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August 04, 2012


[DJ, your comment hasn't been published because once again you've forgotten this blog's comment policy for anti-science global warming deniers like yourself.

If you want to challenge a peer-reviewed scientific study that supports the science of global warming, you need to "sign" your skepticism with your real identity. Send me your Facebook profile or other proof of your name, background, etc. I'll then include that with each of your comments.

James Hansen and other scientists do this. They put their name and credibility behind their positions. So do I, when I write a post. I don't hide behind an acronym like "DJ" or "Big Oil."

Also, a peer-reviewed study needs to be criticized by reference to another peer-reviewed study. Solid research can't be refuted by crap opinions.

So I await proof of your real identity and citations to peer-reviewed scientific research. Otherwise I'm not interested in having my blog be used as a platform for disseminating lies and disinformation about global warming.

Suggestion: head to Blogger and start your own blog if you really want to post whatever untruths you want to on the Internet. Then let the "market" tell you how popular your views are.

My blogs get thousands of page views a day because I've done my best over almost a decade to write stuff that is factual, interesting, and entertaining. Try it yourself. Particularly the factual part.]

OK, the scientific community generally agrees we are wrecking the planet. There will be storms, droughts and crop failures. New diseases will flourish as will the old ones. Many millions and perhaps billions will die. Miami will be a sunken wreckage. Bangladesh will be gone. New York will be a city of canals like Venice with cabbies wearing striped shirts pushing boats around with long poles, and Venice won't even exist. Even so, nothing of substance is being done about this impending disaster. Why do you suppose this is so?

I mean, if a giant asteroid was heading for the Earth at 25,000 mph I'm sure there would be an international body of scientists and engineers trying to figure out how to deflect or blow the thing up. Everybody would be on board because the threat of annihilation would be clear.

So, even though there is this consensus there does not seem to be much cohesive urgency. This leads me to think that global warming is still a theory in the minds of scientists even though many agree with it.

See what I mean?

tucson, I do see what you mean. You could be right about scientists being almost as unable as everybody else to really emotionally FEEL the need to act now and fast on the dangers of global warming.

I've read several articles about why it's tough for people to get as alarmed about global warming as they would be if an asteroid was about to hit Earth. Some of this has to do with the gradual approach of global warming, compared to the evident speed of an asteroid.

Beth Gardiner wrote about this in "We're All Idiots About Global Warming."

CLIMATE CHANGE is staring us in the face. The science is clear, and the need to reduce planet-warming emissions has grown urgent. So why, collectively, are we doing so little about it?

Yes, there are political and economic barriers, as well as some strong ideological opposition, to going green. But researchers in the burgeoning field of climate psychology have identified another obstacle, one rooted in the very ways our brains work. The mental habits that help us navigate the local, practical demands of day-to-day life, they say, make it difficult to engage with the more abstract, global dangers posed by climate change.

Robert Gifford, a psychologist at the University of Victoria in British Columbia who studies the behavioral barriers to combating climate change, calls these habits of mind “dragons of inaction.” We have trouble imagining a future drastically different from the present. We block out complex problems that lack simple solutions. We dislike delayed benefits and so are reluctant to sacrifice today for future gains. And we find it harder to confront problems that creep up on us than emergencies that hit quickly.

“You almost couldn’t design a problem that is a worse fit with our underlying psychology,” says Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

In line with my explanation above about why "DJ's" anti-science comments aren't being published, Today I was listening to what I like to call Intelligent Talk Radio on Sirius XM's POTUS.

The host was asked why he doesn't have scientists on his show who don't believe in human-caused global warming. His response made a lot a sense. Basically it was:

"Of course I wouldn't have them on. Why would I? 97 or 98% of the world's leading climate scientists agree that global warming is happening, and humans are the cause because of greenhouse gas emissions.

This is too important for the world to give airtime to a few people who don't believe in the scientific consensus. I wouldn't have a scientist on who didn't believe in evolution, or in gravity."

Excellent! Anyone who doesn't accept the facts about global warming either is innocently or willfully ignorant. In either case, nobody has the right to make up their own facts about reality. Opinions, yes. Facts, no.

So I'm willing to publish comments with links to peer-reviewed scientific literature dealing with global climate change. But disinformation and right-wing propaganda, no way.

Any serious attempt to get the problem of climate change under control will necessarily involve mandated sacrifice and legislated deprivation of goods and resources critical to economic growth. Incremental changes in pollution credits and asset allocation (in general) will accomplish nothing.

A lot of people will have to die, and not be replaced, before there is any hope of acceptable adaptation to the evolving environment. A starting point number will have 9 zeros following the most significant digit.

I think Willie R is right. So, we can talk about global warming all we want but nothing is going to be done about it. Nature will do it for us.

OK, Brian, then I’ll shift gears away from the science and address the mechanics of the debate instead. By all accounts the consensus climate science community should have this one in the bag, but for the following.

The Sirius XM host said, “This is too important for the world to give airtime to a few people who don't believe in the scientific consensus. I wouldn't have a scientist on who didn't believe in evolution, or in gravity."

Why not, Mr. host? Isn’t live radio the perfect medium for an expert guest to shame a naysayer guest? If a majority of the public doubted evolution, evolutionary biologists would be getting in line to accept public debate invitations from the theory’s few detractors. And if a few charlatans were to convince the scientifically illiterate masses that the UN could turn off gravity with the flip of a switch, physicists would be climbing over each other to publicly shame these unqualified quacks on the biggest debate stage they could find. In both cases today’s viral media world would see public perception quickly and measurably correct.

But the 98% strong catastrophic AGW community? How, for years, have they increasingly tried to win in the arena of public perception? Declare an overwhelming and undeniable ‘expert majority’ then refuse live debate with the unqualified ‘expert minority.’ Not only does that make no sense strategically, it’s proven to be anything BUT a winning approach: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/9192494/Climate-scientists-are-losing-the-public-debate-on-global-warming.html

You don’t need to read that link to realize Hansen understands public perception is THE pivotal factor preventing effective coordinated action on climate. It’s right there in the title of his new study: “Public Perception of Climate Change and the New Climate Dice.” http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1204/1204.1286.pdf

So ask yourself, how can a movement that has issued hundreds of studies expect with one more study to win over a public with a short attention span? Why is a movement that’s underpinned by science – a movement with the goal of saving future generations – why is that movement unwilling to battle for public perception on a live stage? With an army 98% strong equipped with overwhelming scientific fact, is there no one chomping at the bit to visibly silence these propagandists? Where is the organized campaign to go on the offensive – to publicly and repeatedly come face to face with the detractors of science and take them down? The truth is on your side, Warmists, yet you’re unwilling to come out of your cubicles. You can save the world by doing so. What have you to fear?

In exchange for their vote, Brian, today’s indecisive public demands live public debate. Unwillingness to do so merely heightens suspicion and turns away support. Call it another “dragon of inaction” (to steal a phrase from the Beth Gardiner NYT piece you posted). Until then it’ll be business as usual.

Big Oil

DJ, you keep retreating onto even less defensible ground. So now you want scientists to spend much, or most, of their time debating anti-science zealots. When would they have time to do their science, if this happened?

Global warming deniers are well funded by the fossil fuel industry and Big Oil, a name you wear proudly, yet should be ashamed of. One of Skeptical Science's debunkings describes what is going on:


Critics of climate science, backed by the alarmed fossil fuel industry,[16] sprang into action in the late 1980s, when the mounting evidence led to calls for international action to limit CO2 emissions. They did not argue, like Galileo, for a revolutionary hypothesis based on new evidence, because they could not agree on one among themselves.[17] They produced little new evidence. Instead, they searched for flaws in others’ research, and launched a public relations campaign to sow public doubt.

Unlike Galileo, climate skeptics were not trying to overturn an ancient view. Their goal was the opposite: to restore the age-old conventional wisdom, that, by itself, “human activity was too feeble to sway natural systems”[18]. In clinging to this old view, the skeptics' stance more closely resembles that of the Catholic Church, which fought Galileo’s views for another 100 years after the scientific establishment had embraced him.

4. Climate scientists, not skeptics, are being dragged into court Armed with ideological certainty, backed by powerful financial and political interests, skeptics have sought to not only discredit the science but impugn the researchers’ honesty. Unfounded accusations of deception and conspiracy fly freely,[19] and some climate scientists even receive death threats.[20] These attacks, according Dr. Naomi Oreskes, “have had a chilling effect... Intimidation works.”[21]

In April 2011, personal attacks on scientists took a more ominous turn, when Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a fierce climate skeptic, launched a criminal fraud investigation of a prominent climate scientist, Dr. Michael Mann.[22] Multiple investigations by independent scientific bodies have found no trace of wrongdoing in Mann’s work, and a Virginia judge dismissed Attorney General’s subpoena request for lack of evidence. Yet, as of September 2011, Cuccinellis’ crusade continues.[23]

Climate scientists don’t have time to market their product? Who in their right mind would pour all their resources into ground breaking R&D – then refuse to effectively market superior results? Like it or not, with public perception being the linchpin, any movement on climate initiatives will hinge squarely on successful marketing. Al Gore and his AIT slide show army know this to be true, but their ineffectual results (public perception trends) reveal that one-sided lectures create few converts. Why? Because such events largely attract those who already believe.

Climate scientists – by and large government and/or university employees – already spend a good deal of their time doing public lectures, radio and TV interviews, Al Gore’s slide show, book tours, writing editorials, and blogging/twittering. They do all of it on friendly ground on the condition of not sharing the stage with a credentialed opposing view – and with all the persuasive power of the phrase, “I’m a climate scientist and I approve this message.”

Pepsi knows that to win converts you don’t just offer Pepsi to Pepsi drinkers. You lure in the Coke drinkers with a taste of Coke too. The confident don’t avoid their competition, they challenge them live in front of a mixed voting audience. Failure to do so under the guise “we don’t have the time” just doesn’t cut it.

(BTW, Brian, if you’d like to escape the shame of modernity and a lifestyle made possible by a fossil fuel economy I could recommend a long list of third world countries that go without).

Big Oil

DJ, you don't understand the scientific method, because you're so anti-science. I, on the other hand, completed the course requirements for a Ph.D. in Systems Science (didn't do the dissertation, because I moved out of Portland after getting a job in Salem).

Scientific theories are confirmed through an open process of research, dissemination of results, peer review of findings before being published, and such. Debating on a stage with a global warming denier who hasn't done any original peer-reviewed research isn't how science advances.

That may be how politics advances, how social change advances, but it isn't how scientific facts are discovered, debated, confirmed. I recommend that you learn a lot more about science and the scientific method before you leave any more uninformed comments on this blog, or elsewhere on the Internet.

The disconnect between human individual's opinions and our fate as a species could not be clearer. Public opinion concerning what to do about global warming is completely irrelevant. Always will be.

We are not visitors on this planet. We are a symptom of it's very existence. Circumstances dictating our continued survival are forever out of our control. Rather, we are controlled by those circumstances, and so are our opinions.

Global warming may be a fact as laid out against our imaginary intellectual latticework, but there will never be a single thing we can do about it.

Just my own opinion, of course. Meanwhile, I am maintaining my carbon footprint by stubbornly insisting that I remain as comfortable as I can.

Take a look at this essay:


This is what's wrong with the way climate science is presented!!! These fools are advocating PoMo as a way to get people to do something about climate change. That is exactly the wrong approach; PoMo is the reason climate change is being ignored and denied. Do climate psychologists really not realize what they're doing, or are they deniers in disguise?

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