Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' Can Save Civilization from the Climate Crisis

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reikiman
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Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' Can Save Civilization from the Climate Crisis

...

A child under 13 today can expect to live into the 2080s, by which time civilization as we know it will have disappeared if we continue to fail to reduce carbon emissions by 25-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050, according to our climate scientists. Although world leaders accept this recommendation, they are presently overseeing a steady increase projected to be more than double the maximum our climate scientists think safe.

The stark figures reveal just how much Copenhagen will fail our children, despite PR efforts to obscure them. The climate scientists' minimal 25 percent cut would see the United States emitting 3.94 billion metric tons in 2020. President Barack Obama's 2020 target is 4.99 bmt, only 5.5 percent lower than U.S. 1990 emissions of 5.26 bmt, or less than 1/4 of the minimum 25 percent cut urged by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (The United States packages its nonreduction target as a 17 percent cut from the sky-high 2005 level of 5.99 bmt.) The Chinese, according to the Council on Foreign Relations' Michael Levi, will increase their CO2 emissions by 72 to 88 percent by 2020, i.e., from 6 bmt today to more than 10 bmt. (The Chinese package their increase by pledging a 45 to 50 percent reduction in "carbon intensity," or carbon per unit of gross domestic product, even though averting disastrous climate change requires reducing CO2 emissions, not just intensity.)

...

We live today as if in a trance, conducting business as usual in times so unusual that they pose an even greater threat than 20th-century wars that killed more than 100 million people. It seems incredible, for example, that nonscientists barely discuss how the human climate crisis undermines so many of their basic assumptions--in philosophy, law, psychology, sociology, economics, the arts and humanities, education and health--about human beings and their society.

There's much more in the article ...

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marcopolo
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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

Hmmm... this reminds me of an interesting cartoon published in 'New Yorker', in which a congregation of former socialist left were praying at the altar of their new church, "the First Church of Climate Change".

Maybe it's just that old 'doubting Thomas' in me, but I grow alarmed at sanctimonious, self -righteous fanaticism. It seems that any voices who dare challenge the current dogma of man-made climate change, are silenced with cries of "Heresy! " " Silence The evil doer, guilty of the sin of climate change denial!"

Consider the very insidious phrase, "Climate Change Denial'. An emotive term designed to equate with 'Holocaust Denial". Why? well it makes great copy, and quickly labels opponents, however mild, as worse than David Irving!

Poor old Professor Ian Plimer, perhaps his book may contain minor errors or even dubious conclusions. Does this justify the massive vilification he has received by the press? I am amazed that otherwise quite sensible green and left wing spokespersons have demanded that his book should be banned or even burned!!

Another popular ploy utilised by the climate change lobby is to allow only the most ignorant sceptics, usually fundamentalist religious types, to appear in the media, these wretches an easy target for ridicule from the knowledgeable, smug, self righteous, clever, media savvy, 'climate expert'.

This fanatical hatred, funded by an enormous amount government money, researching increasingly dubious scientific studies, has fuelled an enormous green bureaucratic industry of Eco-worriers etc... the trouble is must of this enthusiasm seems to be driven by a fuzzy morality and an ideological replacement for discredited anti-capitalist economic models.

In many countries there are actual Government Ministers for 'Climate Change', huge sums of public money spent of 'climate change education', vast vested interests, prevent any real debate.

Compare the climate change belief to any other, IE: Dedicated Vegans are perfectly entitled to practise their personal beliefs, it is only when they try to restrict others, and then try to back a belief with the absolutely absurd science evidence that humans are designed by evolution to be vegans, that they become offencive.

I guess my main objection to climate change fanatics, is that the ultimate backlash may detract from more realistic, if less exciting reasons to promote a change to EV's.

AS I said, I speak as a non-scientist. Although this does limit the value of my contribution to the debate, but, I am reminded of all those established scientists who persecuted the lowly Dr Jenner, forcing him to flee the UK for France. Like professor Ian Plimer, he could find no respected colleague in the world to support his very contrary theory of small-pox vaccination. As a result we owe the eradication of this dreadful disease, to the support of Dr Jenner by a scientific amateur, Napoleon Bonaparte!

If the dire predictions of the climate change lobby are so undeniably accurate, why all the paranoia?
I remain very sceptical of any faith/morality based scientific studies. These studies invariable end up self fulfilling prophecies.

None of the above, is to say that global Warming may not exist, or that human activity may contribute adversely to global warming, just that a little scepticism is a very healthy thought process!

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jdh2550_1
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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

Hi marcopolo -

I agree with you that the almost "religious fervor" surrounding the debate is not healthy or productive. Unfortunately it appears that both sides of the debate are as guilty as the other. For example there is pretty convincing circumstantial evidence that the Bush administration did a lot to politicize the climate debate during the eight years of their administration with the express intent of derailing global environmental policy. Two wrongs rarely make a right (as my dear old Gran would say!) - and in this case elements on BOTH sides of the debate have done their best to muddy the waters. It's important to realize that it is just "certain elements" and not the entire body on either side that is corrupt.

However, it does appear to me that the preponderance of legitimate scientists who have no "obvious" agenda appear to conclude that (a) man is having a measurable impact on global warming and that (b) global warming has the potential for creating chaotic upheaval.

Unfortunately, history shows us that "group think" can also cause even apparently logical minds to skew towards the "conventional wisdom". On the other hand we also know that without attention grabbing headlines that folks are unlikely to make needed changes - hence a desire for hyperbole and exaggeration.

So, what are we to do?

Personally it strikes me that reducing our carbon footprint has enough benefits to be worth the cost. As well as a healthier environmental outlook one also has the benefit of reducing dependency on oil - which reduces the influence of corrupt regimes (both geographical and business) that control access to the oil.

In other words - I don't particularly care if these measures are essential to "save civilization" I think we should do them anyway. Yes, it's going to cost trillions of dollars - but we (as a world) can afford it. Especially when you consider the efficiency gains that can be had along the way. Heck, if it did cause less dependence on oil perhaps we could also spend less on the dang military (which is still by far the largest budget expenditure in the US).

With this point of view it helps me tune out the "he said / she said" apocalyptic and conspiratorial headlines.

Personally I wish they'd JFDI...

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wookey
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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

The strident tone ('fanaticism' if you prefer) comes from the increasing panic felt by those who've accepted that we have a serious problem. They've been telling people for the best part of 20 years now, and _still_ people are arguing about whether there is even a real problem or not, especially in the US, the worlds most climate-change-skeptical nation.

The article linked at the top here puts is very well: if people care about their children then they really need to get off their arses yesterday and get on with the revolution. We are already dangerously late. It would have been much cheaper if we'd started 10-15 years ago.

Mind you it's not that much better here in the UK. Most people are carrying on exactly as they have always done. Only a minority are taking any significant action. At least people have mostly got over the 'I don't believe it' stage now, but most seem to remain in denial in terms of actually doing anything.

Yes, skepticism is generally a good thing, but using it as an excuse for not taking serious emissions-reduction action is now foolish. If you still doubt the science then realise that it is because you have been manipulated by the usual process by which fake doubt is sown (plausible-sounding anti- articles, insistence on 'balance' in the media so that everyone gets the idea that things are still 50/50). It was done for smoking and various medical arguments, and it's amazingly effective.

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marcopolo
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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

Thank you guys, for your most interesting responses.

John as usual, a very measured response. Although climate change advocates may be right when they compare their demands for action as being a similar to the insurance motto. "Better to have and not need, than not have, and need". But it's also a little like the man selling elephant deterrent machines door to door, when a doubting prospects objects, "but there are no elephants in New Hampshire!" the salesman replies gleefully, 'See how effective my machines are?!" (thanks, Marx brothers). If Professor Plimer is correct, we are all been led down a very expensive blind alley.

Wookey, you are obviously very committed to the acceptance of the science of catastrophic man-made climate change. Well, I don't know, you maybe proved right. But consider some of your own passionate terms.

Quote:

if people care about their children

followed by:-

Quote:

Yes, scepticism is generally a good thing, but using it as an excuse for not taking serious emissions-reduction action is now foolish. If you still doubt the science then realise that it is because you have been manipulated by the usual process by which fake doubt is sown (plausible-sounding anti- articles, insistence on 'balance' in the media so that everyone gets the idea that things are still 50/50). It was done for smoking and various medical arguments, and it's amazingly effective.

I'm not saying your belief isn't valid, but do you really think that the sceptic's have the upper hand in this debate? What really alarms me, is the fanatical desire to silence any opposition by the climate change- global warming lobby! Media manipulation by the sceptics? Gimme a break, the media is a huge Global warming supporter, followed by the entire academic and educational fraternity! It has reach a level of religious fervour.Some schools actually teach GW as a separate subject! Whole government departments have been created in many nations, usually western,of left persuasion, dedicated to the furtherance of this new faith.

'Studies' produced by these entities, are hardly scientific, since these studies start with an acceptance of man made global warming, then attempt to investigate the size of the catastrophe. This is not a healthy climate for rational enquiry. Indeed, long term systematic scandals of academic and scientific fraud and manipulation are beginning to be revealed concerning Global Warming's most respected researchers and theorists. The revelations include instances of repression of dissidents, suppression of data, and falsifiction. Oddly these revelations only strengthen the GW true belivers resolve! This type of behaviour is the hallmark of all faith based movements.

Talk about vested interests!! Many western nations have created Government Ministers, whose portfolio's are titled " The Minister for Climate Change"!! Anti-Global warming has become a huge industry! And a huge new tax base!

Hey, what about Hollywood? Hollywood just loves it! Catastrophe movies and earnest TV doco's, are all the (very profitable) rage! All those exciting special effects! It's exciting to see the world coming to an end as a result of climate change? Each film carries an absurd but moralistically anti-western, anti-capitalist message appealing to liberal consciences. The odious little film "2012', is a very good example. Great special affects, and the script appeals with a noble black President listening to a young, noble, black, left-thinking scientist, who triumphs over the evil, selfish and stupid white bosses. Left populist propaganda is exploited, at every opportunity, even an absurd caricature a very cowardly and arrogant Queen Elizabeth 11, with corgis, selfishly pushing her way to the VIP survivor section ahead of the young and poor! The movie ends by gloating that justice is served by the nations of the northern hemisphere being reduced to poverty, and righteous Africa becomes the only viable continent.

Show a single instance of manipulation on this scale by any sceptic??

It is my contention that all logical thought, and spirit of honest enquiry into global warming, has disappeared under a massive (if well intentioned) concurrence of opinion that has far more to do with Faith than Fact.

The Copenhagen Talk Fest, will produce no actual useful results, opportunistic politicians such as Gordan Brown, Kevin Rudd etc will grandstand to the popular wisdom, and god help any poor sceptic with the huge crowd of demonstrators outside baying for blood and anarchy.

I guess my real concern, is that when the bubble bursts and the emperor is exposed as having now clothes, then we will have wasted all the enthusiasm, and capital, for more rational planning and investment in the development of EV's.

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jdh2550_1
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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

marcopolo wrote:

John as usual, a very measured response. Although climate change advocates may be right when they compare their demands for action as being a similar to the insurance motto. "Better to have and not need, than not have, and need". But it's also a little like the man selling elephant deterrent machines door to door, when a doubting prospects objects, "but there are no elephants in New Hampshire!" the salesman replies gleefully, 'See how effective my machines are?!" (thanks, Marx brothers). If Professor Plimer is correct, we are all been led down a very expensive blind alley.

Yes, but...

(a) it's not really that expensive. Yes there are some truly big numbers being thrown around - but that's all money that will get pumped through our economies and that's a good thing in and of itself. Also, I've not seen those numbers offset by the efficiency gains associated with them. Finally - perhaps it can be seen as a re-distribution of wealth's from the Exxon's of the world to the "clean tech" companies - that's not right or wrong it's just business. I'm sure carriage builders were decimated by the invention of the motor car - but that's progress.

(b) the payback includes reduced oil consumption and cleaner air regardless or not of whether it was "essential to save the human race"

(c) it's a little more likely to occur than elephants in New Hampshire. Tsk, tsk (or perhaps tusk, tusk!!) - do you really mean to suggest that global warming is really a scam to sell elephant deterrent machines?

So, let's JFDI and get it over with!

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MikeB
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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7561

"What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?"

We send $400,000,000,000 out of this country every year, to pay for oil. Can you imagine how much better our economy would be if we kept that money at home?

Can you imagine how hard the oil companies are going to fight to prevent that? They have essentially unlimited funds to spread FUD, and it's working.

Marcopolo, there is no scientific controversy about the human-cause of our current warming. None whatsoever. If you read the peer-reviewed scientific journals for the last 10 years, you won't find a single paper showing any evidence that AGW isn't real or that it's not a big problem. Not a single paper. The reason for that is simple: the actual evidence became overwhelming more than a decade ago, and anyone who has access to most of the evidence cannot remain unconvinced. Sure, there's plenty of controversy being published, and a constant stream of critical evaluation of the evidence, but the basic scenario is entirely settled: humans are putting huge amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, concentrations of those gasses are rising to levels not seen in millions of years, those gasses are guaranteed to increase global average temperatures by trapping heat from the sun. Unless the basic laws of physics are overturned, those are now facts. The controversy that remains is: how fast will it warm up, and how hot will it get, given a specific rate of increase or decrease of those gasses? And the upper and lower limits for that question have been mostly settled, they are now working on getting the decimal places right. The secondary questions are about the speed and impacts of various feedbacks, such as melting arctic permafrost adding massive amounts of methane into the air, causing warming to speed up dramatically, causing more permafrost to melt, etc. The tertiary questions are all about what type of damage we'll see, given a specific level of warming.

The problem is that the vast majority of non-scientists aren't in a position to evaluate the evidence directly, there's too much of it and some of it requires specialized knowledge or skills. (Example: We have a million-year temperature record, with a yearly resolution, from antarctic ice cores, but the temps are recorded as oxygen isotope ratios rather than thermometer readings.) So there has been room for the oil and coal interests to lie like dirty dogs in order to confuse the issue. This is a textbook repetition of what the tobacco companies did when the evidence became conclusive about the health hazards of smoking, including the hiring of the exact same public relations firms to get the message out.

So the media presents the issue as if there's a question about it, as if some level of skepticism was warranted. But that's a total failure of the media, not an accurate representation of what the evidence supports. If you examine the actual arguments of the deniers, they're total crap. Some say there is no warming at all, others say the warming is purely natural forces (which is entirely contradictory). Some idiots argue that CO2 is good for us, so we can't regulate it. All of these are trivial to destroy with a little scientific knowledge, but the average person on the street doesn't have such knowledge, and the media persists in repeating the arguments as if they had any validity at all.

You are right, skepticism is warranted. But scientists are inherently skeptical, that's the nature of the job. Their entire life is centered on a 'show me the evidence' methodology, and they are very resistant to anything that challenges the status quo. However, a skeptic always sides with the evidence; a climate denier is always siding against the evidence. And the evidence became overwhelming more than a decade ago.

The bigger problem recently has been that the scientific community has been too skeptical, too conservative. What we've seen recently is that every single model has been wrong, but wrong on the conservative side. Glaciers are melting now faster than was predicted 5 years ago, and they appear to be decades ahead of schedule. Pollution levels are rising faster, the ice caps are melting faster, global average temperatures are rising faster than predicted. Reality is turning out to be far more dangerous than was expected, and that's got people very worried.

Why are they worried? It's not about saving the planet, since the planet is not actually going anywhere.

Most people talk about financial impacts. For example, an insurance industry study identified that $23 Trillion dollars worth of coastal property is at risk by 2050 if the ocean rises 0.5 meters. Now, insurance companies have a huge financial motivation to get that number right, since they go broke if they are wrong in either direction. Frankly, a $23 Trillion loss is enough to seriously harm our whole economy; and that's going to affect everybody, no matter how far from the ocean they live.

However, the more dire problem is that most of the predicted problems of climate change all combine together to reduce our ability to grow food crops. A study in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) indicated "corn, soy and cotton yields could fall by 30 to 46 percent in this time under the slowest warming scenarios – if greenhouse gas emissions are cut to 50 percent of 1991 levels by 2050 – and by 63 to 82 percent if emissions continue at current levels." Other predicted affects of warming include long term drought, lower soil moisture, heavier rain events, and invasive species. Again, all of these factors are not good for crop yields.

Now I don't know about you, but a potential drop of basic grain crops of 82% scares the crap out of me. If world populations continue to rise (The UN predicts 9 billion by 2050), and food production drops dramatically, we aren't in for just rising prices at the grocery store, we're in for a massive fight. Frankly, striving to keep warming on the slow track (30-46% reduction), rather than the current path (63-82% reduction) seems to be a damn good investment.

Melting glaciers don't seem like a big deal to most people, but the ones in the Himalayas feed rivers in China, India, and Pakistan. And those rivers provide irrigation water for crops that feed roughly a billion people. Those glaciers buffer the water in the river, so that it flows all summer long, rather than just in the spring melt season, and those glaciers may be entirely gone in 10-20 years. Again, I really don't want to see the fighting when a billion people are going hungry in a very poor and unstable part of the world. The US military has declared global warming to be a national security issue due to exactly this type of scenario.

Part of the problem is that this is slow change, and humans are very crappy at planning far in advance, or recognizing slowly growing issues. Our economy is driven by quarterly earnings reports, and is unable to plan for 5 years of change, not to mention 20 years. But the climate has massive inertia, so it'll cost far less to change now than it will in 20 years. In fact, it may become physically impossible to change our path in 20 years, once certain feedbacks have kicked in.

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marcopolo
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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

John, once again you have caught me out! How the hell did you find out about my partnership with Monty Burns in Global Elephant Deterrent Machine INC...?

Mike, Written like a true believer! But you know, despite what you say, Professor Plimer, is a credible academic, not a just crank, (well, not more so than most scientists). Not a single voice raised in opposition? Well certainly not in East Anglia! There certainly have been credible voices raised in examination of the exact nature and effects of global warming.These are simply abused or discounted by the passion of believers like yourself.

I am not necessarily disputing the correctness of the mainstream view, BUT what does alarm me is the hype and fanaticism, which stifles any real opposition observation. Although, general scientific consensus can accurately be reached on many issues, global warming seems to have turned into a faith based belief, with a massive vested interest lobby and zealot type adherents.

Those of us who are old enough to remember the Club of Rome and it's widely accepted, but completely erroneous, predictions will retain a certain scepticism in consensus science.

I know you say any questioning opposition spring from the false propaganda of the all powerful oil companies. But if this is so, the PR people are doing a really ineffective job. In comparison, look at the massive and vastly mobilised Global Warming lobby! Are you really saying there should be no debate?

Why do you feel the need to employ such emotive labels as Climate Denier ? This conjurers a very sinister connotations, perhaps we should enact laws to prevent climate denial?

I am not a noble scientist, but my legal training tells me that humans are herd animals and love to invent new faiths. My training also teaches me that the worst kind of logic comes from stating with a proposition and then proving it. This type of thinking is evident in your desire to control the debate on your own terms, IE;

Quote:

the actual evidence became overwhelming more than a decade ago, and anyone who has access to most of the evidence cannot remain unconvinced. Sure, there's plenty of controversy being published, and a constant stream of critical evaluation of the evidence, but the basic scenario is entirely settled: humans are putting huge amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, concentrations of those gasses are rising to levels not seen in millions of years, those gasses are guaranteed to increase global average temperatures by trapping heat from the sun. Unless the basic laws of physics are overturned, those are now facts. The controversy that remains is: how fast will it warm up, and how hot will it get, given a specific rate of increase or decrease of those gasses? And the upper and lower limits for that question have been settled

Wow! that would appear to be starting at 'B" to get to 'Z', by ignoring pesky old 'A'. It's natural for humans to believe passionately in causes. We equate dedication, greater good, and saving nature, as moral virtues. We have come to equate industry as morally harmful. But these are just perceptions, based more on emotion than logic. Ask the man in the street if he believes the introduction of automobile pollution in cities has increased the level of harm to human health, and he will reply "Of course!Everyone knows that!" Yet this is not true, prior to cars, the city of London recorded 30,000 child death p.a., due to horse encephalitis!

Evidence exists of many periods of global warming, without any drastic consequences. These inconvenient examples are swept away in the powerful, faith based, global warming lobby's rush to secure large scale funding, and recognition.

Remember, a righteous intolerant mob, is still just a mob.

You say that there is no element of doubt, Armageddon is coming, only drastic action can save human existence. You may be right! But, I wonder, with such passionate conviction, can you honestly say you have remained objective? Or are you to busy building the Ark ( or elephant deterrent machine)?

John is right, new technologies will emerge. I would argue that new technology will emerge because it is more convenient and attractive, than faith based science and political opportunism.

R

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MikeB
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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

Marcopolo, you accuse me of being a believer, of having faith. Nothing can be further from the truth. Personally, I detest faith. Faith is a belief held with confidence not supported by evidence, and is entirely irrational. It is the antithesis of science, and I am a scientist by temperment if not profession. Global warming is not based on faith, not within the scientific community. And by claiming that it is, you are insulting thousands of professional scientists, calling them utterly incompetent. On what evidence do you justify such an insult?

Evidence exists of many periods of global warming, without any drastic consequences. These inconvenient examples are swept away in the powerful, faith based, global warming lobby's rush to secure large scale funding, and recognition.

This is a classic denier line, and it's blatantly false. Past climate change is studied day in and day out, analyzed in breathtaking detail, for the clues it gives us about present circumstances, which is the exact opposite of 'swept away'. And claiming that there were no drastic consequences is also false, unless you don't count 90% extinction events as 'drastic'. The last time CO2 levels were at their present levels, dinosaurs roamed the earth and most of the central US was a shallow ocean. Surely having oceans hundreds of feet higher than current levels would cause some sort of economic problems for people living underwater?

Natural forces have controlled climate throughout history, and those natural forces are studied in detail. But history never before had industrialized man in the picture, so it's absurd to claim that man can't have an effect now because he didn't in the past. We're in the deepest solar minimum in a century, but temperatures are just below the record high. We're just exiting a strong La Nina, but temps are just below a record high. The primary force that pushes us into and out of ice ages is resonances in the Earth's orbit, but we're 6,000 years into a cooling period with 23,000 years to go, and we're still just below record highs. The 2000-2009 decade is going to be the warmest recorded, and the primary cause is the one that's trivially proven to exist in the laboratory: increasing greenhouse gasses.

And you have no idea about the lobbying funds involved. I saw a listing of lobbyist spending for both sides recently, and the entire environmental lobby has less than 1/3rd of the money of merely the first oil interest on the list. The money spent by Exxon alone is staggering, and there had to have been 20-30 oil & coal groups on the list. The final totals were at least 10:1 against the environmentalists. The only reason that they have a chance is that raw facts are on their side.

Ian Pilmer is a professor of GEOLOGY. There is, in fact, no question that he's a fraud:
http://desmogblog.com/ian-plimer-exposed-fraud

From Tim Lambert's Deltoid blog:

"Ian Plimer's performance in his debate with Monbiot has to be seen to be believed.

Rather than admit to making any error at all, Plimer ducks, weaves, obfuscates, recites his favourite catch phrase, tries to change the subject and fabricates some more. When confronted with the fact that the USGS says (backed with scientific papers) that human activities emit 130 times as much CO2 as volcanoes, Plimer claims that the USGS doesn't count underwater volcanoes.

When told that the USGS specifically said that they do count undersea volcanoes, Plimer invented a story about how the nature of the rocks under the ocean proves that there must be unobserved emissions. Needless to say, this is not acceptable conduct for a scientist."

The recent criminal behavior in East Angila was on behalf of the denial industry, not on behalf of the scientists. Hacking and posting private emails in public is a crime, ya know. But if you look at the actual stolen emails, reading every one like the AP has done, you'll find that the science itself is still intact and virtually untouched. The deniers have scrambled hard to make something out of it, but have utterly failed to find a single falsified fact, bribe or conspiracy. And for every study done at East Angila that might be questioned, there are 2 others that confirm the results using separate sources of data.

It takes a great deal of evidence to convince thousands of scientists that the world isn't as they though it was. It's even more difficult to fool them for decades as more and more evidence is accumulated. But when a vast and strong consensus is reached by the experts studying the issue, you'd have to be a stone cold moron to bet against it. Sure, the consensus might be wrong, but the odds of that are astronomical.

You talk about faith based beliefs, but I think you need to examine your own claims before attacking those of others. The facts are not supporting your position.

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MikeB
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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

http://www.countercurrents.org/masters081209.htm

Let's look at the amount of money being spent on lobbying efforts by the fossil fuel industry compared to environmental groups to see their relative influence. According to Center for Public Integrity, there are currently 2,663 climate change lobbyists working on Capitol Hill. That's five lobbyists for every member of Congress. Climate lobbyists working for major industries outnumber those working for environmental, health, and alternative energy groups by more than seven to one. For the second quarter of 2009, here is a list compiled by the Center for Public Integrity of all the oil, gas, and coal mining groups that spent more than $100,000 on lobbying (this includes all lobbying, not just climate change lobbying):
.
Chevron $6,485,000
Exxon Mobil $4,657,000
BP America $4,270,000
ConocoPhillips $3,300,000
American Petroleum Institute $2,120,000
Marathon Oil Corporation $2,110,000
Peabody Investments Corp $1,110,000
Bituminous Coal Operators Association $980,000
Shell Oil Company $950,000
Arch Coal, Inc $940,000
Williams Companies $920,000
Flint Hills Resources $820,000
Occidental Petroleum Corporation $794,000
National Mining Association $770,000
American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity $714,000
Devon Energy $695,000 Sunoco $585,000
Independent Petroleum Association of America $434,000
Murphy Oil USA, Inc $430,000
Peabody Energy $420,000
Rio Tinto Services, Inc $394,000
America's Natural Gas Alliance $300,000
Interstate Natural Gas Association of America $290,000
El Paso Corporation $261,000 Spectra Energy $279,000
National Propane Gas Association $242,000
National Petrochemical & Refiners Association $240,000
Nexen, Inc $230,000
Denbury Resources $200,000
Nisource, Inc $180,000
Petroleum Marketers Association of America $170,000
Valero Energy Corporation $160,000
Bituminous Coal Operators Association $131,000
Natural Gas Supply Association $114,000
Tesoro Companies $119,000
.
Here are the environmental groups that spent more than $100,000:
.
Environmental Defense Action Fund $937,500
Nature Conservancy $650,000
Natural Resources Defense Council $277,000
Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund $243,000
National Parks and Conservation Association $175,000
Sierra Club $120,000
Defenders of Wildlife $120,000
Environmental Defense Fund $100,000
.
If you add it all up, the fossil fuel industry outspent the environmental groups by $36.8 million to $2.6 million in the second quarter, a factor of 14 to 1. To be fair, not all of that lobbying is climate change lobbying, but that affects both sets of numbers. The numbers don't even include lobbying money from other industries lobbying against climate change, such as the auto industry, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, etc.

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

Well done, MikeB!

I've given up feeding the immutable trolls a while ago.....

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

Firstly, let me express my appreciation of the thought and careful research contained within your reply. I certainly do not count you or your opinions with the usual rantings of the Green left, and I sincerely thank you for sharing your knowledge. However, in reply I would invite to consider the following:

MikeB wrote:

Marcopolo, you accuse me of being a believer, of having faith. Nothing can be further from the truth. Personally, I detest faith. Faith is a belief held with confidence not supported by evidence, and is entirely irrational. It is the antithesis of science, and I am a scientist by temperment if not profession. Global warming is not based on faith, not within the scientific community. And by claiming that it is, you are insulting thousands of professional scientists, calling them utterly incompetent. On what evidence do you justify such an insult?

I judge by the emotive, passionate and intemperate language. The use of terms like 'climate denier' are hardly terms of scientific use.

Quote:

And you have no idea about the lobbying funds involved. I saw a listing of lobbyist spending for both sides recently, and the entire environmental lobby has less than 1/3rd of the money of merely the first oil interest on the list. The money spent by Exxon alone is staggering, and there had to have been 20-30 oil & coal groups on the list. The final totals were at least 10:1 against the environmentalists. The only reason that they have a chance is that raw facts are on their side.

Interesting that you only quote US statistics. Incidentally, these would appear to be only registered lobbyists, do you think its just possible that you may have left a few out of the equation? How about Greenpeace, etc.. endless books, websites, press articles, demonstrations, green political parties, etc? I'll grant you that these movements are hard to quantify in dollar terms, but it does seem that you are being very selective in the information you include to vindicate your position. Even a relatively small economy, like Australia, has a Federal Ministry for Climate Change, and together with the State Government counterparts budgets, represent a commitment of tens of billions world-wide. I wonder why you omit all the Hollywood films, propagandizing the GW cause. Count in those costs, at hundreds of millions of dollars, along with the thousands of other instances, and who has the greatest resources?. I only raise this as an example of the danger of bolstering a position with only those facts you find convenient! It is exactly this sort of thinking which climate critics cite as grounds for skepticism.

Quote:

Ian Pilmer is a professor of GEOLOGY. There is, in fact, no question that he's a fraud

Really? Last time I checked, Ian Plimer's, academic qualifications were honestly obtained, perhaps you have some information that he cheated to obtain his degrees? I would happily represent the gentleman in such a Libel action! You may not like his opinions, but fraud? Again, the emotive, bullying language

Quote:

"Ian Plimer's performance in his debate with Monbiot has to be seen to be believed. Rather than admit to making any error at all, Plimer ducks, weaves, obfuscates, recites his favourite catch phrase, tries to change the subject and fabricates some more. When confronted with the fact that the USGS says (backed with scientific papers) that human activities emit 130 times as much CO2 as volcanoes, Plimer claims that the USGS doesn't count underwater volcanoes.When told that the USGS specifically said that they do count undersea volcanoes, Plimer invented a story about how the nature of the rocks under the ocean proves that there must be unobserved emissions. Needless to say, this is not acceptable conduct for a scientist.

Yes I agree, the behavior of the journalist Monbiot toward the media unworldly, elderly Professor, was disgraceful! Monbiot, is an obnoxious media bully of the worst type, Plimer was cut off, badgered, talked over and misquoted, including Monbiots extraordinary claim that the Roman period was 4000 years ago! Now, this fact is pedantic, and obviously Monbiot made an unintentional slip of the tongue,, but Monbiot is so full of himself, that when his quarry made a similar gaff, he pounced on it with gleeful ridicule. Monbiot is a bigoted, sensationalist journalist of the worst type. However, I was very excited by Monbiot's gloating claim that he had "soundly thrashed", Plimer. Given the current proclivities of British public figures, I think Monbiot may be happier at the News of the World, than that bastion of the stiad left, the dear old Guardian!

Has Plimer made minor errors, or even drawn contestable conclusions? Probably, he is a very eccentric Australian, and you may say he deserved what he got, and he brings this sort of reaction on himself. But, does this sort of abusive debate really assist the ordinary man in the street to decide where he should spend his tax dollars? Much of Ian Plimer's work is of merit (if only because it raises issues) and to be dismissed so brusquely by a creature like Monbiot, was not a proud moment for the GW movement or a fair-minded media. The interview severely damaged the GM movement in the eyes of the general public and far from defeated, the professor gained much, probably unmerited, support in sympathy.

Quote:

The recent criminal behavior in East Angila was on behalf of the denial industry, not on behalf of the scientists. Hacking and posting private emails in public is a crime, ya know. But if you look at the actual stolen emails, reading every one like the AP has done, you'll find that the science itself is still intact and virtually untouched. The deniers have scrambled hard to make something out of it, but have utterly failed to find a single falsified fact, bribe or conspiracy.

.

Well now, it appears one mans whistle-blower is another man's criminal! Would you still be so law abiding if these were oil company executive leaks, and confessions of suppressing information?

Quote:

It takes a great deal of evidence to convince thousands of scientists that the world isn't as they though it was. It's even more difficult to fool them for decades as more and more evidence is accumulated. But when a vast and strong consensus is reached by the experts studying the issue, you'd have to be a stone cold moron to bet against it. Sure, the consensus might be wrong, but the odds of that are astronomical

This is a strong argument! Or is it? History has many examples of consensus being wrong, and sometimes very hard to dispel, especially with so much vested interest and reputations to protect.

Quote:

You talk about faith based beliefs, but I think you need to examine your own claims before attacking those of others. The facts are not supporting your position.

Actually, I am in the smug position of having no particular position either way on Global Warming. My real interest is the conduct and style of the debate. It would appear that anyone who dares to question the party line is accused of heresy, and pilloried in the most vicious manner. Now, as I say, I am not a scientist, but I have a dislike of the mob mentality, and the global warming movement has all the hallmarks of attracting such fanatics. I certainly I do not include the many moderate and rational GW supporters, or the observations contributed to this thread. Maybe I am old fashioned, but I still like the Norman Rockwell painting of the simple man expressing his views, with more educated men politely listening, not agreeing, but listening.

Copenhagen will end in confusion, for precisely this reason. The Governments who are the strongest GW supporters are at the Zenith of power and already a backlash is setting in with the general voter, not because the science is wrong, or due to big oil lobbying, but because of the distrust of the self-righteousness of the Green Movement. Also a healthy curiosity as who will pay for it all1 People tend to adopt causes as fads, and quickly drop them again, if there is no evidence of self benefit! Sad but true....

MIK,...remember even Trolls vote! It's the trolls you need to enlist to support change, not the Church Of the Committed Faithful. (just an observation), now I'll just knuckle off to play my drums. I know the world isn't flat! It is a huge disk, supported by four elephants, on top of great A'tuin.......

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

Actually, I am in the smug position of having no particular position either way on Global Warming

But you don't really seem to want to be persuaded either. Being agnostic on global warming is something like being agnostic on gravity, evolution and plate tectonics. Are you agnostic on those too (I realise at least some in the US are skeptical on the last two)? There comes a point when you are simply ignoring the facts.

The reason you are beginning to see a great number of people and institutions (even stuffy institutions in goverments), which agree that AGW exists, is because a consensus has been reached. That's pretty much the definition of a consensus. This process has been delayed, and is still being confused, by lobbying, as discussed above, but viewing it as a 'mob' is misleading at best.

Like MikeB I object to being desrcibed as a 'believer' and of having 'faith'. I haven't got religion: and that includes climate change belief, belief that LiFePO4 will be really popular in EVs, or any number of other opinions that I hold. Clearly without spending an enormous amount of time becoming a world expert on everything everywhere, you have to take many things you are told 'on faith', but that doesn't make it a religious belief, impervious to further evidence; it just makes it something you took on board.

I understand the mistrust of campaigners, goverment and mobs. I too try to avoid taking an opinion simply because everyone else is doing it, but if you aren't going to do that then you have to make some effort to educate yourself. So, read as widely as you can around the subject, and decide what seems likely to be true. Discuss it with your peers (I guess that's what you're doing here), and don't just be contrarian for the sake of it.

And finally I do think implying that Mike B used "emotive, passionate and intemperate language" is most unfair. His initial post was a very clear and measured statement of the basic situation. Read it again. If you find that too emotive and intemperate then, well, I don't see how you can ever be persuaded by reasonable people.

I will resist further responses on this thread, because I have observed elsewhere that you apear to enjoy arguing for the sake of it, and I really ought to be doing other things.

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

You can argue the above points until you're all blue in the face. But to me this says it all...

MikeB wrote:


"What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?"

Unless you have all your eggs in the fossil fuel basket I still say quit worrying about which side is "most correct" or "less corrupt" and simply start making the change away from fossil fuel. In the end the majority of the world will benefit from this change.

Here's another perspective: The oil age is coming to an end, just like the stone age, bronze age and iron age came to an end. I believe it was the head of the Saudi Oil Ministry that said "The stone age ended not for lack of stones". Last time I checked we still use stone today, we still use bronze and iron too. We will still use oil tomorrow - however, we'll use it in smarter ways - and that means we'll use less of it.

Exxon et al will have to re-invent themselves or die. They won't give up on oil without a fight - but they will eventually have to. It's just a matter of time.

Use your energy for positive change not to "prove the other side wrong".

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marcopolo
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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

wookey wrote:

I will resist further responses on this thread, because I have observed elsewhere that you appear to enjoy arguing for the sake of it, and I really ought to be doing other things.

Aw shucks, us simple folk, can kinda figure when you smarter folk are patronising us poor trolls! We are just basically contrarian for the sake of it, it goes along with along with our limited intelligence! Goodness me , gravity, evolution and plate tectonics, how will I ever cope?

Why are you so sensitive at being describled as true believers? It's at least accurate! If so why deny me the right to object being labeled with the cunning and insiduous term "climate denier".

The usage of such terms clearly fall into the definition of 'emotive, passionate and intemperate language'.

No response? Of course not! I note that you did not deign to adress a single issue, just contributed a patronising sneer!

In your fervour, I think you missed the point of my observation. My point was the widespread assumption that all the science is proven and therefore nothing is left to discuss or discover, that doesn't fit with the consencus wisdom, and anyone who dares to question will meet with a very curt response.

Hey, well my goodness doesn't that just descibe your last post? Ah well...

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

marcopolo wrote:

My point was the widespread assumption that all the science is proven and therefore nothing is left to discuss or discover, that doesn't fit with the consensus wisdom, and anyone who dares to question will meet with a very curt response.

Marcopolo - given the potential upside why do you care?

Peace, love and harmony are a wonderful goal - but not often achievable. So why push it?

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

jdh2550_1 wrote:

Peace, love and harmony are a wonderful goal - but not often achievable. So why push it?

Sigh, you are probably right,...but does this mean I must give up my flares and Scott McKenzie Records?

The real reason I push it, is because human history does not possess a very good record with earnest mass movements! Oh, such movements start with lofty and righteous purpose, but soon enter the 'intolerant of heretics phase' and progress to... well fill in the movement of your choice.

The agenda demanded by advocates of Climate change action would cause enormous disruption to economies and social engineering which will inevitably require Legislation to enforce. All to the good, argues the green GW lobby, such laws will only serve to punish the giant resource corporations while saving the environment and enriching the common man. Who, they say, would dare to be so contrary as to argue with such a popular and noble cause.

Ah, well.. gadzooks, who is that wretched cynical old heretic in the corner? Zounds!! It is that appalling old reprobate Marco, and his odious cronies, trampling the flower bed of idealism, reminding people of some really inconvenient truths!eg;

Human history teaches that such legislation seldom stays noble! It usually degenerates into oppression and bureaucracy, and results in achieving the opposite of its original intention. The phrase "revolution devours its own children first' is very apt.In the case of Climate Change legislation, the danger is enormous, not to the evil corporations, they always survive , but to the ordinary citizen.

It may sound extreme? Well it's the small freedoms that we lose first.

So yeah John, I do think it's important to push it, if only to create a debate where the unforeseen ramifications of may be examined. The GW lobby would argue that this is a luxury the world can't afford while the ship is sinking! Dissenters may argue that a lemming-like rush to the side will cause the ship to capsize. Who is right?

My point is that the passionate conviction 'true believers', leaves no room for alternate scenarios. Yet at Copenhagen we are being herded into an enormous social and legal revolution, on the basis of a great deal of enthusiasm and morality-faith based scientific propaganda, supported by an ill-informed media, and ignorant public.

My own experience of this type of environmental extremism is perhaps a micro-example.

I live in a prosperous leafy suburb, proud of its green credentials (recycling, water conserving, solar power etc..), We elected an earnest young mayor and well meaning green minded city council. In the name of protecting native birds and wild life, the city council passed an ordinance condemning the keeping of pet cats. The new by-law required owners to pay not only hefty registration fees, but 'maintain the animals inside or under control at all times' Heavy fines were imposed on that who failed to comply. (Sadly these penalties were usually exacted from the elderly, poorer members of the community, along with those in rental accommodation). (special law enforcement officers were employed to search and seize transgressing felines). Anyone who dared to suggest that the legislation was cruel, misconceived or impractical was denounced by the Green activists in a most viscous manner as environmental deniers. Preservation of the native bird population became a mantra of absolute acceptance! Green politics triumphed.

The result? A later study concluded that the reduction of the cat population had led to an explosion of introduced bird species, decimating the native bird population completely!

Meantime all that human misery, loss of small cicil liberties, and vast expenditure, left the Mayor and the green left unrepentant! Claiming that the removal of pet cats was a step toward animal liberation. I am proud to say that at that point, I, along with the majority of ratepayers, liberated our city from him and his council as Mayor! Oddly enough, the mayor had commissioned studies from a consensus of widely respected experts to support his legislation. (sounds familiar?).

But imagine such legislation on a massive world-wide scale? It is not the science that worries me, but the evidence of opportunism, and political abuse that causes concerns.

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

Well, marco's native/invasive bird/no cats allowed example cinched this debate on this forum for me.

Significant climate change due to human activity is very real!

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marcopolo
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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

Fourcycle wrote:

Well, marco's native/invasive bird/no cats allowed example cinched this debate on this forum for me.

Significant climate change due to human activity is very real!

I am always surprised that those who claim to care so much about the well being of the planet, care so little about the liberties of fellow citizens. Eco fanaticism, is just as intolerant as all other forms of fanaticism. My humble example, was to illustrate the difficulties of implementing change and dealing with opposition in a democratic manner.

Copenhagen has ended, and, as I predicted, proved to be a pointless and very expensive talk-fest. Incredibly predictable, (well, with the exception of the always entertaining Hugo Chavez) and very politically opportunistic. The politicians who attended, may have to reassess if GW is the vote winner it was two years ago. Opinion polls in most developed democracies show public considerable weariness with GW since the failure of Copenhagen and Kyoto. A reaction of alarm and scepticism has been growing in many electorates, as the realisation of how much GW action will cost, and more importantly who will pay, dawns on the average tax payer. Popular support for GW action will start to disintegrate without, either dramatic evidence of GW, or brilliant political leadership. Neither are likely to eventuate in the short term!

Since I am heavily involved in Alternate Energy Investment, this concerns me greatly. How do I continue to persuade investors to risk funds in long term development projects, if this attitude becomes prevalent? Although I am confident that EV development is now so far advanced, that it will soon compete with oil on its own terms as a viable economic alternative, it is not easy to convey this message in competition will other more lucrative investment opportunities.

It is interesting to observe on the Biodiesel Forum, the increasing disillusionment of many of the once very dedicated supporters to the more extreme environmental causes.This is probably due to having a less viable fuel alternative.

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

marcopolo wrote:
jdh2550_1 wrote:

Peace, love and harmony are a wonderful goal - but not often achievable. So why push it?

...
So yeah John, I do think it's important to push it,

OK, I'll play (anyone who uses gadzooks in his post is sure to garner my interest! ;-) )

I believe there are at least three separate arguments going on here:

1) The Global Warming "movement" has shifted into a "group think" mentality where any "legitimate" dissenting voice is vilified and that's a bad thing.
2) The "evidence" on global warming is not well understood and has not been well debated.
3) The proposed reaction may be more harmful than good

Let's take each of those in turn:

1) I wholeheartedly agree that the drowning out of legitimate alternative points of view is unhelpful and can quickly become downright scary. Folks who place their unquestioning faith in "science" should do a little googling on "eugenics". I'm not comparing the GW movement with Eugenics - but I do put forth that abhorrent "scientific based" ideas (but ultimately seriously flawed) can gain popular momentum. However, has GW really got to this stage? MP - in your opening post you gave one example that is open to a certain amount of interpretation. Can you offer others? Is it possible that we give too much emphasis to the "fringe" on either end of the GW belief spectrum?

2) For those of us who aren't scientists involved in the study of the data all we can do is rely on a sampling of data presented to us. There are far more of those samples that conclude that GW is man-made and that it is a risk than samples that say something different. Thus, it would seem reasonable for a reasonable person to conclude that GW is "real". I don't think media bias is an issue - I think misplaced attempts at media fairness is at issue. The fringe gets as much coverage as the centrist views - after all climate science is boring. The fringe is highly entertaining - on any side of the issue. The more preposterous the better.

3) I think worrying too much about the proposed impact of legislation is somewhat premature. Using the US "overhaul" of the health care industry for comparison - what started out looking like it could bring major change has already been "watered down" significantly. There are many powerful interests involved that have proven very capable of defending themselves and not being steamrollered into a completely adverse situation. What's true for health care in the US (powerful lobbyists) is a hundred times truer for energy companies on a global scale (I particularly like OPEC's claim that we should compensate them if we use less oil! How's that for corporate welfare???)

Marcopolo - you also engage in the usual, tired rhetoric of populism that might appear to be summed up as "the liberal tree huggers just want to punish the evil corporations". There's nothing fact based in your piece. If you wish to raise the quality of the debate over GW then bring some facts to the table. If you want to opine about public sentiment that's OK too - but that's a much more difficult debate to "win" because why is one sentiment based argument better than another? If your goal is to move past "vilification" to "honest debate" then you may want to examine your own apparent biases.

Ding. Ding. Round 3,562. Queensbury (or is it Queensberry?) rules please gentlemen!

;-)

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

marcopolo wrote:

I am always surprised that those who claim to care so much about the well being of the planet, care so little about the liberties of fellow citizens.

As I said before, the planet isn't going anywhere. It's going to be here, and mostly covered in green and blue, for hundreds of millions of years after humans are gone. The core of the problem is that physics doesn't give a damn about human liberties.

I think everyone will agree that people have the right to eat. However, what exactly do you think is going to happen if world population rises by 50% (UN prediction for 2050) and then world food production drops by 50% (mid-range estimate from PNAS study)?

I don't care what you think people's liberties ought to be, someone is going to go hungry. In fact, the number of very hungry people is going to be counted in the hundreds of millions, if not billions. And when very hungry people can be counted in numbers that large, they start to do unpleasant things, things that tend to violate other people's basic rights. If you're worried about mob mentalities, that's the mob to fear. If you live in a wealthy country and make reasonable money, you probably don't need to fear food shortages, but that just makes it more likely that the mob's anger will be targeted towards you.

This is not hysterical scare-mongering, this is a very real potential problem. A great number of very serious people (including US Military planners) are becoming concerned about exactly this issue. Will it happen? I don't know, but I sure don't want to go down a path where it's likely, not as long as there are reasonable alternatives around. Whenever human actions get involved, there's a great deal of uncertainty predicting the future. But the core of the problem is simple physics, and that's much easier to predict and understand, though it leaves no room for compromise or negotiation.

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

marcopolo wrote:

Gimme a break, the media is a huge Global warming supporter, followed by the entire academic and educational fraternity!

Oh no!!! What would happen to this planet if we for once listened to the educated, intelligent people, instead of the moronic lobbyists and CEO's?? Hilarious, although not unexpected, considering the source.

marcopolo
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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

Ho Ho Ho, and a Happy Whatever Seasonal Celebration to all, ..

Copenhagen, has come and gone and lived up to (or down to) everyones expectations.

jdh2550_1 wrote:

1) I wholeheartedly agree that the drowning out of legitimate alternative points of view is unhelpful and can quickly become downright scary. Folks who place their unquestioning faith in "science" should do a little googling on "eugenics". I'm not comparing the GW movement with Eugenics - but I do put forth that abhorrent "scientific based" ideas (but ultimately seriously flawed) can gain popular momentum. However, has GW really got to this stage? MP - in your opening post you gave one example that is open to a certain amount of interpretation. Can you offer others? Is it possible that we give too much emphasis to the "fringe" on either end of the GW belief spectrum?

John that's exactly what I mean!In every public debate, most theories are open to interpretation! This equally applies to the corruption of scientific opinion,(opinion not fact). For instance, suppose an obscure study with a undisclosed bias, influences a particular interest group. This group then spends a great deal of time and money to support the original theory. Once this 'scientific study' fits into a particular ideology, the flaws, methodology of the original study,(and usually the study itself), are completely forgotten.

Subsequent studies and a canvassing of expert opinion have shifted the debate further down the line. The established parameters of the debate are now so advanced, that anyone questioning the validity of the original premise, is considered a tedious crank! My problem with GW science, is why a body of scientific studies have been so quickly adopted to replace a moral/economic ideological base which disappeared with the collapse of Leftist economic theories.

This is not to say that GW science lacks validity, or GW supporters lack integrity, but it doesn't make it right either.

Quote:

2) For those of us who aren't scientists involved in the study of the data all we can do is rely on a sampling of data presented to us. There are far more of those samples that conclude that GW is man-made and that it is a risk than samples that say something different. Thus, it would seem reasonable for a reasonable person to conclude that GW is "real". I don't think media bias is an issue - I think misplaced attempts at media fairness is at issue. The fringe gets as much coverage as the centrist views - after all climate science is boring. The fringe is highly entertaining - on any side of the issue. The more preposterous the better.

Agreed!, your points, as always, seem sensible and valid! Except for one minor exception, GW is a not one-off event! (grapes in Greenland etc). It is very easy to say that because man creates climate harmful substances, and GW is caused by climate harmful substances, Man is causing GW. The same logic can be applied to meat, cats eat meat, dogs eat meat, therefore dogs are cats! My illustration may seem simplistic, but with just a small error in interpretation, I have irreparably corrupted the concept at the beginning.

Quote:

too much about the proposed impact of legislation is somewhat premature. Using the US "overhaul" of the health care industry for comparison - what started out looking like it could bring major change has already been "watered down" significantly. There are many powerful interests involved that have proven very capable of defending themselves and not being steamrollered into a completely adverse situation. What's true for health care in the US (powerful lobbyists) is a hundred times truer for energy companies on a global scale (I particularly like OPEC's claim that we should compensate them if we use less oil! How's that for corporate welfare???)

Yeah, I love the irony in OPEC's interpretation! John, like a lot of US citizens, you tend to see GW through the prism of US policy! But the US is not the only player in the GW debate. In fact a very great number of the 'GW experts' and the movement itself is european or world based.

Quote:

Marcopolo - you also engage in the usual, tired rhetoric of populism that might appear to be summed up as "the liberal tree huggers just want to punish the evil corporations". There's nothing fact based in your piece. If you wish to raise the quality of the debate over GWEuropean then bring some facts to the table. If you want to opine about public sentiment that's OK too - but that's a much more difficult debate to "win" because why is one sentiment based argument better than another? If your goal is to move past "vilification" to "honest debate" then you may want to examine your own apparent biases.

True, true, I plead guilty! No matter how hard I try, the old cliches just pop out! But my position is not really to argue the science of GWcliché's. I am not suffiently qualified. Neither am I concerned with the fate of large oil corporations! They are quite capable of defending themselves, and if not, I don't really give a damn.

However, I believe that it is useful to analyse the motivations and ideologies behind of the proponents in the debate to discover how valid is premise by which some science is accepted. Would you agree that if a government appoints a Minister for GWsufficiently, funds a vast budget to study how to save society from impending disaster, it objectivity may be impaired. The comparision exists with the defnce budget. Do you think that any decenting scientific study would be granted funding? Isn't it more likely (in the public good)that opinion will be solicited from those experts who suit the govt case? Preminence will be given to those cooperating acedemics, along with with careers and well-funded facilites? However, it is interesting to note that the eccentric Professor Plimer, has been vilified, primarly by journalists, idelogues,and government polititions, rather than the Australian scientific establishment.

My concerns are more humble! I believe that the GE movement, and indeed the entire environmental movement is in danger of sliding into intolerent Puritanism!This is understanable given the passionate nature of there supporters and the level of comittment to the cause. Do I really need to quote examples of well-intentioned human movements, that decended into catastrophic disasters. My humble example of environmental facicim, may have met with dirision by such as Fourcycle, but I ask you, did those whose small lives were saddened or suffered a pointless loss of civil liberty, really needed to be so remorselessly crucified on the alter of environmental correctness? Look around you, liberty is not lost in one quick blow, but from the slow erosion of small liberties.

Mike,

Quote:

I think everyone will agree that people have the right to eat. However, what exactly do you think is going to happen if world population rises by 50% (UN prediction for 2050) and then world food production drops by 50% (mid-range estimate from PNAS study)?I don't care what you think people's liberties ought to be, This is not hysterical scare-mongering, this is a very real potential problem. A great number of very serious people (including US Military planners) are becoming concerned about exactly this issue. Will it happen? I don't know, but I sure don't want to go down a path where it's likely, not as long as there are reasonable alternatives around. Whenever human actions get involved, there's a great deal of uncertainty predicting the future. But the core of the problem is simple physics, and that's much easier to predict and understand, though it leaves no room for compromise or negotiation.

Just two points, in reply.

1. The population v/s food problem is a vey old scaremongering debate, constantly proved wrong. The 'proven science based argument', dates back the the late sixties, early seventies, and was popularised by the now discreadited leftist think-tank, 'The Club of Rome'. The UN adopted as gospel,(along with most'scientific experts") the proposition that 1977 would be the "Year the Stork Passed the Plough'! Long term, world famine was unavoidable without drstic action. Well, in reality, without drastic action, 1978 was a year of massive surpluses! Hmm... Ok.. real bummer.. the old scientific prophecy didn't happen? Weeell, let'see, oh yeah.. lets add a new factor. Thats it! Global Warming will cause massive food shortages!

Drastic Action, Drastic Action!!!

But wait! What, if like last time, GW doesn't create Catastrophe? No problem! Just claim without drastic action, it would have! (See pachyderm removal machine). Great!

2. Less population? Now just how do you do that? Who decides who will and will not have children?

Hey, that's it Dave! US military thinkers!! Should still have old George in the White House! No problem!

"Vot's that Mr President? No problem! Ve do haf the Neutron bomb?" Yes sir, the Doctors, right. No trouble, Mr President, Dr Strangelove tells me we c'n just create a few 'accidents'! Why sure, Mr President, Ah like the food too, but sir, since we ain't gonna hit Taiwan, it don't really matter? Yes sir, the CIA tell me the food very similar! No sir those are the Japanese.. No that,, well y'all just leave it to us! Hell, while we at it, we c'n do a lil 'adjustin' all over the place! No Mr President, Ah'm sure all these 'regrettable' mishaps will not hurt your re-election chances! Oh hell sir , we c'n include a few US States, if ya wish? Yes sir, ole Randy Newman is do'on a great job over at here at the Pentagon"! (apologies to the great Stanley Kubrick)

Or then again, maybe not the best people to consult!

Robert,

Quote:

Oh no!!! What would happen to this planet if we for once listened to the educated, intelligent people, instead of the moronic lobbyists and CEO's?? Hilarious, although not unexpected, considering the source.

Careful Robert, us knuckle headed joe's down here at Moe's, might just put down our brew, 'n' c'mon up there in our 18 wheelers, (see, we can count)and ... oh wait that's right, I remember, weren't you the fella who told us that CEO's had to be highly educated?

The real problem, Robert, is which "highly educated, intelligent' persons we listen to? For guys like you, the choice is easy, anyone who agrees with you! But, well for the rest of us Fox TV viewers, it ain't so easy.

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

marcopolo wrote:

The same logic can be applied to meat, cats eat meat, dogs eat meat, therefore dogs are cats!

How dare you! Cats are much smarter than dogs. (now let's debate this)

Quote:

John, like a lot of US citizens, you tend to see GW through the prism of US policy! But the US is not the only player in the GW debate. In fact a very great number of the 'GW experts' and the movement itself is european or world based.

What, there's a rest of the world? I thought we were the only ones here??? When did this happen? Actually, this is quite ironic because I'm actually British by birth and American by choice. Strange, huh? ;-)

I'm aware that the "green movement" actually has more traction in places other than the US. I suspect that's because our prior administration put a lot of effort into information control of reports coming out of NASA on global warming (that's not a conspiracy theory but a well documented fact - the "conspiracy" is in the interpretation of the reason for the act - not the act itself). Well, that and the fact that we have cheap petrol over here and we love burning it in extravagant ways...

I simply used the US as a useful example of why I don't expect a "green washing" to happen without a rigorous debate from all those looking to protect an interest.

I don't really disagree with anything you've said about the "overly zealous" nature of the debate. It's just that your argument is one-sided. No more one-sided than what you're arguing against. But one-sided never the less. Both sides have public agendas and hidden agendas. In public debate both sides cherry-pick their facts. Both have attention grabbing personalities that will say anything to further their cause (their cause being self-promotion for fun and profit).

You could apply most of your arguments either way - yet you choose not to. Why? Are you biased? (answer: yes, we're all biased).

Oh well.

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

jdh2550 wrote:

How dare you! Cats are much smarter than dogs. (now let's debate this)

Agreed! As the owner of a 22 year old feline, it is easy to see who really owns who(USA)whom(UK)!.

Quote:

Well, that and the fact that we have cheap petrol over here and we love burning it in extravagant ways...

Very true, also US vast distances, over wide roads, huge suburbs, with large individual housing, along with cheap cars on even cheaper credit, has encouraged the US love affair with large fast cars. (followed by that most ludicrous of all cars, the Urban SUV.) Canada, Australia, are very similar!

Quote:

I don't really disagree with anything you've said about the "overly zealous" nature of the debate. It's just that your argument is one-sided.

Not quite. I don't believe I am one sided, in the science part of the debate. I can't be biased. I really don't possess sufficient scientific knowledge to form an expert opinion/bias. (If I were biased, it would be in favour of GW). I guess I am less concerned with the conservative side of the debate, simply because it displays a more polite and reasonable debating technique. This is not to say that conservative supporters are on the side of the Angels! Or even correct! Just less abusive and fanatical. I would be just as critical of any conservative commentator or 'expert', claiming, categorically, that all GW science is the lies of charlatans, a deliberately constructed conspiracy, and all GW supporters are agents of the devil. (or Murdoch....hmm...same thing)

But the conservatives do not employ emotive offensive terms like "Climate Denier" etc, and very little debate into the methodology of Global warming science seems to be occurring. An obvious and reasonable explanation could be that with GW, like evolution, the science has become so well established as to attract little rational opposition!

If this is the case, why is all, (even the most harmless)of opposing analysis, howled down and stifled with such vitriolic ferociously? The most vicious attacks on heretics to the GW cause comes from the same old faces (Monbiot included), who seem have adopted the Green GW cause as a method of regaining political relevance. (..O, our Red Flag, is turning Green!)

This not to denigrate the entire GW movement! I recognise GW includes an impressive array of eminent and highly reputable supporters, not just from the science community, but all walks of life, including industry. The integrity and sincerity of such respected figures, provides a great deal of credence for GW acceptance. Unfortunately, GW supporters also include people whose arguments have more common with a moral/faith based conversation, or socialist left agenda, than logical and rational, scientific reasoning based examination.

Quote:

You could apply most of your arguments either way - yet you choose not to. Why? Are you biased? (answer: yes, we're all biased).

John, you're absolutely correct! I could apply the arguments either way, but then I would be conducting my own debate with myself! I am simply attempting to achieve a little balance, and stimulate enquiry into the methodology of what has become an accepted position without sufficient analysis. The advocates of GW, hardly need my arguments to support the GW cause! My concern is more that there has been very little public challenge to the "everyone knows Man-made GW's true' position!

My humble anecdote of Green Power abuse (cat v/s bird), was carefully selected to see what reaction it would attract. The the response was typical of the passion employed by GW supporters to self righteously decry all those who do not trust a "the end justifies the means mentality". that appear to justify much of GW activism.

John, as I said, I am not a scientist. Lawyers are trained to see a minimum of 3 sides to every question, (thus ensuring the acrimony of all! Not to worry, it's compensated in the fees) But the old maxim "who benefits' is worth considering when listening to any testimony.

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

marcopolo wrote:

I guess I am less concerned with the conservative side of the debate, simply because it displays a more polite and reasonable debating technique.

Are you saying that calling the entire concept of global warming a hoax, as Senator Inhofe does, is polite and reasonable? How about those that think it's nothing but a massive conspiracy, and the data is fabricated or destroyed? Frankly, that's not polite or reasonable. Or what about all those people saying that college professors have a greater financial motivation to lie than, say, oil company executives? Is that really a reasonable addition to the debate?

By being less concerned with the conservative side of the debate, you're missing a huge piece of the problem.

marcopolo wrote:

But the conservatives do not employ emotive offensive terms like "Climate Denier" etc, and very little debate into the methodology of Global warming science seems to be occurring. An obvious and reasonable explanation could be that with GW, like evolution, the science has become so well established as to attract little rational opposition!

The parallel with evolution is spot on. The number of biologists who doubt evolution is somewhere below 1% (there's always a few crackpots around). But the evolution deniers have managed to convince somewhere over 50% of americans that evolution is false. The number of climate scientists who doubt anthropogenic global warming is somewhere below 2%, but the climate deniers have managed to convince somewhere around 50% of americans that the science isn't yet settled.

Legitimate debates about methodology are happening, but they happen in the place they are supposed to happen: scientific journals and conferences. Have you read a science journal lately? Have you attended a conference? Do you have any idea about what pieces of the scientific picture are settled, and what pieces are actively being debated? I do, but I suspect you don't.

marcopolo wrote:

If this is the case, why is all, (even the most harmless)of opposing analysis, howled down and stifled with such vitriolic ferociously? The most vicious attacks on heretics to the GW cause comes from the same old faces (Monbiot included), who seem have adopted the Green GW cause as a method of regaining political relevance. (..O, our Red Flag, is turning Green!)

The reason that the 'conservative' side, as you named it, gets hit with terms like 'climate denier', is that their arguments are almost entirely non-scientific. In fact, many of their arguments are so resoundingly bad that they don't even approach the level of being simply wrong. Again, the parallel with evolution is a very accurate one, except that the climate deniers have 100 times more money promoting their ridiculous arguments. And, if these arguments are effective at convincing people to take no action, then they cannot be considered 'harmless', given the scope of potential damage.

I've spent quite a bit of time watching evolution/creation debates on various forums, and the pattern of similarity is amazing. The creationists start with their conclusion and simply become unable to even acknowledge evidence that they are wrong. I've watched one guy spend 3 years trying to argue that radiometric C14 dates couldn't possibly be right, but he was utterly unable to even address the fact that multiple calibration curves (from ice cores, tree rings, lake sediments, etc) all generated identical results. He was simply blind to the obvious technique of calibrating one dating system using multiple other systems, and making sure they all produce similar values. And, of course, while he flailed about trying to explain why each method was clearly wrong, he couldn't even begin to suggest why they were all wrong in the exact same way, how an error in one method could have the same effect on a completely unrelated method. You cannot imagine how frustrating it is for carefully gathered scientific evidence to be utterly ignored by a clearly delusional crusader.

::

The climate denier crowd produces equally bad arguments. Inhofe leads the "it's a hoax" crowd. When presented with evidence that oil-rich governments like Kuwait and Venezuela have leadership roles in the IPCC process (and therefore veto power on the report contents), they have no reply. There are huge numbers in the "it's not actually getting warming" crowd, all of whom are apparently unable to read a simple chart of world average temperatures over the last 100 or 200 years, and are unable to consider the long-term retreat of glaciers around the world.

How many times have you heard someone observe a winter snowfall, and ask "it's snowing here, where's Al Gore?" Again, this argument is so bad, it's not even wrong. First, it's mistaking weather for climate. Second, world average temps have risen less than 1C so far, so only a snowfall just below the freezing point would have been converted to rain at just above the freezing point. Third, atmospheric humidity is controlled by temperature, so a warmer temp directly implies more moisture in the air, and thus a heavier snowfall (as long as it remains below freezing). Fourth, the basic prediction of global warming is not for uniform warming, it's for a more energetic, and thus chaotic, system. What we expect, and what we observe, is an increase in 'extreme' weather events, which means that record colds and record highs are going to continue to be set (though the number of record highs is increasing faster than the record lows). And fifth, it's attacking a messenger rather than producing a real argument.

Then there's the claims that CO2 is 'harmless', and shouldn't be regulated at all, which clearly ignores the hazard is one of concentration, not the existence of CO2 in the atmosphere. The greenhouse effect of CO2 and other gasses can be measured in the lab, and the results are so blindingly clear that they're indisputable by any reasonable person. And those are always followed by claims that a little warming is also harmless, and you'll just spend a little less money on heating your home in the winter. This argument seems to ignore the obvious problems with widespread crop failure and coastal property loss that I mentioned earlier in this thread.

::

After all of those ridiculously bad arguments, the next group is somewhat less bad, but equally wrong. They mostly work around the 'warming is happening, but it's natural' theme. These mostly assume that scientists are being honest, but have somehow overlooked an input to climate that the (completely non-scientific) denier has spotted. (Imagine a freshman trying to tell his Physics professor that he's forgotten about thermodynamics!) For example, they love to point out that water vapor is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, which is a true statement. Of course, water vapor in the atmosphere is called humidity, and humidity is controlled entirely by temperature (for climate purposes, the oceans provide an infinite source of water). But water moves in and out of the atmosphere in days, if not hours. So if the temperature is driven upwards very slightly by increasing CO2, then more water is pushed into the atmosphere, causing additional warming, causing additional water, causing additional warming. This is called a feedback loop, and it's a critical piece of the whole climate science picture. Feedbacks allow for relatively small changes in greenhouse gasses like CO2 to have relatively large impacts, and also show that the denier claim about ignoring water vapor is the complete opposite of reality.

I once had someone suggest to me that nobody was looking at the most obvious cause of warming: the Sun. This is particularly absurd since one of my hobbies is astronomy, and there's a huge number of astronomers studying the sun on a daily basis. The sun is, in fact, slowly increasing in intensity. However, this is a 10 billion year long process. The sun's intensity 4.5 billion years ago, when the earth was formed, was about 70% of it's current value. But you can see that this type of change is far too slow to explain a sudden spike in temps over the last century. However, the sun also has shorter changes in intensity, the most obvious ones are 11 and 22 year cycles, made most obvious by the sunspot patterns. However, direct observations of the sun shows that we're currently in the deepest solar minimum in a century, and temps are just below record highs, so this correlation appears to be disproven.

I know of another guy who claims that the earth got into and out of ice ages long before there were any SUVs around, thus global warming is false. Unfortunately for this claim, we know what causes ice ages. Some factors, like continental drift, are clearly not applicable. One of the stronger factors is Milankovitch cycles, periodic resonances in the Earth's orbit around the Sun. However, examining those cycles more closely, you'll find that we're 6,000 years in to a cooling period, with 23,000 years to go. Since we're getting warmer, not cooler, some other factor (greenhouse gasses, perhaps?) must be active and stronger.

The problem here is pretty simple: we can measure the greenhouse effect in the lab, and greenhouse gas concentrations are clearly rising. Any 'it's natural' claim has to somehow bypass basic physics in order to turn the blame away from greenhouse gasses. The most generous interpretation is that the effects of greenhouse gasses has been overestimated, that the feedbacks aren't as important as we think, but that's very rarely the argument that is presented.

::

So far, it's been nothing but massive FAIL on the part of the denier crowd. Their arguments do not deserve respect, they deserve ridicule. However, there are, finally, a very small number of actual scientific arguments to be made, ones that are not immediately obviously wrong. However, to date, none of them are supported by data enough to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. And that's the acid test that every scientific argument must pass. In order to be real, a legitimate argument would have to acknowledge that current warming is primarily driven by human produced greenhouse gasses, but that further warming would be halted by some type of negative feedback that had been neglected or underestimated. Alternately, a new carbon sink would need to be identified, one that would reduce atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses as fast as we are producing them. Scientists would be overjoyed to hear such news, but nobody seems to have found it yet.

Btw, even if warming is halted, we've got a 2nd big problem: CO2 is absorbed by sea water, the oceans are one of the primary sinks for atmospheric carbon. However, absorbing CO2 causes the pH to change, causes the ocean water to become more acidic. This increased acidity can interfere with some chemical processes, such as the ability for small animals to create shells using absorbed calcium. And these small animals form the base of the ocean food pyramid, a significant change in their numbers could collapse the whole food chain. Even without warming, it's very important to reduce the level of CO2 in the atmosphere purely to avoid increasing the acidity of the oceans.

::

Marco, you admit that you're trained as a lawyer not a scientist, so you don't have the skills to evaluate the scientific arguments directly. However, you are trained to recognize when someone is feeding you a line of bullcrap. The poor quality of the denier arguments is clear evidence that they have no coherent explanation for why the scientists are wrong, that they are simply making stuff up and hoping people will believe it. If a defendant produces 4 different alibi's, and none of them agree, what's the obvious conclusion?

Frankly, people around the world would welcome a genuine scientific finding that would indicate the problem isn't as big as it currently looks. (Instead, every new finding seems to show that the problem has been underestimated.) But we aren't getting such findings, we're getting nothing but lies and deceptions designed to block all action. There's a reason that such lies and deceptions are not welcomed warmly, and are treated with ridicule rather than debate. It's because they've been clearly recognized as lies and distortions, not an attempt at legitimate debate.

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

MikeB wrote:

Are you saying that calling the entire concept of global warming a hoax, as Senator Inhofe does, is polite and reasonable? How about those that think it's nothing but a massive conspiracy, and the data is fabricated or destroyed? Frankly, that's not polite or reasonable. Or what about all those people saying that college professors have a greater financial motivation to lie than, say, oil company executives? Is that really a reasonable addition to the debate?
By being less concerned with the conservative side of the debate, you're missing a huge piece of the problem

Actually, I don't think I said any of that. In fact, if you peruse what I did write, you may discover that I said quite the opposite. In your passion for the righteousness of your cause you really don't try to understand other viewpoints. Now, thats not discussion, but evangelism!

MikeB wrote:

The parallel with evolution is spot on. The number of biologists who doubt evolution is somewhere below 1% (there's always a few crackpots around). But the evolution deniers have managed to convince somewhere over 50% of Americans that evolution is false. The number of climate scientists who doubt anthropogenic global warming is somewhere below 2%, but the climate deniers have managed to convince somewhere around 50% of Americans that the science isn't yet settled.

My goodness! -2% What an accurate statistic, perhaps you could direct me to the source of the extensive study that must have undertaken to determine such a profound statistic? No? Thought not! But this is exactly the sort of 'invented statistic' that becomes accepted fact!

MikeB wrote:

Legitimate debates about methodology are happening, but they happen in the place they are supposed to happen: scientific journals and conferences. Have you read a science journal lately? Have you attended a conference? Do you have any idea about what pieces of the scientific picture are settled, and what pieces are actively being debated? I do, but I suspect you don't.

Now, that's just plain condescending! Most of us poor folks, can't read well enough for such esteemed publications!! In fact, I have over the years attended many GW conferences, some interesting, but mostly they would appear to be populated by the converted. Very little controversy, very little real debate. In your long and interesting piece, you make the mistake of presenting both arguments. Now, it maybe that you wish to be fair, but could it also be, that you select only those dissenting viewpoints easily defeated? This method of arguing has the advantage of you dictating the all viewpoints to satisfy your conclusion.
The result is manipulated and distorted, but since you are so convinced of your righteousness, what does it matter? Well, it matters because any analytical reader must question whether your approach to scientific methodology is not victim to the same level of bias! (I'm sure this is not the case, but the perception does arise!)

MikeB wrote:

I know of another guy who claims that the earth got into and out of ice ages long before there were any SUVs around, thus global warming is false. Unfortunately for this claim, we know what causes ice ages. Some factors, like continental drift, are clearly not applicable. One of the stronger factors is Milankovitch cycles, periodic resonances in the Earth's orbit around the Sun. However, examining those cycles more closely, you'll find that we're 6,000 years in to a cooling period, with 23,000 years to go. Since we're getting warmer, not cooler, some other factor (greenhouse gasses, perhaps?) must be active and stronger.

Now here's the problem with some of your logic. This is an example of the problems passionate conviction creates. Because you don't carefully analyse what others write, you inaccurately quote opposing arguments. The SUV argument is about the effect of Man Made GW. A subtle difference, but important. As you present it, if the planet is 6000 yrs into a 23000 cooling cycle, and we have been getting warmer for the last 50 to 100 years, this must be conclusive evidence of human activity through industrialisation increasing GW?
Hmmm.... Think about it ! Can you see how the non-scientist may have trouble with such claims? Although accurate temperature record keeping is relatively modern, the existence of Vin-land is well documented, this would demonstrate a warmer period occurring a mere 800 years ago. Now old Lief Erikson didn't have a Hummer! To the layman, this shows an inconstancy in your logic. This is the trouble with trying to explain such immensely complicated science, and the advocates of global warming do themselves a great disservice by employing wildly emotive and abusive terminology.

MikeB wrote:

So far, it's been nothing but massive FAIL on the part of the denier crowd. Their arguments do not deserve respect, they deserve ridicule.

Oh my, how very dignified, very persuasive, very open-minded!

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

marcopolo wrote:

My goodness! -2% What an accurate statistic, perhaps you could direct me to the source of the extensive study that must have undertaken to determine such a profound statistic? No? Thought not! But this is exactly the sort of 'invented statistic' that becomes accepted fact!

This is the survey from last year, and the number then was 3%:
97% of active climatologists agree that human activity is causing global warming

I recall reading something newer than this, within the last month, but the earlier study seems to get more attention via google. Alternately, I may have misremembered the 98% vs 97%. If so, I apologize for my error. On the other hand, I'd like for you to apologize for suggesting that this statistic was invented.

As usual, the facts don't appear to be supporting your position.

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

MikeB wrote:

Fascinating graph. I actually find the most interesting subset to be the "non-publishers / non-climatologists". Up around 78%. I think one could make a reasonable argument that the remaining 4 groups are somewhat inclined to be more biased.

To me this says that 78% of scientists who are used to the critical thought process (and thus hopefully less swayed by emotional arguments) think that human activity is a major cause of global warming. This opinion is good enough for me. The rest is just noise. So just filter out the noise.

However, as Winston once said "there are liars, damn liars and statisticians" (or something like that!). So, beware of fancy graphs... Oh no! Here we go again...

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Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

MikeB wrote:

I recall reading something newer than this, within the last month, but the earlier study seems to get more attention via google. Alternately, I may have misremembered the 98% vs 97%. If so, I apologize for my error. On the other hand, I'd like for you to apologise for suggesting that this statistic was invented.

Well, dang me! Someone actually commissioned Gallop to conduct a poll! I fully accept your veracity in quoting such a reference, and any implication that you invented such a statistic was never intended.

However, as John points out, there are Lies, Damn lies, and Statistics! (actually, John the quote is from Mark Twain, but that doesn't mean Winston didn't say it, just not first.. oh dear, accuracy is so difficult, isn't?)

On close examination, it could be observed that the designers of the Gallop poll have left some definitions open to interpretation.

What is exactly defines an active climatologist? Just one who publishes? Or is employed as a 'climatologist', or maybe is researching) exactly what is the definition of a climatologist?

Who qualifies such person, and what selection criteria does Gallop employ?

By your definition, Professor Plimer would not be included in this Poll(how a geologist is not an earth scientist, escapes me!). By your definition all those who contribute to a Climate institute report that credits all 100 author/contributors, would be included. This may well give the impression of 100% support from a representative number of Polled 'experts', but how valid is it really?

I note that the publication conducting the poll, (using the gallop method), EOS, qualifies its poll with the following. Eos published the results of a survey of 3146 Earth Scientists conducted by Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman. The graph below shows the results for this question:

"Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?"

I think it is pretty reasonable to ask what defines an 'Earth Scientist". Also what defines the word significant in this context?

Your argument that each vested interest group will use this sort of spin, is absolutley correct! I have taken one of the posted responses to the graph as an illustration of the frustration many have with quality of data bandied about in this debate;

"A group of 3,146 earth scientists surveyed around the world overwhelmingly agree that in the past 200-plus years, mean global temperatures have been rising, and that human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures"

Building cities and highways, irrigating deserts, and converting forests to cropland all are human activities, and I doubt that any sane person would advocate reversing these.

"Doran and Kendall Zimmerman sought the opinion of the most complete list of earth scientists they could find, contacting more than 10,200 experts around the world listed in the 2007 edition of the American Geological Institute's Directory of Geoscience Departments."

3146 out of more than 10,200 is a response rate of less than 31%. I presume the other 69% found the survey sheet to be a bunch of propagandistic crap, and threw the damn thing away. I often react the same way when I get loaded survey questions from my congressperson."

Now John says filter, well that sounds reasonable! When I first saw your poll I thought, my goodness, how authoritative! But on closer examination, the figures look very massaged. Now, this may not be intentional and anyone who disagrees is free to conduct their own poll. I'll bet I could refine the question and survey sample to produce a very reputable poll, with a very different result !(In fact, any result you pay for. (I am not suggesting that is the case with EOS.)

I will not bore you with the art of poll manipulation,save to say, it is a very advanced art!

It's exactly this sort of spin doctoring from both sides, that will cause politicians to move with increasing caution as electorates lose faith in the process, and focus more on the economic impact created by the demands of GW extremists.

Quote:

As usual, the facts don't appear to be supporting your position!

Mike,you really don't listen do you! I have repeatedly said, I don't actually have a 'position', or 'side', my observations are more about the participants behaviour and the conduct of the debate.

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marcopolo

Mik
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Joined: 12/11/2007
Points: 3726
Re: Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' ...

marcopolo wrote:

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Building cities and highways, irrigating deserts, and converting forests to cropland all are human activities, and I doubt that any sane person would advocate reversing these.

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That part is your, Marcopolo? The formatting is a bit difficult to comprehend.

Of course there are many supremely sane people who advocate exactly this, and for good reasons.

Redesigning cities so that most highways are superfluous, using different kinds of land for more appropriate uses, rather than irrigating deserts, and growing food forests (the most productive form of agriculture) instead of replacing forests with monocultures, is of course the future - if we have one.

But some will just never ever "get it"!

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