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« Jesus wept | Main | Newmark v McCurry »

May 24, 2006

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Bubba

" While natural variation may play roles in climatic trends, overwhelming evidence points to the accumulation of greenhouse gases, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, as the key. "

eally?

Then why do we have THIS?

"One must dig carefully through [the National Academy of Sciences report "Climate Change Science"] to discover that water vapor and cloud droplets are in fact the dominant cause of greenhouse warming."

-National Policy Analysis #349: Climate Change Science?: National Academy of Sciences Global Warming Report Fails to Live Up to Its Billing, by Gerald Marsh

Regarding carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas:

http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA458.html

Excerpt:

"The principal greenhouse gas is water vapor"

So how do we "fix" water vapor?

coturnix

Take a professional skeptical thinker, like Michael Shermer, for instance. Even he got overwhelmed by the scientific data and switched sides and I can't think of a more rational thinkr than him. See responses here,
here and here.

Jim Caserta

As posted yesterday, more water vapor than CO2 is produced by combusting octane.

Bubba

"As posted yesterday, more water vapor than CO2 is produced by combusting octane."

And the water vapor produced by the human race is a very small persntage of water vapor.


http://www.clearlight.com/~mhieb/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

Key point:

"Known causes of global climate change, like cyclical eccentricities in Earth's rotation and orbit, as well as variations in the sun's energy output, are the primary causes of climate cycles measured over the last half million years. However, secondary greenhouse effects stemming from changes in the ability of a warming atmosphere to support greater concentrations of gases like water vapor and carbon dioxide also appear to play a significant role. As demonstrated in the data above, of all Earth's greenhouse gases, water vapor is by far the dominant player.

The ability of humans to influence greenhouse water vapor is negligible. As such, individuals and groups whose agenda it is to require that human beings are the cause of global warming must discount or ignore the effects of water vapor to preserve their arguments, citing numbers similar to those in Table 4b . If political correctness and staying out of trouble aren't high priorities for you, go ahead and ask them how water vapor was handled in their models or statistics. Chances are, it wasn't!"


Jim Caserta

OK Bubba, so in response to the National Academy of Science, you come up with the work of one physicist and a Chief Engineer at the West Virginia Office of Miners Health Safety and Training.

The science is not straightforward, but it should be left to the scientists and not politicized. What is the answer - burn less fossil fuels? We should be working towards that for any number of reasons, with gas prices being the one everyone feels today.

Ed Cone

More Easterbrook:

In 1993 Thomas Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center, said there existed "a great range of uncertainty" regarding whether the world is warming. Clearly, the question called for more research.

That research is now in, and it shows a strong scientific consensus that an artificially warming world is a real phenomenon posing real danger:

The American Geophysical Union and American Meteorological Society in 2003 both declared that signs of global warming had become compelling.

In 2004 the American Association for the Advancement of Science said that there was no longer any "substantive disagreement in the scientific community" that artificial global warming is happening.

In 2005, the National Academy of Sciences joined the science academies of Britain, China, Germany, Japan and other nations in a joint statement saying, "There is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring."

This year Mr. Karl of the climatic data center said research now supports "a substantial human impact on global temperature increases."

And this month the Climate Change Science Program, the Bush administration's coordinating agency for global-warming research, declared it had found "clear evidence of human influences on the climate system."

Damn liberals.

Jim Caserta

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=142

Fred Gregory

The hysteria is hardly unanimous. BTW, the sun has a lot of 'splaining to do.

N.A.M.

Ed, your link suggested that Sterling Burnett and the National Center for Policy Analysis are a bunch of whores.

In 2002 Bill Clinton was paid $267,000.00 to make a speech in Saudia Arabia. In 2006 Gore gave gave a speech at the same forum blasting America. Payment not yet disclosed that I know of. So what are they .. Choir Boys ?

Confiscate Their Passports

Ed Cone

Yeah, no mismatch at all between the links cited in the article at the industry website and those cited by Easterbrook.

Fred, if someone had presented this kind of "evidence" to you as a DEA man you would have laughed them all the way to jail.

Seriously, you guys are sounding like Beth on the 9/11 conspiracy stuff here, reaching for any shreds of possibility rather than starting from the serious evidence and working from there.

Bubba


"The science is not straightforward, but it should be left to the scientists and not politicized. What is the answer - burn less fossil fuels? We should be working towards that for any number of reasons, with gas prices being the one everyone feels today."

In other words, you can not refute the evidence and the conclusion Dr. Singer provided: That the influence of the human race and its technology has an infinitesimally small effect on any "global warming".

You want to talk about burning less fossil fuels? Fine, but let's leave costs aside for the moment.

What's the environmental impact of a switch away form fossil fuels toward alcohol-based fuels? How about hydrogen cells? Electricity/batteries?

Jim Caserta

OK, how about reducing overall energy consumption. Drive a civic instead of an Explorer.

As far as CO2 goes, ethanol is probably just as bad as gasoline(octane). Maybe I should have said - use less hydrocarbon fuels. Combustion equations look the same.

Hydrogen needs some energy source to get "charged," it's not free power.

Don't look to me for proof - try the national academy of sciences. They're the experts.

Bubba

".....reaching for any shreds of possibility rather than starting from the serious evidence and working from there."

The serious evidence that Dr. Singer and others provide by imperical analysis can't be ignored. On the other hand, we have not yet discussed the political implications/political correctness of those who have a stake in proping up global warming as a Boogie Man, like Al Gore in his forthcoming movie, and Hillary's pre-emptive reaction to same today.

http://www.washtimes.com/national/20060420-115953-7360r.htm

Excerpt (regarding Gore's movie):

"The production also recommends that viewers take 'political action.'"

Yeah, that's the ticket! Fire up your base, Al. Hillary doesn't have this thing sewed up yet!


Bubba

Hmm. Make the "empirical". Where's that copy editor when you need one?

Ed Cone

Once more, from Easterbrook: "...this month the Climate Change Science Program, the Bush administration's coordinating agency for global-warming research, declared it had found 'clear evidence of human influences on the climate system.'"

There is plenty of room for discussion, on more than one front, given the complexity of the science and the policy questions.

But the "it's all politics, and here are some people willing to argue about it" line is just a non-starter.

Ed Cone

My dad had a '56 Imperical that he just loved -- gunsight tailights and a push-button automatic.

Fred Gregory

E & P reports Tierney's NYT blast of Gore's slide show:

Little Shop Of Horrors

In 1995 the Koyoto Protocol was rejected in the US Senate . See Byrd-Hagel Res. 95.

95-0

Roch101

The details missing from Fred's post:

On July 25, 1997, before the Kyoto Protocol was to be negotiated, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98)[2], which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States". On November 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations CNN. The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.

-- Wikipedia

Jim Caserta

Does anyone argue that burning fossil fuels has 0 impact on the environment? How about the fact that the US is dependent on foreign oil, which hurts us in an economic and national security way? What is Gore's point - drive less & conserve? Should he have to scare us to get us to do that? Even if you disagree with him, what he is advising is still the right thing to do.

There are real environmental disaster level problems around the world. Things the US can help with - today.

Bubba

"There are real environmental disaster level problems around the world."

The link doesn't work, but it appears to be on a UNICEF site. Did it discuss the environmental concerns about a program that could save millions of children's (and adults) lives each year?

Fred Gregory

Ed,

Just curious in all your through research on greenhouse gases , did you ever read Bjorn Lomborg's :


The Skeptical Environmentalist

Fred Gregory

Perhaps this will put some sunlight on the subject:


Greenhose Gases..Poppycock

Ed Cone

I don't claim to have done thorough research on this subject.

What I have noted as an interested observer is twofold:

-- a steady increase in the number of serious scientists and scientific organizations who recognize global warming, and human contributions to it, as a real phenomenon, to the point that many erstwhile skeptics and knowledgable observers now believe what they once disdained (e.g, Easterbrook, Thomas Karl),

and

-- a lack of credible argument against these scientists and organizations by skeptics, who instead turn to seemingly less-qualified and often financially-interested sources for rebuttal, and/or attack the scientists as politcally motivated, even when that motivation seems remote or non-existant (see the Bush administration agency cited above).

Rather than starting with the preponderance of evidence and credible sources, and moving on to challenges and discussion from that firm basis, critics pretend we're all starting at zero here, that documented observation and science and experience have no value, and that tendentious opinion is a substitute for informed debate.

This is simply not stuff that a single a-ha gotcha quote is going to overturn. It's not a game of he said/she said cable news "balance."

Easterbrook's column delves into some of the complexity: maybe global warming has benefits as well as costs (he thinks the costs probalby far outweigh the benefits).

We're dealing with complex systems here. Among those systems are politics, and economics. But you can't wish away that complexity, or make a convincing argument that a large number of serious and well-trained people simply don't know what they're talking about, or are lying for reasons of their own.

Bubba

Speaking of algore's movie:

http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=052406F

Key point:

" 'An Inconvenient Truth' is billed as the scariest movie you'll ever see. It may well be, but that's in part because it is not the most accurate depiction of the state of global warming science. The enormous uncertainties surrounding the global warming issue are conveniently missing in 'An Inconvenient Truth.' "

Bubba

"-- a lack of credible argument against these scientists and organizations by skeptics, who instead turn to seemingly less-qualified and often financially-interested sources for rebuttal, and/or attack the scientists as politcally motivated, even when that motivation seems remote or non-existant (see the Bush administration agency cited above)."

Oh please, Ed.....spare us.

The items of documentation they speak otherwise on this issue can't be ignored simply because you want them to go away.

Jim Caserta

http://www.unicef.org/media/media_7596.html

Jim Caserta

Bjørn Lomborg, born January 6 1965.
M.A. in political science (Cand.scient.pol.) 1991.
Ph.D. at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen. 1994.
*NOT A SCIENTIST - but ok "we need to focus our attention on the most important problems first"

That is what I was trying to get at with the UNICEF link, and the we need to use less energy, conserve - whether fossil fuels, ethanol, coal, etc.

FG - from the other article:

Dr Solanki said that the brighter Sun and higher levels of "greenhouse gases", such as carbon dioxide, both contributed to the change in the Earth's temperature but it was impossible to say which had the greater impact...
He added, however, that the study also showed that over the past 20 years the number of sunspots had remained roughly constant, while the Earth's temperature had continued to increase.

As for argument technique, you link to an article with scientists:
Dr Sami Solanki, the director of the renowned Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Gottingen
Dr Bill Burrows, a climatologist and a member of the Royal Meteorological Society
Dr David Viner, the senior research scientist at the University of East Anglia's climatic research unit
Dr Gareth Jones

and your money quote comes from ... David Bellamy, the conservationist

This is example #1 of what Ed is talking about. You have 4 renowned scientists who are debating real science, but one conservationist who declares "poppycock" and that is what you hear.

Fred Gregory

Bubba put up this article from TCS but it wasn't hyperlinked. The author is Robert Balling , professor of climatology at Arizona State University.

Inconvienient Truths

Jim Caserta

Dr. Balling grills Gore. My point was listen to scientists, not politicians/talking heads. If we stick to science, we're getting somewhere.

Go to another of Dr. Balling's posts and you get:

The Union of Concerned Scientists refers to something they call "heat-trapping carbon dioxide pollution". They are correct that burning fossil fuels in vehicles produces carbon dioxide and indeed, carbon dioxide traps heat and contributes to the greenhouse effect and global warming.
...
The Union of Concerned Scientists suggests that carbon dioxide emitted from American vehicles is contributing to global warming, and in fact, they are correct. However, if you have exhaled while reading this sentence, you have emitted carbon dioxide and to some degree, you have contributed to global warming. Across the globe, human activities result in an emission to the atmosphere of approximately 6.5 billion tons of carbon (not carbon dioxide). Of that amount, 23 percent comes from the United States, and of that amount, approximately one-fifth comes from our vehicular fleet. The American fleet constitutes less than five percent of emissions globally: While the global emission of carbon is 6.5 billion tons, the emission from the American fleet is approximately 0.3 billion tons. Even if the fleet vanished from the face of the earth, human activities would still result in 6.2 billion tons of carbon, and the atmospheric concentration would continue to rise. Like it or not, with or without cars and trucks in the United States, the concentration of carbon dioxide will double this century, and the year when this will occur is not impacted much by American cars and trucks.
[reference]

Jim Caserta

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/Deforestation/

Fred Gregory

Dr. Roy Spencer has some:

Questions For Mr. Gore

Jim Caserta

Forgetting Gore, do you disagree with this statement:
"That research is now in, and it shows a strong scientific consensus that an artificially warming world is a real phenomenon posing real danger:"?

Fred Gregory

I agree that some alarmist scientists have convinced the left that " global warming " is man made , while on the other hand other more level headed climatologists are rightfully skeptical of the so called findings. Forget "Big Oil Al". No I will remind you or anyone else you has his esr turned my way that Gore helped Occidental buy the Elk Hills stragegic oil reserves in California , the largest privatization
in US history. Yes hear me unless he has unloaded it Gore owned at least $500,000 worth of Occidental stock.

Al is a traveling man but not the king in Rick Nelson's song.

Keep Your Eye on Gore's CO2 Meter

Ed Cone

Fred, how do you arrive at the conclusion that the long list of scientists and scientific organizations listed above, including a Bush admin group, equals "the left?"

Roch101

"Yes hear me unless he has unloaded it Gore owned at least $500,000 worth of Occidental stock."

And? A guy who had a large financial stake in an oil company recognizing the perils of global warming? To me that makes him more sincere, not less.

Jim Caserta

Fred disagrees with the statement I wrote and missed the whole point of the Easterbrook op-ed, and even the Greenhouse gasses...poppycock article he linked to. It's much easier to pick and choose the quotes you want to remember that agree with your point of view.

Jim Caserta

Oh yeah, and Easterbrook has some interesting ideas on intelligent design and evolution, so he might not be the best person to quote when talking about scientific consensus.

Ed Cone

Definitely true on Easterbrook, JC -- that's one reason his POV is valuable here, like the Bush admin group, it's hard to argue that he's some sort of lefty dupe.

Of course, it's hard to argue that all those scientists are lefty dupes, too...but for people who put politics before evidence, I think the Easterbrooks and Bush admins of the world make things that much harder...

Fred Gregory

The " debunking " of the TCS comentary of the Gore movie , I posted earlier, is pretty the gruel.


An Exaggerated Film

Fred Gregory

Whoa ! Is Easterbook convinced himelf ?

A Few Morak Flaws?

Bubba

Must be algore's lucky day, being a featured topic of Edblog today.

I wonder if Easterbrook forgot to take his meds? The Slate piece takes Gore to task, but the Times article is a puff piece propping up the unproven hysteria that the "humans cause global warming" crowd insists is gospel truth.

Plus, I had forgotten he works at the Brookings Institution. Their credibilty on Gore and this subject is questionable.

Jim Caserta

Easterbrook probably isn't the best person to cite on global warming - http://mediamatters.org/items/200605260014

Ed Cone

Yeah, the point of my link in the first place as that even Easterbrook now admits that the evidence is strong.

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