Debunking the climate-change denialists' talking-points

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145 Responses to “Debunking the climate-change denialists' talking-points”

  1. yish says:

    Interesting, bold move by worldchanging apropos: http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/008132.html

    The bottom line is: we’ve had enough of your nonsense, thank you very much. You can regurgitate your hallucinary circular arguments on your own blog. This is our place, and grievous denial of reality is not acceptable behaviour here.

    Amen to that. Will they block evolution deniers next?

  2. danegeld says:

    While I don’t deny that computer simulations show that given some reasonable assumptions, releasing CO2 has the potential to cause global warming, I think that our exhausting of fossil fuels promises to be the most pressing problem.

    Today we rely on the fact that fossil fuels are available to burn cheaply in order to put ship food around the world and put it on the table.

    Once that assumption stops being valid, our economies are going to fall apart and some of us are going to die of starvation and lack of clean water much faster than we’ll die of the direct consequences of global warming.

    But damn it, we’ll still be able to watch DVDs and digital books, unencumbered with that pesky DRM that we dedicated so much time to trying to liberate ourselves from in the first quarter of the century.

  3. prodigous says:

    Jesse yes that is the definition of denialist. I am not saying its not used for other things as well. The word itself has taken on extremely negative connotations. I just cant help thinking it reflects poorly on the author when used in this context.
    Its like calling someone a dirty name after deconstructing his argument. Its a cheap shot.

  4. allennoble says:

    The really disturbing thing is that the “debate” on global warming has become a religious one. When a debate descends to cries and counter-cries of heresy, it stops being a debate.

  5. Haldor says:

    @ADavies

    Thanks for the article.

  6. Xopher says:

    I prefer the term ‘Climate Disruption’ to either ‘Global Warming’ or ‘Climate Change’. It makes the chaotic nature of the systems affected, as well as the increased chaos created by the changes, clear.

  7. dougrogers says:

    JNORING: You don’t read very carefully; saying of Bardfinn that he says: “you are building your case upon the supposition that there is “complete scientific consensus”. He said:

    it remains a fact that the broad scientific consensus is that Global Warming is an actual phenomenon, that the mechanisms are many and varied and are in debate, and that the ultimate cause is widespread industrialisation by the hand of Man.

  8. NikFromNYC says:

    The snide certainty of tree huggers about “settled science” (based on computer models only the gases of the most complex gas/water/solid/life system known) isn’t what bothers me so much, but that their solutions avoids the utterly obvious use of nuclear, and avoids ever taking blame for shutting down safer and safer reactors for 30 years in the USA, while France is already pushing 80% nuclear.

    The history of Global Warming as science is a disgrace, beginning with Thatcher’s politically motivated over-funding of climate science during a coal miner’s strike, followed by Manns’ fraudulently created “Hockey Stick” graph that the IPCC reproduced even after independent researchers reverse engineered Manns’ statistical program (which he refused to publicly release as any normal scientist would happily do), only to find out that even random data led to the same 1990s sudden upswing.

    The South Pole, Central Alaska, Central Australia, Central America have all been linearly COOLING for a century and a this decade’s small army of robotic subs show the ocean as well to be COOLING. Central Park, however, is warming. I live three blocks from it. But a mere few miles away, the rocky, park-like area of West Point military college is COOLING.

    That’s about it. Toss out theory, since debate on either side can be skewed, but actual surface station data, located far from cities all tell the same story: the ground (which in dirt-simple fashion I like to call the Earth) has been cooling for a century.

    My favorites are The South Pole, North Pole, and West Point/Central Park:

    http://www.john-daly.com/stations/amundsen.gif
    http://www.john-daly.com/stations/franz-js.gif
    http://www.john-daly.com/stations/WestPoint-NY.gif

    The author died in 2004 and NASAs nerdy site is harder to navigate, but the LONGEST graph I know of, based on simple reading of surface thermometers (instead of humidity-skewed tree ring proxy type of data), goes back to the early 1700s, is of Central England:

    http://www.john-daly.com/stations/england.gif

    Throw out Central Park, where since it’s 6PM, massive bumpter-to-bumper taxi and crosstown bus traffic has just been disallowed to allow cyclist yuppies to get their evening exercise, where a recent study showed the cab-produced CO2 makes the trees grow twice as fast as the ones in Jersey.

    Greenhouses (used to increase warmth) along with PUMPED in CO2 and H20 mist are used to grow house plants faster. That CO2 is plant and microscopic algae FERTILIZER/FOOD, suggests, just maybe, that rising CO2 may be acting to stimulate the entire biosphere, instead of destroy it.

    Burning limited oil for energy is a bad idea though, biosphere be damned, especially since it ended up creating MASSIVE harems in Islamic countries (who had never had an Enlightenment that stuck, so they still kill girls for BEING raped etc.) which left the area with millions of sexually frustrated young men whose governments used hatred of Western culture to dodge being criticized. It also created cancer-causing soot in many cities (but not our island in the ocean).

    Thus my pretend presidential campaign calls for massive investment in nuclear energy to keep us very cleanly powered up for 50 years, providing the sort of boost to the economy that will allow massive funding of both fusion and solar power, the only two truly harmless known knowns in our future. Neither cause starvation like growing food crops for fuel either.

    To Cory and anybody who currently has an open mind, I highly suggest reading Lomborg’s first book ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist’ which contains the story of how the big Environmentalist spokesmen reacted with HORROR to the news of the discovery of Cold Fusion (emission-free energy). I promise no “right wing” back patting but just story after story of good news and hypocrisy exposed. Reading quotes of activists is what converted me from a Ph.D. chemist who took for granted the seemingly conclusive results of Earth Scientists to became a skeptic indeed. Anger towards false claims of Falling Skies enveloped me, so “activist”/skeptic indeed describes me.

    What I want, more than anything, is a graph to “deny”. Even the urban heat station dominated “global average” graph hasn’t had statistically significant “warming” for a decade. Thus intuition alone suggests Earth has been mildly cooling for a few hundred years, but that temperature stations got hotter and hotter as faded paint, parking lots and car culture along with air conditioning within FEET of most “academic center” thermometers caused a massive artifact of postwar warming, and real pollution in the form of particulates (real “pollution”) caused a surface temperature downswing in the postwar economic boom, which was rightly cleaned up, so the heat island effect could then continue to skew graphs upwards. But none of the “global average” data mess, even when graphed nicely, correlates well with CO2 levels.

    That’s why I say: toss out, during armchair type of debates like this, and focus on specific, agreeably unbiased (like Central England or the South Pole) measured graphs, and ask yourself then: *who* are the “deniers”?

    Anyone who looks at the graph Central England, going not up or down, and claims the globe is “warming” is, literally, with no name-calling, or implication of moral equivalency to tobacco harm or Holocaust “denial”: a DENIER. Namely, you are denying that most (in fact almost all I can find) NON-urban surface stations that use thermometer (non-proxy) data, are either flatlined (perhaps near the ocean as a buffer?) or are linearly cooling.

    Cory, you live in London. Where is a non-urban area around you besides Central England? How about the Faeroe Islands, between Scotland and Greenland, going back to 1867?:

    http://www.john-daly.com/stations/thorshav.gif

    DOWN.

    My point is, the heck with CO2. First of all, show me a non-volcanic region (such as the Peninsula of Antarctica) that is actually WARMING at all, not to even mention in step with the steep postwar increase in CO2 output by Western countries.

    Worst of all is being called a “free shrill” for Creationism, Flat Earths, Filtered Cigarettes, or National Socialist (NAZI) atrocities. The oddly curious fact remains though, that the “organic loving” (go look it up) Germans had a curiously similar overall goal to that of CO2 obsessed Environmentalists: World Government in which the highest IQ people (ironically the Ashkenazi jews of IQ 116 or Asians of 106 vs. the German average by definition of 100) were all killed and the masses were ruled by a propoganda-informed mob, democracy, unchecked by a Constitution that limited mob rule. That the end state of the Global Warming pagans EXACTLY matches that of all anti-capitalistic movements in history gives me pause, makes me suspicious of real motivation, and makes me wonder why, all of a sudden, a rich person like Corey (NYT best seller in old age vs. an old print zine called Boing Boing I used to subscribe to via snail mail) suddenly gets a big head and starts comparing one side of a scientific debate to insane people, which oddly enough itself is looked down on.

    Heya, mun, step kallin us intellefactually disfriended “specieal poples” nomes like leotards, shrillors or denors.

    So science fiction success is snarky scientific street cred, since AUTHORSHIP equals authority in girly named people like Doctor Row? Hint: parents who name a boy Julie (or Cory) are abusive. That’s a good thing, since a miserable childhood leads to adult distinction. But that is no license for calling one side of an authentic scientific debate bad names. As a real scientist, I have come to the tentative but undeniable conclusion that Global Warming is fiction, not science. I did so by reading about it several hours a day for almost a decade, and in that time I sadly swallowed a bitter pill with a never ending aftertaste that both says that common men are evil and that the scribble paintings of any child, politically supported by well-connected art critics, are worth not only millions but billions.

    Now the auction houses have a new non-object to sell: carbon credits. Laughing to the bank go the sellers of new religious salvation INDULGENCES.

  9. kmgraba says:

    Prodigous: So you accept that the term is perfectly accurate, but object because of the negative associations? You should understand that the reason ‘denialist’ has negative connotations is because of the actions and tactics of the denialists themselves! You cannot object to this term any more than creationists can complain that because ‘creationist’ has become a pejorative term, we’re obligated to call them ‘evolution skeptics’.

  10. danegeld says:

    We live at a time when emotions and feelings count more than truth, and there is a vast ignorance of science.

    James Lovelock

  11. unsafe at any speed says:

    ^^ Global warming or “Climate change” is a religion and whoever denies it is a heretic according to the faithful.

    Why do they call it “Climate change” now instead of Global Warming? This is so that no matter what weather changes happen, the global warming crowd can claim they were right.
    C.Y.A

  12. danegeld says:

    suppose tomorrow, a team of scientists come up with an irrefutable proof that climate change is entirely due to the Sun all along, and it’s going to go ahead irrespective of whatever we do with CO2?

    should we celebrate?

    No. we’re still heading for disaster once our ability to pump oil dips below our demand for oil!

  13. Antinous says:

    jnoring has never commented on BB before.

    jnoring has taken over this thread.

    jnoring has created enough unintentional irony to be considered a conceptual artist.

    Maybe if we just ignore it, it will go away.

  14. Asgard says:

    ———————-

    When Physics Trumps Hysteria in Global Warming
    By Michael R. Fox Ph.D., 7/1/2007 11:10:25 AM

    Studiously hidden from public view are some extraordinary findings in physics which are providing new understanding of our planetary history, as well as providing a much more plausible scientific understanding of Global Warming. Regrettably, the current hysteria about global warming is based much more on fear, political agendas, and computer models that don’t agree with each other or the climate, rather than hard-nosed evidence and science.

    The climate forces which have led to the estimated 0.6C degree temperature increase over the past 100 years or more (according to the International Panel on Climate Change) have been assumed to be man-made CO2 emissions from advanced nations including the US. We know this can’t be true for several reasons.

    The first is that water vapor provides 95% of the total of the greenhouse gases, not CO2. The total of the CO2 represents less than 3% of the total. The second is that of the total atmospheric CO2 inventory, the manmade fraction is less than 3% of the CO2 total and therefore far less than 1% of the total greenhouse gas inventories. Third, studies of the recent climate variations are finding, for example, (See article by J. Oestermans, Science, p. 375, April 29, 2005) that glaciers have been receding since 1750 or so, well before any significant man-made CO2 emissions occurred.

    http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?e9e9ac7e-64b1-4fc5-a8ae-fe52f699adac

  15. jnoring says:

    Noen, I used to live in Minneapolis and spent a lot of time arounnd both Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun. Great area!

    Anyway, with regards to the “scientific consensus” claim, this article over at Dvorak (with links elsewhere) certainly adds some data points.

  16. The Unusual Suspect says:

    Bardfinn @ #51:

    “Their tactic: Get there first, be the loudest, tell a consistent story, explain away inconsistencies, reward the audience for loyalty or for not thinking critically, scapegoat the opposition.”

    Were not the Global Warming proponents “there first”? Didn’t the issue begin with them?

    Are Global Warming proponents not “the loudest”? It seems to me that the media stories favouring Global Warming advocacy far outnumber those questioning it. And what about the speaking tours by Al Gore, Richard Branson and the like?

    Are Global Warming proponents not “telling a consistent story”? It seems that every talking point (except for the obviously lunatic ones) echoes back to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report on Climate Change in 2007.

    Do Global Warming proponents not “reward the audience for loyalty or for not thinking critically”? Any thing you do for GW is something done for a Good Cause, right? Care to buy some carbon credits to assuage your guilt?

    Do Global Warming proponents not “scapegoat the opposition”? By calling them “global warming denialists”, perhaps?

  17. Takuan says:

    Mike R Fox… lessee..
    “As a fan of Fox News network I was hoping the reporters would care enough about their credibility to present some of this information to be “fair and balanced”. Instead the program promoted some of the same old green silliness we got during the Carter era 30 years ago. “

  18. waugsqueke says:

    Now if someone on the other side of the debate would put together something like this for comparison, that would be useful.

    The author loses me on the consensus vs. proof issue. I just don’t believe it. Yes, there can be proof of things in science and it’s silly to suggest otherwise. I do not accept consensus arguments. I think to put that forward as the backbone of your case is disingenuous.

    They have been wrong many times before, even about environmental and climate issues.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I’m sceptical about scepticism for scepticism’s sake.

    I’m also amused by the conflation of scientific method and policy development by the self-declared sceptics here, if we were to wait until every last doubt was quashed for every issue we had to deal with, nothing would ever get done, ergo policy is developed taking into account what we know now.

    I’m also amazed at the outstandingly positivist idealism shown towards ‘science’ by some of the sceptics.

    Finally I’m disappointed no one has mentioned the talking point about wagga wagga yet (its an inland town in eastern australia fyi), were the weather is often quite erratic due to its geographic location

  20. Takuan says:

    Mike Fox: whack job, oil industry flack

    Michael R. Fox, Ph.D., is a retired nuclear scientist and university chemistry professor. He is the science and energy writer/reporter for the HawaiiReport.com. A resident of Kaneohe, Hawaii, he has nearly 40 years experience in the energy field. His interests and activities in the communications of science, energy, and the environment has led to several communications awards, hundreds of speeches, and many appearances on television and talk shows. Dr. Fox is listed by the Heartland Institute as a global warming/climate
    change expert. He is also the Senior Fellow for Science at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. He can be reached via email at mfox@grassrootinstitute.org.

    Publications by Michael R. Fox, Ph.D.:

    Time to Drill for American Oil, 5/7/08
    Media, Global Warming, and Junk Science, 11/28/07
    Twisted Science Bullies of the Beltway, 10/31/07
    Combatting America’s Dependence on Foreign Oil, 10/17/07
    Book Review: The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change, 9/26/07
    Book Review: Going to Pieces: The Dismantling of the United States of America, 8/15/07
    Book Review: Unstoppable Global Warming — Every 1,500 Years, 6/20/07
    Earth Day 2007: Time for a Review (Grass in Review), 4/25/07
    Al Gore’s Hearing Missed Opportunities, 4/3/07
    The “Hockeystick”: The Global Warming Scandal of the Decade, 2/25/07
    Global Warming and Pseudo-Science, 2/11/07
    Flawed Thinking About Hawaii’s Energy Future, 1/17/07
    Return of the Thugs, 12/20/06
    Book Review: Inside the Asylum, 12/12/06
    Book Review: Going to Pieces, 12/7/06
    Energy Choices for Hawaii, 11/16/06
    Message from a ‘Hack Scientist’, 11/11/06
    Consensus is Nonsense, 11/9/06
    Brazilian Ethanol Fantasies, 11/5/06
    Man-made Global Warming Continues to Unravel, 11/4/06
    The Economy: Aren’t the Good Times Good Anymore?, 10/25/06
    The Politics of Environmentalism, 10/14/06
    Global Warming Unmasked, 10/13/06
    A Challenge for a University of Hawaii Professor, 10/9/06
    Energy Choices for Hawaii, 10/1/06
    Deadly Environmental Program Ends, 9/26/06
    Still Blowing in the Wind, 9/21/06
    Taxpayers Should be Alarmed by Proposals at Hawaii Biofuels Summit, 8/22/06
    Poor Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth: It Isn’t Science

  21. jnoring says:

    “Climate disruption” is certainly one possible term to use. It does imply that there is a climate “norm”, though, which is sort of ambiguous (depending upon the time frame which we define “normal”. In geologic time scales climate variation is actually the norm.)

  22. Takuan says:

    asgard… reminds me of Fimbulwinter

    Ragnarök, the twilight of the gods. Much of it sounds like the Apocalypse, by which Snorri, a Christian, can hardly fail to have been influenced. It will begin with three winters of snow, with no summers in between. Wars will follow, then earthquakes and tidal waves. The sky will split open and out will ride the sons of Muspell intent on universal destruction. They will try to enter heaven but Bifröst will break (Section 55). Heimdall will blow his mighty horn Gjöll and the Æsir and Einherjar will ride out to battle. Most of the Æsir will die and Asgard be destroyed. Snorri quotes his own source saying: “The sun will go black, earth sink in the sea, heaven be stripped of its bright stars;….” (Section 56).

  23. Antinous says:

    Asgard,

    Nice link to an article by a whack job who only gets attention by being blow-job buddies with the reactionary Heartland Institute, and who also supports oil drilling in National Parks. Is that the best that you can do? Surely you can find some members of the Flat Earth Society who think that human-made climate disruption is really a sign of the Rapture.

  24. Takuan says:

    so if we listen to the “everything is just fine” party and all end up dead, what then?

  25. Antinous says:

    I heard that! No, Takuan and I are not sock puppets.

  26. jnoring says:

    About Antinous comment: [laugh]

  27. Anonymous says:

    The problem is, you could make up a similar list of things said by people who deny the existence of ghosts, the truth of creationism, or the safety provided by the TSA. If a theory is wrong, it’s idiotic to defend it by pointing out that people always refute it by pointing to the same facts.

  28. dougrogers says:

    Do Global Warming proponents not “scapegoat the opposition”? By calling them “global warming denialists”, perhaps?

    Oh, boo hoo. The argumements boils down to “World Government!” and “Gee, that hurts my feelings.”

  29. seanfitz says:

    This is a great resource, but will it make a difference?

    Look at the comments on the articles at Grist, and some of the comments here… no matter how well your arguments and no matter how many facts you throw at climate change skeptics they won’t be budged. They’ve made up their minds and nothing will change their mind.

  30. Takuan says:

    and if we are it’s MY hand!

  31. Ugly Canuck says:

    “They have been wrong many times before”
    Who? Humanity as a whole?
    Give five examples (does that count as “many”?), they won’t compare to this. Denial of man-made changes to our climate is faith-based, mostly misguided oil-worshippers…150 years ago we did not use oil… now we do and the planet’s dying…what’s to argue about? Your “right” to drive-spew burgers does not mean that if that activity is shown to be deadly to others that it can continue, just because you’ve always done it that way and gee you think God will take care of it…

  32. AnnoyedCapitalist says:

    While this is nice to have for the more extreme and ignorant denialists, I think an equally valuable resource would be a debunking of the “Global warming caused hurricane Katrina” and “sea levels will rise 20ft in a century” apocolyptic hyperbole. Just because someone’s on your side doesn’t mean you should forgive their stupidity. In a debate you should be even more concerned as it reflects on you. Ignorance and extremism on one side begets it on the other.

  33. Jeff says:

    Greenhouse warming is real! So, we need to live greener lives to help out. The production of paper is such a huge source of CO2 that it’s nearly criminal. After looking at some preliminary suggestions for a carbon tax on industry, I have concluded that if paper manufactures were to be taxed accordingly, the price of a hardcover book would be about 65 US dollars (at today’s value). You want to promote a greener world? Start suggesting that people use less paper, less gas, less less less…Calling people denialists is just name calling for the sake of provocation. Every time you use a disposable paper cup at a coffee shop you contribute to greenhouse warming. Dear God, every time you take a breath you’re killing the planet! Don’t deny it, just stop breathing!

  34. Takuan says:

    If China refuses to curtail GHG emissions and proves to be the calculable tipping factor in taking the planet over the precipice; is that grounds for war?

  35. AnnoyedCapitalist says:

    so if we listen to the “everything is just fine” party and all end up dead, what then?

    Well, actually that’s going to happen anyway. Climate change won’t significantly affect our generation. Climate solutions won’t help our generation either.

  36. Antinous says:

    That’ll work

  37. The Unusual Suspect says:

    Takuan, if we listen to the “we must remove all CO2 from the atmosphere at all costs” party instead of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” part, we will end up compromising our sustainability. Which is to say, “dead”.

  38. dccarles says:

    Jnoring:
    do not plan to discuss or debate this topic in this forum.

    Antinous:
    Then why are you still posting? Someone might think that you have an agenda.

    That was unfair, Antinous: you’re speculating about Jnoring’s motives. I’ve read all the comments now, and it seems to me that Jnoring’s the only one posting with any detachment. To answer your question, he is refusing to debate the scientific specifics of global warming theory, but he’s still posting (or was) because he’s interested in the debate about global warming – the terms it is conducted in, the quasi-religious fervour it arouses, the fallacies it brings forth (the most notable being the Philosopher’s Fallacy – ‘your arguments are fallacious, therefore your conclusion is untrue.’)

    I do believe that global warming is real, that it was likely caused by emissions from the Industrial Revolution, and that humanity should do something about it (or do something to adapt to it.) I’m for carbon taxes and I’m even inclined to look benignly about the prospect of a world government. But the tactics and emotional fervour of global warming proponents, Cory included, puts me right off. (The skeptics generally put me off, too, for the same reason, but they don’t seem to be in the majority or to run things here.)

    –Devin Carless

  39. Chris Schmidt says:

    Have you noticed that whenever you mention intellectual property rights online a bunch of people show up with identical objections — almost as though there was a list of talking points somewhere on a blog that astroturfers and denialists used to derail discussions of the most grave existential crisis facing music and film today?

  40. consideredopinion says:

    In another era, I would have bothered with a long elaborate entry defining terms, sharing the best science of people far cleverer than I, and offering apolitical rational reasons for addresses the challenges we share.

    Now though. If you want to deny the reality, there’s nothing I can say or do that will convince you otherwise. I just hope my efforts to actually address the problem will be enough to save your whiney derrier too (because I’m unbelieveably generous).

    Best, and join the common cause whenever you like.

  41. flamingphonebook says:

    “150 years ago we did not use oil… now we do and the planet’s dying…what’s to argue about?”

    150 years ago men wore long beards; now they don’t and the planet’s dying.

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    I try to be a consistent agnostic on global warming. Maybe it is, maybe not. Maybe it’s our fault, maybe it’s natural, maybe a bit of both. Maybe it will be bad for us, maybe not. Maybe we can fix it and cover up the symptoms, maybe we need to reduce emissions. Maybe emissions can be reduced at the production level without affecting consumption. Maybe it can be handled at the market level, maybe we need watchgroups.

    Or maybe we need an immediate, broad-reaching, all-world governmental mandate to radically curtail economic activity and force privation on the populus in perpetuity in order to maintain our chances of survival.

    My worry is that there are people who want to curtail economic activity and force privation via government for their own reasons, and who would be willing to use any excuse to achieve that end. So we should be sure of our evidence before we act.

  42. bardfinn says:

    The Unusual Suspect:

    You may have missed the part where I said:

    “The tatics described above: Get there first, be the loudest, tell a consistent story, reward the audience for loyalty or for not thinking critically, and scapegoating the opposition: Those are available to and used by lay proponents on both sides of the debate – so one cannot really tell which side to believe based on the rhetoric they use.

    One /can/ applaud and pursue those proponents who appeal to the science, who have the most science, who will propose that science to anyone regardless of their identity or loyalty, who encourage critical thinking, and who rationally criticise /but/ do not /scapegoat/ the opposition.”

    1: In the way you mean it, Science was there first. In the way I mean it, the global warming denialists got to the audience first – The audience, by and large, doesn’t have access to scientific research and doesn’t care to interpret it.

    2: Given the amount of money spent by large businesses on PR campaigns and on the Global Warming equivalent of “teach the controversy” – not to mention the end-run around fuel efficiency and emissions regulations, performed by the Automobile industry with the massive exploitation of the Sport/Utility Vehicle exemptions: No. During the nineteen eighties and nineteen nineties, the main message heard was theirs; The scientists simply said “But we have the science.” and expected that to be enough. They eventually realised that having the facts and being right is not enough, that persuading people was required. That means rhetoric.

    The speaking tours you mention are a recent phenomenon.

    3: Yes, we are telling a consistent story. Thankfully ours is far more self-consistent and far more consistent with the science and the facts. I never said that doing so is /wrong/: I said that is what people in a debate who rely on rhetoric /do/. All the “talking points” you are mentioning go back to the 2007 report because it is the latest and the best. The talking points used before 2007 referenced the latest science done before 2007, the ones from 2004 reference the latest science done before 2004, iterate /ad nauseam/. Each of those referenced science.

    The global warming deniers relied merely on rhetoric and pseudo-science.

    4: We prefer to reward the audience for thinking critically and coming to their own conclusions, to consider the consequences of their actions and to demonstrate compassion for others.

    There are companies that take advantage of carbon – offset legislation; Quite often these are the companies and/or countries who rely on the /status quo/ I mentioned above. It has little to do with guilt and much to do with the law requiring them to clean up their act.

    If individuals wish to participate in what is the equivalent of cleaning up one’s room rather than leave it a trashed mess – more power to them. They’re considering the consequences of their actions, and maybe – just maybe – they’re exhibiting compassion for others.

    And 5:

    It’s not scapegoating when it’s the truth. It’s Global Warming. It’s a reality. They deny it. They /admit/ they deny it.

    Scapegoating would be calling them “Magically thinking PR flack marketroids willfully duped by their billionaire fatcat overlords who puppeteer them from the pulpit.”

    I think that for some, this is not far from the truth. For many others, they’re just the victims in a culture war, fed a particular worldview which makes them feel good emotionally and insulates them from pondering the consequences of their actions.

  43. Jeff says:

    And let’s not forget that humans pretend to be lemmings from time to time. Science requires more that fancy theory, it requires observation and lots of facts. I do recall being a teen when the next Ice Age was about to happen. Well, the science was “good” back then too. And back then we didn’t even know about dark matter. How did we survive?

  44. bardfinn says:

    #62: I laughed.

  45. Takuan says:

    back to the basic question: What do we want? Hopefully it’ll overlap enough with what we need to continue.

    I’ll settle for a small room of my own, one real meal a day, a diverse biome,a future for my children and unlimited web access.

  46. jnoring says:

    #51, in your comment, what do you define the phrase “Global Warming” to mean? Is it:

    1) Interpretation of data which suggests the average global temperature in the last few decades has risen in a mostly continuous fashion, or

    2) man’s activities are causing our world to heat up and this will lead to utter disaster, or

    3) something else?

    As my comment previously noted, the phrase “Global Warming” has regrettably come to have the loaded and emotional definition given in item #2 (I won’t dwell on why it has come to mean this since that requires discussing human motivations based on religious-like belief systems, and that is part of the reason we can’t have rational discourse on this topic. Rhetoric based on using “loaded” words and phrases can be quite powerful and is one of the main techniques used by those espousing a particular belief system.)

    Thus, the phrase “Global Warming” should not be used when rationally discussing the likelihood that the average global temperature has increased the last few decades, and, if this is the case, will this warming trend continue, what are the possible cause(s), and what are the possible ramifications to our species, both positive and negative?

    Again, the whole debate about “Global Warming” has become no different than a religious debate, and this has no place in rational, scientific discourse. #51 was going well as he wrote his comment, but towards the end he slipped back into definition #2 mode which includes the view that definition #2 is a scientific FACT beyond any debate and therefore cannot be challenged.

    There’s nothing worse than scientists who have abandoned the scientific method and cannot remain skeptical of even their own beliefs. I have beliefs and views on many matters within the purview of science, but I continually force myself to always be skeptical of my own beliefs and to hold that all is theory, not fact.

    I may even come to accept the general view that man’s activities indeed are a major contributor to the average global temperature to substantially rise. And I might even accept that this is bad for our own species (that is a separate issue — some have argued it will have a net benefit for man, or it might even forestall another Ice Age.) But even were I to decide to accept this view, I will continue to be skeptical of it.

    Most of those commenting in this forum supporting the view that “man is causing the global temperature rise” are pushing this view with such a religious fervor and lack of self-skepticism that it is, frankly, scary, bordering on an Inquisition.

  47. Antinous says:

    dccarles,

    I do have an agenda. I’m a moderator. My job is to keep the discourse civil. That includes exposing commenters who are behaving disingenuously.

  48. Takuan says:

    well, the Apocalypse does tend to excite people. Especially when it’s real.

  49. dougrogers says:

    The lack of beards doesn’t increase carbon dioxide emissions, although I admit, the co-relation would be difficult to prove.

  50. noen says:

    Is that all you have jnoring? There wasn’t even any “data” in that screed. Dvorak? The Bill O’Reilly of PC Mag? What is his degree in again? Oh right, if he even has one it’s in journalism. And where did he get his “facts”? From the Knoxville Cityview magazine.

    So where does all this junk come from? From the Heartland Institute

    RealClimate has covered this before:
    What if you held a conference, and no (real) scientists came?

    See also

    Oregon Institute of Science and Malarkey

  51. Takuan says:

    mmmm, not sure who is right yet. But considering what is at stake, I will err on the side of caution.

  52. Ed Wood says:

    So that’s what I am a global warming denialist.

    Well you global warming alarmists are getting your way.

    $4.00 + dollar a gallon gas will cut consumption.

    Whn bm gts lctd nd pts ll f th mplyrs t f bsnss tht wll ct cnsmptn vn mr. Wtht mplyrs thr wll b n mplys.

    Whn h sccds n lmntng BG L w wll hv t rly n th mrcy f cntrs lk Rss, Sd rb, rn, rq, nd Vnzl mr thn w d nw.

    Th Ftr f th rth wll n lngr b n r hnds t wll b n thrs.

    Hy, w’r ll t ft nd lzy nywy mrc cld stnd t g n dt.

    hp y’r hppy.

  53. fightcopyright says:

    Science is not nor has it ever been about “consensus.”

    Many of the greatest scientists from history: Galileo, Pasture, Einstein, etc were all “denialists” of the consensus view in their field.

    What’s so absurd about all of this, and readily apparent to any scientist is the idea that a group of people can just declare a system as complicated as our climate suddenly to be understood to the extent that no further discussion is necessary. We don’t even study a single electron this way!

    And why the rush to judgement? Because it’s the “greatest existential crisis to face humanity”. With all due respect, that’s bullshit. Even if every prediction comes true, which by the way none of them have so far… WHERE ARE THE HURRICANES, forecast by the consensus view? If they can be so wrong with climate predictions 1-2yrs old why believe in 100 year projections!?

    But lets assume that everything the IPCC says is true: A rise in C02 and global temperatures will do nothing but help biodiversity. Why the hell do you think they call them greenhouse gases? Because they kill plants? Ever been in a greenhouse? Ever been in a Jungle? It’s not like we can create more carbon then was there in the first place. Where the hell did “fossil fuels” come from? And why didn’t they destroy the planet when they were above ground the first time?

    But I’m the one raising FUD “for the oil companies”, when there is a multi-trillion dollar intergovernmental tax scheme hinging upon the success of the this Global Warming PR campaign?

  54. sublate says:

    For those who think “denialism” is just a provocative insult, it’s an increasingly accepted term for those who are are opposed to widely accepted scientific consensus. Skepticism is not an accurate term as they are aren’t just employing critical thinking to analyze the data, but to be actively cynical of what an overwhelming number of scientific experts agree. Climate change denialists are grouped with other forms of denialism because of what they do and how they argue. Global warming/climate change denialists are more similar to evolution denialists than Holocaust denialists.

    Denialism uses 5 specific arguments

    1) Selectively choosing their data/talking points instead of looking at the total sum of the data collected. They focus on the few contrary studies instead of what a vast majority of the data from thousands of sources suggest.

    2) Impossible expectations from scientific research. They expect science to be 100% complete and accurate to be acceptable. Any shortcoming, no matter how small, is used to dismiss the whole field. Meanwhile, any minority opinion they dig up, even if it’s old, faulty, or retracted by the original researcher, is pushed to be accepted.

    3) False experts in the guise of paid researchers and/or those from unrelated fields. Often, the data/opinion the provide is flawed or is grossly lacking when compared to serious experts. They are often from a few closely related sources especially compared to the scientific community.

    4) Logical fallacies in spades. Most often used is the straw man and analogy fallacies.

    5) Conspiracy-theories are used to explain why their arguments aren’t accepted by the scientific establishment. The “they’re religious about science” argument falls into this category because they attempt to suggest an active cover-up.

    There are several sites out there detailing denialism in greater detail. So before you dismiss Cory’s use of the word as just an insult, remember that in this context it has a very specific meaning that accurately describes these individuals and scientific cynicism.

  55. dougrogers says:

    Invariably, every ‘denialist’ argument I’ve ever seen eventually comes down to the slippery slope argument of a world government.

    sheesh.

    And really. Take these science arguments to RealClimate or Grist. You’ll find something there. Or have you refused to have sense beaten into there?

  56. Winchester94 says:

    “The lack of beards doesn’t increase carbon dioxide emissions, although I admit, the co-relation would be difficult to prove.”

    One could argue the lack of beards does increase carbon dioxide emissions. The production of electricity to power your electric razor, will emit CO2. CO2 is emitted in the manufacture of those plastic disposable razors as well. Even if you have an old blacksmith make you a straight razor, that still emits CO2. So maybe having a long beard would in fact help the environment. ;)

  57. jnoring says:

    [smile] I think we need to differentiate between the following two examples:

    1) “Well, the Apocalypse does tend to excite people. Especially when it’s real.”

    and

    2) “Well, the Apocalypse does tend to excite people. Especially when *they believe* it’s real.”

    Putting it another way, there is a difference in saying “this is fact” and “I hold the view/belief this is reality.” These are not equivalent statements when it comes to rational, scientific discourse.

    Torquemadans generally hold the first, and those who believe in the scientific method and rational discourse hold on to the second.

  58. doug l says:

    As every freethinker knows, it is impossible to argue with the orthodoxy on matters of faith.

  59. kaiza says:

    @21

    http://www.accountancyagejobs.com/business-green/comment/2200107/climate-change-beat-global

    Using the term “global warming” is far more provocative, and thus likely to draw a reaction from a consistently apathetic majority. I can’t stand the term climate change.

  60. Haldor says:

    @SEATTLEPETE & CATBELLER,

    Thank you.

  61. jnoring says:

    Dvorak’s article simply referenced three different resources, and those interested can then continue from there.

    I didn’t even search for this article. It just happened to be posted today so thought I’d share it here because of its timeliness. I do not plan to discuss or debate this topic in this forum. I’ve said what I needed to say which focused on how, not what, Cory wrote.

    • Antinous says:

      I do not plan to discuss or debate this topic in this forum.

      Then why are you still posting? Someone might think that you have an agenda.

  62. bardfinn says:

    Jnoring:

    Global Warming – like Evolution – is a reality, and a scientific fact. There is no debate amongst scientists anymore as to whether it is occurring. The science is there, and anyone who is honest may follow it to the overwhelmingly obvious conclusions.

    Like Evolution, there is a lot of debate as to what the mechanisms involved are – but the phenomenon is real and the cause is clearly evident from the science: Industrialisation. The hand of Man.

    The consequences are real, too, and /any/ significant change from the /status quo/ of our climate will damage human activity, whether that’s agriculture or sports, settlements or industries, our ecosystem or our own health.

    There were two decades of deniers, spending a lot of resources to persuade people that it wasn’t occurring. Now that it is clear to most people that it IS occurring, these EXACT SAME DENIERS are claiming it’s not the influence of Man – when the SAME SCIENCE that they are implictly accepting inextricably points to Man.

    You are comparing our confidence and public stand for the reality of Global Warming – based on overwhelming science – with a religious fervor, with a witch-hunt undertaken by ignorant superstitious clerics who tortured and killed hundreds of thousands of people for heresy.

    That’s the very definition of scapegoating.

  63. Deviant says:

    Whether or not we are causing global warming is irrelevant. All that matters is to what extent we can and should attempt to change it. Right now all of our measures are wastes of money. The entire green campaign is largely just corporate marketing. I’m tired of the holier-than-thou attitude from people driving Priuses, who I actually blame for the real crime that is being committed. Conservation without innovation is essentially procrastination. Replace every American’s car with a Prius and all we’ve done is push back the problem less than 10 years and waste massive amounts of money that could have been spent on real solutions. While we in the West operate more inefficiently (a.k.a. green), China, India, et al. don’t, and all we do is economically handicap ourselves.

  64. Antinous says:

    Please do not disemvowel the people I am debating.

    Bardfinn,

    It takes quite a bit of work to get oneself disemvowelled. Generally, it’s for some form of outstanding rudeness. However…in a thread like this, a commenter may be disemvowelled for repeating the same point over and over again, or for gross disingenuousness. If you’re debating somebody who keeps repeating the same point or is being grossly and obviously disingenuous, you have a bigger problem than that person’s loss of vowels.

  65. Takuan says:

    charming people

    “Heartland campaigns against what it refers to as “junk science”; supports “common-sense environmentalism”, such as opposition to the the Kyoto protocol aimed at countering global warming and promoting genetically engineered crops and products; it supports the privatization of public services; it opposes tobacco control measure such as tobacco tax increases and denies the health effects of second-hand smoke; it supports the introduction of school vouchers;, and it promotes the deregulation of health care insurance.”

  66. dstntmbrk says:

    Cry Dctrw, stp sng rhtrc lk “dnlst” t blly ppl wh dn’t hv th xct sm vws s y. Ths st s sppsd t b drctry f wndrfl thngs, nt pltfrm fr y t ttmpt t mk ppl fl bd bt thmslvs. f kp sng ths knds f psts frm y mght strt lkng fr mdfd RSS BngBng fd tht ds nt ncld yr psts.

  67. Anonymous says:

    I love the waaaaahmbulancing and butt-hurtedness over the use of “denial.”

    Protip: If you weren’t in denial, you’d actually engage with the subject of the post, instead of getting into a snit over word choice.

  68. bardfinn says:

    #73: Using more fuel-efficient vehicles /is/ a real solution. Allowing society to collapse isn’t, nor is a massive major enforced overhaul of the way our cities are structured.

    You speak of “real solutions” – what are these real solutions?

    Are you willing to fund those solutions with money taken from the people, or from the corporate crooks who weaselled away from cleaning themselves up for two decades? Or from someone else?

  69. dccarles says:

    Everyone has an ‘agenda’, though it’s more usually called ‘purposes’ or ‘intentions’. That’s pretty obvious. So when someone says ‘You have an agenda‘, they are either

    a) stating the blindingly obvious, or
    b) eliding the word hidden.

    People generally don’t state the blindingly obvious. So it seemed to me that you were making an accusation of a hidden agenda. This violates what I’d consider the first rule of intelligent debate, the Principle of Charity. If, of course, this isn’t what you intended, I apologize.

    Assuming intellectual dishonesty is another potential violation of the Principle of Charity. I understand that in your work as a moderator you might have to make presumptions of intent. Such a judgment is always a risk, though, particularly when done with arguments one finds repugnant.

    –Devin Carless

    • Antinous says:

      Devin,

      We moderate behavior, not content, unless it crosses the line into gross hate-mongering. Trolls and shills are pros at pushing the envelope of acceptable behavior. We make judgment calls. His comments remain intact, but if he continues to comment while insisting that it’s not worth his time to do so, they won’t. That’s insulting to everyone else who has commented.

  70. bardfinn says:

    #72: Finger Zen.

  71. SamF says:

    #88: 4) Logical fallacies in spades. Most often used is the straw man and analogy fallacies.

    Uhm…your whole post is basically a straw man. :D

    Or:

    I’M IN UR ARGUMENT KILLIN UR STRAWMEN!

    (sorry, I couldn’t resist)

  72. fightcopyright says:

    @31

    I can appreciate the appearance of paranoia, but magnifying crises is how governments take away freedom. If you can’t see this potential on the GW issue, consider another track:

    “Terrorism is such a danger that we have to take away civil liberties to keep you safe.”

    I think virtually all BB readers would recognize that governments can use the fear of Terrorism to consolidate power and eliminate liberty. Why is it so hard to believe that they would do the same thing with Climate Change?

    Do you really want to carry a Carbon Ration card as was proposed in the UK?

  73. Hmpf says:

    All right, skeptics. You’re proud, above all, of your superior ability to think rationally, right? So, what’s the rational way of behaving in the following situation:

    You attend a party where people end up drinking a bit too much. At a certain level of alcohol ingestion, your host begins to think it a brilliantly funny idea to play Russian roulette. When the gun is handed to you, do you

    a) pull the trigger, because after all, you don’t know with *absolute certainty* that there will be a bullet in the chamber, and the probability is 5:1 there won’t be, or

    b) refuse to pull the trigger, because you don’t know with absolute certainty that there *won’t* be a bullet in the chamber?

    (For those who choose option b), this might be an interesting link: http://www.350.org)

  74. jnoring says:

    #68, you are making the assumption that there’s overwhelming consensus in the full breadth of the set of beliefs that make up the “Global Warming is real and caused by man” argument. (There are several component parts which tend to get glossed over — it tends to be a “you must accept them all” kind of proposition which hides their true complexity. We see this “accept them all or else” view in both religion and politics. Of course, the scientific consensus on a number of theories 100 years ago is quite different than that of today — I could cite dozens of examples. Thus the scientific “consensus” mantra is simply another way to try to win the rational argument. It is a form of an ad hominem attack, to be blunt, since it is used to socially and psychologically isolate individuals who hold different views. I’m not going to play that game, especially when it is accompanied by “all who call into question any of the tenets of the ‘Global Warming Canon’ are, by definition, deniers and not skeptics.” Not exactly a way to win friends and influence people.)

    Anyway, saying there is scientific consensus as a matter of “fact” is something which I have not yet accepted. From my vantage point, a number of well-regarded scientists that I have worked with over the years do not accept the full panoply of the “Global Warming Canon”. Many are afraid to speak out in my private conversations with them exactly for the reasons I’ve been citing in my comments (who wants to get viciously attacked for their scientific views?), this I know for a personal fact.

    But of course I can’t prove it to you so I present it as an “I believe” just as you should have said “I believe there is scientific consensus on the Global Warming Canon.” But I am in a good position to know my side of the coin — I’ve resisted getting into the specifics of my background in this area in this particular forum since this forum is not a good one to discuss such specifics, or to debate the scientific evidence for a particular theory.

    Rather, my focus has been to concentrate on the inability of many here, starting with Cory, in maintaining rationality about this and embracing skepticism of even one’s own beliefs as a necessary component of proper science — and to accept others who hold different views. When one is skeptical of their own beliefs, they are more likely to listen to alternative views and focus on the evidence and rational arguments, and not to resort to argument methods which focus on the person.

    We need to shift to a rational dialogue between different points of view on the existence, causes, and ramifications of a “warming cycle” without resorting to “scientific consensus” arguments or using the phrase “deniers”, etc.

  75. ill lich says:

    Theres a truck driver that delivers to our office, who listens to right-wing-AM-radio all day, so of course he spouts it all back out when he gets here, pent-up anger at “those damn liberals!”

    So during winter cold-snaps he always says “See?! Global warming is bunk. . . it’s FREEZING out!”

    Of course he doesn’t say anything during summer heat waves.

  76. Hmpf says:

    Addendum:

    @36: If global warming is a government ploy to take away our freedom, then why are governments around the world so damn reluctant to institute even the smallest measures against it? They should be *jumping* on it, shouldn’t they?

    Or is it not a government ploy, but rather one by those well known enemies of liberty, Evil Scientists(tm), who want to get governments under their thumb to enact some nefarious plan? – Where’s James Bond when you need him…

    (And that’s me out of this discussion, I think. I don’t have the necessary patience today.)

  77. nerdler says:

    Tht’s t.
    ‘v hd ngh f Cry’s pdntc n-fscsm.
    Nw, ‘m s cncrnd bt th nvrnmnt s th vrg bng-bng rdr, bt th ttr ntlrnc f ny cntrry pstn tht Cry nd hs lk dsply r gttng bt scry. Wht nxt? Jl tm fr th ‘dnlsts’ n th bss f scl hrm? Bng-bng sd t b n ntrstng st fll f cl nd wndrfl ds, bt ltly, t sms t b trnng nt jst nthr prpgnd st, whr thr cn b n dsgrmnt.

  78. Avram says:

    Dstntmbrk #35, I’m amused by the way you’ve given yourself a pre-disemvowelled user name for coming in and trying to tell Cory what he’s allowed to write about.

    Nerdler #39, if you think Cory’s post constitutes “neo-fascism”, you need to read about the actual Fascists.

    Jnoring, your #40 is skating on thin ice. Particularly the paragraphs where you accuse Cory of “religious fervor” and being “no different than Michele Malkin”.

    For those out there who itch to accuse me of censoring anyone who disagrees with some official liberal BoingBoing orthodoxy, note that there are a number of comments in this thread that do express skepticism about global warming, yet have been left intact. (By me, at least.) Even The Unusual Suspect’s #50, with its blatant intellectual dishonesty in the first paragraph.

  79. jnoring says:

    nd, ys, by hw Cry wrdd hs rtcl ttl nd cmmnt, s mplyng tht nyn wh ds nt flly mbrc th “Glbl Wrmng Cnn” s, by dfntn, “dnr.” Th wrd “dnr” s clrly n mtnlly-ldn wrd ntndd t dsprg ndvdls nd thr blfs. t s clrly nt n ccrt nd bjctv trm.

    Nw, f tht ws nt Cry’s ntnt (sch s h ws nly tlkng bt spcfc prsn nd h lt hs mtns gt th bttr f hm), hp tht h wll pst sm srt f clrfctn. f h dsn’t, wll nfrtntly hv t hld t my rgnl bsrvtn.

  80. freeyourcrt says:

    I am a regular reader of BB. No ones is paying me anything for my views, and I don’t volunteer for Exxon. But I’ve heard there are plenty of scientist and academics (10,000 +) that have signed a petition saying that the man-made global warming science done to date is seriously flawed. Also, I have seen studies that conclude the the Earth’s surface warming could well be a cosmic occurence due to fluctuating levels of radiation from the sun, and that this theory is helped by a rise in other planetary surface temperatures in our solar system. I’ll cut right to the chase, how is a world tax on carbon going to lower temperatures? And just what can the UN do with those tax receipts to lower temps?

  81. AnnoyedCapitalist says:

    I’m sure this thread is over, but there was something bothering me about the premise of the original post which I wasn’t able to define until just now:

    Talking points or no, if you’re talking to someone who brings up a point that you aren’t aware of, then you aren’t well informed. If you aren’t well informed, then you should realize this and acquiese that you may be wrong. If you couldn’t make each and every one of those points yourself before reading, then you have no place telling people that they are wrong.

    I guess my point is: if you needed the information in this post, you shouldn’t have been debating in the first place. Should one of those things be brought up and you didn’t know about it before, the proper thought process is reflection — how does that affect your previous knowledge? If you can’t argue against in your own head, you need to stop and inform yourself.

    But the premise of the post is this: you are arguing without knowing. You are just another empty head spouting more talking points. Here is ammunition against the other side’s talking points. You are just as empty-headed as they, but are on the “correct” side.

    That premise irks me to no end whether it be in a debate about climate change, evolution, abortion, copyright, anything.

  82. noen says:

    I see that jnoring doesn’t actually debate global warming, he debates the debate. How very meta.

    An excellent resource:
    How to Talk to a Global Warming Sceptic

    I haven’t seen this addressed: I’m old enough to remember the Hippies claiming in the 1970′s that the Earth was COOLING.

    They Predicted Cooling in the 1970′s

    Answer:
    It is true that there were some predictions of an “emminent ice age” in the 1970′s but what does this tell us about today’s warnings?

    A very cursory comparison of then and now reveals a huge difference. Today, you have a widespread scientific consensus supported by national academies and all the major scientific institutions solidy behind the warning that the temperature is rising, anthropogenic CO2 is the cause and the warming will worsen unless we reduce emissions. In the 1970′s, there was a book in the popular press, a few articles in popular magazines, and a small amount of scientific speculation based on the recently discovered glacial cycles and the recent slight cooling trend from air pollution blocking the sunlight. No daily headlines. No avalanche of scientific articles. No United Nations treaties and commissions. No G8 summits on the dangers.

    There quite simply is no comparison, I’m sure you could find better evidence of a “consensus” of a coming alien invasion.

    Climate 411 is also a very good resource. Take a look at the projections page.

    The sea will be rising. Are you prepared?

    A lot has been made of sea level rise in the media. Countless people have made cool looking maps demonstrating how a rising ocean (and subsequent and inevitable storm surges) can completely mess with an area. But has anyone looked at New Jersey? I’ve made the best possible quality (at this scale) maps using 10 meter Digital Elevation Models graciously provided by the USGS

    Imagine the New York Metro in a ten foot sea level rise scenario

    If you like maps:

    Global Warming Outcomes

    Google’s Lat Long Blog

  83. Asgard says:

    antinous

    if you think that Al Gore and his cronies back at the IPCC are any more trustworthy than the oil companies you are sadly mistaken. the trackrecord of the UN and other global bureaucratic organizations in bringing positive benefits to people’s lives is less than enticing and if they are to have their way we ordinary citizens will be forced to pay the carbon taxes that the big corporations have already found numerous ways to sidestep. the question of whether global warming is human induced or part of a natural cycle is debatable but the notion that paying more taxes to the government will ameliorate this sitaution is delusional. in an age where the modern day environmental movement has been infiltrated by the same corporate interests it once sought to rally against, the establishment of carbon dioxide as the penultimate threat to our environment in the minds of the ordinary person has effectively muted out the debate on what the real dangers to our environment are: toxic chemicals. things like mercury and lead and dioxin and other things which have unequivocally been shown to cause harm. dozens of nasty chemicals have been found in groundwater drinking supplies but nothing has been proposed to solve the problem and the news is quickly forgotten but every time you turn on the tv someone is pounding the drum on human induced global warming. do not think it is impossible that a deceptive political agenda can originate from the left side of the political spectrum(are you unaware of Al Gore’s close ties to the petroleum industry?). it is the nature of all politicians that they seek to exploit the common man for their own benefit. and a similar wariness should be exercised in regards to the icons of the scientific establishment as well, as it is only through their cajoling of the political wing that they receive their funding and their findings can easily be modified to support a given agenda. if you are a closed-minded person you will surely dismiss the perspective that i am presenting but if you are an open-minded person you will at least admit the possibility that it might be right. the current level of mankinds understanding of the weather is so faulty that we cannot even predict it over a 7 day period, so is it then so unreasonable to consider the idea that models which seek to predict the weather over a decade or a hundred years might not be accurate?

  84. Takuan says:

    you are asking for a simple, one sentence answer. It takes at least a few paragraphs.

    For starters, why do you say “world tax”?

  85. Michael says:

    Jnoring, I call shenanigans! You say:

    Putting it another way, there is a difference in saying “this is fact” and “I hold the view/belief this is reality.” These are not equivalent statements when it comes to rational, scientific discourse.

    Torquemadans generally hold the first, and those who believe in the scientific method and rational discourse hold on to the second.

    I am almost positive that what you really meant to say was:

    Putting it another way, I believe there is a difference in saying “this is fact” and “I hold the view/belief this is reality.” I do not believe that these are equivalent statements when it comes to rational, scientific discourse.

    I believe and assert that Torquemadans generally hold the first, and I believe that those who believe in the scientific method and rational discourse believe that they hold on to the second.

    Because you’re all about science and logical consistency, unlike Cory and Malkin and all those Torquemadans. Right? Why do you still have vowels, again?

  86. jnoring says:

    It’s amazing how the choice of words, and the implied meaning behind them, can be used to stifle rational discussion.

    And unfortunately Cory is inadvertently guilty of using two such words/phrases. I expect better of someone who believes in getting the facts straight, the objective use of language, general rational discourse, and applying the principles of skepticism to all sides of an issue.

    I’m with Cory 100% on issues regarding copyright, DRM, etc., and he has been great at getting the message out using rational arguments. Over time he has even persuaded me on a few sub-topics in the realm of IP. So his “global warming denialists” article took me aback. This certainly cannot be Cory!

    It is unfortunate that the phrases “climate change”, “global warming”, and the like have rapidly been given extended meaning (including political and even a religious-like meaning) in our culture, not unlike the meaning now people ascribe to “UFO”. (UFO is an acronym for “unidentified flying object”, yet today most people assume the definition to be “alien spacecraft”, which clearly is not “unidientified”!)

    So today most people equate the phrase “global warming” with “man is causing our world to heat up and this will lead to utter disaster…”

    But in a rational scientific discourse, “global warming” should only mean that we interpret the data to suggest that the average global temperature has been on a rising slope the last few decades. We cannot, and should not, ascribe cause(s) of our interpretation to this phrase since all it does is to obfuscate rational discourse. It is like what “UFO” has become — and silly at that.

    Second, using a variant on the label “deniers” to describe those who either disagree that average global temperatures have risen the last few decades, or that they have risen but are due partly, mostly or entirely to natural cycles (e.g., the sun’s output has slightly increased), is also simply inflammatory and non-objective. It is a label pure and simple.

    Again, I am disappointed since I expect better of Cory. Religious fervor is something he has always written against.

    I won’t explain my views on this topic here, since it is useless to have a discussion when emotionally-laden words/phrases are thrown out (making Cory no different than Michele Malkin, for example) and it becomes a discussion which is indistinguishable from a religious debate. I don’t get into debating religious belief.

    Now, I am not calling into question his views on the matter of the existence and cause of a “average global temperature rise” — it is alright to take a position and rationally debate it. That’s part of the scientific process. I am calling into question his slide into the very thing he is against: religious fervor.

  87. dougrogers says:

    If you took it, it’s yours.

  88. The Unusual Suspect says:

    Quoting Avram @ #75:

    “For those out there who itch to accuse me of censoring anyone who disagrees with some official liberal BoingBoing orthodoxy, note that there are a number of comments in this thread that do express skepticism about global warming, yet have been left intact. (By me, at least.) Even The Unusual Suspect’s #50, with its blatant intellectual dishonesty in the first paragraph.”

    Quoting myself @ #50 (first paragraph):

    “Why all this sudden attention to “global warming denialists”, when even just a few months ago we were being assured that there was “100% consensus” on the issue?”

    Once again I’m reminded that not everyone gets irony.

    But I confess that I’m not sure where you find “blatant intellectual dishonesty” in that statement.

    (Of course, I’m not sure what you intend by “liberal orthodoxy” either.)

  89. arkizzle says:

    I’m old enough to remember the Hippies claiming in the 1970′s that the Earth was COOLING.
    It’s all the same dance, just a different tune.

    If I remember correctly, the Boy Who Cried Wolf gets eaten in the end either way..

  90. Antinous says:

    It takes at least a few paragraphs.

    Is that intentional irony?

  91. Takuan says:

    only a little. That was for Freeyourcrt.

    But Asgard? Please break it up into paragraphs, long blocks of text are hard on the eyes and difficult to reply to.

  92. SeattlePete says:

    @ #5: It’s been my understanding that as the air temp gets warmer, more moisture is pumped into the air resulting in more precipitation hitting the ground in the PNW. Over the next couple of decades we’ll get heavier and heavier snow packs (and more epic ski seasons) until the air temp at the passes hit a 32 degree average over the winter and it all falls apart.

    Enjoy it while you can! (unless you live on a river, in which case you should start sandbagging)

  93. Astroknott says:

    How many ice ages has the earth had? Eleven? Maybe more. In all but the last humans weren’t even present. There have been times in the earths history that there wasn’t any ice on either pole. The climate is constantly changing and will continue to do so, like it or not.

    I don’t “deny” that we are in a warming trend, we are. But historically it is a slight warming trend and not at all out of the ordinary with what has happened repeatedly for millions of years.

    Yes increased C02 levels can lead to increased temperatures. But C02 levels are not particularly high historically speaking. Increased C02 levels also contribute to increased plant growth. Plants absorb C02 so the system seems to be somewhat self regulating.

    I am also concerned that the “cures” for global warming may do more harm that good. Turning corn into ethanol comes to mind. It now appears that this practice actually increases C02 levels. It is also raising the cost of almost everything. Yet we recklessly charged into it because “we have to save the planet”! We need a more measured approach.

    I am also sick of this constant name calling. Calling someone a “denier” because they have some valid questions is simply ridiculous. I could understand it if we were debating whether the earth was flat or round. But man made global warming is not such a cut and dried idea. It is far from being an established fact.

    Lastly, everyone needs to take a breath and relax a bit. If we do nothing we aren’t going to be burning up for a long time. If we do the WRONG thing matters could be far worse.

  94. jnoring says:

    Hmmm, yes avram, I may have let my emotions get away on the comparison to Michele Malkin, but that was intentional because from my vantage point, I saw no difference in how Cory wrote his article from those of Michele — using emotionally-laden words to demonize a group of people rather than objective arguments to promote one’s views and perspectives (but then maybe it would not make for entertaining reading!) For comparison I probably should have picked someone who was politically more alike to the prevailing left-bias in this blog. [smile]

    The whole “Global Warming” thing has become one big polarizing can of worms because too many scientists as well as policy makers have abandoned the scientific method and important principles of skepticism.

    The result is that we, as a society, may embark on a course which is actually the wrong thing to do, and may do more harm than good. There are those who claim we don’t have time to think this through and must act immediately since “Global Warming caused by man” may be true.

    But then there’s a lot of us who currently believe that doing what is being proposed may actually cause more harm than good, because we simply don’t know — we are heavily relying upon as-yet-imperfect computer models which still do not fully incorporate all the possible mechanisms of radiative transport in the atmosphere, nor use accurate real-world data (e.g., aerosol data is mostly estimated and this is an important factor), nor factor in variations in the solar constant due to both sun cycles and various short-term and long-term orbit cycles, mitigation factors which kick in when temperatures rise, etc.

    Nor do we consider that the net impact of a warming cycle on Earth may be positive, especially if we have several decades to naturally adjust. If we are to spend $50 trillion in the short-term to try to stop “global warming” (based on the assumption we caused it all), we could also just spend that money over time to adapt and reap the positive benefits of rising average temperature (and there are some.)

    I could present my beliefs as to the motives behind the primary pushers of the “Global Warming is caused by man and we must act now!” supporters. But that simply would throw fuel on the fire of this discussion since it will simply do what I observed Cory having done. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Rather, it is important that we all stand back, take a deep breath, call into question our own beliefs, including assessing why we believe them as we do (do they support a bigger belief system that we adhere to, such as a political/social belief system?) Scientists need to be more skeptical of their own views and beliefs, and willing to change them as more data and better analysis is presented to them. I’m not saying a scientist should abandon personal beliefs, but rather they should not let them drive how they interact with other scientists.

    As I’ve noted and should be obvious, I have not fully embraced the “Global Warming is completely caused by man’s activities and we must do something now or we will destroy ourselves!” argument. But as I continue to look at new evidence and arguments, I may embrace more parts of it (I’m actually more worried about the possible acidification of the oceans.) But if I do, I will certainly maintain skepticism of what I believe. I hope that Cory will, too, and think twice before demonizing a group of people, especially in the nebulous and global manner which I interpreted he did.

  95. jnoring says:

    Btw, I should have closed my previous comment with the following:

    “A person who holds to the principles of skepticism must always remain skeptical of what they believe to be true.”

  96. jnoring says:

    [laugh] Well, Michael (#81), I’m not perfect. And neither are Cory nor Michele Malking.

    Point well taken, Michael.

  97. Stefan Jones says:

    What’s most amusing about the greenhouse denial trolls:

    They’re basically unpaid shills for a FUD campaign whose original backers have moved on.

    They’re like the libertarian fanboys I met in college who were carrying a torch for tobacco companies. (“You can’t prove smoking causes cancer! Liberals are just attacking tobacco companies because they have a successful product!”) These guys didn’t smoke, they didn’t own tobacco stock; they were just being contrarian dickheads. Or maybe they thought siding with big business would earn them a place at Ayn Rand’s side.

  98. catbeller says:

    @Haldor:

    Global climate isn’t the same as local weather. The world climate is warming; at the same time, the ice melt from Greenland and the artic will tend to desalinate the Gulf Stream, altering the course to miss western Europe. It may get a bit chilly in Great Britain and other points west, as their persent balmy weather is caused by the warm waters of the tropics coming north. But the planet will boil like an egg. Local is not global.

  99. mitechka says:

    I had rather a few points to make on the style of rhetoric used by both sides of the GW argument, so here is my LJ post about it.

    http://vombatus.livejournal.com/259205.html

  100. Asgard says:

    sorry about that. i meant to but forgot.

  101. AnnoyedCapitalist says:

    I am also concerned that the “cures” for global warming may do more harm that good. Turning corn into ethanol comes to mind.

    Actually that was done a) for renewable energy and b) for the corn farmers. I don’t think it was ever a CO2 issue. It is one of those “which kind of environmentalist am I” issues, like plastic (carbon sequestering!) versus paper (biodegradable!).

  102. Takuan says:

    why are people emotional about global warming and the possible end of the world? Is it because they have been lied to about so much for so long that they can’t begin to relax enough to think clearly and weigh evidence? Who can be listened to with any confidence? In the USA,the government? The same people that brought torture,economic ruin,war, loss of basic freedoms and incipient poverty? Scientists? Whose opinions have been purchased by tobacco companies, GMO businesses and drug companies seeking dubious approvals? Priests and holy men that seem to produce a scandal a day? Who?

  103. Antinous says:

    I don’t want to name any names, but they’ll be here in three, two, one…

  104. bardfinn says:

    Jnoring:

    “Anyway, saying there is scientific consensus as a matter of “fact” is something which I have not yet accepted.”

    Regardless of whether you yourself have accepted it, it remains a fact that the broad scientific consensus is that Global Warming is an actual phenomenon, that the mechanisms are many and varied and are in debate, and that the ultimate cause is widespread industrialisation by the hand of Man.

    The plural of “anecdote” is not “data”, so the “a number of well-regarded scientists that I {you} have worked with over the years” anecdote isn’t a rebuttal to Global Warming.

    The inherently mutable nature of the scientific consensus and paradigm isn’t a rebuttal – that is science’s strength.

    You claim first that this is not the proper forum for discussing science and the application of the scientific method : “… since this forum is not a good one to discuss such specifics, or to debate the scientific evidence for a particular theory.” – BUT then you wish to CHIDE US for “the inability of many here, starting with Cory, in maintaining rationality about this and embracing skepticism of even one’s own beliefs as a necessary component of proper science” – ?

    There’s skepticism, and then there’s outright gainsaying. There’s an open mind, and then there’s an unlocked and unwatched mind. Distinctions exist between them.

    “We need to shift to a rational dialogue between different points of view on the existence, causes, and ramifications of a “warming cycle” …”

    In other words: Pay no attention to the science that I will not discuss and choose to be skeptical of – TEACH THE CONTROVERSY. Amirite?

    - The rational dialogue on the existence of the phenomenon was performed by scientists. It’s done. Over. Foregone conclusion. Not open for popular debate. Unless you wish to perform actual science, in which case I’ll see your drop-in-the-bucket in five years.

    - The rational dialogue on the cause of the phenomenon was performed by scientists. It’s done. Over. Foregone conclusion. Not open for popular debate. Unless you wish to perform actual science, in which case I’ll see your drop-in-the-bucket in five years.

    - The rational dialogue on the ramifications of the phenomenon are EVEN NOW being performed by scientists. They are somewhat open for popular debate, but as I am something of an elitist intellectual, I’m going to have to side with the scientists and the scientific “Reserving judgement until sufficient facts are in” method – which makes it clear that it will threaten agriculture and habitation, wildlife and sea levels, and human industry, regardless of the exact mechanisms.

    Claiming that it’s scientific for the public to be skeptical of science is disingenuous, it is the same tactic used by Intelligent Design proponents – I.D. being no different from Creationism, which is the merely the denial of Evolution.

    We certainly cannot tell who to believe from their rhetoric, but we can certainly be informed as to whose rhetoric is bunk by their rhetoric.

    In the meantime, there are things people can actually /do/, rather than entertain fuzzy fantasies of ignorance portrayed as “skepticism”.

  105. noen says:

    Pooklord
    Not being a climatologist, I lack the credentials to evaluate the merits of published scientific papers. And personally, I just don’t care whether it’s occuring or not.

    You should care, especially if you live on the coast. I don’t have any credentials either but I can read and understand the resources on the various websites already listed here. It isn’t that hard. And I am able to be fair, I’m not perfect, but I can tell when someone is an extremist from either side. The trick for dealing with many net controversies is to not get too sucked into extremist positions on either side. However trolls like those on this thread are always wrong. When has a troll ever been right? Never. Not ten years ago on USENET, not five years ago on IRC and not now.

    Roswell was a radar balloon.
    No shots were fired from the grassy knoll.
    We really did go to the moon.
    Evolution is valid science.
    Global Warming is real and caused by human activity.

  106. Takuan says:

    Do I trust Al Gore? Not especially. He is a politician. That neither gainsays or approves all he says.

    Paying carbon taxes: this is so big, so endemic that it is not a matter of you paying or faceless corporations paying: we will ALL pay. Every dollar of disposable income taxed away from you is one dollar less for them to sell you consumer goods and services. We are approaching the limits of human economic theory and beginning to finally touch the economics of physical reality Something “savages” knew when they asked “civilized” man if gold could be eaten.

    The poisoning of the earth: who wants their children to eat poison? The rich? Do you imagine a conspiracy where the moneyed will have exclusive farms of pure crops? Even the stupidest,most short-sighted tycoon knows better.

    Our sure understanding of the order and function of the natural world and universe? Of course we don’t know for sure. Many say there is no warming. Many,many more say there is. They may be wrong. But if they are right and we do not listen, all die. If they are wrong, some die and we are inconvenienced.

    Our “world” is our civilization today. The economic collapse that will come with radical climate shift IS the end of our world. When I say “all die” I mean it. I do not call a handful of miserable survivors quarreling over scant food “survival”

  107. noen says:

    Freeyourcrt, please read the article. All your questions are answered there. And unlike the gossip you’ve been reading it contains actual information.

    Asgard, thank you for your concerns. Now please move along.

    jnoring
    Dvorak’s article simply referenced three different resources, and those interested can then continue from there.

    And the RealClimate articles I linked to discuss the sources of your misinformation.

  108. Andrew Denny says:

    Every time someone says “you are in denial” I it somehow translates in my head to “you haven’t got a right to your opinion”.

    I think climate change is real, but I also know that when you call someone a denialist, it means you are unwilling to listen to them.

    Denial is the original Freudian bullshit.

  109. aphid says:

    Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) recently laid out the “facts” of global warming, warning of the “well financed propaganda campaign behind the manmade global warming theory.” Since we have his speech in a wiki, it might be fun to inline some of these rebuttals/debunking alongside his remarks.

  110. eustace says:

    Hmmm. Dictionary of the Future?

    sur·viv·al \sər-ˈvī-vəl\ n. a handful of miserable survivors quarreling over scant food.

    Yeah, I’m with you.

    Nice survival quote from Victor Hugo:

    “Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.”

  111. bardfinn says:

    A quick note: Please do not disemvowel the people I am debating. I have seen a standard that disemvoweling is for potty-mouth and egregious trolling, not for the explication of a complex belief system.
    I know this is special pleading on my part – but if the audience can’t read their rhetoric, how can they see how valid my critique of their rhetoric is?

    Thanks.

  112. locomotivebreath1901 says:

    “…almost as though there was a list of talking points… ”

    Uh, well ya know, sparky, if the sky is blue, and everyone agrees that the sky is blue, it’s not because there’s myrmidon marching orders from thought control central – it’s because everyone agrees on the flippin ~obvious truth!

    Krykee. Don’t forget yer knee pads before you visit the goracle’s temple this week.

  113. jnoring says:

    Noen, that is an excellent resource, and notable in that it strives to maintain the high road, even if there are positions/views taken which I believe are not supported by the data.

    About the “global cooling movement” of the 1970′s, I definitely remembered that but didn’t want to bring it up in this discussion.

    And yes, Noen, my comments have mostly focused on debating the debate. That is, to focus not on what Cory said, but how he said it. That’s one reason I’ve not delved much into discussing the scientific evidence in this comments section. Frankly, this forum is not conducive to reasoned debate on this topic. Not because the people here are not capable of that, but because Boing Boing is, well Boing Boing!

    Hopefully Cory will get back to steampunk and copyright stuff.

    • Antinous says:

      Frankly, this forum is not conducive to reasoned debate on this topic.

      Then I’ll consider this your final post on the topic. If, having dismissed the debate, you continue to participate in it, I will have no compunction about disemvowelling you for lack of good faith and disingenuousness.

  114. mgabrysSF says:

    I didn’t see mr sun mentioned or the ice receding on mars. I’m still tracking those and I’m pretty sure the mars rovers are zero-emission. Thoughts? Something is going on with the sun anyway – the sunspot cycle is off. Last time it was off for any large period we fell into a minor ice age.

    This of course interests me somewhat.

  115. Haldor says:

    I’m not taking sides but riddle me this:

    How does one explain global warming to a nay sayer that lives in the Washington Cascades when snow pack is 150 – 200% of average and temperatures have been very cold for this time of year?

    Truly, I’m not trolling but when posed with those comments I’m stumped. Thoughts?

  116. jnoring says:

    Well, Bardfinn, we can only agree to disagree.

    All I’ll note is that again you are building your case upon the supposition that there is “complete scientific consensus” with the particulars that you outlined. You again present this as irrefutable fact.

    This is not yet proven, and runs counter to my observations. Saying that something is true and it being true are not the same thing.

    Now, if you said “I believe there is scientific consensus on this issue as follows…”, then I have nothing to argue about since it is your belief. But to assert it as a universal truism has a much higher level of burden for you to prove. You’ve not convinced me.

    Nevertheless, in this particular forum I won’t discuss the details about the “scientific consensus”.

  117. MarlboroTestMonkey7 says:

    It’s interesting how Cory’s views or more specifically, his passion about some themes, seem to alienate some readers who now ascribe religious leanings to his particular wording.

    He’s just a man, I’m just sayin’.

    About the climate: it’s getting hotter and we are not doing anything but making it worse. Cycle or not, deterministic scientific opinions that imply just to sit back and enjoy the grim spectacle are as irresponsible as dogma.

  118. Antinous says:

    The UK is predicted to have a climate like Labrador’s when melting polar ice pushes the gulf stream further south. It’s not warming, but I don’t think they’re going to be too happy about it. You don’t have to understand all the workings of the internal combustion engine to know that you’re in trouble when there’s a truck bearing down on you. Global warming will have many unpredictable results. Most of them will be disruptive.

  119. Takuan says:

    or he could apologize and start again

  120. noen says:

    “this forum is not conducive to reasoned debate on this topic.”

    How do you know unless you try? So far I don’t hear anything but whining from your end. Will you be actually debating the “positions not supported by the data?” Or will you just keep complaining?

    Boing boing has had reasoned debates in the past. Certain things are not tolerated, but if you keep it civil you will have your reasoned discussion. Is someone on your end preventing you from having the rational debate you wish to have?

    Later, it’s a beautiful day and I’m going for a spin around Lake Calhoun.

  121. ADavies says:

    Haldor – The answer to your question is here…

    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/10/31/214357/31

    presterjohn – Please see….

    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/11/13/221250/49

    There’s way too much scientific certainty. Continuing to claim otherwise isn’t being contrarian. It’s willful ignorance.

  122. sublate says:

    POOKLORD, if you think science doesn’t use consensus, then learn about the various scientific revolutions that have occurred in the 20th century alone. Ideas that have more evidence and past the rigors of scientific testing gain consensus and support.

    If you choose which side to support based on who you think is more patronizing or insulting, then you’re clearly not looking at what the science is. You don’t have to be a climatologist to recognize they’re saying the same thing and it’s the non-climatologists who oppose them. It’s difficult to be nice to people who are stubbornly hanging onto ideas with no scientific validity, but that’s no reason to join them any more than you’d join other mocked pseudosciences. One side has all the science and the other doesn’t, that’s the big difference.

    SAMF, I’m not looking to create a strawman, just to look at what arguing techniques the various anti-science denialists have in common and how to identify a denialist from someone we may simply disagree with. In short, looking at the arguments employed regardless of the topic.

  123. Cicada says:

    Denial seems a bit silly.
    Now, whether trying to stop climate change is a lost cause or not (i.e, put money into adaptation rather than prevention) is a more valid argument.

    Fixing the problem for everyone sounds noble, but saving your own hide might be more practical for those in industrial countries.

  124. Cory Doctorow says:

    mgabrysSF@4: “I didn’t see mr sun mentioned or the ice receding on mars.”

    That’s because you didn’t look.

    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/12/17/222712/69

  125. presterjohn says:

    Being skeptical about an agenda behind Global Climate Change should not be equated with being a “denialist” (gee, how that nicely lines up with “Holocaust denial” – in the spin zone.)

    I don’t think anyone can be against increased efforts to reduce carbon emmissions, conserve energy, eliminate waste and profigacy, etc. In addition to improving the environment, the Global effort to conserve will lead to a huge economic boom (see how that nicely lines up with Y2K hysteria to upgrade computers before 2000 doomsday)

    The POINT is to keep ones eyes open, and not just be swept up in another historical political movement which might be exploited for nefarious purposes. To view things with a critical eye.

    There are scientists with objections. The frequently cited IPCC report is not free from political bias (rather than its characterization as a purely scientific document.)

    Rather than continuing to decide what we WANT to believe, and then seeking evidence to prove it, and denying evidence that contradicts our predetermined belief, we should pay attention to the actual facts.

    (since when did being a contrarian become a bad thing on Boing Boing?)

    This is a tough one to Navigate, so IMHO the rational path, as I’ve suggested before, is to embrace enivronmental reform, while watching out for the inevitable political exploitation of the issue, especially in the form of increased governmental control over everyone’s life.

  126. prodigous says:

    Ive always been disturbed by the use of denialist to describe global warming skeptics. It’s always seemed like a subtle way of equating their position to holocaust denial.

  127. prodigous says:

    Heh, you got there first john.

  128. Patrick Austin says:

    It’s true that the planet is probably warming up, though there _is_ still debate here. It’s true that this probable warming is correlated with our use of oil and coal.

    However, there’s a lot of doubt left, specifically about how anthropogenic this probable warming trend really is. That’s how science is. There’s always doubt, and it’s healthy to question even the most established theories.

    What really rankles me are eople who see some weird weather event a sign of global warming. Whatever trends we’re seeing right now are _dwarfed_ by normal climate fluctuations. At the local level, there’s way more noise than signal. We’ve always had crazy storms, and people have always though to themselves “gosh, these storms are happening more frequently than I remember! God’s wrath!”

    Not that there isn’t a strong case to be made for making changes to our fossil fuel consumption BEFORE we have an airtight case for anthropogenic global warming. By the time the theory can claim a 99% level of confidence, it might well be too late to do anything. Getting off the dinosaur juice NOW is good insurance, even if global warming is BS.

    That’s more nuanced than “OMFG END OF THE WORLD ON TUESDAY!” but fear mongering and political rhetoric hurt the cause. If 20 years from now we’re still here, and things haven’t gotten worse, the next generation of skeptics are going to have a frickin’ field day remixing Al Gore’s speeches with the speeches of the next generation of climatologists.

    Hell, 30 years ago people were talking about a coming ice age, and my parents STILL use that as ‘proof’ that climatologists are idiots.

  129. paulm says:

    Thread money quote:

    “Global warming will have many unpredictable results.”

    No matter what, it’s global warming.

    THAT is genius.

  130. SamSam says:

    #30:

    If they can be so wrong with climate predictions 1-2yrs old why believe in 100 year projections!?

    As the FAQ linked says…

    Climate and weather are very different things, and the level of predictability is comparably different.

    Climate is defined as weather averaged over a period of time — generally around 30 years. This averaging smooths out the random and unpredictable behaviour of weather. Think of it as the difference between trying to predict the height of the fifth wave from now versus predicting the height of tomorrow’s high tide. The former is a challenge — to which your salty, wet sneakers will bear witness — but the latter is routine and reliable.

    Or here’s a better example: We’re now in June, here in the North East the temperature has been growing steadily hotter. The trends are perfectly clear that it will continue to grow warmer probably until sometime late August. WAIT A MINUTE!!! Yesterday they predicted today would be 85 degrees, and it’s a cool 75!!! If they can’t even predict the weather one day to the next, how can they say that it will get warmer between now and August!!!

    …because data-to-day, month-to-month predictions are very, very hard, while over-all trends are much easier to predict. ESPECIALLY if you have a well studied theory connecting one variable that will continue to increase, carbon, with another, global warming.

  131. The Unusual Suspect says:

    Why all this sudden attention to “global warming denialists”, when even just a few months ago we were being assured that there was “100% consensus” on the issue?

    Okay, I’m going to coin a new meme closer to BoinBoing readers’ hearts:

    Global Warming is Environmentalism Theatre.

    GW obsesses over atmospheric CO2 (much in the same way the TSA obsesses over fluid ounces of hair product) in order to give the appearance of doing something useful.

    In fact, GW is doing harm to human sustainability (just as the TSA is harming travellers’ security) by diverting attention, resources, effort and money away from useful measures such as reducing, reusing and recycling.

  132. bardfinn says:

    Debates are not about changing the opinion of the person opposite you in the debate. Very rarely the person opposite will change their mind; This is a wonderful thing, but pouring so much energy into so little return would be foolhardy.

    Debate is about educating and convincing the /audience/. For every person posting in the comments, there are two or three reading the comments; For every person reading the comments, there are two or three who just read the article.

    Understand where you stand as a commenter debating an article author, then:

    You are almost certain to not change the author’s mind, and certainly not by being a single voice. You are invariably persuading the audience, and the other commenters.

    The way the author treats you – and the audience – will tell you and the audience a great deal about the author’s confidence in their statements, about the author’s goals and aims.

    Global Warming is a reality – this, in common with Evolution and the Constitution of the United States prohibiting the indefinite detainment and torture of prisoners, and guaranteeing citizens a right to privacy in their homes and communications – as realities.

    Global Warming – as a reality – is denied by certain people; Often, these are the same people who make their living off of a certain political or industrial /status quo/ which is threatened by the steps needed to remediate Global Warming.

    Often, these are the same people who make their living off of certain other political or industrial /status quo/ which are – or they feel are – threatened by the reality of Evolution, by citizens having a right to privacy in their homes and communications, by the State having to abide by the law.

    Those who acknowledge these realities often have no vested interest beyond simply being allowed to partake in civilisation, in justice, in seeing a planet where their children can live and prosper.

    These people who deny these realities know that they will not convince the other side in a debate. They know that the point of debate is to convince the audience.

    The audience is the young people, those with open minds, those who are trying – not to decide what to think, but rather – trying to decide /how/ to decide what is right and what is hooey.

    Their tactic: Get there first, be the loudest, tell a consistent story, explain away inconsistencies, reward the audience for loyalty or for not thinking critically, scapegoat the opposition.

    One side in the (terribly oversimplified) Global Warming debate is correct, and the other is not. Both sides cite science. One side has far more science than the other, but which side has far more science – is invisible to the audience, more or less.

    The tatics described above: Get there first, be the loudest, tell a consistent story, reward the audience for loyalty or for not thinking critically, and scapegoating the opposition: Those are available to and used by lay proponents on both sides of the debate – so one cannot really tell which side to believe based on the rhetoric they use.

    One /can/ applaud and pursue those proponents who appeal to the science, who have the most science, who will propose that science to anyone regardless of their identity or loyalty, who encourage critical thinking, and who rationally criticise /but/ do not /scapegoat/ the opposition.

    Cory’s post leaves as a foregone conclusion – according to his previous work – the notion that Global Warming has the good science and the mountains of scientific evidence.

    His post is encouraging critical thinking, and encouraging the audience to rationally criticise the rhetoric of the opposition – but does not scapegoat them, does not strawman their positions or methods.

    They really do actively deny the mountains of scientific evidence for Global Warming. That’s established.

    This is a critique of their rhetoric.

    For that, it is Wonderful.

  133. MackLimelight says:

    Yes i agree with most having a blog calling people “denialist” isn’t going to help your cause any.

    how bout you have a theory, and write all your debate topic items and let the public and individuals make their own decesions.

    I am always skepitcal of “eco-nazis” not trying to debate or have a logical discussions, only pushing their beleifs of the global warming religion and anyone who disagrees is a sinner and should burn in hell.

    Also I am a bit concerned about the heavy handed tactics from so-called “grass roots” Org’s that are using under-handed tactics only recently seen by the MPAA/RIAA by sueing, publicly going after said skeptics, and even falsifying Wiki entries to help suit their global warming cause even when evidence states otherwise.

    The simple fact that most “west-coastians” seem to fail to understand is that it doesn’t matter if there really is global warming or not.. the american dollar is at an all time low, our economy is in the toilet, and you’d have to be an idiot to invest in any said company… who cares nothing is going to get done about it, we should be doing what the scientists did during WWII when the oceans rose 3ft. and said “screw it” not our problem let them worry about it in the future…

  134. imammas mamon says:

    There isn’t any CO2 driven global warming (let alone a ‘man-made’one). Not only do we have the facts to prove it but we challenge anyone – in public – to a £5,000 (S10,000) wager to disprove our figures. For full details of the wager and for our facts and figures go to: http://www.mammasmammon.com or email: inf@mammasmammon.com

  135. Jambe says:

    @10: you said what I’d say, only far more elegantly and succinctly.

  136. bardfinn says:

    And #53 is a telling example of what I just described.

  137. Jaan says:

    I’m old enough to remember the Hippies claiming in the 1970′s that the Earth was COOLING.

    It’s all the same dance, just a different tune.

  138. Jesse M. says:

    Prodigous, “denialist” is a common term for people who deny some theory that has gained wide acceptance by the experts. See AIDS denialism for example, and I have also seen some use the phrase relativity denialist for another common brand of crackpot. All these people tend to be similar in that they have an axe to grind against theories that they obviously haven’t studied in any depth and don’t have much understanding of, and yet they are confident that they can poke holes in the theories with their qualitative amateur arguments, something that seems to me to be an example of the unskilled and unaware of it phenomenon identified by psychologists.

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