Romm on the Details of Global Warming Disbelief

Writing at, Joseph Romm goes into more detail about that recent poll showing a decline in the public’s belief in global warming (Deniers are still mostly duping only GOP voters…). It turns out that since 2006, more Democrats now believe in global warming — but that shift is more than offset by the number of Republicans shifting the other way.

You can indeed fool some of the people all the time — if those people are conservatives.

Rasmussen Reports made headlines last month reporting that 41% of Americans blame global warming on human activity, down from 46% two years ago. The conservative pollster gleefully noted:

Al Gore’s side may be coming to power in Washington, but they appear to be losing the battle on the idea that humans are to blame for global warming.

It is, however, the details of the poll that are the most telling. In January 2009:

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Democrats blame global warming on human activity, compared to 21% percent of Republicans. Two-thirds of GOP voters (67%) see long-term planetary trends as the cause versus 23% of Democrats.

This compares to December 2006 result:

Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats say human activity is the cause while 51% of Republicans identify long-term planetary trends as the culprit.

That’s right. Slightly more Democrats now understand that humans are the primary cause of global warming, whereas substantially more GOP voters — a full one-sixth — have been duped into thinking long-term planetary trends are the cause.

Why the growing divergence?

Romm goes into more detail about why he thinks that’s happening. Personally, I see it as a case of the “bullshit tax” our society pays in return for the dubious privilege of having ideologically skewed entertainment that passes itself off as news reporting.

Do those who watch the NFL have an obligation to tell those who watch the WWE that the matches they’re watching have predetermined outcomes? Probably not. If you enjoy watching guys dive off the top rope in a pro wrestling match, I think that’s your business.

Global warming is different, though. Those publicly denying it are doing harm to a lot of innocent people (like, all of them, for the next thousand years or more). That’s immoral. Your desire to be entertained by bullshit artists who cater to your needy ego does not trump my descendants’ right to a livable planet.

72 Responses to “Romm on the Details of Global Warming Disbelief”

  1. enkidu Says:

    your last three paragraphs rock!
    last sentence double plus good

    however, you may be dinged for a lack of nuance

  2. knarlyknight Says:

    Great post. Also lots of great comments after Romm’s article, such as how the commenter Col laments about GOP mentality ““God just wouldn’t possibly let us wreck the planet”.

    and, while a little shrill, this one gives another view closer to (your) homes:

    Ignore temperature for the moment. Think about water, the history of the Anasazi, and the clear fact that over time, there will be less rainfall in the US Southwest (i.e., change in Hadley cells).

    In another decade or two, it may be time for grateful Oklahomans to rename the State Formerly Known as Oklahoma as The Senator Inhofe Memorial Dustbowl.

    The 1930s Dust Bowl was a local human-made disaster-awaiting-the-next-dryspell. The next one is a more global human-made disaster awaiting the next natural drought, but it looks to last centuries, rather than a decade.

  3. shcb Says:

    All I know for sure is one of us is being fed a line of crap and we’re swallowing it hook line and sinker.

    “Two men say they’re Jesus, one of them must be wrong.”

  4. Steve Says:

    What’s interesting about the global warming debate is that it’s not a case of just simple ignorance. It goes beyond even willful ignorance. This portion of the population seems to go out of their way to believe in things that are clearly not true.

    Some of my best friends are hard-core weird like this. I can’t even think of a good term for it. They aren’t stupid or evil, but for some reason they listen to people like Rush or Hannity.

    For me, when I used to do such things, I think it was feeding the desires of that little devil in me that likes to be hateful. There’s something satisfying about outrage and anger. At some point I couldn’t keep fooling myself as to what I was doing, and the obvious bullshit caused me to re-evaluate my opinions.

    I think accepting that there is evil inside of me helped as well. Once I came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t all-good, I didn’t need the release valve of vicariously enjoying Rush’s diatribes.

  5. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I’m going to throw the ‘I don’t know.’ in here. My take on global warming currently is that it looks like human industry and transportation are not helping the situation and we should take steps.

    At the same time. I had that article on by the Russian scientist that had a different take on the situation, with reducing carbon emissions being important, but saying a cooling trend preceding the next ice age had begun.

    The other night on MSNBC I caught a piece about how there are some scientists on the left and far left politically that have developed earth is cooling models.

    I caught another piece on the BBC about a group of scientists researching a major period of global temperature increase that lead to major extinctions in the time of early mammals.

    To reiterate. I’m not denying that there is a man-made element to warming trends. At the same time, I resent the implication that the science is in, it seems like we have a model that we can make some predictions on, but is not a completely finished, fully documented model.

    Looking for motive, we’ve hit the point in the debate where both sides of the argument stand to gain materially, that contributes to the level of obfuscation.

  6. knarlyknight Says:

    Steve, I think you nailed it.

    When one side calmly and repeatedly implores the other side to look at the evidence about global climate change aka warming; and the other side more often than not responds with ridicule, insults, and ignorant non-sequitars like: “How do you explain all the snow we got in December?” or “what about all the scientists aligned with Bush’s and industry who way it is not related to human activity?” well, then you realize you’re dealing with something more than willful ignorance.

    It almost makes one wish for a benevolent dictatorship led by a technocracy of impartial advisors. People who could have blasted right through the official Bushit about climate change for the past eight years. This is not a rant. I was leading towards the following, another example of “people who go out of their way to believe in things that are clearly not true.” That is just about everyone else who posts here. The rational for actually doing a full impartial evidence of 911 is overwhelming:

    Dear Counsel,

    As an attorney, you know how important the Constitution and the rule of law is. We’ve just suffered through years of attack on the system of laws and justice in which we practice.

    Many lawyers are concerned about presidential signing statements, spying on American citizens, torture, and other challenges to American law and international conventions… As attorneys, we are not swayed quite so much as some people by ungrounded emotions. We have expertise in analyzing competing claims, weighing conflicting evidence, and reaching logical decisions about what really happened. Moreover, as lawyers, we know that people sometimes cover up and attempt to hide incompetence, recklessness, or crime.

    We have all heard people say that “everything changed on 9/11”, as if that were an excuse to disregard the Constitution as a “quaint”, outdated document. Not many American attorneys believe that.

    In fact, many high-powered attorneys have questioned the Bush administration’s explanation for 9/11 itself, including why the Bush administration allowed the hijacked planes to inflict so much damage on 9/11. By way of example only, the following lawyers have publicly questioned the Bush administration’s explanation for 9/11, or believe there might have been a whitewash and a cover-up:

    • J. Michael Springmann, head of the U.S. consular official in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, who witnessed first-hand CIA agents insisting that terrorists be let into the U.S., even though their paperwork was wholly inadequate

    • John Loftus, Former Federal Prosecutor, Office of Special Investigations, U.S. Department of Justice under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, former U.S. Army Intelligence officer, and currently a widely-sought media commentator on terrorism and intelligence services

    • J. Terrence “Terry” Brunner, former prosecutor in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the U.S. Justice Department and a key member of Attorney General Bobby Kennedy’s anti-corruption task force; former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois

    • Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois, Champaign, a leading practitioner and advocate of international law, responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989

    • Burns H. Weston, Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus and Founding Director and Senior Scholar, Center for Human Rights, The University of Iowa, Honorary Editor, Board of Editors, American Journal of International Law

    • Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus, International Law, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University

    • Mark Conrad, assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Troy University; associate General Counsel, National Association of Federal Agents; Retired Agent in Charge, Internal Affairs, U.S. Customs, responsible for the internal integrity and security for areas encompassing nine states and two foreign locations

    • Horst Ehmke, former Minister of Justice of West Germany. Professor of law, University of Freiburg;

    • Ferdinando Imposimato, Honorary President of the Supreme Court of Italy. Former Senior Investigative Judge, Italy. Presided over numerous terrorism-related cases

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The lawyers listed above, and many other legal scholars, have looked at the evidence and determined that it is convincing.

    We invite you to go to, the website for Lawyers for 9/11 Truth, and look for yourself.


    Burns Weston
    Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus and Founding Director and Senior Scholar, Center for Human Rights, The University of Iowa, Honorary Editor, Board of Editors, American Journal of International Law

    William Veale
    Former instructor of Criminal Trial Practice at Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley. Retired Chief Assistant Public Defender, Contra Costa County.

  7. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Unless you watched the 3 hour debunking the 9/11 Truthers documentary on the History Channel.

  8. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    And you know, to quote Walter from the Big Lebowski, “What the fuck does this have to do with Viet Nam?!!!’

    We could try, just once, as a experiment, not dragging the tread way off track.

  9. knarlyknight Says:

    Jayson “watched the 3 hour debunking the 9/11 Truthers documentary on the History Channel” = “the release valve of vicariously enjoying Rush’s diatribes”

  10. shcb Says:

    Jayson, a couple numbers I have heard, the total effect man has on climate is about 4% and the effect of manmade CO2 on all greenhouse gasses is about .05%. now that 4% is probably huge in relationship to our volume but if we do all the Global Warming people want we might change it to 3.995%. That 4% includes our existence. Remember we are part of nature too.

    Steve, where is there any hateful speech in these discussions of climate change? It is just two sides with opposing views of how thousands of bits of information on a subject are analyzed. It is sad when people invoke the hate speech card to squash reasonable debate. It diminished the meaning of the word.

  11. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Right. It will never ever matter what anyone else says about this ever. Even if your theoretical benign technocracy decided you were wrong on this point you’d disagree. There is always another link, always another expert, no matter what, no matter what anyone says or could ever say to the contrary. Take it somewhere else already.

  12. shcb Says:

    just ignore him Jayson

  13. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    shcb, where does that number come from?

  14. knarlyknight Says:

    “What the f*ck does this have to do with Vietnam?!!!”
    “we could try, just once, as a experiment, not dragging the tread way off track”

    equates to =

    “When one side calmly and repeatedly implores the other side to look at the evidence about global climate change aka warming; and the other side more often than not responds with ridicule, insults, and ignorant non-sequitars… well, then you realize you’re dealing with something more than willful ignorance.”

    And for the record, we’ve all done a good job lately of remaining on track.

    The point of the lawyer’s letter is to highlight that the same epistemiological process has been long suffered by more than just the global warming scientists.

    If you think about it, the troop movements, oil field destruction and other actions taken in the last 8 years as a direct consequence of insane responses to the 911 terror attack may have contributed more to CO2 buildups than have been saved via sane environmental efforts over the past 8 years.

  15. enkidu Says:

    On global warming/climate change, I think we do need more science. Saying ‘The model’ implies there is a single model, I think that is far from correct. Carbon may be only a precursor to horrific methane hydrate bakeoff and rapid climate destabilization. Europe is going to get a lot colder if the sea no longer circulates all that warm water past their western shores.

    Recall CFCs? Giant hole in the ozone? Death of all life due to way too much radiation getting thru? How did that work out? Which side were the wwnjs on? The side of the deniers. The world took action and banned CFCs and the ozone is getting better (tho still damaged by other industrial pollutants). The cost of doing nothing is just too high. We need to grow up as a species and take care of our elderly mother (earth).

    Saying Al Gore stands to benefit from climate change is ridiculous: what should he do, stand by and invest only in oil stocks? He is putting his money where his heart is, where his mind told him the greatest danger to humanity currently threatens. I might suggest it is anti-science and belief that poses the greatest long-term threat to humanity, but perhaps they are one in the same. ymmv

  16. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    knarly, not really, we’re talking about one thing and you had to throw your pet project in. That’s what it meant.

    Al Gore has nothing to gain? He’s staked his entire reputation on this. And yes, there will be money to be made on the anti-global warming side of things. People are already exploiting the idea of ‘being green’ for every product category. I didn’t mention Al Gore specifically, but the idea of holding anyone or any movement beyond reproach is ridiculous.

  17. shcb Says:


    It’s been some time since I heard those numbers, the .05% was from a professor of some climate related science from a University in Kentucky I believe. He simply took all the greenhouse gasses, water vapor being something like 75% of the green house gasses, and then figured the amount of CO2 we produce. If I remember correctly that includes breathing. The 4% number has been around for some time, 3 or 4 years at least, you can probably search that. As I recall it was figured similarly, how many cows are there, how many bees, turtles, fish, etc, how many people, and then figure how much they affect climate. Of course these things are difficult to balance, a cow shits, it gives off methane gas, that is bad, the farmer uses the shit to fertilize plants that use the co2 given off by the tractor and the farmer and O2 is produced. The farmer doesn’t use petroleum based fertilizer, that is good. So in that little circle was the net effect on the climate a plus or a minus?


    The ozone hole is a good example, the last I heard after all the CFC’s were removed they have found that the hole still grows and shrinks, it seems now that the hole is sort of a regulating device to bleed off excess heat, we just didn’t research it enough before we had a knee jerk reaction, sound familiar?

  18. enkidu Says:

    I’ll address the ozone hole: annual cycles aren’t the same as annualized trends. It reminds me of your ‘the world is getting colder!’ link from another thread: when you pick a high in the past and a low in the present you can flip the overall trend for ‘global warming’. The trend for the ozone hole was larger and larger and larger every year, until we banned CFCs. Then it has reversed course – the concentrations of these gases is going down even tho it may take decades before the damage is healed.

    Actions have consequences. I would avoid over hasty actions… like that guy who said it would be cheaper to geo-engineer ourselves out of climate change by throwing gigatons of sulphur oxides or whatever into the upper atmosphere via some handy volcanoes. Talk about unintended consequences! However, as a thought experiment it helps scientists to think outside the box.

    You can’t cherry pick ‘facts’ and then expect everyone to just nod their heads: the ozone hole continues to have an annual cycle, and the average mean size trends were clearly one way and are now clearly in the other direction. Human beings caused the ozone hole, human beings fixed it. And we sold all kinds of newer refrigerants instead of the environmentally unsound compounds we were using. I just don’t see why greener tech is such an evil to Rs. Oh wait it’s cuz that fat guy who won in the US elections of 2000 said it…

    it seems now that the hole is sort of a regulating device to bleed off excess heat

    Some basic high school level science might help you here. Or are you saying ‘global warming’ is real?

  19. knarlyknight Says:

    yea, the denial of a good point based on proven facts by means of some petty notion is sadly all too familar.

    And for the half a sack of hammer crowd, I’ll spell that out:

    “good point” = Enk noting past wwnj’s objection to banning CFC’s has parallels to the current climate debate (or, re: Jayson’s current little tizzy, the explanations set forth about the growing GOP disbelief about global warming science applied to other areas where rationale thinking was required.)

    “proven fact” = the ozone layer protects the earth from damaging ultra-violet rays and CFC’s released into the lower atmosphere rise to the ozone layer and chemically react in a manner that destroys that ozone layer; the more the ozone layer thins the more that most life on earth is threatened with extinction (or, re: Jayson’s current little tizzy, that “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence… and legal scholars have looked at the [911 conspiracy] evidence and found it convincing.”

    “petty notion” = the ozone hole is a natural device to release excess planetary heat (?!) ; (or, in Jayson’s case, that the suggestion that rationales for other groupthink example(s) should be dismissed out-of-hand because – non-sequitar alert – they are merely someone else’s desire to insert their “pet project” into the conversation.)

  20. knarlyknight Says:

    Enk, you’re kidding, right???

    What’s the source of that bizarre statement about the ozone hole?

  21. enkidu Says:

    knarls – that would be shcb
    2-4-09 12:21
    last paragraph

  22. knarlyknight Says:

    enk, yea, i realize that, I was just wondering if there is some convoluted hypothesis somewhere that a high school science teacher might take seriously, or if that is just another new low reached by half a sack of hammers?

  23. NorthernLite Says:

    I am now 100% completely convinced that either a) shcb never took one science class in his life, or b) that he was asleep during said science class or c) his science teacher was on lcd or d) he just makes this shit up to get a rsie out of the ‘left’ (i.e. Rush Limpdick, Ann Coultergeist, etc.)

  24. NorthernLite Says:


  25. knarlyknight Says:

    No science teacher could teach a class while on lcd, last time I took that sh*t it was wild, it felt like the whole world was one big television.

  26. knarlyknight Says:

    By the way NL, the answer to your multiple choice is all of the above.

  27. shcb Says:

    Ok, you guys can have the ozone debate, at least that problem was easily corrected with a simple change of chemicals (global warming unfriendly chemicals) and once the problem was fixed they stopped. The problem was also fairly well researched and the evidence substantial. If we find out 50 years from now there was nothing to it, well, no harm no foul.

    The answer to the question is (b) same with algebra, bookkeeping, American history and typing, luckily I learned to read so I could catch up later in life.

  28. enkidu Says:

    so we have established that you can read…
    how is understanding coming along?

    and we have established that nearly everything you type here is partisan tripe

  29. shcb Says:


  30. enkidu Says:

    you’re a dittohead?
    I thought you wanted Macho Mike Rosen to pick you for the football team?
    you keep nattering on about how he’s so dreamy.

  31. knarlyknight Says:

    Careful enk, you’re starting to sound like Lefty’s mirror image.

  32. knarlyknight Says:

    Okay we’ll take the ozone debate along with Enk’s observation that the cost of doing nothing then was just too high just like now the cost of doing nothing about climate change is just too high.

  33. knarlyknight Says:

    Curious as to the percentage of democrats, independents and republicans that believe the war on terror is a hoax.

    The most obvious indication that there are no terrorist cells [in America despite government assertions to the contrary] is that not a single neocon has been assassinated.

    Quite an eye-opener:

  34. shcb Says:

    They must have been out of town the first couple weeks in September 2001.

  35. NorthernLite Says:

    Yes, and the Bush admin. facilitated their escape.

    Just one more reason he’s the Worst. President. Ever.

  36. knarlyknight Says:

    Yes, failed to prevent it from happening then facilitated their escape.

    A =

    B =

    C = Worst President Ever

    A + B = C

  37. enkidu Says:

    heh, good one knarls
    must point out my satirical comment is a near quote of dear shcb’s ‘reason’ why I’m a R post from a few weeks back (which sounded like lefty actually wrote it)

  38. knarlyknight Says:

    yea Enk, shcb’s “‘reason’ why I’m a Republican” was flabbergasting in its unashamed flouting of a primitive, fear-based or dog-pack attitude.

    The more I learn about the underlying nature of republicans (as opposed to their BS bragging) the less respect I find they deserve. Also, after the last eight years of action they rate about a zero on a respect scale of one to ten.

  39. knarlyknight Says:

    JBC – My 9:53 “…comment is awaiting moderation”

    WHY IS THAT? Does the rense link trigger a review? If so, who sets that rule and why?

  40. jbc Says:

    I set the rule, in that the blog has a filter that checks comments for various things that make them look like they might be spam. It’s not a very precise filter, and I don’t pay a lot of attention to it.

    If I were more clever I’d implement something that automatically whitelists known users (since that’s effectively how I handle the moderation, immediately approving anything by someone I recognize, once I get around to looking in the moderation queue).

    I’ll take a look at that this weekend and see if I can make it smarter. Sorry about the delays. It’s nothing personal, and isn’t, as far as I know, specific to which links you’re linking to. It’s just the count of links in the comment, I think, that triggers it.

  41. enkidu Says:

    jbc, it reminds me that I had a post that was in moderation the other day: just two links to the onion about all the great fun they’ve had over the last eight years (well, at least someone was happy, eh?)

    nothing obnoxious, just some links w the h t t p bits attached. Comments always sail thru when one uses knarls method of links without the beginning bits.

    fyi, hope it helps

  42. knarlyknight Says:

    JBC – thanks… I’ve noticed it’s working better now than a few months ago when it was tougher to get comments with links to post. But if there is a plain simple logic to it then that has eluded me. I recall ages ago you mentioned the spam type filtering based on there being more than 3 links, but there is some type of (random?) filtering below that threshold too.

  43. NorthernLite Says:

    Well, let’s hope shcb is right and the earth is entering a cooling phase, cause if this is true, we be fuct.

    “Ice shelf collapse could shift axis of Earth, study says”


  44. knarlyknight Says:

    Yea, that could be like the big one. Could be a good time to be in the levee building business. Or levee repair business. Or better yet, the moving business.

    There’s another ice shelf piece the size of Northern Island (to the wwnj’s: that means it is big) hanging by a thread now and only a few years ago it was expected to last another 30 years before it fell into the sea.

    At the risk of JAYSON geting all pissy again, this time I’m actually segueing off topic because I suspect you need some cheering up. The following video of apparent police brutality is worth watching solely for the cartoon, based on a real 911 call by a police officer on himself, that starts just past the half way mark…

  45. knarlyknight Says:

    err, Northern Ireland…

  46. shcb Says:

    Rosen hasn’t had anything I’ve been interested in the last few days so I went back in the archives and listened to an interview with Dr William Grey yesterday. He is meteorologist at CSU (the school my daughter is going to) he has been in the business for over 50 years. He is also a world renowned hurricane forecaster. He thinks the warming and future cooling are because of ocean currents, in large part I’m sure because that is his area of expertise. His bias is showing. He has also looked at the global warming models and says they just aren’t right. He made an interesting remark that even with the newest technology we can only map patterns out to about ten days, there are just too many variables. The other point he made was that none of the results being posted show what the temperatures will be in 2 or 3 years, they are all 50 or 100 years out, because then the results could be checked.

    They also discussed a Newsweek article from April 28, 1975 that discussed the impending doom from Global Cooling and guess what, that is about the time that the warming cycle everyone is quoting began, damn that Mother Nature. A caller made the point that one of the experts quoted in the article is now a global warming proponent. In the article he was bemoaning that mass famines were going to ravage the planet because cooling would limit food production, but of course food production has risen with technology and… wait for it… global warming.

  47. NorthernLite Says:

    So now you think global warming is happening? I thought you said we are in a cooling phase?

    You flip-flop more than a big stinky fish laying on the pavement!

  48. shcb Says:

    Read what I say, not what you think I said, we have been in a warming phase for the last 30 years or so now we MAY be moving into a cooling stage, the last 10 years have shown to be fairly even with the last 2 or 3 slightly down, depending on which study you look at. These things don’t just stop warming one year and start cooling the next. We were coming out of cooling stage in the 70’s that started in the 40’s? What Dr.Grey was saying is people, especially people with an agenda, do is extrapolate from a time period that fits their need. In the mid 70’s they extrapolated the cooling trend out to a point in the future which is now the present and said we would be living in a nuclear winter today (Dr Carl Sagan). They started their data from the point that was most convenient. But when their predictions started going wrong they just changed to say global warming was going to flood the earth, by ice melting instead of that same ice taking over large parts of Canada to the point there would be little agriculture in North Dakota like they had predicted just a few decades before. Now these are just little bumps on the bigger graph which is the earth coming out of Little Ice Age. Is this just another little bump or are we turning toward the next major correction? I don’t know, but it is probably just a natural event.

  49. knarlyknight Says:


    It’s not valid to assess the conclusions made in the 1970’s with the conclusions made today when the level of human scientific knowledge is estimated to be doubling every two years.

    All that verbage you throw out here (on any topic) is mere rhetoric that presents and witholds certain facts in order to support your preordinained opinins, or those on the Rosen football team.

    Perhaps the main reason the 1970’s cooling projections did not hold was because Greenhouse gases then started to surge dramatically.

    The wonders of science have provided us with plenty of data and the information age has made all of it available to anyone. Educated rational people can form their own conclusions, there is no need to demur to the opinions of your high school football quarterback or his center tackle.

  50. knarlyknight Says:

    Aaah yes, I just remembered that you think this whole debate is a grand conspiracy.

  51. shcb Says:

    So if the science wasn’t good enough 30 or 40 years ago to support my argument why is it good enough to support yours?

  52. knarlyknight Says:

    30 or 40 years ago “the science” had fewer data points and the correlations between variables and upon global temperature were/was not very well known.

    Now there are an abundance of data points from numerous fields of scientific inquiry ranging from astrophysics to insect studies.

    Sample size and an understanding of variable interactions relate directly to degrees of certainty.

  53. shcb Says:

    We’re using the same data though. Actually if more data points increase accuracy, which it does, then my last 10 years is more accurate than your last 40. Of course all this assumes the three studies that show the temps are stabilizing are correct and the one study that shows a continued rise is wrong. Which seems plausible since the 3 studies are more similar to each other than the NASA study, and the NASA study admits to arbitrarily increasing measured temperatures.

    But the correlation is between co2 and temperature rise, and yet co2 continues to rise but temps are stabilizing. So it seems the hypothesis may be wrong. Co2 will likely continue to rise no matter what the US does since China isn’t likely to curb it’s emissions. If co2 were to continue to rise but temps were to drop over the next ten years it would seem we have had a repeat of Dr Sagan in reverse, and the temp changes have more to do with natural cycles than man’s effects. You are using 30 or 40 years of a rise in co2 and temps that seem to correlate and I am using a 10 year period at the end of that cycle where they don’t correlate, those are pretty similar time frames, it’s not like I’m using a 6 month period to your 30 years.

  54. NorthernLite Says:

    I just wish this damn global cooling period would stop melting the polar ice caps…

  55. knarlyknight Says:

    Good point. But remember that we are talking about a very complex multi-dimensional dynamic system, so it is entirely possible that short term climate changes (decades) may result in overall global temperatures stable or falling with much milder temperatures at the poles.

    Good point. But remember this is a complex multi-dimensional dynamic system. It is entirely possible that short term climate changes (decades) may result in overall global temperatures stable or falling with much milder temperatures at the poles causing massive ice sheet/shelf melting. Now, I just wish this damn global cooling period would stop melting the Swiss Alp glaciers and all the others around the world too.


    First off, I think you and I agree that the extent of anthropogenic effects on global warming is not 100% convincing, despite what many others here think. You do yourself a disservice by oversimplifying the issue, there is a lot more to it than CO2, besides the other main anthropogenic greenhouse gases – methane (CH4) and ironically ozone (O3) – there are deep ocean heat sinks and other variables that all play into the outcome. Even if we get twenty years of apparent cooling on the surface of this planet as the ice continues to melt, that could be the pre-curser to a dramatic reversal and surge in temps if the albido effect from ice and clouds vanish. That example was illustrative only, my personal (likely irrational) belief is that with higher CO2 and temps plant growth will surge and we’ll be living on a lush warm planet (and everyone will be happy )

    Human activities may be like throwing burning wooden matches into a tall dark cauldron, with a big crack along one side that is sitting outside: we know the cauldron gets hotter and colder depending on the sunlight and the season, and we know the matches are very hot, but we still aren’t certain whether or not the fire from the matches will make the steel cauldron weaken and collapse at freefall speed into itself. (Right Jayson?)

    You said: “Co2 will likely continue to rise no matter what the US does since China isn’t likely to curb it’s emissions”. That type of defeatism was true under the Bush paradigm, but now there is Hope:
    Also, of course the data from the last ten years is better than the data from any prior year, that’s irrelevant to my data points comment. The increase in data points that I spoke of was the increase in data points about historic and pre-historic climate that have been collected by numerous branches of science over the past 40 years: many more ice core samples from a greater number of locations, tree ring data, ancient pollen sample analysis, coral analysis, distribution of insect types, records of glacier advances and retreats, etc. The increasing data collected from a wide range of sources has increased our certainty about historic and pre-historic temperature estimates.
    Your criticism of the NASA historical data is too simplistic to be taken seriously. Yes, there have been debates about it, grand official debates with congressional studies offering up their findings, but those were about the details and generally warming trends have been determined to be the most probable.

    So shcb, you and I:
    1. disagree about the level of uncertainty,
    2. more or less agree that human activities are likely relatively minor relative to other effects on global temperatures (i.e. one enormous volcano and all bets are off),
    3. disagree about what to do about it as I say we should stop wasting wooden matches and you say that burning wooden matches is good for the forestry industry, and
    4. agree that no matter how many burning matches we throw into that big damaged cauldron and how hot it gets as a result that will never cause it to collapse at freefall speed leaving scraps of steel and molten pools of metal.

  56. shcb Says:


    Thanks for that. I know this issue is very, very complicated. That is sort of my point and my frustration at the same time. When people like AlGore say the science is in and the science is really only beginning it drives me nuts. Dr Grey goes so far as to say there has never been a debate on this subject, if you are a dissenter you are shunned in fact he said this

    Now there’s a few modelers around who know something about storms, but they would like to have the possibility open that global warming will make for more and intense storms because there’s a lot of money to be made on this. You know, when governments step in and are saying this – particularly when the Clinton administration was in – and our Vice President Gore was involved with things there, they were pushing this a lot. You know, most of meteorological research is funded by the federal government. And boy, if you want to get federal funding, you better not come out and say human-induced global warming is a hoax because you stand the chance of not getting funded.

    So how can you call something science if you only look at one side of the issue. This is where global warming crosses from science to religion. Science is about discovery, it has to look at all the evidence, now if it disproves something it can stop looking in that area, but even then the lab records are kept in case that aspect needs to be revisited, I do that all the time.

    You said earlier that I thought this was a conspiracy, well I’m sure there are some pockets of conspiracies involved, a scientist that cooks a report a little so he doesn’t lose funding, on both sides, but I think the religious/political aspect of issue is more that it serves to reinforce a bias. The people that are passionate about these things, whether it is cooling in the 70’s or warming in the 90’s have one thing in common, they think man is evil. I’m exaggerating only a little for effect. They think that anything bad that happens is man’s fault, they yearn for a simpler time, before industry and the competitive, fast paced world took over. But in a lot of cases they have romanticized those good old days, why were many Indians nomadic? Because they would use up all the recourses in an area and then move on to the next place. Only a few tribes were good stewards of the land. But they were so pure in many of these people’s eyes.

    Back to oversimplification, I oversimplify co2 on purpose, because that is what global warming advocates do. To make a boogey man you can’t say that there are many, many factors that have to be studied and it will take decades, you pick something convenient; in this case they picked co2. Now that the lines of co2 growth and temperature rise seem to moving away from each other they are saying it is something else, but all the or else’s have one thing in common, they are all manmade. Not a single cause they are blaming is natural, for some reason the people who are known to have such a passion for nature are shutting it out of this discussion. That gets my spidey senses going.

    Back to the science of global warming, for your dining and listening pleasure here are a couple graphs for the last few thousand years of temperature changes, it shows the Medieval warming period and the Little Ice age. At the very end you can see what I was talking about where we had a little cooling period from the 40’s to the 70’s and then the rise to current levels and how all this hysteria is over a little tiny bump on a much larger cyclical curve. The graphs also stop at 2000, about the time we are saying the temps started to stabilize and go down. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that was all the data they had available.

  57. knarlyknight Says:

    I did not realize that the temperature anomalies were already double and triple that of the historically significant medieval warming period. That is truly alarming.

  58. shcb Says:


  59. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I think the one graph knarly is referring to is off somehow, when you compare it to the text here: they’re talking about it being 1 C warmer than current temps during said period, using the Vikings colorizing the sea without being hindered by ice.

    I’m not drawing any conclusions, just saying that one graph looks ‘off.’

  60. shcb Says:

    My reading of the article on the Medieval Warming Period is that ocean temperatures were a degree warmer not air temps. But I also remember during Katrina a hurricane expert saying that Atlantic vary by a degree from north to south on a 50 year cycle which is why at some time the hurricanes hit the keys and then hit further north for a while, in Florida and even up the east coast.

    I think Knarly is referring to the black line, which is Dr. Grey’s point that if you extrapolate any line out you get catastrophic results. If you blow the graph up and extrapolate the tiny section that is the downturn from the 40’s to the 70’s out to today it looks like it would be about -0.6c, which is what they were talking about in that Newsweek article in 1975, but it didn’t continue to cool, it got warmer. If it is getting cooler now we are simply in a thirty year cycle.

  61. shcb Says:

    sorry for the broken English, I’ve been emailing China and I have found you have to leave a lot of words out of your sentences to talk to them. I hadn’t quite switched back to English

  62. NorthernLite Says:

    Hey, has anyone told Australia that we’re in a “cooling phase”? They might be relieved seeing how they’re being been scorched by 40+ degree (C) heat. Plus, those damn ice caps keep melting!

  63. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    You know, I’m not going to argue about the ice caps things because its easily visible via satellite. I do want to point out that saying ‘cooling ha! because such and such place is hot’ is a poor argument. It might actually be the direct cause, but if I were to say that ‘Oh, we’re definitely cooling because such and such place just had some record lows for winter, people would jump all over that.

  64. NorthernLite Says:

    Jayson I totallay agree, and I usually stay away from those type of statements for the exact same reason.

    I just like having fun with this right-wing “cooling phase” stuff. It’s hillarious.

  65. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Ok, I got it.

  66. shcb Says:

    It doesn’t seem everyone down under agrees with you…,25197,23411799-7583,00.html

  67. enkidu Says:

    you might have noticed that the interview you link to was from march of 2008?
    or that the cherry picked dates to show a ‘global cooling’ scenario are bunk?
    or that the institute Jenny works for is a right wing think tank?

    btw – she isn’t a climatologist at all

    or maybe you might have bothered to plug her name into wiki?

    On Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio National program, Ockham’s Razor, she says… I agree with Professor Flannery that we need to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

    flip, meet flop, flop, flip

    Five to ten years ago we had the climate change deniers saying: ah no big deal it aint happening, the science isn’t in etc etc etc. Now they are saying climate change is happening but it isn’t because of anything we’ve done! In another five to ten years you will be saying it’s all them Democrats fault!

  68. shcb Says:

    So I guess this means I get to disqualify anyone I perceive as “left wing” or anyone that has received money from any group I consider “left wing” like the UN, or the Nobel people. AlGore isn’t a climatologist either. Or is this one of those privileges only you get to enjoy?

  69. shcb Says:

    Can you explain why 2008 is important? And why she is cherry picking dates? I think I know but I want to be sure of you thought process before I make some unfounded remarks. Thanks.

  70. NorthernLite Says:

    LOL – yeah, post a link to an op-ed piece, that’ll show me!

    Ever notice how when I post items, they’re news articles about scientific studies? Or NASA data, or actual scientific studies?

    This dude (who neither you nor I have ever heard of btw) denies the effects of climate change so I guess that means the polar ice caps aren’t melting? Whew, what a relief!! Seriously, is that your reply to this fact, an op-ed piece by some nobody down under?

    When I choose to take a ‘side’ in a ‘debate’, I like to base it on facts, like scientific studies, people who have been in the field for decades, not some fly by night columnist or radio personality. That’s a big difference between you and I.

    You know what else is funny? First, right-wingers denied that climate change was even happening. It was a hoax. Then, it was happening, but occurring naturally – not caused or accelerated by man. Now, it’s happening and it’s probably caused by man but there’s nothing we can do about it anyway. We’ll destroy our economy if we try (LMFAO)

    So, I’m just hanging in there because judging by this pattern, you guys will soon accept fact and come to realize this is happening, it’s being caused by human activities and we can take steps to mitigate its effects.

    Worst case scenario: We end up leaving our children a cleaner and more sustainable planet. Ack!!!

  71. enkidu Says:

    shcb, the overall trend is hotter, you can’t just pick a peak here and a trough there, draw a line and then declare it’s a cooling phase because these two data points show a downward trend. Seriously, if I linked to some lefty mc left of left site on climate change (I honestly have no idea who that might be) would you hesitate even a moment to denigrate their opinions? I just pointed out that Jenny has some conflicts of interest / corporate skeletons in her closet.

    I just hope the rational folk can override your inertia before it is too late. A tipping point like a massive methane boil off would be beyond catastrophic.

    So if the Defense Dept is worried about the effects of climate change, can you wingers please climb on board before we destroy the biosphere? thx

    I am with you NL, link to the best data you can find from established, reliable sources. Reminds me of when I asked TV to verify his claims that “we found the WMDs!” The sources and iinfo were utter bunk. I refuted the fauxnewz spin easily from DoD, IAEA, GAO, BBC and other reputable sources.

    I’m not even a big believer in ‘evil carbon’ (plants eat it and it’s part of the reason crop fertility and productivity keeps inching up, that and massive amount of petro fertilizers and pesticides ;-) CO2 is just part of the problem of GHGs and other pollutants.

  72. NorthernLite Says:

    To bring all this down to the most basic scientific level (and this is just my opinion):

    Our universe is made of many gases and elements, especially this place we call earth. Very unique. A perfect balance of gases and elements that has created the only planet that we know of that is liveable by our species.

    Everything about our planet boils down a very delicate balance of these gases and elements.

    Add in a species of over 6 billion and have that species start disrupting this delicate balance by pumping more gases into our air, water and atmosphere that otherwise wouldn’t be there…

    I’m going to stop here because hopefully you understand my point.

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