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Speth's Green Bridge to Nowhere:

I reviewed The Bridge at the End of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability by James Gustave "Gus" Speth in the latest issue of The New Atlantis. It's an important book, if for no other reason than Speth's influence on contemporary environmental thought. But it fails to offer a viable agenda for environmental reform, let alone a roadmap to ecological sustainability.

Speth is the consummate environmental insider, former CEQ and UN official, founder of the World Resources Institute and now the Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In his book, Speth argues that the environmental movement has failed to prevent continuing ecological deterioration. Now the world faces a global environmental crisis that requires remaking modern civilization. In his view, ecological sustainability requires abandoning modern democratic capitalism, adopting European-style social reforms, and transforming human consciousness. It's a radical agenda, to be sure, but it won't save the environment or ensure a sustainable future.

Here's a taste of the review.

Speth’s call for radicalism is inspired, in part, by his belief that the environmental movement has failed to adopt and enact a sufficiently forward-looking agenda. The environmental movement is, in his view, overly “pragmatic and incrementalist” and too willing to accept compromises, naïvely believing that “the system can be made to work for the environment.” Insofar as Speth means that environmentalists are overly enamored of the regulatory state and the ability of expert bureaucracies to plan our way to a greener future, he’s onto something. But he means much more. Environmentalism, in his view, is too narrow and insufficiently radical. “Today’s environmentalism believes that problems can be solved at acceptable economic costs,” he laments, as if seeking to impose “unacceptable” costs on society would be worth doing.

Rather than acknowledging the inherent limitations of political institutions to manage economic and ecological concerns, he suggests it is the private sector’s fault that the public sector fails. Ecological central planning is a vastly more complex enterprise than economic central planning ever was, and that much more prone to failure. Thus it is to be expected that contemporary environmental protection efforts “have spawned a huge and impenetrable regulatory and management apparatus” and current regulations “are quite literally beyond comprehension.” Speth offers no reason why still more radical governmental efforts to restructure and reorient economic activity will not produce even greater problems, but he sees such controls as absolutely indispensable. In his view, the only environmentally sound corporation “is one that is required to be green by law.” . . .

To say I am skeptical of Speth’s agenda is an understatement. What begins as a well-intentioned (if blinkered) examination of sustainability transforms into a connect-the-dots radical jeremiad. While it is important to acknowledge the limits of existing institutions, one must also reflect on institutional successes. The relative vices of capitalism, or any other system, cannot be judged in isolation from its virtues. There’s nothing inherently wrong with seeking dramatic political change, but it seems disingenuous to wrap the entire progressive, social-democratic agenda in the mantle of environmental sustainability. Environmental policy should be about the environment, not income redistribution or the length of the workweek. Speth should put aside his elite ideological preferences for a European-style social welfare state if he truly wants to build a lasting “bridge” to environmental sustainability. As constructed, his bridge is not structurally sound—and it leads someplace nobody would really want to go.

The full review is here.

Brad Ford:
By definition, environmentalist have to find some sort of "crisis" or they would not exist.
11.25.2008 11:25am
Sarcastro (www):
Brad Ford's clever assumption that environmentalists cause a perceived crisis seems to have the order of cause and effect totally right.

The way you can tell is that this way the people I dislike are evil.
11.25.2008 11:28am
Real American (mail):
if only there was a way to impose the environmentalist agenda without having to go through democratic institutions? EcoDictator anyone?
11.25.2008 11:35am
Dave N (mail):
if only there was a way to impose the environmentalist agenda without having to go through democratic institutions? EcoDictator anyone?
This is a job for Al Gore!!
11.25.2008 11:48am
Confused reader:
What is a CEQ?
11.25.2008 11:49am
DC Lawyer (mail):
And the snarking begins. I really wish people would take the time to understand environmental problems before merrily sniping them away. What do the posters actually know about the challenges of fresh water decline, energy use, sustainable agriculture, species loss, and global warming? And why are they content simply to pretend that there are not significant problems looming that should be addressed. Enough about them.

Jonathan, your review is thoughtful to a point but it is merely a much better written version of kind of thinking that pervades these comments. You at least appear to acknowledge that there are in fact environmental problems to address and that these may be serious, though perhaps not to the same degree others do. But rather than propose solutions you revert to the time tested bug-boo of calling Speth's dreams of remaking the world just another socialist plot. After the last campaign, if I never hear the word socialism again, it will be too soon. Most people flinging it around have no idea what it is or what its limitations are.

I'd like to have a dialogue across the left and right about how to solve climate change, water scarcity, species loss etc. that 1) assumes these things are serious problems and 2) purports to attempt to solve them by whatever means necessary. If there are regulatory solutions, market solutions, technology forcing solutions or some combination of the three let's get them on the table. But it just won't do to have this trite--Capitalism is BAD, No its NOT!--discourse. To ignore the excesses of capitalism and unregulated markets is as great a folly as relying entirely on central planning to change hearts and minds.

So what say you, Jonathan, are you part of the solution or part of the problem? Do you want to be a player in this global crisis or do you prefer to stand outside and snark?
11.25.2008 11:51am
DC Lawyer (mail):
Confused reader -- it is the Council on Environmental Quality.
11.25.2008 11:52am
Ak Mike (mail):
DC Lawyer - Prof. Adler is not snarking by pointing out the inappropriateness of the book's prescriptions to handling the problems it purports to discuss; nor by noting that the book seems to be sneaking in a general leftist social agenda under cover of environmentalism.

Also, it is not snarking to attack the approach of environmentalists generally. The truth is that the current environmental issues are less severe than those faced in earlier days of contaminated water supplies, choking coal-dust laden fogs, deforestation, etc.

There certainly are environmental issues, but they are normal problems like the problems of crime, unemployment, and so forth. They can be dealt with and survived. Those who insist that this range of issues is somehow different and apocalyptic are, like Prof. Speth, doing so for extrinsic reasons.
11.25.2008 12:12pm
bemyguest:
DC Laywer said:


I'd like to have a dialogue across the left and right about how to solve climate change, water scarcity, species loss etc. that 1) assumes these things are serious problems and 2) purports to attempt to solve them by whatever means necessary. If there are regulatory solutions, market solutions, technology forcing solutions or some combination of the three let's get them on the table.


2) doesn't necessarily follow from 1).

I'll let Prof. Adler speak for himself, since he has written extensively about using market forces and relatively benign regulations (including ones that do not force technology but instead reward better outcomes) to confront genuine problems.

For instance, he's suggested a carbon tax (offset by reductions in other taxes) as a potential way to address greenhouse gases.

The problem I have with your formulation is that you assume that it's acceptable to use "any means necessary" to deal with environmental problems. Do you really mean this? If so, this is not serious, because it doesn't acknowledge real-world trade-offs. The biggest one is squaring your policy goals with the Constitution and the democratic process.

The public may well want to make significant changes in laws and regulations to meet environmental goals. But will the public have to give a blank check to bureaucrats and trust them to get everything right at a price they're willing to pay in higher taxes or different economic priorities? Or will they the opportunity to evaluate the cost and the potential benefits beforehand?
11.25.2008 12:16pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"I'd like to have a dialogue across the left and right about how to solve climate change, water scarcity, species loss etc. that 1) assumes these things are serious problems and 2) purports to attempt to solve them by whatever means necessary."

Why should we assume climate change is a serious problem? It depends on models, and when the models have been tested against real world conditions they have failed. For example, the models say temps should have increased over the last ten years. They didn't. Nor do the satellites and bouys deployed in 2002 confirm the models' predictions.
11.25.2008 12:56pm
ForWhatItsWorth:
DC: "....What do the posters actually know about the challenges of fresh water decline, energy use, sustainable agriculture, species loss, and global warming?...."

And what does this poster know about weakening of the earth's magnetic field and the eventual field reversal that will ensue? It is way overdue! This is a global event, the weakening is increasing at a rate that corresponds to the earth's temp increase (and apparently the timing), etc. Did you know about this? If you are a lawyer, probably not, if you are an "environmentalist, probably not, if you are a physicist (astro or geo), you probably do.

The study of GLOBAL events that could impact our climate has barely begun. Until they are, there is no accounting for the actual cause or causes of global warming. CH3 coming from cow farts isn't it, despite what Gore's website said back in the day.
11.25.2008 1:20pm
Avatar (mail):
On top of that, while we've achieved quite a nice standard of living in the US and other Western nations, it's by no means universal... and the countries making the transition from subsistence agriculture to modern industrial states are not going to stop just because you're worried about ecological diversity or the mean average global temperature.

I'm completely skeptical of claims that "transforming human consciousness" is necessary for any purpose. If your policy arguments can survive in the public arena, well and good. If they can't, maybe, just maybe, might that not be indicative that there are good arguments against your policies? That the benefits you seek to gain are not worth the costs you seek to impose? That, perhaps, people might be of the opinion that resources are best employed towards ends that help people, and not in a warm-fuzzy happiness way, but in the very real needs for shelter, heat, and income?
11.25.2008 1:35pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I'd like to have a dialogue across the left and right about how to solve climate change, water scarcity, species loss etc. that 1) assumes these things are serious problems and 2) purports to attempt to solve them by whatever means necessary.
Well, I'd like to have a dialogue across the left and right about how to make David Nieporent a billionaire that 1) assumes that it's a serious problem that I'm not one, and 2) purports to attempt to make me one by whatever means necessary.

But it's not clear why I should be able to force everyone else to adopt my assumptions.

Just because you're hysterical over "environmental problems" doesn't mean you get to assume away the need to prove that they're so serious that they need to be addressed, regardless of cost.
11.25.2008 1:36pm
Smokey:
DC Lawyer:
"...solve climate change..."
Solving DC Lawyer's scientific illiteracy is possible; 'solving' climate change is not. Climate change is as natural as rain. How are we going to 'solve' rain? And why would we want to?

The current climate is well within its normal historical range. Nothing out of the ordinary is occurring. Nothing. In fact, the current climate is quite benign and well within geological parameters.

It should also be noted that the "Green" movement wasn't even in the picture by the time the U.S. had cleaned up our environment. They get no credit. They are mooches.

In the 1950's, cities like Pittsburgh, Cleveland and many others were so polluted that you couldn't see across the river half the time. Raw idustrial sewage was dumped into the Great Lakes and the rivers. But with zero help from the Greenies, the U.S. has made the environment so clean that the EPA states that fish caught in those formerly polluted rivers are safe for human consumption.

Furthermore, the U.S. stands head and shoulders above the rest of the world when it comes to a clean environment and conservation. Since Kyoto was rejected by the U.S. and signed by most of the rest of the world::

Emissions worldwide have increased 18.0%.
Emissions from countries that signed the treaty have increased 21.1%.
Emissions from non-signers have increased only 10.0%.
Emissions from the U.S. have increased only 6.6%.

The "catastrophic runaway global warming" scam peddled by Al Gore has now morphed into "climate change." Why? Because the planet has been cooling for the past decade; and the climate always naturally changes [and if it shouldn't change, tell us: what's the 'right' climate? And what's the "right" temperature?]

So the alarmist contingent points to something completely natural, and does its best to scare unscientific folks like DC Lawyer. When aimed at folks who can't think for themselves, it's an effective tactic.

For instance, notice that just about everything seems to be blamed on global warming/climate change by people with an agenda.

The "Green" agenda has nothing to do with cleaning up the environment, and everything to do with political power and jacking up your taxes through schemes like "carbon credits", and the most incredibly asinine idea to ever come down the pike: carbon [dioxide] sequestration.

That's why the Gorebots run and hide out from any neutral, moderated debate in a university setting, as they have repeatedly been challenged to do, and instead spread their disinformation and alarmism by proxy through the internet.

If they had science on their side, they wouldn't be afraid to defend their hypothesis.
11.25.2008 2:04pm
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
I hear DC Lawyer's plea that because people are simply rejecting solutions and types of solutions, they are not acknowledging the problems. There could be something to that, but I suggest a different interpretation: I am always suspicious of draconian cures. I assume people like Speth who propose conversion experiences for the entire society can not in any way have thought through what they mean (professor of Forestry or no). And in fact, if you read Speth this is what you find - he sees only the upside of his potential changes and waves away human costs airily. What DC Lawyer suspects about the critics here is what one actually finds in Speth: a refusal to see the obvious.
11.25.2008 3:12pm
Brad Ford:
First of all, I agree we have environmental issues and they should be addressed. Nevertheless, I cannot concede every single environmental "problem" is a "crisis" that demands draconian action without proof of cause, effect AND solution.

For example, when I was young, we were told there was going to be a new ice age. Now, we are told there is global warming AND we are the cause of it.

A few months ago, I was driving through the northeast in areas once covered with glaciers. Why did they recede? Easy - the world (or at least New England) got warmer. Notably, this period of warming preceded the age of man and certainly the age of the SUV. Simply put, we have irrefutable proof that some global warming is NOT cause by man.

Imagine as an environmentalist as a doctor. A patient comes to them with "heart problems." While a real doctor would try make sure the actual specific diagnosis is accurate and target treatment towards the specific diagnosis. The environmentalist would declare a "heart crisis" and operate without any evidence the "cure" would work (or even do more harm).
11.25.2008 4:37pm
ForWhatItsWorth:
Brad, well said!
11.25.2008 4:48pm
Portland (mail):
It's hard to take these anti-environmentalist screeds seriously when the posters are forced to lie (to us? to themselves?) about basic facts. The climate has not been "cooling for the past ten years"; it's getting hotter, as the NASA data and the ICC report on climate change indicate. It's not "benign and well within geological parameters." It's abnormal, driven in large part by man-made emissions, and quite dangerous. This is what the science says, period.

Now, the idea that environmental problems were worse in the past has some truth to it as regards things like carcinogens, or smog. However the problems we face today are more dangerous than those we have faced in the past, because they carry with them a greater risk of catastrophic failure of the water supplies and food webs that keep us alive. This is in part because we now have 6.4 billion people calling on half the energy captured by photosynthesis to sustain themselves. There is not a lot of wiggle room in the system, which in turn makes it even more unstable.

It isn't as if this hasn't happened before; environmental mismanagement has lead to the ruin of many societies (I recommend Diamond's "Collapse" on this). We now have a large degree of interconnectedness between populations as well as the capability to change the planet as a whole (via global warming, for example) which is a power human societies have never had before.

People have got to consider the impact of the unintended consequences of their actions in a way they haven't before. We need to make changes in our societies to minimize the chance of catastrophic failures, while as far as possible avoiding unpopular sacrifices.

The thrust of this thread has been to deny or minimize the seriousness of the challenges we face. One suspects that, as we so many issues, conservatives try to deny the existence of a problem because they have no ideas -- no solutions.
11.25.2008 7:16pm
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
Portland, look carefully at your own statement. However well-read you may be, much of what you are saying are articles of faith, entirely dependent on the preconceptions you bring to the discussion. That interconnected increases danger, that unintended consequences are somehow worse, that human societies have never had this power before - these are not the solid items you believe them to be. They are a narrative. This is not to say that they are wrong or devoid of factual support, but that you have chosen them to make a congenial narrative, to the exclusion of other information.

The reasons that we conservatives don't seem to get it is not because we don't understand what you are saying. We hear it loud and clear. What you do not seem to hear is that the environmentalists' belief in imminent danger precedes their data. The people drawn to it are drawn first to the catastrophising. Their writing reveals much more of themselves than they know. Until people giving the warning come to grips with their own emotional input into the data, they will not be believed.

This ill motive may not apply to you individually. But the need for catastrophe leaks out of so many preachers, and is not roundly dismissed by the others. Few people have the science to judge more than small sections of the environmental controversy. No one has near the knowledge to summarize without drawing on others in whom he has "trust." But just everyday bright folks can follow an argument, and can deliver pretty shrewd judgment about the candor and veracity of the speaker.

If you are worried about 1% chances of catastrophe, consider this one: Consider the 1% chance that the people you trust on this (including yourself?) may be too self-blind to have accurate judgment.
11.25.2008 9:32pm
Ak Mike (mail):
Portland - many think that environmentalists like you exaggerate the seriousness of environmental challenges because they would like to impose solutions on us all that they really desire for other reasons.

Your reference to Diamond's partisan book Collapse indicates that you choose to view facts in a lens that makes them appear to support your position. For example, you refer to the interconnectedness of the world as though that makes it more vulnerable to environmental problems. Plainly the reverse is the case - an isolated society is far more vulnerable than one tied in to other communities around the world.

The increased power that we humans have over the environment makes us safer, not more at risk. Our enormously increased productivity helps protect us from natural, including environmental, disasters. Any objective reckoning would conclude that far more deaths and suffering were caused by environmental problems a century ago than are today.

One reason that some of us are skeptical about environmental doomsaying (based not on actual current disasters, but just projected future ones) is that we have heard this all for a long time.

When I was in college in the early 1970's, a huge group of such doomsayers was predicting that in the next ten to twenty years the world would see a lapse into chaos and mass die-offs due to exhaustion of resources, environmental poisoning, and overpopulation. I remember hearing about the drying up of the aquifers, the destruction of arable land through run-off and insecticide poisoning, the vast expansion of the Sahara Desert, etc.

Twenty and thirty years later the world is plainly better, not worse. Food supplies seem to be adequate apart from their reaction to governmental decrees to use food as a gasoline additive. It's hard to believe in environmental catastrophe when the damage inflicted by environmental problems is diminishing rather than increasing.

Your reference to catastrophic failure of the water supplies is one we have heard before, for decades now. But even if aquifers were giving out, obviously such a failure would not be sudden - it would be gradual, and would lead to market forces that would adjust for such exhaustion - abandonment gradually of the agricultural uses, increases in the price of water, use of crops requiring less water, recycling of water, and so forth.

In sum, what many of the commenters here believe is not that the environmental issues are not problems, but that they are not apocalyptic problems that require massive government control of resources; and further, that the reason people like you seize on environmentalism is that you like the idea of governmental control of all resources, and environmentalism gives you an excuse to impose it.
11.25.2008 9:36pm
David Warner:
What's radical about abandoning liberal institutions? Doesn't abandonment imply returning to some more primitive alternative, making this move reactionary?
11.25.2008 9:56pm
Portland (mail):
AVI, let's look at your assertions:


Portland, look carefully at your own statement. However well-read you may be, much of what you are saying are articles of faith, entirely dependent on the preconceptions you bring to the discussion.


No. I have no "articles of faith." I have reasonable confidence in the data available and the scientific consensus regarding them. I'm able to apply my reason to the data.

What you are doing is a standard crackpot argument technique; disregard all science and evidence as unproven, and criticize people using common sense as insufficiently skeptical.


That interconnected increases danger, that unintended consequences are somehow worse, that human societies have never had this power before - these are not the solid items you believe them to be. They are a narrative. This is not to say that they are wrong or devoid of factual support, but that you have chosen them to make a congenial narrative, to the exclusion of other information.


There are a number of problems with what you're saying here. First, the positions you describe are not mine and do not even make sense. Unintended consequences "are worse"? Worse than what? "Interconnectedness increases danger" -- no, it does not increase "danger." However it does mean that catastrophic failures may spread more widely than they did when societies were more discrete units.

Then there is the problem of your argument against these positions, that they have "factual support" but are discredited by virtue of being a "narrative." For better or worse, everything fits into one narrative or another.

Finally, you claim that I pursue my beliefs "to the exclusion of other information" which is projection, pure and simple. Credible information is always welcome. Easily contradicted falsehoods -- such as the claim the climate has been cooling since 2002 -- get all the respect from me they deserve.


The reasons that we conservatives don't seem to get it is not because we don't understand what you are saying. We hear it loud and clear.


But you are committed to your narrative to the exclusion of other information?


What you do not seem to hear is that the environmentalists' belief in imminent danger precedes their data.


And conservatives are driven by racism, greed, and fear of a changing society, so let's not listen to you. Do you see what I did there? I turned the faults of some advocates of a point of view into an excuse for disregarding anything they might believe. Clever, huh?


The people drawn to it are drawn first to the catastrophising.


Goodness, could you possible generalize more broadly with less evidence? Sure, some environmentalists catastrophise, if we're calling that a word now. Do all environmentalist, or people you identify as environmentalists, do that?


Their writing reveals much more of themselves than they know.


Look who's talking.


Until people giving the warning come to grips with their own emotional input into the data, they will not be believed.


Actually, most of the country and the world believes that global warming, for example, is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with. Major regulatory and legislative changes enacted over the past 30 years have been first advocated by environmentalists and supported by the voters.

Meanwhile global warming denialists do not even have a firm grip on the Republican party any more. I'd say it is your side of the argument that has a problem being believed.


This ill motive may not apply to you individually. But the need for catastrophe leaks out of so many preachers, and is not roundly dismissed by the others.


The reason it is not roundly dismissed is that it is not dismissible -- catastrophe is a real possibility.


Few people have the science to judge more than small sections of the environmental controversy.


That's why we have climate scientists and peer-review literature. You don't have to be a scientist to be science literate.


If you are worried about 1% chances of catastrophe, consider this one: Consider the 1% chance that the people you trust on this (including yourself?) may be too self-blind to have accurate judgment.


How does that change anything? If there's a 1% chance I'm deluded about a 1% chance of catastrophe, then we're left with a 0.99% chance of catastrophe. Show this post to one of those reasonable bright people you mentioned; maybe they can explain the numbers to you.
11.25.2008 11:53pm
juris_imprudent (mail):
I'm able to apply my reason to the data.

Strange, I take that approach as well. Models are notorious for sensitivity to bias, or GIGO.

Climate change is a continuous process that has been underway for aeons, and we've only had a technological impact for a couple of centuries tops. Humans need to adapt, just as we have for all our existence. Perhaps you could tell me though, what exactly is the optimal worldwide temperature? Why is one degree warmer, or cooler, bad?

Predictions of catastrophe aren't intended to reason or even persuade, they are intended to instill fear (and presumably guilt for what we are doing to the earth and to the poor who will suffer more).

I'm not impressed by anyone who believes that we have big bogeymen to fear and must do whatever is necessary to save ourselves from that fear.
11.26.2008 1:05am
juris_imprudent (mail):
Sure, some environmentalists catastrophise, if we're calling that a word now. Do all environmentalist, or people you identify as environmentalists, do that?

Wouldn't you say Speth has done exactly that?

global warming denialists

So anyone who questions anything about AGW is a denialist? That doesn't sound much like scientific discourse to me.

The reason it is not roundly dismissed is that it is not dismissible -- catastrophe is a real possibility.

So is the possibility of the earth being hit by an asteroid, etc., though that doesn't have the rich potential for remaking society as AGW.

If there's a 1% chance I'm deluded about a 1% chance of catastrophe, then we're left with a 0.99% chance of catastrophe.

Ouch. That's an entirely self-inflicted wound of very bad math, even with the minor correction.
11.26.2008 1:19am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Now, the idea that environmental problems were worse in the past has some truth to it as regards things like carcinogens, or smog. However the problems we face today are more dangerous than those we have faced in the past, because they carry with them a greater risk of catastrophic failure of the water supplies and food webs that keep us alive. This is in part because we now have 6.4 billion people calling on half the energy captured by photosynthesis to sustain themselves. There is not a lot of wiggle room in the system, which in turn makes it even more unstable.
No; the problems we face today are far less dangerous than those we have faced in the past, because we're wealthier, and it's that wealth that gives us the "wiggle room" you fail to perceive.
It isn't as if this hasn't happened before; environmental mismanagement has lead to the ruin of many societies (I recommend Diamond's "Collapse" on this). We now have a large degree of interconnectedness between populations as well as the capability to change the planet as a whole (via global warming, for example) which is a power human societies have never had before.
You realize Diamond was wrong about Easter Island, right?
11.26.2008 1:48am
Soronel Haetir (mail):
Prtland,climateaudit has convinced me that the vaunted ideals of peer review and concensus are not worthwhile measures. Take a look at the recent mishap with the NASA GISS numbers and then the more fundemental problems underlying their pronouncements.

If the models had a few near term predicitions that could be used to verify or falsify the idea I would give them a lot more creedence, Even with the current floor to cieling preditions, only if you give the models a huge helping of doubt will they survive having already been falsified.

All of this is not to deny the possibility that the Earth is warming (I do believe it has at least somewhat since 1800), but I would like to see the science go through something far more rigorous than concensus science before we commit billions or trillions to mitigation.
11.26.2008 5:37am
Smokey:
The central tenet of those pushing the [repeatedly falsified] AGW/CO2 hypothesis is that increases in carbon dioxide will quickly result in catastrophic runaway global warming, with melting polar caps, disappearing sea ice, and rising sea levels.

Let's look at the facts [note that no verifiable facts are provided by Portland, only frightened opinion]:

Beneficial CO2 has been rising, while global temperatures have been falling. How do the climate alarmists explain this? By saying that global warming causes global cooling. I am not making this up.

Sea levels have not been rising, they have been falling. And sea ice has been rising. Where's the constantly predicted global warming?

Portland, seems to be the only one here who has bought into the globaloney scam hook, line and sinker. He's is like the young son of the Army enlistee watching his dad marching out of step in a parade: "Look, Mom, everybody else is out of step but Dad!"
11.26.2008 7:29am
Portland (mail):
Let's start here:


Predictions of catastrophe aren't intended to reason or even persuade, they are intended to instill fear (and presumably guilt for what we are doing to the earth and to the poor who will suffer more).


Again with the sweeping generalizations about other people's motives.


I'm not impressed by anyone who believes that we have big bogeymen to fear and must do whatever is necessary to save ourselves from that fear.


You do acknowledge that catastrophes happen, I hope? That's why we have a word for it. The science clearly points to the possibility of catastrophe, along with the likelihood of a gradual and painful loss of many kinds of productivity, if we continue on our current path.

Systems can and do fail catastrophically. And sometimes they fail gradually. And sometimes the same insult can cause both.

Say you are a smoker. You chose to smoke and accept the gradual deterioration of lung function, which proceeds apace. After all, you can always stop if it gets too bad. Which works out fine for you, until you are diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. Catastrophic failure -- you're going to die.

Or take bridges. They don't really fail gradually, at least not if you're talking about what people see when they drive over them. They fail catastrophically. So we watch them, looking for signs of stress, we model what we think will happen, and we intervene (hopefully) early.


Perhaps you could tell me though, what exactly is the optimal worldwide temperature? Why is one degree warmer, or cooler, bad?


There are a number of reasons. An ecologist could explain it to you better, but I'm happy to give you a rough sketch.

One, we do not know by how many degrees the climate is going to change. The temp is clearly on an upward trajectory, but we don't know where it will stop. If we were talking about one or two degrees, perhaps we should cross our fingers and hope for the best. In reality, however, we are already up a degree and are highly likely to go a lot higher.

Two, we depend on an extremely complex ecosystem to produce the food and water to sustain 6.4 billion people. Rain has to fall where it's supposed to, rivers have to flow, insects need to be where they're supposed to be and not where they're not supposed to be, and so on. All of these things respond to changes in temperature and to each other.

The more people we add to the system, the more the system is, on its best day, like a collection of spinning plates. Any disruption -- and a rapid shift in the greenhouse effect is such a disruption -- carries with it the risk the plates will start falling.

Think about your body, another complex system. If we were walking through a chemical factory together and I took a cup of something from a random vat and invited to drink it, would you? It might make you healthier! Well, possibly, but the odds are against it. The more complex the system, the less likely it is a random change will affect it in a good way; the more likely it is a random change will be destructive.
11.26.2008 11:57am
Portland (mail):

Beneficial CO2 has been rising, while global temperatures have been falling. How do the climate alarmists explain this? By saying that global warming causes global cooling. I am not making this up.


Yes, actually, you are. The real data can be found here:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

Temperatures are rising, not falling. Whatever your graph shows, it isn't global temperatures. Perhaps you'd like to link to the original document from which the graph comes?
11.26.2008 12:02pm
Portland (mail):

No; the problems we face today are far less dangerous than those we have faced in the past, because we're wealthier, and it's that wealth that gives us the "wiggle room" you fail to perceive.


I agree in part. Wealth gives us opportunities, now, to address the risks. It lets us explore technology and new methods that could make us safer. It will not, however, protect us from a serious disruption of the world's food supplies, for example.

Our wealth places us at a distance from things like weather, and rainfall, and agricultural yields. If there are local disruptions, it can help you buy your way around them. But in wider and more severe disruptions, it isn't going to be the panacea you think it is.

You can use money to fix an old bridge when it shows signs of stress. If you wait until you are failing into the water, your checkbook will not save you.
11.26.2008 12:17pm
Portland (mail):


So anyone who questions anything about AGW is a denialist? That doesn't sound much like scientific discourse to me.


Straw man. Show me where I said "anyone who questions anything about AGW is a denialist."

It doesn't sound like scientific discourse because it isn't. We aren't haven't a scientific discussion, but rather a discussion that uses science. People who deny global warming are denialists, and are in the same family as people who deny evolution -- in fact, it's amazing to me how similar the two groups' arguments are.


If there's a 1% chance I'm deluded about a 1% chance of catastrophe, then we're left with a 0.99% chance of catastrophe.

Ouch. That's an entirely self-inflicted wound of very bad math, even with the minor correction.


No, it's not. My math is correct. Maybe you missed the decimal point before the 99?
11.26.2008 12:30pm
juris_imprudent (mail):
Again with the sweeping generalizations about other people's motives.

That you share the technique(s) of fear mongering with people you don't like is not my fault or problem. Nor is this in any way an answer to my point. It is hand-waving.

The science clearly points to the possibility of catastrophe

So does astro-physics. Do you think we should spend a few hundred billion dollars building a system to detect and destroy objects that might collide with earth? For that is undeniably a greater catastrophe then anything that anthropogenic climate change may produce.

And your analogies fail to make a useful point.

The temp is clearly on an upward trajectory, but we don't know where it will stop.

I'm pretty sure even the most dire predictions of climate warming are not out of the bounds of previous climate variation (in geologic time terms). But, you did answer the question indirectly - you do not know what is the optimal temperature for the planet. Doesn't that seem a reasonable thing to know before we go off about how the planet isn't at it's optimal temperature (or even range).

Two, we depend on an extremely complex ecosystem to produce the food and water to sustain 6.4 billion people.

True but, we live in a dynamic system that you are attempting to lock into a static configuration - not even really knowing whether that is the best one or not.

The more people we add to the system

Ah. ZPG or VHEMT? I know the latter is based in your area.

Show me where I said "anyone who questions anything about AGW is a denialist."

That was the gist of your statement and I presume the intent of bring up "denialists". If you wish to withdraw that, fine. You shouldn't use the term if you don't mean it.

We aren't haven't a scientific discussion, but rather a discussion that uses science.

And denialist isn't a very scientific element to introduce to the discussion, is it? How easy it is to abuse science rather than simply use it.
11.26.2008 5:49pm
Portland (mail):

That you share the technique(s) of fear mongering with people you don't like is not my fault or problem.


That you generalize without evidence and engage in ad homineum attacks is not my problem. That you change your story in the middle of the discussion to allege "fear-mongering" by me, again without evidence, is not my problem. That you are scientifically illiterate and substitute "hand-waving" for a reasonable discussion is not my problem.

But I'm a helpful guy. Let's see if your "argument" improves as you continue.


The science clearly points to the possibility of catastrophe

So does astro-physics. Do you think we should spend a few hundred billion dollars building a system to detect and destroy objects that might collide with earth? For that is undeniably a greater catastrophe then anything that anthropogenic climate change may produce.


Depends how likely an impact is and how large the object is. Probability counts as well as scale. And, of course, you are no authority on the scale of the catastrophe climate change could lead to, since you are willfully blind to the evidence.



And your analogies fail to make a useful point.


In other words, you missed the point. That's too bad.

The temp is clearly on an upward trajectory, but we don't know where it will stop.

I'm pretty sure even the most dire predictions of climate warming are not out of the bounds of previous climate variation (in geologic time terms).


You're "pretty sure" are you? How comforting. I'll just throw the IPCC latest report away, shall I? Talk about hand-waving.

Over the course of geologic time, upheavals have occurred that have wiped out 90% of the existing species. During the course of geologic time, the dinosaurs existed. Unless you are comfortable with the human species going the way of the brontosaurus, the variation over "geologic time" is not relevant.

If you mean, on the other hand, that what we are seeing can be explained by normal variation or natural shifts in the climate, you're flat wrong. The change is non-random, and much too fast. So say the climate scientists, and I agree.



But, you did answer the question indirectly - you do not know what is the optimal temperature for the planet. Doesn't that seem a reasonable thing to know before we go off about how the planet isn't at it's optimal temperature (or even range).


The optimal state of any complex system you don't fully understand but need to work is, as far as practicable, the way you found it. Anyone from a tech support geek to a surgeon could tell you that. The optimal temperature for living things is going to be, in general, the temperature they've adapted to -- i.e., the one they were experiencing before we started changing the climate.

You may not care about polar bears or algae blooms, honeybees or droughts, but eventually, you are going to compromise systems that are necessary to feed and water 6.4 billion people.

I'm going to repeat that point, because it is important; If your survival is dependent on the continued operation of a highly complex system, the fact that you do not understand it completely is a reason to be more, not less cautious about how you mess with it.


Two, we depend on an extremely complex ecosystem to produce the food and water to sustain 6.4 billion people.

True but, we live in a dynamic system that you are attempting to lock into a static configuration - not even really knowing whether that is the best one or not.



Nonsense. The system is always changing. Limiting the ways in which we alter the system is not the same as "locking it into a static configuration." Just because you want to put in a stop sign at the bottom of a hill to prevent cars being T-boned as they roll through does not mean you object tho the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles. That's another straw man.



The more people we add to the system

Ah. ZPG or VHEMT? I know the latter is based in your area.


Is it me, or is your gibberish getting even less comprehensible? Do you have some objection to the common sense idea that 6.4 billion people are more challenging to feed and water than 1.6 billion people, the estimated population in 1900?



Show me where I said "anyone who questions anything about AGW is a denialist."

That was the gist of your statement and I presume the intent of bring up "denialists". If you wish to withdraw that, fine. You shouldn't use the term if you don't mean it.



So I didn't say it, but I should take it back. Get over yourself. You asserted that I said something I didn't say. If you would like to take the assertion back, fine. You shouldn't hide behind weasel worlds like the gist or the gestalt or the zeitgeist.


We aren't haven't a scientific discussion, but rather a discussion that uses science.

And denialist isn't a very scientific element to introduce to the discussion, is it? How easy it is to abuse science rather than simply use it.


"Denialist" is not an "element"; it's a word choice. It accurately describes those would deny the reality of global warming. How does the use of that term "abuse science"? Do you find it impolite? There are many turns of phrase in your posts that could be considered impolite. Am I to be held to a higher standard of decorum because I argue from evidence while people like you argue via straw man arguments and invective? That doesn't seem fair.
11.26.2008 6:31pm
Not Ace:
It accurately describes those would deny the reality of global warming


Yeah, just because something hasn't happened in a decade doesn't mean we shouldn't go all fasc-gov in order to punish people who prosper.

We haven't seen JBG in this thread. Now I think we know why.
11.26.2008 6:52pm
Portland (mail):

Yeah, just because something hasn't happened in a decade doesn't mean we shouldn't go all fasc-gov in order to punish people who prosper.


Again, the notion that global warming hasn't been happening for the last ten years is tinfoil-hat-level goofy. 2005 was the hottest year on record according to NASA. Other sources give the edge to 1998 by a few hundreths of a degree. But every year in the last ten years has been significantly hotter than average, and the trend is towards hotter and hotter temperatures.

Climate scientists estimate that the Earth is now hotter than it has been any time in the last 750,000 years.

I'm glad someone articulated the driving ideological motive force behind the denialism we're seeing on this thread, the heartfelt if paranoid fear that to acknowledge the problem is to place us on the road to "[Going] all fasc-gov in order to punish people who prosper."

I'm not going to parse that sentence, which reveals a little too much about the mind that produced it. I'm just going to say that you shouldn't let your fear of where the effort to solve a problem might take you from acknowledging the problem itself. That head-in-the-sand thinking will get you nowhere.

In that same vein, if you refuse to get engaged in crafting solutions to environmental problems, you shouldn't be surprised when they solutions your political opponents come up with reflect their ideas about the proper role of government, not yours. There is no inherent reason why you cannot come up with solutions to, for example, climate change, which reflect your values. Indeed, some of the best ideas in environmental preservation -- like carbon trading and selling shares of a fishing ground's sustainable catch -- have been market-oriented.

Take a tax on carbon. Libertarians should love the idea of substituting carbon taxes for, say, income or property taxes. It's a regressive tax, in contrast to that prosperity-punishing income tax. Even better, it is a self-cutting tax! Unlike income taxes, doomed to rise along with economic output, carbon taxes will naturally fall as technologies and systems emerge allowing us to produce more with fewer emissions. Unless periodically increased, this tax, uniquely, will wither on the vine!

So libertarians and conservatives ought to face these problems squarely and focus on addressing the market failure -- which their own theories predict! -- that occurs when valuable resources -- like the climate -- are unowned, i.e., the tragedy of the commons. You can then offer creative solutions, minimizing market-distorting effects and maximizing personal freedom whilst responsibly managing the critical "resource" that is our ecosystem.
11.26.2008 7:52pm
richard cabeza:
Only one set of temperatures support your argument? Good enough for me!

Now let's get down to taxing prosperity. Our Lord And Saviour The Unabomber can't wait.
11.26.2008 8:09pm
Portland (mail):

Only one set of temperatures support your argument? Good enough for me!


Sigh. Get thee to a statistics course, my friend, and ask them to explain the standard distribution to you. If Kobe Byrant scores 60 points one night and only 45 the next day, that does not imply his performance is declining.

Look at the numbers: of the hottest ten years on record, every single one of them is from the 90s or later. Every one of the top ten -- since records began. In the top twenty there is one year -- 1944 -- from before 1983. Do you understand what that means? 19 of the 20 hottest years on record have occurred within the last twenty-five years.

homepages.wmich.edu/~karowe/UCS%20global%20
warming%20fact%20sheet%20January%202006.pdf.

On a related topic, math and science education in America sucks. Fight for reform! Don't let your children end up like Richard!
11.26.2008 8:24pm
richard cabeza:
explain the standard distribution to you


Yeah, it's not like they should all be moving in the same direction. Get on the bus, man. It's math. Damn white kids don't do math.
11.26.2008 8:28pm
Portland (mail):
There's an excellent story on the NYT site right now comparing ideas about global warming circa 1988 to those of the present day. It's amazing how well it holds up:

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/
2008/06/23/1988-2008-climate-then-and-now/
11.26.2008 8:38pm
Smokey:
Portland:

You may be blissfully unaware of the fact that GISS continually "adjusts" its data, and GISS refuses to provide the original raw data to the taxpaying public. Here's one example of a GISS adjustment: click

Notice how, following the GISS "adjustment", the temps are all supposedly higher. And it's a fact that GISS adjustments have an upward bias. Can you say, "public grant money"? See here for more proof of James Hansen's blatant dishonesty.
The temp is clearly on an upward trajectory, but we don't know where it will stop.
Izzat so?

Sheesh, some people are blind to the facts. Check out the University of Alabama at Huntsville [UAH] chart: click

Now, tell us again how the climate's temperature is on an "upward trajectory".
11.26.2008 9:29pm
Portland (mail):
You can always scare up a crackpot or two in any field.

The IPCC report, reflecting the consensus of thousands climate scientists, states: "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal. . . . Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations."

That's the science, and the temperature and CO2 data backs it up; look at the graph. If you want to hang with people who think the climate data or the moon landings were faked, or that the Grand Canyon was created on the fourth day by flash-flooding, be my guest. Get a good lotion for your scalp; I hear that tinfoil sometimes chafes.
11.26.2008 9:54pm
Portland (mail):

Yeah, it's not like they should all be moving in the same direction. Get on the bus, man. It's math. Damn white kids don't do math.


I'm sorry, are you non-white? Probably insensitive of me to make a crack about your education. Nevertheless, you're still completely wrong about the math. Coming down from a record high does not a downward trend make. The five-year rolling average continues to rise like a rocket. 1998 was the hottest year until 2005. It took only two more years, until 2007, to hit the 1998 mark again. Those three years are each hotter than anything else recorded in a 120 years of record keeping. What you have is background year-to-year variability in the setting of rapid global warming. The evidence, as the IPCC says, is unequivocal.
11.26.2008 10:06pm
Portland (mail):
Correction to the above: 2008 is expected to be hotter than 1944 (and about the tenth hottest year since record-keeping began in 1850). This means 20 out of twenty of the hottest years took place in the last 25 years (1993-2008).

Now, in 158 years of record-keeping, the 20 hottest years represent 12.6% of all years. We would expect, by random chance, 3 (3.16) of the hottest years on record to have occurred in the last 25 years. What are the odds against 20 of the 20 hottest years on record to have occurred in the last 25 years?

Any resident math experts of color want to help me out? I can tell you, at any rate, that the odds are long.
11.26.2008 10:20pm
Portland (mail):
Never mind, I got it:

The odds that 20 of the 20 hottest years would occur in the last 25 years by chance alone are the same as the odds the first 133 years would pass without one of the hottest years occurring. For any particular year, the chance is 1 - .126 = 0.874. Thus, the chance of every one of those years being non-hottest is 0.874^133, comes to:

0.0000022544786% chance, or:

44,356,153 to one
11.26.2008 10:29pm
Smokey:
Portland is completely deluded. But that's OK, this is the internet.

Along with declining global temperatures, sea levels are not rising, but declining.

And although CO2 has been rising, global temperatures are also significantly declining.

Furthermore, despite the failed hypothesis that sea levels will rise due to globaloney warming, in fact, sea levels are declining.

And how about sea ice? The Bovine Fecal Purveyors of Globaloney claim that sea ice is declining, when, in fact, sea ice is growing. In fact, sea ice is growing globally. And it's important to note that the NOAA "adjusts" the sea ice to fit its agenda: that is dishonest. [The blink graph shows the raw data, then the "adjusted" NOAA data.]

Global temperatures naturally oscillate about the mean, as this chart clearly shows.

Recently the global temperature index has declined sharply.

...As proved by the zero axis baseline.

Should we panic? Maybe not.

And the R-squared temp regression results show conclusively that the UN/IPCC's data is completely bogus. Global temperatures have declined.

Plus, the satellite record shows global cooling.

Where is your god now, Portland?

Folks, don't be bamboozled by people like Portland. They have an agenda: scare-mongering about a non-problem.

Ignore them. They only want your money. The climate is completely normal.

As H.L. Mencken astutely observed:

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

So it is with globaloney.
11.26.2008 11:33pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Look at the numbers: of the hottest ten years on record, every single one of them is from the 90s or later. Every one of the top ten -- since records began. In the top twenty there is one year -- 1944 -- from before 1983. Do you understand what that means? 19 of the 20 hottest years on record have occurred within the last twenty-five years.
You know, these would be far more compelling claims if you were addressing them to people who didn't realize that the "record" you keep talking about is minuscule, just 150 years old or so, and if that weren't measuring from a local minimum, and if the data were actually reliable back 150 years.
11.27.2008 3:09am
Smokey:
... of the hottest ten years on record, every single one of them is from the 90s or later.
That false claim has been repeatedly debunked. See here and here.
11.27.2008 9:03am
Portland (mail):


Where is your god now, Portland?


Still looking at a warming earth as confirmed by thousands of peer-reviewed data sets. Take a lesson from Speth; there's no need to be a caricature of someone arguing your side.

Your "evidence" is laughable, your assertions false. Read the IPCC report, or the papers it cites, and stop getting your science from talk radio and playing around with data sets you don't understand.
11.27.2008 11:49am
Portland (mail):
Here is an interesting excerpt from climateaudit's FAQs:


Does your work disprove global warming?

We have not made such a claim. There is considerable evidence that in many locations the late 20th century was generally warmer than the mid-19th century. However, there is also considerable evidence that in parts of the Northern Hemisphere, the mid-19th century was exceptionally cold. We think that a more interesting issue is whether the late 20th century was warmer than periods of similar length in the 11th century. We ourselves do not opine on this matter, other than to say that the MBH results relied upon so heavily by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its 2001 report are invalid.


Of course, the IPCC issued a new report in 2006. Climateaudit seems to be usefully skeptical of the methodology of various climate research, although how much of the criticism is valid or substantive is difficult to determine without professional expertise in climate modeling. But, by their own admission, their work does not challenge the reality of global warming. Finding subtle problems in other people's research is the Lord's work, but it neither discredits that research as a whole nor does it constitute an alternative explanation for the data in question.
11.27.2008 12:10pm
Portland (mail):
Encourage by the realative non-nuttiness of climateaudit (relative, that is, to the people pushing it) I had a go at wattsupwiththat, and found something similar, through less serious in approach; a series of blog posts implying vague skepticism on climate change based on, for example, a freak snowstorm in London. Nothing seriously challenging the scientific consensus on global warming. I also found this interesting bit of biography:


While I have a skeptical view of certain issues, I consider myself “green” in many ways, and I promote the idea of energy savings and alternate energy generation. Unlike many who just talk about it, I’ve put a 10KW solar array on my home, plus a 125 KW solar array on one of our local schools when I was a school trustee. I’ve retrofitted my home with CFL’s and better insulation, as well as installed timer switches on many of our most commonly used lights.

I also drive an electric car for my daily around town routine.

I encourage others to do the same when it comes to efficient use of energy and energy conservation.


Better safe than sorry, and I hope the rest of you "skeptics" will follow Wattsy's example.
11.27.2008 12:20pm
Portland (mail):
Gradual climatic change can lead to serious economic costs, however, both people and other living things have the capacity to adapt to a changing climate. There are, then, three major types of danger having to do with climate change:

1. Gradual change, especially if it is progressive and irreversible in the short term, may lead to escalating economic costs which could have been mitigated by prevention.

2. Gradual change may continue to the point where people and the ecosystem as a whole are pressed beyond their ability to adapt, leading to things like mass extinctions, crop failures, the uncontrolled spread of tropical diseases, and so forth.

3. Gradual change may trigger events that lead to abrupt change.

The latter is the focus of the IMPACTS study. The government has commissioned scientists with six national labs to examine four scenarios in which gradual global warming could trigger abrupt, dangerous climatic changes.

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/sep2008/2008-09-22-02.asp

They are focusing on four scenarios:


1. Instability among marine ice sheets, particularly the West Antarctic ice sheet

For 40 years earth scientists have worried about what would happen if global warming eventually caused the West Antarctic ice sheet, some 3.8 million cubic kilometers of ice, to break up and slide into the ocean.
Global climate stability depends on the integrity of the West Antarctic ice sheet. (Photo courtesy NASA)
In January 2006, in a report commissioned by the UK government, the head of the British Antarctic Survey, Chris Rapley, warned that this huge west Antarctic ice sheet may be starting to disintegrate.

James Hansen, a senior NASA scientist, said the results of Rapley's study were deeply worrying. "Once a sheet starts to disintegrate, it can reach a tipping point beyond which break-up is explosively rapid," he said.

Sea level would rise four to six meters - 13 to 20 feet. Port facilities worldwide would be submerged; atolls and island chains would vanish; parts of Bangladesh, Brazil, Burma, America's Gulf States, and other low-lying areas would flood; Venice, New Orleans, and many other cities would sink.

It is now apparent that these events may not be "eventual." Abrupt climate change could cause rapid melting and the subsequent rise of sea level not by centimeters but by meters per century.


see also: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Antarctic_Ice_Sheet


2. Positive feedback mechanisms in subarctic forests and arctic ecosystems, leading to rapid methane release or large-scale changes in the surface energy balance

More than a third of Earth's terrestrial organic carbon is concentrated in the ecosystems north of the 45th parallel, much of it in soil, peatland basins, and permafrost. Positive feedback within ecosystems and among terrestrial ecosystems, climate, and ocean currents could rapidly release much of this stored carbon into the atmosphere.

Positive feedback involving ice-melt has already accelerated the pace of global warming in the far north. It now seems likely that changes in terrestrial ecosystems, which could occur over only 20-30 years, may amplify currently predicted global warming by two or three times, in the Arctic and possibly globally.

See also: http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0901-permafrost.html


3. Destabilization of methane hydrates - vast deposits of methane gas caged in water ice - particularly in the Arctic Ocean

A vast quantity of carbon – possibly more than all the recoverable fossil fuels on Earth – is trapped in frozen methane hydrates under the oceans. Methane gas molecules are locked inside cages of water ice in a form so concentrated that when the ice melts the gas expands to 164 times its frozen volume.

High pressure and low temperature insure that most deep-water methane hydrate deposits would be stable even with considerable warming of the atmosphere.

But in the Arctic, methane hydrate deposits exist near the edge of the safe temperature-pressure zone; in these locales, methane release could be abrupt. The resultant rapid warming would trigger yet more releases of methane: permafrost would melt, the deep sea would become a dead zone, the hole in the Arctic ozone would grow bigger and occur more frequently.

See also:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrate_gun_hypothesis
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian-Triassic_extinction_event


4.Feedback between biosphere and atmosphere that could lead to megadroughts in North America

Ordinary greenhouse warming as forecast by the IPCC will result in warmer and dryer conditions in the subtropics, including Mexico and the southwestern U.S. More than warming of the air and sea surface are involved.
Sand dunes encroach on a farm during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. (Photo courtesy Berkeley Lab)
Storm tracks are likely to shift north, and the jet stream will probably stabilize in a new configuration. Dried-out soil and hot, dry atmosphere could interact to start abrupt climate change.

If dried-out soil and hot, dry atmosphere interact to trigger abrupt climate change in the Southwest, megadroughts like those that plagued North America a millemium ago could quickly return.

Conditions as severe as the Dust Bowl of the 1930s will return and could persist for decades: a megadrought. The Dust Bowl of the thirties turned many once productive fields and rangelands into shifting sand dunes. The past was even worse, with vast sheets of sand on the move all across the High Plains.

See also: news.nationalgeographic.com/
news/2007/05/070524-drought.html

When I talk about catastrophic failures in the food webs that keep us alive, these are some of the possibility. There are others, relating to disease, loss of fresh water sources, and shifts in oceans' thermal drivers, to name just a few.

Note, also, that these events can occur coincidentally or trigger one another; melting permafrost could trigger methane hydrate release which events in turn could rapidly lead to the collapse of the West shelf.

How likely are these things to happen in, say, the next hundred years? It's hard to know, but pretty likely, considering what has happened in the past when temperatures rose and considering one can see the early signs of failure at the ice sheet and in the permafrost today.

Even if each were individually unlikely -- say, 10% chance in our lifetimes -- it would still be reasonable to expend a great deal of time and resources to make them less likely; any one of them, let alone one after the other, would likely lead to multiple megadeaths.
11.27.2008 1:49pm
juris_imprudent (mail):
Over the course of geologic time, upheavals have occurred that have wiped out 90% of the existing species. During the course of geologic time, the dinosaurs existed. Unless you are comfortable with the human species going the way of the brontosaurus, the variation over "geologic time" is not relevant.

Well, it would cut the population down to a level you seem to believe more appropriate. Wouldn't that make you happy?

Indeed, just in the span of human existence, the climate has varied more than the last 1000 years. Perhaps we have been the beneficiaries of an unusual 'calm' in global climate. All current species have had to adapt as the climate changes. But now, we in our god-like wisdom have determined what is best. Sorry, but I remain skeptical, particularly as the level hysteria rises.

Interesting graph (with all std wiki disclaimers)
11.27.2008 3:26pm
Portland (mail):


Well, it would cut the population down to a level you seem to believe more appropriate. Wouldn't that make you happy?


Scurrilous and pointless. Can't you do any better?


Indeed, just in the span of human existence, the climate has varied more than the last 1000 years.


Not according to the ice core data, which suggests the earth is now warmer than at any point in the last 750,000 years.


All current species have had to adapt as the climate changes.


By your logic, we should ignore hurricane warnings -- after all, everybody has to live with the fact of wind. How much change, how fast is the issue.


But now, we in our god-like wisdom have determined what is best. Sorry, but I remain skeptical, particularly as the level hysteria rises.



"God-like wisdom"? Who, exactly, is being hysterical here? The people advocating reasonable caution is how humans are changing the climate, or the people, like you, rant and rave at the thought of making grown-up choices?
11.27.2008 5:45pm
Smokey:
Portland sez:
Your "evidence" is laughable, your assertions false.
Yet the evidence cited comes directly from the government sources that Portland refers to.

Yet Portland gives no credible citations -- only vague and inaccurate claims from newswires and Wiki, and silly presumptions that there are 'thousands of peer-reviewed data sets.' Cite a dozen of them.

Here is a peer reviewed study that refutes the UN/IPCC's bogus propaganda.

Here is a paper that exposes the shenanigans in gov't funded science.

Here is the Wegman Report to Congress, which shows conclusively that peer review in the climate sciences is thoroughly corrupt.

Here is proof that globaloney is a political ideology, not an accurate description of the climate.

Here esteemed scientist Freeman Dyson deconstructs the global warming scam.

Portland is beyond help; as anyone can see, he is motivated by politics, not by science. Keep that in mind when reading his ignorant ad hominem attacks ["Wattsy", etc.]

But for those who are interested in the the subject, the linked [mostly] peer reviewed papers above are a good starting point. I have dozens more peer reviewed papers available on request; they all disprove the UN/IPCC's, James Hansen's, and Al Gore's discredited AGW/runaway global warming hypothesis.

I worked in the climate sciences over a 30+ year carreer, and I know a scam when I see one. Global warming is a scam.
11.28.2008 6:57am
Portland (mail):

Yet Portland gives no credible citations -- only vague and inaccurate claims from newswires and Wiki, and silly presumptions that there are 'thousands of peer-reviewed data sets.' Cite a dozen of them.


Read the IPCC report list of work cited.


Yet the evidence cited comes directly from the government sources that Portland refers to.


If so, why not cite an actual source (as I have, repeatedly) and not merely a graph, which doesn't mean what you think it means?


I worked in the climate sciences over a 30+ year carreer, and I know a scam when I see one. Global warming is a scam.


Yeah, right. You worked in climate sciences. Sure. But of course, this is where the logic of your argument falls apart. There are literally thousands upon thousands of peer-reviewed papers attesting the reality of global warming. The IPCC report cites hundreds of them, the GISS (which I linked to) does as well, and they reflects the consensus opinion of the thousands of scientists who worked on the reports.

You cite a few crackpots, and say "I've got papers that prove all the other papers are wrong!" Except, of course, that a) They don't prove anything of the kind, and b) You are trying to use the authority of a few scientists (and non-scientists) to disregard the conclusions of the vast majority.

Global warming denial is a scam. And you, my friend, are one of the con's least effectual scammers.
11.28.2008 11:24am
juris_imprudent (mail):
Scurrilous and pointless. Can't you do any better?

You are the one who alluded there were too many people.

Not according to the ice core data, which suggests the earth is now warmer than at any point in the last 750,000 years.

I gave a link to a chart of temperature history. You make unsubstantiated claims about ice-cores.

Read the IPCC report list of work cited.

I find it interesting that people most worked up about AGW so often point to the IPCC (and notice with nary a link) as though it were a holy text. Very much like religious fundamentalists point to the Bible, or Koran.

Note how the dismissal of ANY skepticism is met with cries of "crackpot" and "denialist".

Yes Portland, you are an hysteric and a true-believer. Sorry for wasting your and my time on the subject.
11.28.2008 3:07pm
Smokey:
Portland gives no credible citations -- only vague and inaccurate claims from newswires and Wiki, and silly presumptions that there are 'thousands of peer-reviewed data sets.' Cite a dozen of them.
Read the IPCC report list of work cited.
That's not a dozen citations; that's not even one. And the UN/IPCC is not a credible source. Passing the buck to them fails.

And yes, I worked in a N.I.S.T. certified [formerly National Bureau of Standards] Metrology lab for over 30 years, specifically designing, calibrating, testing and repairing temp/humidity instruments. I know a datalogger from a chart recorder, and a type-R from a type-J from a type-B thermocouple. I can read an adiabatic chart, and I know the dew point from the frost point and how they're derived, and I know what enthalpy is, and how critically important it is to the AGW argument. There's a good reason why Al Gore doesn't mention enthalpy.

There were over 140 engineers and technicians working in our Metrology lab [no, not meteorology; look it up]. We received all the scientific journals. And I'll tell you, there wasn't one engineer or tech who didn't laugh at Al Gore's globaloney alarmism. Not one. Because that was our work, and we were paid damn well to get it right.

I'm retired now, but my former co-workers, some of whom I socialize with, are still laughing at the clueless folks who buy into the "catastrophic runaway global warming is gonna getcha" fairy tale. See, we worked with the science on the inside: climate scare propaganda doesn't work in a Metrology lab.

There is an easy way to show that the purveyors of climate catastrophe, including Al Gore and the entire UN/IPCC, are Elmer Gantry clones: They run and hide out from any formal, moderated debate.

They've been repeatedly challenged to debate their AGW/CO2 runaway global warming hypothesis, and they always run and hide. That tells us all we need to know about whether they can back up their [repeatedly falsified] AGW/CO2 hypothesis.

Gorons know there is no credible proof of AGW. None. Climate alarmism is all derived from always-inaccurate computer models -- not from the empirical evidence: CO2 is rising while the planet is cooling. Fact.

Portland is a True Believer, so sad. But he's certainly no scientist. Because any scientist worth the title can do a simple hot link. In fact, it's so easy that any 5th grader can do it. Make that any third grader.

Better ask someone how to do a hot link, pronto... because credibility matters. In the mean time: where's that debate?
11.28.2008 5:12pm
Portland (mail):

You are the one who alluded there were too many people.


"Alluded to," another weasel word. No, I never said or implied that there were too many people. I did say that as an independent variable, 6.4 billion people place most stress on the environment than 1.6 billion (the population around 1900). This is absolutely correct, and in no way implies that people are somehow a bad thing.


I gave a link to a chart of temperature history.


If you want to be taken seriously, stop linking to charts without providing links to the people producing them or the data they are constructed with.


Note how the dismissal of ANY skepticism is met with cries of "crackpot" and "denialist".


Two things: one, avoid double negatives in your prose. "dismissal of any skepticism is met with [disapproval]" would literally mean I am attacking people who attack global warming skeptics. You need to take out one of your modifiers in that sentence.

Two, you are employing a common technique of crackpot rhetoric, which is to take my carefully constructed refutations of certain clear-cut falsehoods, such as the idea that the climate has been cooling since 2002, and construct a straw man argument to the effect that "any criticism" is dismissed by me. That's just another ad hominem argument by you; I'll put it on the pile with the others.


Yes Portland, you are an hysteric and a true-believer. Sorry for wasting your and my time on the subject.


I appreciate your apology, but I have to correct you; you are the one who has behaved hysterically throughout, with the total unwillingness to engage the facts as accepted by the vast majority of scientists, and the frantic name-calling in the face of contrary evidence, that marks you as, as you project, a "true believer."
11.28.2008 8:16pm
Portland (mail):

And the UN/IPCC is not a credible source. Passing the buck to them fails.

Let's see; the consensus of over a thousand climate scientists from dozens of countries working with peer-reviewed research, or the opinion of one loudmouthed internet troll. No, sorry; the IPCC has a hell of a lot more credibility than you.


And yes, I worked in a N.I.S.T. certified [formerly National Bureau of Standards] Metrology lab for over 30 years, specifically designing, calibrating, testing and repairing temp/humidity instruments.


Say what you like behind your computer terminal, but I know this: no real scientist throws around words like "proves" and "shows conclusively" especially when not one of your sources "proves" anything you claim.

They've been repeatedly challenged to debate their AGW/CO2 runaway global warming hypothesis, and they always run and hide.

That tells us all we need to know about whether they can back up their [repeatedly falsified] AGW/CO2 hypothesis.

Gorons know there is no credible proof of AGW. None. Climate alarmism is all derived from always-inaccurate computer models -- not from the empirical evidence: CO2 is rising while the planet is cooling. Fact.

Portland is a True Believer, so sad. But he's certainly no scientist. Because any scientist worth the title can do a simple hot link. In fact, it's so easy that any 5th grader can do it. Make that any third grader.

Better ask someone how to do a hot link, pronto... because credibility matters. In the mean time: where's that debate?
11.28.2008 8:22pm
Portland (mail):

And the UN/IPCC is not a credible source. Passing the buck to them fails.

Let's see; the consensus of over a thousand climate scientists from dozens of countries working with peer-reviewed research, or the opinion of one loudmouthed internet troll. No, sorry; the IPCC has a hell of a lot more credibility than you.


And yes, I worked in a N.I.S.T. certified [formerly National Bureau of Standards] Metrology lab for over 30 years, specifically designing, calibrating, testing and repairing temp/humidity instruments.


Say what you like behind your computer terminal, but I know this: no real scientist throws around words like "proves" and "shows conclusively" especially when not one of your sources "proves" anything you claim.


They've been repeatedly challenged to debate their AGW/CO2 runaway global warming hypothesis, and they always run and hide.


Hey, I'm giving you more time than you're worth. Global warming has been argued over by the scientific community for decades. Skeptics have been published and in some cases have found flaws in particular models or sets of data; and their corrections have been accepted and incorporated into better models, without changing the overall picture.

There was a scientific debate over global warming; denial lost. If you come up with some evidence that separates your denial from anti-evolutionists or people who think the moon landings were faked, the pages of the journals are always open to you. But of course data supporting your discredited theory is harder to come by than hot air, which you have in spades.


Climate alarmism is all derived from always-inaccurate computer models -- not from the empirical evidence: CO2 is rising while the planet is cooling. Fact.


Fiction. The climate is warming, as all of the data says. Deniers have nothing left but to deny the accuracy of multiple measurement from different types of instruments (land, sea, and space-based). Of course while they are denying the temperature changes, plants are blooming earlier, permafrost is melting, and gigatons of ice are sliding into the sea every year. Hence it's not just the climate scientists you are accusing of either mass conspiracy or gross incompetence; studies by botanist, zoologists, oceanographers and chemists are support the theory.


Portland is a True Believer, so sad. But he's certainly no scientist. Because any scientist worth the title can do a simple hot link.


Yeah, I guess in your world, HTML formatting language makes the scientist. It's certainly all you bring to the table. As you say, so sad.
11.28.2008 8:34pm
Barbara:
I'm sorry, Portland, but I for one find your opponents' arguments more persuasive.

It's hard persuading people (me, anyway) by calling other people names, and by questioning their credentials without a valid reason that I can see.

Demonizing the opposition doesn't convince us lurkers. Maybe polite discussion would.
11.28.2008 9:02pm
Portland (mail):

I'm sorry, Portland, but I for one find your opponents' arguments more persuasive.


What most impressed you, the dismissal of decades of climate research or the ad hominem attacks?


It's hard persuading people (me, anyway) by calling other people names, and by questioning their credentials without a valid reason that I can see.


Calling other people names is a category in which I am far more sinned against than sinning. In most cases, I have done no more than suggest that the insults heaped on me -- "hysterical," "fear-mongering" "true believer" -- would be more correctly applied to their authors.

If you were an objective observer, you would note the far more prolific name-calling by the denialists. But, of course, I have no reason to think that you are.

As for "questioning others credentials" I think claiming cloak of professional authority, without evidence, while dismissing all the findings of real professionals, is contemptible, and his writing -- the only evidence we have -- casts doubt on his claims. Smokey's no scientist, in my opinion.


Demonizing the opposition doesn't convince us lurkers. Maybe polite discussion would.


I've offered polite discussion repeatedly. You can find a measured tone and a willingness to admit uncertainty -- in climate science and in my own reasoning -- all over my posts on this thread. But I feel no compunction to scrupulous politeness with people who do not treat me with respect. You'll have to settle for honest and direct answers.

If you find me unconvincing, well, I find your pretense of objectivity so. If you want me to try and persuade you, maybe you had best do something to suggest that you are, in fact, persuadable. My audience is reasonable and thoughtful people. Nothing in your effort at one-sided refereeing suggests to me you are a member of that group.
11.28.2008 10:08pm
Smokey:
Portland:
"There was a scientific debate over global warming; denial lost."
That's just as accurate as Mr. P's other assertions. Which is to say, it is wrong.

I am going to allow Mr. Portland the last word in this thread, because he craves it, and because I'm a nice guy. But first, a little housecleaning for the "lurkers."

There was one climate debate [that I'm aware of]. It was a two hour debate on global warming, held in New York City. But the results were contrary to Portland's claim. The skeptical side in fact won the debate.

The debate audience was polled prior to the debate on whether they believed that global warming was a crisis. The poll results: over 57% believed that it was. Less than 30% thought global warming wasn't a problem.

But following that formal debate, the poll numbers had reversed: An exit poll showed that 46% of the audience had now decided in favor of the skeptic side, and only 42% still believed. [source]

Since that formal, open and moderated debate between true believers in AGW and skeptics, the AGW side has absolutely run away from any further debates, preferring to do their ad hom attacks on line [sound familiar?]

I would much prefer to have a series of formal, moderated and nationally televised debates in a neutral venue such as a university setting, rather than convincing people online. But the climate alarmist contingent will not agree to debate. They are afraid of the truth; what other reason could they have?

It is also interesting that the UN is extremely reluctant to name all of their putative IPCC scientists. That is because they are appointed by their respective governments, and as political appointees, many have degrees in Sociology, Women's Studies, etc. [I invite Mr. P to provide a UN document listing the names and credentials of all UN/IPCC scientists. I have been unable to find a complete list of them anywhere. Why is the UN afraid to identify its political appointees scientists?]

I should note in my request above that I have provided numerous links to peer reviewed papers, charts and graphs [which, despite Portland's insinuation, do in fact contain their provenance]. Portland has not specifically responded to a single one, preferring instead to disparage my career.

Why doesn't he specifically respond? The citations provide data compiled from the NOAA, James Hansen's GISS, and many other legitimate sources. [Maybe ad hom attacks are more satisfactory -- or maybe ad hom atacks are the only remaining option, other than admitting that the planet has recently cooled substantially, even as CO2 continues to rise.]

The other side of the UN/IPCC's claim that they have a thousand or two scientists pales into insignificance when compared with the 31,000+ U.S.-only scientists [in only the hard sciences -- no Sociologists in the petition], who, along with Prof. Freeman Dyson, have co-signed the following statement which reads in part:
"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."[source]
Those 31,000 American scientists, unlike the unaccountable UN/IPCC bureaucrats, co-signed that petition because they agreed with the statement -- which directly refutes the conclusions of the IPCC.

For another recent peer reviewed paper refuting James Hansen and the UN/IPCC's flawed methodology, see here.

Before turning the thread over to Portland for the final say, I'll wrap up my housekeeping by providing a few peer reviewed papers that thoroughly deconstruct the AGW/CO2 hypothesis:
Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
(Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Volume 12, Number 3, 2007)
- Arthur B. Robinson, Noah E. Robinson, Willie Soon

Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
(Climate Research, Vol. 13, Pg. 149–164, October 26 1999)
- Arthur B. Robinson, Zachary W. Robinson, Willie Soon, Sallie L. Baliunas

Are observed changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere really dangerous?
(Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology,v. 50, no. 2, p. 297-327, June 2002)
- C. R. de Freitas

Can increasing carbon dioxide cause climate change?
(Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 94, pp. 8335-8342, August 1997)
- Richard S. Lindzen

Can we believe in high climate sensitivity?
(arXiv:physics/0612094v1, Dec 11 2006)
- J. D. Annan, J. C. Hargreaves

http://www.tech-know.eu/uploads/AGW_hypothesis_disproved.pdf

Climate change: Conflict of observational science, theory, and politics
(AAPG Bulletin, Vol. 88, no9, pp. 1211-1220, 2004)
- Lee C. Gerhard

- Climate change: Conflict of observational science, theory, and politics: Reply
(AAPG Bulletin, v. 90, no. 3, p. 409-412, March 2006)
- Lee C. Gerhard

Climate change in the Arctic and its empirical diagnostics
(Energy &Environment, Volume 10, Number 5, pp. 469-482, September 1999)
- V.V. Adamenko, K.Y. Kondratyev, C.A. Varotsos

Climate Change Re-examined
(Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 723–749, 2007)
- Joel M. Kauffman

CO2-induced global warming: a skeptic’s view of potential climate change
(Climate Research, Vol. 10: 69–82, 1999
- Sherwood B. Idso

Crystal balls, virtual realities and ’storylines’
(Energy &Environment, Volume 12, Number 4, pp. 343-349, July 2001)
- R.S. Courtney

Dangerous global warming remains unproven
(Energy &Environment, Volume 18, Number 1, pp. 167-169, January 2007)
- R.M. Carter

Does CO2 really drive global warming?
(Energy &Environment, Volume 12, Number 4, pp. 351-355, July 2001)
- R.H. Essenhigh

Does human activity widen the tropics?
(arXiv:0803.1959v1, Mar 13 200
- Katya Georgieva, Boian Kirov

Earth’s rising atmospheric CO2 concentration: Impacts on the biosphere
(Energy &Environment, Volume 12, Number 4, pp. 287-310, July 2001)
- C.D. Idso

Evidence for “publication Bias” Concerning Global Warming in Science and Nature
(Energy &Environment, Volume 19, Number 2, pp. 287-301, March 200
- Patrick J. Michaels

Global Warming
(Progress in Physical Geography, 27, 448-455, 2003)
- W. Soon, S. L. Baliunas

Global Warming: The Social Construction of A Quasi-Reality?
(Energy &Environment, Volume 18, Number 6, pp. 805-813, November 2007)
- Dennis Ambler

Global warming and the mining of oceanic methane hydrate
(Topics in Catalysis, Volume 32, Numbers 3-4, pp. 95-99, March 2005)
- Chung-Chieng Lai, David Dietrich, Malcolm Bowman

Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists Versus Scientific Forecasts
(Energy &Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 997-1021, December 2007)
- Keston C. Green, J. Scott Armstrong

Global Warming: Myth or Reality? The Actual Evolution of the Weather Dynamics
(Energy &Environment, Volume 14, Numbers 2-3, pp. 297-322, May 2003)
- M. Leroux

Global Warming: the Sacrificial Temptation
(arXiv:0803.1239v1, Mar 10 200
- Serge Galam

Global warming: What does the data tell us?
(arXiv:physics/0210095v1, Oct 23 2002)
- E. X. Alban, B. Hoeneisen

Human Contribution to Climate Change Remains Questionable
(Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, Volume 80, Issue 16, p. 183-183, April 20, 1999)
- S. Fred Singer

Industrial CO2 emissions as a proxy for anthropogenic influence on lower tropospheric temperature trends
(Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 31, L05204, 2004)
- A. T. J. de Laat, A. N. Maurellis

Implications of the Secondary Role of Carbon Dioxide and Methane Forcing in Climate Change: Past, Present, and Future
(Physical Geography, Volume 28, Number 2, pp. 97-125(29), March 2007)
- Soon, Willie

Is a Richer-but-warmer World Better than Poorer-but-cooler Worlds?
(Energy &Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 1023-1048, December 2007)
- Indur M. Goklany

Methodology and Results of Calculating Central California Surface Temperature Trends: Evidence of Human-Induced Climate Change?
(Journal of Climate, Volume: 19 Issue: 4, February 2006)
- Christy, J.R., W.B. Norris, K. Redmond, K. Gallo

Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions: unknowns and uncertainties
(Climate Research, Vol. 18: 259–275, 2001)
- Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas, Sherwood B. Idso, Kirill Ya. Kondratyev, Eric S. Posmentier

- Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions: unknowns and uncertainties. Reply to Risbey (2002)
(Climate Research, Vol. 22: 187–188, 2002)
- Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas, Sherwood B. Idso, Kirill Ya. Kondratyev, Eric S. Posmentier

- Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions: unknowns and uncertainties. Reply to Karoly et al.
(Climate Research, Vol. 24: 93–94, 2003)
- Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas, Sherwood B. Idso, Kirill Ya. Kondratyev, Eric S. Posmentier

On global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate. Are humans involved?
(Environmental Geology, Volume 50, Number 6, August 2006)
- L. F. Khilyuk and G. V. Chilingar

On a possibility of estimating the feedback sign of the Earth climate system
(Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences: Engineering. Vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 260-268. Sept. 2007)
- Olavi Kamer

Phanerozoic Climatic Zones and Paleogeography with a Consideration of Atmospheric CO2 Levels
(Paleontological Journal, 2: 3-11, 2003)
- A. J. Boucot, Chen Xu, C. R. Scotese

Quantifying the influence of anthropogenic surface processes and inhomogeneities on gridded global climate data
(Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 112, D24S09, 2007)
- Ross R. McKitrick, Patrick J. Michaels

Quantitative implications of the secondary role of carbon dioxide climate forcing in the past glacial-interglacial cycles for the likely future climatic impacts of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas forcings
(arXiv:0707.1276, July 2007)
- Soon, Willie

Scientific Consensus on Climate Change?
(Energy &Environment, Volume 19, Number 2, pp. 281-286, March 200
- Klaus-Martin Schulte

Some Coolness Concerning Global Warming
(Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp. 288–299, March 1990)
- Richard S. Lindzen

Some examples of negative feedback in the Earth climate system
(Central European Journal of Physics, Volume 3, Number 2, June 2005)
- Olavi Kärner

Statistical analysis does not support a human influence on climate
(Energy &Environment, Volume 13, Number 3, pp. 329-331, July 2002)
- S. Fred Singer

Taking GreenHouse Warming Seriously
(Energy &Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 937-950, December 2007)
- Richard S. Lindzen

Temperature trends in the lower atmosphere
(Energy &Environment, Volume 17, Number 5, pp. 707-714, September 2006)
- Vincent Gray

Temporal Variability in Local Air Temperature Series Shows Negative Feedback
(Energy &Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 1059-1072, December 2007)
- Olavi Kärner

The Carbon dioxide thermometer and the cause of global warming
(Energy &Environment, Volume 10, Number 1, pp. 1-18, January 1999)
- N. Calder

The Cause of Global Warming
(Energy &Environment, Volume 11, Number 6, pp. 613-629, November 1, 2000)
- Vincent Gray

The Fraud Allegation Against Some Climatic Research of Wei-Chyung Wang
(Energy &Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 985-995, December 2007)
- Douglas J. Keenan

The continuing search for an anthropogenic climate change signal: Limitations of correlation-based approaches
(Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 24, No. 18, Pages 2319–2322, 1997)
- David R. Legates, Robert E. Davis

The “Greenhouse Effect” as a Function of Atmospheric Mass
(Energy &Environment, Volume 14, Numbers 2-3, pp. 351-356, 1 May 2003)
- H. Jelbring

The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle
(Energy &Environment, Volume 16, Number 2, pp. 217-238, March 2005)
- A. Rörsch, R. Courtney, D. Thoenes

The IPCC future projections: are they plausible?
(Climate Research, Vol. 10: 155–162, August 199
- Vincent Gray

The IPCC: Structure, Processes and Politics Climate Change - the Failure of Science
(Energy &Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 1073-1078, December 2007)
- William J.R. Alexander

The UN IPCC’s Artful Bias: Summary of Findings: Glaring Omissions, False Confidence and Misleading Statistics in the Summary for Policymakers
(Energy &Environment, Volume 13, Number 3, pp. 311-328, July 2002)
- Wojick D. E.

“The Wernerian syndrome”; aspects of global climate change; an analysis of assumptions, data, and conclusions
(Environmental Geosciences, v. 3, no. 4, p. 204-210, December 1996)
- Lee C. Gerhard

Uncertainties in assessing global warming during the 20th century: disagreement between key data sources
(Energy &Environment, Volume 17, Number 5, pp. 685-706, September 2006)
- Maxim Ogurtsov, Markus Lindholm
11.28.2008 10:20pm
Portland (mail):
First link (from Wikipedia):


Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a controversial politically conservative non-profit organization of physicians, medical professionals and students, patients and others,[1] founded in 1943.[2]

. . .

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is not listed in the major literature databases of MEDLINE/PubMed[30] nor the Web of Science.[31] Articles and commentaries published in the journal have argued:
that the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are unconstitutional,[32]
that "humanists" have conspired to replace the "creation religion of Jehovah" with evolution,[33]
that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has not caused global warming,[34]
that HIV does not cause AIDS,[35][36]
that the "gay male lifestyle" shortens life expectancy by 20 years.[37]



This is a journal that claims to have a peer review process, but is not accepted as such by any of the major indices of science journals -- and, believe me, those indices include some pretty squirrely publications -- and has argued that HIV doesn't cause AIDS. This is a typical biography for the "sources" cited by denialists.

Goodbye, Smokey. I wish you better luck elsewhere peddling this snake oil.
11.28.2008 10:41pm
Barbara:
Portland I am not your enemy even tho you make it sound like I am. Why do you do that? We who have a different opinion shouldn't be personally attacked by you. you questioned the study based on a 100% ad hominem. No science at all.

There are 55 sources smokey gave you, you didnt like only one of them. What about the rest? Even if a dozen have flaws, that leaves a lot of evidence in the other 43 that global warming is a crock.

I like science. Please give answers that are proveable and stick to the science and we can have a nice discussion. Stop all the ad hominems please.
11.29.2008 3:10pm
juris_imprudent (mail):
Barbara, since you don't drink the Kool-Aid, you apparently are the enemy of Portland.

Running around predicting catastrophe IS fear-mongering, and Portland doesn't like being called on it. You will note for example that for all his references to the IPCC, he never provides a link, nor a reference to a specific section. Just that general you will be damned for eternity for not believing that you usually get from Bible-thumpers.

I provided a link to wikipedia for the temp data which he countered without reference to any particular data - just waving of hands about ice-cores.

I actually agree that the climate has been warming, though I question how much is human-induced, or that this is necessarily a bad thing - particularly given that we don't really have an idea of optimal temperature. If you can't tell me that, why should I believe that you know a damn thing about global climate dynamics and the likely (not possible, but LIKELY) impacts.
11.29.2008 6:10pm