A Few Things Ill Considered

A layman's take on the science of Global Warming featuring a guide on How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.

Monday, February 27, 2006

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They Predicted Cooling in the 1970's

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic guide)

This article has moved to ScienceBlogs

It has also been updated and this page is still here only to preserve the original comment thread. Please visit A Few Things Ill Considered there. You may also like to view Painting With Water, Coby Beck's original fine art photography.

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47 Comments:

  • At April 18, 2006 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    we believe people can prdict what happens in 30- or 40 years 0f time while the earth is billions of years old and was warmer back then than now. the 1400 hundreds were warmer with out co2 why? maybe we should look at the sun since we have 100 years of research that shows the sun can and does warm the earth. why accept just one theroy that is based on suspects research, like canadian science showing a 1 percent rise in so2, instead of the actual rate of .38 percent. sound more like politic science rather than sound research over several years of.

     
  • At June 09, 2006 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Also remember that it was the 1970s and that there where not as many people working on the issue or that interested in funding more research. Also remember that the amount of knowledge available to the average person in the 1970s was much lower so the political motive for dealing with that particular environmental issue was small, which again goes back to funding. Hindsight is 20/20 to the general public global cooling wasn't a big deal because learning about environmental issues wasn't easy for the average person. With the Internet, TV, movies and the general culture shift things are changing. Not just in North American and some parts of Europe but around the world people have access to information that used to be available to a “private club” of western society. Think about how many people go on this site and learn something about climate change that they didn't know before or follow a link.

    To the environmental groups it was a very big deal I am sorry to bring that up to people who like to sweep that little fact under the rug to reside with so many other false predictions.

    During the first Earth Day in 1970 Kenneth Watt of UC Davis said, "If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder in 1990, but eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age." Considering the huge amount of environmental issues at the forefront (Population Bomb etc) for them to mention this meant that environmental groups did indeed think it was a big deal. They just hadn't learned how to mobilize yet in ways to influence political action.

    So please people remember the other factors in effect here. Social factors absolutely influence perception of science and political motivation follows.

    The fact that these things are so clear and that they where ignored says a great deal about this website. Some things are ill-considered but others outright ignored.

     
  • At June 09, 2006 10:39 AM, Blogger coby said…

    I don't actually consider it very relevant what the environmental movement was saying about global cooling as the best place to get science is from scientists and they were not predicting cooling on the scale or timeframe of the warming predictions today, nor with anything approaching the current cerainty. I am however curious and interested in what substantiation you may have to offer supporting your statement "To the environmental groups it was a very big deal"

    That Kenneth Watt statement is pretty outrageous. Can you provide some evidence?

    "The fact that these things are so clear and that they where ignored says a great deal about this website."

    I won't ignore it if you can provide some evidence. I will still remind you that there is a significant difference between a social issue and a scientific issue, so to really make your case you need to provide some good reason to believe that the whole field of climate science is wrong due to political and social pressures. This involves both demonstrating that this pressure is there and greater than the similar kinds of pressures to downplay GW and also providing evidence of mechanisms of influence at work.

     
  • At June 13, 2006 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "so to really make your case you need to provide some good reason to believe that the whole field of climate science is wrong due to political and social pressures."

    I'm not sure what you mean by that? The whole field of climate science is wrong etc? I'm not sure how your derived that from what I said. Science disciplins evolve and their evolution is effected by many factors.

    I will simplify the point again to the point that it is absurd because you choose to argue points that where not made.

    Climate science was in its early stages, and when there is a small group of people working with new techniques on new problems encounter many factors that need to be considered. People from this small group of scientist made these claims which where received very well by the public considering that it was somewhat of a fringe science at the time. Climate science didn’t reject them at the time because they where basically most of what existed at the time.

    Take your self back to the early 70s. Now you’ve made your statements and some of your peers will agree and some will disagree, some will help you look further some will not. With climate science in the 1970s that would be about the extent of it because getting re investment, or second looks/follow up studies from other disciplines would be risky because investment just wasn’t there. The economy of the 1970s wasn’t as strong, the political mood will wasn’t there like it is today. It took time for climate science to evolve to the point where when they had their hand out that, there would be money there for them to use, and that they would be considered established enough to receive large grants etc.

    A few papers, news stories, magazine articles, wouldn’t mean much today to the field of climate science. In the 1970s for a small group of scientists it was huge, considering the change in media and public perception/ interest this is magnified. The question you never asked was, could science have supported it or disproved it with the limited resources available and the limited knowledge of climate science at the time?

    “scientists and they were not predicting cooling on the scale or timeframe of the warming predictions today, nor with anything approaching the current certainty.”

    They where predicting the end of the current interglacial. With the best certainty they could for reasons outlined.

    You seem to have the perception that other people dismissed their claims and that there was a body of climate scientist refuting them. They where indeed wrong, but no one pointed it out because there was no one to point it out, because a large proportion of these scientists where the ones making the claims, and people in other branches of science where unable to make serious contributions because climate science at the time was very new.


    To prove that science rejected it you must provided papers from the same period rejecting their conclusions. If these do exist what are they, and what conclusions did they come to?

    I’m not a businessman or a lobbyist. I’m just student research in environmental geology and carbonate stratigraphy and I don’t feel that you’re being honest about things which you must understand clearly. This is a great website, very well put together. I agree with many things and disagree with others, but you must put science in the context of the times to understand it fully. In this one instance you don’t do that and I’m at a loss to understand why.


    If you would like to provide an email we could talk about it more.

    Cheers,

     
  • At June 13, 2006 4:43 PM, Blogger coby said…

    I really don't think you have the history right, that's all. I recommend reading that RealClimate article linked to above.

    To prove that science rejected it you must provided papers from the same period rejecting their conclusions.

    You have to go first! I say there was no science that predicted that an ice age was imminent. I can not show you articles refuting the group of climatologists making this prediction, that prediction was never made.

    The best source I can cite to support that is the 1975 NAS/NRC report which says:
    "...we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate..."
    and also says:
    "there seems little doubt that the present period of unusual warmth will eventually give way to a time of colder climate, but there is no consensus as to the magnitude or rapidity of the transition. The onset of this climatic decline could be several thousand years in the future, although there is a finite probability that a serious worldwide cooling could befall the earth within the next 100 years".

    Again, the RC discussion is very illuminating.

    This is a great website, very well put together. I agree with many things and disagree with others, but you must put science in the context of the times to understand it fully.

    Thank you for that comment and for your visits. I hope you will continue to point out any and all problems you see. I can't promise I will agree with your criticisms (case in point here ;), but they will remain publically accessible in the comments and I sincerely want to know about them!

     
  • At June 28, 2006 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Coby,

    In case you haven't seen it, this post from Chris Mooney might help.

    http://scienceblogs.com/intersection/2006/06/ice_age_predictions_in_context.php#more

    - Geoff

     
  • At November 15, 2006 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The whole 1970s global cooling argument revolved around the use of aerosols. Again its a different causation.

     
  • At December 08, 2006 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Coby i know this is an old topic , i need u to help me out with some info. xxyardmanxx@hotmail.com thx

     
  • At January 26, 2007 3:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    well actually there will be a return to ice age fairly soon (say 1-2000 years). we are in an "interglacial period" which is 12000-15000 years old, the longest on record (i believe)it will end and a full blown ice-age will return (lasting about 80000 years)..... fact!!!

     
  • At January 26, 2007 6:39 PM, Blogger coby said…

    The longest interglacial on record is some 30-40K years and as it happens the milankovich cycles would have us in the same ballpark. Absent GHG warming, the earth would have been due for another glaciation in about 30K years.

     
  • At January 31, 2007 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ""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?""

    People like a good fictional doomsday story, people like horror movies.

    ""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... ""

    I have seen your sources. 20 signatures and one OIL company CEO boob doesn't equal widespread acceptance.

     
  • At February 03, 2007 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm very sceptical of the current media frenzy which is being whipped up by the scientists who are having a field day with the "research funds".
    To the layman this must all seem like a fait accompli where if you don't agree with conventional wisdom you are in denial of all the scientific evidence. We all know scientific evidence can be used to support any argument by selective useage. The selective choosing of time scales seems to be paramount by those engaged in the current argument in support for global warming.
    I'd like to show a couple of graphs here but they don't seem to paste in. One shows the Holocene temperature variationsfor the last 12mybp where the temperature trend using an average of all measurements has been down for the last 8mybp but with a trend upwards for the last ~500 years (but still well below the climatic optimum) and showing we are still in a period of cooling. The other graph, from an eminent report on global warming, selectively chooses only the data from the last 100 years of proxies and the thermometer record of the last 150 years to support global warming.
    I calculated the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere since the industial revolution and it amounts to about 60ppm. Even if none of this were sequestered by natural means it is still too low to account for the current relatively high content.

     
  • At February 03, 2007 10:27 PM, Blogger coby said…

    I'm very sceptical of anonymous commentors who post about calculations they supposedly did themselves that contradict every scientific source.

     
  • At February 04, 2007 3:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Obviously another sceptic!
    HerE IT IS. Whether it's totally correct I don't know.
    Since 1751 CO2 added to the atmosphere ~305x10^9 tonnes
    The mass of the atmosphere is ~5.1x10^15t
    therefore CO2 added is 305/5.1ppm
    ~60ppm
    present CO2 level~380ppm
    Ice cores show it was ~280ppm before humans so 40ppm has come from other sources, assuming no sequestration.

     
  • At February 04, 2007 10:30 AM, Blogger coby said…

    While I appreciate your providing some numbers to talk about I am a little bit curious as to why you don't consider that just perhaps there is a little more to it. When you spend 5 minutes on a problem and come up with a figure that is severely at odds with well established sources (ie textbooks, gov't agencies, scientific institutions) don't you investigate further and find out if you are missing something?

    I will for now point out one error and one important assumption, but I imagine there may be others:

    Error: 380 ppm refers to volume, not mass. This changes things by a large factor, though not large enough to account for your figure of ~60ppm worth of anthro CO2 emitted versus the well established figure of ~200ppm worth of anthro CO2 emitted, of which roughly half has sequestered in the oceans.

    Assumption: you are assuming that concentrations are uniform throughout the entire atmosphere. CO2 is a well mixed gas in the troposphere, but I don't think there is much mixing across the tropopause (ie into the stratosphere). I would also be surprised if the CO2 concentrations remained uniform through the stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and into the exosphere. Your figure for mass of the atmosphere appears to include all of these very different layers.

    Being a true sceptic means applying your scepticism to your own thinking as well, you know. What you are doing is searching for any sign of a problem and stopping as soon as you think you have found it. That is denialism.

     
  • At February 04, 2007 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Coby,
    What am I in denial about?
    Climate change? I'm a geologist and I know and accept that climate change is the norm.
    Humans are causing global warming? Well yes, this is what I'm not going to accept blindly like you do. I want to see evidence that this theory (and that's all it is) has any merit. I accept that we are polluting the atmosphere. There's no doubt about that. But is it of significance in changing the earth's climate? Can the earth adjust? No one I've heard has considered this. Pollution is a nasty word. It conjures up the concept of moral criminality. Are the guano deposits of the arctic and pacific islands pollution caused by birds? No way! That is a natural process because birds did it. If we shat all over them it would be pollution. It's as if we are extra-terrestrial intruders on the earth rather than a legitimate species that has an impact on it. Pollution is unavoidable unless you want to extinguish our species. Of course we must try to minimise this as it becomes necessary. And we will. Nothing is ever done in this world until the pendulum has swung past the centre. We have a water crisis where I live and if the previous government had have built a dam like they should have in 1989 instead of cow-towing to the greenies, we wouldn't have to be drinking our own recycled piss now. Yes we also are causing extinctions but that's also unavoidable. We can't live on the earth and not have a footprint, especially with the way population is exploding. Extinctions are the rule in geologic time but today they seem to be a no no. Let's save every species as if they are sacrosanct. If there wern't extinctions the diversity of life we know today would not have occurred.
    Reading your blogs, I can't help thinking you are the one that is in denial. I haven't seen one positive statement from you. Your style is to beat everyone who disaggrees with you into submission, rarely if ever with scientific basis, other than references to other's work.
    You seem to be in denial of the possibility that what is happening (if indeed anything other than natural processes are actually happening) can be explained by natural causes.
    It's the old pinko attitude. We are the dominant species and everything bad that happens on earth can be attributed to us. Humans are way into self flagellation.
    I try to be sceptical of my own thinking. I'm not an expert in this field. In fact this is the first time I've ever blogged on the internet. But I've been around long enough to know that conventional wisdom is usually wrong. As the Wizard of Id said " I remember when global warming used to be called summer". If I'm inot critical of my own thinking, why did I question my simplistic calculation? Has anyone done a better one? I don't know. If not, let's try and quantify it instead of knocking anything you don't agree with. It seems to me anthro contribution should be quantified before attributing it top billing. Your critique of the calculation was superficial and dismissive. With your obvious profound knowledge on this topic why don't you do it accurately? It might tell you something and it may even be useful to the debate.

     
  • At February 05, 2007 5:52 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Look, I'm not going to take the time to address the majority of your comment, it is a huge tarball of red herrings, strawmen, unsubstantiated mischaracterizations and ad homs. We were getting focused on a managable question, CO2 tonnes to ppm conversion, I consider this grab bag of diversions to be just that: diversions.

    My critique of your naive calculation may have been superficial, but that is due to the level of error you are making, very basic. I think it is an entirely sufficient point I raised to show that your figure is way off and therefore your excuse for dissing the science of climate change is exactly that, an excuse.

    "Has anyone done a better one?" Good god, man, you think the field of atmospheric science is populated entirely with idiots? If you have an ounce of sincere interest in this issue you must familiarize yourself with the IPCC report.

    The anthropogenic nature of the rise in atmospheric CO2 is supported by many lines of evidence such as the isotopic signature, evidence that, all number crunching aside, the additional CO2 can only have come from fossil fuel burning. It is probably the single most irrefutable part of the AGW case. I am a naturally inquisitive person but, really, this is simply not an interesting enough question to spend any time on.

    Check the IPCC report, it goes into all the nitty gritty details.

     
  • At February 06, 2007 3:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I hope you have as much fun with the new report, although I suspect the doomsday clan will be a little disappointed based on the summary of the first part released last week.
    We are going around in circles.
    Let's review it in 20 years if we haven't been cooked by then.
    Have a nice life.

     
  • At February 20, 2007 2:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm very sceptical of anonymous commentors who post about calculations they supposedly did themselves that contradict every scientific source.

    ____________________________

    I am skeptical of a certain someone who openly admits of not having any mathematical or scientific education, and being skeptical of someone else providing either links, numbers, or opinions on things and stuff.

    My skepticism is default skepticism every scientist should have, nomatter what.

     
  • At February 25, 2007 1:32 PM, Anonymous Tomazo said…

    Coby,
    I am a chemical engineer. Believe it or not, the IPCC does not have a stranglehold on scientists, climate or otherwise and physical phenomena to not care about "scientific consensus".
    Regarding your refutation of Geologist anonymous's calculations, ppmw and ppmv are (for all practical purposes) the same thing for gaseous systems (atomic number doesn't matter, molecules do as ideal gases).
    Also, both H2O and CO2 are dynamically balanced by earth's oceans and biosphere. I have seen only rudimentary scientific attempts to address these very complex systems. There is very good reason to believe degasification of the oceans are the major contributor to observed C02 increases, following a steady increase in solar radiation over the past 60 years. Of course, I do not deny fossil fuel combustion adds CO2, but the good ol' Earth has demonstrated remarkable ability to cope with more devastating impacts that that.
    I like your website because you systematically address (dismiss?) ALL the issues against AGW, sound or not.
    For me, the cursory approach the IPCC uses to address solar drivers and water dominance issues are the most self-damning of all their analyses. Is this not the "blue marble", the "Water planet?" It seems the IPCC is guilty of "not seeing the forest for the trees".
    Anonymous is right, let's just wait 20 years and see if your blog is begins making human sacrifices because we experienced a solar eclipse!

     
  • At February 25, 2007 3:42 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi Tomazo,

    According to the article in wikipedia "CO2 concentration is about 0.0383% by volume (383 ppmv) or 0.0582% by weight". This strikes me as a significant difference, for practical purposes. I'll take your word that you are a`chemical engineer, but you will have to provide a reference to a logical explanation or one of your own as to why ppmv and ppmm would be the same given a mixture of gases with different densities.

    You are generally correct that CO2 and H2O are dynamically balanced but you are ignoring some crucial factors. One is the differing saturation factors between H2O in air (on average always close to constant saturation), H2O in the ocean (can not become saturated!), CO2 in air (can be oversaturated for decades to centuries by fossil fuel emissions) and CO2 in the ocean (depends on its own saturation level, saturation level in the atmosphere and its temperaure changes). I may have things poorly described here, but I stand behind the fact that these are very different situations to paint with the same "dynamically balanced by earth's oceans and biosphere" brush. Two is the timeframe of the natural processes involved. CO2 between the ocean and atmosphere is generally balanced, but on a scale measured in millenia because of the slow overturning of the ocean currents. A CO2 pulse in the atmosphere will take on the order of one hundred years to substantially balance with ocean surface waters, and takes the longer timeframe for a more complete equilibriation. The larger carbon cycle that involves carbonation takes many more again thousands of years. This is basically the process whereby organic matter becomes ocean sediment becomes limestone. Are you familiar with the IPCC chapter on that?

    Oceanic outgassing can not be the source of the CO2 rise for two reasons. One, it is happening too fast to be explained by the amount of surface water warming that has occured and too fast to be coming from deep ocean waters. Two, the isotope signature of the CO2 molecules indicates it is the result of old carbon being combined with young oxygen: fossil fuel burning. See this article..

    i would like to see your source for the claim that solar has increased steadily, or at all, over the last 60 years. According to PMOD at the World Radiation Center and according to the Max Plank Institute there has been no recent trend.

    I would also like to know with which past spikes in CO2 the Earth demonstrated remarkable ability to cope. I think the PETM event provides the closest historical analogue, and it is a sobering warning. Certainly in the geologic timeframe all will be well, but this is not a policy relevant timescale, nor does the earth care if human civilization comes out on the other side unscathed.

    Not sure I know what you mean by "cursory approach" to solar and H2O. You might be interested in these articles:
    http://illconsidered.blogspot.com/2006/01/water-vapor-is-almost-all-of.html
    http://illconsidered.blogspot.com/2006/02/climate-scientists-hide-water-vapor.html

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

     
  • At February 25, 2007 10:52 PM, Anonymous Tomazo said…

    Thanks for responding so quickly. Since the molecular weight of CO2 is 44 and the composite bulk atmosphere (79/21 N2/O2) is roughly 29, the ratio 44/29 is the same as the ratio 582/383...so that explains the ppmv vs ppmw. Still, for practical purposes, we engineers tend to shoot for a "close enough" approximation, then throw "fat" into the mix to err on the side of safety.

    I spent some time pursuing your C13/14 isotope link and find some merit to it, but it could be a bit flawed (please forgive if I have not done enough research on this as yet) and here's why: Don't these calculations inherently assume the fossil fuels combusted are the same age? I recall a time limit to carbon14 dating but I don't know what it is. Suffice it to say that if all fossil fuels exceed that limit, my concern is moot.

    Regarding water vapor, it is generally 0 at the poles (naturally) and 4% at the equator (atmospheric saturation) and is generally pegged at about 3% on bulk average, I think. That puts it at 100x CO2 at 0.04 or roughly two orders of magnitude more. In addition, water's 1-10 micron radiative spectral absorbtion bands I guesstimate to be about 5x that of CO2. Both of these suggest H2O is by far the greatest greenhouse gas.

    I will spend more time trying to understand why AGM folks feel H2O is not a factor, because it isn't clear to me yet!

    Will try to find my references for solar, & other claims in another post.

     
  • At February 26, 2007 4:49 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Tomazo,

    You may find this RealClimate article useful.

    H2O is indeed the most significant greenhouse gas. Change in vapour content is however not a forcing factor, rather it is soley a feedback response.

     
  • At February 26, 2007 4:54 PM, Blogger Steve__M said…

    Here's my rough calculation of CO2 production.

    Oil production from theoildrum.com - estimated from a graph I found there.

    967000 barrels of oil.

    A barrel is 159 litres. Assume 85% carbon and .85 density gives .11 tonnes per barrel, or 106,000 million tonnes of carbon.

    Coal production was hard to find. Data up to 1940 was estimated from a graph found in www.eoearth.org = 73000 million tonnes total.

    For 1971 to 2004 (from www.enerdata.fr) was 130000 million tonnes total.

    Guesstimate of 1940-70 of 2000 mTonnes (about half the 1970 figure) per year, or 60000 million tonnes total - I couldn't find a source.

    Total coal production: 263,000 million tonnes.

    Coal is approx 60% carbon, so 158,000 million tonnes carbon.

    Total carbon from coal and oil: 218,000 million tonnes carbon.

    CO2 is 44/12 times the mass of carbon. So that amount of carbon is 800,000 million tonnes of CO2, or 0.8 * 10^12 tonnes.

    Mass of atmosphere is 5000 * 10^12 tonnes. So additional CO2 is .8/5000=.016% by mass. Current CO2 content (from wikipedia) is .053% by mass or 383ppm by volume. So my figure works out to (.016/.053)*383 = 115ppmv about twice the estimate given above.

    Note that I didn't include gas usage, and the above includes various rough calculations and conservative estimates.

     
  • At April 06, 2007 4:02 PM, Anonymous A. Skeptic said…

    The response to global warming is simple. Bring back aerosols! Eliminating them in the 70's stopped global cooling. So, bring them back to reverse global warming.

    I existed through too many college science classes on the threat of global cooling caused by aerosols. Spray deodorant was going to kill us all! The sky is falling! Sorry, I will listen to but not trust talk about human-caused global warming. Yes, clean the air. But, don't force me to buy into the latest scientific fad. The sky is heating!!!

     
  • At April 06, 2007 8:15 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi A. Skeptic,

    FYI, the aerosol spray thing was about CFC's and the ozone hole. A fine example of a real and serious global problem found by science and addressed by international cooperation.

    Using the fact that catastophy did not occur in an instance when evasive action was taken is hardly an intelligent way to conclude there was never any danger.

     
  • At April 07, 2007 8:51 AM, Anonymous A. Skeptic said…

    Hey Coby & others. I am not alone. Look what dropped into my lap this morning...
    "A top hurricane forecaster called Al Gore "A GROSS ALARMIST" Friday for making an Oscar-winning documentary about gloval warming. 'He's one of these guys that preaches the end of the world type of things. I think he's doing a great disservice and he doesn't know what he's talking about," William Gray said in an interview at the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans, WHERE HE DELIVERED THE CLOSING SPEECH."
    (caps are mine) This article was printed in the AZ Republic (not known for balanced reporting on this topic) on 4.7.07. They got it from wire services.

     
  • At April 07, 2007 5:01 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Ah, Gray has improved his opinion of Al Gore. He has called him a nazi in the past. He also claims global warming is a socialist hoax. He may well be good at hurricane forecasts (weather prediction BTW) but he is a laughing stock in climate science unfortunately.

     
  • At April 07, 2007 8:05 PM, Anonymous A. Skeptic said…

    Interesting how skeptics of GW are labeled in rather harsh terms. It happens again and again. Rather than attack the person's analysis, GW fans attack their appearance, demeanor, etc. Google Willam Gray and see what I mean. Oh my goodness, he's 6'5"!

    I had opportunity to asked an executive with an international mining company about the company's "stance" on GW. After an uncomfortable pause he answered "We are taking the appropriate actions to counter GW." Thinking that answered sounded "pat", I asked again for their "stance". He answered in a hushed voice, "Politically we have not choice but to go along with the populare view of GW." Someone overhead. You would have thought the man had blasphemed "American Idol"! "How dare you even think such a thing," she said.

    Yes, I am a skeptic.

     
  • At April 08, 2007 2:24 AM, Blogger coby said…

    A. Skeptic,

    Why don't you try your hand at a little research project and compare the vitriol and personal attacks against Al Gore vs those against W. Gray. Let us know what you find out. See if you can find Al Gore disparaging Gray in anything approaching Gray's treatment of Gore.

    As for your little anecdote....sure, I believe you...

     
  • At June 25, 2007 1:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You guys on the man made global warming band wagon sure like to revise history.

    There is an enormous body of scientists that disagree with the U.N. report. There are even those that are supposedly signers that say they never signed and have requested their names to be stricken. Then there are those non scientists that signed it too.
    What fun..we can get government grants to "continue" our research. Oh yeah!

    Then you recreate history about the coming ICE age. I was there. I remember. It was all over. But alas there were few if any government grants to subsidize the claim as there are today.

    Look at the signers. Look at where they teach or do research, then look at the government block grants they receive. Is there any wonder there are more?

    Hahahahahahaahahahahaha...
    Now I got to go out and twist the heads off of some prairie dogs..

    1/3 of 1% due to human activity in the United States.. hmmmm. Sounds like we can do an awful lot!

    You might want to look at other science venues for a more overall view where the researchers stand nothing to gain. unlike the ones you simply love to quote....

     
  • At June 25, 2007 1:24 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Hello anonymous,

    Can you pause your prairie dog head twisting work a moment to provide some more specifcs? Which scientists never "signed" the IPCC report but are listed as having done so? Who has requested their names be removed? Which names are misrepresented as scientists when they are not? This sounds like very significant stuff, I hope you have some solid evidence.

    BTW, NASA GISS, home of "alarmist" James Hansen, has seen its earth sciences budget badly slashed recently, so where is the evidence that falsified fear mongering brings great riches to corrupt researchers?

    Thanks for stopping by.

     
  • At July 08, 2007 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Whomever this coby is that is spinning his humans are killing the planet BS, the proof of his scientific knowledge and the lack of reliability in his "resources" can be determined by who, what and where he refers you to, namely wikipedia.

    Try not to believe everything that Al Gore says like he invented the internet, Bill Clinton is innocent of perjury, and humans are causing global warming, the fact is that he is just not creditable.

    Al Gore and the other wack jobs, including yourself, repeat that Humans ARE causing global warming and that your predictions are GOING to actually occur, unfortunately, you conveniently forget to tell everyone that what you all know is nothing more than a WAG's, a scientific acronym used for wild-assed guess.

    Anthropomophic-induced global warming, while sexy with all of the media and political elites is not a scientific FACT, it is nothing more than a theory.

    The simple fact is these morons like Al Gore and Coby and the idiotic twits at Live Earth don't KNOW what is going to happen tomorrow, let alone next month, next year, or 50 years from now. Despite the lies that they TELL you that they KNOW, the fact is that NO SCIENTIST will tell you that he KNOWS exactly what will happen, in fact, they can't even tell you that global warming is a BAD THING. Why? Because scientists, real scientists that is, do not get into such designations as good and bad, they are into results. Politicians and the other moral police are into calling things good and bad. For instance, while global warming may be bad for some people(people with million dollar homes on malibu or south beach), it might be good for people in Iceland, Siberia, and Canada.

    According to Al Gore we are in a global warming. While according to rational scientists, we are in a global warming period. See the difference?

    According to Al Gore humans are causing global warming. While according to rational scientists, humans may have a partial blame to the lengthening of this interglacial period. See the difference?

    According to Al Gore, global warming is going to be a global disaster for the planet and for everyone on earth. But according to rational scientists, they make an empirical determination that the earth has been MUCH warmer than it is now and has also been MUCH colder than it is now and leave the designation of GOOD/BAD to others. See the difference?

    You can call it anything you want; greed, politics, environmentalist fascism, but what it most certainly is not, is actual science.

    In conclusion, Al Gore, Coby, and the rest of the enviromentalist intelligentsia fail in their arguments for these reasons:

    1) they call a scientific THEORY ... a scientific FACT;

    2) they call a scientific forecast, prediction or WAG.... a scientific FACT;

    3) they call wikipedia a reliable source to cite.

    Strike One;
    Strike Two;
    Strike Three.... You are OUT!

    whale

     
  • At August 18, 2007 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "The Industrial Era: An additional warm period has emerged in the last 100 years, coinciding with substantially increasing emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities (see Recent Climate Change for more information)."


    I can't believe all the skeptics who are so blind to facts...read about it on the EPA website.
    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange

    So maybe in your lifetime you don't see the damage but skeptics to GW abroad are only harming mankind but their gross negligence.

     
  • At August 27, 2007 5:31 AM, Blogger Marion Delgado said…

    The "skeptics" are selling falsehoods as usual. The environmental movement in the 1970s was interested in mainly air and water quality and biodiversity, then in ozone depletion. The air quality impinged on particulates, but that's about it. The main people, a tiny minority, concerned about global cooling were people focused on world health and hunger and so on. Also, this gets melded dishonestly into the concern over the possibility of a nuclear winter - which would have come from massive injections of aerosols/particulates in a short time and to such a degree that the lingering affects would have been tremendous and grossly overwhelmed the contribution of AGHGs.

    Actually, the combination of global dimming and global warming is hardly ideal. The global dimming caused by aerosols is part of the choking of the human population - we're becoming a respiratory illness-prone species - and moreover, unlike sunlight, warmth is diffuse, unusable energy.

    We'd be better off with direct, strong, usable sunlight pouring in, and less of both GHG and particulate amounts.

    But I defy any of these "skeptics" to produce a single environmental movement or leading environmental scientist whose main focus was global cooling. It's not there.

    It was mentioned as a possibility and the consequences for agriculture would have been dire, but no ecologist or environmentalist would have said it was a threat to the overall ecology (unlike what they correctly said about nuclear winter).

     
  • At August 27, 2007 5:52 AM, Blogger Marion Delgado said…

    Also colby, you should distinguish between the minority of skeptics who are sincere and the other, at a rough estimate, 95% who aren't interested in science in the slightest, but rather rooting for their team, tribe or gang against the "other side" by any means necessary. When you can figure out how to discuss anything with them, you should get a Nobel Peace Prize in Medicine - in Science!

    The ones simply venting against their Ten Minute Hate targets are, obviously, completely unreachable. I am not 100% certain people who think aerosols are CFCs are unreachable, but it's a little scary.

    You can't reach "skeptics" but you can counter them with the fence-sitters, agnostics and man in the street. In other words, I usually recommend talking PAST "skeptics," not to them (beyond a couple of tries).

    By the way, the mistake one of the above "skeptics" made is that aerosols are simply particulates (fine particles). Whether suspended in the stream from a can of hair spray or shooting up into the atmosphere from a volcano. Finer than soot or grit or silt or dust.

    The issue with ozone depletion was NOT the aerosols, but rather the propellants. Admittedly, the issue was complex - the affects of temperature and moisture were particularly important in the Southern Hemisphere, and the ozone depletion happened very differently in the North than the South - but the chemistry and physical track of the chemicals involved was knowable and known, and only massive paid propaganda delayed action. We'd have, perhaps, half the depletion we see now if our society had a default "accept the scientific consensus" posture.

     
  • At August 27, 2007 10:04 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi Marion,

    Thanks for the comments, here and elsewhere. I agree, the real target audiences are the lurkers and the non-vocal doubters, who can be swayed with logic and evidence.

     
  • At September 24, 2007 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Coby!,

    FYI 2 years ago I was a skeptical, but an "honest" one. Eventually I decided to be more informed on the matter, I run on sites like realclimate and your blog and even read the IPCC report (the 3 assesment).

    Anyway, I just wanted you to know that thanks to your blog (but mainly to your scientifics sources) you got this "anonymous" me convinced...¡keep up the good work!

    Sebastián (no longer anonymous I guess ;)

     
  • At October 15, 2007 10:56 AM, Blogger madhu said…

    No body speaks about the malicious intention of Global warming theorists.Does it have any connection oil politics?. European (political) scientists are mostly behind this theory and incidentally God stripped of oil from them. So they want to prove that oil is dirty(from MENA countries), and tells India and China to use firewood and cow dung as energy source.

    Can anybody answer my following questions?

    Suppose two third of the oil reserve is with USA and Europe what would have been the price of oil by now?.

    If oil resrves, as per the peak oil theory is going to deplete in another 40 or 50 years why the theorists frighten us by predictions in 2100?. It is not going to last till that time.

    What is their alternative strategy for plastics once the oil is finished? ( they talk mostly about substitute for petroleum oil but nor about substitute for plastics)

    So the issue is mostly political than science?

    Madhusoodanan.K
    madhukoovaprath@gmail.com

     
  • At November 09, 2007 4:14 AM, Blogger Barry said…

    Consensus?
    http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2007/2007_20-29/2007-25/pdf/33-37_725.pdf
    http://www.informath.org/WCWF07a.pdf

    As far as the models. You can have all the fancy analysis in the world but if your data is crap your are left with a pile of crap with a fancy analysis. As I learned in my computer science training gi-go(Garbage in--Garbage out)
    http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/weather_stations/

     
  • At December 12, 2007 10:33 PM, Blogger Will Nitschke said…

    Unless I'm missing something here, your argument essentially is that because the media hype is greater now than in the 70's, the current projected crisis is more likely to be true?

    However, the counter-argument (global cooling turned out to be nothing, therefore global warming will turn out to be nothing) is illogical also.

    Your other argument relates to a scientific consensus, but since you deal with that in another article, I will go and read that now. :-)

     
  • At December 14, 2007 5:41 PM, Blogger Cecil24 said…

    I first read this entry and comments a few days ago and have been waiting to respond so here goes.
    I agree a lot with what Barry wrote and linked to, good job Barry. The idea of being "skeptic" is different from denial. As a chemical engineer, like one of the other commenters, I feel that some of the information being portrayed is overstated. There are several reasons to be "skeptical" of the data. One reason is people don't see the effects where they are. I live in the Ohio River valley and last winter was the first that I actually remember the river developing ice on it. I have only lived along the River for 7 years, but it was one of the coldest January's I remember, after living in the general area for 30 years, but not necessarily record cold. The second reason for being a "skeptic" is the lack of the scientific method. These people have come up with conclusions then gone back and cherry picked data to fit the conclusion and then developed the theory of GHG causing global warming. Sorry but that is completely bass ackward. That is why I agree with the other comment that says let's check back in 20 years and see what the REAL scenario is. Let's have some honest to goodness science. Let's design the testing, use a control like the space station or the Mars rovers for some inter-solar system control, and then make conclusions based on the data. If there is a rise in temperature in the controls and the Earth then guess what, the Sun is getting hotter. And the general scientific consensus is that our Sun will become a Red Giant someday and eventually the Earth will crash into the surface of the Sun. When that happens it is going to get pretty warm here, and it won't matter how times you rode your bike to the grocery store because GHG will be the least of the concerns. Actually there won't be any concerns because there won't be anybody. At least not on Earth.
    The only way we can truly tell if temperatures are rising is by looking at independent research. Not data derived from people who are getting paid to find facts confirming global warming, because guess what if someone is paid to do a job more than likely they will do that job or else the person writing the checks will find someone to do the job. That said here is some independent data from my area over the last 27 years using the data available from www.weather.com. Over the last 5 years 18 (4.9% of days of the year)different days have had their highest temperatures set and 14 days (3.8%) have had record cold temperatures set. In the last 15 years the numbers go to 161 (44%) record highs and 144 (39.4%) record lows. Over last 20 years, the numbers are 253 (69%) highs and 238 (65%) lows. The most remarkable thing though is that there haven't been any highs or lows set in the last 2 years. If there was global warming wouldn't we be setting record highs every year?

     
  • At January 15, 2008 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Re; July 08, 2007 Anonymous -

    In science, THEORY is in fact FACT. It is the accepted scientific consensus, based on all available evidence. See the IPCC's definitions of likelihoods/confidence levels as well as to how confident scientists are that global warming is human-caused.

     
  • At February 28, 2008 7:36 AM, Blogger barry said…

    Science theory is definitely not 'fact'. It is based on some facts, but a theory is essentially a hypothesis, a model of physical phenomena, that has been tested and validated a statistically significant number of times to be given confidence. All theories are provisional on better knowledge falsifying or adjusting them. EG, Newton' gravity theory (once called a 'Law') was superseded by Einstein's theories, which was superseded by quantum physics. Each theory was 'useful' enough to be applied, but new information arrived that gave a finer resolution to the theory. Science is progressive, not written in stone. AGW theory is in need of more study, but as there is a potential for severe impacts on the human world, based on the current state of the science and politicians must make decisions for the benefit of their constituents, this particular theory is embroiled in the world of politics. There is uncertainty in all formal theories, but not many of them draw our attention to a potential looming crisis. If a theory doesn't make much of an impact, or potential impact, on our daily life, no one pays much attention to the outliers and mavericks that 'challenge' it.

    There is skepticism that HIV leads to AIDS, but because most people aren't affected by it, most people accept the mainstream view. If governments made it mandatory for everyone to purchase immunization for HIV (if only there was immunization), then perhaps some people, unwilling to let government tell them what to do, would adopt the minority skeptical view and blog it all over the web.

     
  • At February 28, 2008 7:38 AM, Blogger barry said…

    Recent (early 2008) article on the 1970s cooling meme.

    The '70s was an unusually cold decade. Newsweek, Time, The New York Times and National Geographic published articles at the time speculating on the causes of the unusual cold and about the possibility of a new ice age.

    But Thomas Peterson of the National Climatic Data Center surveyed dozens of peer-reviewed scientific articles from 1965 to 1979 and found that only seven supported global cooling, while 44 predicted warming. Peterson says 20 others were neutral in their assessments of climate trends.

    The study reports, "There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an imminent ice age.

    "A review of the literature suggests that, to the contrary, greenhouse warming even then dominated scientists' thinking about the most important forces shaping Earth's climate on human time scales."


    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2008-02-20-global-cooling_N.htm

     
  • At May 06, 2008 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear Human Race
    I imagine the people of Sudan, Ethiopia and the rest of the world living on less than a $1 a day must be very worried about GW. While we look to spend trillions on "saving the planet" otherwise known as "Can i keep the world cool for me please" thousands die everyday.
    GW WILL NOT wipe out humans. You are already doing that quite nicely with your wars, and nastiness. But its more important your beach front homes dont get washed away from sea level rises than it is to worry about a few million starving africans who worry about day to day existance.. not a guesstimate about climate in 100 years.
    Your human solutions will make NO difference. 99% of world life has over 4 billion years become extinct. Things live, die, warm cool. take care with the environment, respect the world, be kind to your neighbours... But DONT think that YOU can change the climate.. you arrogant self centred Humans.
    In fact the last time there was a warming period.. you enjoyed the reneissance.. great human growth spiritually and superb plant growth. Heat does that. :)
    Yours sincerely
    Mother Nature

    PS: The dinosaurs died out from cigerette smoking..

     
  • At July 04, 2008 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    All these articles read like propaganda and spin. They say, Yes, you were correct, but from a certain angle and a certain way of thinking AGW is still happening. I still haven’t found the link that explains away the relationship between observed sun-spots and the emanated radiation which results interrelating with cosmic rays to affect cloud cover and so follows Earth’s service temp. The graph of the before mentioned much more closely correlate with observed temp change. I noticed the proposed “carbon tax” is carefully avoided, and the push for world government is not mentioned. This web-site is clearly one-sided and political. I see a lot of extra words that make the sentences convoluted. I do not sense straight talk. This web-site stinks of wrong-doing.

     

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