Climate Change and Well-Informed Denial

Tue, 2011-05-03 08:52Chris Mooney
Chris Mooney's picture

Climate Change and Well-Informed Denial

On climate change, we’re politically polarized—which would be bad enough, but that’s not all. The hole we’ve dug is even deeper—as new research clearly suggests.

There’s yet another study out on Democrats, Republicans, and climate change, this time from Lawrence Hamilton of the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. Over the last two years, in a series of regional surveys, Hamilton asked nearly 9,500 people questions about climate change—from Appalachia to the Gulf Coast, and from New Hampshire to Alaska. 

Across all these regions, he consistently found the following phenomenon: Democrats and Republicans who claimed to know less about the climate issue were more like one another in terms of whether they accepted the science. Democrats and Republicans who claimed to know a lot about the issue, by contrast, were vastly polarized—with knowledgeable Democrats overwhelmingly accepting the science, and knowledgeable Republicans overwhelmingly denying it.

Political polarization is greatest among the Republicans and Democrats who are most confident that they understand this issue,” writes Hamilton. “Republicans and Democrats less sure about their understanding also tend to be less far apart in their beliefs.”

This core finding itself is not new—a 2008 Pew survey also found that Republicans with a college level of education were less likely to accept the science of climate than Republicans who lack such education. Other studies have also underscored this fundamental point. But for precisely that reason, Hamilton’s research kind of puts it in the realm of indisputable political fact. Not only are we polarized over climate change, but our knowledge and sophistication, when combined with our politics, make matters worse.

How could this be? For Hamilton, the explanation lies in the interaction between how we get information (from trusted news and Internet sources, we think, but we’re actually being selective) and our own biases in evaluating it (objectively, we think, but again, we’re actually being selective). “People increasingly choose news sources that match their own views,” Hamilton writes. “Moreover, they tend to selectively absorb information even from this biased flow, fitting it into their pre-existing beliefs.” In other words, we’re twice biased—based on our views and information sources—and moreover, twice biased in different directions.

Thus it really makes a lot of sense that those who are paying less attention to the climate issue, whether nominally Democrat or Republican, are less polarized and less sure of themselves. They’re not working nearly as hard at reaffirming their convictions, and refuting the convictions of the other side. (Hamilton’s study implies, though, that that they may have a different problem—they know so little that they may be more likely to be buffeted by the weather in terms of how they think about climate. If it’s hot out, maybe they’ll worry. If it’s cold, they’ll scoff.)

Overall, the big picture is that our society is not making up its mind in anything like a rational or scientific manner about climate change. That’s unfortunate–but it would be a form of denial itself at this point to reject the finding. 

 

Comments

Rather than just insist you’ve answered, try actually answering.

“Disclaimer: The inclusion of a paper in this list does not imply a specific personal position to any of the authors.”

So the authors cannot interpret their own paper?!?!?!?!

But YOU can?

Talk about ego!

RP Jr has NO PROBLEM being labeled with the denier set (E.g. Plimer, McIntyre and Ball).

What he DOES have a problem with is people lying about him. He’s in denial but he’s at least honest about it.

An honesty that poptart avoids like the plague.

Where did I state the authors could not interpret their own paper? Talk about propaganda. What is explicitly stated is that certain papers can be used to support skeptic arguments while the author may hold a different opinion than the skeptic making the argument.

Pielke’s nonsense is refuted here, http://z4.invisionfree.com/Popular_Technology/index.php?showtopic=4019

When you refuse to remove their paper from your list, tarty.

Certain papers are being used to support the denialist arguments but merely by insisting that, since there are over 900 of them, the denialists MUST be true.

Circular logic, but one that is the only avenue by the deep-down denialist.

That is illogical as the list has nothing to do with their opinion. The list only has to do with the papers themselves and if they support a skeptic argument or not. The ones on the list do.

Your idiot logic is noted. The disclaimer is clear,

Disclaimer: The inclusion of a paper in this list does not imply a specific personal position to any of the authors. The reason for this is a small minority of authors on the list would not wish to be labeled skeptical (e.g. Harold Brooks, Roger Pielke Jr.) yet their paper(s) or results from their paper(s) support skeptic’s arguments against AGW alarm. This list will be updated and corrected as necessary.

Richard Littlemore put an article up here some time back which highlighted the work of tireless John Mashey (John Mashey’s comments in the tail are worth a look too) recently in the spotlight for exposing Wegman et. al., and the statements of the The American Physical Society:

http://www.desmogblog.com/another-silly-climate-petition-exposed

The 2009 science bypass pdf there is worth downloading but this article gives some idea:

<—quote—>

APS says ‘In your face, Deniers!’
November 11th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Actually, this isn’t quite what the American Physical Society (APS) said, but that short-hand doesn’t really misrepresent what occurred.

For several months now, Global Warming deniers (no, not “skeptics”, but active purveyors of misinformation demonstrating severe anti-science syndrome) have sought to get the APS to turn aside from the Society’s 2007 Statement on Climate Change. The APS’s consideration of the deniers’ “silly petition” was warmly (and loudly) proclaimed among those seeking to distort the national (and global) discussion re Global Warming and the bests paths forward to mitigate against catastrophic climate change. (See Science Bypass for a 128 page tour de force analysis by John Mashey.) Yesterday, the APS leadership council did an ‘in your face’ response to these efforts to promote unscientific arguments.

Council of the American Physical Society has overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to replace the Society’s 2007 Statement on Climate Change with a version that raised doubts about global warming.

No equivocation.

No stepping back from the 2007 statement which rests as APS policy.

<—endquote—>

full article here:

http://getenergysmartnow.com/2009/11/11/aps-says-in-your-face-deniers/

And the deniers accuse climate scientists of being on the take. Sheeesh!

And that, is not the only evidence available.

They don’t, or won’t, get the science and neither do they get the dirty campaign being perpetrated by fossil fuel interests such as Exxon/Mobile and the Kochs through organisations such as The Heartland, Cato, George C Marshall, Frazer, CEI, AEI, API (mouthpiece and general attack dog Tim Phillips) and so on and so on!

Well they don’t get the latter or are a part of that dirty campaign. Some who appear here seem genuinely ignorant, to begin with, and show evidence of poor education and a readiness to engage in religious speak, nearly always a sign of low rationality. Whereas others, and I figure GF is in here, are a part of the problem. Won’t study evidence and the science and repeats mantras endlessly from the “Institutes”’ song sheet.

ExxonMobil Report: Smoke Mirrors & Hot Air (2007)

UCS report finds that the oil company spent nearly $16 million to fund skeptic groups, create confusion
Download: ExxonMobil’s Tobacco-like Disinformation Campaign on Global Warming Science http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/global_warming_contrarians/exxonmobil-report-smoke.html

Against 100 Billion dollars robbed from taxpayers to support Marxism by AGW Junk Scientism.

“Against 100 Billion dollars robbed from taxpayers to support Marxism by AGW Junk Scientism.”

So we shouldn’t strive to understand our planet? How can we do it for free or convince the free market to do it for no profit?

Governments around the world have provided grants for thousands of scientific studies for hundreds of years. You probably end up watching them on discovery or national geographic. Like I’ve said to you before Gareth, it’s only because government has discussed a carbon tax that you suddenly feel science has it wrong.

RE:”So we shouldn’t strive to understand our planet? How can we do it for free or convince the free market to do it for no profit?”

You can do it for free by not asking for taxpayer cash; If this was good enough for Newton, Kepler, Copernicus, Maxwell, et. al getting themselves on a GS schedule. I don’t know which is more dispicable a government priest or a government scientist; come to think of it other than the color of the coat there’s not a dimes worth of difference - each conning the ignorant for return for taxpayer earned cash.

RE: “governments around the world have provided grants for thousands of scientific studies for hundreds of years.”

Agreed, when they aren’t either murdering or subjugating their citizens, they are stealing from them and bilking them; been doing it since time immemorial. The age of enlightenment was only a brief respite from this sordid tale but its now over.

Weird.

And your list is idiotic, it’s like saying that just because the wheel was invented without patents, we don’t need any patents now.

RE: “governments around the world have provided grants for thousands of scientific studies for hundreds of years.”

Agreed, when they aren’t either murdering or subjugating their citizens”

You mean like the USA under George W Bush?

PS if you hate government so much, feck off to Somalia.

100Billion hasn’t been spent in the entirety of AGW science. Where it comes from is from the anus of the denialist echo chamber.

But your fear is really running into overdrive.

Apparently, cleaning your room is “marxism”. Taking responsibility for your actions is “marxism”. In fact, anything whatsoever that doesn’t further their greed is marxism.

Ayn Rand’s religion is strong in this fundamentalist terrorist.

The total given in subsidy to nuclear power over merely 60 years of its existence has totalled over 200Billion FROM THE USA ALONE.

Funny how you fundamentalists don’t complain about it.

Of course, this is because it’s pork that you feed off. Pork that you partake of. Pork that ensures the rich get the money.

Seems every conservative ‘merkin is against taxes but not enough to stop taking the handouts.

If you thought that SG had any form of independent thought of his own, the claim for 100 Billion being spent is a repeat of Bob Carter’s diatribe:

“Since [the 1980s], with the formation of the IPCC, and a parallel huge expansion of research and consultancy money into climate studies, energy studies and climate policy, an intensive effort has been made to identify and measure the human signature in the global temperature record at a cost that probably exceeds $100 billion. And, as Kevin Rudd might put it, “You know what? No such signature has been able to be isolated and measured.”

Bob Carter’s lone assertion is picked up by the unskeptical. More of his ravings are discussed here:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/carter-confusion-1-anthropogenic-warming.html

But independent watchers may find it interesting that Bob’s the only one who has said this, unsupported though it is, and has been picked up but NEVER EXAMINED by the sheep-like echo chamber residents like, for example, SG.

http://notrickszone.com/2011/05/18/skeptics-and-alarmists-clash-at-climate-conference-german-scientists-call-pik-scientific-position-weak/

about reliability of sources, and refuses to learn about climate science.

More Orwellspeak from notricks starting with that site’s title. No Tricks indeed! Hah!

From the horses mouth:

‘This is a look into a climate science debate conference between skeptics and warmists that took place last month in Potsdam, Germany.’

Note the use of the pejorative ‘warmists’ and the avoidance of ‘deniers’.

Ok some of the scientist involved with the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE - perhaps EEK! would be more appropriate) may be only skeptics but that is not GFs position. GF by a process known as confirmation bias and based upon his cognitive dissonance (the climatic effects fro AGW already in evidence don’t register) searches for any straw to keep him afloat.

Sorry GF, but you are already below the surface. Rather than discuss the science, for example by answering some of my questions in earlier posts you resort to diversions.

So, what is this EIKE?

A Reality Check:

<—quote—>

16 October 2010
The German Sceptics

I recently went through a little clash with the German climate sceptics scene, which was quite interesting. It may be difficult to follow the details for those who do not speak German, but you may still get a taste of the current “climate” in Germany.

As a result, EIKE publishes a wide spectrum of climate sceptic views on its website. Luedecke himself is quite moderate and argues on a scientific level. He has a little paper on the physical basis of the greenhouse effect buried somewhere on the EIKE site, which is quite good except for the last part, where he selects only those few studies (e.g. by Richard Lindzen) that suggest a negative rather than a positive feedback on the CO2-effect, thus denying a significant anthropogenic influence on climate. Luedecke has also published a book on “CO2 and climate protection”. I haven’t read that so I can’t comment.

However, there is also lots of highly dubious material on the EIKE site. If you follow the publications link on the page you find contributions by some interesting German climate sceptics, such as the recently deceased Ernst-Georg Beck, who essentially disputes that there is an anthropogenic CO2 increase, or Gerhard Stehlik, wo has weird theories on his own on the greenhouse effect. Unfortunately, his paper on this matter which he sent me some years ago is not available on his website anymore (dead link). And you find of course the quite widely known paper of Gerlich and Tscheuschner, who maintain that the greenhouse theory violates the second law of thermodynamics and who have been refuted many times (also see Globalklima). And in its advisory board, EIKE has among others my old critic Lord Christopher Monckton Viscount of Brenchley. I’m impressed!

<—endquote—>

Full article:

http://wah-realitycheck.blogspot.com/2010/10/german-sceptics.html

Wow! What a farce, certainly if it has Monckton on its advisory board.

So that, in a nutshell, tells us all we need to know about this bogus process of climate discussion. Skeptics indeed! Try sceptics, for ‘tis poison they drip.

GoFigure, you have to do better than this, much better.

http://notrickszone.com/2011/05/18/skeptics-and-alarmists-clash-at-climate-conference-german-scientists-call-pik-scientific-position-weak/

“This is a look into a climate science debate conference between skeptics and warmists”

The denialists LOVE to consider themselves skeptics and there is no such term as “warmist” unless you are going to accept “denialist” for the ones pushing against doing anything about AGW.

These denialist scientists have absolutely NO REASON other than their pathalogical fear of government and hatred of any sort of society that has cohesion to deny AGW.

They just gotta hate.

I also want to do something about AGW

I want to promote it.

Here’s a man who had our current fraud 100% pegged:

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
H. L. Mencken

You certainly do your best to keep everyone alarmed. Such gems as:

+++
RE: “governments around the world have provided grants for thousands of scientific studies for hundreds of years.”

Agreed, when they aren’t either murdering or subjugating their citizens, they are stealing from them and bilking them; been doing it since time immemorial.
+++

+++
robbed from taxpayers to support Marxism by AGW Junk Scientism.
+++

+++
It appears that most Americans are on to the con-job and would rather have real jobs instead of more taxes, mandates
+++

+++
We have been inculcating this propaganda in our government schools for over a decad
+++

+++
As for real science; we import it from Asia with millions of H-1B visa’s
+++

etc.

Because you have nothing but scare tactics to try and “convince” people that AGW is going to enslave them. If you can scare them, then you don’t have to explain to them. Just keep them feared.

14 trillion dollars in debt is not a “scare factor” is actual debt. Its not imaginary or theoretical debt - its real
Now as far as AGW is over its not going to be paying useless idiots to “study” garbage much longer - the piper needs to be paid and the AGW teat is not only the hind most its drying up

The Tea party is your worst enemy; they flushed the party that funds “studies” down the toilet last November and its looking even worse for the college boy “studies” this year. Everyone is running from it as fast as they can.

AGW “scientists” will get some study to work grants after the next election. McDonalds 101: Anthropogenic Burger Warming —- I’ll take that with fries!

The grants pay 7 seven bucks an hour with the possibility of working former “AGW scinetists” into “ABW management positions” after several years of showing up for work on time with a clean uniform and shined shoes.

Because reality has a well-known liberal bias.

I noted with some amusement that Andrew Montford’s ‘Hockey Stick Illusion’ is advertised on there.

Well that would raise a red flag for anybody who understands even a smidgen of the reality of the state of climate science and how much we know and how well, even more so than mention of Monckton.

Montford’s book is another in the same league as Plimer’s - should be on the fiction shelves.

<—quote—>

The Montford Delusion
Classé dans:

Climate Science
Paleoclimate
Reviews

— group @ 22 juillet 2010

Guest commentary by Tamino

Update: Another review of the book has been published by Alistair McIntosh in the Scottish Review of Books (scroll down about 25% through the page to find McIintosh’s review)

Update #2 (8/19/10): The Guardian has now weighed in as well.

If you don’t know much about climate science, or about the details of the controversy over the “hockey stick,” then A. W. Montford’s book The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science might persuade you that not only the hockey stick, but all of modern climate science, is a fraud perpetrated by a massive conspiracy of climate scientists and politicians, in order to guarantee an unending supply of research funding and political power. That idea gets planted early, in the 6th paragraph of chapter 1.

The chief focus is the original hockey stick, a reconstruction of past temperature for the northern hemisphere covering the last 600 years by Mike Mann, Ray Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes (1998, Nature, 392, 779, doi:10.1038/33859, available here), hereafter called “MBH98″ (the reconstruction was later extended back to a thousand years by Mann et al, 1999, or “MBH99″ ). The reconstruction was based on proxy data, most of which are not direct temperature measurements but may be indicative of temperature. To piece together past temperature, MBH98 estimated the relationships between the proxies and observed temperatures in the 20th century, checked the validity of the relationships using observed temperatures in the latter half of the 19th century, then used the relationships to estimate temperatures as far back as 1400. The reconstruction all the way back to the year 1400 used 22 proxy data series, although some of the 22 were combinations of larger numbers of proxy series by a method known as “principal components analysis” (hereafter called “PCA”–see here). For later centuries, even more proxy series were used. The result was that temperatures had risen rapidly in the 20th century compared to the preceding 5 centuries. The sharp “blade” of 20th-century rise compared to the flat “handle” of the 15-19th centuries was reminiscent of a “hockey stick” — giving rise to the name describing temperature history.

But if you do know something about climate science and the politically motivated controversy around it, you might be able to see that reality is the opposite of the way Montford paints it. In fact Montford goes so far over the top that if you’re a knowledgeable and thoughtful reader, it eventually dawns on you that the real goal of those whose story Montford tells is not to understand past climate, it’s to destroy the hockey stick by any means necessary.

<—endquote—>

full article:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/the-montford-delusion/

Now on that hockey stick, download a copy of this GF:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/The-Scientific-Guide-to-Global-Warming-Skepticism.html

and read the section ‘Hockey Stick or Hockey League’

But I have mentioned the grey fuzz around the trend line on that chart before, have I not.

GF You have no excuse for this wilful ignorance.

More about H L Menken who SG loves:

+++

Instead of arguing that one race or group was superior to another, Mencken believed that every community produced a few people of clear superiority. He considered groupings on a par with hierarchies, which led to a kind of natural elitism and natural aristocracy. “Superior” individuals, in Mencken’s view, were those wrongly oppressed and disdained by their own communities, but nevertheless distinguished by their will and personal achievement – not by race or birth. Based on his achievement and work ethic, Mencken considered himself a member of this group

+++

Which doesn’t jibe so well with the libertarian screed SG follows religiously, since the “elites” are the IPCC scientists (just ask Fox!) and the democrat voters.

Also, given AG Pucceli, Inholfe and the entire RW section of the US congress’s attempts to jail the scientists like Michael Mann and Phil Jones shows that the IPCC scientists are the persecuted elite, wrongly oppressed and disdained by their own communities, distinguished by their will and personal achievement.

Just ask SG what he thinks of Mann, Jones, Hansen, et al. disdain isn’t the half of it. Yet their achievements are huge.

Whereas Monckton’s only achievement other than having a Peer as a daddy, was to fail to get one vote to promote him to the peerage.

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/05/19/epa-dollars-doled-out-to-environmentalist-activist-groups/

The website reference above, says, in part:

“According to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, there are 2,141 federal grant programs with some 109 coming out of the EPA. By the EPA’s own grant database, over the last ten years, the agency has bellied up to the bar and bought drinks for many of its friends at the taxpayers’ expense. Within the past decade, the EPA awarded or continues to have open more than 7,500 grants, totaling $3,847,160,250 to non-profit groups alone.”

That’s a quick (almost ) $4 billion in lobbying by our government from just one agency…..

http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2011/04/23/political_payback_%E2%80%93_oregon_style

…. sleazy, underhanded, ignorant,

…. progressives at Oregon State University at work

You really make me laugh GF are you serious about that piece of rhetorical ranting about poor Art Robinson and his Oregon organ? You do know where to find the toilets don’t you. Poor SirG, it would seem, wouldn’t know one end of a toilet from the other for he seems to be standing in and lapping up your effluent. Oh! Well! So be it.

Here is a quote from the Rabbet’s place, who happens to be a real scientist.

<—quote—>

The Oregon Deception Project…..

where we find John Humphreys in the graveyard resurrecting this unkillable climate denialist zombie. Tim Lambert, thermometer in hand tries to bludgeon the poor beast into eternal peace (and quiet). For those of you fortunate enough not to know what the hell Eli is babbling about, go, leave, get hence from this post, lest the spirit of love and kindness curdle in our season of good will and you try to stiff your loved ones (Ms. Rabett has informed Eli that any such attempt would be a health contraindication).

On the other hand, if you wish to plumb the depths of depraved indifference and greed, stay tuned. To come up to speed on this delightful tale, we recommend this merry case study on Source Watch

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Oregon_Institute_of_Science_and_Medicine#Case_Study:_The_Oregon_Petition

(note from LA- see some familiar names there, ones that crop up WRT MWP)

. Another place to learn all about it is Myanna Lahsen’s article on deceptive climate politics tactics (see this previous comment at the Rabett hutch). Under the rubric
Defining Science in Public Relations Campaigns: The Role of Nonscientists and Simulated Scientific Authority
Lahsen describes a noxious example
The Example of the 1998 Petition Campaign
In 1998, tens of thousands of U.S. scientists received an envelope containing a bulk-mailed letter, an article, and a petition form. The letter was signed by Frederick Seitz, former president of the National Academy of Sciences and chairman of a think tank, the George C. Marshall Institute. Seitz’s letter asked recipients to join a campaign urging the U.S. government to reject international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Kyoto Protocol…….
Seitz, of course, learned the trade from the tobacco lobby, and certainly received wonderful fellowship support from them while studying. Lahsen continues
Accompanying the petition package was an article referred to as a “scientific summary.” It was authored by Arthur and Zachary Robinson, as well as two Ph.D. astrophysicists, Sallie L. Baliunas and Willie Soon. The former two were once again affiliated with their “Oregon Institute,” while Baliunas and Soon were listed as affiliated with the George C. Marshall Institute. ……

The “scientific summary”was another instance of deceptive manipulation of recognized symbols of science: it was formatted such that it looked like an article that had appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a renowned and peer-reviewed scientific journal issued by the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Yet the summary was not peer reviewed and, according to recognized climate experts, contained numerous inaccuracies and one-sided presentation of the scientific evidence—what one climate expert referred to as the “cherry-picking of facts.”15 According to the National Academy, many lay persons and scientists were indeed misled, as indicated by the many calls it received from persons wanting to know whether the Academy had indeed taken a stance against the global warming theory (Science 1998)……
As to the Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine
Additional examples of “conjured” scientific authority emerged around the petition campaign. The letter asking people to sign the petition was accompanied by a copy of the Wall Street Journal editorial article by Arthur and Zachary Robinson, the two “chemists” quoted above. “Science Has Spoken,” read the title (Robinson and Robinson, 1997). The prestigious sounding institution with which they were affiliated — the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine—was elsewhere revealed to be a one room operation located on a farm on a rural road in the forested foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains. It consisted only of Arthur B. Robinson, a chemist with a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, and his 21-year-old son, who has no advanced degree (Hill 1998).
Where do they get their funding from you ask, well in a 1998 article by Hill in the Oregonian, Robinson says that their income was ~$200K, split between donations and payments for home schooling material, but in 1999 their income was $400K, which gives us some idea of what their little project cost.

And what about our friends at the Marshall Institute
The George C. Marshall Institute, which was central in the 1998 Petition Campaign, presents itself as an objective source of policy advice on matters related to science, the environment, and national defense…… It offers itself as an alternative to a general trend toward politicized scientific appraisals.16
The claims to objectivity of think tanks such as the George C. Marshall Institute emerge as another obstacle for lay recognition of bias in scientific information. The Marshall Institute was established in the 1980s to influence opinion and policy. It was established and continues to be run by means of money from wealthy conservative elites, including the Mellon Scaife’s family foundation (McCright 1998; Sarah Scaife Foundation 1996). Between 1992 and 1994 alone, the Marshall Institute, which is part of the conservative antienvironmental movement (McCright and Dunlap 2000), received more than a million dollars from just twelve influential private foundations supporting the conservative movement (McCright 1998, 62). Despite the institute’s self-description, it is not unbiased. It shows a consistent bias toward free-market forces unfettered by regulation, which it also promotes.
<—endquote—>

Full article:

http://rabett.blogspot.com/2006/12/oregon-deception-project.html

Much more than just the next at Deltoid:

Oregon Petition and the right

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/oregon_petition_and_the_right.php

To get the flavour from another angle here is a video clip:

32000 Scientists

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py2XVILHUjQ&feature=player_embedded#at=11

Now back to Art’s artless accusations, here is the other side:

<—quote—>

Art Robinson, crazy conservative, insanely attacks Oregon State

I’m sorry that Keith Olbermann isn’t on MSNBC any longer, because Art Robinson’s newest display of deceptive craziness would make him a great candidate for a “Worst Person in the World!” dishonor.

Robinson, who lost to Peter DeFazio in last year’s 4th Congressional District race, is claiming that Oregon State University is retaliating against his three children because of “political payback.”

This struck me as ludicrous when I learned about Robinson’s attack on OSU’s Nuclear Engineering department via a chain email that was forwarded to me. Why would professors risk their careers by unethically (and probably illegally) targeting Robinson’s children for expulsion without cause?

So I found a statement from Oregon State that, not surprisingly, calls Robinson’s paranoid delusions a bunch of crap – though, sadly, the University Relations press release wasn’t that blunt in its wording. The meaning was the same, though.

Robinson’s material singles out several individual faculty members for criticism. The university has found no factual basis for the accusations made against those faculty members. OSU is proud of its education and research programs and faculty in Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics and of department alumni, many of whom hold leadership positions in government and private sector organizations.

OSU will not comment on other allegations made in the Robinson posts other than to say the claims made therein are baseless and without merit.

If you have a strong stomach for B.S., head over to World Net Daily and read Robinson’s screed. It’s filled with evidence-less conspiracy theories that have been de-bunked by Oregon State administrators.

Oh, but wait!

OSU higher-ups must be part of the conspiracy also. So every denial by the university that Robinson’s children are being attacked by Democrat ideologues in the Nuclear Engineering department actually is additional proof that the accusations are true.

Thus almost certainly worketh the off-center psyche of Art Robinson, who seemingly has never come across a fact that his right-tilted mind can’t manufacture into an illusion of his own making.

Such as Robinson’s belief that global warming is a crock, putting him at odds with 98% of the world’s climate scientists (Robinson is a chemist.) And that it’d be fine to spread radioactive waste in the oceans.

You have to say this for Art Robinson, the GOP candidate running against U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio in southwest Oregon:

He never denies that he said it.

Over the last 15 years or so, Robinson, who runs his own scientific research center and newsletter from a compound outside Cave Junction, has piled up a series of statements that range from jaw-dropping to “Were you running a fever that day?”

But now, he won’t deny that he repeatedly seemed to call for abolishing public schools, or for spreading nuclear waste in the oceans, or for a Social Security policy based on a mathematical impossibility that should be clear to a research scientist. He just explains that he said those things a while ago, or that when he said them he didn’t know that he’d ever be running for public office, or that he was talking to an excited crowd and got excited himself.

Which makes Art Robinson’s latest OSU weirdness 99.9% unlikely to be remotely true. If you watch the first ten minutes or so of Robinson imploding on Rachel Maddow’s show last October, I bet you’ll want to make that probability 100%.

This guy’s credibility is beyond the farthest reaches of believable. Have a look at the past, and probably future, Republican candidate for Congress in DeFazio’s district.

<—endquote—>

Full article at:

http://hinessight.blogs.com/hinessight/2011/03/art-robinson-habitual-liar-now-lies-about-oregon-state.html

and that Rachel Maddow clip there is a must see.

‘… sleazy, underhanded, ignorant,

…. progressives at Oregon State University at work’

Yeah! Right!

Crazy right wing consevatives blowing hard about stuff of which they know little.

WRT the Heritage Foundation,

you have fallen into another cesspit of misinformation. You never learn do you!

Now if the fossil fuel industries could be trusted to internalise all costs, including those to the environment and people’s health and well being then the EPA would not be needed.

So, what exactly do the fossil fuel mob do with those subsidies and tax breaks. Oh! They pay for PR to disguise the true nature of their dirty, money making and polluting ways. How do you think the likes of the Monkton circus keeps afloat – by being payed for selling snake oil. Of course the FF industry has developed other ways of burying the truth here such as taking over chairs and schools at seats of learning. Something Joanne Nova (Codling) knows something about with her links to Shell. Who do you think pulls her strings?

You poor dupe of a tax payer, you get hit twice. Once by fossil fuel and then costs of cleanup (and note how these companies play fast and loose with the court system to delay payments e.g. Exxon-Valdez and the Gulf Spill neither of which have been fully cleaned up from or payed out suitable amounts of damages on) - a bill footed by big government and ultimately taxes. That is unless of course you are one of those taking a cut of that dirt money and in many cases blood money for all those destroyed lives.

Thus you are either a fool or a villain. Which is it? Your future responses will tell.

What part of that story can you refute?

It’s been published all over the place. Don’t you think it’s a bit unusual for 3 graduate students (all showing great promise) suddenly get zapped by the university?

Talk about brainwashed, braindead, STUPID. Your mind is a “cesspool” !

That is why the denialosphere is known as an echo-chamber.

After all, how many copies of the Bible have been published that does not make it inerrantly true.

I am brainwashed - the irony!

Have you considered that wrt Art’s kids their science turned out to be non-science, or nonsense, or maybe there were other faults with it?

RE: “Mencken’s view, were those wrongly oppressed and disdained by their own communities, but nevertheless distinguished by their will and personal achievement”

American Achievers:
Thomas Edison
Wilbur and Orville Wright
Henry Ford
Jonas Salk
Bill Gates

Not one taxpayer teat sucking “studier” among them; everyone enjoys
the fruit of their wisdom, intellect, and work.

Now for the American losers: all taxpayer teat suckers

Armies of 3rd Generation welfare moms
Armies of Nameless AGW scientismists

Nobody knows who they are or what they did; nothing but cashed government welfare checks to show for their “work”

RE: “So, what exactly do the fossil fuel mob …..”

Just whose fuel do the tens of thousands of jet setting bureaucrats
use as they fly off to their endless vacation gala conventions - all paid for by gullible taxpayers.

Are we to presume that Obama, the IPCC, the EPA, DOE and the endless parade of government leeches actually eschew the product of this “mob” or do the use it with the wild abandon of satyr in a whorehouse?

RE: “So, what exactly do the fossil fuel mob …..”

Just whose fuel do the tens of thousands of jet setting bureaucrats
use as they fly off to their endless vacation gala conventions - all paid for by gullible taxpayers.

Are we to presume that Obama, the IPCC, the EPA, DOE and the endless parade of government leeches actually eschew the product of this “mob” or do the use it with the wild abandon of satyr in a whorehouse?

“With a combined worth of $43 billion, these two aging, archconservative brothers are America’s leading funders of the climate-disinformation machine. By perpetuating the use of fossil fuels, they in turn fuel their sprawling empire of oil refineries and pipelines — the second-largest private corporation in the country. The Kochs have contributed $5 million to Americans for Prosperity, the driving force behind the Tea Party. They also gave nearly $25 million to conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute, two of the leading players in the climate-denial racket. And to help kill climate legislation in Congress, Koch spent $38 million on lobbying — more than any energy company except ExxonMobil and Chevron. Last year, besides underwriting a host of conservative candidates in the midterm elections, the Koch brothers backed Proposition 23, the unsuccessful effort to end California’s crackdown on climate pollution, and funded attacks against the EPA’s right to regulate carbon emissions. In David Koch’s twisted view, global warming is actually good for us. ‘The Earth will be able to support enormously more people,’ he says, ‘because a far greater land area will be available to produce food.’ “

Source: “Who’s to Blame: 12 Politicians and-Execs-Blocking Progress on Global-Warming: Charles and David Koch”, Rolling Stone, Jan 19, 2011 http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/lists/whos-to-blame-12-politicians-and-execs-blocking-progress-on-global-warming-20110119/charles-and-david-kochceo-and-executive-vp-koch-industries-19691231

RE: “America’s leading funders of the climate-disinformation machine.”

Lets agree to stop picking our our failing government union run indoctrination camps refer to as “schools.” Most expensive, worst in the world, poorest science and math achievement in the industrialized world; prime eco-marxist scam fodder;

RE: “they in turn fuel their sprawling empire of oil refineries and pipelines” to keep the well heeled bureaucracy in giga-tons of jet fuel.

Why don’t the White House, the EPA, the IPCC, the DOE,and all of the myriad of useless worthless leeches in the federal bureaucracy publish their ever expanding ever increasing “carbon footprint”? They don’t for the same reason Bernie Madeoff didn’t invest in his own fraud.

RE “the driving force behind the Tea Party….”

I’m the driving force behind the Tea Party. Myself and an increasing majority of Americans who have come to the con
conclusion that the federal government now represent the largset single security threat to America. Your black helicopter theories are as bogus as your AGW climate fraud.

What a laugh….Obama just killed your EPA - in order to consolidate his power, which is the central goal of all government, he’s tossed you all under the bus. Obama is now promising more drilling for oil and is loaning billions to other countries to keep the oil flowing.

More oil, more coal, more CO2, all brought to you by Obama!

Better Look for a new scam - Mars Attacks might serve as a great documentary for death by alien invasion - show it to the dumbed down little kiddies in our failing schools’ “science” classes.

“All three tycoons (Ruppert Murdoch, David & Richard Koch) are the latest incarnation of what the historian Kim Phillips-Fein labeled “Invisible Hands” in her prescient 2009 book of that title: those corporate players who have financed the far right ever since the du Pont brothers spawned the American Liberty League in 1934 to bring down F.D.R. You can draw a straight line from the Liberty League’s crusade against the New Deal “socialism” of Social Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission and child labor laws to the John Birch Society-Barry Goldwater assault on J.F.K. and Medicare to the Koch-Murdoch-backed juggernaut against our “socialist” president.“

Only the fat cats change — not their methods and not their pet bugaboos (taxes, corporate regulation, organized labor, and overnment “handouts” to the poor, unemployed, ill and elderly). Even the sources of their fortunes remain fairly constant. Koch Industries began with oil in the 1930s and now also spews an array of industrial products, from Dixie cups to Lycra, not unlike DuPont’s portfolio of paint and plastics. Sometimes the biological DNA persists as well. The Koch brothers’ father, Fred, was among the select group chosen to serve on the Birch Society’s top governing body. In a recorded 1963 speech that survives in a University of Michigan archive, he can be heard warning of “a takeover” of America in which Communists would “infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the president is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us.” That rant could be delivered as is at any Tea Party rally today.

Source: “The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party,” Op-ed by Frank Rich, NY Times, Aug 28, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29rich.html

Your black helicopter theories are as fanciful those of AGW scientism.

As one in on the roots of the Tea Party its all quite laughable. Truth is an elusive goal when so much money is available to those who control it and at levels with 100 billions dollars of taxpayer cash to be swindled truth as more elusive than a snark in sh!t storm

is your gulibility.

The Koch brothers and their partners in crime are playing you and other Tea Party adherents like a fiddle.

the Heratage Foundation in confusing the public about the science behind knowledge of the effects of acid rain, second hand tobacco smoke, ozone layer destruction and climate change and the dirty tricks played by the scientists they hired are well explained in Naomi Oreskes ‘Merchants of Doubt’.

If you have any lingering doubts about the virulance of the campaigns to keep doubt alive in the publics mind on all these issues and how the same names run through each then read that book.

Find out more, and watch the video, at: http://www.merchantsofdoubt.org/

Q: What marked the advent of the age of enlightenment?

A: The ‘Merchants of Doubt’.

‘Q: What marked the advent of the age of enlightenment?

A: The ‘Merchants of Doubt’.’

Nah! The ‘Merchants of Venice’.

Think of history, not just The Bard.

Did you watch the Oreskes video? If not, then why not?

RE: “Did you watch the Oreskes video? If not, then why not?”

For the same reason I don’t bother with reading commentary from David Duke. I know both the author and their positions

or not as the case may be.

<—quote—>

The Robinson Self Teaching Curriculum includes, as a reference for students, a 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica and a 1611 King James Version of the Bible which “is the foundational book of the Curriculum.” As a 2001 article in The American Spectator described,…

<–inquote–>

[Art Robinson’s] family members have developed a home school curriculum consisting of over 250 books-among them the 30,000-page 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica—which the youngsters took turns scanning into computers. The curriculum was transferred to 22 compact discs, which are sold in a box for $195. Over four years, 20,000 sets have been sold. More recently, with typical single-mindedness, Robinson tracked down all 99 historical novels by the Edwardian writer G. A. Henty, and they in turn were optically scanned. Three thousand Henty sets (6 CD’S) were shipped in the first year. They retail for $99.

<–endinquote–>

<—endquote—>

Hum! Therein may be a clue as to why Art’s kids fell foul at OSU.

Full article:

http://www.talk2action.org/story/2010/6/29/03533/1410

I have always wondered about this home schooling trend - how to produce narrow minds prepared for the next brainwashing session.

Is this why we see so much ill-informed and semi-literate comment from you people?

“I have always wondered about this home schooling trend - how to produce narrow minds prepared for the next brainwashing session.”

Places where home schooling ‘ist vorboten’

Hitler’s Germany
Stalin’s USSR
Kim Jong Il’s North korea
Mao’s China
Castro’s Cuba
Pol Pot’s Cambodia

All of these great leaders saw the value of centralized authority over the children’s curricula - especially “science”

Independent thinking free from authority is considered just dangerous to our modern AGW fascists.

Home schooling needs to be exterminated according to AGW scientismists

The physics and chemistry of the enhanced greenhouse effect caused by mankind’s activities doesn’t give a Tinker’s damn about your Libertarian political ideology.

RE:”The physics and chemistry of the enhanced greenhouse effect caused by mankind’s activities doesn’t give a Tinker’s damn…”

Based upon all of the 100% wrong predictions of the AGW cult, it doesn’t give much of a damn about AGW scientismist sandwich board doomsayers prognostications either.

Well SirG you are fooling yourself if you think the tae party has any plans for freedom of the majority of Americans - their only reason for being is to ensure that the already very rich get even richer at your expense. Unless you are one of the already over-rich in which case you are an insult to humanity. Otherwise you are just another poor dupe being suckered from both ends by the tea-party which is astroturf and is nothing to do with grass roots - except on those well manicured golf courses - those nature free (all herbicides and pesticides) playgrounds for those who really pull the strings.

Come to think of it one of them Trump has sold his soul to the devil by creating a golf course on the East Coast of Scotland against much local opposition. Except for a few locals who gained financially. Meanwhile as warming kicks in our fields of spring crops are drying out and forests in Canada burn taking out much of a town in Alberta.

Wake up and smell the smoke you fool.

RE: “their only reason for being is to ensure that the already very rich get even richer …..”

The unvarnished “scientism” of the AGW cult and why the green agenda and is not really “green” but “red”

You see, if you are a loser and have nothing of value to offer your fellow man that they would willingly buy in a free market then government is your savior. Big government becomes your interlocutor to “make” them buy the trash you bring to the market in exchange for their gold and silver.

This is why the ignorant left, bereft of any background in non-religious, real, verifiable, predictive science cling to big government as a blind puppy clings to it’s bitches teat.

“rich-get-richer”: the naked truth - the AGW cult goes wild

You have only your unshakeable faith in Randian libertarianism and the inculcated fear of communism (odd, when you and other denialists keep screaming about “alarmism” when you’re the ones pissing your pants over the mental scare of “the reds”.

But you’re a really good example of the person in the picture at the top of this thread.

You forgot that fundie christian ‘merkins forbid teaching. Just look at Shrub and Palin.

Whilst Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates.

However, since they threw off the abuse of foreign control, Cuba has been painted as “Teh Ebil” to all conservative nutjobs.

The dubious science of the climate crusaders.
(by William Happer)

The object of the Author in the following pages has been to collect the most remarkable instances of those moral epidemics which have been excited, sometimes by one cause and sometimes by another, and to show how easily the masses have been led astray, and how imitative and gregarious men are, even in their infatuations and crimes,” wrote Charles Mackay in the preface to the first edition of his Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. I want to discuss a contemporary moral epidemic: the notion that increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, will have disastrous consequences for mankind and for the planet. The “climate crusade” is one characterized by true believers, opportunists, cynics, money-hungry governments, manipulators of various types—even children’s crusades—all based on contested science and dubious claims.

I am a strong supporter of a clean environment. We need to be vigilant to keep our land, air, and waters free of real pollution, particulates, heavy metals, and pathogens, but carbon dioxide (CO2 ) is not one of these pollutants. Carbon is the stuff of life. Our bodies are made of carbon. A normal human exhales around 1 kg of CO2 (the simplest chemically stable molecule of carbon in the earth’s atmosphere) per day. Before the industrial period, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was 270 ppm. At the present time, the concentration is about 390 ppm, 0.039 percent of all atmospheric molecules and less than 1 percent of that in our breath. About fifty million years ago, a brief moment in the long history of life on earth, geological evidence indicates, CO2 levels were several thousand ppm, much higher than now. And life flourished abundantly.

Now the Environmental Protection Agency wants to regulate atmospheric CO2 as a “pollutant.” According to my Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, to pollute is “to make or render unclean, to defile, to desecrate, to profane.” By breathing are we rendering the air unclean, defiling or desecrating it? Efforts are underway to remedy the old-fashioned, restrictive definition of pollution. The current Wikipedia entry on air pollution, for example, now asserts that pollution includes: “carbon dioxide (CO2)—a colorless, odorless, non-toxic greenhouse gas associated with ocean acidification, emitted from sources such as combustion, cement production, and respiration.”

As far as green plants are concerned, CO2 is not a pollutant, but part of their daily bread—like water, sunlight, nitrogen, and other essential elements. Most green plants evolved at CO2 levels of several thousand ppm, many times higher than now. Plants grow better and have better flowers and fruit at higher levels. Commercial greenhouse operators recognize this when they artificially increase the concentrations inside their greenhouses to over 1000 ppm.

Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom King Edward VIII renounced the British throne, supposedly said, “A woman can’t be too rich or too thin.” But in reality, you can get too much or too little of a good thing. Whether we should be glad or worried about increasing levels of CO2 depends on quantitative numbers, not just qualitative considerations.

How close is the current atmosphere to the upper or lower limit for CO2? Did we have just the right concentration at the preindustrial level of 270 ppm? Reading breathless media reports about CO2 “pollution” and about minimizing our carbon footprints, one might think that the earth cannot have too little CO2, as Simpson thought one couldn’t be too thin—a view which was also overstated, as we have seen from the sad effects of anorexia in so many young women. Various geo-engineering schemes are being discussed for scrubbing CO2 from the air and cleansing the atmosphere of the “pollutant.” There is no lower limit for human beings, but there is for human life. We would be perfectly healthy in a world with little or no atmospheric CO2—except that we would have nothing to eat and a few other minor inconveniences, because most plants stop growing if the levels drop much below 150 ppm. If we want to continue to be fed and clothed by the products of green plants, we can have too little CO2.

The minimum acceptable value for plants is not that much below the 270 ppm preindustrial value. It is possible that this is not enough, that we are better off with our current level, and would be better off with more still. There is evidence that California orange groves are about 30 percent more productive today than they were 150 years ago because of the increase of atmospheric CO2.

Although human beings and many other animals would do well with no CO2 at all in the air, there is an upper limit that we can tolerate. Inhaling air with a concentration of a few percent, similar to the concentration of the air we exhale, hinders the diffusional exchange of CO2 between the blood and gas in the lung. Both the United States Navy (for submariners) and nasa (for astronauts) have performed extensive studies of human tolerance to CO2. As a result of these studies, the Navy recommends an upper limit of about 8000 ppm for cruises of ninety days, and nasa recommends an upper limit of 5000 ppm for missions of one thousand days, both assuming a total pressure of one atmosphere. Higher levels are acceptable for missions of only a few days.

We conclude that atmospheric CO2 levels should be above 150 ppm to avoid harming green plants and below about 5000 ppm to avoid harming people. That is a very wide range, and our atmosphere is much closer to the lower end than to the upper end. The current rate of burning fossil fuels adds about 2 ppm per year to the atmosphere, so that getting from the current level to 1000 ppm would take about 300 years—and 1000 ppm is still less than what most plants would prefer, and much less than either the nasa or the Navy limit for human beings.

Yet there are strident calls for immediately stopping further increases in CO2 levels and reducing the current level. As we have discussed, animals would not even notice a doubling of CO2 and plants would love it. The supposed reason for limiting it is to stop global warming—or, since the predicted warming has failed to be nearly as large as computer models forecast, to stop climate change. Climate change itself has been embarrassingly uneventful, so another rationale for reducing CO2 is now promoted: to stop the hypothetical increase of extreme climate events like hurricanes or tornados. But this does not necessarily follow. The frequency of extreme events has either not changed or has decreased in the 150 years that CO2 levels have increased from 270 to 390 ppm.

Let me turn to some of the problems the non-pollutant CO2 is supposed to cause. More CO2 is supposed to cause flooded cities, parched agriculture, tropical diseases in Alaska, etc., and even an epidemic of kidney stones. It does indeed cause some warming of our planet, and we should thank Providence for that, because without the greenhouse warming of CO2 and its more potent partners, water vapor and clouds, the earth would be too cold to sustain its current abundance of life.

Other things being equal, more CO2 will cause more warming. The question is how much warming, and whether the increased CO2 and the warming it causes will be good or bad for the planet.

The argument starts something like this. CO2 levels have increased from about 280 ppm to 390 ppm over the past 150 years or so, and the earth has warmed by about 0.8 degree Celsius during that time. Therefore the warming is due to CO2. But correlation is not causation. Roosters crow every morning at sunrise, but that does not mean the rooster caused the sun to rise. The sun will still rise on Monday if you decide to have the rooster for Sunday dinner.

There have been many warmings and coolings in the past when the CO2 levels did not change. A well-known example is the medieval warming, about the year 1000, when the Vikings settled Greenland (when it was green) and wine was exported from England. This warm period was followed by the “little ice age” when the Thames would frequently freeze over during the winter. There is no evidence for significant increase of CO2 in the medieval warm period, nor for a significant decrease at the time of the subsequent little ice age. Documented famines with millions of deaths occurred during the little ice age because the cold weather killed the crops. Since the end of the little ice age, the earth has been warming in fits and starts, and humanity’s quality of life has improved accordingly.

A rare case of good correlation between CO2 levels and temperature is provided by ice-core records of the cycles of glacial and interglacial periods of the last million years of so. But these records show that changes in temperature preceded changes in CO2 levels, so that the levels were an effect of temperature changes. This was probably due to outgassing of CO2 from the warming oceans and the reverse effect when they cooled.

The most recent continental ice sheets began to melt some twenty thousand years ago. During the “Younger Dryas” some 12,000 years ago, the earth very dramatically cooled and warmed by as much as 10 degrees Celsius in fifty years.

The earth’s climate has always been changing. Our present global warming is not at all unusual by the standards of geological history, and it is probably benefiting the biosphere. Indeed, there is very little correlation between the estimates of CO2 and of the earth’s temperature over the past 550 million years (the “Phanerozoic” period). The message is clear that several factors must influence the earth’s temperature, and that while CO2 is one of these factors, it is seldom the dominant one. The other factors are not well understood. Plausible candidates are spontaneous variations of the complicated fluid flow patterns in the oceans and atmosphere of the earth—perhaps influenced by continental drift, volcanoes, variations of the earth’s orbital parameters (ellipticity, spin-axis orientation, etc.), asteroid and comet impacts, variations in the sun’s output (not only the visible radiation but the amount of ultraviolet light, and the solar wind with its magnetic field), variations in cosmic rays leading to variations in cloud cover, and other causes.

The existence of the little ice age and the medieval warm period were an embarrassment to the global-warming establishment, because they showed that the current warming is almost indistinguishable from previous warmings and coolings that had nothing to do with burning fossil fuel. The organization charged with producing scientific support for the climate change crusade, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), finally found a solution. They rewrote the climate history of the past 1000 years with the celebrated “hockey stick” temperature record.

The first IPCC report, issued in 1990, showed both the medieval warm period and the little ice age very clearly. In the IPCC’s 2001 report was a graph that purported to show the earth’s mean temperature since the year 1000. A yet more extreme version of the hockey stick graph made the cover of the Fiftieth Anniversary Report of the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization. To the surprise of everyone who knew about the strong evidence for the little ice age and the medieval climate optimum, the graph showed a nearly constant temperature from the year 1000 until about 150 years ago, when the temperature began to rise abruptly like the blade of a hockey stick. The inference was that this was due to the anthropogenic “pollutant” CO2.

This damnatia memoriae of inconvenient facts was simply expunged from the 2001 IPCC report, much as Trotsky and Yezhov were removed from Stalin’s photographs by dark-room specialists in the later years of the dictator’s reign. There was no explanation of why both the medieval warm period and the little ice age, very clearly shown in the 1990 report, had simply disappeared eleven years later.

The IPCC and its worshipful supporters did their best to promote the hockey-stick temperature curve. But as John Adams remarked, “Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” The hockey-stick curve caught the attention of two Canadians, Steve McIntyre, a mining consultant, and an academic statistician, Ross McKitrick. As they began to look more carefully at the original data—much of it from tree rings—and at the analysis that led to the hockey stick, they became more and more puzzled. By hard, remarkably detailed, and persistent work over many years, consistently frustrated in their efforts to obtain original data and data-analysis methods, they showed that the hockey stick was not supported by observational data. An excellent, recent history of this episode is A. W. Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion.

About the time of the Copenhagen Climate Conference in the fall of 2009, another nasty thing happened to the global-warming establishment. A Russian server released large numbers of e-mails and other files from computers of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia. Among the files released were e-mails between members of the power structure of the climate crusade, “the team.” These files were, or should have been, very embarrassing to their senders and recipients. A senior scientist from CRU wrote, for example: “PS, I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a freedom of information act.”

A traditional way to maintain integrity in science is through peer review, the anonymous examination of a scientific paper by qualified, competing scientists before publication. In a responsible peer review, the authors may be required to make substantial revisions to correct any flaws in the science or methodology before their paper is published. But peer review has largely failed in climate science. Global warming alarmists have something like Gadaffi’s initial air superiority over rag-tag opponents in Libya.

Consider this comment from one of the most respected IPCC leaders, as revealed in the CRU e-mails: “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow—even if we have to define what the peer-review literature is.” And consider the CRU e-mail comment on a journal that committed the mortal sin of publishing one of the heretical papers: “I think we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.” Peer review in climate science means that the “team” recommends publication of each other’s work, and tries to keep any off-message paper from being accepted for publication.

James Madison reminds us in The Federalist Papers that “no man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time.” Madison goes on to observe that the smaller the community, the more likely that parties and judges will be one and the same.

Let me summarize how the key issues appear to me, a working scientist with a better background than most in the physics of climate. CO2 really is a greenhouse gas and other things being equal, adding the gas to the atmosphere by burning coal, oil, and natural gas will modestly increase the surface temperature of the earth. Other things being equal, doubling the CO2 concentration, from our current 390 ppm to 780 ppm will directly cause about 1 degree Celsius in warming. At the current rate of CO2 increase in the atmosphere—about 2 ppm per year—it would take about 195 years to achieve this doubling. The combination of a slightly warmer earth and more CO2 will greatly increase the production of food, wood, fiber, and other products by green plants, so the increase will be good for the planet, and will easily outweigh any negative effects. Supposed calamities like the accelerated rise of sea level, ocean acidification, more extreme climate, tropical diseases near the poles, and so on are greatly exaggerated.

“Mitigation” and control efforts that have been proposed will enrich a favored few with good political ties—at the expense of the great majority of mankind, including especially the poor and the citizens of developing nations. These efforts will make almost no change in earth’s temperature. Spain’s recent experiment with green energy destroyed several pre-existing jobs for every green job it created, and it nearly brought the country to bankruptcy.

The frightening warnings that alarmists offer about the effects of doubling CO2 are based on computer models that assume that the direct warming effect of CO2 is multiplied by a large “feedback factor” from CO2-induced changes in water vapor and clouds, which supposedly contribute much more to the greenhouse warming of the earth than CO2. But there is observational evidence that the feedback factor is small and may even be negative. The models are not in good agreement with observations—even if they appear to fit the temperature rise over the last 150 years very well.

Indeed, the computer programs that produce climate change models have been “tuned” to get the desired answer. The values of various parameters like clouds and the concentrations of anthropogenic aerosols are adjusted to get the best fit to observations. And—perhaps partly because of that—they have been unsuccessful in predicting future climate, even over periods as short as fifteen years. In fact, the real values of most parameters, and the physics of how they affect the earth’s climate, are in most cases only roughly known, too roughly to supply accurate enough data for computer predictions. In my judgment, and in that of many other scientists familiar with the issues, the main problem with models has been their treatment of clouds, changes of which probably have a much bigger effect on the temperature of the earth than changing levels of CO2.

What, besides the bias toward a particular result, is wrong with the science? Scientific progress proceeds by the interplay of theory and observation. Theory explains observations and makes predictions about what will be observed in the future. Observations anchor our understanding and weed out the theories that don’t work. This has been the scientific method for more than three hundred years. Recently, the advent of the computer has made possible another branch of inquiry: computer simulation models. Properly used, computer models can enhance and speed up scientific progress. But they are not meant to replace theory and observation and to serve as an authority of their own. We know they fail in economics. All of the proposed controls that would have such a significant impact on the world’s economic future are based on computer models that are so complex and chaotic that many runs are needed before we can get an “average” answer. Yet the models have failed the simple scientific test of prediction. We don’t even have a theory for how accurate the models should be.

There are many honest, hardworking climate scientists who are trying to understand the effects of CO2 on climate, but their work has fallen under suspicion because of the hockey-stick scandal and many other exaggerations about the dangers of increasing CO2. What has transformed climate science from a normal intellectual discipline to a matter of so much controversy?

A major problem has been the co-opting of climate science by politics, ambition, greed, and what seems to be a hereditary human need for a righteous cause. What better cause than saving the planet? Especially if one can get ample, secure funding at the same time? Huge amounts of money are available from governments and wealthy foundations for climate institutes and for climate-related research.

Funding for climate studies is second only to funding for biological sciences. Large academic empires, prizes, elections to honorary societies, fellowships, and other perquisites go to those researchers whose results may help “save the planet.” Every day we read about some real or contrived environmental or ecological effect “proven” to arise from global warming. The total of such claimed effects now runs in the hundreds, all the alleged result of an unexceptional century-long warming of less than 1 degree Celsius. Government subsidies, loan guarantees, and captive customers go to green companies. Carbon-tax revenues flow to governments. As the great Russian poet Pushkin said in his novella Dubrovsky, “If there happens to be a trough, there will be pigs.” Any doubt about apocalyptic climate scenarios could remove many troughs.

What about those who doubt the scientific basis of these claims, or who simply don’t like what is being done to the scientific method they were taught to apply and uphold? Publications of contrary research results in mainstream journals are rare. The occasional heretical article is the result of an inevitable, protracted battle with those who support the dogma and who have their hands on the scales of peer review. As mentioned above, we know from the Climategate emails that the team conspired to prevent contrary publications from seeing the light of day and even discussed getting rid of an editor who seemed to be inclined to admit such contentious material.

Skeptics’ motives are publicly impugned; denigrating names are used routinely in media reports and the blogosphere; and we now see attempts to use the same tactics that Big Brother applied to the skeptical hero, Winston Smith, in Orwell’s 1984. In 2009 a conference of “ecopsychologists” was held at the University of West England to discuss the obvious psychological problems resident in those who do not adhere to the global warming dogma. The premise of these psychologists was that scientists and members of the general population who express objective doubt about the propagated view of global warming are suffering from a kind of mental illness. We know from the Soviet experience that a society can find it easy to consider dissidents to be mentally deranged and act accordingly.

The management of most scientific societies has enthusiastically signed on to the global warming bandwagon. This is not surprising, since governments, as well as many states and foundations, generously fund those who reinforce their desired outcomes under the cover of saving the planet. Certain private industries are also involved: those positioned to profit from enacted controls as well as financial institutions heavily invested in “green technologies” whose rationale disappears the moment global warming is widely understood to be a non-problem. There are known connections and movements of people involved in government policy, scientific societies, and private industry, all with the common thread of influencing the outcome of a set of programs and investments underpinned by the supposed threat of global warming.

My own trade union, the American Physical Society (APS), is a good example, but hardly the worst. An APS Council statement issued on November 18, 2007 states: “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security, and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” This is pretty strong language for physicists, for whom skepticism about evidence was once considered a virtue, and nothing was incontrovertible.

In the fall of 2009 a petition, organized by Fellow of the American Physical Society, Roger Cohen, and containing the signatures of hundreds of distinguished APS members was presented to the APS management with a request that at least the truly embarrassing word “incontrovertible” be taken out of the statement. The APS management’s response was to threaten the petitioners, while grudgingly appointing a committee to consider the request. It was exactly what James Madison warned against. The committee included members whose careers depended on global warming alarmism, and the predictable result was that not one word was changed. Bad as the actions of the APS were, they were far better than those of most other scientific societies, which refused to even reconsider extreme statements on climate.

The situation is even more lamentable for the general public, which is fed a constant stream of propaganda by specialists in environmental issues from the mainstream media and well-funded alarmist blogs. Not unlike functionaries of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth in 1984, with its motto “Ignorance is Strength,” many members of the environmental news media dutifully and uncritically promote the party line of the climate crusade.

However, the situation is slowly getting better. Skeptics are more numerous and better organized than before. In a few cases, leading former adherents have publicly and courageously spoken out against the dogma and its core of establishment promoters. The IPCC itself has come under severe criticism by the international scientific establishment for its series of bizarre errors and organizational failings. Under pressure from a dissident group of Fellows, the Royal Society moved to meaningfully moderate its former radically alarmist position on global warming. And perhaps most important of all, public skepticism has increased significantly, and with it has come a major drop in support of the climate crusade’s attempt to seize control of the “pollutant,” CO2.

I began with a quotation from the preface of the first edition of Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, and it is worth recalling now a quotation from the preface of the second edition: “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

In our efforts to conserve the created world, we should not concentrate our efforts on CO2. We should instead focus on issues like damage to local landscapes and waterways by strip mining, inadequate cleanup, hazards to miners, and the release of real pollutants and poisons like mercury, other heavy metals, and organic carcinogens. Much of the potential harm from coal mining can be eliminated, for example, by requirements that land be restored to a condition that is at least as good as, and preferably better than, when the mining began.

Life is about making decisions, and decisions are about trade-offs. We can choose to promote investment in technology that addresses real problems and scientific research that will let us cope with real problems more efficiently. Or we can be caught up in a crusade that seeks to suppress energy use, economic growth, and the benefits that come from the creation of national wealth.

William Happer is the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics at Princeton

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