Cheney: "Big Debate" Needed To Determine Whether Humans Are Changing the Climate

Fri, 2007-02-23 08:33Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

Cheney: "Big Debate" Needed To Determine Whether Humans Are Changing the Climate

In an exclusive interview, ABC's Jonathan Karl asked Vice President Dick Cheney about the topic of global warming, a subject Mr. Cheney has rarely addressed in the past. The vice president agreed that the earth is warming but maintained there is debate over whether humans or natural cycles are the cause — a position that puts the administration at odds with the vast majority of climate scientists.

Previous Comments

“Balls to Vee Pee Cheney, Cheney, Cheney, Balls to Vee Pee Cheney, Dirty old man. For he keeps us waiting While he’s mass debating, So balls to Vee Pee Cheney, Dirty old man.”

I could have sworn that we’d had that debate, and that they’d just released the verdict (or the summary of it).

I suppose that Cheney thinks that wasn’t good enough (pfff….scientists. What do they know?) and that by changing the venue, he’ll get a more favourable outcome. But even trying this thing in the media isn’t going so well for him…

I guess that by this announcement, he’s inviting such illuminati as BIll O’Reilly and Rex Tillerson to sit in the journey. And just maybe… Tim Ball?

But seriously, i like this new focus on “debate”. Do you think he’s actually learned something from the Iraq debacle?

always right, isn’t that the case, Ross? Why don’t we start with scientific elections where the selected set of scientists can vote for the what consitutes scientific truth, subsequently, all funding for the losing side will be cut off. No more debate, no more troubles. What a great future!

J I K, why not do us all a favour and read about the “scientific method” so you will not bother us with your uninformed ramblings. Truth in science is determined by carrying out experiments, repeating them a number of times, trying to disprove what you have found and having it published in the peer reviewed scientific literature.

This is how truth in science is attained. Now the truth may not last for ever since new technologies etc. may eventually disprove what has been proven in the past. However, the new truth must also pass rigorous peer review. Truth in science is not changed by some denier saying “this is rubbish, it goes beyond my political beliefs and it will affect me economically thus it is not true.”

That is exactly how the AGW deniers function and it is the exact antithesis of how science operates. It is no wonder that scientists get very annoyed when AGW deniers interfere and try and rewrite the scientific method so that their lies, distortions etc. challenge the truth.

how science works much better than you do. One thing real scientists do not do is to resort to name calling and insults to defend their findings. But, unfortunately, all you do is just that, which leads me to believe that you are not a scientist. But I must say that you fit in very well on this site, which, after all, is a desinformation and propaganda site.
Honestly, I have no problem with this at all. In fact, I think the scientists who believe AGW should prevent their evidence and the scientists who believe a natural cycle should show their evidence. Problem is the latter will be rather short.

J I K, you have no idea about truth and honesty. You are obviously not a scientist (I appreciate that you probably have a degree in science, but that does not make you a scientist). As I said above, honesty, integrity and truth are what is needed to be a practicing scientist, things which you lack.

Does your company, which I believe uses science and technology, know how you denigrate science and scientists? I certainly would not put up with such behaviour in employees of mine.

get a grip. You are constantly proving my point. You really should focus more on actual and factual argumentation.

J I K, my scientific background has made me too honest. I call a spade a spade and I call idiots idiots.

Ian?
Where is Ian’s name calling? He even abided by your suggestion/demand that “global warming denier” should not be used. I thought from Ian’s writing that he does understand science and maybe is a scientist. If credentials are so important to you, what are yours?
PS. I’m a scientist and I sometimes resort to name calling, but that’s only when I’m dealing with jerks.
approach is what I objected to in my initial post. Then Ian got all in panic and started shouting about me not understanding science, being and denier, and all the rest. Btw, I am one of those who thinks global politics is much too important to be left in the hands of UN and a group scientists. Thus, depending on what you claim, you science credentials may or may not be important. E.g. if one claims to be able to reconstruct global temperatures for the last 1000 years down to a decimal of a degree, using proxies, then ones statistical expertise is very important. But to analyze and criticise the SPA, one does not need any particular credentials, just common sense and integrity.
Let’s get away from “the vast majority” of scientists think contrary to Cheney. Let’s get away from the consensus statement in the SPM: “more than 90% certainty”. Let’s talk about scientific findings and facts. Where are Cheney’s facts? Or, on what is his ‘common sense’ based? What the heck are his credentials? (I don’t think we want to go there, really.) What are the contrary findings or facts that he references, or those of the scientists he invites to discussions, or those that you find convincing? I tried to make a point on a different thread that out of all the money and energy that people devote to arguing against the consensus, if they put half of that into helping to do science that could uncover the facts that would support their cause, they might actually have a positive impact. But they don’t. They give $ to NRSP and argue on the internet with people they are unlikely to sway rather than having bake sales to help fund Richard Lindzen so that he can figure out how to get his Iris effect to make sense.
Let’s see, Cheney’s public pronouncements have been:
WMD,
Cakewalk,
connections to terrorists,
greeted as liberators,
and now he’s branching out to no AGW,
he just has to say something about evolution and he’ll have it pretty much covered. I hope this Libby thing opens a window for all to see what he’s really about.

I did a quick straw poll over at Daily Kos on what it would take for the White House to accept the fact that global warming is happening and humans are to blame.

Result: 66% believe that if Haliburton invented a new solar panel, the White House would cave.

Thanks Kevin for the injection of some much needed levity!
It's friday ya know…
JIK, is it masochism that makes you hang around with this bunch of semi-educated prattlers? Trying to explain the scientific method to Ian is akin to discussing quantum mechanics with Al Gore. Let them take turns drinking Hoggan’s bathwater. ROSS, does the famous “vast majority” equate to the 50 or 60 people who had a hand in the latest IPCC apologia?
The thing is that JIK does not explain the scientific method on this site, nor does he have anything of substance to say. He posts only to complain and criticize. He makes no positive contribution. Much like you, Zog.
I am visiting this website for the first time (and probably the last) this morning. I cannot believe how much this site (and others like it for example WWF)drips of hypocrisy! You call out any AGW naysayer for being funded by big oil or coal. How is all of envirofear lobby funded? By fomenting unfounded fear in the general public and then saying “save the planet, give us money!” <p>Its akin to a televangelist tellin his flock to “just donate your money to me and God will bless you!” I am afraid that history will not be kind to Dr. Fruit Fly and his accompliss Al Gored. After the planet continues to cool (as has levelled off since 2000), by about 2015 the whole AGW house of cards will collapse and Suzuki and Gore will be known as the Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart of global warming.<pr> How much damage is all this going to do the the causes of education, science, and politics when the sky does not fall. As a high school biology teacher, I am disgusted by the lack of objectivity and intellectual honesty by the people pushing the AGW POLITICAL agenda. <p> Please answer a couple of simple questions for me all you AGW disciples. Where were humans during all of the previous warming cycles that the planet has been through in the last 500 million years? Also, are humans driving SUV's and burning fossil fuels on Mars? Of course not.<p> Then why are the ice caps on the poles of Mars shrinking? Could it be that the solar energy reaching the planet(s) is the chief driver of global temperature? Duh. The latest research is showing this to be true, and atnospheric CO2 is really about number 4 or 5 on the list for factors affecting global temperature. Anyone who thinks the science of AGW is proven is either misinformed or deliberately lying to advance a political agenda.

If you really are a science teacher (and to be honest I doubt it) you are doing a disservice to your students. If you would only take a few hours of your time and read up on the causes of climate change over the past you will find that the reasons for these changes are well known at a scientific level. The current changes are unprecedented in their rate of change (changes occurring in decades and centuries which in the past occurred over millennia and even millions of years) and have been unequivocally shown to be due to human causes. Certainly, other factors are involved but the science shows them to be of minor importance.

Do your students a favour and study the science since you claim to be a science teacher.

Eric complains that the people on this site spend too much time calling out AGW deniers for being funded by big oil and coal and suggests that if we don't stop, he won't come back. Well, happy unting, big guy, but that's why we'r here. We're not raising money. We're not pushing politics. We're calling out AGW deniers for being financed by big oil and coal. 
You didn’t answer Eric’s question re the source of funds for the Church of AGW. Don’t be shy. We know that the principal backer of desmogblog was recently arrested on gambling and money laundering charges, but what of other mouthpieces? The Suzuki Foundation for example? Does gulling the public with lie-filled brochures bring in cleaner money than cheques from Evil Exxon? I somehow got onto Suzuki’s sucker list a few years ago, and I’m continually bombarded with his vomit. “Just write us a fat cheque and we’ll save the world.” Compared to Dr. Fruit Fly, sleazy televangelists are almost loveable.

So are the scientists who are conducting the research in universities, publishing peer reviewed literature, who5 recieve their funding from governmental sources and suggest that AGW is occuring part of this so called church?….PR firms are PR firms, they dont generate the science, so is it the PR folks who are members of the church of the no strings attached scientists?

You know the denialist camp becomes desperate when they start in on the conspiracy theory.

We’re still waiting for proof of a natural cause to a natural cycle boys.

I wonder how many people that seem to think there is a mountain of evidence against AGW have actually read anything other than blogs, magazines or other opinion based pieces of information from newspapers or have even read the IPCC report. Here is a link to educate yourselves on published peer reviewed credible science taken from about 1990-2001, used to support a scientific arguement. It should be noted that this isnt a scientific arguement based on one study, but from literally hundreds of different authors from around the world.

http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/index.htm

Unforunitily the most recent research does not suggest the sun as the most important factor, though even in the IPCC report its role in warming and effect on climate is discussed I’ll even inclued this link.

See section 6.11
http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/212.htm

I wonder perhaps though that its the blogs and “believe me because I have no evidence other than think tank propaganda and poor conjecture and ill make up some numbers for this climate model graph but I am the first Climitology PhD in Canada” Tim Ball consider things otherwise.

As for the Mars business, the only conclusion really than can be draw is that the ice caps are shrinking. Since there is no real climate monitoring on Mars, no one is even sure whats going on the planet though its suggested climate change is occuring. But there are serious questions for instance, are subsurface ice levels changing, is this a regional or pan world based climate shift? Why has polar ice changes only occured in the last 3 years and not during any other time of the 50 year solar modern optima? the list of unknown questions is actually quite a bit longer than that. No real study on martian climate has been conducted and the only thing that can be concluded is that the ice caps are experiencing a reduction in size.

PS I try not to make too many personal suggestions but educating yourself, with information beyond blogs, newspapers and think tanks is the way to. The IPCC report is an excellent summary of published literature. However, access to most scientific literature is limited to most people outside of academic circles and that is a serious challenge for many people to get unbiased sources of information, because I honestly wouldnt go with much of anything thats on the general internet in most cases.

Well said. One would think people try google and learn the science on their own instead of coming here asking people to do all the work for them.
You go away for a few hours… Yes, I am a science teacher and student of science. I have a B.Sc. from the University of Alberta(1988), and I am currently in the after Degree B. Ed. program at the UofA (secondary route) biology major, chemistry minor. I tutor science students and in September I will begin begin my two semesters of student teaching. I am currently doing chemistry, astronomy, and geology courses. No, I do not have a post graduate degree, but I have done research on AGW, reading several peer reviewed papers relating to this topic. My nephew is a recent Ph. D graduate (Metallurgical Engineering - UofA). He has researched and discussed the topic and also is of the opinion that the AGW theory seriously overstates the impact of humanity on global temperatures and that the theory is far from being proven. I do not have the time or the will to address the many asinine uninformed irrational comments that have been posted here. I am sure your minds are already made up and you do not wish to be confused with the facts. Why has Dr. Suzuki steadfastly refused to publicly debate any of the scientists from the friends of science for the last 10 years? If the facts were on his side, surely it would be an excellent opportunity for him to get his message out. Why have the AGW proponents refused to participate in a scientific round table on AGW proposed by the friends of science unless it was held behind closed doors, with no media coverage? Why has Antartica actually been cooling when climate modeling has predicted the opposite? I could go on.. The reason behind the recent push in the media by AGW supporters is that they realize that it is just not happening like they said and they want to get their political agendas fulfilled before they lose the public’s support.

Eric asks “Why has Dr. Suzuki steadfastly refused to publicly debate any of the scientists from the friends of science for the last 10 years?” Well in the first place FOS hasn’t been around for 10 years.

Secondly, why lower yourself to the likes of those pseudo-scientists listed as FOS “scientific advisors”?

When AGW deniers find reputable science and scientists to show that there is another explanation for global warming then there will be true debate. As long as the AGW deniers resort to lies, distortion of the scientific facts and obfuscation there will be no point in even appearing on the same stage as these fraudsters.

Eric, if you have evidence that the science behind AGW is wrong please bring it forward. Otherwise, stay away if all you can add is more distortion of the truth.

Again, I repeat that I am sorry for the plight of the science students you are teaching since close to 100% of scientists are supportive of the science behind AGW.

Eric, a metallurgical engineer is not a climatologist. And I have a BSc in biology, which is not worth all that much; certainly I would not claim any expertise based on it. To learn what the real climatologists are saying, visit RealClimate. There you will learn about things such as Antarctic cooling at this link:

“…It is important to recognize that the widely-cited “Antarctic cooling” appears, from the limited data available, to be restricted only to the last two decades, and that averaged over the last 40 years, there has been a slight warming (e.g. Bertler et al. 2004. At present, it is not possible to say what the long term change over the entire last century or more has been. The lesson here is that changes observed over very short time intervals do not provide a reliable picture of how the climate is changing.

Furthermore, there are actually good reasons to expect the overall rate of warming in the Southern Hemisphere to be small. It has been recognized for some time that model simulations result in much greater warming in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere than in the South, due to ocean heat uptake by the Southern Ocean. Additionally, there is some observational evidence that atmospheric dynamical changes may explain the recent cooling over parts of Antarctica…”

and also at this link:

“…We found that the stable isotope composition of the ice cores mimics the observed temperature pattern – warming between the 1960 and 1980s, cooling since then. Using the stable isotope records to extrapolate farther into the past, we find that Antarctica has warmed, on average, in the last century, along with the rest of the globe…”

VJ, a geneticist is also not a climatologist. Ian, what is the point of any discussion with you if all you can do is resort to name calling? I have many choice names for Dr. Suzuki and your beloved CBC, but what is the point? The truth is that I have no direct evidence against AGW and you have no direct evidence for it. The only way to get direct evidence would be to have two earths and eliminate mankind at about 1500 AD in one case and leave things as they have been in the other. Of course this is impossible. We do have indirect evidence that shows that the current rates of climate change easily fit in with what has happened on this planet in the past. In fact there have been several instances where the changes have been much more abrupt than what we are currently experienceing. Regarding climate change modeling and simulations, why do you expect me to believe what the current models are predicting? If you look at three periods of time - 1900 - 2000, 1940-1970, and 1970-2005, you will find that the current simulations all predict the wrong outcome for all three of these periods. The temperatures actually dropped globally from 1940-1970 when you eliminate the heat island affect (that is why everyone was so freaked out about global cooling in the 1970’s). For 1970 to 2005, the models over estimated the increase by tenfold. So why do you expect me to believe them for a fourth period of time. Repeating the same course of action over and over and expecting a different outcome is a definition of insanity! I took a computer course last semester and learned a bit about simulations and found that the usefulness of a simulation depends on the accuracy, depth, and validity of the various input parameters. Obviously, this is lacking with current climate simulations. Thanks for your interactions. I cannot do any more posting here since I have a life; wife, three kids, and a chem mid term next week. I know I will not change anyone’s mind here and you will definitely not change mine. Its kind of sad to see what I call the ‘ghettoization’ of the internet and blogging. The internet is full of little groups of people that have their own interests and opinions that huddle together to prognosticate and stroke each other for their group wisdom and ‘righteousness’. Every once in a while a ‘kamikaze’ person jumps in (like myself in this case), stirs the pot, and then disappears, leaving behind fodder for the faithful to feed upon. I am not necessarily just criticizing you and your group, this of course also happens in right leaning sections of the blogosphere. Cheers, Eric btw You will all probably be REALLY happy to know that I live on an acreage and heat a 30’ by 50’ shop and a 1600 square foot house with a walk out basement with a COAL fired hot water heating system! About 25 t coal per year, shame, shame.

Eric, you write “…In fact there have been several instances where the changes have been much more abrupt than what we are currently experienceing…” Were there any humans around at these times? Were the climate changes associated with mass extinctions?

Since the last ice age we have lived in relatively stable climates. This allowed humans to develop agriculture, which in turn encouraged the massive population growth we have now. Since the climate is now changing abruptly and is becoming less stable, agriculture worldwide is probably going to be seriously disrupted, just as fish in the ocean are disappearing. The earth will no longer be able to support all of us. This means millions or billions of people could starve to death, far more than are doing so now.

If you want to think about your family, think about their future and what you can do now to give them a future.

Eric, you haven’t a clue (and by the way, that is not an ad hom it’s a statement of fact).

You say “The truth is that I have no direct evidence against AGW and you have no direct evidence for it”. Well the first part is true but the second part is absolute nonsense. Haven’t you ever heard of the IPCC and their reports that are the absolute epitome of science and the scientific method? Please tell me why you do not consider the IPCC reports (and all the papers in the peer reviewed scientific literature) as providing “no direct evidence for it.”

By the way in your first post you said that you were a teacher, then you say in a later post, that in September “I will begin my two semesters of student teaching”. What are you Eric, a student who one day may become a teacher (just pray that you don’t get a question about AGW on your final exam) or a real teacher? Sounds like you and Cheney skipped the ethics and honesty classes while at school.

Ian your majesty, I am SO sorry. What a vile, vindictive, bitter piece of work you are! I am half done my B.Ed., I tutor high school science students. I tutor my grade six son and grade 3 daughter, both of which received the science awards for their classes last year; so yes, I already consider myself to be a teacher. What is your problem???? The point I am making about the lack of proof of AGW is that there is no way of proving that is is happening unless humanity had been exterminated at around 1500 AD. All of these supposed catastrophic changes may have happened anyway. It seems to me that people like yourselves feel that the Earth has forever been and forever more needs to remain static at a 1900 AD level in terms of climate and composition and distribution of plant and animal species. This of course is impossible. Maybe you watched ‘Bambi’ a few too many times as a child and it warped your sense of reality. No, I do not own a gun, so don’t start in on that. I could never pull the trigger on a deer. Rearding the IPCC report, the one that just came out was written by bureaucrats and politicians. The scientists that work with them are now feverishly working at picking out (usually out of context and not part of the big picture) evidence to support what the politicians and bureaucrats have already decided. The whole thing is a joke. You or someone else said you feel sorry for my students. I feel sorry for all the students that are being told by the establishment that this is a done deal. What will happen when this catastrophe doesn’t happen? How much long term damage are your people doing to the causes and credibility of science, education, and politics by unequivocally stating that AGW is fact. I teach my students and children to look at the facts and decide for themselves, not to take what I say or what the scientific establishment says as fact. Shouln’t we be teaching critical thinking? Lord Young of Graffham, in a letter to The Times, 28th Nov 2000. · “Global warmers predict that global warming is coming, and our emissions are to blame. They do that to keep us worried about our role in the whole thing. If we aren’t worried and guilty, we might not pay their salaries. It’s that simple.” Kary Mullis, Winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry · “The problem we are faced with is that the meteorological establishment and the global warming lobby research bodies which receive large funding are now apparently so corrupted by the largesse they receive that the scientists in them have sold their integrity. ” Piers Corbyn, Weather Action bulletin, December 2000. · “The only people who would be hurt by abandoning the Kyoto Protocol would be several thousand people who make a living attending conferences on global warming” Professor Kirill Kondratyev, Russian Academy of Sciences 2003-10-12 · “Global warming - at least the modern nightmare vision - is a myth. I am sure of it and so are a growing number of scientists. But what is really worrying is that the world’s politicians and policy makers are not.”
Sorry, in my haste I did not finish one sentence.”The scientists that work with them are now feverishly working at picking out (usually out of context and not part of the big picture) evidence to support what the politicians and bureaucrats have already decided BEFORE THE FINAL REPORT COMES OUT IN MAY.” This is the way the sentence should read. Having reflected a few minutes, I want to say this. Honestly, Ian, sorry. This arguing with you is a mistake, and provoking you is not constructive. I am not going to change your mind and you are not going to change mine. I just wish that you would not be so certain in your mind that you are right. As you know, pride goes before a fall. I just think that we are on the wrong track with all the furore over CO2. If we directed our resources towards eliminating real toxins from our environment and towards adpapting to changes that will happen to the earth regardless of what we do as humans, we and our planet would be much better off. This is me signing off regardless of what you post next. You are probably saying good riddance…

First of all, a student is not a teacher so you have compromised your honesty from the start. Just like Tim Ball, you never seem to have a grasp for the truth. If you really were a scientist you would understand what honesty and truth are, they are the pillars of a respected profession. I get extemely annoyed when people pretending to be scientists dishonour the profession in the way you and many other trolls on this blog attack science and scientists.

Secondly, close to 100% of climate scientists agree that AGW is real so who are you (a student no less) to have the audacity to criticize them? You have exactly zero experience in the discipline but you think you are smarter than them. Please stay away from this blog till you have respect for your elders and more educated peers.

Eric, if you want to be taken seriously you should find some better experts to associate yourself with.

1 - Lord Young of Graffham. A letter to the editor of the Times newspaper by a Peer of the Realm does not constitute a “peer reviewed paper”.

2 - Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize winner. Interesting that you should pick this character since the Nobel Committee seriously considered removing his 1993 prize for his anti-science activities since receiving the prize. It is also worth noting that the PCR method was actually discovered in the late 1960’s so it is very debatable that Mullis could be the ”inventor,” it is more likely that the company he worked for at the time, Cetus, were successful in taking it from the lab to commercial use.

What anti-science activities does he support? Well he actively denies that HIV is the cause of AIDS. This is reprehensible and should be fully brought to light. He is also a supporter of the Discovery Institute and Intelligent Design (thus opposes biological evolution). He also denies AGW. He also denies that CFC’s are causing a problem with the ozone layer.

So he is not really a good choice to make any decisions regarding AGW.

3 - Piers Corbyn eccentric weather forecaster. Makes weather predictions that he claims are 80% accurate using a method no one else believes in. Will not accept even odds bets on his forecasts even though he claims 80% accuracy. Not really a serious contender for any scientific information one-way or the other but a bit of light hearted entertainment.

So Eric, you are batting zero for three, any others you would like to bring to the table to support your scientific understanding of AGW?

[x]

For more than a year, oil giant BP has waged a massive public relations battle to convince Americans that the company has been bamboozled by the oil spill claims process relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout.

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