Yale Economist William Nordhaus disses global warming deniers
February 29, 2012 6:13 PM   Subscribe

In January, 16 scientists and/or engineers wrote an opinion piece in the WSJ. This is the response of one of the academics cited in their piece: William Nordhaus. According to the 16 scientists/engineers, Nordhaus recommended no action on climate change for 50 years. But he didn't. The opinion piece has generated controversy among climate scientists as well.
posted by blueberry sushi (19 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
http://a.yfrog.com/img878/1989/x97ke.jpg
posted by uosuaq at 6:30 PM on February 29, 2012 [27 favorites]


Pearls, meet swine.
posted by nzero at 6:53 PM on February 29, 2012


An excellent summary.

Previous thread on the WSJ op-ed. The full text (PDF) of Nordhaus's book A Question of Balance.
posted by russilwvong at 7:07 PM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I heard what you were saying. You know nothing of my work. [...] How you got to [write a WSJ op-ed] in anything is totally amazing.

I guess sometimes sometimes life is like that?
posted by mhum at 7:08 PM on February 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


A perfectly cromulent response, but unfortunately the left-wing bias of "facts" is well-established at this point. The time for intelligent debate has long past.
posted by mek at 7:25 PM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


WAIT. Svante Arrhenius predicted greenhouse gas effect?

Man, I've loved that guy since I first learned about the Arrhenius acids/bases theories back in high school O-Chem.
posted by Slackermagee at 7:40 PM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Svante Arrhenius predicted greenhouse gas effect?

No, he worked it out, with a pencil in a hut in the arctic.

Fourier predicted it in 1824, Tyndall proved it in 1859.

Intellectual giants all.
posted by wilful at 8:08 PM on February 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


Can we get these seventeen scientists in a rap battle?

That would be good.

Sorry to hijack. I've had German beer tonight.
posted by entropone at 8:14 PM on February 29, 2012


While always laudatory of the petrochemical industries, the WSJ has now been a Murdoch property for the last five years. Only their Grey-Lady reputation has kept them from the level of derision of their sister corporation, Fox News.

Unfortunately it will take many years before it comes to be recognised for what it is: right wing propaganda for the wealthy. Until that time its reputation will continue to haunt us.
posted by clarknova at 8:23 PM on February 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


It is seeming inevitable to me that millions - or a lot more than that - will die because of these filthy liars

I think we've gotten beyond rationality. I think it's important we start emphasizing to these criminals that when it is proven that they have lied and led us off the cliff, that they will pay the penalty that any mass murderer should expect to pay.

I hope I live to see some of these people dangling from lamp posts, ravens pecking out their eyes.

Due process mind you! Trial first, then execution!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:19 PM on February 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


This was a really fascinating article--so clear and well-written. William Nordhaus is a legend.

On the other hand, I can't even believe how transparent that "opinion" piece is. Scrolling down and reading the authors first, I was also unsurprised by the professors listed, judging very superficially on their appointments.
posted by nonmerci at 9:51 PM on February 29, 2012


On the other hand, I can't even believe how transparent that "opinion" piece is. Scrolling down and reading the authors first, I was also unsurprised by the professors listed, judging very superficially on their appointments.

Seeing Burt Rutan's name on the deniers letter was a serious disappointment
posted by crayz at 10:50 PM on February 29, 2012


Nordhaus's piece is fantastic. The real shame about the WSJ op-ed is that it gives the impression of controversy among climate scientists where in reality there is pretty widespread agreement. A few dissenting voices does not make for scientific controversy. The fact that there are some scientists who reject descent with modification through natural selection does not mean there is a controversy in biology. As with evolutionary theory, the controversy is political, not scientific.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 11:08 PM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh my God, I love a scathing, well-footnoted rebuttal. "You, Sirs, do not know what the FUCK you are talking about," only in deadly polite, cold hard sharp academic skewering steel. Thanks for posting this.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:13 PM on February 29, 2012


Rupert Murdoch and Dick Cheney Back Oil Shale Company
posted by benzenedream at 11:14 PM on February 29, 2012


This made me pause:

Indeed, academics have often been subject to harsh political attacks when their views clashed with current political or religious teachings. This is the case in economics today, where Keynesian economists are attacked for their advocacy of “fiscal stimulus” to promote recovery from a deep recession; and in biology, where evolutionary biologists are attacked as atheists because they are steadfast in their findings that the earth is billions rather than thousands of years old.

That's a brilliant point to make here, that obstinacy against Keynesian principles isn't ideological, but political, just as it was with teaching evolution to kids or, indeed, making a case for AGW. Makes you wonder what well-established scientific principle is next in line here.
posted by the cydonian at 12:48 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have been writing a nontechnical book for people who would like to see how market-based approaches could be used to formulate policy on climate change. When I showed an early draft to colleagues, their response was that I had left out the arguments of skeptics about climate change, and I accordingly addressed this at length.

Any market-based solution would automatically take into account not only the arguments of skeptics, but any factual errors on the part of zealots. That's the friggin' beauty of a market-based solution: it takes in all the information available and sets prices based on that.

If the zealots are wrong, the skeptics profit. And if the zealots are right, then the skeptics go out of business.
posted by three blind mice at 2:31 AM on March 1, 2012


I hope I live to see some of these people dangling from lamp posts, ravens pecking out their eyes.

My cockles, they are warmed.
posted by clarknova at 2:23 AM on March 3, 2012


Scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson Patiently Explains How Science Works To GOP Businessman On Real Time
posted by homunculus at 11:51 AM on March 3, 2012


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