They Laughed when I said I did not believe in man-made global warming — then I told them to read Michael Crichton

By Mick Gregory

They were sipping Pinot Noir and a vat-variety of white wine in plastic cups at the Museum of Modern Art NPR members party when I broke out of my PC polite trance and said “I just read Michael Crichton’s book ‘State of Fear’ and I believe that we progressives had better think again about all this before we jump on the Al Gore ‘Prius bandwagon.” To myself, I’m starting to refer to those hybrids as the Pious mobiles, akin to the Pope Mobile.

Then they became quiet. One of the most outspoken of the creatives, an art director for a non-profit, said, “what? You would follow a novel for advice rather than the Oscar-winning “Inconvenient Truth?” I said “yup.” Just Google Michael Crichton some time.

“Not!” The smug pony tailed aging boomer smirked. Laughing to his “groupies.”

“Hey, I even listen to Rush podcasts,” that’s how open minded I am,” as I proudly watched them break off the conversation.

Shock your liberal and progressive friends. Not only tell them about Crichton’s “State of Fear,” but also
“The Skeptical Environmentalist.”

Later that night, after a 45 minute BART ride, among burned out office workers, shoppers and members of the homeless substance abuse community, I checked my email, and read this on the Drudge Report:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein offers plenty of tips on how California households can combat global warming, such as carpooling and running only a full dishwasher.

But one bit of information Feinstein declines to share is the number of times that she flew last year on her husband’s Gulfstream jet, which burns much more fuel per passenger-mile than commercial airliners.

I thought (what would my Progressive friends say?) “Senator DiFi is one of our leaders. Of course she has to get the message out.”

http://www.michaelcrichton.net.

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67 thoughts on “They Laughed when I said I did not believe in man-made global warming — then I told them to read Michael Crichton

  1. Are you curious as to how such a fat, feeble rich brat got to be Vice President? Yet, he never worked a day in his life at a real job in the free market. Google this:

    Epstein, Edward Jay. Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer. New York: Random House, 1996. 418 pages.

  2. Excellent. You were ahead of the curve. Keep your fingers crossed and do some sort of Druid chant to get AlGore to run for the presidency. Oh, what fun we will have.

  3. This from Nuke Gingrich (linked under Citizen Journalism).
    Gore helped found Generation Investment Management, through which he and others pay for offsets. The firm invests the money in solar, wind and other projects that reduce energy consumption around the globe…

    As co-founder and chairman of the firm … he “buys” his “carbon offsets” from himself, through a transaction designed to boost his own investments and return a profit to himself.

  4. You make the same sort of non-sequitor arguments about global warmings as liberals make about the War in Iraq. To say that man made global warming doesn’t exist because Diane Feinstein flies a Gulfstream is equivalent to saying that Bush can’t be a Commander in chief because he was never a second Leuitanant in Viet Nam.

    There is a legitimate argument to say that science should not be decided by a documentary. You can make the case that all Global Warming hypotheses are based on statistical models that have many unproven underlying assumptions. However, to say it’s wrong because one of it’s proponents is a big, fat boring idiot is not akin to liberals saying that we are to blame for Jihadism because we once supplied the Mujahadeen with arms to fight Russia.

    A pox on both your logic shirking, middle-brow rhetoric spewing houses.

  5. Stern, You may not have known that one president lives in a reasonable 4,000 sq. ft. home that is completely “green” with solar panels, grey and rain water irrigation. He is George W. Bush.

    One president pushed for the EPA and stopped biological weapon development by the United States. He was Richard Nixon.

    Al Gore grew up in a penthouse on top of a hotel tower, yet told farmers in campaign speeches that he cleaned out hog pins and plowed the side of a hill with a mule.

    Go ahead and keep voting for Democrat party.

  6. Mick;

    Have you no ability to parse through a complex argument? I equated the ridiculousness of your core argument with the idiocy of liberal arguments. Obviously, that means I have no respect for the intellect of Liberals. Why would I vote Democratic? What I am saying is that the proponents of an argument have little bearing on the inherent logic of the position.

    I’m not going to go through the core arguments. It is neither provable nor disproveable that man has an effect on the current warming cycle. Nor do most of us have the science background to evaluate the arguments for or against the human component of warming. However, you, sir, are an idiot for using the Liberal tactic of ridiculing a proponent, instead of discussing a core issue.

  7. Stern, you seem to be highly educated and intelligent. My argument started with tearing into the Progressive Democrat policy of creating a “crisis” that only more government can solve. More taxes on America’s middle class and free enterprise.

    And none of the man-made global warming crisis is backed by science.

  8. How many books have you read about global warming? Have you read any of the research? Did you know that Bush censored scientists’ reports to the White House – meaning that some important parts were left out? Rush Limbaugh is not openminded at all. He is as insane as Ann Coulter.

  9. Let’s take both of these issues.

    Mick;

    Conservatives are just as vulnerable to the “create a crisis in order to solve it” accusation. Liberal crises usually require more taxes, higher spending and boring speeches. Republican crises usually require a Carrier Group and yellow ribbons on an SUV.

    As people of reason, we should look at arguments from both sides with orderly skepticism. The fact that a crises is presented by your political friends should not give it credence and the fact that it is presented by your enemies does not make it false. So, I doubt all crises and make relatively few judgements unless it’s something where I have some primary expertise.

    Light Contrast;

    I have read no popular books on global warming but I have participated in some of the science surrounding measuring global tempratures. I used some weather science to create weather maps for dating archaeological artifacts. That was 30 years ago and I can claim no expertise. I know more about the science than most, and couldn’t evaluate whether the temp depressing effects of reduced sunlight are counterbalanced by the greenhouse effect. If you can argue the math with me, then I might respect your opinio . Otherwise, your just a guy who read a book.

  10. Stern, I’m guessing that you know a “hellava” lot more about science than AlGore. He flunked out of Divinity School. But I digress. I am amazed at all how gullible the followers of manmade global warming are, especially for computer modeling. Yet, they ignore computer modeling when it comes to business issues.

    Just scroll back two weeks and see the momentum the Big Government lefties had going for them. Now, the Web with its thousands of citizen journalists have pointed out that AlGore isn’t wearing any clothes.

    More scientists are coming forward, a new movie that totally buries “An Inconvenient Truth” is being produced. And The Skeptical Environmentalist, and State of Fear have caught second winds in sales are picking up. Next, Michael Savage announced a Skeptic’s Report on Global Warming coming to San Francisco.

    That is the power of blogs and Web 2.0 ladies and gentlemen.

  11. Mick;

    Now that we’ve got it out of the way that none of us has any primary knowledge, I’ll give my opinion on the human impact to climate change. It’s just an opinion, and has no merit except to keep me warm and fuzzy at night. I do believe that there is a human component to climate change. And, yes, I have some complicated models that I base this on. We are in a natural warming cycle, + we are adding heat energy into the atmospheric cooker that is retaining longer because we have added a bit more liquid and particulates into the soupy mix.

    I do not believe that any meaningful government action will reduce man caused global warming. The government doesn’t know how to get intended actions out of it’s directives, and the unintended consequences of economic dislocation are predictable.

    Every logical person, however, know that moving away from an oil based economy would have more positive than negative effects. Primarily, we would reduce the power of repressive regimes and we could make more rationale strategic decisions.

    The reason to reduce reliance on oil is not climate change, though it is possible that it could have a positive effect (it is also possible that it could have a negative effect. None of us understand the math). The reason to reduce reliance on oil, even domestic oil, is that it increases the Poker hand of bad people.

  12. Yes, I agree totally with you Stern. I’m hoping new electric/biofuel hybrids will catch on and the tyrants of the world can swim in their oil reserves.

  13. Stern,

    Those comments were actually aimed at Mick. I’ve been here before. I am floored that we would call Limbaugh openminded…absolutely stunned.

  14. I’m getting bashed a little for saying I listen to Rush podcasts.

    The words progressive and liberal have been totally flipped over the past 100 years. Today progressive/liberal means fascist.

  15. Really? I though Fascist was associated with Republicans. Only Republicans would try to overthrow democracy overseas that conflict with our interests over there. Only Republicans like Christopher Hitchens would use the word Islamofascism to describe Islamic Fundamentalists. Islam and Fascism are entirely unrelated. Bush Senior pardoned Orlando Bosch, an anti-Castro activist, he’s a known terrorist, that was in 1990. Carriles once worked for the CIA in 1961-1976, a known terrorist abroad. He was responsible for a plane bombing that killed 73 people. Chavez wants him to be tried for crimes against humanity, but I somehow don’t think Bush would ever allow that.

  16. Limbaugh tried to cover up the fact that he was taking drugs and getting them illegally at that. Or did you miss the coverage of the scandal? I thought everyone knew about it.

  17. Hey, Mick.

    This from Nuke Gingrich (linked under Citizen Journalism).
    Gore helped found Generation Investment Management, through which he and others pay for offsets. The firm invests the money in solar, wind and other projects that reduce energy consumption around the globe…

    As co-founder and chairman of the firm … he “buys” his “carbon offsets” from himself, through a transaction designed to boost his own investments and return a profit to himself.

    I posted about this on my blog. It doesn’t quite work the way that you’ve explained. Al Gore’s company may invest in green companies, but that is separate from the offsets. The offsets come from two specific companies that are paid to help ensure that GIM and all employees are carbon neutral. This was yet another conservative attempt to avoid the debate over actual global warming data by demonizing Al Gore with false information. I’d have less of a problem with it if the information were accurate.

    Nice comments, Stern. I like your approach to this. However, if as you say, none of us understand the math, should we then defer to those who do, and then trust their determinations as to the causes and effects of global warming? Just a question. That’s been my approach so far.

  18. Reasic, Nuke Gingrich is a friend of mine. You sir are no Nuke Gingrich. But I do agree with you that we can’t let a small segment of elites, whether they are scientists, celebrities or media, decide what is the moral thing to do, while they live like royalty.

    This is very clear to me, Gore is a hypocrite and a bloated, feeble rich brat who never worked in the real world.

    And this carbon credit scheme of his just finished off his chance to ever run for president or even city council member in Memphis Tennessee again. And you are defending him?

  19. You created a fallacious logic circle. You started with the assumption that he’s a hypocrite, and finished with questioning my choice to defend him because he’s a hypocrite. I can’t speak for any other instances of hypocrisy that you’ve not mentioned, and I don’t care to, mainly because I don’t care for defending Al Gore because he’s a great guy. I do, however think it’s ludicrous how this attack on Gore has been thrown around instead of a real dialogue on global warming. What makes it even worse is that the claims are false. He may be a hypocrite for whatever other reasons you know of, but these charges are flatly false. If you looked at the link, you’d see why.

  20. reasic, you assume that Al Gore is a great guy… Where do you get that information? Tell me a real job he held. Tell me about his Occidental Petroleum investments and how about his middle name? It’s Albert A. Gore. What does the A stand for? Google it. I would be delighted to see if you follow up on this.

  21. Hi Mick,

    Gore has done manual labor. Remember during his campaign for Vice President when he addressed the tobacco growers association and said, “I’ve sown it. I’ve hoed it. I’ve picked it…” So there 😉

    lightcontrast, I’ve read a good deal of the research on Global Warming. I’ve read the IPCC reports. I’ve kept an eye on the news. I’ve followed the money. It’s a hoax. The “science” is, at best, shaky, supported only by sketchy data manipulated with overly complex statistical methods to support a predetermined result. If the UN and various National Governments weren’t offering billions of dollars each year in research grants to any “climate scientist” who will dance to their tune, the subject would be listed along with UFO sightings and bigfoot.

    the Grit

  22. reasic, you assume that Al Gore is a great guy… Where do you get that information? Tell me a real job he held. Tell me about his Occidental Petroleum investments and how about his middle name? It’s Albert A. Gore. What does the A stand for? Google it. I would be delighted to see if you follow up on this.

    Mick, I don’t assume Gore’s a great guy. I looked into the allegations, and found them to be false. I’ve already said that I don’t know about his character or any other claims you may know of, so I’m not sure where you’re getting that.

    I see that Al’s middle name is Arnold, but I’m not sure what that has to do with anything.

    As I’ve said before, Al Gore’s involvement with the issue of global warming is not what has convinced me, so these character assassinations don’t affect my opinion on the subject.

    You could prove to me that these allegations and many others against Al Gore are true, and it wouldn’t change my mind about global warming. This is because it’s not about what kind of person Al Gore is. It’s about the validity of the science.

  23. Hey, the Grit.

    I’ve followed the money. It’s a hoax. The “science” is, at best, shaky, supported only by sketchy data manipulated with overly complex statistical methods to support a predetermined result. If the UN and various National Governments weren’t offering billions of dollars each year in research grants to any “climate scientist” who will dance to their tune, the subject would be listed along with UFO sightings and bigfoot.

    So, according to your logic, the UN and various national governments want to fund research that will prove AGW? I’m not sure I follow that one. I might be able to understand the idea that scientists want to create a problem so that they can get funding, but the idea that the sources of the funding stand to benefit in some way from proving AGW doesn’t make sense to me.

  24. Do ice ages and tropical climate shifts as well as observed warming and melting of ice caps on Mars mean register with your “logic?”

  25. Pingback: Martian Warming « Reasic

  26. Hi Reasic,

    The sources of research funding are Governments. Governments, and individuals in them, benefit from any reason to increase their regulatory range. This gives them more authority, additional sources of revenue (can you say “carbon tax?) and justifies their existence to their subjects.

    As to scientists being willing to take money in exchange for “correcting” their findings, you must keep in mind that they are just people. Besides, the source of research funding has long been a subject for claiming influence on the end result. Remember how many scientists the tobacco companies had on staff? Even in the Global Warming debate, any scientist who takes a few thousand dollars from an oil company is instantly tainted. A few BILLION dollars from sources with a different agenda would, logically, seem to be far more effective at biasing the opinions of the recipients.

    the Grit

  27. Mick, did you read my post on the Martian warming issue?

    I also need you to be more specific on the other two issues you mentioned. What about the “ice age” and “tropical climate shifts” were you questioning?

  28. I read your post. But you seemed to trivialize a very important link to solar warming and sun spot activity.

    My comments about waves of warming and cooling are the elephant in the living room of the global warming (socialist global government) movement. Dramatic climate change fluctuates about every 15,000 years. We are still in the warm period of the cyclical movements.

    There is also a dramatic wobble of the earth’s axis. It just occurred, reported by the BBC. That shifts the poles by some 3 degrees.
    Man-made CO2 has nothing to do with any of this.

  29. Mick,

    Could you provide some links and quotes? It’s hard for me to address your claims without more specific information.

  30. You said it. DiFi is about as beneficial to this country as SanFranNan – They are total hypocrites and never practice what
    they preach. It’s time the ‘representatives’ of this country start
    acting like they are their in our behalf rather than acting as though
    they were to the manner born.

    If these people really cared about this issue and believed it, wouldn’t they be passing bills to get the ‘water’ engine and the ‘air’ engine on the market? Wouldn’t they at least be having their own vehicles converted? Isn’t it ironic to anyone other than me that G.W. Bush is the most ‘green’ among them as far as his actions are concerned? He practices what they preach, yet he is the bad guy. Interesting.
    WC

  31. Hi WC,

    You have to keep in mind that many of the liberal for soldiers don’t know that Bush, rather than being the uneducated rube, has a bachelors degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard, where as Gore, the Great Prophet of Global Warming, flunked out of divinity school at Vanderbilt.

    Reasic, what, no answer about the influence of money on the part of Global Warming Alarmists?

    Mick, I am most honored! To the best of my recollection, I have never had “esquire” associated with me, although I have long wanted to. Many thanks!

    the Grit

  32. Grit,

    Sure, I can talk about politics and stuff if you want, although I’d rather talk about climate science…

    Hi Reasic,

    The sources of research funding are Governments. Governments, and individuals in them, benefit from any reason to increase their regulatory range. This gives them more authority, additional sources of revenue (can you say “carbon tax?) and justifies their existence to their subjects.

    To me, this is a very nonsensical conspiracy theory. You’re saying that all members of every government that funds research on global warming have agreed to do so for the explicit purpose of staying in power? They don’t really believe any of it, they just want to keep the people thinking that they’ll die in a big burning ball of flames if they don’t do something about global warming, right? That’s funny, ’cause it’s kind of contrary to my government’s approach to the subject, since George Bush has appointed oil lobbyists and the like in positions where they would edit government scientists’ work. He also opted out of the Kyoto Protocol and has mostly resisted any efforts to do something about it. Also, there have been many members of Congress, Rohrabacher for example, who have been avid skeptics, spewing all kinds of nonsensical arguments at any hearing they held. No, there definitely does not seem to be any kind of conspiracy in my government to support global warming.

    As to scientists being willing to take money in exchange for “correcting” their findings, you must keep in mind that they are just people.

    I am well aware that this could happen, but the good thing about it is that we can actually look at their work and see if it has. This is science. It’s either valid and able to be replicated, or it’s not. So, if they’re just making up numbers in order to get a particular result, that would be tested and found to be wrong in the peer-review process. That, to my knowledge, hasn’t happened.

    Besides, the source of research funding has long been a subject for claiming influence on the end result. Remember how many scientists the tobacco companies had on staff?

    It’s funny you mention that, because I equate the scientists who basically work for the oil companies and energy companies to the tobacco scientists. It was not beneficial for the tobacco companies to have everyone believing that smoking can kill you, so they paid scientists to distort the evidence and confuse the issue. Fortunately now, we know the truth. Here again, the industry is funding another effort to confuse the public with distortions of the science and with misleading statements from “real scientists.”

    Even in the Global Warming debate, any scientist who takes a few thousand dollars from an oil company is instantly tainted. A few BILLION dollars from sources with a different agenda would, logically, seem to be far more effective at biasing the opinions of the recipients.

    First, we must remember that the scientists on industry’s payroll are vastly outnumbered, so it would not cost near as much to pay them the same amount. Second, the amount of actual verifiable research being done by skeptics, if any, is even more outnumbered by the vast amount of research on the other side. So, again, it wouldn’t take as much money to fund the skeptical agenda. Finally, while I don’t know the exact numbers, I do think you’ve exaggerated the budgets for both sides. I think if we honestly looked at them, they would make more sense.

    You can come up with all kinds of conspiracy theories that you want about this, but none of that is going to change my mind. That may not be your purpose, but I still think it would make much more sense to just discuss the science, and debunk it. Any and every claim I’ve seen from the skeptical side has been easily debunked. Many actually are very nonsensical and illogical. So far, I’m not swayed in the least. Provide me with some hard evidence that it’s not happening, or at least prove the mainstream theories wrong, and I think you’d have yourself a much stronger case. Until then, you’re just dealing in conjecture.

  33. Mick, the paragraph that started with “It’s funny…” was not supposed to be in blockquotes. Could you fix that for me?

  34. I’ll fix it. But you continue to ignore the elephant in the room. The Great Lakes, mastodon bones found 20 miles off the east coast, the wobble of earth, the the core samples from Antarctica that go back 350,000 years. You don’t seem to want to address any facts.

  35. Mick, I asked you for links and quotes about your “facts” so that I could better address them. You can’t just say “what about the ice age and the bones and the wobble”, and expect me to be able to fully respond.

  36. I gave you two excellent books, The Skeptical Environmentalist and State of Fear.

    And we all learned about the ice ages and warming of earth in fourth grade. Man had nothing to do with that.

  37. Okay, Mick. Here’s your first request:

    Do ice ages and tropical climate shifts as well as observed warming and melting of ice caps on Mars mean register with your “logic?”

    And your second:

    I’ll fix it. But you continue to ignore the elephant in the room. The Great Lakes, mastodon bones found 20 miles off the east coast, the wobble of earth, the the core samples from Antarctica that go back 350,000 years. You don’t seem to want to address any facts.

    You claimed that I don’t seem to want to address any “facts”, when I posted on the Mars issue. The others, as I told you were too vague.

    Let’s start with “ice ages and tropical climate shifts”. These are very vague. If you want me to refute something, you must first provide me with something to refute. What exactly about “ice ages” is it that you want me to address? How does your argument refute human-caused global warming? Ar eyou basically just saying that we’ve had ice ages, so this warming is just part of Earth’s natural climate cycle? What is the argument? The same with “tropical climate shifts” – what about them? Is this research that has been done by anyone in particular? Is there any particular reason that what you are mentioning might be construed as debunking anthropogenic global warming? I have no idea where to begin until you help me out.

    Then, you mentioned bones. What in the world do these have to do with the argument? Is there a source you could link or quote from? Are you getting these from your books? The wobble, I think you said was from a BBC report. Okay, but does it support any particular skeptical arugment? Does this supposed wobble in the Earth’s axis prove somehow that global warming is a result of the wobble instead of human activity? I have no idea where you’re going with this. Finally, you once again very vaguely mentioned core samples from Antarctica. Yes, there have been core samples, but what about them? Which core samples are you referencing and what do they show that supports any arguments against AGW?

    I have some ideas as to where you might be going with some of these, but I think you should at least have to put together some sort of coherent argument before I can respond. It seems more like you’re just throwing out tons of random arguments. If so, that’s not really fair to me. Do you have one clear, concise, and coherent argument against AGW, or do you just want to keep throwing more possibilities at me, to see if I get stuck on something?

    Tell me specifically your objections and why they seem to refute AGW, preferably with links or at least quotes from a source, so I can look into the claims and put together my own answer. Otherwise, I have no idea what you’re talking about and therefore, can’t help you.

  38. Hi Reasic,

    What you think is nonsensical is easily supported from current news articles. I covered part of it today. However, you have misunderstood, in part, what I am saying. It’s not a matter of them staying in power, but of expanding the scope of power given to the various Governments. Hitler did the same thing with the “Jewish threat.” Read some history.

    As to Bush and the oil companies, they held out until something was offered to get them into the scheme. The oil companies, in case you have not been following the news for the last two years, are going to get vast Government subsidies to help them move into the “green” energy fields. This also gives the US reasonable leverage to control our continuing stake in the global sham. As to editing the work of “scientists” it happens all the time when they work for the Government, just like it happens to every other employee who publishes to the public. I don’t know where you work, but just publishing something that throws your boss into a bad light. Have your resume updated before you do.

    As to the Kyoto Treaty, your recollection of history is fuzzy on the subject. Kyoto was rejected by the Senate, which has to ratify treaties, with a vote of 99-0 to inform the President that it would not pass if submitted. After that President CLINTON shelved the thing, as it deserved.

    As to members of Congress spewing misinformation, let me just say Al Gore.

    As to crooked scientists, they don’t have to be, although I’ve posted links to several reports where some were pressured to do just that. What happens with grant money bought research, is that only those who are in agreement with the point to be proved get funding. No funding, no dissenting findings, case made. Of course, some of the loudest voices shouting about Global Warming have made careers of this sort of thing. One of the lead authors on the 2001 IPCC report made his name yelling about global cooling, acid rain, and the ozone hole. All, also blown out of proportion to instill fear for political reasons.

    As to looking at the actual science, those that do, and find the flaws, are shouted down and labeled “deniers.”

    As to Government funding, the US spent 3 BILLION dollars on “climate research” last year and will spend more this year. I haven’t looked up figures for other countries and the UN, but, given how much is in the news about this, you can rest assured that the amounts are substantial. As to who pays mattering, why would it? And which industry are you talking about? The big profits here are for Governments who will get to add a “carbon tax” on top of our already oppressive tax structures. How do you think they are going to afford the subsidy bone they’ve thrown Big Oil?

    As to who is paying how many scientists to add their vote to which side, who cares? The fact that it’s being done throws all the current science out the window as tainted.

    I care not about changing your mind, as you seem to have joined the cult and thrown logic and reason out the window. However, you do raise good points, which helps me to refine my argument. As to the science, I post on that with reasonable frequency. The underlying historical data, and even current data, used to prove Global Warming is not valid. The methods used to make up for a lack of global coverage are junk science at best. For instance, they only have a hand full of stations in the polar regions, but use the data from that pathetic sample to measure the temperature of millions of square miles. Give me a break. There is also the recurring theme that, when certain measurements don’t fit into the Global Warming theory, they are “corrected” until they fit. Also, I don’t have to prove them wrong, they have to prove their theory, which they haven’t. Really, a 1/2 degree change in average temperature over 40 years when the starting point is so poorly recorded has to cast serious doubt in the mind of any rational person who thinks about it. It gets even more dubious when you consider that the areas showing the most “warming” are those where the least historic and current data are available. You should also note that, even though glacier melt is used for its obvious propaganda value, only a tiny percentage of glaciers have been studied in any detail. Mars is warming, but that is ignored. There is much we DON’T know, but the science is “settled.” In other words, don’t look behind the curtain.

    Mick, thanks for the band width. You’re a good host to put up with us.

    the Grit

  39. Grit, This is one of the most cogent arguments that exposes the money trail and rational for BIG BROTHER/BIG SIS creating a new “crisis” to tax the American middle class.

  40. Grit, I’ll get to your comments in a little bit.

    Mick, I’m still waiting on your response. Do you still want me to address your skeptical issues? I want to know your sources, and more information on them, as I explained in my last comment.

  41. I’ve recommended The Skeptical Environmentalist. I’ve been reading it for two weeks. It’s the size of War and Peace, so I haven’t yet finished. Also, just recall your Fifth Grade science about the ice ages and subsequent warming periods. Cut the crapola of “i need exact references.”

  42. Grit, it seems that your cordial tone is fading. I hope you have not grown weary of discussing this issue with me. 😦

    What you think is nonsensical is easily supported from current news articles. I covered part of it today. However, you have misunderstood, in part, what I am saying. It’s not a matter of them staying in power, but of expanding the scope of power given to the various Governments. Hitler did the same thing with the “Jewish threat.” Read some history.

    I assure you there’s no need for me to “read some history”. This kind of pot shot is what I was talking about when I said it seemed that you are changing your tone. I am well aware of the idea that people within governments can try to manipulate their subjects through fear. Why do you think we hear about 50 references to “terror” in any speech by a Republican, especially around election time? I think there are definitely elements within the media and activist groups who take the alarmist claims a bit too far (and I include Al Gore in that group), but we must be careful to separate sound science from alarmism. The scientists themselves are not the ones out there saying that the world will end tomorrow if we don’t do something.

    It is a very complicated issue, but just because you don’t fully understand it does not mean that it is unable to be understood. I think if you put a serious, honest effort into learning about both sides of the issue, you’d understand better what all of this means. Instead, it seems that you enjoy this type of dialogue as an opportunity to sharpen your debate skills and hone your arguments.

    As to editing the work of “scientists” it happens all the time when they work for the Government, just like it happens to every other employee who publishes to the public. I don’t know where you work, but just publishing something that throws your boss into a bad light. Have your resume updated before you do.

    This would be understandable if scientists were releasing reports that specifically said “Bush is doing the wrong thing”, or “Bush is a bad President”, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. These scientists released reports that simply detailed their findings, and then Bush’s appointees would edit them to make them say something different. That is dishonest, and I would hope would never happen in any workplace. I’m sure it happens, but that doesn’t make it right.

    As to the Kyoto Treaty, your recollection of history is fuzzy on the subject. Kyoto was rejected by the Senate, which has to ratify treaties, with a vote of 99-0 to inform the President that it would not pass if submitted. After that President CLINTON shelved the thing, as it deserved.

    Once again, I’m well aware that the Senate voted 95-0 (not 99-0) on the Hagel-Byrd Resolution, expressing concern over the Kyoto Protocol. However, that vote took place ten years ago. Climate science has improved immensely since that time. This also does not negate the fact that Bush is now President, and as President, he has continued to refuse to submit the Protocol to the Senate for ratification. He did not do so because of fear that it would not be ratified. He has his own reservations about it.

    As to crooked scientists, they don’t have to be, although I’ve posted links to several reports where some were pressured to do just that. What happens with grant money bought research, is that only those who are in agreement with the point to be proved get funding. No funding, no dissenting findings, case made.

    The problem with this, of course, is that there is indeed plenty of funding also on the skeptical side of the issue. There are a few scientists who could prove AGW wrong through their own research. Also, I’m sure oil and energy companies would just love to have more scientists working on research to help confuse the issue. So, I think the fact that this is not happening ought to be a clue that the scientists on the advocate side actually believe the research. They could just as easily go work for Exxon and get funding to prove the opposite, could they not? Why is it then not more even? Why are there only a handful of skeptical scientists, compared to thousands in the mainstream? Could it be that the research is valid?! 😛

    Of course, some of the loudest voices shouting about Global Warming have made careers of this sort of thing. One of the lead authors on the 2001 IPCC report made his name yelling about global cooling, acid rain, and the ozone hole. All, also blown out of proportion to instill fear for political reasons.

    First of all, the “global cooling” phenomenon has been blown out of proportion by skeptics who want to find more reasons to cast doubt on climate science. There was on Newsweek article on the subject. This was not something that could be considered a scientific consensus on the subject. As a matter of fact, at the time that the Newsweek article was published (1975), the National Academy of Sciences released a statement describing the state of climate science:

    …we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate…

    and

    Climatic change has been a subject of intellectual interest for many years. However, there are now more compelling reasons for its study: the growing awareness that our economic and social stability is profoundly influenced by climate and that man’s activities themselves may be capable of influencing the climate in possibly undesirable ways. The climates of the earth have always been changing, and they will doubtless continue to do so in the future. How large these future changes will be, and where and how rapidly they will occur, we do not know.

    So this was nowhere near an accepted mainstream theory on our climate. Also, one of the main scientists who was in on the whole global cooling phenomenon was Reid Bryson. What is his opinion now? He’s a skeptic. So, if you want to tie some particular group to the non-existent “global cooling” scare, look to the skeptics and doubt their “science”.

    As to looking at the actual science, those that do, and find the flaws, are shouted down and labeled “deniers.”

    There is a big difference between honestly looking at it for truth and looking at it with a closed mind, only looking for ways to debunk it. There is healthy skepticism and then there is blatant partisanship. Those in the latter group are sometimes labeled “deniers”, yes. I try to avoid doing that, myself.

    As to Government funding, the US spent 3 BILLION dollars on “climate research” last year and will spend more this year. I haven’t looked up figures for other countries and the UN, but, given how much is in the news about this, you can rest assured that the amounts are substantial. As to who pays mattering, why would it? And which industry are you talking about? The big profits here are for Governments who will get to add a “carbon tax” on top of our already oppressive tax structures. How do you think they are going to afford the subsidy bone they’ve thrown Big Oil?

    For the past six years, the supposed “fiscally responsible conservatives” had been in power here in America, not “tax and spend liberals”. Are you telling me that even these Republicans wanted to fund research into junk science so that they could increase taxes on us?

    As to who is paying how many scientists to add their vote to which side, who cares? The fact that it’s being done throws all the current science out the window as tainted.

    Grit, I was trying to make a point about the ratio of research being done on each side, in an effort to put things into perspective, and you say “who cares”? Of course you don’t care. Without putting it into perspective, you can keep going around warning about the billions of dollars that are going to fund global warming research, without any inkling of the perspective that is needed to understand that these numbers are not outlandish.

    So the fact that scientists are being funded means that we should throw all of their research out? That makes even less sense to me. I think this statement reveals your profound lack of trust in the scientific process. What is it about science or scientists that makes you have such a high level of distrust for them? The scientific research, as I’ve said many times, is published in peer-reviewed journals, after which point any one of your favorite skeptical scientists could refute their findings. This is what has to happen in order to disprove their theories. If you think you have some great ideas on how to do so, I would suggest that you email Lindzen, Christy, et. al., and get them going.

    I care not about changing your mind, as you seem to have joined the cult and thrown logic and reason out the window.

    I’m not the one who’s wearing a tin hat, while warning of a big global conspiracy to tax us into poverty. 😛

    However, you do raise good points, which helps me to refine my argument.

    This is what I’m talking about. You’re not in this to learn. You’re in it to win a debate. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it does seem as though you are just as sold to your side of the argument as you claim that I am to mine. So, I don’t understand how it’s logical for you to deride me, claimging that I’ve “joined the cult”, “drank the kool-aid”, or whatever other cliche you want to use, when you are in the same boat. You hold tight to your skeptical theories with no intention of budging, and yet I’m the one who’s “thrown logic and reason out the window”? At the very least, shouldn’t that describe both of us?

    The underlying historical data, and even current data, used to prove Global Warming is not valid. The methods used to make up for a lack of global coverage are junk science at best.

    This is exactly what I want to get into specifics with you on, but you keep talking about government conspiracies. I’m not interested in hearsay and conjecture. Neither you nor I can prove or disprove the intangible (government conspiracies). However, we can discuss the validity of the science.

    For instance, they only have a hand full of stations in the polar regions, but use the data from that pathetic sample to measure the temperature of millions of square miles. Give me a break.

    Finally, a mention of something scientific. It’s an oversimplification of the process of determining temperature variation in Antarctica, but it’s a start, I guess. If you actually read any real research papers on this subject, you’d see that the scientists who’ve done it will honestly state that their data is limited. However, they are working with what they have.

    There is also the recurring theme that, when certain measurements don’t fit into the Global Warming theory, they are “corrected” until they fit.

    Another semi-scientific argument. First of all, as I’ve explained in my response on your blog, “corrected” does not equal “wrong” or “untrustworthy”. That’s being irrational and unreasonable. We must actually examine the corrections and why they were either not needed or were unnecessary. Each instance in which a correction has been issued, there is a detailed report on why and how it was done. So, they have provided their proof, and now you must disprove theirs, if you think it’s all a bunch of bunk.

    A specific example I can provide for you is Dr. John Christy’s research on atmospheric temperatures. Christy colllected thirty years’ worth of data from satellites and weather balloons. In the paper he published, he stated that the data pointed to no global warming, and even cooling in the tropics. Then, several subsequent reports were released, criticizing Chisty’s work because he did not account for, among other things, the sun heating up the thermostats on the weather balloons, the decay in the orbits of the satellites, and the tilt of the satellites. After this, Christy agreed and stated in another paper that he had corrected his data and that it was now in line with that of existing models. So, you see, if you want to dispute corrected data, you must look at the details of the situation and provide a specific, valid reason why the corrections are not to be trusted. In this example, the skeptic himself even agreed to the corrections, so surely you don’t dispute them, right?

    Also, I don’t have to prove them wrong, they have to prove their theory, which they haven’t.

    2500+ scientists have provided for you their proof. You can say “I don’t think it’s valid, so it’s not proven”, but your opinion doesn’t negate their years of work. They have provided their proof, so now the ball is indeed in your court to provide a reasonable response as to why their evidence is not valid.

    Really, a 1/2 degree change in average temperature over 40 years when the starting point is so poorly recorded has to cast serious doubt in the mind of any rational person who thinks about it.

    On the contrary, any rational person will look at the data and understand that the Earth has only varied a few degrees in the cycles that it’s been through over the past 650,000 years. I know it’s confusing because we change termperatures drastically over seasonal changes, but the averages have never gotten outside of a few degrees’ shift. So, in that context, a 0.5 degree change in only 40 years, could be considered significant, especially considering the fact that in that same amount of time, CO2 conentrations have sky-rocketed to almost 400 ppm, nearly 100ppm higher than ever recorded.

    Mars is warming, but that is ignored.

    I’ve covered this one in a post on my blog. With all of the data we have available on Earth, you will find any and every reason to doubt global warming. However, when you find out that, according to much less data on an entirely different planet, it seems like there is warming, you’ve jumped on the warming bandwagon, and you even know it’s cause. No doubts there, huh?

    There is much we DON’T know, but the science is “settled.” In other words, don’t look behind the curtain.

    There IS much we don’t know. However, what we do know provides us with good enough evidence to be able to determine what is happening. Scientists are not saying let’s not research the issue anymore. They’re simply publishing their findings, and those findings point to anthropogenic global warming. You don’t have to completely and totally understand something in order to take action against it. You must be able to discern at what point the knowledge you have is enough to be able to draw reasonable conclusions. The vast majority of scientists have agreed that we have arrived at this point. Take cancer, for instance. It is still very unknown how this works. Our methods for dealing with it (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.) are sure to be considered barbaric and primitive in the future. However, we know enough to know that it is bad, and we do what we can.

    As far as I know, no one has claimed that we know everything there is to know about our climate. The point is that we know enough to be reasonably certain of our conclusions.

  43. I think I also forgot the ‘/’ in the closing blockquote tag on a couple of my quotees. Could you clean that up for me. Sorry for the messiness. It was very long.

  44. Hi Mick,

    You flatter me, and I like it 🙂

    Reasic, I’m going to put my reply on my blog. It’s going to be too big to type into this tiny comment window. Besides, I haven’t posted anything today, and this will make a good one.

    the Grit

  45. I see two camps in this debate. One side says that Man induced global warming exists because scientists who should know this stuff deem that it exists. Obviously, this is an illogical statement. History is full of disprooved theories accepted by mainstream scientific opinion.

    The other side says that man made global warming doesn’t exist because it’s proponents are big fat jerks and there are wholes in the hypothesis. This is also bad logic. The relative truth of any scientific fact is not dependent on the ethical character of it’s discoverer and every theory has holes until you fill them. That’s why you test a heuristic hypothesis.

    So, this whole point in this thread is being argued through proxy. I see none of the primary research or math being debated here, so we are just all a bunch of blowhards with opinions.

  46. Interesting observation, Mr. Stern. I keep trying to push the debate in that direction here, and it never seems to end up there. That would be nice, though.

  47. Explain:
    1. Greenland, why would the Vikings name that land green?
    2. The Great Lakes, how did all that ice melt before mankind had any CO2 omissions.
    3. Mastodon teeth found off the Texas coast.

  48. Mick;

    No one is arguing that world temperatures have cycles. The question is about the human component to the present cycle. Past warming cycles neither prove nor disprove the argument. We should all be skeptical that all this warming is man induced, but individual facts about past warming spells are immaterial to the argument except to point out that global warming may have, but does not have to have, a human component. It is possible that the current warming is 50% natural and 50% man induced. It’s possible that we could be in a natural ice age, if not for man. It”s possible that man has a temp reducing effect on what would be a horrendously hot period. It is also possible that man has no measurable effect. The past can give you possibilities, but only the science can prove or disprove. Right now, I believe that the science is too primitive to prove or disprove, so I would be hesitant to spend trillions to solve an unproven problem. But if you guys have the stomach and the math for it, I’d love to debate the science.

  49. Mick,

    I have to agree with Mr. Stern. Your examples might prove past temperature fluctuations, but no one is challenging that. It is well-known and understood among climate scientists that the Earth has gone through natural cycles every 150,000 years or so. The argument is that the warming we are currently seeing is a result of human activity, which has increased the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere.

  50. What I meant to say in my last comment was that the warming we are currently experiencing is mostly caused by human activity. There are definitely other factors, but man-made GHGs are the dominant forcings.

  51. Reasic, I agree with Mr. Stern whole heartedly. I don’t believe we should tax and spend billions and even trillions on an unproven theory that has been politicized by BiG BROTHER leftists.

    I disagree that there is any strong evidence that man has caused global warming. Past history shows DRAMATIC GLOBAL WARMING AND COOLING without man being factored into the equation.

    I also believe from ice core samples that we will get even warmer.

    Finally, I believe you will find that mankind benefits from this wonderful warming period and more appropriate study would be to see if man really can increase warming to help moderate or stave off the next cooling period that we know is coming.

    I am happy to spend a little time showing that there is no hard evidence that CO2 levels are a major factor.

    Do you know what percentage of the earth’s atmosphere is newly created CO2?

  52. Well, I also have to quibble with the logic that says that because there are more GHGs, than that is a contributer to global warming. While, GHGs are a product of industry, there are also natural sources. Also, while GHGs may have a temp increasing effect, they also have a dampenning effect. Also, while GHGs are a by-product of man, so are particulates and they also have a cooling effect. So, an increase in GHGs is neither proveable to be a solely man-made effect, nor is it a proveable warming effect, it is only evidential.

  53. Mick, I agree with you. The planet has warmed and cooled before. However, there were no man-made contributions of GHGs before. The simple fact that it’s happened naturally does not disprove the theory that humans now have an impact. CO2 concentrations, for instance are now at almost 400 ppm, nearly 100 ppm higher than at any time in the past 650,000 years, and they are predicted to continue to rise.

    This nonsense about man benefiting from warming ignores the disadvantages of such warming.

    I am happy to spend a little time showing that there is no hard evidence that CO2 levels are a major factor.

    Please do. I would love to see your evidence to that effect.

    Do you know what percentage of the earth’s atmosphere is newly created CO2?

    Yes, I know that man-made gases such as CO2 are only a small percentage of the gases in the atmosphere. Water vapor is by far the most abundant greenhouse gas. This is another common misunderstanding by skeptics. First, water vapor is a feedback, not a forcing. Second, it stays generally static. What we are concerned about with climate change is the change in GHG concentrations. Over the past few decades, GHG concentrations have gone through the roof, and will continue to climb unless we do something about it.

  54. Stern,

    We do understand the extent to which GHGs and sulfate aerosols have affected our climate. Sulfate aerosols are mainly what caused the cooling period in between the 40’s and 70’s. When we reduced their output because of concern about the ozone layer and acid rain, GHGs again became the dominant forcing, resulting in continued warming. Are you disputing this?

  55. Reasic;

    We do not “know” the effect of sulfate aerosols. We have models in which the range of sulfates emitted could have accounted for the increase in GHGs and this could fit into a “holding and keeping” greenhouse effect model. But, there are a lot of “coulds” and “mights” based on assumptions. The scientific community is still lab testing a lot of elements of these assumptions. Some are proving out, and some are being thrown out and ,too date, there is no definitive answer.

    So, while I believe that man has an effect on climate, I am unwilling to bet a change in world life style that it is so. Nor do I trust the government that brought us the Katrina response or the Walter Reed outpatient care to get manage how we respond to global warming.

    Your process is the negative scientific approach. It is the same logic that brings us creationism. You posit that since there is no perfect alternative hypothesis to human induced global climate change than your hypothesis must be true. The fact is that there is no unified theory of climate change that is repeatable in a lab environment, so there is no conclusive evidence for or against.

    Now, that doesn’t mean we should continue using fossil fuels. There are many other reasons to find alternative energy. It is obviously dirty and bad air and oil spills are visible proof of this. It funds terror supports awful governments. It increases the chance for war. But the unintended consequences of a knee-jerk reaction based on imperfect science could be just as frightening. One alternative to fossil fuels is nuclear poser, which is also problematic. Another alternative is global recession, which serves nobody and also drives warfare.

    We may all be wrong and the global warming meteor may hit the earth and destroy it. But, could does not equal will.

  56. So let’s ignore the ice ages and great warming periods and just stick with CO2 and Aerosols. Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols by S.I. Rasool makes a case in the 1970s that CO2 and aerosols will cause a major cooling. Note that this was during the “new ice age” political hysteria.

  57. Whoopsie, This is from the New York Times Opinion pages.

    Al Gore’s Outsourcing Solution

    LAST month, to the delight of many global-warming skeptics, it was revealed that Al Gore uses 20 times as much electricity and natural gas at his Tennessee house than the national average. Out of curiosity, I put the former vice president’s power bills and ZIP code through the home-emissions calculator of TerraPass, a company that sells “carbon offsets” — the promise to reduce greenhouse gases by the same amount your behavior increases them.

    TerraPass estimated that the power use of a house equivalent to Mr. Gore’s causes 377,000 pounds of greenhouse gases annually. That is roughly the annual carbon emission of 20 Hummers. Next time you see Mr. Gore wagging his finger about the energy sins of others, picture a caravan of 20 Hummers driving to the Academy Awards.

    A Gore spokeswoman told the press that the former vice president pays extra for wind energy, and buys carbon offsets. He’s not the only one: companies that sell such offsets are rising in popularity, and certificates for them were included in the stars’ Oscar night goodie bags. Soon not just individuals, but the entire United States, may be purchasing carbon offsets on a grand scale.

    TerraPass charges $1,247.50 for one year of carbon offsets for a home like Mr. Gore’s, the price including a refrigerator magnet proclaiming the home “carbon balanced.” Initially I found it hard to believe anyone could counteract Mr. Gore’s prodigious energy lust for just $1,247.50, since planting about 20,000 trees would be required to neutralize even half his house’s carbon footprint.

    But it turns out that TerraPass does its good works in part by covering landfills to prevent methane from seeping out. Since methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, covering landfills is a cost-effective way to wrestle with global warming. I may be annoyed by Mr. Gore’s hectoring, but I’m not going to accuse him of hypocrisy on this one.

    This all seems a classic example of economies of scale. Individuals can’t do anything about landfill methane. But a company like TerraPass can combine the resources of many to accomplish this task, allowing the person of good intent to use energy with no net contribution to the greenhouse effect. Whether companies marketing offsets really do reduce greenhouse gases is something for consumer reporters or the Federal Trade Commission to determine. Assuming the sellers do as promised, buying carbon offsets isn’t an exercise in guilt. It’s smart economics.

    There is also a bigger issue here. That offsets are smart economics may be central to slowing carbon accumulation in the atmosphere. The scientific case for greenhouse-gas regulation now strong, and Congress may soon impose the first carbon dioxide limits on American producers. Current bills in the Senate — one sponsored by John McCain and Joe Lieberman, another by John Kerry and Olympia Snowe — would cut domestic greenhouse emissions to about the level of 1990.

    On the plus side, these bills would create a significant profit incentive for greenhouse-gas reduction. Offering inventors and entrepreneurs a profit incentive should lead to an outpouring of anti-global-warming innovations.

    But even if successful, the McCain-Lieberman or Kerry-Snowe bills would only slightly lower future atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases. That’s because Chinese carbon emissions are skyrocketing.

    Since 1990, according to the World Resources Institute, American greenhouse emissions rose 18 percent while Chinese emissions rose 77 percent. China may pass America as the No. 1 emitter of greenhouse gases as soon as 2010. If current trends hold, by 2050 emerging nations led by China and India will emit twice as much carbon as the United States and Western Europe combined.

    China’s emissions are soaring because the Chinese economy is nearly three times as “carbon intensive” as America’s, burning far more fossil fuel per unit of gross domestic product. Chinese coal-fired power plants are notoriously inefficient, consuming twice as much coal per kilowatt produced as American generating stations. They also run without the elaborate anti-pollution “stack scrubbers” found in Western power plants. And China opens a new coal-fired generating station every week to 10 days.

    Here’s where offset economics come into play. Dollar for dollar, capital invested in greenhouse gas reduction would accomplish more if used to improve the efficiency of Chinese power plants than if spent in the United States. America needs legislation capping carbon emissions here, but Congress should allow American companies and consumers to use investments in carbon offsets in China and India against those caps, where the bang for the buck is much higher.

    As a bonus, American investment in reducing Chinese and Indian air pollution would improve public health in those nations. Today smog in Chinese and Indian cities is worse than any in the West since London of the early 1950s. The result is far higher rates of respiratory disease in China and India than in the West.

    If our goal in legislating against carbon releases is not simply punishing the West and its power companies but truly trying to reduce the accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, the main event will be in the developing world. We must use the smartest possible economics, and that means investing in China and India.

    Gregg Easterbrook is a fellow of the Brookings Institution

  58. Hi Mick,

    Could you, kindly, hold off on bashing the carbon offset thing. I have several acres of scrub land that looks to make good money in this scam. Heck, if rich liberals want to pay me to not cut trees that I wasn’t planning to cut anyway, who am I not to take their money? Besides, as a small scale farmer with a negative carbon foot print, I am also getting ready to lobby the Government for big piles of subsidy money. That, after all, is what the “green” movement means, isn’t it?

    the Grit

  59. “Republicans tend to be anti-science”

    And there you have it; your next Democratic Congressional leader.

    Keep up the good posts lightcontrast.

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