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 Anthropogenic Global Warming 101

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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   2/26/2010, 12:15 pm

Climate scientists at NASA, NOAA, and a few others are only in it for the gold...



Obviously. Fast cars and beach houses for all of 'em!

Rolling Eyes
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   3/1/2010, 2:27 pm

It's a shame BWG bailed. I'd have loved to hear his opinion on this. NASA recently relaunched their climate change website:

http://climate.nasa.gov/

Skeptics will note the continued lack of "It's a conspirasay!!! YAYS GOLD!!":





But of course, it snowed during winter, therefore... Rolling Eyes There's simply not enough tinfoil left in the world for this large a conspiracy.

And Lindsey Graham proves he's more rational than his peers:

Quote :
Graham says GOP should stop demonizing climate change: You’re risking ‘your party’s future with younger people.’

Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to discuss clean energy legislation. During the interview, Graham warned his party that it will fall into irrelevancy if it continues to embrace climate change deniers:

Quote :
I have been to enough college campuses to know if you are 30 or younger this climate issue is not a debate. It’s a value. These young people grew up with recycling and a sensitivity to the environment — and the world will be better off for it. They are not brainwashed. … From a Republican point of view, we should buy into it and embrace it and not belittle them. You can have a genuine debate about the science of climate change, but when you say that those who believe it are buying a hoax and are wacky people you are putting at risk your party’s future with younger people.


Kudos to that, though I'm sure such reason and rationality will not go unpunished by the crowd still searching for a birth certificate...
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   3/1/2010, 3:36 pm

Heretic wrote:

And Lindsey Graham proves he's more rational than his peers:

Quote :
Graham says GOP should stop demonizing climate change: You’re risking ‘your party’s future with younger people.’

Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to discuss clean energy legislation. During the interview, Graham warned his party that it will fall into irrelevancy if it continues to embrace climate change deniers:

Quote :
I have been to enough college campuses to know if you are 30 or younger this climate issue is not a debate. It’s a value. These young people grew up with recycling and a sensitivity to the environment — and the world will be better off for it. They are not brainwashed. … From a Republican point of view, we should buy into it and embrace it and not belittle them. You can have a genuine debate about the science of climate change, but when you say that those who believe it are buying a hoax and are wacky people you are putting at risk your party’s future with younger people.


Kudos to that, though I'm sure such reason and rationality will not go unpunished by the crowd still searching for a birth certificate...

I'm sure the Drugster and the rest of the hate-radio crowd are sharpening their knives as we speak. They were never big fans of his in the first place. Good thing he's not up for reelection for another 4 years or I'm sure the teabaggers would dig up some knuckledragging Neanderthal to challenge him in a primary.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   3/2/2010, 9:37 am

This one covers just about everything on the evidence of warming, from the observed physical effects to the radiative properties of the CO2 molecule.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9SGw75pVas
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BigWhiteGuy

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   3/5/2010, 7:51 am

Artie60438 wrote:
I'm sure the Drugster and the rest of the hate-radio crowd are sharpening their knives as we speak. They were never big fans of his in the first place. Good thing he's not up for reelection for another 4 years or I'm sure the teabaggers would dig up some knuckledragging Neanderthal to challenge him in a primary.
I don't post here much anymore. Is the Drugster, The Mailman?
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BigWhiteGuy

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   3/5/2010, 7:57 am

As for the nasa website, I'll look at it this weekend. In the meantime,
Quote :
Climate scientists withdraw journal claims of rising sea levels

Study claimed in 2009 that sea levels would rise by up to 82cm by the end of century – but the report's author now says true estimate is still unknown...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/21/sea-level-geoscience-retract-siddall/print
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   3/5/2010, 10:09 am


BigWhiteGuy wrote:
As for the nasa website, I'll look at it this weekend.

I posted quite a few links in your short absence. I'd love to hear your thoughts on any/all of them.

BigWhiteGuy wrote:
In the meantime,
Climate scientists withdraw journal claims of rising sea levels

Study claimed in 2009 that sea levels would rise by up to 82cm by the end of century – but the report's author now says true estimate is still unknown...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/21/sea-level-geoscience-retract-siddall/print

It's hard to address these spam sessions without a little bit of context from you. Does this put you back in the "it ain't happenin'" camp? Or "the whole theory's busted 'cause they're not infallible"? I'll just never understand why "skeptics" are always so surprised to see that peer review works.

Denialists follow a predictable pattern - latching onto a media headline that appears to support their stance without any understanding of the material contained therein. Safe to assume this recently hit Drudge?

There have been quite a few studies that have been done since the IPCC came out that demonstrated that their sea level rise projections were awfully conservative, and that things were accelerating far more than projected. But then Siddall et al. published their work in Aug 2009 or so, low balling those new projections. This was, predictably, championed by skeptics as the End of Al Gore and the IPCC, even though the errors contained were quickly pointed out. So finding the errors led to corrections; corrections led to the retraction. Now denialists are forced to abandon their previous argument, so it looks like they're reframing it as "the whole theory's busted 'cause they're not infallible".

Regardless, it's a nonstory. It's just peer review at work; a surprise only to "skeptics" ignorant of the process. And self-correcting behavior largely absent in "skeptics" themselves.

You can also tell it's nonsense because while denialists like creationists and AGW "skeptics" maintain that a single retraction or study like this somehow throws the whole (or part) of theory into doubt, they never suggest germ theory's (or any other "just a theory", for that matter) is busted after similar retractions in medical journals. Rolling Eyes


Last edited by Admin on 3/9/2010, 2:21 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : A few nagging typos.)
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   3/5/2010, 1:42 pm

A talk by Naomi Orsekes on her new book:



Quote :
Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

The troubling story of how a cadre of influential scientists have clouded public understanding of scientific facts to advance a political and economic agenda.
The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers.
Merchants of Doubt tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly—some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is "not settled" denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These "experts" supplied it.
Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, historians of science, roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.

Like I said before, anyone who is familiar with how the tobacco industry behaved will find the same behavior involved in AGW "skepticism". The fact that the same companies and individuals (Steve Milloy, for instance) are involved is not a coincidence.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   3/10/2010, 10:22 am

Congratulations, "skeptics". Creationists are now using you to dumb down our education system even further.

Quote :
Darwin Foes Add Warming to Targets

Critics of the teaching of evolution in the nation’s classrooms are gaining ground in some states by linking the issue to global warming, arguing that dissenting views on both scientific subjects should be taught in public schools.

In Kentucky, a bill recently introduced in the Legislature would encourage teachers to discuss “the advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories,” including “evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning.”

. . .

The linkage of evolution and global warming is partly a legal strategy: courts have found that singling out evolution for criticism in public schools is a violation of the separation of church and state. By insisting that global warming also be debated, deniers of evolution can argue that they are simply championing academic freedom in general.

Teabaggers, twoofers, and creationists. Oh my.

I've always said AGW "skeptic" arguments were identical the objections to evolution used by creationists. Looks like they think so too. jocolor
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   4/11/2010, 1:49 pm

Another great video on the dishonesty inherent to AGW skeptics, as well as their allegedly "fair and balanced" media counterparts:

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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   4/11/2010, 1:54 pm

If anyone has been following my posts on this topic over the years, they should at least recognize the name Christopher Monckton. He's a prominent denialist cited by skeptics far more than he needs to be. And per usual, he's a demonstrable liar, which never seems to hurt his credibility with skeptics... per usual:

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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   4/16/2010, 9:23 am

Part 2:



Ha! I hadn't realized he cured AIDS, MS, the common cold, and the flu...

What a loon. :rolfcry:
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   4/16/2010, 9:50 am

And he's also a birther! Rolling Eyes
Lord Monckton, questioning Obama's citizenship
Quote :
"America!" said Monckton at the start of his speech. "Land of opportunity! You can be born in Kenya and end up as president of the United States!"

Stewart or Colbert should do a 1 hr special on this nut. There certainly is enough material.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   4/20/2010, 8:54 am

Another great article. This one covers just about everything. From crazies like Monckton, to the inherent hypocrisy from skeptics, and the media's inability to accurately report the science:

Quote :
Climategate Claptrap, II

Yet when it comes to coverage of global warming, we are trapped in the logic of a guerrilla insurgency. The climate scientists have to be right 100 percent of the time, or their 0.01 percent error becomes Glaciergate, and they are frauds. By contrast, the deniers only have to be right 0.01 percent of the time for their narrative--See! The global warming story is falling apart!--to be reinforced by the media. It doesn't matter that their alternative theories are based on demonstrably false claims, as they are with all the leading "thinkers" in this movement. Look at the Australian geologist Ian Plimer, whose denialism is built on the claim that volcanoes produce more CO2 than humans, even though the US Geological Survey has shown they produce 130 times less. Or Sunday Telegraph columnist Christopher Booker, who says the Arctic sea ice can't be retreating because each year it comes back a little... in winter.

Many Americans assume that if a story has been in the news section of a reputable English newspaper, it has been fact-checked. One recent climate "scandal" that spread from Britain shows how these stories actually originate. In its most recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change--the umbrella organization of the world's climate scientists--explained that 40 percent of the Amazon rainforest is at risk of dying if there is even a slight reduction in rainfall. This is true. It is the view of the most distinguished scientists in the field. The IPCC sourced this claim to a report by the World Wildlife Fund--when, in fact, it should have referred to a report by professor Dan Nepstad, whose work is mentioned only in passing by the WWF.

It was a minor footnoting error--but when a denialist blogger named Richard North noticed it, he announced he had found the IPCC making fake predictions. He tipped off the Sunday Times, owned by Fox king Rupert Murdoch. The newspaper's journalists quoted Dr. Simon Lewis, a leading rainforest expert, who explained that it was a very minor mistake and that the core claim is accurate. The paper ignored the bulk of his comments and mangled his quotes to make it sound like he agreed that the IPCC had been talking rubbish--and ran the "story" under the headline "UN Climate Panel Shamed by Bogus Rainforest Claim." It gave credit for "research by Richard North." The story was then zapped all over the United States as Amazongate, and as a result millions of people are now under the impression that the Amazon is in no danger. The Sunday Times refuses to admit it made a whopping error--in a story that attacks the IPCC for supposedly making a whopping error.

And Mark Hertsgaard finds out it's all about the wordplay:

Quote :
Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University professor who has been surveying Americans' views on climate change since 1995, says that, in fact, Americans remain overwhelmingly convinced that man-made climate change is happening and must be confronted. "The media is sensationalizing these polls to make it sound like the public is backing off its belief in climate change, but it's not so," argues Krosnick, who delivered a paper on the subject at an American Meteorological Association briefing in Washington a day after the Gallup poll was released. Krosnick says that Americans' views have remained quite stable over the past ten years and that in November 2009--the very time the media were full of stories about the stolen British e-mails--a whopping 75 percent of Americans said they believed that global temperatures are going up.

Krosnick, whose academic specialty is the wording of survey questions, suspects his colleagues at Gallup and elsewhere have gotten misleading results because of the way they worded their questions: their phrasing ended up testing whether Americans believed in the science of climate change rather than the phenomenon of climate change. "Most people's opinions are based not on science but on what they experience in their daily lives," Krosnick told me. "So our surveys ask people if they have heard about the idea that temperatures have been going up over the past 100 years and if they agree with this idea." The 75 percent of Americans who answered yes to that question amounts to "a huge number," says Krosnick--a far higher level of agreement than pertains on most political issues. Where climate change deniers have had an effect, he adds, is in reducing, to 31 percent, the number of Americans who think all scientists agree about climate change. "But most Americans have thought that [scientists don't all agree on climate change] for the entire fifteen years I've been polling on this issue," adds Krosnick--further tribute, it seems, to the media's longstanding habit of giving a handful of deniers prominence equal to the vast majority of scientists who affirm climate change.
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BigWhiteGuy

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   4/21/2010, 8:00 am

Heretic wrote:
Another great article. This one covers just about everything. From crazies like Monckton, to the inherent hypocrisy from skeptics, and the media's inability to accurately report the science:
Seems you spend more time trying to convince everybody that Global Warming is real, than discussing possible solutions. A clear symptom of paranoia.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   4/21/2010, 9:15 am

Says the man who believes it's a massive international conspiracy.

But let me get this straight, after posting a news story about the now infamous Conspiracy that Never Was (a news story that even you finally admitted (or at least demonstrated to the rest of us) to be completely without merit) and the resulting self imposed exile, you finally return... armed with nothing more than accusation of paranoia aimed at me?

Suspect

Your rebuttal wasn't nearly as dramatic as I was hoping.
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BigWhiteGuy

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PostSubject: Report: Antarctic Ice Growing, Not Shrinking   4/21/2010, 12:33 pm

Quote :
Ice is expanding in much of Antarctica, contrary to the widespread public belief that global warming is melting the continental ice cap.

The results of ice-core drilling and sea ice monitoring indicate there is no large-scale melting of ice over most of Antarctica, although experts are concerned at ice losses on the continent's western coast.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,517035,00.html
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   4/21/2010, 1:05 pm

Moving back to the "it ain't happening/it's a conspiracy" argument in order to salvage what you can from your botched Climategate, huh?

Heretic wrote:
BigWhiteGuy wrote:
As for the nasa website, I'll look at it this weekend.

I posted quite a few links in your short absence. I'd love to hear your thoughts on any/all of them.

At least make an attempt before you resort to the usual denialist spamfest.
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UrRight



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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   4/21/2010, 1:09 pm

Here's my mom's expertise advice:

She's lived for 84 years now...and the weather/climate always changes. We have more important issues - "You can't control the weather, you can control the pollution spewed out of smokestacks, etc., but who gives a damn about mother nature? You can't control mother nature. You can control the pollution. Case closed."

She's seen weather abnormalties over her years of living...and one thing is that you should be concerned about is adding pollution to the world." Case closed.
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UrRight



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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   4/21/2010, 2:33 pm

Heretic...the USA is just a pin hole in the sky and climate.

Why aren't you worried about the billions of bombs. the smoke stacks etc., in other countries who don't give a rat's azz? We can't change the whole world. It's useless crap.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   4/21/2010, 2:55 pm

UrRight wrote:
Why aren't you worried about the billions of bombs. the smoke stacks etc., in other countries who don't give a rat's azz? We can't change the whole world. It's useless crap.

Are you new? Did you never read my posts from the Times boards or what?
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UrRight



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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   4/21/2010, 3:28 pm

Heretic wrote:
UrRight wrote:
Why aren't you worried about the billions of bombs. the smoke stacks etc., in other countries who don't give a rat's azz? We can't change the whole world. It's useless crap.

Are you new? Did you never read my posts from the Times boards or what?

No, but climate control is out of our control? Ever notice how the weather changes once they send the man to the moon? Why argue over something that one nation alone can't change. What we do her to change things for instance, China does things ten times worse to add to the pollution.

I'm more concerned that my kids don't have kids so they don't have to put up with the deterioration of world issues I see no end to.

Unless the whole world shares our beliefs, it's like talking to a wall. I agree things need to be done, but we're just a toothpick in a field of hay.

Unless the whole world shares our beliefs, it is fruitless and beyond our control. How do we buy from Communist China and turn around to tell them they need to lay off the pollution.

The U.S. is more worried about the NASA program than the pollution that upsets our atmosphere...and who in the hell cares about going to the moon to live. What a waste of money.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   4/21/2010, 9:23 pm

UrRight wrote:
No, but climate control is out of our control?

Except that we know previous civilizations have altered their local climates with disastrous results. So we do have some control over our environment.

UrRight wrote:
I'm more concerned that my kids don't have kids so they don't have to put up with the deterioration of world issues I see no end to.

And if it continues unabated, they'll have food, water, and enery shortages to look forward to, too. But we can't change it so we may as well enjoy further world destabilization exactly as the Pentagon predicts, right? Rolling Eyes Please...

UrRight wrote:
Unless the whole world shares our beliefs, it's like talking to a wall. I agree things need to be done, but we're just a toothpick in a field of hay.

My response to that line of bullshit from you a year ago is here. Do yourself a favor and actually read it this time around.

UrRight wrote:
How do we buy from Communist China and turn around to tell them they need to lay off the pollution.

Actually, they're feeling the effects too and are actually leading the way in green technology, the research and development. Had previous administrations not left us merely holding our dicks, we'd have been able to export green technology around the globe to developing nations.

UrRight wrote:
The U.S. is more worried about the NASA program than the pollution that upsets our atmosphere...

Thanks to the highly effective denial machine created in the 70's to protect the corporate profits of the tobacco industry. But despite knowing that bit of history, despite know exactly how they operate, none of you seem able or willing to see through their bullshit this time around.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   5/7/2010, 2:30 pm

Two hundred and fifty five members of the US National Academies have signed on open letter condemning the completely baseless Republican war on science:

Quote :
Leading scientists condemn 'political assaults' on climate researchers

Open letter defends the integrity of climate science and hits out at recent attacks driven by 'special interests or dogma'

A group of 255 of the world's top scientists today wrote an open letter aimed at restoring public faith in the integrity of climate science.

In a strongly worded condemnation of the recent escalation of political assaults on climatologists, the letter, published in the US Journal Science and signed by 11 Nobel laureates, attacks critics driven by "special interests or dogma" and "McCarthy-like" threats against researchers. It also attempts to set the record straight on the process of rigorous scientific research.

The letter is a response to negative publicity following the release of thousands of hacked emails from climate scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and two mistakes makes by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN climate body.

Here's the letter, in full (emphasis mine, of course):

Quote :
We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular. All citizens should understand some basic scientific facts. There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything. When someone says that society should wait until scientists are absolutely certain before taking any action, it is the same as saying society should never take action. For a problem as potentially catastrophic as climate change, taking no action poses a dangerous risk for our planet.

Scientific conclusions derive from an understanding of basic laws supported by laboratory experiments, observations of nature, and mathematical and computer modelling. Like all human beings, scientists make mistakes, but the scientific process is designed to find and correct them. This process is inherently adversarial— scientists build reputations and gain recognition not only for supporting conventional wisdom, but even more so for demonstrating that the scientific consensus is wrong and that there is a better explanation. That's what Galileo, Pasteur, Darwin, and Einstein did. But when some conclusions have been thoroughly and deeply tested, questioned, and examined, they gain the status of "well-established theories" and are often spoken of as "facts."

For instance, there is compelling scientific evidence that our planet is about 4.5bn years old (the theory of the origin of Earth), that our universe was born from a single event about 14bn years ago (the Big Bang theory), and that today's organisms evolved from ones living in the past (the theory of evolution). Even as these are overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, fame still awaits anyone who could show these theories to be wrong. Climate change now falls into this category: there is compelling, comprehensive, and consistent objective evidence that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend.

Many recent assaults on climate science and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers, are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientific assessments of climate change, which involve thousands of scientists producing massive and comprehensive reports, have, quite expectedly and normally, made some mistakes. When errors are pointed out, they are corrected.

But there is nothing remotely identified in the recent events that changes the fundamental conclusions about climate change:

(i) The planet is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. A snowy winter in Washington does not alter this fact.

(ii) Most of the increase in the concentration of these gases over the last century is due to human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

(iii) Natural causes always play a role in changing Earth's climate, but are now being overwhelmed by human-induced changes.

(iv) Warming the planet will cause many other climatic patterns to change at speeds unprecedented in modern times, including increasing rates of sea-level rise and alterations in the hydrologic cycle. Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are making the oceans more acidic.

(v) The combination of these complex climate changes threatens coastal communities and cities, our food and water supplies, marine and freshwater ecosystems, forests, high mountain environments, and far more.


Much more can be, and has been, said by the world's scientific societies, national academies, and individuals, but these conclusions should be enough to indicate why scientists are concerned about what future generations will face from business- as-usual practices. We urge our policymakers and the public to move forward immediately to address the causes of climate change, including the unrestrained burning of fossil fuels.

We also call for an end to McCarthy- like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association, the harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distractions to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them. Society has two choices: we can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively. The good news is that smart and effective actions are possible. But delay must not be an option.

"When errors are pointed out, they are corrected," something AGW "skeptics" never seem able to do, here or elsewhere.

It looks like the NAS also started a new program, called America's Climate Choice:

Quote :
In response to a request from Congress, the National Academies have launched America's Climate Choices, a suite of studies designed to inform and guide responses to climate change across the nation. Experts representing various levels of government, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and research and academic institutions have been selected to serve on four panels and an overarching committee.

. . .

Four panels of experts will release consensus reports in 2010:

* Panel on Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change
* Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change
* Panel on Advancing the Science of Climate Change
* Panel on Informing Effective Decisions and Actions Related to Climate Change

The Committee on America's Climate Choices will issue a final report in 2010 that will integrate the findings and recommendations from the four panel reports and other sources to identify the most effective short-term actions and most promising long-term strategies, investments, and opportunities for responding to climate change.

Should be interesting.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Anthropogenic Global Warming 101   5/7/2010, 2:36 pm

One of the signers of the open letter, Peter H. Gleick, adds:

Quote :
It is hard to get 255 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to agree on pretty much anything, making the import of this letter even more substantial. Moreover, only a small fraction of National Academy members were asked to sign (the signatories are all members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences but were not speaking on its behalf). Because of a desire to produce a statement quickly, the coordinators of the letter focused on those sections of the NAS most familiar with climate science and the ongoing debate. But the NAS (and Academies of Sciences and other professional scientific societies from dozens of other nations) has previously published a long set of assessments and reviews of the science of climate change, which support the conclusions laid out in the Science essay.

And in the concluding paragraph of the essay, this group of leading scientists argues for taking action to deal with the risks of climate change:

Quote :
Society has two choices: we can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively.

In the end, we have only three choices: we can act to mitigate the risks of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we can expand efforts to adapt to a changing climate, or we can suffer the consequences of doing nothing. The only real question is, what is the balance among these three options.

Are the climate deniers going to go away? No. Nothing will convince them, since science hasn't. There are still people -- a lot of people -- who do not believe in evolution, or plate tectonics, or the Big Bang theory. But the longer that policymakers hesitate to act, the more the balance will shift to suffering. I believe that history will prove those delaying action to be dangerously wrong, at a time when it is urgent that society be courageously right.
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