Hubris

by Russ Roberts on September 22, 2009

in Energy, Health

The Secretary of Energy gives us his view of Americans (HT: Drudge):

When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees Americans as unruly teenagers and the Administration as the parent that will have to teach them a few lessons.

SecChu_art_257_20090921154709.jpg

Energy Secretary Chu: A teaching moment (AP)

Speaking on the sidelines of a smart grid conference in Washington, Dr. Chu said he didn’t think average folks had the know-how or will to to change their behavior enough to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

“The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act,” Dr. Chu said. “The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.” (In that case, the Energy Department has a few renegade teens of its own.)

And to make us better people, the EPA is going to be explaining to us how we should act starting with actual children:

The administration aims to teach them—literally. The Environmental Protection Agency is focusing on real children. Partnering with the Parent Teacher Organization, the agency earlier this month launched a cross-country tour of 6,000 schools to teach students about climate change and energy efficiency.

“We’re showing people across the country how energy efficiency can be part of what they do every day,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “Confronting climate change, saving money on our utility bills, and reducing our use of heavily-polluting energy can be as easy as making a few small changes.”

Still, Secretary Chu said he didn’t think that the public would throw the same political temper tantrum over climate legislation has has happened with the healthcare debate.

And why is that? It should be because we only need to make a “few small changes.” But Chu has a better explanation for why we’re all going to go along. It’s good for us:

Asked if he expected a town-hall style pushback, Dr. Chu said he was optimistic the public would buy the administration’s arguments that energy efficiency and caps on greenhouse-gas emissions will spark an economic rebound.

“I don’t think so…maybe I’m optimistic, but there’s very little debate” that a new green energy economy will bring economic prosperity, Mr. Chu told reporters.

That’s right. It’s a free lunch! There’s no trade-off between cleaner air and economic growth.

The story has an update:

An update: Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow added: “Secretary Chu was not comparing the public to teenagers. He was saying that we need to educate teenagers about ways to save energy. He also recognized the need to educate the broader public about how important clean energy industries are to our competitive position in the global economy. He believes public officials do have an obligation to make their case to the American people on major legislation, and that’s what he’s doing.”

Boy ami glad I don’t have Dan Leistikow’s job. Very credible defense don’t you think? Here’s what he should have said:

Secretary Chu was not comparing the public to teenagers. You misheard him. He was comparing the public to “tin-edges.” It is well-known that tin edges are very sharp. Secretary Chu thinks the American people are smart, not that their a bunch of immature adolescents who aren’t as smart as he is.

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{ 265 comments }

Greg_Ransom September 22, 2009 at 3:06 pm

The example Dan Leistikow if following is set at the top — by the President.

rpl September 22, 2009 at 4:23 pm

So, for that matter, is Chu. Within his first hour of assuming the office the President informed us that it was time for us to “put away childish things.” Chu is just continuing in that vein.

CRC September 22, 2009 at 6:27 pm

It is true. It’s becoming a bothersome pattern to see the White House continually coming in after the fact and re-writing what people really “meant” when what they meant is exceedingly clear from their statements. Biden. Sotomayor. Chu. Probably more than that, these are just highest profile ones.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 3:25 pm

I’m not sure that these guys have the math skillz to understand what they are working toward.
.

Dallas Weaver September 23, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Are you thinking that Dr. Chu doesn’t have math skills? You must not know anything about physics or math, two subjects that are married at the hip.

Dallas Weaver September 23, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Are you thinking that Dr. Chu doesn’t have math skills? You must not know anything about physics or math, two subjects that are married at the hip.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 4:04 pm

“Still, Secretary Chu said he didn’t think that the public would throw the same political temper tantrum over climate legislation has has happened with the healthcare debate.”

Oh them damn temper tantrums of spoiled brats.

Referring back to a recent post concerning an armed man at a townhall rally, and the PJTV piece on the “narrative”, which was poohed poohed by an esteemed commenter here who is an enquiring-canuck…….of course there is no narrative there in that comment is there, enquiring-canuck, no narrative, no template at all.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Note those are Ian Talley’s words, not Stephen Chu’s. We need to keep straight exactly who’s narrative this is.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 12:46 am

Oh bullshit young fool, it is a direct quote, he just didn’t throw up quotation marks.

The narrative is not Talley’s even though he is carrying through on it, the narrative (template) is the socialist narrative and Chu is certainly one of those and he is speaking for the socialist president.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 10:04 am

RE: “Oh bullshit young fool, it is a direct quote, he just didn’t throw up quotation marks.”

I think you should have somewhat more faith in Talley’s journalism skills than that – he’s writing for the WSJ after all. If Chu provided a gem like that – calling the town halls “temper tantrums” – do you really think Talley would miss the opportunity to put quotes around it? Of course not. Those are Talley’s words – it’s Talley’s spin.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 11:16 am

Well, Disingenuous K, let’s see if a little logic applied to that reveals some truths.

Talley obviously was present when Chu was speaking and did actually put some quotes in the appropriate marks. However he also reports that Chu said this.(my quote marks) “Still, Secretary Chu said he didn’t think that the public would throw the same political temper tantrum over climate legislation has has happened with the healthcare debate.”

Talley’s article was published (maybe not the only one, we don’t know and can only assume there were others close enough to get Chu’s words), he put the words out there as seen above and in the link to the actual article, and an official spokesman comes out to gloss over what Chu reportedly said and to explain that Chu did not mean what Chu meant.

Now DK, you will notice that the official spokesman did not accuse Talley of inaccurate reporting, fabrication, fraud, or distortion. The official spokesman did not announce a demand for a retraction directed at Talley, nor was there any mention of a legal action or even a request for censure of Talley.

The intelligence we can draw from that, that is those of us intelligent enough to pour piss out of a boot without the instructions being printed on the heel can draw this intelligence, is that Chu said the words, had the intent, and was stupid enough to say them close enough to a reporter to be overheard.

Nothing in Talley’s report would lead anyone intelligent to believe that he was putting his own spin on anything, he even included the weak explanation without spin.

As to the other issue you brought up, why would I assume the two things you seem to? First Mr. Talley is undoubtedly the product of our federal fool system, K-1 through K-12, and then further scrambling by some university. Second, he is a reporter for a main stream media source and one that is not necessarily staffed by rightwingers. So, why would I have faith in his ability to always write correctly, and even more so, why would I have faith that he was a right winger putting spin on Chu’s words? Both of those are a huge stretch to make.

Then finally Talley’s report fits the template, the narrative, that all opposition to the looney left is to be denigrated in no uncertain terms, at all times, and in every setting. Attack Attack, and never let up.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 4:05 pm

He described quite explicitly in what way we are like teenagers – that we are undereducated about the implications of our decisions. Is that really a problematic statement? I would point to an entirely different source of hubris – I think it would be the height of hubris for people to assume that they do know the consequences of their carbon-consumption behavior better than a Nobel winning scientist (granted, it’s also hubris for scientists to assume they have conclusive answers on everything).That having been said, Dan Leistikow has a tough job. I don’t think there’s anything wrong, insulting, or particularly notable about a teenager metaphor. We’re undereducated on certain things? Sure. Of course. It doesn’t bother me that Chu said so and made the comparison. But in this age of hyper-sensitivity and reactionism, that sort of metaphor doesn’t fly politically, and cleaning up afterwards is how guys like Leistikow put food on the table. Insofar as he is containing an overblown reaction I suppose that’s a valuable service – but I would personally pay more attention to exactly which parallels Chu drew (rather than assuming he was just trying to be broadly dismissive of the American public) than to Leistikow’s fundamentally political re-cap.

rpl September 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm

First of all, Dan, Chu won his Nobel Prize in condensed matter physics. That doesn’t make him automatically an expert on atmospheric physics, let alone climate forecasting, to say nothing of the policy implications of those subjects. I would expect the average staffer at NOAA to be far more expert on the scientific aspects of the problem than Chu, and I would expect any interested layperson willing to spend a little time and effort to read up on the subject to be able to match him.

Moreover, I don’t agree with your assessment of the tenor of Chu’s comment. The most charitable interpretation I can give him is that he is attributing a difference in preferences to ignorance, rather than genuine disagreement. Even under that interpretation, I think Russ’ diagnosis of “hubris” is apt.

As for “hypersensitivity” and “reactionism,” some of us take umbrage at the notion that the proper relationship between government and citizens is similar to that between parent and child. This, too, is a genuine disagreement, and dismissing it with pejorative terms, as you do, is every bit as offensive as Chu’s original faux pas.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Of course Chu isn’t a climatologist and that doesn’t make him an expert in climate change – I haven’t made the argument that it does, have I? And I’d agree with you on your NOAA staffer point (although I’m not so sure about the last point in that paragraph – Chu is still unusually informed!).And you’re duplicating exactly why I think people are too sensitive. I too take umbrage at the notion that the proper relation to government is as a parent to a child. The problem is that that’s how you’ve interpreted Chu, when Chu gets very explicit the specific way in which we are like teenagers. We need to take it how Chu said it, not how someone else embellished it or how Leistikow pre-emptively distorted it. No metaphor is safe when the politically correct see a lurking insult in every statement that is made.

rpl September 22, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Here’s what Chu said: “The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act,”

If Chu had meant only to say that it’s important to educate people about the importance of conserving energy, he could have said just that. Instead, he chose to invoke the metaphor of disobedient teenagers. Why might he have done that? What does the metaphor add to the discussion?

The salient feature of teenagers, at least in the popular conception of them, is their unreasonableness. No matter how many times you tell them it’s for their own good, they just. Won’t. Listen. How exasperating! Think about the times you have used the unruly teenager metaphor (if you have ever done so). Isn’t that what you were trying to convey? Why else would you invoke the image of those stubborn, headstrong teenagers?

I think you are willing to cut Chu more slack on this because you basically agree with his point that we need to have an educational campaign. Try to imagine a politician taking that tone on a matter where you disagree with him. Would you be so charitable then?

In any case, I believe these unguarded, off the cuff comments reveal far more about politicians’ true feelings than their prepared speeches. I doubt Chu or any other politician would compare the public to disobedient teenagers if they had time to think about their remarks. However, when they have to think on their feet, sometimes these things slip out.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 10:12 am

Disobedient? I didn’t read anything about disobedient. Yes – we don’t act they way we’re “should act” because we don’t understand the importance of what we’re doing.

RE: “Try to imagine a politician taking that tone on a matter where you disagree with him. Would you be so charitable then?”

Sure – just the other day with Joe Wilson when we were having a discussion about whether he was racist on here. I insisted that he wasn’t racist, that he had legitimate concerns about the bill, and that there was no reason to read any more into his comments than that. Wilson certainly isn’t a guy I have a predisposition to agree with. I’m usually not some partisan hack on here – I don’t think I’d have to search back much farther to find another example.

RE: “I doubt Chu or any other politician would compare the public to disobedient teenagers if they had time to think about their remarks.”

He didn’t here. That’s YOUR word. It infuses this idea that people should do what the government wants them to do into the debate, which of course makes the position unpalatable. But the thing is, Chu never went there.

Ike Pigott September 22, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Daniel, that’s not the implication.

We are “teenagers” because we are “immature,” “incapable of reason,” and “unable to overcome our urges.”

It’s code for “childish” and “under-educated.”

So, those of us who are “climate change deniers” aren’t necessarily Evil, like the Nazis — we’re just Childish.

It was an insult, no matter how it is carved and dissected post-facto.

(If we are, indeed, “undereducated about the implications of our decisions,” then who is to blame for that? The schools that no longer teach kids HOW to think, but WHAT to think?)

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 4:50 pm

You’re using the words immature, incapable of reason, and unable to overcome our urges, not Chu. “Immature” is also Ian Talley’s word – I won’t put that all on you.This is like the “racism” thing that we’ve been mulling for the last couple days. If you see secret “code” in everything anybody says of course it looks like they’re horrible, hubristic, and talking down to you.

Methinks September 22, 2009 at 5:14 pm

Secret code? How blatant does something have to be before you see it?

It’s not like “the racism thing” at all.

The left accuses anyone who disagrees with Obama’s policies of racism.

Here we’re accusing a guy who likened adults to children of likening adults to children.

Go forth with your mental gymnastics. I’m sure you’re dying to.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm

RE: “Here we’re accusing a guy who likened adults to children of likening adults to children.”No, you’re not. You’re accusing a guy who likened adults to children and described the sense in which he was likening them to children of likening adults to children in a series of other ways: impulsive and immature, from Ike. In need to paternalistic government, from rpl. Don’t act like they have simply repeated what Chu said. They haven’t. They’ve added a whole series of damning adjectives. We ARE undereducated: on climate change, as well as on the benefits of free trade and many other issues. Don’t shoot the messenger and don’t distort the message.No metaphor is safe when the politically correct see a lurking insult in every statement that is made.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 5:59 pm

But they ARE children… and racist.

Justin P September 23, 2009 at 8:22 pm

You got it right, Ike.

The whole point is to belittle the opposition, either by calling them racist or childish or Holocaust deniers…or what ever the pejorative of the day is.
There are two things going on here. Energy effiecieny, which is good and Climate “Change.”
I don’t think anyone would disagree that we could be more energy efficient, it saves energy and money…two good things.
The point of contention is “Climate Change.” Yes, I put it in quote because I’m a skeptic. I’m skeptic on the notion that 90% of the warming is caused by man (Latest IPCC report). For me the science isn’t there to support the assertion. The usual comeback is “consensus.” Which is of course a fallacy, hey in the 20′s the consensus was that Fascism was cool and hip and the next evolution of man….yeah see how wrong they were there.

Ike Pigott September 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Let’s not forget the other cool examples of “consensus” we had.

Phrenology was a fun little ride.
So was eugenics.

Both used to be considered solid science.

BoscoH September 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Daniel, we’re not undereducated. We just disagree. That’s what’s insulting about his metaphor. There are a variety of legitimate beefs to be had with the climate change stack, from historical temperature data, to computer models, even up to whether we’d do better to use the power of economic growth to cope with future problems. By your argument about “hubris”, we shouldn’t have any problem with OJ Simpson making Pez dispensers of his estranged wife and a local waiter because he won the Heisman Trophy. Toward the cause of reducing carbon footprints, this joker Chu wants us to be poorer, less safe, and less happy. His course of action will kill people. Smaller cars equals more highway deaths. And he calls us stupid for not getting with his program.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Some people do just disagree, which is precisely why I also said “it’s also hubris for scientists to assume they have conclusive answers on everything”. I hope you’d agree with this statement of mine.

But most people who don’t think much of climate change DON’T do what people on Cafe Hayek do. They don’t cite research on the frequency of sunspots. They don’t cite the strength or weakness of the relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature over time. Just like a lot of people who “agree” with climate change aren’t really cognizant of what they’re agreeing with – it’s just a knee-jerk environmentalist response. I think large swaths of the American public are undereducated. I certainly wish I knew more about it.

Chu didn’t say “let’s stop talking about this – we have it all figured out”. He said to a large extent we are acting and arguing from a point of ignorance, and that is dangerous.

I don’t understand your OJ analogy at all. I think my position would be diametrically opposed to giving OJ a free pass based on his laurels in other endeavors. But perhaps you can correct my misunderstanding.

And certainly Chu is not particularly well informed about economics – and we have economists considering these questions and tradeoffs too, thankfully. Either way I think the American public does make these decisions from a substantially undereducated position. I’m not going to be insulted by that observation, and I don’t think anyone else should be. And they CERTAINLY shouldn’t overstate that observation to be code for something else entirely (Ike’s words).

JohnK September 22, 2009 at 6:50 pm

When someone within the government says that “The American public” needs to be educated with regards to climate change, they are indeed saying “let’s stop talking about this – we have it all figured out.”

Remember, debate is over and it is time for action.

Action of course means a paternalistic government holding the hands of “The American public” and telling them what to do.

The only thing that I find more disgusting than there being people so arrogant that they deem themselves worthy of running other peoples’ lives, is that there are people like muirgeo stomping their feet and demanding that their lives be run by others.

I call it freedom from responsibility, which of course is an oxymoron because without responsibility there is no freedom.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 10:16 am

RE: “When someone within the government says that “The American public” needs to be educated with regards to climate change, they are indeed saying “let’s stop talking about this – we have it all figured out.”"

Are you serious or are you joking here??? Then why do they continue to fund climate change research. If they had it all figured out you’d think they’d stop! I’d perhaps say that they think we know enough to start taking some steps – I know why you think they think they’ve got it all figured out. I do agree with your second sentiment at least – that it’s disgusting that there are people out there who deem themselves worthy of running our lives.

Justin P September 23, 2009 at 8:41 pm

As weird as it may sound, I agree with most of what your saying.

American at large are uneducated, but who do we have to thank for that?

I think what get to most of us here, is the condescending attitude by the politicians in power. Regardless of what Chu might have meant, the language he uses gives us the appearance of a elitist, all knowing politicians who looks down at the uneducated masses. Regardless if he is by an large right about it, the whole attitude is wrong and gives a lot of people some pause.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Condescension of politicians?I think it probably has more to do with the fact that what there is to know has increased considerably in recent decades combined with a failing K-12 educational system.I don’t know if it’s elitist or not. Maybe it is. “Elitist” has a lot of baggage associated with it. It’s a real problem. We’re not doing “the public” a favor by pretending it’s not. Americans are USUALLY a thick skinned bunch (until a PC cable news talking head tells them they should be deeply offended by something). If an anyonymous person – not someone identified with any party – said something like this and if the pundits didn’t provide further commentary, I think a lot of Americans would nod their heads. We are undereducated – we’re not idiots. Those are two different things.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 4:03 am

The problem is not that too many people are ignorant about climate science. The problem is that too many people are falling for the bait-and-switch. What they DO know is that it will be a cold day in hell before someone can convince them that the solution to ANY problem is to pour more of their hard earned wealth through the eager hands of Nancy Pelosi. And that is all they have to know. They allow themselves to get sidetracked into arguing about things they don’t understand, and that they don’t need to understand.

And that is what the so-called climate change debate is all about–state control. If global warmies were going around trying to persuade people of the science with the understanding that there was absolutely ZERO chance of any coercive action being taken against those who disagree, there likely would be little disagreement. Afterall, for almost every scientific report that is of no particular ethical import, people happily defer to anyone calling themselves an expert.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 8:27 pm

No it’s a teenager position because it’s not the data you disagree with. You haven’t really objectivelty looked at the data because you can’t. The conclusion implied by the data makes it imperitive and gives you no choice but to disregard the data. The data is less important to you then your underlying belief system so it must be sacrificed to maintain that belief system.

That’s the shit teenagers do.

Teenagers think they are good drivers but they are not. I explained this to my newly driving 16 year old daughter. I told her the data suggest she WOULD most likely have an accident the first year she was driving. She was unimpressed by the data, became a little too over- confident and wrecked her car with in 1 month. Happens to the majority of teenagers in their first year driving.

Global warming deniers are teenage equivalent deniers of basic science that shows we are changing the earth’s climate dramaticllay. Their overconfidence will ultimatly (likely) result in a wreck of the planet Earth. A stubborn ideology is not a climate good feedback mechanism able to over ride the spectrophotometric properties of greenhouse gas molecules.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 8:40 pm

muirgeo, is the parody intentional or do you really believe the things you post here?

I’ve looked at lots of data and the case for catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is extremely weak. Your first paragraph is an excellent description of yourself.

Seth September 22, 2009 at 9:28 pm

I too am interested in reviewing this compelling data. I’ve done quite a bit of research myself because I like to that sort of thing before I draw conclusions. What I’ve reviewed wasn’t.

The predictions I’ve reviewed were based on mathematical models of complex, dynamic systems. The hubris around the accuracy of those models reminded me of the hubris of the math models underlying the activities at Long Term Capital Management and the subprime mortgage debacle.

Math models are the snake oil of our century. Through experience I’ve learned to be very skeptical of nerds bearing models (I think I ripped that off of Taleb).

I myself have done a fair amount of attempted modeling of complex systems, but much simpler than the world, and I came to one conclusion: to accurately model a world you have to re-create the world, maybe the universe.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 10:04 pm

So you are pretty sure that the Greenland Ice Sheet will not melt and put most of Florida under water.

The best scientist aren’t claiming this will happen but they do not discount it as a possiblity.

There are just too many unknowns.

Some people tauted financial derivatives as a Godsend to our markets. Others were suggesting they where economic weapons of mass destruction. They were ignored or even scoffed at. Are we now wondering if maybe we should have used caution.

Are the claims that attempting to wean ourselves from fossil fuels will result in catostrophic economic damage more then extremely weak?

Justin P September 23, 2009 at 8:44 pm

I think he actually believes what he is saying…which proves Chu was right about one thing.

BoscoH September 22, 2009 at 9:28 pm

I hope you didn’t make her drive a tiny car, George. Knowing that “a majority” of teenage drivers have an accident in their first year, you would want her to be safe, right? She could’ve been killed, dude.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 7:04 am

Why are you letting your daughter drive, hypocrite? Don’t you care about all of the carbon she’s spewing into Mother Gaia’s atmosphere?

You claim we humans are pushing Mother Gaia to a catastrophe, but by God, you sure aren’t in any hurry to change your lifestyle.

Gil September 23, 2009 at 2:28 am

“Smaller cars equal more highway deaths.” Gee I wonder why? Could it be because large car Canyonero drivers like to push smaller cars out of the way causing them to veer off uncontrollably into a large tree because the large car driver wants to go twice as fast and the small car driver is holding him up?

Seth September 22, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Always lost in the energy efficiency argument is that higher efficiency can result in higher use and a net increase in energy burned. It’s not a zero sum game.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 10:04 pm

McKinsey just published an exhaustive study of energy efficiency opportunities in the US economy. They concluded that ~$520bb of investment could result in ~$1 trillion in savings from energy efficiency. There are many, many _EASY_ fixes in a typical commercial or industrial facility, let alone homes– lighting retrofits, lighting controls, power factor correction, variable frequency drives, motion sensors, timers, compressor optimizers, scheduled preventive maintenance such as cleaning condensor coils, etc– that have significant impact and very short paybacks/high ROI.

So if the economic opportunity exists and people aren’t doing it, it would appear to mean that there is imperfect information about the opportunity– i.e., people are undereducated.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Excellent job of both missing and making Seth’s point at the same time.

amitav September 24, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Thanks for your thoughtful and thought-provoking rebuttal.

You are of course correct that in contradicting Seth’s belief that it is “always lost” that “higher efficiency can result” in “a net increase in energy burned,” I both miss and make his point. I miss his point, in that I suggest he is completely wrong and assert that energy efficiency measures would be NPV positive across the economy. I simultaneously make his point, by citing evidence to back my own point.

My further point, which was that Seth’s ignorance is illustrative of a broader lack of education about this topic among the general population, is of course negated by the fact that I was completely wrong in my premise. I’ll try to be more informed (perhaps less teenager-like) next time. Once again, excellent job of putting me in my place.

Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I hoped it would provoke thought, but since it obviously didn’t I’ll explain it to you.

Here is the point you missed:

The fact is that when people realize energy savings they enjoy cost savings as well. As a result of the cost savings, they often increase other activities (since they more money available). Those increased activities often result in higher total energy use. People’s behaviour is not static. That’s what Seth meant by “it’s not a zero sum game.”

For example, higher gas mileage cars tend to get driven more. The increased number of miles driven uses as much or more gas than efficiency increase saved. The result is and total gas usage is either flat or goes up.

The way you simultaneously made the point was by continuing the efficiency argument while missing Seth’s point.

But I’ll give you a gold star for excellent snark.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Evolution is to religious fundamentalism as Climate Change is to the religion of free markets. The church and corporations are similiar in their intent and ability to mis-inform, inculcate and indoctrinate and keep a population ignorant and “believing”.

Both Church’s needs follwers and ignorant ones at that.

No he was right… much of the public are teenagers on the issue and democracy needs an informed populace not an indoctrinated one.

Mcwop September 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Then why does the government keep building roads for those greenhouse gas causing vehicles, like the one you drive (and I do not care if it is a Prius it still uses gas). Why does the government make nuclear difficult, why does government make wind difficult, why does government block many of the solutions to global warming? Do you still travel and fly – you need to stop immediately cause those actions of yours are causing global warming. I have a lower carbon footprint than most Democrats, and Republicans. So while you talk a good global warming game, and so do the Democrats (we already know the Republicans don’t care), there is little meat to that talk.

You want to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20-30% in one year? Then the government can pass a bill that favors telecommuting for anyone that can. Now, this action won’t go well with Democrats becuase it will reduce the need for road jobs, and car jobs (Republicans will feel the same exact way). You are bankrupt, the party you are affiliated with is bankrupt, the Republicans are bankrupt, and so is our dysfunctional government. All of teh latter and former act like children.

MWG September 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm

“No he was right… much of the public are teenagers on the issue and democracy needs an informed populace not an indoctrinated one.”

The kind of “informed” populace that comes from govt. monopolized education, right?

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 6:06 pm

No I think a lot of the climate change science deniers come out of private schools their parents send them to to be protected from things like evolution and climate change to instead get a proper religious indoctrination. Most of the publioc school kids are well versed in the sciences and understand the facts of anthropogenic climate change.

Sam Grove September 22, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Most of the publioc school kids are well versed in the sciences and understand the facts of anthropogenic climate change.

Or they are well indoctrinated in the anti-capitalist, misanthropic religion wearing the cloth of climate science.

The “consensus” never was and whatever consensus there is, is breaking down.

The signature that is supposed to prove the AGW theory is still not evident in the data.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 8:30 pm

“Or they are well indoctrinated in the anti-capitalist, misanthropic religion wearing the cloth of climate science.”
Sam Groove

Now of course YOU could be right. But it looks to me that capitalism is failing AND the globe is warming.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Now that is just hilarious. Can’t read or write too well, don’t know much about history or literature or mathematics, but they’ve been imbued by the very same public school teachers with an understanding of something as complex as global climate science?

These guys here at the Cafe have labeled you correctly.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 7:32 pm

No one is denying that the climate changes, muirgeo. They’re instead denying that mankind’s activities are the cause of the climate change. We’ve been over his topic nearly a dozen times and yet you still persist with it, each time writing something idiotic — like you did above — only to have to moderate your views to save just a little face.

Could you just stay moderate for a change without going all kook on us and infecting the blog? Better yet, why don’t you finally resolve you inner desire to discuss the topic to completion without ducking out once the other commentors rush to point out your faulty reasonings; that way, we’ll finally get to the bottom of it. Maybe, though, that’s not what you’re looking to do.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 8:33 pm

“They’re instead denying that mankind’s activities are the cause of the climate change.” lcj

Sure, I understand their claim… and its a teenage one.
I’d be glad to debate you on the issue to its comletion on myblog.

http://ablankspotonthemap.blogspot.com/

MWG September 22, 2009 at 8:23 pm

“The church and corporations are similiar in their intent and ability to mis-inform, inculcate and indoctrinate and keep a population ignorant and “believing”. ”

LMAO

BoscoH September 22, 2009 at 11:37 pm

George, I took a class taught by Sherwood and Rowland of CFC fame at UC Irvine (a public university) in 1991. At the time, there weren’t “climate deniers” and no Internet to organize them. What I saw made me uneasy because it hand-waved over implications. So recharging car AC would go from a $5 project any Saturday mechanic could do to a $700 retrofit performed only at government licensed shops? Not our problem. So refrigeration would require more energy? Not our problem. So Big Macs and coffee wouldn’t stay as warm for as long? Not our problem, the planet is the issue and it’s an emergency! So banning CFCs entirely immediately (rather than phasing out) wouldn’t have any effect on the ozone hole for two decades anyway? If you want your children to die horrible deaths from skin cancer, then you just go ahead and delay! Not to mention the penguins! Who speaks for the penguins?

The sorority girls were whipped into a tearful frenzy. And the guys who wanted any chance with them followed suit. It was in that class that I learned to view science with a few kilograms of skepticism.

BoscoH September 22, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Rowland and Cicerone (I meant). Hey, it’s almost 5 o’clock here and I’m enjoying a CFC-free cocktail.

Justin P September 23, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Holy Cow!!!!

Ha ha ha….yes folks…people like this do exist!

MWG September 22, 2009 at 8:23 pm

“The church and corporations are similiar in their intent and ability to mis-inform, inculcate and indoctrinate and keep a population ignorant and “believing”.”

As someone who believe’s in anthropogenic climate change, I’ll will also say that the above comment could also apply to many other anthropogenic climate change believers. Many on my side of the debate believe in a coming apocalypse. Religious believers in climate change view Gore and others as priests and evangelists. What you’re saying is merely one side of the same coin.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 10:16 pm

“What you’re saying is merely one side of the same coin.”

mwg

Yeah that’s true except that I have logic, science, empiricism and the data on my side. But yeah other then that GREAT point!

MWG September 22, 2009 at 11:06 pm

There are plenty of scientists who believe in global warming, but who aren’t predicting apocalypse. Nice try though…

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 10:39 am

Definitely. Muirgeo, don’t confuse “reason for legitimate concern and continued investigation, and policymaking such that we can hit the ground running when we know for sure what’s best” with “we know everything about this and what’s going to happen”. We don’t. We really have no idea what to expect.

Sam Grove September 22, 2009 at 11:21 pm

Still waiting for the data revealing the existence of the signature predicted by AGW theory but which has yet to be seen.

The data thus far has shown what the majority of both sides do not disagree on, that the climate has warmed.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 4:37 am

You’ve posted since LCJ posted this:

treat me as though I am one of your young patients and want to know why your previous attempts to heal [educate] me haven’t been successful. Here goes, muirgeo:

Neogene CO2 level 280 ppm (1 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 14C
Paleogene CO2 level 500 ppm (2 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 18C
Cretaceous CO2 level 1700 ppm (6 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 18C
Jurassic CO2 level 1950 ppm (7 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 16.5C
Triassic CO2 level 1750 ppm (6 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 17C
Permian CO2 level 900 ppm (3 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 16C
Carboniferous CO2 level 800 ppm (3 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 14C
Devonian CO2 level 2200 ppm (8 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 20C
Silurian CO2 level 4500 ppm (17 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 17C
Ordovician CO2 level 4200 ppm (16 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 16C
Cambrian CO2 level 4500 ppm (16 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 21C

Explain what’s happened to the climate and how mankind has been responsible for this. That’s all. No more and no less.

but you haven’t replied to it. I wonder why?

Dear Torquemuirduck! Please explain to us sinners! We ask for your supreme knowledge!

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:41 pm

I did reply and I hit a Walk-off homerun against this silliness that LCJ could only watch float out of the park and into the upper deck. He was totally checkmated and his teenage level of knowledge and debate on this issue was laid bare for all to see.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:15 am

“The church and corporations are similiar in their intent and ability to mi-sinform”

Just like the Tabula Rasa regarding his affiliation with ACORN. Perhaps more like the Tabula Rasa misstating the cost of a leg amputation.

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2009/08/14/american-surgeons-challenge-obamas-lies/

Justin P September 23, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Then take a look in the mirror!

JohnK September 22, 2009 at 5:10 pm

The sun couldn’t have any effect on the climate, could it?

Nah!

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Yeah… by ” acting like teenagers”, this is exactly the sort of thing he’s talking about. John how old are you ? 16?

JohnK September 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm

What does that mean? Scientists are showing a direct correlation between sunspot activity and global temperatures, and your response is to accuse me of being a teenager? Let me guess, the study is wrong because it does not further the theory that human activity is the cause of our changing climate? It’s that backasswards? I thought that science meant that one experiment or study could disprove a theory, not that a theory disproves an experiment or the results of a study.

As your hero Barny Frank would say “On what planet do you spend most of your time?”

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 5:58 pm

I’m with you on the sunspots and on muirgeo’s response – but would depart from the full import of the sunspots, re: “I thought that science meant that one experiment or study could disprove a theory, not that a theory disproves an experiment or the results of a study.”The sunspots explain a portion of the variation. That doesn’t banish anthropogenic CO2 as an additional explanation. A lot of factors go into this.

JohnK September 22, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Sunspots are measurable and can explain observed changes in global temperature.
Changes attributed to anthropogenic CO2 are dependent 100% on computer models.

What do you trust more, observations or computer models.

The big problem of course is that sun spot activity cannot be used as an excuse for taxes, regulations, and other government controls.

So that all by itself rules sun spots out as a cause of climate change.

(that last statement was meant to be sarcastic)

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 8:43 pm

From your own article John;

Johan Feddema, acting chair and professor of geography at KU, studies global warming. Atmospheric science is a program in geography at KU. He says he is skeptical of any one phenomenon being the direct cause of global warming because there are so many climate variables that factor into global temperatures.

Feddema said the warming trend earlier in the century could be attributed to anything from solar activity to El Ninos. But since the mid 1980s he believes data doesn’t correlate well with solar activity, but does correlate well with rising CO2 levels.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 9:19 pm

I read that also and that indicates a good reason to study the science carefully. However, correlation does not prove causation so we need more evidence before we can claim proof that anthropogenic causes are significant, let alone potentially catastrophic. That evidence is sorely lacking, so only the dogmatic or poorly informed would claim we’ve proven anything wrt AGW.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:41 am

If a muirduck flaps its wings and quacks in a forest and there is no one there to hear it, does the duck still have a brain?

No. Because the duck is socialist and operates on scripture not reason.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:42 am

If a muirduck flaps its wings and quacks in a forest and there is no one there to hear it, does the duck still have a brain?

No. Because the duck is socialist and operates on scripture not reason.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 6:57 am

“Yeah… by ” acting like teenagers”"

The sun’s been acting like teenagers? No wonder its been pi$$ing me off so much lately.

Methinks September 22, 2009 at 5:16 pm

The Soviets taught us that you have to start re-education with children (treating adults like children has a limited effect). It’s a good thing Obama’s Commissars have learned from the past. Now, let’s see if Americans have.

Sam Grove September 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Fortunately, politicians have inadvertently taught many citizens the value of skepticism.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Exactly – His Almighty Obamnesty cannot stand dissent but is unfortunately limited in his power to squash it (that won’t stop Him from trying). Part of His role in the formation of the USSA is to indoctrinate the children so we have less dissent in the future. Then we will worship Him and have likenesses of Him everywhere, just as the world’s other megalomaniacal narcissistic sociopaths.

OK, maybe that’s a little over the top, but I certainly hope Americans have learned from the past and see this administration for what it is.

Michael F. Martin September 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm

It’s not exactly news that Steven Chu has a healthy ego.

And I have to admit, driving around California in my compact car, I get really annoyed at how many Hummers and SUVs there are. How much car do people really need? SUVs are a big negative externality. I think they should be taxed more heavily.

rm3 September 22, 2009 at 7:19 pm

I get really annoyed at people who get their panties in a wad with regards to what others CHOOSE to drive. Mind your own damn business.

Sam Grove September 22, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Some people actually have fairly large families. You should try hauling four kids around, plus whatever support is required, like diapers, food, strollers, etc.

If they have just the one car, then that is what they have to use even when they aren’t hauling the family along.

pauliv September 23, 2009 at 2:29 am

More heavily than what? They are taxed more heavily than compacts: 1) Sales tax–hummers and evil suv’s generally cost more than subcompact snot bubbles, so more sales tax is paid on them. 2) Gas tax–hummers and suv’s use more gas, resulting higher gax taxes being paid by their drivers. 3) Having to listen to people whine about them–ok, not a tax, but it goes a long way toward balancing out the negative externalities.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 11:20 am

I wish there was a “dislike” button; I mean, how much more paternalism does Michael F. Martin really need.

D. Kennedy September 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Freemen beware. There are only two kinds of Democrats – those that would be masters and those that would be slaves.

Sam Grove September 22, 2009 at 8:09 pm

“The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act,”…

So he knows how the American public “should” act?

What are his premises?

Badger September 22, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Now it’s finally explained why we keep electing the mostly unqualified people for the job. Maybe Mr. Chu should vote for us all.

Badger September 22, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Sorry, *most unqualified*…

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 12:49 am

Dan Leistikow is just doing his job as clean-up guy for a fool that operated his mouth without putting his brain in gear.

Socialist get a pass on such crap, conservatives are ripped for it for days.

Bob September 23, 2009 at 2:07 am

This is GREAT! The more we can encourage Pres. Obama’s people to articulate their “Collectivist Socialist Plan” the more the opposition GROWS!

Ray Gardner September 23, 2009 at 5:51 am

Sounds like Daniel Kuehn is applying for Dan Leistikow’s job.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 10:53 am

Ugh – I’d hate to have to sanitize perfectly reasonable statements to assuage the fears of hypersensitive, politically correct critics.

I said Leistikow distorted what Chu said. How do you conclude I have respect for what the guy does? If I were in his job, I’d say “yup – you heard him right – Chu said the American public is like a bunch of teenagers because they make decisions without fully understanding the implications of their decisions”.

I think I’d make a really shitty spokesman :)

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 6:31 am

“not that their a bunch of immature adolescents who aren’t as smart as he is.”

I hate to be a “Grammar Nazi”, but the fact that this is an argument about intelligence makes it a bit embarrasing to link to. Just fix that one word. Then I’ll Digg it. Thanks!

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 6:38 am

I agree that Stephen Chu’s comments are perfectly appropriate. It’s clear that many Americans still don’t understand the science behind global warming.Chu’s mistake is in assuming that education will have a noticeable effect. I spent months driving to car-shows and showing people my car that runs on vegetable oil. That, and similar efforts by millions of others, did nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Then, in 2008, greenhouse gas emissions *magically* dropped. Was it because of a brilliant education plan put in place by the DOE? Nope. It was because the price of oil hit record highs and Americans started driving less.The U.S. doesn’t need education. We need a pricing signal that properly reflects the externality created by burning fossil fuels. Once we have that, the free market can create new jobs, and Steven Chu can focus on other things.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 6:59 am

“We need a pricing signal that properly reflects the externality created by burning fossil fuels.”

What do you propose?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 9:27 am

>“We need a pricing signal that properly reflects the externality >created by burning fossil fuels.”>>What do you propose?We came up with the idea of a “carbon dividend”, and it seems like the best possible solution. It’s also popular among citizens we have interviewed. It’s just not popular with either the bureacratic left or or the kleptocratic right.Simply put, you tax carbon emissions at a rate that reflects the externality — that is, the economic cost of the damage done. But instead of taking all those tax dollars and handing them over to someone like Dr. Chu, you simply give them back to the American people so that they spend that money as they wish. If they want to use their monthly check to cover the higher cost of gasoline, that’s their choice. But many of them will choose to spend it on green technology that is now comparitively cheaper, and that’s how to you get carbon emissions down to zero in the long run.Subsidies are the same as socialism — that is, they are the government deciding which industries should succeed and which should fail. The free market solution is to assess a tax that matches the externality. This is imperfect, because we don’t yet know the exact costs of global warming. But we have a number of guesses, and we can refine the model as we move forward. It’s also worth remembering that everything we do is imperfect. Building highways is imperfect. Do we have too many or too few? Funding the military is imperfect. Just how many trooops do we “need”? Even the private sector makes pricing mistakes (and the world economy is currently suffering the backlash from such mistakes, although they were exacerbated by poor monetary policy).Let’s assume a $30 dividend assessed per metric ton of CO2 emissions. That’s 28 cents added to the cost of a gallon of gasoline. But in return, my family gets a check for over $200.00 every month. I’ll take that deal.And perhaps the best part about taxing carbon emissions directly is that we don’t have to rely on international agreements. Instead, we just tax goods as they come into the country. U.S. carmakers produce about 7 tons of CO2 per car manufacturers. Chinese carmakers produce more than twice that. That means that, unlike “cap and trade”, the carbon dividend would actually make American car companies MORE competitive.Taking money from Chinese businesses and putting it in the wallets of American taxpayers? If your congressperson can’t get excited about that, it’s time to elect someone else.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 10:14 am

Or we could simply put the red slippers on and click our heels, that would take us back to utopia.

“Simply put, you tax carbon emissions at a rate that reflects the externality — that is, the economic cost of the damage done.”

As there is zero proof that there is damage being done, only envirowhacko claims produced from distorted data, how is it that you believe someone is qualified to determine a rate that reflects the externality or the damage done?

But, hey wrecking an economy over an acorn falling on our head is just fine as long as we feeeeeel better about ourselves.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 10:29 am

I haven’t yet figured out how to argue with someone that intentionally ignores the science. I bet you don’t think we landed on the moon, either.I can tell you that as an undergraduate I was part of a team that studied global warming. The idea that thousands of scientists are making this up for no reason is absurd. When I was on a boat taking temperature readings, who was messing with the data? “Envirowhacko” dolphins?I’m not even an “envirowhacko”. I’m just a computer programmer who was part of the data collection effort when I was a student.You might as well claim that Jesus will fix Global Warming when he comes back. You would be just as easy to argue with.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 7:39 am

Your idea suffers some significant problems, and won’t accomplish some of what you want it to.

First, you think you’re not feeding the socialists, but who do you think must administer such a transfer of wealth? If it works through the tax code, it will be managed by the managers of the tax code. Social Security is a similar program. It’s a tight little lock box of a trust fund, free from the greedy hands of Congressmen. Except that it has been used to fund a great deal of government mischief–it does, not surprisingly, give the federal government the best available deal on debt financing. The hoodlums in Congress would love a program like yours.

Second, this IS a subsidy, and suffers all the moral problems of a subsidy. It is a transfer of wealth from those who do more of some activity to those who do less, without any regard for any actual loss. For instance: I might personally benefit from a warmer climate. Or, I might not care one way or the other. In that case, exactly what damages am I being reimbursed for with your dividend? Let’s assume for argument that global warming is going to put some people’s coastal property under water. Why are they, who might be suffering tens of thousands of dollars in damages, getting the same amount as me, who is actually benefiting? That is not what is meant by “justice is blind”–though it does exemplify the evil of collective “justice”.

Identifying “the environment” as the victim of an externality, gives it no moral force. “The environment” doesn’t value anything, and so is incapable of suffering loss. Only people can do that. If your scheme is to have any rational ethics behind it, it must at least have as its goal restitution–a transfer from the damager to the damaged.

A better solution would be to let some of those who feel they are being hurt by other’s emissions, bring those others to court. E.g., it might start with a beach neighborhood in Charleston suing a local coal power plant. They get a chance to explain how they are damaged, all arguments are heard, and a decision is made. In addition to specifically targeting actual parties in the supposed torte, it has the advantage of decentralizing the process as a series of many court cases around the country. And instead of having some bureaucrat or czar simply impose some scheme, the relevant parties get to battle out the evidence in public.

And of course, like most court cases, it would only take a very small number of cases to set a precedent that everyone ultimately would follow.

THAT actually might be a market solution.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 11:00 am

Best reply in the thread I’ve read so far. I’d be a little more optimistic on education, but you hit the nail on the head with price mechanisms.People here want to spin concern as some sort of anti-market ideology. They want to pretend that when science doesn’t agree with their conclusions it’s political, but when the same scientists and the same scientific method cites sunspots that that’s credible. They attribute everything they disagree with to a socialist grab for control.It misses the point. The point is that the market CAN’T compensate costs imposed on future generations when the parties to a transaction have no idea what those costs are, and even if they did know, they probably wouldn’t be the ones suffering from them. The market can’t even compensate costs imposed involuntarily on CURRENT generations. The oil price spike helped – but that clearly had nothing to do with pricing in the real costs of pollution. It was due to an increase in demand, and supply disruptions! We need better price signals. If the price of energy incorporated all the costs and benefits associated with energy, the differentials between alternatives and oil would be much different than what they are today. The price of oil is subsidized by our ignorance and by our involuntary imposition of costs on future generations.This blog purports to follow in the footsteps of Hayek. Hayek knew the importance of information. You would think the commenters on this blog would be more sensitive to the fundamental information problem at hand here. The market is missing information from people who bear costs that they aren’t compensated for.

pauliv September 23, 2009 at 5:39 pm

You say that the market CANT compensate for the costs imposed on future generations. Maybe, maybe not. But what is to suggest that a gov’t can do it any better, if at all? Doesn’t that fall prey to Hayek’s concern about the exceptional hubris it takes to believe that a few central planners can more efficiently or effectively design an economy than can millions of market participants?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 5:46 pm

I’d agree with those concerns. I’m not advocating designing an economy by planning. But if you know the market underprices carbon, a moderate carbon tax that is 100% rebated doesn’t add to the net tax burden and it does moderately realign incentives. I think that sort of measure is very different from assuming we have the know-how to design the economy. Or basic research on alternatives – the benefits of this research aren’t internalized so it’s underinvested in. Fine. A very reasonable tale. You don’t have to tell firms they have to research it, but you can put out a few million through the NSF.

I’d be careful about abusing Hayek by using him to say that we can make a few smaller, informed changes. That’s very different from saying “the government should run alternative energy power plants” or “the government should set energy prices”, or “the government should require a cut in energy consumption by X% by 2020″. Of course we don’t know enough to do that. But that inability to plan, which I fully acknowledge, doesn’t vindicate a market that can’t internalize these costs.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 6:37 pm

RE: “if you know the market underprices carbon”

But that’s the rub – we DON’T know if the market underprices carbon. I would argue that the evidence indicates carbon is not a problem (i.e. there is no externality to underprice)

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 11:28 am

Whew! It’s a good thing you don’t have a dog in that hunt.

Perhaps you could put yourself on a panel that prices the externality per measurable unit of oil and make some real money from the tax payer.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:01 pm

It’s possible to say “any objective economist will admit the price mechanism is insufficient to address the costs of climate change”, and also say “I have no way of doing anything about it with any great degree of confidence – I just know oil prices have to be different from what they would be if all costs were internalized”.None of these arguments requires anyone to make the obviously false claim that they know what the right price is.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Souldn’t we then be figuring out not only the negative externalities of using oil but also it’s positive externalities? I mean, let’s look at all the tradeoffs that occur if oil was not used. And while were at it, let’s investigate every single little compound that is used as a raw material that’s converted into products that we consume or use in our consuption and weigh both their positive and negative externalities; let’s be good little planners and get right on that — figuring out what needs subsidies and what needs a tax.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Of course! In fact, one of the reasons why it’s irresponsible to cut consumption drastically is that the economy ten years from now will have developed more efficient ways of cutting our carbon contribution than we have today. Oil and coal are valuable inputs into the economy that will one day produce viable alternatives. Drastically changing our consumption patterns immediately could be one of the worst things we could do for climate change.I’d be careful of this sentiment: “let’s look at all the tradeoffs that occur if oil was not used”. I guess I’m just not sure what you mean by “all the tradeoffs”. MANY of the tradeoffs are already incorporated into the price of oil. For example, one cost of cutting back is “I won’t be as mobile”. Yes, that is a cost – that is a tradeoff – but it is already factored into the price. So you shouldn’t make the mistake of counting it twice.RE: “let’s be good little planners and get right on that — figuring out what needs subsidies and what needs a tax.”I don’t get how you leaped to this. Not that subsidies and taxes aren’t approriate, but I don’t think we should be under the mistaken impression that we know enough to plan the course to sustainable energy. We know carbon is underpriced? Maybe a moderate carbon tax that won’t hamstring the economy – and maybe rebate all the revenue from it so there is no net change in the tax burden, simply an incentive away from carbon. We don’t know what will come next – we’re not that smart – but we know the market underinvests in research for what comes next… so maybe we can put a little out there for that – for research, not to pick the one alternative we think will turn out to be the right one. Those sorts of tenuous, moderate, baby steps are very different from “getting right on” trying to adjust everything perfectly.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 3:23 pm

I agree that many people on both sides do not understand the science. However, many do and we are still waiting to see proof of substantial AGW. We have seen computer model outputs that suggest some scary and extreme possibilities, but that’s clearly not proof. We have human activity causing a modest increase in a relatively minor greenhouse gas that has a logarithmic impact on warming, so that doesn’t prove anything.

What the evidence does suggest is that nothing catastrophic is happening anytime soon, so we have time to improve our understanding before we need to react (if we need to react).

The first step toward solving a problem is defining the problem. At this point, we don’t even know for sure there is a problem. We certainly don’t understand it well enough to define it. Therefore any proposed solution has a good chance of doing nothing, or making things worse.

What we need is to get the politics out of science.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 7:24 am

This article by Michael Hammer is sure to bring Torquemuirduck and other Grand Inquisitors of the Church of AGW (led by His Holiness: The Divine Prophet Algore I) knocking on his door. Heresy against the Church of AGW will not be tolerated!!!!!!!

http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/09/why-i-am-an-anthropogenic-global-warming-sceptic-michael-hammer/#more-6422

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 6:01 am

All his arguments are of the type that propose something illogical in the claims made by climate scientist but are in fact apparently only illogical based on his lack of understanding of the issues.

For instance his first claim of illogic is because he forgets about positive feedbacks.

He thinks he’s made a great point while in fact he only revealed himself to be ignorant of the data.

Yeah … he’s a teenager too.

Clay Dreslough September 23, 2009 at 2:25 am

>“We need a pricing signal that properly reflects the externality >created by burning fossil fuels.”
>
>What do you propose?

We came up with the idea of a “carbon dividend”, and it seems like the best possible solution. It’s also popular among citizens we have interviewed. It’s just not popular with either the bureacratic left or or the kleptocratic right.

Simply put, you tax carbon emissions at a rate that reflects the externality — that is, the economic cost of the damage done. But instead of taking all those tax dollars and handing them over to someone like Dr. Chu, you simply give them back to the American people so that they spend that money as they wish. If they want to use their monthly check to cover the higher cost of gasoline, that’s their choice. But many of them will choose to spend it on green technology that is now comparitively cheaper, and that’s how to you get carbon emissions down to zero in the long run.

Subsidies are essentially.

The free market solution is to assess a tax that matches the externality. This is imperfect, because we don’t yet know the exact costs of global warming. But we have a number of guesses, and we can refine the model as we move forward.

It’s also worth remembering that everything we do is imperfect. Building highways is imperfect. Do we have too many or too few? Funding the military is imperfect. Just how many trooops do we “need”? Even the private sector makes pricing mistakes (and the world economy is currently suffering the backlash from such mistakes, although they were exacerbated by poor monetary policy).

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 9:46 am

“The administration aims to teach them—literally. The Environmental Protection Agency is focusing on real children. Partnering with the Parent Teacher Organization, the agency earlier this month launched a cross-country tour of 6,000 schools to teach students about climate change and energy efficiency.”

Just as Methinks said earlier, this was an idea promoted by Mr. Soviet himself. I hope both sides of the AWG argument are being presented otherwise this amounts to nothing more than indoctrination.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:19 pm

How about a new book about the O Adminsitration. We could call it “Team of Idiots.”

Sam Grove September 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm

From the article brotio mentioned.

5. The claimed “proof” of positive feedback is a model prediction of a hot spot in the tropics at mid troposphere levels. However all the experimental evidence from many, many measurements has failed to find any evidence of such a hot spot. In science, a clear prediction that is falsified experimentally means the underlying hypothesis on which the prediction is based is wrong.

Justin P September 23, 2009 at 9:07 pm

No, they’ll just try to “fix” the data. That’s what Dr. Hansen did at NASA.

Sam Grove September 23, 2009 at 9:35 pm

He covers “data fixing” in the article as well.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Sorry to DK, but Chu wants to stop talking about it. When he accused the American people of being like teens – that’s a message to shut the fuck up and “do as we tell you to”.

Sam Grove September 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm

It’s also a message that democracy isn’t producing the his preferred results, so screw democracy.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 6:01 pm

OTOH, I interpreted Chu’s statement as red meat for the left-wing base. It’s not like the MSM reported it anyways.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 6:46 pm

What do you call the Wall Street Journal? An upstart?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Did the major TV networks report his statement? I’m sure they didn’t.

Sam Grove September 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Another pertinent item from Mr. Hammer’s article:

8. If I adopt this 10:1 ratio by looking at the last 100 years worth of data I find 1910-1940 temperatures rising while CO2 was not. 1940 to 1975 temperatures falling while CO2 rising, 1975 to 1998 temperatures rising while CO2 rising and 1998 to 2009 temperatures falling while CO2 rising. Three quarters of the period shows no correlation or negative correlation with CO2 and only one quarter shows positive correlation. I do not understand how one can claim a hypothesis proven when ¾ of the data set disagrees with it. To me it is the clearest proof that the hypothesis is wrong.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 5:43 pm

He should tour the country alerting kids to the power of the worldwide, peer-reviewed, scientific literature, including the articles by J. Scott Armstrong of Wharton and Kesten Green of Monash. They convincingly demonstrate in a set of recent articles that the IPCC’s work is, as they put it, not scientific opinion, but rather the opinion by scientists, because of the IPCC refuses to abide by the peer-reviewed rules of forecasting. In other words, in the estimation of some of the most highly educated and respected forecasters on the planet (and based only on the publicly available and shared data, and not on political bias), the climate may be heating up, or it may be cooling down; these changes may be large or they may be small–we just don’t know. In the face of that uncertainty, they have expressed skepticism regarding the wisdom of a big, expensive, public policy push–one which may do as much harm as good.
BUT WHY SHOULD ANY OF THAT MATTER TO THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY WHEN HE GOES TO TALK TO THE NATION’S STUDENTS? WHY WOULD SOUND SCIENCE, PERSONAL COURAGE, CRITICAL THINKING, AND THE ABILITY TO STAND UP AGAINST THE CROWD MATTER?

Silly me….I thought that the rational would play some part in this….

Justin P September 23, 2009 at 8:14 pm

National Geographic in summer 2008:

Arctic warming has become so dramatic that the North Pole may melt this summer, report scientists studying the effects of climate change in the field.

“We’re actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history],” David Barber, of the University of Manitoba, told National Geographic News aboard the C.C.G.S. Amundsen, a Canadian research icebreaker. …

But this summer’s forecast—and unusual early melting events all around the Arctic—serve as a dire warning of how quickly the polar regions are being affected by climate change.

National Geographic this week:

This year’s cooler-than-expected summer means the Arctic probably won’t experience ice-free summers until 2030 or 2040, scientists say.

Some models had previously predicted that the Arctic could be ice free in summer by as soon as 2013, due to rising temperatures from global warming.

Of course, if we question the “experts” we are heretics and are compared to Holocaust deniers…

So if you oppose the President on Healthcare, you are racist
If you oppose Climate “Change,” you are a Holocaust denier.

Anyone sensing a pattern here?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:44 pm

>>Anyone sensing a pattern here?<<

No, only a fascist, right-winger would see a pattern. [insert winking neocon..er. emoticon]

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:49 pm

RE: “Of course, if we question the “experts” we are heretics and are compared to Holocaust deniers…So if you oppose the President on Healthcare, you are racistIf you oppose Climate “Change,” you are a Holocaust denier.”Real science gets done by people who have researched this stuff and find climate change convincing, collaborating with people who are skeptical but don’t wet their pants every time Al Gore compares them to Holocaust deniers.Real policy making gets done by people who support health reform in collaboration with people who don’t support health reform but don’t wer their pants every time Carter calls them a racist.Don’t get paranoid or surprised when someone says something mean. It happens. Move on. If I got bitter and just complained on blogs for every time I was told I was “with the terrorists” in the last decade, I would have wasted a lot of time. I know this is a little ironic because I complain a lot about getting called a socialist on here (and I suppose perhaps too much). But it’s usually in the form “no – I’m really not a socialist… I’m just trying to discuss the implications of a carbon tax with you, can we bring the conversation back to that”. Or it’s a philosophical discussion about the nature of socialism, in which case it IS by definition productive to go on and on about it :)

Justin P September 23, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Do I sound paranoid? or surprised? I’m just mentioning something that is self-evident.

The arctic ice, that the model’s predicted would melt, haven’t. Science would and should chuck those model’s out the window, they failed. Yet, in the Climate Change debate, they aren’t. The debate is “over” remember? I actually agree with you and Chu, that the public is massively misinformed. I just happen to think it’s by design not accident.

“Real science gets done by people who have researched this stuff and find climate change convincing, collaborating with people who are skeptical but don’t wet their pants every time Al Gore compares them to Holocaust deniers.”
When does this happen? Can you please link me an instance where this has actually happened? If it’s not Holocaust deniers, it’s creationists, if it’s not creationists, it’s they are being bought by big oil. What I think you don’t understand Dan, is how prevalent that kind of debate is. I know we disagree on how big an influence the MoveOn, Huff Po, Kos types are in the Dem party. Go there and see the kinds of arguments being made. I do admit it happens on both sides though. This is the problem with modern science, it is no longer science. It’s politicized. When that happened, we just put another nail in the coffin.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 1:55 am

What the government funds will be politicized. And when the government funds something used to justify government power, you get a positive feedback loop.

The data are almost certainly accurate and conscientiously obtained by thoughtful scientists who know what they are doing. But that never stopped a bias from sending people down the road of foregone conclusions.

Justin P September 24, 2009 at 4:08 am

Everyone has their own biases. The big problem I see, is that by funding the scientists, the politicians can and do pick and choose which scientific theories they want to push.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 2:32 am

This is an “if the shoe fits, wear it” moment. If you’re not paranoid of the inevitable nasty comment that’s great. But then I wonder about that because you spend a paragraph talking about all the other nasty comments besides “Holocaust denier”.RE: “I know we disagree on how big an influence the MoveOn, Huff Po, Kos types are in the Dem party. Go there and see the kinds of arguments being made… This is the problem with modern science, it is no longer science. It’s politicized.”But the whole point is science isn’t done on the Huffington Post. When has a climatology journal criticized members of the field as being akin to holocaust deniers? I know you realize that there are right wing blogs that are just as vociferous. I know you realize this because you said it happens on both sides. Do you think climatologists working on climate change even read those or pay attention to them? Science isn’t really politicized. Politics is politicized. And sometimes political discussions raise the issue of climate change. But political blogs and forums don’t implicate a scientific consensus.*btw – you mention oil money. One of the major critics (McIntyre) of the the “hockey stick” is often accused of this. In this case, it’s highly apt I think. He was a director of a mining company through the controversy, and he was trained as a philosopher and an economist – not a geologist or climatologist. Even other critics of the “hockey stick” graph have refused to cite him because they don’t consider his critiques rigorous. It’s not implausible to assume that he’s bought and paid for. Insofar as the critique is leveled at others beside McIntyre, clearly they could be out of line and I’m not advocating the critique in general.

Justin P September 24, 2009 at 3:59 am

The Huff Po and the rest matter because that’s how the information get spread. They don’t report on new journal articles that might question their notion of AGW. Most of the newer research, that I have read, has been done about climate sensitivity. The whole notion of AGW rests upon the notion that climate is sensitive to CO2 and that their is a positive feedback loop. I’ve read a few article in Journal of Climate Science, usually in my vain attempt to use science to disprove the notion of AGW, that talk about having no positive feed back mechanism.
http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/monckton.cfm
The role of clouds have also been the subject of newer research into Global Climate…work done mainly by the likes on Linzen and Spencer. Unfortunately, in the current debate climate, if you mention Linzen or Spencer, the AGW crowd writes them off as “deniers” and refuses to acknowledge their findings. To most it doesn’t matter if they publish in peer reviewed journals, to the AGW crowd they are merely “creationists” and “Deniers.”

You mention McIntyre…and how some criticism of him is relevant, but then you have to admit that the AGW crowd has the same incentives and do the same thing to further the AGW theories.

It’s not paranoid to state fact Dan. Go to realclimate.com and see for yourself. The forums are filled with ad hominum. Most of it coming from the “consensus” side. I’d say about 80%. So it’s not just on the Huff Po, Kos type sites as well.

Mr Econotarian September 24, 2009 at 12:07 am

Tax carbon enough, and Americans will learn about reducing their carbon footprint overnight.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 12:12 am

Sure, if you want to destroy economic output overnight. Keep up the grand schemes!

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 6:27 am

“Sure, if you want to destroy economic output overnight.”

You might have missed it but that just happened… and not because of a carbon tax but because we let Wall Street play Milton Friedman Free Market economics.

You have a dead philosophy which you continue to stick by even though it requires you to be anti-science and to join the ranks of creationist level thinkers. You’re comfortable with that? Very very sad.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 6:13 am

yet another Dave
“I agree that many people on both sides do not understand the science. However, many do and we are still waiting to see proof of substantial AGW.”

First let me ask you to explain WHAT would be substantial proof. I love asking this because almost to a T no skeptic making the request for substantial proof has actually thought about what that would be because they are completely prepared to defend their ideology regardless of the proof. Antarctica could melt tomorrow and they’d reply , “well that happened 50 million years ago so it’s not so unusual is it now?”

So please tell us what would be substantial proof.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Dawkins called it “the fallacy of personal incredulity”

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm

WOW! Let’s just review the “debate” thus far:

• I have refuted many of your claims in several places on this thread (and others).
• You have not addressed those.
• I have pointed out how small the impact of human activity is on the greenhouse effect.
• You have not addressed that.
• I have pointed out that the geological history of the planet clearly demonstrates a stable system without positive feedback tipping points.
• You have not addressed that.
• Perhaps most significant of all, I have reminded you that the predictions of catastrophic AGW are based on analysis that ignores the role of clouds in the climate system, and clouds have a cooling effect.
• You have not addressed that.

So, to show some proof of substantial AGW you could start by addressing the many points and questions you’ve continued to dodge.

But instead, you’ve decided to stick with the dodge-the-question strategy using the tried and true demonize-your-opponent tactic (DTQ by DYO). In this latest installation you try to lump me in with those whose opinions are based on dogma and ideology, evidently without realizing that you appear to base your belief on just those things. Might you be projecting?

From comments you’ve made I think it’s a safe conclusion that I have a much better understanding of science than you. I assure you I’m not being even slightly dogmatic on the issue – I’m doing my part to keep the politics out of the science. So stop the ad hominems or admit you have no argument.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 6:22 am

SUBSTANTIAL PROOF:

So you have retreating glaciers exposing non woody herbaceous vegetation that has been covered for 6,500 years.

http://www.terradaily.com/news/climate-05zzzzr.html

“For the third time in as many years, glaciologist Lonnie Thompson has returned from an Andean ice field in Peru with samples from beds of ancient plants exposed for the first time in perhaps as much as 6,500 years.”

This is NOT an isolated finding. World wide the evidence suggest glaciers have retreated pst points they’ve not been in as long as 3,000 to 7,000 years. And they are still retreating.

http://www.livescience.com/environment/071030-tree-stumps.html

The findings have obvious implications and are clear evidence that the warming is anomalous and severe. It would be remarkable serendipity that such occurrences have just happened 20 years after Dr. Hansen spoke of the dangers before congress. WOW what a lucky guess. OR IT COULD BE SOMETHING CALLED THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD.

http://antarcticsun.usap.gov/antarcticsun/science/images/thompson_graphic.jpg

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 7:16 am

Repeating muirpidities again?What caused them to be revealed 6500 years ago? A warmer planet than say, existed for the past 6500 years?I know! I know! Eeeeeeeeeevil Republicans invented a time machine to go back 6500 years and foul the planet with carbon-spewing junkets to Denali, while claiming that carbon-spewing junkets to Denali were poisoning the planet… No. Wait! That’s happening now, and the hypocrite doing all of these things is our own Dear Ducktor: Cardinal Yasafi Torquemuirduck of the Church of AGW (which is headed by His Holiness: The Divine Prophet Algore I).

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 1:13 pm

brotio
“Repeating muirpidities again?

What caused them to be revealed 6500 years ago? A warmer planet than say, existed for the past 6500 years?”

You call it a mupidity but think about your reply.

The question before us is weather humans are causing unusual degrees of climate change. NOT as you need it to be or what you THINK (if it can be called thinking) it should be… that being “… UNmmm ..errr..uhhh,,daaaaayy…. Are humans making the planet warmer then its ever ever ever ever ever ever been ever.” Child!… I mean teenager!

Civilization has existed for only about 7,000 years. The current temperature appears to be the warmest in at least 4 to 5000 years and it ain’t even close to being done warming.

Your reply can only be shear stupidity or overt intellectual dishonesty. Either possibility makes you look really pathetic and in no way deserving of the title of a freethinker. You have a ball and change.

By your logic if the Earth heated up into molten lava you’d make the same argument to hold your position… that 4.5 billion years ago the Earth was also molten lava. Then you would say ” I know! I know! Eeeeeeeeeevil Republicans invented a time machine to go back 4.5 BILLION years…” So by your irrationality… as I said two post ago NO DEGREE of proof will validate the truth when some one has a base ideology that needs protection. You are a sad comment on the possible failures and imperfections and defects of the human brain.

Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 4:59 am

Those plants grew 6500 years ago, and were then covered by glaciers. YOU wrote that. You act as if 6000 years is a long time, geologically.

If Mother Gaia was that warm 6500 years ago, what caused the globe to cool to the point that glaciers covered these plants for 6500 years? Why was the globe warm enough for those glaciers to recede 6500 years ago? It was colder 12,000 years ago than it was 6500 years ago. Why? (Please note that twelve-thousand is a bigger number than six-thousand.)

It’s been both warmer and colder on this planet than it is now. Why? It’s been both warmer and colder on this planet than it was 6500 years ago. Why?

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 1:23 pm

I clicked the “You liked this” button for this post. It’s so dumb I found it funny and I like funny things.

MWG September 24, 2009 at 3:09 pm

You think that’s funny? Go back and reread some of your posts.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 7:55 pm

I KNOW RIGHT? I am a riot sometimes. I mean I crack me up all the time.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm

You’re still thinking this is some kind of proof? How did those plants magically get under those galciers? Did little Algorian gnomes sprinkle pixie dust on the glacier so they’d form plants underneath?? (Hint: that location was considerably warmer than it is now for at least long enough for plants to grow there before any human industrialization ever happened.)

How does that “prove” AGW? All this demonstrates it what absolutely nobody disagrees with – the planet has warmed lately. Duh!

(Please add that to the list of questions above.)

Are you really not able to understand that this kind of thing undermines your position????

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 7:57 pm

So evidence that it is warming and warming significantly undermines my claim that it is warming?

OK yep I can’t argue with that logic.

Cognitive dissonance is a truly amazing thing!

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 9:03 pm

YASAFI

You’re claiming that human activity is causing the warming. If all you were claiming is that it’s warming you’d have no disagreement here.

You should be embarassed by that post, but I doubt you will.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Not at all. The warming is way off from normal and the major change is CO2 levels that are higher then they have been in more then 400,000 years. Nothing else explains this warming.

It all fits… it’s all pretty straight forward.

Do you understand that when Dr Hansen stood before congress and warned of major man made warming many of these findings of 4,000 year old vegetation HAD NOT EXISTED or been discovered.

Isn’t it a little likely more then a coincidence these discoveries are recent and happened only after the claim was made.

Now if no such finding were available, if the surface data showed cooling or even no warming then I’d be embarrassed to be pushing claims of man made climate change.

But you guys push claims that are just as proposperous. You claim the warming is natural when there is no evidence to support it and a huge CO2 elephant sitting in the room to explain the man made hypothesis.

You guys simply do not want the truth. It’s very clear..the truth… but you can’t handle the truth. Kicking and screaming and denying and throwing tantrums and being illogical like some of the 2 year olds I see here everyday. It’s pathetic.

You really are creationist equivalents and there is just no way for you to see it. Very sad.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 9:47 am

muirgeo:”You might have missed it but that just happened… and not because of a carbon tax but because we let Wall Street play Milton Friedman Free Market economics.”There is something to be said about consistency; consistency in being wrong.As for global warming…http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/science/earth
http://www.globalwarming.org/2009/09/22/state-by-state-selling-the-lie/

Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 2:46 am

We have a radical administration in dc these days that have an agenda for which they are intent on moving forward no matter what. Unfortunately their views are not only anti-thetical to what America stands for, they will destroy this country. If Sec Chu thinks his approach such as cap and trade will spark an economic rebound, he has an arguement to make that has not yet been made. Fixing our economy and crafting an energy policy to bring us back to prosperity is quite doable but it is not Sec Chu’s way or intent.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Who, exactly?

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm

RE: “Changes attributed to anthropogenic CO2 are dependent 100% on computer models.”

FORECASTS attributed to anthropogenic CO2 are dependent on computer models, as are the forecasts discussed in your article that are based on expected future sunspot activity. But past relationships to CO2 are as based on observation as past relationships to sunspots (and my understanding is our CO2 record goes back considerably longer). Some very interesting findings about sunspots (that deserve more respect than muirgeo gives them) doesn’t close the book on other findings.

BoscoH September 22, 2009 at 11:42 pm

The big problem of course is that sun spot activity cannot be used as an excuse for taxes, regulations, and other government controls.

You’re just not very creative JohnK. We could tax sun spots and volcanos. Hell, we made sure no child was ever left behind by instituting testing, we can do anything our legislators set their minds to!

Methinks September 22, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Huh. When I treat you like the children you remind me of, you seem to take offense.

Weird how you find an insult lurking in every statement.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 7:02 pm

DK,

I’ll have to give you this, you are a master of mental gymnastics. So, “The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act,” Dr. Chu said. “The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.” isn’t clear to you? The metaphor is about as subtle as a sledgehammer. Are you accusing Talley of misquoting? This is not, by the way, the first time that Chu has spoken his mind. It’s exactly how he feels. And that a White House spokesman had to re-word Chu’s statement speaks for itself doesn’t it?

Oh, and the comparison to the mis-use of “racism” is just bizarre.

JohnK September 22, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Sometimes I think your mind is so open that your brain fell out of your head.

matt September 22, 2009 at 7:34 pm

lmao, john.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 10:44 am

Huh? Look, I’m not a climatologist. Is it being too open minded to say “wow – several scientists in this article agree sunspots play a role. and I think I’ve read something about this elsewhere too. it seems reasonable, so there’s no reason to knee-jerkingly reject it. i’ll agree with the scientist in this very article who said that sunspots contribute along with many other factors”.

I suppose “so open that your brain fell out” is sort of a compliment. I certainly wouldn’t want to dismiss reasonable sounding results simply because… why… because they don’t solely implicate human beings??? I’m not sure why that’s a valid standard. Just like I’m not sure why rejecting research simply because it implicates human beings is valid either.

Now – obviously this is out of my field. When I know something better I’m less open minded and more skeptical.

Sam Grove September 22, 2009 at 8:52 pm

What is “capitalism”? Whatever we’ve been having that you call “capitalism” certainly hasn’t been working very well, not for many decades. But what has that to do with what I support?

Of course the globe has been warming for quite some time. That’s what happens when ice ages end.

But we are not speaking of warming or cooling, that is, climate CHANGE.

Still waiting to hear of the discovery of the data signature that will lend any credence to the anthropogenic contribution.

Hmmm. That just hasn’t happened yet.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:39 am

If a muirduck flaps its wings and quacks in a forest and there is no one there to hear it, does the duck still have a brain?

No. Because the duck is socialist and operates on scripture not reason.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 10:01 pm

First off, your blog is crap. Secondly, I’d like you to evaluate the following information for my teenaged mind to comprehend; treat me as though I am one of your young patients and want to know why your previous attempts to heal [educate] me haven’t been successful. Here goes, muirgeo:Neogene CO2 level 280 ppm (1 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 14CPaleogene CO2 level 500 ppm (2 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 18CCretaceous CO2 level 1700 ppm (6 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 18CJurassic CO2 level 1950 ppm (7 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 16.5CTriassic CO2 level 1750 ppm (6 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 17CPermian CO2 level 900 ppm (3 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 16CCarboniferous CO2 level 800 ppm (3 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 14CDevonian CO2 level 2200 ppm (8 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 20CSilurian CO2 level 4500 ppm (17 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 17COrdovician CO2 level 4200 ppm (16 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 16CCambrian CO2 level 4500 ppm (16 x preindustrial level) mean surface temp 21CExplain what’s happened to the climate and how mankind has been responsible for this. That’s all. No more and no less.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Seth,

Who needs a model. The fact is that humans have increased the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere to levels higher then they have been in at least 400,000 years and likely 3-5 million years.

You may fear nerds with models but I fear people who believe we have a right to roll the dice with the future. And any cursory understanding of the climate system suggest greenhouse gases are hugely important regulators of climate.

And we haven’t even talked of the acidification of theoceans and the potential collapse that could result in.

Are you educated enough and informed enough to claim these changes are worth the chance or not worth our bother to respond? What gives you / us the right to even potentially impact the liberties of people yet unborn?

Hubris indeed!

If so that is a short sided, lazy and self centered position to be in.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 10:18 pm

You confuse the need for more evidence with your ignorance of what already exist. Creationist make the same argument as you do i support of their dogma.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 10:47 am

We have causal mechanisms for understanding why CO2 changes climate.

Once you have that, what’s the difference between anthropogenic CO2 and non-anthropogenic CO2. Insofar as the CO2 spike is anthropogenic, the change resulting from that spike is anthropogenic. Nobody just points to a CO2 line and a temperature line and says “gee – look, they move together – case closed”. We also know how CO2 impacts climate. And as muirgeo highlighted, the point is it’s not the only factor.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 11:10 pm

LCJ,

Thanks for that info.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 10:34 am

Do you know how current CO2 levels compare to the preindustrial level?One of the problems with looking at these geographic ages is that we don’t know the reaction times or the other factors that were in play – we only have two variables here. I really doubt we have anything in the past to compare this too. Even if the Silurian period it was 17 times the preindustrial level, did the CO2 ramp up as quickly as it did now? Do we have an example of it ramping up this quickly? That’s the uncertainty we’re stuck with. Besides, simply (1.) identifying a relationship between CO2 and climate, and (2.) showing that it used to be a lot warmer at a previous time, doesn’t suggest (1.) that we aren’t causing the change now, and (2.) that we’ll enjoy the same temperatures that dinosaurs and ferns enjoyed! I never get this “oh – the Earth has been a lot warmer before!” argument. So! I’m pretty happy with the band of temperature it is now. The fact that it was even warmer than this several million years ago is small consolation :) I know that all goes beyond what you’ve written – just some thoughts. Thanks for the data.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Those time frames have nothing to do with human climate change except they do show us is that CO2 is climate modulator of significant degrees.

No one on the side claiming anthropogenic changes is denying natural changes. WE just understand that the current changes are NOT explainable by natural variation. We also understand human related climate forcing is large compared to natural changes that have occurred during human civilization

We also look at all the data you cite and us it to understand climate sensitivity. Looking at that data tells us how much changes in factors like glaciation, greenhouse gases, plate tectonics, and solar radiation effect global mean temperature.

You citing the data is an attempt to imply I/we are not the ones looking at natural variation. When in fact your very attempt at citing it in such a fashion reveals it is YOU who cares not about natural variation.

Obviously you want to ask why it wasn’t a lot warmer in past times of much higher CO2 concentration. What now YOU want to ignore solar effects? Of course you do…. because that’s one way to get the data to support your pre-drawn conclusion.

I don’t have to do that because it is clear way back that a weaker solar output explains the less then expected warmth of those increase CO2 levels.

You can’t argue against the spectrophotometric properties of the CO2 molecule and of other greenhouse gases.

As they go up in concentration the Earth WILL warm. Trying to nullify this basic physical fact of nature shows an attempt on your part to conform reality to YOUR belief system… you won’t win.

The big question is how much will the warming be and what are the feedback effects. The evidence suggest the warming could and likely already is much greater then anything human civilization and possibly our recently prior evolved ancestors have lived and survived in from natural variation.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 11:43 pm

So in other words, you’re saying you have no proof whatsoever, but the possibilities are really, really, really scary so we just can’t afford to take that chance.

Anonymous September 22, 2009 at 11:47 pm

> What gives you / us the right to even potentially impact the liberties of people yet unborn?

Umm, you’re the one proposing sacrificing the liberties of people yet unborn (as well as those already born).

Did you mean “lifestyle” or “wealth”? Those are not the same thing as “liberties”.

So when are you abandonning your carbon-intensive lifestyle?

Justin P September 23, 2009 at 8:45 pm

There is one thing you can do to help fight Climate Change Muir….turn off your computer…you know how much energy goes into you commenting here?
If you really believed what you were saying, you wouldn’t be on the internet.
Of course, that would be like Al Gore turning off his lights for the Lights Out day….it’s never going to happen because you say one thing, then do another….what does that make you?

Sam Grove September 23, 2009 at 3:37 am

You confuse the need for more evidence with your ignorance of what already exist.

This is pure presumption on your part as you have no knowledge of what he knows.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm

I take this post as a concession that you have nothing substantive to say.

I have asked you before to show me the evidence that proves catastrophic AGW. Your answer boiled down to we have no proof, but the possibilities are really, really, really scary, so we cannot afford to take any chances.

So I ask again – what is this existing evidence I’m ignorant of?

Justin P September 23, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Is that the bulk of your debate skills?
No logical argument so you compare Dave with a creationist?
You really need to get a job with Obama’s Administration, you’d fit right in.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 4:19 am

Yasafi, for one.

Have you seen his anti-Asian rants?

Justin P September 23, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Anyone who doesn’t agree with Muir of course…duh!

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 4:29 am

So when are you abandoning your carbon-intensive lifestyle?

Probably when the little hypocrite is too crippled to hike in Denali.

He is Cardinal Yasafi Torquemuirduck of The Church of AGW (which is headed by His Holiness: The Divine Prophet Algore I), and he is healthy and rich enough to foul the planet with his carbon-spewing junkets to the far reaches of the globe, so Mother Gaia is just going to have to absorb the blows.

But it’s different when you foul the atmosphere with carbon-spewing junkets, because Torquemuirduck really cares!

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 10:23 am

RE: “Umm, you’re the one proposing sacrificing the liberties of people yet unborn (as well as those already born).”

Perhaps he is, but he’s right that this is the nature of externalities. People who ignore externalities feel free to pat themselves on the back about how they don’t violate anyone else’s liberties – without realizing that in acts of free exchange they impose uncompensated costs on people without their consent.

At least people born today have the prospect of doing something to address these imposed costs. We have a fighting chance at internalizing the costs. Future generations have no such chance – and yes, it most certainly is an imposition on their liberty. I know this makes the whole libertarian schtick a lot harder to implement, but you know – life is hard and complicated. Ignoring these issues in the interest of promoting a more concise libertariainism doesn’t do anything for the liberties of future generations.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 10:49 am

How many times have you posted this?!?!?!

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 5:40 am

What a teenager!

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 11:09 am

>>Do you know how current CO2 levels compare to the preindustrial level?
<<

Pre-indutrial levels of CO2 are thought to have been anywhere from 260 ppm to 290 ppm

>>Besides, simply (1.) identifying a relationship between CO2 and climate, and (2.) showing that it used to be a lot warmer at a previous time, doesn’t suggest (1.) that we aren’t causing the change now, and (2.) that we’ll enjoy the same temperatures that dinosaurs and ferns enjoyed! I never get this “oh – the Earth has been a lot warmer before!” argument.<<

Well, it sure the hell does not suggest that mankind is the cause now, does it? It would take much hubris to conclude that rising CO2 levels and mean temp changes are ascribed to the activities of mankind when extreme changes in both had occured while we were not on the scene. Any reasonable person should conclude that the ‘anthropogenic’ in AGW is suspect at best for this reason.

>>I never get this “oh – the Earth has been a lot warmer before!” argument [before mankind came to be].<<

So, nautrally, it's still fairly easy to see why the Earth's climate is something we have a significant influenece on, right?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 11:17 am

Do you think that scientists who believe we’re the cause of the CO2 spikes — whatever there reasons — arew going to be honest about how much new CO2 is from us and how much is naturally occuring from Earth’s own cyclical activities? Too much money, too much politics, and too much ideology is at stake to believe much of anything in this argument; hell, it’s not even debatable any longer — those that disagree are in denial because the science is settled.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm

The impact of CO2 on climate is greatly exaggerated by some. CO2 absorbs energy at specific wavelengths. It is a logarithmic effect – once all the energy at those wavelengths is absorbed, no further absorption occurs with additional CO2. As the CO2 concentration moves up the log curve, additional CO2 has progressively less effect such that even a 10x increase would have very little impact. This is incompatible with the tipping point runaway argument alarmists use.

Of course CO2 is CO2 whether from animal respiration or burning coal. I haven’t seen updated data for a while, but a while back the estimate was human CO2 contribution was something less that 10% of global CO2 production. Add that to the logarithmic properties of CO2 absorption, and throw in the fact that CO2 is a fairly minor greenhouse gas (water vapor accounts for most of the greenhouse effect), and you just can’t support a conclusion of CO2 driven catastrophic AGW. The science just isn’t there.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 12:54 pm

RE: ” It would take much hubris to conclude that rising CO2 levels and mean temp changes are ascribed to the activities of mankind when extreme changes in both had occured while we were not on the scene.”You’re personalizing this way too much. Nobody has ever argued that humans are NECESSARY to warm the planet. Nobody has argued it hasn’t warmed before. The argument is that the pre-human past shows a relationship between CO2 and temperature. Human produced CO2 isn’t special, LCJ, so if humans pump CO2 from 260-290ppm to 385ppm in a single century, with CO2 levels only projected to go up from there, we shouldn’t expect that sharp spike to behave any differently from previous variations in CO2 levels before humans. It would take much hubris to assume that the relationship breaks down when humans do it as opposed to when volcanoes do it. We’re not special, LCJ. Humans don’t get a free pass on the laws of physics and chemistry.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:39 pm

” It would take much hubris to conclude that rising CO2 levels and mean temp changes are ascribed to the activities of mankind when extreme changes in both had occured while we were not on the scene.”

This is a claim NO serious scientist supports. We burn tons of carbon why would you NOT expect the levels to go up.

Because old carbon ( fossil fuels carbon) has no C14 (radioactive carbon) the rations of C12 to C14 can be used to confirm that the recent increases ARE do to massive burning of fossil fuels and locked up carbon by humans.

MUCH HUBRIS…. exactly LCJ… exactly.

You’ve totally lost the debate right here on this major point. You’ve shown the logic exactly as that of a TEENAGER. You did what teenagers do… you made an assertive presumed logically statement without understand the facts that is so clearly wrong you look foolish to any reasonable adult.

Sorry to be harsh but I have no tolerance for ignorance passing as informed reasoned discussion.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Generally speaking, if people raise counterarguments rather than accusing scientists of benefiting politically and financially from their findings, I think they usually get a fair hearing. You don’t think an empirically valid proof against climate change wouldn’t be a hot commodity in a journal????

Your argument is “scientists aren’t going to be honest about what is going on with CO2″. That’s a personal argument. That’s not a scientific case against climate change.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I have no idea if he’s a right winger or not. Did I ever claim he was?If reporters don’t put quotations around a statement, they’re paraphrasing. And the paraphrasing is usually fine – but you still shouldn’t attribute the words themselves to the subject. Journalists can’t repeat someone verbatim in their own text – that’s plagiarism, vidyohs. Besides, even if it weren’t plagiarism they have no incentive to. The statement is more powerful if it’s possible to put it in quotes – that leaves no ambiguity that Chu said it. If Talley COULD ethically put it in quotes, why wouldn’t he?You’re grasping at straws here, vidyohs. I’m sure there’s a lot in what Chu actually said for you to gripe about without misattributing other things to him.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:26 pm

>>You’re personalizing this way too much. <>…so if humans pump CO2 from 260-290ppm to 385ppm in a single century…<<

And we can trust that this approximate 100 ppm bump in CO2 is our doing and not something the Earth was doing the bulk of? See, it's stuff like this that makes me think that this:

“Nobody has ever argued that humans are NECESSARY to warm the planet.”

…is something I should responsd to by writing: “Don’t be so sure that there isn’t somebody out there [in every sense of the phrase] that’s arguing just that!”

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Just to recap:

LCJ: looks for data during the entire geological period minus the Precambrian and then posts it.

DK: writes, among other things that, “…showing that it used to be a lot warmer at a previous time, doesn’t suggest (1.) that we aren’t causing the change now…”

LCJ: “It would take much hubris to conclude that rising CO2 levels and mean temp changes are ascribed to the activities of mankind when extreme changes in both had occured while we were not on the scene”

DK: “Nobody has ever argued that humans are NECESSARY to warm the planet. Nobody has argued it hasn’t warmed before.”

LCJ: “Don’t be so sure that there isn’t somebody out there [in every sense of the phrase] that’s arguing just that!”

Village Idiot: in respone to LCJ’s “It would take much hubris to conclude that rising CO2 levels and mean temp changes are ascribed to the activities of mankind when extreme changes in both had occured while we were not on the scene”

This is a claim NO serious scientist supports. We burn tons of carbon why would you NOT expect the levels to go up…You’ve totally lost the debate right here on this major point. You’ve shown the logic exactly as that of a TEENAGER. You did what teenagers do… you made an assertive presumed logically statement without understand the facts that is so clearly wrong you look foolish to any reasonable adult…Sorry to be harsh but I have no tolerance for ignorance passing as informed reasoned discussion.

LCJ to Village Idiot before the exchanges above even took place: “No one is denying that the climate changes, muirgeo. They’re instead denying that mankind’s activities are the cause of the climate change. We’ve been over his topic nearly a dozen times and yet you still persist with it, each time writing something idiotic — like you did above — only to have to moderate your views to save just a little face…Could you just stay moderate for a change without going all kook on us and infecting the blog?”

I guess I got my answer.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:32 pm

>>Generally speaking, if people raise counterarguments rather than accusing scientists of benefiting politically and financially from their findings, I think they usually get a fair hearing.<<

Well, yeah, they get a fair hearing but only in those publications and informative distribution outlets (e.g. mainstream media) who are simpathetic to the point-of-view or who haven't already closed their minds to this being settled science.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm

RE: “…is something I should responsd to by writing: “Don’t be so sure that there isn’t somebody out there [in every sense of the phrase] that’s arguing just that!”"

Touche, and granted. I should have written “the climate change argument in no way shape or form depends on this argument, nor is it often made, and when it is made it is made mistakenly.”

RE: “And we can trust that this approximate 100 ppm bump in CO2 is our doing and not something the Earth was doing the bulk of?”

I’m not qualified to say what portion of it is attributable. But we have an industrial revolution that is defined by digging up millenia of captured carbon and releasing it into the atmosphere. I think it would be foolhardy to suggest that anything less than a significant portion of this increase is attributable to human activity. And it’s not like we don’t know how much CO2 is released during different activities, or how common these activities have been over the last century. I’m sure someone could tell you roughly what portion is attributable to man. But what else would you think would be the case? That we haven’t made a dent?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Humans are special animals. We’re not like beavers or bison or lions. It doesn’t take hubris to acknowledge that we are uniquely capable of extracting and dispersing millions of tons of carbon. The Earth does that naturally too, but the Earth achieved an equilibrium in that process long before we evolved into our present state. We may be insignificant next to the Earth’s processes, but the point is we’re big enough to be disequilibrating.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Oh – no actually I’d disagree with that. Anyone that doesn’t buy climate change can get coverage by the mainstream media. They like to pretend that each side is deserving of the same attention. So you get a group of people commenting 50/50 for evolution/creation, you get 50/50 split on climate change/no climate change, etc.. Hell – you get a 50/50 split on the stimulus package, even if that’s not how the numbers actually break out on any of these issues. I think mainstream media is your BEST shot, particularly if you make ideological accusations against your opponents.

I was refering to things like climatology journals, though, not the MSM. If you have credible empirical work opposed to climate change, I’m sure that’s welcome in journals. Scientists love skeptics – as long as it’s valid, rigorous work.

JohnK September 23, 2009 at 2:00 pm

“WE just understand that the current changes are NOT explainable by natural variation.”

You start with the presumption that industry is evil, that profit is evil, that big oil is evil, that big coal is evil, so all that evil must be hurting our poor planet.
So “science” (I put it in quotes because true science does not discard anything that may prove the conclusion wrong) and computer models are reverse engineered to point to evil human activity as the cause of climate change.
It would be humorous if it was not being used by arrogant politicians to have an excuse to control our lives, and if there didn’t exist pathetic fools like yourself who are begging to be enslaved.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 4:50 pm

>>No one on the side claiming anthropogenic changes is denying natural changes. WE just understand that the current changes are NOT explainable by natural variation. <>We also understand human related climate forcing is large compared to natural changes that have occurred during human civilization<>Obviously you want to ask why it wasn’t a lot warmer in past times of much higher CO2 concentration. What now YOU want to ignore solar effects?<>Looking at that data tells us how much changes in factors like glaciation, greenhouse gases, plate tectonics, and solar radiation effect global mean temperature.<<

Why does it not surprise me that you think that glaciation would be one of the causes in affecting global mean temperatures?

>>You citing the data is an attempt to imply I/we are not the ones looking at natural variation. When in fact your very attempt at citing it in such a fashion reveals it is YOU who cares not about natural variation.<>The evidence suggest the warming could and likely already is much greater then anything human civilization and possibly our recently prior evolved ancestors have lived and survived in from natural variation.<<

Wont we just adapt and evolve further?

JohnK September 23, 2009 at 2:01 pm

“I hit a Walk-off homerun”

Don’t you mean you hit a Walk-off ad hominem?

JohnK September 23, 2009 at 2:01 pm

“I hit a Walk-off homerun”

Don’t you mean you hit a Walk-off ad hominem?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 5:00 pm

A walk-off homerun? Maybe in Bizarro World. It looked like a sulk-off foul tip into the catcher’s mitt for strike three. But such as it is with your misreads of reality — that you’d mistake your side of the board for mine in your lame chess analogy. And when I picture you writing the word ‘float’ the only thing that comes to my mind is your arguments sitting in the toilet bowl. I’m done if you’re not sane enough stay checked-into reality. Discuss with someone else who hasn’t had all their patience sapped.

Sam Grove September 23, 2009 at 2:54 pm

So what are the costs of the damages>
Are there no benefits from increased CO2 levels, such as higher crop yields?

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 2:52 am

Taking temperature readings of water is science? Sounds like data collection to me. Like the water everywhere is always the same temperature and any deviation is proof that “man caused change is happening”? I got news for you, slick. Next time you take temperature readings from a boat, try taking one with the thermometer six inches under the surface, then take the next hanging the thermometer from a string and take the temp at 50 feet in depth if possible, and then tell me the warmer temp is caused by man.

But deviation in water temps means man caused global warming and that is proof.

You didn’t answer my question about damage being done, or even adequately address the question of what the cause is.

I don’t trust your squirrelly envirowhackos either. And, yes lots of scientists will sell out to government driven by envirowhackos in order to roll in the grant gravy train. Like that is a surprise to anyone.

I don’t know, maybe we did land on the moon, I’ll check it out. But, granting we did, I bet man caused a total ecological disaster there as well.

Where the fuck do you people put your brains when you aren’t playing marbles with them?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 3:10 pm

RE: ” haven’t seen updated data for a while, but a while back the estimate was human CO2 contribution was something less that 10% of global CO2 production.”

CO2 production is only half the equation. OK, let’s say it’s 10%. So let’s say 100 units of CO2 are produced in a year – 90 from the earth, 10 from humans. Let’s assume that most of this human contribution is new – let’s say before 1800 we only contributed 1 unity. Let’s further assume some sort of equilibrium was in place before the industrial revolution. So 91 units were produced a year before 1800, and in equilibrium 91 units were reabsorbed/dispersed so that the ppm in the atmosphere stayed relatively constant. If we suddenly produce 10 units – that’s going to be the lion’s share of the spike.

In other words, it’s entirely consistent to say “we make up 10 percent of CO2 production” and “we make up 90 percent of the spike in the last century”. A small contribution to gross production can be consistent with a large contribution to a net change. That’s my “tipping point” point. I’m not qualified to say what the impact of that is, but it doesn’t take enormous changes to significantly impact human society.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 3:29 pm

So did I come out of this with clean bill of rhetorical health? I can’t tell :)

The fact that I was not refered to as “the village idiot” leaves me hopeful!

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm

It’s logarithmic, not linear! 10% more CO2 does not create 10% more warming. That reality of physics refutes your statement.

Alexei September 23, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Daniel, I think he’s saying that because Chu is making these statements in the context of the Administration pushing its climate change policy. So what’s left to educate about? Why the policy needs to pass Congress and why it’s right, that’s what. There’s no intent to open up for a dialogue on this matter. This “education tour” is a sales pitch for a policy decisiion that’s already been made, nothing more. If you think they’ll be “educating” people on the flaws in their policy, or the impossibility of it getting the results they claim, you’re fooling yourself.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 3:40 pm

lol – are you serious? I didn’t say a word about temperature change. I know the definition of logarithimic, thank you. I specifically said I’m not qualified to say what the temperature impact is.

My point was that your “10% of production of CO2″ says NOTHING about the human contribution to the spike in CO2. Presumably the system is in some sort of rough equilibrium. Our contribution to gross production is meaningless when the system is in equilibrium. What is important is our contribution to the marginal change in production, which I’d suspect is considerably higher than 10%.

How that contributes to temperature change is above my pay grade – I never made any assumptions about that, linear or logarithmic. And my instinct was to trust you on the log relationship.

Alexei September 23, 2009 at 3:48 pm

The thing is, the proposed “solutions” to the issue won’t actually solve anything. Cap and Trade, like Kyoto, will completely fail to curb emissions because it’s based on an impossible premise. With technology that currently exists, you CAN’T reduce CO2 emissions and also have a growing economy. So pick one or the other. If Europe and the other Kyoto signatories are any indication, people will continue to pick economic growth (though their growth probably isn’t as good as it would have been had they not signed on to Kyoto….even though they’ve never met their goals.. The ONLY way to reduce CO2 without impoverishing the world is through technological development. That won’t happen without economic growth. And it won’t happen until the natural development of the marketplace makes those new technologies less expensive that fossil fuels. Cap and Trade will artificially make fossil fuels more expensive, but it will also curb economic growth at the same time, so it can’t work.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 3:56 pm

What does it really matter who I label as what? I’m just another opinionated guy on the internet trying to infuence/impress those who are open to what I have to write. What should matter — if you consider yourself as a member of this community — is what the other readers/commentors think.At least you’re willing to debate in a reasonable manner and have somewhat of a give and take. Now, whatever reason why you choose to come here and take the contrary point-of-view on most topics is an entirely different matter.As for who I name the Village Idiot; I know it’s not all that nice but his behavior [no sign of comprehension, no sign of learning, not remembering past discussions, refusing to stick around until completion, etc.] for the last three years has warranted at least some kind of ad hominem directed at this sad hominid.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 3:58 pm

I couldn’t agree more. I wouldn’t entirely throw out a tax. We could implement a carbon tax and then rebate all the revenue so that it provides an incentive to move away from carbon with no net tax burden. But all in all I agree completely – the solution is technological development and initiatives like Kyoto risk blunting the very opportunity for a solution.

That doesn’t mean we should be satisfied with a crappy price mechanism. It just means that the solution to a crappy price mechanism shouldn’t be draconian, fiat cuts to our quality of life.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 4:03 pm

RE: “Now, whatever reason why you choose to come here and take the contrary point-of-view on most topics is an entirely different matter.”Do I? Of the ten most recent posts that are on the blogroll now, I think I’ve commented on four or five of them, and from what I can remember this is the only one of those four or five that I’ve taken a contrary position. In the others I’ve agreed with the hosts. And many I haven’t commented on – the recent tire tariffs post, for example – I agree with the hosts on as well.I agree quite a bit on here. It’s just usually lost in a sea of agreement so you don’t notice those posts. You only notice the times that I disagree. Or I write one sentence that qualifies my agreement and that gets a lot of attention and further discussion despite the fact that I had a paragraph on why I agree. But if you follow my responses to most posts on here, I’m very often in agreement (not that I’m ashamed to disagree vigorously either!)

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm

I erased my first post because I had not seen your reply to the earlier question I posted to you. After seeing it, much of it no longer applied.

>>Sorry to be harsh but I have no tolerance for ignorance passing as informed reasoned discussion.<<

Is this the reason why you visit other people's blogs while shunning your own? Just sayin'!

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 5:05 pm

I think I misunderstood what you said earlier, thanks for the clarification. Your statement, “Our contribution to gross production is meaningless when the system is in equilibrium” seems to assume that the will be unable to regain equilibrium because of that change. I don’t think of the system as being in equilibrium. It is extremely dynamic and continuously changing as a result of many variables, lots of which are very poorly understood. Fortunately, long term data does not support the concept of a “tripping point” of positive feedback so I don’t see why human contribution to the marginal change in CO2 production is what’s important.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Sure it’s dynamic – but maintains a rough equilibrium of a couple hundred ppm. We put out significantly more than that, and yet that couple hundred ppm changes only gradually. “Equilibrium” seems like an apt term for that, although it’s a dynamic system.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Hence my “if”. It’s always going to be a debate, but a lot of people are confident about this. I don’t think we should just jump in, but I equally don’t think a small community of dissenters should hold up decisions. Presuming you know oil is priced approrpiately is as hubristic and anti-Hayekian as presuming you know it isn’t. What Hayek demonstrated was that the market uses information efficiently when the information is there. I don’t think he made any assumptions about whether there is an adequate amount of information out there for a the market to use. If it’s not there I don’t see how Hayek decisively chooses sides on either side of the question. So we should proceed knowing that it’s never certain, and that we should be cautious.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 6:58 pm

It was on Fox and WSJ – that sounds pretty mainstream to me. But Fox, like everyone else didn’t have reporters there – they pulled it from this Ian Talley article, which vaguely talks about it being said “on the sidelines of the smart-grid conference”.

If this was just something that Talley overheard it’s not surprising that it wasn’t widely reported on (particularly considering how benign the comment was… unless if course you’re uber-politically correct). Either way – even if you don’t find it to be benign, I’m not sure how Fox and the WSJ aren’t “mainstream”.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Sorry – looks like it was Hannity’s blog. Not sure if that means it was broadcast on Fox or not.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Like it or not, WSJ/FNC are not mainstream. ABC/CNN/CBS/NBC – those are mainstream and they did not report it. Also they did not report about Van Jones or ACORN sting either.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 7:21 pm

In what universe is Fox and WSJ not mainstream? Do you just mean they differ somewhat from the other mainstream media sources?

Other channels and newspapers certainly reported on ACORN. They didn’t break the story (I’m sure they would have loved to break it), but they reported on it. Which of those networks that you list do you suppose DIDN’T report on ACORN? I can give you clips from every single one. It’s commendable that Fox broke the story (I imagine they were given the exclusive by the teenage duo that taped it) but Fox has also been irresponsible in checking on other facets of this very same story – namely, the story where the ACORN employee said she killed her husband. Turns out she didn’t.

I’m not sure how broadly the van Jones thing was reported. I was personally glad to see him leave. I don’t think the fact that the other networks didn’t see van Jones as being as newsworthy as Glenn Beck did necessarily means they were derelict in their duty. It just means Beck has a very… well… unique understanding of what is newsworthy.

Either way – Fox and WSJ not mainstream? Get real.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 4:12 am

Mike Rosen, a Denver radio host refers to ABC, CBS, NBC, New York Times, etc. as the dominant liberal media, because he thinks that referring to them as mainstream gives the inaccurate impression that their bias reflects the mainstream of American opinion.

I agree with Rosen.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 7:26 pm

Never mind about Glenn Beck, it seems these days the MSM has NO understanding of what’s newsworthy. I remember during the 8 years of GW, the “issues” always went to backburner if there was a scandal to report about. F.e, Valerie Plame or some Cheney associate on an energy board. Nonsense like that got major coverage at the expense of the “Important issues of the day”. Come ON Daniel! You know and I know the MSM is totally in the bag for Obama!

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Oh I know that many channels don’t do due dilligence in critiquing Obama. Don’t mistake my incredulity at Fox with faith in the others.

But Valerie Plame? Really??? I think that was one of the most important stories of the Bush presidency. Not the whoodunit/Scooter Libby saga on in isolation, but the entire Plame Affair story. You’re telling me that as a libertarian (I presume you are) you think a story about the administration compromising the integrity of the intelligence community in an attempt to cover up one of the most important lies that lead the country into an unnecessary war is an insignificant story – that it’s nonsense?!?!?!?!?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 7:52 pm

You do not agree on quite a bit. The many times that it appears you agree, you load the comments down with qualifiers and then spend the bulk of your energies taking up for the other side within the same post. That’s your right to do so but don’t insult me by passing yourself off as something you are not. I’m not buying it.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Um, how often do you hear these people debating climate science and AGW on television news? They won’t touch it because they’re done discussing it.

>>Scientists love skeptics – as long as it’s valid, rigorous work.<<

Not these one. They resort to name-calling and make comparisons to those that deny the Holocaust.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:03 pm

How does that constitute an insult of you?

Either way, if agreeing and qualifying isn’t “agreeing”, then it certainly isn’t “disagreeing” either.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:05 pm

>>I don’t get how you leaped to this. <>We know carbon is underpriced?<<

How? If the opportunity cost of foregoing refined crude oil is having, say, four times the number of CNG filling stations, cars with much bigger CNG tanks that need to be filled more often, and all the time it takes to do this. Or, the amount harmful by-products from theassembly of hybrid cars their batteries.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:17 pm

RE: “The logical step forward; accounting for the externalities, both positive and negative, for every single that that is consumed — establishing appropriate taxes and subsidies as need be”

I’ll just refer you to Hayek for why this is a bad idea. I’m not sure why that is the “logical step” after acknowledging some major externalities and proposing minor, cautious steps to potentially correct them. In what way is this the “logical step forward”? We just don’t have the information to do such a thing.

RE: “If the opportunity cost of foregoing refined crude oil…”

I’m not sure what you’re getting at in this paragraph. I’m proposing minor efforts to internalize some costs. I’m not saying design the economy to drop oil and rely on batteries in cars. You take some cautious steps to internalize costs and let the market work out the solution.

You’re leaping to central planning or perfect accounting of externalities. Why?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Some lie! Look, Iraq did have yellow cake and they kicked out IAEA weapons inspectors on two different occasions for reasons only a handful in the Iraqi regime knew of. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 documents all the breach of cease-fire agreements and previous resolutions on the matter. The yellow cake procurement from Nigeria that Plame sent her husband to investigate — in order to debunk those sixteen words — is what’s irrelevent; that military action that the U.S. took was going to happen no matter what the truth about WMD was. Because after September 11th, the U.S. could not afford to look like paper tigers and not enforce their own sanctions on Iraq.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:27 pm

So you’re saying we should proceed to tax carbon because a lot of people are “confident in this”???!?!?!!?!?!??

Congrats on getting the job on paving crew for the road to serfdom.
/sarc

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Except you just admitted that yellowcake was a lie, that’s all the left cares about. “Bush lied, people died”.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:30 pm

I think we have enough of a consensus on the science to talk about it. A carbon tax is flexible, can be scaled back, and can even be rebated so there is no net tax burden. Why not talk about it? How is it serfdom to talk about these options? I’m not going to be a serf to a minority opinion.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:32 pm

So DK you support tyranny of the majority right?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:34 pm

No… why do you ask? I support a set of institutions that protects people from the tyranny of the majority and from the tyranny of a minority. What do you support?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Maybe I don’t support the same institutions that you do. F.e., I don’t fetishize democracy.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Because that’s what you wish to do specifically for the negative externalities of refined oil. If you can justify that because internalizing costs is so important to you then why stop at at just oil and the negative things associated with its usage?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Do you even read my posts before you reply to them? The whole point of the previous post is that I don’t either. How is you not fetishizing democracy and example of how you don’t support the same institutions that I do?

The real question where we may actually find a difference between us is – given an institutional framework that defends against tyranny of the majority, would you support an institutional framework that allows a small minority to stand in the way of collective decision making? I wouldn’t. Would you?

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Is this really so hard to understand? Just read Hayek.

Your “why stop” assumption presupposes a degree of information that I don’t presuppose we have.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 8:50 pm

>>Is this really so hard to understand?<>Your “why stop” assumption presupposes a degree of information that I don’t presuppose we have.<<

But you do have the information you need to conclude that, on net, refined oil has costly negative externalities and that based on this information you have a good idea of the range of what the tax on its usage should be, don’t you?

Justin P September 23, 2009 at 9:00 pm

He has no answer, so the only thing he has is to call you a name.
Again, just proves Chu was right…only he has the sides wrong.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 9:07 pm

RE: “Is it really so hard to answer with your own opinion on the matter?”I’ve given my opinion several times to you at this point, which is why it’s getting tiring. We have good enough information about how the climate works and about carbon dioxide production to TALK about the prospect. And yes, we do have a better understanding of the externalities involved with burning carbon than we have of the minor externalities that may exist in other markets (which is why I said it’s not clear at all why the “logical next step” would be to interfere in other markets where we have a different degree of information and certainty).I also never said we have the information to know what the tax range should be, which is exactly why I said it should be modest and not impose an excessive burden.Why do you try to blow people’s statements out of proportion. Someone says “oh – we’ve learned a lot about this facet and there are potentially really huge consequences of not acting, so I think it’s worth talking about doing this modest correction” – and you tie that statement to “we should correct all externalities in ‘every single little compound that is used’”. It’s a pretty transparent rhetorical strategy, LCJ – to try to debunk a plausible policy choice by trying it to a ridiculous policy choice. Either that or you’ve actually convinced yourself that people who disagree with you think they can plan everything and don’t recognize the relative efficiency of the price mechanism in almost every market you can think of – that somehow that insight is only recognized by people who agree with you politically.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 9:17 pm

I would enthusiastically support an institutional framework that allows a small minority to stand in the way of collective decision making. But then, I’m not a collectivist.

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 9:37 pm

I support the tyranny of the minority over the majority any day!

Anonymous September 23, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Re: “the tax range … should be modest and not impose an excessive burden”

That’s exactly how every immodest and burdensome tax was sold when proposed. Why would anybody expect this tax to stay modest?

Justin P September 23, 2009 at 9:24 pm

That’s why I agree.
The two issues here are:
1. We are uneducated
2. Climate Change.
I agree with the first, but not the second. I don’t like it, that I might be labeled “uneducated” just because I disagree with the second. That’s smacks of condescension.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 2:21 am

See… that strikes me as somewhat… serfdomish. I’m amazed it comes to you so naturally.

But then again, libertarianism has always had this weird anti-democratic tendancy. “Democracy: The God That Failed” – that sort of thing. Oh well.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 2:37 am

Well when it gets immodest I’ll stop supporting it. Slippery slope arguments should always be considered, but considering them is different from using them as an excuse not to do anything.

It’s possible that if we have an army it will be used against us to confiscate all our privately held guns. After all – that’s how it’s always happened in the past. Is that a reason not to have an army? Of course not.

Regardless – I gave you a perfectly good way to keep the net tax burden at zero: rebate the whole damn thing. This doesn’t have to be a revenue maker. Just shift incentives with it and then rebate it all back equally.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 2:39 am

Well if you are educated but just disagree then there’s no reason to label you uneducated. I don’t see what the problem is.

Again – these days we can’t make any valid criticisms because everyone is so quick to take offense. If you’re educated on the subject don’t worry about it. And while you’re at it share what you know with other people.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 2:40 am

And don’t freak out if someone thinks you missed something and tries to talk it through with you again. I’m sure you do that to people who are educated and agree with climate change, after all.

Justin P September 24, 2009 at 4:13 am

I think it’s more than just state control. I see it as a debate on what science really is all about. I’m a chemist, and I take great offense to the likes that try to say “the science has proven” or “science is settled.” Those statements are just plain wrong, science can never be settled and never proven.

I do see your point though, the implications of the AGW mean more state control, something modern Libs like the thought of, so it’s no wonder they are all over the AGW like white on rice.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 4:13 am

That is precisely the bias I was talking about. I wasn’t talking about personal bias, but systemic bias inherent in the selections and reinforcements accompanying the politicization of science.

Justin P September 24, 2009 at 4:39 am

Oh ok got ya now. Sorry brain is fried tonight. lol

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 5:04 am

That was an environmental success story. I have a refrigerator and a car AC that work effectively and cheaply and the ozone hole is stabilized and getting smaller.

Was Al Gore in your class?

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 5:10 am

Agreed. But geological history suggest climate tipping points in which sudden dramatic unpredictable changes can occur. Why push our luck when the solutions are things we need to do anyway?

” Global climate is a sleeping beast that mankind is poking with a stick.”
Forgot who said this.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 5:23 am

“The only issue I have is attrubiting the rise of greenhouse gases with human activity.” LCJ

If that is really your only issue then the discussion is over between us… welcome to my side. Do you need me to pull the citation and abstracts that show this issue is settled?

http://www.brighton73.freeserve.co.uk/gw/causes.htm#causeofrise

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/faq.html#Q7

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 5:50 am

Thats what all of history as been. Rule by minorities of concentrated power… those of privilege, dictators, tyrants, kings, lords and vassals. Good to see you lay your cards on the table. GOOD NEWS FOR YOU… many countries are still ruled in such a fashion. So go pack your bags… good luck getting into the ruling minority class.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 5:53 am

I’ve got news for you muirbot, I’m not a wealthy elite! So how am I motivated to keep them in power if I will never be one of them? Answer me that, dummy.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 1:14 pm

That’s even sadder. You are a Serf-wanna-be.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm

“The forums are filled with ad hominum. Most of it coming from the “consensus” side.”OK, it’s clearly not getting through that I’m fully embracing the idea that there is ad hominem out there. My point is chatter on a comment section isn’t nearly as relevant as reviewers for a journal.You mention Lindzen and Spencer. Here’s a newsflash – they still teach. They still publish. Lindzen served on the IPCC and the NAS panel for crying out loud!RE: “Most of it coming from the “consensus” side. I’d say about 80%.”I have my doubts about the significance or accuracy of this guess because:1. You seem to be misidentifying certain points as insults, as with Chu2. Most people are on the consensus side (hence the word consensus), so if theoretically they’re equally likely to be jackasses (seems reasonable to me), of course they’re going to produce a higher number of comments. I’m not sure exactly what that means, and3. I doubt you are usually exposed to (or would recognize it if you were exposed to) insults from the other side. Frequently on here, from many people it’s considered cultist behavior to buy into anthropogenic climate change. Who on here makes holocaust accusations? Muirgeo? But I bet you still feel embattled, even here on Cafe Hayek. The perspective you come from goes a long way to determining what you see as an offense.I think everybody has about the same chance of being a jackass no matter what part of the political spectrum they’re from, I think Chu made a very obvious observation that nobody should take as an insult unless they’re extremely self-conscious, and I think to the extent that there really are insults flying around a lot of it is incidental to the very civil discussion that scientists are having on the issue – a discussion that is not going well for people who are skeptical about anthropogenic climate change.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 4:04 pm

WTFO?????? Do you have any understanding whatsoever of control systems? (Obviously not)

Your interpretation of geological history is absolutely wrong – no wonder you’re so mixed up. What’s obvious from the history is the lack of any “tipping points” or positive feedbacks. The climate system has withstood extreme shocks from external events (such as meteor impacts) and tremendous variability in things such as CO2 levels while maintaining mean temperature within a pretty narrow band. That shows a very stable system that’s not particularly sensitive (to things like CO2 for example).

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Thanks for the first link that shows human activity being responsible for 4% of global CO2. Since CO2 causes about 4% (if I remember right) of the greenhouse effect, that means at most human activity has a 0.16% impact on the greenhouse effect. The actual effect is less because of the logarithmic characteristic of CO2 absorption.

Oh, and I also noticed how the impact of clouds global temperature was completely ignored. That wouldn’t be because clouds have a cooling effect and therefore are inconvenient for AGW proponents?

Do you realize that you’ve undermined your own position?

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm

What’s not to like?

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what’s for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed Lamb contesting the vote!”
–Ben Franklin

Smart guy, that Ben.

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm

When it get immodest (and it will) your lack of support will be completely irrelevant. But our liberty will have been reduced by that which you supported. Thanks!

But I must disagree with your second paragraph. That most certainly is a reason to not have a standing army, and not a bad one at that. An even better reason is the temptation to use that standing army is just too much for some politicians to resist. Maybe that’s why our founders were so strong in their opinions against standing armies.

(BTW, don’t take this too far. I have no problem with having a Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force. The same temptation exists, but to a lesser extent – it’s hard to do an occupation without standing army. And, after all, national defense is one of the few things that is in scope for the federal government. But that’s definitely OT)

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 6:02 pm

RE: “But I must disagree with your second paragraph. That most certainly is a reason to not have a standing army, and not a bad one at that.”

It’s a FANTASTIC reason not to have a standing army. But this is my point. Now take it back one step further. If you have a “non-standing” army, a temporary army, you bear the very real risk of it becoming a standing army and of having that standing army confiscate guns.

So then is that an argument not to let the Congress raise any army? Of course not.

Slippery slope arguments have their place, but they can’t legitimately be used to justify no action at all. I assume you support the Congress’s right to raise a non-standing army, right? And presumably you would say “once they move to a standing army I wouldn’t support it anymore”. That sounds legitimate to me! That is exactly what I’m trying to say.

You could concoct a comparable slippery slope argument to defend anarchy. It’s not a valid point on which to challenge me because libertarianism is susceptible to the same critiques until it becomes anarchy. You can insist that I keep potential future eventualities in mind (and I do), but you can’t insist that I defend future eventualities that I wouldn’t support in the first place – any more than I can expect you to feel obligated to defend those evenualities.

Justin P September 24, 2009 at 6:31 pm

You miss my point entirely as well.
re: Linzen and Spencer
My point is that, yes they teach, yes the publish in peer reviewed journals, yet the “consensus” side will not listen to what they have to say. It contradicts the notion of consensus, which is their main argument. And another thing about it, is that it demonstrates the politicization of science. For the AGW crowd, if a paper doesn’t fit their nice little neat model of humans being the cause of every ill in the world, then they just throw it to the side, in search of data that “proves” their case. Not very scientific is it?

Re:”I doubt you are usually exposed to (or would recognize it if you were exposed to) insults from the other side.”
So what are you trying to insinuate?

Please explain how it’s not going well for the skeptics? Did you read the link I posted? How about this one?
http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2009/07/resisting-climate-hysteria

Anonymous September 24, 2009 at 6:38 pm

RE: “yes the publish in peer reviewed journals, yet the “consensus” side will not listen to what they have to say.”

The fact that they teach, publish, present, serve on public panels, etc. is PROOF that the “consensus” side WILL listen to what they have to say, that they are NOT being dismissed out of hand. Don’t confuse not agreeing with Lindzen and Spencer with not listening to them, Justin.

RE: “For the AGW crowd, if a paper doesn’t fit their nice little neat model of humans being the cause of every ill in the world, then they just throw it to the side”

This is barely worth responding to, but I will anyway. (1.) No anthropogenic climate change advocate is saying humans are the cause of every ill in the world, and (2.) nobody just throws this research to the side. they engage it, critique it, and review it. Again – don’t confuse “not being convinced by” or “not agreeing about” with “throwing to the side”.

RE: “So what are you trying to insinuate?”

I thought it was pretty clear, no insinuation involved. I doubt you recognize all the times that my side gets insulted and attacked for the conclusions they’ve drawn. Similarly, I doubt I fully appreciate all the times your side gets attacked. It’s the bias of perspective. No insinuation involved – I’m saying it straight.

Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 2:42 pm

OK, this may be a waste of time but I’ll address your post – my apologies for the length. Would you do the Café the courtesy of addressing the counter arguments presented to you? Or will you just continuing to insult and dodge?

“Not at all. The warming is way off from normal and the major change is CO2 levels that are higher then (sic) they have been in more then 400,000 years. Nothing else explains this warming.

It all fits… it’s all pretty straight forward.”

So you’re saying, “It’s really warm now, and CO2 is elevated so that must be the cause of the warming.” Again, correlation does not prove causation, so your logic is wrong – this is not proof of anything one way or the other. On top of the bad logic, your statement isn’t even true.

As you have pointed out multiple times, woody plants have been discovered under melting glaciers. Obviously, many years ago, the planet was much warmer than now or those plants wouldn’t be there. That proves conclusively that present global temperature are within historical norms.

Next you fall into the fallacy of personal incredulity Daniel mentioned before (i.e. “I can’t see any other explanation, so it must be CO2”). Not only that, but we’re discussing the anthropogenic component of warming not total warming. One of the links you provided earlier shows that anthropogenic CO2 is ~4% of production. IOW, natural processes produce 24 times more CO2 than human activity. When you understand that CO2 has much less impact than water vapor on warming and see how small the impact of human activity is on CO2 it is difficult to believe we have an imminent catastrophe looming before us. Of course, I’ve made these comments before and you’ve yet to address them.

Even further, the hypothesis that the CO2 concentration increases we’ve seen will drive substantial warming has not held up well to reality. Computer models built with those assumptions have consistently been dramatically wrong. The inescapable conclusion from that is the computer models are worthless. Obviously, we do not understand the global climate process as well as you seem to think. I’ve brought this up before on other threads and you’ve never addressed this point either.

What of the missing hot spot in the tropics at mid troposphere levels Sam keeps asking you about. You’ve never addressed that either.

But other than that it all fits. (that was sarcasm in case you didn’t realize it)

“Do you understand that when Dr Hansen stood before congress and warned of major man made warming many of these findings of 4,000 year old vegetation HAD NOT EXISTED or been discovered.

Isn’t it a little likely more then a coincidence these discoveries are recent and happened only after the claim was made.”

This is the kind of argument you find convincing? No wonder you’re so confused.

“Now if no such finding were available, if the surface data showed cooling or even no warming then I’d be embarrassed to be pushing claims of man made climate change.”

Funny thing is the surface temperature shows just that for the last decade even though the models based on the hypothesis you espouse show we should have seen steady warming. What that means is we do not understand the global climate system as well as you thing we do – it’s definitely not as simple as you think it is.

“But you guys push claims that are just as proposperous (sic). You claim the warming is natural when there is no evidence to support it and a huge CO2 elephant sitting in the room to explain the man made hypothesis.”

Here you try to lump me in with some imaginary group you can demean. I’m not pushing any claims; that would be you. Since the temperatures we see now are within historical variation and we do not understand the global climate process well it is obviously possible that the warming we have now could be natural.

And, as I wrote above, the “CO2 elephant” is more like a miniature jade elephant you bought in Chinatown for $5 (that analogy means it’s small, not huge in case you didn’t understand).

“You guys simply do not want the truth. It’s very clear..the truth… but you can’t handle the truth. Kicking and screaming and denying and throwing tantrums and being illogical like some of the 2 year olds I see here everyday. It’s pathetic.

You really are creationist equivalents and there is just no way for you to see it. Very sad.”

And of course, you have to throw in the obligatory ad hominem hoping to distract readers from the fact that you have no argument. What’s humorous is that (like most of your ad hominems) it describes you fairly well. So please fess up – the parody is intentional, right?

Anonymous September 25, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Lest you think I am not replying I can address each of those issues. From your writing it’s clear that I have a far greater understanding of the facts on this issues. I’ve really studied it quite a bit. Read no less then 4 bookd, read most of the IPCC reports, read regularly Science, Narue and the Geophysical Research Letters.

Have you really put in that much study on the issue?

Anyway I’ll not let you get away with the claim that I didn’t address each of your issues.

If you want to go through this in detail I will respond to your claims one at a time on my blog;

http://ablankspotonthemap.blogspot.com/

See you there.

Anonymous September 28, 2009 at 1:06 am

I had about given up on you! I’m not sure why you don’t just post answers here (or why you didn’t the several times I’ve asked before), but I’ll swing by your blog to see what you have to say.

Please be patient, I’m fairly busy these days and don’t have tons of time so I might be a bit slow to answer.

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