Sunday, December 21, 2008

The "Climate Change" Faithful

Oh, come all ye faithful
Driving in your Prius
Oh come ye, oh come ye,
To Earth Day

Hang with the hippies
Smell the nice patchouli
Oh, let's protest a pow'r plant
Oh, let's protest an SUV
Oh, let's protest capitalism

Just so you know I haven't forgotten about so-called anthropogenic global warming, aka climate change, I offer this snippet from Kerplunk (see blogroll):

In any argument with the Climate Faithful the first response to inconvenient facts undermining the AGW proposition is to dismiss the credentials of the information's source.

"He's not a climate scientist" is a common statement.

Neither, one should point out, is Rajendra Pachauri, the head of IPCC.

Having failed to bring the argument to an end by questioning people's qualifications the Climate Faithful then move on to associating scientists with the oil industry.

When David Evans comments on climate science it's a bit hard to question his credentials:
Dr David Evans worked for the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1999 to 2005, building the carbon accounting model that Australia uses to track carbon in its biosphere for the purposes of the Kyoto Protocol. He is a mathematician and engineer, with six university degrees including a PhD from Stanford University.
He must be a cigarette smoking, oil industry consultant...

Here's his
opinion piece on the government's new emissions trading scheme:

And then he quotes a rather lengthy piece from Mr. Evans. What I found most interesting was at the bottom of the post:

The hot spot signature in the troposphere that MUST exist for CO2 to be the primary driver of climate change does NOT exist.

Therefore, as Evans points out, CO2 has been exonerated of the charge of heating the climate.

Not that these incontrovertible facts will get in the way of the Climate Faithful pushing their socialist agenda.

If only that were the end of the debate.

By the way, how are sales of Prius' doing, now that gas is back down to $1.50 a gallon and the economy isn't doing so well? Is everybody out buying solar panels?

I'm all for protecting the environment where at all practical, but slavish devotion to Mother Gaia is a luxury to be had in good economic times.

I still want an Aptera, though.

Update: And now I read this:

"The mean global temperature, at least as measured by satellite, is now the same as it was in the year 1980. In the last couple of years sea level has stopped rising. Hurricane and cyclone activity in the northern hemisphere is at a 24-year low and sea ice globally is also the same as it was in 1980."

Most interesting. Yet the climate change faithful will disregard this information as well.


Richard said...

As a career biologist I certainly believe that global climate change, driven by global warming is almost certainly true. That's too bad. On a planet with approaching seven billion people, there are fewer and fewer places to retreat to, our food supplies are close to maxed out, and carbon dioxide continues to increase in the atmosphere at 2.5 parts per million year after year after year after year. Hey folks, it is a greenhouse gas.


Darren said...

Malthus thought food supplies were maxed out. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. And you ignore everything in the post so you can state your religious beliefs. Climate change happened long before there were SUVs and happens to this very day, and there's not a lot we can do about it.

MikeAT said...

“In any argument with the Climate Faithful the first response to inconvenient facts undermining the AGW proposition is to dismiss the credentials of the information's source.

‘He's not a climate scientist’ is a common statement.

Neither, one should point out, is Rajendra Pachauri, the head of IPCC."

Darren, you know who also is not a climate scientist? ALGORE. He’s a businessman who is likely to make a ton of money on “green technology” companies that he has founded. I wonder why that is not mentioned more often.

neko said...

"He’s a businessman.... I wonder why that is not mentioned more often."

Because that would be heresy. ^_^

allen (in Michigan) said...

> As a career biologist I certainly believe that global climate change, driven by global warming is almost certainly true.

Maybe you ought to think about applying the same standards of evidence to the global warming debate that you do to the intelligent design debate and leave the "believing" to the political partisans and the religious. If you do apply the same standards you'll see that drawing conclusions about the direction of climate change from the extant climate science is way premature.

But if you believe then then evidence is either a convenience or an inconvenience but hardly a necessity.

MikeAT said...


You're right...I'll probably be sent back for re-education sometime after January 20, 2009.

Donalbain said...

Ellen K said...

I wonder how all of those states that supported Obama and his Global Warming supporters are enjoying this week's weather? Snow in Las Vegas? Two feet of snow in Chicago? Ice in Dallas? Global Warming my foot....

Donalbain said...

Weather != Climate

Anonymous said...

Wow. I didn't really expect rational comments regarding my post, but you folks have exceeded my wildest expectations.

I must print out your responses for my colleagues.Keep em coming!

Merry Christmas


Darren said...

And a happy non-denominational holiday to you as well, Richard.

Anonymous said...


You claim to be a biologist - therefore you do not deal with climate problems weather patterns etc.

A few things for you and he colleagues you keep:

I learned 40 years ago in Elementary School that Earth's climate has shifted all the time over its history. German scientists learned some years ago by sampling old growth trees, that the Middle Ages were a full degree warmer than Earth is now. So I assume there were SUVs back then?

Have you ever heard of volcanic activity altering climate on Earth? If not, you might want to read up what happened to the climate for a few years after Krakatoa blew up in the late 1800s. Europe, for one, had some of the coldest winters on record and there were crop failures in places due to drastically shortened growing seasons.

Secondly, CO2 is not a green house gas. Unless they have done away with Photosynthesis it is damn vital to the creation of oxygen. But if it still bothers you I can think of one solution - kill everything on Earth that exhales - man, animals. etc.

Third - the Sun has always, and will always, fluctuate in terms of the heat it generates thus directly affecting Earth's climate far more than anything we could ever dream of doing. A Russian scientist who is an expert on solar affairs, wrote this year that the sunspots levels are the lowest he has seen in years. Less sunspots - the cooler it burns! Last Winter was the coldest in decades and this one is set to be even colder.

Thanks to last winter, according to NOAA, the Antarctic ice cap gained 20 percent in size and the Arctic ice cap was back to where it was in 1998 - the last year that Earth gained in temperature growth.

So keep drinking the Koolaid and I do want to talk to you about some swamp land with oil under it that I am selling. No really!

Anonymous said...

Thanks all for more valuable input. It is beyond all hope for me to deal with comments like carbon dioxide not being a greenhouse gas or that global warming is not happening because Las Vegas has snow.

I will say that biologists are the first to see the effects of climate change. The cascade failures that we are seeing in ecosystems are really alarming, particularly at the higher lattitudes.

And Darren, I don't really have a religion, so one could say I am catholic in receiving holiday wishes. All are welcome.

By the way, I'm up here in northern VT with the kids. It is six below and we got twenty two inches of snow in the last 48 hours. Very slow dial up connection too.


Donalbain said...

Secondly, CO2 is not a green house gas.

Something tells me that someone doesn't even know what a greenhouse gas is.

Ellen K said...

And at some point we are also going to have to address the phenomenon alluded to by physicists in the reversal of the magnetic poles. It's just possible that many events, including the various epochs bothered by glaciers and such were the result of just this type of event. Or are the Global Warming advocates unwilling to listen to other sciences? In fact, isn't Global Warming sort of moving in the direction of Astrology-a "science" in name only based on theories that probably have little bearing on the outcome? Just wondering.

allen (in Michigan) said...

> And Darren, I don't really have a religion, so one could say I am catholic in receiving holiday wishes.

Which doesn't square very well with:

> As a career biologist I certainly believe that global climate change, driven by global warming is almost certainly true.

If anthropogenic global warming has any scientific validity, that is, there's experimental or observational verification, then belief is immaterial. If it doesn't then it's not science.

> Weather != Climate

The entire statement is actually:

If(Weather.Temp > Temp.Expected)
Weather = Climate
Weather != Climate;

Of course, that won't fit on a bumper-sticker.

Anonymous said...

OK, the word believe seems to be causing no end of trouble. So, strike 'believe' and insert, 'I am convinced that...'


Cameron said...

Okay, global warming is real. And it is not cyclical, Ellen, sorry. Look at this graph:

It's core data from Lake Vostok in Antarctica. It shows the cyclical variations in the Earth's temperature alongside greenhouse gas levels. Wow, they sure line up! And now we've pumped 35% more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than there used to be. Wouldn't that make the temperature go up a significant amount? The answer is "yes", because although you can't tell at the level of detail shown in the graph, the current data indicates that temperature is rising ten times faster than the spikes shown on the graph that occur every 100k years or so, when in fact, temperatures should now be decreasing. You can look at the graph and see that and still deny it, but you can't deny that we've radically altered the planet recently in history.

Darren said...

The temperature of the troposphere, the lowest and densest portion of the atmosphere, does not depend on the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions—a point proved theoretically and empirically. True, probes of Antarctic ice shield, taken with bore specimens in the vicinity of the Russian research station Vostok, show that there are close links between atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and temperature changes. Here, however, we cannot be quite sure which is the cause and which the effect.

Temperature fluctuations always run somewhat ahead of carbon dioxide concentration changes.
This means that warming is primary. The ocean is the greatest carbon dioxide depository, with concentrations 60-90 times larger than in the atmosphere. When the ocean’s surface warms up, it produces the “champagne effect.” Compare a foamy spurt out of a warm bottle with wine pouring smoothly when served properly cold.
Carbon dioxide is not to blame for global climate change. Solar activity is many times more powerful than the energy produced by the whole of humankind. Man’s influence on nature is a drop in the ocean. (Boldface mine--Darren)
Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, Merited Scientist of Russia and fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, is staff researcher of the Oceanology Institute.

It's cyclical, and it relates to solar activity.

Cameron said...

So because temperature fluctuations run ahead of carbon dioxide changes, it's no big deal to keep pumping more into the atmosphere? Okay. Plus, that argument has been shown to be irrelevant:

Note that this link is from a real science site, not some crazy liberal blog (actually, I don't read any liberal blogs; I only read yours!)

Darren said...

Cameron, you're a man after my own heart :)

Seems to me you're changing the subject. I'm not supporting "pollution" or whatever, I'm just saying that if temperature increase leads CO2, then you're putting the cart before the horse.

If there's nothing else to learn from this, it's that we can both find actual scientists to support our beliefs about global warming. That tells me that "the science" is NOT settled. It's one thing to attempt to decrease pollution, it's quite another to create some mythical catastrophe--the solution to which requires significant governmental influence--to effect change.

Anonymous said...

Welllll, no science is actually settled. There are still big arguments about gravity.

As I tell students at a summer class I teach, never marry your data. take it out to dinner, even go steady with it, but never give it a ring. divorces are hard. Another pretty piece of data might come swishing by and there you are, wedded to the one that has become dumpy.

Richard, on the road south because it is cold in NH.