Sceptics on global warming a baby-boomer, yuppie thing etc

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    Martin W

      Long feature in Seattle Times (from Washington Post) looks at global warming skeptics, inc hurricane expert William Gray.

      By Joel Achenbach

      WASHINGTON — It should be glorious to be Bill Gray, professor emeritus. He’s the guy who predicts the number of hurricanes that will form during the coming tropical-storm season. He works in the atmospheric-science department of Colorado State University. He’s mentored dozens of scientists.

      But he’s also outraged.

      Much of his government funding has dried up. He has had to put his own money, more than $100,000, into keeping his research going. If none of his colleagues comes to his funeral, he says, that’ll be evidence that he had the courage to say what they were afraid to admit.

      Which is this: Global warming is a hoax.

      He has testified about this to the U.S. Senate. He has written magazine articles, given speeches, done everything he could to get the message out.

      “I’ve been in meteorology over 50 years. I’ve worked damn hard, and I’ve been around. My feeling is some of us older guys who’ve been around have not been asked about this. It’s sort of a baby-boomer, yuppie thing.”

      Gray believes in observations. Direct measurements. Numerical models can’t be trusted. Equation pushers with fancy computers aren’t the equals of scientists who fly into hurricanes.

      “Few people know what I know. I’ve been in the tropics, I’ve flown in airplanes into storms. I’ve done studies of convection, cloud clusters and how the moist process works. I don’t think anybody in the world understands how the atmosphere functions better than me.”

      In just three, five, maybe eight years, he says, the world will begin to cool again.

      He is almost desperate to be heard. His time is short. He is 76 years old.

      [gives case for warming, including:] The 1990s were the warmest decade on record. The year 1998 set the all-time mark. This decade is on its way to setting a new standard. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a global effort involving hundreds of climate scientists, projected in 2001 that, depending on the rate of greenhouse-gas emissions and general climate sensitivities, the global average temperature would rise 2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit between 1990 and 2100. Sea levels could rise just a few inches, or nearly three feet.

      All of the above is part of the emerging, solidifying scientific consensus on global warming.

      The skeptics’ view

      When you step into the realm of the skeptics, you find yourself on a parallel Earth.

      Many skeptics work in think tanks, such as the George C. Marshall Institute or the National Center for Policy Analysis. They have the ear of leaders in the White House and on Capitol Hill. The skeptics helped scuttle any possibility that the United States would ratify the Kyoto treaty that would have committed the nation to cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions. …

      There are all these … anomalies.

      The skeptics don’t have to win the argument. They just have to stay in the game, keep things stirred up and make sure the politicians don’t pass any laws that have dangerous climate change as a premise. They’re winning that battle. The Senate held hearings this spring but has put off action for now.

      Gray’s crusade against global warming “hysteria” began in the early 1990s, when he saw enormous sums of federal research money going toward computer modeling rather than his kind of science, the old-fashioned stuff based on direct observation. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stopped giving him research grants. So did NASA. All the money was going to computer models. The modelers are equation pushers.

      “They haven’t been down in the trenches, making forecasts and understanding stuff!”

      The news media are self-interested.

      “Media people are all out for Pulitzer Prizes!”

      The IPCC is elitist.

      “They don’t talk to us! I’ve never been approached by the IPCC.”

      “People in the fringes”

      There’s a certain kind of skeptic who has no patience for the official consensus, especially if it has the imprimatur of a government, or worse, the United Nations. They focus on ambiguities and mysteries and things that just don’t add up. They say the Official Story can’t possibly be true, because it doesn’t explain the (insert inexplicable data point here). They set a high standard for reality — it must never be fuzzy around the edges.

      The Web site Real Climate, run by a loose group of climate scientists, recently published a detailed rebuttal of Gray’s theory, saying his claims about the ocean circulation lack evidence. The Web site criticized Gray for not adapting to the modern era of meteorology, “which demands hypotheses soundly grounded in quantitative and consistent physical formulations, not seat-of-the-pants flying.”

      When Gray is asked who his intellectual soul mates are regarding global warming, he responds, “I have nobody really to talk to about this stuff.”

      Mainstream climate scientists readily accept that there is natural variation in the system. For example, greenhouse gases alone can’t melt the Arctic at the alarming rate that has been observed recently. Americans sorting through this issue may feel constrained by all the unknowns. Perhaps they need to adapt to uncertainty, to see uncertainty as the norm, and not as a sign of scientific failure.

      Or as an excuse to do nothing.

      Global-warming skeptics continue to punch away

      Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/01/03 22:07

      Martin W

        For debunking of several of notions put forward to suggest global warming isn’t real, or isn’t a problem if it is, see this page by US Environmental Defense Fund:
        Global Warming: Fact vs. Myth

        lest you figure the skeptics are all unbiased folk, also check out the fund’s page on (US) global warming skeptics, and their funding; notice Exxon Mobil’s name keeps cropping up for funding research:
        Global Warming Skeptics: A Primer
        Guess Who’s Funding the Global Warming Doubt Shops?

        Post edited by: martin, at: 2006/07/28 01:55

        Martin W

          Union of Concerned Scientists’ site has list of some global warming skeptics organizations – which may have fancy names, like Global Cimate Coalition, Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine, but are sometimes just pipsqueak groups, and/or backed by conservatives coupled with energy industry.
          Responding to Global Warming Skeptics
          —Prominent Skeptics Organizations

          Martin W

            Profoundly stupid conclusion to a rambling, babbling piece on global warming:

            Because the truth is – however unbelievable and inconvenient it may be to some – that God controls the Earth’s fate, even when we do our worst to it.

            Are warnings of global warming the new Tower of Babel?

            – so if this guy’s house were to catch fire, he wouldn’t do anything, just leaving its fate to God? Trouble is, here we’re talking of the planet, not this guy’s house. Deeply troubling that my future, my family’s future – and your future – depends partly on idiots like this.

            Martin W

              Letter on a US news site includes:

              … most of the anti-warming folks you see on TV have their degrees in health or environmental policy, as opposed to being research scientists.

              Then they treat the various speakers’ opinions equally despite the fact that they don’t have equal resumes. How ironic from the network that decries celebrity pundits for their lack of subject-matter expertise.

              The problem with the “Earth is fine” folks is that they give this issue scientific latitude that they would not give any other topic.

              If you were suffering from angina and you saw a team of 10 doctors, nine of whom were heart specialists who told you that you needed a heart operation immediately or you might die, and one chiropractor who told you that it was unnecessary and you were just suffering from gas, you would go with the opinion of the nine heart specialists.

              Warming pooh-poohers aren’t academically hot

              Martin W

                Just come across webpage that rightly notes:

                Many right wing web sites, and rightwingers trolling around other web sites, make much of the “economic interest” of mainstream scientists in finding that global warming exists and is man-made. Missing from their oddly similar (virtually identical) statements environmentalist bias is any concern at all with who makes up the movement opposing man-made global warming, and where they get their money.

                – continues with info on ExxonMobil funding various global warming sceptics and their organizations.
                Who makes up (& funds) the “opposition” to global warming?

                Gives link to a site ExposeExxon which says:

                As one of the world’s most profitable companies, ExxonMobil has the power to move the world toward a more sustainable energy future. Instead, ExxonMobil has acted consistently to move our country backward on energy policy by opposing efforts to stop global warming, lobbying to drill in America’s most pristine wilderness areas, and failing to promote renewable energy and fuel efficiency.

                – and in turn has a link to a site by Greenpeace:
       – which has a list of global warming sceptic organizations receiving funding from Exxon, plus more info such as on personnel. Whew! – a long, long list, and some such as Greening Earth Society sound like they might be greenies [info says “A project of the Western Fuels Association founded to promote the idea that global warming is beneficial to the planet.”!!]
                . World Climate Report sounds very grand; but mainly Pat Michaels and some buddies, not all of whom seem too worldly, and with further links to Western Fuels.

                Post edited by: martin, at: 2006/07/05 16:28

                Martin W

                  I remember David Bellamy as an iconic figure of natural history tv; up to his thighs in bogs, he’d expound on plantlife in the big booming voice beloved of mimics – who also took to his immense beard. He even lectured at my first univ, tho I never saw him around there (I wasn’t in botany dept).

                  Later, when he came to Hong Kong, Bellamy pronounced that China could use 100 cities like Hong Kong, which to me seemed odd, as would hold over 600 million people, and Hong Kong is no model of sustainability. Wondered: has the chap been given too many meals by folk connected to big business.

                  Recently, come across Bellamy pronouncing on global warming as being “poppycock”. Turns out this was two years ago, in Britain’s Daily Mail, in an article that included:

                  Global warming – at least the modern nightmare version – is a myth. I am sure of it and so are a growing number of scientists. But what is really worrying is that the world’s politicians and policy makers are not.

                  Instead, they have an unshakeable in what has, unfortunately, become one of the central credos of the environmental movement. Humans burn fossil fuels, which release increased levels of carbon dioxide – the principal so-called greenhouse gas – into the atmosphere, causing the atmosphere to heat up.

                  They say this is global warming: I say this is poppycock.

                  you can read the full text of the article on the site called (I’m not making this up) junk science:
                  Global Warming? What a load of poppycock!
                  – and maybe note that Junk Science has a major aim of debunking environmental science, and is linked to Exxon funding: googlefight

                  I tried googling for refutations of Bellamy’s baloney; at first unsuccessul, but today come across guff from UK journalist George Monbiot; entertaining, including an exchange of letters, and Bellamy’s points re warming – even his ill-founded and since retracted idea that glaciers are on the whole advancing – indeed refuted.
                  Monbiot had a go at Bellamy in Goodbye, Kind World:

                  Like almost all the climate change deniers, he based his claim on a petition produced in 1998 by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine and “signed by over 18,000 scientists”. Had Bellamy studied the signatories, he would have discovered that the “scientists” include Ginger Spice and the cast of MASH.(10) The Oregon Institute is run by a fundamentalist Christian called Arthur Robinson. Its petition was attached to what purported to be a scientific paper, printed in the font and format of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In fact, the paper had not been peer-reviewed or published in any scientific journal.(11) Anyone could sign the petition, and anyone did: only a handful of the signatories are experts in climatology,(12) and quite a few of them appear to have believed that they were signing a genuine paper.(13) And yet, six years later, this petition is still being wheeled out to suggest that climatologists say global warming isn’t happening.

                  this prompted letter from Bellamy, and letter from Monbiot, then letter from Bellamy, another from Monbiot; Bellamy for some reason mainly covering pros and cons of wind power and not much re global warming:
                  Correspondence with David Bellamy
                  Monbiot followed up with another article:
                  Junk Science
                  Climate change denial, as David Bellamy’s claims show, is based on pure hocus pocus

                  this begins:

                  For the past three weeks, a set of figures has been working a hole in my mind. On April 16th, New Scientist published a letter from the famous botanist David Bellamy. Many of the world’s glaciers, he claimed, “are not shrinking but in fact are growing. … 555 of all the 625 glaciers under observation by the World Glacier Monitoring Service in Zurich, Switzerland, have been growing since 1980.”(1) His letter was instantly taken up by climate change deniers. And it began to worry me. What if Bellamy was right?

                  He is a scientist, formerly a senior lecturer at the University of Durham. He knows, in other words, that you cannot credibly cite data unless it is well-sourced. Could it be that one of the main lines of evidence of the impacts of global warming – the retreat of the world’s glaciers – was wrong?

                  So last week I telephoned the World Glacier Monitoring Service and read out Bellamy’s letter. I don’t think the response would have been published in Nature, but it had the scientific virtue of clarity. “This is complete bullshit.”(3) A few hours later, they sent me an email.

                  “Despite his scientific reputation, he makes all the mistakes that are possible”. He had cited data which was simply false, failed to provide references, completely misunderstood the scientific context and neglected current scientific literature.(4) The latest studies show unequivocally that most of the world’s glaciers are retreating.(5)

                  Post edited by: martin, at: 2006/07/24 10:41

                  Martin W

                    I'd never heard of U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (a scary thought!), but doesn't look like he'll join the pantheon of great intellectuals of our time. Seems he earlier claimed global warming is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." Now, more wackiness in an interview with Tulsa World. Includes:

                    It kind of reminds . . . I could use the Third Reich, the big lie," Inhofe said. … While declining to watch either the Gore movie or the Brokaw documentary, the senator said he armed himself with the statements used in both. "I know the text, and I know they are using old stuff that has been totally discredited," Inhofe said. "Everything on which they based their story, in terms of the facts, has been refuted scientifically."

                    He offered his point-by-point response to both. They include such claims as that polar bear populations are shrinking along with their food supplies, and the glaciers in Glacier National Park are disappearing. Inhofe insists that the number of polar bears is not dropping and that some of the glaciers in the national park are actually getting bigger. [err, scientific references if you please, Senator]

                    As for the Kilimanjaro glacier, which reportedly is disappearing, Inhofe said the loss can be blamed on the cutting of trees, which once held the moisture. "One by one, you can refute everything they are saying," Inhofe said.

                    Heat wave has senator sticking to beliefs

                    Looks like if you don't bother with actual science, with bothersome things like peer-reviewed papers and suchlike, you can indeed refute everything "they"are saying. Much as you could claim, say, that genetics is a hoax, or that humans and dinosaurs co-existed (latter cited in an Esquire article:

                    Greetings from Idiot America; the senator may wish to read this sometime, including,

                    "In the place of expertise, we have elevated the Gut, and the Gut is a moron").

                    Martin W

                      More evidence that the global warming "sceptics" are receiving some juicy support from industries involved in producing greenhouse gases:

                      NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Colorado electricity cooperative is urging other power groups to support global warming skeptics and has donated $100,000 to a climatologist who has labeled some of his colleagues "alarmists." The Intermountain Rural Electric Association’s general manager wrote in a letter to other energy cooperatives that it also helped raise contributions from others for Dr. Patrick Michaels, a climatologist at the University of Virginia and a fellow at the CATO Institute in Washington D.C. … "I would say it’s smoking gun evidence that industry is trying to buy science to back its anti-environmental propaganda on global warming," said Frank O’Donnell, president of Washington D.C.-environmental group Clean Air Watch. "Something coming from a Patrick Michaels should carry a warning label," he said. "’Caution: this commentary bought with industry money."’

                      Power group promoting global warming skeptic

                      from Washington Post:

                      Lewandowski [of power company], who said he believes global warming is real just not as big a problem as scientists claim, acknowledged this is a special interest issue. He said the bigger concern is his 130,000 customers, who want to keep rates low, so coal-dependent utilities need to prevent any taxes or programs that penalize fossil fuel use. He said his effort is more aimed at stopping carbon dioxide emission taxes and limits from Congress, something he believes won’t happen during the Bush administration.

                      Utilities Give Warming Skeptic Big Bucks – ah yes, the Bush administration…

                      Martin W

                        Commentary on Delaware Online is a further demonstration of how notions there is a "debate" about whether global warming is real are just plain wrong.

                        By NAOMI ORESKES

                        An op-ed article in The Wall Street Journal a month ago claimed that a published study affirming the existence of a scientific consensus on the reality of global warming had been refuted. This charge was repeated again in a hearing of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. I am the author of that study, which appeared two years ago in the journal Science, and I’m here to tell you that the consensus stands. The argument put forward in the Wall Street Journal was based on an Internet posting; it has not appeared in a peer-reviewed journal — the normal way to challenge an academic finding. (The Wall Street Journal didn’t even get my name right!) My study demonstrated that there is no significant disagreement within the scientific community that the Earth is warming and that human activities are the principal cause. Papers that continue to rehash arguments that have already been addressed and questions that have already been answered will, of course, be rejected by scientific journals, and this explains my findings. Not a single paper in a large sample of peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 refuted the consensus position, summarized by the National Academy of Sciences, that "most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations." …

                        To be sure, there are a handful of scientists, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen, the author of the Wall Street Journal editorial, who disagree with the rest of the scientific community. To a historian of science like me, this is not surprising. In any scientific community, there are always some individuals who simply refuse to accept new ideas and evidence. This is especially true when the new evidence strikes at their core beliefs and values. … Climate-change deniers can imagine all the hypotheses they like, but it will not change the facts nor "the general induction from the phenomena."

                        Global warming: Signed, sealed and delivered

                        Martin W
                          LONDON — Britain’s leading scientific academy has accused oil company Exxon Mobil Corp. of misleading the public about global warming and funding groups that undermine the scientific consensus on climate change. The Royal Society said Wednesday that it had written to Exxon asking it to halt support for groups that have “misrepresented the science of climate change.” …

                          Scientists Chide Exxon on Global Warming

                          The Royal Society website has a section on global warming, inc debunking the apparently contradictory obfuscation from the sceptics. Climate change: evidence and causes

                          Martin W

                            Back in my univ days in the UK, used to hear of the “Loony Left” for some political types with daft ideas. In UK, not sure how should call the rightwingers – Rabid Righties? – who seem oblivious to facts and commonsense (we know CO2 asorbs heat emitted after sun heats the earth; so add more, and earth is likely to get warmer – err, which part of this can’t you understand, rabid ones?)

                            Just read of a republican senator, Jim Inhofe, who’s someohow on senate environmental committee, giving blustering speech saying global warming isn’t real.
                            Over at ThinkProgress – CNN Fact Checks Inhofe’s Diatribe Against Global Warming Sci, there’s a blog post inc link to CNN item showing Inhofe was factually incorrect. CNN notes that in recent five-year period, Inhofe received US$850,000 from oil and gas industries.

                            See also a post on blog at Grist Magazine:
                            Inhofe’s speech and right-wing global warming myths
                            – comments posted there include quote from book, The Republican War on Science:

                            There may be no other issue today where a corruption of the necessary relationship between science and political decision-making has more potentially disastrous consequences. And together, Jame Inhofe and the Bush administration have made that corruption systematic and complete.

                            Post edited by: martin, at: 2006/10/01 03:32

                            Martin W
                              UN chief Kofi Annan has criticised a “frightening lack of leadership” in tackling global warming, at a major UN climate summit in Nairobi.
                              Mr Annan told delegates the phenomenon was as grave a threat as conflict, poverty and the spread of weapons.

                              He said sceptics were “out of step, out of arguments and out of time”.

                              “It is increasingly clear that it will cost far less to cut emissions now than to deal with the consequences later,” he told the 189-nation meeting in Kenya’s capital.

                              The UN chief said climate change was also a threat to peace and security.

                              “Changing patterns of rainfall, for example, can heighten competition for resources, setting in motion potentially destabilising tensions and migrations…

                              “There is evidence that some of this is already occurring; more could well be in the offing.”

                              UN chief issues climate warning

                              Post edited by: Martin, at: 2006/11/16 12:00

                              Martin W

                                Just come across a bizarre letter to the editor of the Freelance Star, by a doyenne of the global warming skeptics, Patrick Michaels.


                                Can the news [about global warming] really be this bad?

                                – and then answers with a truly lunatic piece of logic:

                                Every time some “new” information is added to a weather forecast, it should have an equal chance of making it warmer or colder. In global warming, which is really just a super-long-range forecast, every new finding should also have an equal chance of making it warmer or cooler, or “worse than we thought” or “not as bad as we thought.”

                                Michaels writes a lengthy missive based on this – which he does not substantiate, and seems as crazy as saying (for instance) that in considering whether the earth is round or flat, or smoking does or does not cause cancer, the chances of the answer being one of these choices is 50%.

                                Thus, in noting that:

                                I counted 115 articles in the last 13 months–52 in Science and 63 in Nature. Twenty-three were in the “neutral/can’t classify” bin. In the remaining two categories, nine were in the “better” class, meaning things wouldn’t be as bad as previously thought, and 83 were in the “worse” box.

                                – Michaels is able to say this must be a result of bias. It couldn’t be that global warming is indeed serious (for by his reasoning, if it was, half the papers would say it wasn’t).

                                But, perhaps his audience is simply idiots, keen for even the flakiest of pseudo-science to buttress their notions. And, of course, could please his backers in the energy industry.

                                You can see this at:
                                No, Virginia, the sky is not falling Warming to debate Are we responsible for the planet’s changing climate?

                                Post edited by: Martin, at: 2006/12/03 15:04

                                Martin W

                                  Another skeptic who seems to be flailing is Fred Singer; extracts from an answer he gave to question on global warming:

                                  In other words, we cannot deny the greenhouse effect, that’s real, but it’s small. … you implicitly assume … that warming is bad. I would question that. … how can you argue logically that a warmer climate is worse? Or would you say that the present climate just happens to be the optimum climate? …

                                  Tilting at Warming
                                  Oh dear, seems the poor fellow’s gotten stuck in a quagmire; almost seems he’s thinking of how ridiculous his comments are even as he makes them. Global warming fears aren’t about any wishy-washy notion of “optimum climate” – but about major changes to the climate we’ve long had. As a commenter notes on blog with the quote, we have cities on seacoasts, crops suited to existing climates etc.

                                  Martin W

                                    Union of Concerned Scientists now criticising Exxon for funding people prone to saying "Warming, what warming?" – and bamboozling the public into believing there is something of a debate among scientists re whether warming is happening, and is probably a major problem.

                                    WASHINGTON — Exxon Mobil Corp. gave $16 million to 43 ideological groups between 1998 and 2005 in a coordinated effort to mislead the public by discrediting the science behind global warming, the Union of Concerned Scientists asserted today. The report by the science-based nonprofit advocacy group mirrors similar claims by Britain’s leading scientific academy. Last September, The Royal Society wrote the oil company asking it to halt support for groups that "misrepresented the science of climate change." Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the scientific advocacy group’s report. …

                                    Scientists accuse Exxon Mobil of discrediting global warming

                                    On Union of Concerned Scientists’ site, see press release, and link to report, at: Scientists’ Report Documents ExxonMobil’s Tobacco-like Disinformation Campaign on Global Warming Science Oil Company Spent Nearly $16 Million to Fund Skeptic Groups, Create Confusion includes:

                                    "ExxonMobil has manufactured uncertainty about the human causes of global warming just as tobacco companies denied their product caused lung cancer," said Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Director of Strategy & Policy. "A modest but effective investment has allowed the oil giant to fuel doubt about global warming to delay government action just as Big Tobacco did for over 40 years." … "As a scientist, I like to think that facts will prevail, and they do eventually," said Dr. James McCarthy, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography at Harvard University and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s working group on climate change impacts. "It’s shameful that ExxonMobil has sought to obscure the facts for so long when the future of our planet depends on the steps we take now and in the coming years." …
                                    Martin W

                                      Just come across batty, right-wing rant from public relations advisor Alan Caruba.
                                      Titled America Goes Insane Over the Weather, it begins:

                                      It’s official. America is now totally insane over the weather.

                                      Continues, including:

                                      To make matters worse, people are being told and actually believing that what they do or not can affect the weather in ways to keep the seas and temperatures from rising.

                                      That is a definition of insanity.

                                      Goes on with a whole lot of unsubstantiated nonsense – for after all, his audience is right wing idiots, the sort who can’t figure that “weather” (short term) is different from “climate” (longer term).
                                      Tells the idiots that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant; but if someone were to fill Mr Caruba’s home with nothing else, you might figure he’d complain a tad.

                                      Googling, quickly find that Caruba is a regular propounder of pap.
                                      There’s a page dedicated to him on ExxonMobil Secrets, about organisations and people that are sceptical of warming and receive(d) funding from ExxonMobil (it’ll be interesting to see what these sceptics do now the company has said it will halt such funding, even started talks re lowering greenhouse gas emissions): Alan Caruba.

                                      Caruba’s abundant pap includes article titled Global warming: Lies, lies, damnable lies!, with typically vacuous statements, and even dissing the notion in New York Times editorial that “the seemingly indestructible snows of Kilimanjaro that inspired Ernest Hemingway’s famous short story may well disappear in the next 15 years.”
                                      Perhaps Caruba is cheefully oblivious to readily available info such as:
                                      Melting snow on Kilimanjaro – where graphics starkly show how in recent decades the once abundant snow and ice at the summit has melted to almost nothing.
                                      See also NASA photos, Snow and ice on Mount Kilimanjaro

                                      In 2005, Caruba wrote another piece for right-wing idiots, It’s Getting Colder, Not Warmer.
                                      Based this load of codswallop on one book, Caruba had the gall to assert:

                                      Science is a wonderful thing.

                                      – which is his most damnable lie of all. For if Caruba truly believed in science, he’d shut up, or cover the work by the vast majority of climate scientists that shows global warming is a reality.

                                      But Caruba’s just another self-serving befuddler of idiots, trying to stave off attempts to recognise and maybe moderate the likely impacts of climate change.
                                      Now, he has stooped to insultilng his own nation – calling America “insane” for becoming concerned about climate change.
                                      Tempting to call him insane. But the truth, perhaps, is he’s just plain greedy, happy to take energy companies’ money and write whatever helps bring in the cheques.
                                      If Caruba has descendants, wonder how they’ll feel as the earth warms and impacts are more widely felt.

                                      Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/01/19 14:01

                                      Martin W

                                        Oh dear, the fruitcakes strike again.
                                        In Seattle, a guy has succeeded in stopping showing of An Inconvenient Truth to schoolkids inc his daughter (one of seven kids, notice: this guy has done his part to increase stresses on our planet):

                                        “No you will not teach or show that propagandist Al Gore video to my child, blaming our nation — the greatest nation ever to exist on this planet — for global warming,” Hardison wrote in an e-mail to the Federal Way School Board. The 43-year-old computer consultant is an evangelical Christian who says he believes that a warming planet is “one of the signs” of Jesus Christ’s imminent return for Judgment Day.

                                        Gore Film Sparks Parents’ Anger
                                        Showing ‘Inconvenient Truth’ Would Require Counterpoint

                                        Boston Globe had good editorial on this. Includes:

                                        It will be enlightening to see what “alternate views” teachers who want to show the Gore movie come up with.

                                        and says re one teacher

                                        Maybe she could find her balancing “data” in Michael Crichton’s novel “State of Fear.” It’s science fiction.

                                        When science isn’t

                                        Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/01/29 09:40

                                        Martin W

                                          From the Guardian:

                                          Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world’s largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.
                                          Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

                                          Travel expenses and additional payments were also offered.

                                          The AEI has received more than $1.6m from ExxonMobil and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush administration. Lee Raymond, a former head of ExxonMobil, is the vice-chairman of AEI’s board of trustees.

                                          The letters, sent to scientists in Britain, the US and elsewhere, attack the UN’s panel as “resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent and prone to summary conclusions that are poorly supported by the analytical work” and ask for essays that “thoughtfully explore the limitations of climate model outputs”.

                                          Climate scientists described the move yesterday as an attempt to cast doubt over the “overwhelming scientific evidence” on global warming. “It’s a desperate attempt by an organisation who wants to distort science for their own political aims,” said David Viner of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

                                          Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study

                                          Martin W

                                            Think Progress has item mentioning Dick Cheney has said:

                                            I think clearly we’re in a period of warming. Where there does not appear to be a consensus, where it begins to break down, is the extent to which that’s part of a normal cycle versus the extent to which it’s caused by man, greenhouse gases, et cetera.

                                            – as TP notes:

                                            Cheney added later in the interview, “I don’t know. I’m not a scientist.” But he appears comfortable enough in his knowledge to suggest that the scientists are all wrong.

                                            Cheney: ‘There Does Not Appear To Be A Consensus’ That Global Warming Is ‘Caused By Man’

                                            Martin W

                                              God knows what’s wrong with American right-wing ranters, who continue to confuse science with politics.

                                              Classic stuff on Free Market News, by Noel Gibeson, Print and Radio Commentator (err, not a scientist of any kind then? ‘course not – science is for lefties; right-wingers don’t need clean air, clean water, safe environments: heck, perhaps it’s true and they are all Cylons).

                                              Now we hear that the debate is over and the case is closed; their other god has ruled – the United Nations – has decided that global warming is ’caused’ by Man so there is no need for any further discussion; it is time for action. Surprise! This type of socialist-collectivist mentality could not be further from either the truth or from reality.

                                              GLOBAL WARMING: A CONVENIENT LIE

                                              I’ve just submitted comment:

                                              Bet you Free Marketeers also figure gravity’s some kind of pinko-liberal plot, along with those nasty evolution conspiracies, plate tectonics and so on.
                                              All cooked up by wishy washy doomsaying gloom-mongers who aim to stop Free Marketeers floating about at will.

                                              I write from Hong Kong – toastiest February I’ve known in 20 years here.
                                              But this is global warming : means that world temps on the rise, and best fit is with anthropogenic warming, rest merely hand waving, seized on and spread by greedy liars and obfuscators.

                                              You can deny warming like latter-day Canutes willing the tide to stop coming in (or religious berks adhering to notions of heavens revolving around earth), but your idiocy shouldn’t be messing with my future, my kid’s future.

                                              Martin W

                                                Good to see article in Newsweek, which clearly ruffling righties’ feathers.


                                                the denial machine is running at full throttle—and continuing to shape both government policy and public opinion.

                                                Since the late 1980s, this well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change. Through advertisements, op-eds, lobbying and media attention, greenhouse doubters (they hate being called deniers) argued first that the world is not warming; measurements indicating otherwise are flawed, they said. Then they claimed that any warming is natural, not caused by human activities. Now they contend that the looming warming will be minuscule and harmless. “They patterned what they did after the tobacco industry,” says former senator Tim Wirth, who spearheaded environmental issues as an under secretary of State in the Clinton administration. “Both figured, sow enough doubt, call the science uncertain and in dispute. That’s had a huge impact on both the public and Congress.”

                                                Just last year, polls found that 64 percent of Americans thought there was “a lot” of scientific disagreement on climate change; only one third thought planetary warming was “mainly caused by things people do.” In contrast, majorities in Europe and Japan recognize a broad consensus among climate experts that greenhouse gases—mostly from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas to power the world’s economies—are altering climate.

                                                “As soon as the scientific community began to come together on the science of climate change, the pushback began,” says historian Naomi Oreskes of the University of California, San Diego. Individual companies and industry associations—representing petroleum, steel, autos and utilities, for instance—formed lobbying groups with names like the Global Climate Coalition and the Information Council on the Environment.

                                                Challenging the science wasn’t a hard sell on Capitol Hill. “In the House, the leadership generally viewed it as impermissible to go along with anything that would even imply that climate change was genuine,” says Goldston, the former Republican staffer. “There was a belief on the part of many members that the science was fraudulent, even a Democratic fantasy. A lot of the information they got was from conservative think tanks and industry.”

                                                Ex-oil lobbyist Philip Cooney, working for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, edited a 2002 report on climate science by sprinkling it with phrases such as “lack of understanding” and “considerable uncertainty.” A short section on climate in another report was cut entirely. The White House “directed us to remove all mentions of it,” says Piltz, who resigned in protest. An oil lobbyist faxed Cooney, “You are doing a great job.”

                                                Look for the next round of debate to center on what Americans are willing to pay and do to stave off the worst of global warming. So far the answer seems to be, not much.

                                                The Truth About Denial

                                                Martin W

                                                  Seems to me there are good ‘ol boys attitudes among the global warming deniers.
                                                  GM’s vice chairman, Bob Lutz, has lately exemplified these:

                                                  General Motors Corp Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has defended remarks he made dismissing global warming as a “total crock of shit,” saying his views had no bearing on GM’s commitment to build environmentally friendly vehicles.

                                                  Lutz, GM’s outspoken product development chief, has been under fire from Internet bloggers since last month when he was quoted as making the remark to reporters in Texas.

                                                  GM exec stands by calling global warming a ‘crock’


                                                  New York Times has a fine opinion piece on anti-science knuckle draggers n US House of Congress, including:

                                                  On matters of basic science and peer-reviewed knowledge, from evolution to climate change to elementary fiscal math, many Republicans in power cling to a level of ignorance that would get their ears boxed even in a medieval classroom. Congress incubates and insulates these knuckle-draggers.

                                                  Let’s take a quick tour of the crazies in the House. Their war on critical thinking explains a lot about why the United States is laughed at on the global stage, and why no real solutions to our problems emerge from that broken legislative body.

                                                  We’re currently experiencing the worst drought in 60 years, a siege of wildfires, and the hottest temperatures since records were kept.  But to Republicans in Congress, it’s all a big hoax. The chairman of a subcommittee that oversees issues related to climate change,  Representative John Shimkus of Illinois is —  you guessed it  — a climate-change denier.

                                                  At a 2009 hearing, Shimkus said not to worry about a fatally dyspeptic planet: the biblical signs have yet to properly align. “The earth will end only when God declares it to be over,” he said, and then he went on to quote Genesis at some length.  It’s worth repeating: This guy is the chairman.

                                                  On the same committee is an oil-company tool and 27-year veteran of Congress, Representative Joe L. Barton of Texas.  You may remember Barton as the politician who apologized to the head of BP in 2010 after the government dared to insist that the company pay for those whose livelihoods were ruined by the gulf oil spill.

                                                  Barton cited the Almighty in questioning energy from wind turbines. Careful, he warned, “wind is God’s way of balancing heat.”  Clean energy, he said,  “would slow the winds down” and thus could make it hotter. You never know.

                                                  “You can’t regulate God!” Barton barked at the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, in the midst of discussion on measures to curb global warming.

                                                  The Crackpot Caucus


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