Response to Mintman

A reader took issue with my post about climate change. Here is his comment and my reponse.  Forgive me if I am a bit terse. I just finished moving and am a bit stressed. The new place is great though and the new Castle Crusader is finally in shape for Christmas. On to MintMan’s criticism.

“I do not get you climate change denialists(sp).”

What kind of ad hominem label is that? I never denied that climate changes. It is childish labels like that dominating the AGW “debate”. The GW’s rant and rave but when it comes to accurate descriptions of ANYTHING, climate or opponents they fall back on classic propaganda techniques. Your handlers must be proud of how well you have retained their teachings.

“To hold your position, you must believe at least the following three points:”

Ahh, the old “excluded third” argument. Always bull but sometimes entertaining. Pray, go on.

“1. That virtually the entire community of climate researchers is either grossly incompetent or part of an evil conspiracy.”

Here we have the first baloney term; entire community of climate researchers. What a load of garbage! Unless you only talk to the Lefties regarding this matter you know that there are many scientists who certainly disagree with many if not most of the “theories” of the AGW movement. The problem is that since the impetus for this scam came from POLITICIANS rather than scientists it has POLITICIZED climate research. It has been at least ten years since lazy “scientists” with political agendas discovered that they could get funding for just about anything if they included the words Global Warming in the proposal. The sorry truth is that despite the political solid front there is NO DATA AND NO MODEL provided by the AGW crowd that corresponds to reality. The only data they do have is so cooked as to be useless without peer review of the “Recipe” used to “normalize” it. That information has been held as an unreleasable secret by the movement’s “scientists”. IS this science? ALL data and ALL methods must be completely public ESPECIALLY when politicians are involved. Surely you would agree if it were Conservatives heading a silly science movement…like Creationism maybe? Hmm, come to think of it the tactics and methods and attitudes of BOTH movements are eerily similar don’t you think?

As to your assertion that this fictitious consensus exists I must tell you that when the list of hundreds of scientists that supported the U.N. report came out it included many people who had worked on the project but then withdrew their support!!!!! The AGW leaders refused to allow those scientists to withdraw their names from the report since they had contributed to it. No rebuttal was allowed to be amended. Many NON scientists’ names were included as “researchers”. It was as blatantly political a move as you can find.

“I do not know which is the more likely, as both ideas are completely beyond the pale. Assuming that such a world-wide conspiracy including so many people could be kept viable over such a long time is ridiculous even if you do not know from personal experience how scientists think and work. I have also never heard a plausible explanation of what the motivation for such a conspiracy would be. Do you honestly think that significant numbers of people would go to such lengths just to make others needlessly miserable and destroy their “way of live”? People are generally motivated by either self-interest or concern for others, but not by cartoonish evilness and spite that would gain themselves nothing.”

Wow, you are asking for a civics lesson and a history lesson as well as an explanation of common tactics in the more dirty of political arenas. Well, in the hopes that you might actually attempt to process some of what I say, that you will not simply reflect ALL of the information you are about to read from your shiny Leftist armor I will give it a shot.

“I have also never heard a plausible explanation of what the motivation for such a conspiracy would be.”

I told you above. It is a political movement not a scientific one. And just because this one came from the Left you have failed to be sufficiently critical of it. For Pete’s sake, Gore won the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE for his work on it! That should tell you something. Look at a list of PEACE prize winners for the last 50 years and try to find TWO that are worth the spit to drown them. That should have set off alarm bells all over your head!

“I have also never heard a plausible explanation of what the motivation for such a conspiracy would be.”

You haven’t? Who do you talk to? I can give you two huge ones. First is money. IF you look into the whole cap and trade idea and most other schemes for “managing” CO2 they all have in common the effect of making SOMEONE HUGE, fantastic OBSCENE amounts of money or at the least giving them control over those resources in an extra-national extra-constitutional “climate authority”. The second reason is that YES, there are people to whom breaking down traditional Western, Enlightenment culture is VITAL to their interests! For god’s sake they tell you so every day!!! Just go to any Leftist web site or news paper and read how the entire Constitutional system is merely the evil product of the diseased European mind and needs to be replaced with a socialist paradise on Earth where no one goes hungry and no one is offended by reality.

Do you ever THINK about the things you read or do you just wrap yourself in the warm glow of pretend righteousness and put your defense mechanisms to sleep?

In a nutshell the leadership of the 60’s and 70’s counterculture found themselves a new wagon to ride over the head of “The Man” called Global Warming. That leadership was body and soul controlled by the Soviets but were left confused when the U.S.S.R. threw n the Communist towel. They then took over the environmentalist movement and proceeded with an anti-Western scam even bigger than Communism.

“2. That the already observed increase in average temperatures and sea levels, and the loss of arctic ice and glaciers is either invented or part of a some natural process.”

Ignorance is not always bliss is it? Did you know that the arctic and Antarctic ice caps exchange mass regularly? Arctic down = Antarctic up. Check it out. Another inconvenient reality your handlers do not want you thinking about. They also do not want you thinking about the actual data collected that they base that conclusion upon. They do not want you to know that they massaged that data mercilessly to “smooth out” the known errors and inconvenient facts like temps near cities being higher than the surrounding countryside. They certainly do not want you to know that they REFUSE TO RELEASE the founding data or the methods used to massage it. Protecting the privacy of the participating “scientists” you know. SAY WHAT? This is unheard of in REAL SCIENCE my friend!

“…, see point 1. If it is a natural process, then there would still be reason for concern, because all our current population centers and agricultural areas are adapted to the current climate, and adapting to the new one will be a very painful process, euphemistically speaking.”

Do you think about what you are saying as it relates to the larger world or do yo just speak off the top of your head to refute the point you are facing?

If it is a natural process there is NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT as the only source of the change would be Sun! Do you feel that Humanity scurrying around like ants in a panic and wreaking havoc on society and the world economy somehow makes it all better? As to adaptation would it not be better if we accepted the FACT that things like warm periods and ice ages are out of our hands and that it is up to us t be ready to adapt? Oh, and you are not quite right anyway. The warmer the Earth gets the MORE hospitable it becomes for ALL life!!! FACT.

For small bands of coastline lost we gain HUGE areas of formerly arid land that will become fertile and welcoming to man, animal and plants. Your buddies at GW central never told you that for the few trees at the EDGES of a habitat that are lost in a warming trend HUGE numbers of critters and plants EXPAND their ranges. OOH, they didn’t tell you that? BAAD Pretend environmentalists!

If you care about the environment campaign against those “green” light bulbs that contain MERCURY for your kids, grandkids and great grand kids to play in after it accumulates in the landfills.

“This also as a rejoinder to the happy “warm times are fun times” argument, which, from a purely biological perspective, is correct. It just does not do the Italians any good to know that Russian agriculture has profited greatly when the Sahara has reached Rome.”

Such PROFOUND ignorance! WARM = WET you geologically uneducated fool! A few areas like Venice and parts of Holland are screwed, but you know what? They were doomed from the get go. Better enjoy them while they last like the Leaning Tower. Isn’t it “White man’s arrogance” to try to FORCE nature to allow us to keep follies like Venice for another hundred years before the inevitable?

“Nevertheless, the idea that it is a natural process is criticized quite effectively in the article you are trying to trash, but it brings me to the third point you have to believe to be a climate change denialist(sp):”

No, it wasn’t all the article proved is that the author did NOT talk to the skeptics with an open mind and ADMITS that he does not get the science. He makes a lot of ignorant assumptions based on common sense. JUST LIKE the Creationists do!!!

“3. That blowing billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere does not have any effect whatsoever.”

It does, it promotes plant growth which provides food for more animals!!! Show me ANY evidence from history that it does anything else? The Jurassic and Triassic and Cretaceous had FAR higher CO2 than today, yet no fish dissolved in acid baths and the coasts were not that far from what we know. There was no water world or desert world epoch! EVER!!! In fact the closest to a desert world scenario the Earth has ever seen would be the ICE AGES!!!

You see the core of the Earth is slowly cooling off, that is why the ice ages suddenly started not that long ago. Now if the GW crap is true we should be welcoming it since the REAL data shows that the Earth most likely started sliding into an ice age about 800 years ago. Did you know that at the onset of the last chilly period England went from having Hippos in the Thames to being UNDER ALMOST A MILE OF ICE in only EIGHTY years??? And you think your buddies understand climate? They can hardly tie their shoes when it comes to modeling what the climate will actually DO. The ONLY rational response is for us to be ready to adapt to whatever happens and stop the arrogant breast beating about being responsible for something we are a flea beside.

“And sorry, that is true lunacy.”

Most science is lunacy to those without proper background.

“You can argue maybe about what the exact effects are, when they will take effect, and how strong they will be compared to those resulting from other variables, but the question whether we are influencing the earth’s equilibrium with our habit of burning fossil fuels is a no-brainer.”

No, it is not, it is arrogance to assume that a variable that has NEVER caused disaster no matter how much or how sudden the introduction in the past suddenly become deadly when WE do it.

“It is like a doctor doubling a patient’s blood salt with an injection and saying innocently, hey, it is a very complex system, I do not know what will happen, so why not do it?”

No, it is not, salt is a corrosive and toxic more than small doses. CO2 in the atmosphere is nether. Another emotional bit of “logic” does not make your case any stronger. Go, learn, come back and have a real discussion.

“Yeah, maybe you don’t, but that is no excuse to play with a life. Yeah, maybe we don’t, but that is no excuse to play with the future of humanity.”

THERE ARE SOME THINGS MAN WAS NOT MEANT TO KNOW!

Man, if you were in charge we would live in caves and not dare to turn our huntring weapons to defense lest the gods be offended.

The whining of the ignorant at the educated ones trying to pull the ignorant out of the mud by their shirt tails.

While you whine about a problem you admit may not even BE a problem what are you doing about the REAL and PRESENT problems of sulfur dioxide and mercury? Anything at all or has the Global Warming bandwagon swept you up and made you forget what being environmentalist is all about?

Global Warming is Real(ly Good at Outing the Ignorant)

A recent article by Bryan Appleyard in The TimesOnline is a good example of why people who don’t understand science should beware of having strong opinions about it, in either direction. Going from one form of opinionated ignorance to another form of opinionated ignorance is not progress it is intellectual laziness. To Mr. Appleyard, impressions are equal to facts and the last pundit to bend your ear must be right. Especially when you don’t understand the subject yourself.
There are so many good reasons not to believe in global warming: summers lately have been cool and wet; since 1998 global temperatures have actually fallen; dissident scientists say it’s not happening; green believers are irritating — they wear Tibetan hats that only look good on Tibetans, and are so often wrong that they’re probably wrong about the Big One; large parts of the punditocracy say it’s all nonsense, usually that it’s a left-wing plot against capitalism; the rainforest is growing back faster than it’s being cut down and polar bears are, apparently, doing quite well. Global warming? Yeah, right!
But here’s the best reason of all not to believe, to sit back and relax. Global warming is just the latest apocalyptic story. There is always someone, somewhere predicting the end of the world.
That is a nutshell is Mr. Appleyards former thesis on the subject; I didn’t believe in Global Warming because I found it unappealing emotionally on several levels. Not a word about actual study and evaluation of the science involved for himself.
He may be a man with a sandwich board in Oxford Street or an American Christianist who expects the Book of Revelation to happen tomorrow. But he’s equally likely to be a scientist warning about asteroid impacts, super-eruptions, molecule-sized robots turning everything into grey goo or, not so long ago, the descent of Earth into a new ice age. Taking all these possibilities into account, Sir Martin Rees, the great cosmologist, says humans only have a 50/50 chance of making it into the next century. Yeah, right!
Stated like no one but the truly ignorant can! Poor Bryan cannot tell the difference between a scientist talking about a possibility (which all of the above most certainly are, when you understand the science) and a media outlet turning that into “warnings of impending doom by scientists” or an author trying to make money with a sensationalist book!
No wonder opinion polls show a majority of the population are sceptical about global warming. Just scanning the papers, the internet or watching TV is enough to convince anyone it’s just the usual apocalyptic hype. And, if they want to dig deeper into their own disbelief, there are shelfloads of books to give them a hand. There’s Nigel Lawson, ex-chancellor of the exchequer, with An Appeal to Reason. There’s Scared to Death by Christopher Booker and Richard North. There’s Cool It by Bjorn Lomborg. There was even a very serious documentary on Channel 4 called The Great Global Warming Swindle with some serious-looking science guys pouring cold water on the warming atmosphere. …That was me, once. I thought global warming was all bog-standard, apocalyptic nonsense when it first emerged in the 1980s. People, I knew, like nothing better than an End-of-the-World story to give their lives meaning. I also knew that science is dynamic. Big ideas rise and fall. Once the Earth was the centre of the universe. Then it wasn’t. Once Isaac Newton had completed physics. Then he hadn’t. Once there was going to be a new ice age. Then there wasn’t.
Armed with such historic reversals, I poured scorn on under-educated warmists.
So, without actually STUDYING the subject, the claims, the facts and forming an opinion Bryn reached into his emotions and hauled out the answer that GW had to be bollocks. Ok fine.
… And then I made a terrible mistake. I started questioning my instinct, which was to disbelieve every scare story on principle.
This is a terrible mistake for the black and white minded to make. If they admit any possibility of error they believe it HAS to mean that the only real truth is completely opposite to their first emotional reaction. So they jump on the second emotional reaction and believe everything the other camp says. At no time do they contemplate actual attempts at understanding.
I exposed myself to any journalist’s worst nightmare — very thoughtful, intelligent people.
And even worse, to people good at fooling the ignorant into thinking they are thoughtful and intelligent instead of being out for all the traffic will bear. The Global Warming mafia must have taken lessons in propaganda from the Creationists, so similar are their “it SOUNDS reasonable right? So it MUST be true!” patter with the general public.
I talked to some brilliant scientists and thinkers, some mainstream Greens, some truly tough-minded scientists. There was James Lovelock, the man whose Gaia hypothesis sees the world as a single, gigantic organism. There was Jesse Ausubel, director of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University in New York. There was Chris Rapley, director of the Science Museum and former head of the British Antarctic Survey. There was Myles Allen, head of the Climate Dynamics Group at Oxford. There was Sir David King, once chief scientific adviser to the British government. There were many others.
When did Mr. Appleyard talk to the brilliant thinkers and scientists, dissenting Greens and truly tough minded scientists who oppose the movement? Instead he went from an ignorant opinion to a propagandized opinion without taking a breath.
There is, I saw, a fine line between the hard-head and the bone-head. The denialist hard-head swaggers his way through life hearing only what he wants to hear, that warmism is either a hoax, a gross error or just another End-of-the-World scare story. But if you suspend your prejudices and your vanity for a moment, everything changes. You find out that the following statements are true beyond argument.
Between the hard-head and the bone-head is the soft-headed fool who can’t tell facts from hot air due to sheer laziness preventing them from doing their own evaluation on both sides logic. This leads to accepting as “true beyond argument” things that are highly arguable. Like:
The climate is warming.
For the climate itself to warm, and not just the atmosphere in places, the oceans have to first warm. This takes HUNDREDS of years to occur and for the effects to be felt on the atmosphere. This fact ALONE makes the whole idea of Human caused global warming silly at first glance. There simply hasn’t been time for the effects they claim to have occurred since the 1850’s!
It is almost certain this is caused by emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activity.
Given that it is not certain that the warming is happening at all, it definitely is not certain what caused it! The effect is so short term, if it exists, that it could be caused by a number of factors, the most likely being changes in the output of the Sun.
Nobody has come up with an alternative explanation that stands up.
Really? Who did you ask? What ideas failed in your mind to fit the bill? Why? Or did you just succumb to snake oil from the GW crew in lieu of actual information?
If the present warming trend continues…
Which we haven’t even established is happening, given the “cooked” nature of the data from the GW bunch.
…, nasty things will probably start happening to humans within the next century, possibly the next decade.
Nasty things? Such as? Hasn’t anyone pointed out to Mr. Appleyard that for every inch of coastline that might be lost to rising oceans vast areas of interior will go from arid to arable? Is Mr. Appleyard totally unaware that the BEST times for plant and animal life that this planet has EVER seen occurred at times when the CO2 and temp were significantly higher than they are today? I assume not, since Bryan is adamant that…
Something must be done. If nothing is done, then the benign climatic conditions that have sustained human civilisation for 10,000 years are in danger of collapse to be replaced by… well, write your own disaster movie.
More ignorance pretending to be profound. Those 10,000 years are hardly representative of any kind of average for Earthly conditions! And the best years for humanity of those 10,000 years were the WARMER ones!!!!
…You will note that there is some wiggle room in these statements. It is “almost certain” that humans are responsible; nasty things will “probably” happen. That is because all science can ever be is the best guess of the best minds. Also, the climate is a complex system, meaning it can behave in ways that are opaque beyond our most sophisticated calculations. But, as I have often been told, those statements are as true as any scientific statements can be, and nobody — I repeat, nobody — has been able to refute this. In short, to deny any of these statements is to put yourself beyond the bounds of rational discourse.
Funny, I think that maybe you need to talk to the ones doing the refuting instead of the ones afraid of being refuted! Then maybe you can learn something from them and stop letting yourself be “often told” things that you could understand for yourself are nonsense!
The article goes on to demonstrate Bryan’s ignorance of several new subjects, amongst them predictions and computer modeling. I might analyze the rest at a later time, but for now I think Bryan has shown us fairly clearly that his early opinions have been replaced by nothing more than new beliefs with no more basis in fact than his original prejudices.