Free Markets, Free People


NYT and climate change

The New York Times editorializes today on the fact that many of the Republicans running for Senate who have a good chance to win reject the notion of man-made global warming.  The canard used is a familiar one:

The candidates are not simply rejecting solutions, like putting a price on carbon, though these, too, are demonized. They are re-running the strategy of denial perfected by Mr. Cheney a decade ago, repudiating years of peer-reviewed findings about global warming and creating an alternative reality in which climate change is a hoax or conspiracy.

Really?  Or are they instead, like Carly Fiorina, “not sure”.  I’m certainly not sure.  And neither is science if you actually take the time to look into it.  There’s more and more coming out daily about the uncertainty within the scientific community that anything that has been theorized before is correct.  There is no “consensus” except in the propaganda cobbled together in the politically driven and discredited IPCC report.

So do I think it is a purposeful hoax?  Not in the beginning, but now you have to wonder as those who’ve been shown their “science” is deficient appear to want to double-down.  Is it a conspiracy?  Not as one is generally thought of but again, as this continues and more comes out about this subject, the less credible those who claim previous findings are settled science appear.

For instance, speaking of peer reviewed work, this study recently came to light (check out the excellent graphic at the link):

In “Short-lived uncertainty?” Joyce E. Penner et al. note that several short-lived atmospheric pollutants—such as methane, tropospheric ozone precursors and black-carbon aerosols—contribute to atmospheric warming while others, particularly scattering aerosols, cool the climate. Figuring out exactly how great the impacts of these other forcings are can radically change the way historical climate change is interpreted. So great is the uncertainty that the IPCC’s future climate predictions, which are all based on biased assumptions about climate sensitivity, are most certainly untrustworthy. As stated in the article:

It is at present impossible to accurately determine climate sensitivity (defined as the equilibrium warming in response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations) from past records, partly because carbon dioxide and short-lived species have increased together over the industrial era. Warming over the past 100 years is consistent with high climate sensitivity to atmospheric carbon dioxide combined with a large cooling effect from short-lived aerosol pollutants, but it could equally be attributed to a low climate sensitivity coupled with a small effect from aerosols. These two possibilities lead to very different projections for future climate change.

Again we see science noting that as we get more and more into the details of climate, we find we know much less than we thought. Hardly "settled science" then. Dr. Penner goes on to point out the complexity of climate science and what they’re just now learning and what is still unknown:

Of the short-lived species, methane, tropospheric ozone and black carbon are key contributors to global warming, augmenting the radiative forcing of carbon dioxide by 65%. Others—such as sulphate, nitrate and organic aerosols—cause a negative radiative forcing, offsetting a fraction of the warming owing to carbon dioxide. Yet other short-lived species, such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds, can modify the abundance of both the climate-warming and climate-cooling compounds, and thereby affect climate change.

Quantifying the combined impact of short-lived species on Earth’s radiative forcing is complex. Short-lived pollutants—particularly those with an atmospheric lifetime of less than two months—tend to be poorly mixed, and concentrate close to their sources. This uneven distribution, combined with physical and chemical heterogeneities in the atmosphere, means that the impact of short-lived species on radiative forcing can vary by more than a factor of ten with location or time of emission. The situation is further complicated by nonlinear chemical reactions between short-lived species in polluted areas, as well as by the interactions of clouds with aerosols and ozone. These processes add further uncertainty to the estimates of radiative forcing.

What she’s basically saying is they’re just now actually beginning to identify and get into all the complexities that are the climate. They’re discovering variables that can either intensify or mitigate. They can also heat or cool. And sometimes the same variable can do both. If anyone thinks the models that have been cited as the basis of the "settled science" used all these variables and used them correctly, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in buying.

Which brings us back to point one – the NYT claiming that the GOP are deniers and implying they’re anti-science.  No, they’re just not as gullible as the NYT and many on the left who want believe that man is ruining the planet and see it as a justification for even more government control of our lives.  They’re skeptics – thank goodness – as are most respectable and reputable scientists.  Climate science, as Dr. Penner’s work points out, is in its infancy.  Making policy decisions based on questionable science is a fool’s work.  Thankfully the GOP has realized this and taken a stand against rushing into horribly expensive solutions which will hurt the economy and further extend the government’s already extensive intrusion into our lives.

I’ll say this now – if and when science – and not the climate hustlers of today – is able to prove to my satisfaction that a) man has a significant role in climate change and b) changing behavior would be beneficial and something that could actually be accomplished without impoverishing the world, I’ll listen.   Until then, I remain a skeptic – and the more new science I see, the more I think I’m right to be a skeptic.

~McQ

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43 Responses to NYT and climate change

  • When the same snake-oil-salesmen who push the scam (AlGore) is the same ones who profit from the scam (ENRON) that tells you all you need to know whether it is a scam.
    If the climate has been changing for four billion years, why would we want to stop it now?

    • I wonder if the Times would be equally enthuastic about a “newprint tax” … to save the trees, of course.

  • “Again we see science noting that as we get more and more into the details of  __________ , we find we know much less than we thought.”

    History has shown that you can fill in the blank with any subject you wish. “Climate Science” seems to be the only exception, at least according to those who don’t know any real science.  

    • And we’ll leave aside their excellent track record in the dire prediction department shall we?
      A nice little article on ‘tipping points’ and the continued effort to get together to use the right words so the unbelievers can be convinced the ‘consensus’ is correct.

      I would have thought by now we were to be Climate Wise on the same fast track train to Hell the Democrats have us on as a nation, but the damn climate seems to have a mind of it’s own.

  • I’ll say this now – if and when science – and not the climate hustlers of today – is able to prove to my satisfaction that a) man has a significant role in climate change and b) changing behavior would be beneficial and something that could actually be accomplished without impoverishing the world, I’ll listen.   Until then, I remain a skeptic – and the more new science I see, the more I think I’m right to be a skeptic.

    >>> What, pictures of sad polar bears and children getting blown up don’t persuade you? 

    • “What, pictures of sad polar bears and children getting blown up don’t persuade you? ”

      What are you….eh???  DAMMIT!!

      I specifically told them SAD CHILDREN AND EXPLODING POLAR BEARS!!!!!!!!

    • No, they’re just not as gullible as the NYT

      The Times sounds like a sexual predator in a roomful of virgins

  • This is no different from those who claim that “huffing” isn’t bad just because “huffing” air-plane glue destroys your brain.  Like methyl-ethyl-ketone or trichloroethylene would be better for you.
    Just say no to those disciples of the Church of Gaia.

  • The candidates are not simply rejecting solutions, like putting a price on carbon

    Which of course is guaranteed to work.

  • As a scientist, I [Michael E. Mann] shouldn’t have a stake in the upcoming midterm elections, but unfortunately, it seems that I — and indeed all my fellow climate scientists — do.

    One more “scientist” worried he might lose “his sandbox” .. err .. grants and get investigated.
    One more reason to vote the bums out.

    • “As a scientist, I [Michael E. Mann] shouldn’t have a stake in the upcoming midterm elections, but unfortunately, it seems that I — and indeed all my fellow climate scientists — do.”

      Geeze, he went to a lot of effort to paraphrase Mel Brooks – “LePetomaine: “Gentlemen. We have to protect our phoney-baloney jobs!”

  • “The compelling case that climate change is occurring and is caused in large part by human activities is based on a strong, credible body of evidence.” – National Academies of Science

    • Read: Massive loads of government funded climate modeling.
      None of which can be validated running into the past.

  • Which brings us back to point one – the NYT claiming that the GOP are deniers and implying they’re anti-science.  No, they’re just not as gullible as the NYT and many on the left who want believe that man is ruining the planet and see it as a justification for even more government control of our lives.  They’re skeptics – thank goodness – as are most respectable and reputable scientists.  Climate science, as Dr. Penner’s work points out, is in its infancy.  Making policy decisions based on questionable science is a fool’s work.

    Science is scientific.  Policy is politic.  These are different things.   

    QandO is an American political blog, ostensibly in favour of small government, because this is a good goal to aim for and American multi $trillion deficits might somehow prove harmful economically.  QandO offers policy solutions biased in favour of reducing the size of the State, solutions which are generally considered heresy by both the Left and the center-Right GOP. 

    Except on climate change QandO doesn’t do this.  On climate change QandO is a blog about unbiased examination of scientific truth.  Really?  Wow.  Seems to me that could be done better without allusion to some accidentally occuring grand conspiracy, aferring political bias in science or the cherry picking of results. 

    And to what end? QandO holds hands with the GOP as they defend the status quo. 

    Thankfully the GOP has realized this and taken a stand against rushing into horribly expensive solutions which will hurt the economy and further extend the government’s already extensive intrusion into our lives.

    Thankfully? Thankfully? Thankful that the GOP is insistant on the need to do absolutely nothing?  Thankful that we might see a policy to maintain “the already extensive intrusion [of the state] into our lives”

    I’ll say this now – if and when science – and not the climate hustlers of today – is able to prove to my satisfaction that a) man has a significant role in climate change and b) changing behavior would be beneficial and something that could actually be accomplished without impoverishing the world, I’ll listen.   Until then, I remain a skeptic – and the more new science I see, the more I think I’m right to be a skeptic.

    I’ll say it will be too late.  By the time any politically motivated skeptic like you is convinced the only publicised solution to prevent inpending doom* will be the horrible Cap’n'Trade-big government-UN-pallooza Al Gore Democrats sell. 

    To take an example from American history after the Great Crash (before the Great Depression) Herbert Hoover doubled the size of the federal budget to stimulate growth – this was a bad idea.   Then along came FDR who accused Hoover of not doing anything and proposed to solve the problem by expanding the federal budget by lots more – this was also a bad idea.   GOP solution = double the size of the state.  Democrat solution = expand the state much much further.  80 years later, there hasn’t been any appreciable change in policy positions – and they are both bad. 

    Doing the same with climate change, will result in the same result.

    a) Science is Scientific.  It will be worked out.

    b) Politics is Political.  The solution to climate change requires reducing the size and scope of the state.  The solution to climate change requires a significant reduction in the extent of public indebtedness. 

    The solution to climate change is small government.

    * Its a crisis.

    • AGW isn’t really science. It is just a method to raise money for the likes of Al Gore.

      Do you actually know anything about science, unaha-closp?

    • I’ll say it will be too late.

      Too late for what ?  Being scared of the future ?  You can’t think clearly when you are scared.  Irony alert.
      Frankly, this all read like a bad script from the movie “Animal House” …

      Otter: Dead! Bluto’s right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.

      This is all that “activist cr@p” where we have to do something. Why not just do a show .. like the “Little Rascals” .. it’s got to be a hell of a lot cheaper, and about as effective.

    • By the time any politically motivated skeptic like you is convinced the only publicised solution to prevent inpending[sic] doom* will be the horrible Cap’n’Trade-big government-UN-pallooza Al Gore Democrats sell.

      Better a politically motivated skeptic than a politically motivated sucker like yourself. Not that the chicken littles will learn from being gulled yet again. When ‘impending doom’ proves out to be yet another damp squib like acid rain/nuclear winter/SARS/Y2K/etc/etc/etc, they’ll switch right over to shrieking in panic about the next ohmygodwe’reallgonnadie ‘crisis’ to come down the pike.

    • Whaaaa…????

      “The solution to climate change is small government.”

      Oh, I think I see your point. Hot air is the greenhouse gas that causes global warming.

      • @Don - does it matter?  This is politics.

        @Neo – Too late to offer any alternative policy which reduces government spending and public debt.  Too late to present any alternative to ever expanding Government.   

        @Achillea – The default setting is pursuit of really big government the only difference between Left and Right parties is the rate of that growth.  The only thing skepticism achieves is to support the default big government setting, which I don’t.  Politically I’m aiming for a spot in the Tea Party’s nascent international associate enviromental right wing fringe. 

        @timactual – sort of, bureacracy is detrimental IMHO.  Basically you tax the beejeebus out of carbon footprints (at a rate 4 or 5 times greater than any Cap’n'Trade international price), but levy this at consumption not production – to create consumer market conditions to drive change.  And expand the consumer market by slashing and burning every non-essential (read military and justice) government department or non-carbon footprint tax, because since they are not consumers they are merely a drag on the consumer economy that will be solving climate change. 

        • Military?  Seriously now.   We did that when the biggest thing we had to fear was empires 4-6 weeks across the ocean using relatively small ships driven only by wind power, and a native population that when they set their minds to it, quite handily kicked our asses in the Ohio River valley.

          • Military was a misprint – was meant to be remove everything except military and justice (and tax collection obv.)

        • This isn’t just politics. It is about science, economics, and technology as well.

          With respect to the science, it is too weak a basis for a foundation for economic hardship. The key point on the leaked e-mails is that in fact, the science is actually weak with rather significant unknowns, and the researchers were essentially faking the robustness of their knowledge so that they could provide the politicians a hammer . . .

          AGW hasn’t been proven wrong. It hasn’t been proven right, either, and is just a hypothesis at this point.

          • Two things:

            - I want to hedge against the remote possibility that the trained scientists with years of experience in climate study are better able to guess the result than Bruce McQuain.  

            -  I don’t see a need to suffer economic hardship as a requirement to face climate change.

             

          • Well then send your check into the appropriate agency, Angus. No one is stopping you. What you really want is to rope everyone into “hedging” your fears. And btw, I’ve quoted “trained scientists with years of experience in climate study” who say AGW is mostly bunk.

          • What agency is appropriate?

            All government agencies are innapropriate, because the state is problem contributing not solution contributing.  Every right wing political lobby/commentator that might agree to reducing government as a solution is convinced climate change is a myth.  Every political lobby/commentator that is concerned about climate change is a left wing idiot, whose solution is basically enforcing soviet style production controls on the entire world and destined to make  everything (not just climate change) worse.

            I may as well burn my money as give it to any of them and I can’t even do that, because y’know CO2 emissions.

            So yeah, I want to rope you into supporting smaller government.
             

    • Ah, please my friend, with all due respect (sincerely) we’re already past the tipping point if that story is to be believed.  Furthermore given that India, China, Africa, South America, and quite possibly Russia are going to merrily ‘agree’ to these limits and then just as merrily do as they will, how does it help if the US, Canada, Europe and Austrialia reduce themselves to papuery to try and stave it off. 

      We’d be better served investing capital in the technologies to learn to DEAL  with and survive warming than wasting our time trying stop what they would have you believe is a nearly runaway train.  

      Look at what  they claim they’re after – when we reduce the CO2, by x percent, what’s the reduction in temperature?   Over how long?   and I’m supposed to panic over this?  Or throw away vast quantities of cash on unproven speculations?  

      I’m supposed to let the same people who just voted a Health Care bill into legislation turn their sights on dealing with Global Warming?    The same sorts of  people who run the UN?
      Did your confidence level of their capabilities increase because they decided to tackle legislation you favored? 

      Again, with all due respect, we are grains of sand, or at worst fist sized rocks in the global warming wind.
      There are literally forces beyond our understanding AND control in play here and some of the people predicting these dire consequences of global warming have become little more than writers of articles for the National Inquirer.

      As far as the Republicans are concerned, so long as they are standing in the gap, and halting the Democrats trying to get through it, what other party SHOULD we thank?

      • Furthermore given that India, China, Africa, South America, and quite possibly Russia are going to merrily ‘agree’ to these limits and then just as merrily do as they will, how does it help if the US, Canada, Europe and Austrialia reduce themselves to papuery to try and stave it off.

        How very UNSCIENTIFIC to have missed all those points. Yes, science is a METHOD and it works whether examining nature or developing a WORKING political policy.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method
        Sorry, unaha-closp, what you’ve written indicates you’re clueless about both the method and the DATA.


         

        • Sharpshooter,

          You are criticising me as unscientific for not addressing the problems caused by imposing limits on emissions.

          Whilst I am suggesting economic policy that imposes no limits on greenhouse gas emissions.   

          Please note: my policy suggestion also disregards the need for “unicorns” or a “tooth fairy”. 

      • looker,

        We should not make ourselves paupers on that you definitely have my agreement. But what will cause our impending impoverishment? Cap’n'Trade (which I vehemently oppose) will for sure add to our indebtedness, but we face looming social spending bills that dwarf even the Left’s worse AGW “remedy”. We also face the ongoing menace of militant Islam, stretching our security. We need to get out from under these looming problems.

        My suggestion is small government, the opposite of impoverishment (at least it would be according to almost every other topic discussed on QandO except climate change).

        My suggested solution is that we need to “save the planet” from climate change. By charging a stiff consumption tax on carbon footprints (a VAT for carbon pollution) of everything sold in our consumer markets (imported or domestic goods). This creates conditions which drives capitalism to minimise the carbon footprint of our consumption – capitalism becomes our saviour. And to improve the effectiveness of our consumer market in “saving the planet” we minimise all the non-market driven sectors of our economies, we minimise the state. BTW I did not come up with this strategy by myself, something very similar was on Cato a couple of years back but has fallen down a memoryhole.

        I reckon (as I think climate change a problem that has not yet reached tipping point) that “saving the planet” is important because we get to “save the planet”. However not everyone is in agreement with me on this climate change thing so…

        …if you were of the opinion that climate change was a myth and were in favour of not being crushed by on rushing pension costs (or killed by Islamists) you could behave cynically*. To be utterly cynical (and this was once a political blog, before it became infested with climate scientists) one could adopt “saving the planet” as a stalking horse cause (or Rahm-esque crisis) with which to motivate entrenched statist interests to get out of the way of a small government solution.

        • I don’t consider VAT on carbon consumption to be a small government solution.

          Also, I don’t consider CO2, the natural product of animals (and a critical need for plants) to be “pollution”.

          Aside from this, the global warming hysteria side has essentially lost the argument. It is now well known they made claims of scientific knowledge they could not back up. All they have left is the lame duck session.

  • I think it was a hoax from the word go. Just like a lot of other crap they tried to feed me over my lifetime that was going to destroy the world.  Some of these so called scientists learned a long time ago, You can make tenure, sell books, and get lucrative grants if you scare people to death. And then some of them also learned after the ozone hole scare, that you can get ignorant politicians to act, and it could be a vehicle to promote global socialism.

    • This whole AGW “thing” was the “perfect storm” … almost.
      The “Greens” had the “Save the World” cause.  The politicians had a new revenue source and ultimately the control of the entire energy sector of the economy.  The 1st World would get the industrial pecking order locked into place by paying the 3rd World not to develop, but making it look as though they were bleeding hearts for the 3rd World.  The UN would have a new source to fund their corruption, a global tax (or at least the appearance of one).  The scientists just had to play along and they would be funded .. and they did.
      Given that nobody can really prove that there is or isn’t “Global Warming (or Cooling)” on any given day, week or month, they would be no method to determine if mitigation efforts were actually working.  A warm day would be “Global Warming” .. a cool day would be mitigation efforts are working (or “Global Warming”).  Once this thing got real legs, there would be no stopping it.

    • If you’ve ever read the Bishop Hill Blog, you can find some explanations of the “work” that people like Mann did.  And it’s hard to read that and not come to the conclusion that it has been little more than a hoax almost from the start.  Michael Mann may complain that he’s being dragged into a political process, but that seems totally appropriate to me, as he appears to be more politician than scientist.

      • Sorry, some of these guys strike me as practicing weather science the way a medieval researcher tested to see if puppies would be born tailless if he cut off the parents tails.

        They have a slew of ‘theories’ about how it all happens, and a host of models, none of which seem to be able to prove out using known data to reproduce KNOWN climate for prior years.  If such a model exists, I haven’t heard of it.  I never hear that concern voiced by those who do believe in AGW.

         

      • Well, we now know that Mann spliced data from the temp record to tree ring data, to create the famous “hocky stick”. And he denied it (he’s a “denier”!?) until it was proven . . .

        In doing so, not only was he dishonest, but he was combining data sets that show diverging results . . . the tree ring proxies indicate dropping temps in the period covered by the actual temp record. There is either a problem with the tree ring data, or the temp record (in fact there are no doubt many problems with both), but Mann gets by that by selecting the data that shows what he wants to show, while lying about the source of the data . . .

        If the AGW theory is so strong, why the lies? Why the cherrypicked data?