Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Will Global Warming zealots apologize?
Published on February 15, 2007 By Draginol In Politics

Since 1975, the mean average recorded temperature world wide has increased slightly. Prior to that, it was actually cooling. That is, between 1940 and 1975 the earth was cooling.

Now, it could indeed turn out that the reason temperatures have increased is due to human impact on the environment.  CO2 is a greenhouse gas. And we're putting a lot of it in the air. We've significantly increased the amount in the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial revolusion. What isn't known, however, is how much effect CO2 has on temperature. Anyone who claims they know is lying. It's an unknown and the various computer models basically take an educated guess as to what affect CO2 has on global temperatures. I.e. it's a "fudge factor". 

If I were a betting man, I would actually bet that CO2 isn't the cause of the increase in temperature. That doesn't mean I'm against reducing emmissions. I favor reasonable efforts to decrease human impact on the environment (though I am cynical enough to think that left-wing European politicians focus on CO2 in order to deflect from the amount of sulfur, soot, and heavy metals that Europe dumps into the air per capita compared to the US, Canada, and elsewhere).  But I am also not in favor of any sort of massive, immediate overhaul to our economy.

Global Warming theory is weak science.  The definition of weak science is whether it relies purely on consensus or not as opposed to scientific method. E=MC^2 is fact. It's been proven. Even evolution, which has its share of critics, works on proven scientific principles and has fossil evidence (don't hijack the discussion in the comments area about evolution).  Global warming, for instance, isn't even a theory. It's a hypothesis. CO2 is a green house gas. We put a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere. The temperature since 1975 has increased. Therefore, CO2 is the cause.  That's it.  That is basically the entire argument.  And they say it's the cause because there's a "scientific consensus" around it made by many people who have an economic reason to be in favor of it (just as there are those who have an economic incentive to oppose the CO2 hypothesis).  

If you've watched films like "An inconvenient truth" note how much time is given over to "proving" the temperature has increased (I don't know anyone who's arguing that it hasn't) and how much damage higher temperatuers would do to the Earth.  But how much is actually spent making the case that humans are the cause? Virtually no time. That's because the paragraph above states the entire case. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. We create a lot of it. Temperatures have increased. It's sure a good thing there aren't any other..you know..inputs into our system like a massive fusion powered gas fire fall thousands of times larger than the Earth nearby sending terrajoles of energy into our system...but I digress..

So like I said, if I was a betting man, I would bet that CO2 isn't the cause of the slight global increase in temperatures. I think there are other, much more likely, possibilities such as increased solar activity or slight changes in the orbit of the Earth or tilt of the earth. 

I don't claim to be a scientist, but I am pretty good at analysing statistics.  And so, if in say 5, 10 years the mean global temperature starts to dip -- i.e. definitively dip like it was doing pre-1975 -- what will the environmentalist movement do? Given the hysteria over global warming, does anyone think for one moment that the environmentalist movement will say "Oops, we're sorry, we really have no idea what we're talking about."?  Or, would they simply come up with another "man made" reason that over-compensated for global warming? I think we know the answer.

That's one of the reason I can't take environmentalists seriously. They are so often completely shameless in their claims. They take no responsibility when they're wrong. Heck, they rarely acknowledge when they're wrong.  As a result, I'm not inclined to latch onto the latest faith-based chicken little mongering from them.  In the meantime, I'll try to live my life as I always have -- with as little impact on the environment as I can do without compromising my standard of living.  But I'll also oppose attempts by the irresponsible to cripple our economy and way of life.


Comments (Page 2)
on Feb 15, 2007
Draginol's discussion of this topic indicates two problems with his temporizing, one of which he readily acknowledges: 1) he has little scientific background, and 2) he is willing to lump and stereotype people with opposiing points of view when it suits his purpose.

I would defy Draginol or anyone to find a definition of "weak science" in any textbook that matches the comments he makes in his third paragraph. From a scientific point of view, this term is nonsensical; there are endeavors that are scientific and those that are not. Either you examine known facts to generate a working hypothesis, which you test and subsequently reject or fail to reject, thereby generating new hypotheses in an epistemological cycle that is, for human purposes, unending--or you do not. The fact that scientists have reached a consensus on an issue that can be viewed in political terms does not necessarily mean that the scientists are wrong or that there is no "hard" science backing the viewpoint in question. Usually what it means is that the opponents of the scientific consensus have a political agenda of their own, and the easiest way to discredit the consensus viewpoint is to claim that it is biased, weak, or scientifically invalid, which is much easier to do when the critics control the definitions of what constitutes science.

I would direct those who believe that Draginol has a legitimate point to consider the following links:

Link

Link

Link


So then according to you these guys don't have a clue? Come on.


Sun's Direct Role in Global Warming May Be Underestimated, Duke Physicists Report


Study does not discount the suspected contributions of 'greenhouse gases' in elevating surface temperatures

Friday, September 30, 2005

Durham, N.C. -- At least 10 to 30 percent of global warming measured during the past two decades may be due to increased solar output rather than factors such as increased heat-absorbing carbon dioxide gas released by various human activities, two Duke University physicists report.

The physicists said that their findings indicate that climate models of global warming need to be corrected for the effects of changes in solar activity. However, they emphasized that their findings do not argue against the basic theory that significant global warming is occurring because of carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse" gases.

Nicola Scafetta, an associate research scientistworking at Duke's physics department, and Bruce West, a Duke adjunct physics professor, published their findings online Sept. 28, 2005, in the research journal Geophysical Research Letters.

West is also chief scientist in the mathematical and information sciences directorate of the Army Research Office in Research Triangle Park.

Scafetta's and West's study follows a Columbia University researcher's report of previous errors in the interpretation of data on solar brightnesscollected by sun-observing satellites.

The Duke physicists also introduce new statistical methods that they assert more accurately describe the atmosphere's delayed response to solar heating. In addition, these new methods filter out temperature-changing effects not tied to global warming, they write in their paper.

According to Scafetta, records of sunspot activity suggest that solar output has been rising slightly for about 100 years. However, only measurements of what is known as total solar irradiance gathered by satellites orbiting since 1978 are considered scientifically reliable, he said.

But observations over those years were flawed by the space shuttle Challenger disaster, which prevented the launching of a new solar output detecting satellite called ACRIM 2 to replace a previous one called ACRIM 1.

That resulted in a two-year data gap that scientists had to rely on other satellites to try to bridge. "But those data were not as precise as those from ACRIM 1 and ACRIM 2," Scafetta said in an interview.

Nevertheless, several research groups used the combined satellite data to conclude that that there was no increased heating from the Sun to contribute to the global surface warming observed between 1980 and 2002, the authors wrote in their paper.

Lacking a standardized, uninterrupted data stream measuring any rising solar influence, those groups thus surmised that all global temperature increases measured during those years had to be caused by solar heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases such as carbon dioxide, introduced into Earth's atmosphere by human activities, their paper added.

But a 2003 study by a group headed by Columbia's Richard Willson, principal investigator of the ACRIM experiments, challenged the previous satellite interpretations of solar output. Willson and his colleagues concluded, rather that their analysis revealed a significant upward trend in average solar luminosity during the period.

Using the Columbia findings as the starting point for their study, Scafetta and West then statistically analyzed how Earth's atmosphere would respond to slightly stronger solar heating. Importantly, they used an analytical method that could detect the subtle, complex relationships between solar output and terrestrial temperature patterns.

The Duke analyses examined solar changes over a period twice as long -- 22 versus 11years -- as was previously covered by another group employinga different statistical approach.

"The problem is that Earth's atmosphere is not in thermodynamic equilibrium with the sun," Scafetta said. "The longer the time period the stronger the effect will be on the atmosphere, because it takes time to adapt."

Using a longer 22 year interval also allowed the Duke physicists to filter out shorter range effects that can influence surface temperatures but are not related to global warming, their paper said. Examples include volcanic eruptions, which can temporarily cool the climate, and ocean current changes such as el Nino that affect global weather patterns.

Applying their analytical method to the solar output estimates by the Columbia group, Scafetta's and West's paper concludes that "the sun may have minimally contributed about 10 to 30 percent of the 1980-2002 global surface warming."

This study does not discount that human-linked greenhouse gases contribute to global warming, they stressed. "Those gases would still give a contribution, but not so strong as was thought," Scafetta said.

"We don't know what the Sun will do in the future," Scafetta added. "For now, if our analysis is correct, I think it is important to correct the climate models so that they include reliable sensitivity to solar activity.

"Once that is done, then it will be possible to better understand what has happened during the past hundred years
on Feb 15, 2007
warreni, I couldn't put it better myself (obviously since I am not a scientist). I accept (and am grateful for) all the benefits that scientific progress has given me to date, I don't see any reason to stop now.

As a layperson on this matter I am prepared to accept the scientist's view that climate change is occurring, and is likely to be caused by human activity. Moreover I am prepared also to accept the IPCC summary report, since it was reviewed and accepted by my government, among all the others that took part. I look forward to the publishing of the IPCC reports by the other working groups too.

As to the sceptics, they are of course entitled to their view. Necessarily they have a stake in whatever actions are taken to mitigate climate change (if any), so can't be excluded.

On this topic I note that:
Governments aren't in the business of crippling their own economy, since it plainly is not a vote winner. There will not be any massive immediate overhaul to any economy.

Arbitrary targets are not the answer by themselves. Emissions trading is not the answer by itself. But together they can contribute, particularly if the trading is among companies on an international basis, rather than countries. I note emissions trading already exists in some form already both in the EU and the US.

While I would like to pretend otherwise, imposing an economic cost through an emissions trading scheme is probably the only way I can unconsciously contribute to mitigating climate change (as opposed to say consciously choosing public transport over using a car).

Such a scheme would drip feed the economic costs over a long period of time, as targets come down and emissions become more expensive, it will make economic sense to minimise those emissions, and stimulate competition to become more carbon efficient.

I further note it has not cost nothing to get to our present carbon dependent economy (outlays on motor vehicles, roads, highways, tunnels and of course oil as an example). Addressing climate change won't necessarily mean a contracting economy, it may mean one that grows less fast, or it may even mean one that grows faster.

I don't have crystal ball, so I can't see what will happen in the future anymore than the next person. However I am prepared to accept what the scientists are saying, and that governments are going to introduce mechanisms by which it can be addressed.

As for the environmentalists, I don't really care much for them either, but I'll give them credit for working hard to get their point of view across, even if they are sometimes extreme.
on Feb 15, 2007
There have been plenty of credible reports of research suggesting that man is not the primary cause of global warming linked to and reported on in various threads on the topic. The typical reply is usually "it disagrees so it must not be credible".

Funny how most of the "credible" reports ignore little things like the sun, the Earth's magnetic field, and water vapor. Also funny that these are the same "credible" people who just 30 years ago were trying to convince everyone that we were heading into a new ice age. As long as that research money keeps pouring in they are more than happy to beat the drum that the sky is falling.
on Feb 15, 2007
"if in say 5, 10 years the mean global temperature starts to dip -- i.e. definitively dip like it was doing pre-1975 -- what will the environmentalist movement do? Given the hysteria over global warming, does anyone think for one moment that the environmentalist movement will say "Oops, we're sorry, we really have no idea what we're talking about."? Or, would they simply come up with another "man made" reason that over-compensated for global warming? I think we know the answer."

I think we know that answer to be that they would still largely carry this global warming flag only change the message to something else.

"Global Warming theory is weak science. "

Agree, Paladin and I had a discussion on this a few months ago, where he suggested that a rise in temperature of the average earthly temperature of 1 degree every 100 years, isn't being caused in majority by rising greenhouse gasses but the expansion of the sun. Really a combination of factors and b.s.

If like him you think it's largely linear and consistent, based on the numbers lol, you should be able to reverse the equation and go back in time as easily as you go forward, for each 1,000 years, the earth gets 10 degrees cooler on average, yet if you went back, 10,000 years when native americans first crossed into what is now North America, the earth would supposedly by those calculations be -100 degrees cooler then it is now on average.

So this is the kind of science that's being dealth with.

For natural and basically just because reasons, the Earth is inside a temperature range that is perfect or near perfect for conditions for life, and it has been that way long enough for life to evolve millions of years. From single celled organisms to complex ones, so complex as humans we are aware of not only who and where we are, but how to organize, and live and grow with our differences.

Even if you just took the last 2 million years, which in Earth history is the rise of the mammal, you'd have to agree that 30 years or even 100 years, isn't long enough a segment of time to mark trends and expect them to continue, no matter how accurate the measurements we make are and how accurate the tools we have used since the age of recorded history they have not been accurate, and with records as old as 300 or 400 or 500 years, only averages can be gathered with that data. Geology is able to give general histories but nothing specific, certainly nothing with the accuracy of a few degrees Celsius and a few years in length.

"What isn't known, however, is how much effect CO2 has on temperature. Anyone who claims they know is lying. It's an unknown and the various computer models basically take an educated guess as to what affect CO2 has on global temperatures. I.e. it's a "fudge factor". "

That is exactly right. There is no way of knowing, only guessing. Should it be found out that we are indeed the cause, we would have several options, one would include using a solar shade to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching Earth, another, probably in 50-100 years would be nano technology, using atom motors to lock up carbon in the atmosphere very similar to how a aquarium locks up nitrates and ammonia.

There really isn't any sure way to know without another 30-50-100 years of data, or drastic temperature changes, much more rapid then we are experiencing right now to know that we have a problem.

What is probably very likely to happen in the next few decades is the current rising of global average temperatures, will reverse and cool, or we will be able to more accurately correlate these temperature increases with weather events, which is really the only sure-fire way to know if there is a problem or not. If this is a natural temperature increase it could last dozens, hundreds or even thousands of years, if it is artificial it should continue to increase at a correlated rate with greenhouse gas emissions as the magnitudes of emissions increase one or two more orders, and temperatures increases as well.

Since the Earth has been orbiting the Sun for billions of years and this has been stable enough to allow for millions if not a few billion years of evolution, during this time, the sun been doing basically what it has for the last 4 or so billion, there is no reason to expect it to change. Certainly not at a pace accelerated enough to cause a problem for us anytime soon. I.e. in the next billion years or so. lol. Need we even talk about starting a countdown?

on Feb 15, 2007
I have yet to see any of the ones that hate modern society (the flat earthers are a good name for them) refute Paladin's numbers. If anyone wants to even start talking about credibility on the subject of human impact on the weather, his "Facts" will first have to be disproven, or the whole arguement is moot.

And as for the "computer models", they are shaky at best. They cannot predict a hurrican more than 12-24 hours out, and they are using these "infallible" models to try to predict not the climate in a few hundred square miles, but world wide?

Sureeee! I'll buy some of that snake oil.
on Feb 15, 2007
If like him you think it's largely linear and consistent, based on the numbers lol, you should be able to reverse the equation and go back in time as easily as you go forward, for each 1,000 years, the earth gets 10 degrees cooler on average, yet if you went back, 10,000 years when native americans first crossed into what is now North America, the earth would supposedly by those calculations be -100 degrees cooler then it is now on average.


So the Indians that walked across the ice bridge that connected Russia with North America did not happen. The fact that the Ice age began to end roughly 13,000 years ago where most of the northern and southern hemispheres were covered in ice miles thick. Is just something the scientist made up? We can’t tell the exact temperature because there was no one around with a thermometer and a pen at the time. For us to come out of an ice age would that not suggest warming of some kind? Palm trees in the artic circle would suggest that it was a lot warmer at one time. The fact that when I was digging in my yard in Fort Lauderdale and I hit coral six inches down would also suggest my property was at one time under water would it be a surprise that it will be underwater again? In the last few hundred years we have added billions of gallons of water to the earth by ice balls in space crashing to earth. All of this means that we are on a regular cycle of hot and cold that was going on before man became the dominant species on the planet. Again I say that it is not so much man that causes global warming but the SUN, and other factors like the orbit the Earth takes around the sun. Volcanoes provide a lot of heat on the Earth but no one seems to have noticed that volcanoes are hot.
on Feb 15, 2007
I'm not responding to anything you write Paladin but you are free to make your own case.

One thing I will add to my point is that if you further go back in time, 100,000 years, the average temperature would on Earth would be -1000, which is below absolute zero.

Obviously by plenty of indications the Earth has been in existence for more then 100,000 years, so either it's not linear or it's not right. If it's not linear then why would the sun all of a sudden over the course of 5 billion years, pick the last few tens, hundreds, or thousands of years or so to begin to push the Earth outside the development range it has been inside for at least several hundred million if not billion or billions?

Why now? By all measures and knowledge of solar life cycle, a sun as ours, has about 10 billion years of life from birth to death, and we are right about in the middle give or take a few hundred million years, nobody knows for sure.
on Feb 15, 2007
"I don't expect these arguments will persuade Draginol and others who truly have their minds made up on the subject."


That's the problem. We haven't made up our minds. It would be irresponsible to move forward with any definite statement with such a limited amount of data in such a huge system. The point is, these scientists ARE leaping to sweeping conclusions, and advising massive social change based upon what is certainly weak science.
on Feb 15, 2007
That's the problem. We haven't made up our minds. It would be irresponsible to move forward with any definite statement with such a limited amount of data in such a huge system. The point is, these scientists ARE leaping to sweeping conclusions, and advising massive social change based upon what is certainly weak science.


point set and match. Succintly put and on target. But instead of trying to show us using the scientific method they are now threatening us if we debate. You know you have lost when you have to threaten instead of convince.
on Feb 15, 2007
on Feb 15, 2007
I have yet to see any of the ones that hate modern society (the flat earthers are a good name for them) refute Paladin's numbers.


I don't really consider myself a flat earther, but according to the UN carbon dioxide emissions from human activity was about 25 billion tons in 2003.

http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/SeriesDetail.aspx?srid=749&crid=

According to wiki, volcanos emit up to 240 million tons per annum, this is referenced, but not to a web page.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide

Total natural CO2 emissions are in the order of 200 billion tons.

http://www.climatechange.ca.gov/policies/1990s_calif_in_context/page1.html

However according to the scientists the natural carbon cycle more or less keeps atmospheric CO2 in balance, while the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere can be attributed to human activity:

"Several additional lines of evidence confirm that the recent and continuing increase of atmospheric CO2 content is caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions – most importantly fossil fuel burning. First, atmospheric O2 is declining at a rate comparable with fossil fuel emissions of CO2 (combustion consumes O2). Second, the characteristic isotopic signatures of fossil fuel (its lack of 14C, and depleted content of 13C) leave their mark in the atmosphere. Third, the increase in observed CO2 concentration has been faster in the northern hemisphere, where most fossil fuel burning occurs.

Atmospheric CO2 is, however, increasing only at about half the rate of fossil fuel emissions; the rest of the CO2 emitted either dissolves in sea water and mixes into the deep ocean, or is taken up by terrestrial ecosystems."

http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/097.htm
on Feb 15, 2007
One thing I will add to my point is that if you further go back in time, 100,000 years, the average temperature would on Earth would be -1000, which is below absolute zero.


Dan, I love how you make an assumption contrary to what I write then spend months proving what I did not say was wrong. But feel free to continue to be wrong it is your constitutional right.

For the rest of you all I am saying is that there is no proof that man is the cause of global warming but there is tons of proof that global warming and cooling is on a cycle that predates man. What little that man does may be a lot for humans but negligible for the Earth. The last time we were in such a dire situation was 30 years ago when we were told we only had 20 years to stop global cooling and not changing our lifestyle would kill us all. Now the exact same experts are telling us we have only 20 years to stop global warming or we will all die. An open mind is what is called for not some left wing religion that hates progress.

on Feb 15, 2007
I don't really consider myself a flat earther, but according to the UN carbon dioxide emissions from human activity was about 25 billion tons in 2003.


The figures are about right, not enough off to complain about. Now add to that sulfur dioxide another greenhouse gas and the other trace elements that volcanoes put out daily.

When you site the UN I am not sure if you site the actual report or the summary. The report is written by the scientist and the summary is written by politicians with an adgenda. An example was the highly touted summaary on second hand smoke which contradicted the actual report which said that second hand smoke had no effec on peoples health. Two reports from the same UN but totally different outcoms. The UN summary on global warming states that it is all mans fault with numbers changed from the real report to justify their conclusion. The actual report says that there is no conclusive evidence that man has any impact on global warrming. Read the report not the summary.
on Feb 15, 2007
However according to the scientists the natural carbon cycle more or less keeps atmospheric CO2 in balance, while the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere can be attributed to human activity:


Nice theory, with no basis in fact since the earth is not a static environment. Now, do we go on pipe dreams? Or hard facts. The real fact is to do somthing when you have no clue, is more harmful than doing nothing.

But I do appreciate at least someone addressing Palladin's numbers. Yours may be right, and they may not be. So do you perform open heart surgery on a patient that has heart burn? I would want to know more before I cut into the victim. And so far, no one, not even the vaulted computer models, have proved anything other than they freaking dont know.
on Feb 15, 2007
Lets see - facts we can agree on:

CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
Greenhouse gases trap heat and raise temperatures (that's why they're called "greenhouse" gases).
The earth is currently in a warming trend.
We are spewing tons upon tons of CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere at unprecedented rates and quantities.

Now lets assume, as you do, that CO2 isn't the problem. Forget all that. Given the facts above, that we all agree on, would you say the warming trend is going to get stronger, or weaker?

You want real science on this? www.realclimate.org - go there. Read. Remember, the scientists are the experts, not you. This is not a political issue. It is a scientific one.

The global cooling story appeared in Newsweek and Time. Newsweek has since effectively retracted that story. Newsweek said, "The point to remember, says Connolley, is that predictions of global cooling never approached the kind of widespread scientific consensus that supports the greenhouse effect today. And for good reason: the tools scientists have at their disposal now—vastly more data, incomparably faster computers and infinitely more sophisticated mathematical models—render any forecasts from 1975 as inoperative as the predictions being made around the same time about the inevitable triumph of communism. Astronomers have been warning for decades that life on Earth could be wiped out by a collision with a giant meteorite; it hasn't happened yet, but that doesn't mean that journalists have been dupes or alarmists for reporting this news."

Draginol, these guys aren't idiots. They are using top technology to come to these conclusions, in greater consensus than ever before. I know you understand how far technology has come in 30 years. Think about that.

Go ahead. Read more. Read what the scientists have to say.
http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/11/11/23656/027

It's not just "liberals" - are oil companies liberal?
BP
There is an increasing consensus that climate change is linked to the consumption of carbon based fuels and that action is required now to avoid further increases in carbon emissions as the global demand for energy increases.

Shell
Shell shares the widespread concern that the emission of greenhouse gases from human activities is leading to changes in the global climate.

18 CEO's of Top Canadian Corporations
Our organizations accept that a strong response is required to the strengthening evidence in the scientific assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We accept the IPCC consensus that climate change raises the risk of severe consequences for human health and security and the environment. We note that Canada is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

And there are more at that site. This isn't politics. It's science.

But what if they were wrong? Well, your question has been answered at RealClimate.org
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/what-if-the-hockey-stick-were-wrong/

You say it's not real science because it's based on consensus, not facts. What? Because scientists all meet in a room and just decide to agree on something? No, they're SCIENTISTS. They agree because the science leads them to that.

And of course, Global Cooling. Read. Please - all of you. Read what the scientists have to say, not the politicians.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/the-global-cooling-myth/
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