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Prof. William Gray: Global Warming Real, Not Caused by Man

For those of you who don’t know Prof. William Gray is one of the top scientists when it comes to hurricanes and tropical weather. Now he has offered what will undoubtedly be a controversial view of global warming/climate change.

Global warming is happening, but humans are not the cause, one of the nation’s top experts on hurricanes said Monday morning.
Bill Gray, who has studied tropical meteorology for more than 40 years, spoke at the Larimer County Republican Club Breakfast about global warming and whether humans are to blame. About 50 people were at the talk.

Gray, who is a professor at Colorado State University, said human-induced global warming is a fear perpetuated by the media and scientists who are trying to get federal grants.

“I think we’re coming out of the little ice age, and warming is due to changes to ocean circulation patterns due to salinity variations,” Gray said. “I’m sure that’s it.”

Gray’s view has been challenged, however.

The consensus view is just the opposite, that there was no little ice age and that the cause for the increase in global temperatures is human activities.

Roger Pielke Jr., director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, said in an interview later Monday that climate scientists involved with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that most of the warming is due to human activity.

“Bill Gray is a widely respected senior scientist who has a view that is out of step with a lot of his colleagues’,” Pielke said. But challenging widely held views is “good for science because it forces people to make their case and advances understanding.”

“We should always listen to the minority,” said Pielke, who spoke from his office in Boulder. “But it’s prudent to take actions that both minimize human effect on the climate and also make ourselves much more resilient.”

This does raise an interesting point, at least for discussion. If the warming is not related to human activities then how much mitigation can we get by curtailing human activities. The intuitive answer seems to be little or no mitigation. Of course, the intuitive answer isn’t necessarily right.

But even if humans cause global warming, there’s not much people can do, Gray said. China and India will continue to pump out greenhouse gases, and alternative energy sources are expensive.

This is indeed a potentially serious flaw to any plan to mitigate global warming that isn’t both global and binding. If the say the U.S. reduces greenhouse gas emissions, but India and China take up the slack and then some, then there will be little to no mitigation save that things wont be heating up quite so fast. Further, it is also possible that mitigation in one country induces increased emissions in another as firms try to minimize costs and look at relocating their operations. I would expect that the increase would be less than the decrease, but the point is that mitigation needs to be global in nature and well thought out.

But Pielke said it makes sense to reduce humans’ impact on the climate.

“There are uncertainties. It’s not like you

change your light bulbs today, you’re going to have better weather tomorrow,” he said. “It’s even better if those actions you’re taking make sense for other reasons, like getting off Middle Eastern oil or saving money.”

This also makes sense. I’ve switched over to compact fluorescent bulbs in most cases in my house. It was motivated by primarily by two factors.

  • Saving money.1
  • Changing light bulbs less frequently.

Encouraging policies that make economic sense, but that people might be unaware of makes sense on economic grounds alone, if there is a possible environmental benefit then that is merely icing on the cake.

Via Debunkers.
_____
1Keep in mind that I live in S. California, where the top tier for residential electricity rates is very high. So switching to compact fluorescent bulbs can have a large enough impact on one’s bill to more than pay for themselves.

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About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research.

Comments

  1. Because the Bush administration refused to join in the Kyoto Treaty, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously passed the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement a few months later. That agreement, signed by mayors in the Kansas City area, asks cities to Prof. William Gray: Global Warming Real, Not Caused by Man Outside Beltway – was not so much that they refused to submit the actual Kyoto treaty to the Senate. Everyone knew that it wouldnt pass in that form. It was that they walked away from the process itself. It was like pulling an Arafat at Camp David.

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  2. Little Ice Age Over:…

    Global warming real, humans not the cause–Prof. William Gray. (Outside the Beltway)……

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  3. Bandit says:

    What are ‘hurricans’?

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  4. Steve Verdon says:

    I don’t know, but that was just one of my typos from typing to fast (and poor proof reading).

    Fixed now.

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  5. Steven Plunk says:

    There seems to be money driving climate change research. Scientists who claim the extremes are more likely to get some of those grants. It has corrupted the process of science.

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  6. I agree that any change that is suggested that makes economic sense is reasonable to implement, but the question is why wouldn’t those changes take place anyway? If they truly make economic sense, they will.

    I don’t know if we are or are not having global warming. There is evidence on both sides. I certainly don’t know that if we are that it is man made. We have seen what appears to be to many other cycles in history to discount that it could be natural. The real problem I have is that those who argue we are entering global warming and that it is man made seem to rely more on “everyone says so” than anything else in their debate. Given the funding incentives, it isn’t to surprising that “everyone says so”. But just looking at details like how they factor water vapor into their models show they don’t really know what they are talking about. We can expect anything from cooling to warming based on your water vapor assumptions in the models. Given that we don’t know what the real answer is globally, in context of history and how it changes over time, that would be a much better place to invest than non-economic measures that may be going after a problem that doesn’t exist.

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  7. madmatt says:

    “But even if humans cause global warming, there’s not much people can do, Gray said. China and India will continue to pump out greenhouse gases, and alternative energy sources are expensive.”

    What sort of bullcrap is this..I don’t have to clean my yard because the neighbor doesn’t clean his? Lets look at how much the US put out while china and india were still pre indutrial countries and then do the math. I would like to see what renewable and alt energy companies could do with just 1 year of subsidies we give to the oil industry.

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  8. Steve Verdon says:

    madmatt,

    Perhaps you are unaware that it is GLOBAL warming, not warming on in India and China. The global nature of the problem, and that it deals with gasses in the atmosphere makes the problem more complex than cleaning up your yard.

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  9. george says:

    There’s definitely debate within the scientific community (and even the climate community) about whether global warming is driven by anthropomorphic causes. There’s almost none on whether it’s happening (that seems to be a political rather than scientific debate).

    Of course, the question of whether we’re adding to it is the vital one, in so far as it’s in our control. If it’s an outside effect (ie the sun getting hotter) then our efforts would be best placed in trying to mitigate the effects. If it’s our cause, then our efforts would be best placed into changing what we’re doing (nuclear energy for instance – which would also have the effect of reducing dependence on foreign oil).

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  10. madmatt says:

    Yes steve I realize that, but using the “it won’t matter anyway” argument never solved any problems!

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  11. Tano says:

    “mitigation needs to be global in nature and well thought out.”

    Can’t disagree with that! So wouldn’t you agree that it would be good to have an American administration that took a position of global leadership on this issue, and one capable of thinking things out well?

    Two more years…..

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  12. Wayne says:

    I am not a big fan of nuclear energy. We haven’t dealt with the nuclear waste that we have and other countries are worst with their waste than we are.

    Anybody ever thought about if we interfere with the earth natural process of warming and cooling, it might have an even worst environmental affect.

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  13. Say Anything says:

    California Suing Automakers Over Greenhouse Gases…

    Wow… Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) — General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and four other automakers were sued by California for making vehicles that contribute to global warming, causing pollution and erosion that costs the state millions of dollars. The law…

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  14. Tano,

    Are you aware of anything the Bush administration has done to reduce greenhouse gases in China? Can you contrast what the Clinton administration did to reduce greenhouse gases in China?

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  15. Tano says:

    Yetanother,

    Don’t understand the premise behind your question. The Clinton administration took some significant first steps. Recognizing the existence of a problem, committment to a global process to begin to deal with it, and sending a clear signal that we would be at the forefront of accepting our own responsibilities in any framework of agreement (an obviously necessary first step before asking others to do anything).

    The Bush administration has walked away from all of that, down to the level of putting their head in the sand regarding the very existence of a problem.

    The next administration is going to have to start from square one.

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  16. Steve Verdon says:

    The Bush administration has walked away from all of that, down to the level of putting their head in the sand regarding the very existence of a problem.

    In some minor defense of the Bush Admin., Kyoto was well and truly dead well before Bush parked his butt in the Oval office. Not that I saw Kyoto as a good approach to the problem.

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  17. Bandit says:

    ‘The Clinton administration took some significant first steps.’

    Kyoto was voted down 95-0 in the US Senate when Clinton was in office. They were about as successful at that as they were in capturing bin Laden and are trying the same approach to it now. Pretending they did something.

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  18. Tano says:

    Bandit, Steve,

    To be precise, the 95-0 vote was not on the kyoto treaty itself, but was on a earlier motion expressing the sense of the Senate that they would not be agreeing to certain proposals that ended up in the treaty.

    That the Clinton administration was involved in the international process, negotiated on the treaty, and basically put it on the table, is a very important first step. Clearly the Senate was not prepared to go along, at that time (over a decade ago), and with that set of proposals. Thats the way things look at the beginning of a process. You listen to the concerns of those who object, you go back to the other countries, you talk more, you negotiate more, you incorporate new findings from the science. Eventually you bring people together and work out something that is amenable to all, and that addresses concerns that need to be addressed.

    The real anger at the Bush administration over Kyoto was not so much that they refused to submit the actual Kyoto treaty to the Senate. Everyone knew that it wouldnt pass in that form. It was that they walked away from the process itself. It was like pulling an Arafat at Camp David. That agreement was not a fair one for the Palestinians, and there is no way that Arafat could have sold it, as it was, to his people. His failing though was not to respond with a counter-offer, or to otherwise make clear his committment to the ongoing process of working something out.

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  19. Steve Verdon says:

    To be precise, the 95-0 vote was not on the kyoto treaty itself, but was on a earlier motion expressing the sense of the Senate that they would not be agreeing to certain proposals that ended up in the treaty.

    Tano,

    To be precise, I didn’t mention the 95-0 vote, but was talking that the overall sentiments seemed to be that Kyoto was pretty much DOA during Clinton’s term which is why he didn’t push it. I agree Clinton was amenable to the idea of a treaty, but like all good pols Clinton knew a fight he couldn’t win and decided to spend his political capital elsewhere. I’m not saying it was good, bad, or anything else, merely noting how things were (at least as I recall them).

    Kyoto strikes me as still being dead, and without some way of enforcing such a treaty it strikes me as a pretty hopeless prospect. How exactly does one get sovereign nation states to give up some of their sovereignty? Espcially when talking about countries like China.

    Eventually you bring people together and work out something that is amenable to all, and that addresses concerns that need to be addressed.

    My hunch is that whatever you get will not work worth a damn for the above reasons. Each country will have an incentive to “chisel” on the treaty and how will you enforce it?

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  20. jpe says:

    I wonder how much he gets from the coal industry?

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  21. RJN says:

    The link is to a BBC article about a sunspot 1000 year maximum now occurring. The “global warming” crowd are surprised to learn that the sun has a warming influence re: the earth.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3869753.stm

    This link serves to help explain why reductions in co2 production by man would have to be massive, and would not have much effect for many decades.
    Some of the information I gleaned from it follows.

    http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm

    “….increase during the 1980s was about 3 gig tons of carbon (Gt C) per year (3). Total human CO2 emissions primarily from use of coal, oil, and natural gas and the production of cement are currently about 5.5 GT C per year.

    … it is estimated that the atmosphere contains 750 Gt C; the surface ocean contains 1,000 Gt C; vegetation, soils, and detritus contain 2,200 Gt C; and the intermediate and deep oceans contain 38,000 Gt C (3). Each year, the surface ocean and atmosphere exchange an estimated 90 Gt C; vegetation and the atmosphere, 60 Gt C; marine biota and the surface ocean, 50 Gt C; and the surface ocean and the intermediate and deep oceans, 100 Gt C (3).”

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  22. Tano says:

    Steve,

    To be precise, the other person to whom my comment was addressed did mention the 95-0 vote.

    Give up their soverignity? What does that mean? We are talking about an international treaty here. Nations do sign international treaties – they do it all the time. Most of them are adhered to.

    The Chinese have to live on this planet too, y’know, and they are not necessarily as resistent to data and reality as the Bush administration. Yes of course, there need to be measures in place to identify and punish cheaters. I don’t have a fully worked out proposal in my head. But the problem does need to be addressed. Throwing up ones hands is not particularly viable option.

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  23. Tano says:

    RJN,

    Just a hint for your future comments – relative to the question of your credibility. Make a comment like this:

    “The “global warming” crowd are surprised to learn that the sun has a warming influence re: the earth.”

    …and its hard not to conclude that you are a clueless BSer. I’m sorry, but for some strange reason I am not prepared to conclude that people who spend their lives studying the climate havent figured out that the sun makes ya warm. And if your argumentation rests on such a claim, then it aint worth bothering with.

    If you want an entry into the solar-forcing debate, here is one place to start, with links for following.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/07/the-lure-of-solar-forcing/

    I glanced at your other link. It seemed to offer a lot of North American data (both for the “little ice age”) and current trends (hint: its GLOBAL warming that is the issue), and it also seemed to cherry pick data – e.g. trying to falsify GW predicitions with empirical data from the lower troposphere rather than the atmosphere as a whole (where the effect is the opposite).

    Anyway, there is a vast literature out there, and it all should be read with a critical mind.

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  24. Steve Verdon says:

    Give up their soverignity? What does that mean? We are talking about an international treaty here. Nations do sign international treaties – they do it all the time. Most of them are adhered to.

    Yes and they also ignore them all the time too. Hell the U.S. has ignored some of the treaties/organizations it has signed onto in regards to free trade. Which is precisely my point–without someway of making a country stick to the treaty how is it going to work? You’d need an enforcement/punishment mechanism. The only thing I can see is some sort of trade sanctions possibly blockade kind of thing to begger the offending nation.

    The Chinese have to live on this planet too, y’know, and they are not necessarily as resistent to data and reality as the Bush administration. Yes of course, there need to be measures in place to identify and punish cheaters. I don’t have a fully worked out proposal in my head. But the problem does need to be addressed. Throwing up ones hands is not particularly viable option.

    Funny that is precisely what the Clinton Administration suggested as one option when dealing with regulations. Not in this context, but as an overall philosophy.

    Federal agencies should promulgate only such regulations as are required by law, or are made necessary by compelling public need, such as material failures of private markets to protect or improve the health and safety of the public, the environment, or the well being of the American people. In deciding whether and how to regulate, agencies should assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives, including the alternative of not regulating.–Source

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  25. Steve Verdon says:

    As for the Real Climate crowd, they have their issues…like making data and models readily available. Their failure to do so lowers my value of them and their work. And they aren’t the only ones. In general, it seems that many areas of academic inquiry have problems archiving data and making models available. In most cases I imagine it is nothing nefarious and no big deal. However, when it is GW/CC and we could be looking at trillions of dollars in costs (globally) I’d like to make sure that their homework can be checked and re-checked.

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  26. Bandit says:

    To be precise, the 95-0 vote was not on the kyoto treaty itself, but was on a earlier motion expressing the sense of the Senate that they would not be agreeing to certain proposals that ended up in the treaty.

    Correct – it was not a ratification vote but the end result was that the Clinton administration got as much done on climate change as they did on terrorism and AIDS – the middle of a donut

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  27. RJN says:

    Stuff it Tano. Once more, what we get from your crowd is snide indirection.

    The Sun has cycles, long and short. Yes, or no? Can one of these cycles be approx 1000 years? Yes, or no? If the Sun gets hotter at the peak of one of its cycles does this make the earth hotter? Yes, or no?

    Are you fellows too stupid to realize that the evidence shows that we are in a phase of increasing solar output, and that this output increases our temperatures?

    If the fact that North America is now being asymmetrically warmed, as you imply, isn’t important why do your crowd cry so much about the warming of the tundra, and the melting of the glaciers?

    Try the truth, dump the phony “hockey stick”. The academy is extracting a toll from people like you, Tano, and it is hurting you. Bending to intimidation is not good for you in the long run.

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  28. Tano says:

    Huh?

    That was a pretty incoherent rant Mr. RJN.

    Go back and actually read the link. Scientists have been studying solar cycles for a very long time. They have been working out models for how these variations affect temperature, for a very long time. What stupid is, is to ignore the science and to pull assertions out of your butt about what is going on in the atmosphere.

    You are not interested in “the evidence”. You are interested in one piece of evidence, out of thousands, and the conclusions that you think are obvious, based only on that one piece of evidence. Without any critical examination of it, because, after all, the conclusion you think can be drawn from it happens to be the conclusion that you favor. This is the exact opposite of doing science. Perhaps it is only a coincidence then that your conclusion is also the opposite of almost all of those who actually do the science?

    To your later point: the glaciers are melting in Antarctica too. If there were only a warming in the north, and a cooling in the south, then there would be no global effects. Duh. Once again, smarter minds than yours have figured this out already, and taken it into account.

    The academy taking a toll? Bending to intimidation? What on earth are you muttering on about buddy?

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  29. RJN says:

    Tano, old boy, I don’t think you actually understand the machinations of the academic world. Going the way the wind blows is more important than being, objectively, right. Much of the support for, so called, global warming is from peripheral, go along, lefty academic weenies.

    In case you didn’t know it, left wing power and control freaks just love the global grip that can flow from restricting energy use outside of the price mechanism.

    The, now discredited, hockey stick shaped chart that started this sham showed the, offending, increase in CO2 followed, as in trailed, an increase in temperature. In other words, the ocean was giving up some of it’s huge quantity of CO2 because it, the water, was getting warmer. That warmth was caused by a higher energy output from the Sun being received, and expressed, here on earth.

    The same thing, it seems, happened about 1,000 years ago when Greenland supported Viking farmers.

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  30. george says:

    Tano, old boy, I don’t think you actually understand the machinations of the academic world. Going the way the wind blows is more important than being, objectively, right. Much of the support for, so called, global warming is from peripheral, go along, lefty academic weenies.

    Good point. I assume you’re going to be giving up your computer, since it is based upon things like quantum mechanics dreamed up by those wacky scientific academics?

    Look, the arguing about climate models and the like is played out much differently in scientific circles than in politics. You’re confusing politics and popular press with science. Pick up a few scientific journals (say “The Journal of Geophysical Research” or the climate papers – not editorials) in “Science” and “Nature” – and then make complaints about what’s published if you want knock science. Any university library will carry them, so they’re easy to find. I’d be curious to hear specific errors in analysis or methodology on any paper.

    It’s pointless to read non-scientific papers and books to get an opinion of what’s happening in the scientific community. Just because a number of left wing politicians have jumped on a bandwagon doesn’t say anything about the science behind it (no more than nuclear power or genetically modified food is right wing science). It’s hard being a scientist sometimes, most of the time you’re simulaneously a left wing weenie and a right wing nazi … and always judged by people who’ve never bothered to try to read a single paper in a scientific journal devoted to the area in question(which is where science communicate).

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  31. Tano says:

    RJN,

    Since I spend my working life immersed in following the scientific literature, and have spent far more years than I am willing to admit to, in academic circles, and share my life with a scientist / academic, I would beg to differ with you that I am naive to the machinations of the academy. Science differs from the bloviating world that you live in, given that ones scientific reputation ultimately is shaped by ones success in coming up with explanations that are accurate models of the real world. And it is not something you can hide from, since your proposed model is going to be rigorously tested by your competitors.

    Unlike bloviation world, where the force you apply to your argument, and the sharpness of your cutting insults can often sustain you through the next election cycle.

    The “hockey stick” did not display ANY temporal relation between temperature and CO2. It is a plot of temperature only. Have you ever even seen it (let alone look at the data behind it). or is it just some talking point that you have heard about through some political source?

    Your crude little model / explanation contains a prediction. If atmospheric increases in CO2 come from the warming oceans releasing their stores of CO2, then there should be a decrease in the amount of CO2 in the oceans. Like all models and their predictions, this should be tested.

    Ooops, already done. (from a review of this subject by Corinne Le Quéré, University of East Anglia.)

    “Number of observations of carbon decreasing in the global oceans: zero.

    Number of observations of carbon increasing in the global oceans: more than 20 published studies using 6 independent methods.

    All the estimates show that the carbon content of the oceans is increasing by ~ 2±1 PgC every year (current burning of fossil fuel is ~7 PgC per year). One method is able to go back in time and shows that the carbon content of the oceans has increased by 118±19 PgC in the last 200 years. There is some uncertainty about the exact amount that the oceans have taken up, but not about the direction of the change. The oceans cannot be a source of carbon to the atmosphere, because we observe them to be a sink of carbon from the atmosphere.”

    Damn, things always get so complicated when you leave the ideology behind and actually look at the real world.

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  32. RJN says:

    I admire Science as much as the next guy. I also acknowledge, now that you are getting down to it, that you have standing, and some experteze.

    Other people Alsop have standing and expertize. People like Fredrick Seitz, for instance.

    “Petition Project
    Letter from Frederick Seitz
    Research Review of Global Warming Evidence

    Below is an eight page review of information on the subject of “global warming,” and a petition in the form of a reply card. Please consider these materials carefully.

    The United States is very close to adopting an international agreement that would ration the use of energy and of technologies that depend upon coal, oil, and natural gas and some other organic compounds.

    This treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful.

    The proposed agreement would have very negative effects upon the technology of nations throughout the world, especially those that are currently attempting to lift from poverty and provide opportunities to the over 4 billion people in technologically underdeveloped countries.

    It is especially important for America to hear from its citizens who have the training necessary to evaluate the relevant data and offer sound advice.

    We urge you to sign and return the petition card. If you would like more cards for use by your colleagues, these will be sent.

    Frederick Seitz
    Past President, National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.
    President Emeritus, Rockefeller University”

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  33. Ray says:

    I’ve said this before in another thread, but can anyone tell me where that kilometer high sheet of ice that use to be located in the State of Minnesota went? You know, the one that created the 10,00 lakes? Didn’t that disappeared due to global warming? I mean, get real people, we’ve been experiencing global warming since before the end of the last ice age. Do we really know what triggered the current global warming period? No, but what ever it was, I doubt that mankind had anything to do with it.

    The point I’m trying to make is that the climate is changing, just like it has throughout the history of earth. Can we really stop global warming? I highly doubt it. That would be like stopping the continents from drifting, an impossibility.

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  34. Tano says:

    RJN,

    Seitz has credentials as a scientist, and he has his opinion. The overwhelming majority of scientists, including those with specific expertise in climate science, have reached a different conclusion.

    As non-experts in climate science, what are we, or political leaders to do? Given my experience in science (not climate science) I flatter myself in thinking that I can parse through the papers and form my own conclusion. Its difficult though, because at some point we (the outsiders) just don’t know enough about the specifics to make a confident judgement. I try to look to the quality of the arguments, some of the formal structures in the rhetoric, to see if I sense that the author is pleading a case, or seriously trying to get to the truth, no matter where it lay.

    On those bases, I have to say that I have found much of the arguments of the skeptics to be overtly, or surreptitously political in tone (thats why I am prone to jump on people when I hear namecalling and other common elements of a political argument).

    Majority rule is not a scientific standard – we all know the “starving artist syndrome” – where someone slaves away in obscurity all their life, rejected by peers, only to turn out to be right all along. But the fact is, that most of the time, if most of the people in a field accept some conclusions, then it is more than likely a valid conclusion. Marketplace of ideas, and all that.

    When political decisions need to be made on scientific matters, and there is a consensus in the scientific community on that matter, then it is really hard to justify any other decision on rational grounds.

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  35. Tano says:

    Ray,

    Sorry, but this is getting really tiresome. Everyone who studies climate issues knows all about the Ice ages, to a level of detail that would make your head spin. Everyone who studies climate knows that the Earth and its atmosphere are a dynamic system. All of the points you raise, multiplied by a thousand, have all gone into building the climate models.

    You may not know what has caused the current warming, because you have not spent one minute studying the issue – only reading political arguements about it. And, with all due respect, your “doubts” about whether mankind has caused it are worth less than nothing. All that you are really saying is that you have not been convinced – thats all well and good, but you don’t give the impression, in the slightest, that you have done any serious work in trying to form a rational opinion on the matter. A first step would be trying to be critical of the arguments of both sides.

    I can say this with confidence, because if you had spent any time thinking critically about the issue, you would not be raising these silly points that you do – points that were dealt with probably on the first day that anyone sat down to make the first climate model.

    Finally, nobody is trying to “stop the climate from changing” in some cosmic way. We know the Earth is dynamic and will always be changing. The issue is the simple fact that we are having an effect on the RATE of change. We are accelerating it, artificially. At such a rate that other species may not be able to adapt rapidly enough to avoid extinction. Even at such an artificially rapid rate that we cannot keep up, even with our highly sophisticated technology. If the breadbaskets of the world become deserts, or the coastal areas, where the majority of the people live, become flooded by seawater, and this happens over a century or two, it could be enormously devastating to the global economy, and to the survival of a large proportion of the human population.

    Natural climate change we can deal with. Nature can deal with it – as it has since time immemorial. Because natural climate change tends to be gradual, relative to a human lifespan.

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  36. RJN says:

    Tano, you are losing your credibility. Let me say that science has respect for large doses of fact, and “Global Warming” has small doses of facts about small effects on global climate.

    Considering this it is loony to bankrupt our economies to produce an effect that is too small – by the admission of scientists – to give us any protection for at least one hundred years, if then. Said protection may not even be required.

    I see again, in your words, the lack of respect some people inside of science have for the judgement and intelligence, and knowledge, of those of us outside of science. You seem to think that the lefts use of politics makes it unwholesome for free thinking people on the right to remark upon it.

    Let me sum up. Human produced carbon dioxide is a small part of the cause of present day climate change. A leftist reach for power has elevated an ordinary scientific “days work” into a dreadful threat.

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  37. RJN says:

    One more thing. I just saw this:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14944138

    “Despite the long term warming trend seen around the globe, the oceans have cooled in the last three years, scientists announced today.

    The temperature drop, a small fraction of the total warming seen in the last 48 years, suggests that global warming trends can sometimes take little dips.

    In the last century, Earth’s temperature has risen about 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.56 degrees Celsius). Most scientists agree that much of the warming in the past 50 years has been fueled by the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities.”

    Please notice how this mysterious “Most scientists” group think the first 50 years of the warming are by God knows what, but the second 50 years are by gum caused by those humans and their cars.

    This sort of knee jerk toeing the line shows up in nearly every news article about warming and climate change.

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  38. Tano says:

    RJN,

    “Human produced carbon dioxide is a small part of the cause of present day climate change”

    You just dont get it, do you. This statement of yours is an empirical statement. It relates to the real world, not the world of political opinion. You do not have justification in making such a statement based on how it squares with your political philosophy, or what it is that you wish were so. Human produced CO2 either is or is not a small contributor to climate change, and the answer lies out there in the real world – accessible to human understand using the tools of rational discovery – science.

    And the science that has been done, leads to the opposite conclusion than that which you state. At some point you are just going to have to deal with reality.

    The question of what should be done about it is an entirely different matter. Nobody wants to “bankrupt our economy” (talk about using scare tactics in political discourse!). We must, and we will have a free wheeling political discussion about what the appropriate steps should be to deal with this issue. But before we can do so, we need to get a basic committment from people to deal with the facts of the situation.

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  39. Tano says:

    RJN,

    I don’t understand your point in the second of your recent comments above. You have some reporter making an offhand comment about the last 50 years just after making another comment about the last century, and you think that this is some example of the state of the science?

    Look, given that you have posted a bunch of comments on this subject, I get the impression that you have a rather serious interest in the issue. If so, then go out and start doing some of the hard work necessary to become really well informed. That means going way beyond reading the political blowhards, and way beyond the common rhetorical game of searching around for tidbits of “evidence” that can be spun to somehow support a conclusion that you had from the beginning.

    You dont have to go out and get a degree in climate science, but at the very least, take a step back from the position you would like to hold, and check out all the evidence from both sides and think about it all critically.

    One of the common ideas in science, about how to go about doing science, is called refutationism. In its purest form it is somewhat of an unreachable ideal, but it is disseminated to students as a guide to an ethical approach to their research. It entails approaching ones own hypotheses with a relentlessly critical mind. To do the best science, one must activly and brutally set out to refute the very hypothesis you are proposing. For it is only if your hypothesis survives such a challange, do you have any real basis for accepting that it might be valid.

    This is, of course, the exact opposite approach from the “lawyer model” – doing all that one can to push the interests of your client (your idea). The lawyer model is what rules in political discourse. The refutationist model should, and largely does, rule in science.

    The existence of a warming trend in our climate, and the causes and extent of that trend are scientific issues. They should be adjudicated using scientific methods. There are obviously huge political issues that will flow from these facts, as we need to decide what to do about it. But people like you seem to take the political approach to the scientific questions, and that amounts to simply running away from reality.

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  40. RJN says:

    Tano, science says that human produced CO2 is a small part of todays climate change. It is science that says the sun is hotter than it has been for 1000 years. Science is not mumbo-jumbo. It is based on what we call reality. Scientists nowadays are often following a parallel reality of their own based on grants and intimidation, and the desire to not appear out of step with the pure left.

    Goodbye Tano.

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  41. Tano says:

    blah, blah, blah,

    just more political ranting. Thats all ya got.

    good bye indeed.

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  42. RJN says:

    Hello again, Tano. The link is to a great article which sums up our present situation with regard to global warming. Give it a read.

    http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=092206E

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