Skip to comments.MIT's inconvenient scientist [He doubts global warming propaganda]
Posted on 08/30/2006 6:52:17 AM PDT by aculeus
... I sat in a roomful of journalists 10 years ago while Stanford climatologist Stephen Schneider lectured us on a big problem in our profession: soliciting opposing points of view. In the debate over climate change, Schneider said, there simply was no legitimate opposing view to the scientific consensus that man - made carbon emissions drive global warming. To suggest or report otherwise, he said, was irresponsible.
Indeed. I attended a week's worth of lectures on global warming at the Chautauqua Institution last month. Al Gore delivered the kickoff lecture, and, 10 years later, he reiterated Schneider's directive. There is no science on the other side, Gore inveighed, more than once. Again, the same message: If you hear tales of doubt, ignore them. They are simply untrue.
Here's the kind of information the ``scientific consensus" types don't want you to read. MIT's Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology Richard Lindzen recently complained about the ``shrill alarmism" of Gore's movie ``An Inconvenient Truth." Lindzen acknowledges that global warming is real, and he acknowledges that increased carbon emissions might be causing the warming -- but they also might not.
``We do not understand the natural internal variability of climate change" is one of Lindzen's many heresies, along with such zingers as ``the Arctic was as warm or warmer in 1940," ``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."
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
I'm not sure. Clearly in order to reproduce the effect of the forcings, the forcings have to be accounted for. That's probably why they compare runs with "natural" forcings only to forcings with both natural and anthropogenic forcing.
If we knew now what those variations would be from now until 2100, we'd have some confidence that the models could provide a correlation between that future volcanic activity and future temperature, for example. ... But we don't know how those factors will vary in the future.
Solar is another question, but despite not knowing when a volcano will erupt, it could be stated with some confidence that the next century will probably have 1-3 large explosions in the Krakatoa-Pinatubo range, and that the effects of those explosions will persist 4-5 years, with most of the effect occurring in the first two years after the eruption.
But the burden of proof should be squarely on those who advocate massive economic harm to the US particularly and without corresponding impact to our competitors (i.e. Kyoto Protocol), or who advocate massive centralization of power into the hands of unelected bureaucrats (i.e. Kyoto Protocol). These data do not provide that proof.
Because my position on climate change is that it can be addressed by steps that are increasingly necessary to alter the nation's dependence on foreign oil imports (for economic and national security reasons), I'm interested in the science of climate change, and I think that the Kyoto Protocol is a useless side issue. I don't think it will ever substantially influence U.S. domestic or foreign policy -- but energy policy is very important.
One interesting note: A single volcanic eruption (Mt. Pinatubo) is reported to have had twice the effect of all man-made warming combined for that corresponding year. Perhaps the solution to global warming is to detonate a few nuclear devices in not-quite-active volcanos.
Perhaps a bit drastic, and hard to control. There was recently a suggestion by a noted scientist that if global warming must be addressed, controlled stratospheric release of sulfate aerosols could be contemplated.
I'd like to see, for example, an analysis of what hydrogen as a fuel, or nuclear power does to these data. Both can reduce the amount of carbon entering the atmosphere, but they increase water vapor (which is a worse greenhouse gas) though not on a pound-for-pound basis.
The water vapor content of the atmosphere (relative humidity) is a feedback of the climate system determined by Earth's radiative balance. Since the evaporative term from the ocean's overwhelms any anthropogenic contribution.
Thanks for the reasoned comments.
There goes Lindzen's research funding!
I've referenced him on reddit.com, and invariably got the response that he was bought and paid for by the oil industry because he took a few pennies from them one time.
Mindless people believe in boogeymen - Rumsfeld, Cheney, Halliburton, Wal-Mart, etc., etc., etc.
Wow, there is still an honest scientist out there. Incredible, saying what anyone with a brain following this non-debate already knows. Poor guy will get viciously attacked for stating the obvious.
But we know more about predicting the weather than we do about predicting climate change. There are more variables, more unknowns, more assumptions in the climate models. Yet that is the major foundation of climate change 'science'. What Alfred P. Sloan state was all true.
Unbelievable. The global warming NAZIs will stop at nothing to advance their radical left-wing agenda.
I agree. Weather prediction is based on fluid dynamics models. The accuracy of weather prediction is based on the computational power running the model and the spatial and temporal resolution of inputs to the model.
There are more variables, more unknowns, more assumptions in the climate models.
Which necessarily follows because the factors that influence climate are more varied than the factors that influence weather.
Only because they blacklist the Black Jack card counters.
See the connection to Global Warming ?
Academia is like a police state, where there is "correct" thought and "incorrect" thought. Same idea as "correct thought" under totalitarian dictatorships: Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and the Kims.
The academics are so intellectually weak they fail to understand that they are trapped inside a mental jail where no dissent is permitted. And those who have figured it out dare not challenge the status quo, if they plan to "succeed" in academia. Instead they have religions with names such as "diversity", "affirmative action", "global warming", "class warfare", and "stop the war".
And these fools are "teaching" our kids!
AlGore never took a single math class since high school. Fact.
And he trumpets himself as some kind of brainiac.
He is a fool, and not very smart, although he pretends to be.
Some of the comments are from one of my favorite FReeper climate change skeptics -- because he has a good grasp of the issue. Note that there are a LOT of comments.Bummer. I guess that's not me.
I've noted a significant expansion of your grasp of the issue over the past year or so. Well-ingrained thought patterns are not easy to change; the most important aspect of "grasping" an issue is a willingness to constantly re-examine it in light of new information.
As a case in point (read the first comment):
The global warming debate gives pseudo intellectuals something to talk about with the marginally informed at cocktail parties, and others like gore, who've never had a real job, a means to bring in cash.
>>in fact, most of the scientists that doubt global warming are in fact climatologists
I don't doubt that a bit, but do you have anything that supports it? I'd love to throw it in some people's faces.
Before you throw too much, note that there's a significant difference between a "climatologist" and a "climate scientist". In general, climatologists compile statistical records: precipitation, heating or cooling degree days, high temperature and low temperature records, streamflow, etc. They also perform statistical analyses of the records. (This doesn't mean they aren't scientists; it's a different aspect of science.)
Climate scientists generally study the processes which affect climate, locally, regionally, and globally. This usually involves more modeling, use of different kinds of observational data (remote sensing, atmospheric sounding), and a lot of comparisons to the statistical archives compiled by climatologists.
Please note that I said "generally" in both cases; I'm sure that there are climatologists and climate scientists that don't fit into these generalities.
I've always wondered why there seems to be a disparity in the climatologist view of climate change compared to the climate scientist view. I suspect that it's partly due to the "inertia" of climate data -- it takes years to decades for a trend to assert itself in the day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, and year-to-year data. Climate scientists may take a longer view, decade to century scale.
Contemporary anthropology has been an avocation of mine for a couple of decades.
In my observations, I've noticed that the faster science advances i.e. computers, nanotechnology, medicine, the more people seek "understanding" and therefore control over knowledge. It seems to be a hardwired characteristic of humankind to slip into superstition when the advance of knowledge outstrips the individual's ability to keep up. Many people are brilliant in one field or another and dolts in most everything else.
This would seem to be the case with the more or less recent emergence of environmentalism as a cause that many otherwise intelligent people attach to as a means of keeping "control" over something in their lives.
Scientists are no different than the less technically schooled in this regard.
Just a thought...
There's a couple of other things you can use, also.
There's three choices; the globe warms, cools, or stays the same. The last isn't going to happen, so you're basically down to two choices. Either one is going to throw people into a tail spin.
Plus, if you look at the earth's geologic history, the planet has usually been significatly warmer for long periods of time that it is now. We are technically in a cooler than average period. Propose to these people that the Earth is simply returning to it's naturally historically warmer state. Then you could ask them what caused the earth to be warmer then?
I don't think that people are in real denial that there is some warming occurring at the present, but the cause and just what there is that can be done about it are what's causing the controversy. There is also the impendng ice age hysteria that was rampant in the 70's based on the same short term temperature trends. Many younger people wouldn't be aware of that.
My experience is that the meteorologists at the NWS find the global warming issue to be a real blood pressure raiser. The ones I've talked to don't believe it and get pretty riled when it's mentioned.
Thanks for the ping.
Scientists have been known time and and time again to be very wrong in conclusions that have a wide consensus among them.
That is part of the problem.
For instance, here in Raleigh the airport moved some years ago (70s I think).
The new airport was in the boondocks when it was built, now it's surrounded with industry, housing developments. Many other airports are the same, such as Miami.
These data are now in heat islands. Yes, they are schmoozed to account for that, but let's face it, they are SWAG ed the way the climatologists want the data.
The asinine statements coming out of the 'global warming' crowd has left them with zero credibility as far as I'm concerned.
Every possible weather phenomenon that occurs is caused by 'global warming'.
Reminds me of the second hand smoke crowd, which causes everything from cancer to ingrown toenails according to them.
Irresponsible Professor Schneider? What I would call irresponsible is the statement you made in the October 1989 issue of Discover magazine:
On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but - which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts.
On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people, we'd like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change.
To do that, we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public's imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.
As reported in REPORTS - Less Burning, No Tears
By ROCHELLE L. STANFIELD, National Journal
© National Journal Group Inc.
Saturday, Aug. 13, 1988
"How dare you question me? Anyone who has a different point of view is illegitimate. I'm a scientist, damnit!"
And also, for much of earth's geological history, the continents were in different positions, the oceans were shaped differently, and the ocean current system was completely different. The Himalayan mountains didn't exist until the Indian subcontinent slammed into Asia.
I.e., you have to have some context before making comparisons.
Here's what the Earth looked like in the late Cretaceous period; modern continental outlines are superimposed.
One might expect that the Earth's climate would be a little different back then.
You sound like my kind of "consumer advocate"! You must be a "progressive"!
Yes, I love how lefties have no problem seeing the possible bias from industry money (and I do believe the possibility for such bias is real), but can't see any conflict when researchers take money from the government and produce results that suggest the need for further empowering government.
They're suing the guy for writing a study they didn't like????? Plenty of guys write stucies I don't like and it never would have occurred to me to SUE them. These guys are really getting out of hand.
I agree, thats why the GW issue can be turned into a Conservative cause. We should use the issue to fund a massive increase in domestic energy production, through Nuclear, solar, wind, water and Alternative Fuels. I'm afraid that conservatives may be cutting of our noses here..
And should be!
We should use the issue to fund a massive increase in domestic energy production, through Nuclear, solar, wind, water and Alternative Fuels.
I totally agree -- seems to me that there was a recent call for a Manhattan Project-level program for energy. Googling...
Yep, there's stuff like that out there, and not everybody agrees with the "Manhattan Project" idea. I think that there does need to be federal funding of basic and applied research to develop and improve alternatives -- particularly funding to research in corporations, not exclusively academia, to encourage the applications side. Funding of academic-corporate partnerships might be a good way to go, too.
The Russians have complete control of Gore. He is there man. They have him dead to rights on an issue where Gore violated International Law in dealing with a situation within Russia during the waning years of Clinton. I don't recall the specifics, but read about it within a Russia media outlet story. Coincidently, the Russians, through Gorbachev, have been promoting the reactionary environmental hysterics. This is rather comical considering the environmental record of Cold War communist states.
The same was said when we went for Clinton's impeachment. After all if we had succeeded, Global Warming Gore would have been President. In the long run, because we stood for principals, morals and justice, while the left stood for corruption, no-morals and law breaking, conservatives ended up winning when Clinton viewed his own decadent personal life as being more important then the nations life.
So basically, we should never advocate the use of junk science. Besides, as China's growth continues to explode, the Earth's environment will be in their hands before too long. Now if you truly believe that apes are changing long term weather trends, the fact that the Communist Chinese will be the dominant producing and consuming apes within a few decades, should cause shivers to run up and down your spine. The instability of the Middle East is more then enough reason to make the development of alternative fuels a national strategic imperative.
Science has solved problems before that were thought impossible to solve. The car is already in production.
Nothing says success - like success.
On behalf of Indians everywhere, I insist you take back your demeaning association of our wooden brethren with that former Vice Presidential "bloatem pole"! ;-P
I never said it was impossible - only inefficient. If building an inefficient car is your definition of success, then you are, of course, right. It's not my definition.
But if converting significantly reduces air pollution in a congested city - say, Denver or LA - the trade off may be worth it by reducing health care costs and loss of productivity associated with air pollution.
The safety of the storage tanks was of immediate concern when I first looked at this technology. The carbon fiber tanks address some of these safety concerns. And real life auto accidents and Hollywood movies remind us that gasoline is not without its hazards.
I think the future will have many competing engine technologies to choose from...In the future, gas stations will adapt to these many engines types and just sell a variety of fuels.