Climate Skeptics Misunderstand Us, Too

Wed, 2011-07-06 07:57Chris Mooney
Chris Mooney's picture

Climate Skeptics Misunderstand Us, Too

So recently, I’ve watched a few videos from the Heartland Institute conference on “Restoring the Scientific Method”—and it has been a fascinating experience.

I point you, for instance, to this session on public policy, and especially the Q&A starting at minute 56. (Also watch Marc Morano from minute 38 to minute 56, the dude is nothing if not entertaining.) Once the audience questions start coming for the panel, I was rather surprised to hear that most were basically about…uh, communism. And in response, the panelists—and especially Christopher Horner—were quite affirmative that the real reason that we, the “left,” want to restrict greenhouse gas emissions is that we want to hobble economies, redistribute wealth, and restrict individual freedoms.

You can believe this is about the climate, and many people do,” said Horner. “But it’s not a reasonable belief.” Horner went on to argue that “it’s probably about what they’ve claimed they really want.” For many “luminaries” of the environment movement, Horner continued, “economic growth is not the cure, it’s the disease.”

Now, Morano and Horner have various pieces of “evidence” that they use to support their assessment—including out of context quotations. But I, too, have heard some environmentalists attack growth, and say that it is the real problem.

However, I do not believe in any sense that this is the mainstream view of those who want a cap-and-trade bill, whether they are President Obama, or Democratic senators, or the many corporations who supported such legislation—like GE and Duke Energy. Without economic growth, these companies could not maintain rising share prices, nor could they keep reporting rising earnings and annual dividend increases for their stockholders.

I can also speak for myself. If there’s anything I don’t like, it’s extremes—including on the left. I very much want companies to thrive and succeed—who else is going to create jobs?—but to me, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be regulated. I actually do believe that they should be regulated as little as is possible–so long as it is enough to preserve public health and the environment.  

Moreover, it’s not surprising that I think this way—people of my generation in the U.S. don’t even have any direct experience with communism. It hasn’t been a significant force on the U.S. left for quite a long time. It’s something we’ve read about, certainly, but not something with which we associate.

So exactly what environmental left are Heartland acolytes talking about here? As far as I can tell, they’re simply shadowboxing.

I’ve often written about how those on my side do not understand the motivations of climate skeptics. They aren’t just driven by a quest for the corporate dole, for instance—they’re strong individualists who fear government control over choices and freedoms. I believe that ideology is therefore more powerful in driving climate skepticism than is money.

But it’s quite apparent that anti-environmentalists, like Horner, don’t understand us, either. We didn’t cook the science, and we don’t hate jobs, either. We just think that, because global warming is real, and because there are solutions to the problem will ultimately also help the economy, it’s a very good idea to kill two birds with one stone.

But now, having now cleared up the record, I’m quite sure that we won’t see this error any more in the future.

Comments

Agreed.

Would it no be nice to see at least an atempt by the warmists to address the real questions?

unlikely to happen while there is no real answer that supports the green agenda however.

“Lets get back to the real Questions for a moment.

First lets state what we agree on:

1. There was a little bit of warming in the latter part of the twentieth century.
2. CO2 does help to trap some heat.
3. Humans have liberated some CO2 in the last 100 years.

This is great news. A denier has finaly admitted reality. Not long ago the story was, there IS no warming only cooling. CO2 is plant food only, it has no other function. Humans did not contribute to global waming what so ever, it’s all natural.

Now, you have done a real about face which is good to see. Now just a little bit more reading & the answers to your remaining questions will be resolved & you can move on with accepting we have a problem, should & can do something about it.

G’day to you PhilM, I see you are learning that “deniers” was not a valid term. Not for all, of course, but for most. Irrationally calling names and irrationally believing that without your hugely harmful proposed solutions we are all “doomed” is the core of the CAGW argument. Essentially, you folks have been tilting at “denier” windmills that have hardly ever existed.

Fascinatingly, the attacks on those who are mostly in the middle ground (luke warmers) have been interesting, but show that the denier name is better applied to you. Who or what are you protecting from ACO2 warming? Too often it appears that it is not man kind.

If the temperature ranges have mostly been within 5C with extremes to ~8C for millions if not billions of years, and the CO2 levels have ranged from ~200 to ~7,000 PPM during this same period, then what are you trying to effect?

Finally, to change climate we have to change weather. There really is no alternative. (Hint, look at the definition of climate.) Then believing that weather is driven by ACO2 is your position? And, that is truly an absurd denialist position.

If you can propose a method of changing climate without changing weather, then propose it. If you think climate means temperature, then you are also in another absurdly denialist position. If you believe there is a climate optimum for the planet (and not mankind) then you are even again taking an absurdly denialist position. Are these your beliefs?

The most equable period of climate were periods slightly warmer than we have today. We are reaping the high carbon creation outputs from that/those periods. Obviously man kind has benefited from these periods. so are you proposing to limit man kinds well being? Over what?

Well Phil, you are amusing, I will give you that.

About face? Hardly. I (we?) have not changed our position at all.

All the Denier rethoric has always been in your head.

Not once have I denied that some small warming happened.
not once have I denied that CO2 causes some small heat retention.

One more time, I will state the issue; Now read slowly.

The only relevent question is:
Is Man Made CO2 the main cause of the small warming blip of the late twentieth century?

Thats It.! Period.

I say it is/was not!…

Therefore; all the dumb green agenda Trillion Dollar economy destroying programs are unjustified.

It is really that simple.

No denial of physics, no denial that ice melts when it is warm out.
you simply made all that up in your head.

Now ….. Dont you feel foolish?

And CO2 is just harmless plant food.

1000 to 1500 ppm would be great.

“Not once have I denied that some small warming happened.
not once have I denied that CO2 causes some small heat retention.”

You are posting under the name anonymous. How do we tell who is the anonymous who says “some small warming happened” & the anonymous that says there is no warming?

“And CO2 is just harmless plant food.”

Thought you just got through saying CO2 causes some small heat retention? Have you got short term memory loss?

So naturally, adding crap loads of CO2 through fossil fuels 24/7/365 will cause more & more heat retention.

Congratulations,you are starting to get it.

Looks like Phil got you there.

Sigh….

ther you go again, puttig word in my mouth that I did not say.

I have never denied physics. CO2 has a small heat retention capacitey.
it decreases exponentially as denisty increases.
Thus, doubling it again will have minimal effect.
its all about the feedbacks.

At this point, with CO2 at an historic low, it does amount to just harmless plant food.

The only noticable effect of boosting it up to 1000+ ppm would be to increase food crp yield.

You guys must really learn to read.

CO2 has a small heat retention capacitey.

Ok, you are back to accepting that , good.

“it decreases exponentially as denisty increases.
Thus, doubling it again will have minimal effect.
its all about the feedbacks.”

But this is a show stopper. Please provide the evidence of this. What sort of feedback? Positive or negative?

“At this point, with CO2 at an historic low, it does amount to just harmless plant food.”

Its not at any sort of historic low, but compared to other times in earths history, yes, its lower. But its never been as high as it has now while man has been alive.

“The only noticable effect of boosting it up to 1000+ ppm would be to increase food crp yield.”

Evidence? It maybe good for plants in general, but humans are not plants.

We have had hotter temps & higher CO2 in the past, but it took millions of years to change. We are accelerating that change within decades.

Pretty soon the deniers will be saying they knew AGW existed all along , they just wanted the quickest most economical solution to the problem.

Get it?1? No one has ever commented that land use and paving over the land was not effecting the climate and temps. If they have they are kooks.

Now, changing the subject.

I just can not get to your solar energy numbers here in the US. Either you have enormously higher energy costs, enormously higher panel efficiencies, enormously higher subsidies and near perfect solar conditions, to get the ROI and power company paybacks you are claiming.

So provide some numbers so we can do a comparison.

“Get it?1? ”

Come on. You guys post under anonymous and we are somehow supposed to be able to tell who is believing mankind has caused some warming and those that say we haven’t?

“I just can not get to your solar energy numbers here in the US.”

You cant copy and paste the links he uses on page one into your browser? Good excuse. Works from here.

“So provide some numbers so we can do a comparison.”

They are in the links he already provided, complete with many others verifying his story and prices. You are just obfuscating.

So Grant…

How will knowing who i am change anything?

I could post definitive peer reviewed proof that AGW is wrong and all you would do is link some nonsense from Tamino or propaganda from RC and claim you have debunked me… so..

The point?

My posts are for the benefit of people that have not yet been completely brain washed…..

you, phil, lionel.. etc are way too far gone to worry about.

“How will knowing who i am change anything?”

Like grant said, one anonymous says there is waming & another anonymous says there is NO warming. It’s a bit hard to accept your claims that you have always said you believe there is warming, when there are dozens of other posts under anonymous that says it’s cooling. For all we know, you are playing both arguments at once.

“I could post definitive peer reviewed proof that AGW is wrong ”

No you can’t.

“My posts are for the benefit of people that have not yet been completely brain washed…..”

You are a propagandist operating in an entirely political partisan manner. You say “my posts are for the benefit”. If you are trying to be unique, you sure are going about it a funny way by using an a generic anonymous name.

Readers can check the things I say & search my name. You on the other hand know how frequently you get things wrong, so you wish to post anonymously so the reader doesnt discover how many mistakes you make.

No Phil…

It is the A in AGW that the debate is all about.

NGW? No problem… History is full examples just like our recent little warm spell.

But when you look at he evidence, there just is not enough ACO2 to be anything more than beneficial.

NGW? No problem… History is full examples just like our recent little warm spell.”

Yes, there is no doubt we are in an inter glacial period. But previous ones showed the rise in CO2 happened over hundreds of thousands of years, if not millions of years. We are doing it now in decades.There is nothing in history that shows it has accelerated that quick as what is happening now.

PhilM, you are wrong again. wiki says: “More colloquially, “the ice age” refers to the most recent colder period that peaked at the Last Glacial Maximum approximately 20,000 years ago, in which extensive ice sheets lay over large parts of the North American and Eurasian continents.”

The core of the evidence for you guys is the CORRELATION of rising CO2 AND THEREFORE DRIVES temperatures. That’s ups and downs. You claimed: “But previous ones showed the rise in CO2 happened over hundreds of thousands of years, if not millions of years.”

Noooo, interglacials are much shorter periods. If CO2 is correlated and driving, then just 20K years ago CO2 was lower with the temps not over hundreds of thousands of years, if not millions of years.

Just another basic fact, wrong.

“Noooo, interglacials are much shorter periods. If CO2 is correlated and driving, then just 20K years ago CO2 was lower with the temps not over hundreds of thousands of years, if not millions of years.”

Lol, even if we use your figure of 20,000 years. The rise in ppm of CO2 is happening faster now in the space of decades than in your previous 20,000 year periods.

But you are right sort of, its not quite 20,000 years & its not my figure of 100,000 years to millions of years.

Its beteween 40k to 100k years.So apologies there. But it still doesnt change the fact that the CO2 increase that is happening now, is happening faster than what has occured naturally in the past.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interglacial

By the way, do you agree with your mate above anonymous when he says

CO2 has a small heat retention capacitey.
it decreases exponentially as denisty increases.
Thus, doubling it again will have minimal effect. “

I agree with the first part, small hear retention. H2O has a wider IR range though, is more prevalent, and actually more ubiquitous at higher altitudes. don’t start the discussion re: H2O has a shorter life cycle, because that is where many of the problems arise with the theory and models. That changing of H2O life cycles may have a very large impact, and the models do not handle them well if at all.

As for the CO2 increase effects is well known, but not so well known as to the levels where the effects diminish. There is some evidence that the atmosphere is already near the saturation point, but dunno….

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Crossposted from PolluterWatch blog on Jay Lehr.

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