Although I’m very critical of alarmism in Climate Change community it’s important to understand I agree about the following:
There is a Global Warming trend.
The bad consequences of the warming will far outweigh the good ones.
Humans are very likely to have contributed to the warming , mostly via CO2 pollution.
We should work to develop CO2 reduction approaches.
[I just believe that alarmism and catastrophe claims are running rampant and I don’t think there is any likely scenario that will reduce CO2 enough to make much of a difference. Non controversial studies indicate that much of the warming we are likely to see is now “baked in” to the system. I think engineering changes are more likely to work than attempts to change the behavior of people and governments that have historically done very little along the lines needed]
Now for my rant against the unconscionable attack on dissenters from the Climate alarmism “party line”:
As a fan of Paul Krugman’s usually bright and insightful economic analyses at the New York Times I was more than alarmed to read his recent post there where he suggested those who voted agains the cap and trade bill in congress were “betraying the planet” Krugman suggests in the article:
And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.
Treason against the planet? Given that treason against a mere government is often punishable by the death penalty, Krugman is very close to suggesting that the penalty for climate dissent should be …. death. To invoke “treason” against those who are presenting concerns about either the science or the alarmism running rampant now in Climate circles is both unacceptable and it is dispicable. Shame on Krugman and shame on a climate alarmism community that increasingly uses scare tactics, threats, and censorship to promote their climate change agendas.
My first reaction was to excuse Krugman’s obvious ignorance of the many legitimate challenges to alarmist climate conclusions. He appears to rely on a recent Copenhagen Climate report that clearly plays more on the politics of climate rather than the recent data points which are anything but alarming. For example Global ice remains very stable over the past decades. You’ve read about Arctic sea ice which in fact is lower (though probably no new records this year), but conspicuously the Antarctic – where the ice is increasing – is left off of the alarmist ice analyses. Surface temperatures? After 1998’s very hot temperatures we’ve seen moderation. Caveat: A pending El Nino current and pending new sunspot cycle are suggested as reasons to worry that we’ll soon see more record hot years and I think these are legitimate points. Sea Level Rise? It’s pretty consistently rising, about as much as this symbol: | Per year. Yes this matters over a long time frame but I think the folks in Florida don’t have to move quite yet. Hurricanes? You haven’t heard much in the news about them because …. there haven’t been many. Despite some silly hype, Katrina the Hurricane had little if anything to do with Global Warming (a good source is Chris Landsea, one of a handful of the world’s most knowlegeable Hurricane researchers and a former IPCC author who appears to have become fed up with the politics.) More importantly without the levey breaks Katrina would not have been all that significant and that’s mostly a human engineering issue, not a climate one. What about those big killer Australian fires? Isn’t that clearly caused by Global Warming? Well, it may have contributed to their severity but since they were lit by arsonists it seems absurd to say the climate caused them. Lastly, the models on which most dire predictions depend represent some of the most complex and non- falsifiable hypotheses in the history of science. The basics are simple and very likely (CO2 increases will increase temperatures), but the record of these climate model as predictive agents is very poor. So poor that model predictions in my view should be considered “informed speculation” more than “science”. This last point is critical. We despartely need to focus on finding climate models that predict climate correct ly, not focus on bashing dissenters who note the obvious failures of the current models.
Journalists (and apparently even some Nobel Economists like Krugman) can be excused for relying too heavily on a climate science community that has been seriously compromised by alarmism, ego problems that came from adversarial “anti science” policies under GW Bush, grant opportunism, an often incestuous peer review process, and far too many cases of statistical shenanigans. However that by no means excuses the ongoing climate witch hunt that is seeking to burn down dissenters rather than address their many legitimate concerns about how to move into our uncertain future.
Climate alarmists may be right that we are in for catastrophic changes that will ruin the planet. The data suggests otherwise. It also suggests it will be nearly impossible to significantly change the climate outcome regardless of how we act now (e.g. if CO2 emmissions stop completely today the models still project lots of warming).
However whatever the viewpoint I won’t stand by while an intellectual mob works to burn dissenters at the stake. Reason must guide our actions here – not alarmism, emotion, and vengeance.
Joe Krugman is a political hack. He lost credibility long ago. But if you want to understand why they do this I think Andrew Klavan nailed it on the head this week.
Dr. Roy W. Spencer…a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has served as senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Here is part 2:
Lastly, the models on which most dire predictions depend represent some of the most complex and non- falsifiable hypotheses in the history of science. The basics are simple and very likely (CO2 increases will increase temperatures), but the record of these climate model as predictive agents is very poor.
Important point. Normal science typically requires that ALL the facts be in (whether via experiments, field research, etc.) before Dr.X’s across the world offer the final word on the theory (though it might be modified at later point). That does not seem to have occurred with AGW hypothesis–specifically the man-made CO2 claims–though the data DOES suggest that temps are rising significantly.
That said, I think some aspects of the Waxman-Markey bill are worthy of respect, such as the demands on industry (ie oil and coal) and corporations to be more efficient in terms of energy usage, water, etc. Curtailing SUVs also not a bad idea. I am not so down with the impact on average citizens (maybe ObamaCo can send us stimulus checks to pay for the move towards hybrids, retrofitting for ethanol, etc–though that’s a few years away, presumably).
Look at Howard Dean’s position on this…the man is completely insane…
(4) Unfortunately the latest statistics show the overwhelming majority of scientists out there are Democrats…in fact only 6% of the scientists are Republicans.
Given the corruption around grants, etc…it is no wonder we don’t practice any real science anymore.
We need a lot more intellectual honesty as opposed to ideology.
Lastly Horatiox…why do you think the government is the answer? The Waxman bill is horrible. They have some things in there that sound good…but the reality is that 85% of ALL collected taxes will go back out to special interest groups. Not only is it the largest tax increase in history it is also the most inefficient where people are just paid off for their support on the backs of the American taxpayer.
Meanwhile Goldman, Al Gore, etc all stand to make hundreds of millions of dollars of this unbelievable scam. This is worse than the Catholic church selling indulgences for sins!!!
It’s not merely about taxes, or lining the pockets of bureaucrats–that’s the Fox news cynic-conservative interpretation (we can be cynics without being Fox cynics). Oil reserves are rapidly being depleted. AGW is a problem (though probably more regional than Gorebots thought) . SUVland has some major problems. So W-M bill’s push towards wind solar ethanol , other energy sources seems pretty sound.
We just need more nuclear plants…along the coastal areas we should build nuclear plants with desalination plants to work toward creating super cheap energy and solve the water issues at the same time.
There are feasible solutions that actually work toward solving the problems.
There is plenty of oil available we just have to willing to go and get it.
We also have massive natural gas reserves that we can use and use cleanly…but that doesn’t line the pockets of the right people so that is why the gov’t won’t do it.
Don’t misdirect to Fox news…Horatiox…key Democrats have stated very clearly that Cap & Trade is really Cap & Tax!
The bill has been so corrupted that at the end of the day it will do NOTHING surmountable for the environment and only make our lives miserable. It astounds me that you actually believe the government will make the right choices?
You sound like you believe corporations and oil executives will make the right choices. That’s rather astounding.
Nuclear energy doesn’t terrify me as it does some of the Sally Fields left, but it certainly has the potential for a real ugly disaster (ie chernobyl). And managing waste still a big problem.
Really, solar ramped up will do wonders–and already is. There are some big arrays out in the desert generating a great deal of energy now. Wind also viable (though the turbines now rather pricey for individual use).
No I don’t believe corporations and oil execs will make the right decisions…but we know for sure the government doesn’t and it hasn’t and in fact many of the key things the environmental movement has done has ultimately hurt the environment more than they helped…research CFC’s.
We also have some working models of “green” economies emerging and they are just not working right now. We are way to ahead of the curve…and to be trying this stuff when we have the economic issues we have is a level of recklessness beyond historical compare.
We need a blended response of several technologies to solve the issue but the goal must be: #1 eliminate dependence on any foreign source of energy. That is a national security issue and should be the driving force behind the any plans right now.
If you look at what the government could have done with all that stimulus money is they could have built nuclear power plants…it would created a lot of long-term jobs and helped us solve a big problem – but the whacko extremists have to be paid off (more corruption) and we can’t touch nuclear…it is absurd. A chernobyl most likely would never happen in a country like ours in this day and age.
There is also the Toshiba micro-nuclear technology that produces NO WASTE and could be a very viable alternative. Bury the reactor in the ground and it runs for 40 years without the need for re-fueling, etc. But no way…we can’t do that.
In Florida we have a large solar array producing power here. But there are so many restrictions now on putting solar on your own house – all because the big power companies don’t want to erode their revenues (more corruption – protection racket).
We should be encouraging people to become self-sustaining in many aspects of their lives but the government is moving now to limit organic gardening even on your own private property.
They want everyone hooked up to their sources that they control and can “tax” the heck out of us.
You don’t effectively change a society through taxes…it will not work here…it is the wrong approach to modify behavior. This is only going to lead to another revolution in this country.
Global Warming: Scientists’ Best Predictions May Be Wrong
Al Gore and Friends Create Climate of McCarthyism