Sunday, October 21, 2007

What the Global Warming Denialists Don't Understand

If Global Warming is a matter of science, ever ask yourself why almost all Global Warming Denialists are conservative Republicans? The reason - a general lack of knowledge and an ingrained propaganda driven agenda.

Take, for example this quote by the lunatic Ann Coulter:
“The temperature of the planet has increased about one degree Fahrenheit in the last century. So imagine a summer afternoon when it’s 63 degrees and the next thing you know it’s . . . 64 degrees. Ahhhh!!!! Run for your lives, everybody! Women and children first!”
To the average uninformed person, a global increase of 1 degree doesn't seem much like a big deal. But when you consider that such global temperature changes are much more exaggerated in the arctic, we see that one global degree increase IS very significant, as we see today in the arctic:
CNN : Ice cover in the Arctic Ocean, long held to be an early warning of a changing climate, has shattered the all-time low record this summer, according to scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder. Mark Serreze, senior research scientist at NSIDC, termed the decline "astounding." Most researchers had anticipated that the complete disappearance of the Arctic ice pack during summer months would happen after the year 2070, he said, but now, "losing summer sea ice cover by 2030 is not unreasonable."
Regarding the causes, it appears to the scientific community that there is a clear correlation between fossil fuel burning, atmospheric CO2 rise, and the increase in global temperatures as shown in the graphs in this previous post . Clearly, we are presently in the most drastic period of global climate change in human history.

Yes, there have been ice ages and climate changes in human history, but nothing like the warming event that occurred 55 million years ago that resulted in the melting of the arctic and mass impacts on species evolution. This event, called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), was the result of a 5 to 8°C sea surface temperature rise over a few thousand years, likely caused by massive volcanic activity. The present trend would clearly indicate an event like the PETM is a likely possibility, and despite what ignorant pundits say, a one degree global temperature rise over 100 years IS a big deal. We are already seeing global climate change impacts far more quickly than the models have predicted.

If saw CBS 60 minutes tonight, you saw one of these impacts -
a new age of mega-fires in the western US -- the worst in recorded history. Climate change -- global warming -- has increased temperatures in the West about one degree and that has caused four times more fires. In the Southwest alone, nearly two million acres of forest are gone and won't come back for centuries. In 2006, the feds spent $2 billion on fire fighting, seven times more than just ten years ago.

The changes are coming fast and drastic. It may be too late to do anything about it. Look at the dramatic CO2 increase that exactly parallels the increase in human burning of fossil fuels (click to enlarge):




































Want to see a true-to-life global warming denialist? Check out Mark Rose who is also a creationist who thinks much of science is 'a pack of lies.' Forget about commenting on his blog. He's too much of a coward to allow comments that contain evidence that refute his close-minded beliefs. His level of denial is astounding - a typical characteristic of religious authoritarian conservatives.

16 comments:

michael said...

so true! the evidence is all around them, but the neocons refuse to see it. the neocons come up with some up with some of the most convoluted arguments to discredit the idea of global warming.

Anonymous said...

The science is bullcrap. Environmental policy is as much to blame, if not more, because it was hotter in the early part of the 20th Centruy and forest fires were not as bad. What's changed is that logging has been severely restricted. Loggers clear underbrush and protect trees because when their forest burns they lose money. Another conseqeunce is that the forests are much drier. In New Mexico, some residents are in drought conditions because one tree sucks up as much water as a family of four in one year. They wanted to thin the trees to improve conditions, but the environmentalists said no. And as you'd expect, drier conditions lead to more fires.

Mike said...

If Global Warming is a matter of science, ever ask yourself why almost all Global Warming Denialists are conservative Republicans? The reason - a general lack of knowledge and an ingrained propaganda driven agenda.

Interesting. Then why are almost all Anthropgenic Global Warming Activists liberal Democrats? If you're saying that one side alone has all the answers, then all you are is a partisan hack blinded by ideology.

William said...

Mike, That is incorrect, global warming scientists and activists don't exist only in the united states. There are many many conservative global warming activists, more so outside of the US. I never said there is an 'answer' to global warming. Personally, I think global warming has reached the tipping point, is partially man-made, and we likely will not be able to do anything about it. Yes, more liberals are global warming aware, because liberals tend to be better educated and able to understand the scientific concepts. Americans in general are scientifically illiterate. From the National Science Board:

"Researchers have concluded that fewer than one-fifth of Americans meet a minimal standard of civic scientific literacy ... it is possible to conclude that most Americans (two-thirds in 2001) do not have a firm grasp of what is meant by the scientific process."

Combine this with energy industry funded junk science and you have many people like yourself Mike, in denial about global warming. People like you who get their 'news' from Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Fox.

Doc said...

William--

You implied at the start of your article that this is about the US politics, as there are no Republicans outside of the US that are an organized political party. Therefore you framed your argument within the context to the US. Don't try and change it now.

As for "almost all Global Warming Denialists" being conservative Republicans, that's almost insulting. You are stating that anyone who disagrees with your stance can immediately be lumped into a group that you can immediately dismiss as being "less intelligent" than you. Well, I happen to know several chemists and climatologists who are smarter than you on this subject, and their political allegiance varies. What doesn't vary is their absolute dismay that the alarm raised by Activists is not based on hard evidence. What's worse is the political payback scientists are getting for reporting data. We're aware of the NASA scientists who were shut down by higher level administrators, but equally disturbing is the attempting silencing of people with contrary data. The governors of Virginia and Connecticut, both Democrats, removed state climatologists from their positions because they objected to idea that mankind is responsible for Global Warming.

Given that the biggest voices coming out on the Climate Change debate from the left are politicians, actors and musicians, and the biggest names on the other end are climatologists, I tend to side with the science, of which I am one. Being that you're a musician, I can understand your tendency to side with Sheryl Crow.

William said...

Doc,

You side with the scientists right?

Like 78 yr old William Gray who recieved his degree in the early 60's before the advent of computer models. Like Richard Lindzen who has taken money from energy companies? Like the 94 yr old Frederick Seitz who received his degree in 1934 and is a paid consultant of RJ Reynolds that eschews the dangers of tobacco smoking?

Yes, these are examples of 'your' scientists.

I suppose the 8 supercomputer climate models from climate labs the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Australia, and Japan whose projections of global warming that all agree and almost exactly follow the curve of fossil fuel burning is a liberal conspiracy by Cheryl Crow and Hollywood liberals?

You are one ignorant wingnut, a kool-aide drinker and a science denier. Lemme guess... you're also a christian conservative, right?

William said...

Ha, I was right.

How did I know that?
Here's a quote from Doc's Blog:

"Now it’s time to tackle Darwin and evolution and the shortsightedness of the evolutionists."

Doc, maybe you should take your kids to the American Museum of Natural History, I'd recommend the Hall of Human Origins.

Doc said...

William said:

Like 78 yr old William Gray who recieved his degree in the early 60's before the advent of computer models.

William, computer models are predictive algorithms. They're not perfect as they cannot account for all of the variables in all situations. If you want a good judge of just how "accurate" computer modeling is, look at the variable hurricane paths that a variety of computer models will spit out. They're not congruous. And that's a system which is contained within a short time frame with generally predictable variables such as wind speed, air temperature, solar input, sea temperatures, etc.

Now I know it's hard for a musician to think in math terms, but imagine all of the variables associated with predictive meteorology. That's a relative closed system as well, but go out beyond 5 days and you get basic garbage.

My friend in meteorology, who received his Ph.D., explained predictive analysis of the weather. He said that the mathematics gets more complicated the further out you go. By the time you reach the fifth day, you're working on such complex calculus to try and contain all the variables, that it's nearly impossible to gain any precision. In other words, the math gets impossible 5 days out.

Now, imagine applying that same idea of years of data on a global scale. The system is much larger, the variables are more random, and external factors are nearly impossible to predict. Instead, everything used is averages from a certain time period and an extrapolation of trends without influence from changing external sources. Stretching that out 20 years, and then claiming that your "prediction" is science, is about as worthwhile as reading the "Doomsday Prohpecies Revealed!" rag at the local supermarket.

Gray and a host of others (such as Lindzen the Shill (who is tenured faculty at MIT), Michaels, A. Robinson, N. Robinson, and others) have disputed the claims that the world is getting warmer due to manmade CO2 emissions only. But, hey, they're old fuddy-duddies. They must have Mad Cow because they're not using computers to predict the doom of society.

And if you want stand on your lute and impugn experts in their scientific field, I'd invite you to look at the signers of the recent documents of IPCC. You'll notice that the signatories are not only scientists, but activists & government representatives, none of whom have any pedigree in actual science.

And as for your lame attack on me, here's the two links to the full articles, one blasting fundamentalists for their creationist views, and one blasting evolutionists for their absolute belief in scientific theory.

http://tinyurl.com/2fedra
http://tinyurl.com/ytn6qs

You'll also find out where I come down on the evolution debate if you bothered to read the articles. I thought that's what was supposed to make liberals smarter than conservatives-- all that reading. Well, I read your blog post before responding to it. You might have the courtesy to do the same without drawing absurd conclusions. That would be the smart thing to do.

William said...

Comparing computer models on weather and hurricane prediction and global climate change is apples and oranges. You surely must know the difference between 'weather' and 'climate'.

I am not a global warming alarmist. As I've stated, global warming may never have a man-made solution and if there is one, it is unlikely to be successful as it will require a rapid and impossible change in world-wide energy production. And, we likely won't see the benefits of such a change or the catastrophic results of the climate change in our lifetime.

I agree, global warming 'activists' often join the movement based on a superficial understanding of the science. But you obviously can not separate the science from the politics.

You imply that the best available science is somehow politically skewed. You imply that findings from completely separate labs in Japan, the UK, Canada, US, Germany, etc... are in some way flawed to support your denialist agenda.

You are the one impugning these scientific findings from prestigeous climate labs world wide, and you have the balls to tell ME that I'm impugning science? You are refuting the unanimous conclusions of these climate labs based on what John Stossel told you. Pathetic. Hell I hope you don't teach science, that's all we need. America in the midst of an 'idiocracy'.

CCSR/NIES: Center for Climate System Research & National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan

CCCma: Canadian Center for Climate Modelling and Analysis

CSIRO: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia

Hadley Centre: Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, UK

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, US

Max Planck Institute für Meteorologie, Germany

National Center for Atmospheric Research, US

Doc said...

Comparing computer models on weather and hurricane prediction and global climate change is apples and oranges. You surely must know the difference between 'weather' and 'climate'.

I'm not harping on comparisons of weather & climate. I'm trying to illustrate to you the flaws of putting absolute faith into a computer model because of its limited scope and inclusion of all variables involved.

I am not a global warming alarmist.

From your post:

Clearly, we are presently in the most drastic period of global climate change in human history.

The present trend would clearly indicate an event like the PETM is a likely possibility, and despite what ignorant pundits say, a one degree global temperature rise over 100 years IS a big deal.


Sounds like alarmism to me. You're just convinced there's nothing we can do, and that actually shifts you from an alarmist to a doomsayer. So I apologize for mislabeling you.

You imply that the best available science is somehow politically skewed.

I did? I thought that was you...

If Global Warming is a matter of science, ever ask yourself why almost all Global Warming Denialists are conservative Republicans?

Like Richard Lindzen who has taken money from energy companies? Like the 94 yr old Frederick Seitz who received his degree in 1934 and is a paid consultant of RJ Reynolds that eschews the dangers of tobacco smoking?


More from William:

You imply that findings from completely separate labs in Japan, the UK, Canada, US, Germany, etc... are in some way flawed to support your denialist agenda.

They are flawed because their predictive techniques are based upon incomplete data. It's not because I am a secret devotee to the Rove Denialist Cabal, it's because I'm a scientist and I see, all the time, where computer-aided predictive elements fail. And those predictions are in closed-system molecular modeling, not global climate projections.

You are the one impugning these scientific findings from prestigeous climate labs world wide, and you have the balls to tell ME that I'm impugning science?

Yes. I actually use reasoning to impugn their results, which is what scientists do. We suggest a theory to colleagues, who examine the data and critique it to get the best possible information out of it.

You'd rather remove people like Richard Lindzen from the debate because they've taken money from BIG OIL. Well, guess what, so has nearly 80% of the academic chemistry community. Does that invalidate all of their research, too? Regardless of his education and continued academic excellence, you must try to invalidate him. It has nothing to do with the science. Notice you didn't attack what he was putting forth as far as information. You attacked him because of his funding sources.

That's a dangerous road, William. A great deal of scientific research, especially in academics, comes from private foundations. If we start attacking these foundations and their research because of how their money was gotten, you're essentially stripping that money from science.

You are refuting the unanimous conclusions of these climate labs based on what John Stossel told you. Pathetic.

No, William, I refute these climate labs because I hold a Ph.D. in Chemistry. I examined the data and came to a conclusion. I listened to a host of climatologists, physicists, scientists, and others, and I agreed with their conclusions.

Pathetic is someone without a degree in science telling other people what the consensus of the scientific community is. Pathetic is a group of people attempting to lay the blame of a as-yet-unknown planetary phenomenon at the feet of an industry. Pathetic is people who blindly follow politicians due to similar ideology.

So don't talk to me about kool-aid when your lips are stained sweetly red.

William said...

"No, William, I refute these climate labs because I hold a Ph.D. in Chemistry."

Wow, I wonder if any of the hundred's of scientists at these research center have PhDs as well? You do have some balls refuting 8 climate research labs, "doc."

Why is it that you so conveniently fit the conservative christian profile, "Mr. Intelligent Design Advocate"? How many Intelligent Design advocates like youself are NOT religious?

I bring this issue up to show how your personal beliefs form your agenda. You impugn climate models to fit your beliefs, as you force scientific hypothesis to fit your beliefs in Intelligent design.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume, like many denialists, you are just ignorant and suffer from a lack of new information when you say, climate models are wrong because they contain incomplete data. How much data is needed? How far back do you think we need data to project a trend? Surely you realize that global warming has happened previously and we know with fairly good certainty the amount of temperature rise it takes to melt the Arctic and the Antarctic ice shelves?

In January 2007, the Antarctic Geological Drilling (ANDRILL) Program has newly recovered rock cores from Antarctica more than a kilometer in length, detailing the episodic changes of the Ross Ice Shelf and the ice sheets feeding it - dozens of oscillations in the ice margin over the last 10 million years. (Of course, being a christian, you may not believe that mankind has been around in the present evolutionary form for approx 2.5 million years).

The rock core samples showed intervals when the ice shelf disappeared were during times when our planet was just 2 to 3 degrees Celsius warmer than it is today -- much like it is predicted to be in the next 50 to 100 years by many climate models.

Are you denying this science and these scientist's conclusions involved in the ANDRILL project? - Ross Powell, Northern Illinois University; Tim Naish, of New Zealand's Victoria University of Wellington; David Harwood of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and Fabio Florindo of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanlogy. Would it impress you to know these guys have PhDs too and don't go around calling themselves "doc"?

From the model output, the scientists computed 10 different indices of climate extremes, with 5 related to temperature and 5 to moisture. For instance, a frost days index measures how many days per year temperatures dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, while a dry days index measures the length of each year's longest consecutive string of days without rain or snow. Because the impact of a given index can be stronger in one climatic zone than another, the researchers expressed the results in terms of statistical significance at each location.

For all three greenhouse-gas scenarios, the models agree that by 2080-2099:

* The number of extremely warm nights and the length of heat waves will increase significantly over nearly all land areas across the globe.

* Most areas above about 40 degrees north will see a significant jump in the number of days with heavy precipitation (days with more than 0.40 inches). This includes the northern tier of U.S. states, Canada, and most of Europe.

* Dry spells could lengthen significantly across the western United States, southern Europe, eastern Brazil, and several other areas. Dry spells are one of several factors in producing and intensifying droughts.

* The average growing season could increase significantly across most of North America and Eurasia.

You call these conclusions kool-aide? But John Stossel and Ann Coulter and the aging big oil funded scientists are correct? None of these PhDs with their fancy new rock cores and computer models could possibly know anything right?
"Doc?"

William said...

BTW "Doc" - I hope you're tenured, I wonder what your Dean would think of a Science Professor who is an advocate of Intelligent Design? Must get cold up there in Barron, aye?

Doc said...

Wow, I wonder if any of the hundred's of scientists at these research center have PhDs as well? You do have some balls refuting 8 climate research labs, "doc."

Well, it would be, if it was just me, William. But it's hundreds of scientists, as well.

Why is it that you so conveniently fit the conservative christian profile, "Mr. Intelligent Design Advocate"? How many Intelligent Design advocates like youself are NOT religious?

And now you shift the debate to try and discredit me by labeling me as something I'm not. What's the matter, William? Can't argue on the facts? Are you that addle-brained that you cannot confront a fellow intellectual and refute my reason? I thought you liberals were supposed to be smarter than conservatives. If all you can do it try to shift the focus of the argument, then it's clear you don't know what the hell you're talking about. All you do is parrot what you've been told by fellow, like-minded progressives instead of thinking for yourself.

I truly pity the future if our education system is producing low-brow "intellectuals" such as yourself--someone who is a proponent of a theory, then, when confronted with opposing data, tries to smear the contrarian.

My views on Intelligent Design are in black and white, on two posts on my blog. I've given you the links. How about taking the time to read them? But no, instead you lump me in with your stereotypes.

On your blog you state that liberals are "generous, abundant, lavish, broadminded, tolerant, enlightened, charitable, free". So far you throw me into a stereotype (intolerance), you refuse to examine the data of my argument (refusing to be enlightened), and you threaten me (attempting to enslave through intimidation). Not batting 1.000 with the liberal attitudes there, William. Maybe you should consider some self-examination?

Let me give you a hint on arguing. Instead of leading with insults and smears, maybe you should lead with your data?

And perhaps you should delve deeper into your data. What you present about ice rocks strikes to the core of climate change. You said:

The rock core samples showed intervals when the ice shelf disappeared were during times when our planet was just 2 to 3 degrees Celsius warmer than it is today -- much like it is predicted to be in the next 50 to 100 years by many climate models.

Exactly. The earth has varied in temperature by a few degrees C in the past 10 million years. Where was industrialization then? Right, nowhere. But the planet was getting warmer! What was causing that warming?

I'd recommend you read this paper. It's a good analysis by two chemists on the current state of climate change.

http://tinyurl.com/35o3kq

I am not disputing that the world is getting warmer. I am disputing the overall cause of the planetary warming. And I'm not going to buy into a model scenario that predicts what life is going to be like in 85 years. It's unverifiable. And if you think a computer has a handle on all plaentary quirks that affect the climate over the next 80+ years, you go ahead and buy your sackcloth.

BTW "Doc" - I hope you're tenured, I wonder what your Dean would think of a Science Professor who is an advocate of Intelligent Design? Must get cold up there in Barron, aye?

Finally, if you're going to level a veiled threat against me, you're nothing but a petty thug. So much for the "free exchange of ideas". I guess it's just your ideas you're interested in exchanging.

Adios, William. I'm off to hang with the tolerant people.

William said...

Hey "doc", How stupid do you think we are? You criticize me for an inability to argue facts when I give you data sources from 8 of the world's leading climate labs and you, laughably, give me a study from a notorius industry connected skeptic group, The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine which produced that non-peer reviewed study you cited in cooperation with another industry connected skeptic group - The Marshall Institute. To top it all off, the "petition" was headed by your favorite 94 yr old industry funded 'scientist' Frederick Seitz, tobacco industry champion. I can't believe someone with your credentials can be so unscholarly and transparent.

To fill our readers in on 'Doc's' cited facts from The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine - here is an example of the 'scholarship' that 'Doc" cites:

Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine

The Marshall Institute co-sponsored with the OISM a deceptive campaign -- known as the Petition Project -- to undermine and discredit the scientific authority of the IPCC and to oppose the Kyoto Protocol. Early in the spring of 1998, thousands of scientists around the country received a mass mailing urging them to sign a petition calling on the government to reject the Kyoto Protocol. The petition was accompanied by other pieces including an article formatted to mimic the journal of the National Academy of Sciences. Subsequent research revealed that the article had not been peer-reviewed, nor published, nor even accepted for publication in that journal and the Academy released a strong statement disclaiming any connection to this effort and reaffirming the reality of climate change. The Petition resurfaced in 2001.

Spin: There is no scientific basis for claims about global warming. IPCC is a hoax. Kyoto is flawed.

Funding: Petition was funded by private and industry sources.

Affiliated Individuals: Arthur B. Robinson, Sallie L. Baliunas, Frederick Seitz

-----

Exactly. The earth has varied in temperature by a few degrees C in the past 10 million years. Where was industrialization then? Right, nowhere. But the planet was getting warmer! What was causing that warming?

It doesn't take much. Episodes of global climate change have been triggered by volcanism, and as one Harvard scholar suggested, large earth impacts (asteroids, etc...).

Today's climate change is being triggered most likely by fossil fuel burning, perhaps in combination with other natural forces. That IS the scientific consensus, except maybe among republicans in the George Marshall Inst.

William said...

Check this out - 'Doc's' cited study that 'proves' global warming has no connection to fossil fuel burning was produced by Dr. Arthur B. Robinson, President and Research Professor, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

Here on a cached website hosted by liquidcoal.com, Robinson appeals to his readers to write to Lee R. Raymond, American Enterprise Institute and former Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobile Corp to fund a renewed petition drive against global warming.

How disingenuous can these people be? Amazing how gullible such 'scientists' (like doc) tainted by political views bend to such psuedo science to support thier politics.

Yes doc, you fit the authoritarian religious right wing conservative to a tee. Don't you ever consider the agendas of your sources and the integrity of their scholarship?

Reason over religion! said...

Doc,

You’ve apparently done a great job in applying your expertise in chemistry to prove that the origins of life are a mystery. But the thing is we already knew that. But good job in demonstrating your expertise in chemistry.

What you have demonstrated a lack of expertise in is logic, to wit:

Intelligent design can not be the preferred explanation because it does not succeed in its intent, namely explaining the origins of life; rather it merely complicates the issue by introducing another element the origins of which must yet be accounted for.

Your flawed logic manifests itself in your evaluation of the issue of climate change. All you have proven is that the evidence in support of the theory that carbon human generated carbon emissions are aggravating the climate is not conclusive. But the thing is we already knew that too. But if it’s okay with, we are going to listen to the scientists that advise we should continue to look into the matter, rather than throwing our hands up and saying, “well, it could be a difficult problem, let’s just abdicate responsibility to the magical-sky-daddy.”