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Global warming: Propaganda creates myth of disagreement

Scientists nearly unanimous on climate change; public not getting the message

Earth, as seen from the moon, in a NASA visualization.

By Summit Voice

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SUMMIT COUNTY — A long-running propaganda campaign to cast doubt on climate science has apparently worked to some degree.

On the one hand, there is near unanimous agreement among climate scientists that human-caused global warming is happening. But George Mason University researchers recently discovered that there is still a high degree of public confusion about the level of agreement among researchers.

About two-thirds of the respondents in a national survey said they either believed there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening (45 percent), that most scientists think it is not happening (5 percent), or that they did not know enough to say (16 percent). These respondents were less likely to support climate change policies and to view climate change as a lower priority.

The study was conducted by researchers at George Mason, San Diego State, and Yale universities and published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

“It is no accident that so many Americans misunderstand the widespread scientific agreement about human-caused climate change. A well-financed disinformation campaign deliberately created a myth about there being lack of agreement. The climate science community should take all reasonable measures to put this myth to rest,” said Edward Maibach, director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University.

People who believe there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about global warming tend to be less certain that global warming is happening and less supportive of climate policy, researchers at George Mason, San Diego State, and Yale Universities report in a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

By contrast, survey respondents who correctly understood that there is widespread agreement about global warming among scientists were themselves more certain that it is happening, and were more supportive of climate policies.

“Misunderstanding the extent of scientific agreement about climate change is important because it undermines people’s certainty that climate change is happening, which in turn reduces their conviction that America should find ways to deal with the problem,” Maibach, concluded.

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578 Responses

  1. Until they prove it and are certain of what the causes are AND aren’t we are at the mercy of snake-oil selling charlatans who are very adept at duping people. Worst of all, these money grubbers will obscure and diffuse the serious efforts to fix what is really wrong. Any engineer can tell you no proof, means no solution. Agreement isn’t proof. Science is.

    We.
    Must.
    Have.
    Proof.

    Jim C.

    • There is no proof in science.
      There is no proof in science.
      There is no proof in science.

      Write it one hundred times.

      Then you might get a clue.

      • And the world is flat…watch out – you might go over the edge!

      • To say that there is no proof in science is to deny experimentation, mathematics and independent verification. Of course there is proof in science! There in no “Settled Science.” Absent proof the Climate Change people have only consensuses as this article clearly shows.

        • Good point. And since when is science done by consensus? Gravity wasnt proven by a majority vote.

          • Um…

            Acceptations create science “facts”. So it would appear that all science is consensus based. Or would you like to argue over what constitutes a “true” second? Everything is not always what is seems.

        • Scientists have shown that it is not only Journolist members who can create consensis that is variant from fact

        • The scientific community doesn’t use the term “proof” – they understand that know matter what, there is always more to learn. They do however have lots of evidence which is far more valuable than “proof.”

          I find it hilarious that people stomp their feet asking for proof of climate change. It shows that proof is not really what they want. They want to be convinced. They want someone or something to make a splash big enough in their own lives, that they begin to recognize the evidence that human (corporate) behavior has an absolute impact on the environment.

          I also find it strange that often these are the same people who believe in God. Where is the “proof” of God? There is no “proof.” But there is subjective EVIDENCE of God.

          • Proof would be a climate record (yes we have those) that consistently shows the temperature rising JUST AFTER a rise in CO2.

            Got that?

            No, the wailing Occupy Moral High Grounders have only their wailing.

          • In the ice core records, temperature changes first and CO2 follows, many years later.

          • What you don’t acknowledge is that there is only consensus amongst “climate scientists” not science. This is a very small group of people whose livelihoods depend on global warming happening.

        • In regards to the connection between science and reality, there IS no proof. As any mathematically oriented scientist knows, you can never prove a hypothesis. You can only accept or reject the null hypothesis. Newton’s laws of motion do not hold for general phenomena (e.g. special relativity or quantum mechanics) i.e. it can never proven to be true. But to doubt the validity of something held in such wide “consensus” as you call it by scientists shows not only ignorance, but a clear lack of understanding of the underlying science.

          Please, stop saying that most of the widely accepted professionals in this field are incorrect. They have done more research than you in this matter. Consensus in this case means required action.

        • No, he’s right. There is no such thing as ‘proof’ in most science. A ‘proof’ is something which exists in mathematics alone.

          Thinking that science provides ‘proof’ is a misconception. Science never claims to provide irrefutable proof that something is true. Science provides evidence which strengthens the probability that something is true.

          It might seem like semantics, but it’s an important distinction in the study of scientific theory.

        • So you don’t understand science, and how statistics play a role…
          None of the data shows a negative trend. None of it show a lack of a trend….

        • I am a scientist. Let me try to dissipate some confusion here. For some scientific issues, people can carry out an experiment and there can be a proof (e.g., if you heat up water to the right temperature, it will boil). But for some scientific issues, no one can carry out experiments because the object of study is not under our control. This is the case for astrophysics, climatology, evolutionary biology, etc. For these issues, the “scientific method” to understand causes and effects in these complex systems must then rely on understanding and knowledge gained on simpler systems.

        • NO ENVIRONMENT NO ECONOMY…

          The campaign to disprove climate change worked (some of us fell for it)…but how long can we remain inactive and continue to use polluting sources of energy. The few have made alot of money in oil, but now it’s time for change. The lack of awareness in terms of environmental damage we are doing is very disheartening. Weather changes will spare no one – we will all be vulnerable. We all need to wizen up, face the facts, and be the change to clean, sustainable energy. In the end, if there is NO ENVIRONMENT, THERE IS NO ECONOMY and the standard of living we are used to, will be no longer.

      • That is an 11th century view and if everyone held it, we wouldn’t have a single tech advance that we have had since then.

      • Doesn’t everyone know that human-virus-capitalist-pig induced global warming, I mean climate change, is a fundamental law of the universe? Now, let the collective begin regulating anything that emits energy lest we and all the polar bears die in twenty years. One day people are going to rise up against ‘science’ the way they did against religion.

        • I’ll bet you change your tune when the water rises and those mega millions that live along the coastlines want to come live in your backyard.

      • No proof in science.

        Economics Seem to Limit Everything Except Environmental Movements.

        How much should we spend on your no proof in science CO2 elimination program?

        Don’t forget to stop exhaling too.

      • So in the absence of proof, how much of the economy do you propose we give to politicians to halt this menace . . . without proof that its real? For some primary data, Google “vostok survey” images and evaluate the data. I’m sincerely interested in what the time, dust, CO2, and temp plots suggest to you in the presence of real scientific data. This scientific evidence is the basis for my position on man-made global warming. Can you guess my position?

    • And you…

      Must.
      Grow.
      A.
      Brain.

      Consider yourself duped, moron. Human-induced climate-change is a reality, your denial is not. Educate yourself as to the proof (yes, it does exist).

      • Yeah, OK, the climate is changing….to what extent? I mean the industrial revolution in the US alone is such ancient history. We’re pretty powerful!

        • The main problem is we are releasing CO2 (“dinosaur CO2″) that is not balanced by modern day natural cycles. The best physical modelling to account for the changes in the climate, especially since around the 1960s, is by accounting for CO2. CO2 levels (eg, released from warming oceans or absorbed into cooling oceans) historically follow temperature rises, but today it is leading and helping warm the oceans and land faster than is natural (eg, as dictated by sun cycles). Our current CO2 levels have not existed on the planet for millions of years. In the 19th century, in contrast, we were at average levels and started rising from there. We also have many more people on the planet today than in 1850, and many nations yet want to experience their own industrialization. [Thankfully, we have passed many pollution control laws over the years or things would be worse today.] The species we depend on for food, medicine, etc, are not adapted to increasing average global temperatures. Humans, generally, have changed the planet tremendously in a very short time. And our coastal cities will be underwater in a few generations if we stay at current pace. Most scientists against global warming have healthy skepticism. Most who dive into the details end up being converted by the evidence. Our weather models are pretty darn decent. Our climate models are based off those but don’t try to be precise locally and to the inch in rainfall. Rather, climate models are about global averages across decades (the big picture). These models use computers to solve many rounds of differential equations by partitioning the planet into sections and solving far into the future using boundary conditions of current measurement taken around the world. The models have been tuned so that starting in the past, they are able to get within error range of current climate values. The “deniers” don’t have anything that comes even close to performing this well.

          • Excellent explanation.
            In our world there are three kinds of people. The ones who make things happen, the ones who watch things happen and the ones who don’t know what is happening.
            In our civilization unfortunately the ones who make things happen, profit monetarily from the destruction of the world and most of them may even have psychopathic tendencies. They have to live here too, after all.
            The ones who watch things happen don’t have much power or time to affect the direction of the events. The large quantities of information is also too overwhelming for the average people.
            The last category of people are being put to sleep by the media, who are controlled by the first category, and other distractions of our consumer society. The powerful interests are doing everything in their power to convince the majority of these people that our civilization is in the right track, even though events like acidifying oceans, rampant pollution of all ecosystems, being in the 6th major extinction crisis, global warming etc. are proof that ours is the most destructive human civilization ever, and at this rate of expansion (economy has to grow to be healthy), and destruction can not last very long.
            At the rate of destruction our agriculture and industrial production, oil, gas and mineral extraction are causing the natural ecosystems, the global warming may be the biosphere’s way of stopping our civilization on its tracks. It looks likely that it may happen within this century.
            All this conversation about whether we should try to do something about global warming may be too little too late. Like an oil tanker, when you see the rocks, it is too late to change course.

          • “Dinosaur CO2″? Seems you have fallen for the marketing from ealy 20th century petrolum companies that preferred you think that oil could run out any day. Did you catch the articles on Saturn’s moon Titan? Seems its covered in hydrocarbons . .. more than the water in the earth’s oceans. Guess those dinosaurs had spacecraft…lots of them too,

          • Titan??? Yes, Titan! That’s that place.. like the Earth.. which is loaded with life, right? Great example. So we have Titan full of liquid hydrocarbons and icy, and then Venus, full of gas CO2 and extremely hot. Hope that ends our wasteful spending in money and human resources on the study of our climate and our attempts to say anything more meaningful about it.

            The hydrocarbons were nice and sealed up. It’s one thing to let some out, but we have indulged like there will be no next century. Moderation is a good lesson to learn in life.

            And I hope you didn’t think I or anyone else was suggesting that hydrocarbons only come from dinosaurs. But a lot of what we are releasing has ancient origins, that’s what motivated the name.

            And it became sequestered very gradually as life adapted. Further, the sun was cooler and today all of that carbon would have a worse effect.

            Every bit hotter it gets thanks to CO2, the H2O makes the problem much worse. Even if we stay within a certain range, you should have humility about changing the temperature on Earth that fast.

      • the key to any informed debate is name calling..

      • Oh! Omnipotent and all knowing one, I ask you what proof do you have? Climate science is far to complicated to model. There are too many variables and combinations of variables to know for certain the impact of any one.

        I believe the world is warming but I can’t prove CO2 levels are the cause. Can You? I quote the immortal words of Nick the all knowing one “Consider yourself duped, moron.” Next time you post try leaving your arrogance at the door.

        • @Ray DeLuca, I can understand that you perhaps think climate science is too complicated to model, but I don’t think you have studied it very deeply at all or looked at the evidence. Climatologists don’t pretend to say what the temp will be like in the afternoon in New York in 2067. They look at global averages. They ask for much less data from the models and so can expect to get these results. Lots of things in modern society are complex, but they still get accomplished by experts building off past experts and using loads of computing power. While current climatologists can unleash their model on historical data to “predict” current climate variables, the “deniers” have nothing that comes close to this. Maybe wholesale destruction of trees and hot solar cycles led to fairly hot temperatures at some times in the past. Now imagine when the sun gets hot “again” and trees dry up “again” AND the atmosphere also has to deal with loads and loads of dinosaur CO2 that had been underground for ages?

        • I recall hearing that sun activity could be measured as it is reflected back out into space (off of the earth’s atmosphere). If this reflected energy could be measured and compared over time, we could confirm or rule out the sun’s role in climate change. If human activity should be to blame, then the reflected energy would not change over time. If the reflected energy increases, then the penetrating energy could also be expected to increase, impacting climate. Has anyone heard if such measurements have taken place?

          • The sun’s output has been constantly monitored for the past 3 solar cycles by satellites unaffected by the atmosphere. Over that time the solar constant at 1 AU has been 1366 W/m^2 with a periodic variation of +/- 0.5W over each 11 year solar cycle. This is tiny compared to the 6.9% annual variation caused by our elliptical orbit around the sun.

            Pre-space-age proxy data shows the sun has been almost this constant for at least the past 2,000 years. These variations are simply too tiny to explain the large recent increases in average global temperatures.

      • climate is changing but not due to the hand of man. it is because of high solar activity that co2 levels are high which should be great for the plants and rain forests. The earth is not warming because of high co2. Youtube Piers Corbin an astrophysicist he will explain all of this.
        Notice how the supporters of climate change look for gov taxation as policy right when our governments are in debt.

        • You may want to look up barry bickmore (utah). He was a former skeptic. His blog has interesting presentations. He has also written interesting letters to Senator Hatch and others. He is a conservative and is ashamed so many conservatives have punted on this. Just because Gore might exaggerate some, doesn’t mean taking the 180 degree position is accurate or healthy.

          You may also want to look at skepticalscience website to dispel some of those myths you are repeating. Our temp and CO2 levels have deviated from what the sun would dictate. Our CO2 levels are leading temp rises (rather than lagging, as is normal) and are at levels not seen for millions of years. This CO2 comes from fossil fuel burning and other man related sources and, unlike most CO2 released naturally, is not balanced and is helping to create a new higher equilibrium.

          I would almost bet that the astrophysicist you mentioned has not looked carefully at most of the evidence available today. I would bet he doesn’t have a theory or model that rivals current climate models. Almost everyone who looks at the evidence agrees that man is contributing significantly to current warming.

          The US is at low levels of taxation relative to GDP that have hardly been seen in many decades (look up the high income tax rates of the past — they were much higher and our economy was much stronger). The wealthy have it very easy today. They play each day with huge advantages over everyone else and are not paying their fair share for their privileges afforded by our government. What they get subsidized, we pay in opportunity costs to all of us. Of course, tax policy has nothing to do with the climate. In particular, there are alternatives to things like carbon taxes/credits, but even these are but free market tradable quotas aimed to protect the health of the nation and its people.

        • Why has no one responded to Max’s comment? Its seems absurd to me that the sun is being ignored throughout all of these studies. Every study I have read ignores the sun and assumes it is a constant. When in reality the sun’s activity varies.

          It stands to reason that the sun should be the first variable to be studied.

          • Matt, I typed: “sun global warming” into google and your words are difficult to believe. One of the top hits:

            http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

            excerpt: “Over the last 30 years of global warming, the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. Sun and climate are going in opposite directions. This has led a number of scientists independently concluding that the sun cannot be the cause of recent global warming.”

          • You DO that Google, and others, amnipulate the results order as they choose, and that Google’s motto is ironic at best.

            But more importantly, there are variations in the sun, in cosmic radiation, and other things that effect weather and climate. Anyone who tells you that we understand those causes is just lying or ignorant. Just for example, the relation between between the current situation on the sun and Earth’s weather could lag by many years, although 30 is not really a long time in galactic terms. You do that global warming cycles and CO2 concentration are co-related, but that after the temperature warms then CO2 concentrations in air increases. This is a 200 year or so lag. It is thought to happen because as the Earth warms the oceans do too, and water gives up dissolved gasses as the temperature rises. (Al, bless his rotten heart, Gore fudged that little detail.)

          • Matt, the sun is not ignored. Why would you think it was? CO2 theories gained prominence in part just because the sun and average global temperatures diverged last century.

      • where are you getting your temps from?

    • Scientifically, agreement *is* support – it’s called the scientific method. When study after study show support for the same idea (i.e., agreement), hypotheses become theories, theories become laws. Also, show me one scientific charlatan, and I’ll show you ten pro-pollution business that stand to make sooo much more money by not paying for their pollution of the public air and water than *any* scientist will ever make from their research funding.

      • It is not the companies that will pay but you and me. The cost of compliance , lack of service, lack of product or freedom are born by society. The companies are the providers of products or services they either make money, are subsidized by government or disappear. You and I either have those goods or services or we don’t. Fossil fuels replaced whale oil, animals (horses and oxen) and wood as heat and transportation because the fossil fuels were more efficient and less environmentally damaging. None of the “green” alternatives have proven to be a viable replacement,

        • fossil fuels replacing whale oil had -ZERO- to do with it being “less envrionmentally damaging” .. relying on that as an argument is asinine so do yourself a favor and stop

        • @Wes Evans, we will pay more when cities and land are submerged in water, when crop production takes a hit, when plants and animals used up and down our economy for many important reasons disappear.

          People have done studies, and paying now will lower our costs in the future. Are you able to think about those who will inherit our mess? Have you ever wondered what life would be like if modern amenities and natural wonders did not exist because of negligent decisions of earlier generations?

          Haven’t you ever heard of a little discipline or do you only believe in indulgence? Do you honestly think our standard of living can’t keep going up while we tighten our belts in some ways? Do you urinate all over your house because it’s easier, or do you tighten your belt and keep your house clean as you go along?

          There are alternatives that are more expensive than coal and oil, but many around the world are taking the lead. There are also many interesting things in the laboratory. All of that sun energy overheating the planet and then making its way back into empty space.. surely, we can do better.. but only if we tighten our belts a little and try.

          • The truly ironic thing for me is that most global warming deniers call themselves “conservative”. Traditional conservatives believed in taking the long view, not indulging themselves but in preserving – conserving – for the future, especially for their children. Yet now they’re the ones complaining that we can’t change anything because it might affect their standard of living. What gives?

    • Why believe the predictions of all the experts? Proof is it? …Try throwing yourself out of a plane without a parachute to see if you can fly. That will give you all the proof that “we must have.” But first maybe you should just get a grip and do a little more homework.

    • TO: Jim C
      They
      have
      proved
      it,
      but
      you
      haven’t
      paid
      attention.

    • Science is a process where hypothesis are rigorously tested and then presented to colleagues for peer review. The people you are accusing of being charlatans have done that.

      The proof you are demanding has been published in periodicals like Nature. If you would like to understand it better, I think most universities offer courses on understanding weather prediction.

      • 1. I am sure you meant to write hypotheses, not hypothesis, as you were referring to the word in its plural form (when I read this word, I immediately knew your position on this argument because it is typically the uneducated and uninformed – other than crazy right-wing radio programs – that don’t believe in climate change)

        2. Weather and climate are completely different things

        3. Present one peer reviewed article giving proof of climate change caused by humans not being real

        • I don’t think Dave was arguing against current accepted climate science.

        • When you arrogantly corrected his spelling mistake I immediately knew your position.

        • Here’s your peer-reviewed proof. Google VOSTOK SURVEY image and examine the effect of atmosperic dust on CO2 and temperature during the past three or four 150k-year warming cycles. Despite your attempts to ridicule earlier, it appears your mind has been closed to real pre-politicized science.

          Your position is fabricated to centralize control of more of the economy by government bodies. Truth is that the people who did it did so out of luck rather than consipracy because they refuse to learn from history. Please complete your education before you change the world to your liking.

      • i think you can call it “friend” reviewed. all peers are not allowed to review.

        • skepticalscience and other sites constantly write about “blog reviewed” climate science. It seems everyone has an opinion but few people actually understand the issues. If you have a peer-reviewed paper that supports AGW that you disagree with, try posting your review. That is what you want right? Do you have a website of such reviews. The fact is that most people complaining about “peer review” are not reviewing anything themselves. That amounts to excuses excuses. Spencer wrote a whole book before he had anything significant published in a decently relevant journal. After he did, he found out of numerous flaws in his analysis.

          Every paper doesn’t have to be right, but when it comes time to think about your great grand kids (or the gifts you inherited) and do responsible risk management, all I hear from the “skeptics” is a bunch crying and inconsistent suggestions. Their case is much weaker than the case put forward by the climate scientists.

    • They can’t even get the weather right in a week, so it’s all subjective would you not say. The argument is so flimsy its now called climate change. In the middle ages people were blamed for being evil but if they gave enough money their soul could be saved. Science has become a tool to control people … another form of propaganda.

      • You sound like the biggest tool on this forum. Cha-Ching! Sorry, I couldn’t resist such an open shot.

        Furthermore, can we assume from your abject mistrust of the scientific method that you get most of your climate change data from Sarah Palin, or do you cross-reference with Glen Beck’s musings?

        • Your willingness to call people names casts doubt on your assertions.

          • Good post Jim. Did you notice that all the insults are coming from the GW people? A good sign they can’t win the argument.

        • I agree, calling names isn’t the right way to win this argument. However, climate change and weekly weather patterns are completely different things. The name climate change instead of global warming is to make it easier to understand. A global increase in average temperature does not mean it gets warmer everywhere. Some places will experience colder temperatures. This concept was hard for some people to grasp, and so the term climate change was adopted. It is both simpler and more accurate.

          • Climate Change and Weather Patterns are two different things … this argument started popping up when their climate started betraying them. On one had it is anecdotal on the other it is proof.

          • I’ll use another example. When one side of a war losses strategic positioning, has their supply route destroyed, finds people deserting or with bad morale, etc, we can make statements of high probability that they will “lose” the war say likely after a few weeks but very likely before a year or two. There are a lot of variables! And we can’t be accurate many times about even a battle taking place tomorrow (eg, casualties or even who will win), but we can narrow down the possibilities for the long haul.

            So I’m not saying climate science is 100% right, but the idea that not being able to predict the celsius temperature at a certain second tomorrow in a certain spot on earth with decimal precision (or even close to this) doesn’t mean we can’t talk about a few degrees of increase with an error bar of about half that and as a “global average” and in a period of time plus or minus 30 years. The precise date doesn’t matter to say something meaningful about the increased problems we might experience in the next century or two as ice melts and deep oceans warm.

            To use a simplified analogy that only partly covers the physics, close the oven door tighter or add insulation, and you will get a temperature increase inside the oven.. and you can put your money that it was the human improving the insulation that will lead to the increase.

          • Jose, the difference between “climate” and “weather” is even greater than you imply. A lot of deniers dismissively say “how can they predict the climate in 10 or 20 years when they can’t even get tomorrow’s weather right?” To the naive person without any understanding of the science, this seems to make a good point. But it’s still wrong.

            Climate consists of long-term averages driven by fundamental physics: how much sunlight reaches each area on the earth, how much is reflected, how much is absorbed, what that incoming heat does to land, water and air, and how efficiently the earth radiates its own heat back to space. From basic physical principles you can estimate average earth temperatures quite accurately.

            It’s much harder to predict small, random, local fluctuations in those overall trends — i.e., weather — because they’re inherently chaotic. Small changes in initial conditions lead to major changes in outcome. That’s why the weather is so hard to model and predict, though it’s actually gotten pretty good.

            Let me give an example of the difference between short-term weather and somewhat longer-term trends.

            Right now it is nearly the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. Lots of sunlight is reaching the northern hemisphere, and average temperatures are fairly high. While I cannot predict exactly when and where it will snow this coming winter, I *can* predict with considerable certainty that it *will* be cooler in the temperate and polar regions of the northern hemisphere come November and December than right now in late May. Why? Because I know for certain that less sunlight will reach the Northern hemisphere at that time. And from that I know that average temperatures will have to be lower.

            It’s the same for long-term climate predictions. Our inability to exactly forecast next week’s or even tomorrow’s weather does not keep us from forecasting, with increasing accuracy, the long-term average trends in the earth’s climate as rising atmospheric CO2 levels continue to interfere with the earth’s energy balance. It’s as inevitable as the changing of the seasons, but the new, man-made “season” will last much longer.

      • Maybe you should not have an opinion on global warming. Perhaps your opinion on the comparison of medical procedures between balloon agioplasty and an arterial an stent is just as relevant as your opinion on global warming science.

        Is the root of this the realization that people are using you in this way and by extension you include global warming science?

      • Here’s the problem: your lack of understanding the difference between climate and weather is the fundamental reason that so many climate denialists are flawed in their reasoning. Climate is an overall trend of a reason, whereas weather can differ on a month to month – even year to year basis. What the scientists are concerned with here is the long term affects of raising such a miniscule amount. I will give you some topics to look up that is rarely talked about in these articles that cause a negative feedback loop. Look into methane release in the permafrost of Russia and Canada. Look into acidification of the Ocean – the single largest heat sink in the world. Do me a favor – look at a Phase Diagram of CO2…just humor me…sit there learn it. Try to understand and you will see what so many scientists see. Is that the climate warming is the butterfly that causes the tornado across the world.

        On another note : People said the same thing about modeling atoms, electrons, and other various things by the schroedinger wave equations. You know what happened? They started to – using approximation methods ect..ect.. Now look at what we have. Solid state drives, computers faster than ever, quantum tunneling in devices on a level of accuracy only available where “too many variables are present.” Do some reading before you post. Get an education.

        • boob, are you saying that humans are causing the planet too warm? what? 1.5 degrees celcius? dillon to keystone are that different. how will you stp the inevitable ice age? consensus? the earth warm and cools that a fact. when it gets cold people suffer. when it gets warm people prosper. look it up.

          • What inevitable ice age? I’d like to see some math on that inevitability.

    • Stop letting the big fossil fuel companies use you as their patsy. There is no doubt about human caused global warming. They just want you to believe there is, so you’ll prevent regulation that’ll harm their business. Who’s more likely to be swindling you, a vast, disconnected, poorly funded group of nerds in science labs, or the most profitable company on earth?

      • someone please tell me why the climate was changing before the world was industrialized? we know there was a 30 ft ice shelf in new york well before the world got industrialized….. the earth has been heating and cooling for thousands,millions of years long before we were here. so my question is who caused that to happen and why has the temps on mars changed? have heated up the entire solar system? i think not do some research people!!! Greenland used to lush and green hence Greenland then it turned to ice the vikings left hmmmm

        • climate change is accelerating due to human activity. That means we’re at a point in global temperature that we shouldn’t have reached without human activity.

          lol Greenland was never green. Erik the Red (the viking who discovered it) called it greenland so the other vikings who exiled him would go there while he chilled in iceland.

          Believe it or not there are real consequences to this accelerated climate change, like rising oceans, desertification, etc. ALL of these will have a catastrophic economic impact as well as enviornmental. So in 40 years you’ll have to explain to your grand kids when they’re playing on the sandy beaches of west virginia why all the low lying land to the east is gone and most of the interior of the US is a desert.

          • There are three parts to the assertions that you are making: First, that climate is changing in a manner inconsistent with historical patterns. Second, that human activity is the primary factor in that departure from the norm. Third, that the departure from the norm is harmful overall.

            First: what is the expected climate change, relying only on historical information prior to the development of accurate temperature measurements and recordings? What caused those variations, and how have those causes changed during human history? Finally, how is the total amount of arable land changing as a result of the changes, including colder areas which now have a longer season, areas formerly covered by ice sheets, and areas newly open to aquaculture?

          • Evan, you are believing the propaganda. Greenland was once green!

            But let’s not let truth get in the way of a good story.
            How will you explain to your children why their view of the once beautiful hills of West Virginia is now defiled with endless wind mills in a wind farm providing electricity to warm their home in a bitterly cold Summer.

            Tell them the truth we spent all our wealth chasing a misunderstanding!

          • @Ray DeLuca, Greenland was greener during certain years (greener than Minnesota?) while Iceland and many other areas might have been icier. That’s climate change.

            As for ugly hills in West Virginia, have you seen the mess created by the coal industry? We have plenty of deserts in the US and rooftops in cities everywhere where we can lay solar panels. We also have lots ideas in the laboratory that will allow us in time capture energy more efficiently.

        • Kevin, yes, the Earth has a natural warming and cooling cycle. But knowing this one fact shouldn’t count as your research. If you read further into the geological patterns, the Earth should be heading into a cooling period of the cycle. Is that happening? No. In addition, as someone else has pointed out, the rate of change seen in average temperatures today is faster than can be explained through natural sources.

        • Kevin, you are quite right that the climate was changing long before we humans appeared. Over the past half billion years, sea level has been up to 400 meters higher and 120 meters lower than today.

          But we humans have only been around for a few hundred thousand years, less than a thousandth of that time. Recorded history is even shorter, maybe 6,000 years.

          So the survival of the earth is not in doubt, but rather whether we and especially our civilization will survive. Today’s CO2-induced changes in climate and sea level are completely unprecedented in human history. The fact that the earth saw much worse long before we came along is very little comfort.

      • The world is running out of oil and fossil fuels. the oil companies know this. Saudi Arabia the world biggest supplier of oil had a 10% decline in oil production which is significant. They have reached PEAK OIL and have moved to off shore drilling which is more expensive. There is an unmet need of Oil that is the reason prices have doubled in the last 3-4 years. There is only a fixed amount of oil on this planet and we use it everywhere. in all the resins plastics pesticides. there are 9 gallons of oil in every tire of a car. it takes 10 times the amount of energy from the oil to produce one energy unit of food because you have all the machinery to harvest collect process take it to distribution centres etc… our food is oil. our electricity is oil. even if we find more oil in the middle of the oceans if the cost to drill for it and transport it is too much it might as well not even be there. Unless we could find an alternative through plants and be able to process it in a sustainable way we will be in trouble very soon. Gov knows this too that is why they are pushing this global warming BS to get us to use less oil. that is why they are pushing cancer causing and sterility vaccines and Aspartame to lower the world population so that we consume less oil.

      • Amen, I have also noticed that much of this disbelief originates from companies like FOX news (propaganda kings). and to those calling SCIENCE propaganda… please go back to church and stay there, let the decisions that affect all of man and earth be made by those a little more informed than the reading of the bible or newspaper.

        If you do not think global climate change is a happening, negative occurance, then i wiould suggest you go look at the ice caps melting see all the polar bears and whatnot dieing from lack of access to feeding grounds.

      • ask bp who got their money? i think you’ll be surprized

    • @ Jim C:

      Way to go, deny the article that is based on acceptance of well known science.

      Proofs are used in math, philosophy and denialism, but FWIW this is “proved” beyond reasonable doubt.

      Sciences can test, not prove, if something works as an explanation, and with time to the exclusion of all other explanation. “…when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” [Sherlock Holmes, the famous empiricist of Conan Doyle's novels.]

      This is how AGW theory has been tested (at climate scientists 2 sigma certainty) and all other ideas been coming up short since ~ 2003 when climate scientists were divided on this. Yes, consensus forms that quickly.

      Next year IPCC comes out with the 2014 climate science summary, approved by the climate science society. There are even odds that they will reach physics science 3 sigma certainty. Maybe we should call that ‘proof’ “beyond reasonable, reasonable doubt”!

    • There certainly is not enough consensus for government policy to be based on it.

      • @winzin, there is enough evidence to take action. Businesses, households, and government take action on much less.

        It is true we should not stop oil production next year or else!!! But no one is proposing anything near that drastic.

        The US will be foolish to fall behind on tomorrow’s dominant technology.

    • Climate Change is a theory- meaning it is the explanation that best conforms to the data and evidence, but it is only a theory.
      Like gravity.

      • Isaac, gravity is not a theory. All you have to do is let go of a stone from three feet high to know the existence of it–just to name one way of knowing. The theory is about what is the nature of gravity?, how it works?, etc.–not whether it exists. Evolution is a theory that best explains the mechanism of observed biological diversity. I’m sure that over time, it’ll be modified as we dig deeper–not disproved necessarily, mind you–but expanded in the same way that Galileo’s work was expanded by Einstein–not proved wrong, but his work was just applicable to a relatively narrow range of physical phenomena of the universe.

        Question: If there is a 5% chance of catastrophe, how certain should one be of that 5% before you take action? There’s not a simple answer to this, of course, but coming from this perspective can lend useful insights to the best action, as opposed to denial of the threat with little justification other than, well it’s not proved for certain yet–and therefore doing nothing.

        • All the solutions that are proposed for Climate Change are in the direction of many having less power, less control over the environment. I am very far from being a fundamentalist, but the passage in Genesis that man has dominion over the Earth is good basic science. Yes, science.

          What the heck are we here for is not to run things? (We have been a very bad job lately is true, but only because we forgotten that this is our mission.)

    • None of the government policies actually lower the worlds level of carbon in the atmosphere, instead it just redistributes money.
      If carbon is so bad (and has always existed in the atmosphere), why aren’t they working towards lowering the levels?
      The reality is that without enough carbon in the atmosphere we have an glacial period (we are now in an interglacial period although we are still in an ice age – glacial age).
      These cycles have existed for long before we came.

      • Yes, the cycles have existed. But we are introducing carbon into the atmosphere at unseen rates. Slowing down the release of CO2 will not through the Earth into an ice age. That’s one of the most ridiculous posts I’ve read on here.

      • @winzin, you are right that no one is proposing anything too drastic, but starting somewhere is important. The second step in turning around a speeding car is slowing down (first step is to decide we really want to turn around).

        We have introduced a huge amount of dinosaur CO2 that our current ecosystems have not known for millions of years.

    • by the time there is ‘irrefutable proof’, it will be in the pudding and we will all be eating it.

      sometimes man must err on the side of caution. this is one of those times.

    • “Moneygrubbers” are exactly the ones trying to prove there is no global warming! What HARM will come of changing things just in case? Worst case scenario, we no longer rely on the Middle East for oil. Your kind should appreciate that.

    • What kind of “proof” do you want Jim C.? Because there is endless data (aka “proof”) that climate change is not a hoax. Please enlighten me as to why you and others like you think the benefit is for these “snake-oil selling charlatans” or scientists (as they are trained) would waste time, energy and research on something like this? In other words, what does science or the public have to gain by pretending there is climate change? This idea that climate change is a hoax is a sad example of the lack of thought and analysis people are giving the topic. Even if you only got through 6th grade science class – you certainly did a couple experiments where you added ingredients together that resulted in a change of the original substances. Given this… anyone who believes that you can pump toxins into drinking water or the air we breathe and the original substances wont be altered is not thinking clearly or at all. Sure there is a natural process to the planet’s own evolution, just like humans. But JUST LIKE HUMANS, when you destroy the body with drugs and toxins, these bodies react with DIS EASE. There is “proof” that man-made pollutants cause cancer – after all many of these substances are KNOWN carcinogens.

      As for God. The chosen people are those people who take loving care of the gifts God gives. The people who believe that destroying the planet is a God-given right – are not following God. They are following something OPPOSITE of God.

    • Proof that climate change isn’t a big problem (if it exists at all).

      1. Human CO2 emissions will lead to mass extincitions, famine, war, rising sea levels, and perhaps a run away green house effect
      2. Nuclear power has almost zero CO2 emissions and can provide limitless power
      3. More people have died from choking on french fries than nuclear power.
      4. Nuclear power is too risky
      5. Ergo the threat from climate change is less than choking on french fries

    • spot on!

    • Yes, additional atmospheric CO2 will warm the planet somewhat. That is basic physics. How much it will warm the real planet earth is subject to much debate due to a variety of issues. Most scientists today believe the IPCC probably overstated the rate of warming in their last report.

      Much more importantly is what happens to annual rainfall at specific locations as the planet warms slightly. About that we do not know. We have models that make predictions, but none of them are remotely accurate in predicting changes in rainfall as a function of CO2 levels. We know that some areas or nations will benefit and others will suffer harm. We don’t know if more nations will benefit or be harmed.

      CO2 levels will continue to rise for decades. It is simply unavoidable. Reductions in places like the US will absolutely not offset rising emissions in the 3/4ths of the world where emissions are increasing due to people getting both power and personal transportation.

      The sensible solution is what is called “no regrets” policies. These are things like the construction of infrastructure to prepare for both flooding and long term water use.

    • You are one of the idiots they are talking about, Jim.

    • Brilliantly stated. Agreement means nothing without proof of basis.

    • They haven’t “proven” smoking causes lung cancer either….

  2. It all depends from which side you believe the propaganda is coming from. The Climategate emails clearly reveal that there is no consensus among leading climate scientists. Propaganda!!!! Our children are being taught lies about polar bears drowning and algore won’t debate any leading opposing scientist.

    • Another American idiot who is completely clueless.

      The “Climategate” emails you are referring to were talking about a the climatetologists were arguing over a single model’s data. Scientists can argue over 1 detail and still agree on the overall.

      Get a science education before you continue to sound so stupid.

      • AGW is BS, Stan Lippmann, Ph.D. in radiative transfer in ionized gases.

        • Stan, you are but one of many skeptics whose PHD is in the wrong subject.

          I am sure you really think highly of the climatologist, chemical engineer, or zoologist who thinks radiative transfer in ionized gases is BS. They sure have studied radiative transfer in ionized gases and can speak authoritatively on it!

      • I have a science education and I am appalled by the attitudes and actions of the so-called climate scientists. But the public is getting wise to them. “The Team,” as the believers call themselves, are circling the wagons, continuing to refuse to disclose data and methods and refusing to respond to FOIA requests.

        How long can their absurd models, forecasts and hindcasts continue to be so far off base before everyone starts laughing?.The end is near.

      • Are in fact polar bears drowning? Is Al Gore stupid?

        • Yes polar bears are drowning. Without many ice floes, they are left on the open sea for many days trying to find seals to hunt, and many of them do drown. They are drowning in record numbers.
          Even though I think that Al Gore is very smart, if he was the only one talking about global warming, I would be skeptical, but 98% of climate scientists agree that the climate is changing. NASA data shows that 2010 was the warmest, wettest year in recorded history.
          The result of inaction can be catastrophic for all life on earth. What kind of proof do we need before we take action.
          Are we really so stupid that we may risk what scientists are warning us about, just to see that maybe the oil and coal industries are right and the scientists are wrong?

          • You are all knuckleheads! This bs about the affect of global warming is what it is all about. The differences in actual temps, in a historic vein, is minuscule People throw around the scare phrases “2010 is the warmest wettest year in recorded history”. What the hell does that mean? We’ve only been recording temps for about 125 years. And all this bs about polar bears and walruses, well these animals have been drastically fluctuating in population for many thousands of years. Do you really think that the present trend in warming temps is the first the earth has dealt with? So i say that even if you take the “science” of these alarmists about global warming, catastrophic results are at least 600 to 800 years off. I have faith that science will provide for clean energy way before then. And besides, if present energy production meant one human could eat, would you rather that human starve so a polar bear could have some more ice?

          • Yes thats true but what makes you think we caused it. We know the earth has natural cycles of cooling and heating. It has gone through hot / cold cycles for billions of years, it didn’t suddenly start to warm up in the last 100….

          • Jeff you bring up some nice sounding points, but they’re flat out wrong.

            the whole attitude of climate change is not how it necessarily affects the earth, the earth couldn’t give a hoot if we still lived on it, but how those changes will affect human and plant life.

            ” And all this bs about polar bears and walruses, well these animals have been drastically fluctuating in population for many thousands of years”

            That’s all assertion, provide some evidence please!

            “I have faith that science will provide for clean energy way before then.”

            MAYBE YOU DON”T REALIZE THE POINT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ADVOCATES IS THAT WE NEED TO CHANGE ENERGY SOURCES. IF WE DON’T RECOGNIZE CLIMATE CHANGE THEN THE OIL/COAL COMPANIES WILL CONTINUE TO KILL EVERYONE WITH THEIR CURRENT POLICIES. Really? You think that clean energy will result from a lack of understanding about climate change?

            “if present energy production meant one human could eat, would you rather that human starve so a polar bear could have some more ice”

            this is a logical fallacy. Of course we’d produce enough for one human to eat and continue doing so, but the fact is that human production is not only for consumption of food, if it was we wouldn’t be having this conversation. We actually do provide enough food to feed everyone in the world, large food companies just dump their predetermined excess to keep the market price up….

          • Get on a plane, go to Alaska and where there should be ice for another 2-400 years you will see there is baren rock. it has melted away in less than a decade. If you dont like what the scientists are saying, go look for yourself, but dont blindly make statements that just make you look dumb, unless that is the intent.

            Bob

          • Lol, I can plainly see that you’ve never been to Alaska! Where did you hear such lies? Polar bears are amazing swimmers and live on land not ice.

          • Thank God Columbus did! He defied scientific consensus and used simple observation and logic to think the world was really round.

          • “Thank God Columbus did! He defied scientific consensus and used simple observation and logic to think the world was really round.”

            When Columbus sailed, scientific consensus had long been that the world was round! It was the average knucklehead without any scientific background following Church doctrine who thought the world was flat. The only disagreement Columbus had with the anyone scientifically educated was just how far he’d have to sail to hit land.

          • True, and he had maps supplied to him, indirectly by Nichols of Cusa.. Eratosthenes in about 200 AD had measured the circumference of the Earth.

          • @Jeff, the CO2 levels are already unprecedented in the last few millions of years. There is a lot of CO2 that is clearly going to be added before we reign it in. The species we depend on are not Jurassic plants and animals.

            Do you think it is best we wait until gasoline costs $20/gallon and food is rationed?

            I too have faith that people will get together and address this issue instead of keeping their heads under ground.

          • My fear is that by the time a majority of the people, including the oil and coal executives, decide that the threat is real, and they too have to continue living on this planet, it will be too late to change anything. At that time all we will be able to do is to hope that the temperature change will be 2 C and not 9 C.
            We must realize that to be able to address problems of this magnitude we must have the civilization working perfectly well. If the temperatures go up as much as some computer models predict, by the end of the century our civilization will probably be at a breaking point due to widespread hunger and disease and in no shape to address issues of this magnitude.
            T.J., I know that polar bears live on land, but their main food is seals and without ice, they have very hard time catching them, and when they go out to open ocean to hunt, they have no place to rest. Even though they are very good swimmers, they are land animals, not whales. That is the problem. If they start eating some other animals on land maybe they will be alright, although without ice and snow, their white color will be a disadvantage hunting inland.

          • Polar bears are classified as “marine mammals” for a reason. The sad, wet polar bear photographed on a small ice floe was a failed attempt to create emotion and then to call it science. It only worked for a couple of years and now its evident to thinking people that the emperor has no clothes.

          • “Polar bears can hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present.” from Wikipedia.
            Well when there is no sea ice they are in trouble. They can not hunt very well without the sea ice and they can not live off fat reserves forever.

      • It would all be so believable if polititians where not trying to line there pockets with gold. Climate science is now unreliable and corrupted by politics and cant beleived by any rational person.

        • A judicious application of discernment can separate the facts from the politics. Yes, there is much empty rhetoric, profit driven agenda and plain old BS surrounding CC. However, the testing on the ice cores in Antarctica is very compelling. The CO2 in the atmosphere is man made. We cannot continue to pollute with impunity.

        • I’m not sure you even know what is actually going on in the real world? Who has more money? that’s right companies like exxon and bp. do they lobby? oh of course they do.

          you honestly think there is more money in pushing climate change as a reality than the opposite?

          yo timmy, we need to do a lobotomy on this one, he doesn’t deserve his brain/education anymore give it to some kid who will do something with it.

          • You think BP and Exxon are AGAINST “Climate Change”? Big oil, as a major sector of the empire has always lined up with the Queen and the Greenies. They are a major funders of environemental groups, generally not directly but once or twice removed. Besides it is very useful to be able to turn on or off green protest and propaganda at will – it helps take care of competitors.

            Some of the responders here are just trolls, paid to “work on the internet”, but many others may actually believe this stuff. If you actually look rather than read predigested articles or TV shows, the whole argument just blows apart.

            If the powers-that-be (but not for too much longer) know that a depression is on the way, there’s no more to steal, then it is useful to get people to think that it’s good to be cold in winter because you can’t afford heat, that eating grain rather than meat is healthy, etc,

            One thing to look at is that the weather on Jupiter and Saturn is a very different from normal. It that man-made?

          • @Ron Real, BP has had to pay a price for their slip-up in the Gulf. Generally, big oil probably knows they have to hedge, but I think you are confused about which side they are on. Big Oil wants lots more drilling not limits.

            I don’t see your point about the poisonous atmospheres of other planets.

          • BP is part of the Empire. They stem from Admiral Fisher decision to base the British navy on oil burning ships. Control opf middle east oil was an major object of World War I and the British succeeded. Read something like Hope and Tragedy to get a sense of how the Empire works. You don’t understand the world from the headlines or TV news. You do know, don’t you that recognized authority is almost always dead wrong?

      • Every time I ask a question about global warming, someone calls me an idiot for asking the question. That tells me something.

      • There are discussions on both the existence and extent of anthropogenic climate change all the time by scientists. Some in journals, some on the web.

        • Among the amateur stuff, there is frequently a fair amount of ignorance and confusion since it appears a lot of people have taken the beginning assumption that climatologists are wrong.

      • Even the Nobel (cough) Prize winning IPCC has admitted, the polar info was hype.

      • Oh my dreamy, why don’t you use your intellect and knowledge of science to explain to us doubters just where we are wrong. Consensus does not equate to scientific proof. No Sigmas (though it does sound impressive) are scientific proof. Science is not like a game of horseshoes or hand grenades where close may be good enough. You are using the words of believers, intentionally confusing the theories of Law (settled Law) and beyond reasonable doubt for scientific certainty and Consensus for proof. True Science NEVER SETTLES. And no Law of science exists without proof.

        • You’re quite right, science never actually proves anything 100%. Even a longstanding theory like Newtonian gravity was subject to being overturned at any time with new evidence, and that’s exactly what happened when Einstein developed general relativity. It turns out that Newton wasn’t exactly right.

          So there’s really no need to worry about that cliff you’re driving towards at 100 mph. After all, gravity is STILL only a theory and you just might not fall to your death after all, so why worry about it?

          • Consider the alternative. Let’s pretend that our contribution to CC is less than actual. We establish rules that reduce CO2 drastically, then the solar cycle changes and with our man made reduction in CO2 the planet gets colder than it naturally would?

            If the problem here is human interference, then perhaps we should be a little more cautious before decided that we know the correct level of CO2.

          • Matt, your generic argument, while true, involved no analysis of just what is “too much”. Lack of action has consequences just as does action. Fact is that we already started adding our crap everywhere, and an argument against regulation on crapping everywhere at our voluminous amount because overregulation that can lead to undercrapping everywhere might have negative consequences is not a good argument to use to promote lack of or extremely limited regulation in the eyes of most people studying the matter carefully.

      • ah forget it you waste my time

    • It’s people like you that make our country look bad. Do some intelligent research before posting silly comments.

      • Try offering something useful to the discussion instead of calling someone’s comments silly. If you think one person’s comments can “make our country look bad” then you don’t understand what a debate is. I don’t see any “intelligent research” in your post.

    • Why don’t you refute the claims with data, Bill? And please tell me what, exactly, would be the point of making up climate change?

      Corporate greed has convinced you that anyone who supports the data of climate change, such as exponetaly rising rates of cancer (as a result of corporate toxins that are known carcinogens), raising temperatures – something that can’t be falsified since even you can test this…. deforestation, billions of tons of pollution in water and air, the great pacific garbage patch, an addiction to petrolum – a serious carcinogen.

      You show evidence that refutes climate change…. otherwise you are just another loon allowing TV to tell you how to think (or in this case, not think).

    • The climategate emails don’t reveal anything like that at all. Hundreds and hundreds of private emails stolen, and the best that can be found is a handful statements that sound bad when taken out of context. If there were truely some conspirancy to advocate a faulty theory, there would have been a lot more evidence of it. But no such evidence has been found.

    • Bill Arizona: Bill, it’s just not true that, “Climategate emails clearly reveal that there is no consensus among leading climate scientists.” It only shows that scientists are human and subject to human frailties just like the rest of us. But just like in poker, it makes no difference what a player says, it’s the cards that count. The evidence is here and now. Remember those that believed that getting humans on the moon was just theater? If it was truly certain that human activities are affecting world climate, there will still be naysayers for their own reasons. Their existence proves nothing and many with preconceived notions will be glad that they’re there to point to.

  3. You say that “It is no accident that so many Americans misunderstand the widespread scientific agreement about human-caused climate change. A well-financed disinformation campaign deliberately created a myth about there being lack of agreement.

    Good journalists would pursue this angle a lot further—ie Who is funding this disinformation campaign.? Surely these people and their motivations need to be exposed .

    • Once again, we know who is funding the disinformation campaign. It’s been widely reported. The interesting thing to me is that this survey shows the campaign is working.

      • That’s because too many people are far too lazy to do the most basic research required to understand any of the science. As Americans we should all have a little more initiative than that. …It’s sad.

      • who might that be bob?

    • Who is funding the climate change push? Those who benefit from it. So why does it matter to you only how one side is funded?
      Both sides are all about the money and the politics, that is obvious from the emails. Which only goes to show “science” isn’t as pure as it likes to make itself out to be. Its just another branch of politics.

      • Scientists make money for exploring and discovering. The evidence dictates the direction they take. Is science and evolving discipline practiced by imperfect humans? Of course, but that doesn’t mean that most scientists pick the side ahead of time and/or refuse to change opinion amid strong evidence and good alternative theories.

        The bigger money is from industry, not from academia. A scientist that wanted to practice for the sake of money primarily would be more likely to take the research pushed by industry.

        It’s important that government and schools fund science so as to limit the influence of big money.

        • “Conventional Wisdom” with the government and academia is far more control then in business, leaving aside finance where the conventional insanity rules. Business, or more specifically, industry is in the position of building or making something. There’s clear feedback on whether something works or not. Whereas academia, especially the social sciences, which is what Climate Science has become, can chase after moon beams for century, or endless debate which end of an egg to crack (see Swift).

          Do you realize that the big climate change conferences get around 12,000 people from around the world, most from poor countries, who get to stay in a place like Bali for three weeks all expenses paid at first class hotels. All they have to do, is once in a while moan about how endangered their countries is from climate change”, please give us a grant, so we hire consultants to write a study. To be added to the pile of crap already put out by this machine. And so on.

    • Who is funding this disinformation campaign? Hint: it’s a political party, and their symbol is an Elephant, and they are sometimes referred to as the GOP.

  4. This is a poorly written article.

    In order to prove that people think there is disagreement in the scientific community about global warming, you cite a study about people’s perceptions of scientist’s beliefs. That’s solid journalism.

    However, a major premise of your article is that scientists DO largely agree on the issue. You present as fact that “there is widespread agreement about global warming among scientists,” but you don’t offer any kind of data to back that claim up. Your article would be stronger if you referenced a survey of scientists that quantitatively gauges the level of agreement in the scientific community (i.e. __% of scientists believe humans have had a large effect on climate change, __% of scientists believe humans have had some effect on climate change, __% of scientists believe humans have had no effect and __% of scientists did not have an opinion). I’m not saying there is or isn’t scientific accord on the issue. I don’t have the data to make either claim, but neither does your article.

    • There are many, many surveys of scientists. All the surveys show the same thing: A huge majority of climate scientists agree on this subject. That’s a given. It’s the starting point for trying to understand why that message hasn’t made it to the public.

      • A vast majority of “climate scientists” or a vast majority of incopetants who know that their bread is buttered by those who spout the line. A vast majority of Scientists not limited to the bought and paid for, do not believe in manmade climate science that requires the downgrading of industry to address. Climate change is of course certain, that is one thing “climate scientists” deny, they try to suggest that the climate also always been stable until “evil mankind” messed it up. But what causes it and what should be done about it are the points at issue. The only way that the human species can survive the changes being induced by the changing solar environment is to beef up industry, power sources, (real) science. You survive challenge by getting stronger, not weaker. BTW, the writer of this article is of the same class as the “climate scientists”, incopetent and untruthful, but understanding that if you propagate the “line” you will proper, until it all falls on your empty head.

        • You demonstrate ignorance and/or bias. Talk is easy. If you want to “win the battle” do the science and provide the evidence that will be impossible to deny. The “deniers” are doing a weak job with the science. Do you want to point us to the theory that you think is correct or the irrefutable evidence that sinks climate science as it’s now accepted?

      • Can we say Fox News Channel?

      • Ah, but the so-called consensus, if you look closely, is composed of a relatively small group of climate scientists and others whose livelihood or reputation depends on the billions of dollars that flow into government-financed climate research.

        On the other hand, over 31,000 scientists have signed the petition against Kyoto-like restrictions on CO2 because there is no scientific evidence that it is harmful, much less will it cause any catastrophe.

        http://www.petitionproject.org/

        PS: Bob Berwyn’s comment that “we know who is funding the disinformation campaign” is pure ignorance. There is no nefarious source of funds to combat global warming hysteria. I wish there were. But it’s just a bunch of folks with some spare time, scientific curiosity, and the training to dig into the blunders of people like Michael Mann at Penn State.

        • Guy that’s like saying my doctor practices medicine so i can;t trust him because well he needs to diagnose sick people to keep his job. You skeptics are so stupid.

          • No its like a school diagnoses kids with ADHD because they get additional funds… oh wait the schools do get additional funds when that happens. That is what his point is, he is saying that their are researchers who’s funds depend on them providing proof.

            I find it funny that the skeptics accuse CC believers of having bought scientists, all while ignoring that their scientists could be bought (and vice versa).

        • The IPCC reports had thousands of people studying climate science in a dedicated manner. These are the experts you criticize.

          The petition you mentioned has veterinarians and all sorts of people who are not climate scientists. As Barry Bickmore covered in his presentation posted on this blog recently, the people on that list that arguably have studied the matter carefully came out to a miniscule number. Do you ask a civil engineer for advice on brain surgery? That is what you are proposing we do, take the advice of those who have hardly studied the issue and ignore the advice of those who have studied it thoroughly. Do you realize how foolish your position sounds?

          By the way, what blunders of Mann are you talking about? Please don’t tell me you still think hockey stick was proven false. Not that it was necessary, but when a non expert scientist skeptic with funding from big oil and representing the hopes of a lot of the skeptic world decided to do a thorough statistical research on the data, his team were surprised with the conclusion that the experts did in fact know what they were talking about. You can read a bit more about hockey stick here http://www.skepticalscience.com/broken-hockey-stick.htm

      • Cool… that makes your job super easy… cite just one of those studies and all of the sudden your article has a whole new level of legitimacy. Better yet, since there are “many, many” studies, cite two or three or four of those and your argument will be strengthened immeasurably. Right now its laughable that the subheading for your article reads “Scientists nearly unanimous on climate change” but you do nothing to validate that claim and instead accept it as generally accepted fact.

      • Nothing is a given. That is the way science works.

      • Climate scientists who stand to make money off of it, and prestige too.

    • Why don’t you stop winning about the journalism and do a little of your own homework on percentages, consensus, and remaining questions?

  5. [...] Global warming: Propaganda creates myth of disagreementSummit County Citizens VoiceBy Summit Voice SUMMIT COUNTY — A long-running propaganda campaign to cast doubt on climate science has apparently worked to some degree. On the one hand, there is near unanimous agreement among climate scientists that human-caused global warming is …CO2 sensitivity possibly less than most extreme projectionsLos Angeles TimesCO2 climate sensitivity 'overestimated'BBC NewsLast big chill suggests lower climate impact of carbonArs TechnicaRegister -TG Daily -Forbesall 117 news articles » [...]

  6. The theory of anthropogenic global warming was indeed very compelling when it emerged in the 1970s. At the very least it merited further research. But then a funny thing happened when powerful political classes latched onto the idea – realizing that a mandate to regulate carbon dioxide emissions was a license to regulate virtually every aspect of human activity.
    Just as advocates of global warming theory accuse Big Oil of providing funding to studies and researchers who dissent from the theory, state funded research can have only one possible conclusion and everyone knows that any scientist who strays from the orthodoxy will be shunned. Institutions and scientists who dutifully work to support the orthodoxy are rewarded with research dollars. As a provider of research grants, national governments, particularly in the EU and US dwarf all other sources of funding. Those who live by grants know not to bite the hand that feeds them.
    Proper scientific methodology requires that the researcher actively look for evidence to disprove the hypothesis as well as for evidence to prove the hypothesis. In real life, however, science rarely works this way. Scientists become so invested in a theory that they get tunnel vision, ignoring evidence to the contrary and zealously defending their research like a lioness defending her cubs.
    Compelling recent evidence such as the role of cosmic rays in the formation of clouds, the lack of measurable warming since 1998, NASA data which indicates that the atmosphere releases far more heat into space than previously understood and the effect of shifting ocean currents on polar ice caps have all been casually disregarded by global warming theory advocates because it doesn’t support the model.
    I don’t base my opinions on what percentage of the scientific community or public believes in this stuff. The fact is that most of them are not actively engaged in climate science and an even smaller number are actually engaged in global warming research. The data supporting global warming theory has mostly been compiled by a small cadre of scientists who have often engaged in petty and deceptive practices and have been less than open regarding their data and methods. This combined with the histronics of politicians such as Al Gore has led me to be a skeptic of global warming theory as presently constituted.

    • Brilliantly written!

    • Way to long of a comment, but correct in your assessment.

    • I am reading a lot of science journals on this issue and as I understand it, about 98 percent of the climate scientists now agree that the climate is warming. They just reported that NASA measurements showed that 2010 was the warmest and most humid year in recorded history. There is irrefutable evidence of the melting ice all over the world, in the form of melting arctic ice, receding glaciers everywhere, etc. The ranges of living organisms are shifting north and / or higher every year. The migration times are changing for migrating animals. The trees are loosing their foliage later in the year and blooming earlier in the spring time.
      Recently they are saying that if something serious isn’t done within the next 5 years or so, we can not contain the temperature change to within 2 degrees centigrade, and would most likely face calamitous weather change.
      In the face of all this information and the tremendous cost of inaction which may possibly lead to the end of our civilization, what more do people need to make up their minds. Don’t they realize that by the time science is able to prove the climate change beyond any doubt (if it hasn’t been proven already), it will be too late to do anything about it? (It may already be too late for our civilization).
      Are we so selfish and stupid as a species that even with this much warning we are unwilling to act, in the chance that the scientists may be wrong? What if they are right? Isn’t it infinitely better to change our carbon based economy and realize in 20 years that scientists were wrong than not doing anything and realizing in 20 years that the scientists were right and many degrees of temperature change is now unavoidable causing untold human misery and tremendous damage to all ecosystems.

      • The argument isn’t that the climate is changing its been doing that for millions of years. the debate is is it caused by man? and where is the proof and what caused it to heat before we arrived?

        • From what I understand, even though the climate changed many times before in the history of the world, it generally changed slowly, like in thousands of years, and when it changed quickly, like it is doing now, it caused major disruptions of living systems, as happened during major extinction crisis.
          The last time the CO2 increased considerably in the atmosphere 44 million years ago, it did so in over 10,000 years, so the oceans were able to absorb it and with the shells at the bottom, convert it to calcium carbonate. But now we are increasing the CO2 concentration way too fast for any natural system to compensate for it.
          When most of the scientists are saying that the climate change is mainly caused by man, why are we having such a hard time believing it? Wouldn’t it be a big coincidence that the first time the climate changes considerably in 12,000 years coincides with the tremendous increase of our agricultural and industrial activities? Why are we having such a hard time believing that our massive changing of all ecosystems of the earth can have any effect on the biosphere at all?
          I suggest that people get more informed about the effects of previous changes of the climates on the ecosystems of the world, especially the rapid changes due to meteor strikes, volcanic activity etc. Do we really want to risk going through such a period? The life on earth would probably come out of it in a few million years, but humanity may not.

    • Some oil Barons named the Koch brothers funded some research of their own to prove that “climategate” was real and that your “small cadre of scientists” were fooling everyone, but even research paid for by some oil tycoons found that the science supporting global warming was valid. Its as if the scientists weren’t afraid to bite the hand that feets them.

      The research I just mentioned can be found by googling something like “koch brothers global warming.”

      The unusually dispraportionate news coverage of the breaking and exonerating of the “climategate” scandal was featured in an episode of The Daily Show, one that supports the premise of this article.

      (p.s. hit enter TWICE for paragraph breaks)

      • I’m a strong supporter of the “man made climate change” paradigm, but citing the Daily Show” isn’t helping!

    • You’re just spouting off anti-warming talking points. Why do you pick 1998 as your date to prove no recent warming? Because the anti-warming guys know that was an unusually hot year, so if you start your graph there, it makes the line look uncertain. Read this: http://www.grist.org/article/global-warming-stopped-in-1998

      The whole “people working for grants are therefore untrustworthy” story is BS. Even if one scientist lied about his work, 100 others would call him on it. There’s grant money for DISPROVING theories, too. But that’s the nice thing about science – everyone’s watching you, so you can’t make stuff up.

    • Anyone who seriously thinks scientists are forced to defend “orthodoxy” hasn’t a clue how science works.

      It is true that science never completely proves anything. To be scientific, any theory must be falsifiable; there must be, in principle, an experiment or observations that could disprove it.

      But when a theory has withstood the test of time by making successful predictions and withstanding the scrutiny of the many scientists running experiments and collecting observations in an attempt to disprove it, the more widely accepted it becomes.

      At some point a theory becomes so well established that it is no longer reasonable to reject it simply because, like every theory, it could still in principle be disproved tomorrow. If absolute certainty were required before we could ever act on our scientific understanding, we’d still be living in caves.

      The legal system has adopted this same principle. That’s why guilt in a criminal case has to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, not beyond ALL doubt.

      One of the surest paths to a Nobel prize is to find evidence that solidly refutes a widely accepted theory. Every scientist knows that. They also know that such discoveries inevitably lead to more refined and comprehensive theories. So the notion that scientists are forced to “defend orthodoxy” simply hasn’t a clue.

      • Anyone who thinks that there is no orthodoxy in science doesn’t understand how funding works.

      • Is this why our president got a Nobel prize ?

        • The first Nobel in golfing while sending drones to kill. True peace.

          • Forget the nobel prize. Finding peace keepers is not exactly a science.

            Golfing is balanced by basketball and many more days clocked at the office and outside I think. I think it is partly a culture thing and engaging with your peers. I know miniature golf can be lots of fun. True access to a golf course is usually associated with privilege and a certain wealth, something every President obviously has.

            As for the drones, that is an assault of trial by court, etc, but wars have always violated those laws of respect and seek to do justice to individual at a tradeoff supposedly of preserving the larger forest from destruction or something like that. I think the argument behind drones is that life loss is minimized, but I agree there is a problem with that the way decisions are made (war.. no jury of several peers.. nevermind respect for life as some believe is due everyone or even the reasons behind each individual case of a person taking up arms in a side of a war). People will argue that shooting a suspected bomber before s/he presses the button justifies the means. Like I said, the peace price is not scientific.

    • Andrew,

      That is a very interesting conspiracy theory that you have created in your mind.

      I think the folks that deny the lunar landing could use some more help. Please join them in their crusade.

    • 1. warming or not warming;
      2. if warming, the cause?
      3. propaganda: petrol industry vs. auto industry + new energy industry + politicians + “scientists” + … more

    • “I don’t base my opinions on what percenatge of the scientific community or public believes in this stuff” yeah you would rather believe politically slanted pundits and publications instead. Oh yeah, wayyy more trustworthy. You make unfounded ridiculous assumptions about scientists all day and instead of finding problems with the science you invent wild conspiracy theories and lob attacks at imagined character flaws. If cosmic rays are so important I wonder what the coorelation between cosmic ray intensity and world cloud cover is. Both have been measured for years. I will leave it to you to find out on your own if you are truly interested. If don’t want to believe science, then find a problem with the science, and stop latching on to whatever wacky theories about scientists conspiring to get paid that are being dreamed up in the minds of pundits.

    • @Andrew C

      Interesting putting government motivations and “requirements” on research at the same level as industry even though industry’s controlling point is profits while government has always supported diverse research and cannot simply deny funding to respectable scientists because they don’t like past results.

      You also appear to suggest that the entire world, including private university climatologists, almost unanimously agree to follow the same course because of fear of funding.

      I agree that biases creep in on an individual basis, but there would be a lot of money and recognition to be the scientist to disprove mainstream, don’t you think? If money if the primary motivator, I would say you’d want to come up with evidence against mainstream. That would make you really famous. Do you think these climatologists (and amateurs) trying to revolutionize the field don’t exist or are tiny in number? Have you considered that maybe, just maybe, the most powerful evidence supports man playing a strong role in global warming and that the many who have tried to show otherwise largely have failed? Claiming there are few people trying to become the thorn in mainstream climate science is not a well supported claim, to say the least.

      Is it your amateur (or professional) informed opinion that cosmic rays likely fill a more important piece of the puzzle than does carbon dioxide? It seems to me that carbon dioxide is where the greater probabilities lie. “Greenhouse effect” is easily likely to relate strongly to warming effects. Cosmic rays seem like a much more indirect and smaller effect. If you have to pick, you go where you think you will get your “money’s worth” .. that is, find conclusive evidence (one way or the other). The most likely paths attract the most consideration of focused scientists. [This isn't to say that the little explored path won't reveal nuggets later on, but scientists play the odds and pursue fertile paths just like anyone else would.]

      Slowdown in warming in past decade: Climate does not work on the order of a few years. When the stock market is going up, we will still get lots of cycles within cycles. We get ups and we get downs. This happens in any real system. To find no pull-backs is very unlikely and rather scary. [In fact, it has been surprising temperatures have gone up so much for so many consecutive decades.] Historically, you always find lots of cycles. And our earth system naturally has many cycles. There are imbalances daily, monthly, and yearly, despite any long-term rising bias. I am sure you have been to the beach during the time when the tide is rising yet seen waves (ie, seen troughs).

      The data comes from nature. I am sure many efforts have been taken by those with interests in the status quo to find data that would foil the GW story. Do you have any data? Please report. The more data the better. Why let only a “few” climatologists call the shots. Go out there and carve trees open and excavate.

      Spencer wrote a book attacking climatologists. He made a name for himself among skeptics. He made a number of mistakes in that book. He published some papers which got taken apart by fellow scientists. Whose fault is that? Do you think Spencer’s papers are sound? Does curve fitting with over-simplified curves that are conveniently flattish into the future but blow up when traced back in time sound reasonable as descriptions of our climate? Does cherry-picking data sets to try and argue his theories while clearly leaving out data that totally disproves it sound honest or that he took meticulous care to follow the evidence?

      Where are the alternative theories that account for the vast evidence and data sets? Something as complex as the climate is not modeled by one simple differential equation, or worse, by a simple *time-independent* system of equations as I recently saw. Where are the error bars in the works of skeptics?

      All of this said, I like criticism. I think it is good to have many reasonable skeptics. Keep up the good work.

      • Jose in what capacity do you work for the government ?
        propaganda specialist ? or debunker extraordinaire ?

        • Never have worked for the government, but it will help be better debunk and continue my propaganda specialty if you provide specific criticism.

    • Thank you! thank you! thank you!
      By far the most intelligent comment
      Andrew C you nailed it.
      I have read a tremendous amount of info on both sides of this issue. Is there change going on? Absolutely! Has there always been change? Absolutely! Has man had a negative impact on the environment ? Absolutely!
      But to what extent is the real question.
      Unfortunately every thing worth controlling is controlled by the money interests that have the power to control it.
      Follow the money trail on this issue and most of the rest of the grand problems we face today and you will find the root of the problems.

    • amen. great work. just ask them how clouds work or where they get their temp data from.

      • I have a suspicion that the climate scientists have a much better idea of the likely contribution of clouds and the statistical nature of the data (including the BEST project funded in part by various “denier” groups) than do most people complaining about this, who have likely read almost zero of the many papers many scientists in the field have read.

        As for money, I heard the US gov gives less than a dozen billion USD yearly to the science. If that is in the ballpark, how does that compare to hundreds of billions in profits and more that is spent in research, marketing, and other activities as “costs” from industries which don’t like the global warming views of most expert scientists? There is plenty of money on the other side, including from book royalties and what not. So if we follow the money, does that mean both opposite conclusions are thus sure to be provably wrong, as Andrew C appears to be claiming?

    • Speaking of being shunned, how about the scientists recognizing the AGW literature who get attacked by the many politicians, people in power, and those with money on the line?

      The money-feeding and retribution works for and against each side, yet the vastly overwhelming number of scientists who have studied this problem accept AGW.

  7. [...] Global warming: Propaganda creates myth of disagreementSummit County Citizens VoiceBy Summit Voice SUMMIT COUNTY — A long-running propaganda campaign to cast doubt on climate science has apparently worked to some degree. On the one hand, there is near unanimous agreement among climate scientists that human-caused global warming is …CO2 sensitivity possibly less than most extreme projectionsLos Angeles Times [...]

  8. How these “scientists” got certified?
    They cannot predict well next week weather.
    Good way to keep a job.

    • Look at it this way: I assume you live in the continental US. Do you think it will be warmer or cooler on average next June than it is now in late November? How can you be so sure when no one can even predict the weather a few days from now?

      This confusion between climate and weather is extremely common. “Weather” consists of short term, small and largely random fluctuations. Climate is long term and much easier to model from basic physical principles.

    • What do you mean certified? What kind of certification is needed to be a scientist. These are college educated people with PhD degrees, not plumbers.
      They are trying to convey their findings to general public for some action to avert possible catastrophic changes of our climate, even though there is tremendous pressure from the all powerful oil and coal industries to do nothing.
      Even if there wasn’t the danger of climate change it would still be infinitely better to spend some effort on energy efficiency and clean alternatives to energy production. We are killing the world by just looking for oil and coal in naturally sensitive areas. Every month there is an oil spill somewhere. Fracking for natural gas is poisoning underground water. We are blowing up the tops of mountains to extract coal. And all for what? Because Americans don’t like small cars and energy efficient homes?

      • A PHD paper does not mean knowledge or tools.
        Many PHD have a brain with a BIG HARD DRIVE but with a SMALL CPU. That is how they get the PHD paper.
        If there are no tools to go to the moon you stay here does not matter how many PHD’s you collect.
        PHD’s and Masters have worked for me so I have had the chance to compare with others. I am in the science area.
        Yes, agree with you to clean the environment is priority 1.
        But cleaning the environment is a lot more than a SUMMIT by politicians.
        For example, are WE willing to drive or fly a lot less?
        No intention to bother, this is just my point of view.

        • I understand your point, but I think the corporations are intentionally misinforming people into believing that the science is not reliable on this issue. They benefit from people continuing to consume without realizing the destruction and misery that mindless consumption causes for people of other countries and other life forms of the world.
          Ancient forests converted into tree farms, with 1/2000 of the original biodiversity, massive pesticide use, harming not only us but countless other life forms and poisoning the land, acidifying oceans due to CO2, killing the coral reefs, “industrial fishing” which is stripping oceans of all fish, etc. etc.
          Only a psychopath would not change his behavior if he knew all these, even if the global warming wasn’t caused by man. So trying to reduce our CO2 footprint will help many other issues also.

          • Manis not an animal. You appear to want to be considered as one.

          • Yes, man is just another animal.
            Maybe the root cause of our problems is that we are led to believe that we are above all other life forms, and how we treat them will not affect us.
            We are starting to see that life on earth is a continuos web, and man is just another strand in it, as Chief Seattle expressed so eloquently in 1854. If we have respect and wonder about all life on earth, we will live in a world where we evolved to which is a good definition of heaven, otherwise we will change the world until it is an unknown planet for us, similar to hell.

          • The Chief Seattle thing is a hoax, you know. Besides being anti-human, but that’s what you like.

          • I am not anti human. I am just trying to point out that what happens to the natural world eventually happens to us. Our superior intelligence does not make us immune to natural laws. Even with superior technology, we can not replicate natural systems. Apart from their aesthetic and therapeutic values, we are dependent on the natural systems for our food. The plants and animals, the natural cycles, like the seasons, the rain, the underground water, rivers, lakes, bacteria in the soil, the pollinators, like bees and bats, etc. can not be replaced at any cost. The way we are treating the natural world does not give much hope for our future. We are changing things very fast, including the atmosphere and we don’t have a clue when the whole thing will break. If I was anti human I would not be concerned about the future of humanity. I may be anti civilization in its present form, but not anti human.

    • Short term weather is unpredictable. But just because you can’t say all that much about the short term doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t say anything meaningful about the long term. For example, I might not be able to tell you what the weather is next week, but I can tell you that the summer is going to be warmer than the winter. Now gee, how can I make a prediction about a season that is months away, when I don’t even know the weather next week?

  9. I defy anyone to produce the falsifiable hypothesis. No one will, because there is none.

    Has anyone seen data?

    How often do you see error bars on those sad little graphs after they’ve been waterboarded?

    Since when does “consensus” matter. Every last “scientist” on earth could be part of the “consensus,” and some little 13 year old chick — Galilela — could sink the whole heap with one little contradiction to the falsifiable hypothesis….oh yeah….

    • Why are you comparing religious (faith-based) leaders with scientists? Galileo was one of the many scientists not in agreement with traditional church doctrine. In contrast, the climate skeptics/deniers of today are the faith-based bunch that have made up their minds (in some cases) without really looking at much evidence. They tend to hand around in non-technical forums lobbying easy questions at each other and taking part frequently in non-rigorous pseudo science. It’s not coincidence that the majority of skeptics, by far, have not studied the earth’s climate very much at all. The papers out there by actual scientists studying climate show error bars. The skeptics tend to leave those out in the graphs they troll around.

      • The Galileo argument is old hat and false. there were three factions at that time. Galileo represented the Scarpi faction as against the Aristotelian “flat earthers” and also against the Renaissance faction of Cusa, Columbus, De Vinci, etc. That can be seen in the relationship between Galileo and Kepler, the discover of the actual mechanics of the solar systems, as emeplified by the orbit of Mars. Galileo faction was a response of the Venetians to the success of the Renaissance. The old model of Aristotelian thought suppression did not work anymore, the liberal model of Scarpi was the replacement. This was part of the makeover of the empire from a southern Venice base to a Dutch-British one..

  10. Wow, reading these replies just validates the author’s point about folks being confused.

    It’s in the best interest (short term) for many companies (and thus stock holders etc.) to ignore the problem and out right deny it. Scientists have no vested interest in this other than a quest to understand the truth. Al Gore is not a scientist and so having him debate is silly, all the more so because truth is not determined by debate but data and reason.

    Certainly the oil industry isn’t really interested in helping or they would simply stop selling fuel. It’s all about the bottom line and unfortunately politics is not ruled be reason but the almighty dollar which puts politicians in office.

    Do some research kids before you repeat this nonsense about scientists not agreeing on it. They argue details continuously and seek to refine climate models in ways most laymen can’t understand because they don’t understand the language of mathematics and the physical and chemical terms used.

  11. Politics is a game played by rich people and powerful interests. Too bad the opinion of the masses doesn’t mean jack to the laws of the natural world. Doubters will repeat the tired old propaganda lines again and again. The sooner everyone gets on board about trying to solve this problem, the better it is for everybody.

  12. One of the largest backers of the man made global warming sham was Al Gore. The only reason he was in favor of the global warming senerio was he and his partners wanted to start a market to buy and sell carbon credits. In other words he wanted to get rich. The same goes for the consensis of these so called scientists that are wanting funding to Study the global warming issue. Like any scam all you have to do is follow the money. The UN only makes this an issue because they want more money to study the problem. Yes I believe in climate change. Its been happening since the creation of the planet and will always be happening. I just don’t believe that anything we have done has had any effect on that process.

    • I don’t know if you noticed, but Al Gore is already rich as hell. And for the scientists, your claim that they are all in a giant conspirancy to defraud world governments is ridiculous (a lot of the propaganda serving the right wing agenda is ridiculous) no one can really find a problem with the science so you invent wacky scenarios where all these independent groups of scientists are colluding with each other to get paid. If the science is bad, then find a problem with the science. Don’t make stuff up.

  13. There is a scientific consensus of gravity.
    There is a scientific consensus about evolution.
    There is a scientific consensus that there is climate change.
    There is a scientific consensus that during the last century there was some global warming.
    There is a scientific consensus that human to some degree are affecting the climate.
    Now, why on earth is never the real question asked in these types on surveys that should be asked which is “Is human activity going to or might cause dangerous global warming?, with emphasis on dangerous”
    Why this question is never asked is because the idea that there is a scientific consensus on this question is an URBAN MYTH.
    Sure, there might be a consensus that there is among the activists/scientists who make there living on the gravy train promoting this scare.
    So where are the propaganda and the real money coming from on this question? Oil-companies, environment NGO ‘ s, rent seeking businesses or tax-money?
    I suggest the author of this piece should some investigation.

  14. Thank You Bob

    I appreciate people that stand up to defend the science and call out the frauds for what they are.

    As usual, the mouth breathers with no science background or understanding of logic and reason are out on force proving your point that the global warming denial propaganda has been very effective.

    • How many of those scientists specialize in climate research?

      • I wonder who is paying you to run down Al Gore —maybe the same people who funded Bush– who subsequently went on to start a few disastrous wars to try and control the worlds oil.

        • Yes, you are right. The blame lies with Obama.

          • I bet that there is not one person commenting here who has read even a small amount of the scientific literature (not the press reports) on climate change.

            Anyone?

          • I have. I have actually read some of the peer-reviewed literature. Just so you feel better. I have also been to several conferences, and I have worked with some published climate scientists.

          • None of that actually makes you an expert. In fact, just because you call yourself an “engineer” has no bearing on what you know about this issue. These “published climate scientists” have to get funding from somewhere… Do you know the sources of the funds used to conduct the research? The conferences you attend have to be paid for, somehow… Who is footing the bill?

          • Does it matter really??? If someone says 1 + 1 = 2, does it make a difference if they are paid by Texas Instruments or Intel? You assess the facts, the evidence that is presented, and of course, the quality of the work done. A brilliant idea is a brilliant idea no matter the source. We like to argue about who is speaking rather than what is said. This translates to politics in general in my opinion, much to our detriment.

            Complain and blame is what we are doing, instead of finding solutions. Solutions are boring. They require us to research an idea to find out why it would be good or not. Something most of us do not want to do. We would rather take “our side’s” position on it. It is some much easier. I mean who has time to research anything?

            To address your second point, I agree I am no expert on the topic. I only wrote that I have done actually seen some of the data and read the peer reviewed work since someone asked if anyone had in an earlier comment. It is my fault I did not hit the reply button.

            My whole point in my comments on this story is that we are not solution focused, and this debate is really just a waste of resources since regardless of how you think the planet is warming (even if it is even doing so), fossil fuels will need to be replaced with something eventually. Why not start discussing ways we can replace fossil fuels instead of arguing who did what and when?

            I appreciate the discussion.

            Respectfully Submitted

          • Well the issue, is that there is a chorus yelling that 1 + 1 is 3. So it is important to know why. “Paid” is the answer is you understand that pay is not necessarily money, but can be accptance, fame, etc. getting published in Nature rather that the Hoboken Journel letter to the Editor, etc.

            Yes, futher energy is a vital question. mankind is the only creature on this planent that uses fires consciously, even though fire can be dangerous. Our history is markded by using ever more powerful forms of fire. Now we must move to nuclear, fusion, and post nuclear energy forms. They are necessary to one) support the present an future poulation of this planet in a fit manner for human beings, two) to begin to move humankind into the solar system, and then on into the galaxy. That’s hard to do with geothermal, isn’t it?

          • Yep. Quite a bit actually.

          • I’ve read a significant amount on this matter outside the popular press. The primary research I base most of my positions on can be found at google VOSTOK SURVEY images. An open minded 5th grader can draw powerful scientific conclusions from thie pre-politicised research.

          • After blogging on Huff Post I’ve downloaded 165 files totaling 200 mb. Waded through most reading summaries or the first line of each paragraph when it wasn’t possible to study the entire article. The truth I believe is:

            Yes CO2 levels have and are increasing, and yes fossil fuel is a major contributor. The correlation between temperature and CO2 levels, so visually apparent during the past 100 years is not the proper indicator of expected change. Older well documented Paleoclimate data shows we are in a “normal” range of temperatures.

            There is no proof the climate is excessively sensitive to CO2 emissions. There is an excess of media and unvetted technical articles for sale on publishing house sites with scientific sounding names.

            There is a lack of scientific evidence regarding global warming and severe weather. I have 20 or so links received from GW CC AGW proponents but have not yed completed an evaluation of the theories.

            My conclusion is there is no emergency. We have time to complete more investigations and determine the correct balance for the Environment, and the Economy.

          • Right. We all know it’s his fault. He’s the anti-christ too, I hear. Pass it on.

        • You are one of the ones I was referring to in my first paragraph!

        • Mark, where is your reset button. It needs to be pushed.

      • So, have you checked to find out… And reviewed their other research projects to see if their views are any less scientific than those who call themselves “specialists” or are you waiting for someone else, like a global warming activist, to proof it for you?

        I agree man-made emissions have an impact, and have looked at both sides to form my opinion… But doubt our contributions trump the other factors outside of our control. While adding a glass of water to the pool will increase the water level, it isn’t likely to cause mass-overflowing.

        Interesting how “unprecedented” global warming is occurring and melting ice formations which in turn uncover 1500 year old settlements… The ice obviously wasn’t there 1500 years ago either. To look at 125 years of data, assuming the gauges weren’t corrupted as cities grew around many of them, and lose sight of the bigger picture of how the earth has changed in the past 2000 years is absurd.

        Should we now start assuming that since glaciers are no longer moving across the continents that man was the result?

        The problem is compounded when politicians get involved with more of an interest in taxing emissions rather than solving the problem in a sustainable fashion.

        • http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/how-to-avoid-the-truth-about-climate-change/ This presentation is called “how to avoid the truth about climate change”. It was created by a former skeptic Republican scientist. He did look at the stats on those signers and concluded that only something like 1% could be considered near to climate scientists. Most of those folks who signed (and you can sign the list even if you don’t know what “science” is) have uninformed opinions. They have not read the literature. It’s very easy to have an opinion and sign up on an Internet forum.

          I don’t think you will want popular opinion on some Internet list to dictate how your next surgery is performed if against the better judgement of your surgeon, doctors, and related specialists.

          I think you are uninformed about all the issues climatologists have looked at. Is there a specific case of a 1500 year old settlement lying under melted ice that you are aware was used by climatologists to support their conclusions?

          Are you aware that the scientists compare many independent paths and they do know that thermometers of the past were not as good, that some broke, that some data was fudged, etc. These things come out in statistical analysis and in other forms of analysis and comparisons.

          As for the politicians, that is for politics, not for science. If the science says something, and you want to debate about how we deal with that concern, than you practice politics. Vote for those who follow paths you like. That, however, is a different issue than science. Be informed on the accurate science, then vote.

          • Good observations, but you’re still seeing through blinders.

            The 1500 yr old settlements (and objects to 4300 yrs old) wasn’t cited by Climate Scientists, but by Archeologists exploring The Yukon Ice Patch… The problem was once exposed, the archeologists were not finding them fast enough to prevent their disintegration due to the elements once exposed. There is significant other literature, however, of what has been discovered over the past 15 years.

            As for the specialists… I would be as inclined if not more to give weight and credulence to geologists, paleontologists, biologists, etc. as to the climate shifts that the earth has endured… And confirmable

          • … Confirmable through examination of the strata, fossil records, etc. than a “scientist” looking at data compiled over the last 125 or so.

            The errors I referred to had nothing to due with a broken thermometer… But rather the cities with mass amounts of blacktop surrounding the original stations (ie San Diego, Los Angeles, Atlanta) skewing result through the solar heat generated by the asphalt, buildings, etc. in the immediate vicinity, and not indicative of global temperatures.

            Finally, the “former Republican Skeptic” was a farce in and of itself. Have you ever looked at the petitions submitted (and I am not referring to the Internet petitions)? The name are notable, credulous, and respected. Most of the names in opposition are more notable than those for, in my opinion.

            Sounds like you’re falling for the same dribble the media has been trying to push for some time now.

            Look it up yourself… I’m sure you can remember how. Look around as well… If the pieces don’t fit in other areas, there’s a problem (ie. extremely cold weather in the 1800’s just before recording really started, CO2 and temperature levels in the dinosaur eras as verifiable through the fossil records.

            Bottom line, the earth was a lot warmer in the past and will likely return there. I believe industrialization has an impact, but. I highly doubt that the impact is anywhere near even mildly significance.

          • Bob I:

            Give me a list of 1000 very credible scientists with experience on this topic. You claim it is a large number. Keep in mind when you deviate from the field that you are giving more value to hunches of scientists in other fields over opinions by those who have studied the issue extensively. If you feel alright with that approach, go ahead and add those names to the list. It would also be nice to get a writeup by these folks as to why they believe as they do. [BTW, if you don't provide a list, that's all right, but it's your word as to the credibility of these folks vs the word of those who say otherwise.]

            Temperature readings are frequently maintained as anomaly data. This downplays actual values and gives weight to the deltas from average. When average go up on rural and in urban areas similarly within a certain region, that is what goes into the models, not the actual absolute values of those readings (which sometimes aren’t even maintained).

            What is your reply to Muller’s preliminary results (from the BEST project)? Skeptics got a chance to get their best statisticians and researchers to seriously question the trustworthiness of the data being used by climatologists, and the results were to affirm instead (and again). What analysis are you using to support your view that anomaly and other data techniques are failing?

            When the earth was a lot warmer, humanity was not around and neither were many of the species we depend on to live and thrive today. Why are you suggesting we return to those conditions within a very short amount of geological time? What gives you confidence that everything will be alright and there will be few costs?

            Since I don’t have experience, can you cite one example of a settlement contradiction. It’s best if you cite a professional paper(s) that has analyzed this issue and concluded it is a problem and nullifies something valuable to current theories. I don’t mean to be a pest, but there are lots of rumors and sloppy analysis being posted on the web. I have seen experiments with problems and with conclusions not supported by the experiments. And many people not in the discipline make erroneous assumptions or overplay the meaning of their results (ignore errors or do sloppy statistical analysis, etc).

            A well meaning smart person cannot “catch up” in a short time or likely have success by short circuiting most of the research.

      • probably more than on the IPCC

        • I doubt it, but keep this in mind if you are referring to graduate students helping professors, Einstein wrote and had accepted (published?) 3 of his 4 very impressive papers of 1905 before he had his PHD.

  15. The bare bone science behind global warming is quite simple: Carbondioxide absorbs infrared radiation at certain wavelengths (known as heat) and remits them back shortly thereafter making it thus a greenhouse gas. The more we release carbondioxide in the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels the more heat will be reflected back to the earth’s surface resulting in warming up the planet. It’s simple, logic and easy to grasp. What is so hard to understand about it?

    • If you did your research you would know that carbon dioxide levels follow temperate rises. It never precedes them. Just think about that fact with your brain for two seconds and watch it explode!

      • Historically, CO2 follows temperature (eg, warmer oceans release CO2).

        Today, CO2 is at levels not believed to have existed in millions of years (at least this is what I concluded by eyeballing some graphs I saw). CO2 is leading rising temperature today.

        See? Today, we are seeing something that has likely not happened much in the past. Today, the CO2 appears to be leading.

        [This is my simple conclusion from some things I have seen. I am not a climatologist and don't presume to speak for any of them.]

        Now, can CO2 actually cause temperature to follow?

        Here I think you will find vast agreement among scientists that greenhouse gases are a true phenomenon supported by sound physics. The climate models account for this CO2 and arrive at the extra temperature rise that otherwise many believe should not exist solely due to the solar cycle. CO2 warming is a puzzle piece that causes the puzzle to make much more sense.

    • which freqs? what creates clouds? what direction do radiate back? is water vapor more powerful?

  16. Scientists use terminology in their world that translates differently in the layperson’s realm. That is one reason the “denier’s” casmpaign of disinformation is so effective and can create an impression of doubt amoung their group.
    Also, the stolen emails were (are) an effective tool by these groups to pose “out of context” meanings to appear as ethical questionable.
    The average citizen can not be expected to study in depth to go into their world.
    The monied interests are taking advantage of this situation and the political machine run by dollars is allowing it to happen. Our leaders (both private and political) are failing us and there will be “hell” to pay after the truth is manifested. That is one reason the “occupy” movement has been staged. 350.org is one branch of it.

  17. Great film! No matter what your thoughts on science are; watch out for the carbon derivative traders! Trading on Thin Air – the film
    Tradingonthinair.com – saw it on iTunes and loved it -people better wake up to see what is going on soon; it will be hard to undo.

  18. When in doubt, follow the money. Looks as if the dis-information campaign has worked pretty well for some of the brainless ‘Faux News’ trolls. Poor things don’t know the difference between a horse’s butt and a freezer. No wonder their ice cream is melting.

  19. What would be REALLY HORRIBLE would be if we reduced our use of fossil fuels, weaned ourselves off foreign oil, and cleaned up the air for this and future generations…and there was no global climate change and we’d done it all for NOTHING! Wow, what a tragedy!

    Some of these arguments against global climate change are just nuts. Like…follow the money. Big oil stands to lose hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars if we reduce our use of fossil fuels. Yet somehow the scientists who study climate change are BIASED because they get paid for their work, because some “evil government” or “liberal university” funded their research.

    The fact is, climate change has become politicized, sadly so, so it becomes a matter of unshakable ideology whether you CHOOSE to believe it or not. Evidence, data, proof, verification…they don’t stand a chance of convincing someone ONE WAY OR THE OTHER whose mind is made up due to political convictions. Believing in climate change or not has become a matter of faith for those too lazy or stubborn to look at the science and make an informed opinion.

    • And your comment explaigns why U.S. Republicans are the ONLY group on earth that deny the scientific consensus of human caused climate change.

      Ignorance by demand/willingly ignorant = “there is none so blind as he who will not see”.

  20. Thanks, everyone, for being more or less civilized in this discussion thread.

  21. Maybe all you flat earthers need a couple more Hurricane Katrinas before you finally wake up.

    • Did you know there have been multiple ice ages and recoveries in the history of the world? Climate changes.

      • Yes, and mankind has existed for millions of years in the full glory of our modern times… wait…

        • What I meant was that returning to earlier climates.. and doing so fast.. is not something likely to serve mankind very well. Climate changes, but not all climates are great for humans or the species we greatly depend on.

          This isn’t to say we will perish, but do expect hardships. We could certainly lose a fair chunk of society under strong duress. What is mankind without our saved culture and knowledge?

  22. [...] nature of scientists detracts from the overall scientific endeavor itself. Still more say that naysayers’ efforts to create a “myth of disagreement” among scientists has worked …, as the general public is confused about the extent to which researchers as a whole support the [...]

  23. [...] in the prestigious journal Science. The authors of the study stressed that man-made global …Global warming: Propaganda creates myth of disagreementSummit County Citizens VoiceGlobal warming rate could be less than fearedABC OnlineGlobal warming [...]

  24. Facts include CO2 levels in the atmosphere are increasing, and the increases result from fossil fuel burning. The sensitivity of the climate to this increase is unknown. The theory of greenhouse gases causing warming is real but the degree of warming is open to full debate.

    I prefer paleoclimate data from glaciers, icecores, pollen and ocean sludge and encourage everyone to put analysis by this data set as a priority to the Greenhouse “forcing” calculations.

    Paleoclimate data which can be used to reconstruct temperature, and atmospheric conditions for hundreds of thousands of years in the past. Preparing models from this data to predict actual climate change has pretty well proven there are unknowns, probably regional conditions, that our scientists just do not understand well enough to prepare long term forecasts.

    Science is settled is a key phrase used by thoes pressing a settled agenda. Science is never settled.

    You think the Chinese pressing everyone else to sign on to Koyota, except themselves, is not an agenda.

    How much time do we have, and what do we need to do. Lets not rush to a poor political decision.

    • ok we’ll just forget about the co2 cycle.

    • The debate is happening and the argument for a low sensitivity is not widely supported. Spencer (of book fame), to pick one, is pushing a low value with papers that are flawed in many ways. Those pushing low values below the IPCC error bar estimates are not convincing many who study this problem.

      As someone else alluded, and I agree with you, the science is not settled — just as it wasn’t settled either for hundreds of years when Newton’s laws of nature (overturned to various degree, specially in the 20th century) helped humanity advance in leaps and bounds. It wasn’t settled either, but it still provided a model of gravity and forces that were accurate and useful to a great degree. Climate science is not at that level of precision of course (we have one planet to use as a guinea pig), but when people say the science is settled, I think they mean level of confidence by the main scientists practicing. The 95% confidence level still has climate sensitivity at a scary value.

  25. Why does “global warming science”, not address the effects that chemtrails are having on the climate. Cloud seeding is a factual (not a conspiracy theory) technique that’s being implemented into our ecosystem, so why is this not being tied into the global warming?

    • With all the “chemtrails” I have seen, I think I should have died by now. Sadaam Hussein was much more efficient with much lower technology than apparently is our government spraying these chemtrails.

  26. climate hysterics spend their time telling people that everyone agrees with them and ignoring the people who don’t. It’s a new version of the big lie. If you repeat the canard often enough, will people believe unsupported statements?

    It’s actually fascinating. Legitimate questions are met with hysterical accusations. It reminds me of the Communist scare of the 1950s.

    • What legitimate questions do you think are being ignored?

      You can get some mythbusting info at skepticalscience website (eg, see the arguments section).

  27. “Global warming: Propaganda creates myth of disagreement”

    Then maybe the propagandists (scientists getting paid grant money to study the effects of man made global warming) should stop.

  28. I’d like to see a study on the advantages of global warming…..Go to Greenland and talk to the people that are elated with the newly acquired usable land ……….

  29. So instead of passing laws to mitigate the damage by limiting CO2 emissions, proponents of climate change create a “carbon credit” market to have those that emit CO2 pay those that do not?

  30. scientists receive grants=money
    politicians receive money from various locations=money
    churches receive money from their flocks=money

    common theme global warming or not=money

    • Yeah, but the big profits are in protecting current billions of dollars profits per week industry. Scientists at universities gain prestige and their salaries from accurate verifiable science. Accurate science is what protects the profits of their schools. Industry, on the other hand, has little use for any science that doesn’t support large profits.

      • have you looked lately. There have been no real profits, anywhere in years. We are in, unless changed, terminal economic collapse. What is made to show on books as profit is just fakery. Mandoff, Enron, GF Global, Olympus, are the tru state of the economy. Banks added $107 trillion of derivative transactions (“gambling bets”) to their books in the 1st half on this year. In Japan, 60 percent of the budget is borrowed not covered by taxes. And on, and on and on

        • So you are of the opinion there are no profits in energy and it’s all fakery. You can certainly have that opinion. Some people think US dollars and money in bank accounts are fake as well, whether or not that money comes from dividends or trading in energy stocks.

          Personally, if the fake money can buy me food, house, and a nice vacation, I’ll take it.

  31. “Balance of nature” is a myth. Nature has never been balanced, it is constantly evolving. If global warming/climate change is a fact, the only effective tool to combat it is contraception.

    • “Balance” is from the point of view of what is best for man.

      We inherited a sweet climate.

      If you inherit a clean house, how badly will you indulge and trash it before you take the time to clean up after yourself as a smart move intended to preserve the house as long as possible?

  32. The sky is not falling. There is dissent in the scientidic community about global warming because the planet has a very complex system of checks and balances. See the latest Science magazine for an article about how the original predictions have not held up over time. Keep learning and applying the scientific method as unbiased as possible. Don’t create legislation because one scientist/lobbyist yells louder than others. Mother is smarter than we are.

  33. Cooling, warming, and deleted data along with altered charts for the “researchers” make it an easy call for the public. Until the people faking data and deleting the records can prove their claims, we should not waste money and time on junk theory.

    • The people have been cleared already. You are dreaming things up you wish were the case. You likely have no idea what the evidence is in favor of global warming.

  34. There are no supporting arguments to the claim that the scientific community has unanimously accepted global warming. You say there is no disagreement and never abck up your claim.

    • There are links in the comments. If you want it easy, just go to skeptical science and search for 97% for a sample.

  35. >> “…near unanimous agreement among climate scientists that human-caused global warming is happening.”

    THAT is propaganda.

    Not many people doubt that climate change is happening. But the “scientists” who blame it on mankind are in great part seeking a never-ending stream of grant money to fund their alarmist work.

    Climate changes occur over long, long cycles. It has happened before and it will happen again. The money being spent on climate-change “research” would be better spent helping people directly. There are people starving, in need of medical treatment, in need of shelter and clothing. If the “global warming” crowd wants to privately fund the research, fine. There is no shortage of multi-millionaires and billionaires who believe in it…..let them put their money where their mouth is, instead of trying to make a PROFIT off global warming alarmism as they ARE.

    • So you are saying that the scientists paid to be accurate and not liars so as not to make their university or other employer look bad.. making ordinary salaries.. have a *huge* money incentive, yet you ignore the hundreds of billions in profits at stake by some industries and the scientists that work for them solely to support and grow those profits?

      And species evolve also over long periods of time, not abruptly. We depend greatly on many species and volumes of growth that are threatened. We have many coastal cities that are at risk over the upcoming generations.

      Dealing with potentially very serious climate issues to be faced by future generations *is* looking after humans. Surely, you clean your house right? Or do you simply indulge and trash it more and more every day. Why would you be against smart action against damaging pollution of all types?

  36. I just read an article base on another scientific study over the weekend that place CO2 as the cause of global warming in doubt. No one would dispute that global warming is occurring. What is in question is whether it is man made and if massive economic damage is done chasing something that is not the problem then that would terribly damage the 3rd world more so than established economies!

    • Can you provide a link to that paper? There clearly are flawed papers out there. Don’t hide the link. We want to take a look.

  37. So let me sum up the two arguments: Those who are for global warming say that the other side is “stupid.” Those who are skeptics of global warming say the other side is “stupid.” Did I miss something?

    • Yes. You failed to google VOSTOK SURVEY for a image of a data plot on the last 600k years showing scientific data of warming cycles that was plotted before this topic was politicised.

  38. Dribble!

    First, “Climate Change” is, of course, a “real” event, i.e. it does occur, but “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change” or CACC, the sci-fi creation that has captivated policy-makers for 3 decades, remains un-proven (and likely, un-provable).

    Second, it is disingenous to interchange the two concepts above and then claim everyone has been “duped” into doubting science. CACC is not science. It is a missmash of atmospheric chemistry, environmental science, physics, sociology, and economics. And now we’ve handed the concept over to politicians.

    Vulcanologists study a real phenomenon: volcanos. The claim that a super volcano will erupt where Yellowstone Park is now located, destroying life as we know it, is NOT science, it is a popular fiction. Your story is tantamount to saying that everyone who doubts the Yellowstone Armegeddon story has been convinced by propaganda into doubting geology.

    Can’t we just move on and do the right thing for the environment, without concocting CACC scenarios to substitute for logic? To me, the entire debate is a huge distraction from real scientific progress on the environment.

    • “Can’t we just move on and do the right thing for the environment, without concocting CACC scenarios to substitute for logic?”

      Hear hear.

  39. I guess growing up as a son of the sixties, boy scout, and outdoors-man, I was taught to respect nature and leave her in the same if not better condition after leaving my footprint.

    To me it is just common sense.

  40. It would be a lot easier to swallow, if the people screaming the loudest about “saving” the planet (which is laughable by itself) weren’t living like potentates (sometimes at taxpayer expense), flying to and from their “climate conferences” in private jets, and creating exchanges to skim the trillions of dollars they expected to change hands in the carbon credit market.

    • Try swallowing reasonableness or you will eventually be caught unprepared or made to look like a fool and unfortunately lose credibility.

      Once you swallow reasonableness, then you are in a better position to put the private jet travelers in their place.

  41. Proving man-made CO2 causes climate change is besides the point. Technology already exists to cheaply & easily remove CO2 from the air. The real problem is finding clean, safe & reliable energy for our technology-dependent life style. Conservation, wind, hydro, and geothermal are part of the solution. Germany & Belgium have turned their backs on nuclear power, reverting back to their own coal & natural gas reserves. But for countries that are not blessed with an abundance of natural resources, there must be an alternative. Energy from thorium and fusion are two promising solutions on the horizon. Bill Gates supports thorium power research, and recent break-throughs in fusion are encouraging.

    • What technology are you talking about and how much is removed? Where is this placed?

      We are moving in that direction, but we need to make sure we keep doing so.

      There is hope to one day be able to take out enough CO2 and put it back into hydrocarbons (creating “recyclable fossil fuels”).

      [Please, if you get a chance, ask Bill not to use Windows to power the nuclear plants. There are real operating systems out there much better suited for the job. Also, we all want competition. Monopolies are not desired.]

  42. if you make fire in a room with close windows you will die
    so are you people blind

  43. Very interesting article and replys. The most interesting thing I got from this discussion is that if you disagree with the people who agree that climate change is real, you are called names, ( flat earthers, fox news followers, ignorant people, etc) When one can’t defend he usually attacks.

    • sometimes the truth requires that the problem be named and it’s not name calling unless it has no basis in the truth. A recent study demonstrated that FOX news followers were less informed about what was going on then people who did not watch Fox. Truth or consequences?

      • Ah yes, the same study was that funded and performed by the “hard news journalists” at MSNBC.

        That “recent study” also indicated that Barack Obama prevented three Martian invasions of earth, just because he’s so magnificent.

  44. Climate “science” ignores hundreds of thousands of years of data which show regular, reliable warming and cooling cycles existed long before humans did. Discarding data in order to make your case is not science, it’s deception. Don’t take my word for it though: anyone concerned with global warming should REVIEW THE RAW DATA YOURSELF, from multiple independent sources, not just parrot what they see or hear in the news.

    • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/Vostok_Petit_data.svg

      This is much more telling of what is ACTUALLY going on. Look at the glacial maximums and degree changes. You are misinterpreting the ice core data.

      • What point are you trying to make? Are you trying to say something about average global temperatures or ice melts or man’s role?

    • @ThinkForYourself, do you actually have evidence of the scientists ignoring that data? Which papers are you referring to? What part of the IPCC report do you think ignores data?

      • Try the part that ignore the medievel warming period. That’s the most obvious since it has been noted in all histories of that, not just European, but disappears from the record of climatologists who do Climate Change. How to hide, disprove, cover that up, is one of the major topics of the East Anglia emails.

        • Here’s your evidence. Google VOSTOK SURVEY images and let me know what the real data tells you.

        • So what papers are you referring to that state what temperatures were in WMP and how they carried out their experiments/analysis?

          Then what are the papers that ignore this?

          Keep in mind that the error bars increase as we go back in time. Also, we have a less global view of average temps back to that time period (this is one reason the error bars are higher).

          Climatologists don’t ignore WMP, but the graphs they use likely aren’t once you like. “Experts” can certainly disagree.

  45. Lots of obfuscation here.
    Try thinking about this:
    HOW do you think you can change the chemical composition of the atmosphere
    WITHOUT changing its characteristics?

  46. with the earth spiraling toward the sun at 1 inch per year, towards its iminant incineration, why blame man? at that time man will realize what kind of a ‘head of broccoli’ he really is.

  47. Understand that there is much to gain financially for authoritarian socialized in government and for scientist by fearmongering about global warming. Think about it. The more we live in fear of events we cannot supposedly control the more we need government regulations and the more we are taxed. That money is given to the researchers and it’s in their best financial interest to create results that keep their funding going. They need to pay back their student loans. It is a mistake to only think that industrial companies have something to gain financially. At least they are producing something real. Now before someone calls me a name I would just like to say I support science but not funded by government Aka the taxpayer. A scientist worth his salt should be able to be employed in the private sector.

    • Who would pay for honest climatology that shows the earth is warming? Greenpeace and other groups, sure. Maybe.

      But I trust taxpayer funding more… if I had to pick just one.

      Further, many climatologists already work for private universities.

      And I think you are ignoring something. Disproving current mainstream views would lead to a heck of a lot more money than merely going along.

      And these scientists are not rolling in dough. Are you saying that everyone who gets paid a salary is dishonest?

      What makes you think support by the private sector exclusively would make this human condition better?

    • Even if we ignore what the scientists are saying about the future effects of changing atmosphere, and just look at the facts of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, changing landscapes (mostly destroyed because of our destructive agricultural practices, destructive search for energy and development for other uses), poisoned and overfished oceans, disappearing forests, advancing deserts, increasing human population, and less and less space for wildlife, we should be able to guess that the future conditions will not be the same as in the past.
      That should be enough concern, because we evolved for these conditions and any difference will make our life difficult or impossible, depending on how different. We can not make it better. It is too complicated.
      We should be aware that we are still using up what 3 billion (with a b) years of evolution created, and we are using it up very fast. We should do everything within our power to change our oil based economy, stop human population growth and reverse it, stop exploiting wilderness areas and do everything within our power to stop increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. It is not natural for us, and can not be good.

  48. The problem here is not what the science is saying but that the people would have to use their brains and think about what science is saying and that is too hard or asking too much of our mindless population. Most would rather sit back, watch TV and let the boob tube tell us what is real without actually having to “think about it”. And, if you’re watching FOX news you know less then people who don’t watch TV.

  49. There is no consensus in science. There is no credible evidence to support the claims of catastrophic man-made climate change. Rising CO2 levels have a relatively minor effect on our “green house” Earth when compared to simple water vapor and/or a changing level of solar activity. There is, however, strong evidence in released emails that a group of scientists (who know that there grant money depends on their perpetuating this fraud and hoax about man-made global_warning/climate_change) are conspiring to make things up and hide their lies. Please remember that scientists are people too – subject to greed and a lust for power just like the rest of us.

    If you truly believe in catastrophic man-made climate change, you have been duped. If you still feel that Al Gore deserves your trust, you are a fool. I would feel sorry for you but your delusion is being used to support a mounting global tyranny. The real risk here is to our precious freedom. In any case, increased political power and (tax-based) funding flowing into a UN-based world government will not be effective to combat catastrophic man-made climate change. The real purpose behind this hoax of catastrophic man-made climate change is simply to gain political power. Once the UN can dictate to free people how they may live their lives, this will be the end of free thinking and unbiased science. Perhaps we should begin to look into reducing our green-house gas emissions – but only in a calm, rational and deliberate way which does not wreck our global economy – i.e. a wreck which may well cause as much damage to humanity as most of the worst climate-change disaster predictions. If you are starving, you will value food a lot more than you value a 1 or 2 degree change in the average air temperature.

  50. Two sides. Two bankrolls funding it.

    People, our problems are them, not us. See beyond the aisle. Your neighbors are your allies. Don’t let them tell you what to think.

    Let us stand together, all races, all religions, all diversities and say to our government. No more. We choose to not accept corruption and greed based politics any longer.

    United we stand, divided we fall. Think for yourself. Turn of the TV.

  51. It’s amazing how many nitwits believe in the Man Made Global Warming fraud (ahem, make that “Climate Change”, since they had to rebrand this scam after everyone realized what a conjob it is).

    The global-warmer-climate-changer true believers are nothing but a religious cult. If you’re skeptical about their religion, it means you’re “attacking” them (and their intelligence) indirectly. If you criticize their pope, Al Gore, or his bible (“Earth in the Balance”), you’re also attacking them indirectly. They retaliate with the 21st century version of the Spanish Inquisition if you dare question the Global Warming Religion and are subject to scorn, ridicule, and disdain by the cult members… as you can read throughout the comments above.

    Anyone with critical thinking skills can perceive that the junk science religious cult of Manmade-Global-Warming-Climate-Change was hijacked by the radical leftists LONG AGO and it ceased to be “science” once it became a political ideology. Remember, it’s “science” because the cult members TELL YOU it’s science.

  52. Carbon is the new gold!
    It is the progressives newest avenue to control!
    Its a means to an end for global control and wealth distribution!
    Most of the scientific community are progressives!
    Progressives are dishonest and will do or say anything that will further thier socialist cause!

  53. I myself do agree that yes there is a problem with global warming. But my problem is why is it that America needs to find a way to deal with it when we aren’t the country that builds the batteries for electric cars or the extensive mining of lead. America has rules about how much crap is spilled into the atmosphere. When is Africa, China and any other of those countries going to get in trouble for the excessive pollution they put out. But “America needs to figure out how to deal with it”, wake up people. If only one country goes green to try to fix the problem its not going to work. We all live on this planet so we all need to figure out how to deal with it!

  54. The rest of the world cringes at what in the United States passes for educated argument. Americans by and large are ignorant of the most elementary science, and it shows in discussion threads such as this one. Many Asian teenagers are better informed than adult Americans – which is why the U.S. is in steep and rapid decline, and Asia is in the ascent.

  55. There is no debate on this issue; only uninformed citizens bantering political views and repeating nonsense about how science proves nothing. I frankly don’t care if the repubitards believe in global warming or not.
    The fact remains.

  56. Anyone heard of Bjorn Lomborg? Check out his movie called Cool It! for a more practical perspective on the issue. http://coolit-themovie.com/

    In my view, there IS something happening with the climate. To what degree(pun intended :)) humans have contributed is very difficult to discern. There is total fear mongering on one side, and complete denial on the opposite end of the spectrum. Let’s face it, there is a lot to gain / lose by folks on both sides, so you can’t 100% trust either. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle. The biggest problem I see is that the real solutions do not get media attention. Rather, we see and hear about the solutions that will only make such an infinitesimal difference that it seems ridiculous to invest in. Carbon credits are a complete joke and will only serve to corrupt the energy industry further. Real solutions are being looked at and as stated already have endorsement from some pretty smart folks like Bill Gates. These are solutions that make a difference orders of magnitude more so than if every gasoline vehicle were suddenly replaced with a hybrid or electric. This is not to say that we should not continue to seek alternatives to gasoline, but I think the issue should be driven more from an economic standpoint given everyone’s dependence on fossil fuels for which the Earth does do not have infinite supply.

  57. Excuse me but, I am not really confused nor am I likely to hop ANYONE’S bandwagon because I don’t immediately believe what I am told to believe.

    So, all the pandering can cease. Those who don’t agree with the global warming thing do so because they dare to think outside of your box. If that’s a sin then… I guess you’ll just have to set up an inquisition.

  58. Ok if climate change is de-coupled from natural processes and we all joyously blame it on the human foot print, what changes do you propose?

    Green Energy? — requires 50-75 year transition. Fact
    Assumes a flat Earth (flat population) model, that is de-coupled from increasing population trends

    Population Control? — population will increase to 9-11 billion people by 2050. Extraplolation

    If you want 1990 level pollution levels, which 3-5 billion people do you want to eliminate? Absurd

    Occupy Walmart? –after all they and most all retailers provide incentives for Chinese industry to run at high capacity with no pollution controls.
    Also absurd.

    Occupy the oil and gas industry? –they provide all of your plastics, synthetic fiber for coats and hats, trendy sport shirts, farm fuels, transportation fuel, and most power, and have to for the next 50-75 years if you support the flat Earth model.

    Ban Black Friday? –drive away American retail business based upon consumerism goals. Deny your children over priced legos, dolls, and action toys. Deny yourselves flat screen TVs, ipads, and game systems?

    Transition to natural products? — clear cutting for building and consumer products and farm land, cotton and natural fabrics. Back to ceramic dishes and cookware, wicker picnic baskets, wooden ice chests, glass-glass ware?

    Decide what you want to sacrifice because so far in this debate nobody steps up to the plate on what they are willing to give up. The chest beating types want everyone else to give up something but they don’t say what it is. Also absurd.

    Or you can do like Uncle Al, with his absurdly expensive carbon offsets, and his private jet. The rest of you need to go back to kerosene kiosks and cook on the street, and learn to live on one light bulb, like much of the rest of the under developed world.

    The high and mighty pundits and supporters need to start listing what everyone is going to sacrifice, and who’s families will be starved, in order to meet the green agenda timeline. Otherwise, they need to get off the one-dimensional alternative energy plan, force international industrial polluters to fix their plants (and impact global economy), force Brazil and and other countries to stop clear cutting, ban mining (no more rare earths for electronics), and on and on and on…

    • I am a GW knitwit and I endorse this statement.

      • Green energy flat out does not work. Not now, not in 75. Meaninghere, solar, wind and biomass. Yes they produce some power, but solar and wind do not produce as much energy as they cost. Food, etc. work but only for low density, poor population. And, yes there is a limit to the use of fossil fuel, not because of their abundance or lack of it, but because their energy density, their power is too low.

        All and any energy source must be evaluated against the goal of having a minimum of 1 billion humans living off planet by 2112. That means fusion power, matter/anti-matter type propulsion and generators. There are likely energy sources beyond that, but we must master those first.

        We must get on with our human destiny and ignore all the varied calls to go back to the stone, just because bankers can not run this ecomomy and never could successful run any economy.

  59. Here’s a thought: We can sit here and debate whether climate change is human caused or natural, occurring or not, but are we not just trying to make a stronger case for a new energy source? Climate change advocates want another energy source besides fossil fuels. I think our time and money would be better spent in actually trying to develop a new energy source rather than trying to convince that they need one. It leads us to argue about details that will be mundane and moot once a new viable energy source is developed. All climate change advocates are doing now is saying there may be a problem.

    If someone or some company developed a clean alternative to fossil fuels that was equal in cost to fossil fuels and achieved the same energy output, do you not think that person/company would not be in a position to becoming one of the most powerful entities in the world? They would instantly become one of the most profitable companies in the world. So big, in fact, I highly doubt even “Big Oil” could keep it under wraps. I am sure there are many billionaires that would love to invest in a promising energy development.

    Bottom line: We need to develop a new fuel source. Everyone understands that it must happen sooner or later. We only have a limited supply of fossil fuels. One day we will run out, and we need to be prepared for it. We need to “do” instead of convince. We need to stop pushing and just make a better product than oil. When the automobile came, we did not need a list of studies to prove that it was better. People knew because it had some tangible benefits. Energy will be the same. Find some talent and motivation and less excuses.

    Also, it should not be a horse race where you pick a source and defend it to the bitter end. Everything is a cost-benefit analysis. There are drawbacks to everything. Someone is not stupid for disagreeing with you. And just because it is clean, does not mean it is viable. Would you be willing to sacrifice nearly the entirety of your modern life to have a “clean” energy source? If you want a new energy source, do something to make it a reality instead of trying to make people agree with you. Donate your time and/or money to someone who is working to make it a reality.

    • Regardless, it takes time to bring new technology online. It cannot be done overnight as so many believe.

      • I certainly agree with that. Again, that is why I suggest climate change advocates work to come up with a viable solution now instead of trying to convince other people to do the work for them.

        • @Michael, on November 27, 2011 at 10:17 am said:

          Quite possibly the more sincere and realistic post I have heard on the subject to date. It couldn’t have been said any better.

          @JBN – I am a geophysicist and geologist and have been to several conferences including AGU and GSA. While I have not written any particular paper on the matter – my specialty is in Modeling complex phenomena. Mainly stochastic problems.

    • Right on.

    • Not necessarily. History is replete with examples of technology that was superior to what ever may have existed but has not become preeminent because of economic inertia or out right sabotage by political or economic entities whose power was derived from some other existing technology. One example in recent history occurred in Los Angeles, California in 1948 in which a consortium of companies operating under the guise of a front company bought up the LA streetcar lines and tore up the tracks so they could turn around and sell the city buses made by one company in the consortium, running on tires made by a second company in the consortium, and powered by fuel produced by a third company in the consortium. As a result, LA has had to spend public monies in the past thirty years rebuilding a light rail system.
      This situation humanity finds itself in in the case of global warming and in a world of 7 billion people is not that we need to choose a energy source that is simply more convenient or cheaper than fossil fuels, but that we must choose one that doesn’t add to the problem of climate change no matter how inconvenient or expensive it may end up being or face extreme and perhaps unsurvivable circumstances. Unfortunately, our economic situation isn’t one that prices in the cost of those severe consequences until after they occur. We can’t afford to wait for the market to catch up to the reality and therefore it requires us to do something outside the market to make the needed changes even if those choices cost more now and are less convenient in the short term.
      The hour is late and the consequences of inaction are too dire to contemplate.

      • The LA story is true, except that it wasn’t “one company, another company” but what is normally referred to as the Morgan interests, or the Royal family’s American investment branch. And the push was nationwide in order to force a switch from a rail based transport system to an auto/truck one. The goal actually was to lever British control over Middle East oil. It is exactly these interest in the large which push the climate change, greenie, reduce population line.

        Alex P says “consequences of inaction are too dire to contemplate..” But if you implement the Green agenda and force the world into pre-fossil fuel levels of energy use, you will then force the world back to the population levels associated with that level of energy consumption. And that is what the British Royal spokesmen have been exactly calling for: reduce the world’s population to under 1 billion people; kill off 6 billion. That is 300 times worse than Hitler.

  60. It really does not matter if we are adding to or not to climate change, fossil fuels do not help. We are buying oil from mostly the bad guys and they intern buy weapons to kill our soldiers. That should be enough to change to more alternative fuels like we should of back in the 1970’s as it will only become more expensive if we wait longer. The USA needs longer future agenda’s not just from President to President.

    • Then at least agree to the stupidity of closing down Gulf oil drilling, illogical Keystone pipeline delay, and nixing of Alaska oil development. You are right, we need our OWN energy, the increased jobs benefit is a needed plus, so stop the enviro crazies from freaking out and sabatoging any project related to oil or gas.

  61. Uncle Al is an opportunist, just like the rest of the green pundits. Just remember who was to control the carbon credits. It wasn’t the everyday Joe and Jane who have to work long hours to support their families.

  62. [...] Global warming: Propaganda creates myth of disagreement « Summit County Citizens Voice Share and Enjoy:Written by: Jerrald Hayes on November 27, 2011. [...]

  63. Whatever happened to erring on the side of caution? Especially for an issue with potentially profound consequences. An “Ooops! My bad!” won’t quite balance the score if we find we could have minimized the impact of climate change, not on the planet, but on our ability to save ourselves. Duh.

  64. In a recent article in The Nation, Naomi Klein admitted that this whole “Global Warming” thing is an attempt to destroy capitalism (click my name to read it). Simply put, if global warming is real, we have to choose between taking action and thus destroying capitalism (impoverishing ourselves and sending us back to the pre-Industrial era) or just accepting it. If global warming is a hoax and we take action, we will have impoverished ourselves for nothing. If it is a hoax and we take no action, things will stay much as they are.

    I am not a scientist, so I cannot judge the arguments of either side on their scientific merit (by the way, the argument from consensus is a logical fallacy; the majority of scientists have been wrong many times before; for example, the scientific consensus at the turn of the 20th century supported the Progressive, liberal program of eugenics and when the science disproved that, liberals falsified history to blame conservatives for those liberal policies) and I don’t particularly care if global warming is real. Either way, I am opposed to doing anything to stop global warming because I do not believe that lowering temperatures by a few degrees is a worthwhile “reward” for sending us back to the miserable poverty of the pre-capitalist era. If you are a socialist and believe (based on economic ignorance) that capitalism is bad, you probably support action on global warming and think that ending capitalism would be a good thing. But, if you support capitalism, you must oppose any action to stop global warming, whether or not it turns out to be real. It just isn’t worth it.

    I do wish that more people who are pro-capitalist would adopt my position. If it turns out that global warming is real, it still would be disastrous if we took action to stop it. Simply put, the cure for global warming is worse than the disease itself.

  65. 1. Conduct research, review data, test validity.
    2. Keep politics far, far from step 1. Separate good science from political agendas (all of them).
    3. With confidence in the research data, let the policy games begin.
    4. In the case of climate change, I will accept good science without hesitation, even if I do not like the results. Validity is validity.
    5. Here’s the real issue: the climate change policy recommendations are entirely subject to debate. This is where the skeptics shoukd put their focus.
    I accept there is global warming and a link to carbon emissions. I reject the shopworn leftist calls to restrict (Western) consumption and stubborn capitalism itself; a pre-existing political goal that uses green issues for its own purposes. That is the true objective of green policy makers: diminish the US while creating socialism.
    If market forces could produce consumer goods without carbon emissions (as technology has greatly reduced automobile emissions), the green left would still oppose consumption and the private sector.

  66. I believe global warming is created by the fact that we have way too many humans alive and living on this planet now; 7 billion people on earth and the number is growing exponentially.

    This is causing the planet to warm up because of body heat of too many bodies.

    My Proposed Solution:

    Export all GW believers to the moon to which they should all go willingly based on their belief system of doing their part in order to save our great mother earth from catastrophe.

    Sorry, X box live will not work on the moon.

    • @TJ
      You have to be kidding me right? You haven’t the slightest clue as to what thermodynamics is in any way shape or form do you? While I agree with you that global overpopulation is the underlying reason for many of our problems we have today – accumulated body heat is hardly one of them. In fact, if you total up the amount of fossil fuels that person uses on a per year basis – the amount of heat generated via that one person’s fossil fuel usage by combustion (primary means of using fossil fuels) is enough to amount body heat generated by everyone in the world. Get a clue.

      • TJ

        Wow, what great information.

        Exactly where is the data that identifies our specific environmental problems and links them directly to overpopulation?

  67. The best way to fix the problem of the spread of bad information/ propaganda would be to shut down fox news

  68. I have lived in the mountains of Colorado for over thirty years.In the last five or so years I have witnessed first hand the effects of a warming trend on the once beautiful trees that adorned mountainsides.Trees of all types are dying by the millions.Beetle kill which is normally stopped by periods of very cold temperatures is rampant.There are fewer periods of prolonged cold below certain altitudes and the problem gets worse every year.
    I don’t need scientists to tell me something ominous is occurring, I can see it for myself and that is all the proof I need.Go online and check out tree problems world wide and see for yourself.Trees are telling us something perhaps more conclusively than scientists are able to communicate.
    It is typical for human beings to see events like this in only black and white but actually waiting for the complete train wreck to happen in order to be convinced that there will be one, or not, is not a great survival technique.No human beings would have ever survived as long as they have without paying personal attention to what was actually happening in their surroundings.Taking some kind of action before it might be too late makes sense.Endlessly arguing about the issues and the veracity of scientists who seem to have a totally perverse agenda to fool everyone with their unsubstantiated conclusions is not.

  69. When in doubt, …… error to the side of safety

  70. Time out please.

    This is ridiculous and you all know it. Have you read each post here? Is this the manner we wish to demonstrate to our children that problems, or lack thereof, are dealt with by their adult teachers? Sorry, the teacher in me sees this from the child’s perspective as well.

    To skeptics and believers alike, does it truly matter if global warming (or a hoax called global warming) is anthropogenic? Some might answer that it does matter since we might waste resources exploring green technology when it really isn’t necessary. To this I would argue that all technology can be improved upon and we have a social and moral obligation to impact this planet as little as possible. What science HAS proven thus far, and without question, is that man has significantly and repeatedly proven that he influences the biosphere in a negative manner. From overpopulation to deforestation, we have mucked up this planet at least since becoming agriculturists. Acid rain, urban heat sinks, and algal blooms in fertilized regions are no coincidence. Man is responsible for all of these and a plethora of other examples. BTW, if you are not familiar with the terminology I dare say you are qualified to comment on the likelihood of anthropization aspect.

    And why wouldn’t we want to take action to reduce CO2 emissions anyway? Almost everything that involves putting this greenhouse gas into our atmosphere relates to the use of fossil fuels, something I believe we all should agree is an area of concern. We are a nation that is used to expanding our hunt for natural resources by digging wider, drilling deeper, and now flushing the remains out with our water supply. Why wouldn’t we want to lessen our dependence on coal, oil, and natural gas? Then there is the immutable fact that this country is held hostage by the oil producing nations. Go figure. We don’t seem to mind until gas is too expensive or scarce. Anybody remember the oil crisis of the 70’s. My point is this, it only makes sense to lessen our dependence on those things that could (or do) cause global warming. Let’s just do it! And give the scientists a break please. The scientific method is proven and we all have benefited from it as some point in our lives. From drought resistant crops, to pharmaceuticals, and building materials, the scientific method has been employed and not questioned by society as a whole. Why now? We reacted when we learned that chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) were creating greenhouse conditions on Earth. Why not invest now? The funding is available. In fact $2.5 billion of it blasted off to Mars Saturday. And for the sake of the generations that look to us for guidance, leadership, and protection, can we please stop casting stones and think about this rationally.

  71. I hold double masters degrees in science. So you people who won’t get off the man made global warming garbage have one less person to bully with your continual statements about how there is overwhelming agreement and evidence of man made global warming.

    First, with knowledge of past history- you people claim to know a lot about it, explain to those of us who are analytical just what it was that caused the major cooling and warming cycles this so called million year old planet experienced back before us humans were even amoebas- what was the cause of those cycles? Take your supposed super intelligences and splain that to us more ignorant people than you. You explain and prove what happened then, and maybe I will listen to what you have to say about now. Til then you can take the liberal garbage heap of your so called scientific evidence and place it where the sun does not shine…

  72. Talk about propaganda……this piece is pure drivel and lies. No one doubts the planet is warming and has been warming since the last ice age. What is in dispute is the cause. It is a joke to believe that humans who put less than 4% of all CO2 into the air could be the cause of this warming. In fact, if humans ceased all CO2 emissions, there would still be over 96% going into tje air. Little if any temp changes would occur. Warming will continue as it has, because humans are not the cause, nature is doing this one all by itself just like oit has for all time.

  73. Funniest Part: All the disagreement in the comments.

    (Granted, these people probably aren’t scientists. If you were to look at only this, it seems there actually is a division of scientific data. And yes, both sides have brought actual scientific evidence.)

  74. The dna of nonbelievers should be mapped in case they become extinct. The rest of our dna should be mapped in case they don’t.

  75. Of course, if you define climate scientists as people who agree with the global warming hoax, you get 98 percent of climate scientists agreeing with the hoax. If you expand your set a little to include geolgists, physicists, cosmologists, meteorologists, oceanographers and others who know something about how the earth and atmosphere work, you find thousands of scientists who disagree and are trying to inject some honest research into climate science. This is what the public is beginning to understand. The progaganda is all on the other side, promoting the false consensus.

  76. World (energy) production increased from 373 quadrillion Btu in 1996 to 469 quadrillion Btu in 2006. Total world carbon dioxide emissions from the consumption of petroleum, natural gas, and coal, and the flaring of natural gas increased from 22.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 1996 to 29.2 billion metric tons in 2006, or by 28.0 percent. (http://www.eia.gov/iea/overview.html)

    Unless you don’t believe in the concept of cause and effect, you have to admit that humans have been doing something to affect the earth’s energy balance. Believing otherwise is to simply accept the blindfolds the corporate polluters are so glad to issue you.

  77. Jesus. people. Go ride a bike.

  78. I see two problems here. First of all, the general public has started to develop a nose for detecting NWO humbug, no matter how carefully it is crafted. The message is always give us you money, your rights, and your property and we will save you from….whatever.
    Second, there is no word in the English language that sets off someone’s B.S. detector like the word “denier”. Time to crank up the ol’ think tank and come up with a new one.

  79. So lets just humor the climate change advocates and give the government the go ahead to fix the problem. Now that I typed that, it seems ridiculous…the government fixing problems. Yup were screwed either way.

  80. I have read extensively on the topic – scientific journals and opinions – and conclude that there is some truth to human influenced climate change but that it is so minimal as to lack significance in impact for the next few hundred years at least. Plus the variables in weather and climate – as everyone knows – are so great as to render statistical flatness to anything less than a million year study. It appears to me to be a psychological and “myth” question that at its core is a discussion about wealth, privilege and influence (those who can and do use large quantities of resources and feel guilty about it BECAUSE they have and others don’t). This is why the question keeps being widely debated, and why – not unlike questions of religion, faith and spirituality or questions about relationships and psychology in general – this issue will not and cannot be settled. There is nowhere near enough information available – and never will be since we cannot go back a million years in climate studied – to solve the question scientifically. And it’s not a scientific question anyway but a psychological and spiritual one about merit, deserving and having/having not in culture.

  81. I don’t expect the average American to make much sense of this world. After all, 50+% believe that a god created them and 30% believe that evolution occurred, but with the help of a god.

  82. The real fact is that things are changing, but it really don’t have that much to do with the people!

    It has more to do with the fact of getting a new north star next year
    @ or about 12-21-12. And a few years later things will start to cool an go the other way. Our planet is just as a small grain sand in our solar system, and Galaxy!

    Our new north stars name is Vega and will be with us for about 40
    million years, That’s Forty million! Our last North Star was her for
    about 26 Million Years.

    One must keep in perspective that were only humans,and here
    for just a short period of time.

    This change hasn’t that much to do with US but some of us are young enough to witness a small part of it!

    As to these people,yelling that the sky is falling as in chicken little.

    They are only Wolfe’s, seeking self gain!

    If you would like check out new north star Vega!

    And and become enlightent!

    Thanks for reading this,

    From r.de.bryte@gmail.com

  83. Ah yes the power to manipulate peoples perceptions has always been a powerful tool used by companies, and politicians, and of course the lobbyist. Even without scientific data collected all around the world, are we that damn dumb to think that the Earth can easily sustain a population of 7 billion? Sure back in the good old days that the republicans want us to be in where there were nearly no non-Christians in their country the population was less than 3 billion worldwide now it has more than doubled in less than one lifetime, did we honestly think that such a boom of humans would not have some impact on the planet? We level forests daily the very thing that absorbs a lot of the CO2 and provides O2 for us to breathe, we bun more fossil fuels than ever the only reason we don’t have the black soot of the 19th century all over is because we use different process and equipment to limit the visible pollution and some of the invisible pollution we expel, damn those regulations from the evil EPA, I want to see Lake Erie on fire again, I want to see ducks and geese covered in job creating oil that has spilled from a drill platform and just let the ocean or the lake absorb it over time. It’s not like we can change the weather, i mean cloud seeding has been around for decades and it never did anything in England by accident or Vietnam on purpose right? These 100 year floods that come every couple years that’s nothing, or the long droughts of the south, that’s just god weeding out the weaklings right? Same goes with the tropical storms and hurricanes we’ve never ran out of names per season right? And its not like methane and other gases emitted from industrial processes or natural have a bigger impact by volume like CO2? Its not like were eating more and more beef? I look forward to the day when during the dead of winter in Ohio I can go outside and work on my car in my drive way with no coat or snow around, of course not like that has not happened in recent years also of 60 and 70 degree days in December and January in Northern Ohio.

  84. The earth is warming, no doubt about that, although how quickly it is warming…that there is plenty of debate about!

    HOWEVER, there exists NO definitive proof that the CO2 that man is emitting is the cause.

    The earth has been warming since the mid 19th century, but the vast majority of the CO2 that has been emitted by man has occurred since WW2…so why was the earth warming before that?

    Just because the earth is warming doesn’t mean it’s our fault. The earth has gone through countless warming and cooling cycles without any input from us.

    Lastly, unless all political and economic influence, both direct and indirect is completely removed from the debate, there will always be a reason to fudge the numbers.

  85. 1. People who actually study climate change, its history, causes, and effects, agree almost unanimously that it is in fact happening, will continue and get worse, and is at least in part exacerbated by human activity increasing CO2 levels.

    2. People who deny climate change and rail against it are equally unanimously uninformed on the subject, have not studied or even read any scientific literature, and are simply parroting Koch-brothers funded propaganda and FOX ‘news’ nonsense.

    The above points *can* be scientifically, statistically proven.

    • Climate science is the modern variant of race science, except with a far wider objective – to eliminate 6/7 of the earth’s population. Koch is a right wing fascist, Gore et al are left-wing fascist and between them is the mother bird who happens to be named Elizabeth

  86. The Cult of the Church of Climatology has yet again failed. Their lies. The academics pursuit of monies from corrupt globalist politicians trying to prove that AGW exists (when it doesn’t) to collect taxes from all the world under suppressive police state rule for SIMPLY BREATHING. We have time and time again proven the fraud that is AGW, but the cult of the Church of Climatology is well funded by Soros and other globalist wackos. They are the enemy within and are the enemies of Family, Truth, Freedom, Liberty, the US Constitution and US Sovereignty. These enemies are working tirelessly to bring about a new world order of the globalist police state where individual liberty is dead.

  87. The Climategate emails prove that the so-called research is biased, liberal agenda driven and totally fraudulent.

    The real agenda here is to force the industrialized world to send money to the third world in the form of carbon transfers or some such.

    We, the public, are on to this scam and will not tolerate it.

  88. There is widespread agreement on the fact that humans have caused small amounts of warming. There is no widespread agreement on what that means, whether we should do anything about it, who should pay for it, or whether we even can do anything about.

    Greenpeace’s own (!) estimates say a 100cm sea level rise would cost the US 156 billion dollars.

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/impacts/sea_level_rise/

    The worst IPCC predictions are 60 cm over the next century if we do nothing. So, the cost of sea level rise is $2 billion a year; absolutely negligible given our budget. (There are some other costs to agriculture, but they are likely even less.)

    So, there is consensus that climate change is happening. There is no consensus that it is a “crisis”, and Greenpeace’s own data show it isn’t. If you want to argue that climate change is a problem, show us the economic analysis!

  89. Correlation does not equal causality.
    If human activity is the only cause of climate change – rising concentrations of Co2 – then until humans came along we would have had no ice ages or warming episodes for millions of years – the opposite is the case.

  90. Dissent is the American way. I love it! It seems a lot of people take it personally when there isn’t universal agreement with their views.

    Seems everyone has their point (or maybe even several) but no more than that. Not saying which side is right, just that this is pretty complex (no one in this discussion has come close to comprehensive coverage of the issues). Predicting the future has always been dangerous to ones reputation.

    Statements from both sides to the media (circus) frequently hurt their own arguments (remember Al Gore is a politician who claimed to have invented the internet). Scientists could do a better job of making clear their statements to the media. “Cold and snowy winters are further proof of global warming” doesn’t make much sense to the average layman. It may be supportable by the science but a better job of making it understandable to the average Joe would be more helpful to their cause.

  91. I’m confused about why so many laypersons’ care about the details involved in the study of climatology. You aren’t going to influence the scientific conclusions or change the fact that 97-98% of scientists believe that humans are causing these changes (Cite:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming). All that you are doing by squabbling is participating in a political discussion not a scientific one. And you probably don’t all work for companies that have a political stake in the outcome of this subject. So why even care? Why not debate String Theory vs Classic Model Physics or debate Bayesian vs Frequentist views of probability theory?

    Is this all because you want Al Gore to look stupid? Maybe you can find a different way to criticize him, or whatever you imagine him to represent.

    • It was too long ago that the special pay editor of Climate Change subjects was outed as an operative. Wikipedia is OK for a simple identification of a name or term that you know, but it is crazy to use it as a source. It is the establishment voice on all important subjects. No it does not necessary agree with the common idea of the Establishment opinion but it is the actual “line.” The novel “1984” spoke of “rewritting history” that’s the wikipedia job, and science, economics, etc.

    • Presenting this as a two-sided issue is wrong. The “scientific agreement” is on a simple observation that is only a tiny part of the overall issues involved in climate change and climate change policy.

      Furthermore, these issues are not rocket science; anybody with a reasonable level of scientific training can read the original papers and make up their own mind. If you do, you’ll find that nothing is as clearcut as you think. There is widespread consensus that increasing CO2 concentrations have caused some warming. There is no consensus on whether that will continue or what the implications are.

      And, in fact, even if you look at the IPCC report or the Greenpeace reports, you’ll find that the issue is nowhere near as black-and-white as you make it out to be. Doing nothing about climate change and continuing the way we are is arguably a reasonable course of action.

      • You are close, but you are incorrect. There is some consensus that there could be some warming, there is some consensus that there could have been a rise in CO2. There is no consensus among scientists who study nature,(but not the one who do Computer modeling), on what the relation is between the two, if any.

        If you can’t make a computer model or simulation turn out what you want it do, then you don’t know how to program a computer. Phil Jones, a noted modeler and “climate scientist” refuse to make either his computer code or his data public. We are supposed to trust him!

  92. numbers not exact, but here’s my best guess:

    99%+ of qualified scientists believe CO2 is increasing
    95% believe man is responsible for much of the increase
    90% believe that the CO2 will warm the atmosphere some.
    50% believe we can model that warming in our complex weather
    40% believe that warming will be even greater than the physics would predict due to feedbacks. as claimed in IPCC models
    30% believe warming will be enough to be detrimental
    10% believe that warming will be catastrophic,

  93. I KNOW the people get…you can tell by the vast majority of comments….we know that those who want to promote this lie in the press should be sued for fraud right along with those who want to promote a world tax collection system to line the pockets of those who will ‘save us’ from ourselves.

  94. Some people may still be debating the reality of climate change, but I’ll tell you, for me there is one thing that can’t be debated and that is, how gullible and easily manipulated the average person is! With the overwhelming majority of climate scientists in total agreement that the world is warming and that this warming is, in fact, due to human activity, there are still some lay people out there who have never cracked a book on science yet somehow think they know better than people who have devoted their entire lives to the study. Well, here are a few ‘facts’ for you who still want to ‘debate’ climate change–namely the everyday reality of the people who are already being affected by it all over the world! I’m talking about farmers in England who are now able to grow olives there–when they never could before because normally in England it is just too cold. Or the owners of ski resorts in the U.S. who have watched the snow steadily disappear on the tops of mountains over the last decade in a way it never has before. Or people suffering from strangely prolonged droughts all over the world. Or South Pacific islands that are measurably sinking as water levels rise from melting glaciers. These aren’t debatable ‘facts’ in a spreadsheet somewhere, they are undeniable realities that people in these places can plainly see. Wake up! For you ‘debaters’, you should realize that the same ‘sources’ that have been deliberately confusing the reality of climate change are the same P.R. firms that tried to confuse people about the link between smoking and lung cancer–and they are backed by oil, gas, and coal companies with untold billions of dollars to spend. There mission is straight-forward: Get the gullible, uneducated public to doubt what an overwhelming majority of scientists now know as fact and their clients can buy more time to influence politicians and sell their unneeded product. For as long as 2/3 of the public see climate change as ‘debatable’, no one is going to take decisive action to address it–and that means they keep raking in hundreds of billions and their corrupt operations are left alone.

  95. A simple poll:

    Think to yourself, “When I use my objective and reasoning brain, I believe the burning of fossil fuels is most likely…

    A) Good for the planet and the future of mankind.
    B) Bad for the planet and the future of mankind.

  96. The whole point is… we have to stop being selfish a-holes and abusing our resources. Where is the propaganda here? Be kind, be thoughtful – don’t abuse others and be grateful for what you have – especially your HOME (aka the Earth)…. please help me understand how being less damaging to the planet is propaganda.

    The propaganda is the dribble coming from the people (corporations) who cannot make millions of dollars off people consuming less, being more self-sufficient and a culture of renewable resources.

    The battle isn’t between people in denial and people aware of climate change. The battle is between all of us and these greedy, I have to say it… EVIL companies that don’t give a crap about you other than what you might mean to their bank accounts. You are a resource to be USED, ABUSED and SQUEEZED of everything that could make them more money.

    For those of you who think climate change is fake… you really need to sit with the evidence for a while. You need to learn about the people just like you who live near factories that have disproportionate cancer rates. You need to visit lakes and rivers with sewage and chemicals that make the water undrinkable. You need to educate yourselves.

    For those of you who need to believe the changes in climate are “evidence” not “proof” of the apocalypse, fine. You are not necessarily wrong. You are mistaken, though, if you believe that God or Jesus would choose the lazy, selfish, greedy, abusive and ignorant people to save. You can’t just believe in Jesus. You have to BE LIKE Jesus.

    Everyone, expect multi-national, multi-trillion dollar companies win, when we all take mindful, loving care of the planet and each other. These companies are playing the rest of us like puppets and it doesn’t have to be that way. In my town, in the pacific northwest, companies change their values based on how the public shops. We have seen companies go from greedy to conscious as a means to survive in the market here. This needs to be the case globally. The people, you and me, need to take the lead on setting standards, norms and the well-being of the culture.

    As long as you believe that climate change is a farce, you are a pawn in these corporate giants game and nothing more. You are not standing up for what is right, what is just, what is American or what is God-like.

    My wish for all people is that everyone wakes up. No matter how painful it is…

  97. [...] Global warming: Propaganda creates myth of disagreementSummit County Citizens VoiceBy Summit Voice SUMMIT COUNTY — A long-running propaganda campaign to cast doubt on climate science has apparently worked to some degree. On the one hand, there is near unanimous agreement among climate scientists that human-caused global warming is …CO2 sensitivity possibly less than most extreme projectionsLos Angeles TimesCO2 climate sensitivity 'overestimated'BBC NewsLast big chill suggests lower climate impact of carbonArs TechnicaRegister -TG Daily -Forbesall 125 news articles » [...]

  98. um hey guys
    A simple google search reveals how many scientists actually do disagree with the entire notion of climate change. It appears that the *ONLY* scientists that do agree are climatologists (the one field that can’t even predict tomorrows weather). When you ask any physicist (that knows about the laws of thermal dynamics, kinetic energy, potential energy, etc) you see that they’re the most ardent opponents of this climate change pseudoscience.

    Google it up for yourselves.

  99. The reason many people have doubts about global warming is not because they do not believe in science. The reason all of you believers are making that assertion is that it is an easy way to dismiss any counter arguments and make skeptics seem foolish. If any of you can be honest for a moment, consider a few questions. What would happen to a researcher at a major institution if they were to challenge the commonly accepted views on global warming? What effect would this have on getting more research money, or for personal career advancement? You know the answer. How could this not color their findings? Skeptics of global warming just know that the entire scientific community is corrupt, just like our government, and everything that is presented as “fact” has to be taken with a grain of salt. Look back to what was being presented as facts by scientists and analysts in the media during the seventies. Google it. We were a few years away from running out of oil and facing a new ice age. That’s the irony and arrogance of you people. You think that you are open minded intellectuals, when in fact you are the dogmatic ones that refuse to consider or even tolerate opposing views.

  100. [...] Global warming: Propaganda creates myth of disagreementSummit County Citizens VoiceBy Summit Voice SUMMIT COUNTY — A long-running propaganda campaign to cast doubt on climate science has apparently worked to some degree. On the one hand, there is near unanimous agreement among climate scientists that human-caused global warming is …CO2 sensitivity possibly less than most extreme projectionsLos Angeles TimesCO2 climate sensitivity 'overestimated'BBC NewsLast big chill suggests lower climate impact of carbonArs TechnicaRegister -TG Daily -Forbesall 125 news articles » [...]

  101. We have had ice ages and tropical times before man,the climate on the earth is always changing,to pretend to know why is absurd

  102. You’ll have be a bit patient with those of us above the age of fifty. We’ve been told many things by the “experts” for the past the five decades only to have those same things be later on be contested by the facts. The spotted owl is just one such example. The northwest forests were put off limits for generations to help the spotted owls causing great hardship on the families that made their living from them. Of course, the “experts” 100% attested in court that it was people causing their demise. This made front-page news for quite a while. When it came out that the spotted owls biggest problem was actually the barred owl entrance into their habitat; well that made page 19 in the back of the paper. Seems the barred owl is just simply a stronger bird and better able to survive the competition. We’ve been around long enough to have seen Time magazine forecasting “the coming ice age” and now the present coming heat wave as well. We have not the time to go into what’s good for you to eat and what’s not according to the “experts.” So yes, we are just a bit skeptical when the “experts” tell us things as the “gospel” truth. When the “experts” start persecuting other “experts” with PhD’s behind their names who happen to disagree with them, well, that just makes us all the more skeptical. When we are told we should believe something simply because there is virtually 100% agreement by the “experts,” well of course that makes us really want to jump on board all the more.

    • Don’t you think that, in the natural world, it would be smart to keep everything as close to its original shape as possible. How do people have the confidence that although we change the land surface with our agriculture and destruction of forests, change the oceans with our industrial waste and overfishing, change the atmosphere with our CO2, methane, and CFC, all this will have no adverse effects?
      As Jason writes, even if there is a %1 chance that the climate change may be caused by our actions, don’t you think that it would be an unacceptable risk to do nothing?
      If the scientists are right, we are talking about a progressively worsening situation, leading to disruptions in ecosystem services, untold number of extinctions, and possibly the end of our civilization.
      It is not only our lives that may be affected but every generation after us will be affected in a progressively worse way, as the climate change continues to get worse. If the computer models are right and we do nothing, the average temperature may change 9 degrees by the end of the century. If you consider the effects of this kind of shock on all life supporting systems of the world, is it the kind of risk that we are willing to take? If it is, what for?

      If we reduce our energy use by known efficiency measures and speed up the use of renewable energies, even if the scientists are wrong, we would do tremendous good for the planet. No more energy extraction from sensitive ecosystems, no oil spills, no fracking for gas, poisoning underground waters, no blowing up mountain tops for coal extraction, no atmospheric pollution and no more oil wars. Is this what we are afraid of?

      If the majority of people in our civilization are so selfish, stupid or morally corrupt as to take no action in the face of such a risk to all life on earth, then it may be time that we take our place among the failed civilizations of the past. Unfortunately this time there may not be anybody left to read about us in the future.

      • Human history is mankind ever increasingly mastering the environment around him; that is what it is to be of mankind. The “natural world” is passive, man is active. That is a great responsibility, but that is why man has a mind. Slime molds don’t (although they do minic the behavior of financial institutions).

        There is only forward, no neutral, no reverse. That which does not advance, dies out. After all the “great kills (such as the dinosaurs)” in the history of the planet, the new, replacement biosphere is composed of high orders, more energy intense species.

        If mankind decides to “go back to nature”, the human species will join the dinosaurs.

      • Sam,

        I’m old and require proof. My studies show CO2 is increasing, the increase is from fossil fuel and the greenhouse effect is widely accepted theory. Average temperatures have increased in the past 100 years but the climate sensitivity to CO2 is not proven and the temperature rise cannot be attributed to CO2 alone.

        Paleoclimatology uses actual historic temperature and climate data from ice core, pollen, and sea sludge samples and provides better information than the “forcing” calculations made by the consensus scientists. The latest such paleo study says, the last ice age was not as cold as we thought, so temperature rise is not as great as we thought and the climate is affected by factors not yet understood, probably regional effects.

        Environmentalists with no economic training have plagued society since the 60’s. When I first heard their “noble” cause I knew we would all be hungry before they quit. The current generation will not quit, but if their children get hungry enough (no job living at home) they may rebalance things.

      • Our civilization separated us from the natural world, and we are thought to see nature as something to be used for our economic development. Religion probably played some role in making us believe that we are a superior species and we can use and abuse other life forms as we please.
        If you talk to native Americans about these same subjects, they would have totally different opinions. We are mostly the products of our culture. The corporations and the media also gave us the dangerous impression that we can really change the natural world and mold it into a better shape for the use of humans.
        Unfortunately now that we are starting to have major problems, we have to change these opinions and we have to change them very fast. It may not be fair after all the reassurances our civilization gave us about being the luckiest people in the history of the world. But fairness is not a universal law.
        There is a book called “Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril”. If you look at it at amazon.com, you can read a big portion of it on-line. There is an article in it by Edward O. Wilson. He is an entomologist with great credentials. That is a very informative article about the condition the humanity is in.
        Jared Diamond also talks about how civilizations collapse in his book “Collapse”.
        Also you may want to listen to David Korten on youtube.com. He is a Stanford educated economist. He talks about how illogical our economic system is.
        These are not climate scientists. Many smart people from different walks of life think that our civilization is on an unsustainable path, and climate is the biggest issue of our time, along with species extinction, which is happening 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate.
        What is the chance of all these people being 100% wrong?
        And on top of all these warnings, changing our fossil fuel economy would help many other problems, with pollution, international conflict, destruction of naturally beautiful places (like the oil spill in the Gulf).
        I think that in the face of all these warnings it is our moral duty to shake our long held beliefs and start entertaining the idea that what we have been told for a long time may not be 100% right (maybe not even %10 right). We now know that it was wrong to kill millions of buffalo to starve the Native Americans. In the future we may find out that a lot of other things that we take for granted now were also very wrong.

      • Well lets assume that we all agree that global warming is man-made. Now who decides what to do about it and how much to spend toward that effort? When I was a child we played in a pasture behind my home and that pasture is now a forest. . . in a very short time. Our efforts on matters like this have very little consequence so we should think before we accept a lowered standard of living to accomplish very little. I’m reminded of the observation one morning of a volunteer fire department “They fought the raging fire so gallantly that it took all night for the barn to burn to the ground.”

        • So are you suggesting that we can not really do anything significant about global warming even if our CO2 emissions were responsible and if we were able to reduce them, so we should not change our life style and try to maintain our same wasteful ways as long as we can.
          I agree with you that if the scientists are right, the chances of our preventing a catastrophic climate change whatever we do is small, but I disagree that we should not try to do anything. If you see your house burning with your family in it, would you think about what your chances of being able to save them is, and act accordingly, or would you try to save them anyways?
          Similarly I believe that it is our moral duty to do whatever we can to try and reverse the climate change (and other problems we are causing like species extinction etc.). Whether we can do anything about it that will be significant for the ecosystems of the world is not certain, but what is certain is that if we don’t do anything it will be worse. I don’t think that in either case we can maintain the same life style. I much rather live frugally in a healthy planet, than try to live it up on a barren land.
          Once we accept that there is global warming and it is man made, I guess it becomes an ethics question. Do we really care for the world and its inhabitants after we are gone? I do, and I am willing to sacrifice a little comfort to make it better for the future human generations and other inhabitants of the world. Like a prophet said, “even if you knew that the end of the world was tomorrow, plant a tree”.

          • Sam, thanks for stating your kind position so succinctly. Now back to my question…who decides how much of our economy we spend on doing something and who decides what we wil do about it? At this point someone has to make political decisions on who gets the money to do something and who doesn’t. The real question is about where we will fnd the angels to distribute that wealth.

          • We have to empower community organizations in this country. We have to push our representatives to do something about the issues we believe in. We should not be deaf and blind consumers. We have a wonderful democracy but if we elect politicians bought by big interest groups, we are wasting the potential of this wonderful system.
            The government has to prepare the right environment for the private industry to invest in clean technologies, maybe by cutting subsidies to oil companies, to big agriculture, etc., but we can trust the government to do good only if they represent the wishes of an informed public. If we act like uninformed consuming machines, then we are letting powerful interests to control the government. We have to force the government to make it a fair playing field for the small businesses with good ideas.
            At the same time the people must be informed and involved. If necessary they have to be willing to get out of their comfortable houses and peacefully protest. If you have been watching Occupy Wall Street, that may be the start of a new kind of movement that we need. We have to use our consumer power wisely, buying from small businesses who care for the earth.
            We have to change this political system so that the politicians are again elected by the ordinary people who are informed about issues.
            It is obvious that things are going downhill in the US since 1970’s. We have to make this the government by the people and for the people again. We have to have local economies with small businesses, small agriculture, etc. Then people will again care for each other and the land. The global warming and all other issues will be discussed and solved, because nobody will be making huge sums of money from destructive practices. Chevron will not be able to poison so many square miles of rain forest in Columbia and get away with it.
            I think we have to think that our actions matter, and try to do the right thing. We can not depend on the government in its present form or the multinational corporations to do the right things. Multinational corporations only care about the next quarters profits, and the politicians are mostly people who get elected by the money they get from these corporations.

          • OK, so you have contempt for business and free enterprise and “we’ need to do something about it. I really try to keep an open mind about these things so lets start with your comment about Chevron and “poison so many square miles of rain forest in Columbia and get away with it.” Where might I research this and get the facts from a reputible source?

          • If you go to the Rainforest Action Network at

            http://ran.org/we-can-change-chevron

            you will see that Chevron has been found in the courts of Ecuador (my mistake, it was not Columbia), of dumping 18 billion gallons of oil and not cleaning it. Prince Charles is involved with this organization, so it is a legitimate organization, trying to save the rain forests. This poisoned such a large area that whole villages are affected by it. Chevron is appealing this in US courts. I think the judgment was for something like 8 billion dollars, but Chevron probably will pay nothing, although they make similar quarterly profits.
            You may also want to check http://www.350.org for climate change news. Bill McKibben has founded it and it is legitimate organization following up on climate issues.
            What I was trying to say is that these kinds of powerful Corporations must be held liable to the people and not only to the shareholders. Otherwise in issues like this the only driving force is quarterly profit. It is wrong.
            One warning is that if you start to get involved in these issues of rain forest destruction and social injustice you may get depressed. But if we stick our heads in the sand, the problems will get worse.

          • Sam, you are citing the “Rainforest Action Network”. Think they might be a little biased in their facts. Google CHEVRON ECUADOR for some other perspectives….you really don’t want to damage your credibility like this.

            http://news.investors.com/Article/563301/201102151900/8-Bil-Ruling-Oozes-Fraud.htm

          • You may also want to look at http://www.yesmagazine.org. This is a nonprofit founded by David Korten, a Stanford educated economist. He is old already and I don’t think has any financial expectations from this magazine.

          • This is the most recent news about this case in the US courts, from the New York Times. The original verdict was for $18 billion (again my mistake) and an appeals court reversed a New York judges decision that Chevron did not have to pay. So they may have to pay after all, and that is good for bringing accountability for the actions of these multinational corporations.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/business/global/lawsuit-against-chevron-in-ecuador-clears-hurdle-in-us.html

          • Randy, Investors Business Daily is hardly an unbiased source. They are worse than Fox News. I think pretty much everybody is biased in this world. I have a liberal bias, you probably have a conservative bias. The important thing is whether people who are defending a position stand to make money from it. The Rainforest Action Network is probably not making any money whether Chevron wins or loses. They are writing these because they truly believe that Chevron bought a company (Texaco) which caused this tremendous spill, and they have been refusing to pay or clean for over 20 years.

            I do not understand all the legal issues. I am an engineer, not a lawyer. All I know is there was a spill of billions of gallons (nobody is disputing this), and people and the environment suffered greatly (again not disputed).

            I think that if the oil companies are making around 10 billion dollars per quarter, they should spend enough money to make sure that spills don’t happen, and if they do they should be able to stop them after a few hundred gallons. There should be multiple redundant mechanisms to prevent such spills whatever the cost.
            Why isn’t there a nuclear leak every month from nuclear reactors? Why don’t the nuclear weapons blow up once in a while. Oil industry should be held to the same standards. And if there is a big spill like the one in Alaska, or in the Gulf or this one, they should pay through the nose.

            Nobody has time and enough knowledge to go through thousands of pages of litigation papers. If these companies have enough money for all this litigation and all these PR campaings (like Chevron’s “We Agree” campaing), they should also spend enough money to make sure that spills don’t happen.If they cause a spill they should pay to make that area and the people whole again. If necessary they should sell the company to pay for it. Period. That is my thinking.

            If we don’t put clear rules for these companies they will find a way to muddy the issue by spending enough money on lawyers, politicians and TV ads. Like “after a clean up the CEO of the oil company will drink a gallon of water from the cleaned area”. I realize this is extreme but it should be this clear.

          • Agreed, Sam. Once we bring litigation into the discussion it becomes about winning and nothing elese. Certainly not the truth. Godspeed.

          • Thank you for keeping an open mind through this discussion. It is certainly hopeful for our civilization that we can discuss issues and keep an open mind towards other people’s opinions.

            I think in our complex civilization, unless people have a good value system, we can never come to a point agreeable to the majority of people. I believe that a good value system is one that keeps respect and wonder about all living things of the world, regardless of our present knowledge of their usefullness for humans. We should evaluate everything else starting from this point. We can change our legal system, our economy, our monetary system and even our western civilization if we decide that they are not working well. These are things that we created in the first place. But if we destroy the ecosystems and their delicate balances, we can not do anything about it. Only God can put them back together again (of the Great Spirit as Native Americans would say) and from historical records it seems that it takes 5 to 10 million years to do.

            Aldo Leopold has a good quote about this:
            “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

            Take care.

          • Sam,

            Your careful composition tells me you would be an excellent debate partner for a thoughtful denier. I’m not sure how to create a good debate thread on Summit, but if you are interested my email is bill.smith@gems-ksa.com.

            Your closing quote is particularly thought provoking; however, the issues I would like to debate regars the urgency and the cause. The urgency is driven by the “settled science” argument which is subject to question. The cause is driven by consumerism which drives the world economy and demand for fossil fuel.

            These are not simple issues, and my interest it to define the correct political platform before the next POTUS election. If you are interested tell me where we can exchange thoughts.

          • Bill, you may send me an email at sam.blaney@yahoo.com. I would be happy to talk with you about any of these issues, if I have enough knowledge. I think it is very important that people all around the world start talking about the urgent issues facing humanity before they become unmanageable.

  103. I grew up in Montana and return every summer. It’s depressing: the forest I remember as a child is mostly dead (this is around the Butte-Silverbow area). There are multiple reasons but the most significant is that the deeply cold snaps that kept the pine beetle in check are no longer quite as cold.

    I’m utterly baffled how people who aren’t in the pay of billion dollar energy corporations — whose entire business model is based around fossil fuels — can believe that a poorly coordinated group of poorly funded scientists would be trying to dupe them whilst those same companies are in fact telling them the truth.

    And even more so, I can’t think of any rational explanation for why, if there was even only a 1% chance of climate change occurring, why they’d want to risk it on this planet, our one and only shot. Our entire civilization is so utterly optimized for the current climate, why would we want to take even the slightest risk?

    However, as many of the messages here seem to indicate, this conviction verges on religious. I don’t know why that is, but I’m pretty sure we’re all screwed because by the time they’re convinced it will be far too late to salvage the situation.

  104. What can you expect … These people can’t begin to understand the first thing about science, yet they all think they’re experts and know more than a whole world full of highly educated and intelligent Ph.D. scientists. The most ignorant among us are dooming the rest of us to a ruined planet.

  105. It’s all crap. Climate change and man-made climate change are 2 different things. One is real, the other a scam to rack in the federal and private grant money. Too hot? MMGW, Too cold? MMGW. Drought? MMGW. Flooding? MMGW. And on and on. It’s just garbage, and the email’s we’ve been given prove beyond a reasonable doubt (something the “scientific community can’t do on MMGW) that many of the “experts” are manipulating data.

  106. [...] Global warming: Propaganda creates myth of disagreementSummit County Citizens VoiceBy Summit Voice SUMMIT COUNTY — A long-running propaganda campaign to cast doubt on climate science has apparently worked to some degree. On the one hand, there is near unanimous agreement among climate scientists that human-caused global warming is …CO2 sensitivity possibly less than most extreme projectionsLos Angeles TimesCO2 climate sensitivity 'overestimated'BBC NewsLast big chill suggests lower climate impact of carbonArs TechnicaRegister -Forbes -TG Dailyall 125 news articles » [...]

  107. One thing that doesn’t help is the heavy censorship done by websites, like this one, that carry a flame for the promotion of global warming. There is really no telling just how many voices are gagged… not because they were vulgar or insulting, but because they offered a good argument against the preferred cause.

    I dared to come here earlier and my words were snuffed. These may be as well because… I don’t say the ‘right’ things.

    • Hey I didn’t mean to snuff your words. I’ve never had this many comments on a story, so I’m having a hard time keeping up with the moderation. In general, I’m approving everything as long as there’s no profanity name-calling and if there’s a bit of substance to the comment above and beyond ad-hom attacks. I’m also not keen on posting links to bogus skeptic web sites which I consider spam links. But I do like substantive comments, so please try re-posting.

  108. There was consensus that the world was flat and if you disagreed you were an outcast, same as today.

  109. Boy you Liberals really do think people are stupid, dont you… There isnt “confusion” in the public; we have read STORY after STORY of fearful scientists who have “signed onto” the conclusions of the consensus because they dont want to be censored, penalized, and ostricized in their communities… We have read the emails that have shown the pressure they are under to toe the company line, to cover up contrary evidence, and to disparage dissenting opinions…. So before you LECTURE us any more about how “confused” we are, stop for one damn minute to as WHY we dont buy into the “anthropogenic” rationale…

  110. Also, hands up everyone who appreciates the irony of people that apparently trust physicists enough to board a plane and yet when it comes to climate science or evolution presume to doubt the experts.

    How much hubris does it take to think one can do a few hours, days, or even months of armchair research and then cast serious doubt on the work to which an entire community has devoted most of their waking hours?

    I specialize in just a few areas of computer science and would laugh in the face of these same people making any assertions on that subject. On that basis I’m certainly willing to accept the conclusions experts in other fields have reached and I find it weird deniers in both these areas harbor so much distrust, or that it would be so selective.

  111. That human activity has affected the climate seems obvious. The amount of CO2 in the air is up 50% since the start of the industrial revolution; the percentage of other greenhouse gasses is up even more; it’s inconceivable that such changes could take place without SOME change in climate. So, forget Rush Limbaugh’s “Earth is so vast that human activity can’t possibly affect it” argument; it’s BS. That said, the claims that sea level will rise 10 feet, or that the temperature will rise by 2 degrees by such and such date are also BS. Meteorology isn’t exactly pseudo-science; it’s more like semi-science. Without any ability to generate repeatable results (unlike, physicists) meteorologists are at a loss to “prove” much of anything; they can’t even predict the weather from day to day, much less predict the behavior of a chaotic system whose current state can’t even be captured for a given instant. They face the same dilemma that doctors face when trying to prove if salt and caffeine, two substances that have been studied for hundreds of years, are beneficial or harmful. It’s is possible that the neat little Al Gore lecture in which climate change is threatening the planet and we have just enough time to stop it is actually true. It’s also possible that it’s not serious enough to warrant re-working the world’s economy, or that it’s so serious and inevitable that the world is doomed no matter what we do; you might as well finish that cigarette if you’re hopelessly trapped in a fire. The only sane thing to do is create a system of mild incentives against such emissions (a carbon tax seems preferable to a crony-capitalist cap’n’trade orgy) and hope for the best.

  112. Actually, I think BC Engineer is much better informed than most, who I again assert have never read any of the scientific literature. Everyone has a (strong) opinion, nobody reads the literature.

    Here’s a good place to start: http://www.nature.com/climate/index.html

  113. If politicians had not co-opted the theory of climate change to further wealth distribution instead of actually working on mitigating technology perhaps it may have been better received. What happened though was an excellent example of rabid politicians going after their next victim. Disgusting to most people and a general mistrust of the whole idea and how to address it.

    Sorry but the world’s politicians ruined it for the scientists on this one.

  114. Unfortunately, modern Science is not completely segregated from the politics and societal pressures, that want certain outcomes produced.

    Scientists funded by tobacco companies, see no harm with tobacco and their research, studies and careful documentation, all back this up. Scientists funded by corporations that produce trans-fats based oils, find there is no harm to humans from them. The list goes on.

    I wonder how much truly independent research is taking place, when it comes to the subject of climate. Some years ago, there was a release of emails exchanged by mostly British climate scientists. The emails talk openly about data manipulation, the cover up of contrary evidence, and outright data fudging and forgery. I understand that this week, there has been another release of similarly incriminating emails.

    I do myself believe that humans are playing a part in global warming, but how much, and how to measure that, is where things become quite murky. I worry more about deforestation than I do about carbon emissions but both are very harmful, and there will be a breaking point, and a ‘point of no return’ as it were. So I am in the rare category, of people who believe in human contribution to global warming, but also very skeptical about some of the research and claims being thrown about, in regard to it.

  115. Why waste our time arguing with a bunch of back-woods flat earthers? Better to put our efforts into something constructive to address this issue. The deniers are primarily American, which is very embarassing, to say the least.

  116. If you take an unbiased look at the latest release of emails from the climate scientists to each other, it is clear that THEY do not believe the results and are hiding the original data on purpose and are recognizing political goals over scientific ones. Awaken, folks.

  117. There is no consensus on AGW among climatologists. That is a fact. Al Gore lied in his movie about his supposed consensus. There are plenty of Nobel Laureates who are skeptics. Also it is hard to have consensus on data that isn’t published.

    More importantly, scientific progress is not driven by consensus. How could it? It is about proof not about who agrees with you. Einstein had no consensus and couldn’t even find a job after he published his three papers.

  118. When will these so-called “Scientists” learn the primary function of empirical science?

    The purpose of a scientist is to be a skeptic and to propose a hypothesis. This hypothesis should then the scientist attempt to disprove.

    If he / she is unable to disprove the hypothesis, it does NOT imply the hypothesis is proven but that further study is required.

    Take a HINT, there is NOTHING proven with global warming other than that we are paying CO-tax for an unknown weather phenomena.

  119. The propaganda is from the scientist themselves!! Just read their leaked emails!! Man made global warming is a farce. A complete fabrication!! They just want more “grant” money and Al Gore wants to trade “carbon credits” to make more millions!!!!!!

  120. “It is no accident that so many Americans misunderstand the widespread scientific agreement about human-caused climate change”

    That is a great example of a point making itself. You can assert it until you’re blue in the face but “widespread scientific agreement” doesn’t exist regarding “human-caused climate change.” This is the kind of garbage that the truth get’s lost in. Climate change may be real but rhetoric like this is exactly what undermines the truth every being accepted, let alone established. Climate change causation and scale, if anything, has widespread disagreement in the scientific community. To say otherwise betrays a desire to shape opinion first and deal with the science second.

    Until we get the lust for money, power, and policy-making out of the science it will be polluted. The past and recent email leaks are a clear reminder of this.

  121. Apparently, emotion, opinion and politics have gained the upper hand in this matter if these posts are representative of solid citizens’ thoughts.

    Maybe we need to start over again with a completely independent panel of experts looking at the data. Let’s keep the Al Gore types out of it. Let’s keep anyone with a vested interest out of it. Let’s make funding “blind.” Let’s hold the research to the highest standard.
    If the direst assertions are true, it’s too important not to act upon. If it’s another Y2K, we need to know that too.

    • This is a perfectly reasonable request – from the perspective of a 12 year old. The heart of the issue here is whether mankind wil progress or not. That is THE political issue of the last 5,000 years of human history. The Priest class (not religion, the acknowledgement and love of God) has been fighting against progress, unsuccessfully, over that entire period, but now the battle is coming to a climax. Wars, deception, the fostering of ignorance are the tools that have been used to kept man from truly fulfilling his destiny. We are at the point of history where man must either begin embarking on his “extra-terrestorial imperative.” The oligarchs know and understand this, dispise this, since it must mean their loss of control so they are on a desperate attempt to convince man that mankind is evil, that progress is impossible, then rather than containing the “divine spark”, man is just another animal.

      read these posts carefully, you will find one voice that says listen to authority, do what they tell you, go with the flow, be afraid you little, meaningless man. And another voice, that says that we must learn and understand, that you must look and understand and judge. It is your responsibility.

      In matters of this types there is no such thing as “a completely independent panel of experts looking at the data.” There are those who believe in the truth, even if they don’t quite know what it is, and there are those, the majority who believe in what is popular, what is acepted, what mummy tells you, what the priest said

  122. Honestly its the likes of Al Gores misinformation that made this a partison issue… And he got a Nobel prize for his slander. More Reps. Are against it for this reason than not

  123. A mere 35 years ago, the scare was the impending ice age. I wonder how that changed in such a short time. Maybe the moneys offered up to discover warming have a way of influencing outcomes? It wouldn’t be that-everyone is only out to discover the truth.

    • Yeah, the new ice age stuff, which is actually closer to the truth, was pushed by the same interests. hey switched to “warming” for tactical reasons. Margret Mead, the witch herself, was heavily involved in this.

  124. [...] Global warming: Propaganda creates myth of disagreementSummit County Citizens VoiceBy Summit Voice SUMMIT COUNTY — A long-running propaganda campaign to cast doubt on climate science has apparently worked to some degree. On the one hand, there is near unanimous agreement among climate scientists that human-caused global warming is …Last big chill suggests lower climate impact of carbonArs TechnicaCO2 sensitivity possibly less than most extreme projectionsLos Angeles TimesCO2 climate sensitivity 'overestimated'BBC NewsRegister -TG Daily -Forbesall 126 news articles » [...]

  125. The scientific method cannot prove a hypothesis with 100% certainty, it can only disprove it. Experiments are conducted on predictions based on theories and when the results contradict the prediction the theory is rejected. Conversely, if the results confirm the prediction, the theory is only maintained – not accepted as fact. Thus, generally accepted physical laws (gravity, evolution, speed of light, etc..) are still only theories, but have continuously withstood numerous experiments to disprove them.

    That said there will never be _proof_ of climate change. There will only be either disproof or ever-growing certainty. As it currently stands, certainty of the existence of climate change appears to be winning.

  126. Let’s just wait and see before we trouble ourselves with changing our habits. We might need the weather to get real bad. Or widespread disease and degraded human health. Maybe a complete world-wide financial collapse. Let’s just do nothing and keep arguing about it. In the meantime I will enjoy my 12MPG vehicle that I deserve because I’ve worked hard. If you want to save to world you drive a fuel efficient car. I’m not going to hedge my bet and insist that we have some sort of responsible national energy policy. That’s too hard to think about. I’ll be OK. I have guns. I’ll always be able to provide for my family if the lights go out. (Don’t call the Police. This is sarcasm.)

    “An asylum for the sane would be empty in America.” G. B. Shaw

  127. Yeah! There is no proof in science, prove to me that we can “fly” through the air in big metal objects, take rockets to the moon or give someone an organ transplant. Science is just all fantasy mumbo jumbo, yeah!

  128. I am disgusted with the lack of intelligence, specifically in the design and application of reason and the scientific method, that such a broad population of our society seems to enjoy. It infuriates me at times.

  129. Climategate scientists DID collude with government officials to hide research that didn’t fit their apocalyptic global warming

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2066240/Second-leak-climate-emails-Political-giants-weigh-bias-scientists-bowing-financial-pressure-sponsors.html#ixzz1exkXJWtH

  130. Hasn’t anyone looked at the gist of this article? The headline reads “Global warming: Propaganda creates myth of disagreement”. The proper field of discussion here is the manipulation of information flow in order to control a society. In short, brainwashing. Here’s how it goes. Nearly 100% of scientists flat out state that global warming is taking place, largely due to the activities of the 7 billion people on Earth. In order to confuse the issue, a few petrochemical industry paid pseudo-scientists wade in and say that the warming is due to some other cause (since they can’t deny the reality of it). Then the some right wing radio personalities and bloggers say that there is “no agreement among scientists”. Voila, the issue appears to be not settled. It is propaganda in the classic sense. The agenda of the propagandists is greed, not the welfare of mankind and the biosphere in which it exists. As for alternative energy sources, renewables are the only viable long term solution. Nuclear energy is a crime against humanity, creating the most long term polluting waste on the planet. And the net gain of nuclear energy is nil. Furthermore, the true cost must include catastrophe mitigation as well as waste disposal. China is now the worlds leader in renewables. If we invest enough in alternative energy sources, the costs will be driven down and jobs will be created. Look at what the Germans are doing. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

    • Thanks, James, that is why I chose to use the word “propaganda” in the headline. That is what the story is about.

    • James, what is the source of your data that almost 100% of scientists agree that global warming is man-made? Google VOSTOK SURVEY image and tell me what the unpoliticized data says to you? There is by no means a consensus among scientists that global warming is man-made or even man-influenced. I’m sure it feels correct to you to take that position but science isn’t about feel or pop culture.

      • Most alarmist and agenda focused media articles draw opinions from studies completed using mathematical models which attempt to forecast the weather, sic temperature increases. None of these models have been identified as capable of forecasting actual weather changes, yet the Media and selected Agendists tout them as “proof”, (66% certanty of insert qualifier __________ insert another qualifier and __________. Why if the 66% is accurate is a quaiifier required?

        The governments of the world are guilty of promoting this unscientific approach by using excessive taxpayer $$ to fund endless studies without proper vetting.

        Even the finest US Universities are discounted if they express concern regarding the quality of studies or the methods used to promote GW CC AGW, (search for MIT and look at the media handling of the BEST report, Incorrect claims of a denier’s conversion).

        So who is the final authority?

        “Science is Settled”, is the weakest possible argument. Science is never settled. This is a political attempt to close debate so they can spend available money and pass new regulations to collect increased and vast sums of taxpayer money and control the spending thereof.

  131. It’s a matter of triage. There are people who get it, people who are open to learning more, and intractable idiots.

  132. Nate November 26 makes the best point of all.

  133. Gentlemen, if we change the way we consume energy, and the scientists are wrong, we lose a little comfort, oil companies will lose some profits, etc. But remember that we are just talking about some short term inconvenience for one species. Ours (homo sapiens).

    On the other hand if we do nothing and the scientists are right, we are taking a risk on the continued survival of a majority of 8.7 million species (according to latest estimates) on earth, including ours.

    We can not just calculate odds of global warming being real or man-made and act accordingly. We also have to include into the equation how bad the results of action vs. inaction on this issue are.
    The risk of something happening is multiplication of the probability of it happening and and how bad the result is. So a nuclear war which had a minuscule probability of happening posed a big risk for humanity because of how bad the results would have been.

    Similarly even if the probability of scientists being right about the warming being caused by man is very little (I think it is high, but just assuming it is very little), the risk is tremendously big for us, because of how bad the expected result of inaction might be. Is this a risk we are willing to take?

    If dinosaurs were smart enough to be able to divert the trajectory of the meteor coming towards the earth 65 million years ago, would they decide not to do it because it may cost too much, and maybe the meteor impact would not have much of an effect, etc.? Is this a risk worth taking?

  134. i’ve got plenty of carbon credits to sell. anyone? anyone? jl

    • Wow, MAJOR troll at work. Seriously…

      • and, my name goes on every post. i’m even registered. am i a troll because i’m saying stuff you don’t like? not tech. a blog TROLL. or were you just being nasty because i strike a raw nerve?

  135. is that all you got bob? name calling? it’s the last resort of a small mind. you must really know that you all are wrong and now must resort to bullying and other tactics of the left. when you combine politics, science and the media you get a steam roller that refuses to allow disenting idea,opinions and truths. “peer” reviewed now means “friend” reviewed. us deniers are concerned that this steamroller will not stop until all of our money is gone. and you and the AGW crowd says oops, sorry we were wrong. again.
    i’m a conservative. i’m sure you are surprized. but that doesn’t and never did mean that we wanted dirty air and water, etc. it means that separating science from politics and the media so actual facts can be found is paramount. all the bs heard in the media about conservatives is simple projection.

    • I dunno … when someone leaves that many comments on a story, I just consider it trolling. But I do appreciate you reading older stories. I also think it would be good to separate science from politics, but that doesn’t seem possible in this social climate. IMO, the science is pretty clear, but has been muddied by politics.

    • Join the criticism. Pick a paper and provide a critique online. You can provide a link here if you want so we can read it.

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the money. One oil conglomerate makes more in profits in one quarter than climate science (at least in the US) gets from government (I am basing this off figures I have seen thrown around since I haven’t checked). Of course, the US military was/is a major spender and believer of climate change predictions because of studies and implications to world stability and tactical considerations. Also, there are many ideas for free market approach. Our world is loaded with regulations, eg, to prevent deadly poisons from being dumped by others into your backyard ( or ???)

      Can you point to the Oops we were wrong? Perhaps you are confusing the media hype of global cooling back then with the science being done. Of course, mistakes happen all the time. Feel free to provide your argument.

      You can read about how NASA and virtually every major university (like those that teach the people who bring us modern marvels) has a position online in support of what their scientists say are the basic conclusions from the vast majority of literature on the subject. This doesn’t mean some professors and scientists in the field don’t dissent on these basic points, but they are in the clear minority. Argument is great, but you should play the side with the much better odds if you are not a pro.

      • lol. Actually, it’s the pros that play the odds. Most people who are not pros and don’t really understand the game play the opposite side.

  136. how can the science be clear? we have some 1,221 temperature stations around the country. the rules for their stet up are 1. at least 100 feet from any building. 2.box face facing away from the sun. 3. white latex paint. 4. slatted sides. 5. not around any heat source. 6. mounted 5 feet off the ground. only 3% of them were mounted properly (Anthony Watts). so, i’m not convinced that using temp data found on the other 97% of boxes is good science. sound reasonable? it does to me. unfortunately other data is collected with agenda bias. if it’s your job to get data that supports the “consensus” means keeping your job and feeding your family, again, not buying the science. sorry. you make it sound like anyone denying AGW or any warming/ climate change is out of their mind. but i’ll go toe to toe with you to prove my point. the problem again is that the steam roller is so powerful that opposing facts and opinion never make it to the fore.

    • It’s really tough to have a reasonable debate on something about which there really is no debate. There’s no question that global average land and sea temps are on a steep upward climb and that it’s the result of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

      • well then i guess were finished here. no numbers from the other side are true. all your facts are right. so, DON’T SELL YOUR COAT

        • The questions to debate are, how much will temperatures rise; what are the likely impacts; what can and should we do to try and stop it; and, what can we do to mitigate the impacts?

          • temps haven’t risen since 1998. neither have sea levels for that matter. the impact of heat is prosperity. more tech advances, food and other good things that come with good weather. we are powerless to stop any of it. my question to you is how would you stop an ice age?

          • Repeating the myth of “temps haven’t risen since 1998″ doesn’t make it true.

          • precisely my point bob. look at all you’ve said?!

          • jonathan lerner, you can visit skepticalscience website. They provide loads of link to studies you can read over and critique if you want professional scientists and educators to take your position seriously. I warn you that going there without data/experiments/analysis to back you while making “outrageous” claims will get you booted after one or more warnings. They take a tough position, but they want to prevent unsubstantiated claims and opinions from flooding the discussions.

            Like many have said, the science overwhelmingly supports AGW (or something close to it). You can’t win an argument of facts without coming prepared. If you want your debate opponent to bring facts, visit that website after you prepare your case.

          • jonathan, what research are you quoting that says temps have not risen since 1998? Are you ignoring BEST and other recent major studies of temperature that agree 2010(?) was the hottest on record? Also, why would you think that just because the “planets” line up to produce a particularly hot year means warming has stopped? Have you looked at studies of the heat content of the oceans during the last 15 years? Do you know what ENSO is and how there are periods of time when a lot of cold ocean water rises from the deep in a short time (“mixing”) leading to cooling pressures on the atmosphere (or has remained in place long enough, leading to particularly hot years)?

    • Who cares if the data collected from temperature stations are precise? It is very obvious from retreating glaciers, changing times of flowering plants, southern birds being seen in northern parts of the country and countless other observable facts that the climate is warning.
      If we are talking about money playing a role in what scientists say about climate change, then I don’t think anybody has more money than oil companies.
      Now that most people accept that there is a global warming in progress, they started to say that it happened many times in the history of the world and this time around it may be natural also.
      The problem is that when the CO2 increased before it did so in thousands of years, so the oceans could absorbe and convert it to calcium carbonate. Scientists are saying that oceans never acidified this fast within the last 300 million years, and that is as far back as they can follow, so it probably never did.
      The fact is that the oil money will try to distort the truth to the bitter end. The sad fact is that in our industrial capitalist system, a lot of people will do anything for money including a lot of the politicians, even if they know better.
      If 94% of scientists are stating that there is such a thing as man made climate change due to fossil fuel use, even though the people who defend the opposing argument (like fossil fuel companies and their beneficiaries in the Congress) have all the money, and also the effects of climate change are easily observable, than it would be prudent to accept this as a fact and start doing everything within our power to stop it.
      I personally believe that if someone is defending a position out of ignorance that may be excusable but if they are defending a position even though they know that it may harm most life forms on earth, than it is evil. What Hitler did is nothing compared to what we are doing to all life on earth.

      • LOL. Hitler?? Now how bout some holocaust denial.

        NASA has debunked global warming. It is just a hoax perpetuated by the EU so that the rest of the world will pay them for for shutting down their obsolete industries which are defunct anyways.

        The rest of the world is not dumb.

        Be off to your hunter gathering life styles. You eco fascists need to be hauled up for murder, the poor darling pensioners that you are killing with your clever business idea.

        Quit it chum, the game is up.

        • Actually you hit the nail on the head. I do not think we have a technical solution to this problem. Hunter gatherer life style or something similar to that with less people on earth may be the only solution.
          So, as you see I am not trying to make any other class of people rich. I am just telling you what I believe.Of course like anybody else I may be wrong too.
          If you read Edward O. Wilson (probably the best entamologist of our time), Guss Speth (head of forestry department at Yale) and other respectable scientists, you will see that none of them are pushing a technical agenda. They are just concerned that we may be going towards a Mad Max kind of world.
          You have to read some articles and books from the other side. Otherwise our perception of events are distorted.

      • wow sam, i’m not sure if you are even more mis-informed than bob. what will it take for you to turn around your opinion? how major a scandal must take place for you to re-look at the data you just ate like it was delicious? would even a full fledged ice age at your back door wake you up?
        actually sam i do care that the data isn’t precise. why? because it helps drive policy and money spent on things like solar and wind power that has been proven only to work to about 20% efficiency. i’m for them but the technology isn’t ready yet. and, the problem isn’t the fact that the planet may have warmed some but the fact that we caused it is what rubs me. the eco-fascists would like us all dead. so it only figures this “crisis” would be used in an Alinsky-like way by the left to, as Rahm Emanuel said, “never let a good crisis go to waste”.
        the carbon dioxide cycle typically follows temperature. it’s in the antarctic core record. warm seas release co2. so, ergo, you have to warm the seas first. and co2 has been much higher than today. yes, but even at these meager co2 levels plants do better and food production goes up.
        the CRU (CLIMATE RESEARCH UNIT and AGW shill) was a major beneficiary of big oil money i.e. BP and Royal Dutch Shell to name a few. also, the largest profiteer in the oil business is the government. they make the largest percentage of money per gallon.
        let’s talk about how much money Al Gore and his people have spent. hundreds of millions of dollars propagating this lie. the media, science and politics have joined forces and have become a juggernaut to get opposing views and facts around. i don’t care that 94% of so-called scientists agree. six out ten dentists like trident but that doens’t matter either. 94% of scientists agree upon bad data. scientists still need to pay a mortgage and feed their family and the money is clearly behind AGW.
        co2 only absorbs heat in a very small frequency band. water vapor holds a lot more heat and actually drives the climate. not co2. what is there .036% of co2 in our atmosphere. a driver? i don’t think so.
        let’s talk about computer modeling. the climate is so chaotic and there isn’t enough computing power on the planet to come close to getting it right. so it must be done in little pieces. then put back together to tell a story. crap in, crap out. the scientists can’t even tell you how clouds are formed or how they can effect the climate. all i know is that it has been warmer on the planet before us and that al gore wasn’t there to blame us. forget sea level data. i just have to laugh at that one.
        and hitler? really? an ice age will be the death of more people since, well, the last ice age. or, maybe the little ice age that saw famine, war and the taking of resources due to the cold. when the medieval warming occured we made tech. advances and saw the rebirth of art and architecture and a boom in population . so take your pick. i’d rather live during the Holocene interglacial than any other time. you? as ambler said “these are the good old days”. and “cold and ice are not our friends” jl

        • The experts disagree with you. Radiation physics disagrees with you. Measurements of carbon isotopes and of CO2 production disagree with you.

          CO2 can follow.. and it can also lead. There are many things in life that can follow and lead. To pick a silly example, take “falling” and “getting hurt”. They can each precede and help create the other.

          Oceans are absorbing CO2 net.. that is one reason more is not going into the atmosphere. But I should probably listen to you instead of NASA and universities.

          Higher CO2 of past was (a) when the sun was sending less energy at us and (b) supported life that adapted to that environment. I hope you aren’t thinking we can become cold-blooded within a couple of centuries or have our safe metabolism levels quickly change or find a new way to grow crops in land not suited for it when a lot of land in use dries up. [I don't know what will happen, but it does not comfort me to know that tens of millions of years ago there was more CO2 in the air... man was nothing then like we are now.]

          Al Gore? What does he have to do with the science developed by Republicans and Democrats alike for decades and even over a century? Gore’s opportunism has nothing to do with what analysis and data say. Behind the scenes, I am almost sure many major Republican figure are hedging or repositioning their bets.. and likely not advertizing it, for obvious reasons.

          You don’t care most scientists agree? I can sympathize, but I hope you have alternate evidence to back your hunches. And remember that is an awful lot of money and potential fame for anyone “disproving” global warming. In fact, many already do the circuit, making a name for themselves in “denier” circles and taking a lot of money from talks, etc. There are so few of them and so many against AGW. This is why some of them have such well fed families.

          I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of people who pay attention to the weather channel each day and especially when hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and other calamities are forecasted.. even if they “don’t get it right”, as you say.

          I’ll say this about ice ages, if you leave a house in the cold weather to get some sun and fireplace heat but decreasing insulation, you will get slow cooling effect. But if you start to add large amounts of insulation in a short time, the house will heat back up and break it’s slow cooling cycle. In an extreme case, the house can become like a sauna and kill anyone inside who resides there for too long.

          There is something called moderation. Run or work out too hard or eat too much and you will die quickly.

    • If you took all of those temperature measurements, say using mercury tubes (let’s assume), and rubbed off the numbers, that fact these are still going up says something to the statisticians who have studied this problem. The fact this rise correlates to the rises seen in urban areas away from all heat sources says something as well.

      This is why those who process this data use temperature “anomalies”. You can look it up. They focus on the changes in relative terms.

      They also take into account trustworthiness based on surveys. They make many types of measurements, including from outer space where large regions are covered and averaged. The amount of energy added to the planet by the extra long retention of the sun’s energy to lead to these rises is much greater than the heat produced by the cities of the world.

      I doubt you have looked at the papers that cover this (I hardly have either), but you probably have read some website by someone else who also hasn’t looked at this carefully, and that is reason enough I should pay attention to you and to the other 30 scientists studying this, while ignoring the remaining 970 scientists out of the 1000. Thanks!

  137. Jonathan, I would try to discuss with you whether there is anthropogenic climate change or not but I am lost in your arguments. You are saying that the global warming is all lies but show no study or resource to back up your claims.
    Maybe you can read the Stern Report which was prepared by top economists (not eco-fascists), or the several reports from IPCC, or a hundred different respectable sources.
    Would you please show me one respectable source which claims that there is no anthropogenic climate change?
    What is your opinion on retreating arctic ice, the bubbling up of 40,000 year old methane and CO2 from melting permafrost (if there was a similar warming in the middle ages that these gases would have bubbled out of the ground then), or dying pine forests of British Columbia (I have seen them with my own eyes) due to pine boring beetle that cold doesn’t kill in the winters anymore, or dying coral reefs due to acidification of oceans.
    How about the myriad of life forms going extinct due to changing climate and our species other harmful actions, like taking up their land for agriculture, taking up their water etc. If you look up “extinction” on the internet you will find many sources explaining that the world is in its 6th major extinction crises. World Wildlife Fund stated that we have lost 30% of all species since 1970’s. Other organizations also are telling us that we may be on our way to lose approx. 75% of all species within the next 300 years. There are many reasons for species loss (all of them related to humans), but climate change may be the most serious one.
    Don’t you think there is any truth to any of these arguments?
    Are these all myths, or do you believe that these are happening naturally and not due to our influence?
    I really am trying to understand what you are really thinking, and how you are reaching your conclusions in the face of overwhelming evidence for the contrary.
    I have nothing against anybody regardless of what their beliefs are, and I do not want to argue on issues on an endless loop, but I think that if you honestly believe in your arguments, you should read the opinions of the other side. There are very valuable people out there with very reasonable arguments to slow down our emission of greenhouse gases. It is very likely that they have a good point.
    Take care.

    • If I may interject…this is the evidence you request. http://colli239.fts.educ.msu.edu/1999/07/11/vostok-1999/

      Clearly climate is changing and clearly the temperature is rising. While your report is dire based on potentially related observations and secondary data, what can you conclude about the arguments that you have offered based on this primary data?

      • If you look closely at these graphs,

        http://colli239.fts.educ.msu.edu/2002/08/20/long-time-record-of-atmospheric-co2-and-temperature-obtained-from-vostok-ice-core/

        you will realize that it probably doesn’t show the last 150 years of CO2 increase, which went from 280 ppm to 396 ppm April of this year. The scale on these graphs are tens of thousands of years and it only shows the last increase from the ice age to 280 ppm preindustrial CO2 concentration which is obviously a natural event but happened in 12,000 years, otherwise on a time scale like this the present increase from 280 ppm to 396 ppm (April 2012) in 150 years would look like a vertical line on the graph, going straight up.
        The graph shows that previous changes happened in thousands of years, so the different systems of the world had time to respond and reverse the change in CO2 levels, like forests growing faster, oceans absorbing CO2 and converting it to calcium carbonate with old shells at the sea bed etc.
        This time around we are changing it at a rate of about 3 ppm a year, and also disturbing all ecosystems of the world, like reducing forests, poisoning and acidifying oceans (due to extremely fast absorption of CO2), etc., all of which may be needed to reverse the trend of increasing CO2 levels.
        I think our economic and political system in the US is broken and is incapable of responding to such a dangerous but relatively long term event (decades instead of next quarter), and people are too preoccupied with work and consumption to care.
        There is a good article by Gustave Speth, the head of Forestry Department at Yale, which explains why our system is broken and what we may need to do to fix it.

        http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/6681

        • Yes, our political system is indeed broken. And it’s so easy to break, too; one only has to tell the less educated segment of the population what they want to hear (everything is fine, we don’t need to change anything), preferably flattering them at the same time in a way that appeals to their insecurities (who needs a fancy college education when you have your good common sense?)

          It’s almost as if they can (correctly) sense that were they to admit that global warming is real but they don’t want to do anything about it, they’d be perceived as selfish, short-sighted and hypocritical.

          After all, ‘conservatives’ have long lectured the rest of us on the virtues of self-sacrifice, saving and planning for the future and giving our children a chance to have an even better life than we did. And they have certainly lectured us on the evils of living hedonistically, in the present and only for oneself.

          The cognitive dissonance on this issue among the self-proclaimed conservatives (root word: conserve) today must be incredible. It can’t persist forever.

          • Yes, I’ve also wondered how long they can keep it up.

          • Would you say that the positions taken by this “less educated” segment of the population are therefore less valid than yours? Are these “more educated” people the source of your climate change data? I’m aware of some of the most significant boondoggles in history that occurred as a direct result of plans devised and executed by the most educated who refused to consider the positions of people presenting common sense ideas. I’ve found it wise to avoid the discarding the ideas of vast numbers of people simply because they fall into a particular demographic group.

          • Just to jump in briefly, I don’t think this is a question of education v common sense. I would say that “less-educated” people are more susceptible to misleading statements clothed to sound like “common-sense” ideas because maybe they don’t have the analytical skills. Propaganda experts from all quarters of the political spectrum have always known that very well and used it to try and manipulate.

          • Agreed. So back to the original question requiring those analytical skills; does the Vostok survey ice core data showing cyclical warming and cooling, correlating CO2 fluctuations (and preceding dust density trends) in four 200,000 year cycles have analytical significance to the “proven science” that global warming is man-made? Lets stay on a focused analysis; I’ve asked this simple question 3 times.

          • Phil, is it significant that the climate data indicates that CO2 -temerature variations (and dust accumilation FYI) have varied in cycles every 200,000 years for at least 4 cycles? These data make it clear to me that your propoganda stating the current warming cycel is man made is without scientific merit.

          • I am not convinced that education in our society which emphasizes extreme specialization and extreme disconnect between different branches of knowledge, will be helpful to solving our problems. Edward O. Wilson’s book “Consilience” talkes about this.
            The Native American’s had much better idea than our “advanced sciences” what is right or what is wrong. They had no education similar to ours, but appearently what they learned was much more useful for living a life in balance with their surroundings.
            I know a lot of very smart MBA’s, PhD’s etc. who look at your face blankly when you talk about how our industrial capitalism is killing the world. Some probably never think about what is happening beyond their immediate circle, and some find it inconvenient to do anything about it.
            I think removing people from land and nature has very adverse effects.
            I think we need to live close to nature again so that we can protect it from special interests, like energy companies, big agriculture etc. Otherwise future is looking bleak.

          • Sam, that you would say that Native Americans had a better idea of “right and wrong” than modern sciences shows that you do not even understand what science is.

            Science is nothing more than a methodical search for knowledge about how the physical universe works. Time and experience have proved the scientific method to be extremely effective to this end. (The application of scientific discoveries to some human want or need is technology, not science, and the people like me who do it are engineers, not scientists.)

            Issues of “right and wrong”, as well as the meaning and purpose of life belong to ethics, philosophy, politics and religion — not science. Science has no notions of “right” or “wrong” other than considering true knowledge to be axiomatically “good” and false knowledge to be axiomatically “bad”. No other value judgments are made; those are left to members of those other fields who (we hope) will try to inform their decisions with the best scientific information available.

          • Phil, I have a pretty good idea what science is. I studied college level math and chemistry in a science oriented high school, and I have an MSEE degree on computer architecture.
            Although our sciences gave us a pretty good understanding of inanimate world, letting us build big bridges, skyscrapers, airplanes, etc., when we tried to understand how the living world and the very complex web of interactions among species work, we lost some ancient feelings like enchantment, awe, mystery etc. There is no branch of science which explains what love is, or why we feel good walking in the forest in the rain, or what makes us seek the company of other living beings.
            I am now thinking that these feelings of enjoyment when we are in the presence of other living beings, respect and humility towards the biosphere, and feeling that we belong to a vastly complex system may be more important than cutting a frog’s head and finding out which nerve controls the leg muscles. Just listening to frogs sing at night under moonlight may be all we need to know about them. We may not need to know how their body exactly works, or which part of their brain controls their jumping reflexes.
            I think that our science gave us the false feeling that we can control this very complex living system that we call the biosphere, hence the false feeling that we are a very special species. I think this is wrong. Now I think that our brain was never intended to be powerful enough to completely understand the system in which we evolved, and I believe that we will not be able to control the living world. Any further attempt to do so will endanger our existence as a species. Any education which teaches us cold facts at the expense of our feelings towards the living world, which we acquired over millions of years, may not be worth having.
            As Aldo Leopold said: “Is education possibly a process of trading awareness for things of lesser worth?”
            It may be better to tell children stories about how “something” lives in the forest and let their imagination develop, like some indigenous cultures did, than to tell them what trees are made of and how fast they grow, and how they photosynthesize, etc. etc.
            I know that it is unusual to be critical of our sciences and educational system, but think about it. I think that the natural world is perfect, and all we have to do is observe and enjoy it, and try to leave it untouched unless absolutely necessary to disturb it for our survival.

          • Sam, you still don’t get it. I DO NOT DISAGREE that science omits such subjective human experiences as awe, meaning, moral purpose, etc. I explicitly said that! That’s why we also have philosophy, religion, ethics and politics, not just science.

            I said that science is nothing more or less than a methodical and provably effective way to determine the physical laws by which the universe operates. If you’re going to make wise public policy about the burning of fossil fuels, you absolutely need two very distinct things: good scientific information on the likely consequences of given amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, and a set of value judgments that weigh the “good” and “bad” associated with each possible course of action. The “good” would be the decreased harm to the environment, the “bad” would be any adverse impact on the economy and individual standards of living.

            If people opposed to doing anything about global warming were to say “yes, we are warming the planet, and yes, these are the likely consequences, but I think it would cost too much to fix”, I would strongly disagree with that position but I would nonetheless respect it. It reflects a personal value judgment, an opinion, different from my own but people are entitled to have different values.

            But I have a very hard time respecting those who deny the SCIENCE of global warming and pretend it just isn’t happening. They’re either dishonest, deluded or willfully ignorant.

            As the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinions but everyone is NOT entitled to their own facts. At this point, global warming is about as close to a fact as anything in modern science.

            If people don’t want to do anything about global warming, they should at least be honest with themselves and others about the reasons they feel that way.

          • Phil, I agree with most of the things you say within the thought process of our civilization, and I have the same position about the climate change. I think we should try to stop it at any cost.

            I understand what you are saying about the sciences in the western civilization, but what I was trying to point out is that when we mentally step out of our civilization and look at what our science is, is it really the “methodical search for knowledge about how the physical universe works”, as you say, or is it an excercise funded by corporate money supporting new technology with an end result of exploiting more of the natural world?

            Even if our sciences thought us a lot about how the physical world works, it can only exist within the confines of our civilization (with the required techonological tools, money and people with a lot of time). Can the sciences survive the end of our civilization, which with the climate change looks closer and closer.

            Are the human beings in 2,000 years, if there are any left, going to wonder why our science wasn’t interested in the incredibly diverse biological world and endless interactions among millions of species, but more interested in spending time in labs, putting monkeys into cages trying to perform medical research on them with tremendous ethical problems. Or why our scientists spent so much money and time on issues related to space exploration, while everyone knows that there is no possibility that humans can go to another livable planet. If there is such a planet the closest one would be hundreds of thousands of light years away, and the theoretical limit of any space ship speed is around 3% of light speed.

            The problem is that when the scientists understand how the physical world works, it doesn’t stay as a theoretical knowledge but exploited by our industrial capitalist system for building something to make money, to be supposedly thought to benefit humanity at the time. I do not recall any businessman calling an ethicist to look into if there are ethical problems with the specific technology. So by seperating sciences, our civilization basically decided that we would not really pay much attention to some of them like ecology, ethics, etc.

            Most of our technology, if not all, has turned out to have unacceptable side effects, like poisoned waterways, modified landscapes where the wild animals and plants can not use anymore, “managed forests” with 1 / 2,000 of the biodiversity, and off course the most serious of them being the global warming.

            All I am saying is that the humanity and the other 8.5 million or so species on earth would have been better off without our science, our technologies and our civilizations. Our civilization making the human condition better is a lie propagated by the civilization itself.

            Why do we need the western sciences if not to develop technologies for the exploitation of the world, for supposed benefit of the man kind?

          • Sam, I am unwillng to stop a poorly understood theory “at any cost” as you have stated that you are. Are you willing to kill off 50% of the world population? Hand over another 40% of the world economy to bureaucrats to dole out based on favoritism? Its time to call your ideology what it is; it’s not science, nor is it fact-based . . . its an ideology and you are willng to see it implemented at any cost. You hold a very dangerous position considering that it has been tried and it has failed numerous times in history. “At any cost” may convey your sense of urgency, but it also indicates lack of proper analysis in that urgency. Thank you for the opportunity to expose the ideology of the author of this article.

          • Sam, you are beginning to sound like an obscurantist — someone who believes that knowlege itself is dangerous and should be suppressed. That was a common view during what we colloquially call the Dark Ages, but fortunately it became a minority starting with the Renaissance. But there has always been an anti-intellectual streak in segments of American society, and it is still a serious problem.

            As I said, science is simply the search for knowledge about the workings of the physical universe. Technology is the use of that knowledge toward some human need or want. Your problem is with certain technologies, not science. Protecting the public against unnecessary or serious threats from certain technologies is one of the reasons we have governments. For example, you need a license and follow quite a few safety rules if you want to apply the science of nuclear fission to the technology of electric power production.

            As we’re discovering, every energy source has its own problems: lack of sustainability, serious environmental impact, aggravation of geopolitical conflicts, a current lack of technical feasibility, or all of the above. Fossil fuels are especially problematical, and that’s why governments are so involved in the issue.

            The problem with abandoning modern technology and going back to an earlier way of life is that we’re already far beyond the point of no return. There is simply no way that we can feed 7,000,000,000 humans on the planet without modern technology, including energy-intensive farming and transportation. If you want to go back to the pre industrial age, you will have to start by identifying the 99.5% of the population to kill to return our numbers to what they were at that time. Do you really want to do that?

            We have no choice. We must keep applying science and technology to our problems, even though many of those problems were themselves created by other technologies. For that we need the very best science we can get, and it hardly helps anyone to flatly deny the scientific process itself.

          • I am not really against knowledge. I am actually a very curious fellow. I am just thinking that trying to acquire knowledge on how the living world works would help us more to try and live within its confines, as opposed to trying to acquire knowledge about the workings of the physical world, which unavoidably takes us toward technologies which are geared towards changing the natural world. You must admit that if you teach someone from childhood how the nature around them works and how to use that to satisfy their needs without destroying the web of life, he would be much more likely to do so, than someone who have been thought from childhood about our chemistry, our physics, our math, etc. (like us). We are more likely to go build a bicycle, a car or a bridge.

            I understand your point that knowledge can not be inherently good or bad, but since all of us have a capacity of how much knowledge we can obtain in a life time, the knowledge we have will affect our behaviour. I think that what we teach our children eventually affects how they look at the world. How they do science will give them a bias as to how they treat the natural world. There is a big difference between how a person who grew up in nature sees the world as opposed to a person who grew up in an apartment in Manhattan sees it. I do not believe that there can be such a thing as objectivity in science. We are subjective creatures.

            If you think about it. if the civilization collapses, most of our knowledge that we acquired during this civilization will be useless and will be soon forgotten unless it was carved on stone or something. How long a CD or a DVD last unless we protect it.

            You may be right about supporting the human population as it is now. I don’t know. I certainly don’t want to kill anybody, although a rigorous birth control to pull our population to under one billion would certainly be very helpful. As an analogy, if we could not live on the interest of our money in the bank and had to use a part of our capital every month to survive, that may be an acceptable action only if we were working rigorously to reduce our needs and be able to live on the interest in a very short time. Otherwise every passing month will make it less likely that we can live only on the reducing interest. I think we are in a similar predicament in regards to oil, water, suitable climate, etc.

            I just don’t see how this civilization can continue in this path for a long time. I do not believe that we can find technological cures within the confines of our industrial capitalism to some of the fundamental problems that we are facing. People are still not talking about limiting the energy use but are trying to find technological ways to somehow counteract the effects of CO2 in the atmosphere. This is all starting to look like a nightmarish experiment, where nobody has a clue as to how it might end.

            If we can convert to a system of many small economies with people caring for the land they live on including the wild animals and plants, thus protecting biodiversity and allowing the evolution to continue, just consume what they need, and move away from the fossil fuel use, we may have a chance to avoid a collapse. There will still be people who exploit the resources around them, but they will see the effects immediately, unlike the millions of people now living in cities. The population may eventually reduce to around 1 billion or less, hopefully not too painfully, but otherwise we may be approaching a point where the climate change, reducing fresh water supplies, peak oil, increasing human population, collapsing biodiversity are going to start to put a squeeze on our civilization. And this time around the problem is that the collapse will be world wide, with so much destruction to ecosystems that this may be the last notable civilization humanity will ever form. In 10 million years the world may be beautiful and diverse again but it may be very different (which means that if we are still around, it may not be beautiful for us). I am sure the world dinasours lived in looked beautiful to them, but it looks very scary to us.

          • Sam, you misunderstood me. When I said that science determines how the physical world works, that includes the natural and biological worlds. “Vitalism” was disproved long ago; even living things obey the same laws of physics and chemistry and thermodynamics that apply to, say, car engines.

            It just so happens that most of the scientific discovery in the 20th century had to do with the most fundamental rules that govern the universe; what we generally refer to as physics and chemistry. But the technology enabled by these discoveries is now enabling huge strides in the understanding of natural, biological systems. Consider DNA; 60 years ago we didn’t even know how the genetic code was constructed, now we regularly read the complete base-pair sequence from any living thing we wish.

            The 20th century was the century of physics. Basic discoveries in that field led to most of the modern technology we take for granted. The 21st century is rapidly shaping up to be the century of biology. We will discover many more things about living things and how they interact with each other and the environment, and that knowledge is absolutely essential to setting up a sustainable human existence.

          • Sam, I fundamentally disagree on the supposed subjectivity of science. The scientific method is all about recognizing and collectively correcting for the subjective limitations of individual human beings: ego, honest mistakes, bias, wishful thinking, even occasional fraud. That’s why where’s such an emphasis on open publication, peer review, and in many important discoveries, replication. The more scientists look at each others’ work, the more likely they are to spot and correct errors, and the better our overall understanding will be.

            The scientific method, like anything created by humans, isn’t perfect. But we simply know of no better way to learn the rules the govern the universe.

            The modern scientific method is generally recognized as starting with Galileo about 400 years ago. Look how much we discovered in those past 400 years vs the previous hundreds of thousands of years that humans had been around on earth in essentially our present form. People didn’t change, but their methods did.

          • Randy, by saying “at any cost”, I meant to say monetary cost, not human life. I am not willing to completely destroy our economic system and throw humanity into chaos either. All I meant to say that we should seriously think about reducing our fossil fuel consumption and do whatever possible even if it brings some inconvenience and discomfort.
            So, I misstated when I said “at any cost”.

          • Phil, I am not talking about vitalism. I merely tried to say that although the molecules in living beings follow the same physical laws, when you put together so many of them together and consider their infinitely large and sometimes subtle interactions, understanding how living things work compared to how an internal combustion engine works may be trillions of times more complex. Just think about an equation with one variable vs. 1,000,000,000 variables.

            Just being able to sequence a DNA does not mean that we know how it works to control the development and behaviour of that species. Even simple characteristics of the species like speech pattern can be controlled by hundreds of different genes.

            Now to understand how ecosystems work, you have to multiply this complexity with all possible interactions between all thousands of species in that ecosystem, for example some swamp, multiplied by the complexity of how each individual works. We are talking about infinity for all practical purposes.

            What I am trying to say is that we have a long way to go before we understand even how a cubic inch of soil works, let alone large ecosystems. Our sciences don’t even come close.

            Our best estimate for the number of species is 8.5 million (it could be 100 million, we just don’t know), but we just cataloged 1.7 million, with the majority known by a name only. No behavioural characteristics, no known interactions with any other organism, nothing, just a latin name.

            Unfortunately even though we may have reached what we consider the highest level of understanding of the world (very questionable), among the previous civilizations, we are the most destructive of them. In a few hundred years we spread our civilization to even the remote corners of the world and now we are quickly destroying life on earth.

            I am sure you know that the species extinction rate is around 150 a day right now, and it is accelerating. It is 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate. While this may be the century that we learn about biology, at the end of it we will not have much biology left. Scientists are saying that the world has already entered the 6th major extinction crisis and it will probably turn out to be worst than the last one, when the dinosaurs dissappeared 65 million years ago.

            Last year even megafauna started dying off, with a few rhinoceros species in Africa and Asia, one dolphin species in China being declared extinct. They say that by the end of the century over 50 % of all species will have gone extinct, which will include most of known big mammals like elephants, lions, tigers, polar bears, giraffs etc. We may have a few left in zoos with no wilderness left to ever reintroduce them to.

            Unless we change our ways drastically, we may kill off over 75 % of all species in the next 300 years. This means that all food balances between living organisms will be destroyed to the point that our destruction as a species will be assured. The science has to be strongly biased towards learning about and keeping the world ecosystems intact. We don’t need objective scientists, but we need scientists who cry at the sight of burning rain forests.

            I think that your (and the majority of scientists and engineers) assumption that technology will save the day is overly optimistic, to the point of being delusional. So far all it did was chip at a 3.5 billion year old living system. Time is running out.

            I suggest you read “The Future of Life” by Edward O. Wilson. He is an excellent scientist and a very compassionate man. He also had an article “Is man commiting suicide?”

          • Sam, I agree with you that biological systems are enormously complex. That’s why we understand much less about them than we do the basic physical laws that govern the universe. But we are learning very rapidly, and that knowledge will almost certainly be useful in protecting the remaining species we do have.

            You are correct that we’re in the midst of a mass extinction, one caused by humans. Or more specifically, certain human technologies. But we are well past the point of no return because we are now dependent on that same technology to support our large population. As I explained before, the only way to undo that dependence is to reduce our numbers to pre-industrial levels by killing or starving almost everyone now alive.

            So I couldn’t disagree more strongly when you say that science and technology isn’t the answer. It’s the ONLY answer — other than mass human starvation. We need new technologies that do what our existing ones do (e.g., provide us energy, transport our goods) with far less impact on the environment and that are sustainable over time in their use of resources.

            It’s as simple as that. If we don’t develop better (cleaner, more sustainable) technologies to replace the old ones, the old ones will not only destroy much of the environment and many other species, they will stop working when they’ve depleted the resources they need to function. And then nature will solve our overpopulation problem in its own way.

          • Phil, I hope you are right, because it looks like industrial capitalism will try to solve our problems using more technology instead of going back to a simpler and more spiritual life style.
            Unfortunately I don’t think our system of market economy is compatible with natural laws, although we worship it like we are sure that it will produce the best results. It is not a problem of not having enough technology.

            I believe that we have enough technology to save the world if we apply it wisely, but the way we waste resources, the income inequality, destroying pristine ecosystems just for profit, and other unneccesary abuses don’t give me much hope. I am afraid that more technology will only speed up the destruction of the remaining ecosystems.

            I believe that we have to change our belief that the natural world belongs to us and we are somehow superior to other life forms. We have to understand that we are part of a system involving millions of living beings and our health and continued existence depends on their health and continued existence. Thinking that we can fix the problems in natural systems like we can fix a car engine is too optimistic. I guess I think that we need to be enlightened spiritually as opposed to spending our remaining time and resources on getting more technologically advanced. Time will show who is right.

            Thank you for spending your time corresponding with me about your toughts and beliefs. I learn from everybody even if I do not agree with all their ideas. Take care.

          • Sam, you still don’t understand: WE DON’T HAVE A CHOICE. Either we solve our current problems with newer and better technology, or we kill the vast majority of the world’s population (or allow them to starve) until we can return to levels sustainable without modern technology. Our current population of over 7,000,000,000 is simply not sustainable without advanced (and at the moment, highly fossil-fuel-dependent) technology.

            Perhaps it’s my fault for my choice of words. When I talk about solving our problems with technology, I am mainly thinking of sustainable energy technologies that do not consume fossil fuels or produce carbon dioxide. This includes, but is not limited to: solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, wave, ocean thermal and anything and everything else that can be made to work. Yes, even nuclear power – all told it’s far safer and much more sustainable than any fossil fuel. Germany and Japan are making a big mistake by phasing it out before they’ve phased out all their fossil fuel plants. (Hydro is also important, but I don’t list it because we’re already using it as much as we can; there are no significant undeveloped hydro resources left in the US.)

            And I’m thinking of new technologies that use energy more efficiently, provide for better means of controlling it, such as the so-called “smart grid”, and especially for storing electricity on a large scale. At present we only have pumped storage, which is quite insufficient.

            I believe that any politically palatable solution to the fossil fuel crisis (both fuel depletion and global warming) cannot require major sacrifices from the existing population, even if the clear alternative is a catastrophic famine for the next generation. While parents are instinctively protective of their kids when it comes to traditional hazards like getting hurt, getting sick or getting eaten, this one is so unprecedented that we have no parental instincts to deal with it. You have to appeal to their intellect, and we see just how well *that* works given the number of parents still hotly (!) maintaining that global warming doesn’t exist and even objecting to their kids even being taught about it. We simply must have to find a way to support something like our current standard of living in a sustainable way.

            It’s either that or mass starvation, probably within the next 50 years. Take your pick.

          • Phil, you told me a few times already that I don’t understand the current situation the humanity is facing. My humble opinion is that you are looking at what is happening from a very narrow point of view, and/or in denial.
            The idea that our problems can all be solved by more advanced technologies, although over the years with advancing technologies our problems multiplied, and now we are facing calamity within decades, should be proof enough that they will not be effective in solving any of our problems.

            What kind of technology do you think we need but don’t have to drop the energy use by 80% or 90%? We could do it easily by rearranging our life styles, living in smaller houses, retrofitting our homes, making our cars go 75 miles per gallon and using them much less. These technologies exist already.
            If you are looking to find an energy generation technology to support an incredibly wasteful life style like we live in the US, for the whole world population, I don’t think we can find it in the next few decades before the resources we have for such a search start dwindling and we start to descend into chaos.

            What kind of advanced technology do we need to stop our population growth? Because any technology we can come up with to feed 7 billion people will be insufficient to feed 9 billion people in 35 years, especially with the accelerating soil erosion, dissappearing underground aquifiers, and warming climate.
            Why isn’t anybody talking about this being a major issue? Could we convince Pope that birth control is necessary?

            What kind of technology is needed to find the 235 billion or so dollars a year to connect most national parks of the world with wildlife corridors to protect biodiversity and fund the parks enough to protect them sufficiently, so that we can protect some biodiversity for future generations? Could some change in how we look at other inhabitants of the world be sufficient? Could we maybe bomb a few less countries and channel that money into saving some islands of biodiversity?

            What is the technology we have to come up with to stop supermarkets wasting half of our food supply? Isn’t there enough computer power to allow them to organise better and stop this waste?

            What kind of technology is needed to stop people from cutting sharks fins and dropping them back in the ocean alive, to die slowly from bleeding, so some people can have shark fin soup? This will have an effect on the whole ocean ecosystem soon. Don’t we have enough survaillance and law enforcement technology to stop these people?

            If you want more technology to make the world into some kind of an amusement park where humans control every system, they make the last wilderness area into some wheat farm, or chicken farm, and somehow they achieve long term sustainability, I would not like to live in such a world. I rather be living in a remote corner of the world with whatever left of wilderness, even if it is just a bush and two birds.

            With all due respect, I don’t think we need more technology. We need to fix our democracy to make the income distribution better, stop waste, start to live closer to land, teach our children to respect nature, and CONSUME MUCH LESS.

            I believe that it is too little and too late for trying to find the technologies to allow us to continue with the same life style, although most multinational corporations would applaud such a strategy.

          • Sam, It seems you have finally revealed your true intent: income redistribution. That is the fatal flaw of socialism that has cost 180,000,000 lives since 1900. Income results from wealth that is created by demand-driven transactions. My observation is that your larger intent to centralize the control of economies and reduce populations fits very nicely into that world view. Here’s a couple of videos that can help you sort out your affliction.

          • Randy, when I say “make the income distribution better” I don’t have any hidden agenda. I am not an expert on economic systems. I certainly am not talking about socializm or communism or fascism. Any system that limits freedoms or condones violance can not be good in my opinion. I am not an anarchist who promote violance for ending our civilization either.
            This is a different discussion than CO2 levels, but somehow everything is connected, so here we go.
            When Republicans talk about cutting food stamps for the poor but keeping the Pentagon budget intact, I feel that there is something not quite right. When I see some hedge fund manager make 1.5 billion dollars (yes, billion) in two weeks by betting on the crash of housing market (which actually happened in 2008), while hardworking people lose their houses, I think there is something wrong with that as well. I have no problem if someone who is doing something useful for the world makes a lot of money and lives comfortably, but making billions by speculating on other peoples suffering is not right.
            Also I think that our economic system has to make some adjustments for the damage we are causing to the natural world. The world is not endless. We can not increase our population and consumption indefinitely. We have to ease into an economic system where we don’t grow anymore, we give more emphasis to local economies so we don’t have to transport bottled water from Fiji, we concentrate on keeping the world in a healthy state. Healthy forests, healthy oceans, increasing wetlands for ducks and geese etc. We should limit our consumption and phase out any manufacturing which poisons and pollutes the world. The world is not an endless sewer. We are damaging life on earth and remember that there can be no economy without a healthy natural system.
            Again I am not talking about limiting people’s freedoms, but it would help to limit the freedom of multinational corporations to use the media to bombard people with false advertisements. These corporations only value profits and unless regulated they will eat the world alive in the name of global competition.
            We should put more importance on community affairs and move towards simpler lives so we have more time for quality human interactions, instead of working 14 hours a day trying to pay our debts or trying to make a few million dollars for retirement so we can pay the health insurance. What makes us happy is chatting with our neighbours, or spending time with our family, or spending the day in nature, not buying a 5,000 sqare foot house and a 500 SEL Mercedes and spending endless hours in an office to pay for it. Material things can give us short term pleasure but tney can not give us any real happiness.
            Please take a look at speeches by David Korten at YouTube, a Stanford educated economist. His speech made at Trinity Church is really illuminating. He also has books. You may also take a look at http://www.yesmagazine.org. There are good ideas there.
            If you reply, please read my comment in its entirety and tell me what you don’t agree and how your opinions differ. Thanks.

          • Sam, I understand that your desire for charity and good intentions are real. The problem is that your basis for centralizing control of economies (through alarmist schemes like man-made global warming . . .”never let a good crisis go to waste” ) requires government agencies and bureaucrats to seize wealth by force and then redistribute it. Its been tried multile times and humans cannot handle that much centralized economic power. It immediately leads to corruption (note the alarmist AGW farce and the cronyism in Washington).
            Here’s an example…if you were suddenly charged with allocating all federal scientific research dollars, is it likely that you would allocate them the same way that I would? No, you or I would allocate the monies based on what we believe to be the scientifically relevant matters of the day and the near future. I submit that neither you nor I nor any bureaucrats have the consequential knowledge (or ethical discipline) to enable us to effectviely allocate these monies. Now multiply this question times ten thousand and you have a sense of how dysfunctional a centralized economy quickly becomes. Better yet look at how the Obama administration functions today.
            I don’t think you’re a bad guy, however I have studied (and actively participated in) 20th century history and I am certain that you are dangerously wrong. Its precicely the same subject, Sam, and if you research Marxist and socialist radical methods then you’l find that they consider you a “useful idiot” to be disposed of once they consolidate power. I’m simply calling your religion what it is and I pray that you will study this matter before you participate in this dire consolidation of power.

          • I’m enjoying the debate from the sidelines and you all are generally well-behaved, which is nice for the moderator, but I gotta jump in just for a minute and say that linking climate science with Marxist ideology is a bit far-fetched, off-topic and divisive.

            The Marxist bogeyman doesn’t really scare anyone anymore, and well-meaning efforts to do something to stop global warming are not driven by an intention to redistribute wealth — they are driven (mostly) by a genuine concern for the future of our planet.

            You might try getting to know some of the people involved in climate science on a personal level (leave aside the high-profile target figures); just everyday, on-the-ground researchers. They aren’t useful idiots (by the way, that’s offensive), they aren’t Marxists and they aren’t radicals. They’re just hard-working scientists.

          • Thank you for your feedback Bob. I’m certain it will be “useful” to those very real Marxists and Socialists; at least until they are explaining explain how frustrated they are that they were turned back by thinking voters in the U.S. I defer to your responsibilities as moderator and bow out so this short-sighted love fest can continue.

          • Randy, the rules of the game have been written by the very wealthy to promote redistribution of wealth from the majority of people into few hands. That has go to change. We constantly see the majority of the work being done by people making a lot less money than the elite and in most cases with the elite having been born into significant advantages over most others.

          • Be cautious about the positions you support. The labor of individuals to support themselves and their charity is a noble thing. To delegitimize labor as some imposed sentence and as an excuse to forcibly steal from the those who create the jobs is a death sentence for a society that has been handed down multiple times in history. Your charitible spirit is admirable, provided you don’t use it as an excuse for theft. Give all you can to the poor and leave me my treasure to do the same.

          • Randy, I am working harder these days and I don’t have as much time as I used to, so I will say a few final things and leave this conversation. It is unlikely that what you or I think about global warming or any other major issue facing our civilization will have any major effect on the unfolding of events in the next 50 to 100 years.

            I am not talking about consolidating power in a central government. Just the opposite. I would like to support many local economies with less dependency on a central government, or multinational corporations, with most of the needs of people supplied by the local economy. That is why I gave the example of bottled water from Fiji. That is an example of how absurd the global economy has become. With smaller local economies it is much more likely that the owners of the businesses will care about the people they probably know, instead of their only motive being profit.

            I believe that in our economy as it is now, with so much power consolidated in multinational corporations, strong government regulation is necessary. Otherwise these corporations whose only driver is profit and greed, will lay waste to the whole world and its ecosystems. Most of the people who rise to positions of power in our corporate world are psychopaths. Look at Chevron, their advertisements and what they actually do around the world. Please read about the Columbia case about the pollution Texaco caused intentionally because they would not spend 1.5 billion for clean technologies that they use in the US. Later Chevron bought Texaco but they refused to spend any money to clean up this mess and dragged it in courts for over ten years. They were later ordered to pay $18 billion but they now are appealing. This is their unspoken strategy. If some indigenous community sues them, they drag it in courts until these poor people run out of money. Looking at their advertisements you would think that they are an environmental nonprofit organization that are investing in renewables and working for the good of the ecosystems and the people in the counries they operate.

            As far as global warming is concerned, after I pointed out that how you were not correctly interpreting the charts that you showed as proof to your argument (the movement of CO2 was between approx. 200 and 280 up and down over thousands of years, and did not show the industrial age increase to 396 in the last 150 years), and all the other correspondance, if you honestly believe that the whole global warming issue is a hoax, than I really don’t have much else to say. The last thing I can say is that I think we should follow the precautionary principle even if we believe the chances of something being true is very low, if the results could be as catastrophic as global warming. Even if you thought that there was a 1 in 1,000 chance that your house could burn due to a badly built gas line, you would try to fix it because even at that low possibility of happening it is an unacceptable risk.
            I think you are wrong on this issue, but I would be truly happy if time proves you right. I don’t want the world to warm and throw our living systems into chaos anymore than you do.

            Take care.

          • >> To delegitimize labor as some imposed sentence and as an excuse to forcibly steal from the those who create the jobs is a death sentence for a society that has been handed down multiple times in history.

            Right. “Kings” and their “court bureaucrats” created jobs at one time. “Oh, please don’t steal from them,” I’d hear someone with a similar position call out earlier in our history.

            For every set of rules, there are winners and losers. I think we need a set of rules that is fairer to the majority. With broken rules, the “job creators” are stealing from the masses.

        • Your argument makes sense on the surface. However, what effect might the ancient 400+ PPM CO2 concentrations and subsequent heating have on arctic ice melt? I submit that the ice melt during these heated periods removes the hottest periods from the core record and that the dramatic subsequent cooling occured without human intervention. The original, essential point, however, is that the dust density then the heating-CO2 cycles have occured in 200,000 year cycles. Does this support the “unanimously agreed by scientists” proof that climate heating is man made?

          • RandyT, yes, when it comes to highly technical topics (and the effects of anthropormorphic CO2 on global climate certainly qualifies), the conclusions drawn by scientists educated and experienced in those fields are far more reliable than the intuitive opinions of the general public based on intuition or instinct.

            I am talking specifically about factual scientific information about the effect of increased human CO2 emissions on global climate. E.g., what is the likely outcome of a certain amount of CO2 on global temperatures, sea levels, crop yields, species extinctions, etc. Questions of what we should actually DO about these effects are value judgments outside the realm of science, so here the opinions of the general public and the scientists are equally valid, provided they’re based on the proper science.

            I wouldn’t have thought this at all controversial. If you were diagnosed with a brain tumor wouldn’t you consider the prognosis of an experienced, board certified neurosurgeon as more valid and worth listening to than that of your garbageman or plumber, regardless of how much “common sense” you think they have?

            When it comes to the scientific information that informs important public policy issues, the general public has every right to insist (and should insist) that the scientists who provide this information in fact adhere to the scientific method. It’s the careful adherence to this method — not demographics — that makes their information more valid than “common sense” speculation.

          • Would you consider the opinion of James Hansen’s former boss …the guy who thinks he’s wrong? Its clear that you really, really, really want it to be true that global warming (which is most certainly supported by the data) is created by man but the data simply support your hypothesis. Movies and powerpoints by people profiting from the Chicken Little alarm are not scientific proof. Given that an open-minded analysis of the primary data is not in your plans, what do you propose that we do about this AIDS virus of the planet…those nasty humans?

          • Sure it does, because there can be more than one cause of global warming. Until the Industrial Revolution, global environment and climate changes were all caused naturally by such things as Milankovitch cycles (slow, periodic variations in the earth’s orbit and axial tilt), major volcanic eruptions, and non-human biology (e.g., the blue-green algae that gave the earth its oxygen atmosphere).

            Human releases of CO2 merely added another possible cause to the list. The mere fact that all previous global climate changes were natural in origin hardly precludes this. Isn’t that obvious?

          • Randy, from the graphs that you pointed us to earlier

            http://colli239.fts.educ.msu.edu/2002/08/20/long-time-record-of-atmospheric-co2-and-temperature-obtained-from-vostok-ice-core/

            the cycle is 100,000 years and if you look at the explanation under these graphs, they only cover the changes between below 200 ppm and 280 ppm of CO2. It states that
            “At the end of Pleistocene, carbon dioxide levels rose from below 200 parts per million to about 280 parts per million. This transition occurred between 20,000 years ago and the present day (0 on the graph).”
            This means that the graphs do not show the increase in CO2 within the last 150 years, in the industrial age, from 280 ppm to 386 ppm today.
            If going from 200 ppm to 280 ppm in 20,000 years took us 4 degree C higher, from ice age to pre-industrial years, we should be really concerned that the change of approx 120 ppm from 280 pre-industrial to 396 ppm today may change the temperature even more.
            This is discounting the fact that the CO2 concentration increase is still accelerating, being approx 3 ppm per year now.
            If you look at articles from James Hansen, it takes around 2,000 years to get the full effects of temperature increase due to a certain CO2 concentration.
            As you see we are in the middle of a very dangerous experiment, betting most life on earth, our civilization and possibly our own species survival on the outcome of the experiment.

          • Interesting observations. What is your position on the influence man had on the previous warming cycles…and how much influence on the cooling that followed? Also, as I previously asserted, can the global temerature become hot enough that polar melt oblitrates the most recent trapped gasses?

          • I’ve read several articles by James Hansen as well as those by the highly repected scientists who believe that his science is flawed. Reminder – this is a discussion about how “the less educated” are less capable of analysis than the self-declared elinghtened [ holders of the truth] who are Gore-Hansen disciples. Shall I provide you with the names of these respected scientists who stand against the species-esteem alarmists you quote?

          • Randy, I don’t think that man had any effect on the CO2 concentration changes in the atmosphere before the industrial age started about 150 years ago.
            Please notice from the graph that changes of 80 ppm in CO2 concentrations, both going up and going down, were taking place in over ten thousand years before our industrial age.
            In the last 150 years we changed the CO2 concentration by 120 ppm, from 280 ppm to 396 ppm this year.
            What are the chances that the increase in CO2 levels in the last 150 years, which is happening more than 100 times faster (150 years instead of 15,000 years) than previous changes during natural cycles is not the result of our industrial age when we began to burn fossil fuels?
            I think close to zero.
            So the possibility that our burning of fossil fuels is causing the increase in CO2 levels is close to 100 %. Should we bet on the 0.001 % chance that they may not be related and continue our burning fossil fuels at an accelerating rate?

          • Sam, what effect does 280PPM+ CO2 have on the temperature at the ice caps? (remember the rising sea level predictions) Might it be hot enough that that portion of the CO2 and temp ice core record has been obliterated at some threshold temerature? Certainly that is a 17.0% possibiity which is dramatically more likely than the statistic you cite. (The source of my statistic is me). The point is, Sam, that there is documented primary data and real non-politicized analysis indicating that significant heating and abrupt climate cooling cycles have ocurred every 200,000 years with neither human impact nor intervention. The misinformation arises when it is stated as a fact that humankind created these 200,000 year heating and cooling cycles.The premise of this article and the arrogant comments about the “less educated” [ inability to perform a real analysis] is, based on my extensive analysis, is based on a false sense of intellect and a refusal to evaluate the facts. AGW savior James Hansen has been soundly discredited – even by his own supervisor at NASA – and his work is cited as the gospel. I am very clear that this AGW alarmist mob truly believes that they are a far nobler cause than the people who listen to real analysis and science and then to compel others to their religion; it’s necessary for people who produce nothing tangibleto compel others to pay for their superior vision of utopia. My plan is to keep my eyes and ears open to primary data tyat is real, analysis presented as analysis, opinion as opinion, and when someone profits from a position, to proceed with caution. The debate is not a myth.

          • Randy, you keep claiming that information in the ice record is lost by melting. While it’s perfectly reasonable to ask any scientist collecting data to document his procedures and the steps he took to ensure accuracy, do you think that the possibility of losing data to melting never even occurred to them? Do you really think they’re all that stupid?

            Yeah, everybody makes mistakes, even scientists. That’s why science emphasizes open publication, replication of experiments and peer review. Any good scientist’s worst critic is himself.

            Vostok Station is the coldest place on earth. Summer temperatures average -30C. The warmest temperature ever recorded there was -12.2C, in 2002 well after the current global warming trend was underway. Do you think it a mere coincidence that scientists chose this very hard to reach and highly unpleasant site for ice coring? Give them a *little* credit, eh?

            I recently returned from an excursion to the Grand Canyon and several other nearby parks. Our geologist guide explained that the sedimentary record often has large time gaps, known as unconformities, reflecting periods when the existing surface rock was being eroded away rather than built up. Eventually the local climate changed again and new layers were laid down again, resulting in the unconformity. This seems to be a standard and widely understood concept in geology. Since you’re talking about unconformities in the ice record I would be extraordinarily surprised if the scientists collecting those cores were unaware of the possibility and took no steps to verify that they had not occurred.

          • Phil, please refrain from allowing your desire to make and win an argument serve as cause to mistate my comments or to make such huge intellectual leaps. Thats really bad science to do that. I understand that you are much more intelligent than the less educated so please return to the original simple questions. Analysis requires focus and adult discussion.

          • Randy, if you are questioning whether the ice core samples might be somehow wrong, I refer you to Phil’s response. He summed it up pretty well. I think you should give more credit to climate scientists.
            If you do think that these samples may be all messed up by previous melting etc. than there is no need to look at all those charts that you pointed us to earlier either.
            Is there?

          • Your opinion to discard primary data may well be correct and I appreciate you stating your opinion as an opinion. Is it possible that the trapped gasses accurately measure CO2 concentrations? I think the probability high so I will certainly consider these primary data. So we’re back to the question..is there a threshold temperature where the ice fails to form or where it melts? (I would offer 0 degrees centigrade) Seems a reasonable question . . .not a stated fact . . .just an attempt at an adult conversation.

          • RandyT, knowledge of how to do science properly (the scientific method) is not something you’re born with. You have to learn it and practice it. That’s what a scientific education is all about. So yes, if you’re not scientifically educated, it’s very unlikely that you’ll do science correctly and come to the correct conclusions.

            And the probability is even lower (i.e., nil) if you additionally come in with an ideological motivation like the one you apparently have.

            I presume you don’t consider it arrogant or elitist to require doctors to go through medical school — to become educated — before being allowed to practice medicine. So why should you consider it arrogant or elitist to insist that any scientist whose work we’re going to rely on to inform important public policy be properly educated?

          • Wow, Phil, you are so patient and polite. Kudos.

          • Bob, Phil must be very patient. His challenge is to sell his AGW religion to people who make their living with real science…not unlike the 600 dissenting scientists mentioned in the article linked above. I’m very impressed at the nobility of his intellectual cause: unimpressed with the observation that primary data says he’s really got nothing but a posse of profiting politicians behind him.

          • Randy, it’s highly offensive to label the results of a scientific consensus as a “religion”. That’s just a way for you to blithely ignore the mass of data and the process that went into it.

            If you want to play the scientific game, you must obey its rules yet it’s clear you don’t even know what those rules are.

            How many of those “600 scientists” are actually CLIMATE scientists, as opposed to, for example, oil exploration geologists? And since when do you think that scientific questions are resolved by votes or counts? Reality is what it is, whether we accept it or not, and the best way we know to find it out is to get a group of people, train them in the scientific method and the specific disciplines involved, let them conduct research and experiments, and wait for a consensus to evolve among them.

            Any scientific consensus is always at least in principle subject to modification in light of additional evidence, so if you don’t like the current consensus that global warming is real then you are free to go out and collect your own data and make your own case. But you’ll find that you won’t persuade too many scientists with lists of signatures on a petition by people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Sorry, but science isn’t democratic.
            xactly what has happened in climate research, but it rankles certain established interests who have a LOT to lose from the end of fossil fuels.

          • The volume of material published by people profiting by alarming others about the ideolgy of man made global warmng is suspect. I have provided links identifying many reputible anti-alarmist scientists (including the former boss of Global Warming Church pastor James Hansen) . My initial point has been proven that the title of this article makes many assumptions that have been discredited. I still await the details on the experiment and the resulting data supporting this hypothesis. Science requires a real experiment and there has been exactly none on this matter.

          • Randy, I don’t know of much more I can say. There’s an enormous body of scientific literature on global warming. It’s a fact — as shown by the title of the original article — that there’s a strong consensus among the scientists working in this field that anthropogenic global warming is very real. And it’s a sad fact that certain groups whose livelihoods and libertarian ideologies are directly threatened by this consensus will say or do almost anything to delay or stop any change in policy as a result of this scientific consensus. But they’re too cowardly to come right out and say it, so instead they attack the scientific process itself. That is the height of arrogance and deceit.

            So if you are determined to simply ignore all this, bury your head in the sand, deny everything and even attack the scientists’ integrity, all I can say is that there’s probably no rational way to reach you.

            We’ll simply have to make sure that the public and the policymakers get the facts despite the attempts of people like you to thwart them.

          • Randy, I assume that by “Hansen’s former supervisor” you mean John S. Theon.

            But it turns out that Theon was never Hansen’s supervisor. He never did his performance review, the usual responsibility of someone’s supervisor. He was involved in approving some of Hansen’s budget requests, just as others in NASA and elsewhere probably were. And he retired in NASA in 1994, almost 20 years ago and prior to all of the most recent work in climate science.

            This is not supposed to be a debate about personalities, even if you are trying to make it one. It’s all about the science. That’s carried out in the pages of peer-reviewed scientific journals, where assertions must be backed by evidence. You have yet to quote any of them. You just repeat factoids from the deniers, and as we can see they can be just factually wrong.

            But let’s talk about personalities if you want. Let’s talk about Sen. James Inhofe, from whom you probably got that tidbit about Hansen’s former supervisor. What are Inhofe’s qualifications? Before becoming a politician, he was a real estate developer and then he ran a life insurance company — into the ground. He has absolutely no training or experience in any scientific field, much less climate science. He is an embarrassment to the US Senate.

            So whether we focus on personalities or on the science that’s actually important, either way you lose.

          • >> it’s highly offensive to label the results of a scientific consensus as a “religion”. That’s just a way for you to blithely ignore the mass of data and the process that went into it.

            Few people who mock the majority of climate scientists have looked at but a tiny sliver of the evidence or have a competing theory that passes the mother nature test or the mental test of explaining how the planet could avoid heating up when more CO2 is being added. A clever duo from Germany, G&T, apparently thought they had defeated the “greenhouse effect” yet did not in there long paper address the vast volume of evidence of gas radiation, used in science and engineering for decades (including within such an indispensable tool as is a laser). They mathematically attacked a toy model not used in the science for many decades in lieu of addressing the physics behind actually used more sophisticated models which are prodded and pocked regularly by actual climate and related scientists. In their gigantic reference section they quoted authors who had written easily refuted write-ups. They misrepresented over and over, used faulty logic, etc, etc (this despite making many good, if irrelevant points). They appear to be competent in many ways but apparently could not give any serious consideration to the real evidence and foundation of the main theories used in the science.

            There are kings’ ransoms out there for those who can present a credible alternative, and still it’s not happening. The scientists and engineers who disagree (or who at one point in the past stated that, which as Scientific America discovered, did not mean they held those views over time), with few exceptions, wave arms vigorously for a while, but they don’t make any serious run at that big money from Big Oil and from others. How can they be so confident in their relative ignorance that goes against almost all of the experts, yet leave all of that money on the table? And it will be their great great great grand-kids (and we are all someone else’s) and even future generations that will have to deal with the very difficult trade-offs decades from now all on account of us apparently not wanting to be bothered to “put up or shut up”.

            I challenge the “deniers” or “skeptics” here, whatever label one might prefer, to write a formal document (as G&T did) worthy of attracting some real scientific debate (at least among non-experts with a technical bent). Try it. You’ll never know how far your hunches can go simply by claiming on forums that the experts and major institutions are virtually all wrong on this matter. Present a thought-out position that others can attempt to pick apart and that will not be so weak that it will instead actually attract attention. I occasionally see papers on the web that are interesting but fail when you look underneath. At least when the paper is written and posted online, you know you made an attempt at all of that money and fame.

            We are living the Earth CO2 experiment. We have one planet and one shot at this. Our descendants will call up the deceased many years from now and report the results to us. Until then, I suppose nothing will be proven. “See kids, that is how much we love you.”

          • Jose,

            Despite your being easilty offended by my referring to the faith system (i.e. religion) of scientific socialism as . .. well, the religion that it is…consider this data published today. Tree ring data is primary data unlike the models and projections used as truth in the church of AGW.

            http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1589.html#/f3

            Everyone’s faith is based on something . . and that something is often contemporary human reason as the ultimate intellect and source of truth. The basis of a person’s faith is their religion and, as the attached article once again proves, the science is not settled on the matter of man-made global warming. To blindly follow the crowd is more akin to a cult than a religion and thats a perfect description of the man-made global warming disciples. Before I am again misconstrued or misquoted . . my position is that the science is far from settled; not that one side is correct and that the other is wrong. The counterpoint stated ad nauseum here is that there is no room or time for further science on the matter as will be evidenced by the AGW faithful ignoring the primary data research and findings I have attached.

            When someone comes to you with a crisis that they can solve for you if you are ready to sign a check, I submit that caution indicates wisdom.

            Good luck in your search.

          • Randy, FWIW, I was not the one who was offended.

            I skimmed over the short paper you linked. A few points.

            I don’t know enough to judge this paper, sorry, but it doesn’t impress me (with my limited knowledge) because just as they claim a certain popular proxy is missing a certain signal, I didn’t note anything here that defends against their proxy being an overcompensation in the other direction. This is why we look at a large amount of data. They might be rather guilty of cherry-picking. Additionally, they tested against 2 climate models. Did they mention why they limited to just these 2 out of the 20+ covered in the IPCC report and studied world-wide? I know Spencer wrote a paper with much bolder claims than this paper here, and he grossly misrepresented the data by cherry-picking the models and inferring conclusions that were contradicted by the majority of model runs.

            One location on the planet and for a particular type of proxy, you get a particular best guess as to the, eg, “Medieval Warming Period” that occurred there (again, keeping in mind these are not temperature records and other factors besides temperature affect the data, eg, a wetter time period can masquerade as “warming”.. and this data even went so far as to use “submerged logs” to help calibrate across gaps I think). The climatologists’ concerns and general views are over global average temperatures. Locations will clearly vary as we see all the time. One set of proxies is almost less than useless by itself (even assuming it’s a “perfect” proxy, and this one is not). As I mentioned before, I believe variations of the earth’s axis lead to noticeable changes in distribution of temperatures but don’t impact the world averages nearly as much as they impact local areas.

            So, finding a few authors who express some skepticism doesn’t mean the general view of AGW is debated to any significant extend by the wider community of experts. Again, surveys confirm this. Ask almost any major scientific establishment (eg, the top US universities) and you are not going to get them to say your claim that AGW is up for grabs. That is what you and some websites allege, but that is not what the experts are saying.

            I’ll also note that they use a 100 year filter which naturally kills out the late 20th century rises.. which is when CO2 became recognized as a significant factor and when “natural variability” was no longer able to explain the observations. In other words, their linear trends entirely ignore the hottest or near hottest century and decades of the past 2000 years. The proxy may be decent, let’s assume, but the reconstruction clearly does not mimic temperature/satellite readings.

            Reactions by the wider community tends to catch things, so don’t expect to make much of a point by presenting on a non-scientific forum a scientific paper that is fresh off the press. If it is full of problems, it won’t be clear to most people for a while.

            “Finally”, proxy data only goes so far, just as computer models by themselves only go so far. You need physical theories to create a believable theory/story. All proxy data in the world by itself cannot explain away the greenhouse effect (the effects CO2 has been well observed to effect), nor the modern data that CO2 has been rising steadily matching man’s release of that gas and other related physical effects such as the oceans warming, mixing, and absorbing a large but decreasing amount of this CO2. If the solar intensity is on the slightly weakening side or at a turning point, as it appears it might be, that speaks a little better for the near term but doesn’t change the higher equilibrium points that CO2 will produced regardless.

            I don’t care what your background in science is, but it should be noted that not having spent a lot of time studying this problem carefully (as is hardly done except by professional researchers and advanced students up to date with the latest results) is reason for a neutral onlooker to be doubtful of that person’s opinions on a complex matter. If I have to pick someone to trust, it won’t be a person going against what surveys and professional scientific organizations say is the consensus view by the experts.

            I think experts essentially believe it is warming unnaturally (ie, affected by man to a non-negligible extent) and CO2 plays an important role in this warming.

            And as for a check in hand, Hansen is trying to create alarm beyond what most climate scientists believe is “clearly” supported by the data; however, I don’t believe he is profiting from this to any significant extent (certainly not compared to oil tycoons threatened by climate science results) and has made it clear he believes a clock is ticking and it will be his grand children and their grand children who will pay the price for our sloth. He supports a tax on CO2 to account for the damage “science” can pin on CO2 and that the money should be returned to tax payers proportionally, meaning that those using up the most CO2 pick up the tax while others can profit from staying lean. This is an approach that bypasses government waste (although the existing government institutions would do the collections and redistribution). Shouldn’t those poisoning the commons not pay a greater share? Shouldn’t we promote policy that helps safeguard vital resources?

            Not discussed much is the harm or benefit of greater CO2. Results are mixed in various areas, but it’s not going too far for an amateur to recognize that more land near the equator will become infertile, there will be a lot less drinking water for many millions of people relying on ice runoff from high altitudes, that many types of microorganisms might thrive more in the warmer temperatures, that at least some species important to us and overall biodiversity will suffer due to changes taking place too fast by geological/evolutionary standards, and that there will need to be major displacements in current populations as sea levels very possibly rise a few feet or maybe more over the next 100 years.

            It is smart to try and curtail the fossil industry and promote the use/research of almost any energy source that can be considered to be renewable. The cheapest supply least likely to run out is sunlight energy, although I find to be interesting the research that suggests we might be able to use bacteria, semiconductors, sunlight, etc, to put CO2 back into the bottle while generating some Watts.

  138. Actually the paragraph under the graphs on the page

    http://colli239.fts.educ.msu.edu/2002/08/20/long-time-record-of-atmospheric-co2-and-temperature-obtained-from-vostok-ice-core/

    explained what I mentioned previously,

    “At the end of Pleistocene, carbon dioxide levels rose from below 200 parts per million to about 280 parts per million. This transition occurred between 20,000 years ago and the present day (0 on the graph).”

    So it took 20,000 years for CO2 concentration to increase from 200 ppm to around 280 ppm, going from ice age to preindustrial climate. These graphs do not show the increase from preindustrial level of 280 to 396 today. Let’s see what kind of climate change we get.

  139. I guess being better educated makes it OK for you to “feel” the science? http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=2674e64f-802a-23ad-490b-bd9faf4dcdb7

  140. Reminder of the title of this article…
    Global warming: Propaganda creates myth of disagreement

    Posted on November 26, 2011 by Bob Berwyn

    Scientists nearly unanimous on climate change; public not getting the message

  141. I feel the truth to this particular climate problem lies as always in the money trail. Money dominates everything humans do and will dictate whether or not we succeed in achieving to accomplish anything that will actually be of benefit to us beings or the fragile planet we live on.The question is, what side of the argument has the most to lose or win fiscally? When one decides the answer to that question, and it seems to be obvious to me, then it should be a clear indication of which side is cheating obfuscating and doing everything in their power to manipulate the facts by resorting to propaganda techniques designed specifically for the purpose.Greed will always put up a dirtier fight unfortunately as common sense has long been a less worthwhile cause to uphold and there is always a lot less of it to be of use in such predicaments.
    I also question why so many dedicated scientists would go to work in the morning with the sole intention of being deceptive,doing a totally useless job and making such a huge effort to annoy and aggravate people who feel they know so much more than the real experts.Powerful mega corporations are content to lie to the public on a daily basis to preserve quarterly earnings but why so many honest hard working climate scientists should conduct themselves in the same despicable fashion is harder to conceive.They have far more credibility to lose in their own professional capacity than they would ever hope to gain by pure fiscal greed alone.To accept that all these scientists would deliberately conspire to damage their reputations in this way is pure fantasy.To collectively spend so much time and effort to prove that they are totally ignorant about such a significant subject is hard to swallow.
    Right, the public definitely are not getting any clear well defined message that we should all be taking very, very seriously no matter who is to blame.The consequences of fiddling while he climate burns are too dire to contemplate.

    • Yemil, you’re right on the money. Quite frankly, the first time I heard someone accuse the climate scientists of concocting a false scare to get more grant money, I really thought they were joking. No rational person could possibly say that seriously, especially since the party with BY FAR the biggest economic stake in the question is the fossil fuel industry — the one leading the charge against the climate scientists, directly and through astroturfing.

      The claim doesn’t even make logical sense! The consensus among climate scientists is that global warming from human CO2 releases is very real. Because it’s been a consensus for quite some time, relatively few open scientific questions remain. So there’s less reason to fund more large-scale research. Now if the scientists were really trying to maximize their grant monies, THEY would be saying it’s all unsettled. THEY would be manufacturing a false scientific controversy and saying they need lots more money to resolve it! Yet they’re the ones who are saying that the major questions have been answered, and who is willing to spend more money investigating scientific issues that have been settled?

      Global warming denial, like evolution denial, is a manifestation of a particularly vicious streak of anti-intellectualism running all through American history. It has been especially prevalent over the last 30+ years, roughly since the election of Ronald Reagan and the rise of the Religious Right.

      • Phil, I know that you really, really, really want it to be true..but the only consensus among scientists on whether global warming is man-made is among those profiting from the scare. Sorry, guy. You need to find a new noble cause. This one is pretty much dead.

        • Randy, I’ve already said it but maybe you missed it:

          Please explain to me how scientists can “profit from the scare” of global warming by producing a firm consensus that it’s real? Wouldn’t they be able to get much more grant money by saying that it’s all still very unsettled and in need of a lot more research?

          The claim that climate scientists are somehow profiting from the global warming consensus not only flies against the facts, it doesn’t even make logical sense. That you would adopt this canard while completely ignoring the far larger incentive of fossil fuel producers and free-market fundamentalists to thwart, by any means, any mitigation of global warming is simply astonishing.

          I’m not sure that any rational argument will work with you.

  142. Phil, I agree with your description of how the scientific method must be learned. An essential step of the scientific method is properly setting up and conducting experiments. Please describe the experiments and resulting data that points to mankind as the cause for global warming.

    • Randy, The science and data of antropormorphic global warming is far too complex to summarize here, and besides I only understand the basics. I accept that the scientific process has been shown many times to work, I accept that it is being properly applied to the study of the climate problem, and I accept that the overwhelming consensus of the people actually studying the problem is that it is very real.

      So I refer you to the MANY published articles and scientific papers on the topic. Some are written for other scientists, some are written for the general public. A good place to start is the Wikipedia page on the topic, as it has many pointers to original sources.

      Now if you’re going to challenge the basic integrity of the scientific community working on climate, I think you need to back that up with a little more than paranoid handwaving, which is all you have so far. Scientists pay fuel and electricity bills too, and it is very much against their interest to concoct a false problem that would result in as much damage to them as to everyone else.

      Frankly, I see global warming denial as a classic example of the Big Lie in action. It is also a perfect example of psychological projection. The deniers are highly unscientific, so they accuse the scientific community of being highly unscientific. The deniers (or the forces behind the deniers, particularly the fossil fuel industry) has a LOT of money riding on the outcome, so they accuse the scientists of being motivated by money. The deniers are fundamentally corrupt, so they accuse the scientists of being corrupt. And they’ll keep this up as long as they can find gullible people like you, tell you what you want to hear, and appeal to your personal prejudices. And all the while you pat yourself on the back and tell yourself how much wiser and smarter you are than everyone else.

      Quite frankly, this cynical attack on science needs to end.

      • One more time Mr. Science. What are the details on the experimentation and the resulting data. Without that there is no science.

        • Randy, if I cite it will you promise to actually read it all? It should only take you a few years.

          Ah. I didn’t think so.

      • Enjoyed the chat Phil, but if you’ve devolved to name calling then I’m pretty much done. I have made my living in science and technology fields for 35 years and I consider this alarmist for-profit religion posing as science an insult to the real scientists who are trying to get to the real data. Loooks like the answer is to get the governemt out of the science business because they have certainly made a mess of it.

        • Randy, I’m not calling names; I’m simply describing facts. I too work in science and technology. I’m an electrical engineer. Although I’m not a scientist myself, I wouldn’t have my career if not for the discoveries of the many scientists before me.

          Having seen it work so well, I have a very great deal of respect for the scientific process. So when I see a large number of scientists, working in a field other than mine, producing a firm consensus and scores and scores of formal publications to support it, I have every reason to accept it on face value. Despite the many attacks that have been directed at it, I have not seen a single one with any validity whatsoever.

          I feel this way even though my profession currently relies heavily on many problematic technologies like the generation of electricity from fossil fuels. I also know that even without such drastic environmental consequences, these technologies will soon deplete their necessary resources. We’ll have to change anyway.

          And I know as a citizen that the competition for these resources has heated dramatically in recent years, deeply threatening my country’s national and economic security and drawing us into many destructive wars.

          Because I can see SO MANY reasons why we must change, with global warming being only one, I have no particular incentive to attack the scientific consensus.

          I am deeply puzzled that even aspects of the problem that ought to register with self-proclaimed conservatives (like national security) don’t seem to do so. I can only conclude that, for those who profit from the use of fossil fuels, their economic incentives overwhelm everything else, including clear thinking.

  143. Here’s a little test for you all: Every time you see an article from a supposed “scientist” who conducted a “study” and denies that man-caused climate change is happening, do a little digging — both into his background and the source of funding for the study and/or the organization involved. EVERY TIME I have done this, without exception, I have found ties to the fossil-fuel industry. Every time. And I find that sad. I have owned a successful business for 39 years. The best way for a business to be successful is to be nimble, to know how to adapt to change, to respond to conditions AS THEY ARE and thus to make lemonade no matter the quality of the lemons at hand. But instead of being nimble and accepting and reacting to change, the fossil-fuel industry is acting like fossils, refusing to accept that the change is happening.

    • George – I’m sure you are correct, but people acting in their own self interest is insufficient to disprove their science. For me there is no argument but that the climate is changing (google Vostok Survey image to see how on a longer term view) and that it has, until recently, been warming. I have no argument against the reality of increases in CO2 and temp (nor dust accumilations that have historically preceeded those warming cycles by several thousand years) . What I see is no reasonably firm evidence that these are man-made; in fact the scientific data suggests to me that they are natural cycles. My real concern is the shrill pronouncements in favor of man-made warming (incompatible with real science)suggesting to me that someone is making a good living on this scare. Here’s a test for you…what percentage of your business profits are you willing to devote to solving this “man-made” problem? More importantly, are you willing to let that question be answered by a politician who is personally benefitting from the fear . much like the author of the original article here?

      • Randy,

        Sigh. At least you admit that global warming is actually happening. And you admit that CO2 levels are rapidly increasing (it would be *very* silly to deny that one). So the question becomes one of interpretation of the data as to cause and effect, and here scientific expertise becomes extremely important.

        Since you don’t think the data support the hypothesis, a view that conflicts with an overwhelming consensus of the scientists actively working in this area, I presume that you have scientific credentials of your own that give you some credibility and authority here.

        What are they?

        • Phil, thank you for the dramatic post. Did you evaluate the primary data I mentoned? Does it suggest tat global warming is man-made? I’m very interested in your interpretation; I need to know if you have your own critical thinking abilities beyond parroting the “consensus” drummed up by a compliant media and profiting politicians and alarmist grant requestors.

          • Randy, please answer my question: what are your scientific credentials in the field of climate research? Why should I give more credence to your interpretation of the data than to the consensus interpretation of scientists who *do* have the credentials and the experience of working in this area?

        • My credentials are primary data that suggests that grant-seekers and fear mongers are suggesting man-made global warming has been going on for 600,000 years. I find that improbable. What scientific credentials would you require for such an obvious interpretation? What conclusions do you draw from the Vostok plots? http://colli239.fts.educ.msu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/vostok1999cc1.jpg

          • Randy, please look up the meaning of ‘credentials’. It does not mean primary scientific data. They refer to your own education and experience.

            Since the same primary data you speak of is available to everyone, and since those with significant education and experience in the field of climate research overwhelmingly draw a very different conclusion than you do, the nature of your own education and experience becomes very relevant as to why I should give your interpretation any weight. I think you know this too, and that’s why you resist answering my question.

          • Randy, if the expression “a little knowledge can be very dangerous” didn’t already exist, one would have to create it for you.

            Your citation of that plot is a perfect example. You don’t seem to know, as the people who work in this field do know, that the Earth’s climate can change for more than one reason. You also don’t seem to know, as those who work in the field do know, that atmospheric CO2 concentration can also change for any of several reasons. And you don’t seem to know (or simply don’t care) that the claims you’re making have already been specifically addressed and rejected by nearly everyone with significant experience in this field.

            You like to accuse those you disagree with of being unscientific, so I presume you mean that word to be pejorative and that being scientific is a good thing. So perhaps you should know that one of the basic tenets of the scientific method is that theories are discarded or modified when they’re contradicted by empirical evidence. You don’t simply ignore the empirical evidence that doesn’t fit your theory, nor do you hotly accuse those who point this out of being corrupt fear mongers — unless you have very good evidence to support that claim.

            Maybe your time would be better spent reading and listening rather than typing and talking, so you can understand *why* they have come to their conclusions. This does require an open mind but you can do it if you really try hard.

          • Phil, thank you for the thoughful response and the guidance that I listen. I have stated my opinion on the interpretation of the Vostook core sample data linked and your response to date has been to attack my audacity for stating an opinion. I have asked 3 times for your opinion only to again be attacked. Do you sir, have an opinion (I have neither declared nor asked for fact) on the Vostok core sample data? So far all I am able to determine is that my conclusions drawn must have been soundly rejected without any citation offered. I’m interested in your opinion on the unvarnished primary data. (if your opinion is that you are are unqualified to form an opinion on the data plot then I understand that answer) In the spirit of open mindedness you might consider the ideas expressed in a interview with one of the greatest minds of our time; it suggests that you return to primary data and double check what is being so passionately shouted by “experts.”

          • Randy, I am not attacking you for the audacity of expressing an opinion. Everyone has a right to their own opinion; the issue here is your apparent expectation that I should take yours seriously.

            To this end I keep asking you for your qualifications – your educational background and your professional scientific experience – as that would help me to decide whether to accept your interpretation and to reject that of the entire scientific community that has analyzed the very same data and come to a totally different conclusion.

            Yet for some reason you seem very reluctant to give me the information I have requested. Why?

    • Exactly. Why can’t these companies see themselves as *energy* companies and diversify into non-fossil technologies? Presumably their experience with fossil fuels should give them a head start into other sources of energy, so what are they complaining about?

      • Phil, I see you’re also wiser than the oil company executives who are accountable to their stockholders. They have vast reserves of money for the taking in pools beneath the ground and the technology to get it. Why would they walk way from that opportunity? Perhaps the federal government should force them to invest elsewhere because, after all, government motives are far nobler than a person in business.

        • Randy, do you know what an ‘economic externality’ is? By definition, unregulated markets do not take them into account. Even the most rabid libertarians I know accept that externalities exist and that a perfectly legitimate role of government is to step in with laws and regulations designed to factor them into market decisions.

          Pollution is the classic example of an economic externality; even you must agree that manufacturers should not be allowed to dump arbitrary amounts of toxic waste into the air or water simply because they can sell cheaper products and/or make more money for their stockholders by doing so.

          Corporations don’t exist for their own sake. They do not have a moral sense, nor can we reasonably expect them to have one. They’re just one of the several ways real human beings can organize themselves to provide useful products and services to other real human beings. We’ve found corporations a remarkably efficient, versatile and effective tool for this purpose. But we’ve also found that they do not always serve real human beings very well when they are totally unregulated. That’s one of the reasons we have governments in the first place.

          We already have laws against more localized forms of pollution associated with energy production, such as emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons and particulates (smoke). Utilities, vehicle manufacturers and others who use or make technology that create these pollutants originally fought these laws, but ultimately they learned to adapt to them.

          Some have even made money by developing, using and selling new techologies to control them, such as catalytic converters for the ICE, flue scrubbers for coal power plants and combined cycle turbines for more efficient gas-fired generation. None of this would have happened without laws that account for the externalities that a completely unregulated market won’t consider on its own. Why can’t a forward looking energy company recognize that there are very large externalities associated with dumping vast quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, estimate the economic costs of complying with new laws and regulations designed to control CO2 emissions, and get a head start on the development of new energy technologies that will not be handicapped by these regulations?

          To me, one of the most baffling aspects of the debate is that those who deny global warming denial tend to be conservative in their political outlook and to support nuclear power. This is a perfectly viable way to make very large amounts of electricity without generating CO2. So why don’t these ‘conservatives’ accept the reality of global warming and advocate nuclear power as at least part of the solution? You’d think they’d enjoy baiting those they consider politically liberal and antinuclear with such a position. Instead they just deny the science and make themselves look foolish and ignorant.

          • Well said, Phil, but that wasn’t the question. . . your interpretation of the Vostok Survey CO2, dust, and temp data pertaining to whether the warming is man-made is . . . (there’s 400k + years of data waiting for your insights)

            In the event that you plan to continue avoiding the question I welcome any reader to weigh in http://colli239.fts.educ.msu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/vostok1999cc1.jpg

            So we don’t digress again back into settled discussions…yes the atmosphere is warming and yes, the C02 is increasing. My interpretation of the linked primary data is that it strongly suggests that man is the cause of neither this warming nor of the the C02 accumilatons.What I see is dust accumilatons that correlate in timing and in intensity from about 15,000 years ago that may suggest a (4th) recorded trigger of these increases. I may be wrong, but it’s happened 4 times in the psat 400k years.

            Your point, Phil, if I understand it, is that the science is sufficiently settled to begin taxing the economy to correct this man-made problem with man-made solutions.Please correct my thinking if I’ve misstated your position. My position is that its not settled and, if its not-man-made, then there is nothing we are likely to do that will stop it; taxing the economy is a waste of resources feeding what seems to be fear mongers.

  144. Yes Randy, the science *is* settled; global warming is real and humans are the cause. Re-read the title of the original article that started this long discussion if you have forgotten that.

    Note that this applies only to the science; the discussion about what we should do about it (i.e., the public policies that should be established) is just starting. Taxation on carbon emissions is only one possible approach; there are others. All should be discussed and their probable effects analyzed to find those that maximize the mitigation of global warming while minimizing the economic effects.

  145. Phil, I think you are wasting your time.
    If Randy T. can not even bring himself to acknowledging that the CO2 graphs he keeps referring to only covers the range between 200 ppm and 280 ppm, happening in tens of thousands of years, and they can not be used to show that the change from 280 ppm to 396 ppm in the last 150 years or so is also unrelated to humans, then it is not possible to change his position.
    We can not be sure of his motives, but he will continue to defend his position whatever you may tell him No matter how logical your arguments and how detailed or relevant your data may be, Randy T will answer with his own classic arguments of “dust in the atmosphere scientists did not take into account”, or some similar arguments.
    So, I think it is futile.

    • Sam, thanks for weighing in. Enjoy your love fest here. I’m simply stating an opinion and, in return, asking for an opinion on an interpretation of data and, frankly, its the personal attacks and condescending tone that alerts me to a problem with the science. There’s really no room for that in an adult conversation thats supposed to be a real search for answers. Seems Phil is a bit too committed to the “settled science” ruse to admit that there is room for debate on scientific matters: particlarly one involving such a vast number of variables. The good news is that science will inch ever closer to the truth despite close-minded people .. .they just introduce delays in the journey. See you at the truth when we get there; it’s inevitable that we will when people begin respecting each other ands listneing to real science rather than pseudoscience.

      • Randy, any condescension you sense is a direct reflection. It often comes from science deniers who know too little to realize how much they don’t know, those with just enough knowledge to be dangerous.

        The simple fact, as the original article made clear, is that the vast majority of scientists looking at this stuff *have* reached a consensus that antropogenic global warming is very real. That they have reached this consensus is a fact you can acknowledge even if you think they’re wrong. And they did it by looking at the same data you did. And almost certainly a whole lot more you haven’t looked at.

        I keep asking you to tell me your scientific background so I can tell if you’re smarter than all those climate scientists put together. If so, then I can accept your interpretation and reject theirs. But for some reason you won’t tell me. Are you embarrassed about it?

        • Before I leave it to you two lovebirds I really need to ask…did you read the article I linked signed by 16 scientists who disagree with your position? The premise posted in the article here says that the scientific dialogue on climate science is based on mythical dissention in the scientific community…here are 16 well-credentialed scientists who disagree. My expectation that you were eager to learn new things on this topic was clearly naive. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by people willing to read and research matters to draw sound conclusions. Have fun with your refusal to consider any articles or perspectives other than those you parrot. God bless you both in your search for the truth.

          • Randy, consensus does not mean unanimity. There will almost always be a few individuals who, for whatever reasons, dissent from any majority, even an overwhelming one well supported by evidence. They may honestly disagree or they may be doing it for more base reasons; it doesn’t really matter because you can’t always tell.

            The fact remains that there *is* a strong scientific consensus that anthropogenic global warming is real. Before the 1980s there was a legitimate scientific debate on the topic. This debate has been over since then, and the consensus has only firmed up since. All the work now is on exactly how bad and how quick global warming will be, not whether it will happen. For some reason that even you may not really know, you seem desperate to find an excuse, any excuse, to dismiss this consensus.

            As I keep trying to explain to you, you are not privy to any scientific data that is not also available to all the scientists who are working on the problem. And they’ve come to a very different conclusion from you. You still refuse to tell me why I should accept your view over theirs.

            If your doctor told you that your child has a serious disease that needs treatment, it would be perfectly reasonable to seek additional opinions, especially if the suggested treatment is itself costly, risky or unpleasant. But suppose those other doctors all say the same thing. Would you angrily label them all as alarmists trying to make more money? Would you keep going to doctor after doctor looking for one who will tell you that your child is fine and you don’t have to do anything? Or do you accept the consensus of the other doctors and seek the recommended treatment? Are you willing to gamble with your kid’s life?

            I said “your child” rather than “you” in my medical analogy because the effects of global warming will affect our descendants much more than they’ve affected us. Denying an overwhelming scientific consensus that the world the next generation will inherit will be much worse off because of our past and present actions simply because you’re afraid that doing something about it might lower your standard of living is about as selfish and arrogant an attitude as I’ve ever seen. And I don’t even have any kids myself.

          • Let me make it simple for you. The climate may very well be warming for reasons that are man made. This article presupposes that the science is settled and I have given you links to many very well-credentialed people who say the science is not settled. My position is that the science is not settled as evidenced by the examples of dissention I have provided, not that I hold the answer to the question. You are arguing the position that he science is settled.

            Though my experience is problem-solving in technology and in business for the past 35 years, I have observed a few things that give me pause to think rather than to jump to conclusions:
            1. Science is never done. A person who argues that any science is settled with absolute certainty should be considered suspect.
            2. When someone is pressing for money to be spent with the utmost urgency and there’s no time for further discussion, grab your wallet.
            3. When the people pressing for the spending of money stand to profit from that spending, they have a confict of interest and, if they continue pressing for the spending, they are unethical.
            4. If a person resorts to ridicule, circular logic, or “everybody knows” as their source of data, then you’re dealing with what Marxists refer to as a “useful idiot” and you are wasting your time.

            You both strike me as bright enough to recognize the validity of this post; I think your intent may be to win an argument rather than to seek the truth. Good luck in your future endeavors and take your argument for sport to someone else.

          • Randy, you make some good points. Expanding on them:

            1. You are absolutely right, science is never done. Every theory, no matter how well established, is at least in principle still tentative. A new experiment might yield data that shows the current understanding is incomplete.

            Among those tentative theories are Newton’s laws of motion. In fact, Einstein showed quite convincingly that they’re wrong. Therefore you have no reason to worry about that washed-out bridge ahead of you. Go ahead and drive over it, because Newton might turn out to be wrong.

            2. This is also very good advice. Should you ever suddenly feel weak, short of breath and strong pain in your chest and left arm, do NOT call for an ambulance — especially if someone is telling you that there’s no time for discussion. Those ambulances are expensive, to say nothing of the doctors in the ER, and the person urging you to go is probably in cahoots with them.

            3. Also very good advice. If you have ignored the good advice of #2 and do end up in the hospital, do NOT listen to the nurses and doctors urging you to spend money on an EKG, nitroglycerin, or oxygen. Their conflict of interest is obvious, as they stand to get rich from you. Grab your wallet and run!

            4. Yet more good advice. The mere fact that “everybody knows” the symptoms described in point 2 could indicate a heart attack hardly proves that you’re having one. And if someone ever ridicules you for brushing off those symptoms and not going to the ER, well, you can be dead sure you’re right. It would be much better to wait a few weeks and conduct more studies rather than fall for the self-serving hysteria of the medical profession.

          • Phil,

            Excellent yet tortured analogies . . .
            1. You believe the sign says that the bridge is washed out . . thats not what the 16 scientists I sent along believe. I think I’ll drive slowly ahead and investigate to see what the facts are. Is you plan to drive in reverse at top speed?

            2.If I have chest pains then I’ll be pretty sure about the primary data. Thats a lot different than someone trying to convince me that I have chest pain with extreme urgency when I haven’t noticed that in the data.

            3. In the ER I have services being delivered that I have requested. The urgency is mine. Oh wait Obamacare passed. I’m still in the waiting room.

            4. Thanks for the productive post adult to adult. and take the advice ofyour funeral director neighbor with a grain of salt.

          • Oh, Randy, just to be complete I should add that the advice in my last message isn’t original with me. Those wise warnings about not falling for the self-serving hysteria of the medical profession, as well as the warning about not falling for the self-serving hysteria of whoever put up that “bridge out ahead” sign, actually comes from my friendly neighborhood funeral director. Unlike those greedy, self-serving medical quacks, he’s always looked out for me and he’s never asked anything in return. He even parks in a van outside my house just so he can be around to give me advice whenever I need it.

    • Sam, yes it is probably futile. Even if he changed his view he’d never admit it here. More likely it’ll be a slow process over years as he learns more about the data and the models that led the scientists to their consensus.

      But I have a fascination with cranks and science denial, and I would really like to understand where they’re coming from. So I talk with them from time to time. It can be interesting.

      • I don’t find a conversation interesting if the other party doesn’t even acknowledge any of your points or answers any of your questions.

        I would like to tell you about a wonderful book by a philosophy professor, who brings a different perspective to looking at our relationship to other life forms on earth.
        Her name is Kathleen Dean Moore, and the book is “the pine island paradox”.
        That is what I was talking about when I said that more technology may not be the answer.
        Einstein said a few things which are very relevant to this subject:
        “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
        “Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.”

        • Sam, yes, I remember your comment. I was saying that a major part of the answer is *more* science and technology, not less. Only science and technology can find new ways (plural) to make and use energy that are more sustainable and less polluting than what we have now.

          I emphasize that ‘ways’ is plural because we’re highly unlikely to have a single huge breakthrough that will solve all our problems, and it’s counterproductive to expect one. The solutions will be more evolutionary than revolutionary, such as new and improved forms of solar and nuclear energy, more efficient vehicles and other energy-consuming devices, changes in transportation patterns (e.g., a move from cars to trains), a smarter electricity grid that can use price signals to automatically influence demand as well as supply, and hopefully many others that haven’t even occurred to us yet.

          (BTW, I define “solar” and “nuclear” energy very broadly. Solar energy includes wind, hydro, wave, ocean thermal, salinity gradient, biofuel and probably others because they all ultimately rely on sunlight. Nuclear energy is not just fission and fusion reactors but also geothermal because the earth’s internal heat comes mostly from the radioactive decay of natural elements like potassium 40, uranium 238 and thorium 232. You could say that it’s all nuclear energy because the sun is a nuclear fusion reactor, but I think it belongs in its own category. About the only viable source of energy that is neither solar nor nuclear is tidal; it comes from the earth’s primordial kinetic energy of rotation.)

          Simply doing without energy is a complete non-starter. You already see how some people react to the notion of even the slightest reduction to their standard of living: with angry denial that a problem even exists and the delusion that we can go on indefinitely without change. But if we simply turned off our existing energy sources without replacing them, we would have far more than a minor hit to our standard of living. We would have worldwide famine on an unimaginable scale, far beyond anything the human species has ever experienced. We use much of our energy just to feed the 7,000,000,000 people now on the planet. Going back to how we lived before the Industrial Revolution means reducing our population to the world’s 1750 population, about 750 million. We’d have to kill or starve 91% of the people now living; do you want that?

          Even if we change nothing, the fossil fuels will soon be gone anyway: oil and gas first, then coal. Once again, nature will step in and solve our problem for us. I don’t think you want that.

          We simply have no choice: either we use science and technology to find more sustainable and cleaner energy sources, or we undergo massive famine until we can live within our means. And that’s without even considering the effects of global warming, which will probably be with us for thousands of years even after the fossil fuels are all gone.

          • oops. Reducing our population from 7 billion to 750 million would be a reduction of 89.3%, not 91%. Still a large fraction, and it will get even bigger as the population continues to grow out of control before the collapse when we run out of energy.

  146. Phil, I remember your arguments for more technology from previous posts.
    I disagree with you, that is why I sent you the name of the book “the pine island paradox”.
    So far all of our problems were caused by our misuse of technology coupled with the western civilization’s disastrous belief that humans are separate from and superior to other life forms. If we continue on this path, no technology can possibly save us. This is a myth the Exxon’s, and Monsanto’s of our time propagate, so they can make more money as the life on earth continues to decline.
    In addition to the fact that we even misuse the existing technologies, another reason why I think you are wrong is that we do not have enough time to come up with revolutionary technologies before the world descends into chaos, due to global warming, fresh water shortages, food shortages etc. This year there were over 3,000 heat records broken in the US alone. How fast do you think the world is warming if we can see the effects in our lifetimes? What is a human lifetime in geological time?
    You may be right that people may never sacrifice a little comfort willingly so we can slow down global warming, or slow down the biodiversity loss (we have to always remember that we are in the 6th major extinction crises) by giving a little more space, clean rivers, healthy oceans for the wild creatures to be able to continue to exist. For most Americans being able to drive a 350 cu inch truck maybe more important than being able to sit by a clean river and enjoy the birds and the bugs.
    I believe that if we can not bring ourselves to respect other life on earth and just see it as commodity in our very flawed system (it probably qualifies as “evil”) we call industrial capitalism, it is very likely that the higher being, whether it is God as our major religions believe, or Gaia as James Lovelock named the biosphere, or the Great Spirit, or whatever it is, it will wipe us off the face of this earth, and probably not too far in the future, judging from the speed of deterioration.
    It is inconceivable that we can keep wantonly destroying a 3.5 billion year old system and the system will not respond. It is responding but we are too stupid to understand. There is a reason why the higher life forms disappear first during environmental changes.
    As I said earlier, even if we could find new energy forms, and new ways of feeding more and more people at the expense of other life forms, it is highly unlikely that the higher power will let a two legged ape species with an infinite ego will turn this beautiful place into a supermarket. If we believe that we are the most powerful force on this planet we are doing so at our own peril.

    • Sam, I’m still not sure I understand you. Are you saying that we’re done for no matter what we do now? That we will be unable to find new energy sources and ways to use them in time to prevent a serious die-off not only of other species but of humans?

      I’m an agnostic, so appeals to higher powers do nothing for me. I want arguments that invoke known physics and demonstratable principles of cause-and-effect.

      Do you agree with my assessment that just feeding our present population currently relies critically on a large energy supply, and that not replacing these supplies will necessarily result eventually in a global famine? Do you think there’s anything we can do to avoid this? If you were King, what what you do?

    • Phil, I am not sure if we are doomed already but the momentum of our civilization and the market economy makes me think that it may be so. If we do not make drastic changes in our economic system, I can not see how our civilization could last in the long run, with or without new technologies.

      if I were a King as the first priority, I would put my country in the path to sustainable food production without the use of pesticides and herbicides. I would support small farmers using ox and horse as opposed to agribusiness using fossil fuels. I would not let any of the GMO companies like Monsanto anywhere near my country. There is nothing to back up their claims that their genetically modified seeds give superior yield, but it is just a way to patent centuries old seeds which have been perfected by farmers by tweaking a few genes and make farmers dependent on chemicals for growing them. I believe that we can grow the same amount of food without the use of chemicals and much less energy use, especially if we don’t have to ship food around the world constantly.

      I would put an end to corporate power. They would have to be tightly controlled for pollution, land use, human rights abuse, influence into politics, and any other bad behavior. They must not be able to contribute any money to politicians. They are usually run by psychopaths and their only motive is more profit at all costs, and they put the population to sleep through stupid TV movies and constant lies on the media. Anybody only watching TV would think that our civilization is doing really well.

      I would extend national parks and connect them by corridors to protect the biodiversity. I would make it illegal to develop (more like destroy) any remaining wilderness areas. Every animal or plant species disappearing puts our own species a little closer to extinction. Once the number of species goes down below a certain level, the food chain can get destabilized, with disastrous consequences. 252 million years ago when over 74% (maybe over 90%) of species died off, the food chain got so unstable that it took 8 million years to reach some stability again. We are on our way to 75% reduction in the next 300 years. So stability of living systems is not assured.

      I do agree with you that we can not cut our energy use overnight, but we can reduce it very quickly if we have honest political leaders telling the people the truth as opposed to taking big sums of money from the energy companies and their billionaire supporters and lying through their teeth. Even Obama changed his tune recently and is saying that he will accelerate energy exploration in the US, instead of telling people the truth that the global warming is the biggest threat to our civilization and continued existence of humans beyond that. How smart is it while the climate is changing from one year to the next, with over 3000 heat records broken this year?

      I would also try very hard to reconnect children and adults with nature. In this age the people are being pushed out of lives close to land and into a technological world with less and less interaction with nature. This is done purposefully so there is nobody left defending the land from mining companies, agribusiness and any other corporation that wants to use and abuse land.

      I would try to make it more attractive for people to live in smaller communities, if they wish, where they can work and live without needing to travel tens of miles every day. They would also be the defenders of the living world around them. We must find happiness in community living as opposed to constantly traveling to faraway lands. We must appreciate the location we are at and try to make it better and more beautiful.

      I may also want new technologies but not at the expense of all these other things, and only if there is a working democracy, and not plutocracy. I think that majority of our problems are philosophical and not technological. We have enough technology to turn things around now. But if we don’t change our beliefs about our position in relation to all other living beings, and insist that all other life is just commodity in a market economy and markets will give us the best possible outcome, then I believe that the time of our civilization is limited to tens of years. Maybe it can last until the end of the century in a much diminished form.

      • http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_diamandis_abundance_is_our_future.html Here you go guys . . . a dose of reality other than your progressive friend’ view of gloom and doom..

      • Who knows who is right. Maybe I am too pessimistic, and Ted Diamandis may well be too optimistic but all the news he was showing were related to humans. In that respect I agree with him that the media concentrates on the negative news to increase ratings. But I am not talking about massacres, rapes, etc. While they are horrible and very disturbing to watch, they just affect our own species and we are nowhere in danger of extinction. Just the opposite. We are in danger of overrunning the world.

        I am more worried about the150 species that are going extinct every single day both for their own sake, and also for what humanity may be losing. We don’t even know what their functions were in the ecosystems they were living in. I am also worried about oceans acidifying fastest in the last 300 million years, endangering countless other species and all coral reefs.

        We may also have different expectations from life. It makes me happy to know that other life forms also have a place to live natural healthy, happy lives. Ted may be only concerned about human beings, and he may think that even if we eliminate 80% of all other species, and keep the remaining ones in constant torture like in industrial animal farms, we can still increase our standard of living and live better, healthier and happier lives. I disagree, because I would die of loneliness in a world where we eliminated all other life forms except the ones we keep for our own use.

        There are also very smart people like Edward O. Wilson, Gustave Speth, David Korten, Bill McKibben and many others who truly think that we have to change course very soon, otherwise the world may not support human life at all. They think that even people like Ted Diamandis may find it hard to physically survive in a world which is considerably warmer, with acidified oceans and a changing atmosphere.

        So we will see what happens because I don’t think it is very easy to change course with an uninformed and uncaring public (maybe as a result of our religious beliefs that we are somehow superior to other life forms), and politicians who have to be so careful to tell the public what they want to hear and not anger the corporations who are bankrolling their campaigns, and an economic system that constantly pits jobs against environmental protection.

        I believe that like the little bird who was carrying water with his beak trying to put out the fire they started under a holly man, we have an obligation to strive to do what is right even if we think that it may not matter at the end.

        • Sam,
          Wow, 150 species per day going extinct. That really interests me. What is the source of your data so I can study this serious problem?
          RT

          • The few paragraphs below is taken from the web site

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/16/nature-economic-security

            They reflect the opinions of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
            There are endless resources on the web. From what I read there are around 8,6 million species on earth and we know about 1.7 million of them. We expect to lose about 52% of them until the end of 21st century. That comes roughly to 150 per day. Of course the rate is increasing with the reductions in the rainforest habitat and the changing climate. So who knows how many we lose, but the prognosis is not good.

            “What we are seeing today is a total disaster,” said Ahmed Djoghlaf, the secretary-general of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. “No country has met its targets to protect nature. We are losing biodiversity at an unprecedented rate. If current levels [of destruction] go on we will reach a tipping point very soon. The future of the planet now depends on governments taking action in the next few years.”

            Industrialisation, population growth, the spread of cities and farms and climate change are all now threatening the fundamentals of life itself, said Djoghlaf, in London before a key UN meeting where governments are expected to sign up to a more ambitious agreement to protect nature.

            “Many plans were developed in the 1990s to protect biodiversity but they are still sitting on the shelves of ministries. Countries were legally obliged to act, but only 140 have even submitted plans and only 16 have revised their plans since 1993. Governments must now put their houses in order,” he said.

            According to the UN Environment Programme, the Earth is in the midst of a mass extinction of life. Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, say many biologists, is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65m years ago. Around 15% of mammal species and 11% of bird species are classified as threatened with extinction.

      • Sam, you’ve got a lot of ideas in there. Some are hard to oppose, while others are hard to evaluate without a lot of thought and discussion. But a few catch my eye as exactly the wrong thing to do.

        For example, going back to older methods of farming is a non-starter. They may have worked when our population was much smaller, there was much more farmland to go around, and we all spent much larger fractions of our time and/or money producing or buying food, with that much less for everything else in life. With 7 billion of us now on the planet we need the most efficient food production we can devise, in every meaning of the word “efficient”. We need to produce more food with less land, energy, time, labor, environmental damage, and negative impacts to health.

        One of the ways food production has been made steadily more efficient is through the use of genetic engineering. Intellectual property and research funding issues aside — that’s another whole can of worms — I find it very difficult to understand the allergy some people (especially Europeans) have to the concept. It’s not even a new idea; we’ve been breeding and hybridizing plants and animals for human needs for thousands of years. Only the methods have changed. In addition to artificially selecting which plants or animals we will permit to sexually reproduce, we have found ways to directly modify genetic material, saving a lot of time and bypassing a lot of trial and error.

        The results have been spectacular; since the introduction of recombinant DNA in the 1970s, we can now modify the ubiquitous E. coli bacteria to cheaply produce medicines that we previously had to get from limited natural sources. The first and probably still the best example is insulin. We used to get it from slaughtered animals, and it was slightly different from human insulin. Now we brew it in vats of E. coli bacteria that have been genetically modified to produce an exact copy of human insulin.

        The same is true for animals and plants; remember there are a lot of people on the planet who barely have the resources to feed themselves, and to deprive them of the benefits of modern agriculture, animal husbandry and genetic engineering for purely ideological reasons would be downright immoral.

        • Phil, below is a paragraph from Sepp Holzer’s book, Permaculture, summarizes what the monoculture (even without the GMO’s) is doing to the land and the biodiversity pretty well. He is one of the most knowledgeable practitioners of sustainable agriculture.

          “The result of these monocultures and this irresponsible attitude to nature is already well known: the catastrophes are becoming greater and greater and the damage to the national economy is immeasurable. Floods, landslides and damage caused by storms and snow are becoming more prevalent. Valuable biomass and fertile humus are being lost. This narrow-minded attitude is causing the soil to lose its capacity to store water – entire areas of land are acidifying and turning to desert. Eventually the widespread use of pesticides and fertilisers will poison the ground water. Biodiversity is being seriously threatened in these areas: instead of well-structured habitats there is suddenly
          only a monocultural landscape. This loss of habitat causes the population of a few plants and animals to increase rapidly whilst others disappear completely. Animal and plant diversity is being lost. Humans disturb the balance of nature and then begin to fight against ‘pests’ and ‘weeds’ for which they have only themselves to blame. A new industry agrochemicals, has devoted itself to the destruction of these enemies by chemical means. Anyone who understands the processes of nature must recognise that it is we humans who have caused these
          organisms to appear in such large numbers. If conditions are conducive to only a few species then they are the ones that will become the most pervasive. Their natural predators and rivals, which help to keep the system in balance, are gone.”

          So, I think that the problems are created by the industry so they can sell more stuff to solve them. Unfortunately the problems are now approaching an unmanageable level, even with our advanced technologies.

  147. Sam, I think you may be to the root of our disagreement Ye,s you are VERY different from other animals and you are part of a group made in God’s image . . “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” We should certainly rule in a manner that protects the earth and the animals but you and I are members of the dominant species on this earth. Since I’m unsure of your ability to perceive spiritual matters, consider that 1) you are made in the image of God and its important for every person to know that otherwise, 2) people who believe themselves equal to animals are a very logical one small step from behaving like animals (see your evening news) and, 3) without some consistent and authoritative value system and subsequent cultural norms that places value human life and property it becomes a norm to kill and to steal. I’m 10 years older than I was 10 years ago and I think I’m much wiser. Why would I disregard thousands of years of human reason and tradition; because our generation is the smartest to ever exist? You’re a smart guy Sam, and its written on your heart, your fellow humans are very special and you are part of that group.

    • Randy, I was not raised religious at all but now I am kind of spiritual in a different way. I believe that there are powers at play beyond our scientific teachings. I respect your beliefs but my beliefs are different.
      I think that what the western civilization taught us, that we can separate everything and study in different pieces, like biology, chemistry, physics, etc. has its flaws. The biggest problem is that the living world, that we can call biosphere, is an interwoven and continuous system. It includes us, like all other animals, plants, bacteria, fungi etc. Even our definition of different species has its problems due to this continuity.
      Even the fact that we have to declare some areas as National Parks to protect other life forms in them is a testament to our faulty system of belief.

      1) I believe that every living being is created in the image of God. God is present in every one of them, not only homo sapiens.
      2) I wish we could behave like animals. If you have been to a truly wild place without human influence you must have realized that animals live in great harmony, beauty and balance. No lion would think of killing 500 antelopes either out of meanness or to profit somehow. They kill only one to eat.
      3) If you read about how Native Americans lived, they did not have police, or soldiers but lived much better than us. Nobody needed to steal because he was given what he needed. They freely shared what they had, so nobody had to accumulate stuff. They had great respect and reverence for nature and nature reciprocated. They ate 1,100 kinds of plants on average. We can not even count 100.

      So as you see my beliefs are very different. I am not a good person because I am afraid of God or where I am going to go after I die. I also try to concern myself with bigger issues than what benefits me and my close circle of family and friends, and I try to give what I can, because these are the only ways to be truly happy.

      • Randy and Sam et al
        I have been watching these posts pretty closely and continuously and I’m sure they will probably go on forever.I was hoping to be thoroughly enlightened at some point but as this discourse carries on endlessly I began to get discouraged because the more there is contention between the two sides of the argument then the less likely there will be a solution to a potential problem that might adversely affect us all.
        I was therefore delighted when I came across a UTube video that finally puts the whole issue to rest and I am finally enlightened that common sense will prevail.I would suggest that both sides of the issue in these posts view this video that presents the most logical and succinct argument I have ever seen in connection with this potential global scenario.Hopefully after viewing it this argument will be finally laid to rest and we can all take some positive action to mitigate it.

        Whew…..Please don’t think of answering my post until you have actually watched the video.

        • Yemil, thanks for weighing in. The approach is sound and the argument has validity. I do have some questions; Why was the negative economic consequence (other than cost$) omitted from the second entry in the YES column? This avoids the essential point that we are prepared, if we act now, to accept negative economic and political consequences regardless of whether we are right or if we are wrong. Second, as has been repeatedly stated, additional information is needed to understand the impact of action or of inaction. The method of accepting the worst case scenario in both cases is heavily skewed toward taking action from ignorance. There are plausible arguments that the warming can benefit mankind and, if we are truly examining worst case scenarios, both Action scenarios can easily result in further centralization of economies with recent history showing us very dark outcomes to where that can lead. My vote is to ethically and agressively pursue the predictive science with urgency by scientists without a career or funding conflict of interest. I am very open to those findings and am prepared to act on reasonbly sound science; thats not what we have today.

        • I think this is a sound analysis. The risk of losing this bet is unacceptable. Would we buy a lottery ticket with a great probability of winning a great prize but a very small probability of losing our and our families life. I would think not. This is a similar situation.
          Unfortunately with the teachings of western civilization, the general public seems to be unable to move on this issue. The engineers think that we need a technological solution, the religious people think that we need a religious solution, philosophers think that it is philosophical problem, and on and on.
          I believe that it is all and none of the above. What we have to do is written in our DNA, but we are too well educated to believe it.

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