Roy Spencer on ‘the Alabama Two-Step’

I have been badgered repeatedly to carry “Slayer” articles on WUWT, and with the exception of one cartoon by Josh, I have refused to do so since I view the work (and its derivatives) as pointless and fatally flawed. In his latest essay, Sir Roy has not only slayed the slayers and slayettes, but has sliced and diced and made julienne fries in two easy steps. – Anthony

Slaying the Slayers with the Alabama Two-Step

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

A recent article by S. Fred Singer in American Thinker entitled Climate Deniers are Giving Us Skeptics a Bad Name has caused a resurgence of attacks against those of us who believe that the Earth does indeed have a “greenhouse effect” which makes the Earth’s surface warmer than it would otherwise be.

As a result of Fred’s article, angry E-mails have been flying like arrows, and belligerent blog posts have littered the landscape. (Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But I enjoyed writing it.)

In the American Thinker article, Fred has taken the tack that the “denier” label (which left-leaning folk seem to love calling us) should be applied to those who deny the so-called greenhouse effect (which states that infrared absorbing gases in the atmosphere perform a surface-warming function) and should not be applied to those of us who are skeptical of how much humans have warmed the climate system by slightly enhancing the natural greenhouse effect with more carbon dioxide from burning of carbon based fuels. The anti-greenhouse crowd’s bible seems to be the book, Slaying the Sky Dragon – Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.

The arguments between us and the anti-greenhouse advocates often become technical and devolve into disputes over the 1st or 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, whether photons really exist, whether a carbon dioxide molecule which absorbs IR energy immediately releases it again, whether outer space is an ‘insulator’, etc. Lay people quickly become overwhelmed, and even some of us technical types end up feeling ill-equipped to argue outside our areas of expertise.

I believe the fact that infrared-absorbing gases warm the surface and lower atmosphere can be easily demonstrated with 2 simple steps. The first step is in the realm of everyone’s daily experience. The second step is based upon satellite measurements of the Earth giving off infrared energy, measurements which were first made over 40 years ago.

The Alabama Two-Step

Read his entire essay here and place your comments there as well, since it is his article.

I generally don’t engage the “slayer” debate here.

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