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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Censoring skepticism 


A professor of journalism proposes that there be legal or ethical standards that might be deployed to censor or sanction skepticism about anthropogenic global warming. The idea is, of course, asinine, for the many good reasons set forth here. The censorship proposal did, however, raise an issue that is worth serious consideration (emphasis added):

So, let’s ask: what would happen if denial of both a) human-caused climate change and b) the dangers of such rapid change, were to be censored? If the science is beyond reasonable doubt, and miscommunication and denial leads to damaging inaction, should it not be censored? Beyond reasonable doubt is all we need to put someone in prison, or in the US, put them to death.

I'm normally against litigating issues that ought to be resolved in the political realm, but the idea has some merit. Let's by all means ask that the pro-regulation team prove beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of an American jury that human activity is changing the climate of the planet in ways that will lead to the dire consequences predicted by Al Gore (or James Hanson or any of the other widely-respected and quoted activists).

Needless to say, I'm putting my money on the defense and will take all the action that comes my way.

26 Comments:

By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Aug 06, 06:33:00 AM:

Now that the house of cards that Mr. Gore has built has begun to tremble a bit, this backdoor for social change is swinging shut. I'm not surprised that the "journalistic" supporters are calling on the legal community to restrict dialogue that would hasten that door being closed. It's the typical refuge of the left...media and law...rather than the democratic process (where they would have little chance of success).

Beyond that, in another ten years when the data solidifies and the temperature, ice, polar bears and sea level all stay essentially the same, it's going to be interesting to see the mechanisms by which the alarmists try to salvage their reputations. I suppose Al Gore will get to keep his Nobel Prize, although a new category will likely arise...The Nobel Prize for Good Intentions.

It will indeed be fun to watch.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 06, 08:32:00 AM:

No, it would be the Nobel Prize for Corrupted Intentions; the same one they gave to Yasir Arafat.

Talk about an Inconvenient Truth....

-David  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Wed Aug 06, 10:09:00 AM:

When I see the Libs bankrupting themselves by plowing all their own money into AGW efforts, instead of enriching themselves and trying to get all of *our* money thrown into this moneypit, then I will be more likely to believe.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 06, 11:35:00 AM:

I have long believed that human activity effects and will effect world temperatures. Some anecdotal evidence that was confirmed last week on our 107 degree day here in north Texas. We occasionally eat at a stand alone IHOP, the only building on a wooded/scrub site. Only now, strip shopping is being built all around it including two large parking areas, one surfaced with concrete and the other with black top. The heat formerly mostly absorbed by the vegetation is now be reflected back into the air.
As square miles of vegetation are replaced concrete, it must change something.
World population will increase from the current 6 billion to 9 billion by 2050. Few leftists will attack third world population growth, the real problem, but will attack capitalism and wealthy nations for their own purposes.
Gore and his ilk are jerks fighting the symptom instead of the disease. But, another three billion people a nd their cook fires, immune from the pressure of the elitists will change the world.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Aug 06, 12:58:00 PM:

Anon @ 11:35 am:

What you are observing is the "heat island" effect. This is real, and a consequence of exactly the phenomenon that you observe. It is a typical manifestation of the replacement of the "green world" with the "paved world". And perhaps its greatest impact is in the systematic observations of average temperatures and the siting of temperature measurement devices in cities, etc. and calling all that "typical". There is a website somewhere which documents some of this idiocy in placing instruments that are affected by the "heat island" effect, almost always in a way that favors AGW. Surprised?? Don't be.

The amount of "paved" area of the US is actually something like 5-6% of the surface area of the country. So while the phenomenon is real, it is by no means apocalyptic, on it's own.

-David  

By Blogger Chuck Pelto, at Thu Aug 07, 08:11:00 AM:

TO: All
RE: How Timely

Recently, in another venue on another topic, I encountered an individual who was very proud of their atheism. They stated that they only had 'faith' in Science; which is 'Truth'.

I pointed out this sort of malfeasance on the part of Science.

They've been rather silent since then. I'm hoping they'll come back to reply. In the meantime, I'll reiterate my comment and link to this as part of said.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Like Tolstoy, I've not been taken in by the superstition of Science. -- George Bernard Shaw]  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 07, 08:54:00 AM:

Anonymous at 11:30: I grew up in North Texas - and I am not young. I remember many summers with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees (even 107) from my youth - and these temps would run on for days. Your noting 107 degrees this summer proves nothing. This is why we need DEBATE and Argument. The idea that we should stifle debate is dangerous.

How nice it would be to shut up anyone who disagreed with your conclusions - but it would not be the basis for a free society. I fear for our future.  

By Blogger Bart Hall (Kansas, USA), at Thu Aug 07, 08:57:00 AM:

I believe the absolutely critical political issue runs something like this:

a) Very few geologists or astronomers -- people with a profound sense of the long term -- are convinced about anthropogenic global warming. 1968 to 1998 warming rates are not unique, either in speed or magnitude. There is consequently substantial scientific doubt; it's just not within the "softer" sciences like ecology.

b) Climate evidence from the last decade suggests at worst a halt in warming, or perhaps the beginning of cooling. Canadian solar astronomers are seriously concerned about a return of Maunder Minimum conditions, involving perhaps a century or rapid, hard cooling.

c) The essential political battle is, therefore, this -- to prevent any significant regulatory controls on carbon until present climate trends are clarified.

If we are in the early years of a new cooling cycle (and having two degrees in geology that wouldn't surprise me a bit) we cannot allow the socialists proposing their great restrictions on economic freedom to have any possible basis for claiming it is their transnational regulation that has "saved" the planet from warming. If cooling becomes evident whilst CO2 is rising -- and 450 million years ago CO2 levels were ten times those of today, during Earth's coldest period in a billion years -- it will also become evident that the AGW crowd were alarmist idiots.

The real evidence is that the "solution" proposed by the AGW crowd (higher taxes, much greater regulation, and transnational sovereignty) is the very same "solution" they have put forward for discrimination, the status of women, diseases like HIV, and global poverty. A "solution" continually in search of a problem rarely make for good science, or good policy.

We must not permit them the costly illusion that in the case of global warming their "solution" actually works.  

By Blogger Pat, at Thu Aug 07, 09:04:00 AM:

"The heat formerly mostly absorbed by the vegetation is now be reflected back into the air."

Energy cannot be created or destroyed. The heat absorbed by vegetation does not cease to exist; it still has to go somewhere. So the phenomenon you describe does not change the total amount of heat in your area, just the way it's distributed.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 07, 09:22:00 AM:

Let's try the shoe on the other foot ..

If AGW is proven incorrect, which I expect in the next 3 years, should those who worked to push the idea be banned from federal grants and fired from their present positions ?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 07, 09:36:00 AM:

As a Federal regulatory attorney who generally opposes environmental groups, I would LOVE a rule that allows me to prosecute a claim of "fraudulent petition" or some such to overcome First Amendment protections.

I'd have NRDC, CBD, and Greenpeace shut down in a week.  

By Blogger amr, at Thu Aug 07, 09:44:00 AM:

Neo
I wouldn't go that far, but how about in some manner shaming them into losing their "expert" entitlement. I am tired of all these experts quoted by the MSM who are contineously wrong.  

By Blogger Unknown, at Thu Aug 07, 10:00:00 AM:

Anonymous at 11:30 (Aug 6):

Welcome to Texas. It ain't considered "hot" in these parts 'till it breaks three digits.
Every year I read news stories about how hot it is "this year" and absurd links to AGW. I always wonder,"Where have these reporters been all their lives, Saskatchewan?"

BTW: That 107 temp didn't even break the record, which was 108, set in 1951. This year is downright chilly when compared to 1980.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 07, 10:20:00 AM:

Tigerhawk, hi.

Thansk for your comment. Maybe you can direct people to the follow up post, where I've agreed, it was a ridiculous thing to say. It was a sloppy post that required a lot more time and effort and shouldn't have veered into mixing a look at our (UK) current media regulatory bodies (the PCC, but mainly Ofcom) with the idea of censorship. It was one of those tired posts at the end of night after a day of reading through research on the manipulation of the media. My error to get irate and misled into the idea of censorship, which has, as you have done, been pointed out in various degrees of heated commentary.

The new post is here http://www.alexlockwood.net/2008/08/04/censorship-or-sense-well-sense-actually/  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 07, 10:22:00 AM:

A call for censorship from a journalism professor? How appropriate.

But, after all, his job is to teach morons how to be idiots.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 07, 10:48:00 AM:

Recently, in another venue on another topic, I encountered an individual who was very proud of their atheism. They stated that they only had 'faith' in Science; which is 'Truth'.

I pointed out this sort of malfeasance on the part of Science.


Fortunately, those of us who are awake know that the Left's claims to Science and Reason are not even superficially credible, let alone true. The real malfeasance going on here is the religious conservatives' active aiding and abetting of this Leftist lie.

As AGW and the Obamessiah phenomenon plainly demonstrate, the Left -- in particular the envirocult -- is no stranger to faith.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 07, 11:46:00 AM:

The website that is doing an audit of the surface stations (and has found them to be horribly misplaced in many situations) is Anthony Watts's www.wattsupwiththat.com. The misuse of data by the AGW people is examined at www.climateaudit.org. Both these sites have links to many other useful sources of information, Spread this information. Ignorance is the alarmists's best friend.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 07, 12:09:00 PM:

"it's going to be interesting to see the mechanisms by which the alarmists try to salvage their reputations."

Probably not. They are simply not required to salvage anything. Obama worshiped with a rabid minister for 20 years. When the minister proved to be a political liability, Obama simply declared the association ended. The MSM immediately declared that Obama did not hold the views espoused by the minister because Obama had disassociated himself from said minister.  

By Blogger Slade, at Thu Aug 07, 12:20:00 PM:

*Beyond a reasonable doubt* is in violation of The Precautionary Principle:



Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration 1992 states that: “in order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall be not used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”  

By Blogger Skookum John, at Thu Aug 07, 12:30:00 PM:

Pat says, "Energy cannot be created or destroyed. The heat absorbed by vegetation does not cease to exist; it still has to go somewhere. So the phenomenon you describe does not change the total amount of heat in your area, just the way it's distributed."

You're confusing conservation of energy (which is true) with conservation of heat (which isn't.) Heat is just one form of kinetic energy. There are many others, including sound, electricity, motion, and photonic radiant energy. Then there are many forms of potential energy such as gravitational, chemical, mechanical, nuclear, etc.

If the energy in light photons is used to create chemical bonds in the process of photosynthesis, it is not used to create heat in the environment.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 07, 12:31:00 PM:

I believe the all-time temperature record up here in Montana was 117, set in 1934. Many of the heat records for this region were set in the "dirty 30's".  

By Blogger Unknown, at Thu Aug 07, 12:44:00 PM:

So, let’s ask: what would happen if denial of both a) Obama is "fit" for the presidency, and b) the dangers of "denying" him the presidency, were to be censored? If his popularity is beyond reasonable doubt as displayed in Germany, and miscommunication and denial by his detractors leads to his losing the election, should it not be censored? Beyond reasonable doubt is all we need to put someone in prison, or in the US, put them to death.  

By Blogger dirty dingus, at Thu Aug 07, 12:50:00 PM:

Its cruel to pick on the poor guy. He already posted an update wherein he accepted his original idea was a brainfart (or words to that effect).

What is interesting though is how many other greenshirts do genuinely seem to think that censorship is good. Amongst other recent global warming posts at my blog is this one where I listed a number of other wouldbe censors  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 07, 02:25:00 PM:

Several commenters latched onto this statement: "The heat formerly mostly absorbed by the vegetation is now be reflected back into the air."

Er, no. You've got it backwards. Light is absorbed by black asphalt across the visible spectrum. That's why it gets hot. Vegetation reflects the green light, which is why it is green, and absorbs only other wavelengths, which is why a leaf will generally feel cooler to the touch than the asphalt.

But, you have the effect backwards as well. Some of the light reflected by the plants reaches outer space, which is why you can see green areas on the Earth from the Moon, and doesn't heat up the atmosphere. The energy radiated from cooling asphalt generally heats the air in the immediate vicinity, leading to the "heat-island" effect.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 07, 04:33:00 PM:

Figures that a "journalist" would be floating this idea.

I see. Connecting imprisonment or death for disagreement with global warming beyond a reasonable doubt is "sloppy".

Oh, well, millions of people are going to die even if we stop global warming. The deaths of few deniers are of no importance.

What a totally evil man.

demento dot fan at gmail dot com  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Aug 08, 12:58:00 AM:

according to 3 seconds on Google, the paved area of the U.S. is 16 million hectares, while the total area is 9.83 million square kilometers.

So if my metric conversion is correct, the paved area of the U.S. is around 1.7%.  

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