Battle of the Weatherpeople

It’s not just the weather that’s in an uproar these days, it’s the weatherpeople, too. After Heidi Cullen, host of the Weather Channel program "The Climate Code," wrote on her blog that she thought forecasters who deny manmade climate change were uneducated on the issue and should perhaps have their American Meteorological Society credentials revoked, she came under attack for smothering scientific debate, both on her own blog and elsewhere. On the website of the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Marc Morano wrote:

Why do climate alarmists feel the need to resort to such low brow tactics when they have a compliant media willing to repeat their every assertion without question….The alarmists also enjoy a huge financial advantage over the skeptics with numerous foundations funding climate research, University research money and the United Nations endless promotion of the cause….The alarmists have all of these advantages, yet they still feel the need to resort to desperation tactics to silence the skeptics. Could it be that the alarmists realize that the American public is increasingly rejecting their proposition that the family SUV is destroying the earth and rejecting their shrill calls for "action" to combat their computer model predictions of a "climate emergency?"

Cullen posted what reads like a very tightly policed response to her critics a couple of days ago:

I’ve read all your comments saying I want to silence meteorologists who are skeptical of the science of global warming. That is not true. The point of my post was never to stifle discussion. It was to raise it to a level that doesn’t confuse science and politics. Freedom of scientific expression is essential.

Many of you have accused me and The Weather Channel of taking a political position on global warming. That is not our intention.

Our goal at The Weather Channel has always been to keep people out of harm’s way. Whether it’s a landfalling hurricane or global warming.

Consistent with this goal, on this site and on The Climate Code we aim to help our viewers better understand why scientists are so concerned about climate change, and then to decide for themselves what they want to do about it.

But as the Independent of London points out, the debate between Cullen and her detractors may seem irrelevant to a public confronted with extreme weather on every front, from hurricane-force winds in Eastern Europe to January blossoms in Brooklyn.

  • ddartley

    Hey Marc Morano: What’s “family” about an SUV?

    And Heidi Cullen: Don’t be intimidated; the REAL “alarmism” and “desperation” is by the person who accuses a mere commentator (not a policy maker) of “trying to silence” others. Everyone knows a blogger doesn’t have the power to silence anyone, but a Senate Committe just might. Poor little “silenced” Marc Morano.

  • This hit Slashdot a day or so ago, and most commenters there were aghast that anyone would suggest censoring or violating the first amendment, etc.

    Most ACLU/free-speech types miss the boat here. This is not a free speech issue. If the AMS were to make a scientific stand here and say, look, there is no disagreement in the scientific community, we are a scientific society, and we will disbar members who mislead the public on the science of climate change – that’s their deal. That would be a very responsible position to take.

    TV channels are still free to hire whoever they want to speak however they want – and anyone who loses their weatherperson job over this is still free to speak wherever and however they want as well, they’ve just lost a media soapbox.

    It’s not a matter of stifling dialog, it’s a matter of upholding scientific standards amongst professionals. A society such as the AMS should not lend its name to anyone disseminating bad science.

  • Chris Morfas

    It’s worth noting that staffer Morano now represents the minority party (specifically, former Chair Inhofe, a leading change denier) on the Sen Env & Public Works Committee. Sen Barbara Boxer (D.-CA) now chairs that committee, so we can expect that body to move in a different direction shortly.

    You’re not alone if you wonder about the incongruities implied by the name of the committee. Yes, the same Senate committee is in charge of both transportation and the environment.

    It will be very interesting to see how Sen Boxer balances the demands of the powerful transportation lobby whose work is the cause of much global warming (but whose campaign contributions, PACs, labor unions and sponsored nonprofits are big-time DC influencers) with calls from the environmental community (with which the Senator has very close ties) for real action on global warming.

    Here in CA, Gov. Schwarzzenegger is so far getting away with having it both ways (No, that’s stating it too lightly, becasue he is once again being deemed presidental timber).

    He and the legislature passed AB32, the now-famous global warming legislation, the effects of which will only impact voters and politicians in the future (after a new Governor has taken office) while simultaneously sponsoring a $40Billion transportation bond, mostly roadway expansions that will increase driving and greenhouse gas emissions. Post AB-32, the Governor continues continues to move aggressively on reducing CO2 emissions from fuel use…in the future.

    Let’s see if Chairwoman Boxer follows a similar strategy or courageously calls for immediate CO2-related behavioral change by the public and new federal transporation policy and funding priorities. I wish her well.

  • Considering the Sanders-Boxer bill being the best one so far, we may have reason for hope with her as chair.

  • AD

    New York City’s sustainability initiative aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% over a period of time. Let’s say the whole world met this ambitious goal within our lifetimes (which I doubt), we’d still be pumping way too much carbon into the atmosphere each year. The planet would still be warming.

    Even if we halted all CO2 emissions as of tomorrow, the chain reaction caused by all the existing CO2 would still continue to fuel the warming and increasingly chaotic weather patterns.

    Forgive me for getting freaked out here, but I don’t see how we’re going to get out of this. The human race survived and prospered for millenia before the advent of the automobile. For these reasons, I think it’s appropriate to talk about a strict ban on all internal combustion engine-based driving starting yesterday.

  • SD

    The debate over global warming is not as to whether the Earth’s climate is getting warmer (by almost every objective measure, it is to some degree [no pun intended]), but: 1) whether man’s activities play a role; 2) the extent of that role; and, 3) what can/should be done about it.

    The problem is that even the most alarmist estimates place man’s role in climate change at a miniscule level.

    Think of it this way: A diesel locomotive is going down a hill at full throttle towards a school bus that is stuck on the tracks at the bottom of a hill. Now, let’s imagine that you are at the back of the locomotive pushing as hard as you can. Total speed of the locomotive is 95 MPH.

    If you are taken out of the equation (i.e., you are not pushing on the locomotive any more), this means that instead of hitting the school bus at 95 MPH, the locomotive will hit at 94.99993 MPH. The bus will still be destroyed and any occupants will still be killed/severely injured. In other words, while you played a role, it was insignificant to the ultimate result.

    I am not saying that this means we should ignore our role as responsible stewards of the planet. But this fact also means that we do not need to adopt Draconian measures that will cripple world economies and severly impact man’s quality of life and standard of living.

  • P

    Don’t worry, Chris, Schwarzenegger is forbidden from the Constitution from being President. (Not by name, but by nationality)

  • AD

    “Even the most alarmist estimates place man’s role in climate change at a miniscule [sic] level.”

    Hogwash.

    I’ve read a number of extremely alarming estimates that place man’s role at a central, critical level. Everything from An Inconvenient Truth on down cites electricity generation and tailpipe emissions as leading factors of carbon in the atmosphere. Both result from burning fossil fuels.

    If the earth is getting warmer and humans are not to blame, then I submit this question: Which species is?

  • SD

    AD:

    I am sure you will refuse to believe any of this, but I leave you with the following for your review and consideration…

    http://www.clearlight.com/~mhieb/WVFossils/ice_ages.html#anchor29241

    As for man’s “contribution” of greenhouse gases:

    http://www.clearlight.com/~mhieb/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

  • AD

    SD,

    Thanks for the links. I am always happy to learn new things and read and explore issues. I wasn’t familiar with the documents you linked to but I was familiar with many of the broad concepts outlined, particularly the issue that the climate has changed significantly over many thousands of years covered by the ice cores (though somehow never as swiftly as it seems to be now).

    Rather than take issue with any of the points or graphs over there, I will leave a philosophical point. Whatever the extent of humans’ effect on CO2 emissions, it is better to work reduce them (or to remove CO2 from the atmosphere), than to contribute to the problem. That’s true even if that contribution is merely marginal.

    I would feel sorry indeed if the incremental percentage of greenhouse gas emissions that caused the thawing of the Siberian permafrost was the 1 X 10-80% that I caused by driving my SUV to the store for a quart of milk one Friday evening.

  • Steve

    SD, the clearlight materials you linked to are interesting. The analysis of anthropogenic contribution seems to turn on two issues–inclusion of water vapor and comparison of carbon levels between pre-industrial levels (1750) and present day. As for the water vapor issue, this argument is impressive, unless there is a difference in how water vapor and carbon contribute to warming. I don’t know if there is, but I do not the US gov’t decided to exclude water vapor from its list of g’house gasses and they certainly have no motive to emphasize the anthropogenic contribution to g’house gasses, so they must have a scientific reason.

    As for the argument that the anthropogenic contribution to airborne carbon is itself a tiny fraction of the carbon, I am still unconvinced. The sources cited by clearlight give different numbers than the ones in clearlight’s graphs, and I did not find any support for the large “natural” contribution to airborne carbon that clearlight asserts in the chart and the text. What are these “natural” sources of airborne carbon that amount to 5X the anthropogenic contribution
    of increased carbon during the period of 1750 (the presumed baseline level of carbon) to the present? Sorry if I didn’t read the materials closely enough but if you can find the answer please point out.

    The 1750 vs. 2000 comparison also strikes me as problematic because it does not capture the rate of change of atmospheric carbon. If the 28% increase in carbon from 1750 to 2000 that the government sources clearlight cites all occurred from 1950 to 2000, then I’d be worried about what the next 50 years would bring. If you know of sources of info on the rate of increase in carbon during 20th c., those would be helpful in interpreting clearlight.

  • jacque

    The Clearlight webpage is the personal site of Monte Hieb. Mr Hieb has no education in climatology, isn’t a scientist, doesn’t have any peer reviewed papers, doesn’t do research, and isn’t cited by anybody. He’s a mining engineer.
    Do a google search.

    Who is Monte Hieb?
    http://info-pollution.com/chill.htm

    And from: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2005/01/a_day_of_pride.html :

    btw, De – what do you think of this (Global Warning – a closer look at the numbers) and that (Global warming – A chilling perspective)? (This is an honest question. Is this sleazy and easy to rebut?)
    Posted by: Jérôme | Jan 18, 2005
    Jerome: First, I’m not sure it’s correct to pick water vapor. Then, the guy is on crack if he thinks just 5% of CO2 is manmade.
    Basically, the only valid point there is that indeed Kyoto protocol is quite a joke…
    …BTW, I have strong doubts about his map of the world 18.000 y ago, notably the huge extent of deserts. And of course his “present world” is ridiculous; did you see that much forests in Europe? And the only thing his chart of the Little Ice Age shows is a pretty brutal ending; too brutal to be entirely natural, probably. Then, the data, and even more those for its beginning, aren’t that precise. It surely wasn’t a smooth curve.
    But I think the guy’s bias is pretty obvious since he’s basically a shill for coal industry (see his links section).
    Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 18, 2005

    And from another site …
    “simply posting websites that state something doesn’t make it factual. Again, it’s peculiar that you’re accepting these websites as legitimate science, while dismissing Global Warming. That webpage says it was made by Monte Hieb and Harrison Hieb. Who are they? The above statement is unsupported by any scientific data. We can accurately measure the amount of CO2 emitted by automobiles, and other fossil fuel burning industries. Then it’s a matter of multiplication ….the number of automobiles X the average amount of CO2 emitted. See below…

    The recent CO2 increase—280 to 380 parts per million by volume between 1800 and 2005—is accompanied by three phenomena that completely rule out ocean warming as the main cause:

    * Parallel decline of the 14C/12C ratio of atmospheric CO2. Strictly speaking, this is the “Suess effect,” first observed, and correctly interpreted, by Hans Suess of the University of California, San Diego, in the early 1950s. The Suess effect occurs because fossil fuels do not contain 14C precisely because they are fossil—much older than 10 half-lives of 14C.
    * Parallel decline of the 13C/12C ratio of atmospheric CO2. This phenomenon is linked to the fact that fossil fuels, forests, and soil carbon come from photosynthetic carbon, which is strongly depleted in 13C.
    * Parallel decline in the oxygen concentration of the atmosphere, which is the inescapable signature of an oxidation of carbon. If ocean warming were responsible for the CO2 increase, we should also observe an increase in atmospheric O2.

    Nonspecialists will not easily be impressed by model calculations and complex budgets that contain often large uncertainties. Moreover, I have seen dishonest skeptics using “old hat” arguments such as ocean CO2 outgassing to refute the responsibility of human activities in the recent CO2 increase and the forthcoming large global warming.

    Known CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and deforestation largely exceed (by about a factor of two) what remains in the atmosphere. Hence, if warming were the cause of the CO2 increase, how would we account for the hundreds of gigatons of carbon generated by human activity?

    http://www.physicstoday.org/vol-58/iss-5/p16a.html

  • SD:

    That is straight-up disinformation. We know that there is, today, more CO2 in the atmosphere than (almost) ever. We know that when there is more CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, the planet warms. When there is less, we have Ice Age’s. We know that the unprecedented rapid increase in CO2 over the last 100 years, since Industrialization, is almost completely the result of human beings burning fossil fuels. These facts are not in question.

    Al Gore’s presentation on global warming is filled with graphs — Gore is fanatical about collecting evidence, even at one point going to the North Pole to persuade the scientists there to release their records of the ice shelves — but only one of them really matters. It comes early in the film, as Gore talks about the large ice core samples that scientists take to trace the history of the Earth’s temperature and CO2 ratings.

    Gore shows the results of these samples and then says we can go back further. The screen expands in both directions to show a massive graph of CO2 concentration going back 600,000 years. Its had its fluctuations over that time — large hills and then valleys. Underneath it, he then graphs temperature over the same period.

    Temperature tracks CO2 almost exactly, with a several-decade lag. Those large fluctuations? Those were the six ice ages we’ve had over the past 600,000 years. CO2 in the atmosphere goes up and so does the temperature, the CO2 trapping the sun’s radiation inside our planet, where it heats the Earth.

    These huge fluctuations are the difference between ice ages and where we are today. Then Gore shows the most recent trajectory of CO2: straight up, more than doubled. “If that much CO2 in one direction causes an ice age,” Gore says, “imagine what it will do in the other direction.” And then he shows the projections for the next 50 years. Again straight up, another doubling. “This is literally off he charts,” he explains. He has to climb up to reach that peak.

    “Not a single number in this graph,” he says, “is in dispute.” This is the inconvenient truth: unless we change, we will destroy the environment that sustains our species.

    http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/inconvenient

  • jacque

    And this just in…

    “2,000 scientists all but end the debate: Human activity causes global warming”

    http://www.thestar.com/News/article/172778

  • alex

    Skip the bogus websites, if we are going to argue science let’s point to peer-reviewed publications.
    Regarding anomalous climatic trends, Mann et al.
    (1999, Geophysical Research Letters, 26(6), p.759-762) used tree rings and ice cores to show that “While the warmth early in the millennium did approach mean 20th century temperatures, late 20th century warming appears to be anomalous. The 20th century warming counters a millenial-scale cooling trend which is consistent with long-term astronomical forcing. The 1990s was the warmest decade in the past millenium while 1998 was the warmest year.”
    But, if Mann et al. are only talking about Holocene (past 10,000 years – more or less) what about long-term climate variability?
    Petit et al. (1999, Nature (399), 429-436) drilled the world’s deepest ice core and reconstructed atmospheric CO2 for about the past half million years (420,000 to be exact) – whic covers the last four glacial to inter-glacial cycles. And they concluded that”Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane correlate well with Antarctic air-temperature throughout the record. Present-day atmospheric burdens of these two important greenhouse gases seem to have been unprecedented during the past 420,000 years.” Also, it should be noted that as a greenhouse gases go, carbon dioxide is barely holds heat compared to methane.
    But what about solar variability?
    Milankovitch forcings (due to changes in distance and geometry between the earth and the sun) are well-correlated with glacial cycles. However, a recent review by Foukal et al. (2006, Nature (443), p.161-166) showed that the sun’s radiation, for at least the past 300 years, has not varied significantly enough to affect temperature of the earth.
    The only real confusion in climate change studies is found in the relative roles of physical (Milankovitch forcings and North Atlantic deepwater formation) versus biological (biological pump and subsequent carbon sequestration) forcings of climate.
    Otherwise, the scientific consensus was summarized (and subsequently cited by Gore and others) in an essay by Oreskes (2004, Science (306), p.1686) wherein she published the results of an informal study of 928 papers related to climate change. Oreskes found that while 25% of the papers took no position, 75% of the papers agreed that most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.

    I have pdfs for all of the articles cited above. If anyone would be stoked to read them, I believe Aaron would be able to forward your request to me.

  • alex

    I forgot to mention that Real Climate is a scientist-run blog that is an excellent resource for answering questions about climate change and our (humans) role in the whole situation.

  • AD

    SD accurately notes in comment #6 that nobody is debating whether global warming is happening.

    Nobody, that is, except for Monte Hieb, who does exactly that in the first of the two linked articles. He shows a graph that conveniently terminates in 1996 (just before the recent run-up in temperatures) and writes: “U.S. temperatures show no significant warming trend over the last 100 years.”

  • Hannah

    While I am very concerned about global warming and human’s role in it, I see the car as a separate issue. If we could magically make all cars emissions-free, I still wouldn’t be any happier to have them honking out my window, hogging our public space, contributing to sprawl and road rage, and killing and injuring so many of my fellow citizens.

    Meanwhile, as noted in a Times editorial a few weeks ago (http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB061FF835550C748EDDAB0994DE404482 ), transportation is just one among many contributors to global warming, and not the worst one. The UN report cited by the Times is here: http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html. Cow caps, anyone?

    We should absolutely work to limit vehicular emissions, but in my opinion limiting vehicles themselves is a much better goal.

  • ABG

    Thank you, Hannah. It can’t be said enough.

  • sushil

    The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

    The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

    Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
    Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
    Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.
    Subject : Environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.

    Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

    If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

    Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

    When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

    There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

    People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

    Emotion ends.

    Man becomes machine.

    A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

    A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

    A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.

    FAST VISUALS /WORDS MAKE SLOW EMOTIONS EXTINCT.

    SCIENTIFIC /INDUSTRIAL /FINANCIAL THINKING DESTROYS EMOTIONAL CIRCUITS.

    A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY CANNOT FEEL PAIN / REMORSE / EMPATHY.

    A FAST (LARGE) SOCIETY WILL ALWAYS BE CRUEL TO ANIMALS/ TREES/ AIR/ WATER/ LAND AND TO ITSELF.

    To read the complete article please follow either of these links :

    PlanetSave

    EarthNewsWire

    sushil_yadav

  • gecko

    Some interesting assumptions painted in very broad strokes probably yet to be substantiated.

    Perhaps, along the same lines would be The New York Times article linked below.

    Free Will: Now You Have It, Now You Don’t

    By DENNIS OVERBYE
    Published: January 2, 2007

    http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=F10616F73D540C718CDDA80894DF404482

  • AD

    Hannah, absolutely! It’s amazing how many good things come from limiting vehicles and/or vehicle miles traveled. Greenhouse gas emission is just one of many to add to the list.

  • David Chesler

    It’s amazing how many good things come from limiting vehicles and/or vehicle miles traveled. Greenhouse gas emission is just one of many to add to the list.

    Conversely, at least understand that someone neutral or skeptical will be less inclined to believe statements (supporting AGW) from someone so pre-disposed to be against what he sees as a cause of AGW.

    If the Green types were saying “As much as we dislike nuclear power plants, we are now calling for their construction, because the damage from emissions from oil- and coal-fired power plants are so much worse” that would be very persuasive.

    AD in #8: If the earth is getting warmer and humans are not to blame, then I submit this question: Which species is?

    You are assuming a fact not in evidence, that this global warming is caused by any species.

    SD’s analogy in #6 Think of it this way: A diesel locomotive is going down a hill at full throttle towards a school bus that is stuck on the tracks at the bottom of a hill. Now, let’s imagine that you are at the back of the locomotive pushing as hard as you can. Total speed of the locomotive is 95 MPH.

    If you’re sure that the engineer won’t release the throttle and apply the brakes, or you’re sure that even if he did the train wouldn’t stop in time, and you’re sure that there is really a bus stuck on the tracks, rather than hanging off the back and dragging your feet, you ought to be trying to get the bus off the tracks, or trying to get the people out of the bus.

    As for Heidi Cullen’s original point, that isn’t how things are done. Ideas are not fought with blacklists, ideas are fought with better ideas. If AMS were to make a statement, that would be reasonable. And while the question of global warming happening is pretty well settled, the question of how much various factors contribute is not, and neither is the outcome, or the cost of the outcome, or the cost of options to deal with the outcome. Blacklisting suggests that the other side has something to say that is dangerous, and if it were so demonstrably false, it wouldn’t be dangerous.

    In particular, AMS has fairly broad membership requirements — mainly a B.S. in the field, or a B.S. in another science and current atmospheric experience, or a minor study in atmospherics and 3 years current professional experience. Adding any sort of creed there just doesn’t fit.

  • karen

    Re: David Chesner’s comment’s above–“You are assuming a fact not in evidence, that this global warming is caused by any species.”

    I’m just curious David. Are you arguing that the scientific community does not agree (for the most part) that humans are responsible for increasing levels of C02, a greenhouse gas, since the dawn of industrialization? Or that scientists are not mostly in agreement that increased levels of this greenhouse gas are a major contributing factor in global warming? Or are you arguing that we can never be completely sure about anything in any area of science and are objecting to the use of the word “fact”?

    I remember your comments about this topic from the last time around, http://www.streetsblog.org/2006/12/21/confronting-our-problems/#comments) and you never offer any resources for your statements. Where do you get your info? You seem to have a lot to say on this topic but you are silent as to what informs your understanding of the subject.

  • daver

    It’s such an amazingly simple concept.

    We know CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and we do know that CO2 levels warm the earth. In fact without greenhouse gases we’d all be frozen!

    We know our cars and factories and so on emit this stuff.

    Hence… more greenhouse gas == warmer temps! Wow really complicated there!

  • David Chesler

    Karen, it’s close to #2 — there is not universal agreement. If science were a democracy, AGW would win, but there is significant, non-lunatic disagreement. See for one example of disagreement here. Not #1 — humans burn stuff, releasing CO2, and not #3, no verbal trickery or discussion of knowability.

    It’s circular to assume that global warming is caused by a species to prove that it’s caused by humans.

    You say I never give sources, but see my link to the AMS membership requirements, and to NOAA weather records in the other thread at #80 (lack of white Christmases isn’t evidence) and to the EPA at #71 (Cherokee could be getting 20 mpg).

    A good discussion I’ve followed is here and elsewhere on that blog.

    Daver, if it were that simple and obvious, the fear wouldn’t have been global cooling and a new ice age thirty years ago, and there wouldn’t have been big and little ice ages and recoveries before humans. Ozone is a pollutant, but the loss of ozone in the upper atmosphere is a bad thing — things aren’t simple. It would be just as simple, and wrong, to blame the rising tide on the fact that someone urinated off the side of a boat.

  • David Chesler

    PS – the foregoing would have been better written if the site didn’t throw away well written responses when you forget to enter your name the first time you respond on a different computer, but rather just requested the missing fields.

  • karen

    Ok..David–now we’re clear. In case anyone else is still paying attention, David sent me to the Minority Page of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and their press releases.

    Senate Minority Committee Members
    James M. Inhofe
    John Warner
    George V. Voinovich
    Johnny Isakson
    David Vitter
    Lamar Alexander
    Larry E. Craig
    Craig Thomas
    Christopher S. Bond

    The other link is to something called the:
    “The Volokh Conspiracy”. A blog, I guess. The name of course, had me doubting David’s claim above about this being “non-lunatic” disagreement, but maybe I was being judgemental.

    I didn’t have time to evaluate the stuff on these pages today, but at least I know now where David gets his information from.

  • David Chesler

    The Volokh Conspiracy is a mob-blawg — a group blog with a law focus. It’s a very weak focus. Eugene Volokh is a law professor at UCLA. The general flavor of the VC members is neocon (which I’m sure doesn’t surprise you) — the discussion thread to which I pointed had points of view on both sides of the question of the degree of human cause of global warming.

    I don’t take those folks at face value either, but if they make an argument and provide a pointer, I’ve followed the pointer.

    My style may come across as sniping, but I’m working on details. I’m not prepared to make and support a grand statement like “global warming is so much caused by factors other than human CO2 emission that we ought to look elsewhere, like embracing the good [Hudson’s Bay beach resorts] and mitigating the bad [a dike around Manhattan]” — others have done that better than I could, in better media than an urban transportation blog comment thread. But if somebody says something here that doesn’t add up, I’ll try to show why it doesn’t. That can be the best way to get as close to truth as we can.

  • Rosemary

    well i belive the main reason 4 global warming is when the factories send out c02 into our air.

  • David Chesler

    Human-produced CO2 may be the cause of this current global warming, but certainly there were global warmings in the past, before humans. How can we be sure that the cause of the current global warming is so different from the causes of past global warmings?

  • Maria

    David,

    Given the fact that Earth hasn’t been hit by a massive meteor recently and that no huge volcanos have erupted to create current greenhouse conditions, we can be pretty certain that this warming has different causes than those warmings.

  • David Chesler

    Which of those caused the Medieval Warm Period?

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