Monday, December 07, 2009

All in one accord rejoice 

Via Glenn Reynolds we learn that 56 of the world's big newspapers have conspired agreed to issue the same editorial on the same day, all in one accord declaring that in the Copenhagen climate regulatory talks we have "Fourteen days to seal history's judgment on this generation." Well, on that I suppose we all can agree, even if there is no accord on what that judgment will turn out to be.

Glenn mocks the papers -- "fiercely independent" -- but beyond that this strikes me as arrestingly poor salesmanship. If the most challenging public relations problem for "your side" is that you have conspired -- either to suppress science or to suppress the news of suppressing science -- you might want to reconsider responding with, well, a conspiracy. Would it not be smarter at least to pretend that there are small differences of opinion between the newspapers, suffusing different editorials with faux qualifications and "that-having-been-saids"? Of course, then one would not be able to declare, as these 56 newspapers have done, that "the science is complex but the facts are clear" without mentioning that the predictions of that "science" are dependent on complex computer models, and that we have substantial recent evidence that no matter how motivated, self-interested, smart, and well-financed the developers may be, models can and will go hideously wrong just when one least expects it.


By Blogger joewxman, at Mon Dec 07, 08:40:00 AM:

people read newspapers? Since they have outlived their usefulness why not shut down all the paper production. That should lower global temps a bit not having all those gasbags murdering trees so we can read their wind.

I wonder how many us papers will be hooked up in this fabulous display of deep thought and independence?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 07, 09:08:00 AM:

A repost from below that belongs here:

There's a subtle but I think important fallout of MSM coverage of AGW: There's over 20 million Rush Limbaugh listeners -- truck drivers etc etc -- who now know a lot about Siberian tree rings. But Katie Couric doesn't want to know from Siberian tree rings. The ombudsman at the New York Times just gave it a pass on not knowing from Siberian tree rings. But Katie and the NYT will say that Sarah Palin is a no-nothing. These Rush listeners now know more about Siberian tree rings than most college faculty members. That's a profound disconnect. Developing ...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 07, 09:55:00 AM:

I'd check the purchases/sales of carbon credits of these papers and their owners. If it were staocks, these papers would be accused of playing the pump/dump game.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 07, 10:35:00 AM:

Hold your breath. This afternoon the US EPA will foramlly declare CO2 a pollutant.  

By Anonymous Robinsolana, at Mon Dec 07, 10:44:00 AM:

These 56 news outlets are marking themselves as totally agenda driven. These are partyline advocates not journalists. Many of our institutions have been subverted and this shows the extent.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 07, 10:47:00 AM:

Nothing to see here. move along ...

The NYT reports today: In Face of Skeptics, Experts Affirm Climate Peril

"nothing so far disclosed ... undercuts decades of peer-reviewed science."

"Yet the case for human-driven warming, many scientists say, is far clearer now than a decade ago, when the skeptics included many people who now are convinced that climate change is a real and serious threat."


By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Mon Dec 07, 10:49:00 AM:

These are the same Mr. Wizards that are conspiring, er agreeing, with Senators like Feinstein to restrict press shield laws to people employed by legitimate news organizations. Citizen journalism has become a real threat to society.

We mustn't let free speech endanger good science and the social order. When are the American people going to wake up and understand that America's news rooms have access to all the news feeds from around the world. Why should we even try to know as much?

The other little voice in my head is saying, "this is the way people used to express dissent in the USSR."


By Blogger showbiz111, at Mon Dec 07, 11:27:00 AM:

Lysenko had his genetics theories 'peer reviewed' in Soviet Union. That worked out really well too. Given that these emails in climate gate show how the 'peer review' process was used to manipulate and suppress contrary views, this particular appeal to authority by the papers and AGW supporters rings rather hollow. Again these propaganda rags and their bureaucrat sources have a rather tin ear as to what is occurring in climate gate. They have already hit the iceberg, but continue to play the same music, as their audiences bail out on them.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 07, 12:11:00 PM:

Look you are free to believe that Jesus rode on the backs of dinosaurs. Fine. But you can demonstrate in a lab that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and the amount of carbon dioxide in the air can be measured. So why is this a political debate? Maybe global warming won’t be that bad, but it is settled science  

By Blogger Matteo, at Mon Dec 07, 12:42:00 PM:

Anonymous said, "Look you are free to believe that Jesus rode on the backs of dinosaurs..."

And the attitude exhibited by this sort of statement is supposed to demonstrate that AGW is not some sort of ideological counter-religion how, exactly?  

By Anonymous Lord Acton, at Mon Dec 07, 01:08:00 PM:


By going the EPA regulation route to regulate CO2, the administration will bring Climategate and all of the sham science right into the courts where all of the AGW dirty laundry will be admissible evidence. Game-Set-Match. Those of us who have seen through this whole left/green bring-socialism back from the dead scam have won. Drinks all around!  

By Anonymous Arnold, at Mon Dec 07, 01:09:00 PM:

Anonymous 12:11 pm -
Please explain how you "determine in a lab that CO2 is a greenhouse gas" since it depends on a complex interaction between CO2 and every other gas in the atmosphere?

If it can be simulated in a lab, then why are the computer models so far off?

CO2 absorbs and emits heat coming from the ground, but it also absorbs adn emits heat coming from the Sun. Please explain how you set up the aparatus in your lab to accurately measure these effects on a global scale.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 07, 01:12:00 PM:

Reply to Anon at 12:11

CO2 is a trace gas -- that means there's very little of it. I've estimated that the mass of all the CO2 in the air is less than the mass of the top inch of our oceans. Saying it drives the temperature of the planet would require it to have magical thermodynamic properties. We've had much higher levels of CO2 in the air in the past, and Earth went through its Ice Age cycles just fine. Increased CO2 in the air is mostly a lagged effect -- ask any good high school chemistry student about the solubility of gases in liquids.

As I write, the EPA is declaring the ultimate plant food to be a pollutant.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 07, 02:10:00 PM:

CO2 is a trace gas, but like a greenhouse has a thin layer of glass you don't need a lot to slightly alter the amount of heat escaping into space. In fact, the greenhouse effect is what makes life possible on this planet. Yes, the earth will survive, but the question is "Is the cost of increased global warming bigger than the cost of trying to prevent it?" Remember our civilization adapted to a certain climate! Do we want to mess with that?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 07, 02:46:00 PM:

To Anon at 2:10pm

You're right. We can't take that risk. Maybe we should sacrifice a few virgins.  

By Blogger Escort81, at Mon Dec 07, 03:02:00 PM:

Anon 2:46 -

Maybe we should sacrifice a few virgins.

And where do you suggest we are going to find such people? If they are under 18 years of age, they can't consent to be sacrificed, because they lack the legal capacity to do so; if they are over 18, are they really going to be virgins in the classical volcano-jumping sense?  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Mon Dec 07, 03:14:00 PM:

Anonymous @ 12:11
Look you are free to believe that Jesus rode on the backs of dinosaurs. Fine. But you can demonstrate in a lab that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and the amount of carbon dioxide in the air can be measured. So why is this a political debate? Maybe global warming won’t be that bad, but it is settled science.

Several points. First, contrary to your crack about riding on dinosaurs,there are many valid scientific reasons for being skeptical about AGW. Such as the sunspot theory. Such as the hockey stick being based on manipulated data. Second, contrary to your assertion that it is "settled science," it is by no means settled. "Scientists" who fudge data, deny data to others, deny publication to those who disagree with their POV,and stigmatize journals that publish papers which disagree with their POVs illustrate very well that it is NOT "settled science." If it were "settled science," they would not have to resort to such dirty tricks.

I also find it very amusing that an ignoramus such as Al Gore calls me a "denier" when I know much more math, science and engineering than he ever did.  

By Blogger Mrs. Davis, at Mon Dec 07, 03:24:00 PM:

Maybe we should sacrifice a few virgins.

And where do you suggest we are going to find such people?


By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Mon Dec 07, 03:32:00 PM:

Glenn "Instafundament" is a partisan wang. So what else is new?

FYI one of your fellow wingnuts was telling me about our economic future being in the stars--mining other planets, finding life in oceans of liquid water on one of Jupiter's (or was it Saturn's) moons. He mentioned "terraforming" mars by pumping gases into the atmosphere. Here's the punchline: he's pissing on Copehagen, too. So it's okay to pump CO2 and pollutants into air, jack up the climate on Earth b/c that's moonbat science...but it somehow becomes real, and legit...hell profitable eventually, to do it on Mars? What a metaphor for how insouciant/crazy/manic you all can be. LOL  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Mon Dec 07, 03:36:00 PM:

By the way..."Look you are free to believe that Jesus rode on the backs of dinosaurs. Fine"

Sarah Palin told me personally she'd seen Jesus riding a Tricerotops, thank you very much, and that Jesus feels that climate change is unAmerican. So get it right! LOL  

By Anonymous Stephen J., at Mon Dec 07, 05:29:00 PM:

I'm not a scientist, but it seems to me that to consider the policies being proposed at Copenhagen to be justified, you have to make the following assumptions:

1) The data currently gathered with regard to the variations in global average temperature is comprehensive and accurate.

2) Our understanding of how all forcing factors upon global temperature, including greenhouse gases, interact is sufficiently comprehensive and accurate to enable us to make both reasonably accurate long-term climactic predictions and, with retroactive input, reasonably accurate reproductions of historical climactic conditions.

3) The people involved in gathering this data and calculating its interactions are sufficiently free of bias, dishonesty and personal agendas that their results can be trusted where they are not replicable.

4) The solutions proposed will, in fact, be effective enough at solving the problem to be worth what they cost.

If any of those isn't correct -- the data's incorrect or incomplete, our understanding of climate systems is incorrect or incomplete, the people working on it aren't honest, or the proposed solutions just won't work -- there would be serious problems justifying the called-for policies, right?

Well, Anthony Watts and his surfacestations.org project have seriously undermined #1, as has the East Anglia CRU's "loss" of its raw data. The self-admitted failure of most modellers to predict or explain the last decade's static-or-cooling temperatures, or to reproduce historical conditions without arbitrary forcing, seriously undermines #2. The behaviour revealed in the CRUTape Letters -- the covert manipulation of peer review, and the refusal to share data and methodology -- has seriously undermined #3. And there are more than a few AGW alarmists who have already started arguing that disastrous climate disruption is already inevitable and would be so even if all greenhouse gas emissions stopped tomorrow, which to my mind seriously undermines #4.

With all that, I myself don't see that one needs to believe Jesus rode a deinonychus into Jerusalem to treat whatever comes out of Copenhagen with several very large grains of salt.  

By Blogger Ron Coleman, at Mon Dec 07, 05:33:00 PM:

Till then, with joy our song we'll bring, and while a breath we draw...

Heh. I said "while a breath we draw."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 07, 06:01:00 PM:

E pur si muove!
(Nonetheless, it moves!)
Attributed to Galileo

Science died a little today.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 07, 10:20:00 PM:

You don't need to be a scientist to know when someone is running a con job on you.

This newspaper thing is just another sign of the big con.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Mon Dec 07, 10:24:00 PM:

I have worked 30-plus years in the psych biz, and have watched "the scientific consensus" in that field - psychotherapy - erode to the point of ridiculousness. We now keep about 10-20% of what I learned in school.

Does this prove, or indeed, provide any evidence that AGW is false? Not at all. But it is amusing to note that the defenders of the AGW consensus take the same tone and use the same arguments as the old Freudians and Jungians did.

The inability to "step away from the sneer" is itself a red flag that one can't defend the argument.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 07, 10:28:00 PM:

I'm learning from this debate. The phrase "settled science" now means "it's BS". Present day politics might benefit from a few more guillotines but, happily for the politicians, we have elections.  

By Blogger Brian, at Tue Dec 08, 01:23:00 AM:

"the predictions of that 'science' are dependent on complex computer models...."

No. The predictions were first made in 1896. Refer to Svante Arrhenius for more information.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Dec 08, 02:37:00 AM:

Chrissy, why don't you just blame it all on da Jooos and get it over with. BTW, thanks for once again proving your IQ barely cracks double digits.

"The predictions were first made in 1896. Refer to Svante Arrhenius"

Is he related to Nostradamus?  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Dec 08, 02:44:00 AM:

Interesting quote about Arrhenius from Wikipedia (recognizing that WP is not always a reliable source):

"he suggested that the human emission of CO2 would be strong enough to prevent the world from entering a new ice age, and that a warmer earth would be needed to feed the rapidly increasing population. He was the first person to predict that emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels and other combustion processes would cause global warming. Arrhenius clearly believed that a warmer world would be a positive change."

Guess we have to cherry-pick Arrhenius, one way or the other.  

By Blogger RPD, at Tue Dec 08, 11:48:00 AM:

I've ways found it a bit odd the the AGW theory has focussed so much on the last hundred years or so. A blip in planetary history, barely a data point. The climate isn't stable, there have been ice ages and warm periods (more of the former than the latter). On balance warming is better than cooling So why the drama?

Sure, climate is warming, and that change is bad for some and good for others, but climate change will happen whether any one likes it for not.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 08, 12:09:00 PM:

RPD, what you are forgetting is that is the human time-scale. Our whole human history is within only 10,000 years. We are used to a certain climate. If we go to a climate that hasn't been around since the dinosaurs how much is that going to affect us economically?  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Tue Dec 08, 12:32:00 PM:

Back in the 1970s, the settled science was that there was global cooling, that we would run out of resources by the ~ 1990s or sooner, that there would be a big famine within a similar time frame.
Remember Population Bomb? Club of Rome? Remember the bet that Paul Erlich lost with Julian Simon about resource exhaustion?
So when a bunch of self proclaimed prophets inform me that the settled science is now AGW, the newest Chicken Little prediction, I laugh. Especially when they have to fudge the data to fit the prediction.

Those types have proven themselves to be wrong too often in the past.I was fooled once. Won't Get Fooled Again.  

By Blogger Brian, at Wed Dec 09, 01:03:00 AM:

Gary: Arrhenius predicted the warming would take thousands of years, based on 1890s level CO2 emissions. Under that slow rate of change, he thought it would be beneficial. Doesn't apply today, but the clear lesson that climate science isn't dependent on computers does apply.

Boludo: your memory of the MSM in the 1970s is blocking your memory of the actual science. Look up global cooling on wiki, and then check the cites if you don't trust wiki. The scientists in the 1970s were unsure about the future, but most of them believed warming was more likely than cooling.  

By Blogger RPD, at Wed Dec 09, 12:05:00 PM:

Anon 12:09

Of course it will affect us. I'm arguing that colder is worse than warmer, and that some kind of shift is inevitable. The climate is changing, has been changing, and will continue to change. At best the carbon manipulation schemes may slightly affect the rate of change.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Thu Dec 10, 02:38:00 PM:

Boludo: your memory of the MSM in the 1970s is blocking your memory of the actual science. When did you first hear of Arrhenius? I note that Paul Erlich was one of the AGW proponents. I bought his Population Bomb and Population Resources & Environment when they came out. IMHO a Paul Erlich prediction has as much credibility as one from Jean Dixon. His track record is not good. Like I said, won't get fooled again.  

By Blogger Brian, at Sun Dec 13, 11:43:00 AM:

Boludo: funny you should bring up Ehrlich, because he said in 1967 that it wasn't clear whether using the atmosphere as a garbage dump would have the effect of warming or cooling the planet:


So much for science being united behind cooling at that time.

And Arrhenius published in 1896.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Sun Dec 13, 01:52:00 PM:

So much for science being united behind cooling at that time.
I never said it was. My point has been about false prophets: "won't get fooled again" in my last two postings.

My reply to you is: so much for science being united behind AGW today. Because it isn't. Ask a physicist. People with the scientific expertise of Al Gore may claim otherwise, but they are mistaken.

You did not closely read my question about Arrhenius
I asked: When did you first hear of Arrhenius?

I first heard about Arrhenius from learning kinetic theory. I also learned that the first, second and third laws are not found in US Code. I did not learn about Arrhenius from Wikipedia. Your reply strongly implies that Wikipedia or some such source was where you first learned about Arrnenius. Capish? ¿Me entendés? C'iao.  

By Blogger Brian, at Mon Dec 14, 01:24:00 AM:

Me: "So much for science being united behind cooling at that time."

Boludo: "I never said it was."

Boludo, four comments earlier: "Back in the 1970s, the settled science was that there was global cooling"  

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