Free Markets, Free People

Wondering why the right is skeptical of AGW

Bill McKibben wonders why the right is so down on man-made global warming.  He’s convinced it’s the hottest thing to come along politically since woman’s suffrage.  What is it we folks on the right don’t get?  Or is it we have a vested interest in other things that run contrary to wanting to see this problem solved.

Hmmm.  First, I’ve always believed that climate change occurs.  It seems to me that the left has suddenly awakened in a world in which the climate is changing for the first time.  Obviously that’s not the case and, as someone said, the only thing consistent about the climate is change.  So to address an implied question of the McKibben piece, the right certainly understands and accepts climate change as a reality of life.

However, that brings us to the second question – how significant is man’s part?  That’s where we differ.  Most of those who are skeptics question the science that claims man’s part is significant – more significant than the natural forces out there such as the sun and clouds and, well, just about everything else.  Add into that the fact that the present “science” claims that a trace gas of which we add a trace amount is the one primary reason for the rise in global temperature.

Uh, yeah, still not buying.  Factor in that until science decided otherwise, that gas was a trailing indicator of warming – not a cause.  There in a nutshell is the objection to the thesis that says any warming (or cooling apparently) is caused by man.  And we further object to the notion that if we would just stop emitting carbon (something that is and has been an integral part of our lives since our species emerged) all this would be fine.

McKibben is sure, at least on the political side, that it’s all about the right and oil:

One crude answer is money. The fossil fuel industry has deep wells of it—no business in history has been as profitable as finding, refining, and combusting coal, oil, and gas. Six of the ten largest companies on earth are in the fossil-fuel business. Those companies have spent some small part of their wealth in recent years to underwrite climate change denialism …

But as most know who keep up with this, their contributions pale into significance with the government grant money that has flowed unceasingly to the other side for years.  And, many claim, that’s had a significant part in corrupting the science.  The most recent to say this is Professor Harold Lewis:

A TOP American professor has quit a prestigious academic body after claiming that global warming has become a “scam” driven by “trillions of dollars” which has “corrupted” scientists.

Professor Harold Lewis, 87, described his “revulsion” at last year’s leaked “Climategate” emails which appeared to show scientists at East Anglia’s world-leading Climate Research Unit rigging evidence in favour of man-made climate change.

He branded man-made climate change “the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud” he has ever seen.

The scientists involved have been cleared of wrongdoing by a series of investigations. But Prof Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has formally resigned from the American Physical Society after nearly 70 years as a member.

He claims that the APS, the society for America’s top physicists, has refused to engage in proper scientific debate about climate change and ignored climate sceptics.

McKibben offers a second reason.

Conservatives possess some new information about climate science. That would sure be nice—but sadly, it’s wrong. It’s the same tiny bunch of skeptics being quoted by right-wing blogs. None are doing new research that casts the slightest doubt on the scientific consensus that’s been forming for two decades, a set of conclusions that grows more robust with every issue of Science and Nature and each new temperature record.

After telling us it is a massive conspiracy funded by the oil companies, we’re told that it’s just a tiny bunch of contrarians doing no research.  And note how he swings the phrase “scientific consensus” around.  Really, how 20th century is that?  I thought by now even the most ardent of warmists had figured out that real science has nothing to to with “consensus”. 

Finally – note that he simply ignores those recent findings that destroy his hypothesis that no new research supports the skeptical side.  Except of course that which has talked about sun spots, the fact that there’s been no real warming over the last ten years and the trend is toward a colder climate, not a warmer one.  Skip all that and he may have a point.

But mischaracterization by McKibben isn’t confined to just global warming.  He even mischaracterizes the right’s role in the civil rights movement – a common and easily rectified mistake if one would only do some research. Speaking here about a recent poll of conservatives who found Jimmy Carter to be one of the worst presidents ever, he says:

If Jimmy Carter was the worst guy the country ever produced, we’re doing pretty well—but surely it was his nagging reminders that there were limits to our national power that account for his ranking. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote an embarrassed piece earlier this fall about the failure of conservatives to take climate change seriously—it was the ’70s, “a great decade for apocalyptic enthusiasms,” that turned many of them off, he concluded. That’s not much of an argument—it’s like saying “conservatives mostly got it wrong on civil rights, so let’s never listen to them again about liberty and freedom.”

But, of course, conservatives didn’t get it mostly wrong about civil rights – their vote was the critical part of passing the legislation that Democrats tried to filibuster and block.  Yes, they were “Southern Democrats”, but they certainly weren’t “conservatives”, i.e. “the right”.

Anyway, this all boils down to McKibben wanting a carbon tax and assuring us that if we’d do that and do it quickly we’d probably be 90% of the way to solving the problem.  Of course, no word from the sun as to whether it would cooperate if we’d just take a bit more money into government for our emissions.  After McKibben chastises his lefty friends for their desire to do away with the internal combustion engine, he gives us this simplistic “solution” in its place.  And then wonders about the right’s skepticism? 

Finally McKibben appeals to the tradition of right intellectualism hoping that it will reassert itself and go along with the Chicken Little faction.  I wonder – given his obvious unfamiliarity with the real arguments of the right and the science that supports it if perhaps that intellectualism has already “asserted” itself and is calling on the left to do the same.

Don’t hold your breath.



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49 Responses to Wondering why the right is skeptical of AGW

  • I think this is a litmus test for how people view things. In simple terms, glass half full or glass half empty. For over 200 years we have been a glass half full nation. Our national heroes were men like Washington, Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Lindbergh and Neil Armstrong. At an unconscious level, most Americans buy into the idea that the future is so bright, we gotta wear shades.
    If this is as big a disaster as the end timers would have us believe, then we are pretty well screwed because aside from throwing the entire world back into the Middle Ages, there’s not much we can do. We might as well enjoy life while we can and pray that some magical solution comes along.
    If it’s not, then we are going to be forced to spend a “shit load of dimes” to solve a problem that isn’t a problem. Not to mention the reams of government rules and regulations that will distort markets and deprive people of free choice.
    On balance, I’m willing to take that risk.

    • You are right to invoke the specter of the middle ages. Because what the left really want to do is hamstring us so much as a society that we are all dependents on the political elite, much like medieval peasants dependent on their lord.

  • ClimateGate e-mail 0947541692 show both BP Amoco and Shell (and DuPont spun off Conoco in 1999) working within the IPCC framework

    Some of the exiting companies [from Global Climate Coalition], such as BP Amoco, Shell, and Dupont, joined a progressive new group, the Business Environmental Leadership Council, which says, “We accept the views of most scientists that enough is known about the science and environmental impacts of climate change for us to take actions to address its consequences.”

    Frankly, this “Big Oil” argument is pretty lame.

    • The Regulated always decide to side with the Regulator in the end…easier to influence, easier to keep out competitors, easier to pass on costs.


  • We also get things like this:

    If Jimmy Carter was the worst guy the country ever produced, we’re doing pretty well

    Conservatives say Carter was the worst President until now,  We are not doing a Keith Olberman, here.
    Also, the 70’s were the time of doom from global cooling.  Since, that failed to happen, we a re little skeptical of those who caim “Sorry, now it Global Warming… oops, wait, Climate change (which can go either way)”.  These guys can’t even make up their minds as to what to name the impending doom.

    • Dude, where have you been???  It’s “climate disruption” now!  I mean, unless Algore and his fellow idiots have come up with a new scary term…

  • It’s simpler than this.
    The Left lies.
    It lies to get more power over us and steal more of our money.
    The Left has been caught lying about this subject repeatedly.
    Only an idiot would believe anything they said now.

  • “The fossil fuel industry has deep wells of it—no business in history has been as profitable as finding, refining, and combusting coal, oil, and gas.” Now here is some major flatulence. Software is way more profitable than any resource extraction business.

  • “Anyway, this all boils down to McKibben wanting a carbon tax and assuring us that if we’d do that and do it quickly we’d probably be 90% of the way to solving the problem. ”
    “Give us the money, and that’ll solve the problem”.  Sorta like we’ve done with education.
    Money = solution= always
    Yeah, must be nice to have a 5 year old’s grasp of reality, and to be so insulated that you can actually operate using it as an adult.

    • Money = solution= always

      >>> Left point of view expressed as a simple equation:

      Money + ???? = SOLUTION!

  • It’s either/or choices that environmentalists like Bill McKibben demand that put me off the AGW agenda.

    If he were to pose more sensible questions and choices, McKibben might be surprised of the common ground he could find on the right.

    I suspect that a fair number of people on the right, who have familiarized themselves with AGW claims, would allow that humans contribute in a significant way to global warming or at least grant the possibility.

    Then the discussion becomes much more difficult — what are the risks of global warming,   how certain is the science, what are the possible solutions, is it better to prevent or mitigate, how much more do we need to study, what are the drawbacks for the global economy and free enterprise, how do the risks of global warming compare with other risks and other problems, etc.

    But no, what McKibben & Co. want is a sign-off on AGW, followed by swallowing the whole left-wing climate change agenda.

    • It would be easy to consider a carbon tax a form of consumption tax and have one in replacement of other taxes to make them revenue neutral…but that won’t happen. They have to be extra taxes, see.
      Also, they w0uld need them to be like a VAT – taxed on domestic consumption and imports, but rebated for exports. That would be to keep whole industries leaving the USA due foreign competition.

  • Show me real proof of global warming and I’ll believe it.

    Not a picture of a sad looking polar bear
    Not some computer models that can’t even get next weeks weather correct
    Not some “consensus” of overly politicized scientists trying to defend “their” position in what amounts to tribal warfare
    Not some ginned up scaremongering like the UN report was
    Not some video of little kids looking sad (or being blown up)
    Not some opinions of politicians looking for something to use to gain control and power
    Not the “documentary” of a huckster who’s so secure in his positions he won’t even take questions from the press
    Not someone yelling “BIG OIL BIG OIL BIG OIL” over and over
    Not some eggheaded smug marxist pawn chortling that “The science is settled”

    • Hell, I’ll grant it’s possible man, climate changes – then they can show me the written guarantee they received that the climate would never change significantly in any part of the world from the date of the guarantee until, I presume, forever.
      But MOST importantly – show me WE’RE causing it (this would be a good time to cue the following music….)
      Damn these people make me mad – they keep telling me it’s about the world, but I really think it’s all about THEM, they don’t want to have to change if the world behaves unexpectedly.  Their battle cry is “who moved my cheese!”
      Their ancestors, obviously survivors of change both natural and man made, would probably have some harsh words for them.

    • Bingo.  I am bewildered that these lefties seem to think that we skeptics can be convinced that AGW (or climate change, or climate disruption, or whatever they’re calling it this week) is real by them constantly asserting that there is a scientific consensus and that we’re stupid / ignorant / bought-and-paid-for if we don’t believe it.  “It exists, I tell you!  Everybody knows it!  Why are you so stupid that you don’t believe it???”

  • One crude answer is money.

    McKibben is partially right with this answer, but looks in the wrong direction when trying to associate “blame.”
    First, the partially right part … don’t forget “power.”  Money and power usually go together better than mashed potatoes and gravy.
    Second, the blame .. or better who is responsible for this mess.  “Big Oil” has little interest in “power” .. for them “money” is enough.  For “power” we must turn to the government (the guys with the monopoly on the use of force).  But to see where the “money” and “power” come together, you have to go to “Cap and Trade” .. or as many call it “Cap and Tax.”  With “Cap and Tax,” we have the best of all possible activities of the government, they get to mettle in areas where they know absolutely nothing, and they get to collect a busload of cash at the same time.  Frankly, it’s a business best done by their chief rival, “Organized Crime,” but they intend to do their best to make it happen.

    • Heh – Money is always the answer, now let them demonstrate there really is a problem, and that vast sums of money will actually produce a solution.

      • The last solution was to spend in excess of $4 trillion to reduce warming by 0.06C or something like that.
        The one topic that McKibben seem to have missed is those “carbon exchanges”.  Should he ever look into them he may discover the real reason for combating “Global Warming” … there is a lot of money to be made.  Then if he looks at who is on the boards of these exchanges he will notice a complete absence of “Big Oil” or anybody on the “Right.”  Solutions in search of a problem … no problem ..  just make up a problem, out of “whole cloth.”

        • Well yes, leftists they think regulation/taxation/spending/intervention = solution, but we also have a solution don’t we? 

          Our solution to the economy is small government.  Our solution to healthcare is small government.  Our solution to drug use is small government.  Our solution is small government.  

          The solution to climate change is therefore small government. 

          Why not? 

          Why is our solution to climate change to engage in pseudo scientific debate (sunspots) in support of our doing nothing?  Doing nothing is an endorsement of the status quo where we already have really big, in fact utterly massive, government.  Doing nothing is only minutely better than the Left’s response (where they make already hazardously large government slightly bigger). 

          The solution to climate change is small government. 

  • Climate change is like social welfare, a big unsustainble problem that is going to make itself felt about 30 years and totally destroy the economy.  The solution is to make difficult decisions now. 

    “What is it we folks on the right don’t get?” 

    I am convinced the Right “gets” the climate change thing in exactly the same way the Right “gets” the looming social welfare bug.  The Right makes its Pledge to America type response – to do absolutely nothing to solve the problem – pile on a few $trillion more debt and push the problem 10 years down the street.  Classic GOP/Conservative Big Governmnet Right wing, approach where the most important thing is to win the next election.

    The Right (outside of the GOP/Tory political class) should drop the skepticism and propose Right thinking solutions, because even if the science in bumpkin climate change offers a useful crisis.  The Small Government Right should absolutely love climate change, it should be one more stick for us to beat on Big Government Leftists.  The Western Right should get behind climate change as a way of paying less money to Arab despots, who in turn gift assistance to people who like to fly 747s into buildings. 

    “Anyway, this all boils down to McKibben wanting a carbon tax and assuring us that if we’d do that and do it quickly we’d probably be 90% of the way to solving the problem.”

    And he is half right (which is pretty good for a leftist) what is really required is an effective carbon consumption tax to incentivise a market response.  The thing about effective taxes is that they require closing of loopholes and the biggest loophole in any consumption tax is the state.  The state is (because of the way the state is funded) immune to consumption taxation, so if the mechanism as the planet will be saved is effective carbon consumption tax it is big government that will kill the planet.

    • Except that, it is really all a giant scare hoax, so nothing else you say makes sense.

      • “Except that, it is really all a giant scare hoax…”

        I don’t care.  I personally think it is a real problem and enough of the population agree with me, but it doesn’t matter because the solution does make sense. 

        “…so nothing else you say makes sense.”

        That’s strange, because everything else I say is basically:

        “Free Markets, Free People.” 

        Or freer markets, freer people.  Which should make some sense here. 

        • No, you don’t get it. Your free markets and free people are the opposite of what the political elite want. Therefore, your solutions would be the last one’s they would pursue.

          They ginned up this hoax for the express purpose of promoting bigger government, slower growth, and more dependency.

          • They do that anyway – healthcare, education, unemployment – for everything.  They don’t need another ginned up excuse, why would they engage in a grand conspiracy to bring about a situation that they have anyways? Makes no sense. 

    • You mean to tell us that there is a conservative aspect to conservation?  You mean to tell us that this is an opportunity address energy independence?  You mean to tell us that there should be user fees to offer incentives for market responses?
      And, for f*ck sake, man, … you mean to tell us that there is a national security issue when it comes to energy policy???
      Unaha… where have you been?  This is about sticking it to the Left.
      Get it straight.

      • Pogue,

        Yeah, well bout that… 

        The VRWC memo where the Left we vilify became scientists who take observations of Earth’s atmosphere, research and draw some small conclusions.  The memo explaining all these terms like albedo and hydrologic cylces and sulfates that McQ can quote at will.  The memo defining the change in the net vertical irradiance at the tropopause due to a change in the internal forcing of the climate system by a change in the concentration of carbon dioxide as bad evil Leftism conspiracy hoax; whilst at the same time defining the change in the net vertical irradiance at the tropopause due to a change in the external forcing of the climate system, such as, for example, a change in the suns radiation as good honest scientific endevour by real scientists of solid unbiased opinion.

        That memo, everyone else got it, mine must have got eaten by the postmans dog.

        Can you send me yours? 

        I’m still operating under the premise that we shouldn’t pre-judge scientific research on the basis of our political leanings. 

        I’m still operating on the old playbook where QandO is a political blog about small government as a solution to everything.  Everything including, problems scientists discover from time to time. 

    • So you’re saying that the Right should have a faux AGW response, sort of like the Chinese, who are now calling efforts equivalent to the early stages of the US Clear Air Act, Climate Change efforts when, in fact, they are merely to get them to a modest level of clean air.

    • I am convinced the Right “gets” the climate change thing in exactly the same way the Right “gets” the looming social welfare bug.  The Right makes its Pledge to America type response – to do absolutely nothing to solve the problem

      >>>> Except the right has been champing at the bit to do something, and they’ve been absolutely blocked at every turn.  Remember the Dems wild SOTU cheering when Bush said he wasn’t able to do anything about social security?

      Everytime they try something it’s another round of “GOP wants to starve Grandma”  etc etc.

      • And the Right is opened up to that charge because “we want to starve Grandma” so we can have tax cuts.  The Right are greedy, uncaring capitalists.
        However if it occurs that “we want to starve Grandma” so we can save the planet.  At most the Right can be accused of being callous, uncaring enviromental zealots.
        And for comparitive “Grandma starving” goodness the Left’s climate change “solution” is a doozy, Cap’n’Trade will effectively price carbon emissions across the world the same.  So if a Grandma in Bhutan, Belarus or British Columbia wants to turn up the heat the Left would require they pay the same amount to do so.  Couple of those Grandma’s will be priced out of any warmth, can freeze to death.

  • No AGWer who doesn’t suggest replacing every coal-fired power plant with nuclear power is “serious” about the “crisis”.
    And if they’re not serious, I’m not taking them seriously.
    (Even without going into how completely bogus the pseudo-science of AGW is… the “they don’t treat this alleged crisis like a real crisis” heuristic is a good one, of wide applicability.)
    unaha: Climate change can’t really be stopped if it’s not caused by man. And the evidence that it’s (significantly or primarily) caused by man is slim-to-none. So nothing else you’ve said follows in the slightest.
    (And no, “the Western Right” isn’t going to support self-impoverishment to hurt the Saudis, especially because they know enough economics to know that someone’s going to buy and burn that oil if they don’t. Hell, the US right might have even looked at the charts and seen that most American oil imports are from Canada and Mexico…)
    Then again, you’re confusing “The Republican Party”, “Conservatives”, and “the Right” into a single amorphous blob, suggesting that you understand neither of them very well.
    And I say that as someone who isn’t a Republican, a Conservative, or much of a man of the Right.

    • Sigivald:

      Its not impoverishment, at least not according to most of what QandO would have us believe.  It is small government as a solution to climate change.  Tax reform in effect.  Bring in a carbon consumption tax (that for instance triples the price of gas as well as taxing the carbon footprint of every consumerable) and halve income taxes.  Cut social spending, slash red tape, end subsidies, reduce debt all in the name of reigning in the size of government.  Save the planet. 

      Its not about the Sauds selling oil to anyoneelse, its about the West preferring products made with less reliance on oil.  If China imports more oil, Chinese products attract more taxation because they have a higher carbon footprint. 

      PS – I disagree with you on mans impact on the climate.   

      • The whole idea of rolling off oil to some sort of “green product” is utter nonsense.  The physics just doesn’t work for practically every “green” solution being able to ever support the country’s energy needs.  Solutions like fission and fusion (yes, the French think they can make this work in the next decade) nuclear plants are wrapped up in “green fear” so we are left with no solutions.  Exactly, where we have been since the first Arab oil embargo in the 1970’s.  Meanwhile, the “green” fantasy from the Obama Administration continues, ignoring the failure of “green jobs” in Spain.

      • The evidence, long before there were any of us in trees to come down out of, demonstrates climate changes, for all intents and purposes to our wondrous 6000 years of recorded ‘science’, for no apparent reason.  Oh, we have some wonderful theories, and every year we come up with better ones, but not much on proof (and certainly NOT much on actually affecting it, short of being pretty sure we CAN nuke ourselves back into an ice age).
        Already all the dire predictions we have from a mere 5 years ago have not been fullfilled, and you’re clinging to this ‘science’?  What happened to ‘tipping point’ and all the dire things that would occur if we didn’t stop during the beginning of the Bush Administration?  I mean, what have we REALLY done to stop it?  and yet….the see saw doesn’t seem to have plunged us into hell just yet.
        This is Y2K writ large across decades, and someone is making a nice chunk of change from it.    When their isn’t a problem you can solve, doing NOTHING is actually quite a sensible course.

  • I have a few more reasons to be sceptical. 

    1) Global warmingists have been caught in a whole bunch of lies.

    2) The same people, and the same type of people have been trying to frighten us for many decades with a whole host of crap that never came true, including the so called Ozone hole, and global cooling.

    3) The vast majority of these people tend to be left wingers and in my experience left wingers NEVER tell the truth, and NEVER have the public interest at heart.

    • I will grant the scientists one thing: as our tools of research increase, they will find new things that they could not find before. This will cause the inevitable “oh my god!” moment, before cooler heads figure out that everything went on normally with this before, its just we can see more now.
      Case in point is the testing of fetuses/newborns…they can find all manner of tiny holes in the heart, genetic defects, weird brain stuff, which look appalling until you remember grandma and grandpa had your parents with all of these problems, but just never knew about them.

  • Ike’s second warning: “…that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

  • Neo, 

    I say the Right should have a real AGW response (irrespective of if AGW is a real or faux crisis).

    “The whole idea of rolling off oil to some sort of “green product” is utter nonsense.”

    This is not like with Left wing cap’n’trade “solutions” or productive controls or whatever.  The real solution is not to limit the amount of CO2 emitted in any country, it is not to ration the amount of oil that can be consumed.   

    Under a real AGW policy “rolling off oil” becomes a goal, but not an enforced condition:

    A) Increase the price of oil 4-fold by using AGW footprint consumption tax (same with coal and natural gas weighted to AGW footprint, along with the footprint of everything sold to the consumer) – for sure this increases the price of energy. 

    B) Reduce income taxes, property taxes, regulation surcharges, exises and the like.  Pay for it by slashing the size of government. 

    Since this is a Right wing solution make sure:

    A < B

    The economy has more money to spend, no shortage of spending on energy is caused. 

    And I don’t think you can say a green solution is “utter nonsense”.  I mean I don’t have a green solution – but that figures cause I’m not that smart.  You don’t see a green solution.  And I think we can both agree the government isn’t going to know.   That doesn’t mean there is no solution, it just means that you and me and the greatest collection of jobsworth nincompoops ever assembled (aka. our governments) haven’t got the wherewithall to find it.  It is however my opinion that somewhere out there someone(s) will be able to and they should be encouraged by the incentive of really big profits.   

    • It has taken 75 years to transition from a coal dominated world to a oil dominated world, with about half of all the oil now consumed.  There is no other energy source that is as mobile as oil.  The “specific” energy content of diesel fuel is only out weighed by fuels for nuclear plants.
      The renewable fuels are all carbon-based so why would a world worrying about CO2 embrace them ?
      Does anybody really think that “Big Oil” wouldn’t  sell you any other form of “energy” if they could make money doing it ?  Shoot they would sell you a steady supply of Obama’s fingernails if they thought there was a few bucks and a trip across town in it.

      • I think “big oil” makes its money by being really efficient at supplying oil and everything ekse is window dressing.
        There are other solutions apart from finding another fuel source.  How about moving industry off planet?  How about reducing travel by enhancing virtual communication? How about good ol basic efficiency gains in the manufacturing process?

        • Great idea … the next IPCC meeting by conference video … instead of all those bleeding hearts jetting into the sunny beaches of Mexico or some other resort.

  • None are doing new research that casts the slightest doubt on the scientific consensus that’s been forming for two decades, a set of conclusions that grows more robust with every issue of Science and Nature and each new temperature record.

    Ummm….Data Modeling is NOT research, especially when the models are just as inaccurate in modeling the past KNOWN situation as they were when they started the “modeling is climate research” kick.
    To match their hypothesis (of AGW), they would be testing CO2 temperature forcing. They don’t, because the past research has shown forcing peaks, logarithmically, well below 300ppm.
    The “research” that McKibben refers to is tendentious “reasoning” (yes, an oxymoron) in the extreme.
    McKibben, whore that he is, also fails to note that the energy industry threw more money (much more) at warmists than they did at deniers. That in addition to the $$$billions of government funding at said tendentious “research”.

  • Ross Douthat indulges …

    But there’s no denying that its left the G.O.P. on the wrong side — and increasingly so — of a pretty sturdy scientific consensus.

    I love the use of the oxymoron .. “scientific consensus”

    • Shall we go through some of the “scientific consensus” throughout history?  Shall we discuss the flat earth and the sun revolving around us?  Or maybe “the population bomb” or global cooling?

      • But back in the ‘good old days’ people like McKibben had important titles, like Cardinal McKibben, or ArchBishop McKibben, and they could send THESE guys after you until you relented and admitted that you’d been consorting with the devil, practicing heresy, and committing crimes against the holy church (I’ll stop there)  in proving the earth was round and NOT the center of the universe.

  • See Warren Meyer’s presentation, Catastrophe Denied.  It’s worth the time to watch the video if you’re interested in offering pertinent counter-arguments to the hysterical catastrophic AGW crowd.
    Two points I consider the most pertinent: 1. If there is a “tipping point” then why hasn’t the Earth, in 4.5 billion years, ever experienced runaway catastrophe from which there was no return?  Natural systems tend to have factors which act to negate changes and restore more average conditions.  So, while there are ice ages and warm periods, they continue to cycle.  There’s nothing particular about the 21st century to change that pattern.
    2. Carbon dioxide causes a logarithmically decaying increase in temperature.  You have to keep doubling CO2 for every degree you go up.  So the most extreme predictions of temperature increases cannot be justified by CO2 alone.  They rely on an assumption of positive feedbacks, like methane released from melting tundra and such.  But not all feedbacks are positive.  Using the formulas of alarmists, future projections involve large increases.  But applying those same formulas <i>backwards</i> doesn’t get you the actual measured temperatures of the past.  So, to put it bluntly, those formulas are bull’s hit.