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Censorship Science

Expert Wants to Decertify Global Warming Skeptics 926

Posted by samzenpus
from the believe-it-or-else dept.
Penguinisto writes "Apparently in the Senate, at least one scientist wants to put a permanent stop to any arguments over Global Warming. The Weather Channel's most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming."
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Expert Wants to Decertify Global Warming Skeptics

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  • Re:So what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by davmoo (63521) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:11AM (#17660460)
    2006 was the warmest year ever

    Not quite. You left out an important part of the sentence...2006 was the warmest year ever recorded. We only have records of weather data for approximately 400 years...not even the blink of an eye in terms of climatic change.

    I'm not saying there isn't global warming taking place. I'm merely saying neither side needs to be exagerating to either extreme. And censorship is censorship, and is equally offensive and unscientific regardless of which side it comes from. A scientist who wants to censor or punish other scientists for their views is just as bad as any group of rabid "intelligent design" supporters.
  • Editors, RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:12AM (#17660474)
    WTF does "Apparently in the Senate, at least one scientist wants to put a permanent stop.." mean? The scientist isn't in the Senate. It looks like the blog linked is by a Senator. How about linking to the actual person who made the suggestion, and not this inflammatory shit?

    No one suggested a "permanent stop to any arguments over Global Warming" as the summary says.

    The original article is JUNK CONTROVERSY NOT JUNK SCIENCE [weather.com], posted a month ago actually.

    If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming. (One good resource if you don't have a lot of time is the Pew Center's Climate Change 101.) Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy. If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval. Clearly, the AMS doesn't agree that global warming can be blamed on cyclical weather patterns. It's like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather. It's not a political statement...it's just an incorrect statement.
  • Apparently (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lars T. (470328) <{moc.liamelgoog} {ta} {regearT.sraL}> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:16AM (#17660510) Journal
    Apparently on Slashdot neither the Slashdotters, nor the editor, nor the submitter bother to actually RTFA. The only relation to the Senate is that the author of that BLOG entry is does PR work for the majority chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • Re:Wrong Way (Score:3, Informative)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:18AM (#17660518)
    Secondly, let me point out that sometime in the 70's early 80's, can't remember, there were scientist crying about global COOLING!

    Bullshit [wmconnolley.org.uk]

  • Re:Wrong Way (Score:2, Informative)

    by tscoreninja (918920) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:26AM (#17660572)
    You make the issue look way too simple. Please read the quote of the original statement of that meteorologist:

    "The subject of global warming definitely makes headlines in the media and is a topic of much debate. I try to read up on the subject to have a better understanding, but it is complex. Often, it is so politicized and those on both sides don't always appear to have their facts straight. History has taught us that weather patterns are cyclical and although we have noticed a warming pattern in recent time, I don't know what generalizations can be made from this with the lack of long-term scientific data. That's all I will say about this."

    Do you call this scientific discussion? I don't. The guy admits he has no understanding of the scientific issues, but feels free to add his comments nevertheless. Also note that the American Meteorolgical Society is actually endorsing someone by its AMS Seal of Approval. Should they be allowed to withdraw that, because that guy does not understand the issue, but still feels the need to question AMS's position on air? Do consider, for example, that guy stating: "I believe Bush attacked Iraque soley for control over its oil" as part of the news. I guess that would get him in trouble, if he could not back it up by facts. Would you call that censorship? While I do not agree with Dr. Cullen's call, IMNO this is not an issue of censorship in climate science, but of work ethics for TV journalists.

  • by Trestran (715384) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:51AM (#17660716)
    Let's take a look at what she actually said, shall we?
    I'd like to take that suggestion a step further. If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming. ... Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy
    That's a pretty darn reasonable point of view, and very much pro science. It just so happens that scientific consensus does in fact support anthropogenic global warming. Just look at the rigorously peer reviewed reports of the IPCC, and the endorsements of a vast number of scientific institutes in the world out there, and pretty much all the climatological and meteorological organizations in the US. And when looked at peer reviewed science, no real opposing scientific theory can be found at this point, see a study published by Nature, "Beyond the ivory tower: The scientific consensus on climate change [sciencemag.org]".

    Now, the part of her statement this controversy is about, which is making just speaking on the actual scientific work out there part of the requirements of the seal of approval, rather then spreading misinformation not based on peer reviewed science. But what is the purpose of this seal. Well, let's check their site [ametsoc.org]:
    The AMS Seal of Approval was launched in 1957 as a way to recognize on-air meteorologists for their sound delivery of weather information to the general public.
    And they now have a specific certificate for broadcast meteorologists, which states its purpose as:
    In January 2005, the AMS introduced a new program called the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) program, intended to raise the professional standard in broadcast meteorology and encourage a broader range of scientific understanding, especially with respect to environmental issues. The goal of the CBM program is to certify that the holder meets specific educational and experience criteria and has passed rigorous testing in their knowledge and communication of meteorology and related sciences needed to be an effective broadcast meteorologist.
    Hey, how about that. It's about giving accurate information on the actual scientific understanding out there, and communicating this in an accurate and effective way. Not at all about "censoring", this call is merely suggesting that people who are certified under this hold themselves to the peer reviewed science out there on climate change. Which matches remarkably well with the stated purpose of the certification.

    I'm not exactly sure if it is a good idea though, but this blogger linked by the /. write up is misrepresent things and has pulled the statements out of context.
  • by AnnuitCoeptis (1049058) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:58AM (#17660756)
    "Medieval Warm Period" is just a few centuries back and the planet was so much warmer than is now. Even the Greenland was stripped off ice so the Vikings dwelt there without any problem. We are actually in very cold perior right now and some warming would be much appreciated at least for us who experience -30 degrees celsius in the winter.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Warm_Period [wikipedia.org]
  • by Kidbro (80868) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:14AM (#17660874)
    This is not censorship. This is about single organisation, the American Meteorological Society, that apparently sometimes chooses to give their formal approval of a specific indivudual. Essentialy they're saying "we think this dude knows his shit, you can trust him". If any person who they have given this approval start sprouting complete gibberish (in their view), of course they can then say "nope, we were wrong, we don't think you can trust him".
    What's the fucking problem here? They're not revoking his right to speak. They're just saying that they don't trust him any more. Are we under some damn obligation to approve of everybody's ideas, just because they're allowed to speak about them?

    This is a non issue. Go get upset about the rights that are actually being taken away from you, not about this triviality.

  • by golodh (893453) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:14AM (#17660876)
    Of course not ... and I don't need to be told. In addition, real scientists aren't in the habit of advocating gag orders on opponents. Ever. So what's up?

    It seems that somebody (opposed to the idea of a man-made impacy on climate) seems to have worked out how to evoke a popular (knee-jerk) response from Slashdot.

    The secret is that ... most slashdotters simply don't read the article referred to, let alone the articles referred to by that article. They take the position that they can rely on whoever wrote the slashdot newsflash to do that for them. Instead they are happy to comment on the post and the previous comments (much more fun, and less work). So ... if you can insert any statement to excite slashdotters in your newsflash, you can pretty much lead them to endorse (or condemn) whatever orginal article you like.

    So ... what is actually going on?

    Q: Did those experts cited really propose to end scientific discussion by silencing those who oppose the idea of a man-made impact on global warning?

    A: No! (see the original blog by Heidi Cullen at http://climate.weather.com/blog/9_11396.html [weather.com] )

    Q: So if that wasn't the case, then where did the idea come from?

    A: The idea came from a certain Marc Morano (marc_morano@epw.senate.gov) who's blog was cited by slashdot. See the blog referenced by the slashdot newsflash at http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction= PressRoom.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=32abc0b0-802a-23a d-440a-88824bb8e528 [senate.gov])

    Q: So if there was no question of the experts proposing to stifle discussion by de-certifying opponents then where does all the hoopla come from?

    A :I think we are witnessing a rant by Marc Morano which received disproportionate attention by it's referral on slashdot. In case this referral was deliberate, we are witnessing a political mear campaign. Live and in colour

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:4, Informative)

    by DCFC (933633) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:14AM (#17661252)
    I'm not disagreeing with your basic point, but in the case of Solar cycles, by the time we've reduced our nice warm blanket of greenhouse gases, the cycle may be on a down turn, when we've just spent trillions making the Earth colder. Ooops.
    It's easy to suspect that fertiliser and pesticide run offs are altering which microbes prosper and thus affect climate. Bio-fuels require yet more intensive agriculture, and so may make the problem worse, or not. Again a focus on CO2 may be doing more harm than good.
    Also, there is the random "background noise" of vulcanism. This can be a big term. In the last couple of centuries we've seen at least one event that lost our planeet an entire summer, and for a while entirely overwhelmed any possible human effect. A few big volcanoes randomly going off could make the most hysterical predicitons of arts-graduate Greens look like a rainy afternoon.
    The nature of climate variation affects deeply how we should respond. We can't do much about volcanoes, except maybe set one off as a frantic reaction to short term global warming :) If the forces are outside our control, like Solar, or Chinese industralisation then the optimum may be to make it less bad and not spend money on trying to slow it down. I'm not saying this is the case, I'm saying that a religious belief in a single monolithic truth is extravagantly unlikely to deliver the best choices.
  • by heroofhyr (777687) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:27AM (#17661300)
    The "liberals" didn't come up with the law. In Germany and Austria it was a postwar requirement of the Allied forces that among other things denying the Holocaust be a punishable offence, in order to prevent former Nazis from regaining any public support once the Allies left. If you had bothered to actually do any fact-checking before making a statement like that, you'd know that the law was passed in 1947 under the ÖVP, which is the conservative party of Austria. They held the chancellorship (under Figl) and majority in Parliament until the "Socialist revolution" under Kreisky in 1970.

    Irving didn't go to jail for denying the Holocaust. He was put on trial because the Austrian government warned him not to enter the border because they knew who he was and what he would say. The Burschenschaft, a secret society of right-wing students who swordfight and wear weird costumes (I am not making this up, you can look it up if you want), invited him to speak and he was stupid enough to go and was subsequently arrested at the airport. We have a lot of problems right now, especially in Vienna, because so many Turkish people are coming and certain far-right parties are using it as the new scapegoat to gain support. The last thing Austria needs is some douche like David Irving fanning the flames.

    Crack open a history book and an atlas sometime before writing flamebait about countries you know nothing about and have probably never been to.
  • Re:Wrong Way (Score:2, Informative)

    by KDR_11k (778916) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:32AM (#17661330)
    Scientific consent is on neither global warming nor cooling, it's on climate change. Some regions will get warmer, some get cooler and the whole weather will go out of whack.
  • Re:Wrong Way (Score:3, Informative)

    by testadicazzo (567430) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:37AM (#17661358) Homepage
    Totally agree with you that censorship is not a good solution, and that censoring scientific debate is always a bad idea. When I read the editorial I immediately thought the same thing as you. But then I read the article,and followed the links. The article is incredibly misleading. Here's the actual quote on which the article bases its statement that "at least one scientist wants to put a permanent stop to any arguments over Global Warming. The Weather Channel's most prominent climatologist...":

    Capitalweather.com, a website for hard-core weather junkies in the DC area, recently published an interview with a local meteorologist that highlights the unfortunate divide that exists right now between the climate and weather communities. Yup, that divide is global warming. When asked about the science of global warming, the meteorologist responded: "The subject of global warming definitely makes headlines in the media and is a topic of much debate. I try to read up on the subject to have a better understanding, but it is complex. Often, it is so politicized and those on both sides don't always appear to have their facts straight. History has taught us that weather patterns are cyclical and although we have noticed a warming pattern in recent time, I don't know what generalizations can be made from this with the lack of long-term scientific data. That's all I will say about this." In an interesting follow-up blog on the reason for this all too common global warming contrarianism within the broadcast meteorology community, journalist Andrew Freedman suggests local TV meteorologist may want to look to the American Meteorological Society for guidance. Freedman goes on to point out that the AMS has in fact, issued a statement on climate change that reads: "There is convincing evidence that since the industrial revolution, human activities, resulting in increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and other trace constituents in the atmosphere, have become a major agent of climate change." I'd like to take that suggestion a step further. If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming. (One good resource if you don't have a lot of time is the Pew Center's Climate Change 101.) Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy. If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval. Clearly, the AMS doesn't agree that global warming can be blamed on cyclical weather patterns. It's like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather. It's not a political statement...it's just an incorrect statement. I agree with every meteorologist who says the topic of global warming has gotten too political. But that's why talking about the science is so important!

    Now, compare this text to the way this text is characterised in the article. Dr. Cullen believes that competency in the subject of global warming should be required in order for a meteorologist to certified by the AMS, as they have a large impact on public opinion, and their AMS certification gives them an air of authority to the general public. She doesn't say that everyone has to toe the party line regarding global warming, but that their comments be founded on real science, not the junk science often behind global warming skepticism. Her first quote, the woefully ignorant meteorologist is an example of someone who is using their credentials to lend strength to an uninformed, ignorant and unscientific opinion.

    I think open scientific debate is vital, and that no theory (including holocost denial) should

  • by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:40AM (#17661374) Homepage
    Without writing a long treatise...

    New glass packaging can be made from as much as 90% recycled glass. New glass requires the heating of silica to around 1800C whereas cullet (recycled glass) need only be heated to between 900 and 1450C.

    After accounting for the transport and processing needed, 315kg of CO2 is saved per tonne of glass melted (source: wasteonline.org.uk, emphasis mine).

    Additionally, old glass can be used in "glasphalt", up to 30% by volume, reducing the energy used to mine rock. This is an especially important use for green and mixed recycled glass since manufacturers generally want clear glass for packaging and flat glass usage, leaving brown and green primarily for certain beverage bottles. While it doesn't save carbon emissions (because the glass isn't being returned to remanufacture), it saves landfill space (more important in the EU than the US) and provides use for otherwise unneeded material.

    Will that do for a start?
  • Re:Wrong Way (Score:3, Informative)

    by Darth Daver (193621) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:41AM (#17661382)
    Unlike many readers on Slashdot, I remember the 1970's. After a couple of severe winters involving blizzards, news reports extensively covered the coming of the next ice age. It was featurd in time magazine ( http://newsbusters.org/node/6546 [newsbusters.org] ), where they stated, "However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age." I remember being worried about it, which is why I am not worried about global warming now. Don't tell me it never happened. By the way, it snowed in Malibu yesterday. ( http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/2/story.cfm?c_id =2&objectid=10419760 [nzherald.co.nz] )
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:2, Informative)

    by eldepeche (854916) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:44AM (#17661394)
    Quoth TFA: "The Weather Channel's (TWC) Heidi Cullen, who hosts the weekly global warming program "The Climate Code," is advocating..."

    Heidi is probably not a guy.
  • by Gorshkov (932507) <admgorshkov AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @08:12AM (#17661516)
    Q: Did those experts cited really propose to end scientific discussion by silencing those who oppose the idea of a man-made impact on global warning?

    A: No! (see the original blog by Heidi Cullen at http://climate.weather.com/blog/9_11396.html [weather.com] )


    Are you sure about that?
    From the TFA:
    Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy. If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval. Clearly, the AMS doesn't agree that global warming can be blamed on cyclical weather patterns. It's like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather. It's not a political statement...it's just an incorrect statement.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @08:21AM (#17661552)
    "The problem with that argument is that it fails to account for Venus being closer to the sun. When you sit on the electric heater, CO2 is not the reason your ass gets hot."

    Yes Venus is closer to the Sun then Earth, but then again Mercury is even closer. The funny thing is that both the mean and maximum tempuratures on Mercury are in fact lower than those observed on Venus... Look it up.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus [wikipedia.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_(planet) [wikipedia.org]
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:5, Informative)

    by What'sInAName (115383) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @08:49AM (#17661808) Homepage Journal
    Just a correction. Membership in the AMA [wikipedia.org] is not a requirement for a medical doctor. The AMA is a professional/lobbying organization, not a certifying authority.

    Just mentioning this because I thought the same as you, but only found this out recently.

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:5, Informative)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:32AM (#17662290) Journal
    "how on earth does a view on climate change affect whether you can accurately predict tomorrow's weather?"

    Excellent question since we all know by now that weather != climate. The point is that the AMC have a body of science that says XYZ about the climate, they do not want someone giving the impression that they endorse a diametrically opposed view that they have investigated ad-nauseam. A weather presenter has every right to an opposing view but whilst a member of that organisation s/he should be clear their view is personal and unpublished. Perhaps a surgeon who refuses to wash thier hands but is still allowed to practice is a better analogy.

    "What is motivating her to suggest this? You kick doctors out of the AMA because you're concerned about patients."

    Climate predictions are like a medical diagnosis for the progression of a "cancer" known as the population explosion. The "cancer" is literally eating and befouling the biosphere at (dare I say) an "alarming" rate. The main symptoms of this "cancer" are climate change, habitat destruction, peak oil and the sixth great extinction. Nobody can say if or when the biosphere will collapse around us, it's like a game of kerplunk, everyone knows we can't keep removing straws indefinitely.
  • by DrJay (102053) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:40AM (#17662384) Homepage
    One google search brings us:
    "Morano works under Senator James Inhofe, majority chairman of the committee."

    Inhofe is the senator who called human influence on climate one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated, and used his former chairmanship to throw all sorts of unsubstantiated claims into the limelight. I would assume that his staff have just as much credibility.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zenaku (821866) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:01AM (#17662610)
    Doctors have to be licensed here too, of course, it just isn't done at a national level, so far as I know. I think they have to be licensed by the state medical board in the state(s) in which they practice, and those boards are run by the state's department of health, which complies with rule and guidelines made by the federal department of health.

    But I am not a Doctor, so this is mostly just guessing.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:07AM (#17662698)
    "Your analogy would be closer if it said surgeons who believed faith healing was possible were barred, regardless of their ability to conduct surgery."

    This has already happened on more than one occasion in the US. Any doctor mentioning/using "alternative therapies" will most likely have some sort of fall-out with the AMA.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:48AM (#17663328)

    They're probably Slashdot or Digg users. Group-think is very strong in both of these online communities and you will get moderated down if you disagree with the accepted collective doctrine.
    Heh. Quickest way to get moderated up on Slashdot? Say "I know I'll get modded down for saying this, but..." Then all the righteous defenders of free speech and heterodoxy will ensure the opposite happens.
  • Re:Wrong Way (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:56AM (#17663460)
    P.S. Forgot my links to what scientists (as opposed to the media) were saying in the scientific literature at the time: here [realclimate.org] and here [wmconnolley.org.uk].
  • Re:Wrong Way (Score:3, Informative)

    by Soldrinero (789891) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:00AM (#17663522)
    Well, you are correct that there were predictions of global cooling (although I think "ice age" might be a bit beyond what the scientific community really said). This was based on real data - the Earth really did cool down for about three decades. But around the 1970's, it started to warm up again. Climate scientists now realize that the cooling effect was the result of aerosols (fine particles suspended in the atmosphere, not the CFC spay cans). I think the mechanism was that aerosols increased cloud formation, which reflected more sunlight into space, hence cooling the planet. This was despite an increase in greenhouse gases, especially CO2. Now, however, the greenhouse effect, in combination with declining aerosol levels, has caused temperatures to rise again.

    Although you're right about the reversal in predictions, your conclusion (they were wrong before, so they're always wrong!) is flippant and ignores the real science being done in the field.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:3, Informative)

    by Llywelyn (531070) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:08AM (#17663634) Homepage
    Look up Wilk v. the AMA

    The AMA lost the case, being found guilty of conspiracy and restraint of trade, in 1987. Before 1983 it had as a policy that it was unethical for medical doctors to associate with those in "unscientific cults." It included chiropractic on this list.
  • by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:16AM (#17663752)

    I have yet to see any evidence that our tiny levels of CO2 (we are still somewhere around 0.3% total, compared to the 90% back when life appeared) are going to make any measurable difference.
    Even if you ignore the actual measurable difference in temperature that has taken place, there is also the known physical fact that the "tiny" levels of CO2 in our atmosphere are enough to produce significant warming; we know quite well what CO2's spectral adsorption properties are, and can calculate fairly directly what that translates into in terms of heat retention.

    They tried that one years ago. Noone took them seriously back then, and noone does now.
    You are grossly misinformed.

    The problem with that argument is that it fails to account for Venus being closer to the sun. When you sit on the electric heater, CO2 is not the reason your ass gets hot.
    Being closer of the Sun makes Venus hotter than it would be if it were in Earth's orbit, but Venus is hotter than its mere location would account for — hotter even than Mercury, which is closer to the Sun! The greenhouse effect is the reason why.

    There are three main factors which govern its overall temperature: the amount of energy it receives from the Sun (insolation), the amount of that energy which is reflected by its atmosphere (albedo), and the amount of energy retained by the atmosphere (greenhouse effect). If you take only the first two into account, you get the wrong temperature; if you take the third into account, you get the right one.

    Agreed, we to create a lot (on a human scale, not on planetary scale) of CO2, and should cut down where we can. But still no evidence that we are changing anything.
    Yeah, other than the fact that it's getting dramatically hotter in exact coincidence with the timing, magnitude, and rate of our CO2 emissions.

    Not only that, but average temperature has been going up since the last ice age.
    Actually, they went up dramatically at the end of the last ice age (hence "the end of the last ice age"), but for the most part remained constant or even gradually declined over the last 8000 years.

    Maybe that's why the ice melted in the first place?
    Er, yes. So what?

    We do produce lots of CO2, and it can theoretically increase the temperature. We just haven't seen any evidence at all, that the CO2 we create is enough to make a difference.
    Other than the fact that we do see a big difference, and that we can calculate the difference that the CO2 we create ought to make, and the two are compatible.
  • Re:Wrong Way (Score:3, Informative)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:20AM (#17663830)
    What frightens me is the number of people willing to tell you to your face that you're wrong. I also remember learning about global cooling from the news and in the classroom, but have had younger people swear that never happened.

    I was old enough. I was born in 1958. I never said it wasn't in the media I said, SCIENTISTS NEVER SAID THIS. Every day I see things in the newspaper and on TV that I know are wildly distorted. What frightens me is that somehow speculative articles written in popular magazines 30 years ago are used to justify discounting the mountain of evidence scientists have built since then.

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:4, Informative)

    by electroniceric (468976) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:13PM (#17664598)
    A weather presenter has every right to an opposing view but whilst a member of that organisation s/he should be clear their view is personal and unpublished.
    Thanks you, very well put. This AMS has published a statement in support of anthropogenic influence climate change, and many meteorologist speak in direct contradiction to that statement. In that vein, if you read the post [weather.com] on Dr. Cullen's blog, [weather.com] she's got a different message. She's saying that meteorologists are not bothering to understand what scientific organizations, including their own are saying about climate change, and instead are speculating based on what they hear elsewhere (and hence end up repeating assertions that are not scientifically sound). That's an issue of basic credibility - every scientist making claims about the state of scientific understanding of an issue needs to be well grounded in the literature and consensus of the community. Meteorologists are not doing this, yet they are assuming the mantle of climate scientists. That's deeply irresponsible, and if it occurred in another field would indeed be subject to sanction, much like you analogy of a surgeon not washing his or her hands. Really, read her post - she's put it much better than me, and it's not aimed as censorship at all.

    As for how the loaded word censorship got introduced here, note that this press release is really from James Inhofe's office (Morano is Inhofe's communications director).
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Marc_Mo rano [sourcewatch.org]

    Inhofe has consistently misrepresented the evidence for climate change and included testimony from non-experts. So whatever the merits of whether and how meteorologists should be permitted to publicly disagree with the science endorsed by their organizations, this press release (and its histrionics about censorship) does not originate from the climate science community - it originates from a Senator with a track record of scientific disinformation. Know thy sources and their modus operandi.
  • by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slash&omnifarious,org> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:30PM (#17664872) Homepage Journal

    That amounts to the same thing. The only things that can be proven beyond a doubt are math theorems. That means that scientists are reduced to reporting only measurements if they want to fit this criteria. If a scientist states a conclusion that they feel the data supports and a politician disagrees with it, that conclusion will be removed. No hypothesis are proven conclusively by evidence. There are always other possible explanations.

    And given that this is the same administration that offers a book up for sale at the Grand Canyon stating that the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood and forbids rangers from stating what they think the age of the Grand Canyon is [peer.org], I think it's clear that they aren't interested in truth.

  • by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @01:04PM (#17665408)
    Read here [realclimate.org] and here [wmconnolley.org.uk] for more on what scientists themselves were saying at the time. In short, they knew there was a natural cooling trend, but they also knew they didn't have a good handle on manmade greenhouse gas emissions, and they also knew that their climate models weren't up to solid prediction. They said that on the basis of extrapolating the past trend alone, cooling would result. However, they also said that they couldn't predict cooling based on modeling, and that they didn't know whether anthropogenic emissions would outweigh the cooling. Some decades of continued data collection, improvement in statistical techinques, and better climate models later, they now can say with credibility that warming will continue over the next century at least.
  • by shma (863063) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:38PM (#17667282)
    They tried that one years ago. Noone took them seriously back then, and noone does now. The problem with that argument is that it fails to account for Venus being closer to the sun. When you sit on the electric heater, CO2 is not the reason your ass gets hot.

    Sorry AC, you're full of shit.

    From wikipedia:

    Venus has an extremely thick atmosphere, which consists mainly of carbon dioxide and a small amount of nitrogen. The pressure at the planet's surface is about 90 times that at Earth's surface--a pressure equivalent to that at a depth of 1 kilometer under Earth's oceans. The enormously CO2-rich atmosphere generates a strong greenhouse effect that raises the surface temperature to over 400 C. This makes Venus' surface hotter than Mercury's, even though Venus is nearly twice as distant from the Sun and receives only 25% of the solar irradiance.

    In fact, if we ignored the greenhouse effect, and made a simplyfying blackbody assumption, the increase in temperature due to distance D from the sun goes like 1/sqrt(D) [wikipedia.org]. So Venus, being 71% of the distance from the earth to the sun, would be only at 64 C without it's greenhouse effect (albeido plays a role as well, but that in turn is related to the atmospheric content).

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