Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship Government United States Science Politics

Congress Hears From Muzzled Scientists 664

Posted by kdawson
from the global-mmpphhhh dept.
BendingSpoons writes "More than 120 scientists across seven federal agencies have been pressured to remove the phrases 'global warming' and 'climate change' from various documents. The documents include press releases and, more importantly, communications with Congress. Evidence of this sort of political interference has been largely anecdotal to date, but is now detailed in a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held hearings on this issue Tuesday; the hearing began by Committee members, including most Republicans, stating that global warming is happening and greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are largely to blame. The OGR hearings presage a landmark moment in climate change research: the release of the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC report, drafted by 1,250 scientists and reviewed by an additional 2,500 scientists, is expected to state that 'there is a 90% chance humans are responsible for climate change' — up from the 2001 report's 66% chance. It probably won't make for comfortable bedtime reading; 'The future is bleak', said scientists."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Congress Hears From Muzzled Scientists

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:21AM (#17841758)
    Hah, what do climatologists know about global warming... Oh wait
  • by bhima (46039) <Bhima,Pandava&gmail,com> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:25AM (#17841800) Journal
    ``This isn't a smoking gun; This is a batallion of intergalactic smoking missiles.''
  • by Neuropol (665537) * on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:25AM (#17841802) Homepage
    When the current administration was was securing their win, a lot of promises were made in order to fuel (pardon the pun) the race for securing the last reserves. The momentum needed to be there for big investment to take place to secure wins and deliver on those promises made. So with that being considered, it stands to reason, you don't want bad advertising in the form of alarming factual statistics being relased by the scientific community being released and hindering the fund security for isolating the last of the worlds petroleum, right? So the cover was thickened. A massive veil of 'turn-the-other-cheek' was set in place in order to ensure that financial gain could be had.

    Now that the whole Charade is under fire from every thing to the administrations take on the environment, space, and that god damned war, people are beginning to lift the corners of the rug where this stuff had been swept under. Unfortunately, what's been found continued to rot while it was being hidden. Now it's even more harsh to deal with. In the end, the deals been exposed, the plug's getting pulled, and I couldn't be happier about it. Just too bad a few of us were saying things like this were going to happen since back in the 70's. It's just unfortunate that we had to have an acceleration period in the last 10-20 years to solidify the problem. And too bad the delicate cycle of the Earth has been damaged permanently as a result of man's greed and quest for senseless power and control.
    • by spiedrazer (555388) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @02:21PM (#17846972) Homepage
      First, I was born and raised in a republican household and voted republican right up until the time that GWB became the frontrunner in the primaries in 2000. I did not, prior to this administration, have a political leaning to favor democrats, liberals, environmentalists, sissies, or any other stereotypical liberal cause or issue. I am a well educated person capable of digesting the news and information around me, and all that I have learned in the past 7 years tells me that George W. Bush will go down in history as the worst president ever!

      I'd like for everyone who still supports GWB for whatever reason to just consider the following few points and try to compose literate and thoughtful responses to justify his track record on any of these issues.

      1. Political Appointments - The role of the president is to look out for the best interests of the 'People'. That means trying to represent the many varied interests of ALL the people. Now, Corporations are part of that group, as are members of Greenpeace and all us regular Joes who fall in the middle. The Bush administration has consistently biased most appointments in favor of corporate interests over all other interests. As detailed in the originally referenced article, "Cooney () was a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute before becoming chief of staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality". How can he be expected to provide impartial leadership? This is just one of hundreds of obviously poor choices detailed here [commondreams.org]. I'm not saying that a former Greenpeace executive would be a better choice for any of these positions. The presidents job is to appoint knowledgeable people who have worked in the field and who are capable of weighing the needs and interests of all sides of an issue to provide decisions that balance those interests. Bush has always failed to do this

      2. Personal Freedoms and Liberties - The documentation of the Bush administrations poor record on this topic is pretty extensive. Bush continually uses 9/11 as an excuse to chip away at the basic rights our country was founded on. Illegally tapping domestic phone calls, gathering huge databases of personal financial and travel information, and that small matter of imprisoning and torturing people for indefinite periods without regard for the basic civil liberties spelled out and defended by the constitution. All in the name of preventing another attack that may or may not be preventable. Millions of people die every year for millions of reasons. Tossing away the foundations of our country for a 2% improvement in the chances that you might learn something that could lead to a possible disruption of a plot that may or may not have been successful is not in the best interests of our nation and has been specifically warned against by just about every one of the founding fathers and other great American leaders since then, as seen here [geocities.com]!

      3. Iraq War - The decision to invade and occupy Iraq and the continued resistance to every sane voice begging for a change in policy will go down in history as the worst single piece of leadership in the history of our nation! Even if you ignore the fact that the American people were deliberately lied to in order to foster support for Saddam's removal, the disastrous planning, execution, and failure to learn from a single mistake or appropriately adjust policies or tactics based on past failures is mind-numbing.

      4. Corporate Welfare - One of the few things GWB has done "For" the people is some tax cuts for middle America. Of course, this was done with gimmicks (mid year refund checks etc.) to mask the fact that the real tax breaks were going to huge corporations that were in no dire consequences before GWB came along. The Bush administration has taken every opportunity to push money back to corporate America in one form or another at the expense of many many programs to assist poor and

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        No one seems to want to take you up on this, so I'll give it a swing:

        re: 1. Political Appointments. What he has done is in no way different than any other president preceeding him. Right or wrong, it is business as usual. I don't recall any president ever appointing a "common man", much less one of opposing views (Greenpeace as you mention, or PETA) to a position of influence.

        re: 2. Personal Freedoms and Liberties. No arguments. With the possible exception of the Red Scare back in the 50s, he has done the m
  • by drewzhrodague (606182) <drew@zhro[ ]ue.net ['dag' in gap]> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:26AM (#17841812) Homepage Journal
    Interesting that the health of our world is being decided by politicialns, rather than the scientists that study this kinda stuff. I sure hope some sensemaking comes of this. Why is it now my fault that scientists aren't taken seriously by this administration?

    Can I declare politics to be illegal and akin to terrorism?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:31AM (#17841858)

      Interesting that the health of our world is being decided by politicialns, rather than the scientists that study this kinda stuff.
      That's how it's designed to work: politicians decide and scientists study.
      What's not working as designed, is that politicians are not taking seriously (or worse) scientists.
      • by thestreetmeat (1055390) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @11:27AM (#17843464)
        An ideal democracy would have a couple more links:

        Scientists study, and publish their findings.
        The media impartially reports the findings based on the quality and the importance of the report.
        The public considers the findings reported by the media, and elect, impeach, recall, vote in referendums and plebiscites, etc. as necessary.
        When necessary, elected officials legislate directly on behalf of their constituents to solve the problem.
        Industry accepts the legislation gracefully.

        Here's how I think it actually works:

        Scientists are pressured by the government and the corporations to change their findings; most report them anyway.
        The media gives equal weight to minority positions on the issue because they want to pretend to be 'fair and balanced', and because they might be owned by a corporation that also has interests in the energy industry. If not, they certainly get lots of advertising revenue from said industry.
        The public, mostly unaware of the problem, don't think they can really do anything anyway.
        Politicians avoid the issue out of fear of losing campaign financing from oil corporations.
        Corporations put ads on TV that give people the impression that they care about the issue, and should be trusted to do the right thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pipatron (966506)

      Why is it now my fault that scientists aren't taken seriously by this administration?

      (assuming you're from the US) Because you live in a democracy where, in theory, the population chose their government.

  • by Flying pig (925874) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:27AM (#17841816)
    It's as if, after he was silenced by the Inquisition, the Medicis held an investigation. "So, Signore Galilei, you were improperly induced by the Inquisition to suppress the information that the Earth rotates around the Sun? Thus potentially allowing non-Catholic countries to gain important advances in science and technology while Catholic countries were held back?"

    A genuinely free-market Republican administration would surely want the truth about climate change to be readily available so that the markets could respond appropriately and make capital and resources available for the inevitable re-shaping of society, rather than be associated by similarity of behaviour with the guys in funny skirts who inadvertently helped the Protestants take over the world.

  • Is this the U-turn? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nuffsaid (855987) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:30AM (#17841854)
    This moment could be remebered as "The day the biggest CO2 producer nation in the world acknowledged a reality it ignored for years". Let's hope it's not too late to prevent irreversible runaway effects. For what it's worth, one day or another I'd like to hear some contrite words from people who stubbornly denied the need for any action about Global Warming up to now. A bit late, a bit useless, but should be an obligation for someone who may have contributed to bring the world beyond a point of no return.
  • by Moggyboy (949119) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:33AM (#17841878)
    I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that no-one in government is gonna do anything about this until high tides start rolling in over coastal capital cities and hundreds of millions of people are displaced.

    And BTW - regardless of whether or not global warming is fact or (incredibly unlikely) fiction, why the HELL do we need a reason to reduce carbon emissions, waste-per-person and tree felling? Surely doing any of these is a good thing for us all anyway. Cleaner air and forests for our children to explore should be reason enough.

  • by sdo1 (213835) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:46AM (#17842058) Journal
    This isn't a judgement... more of a curiosity. I don't understand why "conservative Republicans" are so determined to deny that global warming is happening. It's fairly pervasive, or at least seems to to me. I can't tell if it's just people towing the party line and that line comes from the top, or if there's some aspect of religious doctrination that forces this attitude, or something else.

    Case in point, I have relatives who are conservatives. I can't say all of them say this, but I'm surprised at the numbers who believe that global warming is a bunch of bull. I was listening to an NPR Technology podcast about this and a guy called in, identified himself as a conservative Republican, and proceded to state that he didn't believe global warming was happening.

    I don't get why the skeptisism is drawn by party lines. What am I missing? Is it as simple as the top Republican leadership protecting oil interests and everyone else just follows along, or is there a deeper, more historical context that I'm unaware of?

    -S
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pipatron (966506)

      It's a bit like the same reason someone spends $1000/foot for an audio cable and honestly believes it sounds superior. Self-delusion. Taking care of the environment would need the republican to perhaps get a smaller car (which means a smaller penis), or even share the car with another person, aka "bus". He would also have to pay more for his energy, and waste disposal. These are not very fun things to do if you value money a lot, thus, in order to protect themselves, the brain actually makes you believe wha

    • by chris88 (62904) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:24AM (#17842510)
      I think it's the Christian leaning most conservatives have.

      They believe the earth and everything on it is here for them to use. Burning lots of fossil fuels is their god-given right. The fact that there might actually be repercussions to this might (just maybe) indicate that they cannot, infact, use all of earths resources however they please.
    • by gnurfed (1051140) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:31AM (#17842628)
      From conversations I've had with "conservative republicans", I've mostly gotten variations of the following non-exhaustive list of answers:
      • "(a) Al Gore believes in global warming. (b) Al Gore is a liberal. Thus global warming is a liberal conspiracy"
      • "Today it's cold where I live, hence global warming is a fraud"
      • "There's a non-zero chance that humanity isn't causing global warming, so we shouldn't worry"
      • "I like warm weather, so I don't care"
      • "Climatologists are just fishing for more grants, which they want to steal out of my pockets"
      • "They can't predict the weather next week, so they sure as hell can't predict how it will be 50 years from now"
      • "The Apocalypse will happen before, or is related to global warming, so everything is alright"
      The scary thing is that most of the conservatives I know are otherwise quite science-literate and often accept the science communities consensus views. I'd say it's very healthy to be sceptical, but on this issue there's much more to it. Something I can't explain.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kabocox (199019)
        * "(a) Al Gore believes in global warming. (b) Al Gore is a liberal. Thus global warming is a liberal conspiracy"
        * "Today it's cold where I live, hence global warming is a fraud"
        * "There's a non-zero chance that humanity isn't causing global warming, so we shouldn't worry"
        * "I like warm weather, so I don't care"
        * "Climatologists are just fishing for more grants, which they want to steal out o
    • by t0rkm3 (666910) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:59AM (#17843008)
      I read the other replies to your post and I find it funny that 3 out of the 4 were people that have no idea why people might not like the Green agenda, but they sure do have an axe to grind with their preconceived notions of the Republican party.

      As a Republican, let me present a few points:

      1. Historically, the peers of scientists have presented political agenda's by cloaking them in jargon and supporting studies. Examples include Paul Erhlich, Rachel Carlson, Al Gore (with much support by the scientific community.) and whoever that guy was who predicted the worst hurricane season in 50 yrs for 2006.

      2.The argument is hardly, if ever, presented in a logical, coherent manner. Usually, it consists of a list of demands that (coincidentally?) line up with socialists and communists. See: the Kyoto protocol. It attempts to impose an aggressively progressive tax code on emissions, and consumption. If we don't like progressive taxes already, what makes you think that we'd like that sort of 'productivity punishment' applied to our country?

      3.The alternatives are hardly tenable at this point:
                a. Mass transport: Due to the size, shape, and demographic dispersion it is untenable for the majority of American metropolis'.
                b. Buy everyone new electric cars. For one, manufacturing all those new cars just uses more energy and produces more emissions. So people proposing that are asinine at best.
                c. Everyone should bike or walk to work. Sorry, American not as small nor as densely populated as you may believe. See 3a
                d.Solar power: Great, spend a crapload of cash and maybe make your money back. In Oklahoma, your chances of those panels paying for themselves are very probably slim. Gets worse as you go north. For the American SouthWest, they are probably a good investment.
                e. Windmill farms: Even the Greenies are confused on this one. Build'em but can't run them at full capacity because they chop up birds. (Maybe the birds will figure out that the windmill farm isn't such a great place to hang out.) Ted Kennedy opposed a windmill farm off of Martha's Vineyard as it would've obstructed their view.

      So, if the environmentalists got together and started presenting tenable solutions to our problems, then they might get more reception. For me, I understand that there's global warming, might be anthropogenic, might not... (not's seem to be getting slimmer) but until someone proposes a real idea on how to deal... we'll just deal in the way we always have. Adapt.

      Note: One of our saving graces could've been nuclear power, but the greenies shot that down too. Sucks that South Africa is using american developed technology in a pebble bed reactor. Look at the CA power crisis, while part of it was caused by collusion on the part of energy traders, it was enabled by CA's stance on building new plants. In fact, the newest power plant to provide CA with power was just built in NV. NIMBY-ism has killed several things that could make the world a more efficient place, but finding a backyard to put "it" in is rather difficult.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by david.given (6740)

        As a Republican, let me present a few points:

        I have no idea what a Republican is. (From my perspective, both American political parties are so far out on the right wing that you need sophisticated instrumentation to tell them apart. *shrug*)

        However:

        1. Historically, the peers of scientists have presented political agenda's by cloaking them in jargon and supporting studies.

        The people-have-been-wrong-before-so-let's-assume-the y 're-wrong-now argument.

        2. [...] Usually, it consists of a list of dema

      • by truthsearch (249536) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @12:16PM (#17844348) Homepage Journal
        3.The alternatives are hardly tenable at this point:
        a. Mass transport: Due to the size, shape, and demographic dispersion it is untenable for the majority of American metropolis'.


        Never been to NYC, I guess. Millions of people every day use mass transit. A large percentage of city dwellers have no car. Every American metropolis has some mass trasport. As roads become too crowded they are forced to provide more mass transit for immediately practical purposes. Your argument is simply false.

        b. Buy everyone new electric cars. For one, manufacturing all those new cars just uses more energy and produces more emissions. So people proposing that are asinine at best.

        Electric cars have less parts and are less complex. On a large scale and as technology progresses we will use far less energy to produce them. Your argument ignores progress over time.

        c. Everyone should bike or walk to work. Sorry, American not as small nor as densely populated as you may believe. See 3a

        See China. Not everyone needs to bike or walk, but easily half of the population can as they live in dense areas. You assume this argument is black and white. But if just the SUV drivers in metropolitan areas switched to bikes we'd have less traffic and save a lot of energy.

        d.Solar power: Great, spend a crapload of cash and maybe make your money back.

        First, protecting the environment isn't about making your money back. It's about having a habitable planet for our kids. Second, you ignore technological progress over time. Every year solar is getting more efficient.

        e. Windmill farms: Even the Greenies are confused on this one. Build'em but can't run them at full capacity because they chop up birds.

        You're way behind on this one. The largest, slowest moving turbines do not kill any birds. Problem solved.

        By your logic we shouldn't have telephones because it's a lot of work to put up the wires. And we shouldn't have electricity because the up-front cost to build the initial generators is so high. All of your points are narrow. They ignore the big picture, ignore some very important details, assume everything is all-or-nothing, and ignore technological progress.

        You set a great example as a Republican.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by goldspider (445116)
          "First, protecting the environment isn't about making your money back. It's about having a habitable planet for our kids."

          Fine, but somebody has to pay for it. Should I assume that's something "the Rich" should have to pony up for?

          "Second, you ignore technological progress over time. Every year solar is getting more efficient."

          Ignoring progress is bad. Assuming it is bad too. I've been told for years that viable, affordable solar energy was just a decade away. I'm still waiting. Once it's there, sign m
        • by khallow (566160) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @01:24PM (#17845708)

          Never been to NYC, I guess. Millions of people every day use mass transit. A large percentage of city dwellers have no car. Every American metropolis has some mass trasport. As roads become too crowded they are forced to provide more mass transit for immediately practical purposes. Your argument is simply false.

          Note that the original poster qualified his statement with "most metropolises". New York City is unusual for a US city in its density of buildings and population. I have no doubt that he already knew of NYC when he posted.

          Electric cars have less parts and are less complex. On a large scale and as technology progresses we will use far less energy to produce them. Your argument ignores progress over time.

          Both you and the prior poster have unsubstantiated opinions on this. I don't see a reason that an electric car has to be either simpler or more complex than one with an internal combustion engine. And given the add-ons like power windows, computers, etc, it's not clear to me that the two will be simple to compare in complexity or that the difference between electric and gas powered is a significant difference in complexity compared to all the other stuff that gets put on a car.

          See China. Not everyone needs to bike or walk, but easily half of the population can as they live in dense areas. You assume this argument is black and white. But if just the SUV drivers in metropolitan areas switched to bikes we'd have less traffic and save a lot of energy.

          There are a lot of areas where it is black and white. In a pretty dense environment like NYC, public transportation makes sense and road travel does not due to the cost of finding a place to park. A spread out city like Sacramento, CA, for example, just doesn't have competitive public transportation and bikes are risky in the urban areas. Nothing beats the car there. There is a lot more population living in cities like Sacramento than NYC.

          First, protecting the environment isn't about making your money back. It's about having a habitable planet for our kids. Second, you ignore technological progress over time. Every year solar is getting more efficient.

          We have other goals than just "protecting the environment". Ending poverty, quality of life, progress come to mind. I see a lot of modern environmentalism undermining these other goals rather than supporting them. And the economic viability of a plan is relevant since economically inefficient plans take more resources from elsewhere and weaken our ability to accomplish these other goals.

          Outside of a full-blown nuclear war, there will be a habitable planet for our kids. Global warming isn't moving that fast and no other global threat is that significant. I don't see any nearby tipping points either. Methyl clathrate deposits on the continental shelves, the most substantial bogeyman, have around an extra 100 meters of water on them from the end of the last ice age. The extra pressure from that will counter a lot of temperature increase IMHO before they become unstable and release methane into the atmosphere.

          Your point about solar power increasing in efficiency is important. We have both solar cells that are getting very efficient at absorbing solar energy and solar cells that take relatively little energy to produce per KW of generating power. I still see some presence for fossil fuels in electricity generation for a while due to the need for stable power around the clock (energy/electricity storage isn't very good), but that can be replaced easily with nuclear power. But long term it won't make sense to burn fossil fuels for energy or transportation even if global warming turns out to be a minor issue.

          By your logic we shouldn't have telephones because it's a lot of work to put up the wires. And we shouldn't have electricity because the up-front cost to build the initial generators is so high. All of your points are narrow. They ignore the big picture, ignore some very important details, assume everything i

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Oligonicella (659917)
          3a - NYC is not similar to the bulk of US cities. Kansas City, for instance is about fifty miles north and south. If NYC would relinqish their strangle hold on mass transit dollars, maybe others could catch up. As it is, the rest of the US supports AMTrack, which is a failure.

          3b - No they do not have less parts and are less complex. It's just a different tech. Your argument ignores the currency of the situation and it's enormous energy cost.

          3c - You ignore the distances again (see K.C.). And,
      • by ThousandStars (556222) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @12:44PM (#17844964) Homepage
        3.The alternatives are hardly tenable at this point:

        a. Mass transport: Due to the size, shape, and demographic dispersion it is untenable for the majority of American metropolis'.

        b. Buy everyone new electric cars. For one, manufacturing all those new cars just uses more energy and produces more emissions. So people proposing that are asinine at best.

        [...etc...]

        This is actually a relatively easy problem to solve, or at least improve, and many Republicans even agree with the solution: Pigou taxes [blogspot.com]. To explain simply, this means imposing a tax on gas or oil because the negative externality oil imposes in both environmental and foreign policy terms. When the price of something goes up, the consumption of it goes down; such a tax would certainly improve the situation WRT a-c, although d and e might require other solutions.

        It's a fairly neat policy that requires no convoluted, mangled regulations; it could replace broken CAFE standards that drove people to SUVs in the first place; it also has the benefit of denying oil revenues to despotic regimes in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Russia.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GospelHead821 (466923)
        Your argument against bicycles is accurate but it also highlights an unfortunate secondary trend. Despite being spread far apart, why shouldn't it be feasible to bicycle to work? We are a fat nation and we're getting fatter. Furthermore, we are impatient and lazy. Encouraging people to bicycle to work would contribute to the solution to these problems. We would cut down on emissions of CO2 and other pollutants, we would get more exercise, and we may foster a less rushed, impatient attitude. I just sta
    • by AaronLawrence (600990) * on Thursday February 01, 2007 @11:01AM (#17843040)
      The definition of being "conservative" is not wanting things to change.

      Global warming, if true, forces us to face changing most of our current way of life.

      Personally, I think this traditional conservatism is just wrong. It's not a useful way to approach life, struggling against everything new that happens. But it is very human.
  • The joke is... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TransEurope (889206) <.eniac. .at. .uni-koblenz.de.> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:49AM (#17842084)
    that it's primary irrelevenat that humans are responsible for
    global warming or not. Even when not, the politicians have to do something.
    The reactions may be different in the two cases, but something has to be done do be
    prepared. But have you ever heard that a politician said "hey, it's not us,
    but we have to cut down CO2-emissions, reduce the pollution and restructure
    the coasts to prevent the biggest desasters in the future"?
  • Uh-Oh (Score:4, Funny)

    by ReidMaynard (161608) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:50AM (#17842090) Homepage
    Dear Lara,

    On second thought, Earth is a little....eh.
    I'll keep looking.

    Love,
    Jor-El
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:11AM (#17842338) Homepage Journal
    I know there are some scifi nuts of a certain age around here.. anyone else watch "V" [wikipedia.org] back in the 1980s?

    Interesting show. There are these aliens who land and ingratiate themselves with humanity. They seem friendly, wise, and charismatic, but they're really planning to take over the world. In the course of this they spread lots of FUD about scientists (who are of course the ones most likely to discover the truth about them) to the point where scientists the world over are discredited, and ultimately persecuted by humanity just for being scientists.

    Science fiction, eh? Where do they come up with this ker-ray-zee stuff?
  • by WED Fan (911325) <akahige@@@trashmail...net> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:44AM (#17842806) Homepage Journal

    From the Senate [senate.gov]:

    There are opposing positions to Al Gore's propaganda movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." There are opposing views that should be discussed.

    No one diputes the fact that the Earth is warming. However, there is not scientific consensus that it is caused, or substantially increased, by humans. The inconvenient truth that Gore fails to mention is that about 10,000 years ago, the Earth was so warm that citrus fruits were growing in what is now northern Germany.

    There were no cars and precious few people to cause the Earth to be so warm. That period was followed by an ice age. When the ice age ended, the Earth began warming, and has been warming ever since. It will continue to warm, until another ice age occurs.

    Many publications on global warming deliberately leave out these facts, so as to lend credence to the theory that we are causing global warming. The culprit is not the Earth's habitants; it is the sun, which we sometimes see in the Pacific Northwest. The Earth has been in a continual cycle of heating and cooling, and there is nothing we can to about it. That's another "inconvenient truth."

    Muzzling attempt?

    AMS CERTIFIED WEATHERMAN STRIKES BACK AT WEATHER CHANNEL CALL FOR DECERTIFICATION January 19, 2007

    Check out this blog post from James Spann:

    From his blog [jamesspann.com] - his bio:

    "In 2005 I upgraded the AMS seal of approval to the new "Certified Broadcast Meteorologist" designation. The CBM is the highest level of certification from the AMS, and involves academic requirements, on-air performance, a rigorous examination, and continuing education. I am CBM number 33, meaning I am the 33rd person in the nation to earn it. I wanted to be the first in Alabama, but a couple of guys in Huntsville beat me to it. Just not enough hours in the day!

    Official bio here [abc3340.com]

    January 18, 2007 | James Spann | Op/Ed

    Well, well. Some "climate expert" on "The Weather Channel" wants to take away AMS certification from those of us who believe the recent "global warming" is a natural process. So much for "tolerance", huh?

    I have been in operational meteorology since 1978, and I know dozens and dozens of broadcast meteorologists all over the country. Our big job: look at a large volume of raw data and come up with a public weather forecast for the next seven days. I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype. I know there must be a few out there, but I can't find them. Here are the basic facts you need to know:

    *Billions of dollars of grant money is flowing into the pockets of those on the man-made global warming bandwagon. No man-made global warming, the money dries up. This is big money, make no mistake about it. Always follow the money trail and it tells a story. Even the lady at "The Weather Channel" probably gets paid good money for a prime time show on climate change. No man-made global warming, no show, and no salary. Nothing wrong with making money at all, but when money becomes the motivation for a scientific conclusion, then we have a problem. For many, global warming is a big cash grab.

    *The climate of this planet has been changing since God put the planet here. It will always change, and the warming in the last 10 years is not much difference than the warming we saw in the 1930s and other decades. And, lets not forget we are at the end of the ice age in which ice covered most of North America and Northern Europe.

    If you don't like to listen to me, find another meteorologist with no tie t

    • by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @11:24AM (#17843420)

      No one diputes the fact that the Earth is warming.
      People still do. There is a full spectrum of global warming deniers.

      However, there is not scientific consensus that it is caused, or substantially increased, by humans.
      Among the community of climate scientists, there is now very broad consensus on that issue. If you extend your statement to include scientists who do not specialize in the climate, your claim may be true. Note that the climate skeptics tend to be people like economists, physicists, petroleum geologists, meteorologists, etc., not people who study the climate for a living.

      The inconvenient truth that Gore fails to mention is that about 10,000 years ago, the Earth was so warm that citrus fruits were growing in what is now northern Germany.
      Yeah, and 100 million years ago most of the planet was tropical. The Earth has been warmer before. So what? The problem is that the Earth is now warming at an unusually high rate, due to our influence.

      When the ice age ended, the Earth began warming, and has been warming ever since.
      Actually, the evidence is that the Earth has been slightly cooling for the last 5000+ years or so, until recently (with a little blip around the Medieval Warm period). See here [columbia.edu] and here [wikipedia.org].

      It will continue to warm, until another ice age occurs.
      That's a bold claim. What science supports it?

      The culprit is not the Earth's habitants; it is the sun, which we sometimes see in the Pacific Northwest.
      That happens to be false, for reasons given in another post [slashdot.org].

      "I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype." (from James Spann)
      That rather proves the point: TV meteorologists are out of touch with the findings of climate science, in which they receive little to no training.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Grym (725290) *

      Even IF you don't "believe" in global warming, at some point you have to address the impact that our civilization's industries are having upon this world. The problem is that conservatives get so wrapped up in fighting against "the hippies" that they never even stop to think about this much larger issue.

      I mean, just look at this plot of Carbon emissions does that look good to you? [wikipedia.org]

      Even if you don't subscribe to the basic scientific inference from trend (more of a greenhouse gas --> greater heat from

  • by OllySmith (624006) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:50AM (#17842878)
    The situation in the UK is entirely reversed. The government has wholeheartedly jumped on the man-made climate change bandwagon and is milking it at every opportunity. Extra taxation is being liberally applied to anything even remotely related to carbon dioxide emissions (just today, taxation on passenger air travel doubled).

    However, an equal investment isn't being put towards improving public transport (which is truly horrendous in the UK).

    I'd be wary of what you ask of the US government - it may be all too easy for them to follow the UK government's lead and just start using "climate change" as an excuse to extract cash from the populace.

  • by HoneyBeeSpace (724189) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:55AM (#17842952) Homepage
    If you'd like to do some of the same experiments that these scientists do, the EdGCM [columbia.edu] project has wrapped a NASA global climate model (GCM) in a GUI (OS X and Win). You can add CO2 or turn the sun down by a few percent all with a checkbox and a slider. Supercomputers and advanced FORTRAN programmers are no longer necessary to run your own GCM.

    For example, our model shows increased snowfall on Greenland (a common skeptic retaliation). This does not mean global warming is not happening, but rather what was predicted: Warmer air can hold more moisture, so there is increased snowfall. The melting on the edges is occurring faster, so overall we have mass loss of the ice cap.

    Disclaimer: I'm the project developer.
  • by mdsolar (1045926) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @11:08AM (#17843156) Homepage Journal
    http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/interfe rence/scientists-signon-statement.html [ucsusa.org] Let me be the first to welcome our new congressional oversight overlords.
    --
    The future is NOT bleak, it's sunny: http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/slashdot-users -selling-solar.html [blogspot.com]
  • by StressGuy (472374) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @12:15PM (#17844322)
    {and I'll add a few lowercase words so as not to trip the "lameness filter"}

    MMMPPHHHH!!!! MMMMMMMPPPHHHHH!!!!!
  • by Sage Gaspar (688563) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @03:19PM (#17848088)
    we'd still be debating whether or not to go into Afghanistan.

    The problem with most of these scientists is they haven't figured out how to lie to the American public as effectively as the politicians. When politicians figure out a hundred different ways to take away our essential liberties with patriotic sounding names, emploring us to think about the children and defend our families from The Terrorists (TM), that's A-OK -- and please don't think I'm dividing this down party lines, there's politicians from all parties that are happy to cement their power base. When the scientific community suggests that we really ought to do something about the shit we're pumping into the atmosphere, suddenly everyone's flashing their Junior Climatologist merit badge and telling them why it ain't so.

    News flash: real scientists don't deal in absolutes. They provide estimated probabilities and sensible suggestions. Becoming more eco-friendly is not going to turn us into a pinko communo-socialist hippy state any more than, say, allowing the president to expand the scope of government is going to turn us into a dictatorship. We're ostensibly on the same team here.

"Just Say No." - Nancy Reagan "No." - Ronald Reagan

Working...