"The Global Cooling Myth" monograph is like reading Carl Sagan to learn astronomy. Then I'll watch Al Gore's movie for the hundredth time (If you teach physics and chemistry, every time you sub during your planning period for a bio teacher, they have the kids watch his movie. Just the bio teachers for some reason - the ones who never took calculus.) Stop kiddin around. Have you read "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky? You should recognize the technique of rewriting history.
I was in college when that article was written and I well remember the many stories and papers on the subject. There were plans put forth by NASA "scientists" and many accademics to prevent the coming catastrophe. Cover the ice of the poles with carbon soot, seed the atmosphere at 90,000 feet with great fleets of U2 type planes and on and on. What would it be like if they had gotten what they wanted?
Luckily, the government and accademic "scientists" of today are so much smarter and this time we ARE doing what they want. Part of it, and they want much more. I know it is going to be just peachy since this time they are really really right! How do I know? Because some of them claim there is a consensus. In the old days, when reason and thinking were popular in accademia, if you had proof you didn't need a consensus. Today we know better. By thinking correctly and not letting our minds wander into improper areas, we can vote instead of think. It is so much easier and sounds good on the news. The real clincher is the Commedy Central mock news politicos make fun of those who are called skeptics. And if you can make a joke about it, it MUST be true! Or False. Whichever way the joke goes. And one of the great features of Consensus Science is that you can weed out the problem people and outliers when selecting who can vote until you get that consensus you need. And you can feel good about it. You are saving the planet. I think they mean the Earth when they say that. A staggering notion. You, by sitting instead of jogging or running or even walking, or even better, dying, without having children, will cut your carbon footprint and save the planet!
If the true believers have their way, the generation being born today is going to despise you.
I am not a distinguished climate scientist, but those who know me will admit that I do have some understanding of science and technology, as well as a lot of experience differentiating fact from blown smoke.
Armchair basic physics would indicate that pumping CO2 into the atmosphere MIGHT cause the average temperature at the surface of the Earth to increase. When and by how much is up for grabs, however.
Following the research over the past 30 years (in both scientific literature and popular media) has indicated that results leading to the conclusion that we are headed for a climate catastrophe are inconclusive at best. In fact, the most likely conclusion is that the effect is miniscule, and drowned out by other drivers. The reports of imminent disaster smack of politically motivated pseudoscience.
Those who like to confuse correlation with causation should note that historically warm periods (e.g., the medieval warm period) correlate with good times for human society, and cool periods (e.g., the Little Ice Age) correlate with social disruption, famine and disease. So, if CO2 warms the planet, what makes you think it's a bad thing?
J. Williams, your last paragraph points out something that I have also pointed out, which is that the personal agenda of many of the fanatics seems to be based on something other than climate concern. Aren't some of these the same folks who were screaming about how guilty we were that we were living in comfort while others weren't, perhaps 15 0r 20 years back? Does anybody else recall that bunch of noise? And now they have something that at least has a scientific sound to it, correct or not.
Remarkable post Charles. As I am looking at the responses, i.e. comments, I see 46 screens with various viewpoints. In my opinion, this is one of the best things that could happen--we discuss the pros and cons of the argument. Personally, I feel the documentation supports global warming as a fact. My doubt is that we on earth are significantly contributing to that warming. Quite frankly, my mind is not made up and I'm still looking for the "smoking gun" that tells me we are the culprits. Great post Charles.
C'mon, Jeff. CO2 is heavier than air. That's why it's down here, and not up there. All the plants love it, and so I'm a big fan. You'll have to work harder to prove your theory, if you think you can.
Global warming is not proven by some incidental correlation with the modern generation of so-called greenhouse gasses. Do I need to say the words? Correlation is not causation. How do you explain the correlational melting of the ice caps on Mars? Little Green SUV's? That's just snarky, and I'm sorry.
Ok, I'm not a climate scientist. But I am old enough to remember the big Global Cooling Scare of the 1970's. Do we really think we are all so much smarter now? In my investigation I have found that the effects of CO2 holding in atmospheric heat are a log. Once you get near the top, the warming effects are barely perceptible even if you double the atmospheric gas. It flattens out due to physical or chemical response in the system and is actually counteracted then. The anthropogenic global warming elite seem to believe their science story is infallible. They probably also believe we can finally make Marxism work. Ok, that's another cheap shot. But that is the nature of colleagial debate at this level, right?
Let us not totally succumb to the conceits of our chauvinism. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.
Thank you. A very well written and thoughtful response. I am totally with your line of thought. To be sure there are fanatics on both sides of almost any issue and climate change is no different. As usual, the real truth, will lie somewhere in between. I am of the opinion, that folks who believe the data and theories are incontrovertible are fooling themselves. Anyone who thinks for a minute that they have complete understanding of a highly complex system with many thousands of degrees of freedom is daft. As engineers we have trouble getting a handle on a system with four or five degrees of freedom.
Is the climate changing? Yes, by all appearances it is. As an avid downhill skier, I lament the lack of snowfall in the Northeast (in general). How much of that is due to human involvement is another question all together. Unfortunately, the climate change studies was changed from an academic pursuit to a political one in large part by Al Gore and his army of people determined to save the world no matter what it costs.
The cynic in me also tends to believe that the most fervent supporters, are also in positions to have the most to gain from a professional and/or financial point of view.
I have yet to see any "scientist" show their results of Step #4 of the Scientific Method as applied to "global warming". And I'm fairly certain no one will ever be able to. Therefore it will always be an open ended theory that only long term history can give any creedence to. And considering the last 16 years have shown a net "flat line" on global temperatures, with some major drops in global averages during that period, I'm definitely skeptical. Whatever happened to the "global cooling" scholars of the 1970's?
The basis of the belief in global warming or global climate change is a set of computer models predicting certain changes due to an increase in greenhouse gases, principally CO2 and CH4, but also including H2O. The validity of the belief rests in part upon the accuracy of the models. Recently James Hansen, a NASA scientist and advocate of global climate change stated the average temperature of the earth has been essentially unchanged for the last 10 years. This does not agree with the computer models and their predictions. If the trend continues, the error between the prediction and the observed data will exceed the tolerance limits of the models. This does not necessarily mean the global climate change theories are wrong or the skeptic are correct. However, it does mean that the global climate change advocates do not understand the reality of our climate as well as they claim to and the science is not settled.
If you are a scientist and are presented with data that does not match your theory, you can refine the theory or show how the data is not applicable or show how the data is wrong. What you can NOT do and still claim to be a scientist is to resort to ad hominem attacks on your critics. That is not the act of a scientist but of a fanatic.
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