future….We will continue to create and tell new stories about climate change and mobilise these stories in support of our projects. Whereas a modernist reading of climate may once have regarded it as merely a physical condition for human action, we must now come to terms with climate change operating simultaneously as an overlying, but more fluid, imaginative condition of human existence. (various sources – see original article, including a Guardian article here)

  66. It seems to this observer that the problem was identified early one and then changed into a political discussion. Not the underlying reality however. AGW for or against and some of the other catch phrases or ideas surrounding climate are little more then religion. Question, what is the difference between AGW and “The Demon Rum?” Answer, about 100 years. These thing are social movements. Large social movements take on a life of their own because they contain all the trappings of religious belief.

    Political parties line up in the direction the wind is blowing and choose what ever side they believe is likely to win. Democratic, Republicans, Libertarians, Vegetarians and any other group are all just people looking to promote themselves and the expense of other. None are worthy of your trust.

    Keep a skeptical eye and remember Mother Nature plays with loaded dice.

  67. In regards to john brooke’s simplistic explanations: they appear simplistic to Us, but to the likes of him, they are nuanced and complicated, almost beyond his ability to put into words.

  68. We need to reveal the creative psychological, spiritual and ethical work that climate change can do and is doing for us…we open up a way of resituating culture and the human spirit…As a resource of the imagination, the idea of climate change can be deployed around our geographical, social and virtual worlds in creative ways…it can inspire new artistic creations in visual, written and dramatised media. The idea of climate change can provoke new ethical and theological thinking about our relationship with the future….We will continue to create and tell new stories about climate change and mobilise these stories in support of our projects. Whereas a modernist reading of climate may once have regarded it as merely a physical condition for human action, we must now come to terms with climate change operating simultaneously as an overlying, but more fluid, imaginative condition of human existence. (various sources – see original article, including a Guardian article here)

    There is a giant humongous problem with this approach.

    You can’t improve the world beyond modernity by jettisoning reason.

    Let’s say you want to create a new fairer world where social values are taken to a whole new level. To do that you have to take reason WITH you . A better world is built on top of reason, not in spite of it.

    So, big problem: you decide to use “modernist” science merely as a means to create a new narrative that shows the connectedness — spirituality — of all living beings. OK. No problem with the goal. Ask Buddha. Ask Jesus. Ask Lao Tsu. Ask your wife. Honey, how can we make a better world? Guess what, it will be built on reason.

    The moment you start f**** with reason, by inventing myths, the moment you do that, f**** with sane methods of inquiry, with objective and subjective and inter-subjective modes of research, the moment you start claiming that a big lie can be a good lie, you are destroying people’s ability to reason.

    If you can actually manage to do that — convince people to stop using reason — you are throwing them back to being 5 years old. Once you do that with enough people, you’ll throw us back to tribal times. Seriously. It is back to tribes and violence and slavery. It is all circular thinking down there, and it took us a bloody long time to escape that.

    When people try to become spiritually transformed, beware it is a treacherous road. Many people try to go forward and end up two steps back, all the while believing that they’re doing great! It is a huge delusion and easy to fall into.

    Repeat after me, the future is built on reason. You can use your intuition if you like, you can have divine revelations if you like, you can feel all of humanity pulsing through your veins in a loving embrace, but never ever give up reason, and don’t lie to people.

  69. I am a Democrat.
    And I am an environmentalist.
    And I have been for 30 years.

    Have CO2 levels increased in the past 100 years? Absolutely.
    Have humans caused serious damage to ecosystems worldwide? Yes.
    Are human population levels part of the problem – in places like Haiti and Chad? Yep.
    But I take exception to the extreme scientific and policy extrapolations from the Mauna Loa data.

    And I take even greater exception to the violation of the tradition of liberal examination within scientific debate which has been muzzled in the Global Warming debate. I am a left critic of global warming.

    So there ARE Democrats and environmentalists who disagree. FYI.

  70. The real question is “Is technology good?” If you live in a warm climate, like in the Amazon and/or Mid-Africa, you don’t need it!! If you are willing to heard goats, and live in tents in Saudi Arabia/Iraq/Iran, you can survive. Of course, you can’t thrive.

    Even the Roman Empire used technology to build building, aqueducts, and improve farm land. With that technology, they could thrive.

    For the people who live in the North or the South, the problem was different. We have cold and snow. It was very difficult to stay alive. The American Indian migrated south every year to stay warm and have food. So to stay alive, we developed technology and weapons to keep the lazy from stealing our warmth and food.

    If you remove all technology the carrying capacity of Earth is about 1,000,000 people. They would plow with wooden plows pulled by horses/oxen. Any shaped thing would be either pottery or carved wood. No metals. Metals are the result of technology mining. The only salt would come from earthen dyked saltwater evaporation ponds, etc.

    Let’s see the Democratic, Liberal, Environment, “Pro-Global Warming”, Californians grow their mary jane without technology.

    If you say I am extreme, who will decide what technology to use and which to discard?

  71. I respect your background and perspective Mr. Coleman but a few points I’d like to make:

    1) Everyone who believes it is more likely than not that some anthropogenic GH warming is occurring is not a fan of Al Gore, nor a Democrat, nor a rabid environmentalist. There are many people like myself, who are politically Independent, have also (like yourself) studied the issue intensely for many decades, and have reached a conclusion opposite to yours.

    2) CO2 is actually up about 40% since the industrial revolution began in the 1700’s and has reached a level not seen in many hundreds of thousands of years. This increase is due to human activities, and so, whatever effects come as a result of that increase (i.e. climate change) are therefore human-caused.

    3) The basic dynamics of the carbon-rock cycle, with the feedback processes are fairly well understood and involve basic chemistry and physics. What this has shown is that the earth has natural balance mechanisms that keep CO2 within a range, but these processes are geological in nature and work over very long time scales. The influx of CO2 over the past few hundred years is akin to a large (human caused) volcanic eruption of CO2. When CO2 increases, the hydrological cycle follows, and this acceleration of the hydrological cycle will work to reduce the CO2 back to within a range through rock weathering, over thousands of years. The difference here is of course that the human volcano continues to erupt. This is not unlike the large volcanic eruptions of 700 million years ago that brought the earth out of the “snowball earth” period by spewing forth large amounts of CO2. The difference now of course is that this CO2 is human caused, and we are not in a snowball earth period, so it will be interesting to see what changes ensue. Global Climate Models have shown the acceleration of the hydrological cycle to occur with increasing CO2 and this is, in fact, exactly what it occurring right now, globally.

    4) Arctic sea ice (extent & volume) has been in decline for several decades, and this is exactly what Global climate models have shown to occur with increasing levels of CO2. Polar amplification of global warming is, to me, the center of interest in the global warming debate, as it has both been predicted to occur first, and is happening. Yes, this could be natural variation, and I accept that as a possibility, though I think it far more likely to be the result of the 40% increase in CO2 since the 1700’s. I know that a good many people follow the notion that simple changes in the PDO, AMO, or other such natural cycles, are the cause of the current decline year-to-year Arctic sea ice, and they are expecting this to reverse at any time. (i.e. Joe Bastardi for example). I think this is unlikely, and that in fact, due to anthropogenic GH warming, we are likely to see an ice free summer Arctic in the next few decades. There’s just too much warming go on in the Arctic, and this warming has nothing to do with the natural variations of the PDO, AMO, or solar cycles. We’ve seen a warming of the deep ocean currents flowing into the Arctic basin, and with the influx of heat, the ice must decline.

    I sincerely do respect your opinion and your background, and even some of your sentiments about not wanting to see our fossil fuel life-style come to an end, but I won’t let my sentiments stand in the way of what the science tells us. I find it remarkable that two sincere and reasonably well-educated people can come to such opposite conclusions, and hence, why we see such a general impasse on this issue.

  72. @John Brookes

    We’ve been hearing that “half hour” junk for 30 years now. It’s not happening and, based on 30 years of hysteria not coming true, isn’t going to happen. At what point do you turn on your prophets?

  73. richard verney says: February 26, 2011 at 5:25 am
    [I have heard that summary of the talk before. It suggests that the real agenda of these people is control over others, not the simple bannishment of CO2 as a dangerous greenhouse gas. ——I am of the firm view that this scam is so deeply rooted and in bedded in society that the only thing that will break its grip is a prolonged period of cooler weather. If we have 10 to 15 years of cooling as each year passes, it will become ever so more difficult to explain why if CO2 emissions are going up, the temperatures are falling]
    ——————————————————————————–
    Spot on richard verney. It has AWAYS been a matter of control over others. That is what religion and politics have always been about. In the late 20th century western society has more or less shrugged off the strictures of Christianity and has enjoyed a brief spell of democracy and guiltless ‘freedom’. The green movement has fashioned great areas for replacing that guilt. It seems that we even NEED to feel guilty about things. Well the politicians of every colour certainly know how to use guilt to herd the sheep. Right now they have found ways in Europe of dispensing with the democratic process, pronouncing edicts on how (once sovereign nations) must comply with their edicts which include feeling guilty about using energy. Co2 has been very useful to them in this power grab.

    But the worm can turn. Witness the awakening in the Middle East where ordinary people realise their collective power to overthrow those who oppress them. Who would have dared to think this a year ago?

    When Europe and the USA start to freeze and get hungry —————— watch.

    Douglas

  74. “Paul says:
    February 26, 2011 at 6:17 am

    I would be interested in any thoughts people have on how to educate the public.”

    Here in Edmonton, Alberta where several mornings lately have been -25 C and with the windchill values of -35 C, I like to tell people global warming has been canceled due to cold weather. Few people argue. (According to today’s paper, our airport recorded -33.4 C as a low yesterday. But it was not a record. The record low was -36.1 C in 1881.) I also tell people that according to the satellite record, which can be trusted more than other sources, the 1998 record still has not been beaten.

  75. R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Your #2 precludes that the Earth’s Geologic processes cannot absorb excess C02 in the short term.
    Earth is more than a dead rock, devoid of a living biosphere which eats C02 as part of a healthy diet.
    It also precludes that man is responsible for an unbearable excess of C02, which is not proven.
    Warming also releases more C02, which has not led to geometric increases in this gas, but instead has risen linearly.
    No feedback due to active short-term usage by biosphere/geosphere
    Every day, we learn more about the preclusions necessary to support AGW.
    I call that progress.

  76. John B says:
    February 26, 2011 at 4:48 am

    Every word a gem, John. The goalposts are that only “pixie dust” energy qualifies. The grotesque rape of landscape that wind and solar cause, both on-site and because of the vast support infrastructure of service roads and transmission corridors, is actually starting to bite Greenies in their aspirations. We see green-on-green lawsuits and such springing up to protect “fragile” lands and ecosystems. (Parenthetical note: have you ever heard a green-cologist describe a landscape or ecosystem as “not fragile?)

  77. John Brookes says:

    “All you and your band of 31,000 scientists can do, apparently, is to be part of the problem.”

    It really irks Mr Brookes that over 31,000 degreed professionals, all of them in the hard sciences [plus over 9,000 PhD’s] have co-signed the following statement:

    The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

    There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

    In the many years since that statement was written, its validity has been tested and found to be completely accurate. There is no verifiable evidence of global harm due to the rise in CO2. On the other hand, the rise in CO2 has resulted in a verified rise in agricultural productivity.

    The conclusion is obvious: CO2 is both harmless and beneficial. Those demonizing “carbon” have decisively lost the scientific debate. Now it’s all political jockeying for position in order to keep their gravy train on track – and for their true believer followers to avoid damaging their fragile egos by having to admit that their CO2=CAGW conjecture has been falsified.

  78. John Coleman’s essay is an exercise in the obvious. Yes, people without the adequate scientific training, expertise, and time to evaluate the science will tend to make judgments more on the basis of their ideological and political beliefs. However, the fact is that this will occur on both sides. Thus, people who are free market fundamentalists and see socialism behind every corner will tend to dismiss the science of AGW for the same sort of ideological reasons that a liberal / environmentalist might reflexively support it.

    Hence, the question that must be asked to arrive at the best understanding is where the scientists working in the field and the scientific mainstream stand. And, the answer in report after report issued by scientific organization is that they quite clearly that they find AGW to be a serious issue.

  79. rxc says:
    February 26, 2011 at 5:03 am

    The environmental movement is all about inducing guilt in people, in order to get them to behave the way that environmentalists want them to behave. And one of those behaviors includes having fewer children, in order to reduct the population on the planet, because they haven’t gotten over the Malthusian predictions of people like Paul Erlich.

    For a powerful collection of observations and statistics and “projections” to counter the overpop meme, check out http://overpopulationisamyth.com/overpopulation-the-making-of-a-myth#FAQ1

    Note that the most reliable pop-projection model sez peak at <8bn by 2030, then slow decline.

  80. While childless greenies from developed countries self flagellate themselves, the world moves on. The Wall Street Journal reports today on the new ‘cities of the skies’ like Dubai that are centered around airports that have become world transit hubs. The ‘metropolis’ of Dubai has become the commercial hub of the new Silk Road connecting the rapidly developing nations of the Middle East and Asia.
    I am trying to bring awareness of climate change on a local basis. I am concerned about the rapid drop in winter temperatures in the US over the last 12 years. When I tell Greenies that US winter temps have dropped three degrees over the last twelve years as compared to the twentieth century increase of one degree they at first do not believe it and when confronted with the truth write it off as cherry picking and a short term trend. However this trend is happening now and has major implications on US energy use for heating and agriculture. While global temps have been merely flat, likely being held up by the thermal inertia of the oceans I fear that in the near future we may see winter temperatures in the US not seen since the instrument record in 1880 began.

  81. Smokey says:

    It really irks Mr Brookes that over 31,000 degreed professionals, all of them in the hard sciences [plus over 9,000 PhD’s] have co-signed the following statement:

    No…What irks him is that a statement by a small minority of scientists and engineers, almost all of them with no significant background in the field, is taken to be serious evidence of anything. Let’s take one example: Of the 31,000, about 10,000 are classified as “engineering and general science” (http://www.petitionproject.org/qualifications_of_signers.php). However, there are over 1.5 million engineers in the U.S. and that is just counting the ones actively employed as such (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm). So, what exactly is the fact that less than 1% have signed on to some petition supposed to prove exactly?

    REPLY: Ah yes, the never ending idiotic argument of “but so and so isn’t a climate scientist”. I’m reminded of the fact that Dr. James Hansen is an astronomer, and one of the reasons he got into AGW was that GISS was running out of things to do when NASA’s Apollo was canceled. GISS was under threat of being defunded. So, the Goddard Institute of Space Studies was re-purposed as a climate science group. I hear there’s big money in that.

    Bottom line, James Hansen has no degree in “climate science” and almost everyone in the field today got their training in other sciences first. Mostly, climate science as we know it today was grown from beginnings in other sciences. Ditto for Mike Mann.

    So what you’ll do now is argue that Dr. Hansen has lots of papers and that is what makes him a “climate scientist”. Well maybe, except so far his track record with climate science based predictions really is laughable. Of course, what could we expect from a scientist who gets himself arrested, twice.

    If I were his boss I’d have kicked his butt out the door long ago. But that’s just me. True believers like yourself won’t ever be convinced, so there’s really no point in arguing about it. You have your entrenched views, I have my views, except, I used to be a cheerleader for Jim Hansen and AGW in the early 90’s. So I changed trenches when I learned more about it.

    – Anthony

  82. red432 says:
    February 26, 2011 at 5:26 am

    There is a segment of population which hold as a religious belief that industrial development and market capitalism are incurably evil.

    This group finds developments like the collapse of the Soviet Union, the extreme poverty of Cuba, and the growth of wealth in India and Brazil and China to be upsetting and confusing developments.

    Anent which, Poverty halved in half the time targeted. Mostly due to those CO2-spewin’ behemoths, India and China.

  83. Some comments here lead me to suggest that qualifiers are important when talking about something (such as CO2) being “good” or “bad”. For example:

    CO2 is good (in the atmosphere or human blood stream) within a range.
    Oxygen is good (in the atmosphere or human blood stream) within a range.

    CO2 may be a “trace gas” but it is a very critical trace gas, and the earth would rapidly fall back into a snowball earth without this so-called “minor” trace gas. The simple quantity of something in and of itself does not indicate its relative importance in any respect. Many trace elements, compounds, etc. act a key catalysts controlling events far beyond what their quantity alone would suggest. CO2 is one such catalyst in the atmosphere, and as soon as I see comments suggesting it is “simply” a trace greenhouse gas, I realize that person is ignorant of the complete facts. Water Vapor, though a more potent GH gas, cannot, in and of itself sustain the earth from falling into a snowball state as it did 700 million years ago. The reason is the simple physics of condensing versus non-condensing GH gases, and as the earth cooled, all the water vapor would quickly condense out, and without any of the non-condensing CO2, the planet would be a snowball world until our sun went supernova.

  84. to R. Gates

    If you don’t mind, I would like to use your post as an example of how ‘beliefs’ work.

    It is pretty obvious that you ‘believe’ in some AGW. After all, humans are ‘doing something’, and that ‘doing something’ must be having an effect on the environment.

    Then you look around and find and point out any data that supports your initial belief: that AGW is happening.

    But, that ‘belief’, or ‘assumption’ you made, has blinded you to other data that doesn’t support it. You simply don’t ‘see’ it. To you it doesn’t exist.

    The reason I am picking on you is your statement here:

    “Polar amplification of global warming is, to me, the center of interest in the global warming debate, as it has both been predicted to occur first, and is happening.”

    Now, personally, I agree with you, the poles are the place to look.

    However, in your rush to support your AGW belief, you chose only to look at the Arctic. One polar region. We have two polar regions.

    That is partial ‘blindness’ of focusing on the Arctic is caused by your actual belief in AGW.

    The Antarctic is far more important.

    The data there is far more pristine, especially inland in the actual pole areas (Amundsen-Scott, Vostok, etc).

    And the data from Antarctica shows increasing CO2 on the same level as Mauna Loa.

    However, the surface temperature record from Antarctica shows flat to actually decreasing temperatures from 1957 to present. Personally, the data shows me that temperatures are declining there, rather than flat, because of a continuing trend of new lows (temperature lows) being made. Those ‘lows’ represent data points with the least amount of atmospheric ‘noise’ to ‘signal’ effects.

    If I look at the temperature records for the actual poles, for the Arctic, the temperature data is very contrived. There simply is no reliable temperature record for the Arctic. You look at the ice records, but they are very spotty, and subject to ‘noise’ other than the pure CO2 atmospheric effect.

    For the Antarctic pole, there is an excellent temperature record from 1957 to present.

    So, I ‘believe’ in the Antarctic pole data far more than the Arctic.

    And to me, despite CO2 increasing in the atmosphere above Amundsen-Scott and Vostok, THE ACTUAL TEMPERATURES ARE GOING DOWN.

    AGW predicts that they should be going up in Antarctica. But they are not.

    But I can see that data because I don’t assume any AGW. I am neutral on it.

    I try to look at everything with a clear mind and no pre-conceived beliefs.

    I don’t mean this post as a criticism about you. Everyone has ‘beliefs’ that color their reality.

    But you must learn to step back from any ‘beliefs’ you have and look at everything with the wide-eyed wonder that you had as a child when looking out at a new world.

    Do that first.

    And then decide.

    That is the only way to learn what is really out there.

  85. BarryW says:
    February 26, 2011 at 6:12 am

    While some pay lip service to nuclear or fusion energy, many are aghast at the thought (even if it were proven perfectly safe) because that would allow modern society to continue as it is.

    The poster-child quote in that regard is, of course, Ehrlich’s: “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”

  86. Joel Shore says: February 26, 2011 at 10:40 am
    [—–Thus, people who are free market fundamentalists and see socialism behind every corner will tend to dismiss the science of AGW for the same sort of ideological reasons that a liberal / environmentalist might reflexively support it.——-]

    Joel Shore. What is the science of AGW ?

  87. R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 10:51 am
    “CO2 may be a “trace gas” but it is a very critical trace gas, and the earth would rapidly fall back into a snowball earth without this so-called “minor” trace gas. ”

    You are forgetting that most of the Greenhouse effect is due to atmospheric water. (In all three phases – so even on a snowball Earth, sublimation would lead to atmospheric water content and cause a Greenhouse effect) CO2 is a bit player.

  88. richcar 1225 says:
    February 26, 2011 at 10:44 am

    The informal temperature record prior to the 1880’s (lost/misplaced/stashed away) shows what is now labeled Climate Disruption. Warming out of the Little Ice Age after the Dalton was spiky and extremely haphazard. Cooling into the next Little Ice Age will be a similar rocky road to traverse, as was the descent into the Sporer and Wolf Minimums.

  89. rbateman says:
    February 26, 2011 at 10:33 am

    R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Your #2 precludes that the Earth’s Geologic processes cannot absorb excess C02 in the short term.
    _____
    We know of no chemical or physical mechanisms for such a geological process. Rock-weathering takes tens of thousands of years. It is earth’s natural feedback process to keep CO2 within a range, and such natural feedback processes are easily overwhelmed by sudden and dramatic changes…i.e. the acceleration of the hydrological cycle can only do so much to reduce CO2 back to a range, but even though this takes tens of thousands of years, which is long in the human time scale, it is virtually instantly from a geological perspective, which is how feedback processes should operate.

  90. John A says:
    February 26, 2011 at 6:26 am

    All good Democrats

    self-described Democrats

    See the difference? The “good” Democrats are the ones who agree with The Narrative™, and Adore Gore. Challenge: find a public statement by a senior Democrat denying the apocalyptic visions of the Goracle.
    Take your time, I’ll wait.

  91. Joel Shore says:
    February 26, 2011 at 10:40 am
    “Hence, the question that must be asked to arrive at the best understanding is where the scientists working in the field and the scientific mainstream stand. And, the answer in report after report issued by scientific organization is that they quite clearly that they find AGW to be a serious issue.”

    Which leads directly to the question: Where do said scientific organizations stand and where do they get their funding from? Answer: IPCC, UN, taxpayer dole… so we can expect these organizations to support anything but free market fundamentalism… to use your characterization.

  92. DirkH says:
    February 26, 2011 at 10:58 am

    R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 10:51 am
    “CO2 may be a “trace gas” but it is a very critical trace gas, and the earth would rapidly fall back into a snowball earth without this so-called “minor” trace gas. ”

    You are forgetting that most of the Greenhouse effect is due to atmospheric water. (In all three phases – so even on a snowball Earth, sublimation would lead to atmospheric water content and cause a Greenhouse effect) CO2 is a bit player.
    ____
    Not sure you really read all my post…yes, water vapor is a more potent GH gas, but it is a CONDENSING gas, and if you took away CO2, as the earth cooled, the atmosphere would get very dry and very cold, all the water would condense out and be frozen on the surface of the land and oceans, and though there would be liquid water under the frozen ocean (much like Jupiter’s moon Europa), this would do little good to warm the dry and cold atmosphere. Without a large influx of CO2 (such as occurred to end the last snowball earth period), the earth would remain a snowball planet. Mind you, it is possible that there still would likely be some life present under the frozen ocean surfaces, especially living near volcanic vents etc.

  93. AGW is indeed simply a means to an end, explicitly…

    ‘Mike Hulme (Professor of Climate Change, University of East Anglia):

    ‘Within a capitalist world order, climate change is actually a convenient phenomenon to come along.’

  94. MalcolmR says:
    February 26, 2011 at 4:34 am
    Hi Anthony,

    You say: “All good Democrats believe in global warming, after all it is the science of one of their key heroes, former Vice President and Senator Al Gore”.

    This kind of statement is very troubling to me! I am a Democrat (though not in the USA at the moment) and a “liberal”, and yet I am sickened by Al Gore and his like. Going by recent comments on the blog there are a large number of liberals who are totally in your camp. Please don’t lump us all together as warmistas and scare mongerers. Truth is greater than political ideology!

    Malcolm

    Malcolm, while you are correct that not all liberals are in the AGW camp, polls show overwhelmingly that vast majority of liberals (progressives) certainly are. Coleman points out exactly why that is .. an agenda that is a means to an end .. that is, the AGW mantra facilitates the means to a “Liberal” end (a vehicle if you will). Or as I would prefer to refer to it, and most rightfully so, a “Socialist” end. Because that is precisely what it is, and nothing more. I believe Coleman hits the nail on the head, for AGW has nothing to do with weather or climate and everything to do with politics, and more precisely “Socialism” (what ever your favorite flavor, Marxist, Communist, Fascist, etc..)

    This is not science, it is politics and social engineering.

  95. John F Hultquist and Harry Dale Huffman
    Thanks for the websites. I’ll pass them to my physicist friend though he won’t accept their validity, for he knows that he is right because whatsoever the Royal Society says is true.
    My Dad used to say
    ” If the Missus says it’s black, it’s black
    And it’s no use me answering back.
    Though the sky above is blue and we know it, me and you
    If the Missus says it’s black – it’s black
    Thanks again

  96. Johnny Gunn says:
    February 26, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I am a Democrat.
    And I am an environmentalist.
    And I have been for 30 years.

    So there ARE Democrats and environmentalists who disagree. FYI.

    Then the same challenge to you as to the “moderate Muslims” — you have some house-cleaning to do. Get to it.

  97. R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 11:08 am

    … and if you took away CO2, as the earth cooled, the atmosphere would get very dry and very cold, all the water would condense out and be frozen on the surface of the land and oceans, and though there would be liquid water under the frozen ocean (much like Jupiter’s moon Europa), this would do little good to warm the dry and cold atmosphere. Without a large influx of CO2 (such as occurred to end the last snowball earth period), the earth would remain a snowball planet….

    Utterly and completely nonsensical hogwash … total B.S. (bad science AND bovine scatology)

  98. Let me correct my statement with an addition:

    “It really irks Mr Brookes and Joel Shore that over 31,000 degreed professionals, all of them in the hard sciences [plus over 9,000 PhD’s] have co-signed the following statement…”

    The alarmist contingent has tried – and repeatedly failed – to get a like number of signatures on alarmist petitions. They couldn’t even come close.

    So Joel Shore throws a tantrum every time he sees the OISM Petition by attacking the messenger instead of the message – which cannot be successfully attacked, because it is true. CO2 is harmless and beneficial.

    And Shore stupidly denigrates engineers.

  99. rbateman says:
    February 26, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Every day, we learn more about the preclusions necessary to support AGW.
    I call that progress.

    Urk. Good post, but “preclude” doesn’t mean what you think it does. Stick with “presume” and “presumption”.

  100. Domenic says:
    February 26, 2011 at 10:52 am

    to R. Gates

    If you don’t mind, I would like to use your post as an example of how ‘beliefs’ work.
    _____
    Use whatever you want, but let me say just a bit about Antarctica and the Southern Hemisphere sea ice, since you seem to think that I am purposely not looking at this important polar region. We have discussed at length here on WUWT the differences between the North and South poles, especially focusing on why they might react differently (at first) to global warming. If you do the research (really look at the journal research) you see exactly why polar amplification happens first and most intensely at the north pole. The south pole is a continent of ice, thousands of feet thick, surrounded by the large southern ocean. Both of these represent huge heat sinks that will offer some initial buffering to the early onset of global warming. The North pole is opposite to the South in terms of being an ocean with only a maximum of 10 or so feet of ice, and is surrounded by land. All global climate models show the northern polar region warming earlier and to a greater degree than the southern polar region. It is for this reason that I focus on the north pole. To use an rough metaphor…both polar regions will be early indicators of global warming, but the north pole is the more sensitive and will be the first to ring…

  101. Brian H says:
    February 26, 2011 at 11:20 am

    So there ARE Democrats and environmentalists who disagree. FYI.

    Then the same challenge to you as to the “moderate Muslims” — you have some house-cleaning to do. Get to it.

    Brian, well put and I agree, but unfortunately, just as with the Muslims (and many other groups), I would not hold my breath as they are very unlikely to step out and disturb the apple cart. To them, it is the Agenda that is important. While they may have a certain belief, non-conforming to their group, they are not willing to upset the overall ideology or Agenda for sake of Truth.

    The sad reality of it all….

  102. R. Gates:

    Completely unconvincing.

    The planet has gone through a very small natural warming cycle over the past 150 years. Only 0.7°C. There is no way that minor natural variation can cause the melting of the ice caps. What we’re observing is local climate variability. It’s happened repeatedly before.

  103. R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 11:23 am

    All global climate models show the northern polar region warming earlier and to a greater degree than the southern polar region.

    This is precisely where you went wrong. (bolding mine). I whipped up a GCM this morning that told me different. I also have a WII and a PlayStation, so what…. means NOTHING.

  104. R. Gates;
    you appeal to “simple physics”? Well, the whole “radiative basic physics” meme is based on lab demos of pure CO2 in glass containers warming by absorption. That this is highly unrepresentative of actual thermal transport is dismissed by pro-AGW scientists and non-scientists.
    Fortunately, Mama Nature has provided a similar experiment, but on a planetary scale. Mars’ atmosphere is 1% of Earth’s, but pure CO2, therefore 25-30X the total CO2 available for a nice demo.
    But what are the results? IIRC, the surface temp is 280.0K average, vs. a theoretical 280.1K blackbody “projection”.
    Oops! Where did all that back-radiation go? Please explificate, all scientific-like, K?

  105. To R. Gates

    Thanks for your response. I am a thermal radiation expert. 20+ years in the field solving thermal radiation and heat processing problems in industry, medicine and science.

    You seem to be focusing on sea ice. I do not because there is too much ‘noise’ in the data signals. I recommended looking inland at the actual south pole data, not the coastal data, sea ice, etc.

    You wrote in a more recent post: “……Without a large influx of CO2 (such as occurred to end the last snowball earth period), the earth would remain a snowball planet.”

    Well, the actual conditions you describe for a ‘snowball planet’ exist right at the South Pole. It is the driest desert on earth. There is virtually no humidity in the entire atmosphere above the South Pole. It is too cold.

    And yet, CO2 is rising there, tracking Mauna Loa data. But it is causing NO TEMPERATURE INCREASE. In fact, it could very well be causing the decrease in temperature there.

    Your assumption (or belief) that CO2 ‘kick starts’ the warming is not being demonstrated at all there. And that is the real world data. Not speculation.

  106. R. Gates,

    Let us reflect a little on computer models, shall we?

    * The World Bank computers did not forecast the Global Financial Crisis.

    * The British Met computers failed to forecast Europe’s frigid winter.

    * Computers have proved unable forecast the spread of swine flu or volcanic ash clouds.

    * The Australian Weather Bureau cannot forecast next month’s weather.

    Yet we are asked to believe that the IPCC computers are able to forecast global temperature, sea levels, hurricanes, droughts and diseases for a century ahead. They promise that, if we just stop using coal and oil, everything will be rosy.

    That is like betting our jobs, our industry and our food supply on a roll of the dice in the casino.

    There are about 20 Global Circulation Models using variable assumptions that claim to represent climate processes. Every one uses suspect data, disputed processes and is tweaked to reflect the biases of the builder.

    Not one has yet made a correct forecast. Moreover, no two forecasts agree.

    But we hope one gets it right soon so we can scrap the other 19 and so save a lot of money. Until then, all IPCC forecasts should be written in pencil.

    And we should ignore them.

  107. Erik says:
    February 26, 2011 at 4:59 am

    “Taking part in order of appearance:

    Solitaire Townsend Co-founder and Chief Executive
    of Futerra Sustainability Communications”

    Cute. I see Solitaire Townsend was cutely named after a western North American bird, the Townsend’s Solitaire.

    So I’m guessing she is the product of an ostensibly ‘green’ family. I say ostensibly because a lot of hard core birders travel all over the place trying to rack up their bird lists… while railing about CO2 emissions from others. In British Columbia this year some birder just set a new record for the number of bird species seen in one year, at about 1500 km of driving (plus ferries, boats and planes) per species. What an environmentalist!

  108. R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 11:08 am
    “Not sure you really read all my post…yes, water vapor is a more potent GH gas, but it is a CONDENSING gas, and if you took away CO2, as the earth cooled, the atmosphere would get very dry and very cold, all the water would condense out and be frozen on the surface of the land and oceans,”

    Even if all water condensed out, – this would lead to a very clear atmosphere so insolation would hit the surface unhindered – sublimation would always enforce a certain atmospheric water vapor content; an equilibrium of sublimation and condensation that leads to a non-zero atmospheric water content. As GH effects are logarithmic with regard to the concentration of the GH gas, the water GH effect would be significant. During the day, > 1kW/m ^2 hit the surface and must be re-emitted even in sub-zero conditions. Instant thermal runaway in the absence of CO2! IOW, a snowball Earth can not sustain itself only through the lack of CO2; something else must contribute, for instance significantly lower insolation.

  109. Brian H says:
    February 26, 2011 at 11:45 am

    R. Gates;

    Well, the whole “radiative basic physics” meme

    Oops! Where did all that back-radiation go?

    Brian, Brian, oh, oh, oh, me, me, me, I know (raising hand in the air)

    It is because IR cannot, I repeat, cannot “back radiate”

    To borrow a line from one of my favorite movies (Alien), “Game over man, game over”

  110. The founding fathers of the movement is the US was once a bipartisan and centered on conservation. Teddy Roosevelt, Walace Stegner and Joeseph Wood Krutch were founding fathers. Stegner and Krutch were the intellectual backbone in the 1950’s.
    Unfortunately the movement was hijacked by extreme leftists who recognized its potential as a tool to achieve their political goals such as ‘environmental justice’ and now the ‘decarbonization’ of society’.

  111. Johnny Gunn says:
    February 26, 2011 at 9:41 am
    I am a Democrat.

    Are human population levels part of the problem – in places like Haiti and Chad? Yep.

    Dr. Lurtz says:
    February 26, 2011 at 9:53 am
    The real question is “Is technology good?” If you live in a warm climate, like in the Amazon and/or Mid-Africa, you don’t need it!! If you are willing to heard goats, and live in tents in Saudi Arabia/Iraq/Iran, you can survive. Of course, you can’t thrive.

    So to stay alive, we developed technology and weapons to keep the lazy from stealing our warmth and food.

    Impossible to answer both.

    Stay with your internal problems.

  112. R. Gates,

    COMMENTARY: WHEN COMPUTER MODELS SLIP ON THE RUNWAY

    BIG FLOPS. Trading models work well most of the time. But we should never forget that they are prone to calamitous failure

    I could go on for weeks and weeks, but I think I will stop here as the picture is pretty clear. I have a little bit of experience in this field (about 30 years now), and I can tell you first hand, stick to your xBox-360, it’s not a bad little modeler itself.

  113. R. Gates,

    I will finish my little “modeler spamming” on one final note. Anticipating that you may have an argument back stating something like “well, but they put more time and money in to GCM’s than things like financial models” … to that I would say, you better go look that up, as much money that has been spent on GCM’s, it is nothing by comparison to financial models. Industries (financial and other) have been spending billions and billions on financial models for decades, much more than even GCM’s. And, the disturbing thing about it is, just how well has that all worked out so far? For Bernie Madoff pretty well, for you and I, not so much. But then again, Bernie is now in jail, so maybe not so much for him either. All in all, its the same game though, Al Gore is just another Bernie Madoff, using exactly the same vehicles to get there.

  114. Squidly says:
    February 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm
    “R. Gates,

    Limitations of computer models”

    Very interesting. My hunch: When everybody plays the likely scenarios, it forces the market into previously unlikely behaviors. I see funny things going on in the markets for several months now – sudden drops, followed by near-immediate healing… with no news. Luckily -or rather through learning-, my model is too stoical to be irritated…

  115. Good post sir and thankyou for your ongoing effort. I believe that the scientific method and uncommonsense will prevale, the religion of climatology cannot be argued with any more than true believers of any type can be convinced with logic. But the zealots have become their own enemies and will destroy themselves, the strategic mistake of cloaking their religion as settled science is apparent to most rational people and the rising tone of hysteria and righteous whining from the high priests is finally gaining the attention of trusting folk.The fallout of the CRU emails is far more insidious than most people suspect, in attempting to defend the indefensible science authorities are destroying themselves and the whitewash inquiries to date have been priceless. As every follower who says the team was exonerated is forced to read the incredibly inept inquiry reports and must ask themselves, why was this inquiry done so badly?Why avoid the question so blatantly?What are the inquiry members trying so hard to avoid? And when the penny drops the whitewashs only add to the disillusionment. As Aussie Dan(Fijidan?) said some time ago, millions of dollars spent, endless govt support , over 25yrs of searching and still no evidence of man made global warming . Its over and I suggest no mercy in the clean up.
    These hysterical nitwits and those who have attempted to profiteer from this delusion are not smarter than the rest of us, nor can they be trusted with power and if in the near future we experience power outages because of the stupid policies that have been imposed by these hysterics , we should let them personally generate the required power, as a deprogramming from their cult. Running teams of true believers on huge hamster wheels driving generators would do wonders for reintroducing logic to these beliefs.And its enviromentally friendly power on demand, social justice is served and they won’t have the leisure to insist on running other peoples live for them. For the team climatologists we could hang a pre approved grant just ahead of them as they trample each other to attempt to seize it, for peak load requirements of course.No sarc intended here I was not party to issuing an ultimatum to society, give up your freedom, your lifestyle, your money to save the tooth fairy . The heavihanded power grab was part and parcel of the cult and now the useful idiots want to negotiate as their attack fizzles out and the taxpayers anger begins. As many have said before me , good luck with that.

  116. “This is one of the annoyances of this blog, where posters make unqualified sweeping statements about particular political positions. I do know plenty of self-described Democrats who can’t abide Al Gore and believe AGW to be wildly overstated or just false. I know plenty of Republicans who can’t abide Sarah Palin and who buy into at least some AGW claims.”

    I’m not particularly bothered that posters make ignorant generalizations. By definition, they know not what they do. I’m one of those self-described Dems you speak of who detests Al Gore and his moronic claims about AGW, become climate change, become climate disruption.

    I’m thinking that it’s much harder for those on the left to be skeptics because we tend to have liberal friends and family. They all think I’m a crank of course, and I’ve given up trying to persuade them. Whoever wrote that it’s like arguing with belligerent children had it exactly right. They simply do not want to hear it..

    Ultimately, I think the media carries a great burden of guilt in this area. The negligence is stunning. The New York Times is supposed to be written by intelligent people, and I suppose they are, but you’d think someone with a pen and a byline at one of those papers would take it into his head to check out a few blogs on the other side. If not to, you know, actually do their jobs, then just for kicks.

    As I said, just stunning.

  117. Absent billions of dollars in research grants, the potential as an excuse to tax, the incredible political control offered by being able to regulate 85% of mankind’s energy, the financial schemes of everything from ethanol, wind, solar, carbon trading and pension funds being invested in these scams, the AGW hypothesis would have died a natural “scientific” death decades ago. Money and power keep it alive.

    I always like to illustrate exactly who believes in AGW and why.
    Of course there are always the true believers. Many of these have a very poor grasp of the associated science but they “believe”. Some have a good grasp of the science but refuse to accept anything other than their belief.
    Some believe because they subscribe to the religion of environmentalism.
    Some are simply environmental activists and members of NGOs. It’s part of their self identity.
    Climate scientists earn their living studying the “problem”. If the “problem” goes away to do their grants, their reputations and quite possibly their careers. Belief in AGW is central to the livelihood. Ask 100 trial lawyers if the US should implement tort reform. I’m quite sure 97% would be opposed to the concept.
    Many politicians almost salivate at the potential AGW offers for new taxes, expanded control and to be viewed as “doing something to save the planet”.
    Some people simply view AGW as something to exploit for financial gain (e.g. wind power, solar, carbon trading, ethanol, etc.). They may not actually be believers but they are certainly proponents (ditto for most politicians).
    Some are indeed rabid haters of free market economies or are out and out socialists and AGW fits into their agendas.
    Sadly too many believers are children or young adults who have been indoctrinated with the AGW meme their entire lives. They don’t know any better.

    Belief in this fashionable pseudo-science is easy. Skepticism is much more difficult. Hopefully more people will awaken to the fact that AGW ceased being a scientific debate a long time ago. It is now a political issue.

  118. In your essay you realistically imagine enviros responding to an argument about the role of CO2 with the trumper: “Your argument could cost us everything as climate change makes the Earth unlivable.”

    I think, however, that this assertion gives you a way to get past a few of the barriers these people have in their minds. Remember that most have no science education and cannot follow the CO2 debate on its merits, but you have enough general education to follow them through this topic change (from CO2 effects on air temperature to the effects of air temperature on humans) and then yank the ground out from under them. Just ask them why global warming would be bad – and you’ll find that the image in their heads is consistent with the first use of “greenhouse effect” to model water vapor effects on Venus – and not at all consistent with “the worst” that might happen here.

    I have yet to have a single enviro respond intelligently when challenged on this – presumably because you can’t be pro-life and anti-warming at the same time.

  119. ‘both polar regions will be early indicators of global warming, but the north pole is the more sensitive and will be the first to ring…’ ~ r gates

    mr gates: Can you please tell us what happened last time this bell rang, which I believe was about 2000 years ago?
    And the time before that?
    And the time before that?
    And the time before that?
    And the time before that…..?

    We’re still here.

  120. Domenic says:

    You wrote in a more recent post: “……Without a large influx of CO2 (such as occurred to end the last snowball earth period), the earth would remain a snowball planet.”

    Well, the actual conditions you describe for a ‘snowball planet’ exist right at the South Pole. It is the driest desert on earth. There is virtually no humidity in the entire atmosphere above the South Pole. It is too cold.

    And yet, CO2 is rising there, tracking Mauna Loa data. But it is causing NO TEMPERATURE INCREASE. In fact, it could very well be causing the decrease in temperature there.

    Your assumption (or belief) that CO2 ‘kick starts’ the warming is not being demonstrated at all there. And that is the real world data. Not speculation.

    Before you decide whether a theory is supported or not by the data, it helps to understand the theory and what it predicts. Your posts indicate that you don’t understand even the basics of the theory. First of all, the atmosphere (the tropospheric part anyway) is a strongly-coupled system and one can’t get very far by assuming that all effects are local. A rise in CO2 causes a small energy imbalance on a global scale but how that imbalance is manifest in terms of where the greatest temperature rise occurs are influenced by a lot of factors, including (in the case of the difference between the arctic and Antarctic) the placement of land and ocean in the two hemispheres…and the short-term (“transient”) response can differ from the long term (“equilibrium”) response.

    From early on, the first climate coupled ocean-atmosphere climate models have predicted that the Arctic would respond more rapidly than the Antarctic. The references for that are S. Manabe et al., “Transient responses of coupled ocean-atmosphere model to gradual changes of atmospheric CO2. Part I: Annual mean response,” J. Climate 4, 785-818 (1991) and Murphy and Mitchell, “Transient response of the Hadley Centre coupled ocean-atmosphere model to increasing carbon dioxide. Part II: Spatial and temporal structure of response,” J. Climate 8, 57-80 (1995).

  121. Erik says:
    February 26, 2011 at 4:59 am

    “TOWNSEND: […] I said imagine I am the
    carbon fairy and I wave a magic wand. We can get rid
    of all the carbon in the atmosphere, take it down to
    two hundred fifty parts per million
    […]
    ———————————————————–
    (direct link to textfile)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/programmes/analysis/transcripts/25_01_10.txt

    Townsend may not be a carbon fairy, but with advanced molecular nanotechnology we’ll have something like that. As carbon is becoming the default construction material for just about anything (as it is in the biosphere for the last several billion years) and it is readily available from air, the atmosphere would be depleted pretty fast. It is a scary scenario not because of global cooling but global plant starvation. Therefore it should be replenished as fast as it is used up on a global scale. The precautionary principle even dictates it’s a good idea to preload the atmosphere with CO₂ while we have time, just to create a buffer for an emerging technology. So, fortunately we are doing just the right thing now.

  122. Sorry about the last post — I didn’t realize we are no longer able to place images from flickr. Here’s a link to the correct version:

  123. to Joel Shore

    That is absolute rubbish.

    You are using ‘models’ to dictate what to look at instead of looking at what is really out there.

    The fact of the matter is that in the one location in the whole world where it can be measured most pristinely, with the least amount of ‘weather is not climate’ noise the AGW theory falls flat on its face.

    If you wish to debate radiational physics and the greenhouse effect, I would be happy to do so.

    I also suspect that Keeling knew this in the later part of his life as he watched, much to his chagrin, that the temperature data from the Antarctic was not following his theory, but he was in too deep by that time to admit a major mistake.

    Why would he have known? It would not have escaped his notice that at the Antarctic pole he could run his NDIR equipment to measure CO2 with no air sample prep whatsoever. Hint: at all the other locations in the world, an air sample has to be frozen and dried to remove all moisture to get an accurate CO2 measurement. In the Antarctic, it does not. It’s a direct measurement of CO2 and any effects the changes have on temperature in the atmosphere.

    Everything else is mainly noise.

  124. Domenic says:
    February 26, 2011 at 11:48 am
    To R. Gates

    Thanks for your response. I am a thermal radiation expert. 20+ years in the field solving thermal radiation and heat processing problems in industry, medicine and science.

    You seem to be focusing on sea ice. I do not because there is too much ‘noise’ in the data signals. I recommended looking inland at the actual south pole data, not the coastal data, sea ice, etc.

    You wrote in a more recent post: “……Without a large influx of CO2 (such as occurred to end the last snowball earth period), the earth would remain a snowball planet.”

    Well, the actual conditions you describe for a ‘snowball planet’ exist right at the South Pole. It is the driest desert on earth. There is virtually no humidity in the entire atmosphere above the South Pole. It is too cold.

    And yet, CO2 is rising there, tracking Mauna Loa data. But it is causing NO TEMPERATURE INCREASE. In fact, it could very well be causing the decrease in temperature there.

    Your assumption (or belief) that CO2 ‘kick starts’ the warming is not being demonstrated at all there. And that is the real world data. Not speculation.

    _____
    It is nice that you confirmed the nature of what a snowball earth was like…very cold and very dry, with very low atmospheric CO2 content. One must remember that earth was in this snowball state for millions of years (over many Milankovitch cycles) and over many solar cycles long and short. Just about any kind of external forcing that could shake the earth out of the snowball state was experienced, but nothing external could do it. It wasn’t until the massive volcanic eruptions hit (and/or other influences such as a slow down in the hydrological cycle that reduced rock weathering), pouring massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, that the earth was shaken free from the snowball state.

    Going back now, to the current situation over the South Pole. As you correctly stated, a very dry and very cold region, yet, why isn’t the CO2 causing melt, if it could melt the earth out of the snowball world? One has to remember that the amount of CO2 necessary to begin the process of melting was many thousands of times the level we see today.

  125. Brian H says:
    February 26, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Ok, corrected:

    Every day, we learn more about the presumptions necessary to support AGW.
    I call that progress.

  126. R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Well, RGates, there you go again.
    I believe Domenic said “CO2 is rising there, tracking Mauna Loa data, But it is causing NO TEMPERATURE INCREASE”.

    Every day we learn more about the presumptions necessary to support AGW.

  127. R. Gates says:

    “…why isn’t the CO2 causing melt, if it could melt the earth out of the snowball world? One has to remember that the amount of CO2 necessary to begin the process of melting was many thousands of times the level we see today.”

    Many thousands of times higher, eh? Better go back to school.

  128. John Brookes says:
    February 26, 2011 at 5:05 am
    Picture the frogs sitting in the pot on the stove…

    I’m going out on a limb here, but I suspect even us non-frogs can figure out the the stove is actually making the pot and water hot.

    Us non-frogs are not certain exactly what is causing the warming since the end of the LIA nor are we certain that anthropogenic CO2 any effect worthy of concern.

    Bad analogy.

    Just an observation.

  129. “I said imagine I am the
    carbon fairy and I wave a magic wand.”

    If he’d said he could create a real Santa Claus, or a real tooth fairy I wouldn’t have voted for him, I actually like living in a universe with some order and natural laws.

    It just reads so much like a cautionary tale it’s almost creepy.

  130. ShrNfr says:
    February 26, 2011 at 6:48 am
    “And the Liberal party in Australia will use the “carbon tax” as a wealth transfer mechanism”

    Sorry ShrNfr. I don’t get the connection. You link to an article in the “Age” newspaper, Australia, which is known for it’s rock-solid left-wing bias, and is about trying to sell the proposed carbon tax as a financial advantage for low -income families!

    Andrew Bolt answers it best in his post: Carbon Tax sold as a free-money blowout.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/

    To quote:

    “The Age doesn’t realise this makes little sense:
    LABOR is preparing a multibillion-dollar carbon tax compensation package that could leave up to 2.6 million low-income households better off and a further 1.7 million middle-income households no worse off…
    A government source said it was likely the impact of the new tax – and the level of compensation – would be roughly similar.

    This suggests several things. First, that the tax is in effect a giant exercise in income redistribution, above and beyond the income tax scales that already are heavily skewed against higher-earning Australians. Secondly, it’s being sold as a financial winner for Australians when self-evidently the money must come from somewhere, which means other taxpayers. Third, the more that people are compensated for the carbon dioxide tax, the less incentive they will have to actually stop using coal-fired power, which is the whole aim of this futile exercise.

    Can’t people see through this giant folly? ” end quote

  131. Domenic says:

    to Joel Shore

    That is absolute rubbish.

    You are using ‘models’ to dictate what to look at instead of looking at what is really out there.

    Yes…That is called comparing empirical data to what the theory ACTUALLY predicts instead of caricaturing the theory and then comparing the data to your straw-man version of the theory, bearing no more than a passing relation to the theory itself.

  132. R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm
    It wasn’t until the massive volcanic eruptions hit (and/or other influences such as a slow down in the hydrological cycle that reduced rock weathering), pouring massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, that the earth was shaken free from the snowball state.

    Correlation is not equal to causation. You do realize that we are currently in an interglacial, probably near the end in fact. C02, no matter how much we managed to put into the air will not change the fact that another ice age cometh.

  133. John Coleman says: “And, for all of them, the Agenda is what is important. Their Agenda is to eliminate fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine from our civilization.”
    ~ ~ ~
    OK, ok here we go. Are you here to discuss what climatology has to tell us about what is happening within our atmosphere, with its cascading climate effects? Or are you here to champion a political line of reasoning?
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    John Coleman says: “Next, when they realize they have not persuaded me to join their point of view, they challenge me with “And, what if it turns out that you are wrong and Al Gore is right?”
    ~ ~ ~
    You say you are interested in the science, then why are you trying to portray Al Gore as the “science”?
    What about what real climatologists are telling us? Why are you ignoring that and replacing it with a political punch doll?
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    John Coleman says: “But, I am frustrated and not optimistic about penetrating our scientific institutions and organizations that are in the control of their well paid scientists and persuading them to reconsider the role of carbon dioxide and accept climate reality.”
    ~ ~ ~
    Have you ever considered that there are hundreds and thousands of competing, very bright minds working within these institutions you seem to hold in contempt?
    Have you considered some of them know more about it than you – after all they are the ones studying it full time?

    Also this charge about the “well paid scientists who are manipulating evidence to further their incomes?
    Do you have any real evidence or just cheap word-of-mouth charges?
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    John Coleman: “If my team (There are over 31,000 scientists on my team) can make headway in correcting the science,”
    ~ ~ ~
    If science is your center of concern why were the previous 750 words a political polemic rather than a listing of scientific evidence?
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

  134. R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 10:03 am

    “There’s just too much warming go on in the Arctic, and this warming has nothing to do with the natural variations of the PDO, AMO, or solar cycles.”

    From Alaska Climate Research Center

    Decadal Climate Change in Fairbanks 2010

    “The best linear fit of the data points of the last decade displays a fairly strong cooling of 1.8°F. Recent cooling has also been observed in other parts of the world, and some climatologists have attributed this trend to the low solar activity we have experienced over the last few years. Another symptom of this can be seen in the aurora activity, which has decreased over the few last years here in Fairbanks. It is worthwhile to point out that during the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715), a time period of very low solar activity, Greenland froze over and the Vikings had to leave, as agricultural activities became more difficult.”

    For Antarctica go to Gistemp Station Selector at James Hansen’s NASA GISS site.

    Click Mawson, Davis, Syowa, Mirnyi,Vostok,Novolazarevsk, and Casey and see if you can detect any sign of AGW or that Antarctica is melting.

  135. Pamela Gray said
    “I too am socially liberal (damn the ban against stem cell research, damn the effort to make abortion illegal and uninsurable, damn the Marriage Act and all that), but fiscally conservative. For some, that is difficult to imagine.”

    Hmmm. Socially liberal and fiscally conservative?

    Sounds like a cheap liberal to me!

  136. Peter Pearson says:
    February 26, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Cold fusion provided experimental confirmation of the anecdote of the Carbon Fairy. As I recall, one environmentalist reacted to the prospect of unlimited, pollution-free energy by saying, approximately, “This is dreadful. Now people will never learn to conserve.”

    And what that environmentalist is fearful of is actually happening in unlimited, pollutioni-free energy (much to my delight)!

    This reports that the E-Cat’s energy isn’t coming from a combustion source:

    http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/energi_miljo/energi/article3108242.ece

    And this explains the consortium of companies that are building a 1MW plant using the E-Cat:

    http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/energi_miljo/energi/article3091266.ece

    May the scientific community that was so scathing in their rebuke of Pons and Fleischmann be forever ridiculed.

  137. R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm
    ….One must remember that earth was in this snowball state for millions of years (over many Milankovitch cycles) and over many solar cycles long and short. Just about any kind of external forcing that could shake the earth out of the snowball state was experienced, but nothing external could do it. It wasn’t until the massive volcanic eruptions hit (and/or other influences such as a slow down in the hydrological cycle that reduced rock weathering), pouring massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, that the earth was shaken free from the snowball state.
    ===========
    I think you may have went too far with this statement.
    1) Are you saying volcanic activity can’t be from external forces?
    2) “Snowball Earth” assumes an absence of the hydrological cycle, does it not?
    3) Wouldn’t “massive volcanic eruptions” pour water vapor (melted ice) into the atmosphere, exposing rock to weathering in the process.
    4) CO2 keeps things warmer, but we all know water vapor is the biggest driver.

  138. “R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    One has to remember that the amount of CO2 necessary to begin the process of melting was many thousands of times the level we see today.”

    If that is the case, please tell Phil Jones and the others that any concerns about CAGW are over!
    If we assume a round number of 400 ppm now, then 2.5 thousand times as much gives 1 000 000 ppm or 100% CO2. Of course it can only theoretically get about 150 times higher, even if Earth was solid carbon. The reason is that if CO2 reaches 6%, then O2 must decrease to 15%. If I remember correctly, fires cannot burn if the oxygen is less than 15%, so no cars could run and the CO2 could not get any higher.

  139. With Respect Dr. Coleman,
    We all know the limitations of Broadcast media and the lack of respect for insightful science in the nightly news dump.

    Are you willing to contribute to an LMS to save the children in their classroom?

  140. citizenschallenge says:
    February 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm
    John Coleman says: “And, for all of them, the Agenda is what is important. Their Agenda is to eliminate fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine from our civilization.”
    ~ ~ ~
    “OK, ok here we go. Are you here to discuss what climatology has to tell us about what is happening within our atmosphere, with its cascading climate effects? Or are you here to champion a political line of reasoning?”

    Comrade,

    You must read more carefully. This man Coleman wrote an article about the religious and political opposition to his efforts to debunk some claims of climate science. He did not say he was here to present the science. Be very careful, Comrade, these Americans will discover your errors and they will humiliate you! They will call you child, Bozo, Ignoramus, or climate scientist! They are very watchful. They will detect that you have not read the article that you hope to criticize. Comrade, you must not begin your presentation by stepping on a banana peel and landing flat on your back. They will never let you get up. Believe me. I know. /sarc /ophagus

  141. Smokey says:
    February 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm
    R. Gates says:
    “…why isn’t the CO2 causing melt, if it could melt the earth out of the snowball world? One has to remember that the amount of CO2 necessary to begin the process of melting was many thousands of times the level we see today.”

    Someone take pity on this person and ban him. When he sobers up, he is not going to believe what he posted.

  142. Wiki: “The carbon dioxide levels necessary to unfreeze the Earth have been estimated as being 350 times what they are today, about 13% of the atmosphere.[54] Since the Earth was almost completely covered with ice, carbon dioxide could not be withdrawn from the atmosphere by release of alkaline metal ions weathering out of siliceous rocks. Over 4 to 30 million years, enough CO2 and methane, mainly emitted by volcanoes, would accumulate to finally cause enough greenhouse effect to make surface ice melt in the tropics until a band of permanently ice-free land and water developed;[55] this would be darker than the ice, and thus absorb more energy from the sun — initiating a “positive feedback”.”

    OK, R Gates, mis-remembered and should have said “many tens of thousands of parts per million”, now please get over it.

  143. Johnny Gunn says: “…So there ARE Democrats and environmentalists who disagree. FYI….” Yeah, so now we know there are two of you. BFD!

    R. Gates says: “…CO2 is actually up about 40% since the industrial revolution began in the 1700′s and has reached a level not seen in many hundreds of thousands of years….” Yeah, Mr. Gates, and it’s still nearly the lowest (by a factor of ten or so) in the 500 million year history of the Earth in which we can estimate its content. If it went any lower, the plants would die, and then us and every other thing.

    One more post with too many liberals hyperventilating.

  144. Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong. But seems like when I was in school eons ago, we were taught:
    Humans breathe in Oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
    Plants use the carbon dioxide and “exhale” oxygen.
    So, if we as humans produce carbon dioxide wouldn’t the majority of it be produced by the people who keep wagging their tongues about how detrimental it is? So because they are so committed to this idea and being very conscientious (sp, better word), they should perform vonluntary euthanasia (sp, sounds better than suicide.)

  145. The role of CO2 in breaking the earth out of past “snowball” episodes is pretty clear, but I did make an error in saying that it was “many thousands of times the level we see today.” That is obviously incorrect, as it was likely not 390,000 ppm! It did spike to many thousands of ppm, or thousands of ppm greater than today.

    The assumption made in Mr. Cole’s presentation, and many other skeptical presentations I’ve seen is that CO2 should be completely linear in its effects on temperature, and the rise in CO2 should have overwhelmed other natural variations as soon as it started back in the 1700’s with the industrial revolution. There is no justification to support the assumption of a simple linear relationship between CO2 and temperatures, especially on a year-to-year basis, especially when CO2 only has been increasing a a few ppm per year, but there is plenty of justification from ice core data that the climate makes sudden changes to new states from the seemingly smallest of nudges– as a chaotic system would, when just the right nudge at the right time occurs. This is not unlike the collapse of a sand pile when just one grain of sand is added at the right point in time after thousands of grains had been added before and nothing occurred. The rapid decent into the Younger Dryas period and the the equally rapid ascent out of of it is a perfect example.

  146. Theo Goodwin says:
    February 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm
    Smokey says:
    February 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    R. Gates says:
    “…why isn’t the CO2 causing melt, if it could melt the earth out of the snowball world? One has to remember that the amount of CO2 necessary to begin the process of melting was many thousands of times the level we see today.”

    Someone take pity on this person and ban him. When he sobers up, he is not going to believe what he posted.

    Ok, I’ll bite–I’ll use 2,000 for “many thousands” (a very conservative estimate), and 391 ppm as “the level we see today”. Multiplying (“times”) give us:

    2,000 x 391 ppm = 782,000 ppm. Converting to percent gives me just over 78%!

    Hmmm… I think that’s far above anything any geologist has ever predicted, and I doubt anybody ever will. In fact, I’m worried R. Gates may believe he’s from another planet:

    http://www.thirdage.com/news/diamond-planet-researchers-discover-planet-could-be-made-diamonds_12-9-2010

    Either that, or Theo is right.

  147. u.k.(us) says:
    February 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm
    ….One must remember that earth was in this snowball state for millions of years (over many Milankovitch cycles) and over many solar cycles long and short. Just about any kind of external forcing that could shake the earth out of the snowball state was experienced, but nothing external could do it. It wasn’t until the massive volcanic eruptions hit (and/or other influences such as a slow down in the hydrological cycle that reduced rock weathering), pouring massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, that the earth was shaken free from the snowball state.
    ===========
    I think you may have went too far with this statement.
    1) Are you saying volcanic activity can’t be from external forces?
    2) “Snowball Earth” assumes an absence of the hydrological cycle, does it not?
    3) Wouldn’t “massive volcanic eruptions” pour water vapor (melted ice) into the atmosphere, exposing rock to weathering in the process.
    4) CO2 keeps things warmer, but we all know water vapor is the biggest driver.
    ______
    Nope, not saying that at all. Certainly some period of bombardment by comets or asteroids could provide a catalyst for volcanic activity, but that bombardment would also include other geological markers, which have not been found in respect to the exit from the snowball earth period 700 MYA.

    During the snowball earth period, the hydrological cycle essentially came to a complete halt, or certainly slowed greatly– much like you’d find in the middle of Antarctica today…very cold and very dry. During such time, there would be no real addition to the earth’s atmosphere of any water vapor, but of course, any CO2 that was added, through volcanism for example, would accumulate, eventually warming the atmosphere enough to kick start the hydrological cycle.

    Volcanism would put some water vapor into the atmosphere but, again, with it being a condensing GHG, it would fairly quickly be taken back out, but the CO2 would remain and continue to accumulate and warm the atmosphere until such a point that the temperatures were warm enough for water to stay in the atmosphere and create even more warming. This “minor” or “trace” GHG of CO2 is the critical catalyst in keeping us from returning to the snowball earth, as water vapor, though more potent, is a condensing GHG. To suggest water vapor is the “bigger driver” is to miss the critical role of CO2 as the long term regulator. Being a more potent GHG, as water vapor is, does no good when it is condensed out of the atmosphere and frozen in glaciers or sea ice as it was during the snowball earth period.

  148. Dr Dave says:

    Many politicians almost salivate at the potential AGW offers for new taxes, expanded control and to be viewed as “doing something to save the planet”.

    The main reasons are that it’s a vote-getter, it’s widely and officially endorsed, and there’s no upside in opposing it–and plenty of downside.

  149. @- John Coleman
    “So I keep focused on the bad science behind global warming. If my team (There are over 31,000 scientists on my team) can make headway in correcting the science, then I will be happy to let the politics, environmentalism and alternate energy movement fight the policy battles without me.”
    =================

    US figures from surveys of proffesional employment put the number of scientists at over two and a half million, with about another two million engineers.

    That makes your ‘Team’ about 1% of the total.
    Not much chance of making headway against the other 99%.
    What GOOD science has your team come up with in the last five years?

  150. I have recently come to the philosophical conclusion that even if the planet was to enter into a deep ice-age 4 weeks from today, before they died of hypothermia, the Global Warming faithful would proclaim it as proof of mankind’s CO2 emissions disrupting the planetary climate.

  151. Izen,

    Your “team” has tried repeatedly to get enough signatures on a comparable alarmist petition. You’ve always failed – and not by just a little.

    You say:

    “What GOOD science has your team come up with in the last five years?”

    Back atcha.

  152. Don R says:
    February 26, 2011 at 6:23 am

    “I am in amiable discourse with a physicist friend regarding AGW and could make use of the authoritative source that states that the earth’s average global temperature is the same as it was thirty years ago, according to satellite data.
    Thanks”

    Here you go…

    Note that the “anomaly” for January 2011 is essentially zero…just like is was 30 years ago. Of course, it will go up and down again like it always has…and always will…

  153. @- John Coleman
    “When I make my argument in response, that I also favor alternate energy, but that it will be thirty to fifty years before it can replace fossil fuels as the primary source of power for our civilization and that alternate energy in its current state of development is not economically viable, they doubt my facts. They have heard the hype and bought the dream without stopping to absorb the reality.”
    ================

    Perhaps some are aware of the reality that France replaced fossil fuels as the primary source of power in a good deal less than thirty to fifty years and in a manner that is economically viable. To the extent that they are the largest power exporter and as fossil fuels rise in price can only gain in economic advantage.

  154. Rocky Road said:

    And what that environmentalist is fearful of is actually happening in unlimited, pollutioni-free energy (much to my delight)!

    Or, maybe what they were fearful of is the public being led to mistakenly believe that there was such a simple solution and lulled into complacency when in fact such a simple solution is not available.

    In fact, environmental organizations are big on pushing both sources of energy (solar, wind) that are relatively pollution-free and energy efficiency technologies ranging from more efficient light-bulbs to hybrid cars. It is the anti-environmentalists who tend to pooh-pooh these technologies. (And the truth probably lies somewhere in between, as these technologies can certainly be helpful in changing how we produce and use energy but none alone is likely to be a “silver bullet”.)

    May the scientific community that was so scathing in their rebuke of Pons and Fleischmann be forever ridiculed.

    Why exactly? It is about 20 years later and so far we have still no convincing evidence that such a scientific phenomenon is being observed and no known mechanism to explain how it could be happening. At best, it is way too early to saying that the the scientific community should be ridiculed about this and most of us think it will likely turn out in the end that said community was correct in being extremely skeptical of the claims.

    Grammy D says:

    Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong. But seems like when I was in school eons ago, we were taught:
    Humans breathe in Oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
    Plants use the carbon dioxide and “exhale” oxygen.
    So, if we as humans produce carbon dioxide wouldn’t the majority of it be produced by the people who keep wagging their tongues about how detrimental it is?

    Yes, you learned correctly. However, this carbon is just cycling rapidly between different reservoirs…a plant grows, taking up the CO2, we eat it and liberate the CO2 back into the atmosphere. To a limited extent, it is possible to alter the sizes of the reservoirs (hence the concerns over deforestation and the desire for reforestation). However, there is only a limited amount of carbon that can be stored or released this way.

    The thing about burning fossil fuels is that one is taking carbon in a form that has long been locked away from the atmosphere and liberating it as CO2 into the atmosphere. Because transfers between the atmosphere, biosphere, and mixed layer of the ocean occur quite rapidly, this carbon is rapidly partitioned between each of these reservoirs but unfortunately the transfer of that carbon to some reservoir where it can be stored for a long time (like the deep oceans or underground) occurs only very slowly. This is why CO2 levels in the atmosphere changed little until the industrial revolution (with some debate over whether there may have been much more modest changes on the order of 10ppm due to deforestation for agricultural cultivation before this) but have risen increasing rapidly since then, while at the same time, the pH of the mixed layer of the oceans has been lowering somewhat (i.e., the oceans have been becoming more acidic, or less basic).

  155. citizenschallenge, noted troll, February 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm says:

    John Coleman says: “And, for all of them, the Agenda is what is important. Their Agenda is to eliminate fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine from our civilization.”
    ~ ~ ~
    Troll: OK, ok here we go. Are you here to discuss what climatology has to tell us about what is happening within our atmosphere, with its cascading climate effects? Or are you here to champion a political line of reasoning?

    However, no objection, no refutation as to his assertion/asserting that you and your types goals are correctly stated thusly: “eliminate fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine from our civilization.

    Classical ( can I say it?) liberal/progressive tactic: object to something tertiary to the facts in order to obfuscate and draw attention away from said facts.

    We saw that all last week in the Wisconsin State assembly (during +60 hours of continuous debate!) and this is what happened (a veritable rail-road into the truth):

    .

  156. To John Coleman –

    All good Democrats believe in global warming, after all, it is the science of one of their key heroes, former Vice President and Senator Al Gore. And all good environmentalists are aboard the global warming band wagon. And, for all of them, the Agenda is what is important. Their Agenda is to eliminate fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine from our civilization.

    John, I am a Democrat at heart, a social and economic Liberal, and have been my whole life. If the Democratic leadership would stand up to the Republicans more often, I would support them much more than I do. I think the Dems are quite short on a sacked pair in the region of the short hairs. So, though I think like them, they drive me to despair.

    Others here can vouch for the fact that I must, however, be not a “good Democrat,” because here I have been for a long time, despairing the most at the level of naivete most Liberals and Democrats display in believing the global warming alarmism. The science is NOT settled – contrary papers are ignored as if they simply don’t exist, yet they exist well into the scores of papers, if not hundreds. The projections of the models are flawed – they can’t even replicate recent surface records, so projecting models’ results out into the future is like a 3-year-old predicting election results three generations ahead of time, without even knowing who the candidates might be.

    Liberals on many issues use logic well and are often capable of critical thought (though never at the expense of confrontation) – though without cojones – apparently believing that rational discussion is all that is necessary to win over the world. But on AGW Liberals simply are too trusting of the presentations of those who – as you say, “have an Agenda.” The only Liberals who are confrontational are the “Greens,” and only when suggesting that climate skeptics have some sort of inbred DNA anomalies; they really do think there is something genetically flawed in skeptics. They are that CERTAIN of their side being in the right.

    But, a 90% Liberal, I do not agree with them. This is not a social issue; this is science. And whether it is right or not MATTERS. I have yet to see one main stream media article in the U.S. supportive of AGW which takes any but the most extreme of suggested results and puts it to the public. Never is a moderate projection used. Certainly low-end projections are never used.

    After nearly 15 years looking into this, I am certain that the hype is just hype. I am certain that 90% of “believers” in AGW do it because they trust the scientists’ and the science writers’ presentations – blindly. I have yet to talk to even one Joe or Mary Main Street who has read up on the science at all. When their parroting of the AGW claims doesn’t sway me, they all – every single one – has fallen back on the Precautionary Principle of “But what if they are right?”

    But “What if they are right?” is only a guess (and not even a good one). Science is not about guesses. AGW is the worst science I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen some doozies).

    I am a Democrat and a Liberal who hasn’t left my brain behind. I know that skeptics don’t want a ruined planet anymore than Al Gore or Michael Mann. I know that CO2 is not the reason our global average seems to be increasing over the last 35 years. And until there is a thorough audit of the statistical processing of instrument data and proxy data, I am not sure there has even been any warming, since so many stations’ raw data doesn’t show warming. I believe that in the end the warming will be about 15-25% of what has been claimed and that 75-90% of that will be shown to be from land use, not CO2.

    I have won over some pretty astute young minds to a more skeptical POV – at least partly because the individuals know I have a fairly astute mind and would not be arguing against AGW if I did not have good reasons. I educate them as much as I can and hope I am not too pedantic about it. So far, believe it or not, progress is being made. At least now some of them don’t assume the AGW party line is correct just because the news media is presenting it that way.

    Anthony Watts as much as anyone has helped turn the tide. He presents a great forum here for holding their feet to the fire. Thanks for the article John. I loved your weather programs in Chicago long ago. You brought personality to the subject, back when it was as dry as the Atacama.

  157. “R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    It wasn’t until the massive volcanic eruptions hit (and/or other influences such as a slow down in the hydrological cycle that reduced rock weathering), pouring massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, that the earth was shaken free from the snowball state.”

    It was the other way around! CO2 levels rose long after Milankovitch cycles caused heating. See:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/07/carbon-dioxide-and-temperatures-ice.html

  158. Thank you for the work in making this and posting this very good powerpoint John Coleman. I will send the WUWT link to colleagues and others.

    Don R says: February 26, 2011 at 11:17 am
    ‘My Dad used to say
    ” If the Missus says it’s black, it’s black….’

    That is correct Don. Which is why we send the fellas back to the pub to share a beer and get the science right, as it should be.

  159. John Brookes says:
    February 26, 2011 at 5:05 am

    As one “alarmist”, I will stick my hand up and say, “Yes, if you can wave a magic wand and global warming won’t happen, I’ll be happy”.

    Many people pointed out that he is saying “CO2 will be controlled”, not that “global warming won’t be happening”. It is obvious that you have absorbed as an axiom/belief that if there is any warming CO2 is causing it. Sad, and demonstrating that scientific thinking is not in your toolkit.

    Funnily the frog story applies to alarmists as well: it is getting colder and colder and they say “it is global warming, bring the thermostat down”. It will serve them right if Gaia whom they are worshipping scratches her head and brings down the next ice age annoyed at their folly :). /end of joke

  160. Mods… Anthony…

    Could someone notify John Coleman, bless his soul, that his crew while making his video put Senator James Inhofe’s picture where Steve McIntyre’s picture belongs and McIntyre’s where Dr. Tim Ball’s picture belongs. I don’t think Ball’s picture appears at all though his name is listed. They really need to fix production error. Anyone with knowledge of these people and the wrong intentions will use this to batter John’s message. It’s a great video!

  161. Werner Brozek, We’re discussing snowball Earth events of hundreds of millions of years ago, not the ice age cycles of the last million years

  162. Joel Shore February 26, 2011 at 8:40 pm :

    Previous quote:
    May the scientific community that was so scathing in their rebuke of Pons and Fleischmann be forever ridiculed.

    Joel ‘walking back’ recent history:
    Why exactly? It is about 20 years later and so far we have still no convincing evidence that such a scientific phenomenon is being observed and no known mechanism to explain how it could be happening.

    Eyes wide shut.

    Schlocks like Joel here gives dissemblers (James ‘serpent head’ Carville and Mario Cuomo, even Mann and Schmidt) a bad name …

    I hereby cite a couple refs here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/22/cold-fusion-going-commercial/#comment-581248

    I will gladly leave the ‘explanations’ of the intricate phenomena to the physicists and theoreticians while harnessing said effect (I’m an engineer) for the benefit of man … but Joel won’t. He needs, nay, requires he know the intimate mechanism/workings of the phenomenon before making any practical use of it. The need to understand the principle of the lever to use a shovel is not required when digging a hole to plant a shrub …

    Does Joel impose that ‘knowledge’ requirement on himself and fully consider the implications of firing up his PC or laptop cold each day, beholding the execution of the POST through to initial Windows or Linux boot, through the access of ever-higher levels of software abstraction in the OS and browser in his reach for the end-goal of an internet posting on WUWT?

    No. Probably not by a long shot.

    But he will incline to throw Baby and Bath-water out prior to ‘full enlightenment’ on cold fusion (since that suits his argument, for the moment) …

    .

  163. Thank you R Gates and Joel Shore. Its good to have the likes of you to fire the skeptics up from time to time. You know they get bored patting each other on the back, and saying, “Well said, old chap”. So you do a public service by visiting here and putting the evidence that people who have thought deeply about the topic have come up with.

    If there is one thing skeptics need, its a daily dose of outrage, and lets face it, stories about shonky home renovators, bad parents and political correctness gone mad might provoke outrage, but they hardly stimulate the gray matter. So thank you again for stimulating the skeptics into something closely resembling thought.

    Now imagine I’m addressing a bunch of coal and oil executives, and I tell them that they don’t need to worry about global warming any more because someone has invented really cheap and safe nuclear. They’d all breath a sigh of relief and celebrate their new found leisure time, wouldn’t they?

  164. >>
    John A says:
    February 26, 2011 at 6:26 am

    This is one of the annoyances of this blog, where posters make unqualified sweeping statements about particular political positions.
    <<

    And on CA back on August 10, 2007 you said:

    “Can Limbaugh’s listeners actually work a computer? That’s news to me.”

    No unqualified, sweeping (political) statement made there. /sarc

    Jim

  165. Pamela Gray says:
    February 26, 2011 at 7:38 am
    I too am socially liberal (damn the ban against stem cell research, damn the effort to make abortion illegal and uninsurable, damn the Marriage Act and all that), but fiscally conservative.
    ————————————————————————————-
    I thought I detected a kindred spirit. I too, describe myself as a social liberal and fiscal conservative. Glad to know there are others. Maybe we can convince John Coleman that his best audience is us middle-of-the-roaders.

    I find much of the damning of liberals found on this, and every other thread, here at WUWT to be- well, boring. If all you can contribute to the discussion is “it’s a liberal, or socialist, or communist. plot,” well, saying it once is enough. That said, I am not happy about the current Washington Adminstration’s AGW stance.

    I am now, and have been for over 40 years, an enviromentalist. But that does not mean that I am against technological progress. In the U.S., we owe our health, and comfort, and prosperity, and much of our general satisfaction with life, to abundant, cheap energy.

  166. Thanks Wayne for the catch on the picture errors. The correction has been made in the original and will go to the online video editor Monday.
    Jack earlier noted my error in the written blog of writing wall-la where I meant Voilà. And someone else corrected alternate to alternative in discussing fuels.
    Thanks for these corrections.
    And everyone should know that I take seriously the exceptions made to my comments. There is no way to learn more about the weaknesses in my thinking and writing than to post on WUWT. For the most part the comments are very educational and in many cases humbling. For one thing, clearly it is a gross exaggeration to lump all members of a political party into a totally like thinking group on any topic. It is probably accurate to say that within both parties there is considerable diversity in position on climate issues. A apologize for the simplistic categorization of “all good Democrats”.
    My thanks to all for your time and comments, bad and good.

  167. Dr Coleman

    One of the lessons I have learned about politics in 46 rather tempestuous years on this earth is this:

    Political campaigns are about winning, not about the truth.

    We were sold the dangers of ‘mad cow disease’ as if it were going to be like the Black Death. It was a tiny blip.

    We were sold the lies about transfusions to haemophiliacs not being caused by HIV. It was all about waiting for them to die so as not to pay compensation. It sickened me.

    We were told lies about Saddam Hussein to go to war in Iraq. We actively stopped UNSCOM inspectors keeping up the processes which could have demonstrated a lack of nuclear weapons. Hussein was a butcher, but he was sold as harbouring Al Qa’ida. Lies. It is the way of the American world, I’m afraid.

    What I think the world is seeing at the moment is the stormy transition between power residing in the hands of those still operating at the level of animalistic win/lose fights; and it residing in the hands of enlightened and humane statesmen/women. The people are actually further ahead than the politicians in my country, but they are behind in terms of forming vehicles to drive the change in organisational terms.

    It will be a long fight.

    But of all the hunches I have had in my life, it is the one I am most sure will see the Enlightened folks win.

    It’s just the timetable I’m less sure of.

    But certainly the whole of the 21st century will be engaged with it…..

  168. @_Jim says:
    February 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm
    “I will gladly leave the ‘explanations’ of the intricate phenomena to the physicists and theoreticians while harnessing said effect (I’m an engineer) for the benefit of man … but Joel won’t. He needs, nay, requires he know the intimate mechanism/workings of the phenomenon before making any practical use of it. The need to understand the principle of the lever to use a shovel is not required when digging a hole to plant a shrub …”
    ==================

    Joel may have a point, your link to the report here on the demonstration of heat production by Sergio Focardi and Andrea Rossi shows why.
    They promise a ‘paper’ on the method to be published on their web-blog on Jan 24th.

    It never appeared.

    What we have are two people making extraordinary claims that they have dug a hole without using a shovel.

    The simple explanation is that an exothermic chemical reaction is involved in the production of heat they demonstrated. The lever to make the hole.
    But they claim that new and unknown processes (no details given) made the heat involving an H-Ni fusion to Cu without copious gamma ray production that would be predicted from known physics.

    It is clear from the many posts and links you have made on LENR that you have some faith in the reality of the process and even think that it may be a practical source of energy to replace fossil fuels.
    Unfortunately there is no evidence that anything other than a shovel has been used to dig a hole. Without comprehensive measurement of energy in and energy out on a functioning system (including all chemical reactions) there is nothing more than something that looks like a money-raising scam.

  169. It will be interesting to see how governments react as the extraction and use of shale gas starts to kick in, worldwide – being very abundant and relatively low carbon, shale gas is perhaps one of the closest things we have to Solitaire’s “carbon fairy”.

  170. R Gates, You seem to be under a misapprehension that the world is controlled in it’s climate by internal forcings. Sadly nothing could be further from the truth, it is the externalities that give us climate change. CO2 and nitrogen was our atmosphere, life, re plant life gave us oxygen and thus we are here.
    The original life on our planet has been suffering some what, like you being deprived of oxygen, thus it is encumbent upon us to increase the CO2 levels to a more propitious state for our flora.
    You will also discover with the correct research and an open mind that the inner stirrings of our planet, it’s heat and our volcanoes are the result of external forcings.
    The sun and our fellow travelling planets have a profound effect on our well being, CO2 also has a deep effect but only when we have a lack of it, any thing less than 200ppm and our world will start to die. Anything over 10,000ppm I would start to think we have to plant more trees, one thing for sure, it will not affect the climate.

  171. @- Smokey says:
    February 26, 2011 at 8:25 pm
    “Your “team” has tried repeatedly to get enough signatures on a comparable alarmist petition. You’ve always failed – and not by just a little.”
    ============

    I am not aware of any comparable effort to generate an ‘alarmist’ petition, perhaps you could provide a link ?

    =============
    “Re:-“What GOOD science has your team come up with in the last five years?”
    -Back atcha.”
    ================

    The GRACE satellite measurements of mass changes of ice fields is particularly elegant.
    The work on solar dynamics and deep ocean energy storage is also interesting.
    There are many links I could provide….

    But to an extent you are right.
    Most of it is crossing “t’s” and dotting the “i’s” because the basic science of AGW theory was established about 50 years ago.
    And nothing in subsequent decades of study has called it into question.

  172. Correction re Shr Nfr (6.48am) It is the Australian Labor Government introducing a Carbon Tax, not the Liberal Party which is opposing the tax. Australian term ‘liberal’ equates to liberal economics. The Liberal Party tends to be a party in favor of of small business and lower taxes. Leader ,Tony Abbott has stated that he is sceptical of CAGW theory.

  173. _Jim says:
    February 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    about cold fusion comments of Joel Shore: But he will incline to throw Baby and Bath-water out prior to ‘full enlightenment’ on cold fusion (since that suits his argument, for the moment) …

    Please, physics is not a football game and science is not about taking sides. Much as I disagree about anthropogenic global warming with Joel, I will defend his statement on cold fusion : It is about 20 years later and so far we have still no convincing evidence that such a scientific phenomenon is being observed and no known mechanism to explain how it could be happening.
    .

    No working machine has flooded the markets from the cold fusion claims. If such machines existed, the theory would be found for sure. The link you gave speaks of hit and miss results, certainly not drawings for an engine. Does the car engine misses 70% of the time?

    The recent announcement by Rossi et al of Low Energy Nuclear fusion is not the same as the Pons et al reaction, and it also waits for proof of the validity of the claims. Nobody is going to dispute a working machine. The proof is in the pudding, and for the moment it is still in the oven and we are waiting.

  174. wayne Job says:
    February 27, 2011 at 3:17 am

    R Gates, You seem to be under a misapprehension that the world is controlled in it’s climate by internal forcings.
    ____
    Nope, not at all. I’m quite aware of long-term astronomical forcings (i.e. Milankovitch) and shorter term solar cycles, and even the occasional comet or meteor bombardment that can alter the earth’s climate. Even longer term the notion that the position of the solar system in the galaxy with differing rates of galactic cosmic rays could play a role. But all these external forcings do not preclude the large role that changes in the atmospheric composition due to volcanic eruptions could also play. There are many external and internal factors that affect the climate, and if there is a common thread, it is that the seemingly smallest change can actually cause huge shifts in climate. The last 10,000 years of the Holocene have been relatively stable (with the Little Ice Age being mere child’s play compared to what could happen) and allowed for the rise of human civilization. If you look back over the past hundreds of thousands of years and millions of years, the relative stability of the Holocene is remarkable, as an number of external and internal small nudges could send the climate in a dramatically different direction and did so during the more remote past.

  175. Werner Brozek says:
    February 26, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    “R. Gates says:
    February 26, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    It wasn’t until the massive volcanic eruptions hit (and/or other influences such as a slow down in the hydrological cycle that reduced rock weathering), pouring massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, that the earth was shaken free from the snowball state.”

    It was the other way around! CO2 levels rose long after Milankovitch cycles caused heating.
    ______
    You are correct for certain periods of earth’s history, but not all. During periods of the snowball earth, which lasted millions of years, the earth went through many Milankovitch cycles, none of which were strong enough of a forcing to knock the earth out of the snowball state. As most the of water vapor had been condensed out of the atmosphere, it was up to CO2 to keep some GH activity going, and the most likely scenario is that a period of massive volcanic activity increased CO2 to several thousand ppm–enough to give the climate a nudge to break free of the snowball period.

    But to your point about the timing of warming periods and CO2 levels, this common skeptical “proof” that CO2 does not cause warming is erroneous, and when used by skeptics, tells me they are merely parroting standard skeptical talking points and have not done the deeper research into the actual science. In short, just because Milankovitch cycles can cause SOME initial warming, and a subsequent increase in CO2, does not in any way prevent that CO2 from then causing further warming in a positive-feedback manner. Complex interrelated causes with negative and positive feedback loops are the hallmark of the climate system (and most natural systems)…i.e. everything doesn’t have just one cause…

  176. _Jim says:

    I will gladly leave the ‘explanations’ of the intricate phenomena to the physicists and theoreticians while harnessing said effect (I’m an engineer) for the benefit of man … but Joel won’t. He needs, nay, requires he know the intimate mechanism/workings of the phenomenon before making any practical use of it.

    izen and anna v have already provided good answers to your post but I will just add that I do not require that there be an explanation for the effect in order to believe the effect is occurring. For example, I believe in high-T_C superconductivity despite the lack of a full theoretical understanding because the experimental evidence of its occurrence is overwhelming and, although the materials can be pretty finicky, there is reasonably good reproducibility once scientists have learned how to work with them.

    However, when only a few select people seem to be able to get an effect to occur AND it seems to fly in the face of everything that is understood theoretically, then I think one has the duty to be skeptical. If you think that the existence of a company set up to commercialize it somehow constitutes proof of the phenomenon, I suggest you read into Blacklight Power: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacklight_Power

  177. CO2, at least for the present, is the key to human progress and prosperity. Without the ability to burn hydrocarbon fuels, humanity will be forced to use energy sources that are more expensive. Just as important, it tends to centralize power generation, and thus increases the vulnerability of society to disruptions due to natural disasters, accidents and deliberate disruptions. There is no replacement for hydrocarbon fuels for powering aircraft.

    Socialists are of two minds with respect to the level of US crude oil imports. On the one hand they complain that we are “not paying the true cost of oil”, in part because we must deploy our military to protect those foreign sources. But socialists only embrace faces in order to advance a broader lie. The truth is that the US has over 2x the hydrocarbon resources than all of Arab OPEC combined. (see Barna report, OSD Clean Fuels Initiative, link: http://www.pewclimate.org/docUploads/Harrison.pdf). The truth is also that the same socialists that want us to pay the true cost of oil, also work feverishly to prevent us from exploiting our own resources.

    Thus, by their words and actions, the goals socialists are hostile to our safety, liberty and prosperity.

  178. R. Gates says:
    February 27, 2011 at 5:48 am
    just because Milankovitch cycles can cause SOME initial warming, and a subsequent increase in CO2, does not in any way prevent that CO2 from then causing further warming in a positive-feedback manner.
    So, in short, C02 could, maybe cause further warming, creating a “positive feedback”.
    That is the Warmist/Alarmist non-falsifiable mantra, anyway. I guess, if it helps to bolster your Belief system.

  179. 1. Joel Shore says:
    February 26, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Rocky Road said:
    And what that environmentalist is fearful of is actually happening in unlimited, pollutioni-free energy (much to my delight)!

    Or, maybe what they were fearful of is the public being led to mistakenly believe that there was such a simple solution and lulled into complacency when in fact such a simple solution is not available.

    I don’t deal in “maybe”—I deal in the directly ascertainable. The biggest clincher I see is the fact that Rossi and Focardi’s company, Leonardo Corporation, does not seek funding at the moment. ”We are fully funded by our customers,” he [Rossi] says. Did you get that? This isn’t something they’re bandying about trying to promote—they have all the money they need to continue focusing on the technical developments of this process.

    Add to that the fact that the consortium, a Greek company called Defkalion Green Technologies (a combined effort between Italy and Greece) does not seem to seek funding as they also have all the money they need to continue commercialization of this process. The first 1 megawatt power plant using solely the Energy Catalyzer will cover the energy needs of the Defkalion factory. Sounds like they’re pretty confident in the technology, doesn’t it?

    http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/energi_miljo/energi/article3091266.ece

    But I shall certainly have the last laugh, Mr. Shore. THE LAST LAUGH you can be sure. I believe it is you who that is being led to mistakenly believe that such a simple solution isn’t possible. And besides, who says flying an airplane, for example, isn’t “simple” once you know how, so looking back on the exact methodology to achieve cold fusion will someday be seen just as simple once it becomes as commonplace as your neighboring E-Cat powered electricity generating plant.

    1. May the scientific community that was so scathing in their rebuke of Pons and Fleischmann be forever ridiculed.
    Why exactly? It is about 20 years later and so far we have still no convincing evidence that such a scientific phenomenon is being observed and no known mechanism to explain how it could be happening.

    I laugh at your stupidity; I shall forever ridicule you! Sir, kindly do yourself a favor and get up to speed on LENR/CANR. I could list hundreds of references and direct you to dozens of technical/professional symposiums that absolutely refute your statement, but if you aren’t willing to do some basic Google or Bing searches, maybe that’s why you don’t know anything about it and it would be a waste of my time and effort to do it for you.

    BTW—do you really want to continue associating with the “we” you refer to as having “still no convincing evidence”? I suppose that is your problem; it certainly isn’t mine.

  180. For the state of global warming Down Under this news article sums up the hilarity if it weren’t so serious-

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/greens-fuel-petrol-tax-debate-20110227-1b9om.html

    PM Gillard now rules with the slenderest of majorities via a shaky coalition with the Greens and 3 independents. You may recal Gillard’s Labor Party sacked their previous leader Kevin Rudd who was on the nose with the electorate with an election in the offing and she just managed to scrape home. After inheriting a healthy surplus and sound economy from the previous Howard Govt, the L-Plater Rudd Govt had quickly sprayed red ink everywhere with a series of failed policies and the usual lunar green waste and after a major policy backflip on introducing a CO2 cap and trade scheme after Copenhagen (he had previously called the great moral imperative of our time), he was even on the nose with his warmist base.

    As an aside here Rudd had run into the vexed practical problem of trying to devise some immediate compenstaion for the impact of C&T, in particular handing out free carbon credits to those sectors immediately affected, most notably the brown coal power stations in the La Trobe valley in Victoria, which produce around a quarter of the nation’s power. They had previously been privatised and the new owners and finaciers (including Australias Big$ banks) had paid too much for them and in the context of the GFC, could not finance any prospective purchase of carbon credits. In fact having to do so would have forced their owners hand to declare insolvency, thereby handing them back to the banks and tearing up any existing supply price contracts. The end result would have seen power prices rocket and consumers immediately associate that with C&T, which they were being snowed was not really a tax. The problem was the Greens sided with the Conservatives in the Senate to vote down the C&T legislation, ostensibly because the Greens couldn’t wear free credits being given to the ‘big bad polluters’.

    As the news article describes now, PM Gillard who had promised no carbon tax in the last election campaign is now backflipping and pandering to Greens and their carbon taxing ways, albeit she doesn’t want to slug motorists at the petrol bowser for the obvious, whereas the Greens do. Now read Greens laeder Bob Brown’s comments in that context in particular-
    “Our job is to ensure that the average Australian household and car user is not punished by a carbon price,” he told Network Ten.

    “The idea here is to make the polluters pay.”

    Get the picture? These economic illiterates really believe in an ‘us and them’ world with us warm fuzzy human beings on the one hand and them evil dark satanic millowners on the other. As I said hilarious if it weren’t so serious and these paedophiles feed this to our kids.

  181. @-RockyRoad says:
    February 27, 2011 at 9:19 am
    “I laugh at your stupidity; I shall forever ridicule you! Sir, kindly do yourself a favor and get up to speed on LENR/CANR. I could list hundreds of references and direct you to dozens of technical/professional symposiums that absolutely refute your statement, but if you aren’t willing to do some basic Google or Bing searches, maybe that’s why you don’t know anything about it and it would be a waste of my time and effort to do it for you. ”

    Some of us are up to speed on LENR and have kept an eye on the field ever since the Pons/Fleischman debacle. Partly in the hope that there is something in it; and partly as an example of pathological science.

    Its a history of marginal results from controlled experiments and periodic press releases and sometimes demonstrations of prototype test rigs that are claimed to generate more power than is used but all have one notable characteristic.

    They are never seen or marketed beyond that first exposure.

    They are also undocumented. The methods used are secret for ‘commercial’ reasons is the usual claim, but despite the obvious incentive for industrial espionage and the clear economic advantage of a device that could multiply an energy input there is no example of a working LENR device that can be obtained or manufactured by independent observers.

    There would seem to be two possibilities.
    1)- A somewhat unlikely collusion between fossil fuel business and hardcore environmentalists to suppress any and all development of such technology. Somewhere in the vaults of exxon and/or GreenPeace are plans and models of working devices that could provide abundant cheap energy without CO2 emissions.
    2)- None of the devices produce more energy than that supplied and inherent in the chemical reactions of the constituent elements. Any claim they do is the result of wishful self-delusion on the part of the (frequently emeritus) scientists and/or deceit for financial gain.

    You only get the last laugh when there is a working device, with established, reproducible energy production over unity which is commercially viable.
    While the field is one of dubious partial and unreproducible results, punctuated by unsubstantiated claims of success with vanishing prototypes you should expect the scoffing to continue.

  182. @-wayne Job says:
    February 27, 2011 at 3:17 am
    “The sun and our fellow travelling planets have a profound effect on our well being, CO2 also has a deep effect but only when we have a lack of it, any thing less than 200ppm and our world will start to die. Anything over 10,000ppm I would start to think we have to plant more trees, one thing for sure, it will not affect the climate.”

    The importance of the Sun as the energy source is understandable, but the PLANETS???
    Is this something astrological to do with the ‘star sign’ they are in ?!

    Why are you so sure that CO2 has no effect on the climate ?
    Do you have some means of removing all uncertainty about the effect of the measurable increase in downwelling IR radiation from the increased CO2, or is it some faith in a perfect homeostatic feedback in the terrestrial climate system that will exactly negate the effects of the extra energy ?
    I doubt that such dogmatic certainty about the NON-effect of CO2 on climate (Venus?) is compatible with skepticism.

  183. Smokey says: “But I’ll try to help you out here because you’re so far off track. Conflating “Cheney” – a politician – with the scientific method is disingenuous.”
    ~ ~ ~
    Perhaps, but pointing out the contrast between the insanity of his proud 1% suspicion and what right wing think tanks are pumping out ~ that somehow, someway in the instance of AGW Earth Observation scientist need to prove 100% in every aspect of their understanding ~ isn’t.

    And since we are talking 1%’s ~ nor is it any better for those thank tanks to grasp at 1% of the science, then conflate it to pretend the rest of the 99% of observational and experimental climate data doesn’t exist.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Smokey says: “First, there is nothing “cavalier” about the concept of the null hypothesis,”
    ~ ~ ~
    That’s true enough, and I deserve to be spanked for that sentence. What I meant to say was the ‘misusing’ of the null hypothesis, etc., etc..

    I don’t have the time for more just now, but wanted Smokey to know I have forgotten about your interesting questions and I’ll be back to pick up on them.

  184. that’s ‘Think Tank’ and Smokey ‘I have not forgotten’

    sorry, I really shouldn’t post when I’m rushed.

  185. RockyRoad says:

    But I shall certainly have the last laugh, Mr. Shore. THE LAST LAUGH you can be sure.

    Well, if you really believe this, then you should seriously invest whatever money you got in these ventures as you stand to make an absolute killing. As for me, I will stand on the sidelines and wish you the best of luck!

    Hey, I’d love there to be such an easy source of energy to replace fossil fuels. It would make a laughing stock of all the melodramatic, completely unsupported claims made all the time here about how a carbon tax or cap-and-trade will send us back into the Dark Ages! I still think those claims are ridiculous but alas it is not because I think there is some miracle bullet; I just believe that with the proper market incentives, the right mix of alternate energy sources and greater efficiency will allow us to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels…and it will happen with less economic pain if those incentives start to go into place sooner rather than later, so that they can be ramped up more gradually. (How such a view gets associated with “socialism” as theBuckWheat does, is beyond my comprehension, but I guess if your belief in markets is based on blind religiosity rather than actually understanding the economics of how markets work, it can lead you astray.)

  186. Mr. Coleman, please keep the faith in the scientific enterprise. As we have seen over the past year or so, the death of alarmist-inspired policy is well under way given the actions (or non-actions if you will) of politicians at Copenhagen and Cancun. The U.S. electorate still will not play ball with the alarmist lobby and the Europeans are freezing but secure in the knowledge that their Kyoto efforts bore fruit.

    Outside of climate science all is well in the paradigm-based sciences like Physics and Chemistry. At least they are still practicing science as Galileo conceived.

  187. Pamela Gray said
    “I too am socially liberal (damn the ban against stem cell research, damn the effort to make abortion illegal and uninsurable, damn the Marriage Act and all that), but fiscally conservative. For some, that is difficult to imagine.”

    Me too, but I see the two points of view as logically consistent, both being conservative in the sense of wanting to reduce the role of government. How we accept, in utterly sheep-like fashion, the gov. telling us what we can and can’t do as free adults in a free society, is something I’ll never be able to understand. We throw people into prison for ingesting plants that exist in nature. That is so fundamentally wrong I’ve no words to express my outrage.

    I used to consider myself a libertarian, but as I’ve grown older I do see that some restrictions on the so-called free markets are necessary. If the recent housing crash and near depression hasn’t taught us that, then we weren’t paying attention. One can certainly argue about the cure after the fact (let ‘em sink vs. too big to fail), but I don’t see how can one reasonably maintain that all this couldn’t have been avoided with stricter regulations in place.

    I also take issue with those who reject AGW solely because of the expanded role for government it implies. Were it to be demonstrated to be a truly major threat that we could in some way reduce or avoid, then I’d be all for such measures…

    So. I guess I’m not ideologically pure. Too bad for me :>)

  188. @-Fred H. Haynie says:
    February 27, 2011 at 1:08 pm
    “Read this presentation http://www.kidswincom.net/CO2OLR.pdf, and tell me me where my analysis is bad and that my conclusions are wrong.”

    I was hoping you would post again, I hadn’t forgotten your posts before and had started to put together a reply…
    But this new link makes it easier, and I can respond quickly.
    First, and most obviously there is this statement –

    “Assuming an analogy with I= E/R, then k=1/R.”

    The analogy fails at several levels….-grin-
    One is that it doesn’t take into account that the atmosphere is not a single resistance, it is a continuous volume with varying properties at increasing altitude. Unfortunately to form any analogy with the atmosphere you would have to include numerous values of R for separate levels of the atmosphere. Changing CO2 content has most of its effect by altering the gradient of R over altitude rather than changing the total value.

    Secondly and rather more fundamentally treating the atmospheric opacity to escaping thermal energy as analogous to an electrical resistance ignores the 1LoT. In electrical resistance the impediment to electrical flow converts electrical energy to thermal energy.
    The absorption of IR by atmospheric components converts photon energy to thermal energy, but that thermal energy is then a new value for the emission of photon energy from T^4. Conservation of energy means that a simple parallel with electrical current flow is not appropriate.

    The fact that your mathematical model does correlate with observations should not come as any great surprise. All your formula does is take the observations and derive a value that is inevitably going to follow seasonal and decadel temperature variation. That does not mean that you can conclude that temperature is the primary causative factor of temperature….

    I would suggest working through the ‘Science of Doom’ website linked at the top of page, in the right-hand column. It really works through these issues rather well, the series on CO2 as a trace gas would be a good place to start, but nearly all of it repays study if you want a grasp of the physics involved in the ‘greenhouse’ effect and the details that matter with water vapor, lapse rates and convection.

  189. “R. Gates says:
    February 27, 2011 at 5:48 am

    During periods of the snowball earth, which lasted millions of years,

    As most the of water vapor had been condensed out of the atmosphere

    that CO2 from then causing further warming in a positive-feedback manner.”

    I must confess I am not up on “snowball earth” and confused that with ice ages. Sorry about that!

    However if water vapor had condensed, it would seem to me that there would be no clouds which could cause a lot of reflection of sun light, so would the sun not burn down hard and rapidly cause water to melt and evaporate? That assumes that the distance to the sun was not much different than now. As for the positive feedback from CO2, most agree there is some effect, but the CAGW people have hugely overblown the impact. And even the IPCC talks about the logarithmic effect of added CO2, or the law of diminishing returns for added CO2. However I may have to study snowball earth to be sure of things.

  190. @-art johnson says:
    February 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm
    ” How we accept, in utterly sheep-like fashion, the gov. telling us what we can and can’t do as free adults in a free society, is something I’ll never be able to understand. ”

    Its a consequence of the fact that in some circumstances with a finite resource individual exploitation of that common resource has collective consequences that are only optimized by collective action – enforced by coercion if necessary.
    See any discussion of the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ for the basic principle. Societies that enforce such collective regulation reach better outcomes with superior utilization of resources so are more successful.
    Sometimes it pays to be sheep…..unless some fool is overgrazing the available pasture!

    “I also take issue with those who reject AGW solely because of the expanded role for government it implies. Were it to be demonstrated to be a truly major threat that we could in some way reduce or avoid, then I’d be all for such measures…
    So. I guess I’m not ideologically pure. Too bad for me :>)”

    You have abandoned ideological purity for rationality; the appropriate response to material reality.
    In that you are unlike the hardcore environmentalists referenced in the story about the ‘carbon fairy’ who could limit the climate impact of CO2 without regulating industry or individual consumption. They preferred the ideological goal of regulation despite the lack of any scientific need to do so.

    I sometimes have the suspicion that there are a proportion of posters here who take the opposite position. Even if the carbon fairy could show without equivocation that rising CO2 would cause major societal disruption without collective control the ideological opposition to global governance that could regulate CO2 emissions would preclude their acceptance of any action.

    Personally I see no evidence that there exist global structures of governance capable of such regulation, nor is there any immediate prospect of any arising.
    The only examples of global governance with any small claim to success would be the Montreal protocol on CFC’s and the allocation of radio bandwidth.
    The Nuclear non-proliferation treaty would be an example of a failed global governance…. Israel, Pakistan, India, North Korea, Iran.?….
    If we can’t get global governance of such an obvious threat to human civilization the chances of getting regulation of the much more subtle threat from CO2 is negligible.

  191. Izen,

    I agree that it is a simplified analogy that considers only four resistances in series. In actuality it should be more like a circuit of multiple resistances both in series and parrallel. Even with the over simplification it shows that water in the atmosphere is the primary controlling factor, not CO2.

    Another way to analyze the data is to calculate the temperature at the “top of the atmosphere” using the Stephan-Boltzman relationship, then use the skin surface temperature and varying wet to dry lapse rates to estimate the apparent optical thickness of the atmosphere. Do this at the South Pole where water vapor is the least and any effect of CO2 should be measurable as an increase in the optical thickness. CO2 has been increasing at the South Pole for over fifty years. Do the math and see if you can measure a statistically significant increase in the optical thickness.

  192. izen says:
    February 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    “…much more subtle threat from CO2 is negligible….”

    Indeed it is subtle. So subtle in fact that it doesn’t exist in the direction that your “collectivist” desires lean. Maybe, however, it is dangerous in the other direction, where it becomes such a miniscule part of the atmosphere that a great quantity of lifes’ various forms cannot survive. Think about the decline – the massive sequestering – of CO2 that the earth has undertaken in the last half billion years. All those millions of cubic miles of limestone and dolomite and calcareous shales, and coal and peat beds and oil and gas deposits.

    I think we’re fortunate to be getting some of it back from greedy old Gaia.

  193. Interesting discussion.

    As a life long aviator, I would be interested to see a study of temperatures collected from aviation flights by volunteer global carriers such as Federal Express willing to collect temperature data from flight levels above 20k. Sustained flight at cruise altitude offers a perspective not available from ground station to ground station. The data would produce a constant flow of data over a long range of distance and it is precise in altitude. The perspective can be then compared to current types of measurements.

    Of course, most of us can simply take our extended life long memory of weather experience to come up with a conclusion to either warmer or cooler. But, how scientific is that compared to data alla eterna politico agendacontinuim maximus.

    All in the name of saving the planet from AGW, of course. ;)

  194. Joel:

    … environmental organizations are big on pushing both sources of energy (solar, wind) that are relatively pollution-free and energy efficiency technologies ranging from more efficient light-bulbs to hybrid cars.

    You must be kidding. Utterly useless wind turbines have destroyed millions of acres of wildlife habitat and countryside worldwide; nowhere have they produced any actually useful power at all, nor have they reduced CO2 emissions (even assuming that were important). Likewise the hideously expensive solar.

    Curly florescents are monstrously polluting to produce and to dispose of. Hybrid cars at best simply move the pollution elsewhere, their low efficiency compared to gasoline or diesel means they require still more energy to be produced, and mining the huge quantities of rare earth elements needed for their batteries is covering Chinese farmland with a particularly vicious toxic waste.

    Get serious.

  195. Werner Brozek says:
    February 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    “R. Gates says:
    February 27, 2011 at 5:48 am

    During periods of the snowball earth, which lasted millions of years,

    As most the of water vapor had been condensed out of the atmosphere

    that CO2 from then causing further warming in a positive-feedback manner.”

    I must confess I am not up on “snowball earth” and confused that with ice ages. Sorry about that!

    However if water vapor had condensed, it would seem to me that there would be no clouds which could cause a lot of reflection of sun light, so would the sun not burn down hard and rapidly cause water to melt and evaporate? That assumes that the distance to the sun was not much different than now. As for the positive feedback from CO2, most agree there is some effect, but the CAGW people have hugely overblown the impact. And even the IPCC talks about the logarithmic effect of added CO2, or the law of diminishing returns for added CO2. However I may have to study snowball earth to be sure of things.
    _____

    During the several snowball earth periods water vapor was reduced greatly in the atmosphere, and thus the atmosphere was cool and dry. Cloud cover was reduced but ice cover (as land glaciers and sea ice) was greatly increased, and this ice would have increased the earth’s albedo greatly. One only needs to look at the middle of Antarctica where it is very cold and very dry to get a sense for what much of the earth was like during this period. Now, there may have been some places near the equator where there was some open water (some call this the slushball earth), but even at then, the general hydrological cycle of the earth was much reduced, meaning that water vapor was not present in any great amount in the atmosphere to aid in the general greenhouse warming. Some event, or even series of events, eventually increased CO2 enough to kickstart enough GH warming and the hydrological cycle to get more water vapor back into the atmosphere and then, through positive feedback processes, more ice melted and the earth pulled out of the snowball period. The point here is that CO2, even though just a “trace” gas according to AGW skeptics, was the key player in pulling the earth out of the snowball period because it is a noncondensing GH gas, and though less potent then water vapor, can still exhibit GH gas properties by remaining in the atmosphere for long periods when water vapor has long been squeezed out.

  196. @-JimF says:
    February 27, 2011 at 5:37 pm
    “Maybe, however, it is dangerous in the other direction, where it becomes such a miniscule part of the atmosphere that a great quantity of lifes’ various forms cannot survive. Think about the decline – the massive sequestering – of CO2 that the earth has undertaken in the last half billion years. ”

    Life has evolved adaptions to lower CO2 such as the C4 plants and CO2 storage systems. There are reasons why atmospheric CO2 cannot fall to zero, but even if it did plants could still use the CO2 generated by their own respiration for photosynthesis. The ‘danger’ of low CO2 is spurious given the adaptability of life and the timescales over which the carbon cycle alters the partitioning between air, sea and rock.

    But I am still curious on what basis you dismiss ANY and ALL risk of global warming from the rapid anthropogenic rise in CO2 given the physical properties of the gas.

  197. izen says:

    “Its a consequence of the fact that in some circumstances with a finite resource individual exploitation of that common resource has collective consequences that are only optimized by collective action – enforced by coercion if necessary.
    See any discussion of the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ for the basic principle. Societies that enforce such collective regulation reach better outcomes with superior utilization of resources so are more successful.
    Sometimes it pays to be sheep…..unless some fool is overgrazing the available pasture!”
    ———————————————–
    Frugality with finite resources is often hailed as the only sane and, of course, moral option.
    If the only benefit derived from frugality is the deferral of the day of dearth from one generation to a subsequent one, then it is unnatural and futile.
    If we dismiss, as I do, the notion that the use of fossil fuels is befouling the Earth for us and our progeny, and if we are convinced that that resource is absolutely finite, then what could be the rationale for depriving our great-grandchildren of it through our profligacy, rather than our grandchildren?
    The argument that we might take advantage of our windfall to discover its replacement can have merit, but a moralistic indignation at selfishness, by itself, is no basis for coercion of individuals.
    Your sheep are a poor analogy, since pasture is only temporarily finite and so, rationing is a sensible approach.

  198. izen says:
    February 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    “Life has evolved adaptions to lower CO2 such as the C4 plants and CO2 storage systems. There are reasons why atmospheric CO2 cannot fall to zero, but even if it did plants could still use the CO2 generated by their own respiration for photosynthesis.”
    —————————————–
    Can you elucidate the mechanism by which plants might transport CO2 against its concentration gradient from air to chloroplast? Of course, I don’t mean ‘the air’ because you said there wouldn’t be any, so let’s say ‘from the roots’, where some respiration is going on.
    And how would they grow bigger? And how would baby plants ever happen?
    Is this all on the same planet where the water heats the air, which then heats the water, which then heats the air?

  199. Dr. Lurtz If you remove all technology the carrying capacity of Earth is about 1,000,000 people. They would plow with wooden plows pulled by horses/oxen. Any shaped thing would be either pottery or carved wood. No metals. Metals are the result of technology mining. The only salt would come from earthen dyked saltwater evaporation ponds, etc.

    I think it would be somewhere between 100 and 1,000 times that. Two pieces of evidence:

    This chart claims it was 200 million in 0 A.D, and 400 million in 1,000 AD.

    People who study the American Indians used to believe that the population of what is now the U.S. was 1 million in pre-Columbian times, but now they believe that it may have been as great as 6 million. If the entire land area of the earth were as suitable for living as the U.S., this would correspond to a world population of 90 million. Of course, it’s not, but if the 200 million and 400 million above are in the right ballpark, that doesn’t matter – it “less than matters.”

    I don’t think you can object to this by saying that metals were in use long before 0 AD, because they were not in use for relevant purposes (e.g., the plow) by some overwhelming majority of the people.

  200. Dr. Lurtz The American Indian migrated south every year to stay warm and have food.

    That can’t be true as a general matter. For example, the Wampanoag didn’t leave the Pilgrims and go south. The Pilgrims themselves said that the Indians’ houses were warmer than houses in England.

  201. Pamela Gray I too am socially liberal (damn the ban against stem cell research, damn the effort to make abortion illegal and uninsurable, damn the Marriage Act and all that), but fiscally conservative. For some, that is difficult to imagine.

    Not for an informed person. “Conservative” in “fiscal conservative” doesn’t mean the same as when it stands alone. There’s no limit to how liberal a fiscal conservative could be. In fact, a fiscal conservative could be of any political stripe whatever. “Conservative” by itself means the kind of thing Edmund Burke was talking about.

  202. R. Gates However if water vapor had condensed, it would seem to me that there would be no clouds which could cause a lot of reflection of sun light, so would the sun not burn down hard and rapidly cause water to melt and evaporate?

    It’s true there would be no or few clouds, but this wouldn’t melt the ice faster, because in the absence of atmospheric water vapor not so great a surface temperature would be needed for the earth to radiate as much as it receives from the sun. You’ll have to read up on the greenhouse effect.

  203. @-Oliver Ramsay says:
    February 27, 2011 at 11:44 pm
    “Can you elucidate the mechanism by which plants might transport CO2 against its concentration gradient from air to chloroplast? Of course, I don’t mean ‘the air’ because you said there wouldn’t be any, so let’s say ‘from the roots’, where some respiration is going on.
    And how would they grow bigger? And how would baby plants ever happen?”

    I take your point that a closed cycle of carbon use within the plant would preclude growth, an external source is required for growth, reproduction and system wastage.

    But C4 and CAM plants already concerntrate/store CO2 as simple organic acids which gets round the problem of transport against a concerntration gradient.
    Because biological systems all respire and generate CO2 and volcanic/tectonic processes are unlikely to stop in the next billion years I think that plants will have ample time to adapt to very low CO2 levels ~10ppm

    But many aquatic plants can derive the carbon they use in photosynthesis from bicarbonate in solution, this would perhaps be a way that land plants could evolve to get their carbon fix from the roots.

  204. izen Life has evolved adaptions to lower CO2 such as the C4 plants and CO2 storage systems. There are reasons why atmospheric CO2 cannot fall to zero, but even if it did plants could still use the CO2 generated by their own respiration for photosynthesis.

    That’s like saying that an animal could survive by eating only its own bodily wastes.

  205. izen says:

    “But C4 and CAM plants already concerntrate/store CO2 as simple organic acids which gets round the problem of transport against a concerntration gradient.
    Because biological systems all respire and generate CO2 and volcanic/tectonic processes are unlikely to stop in the next billion years I think that plants will have ample time to adapt to very low CO2 levels ~10ppm”
    ———————————
    I suspected you would invoke C4 plants, but it really doesn’t hold up. C4 photosynthesis is extravagant of energy and is not what those plants do for the most part. As for CAM plants, I wouldn’t want to be waiting for them to provide me with a crop of food.
    It’s encouraging that you think elements of the natural world could adapt to drastic changes in their environment.

  206. “Oliver Ramsay says:
    February 28, 2011 at 7:31 am

    izen says:
    I think that plants will have ample time to adapt to very low CO2 levels ~10ppm”

    It’s encouraging that you think elements of the natural world could adapt to drastic changes in their environment.”

    Wow!! If plants can adapt to a reduction of 40 fold in the CO2 level, then why is it not equally likely that life can adapt to a 40 increase in CO2? Then what are we worried about?

    P.S. Thank you for your reply R. Gates.

  207. Smoking Frog says:
    February 28, 2011 at 5:05 am
    “That’s like saying that an animal could survive by eating only its own bodily wastes.”

    Taken as a whole, that is exactly what the plant/animal Biosphere does.

  208. izen;
    the base of the bio-pyramid, which comprises the vast majority of its mass and volume, is unicellular, and mostly eats minerals and H2O and CO2. It is in turn eaten by very small multi-cellular beasties, and from there on it’s mostly “recycling”. But the big input funnel is the bacteria and archaebacteria. Examine the very steep food chain around a black smoker for an example.

  209. izen says:

    Smoking Frog says:
    February 28, 2011 at 5:05 am
    “That’s like saying that an animal could survive by eating only its own bodily wastes.”

    Taken as a whole, that is exactly what the plant/animal Biosphere does.

    That doesn’t support your idea that plants could evolve to doing it. Even if they could, the world would be radically different. Animals would not exist, since if they did exist, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 would not be so low as your argument premises. Even if, somehow, they would exist, the world would be radically different; we would not exist. Even if, somehow, we would exist, you’re talking about a change that would take so long that it has nothing at all to do with the global warming dispute, not even remotely.

  210. @-Brian H says:
    March 1, 2011 at 1:27 am
    “the base of the bio-pyramid, which comprises the vast majority of its mass and volume, is unicellular, and mostly eats minerals and H2O and CO2. It is in turn eaten by very small multi-cellular beasties, and from there on it’s mostly “recycling”. But the big input funnel is the bacteria and archaebacteria. Examine the very steep food chain around a black smoker for an example.”

    The mention of black smokers is a bit of a red herring, the base of the food pyramid in that case are extremophile bacteria deriving their energy from HS. They represent a very small percentage of the biosphere.

    But I agree that benthic bacteria rule. They, and the communal forms (small multicellular beasties!) are the dominant system that cycles CO2+sunlight into hydrocarbons and O2 (the photosynthesists) and O2+hydrocarbons back into CO2 (the ‘Eaters’).
    The land-based plants and animals which have cracked the code for cellular differentiation and large multicellular bodies are a bit of an adjunct to the main ocean biology which drives the carbon cycle and shifts gigatonnes of carbon between atmosphere and biomass.
    The relationship between the two is full of feedbacks that stabilize the balance and constrain the degree and rate of change that the natural system can generate in both atmospheric CO2 and biomass.

    A game-changer would be the evolution of a more efficient enzyme system than Rubisco. It is odd that several billion years of biology has not improved on the gross inefficiency of the photosynthesis pathways, that WOULD alter the balance between CO2 fixers and change the partitioning of CO2 between the atmosphere and biomass I suspect.

    @-Smoking Frog says:
    March 1, 2011 at 6:43 am
    “…Even if, somehow, they would exist, the world would be radically different; we would not exist. Even if, somehow, we would exist, you’re talking about a change that would take so long that it has nothing at all to do with the global warming dispute, not even remotely.”

    I agree.
    This diversion was prompted by another poster suggesting that present atmospheric CO2 were low in the context of billion year scales on the Earth and could therefore be regarded as aberrant with the prospect of lower values posing a real threat to all life on Earth.
    In my replies I was trying to make the point that present values have been arrived at over geological time that has allowed plants to adapt to such levels. Further, that significant further reductions are improbable (given the nature of the bio-carbon cycle as described above) and would be so slow that evolution would almost certainly provide further adaptions.

    It would seem that once again you are supporting the points I am making… ! -grin-

  211. izen says:
    March 1, 2011 at 11:34 am

    This diversion was prompted by another poster suggesting that present atmospheric CO2 were low in the context of billion year scales on the Earth and could therefore be regarded as aberrant with the prospect of lower values posing a real threat to all life on Earth.
    In my replies I was trying to make the point that present values have been arrived at over geological time that has allowed plants to adapt to such levels. Further, that significant further reductions are improbable (given the nature of the bio-carbon cycle as described above) and would be so slow that evolution would almost certainly provide further adaptions.

    No, evolution is not going to be able to compensate for further significant reductions of carbon dioxide. Plants respond extraordinarily well to the doubling of carbon dioxide in greeenhouse culture, because they are already being stressed by inadequate supplies of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to which they are unable to adapt very well. The photosynthetic process is sensitive to the amount of available carbon dioxide, and there simply are not enough biochemical pathways to serve as alternatives. The Earth’s atmosphere formerly consisted of more than 100 atmospheres in mass with carbon dioxide being more than 999,000 parts per million in concentration versus 200-400 part per million of an atmosphere with less than one hundredth the mass. Plant life dependeent upon c arbon dioxide are running out of biochemical alternatives.

    If the carbon dioxide levels fall below 200 parts per million and then below one hundred parts per million, the largest extinction of species in the past 1+ billion years will necessarily occur, whether or not some minimal number of species manage to adapt with alternatives to current means of photosynthesis.

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