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Al Gore and the Nobel Peace Prize
Posted by: Jon Henke on Tuesday, October 16, 2007

[Note: I wade into this knowing full well that I'll make everybody mad. C'est la vie.]

So, Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize. I have two thoughts on that.

Congratulations: without endorsing all of his specific solutions (though, I very much like his idea to replace the payroll tax with a carbon tax, and I think the GOP would do very, very well to jump on that immediately), I think that Al Gore is far more right than wrong (see: Asimov's The Relativity of Wrong) and I think his evangelism has been important.

The Right likes to cast its leaders in the role of Churchill in 1938 - a visionary, warning the world of a gathering threat on the horizon. The US invaded Iraq because of an uncertain risk that we thought it important to guard against, spending thousands of US lives, tens/hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and around a trillion dollars so far.

Well, climate change - to some extent or another - is a far more certain threat to the world than was Iraq, and Gore is genuinely playing the role of Churchill to warn the public of the risk. In that sense, he seems like a very good choice. As Fred Malek, a long-time conservative fixture (with whom my company has worked), writes, "it proves even Democrats can get it right sometimes, and in my view Mr. Gore earned his Nobel for drawing attention not only to global warming, but to the environment overall."

For a change, I agree with much of what Paul Krugman writes: "the smear campaign has failed. He’s taken everything they could throw at him, and emerged more respected, and more credible, than ever. And it drives them crazy." (via Kevin Drum)


On The Other Hand: The Nobel Peace Prize is supposed to be given to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

While I think Al Gore's general evangelism about the threat of global warming is valuable...what exactly does it have to do with "peace"? It's increasingly obvious that the Nobel Peace Prize is being given out for political purposes and causes unrelated to the original mission of the prize. Perhaps it is time to establish another Nobel prize for contributions to human...progress? Society? Something.

This year's Nobel Peace Prize simultaneously ennobles Al Gore...and demeans the Peace Prize. As Brandon Keim wrote at Wired, "it would still be a shame if the meaning of the Nobel Peace Prize itself became a casualty of global warming."

UPDATE: My colleague, Howard Mortman, offers additional reasons to suspect that Al Gore is not ideally suited for a "Peace" prize. Though, it must be said, the Nobel committee doesn't seem to bring a very long memory to their deliberations.
 
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Here is the problem that I have with "Al Gore’s general evangelism about the threat of global warming:"

If I was a person who was truly concerned about AGW, my priority would be to get as many individuals, institutions, and governments as possible on the bandwagon. Therefore, I would choose as a spokesperson someone who had impeccable scientific credentials, and a non-political reputation. If I decided that a politician would bring some needed skills to the table I would draft an "elder statesman" who was seen as above the current fray, or a person who had bi-partisan respect.

I do not understand why the ADW movement has allowed itself to be spearheaded by a polarizing, partisan figure, a man who is even considered a possible Presidential candidate for one of the parties.

How is it helpful to the AGW cause to demonize Republicans and turn global warming into a partisan issue? Isn’t that counter-productive to the goal of getting as many people as possible on board?
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
The Nobel Peace Prize is supposed to be given to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

While I think Al Gore’s general evangelism about the threat of global warming is valuable...what exactly does it have to do with "peace"?
Thank you, Jon. Regardless of one’s opinion on AGW this encapsulates what is inherently objectionable about Gore’s receiving this award. The "peace" aspect of his acheivement is at best a secondary or teritary hypothetical (violent conflict caused by competition for shifting resources caused by economoc dislocation caused by climate changes).
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
The AGW movement wants us to perceive their agenda as scientific and non-partisan, but they behave as if they were part of the Progressive Soros Coalition. I see Gore’s organization as an environmentalist version of Media Matters.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Well, climate change - to some extent or another - is a far more certain threat to the world than was Iraq, and Gore is genuinely playing the role of Churchill to warn the public of the risk.
Folks, is there a way to filter out Jon’s posts so they don’t even show on my monitor?

I mean, really Jon. A threat greater than someone who had a history of gasing thousands?

I am without words to describe my astonishment.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
The US invaded Iraq because of an uncertain risk that we thought it important to guard against, spending thousands of US lives, tens/hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and around a trillion dollars so far.
tens/hundreds of thousands!?

In the aftermath of 9/11, I though it was clear that the old "respond to specific terror attacks" concept was obsolete; we needed a more proactive approach, one that includes dealing with bad state actors such as Saddam’s Iraq, Iran, North Korean, etc.
Well, climate change - to some extent or another -is a far more certain threat to the world than was Iraq,


At this point we can say we have been experiencing GW. Human causes, and the threat level are far from certain.
For a change, I agree with much of what Paul Krugman writes: "the smear campaign has failed. He’s taken everything they could throw at him, and emerged more respected, and more credible, than ever. And it drives them crazy."
What we have seen is a continuing smear campaign directed at the Peace Prize itself, launched by the morons who selected Gore (and previous unworthies such as Carter and Arafat). The prize is a joke.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I think Iraq was and is a more imminent and serious threat to America and the world, than global cooling/warming trends. We might have an effect on the global climate, but we also aren’t allowed to build nuclear reactors because of the "harm" they do to the environment, so the environmentalists prefer that we just build more coal burning plants.

We also can’t build factories in Michigan because it’s better to keep the state on food stamps (it’s called a "bridge card" now, and it has a picture of the Ambassador bridge on it ^_^) and burning coal than to give them work and generate clean power.
 
Written By: jows
URL: http://
"Global warming" — 1 degree Fahrenheit over the last century — is a popular environmental hysteria. We’ve been in an inter-glacial period for 12,000 years. There was before that 1,000 feet of ice on top of where I sit upstate New York. We’re still in that ice age, with Greenland and Antarctica still covered in ice sheets. There have been warmings and coolings within this inter-glacial period. (Greenland is not called Greenland for nothing.)

Climate is geological and can only be understood in geological terms and time frames. It is governed by processes so much larger than human carbon emissions that it’s not even funny. We don’t know where Earth’s temperature will be in 50 years because we don’t understand how those larger processes work; we only know that they do. We could be freezing to death by 2057.

Two hundred years ago we were coming out of the "little ice age." New York Harbor would freeze over.

Gore’s Peace Prize has all the standing of Arafat’s. He shouldn’t be congratulated, he should be laughed at.

In the current narrative of hysteria, which Gore helped to build through constant misrepresentation of science and fact, virtually every weather trend is blamed on global warming. Two years ago the uptick in hurricane activity was blamed on global warming. "We’re going to see more, and more violent, hurricanes." That was all garbage. Now, we’re having a slow hurricane season with a drought in Florida: global warming.

In five years, if we’re lucky, this silly business will be thoroughly debunked and warmists will be harder to find than advocates of eugenics were after the end of WWII. Gore, if he’s lucky, will be retired on the money he’s making on this, and in sufficiently strong enough position legally that he can’t be held liable for damages incurred by others who believed his jive.

Richard Lindzen should get a Nobel for holding steadfast against the hysteria and writing clearly about it. William Gray should perhaps be a co-recipient.

Michael Crichton, who had nothing to gain from entering this debate, should get a Presidential medal of freedom for calling this what it is.

Al Gore? He should get swift kick in his a** and a one-way ticket to obscurity.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
agree with much of what Paul Krugman writes: "the smear campaign has failed. He’s taken everything they could throw at him, and emerged more respected, and more credible, than ever. And it drives them crazy."
And he still couldn’t get elected if he ran for Pres. today, and it drives them crazy.

I’m not so sure Gore is credible today, except that it is politically savvy to designate him so. Either way, his newfound respectability and credibility don’t drive me crazy. These kind of people routinely stroke their collective egos with rounds and rounds of awards and prizes given out to each other. Far be it from me to interrupt someone’s circle-j**k.

My main complaint here is this:

and Gore is genuinely playing the role of Churchill to warn the public of the risk.
It is my sense that Gore is really more of a demagugue on the issue rather than a Churchillian figure. I mean yes, all props to him for being a visionary- he had the foresight to jump on this boat long before it really set sail- but it looks like he’s doing it for himself, for self-aggrandizement. (Just my opinion, there’s no way to read his mind of course)

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I got side tracked from the fact that I agree Gore does not deserve a peace prize. He doesn’t deserve the science prize either. It seems that any good he might have done to help the environment was wrecked when the leftist cul-de-sac in Rhode Island or Vermont or whatever refused to allow those nice windmills to be built in their state/city/don’t remember. Carbon footprint status: enlarged. They don’t seem to believe in their own causes.
 
Written By: jows
URL: http://
I understand what you are suggesting Jon, and don’t entirely disagree with the point you are trying to make, but I’m not sure it’ll work out that well.

I think the comments on this thread help illustrate how Gore’s efforts may not succeed in the long run. Backlash - Man-made global warming is a fraud; However as you note in your post much of the discussion focuses on Man’s impact on the environment. The environment is something we should all be concerned with - problems like over fishing are real and other key areas of environmental work. Ex. endangered species, the truth is all of us are willing to act to help keep the Earth healthy.

Unfortunately as Man-made global warming is exposed as a fraud the backlash against valid environmental issues is likely to cause much more harm. Mr. Gore got it wrong and our children will see environmental discussion in that light when they become adults.

I also agree - it is the Nobel committee that messed up in awarding the Peace Prize for environmental activism, and congratulate Mr. Gore on his efforts, as misguided as I find some of them.
 
Written By: BIllS
URL: http://bills-opinions.blogspot.com
Jon,

While I agree that disseminating good science on the issue of global warming is important, and the IPCC deserves praise whether the consensus is right or not, I don’t think Churchill could be said to have exaggerated the threat of Hitler. However, if we are to take the IPCC’s consensus as reasonable, then what Al Gore has done is misleading, misrepresentative, and inappropriate. He is as outside of the consensus of the IPCC, in fact moreso, than many of the infamous skeptics. That might even be okay, except he and his fans assiduously imply he is in the consensus. Aw heck, no need to repeat myself.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Bill writes:
The environment is something we should all be concerned with
Yes. We need to continue to protect air and water from industrial and agricultural pollutants.

And you’re right about how Gore’s nonsense both distracts from those purposes (Lomborg is a big critic on the priorities) and casts a shadow on their future.

But one of the worst impacts of any policy based on this crap will be in the developing world, which will be treated as the poor cousin who must live with windmills and solar panels for the gratification of the limousine environmentalists in Manhattan and Malibu.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Lance writes:
if we are to take the IPCC’s consensus as reasonable
The IPCC offers a policymaker consensus based on a policymaker belief in the great warming peril. The IPCC’s science shows no consensus. In other words, the supposed consensus is a political and policy interpretation of mountains of research within the IPCC ambit.

The only real consensus is that the average temperature of Earth has gone up by about 1 degree F. and that there has been an increase in CO2 along with it. That correlation is dubious on any inference that it’s causal.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Algore is quite nicely setting up a series of world wars, if history is any indication. In the past, the vast majority of wars have been to steal/loot something from neighboring countries after one nation screwed up its own economy.

Trashing the world economies, via mandated carbon reductions, guarantees that looting will be much more widespread than it is or has been in the past.

Be careful what you ask for — you just might get it.
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
My issue with the hysteria that Gore has fomented on the global warming issue is not so much that I believe that the science is not necessarily proven, but that (1) the solutions proposed would not solve the problem, (2) Gore appears to signifiantly exaggerate (perhaps with the purpose of evangelizing the issue)the extent of damage, net/net, that might result from climate change, and (3) the resources Gore would expend to implement such unsatisfactory solutions would not then be available to address other issues facing humanity. See Bjorn Lomborg’s work in this regard!
 
Written By: RAZ
URL: http://
I’m not sure there’s much use in commenting further on this, but I want to point out that I’m aware of the criticisms of global warming and of Al Gore. In general, I find the criticisms shallow, over-simplistic, often-unfamiliar with the science, or gross distortions and selective misuse of the facts at hand.

I find the rebuttals far more convincing than the criticisms, and I find it very difficult to take seriously critics who trot out the old, tired criticisms of the global warming science without bothering to address the long-known and readily available answers to those criticisms. The answers are easily accessible. If you’re still asking the questions, then it’s apparent that you care more about raising doubts than finding answers.

I’m sure many of you disagree on this subject, but I doubt we’ll have much satisfaction in arguing this out, so I’ll leave it there.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I don’t think the science on global warming is nearly as solid as Jon suggests, but if I did, the prize should go to the scientists who developed it, not to some guy who merely touts it. The only way Al Gore should have gotten any prize at all is if they had one for propaganda.
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
Aldo:
The AGW movement wants us to perceive their agenda as scientific and non-partisan, but they behave as if they were part of the Progressive Soros Coalition. I see Gore’s organization as an environmentalist version of Media Matters.
That isn’t a mistake. Rabid environmentalism in a useful tool with the far left (aka neo-Marxists). It punishes successful and productive Western Democracies and rewards inefficient Socialist States and Totalitarian States who will ignore the rules anyway. The Kyoto treat falls right in line with that premise.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I don’t think the science on global warming is nearly as solid as Jon suggests, but if I did, the prize should go to the scientists who developed it, not to some guy who merely touts it. The only way Al Gore should have gotten any prize at all is if they had one for propaganda.
Let us also not forget that not only does the Goreacle exagerate the facts, but he also apparently doesn’t believe his own press.

Look at his home and look at his modes of travel. How did he get to the awards cerimony? Did he fly commercial? I somehow doubt it.

Anyone that concerned with the threat of Global warming, who suggests measure that are nigh impossible to attaint, and yet lives by those means is not someone who’s actually all that concerned.

Since he’s so learned about the whole affair, that suggests that I shouldn’t be so concerned.

Apparently, whatever Erb’s been drinking has found it’s way into Jon’s water supply...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Jon: I find the rebuttals far more convincing than the criticisms, and I find it very difficult to take seriously critics who trot out the old, tired criticisms ... If you’re still asking the questions, then it’s apparent that you care more about raising doubts than finding answers.

So, you’re saying he DID go to Cambodia, he WAS seriously wounded in three separate battles, and veterans ADMIRED his testimony to Congress about Jengis Kon?

Oh, wait...

I’m not sure that dismissing criticism as old and tired constitutes a rebuttal.


Let’s recap some of the major criticisms and let’s see if we can identify the valid rebuttals.

1) Claim: The Medieval Warm Period, before industrial CO2 saturation, was as warm or warmer than today. Rebuttal?

2) Claim: The Divergence Problem shows that the proxies used to relate temperature to some persistant record — tree ring width, ice core gas content, etc — do NOT continue to match measured temperatures after the initial models were developed. Rebuttal?

3) Claim: Data is "cherry picked" and proxies and analysis of proxy data which refutes the consensus is rejected while data that confirms the consensus is hyped. Rebuttal?

Now to me attacking statistician Edward Wegman for analyzing the statisics of global climate models is, as I alluded earlier, kind of like attacking Rear Admiral William Schachte for discussing John Kerry’s war record. You can dismiss it. But it won’t make you correct.

 
Written By: pouncer
URL: http://
I’m quite happy to take bets against the position that man is having no significant effect on global temperatures and that any change in temperature is the result of natural, cyclical causes that we could do very little to change. How much do you want to put at stake Jon? Shall we draw up specific terms?
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Henke writes:
I’m not sure there’s much use in commenting further on this, but I want to point out that I’m aware of the criticisms of global warming and of Al Gore. In general, I find the criticisms shallow, over-simplistic, often-unfamiliar with the science, or gross distortions and selective misuse of the facts at hand.
You don’t have a bloody clue about what this is about, do you?

Do you think that a climate scientist of Richard Lindzen’s distinction would put his reputation on the line for "shallow, over-simplistic" criticism and that he could possibly be "unfamiliar with the science?"

Do you think that William Gray makes "selective misure of the facts at hand?"

Do you think that a hard-a*s like Michael Crichton deals in "gross distortions" other than to point them out?
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
In general, I find the criticisms shallow, over-simplistic, often-unfamiliar with the science, or gross distortions and selective misuse of the facts at hand.

Then you should keep up with the folks over here.

http://www.climateaudit.org/

They’re going over the newly released data sets from NASA GISS and analyzing other data sets that are floating around.

And they’ve found evidence of extreme incompetence to malfeasance on the part of the scientists involved. For example, that newly released data from GISS should have been released years ago — that’s the scientific way: you makes your claims, you releases your data and methodologies, and you lets your peers double-check your work.

But James Hanson (NASA GISS) and Michael Mann (of the hockey stick fame) have been notoriously obstructionist in releasing their data and methodologies. And when their methodologies are found out (often by reverse-engineering or by finding back-doors to the data servers), the statistical methods are horrifically sub-standard or even blatantly dishonest, to the point that even I, a mathematical moron, can tell that something’s wrong.

To wit:

http://www.climateaudit.org/pdf/mcintyre.mckitrick.2003.pdf

And there are other instances of decidedly un-scientific behavior: for example, when trying to access a listserv at a university site, the admins blocked McIntyre’s IP addy. Why? That’s not how you’re supposed to do things in science. Data and methodologies have to be 100% transparent. Such childish behavior would be funny if the consequences weren’t more serious.

The really hard part about climate science is that you’ve got to know how to interpret your data. Statistical analysis is notoriously difficult to master, and many scientists aren’t as good at it as they are at other aspects of their discipline. Steve McIntyre, however, is a gifted statistician, and he’s been dragging a fine-toothed comb through the whole operation.

In the open, however, and showing his work, so that others can see what he’s doing.

Oh, and here’s something really fun that he’s discovered: apparently, there’s a heretofore unknown phenomenon whereby tree rings, for example, are not affected by local conditions such as rainfall and temperature in their own area, but they magically DO respond to conditions in a different part of the world.

I’m not kidding. With a straight face these scientists write malarkey like that.

It’s the result of post-modern sensibilities creeping into the sciences, having been infected by the humanities. The PoMos "realized" that concepts such as "facts" and "truth" were constructs invented by the white European patriarchy to keep everyone else down. Science, to the PoMos, is not the pursuit of objective truth but rather a bit of kabuki theater that you perform to lend legitimacy to your cause.

That’s why a correct and proper interpretation of the facts isn’t the top priority. That’s why Mann and others omit data sets that don’t support Teh Narrative™ (they’re listed as "restricted" or "censored," you see). That’s why they can "connect the dots" between tree rings in Colorado with phenomena that occur on the Sargasso Sea (or whatever connection they find).

The degree to which people are able to swallow this bilgewater never ceases to amaze.
 
Written By: dicentra
URL: http://dicentrasgarden.blogspot.com
Grimshaw:

There’s no need.

http://junkscience.com/

Junk Science has been offering a cool $125,000 for 71 days for the first person who can definitively prove AGW.

No takers yet. Wonder why?
 
Written By: dicentra
URL: http://dicentrasgarden.blogspot.com
"Well, climate change - to some extent or another - is a far more certain threat to the world than was Iraq..."
If you think the threat from Iraq was low the comparison has little weight.

"He’s taken everything they could throw at him, and emerged more respected, and more credible, than ever."
All Gore emerging more credible than ever - relative to where the bar has been - doesn’t mean much, and even less so consider the source of the comment.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Dicentra - I think Junk Science’s second hypothesis (which must be disproved along with the first) is far to ambiguous for any serious person to take their contest seriously.

UGWC Hypothesis 2

The benefits equal or exceed the costs of any increases in global temperature caused by manmade greenhouse gas emissions between the present time and the year 2100, when all global social, economic and environmental effects are considered.
"...when ALL...effects are considered." That’s ridiculous.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Al Gore’s scare tactics make a lot of people over-react, which could have very, very bad consequences. It may be cheaper and more effective to simply live with some amount of global warming than to try to fight it. (See Lomborg) But when people see a "documentary" that says there will be a 20 foot rise in the sea level, they naturally become very alarmed and start demanding drastic changes.

By the way, why use Churchill as an example?

How about McCarthy, who wisely exaggerated the perils of communism to keep us on our toes?

Or Malthus on population? He seems particularly apt, as his prediction that agriculture could only increase arithmetically, and thus demanded controls on our population is similar to those wanting massive cuts in emission via controls, rather than realizing that technological progress will eclipse those reductions without as much sacrifice.

And Al Gore is a hypocrite of the first order, which according to the Democrats and the Press, is the worst sin of all. If gay legislators are pushed out of office for voting against gay issues, shouldn’t Gore be ridiculed for his work on global warming while enjoying a large home, private jets, and heat pools?

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Though I do agree about that carbon tax idea. I suppose if the GOP includes it in their platform that Gore will campaign for them, as he is non-partisan now? Or is that a bridge too far?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
it proves even Democrats can get it right sometimes…

I was thinking of a more quantitative phrase like “even a broken stop watch is right twice a day.” That’s about as much credit as Gore deserves.

Yes, the hysterical are sometimes right but who knows when? If science doesn’t back it up, all of their ravings are worthless. If it does back it up, their ravings are superfluous. The idea that AGW needs publicity is absurd. It needs science.

I’d say the same think about Creationists. If they ever have a legitimate point is not worth considering. Their methodology is flawed; one can’t waste effort sifting through the hysterics, ranting, and wishful thinking. Neither religion is science.
 
Written By: Jason Pappas
URL: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/
It will be interesting when Gore’s GW stuff turns out to be fake. Then again, the population bomb nonsense fell through, without any embarassment on the part of its supporters.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Actually, Jon, there’s still three questions left to ask, but not to you: "Senator Thompson, do you share your spokesman Jon Henke’s views on the validity of AGW? and if the answer is yes, then what policy decisions are you prepared to endorse to deal with it? and how do those proposals differ from Senators Gore, Clinton, and the rest of the Democrat party?"
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
Actually, Jon, there’s still three questions left to ask, but not to you: "Senator Thompson, do you share your spokesman Jon Henke’s views on the validity of AGW?
Jon probably doesn’t feel comfortable replying here, but I certainly do.

First, Jon’s position on AGW is just that, Jon’s position. The fact that he happens to work for a company that also had Fred Thompson among its clients has nothing whatsoever to do with Fred Thompson’s positions on AGW, or anything else. Jon, in his professional capacity, offers a professional service to Mr. Thompson. That professional service has no bearing on Jon’s particular position on any issue.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
Martin,
The IPCC’s science shows no consensus. In other words, the supposed consensus is a political and policy interpretation of mountains of research within the IPCC ambit.
For the sake of argument let us assume that is true. The consensus claim still exists. My point is Gore is nowhere close to being in that consensus whether it is truly a consensus assessment of the science or not. As a matter of fact most climate scientists do fit in that consensus statement whether it is derived politically or not. I don’t claim that that makes that assessment correct, though a great deal of good science is contained within it. Good science is not the same as correct.

I do believe the certainty of those conclusions is highly exaggerated, but I do find them more probable than the argument that it isn’t true. None of that means we should endorse the more extreme claims as anything more than fanciful speculation at this point. None of that means that the science warrants any firm conclusions at all, in either direction, at this point. There are serious problems with the accuracy of the data, modeling, and interpretation. Problems however do not prove the conclusions are incorrect however, they merely suggest caution in any claims made about it.

 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Too bad Jon took his ball and went home.

I just want one person to explain to me, if the data in this pic is correct:

1. Why should we expect the Earth’s surface temperature to stay as it has been the last hundred years?

and

2. Why wasn’t the Earth’s surface temperature higher 550 million years ago when the CO2 concentration was higher?

Okay, so I the "long-known and readily available answers to those criticisms" are out there but I keep looking in the wrong places apparently.
 
Written By: abw
URL: http://abw.mee.nu
Junk Science has been offering a cool $125,000 for 71 days for the first person who can definitively prove AGW.

No takers yet. Wonder why
Probably because no scientist claims it’s definitively proven. Definitive proof isn’t what science deals with, it deals with hypotheses that are unfalsified, and verified by the evidence. But at any time new evidence can overturn past scientific knowledge. Scientific fact is never definitively proven, and always contingent. It’s a joke to make an award and then demand "definitive proof," something science does not deal with!

I saw a Newsweek from August today and the cover grabbed me "The Climate Change Hoax*" and it was about the well funded groups that spend a lot of time to try to claim humans have no part of global warming, and to deny the real science out there. Apparently a lot of commentators here have boughten into that effort, which is sad. Fair points about whether or not this deserves a peace prize (though again, global warming is a real threat to long term peace).
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"It’s a joke to make an award and then demand "definitive proof," something science does not deal with!"

Which is why most Nobel Prizes are given to scientist’s whose work has passed the evidence test over several decades.

They should probably apply this rule to the peace prize, too. Yes, it would lose its "truth to power" and PR effect, but it would mean more. Perhaps they could announce 3 nominees each year, but the actual prize winner would be decided 20 years later when history has spoken on the results.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
I swear, if Al Gore were to make it a personal issue to assert that Americans did indeed go to the moon, folks on this board would take THIS position.

If he argued that the earth were round, they’d take THIS position.
I do not understand why the ADW movement has allowed itself to be spearheaded by a polarizing, partisan figure,
This is theoretically a valid point, except that if a person who was neither political, nor polarizing were to spearhead such an effort, he would immediately become both.

Regardless of which side of the debate you are on, I would recommend skepticism, but here I see people who are only skeptical of findings on the other side of the debate.

Since you all have your opinions as to the socialist world domination, destroy America, ulterior motives of people who think Global Warming is a real threat, perhaps you should look a little closer at the motivations of people trying to convince you otherwise.

I won’t be led around by the nose by Al Gore, but I also won’t be led around by the nose by a bunch of think tanks who’s primary goal is mislead people by mistating the science in order to create a climate of uncertainty...

Now this particular group was finally dropped by the Exxon Foundation who had funded to the tune of a couple million over the last few years, but they still fund many more like these... (I chose this one because it made Factcheck.org, a non-partisan, fair observer)
The business-backed Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) released two ads last week to "counter global warming alarmism."
One of the ads says research shows "The Antarctic ice sheet is getting thicker, not thinner. . . Why are they trying to scare us?" Actually, scientists say increased snowfall in Antarctica’s interior is evidence that global warming is taking place. Scientists also say that the ice sheet is melting at the ocean’s edge and a recent report says it is shrinking overall.

The ads drew a protest from a University of Missouri professor who says they are "a deliberate effort to confuse and mislead the public about the global warming debate." He said one of them misuses a study he published in Science magazine last year on the Antarctic ice sheet. An editor of Science also said the ads misrepresent the findings of that study as well as a second study on Greenland’s glaciers.

The second CEI ad notes that carbon dioxide (CO2) is "essential to life," and says, "they call it pollution. We call it life." That ad fails to mention that too much CO2 can cause global temperatures to rise or that there is more of it in the atmosphere than any time during the last 420,000 years.

CEI, which gets just over 9 percent of its budget from Exxon Mobil Corporation, said it was only trying to make sure the public hears "both sides of the story."
Also, interestly, Exxon themselves acknowledge global warming far more folks here.

The chief executive of Exxon Mobil, Rex W. Tillerson...
“The risks to society and ecosystems from climate change could prove to be significant,” Mr. Tillerson said. “So, despite the uncertainties, it is prudent to develop and implement sensible strategies that address these risks.”
He also cautioned against taking drastic action when he expressed concern that policy makers could damage the world economy with precipitous environmental policies. He warned that future generations could be sorry for hasty policies taken today without more careful study.

I’m on board with that.
Richard Lindzen should get a Nobel for holding steadfast against the hysteria and writing clearly about it.
An example of exactly what I am talking about.

Jon said, "In general, I find the criticisms shallow, over-simplistic, often-unfamiliar with the science, or gross distortions and selective misuse of the facts at hand."

Here is one of Richard Linzers criticisms... implying that we can’t have global warming if ice shelves are growing...
`the evidence so far suggests that the Greenland ice sheet is actually growing on average," and ``Alpine glaciers have been retreating since the early 19th century, and were advancing for several centuries before that. Since about 1970, many of the glaciers have stopped retreating and some are now advancing again. And, frankly, we don’t know why."
Let’s see, it’s shallow, over-simplistic, ignores the science, and is a gross distortions and selective misuse of the facts at hand.

That’s your Nobel Laureate???
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
I swear, if Al Gore were to make it a personal issue to assert that Americans did indeed go to the moon, folks on this board would take THIS position.
I swear, if Gore were to argue that we should have participated in the first Gulf War, people on this board would take the opposite position.

Oh, wait...never mind. [/sarcasm]

You would think Captin would’ve learned his lesson when he incorrectly made the same argument regarding Erb in a previous thread. Yet, for some reason, Captin thinks people are so pathetic that they can’t decide on a position on their own — they can only react based on personalities.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
if I did, the prize should go to the scientists who developed it, not to some guy who merely touts it
Climate science and the science behind AGW was developed by thousands of scientists. The only way to reward all of them would be to reward some umbrella group of many of the most notable such scientists.

For example, the IPCC. Which shared the award with Al Gore.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Boris Erb writes:
I saw a Newsweek from August today and the cover grabbed me "The Climate Change Hoax*" and it was about the well funded groups that spend a lot of time to try to claim humans have no part of global warming, and to deny the real science out there. Apparently a lot of commentators here have boughten into that effort, which is sad.
You’ve had, what, close to ten years to learn something about this, and the best you can do is "I saw a Newsweek from August?"
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Lets start at it this way:

I do not agree, politically, with the former Vice President in practically anything. That being said, I do have respect and even a level of admiriation for the man on one level: his conviction is unquestionable. He truly believes his doomsdayish predictions and is going well out of his way to do what he can to correct it. That’s an admirable quality to have, and I highly respect him for it.

For this, I would not begrudge the Vice President receiving awards from heads of states, parliaments around the world, or even our very on Congress. He does NOT, however, merit a Nobel Peace Prize. At All. He’s done NOTHING to merit one.

This isn’t a question of partisanship or even politics, it’s as simple as prerequisits. If you look at all the Nobel recipients behore him, can anyone here cite a similar situation, where an individual or group receives this coveted award for bringing attention to an issue? How is this any different from people bringing awareness to Darfur, or Rwanda, or Burma? How does this differ from people bringing attention to AIDS in the 80’s, or Polio half a century ago?

Looking at all the recipients, they all share one common theme: the’ve all DONE something with tangible results. Al Gore has not.

Now, lets say that next year or tomorrow he figures out a way to cut our oil dependancy in half by some breakthrough alternative fuel that’s cheap and easily mass produced which also reduces emissions by 50%+: then hell yea, give him an award. Or lets say someone else looks at Al Gore, is inspired by him, and works with him to accomplish this. Then give them BOTH one. But as of right now, we have a ’we are the world’ moment with nothing to show for it but for the cheapening of a once prestigious and now overtly partisan prize.

If Al Gore deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his Global Warming bit (glaring factual inconsistencies aside) then George W. Bush and Tony Blair deserve one for freeing close to 30 Million people in two countries from despotism and tyrany.
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
"It’s a joke to make an award and then demand "definitive proof," something science does not deal with!"

Which is why most Nobel Prizes are given to scientist’s whose work has passed the evidence test over several decades.
Yes, but I think that while many in the blog world, especially the right side, see Gore as an object of ridicule, in Europe and much of the world he is really admired for bringing this issue into full view, and expanding its importance. I think a lot of people underestimate the international acclaim Gore has, as well as the way his actions have prompted not just governments, but also NGOs, IGOs, and various other groups to act and cooperate on global warming issues and the environment.

The environment and global warming may well eclipse terrorism and fear of other ideologies (fear of communism is already pretty much gone) as the major threat and determinant of the international system. At that time, history will almost certainly look at Gore as being prophetic, even heroic, in pushing this issue forward — a visionary working to help the world prepare for a problem that is now very visible, but which many people out of ideological or economic grounds want to try to deny. I believe that’s also why the Nobel committee saw this as warranting the peace prize — if one believes this will be the defining issue of the 21st century, and the future of the planet depends on how humans handle it, then Gore deserves the prize and the support. The Financial Times notes that just his receiving this award alters the debate and puts climate change higher up on the agenda. I suspect twenty or thirty years from now even the argument that somehow this shouldn’t have been a ’peace prize’ will be put aside as people come to grips with what the issues of climate change and environmental damage mean for the planet.

Time will tell — but for those who want to wait until there is ’definitive proof,’ that will be far too late to do anything positive. And frankly, I think the best reaction is not governments passing regulations, but people making choices in their lives to slowly change. That doesn’t mean giving up the SUV tomorrow, or buying a tiny home — I heat a 3700 square foot home, I’m in no position to preach for major sacrifices. But in small choices like the ’next car,’ or saving for solar panels, keeping the thermostat down a bit, think about the future choices one makes, we can slowly and gradually, without real pain, start moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Lance writes:
My point is Gore is nowhere close to being in that consensus whether it is truly a consensus assessment of the science or not.
That’s correct. My point was about the supposed consensus not being a consensus, but rather a policymaker confabulation. You are correct that Gore is not in sync with the supposed consensus.
As a matter of fact most climate scientists do fit in that consensus statement whether it is derived politically or not.
I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think that there is a "most climate scientists" consensus, even though one has been sold to us by policymakers. Scientists, in any field, generally study very small pieces of a problem. Often, what and how they are studying is framed by assumptions that they’ve taken on faith from other published work. McQ just recently posted an item (from the New York Times) on the cascade effect of taking bad data and bad conclusions from that data as the basis for further study. You wind up with scientific mythology instead of science.

If climate scientists are walking into studies in which anthropogenic warming is assumed, and they know that funding sources want further confirmation, their work is going to show the assumptions and the wanted confirmation, even when its not real confirmation and even when they don’t, or can’t, draw any such conclusions from it themselves. It will leave room, however, for some policymaker with a conclusion in search of data to interpret the findings as part of a consensus.

That’s what I believe has happened, and thankfully there is a growing group of real scientists (meaning those who put scientific integrity ahead of crowd dynamics) who simply refuse to condone the phony consensus.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Boris Erb writes:
Yes, but I think that while many in the blog world, especially the right side, see Gore as an object of ridicule, in Europe and much of the world he is really admired for bringing this issue into full view, and expanding its importance. I think a lot of people underestimate the international acclaim Gore has, as well as the way his actions have prompted not just governments, but also NGOs, IGOs, and various other groups to act and cooperate on global warming issues and the environment.
Are you a puppet, Boris?

Because you sure talk like one.

And the arguments: Gore is admired in Europe; he’s stirred the NGOs to cooperate.

Wow! That’s much better than science! Why, the Europeans and the NGOs admire Gore and are cooperating! The geese are on the pond!
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Erb,

If you want to make a dent in emissions, you have to have electric cars powered by nuclear power plants. The nuclear power plants are already possible and are starting to be built in the States again. The electric cars are getting closer - we need better batteries. And you probably need a carbon tax to make the incentives correct. In the meantime do what you can do, sure.

3700 ft. home?

I need to get out of business and get into the lucrative world of academia.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
I find the criticisms shallow, over-simplistic, often-unfamiliar with the science, or gross distortions and selective misuse of the facts at hand.
(Chuckle)
Oddly enough, Jon, that’s the list of problems which people attribute to Gore’s arguments... those are their problems with him.... in combo with the aforementioned ’cascade effect".


And just so you know, Jon, Erb agreeing with you is usually the first sign that there’s a foundational flaw in your position.

It will be interesting when Gore’s GW stuff turns out to be fake.
Well, like the Randi Rhodes thing, yesterday, the phrase "fake but accurate" comes to mind. Something of a trend there, looks to me.




 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I suspect twenty or thirty years from now even the argument that somehow this shouldn’t have been a ’peace prize’ will be put aside as people come to grips with what the issues of climate change and environmental damage mean for the planet.
In other words, you consider it acceptable to award the Nobel Peace Prize in a way that publicizes issues the committee feels are important, regardless of the stated criteria of the Nobel Peace Prize. I suppose that’s all well and good, but this is exactly why the Peace Prize is considered a partisan political tool, even a joke. To me, the issue isn’t a matter of whether or not Gore and Erb and Henke are correct on the issue of AGW. And the fact that some folks trying to turn this thread into a fruitless argument about the merits of AGW is silly. That’s beside the point. The issue here is that the award is being given without adherence to its stated purpose. That shouldn’t be applauded and encouraged.

Erb, you stated
...if one believes this will be the defining issue of the 21st century, and the future of the planet depends on how humans handle it, then Gore deserves the prize and the support.
Does he? Is it certain that humans will handle the fears raised by this issue peacefully? Let’s go for understatement and say that I remain skeptical about that... and if you are wrong about that, it would only underscore that whatever recognition and accolades Gore does deserve, the Nobel Peace Prize isn’t correctly among them.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
Time will tell — but for those who want to wait until there is ’definitive proof,’ that will be far too late to do anything positive
Heh......does Erb really want us to apply this standard to other situations, such as pre-war Iraq, Iran, the war on terror or NoKo?
Time will tell — but for those who want to wait until there is ’definitive proof that Iran has nukes,’ that will be far too late to do anything positive
Jon, put Erb down as being for a preemptive strike on Tehran.

When Bush does something preemptively, it is terrible. But that is the exact same thing Erb advocates.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
You would think Captin would’ve learned his lesson when he incorrectly made the same argument regarding Erb in a previous thread.
I wouldn’t automatically take the oposite stance, but I would for example, walk outside to verify the color of the sky...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
"the smear campaign has failed. He’s taken everything they could throw at him, and emerged more respected, and more credible, than ever. And it drives them crazy."
Hmm... actually, lots of folks who I respect a great deal have labeled Gore a serial fabricator... and backed it up, as far as I’m concerned. In Britain, his film is allowed to be shown in schools as long as the propaganda disclaimer is given. He pretty much admitted to Charlie Rose and others that he distorts and amplifys for maximum effect (scaring the women and children). Repectability? Credibility? Zero. Sorry.
I suspect twenty or thirty years from now...

...that we will be looking for the next ice age... or whatever gets the most grant money.
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
...that we will be looking for the next ice age... or whatever gets the most grant money
The guys who sounded the alarms over global cooling, overpopulation, the hole in the ozone layer, and all those other pre-global warming crises that were going to destroy us....where is THEIR peace prize huh?

Oh wait. Their prize is that they get to fade into obscurity. Not so much for Algore. Enjoy it now Al...

The way it is going now, in a few years they’ll give the peace prize to someone for denouncing Wal-Mart.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Na. China will veto that, and they don’t wanna piss off their ideological chums in ChiCom Land
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
Jon, put Erb down as being for a preemptive strike on Tehran.
Why? Even if we had proof they had nukes I’d oppose a preemptive strike.

Harun, I am in favor of nuclear power.

Wulf, I suspect you and the Nobel committee differ on whether or not the stated criteria were followed.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Why? Even if we had proof they had nukes I’d oppose a preemptive strike.
Because.....

Time will tell — but for those who want to wait until there is ’definitive proof,’ that will be far too late to do anything positive

Applied to Iran =
Time will tell — but for those who want to wait until there is ’definitive proof that Iran has nukes,’ that will be far too late to do anything positive
Erb, I never figured you for a hawk...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Again, Shark, I don’t see how you would see me as taking a hawkish view on Iran. Again, I oppose striking Iran, regardless of whether or not they have or are about to have nuclear weapons. My position is the same — not hawkish — regardless of whether or not you wait for definitive proof.

Of course, you’re comparing killing people and perhaps starting a war with doing things to conserve energy. You’re comparing two completely different types of actions. Because, if you wait for absolute definitive proof before you do anything, then nobody would ever prepare for anything that might happen. Clearly, that’s not reality. So I think it depends on the situation as to how much proof you need to take action, and it depends on the actions being considered.
ChiCom Land
Psst, Joel: You’re thirty years out of date. "Chicom" is an old Cold War term, from back before China embraced markets, allowed private property, had slogans like "to be rich is glorious" and moved towards rewarding innovation. The party that calls itself "communist" is really mimicking the authoritarian state capitalism that states like South Korea and Taiwan used to develop their economies. Whether or not a large populus state like that can make the move towards democracy that S. Korea and Taiwan did is unclear, but they are CINO: Communist In Name Only.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
hardly. There ’free markets’ are reserved for ’free market zones’, which means the vast majority of Chinese citizens are still living the Marxist dream. There is still no such thing as private property in China, and slogans are just slogans. Remember, the whole premise of marxism is if you spread the wealh around, everyone becomes rich, so of course ’to be righ is glorious’.

If you really think China is Communist in name only, I have a pet rock I’d like to sell to you.
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
and that’s still not taking into account Taiwan and Tibet. So please forgive me if I don’t see China is the open, happy society you (and leftists, if I might add) like to paint it out to be.
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
Again, Shark, I don’t see how you would see me as taking a hawkish view on Iran.
BY YOUR VERY OWN WORDS:
Time will tell — but for those who want to wait until there is ’definitive proof,’ that will be far too late to do anything positive
When applied to Iran:
Time will tell — but for those who want to wait until there is ’definitive proof that Iran has nukes,’ that will be far too late to do anything positive
I’m just applying your logic to other situations is all. LOL maybe you should try it sometime so I don’t have to do it for you.

Erb is a hawk.....will wonders never cease
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
No, Shark, you’re being silly. You’re comparing global warming with another states’ foreign policy, you’re implying I’ll be hawkish when I won’t, and you’re shifting contexts. In short, you can’t really counter my argument.

For your "point" to be right, then it would have to be universally true that in no case can anything positive happen if you wait for proof. Obviously, no one would make that argument. For your point to be right, every case where one waits for proof yields a negative consequence. Waiting for definitive proof that the cancer has been beaten in a patient shows that to be wrong.

Face it, you know I’m right. If global warming is real, and if the predictions are correct, then by the time it gets ’definitively proven’ it’ll be too late to stop it. Can you counter that? No. Are you honest enough to admit it? No. Instead you try silly games to distract from the fact you know my point is accurate.

Joel, there is private property in China, and it’s not wrong as a Marxist state. You again need to educate yourself. It is authoritarian, but so were other Asian states as they built capitalism.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
No, Shark, you’re being silly. You’re comparing global warming with another states’ foreign policy
Sorry Scotty. If what you say holds for one threat- global warming - then it holds for another threat- a nuke armed Iran.

Next time you want to be glib with stuff like this:
Time will tell — but for those who want to wait until there is ’definitive proof,’ that will be far too late to do anything positive
maybe you’ll think twice.
Face it, you know I’m right.

LMFAO such debate technique. I know of no such thing actually. If anything YOU know I’M right! (Hey, it has as much validity as when you say it)
If global warming is real, and if the predictions are correct, then by the time it gets ’definitively proven’ it’ll be too late to stop it.
Assertion, conjecture- NOT fact.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
wow,
so much sh*t in such a small space.

I will make a coupla points though.

Suppose instead of gw, the issue was nuclear weapons? And for years people (in the US mostly) had been denying their danger. And then one guy comes out finally and brings the issue to the forefront, and he does so simply by catapulting the SCIENCE.

Would you argue that he wasn’t worthy of the Peace Prize then?

Didn’t think so.

Also, as to politicizing an issue, the gw deniers should talk. The deniers are the ones whoe are putting their "free market" ideology ahead of their ability to reason - they’re willfully ignoring tons and tons of evidence, while clinging to a factoid here or there, at best. At worst, they just make stuff up.

The people who think gw is real are doing nothing more than following where the science leads. If there’s a fork in the road, and down one road you see thousands of people, who work their butts off in climatolgy, and submit their work for checking and double-checking before releasing it, and down the other you see mostly very small number of various characters, few published climatologists and whole bunch of industry supported hacks, who the hell would YOU follow?

But none of this matters of course, since Gore has a huge electric bill, needs to lose weight and that there was something about Love Story, or Love Canal, or maybe both.

Here’s my new signature to my posts here:

Everytime you use the internet, bow your head and give silent thanks to Al Gore for helping to make it possible. For without him, we’d still be jacking off to air brushed pictures from Playboy.


 
Written By: mario
URL: http://
The people who think gw is real are doing nothing more than following where the science leads.
Not true. A good many, such as Gore, are going much farther than the science leads and working to scare the bejeebus out of everyone that the fate of the earth and humanity are endangered by global warming.

And it’s working. According to a Gallup poll last spring 55% of Democrats and 12% of Republicans said they believe that "Human life will cease to exist on earth" due to global warming. Thank you, Al Gore.

However, if one actually reads the documents from the IPCC (the scientific org co-sharing Gore’s prize), global warming will be a challenge, but not the seas rising 20 feet (try 18 inches), etc.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
I’ve decided nevermind on my first question on why we should expect to keep Earth’s temperature at a constant level and will settle for an answer on the second; Why wasn’t the Earth’s surface temperature higher 550 million years ago when the CO2 concentration was higher?

(Sorry to interrupt the Iran-nuclear-weapons-debate)
 
Written By: abw
URL: http://abw.mee.nu
I see the debate continues. Did anyone actually read the Nobel’s announcement? Here’s the money quote:

“Indications of changes in the earth’s future climate must be treated with the utmost seriousness, and with the precautionary principle uppermost in our minds. Extensive climate changes may alter and threaten the living conditions of much of mankind.”

When someone has to rely on the “precautionary principle” it’s an admission that they don’t have evidence on their side. The PP allows one to accept baseless worries as fact, unwarranted doubt as refutation, and arbitrary fear as established danger. It’s a complete admission of intellectual bankruptcy. They know this is political BS. They don’t even pretend otherwise. I’ve called this the new lie.


 
Written By: Jason Pappas
URL: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/
When someone has to rely on the “precautionary principle” it’s an admission that they don’t have evidence on their side.
No. They do have evidence on "their side." You don’t follow the precautionary principle if you don’t. It’s the deniers who are engaged in political BS in attacking Gore.

And Shark, time will tell. For those who want definitive proof on global warming, if the predictions are accurate, by the time we even approach ’definitive proof’ it will be too late to do anything to stave off the negative effects. That is something scientists are virtually united on. You know that’s true, even if somehow you don’t have the courage to admit it.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
by the time we even approach ’definitive proof’ it will be too late to do anything to stave off the negative effects. That is something scientists are virtually united on.
Cite? I’ve read a good deal on this debate. There are those who say it is possible we may be bushwhacked by an unforeseen tipping point, but otherwise I know of no virtual unanimity that "by the time we even approach ’definitive proof’ it will be too late to do anything to stave off the negative effects."

Unless your standard of "negative effects" is pretty low. We already have "negative effects."

If you read the IPCC docs you see curves going up with varying speeds and accelerations depending on the scenarios. As time goes on, if the curves are right, we will take them more seriously and respond.

Whether one accepts GW or not, there are compelling reasons to phase out of fossil fuels in any case. I see us phasing into nuclear power, then eventually cracking fusion in this century. Interestingly, with a few exceptions, those most concerned with GW are the same people most opposed to nuclear power.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Or maybe we will reach full solar power sooner than fusion. That’s what Ray Kurzweil foresees. But that’s a ways off.

Those who believe we will continue to use the same energy sources in the same way in 100 years seriously underestimate humanity’s resourcefulness. Which is exactly why the predictions of decline and disaster have been failing since Malthus.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Wow. I actually thought Henke was engaged in sarcasm when I first began reading this.

I guess he, or anyone else, can be as fooled as they want to be about any serious or important anthropogenic element to global warming.

I doubt it’ll ever make much of a difference one way or the other.

I’ve come to see the whole debate in terms of trying to predict —much less control or influence — the daily weather. In spite of an atrocious ability to really see more than a few days out, what’s the first thing we talk to a stranger about.

It’s damned in our genes — the weather.
 
Written By: Richard Nikoley
URL: http://www.honestylog.com
"Joel, there is private property in China,"

As of two weeks ago. With this unimportant exception;

"The law does not change the system of land tenure by which the state owns all land."

"and it’s not wrong as a Marxist state. "

Some would differ;

" Legal scholars, notably Gong Xiantian of Peking University, argued that it violated the constitutional characterization of the PRC as a socialist state."
 
Written By: timactuaql
URL: http://
In 1978 to 2000 the state owned 78% of all property; by 1997 it was 26%. Private ownership went from 0% to 18%, but most of the increase was in collectives, which went from 22% to 38%. An example of these are the Township and Village Enterprises (TVEs), collectives that are run by villages and towns, and not centrally controlled, a decentralized collectivism. It works better than the old system, but still there are violations of human rights, and corruption at that local level. 80% of textiles and 40% of industrial output comes from the TVEs.

I suspect the private property total has increased since 2000, but I haven’t found new data. Earlier this year the Chinese legislature passed laws to improve protection of private property.

So, in his claim that there is no private property in China, Joel is unequivocally wrong. If you think that China is truly Marxist, yet can grow its economy at 10% a year, have a growing middle and upper class and embrace growing markets, you can believe that.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
That doesn’t mean giving up the SUV tomorrow, or buying a tiny home — I heat a 3700 square foot home, I’m in no position to preach for major sacrifices. But in small choices like the ’next car,’ or saving for solar panels, keeping the thermostat down a bit, think about the future choices one makes, we can slowly and gradually, without real pain, start moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
The problem with that statement is that if we take the science seriously none of that will make a difference. Full implementation of Kyoto would make little difference (assuming it could actually reach its goals, which it cannot.) In fact if the science is correct the vast majority of the effects of AGW are baked into the cake already, and we can neither improve or worsen them to any great degree over the next 150 years. So short term policy and lifestyle changes are pretty meaningless. Long term technological changes which short term policies may inhibit are the real issue. On that score I am pretty optimistic.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
"An example of these are the Township and Village Enterprises (TVEs), collectives that are run by villages and towns, and not centrally controlled, a decentralized collectivism."

Control is not ownership.

"In 1978 to 2000 the state owned 78% of all property; by 1997 it was 26%. Private ownership went from 0% to 18%, but most of the increase was in collectives, which went from 22% to 38%."

Your numbers don’t seem to add up. Quelle surprise.
 
Written By: timactuaql
URL: http://

" collective
col·lec·tive [ kə léktiv ]
adjective

Definition:

1. shared by all: made or shared by everyone in a group

2. collected to form whole: collected together to form a whole or added up to form a total from different sources or groups

3. applying to many: applying to a number of individuals taken together
Staff training was the collective responsibility of the three personnel officers.

4. worker-run under state supervision: describes a business or other enterprise run by the people who work in it but under the jurisdiction of the state"

I am really trying to understand how anyone other than a hard-core Marxist could possibly consider a collective to be a form of private ownership under any rational definition.


 
Written By: timactuaql
URL: http://
The point is that Joel is wrong in saying there is no private property in China, there has been some for some time. My typo in the percentages was in TVE — that’s gone up more. And while I agree TVE’s aren’t private property, this article shows that they are part of the shift towards a market economy.

Here’s the articles conclusion:
China’s capitalist institutions are probably here to stay. It may not herald the "end of history," but it is clear that China’s leadership has concluded that the most pragmatic solution to the problem of Chinese economic development and political stability is to allow the capitalist sector to prosper and grow.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
If you’re going to talk about whether property "ownership" in China isn’t really ownership, in contrast to America, one must at least acknowledge that the same objection applies here.

Try not paying your property taxes and see how long you remain an "owner." Try building without a permit from the government, doing business in an area not "zoned" for it, or running a business in a properly zoned area, but without getting the "proper" nod from your "authorities."

Let’s be honest.
 
Written By: Richard Nikoley
URL: http://www.honestylog.com
"Try not paying your property taxes"

Per Kelo, it is more a matter of how much tax the property can be made to yield, not just paying the taxes.

"Let’s be honest."

You want to change the subject and talk about problems in our country, fine. Otherwise, STFU with the ’honesty’ BS.

 
Written By: timactuaql
URL: http://
Per Kelo, it is more a matter of how much tax the property can be made to yield, not just paying the taxes.
What’s your point, unless to further illustrate that property isn’t really owned, if "own" is to really mean anything? What we have in land "ownership" more closely resembles an indefinite land lease from the government than anything else, subject to certain conditions, among them termination with buyout for utilization under that which the governing authority believes is optimal.
You want to change the subject and talk about problems in our country, fine. Otherwise, STFU with the ’honesty’ BS.
You have no standing, nor moral cause, to ask or demand that of me. Besides, I didn’t bring up the property ownership issue. I was merely responding to those who did.

What’s wrong, anyway? Why would you wish to shy away from admonitions that arguments be widely integrated, i.e., honest? Do you not strive to always be honest, timactuaq1?
 
Written By: Richard Nikoley
URL: http://www.honestylog.com
Boris Erb writes:
It’s the deniers who are engaged in political BS in attacking Gore.
You can always tell when Boris’s feelings are hurt because he’s been clobbered in another argument.

Tip to Boris: Actually bother to learn something about a subject, any subject, before you start discussing it. Not that you’ve ever bothered to learn anything in the aftermath of a discussion, either.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
. They do have evidence on "their side." You don’t follow the precautionary principle if you don’t.

You don’t seem to get the idea of the precautionary principle. This isn’t the classical virtue of prudence embraced by the Hellenic and Roman philosophers. Prudence, of course, is warranted measures to deal with risk rationally. The precautionary principle is an argument from ignorance that assumes humans are “guilty” until proven otherwise.

The precautionary principle is to prudence as faith is to warranted confidence. It puts the arbitrary on par with well-founded fact. Of course, this is why political environmentalism is a religion – it is based on faith prior to examination. Any facts that accrue are purely accidental.
 
Written By: Jason Pappas
URL: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/
It’s the deniers who are engaged in political BS in attacking Gore.
LOL, nope no politics in THAT statement....
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Jason Pappas puts it astonishingly well:
This isn’t the classical virtue of prudence embraced by the Hellenic and Roman philosophers. Prudence, of course, is warranted measures to deal with risk rationally. The precautionary principle is an argument from ignorance that assumes humans are “guilty” until proven otherwise.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Shark reacts to Boris Erb’s use of "deniers" to equate global warming skeptics with Holocaust deniers:
LOL, nope no politics in THAT statement....
Boris’s problems are not of the political realm, that’s just the camo.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Scott:
And Shark, time will tell. For those who want definitive proof on global warming, if the predictions are accurate, by the time we even approach ’definitive proof’ it will be too late to do anything to stave off the negative effects. That is something scientists are virtually united on. You know that’s true, even if somehow you don’t have the courage to admit it.
The issue isn’t "global warming," it’s anthropogenesis, in the context of warming. But even more that that, Warren Meyer has raised issues lately that is I think the most powerful argument yet for grave skepticism. He has shown that all of the climate models rest upon an assumption of a positive feedback mechanism, i.e., such as a nuclear explosion.

Climate — nature in general and virtually everything else in existence — is dominated by negative feedbacks.

So the fact that the anthropogenic element hasn’t been decisively shown, combined with the observation of nothing but negative feedback, in the face of bald assertion that the mechanism is positive feedback, adds up to cause for a LOT of skepticism. The reality that people are actually seriously talking about derailing economies worldwide to address what is nothing but wild speculation is to me just more evidence of how readily people like to be fooled when the politics line up in a favorable way.

We always love to be fools for the latest promoter.
 
Written By: Richard Nikoley
URL: http://www.honestylog.com
$400 million for more AD/ SCARE campaigns (see below) NOW, if the prize is so influential, why can’t they call it a day?... becaue IT IS political! If Gore was completely serious about alternative energies and alternative ways and means he would invest that cash in small companies that are capable of being driven by new ideas. I’m sure there are many fledgling entrepreneuers and basement scientists with cutting edge, yet under funded technologies that could use a million or two to keep afloat or get up and running.

People that actually care about alternatives for the right reasons, not the unscientific political ones. It seems Mr Gore is more driven to dump cash into his Madison Avenue scare campaign then he is driven to do the right thing. Maybe he can’t help it?...perhaps It’s in his blood from the Gore family’s Cigarette advertising days? Too bad Smoke and Mirrors are so expensive these days.... I’m sure he’ll blame the price of Oil. and also... notice below how the advertisers are not afraid of the naysayers anymore..."no one would get away with that"and "we agree" ...even these Agency reps have brainwashed themselves!

FROM: Agency Spy
http://agencyspy.wordpress.com/category/young-rubicam/

Alliance for Climate Protection, the organization formed last year by Al Gore, is basically in account review. The Alliance is looking to make sustainability a high level priority for Americans. Four agencies — Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the Martin Agency and Y&R — are getting ready to present their plans to the former vice president himself early next month. It’s a three-to-five-year, multimedia global campaign with a media spend somewhere around $100 million a year.

AdAge has some editorial about how advertising agencies are no longer afraid to get involved in “hot button” issues. Is the environment a hot button issue? Think not. Chris Becker, chairman-chief creative officer of DraftFCB’s New York office, said “blowback from less-than-eco-friendly marketers is unlikely. ‘It’s such a loud issue and so accepted that no one can get away with that,” he said. “There’s already such a broad platform for agencies.’” We agree.

 
Written By: David not drowning in Fla
URL: http://
If Al Gore deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his Global Warming bit (glaring factual inconsistencies aside) then George W. Bush and Tony Blair deserve one for freeing close to 30 Million people in two countries from despotism and tyrany.
W and Tony deserve one much more than Gore, that’s for sure (and understating the point significantly).

And Reagan deserved one much more than Carter or Gorby.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Bush hasn’t freed anyone. But a lot of people have suffered death, widowhood, have become orphans and live in fear because of his actions.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I think Saddam deserved the Peace Prize. He obviously kept the peace in Iraq allowing all the little kids to fly their kites.

Oh and I’d still like to know why the Earth’s temerature wasn’t higher 550 million years ago when the Co2 concentration was a multitude higher than now.
 
Written By: abw
URL: http://abw.mee.nu
Try not paying your property taxes and see how long you remain an "owner."
Richard, good point, the state retains sovereignty over all land, and can confiscate it based on whatever laws the state creates to regulate such behavior.

Jason: the precautionary principle was ennuciated at the Rio conference of 1992 in the final document and said that if there is severe threats to life from environmental problems one should act even if the scientific evidence is not fully developed. IOW, if the evidence is strong but there are still alternate interpretations that haven’t been eliminated, there still should be action given the extent of the threat.

Also, I do agree that government regulations is not the way to respond to this, due to unintended consequences and uncertainties in the science. I’ve repeated that many times, but because I find the scientific consensus persuasive and refuse to attack Gore, you overlook that in practical terms, I’m not calling for governmental action. I do think we all should take these issues seriously in making personal choices.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris Erb writes:
Bush hasn’t freed anyone. But a lot of people have suffered death
"FDR and Truman never freed anyone, but a lot of people have suffered death."

In other words, when you grind it down to the nub, Boris offers something like a racial theory that the Arabs (and Kurds) of Iraq can’t be freed from a totalitarian Ba’athist dictatorship because they aren’t good enough for freedom.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Boris Erb writes:
I find the scientific consensus persuasive
In that case, Boris, entertain the board with your quick summary of what you think that consensus is.
and refuse to attack Gore
Gore makes many claims that aren’t even supported by the IPCC policymaker consensus, let alone any science.

He doesn’t even represent what the supposed consensus is being represented as.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Bush hasn’t freed anyone. But a lot of people have suffered death, widowhood, have become orphans and live in fear because of his actions.
Scott — This is just flat dishonest, even dishonorable. You could start by asking the Kurds for several millions of people who believe they have been freed and prefer it that way. Surely you know better.

I can understand opposing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and believing that they net out to a loss for the world or the Middle East. But to ignore all upsides, and there have been upsides, is not right.

I’d also be curious to see you post something substantive about global warming in this thread—the topic here after all. From what you’ve written so far—mostly vague head-nodding towards Gore—you don’t seem to know much about that either.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Huxley, how dare you...

He’s a professor! He knows people who do that "science" thing! You could never know as much about Science as him!
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Huxley, the Kurds were autonomous before the invasion, so they obviously were not freed. Most people in Iraq in their day to day life have less security, less freedom out of fear, and due to the imposition of religious law. The trouble with American perspectives is we so focus on abstract POLITICAL freedom (e.g., the government isn’t run by a dictator) that we lose sight of individual lives and the choices people make. By 2003 most Iraqis had a life style superior to what they’ve experienced the past four years. The Shi’ites, of course, believe they’ve been repressed by Sunnis for most of the century so they’re happy, but they’ve not exactly created a free country.

No, Saddam is gone, but people are not ’liberated.’ To become free, they have to make hard choices themselves. Right now, things aren’t looking so good. Later this afternoon I’ll have a blog entry that touches on global warming and the economy. Suffice it to say, I see major crises coming the next few decades, and I don’t think states are up to the task of handling it.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
You could never know as much about Science as him!
LOL! You had science completely wrong in the last thread we discussed this, and you know it. Rather than be honest and accept that you had a mistaken understanding of science and I explained to you how, you throw out insults. It’s not a sign of weakness to admit you’re wrong.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
LOL! You had science completely wrong in the last thread we discussed this, and you know it.
I’ll say it again, Erb.

A theory ceases to be valid, ceases to be, at the least good science - and becomes at best bad science - when it is disproven.

Numerous studies, graphs, and charts has shown that the current theory of Global Warming is wrong.

And besides which, Global Warming is based on uncontroled observed data, which is not at the top of the list as far as "methods of data collection" go.

Case in point, at several points in the 20th century, observed data led people to claim we were entering an ice age. then they claimed Global warming. Then back to the freezing. Back to the cooling... And so on.

Has it become so trendy that people can’t accept that, sometimes, the earth warms up? Hell, we’re due an iceage. Give it 10-15 years, and that’s what they’ll be predicting anyways.

The moment their models can accurately predict something, I’ll be impressed.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
You’re catching on, Scott. You’ve gone from saying science requires theories to be proven to admitting that if they are falsified then they are not considered valid. Very good. So you see, that most theories out there are not yet proven (indeed, most will be either falsified or changed in a significant way in comming years) but are still considered valid.

And despite your claim about ’numerous theories’ showing global warming to be wrong, most models and theories not only remain unfalsified, but are substantiated by the best science out there. Your problem is you seem to read only the right wing blogs that will trumpet every skeptic and their alternate ideas and data they say creates problems for the theory, or perhaps you listen to talk radio and the way they create this discourse of ridicule of global warming. If you broaden what you read and look at scientific literature, magazines, and journals — and if you talk to average scientists, not just those propped up by the denier community, you’ll realize that there is a vast consensus that this is not only real, but almost certainly caused in part by humans. At the very least, we need to prepare for its impact.

However, you do raise a good question about what to do about it, if anything. I am skeptical that Kyoto or government regulations can provide much if any of a solution. I’m not one pushing this to try to get new taxes for air travel or some kind of big government response. I’m trying to first honestly assess the science which seems to indicate a very strong probability of human caused global warming. Following the precautionary principle at the Rio summit — that if the science is strong and the potential consequences dire people should act, even if there isn’t conclusive science — it does seem prudent to take this seriously. That leads to the question of "what to do." I’m not sure.

I talk about this in my blog today, which focuses on the argument Dr. Susan Strange made about how the Westphalian state system isn’t up to the challenges of globalization, and in light of her argument, I think the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore may be not only deserved, but of groundbreaking importance.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris Erb writes:
Huxley, the Kurds were autonomous before the invasion, so they obviously were not freed.
Boris, you need to go say that to a Kurd, who will know what to do with you.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Boris Erb writes:
And despite your claim about ’numerous theories’ showing global warming to be wrong, most models and theories not only remain unfalsified, but are substantiated by the best science out there.
Name one model or theory substantiated by the best science out there, Boris.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Huxley, the Kurds were autonomous before the invasion, so they obviously were not freed.
Mumble... Saddam draining the wetlands, and killing them off... mumble...

mumble... idiot.... mumble.... selective memory....

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Eric writes:
Saddam draining the wetlands, and killing them off... mumble...
That’s a good point, but about the marsh Arabs, who you’re conflating with the Kurds.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
How come the comments aren’t dated?

McQ, get on it!
 
Written By: mario
URL: http://

 
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