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February 21, 2004

CLIMATE CHANGE, BABY, CLIMATE CHANGE....I genuinely don't know what to think of this. The headline in the Observer screams "Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us," and it's followed by this story:

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

Hmmm, that sounds bad.

Bob Watson, chief scientist for the World Bank and former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, added that the Pentagon's dire warnings could no longer be ignored.

'Can Bush ignore the Pentagon? It's going be hard to blow off this sort of document. Its hugely embarrassing. After all, Bush's single highest priority is national defence. The Pentagon is no wacko, liberal group, generally speaking it is conservative. If climate change is a threat to national security and the economy, then he has to act. There are two groups the Bush Administration tend to listen to, the oil lobby and the Pentagon,' added Watson.

....The fact that [Andrew] Marshall is behind its scathing findings will aid [John] Kerry's cause. Marshall, 82, is a Pentagon legend who heads a secretive think-tank dedicated to weighing risks to national security called the Office of Net Assessment. Dubbed 'Yoda' by Pentagon insiders who respect his vast experience, he is credited with being behind the Department of Defence's push on ballistic-missile defence.

A bullet list of the key findings of the report is here.

Now, I have to assume that the report is real and the Observer reporters didn't just make it up. On the other hand, the language is so apocalyptic that surely it must be part of a section labeled "absolutely positively really really worst case and not at all likely scenarios -- but we thought we'd include them anyway since that's the kind of thing we do around here."

But this is what we love about the British press, isn't it? There's really no way to tell. Perhaps they'll be kind enough to put the entire report up on their website someday so we can see for ourselves what it's really all about.

In the meantime, a note to the trolls: yes, rising seas and a "Siberian" climate in Britain are compatible with each other. One long term scenario for climate change is that overall warming causes the shutdown of the "Atlantic conveyer," an underwater current that warms northern Europe. If the conveyer stops, Britain would indeed get a lot colder even as other parts of the world warmed up.

On the other hand, I have my doubts that the Netherlands will be uninhabitable by 2007.

UPDATE: The full report is here. I haven't read the whole thing, but here's the disclaimer at the beginning:

We have interviewed leading climate change scientists, conducted additional research, and reviewed several iterations of the scenario with these experts. The scientists support this project, but caution that the scenario depicted is extreme in two fundamental ways. First, they suggest the occurrences we outline would most likely happen in a few regions, rather than on globally. Second, they say the magnitude of the event may be considerably smaller.

We have created a climate change scenario that although not the most likely, is plausible, and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately.

As disclaimers go this is actually fairly mild, especially considering the extreme nature of the projections.

Posted by Kevin Drum at February 21, 2004 06:29 PM | TrackBack


Comments

I think this was reported a few weeks ago under a much less hyperbolic headline. It sounded like a contingency report, that it might be something to plan for.
I don't think the Pentagon has much to say over the causes of global warming, just that it might be a good idea for the defenses to be prepared.

Posted by: Reg at February 21, 2004 06:32 PM | PERMALINK

It is very sexed up. The timeline is compressed by about an order of magnitude (10 years rather than 100 for most of the claims), and some of the claims are unlikely ever. However, that being said the most probable case is scary enough, and significant problems start soon enough (10-30 years) to take real actions now.

Posted by: Eli Rabbett at February 21, 2004 06:42 PM | PERMALINK

I think the general thing that people should realize is that, in general, global warming is a pretty darn bad thing. Which is worse...siberian climate in Britain, half of Florida being put under water, drought in the western U.S., more severe storm patterns, and so on. If even one of the potential global warming results ends up happening, the costs in terms of lives and money are going to be enormous. That's why investing in ways to control CO2 emissions now is worth it; the potential likely costs outweigh by far anythign we'd have to spend to control it.

btw, another global warming consequence...warming ocean waters are expected to totally kill the Great Barrier Reef within 50 years.

Posted by: Balta at February 21, 2004 06:45 PM | PERMALINK

Fortune had a lengthy article about this within the last month. The gist of it was that the Pentagon has explored the possibility that climate change might be much more rapid than anticipated, and could lead to considerable international destabilitization. It was actually pretty scary. Here's a link:
http://www.fortune.com/fortune/technology/articles/0,15114,582584,00.html

Posted by: ebob at February 21, 2004 06:45 PM | PERMALINK

I blush to confess my unfamiliarity with Andrew Marshall, but no one who "is credited with being behind the Department of Defence's push on ballistic-missile defence" can have any credibility.

Also, the Observer winds up its story by asserting that Bush denies climate change at the bidding of the energy industry. Alas, it is not so; it is the Christians, not the oil companies, who forbid any acknowledgement of scientific reality.

Posted by: Frank Wilhoit at February 21, 2004 06:48 PM | PERMALINK

There are a significant number of climatologists and oceanographers who are concerned about possible changes in the Gulf Stream. Fresh water from the melting polar ice cap is already tweaking things and if the tweaks become real change Northern Europe may be in for some drastic consequences.

These consequences might accrue within a short period of time, a couple of years.

Posted by: gmoke at February 21, 2004 07:01 PM | PERMALINK

Also, the Observer winds up its story by asserting that Bush denies climate change at the bidding of the energy industry. Alas, it is not so; it is the Christians, not the oil companies, who forbid any acknowledgement of scientific reality.

Two points in response, Frank. First of all, it isn't "the Christians" who (think they) control the right-wing Republican agenda and who are disposed to be anti-science: it's the right-wing so-called "Christians" who do. (See The Right Christians for just one counter-example.) Second, contrary to your suggestion, it really is the oil, coal, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries that are driving Bushian Lysenkoism (as Kevin so appropriately called it a couple of days ago). If you look at the Union of Concerned Scientists' scathing take-down of the Bush Administration's misuse of science in policymaking, I think you'll find that the vast majority of the cases they cite are industry- rather than ideology-driven. (The exceptions, of course, are funding decisions based on anti-abortion ideology and the faith-based belief that abstinence-only sex education does any good.)

Posted by: Dr. Bonzo at February 21, 2004 07:02 PM | PERMALINK

Global warming is a real problem, but this report does seem overly apocalyptic to me as its portrayed here.

Posted by: Keith Brekhus at February 21, 2004 07:08 PM | PERMALINK

I recall John Derbyshire, yes, that John Debyshire referred to the related FORTUNE story in a post to the corner at NRO.

He evidently got reamed by the readers for even mentioning the possibility that there might be some bad sort of climate change in store.

Posted by: Jon H at February 21, 2004 07:11 PM | PERMALINK

Call it global warming. Do not use the republican's talking points.

Posted by: chef at February 21, 2004 07:11 PM | PERMALINK

"Call it global warming. Do not use the republican's talking points."

Global warming is a poor name, though, because there is a threat of areas becoming much colder.

Global warming sounds like it could be pleasant, so is easily dismissed as not being problematic. As such, "global warming" is actually the term the GOP should prefer to be arguing against.

"Climate change" covers the gamut of changes: becoming wetter, becoming drier, becoming hotter, becoming colder, heavier rainfall (resulting in floods).

Posted by: Jon H at February 21, 2004 07:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Global warming" works because the atmosphere of the earth is a heat-engine. The more heat (fuel), the more extreme the weather.

--ventura county, ca

Posted by: Darryl Pearce at February 21, 2004 07:23 PM | PERMALINK

Offhand, these strike me as absurd claims, which ought not be promoted by those seriously concerned about global warming.

Making yourself look ridiculous is not a good way to get people to agree with you.

Posted by: Bernard Yomtov at February 21, 2004 07:23 PM | PERMALINK

Responding to gmoke...Actually the shutting off of the Gulf Stream is basically the same effect Kevin refers to here. What happens in the oceans is roughly that cold water in the North Atlantic is more dense than the warmer waters to the south, so it sinks downwards to form the North Atlantic Deep Water. At the same time, the winds at the Equator drive a rotation cell in the surface waters, including the creation of the Gulf Stream. The thinking is that, if the water in the North Atlantic warms up, it will have less impetus to sink, and therefore it will weaken the currents moving away from the North Atlantic. If those currents are weakened, then it will also slow down the currents that push water north, such as the Gulf Stream, since there will be water still in the way.

It is a matter of some debate the extent to which this happens because there are several different driving forces here; most geology classes teach that the rotation in the ocean is mainly driven by the equatorial winds piling up water. That effect would likely not be reduced by global warming; we really don't know which force is actually dominant.

The reason we think this might happen is that it's thought to have happened before. During the last deglaciation, there were actually 2 different warming pulses in the Northern Hemisphere, with a glacial advance between them known as the Younger Dryas. It shows up in sediment records all over the Norhtern hemisphere. The thinking is that, as the glaciers were melting, eventually meltwater from the Canadian Glacial Ice sheet started dumping water into the Atlantic, diluting the effect of the North Atlantic Deep water; the whole area was probably colder so there wasn't going to be as much impetus for water to sink. When that happened, the the gulf stream is believed to have weakened, causing maybe a thousand years of cooling in the Northern Hemisphere. That cooling caused the North American glacial sheet to re-advance, cutting off the flow of water to the north Atlantic and forcing the glacial meltwater to drain back down the Mississippi. This allowed the Gulf Stream to start back up and started another pulse of warming that finished off the ice caps.

The thinking with Global warming shutting off the North Atlantic deep water is based on this time; we think it happened once, it could therefore happen again. Hope that helped clear up the theory a little more.

If you have a minute, please visit my web page. Thanks!

Posted by: Balta at February 21, 2004 07:27 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin says: "On the other hand, I have my doubts that the Netherlands will be uninhabitable by 2007."

Having worked in Eindhoven, I don't have any doubts about this. Anyone who does probably thinks Des Moines is inhabitable.

Posted by: bunny at February 21, 2004 07:28 PM | PERMALINK

While things will probably not get that bad that quickly this is clearly another important reason to send Shrub and Co. back to Crawford.

Can the world as we know it survive another four years of these people?

Posted by: ____league at February 21, 2004 07:36 PM | PERMALINK

This report draws on a number of scientific sources, and the conclusions are definitely of the worse case scenario.

Shutting down the Gulf Stream / Atlantic Conveyor would be catastrophic -- but the model that is used for this prediction are based on the Younger Dryas mini ice age that occurred 13,000 years ago.

The current scenario for shutting down the Atlantic Conveyor is based on the melting of the Arctic ice cap and the Greenland glacier -- and the influx of this cold water shutting down the conveyor. The Younger Dryas ice age was caused by a more dramatic event -- the release of the glacial meltwater in the Great Lakes region.

"During the waning days of the ice age, North America's Lake Agassiz was the largest body of fresh water in the world. At times it held more water than that in all the world's lakes today. Lake Agassiz strongly influenced North American climate, but scientists have also linked several major surges of fresh water from the lake to sudden global climate changes. The last and largest of these discharges was associated with a 400-year-long cold spell and raised sea levels about a half-meter. ... In its earliest stages about 13,000 years ago, Lake Agassiz' overflow spilled down the Mississippi River. Some of the oldest beaches stretched along the lake's southern and western shores, from an outlet in North Dakota northward into Manitoba. ... Then, a new spillway opened along the eastern edge of the lake. A sudden 100-m drop in lake level sent 9,500 cubic kilometers of fresh water-about 85 percent of Lake Agassiz' volume at the time-flowing through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River into the North Atlantic. This abrupt change in the routing of meltwater coincided with the onset of a 1,600-year worldwide cold spell known as the Younger Dryas, says Peter U. Clark, a geophysicist at Oregon State University in Corvallis. The period's cooler temperatures are recorded in ice cores in Greenland, lake sediments in Japan, deposits drilled from the ocean floor off the northern coast of South America, and elsewhere. Many of these climate indicators suggest that the Atlantic's influx of fresh water from Lake Agassiz interrupted the ocean's transport of heat from the equator to high latitudes. Many researchers suggest that this heat transport, called the thermohaline circulation, drives Earth's climate. In the Atlantic Ocean today, the Gulf Stream conveys warm, salty water north from the equator along the ocean's surface. Off Greenland, the water cools, becomes denser than the ocean layers beneath, and sinks to the bottom to form what scientists call North Atlantic Deep Water. The sudden rerouting of Lake Agassiz' meltwater into the North Atlantic 13,000 years ago provided a one-two punch to this briny conveyor belt. First, says Clark, the fresh water that arrived in the initial flood was much lighter than the ocean's salt water and therefore couldn't cool enough to sink. That, in turn, stifled the flow of warm water to the North Atlantic. Second, drainage from Lake Agassiz supplemented the meltwater already reaching the North Atlantic from the eastern lobes of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. The flow of fresh water from the St. Lawrence River rose for the next several decades to approximately double what it had been before the break. From climate records, scientists can't distinguish which of these two components-the initial flood or the long-term doubling of St. Lawrence River discharge-had a bigger effect on Earth's climate, says Clark. He and his colleagues are now constructing computer models that may answer the riddle. ..."

http://cgrg.geog.uvic.ca/abstracts/PerkinsOnceDuring.html

It's doubtful that global warming will have the same effect as the great flood that led to the Younger Dryas, but the possibility exists.

More likely, global warming will lead to rising sea levels that will innundate coastal regions around the world. Good news for Dutch Dike Building companies, bad news for everyone else.

Another possibility that hasn't been discussed are mass extinctions of life. According to a show on the Discovery Channel, the greatest mass extinction in the history of planet Earth occurred 265 million years ago, at the boundary between the end of the Paleozoic and the beginning of the Mesozoic eras. This was caused by a huge volcanic eruption in Siberia, with lava flows that covered hundreds if not thousands of square miles. This event caused a rise in global temperatures of 4 to 5 degrees. But that wasn't the worst of it. This episode of global warming led to the melting of the permafrost, and release of the frozen methane at the bottom of the ocean -- which led to another 4 to 5 degrees of global warming. This hothouse led to the extinction of 99% of all life on the planet, and set the stage for the age of the dinasaurs -- who in turn were wiped out 65 million years ago by a huge asteriod, and the nuclear winter it caused.

These are all the worst case scenarios, and it is unlikely things will get that bad. But no matter what, Global Warming is real, and it is a serious threat.

Posted by: Charles K at February 21, 2004 07:42 PM | PERMALINK

2 points:

1) the most interesting part of the feared effects to me wasn't the drowning of The Hague or the end of the Gulf Stream, but the claim that by 2007 the Delta levees near Stockton CA will be breached, wrecking the CA acqueduct system. LA, and Valley farmers, would be very, very displeased with this.

2) (the key point) this is a very Dr. Strangeloveian blueprint for further Pentagon attempts at US global hegemony. The reasoning is that if global warming will lead to global chaos, then the US, in order to protect itself, must not only continue to act pre-emptively around the world, but must do so on a vastly broader scale, to prevent nuclear warfare, to protect its and its allies' food and water supplies.

2a) it also legitimizes, in advance, an attitude of doing nothing if/when major famines break out across the world, by lending it an air of inevitability.

Scary stuff indeed, irregardless of the fate of the CA Delta or of Eindhoven.

Posted by: eugene at February 21, 2004 07:43 PM | PERMALINK

Darryl Pearce writes: ""Global warming" works because the atmosphere of the earth is a heat-engine. The more heat (fuel), the more extreme the weather."

This is true, but the average person thinks "Global warming" just means "it gets warmer", without extending the concept to anything else. People definitely don't understand that 'global warming' could lead to 'local cooling'.

The GOP capitalizes on this every winter, when in response to a cold snap or snowstorm, they say "Ha! So much for global warming!".

So, no, "global warming" is not a good term to use.

Posted by: Jon H at February 21, 2004 07:48 PM | PERMALINK

Environment correspondent Mark Hertsgaard of The Nation discusses this report in the March 1 issue. It's available online, but only to subscribers. He reports that the Pentagon claims the probability of the apocalyptic outcomes is "quite possibly small, but given the dire consequences, it should be elevated beyond a scientific debate. Action now matters."

Given this administration's obsession with secrecy, The Nation surmises that Marshall leaked the report to Fortune intentionally to make sure the word got out to the business community. Hertsgaard also wonders what effect, if any, this report will have on a vote to be taken by the World Bank on April 15, whether to stop all funding of oil and coal development. If the World Bank were to stop such funding, that would have a tremendous impact.

Hertsgaard also describes Marshall as "a legendary figure who has done 'big picture' strategic planning for the military for decades and has been a trusted associate of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld since the 1970's . . . ." To the extent that Rumsfled still has any pull with the administration (and we all know that he damn well SHOULDN'T), Hertsgaard argues that Bush can't ignore this report.

Posted by: edwardpig at February 21, 2004 07:49 PM | PERMALINK

I blogged this subject at daily Kos on January 30.

Posted by: Meteor Blades at February 21, 2004 07:51 PM | PERMALINK

Balta and Charles K. have added a lot of clarification and background information to this issue, and what they wrote matches the research I have seen on this subject. One wonders how many readers of the original article will bother to go beyond the sensationalism to the same extent in order to find the reality behind it.

Posted by: tbrosz at February 21, 2004 07:52 PM | PERMALINK

Two more articles --

Abrupt Climate Change -- Are We on the Brink of a New Little Ice Age?

From the Woods Hole Ocean and Climate Change Institute -- good interactive graphics.

http://www.whoi.edu/institutes/occi/currenttopics/abruptclimate_joyce_keigwin.html

The Great Climate Flip Flop -- the Atlantic Monthly

http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/98jan/climate.htm

Posted by: Charles K at February 21, 2004 07:58 PM | PERMALINK

And why should we take seriously the Pentagon's pronouncements on climatology? The Pentagon's expertise is planning for and predicting military effects under certain scenarios. The Pentagon has not undertaken any studies to prove the validity of the more apocalyptic global-warming scenarios. They are taking global warming as a premise in their study of its military effects.

Posted by: David Pittelli at February 21, 2004 08:06 PM | PERMALINK

David Pittelli -

It's serious because, as I note in the post above, it's not their use of science that matters (although it makes for fun reading), but how they plan to make foreign affairs and military policy as a result. And in that, it matters a great deal what the Pentagon is planning to do.

Posted by: eugene at February 21, 2004 08:18 PM | PERMALINK

On the other hand, I have my doubts that the Netherlands will be uninhabitable by 2007.

That's cos you've never been there. Forget about the climate, what passes for food in the Netherlands will certainly have done the trick by then. :)

Wu

Posted by: Carleton Wu at February 21, 2004 08:21 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent point, David. I can't recall any military capability in climate change throughout my career. Next week's (or month's) weather was always of tactical interest and within the military's capabilities, but climate change? It doesn't seem to be an area of expertise in the Department of Defense, nor should it be.

Posted by: Navy retiree at February 21, 2004 08:35 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I spent 2 1/2 weeks in the low countries this past summer, touring around. I'm a castle and WWI freak. And I can tell you that, well, the low countries are LOW. Schipol Airport is 2 or so meters below sea level, on a drained lake bed. This isn't a joking matter. I have my doubts on whether the Netherlands will be inhabitable in 2104.

I spent some serious time in Flanders this past summer, and Brugge isn't much above sea level. A sea raise of 25 meters would take out much of the province of West Flanders. I'm not kidding. You can see that just looking at all the drainage problems that they have in the Netherlands and Belgium. EVERYWHERE, and I mean EVERYWHERE, the land is filled with drainage ditches. It's particularly noticeable in the Netherlands, but Belgium has a lot of it too in Flanders and the Antwerp area.

The land only starts to really rise in West Flanders once you get inland to Ieper, Ypres in French, of WWI fame. German trenches during the battle were on a ridge that's really only 50 or so meters higher than sea level. You might not believe it, but that's actually something substantial compared to Ieper's elevation. It gave the Germans good artillery positions. I only understood this by taking the tour, and standing where German Generals stood. It sure as hell didn't SEEM like much of a rise, but compared to Ieper and the general lay of the land, it was something you at least noticed.

Take a look at your map sometime, and measure out the distance between the coast and Ieper. It's a good 15 miles, and the land is LOW between the coast and Ieper. I'd bet a 20 meter rise in sea level would flood the whole place.

I've just checked my map, and most of the land from the coast to Brussels is below 100 meters. Only once you get to the Meuse (Maas in Nederlands) River do you see substantial amounts of land above 100 meters.

Changes in the level of the ocean would, and have had great impact on humanity.

Let's take the Tasmanian aborigines, for example. Their ancestors WALKED from Australia to Tasmania when the sea level was much lower during the last ice age. The Bass Strait isn't that deep, so when the level of the ocean was approximately 150 meters lower than it is now, it was possible to actually walk from Australia to Tasmania.

When the sea level rose around 10,000 years ago, they were cut off. So were the aborigines living on other islands in the strait, notably in the Furneaux Group of islands.

For genetic reasons, the changing sea level was a death sentence for the Furneaux islanders. They couldn't maintain the necessary number of non-related individuals at a level population of less than 500 to survive over the long haul.

Isolation was a technological killer for the Tasmanian aborigines, as they couldn't maintain the necessary number of individuals given statistical fluctuations in the population. In order to maintain some skills, you need to have a certain amount of the population living long enough to pass on those skills -- and you need to have people living long enough to actually pick up those skills. Over a long period of time, small populations, such as that on Tasmania (around 5,000 individuals more or less over 10,000 years) during her 10,000 years of isolation, are going to have statistics working against them in the effort to maintain technologies. This happened in Tasmania, as the technical know how to MAKE FIRE AND CLOTHING WAS LOST, EVEN THOUGH THE MIDDEN RECORD SHOWS THEY ORIGINALLY HAD THOSE SKILLS.

This was because of red tides and other natural disasters. People think fish eating -- which was viewed with horror by the Tasmanians when first encountered by Europeans -- was stopped as a result of some red tide disaster in their distant past. Fish eating was originally in the Tasmanian midden record.

I relate all this because sea level rises CAN VERY NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE COURSE OF HUMAN EXISTENCE. Tasmanian aboriginal history is a very good example of this.

This is a national security threat at the very least, and a serious mishap for our species at the worst.

The solution is actually obvious -- don't let it get to that point. The problem is, once the situation becomes obvious, it will probably be too late, as changing climate change will probably be on the nature of you and I trying to move an elephant by leaning against it. Not impossible, but difficult.

Depressing. Look up the history of the Tasmanian aborigines. You'll see how climate change changed their lives, and was ultimately a death sentence.

Bummer. For them. And us. The past is the guide to the future.

As an interesting aside, the Tasmanian aborigines looked different from the Australian aborigines, and had an interesting way of standing.....

10,000 years. Isolation. Fascinating subject.

Posted by: Tony Shifflett at February 21, 2004 08:35 PM | PERMALINK

I'm amazed at the reaction to this. Peruse any number of national security strategies by American organizations and agencies, including and especially the Pentagon, and "climate change" is upfront.

It's not a secret. Active planning for the consequences of climate change is already in our national security strategy.

To be honest, climate change isn't a secret to anyone but seemingly Bush, the Republicans, and the American electorate.

It's like a Twilight Zone episode.

Posted by: jimm at February 21, 2004 08:57 PM | PERMALINK

The joke's on us.

Posted by: jimm at February 21, 2004 08:58 PM | PERMALINK

I did my senior thesis back in '97 on climate change and how the costs of doing nothing compared to the costs of doing something to slow down or stop climate change. It seemed to me that the business community viewed the equasion this way: do something= high costs, doing nothing= no costs.

However, with climate change comes stronger storms, more floods, more droughts, etc. The insurance costs for natural disasters have gone up every year for decades, and in the last 15 years have gone up even more. Climate change isn't a possibility, it is already happening. Look at the temperature records for Alaska 40 years ago and look at them for the last few years- the temps are noticably higher. My thesis concluded that the costs of doing nothing were much, much higher than doing something now.

And while the sea level rise doesn't sound like all that much to those of us who live quite a bit about sea level, to people living in the pacific islands and delta areas, it can make a huge difference.

Posted by: Baaaa at February 21, 2004 09:01 PM | PERMALINK

He said that the Pentagon's internal fears should prove the 'tipping point' in persuading Bush to accept climatic change.

I'd say this person is really an optimist.

The one thing most climate scientists agree on these days is that things could get very bad very, very fast. The other day I was listening to a program on KQED (2/13/04) about the AAAS and Climate Change. One point made was that the amount of carbon put into the atmosphere is reaching levels never experienced on earth according to all records scientists have looked at (ice core, fossils, etc). This is uncharted territory for sure. And we won't be in control of it at all.

Posted by: Mary at February 21, 2004 09:01 PM | PERMALINK

I repeat. Climate change is expected. It's being modeled for by our agencies responsible for national security. It's being modeled by international agencies trying to predict its effects.

There is not a question of whether climate change will happen. We know it's happened countless times in the past, and some postulate its enormous effects on the course of our human evolution.

The question is when and if it will happen exclusively because of our activities, and, if so, what we can do about it, or, alternatively, what we should do during the course of it.

Global warming is one way of putting it, when focusing on the Greenhouse effect, but climate change is about much more than that, about extreme weather both hot and cold, the climate falling far from equilibrium, and changes in ocean systems that could result in the consequences mentioned in the Observer article.

Posted by: jimm at February 21, 2004 09:01 PM | PERMALINK

Every climatic amelioration (instead of "global warming") for the last ca. 1 million years has been followed by a cooling; in fact, the default position over this timeframe has been ice age. Even if we don't go into a new deep freeze, how would northern Eurasia and northern North America deal with a new Vandal Minimum or Little Ice Age?

Posted by: M. Tullius at February 21, 2004 09:03 PM | PERMALINK

Nr,

"but climate change? It doesn't seem to be an area of expertise in the Department of Defense, nor should it be."

So what happens if the sea level rises enough to put some current naval bases under water? Is this not of a concern of the military? For instance, I personally don't understand Tyndall and Eglin AFBs; if someone had paid attention to climate, they would have noticed that building two AFBs in an area prone to hurricanes may not have been the best idea. Conversely, trying to figure out what currently undesireable areas would be good for new bases to replace ones made unusable by rapid climate change would be smart.

This report is probably a Chicken Little exercise, but I would prefer the military check the idea out and at least make sketchy plans for the possiblity rather than wake up one day and say "Fuck, when did Tallahassee become a sea port? Oh well, who cares? We don't do climate."

Posted by: Phalamir at February 21, 2004 09:06 PM | PERMALINK

How come Rumsfeld isn't jumping all over the Pentagon for daring to do this study? Doesn't he follow Dubyanocchio's line on climate change: i.e., nothing to worry about, just greeniacal nonsense, the Rapture is coming soon and good Republicans will all be lifted above the waters however high they may rise.

Posted by: Meteor Blades at February 21, 2004 09:19 PM | PERMALINK

Good point MeteorBlades. In their minds, they're hastening the end, which is a good thing.

As for why the DoD would be concerned with climate change, need I spell it out? It could cause global chaos, increased tensions as far as scarce resources (resource wars), and possible economic plunges that would further tensions and armed conflicts.

In other words, sudden climate change would not be a welcome development, and it's not because we'd have to assure that our naval bases weren't underwater.

Our whole alliance system and zones of economic prosperity (especially in commodities) could change in the event of abrupt climate change.

Posted by: jimm at February 21, 2004 09:31 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone thinks the Pentagon is being a bit over-dramatic, or even if you don't think that, read The Ice Chronicles: The Quest to Understand Global Climate Change by Paul Mayewski & Frank White.

Mayewski directed the Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two (GISP2), an early 1990s ice-drilling project on the Greenland Ice Sheet. At the spot of drilling, the ice sheet is over two miles thick! And like rings on a tree, they traced back in time as they went down the core, year by year to 110,000 years ago.

Through a battery of tests on each year's slice, they completed a detailed profile of the climate of the North Atlantic for over that 110,000 year time span. The main thrust of what was learned is that the Earth's climate is anything but stable. We have been lucky in these recent centuries, for in the past, climate has changed dramatically, and quickly. Global temperatures have changed 20 degrees F or more in less than a decade.

We are now undergoing climate change, and the Gulf Stream is already weakening as its salinity decreases due to glacial runoff. When it does shut down, we could be in for just such a rapid climate shange event as the Pentagon describes. It might be less destructive, but it could very well be more so. We had better get ready now.

Posted by: Elwood Blues at February 21, 2004 09:34 PM | PERMALINK

GLobal warming and the woods hole oceanographic institute.

http://www.whoi.edu/home/

THese people are probably who the pentagon is listening to.THey say that the so called conveyor belt is more like a light switch adn instead of it shutting off over time that it turns off within a couple years.And.. that it might be in the process of doing just as we mull it over.Global warming is a catstophe waiting to happen,its just a matter of when.The science is in and has been going on fo over 40 years.They DO know some things and they have a very good reputation.

Posted by: smalfish at February 21, 2004 09:42 PM | PERMALINK

I am a geologist with significant experience in climate change.

Let's put it this way, if things happen as fast this time around as they seem to have happened in previous cycles, then a LOT of people are going to be saying

"WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN???"

Problem is, we did.

On a "lighter" note....for an excellent future-possible bit of science fiction centered around this exact theme, please read David Brin's "Earth"....

He's a physicist turned scifi writer, and a decent writer to boot.

It's a fun read.

Posted by: Dan at February 21, 2004 09:44 PM | PERMALINK

While global warming is being officially ignored by the political arm of the Bush administration, and Al Gore's recent conference on the topic during one of the coldest days of recent years provided joke fodder for conservative talk show hosts, the citizens of Europe and the Pentagon are taking a new look at the greatest danger such climate change could produce for the northern hemisphere - a sudden shift into a new ice age. What they're finding is not at all comforting.

In quick summary, if enough cold, fresh water coming from the melting polar ice caps and the melting glaciers of Greenland flows into the northern Atlantic, it will shut down the Gulf Stream, which keeps Europe and northeastern North America warm. The worst-case scenario would be a full-blown return of the last ice age - in a period as short as 2 to 3 years from its onset - and the mid-case scenario would be a period like the "little ice age" of a few centuries ago that disrupted worldwide weather patterns leading to extremely harsh winters, droughts, worldwide desertification, crop failures, and wars around the world.

Here's how it works.

If you look at a globe, you'll see that the latitude of much of Europe and Scandinavia is the same as that of Alaska and permafrost-locked parts of northern Canada and central Siberia. Yet Europe has a climate more similar to that of the United States than northern Canada or Siberia. Why?

It turns out that our warmth is the result of ocean currents that bring warm surface water up from the equator into northern regions that would otherwise be so cold that even in summer they'd be covered with ice. The current of greatest concern is often referred to as "The Great Conveyor Belt," which includes what we call the Gulf Stream.

The Great Conveyor Belt, while shaped by the Coriolis effect of the Earth's rotation, is mostly driven by the greater force created by differences in water temperatures and salinity. The North Atlantic Ocean is saltier and colder than the Pacific, the result of it being so much smaller and locked into place by the Northern and Southern American Hemispheres on the west and Europe and Africa on the east.

As a result, the warm water of the Great Conveyor Belt evaporates out of the North Atlantic leaving behind saltier waters, and the cold continental winds off the northern parts of North America cool the waters. Salty, cool waters settle to the bottom of the sea, most at a point a few hundred kilometers south of the southern tip of Greenland, producing a whirlpool of falling water that's 5 to 10 miles across. While the whirlpool rarely breaks the surface, during certain times of year it does produce an indentation and current in the ocean that can tilt ships and be seen from space (and may be what we see on the maps of ancient mariners).

This falling column of cold, salt-laden water pours itself to the bottom of the Atlantic, where it forms an undersea river forty times larger than all the rivers on land combined, flowing south down to and around the southern tip of Africa, where it finally reaches the Pacific. Amazingly, the water is so deep and so dense (because of its cold and salinity) that it often doesn't surface in the Pacific for as much as a thousand years after it first sank in the North Atlantic off the coast of Greenland.

The out-flowing undersea river of cold, salty water makes the level of the Atlantic slightly lower than that of the Pacific, drawing in a strong surface current of warm, fresher water from the Pacific to replace the outflow of the undersea river. This warmer, fresher water slides up through the South Atlantic, loops around North America where it's known as the Gulf Stream, and ends up off the coast of Europe. By the time it arrives near Greenland, it's cooled off and evaporated enough water to become cold and salty and sink to the ocean floor, providing a continuous feed for that deep-sea river flowing to the Pacific.

These two flows - warm, fresher water in from the Pacific, which then grows salty and cools and sinks to form an exiting deep sea river - are known as the Great Conveyor Belt.

Amazingly, the Great Conveyor Belt is only thing between comfortable summers and a permanent ice age for Europe and the eastern coast of North America.

Much of this science was unknown as recently as twenty years ago. Then an international group of scientists went to Greenland and used newly developed drilling and sensing equipment to drill into some of the world's most ancient accessible glaciers. Their instruments were so sensitive that when they analyzed the ice core samples they brought up, they were able to look at individual years of snow. The results were shocking.

Prior to the last decades, it was thought that the periods between glaciations and warmer times in North America, Europe, and North Asia were gradual. We knew from the fossil record that the Great Ice Age period began a few million years ago, and during those years there were times where for hundreds or thousands of years North America, Europe, and Siberia were covered with thick sheets of ice year-round. In between these icy times, there were periods when the glaciers thawed, bare land was exposed, forests grew, and land animals (including early humans) moved into these northern regions.

Most scientists figured the transition time from icy to warm was gradual, lasting dozens to hundreds of years, and nobody was sure exactly what had caused it. (Variations in solar radiation were suspected, as were volcanic activity, along with early theories about the Great Conveyor Belt, which, until recently, was a poorly understood phenomenon.)

Looking at the ice cores, however, scientists were shocked to discover that the transitions from ice age-like weather to contemporary-type weather usually took only two or three years. Something was flipping the weather of the planet back and forth with a rapidity that was startling.

It turns out that the ice age versus temperate weather patterns weren't part of a smooth and linear process, like a dimmer slider for an overhead light bulb. They are part of a delicately balanced teeter-totter, which can exist in one state or the other, but transits through the middle stage almost overnight. They more resemble a light switch, which is off as you gradually and slowly lift it, until it hits a mid-point threshold or "breakover point" where suddenly the state is flipped from off to on and the light comes on.

It appears that small (less that .1 percent) variations in solar energy happen in roughly 1500-year cycles. This cycle, for example, is what brought us the "Little Ice Age" that started around the year 1400 and dramatically cooled North America and Europe (we're now in the warming phase, recovering from that). When the ice in the Arctic Ocean is frozen solid and locked up, and the glaciers on Greenland are relatively stable, this variation warms and cools the Earth in a very small way, but doesn't affect the operation of the Great Conveyor Belt that brings moderating warm water into the North Atlantic.

In millennia past, however, before the Arctic totally froze and locked up, and before some critical threshold amount of fresh water was locked up in the Greenland and other glaciers, these 1500-year variations in solar energy didn't just slightly warm up or cool down the weather for the landmasses bracketing the North Atlantic. They flipped on and off periods of total glaciation and periods of temperate weather.

And these changes came suddenly.

For early humans living in Europe 30,000 years ago - when the cave paintings in France were produced - the weather would be pretty much like it is today for well over a thousand years, giving people a chance to build culture to the point where they could produce art and reach across large territories.

And then a particularly hard winter would hit.

The spring would come late, and summer would never seem to really arrive, with the winter snows appearing as early as September. The next winter would be brutally cold, and the next spring didn't happen at all, with above-freezing temperatures only being reached for a few days during August and the snow never completely melting. After that, the summer never returned: for 1500 years the snow simply accumulated and accumulated, deeper and deeper, as the continent came to be covered with glaciers and humans either fled or died out. (Neanderthals, who dominated Europe until the end of these cycles, appear to have been better adapted to cold weather than Homo sapiens.)

What brought on this sudden "disappearance of summer" period was that the warm-water currents of the Great Conveyor Belt had shut down. Once the Gulf Stream was no longer flowing, it only took a year or three for the last of the residual heat held in the North Atlantic Ocean to dissipate into the air over Europe, and then there was no more warmth to moderate the northern latitudes. When the summer stopped in the north, the rains stopped around the equator: At the same time Europe was plunged into an Ice Age, the Middle East and Africa were ravaged by drought and wind-driven firestorms. .

If the Great Conveyor Belt, which includes the Gulf Stream, were to stop flowing today, the result would be sudden and dramatic. Winter would set in for the eastern half of North America and all of Europe and Siberia, and never go away. Within three years, those regions would become uninhabitable and nearly two billion humans would starve, freeze to death, or have to relocate. Civilization as we know it probably couldn't withstand the impact of such a crushing blow.

And, incredibly, the Great Conveyor Belt has hesitated a few times in the past decade. As William H. Calvin points out in one of the best books available on this topic ("A Brain For All Seasons: human evolution & abrupt climate change"): ".the abrupt cooling in the last warm period shows that a flip can occur in situations much like the present one. What could possibly halt the salt-conveyor belt that brings tropical heat so much farther north and limits the formation of ice sheets? Oceanographers are busy studying present-day failures of annual flushing, which give some perspective on the catastrophic failures of the past. "In the Labrador Sea, flushing failed during the 1970s, was strong again by 1990, and is now declining. In the Greenland Sea over the 1980s salt sinking declined by 80 percent. Obviously, local failures can occur without catastrophe - it's a question of how often and how widespread the failures are - but the present state of decline is not very reassuring."

Most scientists involved in research on this topic agree that the culprit is global warming, melting the icebergs on Greenland and the Arctic icepack and thus flushing cold, fresh water down into the Greenland Sea from the north. When a critical threshold is reached, the climate will suddenly switch to an ice age that could last minimally 700 or so years, and maximally over 100,000 years.

And when might that threshold be reached? Nobody knows - the action of the Great Conveyor Belt in defining ice ages was discovered only in the last decade. Preliminary computer models and scientists willing to speculate suggest the switch could flip as early as next year, or it may be generations from now. It may be wobbling right now, producing the extremes of weather we've seen in the past few years.

What's almost certain is that if nothing is done about global warming, it will happen sooner rather than later.


Thom Hartmann (thom at thomhartmann.com) is the author of over a dozen books, including "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights" and "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," and the host of a nationally syndicated daily radio talk show. www.thomhartmann.com This article is copyright by Thom Hartmann, but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached.

Posted by: smalfish at February 21, 2004 09:51 PM | PERMALINK

heres the exact page for woods hole global warming.
http://www.whoi.edu/institutes/occi/currenttopics/ct_abruptclimate.htm

Posted by: smalfish at February 21, 2004 09:56 PM | PERMALINK

>>I am a geologist with significant experience in climate change.

Let's put it this way, if things happen as fast this time around as they seem to have happened in previous cycles, then a LOT of people are going to be saying

Dan are you crazy talking about the climate change cycle on this forum??? There are no cycles!!! Global warming is all man made. Get with the program ;-).

Posted by: Norman at February 21, 2004 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

At my blog, I have links and excerpts to this story from Fortune to Tom Paine to the Observer and even a Pakistani site. I can't believe that the mainstream hasn't even mentioned it.

Posted by: Mister at February 21, 2004 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

the Rapture is coming soon and good Republicans will all be lifted above the waters however high they may rise.

a rising tide lifts all boats, of course. if you can afford a boat, you'll be all set.

Posted by: cleek at February 21, 2004 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

Damn it's been so troll free till now.
Norman,are you like the president and dont read anything?You ought to get those dark glasses off and look at the writing on the wall/blog.Did'nt you see kevin' post that the military is the one who's doing the talking?Oh i forget since Bush didnt say it it's nothing to worry about right?

Posted by: smalfish at February 21, 2004 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

Re: globla warming, et al.
Should we attempt to halt harmful practices? Yes. What few seem to acknowledge is that if these dire predictions come true - then the overwhelming majority of us can bend over and kiss our ass (and those of our loved ones) goodbye. Imagine a natural disaster (hey, in California its not hard to). Now imagine this disaster with no one coming to help you. No medicine, no clean water, no doctors or hospitals. Then what? I do not believe telling my sick & dying family that I ranted about this on-line will bring much satisfaction. Any thoughts as to , I don't know, maybe some action or precaution to take now?

P.S. - Who gets elected head man strikes me as about as relevant as which team wins the super bowl immediately prior to a comet striking the earth. Is this inevitable?

Posted by: Californio at February 21, 2004 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

As I recall from my studies of the Bible, no one knows when the rapture will be, so why do people think the Christian right can hurry it up? Supposedly it is God's choice, not ours.

Posted by: pol at February 21, 2004 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

3 things:

1. If this scenario actually played out I think we can definitely assume that a last desperate group of scientists about 110 years from now would send a time traveller back to 1999 to assassinate George Bush, the fact that it didn't happen proves it didn't happen. yup.

2. Maybe this is the pentagon's play to get rid of Bush, I don't mean to get him to lose the election but to stop him coming around and bugging them. Everybody knows that Georgie is easily miffed, especially when told things he doesn't want to know, he's a sensitive fellow and once slighted will avoid the slighter at all costs.

3. Apocalyptic scenarios always make me wonder about extropians, I mean if I live to be 120 and this is the world I end up with I might want to send an assassin back in time to get rid of my stupid younger self before taking those immortality treatments.

Posted by: bryan at February 21, 2004 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

Norman?

Hello?

I think that most intelligent vertebrates realize that the underlying concepts inherent in our current understanding of both the natural climate cycle (solar and milankovitch forcing) and anthropogenic forcing (releasing of CO2, H2O(vapor), CH4, and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere) in the same breath is in no way an exercise in self-contradiction.

Now, if you need help with the above sentence, I can sound out the big words for you.

Posted by: Dan at February 21, 2004 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

The "Delta Doomsday" scenario in which the levees in the Sacramento River Delta give way, and the inlets to the aqueducts bringing fresh water to Southern California, are blocked by salt water, was also discussed by Marc Reisner, in his last book " A Dangerous Place: Californias Unsettling Future", which discusses the impact of another strong eathquake in Northern California. Its unfathomable that we Californians are bickering over things like recalls and bond issues, while ignoring the very real possiblility of devastating natutal catastrophes.

Posted by: TomJoad57 at February 21, 2004 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

While the long-term consquences of global warming-induced climate change (how's that for covering the bases?) generate nice apocalyptic headlines, it's important to remember the less dramatic near-term affects as well. I recall a nasty-sounding article (alas, I have no reference) on the affects of salt water infiltration of coastal fresh water tables. There are other fun things, like increased pest infestations due to the lack of killing frosts, expansion of the range of harmful species, increased damage to crops and property due to more extreme weather...

You get the idea. Global climate change will have significant harmful effects a long time before southern Florida submerges, Atlantis-like, beneath the waves.

<pedantry>
While I'm at it, the Siberian Traps that erupted around the time of the Permo-Triassic extinction covered 337,000 square kilometers, and erupted 1.6 billion cubic kilometers of lava, at least according to one source.
</pedantry>

Posted by: Wry Sin at February 21, 2004 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

I still find it amusing that no one here has taken up my contribution to the discussion, namely that the Pentagon is using this issue conveniently to justify further imperial behavior. I submit that they don't care one way or the other about stopping this - they want to ensure that the U.S. can manage the crisis in a way that allows them to come out on top.

This matters because it shapes the response. If the Pentagon can tell Bush that they feel confident they can protect U.S. interests despite global chaos, then Bush et. al. can feel confident they can continue to ignore the problem, consign billions to suffer, and justify it all in the name of religion and laissez-faire economics. If you think this report will shift Bush towards embracing things like the Kyoto treat (the Observer article takes this line of argument), you're missing the fundamental point.

Posted by: eugene at February 21, 2004 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

eugene,

I think your argument has merit...and all you are saying is completely contained in the Pentagon's own words "Fortress America" and "Fortress Europe"

Yarggggghhh

Posted by: Dan at February 22, 2004 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

There's some a bit of out of date info being tossed around. There was a recent study that indicated the generally warmer climate of Europe isn't due to the Gulf Stream (and thus the conveyor) but because of athmospheric waves set up by the Rockies that draw
warm air from the south.

The other thing to keep in mind is selective climatology. You always here people compare the temperature of Europe with that directly across the Atlantic in eastern Canada. But that's comparing the eastern side of one continent with the western side of another. If you campare the western side of Europe with the western side of North America at comparable latitudes, you get temperatures a lot more similar, while the eastern side of Asia looks a lot more like the eastern side of North America.

Posted by: Keith at February 22, 2004 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

Keith,

Western Europe has a similar climate to Western North America at similar latitude. Indeed.

Seattle and Vancouver are more like London than Boston...

Why?

Because there is a warm-water circulating current in the Pacific Ocean in many ways analagous to the Gulf Stream....

Therefore the whole "upper atmospheric circulation affected by the Rockies" thing is incidental and minor, at best.


Posted by: Dan at February 22, 2004 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

20 years ago people were worried about another ice age starting. Take any climate model you can find, and run it backwards for a period of even a century. If they can't accurately model climate in reverse, why on earth would anyone place any confidence in predictions of future climate?
And other than 'reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses', what could humans do to correct for 'global warming'?

Posted by: Jeff Lawson at February 22, 2004 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

Jeff,

The whole "20 years ago people were worried about another ice age starting" argument is important, but not in the way you think it is. In the 1970s (we're actually talking 30 years here), scientists did kick around a global cooling notion. They started studying the climatological record more carefully in order to explain this...and instead found that there was global climate change happening as a result of a warming of temperatures.

In other words, the notion of global cooling sparked research that conclusively proved global warming.

Make sense?

Posted by: eugene at February 22, 2004 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

Jeff,

20 years ago we did not have a global suite of correllated continental and mountain glacier ice cores, sediment, lake-bed, ocean bottom, coral reef, tree ring, and the numerous other direct and proxy records we have now.

The reason why so many people are using the climate models these days is precisely because they DO predict past climate events rather much better than before....the scary thing is that the models that predict the past best are also the models that predict the nastiest outcomes in the near future...

Finally, as to what to do other than reducing emissions...

Well, many people in the geo-science and geo-engineering communisty are working on exactly that.

One group at Los Alamos is working on means of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere using Magnesium Carbonate.

Do a google on "carbon dioxide stripping"

Another group of researchers is looking at ways of boosting the productivity in the photic zone of the equatorial ocean by introducing calibrated quantities of free iron...

there are a lot of interesting ideas running around out there...many of which have extremely lucrative implications...

One of the stupidest arguments against Kyoto, IMO was always the economic aspect, and here's why:

Take the current predictions and prescriptions at face value for the moment....regardless of one's inherent desire to bicker, just use them as a starting point.

What is the solution to the conundrum presented by those predictions and prescriptions?

Why, could it be...? Technological innovation? The need for entire new infrastructures and technologies, both to remediate the current situation and to replace/upgrade existing technology to meet new standards?

And this is going to destroy the economy?

I thought innovation and replacement of technology was the BASIS of economic growth, and that large-scale occurrences of innovation and replacement were coincident with major economic booms???

Huh.

Well, whatever.

Posted by: Dan at February 22, 2004 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

Climate change is the term that a fancy PR flak for the Republicans recommended they use instead of global warming.

Global warming is the more scientific (since it's an overall raise in average temperature, not how mild January turns out to be) and since the Bushies, et. al. use climate change, I stick with global warming.

Posted by: nihilix at February 22, 2004 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

eugene,

the correct answer to the question "well, is it going to be a warming or a cooling event?" is:

Where do you live?

How long do you intend to live there?

People critiquing the past stories regarding doom-saying and climate science need to remember two things:

1) Just because one or two sensationalized stories backed by one group of scientists got published in Time or Newsweek does NOT mean that opinion is the consensus at the time....and a quick glance through the relevant journals at the time would disabuse many of that misconception rather quickly...but then, since it is mainly Rush Limbaugh et al pushing that line, I don't really expect much.

2) Remember the tail of the blind men and the elephant????

Good.

That is exactly what is happening.

Posted by: Dan at February 22, 2004 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

Quite the climatologist, that eugene...

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 22, 2004 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

"Technological innovation? The need for entire new infrastructures and technologies, both to remediate the current situation and to replace/upgrade existing technology to meet new standards? And this is going to destroy the economy?"

You could go to any town in the nation and tell them that from now on, they can't use cars. Sure, the bicycle store is going to do pretty well, but what happens to the productivity of the town as a whole? Your idea sounds suspiciously like the "broken window" theory of economics.

In point of fact, if CO2 is a major issue, the obvious short-term solution is encouraging development and construction of modern, safe nuclear power systems, hopefully transitioning that power output into hydrogen and electrical power for cars and other systems. And if someone is going to get touchy about the "N" word, they'd better know what they're talking about.

Posted by: tbrosz at February 22, 2004 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

Hilarity ensues update (now with link!).

http://norbizness.com/

"Did I Hear Right?

From today's press gaggle with Scott "Punching Bag" McClellan:

Q: Are you saying right now that the President has not yet made a decision on whether to support a constitutional amendment [on marriage]?

A: Well, of course he has, you dipshit. The President is cognizant that he's polling 10 to 12 points behind both of the main Democratic candidates. In fact, he found that little stinkbomb in the newspaper all by himself, despite Karl Rove's attempts to replace such stories with his own hand-crafted Ziggy cartoon montages.

But it's only fucking February, for Christ's sake. Do you really think we can use this as a distracting issue from spiralling debt, continuing weakness in the job market, and foreign policy stagnation for nine whole months? I mean, we've got the finest experimental Army mind-clouders that $200 million can buy, but even these vat-bound freaks have their limitations. No, my friend, this is something that needs to find the right nexus of political desperation, Barney Frank footage, and evangelical furor whipped up by Mel Gibson movies.

But don't worry, when it hits... you'll know.
Posted by Norbizness at 06:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) "

Posted by: scissors at February 22, 2004 02:47 AM | PERMALINK

It's great that this subject has been brought up here.

The Thom Hartmann article posted apparently in its entirety by Smalfish above appeared in Common Dreams a month or two ago. The article hit hard for me, because, for one thing, it came in the midst of an unusually tough winter here, and we in the Mid-Atlantic region have gotten off lightly compared to other parts of the U.S. So it was easy to wonder whether a new Ice Age is trying to get started, after reading that scientists have found, through drilling into the ice in Greenland, that past Ice Ages haven't needed centuries to set in but instead have arisen in as few as two or three years!

They may be alarmist but Hartmann's scenarios or some variant thereof nevertheless sound entirely possible and even likely, and that's (pardon me) chilling, and in the light he casts, short-circuiting the "Great Conveyor Belt" would trump by far the other issues that, collectively, claim so much of our time, energy, and concern. The indication that there are people in no less than the War Department who are of the same mind or close to it should make us all sit up and take notice.

Posted by: Sofarsogoo at February 22, 2004 05:19 AM | PERMALINK

The rapture is 'a comin'. That's what the bushie dominionists are all singing now. Each and every destructive, cataclysmic world even that ensuses is just more "proof" that their worldview is correct. "climate change"? The Pentagon is all on top of it. It says so right in the bible. Revelations 13:6. Oh and that pesky "War on Terra?" (Notice how it was the "War on TerrorISM" when it began? It's a very important shift) Well, the Pentagon boys are on top of that too. Those Fake Gods will stand no match to our REAL atomic gods, climate change or not.

Do you get the feeling that these evangelical whackos are just itchin to start this whole armageddon/rapture/cataclysm thing, like right NOW? They don't want to wait 20 years. They have polls that show they are 10 points behind a satan-worshipping Democrat. This just is not in His plans.

I just want to know why climate change is just so un-American.

Posted by: jack at February 22, 2004 05:27 AM | PERMALINK

One more thing...Has anyone seen the trailer for that sci-fi film coming out in May called "Day after Tomorrow? The trailer is just killer. Gives you chills.

It's at apple.com/trailers

Posted by: jack at February 22, 2004 05:30 AM | PERMALINK

Jerry Brown must believe it's true
he just hired the former head of Rainforest Network to write a plan to make the city of Oakland energy self sufficient by 2020.

Posted by: ann at February 22, 2004 05:41 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz:

You're right; that kind of abrupt transition would be disastrous. Which is pretty much the whole point of this thread.

There's lots of credible research predicting a major change in climate patterns; the only real debate is over the scale of the change, and how quickly it will happen. Even if you believe that human activity has absolutely no effect here ?what's the argument for not addressing what can and should be done to prepare?

Ignoring all evidence that contradicts your own glowing predictions, refusing to plan for any outcome that's not a glorious triumph ? that's a recipe for disaster. Expensive, bloody disaster. Do you really need another demonstration of that particular folly?

Posted by: dix at February 22, 2004 06:04 AM | PERMALINK

This is right up the rapturist's alley. It seems to me that extreme religionists of many stripes have always been in love with death, usually the deaths of others and not the "easeful" kind, as the ultimate proof of their deity's power to discriminate. Death befalls the sinners, cataclysm is the fault of heathen practices, etc., and if it doesn't happen often enough they'll push it along some way or other. (For the rapturists especially, those left behind are fated to meet an ugly, but well-deserved death in pilotless airplanes, driverless cars, and so on.) So I doubt the Bush folks will use this kind of report to pursue anything but plans to A. make it worse and B. add to the Imperium.

What I've never quite understood is why no one seems to believe in a god whose plan is to one day transform the world into a place of ubiquitous beauty, perfect sunny climes, bountiful harvest, and easy parking. Sort of like San Diego in the old days.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto at February 22, 2004 06:31 AM | PERMALINK

there's no money in this report so Bush will ignore it even if it comes from the Pentagon. BushCo cares only about further enriching the wealthy. Missile defense was a must because it means big bucks to the repuglican campaign contributors in the military-industrial-complex (and the only reason missile defense has legs). BushCo denies (and will continue to deny) global warming because doing anything about it adversely affects their campaign contributors.

Posted by: g2K at February 22, 2004 06:54 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not worried about rising sea levels. I live on a hill.

Posted by: keith taylor at February 22, 2004 07:48 AM | PERMALINK

You're right Kev, since the words "global warming" confuse rightwing pinheads, just call it the "our dirt turns to dust, blows away, and we starve effect". Or howzabout the "lets stick our heads up our collective ass syndrome".

You'd think that insurance companies would be on our side on global warming. After all, they are the ones who be writing checks to move billions of policyholders out of the way of the advancing seas.

Posted by: Ras_Nesta at February 22, 2004 07:49 AM | PERMALINK

What to call it -- how's this?

Catastrophic Climate Change caused by Global Warming

As far as the scientific history of these theories, here's what I know.

20 years ago, climatologists were predicting a gradual, or possibly rapid, descent into an ice age. The current warm period is one of the longer ones the earth has experienced, so the natural cycles should be moving in the direction of global cooling. The Younger Dryas had just been discovered at that time, but it's cause was unknown. That was the basis for predictions of a rapid onset ice age.

Now we know that it was a huge cold water dump that disrupted the Atlantic Conveyor. An event of that magnitude won't happen again, but if the accelerated melting of the Arctic Ice Cap caused by Global Warming disrupts the balance of the Northern Atlantic, the worst case scenario could play out.

No matter what, Global Warming is a big deal -- and future generations will ask "how could we be so stupid?"

Of course, that's the question they will ask about EVERYTHING the Bush Administration has done.

Posted by: Charles K at February 22, 2004 07:50 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not worried about rising sea levels. I live on a hill.

Your rent will go up!

Posted by: Motoko Kusanagi at February 22, 2004 07:54 AM | PERMALINK

"History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man." - Blue Oyster Cult ("Godzilla")

Posted by: TR at February 22, 2004 08:02 AM | PERMALINK

Ras Nesta--"...lets stick our heads up our collective ass syndrome."

Soooo--That's the official name for the affliction you Chicken Littles have contracted. No wonder the collective intellect here is so clouded--it's dark and spooky up there. You folks should get behind Nader. Unlike Kerry and Edwards, Nader is way ahead of the curve when it comes to Apocolyptic Environmental Predictions(AEP). If you want a true Progressive Movement to thrive in America, Nader is the Way. Don't allow Kerry or Edwards to squelch the Progressive Voice. Nader gets it, and we need him.

Posted by: GONADER at February 22, 2004 08:26 AM | PERMALINK

The thing people are forgetting about climate change is that it won't happen in isolation. We are also confronted with land degradation on a vast scale, depletion of fisheries(was once 15% of the human protein source), depletion of the ozone layer which is synergistic with climate change and continued rapid population growth due mainly to the lack of rights for women around the world. As well pollution is killing forests, diseases and pests are spreading rapidly due to the increased rate of transportation (not to mention the idiocies of free trade agreements).

I'm holding to a prediction that by 2013 we will have stopped fighting wars because the world will be too busy trying to feed itself.

The World Watch Institute put out a press release earlier this year that China was eating into it's wheat reserves because of the rapidly lowering water table in north china ( a situation that is mirrored in parts of the US I'm told) and that within two years they would be needing to import 60m tonnes of wheat a year. Another report recently expressed concern about the dwindling reserves of rice stocks in Asia where rice production is growing at 1.5% a year which is not enough to keep up with current demand. All this is prior to the effects of changing climate really setting in.

On the positive side I'd not that solutions do exist but they do not involve multinational agribusiness takeovers of the world food supplies which has been a primary focus of much of the business response to these issues in the last 10 years.

Dismantling the consequences of agribusiness monopolies is going to become a major priority in a few years time when people start rioting about increasing prices of food staples.

Multiple cropping of land, permaculture, local markets, radical tax reform and confronting the growing gap between the rich and the poor are part of the solution.

Unfortunately it is very much the darkest hour before dawn at the moment and the political agenda of most governments are not taking these solutions seriouly yet.

But anybody who has seriously confronted starvation for lack of money will tell you that the rules by which you lead your life will change overnight. Similarly no government will survive a population that is wondering where it's next meal is coming from.

Posted by: Bob H at February 22, 2004 08:32 AM | PERMALINK

"Seasons don't fear the Reaper. Nor do the wind the sun or the rain. So come on baby (don't fear the Reaper). We can be like they are..."-More BOC. ;-)

It would be a good idea if the Pentagon stopped fantasizing about global warming, and did a lot more analysis about the far greater possibility of thousands or millions of U.S. citizens dying from biological, chemical, or nuclear attacks.

Posted by: Mark Bahner at February 22, 2004 08:34 AM | PERMALINK

"I have my doubts on whether the Netherlands will be inhabitable in 2104."

The Netherlands will have a per-capita GDP of more than $1,000,000 (1990 dollars) by 2104. I don't think they'll have any problem with a foot or two or sea level rise.

http://markbahner.typepad.com (See December 2003 postings)

Posted by: Mark Bahner at February 22, 2004 08:43 AM | PERMALINK

And you folks question why no one takes Kevin Drum seriously?

Mr. Drum would have us believe that there is (by now) [an] almost unanimous scientific consensus that human activity is contributing to global warming.

Poor Mr. Drum -- he didn't spend enough time at Caltech to learn that science doesn't advance by consensus.

For the interested, check out This anotholgy series at Tech Central
.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 22, 2004 08:44 AM | PERMALINK

Looks like our old friend Malthus is dancing a jig in his grave. We never listened to the man and yet he remains correct.

Nature is saying, more or less, you guys are overstaying your welcome so I'm gonna have to intervene.

According to Malthus, what she does is a GOOD thing because in the end, nature, no matter how hard we try, will ALWAYS win. It will always seek out an equilibrium. Wars, famine, disease and climate change are all POSITIVE checks on population from the point of view of the Earth.

Not even Rummy can do anything about this one. I'm just glad the old geezer won't be around for too much longer. May his soul burn in hell for all eternity

Posted by: Jack at February 22, 2004 08:46 AM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately it is very much the darkest hour before dawn at the moment and the political agenda of most governments are not taking these solutions seriouly yet.

Jeez, Bob, and you didn't even throw in the impending rollercoaster ride on the downswing of the Hubbert curve. I wonder how exaclt we're going to maintain these enormous crop yields (that are largely the result of fossil fuel energy) in face of exploding oil prices.

This will most definitely be one helluva century.

Posted by: ChrisS at February 22, 2004 08:48 AM | PERMALINK

The Netherlands will have a per-capita GDP of more than $1,000,000 (1990 dollars) by 2104. I don't think they'll have any problem with a foot or two or sea level rise.

I don't think you can assume a linear extrapolation for GDP.

There are far too many variables involved with this century.

I'm just saying.

And, Norman, I wouldn't go quoting Tech Central Station like it's Nature. Kevin qualified his statement, and science may not advance by consenus, but it most certainly recognizes sound theory by consenus.

Posted by: ChrisS at February 22, 2004 08:54 AM | PERMALINK

Norman- while certainly there are competing theories about global warming, your source TechCentralStation is hardly an unbiased source for info on it. It's list of contributors consist of big corps- such as ExxonMobil, GM, Intel, etc- and it's writers include Donald Rumsfeld, Michael Ledeen, James Woolsey, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and Ken Adelman.
So -they certainly may have something to contribute- but they are not an unbiased source for scientific information

Posted by: Roy in Oregon at February 22, 2004 09:20 AM | PERMALINK

Any alternation in the ocean currents that would affect the Gulf Stream could indeed be catastrophic for the northern lattitudes, and the effects would be felt almost immediately, not over a long period of time. It wouldn't just be the UK, however. Climate patterns all over the world would shift in the space of year or two.

I have two observations:

1. Most people will instinctively deny the possibility of disaster and ridicule those who spread the warnings up until the moment they are directly affected and start screaming for the government to "do" something, like ... um ... sending Cheney out to command the tide to fall back?

2. Living a simple life less dependent on power grids, grocery stores, and urban amenities is and always has been healthier and better for the soul. Anyone in such a situation will (perhaps!) be more likely to prosper in time of chaos. The "survivalist" mode is doomed to failure, however, as that denies connection with the whole, "all under heaven" as the Chinese would say. I'm just saying that with any lifestyle changes in this direction, you'd be in a better position to both survive and give comfort to your friends and loved ones, so why not start now? Besides, think of the beneficial political effects of more and more mass disengagement from a culture that cannot survive in any case without the eternal suppression of the aspirations of the rest of humanity.

There will be a price to pay for the hubris of others, regardless, one way or the other. Nothing will be done to "stop" the processes already underway. You know that. It's probably way too late as it is. Throw away the TV and get to know yourselves. Have your inner life in order, not distracted, to face whatever may be in store.

Posted by: John H. Farr at February 22, 2004 09:21 AM | PERMALINK

All I know is someone is gonna have a huge mess to clean up, what with all the fillings and fake body parts left behind by those who are "saved".

Posted by: Jack at February 22, 2004 09:25 AM | PERMALINK

Even the realists here aren't talking about what seems obvious to me- that the world is going to try to stop global warming, and be confronted by the U.S. military behemoth. Americans will be told that nuclear power will solve our problems and all we have to do is defend our borders while we build nuclear power plants.

Of course, when you reach the point where the whole world is trying to stop us, things could get really interesting.

As for the question about the insurance companies-according to The Guardian the insurance companies are taking this very seriously and looking at some real downside with increased gale-force winds and flooding in England.

Posted by: serial catowner at February 22, 2004 09:27 AM | PERMALINK

Also, the Observer winds up its story by asserting that Bush denies climate change at the bidding of the energy industry. Alas, it is not so;

Alas, it is so: in the first treaty-busting years of the Bush administration, a bunch of oil companies lobbied to have Robert Watson removed as chair of the IPCC, and the White House chose its delegation appropriately.

And yes, CorporateShillCentral is no great source of factual data here.

Posted by: ahem at February 22, 2004 09:35 AM | PERMALINK

Ya know, GONADER, you sound like a brainless rightwing fucktard impersonating a Nader supporter.

Go back into your mom's basement and practice some more.

The assertion that the "consensus" ranting of a bunch of TechCentral asshats has more standing than millions of hours of peer-reviewed hard science is beyond laughable.

Posted by: Ras_Nesta at February 22, 2004 09:41 AM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers said

And you folks question why no one takes Kevin Drum seriously? Mr. Drum would have us believe that there is (by now) [an] almost unanimous scientific consensus that human activity is contributing to global warming. Poor Mr. Drum -- he didn't spend enough time at Caltech to learn that science doesn't advance by consensus.
For the interested, check out This anotholgy series at Tech Central

Apparently Norman has never considered the idea of insurance. If you think that there is a possibility, even if it is very small, of an adverse effect occuring, it is rational to take some precautions to mitigate that possible effect. Most buildings do not catch fire, but we still buy fire insurance and install sprinkler systems just in case.

Climate change may or may not occur. However, the possibility appears to exist and the results will be unpleasant. Therefore, some thought about possible preparations and perhaps some actual changes in behavior would be wise.

Posted by: ____league at February 22, 2004 09:44 AM | PERMALINK

Bob H siad
I'm holding to a prediction that by 2013 we will have stopped fighting wars because the world will be too busy trying to feed itself.

Unfortunately, history tells us that the opposite effect occurs. Starving people figure out that they can feed themselves faster by taking food away from someone else than by growing it themselves while also defending it from others.

Posted by: ____league at February 22, 2004 09:51 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure there are those who will, if the Pentagon's rather startling prediction comes true, interpret the SUV-enabled demise of the Netherlands as divine punishment for its nonchalant acceptance of full citizenship for gays and lesbians.

Posted by: vaara at February 22, 2004 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting post, Kevin (albeit very weird news, if true), and wow, what a lot of very informative comments (thanks for all the stuff on the oceans ... I had only seen brief summaries of that elsewhere).

If anyone is interested in more background on global warming that's written by a scientist rather from an industry-funded box of tools, I've got a little summary here (plus some good comments from colleagues).

That is followed up by a summary of where we stand regarding fossil fuel alternatives (again, with some good comments).

Posted by: Observer at February 22, 2004 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

"Looks like our old friend Malthus is dancing a jig in his grave. We never listened to the man and yet he remains correct."

He was completely wrong. And even *he* knew it by the end of his life. His hypotheses were:

1) Human population increases exponentially: It doesn't. And it hasn't been for the last 30 years.

2) Food increases linearly: This is totally wacko, and there is absolutely no support for this. Food has increased considerably MORE than the population since the time of Malthus. And the vast preponderance of evidence is that it will continue to do so. In fact, the major problem in larger and larger portions of the world is too MUCH food consumption.

Malthus was completely wrong. Humans are fundamentally different from all other animals. It's called a brain. But True Believers never seem to use it.

Posted by: Mark Bahner at February 22, 2004 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Natue is a living breathing entity in its own right,and will always seek to be balanced.Science may or may not come up with a solution.The fact of the matter is funding to even have a chance at a solution.Despite the blindness of those that refuse to consider the consequences,preemptive solutions have no adverse effects,but to disreguard any warnings is utter failure to the masses of people who might suffer.In other words to not do anything is worse than wait out the storm.
I for one believe I have what it takes to survive,but there are literally millions who dont have the same opportunities nor abilities that I or others like me have and will suffer for it.
If compassionate conservatism is really just that then those who claim to have it would do well to heed their mandate and learn that science has answers but only if the powers that be will listen and adhere to the solutions being advanced by those with out adjendas other than "fixing" the problem.
It is very unfortunate that the majority only take what science has given them and refuse to look at what future science looks like.We take for granted science related activities like television,computers,automobiles,and very very long list of accomplishments that science has given us.We pretend that they were "invented"by ordinary people.I submit that those who "invented" these and all advancements WERE part of the scientific community.Therefore science has made all life,as we know it,possible today.If we refuse to take the next series of advancements for real then we will all suffer the consequences.

Posted by: smalfish at February 22, 2004 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

I wrote, "The Netherlands will have a per-capita GDP of more than $1,000,000 (1990 dollars) by 2104. I don't think they'll have any problem with a foot or two or sea level rise."

"I don't think you can assume a linear extrapolation for GDP."

I'm not assuming a linear extrapolation for GDP. World per capita GDP grew, on average, by 0.2% per year from 1700 to 1800. From 1800 to 1900, it grew on average by 1.3% per year. From 1900 to 2000, it grew on average by 2.2% per year.

The vast preponderance of evidence is that the world per capita GDP will grow by much faster than 2.2% per year in the 21st century. Again, see my posts in December 2003 for details:

http://markbahner.typepad.com

That's only part of the reason why it's silly to think that the Netherlands will be uninhabitable in 2104.

Posted by: Mark Bahner at February 22, 2004 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Most "conservative" thinkers outside the US accept that global climate change is occurring (see the July 4, 2002 edition of The Economist). There is disagreement on what causes the change and how we can (if we can) stop it or adapt to it. Schmucky commentators from Stanford make stupid comments about how all we have to do is buy air conditioners, which will actually make the economy better (more GDP means a healthier economy!). But they accept that it is occurring too. Other people think all we have to do is lower our greenhouse gas production, but chaos theory modelling indicates we may be too late to do so, that we have gone beyond the tipping point into another set of interactions that we can't stop (i.e changing the Atlantic "conveyor belt", and so forth).

Insurors believe in global warming, and are becoming increasingly unwilling to insure for catastrophic climate events (World Watch Nov/Dec 1994 [this is correct]; and see http://www.aonre.com.au/pdf/reinsurance/Aon_Climate_Change.pdf for an insurance industry outlook on global climate change).

In other words, the only thing that is keeping the world from acting on global climate change is the pre-adolescent mind set of a group of politicians and capitalists who can't see beyond the bottom line or the next election, and who are unfortunately in power.

Of course, this means that we have a lot of people allowing those power hungry freaks to be in power, which speaks poorly of our level of maturity. The whining of "I wanna..." is drowning out the voices of those who point out the dire consequences of having all the "I wanna" wishes fulfilled.

Posted by: Carol at February 22, 2004 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

If you think that there is a possibility, even if it is very small, of an adverse effect occuring, it is rational to take some precautions to mitigate that possible effect. Most buildings do not catch fire, but we still buy fire insurance and install sprinkler systems just in case.


False.

You DO NOT buy insurance against every "adverse effect" that may occur. You ONLY buy insurance for events for which the cost of the insurance makes sense as compared to the probability of the event and the cost of the event. Accordingly, a homeowner may purchase insurance against fire but not against flood. Why? Because the price of the flood insurance may not make sense given the low probablity of the event.

Hence the problem with Kyoto.

Posted by: Al at February 22, 2004 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

You'd think that insurance companies would be on our side on global warming. After all, they are the ones who be writing checks to move billions of policyholders out of the way of the advancing seas.

No they won't. They'll just declare bankruptcy and leave all those policy holders in the lurch. And by that point, we'll all have much more to worry about.

Remember, the purpose of an insurance company --the purpose of *any* private corporation-- is not to serve their customers, but to make money without going to jail. If given a choice between making an extra 10% margin now, vs. preparing for a catastrophic disaster which might happen thirty years from now, any smart businessman would choose the former. Your duty is to make money *now*. Why would you sacrifice profit now for something that might not make a difference later --and certainly won't help keep the shareholder price up this quarter? It is not unreasonable to base your business model under the idea that there's no way *any* insurance company can survive the coming storm, so we might as well live out our last days flush in the cash?

And let's be honest --when the disasters hit, and hit hard, by that point we'll be asking basic questions like how to feed millions of starving, thirsty people. We're talking about a disaster that may literally have no precedent in all of recorded human history. Even the Black Death only hit one continent at once. The kind of social upheaval that will occur is literaly incomprehensible. Where are we going to move the populace of Northern Europe? Or feed them? Or where will the billions who live in the Indian and Chinese coastal plains go? Or eat?

From a strictly financial perspective, thinking insurance companies are going to try to build business models around global warming is like saying insurance companies are going to try to build business models around the possible effects of a total global nuclear war and fight for disarmerment. In the aftermath of a nuclear war --much as in the aftermath of the rapid-fire climate changes many fear might occur-- it just won't matter. And it is not unreasonable for a for-profit businessman to conclude it's silly to give up profits now to try to prepare for something that will, most likely, doom them anyway --and they'll probably be dead by then. So who cares? They're *businessmen*, not philathropists.

Posted by: Jeff at February 22, 2004 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Here's what the Pentagon report does NOT address: the extent to which climate change is anthropogenic.

Climate change may be occurring. It would not be surprising if it were, given that climate change is the NORM throughout history (that is, the climate does not generally stay the same through time). What we don't know is the extent to which human activity contributes to climate change, and the extent to which policies like Kyoto can affect human contribution to climate change.

Indeed, the Pentagon report expressly models its analysis on a climate change event that occurred 8200 years ago. If the supporters of the theory that the present climate change in anthropogenic can show me how THAT climate change was caused by humans, then I might take their concerns seriously. Until then, this is an issue that deserves more study, and nothing else.

Posted by: Al at February 22, 2004 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

If you want to take the analogy of insurance,then take the fact that fire insurance is mandatory by the mortgauge holders.So too,in many places is flood insurance.In this case who is the mortgauge holder.Certainly not those in power.

Posted by: smalfish at February 22, 2004 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

You DO NOT buy insurance against every "adverse effect" that may occur. You ONLY buy insurance for events for which the cost of the insurance makes sense as compared to the probability of the event and the cost of the event.

Precisely. The entire issue is twofold: there are wildly divergent views in the public policy sector regarding the potential "cost of the event"; and there is a second, more subtle issue about whether the "cost of the event" matters. That is, are we as people today required to sacrifice in order to help people tomorrow in a future most of us will never see? Does it matter if disasters might occur twenty or forty years from now, if it hacks into the bottom line next quarter?

A lot of people argue we have no such responsibility, and we should not be required to sacrifice their life's luxuries of today for tomorrow's gain. We owe nothing to anyone but ourselves now, many argue. The financial sacrificies of Kyoto have no chance of making sense if you believe that benefits you will never live to see do not matter.

That, probably more than anything else, is the central public policy difference of opinion.

Posted by: Jeff at February 22, 2004 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Here's what the Pentagon report does NOT address: the extent to which climate change is anthropogenic.

Because, frankly, it doesn't matter.

Let's say that climate change is *not* anthropogenic --that is, there's nothing we can do about it, because it's not our fault. It still means we need to begin building seawalls, trying to genetically engineer food crops that can withstand drought, refining the efficiency of desalination techinques, etc. If we're *lucky*, the clearly occuring climate change is anthropogenic, and we can reverse it. If we're *not* lucky, then we're truly doomed and we need to prepare to meet that doom as best as we can. Either way, the "do-nothing-but-study-endlessly" tactic is problematic.

Posted by: Jeff at February 22, 2004 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Because I'm from Amsterdam I read the Pentagon report with great attention. Unfortunately it doesn't say anywhere that Holland will become inhabitable in 2007. The Observer gave us false hope.

Posted by: Motoko Kusanagi at February 22, 2004 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Because, frankly, it doesn't matter.

Great, then we don't need Kyoto. Kyoto ONLY addresses anthropogenic climate change.

I'm all for determining the probablity that climate change is actually occurring, determining what actions can be taken to mitigate the effects of climate change, determing the cost of those mitigating actions, and determining - on a cost/benefit basis - whether the extent of the mitigation caused by those actions are worth the costs of effecting them.

I'm just NOT for Kyoto.

Posted by: Al at February 22, 2004 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

I dont think that it matters what the Pentagon says,I think its important that they actually said something.If an organization of this magnatude is comming out with information like this it says something about the problem in general.Tho it means nothing if the mainstram media does nothing about the announcement,and again nothing is done because no one knows what stand this organization has.When the media refuses to even follow this story it does a huge disservice to all humanity.It's the same story different situation where the 4th estate is concerned.The people have a right to be informed about these matters and yet mis and disinformation runs rampant.I do believe,if the public was aware of this report there would be more concern over this issue.

Posted by: smalfish at February 22, 2004 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Can't add anything of great scientific insight to the thread, but can say I genuinely appreciate the level of intellegence this conversation has taken, and I personally believe is demostrative of sites that seem to be liberal/democratic (big D and little d), vs what I have seen in the little bit of conservative (read that as social/ideology/religious) sites that I have read.

Thanks everyone, and I do mean it.

Posted by: Bb at February 22, 2004 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

1) Human population increases exponentially: It doesn't. And it hasn't been for the last 30 years

Excuse me?

Do ya mind providing some evidence for that claim?

Human populations have been continually growing exponentially since the industrial revolution. Food production has been increasing as well, and luckily it has been able to increase at a rate greater than population. Mostly because of fossil fuels and intensive land use. But recently crop yields have stabilized while population growth conintues to surge. Additionally, modern agriculture's dependence on fossil fuels, which, because of an increasing rate of consumption, will decline in quality and supply is going to adversely affect global food supplies.

Also, the world GDP has increased because of the developments towards harnassing energy. Specifically fossil fuels. Before the industrial revolution, wood was the most common fuel, which has a low concentration of energy compared to coal. Onwards society went to coal, which sparked the industrial revolution, and the associated GDP increases. But coal isn't as concentrated as oil, to which society turned to in the late 1800's. The use of oils has fueled the 20th century growth. World oil consumption increases every year, exponentially, and will decrease in supply, the Hubbert curve predicts the peak will be early this century. It's debateable as to when, but it will likely be this century. I've 2007, and I've seen 2050.

And I fully believe that GDP of an oil based economy is going to feel some negative effects when said oil is no longer cheap.

Posted by: ChrisS at February 22, 2004 01:11 PM | PERMALINK

"Because I'm from Amsterdam I read the Pentagon report with great attention. Unfortunately it doesn't say anywhere that Holland will become inhabitable in 2007. The Observer gave us false hope."

Considering your great attention, could it be that you forgot to um... navigate through the document? ;)

Do not despair yet: page nine, first paragraph. And if you feel like you're reading fantasy, you probably are. It *could* happen, because *anything* could happen, but it certainly does not deserve the attention it gets here. It's just a contingency for something very extreme, so polarized that it's probably politics.

Posted by: John Wayne at February 22, 2004 01:58 PM | PERMALINK

The truly beautiful thing about the enviro-nuts latest meme is that it doesn't matter whether temperatures rise or fall -- it's all evidence of "global warming". Most paranoid delusions are intricate -- this one's pathological.

Earth to Drum & Co.

No, there is NO, repeat NO evidence that Carbon Dioxide causes climactic warming. Indeed, there is geological evidence that periods with increased CO2 levels were cooler than today.

No, there have been NO, repeat NO corroborating lower atmospheric temperature readings that show ANY increase in temperatures that would validate ANY of the eco-nuts' computer models.

All of the predictions of the effects of (this putative) Global Warming show decreased low temperatures in Winter -- not higher temperatures in Summer.

The only (serious) economic study of the cost/benefits of Kyoto was done by Bjorn Lomborg -- and he was willing to believe the science (I'm not). Kyoto makes no economic sense AND no scientific sense.

And NO, there is no Scientific Consensus about "global warming" -- just the usual gang of Luddites and hangers-on. Kevin -- you're cue

OBTW, if you hadn't been stoned out of your gourd in all of your classes during your two years at Caltech -- you might have learned something.

And you folks question why no one takes Kevin Drum seriously?

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 22, 2004 02:26 PM | PERMALINK

Do ya mind providing some evidence for that claim?

Well, I dunno about whether population has increased exponentially for the last 30 years, but, according to the UN - the "gold standard" of democraphics - world population will stabilize at about 9 billion (in about 2050), due to decreasing fertility rates and the toll of AIDS.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2003-12-09-worldpop-usat_x.htm

Posted by: Al at February 22, 2004 02:26 PM | PERMALINK

climate change is an issue, but we might just see the end of "global warming" by going through an equally hellacious experience: "peak oil"

anyone see the center piece article (The Oil We Eat: Following the food chain back to Iraq by
Richard Manning) in the march harper's magazine?

it in combination with the "peak oil" concept is enough to give one a few sleepless nights!

Posted by: jam at February 22, 2004 03:02 PM | PERMALINK

Al said

You DO NOT buy insurance against every "adverse effect" that may occur. You ONLY buy insurance for events for which the cost of the insurance makes sense as compared to the probability of the event and the cost of the event. Accordingly, a homeowner may purchase insurance against fire but not against flood. Why? Because the price of the flood insurance may not make sense given the low probablity of the event.

You are assuming that the probabilities are known. The insurance company may know them but the buyer often does not. The potential costs of climate change are incredibly high. The probabilities are not known with certainty but if you are faced with a possible 10 to 100 trillion loss that may occur with a probability of even 1% an even investment of 100 billion to 1 trillion to prevent it would be reasonable.

Posted by: ____league at February 22, 2004 03:44 PM | PERMALINK

I'm rather amazed at how long it took the swarming trolls to show up for this one. However, wyhat they lack in punctuality, they surely make up in mendacity.

Posted by: DJW at February 22, 2004 04:28 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz,

First, I never said anything about bicycles, anything about your implications of "de-industrialization" and I know zero about the supposed "broken window" thesis of economics.

Don't make up arguments to answer...strawmen are lame.

Now, to address your comments regarding nuclear power, which are well taken and interesting...

1) "Safe and efficient" are two words that cannot yet be applied to any aspect of any nuclear power program on the planet...especially when considering a time period longer than 20 years.

That is NOT to say that safe and efficient are impossible when it comes to nuclear power...just to say that as of now, there ain't no such thing.

2) Nuclear power as a replacement for current power-generating facilities is simply not practicable at present. Why?

1) Because there is not enough fuel. There is not enough uranium to power enough plants to create enough electricity to power the world. Breeder reactors can ameliorate some of that shortfall, but nowhere near enough.

2) Because there is not enough energy storage technology, and because what storage technology there is cannot replace the horsepower of fossil fuels. There is no way to fly a jumbo jet, power a bulldozer, or run any heavy machinery using a battery.

3) Because the "hidden costs" of nuclear power, as we should have learned over the last 25 years, are immensely high, and the risks are even more so. Generating, transporting, and safely storing nuclear waste, decomissioning nuclear plants, mining and refining nuclear fuel are extremely expensive when taking all costs into account.

4) Let's just touch on the "war on terror" aspect a bit....worldwide adoption and proliferation of nuclear power technology as a replacement for fossil fuel technology...combined with the spreading threats of "rogue nations" and terrorists with increasingly sophisticated connections and aims...well...yuk.

Posted by: Dan at February 22, 2004 06:04 PM | PERMALINK

Norman, Norman, Norman....

What is the word I am looking for here...?

Ummm....

Asshat?

Ahh, yes.

"Mr. Drum would have us believe that there is (by now) [an] almost unanimous scientific consensus that human activity is contributing to global warming."

There is.

American Geophysical Union, National Academy of Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and ANY AND ALL major national and worldwide scientific organization recognize that 1) Global Warming/Climate Change is real and ongoing, and that 2) Anthropogenic forcing is real and ongoing...and accelerating.

"Poor Mr. Drum -- he didn't spend enough time at Caltech to learn that science doesn't advance by consensus."

Poor Norman, too ignorant of the history and philosophy of science to realize that consensus is not the INPUT it is the RESULT...the result of what? The result of repeatable, testable, hypothesis driven investigation...the result of years of data collection, hypothesis testing, disproving, modification, prediction, and repeat....only after rigorous and exhaustively repeated verification of confirmed results, the repeated failure to disprove a central hypothesis...is consensus achieved....and even then, you use the word consensus improperly when applying it to the scientific field.

"No, there is NO, repeat NO evidence that Carbon Dioxide causes climactic warming. Indeed, there is geological evidence that periods with increased CO2 levels were cooler than today."

Liar. Liar. Liar. Ignorant asshat liar. Show us the money Norman...show us the money.

In fact, all available geological records reveal that a vast, overwhelming, indubitably superior body of evidence indicating an extremely strong correlation between elevated CO2 levels and higher global average temperatures, including (but in no way limited to:

Rock records and proxies from ODP cores. Bio- and lithostratigraphic isotope records going as far back as the pre-Cambrian and into the Archean.

Ice records and proxies from a global suite of ice cores from continental polar and high-latitude ice sheets, and from mid-latitude and equatorial mountain glaciers.

Coral reef records.

Tree rings.

Lake and marsh and permafrost records.

And the ongoing short term atmospheric records....

"No, there have been NO, repeat NO corroborating lower atmospheric temperature readings that show ANY increase in temperatures that would validate ANY of the eco-nuts' computer models."

Liar, liar, asshat liar. Read teh NAS reports again, tool.

"All of the predictions of the effects of (this putative) Global Warming show decreased low temperatures in Winter -- not higher temperatures in Summer."

Ummm, not according to the people I work with...people that, unlike you, can prove what they say....people who study real data and use that real data in conjunction with the most powerful models and computers in the world...who validate that data with repeat measurements and repeat experiments and couple those with widely variant computer models and with in situ and in laboratory experiments...

In short, you are talking out your ass.

"The only (serious) economic study of the cost/benefits of Kyoto was done by Bjorn Lomborg -- and he was willing to believe the science (I'm not). Kyoto makes no economic sense AND no scientific sense."

Bjorn Lomborg is wrong...continues to be wrong, and keeps getting his hypotheses and predictions and even his data shot down...in public.

"And NO, there is no Scientific Consensus about "global warming" -- just the usual gang of Luddites and hangers-on. Kevin -- you're cue"

Once again, asshat Norman....you don't know shit.

"And you folks question why no one takes Kevin Drum seriously?"

Apparently YOU take him seriously enough to embarass yourself ranting about things you don't understand, can't comprehend, and fail to even take the time to study enough to even get your facts straight, much less your bullshit lies masquerading as argument.

have a nice day, Norman.

Posted by: Dan at February 22, 2004 06:22 PM | PERMALINK

To Norman: If you knew as much about science and certainty as you let on, you'd know better than to use words like ANY in all caps and other constructions that are the equivalent of "always" or "never" in a serious discussion.

Even my fourth grader taking a multiple choice exam knows that the choices that say "always" or "never" are usually wrong. Granted, he's pretty smart compared to the rest of his class, but I'd expect better from someone with such a fancy vocabulary.

To Al: The issue of comparing climate change 8200 years ago to possible anthropogenic climate change today is valid. The point is that maybe 8200 years ago increased volcanism was responsible for the Carbon increase. Today, maybe it is fossil fuel burning.

Either way, Carbon is Carbon. Sure, fossil fuel burning has a different isotope fingerprint than volcanism when it comes to the Carbon (which is how we can tell what fraction of the increase is due to us and what fraction is natural). But both kinds of Carbon absorb infrared radiation with the same efficiency.

So it really doesn't matter what caused the increase. What matters is figuring out what an increase in Carbon leads to. It's sure closely correlated with temperature over the past 400k years, but correlation is not causation, I'll admit. The feedbacks are notoriously complex. The correlation *is* enough, however, to make us consider changing our energy policy, imho.

We're going to run out of fossil fuels within decades (between 2 and 10 depending on which geologist you want to believe), at least fossil fuels with a cost less than expensive renewables like solar. Why not adopt a policy of slowing consumption down now, then pour money into serious research for alternatives? Why wait until all the Carbon is up in the atmosphere to switch to alternatives?

Posted by: Observer at February 22, 2004 06:31 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the truth about this completely bullshit sky-is-falling story. Please follow ALL THE LINKS:

http://timblair.spleenville.com/archives/006051.php

Posted by: Joey at February 22, 2004 08:20 PM | PERMALINK

Just to illustrate the degree to which Norman has bought into the industry-funded argumentation, the point he makes above (I don't think he's mendacious, as he hasn't exhibited any understanding) about lower atmosphere not heating up like the surface is easily addressed - late last year a number of climate scientists got together to discuss why the latest analyses of the satellite record show warming.

Anyway, good thread.

D

Posted by: Dano at February 22, 2004 08:52 PM | PERMALINK

Joey,

The Pentagon commissioned a study, consulted leading scientists and theorists, and is war-gaming the worst-case scenario.

Deal with it.

Deal with what? you ask?

Deal with the fact that the one of the largest, best funded, generally conservative/right-leaning government institutions is taking the threat of global warming/climate change seriously enough to game the worst-case scenario.

The fact that the worst case scenario is mind-bogglingly alarming should tell you that the best case scenario is no bed of roses....

And that the non-case scenario trumpeted by losers, goons, liars, and fools is pretty much either head-in-the-sand stupidity or straight up lies delivered by political and economic partisans in a game that they are currently benefitting from...and which they think can pad their nests well enough to avoid the shitstorm when it comes down the pike.

So, as to your point...who cares?

Posted by: Dan at February 22, 2004 09:09 PM | PERMALINK

John Wayne: I was joking. The Observer wrote by mistake that the Netherlands would become inhabitable...

Posted by: Motoko Kusanagi at February 22, 2004 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Dan, you really have a lot of patience that I would not have for these mendacious trolls, I just generally ignore them, people that willfully stupid are just not worth the time.

And Dano, quit being so nice, Norman is a troll, as obtuse as your typical run of the mill troll. He wasn't interested in stating a real argument, he was just flinging monkeyshit around. That's why he had throw out his stupid insult aimed at Kevin Drum.

Posted by: Another Bruce at February 22, 2004 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Another Bruce,

I have no patience for the troll per se, but rhetorically smashing a troll is very effective for others in the audience.

Posted by: Dan at February 22, 2004 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kerry and Bush are the same. Nader is our only hope!

Posted by: Deans 4 Green at February 23, 2004 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

This is nitpicking but it might be of interest. The "worst-case scenario" is actually, "most scientifically plausible worst-case scenario". The real chicken little version (and one I remember from the 70's) was that the Earth could end up like Venus.

More recent alarmist hand wringing mentioned the complete melt-down of Antartica(early 80's) and a partial collapse of the west antartic ice sheet(a 90's allegation).

Posted by: joe at February 23, 2004 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't want to be in the position of defending Norman Rogers specifically, as I found his tone to be things like condescending, arrogant, and a number of other adjectives frequently associated with immaturity. On the other hand, I can't quite accept all of Dan's refutation as being entirely even-handed. (Of course, maybe he was merely trying to reach NR at his own level.) Some notable points on which I would like to receive further information include:

"Mr. Drum would have us believe that there is (by now) [an] almost unanimous scientific consensus that human activity is contributing to global warming."

There is.

American Geophysical Union, National Academy of Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and ANY AND ALL major national and worldwide scientific organization recognize that 1) Global Warming/Climate Change is real and ongoing, and that 2) Anthropogenic forcing is real and ongoing...and accelerating.

I really don't see how this answers the assertion. Maybe "ANY AND ALL major national and worldwide scientific organization"s really do support the claims that follow, but the proposition is not self evident, and requries considerably more references than just three. Pointers to their position papers would be nice, too.

Sure, the best evidence indicates we are in some sort of warming cycle but the allegations of anthropogenic "forcing" are in sum uncertain in all the sources that I've encountered -- meaning, some like it, some don't, others are in the middle, and they all bring some degree of evidence to the table.

Furthermore, to what extent is support by a scientific organization meaningful? Is organization 'x' reporting the consensus of a broad spectrum of members, or alternatively does it tend to attractive a certain kind of membership and have a consensus by default? (For example, from what I've been able to gather, the NAS is somewhat politicized and I generally expect its opinions to hit somewhere between center and left in controversial topics. My expectations have not yet been disappointed.)

And finally, I'm not really interested in what a bunch of scientists think, as scientists are humans and subject to all of the usual quirks and foibles associated (and many of the unusual ones, judging by what time I have spent with them). What does interest me is what their data shows, as that alone can aid in discovering whether or not the consensus was achieved via a bandpass filter.

"Poor Mr. Drum -- he didn't spend enough time at Caltech to learn that science doesn't advance by consensus."

Poor Norman, too ignorant of the history and philosophy of science to realize that consensus is not the INPUT it is the RESULT...the result of what? The result of repeatable, testable, hypothesis driven investigation...the result of years of data collection, hypothesis testing, disproving, modification, prediction, and repeat....only after rigorous and exhaustively repeated verification of confirmed results, the repeated failure to disprove a central hypothesis...is consensus achieved....and even then, you use the word consensus improperly when applying it to the scientific field.

That was indeed a cheapshot on NR's part, but OTOH, your response seems to dismiss Thomas Kuhn out-of-hand. Since Kuhn did essentially contribute to the "philosophy of science," that's hardly a fair thing to do. Personally, I'm inclined to think his argument has some merit; experiments have found that people often will not see something outside of what they have been trained to expect, so I think it is quite probable that science may advance by consensus at times, and then change perspectives with rapidity when the volume of seemingly isolated counterexamples becomes too big to merely be anomalous.

"No, there is NO, repeat NO evidence that Carbon Dioxide causes climactic warming. Indeed, there is geological evidence that periods with increased CO2 levels were cooler than today."

[slurs removed to improve SNR]

In fact, all available geological records reveal that a [gleeful hyperbole removed to improve SNR] body of evidence indicating an extremely strong correlation between elevated CO2 levels and higher global average temperatures, including (but in no way limited to:

Rock records and proxies from ODP cores. Bio- and lithostratigraphic isotope records going as far back as the pre-Cambrian and into the Archean.

Ice records and proxies from a global suite of ice cores from continental polar and high-latitude ice sheets, and from mid-latitude and equatorial mountain glaciers.

I'm in need of some new bedtime reading right now, so if you can provide references that detail these, I would be interested in following up on them.

Coral reef records.

By any chance would these be the same coral reefs that (along with other forms of marine life) cause the ocean to absorb ~50% of atmospheric carbon, meaning that the ocean may be a sort of automatic "check" to elevated carbon levels?

Tree rings.

Trees that may be another automatic check to elevated atmospheric carbon levels?

Lake and marsh and permafrost records.

Again, I would be interested in a cite that explains how these are used.

And the ongoing short term atmospheric records....

What about 'em, specifically?

"All of the predictions of the effects of (this putative) Global Warming show decreased low temperatures in Winter -- not higher temperatures in Summer."

Ummm, not according to the people I work with...people that, unlike you, can prove what they say....people who study real data and use that real data in conjunction with the most powerful models and computers in the world...who validate that data with repeat measurements and repeat experiments and couple those with widely variant computer models and with in situ and in laboratory experiments...

[More SNR cleanup]

Do point me to their work, as I am interested in cites for further study. I don't work in climate change science myself, I have merely researched it at the graduate level, in the process speaking personally with a NOAA researcher and an academic geologist, browsed through climate change data from RFF and others, yadda yadda. Other titles dealt more specifically with Kyoto and mentioned climate change data incidentally. About 15-20 sources in total.

More are always welcome.

"The only (serious) economic study of the cost/benefits of Kyoto was done by Bjorn Lomborg -- and he was willing to believe the science (I'm not). Kyoto makes no economic sense AND no scientific sense."

Bjorn Lomborg is wrong...continues to be wrong, and keeps getting his hypotheses and predictions and even his data shot down...in public.

Okay, you don't like Bjorn Lomborg. Duly noted. OTOH if the attacks by SciAm or that subcommittee of the Danish Ministry of Science are representative of what constitutes getting shot down in public, color me unimpressed.

I read about half of The Skeptical Environmentalist (leaving off when time constraints, and an inability to continued drowning myself in statistical analyses, killed my urge to continue), and I can see why his approach would grate with anyone holding contrary ideologies. Frankly I thought his response to water resource concerns was weak, although in other areas he did seem to have some points to make.

If you can provide better examples of "shot down" than the ones I've encountered, by all means continue.

Posted by: anony-mouse at February 23, 2004 01:00 AM | PERMALINK

joe,

Useful nitpicking...

"Most scientifically plausible worst-case scenario conforming to our current understanding of available data and the overal global /rock/sediment/ocean/atmosphere cycle"

Alarmists are certainly there, and there is quite a lot of sensationalism on the "pro" side of the Global Warming/Climate Change/Greenhouse debate.

Alarmists and pooh-poohers, on the "left" and "right" respectively, share some things in common, most importantly, lack of understanding of the scientific method, lack of understanding of the scope, nature, and quality/quantity of the data, and lack of understanding of the interplay between models, hypotheses, predictions, validation, and verification....

Posted by: Dan at February 23, 2004 01:06 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Anony-mouse,

Well done ? albeit too kind to Danny Boy -- who seems unable to complete a thought without a sprinkling of epithets (Liar. Liar. Liar. Ignorant asshat liar. Liar, liar, asshat liar, asshat Norman....you don't know shit. you are talking out your ass. asshat Norman....you don't know shit . ).

Dan, who claims to ?work with ? people who study real data and use that real data in conjunction with the most powerful models and computers in the world?.

OK, DannyBoy: Put up! Working WITH people means more than mopping their floors at night. Anyone who actually walks the walk wouldn?t write generalizations such as ?the most powerful models and computers in the world?

BWAHAHAHAHA

Tell us, Dan ? what work have you EVER done on in ANY scientific endeavor? What academic credentials do you have ? other than your GED.

Dano, you should read the material before you cite it in an argument. The workshop you referenced was called to explore why the latest and best data DON?T SHOW WARMING. Read the presentations.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 23, 2004 04:31 AM | PERMALINK

"Deal with the fact that the one of the largest, best funded, generally conservative/right-leaning government institutions is taking the threat of global warming/climate change seriously enough to game the worst-case scenario."

These are the guys that game worst-case scenarios for a living.

"The fact that the worst case scenario is mind-bogglingly alarming should tell you that the best case scenario is no bed of roses...."

The worst case scenario doesn't tell you anything at all about the best case scenario.

"1) Because there is not enough fuel. There is not enough uranium to power enough plants to create enough electricity to power the world. Breeder reactors can ameliorate some of that shortfall, but nowhere near enough."

We don't know how much fuel there is until we go looking for it. And we generally don't go looking for it until we have a use for it - say, a bunch of reactors that we'd like to power with it.

The same thing happened to oil. "Proven reserves" of oil kept going up as we keep looking for it. Sure, it'll eventually run out, and maybe it'll run out fairly soon, but in the early days of oil exploitation, no one had the foggiest notion of how much oil there was.

"2) Because there is not enough energy storage technology, and because what storage technology there is cannot replace the horsepower of fossil fuels. There is no way to fly a jumbo jet, power a bulldozer, or run any heavy machinery using a battery."

No, but hydrogen fuel will do the trick.

"1) "Safe and efficient" are two words that cannot yet be applied to any aspect of any nuclear power program on the planet...especially when considering a time period longer than 20 years."

Nuclear power in the United States has been quite safe. Only one "incident", and that one claiming the lives of zero bystanders.

There was a disaster in the Soviet Union, but then the Soviets consistently built crap across the board.

"4) Let's just touch on the "war on terror" aspect a bit....worldwide adoption and proliferation of nuclear power technology as a replacement for fossil fuel technology...combined with the spreading threats of "rogue nations" and terrorists with increasingly sophisticated connections and aims...well...yuk."

That's why we're fighting the war on terror. We'd like to advance beyond our current, earthbound, fossil fuel based existence and start becoming an advanced, spacefaring civilization. We need concentrated sources of energy to do that, and if we eschew the use of concentrated energy for fear that terrorists will misuse them, rather than eliminating the terrorist vermin and then using that concentrated energy, then we'll stagnate here on Earth until the oil runs out.

"Living a simple life less dependent on power grids, grocery stores, and urban amenities is and always has been healthier and better for the soul."

Nonsense. What's good for the soul is eliminating manual labor in favor of mental labor, which in turn relies on power grids and grocery stores. Spending all your time doing the menial tasks necessary to support a "simple life" is extraordinarily bad for your soul.

Posted by: Ken at February 23, 2004 07:36 AM | PERMALINK

anony-mouse: Trees do not serve as a check on Carbon in the atmosphere. Oh sure, increase Carbon does accelerate the growth rate of plants and trees (that's why many greenhouses enrich the air with CO2), and they in turn suck up more Carbon. But they don't sequester the Carbon forever. When they die and decay (which they do on a relatively short timescale if their growth is accelerated), the Carbon goes right back into the atmosphere (there are some exceptions to this, which is why over hundreds of millions of years, some organic Carbon can get permanently sequestered).

Those of you looking for citations: they aren't hard to find. Try the IPCC Data Distribution Center at http://ipcc-ddc.cru.uea.ac.uk/ for starters. You can get as much detail as you want on the data.

In order for the biomass on the Earth's surface to sequester enough Carbon to make a significant dent in our contribution, it would have to increase by something like a factor of ten in mass. The trend, of course, is in the opposite direction. And that high mass would have to be sustained indefinitely to keep the Carbon out of the atmosphere.

Posted by: Observer at February 23, 2004 07:54 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry Norman:

It appears as if you don't know what you're talking about. And someone above is right, your use of never, all, etc. says a lot about what you know. Anyway,

Spencer and Christy from UAH had sole the analyses of the satellite datasets. Their analyses showed effectively no warming [and, BTW, were seized upon by the industry-funded scientists as proof of...etc], despite other evidence such as tropical glaciers receding. Starting in 2001-2002 (IIRC), other teams got access to the satellite datasets and started analyzing them, and found UAH had missed some things. Last year 4 papers came out disagreeing with UAH and the dataset analyses saying no warming.

So, Norman, the workshop was about why RSS and Vinnikov and Grody?s analyses (and others ? space constraints) were so different than UAH. You?ll notice some links in what I provided that explain that, albeit not like what I said just above.

Oh, BTW: there is plenty of evidence that CO2 causes warming. Even your Bjorn Lomborg disagrees with you (I linked where he says this below). The Vostok ice core shows a nice correlation between CO2 and temp. You should check it out. And actually, the predictions show increased min temps in winter. You should check them out. And Bjorn Lomborg didn?t study anything in his book ? it was a polemic, not a study - there's a big difference. Oh, and your phrase that there is no scientific consensus is a BIG clue ? bigbigbig; you should look up the definition - if you did, you?d see that there is indeed consensus. Even Bjorn Lomborg says there is anthropogenic global warming.

So, you look a little comical, Norm. But I enjoy your spectacle.

D

Posted by: Dano at February 23, 2004 08:11 AM | PERMALINK

Anonymouse,

If you have "studied" the phenomenon at the graduate level then you shouldn't be phrasing your argument as such - you'd also be thinking about Briffa, Osborn, Osborne, Mann, Hansen, Sato, etc.

But I appreciate the rest of your argumentation, which is effective, but not to Norman's ends. I have plenty of references to please your pallette (but I'm interjecting here).

D

Posted by: Dano at February 23, 2004 08:20 AM | PERMALINK

This sounds like a scenario planning excercise, rather than a prediction. The Pentagon, like FEMA, has to be prepared for worst-case scenarios. This isn't predictive.

Christ, I used to really like the Guardian.

Posted by: Tom at February 23, 2004 09:50 AM | PERMALINK

For Dano,

Noaa's website for the National Climactic Data Center has this to describe the site you cited:

October 27, 2003
Reconciling Vertical Temperature Trends: A Reconciling Vertical Temperature Trends workshop was held at DOC?s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration?s National Climatic Data Center on October 27-29, 2003. The workshop was held in anticipation of producing a report for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and was coordinated internationally with a newly constituted Global Climate Observing System/Atmospheric Observations Panel for Climate Working Group on Reconciling Vertical Temperature Trends. Specifically, the workshop was designed to: 1) Assess the state of the science in the measurement of temperature from space, weather balloons, and from surface instrumentation; 2) assess whether any unresolved differences in the trends are consistent or inconsistent with present understanding of anthropogenic or natural climate forcing (e.g. model simulations); and 3) define the measurements, analyses, or other actions required to reduce uncertainties. There were approximately 50 scientists who participated in the workshop.

You must have missed Thomas Karl's presentation (the first one cited). Here's an excerpt:

Satellites
Another updated and revised satellite-based analysis (since 1979) has only a small, statistically insignificant, positive trends
A 2002 analysis of the satellite record (since 1979) indicates warming in the troposphere > 0.1?C/decade
A new analysis of the satellite record (since 1979) indicates a cooling of the troposphere >0.2oC/decade

Dano -- did you even read the material on this site -- or are you just mindlessly mouthing someone else's thoughts? And the "science" of global warming is "settled"?

OBTW, give me a cite for your rediculous claim of causality for CO2 and global warming. Since the best available measurements can't even demonstrate the warming trends you rely on -- your causality proofs ought to be a real hoot!

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 23, 2004 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

The wingnuts should sell a commemorative coin- on one side it would say "I don't believe in Global Warming", and on the other side "I DO believe in Global Warming but we shouldn't do anything about it".

Collect the whole set, starting with the great "We're Winning in Vietnam" and the obverse "We're not winning, but we can't leave them now".

Posted by: serial catowner at February 23, 2004 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Like I said Norm, yer a hoot. A real blowhard. I should ask you to back your claims, but I know you will just refer me to an industry-funded website, so nevermind. Anyway:

Vinnikov & Grody:
Konstantin Y. Vinnikov, Norman C. Grody 2003. Global Warming Trend of Mean Tropospheric Temperature Observed by Satellites. Volume 302, Number 5643, Issue of 10 Oct 2003, p. 269.

Our analysis shows a trend of +0.22? to 0.26?C per 10 years, consistent with the global warming trend derived from surface meteorological stations.
and
Our analytical technique of estimating the trend by simultaneously removing instrumental biases together with seasonal and diurnal variations is radically different from theirs [UAH - D] and can possibly explain why our trend estimate is different from that of Wentz et al. by a factor of two. Also, as part of this investigation we found that the results of the trend analyses can depend on how the data are globally averaged. When only close-to-nadir observations are used, as in our case, part of the Earth's surface is not covered by observations. A gradually decreasing satellite altitude due to orbital decay also affects the coverage by changing both the footprint size and the number of orbits per day.

And Here is an article for people like you, Norm, with little science background, explaining the above article.

Another for you:
Santer et al. 2003. Influence of Satellite Data Uncertainties on the Detection of Externally Forced Climate Change. Science Volume 300, Number 5623, Issue of 23 May 2003, pp. 1280-1284. Found here, I believe subscription-free. Happy reading.

Also look here.

If you must analyze data with raw temps in the mendacious way, say, CO2Science does, then you can compare (sort of) data that RSS makes available (go to bottom).

Here?s another way to look at it:
Angell, J.K. 2003. Effect of Exclusion of Anomalous Tropical Stations on Temperature Trends from a 63-Station Radiosonde Network, and Comparison with Other Analyses. Journal of Climate: 16:13, pp. 2288?2295.

CO2, e.g.:

Here?s the graph from the Vostok ice core. Note how the CO2 concentration for the last 400k years was never as high as it is now.

A citation:
Increasing CO2 causes the largest positive climate forcing now and is likely to be the dominant forcing in the future. Added CO2 forcing in the next 50 years should be about 1 W/m2 if CO2 emissions level out at today's amount. This level is far less than in business-as-usual scenarios that yield a specter of imminent disaster, but it is enough to cause substantial climate change. If flat emissions continued indefinitely, warming would be expected to continue at a rate 1.5 ? 0.5?C per century. Thus CO2 emissions must be curtailed eventually, or captured and sequestered, to stabilize atmospheric composition.

Here?s the ref on the Vostok ice core showing what I said:
J. R. PETIT, J. JOUZEL, D. RAYNAUD, N. I. BARKOV, J.-M. BARNOLA, I. BASILE, M. BENDER, J. CHAPPELLAZ, M. DAVIS, G. DELAYGUE, M. DELMOTTE, V. M. KOTLYAKOV, M. LEGRAND, V. Y. LIPENKOV, C. LORIUS, L. P?PIN, C. RITZ, E. SALTZMAN & M. STIEVENARD 1999. Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica. Nature 399, 429 - 436 (1999); doi:10.1038/20859

The abstract:
The recent completion of drilling at Vostok station in East Antarctica has allowed the extension of the ice record of atmospheric composition and climate to the past four glacial?interglacial cycles. The succession of changes through each climate cycle and termination was similar, and atmospheric and climate properties oscillated between stable bounds. Interglacial periods differed in temporal evolution and duration. 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.
I have a subscription if you?d like more.
If you don't know what is driving AGW, Norm, I've got some great waterfront property that can be yours for a song, Norm. A reeeeeeal bargain.

I suggest visiting a good library, Norm.

Good luck defending your narrow ideology!

D

Posted by: Dano at February 23, 2004 03:46 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Dino -- I think you've proved my arguments about your work. You tried to make two points:

1) That there is (now) agreement that post 1979 tropospheric warming HAS occurred and that there's satelite evidence to this effect.

and 2) that there is a causal relationship (as opposed to a correlative relationship) between atmospheric temperatures and carbon-loads.

And, you've provided cites that demonstrate exactly the opposite.

1) The article you referenced -- which you claim would "explain" the claim of Vinnikov & Grody -- has this to say:

Now a new analysis of satellite data from 1978 to 2002 indicates that troposphere temperature has risen by around 0.024 ?C per year, outpacing warming at the surface. So say Konstantin Vinnikov, of the University of Maryland in College Park, and Norman Grody, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Washington DC.

"This will increase the pressure on policymakers for action on greenhouse gas emissions if it is accepted by the research community," says atmospheric scientist John M. Wallace of the University of Washington in Seattle.

That acceptance does not seem to be forthcoming. Frank Wentz' team at Remote Sensing Systems in Santa Rosa, California, estimates there is a small warming trend of around 0.01 ?C per year. And having scrutinized satellite data for more than a decade, John Christy and Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville reckon that the troposphere's temperature has remained fairly steady.

Spencer argues that the new study disregards an important adjustment that other researchers have taken into account. As a satellite ages, its orbit begins to sag, bringing instruments on its underside closer to Earth, changing the angle at which sunlight hits them and heating them.

"This results in a false warming signal," Spencer explains. The University of Alabama has issued a press release criticizing Vinnikov and Grody's study.

2) Your quotation -- purporting to provide proof of causalitiy -- instead says exactly the opposite:

Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane correlate well with Antarctic air-temperature throughout the record.

As stated previously -- you've got the same kind of problems with your prior cites -- they don't agree with your assertions.

Is there a reason I ought not take your posts as evidence of breathtaking stupidity?

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 23, 2004 04:11 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, strawman - er, Norm.

I notice that you still have provided no evidence to back your claims, even your argumentation that I said such-and-such. Plus, you haven?t mentioned anything aNow, to your hand-wavy, dissembling assertions:

I disagreed with your unconfirmed assertion that there was NO (by gum in caps) NO [remember? No, there have been NO, repeat NO corroborating lower atmospheric temperature readings that show ANY increase in temperatures that would validate ANY of the eco-nuts' computer models.]

That was my assertion ? that I disagreed with your unsubstantiated claim. I have backed my claim by providing evidence that your statement is not backed by evidence. You have not backed your claim ? in fact, your claim 1) is false. And nowhere did I state there is agreement; in fact, I provided a link that showed there was not agreement and a meeting was called to discuss the differing analyses (that is, the disagreement). That?s why the meeting was held. Disagreement. I'm sorry I didn't use that word, thus confusing you. i'll monosyllabize next time.

And your assertion that I claimed that there is a causal relationship (as opposed to a correlative relationship) between atmospheric temperatures and carbon-loads. hasn?t been backed by you. You may want to actually read the article, a synthesis of many such studies, and in which you?ll find the phrase: If CO2 continues to increase 1.5 ppm_year, which would require that global emissions be kept about the same as today, the added forcing in 50 years will be _1.08 W_m2 (5). Now, you may want to backpedal and try to claim something like I said a one-to-one relationship or something, in which case you should quote me.

The proposal that increasing CO2 would cause warming was made in 1896 by some chemist guy who had a type of acid and base named after him.

You should provide some evidence that this basic property is not true. Try that.

If you are so positive that the people who do this sort of thing for a living are incorrect, I suggest you start publishing.

Ahhh, but perhaps you are trying to claim that I said that CO2 is the only cause of the recent warming ? in which case you would be wrong, as landcover changes, aerosols, black carbon, methane, ozone, and other such agents have all contributed to the recent climate change. So I wouldn?t have said such a thing.

If you are so positive that the people who do this sort of thing for a living are incorrect, I suggest you start publishing.

In order to start, read up. Go to the library. Learn some stuff.

Then you might learn you have to be able to actually back your claims.

D

Posted by: Dano at February 23, 2004 05:19 PM | PERMALINK

I read this as "we dont think this is going to happen, but nevertheless it's an outcome to be avoided."

Which is what I call the classical "conservative" argument in favor of attacking global warming.

If an insurance policy against this can be found, and is reasonably affordable, why on earth would you be against it?

Posted by: p mac at February 23, 2004 05:45 PM | PERMALINK

Third attempt after crashing...

A compendium of useful links.

Short statement:

Anony-mouse: Kuhn is not the be all end all of the philosophy of science...you should read Popper, Lakatos and others. Their ideas are not mutually exclusive, and they complement in many areas...where one may be operative, the others are not, and vice versa....

Not only that, but, I repeat, consensus is a RESULT, not a CAUSE of "scientific progress"....

Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and Phil Sci

Falsification, Paradigms, and Programmes

Popper vs Kuhn

Organizations and International institutions that present anthropogenic forcing as an important component of climate change in the last 200 or so years....

American Geophysical Union

EPA

UN

NAS

National Resources Canada

Geological Suvery New Zealand

International Energy Agency

European Environment Agency

More UNEP

And many many many more....

Even the API (American Petroleum Institute, Motorola, Shell oil and many "surprising" sources agree on that subject.)

Proxies, Reefs, Trees, Modeling, Data Centers, Ice cores, and some publicaiton lists...

NOAA reefs

Duke University CO2 Experiments...

NOAA proxies and explanations with many links

NOAA paleoclimatology

MIT modeling pubs

Lamont (Columbia Univ) Pubs

GISP Ice Cores

Ice cores

On Lomborg: Bjorn Lomborg is not a Climatologist by training or by expertise. Recognizing that "non-scientists" can and do contribute substantial to science and have done so repeatedly over the last 500 years or more, I do not have any problem with "Layman's critiques" - I welcome them, and so do most of my colleagues. However, those critiques should be, and are, scrutinized to the same degree that any scientist's contribution is scrutinized, picked apart, criticized, and "attacked" in the scientific sense. When that "layman's contribution is prefaced with and based upon a broad, generalized, and extremely hostile set of premises in which the credibility, ability, expertise, or methodology/honesty of a scientist or school of scientific thought are derided, insulted, attacked, or called "lies" by a non-expert, one should not be surprised when one's work is trashed, roundly and completely, by the "big guns"...witness the recent embarassing flap regarding the "book-keeping errors" published by those two fellows in Canada...the Mining Engineer and the Economist, in which their supposed "scoop" debunking the work of an expert scientist was shown to be a complete flop resulting from their apparent inability to import and export and read Excel files into a spreadsheet properly...they got rightfully hammered, laughed at, and sent packing...and so has Lomborg.

debunking Lomborg

Lomborg Error Compendium

PDF - Union of Concerned Scientists rebut Lomborg

SciAmerican Lomborg Rebuttal

Finally, to Stormin' Norman, the inveterate Ass of the Aether...

hey Norm? Yeah, umm, well...I got my Bachelor's in 1992, my Ph.D. in 1999, have spent the last 4 years as a post-doc at the University of Tokyo, and will be starting in April a full time job working for The Japan Marine Science and Technology Center as a Staff Scientist at the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). I have had grants funded by GSA, Sigma Xi, and NSF, have had five first author papers published in refereed journals, have contributed to and have my name on 5 or 6 other papers in refereed journals, have presented more than 20 times at international conferences all over the world, ahve been to the bottom of the ocean in the Alvin, spent 10 weeks doing field work in Greenland, and 6 weeks in Indonesia, 4 weeks in the Mojave Desert, several weeks in Mexico, Spent a month as a researcher at the Danish Lithosphere Center, and have logged more than 8 months of ship time on cruises in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic Oceans.

What about you, moron?

Posted by: Dan at February 23, 2004 09:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ken,

I said, regarding nuclear power: "1) Because there is not enough fuel. There is not enough uranium to power enough plants to create enough electricity to power the world. Breeder reactors can ameliorate some of that shortfall, but nowhere near enough."

You reply We don't know how much fuel there is until we go looking for it. And we generally don't go looking for it until we have a use for it - say, a bunch of reactors that we'd like to power with it.

Sorry, but, like oil, the estimates of total recoverable Uranium are pretty damned good at this point.

Australia has about 30% of the world's economically recoverable reserves of uranium. Presently known reserves are enough to last for half a century, although a doubling of present contract prices for uranium might increase recoverable reserves by a factor of ten.

The same thing happened to oil. "Proven reserves" of oil kept going up as we keep looking for it. Sure, it'll eventually run out, and maybe it'll run out fairly soon, but in the early days of oil exploitation, no one had the foggiest notion of how much oil there was.

Do your research. M. K. Hubbert predicted US continental "peak oil" within 5 years of the actual event...and oil geologists in the same vein of analysis have stated that the Ultimate Recoverable volume of oil will last until between 2010 and 2030, depending on usage, price, and future discovery....

The earth is a finite sphere with finite volume...there are no infinite reserves of anything...sunlight comes closest, but even that will run out in 5 billion years or so. :-)

Seriously, though, everyone except the head in the sand loonies knows that Oil will run out, and most people agree that it will run out (as a viable economic resource) within the next 50 years. Discovery is dropping, and the volume and quality of discovery is dropping. The North Sea has hit its peak and Forecast of Rising Oil Demand Challenges Tired Saudi Fields Saudi appears to be feeling the strain as well.

As for the canard about price rises counterbalancing resource scarcity...well, it just don't follow the laws of thermodynamics...at a certain point on the resource abundance curve, it requires more energy input to obtain a given volume of resource than that resource can return...for example, at 75-80% depletion of an oil field, it requires MORE than a barrel of oil to pump a barrel of oil...at which point it does not matter what the price is, it is STILL a money losing and energy losing proposition...unless we go back to a slave society.

.... hydrogen fuel will do the trick.

Hydrogen fuel cells cannot run airplanes or heavy machinery...sorry.

Nuclear power in the United States has been quite safe. Only one "incident", and that one claiming the lives of zero bystanders.

Ummmm, the safety and efficiency record of the US nuclear industry is pretty scary. Just because we have not had a chernobyl (although we came awfully close) does not mean it is safe....recent events in Ohio and New York are cause for serious worry....and that does not even begin to plumb the depths of waste generation, transport, and disposal, not to mention the costs and dangers of decommissioning plants.

That's why we're fighting the war on terror. We'd like to advance beyond our current, earthbound, fossil fuel based existence and start becoming an advanced, spacefaring civilization. We need concentrated sources of energy to do that, and if we eschew the use of concentrated energy for fear that terrorists will misuse them, rather than eliminating the terrorist vermin and then using that concentrated energy, then we'll stagnate here on Earth until the oil runs out.

Yeah, right. Good luck, pal. As long as there are large populations of people who feel dispossessed, whether they are justified or not, there will be a problem with terrorism...as long as there are people who feel the need to fight back against what they see as "oppression" regardless of whether they are justified or not, and as long as those people cannot reach the main target of their anger due to distance or imbalance of military power, there will be terrorists.

The war on a noun is bullshit, and will fail.

"Living a simple life less dependent on power grids, grocery stores, and urban amenities is and always has been healthier and better for the soul."

I did not write this. Someone else did. Please do not attribute comments to me that I did not write, thanks. In fact, since I grew up on a single family subsistance farm, and know very well what it is like to live "off the grid" and it is HARD, PAINFUL, STRESSFUL, and DANGEROUS.

So not only did I not write this, but I would not write it.

Posted by: Dan at February 23, 2004 09:46 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Dan has re-emerged. Welcome back -- and thanks for removing "asshat" from your lexicon.

I'll let Anony-Mouse deal with your silliness about Mr. Lomborg -- except to point out that you didn't refute anything. All you've demonstrated is that you've never read his book or any of the criticisms of Mr. Lomborg's critics -- who have been routed. Indeed, if you'd bother to read your own citations, Kare Fog admits (in your Lomborg Error Compendim),

The ministry?s decision was published 17./12. 2003. The decision is a text of nearly 70 pages. The main conclusion was that UVVU had made so many errors that their verdict was declared invalid.

But, on to my debunking of you. I think you're claiming to be a recently educated marine biologist (you're surely NOT an oceanographer) -- whose only work experience and whose continued employment depends on some government reaching into my pockets to pay your salary. And FOUR YEARS ON A POST-DOC? I guess you can't find a job.

So you've established your bias. You're looking at the unemployment line if the myth of global warming is dispelled.

That's tough. You don't have marketable skills -- you're clearly not very technical -- and you have what we in the private sector call, "a bad attitude".

As for me, I took an undergraduate degree in Physics in '68 and an MS in OR in '70. I'm as technical as they come -- and I was educated before folks like you paid testament to the decline in writing skills as taught in our schools in the last few decades.

Unlike you, I'm gainfully employed and pay much more than my fair share in taxes.


Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 24, 2004 04:34 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Dan,

I just noticed your reply to Ken wherein you claim, In fact, since I grew up on a single family subsistance farm, and know very well what it is like to live "off the grid" and it is HARD, PAINFUL, STRESSFUL, and DANGEROUS.

Danny Boy -- you've just demonstrated that you're a lying weasel. There haven't been subsistance farms in the US of A since revolutionary times. They're even more of a myth than "Global Warming".

What a stupid, stupid liar you are. Now send me some EVIDENCE of your academic life. In fact -- here's a quiz a first year science student could pass.

If you fell off a ledge 400 feet above the sea and Superman materialized on the scene 5 seconds later, at what speed would Superman have to travel (he IS Superman -- hence no accelleration times) to save you?

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 24, 2004 05:06 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Dan -- what a lying sack of shit you are.

I just did some checking on your supposed affiliation with Jamstec.

Guess what? They're not located in Tokyo! Their headquartered in Yokoska City and the Deep Sea Lab is in Yaizu!

What a liar! What a stoopid, stoopid liar you are.

I told you that I could tell by your word usage you were non-technical. Now you've proved it by your lies.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 24, 2004 06:34 AM | PERMALINK

"I did not write this. Someone else did. Please do not attribute comments to me that I did not write, thanks. In fact, since I grew up on a single family subsistance farm, and know very well what it is like to live "off the grid" and it is HARD, PAINFUL, STRESSFUL, and DANGEROUS."

Sorry for the confusion... I didn't put names on any of the quotes, which I probably should have done.

Anyway, like you, the people who say "the oil is running out... and we'll all be better off without it, because we'll live simpler lives" bugs the living $#&*# out of me.

"Do your research. M. K. Hubbert predicted US continental "peak oil" within 5 years of the actual event"

After how many years of heavy oil usage and heavy exploration?

"Ummmm, the safety and efficiency record of the US nuclear industry is pretty scary. Just because we have not had a chernobyl (although we came awfully close) does not mean it is safe....recent events in Ohio and New York are cause for serious worry....and that does not even begin to plumb the depths of waste generation, transport, and disposal, not to mention the costs and dangers of decommissioning plants."

Running out of fuel and going back to 19th Century energy levels is even more dangerous. Wind and solar ain't going to cut it - unless that solar is collected out in space and beamed down in concentrated form - and we're going to have to go to nuclear. And we're going to have to use breeder reactors if you're right about the uranium supply, which means we damn well better have cleaned out the terrorist rats nests by then.

"Yeah, right. Good luck, pal. As long as there are large populations of people who feel dispossessed, whether they are justified or not, there will be a problem with terrorism..."

There's lots of people all over the planet who "feel disposessed", some of them with excellent reason. However, terrorists tend to come from one particular part of the world, and they tend to come from elements of that society that are significantly less "disposessed" than the local average.

Posted by: Ken at February 24, 2004 09:26 AM | PERMALINK

I notice similar argumentation on other sites when people don't have command of an issue but nonetheless think their view is right:

blow hard, attack, never give a source or rarely back your claim, and then either dissemble or completely drop the issue and move to some other mendacicized topic.

So, whenever I see blowhards argue like what I see above, I always think that they don't know what they are talking about. This view isn't always correct, but it is a good starting point and is usually the way to go.

D

Posted by: Dano at February 24, 2004 01:59 PM | PERMALINK

For the scientifically inclined -- here's TCS's debunking of Kevin Dumbo's original premise for this thread.

Winter Weather Wonder, Part II

Come on, all you drop-outs and wannabe scientists -- give it your best shot.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 24, 2004 03:37 PM | PERMALINK

Uhhh, Norm?

Yeah, well, ummm...geee...


First, JAMSTEC has a Tokyo office....but that is irrelevant, see, because if you read my actual post, see, I mention that I work for U. Tokyo...but never said where JAMSTEC was...and mentioned that I would be starting there in April...

Can't read?

My specialty is structural geology and plate tectonics. Not marine biology, and not oceanography.

I grew up on a subsistance farm in Maine, where there still are such things, especially if one's parents were silly enough to buy into the whole "back to the land" business.


I think the fact that you spent so much time and energy replying to and challenging, and researching and looking at my supposed background is pretty funny.

And a pretty good indication that, as I said, you don't know shit and I just hammered your pinhead into the ground.

Oh, and check the stats on the geosciences...the average tenure track hire has somewhere between 5 and 7 years of postdoc experience.

Posted by: Dan at February 24, 2004 04:28 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Dan -- you're right, I misread your post as claiming you worked for Jamstec IN Tokyo. My bad.

Have I misjudged you? I think not -- but I'll keep an open mind. You see, I am a scientist AND an engineer and I can recognize a pretender when he opens his mouth. We don't go around calling people whose facts upset us, "asshats".

I note you've given up defending "global warming" and attacking Lomborg. And I note you failed to take up my simple physics problem.

Am I wrong or are you a pretender? Surely you could have found a first year physics student at U of Tokyo to work it out for you.

Oh, on a "subsistance" farm you'd not only grow/raise all of your food -- you'd make your own clothes -- and farming implements -- and do without electricity or any modernity. If your parents tried to raise you in such an environment -- even in Maine -- in the eighties, they would have been arrested.

Even the Amish aren't "subsistance" farmers -- they operate commercial farms and buy goods and service from others in their community -- and from vendors. They just limit their appliances to what was obtainable in the nineteenth century.

Poor Dan. I guess all the pretty girls in your hometown made fun of you becuz your mom cut your hair and made your clothes. Oh wait -- there are no pretty girls in Maine.

Hey Dan -- how many teeth you got?

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 24, 2004 05:05 PM | PERMALINK

Norman,

I am not sure what you hope to accomplish with your little "quiz" - in a facce to facec discussion, such a quiz could "prove" something, but on the internet it is pretty much useless - I could be a 10 year old prankster with precocious intenet search skills and find the "answer" for you...it would not prove a thing...

If you insist, however...

If you fell off a ledge 400 feet above the sea and Superman materialized on the scene 5 seconds later, at what speed would Superman have to travel (he IS Superman -- hence no accelleration times) to save you?

(Acceleration is spelled with one "l")

400 feet (121.2m) above the sea, acceleration of 9.8 m/s2, ignoring friction (atmospheric drag), assuming Superman does not need to accelerate, and assuming that he materializes at the same point that I dropped from...and I have been falling for 5 seconds...

x = x0 + v0t + (1/2)at2

x = 121.2 m

x0 = 0

v0 = 0

a = 9.8m/s2

so,

121.2 m = 0+0+(4.9m/s2)*t2

solve for t

t2 = 121.2/4.9 = 24.7

t = 4.97 seconds to fall ALL the way to the water.

Superman materializes 5 seconds after I fall, and we assumed he materialized at the point where I fell...

So it's too frickin' late.

As for your comments regarding my youth:

I grew up on a farm where we grew our own food, cut our own firewood, and made most of our own clothes, even to the point of bartering wool from the neighbors, carding it, weaving cloth on a loom, and spinning thread/yarn on a spinning wheel. We had our own animals, and cut our own hay....

We were about as "off the grid" as you can get...even to the point of going without electricity for long periods of time.

You are correct, there is no true "off the grid" in modern times...but we were damned close...and it sucked.

Posted by: Dan at February 24, 2004 06:56 PM | PERMALINK

And all of that is beside the point.

The point is that Lomborg is definitively debunked, and wrong...that global warming is decidedly influenced by human activity, and that the vast bulk of the evidence, data, and observations support the interpretation made by the vast bulk of the scientific community regarding both climate change/global warming and anthropogenic forcing.

All the insults, aspersions, and monkeyshit-throwing in the world won't change that.

Tell me Norman, can you explain the difference between Stress and Strain, and the name of the Tensor that relates them?

Do you know the difference between pure shear and simple shear?

Can you tell me the difference between differential and isostatic stress?

Do you know the von Mise criteria and how it is applied in understaind deformation?

Can you explain in simple words the meaning of Poisson ratios, Lam? constants, and shear moduli?

Is that "scientific" enough?

Posted by: Dan at February 24, 2004 07:08 PM | PERMALINK

On Lomborg:


Common misunderstandings and mis-statements regarding Lomborg and the committees on scientific dishonesty

"Lomborg was cleared of all charges by the Danish ministry of Research in December 2003"

This is a misunderstanding. The ministry decided that the Danish committees on scientific dishonesty (DCSD) had made a number of formal errors when they issued their verdict, and that the verdict is therefore not valid. The ministry did not, however, comment upon wether Lomborg was dishonest or not; they were not warranted to comment on this.

In other words, the actual content of the case and the verdict were not addressed, but the legal and formal procedural practice were flawed....

"300 Danish professors have signed a petition supporting Lomborg?s work"?

This is a misunderstanding. The petition was a criticism that the Danish committees on scientific dishonesty (DCSD) had not treated the complaint against Lomborg satisfactorily. It stated that DCSD had not properly treated any single item of complaint against Lomborg (which is correct) and had omitted Lomborg?s response on the raised criticism (which is not correct). The signed declaration did not comment on Lomborg?s views and thus did not express agreement with Lomborg. It was signed by 287 scientists, mostly social scientists, of which about 111 were professors. It was published on 18./1. 2003.

Again, the petition had little to do with the content of the case, and a lot to do with the structure, format, and workings of the proceeding itself.

As a counterbalance to this declaration, another declaration in support of DCSD was signed by more than 600 scientists, mainly in the fields of medical and natural scientists. Out of these 600, more than half were professors.

Lomborg is debunked.

Posted by: Dan at February 24, 2004 07:26 PM | PERMALINK

See if you can get him to address any of my points showing where he mendacicized, Dan.

On second thought, never mind. I have to go wash my hair.

Thx

D

Posted by: Dano at February 24, 2004 07:38 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Dan,

You're not going to get very far in science, engineering, or any place in this world until you develop an ability to estimate -- a feel for the numbers and the people you're working with.

The joke is that I gave you a Freshman physics problem expressed in FEET, not meters or centimeters. It has a simple answer: Superman would have to get you on the bounce becuase:

400 = 1/2 * 32 ft/ss * t2 yields t = EXACTLY 5 seconds.

You could argue that g is approximated in both MKS and English, but you'd miss the point -- which is that you missed the joke.

Most people who specialize in a different field than you are more proficient in their own field than you. It's a fact of life. People learn their professions.

Ergo, don't call other people names until you've learned everything they can teach you (and then you'll likely no longer feel so inclined).

You've clearly missed the whole point of the Lomborg controversy -- You wrote The point is that Lomborg is definitively debunked, and wrong...that global warming is decidedly influenced by human activity, and that the vast bulk of the evidence, data, and observations support the interpretation made by the vast bulk of the scientific community regarding both climate change/global warming and anthropogenic forcing.

Lomborg NEVER challenged the "science" of Global Warming -- he challenged the dire predictions that were claimed on behalf of the "science". Lomborg is a statistician -- not a physical scientist (although he was trained in Political Science). Lomborg's heresy was not that he challenged the SCIENCE of Global Warming -- which he in fact accepted (for argument's sake), but rather he published an apostasy that debunked the dire predictions of the effects of the SCIENCE and demonstrated how little Kyoto would buy and how much it would cost.

The "scientific community" -- those folks like yourself who slop at the public trough and who depend for their livlihoods on continued government funding for their "research" were horrified. Holy S**T -- this guys gonna rain on our parade! Hence the fuss from the scientists. The anguish from the far left is a simple reflex action. The Ludidites hate modernity (and America).

Lomborg brought a statistician's view to the problem statement of the global warming alarmists (Lomborg and I could discuss a Poisson DISTRIBUTION with you -- if you were building a toll road and wanted to figure out how many collectors you should plan for). And, no -- he's NEVER been debunked (but his attackers HAVE). His numbers are spot-on.

I, on the other hand, do challenge the science. And, no -- there is no "overwhelming consensus of scientists" who buy this load of crap. Indeed, to the consternation of the acolytes, both the data and the assumptions fail to survive scrutiny.


Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 25, 2004 04:26 AM | PERMALINK

Poor old Norm - so incautious! Silly Grandpa.

And, no ? [Lomborg has] NEVER been debunked

Sigh...so full of absolutes! And you infer you know science? Hardy har. What other measures of never do you have? Never say never, my grampa told me ? you obviously didn?t know my grampa.

And claiming TCS as a science source, when it is so obviously an industry lobbying site?!?!?. Shameful.

Oh, BTW, your ?debunking? link - I have found enough cherry-picking and dishonesty from Soon and Baliunas that it no longer is necessary to read their crap. This is a typical argument for the rubes ? confuse climate and weather.

If you were a real scientist you wouldn?t cite their work. You may look on TCS for comments (not since recently, however, as I have tired of the mouth-breathers there) on Soon?s work where I detail his mendacity. Look for Dano there too. Too bad TCS dumped a lot of their historical comments, because I have been pointing out their bullsh*t there for a couple of years.

there is no "overwhelming consensus of scientists" who buy this load of crap.

Back your claim. Be specific. Show your work. Use a source. Back your claim. Be specific. Show your work. Use a source. Be specific. Show your work. Use a source.

But your argumentation is old. The industry shills have abandoned that argument and have shifted their tactics. I?m sure you know who Frank is.

But you surely mean ?scientists bought and paid for by industry?; you haven?t shown proof of your claim that non-shill scientists say such. I gave you the definition of ?consensus?, Norm. Now, show your work.. Show that there is no consensus. Produce names. Show a list.

I anxiously await your exhibit.

Indeed, to the consternation of the acolytes, both the data and the assumptions fail to survive scrutiny.

Back your claim. What data? What assumptions? Be specific. Show your work. Use a source. Back your claim. Show a data point. Don?t mendacicize. Back your claim. What data? What assumptions? Be specific. Show your work. Use a source. Back your claim. Show a data point. Don?t mendacicize.

D

Posted by: Dano at February 25, 2004 09:17 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Dan,

I've got a question for you. There's a school of thought that says Petroleum is not a "fossil" fuel -- that it's derived from methane and may be inexhaustable -- here's a quick link to a Bruce Bartlett article on this subject.

Supplies of oil may be inexhaustible

Is this an active area of study amongst you tectonics guys?

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 25, 2004 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce Bartlett isn't an oil expert, he's an old Heritage fellow, a supply-side economist...

But, it would be nice, since the picture isn't all rosy.

Does Norm have any, um, facts (not opinion columns) to show us to back his, um, umbrage?

Posted by: Dano at February 25, 2004 04:33 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Dano,

Look, you're all over the map. You made statments and I refuted them -- mostly by pressing you nose against your own cites. You declaim my cites by waving your hands (Soon's a mouth-breather). If you have a rebuttal to Soon's article, provide it. You don't like Lomborg. He can speak for himself (I'm sure you can find his website -- he has detailed rebuttals to his critics -- Enjoy!)

Lomborg's thrust is that Kyoto makes no economic sense -- Trillions to delay the projected event by 6 years over the next century, whereas providing clean water to the third world would provide three orders of magnitude more benefit to the third world at a very small fraction of the cost. Where is the rebuttal to that?

My issue is with morons like Kevin Dumbo (and, I'm afraid -- yourself) who claim the science is settled (in your favor) when it's clearly not. Your own cite of the Noaa October '03 conference shows how poorly the data agrees with the alarmist models.

I grew up in the fifties -- when we were told that we were facing another ice age and that we'd run out of fuel by the eighties -- by the same alarmist community who bays at the moon about whatever scare might get them funding.

If you have something to offer, please read it before you cite it.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 25, 2004 05:42 PM | PERMALINK

You made statments and I refuted them -- mostly by pressing you nose against your own cites.

You've refuted them all right. Yessir. Whooo.

Where I live, though, just because you put words down doesn't mean you've effectively refuted something.

But, by gum, you sure did the basic refutin' thing good. Now get you a clue about th' subject and you'll be sittin' real purty-like.

Hint for next time: you have no clue about the context of the CO2 w/m2 forcing that you forgot about, the satellite record you parrot, the Lomborg debunking that was repeatedly linked to, the reason for the NOAA workshop, your 'consensus' parroting that you can't back...). Read up.

I didn't forget about these things, and all anyone has to do is scroll up or use ctrl+f, Norm.

If you have a rebuttal to Soon's article, provide it.

Yes, S&B long ago showed that they are industry shills and have no credibility (6 editors of Clim Res resigned over one of their papers that was allowed to go to print in an obscure non-ISI journal that was nevertheless immediately trumpeted by Inhofe on the Senate floor and carted around by other shills).

Therefore S&B's words are immediately suspect, especially on TCS where I have a number of comments pointing out where they cherry-picked and twisted or selectively used data to dupe the rubes. Like I said before. I don't have to read their crap.

and, finally,

My issue is with morons like Kevin Dumbo (and, I'm afraid -- yourself) who claim the science is settled (in your favor) when it's clearly not.

My issue is with trolls who continually use industry talking points and can't back them up.

I claimed nothing of the sort, just tried to get you to name the consensus. The Science Isn't Settled is an industry talking point (that came out of the memo I linked above).

Funny how no one can prove there is no consensus, though. Very strange that when someone is called on it, they can't produce.

But I can see where this is going. You're not as fun as some of the other trolls who at least have half a grasp of the subject. You, on the other hand, because of your assumption that you know a little math, think you have the answer and it's OK to parrot words that sound good to your ideology. I prefer to find flaws in scientific reasoning rather than playing gamie-games and track down what you 'forgot' or hand-wave away from.

You can't even get close. You don't even have current talking points.

If you knew what was science, I'd still be yanking your lil' chain.

I'm sure there's a good enough record in this thread to follow along for those who are curious.

I believe, Norm, that you have argued your position as well as possible for you. Have fun with your thoughts.

Best,

D

Posted by: Dano at February 25, 2004 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Dan,

It appears that this is the closest I will get to an acknowledgement of my bona fides...

I've got a question for you. There's a school of thought that says Petroleum is not a "fossil" fuel -- that it's derived from methane and may be inexhaustable -- here's a quick link to a Bruce Bartlett article on this subject.

Methane (CH4) IS a fossil fuel, when it is derived from the decay and preservation of organic carbon buried in the ground and heated/pressurized for long enough at the right conditions.

Methane is one of the many Carbon compounds formed during the process that creates an entire family of hydrocarbons.

Methane also occurs in the mantle, and also forms a layer buried at shallow levels in the ocean floor and preserved as "ice" - Methane hydrate.

However, the isotopic signatures of these different forms of methane are distinct and unique, allowing those of us "in the know" to tell from whence a particular kind of methane is derived.

The link you provided "Supplies of oil may be inexhaustible" uses an astronomer, Dr. Gold, as a source. That, in and of itself, to a geologist or petroleum scientist, is an immediate alarm bell.

Methane from the mantle - certainly. In volumes large enough to make a difference, or create an economically viable resource? Don't make me laugh.

As for hydrocarbons from the mantle???

No. Think temperature and pressure. At mantle temperatures and pressures, no hydrocarbons can form, and no hydrocarbons can be preserved.

Is this an active area of study amongst you tectonics guys?

Yet another tacit recognition of my bona fides!!!???

More to the point, no it is not.

Hydrocarbon deposits are generated by the decay of microscopic marine organisms (phytoplankton and etc) that are trapped in reducing deposits that prevent oxidation - like shale, mudstone, siltstone, etc...these deposits are buried, and as they heat up due to the geotherm, and as they get squeezed due to burial, at certain temperature pressure conditions - the "hydrocarbon window" - they get cooked of to form deposits of crude oil or natural gas whose characteristics (specific molecular chemistry, density, molecular structure, and etc) are determined by the particular conditions at the time.

If those deposits are heated further, the more volatile hydrocarbons are cooked off, leaving behind heavy crude, tar, or other more viscous or dense hydrocarbons.

Deposits that are buried deeper are consistent with this story.

The "recharging" of shallower deposits is related to the cooking off of lighter hydrocarbons from deeper buried deposits...the lighter hydrocarbons rise through faults, fractures or porous channels in the "trap rock" (the seal on the reservoir) and into overlying reservoirs.

The earth's sedimentary layers are often depicted as "layer cake" in cartoons, but the reality is much more complex, and the recharging of shallower reservoirs is simply an expression of that complexity...not anything related to "oil from the mantle" or what have you.

Posted by: Dan at February 26, 2004 02:22 AM | PERMALINK

Here is a decent outline .... it ignores a lot of the complexity, but lays out the basics pretty well.

Keep in mind that the way that we KNOW that oil is formed by the alteration and "cooking" of preserved and buried organic material, and NOT from inorganic deep sources is based on the specific chemical balance of particular isotopes of Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen....these isotopes are preferentially included (or exluded) by biological activity (like photosynthesis), and are radically different from the balance of those isotopes in inorganic rocks, in the atmosphere, and etc.

We know that petroleum is derived from organic remains trapped in reducing deposits.

Posted by: Dan at February 26, 2004 02:30 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Dan,

I did accept your representations, and I was curious as to what kind of thinking was going on ?in the trenches? (a play on the common usage of this phrase ? WW1 trench warfare -- and your work at the bottom of the sea).

One of life?s funnier things is watching ?conventional wisdom? turn itself into knots as ?outrageous ideas? become plausible ? like plate tectonics ? or not ? like cold fusion. It?s most fun to watch how people react to new ideas. Some folks take a deep breath and consider the idea itself. Others (like yourself, I?m afraid) react to new ideas and look to blame the messenger.

Here?s where you went wrong: There?s a difference between Astronomy and Astrology. Astronomy today is a Physics specialty and many departments are named Astronomy and Astrophysics. PhD Physicists are serious guys. Thomas Gold is a REALLY serious guy. When a really serious guy tells you he?s got a problem with conventional wisdom ? start placing bets.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 26, 2004 04:54 AM | PERMALINK

Awww Dano, did I hurt your feelings? Is this the sum of your abilities?

I asked you two specific questions:

You declaim my cites by waving your hands (e.g. Soon's a mouth-breather). If you have a rebuttal to Soon's article, provide it.

Lomborg's thrust is that Kyoto makes no economic sense -- Trillions to delay the projected event by 6 years over the next century, whereas providing clean water to the third world would provide three orders of magnitude more benefit to the third world at a very small fraction of the cost. Where is the rebuttal to that?

You responded with ad hominem attacks. Is this all you have to say? Can YOU rebut Soon?s desctruction of Kevin Dumbo?s thesis for this thread? I?m not interested in your recitation of what YOU think of Soon. Tell me what?s wrong with what was proffered (pretend someone much smarter ? like yourself ? wrote the article).

Ditto for Lomborg. Stop your stupid (and VERY unoriginal) attacks. Can YOU refute his central thesis, that even if we buy the ?science? of the global warming alarmists, Kyoto makes no sense. No one else can ? but you think you?re the smartest guy in the world, so give it your best shot.

Come on Dano, let?s see you talk the talk. Do the math.


Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 26, 2004 05:09 AM | PERMALINK

Norman,

First, Gold may well be a really serious guy...but other really serious guys start refuting, with data, that really serious guy's hypothesis, then he is a really serious guy...who is wrong on this particular issue.

And, it is interesting that when it suits you to recognize the CV of an individual as a means of bolstering their credibility or supporting a thesis of theirs that you happen to like or want to be true, you do it...

But when extremely "serious guys" sign a letter from the Union of Concerned Scientists regarding the Bush administration's misuse, twisting, and ignorance/ignoring of science...

Or when extremely "serious guys" write papers about global warming for the IPCC or NAS...guys with resumes as impressive or more so than Gold's...with expertise in the area they are writing about (whereas Gold, an astrophysicist, is writing about oil geology...not his field by far..)

Well, you dismiss them as irrelevant.

Double standard, Norman.

Anyway, Gold is wrong about oil from the mantle, regardless of how smart he is, or his qualifications...

Posted by: Dan at February 26, 2004 06:17 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Dan,

At the risk of talking past you, let me explain why I'm intrigued by Dr. Gold and dismissive of Kevin Dumbo, et al. I didn't intend to get into a debate with you about Dr. Gold -- I was just curious how much effect down in the trenches there's been from his ideas. But, since you answered me civilly -- I'll extend the same courtesy.

1. Astrophysicists know a lot of things about a lot of things. They have to -- they have little more than spectral lines and their minds to work with. Dr. Gold is a top guy and deserves to heard. He may not be right, but he's interesting and we'll all learn by the attempt to hear him out and the effort to understand his reasoning.

2. Unlike the global warming scare, no one seems to have come up with an answer to Dr. Gold's central points:

a) There's a whole lot of methane in the universe and it tends to clump up with heavier stuff in the astral bodies.

and b) ...

(Gold, Thomas. The Deep Hot Biosphere. Copernicus, New York, 1999):

Nobody has yet synthesized crude oil or coal in the lab from a beaker of algae or ferns. A simple heuristic will show why such synthesis would be extremely unlikely. To begin with, remember that carbohydrates, proteins, and other biomolecules are hydrated carbon chains. These biomolecules are fundamentally hydrocarbons in which oxygen atoms (and sometimes other elements, such as nitrogen) have been substituted for one or two atoms of hydrogen. Biological molecules are therefore not saturated with hydrogen. Biological debris buried in the earth would be quite unlikely to lose oxygen atoms and to acquire hydrogen atoms in their stead. If anything, slow chemical processing in geological settings should lead to further oxygen gain and thus further hydrogen loss. And yet a hydrogen ?gain? is precisely what we see in crude oils and their hydrocarbon volatiles. The hydrogen-to-carbon ratio is vastly higher in these materials than it is in undegraded biological molecules. How, then, could biological molecules somehow acquire hydrogen atoms while, presumably, degrading into petroleum?[Ibid., p. 85]

At high pressures, hydrocarbons represent the stable configuration of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons should therefore form spontaneously in the upper mantle and deep crust. But at low pressures at or near the earth?s surface, liquid hydrocarbons are supercooled, unstable fluids. As they upwell into lower-pressure regimes, they begin to dissociate, and this means they begin to shed hydrogen. This is exactly what we see in the vertically stacked patterns of a hydrocarbon region that go from methane at the deepest levels to oils and eventually to black coals at the shallowest levels. Each step in that stack is one of further hydrogen loss.[Ibid., p. 130]

There enuff interest in this to schedule a Hedberg research conference entitled, "Origin of Petroleum - Biogenic and/or Abiogenic and Its Significance in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production." It is scheduled for July 11 - 14, 2004, in Vienna, Austria.

As to why I am dismissive of Dumbo and his acolytes -- witness what passes for reasoned argumentation from Dano (and your earliest post), the problem with the global warming "debate" is that the alarmists have taken over what ought to have been a substantitive discussion -- and far overreached the science. There ought to be a lot more research and discussion before we turn our economies inside out -- and a lot more thought given to costs and benefits. That's what Lomborg tried to do and we can measure his success by the caterwauling of guys like Dano.

My take on the "Union of Concerned Scientists" is that they're largely a bunch of lefties who operate from a political agenda. It's not that this would prove them wrong (only science can AND WILL prove that) -- it's that they take silly positions on things like Kyoto that make no sense.

This was Lomborgs point: Even if they're right on the science (and he granted -- for argument's sake -- that they were), Kyoto would yield six years' delay of the predicted effects in the next hundred! And no one has refuted this.

The "Union" operated from what they knew -- and some folks with an axe to grind made sure they only knew what they wanted them to know. We all know a lot more now and we're learning more all the time.

Have you read any of the current literature on the absence of consideration of water vapor in the really scary models?

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 26, 2004 07:13 PM | PERMALINK

Norman,

As I said before, Gold is a smart fellow, but he has been wrong, and spectacularly wrong, in the past...(Static Universe, Moon Dust, and others.

Here a review of his book August 99 review of The Deep Hot Biosphere

Another scientific paragraph...isotopic ratios don't square with the hypothesis.

Here's another look, from 2003.

Gold's description of the Deep Biosphere, and the way that it functions is at odds with the evidence, the data, and the observations made over the last decades of deep drilling.

First, while there most certainly IS generation of some hydrocarbon in the mantle...methane, as I said before, the methane coming from the mantle is chemically distinct...extremely distinct...from the methane produced biogenically.

And the volume produced, so far as we have been able to measure in deep boreholes, in deposits, and preserved in uplifted or exposed rocks...is very small indeed.

Noone is claiming that Gold is a fool, nor is anyone claiming that Gold is WRONG that there is hydrocarbon in the mantle, or that hydrocarbon can for abiotically - that is well known and well accepted.

What is NOT accepted, basically due to almost total lack of solid supporting data and due to numerous, extremely strong pieces of evidence that cast into question Gold's statement....what is not accepted is that the mantle reservoir is large, that the mantle reservoir contributes significantly in any way to the crustal reservoir, and that the Deep Biosphere depends on hydrocarbons for its survival...

I suggest that if you are interested in this topic, you start googling..."Extremophiles" or "Deep Biosphere" or "Archaea"

Here is a start

Again, the reason why Gold is disagreed with has to do with the bulk of the evidence, the isotopes, the abundances, and the biology...not with the knee-jerk dismissal of his idea or all parts of it...rather, there are parts of it that are widely recognized to be correct...unfortunately, those aspects are not particularly exciting, or new.

Posted by: Dan at February 26, 2004 09:40 PM | PERMALINK

Lomborg may have tried to do what you say, but he failed.

He failed because his statistics, science, and methodology were, at best, flawed, and at worst, dishonest and mendacious.

He is as responsible for poisoning the debate as any on the other side.

Here is a good site that discusses exactly that topic in much better fashion.

Posted by: Dan at February 26, 2004 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Water vapor data is being measured and used in current modeling efforts.

Check it out!

a looong list showing the models, the references and the variables accounted for...

A 1995 report on the state of knowledge and the ability to use the data in models

some basics on the role of H20(v) in the climate system...

A meeting abstract and program about water vapor and its use in modeling...from 1999

And the "jewel in the crown" is the NASA GISS SI2000 models, which use H20(v), CO2, CH4, CFCs, Particulates, solar flux, Ozone, tropospheric soot and sulfates...and can hindcast the last 50 years of climate....

Any more questions?

Posted by: Dan at February 26, 2004 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

The latest Scientific American [3/04], Dan, has a nice article about climate change, written by one of the world's leading climate scientists.

It's written in plain language, and addresses a lot of the misunderstanding, ignorance, and misinformation out there, such as what is found in this thread above.

I recommend this article to anyone looking for information on this topic. Also, Dan linked to Schneider's site; anyone able to see past the ideological slander surrounding that name shoud check that out as well.

D

Posted by: Dano at February 27, 2004 07:40 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Dan,

Thank very much for your thoughtful replies. As I wrote previously, I?m very far from being expert on either the facts or the science of plate tectonics or petroleum research ? and I really am looking for information.

The sense I get from what you sent to me vs. Gold?s assertions distill down to these statements:

Michael Lewan (Brown?s Explorer article 11/02)

I feel we've done a very good job of simulating production of petroleum in the laboratory," Lewan said. "Between the lab work and the fieldwork, we've put together a very good picture.

I don't think anybody has ever doubted that there is an inorganic source of hydrocarbons. The key question is, 'Do they exist in commercial quantities?

Gold, Thomas. The Deep Hot Biosphere. Copernicus, New York, 1999):
Nobody has yet synthesized crude oil or coal in the lab from a beaker of algae or ferns. A simple heuristic will show why such synthesis would be extremely unlikely. To begin with, remember that carbohydrates, proteins, and other biomolecules are hydrated carbon chains. These biomolecules are fundamentally hydrocarbons in which oxygen atoms (and sometimes other elements, such as nitrogen) have been substituted for one or two atoms of hydrogen. Biological molecules are therefore not saturated with hydrogen. Biological debris buried in the earth would be quite unlikely to lose oxygen atoms and to acquire hydrogen atoms in their stead. If anything, slow chemical processing in geological settings should lead to further oxygen gain and thus further hydrogen loss. And yet a hydrogen ?gain? is precisely what we see in crude oils and their hydrocarbon volatiles. The hydrogen-to-carbon ratio is vastly higher in these materials than it is in undegraded biological molecules. How, then, could biological molecules somehow acquire hydrogen atoms while, presumably, degrading into petroleum?[Ibid., p. 85]

Reading between the lines ? I expect that Lewan?s ?good job? is something less than what Dr. Gold would agree was ?synthesized crude?. And I expect Dr. Lewan would probably agree as well. So here?s some advice from a (much) older entrepreneur: There?s research money to be gained from a well-written proposal that would likely shed some more light on this subject.

I have a high school buddy who?s a ?lecturer with the title of professor? at Princeton?s Plasma lab (he?s an experimentalist who brings in about !MM/yr). He?s my age and well off the tenure track. I give him very similar advice.

On the predicted effects of H20 in the current models:

If you?ll review the material YOU cited, you?ll see that no one can account or predict for the effects of clouds ? nor predict whether clouds will increase or decrease as a result of global warming.

From http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/mockler.html

The Role of Clouds
The effect of clouds on the climate system is complicated. Clouds reflect sunlight, which reduces solar radiation input to the Earth-atmosphere system. However, clouds also trap longwave radiation emitted by the Earth, as does water vapor. Clouds are highly interactive with the Earth's surface. They regulate the amount of sunlight received by the surface and so influence evaporation from the surface, which in turn influences cloud formation. Precipitation from clouds, in turn, influences soil moisture and evaporation rates. Soil moisture content and sunshine regulate the type of vegetation that covers the surface, which also influences evaporation rates. As the Earth's climate changes, we cannot predict whether the net effect of these interactive changes in cloudiness and other elements of the climate system will tend to amplify or reduce the change in climate.
The mechanics by which convective cloud systems transport water vapor vertically in the atmosphere are poorly understood. Cloud updrafts have long been thought to carry moisture to higher elevations, but evidence also suggests that cloud microphysical processes and cloud dynamics may dry the upper troposphere. However, computations with models making quantitative predictions conclude that cloud processes and large-scale water vapor transports increase upper troposphere water vapor. Large-scale storms, rather than small-scale convection, are believed to be the primary agent for moistening the upper troposphere. This is an area that needs much more study.

From http://www.nsc.org/ehc/climate/ccucla6.htm
Clouds themselves play a key role in the radiative regimen of Earth and atmosphere. Clouds can reflect the visible-range light coming toward Earth from the sun ? acting in effect as a sunshade, cooling the atmosphere and Earth below them. At the same time, clouds can also absorb the infrared radiation coming from Earth?s surface ? acting as a kind of blanket holding heat in and warming the lower atmosphere.
Clouds currently are believed to have a small net cooling effect. The effect they will have in the future is uncertain. The interactions among water vapor, clouds, aerosols, and radiation are far more complex than we have room to hint at here. The computer models generally used to simulate climate are not yet very helpful in understanding clouds, because clouds are much smaller than the finest detail the models can represent.

And the crown jewel, http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/stories/20020919/

The computer model's ability to simulate the past 50 years of global temperature change provided confidence in understanding the causes behind climate changes that have occurred over that time period. The sensitivity of the "SI2000" model to a climate forcing is comparable to that of other climate computer models. Model results from 1951-2000 are in close agreement with observed changes; the surface has warmed by about .5?C (0.9?F) while the upper atmosphere (10-15 mile altitudes) has cooled by about 1?C (1.8?F).

My take on your ?crown jewel?? I deal with a lot of ?quants?, who truly believe the past is a predictor of stock prices. It?s not. The sweeping assertion of this paper is that (in my words), ?because we tweaked our model so?s we got a rough correlation of its predictions and the actual observations over a fifty year period, we can predict with confidence a further perfect correlation over the next fifty years? BWAHAHAHAHAHA

Contrast that, with this, also from another NASA scientist?s contemporaneous analysis:

Fewer Clouds Indicate Climate Change
After examining 22 years of satellite measurements, NASA researchers find that more sunlight entered the tropics and more heat escaped to space in the 1990s than in the 1980s. Their findings indicate less cloud cover blocked incoming radiation and trapped outgoing heat.

"Since clouds were thought to be the weakest link in predicting future climate change from greenhouse gases, these new results are unsettling," said Dr. Bruce Wielicki of NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. Wielicki is the lead author of the first of two papers about this research appearing in the Feb. 1, issue of "Science."

"It suggests that current climate models may, in fact, be more uncertain than we had thought," Wielicki added. "Climate change might be either larger or smaller than the current range of predictions."

On Lomborg

I have yet to see ANY intemperate language by Lomborg. How indeed has he ?poisoned? the debate ? except by asking questions for which there were no good answers. Remember, Lomborg doesn?t question the ?science? (I do).

Your reference doesn?t even address Lomborg?s thesis, which is that at best Kyoto would delay by six years (in the next hundred) the predicted effects were it not if force ? and that it?s a terrible waste of money.

The caterwauling by the alarmists generally comes down to: Well, Kyoto IS JUST A START, and WE HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE. And IT?S UNFAIR TO APPLY CBA TO EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS. Bullshit.

Remember the ozone depletion scare ? and the resulting Montreal Protocols to eliminate conventional Freon?

Fred Singer ? 1999: The ozone layer revisited: Where are the casualties?
And some more good news -- sort of: The 1987 Montreal Protocol that led to the ban on chlorofluorocarbons ("Freons") was based on studies that predicted dire health consequences (to the tune of $32 trillion(!)), according to the EPA -- from even a 5 percent depletion in the stratospheric ozone layer. Well, the ozone layer has now thinned by about that amount, but where are the feared consequences -- the millions of skin cancers, cataracts and impaired immune systems leading to uncontrollable epidemics? Could it be that the: Environmental Protection Agency exaggerated just a tiny little bit in order to promote the CFC ban? Far be it for me to suggest that EPA would engage in such a dastardly scheme or even intimate that AIDS is spread by ozone depletion.

I looked at the mechanisms that were claimed for ozone depletion. Essentially, sunlight breaks up CFC's, releasing radical Chlorine -- which would then be oxidized by Ozone -- and then the sun would break up whatever choline-oxygen compound resulted, which would release radical Chlorine to continue destroying ozone. Didn't make a lot of sense to me -- why would banning CFC's help if there was already enuff radical Chlorine in the stratosphere to cause a noticible decline in ozone levels?

But, I'm certainly not an expert -- I took Freshman Chemistry and stopped.

But it sure seemed to me that the chemical industry caved awfully fast. Could it be that DuPont's patents on Freon were expiring and this looked like a good way to force us folks to buy expensive replacements? Call me a cynic.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 27, 2004 04:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Didn't make a lot of sense to me -- why would banning CFC's help if there was already enuff radical Chlorine in the stratosphere to cause a noticible decline in ozone levels?"

There isn't enough chlorine in the stratosphere without CFCs to cause a worldwide decline in stratospheric ozone.

The only reason that the chlorine in CFCs makes it up to the stratosphere (from the release point at the earth's surface) is that CFCs are so stable.

Posted by: Mark Bahner at February 28, 2004 02:31 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Mark,

My understanding of the suggested mechanism is that once the chlorine is freed (by sunlight) from the Freon, it KEEPS COMBINING WITH OZONE -- THEN DECOMBINING (SUNLIGHT AGAIN -- RELEASING O2) -- THEN RECOMBINGE ENDLESSLY

Hence, my question. If my understanding of the putative mechanism is correct (and I'm pretty sure it is), then wouldn't the damage be already done?

I'll see what I can dig up -- I've not look at this stuff since the late eighties.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 28, 2004 08:51 PM | PERMALINK

OK, I've done some research.

1. I was wrong in my assertions that DuPont's patents were about to expire (they ran out in the 40's, although DuPont retains the TradeMark - Freon). However, that meant there were no monopoly profits therein -- hence great profits opportunities if the world was forced to switch to different refrigeration technologies.

It's kinda like industry's co-opting of global warming as an opportunity to engage in the trading of CO2 emissions credits. There's money to be made when government makes an ass out of itself.

2. As for the chemistry -- I was rightly skeptical of the claimed mechanism, but I never read the further claims that the mechanism was different over the Antarctic -- hence the hole.

Cambridge?s Ozone Hole Tour

Posted by: Norman Rogers at February 29, 2004 09:49 AM | PERMALINK

I suppose everyone has noticed the almost complete absence of any information about the Pentagon report in the main stream media. And, lots of griping, complaining, foaming at the mouth, fingerpointing, and even "how dare the Pentagon say anything" remarks from those who claim the subject as their own. A pox on them all.

Indeed, it's a "what if, worst case senario," but I'm glad they commissioned and released it. Thank You Pentagon--- Thankyou Internet-----

Posted by: Mark Thornton at February 29, 2004 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

It got a teeny mention in the NYT today, Mark T.

D

Posted by: Dano at February 29, 2004 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks "D" . It was a teeny mention. It sure took me a long time to remember my old NYT password. Ha Ha

Posted by: Mark Thornton at February 29, 2004 04:03 PM | PERMALINK

Poynter has a way around the memory/personal information issue, Mark.

D

Posted by: Dano at February 29, 2004 09:20 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks "D" and "Poynter" Now that is useful!

Posted by: Mark Thornton at February 29, 2004 09:45 PM | PERMALINK

Norman,

Sigh...and we seemed to be doing so well...interacting so civilized, like. And then you go and start throwing monkeyshit around, screeching, demeaning, snarling, and generally being a jerk.

Cut it out.

I deal with a lot of ?quants?, who truly believe the past is a predictor of stock prices. It?s not. The sweeping assertion of this paper is that (in my words), ?because we tweaked our model so?s we got a rough correlation of its predictions and the actual observations over a fifty year period, we can predict with confidence a further perfect correlation over the next fifty years? BWAHAHAHAHAHA

Sorry, but if you are comparing climate science to econometrics, comparing the understanding of the underlying physics and chemistry of CO2, H2O(v), CH4, CFC's, and such...to the underlying NON-physics and NON-chemistry of the "market predictors" and "quants", then I fear we have little to talk about.

There is simply no comparison.

You know, like the difference between the understanding of CO2 as a greenhouse gas (trapping IR energy in certain wavelengths based on the molecular chemistry/structure)... vs. the "science" of predicting the behavior of a player on the market???

Please.

Now, as to the main crux of the question regarding H2O(v): if you note the dates and times and state of knowledge and ability to incorporate that knowledge confidently into models, you will note a progression! From knowing that it was important and less than well-understood...to gathering further data, experimenting, tracking, and refining both the data gathering and the modeling procedure....

You would, in fact, note that the state of knowledge has grown considerably since the quotes you highlighted were penned.

Noone is claiming perfect knowledge or perfect correlation. But the NASA-GISS models are doing pretty damned well, and they are not "tweaked to fit"...if they were "tweaked to fit" as you so loudly proclaim, they would not have made it into JGR, and they would not be receiving millions of dollars in Government money to continue their efforts.

Your link that claims to be "Cambridge Ozone Hole Tour" is a link back to a site I gave you - the AAPG site about Abiogenic Methane production and "Oil from the Mantle" now, I could call you for being dishonest, but instead I will chalk it up to exuberance....

The links you want are The Ozone Hole, CFCs and Ozone Depletion, Ozone Hole and etc.

In short, ozone-destructive molecules are not immortal, but they are long-lived.

Ozone depletion due to CFC's is real.

And you keep getting your sources, data, results, and speculations mixed up, shot down, refuted, rebutted, and stuffed back in your face.

your attempts to "gotcha" keep turning out to be pretty embarassing for you, rather than for your intended target...

I, for one, certainly welcome and enjoy agnosticism and skepticism regarding any and all aspects of science...but yours is not agnosticism or skepticism. It is ill-informed, ill-considered, ill-sourced, poorly or not referenced, scornful, ignorant, and derisive fanaticism.

You show no interest in exploring, learning, or understanding.

Your only interest is in being an asshole.

For a while there, I thought you might be serious about learning something. And for a while there, I thought you might actually be coming around a bit - being a useful part of a discussion. But no.

Informed skeptics and well-read and well-versed agnostics are an invaluable asset to any scientific debate or discussion.

All we seem to get from you is insulting garbage, misleading, mendacious, or outright false information, useless links to pop-science claptrap, or half-wit, half-baked pseudo-scientific expostulations of third hand "I heard on the radio that some famous guy said such and such"

You contribute little.

My advice to you is to stop wasting your time posting non-sense, stop embarassing yourself, and stop further destroying your already low self-esteem by opening yourself up to getting hammered on your pitiful ignorance.

read up.

I think you may actually have a good mind and a good chance at contributing a decent skeptic's perspective...but you need to do a lot of research and reading, and you really need to cool off, relax, and get a grip on your emotions.

have a nice day.

Posted by: Dan at March 1, 2004 03:20 AM | PERMALINK

In short, based on my gleanings from your statements about yourself, Norman, I think you are a bitter, angry, and depressed person, a failed scientist. Your career in science/engineering went nowhere, and you are angry about it. You blame the "entrenched leftist elitist in-crowd" for it. You cleave to the attacks on that "in crowd" out of self-protection and rationalization of your own failures. You wanted to be the paradigm breaker, the one with the brilliant new idea...but your ideas got shot down, and your research went nowhere.

And rather than take it in stride, buckle down, get to work, and do the heavy lifting that is required to achieve success in the hard sciences - reading, thinking, and hard, hard work - you chose the easy way out. Sour grapes, Norman.

I am sorry you didn't have the horsepower or the willpower or the desire or the patience to make the cut, but isn't it time you stopped blaming everything and everyone for it?

Aren't you righties all about "personal responsibility" after all?

I, for one, am quite sanguine - if my scientific career peters out, I will know that I have noone to blame but myself.

at the moment, I amd doing quite well, and am pretty happy.

But things can change, and my brand of work, my style of work, my rate and quality of production may change...and I may no longer be needed or accepted in my field of science.

Should that happen, I will move on, and feel little or no grudge.

You, perhaps, should let go, Norman.

Posted by: Dan at March 1, 2004 03:40 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Dan,

I?m sorry I hurt your feelings. I really just intended to tweak you just enough to get you to open your eyes a bit wider ? not to embitter you. Yes, I sandbagged you with my gentle query as to how H2O was accounted for in the ?alarmist? models ? knowing full well that clouds aren?t dealt with at all.

As to me personally ? Actually I?ve been quite successful in life. Hence my participation (as time permits) on these left wing boards as a counter to folks like Kevin Dumbo, who want the government to stick it?s scummy hands into my pockets, grab my wealth, then ?redistribute? it to slackers and wannabes. I pay A LOT of taxes.

The left wing is studded with Luddites and America haters ? many of them ?academics? who hate to see anyone who (they think) is their intellectual inferior (who is everyone ? not in academia) surpass them in wealth/power/prestige, etc. The left has a desperate need to believe that our President is a simpleton ? when it is manifest (intuitive to the most menial intelligence) that he is not.

Amongst the core beliefs of your kinda folks is that idea that ?We?re DOOMED, DOOMED I tell you!? ? ?Cause we (take your pick)

a) Use too much coal/oil/NG/Wood/Corn/alfalfa/cowdung, etc.
b) Act Like Cowboys and ACTUALL KILL THE BAD GUYS instead of trying to appease them.
c) Believe in equal opportunity ? not equal outcomes,
c) Believe as Lincoln asserted, ?man is entitled to the fruits of his labors?

And so on ?

Oh, let me gently rejoin your polemics ?

Sorry, but if you are comparing climate science to econometrics, comparing the understanding of the underlying physics and chemistry of CO2, H2O(v), CH4, CFC's, and such...to the underlying NON-physics and NON-chemistry of the "market predictors" and "quants", then I fear we have little to talk about. There is simply no comparison.

What a snappy come-back! How can I argue with a guy who simply says, ?my dog is bigger than yours??

OBTW, Wall Street pays BIG BUCKS ? and consequently gets BIG BRAINS. And the lesson learned is that the past is no predictor of the future.

And Dan you also demonstrate that you really don?t understand anything about modeling:

the NASA-GISS models are doing pretty damned well, and they are not "tweaked to fit"...if they were "tweaked to fit" as you so loudly proclaim, they would not have made it into JGR, and they would not be receiving millions of dollars in Government money to continue their efforts.

Apparently, you think these guys ?magically? conjured up their models, ran them once ? and then published the results. Sorry, Dan ? it don?t work that way.

Mathematical models (remember, I have a graduate degree in OR) are meant to approximate the real world. These models aren?t magical, but they?re not exact science. We make guesses as to formulae that might work on observed data to predict observed results. We look at the results ? then we try again.

It is an absolute certainty that the number of times the NASA-GISS models were run ? then tweaked ? then run again, is MUCH closer to TEN THOUSAND than to 1. Everybody TWEAKS their models That?s how it?s done.

So, my observation that the presumption that, ?because we managed to approximate the last fifty years we can with absolute certainty predict the next hundred? is patently absurd. And no REPUTABLE scientist would make the claim Indeed, if you read the cites I presented, Wielicki tells us that they had THE WRONG DATA for solar radiation absorption and terrestrial emissivity for more than two decades! And he?s ?unsettled? by this.

Fewer Clouds Indicate Climate Change
After examining 22 years of satellite measurements, NASA researchers find that more sunlight entered the tropics and more heat escaped to space in the 1990s than in the 1980s. Their findings indicate less cloud cover blocked incoming radiation and trapped outgoing heat.
"Since clouds were thought to be the weakest link in predicting future climate change from greenhouse gases, these new results are unsettling," said Dr. Bruce Wielicki of NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va. Wielicki is the lead author of the first of two papers about this research appearing in the Feb. 1, issue of "Science."

"It suggests that current climate models may, in fact, be more uncertain than we had thought," Wielicki added. "Climate change might be either larger or smaller than the current range of predictions."

As for CFC?s and ozone depletion ? I never challenged the chemistry (I said I didn?t understand it ? although I?ve had some training in it). I questioned the polemics and the predictions of disaster, AND I pointed out that these dire predictions of the effects of even a 5% reduction in the ozone layer haven?t occurred ? YET THE OZONE LAYER IS DOWN 8%.

What?s particularly interesting is that the debate over CFC?s ? and the Montreal Protocols took place before we had the internet. I think the debate would have been a great deal more vigorous ? and the resultant actions quite different ? if we?d had the free exchange we?re now privy to. Imagine life without Google.

As for your remarks about me,
yours is not agnosticism or skepticism. It is ill-informed, ill-considered, ill-sourced, poorly or not referenced, scornful, ignorant, and derisive fanaticism. You show no interest in exploring, learning, or understanding. Your only interest is in being an asshole.

I think you are a bitter, angry, and depressed person, a failed scientist. Your career in science/engineering went nowhere, and you are angry about it. You blame the "entrenched leftist elitist in-crowd" for it. You cleave to the attacks on that "in crowd" out of self-protection and rationalization of your own failures. You wanted to be the paradigm breaker, the one with the brilliant new idea...but your ideas got shot down, and your research went nowhere. And rather than take it in stride, buckle down, get to work, and do the heavy lifting that is required to achieve success in the hard sciences - reading, thinking, and hard, hard work - you chose the easy way out. Sour grapes,

My advice to you is to stop wasting your time posting non-sense, stop embarassing yourself, and stop further destroying your already low self-esteem by opening yourself up to getting hammered on your pitiful ignorance.

Really, Dan ? have I hurt your feelings? I suggest you reread your ad hominems against Mr. Lomborg as well. Neither he nor I have called you names. All we?ve done is challenged your beliefs ? and shown you how this kind of argumentation is done.

Perhaps you ought to reflect a bit and learn from this experience.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at March 1, 2004 03:15 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Another Bruce up above nailed it, I think.

D

Posted by: Dano at March 1, 2004 04:00 PM | PERMALINK

Really, Dan ? have I hurt your feelings? I suggest you reread your ad hominems against Mr. Lomborg as well. Neither he nor I have called you names. All we?ve done is challenged your beliefs ? and shown you how this kind of argumentation is done.

You actually have shown me that you believe in crackpot theories about limitless oil from the mantle...theories that have been disproven numerous times, and that are completely ignored and/or laughed about over lunch in the oil business (I know so, because I have *gasp* worked in the oil business!).

You have further show me that you think that what applies to the market - "the past does not predict the future" - also applies to the natural world and the physical sciences...basically you believe in magic, and you think that if you drop the cup off the table enough times, that one time it will magically rise up and perfectly reconstitute itself.

No, Norman, in science, the past IS a good predictor of the future...as long as enough conditions and parameters of the physical situation are clearly understood and defined and the physical forces at work are clearly laid out.

Does this mean that prediction can be perfectly accurate?

No. No one is claiming that.

You have shown that you think that "tweaking" and "convergence" are the same thing...indicating a fundamental misunderstanding of mathematical models and the operation of such...not only that, but you further reveal a fundamental dishonesty in such a statement.

Meanwhile, I have shown source material, data, references, made logical steps, and refused to be drawn into making blanket universal statements, while remaining true to the things that we do know well.

In short, Norman, I am a successful scientist who is appreciative and supportive, and a participant in reasoned skepticism about things like climate change...while you are a dishonest, ignorant, defensive, arrogant boor with a bad attitude that is only superceded by your poor reasoning and logical skills.

Ta!

Posted by: Dan at March 1, 2004 06:33 PM | PERMALINK

We make guesses as to formulae that might work on observed data to predict observed results. We look at the results ? then we try again.

In the case of climate modeling (and stress fields, and petrochemistry, and fluid flow, and convection, and so on) the "guesses as to formulae that might work" comment is particularly revealing...

In the case of climate, the formulae that might work are pretty well known - the thermodynamics of CO2, H2O(v), CH4, CFCs and so on at given temperatures and pressures in isolation are pretty well understood.

The basis for modeling these parameters individually is extremely strong, and the use of these basic building blocks in the models is predicated upon those basic thermodynamic relationships.

In combinations of two, three, ten, or however many parameters, the interactions, "synergistic effects," are less well known, and weighting and meshing of those parameters is the difficult issue...we may know very well how CO2 in isolation works, but when we put CO2, CH4, and H2O(v) into the same playpen, how do they play together, play off each other, or feedback/inhibit each others' behavior?

So, once again, your "expertise" appears to be pretty much insubstantial.

Posted by: Dan at March 1, 2004 07:41 PM | PERMALINK

Attention Mark Bahner: this is exactly what I mean by 'Google sated gullible'.

Did you see how that worked? How did that argumentation look to you?

D

Posted by: Dano at March 1, 2004 08:01 PM | PERMALINK

Clouds and H2O(v):

MIT Climate Research and Clouds....

Money quotes:

Clearly, without a proper treatment of both layer clouds and convection, model predictions of climate are uncertain. Cloud effects are so much larger than the anticipated effects of added greenhouse gases, that small changes in the cloud picture can easily alter predictions of global warming. In addition, existing methods of representing convection and clouds are crude, and, in some cases, can be shown even to be qualitatively incorrect.

The above is the quote that Norman would have us remember...it is honest science, and indicatres the nature of the problem, the inherent disadvantages and lacks in most, but not all, of the existing climate models.

But Norman would leave off the following two quotes:

By utilizing theories and observations of cumulus clouds, CGCS researchers have constructed a new and significantly improved representation of cumulus convection. A comprehensive and systematic series of tests of this new scheme are now being performed to optimize the parameters of the scheme and to assess the magnitude of water vapor errors produced by this and other convective schemes. Sensitivity of atmospheric water vapor content to the parameters of this new representation of convection is also being evaluated through use of the so-called adjoint of the scheme.

Uh-oh, Norman!!! And, gee, Norman, by you "serious guy" criterion, this should be absolute money in the bank, right? MIT, right?

The treatment of layer clouds is a more difficult problem at the moment, and demands a combination of expertise in large scale dynamics, cloud dynamics, and cloud physics. Comparable cloud covers exist under a wide variety of climate conditions, and thus, no obvious parameterization suggests itself. Careful studies of the dynamic and thermodynamic conditions that lead to the formation of layer clouds are crucial. We note that better treatment of layer clouds will, among other things, require better prediction of atmospheric water vapor content, which requires better representations of convection.

Yet again, honest science - lay out the current state of knowledge, the plan of attack and study, and the parameters, models and expertise that will be and are being brought to bear...

Oh, and Norman? Your scienceagogo quotes? they do not say what you want them to say - the point you make is already made - that clouds, H2O(v) are critical aspects of climate modeling, that current efforts are focused on that task, and that the most current models are getting better and better at incorporating data and theory, and producing results that square with observation and measurement

To wit:

2002 Feb

"It suggests that current climate models may, in fact, be more uncertain than we had thought," Wielicki added. "Climate change might be either larger or smaller than the current range of predictions."

The previously unknown changes in the radiation budget are two to four times larger than scientists had believed possible. The reason why and the degree to which it changed are surprising scientists and create a powerful new test for climate models.

Inspired by this puzzle, a research group at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) developed a new method of comparing the satellite observed changes to other meteorological data.

"The new method is a conceptual breakthrough in how we analyze data," said Anthony Del Genio, a scientist at GISS and co-author of the companion paper.

"What it shows is remarkable," said Wielicki. "The rising and descending motions of air that cover the entire tropics, known as the Hadley and Walker circulation cells, appear to increase in strength from the 1980s to the 1990s. This suggests that the tropical heat engine increased its speed."

The faster circulation dried out the water vapor that is needed for cloud formation in the upper regions of the lower atmosphere over the most northern and southern tropical areas. Less cloudiness formed allowing more sunlight to enter and more heat to leave the tropics.

In response, several of the world's top climate modeling research groups agreed to take on the challenge of reproducing the tropical cloud changes. But the climate models failed the test, predicting smaller than observed variability by factors of two to four.

In short, the current climate models are not fully compatible with the data...as of 2002...

Whoops!

Let's go to 2004!

GISS ModelE GCM "Cloud Processes"

and the sub-headers:

Moist Convection

Large scale condensation

Norman, Norman, Norman...sigh.

It really is getting pretty boring rubbing your nose in your own monkey shit...

But for you, apparently, the dictum "past behavior is no predictor of future performance" is a personal motto...you just keep getting it wrong, and performing the same tricks in hopes that one day you will suddenly get it right.

What was it that Einstein said about Insanity? Repeating the same practices and expecting different results?

Posted by: Dan at March 1, 2004 08:18 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Dan,

Why is it that you can look but you cannot see? What is it about you that you can find cites that underscore the points I have made ? yet think they have me undone.

Look at what you?ve found (from the passages you cited):

existing methods of representing convection and clouds are crude, and, in some cases, can be shown even to be qualitatively incorrectt.

CGCS researchers have constructed a new and significantly improved representation of cumulus convection. A comprehensive and systematic series of tests of this new scheme are now being performed to optimize the parameters of the scheme and to assess the magnitude of water vapor errors produced by this and other convective schemes. Sensitivity of atmospheric water vapor content to the parameters of this new representation of convection is also being evaluated through use of the so-called adjoint of the scheme.

And this, from your http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/modelE.html#part3_2 cite:

Model development is an ongoing task. As new physics is introduced, old bugs found and new applications developed, the code is almost continually undergoing minor, and sometimes major, reworking. Thus any fixed description of the model is liable to be out of date the day it is printed. Understanding this, we will endeavour to maintain the web version of the document as closely as we can to the current release, however in is inevitable that some discussion here will on occasion fall behind development.

The GISS GCM model development process is over 25 years old (for a very readable description of the historical development see Hansen et al (2000)). Inevitably, decisions that were made and constraints that existed early on in the process have had influences that are still apparent. While much of the subsequent reworking of the model has led to a reduction in these historical influences, some parts of the model still hark back to the days of punch cards, fortran 66 and line printer output. A charitable interpretation would be that while embracing the new (Fortran 90/95, multi-processing, netcdf, etc.), we endeavour to maintain some of the more harmless GISS traditions (which some might call eccentricities) in a spirit of continuity with those who have previously worked on the model. On the other hand, some of those early decisions (for instance regarding diagnostics, or conservation properties) turned out to be very far-sighted and are a principle reason why the GISS series of models continue to play a useful and important role in the world of GCM simulations. We hope that by continuing to make the GISS models a more accessible and better documented, we will be able to carry on in that vein for at least another 25 years.

As I?ve tried to explain to you, these guys are CONSTANTLY tweaking their models. As they should. This is what modeling is all about.

Now, cycle back to the argument. You and your fellow alarmists would impoverish us all by insisting that the Kyoto treaty, promulgated in 1997 be adopted, even though you admit the models it relied upon were junk (as viewed in hindsight).

So, Dan, what are we to make of people who keep coming up with the same answer every time their faces are rubbed with their errors? Because the answer is ALWAYS, THE EARTH IS WARMING/COOLING AND WE?LL ALL DIE! Should we not be skeptical? How is it that every time the question is asked, every time their methods and models are changed (as a result of scathing criticism), THEIR ANSWERS ARE ALWAYS THE SAME?

Look, Dan ? I can?t tell you the earth isn?t warming. Likewise I can?t tell you that CFC?s don?t contribute to ozone depletion. But I can tell you I distrust the certainty of the predictions precisely because of the constant improvements in science and research.

I defy you to find anyone who will stand behind the results of the models used to justify the Kyoto Protocols. READ YOUR OWN CITES We?re learning more each year.

So Dan, have you the grace to apologize?

Posted by: Norman Rogers at March 2, 2004 02:30 PM | PERMALINK

Norman,

Strawman.

First, find where I defended or justified or even mentioned the Kyoto Protocol.

Second, the models from 1997 were not junk. Just as Einstein's theories of gravity have not resulted in the scrapping of Newton's laws....

You need to read more about science.

Look, Dan ? I can?t tell you the earth isn?t warming.

Indeed. Because it is. Fast.

Likewise I can?t tell you that CFC?s don?t contribute to ozone depletion.

Indeed, because they do...for a long time.

But I can tell you I distrust the certainty of the predictions precisely because of the constant improvements in science and research.

Please tell me where I thought the models were 100% accurate. I did not, and never will.

More strawmen.

I defy you to find anyone who will stand behind the results of the models used to justify the Kyoto Protocols.

Go read the NAS report again. Go read the IPCC report again. You will find many of the same names on those reports as you find at NOAA, NCARR, NASA, and multiple universities.

READ YOUR OWN CITES

I do. Don't blame me for your inability or unwillingness to understand the difference between context and content.

We?re learning more each year.

Some of us are, but apparently you are not.

Apologize? For what?

Posted by: Dan at March 2, 2004 02:59 PM | PERMALINK

Dan asks, Please tell me where I thought the models were 100% accurate. I did not, and never will.

Dan: they [the "models"] are not "tweaked to fit"...if they were "tweaked to fit" as you so loudly proclaim, they would not have made it into JGR, and they would not be receiving millions of dollars in Government money to continue their efforts.

Dan, you don't want to learn. I've shown you that the science changes, but the predictions remain the same. All you can do is to try to call me names.

It's time to end this. Here's your challenge. Instead of waving your arms and claiming,

Go read the NAS report again. Go read the IPCC report again. You will find many of the same names on those reports as you find at NOAA, NCARR, NASA, and multiple universities.

I defy you to find even ONE reputable scientist who, TODAY, will insist that the data or the models and predictions that Kyoto was based upon -- in 1997 -- were accurate and can be relied upon.

Put up or shut up!

Posted by: Norman Rogers at March 2, 2004 03:18 PM | PERMALINK

Dan asks, Please tell me where I thought the models were 100% accurate. I did not, and never will.

Dan: they [the "models"] are not "tweaked to fit"...if they were "tweaked to fit" as you so loudly proclaim, they would not have made it into JGR, and they would not be receiving millions of dollars in Government money to continue their efforts.

Norm? Read for comprehension.

Say the models were not tweaked to fit is not the same as saying that the models are 100% accurate.

Quantified uncertainty, error, +/-, probability, and all of those other things...

Are evidence that there is no "tweaking" and evidence that the predictions are not, and have never been claimed to be 100% accurate.

I defy you to find even ONE reputable scientist who, TODAY, will insist that the data or the models and predictions that Kyoto was based upon -- in 1997 -- were accurate and can be relied upon.

So easy, Norman...so easy

IPCC Second Assessment Report: Climate Change 1995, PDF, go to page 57 to check out the Author list...

Climate Change 2001....List of authors and editors at the bottom...

NAS 2001 Climate Change report...check the authors and peer reviewers

NAS 2002 report on abrupt climate change....contributors list...

And many many many more.

Hansen is one name. Broecker is another. Mann is a third...any and all of them continue to be extremely highly respected in their fields and in the general geoscience/atmospheric science/climatology/oceanography/planetary science communities.

They are, as you put it...extremely serious guys.

They would put it as I have: That the data and models used in 1994-1997 were as accurate and as reliable as was possible at the time, that those data and those models have improved with further attention and research, and that the changes in the models and in the predictions of those models have been slight.

Very slight.

What is the difference in the warming predictions from the 1995 models and the 2004 models?

Answer, slight changes in magnitude (older: 1.4 to 5.8 deg C, newer: 1.7 to 4.9 deg C, newest: 0.15 +/- 0.05 deg C per decade) with progressively higher degrees of (statistical) confidence...not to mention progressively better abilities to incorporate new data, physics, theories, and variables...and the ability to better hindcast.

So...I put up....why don't you shut up!

Posted by: Dan at March 2, 2004 07:54 PM | PERMALINK

Saaaaay...speaking of climate change, how about Mars, huh? Looks like our science says there used to be water there.

D

Posted by: Dano at March 2, 2004 09:55 PM | PERMALINK

Hey ho, Dano!

Actually, there has been a lot of recent remotely gathered evidence for water on Mars...both ancient and relatively recent...for quite a while...

What is really exciting is the on-the-ground confirmation of the remote data.

Next step is returning samples!!!

Just a quick (snarky) question: If (or perhaps I should say when??) it is confirmed that life evolved on Mars...how does that square with creationism???

Posted by: Dan at March 2, 2004 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

"The bible tells you how to go to heaven. It doesn't tell you how the heavens go." - Cardinal Baronius (1538-1607)

Anyway, I'm an amateur astronomer, but I'm more interested in how the predictions of water on Mars have remained the same. I'm waiting for the scathing condemnation of the robots.

D

Posted by: Dano at March 2, 2004 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

Try this google for PDFs

Also look for:

Leverton and Ghent,, Journal of Geophysical Research, Planets, Jan 8 2004

Carr and Head, Geophysical Research Letters, Dec 30, 2003

Maling and Edgett, Science, Dec 12 2003.

Newsom, Barber, Hare, et al., JGR planets, Nov. 4 2003

And a whole lot more.

Posted by: Dan at March 2, 2004 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Dan, all you've done is to repeat your errors.

Yeah, same folks who were confidently predicting DOOM in 1997 are still predicting doom today.

But who among them will defend the science of the early nineties that led to the Kyoto protocols? No one! Because the data was bad and the models were wrong -- All from your previous cites.

Your challenge was to find ONE scientist who, TODAY, would defend the science of pre-1997. You can't -- there are none -- because there all busy telling us how much they've improved their work since. They know more about clouds, they've hired better programmers, they're always learning new things and they need more money for further research.

So to a skeptic like me, when a guy keeps getting his nose rubbed in shit because he made stupid errors in his calculations -- but keeps coming up with the same answers each time, I question his ability and/or his motives.

Dan, you're a young (you must be about thirty -- 4 years post-doc?) fellow. You may not yet have learned this: Follow the money!

What do you think would happen to their research money if their answers changed? What if there were no forseeable disaster? Why is it not a surprise that each time they change their methods -- the answers are always the same?

This is how guys like you claim Lomborg, "poisoned" the debate. Lomborg rained on the money parade. He injected common sense into an unending funding party.

And all you can, poor Dan, is to sputter and call guys like me, "Asshats".

Posted by: Norman Rogers at March 3, 2004 03:26 AM | PERMALINK

But who among the Mars scientists will defend the science of the late 19th Century that led to the conclusion that Mars had flowing water? All of them! Because the data was bad and the models were wrong doesn't negate science - it verifies that it is a tool in the hands of naive man.

A naive man who also uses the tools of politics in his hands.

D

Posted by: Dano at March 3, 2004 07:53 AM | PERMALINK

But who among them will defend the science of the early nineties that led to the Kyoto protocols? No one! Because the data was bad and the models were wrong -- All from your previous cites.

No, the data was not bad, it was incomplete. It still is incomplete. But even though it was incomplete, it still enabled the creation of models that had utility - utility both in terms of predicting climate change and in terms of enabling the development of better tests of hypotheses and the asking of more penetrating questions...which led to the collection of better data and the creation of better models.

If you read the various sites and cites I have led you to, you will find that theme repeated over and over, and by multiple hundreds, even thousands of scientists both inside and outside the climatology community.

It is not my fault your ideological blinders are so tightly strapped to your head that you cannot understand that - even when it is written in simple, plain, easy language.

Sorry Norman, but the science of the early 90's was, and remains, good science...good science that led to the questions and tests and programs that have produced even better science today.

The models of the 90's, and the data of the 90's was less complete and less accurate than today, and the models and data of today are less complete, and less accurate than those that are being and will be created tomorrow.

Just as Newton's theories of gravity were incomplete and not totally accurate, and have been augmented, in some cases supplanted, in some cases refuted, and in all ways made more accurate by Einstein's theories of gravity....

That's how science works.

Sorry that you never learned that.

You are boring.

What's the old saw?

you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.

You're an asshat, Norman.

Posted by: Dan at March 3, 2004 06:28 PM | PERMALINK

What a delightful sense of humor you have, Dan. I must say you brought tears to my eyes with your parody of one of those wacko eco-freaks.

I marvelled at the way you pretended to defend the "science" of the researchers who always come up with the same answers -- even as they acknowledge the "improvements" to their models and methods, and even as they apply the corrections to their faulty data and assumptions that we skeptics have pointed out to them.

You really, really sounded like a complete moron. What a delightful job.

We all know that a real scientist like yourself would be properly skeptical of folk who, like Wily Coyote, bounce from one failed scheme to another. And surely you'd roundly condemn people who blithly ignore past mistakes like ignoring cloud cover and totally blowing solar absorpbtion and terrestial emissivity for over two decades -- and still confidently insist that their admittedly bad models and data would accurately predict our climate for the next hundred years!

What a hoot!

You're right Dan, even a stopped clock is right twice a day

BWAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: Norman Rogers at March 3, 2004 08:19 PM | PERMALINK

Ummmm, Norman?

Have you compared the older models with the newer models?

The ones that incorporate cloud and water vapor physics, solar absorption, emissivity, aerosols, and so on?

And the differences between the old models and the new models?

Not big.

The overall trends predicted?

The same.

Carp and cavill all you want Norman, you remain an ignorant asshat.

Sorry.

And speaking of Wily Coyote...

Would you like to invest in my drilling scheme?

I am going to drill 12000 meters into the baltic shield in a search for all that oil from the mantle that I just KNOW is there.

Riiiiiiiight.

Moron.

Posted by: Dan at March 4, 2004 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

Dan would have us believe that there are only small differences between the applied science (knowledge and assumptions = modeling & predictions) that led the Europeans to Kyoto and the applied science of today -- as practiced by the same DOOMSAYERS.

Dan is quite right (even though he would have us believe that HE has actually "looked at the code"). We knew Dan was ignorant of modeling when he boasted early on that he,

[worked with] ... people who study real data and use that real data in conjunction with the most powerful models and computers in the world...who validate that data with repeat measurements and repeat experiments and couple those with widely variant computer models and with in situ and in laboratory experiments

Ya see, Dan doesn't actually do this stuff for a living -- his colleagues do. And, as Dan asks them to move their chairs so's he can properly vacuum their carpets, they assure Dan that, "Ja, we hav really fast computers."

But Dan is right. (See, just because you're ignorant and stupid -- it doesn't mean you're WRONG!). There really isn't much difference between the pre-1997 models and their 2004 cousins.

Oh, sure the data is markedly different and most of the Fortran and Assembly code is gone, now -- but the models aren't much different, really.

The models aren't different because they're all designed to predict climate patterns over the last fifty or so years -- AND TO PREDICT CATASTROPHIC GLOBAL WARMING OVER THE NEXT HUNDRED. The models are designed to keep the gravy train running.

Dan is absolute right.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at March 4, 2004 03:30 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Norman,

First of all, I never claimed to be a climate modeler - I claimed to be a structural geologist.

Second of all, the people I work with, specifically those who work at the Earth Simulator at the Yokohama Institute for Earth Sciences (the world's largest and fastest supercomputer, built specifically to model cliimate change), are climate modelers...and physicists...and statisticians...and chemists...and geodetics experts...and so on.

On occasion, my particular field of expertise is useful to them...more often it is not.

But I follow what they do, attend the seminars, read the papers, proof their writing, discuss their work...

You're just jealous.

Oh, and before you go flying off the handle again, remember I currently work at the University of Tokyo...which closely cooperates with Yokohama Instititue for Earth Science, with JAMSTEC, and so on...and come April, I will be moving to Yokohama to work with JAMSTEC.

Now to the topic at hand...

How about this one?

The world's second-largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, warned on Wednesday that the costs of natural disasters, aggravated by global warming, threatened to spiral out of control, forcing the human race into a catastrophe of its own making.

Insurer warns of global warming catastrophe

By Thomas Atkins

GENEVA (Reuters) - The world's second-largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, warned on Wednesday that the costs of natural disasters, aggravated by global warming, threatened to spiral out of control, forcing the human race into a catastrophe of its own making.

In a report revealing how climate change is rising on the corporate agenda, Swiss Re said the economic costs of such disasters threatened to double to $150 billion (82 billion pounds) a year in 10 years, hitting insurers with $30-40 billion in claims, or the equivalent of one World Trade Centre attack annually.

"There is a danger that human intervention will accelerate and intensify natural climate changes to such a point that it will become impossible to adapt our socio-economic systems in time," Swiss Re said in the report.

"The human race can lead itself into this climatic catastrophe -- or it can avert it."

The report comes as a growing number of policy experts warn that the environment is emerging as the security threat of the 21st century, eclipsing terrorism.

Scientists expect global warming to trigger increasingly frequent and violent storms, heat waves, flooding, tornadoes, and cyclones while other areas slip into cold or drought.

"Sea levels will continue to rise, glaciers retreat and snow cover decline," the insurer wrote.

EXPONENTIAL RISE Losses to insurers from environmental events have risen exponentially over the past 30 years, and are expected to rise even more rapidly still, said Swiss Re climate expert Pamela Heck.

"Scientists tell us that certain extreme events are going to increase in intensity and frequency in the future," Heck told Reuters by telephone. "Climate change is very much in the mind of the insurance industry."

Over the past century, the average global temperature has increased by 0.6 degrees Centigrade, the largest rise for the northern hemisphere in the past 1,000 years, Swiss Re said.

In the short- and medium-term, simply knowing that the planet is warming will allow society to adapt, for example, through infrastructure to cope with more-frequent floods or by instructing farmers to use drought-resistant cereals.

In other cases, governments need to restrict risk-taking, such as approving housing developments in low-lying areas, and improve catastrophe management capabilities.

In the long term, Swiss Re said, greenhouse gases widely thought to trigger global warming will need to be reduced, the use of fossil fuels cut and new energy technologies developed.

"The role of the insurance industry is through establishing risk adequate tariffs and to give the risk taker the opportunity to implement appropriate measures to reduce the chance of possible losses," Heck said.

WHOA!!

A huge global corporation is losing a ton of money at an increasing rate...warns of global catastrophe...says it is of our own making and halting or reversing course is a decision that we face...

DOH...

Boy o boy...I am glad that asshats like Norman are, through their own failures of vision and ability, not in charge...

Imagine that....Swiss Re, massive global corporate empire....agrees with me, and make Norman look like an ass....not that such a task is particularly difficult...

Posted by: Dan at March 4, 2004 06:12 PM | PERMALINK

Comment on Atrios today:

[Climate Change:]

It can't be real, dealing with it would cost money.
-paleocon

It is happening, but it's not our fault.
-slightly more widely read con

It is happening and we are part of the change, but it's a good thing.
-the Greening Earth Society astroturf group con

And so on.

Posted by: Dano at March 4, 2004 08:49 PM | PERMALINK

I note with amusement that Norman has acknowledged that many (in fact the vast majority) of scientists predicting global warming 10 years ago are still doing so today...

Norman also acknowledges that many (in fact the vast majority) of those scientists were talking about anthropogenic forcing then...and are even more confident about it now...

And Norman acknowledges that the admittedly flawed and incomplete models and data sets of yesteryear predicted future warming trends that are indeed not very different at all from the newer, less flawed and less incomplete models and data sets....keeping in mind of course that NO competent scientist will ever say that any data set or model can be perfected, 100%, completely known, or whatever...

But, says Norman, after challenging me to "put up or shut up" and having had his nose rubbed in it several times....

But, says Norman...of COURSE the predictions, the scientists, and the general conclusions reached by that scientific community are consistent...because, says Norman...

IT'S A GRAND CONSPIRACY!!!

HA HA HA HO HO HO HO

Har dee har har...snarf.

What a hoot.

Yeah, it's a huge conspiracy involving ginned up data, falsified results and crooked models designed specifically to predict the worst in all cases no matter what the input...and the code and the data and everything else is all designed by a cabal of evil geniuses who are hoodwinking the world into funding their research.

What a hoot.

You're a funny guy Norman...

Posted by: Dan at March 4, 2004 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

Heeeere's all the evidence you need of a conspiracy theory, Danny Boy. All the evidence you need.

D

Posted by: Dano at March 4, 2004 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

Dano,

It's dastardly! It's depraved! It's deranged....

It's...

It's...

It's eeeeeeevil!

They're endangering the purity of our precious bodily fluids!

Norman! Save us from the commie eeeevil red scientist cabal of twisted climatologists out to nationalize our children and confiscate our rider mowers!!

Posted by: Dan at March 4, 2004 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Dan and Dano, together at last ? kinda like TweedleDee & Co.

As I recall, you each had an assignment:

Dano was to write a critique of THE CONTENT of Soon?s last TCS article (as opposed to contemptuously dismissing THE MAN). Where is it Dano? Can?t do the math? Do you have to wait for someone who has the science to do it for you so?s you can mindlessly repeat it?

Do I have your measure, Dano?

And Dan was to find a reputable scientist who, TODAY, would defend the science of pre-1997 that was the basis for the Kyoto protocols. All Dan could come up with was a ?climate expert? for Swiis Re, ?who has a scientist friend, downtown?.. BWAHAHAHAHAHA

OBTW, it?s ?Purity Of Essence ? POE? and ?Precious Bodily Fluids?.

Can?t you morons even get your cinematic allusions right?

Posted by: Norman Rogers at March 5, 2004 05:02 AM | PERMALINK

Ahhhh, the mendacious TCS article, cited as a good argument for a position...

Citation [1] is not a scientific paper, rather an article. The author 'found' nothing, despite what Soon inferred; the article is a thought balloon.

Citations [2] have all been superceded by new findings (the newest paper in the cite is from 2001).

Citation [3] is a simplistic hybrid bridging model that isn't even spun up in the ocean portion, nor does it use flux corrections like complex GCMs do. Apparently the author couldn't get time on a real model like ECHAMx or Hadxx or the actual GISS.

The findings from such a model differing from the paleo record should not be surprising, nor should it be surprising that an outlier is chosen by the discredited, non-reliable source of Soon and Baliunas (published on a lobbying web site) as they are not climate scientists and have cherry-picked and omitted so many times that it isn't even worth looking at their work, as it is more likely than not full of some combination of outdated, cherry-picked or industry-funded information.

So the supporting material used as justification for the argumentation of S&B is suspect. As is the argument itself, as it differs from the findings of real people who do real work in the real world. That is why S&B's work is not credible (aside from the fact that they get paraded around by Heritage and Marshall institutes immediately after they publish).

D

Posted by: Dano at March 5, 2004 03:42 PM | PERMALINK

"And Dan was to find a reputable scientist who, TODAY, would defend the science of pre-1997 that was the basis for the Kyoto protocols."

Uhhhh...Norman?

I thought we had already agreed on two points - that many of the scientists defend both their continued assertion that anthropogenic forcing is an important component of present and future global warming...AND that these and other scientists agree that the data of today and the models of today are consistent with, but not exactly the same as, the data and models of yesteryear.

Are you now trying to claim that you never said:

But Dan is right. [gratuitous insult] There really isn't much difference between the pre-1997 models and their 2004 cousins.

Or that you then attributed such consistency to an intentional, conspiratorial, dishonest trick?

The models are designed to keep the gravy train running.

Right?

Hmmmm...

Asshat and liar?

Posted by: Dan at March 5, 2004 07:33 PM | PERMALINK

And surely, Norman, someone as gifted and educated as your prestigious self with all of your excellent degrees and training, should be able to pick apart the math, physics, and programming of those models and expose such a terrible trick...

I am sure that a person who could show such a trick would receive tons of money and acclaim, right?

Get on it, my man!

Posted by: Dan at March 5, 2004 09:42 PM | PERMALINK

Dano ? I can?t follow your critique. The first citation Soon makes in Winter Weather Wonder, Part II (the piece you were supposed to address) is:

Ray Schmitt of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has noted:

"In contrast to the 1,200 records of US land temperature used to examine climate trends ... we have only three sites with anything like a continuous deep record in all of the North Atlantic! For these few sites with rather short records. An observation once a month is often the best we have. This observation system is woefully inadequate. ... Science is the process of testing ideas against observations, and failure to make the observations is an abandonment of the scientific process."

Sure looks like a ?scientific paper? to me. And your response sure looks like arm-waving bullshit ? as we?ve come to expect from you. But, put in the links you?re trying to cite and resubmit, and I?ll regrade it for you (You have an F, so far). Remember your assignment was to write a critique of THE CONTENT of Soon?s last TCS article (as opposed to contemptuously dismissing THE MAN).

As for Dan,

I kinda think you missed the point of my remarks. You seem to think I was in agreement with you when I wrote:

But Dan is right. (See, just because you're ignorant and stupid -- it doesn't mean you're WRONG!). There really isn't much difference between the pre-1997 models and their 2004 cousins.

Oh, sure the data is markedly different and most of the Fortran and Assembly code is gone, now -- but the models aren't much different, really.

The models aren't different because they're all designed to predict climate patterns over the last fifty or so years -- AND TO PREDICT CATASTROPHIC GLOBAL WARMING OVER THE NEXT HUNDRED. The models are designed to keep the gravy train running.

Dan is absolute right.

Ya see, Dan ? what you took as a ?gratuitous insult? ( See, just because you're ignorant and stupid -- it doesn't mean you're WRONG!), was actually the point of the passage. I was MOCKING YOU. It seems even this flew over your head, proving it's pointless to try to engage you.

Dan, your assignment was to find a reputable scientist who, TODAY, would defend the science of pre-1997 that was the basis for the Kyoto protocols. You get an ?F?, and you've demonstrated you have nothing further to add to this discussion.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at March 6, 2004 04:47 AM | PERMALINK

There are also questions of the physics of energy flowing through the ocean. Carl Wunsch of MIT recently concluded that it is unclear that THC shut down during the Last Glacial Maximum, roughly 20 thousand years ago [1].

. . .

[1] Wunsch C., Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 22, 371-385 (2003).

Sheesh. Fer chrissake. Roy Schmitt is a hyperlink, not a citation - the work isn't formally named [again, Schmitt is an old reference, since replaced by more current findings], cf.

RUTH CURRY, BOB DICKSON & IGOR YASHAYAEV 2003. A change in the freshwater balance of the Atlantic Ocean over the past four decades . Nature 426, 826 - 829 (18 December 2003); doi:10.1038/nature02206.

The thesis of the mendacicizing in S&B can be stated thusly:

The idea that THC will weaken from excess freshening of the North Atlantic Oceans from an enhanced hydrologic cycle and polar ice melt is a popular but not scientifically accurate idea.

But of course, TCS expects to dupe the rubes by not expecting the rubes to read the supporting material; one of their links disputes the S&B thesis:

Records from ocean sediments of the fossils of marine life indicate that this [weakened THC] has happened many times in the past, with dramatic consequences for climate over a large area. The most recent event was about 12,000 years ago, when the freshwater from melting glaciers shut down the thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic.

Oops! That is why it is a waste of time to read Soon and Baliunas ? they are full of sh*t.

As for my argumentation that the citations used by S&B have been superceded by the normal processes of science, thus negating their argument, these two papers exemplify my point:

Walter Munk 2003. Ocean freshening, sea level rising. Science 300: 2041-2043 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1085534].

Bruce J. Peterson, Robert M. Holmes, James W. McClelland, Charles J. V?r?smarty, Richard B. Lammers, Alexander I. Shiklomanov, Igor A. Shiklomanov, and Stefan Rahmstorf 2002. Increasing river discharge to the arctic ocean. Science 298: 2171-2173 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1077445].

Any naysaying or hand-waving to follow should quote these papers directly, else don?t bother.

D

Posted by: Dano at March 6, 2004 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Dano,

Do you even read your cites? Soon gave you the money quote from Shmitt:

"In contrast to the 1,200 records of US land temperature used to examine climate trends ... we have only three sites with anything like a continuous deep record in all of the North Atlantic! For these few sites with rather short records. An observation once a month is often the best we have. This observation system is woefully inadequate. ... Science is the process of testing ideas against observations, and failure to make the observations is an abandonment of the scientific process."

Go ahead, wave your arms. You got your 'F'.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at March 6, 2004 08:53 PM | PERMALINK

And you don't read my cites (likely because you can't read journals on-line), one of which infers why you don't need a continuous deep record.

Sadly, I cannot give you a cutie-poo lil' grade, because you don't even have the prerequisites to attend class.

D

Posted by: Dano at March 7, 2004 09:51 AM | PERMALINK

I kind of feel bad, so for the sake of actually having a decent argument, here?s what you need to do, Norm (besides understand the issue):

Remember, you used the discredited, non-climate scientists S&B, publishing an opinion piece on an industry lobbying site, as support for some argument you made.

You said address their particular work, which I stated the thesis was that THC will weaken from excess freshening of the North Atlantic Oceans from an enhanced hydrologic cycle and polar ice melt is a popular but not scientifically accurate idea. Supporting work was a link to an opinion piece from 2001 (IIRC) and 3 journal citations. A supporting argument, which I did not explore in depth, is that GCMs cannot forecast THC circulation [although nothing is mentioned of ocean models].

I showed the work they linked to disagreed with the thesis, and the 3 citations they used were an opinion piece (although the implication was it was a scientific finding), old information superceded by new findings, and an outlier whose findings used to support the S&B findings was based on a hybrid model (remember: the article tries to show model findings won?t work) that wasn?t spun up in the ocean portion (thereby differing from major findings, but you, Norm, haven?t caught this yet). Therefore the 3 citations did not, in fact, support the argument [?not a scientifically accurate idea].

Your response was to quote a phrase in the link that is a red herring (remember, the information in the link has been superceded by later findings) ? that is: the phrase isn?t necessary to the scientific conclusions (and I explained why).

What you need to do, Norm, is stick to the argument. You might consider using quotes from the S&B citations to show how I don?t understand the pieces or that the citations are in fact the latest science (in which case you?ll need to do some homework and show how this is the case). You can also try to show that the thesis is supported by other scientific findings (use findings after, say, 2001 or 2002). You can also show the citations I used (Curry et al. 2003, Munk 2003, Peterson et. al 2002.) are not, in fact, the latest science.

You may also want to show how my assertion that S&B are discredited and are not climate scientists is immaterial. I don?t know how you?d do that, knowing what evidence is out there, but that?s a tactic.

You may also want to show the supporting argument of the thesis ? GCMs are not sophisticated enough to forecast THC circulation is not a red herring, and provide some ocean model findings that support the thesis. I have this up my sleeve and I?m telegraphing this for you.

So. You need to understand the argument better. You need to show how my supporting material (and the S&B supporting material ? not just the link) is not the latest findings or that what I say about them isn?t what they say.

I look forward to a better argument from you now, Norm, now that you know what the argument actually is.

Good luck in your reading and research and I?ll wait patiently for your well-researched and cogent reply.

D

Posted by: Dano at March 7, 2004 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Dano,

The thing of it is -- I just don't believe you. But, I'm willing to listen.

Science costs $130/an -- and you get access to their online contents. Go ahead and mail me your cites as attachments.

Show me you've read what you've cited.

BWAHAHAHAHAH

Posted by: Norman Rogers at March 7, 2004 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

It's not important to the argument whether you believe that I've read the papers I cited above. I purposely presented my case using papers from journals readily available at any halfway decent library. Stop dissembling.

Your job is to attack my argument. I gave you examples of how to do it. Show that I haven't understood the papers I used in my argument. Show that I haven't read the papers and that will bolster your argument. Show the papers I cited aren't supported by my argument. Show that I cherry-picked. Show something. Anything.

Get on it and go to the library and do the work yourself, or say you can't address the things I presented.


[BTW, the first sentence on pg 2042 of the Munk is In contrast, observations show a (nontidal) increase in Earth?s rotation (attributed to a movement of mass toward the poles in response to the unloading of ice mass since the last glacial maximum). The first sentence on pg 827 of the Curry et al. is On our transect, salinity increases near gn 27.8 kgm23 exceed ?0.05 p.s.u. between 3082408 N, the heart of the MOW influence at this longitude... The first sentence on pg of the Wunsch is The interpretation of tp becomes very complex because, as the ratio of two tracers each satisfying a linear partial differential equation with it?s own boundary conditions....]

D

Posted by: Dano at March 7, 2004 02:05 PM | PERMALINK

Dano, you haven't been to a library in ten years.

You're a poseur. You repeat the arguments of others without wit. You have no arguments of your own. You deserved your 'F'.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at March 7, 2004 02:11 PM | PERMALINK

Your wildly inaccurate attempts to quantify my library visitation are not germane to the argument.

Your job is to attack my argument, not attempt to ascertain my library visitation.

You must show that I haven't understood the papers I used in my argument, or show that I haven't read the papers, or show the papers I cited don't support my argument. You could show that I cherry-picked.

But you should show something. Anything.

D

Posted by: Dano at March 7, 2004 07:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Dan, your assignment was to find a reputable scientist who, TODAY, would defend the science of pre-1997 that was the basis for the Kyoto protocols. You get an ?F?, and you've demonstrated you have nothing further to add to this discussion."

Which I did.

Which you agreed with, and promptly attempted to pass off as evidence of a conspiracy.

Which you then attempted to make "go away" by lying about what you "meant when you said"...

But anyway...here are more scientists who " TODAY, would defend the science of pre-1997 that was the basis for the Kyoto protocols."

Try this paper...Covey et al., 2003 which is the results of a comprehensive set of statistical comparisons of older and newer coupled GCMs...

Abstract, with key phrases highlighted for Norman to enjoy:

"The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) collects output from global coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation models (coupled GCMs). Among other uses, such models are employed both to detect anthropogenic effects in the climate record of the past century and to project future climatic changes due to human production of greenhouse gases and aerosols. CMIP has archived output from both constant forcing ("control run") and perturbed (1% per year increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide) simulations. This report summarizes results from 18 CMIP models. A third of the models refrain from employing ad hoc flux adjustments at the ocean-atmosphere interface. The new generation of non-flux-adjusted control runs are nearly as stable as -- and agree with observations nearly as well as -- the flux-adjusted models. Both flux-adjusted and non-flux-adjusted models simulate an overall level of natural internal climate variability that is within the bounds set by observations. These developments represent significant progress in the state of the art of climate modeling since the Second (1995) Scientific Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC; see Gates et al. 1996). In the increasing-CO2 runs, differences between different models, while substantial, are not as great as one might expect from earlier assessments that relied on equilibrium climate sensitivity.

DOH!!

You lose AGAIN, Norman.

Look, between Dano and myself it has become pretty apparent that:

1) You are either unwilling or incapable of actually reading the vast bulk of the material provided

2) Most of what you DO read you are incapable of understanding

3) And that the extremely small amount of material that you both read and understand, you lie about in order to refrain from admitting that you are wrong.

You, Norman, are a waste of time and a fool.

My only hope is that anyone else reading this, following the links and information, and doing their own thinking on the subject has been helped or assisted by the flow of argument and the large number of informational resources provided.

Posted by: Dan at March 7, 2004 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

Dan,

You show a remarkable inability to comprehend what you've read -- and then you flaunt your ignorance to the world.

Read back what you've just triumphantly quoted.

These developments represent significant progress in the state of the art of climate modeling since the Second (1995) Scientific Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC; see Gates et al. 1996).

and

In the increasing-CO2 runs, differences between different models, while substantial, are not as great as one might expect from earlier assessments that relied on equilibrium climate sensitivity. -- to which I would add ...Because by dint of enormous tweaking we managed to come pretty close to the lousy predictions we made ten years ago -- so we'll keep our funding for another year

Now tell me Dan -- where is this author's defense of the pre-Kyoto science? He's telling you how much better it is now, and OBTW -- while the new models produce SUBSTANTIALLY different results -- they're not as great as one might expect, considering how badly we understood the science at the time.

Since you hope others will look in on this "discusstion", do you think you ought to consider changing your pen-name? I think "Dan" is thoroughly discredited.

Good luck in your career.

Posted by: Norman Rogers at March 8, 2004 04:01 AM | PERMALINK

I think Dan has quoted something that Norm has bungled again.

Rhetorical ineptitude must be the reason for the blow-hardedness.The rhetoric is stunningly inept, even for a troll.

As Norm doesn't even know how to evaluate what is a scientific paper [e.g., claiming, above, that the Roy Schmitt link Sure looks like a 'scientific paper' to me when it says, right under the title: Testimony to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation], I doubt he can argue his way out of this soggy paper bag constructed for him.

Anything else to bungle, Norm? Oh, yes:

Remember, just like you did to me, I'm going to insist that you show that I haven't understood the papers I used in my argument, or show that I haven't read the papers, or show the papers I cited don't support my argument.

No ad hom red herrings about the authors not supporting pre-Kyoto whatever. Think what our planet would be like if we insisted our pharmaceutical researchers acted this way, fer chrisssake. Anyway,

Remember, Norm, you said I repeated arguments without wit.

But, you haven't shown where I've done so. You have to show the arguments of the papers, then show where I repeated them. That will take a visit to the library.

Here's a hint: I haven't quoted any arguments from papers I cited to support my point.

Now, get to work! Google won't help you (not that it has served you well to this point)!

D

Posted by: Dano at March 8, 2004 09:16 AM | PERMALINK

Norm?

Yeah, umm, read that paper again...eh?

"Comparison of the CMIP2 control run output with observations of the present day climate reveals improvements in coupled model performance since the IPCC's mid-1990s assessment"

Indeed - more research, better understanding, better knowledge and more data, coupled with better computers and better code lead to better models...

Note the failure of Norman's logic cicuitry: Article states A is better than B...and Norm infers that therefore B is bad. Gee Norman, didn't pay much attention to your Venn Diagrams, did you?

Now for the final nail:

"The global statistics shown in Figures 12-16 provide some encouragement. They indicate that the difference between a typical model simulation and a baseline set of observations is not much greater than the difference between different sets of observations. To the extent that different sets of observations (including model-based reanalyses) are equally reliable, this result implies that coupled GCM control runs are nearly as accurate as observational uncertainty allows them to be..."

Ouch, Norman, ouch...you understand what that means, ruight? It means you remain wrong. The old models are not as good as the new models...the new models account for more forcings and require much less in the way of initial fixed assumptions...but the old models produce results that are within the acceptible error bounds...

"The CMIP2 models do not yield the same simulation of climate change when they are all subjected to an identical scenario of 1% per year increasing CO2.

And based on the results of this paper and the references therein, the various models should not be expected to reproduce identical results.

"The range of model-simulated global mean warmings, however, is less than the factor of 3 (1.5 - 4.5?C) uncertainty commonly cited for equilibrium warming under doubled CO2."

Norman, you lose.

Posted by: Dan at March 8, 2004 06:18 PM | PERMALINK

Dano,

"Rhetorical ineptitude must be the reason for the blow-hardedness.The rhetoric is stunningly inept, even for a troll."

I chalk it up to plain old stupidity, myself.

Either that or he's drunk...or on crack.

I am reminded of Fezzik and Vizzini:

V: "Inconceivable"
F: "You keep using that word - I do not think it means what you think it means"

Posted by: Dan at March 8, 2004 06:37 PM | PERMALINK

You forgot the bolded BWAHAHAHA, Dan.


I think next time I'll do like others I've seen and just ask right away for a source for an obviously wrong statement, rather than pointing out how that statement is wrong (or outdated).

There was certainly nothing new here and the funnin' got tedious pretty quick.

And I'm sure Kevin will appreciate the bandwidth savings...

D

Posted by: Dano at March 8, 2004 06:58 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, BTW Dan, did you see where the Secretary of Energy said the other day:

"The administration is well aware of the scientific consensus that temperatures have warmed partly due to human activity." [emphasis added]?

Shocking. I wonder how long it will be before the skeptic web sites take down that argument from their web pages?

SNORK!

D

Posted by: Dano at March 8, 2004 08:39 PM | PERMALINK

Haw.

Doesn't the secretary of energy know that it is not a consensus, rather it is a cabal! a plot! a conspiracy!

Hey Norman, you better write to Mr. Abraham, and let him know!

Get ON it, man, the future of America rests on YOUR shoulders...

Oh, and Norman, I really appreciate your tax dollars - they funded my education and much of my research....

Thanks!

Posted by: Dan at March 8, 2004 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Peeking in...

Norman seems to have slunk away in shame...fitting.

Posted by: Dan at March 9, 2004 06:05 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, the clue is to get the trolls to show their work early. I shall save bandwidth from now on and just ask a troll to show their work.

D

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dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
strivectin
flowers
headache
ellipticals home gyms
exercise equipment
treadmills
hotels
laser dentistry
home loans
medical insurance
discount shopping
online dating
penis enlargement pills
penis enlargement pills
penis enlargement pills
security cams
security cams
security cams
security cams
security cams
security cams
strivectin
strivectin sd
strivectin-sd
strivectin-sd
strivectin sd
tan towels
teeth whitening
teeth whitening
teeth whitening
vacation packages
vacations
vacations
vacations
vacations
vacations
weight loss
weight loss patch
weight loss patch
weight loss
weight loss programs
zantrex-3


==================================================
bad breath
tonsil stones
broadband internet
car rental
car rental
cell phone plans
cell phone plans
colleges universities
contact lenses
singlesw dating
singles dating
dentist directory
dental directory
dental insurance
fucus vesiculosus
weight loss patch
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
directv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
directv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv / dish network
direct tv / dish network
direct tv / dish network
direcway internet
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network receivers
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
strivectin
flowers
headache
ellipticals home gyms
exercise equipment
treadmills
hotels
laser dentistry
home loans
medical insurance
discount shopping
online dating
penis enlargement pills
penis enlargement pills
penis enlargement pills
security cams
security cams
security cams
security cams
security cams
security cams
strivectin
strivectin sd
strivectin-sd
strivectin-sd
strivectin sd
tan towels
teeth whitening
teeth whitening
teeth whitening
vacation packages
vacations
vacations
vacations
vacations
vacations
weight loss
weight loss patch
weight loss patch
weight loss
weight loss programs
zantrex-3
===================
I have used Strivectin-SD.
I have used Fucus Vesiculosus.
I have used Direct TV. I have

used Direct TV

vs Dish Network. I have used

href="http://www.discount--shopping.com/herbal-male-potency-patch.html">Male Potency Patch

. I

have used TestroGel

Testosterone Cream. I have used Dish Network. I have used

Dish Network Dish. I have used

href="http://www.mpgtv.com/directtv.html">Satellite TV

. I have used

href="http://www.mpgtv.com/dish-network-special.html">Dish Network Special

. I have used

href="http://www.compare-home-equity-loans.com">Compare Home Equity Loans

. I have used

href="http://www.free-home-security-systems.com">Home Security Systems

. I have used

href="http://www.x10-wireless-security-cameras.com">x10 Wireless Security Cameras

. I have

used Nordic Track Treadmills. I

have used Proform

Treadmills. I have used Florists

Flower Delivery. I have used Best Cell Phone

Plans. I have used Compare Cell Phone

Plans. I have used Contact Lenses. I have used

href="http://www.healthy--weight.com">Weight Loss Programs

. I have used

href="http://www.singles-personals-dating-services.com">Singles Dating

. I have used

href="http://www.dating--online.com">Dating Online

. I have used

href="http://www.direct-tv-dish-network.com">Dish Network & Direct TV

. I have used

href="http://www.weight--loss--patch.com">Weight Loss Patch

. I have used

href="http://www.great-vacation-spots.com">Great Vacation Spots

. I have used

href="http://www.great-vacation-locations.com">Great Vacations

. I have used

href="http://www.healthy--weight.com/strivectin-sd-wrinkles.html">StriVectin-SD

. I have used

Dish Network Dish TV. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-satellite-programming.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-entertainment.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-tv-systems.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-programming.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-review.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish--network--satellite--tv.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-satellite-tv-systems.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-tv-entertainment.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-tv-quality.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-tv-system.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-vs-cable-tv.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href=http://www.tan-towel-tan-towels-tanning.com>Tan Towel Tan Towels Tanning

. I have used

href="http://www.discount--shopping.com/tan-towel.html">Tan Towel

. I have used

href="http://www.discount--vacations.com/tan-towel-tan-towels.html">Tan Towel Tan Towels

Tanning

. I have used Exercise

Equipment & Treadmills. I have used Dish Network. I

have used Dish Network. I have used

href="http://www.fabulous-face-cream.com/strivectin-sd-wrinkles.html">StriVectin-SD

. I have

used Dish Network. I have used

href="http://www.satellite-tv-dish-network.com">Satellite TV

. I have used

href="http://www.direct-tv-dish-network.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.search-college-universities-colleges.com/">College Search

. I have used

href="http://www.healthy--weight.com/strivectin-sd-wrinkles.html">StriVectin-SD

. I have used

StriVectin-SD. I

have used StriVectin-SD. I

have used

href="http://www.fabulous-face-cream.com/strivectin-sd-stretch-marks.html">StriVectin-SD

. I

have used StriVectin-SD. I

have used

href="http://www.discount--shopping.com/wrinkle-remover-cream.html">StriVectin-SD

. I have

used Zantrex-3. I have

used Zantrex-3.
I have used Strivectin-SD.
I have also used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network Receivers.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Direct TV.
I have used Direct TV.
I have used Direct TV.
I have used Direct TV.
I have used Directv.
I have used Direct TV - Directv.
I have used Directv.
I have used StriVectin-SD.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Directv.
I have used Tonsil Stones.
I have used Strivectin SD.
=======================
My name is Luke

Href="http://www.satellite-tv-dish-network.com">Dish
Network

, and I am the son of Anakin

Href="http://www.clint-jones.com">Dish
Network

and Padme Dish
Network
. Anakin

Href="http://www.dish-network-tv-quality.com">Dish
Network

had three brothers, and their names were Moe

Href="http://www.mpgtv.com">Dish
Network

, Larry

Href="http://www.dish-network-tv-entertainment.com">Dish
Network

and Curly Dish
Network
. They all lived in the

Href="http://www.i-dish-network-tv.com">Dish
Network

household at 1010 Dish
Network
Road. The Dish
Network
family lived in troubled times as the rebels were battling against
the empire, who were under Anakin

Href="http://www.acornfm.com">Dish
Network

's rule at the time. I, Luke

Href="http://www.blackcatsoundtracks.com">Dish
Network

, have never met my sister, Leia

Href="http://www.gearscamp.com">Dish
Network

. She is a princess on Alderon. Her people cheer, "

Href="http://www.dish-network-vs-cable-tv.com">Dish
Network

, Leia

Href="http://www.free-dish-network-systems.com">Dish
Network

, Leia

Href="http://www.dish-network-programming.com">Dish
Network

!" as she has unbeknownst to her, been fighting against her father,
Anakin Dish
Network
, for years.

Href="http://www.dish-tv-dish-network.com">Dish
Network

has always been a powerful name in the galaxy as our

Href="http://www.dish-network-review.com">Dish
Network

roots are filled with Jedis trained by Yoda himself.

Href="http://www.silver-finesse.com">Dish
Network

's proudest moment, while at the same time darkest, may have come when
Anakin Dish
Network
's mother, Beru

Href="http://www.dish-network-tv-system.com">Dish
Network

, was forced to let her son go with Obiwan Kenobi when Anakin

style="text-decoration:none" Href="http://www.eliteforc.com">Dish
Network

won his freedom in a bet on a podracer race.

Href="http://www.dish--network--satellite--tv.com">Dish
Network

's bloodline would be continued in several hundred fanfiction books
unauthorized by George Lucas, who has done a good enough job of ruining the

style="text-decoration:none" Href="http://www.satellite-dishtv.com">Dish
Network

s' respectibility by casting a young actor who cannot act with emotion
as the future ruler of the universe, and coolest movie bad guy to-date. I am sure
that the Han Solo and Chewie equipped the Millenium Faclon with

Href="http://www.dish-network-satellite-programming.com">Dish
Network

service as we can plainly see the

Href="http://www.dish-network-satellite-tv-systems.com">Dish
Network

dish on the roof of the Falcon. When we saved the Ewoks, they repeatedly
chanted, "

Href="http://www.direct-tv-dish-network.com">Directv
- Dish Network!

Href="http://www.directv-dish-network.com">Directv
- Dish Network!

Direct TV
- Dish Network!
"


One day, as I was walking down the street to the Direct
TV
dealer, I was wondering, "How exactly do I spell

Href="http://www.aticusmanila.com">Direct
TV

? Is it two words or one word? Is it actually spelled

Href="http://www.bcshedsplus.com">Direct
TV

? Am I crazy to think that it can be spelled Direct
TV
? I should ask a random stranger on the street. I saw a smart looking gentleman,
so I asked, "Direct TV, is that how you
spell it? Is Direct TV spelled like this
- Direct TV? He just stared at
me. I asked his wife the same question. "How do you spell

Href="http://www.direct-tv-directv-directtv.biz">Direct
TV

? She immediately hit me with her purse and broke my nose. Can you believe
that? All over Direct TV.
Maybe she thought it was spelled Directv.
Or maybe she thought it was obviously spelled

Href="http://www.directv-dish-network.com">Direct
TV

. Either way, I need to get this looked at when I go to the doctor. Maybe
he can tell me how to spell Direct
TV
. At least he won't hit me. With Direct
TV
on my mind, I walked to the office. I saw signs for " Direct
TV
", but it was spelled both ways. "I give up!" I shouted. "

Href="http://www.naciondebreogan.com">Direct
TV

, Direct TV,

Href="http://www.naturalstudio.com">Direct
TV

, Direct TV,

Href="http://www.openmainframe.com">Direct
TV

!" I am losing my mind, and I am bleeding profusely.

Href="http://www.pansitan.com">Direct
TV

would be the end of me and that was that. A quiet voice peeked out from
the ground below me. A young child, maybe three years old, had something to say
to me. "Mister, it is spelled Directv, not
Direct TV. So will you please leave my
parents alone? They are going to get the restraining order right now.

Href="http://www.sagarmathatv.com">Direct
TV

is the wrong way to spell it, but Direct
TV
is how most people type it in on Google. Direct
TV
is the way that my SEO boss tells me to optimize it, so

Href="http://www.free-dishtv.com">Direct TV

is the way that I will.


P.S. I have used Direct TV.
I have also used Dish Network.
I have also used Directv.
I have also used Dish Network Receivers.
I have also used Dish Network.
I have also used Directv.
I have also used Dish Network.
I have also used Direct TV.

Posted by: Direct TV at July 24, 2004 07:04 PM | PERMALINK

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direct tv
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direct tv
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direct tv
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direct tv
direct tv / dish network
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direcway internet
dish network
dish network
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dish network receivers
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exercise equipment
treadmills
hotels
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medical insurance
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security cams
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strivectin
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strivectin-sd
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tan towels
teeth whitening
teeth whitening
teeth whitening
vacation packages
vacations
vacations
vacations
vacations
vacations
weight loss
weight loss patch
weight loss patch
weight loss
weight loss programs
zantrex-3


==================================================
bad breath
tonsil stones
broadband internet
car rental
car rental
cell phone plans
cell phone plans
colleges universities
contact lenses
singlesw dating
singles dating
dentist directory
dental directory
dental insurance
fucus vesiculosus
weight loss patch
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
directv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
directv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv
direct tv / dish network
direct tv / dish network
direct tv / dish network
direcway internet
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network receivers
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
dish network
strivectin
flowers
headache
ellipticals home gyms
exercise equipment
treadmills
hotels
laser dentistry
home loans
medical insurance
discount shopping
online dating
penis enlargement pills
penis enlargement pills
penis enlargement pills
security cams
security cams
security cams
security cams
security cams
security cams
strivectin
strivectin sd
strivectin-sd
strivectin-sd
strivectin sd
tan towels
teeth whitening
teeth whitening
teeth whitening
vacation packages
vacations
vacations
vacations
vacations
vacations
weight loss
weight loss patch
weight loss patch
weight loss
weight loss programs
zantrex-3
===================
I have used Strivectin-SD.
I have used Fucus Vesiculosus.
I have used Direct TV. I have

used Direct TV

vs Dish Network. I have used

href="http://www.discount--shopping.com/herbal-male-potency-patch.html">Male Potency Patch

. I

have used TestroGel

Testosterone Cream. I have used Dish Network. I have used

Dish Network Dish. I have used

href="http://www.mpgtv.com/directtv.html">Satellite TV

. I have used

href="http://www.mpgtv.com/dish-network-special.html">Dish Network Special

. I have used

href="http://www.compare-home-equity-loans.com">Compare Home Equity Loans

. I have used

href="http://www.free-home-security-systems.com">Home Security Systems

. I have used

href="http://www.x10-wireless-security-cameras.com">x10 Wireless Security Cameras

. I have

used Nordic Track Treadmills. I

have used Proform

Treadmills. I have used Florists

Flower Delivery. I have used Best Cell Phone

Plans. I have used Compare Cell Phone

Plans. I have used Contact Lenses. I have used

href="http://www.healthy--weight.com">Weight Loss Programs

. I have used

href="http://www.singles-personals-dating-services.com">Singles Dating

. I have used

href="http://www.dating--online.com">Dating Online

. I have used

href="http://www.direct-tv-dish-network.com">Dish Network & Direct TV

. I have used

href="http://www.weight--loss--patch.com">Weight Loss Patch

. I have used

href="http://www.great-vacation-spots.com">Great Vacation Spots

. I have used

href="http://www.great-vacation-locations.com">Great Vacations

. I have used

href="http://www.healthy--weight.com/strivectin-sd-wrinkles.html">StriVectin-SD

. I have used

Dish Network Dish TV. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-satellite-programming.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-entertainment.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-tv-systems.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-programming.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-review.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish--network--satellite--tv.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-satellite-tv-systems.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-tv-entertainment.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-tv-quality.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-tv-system.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.dish-network-vs-cable-tv.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href=http://www.tan-towel-tan-towels-tanning.com>Tan Towel Tan Towels Tanning

. I have used

href="http://www.discount--shopping.com/tan-towel.html">Tan Towel

. I have used

href="http://www.discount--vacations.com/tan-towel-tan-towels.html">Tan Towel Tan Towels

Tanning

. I have used Exercise

Equipment & Treadmills. I have used Dish Network. I

have used Dish Network. I have used

href="http://www.fabulous-face-cream.com/strivectin-sd-wrinkles.html">StriVectin-SD

. I have

used Dish Network. I have used

href="http://www.satellite-tv-dish-network.com">Satellite TV

. I have used

href="http://www.direct-tv-dish-network.com">Dish Network

. I have used

href="http://www.search-college-universities-colleges.com/">College Search

. I have used

href="http://www.healthy--weight.com/strivectin-sd-wrinkles.html">StriVectin-SD

. I have used

StriVectin-SD. I

have used StriVectin-SD. I

have used

href="http://www.fabulous-face-cream.com/strivectin-sd-stretch-marks.html">StriVectin-SD

. I

have used StriVectin-SD. I

have used

href="http://www.discount--shopping.com/wrinkle-remover-cream.html">StriVectin-SD

. I have

used Zantrex-3. I have

used Zantrex-3.
I have used Strivectin-SD.
I have also used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network Receivers.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Direct TV.
I have used Direct TV.
I have used Direct TV.
I have used Direct TV.
I have used Directv.
I have used Direct TV - Directv.
I have used Directv.
I have used StriVectin-SD.
I have used Dish Network.
I have used Directv.
I have used Tonsil Stones.
I have used Strivectin SD.
=======================
My name is Luke

Href="http://www.satellite-tv-dish-network.com">Dish
Network

, and I am the son of Anakin

Href="http://www.clint-jones.com">Dish
Network

and Padme Dish
Network
. Anakin

Href="http://www.dish-network-tv-quality.com">Dish
Network

had three brothers, and their names were Moe

Href="http://www.mpgtv.com">Dish
Network

, Larry

Href="http://www.dish-network-tv-entertainment.com">Dish
Network

and Curly Dish
Network
. They all lived in the

Href="http://www.i-dish-network-tv.com">Dish
Network

household at 1010 Dish
Network
Road. The Dish
Network
family lived in troubled times as the rebels were battling against
the empire, who were under Anakin

Href="http://www.acornfm.com">Dish
Network

's rule at the time. I, Luke

Href="http://www.blackcatsoundtracks.com">Dish
Network

, have never met my sister, Leia

Href="http://www.gearscamp.com">Dish
Network

. She is a princess on Alderon. Her people cheer, "

Href="http://www.dish-network-vs-cable-tv.com">Dish
Network

, Leia

Href="http://www.free-dish-network-systems.com">Dish
Network

, Leia

Href="http://www.dish-network-programming.com">Dish
Network

!" as she has unbeknownst to her, been fighting against her father,
Anakin Dish
Network
, for years.

Href="http://www.dish-tv-dish-network.com">Dish
Network

has always been a powerful name in the galaxy as our

Href="http://www.dish-network-review.com">Dish
Network

roots are filled with Jedis trained by Yoda himself.

Href="http://www.silver-finesse.com">Dish
Network

's proudest moment, while at the same time darkest, may have come when
Anakin Dish
Network
's mother, Beru

Href="http://www.dish-network-tv-system.com">Dish
Network

, was forced to let her son go with Obiwan Kenobi when Anakin

style="text-decoration:none" Href="http://www.eliteforc.com">Dish
Network

won his freedom in a bet on a podracer race.

Href="http://www.dish--network--satellite--tv.com">Dish
Network

's bloodline would be continued in several hundred fanfiction books
unauthorized by George Lucas, who has done a good enough job of ruining the

style="text-decoration:none" Href="http://www.satellite-dishtv.com">Dish
Network

s' respectibility by casting a young actor who cannot act with emotion
as the future ruler of the universe, and coolest movie bad guy to-date. I am sure
that the Han Solo and Chewie equipped the Millenium Faclon with

Href="http://www.dish-network-satellite-programming.com">Dish
Network

service as we can plainly see the

Href="http://www.dish-network-satellite-tv-systems.com">Dish
Network

dish on the roof of the Falcon. When we saved the Ewoks, they repeatedly
chanted, "

Href="http://www.direct-tv-dish-network.com">Directv
- Dish Network!

Href="http://www.directv-dish-network.com">Directv
- Dish Network!

Direct TV
- Dish Network!
"


One day, as I was walking down the street to the Direct
TV
dealer, I was wondering, "How exactly do I spell

Href="http://www.aticusmanila.com">Direct
TV

? Is it two words or one word? Is it actually spelled

Href="http://www.bcshedsplus.com">Direct
TV

? Am I crazy to think that it can be spelled Direct
TV
? I should ask a random stranger on the street. I saw a smart looking gentleman,
so I asked, "Direct TV, is that how you
spell it? Is Direct TV spelled like this
- Direct TV? He just stared at
me. I asked his wife the same question. "How do you spell

Href="http://www.direct-tv-directv-directtv.biz">Direct
TV

? She immediately hit me with her purse and broke my nose. Can you believe
that? All over Direct TV.
Maybe she thought it was spelled Directv.
Or maybe she thought it was obviously spelled

Href="http://www.directv-dish-network.com">Direct
TV

. Either way, I need to get this looked at when I go to the doctor. Maybe
he can tell me how to spell Direct
TV
. At least he won't hit me. With Direct
TV
on my mind, I walked to the office. I saw signs for " Direct
TV
", but it was spelled both ways. "I give up!" I shouted. "

Href="http://www.naciondebreogan.com">Direct
TV

, Direct TV,

Href="http://www.naturalstudio.com">Direct
TV

, Direct TV,

Href="http://www.openmainframe.com">Direct
TV

!" I am losing my mind, and I am bleeding profusely.

Href="http://www.pansitan.com">Direct
TV

would be the end of me and that was that. A quiet voice peeked out from
the ground below me. A young child, maybe three years old, had something to say
to me. "Mister, it is spelled Directv, not
Direct TV. So will you please leave my
parents alone? They are going to get the restraining order right now.

Href="http://www.sagarmathatv.com">Direct
TV

is the wrong way to spell it, but Direct
TV
is how most people type it in on Google. Direct
TV
is the way that my SEO boss tells me to optimize it, so

Href="http://www.free-dishtv.com">Direct TV

is the way that I will.


P.S. I have used Direct TV.
I have also used Dish Network.
I have also used Directv.
I have also used Dish Network Receivers.
I have also used Dish Network.
I have also used Directv.
I have also used Dish Network.
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