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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."
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Congress Hears From Muzzled Scientists

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  • by apodyopsis (1048476) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @08:38AM (#17841960)
    Hear Hear. (applause).

    What gets me is there are things that can be done.

    And they can be done *now*.

    Ban incandescent light bulbs. Mandate energy efficiency in consumer electronics goods. Promote a viable, cheap and efficient mass public transport system. Enforce recycling (now underway in UK). Promote locally sourced goods and produce (don't eat food thats moved more then 1000miles to your plate). Mandate efficient motor vehicles. Either sort out hydrogen fuels cells or admit you were wrong and go the ZEV route.

    *Educate* people.

    "Inconvienient Truth" was a good start, but we need more to get the message across.

    I live in the UK, 10 of the hottest years we have on record were in the last 14 years. It scares the crap out of me.

    And the fact that nothing is being done infuriates me.

    The fact remains that one of the major reasons that nothing is being done is because of weak willed politicians who are concerned more about their own re-election prospects then doing the right thing. Large corporations also have the capability to do good things instead look to line their own pockets and please the shareholders.

    Katrina was a wake up call for the US. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina) The hot summer a few years ago in Europe that killed 10000+ was a wake up for Europe. (http://www.iht.com/articles/2003/08/29/heat_0.php ) Bangladesh is getting near annual flooding wake ups.

    Why the fsck isn't anything being done?

  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:11AM (#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 Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:13AM (#17842364)
    > The new Stalinsim for the 21st Century.

    More like, GW-denial is the Lysenkoism [wikipedia.org] of the 21st Century.
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:22AM (#17842480)
    > I don't know what it is, but when you talk to other scientists about a topic, while they're excited about it, they don't predict doomsday even if it's possible. But when you talk to a climate scientist, it's the only thing on their mind.

    Cosmologists predict a Big Rip. Solar scientists predict that the sun will swallow the earth. Some astronomers think we'll eventually get dinged by a killer asteroid. Epidemiologists are terrified by some of the strange disease that have been turning up over the past few decades.

    The difference with global warming is that it's happening as we speak, not some distant or random threat.
  • Re:Climatologists? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Coryoth (254751) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:54AM (#17842942) Homepage Journal
    Let's catch a few of these standard arguments that keep getting trotted out:

    Tying a trend to warmer temperatures based on older data from the early 1900's is suspect at best. Good, reliable, accurate scientific equipment that measures the temperature wasn't readily available until recently (late 1900's).
    It is true that equipment from earlier in the century was not as accurate. It should be noted, however, that we aren't basing our understanding of historical temperature off just one reading, but rather off many thousands of temperature measurements from around the globe. Averaging across all these measurements (which won't have consistent bias in any particular direction) allows for an accuracy that is greater than any individual temperature measuring apparatus. Feel free to read the studies on uncertainty estimates for historical temperatures [uea.ac.uk]. Also note that we aren't just asing trneds off historical records recorded since 1850 or so, but also against historical reconstructions based on proxy data from a wide variety of sources (tree rings, corals, glaciers, ice cores, etc.)

    Apparently, the Earth magnetic field has decreased by 10% in the last 150 years...I believe it's possible that more of the Sun's radiation is penetrating the Earth's magnetosphere due to it being weaker. If more radiation hits the Earth, shouldn't that also increase the overall temperature of the Earth and can global warming be attributed to this?
    Can global warming be attributed to this you ask? Well, it's a matter of sitting down and runnign the numbers. Luckily people have - it's not like people aren't bothering to measure and track the amount of solar radiation that actually reaches the surface of the earth. We can then calculate how much that might contribute to warming. The IPCC, in the Third Assessment Report, put it at about 30% of observed warming. They also concluded that the warming of the last 50 years cannot be explained without considering anthropogenic effects - that is, solar explanations alone are not enough. The FAR is almost out, and it seems like the likelihood of anthropogeic causes mattering have gone from 66% in the TAR to 90% for the FAR. I'd say that means the answer is "no, global warming can't be attributed to this because the numbers don't add up".
  • by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:03AM (#17843086)
    I wonder where are the studies published in scientific journals by climatologists which support these claims.

    While solar variations certainly have influenced the climate in the past, including recently, they simply have not been large enough to explain the majority of warming the Earth has experienced in recent decades. (See Stott et al. (2003), among others.) In what must be an incredible coincidence, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased with timing, rate, and magnitude that do agree with the observed warming. (Some commentary by climatologists on Singer and Avery's claims here [realclimate.org].)

    As for cosmic rays, their effect on cloud formation is still not well understood, but regardless of their effect, cosmic ray flux is not well correlated with climate change (see, e.g., here [realclimate.org]), so it does not seem reasonable to attribute the recent rapid warming to cosmic rays to any large extent. (Especially, again, given the amount of greenhouse gases now in the atmosphere; anyone who wants to postulate an alternative mechanism for warming has to also introduce a lot of of extra cooling mechanisms to explain why the GHGs aren't warming the planet as much as thermodynamics predicts.)
  • At first, I thought, hey, maybe you're just misguided. Maybe you are. However, here's the problem with that theory. You've taken the time to get a lot of different links together and post them here. That suggests that you're capable of doing decent searches. Therefore, you should already know what's wrong with your claims. Now, just to answer your objections (so you don't claim I'm "avoiding" the "facts"):

    (1) Um, yeah. Change that to the world is (appears to be? really?) getting warmer, and this agrees with the basic science done during the 60's prior to sophisticated computer models, and during a slowing down (and slight retreat) of global warming due to increased particulates in the atmosphere.
    (2) True, temperature measures are better now than they have been in the past. Current temperature measures (over the last 100+ years) allow us to correlate temperatures with other proxies. These give us not only ways of estimating temperatures from prior eras, but also to get an idea of how much error we should expect in such estimates.
    (3) Interesting theory. Of course, no one credible is postulating this theory. Why do you think that is? Also, you're explaining the warming after the fact. See #1.
    (4) Gee, what could cause Jupiter to get warmer over multiple years? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Jupiter orbits the sun once every 12 years? Of course, it's actually a little more complicated than that. However, I suggest you leave the explanations to people who actually know what they're talking about. [berkeley.edu]
    (5) Of course, Mars annual cycle is closer to ours. And we've been observing it for a very short time. Nevertheless, your questions about that have also been addressed. [realclimate.org]
    (6) Yes, livestock (those being raised by us, specifically) are largely responsible for increases in methane, and we should reduce our dependence on them as well. Methane also is a stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The only positive is that methane has a shorter "shelf life", in that it gets reabsorbed into nature much quicker than carbon dioxide. What's with this shell game, anyway? Are you trying to say that you shouldn't blame humans for CO2 increasing global temperatures because we're also responsible for methane increasing global temperatures?
    (7) And, no it is not possible that the warmer temperatures that Earth is experiencing are caused by cyclical natural phenomena. We've ruled that out. It's like if someone were shot (and died immediately afterwards) and you said, hey, other people have died from natural causes, and other people have been shot and lived. Why is everyone assuming the bullet killed the guy?
    (8) Oh, and let's not do anything because China won't? Please. That's tired. Yes, China needs to also get their act together. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to get our act together.
  • Re:Biased Story (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tatarize (682683) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:21AM (#17843366) Homepage
    Sorry. They have been asked to do so by members of the Bush administration. That clear enough?
  • by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:24AM (#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.
  • by kestasjk (933987) * on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:28AM (#17843474) Homepage
    Why do posts like this come up over and over again?

    Don't listen to the parent; I don't care about his personal observations and flawed reasoning. Does he really think scientists haven't considered solar influences?
    "On behalf of all scientists: Thank you BoRegardless (721219)! We thought it was CO2 but we never stopped to think it was the sun! I guess we should get our noses out of the office and read Slashdot more!"
    Doesn't it strike you as amazingly arrogant to think that you have, in a single post on slashdot, shown thousands of climatologists, who have dedicated their academic lives to researching the climate, to have wasted their time?
    Don't listen to my opinions on climatology, I know fuck all about the climate.
    Don't listen to politicians; they listen to us.

    Listen to the scientists. To those reading please add one thing to your todo list for today: Print off and read the IPCC's 2001 summary report [www.ipcc.ch]. It's only 34 pages long, has lots of illuminating graphs, it's very readable and clear, and most importantly it is based on peer reviewed scientific evidence that is readily available [grida.no].

    The document above is a summary of summaries for policy makers, if you want to get into more detail:
    • See here [grida.no] for a summary of the scientific basis for global warming.
    • See here [grida.no] for a summary of the predicted outcomes of global warming (eg sea levels, global temperature).
    • And see here [grida.no] for a summary of the expected impacts on humanity (eg droughts, migration) and mitigation.
    All of these summaries have respective, exhaustive scientific documents behind them, but they do a good job of summarizing the reasoning and evidence.

    Personally I'm looking forward to seeing refined conclusions and increased certainty in estimated from the data accumulated over the last 5-6 years. I thank the scientists which the parent belittled for collecting and summarizing this data.
  • by MacDork (560499) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:34AM (#17843572) Journal

    What's not working as designed, is that politicians are not taking seriously (or worse) scientists.

    Gee... you coulda fooled me. I guess that's why politicians are funding this bullshit in the first place. Don't forget: A number of these "climatologists" are on welfare. They don't study without government grants.

    <sarcasm>
    Of course, these climatologists would never have any motivation to blow things out of proportion. Nor would the media reporting it. "More research is required" definitely brings in the ratings and the grant money a lot better than "End of the world approaching! News at 11!!"
    </sarcasm>

  • by mdsolar (1045926) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:40AM (#17843670) Homepage Journal
    In fact, some have resigned in protest.
    Susan Wood is one http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic le/2005/08/31/AR2005083101271.html [washingtonpost.com]
    Rick Piltz http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/index.php/csw/d etails/ccsp-resignation/ [climatesciencewatch.org] is another.

    On the other side of the conflict, the resignations have been forced as a result of the publicity surrounding their nefarious activities. Of course, the revolving door takes the sting out.
    --
    Good morning sunshine: http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/slashdot-users -selling-solar.html [blogspot.com]
  • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:46AM (#17843768) Journal
    Sigh. You are yet another person who can't tell the difference between a meteorologist and a climatologist. A simple analogy that will help you:

    Imagine you have a pan of water on a gas stove. The meteorologist will try to predict where individual convections will appear in the pan. This of course gets quite difficult when you get more than a few seconds in the future.
    A climatologist on the other hand figures at what rate the water as a whole is heating, and the effects of putting a lid on the pan, or turning up the heat. The effects can be accurately predicted quite a long way into the future when you're looking at the entire contents of the pan, not trying to predict where each convection current will be.
  • by benhocking (724439) <benjaminhockingNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:56AM (#17843944) Homepage Journal

    global warming deniers.
    The fact that you use the same language that is associated with the holocaust shows the irrationality of your side of the subject.

    Really? First of all, I had no idea that Nazis were global warming deniers or accused others of it. Are you trying to Godwin the thread? Secondly, I use the phrase precisely. There are global warming skeptics (those who are truly undecided) and global warming deniers (those who are trying to spread FUD). There's a difference. You're the one who's being irrational by dragging in the holocause. Seriously, what are you thinking?

    I see, so suggesting that a scientific theory might not be true is wrong?

    Depends on one's motivation. I've suggested that the Schwarzschild solution to GR might be wrong [virginia.edu], but I wasn't doing it in an attempt to spread FUD. Is it wrong to moderate someone as a troll when you suspect their only motivation is to spread misinformation?

    You mean he actually proposed that a certain event might be occuring for different reasons than what you believe and cited his sources! Yes, that is quite unacceptable!

    No, he proposed that several different events might be responsible, did enough research to cite sources, yet mysteriously didn't do enough research to know what was wrong with his sources.

    Suggest that either it's too late to do anything about it, or that we can't do anything about it because others (e.g., China) won't do anything about it. The somewhat funny part is that these strategies actually work against each other, except for the main point - to sow confusion and doubt.
    The more you try to shout down and silence people, the more it looks like you have something to hide. You'd be much better off just stating scientific fact linked from solid resources then subtly trying to compare people who don't believe in global warming to Nazi's.

    Again with the Nazis? I'm not the one trying to Godwin the thread. How is that last point "shouting down" or "silencing people"? If I was trying to silence him, then why did I address every single last one of his points (see my response to him, where I also linked from solid resources)? (Seriously, where the heck are you dragging up this Nazi stuff from? Do you have a fetish or something?)

  • by Danse (1026) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @11:00AM (#17844036)

    The fact that you use the same language that is associated with the holocaust shows the irrationality of your side of the subject.
    How does that make any sense at all? People who deny that the holocaust ever happened are plainly ignoring the facts. Much like people who are denying that global warming is happening, despite the fact that there is virtually unanimous scientific agreement that it is.

    All of the things he mentions in his post have been discussed and debunked, and if he'd spent half the time researching his points that he spent writing that post, he'd know that these things have been addressed. He may take issue with how they were addressed, but he didn't even bother to do that.
  • Re:Yes besause... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @12:14PM (#17845510)

    GP is simply asking for a bit more than speculation before making trillion dollar policy decisions.
    There is more than "speculation" on the matter, but there are still deep uncertainties regarding the extent and impact of future warming. The existence of current warming, and man's contribution to it, is not however in doubt.

     

    Yet, CO2 was an order of magnitude higher 450 million years ago and temperatures were roughly the same as they are today.
    Climate isn't correlated with absolute concentrations of CO2, because of all of the other climate factors in effect. Changes in climate are correlated with changes in CO2, however. In fact, the Ordovician temperatures and CO2 concentrations to which you refer support [osu.edu] our picture of the influence of CO2 on the climate, rather than contradicting it. The evidence suggests that a drop in CO2 precipitated the ice age, and a rise in CO2 may have ended it.

    CO2 concentrations are about 20% higher today than they have been any time in the last 400,000 years yet drastic temperature increases have not followed suit.
    They're not drastic on the scale of "an ending ice age", but they have produced an unusually rapid temperature change, temperature increases are related nonlinearly to CO2 concentration, and we are still in for a lot of CO2 increase over the next century, which is the real worry.

    In the mid 90's, Dr. Patrick Michaels called bullshit in front of Congress when predictions of higher temperatures made by computer models did not materialize.
    Micahels' analysis was, shall we say, dodgy at best [scienceblogs.com].

    "climate scientists" once again were eating humble pie when computer models that generated gloom and doom "hockey stick" graphs were shown to spit out hockey sticks with random input by people who were not climate scientists
    McKitrick & McIntyre's analysis is also not without its flaws (here [crookedtimber.org] and here [realclimate.org]).
  • Re:Climatologists? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Socguy (933973) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @12:34PM (#17845906)
    If you've been paying attention to this debate for the last decade or so you would know that the 'facts' this troll posted have been examined and dealt with numerous times, both by knowlegable people on this site and overall by the scientific community. Now if you go look up the definition of 'Troll' on Slashdot:

    Troll -- A Troll is similar to Flamebait, but slightly more refined. This is a prank comment intended to provoke indignant (or just confused) responses. A Troll might mix up vital facts or otherwise distort reality, to make other readers react with helpful "corrections." Trolling is the online equivalent of intentionally dialing wrong numbers just to waste other people's time. (Bolding mine)
    you will see that the original post fit the description pretty well. I doubt I would have been so generous and would have modded it flamebait, but this mod is obviously more polite than me.
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Waffle Iron (339739) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @12:38PM (#17846014)
    As you wish. An argument equally as valid and backed up with hard facts as yours:

    Yes, if is YES and When is NOW.

    The big problem with the whole "There's no Global Warming" crap is that is doesn't take into account human processes. It just looks at our Earth from a static viewpoint and assumes nothing we could do could ever change things, while adding in massively deflated numbers of Human pollution. But the models that the scientists are using conclusively prove that predict real climate change is happening.

    The truth is, in a real "Global Warming" type of situation, you would have accept what the experts are predicting. Rampant hurricanes, super violent weather. There's no reason to believe that you would have a "banding" effect of the weather, much like we see on Venus. And our system is doing NOTHING LIKE THAT! In fact, our weather system is typical of what one would expect from a dynamic system being perturbed; Lots of wild fluctuations, with an overall effect of changing climate throughout the globe.

    Our Earth has been warming and cooling for MILLENIA, well before we humans showed up on the scene. Entire ecosystems have sprung up and been wiped out several times over during the course of our planet's history. We were never there for any of them, and civilization couldn't have survived the conditions at many of those times. Those who think that ancient tides of our planet's natural systems are too deep and strong for the insignificant ship of humanity to do a thing about are wrong. We can and do make large impacts on the system, which can be amplified in a positive feedback loop by nature.

    Ultimately, what the "Anti Global Warming" push is about is power. It has become a political point of view, co-opted by neocons and mercantilists who are attempting to force a consensus in the scientific community through rewriting of government reports and funding biased private foundations. Once they are able to force a consensus and squash all independent thought in the scientific community, they hope to be able to push the government towards hypercapitalism and (eventually) all-out fascism. While I doubt there is a conspiracy in the classical sense, there are absolutely like-minded groups of people all pushing for similar goals. I, for one, am appalled of GW's suppression of real hard science, and the death of independent thought that the "Consensus Antiintellectualism" would bring us.

  • by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @01:20PM (#17846950)
    Guys, please don't mod up factually incorrect statements:
    The problem is that the US is NOT the biggest CO2 emissions maker in the world, that title belongs to China, and India is right behind it. Yet they were exempted from almost ALL the restrictions that would have been placed on us!

    See here: The first google hit I found, with nice graphs and everything. [manicore.com]

    Choice quote: "The "big bad boys" regarding greenhouse gases are without any doubt the Americans : not only their country is the first emitter in the world, but they are also on the podium for the emissions per person, and the latter is still rising!"
  • by spiedrazer (555388) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @01:21PM (#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

  • RealClimate has an in-depth discussion [realclimate.org] of the Usoskin et al. paper (as well as a link to the original PDF [cc.oulu.fi]), if you're interested. The comments are often as good as the original article on RealClimate. Here's a relevant excerpt from the original article:

    Regardless of any discussion about solar irradiance in past centuries, the sunspot record and neutron monitor data (which can be compared with radionuclide records) show that solar activity has not increased since the 1950s and is therefore unlikely to be able to explain the recent warming.

    Here are a few interesting points that might or might not be discussed at that site: (a) We've currently just passed through a solar minimum (in the 11-year cycle), yet we are still setting record highs. (b) Around 1957 maximum we were in a local minimum of temperatures. This is best explained by the presence of particulates in the atmosphere due to pollution problems.

  • Re:Climatologists? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @02:08PM (#17847892)

    Since the North Pole is not land, it is just floating ice and since unlike most materials, water is actually bigger as a solid than as a liquid (hence freezing waterbottles causes them to burst), it is hard to imagine the oceans rising.
    What people are worried about with sea level rise is (a) melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, and (b) warming causing thermal expansion of water.

    Even when you count the Greenland glacier [...] and the South Pole [...] it is hard to see mass flooding.
    It may be hard for you to see, but it's true. If Greenland and the West Antarctic ice sheets both go, we're talking potential sea level rises of over 250 feet. Fortunately, it's very unlikely that both will melt completely, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't worry about the much smaller melting that is more likely to happen.
  • Re:Climatologists? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Iron Condor (964856) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:29AM (#17855556)

    Here are some facts about global warming.

    No, not facts. Propaganda lies. This has been pointed out to you before.

    1.) The world appears to be getting warmer

    This is a lie. You, ccarson, are a retarded lying pig. The world is getting warmer. Period. There's no "appears" about it and computer models do not figure into it. The annual extent of sea ice around Antarctica has been measured since Shackelton and Scott and the ice has been retreating for the last 100+ years. Every harbor on the planet has been keeping track of the annual high water mark since the British Empire, and it has been rising for 100+ years. There's simply no two ways about it. Global warming is an absolute certainty. It has been an absolute certainty for decades.

    2.) Tying a trend to warmer temperatures based on older data from the early 1900's is suspect at best. Good, reliable, accurate scientific equipment that measures the temperature wasn't readily available until recently (late 1900's).

    This retarded lie of yours has been squarely disproven before - several times. I'm naming two entirely valid and accurate temperature measurements that go back to the first decade of the 1900s right up there. They have been handed to you before, you have ignored them before. You are unable to refute anything told to you and you insist on re-re-re-re-spewing the same retarded ultra right wing propaganda lies again and again. And again.

    There's a reason why holochaust deniers like yourself have no credibility. Because you have openly declared that you do not give a rat's ass about Truth or Reality.

  • Re:Yes besause... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Friday February 02, 2007 @02:22PM (#17863248)

    I guess reading comprehension wasn't one of your strong points. Or maybe math... You don't even have to read the linked articles to see that you're full of shit.
    I would call ">90% probability" to be "not in doubt".

    Damn, you contradict yourself in the same paragraph...
    Point out the contradiction, then. I said that climate isn't correlated with absolute concentrations of CO2, because of all of the other climate factors in effect. Changes in climate are correlated with changes in CO2. You do understand the different between "absolute magnitude" and "change in magnitude", do you not?

    CO2 was around 4400 PPM at that time.
    As I said, you cannot predict a temperature knowing only CO2 concentration, without also knowing what all the other climate forcings are. CO2 may have been 10x higher, but many other factors in the climate were also different: albedo, aerosol content of the atmosphere, concentrations of other greenhouse gases, and so on.

    You can, however, predict that an increase in CO2 will produce an increase in temperature and vice versa, to a limited extent. (Too much change produces nonlinear feedbacks.)

    If you had even bothered to read what I provided for you, you would have seen that having a large polar land mass and a continent that stretches between the poles as we have today is an essential ingredient to ice ages.
    I am trying to imagine why you believe that is relevant to global warming, even if it were true. (Incidentally, there have been plenty of ice ages with the continents as they are now.) Or how it contradicts my statements (e.g., that a drop in CO2 can precipitate ice ages, and increases can end them).

    The only man-made activity that might change that is the Panama canal.
    Once again, what is your point? That manmade activity can't produce ice ages? (And no, the Panama canal will not change that.)

    You cannot possibly be suggesting that a computer scientist at the University of New South Wales knows more about the climate than a research professor and State Climatologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    Fine. Just ignore Hansen, Schmidt, and all the other rebuttals too. Whatever it takes to preserve your worldview.

    Put in random data, still get a hockey stick.
    So, your response is to ignore the flaws in their analysis and repeat your original claim. "I don't need facts! I know the truth!" That's some devastating logic there.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

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