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April 21, 2005

Comments

Al

Big Gay, the issue with "do gooders" is the result isn't always good, it's that THEY THINK they are doing good. So it's an arrogance. What right to they have in pushing stories that THEY THINK advance something "good?"
Do you see what I mean?

Big Gav

Al - I doubt anyone sees what you mean - I certainly don't.

How about stories on global warming - they are doing good - in that they attempt to stop us causing catastrophic changes to our climate - do you think they are evidence of liberal bias ?

And thanks for the homosexual taunt too - very mature of you.

Ran Talbott

"I doubt anyone sees what you mean"

It's not that obscure: if journalists skew what they report based on whether it will influence people to make the "good" choice, rather than trying to ensure that readers have enough information to make an informed choice, they become partisans for whatever they've decided is "good", instead of "reporters".

It's a legitimate argument. It just doesn't happen to be supported by any evidence that it happens all that much in the major American media.

"And thanks for the homosexual taunt too - very mature of you."

It is, actually. Or, at least, "old": the youngster who decided that it looked "really kewl" to put posters' names in tiny light green type on a white background apparently didn't notice that the underlining makes it easy for oldfarts with less-than-perfect vision to see a "v" as a "y".

It's not quite as bad as the dark-blue-on-black that seems to be growing in popularity. But, if there is a just God, they're all going to spend Eternity proofreading insurance policies by candlelight.

Al

Big Gav, I'm sorry, It looked like a "y"! I am very sorry! (I kind of feel like this related to Meet the Fokkers!) I appologize!

Back to the subject, yes, Global Warming is a perfect subject. How long has it been in the news? 10 years? 15 years? The linkage has always been that it's man's fault and the evidence of that is faulty at best. Is there warming? Maybe. There is a whole complex of people that make a living by collecting grant money to prove "global warming." The goal is to perpetuate it and it is not to find the truth. When a scientists comes out and says there is no evidience of GW or man's activities related to it can't be proven, the scientist is soon trashed.
The media have been lapdogs for this and whoever came up with GW has to be happy that the "do gooders" have kept it alive.

Don't get me wrong, there may be Global Warming. On the other hand, I wouldn't think of blaming humans until I know more about the multitude of cycles that the Earth is subject to. Weather patterns are complex. Solar activity isn't understood. Temperature readings over the oceans are only recently accurate (they used to measure water temperature (at what depth?) and apply some "factor" to estimate air temperature. With 2/3 of the Earth covered in water, I would think that some of the numbers are suspect and there are thousands, if not, millions of missing readings over the many years.)

Anyways, the reality is grant money for scientists and the efforts of the "do gooders" who need stories to stay in business (and what better story than one that is unproven and can be perpetuated for years and years?) have kept it alive.

Many of you may disagree, but what percentage of what I just said is right? In other words, part of the reason GW has been in the news is related to some of the grant monies that fund scientists and some of the efforts of the "do gooders" in the media. All I ask is that people recognize some of these issues and apply some percentages.

Here's an article about some Canadian who spent $5,000 of his own money checking the data behind some of the key climate research. He has found huge problems. Instead of fixing the system, the guy is under attack. http://online.wsj.com/article_print/0,,SB110834031507653590,00.html

Anna

RealClimate.org - " a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. " - probably a better place to get info on climate science than here.

Al

Hi Anna, I'm not a climate expert, but there were glaciers in Illinois (I'm from Chicago) thousands of years ago. I'm not directing this question to you, but were humans to "blame"?

I can answer this: no.

Big Gav

Al - no worries about the "Gay" thing - Ran is right - that font isn't the best for tired eyes.

As for global warming, I'm afraid your comments are really far from the reality of the situation - and in this case there is clear scientific evidence of what the truth of the matter is, unlike a lot of other, perhaps more subjective, issues.

I second the "RealClimate" recommendation, which is a site run by a group of real climate scientists to explain a lot of misunderstandings people have about global warming.

The scientific concensus on climate change is overwhelming - the world is getting warmer (ie. the average global temperature is increasing) and that human industrial activity is respoinsible. An excellent history of climate science can be found at the American Institute of Physics. In summary climate science has steadily evolved over the past 100 years to attain a level of understanding about how climate changes and what factors affect it.

A recent survey by Science Magazine of the last ten years’ published scientific articles (articles from non-peer-reviewed publications were not counted) on the subject of global climate change showed that, of the 928 papers they found, 75% accepted that global warming was caused by human activities, either explicitly or implicitly. 25% made no mention either way. And not a single paper asserted otherwise.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the global body respomsible for studying climate change - and their recommendations were the cause of the action that led to the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol - a very small step towards beginning to deal with the problems that are heading our way. Every developed country has accepted the reality of global warming and signed up to this treay - with 2 exceptions - the US (the world's largest polluter and one whose goverment is heavily supported by the fossil fuel industry) and, I'm ashamed to say, Australia (our largest export earner is coal and naturally coal mining companies are large political contributors).

For most people, the scientific evidence of global warming is overwhelming (as is the evidence of their own eyes, for people living in polar regions and other affected areas like Australia). Even the insurance industry and some of the more enlightened members of the oil industry, such as Lord Oxburgh, the chairman of Shell recognise the urgency of the situation. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been very vocal that the most important issue facing the world this year is global warming. Even Bush family capo James Baker has felt the need to warn the oil industry that this is going to have to be addressed.

There was a good recent feature in "Mother Jones" (a rare example of an actual "liberal media" outlet) about how these misunderstandings about global warming arise - which is very relevant to this post, as its been due to a very deliberate and targeted PR campaign.

This campaign has been backed by companies (particularly Exxon and the National Coal Association) whose earnings are at risk if action is taken to stem global warming - a classic case of short-term profit and capital preservation considerations for a few taking precedence over the welfare of the rest of the planet. The campaign is mainly organised by a variety of astroturf organisations that they fund in order to sow doubt and uncertainty. These organisations are even spreading their wings to countries like the UK and Australia - have a read of these articles for some background - Under-informed, over here and Oil firms fund campaign to deny climate change.

Source Watch keeps track of what is going on in this particular disinformation campaign.

Al

Big Gav, as I said, there is a environmental complex that is dependent on doom and gloom theories like GW. Consider your Science magazine survey. You said that 75% of 928 papers support that GW is caused by human activity. I will bet that every single one of those papers advocates that additional study is needed. Who paid for those papers? Grant money! How many grants do you think were made to people trying to disprove GW??? GW is a conventional wisdom notion with a shaky foundation. As I said before, there could be GW, but I want to see real evidence. The environmental activists have the issue so polarized that any real science is squashed. Any time someone questions the science, they are ostracized. There is no debate, GW is almost a religion to these people.

I'd also say that the IPPC is loaded with activists who have a direct benefit of sustaining the notion of GW. Just as the oil companies want to maintain that there is no GW, the IPPC has to say there is GW and they have to say that humans are the culprit. Scientists have been building models for for many years. You only hear about the models that produce temperature increases - otherwise the model is deemed invalid. When that private citizen questioned the "hockey stick" model that drives a lot of this thinking, the guy was attacked.
Again, there may be GW, but the politics have so overwhelmed the science that we should all demand some better non-political science.

Here's a link to some PR training for these "objective scientists": link

Here's a link from the Telegraph entitled "Personal view: The science behind climate change forecasts adds up to a lot of hot air" link

Here's a story on Michael Crichton's research. link
A quote: "I'm saying that environmental organizations are fomenting false fears in order to promote agendas and raise money," he said.

Big Gav

A great scientific conspiracy hey ? And they are doing it for money ?

Have you ever worked in the energy industry ? Have you ever met a climate scientist ? I've done both - and I'll let you in on a little secret - those of us who work in the energy industry make a lot more money. The companies we work for make infinitely more (or at least several orders of magnitude more) money than the climate science community does.

Climate scientists (believe it or not) don't want to do more study. They know what is happening. The evidence is irrefutable now. Global warming deniers often say that more science is required as the issue isn't clear (playing into the hands of the fiendish scientific plot !) - but I'm sure every climate scientist on the planet would retire tomorrow if that was the price they had to pay for the world to take action on global warming.

Don't believe me - believe James Baker and Lord Oxburgh.

Maybe this article will give you a few clues - http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=1993

Denial isn't a river in Egypt.

Al

Big Gav, I rest my case. You can't build policy on articles like that. Maybe it's funny, but it's silly too.

As I said a few times, maybe there is global warming, but it's unclear whether humans are a partial cause. As we all know, the Earth has gone through many warming and cooling periods and that there are a myriad of other cycles that affect temperatures. We don't know the details. We surely didn't know many years ago when the doom and gloom environmentalists (I'm singling out the activists) started this. What evidence did they have then? They are perpetuating perceived problems and they are overwhelming the scientific efforts with their agenda. A lazy and willing press keeps this in the news.

As I said, all I ask is that people realize that a portion of the hysteria is a result of these activists having an agenda and doing everything in their power to maintain their grant monies.

It's unrealistic and naive to think that all of these people are so selfless. They have an agenda. It's easy for people to think that the oil companies have an agenda, why not the other side?!?!

Big Gav

So what is the agenda of James Baker when he says global warming real and must be dealt with ?

What is the agenda of Lord Oxburgh when he says global warming real and must be dealt with ?

What is the agenda of Tony Blair when he says global warming real and must be dealt with ?

What is the agenda of Paul Anderson (CEO of Duke Energy) when he says global warming real and must be dealt with ?

What you are saying amounts to a nutty conspiracy theory - nothing more, nothing less. If you don't understand the science of global warming (and I think its pretty clear you don't), then maybe you shouldn't cast aspersions in the direction of the scientific community.

Al

From my Blackberry while waiting to pick up some picture framing...Big Gav, all I'm saying is follow the money. The enviro-complex is run by money. I don't know everyone's exact motivation, but the money side overwhelms any common sense. On the science side, it's grant money and the like. The science has been hijaacked. Take a look at the links I put in a previous post.

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