Friday, November 15, 2013

Climate Change Deniers ARE Stupid, right?

Not to drag out the old standby "Climate Change" to fill a blog post, OK that's exactly what I'm doing... Below is a back and forth I had a year ago when I came across an article on some greenie website. The interesting thing was that the responders absolutely hit on every single contradictory cliche I accused them of while trying to come off as reasonable, intelligent and patient.

For instance, at one point one of them put down a bunch of links to studies (proving his point) and when I suggested I could find a bunch of links that would say exactly the opposite, he chided me saying links that any fool could post prove nothing.

I stayed on and had some fun with it anyway...

Note: I interjected a few comments in [brackets]




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Craig said...

Oh for God's sake who is denying climate change? No one is denying climate change. Informed, educated, well-intentioned people disagree about "global warming" and more specifically what can or should be done about it - if anything. Treating skeptics as flat-earthers and fools only diminishes you. The climate is going to change, that's a fact. What is causing it is way too complicated to distill down to humanity burning fossil fuels, and specifically the emitting of carbon dioxide.

I am sick and tired of the debate being waved off as if we who question proposed drastic measures are knuckledragging protohumans. There is a legitimate debate to be had about what should be done.
Reply07/16/2012 at 01:01 PM



Ted Lee Eubanks said...

Craig, I wondered how long I would have to wait before one of the denier birders would speak up. You comment that "treating skeptics as flat-earthers and fools only diminishes you." Nonsense. Undermining you are the histrionics about the subject and your inability to actually offer a "legitimate debate." So here is the invitation, Craig. Gut it up and show us your data. Let me see the peer reviewed studies that would argue otherwise. Give us your case that argues against this being "way too complicated to distill down to humanity burning fossil fuels, and specifically the emitting of carbon dioxide." Don't just snivel. Debate.
Reply07/16/2012 at 02:00 PM



Ted Lee Eubanks said...

For those like Craig who are nonplussed by climate change (what a way to rain on a parade?), here are a few current papers related to the science rather than the politics. http://certiclean-certified.com/lcs/docs/2007_Climate_EOS_Projection.pdf  http://www.discoverlife.org/pa/or/polistes/pr/2010nsf_macro/references/Parmesan_and_Yohe2003.pdf  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC23258/

If you are not up to reading these papers, at least read this last one. As the authors state, "But there is a scientific consensus on the reality of anthropogenic climate change. Climate scientists have repeatedly tried to make this clear. It is time for the rest of us to listen." http://leisureguy.wordpress.com/2007/09/04/the-scientific-consensus-on-global-warming/

Craig, anthropogenic means caused by man. Your comment that climate change is "way too complicated to distill down to humanity burning fossil fuels" is contrary to the published science. We await your data.
Ted
Reply07/16/2012 at 09:49 PM


Craig said...

Gee, thanks for the vocabulary lesson on anthropogenic, I never knew... This is exactly what I mean, by the way, about the arrogant superiority complex you folks display toward anyone who differs with you. Consensus, scientific or not, isn't necessarily the truth. I can get a list together of nice links that will say exactly the opposite - if I must. (I'd start with http://wattsupwiththat.com/)

One question that has always bothered me and none of you can answer without a hockey stick. How did medieval man "cause" global warming? And even more important how was it bad for humanity? Everything I have read points to nothing but good coming out of warmer temperatures for health and well being of mankind.

But let's just say you're right about absolutely everything. What should we do that's practical, rational and dare I say actually doable. Wasting billions on carbon sequestration and other redistribution schemes is none of these. As Lomborg suggests the rational thing to do is to learn to adapt to warmer temperatures just as mankind learned to adapt to colder temperatures a few centuries ago. Science and technology will continue to advance just as it has since the dawn of the industrial revolution and practical solutions will arise - yes, before it's too late. Or, just in time for the next anthropogenic ice age.
Reply07/17/2012 at 02:12 PM


Joshua said...

Craig, a few things. First, your statement "Everything I have read points to nothing but good coming out of warmer temperatures for health and well being of mankind." You apparently need to read something a bit less biased. Warmer temperatures are likely to be disastrous to mankind for a number of reasons, starting with tropical diseases like malaria and dengue spreading over wider areas of the globe. Agricultural pests will similarly spread more readily from the tropics into temperate zones. Throw in increased demand for electricity and water, demands that many communities are already struggling to satisfy. That assumes that warmer temperatures actually happen. It's called "global" climate change, not "your neighborhood" climate change, for a reason. A temperature 5 degrees (F) warmer in any one state or even country would be barely noticeable. A global change of 5 degrees would just about end life as we know it. But a global change is not going to change every single place on the planet by the same amount; some areas will likely get cooler. And the changes of real significance are likely to be in areas indirectly affected by temperature, such as precipitation, evaporation, ocean currents, etc.

As for medieval man, they were certainly capable of burning wood, which on a per-unit-of-energy basis is thought to generate more climate change than burning fossil fuels. They also had livestock, considered a source of atmospheric heat-trapping gases including methane (more potent than carbon dioxide). They clear-cut many forests which releases a great deal of carbon from organic forms into the atmosphere. And really, the data on the medieval warming period indicates that it was milder than the current one, [no, sir, no it wasn't. Ugh] and possibly not even global. 


Adaptation is a fine idea for those who can do it. Unfortunately, adaptation requires money and resources. Many countries lack those. So the poorer countries wind up stuck with that other, less pleasant sort of adaptation, the Darwinian natural selection sort, where the fittest survive and everyone else dies. For the wealthy countries who have generated most of the greenhouse gases, and profited hugely from doing so, to fret about the monetary cost of carbon sequestration and other climate stabilization strategies, is not going to be received well if people in poorer countries are dying and think that we made most of our money while causing it. I'm also surprised how much that you, ostensibly a birder, emphasize the survival of humans. If climate change takes place as predicted,
we are going to see an avalanche of extinctions of birds, mammals, fish, and other life forms across the planet. Our adapting does nothing to help other species. Some of us care about that.

Not surprised that you mention Bjorn Lomborg. Unfortunately, the man's area of expertise is political science; both his Master's and Ph.D. were in that area. He lectured a bit on statistics within the political sciences, but never earned any degrees in that area. And everything that he knows about climatology and the rest of the natural sciences, he learned after he had already made up his mind to
oppose environmentalism, which allowed him (maybe conciously, maybe not) to cherry-pick the bits that supported his preconceived notions and conveniently overlook the parts that were contrary to his personal views. To get a degree in a field, you have to learn the entire thing, not just the parts that you find agreeable.

Which brings me to your claim "Consensus scientific or not isn't necessarily the truth. I can get a list together of nice links that will say exactly the opposite" A collection of links vs. scientific consensus. Links come from websites that Ted, or I, or you, or anyone else could put up. I could pull a bunch of numbers and graphs out of my behind and post it on a website. More to the point, I could post my opinions somewhere even if they were based on a complete misinterpretation and misunderstanding of the facts. Scientific consensus rides on publications, which each have to make it through a long and arduous process of quality control involving dozens of people before they make it into print. Misunderstandings and misinterpretations get corrected by this process. If any conclusion seems wrong, other scientists can repeat the steps of the study and try it out for themselves, and if they find out that the previous study was wrong, they can publish that too. Contrary to the conspiracy theories, it happens all the time. So, links vs. scientific consensus? Not much of a choice there.
Reply07/18/2012 at 10:39 AM



Craig said...

Why is everything I read biased? Because it disagrees with your "consensus"? Don't even try to tell me there hasn't been shenanigans played with the science behind these theories. There is a lot of money riding on making global warming scary - we must do something NOW. Billions have been thrown at scientists and there are billions more at stake. Scientists need to eat too and this research has been an incredible boon monetarily. Sorry if I don't trust the ultimate motives behind all this. (You of course are above reproach) Call me a conspiracy nut if you must.

My point is there is probably not much man can do - reasonably - that would make a difference considering the cost/benefit ratio. Mankind has adapted to climate change way before the evil ones drove their cars and fired up their power plants. Populations soared during the Medieval Warming Period and plummeted during the Little Ice Age - people suffered. I'm sorry but warmer is just better.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking all reasonable measures to mitigate the junk mankind throws up into the air. But going backward economically will never get us there - ever. How does a economically weaker "West" make the world a cleaner, greener place? Poverty stricken countries and emerging countries like China and India are belching cesspools, yet they were never going to be required to adhere to the standards the West was facing. In my view advancing science and technology from a position of economic strength is going to do far more good than forcing the West to reduce our wealth through direct confiscation and the high prices of false scarcity.



Joshua said...

Craig, to answer your question "Why is everything I read biased?" You said before that "Everything I have read points to nothing but good coming out of warmer temperatures for health and well being of mankind." There is an avalanche of evidence pointing to warmer temperatures being disastrous to mankind for a wide variety of reasons, some of which I already listed. If you have not read any of that material, then what you have read is presenting only one side of the issue. That is a dictionary definition of "biased".

A little light reading for you:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719
This is not a scientific article, but the author is at least familiar with the scientific basis of climate change and the predictions it makes for human welfare. I do not necessarily agree with 100% of the article's content, but it's certainly closer to reality than what you've been reading. The population numbers from the medieval warming period and little ice age do not apply to our current situation. World population then was a tiny fraction of what it is now. Populations boomed during the warming period because we were making advances in agriculture, medicine, exploration. Populations plummeted after the warming period because, oh yeah, the Black Death, among other things. The climate was not driving the population changes.

If you really want to stay buried in your conspiracy theories, then nothing I say will penetrate the sand in which you've buried your head. But just look at your own statements like "There is a lot of money riding on making global warming scary" and think about that. How much money is there in making global warming *not* scary? Several million times more. Scientists' grants are a pittance relative to the revenue pulled in by the industries that extract, process, sell, and consume fossil fuels. [BS, the money shoveled into "climate change" by governments alone dwarfs that of industry by orders of magnitude, add the free media trumpets and you're comparing apples to blue berries]

Now, if you want to make the arguments about affordability of the various schemes to stabilize the climate, or about the fairness of deals that demand the West make changes while exempting rapidly developing countries with far higher populations, you might have valid arguments there. Unfortunately, any points you make in those areas have been sorely undermined by your disputing the scientific evidence. When you make claims that are unsupported by the facts, it casts doubt on your opinions in the areas where facts may actually exist to support your case. [There you go, the science is settled - the facts are in. Not quite]
Reply07/24/2012 at 01:15 AM



Craig said...

Conspiracy theories??? Ever hear of ClimateGate? Cmon. There have been numerous fallicies that have come to light as the pushers ramp up the fear mongering. I am neither a scholar nor a scientist (probably obvious by now) but I am a bullshit detector. All up and down the cast of characters pushing this notion are bullshit artists and profiteers along with the serious scientists. These folks have the megaphone of the major media and the money of superpower governments so the constant drumbeat against the "oil companies" and the "Koch Brothers" bank rolling the opposition is falling on my sand-filled deaf ears.

There is BS and dishonesty on both sides of this debate. Just like anything else identified and embraced by the left-side of the political spectrum the elements of truth and rightousness are buried in the rubble of the sledge hammer they (always) employ. This is probably why the opposition is so adamant. Cooler heads and wiser men could probably come to a compromise that would work for both sides. Me, I still think technological advancements (not friggin' windmills) will make most of the pollution/spewing elements of this debate just go away. Maybe not as quickly as you would like, but eventually.

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The sheer arrogance and condescension of these guys is what struck me. I continued with this far longer than I should have or needed to. Neither ceded any of my points to any degree - they, along with the science and the scientists were above reproach and had nothing but pure scientific motives. These guys along with all the other anti-capitalist crowd fails to acknowledge that it is capitalism that is the engine that drives science, scientific advancements and scientific progress for all kinds of reasons. All of which needs the power and the strength of strong economies - economies that rely on increasing energy consumption. I say clean it up where ever possible, but to purposely kill the economies of advanced societies for this theory is the epitome of denial. It isn't going to happen.



Ugh
(AKA Craig)

1 comments:

Timothy Birdnow said...

Nicely done, Craig! You are right; these people have to climb on a high horse to hide how short-sighted they really are!

I love this particular paragraph:

"As for medieval man, they were certainly capable of burning wood, which on a per-unit-of-energy basis is thought to generate more climate change than burning fossil fuels. They also had livestock, considered a source of atmospheric heat-trapping gases including methane (more potent than carbon dioxide). They clear-cut many forests which releases a great deal of carbon from organic forms into the atmosphere. And really, the data on the medieval warming period indicates that it was milder than the current one, [no, sir, no it wasn't. Ugh] and possibly not even global. "

End

Who in their right mind would try to argue the MWP was caused by burning wood and cattle farts? Proxy data shows the CO2 levels were much lower then than now.

Great job!