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February 10, 2009

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I'll be honest, I'm a little disappointed. I really was curious how he would be able to justify the claim that the Big Bang theory is anti-science. I doubt that he ever would have, but I'm curious as to what the reasoning would have been.

Skeptico: if he happens to try to comment with something to that effect, could you pass it along as a matter of curiosity?

I posted this some time ago but it disappeared into electron limbo. Trying again…

Physicist R.W. Wood disproved that greenhouses stayed warm by trapping IR. They work by trapping the warmed air. Philosophical Magazine 1909, vol 17, p319-320. (Read about it here if you don’t already know it. http://groups.google.com/group/alt.energy.renewable/browse_thread/thread/423321ede9f65ae2 so the “greenhouse” effect of CO2 is a misnomer.)

Skeptics recognize that CO2 does cause warming but this amount is multiplied by a “forcing” factor of about three in the climate models. It is proof of the amount of this forcing that is missing. It looks like either the amount of forcing has been over estimated or it is being offset by other factors that the models do not take into account, or both.

If 2009 turns out to be similar to 2008, the IPCC projection of temperature rise will be falsified. The actual measured temperatures have been running close to the lower limit for some time. See http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/michaels-testimony-do-the-graphs-look-right/ Note Lucia’s comments & cautions.

I expect the next IPCC report will again lower their projections, as they have for previous reports.

Physicist R.W. Wood disproved that greenhouses stayed warm by trapping IR

No he didn't. Please go back and read through the comments, paying particular attention to the discussion of the failures of this very experiment.

if 2009 turns out to be similar to 2008, the IPCC projection of temperature rise will be falsified.

No, it will not. That is a dumb thing to say. If in 10 years, the trend doesnt continue despite currently being at the bottom of a solar cycle, then I would be with you. No one expects the year to year data to spot on.


TechSkeptic said that Wood’s explanation of the greenhouse effect was wrong. (#103)
I didn’t see any proof of this in the comments but perhaps I missed it. What number comment shows this? This is of little importance anyway, it’s just a matter of terminology.

TechSkeptic wrote about a simple experiment to measure IR absorption by CO2. It might be better to consider making a Clough Plot, although this would take it beyond a kitchen table experiment. There are some programs available that do this with a GUI interface.

No, it will not. That is a dumb thing to say. If in 10 years, the trend doesnt continue despite currently being at the bottom of a solar cycle, then I would be with you. No one expects the year to year data to spot on.

Nothing to do with solar cycles or anything else. Just a simple definition in mathematics. Another year of temperatures similar to 2008 will take the trend outside the specified confidence level of IPCC’s projection.

Joanne Nova has replied on her blog.  For some reason in two posts, here and here.  I’m unimpressed.  She answers none of my criticisms and continues to rely on logical fallacies.  Just read her opening paragraph (first link) and you will see why it really isn’t worth trying to debate with someone like this:

What’s the most embarrassing thing that could happen to a skeptic? Could it be worse than being exposed for believing anything and everything a government committee tells them?

Two straw men in one sentence, since (a) I don’t believe “anything and everything” and (b) it’s not just a “government committee” (I even linked to non government sources right in my post).  But what else would you expect from a denier?  How else could she report on my blog post without totally denying what I actually wrote and then completely making up an absurd position she assigns to me and then mocking that made up position? 

It’s not worth answering this drivel line by line.  But I will comment on a couple of things, just to demonstrate just how clueless Nova really is.  Unlike Nova’s response, this comment will refer to things Nova actually wrote not something I made up.  We’ll start with this.  Describing me:

Yet he uses  ‘denier’ or ‘denialist’ no less than 27 times in his blogged reply. (Twenty seven times!) That’s argumentum ad hominem, ad nauseum.

No, ad hom is an attack on the person making the argument.  Using the term denier is attacking the tactics of argument.  I am criticizing the tactics (ie the argument presented) not the person.  (This is basic stuff.)  And rightly so.  The details of the denier tactics were was explained at great length in my post.  Again Nova ignores this – remember, I wrote in my post that one denier tactic is continuing to repeat arguments long after they have been debunked.  Which is exactly what Nova does here.  Again.

But it gets better.  Having mistaken what an ad hom is, she uses ad hom herself with this:

The IPCC is a political organization.

Which is actually an ad hom – attacking the organization for what it is, not for how it forms its arguments.  Classic ad hominem.  Hilarious.  And you will see this argument parroted by deniers - The IPCC is a political organization, The IPCC is a political organization, The IPCC is a political organization.  So what?

She attacks me for linking to Tim Lambert’s Deltoid blog, calling him a fake expert like I called John Theon a fake expert.  But the difference here is obvious.  Theon is a fake expert in this context, because he retired in 1994.  Nova just lists his name and credentials excitedly on her blog.  When I cited Deltoid, I cited a post which contains Deltoids arguments – arguments which are also backed by further links.  Nova cites names (outdated ones).  I cite a post with arguments.  Of course, you can disagree with Deltoid’s arguments if you want, but you can’t claim I just cited an expert (fake or not) and not some actual arguments.  (Unless you’re a denier who denies these obvious checkable points.)

Then there is this:

Sceptico (sic) ignores the peer reviewed evidence provided within the linked documents.

No, didn’t ignore it.  I wrote about it at length in my post, and (and this is the important piece) I debunked it with citations to two other sites which themselves also linked to other sites.  Read the post.  It’s in the bit about “cherry picking.”  Again, Nova ignores the rebuttal of this non-peer reviewed paper and carries on as though I never wrote that section.  I guess it’s easier to make up stuff about me than to answer what I actually wrote. 

The rest of her post is a weird tirade into how I really only attack things on government approved lists (although she also writes  “Predictably, he also attacks religion”, which wouldn’t seem to make sense given the government approved lists thing), and that I have an unfailing belief in authority and organizations.  It’s telling that she would rather speculate and throw mud about me personally than answer any of my actual points.  Of course, these  ideas she has about me (whether true or not) are completely irrelevant.  In reality, this segment tells us more about Nova and what really drives her, than it does about me.  Nova worries that I will be embarrassed making the arguments I made.  No I’m not embarrassed.  But then I didn’t write that the whole of global warming science has been “falsified” (her word) by one non peer reviewed paper that it seems no climate scientists take seriously.  Now that really would be embarrassing.

"...and that I have an unfailing belief in authority and organizations.."

and yet you attack religion. How weird.

Another year of temperatures similar to 2008 will take the trend outside the specified confidence level of IPCC’s projection.

The IPCC projections are based on a 90% confidence interval, with a 5% chance of overshoot and a 5% chance of undershoot. A result for any given year falling outside that confidence interval doesn't mean that the projection has been "falsified" - you'd expect 1 in every 10 years (on average, over a long period) to fall outside the confidence interval by chance alone. Even if two successive years fall outside the confidence interval it's not fatal.

Unless I'm drastically misunderstanding something...

I expect the next IPCC report will again lower their projections, as they have for previous reports.

From the AR4 SPM: "The 100-year linear trend
(1906-2005) of 0.74 [0.56 to 0.92]°C1 is larger than the corresponding trend of 0.6 [0.4 to 0.8]°C (1901-2000) given in the Third Assessment Report (TAR)"

Yeah, apparently I have an unfailing belief in authority and organizations... except when I don't.

Nothing to do with solar cycles or anything else. Just a simple definition in mathematics. Another year of temperatures similar to 2008 will take the trend outside the specified confidence level of IPCC’s projection.

Solar cycles or anything else has nothing to do with temperatures? If next year is like 2008 and the year after is like 1998, well what do you know? Back on track!

although this would take it beyond a kitchen table experiment

That is the point. Testing greenhouse gas theory in a real greenhouse, does not test AGW theory. Its equivocation. If you read the responses to the experiments I proposed, with the links they provided to back up what they said, you would quickly see that testing anything at one pressure and one temperature is not the same as the predictions made about our very complex and dynamic atmosphere. All that experiment proved was that at conditions completely unlike our global atmosphere one type of IR filter behaved similarly to another type of IR filter. there is nothing to extrapolate. Further, there is now way to check up on this article at the link thread ends at an ultraconservative site foisting ann coulter books. finally even if taken as true, a number of problems witht eh test were named (like uncotnrolled conductive properties of the salt and glass) and yet absolute conclusions were made. Its kind of a joke to link to that don't you think?

TechSkeptic said

Solar cycles or anything else has nothing to do with temperatures? If next year is like 2008 and the year after is like 1998, well what do you know? Back on track!

Where did I say solar cycles had nothing to do with temperature? I was trying to convey that what caused the variation made no difference to whether the projection was falsified or not.

What I wrote was that if the current temperature trend continued for another year it would falsify the trend projected by IPCC at their stated confidence level. This is a mathematical fact. GISS temperature (courtesy of NASA and Dr. James Hansen) is the only one that is still recently within the IPCC range of uncertainty forecast, while the other three have fallen below the IPCC range.

Suggest looking at Lucia’s site “Blackboard” if you are interested in going deeper into the statistics.
You might look at this example to see how far the climate model runs are off from measured temperatures.
http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/year-end-trend-comparison-individual-model-runs-2001-2008/>model runs

You stated that Woods was wrong. Do you have proof or reference for your assertion? What I am saying is that prevention of convection is a larger factor in trapping heat than the glass stopping long wavelength IR.

I saw that Lucia had just posted an updated version of anomalies, including the latest HadCrut number.
See the last graph here: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/hadcrut-in-how-far-off-the-projections-based-on-anomalies/>anomalies

What I am saying is that prevention of convection is a larger factor in trapping heat than the glass stopping long wavelength IR.

OK, fine. But that is completely unrelated to CO2 in the planet's atmosphere. That is the whole point. You can play around in a green house all you like, and none of that work applies to GHG theory.

What I wrote was that if the current temperature trend continued for another year it would falsify the trend projected by IPCC at their stated confidence level. This is a mathematical fact.

Only for that year, it does nothing whatsoever to falsify the GHG theory or any of the long term predictions at all. I think you are confusing change in model predictions with improvement in those very models.

I'm a little confused at what you are trying to point our with reference to the models and anomalies. I make models and simulations all the time in my work. I never expect them to be right on, ever. This is due not only to my implementation of the model and the data I use to feed my model, but also the measurement I use to measure reality.

Most deniers completely forget that no one (climate scientists or scientists in general) expects the models to be an absolute definitive predictor of climate. They know that they have not characterized every single bit of complexity involved in the actual dynamic system. they know that data fed into the model is innacurate, and they know that data measured currently has its innacuracies also. Its not like this is news.

Its people who are completely unfamiliar with how scientists and engineers use models to do their work. Would you ride in an elevator in a tall building. Did they have to build that building first to verify that it would work? How about new planes and cars? Do you feel safe in those? Modeling. Have they input every known thing about the materials, the mechanncs, the carrying loads and environmental impacts on the plane or car when they model these things? Of course not! And yet people walk away from car crashes every day.

Pointing out specific times when a model didn't match measured temperature is a a futile activity employed by people who don't know how or why we use models.

anomalies are generally good. They help us understand the limitations of the model and help us improve not only our models, but also the way we gather data. Our models didnt agree with satellite data a few years back. Hmm what to do... check models, check measurments against alternate readings.. Lo and behold, the satellites were wrong and needed correction. There is currently a huge effort to check that all the places where they read land base temperatures are not on heat islands. Good! That activity improves measurement and modeling data. In 1943 they switched how they measured sea based surface temperatures form US navy measurments to british ones, and there is a step in the data, no model could predict. Good!

That being said, it doesnt mean that the models are useless any more than the models are useless for my work, or for the car that you drive or the skyscraper you might work in. The question is: is it good enough? Can we use it to make statements about future scenarios? I like this description of how and why we use climate models.

That is why I dont care if it is off by .5 degrees in a prediction for 50 years from now. That is why I don't care if it completely misses the average temperature in 2009. What matters is how good it is at trending. How good does it show the effects of taking out AGHGs, or aerosols, and so forth. Does it take 100 years to rise 3 degrees in stead of 50? Who cares? The fact is that it is rising adn we know why. The fact is that the ocean is acidifying while it is rising. the fact is that none of the models predict well at all without including man made GHGs.

Take a look at all the models, most of them are pretty good (the ones that model volcanic and other aerosols along with AGHGs are even better). None of the models work unless they involve the extra production of GHGs. You need to step back and look at the forest, not each tree.

Ref 112

Only for that year, it does nothing whatsoever to falsify the GHG theory or any of the long term predictions at all.

No. You misunderstand. It is the trend since the last IPCC report that will be falsified, not just for one year.
You write that you understood models…

Ok, I think I see what you are trying to say. IPCC projected a trend of some number that by 2009 the range of temperatures will by from X to Y. If in 2009, the temp is .9X, then the projection is wrong. The question remains: so what?

So what?

The IPCC forecast will be falsified. The average of all the models is wrong.

As I said earlier, this means that either the forcing factor has been overestimated or there are factors offsetting the CO2 effect that have not been incorporated in the models.

This would be a good time to re-examine the assumptions and stop repeating that the science is settled.

Some years falling outside the confidence interval does not falsify the projection. A 90% confidence interval means that 1 year in 10 (on average) will fall outside the projection.

I'm starting to suspect you don't properly understand what an confidence interval means.

Oh, and it also appears that Lucia might not be the most reliable source...

"The IPCC forecast will be falsified. The average of all the models is wrong."

You have not bothered to read my post or any of the links I have provided for you.

Dunc #116 Some years falling outside the confidence interval does not falsify the projection. A 90% confidence interval means that 1 year in 10 (on average) will fall outside the projection. Oh, and it also appears that Lucia might not be the most reliable source...

Some years falling outside the confidence level does not falsify the IPCC projection, but the trend over the whole time period may.

The calculated temperature trends are slightly negative but statistically indistinguishable from zero. In plain English the temperature has been flat since 2001. This may be due to short term weather, but "falsification at 95% confidence" is still a true statement even if the cause is the PDO.

Whether the IPCC projection of 2C/century or AGW is correct will require a few more years to prove or falsify beyond reasonable doubt.

Oh, you should read your own link and the comments. No one showed any problem with Lucia’s work. Better yet, see for yourself at

Missing link
http://rankexploits.com/musings/

No one showed any problem with Lucia’s work.

I don't personally have the statistical expertise to decide who's right, but various people who apparently do have raised a number of questions about her approach. From the thread in question:

"Lucia is using Cochrane-Orcutt regression to remove the effect of autocorrelation. I'm not sure that this is a good thing, but what happens if you do it is that you get a much larger error range, and this she does. The trend is negative, but less significant. So it is not really advancing her argument; the error ranges for trends from the C-O analysis include the ranges for simple regression, so they are less effective for disputing the IPCC estimates.

Her analysis is done on a simple mean of the four data sets. As someone there pointed out, this is doubtful, because they aren't independent. You can use her spreadsheet to do the individual datasets, with divergent results."

"Lucia has used one, rather non-standard method, on one very carefully selected timeframe. Using the standard obvious methods on 2001-and-onwards produces a completely different result. Her methods are not robust or reliable."

"The method Lucia used is not standard, it is essentially unheard of within climatology. There are other, standard, methods of accounting for autocorrelation, which have the advantage of not assuming the data is AR1."

Ref Dunc # 170
Why not finish reading all the comments in your own link?

Posted by: dhogaza as the last comment

William. C-0 is Unheard of in climate science? Do you want an opportunity to check on that?

Enviroentat statisics. Chapter 7. page 269
www.stat.unc.edu/postscript/rs/envstat/intro.ps

I havent had the time to run down all the cites in that
chaper but I did see one reference to Tom karl.

There are more, of course
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2005/2005JD005895.shtml
So, not unheard of.

The technique is standard cookbook statistics. The method has been used and explored in many areas of climate science.

That does not make it a correct method for all time series, but it is surely not unheard of. present company excepted.

What you are apparently missing, as you haven’t read Lucia’s blog, is that she does the analysis several different ways (often adding another at the request of a reader) stating clearly which one she is using and usually discussing the difference in results obtained by that method.

All the methods she uses are standard and I don’t know of a single case where she has been shown to be in error.

I’m not interested in wasting more time debating your ad hominem rather that considering the presented facts.

Parallel, looses argument and exits stage left in high dudgeon muttering logical fallacy.

Oops, sorry; Parallel deployed loose arguments but he loses argument.

Parallel,

the main complaint about the linear regressions that she did was not that it was CO, but that she used a small amount of data for the regression. The results of those analyses dramatically change if she had started two quarters earlier or later on either end of the dataset. Her data set was form 2001 to now.

I am not sure what the advantages are of CO in this case except the autocorrelation errors. She never explained what they were or why CO was better than another method to deal with them.

this is more evidence that worrying about the specific prediction of a model on a particular year is an exercise in futility. No one should care if it is off by .1 deg. What we should care about is if the physics based models (as opposed to statistical exercises like she is doing) generally explain the moves and sways of the historical trend. that lets us know sensitivity to volcanos, AGHGs, cloud cover, sunspots, and everything else they can stick in the model.

Looks like you are confusing a statistical analysis with the use of a physics based model. Its a common problem.

What has that got to do with either the referenced graphs here GRAPHS or with anything I’ve written above?

Are you suggesting that If the model projected trend has been falsified we should ignore that?

Parallel,

I don't know if you are being difficult on purpose, but I am starting to think that you are Graeme (you appeared right after he was banned) and will no longer respond to your posts.

You are clearly not reading my posts or following the links I am providing for you, or bothering to understand what I am trying to tell you about how modeling is used. In either case, you are really not making it worth it to argue with you anymore. If you arent willing to read what I write, or follow the links I provide you, then you have closed your mind and dug your head in the sand and are not open to conversation.

Good luck.


My reply to Sceptico is here

And a copy of our emails with extra comments are here.

Can you name a single piece of empirical evidence that man-made carbon raises temperatures?

well, here is mine.

Why do you insist on spelling the name wrong? Ms. Novah?

Ref #226, I too would be interested in seeing proof of AGW.

Directing one to read the latest IPCC report (that I’ve read) does not constitute proof. The only proof given there is that the various climate models show this. Or rather they will, given time.

The problem with this argument is that the measured temperatures started deviating from the forecast trend almost immediately, as shown in my prior link “GRAPHS” from “The Blackboard,” showing a graph of all the major models relative to measured temperatures. Definitive proof is beyond the author’s lifetime.

The argument that this is the consensus of most climate scientists has been weakened by the GISS Model-E, by Bill Illis.

This shows just what large negative temperature impacts from other sources have to be built in, to keep the hindcast close to the actual temperatures.

At this point in time, Professor Syun-Ichi Akasofu’s

The last part of the message did not post. I'll remove the link.

At this point in time, Professor Syun-Ichi Akasofu’s http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/pdf/recovery_little_ice_age.pdf”paper ,on global warming seems more believable than the GCMs and has the advantage it is not on the verge of being falsified.

Sorry, the formatting did not work and the message was mangled. This is how it should read (without the auto links)

Ref #226, I too would be interested in seeing proof of AGW.

Directing one to read the latest IPCC report (that I’ve read) does not constitute proof. The only proof given there is that the various climate models show this. Or rather they will, given time.

The problem with this argument is that the measured temperatures started deviating from the forecast trend almost immediately, as shown in my prior link “GRAPHS” from “The Blackboard,” showing a graph of all the major models relative to measured temperatures. Definitive proof is beyond the author’s lifetime.

The argument that this is the consensus of most climate scientists has been weakened by the http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/WegmanReport.pdf Wegman Report.

“We found MBH98 and MBH99 to be somewhat obscure and incomplete and the criticisms of MM03/05a/05b to be valid and compelling.”

“Our findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus ‘independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface.”

It looks like the modeling community is fairly close knit as well. Peer review is no guarantee of validity, as the reviewers do not have the time to duplicate the studies, nor are they given the original data and computer codes. At best this argument is just an appeal to authority.


It is instructive to view a more detailed analysis of a model, such as the http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/19/short-term-trends-from-giss-model-e-the-model-would-be-off-by-about-015c-in-the-first-five-years/#more-5728 GISS Model-E, by Bill Illis.

This shows just what large negative temperature impacts from other sources have to be built in, to keep the hindcast close to the actual temperatures.

At this point in time, Professor Syun-Ichi Akasofu’s http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/pdf/recovery_little_ice_age.pdf paper , on global warming seems more believable than the GCMs and has the advantage it is not on the verge of being falsified.

Joanne, I already replied to your reply and extra comments. Scroll up to my comment # 105 posted Feb 18.

Try and keep up.

No, ad hom is an attack on the person making the argument. Using the term denier is attacking the tactics of argument.
Moreover, ad hom is using an attack on the person to fallaciously conclude that their claims are false. The key difference between an ad hominem attack and what you've done with the term "denier" here is that ad hominem would use "denier" as a premise, while you're using it as a conclusion--in fact, the conclusion of a mostly unrelated argument. Ad hominem would be saying "Joanne Nova is a denier, and therefore we can ignore her concerns." Instead, you're saying "Joanne Nova is wrong for the following reasons: X, Y, Z. Also, her use of denialist tactics A, B, and C mark her as a denier."

Now, if you were then to use the conclusion to say "and therefore she's wrong," you'd be using an ad hominem. You don't; your point with that argument was to show that she's not a skeptic or examining the situation with a critical mindset, but that she's employing the usual set of denialist tactics--which are fallacious, and end up independently invalidating her arguments.

Of course, you already knew that. I just thought it would be good to make it explicit.

The IPCC is a political organization.
Which is actually an ad hom
And to put a finer point on it, it looks like a textbook case of poisoning the well.
The rest of her post is a weird tirade into how I really only attack things on government approved lists (although she also writes “Predictably, he also attacks religion”, which wouldn’t seem to make sense given the government approved lists thing)
Sure it would, if you shared the theists' oh-so-common persecution fetish. How else does a 70% majority get to complain about how they're being expelled from this and that?

In reality, this segment tells us more about Nova and what really drives her, than it does about me.

Even if I didn't have confidence in the scientific method and didn't see the various lines of evidence, I think the denialist tactics of the opposition would be enough to convince me of AGW. I suppose that's only made possible by the fact that there are actual, rather than false, dilemmas involved.

It seems I'm not alone...

"Japanese scientists have made a dramatic break with the UN and Western-backed hypothesis of climate change in a new report from its Energy Commission."

ref http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/25/jstor_climate_report_translation/

I'm fairly convinced that global warming is a moral panic among academia, and eventually it'll have to be abandoned as the data becomes more difficult to shoehorn as time goes on. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the scientific community to admit they were wrong or duped by each other. I predict that it will tear apart academia in general and science specifically. That's not something I'd like to see happen, as I am a firm supporter of science. But I think that science is being done very poorly these days, and is probably due for the kind of major shake-up that the global warming panic will create. The fact that 'Intelligent Design' has become a real threat to the theory of evolution is a sign of the times - who in the the heydey of scientific advancement in the 1950s could've imagined that evolution would be less accepted in society in 2009 than it was 50 years ago. People just aren't seeing science rescue the world like it used to (and this has not gone unnoticed by scientists - hence the need to invent Global Warming). Stuff like the polio vaccine and the space race made science-boosters out of everyone, but now space shuttles blow up and vaccines get accused of causing autism. And the public's ignorance is only a reflection of the state of science today. All the easy stuff has been done, new major advancements are either too costly to pursue directly or seem to be bottomless money pits (eg. enormous sums have been directed towards AIDS, and still no vaccine). And when that happens, the climate is ripe for cheap and easy attention-getters like doomsaying. If scientists can't get accolades for achievement, they'll get society to notice them by drumming up chicken-little senarios. Analysts are suggesting that the economic meltdown is going to change the way capitalism will be done. I contend that the fallout for the Global Warming Myth will end up changing the way science will be done. In both cases, whether the ensuing changes are steps forward or backward remains to be seen. What I know from my time on the planet is that there are very few people with healthy egos, and it is impossible for people without healthy egos to perform well in any endevour. That means that any real progress in society is going to have to entail a mass-re-evaluation of values.


Jinkies wrote:

"What I know from my time on the planet is that there are very few people with healthy egos, and it is impossible for people without healthy egos to perform well in any endevour. That means that any real progress in society is going to have to entail a mass-re-evaluation of values".

I'm guessing you penned all of the above (including the gem I have quoted back at you) with your irony meter switched off? Unless of course with your reference to "my time on the planet" you want us to infer that you are a magic sky person who hears, sees and knows everything! I can't believe it, I'm corresponding with a sky fairy or are you perchance the the flying spaghetti monster? I think we should be told.

George Carlin sums up my POV perfectly.... I miss that man.... this is brilliant....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScDfYzMEEw

I was curious about the experiment Hank linked to... 'twould be fun to repeat.

But... it appears to be a fundamentally dishonest experiment.

In one bottle we place some liquid and a lot of air.

In another bottle, we place the same thing, and *after the bottles are sealed*, we release additional gas (CO2).

I may not remember much chemistry, but it's pretty hard to forget PV = NRT.

The expanding CO2 gas increases the pressure. The temperature goes up. Far as I can tell, the experiment is about PV=NRT, not the impact of CO2.

Sigh.

The microbiologists are the experts to ask about global warming if it is real or not and what or who is responsible for its mechanisms. That is if what they publish about bacteria being responsible for creating the ecosystem and the ozone layer is true. They claim that they are the ones that maintain its stability for long periods of time. I'm sure that they can explain why it becomes unstable too. We live in a biochemical world, we are made of biochemicals, bacteria are biochemical engineers. We pollute the environment with hazardous chemicals that filter into our atmosphere, the oceans, etc.
If we are not to blame for global warming then the science of microbiology is based on fiction. I would be very disappointed if this was true. I would never trust science again in what they say that they only provide the true facts of their research.

Marc Morano,
You mention the 2008 IGC featured skeptics who are highly critical of AGW science. I don't remember any. Your links don't work. Could you name one and briefly summarize the argument made?

Renewable energy is allied to Global Warming problems. So wind generators are competing with mushrooms in a race to see which of them can spread and grow the fastest.

One question that has never been answered is:
If Wind Generators are the way forward then they must be efficient? So, if they are efficient, why do we need so many?

Please don't tell me it's because, on their own, they are pretty useless except for domestic purposes, because that will merely reinforce my argument that they are a non cost effective, waste of time and money. Not to mention money, resources and the space they occupy and turn into a wasteland.

Like get rich schemes, the only people who make money from them are the people who make and market them. With Wind Generators, the profit lies in the fact that they are so inefficient they need to make and sell so many. No one will convince me that is cost eddective.

Mark,

Your terminology is poor. I think you are confusing efficiency with power. Even when you talk about efficiency, with respect to what? Efficiency can be measured as a ratio of the power the wind applies to the blades to the electrical power that comes out of of the turbine. Or you can talk about areal power density which would have units of MW/acre, but then what will you compare it to? Efficiency is meaningless without context.

Your question is something to the effect of: if corn is so good for us, why do we need such large farms?

Further, you focused your comment on wind. No one would suggest that wind is the best thing for al locations. There are tons of rooftops and parking lots ripe for solar panels, there are tons of things that can be done to new construction to dramatically reduce its energy needs, there are personal rooftop wind systems, solar thermal utility grade feilds, etc etc.

Focusing on one single energy source as a complaint about where to get energy is like complaining that our nutrition is poor because we are only eating potatoes.

I'm a little late on this post, but it seems that you miss a really big aspect to the debate here. You call it an Ad Hominem attack to say that much of the research that has challenged AGW is funded by energy companies. But I think that following the money is key here, not crucial to the debate at all, but really the primary reason for the debate.

Energy companies don't want AGW to exist. It will force them to stop their profitable business and spend a lot of money to change to a different energy source. So they fund scientists whose research casts doubt on AGW (or global warming). Then they use this research to convince legislators that this is strong evidence. And they contribute lots of money to the legislators' campaigns. And then they propagandize this stuff, posting on Energy-company friendly news sites, blogs, etc.

And there they inform the base of skeptics, who really do want the truth but are torn between government and scientists on the one hand and their news channel and radio station on the other hand.

And of course this whole Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works Minority Report, backed enthusiastically by a US Senator, Inhofe, is deeply, deeply disturbing.

Oddly, a search for "US Senate Minority Report" only results in 5,000 links. Most of which do not discuss its content. Where, actually, is the main stream on this one?

It seems pretty obvious that global warming is a real effect and that it's caused by human activity. I don't understand why the deniers focus on the existence of global warming itself, rather than arguing about the EFFECTS of global warming.

I think that's much more arguable, and still has a huge effect on politics and policy decisions (which is the ultimate reason why everyone argues about this - 'tree hugging libs' vs 'gas guzzling neocons', etc.)

Obviously the Earth's average temperature has increased abnormally over the last 100 years, and it's obviously a result of the industrial revolution. Duh.

Does it spell doom for the planet? I don't know. I think that point's a lot more debatable. Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been shown to increase the size and robustness of plant life, for instance, and actually increase the amount of CO2 that is sequestered, like a negative feedback loop.

http://public.ornl.gov/face/results.shtml
http://www.habmigern2003.info/future_trends/greenhouse/Positive-Effects-of-Carbon-Dioxide.htm
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/5109251/Trees-are-growing-faster-and-could-buy-time-to-halt-global-warming.html
http://www.asi.org/adb/04/03/05/co2-plant-growth.html

On the other hand, it will likely melt the ice caps and raise sea levels. On the other other hand, it will make higher elevations more habitable for both plants and animals.

etc. etc. etc.

Is the net result good or bad? Is it bad enough to alter our policies? In which direction should we alter our policies? These are the things that people should be arguing about.

Well I think the (or probably one)argument is (although I'm not a guru on this issue) that there is global warming now, but it's a natural warming cycle as we have had in the past millions of years. Also, over the past thousand years (I don't remember this number actually) there is an overall cooling trend; the current warming is just an erratic, but natural blip in this cooling trend.

However I haven't actually seen a scientist argue this point anywhere. Anyone know of any journal articles or experiments that reveal this? I think that is probably the point; there are none yet.

I think it is pretty obvious that while it is possible this current warming trend is natural, it is also possible (and "very likely" -- says the IPCC) that THIS warming is caused by humans.

And, I don't have a problem with the long cooling trend (I don't know if this is scientifically sound, but I'll assume it is).


If the sea level rises it will kill (or displace) millions of people who live in low-elevations. That is a bad regardless of the net effect. Also, tinkering with our climate seems pretty stupid. It's hard enough dealing with unavoidable climate changes. Also, there is no short-term limit to global warming. If we keep up putting CO2 into the atmosphere the temperature will keep climbing. It may be balmy on the mountains in 100 years, with increased plantlife, but in 200 years it may be parched.

most of what you are saying is pretty much right. There are some little parts you left out.

For example, the natural cycle of warming and cooling have a time constant associated with it. This time constant is far longer than the 11 (or 22 depending on what you measure) year solar cycle. So while it my have been hotter before and there may have been as much if not more Co2 in the air before, it has never gotten this hot this fast, nor has teh CO2 levels risen this fast (for as far as we can measure CO2 has lagged temperature, this is no longer the case). Its barely contraversial to call this rise unique and not natural.

Besides, there are a tremendous number of really good reasons to pursue renewable forms of energy, particularly if it leads to decenrtralized power that is produced locally. Never mind the economic boom that can be had from huge gains in efficiency if we actually pay attention to that for a moment.

And on the need to develop better sources of energy just making more sense anyway - how can no longer being reliant on the Middle East be a bad thing?

This is what kills me about global warming deniers - even if AGW is not happening, why are the things we would be doing to avoid it a bad idea? Why would doing them anyway, just in case, be a bad thing?

Do these people have something against breathing cleaner air and no longer being reliant on unstable tyrannies?

So, what's the deal with the claim that the upper troposphere is not warming fast enough? Until that was recently disproved, wasn't it kind of a deal-breaker for the AGW camp?

MTGAP:

You've been reading Joanne Nova's nonsense, I'm afraid. It was not "disproved". Actually, readings are within statistical significance. In any case, warming caused by any factor results in troposphere warming. If it didn't, this would be a fundamental problem for atmospheric physics in general, not just AGW.

The thing that is actually interesting is Upper Stratosphere Cooling.

Ah, so it was one of those logical fallacies that we call an "outright lie". If the problem was completely made up by Joanne Nova, that explains why it was so hard to find anything about it anywhere else.

"how can no longer being reliant on the Middle East be a bad thing?" -- Jimmy Blue

One major problem with becoming energy independent is that those unstable countries in the Middle East rely on oil income to survive. If you take away 80% of their income their people will become very poor. And poverty creates desperation, resentment, and maybe violence.

Another big problem I can foresee is that interdependence keeps our minds and borders, as well as eyes and ears, open to each other far more than if we were both independent. One benefit of trade is it forces you to deal with people you don't understand. And apparently it can promote peace. Each of our countries benefits from the other.

I think a better solution would be to involve these countries in green energy. This way we can maybe influence their politics or their cultures' negative aspects (and maybe they can influence ours) due to a closer, amicable relationship where we share scientists and information. Their deserts seem like a great place for wind or solar. If we can create a good battery system, then we can import that energy from them.

Misha:

If you take away 80% of their income their people will become very poor. And poverty creates desperation, resentment, and maybe violence.

Right, because that doesn't sound like the current state of the Middle East at all...

Each of our countries benefits from the other.

Yes, clearly the people of Saudi Arabia have benefited from their rulers position of controlling large portions of the world's oil. Why, they are all fabulously wealthy and well cared for and with bountiful freedoms living in a vibrant democracy where all have equal rights.

I think a better solution would be to involve these countries in green energy. This way we can maybe influence their politics or their cultures' negative aspects (and maybe they can influence ours) due to a closer, amicable relationship where we share scientists and information. Their deserts seem like a great place for wind or solar. If we can create a good battery system, then we can import that energy from them.

So, instead of being reliant on them for oil, you propose we become reliant on them for some other alternative energy source? And how has the current close relationship over oil allowed us to influence Middle Eastern politics positively, exactly?

I'm not entirely sure where you are getting your global political information from, but it seems hopelessly naive.

What's up with the tone Jimmy Blue? It seems as if you're attacking me.

If the current state of the Middle East is poor, imagine it without their oil revenue. I did research on this at one point and many of the countries in the Middle East have a large percentage of their GDP coming from oil exports.

Am I condoning the image of the dictator in luxurious palaces with the people in dirt? No. But I don't think you can change this by cutting off your major trade with those countries.

It is possible, when you trade with other countries, and especially if you have an intimate relationship creating something, where individual people connect and learn from each other, that people learn by example. Maybe equality for women rubs off on them. And who knows, maybe there is something these cultures can offer us. Our consumerism is one thing some religious leaders in the Middle East (Iran?) are not happy about. They feel it will have a negative impact on their culture. Maybe we can learn from this different emphasis.

And it seems clear that interdependence increases stability, as each party has something to lose if they threaten the other. Of course this doesn't always work, as in our invasion of Iraq. And, if we were to become energy independent we would not lose anything, on the surface if we stopped trading with the Middle East. However, if these countries lost a big part of their income and resent us for it, that might be a problem down the road. Not to mention a potential humanitarian problem.

So yes, I'm suggesting we maintain an interdependence and increase our relations with the Middle East through sustainable energy.

If you think that insulation (i.e. becoming insular) will help the USA, I think if it becomes us vs. the world, we will lose.

Misha:

Where do I attack you? I attacked your ideas, the tone is unimportant.

If the current state of the Middle East is poor, imagine it without their oil revenue.

Yes, the people will see that the power and money behind their ultra rich aristocratic rulers is gone and those rulers no longer have the political and military backing of larger powers willing to support them no matter what, as long as the oil continues to flow.

Imagine what could happen.

I did research on this at one point and many of the countries in the Middle East have a large percentage of their GDP coming from oil exports.

Was this sarcasm or just the pointing out of the bleeding obvious?

No. But I don't think you can change this by cutting off your major trade with those countries.

So you don't think that economic sanctions work? You don't think that removing the power base of despotic rulers in the Middle East might force them to change?

It is possible, when you trade with other countries, and especially if you have an intimate relationship creating something, where individual people connect and learn from each other, that people learn by example.

This has been the case since oil was discovered in the Middle East - what has changed that wasn't brought about by geopolitical events other than trade?

Maybe equality for women rubs off on them.

How long are we to wait? Another 100 years? Shall we continue to tolerate what they do because they may change eventually somewhere down the line, or shall we force change on them as soon as we can?

Our consumerism is one thing some religious leaders in the Middle East (Iran?) are not happy about.

Do you really understand why they are not happy with it? Don't you think it interesting that Middle Eastern political leaders parrot this line as well?

They feel it will have a negative impact on their culture. Maybe we can learn from this different emphasis.

Oh, so now we should be taking cultural lessons from oppressive theocracies?

And it seems clear that interdependence increases stability, as each party has something to lose if they threaten the other.

Yes each party would have something to lose. We lose oil which we are utterly dependent on unless we do something about it. They lose their privileged positions in despotisms and their ability to get away with whatever they want in their countries. After all, our interdependence has kept the Middle East such a stable place for the last 64 years.

However, if these countries lost a big part of their income and resent us for it, that might be a problem down the road.

Because, of course, they don't already resent us for supporting the oppressive regimes they live under and interfering in their lives and politics; all to ensure the flow of oil. Why don't you do some research on Osama Bin Laden's talking points and the common complaints of inhabitants of the Middle East as well.

So yes, I'm suggesting we maintain an interdependence and increase our relations with the Middle East through sustainable energy.

In other words: same old shit, different day. Tolerate what they do as long as we can trade with them, but continue spreading the myth that we can change them just by dealing with them. How is that working with China, by the way?

If you think that insulation (i.e. becoming insular) will help the USA, I think if it becomes us vs. the world, we will lose.

It's a good job I don't think that then.

misha, you should watch some Pat Condell videos on youtube,
like "welcome to saudi britain", the guy explains perfectly the point of why
it's dangerous for western societies to let
the middle east theocratic dictatorships to
do whatever they want.
I don't want a crazy theocracy that's stuck
2000 years behind in almost every thing like human rights and freedom of speech and thought,
to infiltrate western democracies and do
whatever they want, and I don't think we could learn anything useful from people that think of women as objects and humilliate them and if you think something different than the guy with the quran in his hand,
you get executed.

Having an alternate energy source and being able to cut the dependency on oil, would render their dictators powerless and maybe
the oppressed people would be able to do
something about it.

Tone does matter. You can support or find problems with ideas. I'm not wed to them so if you can show some new information I'm not aware of, great.

Imagine what could happen.
That is what I am attempting to do. You have danced around my point. What do you think will happen if the US buys no more oil from the Middle East? These countries will have major problems. I haven't analyzed it but I can imagine the income and jobs these people have in the oil business will dry up. I don't know if there is anything else these people can export. Their primary export is oil in many cases. You imply that maybe these poor people will rise up against their government and create a democratic nation. If that happens, then what? What are they going to export?

These are serious questions that need to be considered along with the more obvious desire to stop supporting dictatorships or theocracies with whom we disagree. (This is not to bring up the idea that there is nothing inherently wrong with a theocracy if that's what the people desire.)

^just making sure the blockquotes are closed!

Sorry Misha, but tone doesn't matter. You can be as nice as pie and still be totally wrong, or you can be a complete dick and be right - tone is irrelevant. It is the ideas that count.

That is what I am attempting to do.

I fail to see how that is the case - all you have done is say "But they'll be poor if we don't buy their oil, so if we don't buy oil we must give them something else we can buy off them."

If the power base that rulers of the Middle East rely on is gone, there will be social upheaval - and I certainly do not guarantee that a democracy would be the result. Of course these countries would have major problems - so what? We should go on propping up their regimes and pumping out greenhouse gases so things aren't difficult for them, in the hope that somewhere down the line they might change a little bit maybe?

You don't get to ignore the bad side of a regime just because changing it would be difficult. Maintaining the status quo is not an option for human survival.

You also don't get to just assume that no oil = complete economic collapse, so therefore oil.

For instance, Britain's exports used to be largely industrial goods but British industry has undergone a massive change and is still shrinking - Britain now exports manufactured goods, technology and services and other commercial interests rather than industrial goods.

I freely admit that I don't know what these Middle Eastern countries might export that would be a total replacement for oil - but there would undoubtedly still be oil exports anyway. China and India spring to mind, and plastics are going nowhere. But that doesn't mean they would have nothing either - there would need to be massive change in political, social and economic life in the Middle East. Why is that a bad thing? Did I say it would be easy?

Saudi Arabia is already investing in telecommunications, power generation, gas exploration and petrochemicals to try and move away from an oil based economy. Because the economy is oil based they already have massive problems with unemployment - they need to change anyway.

However, look at there employment levels by sector and you get:

industry - 21.4%
services - 71.9%

[source: CIA World Facbook]

Check out the other industries that Saudi Arabia already specialises in on that page too - none of them are going away.

This is not to bring up the idea that there is nothing inherently wrong with a theocracy if that's what the people desire.

The popularity of an idea doesn't make it right - basing a political system on supernatural sky people is still wrong and irrational. Theocracies are inherently wrong, no matter how many people believe in one.

Your entire position seems based around maintaining the status quo whilst hoping things might get better. Basically, the Western position on the Middle East for the last 64 years.

How is that working out?

You have danced around my point.

That's rich coming from someone who didn't address any of the questions I asked about their position.

Wow you keep dancing. I hope you understand that I don't think you have answered my question.

I am wondering, again, what will happen to these countries if they lose their primary source of income. And how will that affect us.

Also, won't it be better for the world if we are all interconnected by mutual interest rather than holed up in our own part of the planet? Interaction, even just with commerce, at least lets us experience what is happening in other countries to some extent. It's not the end, but it may be a beginning. It is very easy to demonize another country as "Other" if you are isolated.

That is it.

Oh, by the way theocracy does not only mean "sky being." Tibet was a theocracy. Also, "God" does not mean "sky being" to all believers in "God."

Tone matters in that it determines whether something is a discussion or an attack.

Wow you keep dancing. I hope you understand that I don't think you have answered my question.

I am wondering, again, what will happen to these countries if they lose their primary source of income. And how will that affect us.

Also, won't it be better for the world if we are all interconnected by mutual interest rather than holed up in our own part of the planet? Interaction, even just with commerce, at least lets us experience what is happening in other countries to some extent. It's not the end, but it may be a beginning. It is very easy to demonize another country as "Other" if you are isolated.

That is it.

Oh, by the way theocracy does not only mean "sky being." Tibet was a theocracy. Also, "God" does not mean "sky being" to all believers in "God."

Tone matters in that it determines whether something is a discussion or an attack.

Pelger, I think that our knowledge of the Middle East and of Muslims in general is terribly distorted, probably in a similar way that our culture is distorted. These are old cultures and most likely have lots of wisdom to share with us.

Just like the US is not only fundamentalist Christians, so too the Middle East is not only fundamentalist Muslims.

We need more contact with these countries, not less. It may not be in trade but getting a realistic picture of these places on Earth is easy nowadays, and crucial.

Just as a little personal info, I took a class on Muhammad and Islam in college, taught by a young, Pakistani (I don't know if she was Muslim) woman. One thing she said that stuck with me was, "What happens if you have these woman who wear their religious garments and spend their days at the well washing clothes, and they like it? What if it's their choice to live that way? Do we tell these people that it's a bad way to live? The fact is, these people do exist." This is not to discount womens' movements in the Middle East and Asia, but it's a good point if you were not aware of it.

Oops "probably in a similar way that our culture is distorted to those countries."

Actually, he kinda DID answer the question of what would happen without the oil income. Y'know, with the whole statistics citing thing.

Oh, by the way, just because the culture is old doesn't mean it actually has something to teach us. For example, TCM is old, and it's complete BS.

On what do you base your statement that TCM is BS? For one it worked for 10,000 years as medicine in China. For two, acupuncture works in a way that our science has not figured out yet.

And yes, he did kinda answer the question. I hope that other people give it a little more thought.

Hmm not quite sure why I think 10,000 years. It's more like 2,500.

Take a look at the alternative medicine category of this blog. You can access it in the upper right. It's got quite a bit on acupuncture and its wrongness.

If you're lazy, I'll summarize it: Acupuncture doesn't work and clinical trials show that its only a placebo.

I will take a look at it, but I do see this, with a quick search NIH website for complimentary and alternative medicine. The knee arthritis section looks, for example, as if there is benefit to acupuncture. But of course this is all an aside.

The idea that other cultures have nothing to teach us is stupid.

"The idea that other cultures have nothing to teach us is stupid"

You are right. No one said that. What is demonstrable is the acupuncture is nothing more than placebo. poking people with toothpicks in completely random locations works exactly the same.

TCM is worse. Its more placebo for the most part but instead of being harmless it tortures animals and depletes rare flora and fauna populations without providing so much as a little effort toward proving efficacy.

If we are going to talk about the NIH, lets just be clear about where 2.5 billion dollars went. Virtually none of the TCM, acupuncture, or any alt med "cure" is effective save a tiny minority, and even those have far better treatments available from evidence based medicine.

No one is saying that we have nothing to learn from other countries and cultures. We are saying acupuncture and most alternative therapies offer nothing over placebo. You get placebo from evidence based medicine also. Virtually all treatments from the alt.med world that are effective have already been embraced by EBM. For example, exercise, stress reduction, and so forth. We are just lucky the EBM provides a way to separate the wheat from the chaff unlike alt.med.

We are way off topic if you would like to discuss more of this,please locate any of the multiple posts on acupuncture or alt med on this site and we can pick it up there.

" What do you think will happen if the US buys no more oil from the Middle East? These countries will have major problems"


I want that to happen. Yes there will be further violence and chaos, but it will be in a way where these corrupt and inhumane governments are the target. This is EXACTLY how most of those russian states were able to break free and from their own countries, some freer than russia in the 80s and some not. I want to see more events like what is currently happening in Iran. They are getting sick of it, and until Iran and other middle east countries are shown the consequences of their bad behavior, this will never happen over there.

You description of bad things that might happen over there are already happening. If they rise up, they may not create a democratic nation, but if they do THEN we will help them. THEN we can talk about getting solar energy and transporting it as alcohols (better than battery concept). But until then, we are simply playing with fire.

"What happens if you have these woman who wear their religious garments and spend their days at the well washing clothes, and they like it? What if it's their choice to live that way? Do we tell these people that it's a bad way to live? The fact is, these people do exist."

I asked someone this very question, and they gave me a very good answer. Is it right to let people live in ignorance? Is happiness of the indvidual a more lofty goal the reducing ignorance of a population?

You may say happiness is the ultimate goal. I say you are dead wrong. People find happiness in the most distorted and immoral ways.

Misha:

Now you're just starting to annoy.

Wow you keep dancing. I hope you understand that I don't think you have answered my question.

I said I don't know what industries oil can be totally replaced with in those countries - but I also gave examples of ones that could replace them or are already doing so or that are now being invested in as oil based economies try to diversify, and I gave an example of an economy that has been successful in moving from industrial output. I also pointed out that oil sales will never disappear completely anyway - China and India will both need oil even if the US stops buying it in the Middle East and plastics production is not going anywhere.

Then I also clearly indicated that there would be massive social upheaval in these countries and that it would not be pretty and that it might not result in democracy.

In what sense did I not address your question? In the sense that it is easier for you to pretend that you are the only one who has given thought to this because then you don't have to actually address what I said?

Now, why won't you address my questions?

Let me re-iterate them in case you've forgotten:

1. Instead of oil do you propose we just become reliant on Middle Eastern countries for another energy source, just in order to prop up their economies?

2. How has the current close relationship over oil allowed us to influence Middle Eastern politics positively, exactly?

3. Do you think economic sanctions work or not?

4. Do you think that removing the power base of despotic rulers in the Middle East will force them to change?

5. We have had a trading relationship with the Middle East since oil was discovered in the region. What has changed there that wasn't brought about by geopolitical events other than trade?

6. How long are you willing to wait for change in the Middle East, for example equality for women?

7. Shall we continue to tolerate what these regimes do because they may change eventually somewhere down the line, or shall we force change on them as soon as we can?

8. Do you really understand why religious rulers in the Middle East are not happy with our culture? Don't you think it interesting that Middle Eastern political leaders parrot this line as well?

9. Do you really think we should be examining the examples of oppressive theocracies for cultural lessons?

10. How do you explain the fact that even though the West has been heavily interdependent on the Middle East for 64 years nothing has really changed there and it is still a volatile region, despite your claim that interdependence increases stability?

11. Do you understand the reasons why people in the Middle East already resent the West?

12. How do you justify your claim that we can change a culture by trading with it when the example of China clearly shows this is not the case?

13. Do you think we should go on propping up Middle Eastern regimes and pumping out greenhouse gases so things aren't difficult for them, in the hope that somewhere down the line they might change a little bit maybe?

14. How do you justify maintaining the status quo despite evidence that it clearly isn't working in the ways that you claim and isn't sustainable?

And you say I am the one dancing around the point.

Back to you:

Also, won't it be better for the world if we are all interconnected by mutual interest rather than holed up in our own part of the planet?

Yes, where did I say that I think that isn't the case?

Interaction, even just with commerce, at least lets us experience what is happening in other countries to some extent.

Experiencing these cultures through trade has been happening for decades, and in some cases centuries. Just exactly how much has the Middle East really changed in this time?

It is very easy to demonize another country as "Other" if you are isolated.

Indeed it is. Good job I am not suggesting that then.

Oh, by the way theocracy does not only mean "sky being." Tibet was a theocracy. Also, "God" does not mean "sky being" to all believers in "God."

And your point is what? Does any of this prove that theocracies are a good thing or just that there are a lot of forms of religious nonsense? Was Tibet a paradise in the brief period between 1912 and 1951 when it was not ruled by China? How about back in 1642 when it really became a theocracy?

These are old cultures and most likely have lots of wisdom to share with us.

Ah, the tired old "If it's old, it must have something wise to tell us" cliche. Like what? Blood feuds? Cutting off thieves hands? Subordination of women to men?

We need more contact with these countries, not less. It may not be in trade but getting a realistic picture of these places on Earth is easy nowadays, and crucial.

Doesn't this contradict your point that by reducing trade in oil we isolate ourselves from these countries and can't then get to understand or learn from them?

One thing she said that stuck with me was, "What happens if you have these woman who wear their religious garments and spend their days at the well washing clothes, and they like it? What if it's their choice to live that way? Do we tell these people that it's a bad way to live? The fact is, these people do exist."

Yes, we can say it is still a bad way to live. The key is that no-one is saying we should take away the right for them to live that way either. Stop trying to assign ideas to me that I don't have. The point is that those people who do want to live that way don't get to tell everyone else they have to live that way.

On what do you base your statement that TCM is BS? For one it worked for 10,000 years as medicine in China. For two, acupuncture works in a way that our science has not figured out yet.

Take this to one of the acupuncture threads, and then define in what way acupuncture worked, what evidence there is for this, and why lifespans only started to increase dramatically in the last century if acupuncture worked.

And yes, he did kinda answer the question. I hope that other people give it a little more thought.

You only think that I didn't give it much thought because you ignored everything I did say, and then assigned to me some things I didn't.

The idea that other cultures have nothing to teach us is stupid.

Good job none of us said that then, isn't it? Try addressing what we actually say, not what you think we did or what you want us to have said because it makes it easier for you to dismiss then.

- China and India will both need oil even if the US stops buying it in the Middle East and plastics production is not going anywhere.

actually thi sis yet another reason for us to get out of oil. The new tata that costs like 2500 dollars india will be sold to indian and chinese customers, customers who have not had the where with all to have a car before. Without regulation, their oil consumptiomn will soon easily outweigh ours. Where will middle eastern countries prefer to send oil? Nearby or across the world?

There's stuff to learn from other cultures, but that does not mean everything from elsewhere is inherently superior to the things we do. There's stuff that other cultures could afford to learn from us as well.

Anyway, to squeeze down a lot of posts from my fellow skeptics into simplicity: The status quo in the middle east is really bad. Taking economic power from the corrupt regimes will shake up that status quo. Just about anything would be better than the current stagnation. Especially since that stagnation is built on the prospect of overly convenient ecological ruin.

misha:
I said "I don't think we could learn anything useful from people that think of women as objects and humilliate them and, if you think something different than the guy with the quran in his hand,you get executed",
sorry if it sounded ambiguous or like "no other culture can teach us anything because we are in the west!".
in the context, I was talking about basic human rights, freedom of thought and speech, and all the kind of things that are denied in theocracies/dictatorships.

What Bronze Dog said - that's quite a handy skill you have Bronze, distilling the long winded into the brief without losing the meaning.

You should be an editor!

First of all I don't intend to ruffle any feathers here, only to present a side of the issue of "energy independence" that I haven't heard much, if anywhere.

My original idea was in two parts:

1. The Middle East depends on our buying oil to some degree for its livelihood. If we stop buying oil there what will that do to their economies? And how will that, in turn, affect our country?

I heard several comments along the line of it would be a good thing if these countries failed economically so that maybe things would change there in regards to how these people live.

I heard comments that the current system is not doing much for the people of these countries as is.

I also heard a comment that these countries would probably be able to adapt because China and India would still buy oil from them and they are not totally dependent on oil as income.

These are all answers to what you think about the first part of my question. In response, I don't happen to think that it is an acceptable outcome if these countries fail, for the sake of the people.

I really haven't heard how these countries might make up for the oil that the USA currently buys. And mostly, I haven't heard any ideas on what might happen to us if these countries destabilize or resent us for any problems. Of course if destabilization is minor, then this isn't a problem.

2. The second part of my point was, what will ending major trade with the Middle East do to our relations with these countries? We currently do have some influence on them with boycott. It's true that our influence has sometimes been negative as we have done not-so-moral things to ensure our oil supply. So perhaps our need for oil has negatively affected some of these countries. But, aside from this macro mutual-influence, does this tie allow us to learn from each other and influence each other in smaller ways also? Are there many other ties we share now as nations? If there has been any influence from the West in inspiring democracy, equality, maybe a less strict judicial system (and I think there has been), then how much of this is because of our link due to oil trade? I don't know; it seems like it is a factor, logically.

As I have mentioned, trade ties us together as a stabilizing factor. Perhaps our oil trade has prevented more conflict in the region. If we don't need anything from these countries, then will that affect the peace of the region or the peace in our country.

I haven't yet heard many ideas about this part of my concern.


Sorry I can't respond to every part of your posts, everyone, especially Jimmy Blue. This section of the comments is getting too dense. Hopefully I represented your ideas in this post.


Pelger, yes I was referring to that statement. Just because a culture does some bad things does not mean they have nothing to teach us. I was also responding to this quote:

King of Ferrets: Just because the culture is old doesn't mean it actually has something to teach us.

Just because a culture is old doesn't mean it has something to teach us, I agree, but it makes sense that since it's been around so long it probably does.

And I really have to comment on the idea that a theocracy is inherently wrong, or that people who enjoy a Muslim society are wrong: This is ignorant stuff, I think.

TechSkeptic: Is it right to let people live in ignorance? Is happiness of the indvidual a more lofty goal the reducing ignorance of a population?
Jimmy Blue: The popularity of an idea doesn't make it right - basing a political system on supernatural sky people is still wrong and irrational. Theocracies are inherently wrong, no matter how many people believe in one.

Alternatively, pretty much everything it could possibly teach us is worse than what we already have because they are around where Europe was in the Dark Ages.

The only thing I can think of that they might be able to teach us to do better is giving to the poor; that's one of the 5 pillars of Islam, I believe.

Oh, also, on the theocracy thing: Maybe, if you could 100% guarantee that all people that ever came to the theocracy would support it 100%, and would all be the religion of the theocracy, it might be okay. Otherwise, there are going to be people persecuted for their religion.

Misha:

I really haven't heard how these countries might make up for the oil that the USA currently buys.

Then you still are not paying any attention to what we have actually written.

And mostly, I haven't heard any ideas on what might happen to us if these countries destabilize or resent us for any problems.

Almost certainly what is already happening, only now the wealthy rulers won't be able to secretly support the terrorists.

We currently do have some influence on them with boycott.

What, you mean like, for instance, not buying their oil?

It's true that our influence has sometimes been negative as we have done not-so-moral things to ensure our oil supply. So perhaps our need for oil has negatively affected some of these countries.

Replace 'sometimes' with 'nearly always' and 'some of these' with 'all of these' and you might be starting to understand.

If there has been any influence from the West in inspiring democracy, equality, maybe a less strict judicial system (and I think there has been), then how much of this is because of our link due to oil trade?

Where's your proof? Are there still public executions and amputations? What you think doesn't matter. It is the evidence that counts - where is yours?

I don't know; it seems like it is a factor, logically.

Why?

As I have mentioned, trade ties us together as a stabilizing factor.

Prove it - the facts of the current reality appear to disagree with you.

Perhaps our oil trade has prevented more conflict in the region.

Pure conjecture that flies in the face of the facts.

If we don't need anything from these countries, then will that affect the peace of the region or the peace in our country.

Yes.

Sorry I can't respond to every part of your posts, everyone, especially Jimmy Blue.

Then stop complaining we aren't responding to you.

but it makes sense that since it's been around so long it probably does.

Why does it?

And I really have to comment on the idea that a theocracy is inherently wrong, or that people who enjoy a Muslim society are wrong: This is ignorant stuff, I think.

Why? Just saying so isn't good enough. Who said people who enjoy a muslim society are wrong?

Jeez Jimmy Blue, you manage to post a million quotes and actually answer few of my actual questions.

Me: I really haven't heard how these countries might make up for the oil that the USA currently buys.

Jimmy Blue: Then you still are not paying any attention to what we have actually written.


Such as? China and India will buy the oil that we buy? I talked about this already. I appreciate the answer. I am further responding to it by asking how that will make up for our oil.

Me: I haven't heard any ideas on what might happen to us if these countries destabilize or resent us for any problems.

Jimmy Blue: Almost certainly what is already happening, only now the wealthy rulers won't be able to secretly support the terrorists.


So nothing different will happen? I find that hard to believe.

Also, not all oil-producing nations are "evil dictators" or "terrorist supporters".

Me: We currently do have some influence on them with boycott.

Jimmy Blue: What, you mean like, for instance, not buying their oil?


Yes. Boycott only works if you will at some point start it up again.

Me: So perhaps our need for oil has negatively affected some of these countries.

Jimmy Blue: Replace 'some of these' with 'all of these' and you might be starting to understand.


I simply don't know if our actions have affected all these countries negatively. Kuwait, for example. I am not an expert, just a layman.

Jimmy Blue: Where's your proof [of our influencing these countries positively]? ... It is the evidence that counts....
Well I think that Western democracy has certainly influenced these countries. There are protests in Iran over their presidential election. There are women working towards more equality. I assume this is modeled on an ideal that is existing in the West. How much of this is influence from trade? I have no idea. I bet that in addition to hobnobbing with emirs in Saudi Arabia we are able to slip in some influence to their politics. I have no proof but this is logical.

I have the feeling that any contact we have with people in the Middle East will expose them to our way of life. And my question is how many contacts do we have with these countries? Is oil our biggest one? Bootlegging media may be another, but I don't know how that occurs.

Jimmy Blue: Why [is it logical]?
Because we need to talk to each other to trade with each other. This means partnerships and maybe friendships. It means wining and dining.
Me: Trade ties us together as a stabilizing factor.

Jimmy Blue: Prove it - the facts of the current reality appear to disagree with you.


First, do you actually disagree that trade ties us together as a stabilizing factor? And the question would be why do you think that it doesn't? Or are you just putting me through the hoops here as an exercise?

What facts disagree? Throw me a bone. Do you mean our invasion of Iraq? Yes this is a big one. But it is really a first in the last 60 years. For the most part few trading partners have declared war on each other. Of course I can't prove that trade decreases likelihood of violent conflict but it is logical. I do know there are political philosophies supporting this. Is it even a part of game theory? If you can benefit without any risk, why take a risk to possibly benefit more?

Me: If we don't need anything from these countries, then will that affect the peace of the region or the peace in our country.

Jimmy Blue: Yes.


So, how do you think it will affect the peace of the region and in our country?

Me: It makes sense that since [a culture's] been around so long it probably does [have something to offer].

Jimmy Blue: Why does it?


Do you disagree? Do you not think that the older a culture is the more likely it is to have collected some useful information.

Me: I really have to comment on the idea that a theocracy is inherently wrong, or that people who enjoy a Muslim society are wrong: This is ignorant stuff, I think.

Jimmy Blue: Why? Just saying so isn't good enough. Who said people who enjoy a muslim society are wrong?


Perhaps some theocracies that we have known so far are bad, but there is nothing wrong, inherently, with deciding as a community that you want to be ruled from a moral authority derived from "God." The idea that people who are not of this religion will be persecuted is interesting, but that is not a necessity. You could have freedom of religion in a theocracy. And you don't have to have religious laws in a theocracy.

I had made a point that some Muslim women like wearing religious clothing and going to the well to chat with other women, and asked what you do with that? TechSkeptic said that this was ignorant. So I assumed he was saying that this Muslim culture was wrong.


So, not to push this, but does anyone have any comments on the idea that ending major trade with the Middle East will isolate us from this region?

Perhaps some theocracies that we have known so far are bad, but there is nothing wrong, inherently, with deciding as a community that you want to be ruled from a moral authority derived from "God."
.

I think it is wrong because god is an excuse for humans to make up rules so a few have the power and benefit while the rest of the population suffers.
they even invent some rules that prevent people from questioning their power or the other rules, and this evolves into practically interfering with free thought and education. those few in charge because they invented a magic man in the sky to terrorize the population, don't want free-thinking educated people.
and god may be sadistic, but he's a fictional character, the problem are those very real human beings in power that apply the sadistic rules invented by other sadistic humans (or themselves), and attributed to their fictional character.
those rules reflect the intolerance THEY have, not god's thoughts or whatever.
also, I don't find yaveh-based or allah-based moral codes to be desirable for a society...

You could have freedom of religion in a theocracy. And you don't have to have religious laws in a theocracy.

then it wouldn't be a theocracy.
I think we are talking about different concepts but using the same word.

oh,and about "ancient cultures", you are overlooking something: if a culture has been around for thousands of years BUT IT EVOLVED, is one thing.
the problem is when the culture has been around for thousands of years AND ARE STILL STUCK 2000 YEARS AGO.
if they had advanced and evolved as a society, they would have some centuries of advantage, but they didn't, and western society in some respects, did.
we are not stuck in the middle ages or in the cruzades, they seem to be so.

Pelger, you say that a theocracy is a scam, essentially, for people to abuse power; or maybe you think that this kind of power is too great for any human. However you sort of rule out the idea that there is a morality that humans may be privy to that can guide us. You also assume that all gods are sky-beings that rule over us. That is one view. It is not the view of all religious people.

Now, can a small group of humans handle ruling over a people with divine or superior moral authority? I don't know. I think so. And there is a possibility of it. So there is nothing inherently wrong about a theocracy.

Why would a theocracy not allow other religious thought? Why would they have explicitly religious laws? What if the religion welcomed all religions? What if the religious idea of morality was a broad, universal morality? I think a theocracy just means leadership of a country by some superior authority, such as God. They can make whatever rules they like.

The idea that the Middle East has not evolved or has stopped evolving is troubling. On what do you base that? And even if a society remains at a tribal level, like the Native Americans, does that mean they don't evolve morally, intellectually, emotionally? Maybe evolving is maintaining a balance with nature as a small tribe. But this is not really the point for the Middle East. I don't know much about it, but it is not in the middle ages; there are modern cities, intellectuals, scientists, artists, etc. Our image of them is terrible because we have so little contact with them.

I think a theocracy just means leadership of a country by some superior authority, such as God. They can make whatever rules they like.

What the hell are you going on about? Hey next time you see a god, sure, ask him to take the presidential seat. Not like we would really have a choice right? I mean if a god shows up hey! finally existence proof will be over and Sky dude can finally be clear about what he wants.

The point he was making is that since god isn't real, and we know this because since the dawn of man, with many people thinking abou this, no one has delivered an existence proof. Since this is the case, the best theocracy possible is a group of people pretending to know about the non-existent. When they do that they are making up rules to benefit the folks who believe the same nonsense. How di we know that will happen, because that has never NOT happened. Even in this country which is not supposed to be a theocracy, we have religion getting into our military, our healthcare, our politics..its disgusting, and we are not close to a theocracy as you describe it.

like the Native Americans, does that mean they don't evolve morally, intellectually, emotionally?

any evidence that they do? You favorite eastern societies that have produces such medical wonders such a moon bear gall bladder bile certainly hasnt developed any new morals with respect to animal treatment in the last 2000 years. They certainly havent shown any new care for the environment as they now spew more pollutants than the US. So I ask again, what are you going on about?

Sure a universal unitarian theocracy is possible. What exactly would be a theocracy about it in your scenario? Just that the leaders are UU? Well we have that now, the overwhelming majority of our leaders are christian. Bang! we live in a theocracy and are currently suffering all the nonsense that goes along with it.

Misha:

Jeez Jimmy Blue, you manage to post a million quotes and actually answer few of my actual questions.

That's rich coming from the person who readily admits they won't answer ours. Why should I, but not you?

Such as? China and India will buy the oil that we buy? I talked about this already. I appreciate the answer. I am further responding to it by asking how that will make up for our oil.

Clearly you did not understand my point. I included China and India specifically because their oil consumption is increasing in line with their economies and the increase in car use in both countries. Techskeptic even spelt it out for you. So no, you don't appreciate the answer (at least in the sense of understanding it).

One of the problems with climate change control is that the developed countries are expected to make sacrifices whilst developing ones continue to increase the consumption of fossil fuels.

So nothing different will happen?

Terrorist attacks will continue - this time they may have a new reason for them and their backers won't be able to throw as much money their way - so, if they are still perpertrating terrorist attacks on the West as they are doing now, what changed?

Also, not all oil-producing nations are "evil dictators" or "terrorist supporters".

Again with the bleeding obvious. Of course, there aren't many Venezualan or Norwegian members of the Taliban, Hizb ut-Tahrir or Al'Qaeda either.

Boycott only works if you will at some point start it up again.

And as I have repeatedly pointed out, oil will still be needed for some manufacturing and industry.

I simply don't know if our actions have affected all these countries negatively. Kuwait, for example.

Kuwait was invaded in 1990 so Saddam could take the money Kuwait made from selling oil to the West. The US ambassador to Iraq basically told him the US would do nothing if Iraq invaded.

There are protests in Iran over their presidential election. There are women working towards more equality. I assume this is modeled on an ideal that is existing in the West.

Why assume that - are people in the West the only ones who want freedom and equality? Is freedom and equality an exclusively western idea and pursuit? That's more than a little arrogant, isn't it?

How much of this is influence from trade? I have no idea.

Yet you keep asserting that it must be. Don't you see the problem there?

I bet that in addition to hobnobbing with emirs in Saudi Arabia we are able to slip in some influence to their politics. I have no proof but this is logical.

No proof and yet you keep claiming it and can't even give one concrete example - prove it or stop claiming it.

I have the feeling that any contact we have with people in the Middle East will expose them to our way of life.

Exposing them to is not influencing. Try doing some more research on exactly how foreigners in the Middle East travel and are expected to act, and how much exposure the average person gets to them. Western tourists are still heavily punished in some areas of the Middle East for breaking Middle Eastern taboos.

First, do you actually disagree that trade ties us together as a stabilizing factor? And the question would be why do you think that it doesn't?

Yes and no. First, trade is a product of stabilised relations between countries - not the cause of it. Two nations at each others throats may not trade, but the fact that two nations do trade does not mean they will not fight - Iraq-Iran war, invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and subsequent war with the US led coalition (who do you think sold Saddam his weapons?), the Nazi attack on Soviet Russia, the First World War, the Falklands War, even India and Pakistan trade with each other despite clashes in the Kashmir - history is littered with countries who traded with each other right up until the first shots.

Or are you just putting me through the hoops here as an exercise?

No, I am trying to point out that you have an incredibly naive, overly optimistic and in some cases uninformed view of international trade, politics and history.

But it is really a first in the last 60 years.

Like I said...

For the most part few trading partners have declared war on each other.

This is absolute nonsense - most nations continue to trade right up until war breaks out.

Of course I can't prove that trade decreases likelihood of violent conflict but it is logical.

Like everything else you have simply claimed or stated as logical - it isn't.

I do know there are political philosophies supporting this.

And how do these philosophies match with reality, once they get outside the classroom?

If you can benefit without any risk, why take a risk to possibly benefit more?

How profound. Do you know any history at all? Presumably then, according to this theory, there have been no wars ever? Right? There have never been any wars, right? I mean, your theory clearly explains everything about human nature and international politics, doesn't it?

So, how do you think it will affect the peace of the region and in our country?

It's impossible to fully predict. But I bet I have a better idea than you.

Do you disagree? Do you not think that the older a culture is the more likely it is to have collected some useful information.

Yes, I do disagree - I thought by now that was clear. No, I don't think that age necessarily means a person, nation or culture has, by virtue simply of age alone, learnt important or useful information more so than a younger but similar entity.

Perhaps some theocracies that we have known so far are bad, but there is nothing wrong, inherently, with deciding as a community that you want to be ruled from a moral authority derived from "God."

Yes, there is. Once you claim authority comes from an unproveable supernatural entity anything is justifiable. Reason is abandoned. Morality becomes subjective.

You could have freedom of religion in a theocracy.

You could, in theory. In theory, according to you, people never take risks or do anything stupid though.

And you don't have to have religious laws in a theocracy.

Yes, you do. It's kind of the definition of theocracy.

TechSkeptic said that this was ignorant.

I don't want to speak for Techskeptic, but no he didn't. He asked if it was right to let people live in ignorance. Different thing entirely.

So, not to push this, but does anyone have any comments on the idea that ending major trade with the Middle East will isolate us from this region?

Right, because we are the ones who haven't been answering questions. You yourself even said that there are other, easy ways to find out about cultures. Is any culture with access to modern communications ever truly isolated?

Take for example your assertion that western culture must have influenced Iran. How much trade does Iran have with the West? The answer, in case you don't want to look it up, is 'Not much'. Once again, your theory does not agree with the reality.

Now, can a small group of humans handle ruling over a people with divine or superior moral authority? I don't know. I think so. And there is a possibility of it. So there is nothing inherently wrong about a theocracy.

You think so because you don't have a good grasp of history. Rule by divine right has never been a good thing. If you don't know much about a subject, it is a good idea not to talk about it.

Why would a theocracy not allow other religious thought?

Why would it?

Why would they have explicitly religious laws?

Because that is what makes a theocracy a theocracy.

What if the religion welcomed all religions?

How would that make it any better?

What if the religious idea of morality was a broad, universal morality?

What if it was?

I think a theocracy just means leadership of a country by some superior authority, such as God.

Then, once again, you'd be wrong.

They can make whatever rules they like.

That's the problem.

I don't know much about it

Yes, we'd gathered.

You act as if I'd theorized that your momma wore combat boots, Jimmy Blue. I laid out a perfectly rational set of drawbacks to energy independence for comment. Thanks for replying.

One thing I'd like to mention is that the idea that "God" refers only to some kind of supernatural, omnipotent, sky-entity, is simplistic. Some religious people envision this, but many don't. I think most religions have a much more meaningful concept of God. I don't know if religion is simply a framework with which to understand our reality or if there is one or many truths that religious people have understood. Even if it is a framework, I don't think that is a negative thing necessarily. Perhaps a religious framework is not required, and a similar framework may be created with a non-religious ideology; but this does not mean that religion would not be an equally helpful framework. Douglas Adams talks about astrology in one of his books as a bunch of bullshit but a bunch of bullshit that, because it is a framework, allows for the discussion of some interesting things. I'm not saying that religion is only a framework, however if it is, it does have value.

Not to get into a religious discussion as we are already on a side-track. But just as an alternative conception of religion.

Uhhhhh... the people who believe in the sky daddy idea are in a vast majority in both the US and the Middle East, and are actually in the majority for the world. For the purposes of this discussion, I think we can safely assume the sky daddy is the most likely to have a theocracy.

I'll comment only on this because I don't want to keep going offtopic, maybe we should continue in some of the religion posts and keep this to global warming.

You also assume that all gods are sky-beings that rule over us. That is one view. It is not the view of all religious people.

obiously not, they think gods are real...

when I say "magic man in the sky", you can change that for any imaginary thing you want,it doesn't matter if it's a man or an antropomorphic thing or if it's supposed to reside in the sky, the bottom of the lake, the forest, the desert, a volcano or a garage, my point was "it's a made up entity"

I don't want to speak for Techskeptic, but no he didn't. He asked if it was right to let people live in ignorance.

you spoke for me just fine.

Misha:

So once again no replies to the actual content of my posts. What a surprise.

Don't bother replying.

I have checked the sources you have cited as "evidence" of AGW. They seem to simply repeat the mantra that "Man's emissions did it." Not much in the way of empirical evidence. If I am wrong, then it should not be hard for you to list a brief summary of the empirical evidence that supports AGW.

then it should not be hard for you to list a brief summary of the empirical evidence that supports AGW

Nope shouldn't be hard. What is harder to do is convince a denialist of anything other than his preconceived notions.

So are you a denialist? Is there any amount of evidence that would be good enough for you? or are you just going to follow the path of Graemebird?

To put TechSkeptic's comment another way: Plant some goalposts firmly in the ground and promise not to move them after we kick.

I have checked the sources you have cited as "evidence" of AGW. They seem to simply repeat the mantra that "Man's emissions did it."

If that's how it "seems" to you, then it seems to me you haven'tread them. In fact, it seems to me that you are repeating the mantra that "Man's emissions didn't do it."

William Pinn,

Of all the topics discussed on this blog, global warming is perhaps the least accessible topic for the layman due to the sheer complexity of the system under consideration. Even if all the relevant evidence was given to you, would you have the expertise to draw a meaningful conclusion from it? I think most people wouldn't. Assuming you don't have the required expertise (apologies if you do, but in that case I reckon you wouldn't need to ask for a summary of the evidence in the first place) the safest bet has to be to go with the scientific opinion on climate change. From the wikipedia link:

National and international science academies and professional societies have assessed the current scientific opinion, in particular recent global warming. These assessments have largely followed or endorsed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) position of January 2001 that states:

An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system... There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.[1]

Since 2007, no scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion. A few organisations hold non-committal positions.

How do you ignore this?

Martin,

here I will show you how he ignores this as I have seen it 5000 times

1) wikipedia can be edited by anyone so nothing there should be taken as truth

2) the IPCC report was written by a bunch of self serving scientists who are looking for new funding

William Pinn:

1. Do you accept the existence of Greenhouse gases, for the moment disregarding their claimed role in AGW?

2. Do you accept that carbon dioxide is produced in greater amounts by humanity now than previously in history?

Answer these questions, then we'll start talking about what evidence there is for global warming.

once again we see the tactics of the left at their worst. marginalize those who oppose your agenda, label and dismiss them. study history and you will find this has been done time and time again with horrific results."a trial without a defense is a sham, business without competition is a monopoly, science without debate is propaganda, and government without an opposition is usually a disaster."

And what is "science" without evidence, Interglacial John?

About the same as a comment without substance, I imagine.

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