Skeptic Strategy for Talking About Global Warming

Guest Post by Ira Glickstein

What should a responsible Skeptic say to an astute audience? When recently invited by the “Technology, Engineering, and Science Plus” group in my community to give a talk and answer questions, I knew I would have an attentive room of tech-savvy professionals. However, they might not be fully tuned in to the details of the Global Warming controversy. Furthermore, they were likely to have opinions closer to the supposed “mainsteam science” orientation than mine.

In this posting, I’ve summarized the main points I think are most likely to align people who are both intelligent and reasonable to the Skeptic side. My Powerpoint (with talking points for each chart in the Notes section under each slide) is available [click here] for you to use and adapt as you wish.

Highlight scene from former VP Al Gore's Nobel and Oscar-winning movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Dramatic correlation between temperature and CO2 over past 600,000 years. Implication that global mean temperature rise will parallel CO2 increases. But, which way does the causation go? {Annotations by ira@techie.com, TVPClub.blogspot.com}

A. Basic Climate Science – Water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and other “greenhouse” gases cause the Earth Surface to be warmer than it would be if the Atmosphere was just nitrogen.

  1. Light energy from the Sun warms the Earth System, which consists of our Atmosphere and the Surface. Based on satellite measurements, the Sun provides 1366 Watts per square meter (W/m^2) at the Top of the Atmosphere. After accounting for the Earth’s spherical shape and albedo (reflectiveness), the absorbed energy averages out to about 240 W/m^2 for each square meter.
  2. To maintain a relatively constant mean temperature, Output Energy must equal Input Energy, so the Earth System must emit about 240 W/m^2 out to Space, which it does.
  3. We call the Input Energy “light” because we can see (much of) it. We call the Output Energy “heat” because we can feel it. However, whether it is “short wave” energy from the very hot Sun, or “long wave” from the more moderate Earth System, we know that energy is fungible. 240 W/m^2 of one type is equal, power-wise, to 240 W/m^2 of the other. A Watt is a Watt, no matter what :^)
  4. But, there is an “issue” – if we consider the Earth System as a “black body”, according to the laws of physics, for the Earth System to emit 240 W/m^2, it would have to be at a temperature of only 255 Kelvin, where Kelvins are degrees Celsius above absolute zero. (The Earth System is not exactly a black body, but it is close enough for our purposes here.)
  5. You may remember that anything above absolute zero emits radiant energy and that 0.0 Kelvin corresponds to -273ºC or -460ºF. The “issue” is that the Earth Surface has a mean temperature closer to 288 Kelvin, corresponding to about +15ºC or +59ºF. In other words, the Surface is about 33ºC or 58ºF warmer than the “black body” formula would indicate. How to explain this added warmth?
  6. The generally accepted explanation is the Atmospheric “greenhouse effect”. This is true science, but the name is somewhat misleading because a glass greenhouse works mostly by restricting convection while the Atmospheric effect works mostly by restricting radiation. I use “scare quotes” around “greenhouse” to acknowledge this semantic issue.
  7. The Atmosphere passes most of the “short wave” energy from the Sun and absorbs most of the “long wave” energy from the Surface. The absorbed energy warms the Atmosphere and is re-emitted in all directions at a variety of “long wave” wavelengths. A portion of radiation from the Atmosphere passes out the Top of the Atmosphere to Space. A portion is emitted in the downward direction and is absorbed by the Surface. This absorbed radiant energy accounts for most of the extra 33ºC or 58ºF.
  8. A variety of gases in the Atmosphere, primarily water vapor (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2), absorb and re-emit “long wave” radiation. These are called “greenhouse gases”.

B. Divergent Views – There is a valid, science-based argument between people I refer to as Warmists, Lukewarmers, and Skeptics. I distinguish their reasoned views from the far out, unscientific rantings of people I refer to as Alarmists and their equal and opposite reaction opponents, who I call Disbelievers.

  1. VP Al Gore was not the first Alarmist, but his public lectures and his Nobel and Oscar-winning movie, An “Inconvenient” Truth, probably did more than anything else to bring Global Warming Alarmism to the fore in the consciousness of the major media and the general population.
  2. The scene depicted above was the highlight of his presentation.
  3. Gore displays the Ice Core record of the past 600,000 years for CO2 (red) and Temperature (blue). He points out the undoubted correlation between the two parameters. When one goes up so does the other. When one goes down, the other does as well. He points out that the then current CO2 level is considerably higher than that of the past 600,000 years, and he projects the future levels of CO2 assuming it continues to rise at current rates. So far, this is all true.
  4. Dramatically ascending high above the stage on his motorized platform, he implies that mean temperatures will rise in proportion to the CO2. (My graphic is annotated in dashed blue to show the implied warming.) If that happens, he warns, more and more of the polar ice will melt, causing the seas to rise and flooding coastal areas. The ground under the polar ice will be exposed, further reducing the albedo of the Surface and causing further warming. We will reach a tipping point with runaway Global Warming.
  5. The villain of Gore’s story is the human race and our habit of burning ever-increasing quantities of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) that release unprecedented amounts of CO2. This scene, more than any other event, is most likely responsible for the birth of what has come to be known as Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, CAGW. In other words, catastrophe due to human-caused Global Warming. It has become the mantra of the Alarmists and an excuse for governments to regulate all fossil fuels as well as land use that affects albedo. Since all industry and agriculture and civilized life itself depends upon fossil fuels and land use, the Alarmists give suitably oriented politicos an excuse to regulate and tax and restrict virtually everything. We outdoors types will need an indulgence from the government every time we pass wind. And, we can forget about lighting a campfire :^).
  6. But, as the annotations in my graphic above show, there is a fundamental “Inconvenient” truth about the ice core data. It has absolutely nothing to say about the current Global Warming controversy! Gore was misleading the media and the public when he implied that rising CO2 levels would cause corresponding increases in mean temperatures. In particular, as any scientist who took a close look at the ice core data would see, and as I show in the inset graph in the upper left corner, Temperature always rises eight-hundred or more years before CO2 increases. The same is true in the other direction. The Temperature falls eight-hundred or more years prior to CO2 decreases. What this shows, if anything, is that TEMPERATURE CAUSES CO2, or, that something else causes both to change, with CO2 lagging by hundreds of years. Gore got the direction of causation backwards.
  7. When the falsehood of this implied causation was pointed out, Gore’s apologists claimed that it was a minor matter and, after all, despite the 800-year lag, both Temperature and CO2 were up together and down together for about 5/6ths of the record. Besides, they said, we are currently burning historically unprecedented amounts of fossil fuel, and, we know that CO2 is a “greenhouse gas”, and so on and on. But, the truth is still that the ice core record is of a time when there were no humans to burn fossil fuels, so why did Gore bring it up since it has no relationship to our current situation? Raw, unfettered Alarmism has had its effect on the media, the political class, and we common citizens who have to pay the costs of the phony CAGW panic.
  8. In politics, as in physics, every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction. In the Case of CAGW, that opposite (and equally false) reaction is what I call Disbeliever AGW or DAGW. These are people who use pseudo-scientific arguments in their claim that humans have had absolutely no hand in the mean temperature rise of the past century, or that there has been no temperature rise, or that the basic science of the Atmospheric “greenhouse effect” is untrue, and so on. I do not like to be to critical of the DAGW crowd because, when it comes to general political decisions, they are more likely than not to agree with me than my opponents, but my academic integrity and ethical duty as a licensed professional engineer require me to state what I see as the error of their arguments. (As I have in my WUWT Visualizing series [1, 2, 3, 4, 5])
  9. Having dismissed what I regard as the unscientific Alarmists and Disbelievers, that leaves us with three groups that, for the most part, use rational science-base arguments for their diverse views. Of course, every member of each group has somewhat different views, and any attempt to divide them into three distinct types is bound to cross some lines. So, please consider my grouping as approximate.
  10. Carbon sensitivity, which is the estimate of how much mean temperatures will increase if CO2 doubles from historical or current levels, is one way to determine which of the the three groups a person belongs to. The Warmists tend to accept the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimate of 2.0ºC to 4.5ºC. The Skeptics tend to set carbon sensitivity much lower, perhaps 0.2ºC to 1ºC. The third group, which I call Lukewarmers, would suggest 1ºC to 3ºC.
  11. How much of the rise in CO2 is attributable to human use of fossil fuels is also estimated differently. Warmists would blame humans for nearly all of it, while Skeptics would say less than half. Similarly, the blame for the supposed 0.8ºC rise in mean temperatures since 1880 is mostly attributed to human activities, while Skeptics say that data bias “adjustments” by the official climate record keepers is responsible for about a third of the supposed warming, and that natural cycles, over which humans have no control, are responsible for about half of it, leaving only 0.1ºC (or maybe up to 0.2ºC) to human responsibility. Lukewarmers are somewhere in-between.
  12. Skeptics have well-justified suspicions that the official climate data keepers were “cooking the books” to lend whatever support they could to the highest estimates of carbon sensitivity. Around the year 2000, US Mean Temperature data was “adjusted” down by 0.1 to 0.2ºC for years prior to the 1970’s, and upwards by 0.2 to 0.3ºC for years after the 1970’s, increasing supposed warming by 0.3 to 0.5ºC.
  13. The surfacestations.org project published photos of official temperature measurement stations that were very near artificial sources of heat, with most being in the lowest two of the five quality levels established by the government. The poor quality stations were compared to nearby well-located stations. There were large temperature deltas that could only be accounted for if the the stations now poorly-located were originally well-located, but had been influenced by nearby development, such as paved parking lots, buildings, and air conditioning vents.
  14. According to a figure in the 1990 IPCC report, 1100 to 1300 AD saw temperatures in the northern hemisphere that were higher than current levels. However, the IPCC 2001 report included the infamous so-called “hockey stick” chart that managed to make the Medieval Warm Period of about 1000 years ago disappear! (My Powerpoint set includes charts with evidence of each of the aforementioned issues.)
  15. These suspicions were not fully confirmed until 2009 when someone (probably an inside whistle-blower) released emails and computer code from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in the UK, and, later that year, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request yielded a stash from the US NASA-GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies).

C. Climategate – UK Climatic Research Unit (CRU) emails and the US NASA GISS FOIA emails. What they tell us about the published Global Warming data.

IPCC 1990 recognized Medieval Warm Period (MWP) temperatures were above current levels. IPCC 2001 used the "Hockey Stick" chart that makes MWP disappear.

  1. I refer to the CRU as the Climategate Research Unit or, more simply, the Fudge Factory because the words “fudge factor” appear in their computer code. Phil Jones, PhD, is the CRU Director. He confirmed suspicions about the infamous “Hockey Stick” graph when, in an email, he called it “Mike’s Nature trick” (because a version of that graph appeared in a paper by Dr. Michael Mann in the prestigious journal Nature ). He also wrote that the “trick” was designed to “hide the decline” in tree ring proxy data. The tree-ring expert associated with CRU, Keith Brifa, PhD, admits, in one of the emails that “the recent warmth was probably matched about 1,000 years ago”. (My Powerpoint set includes slides with direct quotes from the Climategate materials.)

2007 email from Sato to Hansen details seven analyses of 1934 vs 1998. 1934 starts off with a 0.5ºC lead and ends up in a dead heat.

  1. Moving on to the FOIA emails from GISS, it is interesting to note that their HQ, in New York City, happens to be in the same building as the famous restaurant where Jerry Seinfeld dined with George, Kramer, and Elaine. (It was never revealed what Kramer did for a living – perhaps he was the chief analyst at GISS :^)
  2. The most revealing email from GISS is reproduced above. It was from Makiko Sato, PhD to her Boss, GISS-Director James Hansen, PhD, detailing the seven different analyses and comparisons of US mean temperatures for 1934 and 1998. The later year was the hottest in the 1990’s, so it was, let us say “inconvenient” that 1934, according to data published by GISS in 1999, was over 0.5ºC warmer. If Global Warming was almost entirely due to recent human activities, and was accelerating, how could the 1930 have been warmer?
  3. Just as the Hockey Stick made the Medieval Warm Period disappear, GISS tried mightily to make 1934 cooler than 1998, but only succeeded in reducing the 0.5ºC lead into a dead heat. Notice that the 0.5ºC “adjustment” is more than half the supposed total warming since 1880.
  4. I would like to trust the work of taxpayer-supported science, but, it seems, we must rely on President Reagan’s advice regarding the old Soviet Union, “Trust, but verify!”

D. What We Can and Should Do – Energy policy (cap and trade scam vs carbon tax). Efficiency, conservation, “green“, and renewable sources.

  1. I am quite sure that Global Warming is REAL (i.e. the mean temperature of the Surface has increased by 0.5 to 0.6ºC since 1880) but, most of that increase is due to Natural Cycles over which we humans have no control.
  2. However, the warming is PARTLY Due to Rising CO2 Levels and human actions are PART of the Cause.
  3. There is not and never has been any real danger of catastrophe or even of serious net detriment to human life due to increased CO2 levels. Indeed, modest increases in these parameters are most likely a net benefit.
  4. However, we Skeptics have to be realistic in the current political climate. Like it or not (and I do not like it) the official climate “Team” (i.e., the “Hockey Team” :^) has convinced the political and media establishment, and much of the population that something has to be done. We cannot fight something with nothing, so we need something more than a passive policy of do nothing because nothing is necessary.
  5. Therefore, I favor reduction of the carbon footprint by efficiency, conservation, recycling, and so on, plus the introduction, if and when economically practical of so-called “Green” energy, including Nuclear, Water, Wind, Biomass and, particularly, “Clean” Coal.
  6. If nothing else, these will do minimum harm and, if successful, will reduce US dependence upon foreign oil. We have spent, and continue to sacrifice too much blood and treasure protecting our access, and that of our allies, to energy from unstable regions of the world.
  7. As for the Cap and Trade scam, it is a Politician’s Delight that rewards powerful Interests, wrecks the economy, and will NOT significantly reduce carbon emissions. It seems to me that some countries and US states that have adopted Cap and Trade have realized their folly and are backing away from it.
  8. You may be surprised that I favor some version of a straight Carbon Tax, collected at the mine, well, and port, with the proceeds returned on an equal basis to citizens and legal residents. Yes, James Hansen and (pardon the expression Ralph Nader) also favor it, but, so do conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, the Wall Street Journal, and others on the right. My support for this tax is based on what I wrote above, “We cannot fight something with nothing” and “We have spent, and continue to sacrifice too much blood and treasure protecting our access, and that of our allies, to energy from unstable regions of the world.”

I’m interested in your critique and comments. (My Powerpoint presentation is available [click here] for you to use and adapt as you wish..)

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Jenn Oates

Awesome, Ira, THANKS. I will definitely use this in both my classes, and educate the parents who give me grief for not teaching AGW in my classroom. And maybe my colleagues, but as science teachers in a suburban high school, they know the science is so totally settled their minds are made up. 🙂

Don and Liz Healy

Under B 7: “The Temperature falls eight-hundred or more years prior to Temperature decreases.” ..should that last prtion not be CO2 decreases?
I greatly appreciate the presentation and will continue reading the rest of it.
Thanks
[THANKS for catching that error. I just fixed it. Ira]

John Trigge

Point B.6 states:
“What this shows, if anything, is that CO2 CAUSES TEMPERATURE, or, that something else causes both to change, with CO2 lagging by hundreds of years. ”
Shouldn’t this be “TEMPERATURE CAUSES CO2” as it appears you are referring to the real message in the ice record rather than what AG espouses?
[THANKS for catching that error. I just fixed it. Ira]

Don and Liz Healy

Correction to the correction; the quote came from section B. paragraph 6, not 7.
Thanks

Carl Chapman

For me, the most important point in the debate is the role of feedbacks. The Alarmists assume, with no reason and no evidence, that positive feedbacks will magnify the insignificant primary effect of CO2 by a factor of at least 3. A relatively stable system has to have negative feedbacks, which counteract any forced change. Measurements of outgoing energy vs increased temperatures indicate negative feedback reduces any forced change to about 1/3 of what it would be. That means the alarmist’s estimates, or scenarios, are out by a factor of about 9. A “Technology, Engineering, and Science Plus” group would be familiar with the concept of feedbacks.
I think some quotes from Richard Feynman are worthwhile. I’m sure I know what he would have said about people who ignore measurements and study the output of models, who “lose” their data rather than share it, and who continue on pushing a theory after their predictions repeatedly fail.

steptoe fan

yes, a good summary, still, it’s hard to swallow and stick to the basics when the AGW crowd seems to continually have their way with govt and media. makes a person want to repeatedly bat them with every exposed falsehood the IPCC cranked out.
in Seattle, this same group of the agenda have had their way for decades now, and the public schools have been teaching this gospel long enough that it is simply a matter of we are past the science now …
so, what’s a heated rhetoric correct comeback for … we’re past the science ?

Nice succinct summary – excellent job.
(And in the spirit of continuous improvement – I fear that there might be a minor typo or two in point 6 about temperature causing CO2)
[THANKS for catching that error. I just fixed it. Ira]

Karl

I like your overall presentation. I do not like your conclusion: “We can’t fight something with nothing.” This is appeasement. You favor heavily subsidized inefficient, intermittent wind and solar. Why? You’re an engineer. You know these don’t work…certainly not on a commerical/industrial scale.

One thing you’ve done, and I’ve seen elsewhere, that is really good is to talk about Earth’s 255 Kelvin blackbody temperature if it had no atmosphere, or at least no greenhouse effect. It gets people thinking about how different things could be, how important the greenhouse effect we have is, and is a giant step away from allowing yourself to be accused of denying there is a greenhouse effect. That also opens several paths for discussion about how it’s changing now.

Dougmanxx

“Climate change is a non-problem. The right answer to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing,”
Lord Christopher Monckton
This is also many times sound economic policy, but sadly we have gotten caught up in the cult of “do something” rather than letting the system fix itself. Do nothing. Be courageous.

Gerald

“You may be surprised that I favor some version of a straight Carbon Tax, collected at the mine, well, and port, with the proceeds returned on an equal basis to citizens and legal residents.”
After all the rational, well thought out, well reasoned discussion, you have failed to apply the same effort and analysis to this part of your solution?
After using so many words to say that increasing Co2 is not a catastrophe, now you want to tax it anyway? for what reason then? you just said it’s not necessary.
Never in the history of mankind has a company, corporation, or for profit organization paid taxes. in every instance the cost of taxes is simply passed on to the consumer. period. so what good will it do to have those same proceeds “returned to the citizens”? why not just let them keep it in the first place. installing a new “cash” loop in the system will only empower the politicians and propagate this theory of redistributing wealth. If you want to take from one person and give to another, then just say so and do that. don’t disguise it as some kind of tax to improve the environment. what a bunch of brainwashing B.S.

rbateman

Waste not, want not.
The unintended consequence of a carbon tax is, that once enacted, it will never go away, but grow into another pile of tax money that will be tossed to special interests.
The problem we have now with GISS (and other beaurocracies) is that they have figured out how to game the system to perpetuate themselves.
More beaurocracy and more taxes are not the answer, but you could make the argument that they are the problem.
Energy conservation is a good thing, especially when it doesn’t cost more.

Frank

Can I get university credit for reading this? Thank you so much.
In a nod to Ayn Rand…. B3 states a watt is a watt … A=A

Joe Prins

Sorry, Anthony, sir, I have to disagree with your point 8. You can fight the something with nothing. It is called the truth. The truth is that the over-regulation and environmental regulation of the (oil) industry makes recovery of available and proven assets currently too dear. Linking the blood spilled to the global warming argument is really too simplistic and simply wrong. It would have been simpler, and a lot cheaper, to not go to any war and simply buy the oil on the open market. Most oil hungry countries, including Europe, have done so for years. The war in Iraq and Afganistan is political and strategic. Looking at a map you will note that Iran and Syria are now seperated and sandwiched between the “friendly” powers of Israel, Iraq and Afganistan. And it still denies Russians a warm water port, although they are now trying to do that through Iran. This Canadian from Northern Alberta would like to make a friendly suggestion: Take the shackles of the (oil) industry, tax them if you must on production and in that way remove the dollars from the satraps in the Middle East.

Hector M.

The bit about ‘Mike’s Nature trick … to hide the decline’ is poorly described. The trick was about deleting the post-1960 part of tree-ring data because it implied a falling instead of a rising temperature, and collating instead instrumental data for the deleted period. Critics have argued that such divergence should have been shown and explained. Since no explanation has been provided, it has been suggested that tree-rings (in particular some of them) may not be a truthful indicator of temperatures even for periods without instrumental data.

gyptis444

In your text
CO2 CAUSES TEMPERATURE TO RISE or something causes both to rise.
[Thanks for pointing out my error. It has been fixed. Of course it is TEMPERATURE that CAUSES CO2 to rise. I knew that, but my tongue got in the way of my eye tooth and I couldn’t see what I was saying :^) Ira]
seems incorrect in view of the 800 years lag.
I feel your acceptance of carbon tax is misplaced tokenism. We Australians now have a Prime Minister and Federal Government who are captive to Green and Independent politicians who hold the balance of power. In the week before the last federal election, our Prime Minister repeatedly denied that she would introduce a carbon tax in the life of this Government. Six months later, she announced that she will in fact implement a carbon tax. Whatever is the initial level ($ per ton) it will surely escalate as rapidly as the Government can manage over the passage of time. This will have the effect of increasing the cost of living especially fossil fuels, transport (of everything including food and people), manufacturing, building – it is hard to think of any area of the economy which will not be impacted detrimentally by this tax. If you are an Australian manufacturer whose overheads increase to the point of being non-competitive with overseas plants, I suspect you will give up manufacturing and turn to importing the goods more cheaply from an overseas manufacturer who does not pay a carbon tax. End result: loss of Australian jobs, no reduction in global emissions, increased social welfare bill to be paid by the taxpayers, increased inflation and unemployment.
Also, I could not help noticing that your presentation does not even mention the IAC Review of IPCC processes. That report contains irrefutable evidence of political interference, lack of transparency, bias, failure to respond to critical review comments, poor handling of uncertainty, use of unpublished and non-peer-reviewed material which had not been critically evaluated or flagged as such. IPCC had no policy to preclude conflict of interest. With such malfeasance how could IPCC possibly arrive at the truth? If one is permitted to ‘cherry pick’ the data/literature accepting everything which suports AGW/CAGW and totally ignore any evidence to the contrary, one can prove anything you like!
I am a 68 year old retired person dependent on superannuation to support my wife and myself. I am not looking forward to having to choose between
(1) eating but freezing
(2) staying warm but starving
Either way I will suffer because of this idiocy!

David Falkner

This presentation does not speak to biological particulate matter. Does pollen absorb short or long wave radiation?

icecover

Sorry but there ain’t any warming, have a look at AMSU temps so not needed just feeding into AGW BS excuse moi LOL

Jerzy

Carl Chapman says:
May 30, 2011 at 9:07 pm
“The Alarmists assume, with no reason and no evidence, that positive feedbacks will magnify the insignificant primary effect of CO2 by a factor of at least 3.”
But most alarmists don’t know that they assume that.

jaypan

Nice work. Thank you.
However, it is starting with “TEMPERATURE CAUSES CO2, … with CO2 lagging by hundreds of years”, to concede later on that “… the warming is PARTLY Due to Rising CO2 Levels and human actions are PART of the Cause”.
How’s that working? If statement 1 is true, then statement 2must be wrong, and the other way around. Or am I wrong? Have been in the past …

“The bit about ‘Mike’s Nature trick … to hide the decline’ is poorly described. The trick was about deleting the post-1960 part of tree-ring data because it implied a falling instead of a rising temperature, and collating instead instrumental data for the deleted period. ”
Wrong. briffa deleted the data because
1. it didnt correlate with temperatures ( it was negative)
2 including it would have raised the estimate of the MWP
That is the explanation he gave in the primary lit.

izen

John Trigge says:
May 30, 2011 at 9:01 pm
“Point B.6 states:
“What this shows, if anything, is that CO2 CAUSES TEMPERATURE, or, that something else causes both to change, with CO2 lagging by hundreds of years. ”
Shouldn’t this be “TEMPERATURE CAUSES CO2″ as it appears you are referring to the real message in the ice record rather than what AG espouses?”
Temperature causes a CO2 rise for 1/6th of the effect and CO2 causes a temperature rise for the other 5/6ths of the warming.
Causation is not unidirectional in this instance, it is a positive feedback system.

Jack Hughes

Thanks for doing this.
I’m not sure if I agree with your conclusions about “having to do something instead of nothing”.
If you disagree with a religion you don’t have to set up a rival religion and you don’t have to compromise with them.

Layne Blanchard

Ira,
The other side is not interested in negotiation on this issue. Any ground they gain only serves to feed their obsession. After all, it isn’t really about the climate.
We’re dealing with an irrational cult. And there is good evidence these folks are mixed with others who intend us serious harm. Negotiation is pointless.
We could go all out with Thorium, and save the hydrocarbons for the other things we can make with them. But until this idea gains favor, there is no reason we shouldn’t go all out on coal, and the other vast supplies of hydrocarbons in the USA. We need to declare a national energy emergency, and begin re-establishing our pre-eminence of growth. The climate cabal has hobbled and damaged our economy. It must be destroyed completely, or like a vampire, will return to feed again. We would still manage our resources. But we need to find the proper way to separate the two issues in our dialog: To vanquish the cult, but still convey care for the environment.
The motives behind the entire issue of CO2 are:
1. A desire to suppress, damage, or destroy the US, (and other western economies)
2. A desire to create a global issue, requiring global government which would necessarily be dictatorial and socialist/communist/Malthusian wack job psycho evil.
3. A criminal desire to steal VAST amounts of wealth, with clingers on, rent seekers.
4. A self flagellating cult which loathes humanity and sees spiritual redemption in self deprivation.
Please note that reducing temperature isn’t on the list!
Q: Which of these groups should we try to reason with? A: None of them.
I think ample evidence exists in recent history. Nothing like a string of 50 news stories of catastrophic storms to dispel the notion of “disruption”. And Dr. Richard Keen’s article on highest records in North America and these two from Steve Goddard make a point anyone can understand.
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/june-1934-all-48-states-over-100-degrees/
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/1934-an-inconvenient-truth/

Dave Wendt

If you had quit after section C I would have granted you a conditional thumbs up, but after reading through section D, I’d say if that’s the best you’ve got you should just stay home and turn off your computer because you’re worse than the warmists. “We cannot fight something with nothing,” so instead of agreeing to something completely moronic we should settle for something that is merely incredibly stupid.
The folks taking advantage of this manufactured “climate crisis” to move their agenda ahead have been pushing that agenda relentlessly for more than a century. They like to think of themselves as revolutionaries, but they are really reactionaries against the only real revolution in human history. The one that said that the governors need to be subject to the people not, as has been the case over most of the world over most of history both before and since, that people must be subjects of the government. All the revolutionary liberation movements before and since have merely sought a coup de tat to replace one set of overlords with another with a different vocabulary and nomenclature but the essential subservience of the populous preserved. The notion that giving these folks just a little will dissuade them from their long term goals is incredibly naive. The ink wouldn’t be dry on the bill authorizing your Carbon Tax before they were back angling to undercut personal liberty and free economic choices with a barrage of new planet saving measures.
As to this incredible sentence
… I favor reduction of the carbon footprint by efficiency, conservation, recycling, and so on, plus the introduction, if and when economically practical of so-called “Green” energy, including Nuclear, Water, Wind, Biomass and, particularly, “Clean” Coal.
It is completely self contradictory. You claim to support efficiency and conservation, but then “particularly’ endorse “Clean” Coal, by which I assume you mean the current absurd proposal that all new coal powered generating plant be required to capture and sequester their CO2 emissions. Every analysis of these plans that I have seen suggests that they would increase the fuel input required for each unit of output by at least 50% which seems to me to be the exact opposite of increased efficiency and conservation.
If we really can’t be bothered to defend personal liberty and economic freedom from the new feudal lords of the world’s dictatorial bureaucracies we probably deserve our fate, but there is no need to hasten its arrival by wrapping their treachery in a protective cloak of supposedly “skeptical science”

brc

I definitely disagree with a carbon tax. While it sounds theoretically efficient, tax collection and redistribution is not a zero sum game. Even the most scrupulous government and tax office is going to burn a lot of that money in collection, prosecution and auditing. Then, if you climb back down from a theoretical land where politicians are pure of heart, then you end up in a situation where you have opened up another wedge for lobbyists and special interest groups to carve out their own niches in the legislation., to enrich themselves and weaken their competitors. You’ve only got to look at the bio fuels mess to see where it would end up.
Once the government gets a tax collection in place, it can’t leave it alone. So you can expect gradually increasing taxation and less and less compensation paid, until it ends up as just another revenue source, just like cigarettes, alcohol and liquid fuels.
If you sincerely believe that reducing carbon emissions is a problem, then by all means put a sunset clause on existing types of power generation – eventually all the old ones will be decommissioned and you’ll have gotten rid of them without disrupting anyone. There is no point in taxing existing infrastructure and destroying wealth for token gestures. Eventually new technology will arrive and make old technology obsolete. One single breakthrough in cold fusion or hot fusion, one single development in fission nuclear – and the whole game changes. And when that happens, the most important thing that will be required is flexible energy laws and regulations, and access to deep capital markets to develop and roll out the new technology.
In other words, sit back and wait for the inevitable technological breakthrough. It will happen so fast your head will spin. You didn’t have to tax horseshit to get the Model T made. All you had to do was let Henry Ford have a go and keep his winnings.

juanslayton

I think your description of the present results of the surfacestations project will be challenged. The results are not so simple as the impression left in B-13. The evidence for UHI in specific sites is clear enough, and can be invoked whether or not the larger picture remains under investigation. Perhaps a slight rewording will avoid a challenge.

StuartMcL

I’m with Carl Chapman. To me, the biggest flaw in the Alarmist argument is their insistence on strong positive forcings resulting in catastrophic outcomes.
Any system in which strong positive feedbacks are dominant must eventually destroy itself. Based on the relative stability of historical climate over millions of years it seems fairly clear to me that negative feedbacks must be predominant.

izen

@- Carl Chapman says:
May 30, 2011 at 9:07 pm
“For me, the most important point in the debate is the role of feedbacks. The Alarmists assume, with no reason and no evidence, that positive feedbacks will magnify the insignificant primary effect of CO2 by a factor of at least 3. A relatively stable system has to have negative feedbacks, which counteract any forced change.”
But the climate DOES change in response to the Milankovitch cycles, ice-cover loss and volcanoe eruptions. The magnitude of those changes to small causative effects are the reason and evidence the ‘warmists’ have for the present estimates of climate sensitivity.
” Measurements of outgoing energy vs increased temperatures indicate negative feedback reduces any forced change to about 1/3 of what it would be. ”
That is very difficult to reconcile with the MWP, LIA and the effect of large volcanic eruptions. It would also negate any effect from the measured changes in solar energy, they would be FAR too small to show up in the climate if they are reduced in effect by 1/3rd.

galileonardo

Ira,
If it wasn’t 2 am I’d be more specific, but speaking from just the graphic communication standpoint, I think you miss the mark a decent bit. I hope you are open to such critique, and I apologize if not, but I think you do not do your important message justice with your slides. I concede that I am using the Google doc conversion of your file, so what I am seeing is likely not quite an accurate representation of what you are presenting. But if I had to sum up my advice in a word it would be this: simplify.
Just because you can make a cast shadow doesn’t mean one is required. There are many “easy” fixes you could make to better present your message visually and have your audience absorb more of it. And you certainly do not want to overwhelm your audience with cluttered/whizbang graphics. You don’t have to fill every square inch. Add/modify slides if necessary. Again: simplify. Think timeless, minimalist.
If you return to that ideology you will be surprised at how easy it is to get your message across, not only graphically but verbally (and don’t be surprised if by simplifying your graphics you find yourself simplifying the verbal content). I would also advise against too much rhetoric (me, of all people, I know). All it takes is one word to turn some of your audience off and it can be contagious.
Well now you got me started but my bed beckons me. I have dealt with critiques such as this one I am giving for a long time, so I hope this isn’t an offense. And remember, I’m looking at a Google doc. Your slides may look quite different from what I am seeing. As for my critique, the goal is to improve the work, not “rip it to pieces.” I love critiques as they have so often helped me in particular instances and thereafter. Hopefully you share those sentiments.
Let’s quickly take slide #3. My suggestions. You use a high-resolution image of the Earth on #1 but then in #3 use a highly pixelated lo-res picture, and further it appears to be placed upside-down near as I can tell. NASA provides hi-res images of all three bodies you are free to use. I suggest you track some down and replace them. I would suggest getting rid of all extraneous text effects, even the dashes in the arrow shafts (solid lines). Make your title stand out as currently all of the larger text titles are competing with each other. Reduce font size as needed and tighten leading if it helps fit issues.. You aren’t making eye charts. Use a smaller image of the sun that still “contains” the related text block. Get rid of the blue stroke around the Earth. Make “Earth System” block of text a solid single color without a stroke. Make text color throughout more uniform and use less of them (good old white text can be magical, as can “white space”). Same with your number of fonts. Pick a different color for “Heat” label. Hard to read.
All right. Now I really am off to bed. I’ll have another look tomorrow night, time permitting, though I’m sure there are other graphically-inclined members of the WUWT audience that can lend an opinion, hand or, stylus to you. Best of luck.

Steeptown

What about the gravitational compression being the cause of the surface temperature being 288K (33C higher) rather than 255K, which as about 5k above the surface, in the troposphere, where the mean is of the IR emitted to space? IOW, it is nothing to do with the “greenhouse effect”. Or am I just a DAGW?

Here is another vote to NOT appease the alarmists. To give even an inch, puts their evil agenda one inch closer to implementation. They will come back time after time until they get their goals, one inch at a time.
We accepted nothing less than unconditional surrender from the WWII perpetrators and we should accept nothing less from the perpetrators of the climate fraud, another attempt to take over the world. I say this based on the fact that the key people know they are cheating to scare people into action. Some of them have actually admitted to exaggerating to scare people!
Thanks
JK

Tenuc

Nice clear and logical presentation, Ira, but a couple of things missing…
The role of spatio-temporal chaos and complexity in our climate system.
The problems with GCM’s and why they are useless at predicting future climate outcomes.
Your concluding argument conflates mitigating climate change with energy independence. As CO2 levels lag temperature, as you confirm at the start of your presentation, there is no logic to your assertion. ‘Do nothing’ is the only valid conclusion, as we just don’t know if we are going to be lucky enough have another climate optimum or end up in with a little ice age again.
Hope the presentation goes well for you – ‘break a leg’.

TA

Personally, I think deniers (mostly rational people) should be pushing for large-scale mitigation of black carbon (soot). It seems to speed up the melting of ice, which unlocks more water into our hydrosphere. Since we all know water vapor is the greatest GHG of them all, it would seem a no-brainer in eliminating this particulate from our environment and receive immediate benefits. Not to mention the health benefits we would get from not inhaling it.
I think the positive news that would result from eliminating (or severely curtailing) our output would put the alarmists on their heels.
Will it ever happen? I highly doubt it. They are ‘all-in’ on tying all GHG mitigation schemes to CO2. It’s madness.

Doug in Seattle

I agree with almost all of what you are saying, except the business of the carbon tax.
As an environmental I practice a personal policy of doing no harm. A carbon tax will do harm. It will make energy more expensive and will be abused by politicians and bureaucrats.
I see no harm in supporting research into alternatives, but that would not require another new tax. All we would need to do is transfer the funding currently wasted on global warming modeling the derivatives based on that modeling. There’s many billions there.

Kev-in-Uk

jaypan says:
May 30, 2011 at 10:31 pm
Yes – a point that seems to get ignored. If we accept the 800-1200 year TEMP vs CO2 lag is valid – then there is no real way to consider that 100 years of CO2 increases will cause any warming for another 700 years!!
The time lag in ice cores is a measurable piece of info – implying that any CO2 change will rise 800-1200 years AFTER a temperature change. So, it is reasonable to conclude that at least some of the current warming is due to events that happened 800-1200 years ago.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientists level of understanding to subtract 800 to 1200 years from 2010 and come up with a ‘date’ of 800 to 1200AD for the time period when the temperature was hotter. And what do we find in that period – oh, look, it’s the Medieval Warm Period !!
Hence the reason the ‘team’ want to expunge the MWP!
So funny – it’s sad….

Logan

I quickly reviewed the PP, and it is indeed a great job, but too complex for many in the audience, and it omits certain points.
First, the ‘390 ppm’ is in itself a propaganda spin to make 0.04% sound larger. In speaking one would remark that the human contribution is about one-hundredth of one percent. Then, go on to Carl Chapman’s point that a dubious positive feedback is required. Mention Roy Spencer.
http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-101/
who is an expert critic of feedbacks and includes an overview on his website.
Next, include more on natural cycles and the solar-terrestrial aspects. Mention that Cycle 24 is probably an analogy to the Dalton Minimum.
You might mention the Petition Project, to refutes the ‘consensus’ claim.
And, include a mention of the Green Agenda website —
http://www.green-agenda.com/
and tell everyone to read down the list of quotations from environmentalists and other alleged leaders. If any normal person reads that list, they will realize that AGW is not about science in the first place! You include some of the climategate emails, and you could also include some of the more extreme quotes.
Logan

Doug in Seattle

That should be “environmental professional” in my reply to Ira G.
Dang keyboards always fail to read my mind correctly.

BravoZulu

I favor efficiency and conservation as well. It is just common sense. I agreed with practically everything you wrote. I would certainly not favor labeling it reducing the carbon footprint or giving intellectual validation to alarmist political speech. I would state what you said which invalidates the alarmism and cuts their argument off at the knees. There is no need to invalidate the arguments of those that say humans haven’t caused any warming. Just correct that to say significant warming and for all practical purposes they are usually saying the same thing as you even though they may not be technically correct. Who cares about the fraction of a degree and why pander to paranoid types that do. I would never validate what any political activist says or even sound like I was. They will just use that validation as evidence how right they are.

Barry

I haven’t had the chance to complete the article yet, but something caught my eye. It says
Catastrophic Anthropomorphic Global Warming. I think you meant Anthropogenic
[THANKS Barry, I fixed it. Ira]

Richard111

I still cannot get my head around the claim that, say, 15 micron radiation from a cool body will be absorbed by a warmer body that is already radiating at 15 microns proportional to its greater temperature.
A solid body has a much larger heat capacity than a gaseous body. For each body the emitted radiation is a COOLING process. The warmer body will have a huge surplus of molecules that have emitted 15 micron radiation so will be able to absorb that 15 micron radiation from the cool body above. THAT ABSORBED RADIATION CAN ONLY RETURN THE ABSORBING MOLECULE TO THE ENERGY STATE THAT EXISTS AT THE SURFACE OF THE SOLID BODY. That absorbed energy CANNOT pass into the layer of WARMER molecules below.
To claim otherwise means radiative cooling under any conditions cannot exist.

I’m sorry Ira – I don’t agree about the can’t fight something with nothing and that going down the carbon (sic) tax route is the least painful option.
I think its the start of a very slippery green-owned slope that will be used to wield a large stick over the middle classes of the world in an attempt to appease feelings of guilt for simply existing.
In Australia – the carbon tax is just a wealth redistruibution exercise
1. tax the sources
2. who will then put up the costs
3. compensate ‘exposed’ industries
4. compensate ‘poor’ households.
5. spend the leftovers on green energy projects
Can you see who foots the bill? Anyone above the arbitarily drawn line in the sand. Today, the tax might be $20 a tonne and the line drawn at $80k and over, tomorrow it could be $100 a tonne and then paid back in means tested bands until its just the ‘wealthy’ middle classes foot the majority of the costs.
In the meantime, the government incurrs huge administration costs and the money-go-round is only left with a tiny bit for green projects that actually do nothing of note.
Its a socialist’s wet dream and one we can’t let slip through in any shape or form .

Paul Deacon

Thank you, Anthony, for your useful resources in the fight. In general, I find your arguments unduly complicated (but I do not know your audience).
I think you should say something about global computer modelling, and its preponderance on the warmist side of the argument. You might probably also draw out the following:
– The scientific agenda is controlled by the modellers (fudge makers).
– Convincing empirical evidence supporting the warmists is as yet lacking (and positive feedbacks in the models have not been proven).
– The warmists, who control the agenda, are not prepared to countenance natural variation (the “null hypothesis”). It is only because they control the agenda that they can do this.
– The sceptics are empiricists, the warmists are theoretical thinkers (we have perhaps a classic stand-off that has existed since 17th century philosophy, say Descartes vs. Locke – I suspect that the UK has become thoroughly Europeanised in its philosophical and scientific thinking over the last generation or so, tending away from empiricism).
– The possibility of a non-warmist theory gaining currency and becoming generally accepted (e.g. the Svensmark cosmic ray hypothesis).
– How many years can pass without warming before the general public reject warmism?
I am (very) disappointed with your political conclusion, which does not follow in any way from your previous thought. There is plenty of ammunition with which to fight the political fight. Essentially, warmism should be fought FROM THE LEFT. That is to say, sceptics should bang the following drums:
– Increased energy prices and/or rationing are highly damaging to developing countries, which need cheap, abundant energy in order to lift their peoples out of poverty.
– “Carbon” taxes are regressive taxes (they hit the poor more than the rich).
– The practical social consequences of “anti-carbonism” can fairly be described as undesirable (if not downright evil). Among these consequences are increased world food prices brought about by bio-fuel policies in the USA and the EU, which cause hunger and starvation.
– And so on.
All the best, and good luck with your talk.
p.s. Please note that “adjusting” historic climate data will come back and bite the warmists, as with the passage of time it becomes a game of diminishing returns (or perhaps more accurately “negative feedbacks”).

Keith Minto

Ira, an excellent report.
Is that 800yr CO2 miss- match with temperature consistent at 800yrs and repeatable over time ? I say this as I have not seen graphs with enough resolution to convince me.

P. Solar

I would suggest anyone wishing to use this guide or the associated PowerPoint document for presentation to or education of others corrects the abundant misuse of capitalisation and scientific units. It does not help when presenting yourself as an authority if you can’t write properly, or if you pretend to lecture people on science yet you write Watt instead of watt.
It’s a simple question of credibility.
Almost every other common noun and even adjectives are capitalised throughout this text. English grammar (unlike German) only capitalises proper nouns , ie. names of people, buildings, organisations, countries etc.
The sea, air, atmosphere, coal, wind, wood are common nouns and should not be capitalised.

recycling, and so on, plus the introduction, if and when economically practical of so-called “Green” energy, including Nuclear, Water, Wind, Biomass and, particularly, “Clean” Coal.

Not one of those capitals is grammatically correct.
“The Temperature falls eight-hundred or more years prior”
The temperature of an object is a simple property like its colour or smell, it is not its name. No capital T.
“a temperature of only 255 Kelvin, where Kelvins are degrees Celsius above absolute zero. ”
S.I. standards state that unit names in full, like kelvin are not to be capitalised. The abbreviated form (K) usually is a capital. So temperatures are measured in kelvin not Kelvin not Kelvins.
” while the Atmospheric effect works”
Words that describe something are called adjectives , eg. big, fat, cool, foreign, artificial, stupid, ignorant… they are not even common nouns and should not be capitalised.
This is not pedantry, if you want to present yourself as a knowledgeable authority and lecture others it helps if you can write properly.

Philip

Nice article. I especially like the clarity of your alarmist/disbeliever dichotomy. Seems to me they are just two sides of the same coin … everybody who disagrees with them must be a paid up member of the opposite side.

AusieDan

With respect, your conclusion is wrong.
Your proposed method is defeatism – appeasment.
That was tried before in the 1930’s.
Hitler just took what we gave and demanded more.
The Greens will never be satisfied until a (very) few of us are back, living in caves and hunting with spears.
The AGW fallacy can be defeated.
In fact it is being defeated as we debate.
Ordinary people are realising one by one, in the privacy of their homes, that they have been trcked.
They do not like it.
We don’t have to fight with empty hands.
As already said, the truth is a powerful weapon.
There is comedy and sarcasm as well.
These are strong medicine.
The Australian leader of the opposition, Tony Abbott is winning the fight as he engages everyday with people in their workplaces in small groups.
It concentrates the mind most wonderfully when you realise that the path to hell is not only paved with what looks like gold, but that it takes your job away and your family and way of life will suffer.
The popularity of the Australian government is now down to 28% and they are too fearful to put the proposed carbon tax to an election.
We will win.
There is no doubt.
But please do not conceed the battlefield when the beginning of the end is now so clearly in sight.

Much has changed in the three years I’ve been engaging others on the subject of climate change.
The average person, without much understanding or political inclination seemed to had been swayed by much of what was read in the paper, or saw on television.
Most had a vague understanding for the subject, but usually was verbatim from what they heard or read, and usually not a subject most would discuss at any length. That could have been for either, not knowing enough about the subject or not feeling comfortable about talking about it with strangers.
Since Climategate, much of that has changed.
Climategate has done more for the common man or woman than we know. While Climategate might not be the subject that is talked about, more people are willing to express their skepticism.
When people ask me what I like to do when not consulting, I tell them I manage a climate blog.
Silence usually follows, or a pause, but almost every time I am asked what I think.
So I tell them. I tell them global warming is a farce.
And the ones I talk with always, and I do mean always, agree with me.
The average person that’s skeptical, are apprehensive with a stranger when it comes to bringing the topic up. But once you open the door, they become talkative and seem to ask me more and more questions.
The word is getting out, regardless how hard the alarmist screams we have reached a tipping point.
I guess what I want to say is, that while the media wishes us to believe that Climategate was a non-factor, it has struck a chord among the common man and woman that I don’t think the alarmist community will ever recover from.
It sure is a good feeling to come from being laughed at for my opinion,to being just another among many that think that CAGW is a lie.
We truly have come a long way.

Jeff B.

I second Karl above. As a fellow engineer why are you for wasting money on things like wind and solar that don’t work but that will waste a lot of capital fast? Your duty is to say no to such folly. For if other scientists and particularly engineers who convert science into reality won’t say “no,” who will?
Further I don’t submit willingly to a carbon tax as the best way to throw a bone to the political class. You should also be able to see how thoroughly they have squandered other taxes. Giving them more never helps. Case in point, Seattle Public Schools as mentioned by steptoe fan.