Lunch Links

Monday, August 29th, 2011
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127 Responses to “Lunch Links”

  1. #1 |  JS | 

    homophobic and sexist are both examples of made up words for when you really really want to call someone a racist but can’t think of a legitmate way to do it without looking like an idiot. They should come up with a word that can throw at opponents of global warming. Because they really really want ot call them racists but can’t.

  2. #2 |  Chris Rhodes | 

    Armed federal agents raid Gibson guitars over suspected use of improperly imported Indian rosewood.

    You can really feel the frustration in the CEO’s voice as he tries to explain to the reporters that he’s only guessing at why armed federal agents stormed his factory, because the DoJ won’t tell him anything, and they have a habit of raiding and confiscating Gibson property without ever filing charges.

    I think Gibson should move all their manufacturing overseas to India. That seems to be what the government wants.

  3. #3 |  Kristen | 

    Man, I wish I could afford $75 for fantasy hoofball just for the logo alone!

    *adjusts monocle*

  4. #4 |  Bob | 

    “Headline of the day, Canadian edition. (It’s about a year old, but worth the wait.)”

    Well, the first Moose was pregnant, this one was probably it’s paramour, crazed with grief and looking for revenge.

  5. #5 |  Zefram Marks | 

    JS, if you think homophobia and sexism are made up you are the idiot.

  6. #6 |  Lefty | 

    Gore is using some extremist language but as the consequences of climate change worsen history won’t look favorably on those who blocked change.

    Extra legal killings during a civil war? That was a bit predictable.

    Michael Gerson should take a long hard look at Portugal. The drug was is dangerous, costly and offends civil liberties.

  7. #7 |  Bob | 

    “I have decided my fantasy football team this year will be called the Fightin’ Koch Whores. Here is our logo.”

    You need to add a line near the nose with no explanation as to why it’s there. That way you’ll have a better double entendre going.

  8. #8 |  Lefty | 

    #1

    All words are made up.

  9. #9 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Poor, angry rebel factions shooting it out in Libya.
    Why does the phrase “Lord of the Flies” keeping rebounding through my head?
    But at least it gave Nic Robertson access to that guy in a coma.
    It’s all about the “story.”

  10. #10 |  Jesse | 

    Hmm, I guess thermometers are racists now.

  11. #11 |  JS | 

    Zefram Marks “JS, if you think homophobia and sexism are made up you are the idiot.”

    Really? How long have those words been around? Did they arise in response to the feminist movement of the 60′s wanting to have a word like racist or the gay rights movement wanting to have a word like racist that they could use to smear anyone who disagreed with them or have they always been around? They are obvioulsy made up words. Most are actually but those are politically charged terms that arose in response to political opponents. I’m surprised that my pointing that out would offend anyone.

  12. #12 |  the innominate one | 

    Well, to be fair to Gore, he compared AGW skeptics and deniers to racists, he didn’t call them racists. I can see his point. I can also see why one might be offended at the manner in which he made his point.

  13. #13 |  JS | 

    I usually give Gore a pass on pretty much anything ever since he singlehandedly rid the world of manbearpig.

  14. #14 |  EH | 

    JS: How long does a word have to exist in order for it to have real meaning? For how long has the word “smear” been used the way you use it? Why is the word “feminism” OK for you to use, while “sexism” is merely a made-up placeholder?

  15. #15 |  JS | 

    Good point EH. I never said they werent’ legitimate words and I guess they are legitimated by common usage over time or somethign like that but I was just poiting out that they were made up to meet a particular need.

    You’re not seriously going deny that those words were made up to meet a perceived need to defend the feminists and the gay rights movements from cultural and political opposition? I can’t see why my pointing this out would offend anyone.

  16. #16 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    From where I sit the Global Warming debate looks like this;

    Side A) Numerous climate scientists, politicians, and environmental activists, many of whom have been caught lying and/or falsifying data, and all of whom tend to argue by yelling “It’s settled! Shut Up!”

    Side B) Numerous scientists who may or may not have any expertise in climate areas, politicians, Conservative pundits, and so forth. They have a series of arguments that I find persuasive, but am really not qualified to judge. I wish that the Global Warming people would engage their arguments.

    The trouble is that I can’t tell the difference between the AGW believers not having any facts on their side, and the AGW believers having gotten so accustomed to their own company that they’ve forgotten how to argue.

  17. #17 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I’ve written before that I believe AGW is real. That said, this is fairly offensive.

    The goal here is to win the argument by isolating those who disagree. There are other topics where merely disagreeing with the prevailing beliefs is considered so outrageous that even voicing them is considered a threat to modern society. Among those topics are skepticism about how many Jews were executed by the Nazis and whether intelligence is affected by race or sex. Bring those topics up and people will want to shut you down (if not physically hurt you), not because they are implausible, but because people feel threatened by the mere mention of them. Bring up equally unlikely topics of alien abductions or psychokinesis or reincarnation and no one bats an eyelash.

    Saying that the earth earth revolved around the sun used to get you in big trouble, too because, you know, it was “settled science” that the earth was the center of the universe. It was, of course, discovered later that the center of the universe was actually in Washington DC.

  18. #18 |  omar | 

    Most are actually but those are politically charged terms that arose in response to political opponents. I’m surprised that my pointing that out would offend anyone.

    I don’t want to get semantic here, but assuming that you are talking about the concept of homophobia and sexism, and not the words themselves, it’s a pretty far stretch to not acknowledge their existence. Some folks do mistreat others based on their sex/sexuality in the same way some folks mistreat others based on their perceived race. It happens a lot. Let us not bury our heads in the sand and pretend otherwise.

    If you are concerned about the origins of the term “homophobic”, it’s medical and has changed over time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homophobia#Etymology
    Sexism is directly modeled on the term “racism”.
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=sexist

  19. #19 |  omar | 

    You’re not seriously going deny that those words were made up to meet a perceived need to defend the feminists and the gay rights movements from cultural and political opposition?

    You posted this while I was typing out my comment. Yes, I am seriously going to deny “that those words were made up to meet a perceived need to defend the feminists and the gay rights movements from cultural and political opposition”. They are words describing a phenomenon. That you agree/disagree with the politics surrounding the defenders/detractors of an issue does not make this a case of Orwellian newspeak. Nothing has been redefined with a euphemism. It’s just hard to have a conversation about a complex topic when there is no word to describe it.

  20. #20 |  Mark | 

    @ JS, because what you said was: “homophobic and sexist are both examples of made up words for when you really really want to call someone a racist but can’t think of a legitmate way to do it without looking like an idiot.”

    And that is a completely asinine statement. And if you were actually educated about what you are claiming (and I will go so far as to say people should be educated about the topics of their assertions), you’d realize that “racist” predates such words as “homophobic” and “sexist” by mere decades (~50/60 years or so).

    So, instead of acting like Sarah Palin and defending a statement that can objectively be shown to be false (at least the way it was originally written), one should learn to admit when they’re wrong.

  21. #21 |  JS | 

    omar “I don’t want to get semantic here, but assuming that you are talking about the concept of homophobia and sexism, and not the words themselves, it’s a pretty far stretch to not acknowledge their existence.”

    No I wasn’t talking about or denying that people treat homosexuals and liberated women or whatever, badly. I wasn’t talking about the concepts at all, just the fact that the words were made up to defend or advance an idealogical perspective.

  22. #22 |  Mike | 

    “Well, to be fair to Gore, he compared AGW skeptics and deniers to racists, he didn’t call them racists. I can see his point. I can also see why one might be offended at the manner in which he made his point.”

    This is right. Gore said we need to win the conversation with them the way liberals win conservations with racists– by criticizing them on the spot. While he is wrong– I prefer arguing them on the spot not getting offended– There are parallels. Political correctness killed causal racist speech, and it can be used against scientific opinions (but let’s not).

  23. #23 |  Dave Krueger | 

    The rebels Obama supported with his illegal war in Libya are making us proud.

    And, according to the New York Times, Obama’s strategy in Libya will be a model for future wars and is on track to be a “complete success”.

    And the democrats are all for it because, you know, wars are good when they are done by their guy.

  24. #24 |  JS | 

    Mark “And that is a completely asinine statement. And if you were actually educated about what you are claiming (and I will go so far as to say people should be educated about the topics of their assertions), you’d realize that “racist” predates such words as “homophobic” and “sexist” by mere decades (~50/60 years or so).”

    Please show me where I said anything about those words predating racism. Racist was an actual political philosophy, most obviously the Nazis, but those words were made up to advance or defend an idealogical agenda. Whoever made up homophobic was not even a good classicist since homo is Latin for man and phobic comes from the Greek phobia meaning fear. So why am I getting insulted in this thread and on this site of all sites? I don’t get it. I pointed out something fairly self evedent and y’all are blowing a gasket. Show me where homophobic or sexist were words used before the feminst movement or the gay rights movements of the 60′s and 80′s.

  25. #25 |  Jesse | 

    I observe, about the global warming debate, is that the AGW skeptics consider the matter far from “settled”, though they will usually take on any arguments from the other side if and when they are presented. At least some of them (maybe not the hard-core “deniers”) might be able to be convinced given enough persuasive information.

    The AGW alarmists want to consider the matter closed so they can just get down to the business of regulating the world economy and every facet of human life already, dammit.

  26. #26 |  fwb | 

    AGW:

    1) A temperature shift of 0.1 C in the top 10 m of the oceans will release as much CO2 to the atmosphere as the Climate Changers claim has occurred. (Hot soda effect/ El Nino/La Nina, changes in solar activity)

    2) Water has a heat capacity 5x that of CO2 and water is minimally 100x more common in the atmosphere than CO2. (Water is the main greenhouse gas. Without water vapor there would be no moderating effect and life would be much more difficult or impossible, as we know it.)

    3) See current CERN research release (last week) on comsic rays/nucleation. It appears the CERN research points to the AGW people as the old church attacking the antiAGW as the new Galileo.

    4) Climatologists, etc are NOT environmental chemists and do no specialize in studying the fate of chemicals in the environment. They have little grasp of multi-phase chemical equilibria such as that under which CO2 is affected. I’ve read manay a so-called climatologist only to find them lacking in knowledge about chemistry. If CO2 were not so involved in the three phases and did not so easily move from one to another, chemical equilibria would not be so important. But CO2 is and does.

    5) Humans occupy a very small amount of the earth’s surface. Within those areas, specially in the largere urban areas, we find microcosm alterations of the environment. Urbanization is very harmful to the area in which urbanization occurs. Pavement and buildings increase energy absorption and much of that energy is reradiated both into the surrounding atmosphere and deeper into the Earth. The Earth stored energy is released slowly in the vicinity of the urban area resulting in localized changes that most folks observe.

    6) To have climate change, entire species of plants and animals must also change since much of what is climate is not only weather, which is what is being observed and reported as climate change, but also involves the soils, plants, and animal life in the zone.

    GW people rely too heavily on models. All models are wrong. Some models are useful.

  27. #27 |  Mark | 

    @ JS “homophobic and sexist are both examples of made up words for when you really really want to call someone a racist but can’t think of a legitmate way to do it without looking like an idiot.”

    So you are going to defend your statement as written? You agree that the words “homophobic” and “sexist” were made up because people fighting for woman’s or homosexual’s rights really wanted to call people “racist” “but [couldn't] think of a legit[i]mate way to do it without looking like an idiot.”

    Or rather, as I feel it should be written, and maybe what you intended, is that the terms were created to respond to analogous treatment of a given class of people based on a particular, and otherwise irrelevant, trait.

    But those two statements are very different. At the very least, will you at least admit your initial post wasn’t the best way to present your thoughts?

  28. #28 |  JS | 

    mark “So you are going to defend your statement as written? You agree that the words “homophobic” and “sexist” were made up because people fighting for woman’s or homosexual’s rights really wanted to call people “racist” “but [couldn't] think of a legit[i]mate way to do it without looking like an idiot.”

    Or rather, as I feel it should be written, and maybe what you intended, is that the terms were created to respond to analogous treatment of a given class of people based on a particular, and otherwise irrelevant, trait.

    But those two statements are very different. At the very least, will you at least admit your initial post wasn’t the best way to present your thoughts?”

    I don’t see that they are all that different but yea, I could see how I should have rephrased it. Look if you call somebody a racist when they aren’t, say because they oppose global warming or homosexual rights or women’s rights, then you will look like an idiot. And yea in my honest opinion those movements really wanted a word like racist to use against their political opponents.

  29. #29 |  Les | 

    Among those topics are skepticism about how many Jews were executed by the Nazis and whether intelligence is affected by race or sex. Bring those topics up and people will want to shut you down (if not physically hurt you), not because they are implausible, but because people feel threatened by the mere mention of them.

    It’s not so much that those ideas are implausible, but rather that they’ve been demonstrated to be as false as young earth creationism.

    And the reason people feel threatened by these opinions (not that they should or that a violent reaction is, in any way, justified) is because historically the people who have held them are the same people who supported Hitler and Jim Crow laws.

  30. #30 |  Aresen | 

    The whole point of Gore’s deniers = racists comment is to excluce the skeptics from the conversation – i.e. to win the argument by not allowing your opponent to speak.

    To some degree, the same applies to those who refer to anyone proposing measures to cut C02 emissions as “alarmists”, although climate activists, no matter how extreme, are in no danger of being excluded from the conversation.

    One can argue that specific proposals to combat CO2 emissions are badly concieved – Cap and Trade, for example – without being a “denier”. One can also point to the lengthening frost-free period in northern latitudes as evidence that climate change is happening without being a “dupe.”

    It would be better if both sides were to analyze and discuss their respective positions without reductio ad hitleram.

  31. #31 |  Michael Chaney | 

    First, AGW has two meanings:

    1. The earth is becoming warmer at least in part due to human release of CO2. May well be true, although it stopped warming 10 years ago. People talking about using “Michael’s (no relation) trick to hide the decline” don’t exactly help make the case, but given that we had a little ice age a few hundred years ago it makes sense that it’s been getting warmer.

    2. Second meaning: a religion headed by Al Gore that basically says that governments around the world need to start regulating all industry at a very high level in order to reduce CO2 output and thereby stave off further warming. It’s essentially a left-wing dream to open us up to levels of regulation never before dreamt of.

    Most of us who “don’t believe in AGW” are talking about #2, although evidence for #1 seems to be waning.

    Taking Lefty above:

    “Gore is using some extremist language but as the consequences of climate change worsen history won’t look favorably on those who blocked change.”

    Blocked change? The “change” we’re talking about would cost our economy trillions of dollars (that we don’t have) in order to drop CO2 emissions by a few percent. It would have no real effect on atmospheric CO2 levels. And it ignores China’s building 3 coal plants every week. I could go on.

    So, no, I don’t need Gore’s religion. Oh, and it is a religion in every way. The entire concept is that man has sinned by polluting and now must pay a penance for redemption.

  32. #32 |  DarkEFang | 

    It is indeed a fact that at some point, words in the English language came into use to describe people who were prejudiced against gays and women. So what? What’s your point?

  33. #33 |  Mattocracy | 

    “reductio ad hitleram”

    I learned a new term today.

  34. #34 |  Curt | 

    I have serious doubts about both the extent of global warming and the human impact. Those doubts are based on seeing the sensible work of credible people. The fact that their work is dismissed by alarmists instead of debated seems to support my doubts.

    That said, I completely disagree with Al Gore and I think he needs to pull his head out of his ass. But, I say that with regards to his comments about how the conversation has been won on the topic of racism. If he stepped outside the circles of political correctness, he’d see there are still tons of offensive comments like he describes. Racism is less overt than it was a few decades ago, but it’s still alive and very strong.

    I also think it’s comical that Gore deflected the question about how climate skeptics base their belief on science as opposed to racists. He ignores the science basis of skeptics and backs his argument on moral grounds. Much like his movie which was based more on his moral beliefs than science.

  35. #35 |  Marty | 

    #23 | Dave Krueger-

    You’re right- it looks like they’re playing cowboys and indians. It’s a big game and as long as we’re not dying, there will be lots of glory to spread around.

  36. #36 |  DarkEFang | 

    I would take the time to write a post about the reality of climate change, but the people who think climate change is a scam are generally the same people who don’t believe in biology, geology, physics, paleontology and cosmology, so why bother?

  37. #37 |  JS | 

    DarkEFang “It is indeed a fact that at some point, words in the English language came into use to describe people who were prejudiced against gays and women. So what? What’s your point?”

    That was my point. And it is similar to what Gore is doing calling people racists when he ought to just make up a word like racist, the way the feminst and gay rights movement did. What about that offends you?

  38. #38 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    @#2: Gibson Raided
    I used to work at that Gibson plant and know Henry. He’s not a guy who backs down and he has access to the best lawyers in the country. That said, it is still virtually impossible for him to get resolution from a raid over 2 years old (2009).

    What chance do mere peasants have?

    Fucking rosewood. Good to see all the other crime is under control.

  39. #39 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    AGW: no matter what the problem, the solution will not come from government…at least not until they’ve raped the issue for maximum money and power for as long as possible.

  40. #40 |  Nipplemancer | 

    @36 – Attack the skeptics, not their arguments. Good call. Al Gore may have a job for you.

  41. #41 |  the innominate one | 

    The AGW “controversy” seems to me like the evolution controversy. Evolutionists repeatedly address the claims of creationists, who repeat them as though they haven’t been addressed and refuted. Are there still legitimate areas of controversy in evolutionary theory? Yes. AGW? Presumably, yes. Mostly, though, the evidence supports each.

  42. #42 |  Aresen | 

    DarkEFang | August 29th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I would take the time to write a post about the reality of climate change, but the people who think climate change is a scam are generally the same people who don’t believe in biology, geology, physics, paleontology and cosmology, so why bother?

    OTOH, I’ll bet there is a large overlap between the anti-vaccination groups, believers in ‘psychic powers’ and ‘auras’, gaia-ists, anti-high voltage transimission line crusaders, believers in ‘magnetic therapy’, marxists and other economic fantacists with supporters of “climate activism’.

    So two can play at that game. Talk about the science, don’t smear your opponent.

  43. #43 |  BSK | 

    JS-

    First off, no one was talking about homophobia or sexism, either as concepts or as terms, until you brought them up. A bit absurd to bring something up and then rail against its usage.

    More to the point, you have already acknowledged that homophobia and sexism are real phenomena. So, what is wrong with people coming up with terms to describe those phenomena? Furthermore, what is wrong with people utilizing terms used to describe analogous (or somewhat analogous) phenomena as a base for these new terms? Yes, people could say, “Hey, you are discriminating against me based on your perception of my sexual orientation!” or they could say, “Hey, you are being homophobic!” What really seems to have gotten your goat is that you’d prefer people not complain about the phenomena and that the creation of these terms has made it easier to do so, thus making it hard to engage in the phenomena.

    And, as a previous poster pointed out, your original statement pretty explicitly said that people wanted to call sexist and homophobic people racists but couldn’t, so they invented new words because racist didn’t apply. Which is pure bullshit.

    Finally, your etymology of homophobia is a complete fail. Why would they mix Latin and Greek roots? Homo comes from the Greek word for “same” (with hetero meaning “another”). From there, we came up with “homosexual” to mean someone who has sex with the same gender and “heterosexual” for someone who has sex with another gender (neither word construction is perfect, mind you). And from there, homophobic came to be fear or hatred of gays, itself an even less perfect word construction, but c’est la vie. Which is why homosexual applies to gays and lesbians alike.

  44. #44 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Re; Homophobic

    This word has always bothered me because it lumps together those who are frightened of homosexuals (to whom it could be legitimately applied) with those who (without fearing them) believe they are immoral, and those who are simply tired of them (a category I have belonged to, from time to time). As such, it is inherently inaccurate, and I believe it is meant to be. The Gay Rights people don’t want to engage in discussion of whether they are wrong, or tiresome. They want to engage in whether they are monsters to be feared, because that ground is favorable to them.

    Frankly, Gay Rights activists have a HUGE image problem, and need to start addressing it seriously, soon. The whack-jobs in the assless chaps, or pierced nipples, or B&D Nun’s Habits need to be told to stay home from Gay Pride events, unless Gays are willing to be saddled with a reputation for being tacky morons. The Politically Gay need to make SURE that the public is conscious that the Gay Rights movement has nothing to do with NAMBLA – why they EVER let those jerks anywhere near a Pride event is beyond me. Playing Shock The Squares is loads of fun, but it doesn’t get you anywhere useful. And calling people ‘Homophobes’ because they are sick of your antics when playing Shock The Squares does nothing to solve your problems.

  45. #45 |  BSK | 

    I saw an interesting conversation about how the use of the word “controversy” is abused to legitimize illegitimate viewpoints. A controversy is commonly understood to mean a strong disagreement between legitimate opponents (not necessarily the dictionary definition, but rather how we use it). For instance, if I say that gravity makes things fall down to the ground, not much controversy, right? Even if someone came out and refuted me, saying things didn’t fall down, we wouldn’t suddenly have a “gravity controversy”. Even if they pointed to airplanes and helium balloons, we’d recognize that no “controversy” existed. Often times, news agencies and politicians will stick “controversy” onto something to make it seem as if both viewpoints are locked in legitimate battle over the issue, which isn’t always the case. Evolution is a scientific fact. Young Earth Creationism is not. BUT, if you call something the “evolution controversy”, suddenly you’ve put these two groups on equal footing, which is an inaccurate representation of the situation. Unfortunately, too often the term controversy is abused in such a way to fit people’s agendas and make issues that are settled seem more contentious than they actually are.

  46. #46 |  Windy | 

    As for global climate change being all the fault of humanity’s change-the-environment nature, is not very likely, IMNSHO. That climate change is happening is pretty much a given, but it has happened repeatedly in the past and is usually due to things like excessive volcanic activity and other geological changes, variations in the sun’s output, the planet’s normal wobble and orbital variances, and the occasional meteor strike. The things humanity has done to our planet (in our history and currently) are a minimal effect when compared to those bigger issues.

  47. #47 |  Aresen | 

    BSK | August 29th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Even if someone came out and refuted me, saying things didn’t fall down

    Making a false argument is not a refutation, at best it is a contradiction.

    I haven’t looked closely at the deniers’ arguments because many of them seem to be special pleading, but I have seen some that are based on legitimate observations that should be taken into account by the climate activists. Instead, I see these arguments and questions attacked ad hominem rather than considered and incorporated into the climate theories if required.

    As for Young Earth Creationism: If I were a science teacher, I’d ask for enough for every student in the class and then have my students go through the texts to find the false statements, discredited theories and bad analysis. The students would probably learn ten times as much science that way and develop a healthy skepticism about “authorities” in general.

  48. #48 |  BSK | 

    CSP-

    Homophobia has morphed to mean something different than it’s etymological roots might indicate. This is A) natural for language and B) necessary.

    Personally, I consider the viewpoint you expressed there to be homophobic. Not because I think you are afraid of or hate gays. But because you believe that they ought to be treated differently than straights. Every group has their “extremists” that play a version of “shock the squares”. This is even more common when dealing with a group that has been traditionally marginalized and told that they ought not engage primary tenets of their identity. Regardless, treating the “extreme” gays as representative of gay culture when you do not do the same for extreme members of other sub cultures is biased and oppressive. It may not be your intent to do this, but that is the impact. So, yea, your reaction could be described as “homophobic” even if you don’t explicitly hate or fear or dislike or want to kill gays. Just like someone who reacts differently to police sketch of a black guy than a white guy could have their reaction described as racist even if they don’t harbor a hatred or dislike of blacks.

    * Please note that I am describing the actions or viewpoints themselves here as homophobic or racist, not the people themselves. I think there is a difference between someone who holds a passive racist viewpoint or has internalized homophobic responses to situations (whom I would not consider a racist or a homophobe) and someone who is an explicit racist.
    ** The question of the “messaging” of the gay community is a conversation worth having, but we should examine how we are saying it. If we are going to say, “Hey, gays, act in a way that we are comfortable with and we’ll accept you,” how is that not oppressive? If gays, of their own volition, decide that the long-term gains of restricting their expression offset the short-term losses of living with such restrictions, that is a fine prerogative to have. But it is not something that should be forced upon them.

  49. #49 |  omar | 

    The Politically Gay need to make SURE that the public is conscious that the Gay Rights movement has nothing to do with NAMBLA – why they EVER let those jerks anywhere near a Pride event is beyond me.

    Sigh. Please find below the thing I wrote to another Agitatortot in a chat. Pasted without word, punctuation, spelling, or capitalization, changes of any kind.

    off topic, SCP Dickfield says that if the gay rights movement wants to show they are serious, they should distance themselves from NAMBLA
    see, this is troll-bait
    i know the history

    NAMBLA used to hang around the gay rights people in the early 70′s
    and were thourghly rejected by mainstream gay
    so this is troll bait so someone will come and say “penisfield, you so silly, gays aren’t the same as pedos”

    and he will say “i never said that, you stuipd ignorant assface”

    then someone else will come along and say “pride has nothing to do with pedos”, and he will point out how wrong that person is because they did in fact do this before we were born

    and then someone will come along and give csp assfield the real history and csp will say “right. but that’s not what i said. i was talking about those ignorant people who think NAMBLA never had anything to do with pride”
    god, i hate that guy

  50. #50 |  BamBam | 

    No one has mentioned how it’s quite a coincidence that Gore is set to make a HUGE pile of money with this various investments and government contacts ready to create and enforce “carbon credit” and other laws if “his side wins”.

    No one has mentioned that government is ready to control the mere existence of humans by starting down a path that has already been mapped, bit by bit over time (incrementalism), starting with “carbon credits”.

    These are both mere coincidences, right?

  51. #51 |  BSK | 

    Aresen-

    I wasn’t necessarily stating that AGW, or aspects of it, are inherently wrongly described as controversial. I was talking more about the nature of discourse. I agree that there are legitimate questions that AGW supporters need to address and that they do little to bolster their case by dismissing them out of hand. But there are also people who see AGW as a politicized issue (namely that to accept it is to accept something Democratic/liberal/left/etc.) and, as such, they throw the “controversy” label onto the issue without actually being able to articulate a legitimate criticism.

    But, yea, your right, my observation wasn’t particularly relevant to the issue at hand, but more about how the way in which we frame issues has a huge impact on how those issues are discussed and resolved.

  52. #52 |  Irving Washington | 

    When a climate scientist tells me that there’s scientific consensus about the existence and rate of artificial global warming, I’m going to believe him. What the hell else would I do? But when a climate scientist tries to tell me that there’s scientific consensus regarding what to do about global warming, I’ll either laugh or kick him in the nuts depending on whether we’re friends.

  53. #53 |  Curt | 

    @ BamBam,

    Don’t forget the scientists. Don’t doubt for a second that the scientists (on both sides of the argument) are highly motivated by money and proving that their side is right. If the debate were actually settled any time soon, there would be a lot of unemployed climate scientists.

    I would also make a note about the consensus among climate scientists. Saying a consensus of climate scientists believe in AGW is like saying a consensus of cops believe drugs are bad and users are lowlife dirt bags. It’s not a matter of their occupations making them experts on the topic, it’s a matter of people with preconceived notions being more likely to join that occupation. In other words, a big supporter of “law-and-order” is more likely than a libertarian to become a cop. Similarly, someone who’s already dedicated to “saving the planet” is more likely to become a climate scientist.

  54. #54 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Climate change is inevitable. The answer is not to try and stop it from happening, but to adapt. For example, I plan to become a virus.

  55. #55 |  Brandon | 

    “the reason people feel threatened by these opinions (not that they should or that a violent reaction is, in any way, justified) is because historically the people who have held them are the same people who supported Hitler and Jim Crow laws.”

    “I would take the time to write a post about the reality of climate change, but the people who think climate change is a scam are generally the same people who don’t believe in biology, geology, physics, paleontology and cosmology, so why bother?”

    The absolute lack of self-awareness in these statements is simply jaw dropping.

  56. #56 |  JS | 

    BSK “Yes, people could say, “Hey, you are discriminating against me based on your perception of my sexual orientation!” or they could say, “Hey, you are being homophobic!” What really seems to have gotten your goat is that you’d prefer people not complain about the phenomena and that the creation of these terms has made it easier to do so, thus making it hard to engage in the phenomena.”

    You are assuming I prefer people not complain about being discriminated against? You’re reading way too much into that. All I was doing was making a comparison about what Gore is doing by calling people who disagree with him racists.

  57. #57 |  celticdragonchick | 

    The rebels Obama supported with his illegal war in Libya are making us proud.

    I had two ancestors fighting at King’s Mountain in the Revolution in Francis Marion’s brigade (the original “Swamp Fox” portrayed by Mel Gibson in “The Patriot”).

    You ought to read about how American forces treated loyalists and Brits. It wasn’t pretty. Loyalist prisoners were butchered by American riflemen in retaliation for a previous event, and the corpse of the enemy commander was defiled. My ancestors were likely involved in these acts to some degree. The Revolution in the Carolinas took the form of a civil war (as you see in Libya), and thus was far more personal and ugly in many ways. Neighbors fought each other and personal vendettas were common. It was not a real good idea to be taken prisoner if it could be avoided. What has happened in Libya is nothing more then we have done on our own soil. It doesn’t excuse it…but it is not unexpected by any means.

  58. #58 |  SamK | 

    …I’m only a small sample, but I’ve been a research scientist and affiliated with folks of that stripe most of my life. I’ve *never* seen a well-reasoned, empirically backed, sound argument against AGW. I’ve seen some reasonable questions raised about statistical sampling and analysis, then the response answering the question. Seriously, it’s a google search away. Most of the arguments I see here against GW and AGW would have been reasonable if not repeatedly refuted or just flat wrong.

    So. Let’s stop caring about the temperature shall we? How about just ONE thing…Just one! CO2 and ye olde hockey stick eh? Real, yes? Can we agree on that?

    http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

    Just this one thing? Ok. Let’s assume we’ve agreed. I don’t care if it’s the temperature or a thousand other things that are changing, dumping that much crap into your most basic resource is a *bad* idea. Bad, like not good. Can we agree on that? I’d really like to, because I really don’t like the idea of breathing ever-increasing quantities of CO2 even if it didn’t cause chemical shifts in everything from water sources to building materials. Oh, not bad enough for you yet? WTF Is the point then? I can’t argue with you if your entire argument boils down to “not bad enough to worry yet”. It’s a HUGE change, and it’s continuing to skyrocket with a delta V like the space shuttle. Oh well, hasn’t killed us yet…can’t be all bad right? Next time you have to take a dump, drop that deuce square in the middle of the living room and see if it changes your quality of life. Didn’t set the house on fire did it? You can walk around it and after a while you don’t even notice it. I’m still going to say it’s a bad idea.

    Seriously, I *like* my car and oil products, I design things that burn massive quantities of them for a living…but ignorance of basic scientific analysis is a scourge on the western world and it’s nowhere as apparent in the GW debate (ok, maybe evolution). The science is in, it’s been in for more years than I’ve been alive. It gets tweaked, gets tweaked some more, and then some more. You don’t have to like the preachy assholes on the other team, but if all they’re telling you is to not take a dump in everyone’s living room I think we should listen.

  59. #59 |  BSK | 

    JS-

    Your comparison was stupid and wrong then, since Gore A) didn’t call his opponents racists and B) isn’t attempting to come up with a new term to describe his opponents. Furthermore, you still hold to the notion that homophobic and sexism were created because people WANTED to say racism but couldn’t. It’s pretty impressive how many times you were able to be wrong in so few words.

  60. #60 |  SamK | 

    Here, seriously. If you do nothing else, read a frikkin wikipedia article. If it’s too much to do, read the introduction. There really isn’t anyone with a scientific bone in their body arguing “the other side”. It’s a debate in popular media because it costs money to make a change. Yeah, no shit, money is important, so’s the turd in the living room.

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

  61. #61 |  celticdragonchick | 

    Don’t doubt for a second that the scientists (on both sides of the argument) are highly motivated by money and proving that their side is right.

    All those rich climate scientists mooching off the producers. The nerve of them!

    If the debate were actually settled any time soon, there would be a lot of unemployed climate scientists.

    You bet! A Ph.D in geology or a related field is absolutely worthless in any other application dontchaknow!

    Inevitable disclaimer: I am finishing a degree in geology and may work as a climate scientist moocher/looter/what the fuck ever at some point. I do not expect to get rich doing it. I merely happen to love science. If something turns up in my research to discount AGW, then I would be greatly relieved, personally. I don’t expect it, but it would be nice to find that we are not actually bringing about the next mass extinction.

  62. #62 |  JS | 

    BSK “Furthermore, you still hold to the notion that homophobic and sexism were created because people WANTED to say racism but couldn’t. It’s pretty impressive how many times you were able to be wrong in so few words.”

    What’s amazing is how many times in this thread you’ve managed to be needlessly rude. And you still haven’t shown how that was wrong. It was pure propaganda, make up a scientific sounding term and use it to imply anyone who opposes your agenda is somehow mentally unstable. its a cheap way to marginalize your opponant-JUST LIKE CALLING THEM RACIST often is.

  63. #63 |  Robert | 

    @57 celticdragonchick “I had two ancestors fighting at King’s Mountain”

    I had two as well. They lived only a couple of miles from the battlefield and fought on the colonial side.

  64. #64 |  Chuchundra | 

    FYI, being a climate “skeptic” at this point requires that you believe in a enormous, world-spanning conspiracy that would make the Illuminati look like a ladies sewing circle.

    Every major climate research group in the world, every university with a climatology department and just about every climate scientist as well as almost every government in the world agrees that global warming is real, is happening and is being caused, at least in part, by human activity.

    So…they must all be in on it, right? Millions of people all over the world conspiring to foist this fiction on the public and in so doing take control of the world economy? Is that what you believe? Really really?

    At this point I have more respect for the 9/11 truthers than the climate cranks. At least 9/11 conspiracy, while crazy and stupid, is at least minimally, technically possible.

  65. #65 |  omar | 

    What’s amazing is how many times in this thread you’ve managed to be needlessly rude. And you still haven’t shown how that was wrong.

    Another troll bait-and-switch. I don’t think there’s enough room for both you and CPS Manbearpig.

    Step 1, Say something possibly correct but unprovable about a controversial topic. Sound like an opponent of one side without saying anything meaningful. i.e. sound like a hateful prick without actually hating on anyone.
    Step 2, Wait for people to argue with you on the points you implied but didn’t directly make – because you sound ignorant they will do this. i.e. everyone who burned their precious minutes to talk to you.
    Step 3, Show how your “opponents” are wrong because they failed to address the non-statement you actually made. Become the victim. i.e. please see above.

  66. #66 |  JS | 

    ok omar you’re right. I’m not intelligent enough for this site.

  67. #67 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Actually, Chuchundra, if you read the leaked emails you’ll see that there was and likely still is a conspiracy to hide any research that doesn’t agree with the AGW crowd. I’ve never seen a scientist in *any* other field talk about “using tricks” and “hiding (data that disagrees with our position)”. I don’t know or care what the “deniers” are saying – I’m looking at what the faithful are saying. And quite frankly it looks like AGW:science == TBN:Christianity.

    But as I said before, it’s the religion of AGW that really turns most people off.

  68. #68 |  omar | 

    Actually, Chuchundra, if you read the leaked emails you’ll see that there was and likely still is a conspiracy to hide any research that doesn’t agree with the AGW crowd.

    I think this issue has been largely put to bed.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/08/24/case-closed-climategate-was-manufactured/

  69. #69 |  omar | 

    @#67 | Michael Chaney,

    Sorry for the fail blockquote.

  70. #70 |  Curt | 

    @61, my first paragraph was written very poorly. Key point is that research is generally funded by someone with a stake in the outcome. Research that fails to deliver the desired results tends to lose its funding.

    Not to say the research isn’t worth doing. Just need a few grains of salt to remember that the interpretation of results is biased by the person doing the interpreting. My friends who still do research also do it because they enjoy it and many are pretty successful. None are rich which is more reason they fear the loss of funding. I’m not questioning their integrity, just considering their bias.

  71. #71 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    BSK,

    I maintain that I do NOT wish to treat Gays differently than I would treat another group with different sexual preferences but similar image problems. You say you’re a Star Trek fan who likes to wear his uniform (costume) in public, and people ridicule you? Grow the F*ck UP!

    Peacocking about in odd attention getting clothing is adolescent courtship behavior. It does not enhance ANYBODY’s reputation for being sober, useful members of society.

    Also; I maintain that ANY post adolescent male who makes a public fuss about his sexuality is a jerk, Gay or Straight. Your sex life is none of my goddamned business, so please (please, please) don’t make it impossible for me to not imagine it. I assure you that you don’t want to imagine mine. Any gathering where people in sexualized costumes and bondage gear are welcome strikes me as a likely source of bad ideas and social disruption. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in a Bar. In a political movement, it undermines any sympathy I might have.

  72. #72 |  Chris | 

    This is all well and good, but what your readers really want to know is, who’d you draft in your FF league.

  73. #73 |  JOR | 

    “Also; I maintain that ANY post adolescent male who makes a public fuss about his sexuality is a jerk, Gay or Straight.”

    Well, that makes the overwhelming majority of straight guys jerks. Probably a larger proportion of them than gay guys.

  74. #74 |  Chuchundra | 

    I think the stolen e-mail correspondence, and it was stolen, not “leaked”, shows us several things.

    1) If you can get your hands on a large amount of private e-mail correspondence, you can find enough quotes taken out of context to make any organization look bad.

    2) A lot of people don’t understand how scientists talk and interact with each other.

    3) AGW cranks actually do believe in a global conspiracy to convince the world that global warming is real.

    4) No matter how many times something is proved false or irrelevant, AGW cranks will still bring it up in an argument because they have nothing else to say.

  75. #75 |  Stephen | 

    I’ll listen to this guy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson#Global_warming

    over Al Gore any time.

  76. #76 |  BSK | 

    CSP-

    First off, please see JOR’s point.

    Second, the problem is that, as is often the case with marginalized groups, the actions of the extremist are generalized to the group as a whole. And this is not done with the dominant culture. You look at the bondage guys at the Pride Parade (and remember, it’s a parade, not a political convention) and decry the entire event and all its participants. Yet I doubt you look at the guys on Jersey Shore and think about how obnoxious the heteros are when they parade their sexual orientation around.

    I want to revisit the fact that you are speaking about a gay Pride Parade. For a long, long time (and it still happens today) gays were told that their sexual orientation was a disorder, something to be ashamed of, definitely NOT something they should be proud of. They were told to hide or deny this fundamental aspect of their identity. They were told not to indulge in sex and love in the way that felt natural for them. Thankfully, the tide has begun to turn against that notion. Pride events were key to that, because they offered safe spaces where gays could feel proud and act in the way that felt natural to them, because there still were and are so many spaces where they couldn’t be that way. So, yea, it is a bit over the top at times. But again, it is a parade. About being proud. What else would you expect? For the St. Patrick’s Day parade, some proud Irishmen wear kilts and play bagpipes, something most of them don’t do very often in public. Why? Because that is an important aspect of their heritage for which they are proud. For the Pride Parade, some proud gays wear leather bondage outfits. Not necessarily because leather or bondage are key aspects of their identity, but because being able to love and have sex in the way that is natural for them is. If they wore that to a council meeting on gay rights legislation (an actual political event), that would be another story.

    And, I bet if there was a straight pride parade, I bet you’d see some straight folks peacocking around. I know a LOT of straight folks with non-mainstream sexual proclivities who would probably welcome an opportunity to embrace those aspects of their identity publicly.

  77. #77 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    The people who ignore 98.2% of climate scientists? Oh right, they’re ignoring 98.2% of climate scientists. Yes, some of them are assholes. Well, I hate to break it to you, but LOTS of people are assholes. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re *wrong*.

    Anyway; RealClimate usually has the latest nonsense debunked by the time I read it.

  78. #78 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I grant JOR’s point, and maintain mine. At the moment Straights who make a fuss about their sexuality are made fun of (see any teenage comedy movie of 1980 or later), while it is not Politically Correct to make fun of some Gay slob making a fool of himself in a Pride parade (which doesn’t stop people from doing it, but stops the parade organizers from dealing with the problem).

    I understand the impulse to flaunt it after decades in the closet. I just don’t think that the side effects are worth it. I live near New Hope PA, and last year’s Pride Parade made me very proud of my Gay neighbors (I’m Straight), in that it could have been the 4th of July Parade in Mason City Iowa (which inspired Music Man). Nobody wanted to alienate their Straight neighbors, and their straight neighbors were there celebrating their community.

    What you are saying is at the core of a problem I’ve been seeing for years. Too many basically decent causes (environmentalism, anti-vivisection sentiment, etc) have allowed their extreme members of their cause to undermine their aims. PETA isn’t convincing anybody. Neither is anybody carrying signs equating President Bush with a certain Austrian Corporal. The Left (broadly) only listens to itself, and so has no idea how to make converts. Instead it alienates people in job lots and complains about what SHOULD be true. Should never trumps is.

    I’m pro Gay marriage. I’m in favor of abortion being legal. I’m against animal testing except for looking for cures for serious illnesses. I’m in favor of re-use and recycling where they make sense (#1plastic, all metals, glass). I would love to see solar and wind power developed to the point where they COULD take a significant part of the national load (several large technical issues there). All of these issues are undermined by self centered arrested-adlolescents who just HAVE to play Shock the Squares, because at base it is the squares we must convince.

    Jackassery doesn’t make converts.

    Yes, given a chance straight people do act up. but they aren’t trying to convince their neighbors that they are ‘regular folks’ who are due respect as fellow citizens. It isn’t fair, but fair doesn’t matter.

  79. #79 |  Pi Guy | 

    There’s all this intelligent discussion covering
    - sexism, racisim, & homophobia,
    - conservative model-deniers (not unexpected) & liberal defense hawks (unfortunately, also not unexpceted these days)
    - a new logical fallacy invoking Hitler
    - leaking hockey sticks
    - more Gore misquoting (poor guy – nobody listens but everyone knows exactly what he didn’t say)
    and
    - gay, straight, & Trekkie Pride.

    Not to mention the fact that nobody bothered to comment on Radley’s fantasies. Dude, giant sexy bunnies in kinky corners are pretty weird even in Second Life but, you know, you’re a superlative journalist so who am I to judge?

    And with all of that, all I’ve got is

    Fightin’ Koch Whores

    *ahems, adjusts monacle, snickergiggles*

  80. #80 |  JOR | 

    “At the moment Straights who make a fuss about their sexuality are made fun of (see any teenage comedy movie of 1980 or later), while it is not Politically Correct to make fun of some Gay slob making a fool of himself in a Pride parade (which doesn’t stop people from doing it, but stops the parade organizers from dealing with the problem).”

    They’re made fun of by some people, but most people know better than to assume all heterosexual sexuality is like that. (Personally I’m very introverted and private about most things, sexuality included, but also don’t really mind people being “fussy” about their sexuality and don’t think people who do so are jerks).

    “Yes, given a chance straight people do act up. but they aren’t trying to convince their neighbors that they are ‘regular folks’ who are due respect as fellow citizens. It isn’t fair, but fair doesn’t matter.”

    Apparently fairness matters enough to enough people that there are assholes all over the place complaining about how Political Correctness is keeping them from being complete whiny fucks about how Teh Gays scarred their precious imaginations for life.

  81. #81 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    It does not enhance ANYBODY’s reputation for being sober, useful members of society.

    Anyone else cringe when they read “useful members of society” as if that is a value one cannot debate? I mean isn’t it pretty easy to show someone can be a great human being and be deemed a near useless member of society? Fuck society, man.

  82. #82 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Is it still OK to make fun of hipsters?

  83. #83 |  supercat | 

    Although the media has successfully downplayed the emails and data from climategate by claiming various quotes were taken out of context (and indeed, in some cases they were), they’ve largely ignored some of the more significant aspects of the release, including the software and source data which were used to produce the homogenized data published by Hadley CRU. The picture they paint isn’t pretty.

    Because of a variety of factors including natural weather variations, the source data contain random noise which exceeds by orders of magnitude any claimed warming phenomenon. While it is possible to use various statistical techniques to filter out such noise, such techniques are very sensitive to selection bias. Even if the Earth were neither warming nor cooling, random variations in some stations’ data would suggest an upward trend, while those in other stations’ data would suggest a downward trend. If stations which show an upward trend are used disproportionately, the average trend shown by selected stations will likewise show an upward trend, whether the planet is actually getting warmer or not.

    A comparison of the stations which were selected for use in the homogenized model, versus those which were not, shows that those which were selected showed an upward temperature trend, while those which were not selected showed a downward trend. Further, there are places where the homogenized model shows increasing temperatures while actual temperature readings which were taken at those places (but not factored into the model) do not. Maybe there’s some reason to believe that those particular temperature sensors were faulty and should not be trusted, but I haven’t seen any. It smells a lot more like those sensors whose outputs supported the AGW hypothesis were presumed reliable, while those whose outputs would contradict it were presumed unreliable.

    In most places, the programmers at Handley CRU had enough different temperature sensors available that they could find some which would indicate global warming. In a few places, though, there wasn’t any data available that would show warming. To deal with that, the code added temperature “corrections” to make the warming trend at such places match the “warming trend” seen elsewhere. Perhaps there’s some reason to believe that the weather-station thermometers were reading above the actual temperature in 1920 but below the actual temperature in 2000, but again it smells more like the programmers fudged the data to fit the theory.

  84. #84 |  JOR | 

    #81,

    Yes. I do. On a related issue, I also facepalm a little inside when I read or hear phrases like “personal responsibility” and “actions have consequences” because I know, like clockwork, what is going to procede (or precede) is a more or less thoughtless and unselfconscious attempt to either abdicate or excuse someone else from responsibility (by pretending their behaviors are neutral forces of nature rather than deliberately selected courses of action intended to harm or shame someone else for doing something they don’t like).

  85. #85 |  Juice | 

    No no no, supercat. Put to bed. Didn’t you see? Put to bed.

  86. #86 |  TC | 

    AGW is a religion today. As trustful as any other religion today.

    http://iowntheworld.com/blog/?p=91671

  87. #87 |  Scott L | 

    Most people seem to accept that the earth is warming, and likely it’s humans that contribute to it, just like every other living being and other natural phenomena. The questions arise as to the extent to which we contribute, what if anything we can or should do about it, and is it actually a problem?

    Let’s use the example of the shit in the living room and apply it to what many environmentalists and Al Gore superstars would do to solve it. They’d spend a bazillion dollars, fly in on their ecojets, close off the area, and destroy your job, and those of your neighbors as well, and force you to be dependent on the government (Al Gore and his minions). Of course that’s an exageration but you don’t have to destroy jobs and lifestyles to clean up some shit.

  88. #88 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @83 – And the illuminati are behind it all!

    Never mind that the IPCC have got it wrong repeatedly – they’ve been politically influenced, repeatedly, into stating that rises observed will be low, no, it’s all a myth!

    TC – So, something which you have to deal with as a major force in the world, and it’s very easy to be an intolerant bigot over? Yup.

    Thanks for quoting for a site endorsed by someone who wants people to starve if they can’t find jobs in an economy where they don’t exist. That sums up your viewpoint very well.

  89. #89 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    JOR,

    All I’m saying is that what progress has been made in Gay Rights has been made by the norming of homosexuality, and impeded by those who absolutely have to ‘let it all hang out’. Maybe all the progress that should be made can be made under the present circumstances, but it won’t be as fast as it could be. I agree that in a Just world a person’s predilection for dressing up in bondage gear – or in a Star Fleet Uniform – wouldn’t cause people to prejudge him. We don’t live in a Just world.

    I remember a book from my high school library that said that length of hair had been a bitter point of contention between generations essentially forever. If you want to be accepted as a member of society in good standing, entitled to all the perks and bennies thereto, you adopt a little protective coloration. If it doesn’t matter to you WHAT the neighbors think, then good on you. It shouldn’t matter, but it does, is all I’m saying.

  90. #90 |  BamBam | 

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100102296/sun-causes-climate-change-shock/

  91. #91 |  Windy | 

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100102296/sun-causes-climate-change-shock/

    “The science is now all-but-settled on global warming, convincing new evidence demonstrates, but Al Gore, the IPCC and other global warming doomsayers won’t be celebrating. The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth.

    “The research, published with little fanfare this week in the prestigious journal Nature, comes from über-prestigious CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest centres for scientific research involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more than 600 universities and national laboratories. CERN is the organization that invented the World Wide Web, that built the multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider, and that has now built a pristinely clean stainless steel chamber that precisely recreated the Earth’s atmosphere.

    “In this chamber, 63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have done what global warming doomsayers said could never be done — demonstrate that cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds, the cloudier and thus cooler it will be. Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth’s atmosphere (the stronger the sun’s magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space), the sun determines the temperature on Earth.”

  92. #92 |  Windy | 

    BamBam, that’ll teach me to check recent comments before posting.

  93. #93 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Typical over-hyping of results.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/08/the-cerncloud-results-are-surprisingly-interesting/

  94. #94 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    Far too often I hear denialists say progressives claim that AGW is real so it has to be wrong. Far too many on all sides of politics find it comfortable to believe that their political opponents have malicious motives rather than different moral priorities. And that comment applies to a lot of commenters here. Too many will not try to understand how someone of integrity and decency might oppose them. They would rather deny a danger than recognize integrity in an opponent. I’ve seen it too often. This demonization of political opponents is in my opinion the main reason behind most climate change denialism.

    There are other things. There is some genuine skepticism that comes from people over generalizing from their experience. Their are people who have got their information about the science from sources that are trying to win an argument rather than promote understanding. And there are the cranks.

    I think libertarians have an aversion to compromise. I think they fear that if they admit that they are wrong on one thing they they will have to admit that they are wrong on everything. I think this is because they try to logically construct an ideology by looking at the consequences of a few principles. Other political groups try to constuct ideologies in a messier way by ballancing a lot of competing considerations. Thus they are usually more willing to give way on single issues.

    Climate change is something that the property rights framework preferred by libertarians does not handle well. It is more than external costs. It is costs that are deferred for generations but will come home with a vengance. It is things such as the atmosphere that are not and should not be traded. So the temptation for libertarians to deny the problem is strong.

    The danger is real and denialists are engaging in willful blindness. They do not try to understand. They look for reasons to believe it is not happening. And future generations are going to curse them if they get their way.

  95. #95 |  Jim | 

    ‘Denialists’. What a beautifully loaded word to marginalize/demonize your opponents. It’s the global warming equivalent of ‘racist’. Standard statist/leftist agitprop.

  96. #96 |  witless chum | 

    ‘Denialists’. What a beautifully loaded word to marginalize/demonize your opponents. It’s the global warming equivalent of ‘racist’. Standard statist/leftist agitprop.

    It’s also a very appropriate word for people who are claiming that vast majority of people who know something about climate science are either hugely wrong or lying.

    I’m not a climate scientist, but I’m a human and thus I know something about human nature. A successful conspiracy that size with that many involved would be novel in human history.

    And I think science ultimately works. There isn’t an example I can think of the scientific consensus on something this big that’s been studied this much being wrong. Do they have everything right? I’d doubt it, but it makes intuitive sense that the stuff we’ve done through the industrial revolution of burning a large amount of fossil fuels would have an effect on climate.

    The idea that scientists are conspiring to get grants in the vulgar version or are subconsciously influenced to produce research that confirms climate change theory in the respectable version doesn’t make sense either. There’s a lot of money to be made on the denier’s side, so why don’t we see a larger proportion of climate scientists flocking there?

    Most people seem to accept that the earth is warming, and likely it’s humans that contribute to it, just like every other living being and other natural phenomena. The questions arise as to the extent to which we contribute, what if anything we can or should do about it, and is it actually a problem?

    This is certainly the question, but just in the case of sea level rise, it seems like the consequences are going to be massive and have huge economic costs, based on where the majority of the world’s cities are. Not doing anything is as scary as doing something. It’s certainly easier for people like me who don’t have a problem with large government interventions into the economy to envision solutions. That, though, is why Gore is right that denier have to be marginalized. If statist solutions are wrong, we need to hear some libertarian solutions, rather than having the rightwing and libertarians attaching themselves to denying that it’s happening because the left says it is.

  97. #97 |  Rune | 

    Are there others like me who are AGW skeptics but still think it’s a top notch idea to limit human emissions of chemical compounds into the eco-system, because us humans basically don’t know shit?

  98. #98 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Jim – “Believers in the Climate Illiminati” gets old after a while, and you want an abbreviation.

  99. #99 |  Elliot | 

    Radley:I’ve written before that I believe AGW is real.

    Can you quantify this? Anthropogenic Global Warming only means that there has been global warming (duh, only a few bull-headed nitwits deny this) in the past century and that human industry has contributed. The real question is how much does human industry affect global temperatures? Because Al Gore would have you believe that it’s most of the influence, though recent CERN data (as well as other analysis) suggests that the anthropogenic part is very small relative to natural forces.

    The issue for most educated people is whether the catastrophic AGW claims are accurate. Since the global temperatures in the past decade did not match the rise in the previous decade (1990s), the early evidence suggests that the more alarmist predictions were bunk. Already, a few specific predictions from the early days of AGW hype (“millions of climate refugees”) have come and gone, completely false.

    So, saying you believe AGW is real doesn’t say much. I’m a skeptic of catastrophic AGW, but I fully recognize that AGW is real. My skepticism is borne out of a recognition of the massive political influences which destroy objectivity as well as a laundry list of bad science and mathematical practices.

    One of my favorite bloggers, Warren Meyer, has a number of good articles and presentations debunking a lot of the CAGW myths at climate-skeptic.com. (He also contributes to Forbes and has a couple other blogs: “Coyote Blog” and “Park Privatization”.) There are many others, enough that a person who wants to compare the arguments between alarmists and skeptics can read and consider, instead of relying on journalists, most of whom are far too stupid to understand the math and science to do anything but regurgitate the party line, or on popularity.

    I’d say a good 10 hours of reading some dry articles by people of varying positions should be sufficient for an intelligent, educated person to make up his or her own mind and offer a meaningful opinion on matters of climate. Skip any which are filled with name calling or political posturing, or which don’t address actual numbers and charts, in depth. If one isn’t willing to do that, I’d suggest one simply say, “I don’t know” and be done with it.

  100. #100 |  supercat | 

    #96 | witless chum | “It’s also a very appropriate word for people who are claiming that vast majority of people who know something about climate science are either hugely wrong or lying.”

    The phenomenon the AGW alarmists are claiming to measure is less than one degree C over the last century; that’s pretty small compared to other factors that may skew the data, is it not?

    If one does not exercise great care in the handling of measurements, it’s possible for accidental or intentional bias to influence readings by more than one degree C, is it not?

    Consequently, to meaningfully determine whether, or to what extent, warming exists, one must be exceptionally careful to minimize all sources of bias in one’s data, must one not?

    Given all of the above, what should one make of the fact that the people in charge of collecting and processing the data use practices that would have a substantial likelihood of biasing the data in favor of the phenomenon they claim to exist?

    Double-blind testing is required in things like medical trials because researchers are generally expected to, whether deliberately or not, act in ways that will bias their results toward what they want to see. What protocols exist to protect climate data from similar bias?

  101. #101 |  SamK | 

    No Elliot, the real question is: If there is a problem can we make a change that positively influences the end result?

    It’s important to also question whether the problem is important enough to require us to make changes and how much we can affect it. The suggested issue (warming followed by flooding and changes to weather patterns) would be a significant problem and could have repercussions for the survival of the species. Can we make a change that influences the end result? Yes. Is it enough? Hell, I don’t know, but if my couch is on fire and I have a glass of water in my hand I’m not going to just drink it while I watch the blaze grow because I don’t think I can find a hose.

    I read the CERN release and commentary did not support the suggestion that the anthropogenic factor was to be minimized. I’ve only seen that conclusion in the media. If I’m wrong and CERN stated this as a definite conclusion I’m more than happy to read it, but I specifically looked and did not find such information though I did find where they stated that the data was not precise enough to draw a conclusion about the degree of contribution from cosmic radiation to global warming, only enough to say that it definitely was contributing. Makes it damned hard for me to believe that it’s a good reason to minimize the AGW influence.

    I’ve read some of Warren Meyer’s works. I don’t find him terribly convincing on the science, though he does write well. Perhaps I failed to read the papers containing actual analysis of actual data but I never saw any of it in his writings. Everything I see from him seems to fall back on expectations of political motivations and re-stating general concepts. It’s not science, it’s a political statement in and of itself. Also perfectly happy to read some real analysis of data (not policy) if you feel like pointing it out.

  102. #102 |  Elliot | 

    Lloyd Flack (#94): “Far too often I hear denialists say progressives claim
    that AGW is real so it has to be wrong.

    This is the stereotype that Al Gore and his ilk are pushing—a caricature of a bull-headed
    “religious right” dimwit who simply denies anything the “libruls” say. I’ve only seen a handful
    of those people in real life.

    The people who matter, the people whom Al Gore fears, are the informed skeptics who will dig
    through charts and graphs to find faults. Those who point out the absurdity of making policy
    based upon a guy seeing a few dead polar bears, one time, from an airplane, or another guy making
    a remark about the glaciers in the Himalayas from his limited experience of mountain climbing.
    Those people aren’t “deniers” who reject facts and reason. They are people who look to facts and
    reason to challenge the alarmists when the alarmists are lazy or dishonest.

    Far too many on all sides of politics find it comfortable to believe that their
    political opponents have malicious motives rather than different moral
    priorities.

    Could you explicate the “different moral priorities”? It’s easy to say lots of people with
    differing viewpoints are hasty. But that ignores important distinctions between those who
    have good reasons to fear their opponents obtaining political power and those who have vague
    suspicions and caricatures.

    As for “moral priorities”, I’d say that the tendencies of some (note this is a small
    subset, keep reading) of the more shrill alarmists
    to promote political “solutions” to AGW which mirror Marxist “solutions” demonstrates to me that
    their “moral priorities” are more about centralizing government power and tearing down capitalism
    than an honest attempt to save future generations. Perhaps some of these people are true
    believers in catastrophic AGW (CAGW) as well as Marxists at heart, making their beliefs
    symbiotically reinforcing one another. But I think many of them, in their heart of hearts,
    knowingly sell their snake oil as a means to accomplish their political and economic goals, not to
    mention helping themselves (carbon markets) and hypocritically exempting themselves from the
    deprivations of the proles, as the commissars and nomenklatura did.

    Beyond those people, there are people who earnestly buy the hype, many of whom are, effectively,
    useful idiots. Then there are people who aren’t as shrill, who are more cautious about the
    evidence. Many of the latter have good intentions.

    Too many will not try to understand how someone of integrity and decency might
    oppose them. They would rather deny a danger than recognize integrity in an opponent. I’ve seen it
    too often. This demonization of political opponents is in my opinion the main reason behind most
    climate change denialism.

    If you’ve “seen it too often” then perhaps you should stop getting such information from the
    rough-and-tumble of blog comment sections and start reading more careful arguments by less
    politicized skeptics. Your use of loaded words like “climate change” (the Earth’s climate has
    changed since the planet formed, it’s never been constant, so “climate change” is a meaningless
    term—stick to the actual point of contention: AGW) and “denialism” (as opposed to skepticism,
    which is a fundamental aspect of the scientific method of inquiry). But the “main reason” why,
    outside the ignorant flame wars of blog comment sections or political stump speechifying, the CAGW
    skeptics are skeptical has nothing to do with “demonization of political opponents.” It has
    everything to do with math, science, and simple caution to be factually correct before leaping off
    the alarmist cliff of kneecapping human industry out of hysterical fear that runaway GW will swamp
    the coastal cities.

    On the other hand, the alarmists make arguments like Al Gore’s comparison to racists. Other
    politicians and entertainers have likened skepticism to historical villains. The 10-10 project in
    the UK even made a video in which teachers literally blew up children into puddles of blood and
    gore if those children simply didn’t want to participate in their “green” efforts. That sort of
    sick fantasy and abject demonization of skeptics belies your portrayal. In most cases, the
    demonization is exactly backwards of what you argue.

    I think libertarians have an aversion to compromise.

    What sort of compromise?

    You want to negotiate what we have for lunch, I’ll be willing to compromise and agree to a
    restaurant that most other people in the group find acceptable.

    You want me to compromise on principles of individual rights, then we’re at war. When you want
    people to change their behavior to be more “green”, then you need to persuade them with
    arguments. Don’t use force, even if you find it to be more expedient. Legal prohibitions, tax
    incentives, tax subsidies are all forms of force. Convince people via reason instead.

    I think they fear that if they admit that they are wrong on one thing they they
    will have to admit that they are wrong on everything.

    Save the psychobabble. I’ve been convinced that I was wrong on a whole host of political and
    scientific matters. I can’t speak for all self-described libertarians, but most that I know are
    far more open minded than the “conservative” or (American) “liberal” types.

    If the proponents of CAGW would knock of their “settled science” crap, lay all of their data on
    the table (including source code), and have a good faith debate with skeptical scientists—which is
    how every other branch of science is handled—I would have no aversion to considering their
    evidence. If they provided the numbers and made their case, refuting the skeptics, then I’d be on
    board with their conclusions. No, I would still disagree with the political “solutions” that many
    would take from that. But I wouldn’t be afraid to admit they were right, if they actually were.

    Note that them being right doesn’t mean that I’m wrong, because I don’t assert that the global
    temperature won’t rise to catastrophic levels. I simply assert that many of their methods are
    unscientific. Even bad science can accidentally be correct.

    I think this is because they try to logically construct an ideology by looking at
    the consequences of a few principles. Other political groups try to constuct ideologies in a
    messier way by ballancing a lot of competing considerations. Thus they are usually more willing to
    give way on single issues.

    The more intelligent libertarians I read and know are quite a bit more nuanced than your
    caricatures. On the other hand, “giving way on single issues” can be a very bad thing if
    that means compromising important principles. Sometimes, the pragmatic choice to be
    expeditious allows the camel’s nose under the tent. Once Congress got away with abusing
    the commerce clause on minor things, that opened the floodgates to all manner of disgusting
    uses.

    Climate change is something that the property rights framework preferred by
    libertarians does not handle well.

    Again, the meaningless “climate change” when the issue is CAGW. If you can’t address ecological
    challenges without violating the property rights of others, then either you’re being lazy and
    not wanting to do the hard work necessary to persuade people via reason, or your goals are
    untenable unless you choose to be unethical. So the “does not handle well” actually means
    property rights don’t allow for the expediency of authoritarian diktats.

    It is more than external costs. It is costs that are deferred for generations but
    will come home with a vengance.

    You obviously don’t understand the concept of “external costs” if you think time somehow makes
    something no longer an “external cost”.

    So, the CAGW alarmists predict that the effects “will come home with a vengeance” but other
    information, such as the recent CERN data, the weakness of computer models, the nonsense of
    “runaway” “tipping points”, and the sloppiness of assuming mostly positive feedbacks, makes me
    say, “Wait a minute.” I’m not willing to destroy human industry on such flimsy arguments.

    Convince me. Don’t just try to scare me by stating: “with a vengeance.”

    The danger is real and denialists are engaging in willful blindness.

    So you claim. And yet, there are plenty of reasons to doubt you.

    They do not try to understand.

    That’s a damned lie.

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to understand.

    Other people I read, such as Warren Meyer have put in
    much more time evaluating the evidence.

    You’re bashing a straw man, pretending that anyone who doesn’t fall for the snake oil sales pitch
    is willfully ignorant. That’s your caricature and almost nobody you’re describing fits it.

    They look for reasons to believe it is not happening. And future generations are
    going to curse them if they get their way.

    Future generations will curse those who kneecapped human industry and spent their money via
    deficit spending. And, in all likelihood, people will laugh at the alarmist theories like we
    laugh at those who predicted a coming ice age, or people who persecuted Galileo for his heresy in
    denying the geocentric “settled science”. If global warming is as bad as CAGW alarmists predict,
    I think it will only be by chance.

  103. #103 |  Kirby | 

    Wow. I can’t believe there are still so many people that believe in AGW.

    I thought all the fraud committed by AGW supporters would have been enough to convince most people of the game being played.

    It isn’t about changes in the weather. It about global taxation. It’s about control. Pure and simple.

    I guess all the changes in climate over thousands of years was caused by dinosaurs driving SUVs.

    Sometimes I wonder if many of the comments are left by paid shills working for foundations funded by people like Gore and Soros. Either that are there really are more uninformed people that I ever imaged.

  104. #104 |  Elliot | 

    Samk (#101): “No Elliot, the real question is: If there is a problem can we make a change that positively influences the end result?

    Any question which begins with “if” cannot be “the real question” until you settle that predicate.

    It’s important to also question whether the problem is important enough to require us to make changes and how much we can affect it. The suggested issue (warming followed by flooding and changes to weather patterns) would be a significant problem and could have repercussions for the survival of the species.

    You’re begging the question. You’re accepting a priori that the alarmist predictions are accurate and attempting to make the discussion what we do about the problem, without even establishing the accuracy.

    Can we make a change that influences the end result? Yes. Is it enough? Hell, I don’t know…

    If the CAGW alarmist predictions are accurate, then the only way that human beings can influence the end result would be to destroy nearly all industry and move into grass huts. The “green” solutions which are pushed by politicians are insufficient to “save the planet” if their assumptions are correct. They are nothing more than symbolic and may come at great cost to the people whose rights are violated in pursuit of the central plan.

    …but if my couch is on fire and I have a glass of water in my hand I’m not going to just drink it while I watch the blaze grow because I don’t think I can find a hose.

    In this case, the analogy would be that a spark from a forest fire ignited your roof and either the firefighters will get to your home in time or it will be destroyed. Your symbolic glass of water won’t put out the fire. Curbs on human industry will not have the power of your garden hose, in this analogy. They will only have the power of a glass of water.

    I read the CERN release and commentary did not support the suggestion that the anthropogenic factor was to be minimized.

    No, they took a hands-off approach, warning people not to jump to conclusions.

    But the data does contradict the assumptions built into just about every computer model to date. Garbage in, garbage out.

    I’ve read some of Warren Meyer’s works. I don’t find him terribly convincing on the science… Everything I see from him seems to fall back on expectations of political motivations and re-stating general concepts. It’s not science, it’s a political statement in and of itself.

    Read the section “Past Favorites” in the right hand column. There’s a video and a “layman’s guide”.

    He and his son did science experiments measuring temperatures based upon distance from downtown Phoenix. They surveyed the weather stations to document proximity to heat sources and urban heat island effects. He explained the mathematics behind “tipping points” and positive vs. negative feedbacks. How you see any of that is merely political is beyond me.

    But I invite other readers to go read his website and decide for themselves.

  105. #105 |  random_guy | 

    AGW is a funny issue. It’s funny because its happening and its demonstrable. Multiple years with record breaking heat waves. We’re getting so many hurricanes a year we’re going to start running out of names. Persistent drought and record breaking monsoons on the other side of the globe. The northern ice cap is becoming a puddle every summer, which has been noticed by the major energy concerns that are looking to break into the “virgin” sea for natural gas deposits. The ice on Kilimanjaro is practically gone, as well as half of the glaciers in mountainous parks around the world. Oh and the fact that there is more CO2 in our atmosphere right now, than can be observed in the last 650,000 years of earths history through antarctic ice core samples (which covers a period of eleven ice ages and warming eras).

    It’s really simple, when you spend two hundred years digging up and burning hundreds of millions of tons of coal, oil, and natural gas, and dump the waste in the atmosphere its going to have an effect. Our weather is based on a series of feedback loops that involve the composition of our atmosphere, the way in which the sun warms the earth, and how that changes throughout the year. Dramatically altering the composition of the atmosphere has a litany of effects regarding heat retention, evaporation, precipitation, wind and tidal currents. We are seeing those effects now, every day. And you know what, even if you could get every single person on this planet to agree that its happening, I don’t think it would matter at all. It’s too damn big for most people to care about or prepare for.

    I just can’t for the life of me figure out why conservatives and libertarians are fighting the idea that its even happening with tooth and nail (obviously I’m speaking in generalities, I’m not ascribing the following to every single member of the above groups). Well maybe conservatives, their mostly religious fundamentalists so its a coin flip as to which side of an issue they are going to be fervently for or against, I thought they would have embraced the whole global warming thing as another aspect of the “End of Days” scenario. But I guess they think only god can kill the earth and that the concept of humans changing the environment is somehow blasphemous in that regard.

    Libertarians on the other hand are usually pretty rational. I agree with the libertarian position on most issues. But I think its because they are so concerned with property rights that they can’t wrap their head around AGW. Its essentially the biggest “tragedy of the commons” problem we’ve ever encountered. How the hell do you manage the air itself in a free market fashion? You guys buy into economics but not AGW, well this is the ’29 crash for the environment, and we as a species are gonna sit back and watch it happen. Just like we’ve sit back and watched every single economic disaster unfold for the past hundred years. A few people always saw it coming, tried to warn others, but in the end they could only look out for themselves because the rest of the species is just too damn short-sighted.

  106. #106 |  Elliot | 

    random_guy (#104): “[AGW is] happening and its demonstrable.

    Global temperatures have increased since the industrial revolution. Arguments that human industry contributed to this increase are convincing, to an extent. However, you cannot demonstrate how much of the increase in temperature is anthropogenic and how much is due to natural causes, part of cycles which have driven the Earth’s climate from ice age to warm periods for billions of years.

    Simplistic assertions that AGW is demonstrable are contradicted by inconvenient facts like the increase in the 1990s not being matched by a similar increase in the last decade, however.

    Multiple years with record breaking heat waves.

    So if the record which was broken was set in 1910, why was there a heat wave in 1910? AGW doesn’t explain that.

    Also, you’re mixing weather with climate, trying to use them interchangably. Local conditions which fall outside recent historical observations are not the same as average global temperatures, atmospheric and oceanic.

    We’re getting so many hurricanes a year we’re going to start running out of names.

    False. Each year, they start with A and go to Z. 2006 made it to “Isaac”, 2007 to “Olga”, 2008 to “Paloma”, 2009 to “Ida”, and 2010 to “Thomas”.

    Alarmists predicted that AGW would cause more and more intense storms. However, since 2005 (Katrina), the US has not had a major hurricane make landfall until Irene, which was certainly not a historically large storm.

    Persistent drought and record breaking monsoons on the other side of the globe.

    Where? And, what about the places where conditions are not outside the norm? Statistically, in any system with such variablity, there will always be localized extremes. That’s weather, not climate.

    The northern ice cap is becoming a puddle every summer, which has been noticed by the major energy concerns that are looking to break into the “virgin” sea for natural gas deposits.

    Actually, it isn’t. The arctic sea ice extent has not shrunk since the 2007/2008 minimum. Satellite measurements date to 1970, so to call 2007/2008 a “record” is disingenuous. Other data and historical accounts from sailors indicate that the arctic sea ice may have been much less centuries ago, making the 2007/2008 a non-record.

    The ice on Kilimanjaro is practically gone, as well as half of the glaciers in mountainous parks around the world.

    Meanwhile, many other glaciers are growing. The Earth’s climate changes and has been doing so for billions of years.

    Oh and the fact that there is more CO2 in our atmosphere right now, than can be observed in the last 650,000 years of earths history through antarctic ice core samples (which covers a period of eleven ice ages and warming eras).

    I don’t know about that, but even if it is so, there are a few problems with the catastrophic AGW (CAGW) assertion that CO2 drives global temperature. Historical data shows CO2 lagging temperatures, not predicating temperature changes. Also, laboratory experiments show a logarithmic relationship between CO2 and temperature. So, if you double the CO2 in the atmosphere, it will raise the temperature about 1C, according to standard models. But, to raise it another 1C, you have to double it again, i.e., 4 times the starting point. For 3C, that means 8 times. So, the more radical alarmist predictions of several degree changes in the next century are not based upon CO2 volume alone, but on positive feedbacks. Except, natural systems generally have negative feedbacks which tend to create equilibrium.

    And you know what, even if you could get every single person on this planet to agree that its happening, I don’t think it would matter at all. It’s too damn big for most people to care about or prepare for.

    It is too big for all the “green” “solutions” to make a difference. That makes them mostly symbolic, which is really stupid if you consider the cost. A few technologies and strategies are economically feasible and worth pursuing, if not for “saving the earth”, for actually reducing the likelihood of economic ruin.

    I just can’t for the life of me figure out why conservatives and libertarians are fighting the idea that its even happening with tooth and nail…

    I’m a libertarian and a skeptic of CAGW. I have studied the subject enough to have solid doubts based upon science and math. I am willing to consider new evidence, though. So, as far as establishing truth, I’m not fighting the alarmists “tooth and nail”. Rather, I’m holding their feet to the fire and demanding they act like damned scientists with principles, instead of playing political games and spouting “settled science” like some idiot Church inquisitor shouting down Galileo.

    Besides the issue of seeking the truth, I do fight the political efforts to deny people their individual rights for the sake of expediency, using scare tactics to panic people into ceding their rights (and those of their neighbors) for an illusion of safety. Any ethical solutions to ecological dilemmas must be accomplished by persuasion through reason, not force.

    But I think its because they are so concerned with property rights that they can’t wrap their head around AGW. Its essentially the biggest “tragedy of the commons” problem we’ve ever encountered.

    So you claim. Show me the evidence.

    I’d say communism, colonialism, slavery, and the like were far worse than anything likely to happen because of AGW in the next century. By far.

    I can wrap my head around the issue just fine. Regardless of how much humans contribute to global warming, rights are rights. They aren’t conditional privileges, any more than conscription isn’t slavery if there’s a war on. The draft is wrong, end of story. Violating individual rights for the sake of polar bears is wrong, end of story.

    How the hell do you manage the air itself in a free market fashion?

    You handle such problems like any other: you persuade people to find solutions via reason, without resorting to aggressive force. There are no guarantees.

    You guys buy into economics but not AGW, well this is the ’29 crash for the environment, and we as a species are gonna sit back and watch it happen. Just like we’ve sit back and watched every single economic disaster unfold for the past hundred years. A few people always saw it coming, tried to warn others, but in the end they could only look out for themselves because the rest of the species is just too damn short-sighted.

    If we were in the same room, I’d bet you a new car that in 20 years, alarmists will be mocked.

  107. #107 |  Julian | 

    Excellent! I take pride in being the liter who coined the phrase.

  108. #108 |  albatross | 

    A couple nitpicks to earlier comments:

    First, a discussion of what can be done about AGW assuming it is real makes sense, regardless of whether we know for sure it’s happening. That’s because we could end up in one of two states that make it almost irrelevant whether AGW is really happening, in terms of our decisions:

    a. There’s some extremely low-cost solution that removes or massively diminishes the risk of AGW. In this case, even if AGW is very uncertain, we should probably go ahead and do it. For example, if we get a non-carbon-emitting energy source that’s cheaper in practice than fossil fuels, then we’ll address AGW concerns for free, in much the same way that nobody worries too much today about the health problems caused by all the horse droppings in the roads of big cities.

    b. There’s no solution we can plausibly reach that removes or massively decreases the risk of AGW. If that’s true, then that also gives us an answer–we should spend whatever resources we have to spent on mitigation of damage rather than prevention, because it’s simply beyond our abilities to fix.

    Second, I think what we care about is less the expected outcome of climate change, and more the tail risk. What we care about is not actually a 1-2 degree C rise in global temperatures on average over a century that is expected based on current models–that’s something human civilization is obviously capable of handling just fine. The risks we care about are very large catastrophic changes–a big change in oceanic currents that makes northern Europe uninhabitably cold, big changes in rainfall patterns that makes farming impractical in places that currently produce a lot of food, really large temperature rises that happen quickly, glaciers melting fast enough to cause a big, fast rise in ocean level. My sense is that climate models and the current understanding of the world offered by climatology is simply not up to telling us much about those tail risks. (My not-too-informed understanding is that, for example, nobody can really account for where all the emitted CO2 goes–I gather a lot is apparently absorbed into the ocean in processes that aren’t all that well understood yet. To talk about the tail risk, the really bad stuff that might happen, I think you’d need to know a lot about stuff like those processes.)

    FWIW, I think if we are going to address AGW in practice, it will be by finding alternative energy sources that move us into situation (a), above. It will be cheaper or better in various ways to use non-CO2-emitting energy sources, and so everyone will convert over as quickly as possible. If nuclear power was cheaper, we’d probably be a long ways along that path now–everyone would be building new nuclear plants to replace coal and oil power plants.

  109. #109 |  Elliot | 

    albatross (#108): “…a 1-2 degree C rise in global temperatures on average over a century that is expected based on current models…

    The “current models” are severely flawed, for a long list of technical reasons. They have built-in assumptions, some of which are proving to be demonstrably false as more data is collected.

    I can write a simulation to get you the results you want, so long as I can fiddle with a few constants. I’m astounded at the level of faith people put into these computer programs.

    “The risks we care about are very large catastrophic changes–a big change in oceanic currents that makes northern Europe uninhabitably cold, big changes in rainfall patterns that makes farming impractical in places that currently produce a lot of food, really large temperature rises that happen quickly, glaciers melting fast enough to cause a big, fast rise in ocean level.”

    Hollywood loves a good disaster movie, whether it’s asteroids, volcanoes, earthquakes, The Day After Tomorrow (absurd plot, but source material for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth), or supernatural apocalypse. The one thing in common with nearly all movies: they get the science wrong. You can’t blow up an asteroid with a nuclear bomb, for example.

    Before the Earth is roasted by a dying sun, there will be more ice ages, more unbearably hot eras, asteroid and comet strikes, supervolcano eruptions (Yellowstone caldera), La Palma island Mega Tsunami wiping out east coast of US, and perhaps a gamma ray burst which wipes out all life in a matter of seconds. Except the last, all of those are inevitable disasters. (Well, asteroids and comets can be diverted by gravity tractors, if detected early enough.) The only comfort we can take is that they are so infrequent, the odds of them happening in our lifetimes is extremely small.

    Certainly, humans can mitigate the impact of industry on the environment. Except, we can’t do much about natural phenomena which may have a far greater influence.

    It’s not honest or helpful to paint nightmare pictures of worst case scenarios if you’re going to do that in lieu of accurate measurement and analysis. Sign over half your wealth to me and I’ll build asteroid detectors and gravity tractors. Otherwise, you’re like a racist who wants all people of color to be exterminated by an asteroid impact. How do I know how much money I need? How do you know that the risk warrants the cost? Hey, watch those movies and look at the output of my simulations. Isn’t that enough to scare you? Do you need actual facts?

    “If nuclear power was cheaper, we’d probably be a long ways along that path now–everyone would be building new nuclear plants to replace coal and oil power plants.”

    Nuclear power isn’t expensive. People simply don’t want power plants in their back yards. Many other countries have abundant sources of power from nuclear plants, but the politics in the US have stymied any new production.

  110. #110 |  JOR | 

    CPS, I disagree. I think both things are important. The ‘norming’ of homosexuality of course helps everyone else to see gays as actual individuals with rounded personalities. That makes bigotry very psychologically difficult. I note that as someone who hates cops for purely philosophical reasons, I have a great deal of difficulty thinking badly of individual cops when I actually encounter them as people (I’ve noticed the same thing in dealing with people I know to be violent freelance thugs, as well). The pride parades and the like (and even “normal” people like to let it all hang out on occasion) aren’t for the benefit of sympathetic heterosexuals. They’re really not there “for” anyone but the participants – as has been noted, they’re not political rallies, they’re parades. But to the extent that they are intended as a statement it’s one of defiance. There are people who will never be swayed by the reason or appeals to empathy, either because of sheer personal hatred or (misguided) philosophical or religious scruple. Gays can ignore them, of course. Most of the time even the most flamboyant of them do, out of practical necessity. But sometimes, I reckon, it’s just a lot more fun to give them a face full of unapologetic, leather-clad ass. Maybe you feel sorry for the bigots and assholes who are the targets of these displays of obstinate defiance, but if so, I’d say your sympathy is misplaced.

  111. #111 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    Elliot (# 106),

    In entering or leaving glacials CO2 acts as an amplifting feedback not as a forcing. A forcing is something outside the climate system that cause the climate to change e. g. solar variation. A feedback is something inside the climate system that modifies a change in the climate, e. g. albedo will change in response to temperature changes leading to further temperature change. As we understand it now insolation changes brought about by orbital and rotational cycles trigger albedo changes which bring about large temperature changes. These temperature changes lead to uptake or emission of CO2 from the ocean amplifying the temperature change. But most of the CO2 is in the deep parts of the ocean and it takes centuries for the ocean to overturn. The dely that you mention is exactly what one expects from a delayed amplifying feedback.

  112. #112 |  Elliot | 

    @ Lloyd Flack (#111):

    1) In An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore presents the temperature and CO2 graphs over geological time and overlays them. But he doesn’t mention that the CO2 lags. This is as dishonest as using CGI images of melting ice from the ridiculously unscientific movie, The Day After

    2) Since historical cycles have had CO2 increase lag temperature increases, before the industrial revolution, it’s further dishonest to use such data to imply that anthropogenic sources of CO2 are analogous to historical warming periods. That’s apples and oranges, unscientific and untruthful.

    3) Positive feedbacks intensify the reaction of a particular cause. Negative feedbacks dampen them. In studying complex natural systems, you’ll find that negative feedbacks tend to dominate any system which has cycles. With only positive feedbacks, you get no cycles. You get the “tipping point” and “runaway” warming from which there is no recovery. Considering that Earth has been much hotter in the past, followed by ice ages, isn’t it silly for Al Gore and other alarmists to throw around these terms? Those are not supported by any scientific data. They are nightmare scenarios intended to evoke fear and panic, to scare people into willingly ceding their money and their individual rights to the wise leftists who will solve our problems with “green” solutions and save us from the dreadful “runaway” warming.

    4) So far, quite a few of the “green” solutions touted by politicians, subsidized by tax money and industry protectionism (rent seeking) have turned out to be boondoggles. As in the “green jobs” which the Spanish government admits were a failed program, or the Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar Inc. which went bankrupt after sucking up tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money. And, the carbon markets, cap and trade, and other schemes tossed about by alarmists as solutions turn out to be methods for speculators to rake in money from suckers, not lifting a finger or producing anything of value, but simply rigging the system in their favor. So, when politicians and “experts” try to scare you into doing something to “save the planet”, remember that many of them are going to have fat bank accounts and still drive around in limos and fly private jets while you sacrifice.

    Intelligent people need to take a sober look at the data, separated from political considerations, and find what is true. Throw away anything by political hacks and grant whores, including the politically motivated people who deny AGW not for scientific or mathematical reasons.

    When we look to the scientific method of inquiry as our basis for seeking the truth, it will be the more radical alarmists like Al Gore who ought to be shunned from polite society (though I wouldn’t push the racist analogy, since it’s so obnoxious and ignorant). And, anyone who cites Christian scripture should be discounted as irrational, as well.

  113. #113 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    Elliot, you completly ignored what I said about the CO2 lags. The albedo changes are not enough to explain the difference intemperature between glacials and interglacials. The effect of the changes in CO2 and water vapout are necessary to explain the total change. In fact the Last Glacial maximum provides a good independent estimate of climate sensitivity to CO2. And there are others.

    And “grant whores”? You make my point for me about unwillingness to recognize integrity in political opponents.

  114. #114 |  Lyn | 

    About the article with “weatherman needlessly reporting from the middle of a dangerous storm” it’s good for a laugh.

    In Sept. 2004 I was in Pensacola for Hurricane Ivan. For a while we wasted our time listening to a local TV weather dolt broadcasting from a downtown nightclub that stayed open. We had already lost our electricity so we couldn’t watch him on TV. Anyway he’d go inside from time to time and they kept playing REO Speedwagon “Ridin the Storm Out” in the bar. Then he’d go outside and we could barely hear him. I wish I could have seen it. I’m sure he looked stupid.

    Over the next few days we saved our radio batteries to listen to more important – for us – programming like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. Got sick & tired of weather and local news experts telling us the storm had been bad. We already knew that.

    By the way it’s hard to just listen to Wheel of Fortune and solve the puzzles.

  115. #115 |  Elliot | 

    Lloyd Flack (#113): “Elliot, you completly ignored what I said about the CO2 lags.

    No, I didn’t. Skeptics have pointed to the lag as an example of Gore’s duplicity. From what I’ve read, the defense of Gore boils down to: we don’t know why there is a lag, so don’t jump to the conclusion that CO2 doesn’t play a part after it is released due to warming by other natural processes.

    What brought Earth out of ice ages in the past? It wasn’t human industry or flatulence of cattle. Natural processes warmed the climate, before CO2 rose.

    So, why assume that simply because there is human industry, these natural forces which caused warming in the past, suddenly quit having an influence?

    And “grant whores”? You make my point for me about unwillingness to recognize integrity in political opponents.

    You do realize that you just classified scientists who receive government grants who echo the unscientific mantra of “settled science” as political opponents, correct?

    I would not disagree. And, the reason I question their integrity is because they are supposed to be goddamned scientists, not political activists. Their job is to find the truth through testing, retesting, answering skeptical challenges, and retesting. It isn’t to vote to squash debate, but to foster more debate. It isn’t to treat “denialists” like racists, to fantasize about murdering them with buttons which turn them into pools of blood and gore.

    It’s to act responsibly and objectively in the pursuit of knowledge, not polls.

    Writing a computer program to simulate climate, as sophisticated as it may be, is useless if you have a long list of fixed constants (since you don’t know, in reality, how these factors influence climate) and you ignore external variables out of ignorance. Like I said, if I’m permitted to fiddle with the constants in my lab, and don’t share my source code to reveal such information, I can tweak them to produce desired results.

    Knowing this about simulations, I question the integrity of alleged scientists who use such methods and present them as a basis of certainty to the public.

    There are scientists who take measurements, test hypotheses, and report their findings without involving themselves in politics. Those men and women are not my political opponents. They are simply people who seek the truth as objectively as possible. Unfortunately, due to the political climate, such people are only welcome to conferences so long as their conclusions don’t conflict with the political narrative.

  116. #116 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    I should have said that they perceive as political opponents. Most scientists, to the extent that they are politically interested at all, tend to be a bit left of center. The reasons for this are partially to do with the nature of science and partially to do with the academic environment. This does not make their opinions on politics more likely to be correct than those of anyone else.

    But if they are working on a project and they discover a danger then they have the same obligations as anyone else to alert others to the danger. If they urge particular actions then sometimes they will urge solutions that might not work or might have costs and consequences that they do not take sufficient account of. Their politics is likely to affect the proposed solutions much more than the warnings of danger.

    Why do people get into science at all? Almost always the primary motives are curiosity, interest in the subject and a love of problem solving. If these aren’t the primary motives then they are unlikely to go very far in their fields. Their personal reputation for integrity and the reputation of their field are very important to most scientists. If they fabricate evidence or allow non scientific matters to affect their judgment then someone will prove them wrong sooner or later. That is the nature of the universe and of science. If they are right then there will almost always be other lines of evidence agreeing with their conclusions. This is called the consilience of evidence and is what scientists want before they have a lot of confidence in conclusions, The conventional understanding of climate does have this consilience. The sceptical interpretations do not.

    I am a scientist and have worked with other scientists. I know what drives them. And the smears that come from people who do not want to believe something that they find uncomfortable to believe offend me even though I am not the target.

    As for the lag in CO2 in glacials isn’t it a funny coincidence that it the same size as the time required for the oceans to overturn? It is the size that we would expect it to be if our understanding of climate is correct.

    I’ve seen the climate system described as an ornery beast that over reacts to small provocations. How do you think we end up with a glacial cycle? The trigger, the Milankovitch Cycles is too small to do the job unless it it is greatly amplified.

    Because your judgment is warped by politics you assume that the judgment of others is also. I do not believe that you have examined climate science from the desire to understand. I think proving your political position right is your main motive. And if many freely chosen choices lead to consequences that harm most then the libertarian position is undermined. The market does not necessarily lead to the best outcome for most people. I think it usually does but not always.

  117. #117 |  Elliot | 

    Lloyd Flack (#116): “Most scientists, to the extent that they are politically interested at all, tend to be a bit left of center. The reasons for this are partially to do with the nature of science and partially to do with the academic environment.“

    From my observations, I would guess that the collectivist/statist leanings of academics are about 90% due to living in a sheltered environment, dependent upon government largess (i.e., the money the government takes from producers to give away like Halloween candy to those who kowtow to the authorities). The other 10% comes from a lack of real empathy, whether it’s the nerdy egghead who is a high-functioning autistic (Asperger’s) and thus truly lacking in theory of mind, or the narcissist who has had an easy time being at the top academically, getting awards, etc., and thinks that his or her intellectual superiority entitles him or her to make decisions for the mundane.

    I’ve been acquainted with a number of intellectuals whose disregard for individual rights made my blood run cold. The worst I’ve encountered were East Europeans (who defected to escape communism, but were nevertheless brainwashed to despise capitalism, stupidly unable to grasp the major lesson blazened across their own lives) and Brits (who were locked into the mindset of the dutiful subject, borne of a culture rife with all the contradictions of an enlightened colonial power). American “liberals” in academia strive to plunge to that depth of depravity, but only the most radical achieve that sort of disdain for the freedom of others.

    In a recent essay by Penn Jillette, published on CNN, entitled, “I don’t know, so I’m an atheist libertarian,” Jillette recounts his experience with a Nobel Prize winning physicist. What impressed the magician was the scientist’s willingness to admit that he didn’t know something. Penn argues that when we acknowledge that we don’t know the answer to difficult questions, like how did the universe become what we see, not only is it only rational to be an atheist, but also to be a libertarian. (Elsewhere, Mr. Jillette has described himself as an anarcho-capitalist.) The reason for an honest person to take an individualist political position is simple: I don’t know more than you do what’s best for you and how best to utilize your productive efforts to that end. And, the “leftist” approach wouldn’t even be for me to improve your life by making decisions for you, but to take what you produce and pass it out like Halloween candy to show how caring and generous I am (with your money).

    The engineer side of me understands the temptation to want to fix a system which is riddled with problems and corruption, to see peope making stupid decisions and realize that I could do things better. But the scientist and philosopher (inasmuch as all human beings who employ reason to decide what is right an wrong is engaging in philosophy) in me recognizes that the “system” of human activity is far to complex for even the wisest to behave in a dictatorial fashion to improve, and that the goal of the “common good” is a lie, since forcing people to do things my way will, no matter what, do harm to at least some.

    This does not make their opinions on politics more likely to be correct than those of anyone else.

    Nobody who has “leftist” political opinions is “correct”. Nor are “conservatives”, or the more radical factions simplistically dubbed extreme “left” or “right”, since the difference in how they implement more authoritarian collectivism is mostly cosmetic.

    The scientist who makes a bona fide effort to do experiments and address skeptics and intellectual counterarguments, and who refrains from tainting his or her research with a political (or other subjective) agenda, has my respect. Even if I disagree with their conclusions or methodology, but recognize that they have the integrity to admit they were wrong should they be presented with contradictory evidence, I accept them as honest scientists.

    But whenever a scientist “spins” a slight result to exaggerate the significance, or uses deceptive interpretations to squash more careful analysis for fear of being wrong, that person has abandoned the scientific method of inquiry. Putting a contentions matter up to a vote, to argue truth based upon “consensus” is the appeal to popularity fallacy, coupled with the appeal to authority fallacy. Whenever a scientist utters the words “settled science” and refuses to have an earnest debate with skeptics, that person has abandoned the role of scientist.

  118. #118 |  Elliot | 

    Lloyd Flack (#116): “Their personal reputation for integrity and the reputation of their field are very important to most scientists. If they fabricate evidence or allow non scientific matters to affect their judgment then someone will prove them wrong sooner or later. That is the nature of the universe and of science. If they are right then there will almost always be other lines of evidence agreeing with their conclusions.

    When the panels which review papers or choose participants in conference have a stacked deck, scientists with integrity are stymied if they offer sound experimental evidence which contradicts the prevailing political agenda. Those who don’t share the political agenda, but who see the cost to those who rock the boat, compromise their principles and elide anything which those in authority deem verboten. There, the “reputation” is decided on high from biased judges, and those who are principled and happen to disagree with the “common wisdom” have their reputations unfairly tarnished. Not because they violated scientific principles, but because they didn’t give in to pressue.

    Do you realize that Al GOre and most of the alarmists absolutely refuse to engage in sincere debate with skeptics? They refuse to allow their research to be presented.

    Does this happen amongs anthropologists, quantum physicists, biochemists? Not that I’ve seen. If anything, in those circles it’s more about personalities than politics. My anthropology professor, who tried to get me to change majors because I was so enamored with the subject that I would speak with him after class for long periods of time, spoke of conferences in which scientists who had differing opinions on the nutritional sources for an ancient tribe, turned beet red when he heard his rival speaking. There, the reputations depended upon how convincing the arguments were. Perhaps there were biases amongst those who reviewed journal entries.

    I am a scientist and have worked with other scientists. I know what drives them. And the smears that come from people who do not want to believe something that they find uncomfortable to believe offend me even though I am not the target.

    I’m exactly the same, except I see the alarmists as being uncomfortable accepting the heresy of skeptical challenges to ideas which are based upon scant evidence (relative to the scope of the problem), filled with many unknowns, and which rely far too much on computer programs with which I have some familiarity—enough to know that the proclaimed accuracy for which we are supposed to have confidence is exaggerated and even an outright lie in many cases.

    Like I said, if an honest scientist addressed the skeptics’ counterevidence and presented scientifically sound arguments (beyond simulations) to establish a strong correlation for AGW, I would have no problem with accepting that argument. It doesn’t make me uncomfortable to believe that, if true. You’re thrashing away at that strawman, wasting your time.

    Address what I’ve written, not what you wish I wrote.

    As for the lag in CO2 in glacials isn’t it a funny coincidence that it the same size as the time required for the oceans to overturn? It is the size that we would expect it to be if our understanding of climate is correct.

    Here is an excellent example of an irrational argument. You assert that the time period for CO2 to be drawn from the oceans matches the lag. First, how were these time periods measured and what is the degree of accuracy? Were they tested using other experiments? Were the experiments retested independently? (Or was it the one guy who saw dead bears from a plane which triggered the EPA to declare CO2 a harmful gas, without even tracking bear populations in a methodical manner?)

    Second, such a lag only means that whatever caused the warming (which wasn’t CO2 levels) did release the CO2. You’re still stuck with explaining the warming under lower CO2 levels.

    Third, since CO2 increases in the past century are suspected to be mostly due to human industry, attempting to link the influence of CO2 on global temperature to past periods of warming, which started during lower CO2 concentrations, is highly disingenuous. This lag does not, in fact, support AGW theories, since the prehistoric record does not include anthropogenic anything.

    Fourth, declaring that “our understanding of climate is correct” because of one alleged confluence of numbers is completely impertinent. Who is “our” in that statement? Even the proponents of AGW have some variations in their “understanding of climate”, and the scope and complexity of AGW issues far surpasses the ability of one data point to have that much meaning in the grand scheme of things.

    I’ve seen the climate system described as an ornery beast that over reacts to small provocations. How do you think we end up with a glacial cycle? The trigger, the Milankovitch Cycles is too small to do the job unless it it is greatly amplified.

    Note that there are cycles, not “tipping points” and “runaway” heating or cooling, reinforced by predominately positive feedbacks. Cyclical changes mean negative feedbacks outweigh positive feedbacks, which runs directly contrary to the assumptions of the climate models cited by the alarmists.

    Because your judgment is warped by politics you assume that the judgment of others is also.

    The first two times you made that false accusation could have been honest mistakes.

    Now you’re just lying to smear me.

    My judgment of the merits of scientific experimentation and analysis is independent of politics.

    And, my judgment regarding the proposed political solutions (the “green” snake oil) is based upon hard evidence and clear, honest reason untainted by partisanship. I don’t vote and I don’t identify with any political party. My indictment of politicians, pundits, and activists are based upon how they do harm to individuals.

    It is my unwillingness to accept the cognitive dissonance necessary to be a partisan or to gauge oneself on a ridiculous one-dimensional scale (which is a throwback to a two century old revolution in France), which gives me an untainted perspective on the evils of government “solutions”, whether it’s wars, socialized programs, or corruption of the scientific method.

    I do not believe that you have examined climate science from the desire to understand.

    It matters not what you believe. What matters are the facts. My geology course in college was in the 1980s, when deforestation and global warming were hot issues. I’ve followed the debate for decades. I have a few posts on it on my blog, but I generally defer to other sources who have put in far more time to finding the truth.

    I was not a skeptic when I was younger, just as I was not an atheist. I changed my mind after years of considering the arguments.

    So, you can take what you believe and go jump in a lake, preferrably one of glacial melt.

    And if many freely chosen choices lead to consequences that harm most then the libertarian position is undermined.

    That’s absurd. Individual rights are not subject to the whims of happenstance. There are no guarantees in this universe, as the residents of Pompeii showed.

    It’s wrong for me to enslave you, even if the circumstances were so rare that not enslaving you would mean the death of thousands. It isn’t your fault that those thousands will die, so your rights are not forfeit.

    Not that I believe for a second that “most” will be harmed by allowing individuals to make more of their own choices, which also means they are accountable for the outcomes of their decisions. When the nebulous “most” are harmed (in some non-specifice, unquantified manner), then the question to ask is: what caused them to be harmed?

    The market does not necessarily lead to the best outcome for most people. I think it usually does but not always.

    You’re making your ethical stand on the hill of utilitarian ethics, which lead to attrocities when taken to their logical conclusion.

  119. #119 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    The timing of the glacial cycle indicates that it is driven by the Milankovitch cycles. However these are too weak to bring about the changes without a lot of amplificataion. There are two changes occuring at the time that can provide this amplification. One is albedo changes from the glaciation. The other is uptake of CO2 by the ocean. The initial amplification comes from the albedo increase coming from glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere. This temperature drop leads to the ocean taking up CO2 and droping the teperature further. The albedo changes provide only about half of the amplification required to cause the required temperature drop. CO2 uptake supplies the rest and this gives us an independent estimate of the sensitivity to CO2 changes. The claim that the lag in CO2 changes proves that they cannot be responsible for temperature changes is a fallacy based on the implicit belief that climate scientists are claiming the CO2 is always the only thing driving temperature changes.

    The deniers do not seem to have much in the way of explanations for glacial cycles. Your claim that cycles require negative feedbacks is fallacious. The glacial cycles are driven by orbital and rotational cycles from outside the climate system. All that I wrote above are things that you could have easily looked up but didn’t before you made claims about the import of the relation between CO2 and temperature in glacial cycles. I want to understand paleoclimate. A high sensitivity to CO2 answers a lot of questions about paleoclimate that a low sensitivity leaves unanswered.

  120. #120 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    I’m not a utilitarian but an ethical intuitionist. I think most libertarians want a natural law basis to morality. I was initially attracted to libertarianism primarily because it was associated with such approaches. But gradually I realized that natural law approaches to ethics did not solve the “is ought” problem that they were intended to. Looking at history and psychology I realized that a lot of libertarian solutions were not going to work. And I realized that libertarianism ignored or downplayed much of the social aspects and needs of people.

    People who support other political movements place much more importance than libertarians do on things such as altruism and social cohesion. It is not that liberty is not valued but that it is not the only consideration for them. Libertarians claim that liberty trumps all other moral considerations is seen by them as an evasion of responsibility.

    Climate change is an example of the sort of problem that libertarianism fails to handle. Most of the harm falls on future generations. There is no way that libertarianism can make those doing the harm accountable.

    Climate scientists see most of the sceptics as acting in bad faith and that it is a waste of time engaging someone who is simply looking for ways to defend beliefs that they want to continue in. The deniers are seen as rationalizers that they cannot get to seriously examine their beliefs. And of course these deniers are engaged in smearing the scientists involved. But enough, I have explained what my positions are, anythjing further will be simply talking past each other.

  121. #121 |  Elliot | 

    Lloyd Flack (#119): “The timing of the glacial cycle indicates that it is driven by the Milankovitch cycles. However these are too weak to bring about the changes without a lot of amplificataion. [etc]

    You’re rehashing things not under debate. I will point out that the “amplification” represents positive feedbacks.

    Under the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) scenarios, positive feedbacks dominate. Alarmists warn of “tipping points” and “runaway” warming. Except negative feedbacks are not being included in the calculations.

    If these “amplifications” (positive feedbacks) occur as part of the natural glacial cycle, then obviously something puts the brakes on, i.e., negative feedbacks.

    Much of the problem is that most specific feedback sources have not yet been identified. Those that have are not accurately quantified, due to the lack of data. Any complex computer simulation which attempts to model a system with so many unknowns doesn’t increase the accuracy of predictions, it multiplies any errors built into the assumptions. That includes the constants which the programmer sets, as well as the simplistic formulae, based upon a few data points which seem to match observed data, but may in fact be completely wrong.

    The claim that the lag in CO2 changes proves that they cannot be responsible for temperature changes is a fallacy based on the implicit belief that climate scientists are claiming the CO2 is always the only thing driving temperature changes.

    It’s not a fallacy or implicit. It’s the explicit claims of people like Al Gore, in An Inconvenient Truth who take historical graphs of temperature and CO2 levels and overlay them without mentioning the lag. Blame him and those like him who make cynical choices to gloss over such details for fear that they will be less convincing. After all that deception, the chickens are coming home to roost. Skeptics are catching their omissions and polls indicate people are becoming even less convinced.

    The deniers do not seem to have much in the way of explanations for glacial cycles.

    Well, I can’t speak for “deniers”, since those people seem to make all sorts of intellectual mistakes.

    As for the skeptics, I don’t see them as being unable to explain cycles. Indeed, they are not afraid to mention the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warming Period (which is overlooked in alarmist narratives, when it pokes holes in the “hockey stick” scare-the-hell-out-of-them approach).

    But what the responsible scientists, from those who suggest moderate AGW to the skeptics, do is to admit that there are things about the natural cycles we simply don’t know. They don’t pretend that such complexity is “settled science”.

    Besides, a skeptic need not explain glacial cycles any more than an atheist need prove the absence of gawd. You’re shifting the burden of proof.

    Your claim that cycles require negative feedbacks is fallacious. The glacial cycles are driven by orbital and rotational cycles from outside the climate system.

    So you’re claiming that orbital and rotational cycles account for the glacial cycles? How would you know this?

    No complex natural system has an absence of negative cycles. None.

    Absent negative feedbacks, you get “runaway” processes which turn Earth into a cryosphere (block of ice) or into Venus. Since that hasn’t happened, models with only positive feedbacks are just plain wrong.

    All that I wrote above are things that you could have easily looked up but didn’t….

    That’s a lie. You can repeat basic arguments which anyone who has paid attention knows about, but you’re misstating the couterarguments, ignoring the meat of the debate.

  122. #122 |  Elliot | 

    Lloyd Flack (#120): “I’m not a utilitarian but an ethical intuitionist.

    That looks to me like an indirect way of choosing utilitarian arguments when thay are easier.

    I think most libertarians want a natural law basis to morality. I was initially attracted to libertarianism primarily because it was associated with such approaches. But gradually I realized that natural law approaches to ethics did not solve the “is ought” problem that they were intended to.

    I suspect your error here is expecting that ethical principles will solve problems. The problems are caused by people violating the rights of others, not by delineating those rights. There will always be murderers, rapists, thieves, etc., and no moral framework is going to make that false.

    Individualist ethics, however, correctly identify the actors who are doing wrong.

    Looking at history and psychology I realized that a lot of libertarian solutions were not going to work.

    Work for whom? When you behave ethically, respecting the rights of others, then your behavior works for those around you whom you’re not harming.

    Maybe it doesn’t “work” for the people who would force you under their rule or your neighbors who fear terrorism, financial instability, or global warming and are falsely convinced that you sacrificing your liberty will increase their safety. But those people have no moral authority to decide that their illusion of safety is more important than your life. Only you have the authority to consent to giving up your rights.

    If your neighbor, on the other hand, is a thug, then he’s not behaving ethically. Your choice to be a libertarian doesn’t cause him to get away with harming others. That’s his fault.

    And I realized that libertarianism ignored or downplayed much of the social aspects and needs of people.

    Nonsense. All of the issues of commerce, social interactions, natural disasters, etc. can be addressed without resorting to abridging the rights of others. If I object to you stealing from Peter to solve Paul’s problems, that’s not me ignoring or downplaying Paul’s problems. Rather, that’s me recognizing that Peter’s rights prohibit making him a victim as a solution for Paul’s problems. Those difficulties need to be accepted or addressed through reasoned persuasion, not resort to force, however indirectly.

    People who support other political movements place much more importance than libertarians do on things such as altruism and social cohesion.

    Most things presented as altruism are nothing of the sort. Political acts of “altruism” are mostly stealing from Peter to pay Paul and then bragging about how generous you are (with Peter’s money). Some altruism.

    Most people, when they help others, do so for reasons which help themselves. For some, it’s religion (which I think taints the act, but that’s another discussion). For others, it’s making themselves look generous, which is just self-aggrandizement. And for some, it’s just getting a warm feeling from knowing that others were helped. None of that is true altruism. In extreme cases, like jumping on a grenade to save buddies, it’s a value calculation, deciding that having multiple people live on is more valuable to you than just yourself. Again, probably very noble, but not pure altruism.

    As for “social cohesion”, the basic argument there is “give us part of what the rich people have or we’ll riot and tear apart this place”. That’s no basis for an ethical argument.

    It is not that liberty is not valued but that it is not the only consideration for them. Libertarians claim that liberty trumps all other moral considerations is seen by them as an evasion of responsibility.

    Libertarians recognize that when one person’s liberty comes in conflict with another’s rights, that the context may trump the liberty. I’m free to swing my fist around, until it comes into proximity with your nose. None of that is ignored by libertarianism, nor treated in such absolute terms as you portray.

    What actually is happening is that the pragmatist says that liberty is all well and good, until it conflicts with their goals, and then they abandon the principle. A principled libertarian, on the other hand, says that liberty prevails until it actually conflicts with the rights of another, not simply when it’s inconvenient.

    Climate change is an example of the sort of problem that libertarianism fails to handle. Most of the harm falls on future generations. There is no way that libertarianism can make those doing the harm accountable.

    Again, that’s false. Most problems have consequences to future generations, whether it’s ecological or financial (debt). Individualism doesn’t fail to address any of those things. Rather, by adhering to its principles, people will not punish future generations with unfair debt or punish current generations by overratcting to doom-and-gloom predictions.

    For any problem, the ethical approach is to work with other people via reason, to find a solution. It’s not to stick a gun in the other person’s face to force them to give up part of their life for a (false) promise of safety. Al Gore and the celebrity greenies will tell you to give up modern conveniences and sacrifice, while they jet around the world and heat up their spacious homes.

    Climate scientists see most of the sceptics as acting in bad faith…

    Many examples show that to be a lie. It’s a cynical political ploy to shut out all dissent, to pretend that anyone who doesn’t toe the line is a crazy nut or an agent of evil Big Oil.

    There are people, mostly politicians and activists, who stupidly refuse to consider anything about global warming. You can call them “denialists” because they deny without looking at facts.

    But there are plenty of intelligent, informed skeptics who not only act in good faith, but who are more interested in getting to the truth than the “hide the decline” type climatologists, the “settled science” Inquisition types.

    I encourage readers to go to Warren Meyer’s “Climate Skeptic” weblog, particularly those articles under “Past Favorites” in the right-hand column. He also links to other skeptic websites. Decide for yourself if these people are acting in bad faith.

  123. #123 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    If people want to know what is actually going on go to Skepical Science.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com

    It is the best place to go to if you want to compare denialist claims to reality.

  124. #124 |  Elliot | 

    @Lloyd Flack (#123) readers should visit websites to which we both linked, as well as seeking others of the same genre. The value of authors like Meyer and Watts (of Watts Up With That?) is that they locate news which the MSM tends to ignore, either because it doesn’t fit their ideological biases or because it’s too difficult for their little journalist brains to wrap around.

    While Warren Meyer presents the skeptic’s point of view (his own) as “Climate Skeptic”, the people running the “Skeptical Science” website are alarmists, not skeptics. That’s a bit disingenuous.

    While Warren Meyer and Anthony Watts acknowledge solid arguments on the AGW side, the “Skeptical Science” begins by lying (like Lloyd Flack here) by pretending that all skeptics are just “deniers” who ignore all facts and evidence which they don’t like.

    On the surface, the skeptics I cite are far more honest and objective, but I encourage anyone who is interested in the truth to carefully read all arguments.

  125. #125 |  Lloyd Flack | 

    Not all are denialists. I know some who are not. Most are however, especially the strident ones. Most are rationalizers rather than liars. They are not skeptical because they leap at anything which seems to comfirm what they want to believe.

  126. #126 |  Elliot | 

    Lloyd Flack (#125): “Most are rationalizers rather than liars. They are not skeptical because they leap at anything which seems to confirm what they want to believe.” [emphasis added]

    You’re repeating the same dishonest mantra, over and over, regardless of the facts, behaving exactly like the straw man you’re bashing.

    Why Are Skeptics Piling on Irene Forecasters? See also:

    If you read between the lines in the news articles, we really have no idea what is going on. The guy could have falsified his travel expense reports” from “Go Easy on the Polar Bear Fraud”

    And:

    Curry offers the alternative explanation of natural variability offsetting Co2 warming, which I think is partly true. … I don’t think there is anything we could do with a bigger bang for the buck than to reduce particulate emissions from Asian coal. This is FAR easier than CO2 emissions reductions — its something we have done in the US for nearly 40 years.” from “Return of “The Plug””

    And:

    “Let’s be perfectly clear. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and other things being equal, the more carbon dioxide in the air, the warmer the planet. Every bit of carbon dioxide that we emit warms the planet.” from a cited article inside “We Are Finally Seeing Healthy Perspectives on CO2 in the Media”

    Meanwhile, Anthony Watts at “Watts Up With That?” has a sticky post entitled “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: My Initial Comments on the New Dessler 2011 Study” in which he details where he agrees with Dessler and where he differs. In his analysis, Watts considers the possibility that Dessler is correct:

    He gets a ratio of about 20:1 for non-radiatively forced (i.e. non-cloud) temperature changes versus radiatively (mostly cloud) forced variations. If that 20:1 number is indeed good, then we would have to agree this is strong evidence against our view that a significant part of temperature variations are radiatively forced.

    Over and over, I read articles which directly contradict your falsehood that skeptics are just “denialists” who ignore anything they don’t like.

    You need to actually start reading the damned writing of the people you’re castigating so harshly. You’ll soon see that they do not behave at all in the way you’re characterizing them.

    I’d ask you to be a man and admit you were wrong, but I’m not holding my breath after seeing how fervently you repeat the mantra here, no matter how many times I correct you.

  127. #127 |  Elliot | 

    Lloyd Flack (#125): “They are not skeptical because they leap at anything which seems to comfirm what they want to believe.

    And yet another example directly refuting Lloyd Flack’s attempt to smear skeptics to try to convince readers to ignore them, Warren Meyer comparing and contrasting graphs in “I Don’t Think This is Settled”.

    If, as Lloyd asserts, Meyer only wanted to leap at data confirming what he wanted to believe, he would have put up a single chart. But he put up both and commented on how slightly different data can produce opposite results, if you rush to draw conclusions without being rigorous. That’s a cautionary tale for alarmists and skeptics, to gather more data and to be more rigorous in the statistical analysis.

    Openness, balanced, careful: all hallmarks of a good skeptic.

    Meanwhile, alarmists want to rule CO2 a pollutant because one guy saw some dead bears out of an airplane window. One data point.

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