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Fair and Balanced (and Phony) Science

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Posted on Dec 9, 2009
Flickr / The Gifted Photographer / CC-BY-SA

Climate change is already too real for many around the world, from the citizens of the Maldives and Bangladesh, whose countries are on the verge of drowning, to the residents of Southern California, who now must routinely cope with wildfires.

By Joe Conason

Evading the challenges of climate change—and the human responsibility to save the planet—is simple enough even for the laziest citizen. Pay attention only to the theories that support the comforting skepticism of the oil industry. Focus on a set of purloined e-mails that prove nothing except that scientists can be as unpleasant to each other as can the members of any other group. Get the “facts” from Fox News Channel, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Moonie-controlled Washington Times and all the other conservative outlets that are as fair and balanced as an Exxon press release.

And be sure to ignore the mounting evidence, most notably the actual temperature studies released by the United Nations this week, that proves beyond a doubt that the Earth is warming as carbon-based industrialization spreads across the developing nations.

It is hardly surprising that Fox News would emphasize the use of terms like trick in a stolen message from the University of East Anglia without mentioning that the word has an innocent meaning when used by scientists. It is even less surprising that in their zeal to exploit those e-mails and influence public opinion, Fox News crew members would concoct their own stupid deception.

As the e-mail controversy unfolded, pollsters at Rasmussen Reports asked respondents the following question: “In order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming, how likely is it that some scientists have falsified research data?” According to their survey, 35 percent believed that it was “very likely,” 24 percent thought it was “somewhat likely,” 21 percent thought it was “not very likely,” 5 percent thought it was “not likely at all” and 15 percent were unsure.

But those results weren’t damning enough for Fox, which displayed a full-screen graphic on the poll claiming that 59 percent considered scientific deception to be “somewhat likely” and 35 percent considered it to be “very likely,” with only 26 percent feeling it was not very likely. Add up those numbers and the total comes to 120 percent (with the uncertain 15 percent discarded).

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Should we trust the science reporting of a network so challenged by basic arithmetic? Perhaps that question is unfair—or it would be if Fox and the propagandists of climate skepticism had not indulged in so many earlier episodes of fakery.

Consider the career of Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the leading skeptic and former chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, who has vowed to travel to the Copenhagen Climate Conference as a one-man “truth squad.” Back when he still chaired that Senate panel, Inhofe sent out a press release with the following bold headline in huge typeface: “Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007.” Described as a U.S. Senate report, this release claimed to debunk the scientific consensus on climate change.

When examined more closely, however, the Inhofe report was exposed as an amateurish fraud. Those 400 prominent scientists included more than 80 who had received funding either directly or indirectly from the oil and coal industries and more than 90 who had no scientific expertise in climate science, along with 49 retired scientists and 44 television weathermen.

The Oklahoma senator’s attempt to obscure the verdict of actual scientists reflected the advice of Frank Luntz, the GOP public relations adviser and pollster who authored a notorious 2002 memo telling Republicans that they could “win” the global warming debate only by doing exactly that. Over the past several years, Republican allies in the fossil fuel business have funneled millions of dollars into that effort, while often concealing the true sources of funding behind the studies that question warming and its causes.

Meanwhile, the scientific consensus remains unshaken and profound. From the thousands of scientists who participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the National Academy of Scientists, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Royal Society and the hundreds of peer-reviewed studies published over the past 15 years, the findings are plain enough. Global warming is real, with serious consequences for humanity. Hiding from the truth won’t change it.

Joe Conason writes for The New York Observer .

© 2009 Creators.com


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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

When you’re buying science, 2.1 million dollars is chicken feed.  Counting overhead, a scientist is going to run at least $200,000 per year.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 16, 2009 at 5:21 am Link to this comment

Trust the oil companies?

Remember the Exxon Valdez? It cost something like $10 billion to clean it up—Exxon paid out about $1 billion at the time.  They are STILL appealing a judgment against them of about $500 million, reduced by sympathetic courts from $2.5 billion.  The rest of the cleanup was paid for by you and me.

And the ship?  Exxon renamed her the Exxon Mediterranean and it’s STILL working, now as the Dong Fang Ocean!

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By wildflower, December 15, 2009 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

RE CONASON: “Pay attention only to the theories that support the comforting
skepticism of the oil industry.”

Believe we need to pay more attention to the money trail of the oil industry. I read an article a few months ago that showed that in just one year alone EXXON funneled approximately 2.1 million dollars to climate change deniers.  If the oil industry has this kind of money to throw around, it’s no wonder they are fighting so hard to maintain our dirty carbon dioxide filled atmosphere.

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no mans land's avatar

By no mans land, December 15, 2009 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie

Fair enough. Can’t say I blame you.

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By wildflower, December 14, 2009 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment

Speaking of “fair and balanced,” have you noticed how inconsistent the right wing views are in regard to evidence when it involves the oil industry? In the case of Iraq, for example, there was no evidence of WMDs, but the right wing screamed there was lots of evidence. In the matter of AGW, the evidence is overwhelming, but the right wing is screaming there is just not enough.

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By Ryan F, December 14, 2009 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Humans aren’t saving the planet by addressing climate change.  The planet will be just fine.  Humans instead would be trying to save ourselves; but we’ll be just fine, as well (at least those of us at higher elevations).  More immediate reasons to abandon fossil fuels are much more appealing than any sort of climate change to be avoided.  If you take scientists at their word, even if we drastically reduced carbon emissions, it wouldn’t have much of an effect on levels of carbon for nearly 1000 years.  However, if we rid ourselves of fossil fuels for transportation purposes, we would free ourselves from dependency on the Middle East, create new jobs for technology, become the global technology frontrunners, thus necessitating other countries’ dependence on us, and improve localized pollution (which is actually more harmful than climate change, on a daily basis).  It’s very important that we change course, but “saving the planet” is not why.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 14, 2009 at 6:29 am Link to this comment

No_Man’s_Land, December 13 at 12:07 pm:
’... Let me ask this of you. If the science is right, how do we address or mitigate the problem without some athoritarian measure?’

That depends on one’s taste in political environments.  It’s obvious that if everyone turned into a bunch of hippie anarchists, their rate of environmental destruction would be vastly reduced and might even be reversed.  However, most people do not want to be hippie anarchists, so the solution choice seems to be on a spectrum between liberalism and fascism.  (The latter may be called “socialism”; I am referring to the idea of centralized control of the economy, among other things, by an elite, which is surprisingly popular among many people who think they’re leftists.) 

The ruling classes are themselves split on this issue; liberal capitalism has survived in the past because it was able to mitigate resentment of inequality among the lower orders by offering the them more stuff in the future in the place of more power and a bigger share of the existing goodies.  More stuff has meant, of course, more consumption of resources and more destruction of the environment, so it looks like liberal capitalism is running into a wall.  If so, then its ruling classes will have to go over to a more fascistic, more authoritarian solution in which inequality is preserved not by bribes and payoffs but by force.  My guess is that there will be some of one thing, some of the other. 

However, in regard to specific solutions, I don’t generally try to intervene in disputes among the bourgeoisie and their adherents and followers because my values differ from theirs and the kind of thoughts I have will not be taken seriously by them, and because the terms of the discussions are often pretty distasteful—to me, anyway.  Compare liberal discussion about how many people “we” should kill in Afghanistan, or what kind of culture and government “we” should impose on them.  Perhaps I am too delicate.

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no mans land's avatar

By no mans land, December 13, 2009 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

Arnacissie,

It is a bit off topic. Was just pointing out that the roots of liberalism to illustrate that addressing climate change is also a function of addressing consumption, which is directly related to traditional liberalism. If the science is not correct, we have at least confronted the zeitgeist of consumption.

Let me ask this of you. If the science is right, how do we address or mitigate the problem without some athoritarian measure?

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By lichen, December 12, 2009 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

Leave oil in the soil, leave coal in the hole, leave tar sand in the land, leave gas in the mass! That is the only solution.  The chemicalization and pollution that has been slowly destroying our planet since industrialization began must stop!

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By Anarcissie, December 12, 2009 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

One can hardly resist the culture of consumption without resisting and indeed attacking liberal capitalism, which is based on the constant expansion of production-consumption and the generation of scarcity necessary to drive that expansion.  But nobody here is talking about that, as far as I know.  It is a bit far afield from my preceding criticisms, which were mostly about rhetorical standards—one might almost say literary criticism.  In that I am not going to persist much further; authoritarians are dull, as well as wrong.  If people want to cling to it, I’ll have to let them.

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By mandinka, December 12, 2009 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

The data on global warming is identical to that offered by the cigarette companies when disputing that smoking cause cancer. What cause all the up roar was the whistleblower releasing intel company emails, identical with just went on with the purloined emails from England.
Its obvious its a scam and the data available show the opposite of what the warmers are claiming. The growth rings on trees were being used to measure the amount of carbon in the atmosphere??? Then when the data began to reflect just the opposite data the warmers decided to stop using the rings from the past 50 years and input their own data.
Warmers claimed that we would see severe hurricanes this year and we had NONE, claimed that there would be droughts and wettest year in the past 25, claimed extreme warming and we have had 1 of the coldest years on record. In short they are horrible with the facts. I trust the farmers almanac more than these morons

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no mans land's avatar

By no mans land, December 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

I think there is plenty of evidence about climate change that can be placed in front of reasonable people as well. Its a matter of consumption.

I’ts fair to say that we have been confronted a Pascal’s Wager of sorts, though much of his theory rests on the use of infinity. Climate change, rather, has a finite band of possibilities and skeptics would seem to be on the fringe end of that band with the odds of being correct stacked heavily against them.

I would ask if impeding action and the subsequent gamble of being wrong is not also a form of authoritarianism? Should people be forced to make that gamble? It seems the difference between doing nothing and doing something is somewhat slight in terms of authority and power.

As for liberalism and authority, it has its roots in labor disputes and wealth disparity. The resistence to authority sprung out of resisting a power structure, economic and political, that dominated life to the detriment of most. The emphasis on education and social equality mostly sprang from the necessity of the working class to remain banded together—else they would be pitted against one another and defeated (think strike breaking). At it’s core has always been a resistence to a monied power structure that causes economic, social, and human hardship for the benefit of few. Combatting climate change is no less a stance against that interest than is a peace movement, except perhaps the universal complicity of humankind. Resisting the culture of consumption that has been imposed on us would also seem a natural biproduct of that original labor-managment dispute merely extrapolated to modern times.

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By Anarcissie, December 12, 2009 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

If people doubt the microbe theory of (some) disease, they can be shown books and web pages which give the physical basis of the theory.  Most of those skeptics who are reasonably intelligent and not submissive to religious authorities or other superstition will be convinced of its validity.

In regard to climate change, the authoritarians propose a sort of Pascal’s Wager.  But I don’t think much of Pascal’s Wager—just as the possibilities of religion and the afterlife are more various than Pascal’s Wager posits, so the possibilities of climate change are more various than the authoritarian profess.  One very important issue is that we may have already passed the point at which any sort of prevention can be practically implemented, in which case our finite resources should be directed towards mitigation.  We can’t find this out through the panic, apocalyptic talk, and abuse purveyed by so many true believers.

In this discussion, I have mostly concerned with Left and liberal authoritarianism.  We are the ones who are supposed to be anti-authoritarian, populistic, skeptical.  If the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted?

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no mans land's avatar

By no mans land, December 12, 2009 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

Arnacissie:

This is not unlike the faith required to believe that microbes, amoebe and cells exist. We appear to have one group claiming that polio is caused on the microbiological level and another claiming that polio has been contrived to usurp the Church. Should that Church enjoy equal credibility? How do we move a stubborn population to believe in something they cannot directly sense? It seems only natural that an amount of dismissal or resistance would emerge. The tendency to discredit also seems natural.

Assuming the science is accurate and this is truly a global emergency, I would ask which is more important: driving a critical decision and action forward or placating the skeptic’s self-esteem? One must become a bit authoritarian when putting out a fire, no? What we seem to be confronted with is a culture who seems to have it backwards. Rather than seeing authoritarian measures as a requirement to address an emergency, they seem to believe the emergency was concocted to produce a state of authoritarianism. How do you address that emergency unless without sidelining them? You seem to be arguing for the right of the crowd to meander gawkingly around the scene of a accident while the participants bleed to death merely for the sake of not forcing them to get out of the way.

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By Anarcissie, December 12, 2009 at 6:29 am Link to this comment

No_Man’s_Land, December 11 at 10:21 pm:
‘Arnacissie:

Like you, I believe a healthy dose of skepticism is often a good thing and if allowed to flourish could accelerate the scientific process. That said, I have yet to see a good case for the growing skepticism to be made.

First, at least as far those who believe this is a scam, there is simply lack of motive for such a large number of scientisits to get on board with bad science. ...’

I haven’t been writing about science but about the authoritarian, faith-based culture of global warming warriors, their inability to present non-authoritarian arguments, and their abusive and contemptuous rhetorical treatment of skeptics, heretics and infidels.  I believe these will have a bad result in the end.

In terms of motivation, I think if we look at history we will see many examples of major conflicts developing around not only dubious but completely inconsequential issues, such as whether Jesus was of the same substance as God the Father or of a like substance.  Science is among other things a belief system and requires a certain amount of faith, but it also requires a good deal of skepticism as a cure for the excesses of belief.  Therefore, reasonable skeptics—that is, anyone who doesn’t claim to know all the answers already—should be presented not with authoritarian contempt and abuse but evidence, as often as necessary.

When science is presented in an authoritarian manner, it ceases to be science.  The authoritarian approach has been tried with a number of subjects, including one in which there is plenty of unambiguous evidence, like Evolution, and it hasn’t worked well at all.  It also has the important defect that if any error or misdeed is found among any part of the authoritarian system, the whole system is tainted by it.  That is why, in spite of all the handwaving, the email scandal has developed long and powerful legs.  People who demand unquestioning belief can’t get away with doing questionable things. 

Remember as well that ordinary people are used to hearing and discounting apocalyptic pronouncements from religious and political fanatics.  They can do the same with other belief systems.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 12, 2009 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

scary thought:
Robert and I are on the same side.

The supposedly-scientific war against the War on Global Warming is made up of oil companies, car companies, people who want cheap gas to drive their Navigators, and conspiracy theorists who think ANY accepted concept MUST be a conspiracy.

Over 20 years ago they discovered the Hole in the Ozone over Antarctica.  Real.  Polar ice caps are shrinking. Real.  The Northwest Passage, a dream since Columbus sailed, is about to become economically viable: Real.  Sea levels are rising: Real.  And the pollutants we are dumping into the environment aren’t slowing fast enough: Real.

The steps we MUST take to reduce hydrocarbon emissions and CO2 emissions are as obvious as saying you don’t shit in your water supply.  The answers are: Wind, Solar, Hydrogen (no CO2!), geothermal, and even, yes, nuclear.  Most of these can be implemented even today—geothermal heat pumps can be used anywhere and reduce electrical loads enormously.

Interim solutions are renewable diesel, alcohol, and natural gas, all of which pollute less and free us of foreign oil.

But…the right wing lying about global warming is designed to STOP all of these answers to foreign oil and are part of their hare-brained idea that ANY government regulation of business is bad (but government enforcement of Protestant Christianity is their RIGHT).

For once Robert and I agree.

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By Hiramo, December 12, 2009 at 5:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It has often been said that if government could figure a way to tax the gas
we inhale it would. This is even better. They have figured a way to tax the
gas we exhale.
The facts are clear in black and white. Scientists who’s motives are fame
and fortune and who would be out of a job if they came up with different
findings, fudged the data, quashed opposition and subverted the peer
process casting doubt on the integrity of science in general and on the idea
that CO2 is the cause of melting glaciers.

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no mans land's avatar

By no mans land, December 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Arnacissie:

Like you, I believe a healthy dose of skepticism is often a good thing and if allowed to flourish could accelerate the scientific process. That said, I have yet to see a good case for the growing skepticism to be made.

First, at least as far those who believe this is a scam, there is simply lack of motive for such a large number of scientisits to get on board with bad science. Most of the skeptics base their skepticism on a general distrust of science and in systems. In that sense, their skepticism seems the natural product of the always growing conspiracy bubble born of earlier distrusts.

(Remember, I’m a person who believes in conspiracies. I think they are quite common. We need look no further than monday morning board meetings or family Christmas to see that they abound.)

The only motive I’ve ever been given for the scientific community to have squashed disagreement is political correctness. Perhaps there is some of that, but there is also a never-ending drive within the scientific community to set oneself apart from one’s peers. Conversely, there is easily descernable motive on the part of those representing the skeptics as they disproportionately represent industry interests. It would also be wise to trace the lineage of accusation. My hunch is that it will lead directly back to an industry/political interest.

Second, numerically speaking, the law of averages dictates that there will always be detractors. You are right to point out that absolutes stifle debate and forward progress. However, once we reach a point of reasonable consensus it becomes logical and practical to move forward. We have no other mechanism with which to make such a large decision that affects all of humankind. We cannot trust indivdual or localized perception for such a vast systemic decision. In that sense, you are correct that it becomes a faith-based decision in that society must have faith in the scientific community for things of this magnitude. The faith-based argument drops a bit with the introduction of perceptible evidence, though. I prefer to call it a well reasoned herd mentality. The group will go where the group is led. Our herd has put in place a complex system of decision making to help prevent repeats of earlier mistakes. It will not be perfect, but for better or worse it has made us the dominant species on this planet.

As with most herds, those who go against the will of the herd are banished. In our case, that happens through the expression of distrust and dimissive culture. I’m not sure how else you get them moving though. Yes, herds can be driven over cliffs, but the those making such a case have simply failed to make it.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 11, 2009 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Robert—You have already decided that all those whose opinion on global warming and climate change is different from yours are either lazy or dishonest.  Therefore, nothing they say can be sound.  If all those who disagree with you are ipso facto in error, then you must already be in possession of absolute truth and there is no reason to consider further arguments.

I regard this as a faith-based rather than a reality-based position.  As I am by nature skeptical, it doesn’t appeal to me.

My approach to anything covered by science, that is, naturalistic descriptions and explanations of natural phenomena, would start with the physical facts available.  Unfortunately, the present body of observation and theory has been seriously impugned by the appearance of fudging, which has now been emphasized and intensified by hand-waving. 

In addition, as I said before, I believe that unswerving adherence to a faith-based position eventually inspires negative political reactions, which will make any sort of public action more difficult or even impossible to achieve.  It has already been noted by polling outfits that belief in the climate change model being argued here is falling among the American public, so we may be observing the beginning of that reaction. 

In this case the costs of making the wrong decision could be rather high, regardless of what that decision is.  Too high, I believe, for the sort of unquestioning faith exhibited here.

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By Robert, December 11, 2009 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anarcissie,

What I concluded was:

“It’s okay to be a skeptic if what your basing your skepticism on is sound.”

I, like most people, am willing to cosider any argument in a debate by those arguing for or against something, if they use sound reasonable arguments. 

I’m afraid appealing to scientists who are paid by the oil industry is not persuasive to me.  It throws up understandable red flags. 

“You do not believe in the freedom to think because either you think you already know certain truth, or because you believe in authorities who know the truth, that is, your thinking is faith-based.”

Is that so?  And I wonder where you would fall in that assessment?  Are you sure you know the truth on the matter?  Or in your quest to be seen as a ‘thinker’ are you refusing to believe the ‘authorities’ just because they are authoratative on the issue? 

And if that’s the case, how do you come to a conslusion on anything???? 

Could there be a third possibility?  Can a ‘thinker’ think of a 3rd or 4th possiblity?  How do you decide where to put your faith?

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 11, 2009 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Robert—If you impute laziness or dishonesty to everyone who disagrees with you, I can foresee two near certainties:  one is that you will not convince anyone who isn’t already believer (unless you can use force), and the other is that you will not be able to improve your own arguments, since you will be deaf to any criticism of them.

In any case, as I pointed out, faith in an authoritarian ideology, in this case, science or pseudo-science as the case may be, puts you on the opposite side from those who believe in the freedom to think.  You do not believe in the freedom to think because either you think you already know certain truth, or because you believe in authorities who know the truth, that is, your thinking is faith-based.  In either case thinking, which might violate the certain truth (or pseudo-truth) of faith, can only be evil.

As far as science goes, I’ve seen very little science coming from Conason or those who agree with him in this discussion.  Science, if I may remind you, begins with physical facts, not suppositions, hypotheses, or simulations.  Given the size of the system of phenomena to be modeled, that is, at least the entire planet and the nearby parts of the solar system, it may be a bit premature to claim that you have a definitive grasp of the whole thing.  This didn’t stop a believer from saying the problem was “simple”.  But that is not science.

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By Night-Gaunt, December 11, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

They don’t want to believe that humans can change the earth even though we are the only species that can. Think of our climate as a bolder balanced on the tip of a spire. Just a little more pressure can cause it to fall off and crash. We are that little added pressure and it is changing. I doubt, and hope, we won’t have 9-10 billion people by 2050—-it will be into a new kind of earthly hell for them. Only the rich will be protected even as they continue to pollute and pour even more GHG’s into the atmosphere and take what resources are left for themselves. They are doing it now and it can only get worse if the cycle isn’t broken. It will be welcome to a corporate free enterprise zone where the corporations will do everything a gov’t does except for a fee and if you have the money. Otherwise you & I get the Red Zone and they get their protected Green Zones.

A planet of slums surrounding the fortified gated communities of the ultra wealthy.

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By Robert, December 11, 2009 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“...but abusive, faith-based, authoritarian attacks on skeptics puts you all on the other side.”

I disagree… They’re on the right side… 

The skeptics are skeptics for two reasons only.  First they are too lazy to actually delve into the subject matter to get an informed opinion.  Two, they blindly accept stats provided by Fox news, or headlines when the Senator from Oklahoma incorrectly offers signatures from 400 ‘Prominent’ scientist, which when examined included weathermen and ‘scientists’ paid by the oil industry for their findings… 

It’s okay to be a skeptic if what your basing your skepticism on is sound. 

It isn’t..

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By Anarcissie, December 11, 2009 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, December 11 at 8:42 am:
‘My view of the religious right, the anti-Global Warming, Darwin advocates of “intelligent design” are all encapsulated in my handle, named for the best American political drama of the last 60 or 70 years, made into a GREAT movie with Spencer Tracy, Frederick March, Gene Kelly, Dick York, Harry Morgan, Claude Akins, Noah Beery, and Norman Fell.’

As far a global warming / climate changes goes, it seems to me you and many others here are on the faith and belief side, not the skeptic side.  I don’t know if you should be giving yourself the Clarence Darrow medal just yet.  One of the writers of the 1955 play on which the movie was based said that the play was about “the right to think”, but abusive, faith-based, authoritarian attacks on skeptics puts you all on the other side.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 11, 2009 at 4:42 am Link to this comment

My view of the religious right, the anti-Global Warming, Darwin advocates of “intelligent design” are all encapsulated in my handle, named for the best American political drama of the last 60 or 70 years, made into a GREAT movie with Spencer Tracy, Frederick March, Gene Kelly, Dick York, Harry Morgan, Claude Akins, Noah Beery, and Norman Fell.

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By Jim Q, December 11, 2009 at 3:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is this the five minute argument or the full half
hour?
Climate change is happening, denying doesn’t change
that. I read the sceptics stuff too, it’s nonsense.
The sun is coming out of it’s coolest phase since
records began 50 years ago.
La Nina cooled the eastern pacific surface, lowering
surface temperatures but warming the oceans at depth.
2009 was the 5th warmest year on record.
The uncertainty is how bad how soon.
The Greenhouse effect is basic physics. If increasing
CO2 has no effect, sceptics please show how the extra
heat trapped by it is dissipated. Theory backed by
evidence please. Oh and the “water is the biggest GW
gas” is true but irrelevant. It is in and out of the
atmosphere in days, not millenia. The science can’t
predict exactly how the complex systems will react,
but that there will be more heat trapped is evident,
and recorded. If you’re a sceptic you have to
demonstrate that basic science is wrong. And explain
the recorded data by a brilliant new paradigm. You’d
not only get millions from oil and coal lobbies,
you’d get a nobel prize.
What we can’t predict is tipping points. The cimate
is complex, in the technical sense, a number of
mutually interacting systems. Even when each system
is fully understood you can’t predict the long term
outcome.The components of the climate system are not
fully understood. Things are happening now that have
not happened in human history. Methane release from
the tundra and arctic seas, the disappearing northern
ice cap, tropical glaciers, acidifying seas, ... I
could go on, but here’s the point. Science bases
theory on observation, models, predictions to check
the model by checking if the results fit the theory.
So far the models are quite good but underestimate
the real effects. Greenland is melting too fast.
That’s because we don’t yet understand the mechanics
of glacial melting. Surface meltwater sits in lakes,
traps heat then flows under the ice, melting and
lubricating the glaciers. They move and melt faster
than was predicted. Back to work… The disappearing
ice floes reflect more light than the water, the less
ice the more heat absorbed, a vicious circle. Three
years ago we were worried the sea ice would be gone
in 50 years, now it might be 5.
Complex systems can “change state”, that is switch
from one metastable situation to another completely
different one. But it doesnt happen in one day, the
climate could flip erratically for decades. One year
of heat and drought, next year a circulation from the
tropics to the poles and back, floods on one side
blizzards on the other.
I’d love to read that this isn’t happening, but I’d
like proof it isn’t. Denying facts isn’t argument,
it’s either pig-headed stupidity, cognitive
dissonance or something worse- deliberate
disinformation with a political motive.
So why are the rich so keen to play the Canutes?
They go on making lots of money, play their power
games. But they live on the same planet, and if the
cimate becomes unpredictabl billions will die of
famine. They know that. So if they are following
policies that will bring that about, their think
tanks probably have come up with a cunning plan. The
science became incontrovertable 15-20 years ago. Look
at the developments in politics since. More security,
disappearing human rights. The war on terror is an
oxymoron, a scam to scrap civil rights and build up a
police state. Barriers against migration. Secure
ghettos for the rich surrounded by barbed wire and
goons. The rich are grabbing so much that most people
are getting poorer,despite higher productivity. They
don’t seem to be worried about the long term
stability of societies or economies, like there’s no
tomorrow, cos maybe there isn’t.
When there’s almost no harvest they will hole up,
with stocks for decades, surrounded by goons, hoping
to come out and take over again when things settle
down.
I hope I’m wrong, please prove it

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By 911truthdotorg, December 10, 2009 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment

Let me clarify….

I didn’t mean to imply that global warming is a scam, but that the U.S., Britain and Denmark are scamming the world for dreaming up this secret plan to allow rich countries to emit twice as much emissions as poor countries.

Shouldn’t the rich countries be leading by EXAMPLE??

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By Ouroborus, December 10, 2009 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

Oh, and add ignorance to that.

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By 911truthdotorg, December 10, 2009 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

If global warming is such a crisis, why are rich countries going to be allowed to emit twice as much carbon emissions as poor countries?

If it walks like a scam and sounds like a scam…....

The secret draft agreement was leaked to The Guardian newspaper, which broke the story yesterday afternoon. The document also sets unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050, meaning that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much as those in poor countries.

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/12/9/this_text_is_an_extremely_dangerous

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By Ouroborus, December 10, 2009 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

I have no religion, I have no beliefs, and I have no
allegiance to any flags; but to deny humans are having
a negative impact on the earth goes beyond the pale.
Denial is humankind’s greatest fault.

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By samosamo, December 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

Could it be real evidence of the failure of our educational system or a take over
just as the msm have been taken over by what, just 4 neocon owners now,
because climate change could be taught to 5th & 6th graders, but is it taught?
Probably not since the truth about climate change doesn’t fit in with corporate
standards of lower or higher education(keep em dumb).

But, I will try to bring some official explanations for what the basis of climate
change is and how it works with this:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ctl/clisci100k.html

This part may give better credence to the value of core samples again from
NOAA:

http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/antarctica/vostok/vostok.html

And this also from NOAA:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/slides/slideset/index.html

and there is much much more from NOAA, just go the home page and do a
search for ‘ice age cycles’.

And since I haven’t seen this yet, from what I have read, from Richard Alley’s
book ‘The 2 Mile Time Machine’ and from Doug MacDougall there is ‘Frozen
Earth’ and I guess as a bonus try Eugene Linden’s ‘The Winds of Change’ where
he discusses among other things the affect and effects of the changing climate
on civilizations in the past.

Forgot this one, a book by Mike Davis ‘The Late Victorian Holocausts’ has a
very good description of the El Nino and Southern Oscillation which everybody
seems to leave out of the discussions and punditry of climate change.

All those books do more than I could ever do to articulate what is climate
change and why it is but I will add my 2 cents worth on the facade of global
warming by humans and that is what humans do is more along the lines of
pollution with effects on climate but mostly by exacerbating a warming period
which we should naturally be in in the orbital dynamics, and I believe man very
likely will do more harm trying to fight or fix warming and even the changes in
the climate to keep what they think is the best weather and as a commenter
said earlier, ‘nature will adjust when need arises’.

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By Gabriel, December 10, 2009 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Jean Gerard
Although your comment is true this doesn’t go far enough. Not even close to far enough. Pollution, chemicals, GM food, economies, banks, money, politics, governments and everything derived from the greedy and ruling class is a deception.
The truth is much more deeper and fundamental than that. Please learn from video links provided.

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By Virginia777, December 10, 2009 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Jean Gerard, again, you are dead-on

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By goldnsilver, December 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Global warming is simple, no matter who tries to distract you.

Samson, I think you’ve disqualified yourself from any discussion on this subject, given that gobal climate is one of the most difficult subjects in science. It is based off a huge amount of factors, and certainly couldn’t be described as simple.

C.Curtis.Dillon, thank you for your opinions.

Why is it not enough evidence for anybody to see the continually smoky sky
over Beijing or to smell the smog over Los Angeles?  Or to see huge slabs of
ice sliding down mountains, dropping off the shores of Greenland?  The figures
on asthma, the evidence of harmful particulates in smog tell us that
overloading the air with wastes ought not continue, let alone increase. The safe
disposal of nuclear waste is proving to be impossible, hence its dangers also
have to be considered. Farmers have firsthand evidence of the harm of
pesticides and decreasing water for irrigation. 

The harmful results of byproducts from oil, coal and gas used to produce
energy must surely be understood without doubt by more people with eyes to
see and ears to hear—and that,  just from personal evidence close at hand,
not dependent upon laboratories, statistics and scientific proof.  It is possible
to stop this excessive pollution by cutting back, and by substituting other,
newer energy sources that are less harmful to the general health of the planet
and to people.  Why not change?

Apart from the Greenland example, these examples have to do with human pollution (something I think everyone will be glad when its dealt with in an efficient and harm reducing way). Again, this is mostly an emotional and anecdotal plea, which is something I read constantly in these kind of debates. Unfortunately, it has little place when discussing the science of global warming.

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By Sole Prop, December 10, 2009 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

I have to admit I’ve been surprised at how far off the mark members of Congress have been allowed to go by the main stream media. From Fox you expect what you get, although that is shocking as well when you realize how large a “news” organization it is and how many people it influences.

But members of Congress, theoretically conscious human beings of some intellect (I know, I know, I’m old enough to know better) who can flat out say the scientific community is lying (for nefarious unknown purposes) through its teeth is, well, surprising. Depressing. Dispiriting.

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By Jean Gerard, December 10, 2009 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why is it not enough evidence for anybody to see the continually smoky sky
over Beijing or to smell the smog over Los Angeles?  Or to see huge slabs of
ice sliding down mountains, dropping off the shores of Greenland?  The figures
on asthma, the evidence of harmful particulates in smog tell us that
overloading the air with wastes ought not continue, let alone increase. The safe
disposal of nuclear waste is proving to be impossible, hence its dangers also
have to be considered. Farmers have firsthand evidence of the harm of
pesticides and decreasing water for irrigation. 

The harmful results of byproducts from oil, coal and gas used to produce
energy must surely be understood without doubt by more people with eyes to
see and ears to hear—and that,  just from personal evidence close at hand,
not dependent upon laboratories, statistics and scientific proof.  It is possible
to stop this excessive pollution by cutting back, and by substituting other,
newer energy sources that are less harmful to the general health of the planet
and to people.  Why not change?

Because change requires a huge financial shift—investment money taken out
of harmful fuels and put into less harmful or harmless fuels. Old plants have to
be shut down and new plants organized, built and financed.  New equipment
developed, new jobs created.  Energy-guzzling machines and equipment
improved.  Who, therefore, does not want to change?  Those, of course, who are
already making tons of money with things as they are.

So much easier to do nothing—and to convince others to do nothing—that
is until the heavy-duty, less visible problems like deforestation, lack of a
global water supply, rising sea levels and even fouler air quality form an
irreversible pattern and it is too late to change.

Mother Earth has done a lot to take care of us for centuries.  Now it is our turn.

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By no mans land, December 10, 2009 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

‘Shill’ is good word. As for heeding your advice, I think most people, left and right, have replaced information consumption with personal validation. Personally, I find the discussions on NPR/PBS to be more mature, respectful, thought-provoking, and balanced. I still enjoy some of the columns here, but I’m getting more turned off by the day. Truthdig popped up as answer to the disparity in political discourse for the last decade or so, but has unfortunately turned into a bit of a church.

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By Gabriel, December 10, 2009 at 11:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In seeing the rhetoric from both sides it’s about time to let loose some basic truths.

In order to figure out what climate does one must look at present weather, weather over time, geology, archeology, cycles of: earth, moon, sun, solar system, our galaxy and even other galaxies; how they relate and affect each other and what the outcomes will be. We also need to look at history and what our forefathers and foremothers left us. For this we need the basic structures of life in Micro and Macro. Nassim Haramein explains this in detail in his videos that even a 7 year old can comprehend. http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=Nassim+Haramein#q=Nassim+Haramein&view=2&start=0&qvid=Nassim+Haramein&vid=6151699791256390335
I suggest you watch these before even attempting to comment on things you don’t know fully about. Especially you scientists. History shows us we have been lied to by powers that be. So watch and learn. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. If you can order the DVD as it holds more info and proof.

After you are done those then see Timeline to 2012, first 3 videos at this link: http://video.google.ca/videosearch?hl=en&q=timeline+to+2012&dur=3#hl=en&q=timeline+to+2012&dur=3&qvid=timeline+to+2012&vid;=-512109331712495464
If you don’t heed these you are ignorant of the facts or probably a fool.

And these are the actual truths. Good luck and hope to see you after.

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By bozhidar, December 10, 2009 at 10:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am smwhat nervous in saying what follows: it does not elucidate an event if one calls names the person, what th p. does, or says.

In english, which i know the best, there is no shortage of dysphemistic words that a p. can use to label a person, persons act, or person’s utterance.

Dysphemisms such as antisemitism, islamophobia, nonsense, rubbish, braindead, evil, stupid, have no protreptic vaue whatever.
We derive knowledge only via descriptive statements; i.e. from facts.
In short, i’d like to read pieces and posts which tell us what a person or nation does and not what the person is.

This analyses applies also to euphemisms. Such as: greatness of america, defense of US interests, fathers of the confederation, we’re in iraq to enhance our security, etc.,are also not descriptive and thus not elucidational.
Such non-elucidatory language is used precisely because they mean nothing.

But people seem to think that people who use such language are saying smthing.Go figure. Oh my devil, how long will this go on? tnx

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By Anarcissie, December 10, 2009 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

No_Man’s_Land—Conason appears to be a dutiful shill for the Democratic Party.  In another recent article, he was blaming Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan on Bush, a pretty classic move in the business of dumb-side propaganda.  This site, indeed, has a curious choice of writers.

Meanwhile I see my advice not to abuse skeptics and unbelievers, and not to handwave the East Anglia email scandal, has had great effect.

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By IchLiebeSie, December 10, 2009 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I do not understand how someone can believe that climate change is a myth.  He must not be paying attention.

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By Wildspirit, December 10, 2009 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great article.  I think that the overzealous conservative pundits who support pollution industries (and are supported by them) are crying ‘wolf’ again.  There is an overwhelming preponderance of evidence supported by legitimate scientists worldwide that global warming is accelerated by man’s activities.  It’s time to stop listening to the voices of the ignorant people with an agenda…and to realize the real peril that Al Gore emphasized.  Unless we act now, we are all pretty much fried.

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By no mans land, December 10, 2009 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

LostHills:

I think you have misinterpreted what I wrote. I was not making a case for “climate gate.” I merely stated that by manipulating information in his earlier writing that he has undermined his credibility and that of this site. And I specifically stated that I could not argue his points in this particular case. If people want this message to reach an audience wider than the present choir, they will need to select messengers who rise above the manipulative bombast of those they criticize.

To further my point, the underlying premise of any non-violent civil rights or antiwar movement is that you don’t become that which does you harm as MLK proved. To do otherwise fails every time. Just ask the Weather Underground. The same is true for the media. Fox’s credibility has been greatly deteriorated over the last decade because of their approach, now to the point that the White House openly considers them a political entity and enemy (unheard of a decade ago). If progressive circles and writers are going to embrace the tone and tactic of Fox News and other right wing outlets, they will only undermine their causes in the long run. That we may agree with the person or organization on a particular issue doing does not change the phenomenon of destroying the message by discrediting the messenger. This cause is much better served if we strictly police the reporting of those like Conason ourselves.

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By LostHills, December 10, 2009 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

To deny the reality of man-caused global warming in the year 2009 requires
either Sarah Palin ignorance or Rush Limbaugh lies. Many of these dumshits will
flood this thread with their stupidity and bombast. They fool no one. Conason has
it right. There is o such thing as “Climate Gate.” Get real, you morons…..

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By Samson, December 10, 2009 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

Oops ... second chart was here ... http://co2now.org/

Type something like “CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere” into google to find your own charts and data.

The scientific community has made an excellent and solid case for global warming.  Its been Exxon buying scientists and fake news from corporate media sources that muddy up the issue.

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By G.Anderson, December 10, 2009 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

Unfortunately for all of us, there’s a pattern here. From health care, to Afghanistan, to Global warming.

Mount a disinformation campaign based on stirring people up emotionally, get them angry, then use that emotional outrage to obfuscate the issues, until no one is really sure of what is happening.

Now offer a simple answer to all of this, one that protects vested corporate interests, at the expense of the public. (Just like what’s happening with health care.)

so now the weary public, can breathe a sigh of relief, that finally something is being done.

Looks like the corporate crooks and their corporate cronies in the media and in congress have done it again.

The people lose.

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By Samson, December 10, 2009 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

Global warming is simple, no matter who tries to distract you.

We know greenhouses gases exist, and we know the effect they have on the atmosphere and global temperatures.  None of this is new.  And the theory is non-controversial.  When these gasses exist in an atmosphere, they tend to trap the radiated heat coming back up from the surface.  None of this is scientifically controversial.  See Venus.

We know that these gasses in our atmosphere have been steadily on the rise during the entire industrial era.  We can measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  We can draw a chart of this constantly rising.  Here’s a chart of NOAA experiments showing just the last 5 years. http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/.  Here’s another chart that goes back to 1950.

Remember when looking at these charts, the scientific effects of the presence of a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere are scientifically non-controversial.  See Venus.

All of the other talk is BS.  It should be filed away under who cares.  Who cares if there’s a natural cause going on at the same time.  Its all nonsense designed to distract you from a very simple truth.

During the industrial era, mankind has been pumping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  We know and fully understand the theoretical aspects of what this will do.  The measurements of the earth warming is only the confirmation of this theory.

The key is to realize that all of the silly debates back and forth over temperature measurements and what’s causing them is only debate over the confirmation of a theory that’s been well-proved in other ways (see Venus).

Global warming is very simple, well proven, and easily understood.  That is if you aren’t in the pay of Exxon.

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By no mans land, December 10, 2009 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

I’m in cpomplete agreement with Anarcissie and I appreciate the thoughtful tone and insights of Dillon.

The part that I have a problem with is Conason himself. Honestly, I wonder how he deems himself qualified to point fingers at Fox News when in his very last contribution he played the exact same game with the numbers that Fox often does by insinuating that 10% of all war spending was going toward Taliban bribery. Admittedly, I’m not presently knowledgeable enough to challenge any of his assertions in this piece. However, I was quite in the know for his last piece and his credibility is shot with me. So much so that I put him on par with Fox in my comments on that piece. That is how badly he fudged his numbers and now he is daring to challenge Fox’s manipulative form of informaiton dissemination? Its also worth noting that I have yet to see one columnist on this forum issue a contraction or a correction as journalism ethics demand.

I don’t mind anyone taking on nay-sayers when they base their arguments on spurious information or rumor, but when done by writers like Conason who also intentionally manipulate their readers, the instinctual reaction for most people is to discredit the message due to the messenger as happened with Dan Rather. In short, the longer Truthdig embraces Conason and anyone like him, the ever-less credibility this entire site has. It’s a shame because some of Truthdig’s writers have very good insights and experience. We deserve better and we should demand it, especially from the veteran journalists who routinely post on this site.

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By milo, December 10, 2009 at 7:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why the derisive put downs of those trying to follow the truth whereever it leads?  How did climate change become the horse for the one-worlders to ride in on?  (And there is no such thing as a one-world government of peace and freedom, the power differential would be too great. There would be the elite of vast, vast wealth and then the rest of us, worker unit peons.)

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By Anarcissie, December 10, 2009 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

To C. Curtis Dillon’s list of errors I’d like to add a couple of things.  One is the constant assumption of the apocalyptic mode.  As I’ve pointed out before, to the average person this is strongly reminiscent of religious fanaticism, and yet if they’re convinced anyway, then by logical implication everything is hopeless anyway.  The other, which I have also pointed out before as well, is the use of a contemptuous and abusive tone toward skeptics and unbelievers.

Another point: the problem of the apparent falsification of evidence can’t be handwaved, as the present climate change establishment seems to be trying to do.  Among the people, it is a very serious matter, especially since they are being asked to make difficult and possibly expensive choices.

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By idarad, December 10, 2009 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

C.Dillon - Thanks for your thoughtful post, I can’t say I can argue with your knowledge, nor with those who have studied the effects and causes for years.  I think the bottom line remains we will kill ourselves arguing the process while neglecting the conditions.  We are on track to have 9 billion people on the planet by 2020 or sooner.  The push by the “market economy” to consume beyond need is going to push the natural balance beyond capacity, and nature will as always adjust.  Mr. Conason says “to save the planet….” But that is not the problem, the planet will survive, the question is will we be part of what is saved, and that is the choice we can make now.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, December 10, 2009 at 5:07 am Link to this comment

I’ve spent the last few days reviewing the “anti” climate warming case ... just to be balanced and unbiased.  Being a scientist, that is my nature.  I want to make sure that all sides are equally represented.  I have made some preliminary conclusions:

1) The scientific community has made a ham-handed case for global warming.  Especially the group in England which is the center for temperature studies and the hacked e-mails.  They appear to have done a very poor job in both their methodology and in the conclusions.  Basing temperature records on secondary methods like tree rings and ice cores is difficult at best.  Unfortunately, that is all we have beyond a few hundred years of actual temperature records.  So, at least with this data, there are valid questions about what has been concluded.  They also made concerted efforts to silence conflicting voices which is a major transgression and throws their own results into suspicion.  That said ...

2) There are many secondary measures which indicate that something is going on we need to worry about.  Maybe the “warming” is just a recovery from a long cooling period that gave us the impression that we are now experiencing “global warming”.  That is the argument of many who resist the human contribution argument.  The justification for this position uses the same tree ring data plus some actual measurements to show that this warming trend started before significant human contributions had even started and the trend lines have not changed slope even as we have dumped billions of tons of CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

3) The real difficulty we face is making good decisions in the face of great uncertainty about what is causing the problem.  Natural temperature swings mask the underlying trend lines so a great deal of mathematical massaging of the data is needed to see any changes.  This is an accepted method for finding valid data among the background “noise” ... it is used in engineering and high energy physics so the methodology is well understood.  Also, weather is local meaning we need to sample temperatures in many places to get a global understanding of any changes.  As I have said many times, climate research is extremely difficult and results are hard to quantify.

4) For my part, I think we are probably seeing a combination of natural effects and a human component.  How much comes from each side is harder to project.  But it may be immaterial in the long term as the impact will be the same no matter what the cause.  Water levels are rising and we have large populations living at or near sea level so something must be done to protect them.  Also, many populations are dependent on glacial melt for their water which is now threatened by receding glaciers world-wide.  And weather is being impacted meaning more droughts and more severe storms.

Therefore, we need to spend less time arguing about who is causing this and more time working to protect the natural systems which are being impacted.  We also should, as a precaution, work to mitigate our own CO2 contributions just as a way of eliminating what may be our part in the problem.  It is not a bad thing to reduce our dependence of carbon-based fuels and to work on conservation and alternative systems.  A lot of new technology will emerge as a direct result and we will generate whole new industries and a lot of new jobs as a result.  Not a bad thing.  And maybe reduce our dependence on foreign carbon in the process.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 10, 2009 at 5:06 am Link to this comment

Let us demand proof of a similar level provenance that Jesus Christ existed and that he performed miracles.

If they hold their cherished beliefs to the same absurd (even non-scientific) standards they hold modern science, they would all be forced to be Atheists!

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By Phil R, December 10, 2009 at 4:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From a purely “pragmatic” point of view.  I would never substitute photographs from actual science and I would caution against turning evidence for climate change into a new religion.  (Whether it is true or not)  Don’t damn the doubters.  Even if there is a consensus, the moment science stops be skeptical than it ceases to be useful.

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By goldnsilver, December 10, 2009 at 3:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m not convinced with the theories of human caused global warming - BUT, I have a huge load of reading to do on the subject before I make my mind up. (which is what I expect of any person - to expose themselves to as much information as possible before making an intellectual decision).

HOWEVER,

Ignorance knows no bounds; and the climate
deniers are
just awash in mindlessness.

Am I the only one who sees the kind of creepy, almost religiously tinged fanaticism of some of those who support the concepts of human caused global warming?

Ouroborus, if I’m a climate change denier, does that make you a climate change believer? Does that make you more holy than me? You’re certainly self righteous enough.

From a purely pragmatic POV; all one has to do is visit
Asia, Los Angeles, Mexico City, view the pictures of
open pit mines from space (see wired news), or see the
satellite pictures of the earth at night (lights define
continental shapes) to know beyond all reason; humans
are having a profound effect on our still beautiful
planet.

The things you listed don’t prove that humans cause global warming (not even in a ‘pragmatic’ way), they only prove that humans do indeed dig mines and turn light bulbs on. We are changing things - whether this is positive, negative, neutral or both is what we are trying to determine.

As for the article itself, it is very clear that a lot of fox related and republican related people are trying to resist changes, whether or not the science is true, for their own ends. Shame on them.

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By Ouroborus, December 10, 2009 at 3:04 am Link to this comment

Ignorance knows no bounds; and the climate deniers are
just awash in mindlessness.
From a purely pragmatic POV; all one has to do is visit
Asia, Los Angeles, Mexico City, view the pictures of
open pit mines from space (see wired news), or see the
satellite pictures of the earth at night (lights define
continental shapes) to know beyond all reason; humans
are having a profound effect on our still beautiful
planet. That alone should caution our future paths and
decisions.
But, some people will die for a belief.

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