Alarms set off against Global Warming Alarmists

Two new reports are out that throw a wrench in the cries concerning Global Warming.

First, Charles Monnett, the scientist who warned us that polar bears are dying in droves due to ice melting is on administrative leave while an investigation is on-going.  It is believed that Monnett fudged figures and facts for two purposes: 1. to continue receiving his $50 million federal grant money, and 2. to help push the fight against global warming.

Next, we can thank NASA satellite data from 2000 to 2011 to show us that the Earth is sending off more heat into space than global warming experts believed.  It means there is much less global warming than UN computer models predict.  Our atmosphere traps far less CO2 than the alarmist have claimed.   This is especially true with the escape of heat into space over the oceans.  And the facts show that the atmosphere sheds heat into space far sooner than the alarmist computer models predicted.

As they say: Garbage In, Garbage Out.  And may I add:  Fraudulent Data In, Garbage Out.

This definitely puts a major wrench in the global warming climate theories.  And perhaps now we can move on to truly important ecological issues, such as the Sun’s slower Sun spot activity taking us into a 30 year cooling period, or teaching our kids to recycle and care for the environment around them.

67 thoughts on “Alarms set off against Global Warming Alarmists

  1. A couple weeks back I became aware of Burt Rutan’s presentation, “An Engineer‟s Critique of Global Warming ‘Science.’”

    Two of Rutan’s aircraft are hanging in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum: the private suborbital rocket SpaceShipOne, and the Rutan Voyager which flew around the globe without refueling. Rutan’s experience as an engineer poring through data is of note, but so is his commitment to energy conservation. Without a keen understanding of energy efficiency, he couldn’t have designed and executed the only two aircraft to circumnavigate the globe using only the fuel they took off with. He drove an EV-1 electric car for years, and built a super-low energy consumption home. This is someone who is fine with using less energy, but also untrusting of government and in love with technology. He is also someone whose home is on the edge of the Mojave Desert.

  2. One of the biggest problems with the Global Warming theory is that there is very little the average person can do about it. It virtually puts all decisions about it on at least a national, if not global, scale. Most people cannot buy a Prius, and even if they could, it is questionable on how much pollution would be prevented, as the battery becomes a big source of pollutants. Unlike the Earth Days of the 1970s, where people went out and picked up trash in roadways and parks, we cannot do anything for Global Warming (even if it were a real thing). Worse,to approve the Kyoto Treaty means the USA’s economy crashes, while India and China can continue polluting. We don’t stop global warming, even if it were real.

    For a theory to be useful, it must be able to make projections that can be tested. Yet GW theorists have been lousy at predicting anything. Last winter was supposed to be warm and mild, instead meteorologists that study the Sun’s changes were the ones correct about a harsh winter. GW theorists have gone from predicting future weather to looking back at weather that has occurred and say, “see, there’s proof of GW/climate change.” IOW, the predictions and theory are useless.

    And now we see that a big chunk of their data is also wrong, as seen by these two reports.

  3. Something at work, I believe, is that we think of geology as something that only happens on scales of many, many millions of years. It is quite something though to consider how different many things were only 20,000 years ago toward the end of the Pliestocene Epoch. Lake Bonneville had its greatest extent 15,000 years ago, 1000 feet deep and as big as Lake Michigan. Glaciers extended to New York City 18,000 years ago and left behind the second terminal moraine forming Long Island’s northern half. The global sea level 12,000 years ago was 100 meters lower than today.

    When we realize that the land could be so different 200 centuries ago, it doesn’t seem a bit odd that observable changes have and will happen over a single century’s span.

  4. John C: No, because he’s jumped onto the global warming bus….

    John Mansfield, exactly. Even in the 1300s, we went through the Little Ice Age that followed a warm era. The warm era allowed grapes to grow in England to the extent they challenged France’s orchards. The Little Ice Age, however, ended the Viking’s move into Greenland. It brought the Black Death over Europe, killing almost 1/2 the population.

    Warm periods tend to have an increase in species across the globe, whereas cold epochs end up destroying species and ecosystems much faster. The last Ice Age wiped out many species, for example.

    IOW, sometimes a little global warming IS a good thing… It just depends on who you ask.

  5. Warm periods tend to have an increase in species? Not buying it, at least on the short term scale. A warmer period that lasts millions of years might see more species. A warming period that lasts only a few thousand years, though, will end up killing off species. Species that survive only on cold mountain tops, for example, die as their habitat changes. Ocean species die as their habitat becomes warmer and more acidic (the acidity a side effect of the warming). And a few thousand years isn’t enough time for new species to emerge (at least not species with moderate or long lifespans).

    Warming also has negative effects on disease. SteveP, known elsewhere on the bloggernacle, studies the spread of disease-carrying insects due to new areas due to climate change. It’s not just cold that kills people.

    As far as the polar bears go–I’m always skeptical of things that tug at the public’s heartstrings. If there’s any fraud in today’s climate science (I mean fraud being done by actual scientists, and not conservative talkingheads) I’m betting it’s the polar bear stuff. Even if it’s not fraud, it’s not nearly as important as mass extinction, ocean acidification, or the spread of disease.

  6. It does not require millions of years for species to adapt. Otherwise, nothing would have time to adapt. Just look at current disasters or changes, such as volcanic explosions or huge wildfires. They destroy everything, but within just a few years, new species move into the area. Forests are first replaced with grasslands, with such species moving in.

    New species, perhaps not. But adaptation still occurs. And from adaptation comes new species.

  7. Since Global Warming is actually the scientific consensus, how did he jump on the bus? Ya’ll realize that you represent the minority opinion, right? Not that it is a popularity contest, but calling him an embarrassment for believing in what most scientists believe seems petty.

  8. Species moving into new territories does not result in adaptation unless the environment is different enough from their old environment to provoke the change, or unless they’re physically isolated. Enough adaptation to become a new species? A lot more change is required, and often complete isolation from the rest of the species and tens of thousands of years of time. And, of course, new species moving into new territories often results in the extinction of the species already in those territories. Increase in species? No. Species can go extinct very quickly. New species coming about is generally a much longer process.

  9. Tim, what to think of my point above about drastic changes that have been seen within the last 20,000 years?

  10. Let’s be clear that the second “wrench” is a paper by Roy Spencer using NASA satellite data. Most here probably know that Spencer is a bit of a pariah in the climate science community. The actual paper is available here: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/pdf.

    I’ve looked at it, and to be honest, I comprehend little of what it says. But the claims of the actual paper seem to be more modest than what people are saying about it. Read the Abstract and/or Discussion and see if you get any sense for the revolutionary nature of the paper. (Luckily we have people from the Heartland Institute to tell us how important the paper is, as linked in the OP.)

    Views by some other climate scientists are expressed in this LiveScience article, and they are quite critical: http://www.livescience.com/15293-climate-change-cloud-cover.html. (But then I guess we might expect as much from the self-deceived experts.) My favorite quote is the one from Gavin Schmidt: “If you want to do a story then write one pointing to the ridiculousness of people jumping onto every random press release as if well-established science gets dismissed on a dime.” Indeed.

  11. People like Jared will never be convinced no matter what how many years we have of stable or declining temperatures (13 years now, but who’s counting?). When we reach 50 or 60 years or no real global warming, Jared will still be telling us that global warming is “just around the corner.”

    Times are hard for the AGW religionists. Their faith-based movement is not taken seriously anymore by most of the public. They continue to engage in sly character assassination as their primary tactic. Note in Jared’s comment how Roy Spencer is a “pariah.” We are meant to see him as this crazy outlier taken seriously by no one. Funny, scientists used to celebrate pariahs because they were the ones actually doing the science (Galileo anyone?) while the people supporting the consensus were sucking up to the powers that be (Gavin Schmidt’s current tactic).

    But in fact Roy Spencer is indeed taken seriously by most people, even other climate scientists. To quote from Wikipedia:

    “Roy W. Spencer is a climatologist and a Principal Research Scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, as well as the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has served as senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

    He is known for his satellite-based temperature monitoring work, for which he was awarded the American Meteorological Society’s Special Award. Spencer’s research suggests that global warming is mostly natural, and that the climate system is quite insensitive to humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions and aerosol pollution and suggests that natural, chaotic variations in low cloud cover may account for most observed warming.”

    The tactic used by Jared and his ilk used to be to claim that no climate scientists opposed the AGW consensus. When that lie was exposed, they turned to character assassination on the scientists who did inconveniently question the “consensus” and tried to turn them into pariahs. And when that didn’t work they claimed there were almost no peer-reviewed articles opposing the consensus. Steve Peck made that claim on this very web site.

    Well, here we have a peer-reviewed article that is devastating to the AGW religion, but instead of taking it on directly, we see the tactics at work. “Pariah.” “Ridiculousness.” Yes, very scientific indeed.

  12. You will also notice that Jared conveniently ignores the issue of Monnett making up the science regarding polar bears. You can read more about it here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/29/inspector-generals-transcript-of-drowned-polar-bear-researcher-being-grilled/

    And what does Gavin Schmidt have to say about the polar bears? Well, he thinks it is very important to take junkets with Martha Stewart to spread news on his junk science, but it turns out he doesn’t know very much at all about polar bears. If only he would cast his keen scientific eye on his own co-religionists, whose “science” is being debunked left and right.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/08/friday-funny-gavin-schmidt-on-polar-bears-martha-stewart-and-me/

  13. Geoff, the remarkable thing about Jared’s comment, and those comments of so many other “scientists” on this issue, is that they are responding to scientific claims using non-scientific arguments.

    If a true scientist disagrees with the claims made by skeptics, they will respond by refuting their arguments, not by calling them names. Rather, someone produces new data or a new interpretation of given data, and they get called names and are excluded for violating the consensus. Is that really how science works?

  14. Gee. That’s a lot to respond to.

    1. I don’t follow the snarky comment about the Himalayan glaciers. A mistake is a mistake.

    2. As a matter of logic, whether or not polar bears are in fact dying is irrelevant to whether Earth is warming, how much it may warm, or whether that warming could be problematic in a number of ways. *If* Monnett fabricated his data then he deserves punishment and the scientific record should be set straight. (I emphasize ‘if’ because once upon a time emails from the University of East Anglia were breathlessly reported to contain all kinds of damning material, but then it turned out to mostly be a collection of statements taken out of context or given the most uncharitable interpretation possible. Then there were several accusations leveled at the IPCC report, only one of which had any merit (the Himalayan glaciers), as I recall. So forgive me for not joining the mob at a moment’s notice.)

    3. My characterization of Spencer as a pariah comes from the news article I linked to, as well as other commentary I have read. His own book complains that other scientists aren’t listening to him, thus necessitating his writing directly to the public. That doesn’t make everything he says wrong, and his technical work may be mostly good, but it raises flags.

    4. Only the scientific pariahs that turn out to be right get celebrated. The rest are either forgotten or are remembered for being wrong. The notion that cutting-edge science is necessarily at odds with most of the field is a romantic caricature. Peddlers of snake oil and perpetual motion machines also claim to be like Galileo. We’ll have to wait to see how Spencer is remembered.

    5. Which reminds me. Remember how for over 10 years Spencer and Christy said that satellites were more accurate and showed less warming than surface instruments, and then they were shown to have made an error in their computations which, when corrected, put the satellites much more in line with the surface instruments? That doesn’t make everything Spencer says wrong either, but he’s been wrong in a big way before.

    6. On the other hand, if Wikipedia says that Spencer is to be respected, then who am I to disagree?

    7. 13 years does not a climate trend make. Which reminds me, remember when Phil Jones said that the last 15 years of warming wasn’t statistically significant and all the skeptics had a field day saying that he admitted there wasn’t any warming even though that wasn’t what he meant? According to Jones the warming is now statistically significant. I guess that clears that up.

    8. Geoff and his ilk will never be convinced either, because they voraciously consume the products of professional mocking nitpickers who are always looking for things to embarrass the other side with while missing the forest for the trees. After we have another 15 years of statistically significant warming they will still be saying that the last 5 years haven’t shown any warming, that big snow storms disprove global warming, that scientists are faking their data or using flawed instruments (except when they seem to go against AGW, of course), and whatever else their libertarian doubt tanks come up with.

    9. Have I conveniently ignored anything? Oh, I guess I didn’t get to Gavin and Martha. Oh well.

  15. Geoff,

    None of you are “true scientists.” You are bloggers, simply pitting the opinions of some scientists against others. Why you decide to believe one opinion over another is your choice.

    Scientific consensus changes as new data is received and older data is refuted. Lazy or disingenuous scientists, like the polar bear guy are eventually discredited. If the NASA scientist’s data is further corroborated by others, I’m sure it will eventually make it’s way into the consensus. Such is the fluidity of science.

    In general, I believe that trusting the scientific concensus represents the best shot I have at trying to understand a particular scientific topic, unless I happen to be a scientific genius like Galileo. Are their political prejudices among the consensus? No doubt. But science has always shown remarkable ability to adapt as new data is discovered.

    But more than anyone else, non-scientists suffer from the prejudices of our own political or religious views on this topic. Would all you anti-global warming bloggers be as excited to post new findings that supported the idea of global warming if you found some, as you are excited to post this new data supposedly refuting it?

    Likely not, because you are not impartial scientists looking for new truths. You are prejudiced, opinionated bloggers, who are cherry picking from mountains of data done by people far more expert than yourself to support your own particular views.

    I don’t have such a high opinion of my own insight and views that I am willing to lightly dismiss the broad consensus of thousands of scientists far more educated on the topic myself.

    If at some point in the future, the consensus changes, then I will certainly reexamine my own views. But I’m not smart enough to trust my own judgment, or trust the judgment of a small minority of scientists against the vast majority of others at this point.

  16. ldsphilosopher,

    I can’t see where I called Spencer any names. I said he was a bit of a pariah, which means outcast. The purpose of my original comment was to make clear who had written the paper (i.e. Spencer, not NASA), who was hyping it (the Heartland Institute), and what some other scientists in the field thought about it. Also, I actually looked at the paper to see if it was making earth-shaking claims and invited others to look as well. I think all of this is pertinent information for a group of outsiders considering how much weight to give it.

    If you want to accuse me of making appeals to authority, or whatever, then fine. But since as far as I can tell nobody here has any relevant expertise (including me) that’s technically all anybody on this thread, including the OP, can do. If you would like scientific arguments, may I suggest Barry Bickmore or Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo.

  17. Reading some of the comments here remind me of the stuff they use to say about Darwin. Frankly, I have found more religious fervor among anti-global warming enthusiasts than among those who find it a concern.

  18. Nate, I do not accept the “consensus” on this issue. Here is why:

    1)I have been following this issue since the 1980s. After his famously staged congressional speech on global warming, Hansen came to Miami, where I lived. I worked at the Miami Herald as a reporter at the time. Hansen said that all of the coastal islands off of Miami would be underwater by 2010. Key Biscayne, Miami Beach, etc. Hasn’t happened. He made predictions about temperature increases that he said were foolproof. Hasn’t happened. In fact, literally nothing Hansen predicted has come true, and nearly all of the major predictions of the AGW movement have been falsified.

    2)When you study the origins of the AGW movement, it is a political, not scientific, movement. Everything is staged for political effect. The reason is that the people behind it (Hansen, Gore, Erlich) are political people either a)cynically seeking power and influence for their own ends or b)motivated by religious fervor to save the Earth. At the end of the day, these are people who feel they have a right to tell you and me what to do with our personal lives. They are the people who have convinced Congress you can’t be allowed to choose what kind of lightbulb you should buy. They are the people who said ethanol was good, so we spent tens of billions of dollars on ethanol, but now admit it is bad, but we’re still stuck with a useless ethanol project. Oh yeah, that ethanol thing is yet another example of green junk science gone bad.

    3)If scientists want to argue about something that does not involve me in any way, and is not a political movement, I probably could care less. I don’t really care about the mating habits of water buffalo in Africa, and if the consensus says one thing and the skeptics say another, well, I’ll probably side with the consensus. But if a scientific movement is telling me that my energy payments should triple and that I can’t use the lightbulbs that I like and can’t drive my truck without paying a $1000 car tax, yeah, I’m going to figure out if it has any merit or not. In this case, it does not.

    4)The AGW movement is always moving the goal posts. Hansen makes claims in 1988, and none of them come true, and then he ignores being wrong in the past and makes new claims every few years since then. Why should we believe any of his claims at all if they are all wrong? The IPCC document makes a series of claims, many of which turn out to be laughable, and again we’re supposed to ignore the ones that are laughable and take the document seriously. The movement invents a hockey stick graph to make global warming appear extremely scary, and when it is refuted, they ignore the refutation. Al Gore makes a movie that has been overwhelmingly debunked, yet people like Jared who claim to actually care about science cannot bring themselves to criticize it. This is not the behavior of objective science. This is the behavior of a faith-based movement.

    5)When it comes to the claims of the consensus itself, Jared and his ilk are always moving the goalposts. Again, they will claim no reputable scientists disbelieve the consensus, then when that is disproved they will disparage and make fun of the skeptics, calling them “deniers” (kind of like Holocaust deniers), then when it turns out these people actually are reputable climate scientists, they will skew the peer review process (and then claim there is no peer reviewed skeptical literature). When the papers actually come out in peer-reviewed journals, they usually ignore them and launch personal attacks. Again, this is not the behavior of objective scientists, and this kind of behavior should be setting off alarm bells with everybody.

    6)Just as one example of 5), alarmists claim there is no peer-reviewed literature challenging the consensus. Well, here is an analysis of 69 peer-reviewed articles that clearly question the “consensus.”

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/files/documents/Madhav%20bibliography%20LONG%20VERSION%20Feb%206-07.pdf

    How many times have we been told that no such articles exist? In my case, dozens. Remember, the political tactic of the alarmists is to shun, suppress and refuse to debate. That way they can continue to peddle their exaggerations and lies and manipulate useful fools like Huntsman and Romney.

  19. Jared, I think it is absolutely hilarious that you see the Himalayan glacier thing is just a “mistake.” So, here you have Gavin Schmidt, who is paid with tax dollars to go on junkets and plan ways to promote AGW alarmism, saying that we should ignore “random press releases.” But when the random press releases about the IPCC report point out in alarming detail that Himalayan glaciers will disappear by 2035, Gavin was all over it. Yes, another great example of warming, blah, blah, blah. Well, it turns out that the IPCC report on the glaciers was based on one conversation with one little-known scientist (over the phone) that was then printed in the New Scientist as “peer-reviewed.” The scientist later said his conversation was just speculation.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6991177.ece

    The double standard is absolutely stunning. We are supposed to believe we are all going to die from global warming when the science is based on phone conversations that are faked as peer-reviewed science and later put in IPCC reports? Doesn’t the fact that nobody questioned this “science” alarm you? And of course the Himalayan glacier claim was central to the IPCC report, but it does not even pass a basic common sense test.

    “The report read: “Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate.”

    However, glaciologists find such figures inherently ludicrous, pointing out that most Himalayan glaciers are hundreds of feet thick and could not melt fast enough to vanish by 2035 unless there was a huge global temperature rise. The maximum rate of decline in thickness seen in glaciers at the moment is 2-3 feet a year and most are far lower.”

    Sorry, Jared, the evidence is that the cherry-picking is done by AGW alarmists. Whenever some new report comes along supporting their claims, they get on it faster than Al Gore jetting to a new international conference so he can make more money. Whenever science does not support their views, they engage of character assassination of the scientists involved. A process that we have seen on these very pages.

  20. It’s pretty clear from these comments which side is making this all about politics and which side is (mostly) sticking to the science.

    Referring to “Jared and his ilk” and Huntsman and Romney as “fools” for preferring to listen to the majority of scientists rather than their fellow conservatives?–come on Geoff B., don’t hold back–tell us what you really think.

  21. Geoff,

    Yes, the 2035 claim is unfortunate and it makes great material for tarring the whole report and field with, as you’ve demonstrated. But if it was as important to the report as you and others claim, perhaps you can show me how other areas of the report relied on it and that without it, most of the report doesn’t make sense. Maybe you can show me that it was highlighted in the summary for policy makers or the synthesis report. Further, perhaps you can show me that it wasn’t just wrong in time frame, but also wrong in substance–i.e., that the science did not support that the glaciers are melting at all. I don’t think you can. Finally, I hadn’t even heard about the 2035 statement until it was widely reported as an error in the media and blogs. Can you honestly tell me that you were well aware of the 2035 claim before the reports of it being an error surfaced last year? Or is it more likely that it entered your pantheon of AGW blunders only after it was brought to your attention by others two years after the report was published?

    Speaking of double standards, do you keep track of the ways in which the IPCC report was too conservative or is on target? Or is that even a possibility?

    Again, forest and trees. You like to focus on every up and down (mainly the downs) in both the temperature records and in the broader issues of accuracy and political motivation (or perceptions thereof), which is why, even though you have no expertise in the field, the whole thing is falsified with every publication of a paper that seems to fit your narrative. I try to keep my eye on the trend, which is why, because I have no expertise in the field, I look to the broader climate science community to guide me on what is informative and valuable and what is not. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

  22. Geoff B., (25)

    The maximum rate of decline in thickness seen in glaciers at the moment is 2-3 feet a year and most are far lower.”

    So, can we agree that glaciers are getting smaller, just not at the rate that some have claimed?

  23. Tim, please read comment #24.

    Mark, glaciers will decline and grow in size depending on many factors. In fact, more recent evidence shows that more than half of the glaciers are advancing rather than shrinking.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8284223/Some-Himalayan-glaciers-are-advancing-rather-than-melting-study-finds.html

    To quote from the story: “The new study by scientists at the Universities of California and Potsdam has found that half of the glaciers in the Karakoram range, in the northwestern Himlaya, are in fact advancing and that global warming is not the deciding factor in whether a glacier survives or melts.”

    So, did you know that? A bit of a surprise, right? Well, this is a classic example of actual science getting no attention while the hype of AGW alarmists gets plenty of attention.

    Jared, I actually did know about the 2035 claim because it was central to the IPCC report. Those darned press releases again.

    But your larger point about long-term methodology is clearly not true. If you were really concerned about long-term trends rather than short-term, we would be hearing about how global temperatures today compare to the long-term record, say, over the last several thousand years. All evidence is that it was considerably warmer in, say, Christ’s time and during the Medieval warming period than today, all without that nasty man-made CO2. No, Jared, you are concerned about politics just as I am. The fact that you dress it up as science is a convenient foil.

    I have made this point before, and I will continue to make it until somehow it penetrates your brain: your ideology is about controlling other human beings. You “know better.” YOU should be able to decide what other people do with their time and their talents because you have determined that the science is on your side. You have no problem with an international body determining whether a farmer in Iowa can use the tractor of his choosing, or what kind of lightbulbs he can use or whether he can use a gas-powered generator. You are a totalitarian. On the other hand, I make no claim over your time or talents or actions, as long as they don’t directly harm me. I encourage you and the Iowa farmer and everybody reading this blog to do whatever they want with their lives. I give them the freedom to make their own decisions. If they want to “go green” — have at it. Just don’t force me to make decisions that you think are correct because of your ideology (disguised as science).

  24. Geoff, if Jared’s ideology is “about controlling other human beings” then would any amount of scientific observation convince you otherwise? Since this is, to your mind, really about political, economic, and social domination of others, does it really matter what the evidence is? You’re obviously not objective; this is, to your viewpoint, very much about the nature of human freedom. So you are inclined to find evidence that argues against global warming and such because it supports what you consider to be immoral political, social, and economic positions. Is it possible that you are just finding what you are looking for, because you are so emotionally and psychologically committed to a certain worldview?

    Of course, Jared is possibly just as subjectively bound (in fact, we all likely are). Then again, I’m skeptical of the claim that global warming is a sham perpetrated to create a ruling scientific oligarchy (a la the Simpsons). So, your motivation strikes me as paranoid and self-serving. But what do I know? I’m possibly another dupe of the evil scientific conspiracy.

  25. Geoff,

    You’ve done nothing but cite a purported press release in support of your claim that the 2035 statement was central to the IPCC report. Meanwhile, anybody who bothers to look at the actual report will see that the statement could be deleted and have zero effect.

    The article you link to is an example of how science often progresses, and it is interesting. Hopefully the next IPCC report will take this into account. But what does it mean in the bigger picture? Did you read to the bottom? “The original headline and first paragraph may have left the mistaken impression that Himalayan glaciers in general are advancing rather than shrinking. We wish to confirm, as was made clear further on in the original article, that this finding related to only one of the areas studied, the Karakoram range, where it was found that rocks and mud on the surface of glaciers are helping to protect them from melting.” OK, so some Himalayan glaciers are advancing because of special conditions, but in general they are shrinking. Take that, AGW alarmists!

    Your carping about this is another example of missing the forest for the trees.

    I don’t claim to know what makes you tick, but apparently you can read my mind (or maybe my subconscious motivations) so I suppose it’s useless to protest. I ought to take offense at your claim that I am a totalitarian, but mostly I find it amusing. I only wish that you had compared me to Hitler so that Godwin’s law could be fulfilled.

    This has been fun and all, but I have already devoted way more time to this–ahem–discussion than I should have. I think I’ve made the points I wanted to, and I’ve learned some things to. So handshakes all around until next time. The last word is yours, if you want it.

  26. The amazing thing here is that we argue over and over about a policy that has such an incredibly obvious political compromise available that makes everyone happy. It’s rare to see this level of commitment to two points of view that are so obviously incorrect.

  27. Geoff, (29)

    To quote from the story: “The new study by scientists at the Universities of California and Potsdam has found that half of the glaciers in the Karakoram range, in the northwestern Himlaya, are in fact advancing and that global warming is not the deciding factor in whether a glacier survives or melts.”

    So, did you know that? A bit of a surprise, right? Well, this is a classic example of actual science getting no attention while the hype of AGW alarmists gets plenty of attention.

    Hmmm. Maybe I’m missing something. If I understand this article correctly, it says that in general, glaciers are receding, with the execption of glaciers which are in canyons with steep, high walls which block the sun and which are insulated under several feet of rubble. In other words, glaciers are melting, except when extraordinary, non-climate-related conditions help to keep them from melting.

    Is that a fair way to read it? Do you see it differently?

  28. John C, if the majority of the claims made by Hansen in the late 1980s were actually coming true, I personally would have some reason for personal alarm. Nobody wants to see the planet destroyed. I would not like all of the Atlantic coastal strip to be under water, which is what Hansen predicted would happen by now. I would think that based on what has actually happened, some healthy skepticism is in order. But, yes, I am biased on this issue, as we all are. We are the products of our experiences, what we have read, what we choose to believe and not believe and perhaps even our genetic dispositions. But I don’t claim to be unbiased. My cause is to promote personal liberty the best I can in my own flawed way. I have my own reasons for doing this, some of which I have expressed in the past and some of which will be the subject of some historical posts that you may or may not find interesting.

    John C and Jared, as a parting shot, I would ask you to read three links. One is this:

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/green-agenda-has-parallels-with-excesses-of-communism/story-e6frfhqf-1226103023674

    The other is Spencer’s defense of himself, linked in comment 30. And the third is the link from “Friends of Science” that I linked in #24. I don’t hope that you will be convinced by any of this, but my goal is to change minds one at a time, and maybe some silent lurker will be saved from the gaping maw of totalitarianism by reading this thread.

  29. Mark Brown, you can of course choose to read selectively if you like, but this story shows that: a)some glaciers are advancing, meaning taking up more water, not less and b)we don’t know all of the factors affecting the entire Himalayan glaciers and c)the IPCC report is controversial in India for claiming things that are obviously not true (could it be India will never agree to a climate pact that would stop economic growth?)

    It is true that overall temperatures worldwide are higher today than they were, say, 60 years ago by a small factor. This would cause some additional melting. But there is no evidence that temperatures are increasing at the massive rate predicted by Hansen, Gore, Erlich, etc. So, again, based on your biases you could say 1)temperatures are increasing and will continue to increase endlessly (even though it was predicted 23 years ago and hasn’t happened yet). Or you could say 2)temperatures slightly increased, and then temperatures stopped increasing 13 years ago. In addition, Arctic ice is melting, but Antartic ice is increasing. CO2 is increasing (mostly because of more people), but plant life around deserts is blooming again, so the Earth seems to be using all that CO2. That climate thing sure is complex and unpredictable. Which one you choose to believe depends a lot on the biases I discussed in the previous comment. Number 2) is much more believable to me.

  30. I would like to make a point. If I believe in human freedom, then the science of global warming is irrelevant to the debate regarding government policies. It could be that the world is warming at an unprecedented and alarming rate, but I would STILL argue against stripping human beings of their freedoms. Heck, I’ll admit that man-made global warming could still be perfectly real. But that doesn’t justify telling me which light bulbs I can or can’t use. My political beliefs and my scientific beliefs do not depend on each other.

    So I think Geoff is making a mistake by hinging his political philosophy on what the science says. He may feel like he’s not, but the fact that it matters so much to him (politically) that man-made global warming is wrong indicates otherwise. So, it may be that global warming activists are trying to set up a scientific oligarchy (I personally believe they are). But my response to that shouldn’t be to argue that global warming isn’t happening. My response should be to talk about the evils of oligarchy and the importance of local government and freedom. In fact, it makes more sense to do that, since it illustrates the importance of freedom even in the face of global disaster.

    Then, once I’ve made that point, I can argue the science on scientific grounds. Because once my freedoms aren’t hinging on it, I can show how the science of global warming has been abused and sloppily used to favor political factions. But I can argue much more rationally, since my own ideology of freedom isn’t threatened by global disaster, but is quite impervious to is.

  31. Ldsphilosopher, I was expecting you to make this very point. That is why I put in there “in my own flawed way.” I make my points when and how I can. I don’t and never will follow the same logical trail you do. We are different people. I am sloppy and all over the place. But I’m huggable and loveable.

    I’m not convinced by the science, I’m not convinced by the claims made over the years compared to the results, but I also don’t support the political movement. We each have our own way of making our points. I predict over the years that you will never approve of the way I make my points, and I don’t expect you to. But I will still love you even when you continue to find my methods very flawed.

  32. Geoff,

    you are right that global warming has become hopelessly politicized. But I think you are overestimating the sway that liberal political prejudice holds over the scientific majority. Some of my friends and relatives are scientists, and they tell me that their scientific reports and findings have to be so incredibly iron-clad in their data and proofs because fellow scientists will approach everything with intense skepticism, and nothing is taken for granted. They could easily lose their reputation and credibility with a little bit of shoddy or prejudiced research, and this could destroy their entire career.

    In global warming, the line between science and politics has become very blurred, and some psudo-scientists and intellectuals have found that they can advance a political agenda through shoddy research, and still find lots of political support. But I have heard a number of pro-global warming scientists say that Al Gore’s work is “not scientific.” Nevertheless, they don’t throw out the good science of global warming, simply because politicians are peddling overblown and exaggerated accounts. The scientific consensus is still that global warming is happening, and that CO2 emissions are most likely aggravating it. This consensus could change. Sure it’s possible that all these scientists are being overly influenced by political and cultural pressures.

    For myself, I’d rather be safe than sorry. What if global warming is real, and what if CO2 emissions are wrecking terrible havoc on our beautiful planet? The scientific consensus does have many compelling arguments, and they are after all, the consensus.

    And what’s the worst that could happen if bogus global warming is used to advance a Green agenda? Are fossil fuels going to carry us all the way through the Millennium, all you here at Millennial Star? Should we indefinitely put off pursuing research and development renewable energy simply because we can muddle through with dirty fossil fuels for the next hundred years?

    Does it not excite you at all: the promise that renewable energy holds for our posterity? A day when solar energy is cheaper, cleaner, and more available than today’s fossil fuels? This is the future. We have the technology. We just lack the infrastructure and efficient distribution. But these problems can be solved. But not solely by the market. We also need politics. Just as today’s power grids and highways could not have been built without political intervention, our posterity will not be able to enjoy the cleanliness and efficiency of renewable power, without political action in our day.

  33. Nate, I support ALL forms of energy. I am especially bullish on solar because I am convinced the technology will improve dramatically in the coming years. History shows very clearly that the best way to support technological improvement is through the free market. But the free market is the enemy for the green movement, so as long as the green movement continues to support policies that stifle innovation and jobs, I will continue to point out that their position is flawed.

  34. Geoff,
    I assure you that although I find all of your methods incredibly flawed, I love you to the degree that my coal-dark heart (2 sizes too small) is capable. As you note, we aren’t trying to convince one another at this point, just to point out to those hypothetical lurkers how wrong we both are in one another’s eyes. :)

  35. Geoff, I’m glad to hear that you are bullish on solar. I would be interested to hear how you think a free market approach might work better than the political machinations of the green movement to accomplish this goal. I’m sort of new here to Millenial Star, maybe you’ve already written about it. Thanks for letting me be part of the conversation.

  36. Nate, Edison didn’t invent the light bulb or many of his other projects because the government told him to. And more recently, Apple didn’t invest the ipad because it was a government project. Innovation works best in a free-market framework. The solution for solar energy is to end government regulation and allow entrepreneurs to work.

    Austrian economists point out that human action (meaning consumer decision-making) is very unpredictable. Because human beings are ever-changing and not uniform, the only way to serve their needs to is to allow thousands of trial and error tests. The only way to do that is through the marketplace. A one-size-fits-all government program is destined to fail — if you have multiple tests of different solutions, one might catch on.

    From a practical standpoint, there are simply too many regulations on the solar industry. Take a look at this for more:

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/02/17/3-easy-steps-to-kick-start-renewable-energy-in-the.aspx

    We’re glad to have you read M*.

  37. To me, whether or not the earth is warming matters less than being the best steward I can in my sphere. That being said, some people are doubtlessly motivated by fear more than sense. I think that motivating by fear eventually backfires, unfortunately.

  38. Man-made global warming, like the basic tenets of evolutionary theory, simply isn’t supported by the evidence. We need to think for ourselves and not be blinded by the fads and movements of our own time and place. A good site on the science and politics of global warming is http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org

  39. This has been a great discussion so far. Thanks to everyone for keeping it civil. I don’t think there is anyone here with a heart two sizes too small.

    I am ambivalent towards global warming. It may be that humans are causing a portion or even most of it. But there are issues we have not really examined in this. Anytime there is climate change, regardless of what causes it, some species die and others adapt. In previous periods of global warming, it has improved conditions for humans and other life forms in general. Cooler periods more often bring death to earth.

    Next, even if there is global warming, how do we safely manage it? What if we begin to cool the earth, and then something happens to over-cool the earth? Right now, meteorologists and solar scientists say we are going into an extremely slow sun-spot period for the Sun, which will cause cooling here on earth. It may even resolve for the next 30 years or more our overall warming. This is part of the reason we haven’t gotten warmer over the past 13 years – we are shifting into a solar cooling period. How do we fix it? Rev up the Sun somehow? Some scientists suggested injecting particles into the upper atmosphere to block out part of the Sun and cool the earth. This is the cheapest solution to global warming that I’ve seen. Imagine if we had done that, and then entered into a 30 year solar cooling period. We could have opened the door to killing even more species through making winters longer and harsher than we have now.

    Of course, ruining economies by following Kyoto Treaty would not have fixed anything, but would have left most of us poor. In reaction to such a poor energy oligarchy effort, people would have burnt more trees and coal to keep themselves warm in winter, and the pollutions of a century ago would return.

    I totally agree with ldsphilosopher: big government is generally bad. Freedom is good and solves most things quicker and cheaper than any federal government can do. We have to be aware that any decision has unexpected consequences that can be worse than the “cure.” Just think of the TSA protecting us and our freedom the next time they grope you, or the IRS when they explain that the voluntary income tax is actually mandatory and they defend it in their own kangaroo courts where you are guilty until proven innocent….

    Nothing good can come from a hegemony of Al Gore’s henchmen taking over not only our country, but the globe…

  40. It was his opinion that it was fundamentally flawed. However, it was peer reviewed and fixed according to the errors found. He does not specify what those errors are.

    I do agree that one study does not dismiss the possibility of global warming, as it must be compared with other studies, etc.

    My point was that there are various global warming “experts” that now claim that any change in weather is due to global warming. Some have even claimed that earthquakes are caused by global warming.

    Data is often completely ignored or taken way out of proportion by some on the global warming side. They need to look at all the data, even that which disagrees with their views. And that is something they have not been very willing to do. Instead, the skeptics have been called crazy and dismissed as Nazi wackos. I would like to see all data considered, not just the things that seem to support the theory of the day.

  41. I see, once again, Geoff, that you are quick with denier talking points. I checked in vain for any retraction of all your “climategate” hype, now that Michael Mann has been completely exonerated and vindicated by investigations by the NOAA, Penn State, the NSF, and several in Great Britain. Just another reason why you have absolutely zero credibility on this issue, no matter how many years you have been following one side of it.

  42. Bill, let’s check your credibility and reading comprehension. How many articles have appeared in peer-reviewed journals questioning the so-called consensus?

  43. As for Michael Mann, the various attempts to whitewash his obvious guilt are so blatant that only somebody as partisan and biased as you could not see them. See here for more:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/19/exonerated-not/

    The use of the descriptor “denier” is especially classy, btw. When are you and your watermelon (green on the outside, red on the inside) buddies planning the extermination of the people who dare to disagree with you?

  44. Rame, Roger Pielke (one of the most respected climate scientists) has responded to Wagner’s resignation, making the very important point that this is not how real science works. If there were problems with the Spencer paper (which Spencer denies), the way it should be handled is for the peer review process to sort out any challenges to Spencer’s report. It seems obvious that the AGW alarmists have pulled some strings and are mounting a campaign against the editor of “Remote Sensing” — a typical tactic by people who have lost the debate but still are interested in making their millions trying to keep the false narrative alive.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/comment-on-the-resignation-of-wolfgang-wagner-as-editor-in-chief-of-the-journal-remote-sensing-in-response-to-the-publication-of-spencer-and-braswell-2011/

  45. Geoff, I figured as much. However, until the details begin to come out, we can only discuss what we then know.

    Why resign over a peer reviewed article that many disagree with? It didn’t make sense. Articles are constantly sent in and after reviewed by others, are found wanting. We have yet to see the discussion on this one.

  46. Back to the computer after a couple of days. I didn’t address the list previously because I don’t take it at all seriously. It’s really a funny post. The most hilarious is the panicked little disclaimer at the beginning warning that his list has been criticized! And then all those boastful but frantic little claims at the end about how the various debunkings are all nothing but lies, as if we can’t easily check into the debunkings and see for ourselves whose evidence and arguments are more persuasive. One of the more persuasive was the professors who asked poptech guy to remove their articles because the articles didn’t mean what he thought they meant. Of course, the churl wouldn’t comply with the request.

    “Denier” is a term that is a little harsh, probably a little contemptuous, with echoes of those pariahs, the holocaust deniers. I’m sure some would prefer the more honorable term, “skeptic”, but I chose “denier” because contempt is exactly what I feel for the intellectual dishonesty (or perhaps charitably, willful blindness) continually on display. “Denier” is also in widespread use. Not so “watermelon” which (although I must admit that I don’t spend much time patrolling the more hysterical precincts of the right wing blogosphere whence the clever slur must have certainly arisen) I had never seen in that usage before and was grateful for the explanatory note.

    Quite apart from the fact that I really don’t have any buddies (you could have profitably substituted something like “henchmen” here) and certainly none (outside your fevered imagination) who are bent on anyone’s extermination, I assume “red on the inside” refers to the secret cherishing of some kind of communist central planning. An odd characterization of someone who has devoted considerable time to the markets (although not such a fundamentalist that I think the big banks are capable of regulating themselves). I did take advantage of energy deregulation, however: just today I received in the mail (don’t know why it took them 9 months) my 2010 certificate from Con Edison, informing me of the amount and source of all my electricity supply for the year which came exclusively from wind farms. So you can see I am the opposite of a watermelon: sincerely green-friendly and market-friendly. But this is just a trivial distraction. Any particular individual’s hypocrisies or lack thereof have nothing to do with the truth or falsity of scientific claims and evidence.

  47. Bill, I don’t think we are calling anyone a commie here. We are discussing the issue of whether the data actually shows mankind is causing global warming/climate change. Personally, I have no doubt there is climate change. And, as someone who is fascinated by chaos theory, have no doubt humans contribute to it. That said, I’m skeptical of three things: first, whether the level of change caused by mankind is really long term and severe. Second, whether other factors (solar activity, etc) might not be a bigger issue. Finally, whether the warming of the earth is really such a bad thing. Yes, it could cause flooding in some areas, etc., but it could also bring about longer growing seasons and better overall health to humans and other animals, as we see in previous warm periods vs cold periods.

    Many of the claims for man made global warming just are not there. And when the “scientists” proclaim that any change is weather (and even earthquakes!) are caused by global warming, then they lose credibility. In the current issue of Newsweek, an up front editorial excoriates us for not taking global warming more seriously, and uses hurricane Irene as an example of where it is going. Hurricanes go in cycles. We’ve had many years of multiple hurricanes, but we can never tell if they will run up the Gulf or Atlantic coasts. Hurricanes have reached New York before, though it is rare.

    That many climatologists that study the sun are accurately predicting main weather events are saying we’re going into a cool period for the next 30 years is something you just won’t hear a global warming theorist discuss. They ignore major components of science in pushing their own theory. We need to consider all evidence.

  48. Bill, I feel sorry for you (but am not completely surprised based on the tone of your comments on this blog) that you do not have any buddies.

  49. You learn something new every day… I did a little more research and the phrase “green on the outside, red on the inside” appears not to have originated with the American anti-environmentalist right as I had supposed. Rather it was the Japanese militarists of the 1930s who compared Esperantists, whom they persecuted and sometimes executed, to watermelons. (Green is the color of Esperanto).

  50. These days, the color “red” really means people who want to control the actions of other people. If you want to live off of windmills, I say more power to you (get it — more power?). Allow those of us who don’t want to have bird-killing windmills in our backyards to keep on getting power as we like until solar technology or some other new technology helps us get off the grid. In short, keep out of our lives in the same way we keep out of yours. The green movement is about political control, forcing other people to live the way *you* want them to live. I will fight that (nonviolently) the rest of my days and with all of my breath.

  51. It seems like you really hate wind power. Not really reasonable, though to object to it based on bird deaths. Sadly, more than 500 million birds die every year in the US. Most from tall buildings, power lines, cats, cars, and pesticides, along with habitat loss due to air pollution, climate change, oil spills and other environmental degradation. Wind turbines are very low on the list. But you will be happy to hear that I don’t want anyone to have a windmill in their backyard who doesn’t want one. In fact, most people’s backyards are not ideal sites for turbines, not enjoying the high-quality sustained winds found more often in remote areas.

    Glad to hear that you are more optimistic about solar. The cost of solar is declining rapidly and within a couple of years will reach parity with other sources (to say nothing of those other sources’ negative externalities). Part of the reason solar stocks have done so poorly recently is that the companies’ pricing power has eroded so much faster than anyone expected. They are producing more and more, and better and better, but the cost of polysilicon has been plummeting. Happy to report that my parents will have panels installed on their roof in October and will be producing 90+% of their own electricity. I’m sure that you are happy that Colorado passed the fair permit law this year which significantly reduces the excessive fees state and local governments had been levying on the permitting of solar installations.

  52. Bill, personally I would not like the noise and potential dangers associated with a wind turbine on my property. BUT I will install solar in my house as soon as it becomes economically viable, which means probably in the next few years. The numbers don’t make sense yet, but they will soon. So I’m glad we can end on this happy note of agreement.

  53. An irony is that refining silicon is an energy-intensive process. It is as common as sand, but trades for a couple thousand dollars a ton because of the work it takes to break the metal free from its oxide form. Purifying it from other metals is further work. Until recent years, photovoltaic cells were manufactured from semiconductor industry scrap, but that is too limited a source for supplying any significant percent of the world’s energy consumption. The energy to refine semiconductor grade silicon is more than a solar cell made from it could produce in its lifetime. Solar cell grade silicon doesn’t have to be as pure as semiconductor grade, so there is hope. (See “Thermodynamics of solar-grade-silicon refining” for more detail.) For now, though, photovoltaic energy mainly means shifting combustion from an electric power plant near us to a silicon factory far away.

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