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Matters of Faith: Global Warming and Intelligent Design

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Global Warming and Intelligent Design share a fundamental characteristic in common, the lack of definitive, proven evidence of the causation which would make them fact rather than theory.

In Intelligent Design you can see the leaps of evolution and the bizarre anomalies in the fossil record and you can say "something must have caused this", but there is no proof of what or who is the cause. You can choose God or aliens or mutation or random unidentified forces as your explanation equally convincingly because no evidence exists to definitively identify the unknown forces driving the evolutionary process. If you believe in a conscious force behind evolution you can only reach that conclusion through faith.

In the same way, Global Warming is a clearly identifiable phenomenon which can be documented through the geological record and contemporary temperature measurements, but it is impossible to point to a specific cause and say "aha, here's THE thing which is causing global warming." Human causation is the popular choice as a cause, but human output of the gasses which cause global warming is substantially less than the cumulative yearly output from natural sources like volcanoes and forest fires and falls well within the normal variations of those gasses from year to year. Natural forces like solar activity and the earth's climate cycle also contribute to global warming and it is impossible to definitively identify one cause as specifically responsible. If your choice is to believe in human causation as the one thing that causes Global Warming, that position can only be reached by the equivalent of a leap of faith.

Because these are beliefs which can only be reached by faith, those who subscribe to them have a tendancy to be driven to fanaticism in defense of their position. They attack and harass those who disagree with them, deride them as deniers driven by a political agenda, be it secularism or corporate greed, and do their best to essentially redefine reality on their own terms. They will go to great and destructive extremes to force their beliefs on others, including imposing their agenda on the school curriculum, promoting their beliefs through advocacy groups, seeking to pass legislation enshrining it in law, and attempting to destroy and discredit those who don't agree with them.

The remarkable thing with this sort of fanatically held belief is that it doesn't matter if there's any truth or evidence behind it, or if there are facts which directly contradict it. The true believers will gladly redefine reality on the fly so that whatever facts they're presented with will fit into their worldview. Inconvenient fossil records predating the biblical creation of the earth? God created them to test our faith. Inconvenient record snowfalls and cooling trends in Europe? Well, of course, cold weather is a symptom of global warming. The great thing about faith is that it can help you rationalize anything no matter how ridiculous.

It's interesting that the people who object most to the irrationality of Intelligent Design theory are often the same people who are just as dogmatic in their adherence to Global Warming theory, and vice versa. The two are unrelated, but it's interesting that both groups have their issues of absolute belief which they hold to be inviolable with equal levels of vehemence and obsession.

What neither group considers is that maybe both positions are irrational and untennable and that both theories have flaws, are open to criticism and might need more study and analysis. Both Global Warming and Intelligent Design are still theories and neither has the stamp of absolute empirical truth on them, because both are based on assumptions which cannot be definitively proven and to some degree have to be 'taken on faith'. I find any demand to believe something which cannot be proven just because others believe in it – no matter how numerous they are – to be objectionable and an offense to reason. Reality isn't defined by a majority vote. What's worse, when a theory becomes dogma, those who subscribe to it fanatically will try to stifle further discussion, exploration and analysis, and that's a very negative force in a any kind of scientific inquiry.

Personally I'd prefer to take nothing on faith, leave all possibilities open, and retain some objective distance. Both of these theories might be right and both might be wrong. What harm does it do to keep an open mind and question both of them? Only by being objective and questioning everything, especially beliefs based on faith, can we eventually find a truth which is provable and does not require us to accept guesses as gospel.

This article has been modified slightly from the original version in the interest of clarity.

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About Dave Nalle

  • Cyberfarer

    For God sakes, read a real book.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Um, this isn’t a book review, it’s an opinion piece. Do you know the difference?

    Dave

  • Clavos

    So, Dave…who’s gonna attack you more–GW or ID?

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    “Human causation is the popular choice as a cause, but human output of the gasses which cause global warming is substantially less than the output of natural sources like volcanoes and falls within the normal variations of those gasses over time. Natural forces like solar activity and the earth’s climate cycle also contribute to global warming, and it is impossible to definitively identify one cause as specifically responsible.”

    You must be reading different stats than I am. I am very curious to read yours. I have seen several graphs of CO2 derived from ice core samples and they all show what is noted in the following quote:

    “Gore notes the relationship between CO2 and temperature, as revealed in ice cores. He then shows a graph correlating the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere with temperature over hundreds of thousands of years. The lines closely follow each other up and down. Literally for millenniums, the amount of CO2 has hovered between 200 and 300 parts per million. But since the industrial revolution, when humans started pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere with all our machines, it’s risen to the current amount of 380 parts per million. Economists and climate scientists believe it will continue to rise as dramatically over the course of this century.”
    -spiegel.de

    I also wanted to point out – at the of sounding arrogant – that your use of the term theory is, technically, incorect as a scientific term.
    “which would make them fact rather than unprovable theory.” Scientifically speaking, a theory is technically unprovable by definition. Theories “explain a great diversity of observations and are supported by an accumulation of evidence.” -BIOLOGY, Campbell.

    A fact, or law, is something that CAN be proved because it is an observation that can be replicated.

    Any cause of global warming, because of its very nature as a cause, can never be more than a theory.

    However, it is quite possible to OBSERVE measurements that show a very strong correlation between CO2 and temperature throughout the past 100,000 years. It is also possible to OBSERVE measurements that show CO2 levels have risen to their highest levels in milleniums and that temperature is maintaining a similar correlation to this increase as it has over the past 100,000 years. It is also possible to observe the millions of gallons of carbon containing fuel being consumed in this country. Finally, a reasonable, but ultiimately unprovable theory, would be that the CO2 level increases that occurred the last century are largely due to human activity, are largely responsible for the increases in temperature observed, and that if the CO2 level continues to rise, so will temperature. The question is only to what level, and what the effects will be.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Peti. Read up on Krakatoa and volcanic activity in general. One good volcano on the scale of Krakatoa would dwarf human contributions to global warming for the past generation, and we’re past due for an erruption of that scale.

    “which would make them fact rather than unprovable theory.” Scientifically speaking, a theory is technically unprovable by definition. Theories “explain a great diversity of observations and are supported by an accumulation of evidence.”

    Looks to me like I used theory in EXACTLY the same way as you’ve defined it. The real key is that ‘accumulation of evidence’ and how legitimate the evidence in question is. It’s a case of garbage in, garbage out. If your ‘evidence’ is legitimized by faith and wishful thinking or by the number of scientists who agree on it, then how valid is it?

    Dave

  • Clavos

    OK, Peti, you say:

    However, it is quite possible to OBSERVE measurements that show a very strong correlation between CO2 and temperature throughout the past 100,000 years.

    Who was around to take and observe these measurements more than a few hundred years ago? And what were they measuring with?

  • JR

    I guess one significant difference between intelligent design and global warming would be the amount of supporting research in peer-review journals. If you can dismiss that difference, I’m not sure you’ve got anything but faith to inform your world view.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    My use of the verb observe is intended to have the subject present day humans. It is possible to measure CO2 concentrations from previous years by dating and measuring CO2 concentrations in air bubbles trapped in ice formations on Greenland. Hence you or I can “OBSERVE measurements that show a very strong correlation between CO2 and temperature throughout the past 100,000 years.” I believe my statement holds true.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Dave- you seem to simultaneously imply there is no “accumulation of evidence” put that it is still an “unprovable theory.” If there is no accumulation of evidence then it is not even an unprobavable theory. It is a hypothesis.

    Also: I objected to your use of the phrase “unprovable theory” because it seemed to imply most theories were provable. Otherwise it is just repetitive…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I guess one significant difference between intelligent design and global warming would be the amount of supporting research in peer-review journals. If you can dismiss that difference, I’m not sure you’ve got anything but faith to inform your world view.

    Ah, but you have to go the whole way with tha analogy. Since the peer review journals are dominated by co-religionists of the Global Warming Cult, they’re the equivalent of the mass of equally scholarly journals of theology which have plenty of credible peer-reviewed articles on the subject of intelligent design. And who’s to say that a DD is less of a scholar than a PhD?

    Again it comes down to the central point. Just because a BUNCH of people – even intelligent and degreed people – believe something, that doesn’t make it true.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    It is possible to measure CO2 concentrations from previous years by dating and measuring CO2 concentrations in air bubbles trapped in ice formations on Greenland.

    Ironically that’s the primary source of the data used to support the ‘impending ice age’ theory which was current 30 years ago.

    Dave- you seem to simultaneously imply there is no “accumulation of evidence”

    As I think I said before, the validity of evidence is in the eye of the beholder. What you or I might not think of as evidence – like the bible – is seen as definitive evidence by ID supporters.

    put that it is still an “unprovable theory.” If there is no accumulation of evidence then it is not even an unprobavable theory. It is a hypothesis.

    Well, it certainly is a hypothesis. The question is whether the theory developed from that hypothesis has any validity.

    Also: I objected to your use of the phrase “unprovable theory” because it seemed to imply most theories were provable. Otherwise it is just repetitive…

    Redundent rather than repetitive and used for effect.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Peti,

    You inspired me to do a little research, and I found this, in an article, “Learning From Polar Ice Core Research”, in a publication called Environmental Science & Technology:

    The discovery of abrupt climatic shifts, or Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) oscillations, was the most surprising feature of the Greenland ice core data. The 24 D-O oscillations of the last glaciation are marked by temperature increases over Greenland of up to 6 oC, in a time span of less than a decade, followed by a more gradual return to the cooler glacial climate (3). These events are not clearly manifested in the Vostok record. However, diverse paleoclimatic evidence, including marine sediment data, pollen profiles, and glacial snow line data, indicates that the effects of at least some events were felt on a global scale (5).

    The thermohaline circulation
    The reports of the Dansgaard-Oeschger fluctuations have since generated tremendous excitement in the climate sciences community. “They indicate a climate capable of violent change,” said Lawrence Mysak, a climate dynamicist at McGill University’s Center for Climate and Global Change Research in Montreal.

    This would seem to indicate that the kinds of climate changes we’re seeing now were occuring long before mankind began to affect the climate, no?

  • Clavos

    Sorry, I blew the link. Here it is.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Wikipedia states “In the year following the eruption, global temperatures were lowered by as much as 1.2 degrees Celsius on average. Weather patterns continued to be chaotic for years, and temperatures did not return to normal until 1888.” Krakatoa erupted only 5 years earlier.

    If you look at a map of global temperature, for the last 200 years, the decrease following Krakatoa appears to be a short, temporary, small drop in global temperature. The prevailing trend, even from pre Krakatoa warmth to now is upwards. Even if the 1.2 degree Celsius decrease, is aproximately equal to increases caused by humans, it was a short lived decrease.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    That’s the word i was looking for! Redundent! I wasted 15 minutes looking for that word.

  • Clavos

    Um, redundant :>)

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Damn, I always have trouble keeping Ents and Ants straight. Which ones are the giant tree herders and which ones are the little bugs, again?

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The Wikipedia entry is a bit superficial. The 5 year ‘greenhouse winter’ effect was only part of the phenomenon. Longer term warming may also have been one of the results of the erruption.

    Dave

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Im not even done with you’re article but i had to post this. You’re own article states:
    “They found a strong positive correlation between temperature changes and changes in carbon dioxide and methane; this has contributed empirical evidence of the magnitude of climatic feedback between increasing levels of greenhouse gases and temperature (1).”

  • Clavos

    It’s been fun, guys, but it’s almost 3AM here….zzzzzzzzzzz

  • Clavos

    Correct, Peti, but thousands of years ago those gasses weren’t being generated by man’s activities, so why are we assuming they are now?

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Your article states, and you only partially quote: “The discovery of these fluctuations, known as Dansgaard-Oeschger oscillations after the Danish and Swiss investigators who first documented them, has given rise to intense interest in their causes and speculation that current increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could trigger such rapid change in the coming decades.” These gas levels again are on the rise. If you believe what that article says is true, or even a probable conclusion, then you must believe that the temperature increases observed are due to increases in human activtity and that as long as CO2 trends continue so to will temperature trends (as much as or more than the 6 degrees Celsius your article mentioned). AND YES ABSOLUTELY you are CORRECT these changes have occurred naturally in nature. They occurred when the ice ages ended. We are not in ice age. If they occur now, global climate will end up like it was 50 million years ago, when alligators inhabited the north pole and palm trees grew in central Canada. The fact that these changes have occurred naturally before doesnt diminish present trends. The trends the article mentioned were linked to Co2. We are releasing Co2 rapidly. Co2 concentrations are increasing rapidly. Why is it unreasonable to conclude that the same thing that happened the last 10 times Co2 concentrations increased (temps increased dramatically) will happen again?

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    From your article again:

    “It is the ice core data on greenhouse gases, however, that led Lorius and his colleagues to conclude that these gases, as well as the ice sheets, “played a significant part in the glacial-interglacial climate changes, by amplifying the relatively weak orbital forcing and by constituting a link between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere climates.” The magnitude of the change in greenhouse gas concentrations was in itself unexpected (see figure on next page). At the last glacial maximum (21,000 years before present), for example, carbon dioxide is estimated to be 190-200 ppm, compared with the 270- to 280-ppm preindustrial average for the Holocene (last 10,000 years). The warming that occurred between the glaciation and the Holocene was approximately 10 oC over Antarctica or 4-5 oC when averaged globally (1).”
    Since an 80 ppm increase corresponded to a 4-5oC increase in temp globally, why is it unreasonable to predict that the 100ppm incrase that has already occurred and the even larger (200ppm increase by 2050) increase in the future that another 4-5oC increase would occur with present Co2 levels, and 8-10oC increase if Co2 continues upwards. a 4-5oC increase would cause the average summertime temp in Dallas to be well over 100oF. The average summertime temp in NYC would be 95oF. A 10oC increase would make average summertime highs in NYC 105oC, a hot day would be 120 or 130 oF. Of course I am making it far to straight forward. No one is saying that the increases have to be exactly proportional. But there is a VERY strong correlation.

    You ask can we tell humans are responsible for the increases in those gases. First of all, the most basic of arguments is that burning fuel releases Co2. Releasing Co2 increases Co2 concentrations, even if only marginally. Besides where else is the CO2 coming from? There has not been any incredible volcanic activity as there was in some of the warming periods you mentioned. The fact is humans are releasing huge amounts of Co2. They must be contributing, at least a little bit, and probably a lot to global increases in Co2 concentrations.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Well I guess I’ll go to bed too…but if you ever come back this page please please read my posts, and more importantly check out Clavos’s link: acs.org It is an excellent article that includes a large portion of the historical information on temperature and CO2 concentrations.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’m off to bed too. But before I go let me point out that I never said in the article that humans aren’t contributing the CO2 increases in the atmosphere. I also never said that the Bible doesn’t have an interesting account of the origins of life on earth.

    The question is whether either of these things is proof of causation to a standard that should be accepted in the absence of faith.

    Dave

  • troll

    what’s the point of conflating global warming science which seeks correlation and probabilities with ID sophistry which seeks first cause and certainty – ?

    sure…people – even those who call themselves scientists – are not all that logical and frame their ‘knowledge’ based on politics and prejudice

    so what else is new – ?

    we still have to figure out what we’re going to do next

    troll

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Ok, just tell me which step you disagree with or think requires a leap of faith:

    1. There is strong evidence from ice cores demonstrating a STRONG correlation between Co2 and temperature. Historically, when Co2 has risen naturally temperature has risen nearly exactly proportionally.

    2. Co2 is rising. We know this from very accurate measurements being taken all over the world. The current Co2 concentration is around 380ppm. The average for the last 10,000 years, and the level 150 years ago were both around 270-280ppm. An increase of 100+ppm has occurred in only 150 years, most of that occurring in the last 100.

    3. Co2 has not increased as dramatically, or risen to anywhere near as high a concentration in the last 10,000 years, due to any natural phenomonon, as it has in the in the last 100 years.

    4. Humans are disrupting the carbon cycle by burning carbon containing deposits that normally would have stored carbon in a non-atmospheric form. Humans released 6.5 billion tons of Carbon into the atmosphere in 2001 alone. Carbon emissions have steadily risen from 1.8 billion tons in 1950 to 6.5 billion in 2001. The rate of increase in Carbon conc. in the atmosphere has risen correspondingly, to 1.5 ppm/ year – faster than ever before.

    5. Logically, if humans are emitting such vast quantities of Carbon the past 100 years, and no other century has seen nearly as rapid an increase in Carbon for the last 100 centuries, WHAT is the statistical probability that the two centuries in which humans began emitting Carbon in record levels, correspond to the fastest increase in Carbon in the atmosphere in any of the last 100 centuries SIMPLY BY CHANCE? (statistically it would aproximately be 2%) It is logical to infer the two are related. No faith required.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    O, and good morning everyone.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    I’m off to work.

  • alethinos

    Thanks Dave for the article. I had only met four people before this that thought there was little or no proof of global warming. Now I know there are at least five.

    The evidence – even anecdotal – is so overwhelming people, such as yourself, will soon be relegated to a joke – another “flat earth society” type.

    If we are going to attribute this shift in temp to “natural” causes then let’s SEE the natural causes. So far, all I’ve ever heard from the few little voices in the wilderness (virtually all of whom are associated in some way, shape, fashion or form with the Right) is that the FACT of the change can be summed up as “a natural cycle”.

    Really? So, the past two centuries of humanity pumping billions of tons of pollution into the air has had NO EFFECT whatsoever? None. REALLY…

    Amazing. This is like a junkie claiming that it isn’t the drugs that are killing him because actually he was dying anyway – ain’t we all…

    Come on Dave… You’ve got a brain, use it!

    alethinos

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    what’s the point of conflating global warming science which seeks correlation and probabilities with ID sophistry which seeks first cause and certainty – ?

    Mainly to irritate people, but moreso to make them think. My problem with both groups is their unwillingness to engage in any critical thought or entertain any divergence of opinion. They both react with defensive aggression to those who question them and vilify any who disagree on purely emotional grounds. The point is that the GW supporters act more like a preachers than scientists.

    Dave

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Dave, it’s a strange (albeit intentional) linkage between Intelligent Design and Global Warming. (And you do realize that no scientist talks about Global Warming anymore–it’s global climate change. The reason is based on the science–we just don’t know enough yet.) The former is not a theory by any scientific definition; it’s not even a hypothesis…I’d go into the definitions but you know them.

    The ID folks offer nothing that can be disproven. The core ingredient of any scientific theory is that it contain measurable or analyzable statements that can prove it false. ID offers nothing.

    Global climate change is a different beast. In fact, we’ve got too much data and too many theories. We happen to be living in a geologically temperate time (in terms of hundreds of years) so people have come to think that the climate is always pretty stable.

    I think the question isn’t, is global climate change real in the sense of is there a helluva lot more CO2 going into the atmosphere that will dramatically change our climate–that’s a done deal. Few if any credible scientists doubt that there’s something odd going on.

    The question is, to what extent is human behavior having a significant effect on that? If a lot, then we’d better do something quick. If negligible, then fuck it…I’m buying beach front property about twenty miles inland in New Jersey.

    In Decaf Veritas

  • troll

    true believers – those with no doubt – will be our downfall

    troll

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Re. #27. I don’t disagree that humans are releasing a fairly significant amount of carbon into the air. That seems obvious. What I disagree with is the argument that CO2 alone or the human portion of the total CO2 in the atmosphere is directly and solely responsible for global warming.

    The point here is that there are just too many questions. We don’t really even know for sure what the long term impact of increased CO2 is going to be. It might lead to warming in the short term followed by a counterreaction and massive cooling. It may trigger natural systems which will bring the level of CO2 down despite human contributions. There are massive carbon sinks which have the capacity to neutralize an awful lot of it – what impact are they having? And there are many other questions about the methodology of measurement and how the entire climate system operates.

    The problem here is that in the quasi-religious atmosphere dominating the climate-change issue you’re not even allowed to ASK these questions. And when we stop allowing questions it stops being science and becomes religion.

    Dave

  • Steve

    Interesting stuff folks.

    Re. ID, that is something that appears to be a very nationalistic movement in the US (i.e. based on concern as to America’s spiritual future and what the States should be doing), whereas the Global warming folks seem to have a very internationalist approach (i.e. based on the world’s physical future and what EVERY nation should be doing).

    As ‘nationalists’ (if I can call IDers that for the purposes of this post), they are perceived as ‘right-wingers’ and the ‘internationalists’ (Global Warming folks…I was going to say GW folks but thought that might confuse some lol) are perceived as ‘left-wingers’.

    I guess these are two of those issues that involve the debate about the powers of the state and the powers of the international community to effect change in thinking or practice of populations. It will be interesting to see whether either side wins. I wonder if the result will help determine the role of the nation state in the 21st century.

  • MCH

    Is it true that the main source of global warming is eminating from a glass house in a fenced compound near Austin, TX?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Steve, I think you’re right on the issue of Global Warming being an internationalist issue. Certainly they’re the group who want to use it as a political tool. I think that it has two groups of proponents, those who are genuinely concerned regardless of their ideology – which includes most of the scientists – and those who see it as a way to express their resentment of the US and as an weapon to try to bring the US down and make us seem like the villains of the world with very little justification. From what I’ve seen our free market approach is doing as good a job limiting pollution as any state or treaty mandated system in the various countries which signed onto Kyoto and then failed to meet their mandated goals under it.

    Dave

  • infidel57

    You are careless with the word “theory.” The word has different meanings depending on contect. In an every day context, theory is a conjecture.

    In a scientific context “Theory” means the body of evidence which explains a phenomenon. You have gravitational theory, numbers theory, music theory, the theory of relativity, etc. Evolutionary Theory contains a huge body of support crossing many scientific disciplines. There is no such thing as Intelligent Design Theory. It is just a notion which has no scientific backing.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Alethinos- in Dave’s defense, he never even remotely implies what you say he did … “So, the past two centuries of humanity pumping billions of tons of pollution into the air has had NO EFFECT whatsoever? None. REALLY…”

    What really gets me about Dave’s article is this:
    “Human causation is the popular choice as a cause, but human output of the gasses which cause global warming is substantially less than the output of natural sources like volcanoes and falls within the normal variations of those gasses over time.”
    I have read up on these “krakatoa occurences” and have found no evidence of this whatsoever. In fact, I found that Krakatoa cooled ocean temperatures for nearly 100 years (very marginally). And as far as I know, the statement that “human output of the gasses…falls within normal variations…” is flat out wrong.

    “The latest Vostok records of climate change provide a unique context or backdrop for examining human-induced changes in the concentrations of important greenhouse gases such as CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CH4 (methane) over the last 200 years. Comparatively speaking, human activities have resulted in present-day CONCENTRATIONS of CO2 and CH4 THAT ARE UNPRECEDENTED over the last 420,000 years of Earth history. By extension of this comparison, the present rate of CO2 build-up also seems to be greater than what has been observed in ice-core records of climate change spanning the last 420,000 years.” usgcrp.gov

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Although I have not said anything about the rest of your article, yes, it does irritate me and, yes, it does make me think ;). But why did you have to pick ID?!?!
    …i know that was ironic.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    How do you make that fancy italic text??!?

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Stand to the left of the monitor and gently blow toward the screen. The typeface will flow in the breeze.

  • Clavos

    peti,

    do this:

    < I > your text < / i >

    without the spaces. Use b for bold and u for underlining.

    Clavos

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    You realize, of course that now that he’s chosen that handle every comment will be labled “Petty”

  • Maurice

    Well done Dave. I couldn’t say it better.

    I don’t want to join the church of ID or the church of GW. I don’t even want to join the church of Professor Nalle.

    Just the facts maam.

    Keep up the good work.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Wow. That was objective. I don’t suppose you bothered to read one of the 50 or so statistics on global climate over the past 50 million years that i have posted in this string did you? Yes, I did realize JC and it doesnt concern me in the least. At least im not a martyr :P.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I was refering to the initials PETI [Edited], not the quality of your comments.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    o my! and i was referring to your initials .. forgive me… [Edited]
    JC, jesus christ, calm down!

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Do you honestly think I missed the connection between PETI and PETTY?!?!

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    JC- The first half of my #46 was directed at Maurice, the second half was just a joke at your #44.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    My pain and situarion is real, and if you’ve read my numerous satires you’ll realize lately I’m not trying to be a martyr, though I’m apparently living the life of one, so I’m particularly sensitive to the subject and don’t appreciate the accusation… even in jest.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    I have no idea who you are or what your posts have been like, so if you want to be sensitive about a comment I made with no other information, other than that your initials are JC, that’s your choice. Besides if your going to make an unimportant joke about my name, expect one in return. Just remember, it’s a joke.

  • Clavos

    Guys, let me mediate here for a moment, please?

    Jet: Peti is brand new to BC, just showed up about 48 hours ago, and obviously doesn’t know about your situation. His comment about martyr was in reference to Jesus Christ, not you.

    Peti: Jet, through no fault of his own is in extremely poor health and may even go blind sometime soon. He’s been kicked in the teeth by life, both literally and figuratively for nearly a year now. I don’t think he understood what you meant and, given his problems, took it seriously.

    Now, play nice, please–I know both of you a little, through BC, and you’re both good people. Shake hands.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    My comment was made simply as a play on words. Nothing more. No information other than your initials was used in its creation. Besides, it was a lame joke. Please realize I’m trying to be civil about this, but I’m not going to apologize for a stupid joke. And if you knew anything about me you would know I am actually very sensitive about being called petty – I’m not kidding. We’ve wasted enough posts on this -let’s just agree not to make any more dumb jokes about eachother’s names anyways ok?

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Yay for mediation – this was getting trivial! I posted my last post before I saw you’re post Clavos. I’ll shake hands to that, and I wish you better fortune Jet, sounds like you’ve had it bad.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Here’s a link for you Peti, not to be a martyr but as a frame of reference to explain why I’m so sensitive and to call a truce as Clavos just suggested…

    Carus deus, quis have ego commissio?
    Jet

  • NP

    An interesting & entertaining read about the global warming theory used for political means is “State of Fear” by Michael Crichton. It made me think twice about how scientific data can be misused and biased from the get-go.

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    but human output of the gasses which cause global warming is substantially less than the output of natural sources like volcanoes

    You are an obvious liar.

  • Clavos

    TLE,

    You seem to use the word “liar” a lot on your website–have you ever simply disagreed with someone or is anyone who disagrees with you a liar?

    You are an obvious liar.

    That certainly leaves a lot of room for an intelligent discussion.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Even if it were true, which it isn’t, the fact is undeniable that the human output if having a detrumental efect on an already fragile ecosystem.

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    That still leaves the lie. The entire opinion piece is laughable. Volcanic carbon dioxide emissions are several orders of magnitude less than industrial carbon dioxide emissions. Do you even comprehend the meaning of ‘several orders of magnitude’?

    You may now continue deluding yourselves silly.

  • Clavos

    I comprehend someone with no manners when I run into one.

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    I comprehend someone with no manners when I run into one.

    I feel your pain, the truth hurts, doesn’t it. The opinion piece is so riddled with lies and misinformation as to be embarassing. I’m embarrassed to even have to point them out to people like you, embarrassed to have to be your compatriot.

    You might try educating yourself instead of propogating obvious lies:vocano.und.edu

    gaspig.com/volcano.htm

    Yes, I know how rude the truth can be.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Just because you self-righteously brand something a lie doesn’t make it fact-it makes it your opinion.

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    I call it a lie because it is a lie, a blatant lie at that. Only an idiot would stick to a lie like that. Industrial carbon dioxide emissions swamp volcanic carbon dioxide emissions by over 100 times, and volcanic aerosols cool the earth rather than heat it. So what is it, you’re going to stick with the lying here, or what?

  • Clavos

    I call it a lie because it is a lie, a blatant lie at that. Only an idiot would stick to a lie like that. Industrial carbon dioxide emissions swamp volcanic carbon dioxide emissions by over 100 times, and volcanic aerosols cool the earth rather than heat it. So what is it, you’re going to stick with the lying here, or what?

    So what are you doing about it, besides rudely running your mouth?

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    So what are you doing about it, besides rudely running your mouth?

    About the volcanos? Nothing much, they produce a trivial amount of carbon dioxide, and there isn’t much I can do about them anyways, except comment when people lie about them. I assume Dave almost certainly is just mindlessly repeating the same lies he’s heard over and over again, during his political indoctrination. I’m truly sorry you find fundamental scientific truth to be so rude. I certainly hope you are enjoying your new climate.

  • Clavos

    You know what I meant:

    Industrial carbon dioxide emissions swamp volcanic carbon dioxide emissions by over 100 times,

    What are you doing about that?

    …Or maybe your obtuse and didn’t.

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    I just did something about it, I pointed out an obvious lie in a very sloppy hack opinion piece (I can’t really honestly call it journalism) for all the world to see. Whether or not you acknowledge that Dave is lying to you, or you are lying to yourself, is not my concern, however, I would think Dave ought to be embarrassed releasing this kind of poorly researched work to the general public. I’m reading it on Blogcritics, not the elitist pig. You couldn’t pay me to read that.

    As far as my own carbon dioxide emissions (or if you prefer my own hydrocarbon consumption) and my own science (or if you prefer, my own intelligent design), I am well known in the alternative energy business, and my scientific papers are in the public domain.

    Don’t worry, I shant bother you anymore with my inconvenient truths. You may now return to your regularly scheduled delusional conversations with your delusional compatriots.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    “Human causation is the popular choice as a cause, but human output of the gasses which cause global warming is substantially less than the output of natural sources like volcanoes and falls within the normal variations of those gasses over time.”
    I have read up on these “krakatoa occurences” and have found no evidence of this whatsoever. In fact, I found that Krakatoa cooled ocean temperatures for nearly 100 years (very marginally). And as far as I know, the statement that “human output of the gasses…falls within normal variations…” is flat out wrong.

    The global cooling resulted from the ash and dust cloud, which eventually abated. It’s similar to something like ‘nuclear winter’.

    As for CO2 output, here are the figures.

    Total Atmospheric CO2: 750 billion tonnes
    All human sources: 15-22 billion tonnes/year
    All Volcanoes: 300 million tonnes/year
    Krakatoa (1883): 40 billion tonnes estimated
    Tambora (1816): 200 billion tonnes estmated
    Forest Fires in Canada: 34 million tonnes/year
    Forest Fires Total: 1.5 billion tonnes/year

    So really huge volcanic erruptions – and we’re overdue for one – can produce insane amounts of CO2, but as noted above they also produce a lot of heavy particulate matter which has a short-term cooling effect greater than any warming effect from the CO2.

    But the other key point is that total human output is maybe 1/30th of the total CO2 put into the atmosphere in a year, and various types of CO2 sinks are always working to keep the total down. The biggest CO2 sink of all is the ocean. It’s possible that the melting of the icecaps and glaciers will increase oceanic CO2 consumption enough to reverse whatever warming trend we’re in right now.

    There are an awful lot of variables and human CO2 production is just one of them.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    You are an obvious liar.

    And you are either ignorant, misinformed or lying yourself. Plus you’re remarkably arrogant.

    I call it a lie because it is a lie, a blatant lie at that. Only an idiot would stick to a lie like that. Industrial carbon dioxide emissions swamp volcanic carbon dioxide emissions by over 100 times, and volcanic aerosols cool the earth rather than heat it. So what is it, you’re going to stick with the lying here, or what?

    And apparently you’re in need of remedial reading coaching as well. I did NOT say that volcanos alone exceeded industrial CO2 production, I said that natural sources did with volcanos as an example.

    I would think Dave ought to be embarrassed releasing this kind of poorly researched work to the general public.

    This isn’t a research article, and it’s not a scientific article, it’s a political opinion piece. Can you not tell the difference?

    As far as my own carbon dioxide emissions (or if you prefer my own hydrocarbon consumption)

    Based on your comments here I’m more concerned about your methane emissions.

    and my own science (or if you prefer, my own intelligent design), I am well known in the alternative energy business, and my scientific papers are in the public domain.

    Really? You couldn’t get them published with a copyright in a respectable journal?

    Perhaps before you start hooting like a baboon and exposing your ignorance and bias, you should read some of my many other pieces on BC about alternative energy. I’m hardly the reactionary anti-environmentalist you take me for.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Wow, I visited Elifritz’s website. I highly recommend it. With friends like him the left-wing doesn’t need any enemies.

    Dave

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    Dave, you really need to get yourself an education. You know, a real education, not social studies or political science or economics. There are numerous other lines of evidence in support of this. This is what you said :

    human output of the gasses which cause global warming is substantially less than the output of natural sources like volcanoes

    wikipedia article

    http://www.radix.net article

    Clearly volcanic carbon dioxide emissions are trivial. Yet you continue to lie to yourself and everbody else, what’s up with that?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    [Entire comment deleted]

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    Right, from Dave you learned that all science is wrong, even though science produced the supercomputer on your desktop, and the high performance global network, that allows us all to communicate, and from me you learned that volcanic carbon dioxide emissions are truly trivial compared to global carbon dioxide fluxes. I’s so sorry you find that I’m so arrogant to bring up that little point, which you still for some strange irrational reason still refuse to believe. Why is that?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Perhaps you need to go in for some remedial grammatical instruction. Do you not see how ‘natural sources’ is the object and ‘volcanoes’ is a subordinate example? Would you like to claim that human sources produce more CO2 than everything else in the world put together?

    If you cannot properly comprehend a fairly straightforward English sentence you should probably avoid commenting on it and looking like a fool.

    BTW, your second article (which quite out of date) shows clearly that I’m correct even with the vague figures it uses for CO2 production from various sources.

    And sorry for having all my degrees in ‘liberal arts’ rather than science, but even in those schools they taught us that asking questions was a good thing, not a bad thing.

    You’re rapidly proving yourself to be exactly the kind of closed-minded, dogmatic, true-believer this article is about.

    Dave

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    And you have clearly demonstrated yourself to be an anti-science illiterate. I understand you are a pathological liar, and I presented convincing evidence of one specific lie. The body of evidence is so overwhelming that your psychopathology is self evident for even casual readers. Since you persist in your pathological beliefs even when confronted with gross evidence to the contrary, it hardly seems worthwhile to continue.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Must be nice to live in an alternate reality Tom, I understand Spock has a beard there?

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    Yes, all the world’s scientists are wrong, but some political hack from Texas has the great insights.

    It makes me wonder how you even make your computer work. I guess this is what passes for truth for you guys nowadays. It makes me ashamed even to be an American. I notice your anti-science fan club has suddenly become particularly silent.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    You’ve obviously never read any of my articles on astronomy. I’m ashamed you’re an American too. I bet you’re even a Hetrosexual trouble maker… I know your kind.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    And you have clearly demonstrated yourself to be an anti-science illiterate.

    What ARE you babbling about? I’m supporting scientific inquiry against unreasoning dogmatism.

    I understand you are a pathological liar, and I presented convincing evidence of one specific lie.

    Sorry, I missed that part. All I saw was where you misread a sentence and got worked into a demented frenzy.

    I notice your anti-science fan club has suddenly become particularly silent.

    You really, really didn’t get the point of this article at all, did you.

    It’s 3am, Elifritz. Only people who have small children (me), people with health problems (Jet) and obsessive cranks (you) are still up at this hour.

    Just a thought. Rather than hurling inusults at me out of pure ignorance, why don’t you find something calming to do with your time. Maybe Yoga or reading a good book. You seem to have rage issues.

    Dave

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    I guess you missed the part in astronomy where carbon dioxide in a polyatomic molecule with infrared active bending modes.

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    On the contrary, hydrocarbon combustion and carbon dioxide global warming induced climate change is not unsubstantiated dogma, it’s solid irrefutable science, and your continued denial is pathological. And I’m not raging at all, I’m very calmly punching holes in just about everything you say, which isn’t all that hard, except you being irrational and all, it’s almost impossible to get your attention.

    BTW : peer reviewed published science papers are in the public domain under fair use principles.

    Of course, you wouldn’t know about those things, being of an anti-science good old boy persuasion.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I used to have a blue one, but I left it in the refridgerator too long and now it’s yellow. Probably a product of osmosis caused by a pink one with yellow stripes I used to keep in the egg compartment.

    Duh I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Thomas, I bow to your superior knowledge, you are a saint of science a credit to the human race, and I’m proud to be able to brag that you grace this website with your wisdom and superior knowledge.

    we should all throw our keyboards away, and only allow you to express your informed opinions.

    now.. do you have anything further to add to that?

    By the way Dave it’s after 4 here. I’m going to litterally cry myself to sleep here in a few minutes.

    Nice talking to you…

    Carus deus, quis have ego commissio?
    Jet

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    Duh I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Of course you don’t, you’re fundamentally anti-science. Yet you are so confident in your anti-science opinions that all the world’s scientists are wrong about global warming, even though they are demonstrably right about quantum mechanics, as evidence by the massive amount of functioning electronics hardware sitting on your desktop, and in your entertainment center.

    Now, doesn’t it seem odd that all those wires and transistors actually work? Of course it doesn’t, because you are irrational.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    …Oh I could tell you why
    The ocean’s near the shore.

    I could sit and think of things I neved did before
    and then I’d sit…
    and think some more!

    I would not be just a nuthin (compared to Tommy)
    My head all full os stuffin’
    My heart all full of pain.

    I could laugh and be merry, life would be a dingaderry.

    If I only had a braaaaaaaaaaaaaaain!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    On the contrary, hydrocarbon combustion and carbon dioxide global warming induced climate change is not unsubstantiated dogma,

    Intelligent Design isn’t unsubstantiated either, it’s just based on evidence which many consider valid only because of faith.

    it’s solid irrefutable science, and your continued denial is pathological.

    What denial? I’ve never denied the existence of global warming. I’m standing up for the scientific method here and pointing out that when you stop questioning a belief and take it as gospel it becomes a matter of faith rather than of science.

    BTW : peer reviewed published science papers are in the public domain under fair use principles.

    Then why do they keep trying to charge me $30 to access them at various university libraries?

    Of course, you wouldn’t know about those things, being of an anti-science good old boy persuasion.

    Yup, that’s me. The anti-science good ole boy. That’s why I had all my students call me ‘bubba’ when I was teaching college.

    I’m impressed with your ability to know everything about me with absolutely no evidence to go on. Is that the same methodology you use to investigate global warming?

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    It’s late here too, Jet and the kiddo is finally dozing off. I’m heading to bed with a giggle knowing that I’ve finally managed to attract a troll [Edited]
    Dave

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    In other words, you are PROUD to be an anti-science illiterate.

    Why am I not surprised? I find it quite remarkable that you compare climate science with intelligent design, use easily debunked bogus propaganda quotes, and then call it a political opinion piece.

    What is more surprising to me that you would be surprised that someone with even a moderate amount of science training would run across your ludicrous op-ed in casual internet searching, and then challenge your ridiculous assertions in an open forum. And every aspect of your so called political op-ed (blatantly anti-science in every respect) was indeed stupid beyond belief, so stupid that it just isn’t worth my time to point you to the real science, except for the one error so blatant (volcanic carbon dioxide emissions are so trivial they don’t show up at all in recent records) that it would be a disservice to the republic not to call you on it. It’s also quite remarkable that so many gullible goobers and gomers here continue to digest and accept that crap you so cheerfully spew forth in the name of journalism.

    [Edited]

  • troll

    Thomas – assuming that the scientific evidence you cite is correctly interpreted…what actions do you support that would have a significant and timely impact on the warming trend – ?

    troll

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Troll, I’m convinced he’s more intersted in calling people liars, spouting platitudes, and putting down Texas than he is in an actual intelligent debate.

    Good luck

    Carus deus, quis have ego commissio?
    Jet

  • troll

    we’ll see I guess

    and good luck with your pain today Jet – have you found anything that reduces the burning sensation – ?

    troll

  • http://jswynne.typepad.com/gropes/ Jim Wynne

    If there is a connection between religious creationism (that’s what ID is) and climate science, it’s the fact that the people who believe in the former are also the most likely to be global warming deniers. In other words, people who are scientifically clueless, and get their information from web pages and bible tracts.

  • Maurice

    Wow.

    You guys should have gone to bed before it got so ugly.

    TLE – I have been designing semiconductors for 20 years and currently work in R & D. Everybody in my building has at least a EE and we have many CEs. It is a diverse culture of very smart people. Oddly enough (to me) about 60% of these 600 engineers believe in god. I don’t know why. It takes a tremendous amount of faith to believe such a thing.

    It takes even more faith to believe that puny mankind could somehow alter the weather. I always think of Dr. Evil….

    …I call it…Preparation H. Preparation G was a complete failure you know…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Troll, If your talking about my eyes no, I’m going to OSU this morning to see about the tear duct constantly running.

    A doctor gave me some drops called Vigamox, but they’re not helping

    Thanks for asking.

  • RedTard

    Why even respond to TLE, he is so ill informed as to actually prove Nalle’s point about the religious nature of global warming nuts.

    From the DOE website total CO2 emissions annually is about 213 Billion Tons, of that 6.3 Billion tons is contrubuted by humans equalling less than 3% of total emissions.

    The question to humanity is, is the 3% of emissions we can control worth handing over the reigns of industry to the government, becoming less efficient, and damaging our economies.

    To far left socialists and the like this is a great development. They already wanted more government control of industry and this is a great scare tactic they can use convince people to allow it. That’s why you’ll see them pressing the issue in lockstep.

    You ‘contribute’ to global warming every time you breath or fart. Wearing a ventilator and a buttplug is a little bit extreme to stop your minor contribution, likewise, doing irreparable harm to our freedoms and economies is not worth the minor impact we could have on the sliver of carbon economy we have control of.

  • troll

    Jet – *If your talking about my eyes no*

    lol – well I’m not talking about the flames of hell licking at your heels

    hope today works out for you

    troll

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    From the DOE website total CO2 emissions annually is about 213 Billion Tons, of that 6.3 Billion tons is contrubuted by humans equalling less than 3% of total emissions.

    That’s the one figure I didn’t put in my earlier listing and should have. My figure – if it wasn’t clear – was for the total free CO2 in the atmosphere on average at any given time. Right now most of the 213 billion tons produced in a year is balanced out by CO2 being absorbed gradually by various carbon sinks, especially the ocean, so the total stays around 750 billion tons. We have a CO2 problem if, as Elfritz and others believe, a little less is absorbed every year than is created. The question is whether that excess is greater or less than humans produce. And, of course, the ecosystem does its share to maintain balance – like melting the icecaps which raises the ocean levels and thus absorbs more CO2.

    But hey, I’m not a physicist specializing in semiconducter theory, so what do I know.

    Dave

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    It takes even more faith to believe that puny mankind could somehow alter the weather.

    I guess some people were just born dumb. Or maybe it’s an environmental thing.

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    It might help if you learned how to spell semiconductor. Your ignorance of science is stunning, to say the least. When you refer to global warming ‘nuts’ you are referring to very nearly every scientist on the planet. The only ones still denying climate science are those on the oil industry payroll. That makes your beliefs pathological, something like claiming you’ve proved the existance of God. By associating science with religion, you have condemned yourself.

    These posts are archived, and I intend to distribute this URL far and wide over the coming weeks. Good luck, you’re going to need it. You’ve blatantly labeled yourself a fool for all the world to see. I’m sure you are very proud of that.

  • http://jswynne.typepad.com/gropes/ Jim Wynne

    In an effort to bring a little sanity to the discussion, and to reference what seems to be the favorite source for information on science (the web, rather than primary sources), have a look at what the EPA has to say on the subject:

    Scientists know for certain that human activities are changing the composition of Earth’s atmosphere. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide (CO2 ), in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times have been well documented. There is no doubt this atmospheric buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is largely the result of human activities.

    (Emphasis added)

    Anyone who has objectively reviewed the primary literature knows this is true. There is no doubt that warming is occuring, and that there is a factor of human contribution involved. What we don’t know for sure is the significance of human contribution, and what the likely future effects of warming might be. Again, from the EPA:

    Figuring out to what extent the human-induced accumulation of greenhouse gases since pre-industrial times is responsible for the global warming trend is not easy. This is because other factors, both natural and human, affect our planet’s temperature. Scientific understanding of these other factors – most notably natural climatic variations, changes in the sun’s energy, and the cooling effects of pollutant aerosols – remains incomplete.

    Nevertheless, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated there was a “discernible” human influence on climate; and that the observed warming trend is “unlikely to be entirely natural in origin.” In the most recent Third Assessment Report (2001), IPCC wrote “There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.”

    In short, scientists think rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are contributing to global warming, as would be expected; but to what extent is difficult to determine at the present time.

    Anyone who’s not concerned about appearing to be stupid can deny the existence of global warming and human contributions to it, just as everyone is free to believe that the holocaust never happened, and that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, and the moon landings were faked. The fact is, though, that the real questions that need to be answered assume that warming is happening and that human activity contributes to it.

    It’s unreasonably difficult to find out how much, or what it actually means, so long as such a large, ignorant segment of the population insists on denying the bloody obvious.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    When you refer to global warming ‘nuts’ you are referring to very nearly every scientist on the planet.

    The next time I refer to ‘global warming nuts’ will be the FIRST time I have ever done so. You might want to work on your reading and attribution skills.

    The only ones still denying climate science are those on the oil industry payroll.

    I don’t know of any scientists who are denying climate change and I never said that I did. Keep setting up straw men to attack. What debate there is centers on human causality and human ability to counterract climate change, but that”s not even the issue here.

    That makes your beliefs pathological, something like claiming you’ve proved the existance of God. By associating science with religion, you have condemned yourself.

    I’m not associating science with religion [Edited]. I’m associating the behavior of irrational advocates of a particular theory with the irrational advocates of another particular theory. My point is clearly lost on you because you are so busy attacking things I haven’t said that you haven’t bothered to pay any attention to what I am actually saying.

    These posts are archived, and I intend to distribute this URL far and wide over the coming weeks. Good luck, you’re going to need it. You’ve blatantly labeled yourself a fool for all the world to see. I’m sure you are very proud of that.

    Go wild. You prove my point with every comment you make, demonstrating unequivocally that there are adherents of global warming who approach it with the same unscientific mentality of pure religious fanaticism as the believers in intelligent design.

    Dave

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    The only debate about the causes of global warming and climate change is in the minds of anti-science [Edited] like you. [Edited]

  • RedTard

    “The only debate about the causes of global warming and climate change is in the minds of anti-science fools like you.”

    The real problem is the nuts on the far left who take half truths and try and scare people into implementing policies they’ve always advocated, long before the potential threat of global warming reared it’s head.

    Your a cheap scare monger doing exactly the same thing you likely accuse Bush of over terrorism. Please send people to this URL and let them judge for themselves who the lunatics are.

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    You confuse enlightement with fear. I’m not trying to scare you, I’m trying to enlighten you. Apparently you find reality scary. That’s your problem, not mine. There are lots of scary things out there (including humans and governments), and if you have to live next to these things, or inside of these things, it’s good to actually know that they exist, and what you can do to protect yourself.

    However, apparently you prefer fear and ignorance over enlightenment. Considering your handle, I can understand your position.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    And now folks we’ve been joined by a far-right Republican hetrosexual trouble maker who must brand everyone who disagrees with him “far left”.

    do you realize how many people who would otherwise agree with you that you alienate with that shit?

    Carus deus, quis have ego commissio?
    Jet

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    [Edited] Jim Wynne supports the same basic position, but he does it relatively rationally and therefore advances the cause much more effectively. That’s a key thing. If you’re advocating a scientific position, do it like a scientist not like an evangelist. People will take you more seriously.

    Dave

  • RedTard

    “You confuse enlightement with fear. I’m not trying to scare you, I’m trying to enlighten you. Apparently you find reality scary.”

    I’m so scared that one of many factors affecting the global climate has a little less than 3% contribution from humans. With draconian regulation, radical controls, and expensive add-on equipment unfairly burdening the industrialized aconomies we MIGHT be able to reduce our 2.9% downward which MIGHT possibly do something slow the progress of one of the factors of warming in theory.

    Or we could continue growth and modernization, implement controls where they are economical, deal with the fluctuation of a degree or two as they occur, and continue to monitor the climate for additional imformation. That’s the logical tack Republicans are heading toward and I support it completely.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Seen any Forest Strangers lately ReDtard?

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    I’m so scared that one of many factors affecting the global climate has a little less than 3% contribution from humans.

    When you repeat those same tired old lies, all you are doing is broadcasting to the world your science illiteracy. Nearly all of the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was put there by humans. The remaining balance is nearly all from feedback effects of rising temperatures and land use changes.

    [Edited]

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    How would you know, not having tried rational discussion yet?

    Sure I did, right off the bat I illuminated your fallacy of claiming that human carbon dioxide emissions are less than volcanos. I even provided references, and pointed out that volcanic carbon dioxide emissions are TRIVIAL. They don’t show up on Mauna Loa records, they are so small they are usually not even mentioned by scientists. They are a non-issue with regards to global warming, yet you continue to defend it. That’s irrational.

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    Perhaps it would be beneficial if you pointed out exactly what inconsistencies I have been ‘caught in’.

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    Oh Come NOW Tommy-I’m a left wing ignorant liberal commie fag who doesn’t know anything about anything-you’ve said so clearly yourself.

    Actually, no, I didn’t, I merely pointed out that you know little or nothing about science, yet are confident enough to pass judgement on it, based upon the most flimsy and blatant of lies. On top of that, you claim I am a troll, but reading through your posts, I can only conclude that you are projecting.

    Now you admit that there are no consistancies in my posts. Ok, I can see here that all I’m doing is disrupting your lives, sorry, I’m out of here.

    Thanks for all the wonderful memories.

  • troll

    Thomas – it seems Jet was correct about you back in #91

    how about an answer…what can be done now to influence the situation – for this you might need to think politically and (feh!) realistically…or is this truly a bitch fest among high priests

    troll

  • NP

    My understanding is that climate is constantly changing. The planet’s been around for a bit longer than we are capable of observing/measuring temperature change or climate change. Therefore, we have no idea if human contribution is part of the problem, nor if humans can even contribute to the “solution.”

    Fear-mongering that the theory of global warming is inevitable will only affect government controls and policy decisions today, not the climate of 100 years from now. This will ultimately limit the Third world countries hoping to modernize and merely maintain their inferior status.

    If the Earth feels the need to warm up a bit to be rid of the annoying little pest of humanity, then so be it.

  • IgnatiusReilly

    “It takes even more faith to believe that puny mankind could somehow alter the weather.”

    Really? You might want to talk to the puny humans who seed clouds.

    was the word “fools” actually edited? if people are that sensitive, they should stay off the Internet.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    I knew if I made enough references to him, someone would run and wake Chris up. Thank god they did.

    Carus deus, quis have ego commissio?
    Jet

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    I was hoping that experienced BCers would know the comments guidelines well enough not to waken the censor devil, but alas no…
    ;-)

  • Mr. Null

    regardless of the CO2 stat details and all the fine bits of science debated in the comments here, I find it kind of moot. I thik the article’s premise is flawed – I take issue with the whole comparison of ID and Global Climate Change.

    Okay, let’s say for the sake of argument that the source and effects of global climate change are contentious. Regardless, there’s a lot of scientific inquiry going on, lots of study, a ton of research papers being produced, and numerous theories. There is Real Science happening about this right now. Theories are not immutable, and every day new studies are taking place and new data is being collected about the causes and effects of global warming.

    (and I use “theory” in the scientific context, meaning “a testable/falsifiable explanation to fit specific datasets.” As in “theory of gravitation.”)

    Scientists are not being dogmatic about global climate change. There’s a lot of work being done in the field to explain it, determine causation, and determine solutions – the only “faith” involved is such that, yes, we *can* empirically demonstrate and model accurate causation for climate change. Nobody in the legitimate scientific community is throwing up their hands at this point and just saying “that’s it, we’re done studying this, it’s impossible to know.”

    (I’d argue that the human-causation theory is popular not because of blind belief but because the models back it up, but that’s an argument for a different time).

    As far as ID goes? There are a few poorly-written books which have already been shown to be full of holes (Behe’s bits about blood clotting and the immune system have already been shown to be “reducible.”) There’s no research (it’s not possible – how do you research “something we can’t explain did it?” ) no published, peer-reviewed papers, and finally – it’s not even a scientific theory. It’s a few well-funded guys trying to wedge bad theology into good science.

    Comparing Global Climate change theories to ID is like comparing subatomic physics to astrology. One has a lot of contentious theories but has methodical science being done, the other’s just spooky guesses.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Sure I did, right off the bat

    Right off the bat you insulted me, insulted my educational background, and misrepresented what I had written in the article, which you then persisted to do over and over.

    I illuminated your fallacy of claiming that human carbon dioxide emissions are less than volcanos.

    Which I never did and which you keep repeating even after I carefully explained what I had actually written. It’s insulting that you are attributing positions to me which I never held and then arguing against those positions.

    I even provided references, and pointed out that volcanic carbon dioxide emissions are TRIVIAL. They don’t show up on Mauna Loa records, they are so small they are usually not even mentioned by scientists. They are a non-issue with regards to global warming, yet you continue to defend it. That’s irrational.

    And again, it was NEVER what I said. I said natural causes and mentioned volcanoes as ONE of those natural causes. Yet you persist in lying about what I said. If you want an argument why don’t you find a legitimate one instead of making up what I said and arguing with that straw man.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I knew if I made enough references to him, someone would run and wake Chris up. Thank god they did.

    He’s on European time. It’s amusing that he has joined us here, but lamentably he seems to have randomly edited my comments even though they were not personal attacks – except the one where I called Elifritz a buffoon – editing that one was okay.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Mr. Null. I agree with you that the argument for climate change is a LOT more convincing than it the argument for ID is, but that may just be because I’m more sympathetic to science than I am to religion.

    As has been well demonstrated on this thread, the climate change community has a real problem with advocates who are not rational, who don’t look at the subject scientifically, and who treat it as a messianic mission, rather than a science.

    When you’re dealing with a complex system, with studies based on models rather than definitive evidence, and with largely hypothetical explanations for phenomena which might be explained in many different ways, there’s a huge gray area. At some point climate scientists say that they’ve seen enough evidence and they’re convinced. The good scientists make that a qualified decision. The fanatics declare the research and theories to be perfect, absolute and unassailable.

    It’s this latter attitude which I object to. The transformation from science to dogma is a problem because when a theory becomes dogma then further serious consideration of it as science stops. The true believers discourage research which might call the theory into question and they stygmatize those who look for other explanations and factors they may have missed.

    Most of us here can agree that global climate change is a problem and we should be very concerned about it. Not all of us agree that it should be immune from further study, analysis and debate.

    Dave

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    I think you should take a leaf from Jet and start adding the footnote “It’s only my opinion”, Dave.

    I didn’t edit only your comments, just all those that seemed unhelpfully antagonistic, which seems to be something you are unusually fond of these days, as you admitted above by setting up the state of the global climate and the intellectual fraud that is Intelligent Design as the basis for your argument in the first place.

    Any scientist worth the name knows full well that all knowledge is subject to continual revision as our understanding develops. The majority of scientists do work very hard to follow professional guidelines and it is always both a shock and bitterly disappointing to see such wise techniques abandoned for dishonourable partisanship.

    My understanding is that it is more the campaigning groups and activists rather than serious scientists that get somewhat more dogmatic, which is regrettable if understandable given the context of vested interests, inertia and ignorance that, almost by definition, any new ideas have to overcome.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I think you should take a leaf from Jet and start adding the footnote “It’s only my opinion”, Dave.

    One would think that people could figure that out in the case of any statement that doesn’t include a link or a reference.

    I didn’t edit only your comments, just all those that seemed unhelpfully antagonistic, which seems to be something you are unusually fond of these days, as you admitted above by setting up the state of the global climate and the intellectual fraud that is Intelligent Design as the basis for your argument in the first place.

    As I stated earlier, the intent of this article was to provoke debate and it’s been remarkably successful so far, perfectly proving my point that when debate stops the quality of reason is weakened.

    Any scientist worth the name knows full well that all knowledge is subject to continual revision as our understanding develops. The majority of scientists do work very hard to follow professional guidelines and it is always both a shock and bitterly disappointing to see such wise techniques abandoned for dishonourable partisanship.

    I absolutely agree.

    My understanding is that it is more the campaigning groups and activists rather than serious scientists that get somewhat more dogmatic, which is regrettable if understandable given the context of vested interests, inertia and ignorance that, almost by definition, any new ideas have to overcome.

    Dogmatism has taken such hold on this issue that new ideas are being stiffled before they can even be aired. That’s a very unhealthy environment for science.

    Dave

  • http://jswynne.typepad.com/gropes/ Jim Wynne

    Dave Nalle said:Dogmatism has taken such hold on this issue that new ideas are being stiffled before they can even be aired.

    Every time I think I’m about to agree with you, you poop another unsupported assertion. “Dogmatism,” in this context, is the word cranks and shills use to refer to the practice of accepting the most reliable information.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Jim, that’s certainly not the way I intended to use it. I used it in the more traditional sense of beliefs which are set in stone and considered unassailable.

    I’m fine with accepting the most reliable information, so long as we don’t decide that ideas which may challenge that information should just be thrown out because they don’t fit within the accepted parameters. That’s where we run into problems.

    And the truth is that the ‘cranks and shills’ may be out there, but there are also legitimate scientists who question aspects of the accepted climate change theory, who believe that solar activity may be a larger factor than is generally acknowledged, or who have genuine concerns about the meaninfgulness of human contributions in the context of the much larger natural sources of these gasses. Just because they question accepted theory that does NOT mean that they should be ignored, insulted and marginalized. That’s not the way that scientific inquiry is supposed to work.

    Dave

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Wow I have some catching up to do.

  • RedTard

    “‘I’m so scared that one of many factors affecting the global climate has a little less than 3% contribution from humans.’

    When you repeat those same tired old lies, all you are doing is broadcasting to the world your science illiteracy.”

    Those statistics come right from the US Dept. Of Energy. Most people consider them reasonable estimates or facts. It just so happens that the 3% statistic doesn’t support your alarmist viewpoint. Who’s dismissing scientific evidence now?

    Even if the silly assumption is correct, that all climate fluctuation is caused by one factor: carbon dioxide. Humans are contrubuting less than 3% to the cycle, period. It’s not worth making radical changes to our economic system to change a small percentage of one factor that may, in theory, effect the climate.

    Few people would be debating global warming as a scientific theory if politicians weren’t attempting to use it as a scare tactic to score political points and implement their left wing agenda. Those on the right aren’t anti-science we’re anti-fearmongering nutjobs.

  • http://cosmic.lifeform.org Thomas Lee Elifritz

    [Edited. That’s enough now, Thomas. You and Dave have butted heads ’til mine hurts. Let’s stick to debating the issues from now on. Thanks. Comments Editor]

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I don’t even know what a ‘science charity case’ is, but I do appreciate the efforts of those who work in the sciences so that we all benefit.

    I notice that you avoid addressing any factual disputes of your position in favor of going after the strawmen you erect yourself. Perhaps you could take a moment to respond to RedTard’s concise and straightforward point in #128.

    Dave

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    1. I have a problem with the stats cited in Dave # 70, and those linked to by TLE in # 63, specifically the one about the amount of CO2 released by the eruption of Krakatoa. TLE’s link says 14-26 million tons of SO2 was released and the amount of CO2 relative to this was insignificant. Dave, however, sites the much larger figure of 40 billion tons! I wonder if your statistic dave might be the total amount of carbon , not carbon dioxide. Just a guess, but Krakatoa did release a lot of ash and carbon-containing solid material (six cubic miles), and only combustion reactions, trapped gas, etc could release it as Co2 gas. Anyways… do you have a link Dave?

    2. On this 3% figure from the DOE… several people have stated this figure concerning the percent contribution of anthropogenic sources at 3% of total global emissions of Co2. I thank Dave for being the first to point out (in #98) that this may be a very significant number if not balanced by similar increases in Co2 absorption by the so called “sinks” (oceans). I want to point out that this 3% contribution is a contribution that is entirely unnatural and which has never been tested on the earth. This statistic is very misleading for its apparent minimilization of human impact. The other 97% contributors are contributors that have evolved a balance with the earths powers of absorption over hundreds of thousands and even millions of years.

    However, even in your correction of RedTard you make a new, different, mistake.
    “Right now most of the 213 billion tons produced in a year is balanced out by CO2 being absorbed gradually by various carbon sinks, especially the ocean, so the total stays around 750 billion tons.”
    No! the total is not staying around 750 billion tons!!! It is going up at around 1.5ppm / year! A .5% increase anually! In fact, since the date of your information the mass of Co2 in the atmoshpere has risen to 2.97 trillion tons (2006). However, I highly suspect that, again (see my first point), your stats are for the mass of Carbon, not carbon dioxide – hence the much lower mass of 750 billion. If i subtract the mass of oxygen contained in Co2 from the mass of Co2 (my 2006 statistic) i get a number very close to yours, 810 billion tons. Very suspicious. Either way, atmoshperic carbon dioxide is not at all staying around 750 billion tons. (I recognize this might have been a slip of the tongue on your part, but it is an important point so I felt obligated to correct it).

    3. On the subject of sinks, you say…
    “And, of course, the ecosystem does its share to maintain balance – like melting the icecaps which raises the ocean levels and thus absorbs more CO2.” (Dave)
    Well, ignoring the fact that melting the icecaps is a very bad way to balance global temperature (20+ft rise in ocean level), I wanted to point out that as far as I know melting icepack is a much less significant way the earth balances Co2 (as you probably know). The most important negative feedback system that is working to our advantage is the oceans. The warmer water becomes, the more Co2 it is able to absorb. As the globe’s temperature rises due to Co2, the ocean temperature rises and absorbs more Co2, slowing the rise of and eventually reaching a balance with the increased Co2 emissions caused by humans (this assumes that human emissions do not increase any further – which they are). In fact, the studies I have read estimate that this balance with the oceans and other negative feedback systems will not be reached until the Co2 concentration rises from its present level of 381 ppm, to between 700 and 1,000ppm, that is if the human contribution to Co2 emissions is freezed at 3% (currently it is increasing but future laws and technology usage may decrease it). I want to point out the last time Co2 conc was 1,000 ppm was 50 million years ago, when there was no ice at the north or south poles and ocean levels were close to 100ft higher. Not to mention 120 degree average temperatures in present day NYC.

    Pointing out the earth’s negative feedback mechanisms is an important point – the future effects of these sinks are not fully known and will have a large role in climate change – but it must not be confused with the hope that they are capable of balancing Co2 levels at any historically normal level as several of you have implied.

    4. I find it disturbing statements like…
    “The real problem is the nuts on the far left who take half truths and try and scare people into implementing policies they’ve always advocated, long before the potential threat of global warming reared it’s head.” (Redtard)

    and

    “That still leaves the lie. The entire opinion piece is laughable. Volcanic carbon dioxide emissions are several orders of magnitude less than industrial carbon dioxide emissions. Do you even comprehend the meaning of ‘several orders of magnitude’?
    You may now continue deluding yourselves silly.”
    (Thomas L. E.)

    and do i dare…
    “Based on your comments here I’m more concerned about your methane emissions.” (Dave)

    …appear in an article principally about groups that “have their issues of absolute belief which they hold to be inviolable with equal levels of vehemence and obsession…” and NOT about the validity of global warming. Well, you definately did irritate people on this one Dave, including me… Keep it up :).

    5. I’m insulted I’m not included in comment #107. I guess Jim’s just smarter than me. :*(.
    looking forward to all your responses,

    PETI

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Redtard #128… although I agree your statement,

    “‘I’m so scared that one of many factors affecting the global climate has a little less than 3% contribution from humans.'”

    is not a lie, it does misrepresent the facts. The actual % contribution of humans to rising Co2 levels is above 45%. The figure you site is the % contribution of humans to Co2 emissions in general. Do not confuse the two. While humans play a minor role in emitting Co2, they play a major role (45+%) in the raising of Co2 levels in the sense that the increase is principally due to the new disturbances humans are causing by converting Co2 stored in hydrocarbons for millions of years, into Co2 gas in a very short period. The problem with the 3% contribution of humans to Co2 emissions is NOT that it is a large contribution. It is that it is a contribution the earth is not accustomed to and is only now beginning to adjust to (warming temps, melting ice caps, etc.)

  • Clavos

    Peti,

    You said in #132 that you find this comment of Dave’s disturbing:

    “Based on your comments here I’m more concerned about your methane emissions.” (Dave)

    C’mon, man. Lighten up a little; that was a smart crack that tle MORE than had coming to him, given the vitriolic and insulting way he chooses to present his viewpoint.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Redart # 128 again..
    “Few people would be debating global warming as a scientific theory if politicians weren’t attempting to use it as a scare tactic to score political points and implement their left wing agenda. Those on the right aren’t anti-science we’re anti-fearmongering nutjobs.”

    Politicians don’t score political points by talking about global warming. Look what happened to one of the last politicians to discuss global warming seriously. Al Gore is now one of the most hated men in America. And what left wing agenda implementation are you referring to??? For six years virtually no left wing agenda has made it out of committee now that the Presidency, Supreme Court, and both houses of Congress are controlled by Republicans/Conservatives. Bush has seemlessly implemented his environmental policy even though it has never been passed into law. And when was the last time a politician ever told you the world is going to end? The fact is talking about death and destruction does not score political points in general. If you want to criticize some environmental groups as fear-mongering.. go right ahead, im sure they’re out there.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Yes i know Clavos, I found it very amusing too! And yes, TLE had it more than coming to him. I was just pointing out the irony.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    I included it last more as joke myself. I guess you guys just don’t like my jokes.

  • Clavos

    Fair enuff, Peti. I didn’t get it, but I often don’t.

  • Clavos

    Why is the font so tiny on this thread??? Is it just me? Anyone?

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    I think just you :(… mines fine.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Clavos, click view, and then click text size, and adjust it to your liking, I’ve had to increase mine to largest, trust me it helps.

    Jet

  • Clavos

    Thanks, Jet. Oddly, this is the only thread I have this problem on.

  • http://jswynne.typepad.com/gropes/ Jim Wynne

    I’ll bet this guy is also a global-warming denier. Note the reference to “dogmatic thinking.”

  • Dan

    The strength of intelligent design proponents isn’t in proving God, or denying the fossil record. Certainly, no credible evolution opponent relies on this:

    “Inconvenient fossil records predating the biblical creation of the earth? God created them to test our faith.”

    No, The strength of ID is in examining the fossil record and pointing out that virtually no evolutionary transitional life forms exist. As they should if Evolutionists of faith are to fulfill the evolutionary prophecy.

    Except for some fantastic frauds perpetrated by over-zealous evolution fanciers –later exposed by newer scientific evidence, such as carbon dating– evolutionists have yet to match any substantial decisive evidence to their hypothesis. The honest evolutionists admit this. Their still searching though.

    Belief in God has always been a matter of faith. It’s a default position. If the default position is to be overturned by science, ID proponents simply ask, Where’s the beef? It seems that the burden of proof should be on the newcomer.

    Likewise with Global warming. The default position is that normal fluctuations in temperature over time are natural. They’re not the ones trying to prove anything.

    For instance, normal fluctuation proponents look at the temperature data of the 20th century and ask, if global warming is exasperated by burning fossil fuels, then why did over half of the warming occur between 1900 – 1945? Prior to the more rampant spewing of emissions.

    By the way, has anyone ever come across any theory as to why there are ice ages? I think I’ve heard that they occur regularly every 80 – 90 thousand years, but I’ve never seen any scientific theory for causation.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    *clears throat*…ok first of all there is substantial evidence of evolution. Evolution is actually obervable within our lifetimes. I will concede that substantial aspects of evolution remain unclear but with a multitude of viable theories available with explanations. Having never researched ID theory myself, or any of its counterarguments, I can say from my primitive study of Biology that the reason there are few transitional species is that evolution tends to happen all at once, and then lull for millions of years. If i remember correctly, this is known to evolutionary scientists as punctuated equilibrium. Since most of the morphological change in a new species occurred during the relatively short period following speciation, it would be very unlikely to find it in the fossil record.
    Anyways, your acknowledgement of carbon dating as a valid measurement of age would seem to automatically rule out any credibility to ID theory which seems to demand the earth be precisely 10,000 years old.
    On the subject of GW you should read my comments #4,22, and 23. On information specific to human causation see Dave’s point #98 and my post #131.

    And in response to your statement:
    “For instance, normal fluctuation proponents look at the temperature data of the 20th century and ask, if global warming is exasperated by burning fossil fuels, then why did over half of the warming occur between 1900 – 1945? Prior to the more rampant spewing of emissions.”

    From everything I have read, you are flat out misinformed. The most rapid warming has occurred in the past decade (six of the ten warmest years since 1850 have occurred in the period 1996-2005). Appropriately 2005 had the hottest average global temperature (from ground observation and satellite data) of any year since accurate records have been kept. Furthermore, you seriously misunderestimate human output of Co2 prior to 1945, which was occurring in massive quantities since the Industrial Revolution. Anyways, temperature does not have to follow Co2 levels precisely proportionally all of the time. Some skipping and hopping is normal in any natural system.

  • MCH

    “It’s amusing that he has joined us here, but lamentably he seems to have randomly edited my comments even though they were not personal attacks – except the one where I called Elifritz a buffoon – editing that one was okay.”
    – Dave Nalle

    Wrong again, Nalle, he WAS correct in editing your personal attacks and name-calling.

  • Clavos

    Waitaminnit, MCH, did you READ the garbage Elfriz was spewing???

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Why are your comments always so short MCH?

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    O cmon, Elfriz wasnt that bad at all!

  • Clavos

    Peti, As you’ve already seen, I try to respect others’ positions in a debate,but this guy was rude, arrogant, and insulting–and those were his good points!

    I’m talking about the WAY he addressed everyone, NOT the opinions he expressed.

    Civility is an important element of rational discourse.

  • duane

    The article is not about ID per se. but I would like to respond to Dan (#144), who says

    Belief in God has always been a matter of faith. It’s a default position. If the default position is to be overturned by science ….

    This is a gross misconception. The role of science has nothing to do with overturning faith in superbeings. The goal of science is to describe Nature, and to construct theories of underlying physical causes of observed natural phenomena. Omnipotent, universal beings lie in the realm of the supernatural, and therefore, by definition lie outside the purview of science.

    I apologize to the rest of you for having to state the obvious.

    … ID proponents simply ask, Where’s the beef?

    And so they will continue to ask until the end of time. In the meantime, while you skeptics of science inexplicably stand there with your arms folded, scientific inquiry marches on, and you feel qualified to pick and choose among the science that you will believe and the science you won’t. Do you believe in atoms? Cells? The Big Bang? Plate tectonics? Relativity? Modern medicine? Dinosaurs? Quantum mechanics? Radio astronomy? If so, why? If not, why not?

    It seems that the burden of proof should be on the newcomer.

    Like Carl Sagan used to say, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” In my world, your claim that there is a big guy in the sky watching over us is an extraordinary claim. In my world, the burden of proof is yours. You have not a shred of proof. See, I don’t even have to ask if you have proof. I know absolutely that you don’t. It is a matter of faith, as you say.

    The strength of intelligent design proponents …

    An odd choice of words. I see ID proponents as scientifically impotent rabble rousers.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    I was messing with you Clavos – took you a whole 5 min to respond! I agree completely, of course. Some of his science was even a little iffy too if i rem correctly.

  • Clavos

    Sorry, peti–I’ll catch your jokes one day, I promise!

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Well maybe they’re just dumb jokes – though it is hard to communicate tone through a computer screen.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    1. I have a problem with the stats cited in Dave # 70, and those linked to by TLE in # 63, specifically the one about the amount of CO2 released by the eruption of Krakatoa. TLE’s link says 14-26 million tons of SO2 was released and the amount of CO2 relative to this was insignificant.

    That would be exactly contrary to every other Volcano in history, then. From my reading CO2 emissions from Volcanoes run about 5-10x the amount of SO2 released. That said, his SO2 figure appeares to be quite low. It sounds like the figures for the Pinetubo erruption which was at least 10 times smaller than Krakatoa.

    Dave, however, sites the much larger figure of 40 billion tons! I wonder if your statistic dave might be the total amount of carbon , not carbon dioxide. Just a guess, but Krakatoa did release a lot of ash and carbon-containing solid material (six cubic miles), and only combustion reactions, trapped gas, etc could release it as Co2 gas. Anyways… do you have a link Dave?

    I had a link yesterday, but I have no idea where it is now. Finding hard data on Krakatoa is difficult because it’s mostly hypothetical or extrapolated from other data. I’ll look for the link again. I believe the figure for total carbon released was considerably higher than the number I quoted, though.

    2. On this 3% figure from the DOE… several people have stated this figure concerning the percent contribution of anthropogenic sources at 3% of total global emissions of Co2. I thank Dave for being the first to point out (in #98) that this may be a very significant number if not balanced by similar increases in Co2 absorption by the so called “sinks” (oceans). I want to point out that this 3% contribution is a contribution that is entirely unnatural and which has never been tested on the earth. This statistic is very misleading for its apparent minimilization of human impact. The other 97% contributors are contributors that have evolved a balance with the earths powers of absorption over hundreds of thousands and even millions of years.

    There’s unnatural and there’s unnatural. Cows are a natural source of CO2 and Methane emissions, but they wouldn’t be emitting 40 billion tons a year if we weren’t raising them in huge numbers for food and dairy products. Does that count as part of the human contribution to global warming? At the same time, it doesn’t matter where the CO2 comes from. All that matters is the total and whether it adds to the accumulated total or balances out. Natural sources could put us in the same situation pretty easily.

    This is an important point. CO2 output from natural sources is a pretty substantial number. 2005 saw a record increase in overall CO2 in the atmoshphere and that increase was only .6%. That’s not much more than the historic yearly fluctuation in atmospheric CO2 levels. It’s a small enough percentage that it could be accounted for by changes in the measuring methodology. It’s much less variation than the difference in CO2 concentrations between sea level and a small mountain. The point being that CO2 may be going up, but it’s going up by a tiny amount every year and it’s on a scale that could be dealt with.

    No! the total is not staying around 750 billion tons!!! It is going up at around 1.5ppm / year! A .5% increase anually! In fact, since the date of your information the mass of Co2 in the atmoshpere has risen to 2.97 trillion tons (2006). However, I highly suspect that, again (see my first point), your stats are for the mass of Carbon, not carbon dioxide – hence the much lower mass of 750 billion. If i subtract the mass of oxygen contained in Co2 from the mass of Co2 (my 2006 statistic) i get a number very close to yours, 810 billion tons. Very suspicious. Either way, atmoshperic carbon dioxide is not at all staying around 750 billion tons. (I recognize this might have been a slip of the tongue on your part, but it is an important point so I felt obligated to correct it).

    You’re right. The 750 billion figure appears to be tons of carbon, not CO2. So by your calculation the human contribution to atmospheric CO2 is really not the 3% previously discussed but enormously less. So the human threat is much less serious than some have suggested.

    Well, ignoring the fact that melting the icecaps is a very bad way to balance global temperature (20+ft rise in ocean level), I wanted to point out that as far as I know melting icepack is a much less significant way the earth balances Co2 (as you probably know). The most important negative feedback system that is working to our advantage is the oceans. The warmer water becomes, the more Co2 it is able to absorb. As the globe’s temperature rises due to Co2, the ocean temperature rises and absorbs more Co2, slowing the rise of and eventually reaching a balance with the increased Co2 emissions caused by humans (this assumes that human emissions do not increase any further – which they are).

    Melting ice caps and higher ocean temperatures pretty much go hand in hand.

    In fact, the studies I have read estimate that this balance with the oceans and other negative feedback systems will not be reached until the Co2 concentration rises from its present level of 381 ppm, to between 700 and 1,000ppm, that is if the human contribution to Co2 emissions is freezed at 3% (currently it is increasing but future laws and technology usage may decrease it). I want to point out the last time Co2 conc was 1,000 ppm was 50 million years ago, when there was no ice at the north or south poles and ocean levels were close to 100ft higher. Not to mention 120 degree average temperatures in present day NYC.

    Just guessing at the math, but won’t it take an awfully long time to reach that balancing point, even at 3%?

    Pointing out the earth’s negative feedback mechanisms is an important point – the future effects of these sinks are not fully known and will have a large role in climate change – but it must not be confused with the hope that they are capable of balancing Co2 levels at any historically normal level as several of you have implied.

    I implied that because the human element in this excess of CO2 is so tiny that very small changes in the ecosystem could negate it very quickly. More forrestation, a small rise in ocean volume and temperature and some simple changes in agricultural methods combined with reducing emissions which we’re already making great progress on, and the imbalance could easily be reversed. Hell, the ethanol industry could save the planet just by the enormous amount of additional planting which would be required to provide all the biomass needed to make enough ethanol to replace petroleum.

    Politicians don’t score political points by talking about global warming. Look what happened to one of the last politicians to discuss global warming seriously. Al Gore is now one of the most hated men in America.

    He is? I’ve almost come to regret not voting for him in 2000. He hasn’t convinced me he’s right about his issues, but I do find him to be interesting and somewhat appealing, which I didn’t until fairly recently.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ah, I see that the tide is turning. It’s about time that the Intelligent Design fanatics got here with their outrage and justifications.

    Dave

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    1. I tried for a while to find Krakatoa information also and the best I could do is find that the amount of solid matter released, by my VERY rough calculations would have weighed in the ballpark of the 40 billion number, which you say is Co2, not solid carbon based materials, which makes me more curious about it! The link would be great if theres any chance of finding it in your comps history…

    Anyways, this discussion of volcanic activity is not that important anyways because they are a naturally occurring event which have had an average frequency over the past 10,000 years to which the earth has become adjusted to. The fact that their one time eruptions surpasses annually human output doesnt mean much at all. The earth has been happily absorbing Co2 from volcanoes for thousands of years to reach the Co2 balance prior to the Industrial Revolution. In fact, if volcanic eruptions like Krakatoa ceased along with human activity, Co2 in the atmosphere would actually DECREASE and drop far below 1800 levels and send the earth into an ice age. Eruptions are required to maintain the balance. The problem is we are adding Co2 on top of these eruptions. You will notice calculations on total global Co2 emissions from all sources, not just humans, do, in fact, include AVERAGE volcanic Co2 output in any given year. The fact that in certain years volcanic activity dwarfs human output is no different than the fact that every single year the combined respiration of all life on earth dwarfs human Co2 output. It is not unique or of any particular singular importance.

    2. “There’s unnatural and there’s unnatural. Cows are a natural source of CO2 and Methane emissions, but they wouldn’t be emitting 40 billion tons a year if we weren’t raising them in huge numbers for food and dairy products. Does that count as part of the human contribution to global warming? At the same time, it doesn’t matter where the CO2 comes from. All that matters is the total and whether it adds to the accumulated total or balances out. Natural sources could put us in the same situation pretty easily.”

    Yes the cow’s respiration and methane production certainly counts as human, but then again you have to subtract the respiration of the animals that would have lived in the cow field otherwise. And of course it is necessary to factor in the decrease in Co2 absorption potential caused by the deforestation to make grazing lands in Brazil.

    I’m not saying it matters where the Co2 comes from – if we could limit natural sources like volcanoes maybe that is the most effective way to reduce Co2 emissions – except in the sense that the 3% emissions coming from humans is the 3% we can control. And it far surpasses the .5% increase being observed in Co2 conc. This is reasuring and disturbing in the sense that global warming is entirely within our control.

    “Natural sources could put us in the same situation pretty easily.”

    NOT TRUE.
    Natural sources could never put us in this situation. The Co2 record shows Co2 has never increased within an order of magnitude of the rate it is currently increasing, in the past 420,000 years of the Vostok record that is.

    3. CO2 output from natural sources is a pretty substantial number. 2005 saw a record increase in overall CO2 in the atmoshphere and that increase was only .6%. That’s not much more than the historic yearly fluctuation in atmospheric CO2 levels. It’s a small enough percentage that it could be accounted for by changes in the measuring methodology. It’s much less variation than the difference in CO2 concentrations between sea level and a small mountain. The point being that CO2 may be going up, but it’s going up by a tiny amount every year and it’s on a scale that could be dealt with.

    This is a manipulation of the statistics, deliberate or not. Singling out one year of Co2 measurements amongst over 50 years of acurate measurents is misleading. Like you say, last year was a record increase of .6%. However, the average increase this decade is close to a .5% increase. The increase over the last 100 years is over 33%. What is startling about Co2 patterns is not how much they may rise and fall from season to season, or rise from year to year, but how consistently and steadily they have risen every single year since measurements have begun.

    4. “Melting ice caps and higher ocean temperatures pretty much go hand in hand.” I figured you knew this … but i thought I’d mention it anyways.

    5. “You’re right. The 750 billion figure appears to be tons of carbon, not CO2. So by your calculation the human contribution to atmospheric CO2 is really not the 3% previously discussed but enormously less. So the human threat is much less serious than some have suggested.”
    The 3% statistic is not my calculation or my own statistic. It is the DOE’s statistic for human contributions to anual Co2 emissions globally. Our confusion over carbon and carbon dioxide had nothing to do with it.

    Just guessing at the math, but won’t it take an awfully long time to reach that balancing point, even at 3%?
    Yes. Over 100 years. But it will take much less time to aproach the balance point (500-600ppm). 500-600ppm would still be very perilous to human existence (over 20 degrees warmer globally, near-complete ice cap melting).

    I implied that because the human element in this excess of CO2 is so tiny that very small changes in the ecosystem could negate it very quickly. More forrestation, a small rise in ocean volume and temperature and some simple changes in agricultural methods combined with reducing emissions which we’re already making great progress on, and the imbalance could easily be reversed.

    Very small changes in the ecosystem cannot change this. The ecosystems emission of Co2 has stayed nearly constant over long periods. Hoping that we have below normal volcanic activity for the the next 200 years will not do us any good. Even if all volcanic activity stopped, it would only slow the trend because they make up less than the 3% we do (volcanoes were around .2% if i rem correctly).

    The problem with counting on the negative feedback of oceans to stabilize this is that it requires the warming to occur first. Then the oceans can absorb the Co2. As I stated above, the ocean would not compensate for the current imbalance until the earth was as hot as it was 50 million years ago. A combination of all of the things you mention is the ONLY way to counteract the imbalance that is occurring.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    The U.S. has consistently set a new Co2 emissions record every single year since measurements began. In fact, the rate of increase in Co2 emissions from the U.S. is accelerating. Slowing or freezing the emissions of Co2 in the U.S. does little good. Emissions levels 10 years ago corresponded with a decade that saw a 1-1.5 ppm increase in Co2 conc annually. Increases of 1-1.5 ppm / year are not acceptable. At that rate Co2 levels will surpass 450 ppm in 50 years. 450 ppm corresponds to a global temp rise of 5-10 degrees fahrenheit and sea level rises of 10-20ft. The amount of U.S. Co2 emissions needs to not only freeze at current levels, but decrease dramatically. Yet consistently every year we set a new record for U.S. Co2 emissions.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    #157 raises a very interesting point which I have never understood.

    • The US has been remarkably successful in reducing auto emissions to the point where smog is gone from most of our cities and our roads are full of ULEVs and SULEVs.

    • The US has negative or neutral population growth, and the baby boom is over so there should be a stable number of drivers.

    • Our economy has been shifting from polluting heavy industry to low polluting services, high tech, entrepreneurism and information tech.

    Yet, somehow, as you point out, our CO2 emissions rise every year. How is that possible? As far as I can tell the only element of our system which is producing more pollution would be power plants, and there’s no way our power consumption could have increased enough to compensate for all these other factors.

    This makes me wonder a lot about the methodology of measuring CO2 emissions, and whether it’s done by sampling or some sort of estimating. If it’s sampling, how do they avoid counting the massive pollution coming from Mexico. And if it’s by estimation, how do we know the estimating models are accurate and not biased?

    Makes me wonder.

    Dave

  • http://www.co2emissions.org.uk Hoggle

    “Volcanoes release more than 130 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.”

    By comparison, the UK alone releases 160 million tonnes per year

    While the US releases over 5000 million tonnes

    A volcanic eruption – even one such as Krakatoa or Mt St Helens – cannot compete with the scale of human intervention in the atmosphere’s CO2 levels. It does, however, release a large quantity of aerosol material that cools the planet for a few years

    Many of the downward spikes in the temperature record are attributable to volcanoes. Similarly, many of the upward spikes are attributable to El Nino events. Mistaking such short-term variations with long-term global trends is the kind of silly mistake most scientists manage to avoid, unlike you, apparently. They are therefore better able to judge the degree to which any theory is supported by the evidence.

    So, David, you are clearly not qualified to present an analysis of the science of global warming. Should you develop the ability to analyse the evidence available with a rational and open mind, you will find yourself led to the same conclusion as all of the real scientists out there.

    Intelligent Design is, of course, complete crapola, dreamt up by fantasists with no respect for scepticism and scientific method. Every element of the ‘theory’ is designed to make it untestable, which makes it unscientific. There is also no evidence at all to support the supposed mechanisms.

    By comparison, global warming is easily tested. Just wait 10 years and watch global temperatures continue to accelerate upwards. The mechanism is also well-proven to exist, as the physics of infra-red radiation and CO2 have been demonstrated repeatedly. Moreover, the existence of the greenhouse effect is proven by the fact that the Earth is not a lifeless ball of rock and ice.

    While you are wasting your time hoping that black is white and billions of measurements are all wrong, I will take that evidence and the vast store of analysis that has been done on it and make the necessary preparations for a future without civilisation. At least I will have the satisfaction of knowing that global warming deniers will be among the first people to be torn apart by overheated mobs of starving people.

  • Tom

    Dave:

    I’m trying to understand why you seem to think CO2 levels are not on the increase every year. Have you ever seen the Keeling Curve?

    What is your explanation for this?

  • Maurice

    But in a study published in the journal Nature, a team led by Frank Keppler of the Max Planck Institute in Germany has found living plants, dried leaves and grass emit methane in the presence of air.

    Nor is this gas just a piffling amount.

    The researchers roughly estimate the world’s living vegetation emits between 62 and 236 million tonnes of methane per year, and plant litter adds one to seven million tonnes.

    This would be equivalent to between 10 and 30 per cent of all annual global emissions of methane.

  • http://beepbeepitsme.blogspot.com/ beepbeepitsme

    Is faith just an excuse to believe anything?… no matter how implausible?

  • JustOneMan

    Dave,

    back to the core of your article…

    I think you are right on the money…the “Looney left global warmers” win the prize here…

    The similarities with religion in really amazing…seeking ancient relics and both historic and prehistoric events to justify their beliefs…

    And in Al EEEGore they have their evangelical preacher…bloated and with his own uniqu speaking style…I could really imagin him on a 700 Club for the far left believers…

    good article

  • Marcus

    As a PhD researcher in climate change, a couple comments:

    First, the increase in CO2 levels from ~280 ppm (preindustrial) to ~380 ppm (today) is 100% due to human activity (a combination of fossil fuel burning and land use change). There is NO scientific dispute about this. NONE. ZERO. ZIP. REALLY.

    For reference: We are emitting more than 6 gigatons of carbon every year, plus about 1 more from land use change (burning the amazon). 2.18 gigatons of carbon in the atmosphere creates 1 ppm rise. Therefore, the 1.5 ppm rise/year we are seeing is about 3 gigatons of carbon: the difference between that 3 gigatons and the 6 or 7 gigatons we emit is because higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere lead to more ocean uptake and more ecosystem uptake.

    The answer to #158 is that it is fairly easy to control NOx, SO2, and other urban air pollutants by using catalytic converters, scrubbers, and so forth. But CO2 is a fundamental product of combustion, so we can’t clean it up with end-of-pipe technologies (ignoring carbon sequestration technology for now, where you condense CO2 and inject it underground. See FutureGen). So every gallon of gas we burn gets turned into CO2. And we are increasing miles driven/person a lot faster than we are increasing fuel efficiency. Therefore, increasing CO2 emissions.

    The reason we believe that this increase in CO2 (and methane, N2O, and other gases) will lead to global warming dates back to a paper written in 1896 by Arrhenius: basically, these gases absorb IR radiation. We can calculate the radiative forcing they contribute. This # is on the order of 2.6 Watts/meter^2 of direct forcing from human caused increases in greenhouse gases. (Again, no scientific dispute here). What begins to make this complicated is that SO2 and other aerosols have contributions too: about negative 1.3 W/m^2 total, but this number is hard to measure, so there are arguments about it. So 2.6 minus 1.3 is about 1.3 W/m^2. For comparison, the increase in solar radiation in the past 150 years was about 0.4 W/m^2. This is why we think that most of the warming of the past 50 years is human caused. For reference, Arrhenius’ rough estimate of temperature change from a doubling of CO2 (which he never thought would happen, but which will almost certainly happen this century) was 5 degrees Celsius warming. Today, we think that the number is probably closer to 3 or 4 degrees, depending on feedbacks (_this_ is where much of the controversy lies). For comparison, 8 degrees gets us back to ice ages.

  • Steve

    Re. #144, carbon dating is only reliable for periods covering thousands of years, not the millions required for evolution.

  • JustOneMan

    Marcus “PhD researcher in climate change” so i guess that a Doctor of Divinity for the Gorites….

    Isnt the internet amazing we can be anyone or anything we want just by saying so…hmmmm…yes I too have a Phd in Climate Change…and I disagree with your post…lol lol

  • http://jswynne.typepad.com/gropes/ Jim Wynne

    Steve:

    I believe the point was that carbon dating is sufficient to rule out the idea that the earth is only 10,000 years old. Carbon-14 dating is effective out to about 60,000 years. Beyond that, other radioisotopes are used.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Hoggle:

    “Volcanoes release more than 130 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.”

    That’s an extraordinarily low estimate. If you count all Volcanic sources the total is close to triple that on an average year.

    While the US releases over 5000 million tonnes

    Your source is 10 years out of date. Current estimates are three times that.

    (repetition of misunderstandings about the article deleted)

    So, David, you are clearly not qualified to present an analysis of the science of global warming. Should you develop the ability to analyse the evidence available with a rational and open mind, you will find yourself led to the same conclusion as all of the real scientists out there.

    I didn’t write an article about the science of global warming. Perhaps you should read the article before you comment on it.

    Intelligent Design is, of course, complete crapola, dreamt up by fantasists with no respect for scepticism and scientific method. Every element of the ‘theory’ is designed to make it untestable, which makes it unscientific. There is also no evidence at all to support the supposed mechanisms.

    ID advocates would disagree with you here.

    At least I will have the satisfaction of knowing that global warming deniers will be among the first people to be torn apart by overheated mobs of starving people.

    Ah yes, another fanatic heard from. Do you also favor a mass die-off of humanity to ‘cleanse’ the planet?

    Dave

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    For the record, I’m no longer responding to anyone who tells me what I think based on their own preconceptions.

    Dave

  • Tom

    Dave:

    Are you planning to respond to #160?

    How do you explain the Keeling Curve?

    Is CO2 increasing?

    Or could you identify my preconceptions? I assume it must be something about the implications of the Keeling Curve. Or is it the idea the that the Keeling Curve is an accurate representation of CO2 growth.

    Without some help, I wonder how I am suppose to address my preconceptions?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Tom, you’re the last person I’m going to respond to on this. Check the article. Did I ever, ever in the article say that CO2 is not increasing? Have I ever said it in the commentary since then?

    Your preconception is that I’m a global warming denier. I’m not. That’s not what this article is about.

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Tom, Dave has written a credible article, clearing facts as views. I you’re so determined to discredit him, write your own article. This is getting waaaaay to childish.

    Tantum meus sententia
    Jet

  • Clavos

    Dave, I know what you’re thinking ’cause my Capt. Marvel decoder ring tells me–wanna try me?

    Oh, I almost forgot–I’ve got a tinfoil hat, too!

    (Drives off in his Deusenberg, giggling madly and spewing CO2 at an alarming rate, doesn’t see the warning signs for the Keeling Curve, misses it and plunges down the side of Krakatoa, Keeling over into a giant puddle of water from Dave’s pool. Sic transit gloria mundi.)

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Amusing, Clavos. Hope your Deusy doesn’t rust out in the highly chlorinated water from my pool. I wonder if we all built really BIG pools if they would act as a carbon sink and save the world.

    If nothing else this article has answered the question of whether there is a faction of GW supporters who are fanatics.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    BTW, I note that no one has shown any interest in answering my rather relevant question in #158.

    Dave

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Dave, I thought your juxtaposition of global warming and intelligent design as a demonstration of the dynamics of dogmatism was most interesting — not to mention its effectiveness in provoking a debate that is somewhat educational with regard to the theories and hypotheses surrounding the science of climate change, and very enlightening with regard to the psychology of belief.

    Critical thinking is difficult for those of us who cannot muster sufficient faith to sincerely believe in the notion that we simply do not know, but might, or might not, learn someday.

    Such agnosticism is a rather unsatisfying proposition for naturally curious creatures whose thirst for knowledge is often in conflict with our hunger for inner peace and serenity.

    Faith is that human virtue that keeps us from going insane over those questions we have the capacity to ask, but (currently?) lack the ability to answer definitively, such as those about the origin(s) of life on Earth as we know it, and whether or not humanity has had a significant effect upon this mysterious, spinning chunk of metals and rocks we call home.

    We all have a need to believe in something and naturally gravitate toward those “explanations” that are most plausible to us according to our individual emotions, educations, and experiences.

    Whether we do so consciously or not, we spend a great deal of time and energy constructing our individual belief systems so that our internal thoughts and feelings can be somehow reconciled with the various external realities we perceive.

    When our beliefs are challenged, either by scientific discovery or the introduction of some other new idea that contradicts the original framework of our faith, our first instinct is to hold onto those beliefs that have always provided us with peace and serenity — even if some of us appear to have found “comfort” in apparently pessimistic beliefs about the significance of humanity in the grand scheme of things.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Clavos, wasn’t that the plot of the first Topper movie?

  • Marcus

    I answered part of #158 earlier: ULEV vehicles clean up NOx, SOx, etc. but not CO2. More detail: CO2 emissions are directly proportional to the amount of carbon in your gasoline burned (in transport), or in your coal or natural gas (in power generation). This makes it easy to come up with fairly accurate estimates of fossil based CO2 emissions, because we track gasoline use (think taxes) and other fossil fuels, and basically 99% of the carbon in the fuel ends up as CO2, so it is simple math.

    US population is actually still growing, because we are at about replacement level in terms of births (unlike much of Europe and Japan) and we have significant immigration. Our power use is also growing: we have “cleaner” industry (less NOx, SOx, etc) but server farms take a lot of power, as does air conditioning, etc. And transport is growing. So our emissions continue to grow. Emissions per unit GDP, however (“emissions intensity”) continue to drop: Bush set a goal of 18% improvement in emission intensity by 2012, which could still be >10% actual emissions growth.

    Estimating land use change emissions is much harder. How much CO2 is generated by slash and burn? Hard to tell. You either do bottom up estimates (#s of acres burned, estimates of how much stuff was on it), or you do inverse modeling (measure CO2 downwind and upwind, and you can figure out how much was added in the middle). But we don’t have great inverse modeling data yet: not enough measuring points.

    So as far as the carbon cycle goes we have:
    fossil fuel emissions: well known
    increase in atmospheric concentration: well known
    the difference between the above two numbers gives us the total from human land use change plus ocean uptake plus ecosystem uptake, but the exact partition between those three numbers is uncertain.

    Methane and N2O emissions are also difficult to estimate, because like burning, these are area sources. You can either multiply the number of cows you have by some average/cow or do inverse studies, and they tend to give somewhat different numbers. (Other methane sources: rice paddies, landfills, natural gas leaks. N2O sources: fertilizer use, nylon manufacture, I think)

  • Clavos

    Marcus,

    I didn’t know rice paddies were a source of methane, even though I crawled through a lot of them back in the sixties. Where does it come from-the fertilizer?

  • Marcus

    Basically, any time you have bacteria eating organic material in the absence of oxygen, they make methane. So you basically have stuff rotting under the water in your rice paddy and making methane.

    Swamps and wetlands are a large natural source of methane for similar reasons.

    Landfill methane occurs for the same reason. In the US we cap a lot of our landfills and have started capturing the methane released and we burn it for power.

    (the reason that the Keppler Nature article about possible methane generation from living plants was so surprising is that it was assumed that you would never get methane production when oxygen is around. Some people are still dubious: the paper measures methane production in very artificial conditions: expect papers in the next year trying to measure this effect in the field which will either confirm or cast doubt on the result)

  • http://www.co2emissions.org.uk Hoggle

    That’s an extraordinarily low estimate. If you count all Volcanic sources the total is close to triple that on an average year.

    Do you have a source for that or are you just guessing?

    Your source is 10 years out of date. Current estimates are three times that.

    So you agree with me that human CO2 emissions dwarf those of volcanos. And yet you repeat the lie that the reverse may be true.

    “One good volcano on the scale of Krakatoa would dwarf human contributions to global warming for the past generation, and we’re past due for an erruption of that scale.”

    Mt Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991 was of a similar scale to Krakatoa and caused barely a blip in the CO2 levels of the atmosphere. If you wish me to take your evaluations of scientific theory seriously, you should provide references.

    I didn’t write an article about the science of global warming. Perhaps you should read the article before you comment on it.

    I was mainly commenting on one of your replies (#5) which contained this fallacious and misleading statement. I happen to agree with you that there are a lot of kooks out there on both sides of any debate. Most of them post here and on other blogs. However, you characterise all campaigners hoping to stave off global warming as ‘believers’ on a par with ID supporters. This is simply not true.

    Most of the people I deal with every day, on my side of the debate at least, are scientifically literate and careful to avoid unsupportable conclusions. They are as exasperated by the kooks on their side as they are by the deniers.

    I welcome debate with open-minded sceptics with the capacity to understand the science. What annoys me are people who have not studied the science and have not attempted to answer any doubts they have about its conclusions, and yet claim to know the subject better than people who have.

    Ah yes, another fanatic heard from. Do you also favor a mass die-off of humanity to ‘cleanse’ the planet?

    I’d rather that was avoided, but there are too many people, knowingly or in a state of blissful ignorance, spreading the lies and obfuscation of the global denial lobby, so it may be unavoidable.

    It’s curious how you can turn ‘the world is going down the tubes, please help me stop it from happening’ into the accusation ‘you want the world to go down the tubes’. How do you manage that kind of logical inversion without going insane?

    Perhaps your problem is that you don’t understand the difference between the two debates.

    ID vs Evolution is really about God vs Science. The fanaticism of the ID crowd is rooted in their fear of losing the emotional crutch provided by religion. Science is saying that the crutch is illusory.

    AGW vs Denial is about what is going to happen next. The fanaticism of the AGW crowd is rooted in their fear of losing their lives, their descendants lives, and the whole biosphere. Science is saying that this is probable.

    Many people have shown that it is perfectly possible – even liberating – to survive without religion. The same cannot be said for the consequences of global warming.

    My opinion has ALWAYS been that global warming is only a possibility, not a certainty. However, that possibility is more than enough to justify immediate, drastic and concerted worldwide action to reduce and eliminate Anthropomorphic greenhouse gases.

    By contrast, the ID theory has been disproved so many times in so many different ways, it isn’t even a possibility. Its proponents keep adding to it to by-pass the evidence. Proponents of AGW are finding it virtually impossible to avoid adding evidence to the mountain available.

    Perhaps the similarity is closer between the ID supporters and the AGW denial people. Both ignore the evidence and fabricate elaborate fictions to avoid their ideas being disproved. When their ideas are effectively countered, they resort to ad hominem attacks and claim, without any justification, that their opponents are fanatics.

  • troll

    * that possibility is more than enough to justify immediate, drastic and concerted worldwide action to reduce and eliminate Anthropomorphic greenhouse gases.*

    finally – something substantive to argue about in this thread…the use of ‘Anthropomorphic’ above is a bastardization of the English language I say

    why do ’causes’ always do that – ?

    …seriously now – do you have any practical suggestions for action that would have a timely and desired effect – ?

  • duane

    Hoggle says: ID vs Evolution is really about God vs Science.

    Only from the ID advocates’ perspective.

    The fanaticism of the ID crowd is rooted in their fear of losing the emotional crutch provided by religion. Science is saying that the crutch is illusory.

    Science says no such thing. Read my comment #150. In any case, just to be picky, religion itself is not illusory.

    … the ID theory has been disproved so many times in so many different ways ….

    Can you name one? Seriously, I would like to know about this.

  • http://www.co2emissions.org.uk Hoggle

    The English language is a bastardisation of the English language. Try and catch Mongrel Nation sometime.

    My suggestions for action are many and varied, and this is not the place. Feel free to visit my website and the associated discussion group to find out more.

    I found a paper on Mt Pinatubo.
    Gerlach et al.
    Estimates for CO2 released into the atmosphere by this eruptions start at 42Mt – that is 42,000 tonnes. Taking that as a low estimate (it is the minimum) suggests that Krakatoa 1883 would be of the order of 100Mt tonnes of CO2. To challenge human emissions (measured in gigatonnes), it would have to be more than 10,000 times larger.

  • http://www.co2emissions.org.uk Hoggle

    Sorry Duane, I don’t care enough about ID to learn about it in any detail. I am summarising the opinions of everyone outside the small circle of advocates whom I have read.

    Simply put, ID says the universe was created fully formed, with all the historical evidence for an older lifespan inserted, a few thousand years ago. It is an untestable assertion, and every piece of evidence that says the universe or any part of it is older than that is simply dismissed as part of the fabrication. It has no value as a scientific theory because it makes no predictions about what might happen in any given set of circumstances. It is anti-science.

    Saying it has been disproved is actually an error on my part. It cannot be disproved because it is untestable. What I should have said is that no evidence has ever been found that negates the simpler explanation – that the universe is billions of years old and that we evolved from self-replicating molecules arising spontaneously in a chemical soup.

    It may not sound simpler to the uneducated, but saying god created the universe 6000 years ago in all its complexity is illogical, even compared to saying that god created the universe 15 billion years ago. If you have to bring god into it, why not say that the ‘word’ and the ‘big bang’ are the same thing?

  • troll

    interesting manifesto there Hoggle…

    I particularly like the part about sub-orbital long distance travel

    do you see the political will to pass the laws you call for – ?

    troll

  • duane

    Thanks, Hoggle. Understood.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    This is getting tiresome, but once more…

    That’s an extraordinarily low estimate. If you count all Volcanic sources the total is close to triple that on an average year.

    Do you have a source for that or are you just guessing?

    I’m referencing the same web page you are, or any of a number of others. You picked the single lowest number on the page as your example.

    Your source is 10 years out of date. Current estimates are three times that.

    So you agree with me that human CO2 emissions dwarf those of volcanos. And yet you repeat the lie that the reverse may be true.

    When did I say that. Ever. What I said is that human CO2 emissions are higher than Volcanic emissions on an average year, quite a bit higher. A supervolcano is a different story. The erruption of a supervolcano and associated erruptions would likely push volcanic output well into the billions of tons.

    Mt Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991 was of a similar scale to Krakatoa and caused barely a blip in the CO2 levels of the atmosphere. If you wish me to take your evaluations of scientific theory seriously, you should provide references.

    Pinetubo was in no way comparable to Krakatoa. Some estimates put Krakatoa as much as 100 times as powerful as Pinetubo. Krakatoa launched huge rocks into the stratosphere ferchissakes. No comparison.

    However, you characterise all campaigners hoping to stave off global warming as ‘believers’ on a par with ID supporters. This is simply not true.

    No, just as there are reasonable, sensible Christians who believe in God and also in creation of some form or other, there are reasonable global warming supporters who see the data and are legitimately concerned. The issue in this article is fanaticism. The ID people who want it taught in schools and the GW folks who want all inquiry into other theories or even solutions to GW to stop because it challenges their dogma.

    As for the validity of ID, I’ll let you argue that with someone who believes in it.

    Dave

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    “This is getting tiresome, but once more…” … lol, what did you expect?! me too, I fell asleep at work today.

    I’d like to end this pointless discussion on volcanoes. Discussion of volcanoe Co2 emissions is no more important than discussion of organismal Co2 emissions. In fact, it is less important because organismal Co2 emissions dwarfs those of even the largest supervolcanoe events. Why is there so much dispute over the Co2 emissions of one volcanoe 100+ years ago?

    Fairly accurate estimates of average volcanoe Co2 production have been sited already (I sited a 300 million ton figure earlier earlier so, no Hoggle, Dave was not guessing, as you accuse him in post #181). For the sake of ending the argument on volcanoes, can we all (Dave, I, Hoggle and Marcus) agree the average is highly likely to fall between 100-600 million tons of Co2 from volcanoes per year. Supervolcanoe events are likely to fall between 300 million and 40 billion tons in one year, however, one year emissions prove insignificant in the long run. Reasonable?

    The exact #s, as I have explained before, are insignifcant, because whatever the numbers may be, the earth achieved its pre industrial revolution levels (270-290ppm) by reaching a balance with these eruptions. Human activity disrupts this balance. The question is exactly how much. Volcanoes are relevant only in the sense that increased/decreased volc. activity will hurt/help our present situation.

    Maurcus brings up in #164 an excellent point. Anyone who is unclear on why U.S. Co2 emissions continue to increase, should go back and read Marcus’s #164 third paragraph. Marcus also explains how accurate emissions measurements are obtained “More detail: CO2 emissions are directly proportional to the amount of carbon in your gasoline burned” (Marcus #178)

    Finally can the five of us (Marcus, Duane, Hoggle, Dave and I) agree to the following basic points on GW?

    1. Co2 levels have risen steadily since measurements begain in 1958 at a rate of 1-1.5ppm/year. See: earthguide.ucsd.edu

    2. Co2 is being emitted by humans at a rate around 3,000 billion tons per year (much LARGER than the rate of Co2 increase actually in the atmospher). This is 3% of all Co2 being emitted globally (all sources included). Humans are playing at least a significant, and probably a large part in increasing Co2 levels.

    3. Even if only 1/6 of all human Co2 production stays in the atmosphere (net) due to natural sinks + negative feedback mechanisms, Co2 levels would rise by .5% anually (which they are).

    4. A .5% anual increase (this increase is accelerating – .6% in 2005) in Co2 would lead to a Co2 conc of 430ppm by 2055.

    5. The last time Co2 conc. was that high global temps were nearly 4 oC warmer globally. Sea levels would be 10ft higher, aproximately.

    6. If we extrapolate average global temp increases for the past into the future this temp increase seems normal.

    7. Co2 and temp correlation is easily observable with the Vostok record. It is not unreasonable to expect this correlation to continue into the future. Co2 and temp correlation has already been observed in the past 50 years.

    8. The fairly likely possibility of 3-4 oC temp increases in the next 50 years causing ocean rises of over 10 feet and many other unkown and potentially devastating global climate changes are cause for concern and, at least, moderate preventative action to be taken.

    9. The U.S. consistently consumes more fuel every year and sets new records for Co2 production every year. This trend should not be allowed to continue.

    Reasonable enough?

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption12

    “If nothing else this article has answered the question of whether there is a faction of GW supporters who are fanatics.”

    I disagree- the only fanaticism I have seen was from TLE and a little from Hoggle. Other than that, there has been a very factual argument going on. The very nature of fanaticism is contrary to factual information – unless of course the fanatic in question is being mislead by his own facts.
    I think much more has come of this article – give yourself some credit – and I myself have learned things about GW I did not know before.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    1. Co2 levels have risen steadily since measurements begain in 1958 at a rate of 1-1.5ppm/year. See: earthguide.ucsd.edu

    I’ll give you that one.

    2. Co2 is being emitted by humans at a rate around 3,000 billion tons per year (much LARGER than the rate of Co2 increase actually in the atmospher). This is 3% of all Co2 being emitted globally (all sources included). Humans are playing at least a significant, and probably a large part in increasing Co2 levels.

    Are you sure that number is right? You just typed 3 TRILLION tons – that’s 10 times the total amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere by all sources and almost 5 times the total CO2 in the atmosphere. The latest estimates I have seen say 15-22 billion tons from human related sources.

    3. Even if only 1/6 of all human Co2 production stays in the atmosphere (net) due to natural sinks + negative feedback mechanisms, Co2 levels would rise by .5% anually (which they are).

    That part of your math seems correct if the 3 trillion figure earlier was wrong.

    4. A .5% anual increase (this increase is accelerating – .6% in 2005) in Co2 would lead to a Co2 conc of 430ppm by 2055.

    I don’t see any evidence for this. .6% for one year doesn’t demonstrate a trend. The average since 1958 has been just over .3%, and it’s possible that 2006 or 2007 might see a slowing of the rate of growth. There are so many factors that knocking off a couple of 10ths of a percent wouldn’t take much.

    5. The last time Co2 conc. was that high global temps were nearly 4 oC warmer globally. Sea levels would be 10ft higher, aproximately.

    So much for your .tv domain names.

    6. If we extrapolate average global temp increases for the past into the future this temp increase seems normal.

    Are you actually supporting a cyclical model here? That’s anathema to the GW purists.

    (deleted to redundant points)

    9. The U.S. consistently consumes more fuel every year and sets new records for Co2 production every year. This trend should not be allowed to continue.

    I don’t see how it’s possible for this trend to continue. I also don’t like the ‘allowed to continue’ viewpoint. The US should not be interfered with in the effort to use market forces and moderate regulation to get the CO2 and other output under control. We’ve done a pretty good job so far with everything aside from CO2, and the high gas prices and push for greater engine efficiency ought to eventually solve a lot of the problem.

    I’m way more concerned about the coal-burning maniacs in India and China.

    Dave

  • Will

    You should learn about pragmatism. The wiki is a good place to start.

    Making theories and positing facts are just tools for making decisions, making bets. We have to decide what to do about the evidence for global warming, that cannot be avoided. Inaction is action. We have to make decisions under time pressure with incomplete information.

    All this “faith”, “open mind”, talk is beside the point in this context. Place your bet. If you choose to keep an open mind waiting for a higher standard of proof, then that’s your bet.

    “Proof” is ambiguous. It can mean anything from absolute logical proof to preponderance of the evidence. Suppose you set your standard of proof so high that you cannot decide the matter one what or the other? Then you don’t have a useful tool for determining you bets.

    Except for mathematical and logical propositions the sharp distintion between fact and theory is not useful. Facts are back up by theories with lots of evidence and practical value. You can dispute any fact with some alternative explanation, assuming you are dreaming for instance. So, waiting for the facts to be beyond dispute is not a good betting strategy.

  • Clavos

    I don’t see how it’s possible for this trend to continue. I also don’t like the ‘allowed to continue’ viewpoint. The US should not be interfered with in the effort to use market forces and moderate regulation to get the CO2 and other output under control. We’ve done a pretty good job so far with everything aside from CO2, and the high gas prices and push for greater engine efficiency ought to eventually solve a lot of the problem.

    Quoted for relevance (apologies to gonzo marx)

    This, gents, is the whole point of the entire discussion; the reason why the US did not sign the Kyoto treaty, as well as why those of us who question, do so.

  • Maurice

    Clavos #173

    ROTFLMGDASO

    You rock buddy!

  • Marcus

    in response to 189:

    1) Yes, we all agree on the measured increase.

    2-4) Dave is right. Anthropogenic emissions are on order of 6-7 Gigatons of carbon (eg, about 20-some gigatons CO2) (giga==billion). Furthermore, I dislike using “as a % emitted globally”: the natural system is close to being in balance. To define some terms: Gross Primary Production (GPP) is the total amount of CO2 that goes into plants. This number is 100s of Gigatons C. Most of it is breathed right back out (autotrophic respiration – R_a). GPP minus R_a equals Net Primary Production: this is buildup of plant matter (order 44 gigatons carbon). Most of this is balanced by decay of leaf matter and dead plants (heterotrophic respiration – R_h). NPP minus R_h equals Net Ecosystem Production. This is a carbon sink on the order of 1 or 2 gigatons of carbon. So what number would you use to calculate a percent? I prefer just saying that humans emit 6-7 gigatons a year, and natural systems take up about 3 to 4 gigatons. About half (not 1/6th) of human emissions stay in the air.

    5 to 7) Correlation is not causation. The Vostok record is complicated: the prime mover of the ice age cycles is orbital variations. Historically, CO2 responds to temperature changes, and causes more temperature change as a positive feedback. But you can’t say “because temperature was X when CO2 was Y, therefore, temperature will be X when CO2 becomes Y”.

    Climate scientists use the historical record (eg Forest et. al., GRL, 2006) to put constraints on climate parameters that are hard to measure directly, such as climate sensitivity, ocean heat uptake, and aerosol forcing, but there is uncertainty involved here. I personally like the approach of creating a Wheel of Climate Change when trying to predict the future which takes into account both our uncertainty in physical processes and the future of human emissions.

    8) Careful about mixing equilibrium states and transient states. Even if 450 ppm CO2 eventually leads to 3 to 4 degrees C warming (which it might) it will take a while to reach that temperature because the ocean warms up slowly. And after reaching 3 degrees, it will take a while more before Greenland and West Antarctica melt. So expect only 1 to 4 feet of sea level rise this century. Now, by 2300, that range could be a couple feet to 20 feet or more.

    9) The US will almost certainly continue to increase its CO2 emissions in the absence of regulation. We wouldn’t have cleaned up the smog in our cities without the Clean Air Act, we can’t expect to reduce CO2 without some price signal. Whether than signal comes from a cap and trade system, a tax, or something else, I don’t care. But it is standard economic theory that if you have an “externality” like pollution it will be produced in excess of optimal levels until you add a price to it (look up Pigovian taxes, for example). And yes, we should encourage other big emitters to also adopt a similar price, including China and India. But it makes sense for the US and Europe to move first, since we currently have the highest emissions and the most historical emissions and the most money, and get everyone else to follow where we lead.

    Ok. I’m done ranting for now, thanks for letting me spew into your blog space. =)

  • pleasexcusetheinteruption12

    I apologize for the blatently incorrect 3 trillion figure, i was being lazy.

    I sited the 3% human contribution to all global carbon emissions, not to minimalize it but to recognize that an apparently small percent can have a large effect on a carefully balanced system. Several have made repeated arguments that since Co2 is emitted naturally in much larger quantities than humans, our contributions dont matter. I was just trying to be up front about how small our contribution, but how meaningful, it is.

    Im not trying to say “because temperature was X when CO2 was Y, therefore, temperature will be X when CO2 becomes Y”.” Im saying that they are historically proportional, and have continue to be proportional. It’s not a matter of using exact proportionality, but historical proportions are the only method of predicting future temps that I have seen. And there is strong evidence that the two stay fairly proportional.

    The rate of ice melting is accelerating more rapidly than scientists had predicted. In ten years (1993-2003) the rate of ice loss on Greenland doubled.

  • http://www.co2emissions.org.uk Hoggle

    Given the figure correction, I’m broadly in agreement with these statements. I am also concerned about the rate of coal generation capacity growth in India and China. I would like to see the world’s largest economy take a moral lead by acting unilaterally and, in effect, saying to the world ‘we will sacrifice some of our economic lead over the rest of you to show you what you should be doing.’

    China (in particular) and India are keen to avoid the mistakes made by the OECD during their industrial development. Recent initiatives in those countries show that they take climate change seriously, and are willing to exchange some of their growth rate for improvements in their environment.

    Contraction and Convergence is the way to go, with a worldwide per-capita carbon allowance and a steady, managed shift away from fossil fuels. This can (and should) be encouraged by local/national initiatives and legislation. Existing low-carbon technology should be given as much assistance as possible to grow its markets while high-carbon technologies are costed out of economic viability by a steadily increasing carbon tax.

    ———
    PS to clear up some facts. Krakatoa has never been a supervolcano. The 1883 eruption is listed as 6 on the VEI, the same as Pinatubo 1991, and two orders of magnitude below Yellowstone, which IS a supervolcano. The most violent eruption in recorded history is actually Mt Tambora 1815, 4 times larger than Krakatoa and still only just a 7 on the VEI scale.

  • http://www.co2emissions.org.uk Hoggle

    do you see the political will to pass the laws you call for – ? troll
    It’s getting there. Maybe not in those forms, but every party in the UK is now trying to out-do each other in tackling climate change and, occasionally, working together on it. I hope that the stagnation under Blair where all we saw was hot air will change in the next parliament. Friend of the Earth are continuing their Big Ask campaign to make sure it does happen. Please feel free to spread the word to any Brits you know.

  • Dan

    please excuse…#144: “ok first of all there is substantial evidence of evolution. Evolution is actually obervable within our lifetimes.”

    Yes and No. there is evidence for natural selection, or as Darwin himself put it: “God’s mechanism for adaptive change” (quote approximate) What the IDers probably object to is the evolutionary origination of species theory. There’s virtually no evidence for that, and, after over 150 years of earnest looking, evidence continues to mount against it.

    please excuse…: ” I can say from my primitive study of Biology that the reason there are few transitional species is that evolution tends to happen all at once, and then lull for millions of years. If i remember correctly, this is known to evolutionary scientists as punctuated equilibrium.”

    To my knowledge there aren’t any species transitions to a new species ever found in the fossil record. There have been some infamous hoaxes that were initially enthusiastically heralded as such. (doesn’t speak well for the scientific rigor of evolutionists) No one disputes that organisms can develop small improvements on something that already exists. But they remain the same species.

    To me “punctuated equilibrium” sounds like the sort of thing Dave Nalle accuses opponents of evolutionary origin of when he say’s: “The true believers will gladly redefine reality on the fly so that whatever facts they’re presented with will fit into their worldview.” So since the expected transitional forms weren’t found, here’s a new theory that explains why. But still, even with punctuated equilibrium there should be a few transitional life forms. Keep looking I guess.

    Please excuse…: “From everything I have read, you are flat out misinformed.” [about saying that over half of 20th century global warming occured between 1900-1945]

    Well, here’s something for you to read: fro usgcrp.gov

    Admittedly, my memory of the data was slightly off. The precise period was between 1910-1945. There was a strong cooling period between 1900 and 1910. Another slighter cooling period began in the mid 40’s and lasted until the mid 70’s, when Americans roared around feeding 35 cents/gallon gasoline through 12 mile/gallon big block chevy’s with tail fins that couldn’t be dented with a sledge-hammer.

    please excuse…: Some skipping and hopping is normal in any natural system.

    But I thought the argument was that our current man made global warming crisis is not natural. And why exactly wouldn’t warming be linear or at least correspond with CO2 levels.

    Duane #150: “The role of science has nothing to do with overturning faith in superbeings.”

    No, but that’s the role liberal, scientific illiterates have assumed with their evolutionary tautology. Atheist’s need evolutionary origin of species to be true more than creationists need it to be false. If all aspects of Darwinism were to be proven, it wouldn’t be a daunting challenge to a belief in God.

    Duane #150: “while you skeptics of science inexplicably stand there with your arms folded, scientific inquiry marches on, and you feel qualified to pick and choose among the science that you will believe and the science you won’t. Do you believe in atoms? Cells? The Big Bang? Plate tectonics? Relativity? Modern medicine? Dinosaurs? Quantum mechanics? Radio astronomy? If so, why? If not, why not?”

    More accurately, we are skeptics of unproven scientific theory. And though I’m not imminently qualified, I can still smell politically motivated dogma. Atoms, cells, plate tectonics, modern medicine, dinosaurs, most quantum mechanics, and radio astronomy are all mostly quantifiable and demonstrable “things”. Demonstrable things can be “believed” in with a relatively high degree of confidence. The big bang is a theory. It’s plausable. Relativity, a theory that is mostly demonstrable except where it conflicts with quantum mechanics. What’s the point? Do you mean to say evolution as a means to origin of the species is demonstrable? Or are you like Dave Nalle, and others, and choose to pretend that any skeptic of evolution theory is automatically some kind of science denying, flat earth, bible thumper who believes God planted dinosaur bones to test our faith?

    duane #150: “In my world, the burden of proof is yours. You have not a shred of proof. See, I don’t even have to ask if you have proof. I know absolutely that you don’t. It is a matter of faith, as you say.”

    But I’m not trying to prove anything.

    Dave Nalle: #155 “Ah, I see that the tide is turning. It’s about time that the Intelligent Design fanatics got here with their outrage and justifications.”

    I haven’t seen anyone like that here yet, did I miss a deleted comment or something?

    Dave nalle #169: “For the record, I’m no longer responding to anyone who tells me what I think based on their own preconceptions.”

    Now that’s ironically humorous. Somehow, I’m not all that sympathetic to your victimization.

    Margaret #176: “Such agnosticism is a rather unsatisfying proposition for naturally curious creatures whose thirst for knowledge is often in conflict with our hunger for inner peace and serenity.”

    I actually find agnosticism satisfying. I think it leaves one more flexible and mentally open when instead of assuming certainty, you assign verying degrees of probability to the questions of theory. There is serenity in not having a stake in what the truth of a matter might be.

  • duane

    I said (#150): “The role of science has nothing to do with overturning faith in superbeings.”

    Dan (#199) says:?? … that’s the role liberal, scientific illiterates have assumed with their evolutionary tautology.

    Are you saying that I’m a liberal scientific illiterate? In any case science, and scientists in general, don’t grind this axe.

    Atheist’s need evolutionary origin of species to be true more than creationists need it to be false.

    I would strongly disagree. Are you suggesting that a built-in bias is keeping atheistic scientists from admitting that they’re full of it, and that they can’t see the truth right in front of their eyes?

    If all aspects of Darwinism were to be proven, it wouldn’t be a daunting challenge to a belief in God.

    I would strongly agree. With faith, anything can be believed, no matter how absurd it might be.

    More accurately, we are skeptics of unproven scientific theory.

    I have news for you. There are no proven scientific theories. Not one. There are “facts,” but theories are constructs that attempt to explain a range of observable phenomena. Some of the phenomena are taken as “facts” (the sky looks blue, the Earth orbits the Sun, etc.). Proofs only occur in the field of Logic. For example, there are mathematical proofs that one thing follows logically from a set of axioms. In science, there are no proofs. So, I think this fundamental misunderstanding of science by the vast majority of IDers provides them with a loophole that will be open until the end of time.

    And though I’m not imminently qualified, I can still smell politically motivated dogma.

    I am apolitical. I am certainly not dogmatic. So, your sniffer needs some adjustment.

    Do you mean to say evolution as a means to origin of the species is demonstrable?

    Do you mean the origin of life itself? No. Not at this time. But don’t be confused by Darwin’s book title. He didn’t mean “The Origin of Life.”

    Or are you like Dave Nalle ….

    No. Not at this time.

    … and others, and choose to pretend that any skeptic of evolution theory is automatically some kind of science denying, flat earth, bible thumper who believes God planted dinosaur bones to test our faith?

    I confess that the thought had crossed my mind. If you don’t believe in a flat Earth, my hat’s off to you. But why should you believe in atoms? Ever seen one? Do you believe the theory of stellar evolution? How can humans, who only live for about 70 years know anything about the life cycles of objects that can exist for billions of years? Where’s your skepticism?

  • pleasexcusetheinteruption12

    But why should you believe in atoms? Ever seen one?

    uhhh..yes

  • duane

    Uhhh … well, that’s nice. I guess I should eat more carrots.

  • pleasexcusetheinteruption12

    Ever heard of a microscope?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Or are you like Dave Nalle, and others, and choose to pretend that any skeptic of evolution theory is automatically some kind of science denying, flat earth, bible thumper who believes God planted dinosaur bones to test our faith?

    Very reassuring to see someone from the ID camp misrepresenting my beliefs just as badly as the GW folks did.

    When did I ever say that evolution was an unassailable fact? Give me a quote or cite where I said it. You can’t, because I haven’t written one single word in a comment on this thread or in the article about evolution.

    Just like GW and ID, evolution needs to be tested, reassessed and examined in the light of new evidence on a regular basis. Just like ANY theory should be, for that matter.

    Someone who believes in ID and rejects evolution on that basis is not a ‘skeptic of evolution’. They have accepted a different theory which is based on faith rather than science. A skeptic of evolution would be someone who doesn’t KNOW the answer to the question of where man came from, but is willing to consider more than just one answer.

    Dave

  • pleasexcusetheinteruption12

    Guess nobody likes you Dave…

  • duane

    peti, you’re helping Dan cheat. Let him answer the questions by himself. You didn’t help me answer his questions.

  • MCH

    Say Nalle…question: Did you pose for the caricature on the cover of The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary, and then draw in some hair later? Cuz that sure looks like you, man.

  • http://jswynne.typepad.com/gropes/ Jim Wynne

    Here’s PZ Myers at Pharyngula with a little bit about a scientist who’s been extensively quotemined by the GW deniers:Peter Doran in the New York Times

  • alethinos

    SEE The OP/ED section of the New York Times today.
    Peter Doran is an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Has asked that his name be REMOVED from those who DISPUTE global warming. Interesting piece…

    alethinos

  • JR

    Dan: To my knowledge there aren’t any species transitions to a new species ever found in the fossil record.

    What would you call Australopithecus?

  • http://www.co2emissions.org.uk Hoggle

    JR
    Australopithecus is an example of the species that existed at that time. To demonstrate a transition you would need at least one genetic sample from each generation between the two samples declared as different species.

    Species is a classification system that loosely groups together individual organisms that are sufficiently similar to have fertile offspring. Asking for a demonstration of species transition demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the topic.

    In order that evolution happen you need to demonstrate two things, and only two things.

    The first is natural variation – random mutations in asexual organisms and novel recombinations as well as mutations making the offspring slightly different from their forebears.

    The second is natural selection – the variation in statistical survival rates between individuals arising from their differences.

    If you demonstrate both of those, then evolution is a mathematical certainty. They are the axioms and evolution is the mathematically proven consequence. Both have been demonstrated repeatedly, both experimentally and in the natural world.

    Regarding the origin of life question. Experiments replicating what is known about the ‘primordial soup’ have demonstrated that not only are the building blocks of life possible to arise spontaneously, it is actually very easy for them to do so. wikipedia

    Once you have the building blocks, self-replicating molecules are just a step away, and once you have self-replication, life is inevitable through the processes of evolution. wikipedia 2

  • http://www.co2emissions.org.uk Hoggle

    apologies.

    The first is natural variation – random mutations in asexual organisms and novel recombinations as well as mutations in sexual organisms making the offspring slightly different from their forebears.

  • Clavos

    Dave,

    GW update.

    According to an article published in today’s Miami Herald, Chris Landsea, of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, has co-authored a paper which will be published today in the journal Science, in which he challenges the studies by Kerry Emanuel of MIT that found that hurricanes have intensified due to global warming.

    Landsea joins Dr. Bill Gray, of the University of Colorado and Max Mayfield, Director of the National Hurricane Center, in pointing out that the effect of GW on recent hurricane activity is minimal.

    In his paper, Landsea points out that previous studies failed to take into account that significant improvements in the technology of hurricane monitoring have skewed the comparison to historical data.

  • Maezeppa

    This premise, of equating global warming with ID is absurd. One has an abundance of hard science behind it and the other is a philosophy and not a science.

    Nobody wants global warming to be occurring but it is a fact. The best theory behind the warming, and for which there is more evidence than there is for a link between cancer and cigarette smoking, is that it is human caused.

    Just looking at the carbonic acidity of the ocean, the carbon dioxide levels at night time are sufficient indicators and far from the only ones.

    Face it, you don’t WANT to accept reality.

  • Dan

    Not to hi-jack a thread, but just to respond to a responder…
    Hoggle: “Asking for a demonstration of species transition demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the topic.”

    I’m hoping I’m not misunderstanding anything fundamentally but, isn’t species transition what evolution postulates? If “To demonstrate a transition you would need at least one genetic sample from each generation between the two samples declared as different species” then shouldn’t ancestrial lineage be evident in the fossil record? Doesn’t periodic explosions of new species without common ancestors found in the fossil record threaten the postulate?

    “If you demonstrate both of those, then evolution is a mathematical certainty. They are the axioms and evolution is the mathematically proven consequence. Both have been demonstrated repeatedly, both experimentally and in the natural world.”

    There is one variable that could prevent the mathematical certainty. And that is time. Lot’s of things are mathematical certainties with infinite time. I’ve seen the calculations for 10 to the 100th power (think about that number) monkeys to randomly type a typically lengthed best selling novel and it would take much, much longer than what the age of the universe is believed to be.

    “Once you have the building blocks, self-replicating molecules are just a step away”

    Then we can anticipate the intelligent design of self replicating molecules in the laboratory any day now?

    One bright spot, maybe our evolution as a species with an assist from some punctuated equilibrium will help us adapt to the coming sauna world that global warming will bring about.

  • http://www.co2emissions.org.uk Hoggle

    I’m hoping I’m not misunderstanding anything fundamentally but, isn’t species transition what evolution postulates?
    Evolution says that species will adapt to their environments over time. If the same species adapts to two different environemtal niches, then at some point they will cease to be able to interbreed successfully and at that point they are defined as being of different species. But species is just a classification. Every individual is genetically unique (barring twins, unmutated clones etc), but it takes a large amount of difference before interbreeding becomes futile.

    The classic example is the horse and donkey. At some distant point they have a common ancestor, and more recently they might have interbred successfully, but nowadays their offspring is the infertile mule. So which modern species is the same species as their common ancestor? It is impossible to say, since both might be able to produce fertile young with the ancestor, or both might be unable to.

    You see, ‘species’ is an arbitrary cut-off point in the continuum of changes. It’s like the town limits – a house outside the limits might rely on the town just as much as one just inside it, but because there’s a sign saying ‘you are now leaving Springfield’ we say it’s not in the town.

    If “To demonstrate a transition you would need at least one genetic sample from each generation between the two samples declared as different species” then shouldn’t ancestrial lineage be evident in the fossil record?
    Think how many individual animals have ever existed over the 500 million years of vertebrate evolution. Now think how many fossils we have found. It is rare for any creature to be fossilised after death, and the odds of getting examples of every generation of a specific lineage are effectively zero.

    However, it is possible to see the process within living animals. Dogs have been bred from captured wolves. They now exist in a large number of different breeds, but all are, I think, able to interbreed. It is even known that some dogs can interbreed with wolves. But if we continue our selective breeding programs – effectively accelerating evolution – we will one day reach a dog breed that cannot successfully breed with wolves.

    Doesn’t periodic explosions of new species without common ancestors found in the fossil record threaten the postulate?
    Not at all. Evolution occurs at varying rates because selection pressures vary. When an environment is regular and unchanging, those already fitted to it evolve only slowly, like fine-tuning a car to run smoothly. But when the environment is disrupted by, say, a meteorite, climate change, arrival in a new area such as the galapagos, selective pressure suddenly becomes extremely high. Ill-adapted species diverge and special ise to suit the newly available niches.

    (apologies for that odd space in special ise – it appears to be a banned word!)

  • Mike Hawk

    Global warming is a political scam. The Earth has always gone through cycles of warming and cooling, and in fact the climate in the middle ages, previous to the little ice age that followed it, was considerably warmer than it has been in recent times, following the end of the little ice age in the early 19th century. The higher temps in the middle ages spurned a tremendous growth in both plants and animals and allowed humans to prosper like they had never prospered before.

    The basic truth here is that global warming is anything but harmful. To make a fuss about it is akin to complaining about the length of the day or the clouds in the sky.

    Al Gore is the Chicken Little of the new millenium, and anybody a with a shred of intelligence can see that.

  • http://ideaplace.blogspot.com Randy Kirk

    This thread is long dead, but it was extremely well thought out. I’m impressed. I happen to be a lowely pscyh major, so my scientific credentials may not be any better than Dave’s. However, I have been reading this debate in detail for several years, tend in general to agree with Dave, and have written extensively about it on my blog. My questions:

    No mention of the sun, clouds, interatmospheric healing effect, or potential benefits of global warming potentially outweighing problems.

    I’m surprised only because the quality of the rest of the input was so high. It seems amazing that these huge contributors would be left out.

    Loved the concept, Dave. But then, you would expect that from the most hated of all humans on earth, Right wing, male, heterosexual, law degreed, lilly white, plastic parts manufacturer, American, Baptist. Can’t help any of it. They all contribute to my survival, thus explaining why I have produced more than the average number of gene-machines.

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