Climate change: Cultural shift needed similar to smoking, slavery

Oct 27, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Despite scientific evidence of climate change, it will take a significant cultural shift in attitudes to address the situation, says a University of Michigan researcher.

The shift would be much like what has happened with recent cigarette smoking bans and even similar to the abolition of slavery in the 19th century.

"The present reality is that we tend to overlook the social dimensions of environmental issues and focus strictly on their technological and economic aspects," said Andy Hoffman, the Holcim (U.S.) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the Ross School of Business and School of Natural Resources and Environment. "To properly address climate change, we must change the way we structure our organizations and the way we think as individuals.

"It requires a shift in our values to reflect what scientists have been telling us for years. The certainty of climate change must shift from that of being a 'scientific fact' to that of being a 'social fact.'"

In an article published in the current issue of the journal Organizational Dynamics, Hoffman compares the current cultural attitudes toward climate change to historical societal views on smoking and slavery.

For years, scientists pointed to data that would suggest that smoking causes lung cancer, but the general public consciousness ignored that fact, he says.

"And yet, the general public now accepts belief that smoking and second-hand smoke cause lung cancer," said Hoffman, who is also associate director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. "They have become 'social facts' and with that shift, action becomes possible."

Hoffman says that climate change today still resides in the "pre-social" fact phase, awaiting public acceptance. He points to the abolition of slavery as an example of the magnitude of the cultural and moral shift it will take in order for climate change to become a social fact.

During the 1700s, slavery was a primary source of energy and wealth around the world, especially in the British Empire. Abolitionism was seen as a challenge to the way of life in Great Britain, leading to the collapse of its economy. It would eventually take about 100 years to abolish slavery.

"Just as few people saw a moral problem with slavery in the 18th century, few people in the 21st century see a moral problem with the burning of fossil fuels," Hoffman said. "Will people in 100 years look at us with the same incomprehension we feel toward 18th-century defenders of slavery? If we are to address the problem adequately, the answer to that question must be yes—our common atmosphere will no longer be seen as a free dumping ground for greenhouse gases and other pollutants."

But Hoffman says this value shift will require people to come to terms with a new cultural reality: first, that we have grown to such numbers and our technologies have grown to such a capacity that we can, and do, alter the Earth's ecological systems on a planetary scale; and second, that we share a collective responsibility and require global cooperation to solve it.

According to Hoffman, research and experience support the conclusion that there is a range of individual- and organizational-level biases that operate to maintain current behaviors that do not support sustainability.

Organizations must augment the development of new protocols for carbon accounting or economic incentives to reduce emissions in order to overcome these obstacles and to change the culture and values of the organization, he says.

"These alterations must integrate sustainability concerns into the existing routines by which business strategies are constructed, recasting them in ways that are mutually beneficial to the objectives of individuals, organizations and the sustainability of the ecosystem on which they depend," he said. "The solutions to climate change within the organization must emerge from an alteration of the organizational system, reaching deep into the levels of the core beliefs and values that members hold toward the relationship among the organization, the market and the natural environment. It involves the unlearning of what has been ingrained."

Hoffman says that organizations must develop a climate strategy by conducting an emissions profile assessment, gauging risks and opportunities, evaluating options, and setting goals and targets. Once a strategy is established, organizations must create financial mechanisms to support climate programs and get employee buy-in by educating and rewarding its work force. Finally, organizations must be aware of regulatory policy options that would most benefit their own business strategies and ideally "gain a seat at the table" when future regulations are designed.

"For business, the rules of the game are changing, and companies are finding that the implications of these changes have deep cultural significance for their organizational purpose and objectives," Hoffman said. "No solution to will ever be found if we do not spend time changing the culture and values by which we make and implement our decisions."

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Claudius
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 27, 2010
This seems to have come directly from the Ministry of Truth. 2+2 IS 5, just say it enough and our culture will adapt to the new reality. "... we must change ... the way we think as individuals." Chilling.

It is interesting that the burden is now upon us to culturally "adapt" to accept the "consensus" opinion. This means theories that are "accepted" can never be challenged as the scientific method demands. It is the end of the Age of Enlightenment. I. Newton and co. must be spinning in their graves.
Harleyrider_Davidson
1 / 5 (5) Oct 28, 2010
The Myth of Second Hand Smoke (ETS)

http://yourdoctor...ment-236

BS Alert: The 'third-hand smoke' hoax

The thirdhand smoke scam

http://velvetglov...cam.html
joefarah
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 28, 2010
Slavery and smoking are both bad, unnatural things.
Climate change is natural, and has been, at least since the earth was created. I think most people already realize that climate changes. There's no cultural shift needed there. There is a cultural shift needed to convince people and governments to pay out exorbitant amounts of money and hand over power to agencies that claim that climate change is man made. There are so many bogus "scientific" articles on this site about climate change. Here's the only one you need:

Climate Changes.
thermodynamics
3 / 5 (6) Oct 29, 2010
Claudius: You said: "It is interesting that the burden is now upon us to culturally "adapt" to accept the "consensus" opinion."

The burden is always on those who want to refute a scientific hypothesis. The hundreds of hypotheses making up the foundation of climate Change are there for a competent scientist to prove wrong. So far, few have and then the hypothesis has been modified (as they are supposed to be) and is back for testing again. What can you say for your groundless refutation? Can you put forward something that can allow researchers to attempt to discredit it? That the way science works.
thermodynamics
3.3 / 5 (7) Oct 29, 2010
Harleyrider_Davidson: Have you had relatives or friends with lung cancer? Have you seen them coughing in agony, knowing they are dying?

The cigarette industry has finally, after 50 years, admitted it killed people with tobacco.

The "myth" of second and third hand smoke is the last thread the tobacco industries have to hang from and it is discredited propaganda.

And here you are. Knowing that tobacco kills and still promoting it. You are a really sick character. How much time have you spent in the slammer because of that bad attitude?

Rides Harleys and helps kill kids with his second hand smoke. What a manly combination.
Claudius
2.9 / 5 (7) Oct 30, 2010
thermodynamics:

Well, the article does in fact say that society must change its thinking to accept consensus views on reality. I find that very worrisome.

This is really an epistemological problem. Is it possible to absolutely know the truth? Can a scientific theory ever be complete? Or isn't it better to assume that at best we approximate reality with our theories?

Accepted theories have been discarded or revised before, for instance the flat-earth theory, or the geocentric theory, or Newton's laws of motion, for example.

This kind of change is the life-blood of science, and to try to force consensus opinion and thereby end scientific debate is a return to the old "argument from authority" that Galileo faced.
thermodynamics
3.2 / 5 (6) Oct 31, 2010
Claudius: Actually, if you read the article closely, you will find that it is making the argument that the changes Galileo tried to make and that were made in the smoking debate (do you still believe flat earth, smoking is good for you, and the Earth is the center of the Universe?) are the kind of changes that take an acceptance by the masses. You have made no argument that says why you think AGCC is invalid. Instead, you seem rely on the nebulous argument that all new thoughts should be rejected. It is that revision of accepted thought (that man cannot have enough of an effect on the environment to change climate) that requires eventual acceptance when arguments to refute the new position are shown to be wrong (nothing is shown to be right, just wrong). Are you ready to put forth the refutation based on data or are you part of the authority?
Claudius
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2010
thermodynamics

It makes no difference which theory is in question, imposing a particular theory on society, no matter how justified, is abhorrent. The theory that Aryans were the master race, justified by the theory of evolution, was accepted in Nazi Germany, resulted in policy decisions, was forced on German society, and led to horrible crimes.

Accepted scientific theories change, and are sometimes surprisingly wrong. Agw, or agcc is not the issue I have with this article, rather it is with the heavy-handed mandate that society must adapt itself to accept particular theories. Again: "... we must change ... the way we think as individuals." "It involves ... unlearning" This is all straight out of Orwell's 1984.

Scientific theories should always be viewed with intense skepticism, and policy decisions based on them should be approached very cautiously, if at all. All too often, society has taken scientific theory and implemented it only to create unexpected and catastrophic results.
thermodynamics
3 / 5 (6) Oct 31, 2010
Claudius: You are right that scientific theories should always be tested. However, that does not mean you cannot make use of them for prediction, even while we test them. As some examples, we make use of quantum mechanics even though we are constantly testing it. We know they are not complete. However, they are very useful and should not be discarded just because they are new. You seem to misunderstand the difference between Hitler's eugenics and Einstein's General Relativity. One was scientific and has been very useful and the other was political and reprehensible. Do you propose treating those as equals?

The idea is that General Relativity, Quantum Chromodynamics, Evolution, Newtonian Mechanics, etc... are useful tools.

The propaganda that smoking did not cause cancer was unscientific and falsifiable.

Once these theories become useful we use them and test them knowing they will change. What is wrong with that? Why would we not accept them as we test them?
thermodynamics
3 / 5 (6) Oct 31, 2010
Continued: You seem to have the idea that every theory that exists should be treated as false. That is an unproductive approach. We should use every theory that has not been able to be falsified to make predictions and when they fail we know they have been falsified. As an example, Newtonian mechanics is known to be falsified as very small scales and at high speeds. However, we still use it every day as a tool (within the restrictions that have been shown to be needed). Every engineer in the world would be grid-locked if they had to assume that every equation they use is false - even though they have been tested in the realm they are used in. I really don't understand your argument.

Are you just saying that science is false and of no use?
Claudius
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2010
Unfortunately, all too often scientific theories have been treated as absolute fact and used to guide policies that result in social disaster. Also, although now out of favor, the Nazi's eugenics movement was based on scientific theory (look up eugenics on Wikipedia.)

Yes, we should treat all theories as being "potentially false." An engineer or scientist may understand the limits of scientific knowledge, but social engineers have a disgraceful history of not understanding such limits.

Theory should never be elevated to the status of dogma, or used to establish a scientific orthodoxy in which dissident ideas are repressed.

Social policy makers should learn to view scientific theories as probable truth, not absolute truth, and be very cautious in creating social policy based on them.

This is especially true when a theory is controversial, and when the resulting policy will have a profound impact on society.
thermodynamics
3 / 5 (6) Oct 31, 2010
Claudius: At this point I am going to agree with the last view you put forward. I am in agreement with your statement that: "Social policy makers should learn to view scientific theories as probable truth, not absolute truth, and be very cautious in creating social policy based on them." The key is that you are using the terms "social" and "absolute fact." In this context, the terms are applicable. These are correct statements. Where you and I seem to differ is that the author of this article was talking about the transition that takes place between paradigms and the reticence of the general public to change their minds about important changes in the understanding of the world (quantum mechanics, relativity, evolution, effects of cigarette smoke,...) and the idea that the same knee jerk reaction is taking place over AGCC (AGW...). Idiots who say the science is totally known or those who say it is totally unknown all are unscientific. Continued
thermodynamics
3 / 5 (6) Oct 31, 2010
Continued: The basic issue that seems to be at the bottom of those on both extreme sides of the issue is the lack of the understanding of the scientific principle - even if they have a degree. You are right. We do not know anything absolutely (except if you talk about mathematics - but that is a different discussion and not the same as the physical sciences). However, we do know many things that are useful. We do not know everything about smoking and lung cancer - but we know enough to declare a causal relationship and try to do something about it (although not enough). We do not know everything about quantum mechanics but we can use it to analyze chemicals, build circuits, and many other things. There are still people who deny evolution can work and that cigarettes cause cancer. There are still people who say we did not put men on the moon and that 911 was caused by our own government. Those whackos will always be there. Continued
thermodynamics
3 / 5 (6) Oct 31, 2010
Continued: However, those unscientific people (even if they have a degree in a science or think they know better than the scientists do) should not control policy. The idea put forth in this article is that the general population (not the nut-cases )has to make that transition before it is accepted. This is not Stalin or Hitler, this is common sense. Jumping to the conclusion that this is an authoritarian approach is not congruent with the article.

Again, I will ask if you are a disbeliever in smoking causing cancer, evolution, quantum mechanics, or relativity? If you are, there is no more to say. If you are not, then look at the changes that had to be accepted for those to become useful (even if we know they continue to be expanded). This article is reflecting changes like that, not some Soviet era purge.
Claudius
2.6 / 5 (5) Oct 31, 2010
thermodynamics

Now the question hinges on who decides which scientist is a whacko or unscientific. Who has the authority to make such a decision? What if the whackos were making that decision?

Change often comes from the efforts of "whackos." Galileo was a whacko in his time, he was condemned because the authorities had all agreed that the geocentric theory was valid.

One who is a sincere seeker of truth should invite the input of all. Excluding the whackos is a mistake.

I agree smoking causes cancer, that there is evolution, quantum mechanics is correct in the many-worlds interpretation, and relativity seems to be valid. But I could be wrong, too.

I am not against science, I am against the misuse of science.
thermodynamics
3.3 / 5 (7) Oct 31, 2010
Claudius: You said: "Galileo was a whacko in his time, he was condemned because the authorities had all agreed that the geocentric theory was valid." I don't seem to be making clear to you that there is a difference between someone going to the bible and interpreting a quote to mean the earth is the center of the universe and someone who applies physical principles and calculations to show how a hypothesis applies. Do you advocate giving the same opportunity to those who say the Earth is flat as to those who have just calculated the gravitational contours showing the gravitational changes at the surface of the earth? In your example they seem to have equal weight.

In like manner, do we give the same weight to someone who uses the bible as their example as someone who uses a thermodynamics text? Again, you seem to say yes.

Be reasonable. Not everyone should be included in every discussion.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 31, 2010
Be reasonable. Not everyone should be included in every discussion.

Sure, we must trust you because you are so much smarter?
You sound just like the other Obamaites:

"Rather than entertaining the possibility that the program they have pursued is genuinely and even legitimately unpopular, the White House and its allies have concluded that their political troubles amount to mainly a message and image problem. "
http://www.nytime...ayspaper

The propaganda has shifted from AGW to global climate change, but you still don't understand why many don't believe or trust your 'science'. And this includes scientists who study climate.
thermodynamics
3 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2010
marjon: Let me ask you again.

Do you believe the Earth is billions of years old or only a few thousand?

Do you believe that evolution is true or not?

Just a couple of questions I am sure you would not mind answering.
Claudius
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 01, 2010
thermodynamics

The point is, authorities have made these sorts of decisions before. In the case of Galileo the authorities used the Bible but they leaned heavily on Aristotle as well. They suppressed him based on the accepted science of the time.

There are modern examples as well.

Science is too uncertain to raise it to the level of dogma.
otto1932
4 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2010
Harleyrider_Davidson: Have you had relatives or friends with lung cancer? Have you seen them coughing in agony, knowing they are dying?
He's an addict. His disease tells him what to think, say, do, feel, etc. Probably got his hawg to justify his manly weakness- that irresistible urge to suck on something every 45 minutes or so.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2010
marjon: Let me ask you again.

Do you believe the Earth is billions of years old or only a few thousand?

Do you believe that evolution is true or not?

Just a couple of questions I am sure you would not mind answering.

And the point is?
If you AGWites could demonstrate your propaganda to the same level of uncertainty as radioactive dating or demonstrate the natural selection processes with fruit flies, you may obtain more support.
However, your models are the only way you can demonstrate your theories and you don't even know what you don't know about the earth's climate system.
Did you know the earth's radiation belts are affected by variations in the solar surface? How do you model such solar fluctuations with the radiation belts?
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2010
Science is too uncertain to raise it to the level of dogma.

Not to the religion of Climate Change.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2010
Translation:

Be good sheep, say baaaaaaah when we tell you to! We're the anointed prei...er scientists!

How about we just don't agree with you, your "evidence", the way you've gathered it, the way you've modeled it, the way you've politicized it, and now the way you're trying to vilify those who don't agree with it. And we sure as HELL don't agree with the conclusion's you've drawn from it. The Inquisition could have taken lessons from you people.
Modernmystic
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 01, 2010
marjon: Let me ask you again.

Do you believe the Earth is billions of years old or only a few thousand?

Do you believe that evolution is true or not?

Just a couple of questions I am sure you would not mind answering.


Do you believe oranges are red with thin skins and apples are orange with thick ones?
Claudius
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2010
thermodynamics

Rather than just repeat myself, I will quote from Wikipedia:

"On the other hand, the history of science contains many instances of the eventual widespread acceptance of fringe sciences. This is because in theory a fringe science will still maintain scientific rigor, plausibility, and integrity, though it is usually highly disputed."

It isn't just science vs. the bible, it is science vs. orthodoxy that is the issue. Your attitude indicates that there should be an orthodoxy to decide who is acceptable as a scientist, which is inherently unscientific.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2010
If you REALLY want us to start treating science as a religion, we will, but you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Be careful what you wish for...
otto1932
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2010
Unfortunately, all too often scientific theories have been treated as absolute fact and used to guide policies that result in social disaster. Also, although now out of favor, the Nazi's eugenics movement was based on scientific theory (look up eugenics on Wikipedia.)
Bad example. Eugenics IS science, just morally reprehensible science. We've been breeding animals for 1000s of years and the same principles can be/are easily applied to humans.

We cant be denying that something isnt what it is just because we consider it foul. Consider that we pull intelligent young people out of their incipient cultures to attend college where they usually meet their future spouses; more intelligent offspring result. This 'eugenic' process was described in 'The Bell Curve'.
Claudius
1 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2010
Bad example. Eugenics IS science


I didn't say eugenics wasn't science, just that it is out of favor.
gwargh
4 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2010
Claudius, I see what you're trying to say, but I have to say that you're confusing the roles here. Fringe theories that become accepted science have some very distinct features. Fringe theories are always new (and in this case, the belief that climate changes and self regulates is older than that of AGCC). Fringe theories are generally opposed to by the "old-guard" of scientists, which is especially was the case with AGCC, although its opponents have dwindled to an insignificant few. Fringe theories, often, are socially unaccepted. (Again, the case with AGCC, sadly).
gwargh
4 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2010
contd.: Furthermore, there are no minority rights in science. Sure, theories are generally implemented in a democratic fashion by those who contribute to science, but the resulting "truth" is not meant to protect the interests of all involved. In turn, it does not matter to science if you believe in human caused climate change or not. It sure as hell doesn't matter that such a large proportion of the US doesn't believe in evolution. Those beliefs may be accepted (through social paradigm change, yes) or not. The argument from scientists this time is: if it is not accepted we will suffer grave after-effects.
gwargh
4 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2010
What I find saddest about this situation is that there is a clear dissonance on the right of the dichotomy between science and society. If you do not agree with the social changes that would be imposed by a social acceptance of AGCC, then argue against those. But don't attack perfectly credible science merely out of spite of its possible social implications. (This last bit isn't really directed at Claudius, more so at marjon)
Claudius
1 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2010
The thing is, a fringe theory, once accepted, is no longer considered fringe. Obviously they gain status over other fringe theories that are falsified, such as the flat-earth theory.

The point is, that established theories are sometimes overthrown by a newer theory, and many of these theories come from the fringes of science, not the mainstream. We give the fringes of science too little credit.

When a theory is controversial it should not be given the status of dogma and used as the basis for profound changes in social policy. This article promotes just such an action, with the assumption that AGW is not controversial and represents all that can be known about climate change. That authoritarian view is abhorrent and unscientific.
gwargh
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 01, 2010
AGW isn't controversial to scientists. It is controversial to society. That is why, sadly, it is still a socially fringe theory. In terms of getting overthrown by a newer theory, it sure can be, but that's missing the point. Just because in the future we may figure out that small doses of cyanide are helpful to children doesn't mean that we shouldn't stop people from putting cyanide in food now, even with our limited knowledge. The idea is that a new theory, even if incomplete, represents a better understanding of the event. contd.
gwargh
4 / 5 (4) Nov 01, 2010
So while AGW might not be the perfect representation of climate change, it is a better one than saying: "stuff happens naturally". It is folly to assume that the massive amounts of pollutants we're releasing are doing nothing to the environment. So, looking at what we do know, we derive the best theory we can at the moment, considering plenty of alternatives along the way. Suggesting we shouldn't act now because it is an imperfect theory is the same as saying you shouldn't wash your hands since they'll get dirty anyways.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 01, 2010
AGW isn't controversial to scientists

Yes it is.
we shouldn't act now

Act how?
I agree toxic chemicals should not be dumped into the environment, but CO2 is not a toxic chemical. It is a natural product of life.
gwargh
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 01, 2010
Yes it is.

No, it isn't. There is no debate about man made climate change, only about its scale.
Act how?
I agree toxic chemicals should not be dumped into the environment, but CO2 is not a toxic chemical. It is a natural product of life.

Everything in moderation. Nitrogen is a natural byproduct of life, but saturate a lake with it and you'll kill everything in it. And even when the chemical itself is not toxic, it can lead to very unwelcome changes.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 02, 2010
Be reasonable. Not everyone should be included in every discussion.

Sure, we must trust you because you are so much smarter?
No, you should trust people who know more than you do if you're not willing to go forth and educate yourself objectively. If you don't want to do the job, you need to trust other people to do it.
The propaganda has shifted from AGW to global climate change, but you still don't understand why many don't believe or trust your 'science'. And this includes scientists who study climate.
Name one.
Claudius
1.5 / 5 (8) Nov 02, 2010
AGW isn't controversial to scientists.


This statement is a bit misleading. What you really mean is that it isn't controversial among scientists you approve of. There are more than a AGW skeptics among climate scientists. MIT's Richard Lindzen, Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever, Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA, Hajo Smit of Holland former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee, to name but a few.

It is folly to assume that the massive amounts of pollutants we're releasing are doing nothing to the environment.


AGW proponents claim human-generated CO2 is causing global warming. CO2 is not a pollutant, but a natural constituent of the atmosphere. AGW theory has nothing to do with pollution, so why confuse the issue?
Claudius
2 / 5 (4) Nov 02, 2010
AGW isn't controversial to scientists.


This statement is a bit misleading. What you really mean is that it isn't controversial among scientists you approve of. There are more than a few AGW skeptics among climate scientists. MIT's Richard Lindzen, Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever, Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA, Hajo Smit of Holland former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee, to name but a few.

It is folly to assume that the massive amounts of pollutants we're releasing are doing nothing to the environment.


AGW proponents claim human-generated CO2 is causing global warming. CO2 is not a pollutant, but a natural constituent of the atmosphere. AGW theory has nothing to do with pollution, so why confuse the issue?
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 02, 2010
AGW proponents claim human-generated CO2 is causing global warming. CO2 is not a pollutant, but a natural constituent of the atmosphere. AGW theory has nothing to do with pollution, so why confuse the issue?
Incorrect. The theory of AGCC states explicitly only that human activities are impacting climate. This includes CO2, land use change, and other gas releases. CO2 is not a sole driver of the theory, or of the climate, however it has the greatest abundance of human impacts and so it is a focus.
MIT's Richard Lindzen
Developed the iris theory which shows the cause for CO2 based warming
Ivar Giaever
Mechanical engineer...
Joanne Simpson
Not a skeptic.
Kiminori Itoh
self proclaimed "physical chemist familiar with evironmental sciences, and not particularly specialized in climate science."
Stanley B. Goldenberg
Very interesting writings comming from him but nothing critical of AGCC, only of the former AGW hypothesis. etc, etc.
Claudius
1.7 / 5 (7) Nov 02, 2010
Skeptic Heretic

Sigh, if you insist:

Richard Lindzen on Fox news: "But there is no agreement that the warming we've seen is due to man. Moreover, the warming we've seen is much less than we would have expected on the basis of the models that produce alarm."

U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.: “It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.”

UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh: "Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.”

Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson: “Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.”
Claudius
1.7 / 5 (7) Nov 02, 2010
MIT's Richard Lindzen on AGW: "I think it's mainly just like little kids locking themselves in dark closets to see how much they can scare each other and themselves."

Joanne Simpson: “Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.”

Kiminori Itoh: Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history ...When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.”

Stanley B. Goldenberg: “It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.”

Ivar Giaever: Sorry if a Nobel prize in physics carries no weight, even if he is not a climate scientist.

Anyway, so much for the idea that there are no scientists that are skeptical of AGW.

Claudius
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2010
Sorry about the duplicate posting - I'm giving up on Firefox 4.0 beta, it's too buggy.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.9 / 5 (7) Nov 02, 2010
Lots of quotes, but no published papers stating their observational evidence or their scientific objections.
Anyway, so much for the idea that there are no scientists that are skeptical of AGW.
Until they put up their work there's no debate on the matter.

Lindzen published one paper, not peer reviewed, and it was eviscerated by the scientific community.

More science, less politics. That's the problem you have. There is no scientific work that supports your viewpoint, but there are a lot of opinions that seem to support your viewpoint. The difference is, science is vetted, opinions are irrelevant.
Claudius
1 / 5 (6) Nov 02, 2010
I did not begin my comments to discuss the pros or cons of AGW, rather the wisdom of making profound changes to our society based on what many fine scientists, climatologists and others, regard as junk science.

I disagree that there is no evidence supporting skepticism of AGW. However, I might add that there is no evidence for AGW, at least none that has not been called into question by AGW skeptics, such as the famous "hockey-stick" graph.

Yes, we saw how science is "vetted" and "eviscerated." "I believed our only choice was to ignore this paper. They've already achieved what they wanted – the claim of a peer-reviewed paper. There is nothing we can do about that now, but the last thing we want to do is bring attention to this paper" - one of the climategate emails discussing one of those papers you said don't exist.
gwargh
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 02, 2010
Once again, AGCC is NOT debated by scientists in the field. It is debated by people outside of the field, it is debated by politicians, and it is debated by lobbyists. No serious climatologists deny climate change.
http://www.pnas.o...pdf+html
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Nov 02, 2010
I did not begin my comments to discuss the pros or cons of AGW, rather the wisdom of making profound changes to our society based on what many fine scientists, climatologists and others, regard as junk science.
Again, what these people say, and what they do is important.

You are politicizing the ordeal. Science doesn't work on political scales without evidence. If there was no evidence, there would be peer reviewed papers that had repeatable observations that came up with contrary figures. This is how Michael Mann's error was revealed.

If your sources aren't going to create actual sourcable work, then there is no debate. So link the papers that show AGW or AGCC or any of the current foundational atmospheric and earth sciences understandings to be wrong.

Until you can do this, you're a creationist in terms of your scientific endeavor on the topic.
Claudius
1 / 5 (7) Nov 02, 2010
Once again, AGCC is NOT debated by scientists in the field.


2+2=5. Keep saying it over and over in your head. It is the ONLY way to satisfy the Ministry of Truth.

I know it sounds glib, but after all the public statements from climatologists which clearly show strong disagreement with AGW theory, it is hard not to be amused.

There clearly IS a controversy among scientists involved with this subject. To say otherwise is disingenuous.

This article assumes AGW represents a complete understanding of climate change and stresses that now society must change its thinking to adapt to the draconian policies that are going to be imposed. This still seems to be unbelievably unwise, considering the controversy.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 02, 2010
So link the papers that show AGW or AGCC or any of the current foundational atmospheric and earth sciences understandings to be wrong.

It has been demonstrated that few such papers are allowed to be published.
The 'peer' review process has been proven time and again to be less than objective.
Not to mention the govt funding sources that are biased to a conclusion.
Claudius
1 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2010
Some papers invalidating AGW:

Esper, J. and Frank, D. 2009. The IPCC on a heterogeneous Medieval Warm Period. Climatic Change 94: 267-273.

Heat Capacity, Time Constant, and Sensitivity of Earth’s Climate System, Stephen Schwartz, Journal of Geophysical Research

Title: A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts
Authors: Anastasios A. Tsonis, Kyle Swanson, and Sergey Kravtsov: Atmospheric Sciences Group, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2007GL030288, 2007

Southern Hemisphere and Deep-Sea Warming Led Deglacial Atmospheric CO2 Rise and Tropical Warming, Lowell Stott, Axel Timmermann, Robert Thunell, Science Express, 27 September 2007

Rhodes Fairbridge and the idea that the solar system regulates the Earth’s climate, Richard Mackey, Journal of Coastal Research
gwargh
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 02, 2010
2+2=5. Keep saying it over and over in your head. It is the ONLY way to satisfy the Ministry of Truth.

I know it sounds glib, but after all the public statements from climatologists which clearly show strong disagreement with AGW theory, it is hard not to be amused.

Did you look at the article I linked, or just decide it isn't right?
I've questioned AGCC and come out agreeing with the current concensus, not because of propaganda, but because I read the damn article. Some scientist who says, publicly, without evidence, that AGCC is a lie has no bearing on my opinion, because he has NO evidence. Opinions are not science. DATA, is science, and data supports AGCC.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2010
Esper, J. and Frank, D. 2009. The IPCC on a heterogeneous Medieval Warm Period.
Doesn't challenge AGCC only the MWP construction. This construct was repaired when the Mann reconstructions were determined to have an error. Irrelevant.
Heat Capacity, Time Constant, and Sensitivity of Earth's Climate System
Inconclusive according to the author himself "Finally, as the present analysis rests on a simple single-compartment energy balance model, the question must inevitably arise whether the rather obdurate climate system might be amenable to determination of its key properties through empirical analysis based on such a simple model. In response to that question it might have to be said that it remains to be seen. In this context it is hoped that the present study might stimulate further work along these lines with more complex models."
A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts
Not critical of AGCC, somewhat supports it.

Last two posted aren't peer-reviewed.
Claudius
1 / 5 (5) Nov 03, 2010
Skeptic Heretic

You misunderstood why I posted the papers you criticize. I am not here to debate AGW, merely to establish that there is controversy among scientists about AGW.

You may find fault with the papers, others may not. I could have posted many more examples of papers critical of AGW. This is not the point.

The point is, you said there was "no debate" among scientists about AGW. The presence of these papers says otherwise. You may want to debate the merits of these papers, but that only establishes my point even better, since you are actually engaging in debate yourself regarding peer-reviewed papers critical of AGW.

Again, my point is that public policy of such profound nature should not be based on controversial science. Your comments merely help to establish that there is a controversy.
Claudius
1 / 5 (5) Nov 03, 2010
So here we are with very negative public comments of AGW by climatologists, and papers which others have characterized as critical of AGW. So the question is, does a controversy exist regarding AGW?

I don't know how any reasonable person could say otherwise.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2010
The point is, you said there was "no debate" among scientists about AGW.
No I didn't. I said there was no scientific debate on the matter, and there isn't. There are no contrary published papers, no alternate theories, nothing whatsoever.

You're expounding upon a political debate. Sorry, no one cares about what Boehner thinks is going on. Reason: he's not educated on the topic.
You may want to debate the merits of these papers, but that only establishes my point even better, since you are actually engaging in debate yourself regarding peer-reviewed papers critical of AGW.

Again, my point is that public policy of such profound nature should not be based on controversial science. Your comments merely help to establish that there is a controversy.
There is no established scientific controversy on what is happening. The controversy you're talking about is similar to the "controversy" of Intelligent design" which also doesn't exist.

The science is established.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
Again, my point is that public policy of such profound nature should not be based on controversial science.
Just out of curiosity, how "profound" is a moderate tax increase of 5 cents per person per month, and a corporate Montreal protocol? We've already had two other such measures since the 70's both of which resulted in periods of unchecked economic growth.

You do want economic growth, don't you?
Claudius
1 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2010
One proposal, by Bill Gates, is to lower CO2 emissions to 0%. This would mean shutting down all production that creates CO2, and banning internal combustion engines, to start with.

The EPA has classified CO2 as a pollutant. This puts a burden on industry that produces CO2. Carbon taxes on business will amount to about $80 Billion a year and this will be passed on to consumers.

Waxman-Markey bill currently before Congress calls for reducing greenhouse gasses 83% by 2050, requiring further increases in CO2 "permits."

We have yet to see what will happen, but whatever is implemented will have to be painful enough to move people away from using products that will receive carbon taxes, such as heating oil, auto fuel, coal, etc.

All of this to solve a problem that may not even exist.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
One proposal, by Bill Gates, is to lower CO2 emissions to 0%. This would mean shutting down all production that creates CO2, and banning internal combustion engines, to start with.
Not a government policy.
The EPA has classified CO2 as a pollutant. This puts a burden on industry that produces CO2. Carbon taxes on business will amount to about $80 Billion a year and this will be passed on to consumers.
I don't have a problem with making businesses pay taxes, do you have a problem with making businesses pay taxes?
Waxman-Markey bill currently before Congress calls for reducing greenhouse gasses 83% by 2050, requiring further increases in CO2 "permits."
Again, I have no problem with this bill. These reductions and taxes disproportionally affect the rich. I'm not rich, the average person isn't rich, the rich can afford it, and many of them will profit off of it.
We have yet to see what will happen
But you take no issue in making sweeping statements of doom.
Modernmystic
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 03, 2010
I honestly don't want to get into "the debate" about AGW. I have my opinion, and nothing I've read here is changing it.

All I'll say is that this article and the idea behind it is truly disgusting and repulsive. That science or scientists should be TELLING us what to believe as opposed to using reason is turning science on its head.

If you haven't convinced enough people then maybe YOU should check your premises, arguments, and lines of thought. If its all so cut and dried as the Earth is round then we WOULDN'T still be talking about it. And whether you like it or not, or will admit it or not, the situation obviously isn't so cut and dried...
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
That science or scientists should be TELLING us what to believe as opposed to using reason is turning science on its head.
But no one is using reason. They're listening to conservative fiscal talking points and marching to the beat of an uninformed drum.

Ever notice that the talking points being listed off as anti-agw are the exact talking points that billionaires agree with and forward as "undeniable" fact?
Modernmystic
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
That science or scientists should be TELLING us what to believe as opposed to using reason is turning science on its head.
But no one is using reason. They're listening to conservative fiscal talking points and marching to the beat of an uninformed drum.

Ever notice that the talking points being listed off as anti-agw are the exact talking points that billionaires agree with and forward as "undeniable" fact?


So fight fire with fire?

On edit: I think this is part of the "problem" proving AGW isn't as easy as a lot of you seem to think it is. It's not like proving the Earth is round. It's a very complex assertion, and if "we" are going to take the kind of drastic actions some are proposing to fight it then the proof needs to be on the same order as the Earth being round. (cont)
Modernmystic
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
If you really want to get us off the oil, then my suggestion isn't to take up the AGW flag, it's way too hot (no pun intended). Make it about how much cheaper nuclear is, or how we need to quit giving money to people mired in the 14th century about to acquire nuclear weapons. Anything but global warming.

You'd get a lot further a lot quicker.
thermodynamics
4 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2010
MM: You said: "if 'we' are going to take the kind of drastic actions some are proposing to fight it then the proof needs to be on the same order as the Earth being round."

Interesting argument but not good enough. If this were 1492 then arguing that the earth is round would be fine. However, we know that earth is not round. It is a distorted oblate spheroid. The science that studies the shape of the earth is Geodesy. An overview can be found at:

http://en.wikiped.../Geodesy

Your argument is a common one and used by others as a refutation of AGCC. However, you are espousing a less detailed view of a complex subject.

If you set the bar at "round" then the understanding of AGCC is sufficient at this time. However, if you set the bar at the "true shape of the Earth" then AGCC is not there yet. The problem is that people do not take the time to explain the difference in levels of understanding. (continued)
thermodynamics
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 03, 2010
Continued: We understand a lot about the climate and changes that are taking place. However, we are learning more every day. That is just as it should be with any science. The fact that scientists have identified that humans are changing the atmosphere and that change in the atmosphere is affecting the climate is on the level of your comment about the Earth being round instead of flat. The equivalent of the "flat earthers" is the group that says that humans cannot be having an affect on the Earth's climate because we are too insignificant (or name your reason). Those people have not paid attention to the science that clearly says the climate is changing and humans have a hand in it. However, if you take the next step and say the Earth is much more complicated than a round ball, you are moving into the area where the science is still working on how far from a round ball it is. This is where the science is on climate change. (Continued)
thermodynamics
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 03, 2010
Continued: Those who say the "science is settled" are not considering the equivalent of the close look at the deviations of the Earth from a sphere. Those who are saying we don't know enough to be worried or to act are in the camp of those who would argue that we don't even know that the Earth approximates a sphere.

The science that says the Earth is changing climate and that humans have a part in that is as settled as those things will ever be. The science that discusses the amount of effect from humans, the time scale of the changes, and the location of the changes is far form settled. It is the area of active research. Please don't confuse the two or you will continue to say the Earth is flat by not recognizing it deviates from a sphere. By saying we don't know enough about climate change to make some decisions it puts you in the arena of those who just don't know enough about the details. It is the details that are where the discussion takes place, not the overview.
marjon
3 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2010
If you really want to get us off the oil, then my suggestion isn't to take up the AGW flag, it's way too hot (no pun intended). Make it about how much cheaper nuclear is, or how we need to quit giving money to people mired in the 14th century about to acquire nuclear weapons. Anything but global warming.

You'd get a lot further a lot quicker.

That's where the AGWites blew it. They chose a political solution instead of a technical solution. But what do you expect from a political body (IPCC)?
Claudius
1 / 5 (3) Nov 03, 2010
Those who are saying we don't know enough to be worried or to act are in the camp of those who would argue that we don't even know that the Earth approximates a sphere.


Actually, those who are skeptical of AGW are in that camp because they think the theory does not prove a connection between observed warming and human activity, at least not to the degree the AGW alarmists promote.

In other words, in the AGW skeptics eyes, AGW alarmists are crying the sky is falling when in fact it isn't.
PinkElephant
4 / 5 (4) Nov 03, 2010
In other words, in the AGW skeptics eyes, AGW alarmists are crying the sky is falling when in fact it isn't.
Problem is, the "AGW skeptics" will only be convinced by the sky actually falling on them. Which would be a tad too late, sadly.

Just like it was a tad too late for smoking to finally be admitted as a deadly addiction and a huge health hazard. How many millions of people had to get sick and die the world over, before "the science was settled"?

Then, just as now, there were numerous "scientific" spokesmen expressing "doubt" regarding the emerging science. The emerging science was vilified in conservative media as anti-American and anti-business. Numerous think tanks and PR firms were in full flow, stoking the "skeptics". The Republicans and many conservative Democrats were wholesale on the "skeptic" side (it's where all the money was.)

The parallels to the current "AGW skeptic" movement are stark and striking. And not at all coincidentally so...
thermodynamics
3 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
PE: There is another problem with acting on AGCC and the reaction of skeptics. First, the skeptics will whine for decades about the trillions being spent(ignoring any new jobs or wealth created). Then, if the effort is unsuccessful they will lament that their money (it is always their money even if they are unemployed) has been wasted because humans could never control a "natural" phenomena. Finally, if the effort is successful they will point out that the dire predictions never came true. So, those of us who understand the science and are moving for action can't win. The skeptics will always have their way out and will say:

1) It is too costly (even though no one knows how much it will cost).
2) It was natural and uncontrollable. We should never have tried.
3) It was never going to happen.
jsa09
3 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
This somewhat reminds me of Y2K. Anyone remember that? It was not that long ago.

I have seen some articles recently lamenting the post 2,000 uproar over Y2K bugs that may bring down planes or crash stock markets etc.

Then a lot of money was spent on R and D by many companies and year 2,000 came and went without any disasters. Now we have to wonder was there no disaster because of the effort to prevent Y2K problems or would self interest have caused companies to update software anyway so that there would have been no Y2K problems anyway?

Add this to media stories that Y2K was a flop. Of course the media wanted something drastic to go wrong.
thermodynamics
3 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
jsa09: Great analogy. The reason there was no catastrophe with the change of the millennium was there was enormous effort put in to make the changes in time. One of the great stories (that was not related much because it was too "technical") was the conversion of more than 1 million lines of code at Att. I am not sure how many lines were changed at other locations but I do know that the banks were racing to change their code on-time. One of the differences we see now is the use of four digits in the year instead of two digits. If you recall before the change you would say you were born in 66. Now you have to explicitly use 1966 instead. The wrap around problem was real and was stopped. So, now (as you brought up) many talk about it being a flop and not being needed. It was a stunning success because of about 2 years of warning and a lot of programming.
Claudius
2 / 5 (4) Nov 04, 2010
It isn't that AGW skeptics are just being stubborn, they have legitimate reasons for skepticism with the AGW hypothesis.

Also, while it is true that there are no minority rights for scientists; science is not a democracy. There are no majority rights either. The only winner in science should be the truth.

Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2010
If you really want to get us off the oil, then my suggestion isn't to take up the AGW flag, it's way too hot (no pun intended). Make it about how much cheaper nuclear is, or how we need to quit giving money to people mired in the 14th century about to acquire nuclear weapons. Anything but global warming.

You'd get a lot further a lot quicker.

I go with the stance that we're funding both sides of the Afghan war.

You can still use oil and reduce CO2 emissions. You just need to actually create technology that sequesters the CO2. The issue isn't fossil fuels persay, although that would be the fastest fix.

It's the fact that the industrial and manufacturing centers just don't care. That's the problem MM>

they have legitimate reasons for skepticism with the AGW hypothesis.
But you can't seem to come up with any Claudius.
Claudius
1 / 5 (4) Nov 04, 2010
I think the thing that persuaded me away from AGW (yes, I was firmly in the AGW camp a few years ago) was that the statement that temperatures were increasing in response to increases in CO2 was incorrect, that actually CO2 was increasing in response to increases in temperature.

The other thing is that there is a competing theory that attributes global warming to the sun's activity which makes a lot more sense.

Of course, since I am not a climatologist, my opinion will be meaningless. After all, you dismissed the opinion of a Nobel Prize winning physicist because he was not a climatologist, so how could my opinion count for anything?
Claudius
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
p.s. - Regarding previous comments that the proposal to reduce carbon emissions will not adversely affect humanity and will in fact encourage growth, consider biofuels.

Biofuel production already involves converting farmland and rain forest to produce the necessary biomass. Carbon taxes will not affect the rich, as they will just pass the costs of production down to the poor. So we can expect increases in food prices worldwide, again impacting the poorest. Who knows how many will starve from these programs, but I have seen estimates in the millions.

It is time to stop this nonsense before it gets a lot worse.
Claudius
1.5 / 5 (4) Nov 04, 2010
Professor Beddington said that the prospect of food shortages over the next 20 years was so acute that politicians, scientists and farmers must begin to tackle it immediately.

“Don’t we need to do something about food? Demand has grown enormously, particularly in China and India, where much of the driving force is increased demand. By 2030 energy demand is going to be up by 50 per cent and demand for food is going to be up by 50 per cent.”

Deforestation has been calculated to account for about 18 per cent of world greenhouse gas emissions and Professor Beddington said that to destroy rainforests in order to grow biofuel crops was “insane”

“The shift to biofuels production has diverted lands out of the food chain. Food prices such as palm oil in Africa are now set at fuel prices. It may be a bonanza for farmers – I hope it is true – but in the short term, the world’s poorest are hit hard.”

excerpted from: www.timesonline.c...0954.ece
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
the statement that temperatures were increasing in response to increases in CO2 was incorrect, that actually CO2 was increasing in response to increases in temperature
This applies only to pre-industrial climate change. Current CO2 increases are not due to temperature. There is a feedback effect: greater temperatures cause more CO2 outgassing (from oceans), and more CO2 in the atmosphere helps to raise temperatures a little bit higher still. (This isn't a runaway feedback loop because at each "iteration" the gains diminish.)
there is a competing theory that attributes global warming to the sun's activity which makes a lot more sense.
Except it's now utterly discredited. Solar activity has not increased over the last century or so, and DEFINITELY not since the 1970's (when we started having satellites monitor solar output nonstop.) In fact, solar heat flux has been on a very slight downtrend since the 70's.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
Professor Beddington said that the prospect of food shortages over the next 20 years was so acute that politicians, scientists and farmers must begin to tackle it immediately.

Not acute enough to end govt subsidies around the world.
Not acute enough to use set up nuclear powered or solar powered desalination plants on desert coastlines to raise food like Israel does.
Just recently the Cubans were allowed to raise their own food in city gardens and before the fall of the USSR, farmers were allowed to raise and SELL the food they produced.
There are no technological reasons not to have enough food, but there are many political reasons.
But this would force socialist scientists to acknowledge the failure of the state to control food supplies.
thermodynamics
not rated yet Nov 04, 2010
Claudius: You said: " the statement that temperatures were increasing in response to increases in CO2 was incorrect, that actually CO2 was increasing in response to increases in temperature." PE already explained that the statement you made has been shown to be correct for prehistoric emissions because there was not usually a massive source of CO2 and so as the temperature went up during normal fluctuations it drove CO2 out. This is different. We have a leading signal of CO2 which will raise the temperature and drive out more CO2.

You seem to think that this is incorrect and I would like to know your source. It seems you have thought a lot about this subject so if we could clarify this point it might help you in future decision making. I would be glad to help you get this resolved if you are willing. Please show me a reference so we can get started.
Claudius
1 / 5 (3) Nov 04, 2010
thermodynamics

I have heard this from several different sources. I did a quick search and came up with this: Stable Carbon Cycle–Climate Relationship During the Late Pleistocene, Urs Siegenthaler, Science 25 November 2005

This study has been interpreted as evidence that CO2 levels follow temperature changes.

thermodynamics
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2010
Claudius: You and Siegenthaler are correct. During most of past history heating comes first and then comes CO2 which reinforces the heating. This is called feedback. When the Earth heats during its regular cycle (such as the Milankovitch cycles) the water cannot hold as much CO2 and neither can tundra or other sources (seem Milankovitch cycle in the link).

http://en.wikiped...h_cycles

Because the earth has heated it drives up the CO2 level. In turn, the CO2 traps more of the Earth's IR and the heating continues up. In the case of forcing by the Milankovitch cycles, the CO2 is a primary feedback mechanism. As both heat and CO2 go up water vapor also goes up (due to the ability of the air to hold more H2O). So, an initial push by the cycle gets feedback from both CO2 and H2O. That is how it has always worked in the past. (Continued)
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2010
Continued: As far as anyone can tell from the geological records that is always how it went. However, we now have CO2 leading because we have put enough CO2 in the air to start forcing the temperature up without a natural cycle such as the Milankovitch cycle. That means it also starts warming the air and water - driving more CO2 out of the water and tundra and allowing the atmosphere to absorb more H2O (now H2O is the primary feedback mechanism).

As you, correctly, pointed out, the CO2 has always followed warming in the past. The interesting difference is that now humans have started to increase the CO2 without a heating cycle.

That means this is predominantly human caused and is moving out of the standard cycles and into the unknown.

So:

1) You are absolutely correct that CO2 followed warming in the past.

2) This is unprecedented because we have increased the CO2 without a natural cycle forcing it.

Do you see the difference and why this is something that is unique?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
A couple more things to add:

(1) The *rate* at which CO2 in the atmosphere is currently climbing due to worldwide extraction and combustion of fossil carbon (both of which are also accelerating) is much faster than during natural (Milankovitch) cycles.

(2) Already the current atmospheric CO2 concentrations exceed anything in the past 600 thousand years (according to Greenland & Antarctic ice cores), and possibly in more than the past few million years.

(3) We're compounding the problem by razing forests (reducing sequestered CO2), greening deserts and paving over vast tracts of land (decreasing albedo), extracting and emitting methane in ever growing quantities (another potent greenhouse gas, and a major component of natural gas), and on balance amplifying the atmospheric greenhouse.

The rate and degree of change we're building into the climate system are quite beyond any normal fluctuations in recent geological history. We're quite possibly engineering a major extinction event.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
OK, one more thing to add. I just bumped into a (relatively) recently proposed alternative theory for long-period natural cycles that does posit the Sun as the intrinsic cause. It purports to compete with Milankovitch theory (derived from periodic oscillations in Earth's orbit) and offer both a plausible mechanism and a better fit to the data. Having read the paper, I find it interesting and at least superficially plausible.

http://arxiv.org/...17v1.pdf

However, the positive feedback of the greenhouse effect applies regardless, and whatever the radiative forcing that preceded CO2 rise in the past, it is not what's causing CO2 rise (or global warming/climate change) in the modern age:

http://en.wikiped...data.png

http://en.wikiped...mber.png

http://en.wikiped...maly.png

http://en.wikiped...maly.png

Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2010
Of course, since I am not a climatologist, my opinion will be meaningless. After all, you dismissed the opinion of a Nobel Prize winning physicist because he was not a climatologist, so how could my opinion count for anything?
Yassir Arafat won the Nobel Peace prize while looting, killing, and suicide bombing members of other nations on a daily basis.

You'll excuse us if winning the Nobel Popularity contest isn't a sufficient credential in the arena of peer review. If you want to insist that it is, we can talk about the numerous people who've pulled down a Nobel who side with the AGCC theory.

As so far, you haven't been able to provide an irrefutable relevant source. You're banging the bible of denialism on this one Claudius, and we're not buying it.
Claudius
1 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2010
After reading all of the above about CO2 levels historically following rises in temperature and then being informed that this no longer holds for modern times, all I can say is that I do not trust the modern data. This is of course in the wake of the climategate emails and the hockey stick scandal.

The bottom line is that climatology is far from being a mature science. It isn't even possible to model what the weather will be like next week, much less decades in advance. I have read enough of chaos theory to understand that it may never be possible to build accurate models of future climate. I am also sure that many climatologists would not agree with that.

I will change my point of view when the likes of Richard Lindzen comes out and says the alarm over global warming is justified.
Claudius
1 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2010
Harold Lewis on October 6 resigned from the American Physical Society after 67 years of membership with the following statement:

“The global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. I don’t believe any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion.”

Of course, he is only Emeritus Professor of Physics and former department chairman at the University of California, Santa Barbara. So his comment and resignation doesn't mean much in terms of establishing there is a controversy in climate science.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
@Claudius,

Emeritus Professors are not excluded from membership in the human condition. They are also captive of political passions and emotional biases. There will ALWAYS be people -- even in academia -- who for whatever reasons choose to buck consensus and blow up at perceived injustices.

For instance, the "climategate emails" have been reviewed by several impartial academic committees (composed of people outside the climate science community) and the findings are that it's all a big nothing. It all amounts to this: some highly selective snippets were taken out of context, deliberately misinterpreted, and sensationalized by moneyed interests. Furthermore, evidence is found that the prominent climate scientists were under a steady state of siege from the "skeptics", who demonstrated no interest in honest discussion or research, and whose clear goal is to divert resources and engage in "gotcha" politics.

Background on CO2 greenhouse:

http://www.aip.or.../co2.htm
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
"Climategate" investigation outcomes:

http://en.wikiped...#Reports

"Hockey stick" non-controversy:

http://en.wikiped...troversy
Claudius
1 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2010
It is beginning to look like no authority in existence, if making a negative comment about AGW would carry any weight here.

There is clearly something wrong if dozens of scientists, from Nobel Prize winners in physics, to Emeritus physics professors, to prominent climatologists all make public comments strongly condemning AGW, and it is still possible for you to say there is no controversy or debate among scientists regarding this issue.

I wonder who you people really are. It is not beyond belief that you may be in the employ of the financial interests promoting AGW hysteria. There are trillions of dollars in play, after all, so why wouldn't they employ people to inhabit places like Wikipedia and these forums to engage in what the Rand corporation called "effective opinion control."

I have made my point as well as I can. I still say the science on AGW is too uncertain and controversial to be used in public policy. Your comments have only reinforced my opinion, I'm afraid.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
It is beginning to look like no authority in existence, if making a negative comment about AGW would carry any weight here.
A non-authority could show up with a peer reviewed research paper and that would have an impact. This isn't politics. The size of your name is meaningless if you don't show your work.
There is clearly something wrong if dozens of scientists, from Nobel Prize winners in physics, to Emeritus physics professors, to prominent climatologists all make public comments strongly condemning AGW, and it is still possible for you to say there is no controversy or debate among scientists regarding this issue.
Show us the research results.
I wonder who you people really are. It is not beyond belief that you may be in the employ of the financial interests promoting AGW hysteria.
Make sure you stock up on tinfoil. You're going to need a lot of hats.
Claudius
1 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2010
I agree that if I were trying to challenge the AGW hypothesis, I would need to reference peer-reviewed papers. (When I did this, the papers were casually dismissed.)

However, my purpose was to establish that there is a debate among scientists, that the subject is controversial. I don't need peer-reviewed papers to do this, all I need are public comments critical of AGW by prominent scientists. This should be sufficient to establish that at least a controversy exists.

This seems reasonable to me, but not to anyone else on this forum. Hence my speculation as to your motives.

A study was done at MIT that showed tinfoil ineffective in preventing mind control, so I won't do that, but thanks anyway.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
@Claudius,

Do you agree that there is "debate among scientists" regarding validity of the theory of evolution? After all, there's lots of ID crap floating about. Must be something to it, then?

Is there "debate among scientists" about the validity of aether/hyperdimensional/etc. "theories" of physics? You can find lots of it on the internet, but how important is it?

Is there "debate among scientists" about the safety of the LHC, and its potential to destroy the Earth if not the entire universe?

My point is this: there are always cranks and misfits, who will pipe up against orthodoxy -- REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY ARE JUSTIFIED OR NOT in doing it. And that is before you take money into account.

You speak of moneyed interests. How much money, world-wide, is invested in fossil fuels? You think the renewable energy industry is somehow more influential??? You have your fiscal picture exactly bass-ackwards opposite reality.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
Claudius:

You said: "After reading all of the above about CO2 levels historically following rises in temperature and then being informed that this no longer holds for modern times, all I can say is that I do not trust the modern data. This is of course in the wake of the climategate emails and the hockey stick scandal."

Let me see if I get this right. You trust multi-million year old proxy data over measured data from modern times?

Remember, those are not "historical records." They are paleontology records from well before history.

So, you are saying that those records are more reliable than satellites, buoys, and weather stations?

You seemed reasonable and then you seem to have dropped off the edge of the FoxNews table. Read what you said before and please explain how you can support it.

I am willing to continue the discussion but please clarify how you can trust hundred million year old proxy data rather than modern measurements.

Did you really mean to say that?
Claudius
1 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
Actually, I would have a hard time to come up with examples of prominent scientists who challenge evolution, since that is not a theory but an observed fact. Ditto for natural selection theory.

I would have similar difficulty with the aether theories, though I could find some very prominent scientists who support the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics, if that is what you mean. (David Deutsch comes to mind.)Or were you referring to string theory?

I would have similar difficulty with the LHC's safety issues.

I could find examples of dissent from the public on most of those issues, but not prominent scientists.

However, I have had no problem at all finding numerous prominent scientists who strongly challenge AGW.

Because of this, I question those who insist there is no controversy or debate among scientists regarding AGW, when clearly there is.
Claudius
1 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
thermodynamics,

I think my main problem with CO2 lagging temperature data in the historical record, vs. the idea that this has changed recently just rubs my fur the wrong way. The papers I have read that dispute AGW say that man's activities could not be forcing the data as much as that.

The other side of the coin is that I have no confidence in a lot of the research, since there is evidence of some tampering with the data. The links to Wikipedia supposedly exonerating the climategate and hockey stick controversy were interesting, but I also read the discussion pages as well, and there is debate going on within the Wikipedia writers similar to the one going on here. So I am not convinced. I read many of the climategate emails and they remain suspicious to me, especially the part about changing the peer review process, and suppressing dissident opinion. The Medieval Warm period should have shown up on the hockey stick graph, and it is curiously flat.

PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
I would have a hard time to come up with examples of prominent scientists who challenge evolution, since that is not a theory but an observed fact.
You must have never talked to any ID zealot. If you had, you'd realize that the kinds of argumentative approach they take is so eerily similar to yours, it's downright uncanny.
numerous prominent scientists who strongly challenge AGW.
How many of them are prominent CLIMATE scientists? For instance, now much credence would you give to an Economist challenging the validity of General Relativity?
I question those who insist there is no controversy or debate among scientists regarding AGW, when clearly there is.
That is a very dishonest and highly spun statement. "Debate among scientists" could mean a major and genuine dispute in the field, or an astroturfed controversy ala the Tobacco Wars -- where a few "skeptics" are handed megaphones and echo chambers by the sponsoring industries, to create the APPEARANCE of controversy.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
The papers I have read that dispute AGW say that man's activities could not be forcing the data as much as that.
Which data do you mean?
the part about changing the peer review process, and suppressing dissident opinion
You're mistaken if you think there is some kind of a conspiracy revealed there. What you see in those emails, is a few scientists who are utterly appalled at a supposedly "scientific" and "peer-reviewed" journal publishing a paper (despite strong objections from its own review board, many of whom subsequently quit in protest!) that is so shoddily put together and has so many holes in it, that any grad student would be lucky to get a D- on it. Those emails are just people expressing their disgust -- in what they thought were private discussions.
The Medieval Warm period should have shown up
It doesn't, because it tends not to show up in GLOBAL data sets. The warming appears to have had only a regional extent, balanced out by cooling elsewhere...

Claudius
1 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
I have previously listed various scientists including climatologists who challenge AGW. I could have found more. The economist challenging relativity isn't a fair comparison, since the other scientists I mentioned were physicists, and climatology is a physical science, after all.

Why is it so hard to admit that there is a controversy within the field about AGW? It seems like an untenable position to take. Richard Lindzen is a prominent climatologist who challenges AGW quite strongly. This comment by him surely must make it apparent he questions AGW: "I think it's mainly just like little kids locking themselves in dark closets to see how much they can scare each other and themselves." And he is not alone, as my previous posts have shown.

Claudius
1 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
You must have never talked to any ID zealot. If you had, you'd realize that the kinds of argumentative approach they take is so eerily similar to yours, it's downright uncanny.


Well, I am no creationist, and I haven't really been interested in the intelligent design question. I did look at the article on Wikipedia on ID, and found it interesting that Charles Darwin was on the ID bandwagon. It seems to me (I could be wrong)that scientists involved with ID are not questioning evolution, which as I said is an observed fact, but rather with what set evolution in motion in the first place.
Claudius
1 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
PinkElephant:

Regarding the regional nature of the MWP I got this from Wikipedia:

The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) or Medieval Climate Optimum was a time of warm climate in the North Atlantic region, that may also have been related to other climate events around the world during that time, including in China, New Zealand, and other countries lasting from about AD 950–1250"
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
Regarding the regional nature of the MWP I got this from Wikipedia:
Right, but "other climate events" does not mean WARMING events. The "hockey stick" graph is not depicting temperatures in the North Atlantic, the Arctic, or Europe; it's based on the averaged temperatures over the entire surface of the planet.
ID are not questioning evolution
As an aside, they actually are. They don't accept the notion of common descent with modification. They talk about separately "created" "kinds", and they talk of "irreducible complexity" which they claim could not have been constructed in an incremental (evolutionary) fashion. But if you do decide to delve into that universe, be warned: it's a deep, dark cave full of slaves chained to walls.
climatology is a physical science, after all.
It's a study of a system, though. You could say that Ecology is a physical science, but it still has nothing to do with Astrophysics. General competency is not equivalent to domain expertise.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
""Last Year, when CERN was on the eve of launching the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) I wrote an article about how they used free and open source software and applied the philosophy of making their data and experiments, journals, etc freely available."
"One the mantras repeated ad nauseam by the CRU and the IPCC is that everything is beyond reproach because all the science is peer reviewed. Superficially, that seems plausible until you actually examine what they mean by this phrase. "
"Social network analysis reveals that the whole process was in fact thoroughly incestuous with CRU/IPCC scientists peer reviewing each other’s papers and ensuring the exclusion of anything critical of the orthodox consensus. "
http://www.freeso...k"
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
Claudius: You said: "I think my main problem with CO2 lagging temperature data in the historical record, vs. the idea that this has changed recently just rubs my fur the wrong way. The papers I have read that dispute AGW say that man's activities could not be forcing the data as much as that."

I am really lost as to what you are saying here. We were talking about CO2 leading or lagging. You are now saying that humans could not be forcing the data as much as that. However, the data for CO2 climbing is not even in dispute by the most ferocious of AGCC deniers. That set of data is well validated and goes back for decades. Are you saying that you don't believe that CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere? Please clarify.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
Claudius: You also commented on the MWP. I think PE covered the idea of the MWP not showing up strongly in the graphs because it was local not global. When looking at the estimates of global temperature it is much weaker than when looking just at Europe and Scandinavia. If you still have questions on that, they can be partially answered.

Don't get me wrong. The MWP was real and warm. However, we don't have a good handle on how warm and the extent. New data seems to indicate it did not extend to all of the Southern hemisphere. This is still an active area of research(which is the reason I said your questions could be partially answered). (Continued)
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
Claudius: I also want to clarify something. Most of the folks on this site are not the zealots you seem to think they are (marjon aside). Many of them are just frustrated at trying to show what is known over and over again. Let me try to explain.

The physics of radiant transfer is well known. It has been for about 100 years. I use it all the time in designing furnaces. What is not well known is the effect of clouds and ice. We are learning about that and it is the subject of on-going study. So, if you ask about radiant transfer you will get the response it is well known and "settled." If you ask about clouds and ice, you should get the answer it is not well known and not settled. However, there are reasonable approximations to both clouds and ice that are used in existing models. (continued)
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
Continued: You will see people who claim that the models are fatally flawed because the "can't handle clouds and ice." The reality is that the models are not complete failures and can tell us a lot about how things are changing. Those who say they are perfect are idiots. Those who say they are useless are also idiots. Both extremes of those arguments do not understand modeling or the state of the science. What seems to happen is that those arguing either side of the argument seem to be backed into a corner. Both sides are afraid of giving on any issue. The reality is that this is a developing science (or there would be no need for research) but it is also useful for predictions. When people mix the known with the unknown and make comments about the combination they have stepped off the edge into the realm of politics and not science. (continued)
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
Continued: Let me give you an example. You made broad statements about the "hockey stick." There were clearly errors in the first round of the data because it was the first of the multi-proxy estimations. It has been improved over the years by teams of scientists. It has not been thrown out by those who understand it because it is still a useful tool. That tool has withstood multiple attacks by vindictive people who are convinced that the earth is cooling instead of warming. However, the scientific "majority" not "consensus" continue to improve it and use. it. (continued)

thermodynamics
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
Continued: Anyone saying it is perfect is nuts. This is a proxy of temperatures for 1000 - 2000 years. It can't be right, just a useful tool that continues to improve. Anyone pointing to it and saying it is dishonest or useless has no understanding of the scientific process. I can pick out flaws in almost any engineering approximation. It does not mean I toss them out. For instance, convection. It is an approximation that improves with time and work. However, I don't see anyone screaming "dishonest" because it falls apart in some instances of boiling in textured tubes. (continued)
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
I agree that if I were trying to challenge the AGW hypothesis, I would need to reference peer-reviewed papers. (When I did this, the papers were casually dismissed.)
Not casually, causatively. Your papers were dismissed because they couldn't account for internal error, as I stated above.

However, my purpose was to establish that there is a debate among scientists, that the subject is controversial. I don't need peer-reviewed papers to do this,
Actually, yes you do. If I feel a certain way, that doesn't affect experiment and observation. To do so would be "unscientific".
all I need are public comments critical of AGW by prominent scientists.
No, that'd be speculation and opinion based reasoning.
This should be sufficient to establish that at least a controversy exists.
No, this is sufficient to state that the perception is thus, the reality may be quite different, as the majority of scientific endeavor explicitly shows.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
Continued: Now, I can hear your head rumbling about the "smoking gun" of the e-mails. NO. Read them. These were e-mails written by humans who were frustrated and petty. They were a poor example of the way things should be handled - but they were not dishonest. For example, the use of the word "trick" has been pointed at as a clear example of dishonesty. I have to admit that now I find myself cringing when I use the same word to describe some of my mathematical approaches. As an example, I have used the "trick" of inverting Newton's approximation and spoke of it as a trick to a fellow engineer. I then, jokingly, pointed out that it was not dishonest and we both had a good laugh. Continued
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2010
Continued: Those e-mails were terrible and those involved in not passing on data should be prosecuted because it is the law in any Government supported work when the freedom of information act is involved. That was greedy and unlawful and I hope they get the punishment they deserve. However, it did not invalidate their work or the work that continues on.

Did they do a very poor job of data management (losing the original data)? I don't think anyone will argue that point. However, other data agrees with their conclusions. The e-mails were a source of embarrassment to those involved and should have resulted in disciplinary measures (and may have since those measures would be protected from disclosure). However, there is nothing in those e-mails that invalidates AGCC.

Take a shot at a specific scientific result that bothers you and let's talk it out on this forum. This is the place to do it.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
The physics of radiant transfer is well known. It has been for about 100 years. I use it all the time in designing furnaces.

Page 9 showing total solar irradiation is interesting.
http://www.bu.edu...4-n2.pdf
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
Regarding Richard Lindzen, here's a recent debate between him and another climate scientist (Andrew Dessler from Texas A&M.) It is not technical at all, and I think it offers a pretty good feel for what the real issues are, and what tactics are used by each side (the video is 1 hr 54 min, but the last ~50 minutes are a couple of lawyers debating policy implications):

http://www.youtub...h1B-rV60

Lindzen is routinely described as "contrarian" on a variety of issues. Note for instance that Lindzen STILL (to my knowledge) argues that smoking is not causally linked to lung cancer. These days he plays more the role of an old curmudgeon trying to tear down any young upstarts. (NOT such an uncommon phenomenon in academic circles...)

Note the argumentative approach: based on selectively scoped data, focusing on (unknown) details of small-scale turbulent noise rather than the big picture, biasing toward lower bounds when discussing risk from uncertainty, etc...