Skip

Climategate?
December 9, 2009 1:07 PM   Subscribe

The public's opinion of the field of climatology has been shaken by the leaked CRU emails. While it's arguable that the messages show any wrongdoing, many pundits have now reached the conclusion that global warming is a hoax, coverup and conspiracy, years in the making with millions of faked datapoints. Sarah Palin has written an editorial saying Obama should boycott the Copenhagen COP15 summit.
posted by mccarty.tim (270 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
And?
posted by odinsdream at 1:10 PM on December 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's funny how the emails were leaked right before this big environmental summit. Almost as if there was some kind of conspiracy...
posted by demiurge at 1:10 PM on December 9, 2009 [11 favorites]




The most powerful nation on Earth, populated by the, seemingly, most simple-minded people on Earth.
What could go wrong?
posted by Thorzdad at 1:12 PM on December 9, 2009 [57 favorites]


Those emails must have been pretty damning to change the minds of so many pundits...oh, I see, it's the same old "skeptics."

Never mind.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 1:13 PM on December 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


Jebus. Can we, as a society, now allow that woman to sink into the mudhole of ignominious obscurity, as history and decency demand?
posted by darkstar at 1:13 PM on December 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


Is there any flavor of bullshit that woman won't get behind?
posted by brundlefly at 1:16 PM on December 9, 2009 [11 favorites]


I know I am going to get crucified 8 different ways for this, but...

Apparently, 140 extra private jets and 1200 extra limos will be brought in for this environmental summit. "The eleven-day conference, including the participants' travel, will create a total of 41,000 tonnes of "carbon dioxide equivalent", equal to the amount produced over the same period by a city the size of Middlesbrough."

I picked this up on Facebook, where I was a bit nervous to see violent comments (i.e. "kill is the operative word") directed at environmentalists.
posted by bunnycup at 1:16 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


While it's arguable that the messages show any wrongdoing, many pundits have now reached the conclusion that global warming is a hoax, coverup and conspiracy, years in the making with millions of faked datapoints.

You mean that "many pundits have taken emails out of context to prove what they have been paid to pretend to believe all along."
posted by muddgirl at 1:18 PM on December 9, 2009 [25 favorites]


Apparently, 140 extra private jets and 1200 extra limos will be brought in for this environmental summit. "The eleven-day conference, including the participants' travel, will create a total of 41,000 tonnes of "carbon dioxide equivalent", equal to the amount produced over the same period by a city the size of Middlesbrough."

This just in! Lots of people getting together uses resources! Stop the presses!

Ahhh I get it, because they are discussing the environment, if they use any resources we can tar and feather them as hypocrites, ignore the work, and pat ourselves on the back for getting in another zinger before dinner.

Thanks, 24-hour news cycle.
posted by Theta States at 1:20 PM on December 9, 2009 [72 favorites]


Hm. Climate change is a hoax, evolution is "just a theory", vaccines cause autism. Ok then.
posted by Trielli at 1:20 PM on December 9, 2009 [17 favorites]


"The revelation of appalling actions by so-called climate change experts allows the American public to finally understand the concerns so many of us have articulated on this issue."

THEY ARE CALLED EXPERTS BECAUSE THEY HAVE EXPERTISE AND SPENT MANY YEARS OF THEIR LIVES STUDYING AND LEARNING A THING

THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM QUITTING EVERYTHING YOU START AND RELYING ON YOUR LOOKS AND A BUNCH OF HALF-ASS JESUS-TALK TO TRICK A STATE FILLED WITH NOTHING BUT ESCAPED PEDOPHILES AND FUR TRAPPERS INTO WRITING "BOOB LADY" ON THE BALLOT

YOU WERE THE GOVERNOR OF A STATE WITH SO FEW PEOPLE THE CENSUS TAKERS JUST ASKED FOR A SHOW OF HANDS

GO AWAY FOREVER OH NO MY EYEBALLS JUST EXPLODED
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:20 PM on December 9, 2009 [159 favorites]


Hunh. Who's Sarah Palin?
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:21 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


The writer was the 2008 Republican nominee for vice president and governor of Alaska from 2006 to 2009.

They misspelled 'climatologist' there.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:22 PM on December 9, 2009 [25 favorites]


Don't you mean "debatable whether", not "arguable that"?
posted by dunkadunc at 1:24 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


equal to the amount produced over the same period by a city the size of Middlesbrough.

Although I've got to believe it's less than is generated over the same period by Middlesbrough specifically, which is basically just chimneys and motorways. But also, as noted, the fact that the Copenhagen summit has a big carbon footprint is profoundly irrelevant. Indeed, if any carbon footprint is justified it's surely the one that has some hope, however thin at this point, of causing a massive reduction in the world's carbon footprint.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 1:24 PM on December 9, 2009 [7 favorites]


"....But what exactly does it all mean?

I think two issues arise. The first concerns organizational behavior, and is a genuine problem. It receives little notice. he second is whether any of this is relevant to the global warming issue. This is unfortunately the most important, because ignorant people (and worse) have claimed the hacked emails demonstrate dishonesty and fraud by scientists regarding the most important issue of our day.

The misuse of emails taken entirely out of context by people who literally do not know what they are talking about is fully exposed in a great Youtube broadcast that I hope every denier of global warming denier will take the time to watch. I think the rest of us should take a look as well - it's entertaining as well as devastating and as a side benefit, demonstrates the utter intellectual bankruptcy of the right.

What is the real issue here? People associated with ­­­global warming research acted unethically in trying to suppress articles they disagreed with. They tried to keep control of their data, and often referred to opponents in disparaging terms. In short, they acted as members of almost any organization tend to act when under intense hostile pressure from the outside: they confused their organization's well-being with the mission the organization was established to accomplish. They fell into an 'us vs. them' mentality.

Ironically the most intelligent condemnations of this failing have come from fellow scientists and the science press. The Nov. 28 issue of New Scientist takes them to task for abuses of scientific ethics. Meanwhile right wing sources have continued to make their case with breathtaking dishonesty.

But does any of this bear on the global warming issue? No. No more than corrupt and dishonest Catholic bishops discredit spirituality." *
posted by ericb at 1:24 PM on December 9, 2009 [20 favorites]


I don't think that 'radical environmentalists' is the same dog-whistle in the lower 48.
posted by box at 1:25 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I still don't get why people are always so mad when someone says they should burn less fossil fuels. Global warming seems the the version of Pascal's Wager that actually makes sense.
posted by GuyZero at 1:27 PM on December 9, 2009 [10 favorites]


bunnycup: Apparently, 140 extra private jets and 1200 extra limos will be brought in for this environmental summit. "The eleven-day conference, including the participants' travel, will create a total of 41,000 tonnes of "carbon dioxide equivalent", equal to the amount produced over the same period by a city the size of Middlesbrough."

See but the thing is, the people who are point at that and also saying 'Al Gore spends so much on heating his house! GRAR' are the exact same people who say that 1200 extra limos and 140 extra jets burning fuel doesn't affect the environment at all. So either they think that saying 'Al Gore has a carbon footprint' is the same thing as discrediting millions of pieces of scientific data, or they don't actually care how many jets and limos and stuff are anywhere at any time for any reason, and they're just being dicks.

Actually, these options are not mutually exclusive.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:27 PM on December 9, 2009 [10 favorites]


Fighting against climate change denialists these days is like trying to fight a wildfire with a garden hose. There's so many different things you have to debunk and as soon as you debunk a few you're usually coming full circle back to the first one. Then you have the NWO nutjobs who believe this is some sort of powergrab by the ultra-rich elite and by then all sense of rational argument has gone down the shithole.
posted by Talez at 1:29 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's arrogant meddling. This is what got us in trouble in the first place.
posted by squalor at 1:29 PM on December 9, 2009


They are offsetting with a project in Bangladesh.
posted by idb at 1:29 PM on December 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


The public's opinion of the field of climatology has been shaken by the leaked CRU emails.

Has it? Seems to me the only people who see any sort of scandal there are the ones who are already of the opinion to which they would be converted.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:30 PM on December 9, 2009 [9 favorites]


I wonder who actually wrote that.
posted by thirteenkiller at 1:30 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy.
"A fascinating essay about how big business, working alongside Hill & Knowlton, among others, manufactured fake doubt about the link between tobacco and cancer, the danger of CFCs to the ozone lawyer, and now climate change. It's long, comprehensive, and very good."*
posted by ericb at 1:30 PM on December 9, 2009 [9 favorites]


So either they think that saying 'Al Gore has a carbon footprint' is the same thing as discrediting millions of pieces of scientific data, or they don't actually care how many jets and limos and stuff are anywhere at any time for any reason, and they're just being dicks.

I am torn. Yes, I think they are just being dicks, it's a smoke and mirrors sort of a "hey look over there!" thing. On the one hand yes, obviously resources have to be used to have the summit. On the other hand, there are a few opportunities to reduce emissions associated with it and taking them would have been good PR, particularly in the current "Climategate".

On preview: Thanks for that link idb; I can't get it to load yet but will definitely read, and maybe counter back to the family members mentioned in my earlier post.
posted by bunnycup at 1:33 PM on December 9, 2009


Yes, and Sarah Palin thinks the Earth is only 5000 years old. So why should I pay any more attention to her than I to the street crazy screaming on the street right now?
posted by Relay at 1:33 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]




For those who remain unconvinced of the mendacity of the climatologist cabal, read the emails where George Soros and Al Gore lay out the details of their nefarious scheme:

1. Cunningly conspire with climatology cronies to create crooked composite constructions of a cooking climate.

2. ???

3. Global dictatorship of the proletariat.

It's all there in black and white if you care to look at all, but I'm not going to do your homework for you and provide a link.
posted by [citation needed] at 1:33 PM on December 9, 2009 [13 favorites]




Yeah, first thing I heard about this I thought, "well, the facts don't matter at this point. The soundbite -- 'leaked emails prove scientists made up global warming' -- is out there. Damage is done."
posted by edheil at 1:35 PM on December 9, 2009




I think it's painfully ironic that the people arguing that climate change is real are accused of dishonesty
posted by Erberus at 1:36 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Gawker, Tim Lambert's Deltoid Science Blog and The Atlantic all posted rebuttals/debunkings this morning.
posted by zarq at 1:38 PM on December 9, 2009


I find it helpful when Sarah Palin weighs in on something. Especially when it's something that I might be on the fence about. A word from the former Alaskan governor turned facebook status update poster will instantly push my opinion to the exact opposite of hers.

(NOTE: I was never on the fence about the climate change problem.)
posted by eyeballkid at 1:38 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry, those leaked emails make me think that this whole thing is largely if not completely political.

Maybe there's global warming, maybe not. But if that particular group of scientists told me the sky was blue I'd go outside and look for myself.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:39 PM on December 9, 2009


Ultimately I'm not sure this even matters because, let's face it, the climate change deniers didn't give a shit about what scientists said before all this nonsense. Since when does whatever the experts say -- one way or another -- have any bearing on their stance?
posted by Legomancer at 1:39 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sara Palin should be decrying people's email getting hacked, that's what Sara Palin should be doing goddamn writin' editorials about Copenhagen she ain't even been outside the damn country shit Copenhagen ain't some goddamn brand of chewing tobacco you ain't even no what you're protestin'
posted by boo_radley at 1:39 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's all there in black and white if you care to look at all, but I'm not going to do your homework for you and provide a link.
posted by [citation needed]


Eponysterical.
posted by zarq at 1:39 PM on December 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


It's all there in black and white if you care to look at all, but I'm not going to do your homework for you and provide a link.
posted by [citation needed] at 1:33 PM on December 9 [+] [!]


Eponysterical.
posted by axiom at 1:39 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Damn you, zarq!
posted by axiom at 1:39 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fox News fudges poll numbers to claim 120 percent of the public believes scientists falsify global warming data.

Wow. That poll has an extra helping of fail on top of Fox's graphics department not being able to add. Every option includes a magnitude of "likely". It's no different than Stephen Colbert's "George W. Bush: great president or greatest president?" bit.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:42 PM on December 9, 2009



Yes, and Sarah Palin thinks the Earth is only 5000 years old. So why should I pay any more attention to her than I to the street crazy screaming on the street right now?


Care to back that up with a link or a citation?

Probably not, I'm sure.
posted by rulethirty at 1:43 PM on December 9, 2009


Some rabid source code analysis. Somehow, it goes from demonstrating questionable data treatment in one model, to "omg global warming is a fraud". There's also reasonable analysis on the other side pointing out the adjustment in question is never used in computations.

On the other hand, the NASA models have been available to read for ages without any citations of cooking the books I know of.
posted by pwnguin at 1:43 PM on December 9, 2009


Maybe there's global warming, maybe not. But if that particular group of scientists told me the sky was blue I'd go outside and look for myself.

That's great. That's probably the best attitude to have about all claims scientists make. However, once you get outside and notice that the sky is, in fact, blue then it's pretty much time to get on board that particular train.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:43 PM on December 9, 2009 [21 favorites]


The banks are preparing to do with carbon what they’ve done before: design and market derivatives contracts that will help client companies hedge their price risk over the long term. They’re also ready to sell carbon-related financial products to outside investors.
[Blythe] Masters says banks must be allowed to lead the way if a mandatory carbon-trading system is going to help save the planet at the lowest possible cost. And derivatives related to carbon must be part of the mix, she says. Derivatives are securities whose value is derived from the value of an underlying commodity -- in this case, CO2 and other greenhouse gases...
Who is Blythe Masters?
She is the JP Morgan employee who invented credit default swaps, and is now heading JPM's carbon trading efforts.



Not that I like http://www.heritage.org/Press/FactSheet/fs0027.cfm but:
It Will Be Highly Susceptible to Fraud and Corruption

However, two EPA lawyers with more than 40 years of cumulative experience - including the guy who has been head of California's cap and trade offset programs for more than 20 years - say that sulfur dioxide was different, and that cap and trade for climate is a scam which only benefits the financial players.

Less than 30 pence in every pound spent on some carbon offset schemes goes directly to projects designed to reduce emissions, according to a new report.

Like I await the CO2 is not a problem group explain what is to be done about the acidification of the oceans, I ask the lets make CO2 a money problem exactly how they are going to prevent fraud and abuse.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:44 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Damn you, zarq!

Bless you. :)
posted by zarq at 1:44 PM on December 9, 2009


I guess also what bugs me is that the the leaked emails were from the University of East Anglia. In, you know, the U.K. Which Barack Obama ain't president of. So Palin's editorial is "America should boycott the conference because of actions taken by English researchers".
posted by boo_radley at 1:49 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Tell people what they want to hear and they'll listen.
posted by normy at 1:49 PM on December 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


But if that particular group of scientists told me the sky was blue I'd likely go outside and look for myself.

Also, have we seen any of these so-called scientists' birth certificates yet?

CLIMATE CHANGE IZ KENYAN!!1
posted by joe lisboa at 1:50 PM on December 9, 2009 [14 favorites]


Al Gore rebuts Palin's climate change claims.

man, that rebuttal was nothing like what I was expecting.

I was expecting him to say "You've gotta be fucking kidding me."
posted by shmegegge at 1:50 PM on December 9, 2009 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty sure [citation needed] has a pretty solid eponysterical shtick, you guys. You probably don't need to point it out every single time.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:51 PM on December 9, 2009 [7 favorites]


rulethirty: "Yes, and Sarah Palin thinks the Earth is only 5000 years old. So why should I pay any more attention to her than I to the street crazy screaming on the street right now?

Care to back that up with a link or a citation?

Probably not, I'm sure.
"

Soon after Sarah Palin was elected mayor of the foothill town of Wasilla, Alaska, she startled a local music teacher by insisting in casual conversation that men and dinosaurs coexisted on an Earth created 6,000 years ago -- about 65 million years after scientists say most dinosaurs became extinct -- the teacher said.

Sarah Palin and the rest of the tea party crowd (and, increasingly, the non-elite members of the Republican Party) are defined by anti-intellectualism. This is not new.
posted by jckll at 1:51 PM on December 9, 2009 [29 favorites]


Has the population of polar bears really doubled, as Sarah Palin says? Or is that just an out-and-out lie?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 1:51 PM on December 9, 2009


I find it incredible anyone takes these people seriously.
  • These people believe a heavily doctored video tape from very partisan filmmakers that ACORN is advising prostitutes how to lie on their taxes without question.
  • They believe some out of context emails that are leaked by Russian hackers are without doubt proof that all climate data is faked.
  • But they won't believe the government officials that presented Obama's Hawaii birth certificate even with collaborating newspaper clippings from when he was born.
posted by inthe80s at 1:52 PM on December 9, 2009 [11 favorites]


Even if Climate Change was revealed to be a hoax, I would still try to live a life of responsibility toward the environment.

What galls me are the utter douchelords who shout "HURR HURR, SEE? ITS A HOAX SO I CAN KEEP DRIVIN MY HUMMER HURR HURR."

And yes, I know a few of these douchelords.
posted by Ratio at 1:52 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry, those leaked emails make me think that this whole thing is largely if not completely political.

People like you are the reason swiftboating works: You take the appearance of controversy and decide the truth is somewhere in the middle, instead of finding out what's actually true. You allow yourself to be pushed around by manufactured controversy, particularly if it suits your inclinations.

Maybe there's global warming, maybe not. But if that particular group of scientists told me the sky was blue I'd go outside and look for myself.

Good thing those particular scientists are only a few of vast multitudes who are also saying the sky is blue.
posted by fatbird at 1:52 PM on December 9, 2009 [38 favorites]


Like I await the CO2 is not a problem group explain what is to be done about the acidification of the oceans, I ask the lets make CO2 a money problem exactly how they are going to prevent fraud and abuse.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:44 PM on December 9


what
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:53 PM on December 9, 2009


Sorry, those leaked emails make me think that this whole thing is largely if not completely political.

Hate to break it to you, but all science is "political", if your definition of political means "scientists get funded when the can produce results, and don't get funded if they can't".

Throwing out the mounds and mounds and mounds of evidence for anthropogenic climate change because a couple scientists had a dud study is, frankly, very short-sighted. Sometimes scientists are just bad at setting up studies. Sometimes there are unknown factors that weren't considered. It doesn't mean the scientists are lying, or that there's some nefarious conspiracy to, I don't know, save the planet or some shit. In fact, this whole debacle proves quite the opposite. There IS a motivation for large companies to conspire to discredit any evidence that will affect their bottom line.
posted by muddgirl at 1:53 PM on December 9, 2009 [5 favorites]




It's funny how the emails were leaked right before this big environmental summit. Almost as if there was some kind of conspiracy...

There's speculation that the Russian secret service was behind the hack. The files were first published in Tomsk in Siberia, and hackers there have been used by the FSB in the past to attack websites (DDOS etc) that were critical of the State. Plus the emails were deliberately picked out of context to put as bad a spin on it as possible, no trivial job. That Russia makes an awful lot of money from fossil fuel exports to Europe would give them a motive to try and wring concessions from Copenhagen, and limit the limits placed upon fossil fuel use.

Meanwhile, the leaked draft text by the Dutch hosts (the Tuvalu protocol) has split opinion deeply in the developing world; The protocol could lead to much greater carbon restrictions upon the developing world than Kyoto, while the developed nations escape with lesser restrictions. When the developed nations are responsible for a substantial majority of the extra CO2 released to date, this has proved divisive.

Two days ago, 56 newspapers in 45 countries carried the same editorial in 20 languages including Chinese, Arabic and Russian, many on the front page - 'Fourteen days to seal history's judgment on this generation' - calling for decisive action on climate change. The Miami Herald was the only U.S. English-language paper to carry the editorial. The Guardian deputy editor Ian Katz drew the parallel between the reluctance of the U.S. to support the Kyoto Protocol, and the reluctance of editors to support the common editorial in an article about how the climate change global editorial project came about.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:54 PM on December 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


Al Gore rebuts Palin's climate change claims.

Dear God, why? Why would Gore dignify with a rebuttal anything that vapid bint excretes from her shrill noise-hole?
posted by Ratio at 1:55 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


BuddhaInABucket: "Has the population of polar bears really doubled, as Sarah Palin says? Or is that just an out-and-out lie?"

out
and out
lie
posted by jckll at 1:56 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yes. The leaders of the free world should be forced to take sailing ships across various oceans, taking weeks of valuable time, and then finally when they make landfall either bike, hike, or gallop on horse back to Copenhagen.

Then, 19 months from now, when they return to the rioting burned out husks of their former countries they then can set about fighting the mutant armies f anarchy as they march through the ruins back to their smoldering capitols.

Look. Palin is not going anywhere. She is making bank as the world most obnoxiously folksy quitter. But she has learned that it's most rewarding to be in politics for one thing - money. Deep down, though she is a "believer" and stupid as shit, GOP ideology is second to the Cult of Sarah. Fame and cash trump all that. Once you know that she's not very scary. It's not even scary so many think she is awesome. That so many are that fucking stupid. For me it reassures me that my progeny will always be superior to a vast swath of idiot American rubes. The world will always need ditch diggers, Danny.

The only upside is IF she runs for president as rumored on the independent ticket it will be a shoe-in for Obama's second term. If she runs GOP it's likely she will hamstring them for the second time and Obama stands a healthy chance.

If somehow how she gets elected? Well, that's ALSO good news of a sort. For me. Because all this holding out hope for America has been exhausting. My natural cynical tendencies will have been all confirmed and I can finally give in to my most selfish instincts and say my last "told you so." A Palin presidency will signal the final irredeemable end of this country that I have always feared was around the corner. It will be like a thorn has been removed. So my wife and I can move guiltless to Ireland to the nice place we've been meaning to buy and that will be that.
posted by tkchrist at 1:56 PM on December 9, 2009 [16 favorites]


Not that they have a point but...

There is a strong environmental impact argument to be made that a lot of business that used to be done by airplane trips should be conducted by teleconferencing instead. I don't think that applies to this case.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:59 PM on December 9, 2009




Sticherbeast: "Hunh. Who's Sarah Palin?"

I know that you're kidding but oh, how I wish that I could say that. The amazing thing that that she's only been in the public eye for less than 18 months and how much damage to basic human discourse she's managed to cause in that time.
posted by octothorpe at 2:01 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


The UN Copenhagen climate talks are in disarray today after developing countries reacted furiously to leaked documents that show world leaders will next week be asked to sign an agreement that hands more power to rich countries and sidelines the UN's role in all future climate change negotiations. ... "It is being done in secret. Clearly the intention is to get Obama and the leaders of other rich countries to muscle it through when they arrive next week. It effectively is the end of the UN process," said one diplomat, who asked to remain nameless. (via)
posted by Joe Beese at 2:01 PM on December 9, 2009


>THEY ARE CALLED EXPERTS BECAUSE THEY HAVE EXPERTISE AND SPENT MANY YEARS OF THEIR LIVES STUDYING AND LEARNING A THING

Gosh, aren't you a cranky moonbat? Jesus only spent three years of his life spreading the good news, but he taught everyone the greatest lessons on Earth.

God's made it clear that expertise doesn't matter. It's all about how sincere and passionate you are about what you believe in. We don't need boring professors who say in a dull monotone that stem cells experience no sensation, have no souls, and would greatly benefit the living. What we need are angry protesters with pictures of aborted babies splattered over the floor of a Planned Parenthood, yelling about how embryonic stem cells kill babies, cause cancer, and don't cure a damn thing.

We don't want people who are right. That's boring and stupid. We want people who KNOW they are right, regardless of whether or not reality agrees. That's true expertise. Until you learn that, you'll just be a student instead of a teacher in this world.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:02 PM on December 9, 2009 [18 favorites]


Sorry, those leaked emails make me think that this whole thing is largely if not completely political.

Have you read any of the leaked emails, or just the two out-of-context quotes from emails widely published? If you have, what other evidence is there in all 1,000 emails that they were hiding or manufacturing data, as the two quoted ones, as repeatedly demonstrated by links in this thread, don't show that at all.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:03 PM on December 9, 2009


Maybe there's global warming, maybe not. But if that particular group of scientists told me the sky was blue I'd go outside and look for myself.

The "sky" is not actually blue. The blue color is a result of light refracting through water molecules. That's why the "sky" or rather, the atmosphere becomes transparent at night and you can see the stars.
posted by fuq at 2:03 PM on December 9, 2009 [14 favorites]


This does seem like the perfect conference to run via Skype. That said, America, forget Health Care. That's clearly a lost cause. Fix your damn public schools. Shiot. Is there another first world country on the planet churning out dumber people?
posted by chunking express at 2:04 PM on December 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile, the leaked draft text by the Dutch hosts

Just one minor niggle but the Dutch live in The Netherlands. The Danes tend to inhabit Denmark.
posted by Talez at 2:06 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Properly, the Young Dutch inhabit the Netherland; the Old Dutch inhabit potato chips.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:07 PM on December 9, 2009 [7 favorites]


Sarah Palin has definitely gone 'rouge'. Especially if you consider the Merriam Webster definition of the word:

Main Entry: 1rogue
Pronunciation: \ˈrōg\
Function: noun
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: 1561

1 : vagrant, tramp
2 : a dishonest or worthless person : scoundrel
3 : a mischievous person : scamp
4 : a horse inclined to shirk or misbehave
5 : an individual exhibiting a chance and usually inferior biological variation

I'm going to stop paying attention to whatever she says, and no longer waste breath on mentioning her name or her 'ideas'.
posted by localhuman at 2:09 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't get it.
posted by Talez at 2:09 PM on December 9, 2009


Apparently, 140 extra private jets and 1200 extra limos will be brought in for this environmental summit. "The eleven-day conference, including the participants' travel, will create a total of 41,000 tonnes of "carbon dioxide equivalent", equal to the amount produced over the same period by a city the size of Middlesbrough."

It's not just creating x tonnes, but creating x tonnes to get countries of the world to reduce CO2 creation by x * 10^y tonnes. Which, to me, seems less like hypocrisy and more like a really worthwhile reason create a relatively small amount CO2.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:11 PM on December 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


So, what: Sarah Palin: Going Scamp?
posted by boo_radley at 2:11 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


There's one thing I don't get about the right wing stance on global warming being a conspiracy.

What are the scientists' incentives to lie? Why would they jeopardize their careers over a conspiracy when all the money is in the hands of the corporate establishment and the oil companies? It seems to me they have much more incentive to lie for big oil. After all, there are a handful of wealthy liberals conservatives believe bankroll scams (George Sorros, Al Gore, Steve Jobs, etc.), but consider that Sorros only has 11 billion dollars. Meanwhile, Exxon has 228 billion dollars in assets.

Plus, being the one scientist to publish a paper showing that global warming is not true or unfalsifiable would make that scientist famous. He'd be a hero to governments and people all over. Everyone likes to use energy, and global warming legislation will put a serious damper on the orgy of wanton consumption we've been enjoying. Liberals want emissions regulations not because they like to pay a lot for gas or want to hurt the economy, but because they think it's what has to be done to avoid more damage later.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:12 PM on December 9, 2009 [9 favorites]


George Soros and Al Gore lay out the details of their nefarious scheme....3. Global dictatorship of the proletariat.

Rep. Rohrabacher on Copenhagen: ‘This is about global government. … We must fight the globalist clique!’
ROHRABACHER: Copenhagen may well lay the foundations for the future that the globalists who are pushing this agenda envision for us. [...] What the Copenhagen crowd would mandate and can be traced back to the same alliance between our own radical environmentalists and the global elite. [...] This is about centralizing power into the hands of global government, that’s what Kyoto and Copenhagen are all about, that’s what the globalist alliance is all about. [...]

We must fight the globalist clique that is trying to shackle generations of Americans. … Members of Congress need to hear from angry constituents, and I predict they will.
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


What's really sad are the people who have zero to gain from believing in the oil industries' Palin puppet nonsense.

I mean, some white Oklahoma woman making 39K at Wal Mart "doesn't believe in global warming". Great. Why not? "It's made up by liberals." OK, why would scientists make stuff up? "Because Obama's birth certificate is false."

Sigh. Obama won, and I still have to hear about these crazies every single day.
posted by four panels at 2:14 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait, Palin's a mutant? She's bragging about her freakiness?

Does this mean she's now an X-Woman and thus a hero to gays and other minorities who feel outcast by society? Because I like where this is going, and I look forward to her pro-equality stance that the book implies.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:14 PM on December 9, 2009


Does anyone know the overlap of creationists and climate change deniers?

I.e. are we dealing with the stupid we need to muscle past or the ignorant we need to teach?
posted by shothotbot at 2:14 PM on December 9, 2009


This does seem like the perfect conference to run via Skype.

Heh... "Could China please check their firewall settings?"

But seriously. Do poor nations even have bandwidth measured in megabits? Or what about the faux pas of someone heckling a speaker but because of latency they look like they're heckling something completely different causing even more manfactured controversey?

Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.
posted by Talez at 2:14 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Care to back that up with a link or a citation?
Soon after Sarah Palin was elected mayor of the foothill town of Wasilla, Alaska, she startled a local music teacher by insisting in casual conversation that men and dinosaurs coexisted on an Earth created 6,000 years ago -- about 65 million years after scientists say most dinosaurs became extinct -- the teacher said.


After conducting a college band and watching Palin deliver a commencement address to a small group of home-schooled students in June 1997, Wasilla resident Philip Munger said, he asked the young mayor about her religious beliefs.

Palin told him that "dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time," Munger said. When he asked her about prehistoric fossils and tracks dating back millions of years, Palin said "she had seen pictures of human footprints inside the tracks," recalled Munger, who teaches music at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and has regularly criticized Palin in recent years on his liberal political blog, called Progressive Alaska.
posted by empath at 2:16 PM on December 9, 2009


But if that particular group of scientists told me the sky was blue I'd go outside and look for myself.

Whereas the people who illegally hacked into a computer network, stole thousands of emails, and released a small subset of those emails without context in order to smear climate scientists are entirely trustworthy.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:16 PM on December 9, 2009 [22 favorites]


Isn't it time to retire the word eponysterical for good. It has now surpassed even the pun as a signifier of the absence of genuine wit. That two persons posted the same exact comment both ending with "Eponysterical" should tell you how original your thinking were that made you press the "Post comment" button. ...and yes, I do realize that my nick lends itself to a formalistic and not-as-witty-as-you-think rebuttal.
posted by JeNeSaisQuoi at 2:16 PM on December 9, 2009 [7 favorites]


I absolutely loathe Sarah Palin, but the creationism quotes leave some room for doubt. Not that she hasn't said truly idiotic statements, but I'm not convinced she believes people had pet dinosaurs.
posted by Crash at 2:17 PM on December 9, 2009


Y'know why the GOP is so officially freaked out about climate change?

Two reasons.

One-- they didn't think of publicizing it first. It took Al Gore to really bring it to the forefront, and omygodhewastheVPwhenCLINTON!!!!11!11!!waspresident! Al Gore could go full-birther mode, and the right-wing lunatics would say "oh, maybe we don't really need to see a birth certificate". If Reagan had come out against foreign oil imports during the time that the Cold War was raging, the Chevy Volt would be twenty-year-old technology by now.

Two-- they're getting fucked over by reality and the current administration is completely outplaying them. The equivalent of tax breaks in order to make your house more energy efficient. That is the fucking pinnacle of fiscal conservatism. Tax breaks! TAX MOTHERFUCKING BREAKS! And the "socialist administration" is doing it! Meanwhile, people may say "oh, it's really cold outside it can't be global warming" when even deep down they realize that the weather has gotten way harsher more recently and they don't know why. People know something is up; that's why you don't have centrists resoundingly condemning this.

I say, let the fucking teabag party go all "HURR DURR MANBEARPIG CLIMATEGATE". When fiscally conservative mom-and-pop-Heartland go out and get a rebate from the Obama administration for making their house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, they'll remember when it comes time to vote.
posted by mark242 at 2:17 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


There are no more skeptics, just deniers. The argument is over, these people are just trolling humanity.
posted by Sova at 2:17 PM on December 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


Does anyone know the overlap of creationists and climate change deniers?

FWIW in an entirely non-scientific sense, the folks who triumphantly sent me the Telegraph 'expose' on global warming hypocrisy and considered 'kill' an operative word for 'those environazis" and "the health care scum," are self-professed anti-evolution Christian 'libertarians'. As far as I can tell, there isn't a brand of crazy they don't buy.
posted by bunnycup at 2:18 PM on December 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


Sorry, those leaked emails make me think that this whole thing is largely if not completely political.

Maybe there's global warming, maybe not. But if that particular group of scientists told me the sky was blue I'd go outside and look for myself.


Except in this case, rather than go see for yourself (the scientific papers are widely available, and so are the underlying data points from a wide variety of sources), you're just going to chalk it up to "completely political".
posted by Crash at 2:19 PM on December 9, 2009 [7 favorites]


The only upside is IF she runs for president as rumored on the independent ticket it will be a shoe-in for Obama's second term. If she runs GOP it's likely she will hamstring them for the second time and Obama stands a healthy chance.

Don't count your chickens. The left said the same thing about Bush in 2000. No way he'd get elected. After all, he was a smirking idiot former drug user and alcoholic. His father had been soundly defeated by Clinton.

Experienced heads like Molly Ivins warned against underestimating him, but the left and many pundits refused to take him seriously, especially after his poor showing in the first and last debate.

The only absolute truth about elections in this country is they are completely unpredictable.
posted by zarq at 2:19 PM on December 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


"It is being done in secret. Clearly the intention is to get Obama and the leaders of other rich countries to muscle it through when they arrive next week. It effectively is the end of the UN process," said one diplomat, who asked to remain nameless.

I wonder how much of this is bullshit being peddled by the Hannity crowd crowing that Obama is signing over sovereignty to the UN.

For a bunch of superpatriots, pro-Palin Americans don't really understand their own system of government. President Obama can't go over the Copenhagen to sign anything binding, because he's not a legislator.

He can make promises about reduction and cross his fingers that he can get Congress to fulfill those promises, but that's about the extent of his power at this conference.

The only thing that will come about from Copenhagen is that right-wing Americans will have somehow managed to show they can get even more fucking ignorant about how their own country works.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:20 PM on December 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


We must fight the globalist clique that is trying to shackle generations of Americans. … Members of Congress need to hear from angry constituents, and I predict they will.

Does that mean that Fox is going to be boycotted by republicans because the week before last's episode of Glee was glorifying globalists everywhere by delivering the most poignant rendition of "Imagine" I've ever seen?
posted by Talez at 2:20 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know the overlap of creationists and climate change deniers?

There are a lot of creationists who are also environmentalists.
posted by empath at 2:21 PM on December 9, 2009


Sarah Palin has written an editorial saying Obama should boycott the Copenhagen COP15 summit.

WAIT.

She can write?
posted by qvantamon at 2:21 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Rep. Rohrabacher on Copenhagen: ‘This is about global government. … We must fight the globalist clique!’

Un-fucking-believable.

Can America send its right-wingers back to elementary school for basic civics lessons?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:22 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Sarah Palin has written an editorial saying Obama should boycott the Copenhagen COP15 summit. "

And he totally should... tell her he's going to and then go anyway. Because really, what does SaPa care for reality or fact? The Bible doesn't say anything about Obama and COP15, so there's no way for her to "know" or "prove" anything that happened wrt it anyway.

The way you sometimes totally lie to a kid to get them to shut up. Only with more shame due on her part than a kid, who doesn't know better.
posted by Eideteker at 2:24 PM on December 9, 2009


PS I totally remember that time we stayed at the Climategate hotel. From it's sun room, to its rainforest cafe, to the part that was made out of ice like that one hotel. My only regret is that I didn't make time to visit the Veldt.
posted by Eideteker at 2:28 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


What a nest of boobies you are. You think that if you believe in global warming hard enough, and have enough conferences, and publish enough editorials, and excoriate enough non-believers, the world will indeed get hot and melt and you won't have to take responsibility for your lives. For you, the absence of catastrophe would be the real catastrophe, because you would have to face the things that really frighten you: the emptiness of your own lives; the shallow meaninglessness of your relationships; the worship of false gods that have let you down; the nagging possibility that you may someday be called to account for all that you have done in this life... How much better to fear/hope-for some great catastrophe that will focus all possible attention, and from which you think you will be able to slink away, unseen by God, to evade your own individuality, own thoughts, own peculiar-among-all-the-stars-and-galaxies destiny, and disappear in what you hope will be a mass destiny. But there is no mass destiny, my friend. There is no "fate of the world." There is only the fate of your soul. There is no global warming. Only the warmth of the blood that courses through your blood vessels. That's the warmth you will have to answer for.
posted by Faze at 2:30 PM on December 9, 2009 [8 favorites]


Maybe there's global warming, maybe not.

The Consequences Of Global Warming — From A To Z.
posted by ericb at 2:32 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


That two persons posted the same exact comment both ending with "Eponysterical" should tell you how original your thinking were that made you press the "Post comment" button.

I wasn't trying to show what an original thinker I am. I merely thought it was a fun observation.

...and yes, I do realize that my nick lends itself to a formalistic and not-as-witty-as-you-think rebuttal.

I wasn't planning on going there. But since you mention it, could you please tell me more about what you think I should and should not find witty? I've been eagerly searching for advice from an authority on that topic.
posted by zarq at 2:34 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Faze: "There is only the fate of your soul."

As a secular humanist, I find this offensive.
posted by boo_radley at 2:34 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd like to live in a nest of boobies. A warm nest of boobies.
posted by qvantamon at 2:34 PM on December 9, 2009 [10 favorites]


What a nest of boobies you are. You think that if you believe in global warming hard enough, and have enough conferences, and publish enough editorials, and excoriate enough non-believers, the world will indeed get hot and melt and you won't have to take responsibility for your lives.

No you creep, we think that if they have enough conferences and publish enough work, we might actually be able to stop a disaster from happening (or, realistically, stop things from getting worse). You know, doing research and working for a living.

While on Sarah Palin's side, we have people openly hoping to cause the rapture.
posted by deanc at 2:34 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hi, I'd like to take a moment to call bullshit on some obvious bullshit.

Sorry,

No you're not.

those leaked emails make me think

No they didn't. There is no way you did not already think this.

that this whole thing is largely if not completely political.

By that you mean, once again in a passive-aggressive manner, that you are very happy this supports what you already believe. This is another "oh golly, I just read this about Obama, yep, sure did, and now I'm concerned about him" thing.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:35 PM on December 9, 2009 [30 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Faze is trying to Poe us, right? It's pretty funny stuff if you read it as satire.
posted by muddgirl at 2:38 PM on December 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


For you, the absence of catastrophe would be the real catastrophe, because you would have to face the things that really frighten you: the emptiness of your own lives; the shallow meaninglessness of your relationships; the worship of false gods that have let you down; the nagging possibility that you may someday be called to account for all that you have done in this life... How much better to fear/hope-for some great catastrophe that will focus all possible attention, and from which you think you will be able to slink away, unseen by God, to evade your own individuality, own thoughts, own peculiar-among-all-the-stars-and-galaxies destiny, and disappear in what you hope will be a mass destiny.
posted by Faze at 2:30 PM on December 9


Individual Trolling Event
Faze [USA]
Difficulty: 3.4

Tech + Pres

CHN 10.2
USA 9.6
IND 10.1
RUS 8.5
SWE 10.8

Up next . . . Zambrano [ITA]
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:41 PM on December 9, 2009 [53 favorites]


Once Sarah Palin's disproved global warming, can she do peak oil and ocean acidification next?
posted by dng at 2:42 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


While on Sarah Palin's side, we have people openly hoping to cause the rapture.
posted by deanc at 2:34 PM on December 9


Is that what it is with the fundies and global warming? They don't give a shit what happens to the earth because they're gonna be Raptured up to Heaven?

You would think there would be some interest in being the caretaker of God's Earth and not allowing it to go to shit. But what do I know.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 2:44 PM on December 9, 2009


But there is no mass destiny, my friend. There is no "fate of the world." There is only the fate of your soul. There is no global warming. Only the warmth of the blood that courses through your blood vessels. That's the warmth you will have to answer for.

Ummm....
posted by Jimbob at 2:45 PM on December 9, 2009


shothotbot: "Does anyone know the overlap of creationists and climate change deniers?

I.e. are we dealing with the stupid we need to muscle past or the ignorant we need to teach?
"

It's anti-intellectualism. It's a way of looking at the world. Or, more accurately, burying your head in the sand so you don't have to look at certain parts of the world that you don't like, or wouldn't like to believe.

Someone who refuses to believe scientific evidence that the earth was not created 5,000 years ago is likely to refuse to believe scientific evidence that climate change is happening, is dangerous, and is at least partly anthropogenic.
posted by jckll at 2:46 PM on December 9, 2009


Is that what it is with the fundies and global warming? They don't give a shit what happens to the earth because they're gonna be Raptured up to Heaven?

Yes.
posted by Jimbob at 2:47 PM on December 9, 2009


I mean, some white Oklahoma woman making 39K at Wal Mart

Who the hell makes $18.75 an hour at Wal Mart?
posted by wcfields at 2:50 PM on December 9, 2009 [18 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Faze is trying to Poe us, right? It's pretty funny stuff if you read it as satire.

A quick review of comments leads me to believe Faze is one of those people who just recently read Atlas Shrugged for the first time and we're just going to have to wait it out.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:52 PM on December 9, 2009 [43 favorites]


But there is no mass destiny, my friend. There is no "fate of the world."
Profound stuff, but still left thinking there are things that will happen as a consequence of certain actions and things that won't if other actions are taken. You know, the way the world's always worked.
posted by Abiezer at 2:53 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really don't want to get on my whole climate-change-deniers-are-off-their-fucking-heads horse again, but I thought this would be interesting. One of the steaming piles of bullshit that has come from the leaked climate emails is the idea that "OMG THE SCIENTISTAS ARE HIDING DATA". The fact is they're generally using publicly available data, but like a lot of this stuff it's data you have to go back to the primary source - the meteorological office - to obtain.

Thankfully, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has put some raw data online for people to play with and examine in a nice interface. Smoothed daily maximum temperature trend for Australia, 1910 to present.

Yeah, that sucker is definitely cooling... fucking idiots.
posted by Jimbob at 2:54 PM on December 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


Don't feed the Faze-bot.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:54 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


the absence of catastrophe would be the real catastrophe

>.>

<.<

I have no idea what that means. Is there a joking tone I'm missing? if so, sorry

Was that some kind of 'no atheists in foxholes' screed?

It's some imaginary groups irreligion that is the cause of worries about an imaginary apocalypse? You know, thinking about it, you're right... a little religion would obviously keep people from worrying so much about the end days, we could just sit back and relax knowing we won't be left behind.
posted by ServSci at 2:54 PM on December 9, 2009


Well, let's see: two-time Vice President, author, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Oscar winner versus former beauty queen, part-term governor of low-population state and failed vice-presidential candidate. Decisions, decisions.

On the other hand: boobies!
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:55 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't feel bad, Faze. The Russian judges are always the harshest.
posted by vibrotronica at 2:59 PM on December 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


You know, I'm getting tired of hearing about "anti-intellectualism." Could we please can the positional school-of-thought euphemisms and call it what it is: willful ignorance?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:02 PM on December 9, 2009 [12 favorites]


Ugh, my friend emailed me about this 'conspiracy' last week; great guy usually but easily swayed by straw man arguments.

I'm starting to realize that the world is less about collecting data and making a reasoned analysis, and more about a marketplace for ideas. To that end, does anyone know a broker that'll help me short concerned scientist and go long on a balance between empty rhetoric and douchebag pundit?
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:03 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


From the "arguable" link:
More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though.
Yeah but ... just because there's no evidence for any of these things doesn't mean it isn't true. Those scientists are clever people. They probably fly up to their Fortress of Propoganda on the polar ice cap, meeting with representatives of electric car companies and recycling plant managers, to discuss newer and better ways of fleecing us all.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:04 PM on December 9, 2009


after careful consideration I decided to say this just once more and then never again: Fuck Sarah Palin. Fuck her and her anti-scientific, non inquisitive stereotypical white trash provencal lily-white smarmy ass, fuck her opportunistic bullshit faux folksy anti-American attitude, fuck her idiotic crafted image and coy so called plain talking stupid-ass mind farts. And fuck John McCain for giving her this stage to act like the attention whore (not gender-ist) she is proving to be.

I do not wish actual harm to her or her spawn of a family, I just wish she would just shut-up and go the fuck away, go shoot and skin your moose and helicopter-slaughter wildlife.
posted by edgeways at 3:04 PM on December 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


For some reason this juxtaposition made me laugh:

>.>

<>


and


On the other hand: boobies!

Sorry for the juvenile derail.

posted by Ron Thanagar at 3:04 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that sucker is definitely cooling... fucking idiots.

But that's Australia. When it's warm in Australia it's cold in America, right? Then if Australia is warming up, America is cooling. It's a northern-hemisphere southern-hemisphere kind of thing.
posted by qvantamon at 3:05 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


You know, I'm getting tired of hearing about "anti-intellectualism." Could we please can the positional school-of-thought euphemisms and call it what it is: willful ignorance?

(...and deliberate disinformation)
posted by Sys Rq at 3:13 PM on December 9, 2009


Fuck Sarah Palin. Fuck her and her anti-scientific, non inquisitive stereotypical white trash provencal lily-white smarmy ass...

Sarah Palin is from Provence?! Do her fans know she's a Frenchy? I bet she loses their support once they find out she has hairy armpits, smells of garlic and hates freedom.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 3:15 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


By the way, it works the same way with China. The reason why "we don't need to reduce our emissions if China doesn't reduce theirs"[warning, fox news link] is that they're on the other side of the world, so if they don't reduce emissions and we don't reduce emissions, it all balances out.
posted by qvantamon at 3:15 PM on December 9, 2009


The "sky" is not actually blue. The blue color is a result of light refracting through water molecules. That's why the "sky" or rather, the atmosphere becomes transparent at night and you can see the stars.

Fuck SCIENCE! My Jebus says otherwise!
posted by ericb at 3:15 PM on December 9, 2009


In related news: Break-in Attempts at Leading Canadian Climate Change Scientist.
posted by ericb at 3:20 PM on December 9, 2009


Has the population of polar bears really doubled, as Sarah Palin says? Or is that just an out-and-out lie?

In related news -- Reuters:
"Climate change has turned some polar bears into cannibals as global warming melts their Arctic ice hunting grounds, reducing the polar bear population, according to a U.S.-led global scientific study on the impacts of climate change."
posted by ericb at 3:32 PM on December 9, 2009


But that's Australia. When it's warm in Australia it's cold in America, right? Then if Australia is warming up, America is cooling. It's a northern-hemisphere southern-hemisphere kind of thing.

In case you want more than just sarcasm:

Here's data for the U.S.
posted by Zalzidrax at 3:37 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's data for the U.S.

But look at that huge drop! It means that everything's cooling again!
posted by scrutiny at 3:40 PM on December 9, 2009


I am confused. The graph is clearly increasing, but the data points look like snow flakes. What conclusion should I be reaching?
posted by qvantamon at 3:42 PM on December 9, 2009


But that's Australia.

Uh-oh.

A Lingering Pool of Disbelief -- "Despite a decade of record drought, Australian farmers refuse to buy into climate change."
posted by ericb at 3:48 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


But there is no mass destiny, my friend. There is no "fate of the world."

Faze, I invite you to join us all in a group rendition of "Oh, Dem Golden Slippers."
posted by rdone at 3:48 PM on December 9, 2009


I'm tired of hearing people say that America has bad education or that Americans are innately dumb.

The fact of the matter is that we've perfected the art of the thinktank. We now know how to make stupidity, misinformation and ignorance into a marketable asset. When you can get a job to lie about the environment, you're in a modern economy. Waste equals food. Chicken farms can sell shit to the chemical industry, and the CATO institute can sell bullshit to corporations in trouble or people who want to be willfully ignorant.

All you Europeans are just jealous that you were raised to be smart, and thus poor.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:51 PM on December 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


Does anyone know the overlap of creationists and climate change deniers?

Ben Stein, for one.
posted by delmoi at 3:56 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Maybe there's global warming, maybe not.

facepalm. sigh.
posted by agregoli at 4:06 PM on December 9, 2009


Does anyone know the overlap of creationists and climate change deniers?

Ben Stein, for one.


Ben Diagram?
posted by joe lisboa at 4:19 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is there any flavor of bullshit that woman won't get behind?

Rainbow.
posted by rokusan at 4:21 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it's painfully ironic that the people arguing that climate change is real are accused of dishonesty...

Isn't this the textbook political Big Lie maneuver? Accuse your opponent of your own real weakness, thereby diluting any impact it can have on either side.

Re: Bush attacking Kerry's war record, etc.

"Oh, they're all lying about the data. Look, it's nice outside."
posted by rokusan at 4:29 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin has definitely gone 'rouge'.

This will never happen. First she'd need to feel actual shame or embarrassment.
posted by rokusan at 4:30 PM on December 9, 2009


Does anyone know the overlap of creationists and climate change deniers?

It's not really an overlap, but I remember thinking last week that the percentage of people who felt the leaked emails discredit climate change was very similar to the percentage of people who don't accept evolution.

Which goes to show that climate change denialism, like creationism, is simply about finding justification for a preexisting philosophical position. What evidence would creationists need to accept evolution? What evidence would climate change deniers need to accept climate change? Quite simply, there is none that would satisfy them. 20 years of serious research, thousands of scientific papers, thousands of people working on this issue are suddenly instantly discredited because a scientist poked fun at climate change deniers in a leaked email. Yeah, right.
posted by Jimbob at 4:31 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know the overlap of creationists and climate change deniers?

The law of Crank Magnetism would seem to imply there is a great deal.
posted by brundlefly at 4:34 PM on December 9, 2009


I'm not willing to concede that Americans are stupid because our open society and free speech rights give a microphone to intellectually unscrupulous people like Palin. Some Americans are stupid, others are very smart (for example our President), and many are just sorting out why some prominent scientists seemed to feel the need to suppress dissenting views and control their data. The more folks who respond like Gore with the overwhelming data that warming is real and a threat, the sooner this group will get some needed additional education.
posted by bearwife at 4:35 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


How about 10 questions any climate change "skeptic" should be required to answer:

1. Why is England warmer than Maine?
2. Why is CO2 called a greenhouse gas?
3. What's a Hadley cell?
4. What are the residence times in the atmosphere for CO2 and methane?
5. There are many accepted uncertainties in climate research. Name a few.
6. Explain the 5 steps of the peer review process.
7. What's a positive feedback loop? Give an example.
8. How much money is given, in grants, to climate research every year?
9. What are the net annual profits for oil, coal, and natural gas companies?
10. Name a scientist who agrees with you who has demonstrated that they can answer the previous 9 questions.
posted by one_bean at 4:38 PM on December 9, 2009 [50 favorites]


Ok, I heard the rumor that "going rogue" is British slang for unprotected anal sex. Are there any British MeFites out there than can confim/deny whether or not this actually was the case before the book was published? Even if it's not the case, I'm still down to make the phrase mean that now. It sounds so much cooler than "barebacking."
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 4:47 PM on December 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


How about 10 questions any climate change "skeptic" should be required to answer:

Excellent list. Reminds me of my list creationists should be required to answer:

1. Do you believe certain characteristics are passed on from parent to child?
2. Do you believe these characters are carried by genes?
3. Do you believe that some characters might lead to better or worse health in certain environments?
4. Do you believe an organism in better health, with a longer life, is likely to have more offspring than an organism in poor health, with a shorter life?
5. Do you believe that organisms that are significantly different from each other are unable to interbreed and produce offspring?
6. Do you believe that external influences can cause mutations in the structure of genes?

Congratulations, you believe in evolution!
posted by Jimbob at 4:51 PM on December 9, 2009 [24 favorites]


But Jimbob, all of that only works for microevolution.

HAMBURGER
posted by brundlefly at 4:56 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


>Going Rogue is slang for unprotected anal sex.

I've heard that. I've also heard it's slang for accidental or intentional sex with a transvestite (I guess the logic being that you're "betraying" the military duty of men to have sex with biological women). NO HOMOPHOBE, I don't decide what people put on Urban Dictionary, and I think the myth of the "predatory" transvestite is one of the most hurtful stories spread in our culture. It makes out transvestites to be amoral perverts intent on traumatizing straights, and normalizes homophobia.

/digression

Still, it's now my favorite euphemism. I will die happy if an episode of House includes that dialog (in the "ANAL WITH NO CONDOM" sense), particularly if it comes from a clinic patient.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:24 PM on December 9, 2009


This just in! Lots of people getting together uses resources! Stop the presses!

Ahhh I get it, because they are discussing the environment, if they use any resources we can tar and feather them as hypocrites, ignore the work, and pat ourselves on the back for getting in another zinger before dinner.

Thanks, 24-hour news cycle.


Maybe they could set set an example and use public transit or even the hotel shuttle buses to go from the airport (after flying commercial coach) and to the conference. A squadron of private jets and a fleet of limos just reeks of hypocrisy. What's next wearing blackface to a conference on reducing racism?
posted by MikeMc at 5:24 PM on December 9, 2009


Wow, this almost makes me sick to my stomach. This is serious fucking shit and people on the right are more concerned about political gains and profits for a polluting industry than they are for the environment that supports us. As Carlin said, the planet is fine, it's the people that are fucked.
posted by zzazazz at 5:25 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


mccarty.tim: "I will die happy if an episode of House includes that dialog (in the "ANAL WITH NO CONDOM" sense), particularly if it comes from a clinic patient."

And that patient will suddenly, inexplicably pass out and start bleeding from the fingernails.
posted by brundlefly at 5:28 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ok, I heard the rumor that "going rogue" is British slang for unprotected anal sex.

No wonder she's so close to Santorum.

Maybe they could set set an example and use public transit or even the hotel shuttle buses to go from the airport (after flying commercial coach) and to the conference. A squadron of private jets and a fleet of limos just reeks of hypocrisy.

What exactly would the point of that be? The goal is to reduce carbon emissions, not "make symbolic sacrifices". The Copenhagen conference is fully offsetting their emissions. There's no hypocrisy there at all.

You know, people can still drive their SUVs as long as they fill up with biofuel, or pay enough for fossil fuels so that total demand is reduced.

Look it's not about sacrifice. Its not about personal satisfaction or moral sanctimony. It's about capping the total amount of CO2 in the air and nothing more. Copenhagen is carbon neutral. It's emitting no net CO2 into the air.
posted by delmoi at 5:34 PM on December 9, 2009 [7 favorites]


How about 10 questions any climate change "skeptic" should be required to answer:

>1. Why is England warmer than Maine?

Too many kebabs and too much cider.

>2. Why is CO2 called a greenhouse gas?

It has something to do with hydroponic weed and whip-its but I'm a little hazy on the details, ask me again after I've had something to eat.

>3. What's a Hadley cell?

A terrible little British econo-box from the '70s. Hadley went out of business, and rightfully so, in 1982.

>4. What are the residence times in the atmosphere for CO2 and methane?

7

>5. There are many accepted uncertainties in climate research. Name a few.

Does Beano reduce bovine flatulence?
Whose ox is being gored?
Who is funding the research?

>6. Explain the 5 steps of the peer review process.

I will defer to Josh Tubbs on that one.

>7. What's a positive feedback loop? Give an example.

That cool noise Jack White gets out of his amp when he holds his guitar just close enough to the amp head.

>8. How much money is given, in grants, to climate research every year?

42

>9. What are the net annual profits for oil, coal, and natural gas companies?

Roughly a brazzillion dollars.

>10. Name a scientist who agrees with you who has demonstrated that they can answer >the previous 9 questions.

Sean Hannity's older brother Don.
posted by MikeMc at 5:35 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


>What's next wearing blackface to a conference on reducing racism?

Did you know that Planned Parenthood facilities have separate (but equal) bathrooms for men and women? For all they preach about "equality" and a woman's "right to choose," they're really sexist hypocritical bastards.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:37 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


What exactly would the point of that be? The goal is to reduce carbon emissions, not "make symbolic sacrifices".

Why can't they do both? You know, leading by example, talking the talk and walking the walk. The kind of leadership that says "I wouldn't ask you to do anything I'm not willing to do myself".
posted by MikeMc at 5:38 PM on December 9, 2009


Can anyone answer this:

9. What are the net annual profits for oil, coal, and natural gas companies?

Show your working.
posted by sien at 5:39 PM on December 9, 2009


Did you know that Planned Parenthood facilities have separate (but equal) bathrooms for men and women?

Not. Even. Close.
posted by MikeMc at 5:40 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


A squadron of private jets and a fleet of limos just reeks of hypocrisy.

Yup. Especially since in other situations Heads of State take public buses and shuttles all the time. It's not like any one of them is getting thousands of death threats per day from lunatics or something.
posted by qvantamon at 5:47 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm glad to see that the analysis of the leaked documents shows no serious conspiracy or outright fraud. Global warming is not a conspiracy, and neither is anthropogenic global warming, although there is still some question about how our modeling could be improved.

I read through as much of the leaked documents as I could before my eyes started glazing over, and I was a little troubled at a few things that I saw. In speaking with friends who are actual scientists, my observations were confirmed. There was some un-scientific behavior going on, particularly in the deletion of data and some minor alterations of data to make some models behave in a more expected manner.

My problem is with the harm to the clarity of the message that their faltering scientific rigor has caused. In an effort to appease more people on a political basis, they sacrificed their credibility by being caught in their (small) lies, causing a political backlash that was just waiting to happen. It smacks of rookie politics, which just shows that they should have stuck with the science as is.
posted by Revvy at 5:50 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Not. Even. Close.

Reeeeeasonably sure there's a hamburger implicit in that post.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:54 PM on December 9, 2009


"It's not like any one of them is getting thousands of death threats per day from lunatics or something."

They ought to consider hiring bodyguards or something. Maybe they could borrow the popemobile and make a game of "how many attendees can we cram in here" out of it. Besides I having a sneaking suspicion that heads of state won't be the bulk of the attendees at COP15.
posted by MikeMc at 5:55 PM on December 9, 2009


could you please tell me more about what you think I should and should not find witty?
see the carcasses of dead horses being flayed into mutilated fragments? Please don't find that witty.
posted by bonaldi at 5:56 PM on December 9, 2009


I'm not willing to concede that Americans are stupid because our open society and free speech rights give a microphone to intellectually unscrupulous people like Palin.

I think the sharper possibility involves an over-the-top capitalism. American politics seems to be more dominated by corporations than the politics of most other nations. Capitalism requires lots and lots of "consumers". So if you're profit-driven, which is better for profits?

(a) Smart, rational, intellectually curious consumers; or
(b) Dumb, incurious herd-following consumers?

If I had a TV station, I know which one I'd want, and the same can probably be said for the fast food, credit card, fashion and mortgage industries.

Also, if we can keep them really scared, we can make a shitload of money on "defense".
posted by rokusan at 5:58 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Future sockpuppet names, continued...
#114 Implicit Hamburger
posted by rokusan at 5:59 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Sarah Palin is obviously ignorant about climate in general. This explains why she can't seem to dress her baby appropriately for the weather on her bus tour. Sarah, put some clothes on that little boy!
posted by Biblio at 6:01 PM on December 9, 2009


The "sky" is not actually blue. The blue color is a result of light refracting through water molecules. That's why the "sky" or rather, the atmosphere becomes transparent at night and you can see the stars.

Well, since this is a post about science and all...not really. It's a scattering effect, not refraction, and the scattering is due to the smaller gas molecules in the atmosphere. (Which is where the blue comes from - those small molecules like nitrogen and oxygen preferentially scatter shorter wavelengths. Larger particles - dust, water vapor, etc. - scatter longer-wavelengths and produce a whiter, more washed-out blue.)

[/pendant]

On topic...er...Palin sucks!

Actually, this whole thing is depressing to me. I know how hard it is to get people to listen to climate change evidence, and this is just the kind of thing that makes people plug their ears and completely tune out. As satisfying as it would be to say, "Well, fuck them, then!" - I can't. Being on the side of the angels isn't much fun when there's so much work to do and things seem so hopeless.
posted by Salieri at 6:04 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Dumb, incurious herd-following consumers? There's an app for that.
posted by MikeMc at 6:05 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Actually, this whole thing is depressing to me. I know how hard it is to get people to listen to climate change evidence, and this is just the kind of thing that makes people plug their ears and completely tune out.

I think the debate should be shifted from "climate change" to "pollution reduction" because who could plausibly argue that reducing pollution is a bad thing? Well, besides industries that rely on the sale of internal combustion engines and fossil fuels.
posted by MikeMc at 6:13 PM on December 9, 2009


Hi, I'd like to take a moment to call bullshit on some obvious bullshit.

Sorry,

No you're not.


those leaked emails make me think

No they didn't. There is no way you did not already think this.

that this whole thing is largely if not completely political.

By that you mean, once again in a passive-aggressive manner, that you are very happy this supports what you already believe. This is another "oh golly, I just read this about Obama, yep, sure did, and now I'm concerned about him" thing.


This is the best dissection yet I've seen of St. Alia's trolling method. Her track record on this is very clear. And her method works-- see how what percentage of this conversation has ended up flailing in the outfield as a result of her comment. This is not someone interested in any kind of exchange. Please ignore.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 6:13 PM on December 9, 2009 [11 favorites]


> Has the population of polar bears really doubled, as Sarah Palin says? Or is that just an out-and-out lie?

Dammit, I can't find or remember where I saw something about this recently, but here's what I remember:

There are 15 populations of polar bears. 1 or 2 are increasing. A slightly larger number are stable. The rest (9-10?) are decreasing. If anyone remembers anything about this, I'd be grateful for a link.

Here's something that talks about polar bear numbers historically.

Christian Science Monitor article from 2007.
posted by Decimask at 6:14 PM on December 9, 2009


If I had a TV station, I know which one I'd want, and the same can probably be said for the fast food, credit card, fashion and mortgage industries.

This idea of a Machiavellian motivation doesn't add up, I think. If you were directing output at a TV station (or had a similar role in fast food, credit cards, fashion, mortgages etc) what you'd actually want is to keep your job. You do that by being successful. Quickest way to do that: go ugly early. Head for the lowest, safest common denominator. You might not being making the greatest output or doing the best journalism, but you'll make your numbers and keep your job.

It's hard to believe that there's an active choice being made between "if I do X, I'll create smart consumers" and "if I do y, I'll create dumb consumers, that's the ticket". It's much more occam-friendly to say that the thought is: "What gets the most people? Ah, this shit does. Do more of that".

I agree that's over-the-top capitalism ultimately at fault, though. Ironically, too, because US-style vicious capitalism and zero job security creates industries of very smart people. But their fundamental motivation is to keep their jobs, and thus the output becomes much dumber and safer than it does at, say, the BBC, where the controller of BBC Four has huge leeway to take risks and try and make good products without fear of getting culled after one month's poor ratings.
posted by bonaldi at 6:16 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


(That was written in chunks, btw, so if it seems disjointed it's because it is)
posted by Decimask at 6:16 PM on December 9, 2009


Oh that Faze. Dudes got "Internet Crank" down to an art.
posted by tkchrist at 6:47 PM on December 9, 2009


"What a nest of boobies you are. You think that if you believe in global warming hard enough, and have enough conferences, and publish enough editorials, and excoriate enough non-believers, the world will indeed get hot and melt and you won't have to take responsibility for your lives. For you, the absence of catastrophe would be the real catastrophe, because you would have to face the things that really frighten you: the emptiness of your own lives; the shallow meaninglessness of your relationships; the worship of false gods that have let you down; the nagging possibility that you may someday be called to account for all that you have done in this life... How much better to fear/hope-for some great catastrophe that will focus all possible attention, and from which you think you will be able to slink away, unseen by God, to evade your own individuality, own thoughts, own peculiar-among-all-the-stars-and-galaxies destiny, and disappear in what you hope will be a mass destiny. But there is no mass destiny, my friend. There is no "fate of the world." There is only the fate of your soul. There is no global warming. Only the warmth of the blood that courses through your blood vessels. That's the warmth you will have to answer for."

Is it okay if I masturbated to that?
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 7:04 PM on December 9, 2009 [5 favorites]


This is way down in the thread, but this has just been pissing me off lately, and this qouted by ericb just really misses the whole point,

"What is the real issue here? People associated with global warming research acted unethically in trying to suppress articles they disagreed with."

People suppressing articles they disagree with is the whole basis of peer review. There may be some questions about the methods the CRU folks used to suppress articles, but I see no evidence that they tried to do so for reasons other than they thought the articles in question were bad science.

"They tried to keep control of their data, and often referred to opponents in disparaging terms. In short, they acted as members of almost any organization tend to act when under intense hostile pressure from the outside: they confused their organization's well-being with the mission the organization was established to accomplish. They fell into an 'us vs. them' mentality."

Data is at the heart of a scientists identity. No scientists gives completely open access to all his data. There is a danger of some one stealing your work or using your data in bad ways which can ruin your reputation. It's like these people have never been around a working researcher before...

"Ironically the most intelligent condemnations of this failing have come from fellow scientists and the science press. The Nov. 28 issue of New Scientist takes them to task for abuses of scientific ethics. Meanwhile right wing sources have continued to make their case with breathtaking dishonesty.

But does any of this bear on the global warming issue? No. No more than corrupt and dishonest Catholic bishops discredit spirituality.""


No, it's not like that at all because all the CRU scientists were not corrupt or dishonest in a way that Catholic bishops were, (I assume this is referring to the preist sex scandals).

The only story here is that business interests are able to manipulate public opinion to help their interests while fucking the rest of us in the ass. Same as it ever was.
posted by afu at 7:07 PM on December 9, 2009


THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM QUITTING EVERYTHING YOU START AND RELYING ON YOUR LOOKS AND A BUNCH OF HALF-ASS JESUS-TALK TO TRICK A STATE FILLED WITH NOTHING BUT ESCAPED PEDOPHILES AND FUR TRAPPERS INTO WRITING "BOOB LADY" ON THE BALLOT

OPTIMUS CHYME PLEASE CALL THIS NUMBER: 1-800-969-6642* BEFORE YOUR HEAD ASPLODES!

*National Mental Health Assn. Provides free information on specific disorders, referral directory to mental health providers, national directory of local mental health associations

And I wish some of you would leave "boobs" out of it, boobs symbolize everything that is good and right with the world.
posted by MikeMc at 7:08 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


I still don't get why people are always so mad when someone says they should burn less fossil fuels. Global warming seems the the version of Pascal's Wager that actually makes sense.

This.

I'm still on the fence about our impact on global warming, but when pure logic dictates that we must do something in order to avert disaster it's mind-boggling how someone could argue against reducing emissions.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:18 PM on December 9, 2009


"Despite a decade of record drought, Australian farmers refuse to buy into climate change."

Aussie farmers are famous for having comprehensively ruined much of our landscape and are veeeeeeeery slow to do anything about that. Denial of climate change is just part of their digging-in-their-heels attitude to new information.

Only twenty years ago the were still 'grubbing out' trees. For no reason other than they actually fucking hated trees.

I'm generalizing, but fuck their feelings. My state of Victoria is a bushfire disaster area because of this kind of shit.
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 7:18 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow. The level of discourse on MetaFilter is so shockingly poor. Granting even that this is meant as a joke:
Well, let's see: two-time Vice President, author, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Oscar winner versus former beauty queen, part-term governor of low-population state and failed vice-presidential candidate. Decisions, decisions.

On the other hand: boobies!
it does not fall very far from the accusation of pandering to ad hominem, non-factual evaluation that the coal industry is accused of:
The first case study I've posted reveals how a coalition of US coal companies sought to persuade people that the science is uncertain. It listed the two social groups it was trying to reach – "Target 1: Older, less educated males"; "Target 2: Younger, lower income women" – and the methods by which it would reach them. One of its findings was that "members of the public feel more confident expressing opinions on others' motivations and tactics than they do expressing opinions on scientific issues".
So I looked at some of the email. I sorted by size and looked at the ten or so largest. (Looking at the smallest yielded mostly "I am out of the office. Contact me when...") If there is anyone out there interested in commenting, I have a few observations on what I read.

The largest, 1138398400.txt, has data from a Swiss researcher that basically shows no trending over the last 1000 years. It has wild fluctuations in average temperature in the range of 15.3 C to 16.1 C. As someone unstudied in global warming, I found it surprising that anyone would be storming the barricades over this data. What's more, it seemed totally at odds with the famed hockey stick graph.

Secondly, I came away with the impression from the CRU statements that the scandal focuses on some unfortunate wording in one email plus Keith Briffa's unwillingness to release his dendrochronologic data. My first thought is not, "Is there a scandal in not releasing data?" There might be; there might not. My thinking is something like, "Inferring carbon dioxide levels and/or temperature from tree rings is a major piece of the evidence for global warming?" If that were true, I'd be looking for better evidence because it seems pretty obvious to me that there can be lots of reasons why trees did or did not grow at a particular rate over a period of time.
posted by A-Train at 7:23 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


there can be lots of reasons why trees did or did not grow at a particular rate over a period of time

Enlighten us. Do.
posted by logicpunk at 7:29 PM on December 9, 2009


This is my understanding of global warming, stop me if I'm wrong.

1) Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It causes some of the sun's energy to be trapped within the earth's atmosphere as heat. (No-one seriously doubts this, right?)

2) Human industry burns carbon with oxygen to create carbon dioxide.

3) Since the industrial revolution, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased dramatically.

I mean... isn't that enough? The CO2 is right there, right now, and we put much of it there by burning stuff. It's a greenhouse gas. What exactly do we expect to be happening? On my planet we obey the laws of physics. We don't even need to make any measurements to know what's going to happen - all the direct evidence of warming is just the icing on the cake. Even if every scientist was on the Gore-Soros payroll, it wouldn't make an iota of difference to the fact that we burned the carbon and we put the CO2 there and it is behaving like CO2 behaves, which is to say, as a greenhouse gas, because that's what it is.

Climate-change deniers need to tell me what mysterious force is stopping the CO2 from behaving like CO2, or otherwise how our putting tonnes of it in the atmosphere did not result in the concentrations in the atmosphere increasing. It's not rocket science, it's Occam's Razor, which is clearly no match for wishful thinking.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:30 PM on December 9, 2009 [14 favorites]


Al Gore rebuts Palin's climate change claims.

This is totally unfair. Al Gore has, like, read books and stuff. Why is everybody out to get Sarah Palin?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:32 PM on December 9, 2009


Is it okay if I masturbated to that?

Why not? Faze was masturbating when he wrote it.

Also, RE: the scattering vs refraction from water in the sky, scattering does occur, but also water actually has an intrinsically blue color due to absorption of certain wavelengths. You can't generally see the color in a small amount of water, but if you are looking through enough of it, you can definitely see blue (as in the linked images). This is also the primary reason why the oceans are blue.

This is not, however, the reason MeFi is blue.
posted by darkstar at 7:35 PM on December 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


"global climate change" and moreso "global warming" are not defined appropriately anyway

looking at temperatures over time it could be the case we are experiencing a warm spell during an ice age. so if it gets a lot colder that does NOT mean those unclear terms are false.

one thing's for sure, balances are shifting more drastically than we can cope with in our limited models for prediction. chaos theory is more relevant than anyone's summation of meteorological equations and assumptions.

certainly there are huge gaping holes in the ozone layer, let's not forget that. it is essentially irreversible from our perspective in time because it takes a long time to form. one agent of destruction (CFC) can repeatedly eliminate ozone molecules because it is a catalyst in a chain reaction... the result being 1 less ozone molecule and the very same destructive particle. until it is eliminated by a free radical that is not ozone it continues to chew up ozone. simplified view, but the important fact is that molecules collide much less frequently at high altitudes with low pressure.

why do words trip up our mainstream perceptions & reactions so easily? we're always getting played.

we ought to focus on the ramifications of pollution that are tangible up front. massive floods and temperature increase could easily occur regardless of said pollution, yet the pollution does have real effects on us & our environment.

it's the global part that matters, and truth be told I don't think we will get to know ahead of time how it matters. similar to using depleted uranium weapons in the mid-east... we know about the birth defects, but with such a long half-life we know not of other results - it could be we've already sealed our fate or that of some life forms.

what, it's not bad enough to strip mine & burn as much flammable material as we can collect? we need a BETTER reason to pay attention to this pattern which can be improved?!? I think not.
posted by gkr at 7:44 PM on December 9, 2009


I read through as much of the leaked documents as I could before my eyes started glazing over, and I was a little troubled at a few things that I saw. In speaking with friends who are actual scientists, my observations were confirmed. There was some un-scientific behavior going on, particularly in the deletion of data and some minor alterations of data to make some models behave in a more expected manner.

Cite or direct link please?
posted by afu at 7:45 PM on December 9, 2009


My thinking is something like, "Inferring carbon dioxide levels and/or temperature from tree rings is a major piece of the evidence for global warming?" If that were true, I'd be looking for better evidence because it seems pretty obvious to me that there can be lots of reasons why trees did or did not grow at a particular rate over a period of time.

Oh sure, there can be lots of reasons. But the main ones are, quite simply, temperature and rainfall. Trees are useful because, in some cases, they provide clear annual records going back thousands of years. And dendrochronologists have spent a century showing that rings in one tree can line up with rings in another tree, and that these rings (in certain species and ecosystems, mind you) can show excellent correlation with weather. They can also reveal histories of forest fire occurrence which is itself correlated with climate. Add in modern methods like AMS radiocarbon dating, and you have an extremely powerful technique for reconstructing past climate.
posted by Jimbob at 7:47 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think... it's all about the information!

The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes, little bits of data. It's all just electrons.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:47 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


@logicpunk: the wikipedia article on dendroclimatology might give you pause. This paragraph covers all of my thoughts (and then some) on the subject:
Non-climate factors include soil, tree age, fire, tree-to-tree competition, genetic differences, logging or other human disturbance, herbivore impact (particularly sheep grazing), pest outbreaks, disease, and CO2 concentration. For factors which vary randomly over space (tree to tree or stand to stand), the best solution is to collect sufficient data (more samples) to compensate for confounding noise. Tree age is corrected for with various statistical methods: either fitting spline curves to the overall tree record or using similar aged trees for comparison over different periods. Careful examination and site selection helps to limit some confounding effects, for example picking sites undisturbed by modern man.
Elsewhere in the article is mention of an effect I had never heard of:
The divergence problem is the disagreement between the temperatures measured by the thermometers (instrumental temperatures) on one side and the temperatures reconstructed from the widths of tree rings on the other side, in the northern forests.

While the thermometer records indicate a substantial warming trend, many tree rings do not display a corresponding change in their width.[1] A temperature trend extracted from tree rings alone would not show any substantial warming. The temperature graphs calculated in these two ways thus "diverge" from one another since the 1950s, which is the origin of the term.
If the main tool of inference in dendroclimatology does not support our observations in the present, would you trust it to make claims about 1000-2000 years ago?

I'm just saying there must be better evidence than this for estimating the temperature or CO2 levels from the distant past. What is it?
posted by A-Train at 7:49 PM on December 9, 2009


In a surprise announcement, the Republican National Committee has revealed it is bankrupt. A spokesman for the party said they had plenty of money in their accounts last week, but today they just don't know where the money has gone.

But not everybody is going begging. Amnesty International, Greenpeace and the United Negro College Fund announced record earnings this week, due mostly to large, anonymous donations.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:50 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


The sky is blue because of Rayleigh scattering, not because of water vapor in the atmosphere.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:50 PM on December 9, 2009


four panels: "
I mean, some white Oklahoma woman making 39K at Wal Mart
"

Late to the party, but try about half that, IF she's at the top of her pay grade.
posted by notsnot at 7:58 PM on December 9, 2009


So who ghost wrote the Washington Post article for Sarah Palin?
posted by Daddy-O at 8:00 PM on December 9, 2009


scattering does occur, but also water actually has an intrinsically blue color due to absorption of certain wavelengths

...yeah, I'm going to have to stick to my initial statement that it's all about the scattering, as far as the color of the *sky* goes. (Rayleigh scattering, as dirigibleman mentioned.)

Sorry to harp on it!
posted by Salieri at 8:00 PM on December 9, 2009


I mean... isn't that enough? The CO2 is right there, right now, and we put much of it there by burning stuff. It's a greenhouse gas. What exactly do we expect to be happening? On my planet we obey the laws of physics.

Whoa, bucko. "Laws of physics"? Not until they pass the house and senate, they're not! Until then, they're just bills! And nobody likes bills! That's why people shoot ducks! You know why there are still all those dumb ducks around? The NRA, that's why, with their conservation areas! How the environazis managed to invade the NRA is a mystery to me! You know what else is a mystery? Nothing, that's what because it's all written in a single poorly translated book originally written by unemployed vagrant cavemen with mental problems about things that happened hundreds of years before they were born! You should read it! The founders of our country did! They also wore wigs and tights! How liberal drag queens invaded the founding fathers is a mystery to me! You know what else is a mystery? Nothing, because Fox News!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:02 PM on December 9, 2009 [9 favorites]


Werd on the Rayleigh scattering. I was primarily thinking of liquid water in oceans. Sorry for my mixup.
posted by darkstar at 8:13 PM on December 9, 2009


there must be better evidence than this for estimating the temperature or CO2 levels from the distant past. What is it?

A-Train, tree rings are but one piece of evidence used to reconstruct climate. There are cores from ice sheets, ocean and lake sediments, corals, pollen assemblages, borehole temperatures, etc. All of these show essentially the same temperature pattern through time. If any one piece of evidence were ignored there would still be a robust knowledge of past temperatures. Tree rings are nice for reconstructing global temperatures because trees are distributed around the world. NOAA Paleoclimatology has a nice intro to the subject (and data!).

The divergence problem is well-known in dendroclimatology. It is unknown why, but some tree rings do not follow the temperature trends closely since ~1960. This isn't a problem because we have direct measurements of temperature over that period. (It is the divergence problem that the one email is referring when someone said they were trying to "hide the decline". They weren't talking about a temperature decline but the tree ring's divergence from the actual temperature trend).
posted by plastic_animals at 8:18 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Non-climate factors include soil, tree age, fire, tree-to-tree competition, genetic differences, logging or other human disturbance, herbivore impact (particularly sheep grazing), pest outbreaks, disease, and CO2 concentration.

And these would all be legitimate reasons to question tree rings as a proxy for temperature if data were only collected from one area. Which, needless to say, isn't the case.


As to the divergence problem - I hadn't heard mention of this before, so thanks for pointing it out. Briefly, it appears that the effect is more pronounced in northern forests, and may itself be anthropogenic, since the tree ring record correlates well with instrumental temperatures from ~1880-1960. So I can appreciate your point that evidence in addition to tree rings is necessary (e.g. ice core samples...), the argument for global warming is depending on just the tree record, but rather a combination of sources.
posted by logicpunk at 8:34 PM on December 9, 2009


Your skeptics, deniers and fence-sitters like to find a weakness, zone in on that, magnify it, and keep going until they're lost in a wonderful fractal world of bullshit angels-on-a-pin questions. Great for them, but the initial 'weakness' they believe they've discovered is always explainable by asking good faith questions. All they're doing is burrowing their way into a parallel fantasy universe.
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 8:35 PM on December 9, 2009 [6 favorites]


Remember when we used to complain about the stromatolites' o2 emissions and how this could potentially have catastrophic consequences for life as we know it. Dissolved iron in the ocean will absorb it all....bullshit I said, but did they listen, nope. What did they think there was going to be an endless supply of CO2 to just gobble up with the solar energy and they could shit out o2 with no consequences. Lazy good for nothing bastards laying around in their pools all day soaking up the sun while the rest of us competed for an increasingly scare supply of nickel. Eventually they got what was coming to them when the cambrian substrate revolution came along and tore them up. Ahh the CSR...crazy times.... Still a few of them made it through, I think they live in Australia, so humanity you have that to look forward too. See its going to be fine for a while. I mean as individuals you are all going to die anyway. Global warming really needs a longer perspective too, the thing was a freaking ball of liquid hot magma only a few billion years ago, since then its pretty much been downhill. You'll die and the freaking sun expand and kill off all your offspring, so why bother. And in the event you have some fantasy about your descendants escaping to some remote planet and colonizing earth II forget about it. It won't happen. Do you have any idea how freaking enormous space is? You think humanity as a species is going to locate a planet, terraform it, and then transport billions of people across a gap of a few light years? I suppose you will say that scientific progress will have some magic breakthrough that will save you from certain doom related to some future planet consuming disaster.... Just like those climate change deniers say some magical breakthrough save everyone from having to make hard choices about carbon dioxide emissions.
posted by humanfont at 9:06 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Guys, if we over think the color of the sky, someone might eat our plate of beans by the time we look down again.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:19 PM on December 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's hard to believe that there's an active choice being made between "if I do X, I'll create smart consumers" and "if I do y, I'll create dumb consumers, that's the ticket".

I agree with your whole comment, Bonaldi. I didn't mean to suggest it was some sort of machiavellian intelligent design that deliberately created stupid consumers. There's no Architect in a white suit driving everything. (Heck, there's not even a Batman.)

Evolution by selection does a fine enough job of separating wheat from chaff and feeding us chaff, as the rest of your comment outlined.

Capitalism run amok doesn't need a driver. Heck, it probably wouldn't even tolerate one.
posted by rokusan at 9:29 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Lost in a wonderful fractal world of bullshit
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:47 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


afu asked for a cite or a direct link to back up my claims that there was at least some unscientific behavior going on.

Here is an article that shows some questionable behavior.

Those quotes are taken out of context, but, when read in context, their nature doesn't change. Some of them are innocuous and genuinely fair-minded attempts to figure out why things look the way the do. Some of them, however, stink badly. The sum total of all of them does not sit well with me.
posted by Revvy at 10:57 PM on December 9, 2009


I don't know if I told this here before, but here's how a devout, evangelical Christian 'explained' global-warming to me. Told me that global-warming was the onset of Rapture. The Prince of Darkness wants to create Hell on Earth; the rising temperatures are evidence that Hell is trying to surface upwards.

My point: at times, you really need to go po-mo on the crazies. Try it, it's a lot of fun.
posted by the cydonian at 11:21 PM on December 9, 2009


afu asked for a cite or a direct link to back up my claims that there was at least some unscientific behavior going on.

Here is an article that shows some questionable behavior.


More context-free quotes interspersed with the fauxtraged bloviating of yet another self-styled climate contrarian? Yes please.

Hey look, he's weighed in on the Palin op-ed too.

Oh, and he's also keeping track of a phenomenon pithily dubbed the "Gore Effect", where cold temperatures are ostensibly correlated with someone saying or doing something somewhere about or related to climate change. What a clever argument, if you can call it that.

Well, that's all the evidence I need. I think we can close the book on this whole global warming scam once and for all.
posted by [citation needed] at 11:28 PM on December 9, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hey look, he's weighed in on the Palin op-ed too.

Nice that he was able to work in a couple photos of Sar-uh in front of her book. Hope he got paid well for it.

If there's anything more that he and other extremist pundits — and the editors of the Washington Post — can possibly do to help that demented fascist sell her book, I'd like to know before I publish my own memoirs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:40 PM on December 9, 2009


The CO2 is right there, right now, and we put much of it there by burning stuff. It's a greenhouse gas. What exactly do we expect to be happening? On my planet we obey the laws of physics

Exactly. But CO2 isn't the only forcing on climate. Solar output, aerosols, and orbital variations play a part too. That is why it is entirely possible for temperatures to go down during a whole decade even if CO2 levels continue going up (and no, I'm that's not what's happening now). From what I understood, if by a freak coincidence solar output remained low and a couple of climate-impacting eruptions (like Pinatubo) occured within the next decade, interspersed by some well-timed La Niña events, the average temperature could actually go down for a while; yet, the CO2 problem would still be there, and as soon as things got back to "normal", warming would happily continue.

Until someone finds a negative feedback to counter CO2's forcing, it is not a question of IF the climate will change, but of HOW FAST and HOW MUCH will it do so. No significant negative feedback I know of has been found so far; on the contrary, there is a risk of triggering positive feedbacks (carbon released from methane hydrates and melting permafrost) which could effectively take the problem out of our hands entirely. That's where the uncertainty is.

IANAClimatologist, so feel free to correct any blatant errors/omissions in the above.
posted by Bangaioh at 12:42 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


More context-free quotes interspersed with the fauxtraged bloviating of yet another self-styled climate contrarian? Yes please.

Oh, it's you. Nevermind.
posted by Revvy at 12:44 AM on December 10, 2009


Revvy, your "article" is from the "Portland Examiner." I live in Portland and have never heard of it. What is the Portland Examiner? Here's what the web site says: 'Examiner.com is a division of the Clarity Media Group, and is wholly owned by The Anschutz Company." Apparently it's a localized website (ie database of random reader contributions).

Phillip Anschutz, a conservative Christian activist and major supporter of George Bush and Bob Dole, inherited a family oil business. He has served on the boards of the American Petroleum Institute and the National Petroleum Institute. Clarity Media Group also runs The Weekly Standard, a leading right-wing magazine.

"Examiners" are anyone who applies on the website-- they have 12,000 so far in different cities. "Examiners are paid a very competitive rate based on standard Internet variables including page views, unique visitors, session length, and advertising performance. This is not a full-time "quit your day job" kind of opportunity, but Examiners can definitely earn some extra cash while gaining exposure through their writing. Examiner.com uses PayPal to compensate Examiners."

Your article was written by self-styled "Climate Change Examiner" Tony Hake. What are his credentials? Let's let him tell us: "With a passion for science, meteorology and climatology, Tony Hake believes knowledge is the key to understanding the earth’s complicated climate. Using in depth research and analysis, Tony provides readers with a complete view of the environment, global warming, climate change and the role man plays in it. You can contact Tony at tony@exweather.com."

Summary: your "article" is bullshit written by a guy with no credentials for a right-wing petroleum baron. Among his other articles: "Al Gore talks Climategate on CNN and Slate, misstates the facts," and "Sarah Palin sounds off on Climategate and Copenhagen."
posted by msalt at 12:56 AM on December 10, 2009 [19 favorites]


Man, America is so fucked.
posted by !Jim at 1:01 AM on December 10, 2009


I'm not alone in thinking that there's troubling stuff in the leaked documents.

Bash the pundits all you want, but ignoring the facts in their articles because of their personal views isn't sound and places you in the wing-nut category.

Frankly, a lot of what I've heard from scientists about the behavior exhibited in some of those emails sounds a whole lot like what Sarah Palin read from her cue cards.

“The leaked e-mails involved in Climategate expose the unscientific behavior of leading climate scientists who deliberately destroyed records to block information requests, manipulated data to “hide the decline” in global temperatures, and conspired to silence the critics of man-made global warming.”

That's a button-pushing view of what happened, but it's not completely inaccurate. Does it change the immensely strong evidence for AGW? No, but it tarnishes the reputation of some of the people involved and it means that people like Palin have something to stand up and read indignantly.

It also means that there's ammunition for the wing nuts because, invariably, they'll make some half-assed and illogical leap of faith that all climate scientists are in collusion or that all climate science that points to AGW is fake.
posted by Revvy at 1:11 AM on December 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Your skeptics, deniers and fence-sitters like to find a weakness, zone in on that, magnify it, and keep going until they're lost in a wonderful fractal world of bullshit angels-on-a-pin questions. Great for them, but the initial 'weakness' they believe they've discovered is always explainable by asking good faith questions. All they're doing is burrowing their way into a parallel fantasy universe.

This is pretty much how it works, which is why it's best not to hop on your surfboard and ride down their inwardly-turning spiral with them. But I wouldn't go so far as to apply this to "fence-sitters". There are a number of people who genuinely do not understand the basics of climate change. You can usually have discussions with these people on a reasonable level, and won't have to worry about them fervently flipping to the references section of Crichton's State of Fear while talking over you. People who just don't know are easy to talk to. People who conflate a perceived inconsistency to damning proportions have no interest in discussion, but rather trolling or otherwise making themselves feel the torch-bearers of the TRUTH.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:47 AM on December 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Summary: your "article" is bullshit written by a guy with no credentials for a right-wing petroleum baron. Among his other articles: "Al Gore talks Climategate on CNN and Slate, misstates the facts," and "Sarah Palin sounds off on Climategate and Copenhagen."

The article I linked to had some quotes in it. A couple of those quotes are the ones that have gotten a lot of the deniers up in arms and are completely bullshit. There are, however, some other quotes that you're apparently ignoring because of your need to justify ad hominem attacks against the author of the article. There are more quotes in the emails, which I doubt you have bothered to read.

And Al Gore did misstate some facts. Gore responded, “I haven't read all the e-mails, but the most recent one is more than 10 years old.” That's simply not true and it's very misleading.

Do I like the spin that's being put on all of this? No, not it the least, but at least I'm willing to look past the spin, regardless of the side it's coming from.
posted by Revvy at 2:53 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


So... all this hand-waving about the emails and stuff, if they're fake then the globe will just cool down? Do I have that right? It's all contingent on this bunch of scientists in East Anglia? What do we do if, like, the over-all temperature of the world continues to increase? Give you a proper talking to?

I mean offense here - there's something so willfully stupid in the position, don't you live on the planet as well? Isn't it in your own best interest? If you have to shit, don't you get out of bed?

Whose side are you on? No, seriously?
posted by From Bklyn at 3:43 AM on December 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Citing something from one of the densest of climate change denial websites is not a good way to support your argument, Revvy. Saying data was deliberately destroyed to block a FOI request is deliberately misleading. The CRU gets copies of original weather station data from many sources. They use the station data to build their global monthly data sets. Back in the 1980s, when data storage costs were very high, and decades before any FOI requests were made, they deleted their copy of original data because the cost of storing data for which they had no use would have been prohibitive. No data was destroyed. All original data records still reside at the various national meteorological agencies whose responsibility it is to archive the data.

Similarly, the '"hide the decline" in global temperatures' quote can only be interpreted as being deliberately misinterpreted. The decline that was being hidden was the well-known tree ring divergence from actual temperatures (mentioned above). The actual temperatures, when measured by thermometers and satellite-borne instruments, do not show a decline over the time period in question.
posted by plastic_animals at 4:05 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Those quotes are taken out of context, but, when read in context, their nature doesn't change. Some of them are innocuous and genuinely fair-minded attempts to figure out why things look the way the do. Some of them, however, stink badly. The sum total of all of them does not sit well with me.

Basically all those quotes are taken out of context or intentionally misinterpreted. The worst ones are about withholding information and it seems like they were just trying to not have to deal with annoying denialists, which I can relate too.

But I'll even pretend like the quotes show evidence of wrong doing. If that was true, please cite one paper that was affected by this. Given the mountain of evidence in the released emails it should be pretty easy.
posted by afu at 4:32 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ha, this supposedly damning quote that shows evidence of withholding data really shows what is going on,

"We should be able to conduct our scientific research without constant fear of an "audit" by Steven McIntyre; without having to weigh every word we write in every email we send to our scientific colleagues. In my opinion, Steven McIntyre is the self-appointed Joe McCarthy of climate science. I am unwilling to submit to this McCarthy-style investigation of my scientific research. As you know, I have refused to send McIntyre the "derived" model data he requests, since all of the primary model data necessary to replicate our results are freely available to him. I will continue to refuse such data requests in the future. Nor will I provide McIntyre with computer programs, email correspondence, etc. I feel very strongly about these issues. We should not be coerced by the scientific equivalent of a playground bully. I will be consulting LLNL's Legal Affairs Office in order to determine how the DOE and LLNL should respond to any FOI requests that we receive from McIntyre."
posted by afu at 4:37 AM on December 10, 2009 [14 favorites]


Some guy was in our department a few months ago ranting at a few of our professors because they wouldn't believe his "Theory of Everything" (he actually called it that), despite the fact that he admitted he wasn't a physicist and didn't know what he was doing. I guess it's too bad for him that he doesn't have the oil industry, coal industry, and every member of a right-wing political party on his side.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:19 AM on December 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


Why can't they do both? You know, leading by example, talking the talk and walking the walk. The kind of leadership that says "I wouldn't ask you to do anything I'm not willing to do myself".

They are walking the walk. They are being carbon neutral and that's all global warming opponents are asking people to do only that and nothing more. One way to reduce CO2 emissions is by walking and taking public transport. Another way is by buying offset credits. Both work.

In fact, I think it's important that people understand that they won't need to make lifestyle sacrifices in order to combat global warming, so long as their lifestyles are supported in a sustainable way (for example, by using biofuels or using electricity generated by wind, solar, or nuclear energy).

Pointless sacrifice and discomfort actually sends the wrong message, IMO.

You're confusing sacrifice and sanctimony with actually doing what's needed, most of which does not involve discomfort. Is it a sacrifice to fix the insulation in your home so your heating bills go down and you save money? No. Is it a sacrifice to spend a 10% premium on your power bills to get energy from a solar panel or wind turbine? No. What about using an electric car or hybrid? Not really.

If the prices of these things go up to account for the costs, then more people will switch to public transport for economic reasons. But for most people it probably won't be an issue. The people organizing the Copenhagen conference did that by buying carbon offsets.

The only thing that matters is the amount of CO2 released
--

"Inferring carbon dioxide levels and/or temperature from tree rings is a major piece of the evidence for global warming?"

Only for years prior to the 1850s, which is when we pretty much had thermometers everywhere.
posted by delmoi at 9:02 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Theory of Everything, you say? I'm not saying that guy had any idea what he was really on about, but I don't think he came up with the term "Theory of Everything" out of nowhere.
posted by Green With You at 9:04 AM on December 10, 2009


The article I linked to had some quotes in it. A couple of those quotes are the ones that have gotten a lot of the deniers up in arms and are completely bullshit. There are, however, some other quotes that you're apparently ignoring because of your need to justify ad hominem attacks against the author of the article.

Not all ad hominem attacks are unwarranted. If a known Holocaust denier with a record of consistently distorting historical facts brings up a new argument why Hitler couldn't have killed Jews, he does not deserve full consideration of his argument.

The question here: is the article you cite a legitimate piece of journalism, or research advocacy (of the type think tanks produce)? (Answer: no. ) Similarly, many creationists and climate change deniers (like those who have denied smoking causes cancer) are not engaged in legitimate discourse. They are promoting a political or profitmaking agenda, which is clear because they drop arguments and raise new ones for purely tactical reasons. Their goal is not improved understanding of the world; it is purely to promote their side in an argument. Journalism and science are more than that.
posted by msalt at 9:39 AM on December 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


dirigibleman: Some guy was in our department a few months ago ranting at a few of our professors because they wouldn't believe his "Theory of Everything" (he actually called it that), despite the fact that he admitted he wasn't a physicist and didn't know what he was doing. I guess it's too bad for him that he doesn't have the oil industry, coal industry, and every member of a right-wing political party on his side.

-1 x -1= +1 is WRONG, it is academic stupidity and is evil. The educated stupid should acknowledge the natural antipodes of +1 x +1 = +1 and -1 x -1 = -1 exist as plus and minus values of opposite creation - depicted by opposite sexes and opposite hemispheres.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:03 AM on December 10, 2009


Truly shocking to me is that if a number of industries invest massive amounts of money to attach an area of science, its practitioners show some evidence of defensive behavior in their private emails. I mean, sure, the "science" attempting to disprove global warming is mostly unadulterated junk, but if the real scientists are talking about preventing those quacks from having an opening, well, I'm afraid I just can't believe them either. So, I guess, I have to believe that, er, um, something, something, I rest my case.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:13 AM on December 10, 2009


Or, you know, to attack an area. Whatever.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:13 AM on December 10, 2009


and -1 x -1 = -1

No, no, no! Your crackpot theory is totally WRONG! Clearly the negatives cancel out and you get and -1 x -1 = 0. I rest my case.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:15 AM on December 10, 2009


For additional information on myths/facts about global warming please click HAMBhereURGER.
posted by chugg at 10:16 AM on December 10, 2009


Isn't it time to retire the word eponysterical for good.

You, sir, need to stand down. I am the one who decides what is eponysterical and will make the official callouts as necessary. We don't need your brand of vigilantism on MeFi.

Besides, I really like this sock puppet even if I have been lax in enforcement
posted by Eponysterical Police at 10:30 AM on December 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


From Bklyn writes:

I mean offense here - there's something so willfully stupid in the position


You've completely misunderstood my position and have placed me in with the deniers simply because I have an issue with the appearance of a lack of scientific rigor within a few emails and policy documents.

You've completely ignored my repeated acknowledgments of AGW as fact in order to make an attempt to offend me.

The left wing nuts are out in force, I see.

For the record - I walk the walk from a carbon emission standpoint. I understand that human action is causing global warming and I am disgusted with our (United States) continued failures to make significant changes in our economy, lifestyles, national policies, and corporate governance.

It's not about whether any given paper was changed because of these emails. It's about a general feeling of a willfulness to fudge data to make it look better in the face of criticism instead of standing up to the criticism, facts in hand (yes, repeatedly), and continuing to do so in an open and honest way.

These aren't evil conspirators bent on world domination; quite the opposite. These are well-intentioned people doing excellent work. They have generously made significant contributions to the wealth of human knowledge. In my opinion (and this is the last time I bother trying to explain it) they've also made some mistakes of ego. That is a completely natural thing to happen, and we've all done it. It does not diminish, in any way, what they have accomplished or what the facts of AGW are.
posted by Revvy at 11:12 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have an issue with the appearance of a lack of scientific rigor within a few emails

This IS part of the problem, and I don't think it makes me a "left wing nut" to claim that emails written between scientists who study climate change are, essentially, worthless. They're part of a casual and on-going conversation that can't be scrutinized the way published papers will be. Go to lunch with some scientists, any scientists, and ask them about their research. You will hear a lack of scientific rigor that will shock you right out of your wig.
posted by muddgirl at 11:19 AM on December 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


I know several very dedicated and active scientists at major institutions (Stanford, CalTech, Lawrence, CERN). I've worked with them on interesting and decidedly non-scientific projects.

In speaking with them about this issue, they've expressed the same concerns I have.
posted by Revvy at 11:33 AM on December 10, 2009


So essentially your entire issue has been "These scientists sure are acting very unprofessional in their private emails to and from each other", and citing a climate change denialist website hosting an article written by a guy with connections to the oil industry had absolutely nothing to do with anything?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:42 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can you highlight some of the emails that you see as problematic? While I haven't read every email that was published, I have read quite a few that AGW-deniers claim to "be of concern", and have yet to find one that is even in bad taste, much less one that has "the appearance of a lack of scientific rigor".

I am coming from the viewpoint of someone with a technical degree, who has published several scientific papers and has worked both in a lab and in a government-sponsored industry.
posted by muddgirl at 11:43 AM on December 10, 2009


Going back to the article you posted, many of those excerpts seem damning because they have been removed from the context of the conversation. The rest are either legitimate expressions of frustration or innocent conversations about statistical modeling.
posted by muddgirl at 11:50 AM on December 10, 2009


No, no, no! Your crackpot theory is totally WRONG! Clearly the negatives cancel out and you get and -1 x -1 = 0. I rest my case.

Actually you can create an algebraic group with whatever multiplication table you want, then do analysis to see which algebraic properties it's consistent with.
For example Z2 is a finite field (i.e. both a ring and a group) where 1+1=0
posted by delmoi at 1:38 PM on December 10, 2009


delmoi: No, no, no! Your crackpot theory is totally WRONG! Clearly the negatives cancel out and you get and -1 x -1 = 0. I rest my case.

Actually you can create an algebraic group with whatever multiplication table you want, then do analysis to see which algebraic properties it's consistent with.
For example Z2 is a finite field (i.e. both a ring and a group) where 1+1=0


Are you guys talking mathematics in regards to my pullquote from Timecube?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:02 PM on December 10, 2009


-1x-1=1 only if x=-2
posted by Sys Rq at 2:27 PM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Clearly, multiplying two negative 1s gives you a double-negative 11.

I am working on a paper to describe just such "Hypernegative Darkstarian" numbers, which I anticipate will be published in "Highlights" magazine as soon as it gets out of peer review with the Institute for Creation Research. Ray Comfort is even now penning a 120-page introduction to my paper, placing it into proper scientific and mathematical context. Sarah Palin is endorsing it heavily on her jet bus tour.
posted by darkstar at 4:04 PM on December 10, 2009


Big ups to Optimus Chyme for expressing my rage for me in a much funnier way that I would have been able to.
posted by tehloki at 4:16 PM on December 10, 2009


Searching on the 'hacker' aspect brings up this claim:
which proves that the release of documents came from an inside whistleblower, instead of from some Russian hacker.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:01 PM on December 10, 2009


Atlas Shrugs? Really?
posted by tkchrist at 5:25 PM on December 10, 2009


"They are walking the walk. They are being carbon neutral..."

So, by "carbon neutral" you mean "we threw some cash at a power plant in India that burns corn husks"? Color me unimpressed. It seems from the article that the plant is already in operation so how does cutting a check make COP15 carbon neutral again? Maybe the check was printed on recycled paper.
posted by MikeMc at 5:30 PM on December 10, 2009


I know several very dedicated and active scientists at major institutions (Stanford, CalTech, Lawrence, CERN). I've worked with them on interesting and decidedly non-scientific projects.

In speaking with them about this issue, they've expressed the same concerns I have.


This kind of rhetoric reminds me of the comments that kicked off Suzanne Somers vaginal hormone Wiley fiasco, which I'd rather avoid in this discussion.

Here's the problem: this a fallback, not a real response. It's a roundabout way of saying you somehow know more than we do without directly answering people's questions about your assertions. The fact that important people who you happen to know happen to agree with you doesn't address the gaps between your assertions and the kind of explanation and details folks are asking you for.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 5:59 PM on December 10, 2009


Atlas Shrugs? Really?

Alas, yea. I keep seeing claims it 'was not hackers but an inside job' and I've not seen the evidence either way. Was hoping someone who's tracking that angle better would have input.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:07 PM on December 10, 2009


So, by "carbon neutral" you mean "we threw some cash at a power plant in India that burns corn husks"? Color me unimpressed.

And why are the ppl who complained about the weird deritives market that are being blamed for part of the reason the economy collapsed not expressing any concern over those same "masters of the universe" being enlisted in carbon cap and trade?

Or why are there no concerns about the 70% of the cap and trade funds not actually going to carbon reduction but instead into 'overhead' costs?

The 'solution' looks like a con.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:12 PM on December 10, 2009


Hmmm...30% of something, vs 0% of nothing...which seems bigger?

And it doesn't really matter how much wastage there is, the point is to put profit into conservation.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:20 PM on December 10, 2009


The blog "Atlas Shrugs" that you cite starts with these words: Climategate, the biggest fraud in science history...

Really? Bigger than Piltdown Man? More to the point, bigger than 50 years of phony studies trying to hide the link between tobacco and millions of cancer deaths?
posted by msalt at 10:57 PM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm late to the party, but Sarah Palin is not stupid. I know I shouldn't encourage discussion of Sarah Palin, but what Brian Dunning has to say on this is important to remember.
posted by crataegus at 12:00 AM on December 11, 2009


Speaking out against shoddy scientific process is one thing.
But, speaking out about emails that describe someone engaging in shoddy scientific process is something else. And when those emails are in re science concerning 'AGW' and when those emails are being cherry-picked for the juicy parts - AND when the article decrying this travesty of scientific purity is published on a website that is a little bit more (shall we say) than a little bit connected to a rich guy whose wealth is derived from the oil business...

You've completely misunderstood my position and have placed me in with the deniers simply
Because that's where you had your party published your article.
Look, I recognize the need to make a buck, and the website pays, but still - whose side are you working for? If you think the letters prove scientific fraud and that's all, then why publish your article in a venue that will implicitly convey that ALL of the science around AGW is suspect in light of these e-mails...

I'm a left wing nut? Don't be silly, my beef is with business putting profit ahead of common sense, and all the ramifications thereof.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:07 AM on December 11, 2009


msalt: "The blog "Atlas Shrugs" that you cite starts with these words: Climategate, the biggest fraud in science history..."

Pam Geller at Atlas Shrugs is the looney who blogged about how Malcolm X was really Obama's father. She's more than a little unhinged, not to say bonkers.
posted by octothorpe at 7:05 AM on December 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm just amazed at how much traction this is getting. The problems of institutional and career politics are old news to those of us who have tried to put a thesis committee together. We know that it's a big old soap opera on the inside, and the strength of the scientific method doesn't entirely depend on everyone being an ethical good sport in all of their correspondence. As the editorial at RealClimate pointed out, gravity isn't useful because Newton was a nice guy.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:19 AM on December 11, 2009



What are the scientists' incentives to lie? Why would they jeopardize their careers over a conspiracy when all the money is in the hands of the corporate establishment and the oil companies? It seems to me they have much more incentive to lie for big oil. After all, there are a handful of wealthy liberals conservatives believe bankroll scams (George Sorros, Al Gore, Steve Jobs, etc.), but consider that Sorros only has 11 billion dollars. Meanwhile, Exxon has 228 billion dollars in assets.


Plus, being the one scientist to publish a paper showing that global warming is not true or unfalsifiable would make that scientist famous. He'd be a hero to governments and people all over. Everyone likes to use energy, and global warming legislation will put a serious damper on the orgy of wanton consumption we've been enjoying. Liberals want emissions regulations not because they like to pay a lot for gas or want to hurt the economy, but because they think it's what has to be done to avoid more damage later.

Because there's money for those who say global warming is real. This money is coming from the government and saying climate change isn't real doesn't help the government. You're not going to make many friends if you tell the government that it doesn't have a panic it can use to tax people. It's sorta like a baptist and bootlegger situation.

I really don't mean to come off as a troll but there are some environmentalists who use environmentalism as a way of manifesting their hatred of the free market and climate change is a good way of doing this - it's source is the lifestyle of the developed world and its energy consumption so it's easy to blame the market. Liberals like bigger government and climate change is an easy way to push that agenda. I'm not saying all scientists are froth mouthed liberals but some of the environmentalist arguments I've read run into anti-corporate, anti-market arguments which is arguing for a different thing. If you want to save the planet, that fine, just don't use it as an excuse because you hate corporations.

I really do believe climate change is a real issue. Despite what I said, I tend to believe that the simplest solution is the most likely and that scientists just do their job and their findings on climate change are a result of research and not necessarily a bias. I really don't think the e-mail leaks disprove it once and for all. But here's a few problems I have:

1) Yes, it's true that there's no talks about them being part of some communist conspiracy or receiving orders from Soros or stuff like that. Yet these are still scientists who are exaggerating data to get the "right" results. Climate change is happening but is it as dramatically as scientists say it is?

2) A lot of responses I see from liberal blogs and some climate change blogs are along the lines of "These e-mails were illegally hacked, they shouldn't be discussed." Well guess what - they're public now. Furthermore, I think they do warrant a response. I know a few denialists and I have no idea what to really say about these e-mails.
posted by champthom at 7:27 PM on December 11, 2009


You're not going to make many friends if you tell the government that it doesn't have a panic it can use to tax people.

Yeah, because that's all governments really want to do: tax people. Tax, tax tax! Whahahahaha! They'll make up any kind of crazy story to justify taxes: There's a war! There's a hurricane! There's a flu epidemic! Old people are starving! Criminals need to be arrested and tried! Banks are failing! Highways need to be built! Food needs to be inspected! Patents need to be granted! Lawsuits need to be decided!

So it's obvious that global warming is just one more of these absurd stories invented to justify taxes, and the government haas been paying off the scientists (they're all in it together) to panic the people into allowing their taxes to be raised to 150%.

Tell your denialist friends that the "conspiracy" was about how to interpret one anomaly in tree ring data. Not that facts will make a difference when they are busy exposing the great overtaxing conspiracy.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:11 PM on December 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


champthon: No one here has said these emails were hacked so they shouldn't be discussed. I have seen, "these emails were hacked so let's consider the motives of the people who hacked them and released selected excerpts to right-wing, AGW-denialist websites." Do you think that's unfair?

You then wrote: these are still scientists who are exaggerating data to get the "right" results.

Back up your statement with specifics please. That has been refuted in this topic several times which you completely ignore: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
posted by msalt at 11:30 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Review: E-mails show pettiness, not fraud -- "Climate experts, AP reporters go through 1,000 exchanges."
posted by ericb at 2:26 PM on December 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Re: Polar bears. Ireland's largest bookmaker, Paddy Power is now taking bets on the impact of climate change on polar bears. Their "odds predict a sharp decline in their population over the next two years..." and "Punters seem to share this view as we are yet to take a single bet on the polar bear population increasing.".
posted by jonesor at 7:14 AM on December 15, 2009


"odds predict a sharp decline in their population over the next two years...we are yet to take a single bet on the polar bear population increasing."

So if the warming deniers really believed their own BS, they could make a killing by betting all they have that its effect will never be felt, and they haven't?
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:54 AM on December 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


the point is to put profit into conservation.

Bullshit.

Conservation should be its own reward - because if the place goes up in smoke the rich go with it.

Why should law come into existence that lines the pockets of the lobbyists AND, to add insult to injury, isn't even 50% effective?


I can understand if you are going to be in the 70% part thinking its a great plan.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:40 PM on December 17, 2009


Conservation should be its own reward

And that's why conservation has been such an incredibly popular and successful tactic for ending global warming. I really don't understand why we even need this "Hopenhagen" conference at all.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:21 PM on December 17, 2009


And that's why conservation has been such an incredibly popular and successful tactic for ending global warming.

I find it interesting that rather than FIX the broken system you're in favor of applying yet another distortion AND lining up with your hand out to profit from the misery of others.

What's next? Saying water should be made a private corporate interest also? Or do you do that after you've made sure you are ready to profit from your suggestion as codified in law.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:50 AM on December 18, 2009


Oh, and my brother just emailed me this little gem, if you need any more evidence of the total corruptness of the deniers.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:30 PM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Exactly how would you propose to "fix" the broken system? And how does adding a cost to pollution (by establishing a carbon-trading system) "profit from the misery of others?"

The biggest problem with cap-and-trade is making sure the caps are lowered at a rate that allows us to hit the necessary goals. Making sure that happens is going to be the responsibility of those of us who are worried about global warming.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:20 PM on December 18, 2009




I started pinning my hopes on geoengineering solutions rather than CO2 reduction several years ago when it started looking like China would only come to the table at gunpoint. I'm still worried about ocean acidification though.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:41 PM on December 22, 2009


« Older That is Not B-Roll   |   Best of the decade 2000-2009 Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post