National Post Deniers Feature: Picking Favourite Facts

Thu, 2006-12-07 12:35Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

National Post Deniers Feature: Picking Favourite Facts

We nearly missed the second in the National Post series on The Deniers, a cherry-picking exercise in which the libertarian Larry Solomon tries to suggest that there are credible scientists standing up against the global scientific consensus that climate change is real, is caused by human activity and is urgently in need of attention.

Solomon's latest example of an admirable denier is Dr. Richard Tol (whose photo, inset, was taken from Tol's own website). It turns out that Tol, in fact is far from a “denier” and mainly studies the way the scientific and political community measure and predict the effects of climate change, as in this, his most recent scientific article. But, oddly enough, in their campaign of climate change denial, Solomon and the National Post neglect to include Tol's own final position:

This conclusion, however, does not necessarily undermine the ethical and political economic reasons for supporting international collective action on climate change.

That's a far cry from the Post headline shouting that global warming “has benefits.”

Then there is this statment in a 2004 paper co-authored by Tol:

“A change of existing climate conditions caused by the continued emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from anthropogenic [human] activities will lead to higher global mean temperatures …”

So if by “denier,” Solomon means a scientist who accepts that climate change is happening and humans are to blame, then we are in full agreement with Tol's “denier” status.

Previous Comments

PR guys and reporters, that’s definitely who I turn to first when I’m looking for serious science. One or the other masquerading as serious science critics would be funny, but putting them both together is a stroke of genius. This website is either (1) a truly great work of satire, (2) a monument to lack of self-awareness, or (3) a very effective counterattack by the so-called global warming “deniers”. Whichever it is, it’s definitely a real hoot! Thanks for the laugh.
These off-topic, ad hominem contributions by “Anonymous” are getting tiresome. On the other hand, they do make plain just how little serious debate there now is on the basic facts.
Have any of you actually read the man’s work? I would guess not much beyond the Abstracts and a few cherry picked sentences. The overall conclusions of his recent work are that (1) most current estimates of the cost of carbon dixoide emmissions are far too pessimistic and they are skewed even further in that direction by the large volume of unscientific non-peer reviewed estimates that have been published, (2) the more scientifically rigorous the study, the lower the predicted cost of carbon emmisions and the lower the variance among those predictions, (3)the costs are likely to be substantially less than $50/tC, (4) under that scenario there is no cost-benefit justification for the Kyoto protocol. None of these results are absolute because they involve real scientific research and the authors understand that conclusions are always dependent upon assumptions and estimates and not just facts. And they are careful to point out how changes in assumptions and estimates can have significant impact on predictions. However, if you think his work supports the kind of extreme environmentalism promoted by people on this site, you are dead wrong. But then again, we’re talking about real scientific method as opposed to emotive absolutism where the answer is always obvious and any cost is justified if it will save just one life. And the children, for God sakes remember the children.

I especially like “emotive absolutism.”

I also like that Richard Tol agrees with, say, Michael Mann about climate change and disagrees with, say, you, Larry Solomon and the editor of the Financial Post, Terry Corcoran.

Glad you liked the phrase, I’m here to please.;) My take is that Tol agrees there is climate change, although his present research doesn’t address what causes it. His research does try to address what should be done about it - independent of cause - and it doesn’t suggest anything approaching extreme measures. Of course that assumes you’re looking at the objectively economic costs and not factoring in personal emotions and judgements about the relative merits of social and economic systems, etc. A question: Do you read the actual research on climate change, or do you just read the people that supposedly read it? No offense intended by that question; I’d really like to know how you folks have reached your conclusions. If you do read the primary research, could you point me to the half dozen peer-reviewed papers you think are most successful in making the case for anthropogenic causes and those that are most persuasive in disagreeing with that hypothesis? I’d also be interested in your opinion on the specific research that does the best job of characterizing the magnitude and profile of predicted change. Also, who do you think has done the best CBA of potential approaches to addressing the problem. I am capable of not being sarcastic if I try really hard. Thanks.
I think you miss the point, “Anonymous”. In a complex society we delegate to those with special training the assessment of matters that clearly require that training. On climate change, the experts have reached a remarkable consensus. That there are outliers hardly matters – and certainly those of us with real lives don’t waste our time trying to verify now-accepted facts. I do understand, though, that there are self-appointed “contrarians” who like to believe themselves the sole beacons of truth in a deluded world. There are, for example, people who think the tobacco-cancer link is a hoax; others who believe (or pretend to believe) there was no moon landing; etc. That those opinions exist is hardly a reason to take them seriously. So I don’t think you will find many takers for your patronizing little challenge, any more than you would if you asked for a list of the best peer-reviewed papers on the germ theory of disease. That said, the particular question on which you have tried to blow smoke is a manifestly poor choice. It took me all of five minutes on Google to find Tol expressing a pretty clear view of, to use your words, “what causes it”. I will reproduce the entire passage, to avoid any accusation of selective quotation: “Even if it were desirable to stabilise emissions, it is an open question whether stabilisation is possible and how it should be defined. Stabilisation targets, and trajectories to stabilisation, should be placed in the context of natural variability. More importantly, humans have set climate change in motion, and, with that, perturbations of the carbon cycle that will take centuries to reach a new equilibrium.” Get that? “(H)umans have set climate change in motion….” Looks like Tol is squarely in the anthropogenic camp. Not that it particularly matters – so, as far as I can determine, is everyone else who is reasonably in a position to know. And that is (has to be) good enough for me.
LAP: First, I wasn’t talking to you; I was talking to the original author. Second, do you have any education beyond freshman science? I didn’t say Tol had no opinions about the source of global warming, I said his current research did not address that matter. The fact that you don’t see the difference between opinion and research says a lot about your mind. The real irony is that I don’t think you understand the meaning of the passage you quoted or you would not have used it. I could go on, but it’s not worth the effort. Third, I’m not being patronizing. I’d be happy to point you to peer-reviewed research about any aspect of disease you’d like. PubMed is a great resource if you’d like to learn a little science. However, “germ theory” has become a bit specialized since van Leeuwenhoek’s animalcules so I’d need you to narrow it down a bit. The real joke is that you see equivalence between an area of science with 300 years of research behind it and one that started about the same time as Michael Jackson. Finally, you seem like one of those people who use long sentences with big words to hide their ignorance. Either prove me wrong, or stop embarrassing yourself.
Isn’t the 2004 paper co-authored by Tol (and quoted from in the main article here) considered to be relatively current research?
I hope Mr.Anonymous doesn’t deny those who do not possess his august scientific qualifications the right to discuss these matters. They will, after all, as citizens be asked to give their opinion, through their vote, on policies that might be based on these scientific facts. In order to come up with an informed vote they have to be able to see through the bs and pr thrown up around this stuff. This blog is for those who endeavour to do so. It helps to have a scientific background. But often common sense and the ability to read are quite sufficient. For instance, when Anonymous tries to preserve a bit of the denier he had apparently hoped for by stating that T.’s present research is not on the anthropogenic causes of climate change, common sense is enough to assume that that is because T. believes this point to be more or less settled. And what about the ability to read? Anonymous suggests that T.s research about what should be done about it “assumes you’re looking at the objectively economic costs and not factoring in personal emotions and judgements about the relative merits of social and economic systems”. Those of us who can read might wonder how that view of T.’s work ties in with this scholar’s own statement (quoted above) that he has “consistently argued that there is a solid economic case for emission reduction – AND A STRONGER MORAL CASE” (emphasis added. A.B.). One can, after all, not come up with a moral judgment on these matters without preferring certain social and economic facts above others. Arie Brand

I think we might have mentioned this before, but the DeSmogBlog is NOT a science site. (Anon: you may be looking for realclimate.org.)

I am pointedly NOT a scientist (nor are any of my DSB colleagues) and I do NOT go to bed at night with peer-reviewed literature weighing down my night-table. I am, apparently, a credulous fool who takes the word of the Royal Society, the American Academies of Science and real scientists like Richard Tol. All these have explained - in language that is manageable even for my simple mind - that we humans are making a mess so huge that we will not be able to get away from it by moving upstream.

As LAP said, you're missing the point. Our goal at DeSmog is not to debate science. It's to point out when industry-funded hacks (CEI, NCPPR, et al) try to dissemble or confuse people about climate change, or when national newspapers print whole articles (as the National Post has done in this and many other cases) that are designed to lead you to a conclusion opposite to that which would be - objectively - true. The Post presented Tol as a denier; he clearly is not. As Arie Brand originally pointed out, this is a pattern: the Post also presented Wegman as a denier; and he is not, either.

In my mind, that kind of premeditated disinformation campaign should be called for what it is. I think the technical term is: bullshit.

Here's a new question: what's your beef, Anon? You seem like a smart person, capable of stringing sentences together and of moments of truly funny bits of irony. What is it about climate change - or about the sleazy campaign to deny it - that you don't get?

I’m not concerned with who Richard Tol agrees with. I’m concerned with what Richard Tol’s research addresses. I think that is what you originally meant to be concerned with as well, but it looks like you haven’t read the research you’ve chosen to comment on. I guess it’s easier to cherry pick a few sentences than to actually put some work into it.

frog stay usa global german boat

Why look at that guy. He’s got a goofy smile and kind of a wierd haircut. He can’t POSSIBLY be credible looking like that. Why all he’s got is a PHd and board seats at a several prestigious scientific research institutes. Why I’ll bet he hasn’t even taken a journalism class! I’m definitely going with the cleancut PR guy Littlemore. Why, he just LOOKS like he knows a lot more about science, and that’s what matters. I mean, after all he’s an English major and he’s actually studied tough subjects like “Law for the Journalist”. I’m sure he could have been an accomplished scientist or a mathamatician if he wanted, but everyone knows that doesn’t take nearly as much smarts as working for a daily newspaper for most of your life.

Well thought out, thanks for the insight. I'm interested in your views of why such an individual like Tol would be considered a climate change “denier” as reported in the Financial Post when apparently he is far from it?

As written in our post, Tol has published articles stating:

“A change of existing climate conditions caused by the continued emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from anthropogenic [human] activities will lead to higher global mean temperatures …”

He is clearly not in the “climate change is a hoax” category. Funny, whenever we bring up issues like this, which ARE extremely valid, all we get is silly little rants and pettiness.

I guess when you can't use the Mann Hockey Stick red-herring or the little ice-age, you pretty much run of rebuttals. 

No question about it, using the guys picture like he did ( “from his own website!”) was definitely taking the high ground. Anyone should be embarrassed to respond to that with silliness. And of course the only valid rebuttals to the “man is the cause of all global warming” theory is the Hockey Stick and the little ice-age. That’s it, there is no other contradicting evidence being presented anywhere in the world. The entire world of science is in complete consensus agreement that (1) we are undergoing catastrophic global warming, (2) manmade activities are definitely the root cause of that global warming and (3) extreme measures involving massive cutbacks in industrial activity - especially by the US - represent the only possible solution. And, of course, anyone dissenting from that consensus is, by definition, not qualified to have an opinion. You definitely nailed it. I am SO embarassed.
Sorry, but I’m not following the hilarity here. Where is the part where you, Anonymous, address the content of the original post and stop getting all shirty about the photo? If Tol, extravagant hair and all, is concerned about climate change (as he appears to be) how can the NPost justify presenting a fraction of his argument and calling him a heroic denier?

For putting so many words in my mouth, and the hyperbole is great! My favorite is: “The entire world of science is in complete consensus agreement…”

Question: name a scientific issue where there has been “complete consensus.” Is there a “complete consensus” on Einstein's theory of relativity? What about Darwin's theory of evolution?

Yes, so…that is my point. The matter is not settled, as it rarely ever is in science. Only, in this case - and on this site - there seems to be agreement that not only is the matter settled, but we must immediately make major disruptive changes that will cost billions of dollars and probably many, many lives if we are going to save the planet. I’m basing my comments on what I’ve generally read here, not just you. Look up a few posts at LAP. A “remarkable consensus”. The only disagreement is by “outliers” and “self-appointed contrarians”. I assumed you would pretty much agree with his sentiments. If I’m wrong, I apologize.
I stand accused of something, though I’m not sure what (naivete? ignorance?), for using the phrase “remarkable consensus” to describe the state of scientific opinion in respect of climate change. Evidently the climate scientists who filed an amici curiae brief in the US Supreme Court case Massachussetts v. US EPA are equally guilty. Here’s an extract (longish) from that brief: “As practicing scientists who study the earth’s climate system, we and many in our profession have long understood that continued human-caused emission of greenhouse gases—primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), but also methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and fluorocarbons—would eventually warm the earth’s surface. Most were skeptical that we would see strong signs of human-induced climate change in our lifetimes. But by the beginning of this decade, we observed that global temperatures are rising, plant and animal ranges are shifting, glaciers are in retreat globally, and arctic sea ice is retreating. Sea levels are rising and the oceans are becoming more acidic. To the extent that these changes result from human alteration of the atmosphere, we know that they are just the first small increment of climate change yet to come if human societies do not curb emissions of greenhouse gases. The evidence of these changes, though attended by the uncertainty or caveats that appropriately accompany scientific knowledge, is nonetheless so compelling that it has crystallized a remarkable consensus within the scientific community: climate warming is happening, and human activities are very likely a significant causal factor. The nature of this consensus may be obscured in a public debate that sometimes equates consensus with unanimity or complete certainty.” Maybe these eminent academics are lying to the Supreme Court of the United States. Maybe they’re mistaken about the state of affairs in their professional field. Or maybe there really is no debate anymore, apart from the outliers and self-appointed contrarians.
Maybe you need to find something you understand so that you can contribute some original thought instead of acting like a court stenographer.
How is that at all responsive to my point? You cited my use of the term “remarkable consensus” as an indication that I, and by inference others who read this blog, are misled in some way. I pointed out that a sizable group of climate scientists (who from their training and current positions would seem to be well placed to assess the state of their own field) have used exactly those words. The text I cited gives an accessible, plain-language description of the emergence of that consensus, as well as noting the difference between consensus and unanimity. I thought it would be obvious that I wasn’t quoting the brief in an attempt at contributing original thought, but rather to show that my assertion that there is a consensus position is utterly mainstream and uncontroversial amongst those who are in the best position to know.

But the main thing is this: Dr. Tol’s views are actually well within that consensus. He does not dispute the fact of climate change, nor that it is anthropogenically caused. He has repeatedly written in support of emissions reductions. The National Post’s claim that he is a “denier” is simply wrong. It’s also troublesome, at least to me, because it encourages a distorted view of the state of the science.

But enough about me. Do you agree that there is a consensus (again, not unanimity)of informed opinion on the reality of anthropogenic climate change? No insults, please; just an answer.

I’ll try to turn your poorly stated question into something that deserves an answer. But to do that it would help to have 2 answers from you, if you’d be willing to humor me: 1. Can you name a single person or group anywhere in the world who you find credible who is not convinced beyond reasonable doubt that(a) human activity is the most significant factor in GW, and (b) current evidence demands taking immediate steps to curtail greenhouse gas emmissions that are at least equivalent to Kyoto even if those steps create a significant risk of major worldwide economic disruption with its attendent social cost? 2. What decline in NA GDP and what increase in the unemployment rate and per capita fuel costs over the next 20 years would you be willing to accept if it reduced the probability of catastropic GW by (a) 20%, (b) 50% and (c) 95% ? I apologize for the run-on sentences, but I think the questions are still clear. If not, let me know.
I asked a simple question and got a non-response, couched in more insults. If would-be sceptics are having to resort to such a sophomoric approach, I think it’s clear that there is indeed a consensus on the basic facts of climate change.
First, I’ve already discussed my opinions about Tol’s research (which I actually read before spouting off about it; have you gotten around to it yet?) elsewhere in this thread. Second, I’m happy to answer reasonable questions from people that seem smart and rational. See my responses to Emily and Arie elsewhere in this thread for examples. Your question was simple in the sense of simpleminded. To properly answer the set of questions you meant to ask but weren’t able to formulate properly would take some effort. And by “effort” I’m not talking about the effort involved in pressing the copy and paste keys. The reason I asked you those questions is that I already know you’re not very smart, so I at least wanted to make sure you’re rational before wasting anymore time on you. Thank you for saving me the effort.
In case any one has missed it I questioned last Monday on this blog both Wegman’s and Tol’s denier status imposed on them by the National Post. From Tol I quoted his own statement (dated 17th Nov.) posted on another blog in reaction to someone who called him a denier.Here it is again: ” Me? A “dyed -in-the-wool disbeliever in (human caused) climate change”.? If Flannel Flower had done some research, (s)he would have found that Aart de Vos and I published one of the first papers (in 1993) that showed that warming was likely caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Elsewhere,I have consistently argued that there is a solid economic case for emission reduction - and a stronger moral case. The Stern Review does not contribute to this cause. It is so badly researched and argued, and so full of hyperbole, that it is bound to backfire.” I continued: Well, the last word on the Stern Report has not been said yet. But whatever this is, it is not a statement from a denier. The National Post is apparently so hard up for these that now critique by non-deniers on each other is taken as a sign of denial. Arie Brand
Arie: It seems to bother a couple of you that I’m posting as “anonymous”, so I won’t do that. I’m not ashamed of what I’m saying, and if anyone would like to communicate privately by email I’ll be happy to do so. It was just easier to leave that field blank. I don’t posses august qualifications in anything. However, when it comes to things I think are important, I’m not willing to depend on other people’s interpretation of the facts. To suggest, “in a complex society we delegate” our thinking to “experts” is scary, especially when it comes to important issues that have major political overtones. This is the “empty suit” approach to citizenship and I think history has warned us what happens when we trust the experts and don’t think for ourselves. And if you don’t think there’s a lot of politics wrapped up in the global warming debate then you probably shouldn’t be involved in it. The fact that the commenter is sure there is “remarkable consensus” about this issue makes that kind of thinking even more dangerous and shows either incredible ignorance or naivety. And it’s not just the politics. Anyone that looks even briefly at the models in use and the uncertainties involved in them would not put any credence in such a “remarkable consensus”. To your other points, there is a huge difference between believing we should address carbon emission in some form and believing we need to immediately disrupt major economic systems in order to avoid a catastrophic global warming event that threatens the future of mankind. Believing there is an economic case for emission reduction says you have quantified the case. He has done that, and has shown that the economic case in terms of a CBA is significantly less compelling than the doomsday scenario commonly promoted by global warming fanatics. The fact that he believes there’s a moral case is his right, but again that has nothing to do with the doomsday scenario that a lot of folks around here seem to believe. I think the US has a strong moral obligation to cut down on carbon emissions in order to eliminate our dependence on oil from countries that are our enemies. That, however, has nothing to do with global warming, which is what we are talking about.
It seems to bother a couple of you that I’m posting as “anonymous”, so I won’t do that. I’m not ashamed of what I’m saying, and if anyone would like to communicate privately by email I’ll be happy to do so. It was just easier to leave that field blank. I don’t posses august qualifications in anything. However, when it comes to things I think are important, I’m not willing to depend on other people’s interpretation of the facts. To suggest, “in a complex society we delegate” our thinking to “experts” is scary, especially when it comes to important issues that have major political overtones. This is the “empty suit” approach to citizenship and I think history has warned us what happens when we trust the experts and don’t think for ourselves. YOU ARE A GREAT ONE FOR CONTRADICTING YOURSELF. DIDN;’T YOU START THIS WHOLE EXCHANGE BY THROWING DOUBT ON SOMEBODY’S RIGHT TO EVEN DISCUSS THESE MATTERS BECAUSE HE DIDN’T HAVE A BACKGROUND IN SCIENCE? And if you don’t think there’s a lot of politics wrapped up in the global warming debate then you probably shouldn’t be involved in it. The fact that the commenter is sure there is “remarkable consensus” about this issue makes that kind of thinking even more dangerous and shows either incredible ignorance or naivety. THE IGNORANCE IS YOURS. AS A MATTER OF FACT THERE IS A REMARKABLE CONSENSUS. And it’s not just the politics. Anyone that looks even briefly at the models in use and the uncertainties involved in them would not put any credence in such a “remarkable consensus”. THAT IS NOT THE POINT. THE FACT THAT YOU BELIEVE THIS CONSENSUS IS UNJUSTIFIED DOES NOT MAKE IT DISAPPEAR. PERHAPS IT EXISTS BECAUSE THE CLIMATE SCIENTISTS INVOLVED LACK YOUR REMARKABLE ABILITY TO SPOT THE DEFICIENCIES IN THEIR MODELS BY JUST A BRIEF LOOK. To your other points, there is a huge difference between believing we should address carbon emission in some form and believing we need to immediately disrupt major economic systems in order to avoid a catastrophic global warming event that threatens the future of mankind. I AM NOT AWARE I MADE THAT POINT.ARE YOU TALKING TO STERN? HE WOULD PERHAPS WELCOME YOUR CRITICAL COMMENTS AFTER FOUR NOBEL PRIZE-WINNERS IN ECONOMICS, AMONG WHOM JOSEPH STIGLITZ, ENDORSED HIS REPORT. Believing there is an economic case for emission reduction says you have quantified the case. He has done that, and has shown that the economic case in terms of a CBA is significantly less compelling than the doomsday scenario commonly promoted by global warming fanatics. WHO IS THATHE’? TOL? PERHAPS IT IS APPOSITE HERE TO BRING UP THE FACT THAT THE HEIGHT OF DIKES IN THE WEST OF HIS (AND MY ORIGINAL) COUNTRY IS BASED ON A CONJUNCTION OF CIRCUMSTANCES THAT IS SUPPOSED TO OCCUR ONLY ONCE IN TEN THOUSAND YEARS IN A MOST UNLIKELY SCENARIO. TOL’S COMPLAINT IS, INTER ALIA, THAT S.HAS CHOSEN THE MOST PESSIMISTIC RESEARCH. THE COMMENT ON THIS POINT BY THE JOURNAL THE ECONOMIST IS WORTH RECALLING HERE. IT SAID THAT THIS AND OTHER CRITICISM DID NOT INVALIDATESIR NICHOLAS’S CENTRAL PERCEPTIONTHAT GOVERNMENTS SHOULD ACT NOT ON THE BASIS OF THE LIKELIEST OUTCOME FROM CLIMATE CHANGE BUT ON THE RISK OF SOMETHING REALLY CATASTROPHIC”. INCIDENTALLY, TOL’S JUDGMENT ON SIR NICHOLAS’S ECONOMICS IS THE HARSHEST I HAVE SEEN (HE CALLED ITLOUSY”). JOHN QUIGGING, WHO WAS PROFESSOR AT THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY WHEN TOL HAD ONLY JUST FINISHED HIS STUDIES AND WHO HAS BEEN FAIRLY INTENSIVELY ENGAGED IN ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS OPINED ABOUT THE REPORT THATTHE QUALITY OF THE ECONOMICS HERE IS VERY HIGH, AND SETS A NEW BAR FOR DISCUSSION OF THESE ISSUES”. I HAVE ALREADY MENTIONED THE FOUR NOBEL PRIZE-WINNERS. The fact that he believes there’s a moral case is his right, but again that has nothing to do with the doomsday scenario that a lot of folks around here seem to believe. WELL IT IS NICE THAT YOU GRANT HIM THIS RIGHT BUT THE POINT IS THAT YOU CLAIMED THAT HE DID NOT EXERCISE IT BECAUSE ALLEGEDLY HE LOOKED ONLY AT THEOBJECTIVELY ECOMIC COSTSAND DID NOT FACTOR IN JUDGMENTS ABOUT THE RELATIVE MERITS OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SYSTEMS. I ADDRESSED THIS YOUR POINT IN MY PREVIOUS LETTER. IT OBVIOUSLY SUITED YOU TO IGNORE IT. I think the US has a strong moral obligation to cut down on carbon emissions in order to eliminate our dependence on oil from countries that are our enemies. That, however, has nothing to do with global warming, which is what we are talking about. YOU ARE MAKING YOUR POINT THE WRONG WAY AROUND HERE. FOR YOU THE US HAS AN OBLIGATION TO CUT DOWN ON OIL CONSUMPTION TO LESSEN ITS DEPENDENCE ON WHAT YOU CALLOUR ENEMIES” – IN THAT SCENARIO THE CUTTING DOWN ON CARBON EMISSIONS IS ONLY AN INCIDENTAL CONSEQUENCE. THIS IS, BY THE WAY, MY LAST REACTION TO YOU BECAUSE, TRUTH TO TELL, YOU ARE A BIT OF A TIME WASTER. Arie Brand
Correction typo. The correct name is John Quiggin. For the quote see his three part series on the Stern report on his blog
Arie: Thanks for taking time to respond. I’m sorry you might not be reading this. I’ll take the time to respond anyway as you seem like you’re reasonably smart even if we disagree – unlike at least one other empty suit I’ve had to deal with. This will be my last comment as well, as this site clearly has more to do with cult than with climate science. Agree with us? We love you. Disagree with us? You’re an evil denier who threatens our crusade. And I’m not talking about me; I know I started out on the wrong foot. I’m talking about everyone else in the world who doesn’t agree with you. Ever wonder what it means when absolutely everyone who disagrees with you does so only because they’re evil or on the take? Think it might mean you’ve lost some perspective?

First, a piece of friendly advice: a few minutes spent learning a couple simple HTML tags would do wonders for your SHOUTING. Italics or Boldface might be good choices to set off your comments, although boldface can certainly also be abused. Even Underline would be better than SHOUTING. No need to thank me for the pointer. Knowing that you might think of me every time you use HTML is reward enough.

Now, to your remarks.

My point was not that you need a formal background in science. My point was that you should be willing to learn it before you become an activist. Otherwise, you’re asking people to spend billions of dollars and sacrifice hundreds of thousands of jobs based on theories you promote, but don’t understand. You may have heard the saying about opinions being like assholes – everyone’s got one. Sorry for the vulgarity, but it is one thing to have one, it’s another thing entirely to use it as a weapon. It makes you look bad, and leaves everyone else covered in excrement.

Anytime people claim a “remarkable consensus” in science, be very afraid. This whole debate has degenerated past politics and into a religious crusade. On both sides. People no longer question hypotheses, they become “deniers”. If you think the planets might not rotate around the Earth, you’re a heretic doomed to death. What I have read convinces me we should make GW research an extremely high research priority, but I’m not ready to sacrifice hundreds of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs based on the current global circulation models and the inability to explain important data. For that opinion, many of you would consider me stupid, evil or at least on the take.

I know most of the people on this blog believe passionately in GW. Right now you have emotion on your side. Who wants to be responsible for killing Bambi’s mother? It’s easy to demonize power companies and their coal-burning plants, as if they’re selling their power to aliens from another planet and not you and the factory that makes your TV set. I wonder how persuasive the remarkable consensus will be when you ask people to actually pay for it. Everyone wants to save the future for our children, but look what happens when gasoline goes to $3 in the US. How much support do you think there will be for Kyoto-like measures if people’s heating and cooling bills quadruple overnight and old ladies start freezing to death. You better have more than a theoretical consensus opinion on what might happen if the models are correct to justify that. A lot of the people you currently demonized will become suddenly popular. You might find yourself wishing you’d taken their criticism more seriously and did a little more research before you acted. I also wonder how many of you personally have thought about the consequences of what you advocate and whether you personally would be willing to accept those kinds of sacrifices on behalf of your family and friends.

I’ve tried to be clear with my comments on Tol’s research, but I’ve obviously failed since you keep bringing up his personal beliefs and who his friends are. I think this comes from the ridiculous battle over who are deniers. I never said Tol is or is not personally a “denier” of anything. I was simply commenting on what his research says. I could be wrong, but I think his research says that Kyoto is not justified by a cost benefit analysis except under pretty extreme and unlikely assumptions. I don’t give a rat’s behind what his personal values are or if his house is under 20 feet of water or if he’s able to walk on that very water or if Linus Pauling himself comes back from the dead and feeds him vitamin C when he gets a cold from spending too much time in the water. Well, maybe I’d care about that last thing. But you can muddy the issue all you want, his research paper that started this says what it says and will continue to say that whatever Tol’s heartfelt moral convictions. The issue is (1) you seem to refuse to read his paper for some reason, and (2) the “denier” thing is stupid on both sides.

Well, that’s it. Sorry I’ve been a “time waster”, I won’t be any more.
Emily: The quote that Mr. Littlemore uses from the 1994 paper is not the subject of Tol’s research even though it comes from his paper. Tol is referring to research published by others when he makes that statement. My point about Tol is that, while he may believe a lot of things, what is relevant to this discussion is what his research concludes. For example, he may believe that mankind should shut down all industrial activities and adopt a pagan lifestyle. He may want cars banned because they’re loud and they pollute and their manufacture subjects the proletariat to despicable working conditions. He has every right to think that if he wants. He probably does believe that (1) there is global warming occurring and (2) that anthropogenic activities contribute to it, although I have no idea to what degree. But, even stipulating that he believes ALL of that is irrelevant; the question at hand has to do with HIS research, not his moral beliefs and not the research of others. (That is why I asked for Mr. Littlemore’s opinions about what primary research he thinks is most persuasive in the relevant areas that Tol does not cover.) The 2006 research paper that Mr. Littlemore based his blog entry on actually suggests that, under likely scenarios, the Kyoto agreement and many other initiatives that are based on a cost-benefit analysis of carbon emissions may not be justified. At least that is my conclusion from reading it. If anyone disagrees, by all means make your case and let’s discuss it.
As someone who knows Dr. Tol’s work, I was surprised to see his face posted on beside an article about climate change “deniers”. The article is ridiculous. First, calling someone a “Denier” implies in this context that the person does not believe that human activity is influencing the climate. That is far from the case. Tol’s argument is about the economics of mitigating climate change, not about climate science. He is an economist, after all, not a climate scientist. Second, nothing in the article supports the notion that warming has net benefits. Tol’s work concludes that the cost of some mitigation efforts may outweigh the costs of climate change. Most other studies will disagree, arguing that the cost of mitigation efforts are dwarfed by the costs of potential catastrophic changes (ice sheet collapse, etc.) in climate. Either way, there is a cost, not a benefit, to climate change.
I come rather late to this debate. Blame Google. I read the exchange with amusement. Anonymous displays most knowledge and understanding of my work. It has been age since I worked on the science of climate change. I have worked on the economics of climate policy in recent years. I’m no skeptic of anthropogenic climate change. I am very skeptical about the claims that climate change is disastrous, and my work indeed shows net benefits in the first half of this century. That does not matter, as we cannot do much about climate change anyway before 2050. After 2050, my research shows small damages. I am also very skeptical about climate policy, particularly in Europe. Too expensive, ineffective, too much show. I do not mind behind called a denier.

me letter university house free car

head university free land you white microsoft microsoft cube minor woman man ocean dog

this site is the best place to comparison shop for Cheap Gucci Handbag Gucci Handbag , Gucci Handbag and Gucci Handbags,we have many of Gucci including bag Gucci Classics handbag Gucci Cruise handbag Gucci Fall Winter handbag Gucci’s designs are recognizable because of certain signature trademarks. Two of these trademarks are the double G logo and the red striped webbing that appears on many of the pieces. Another trademark of the label, the Gucci horsebit can be found on anything from shoes to watches and bags. As a symbol for the label, the horsebit refers back to the company’s early beginnings. Gucci Bags Gucci Wallet

You made the good point on this site Mr. Coco, i found the great guide on coach purses, coach handbags, organizer purse, black purse, leather briefcases, mens bags, women’s handbags and men’s wallets

I think this is interesting topic to discuss, i would i like share and talk about fact about our nature
Thanks-Coach Purses

The Philippines coach outlet online store a fisherman, walked into an expensive highquality goods store, he didn’t say anything, just five fingers Coach Bags outstretched silence, he wanted to buy a bottle of perfume. The th NO, CHANEL perfume to make become Coach Shoulder Bags perfume group, representing a magic number for a beautiful legend. Why Coach Leathers named NO? This is a lot of people suddenly see this bottle of perfume Coach Totes of Shared by the question. are COCOCHANEL lady lucky number; Leo her birthday is August Coach earrings In seasoning ShiEn nice wave presents many perfume

indows and [url=http://www.coachoutletsunglasses.com]coach outlet online store[/url] attracted ShuRan slide droplets delighted he suddenly looked up, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the distance of the beam, and the moment, greeted all had the answer, life of water was [url=http://www.coachoutletsunglasses.com/Coach-Bags-c2.html]Coach Bags[/url] born. For a lifetime, natural three [url=http://www.coachoutletsunglasses.com/Coach-Bags/Coach-Shoulder-Bags-s7.html]Coach Shoulder Bags[/url] token. Because he thinks, the water actually happening, week as the [url=http://www.coachoutletsunglasses.com/Coach-Bags/Coach-Leathers-s8.html]Coach Leathers[/url] from Paris tower the water of life’s appearance, concise, it purity of the lines complete with three home life say I want to [url=http://www.coachoutletsunglasses.com/Coach-Bags/Coach-Totes-s9.html]Coach Totes[/url] at The world famous [url=http://www.coachoutletsunglasses.com/Coach-Bags/Coach-Business-Bags-s10.html]Coach Business Bags[/url] brand BoSiDeng released in Beijing theme static ran