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 ...
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..
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