Business mouthpiece casts wide net in latest bid to derail climate-change efforts

Thu, 2007-12-06 11:59Bill Miller
Bill Miller's picture

Business mouthpiece casts wide net in latest bid to derail climate-change efforts

True to form, the Wall Street Journal has slammed former Vice President and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore and tried to discredit the science arguing the case for global warming. In so doing, the pro-business bastion appears to be as far out of step with the forces driving the U.S. economy as the Bush Administration is with the majority of the U.S. electorate.

The crux of the Journal’s argument is contained in a question: “What if everyone believes in global warmism only because everyone believes in global warmism?” Here’s a better question: What if they’re right?

The WSJ article – penned by editorial-board member Holman W. Jenkins Jr. – cautions readers to beware of “public-opinion cascades” such as the current spate of dire warnings about what global warming is doing to the planet.

In recent days, more than 200 scientists have urged world leaders in Bali to act fast on climate change, 150 international firms have called for mandatory cuts in greenhouse gases, and the U.S. Senate has advanced the first-ever bill calling for mandatory emissions limits. In addition, Australia recently reversed its position by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.

Not a happy turn of events for the Bush Administration. But if the WSJ article was meant to steady them in the face of growing public pressure, it would appear to have succeeded. The U.S. delegation has informed the UN climate-change summit in Bali that it will not alter its stance against significant emissions reductions.

Near the end of his article, Jenkins poses another question: What if the heads being counted to certify an alleged “consensus” arrived at their positions by counting heads? In the case of the Bush Administration, it appears they don’t know how to count at all.

So it’s damn the science, full speed ahead, as usual.

Comments

The Wall Street Journal editorial page is a national embarrassment. I have the naive hope that Murdoch will clean the Augean stables when he officially takes over this month. His pledged that NewsCorp will be carbon neutral by 2010. And I've heard he thinks the 40 staffers who work the page are too many. Let's hope some heads roll, especially the climate dinosaurs.

More here, where I've traced how WSJ plays a direct role in the Exxon-funded denialist echo chamber.

http://solveclimate.com/blog/20071114/case-study-how-climate-skeptics-spoon-feed-wall-street-journal

Silence the Skeptics

Are you advocating silencing any descent to your religion? What extreme are you willing to go to accomplish this goal? Is this your idea of free speech?

After reading many articles and posts on this site I am convinced that what is said about this new religion's #1 rule must be accuarate.

1. Never discuss the science.
2. Attack the person.
3. Repeat the Mantra

I think you should add to that rule to say: Resistance is futile, you will be assimulated.

Have you even read any of the science beyond Al Gore? Now listen carefully. The hypothesis that human CO2 emmissions cause global warming has been debunked along with Mann's hockey stick graph.

The IPCC is nothing more that a political body with an agenda, why else would Canada (9th highest or 2% of world man-made CO2 emmissions) be required to reduce "harmful" CO2 emmissions while China (now #1 emmitter) and India (top five) are not? How can that be logical?

Rising CO2 is an effect of global warming. If you dispute that fact, you are disputing ice core records. Yyou cannot explain how from 1940 - 1975 global temperatures dropped while CO2 levels rose. So far this century global temperatures have been static, however the CO2 levels continue to rise at the same rate.

Can you explain these facts without pointing to some biased article written by an anti-industry, leftwing nutcase? Please don't tell me the blatantly flawed computer models is your source, that would be foolish.

The next 20-30 years of cooling with CO2 levels rising at the same time will be the final judge here, and it's verdict against all you chicken littles will be GUILTY as charged.

Liars and fools deserve to be fired from the WSJ and anywhere else where they can do damage to the public good.

Isnan, can you back up your claims without pointing to some biased article written by a denialist, rightwing nutcase? How about some peer-reviewed science? Can you find any of that?

Half of the environmentalists would lose their jobs if we took your advice VJ.

As if you know anything about environmentalists.

Too many environmentalists exxagerate to advance "The Cause" and now want to fire anyone who does not agree with their worldview. Oh yeah, I know a few environmnentalists.

Paul, I sincerely hope you do not have any children because you are doing the future generations a gross disservice in your ridiculous arguments against what has been shown to be true by everyone who is not being paid by companies who are pocketing billions of dollars by continuing to pollute, both green house gases and many others (asbestos, chromium and a host of others).

You have shown that you do not have the basic understanding of science to make any cogent argument against AGW. So what are your motives for your continuing vilification and belittling of anyone who tries to show that you are wrong? Is it financial? Is it political? Are you just bloody minded? Please tell us what motivates you to act in this destructive manner. How can you rest easy at night when you and your ilk could be responsible for untold suffering in many places on this earth by continuing to sow confusion in this, one of the most important problems facing us today?

Ian Forrester

I am a bit bloody minded; I consider it one of my better characteristics. But Ian, most Canadians do not consider AGW to be the greatest threat facing them, in spite of polls which can be notoriously unreliable.

It is not politicians, big business or big oil truly holding back action on AGW, it is people, meaning the majority of Canadian people. Nothing will be accomplished until we drop this charade that the "Canadian people" are on side; they aren't. They're too busy booking their annual winter vacation to Mexico or planning renovations to add another 1000 square feet to their house. I'm sure they sleep fine at night too.

My carbon footprint (as environmentalists so love to call it) is already nice and compact, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if my lifestyle emits less C02 then yours Ian. In spite of that, I have a lot of skepticism about AGW, I seem to be a skeptic by nature.

My skepticism can turn into cynicism, and even I agree I need to work on that. :)

Paul S/G, once again you do not know the meaning of simple words. A skeptic, upon reading some thing new immediately either accepts it because it confirms what his specialized knowledge knows to be true, or he ponders, "that seems a bit odd, I'd better check it out".

He then goes to sources which he (and everyone else with any knowledge on the matter) knows to be true and either confirms the new claim or realizes that it cannot be supported.

A denier on the other hand says "Wow, I don't want that to happen, it must be wrong, I will therefor deny that is has been established as fact".

Paul, you have shown which of these two camps you belong. You deny the acceptance of AGW because it does not fit in with your arrogant and hypocritical lifestyle. Your claims of having a "compact carbon footprint" are completely worthless since you refuse to identify yourself so that your vacuous claims can be verified.

Ian Forrester

Ian, you could live in an oversized mansion like Al Gore does and people would have no way of knowing either.

As for skeptic, I understand the word very well thank-you.

Yes, some aspects of AGW seem a bit "odd" to me. Scientists have never before claimed to be able to predict climate 100 years into the future. Now they do. And expect us to accept this claim unquestionably. Sorry, but since the study of global climate is evolving so rapidly, I will remain somewhat skeptical.

You call me arrogant and a hypocrite. I don't mind being labelled arrogant but the untruthful hypocrite I object to. Like I said, I bet my carbon footprint is less then yours.

Paul S/G, don't you ever get tired of being wrong all the time? I guess when you are wrong so often you just accept it.

The consequences of adding additional anthropogenic CO2 into the atmosphere was predicted 100 years ago by Arrhenius. His numbers for the doubling of CO2 are very close to those predicted by today's climate scientists.

Anyone who has read your posts will know that you are a denier when you deny being a hypocrite. I guess you deny everything, you even deny your own name. How hypocritical of you.

Ian Forrester

Interesting you mention Arrhenius, as his findings were ignored for many decades by the prevailing scientific "consensus". Interesting how that scientific consensus was wrong for so many years but the current consensus defends itself, because, well, it is a consensus.

Yes we know Ian, climate scientists claim this new found ability to predict climate 100 years in the future. And demand that we accept their claim. Without question.

As this prophetic ability of climate scientists is new, the public will scrutinize their claims even more closely. Climate science is a rapidly evolving science, even you should know that.

Paul S/G, if English is not your first, second or third language please accept my apologies. If it is in fact your first language, which I strongly suspect, then do everyone a favour here and take a remedial "English for idiots who want to trash science" course. Your posts are full of contradictions and muddled thinking. Maybe too much walking taking energy from your brain?

Ian Forrester

Unable again to respond to any points Ian? GW has been lower then any of Arrhenius's calculations. And why was Arrhenius rejected by the scientific consensus for so many years? You never say.

Paul said: "And why was Arrhenius rejected by the scientific consensus for so many years"?

Just what drivel are you talking about. Arrhenius was never rejected. For goodness sake, if you are going to discuss something get your facts right. Your hatred for science and scientists is just appalling. I hope you have no influence over the younger generation, who as a group get more involved than people like you and also they have a far greater understanding of what is happening to this earth than you appear to have.

And what points have I failed to respond to? How can I respond to such garbled thinking as you are wont to deliver. Smarten up and you may just get into a decent discussion with intelligent people.

Ian Forrester

More and more, this whole discussion (in general) reminds me of the Scopes Monkey Trial. Old men (or younger ones whose brains have prematurely calcified) just can't let go of their most deeply held beliefs -- in this case, that it's our god-given right (nay, our duty)to develop everything in the name of Progress (ie, Profit). But that's another debate . . .

As for Arrhenius, his conclusions were as a few small stones tumbling down a mountainside that eventually become an avalanche (apologies to Tolkien). The gradual realization that he was on to something, and that there might be serious consequences, has been a steady process, building into an overwhelming body of evidence. It has all the more credence for having been there all along, niggling away at the back of other things scientists were working on, until it couldn't be ignored.

Paul S. gets his metaphorical butt kicked at rabett run and probably at other science blogs. So he's not a fan of good science.

Time for you guys to study the history of science a bit more. Arrhenius was rejected (outright in most cases) by the scientific consensus for decades. How did the consensus get it so wrong?

What, you think "consensus" is a person? Go read Thomas Kuhn about paradigms.

So how is good science done VJ? Through a paradigm shift or through consensus? Try to be consistent here.

Paul you are confusing rejection with being ignored. They are not the same. Once again your basic understanding of the English language is getting you confused.

Show me some sources where you found your claims of "rejection". And they have to be in the peer reviewed scientific literature. If you show any we will discuss them. Somehow I don't think we will be doing too much in the way of discussion since I have yet to see you produce a valid source for any of your nonsense.

Ian Forrester

" . . . getting you confused."

You are quite effective at mangling the English language yourself Ian. :)

Rejected or ignored; the scientific consensus for decades did not include Arrhenius's findings. So your deference to consensus is not always valid.

Two years ago, the scientific "consensus" overwhelmingly endorsed the Hockey Stick. Now one has a difficult time finding the Hockey Stick graph on many sites. Where did it go? Has the "consensus" rejected it?

Fool. Go ask an English teacher to explain your problem to you.

" . . . getting you confused."

That's Ian's garbled English VJ. Good suggestion though, he should talk to an English teacher.

Troll

As expected not one source for your false information.

You continue to tell blatant lies and never show any sources for your false information. Goodness knows how you mange to sleep at night when you and people like you are putting the lifes and lifestyles of so many people in peril. And I'm not talking about your selfish lifestyle but the lifestyles of the poor people whose lives will be devastated if politicians believe liars like you.

You disgust me. Go away. No wonder you hide behind a makeshift name, you would be embarrassed if your family, neighbors, boss, fellow employees found out about your secret life as an arrogant liar who doesn't give a hoot for the well being of others.

Ian Forrester

Arrhenius was rejected by the scientific consensus of the time. That's true. Even you should be able to discover that Ian.

What are you going to do Ian? Have me arrested? Sent to camp for indoctrination? Even though my C02 footprint is likely lower then yours?

Careful now, your head might explode.

Blah, blah, blah.

More lies since you cannot provide sources (it is almost impossible to give sources for your lies and distortions since they do not exist, but go ahead though I know you will not and cannot). Just tell me again what Arrhenius got wrong in his work on CO2 sensitivity, I need another laugh to cheer myself up.

You are such an arrogant and hypocritical SOB (and worse).

Ian Forrester

Arrhenius overestimated C02 sensitivity Ian. It's common knowledge to climate experts. Do a little research.

Now I'm arrogant and hypocritical SOB? I already told you I'm not hypocritical. LOL.

Paul you are really stretching the truth now. Please tell me how much Arrhenius "over-estimated" CO2 sensitivity. His figures, produced 100 years ago without all the high tech gadgets and instrumentation of present day scientists is remarkably close to what is now accepted.

Of course, in your denier data base you probably think that the values of 0.1 (Sellers; 1973), 0.26 (Idso; 1980) or 0.8 (Rasool and Schneider; 1971) to be much more accurate. Arrhenius' upper range of 5.5 is much closer to the presently accepted value of approximately 4.5.

Most people will recognize at least a few of these "scientists" with the low numbers as being on most denier lists. So Paul S/G claims that Arrhenius was all wrong when he was much closer to the accepted figure than his denier friends. Just goes to show how dishonest he is.

Your attempts to ridicule one of the preeminent scientists from the turn of the last century shows what a despicable person you are. You wouldn't know an honest answer if it fell on your head.

Oh, did I mention hypocritical too?

Ian Forrester

You said it yourself Ian, Arrhenius overestimated C02 sensitivity. Mentioning this has nothing to do with "ridiculing" him, so don't make things up.

You never answer why the scientific consensus ignored Arrhenius for so long. The "consensus" is always right, right?

Please go to the bottom for my comments.

Ian Forrester

What neighbourhood do you live in?
That's bigger than my entire house...by a wide margin!

that the climate scientists are concerned that things are actually advancing more quickly than they predicted. If anything, their models are conservative in their timelines. Far from exaggerating, many of us are worried that the danger has been understated. For my part, I'm waiting to see how the Greenland ice sheet paces itself over the next few years. The concept of a glacier that you can actually see moving scares the hell out of me!

For the first part of his silly ramblings, the IPCC's conclusions are supported by every major scientific academy of atmospheric and climate research. So even if you wish to mistakenly believe that a collection of the top scientists from all over the world are somehow a political body, you'd also be accusing the top authorities on sciences of the same thing as each of the following has supported the IPCC's position

National Academy of Sciences, United States of America
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Royal Society, United Kingdom
Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Academia Brasiliera de Ciências, Brazil
Royal Society of Canada, Canada
Academié des Sciences, France
Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher, Germany
Indian National Science Academy, India
Accademia dei Lincei, Italy
Science Council of Japan, Japan

of course the list of major national research bodies which also support the IPCC is exhaustive to post but as a sample it is also

American Meteorological Society (AMS)
National Research Council
Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS)
Union of Concerned Scientists
American Association for the Advancement of Science
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
American Chemical Society - (world's largest scientific organization with over 155,000 members)
Federal Climate Change Science Program, 2006 - commissioned by the Bush administration in 2002
+ many more

Even if Canada is a small contributor, the IPCC simply presents a summary of the science that exists, the governments of the world are free to do as they see fit with that information. So if Canada is to cut its emissions it is within some international framework or its own motivations and not the IPCC.

There really are no scientific references to back up what he says it’s really quite Looney; I don’t know why one would even ask. Carbon isotope ratios are what indicate that the increase in atmosphere carbon is from fossil fuel consumption, as fossil carbon is depleted entirely in any radioactive carbon as it had all undergone radioactive decay deep under the earth and not renewed. All active carbon in the biota, ocean atmosphere etc, is bombarded by radiation sources and maintains a normal carbon isotope balance. This can be measured with a mass spec, and of course this is how carbon dating or organic samples can be done to determine age or carbon based compounds the longer its away and buried the more the radioactive isotopes decay. In any event this is a well recognized fact and has been since about the 1950's with the following papers recognizing the fossil source of the carbon entering the atmosphere.

Suess, Hans E. (1955). "Radiocarbon Concentration in Modern Wood." Science 122: 415-17.

Münnich, K.O. (1957). "Heidelberg Natural Radiocarbon Measurements I." Science 126: 194-99

Houtermans, J., et al. (1967). "Effect of Industrial Fuel Combustion on the Carbon-14 Level of Atmospheric CO2." In Radioactive Dating and Methods of Low-Level Counting. Proceedings of a Symposium, Monaco, 1967 pp. 57-68. Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency.

Revelle, Roger, and Hans E. Suess (1957). "Carbon Dioxide Exchange between Atmosphere and Ocean and the Question of an Increase of Atmospheric CO2 During the Past Decades." Tellus 9: 18-27.

So there you are 4 solid scientific sources that show rising carbon is due to fossil fuel combustion and not an effect of warming. (Note 2 are even published in Science, one if not the top journal in the world) These papers are likely older than you are, but clearly you are not a scientist as something as simple as this would be able to register. That good enough for you? Should I try to mail you the papers to?

What a nut bar...

Paul S/G, I will repeat once more for you. The work by Arrhenius was not rejected by the scientific community. A number of scientists followed up on his work by refining the value of the temperature sensitivity attributed to a doubling of CO2. The numbers, as I told you, are very close (except for some very low numbers put out by your denier friends) to what modern day climate experts have calculated. This is the way science is carried out, refining and fine-tuning the results till they are reproducible by all. In many cases, refinements and improvements in instrumentation and methodology will give more accurate results. This DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE ORIGINAL RESULTS WERE WRONG.

For you to ridicule and defame Arrhenius in this manner shows a complete lack of respect for science and scientists. You are one of the most despicable people I have ever come across, and as followers of this blog know there are some truly horrible people who post here. However, you are by far the worst because you defame well-respected scientists who are unable to defend their reputations.

You show a complete lack of respect for the people who try and engage you in intelligent discussions by resorting to lies and distortions of the science. You never provide sources for your wild claims.

If you are interested you can get a chronology of the data for CO2 sensitivity at this link:

http://members.aol.com/bpl1960/ClimateSensitivity.html

Ian Forrester

Nobody ridiculed or defamed Arrenius. I said his calculations overestimated C02 sensitivity, which they did. That you have invented a fantasy whereby by a simple statement of fact leads to comments like "defame", "SOB", "liar", etc., speaks volumes about you Ian, but says nothing about me.

For decades, Arrhenius's results were largely overlooked and definitely outside the scientific consensus on climate at the time. My point is a scientific consensus can be in serious error for a substantial period of time, as the example of Arrhenius illustrates.

Paul S/G you are lying again. Read what you posted: you said: "And why was Arrhenius rejected by the scientific consensus for so many years?" A comment like that, in conjunction with other comments you have made, makes it very easy for anyone to see that your objective was to "ridicule and defame" him.

As I said many times his work on CO2 sensitivity was never "rejected". Good grief you cannot even read and understand what you wrote. Your whole tone was that the work of Arrhenius was wrong and was wrongly supported by the climate scientists.

Why do you hate science and scientists so much?

My comments still stand. You are a worthless piece of human flotsam. How anyone with absolutely no knowledge in the area can deliberately ridicule a famous and well regarded scientist is just beyond belief.

Ian Forrester

I really hate to interrupt, but...
doesn't the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report state:
"Values substantially higher than 4.5C cannot be excluded, but agreement of models with observations is not as good for those values."?
Perhaps Arrhenius did not overestimate...

Carry on...

Ahem...

You mean the Fourth IPCC Statement for Policy Makers, they have yet to release an official report....to busy tweaking it to match what politicians want it to say.

carry on....

So you're a min- reader Ian too, good for you. You make inferences from your own deep-seated prejudices, at least own up to them.

A judge in any courtroom in the land would laugh you out onto the street with your claim that my objective was to "ridicule and defame" Arrhenius. The judge would say: "We don't take claims of being a mind-reader seriously in this courtroom."

To recap, I stated that Arrhenius was rejected by the climate consensus of the day, which he was. Yet you place the utmost faith in consensus science. Yet as the example of Arrhenius demonstrates, consensus science has, on occasion, been glaringly wrong.

Proof once again...

Rule #1 of the GW Religion...

1. Don't discuss the science
2. Attack the person
3. Repeat the Mantra

BTW, how much $$$ do you stand to lose if this AGW thing goes away???

Oops...sorry,

That reply was meant for Ian F.

Paul S/G, is the one who refuses to argue the science. Making unsourced negative comments about science and scientists is not part of the scientific method.

Ian Forrester

Paul S/G, I am no mind reader, especially of one as nasty as yours. I was not "reading your mind" I was only quoting what you said and putting it into context with the rest of your anti scientist rants.

If, as you claim, Arrhenius was “rejected by the scientific consensus” I assume you have many sources for this information. After all, consensus implies that there must be many thousands of scientists who wrote papers showing his work on CO2 sensitivity to be false. Yet you cannot even show us one (not that one would prove anything anyway since you refer to a consensus).

You are a phoney, arrogant and hypocritical fool trying to turn the minds of naive people against science. You are part of what Chris Mooney calls the “War on Science”.

Ian Forrester

'After all, consensus implies that there must be many thousands of scientists who wrote papers showing his work on CO2 sensitivity to be false.

Arrhenius proposed his greenhouse theory regarding rising C02 concentrations a century ago. The greenhouse concept did not gain "consensus" status until decades afterwards.

It was not Arrhenius whom was wrong, but that the consensus of the day did not accept the greenhouse concept as being the most valid theory regarding climate.

You constantly promote the consensus viewpoint of science Ian, yet a consensus can be wrong for decades only slowing evolving to accept what had been a minority viewpoint which had basically been correct all along.

Since Arrhenius was basically correct all along, why did it take the consensus so long to get it right? And why should people automatically defer to the "scientific consensus" when it has, at times, been glaringly in error in the past?

Try and go easy on the ad homs when responding.

Paul, you show your ignorance every time you fantasize about "the consensus of the day" for a historical period about which you know nothing.

What are you saying VJ? That the consensus of the time (say pre-1950s) included Arrehenius? Careful now, I would say it is your ignorance that is showing.

You are a dishonest fool. You know nothing about the thought of the time.

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