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Scientists Threatened For "Climate Denial" 1165

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the marching-to-the-beat-of-a-different-thermometer dept.
Forrest Kyle writes "A former professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg has received multiple death threats for questioning the extent to which human activities are driving global warming. '"Western governments have pumped billions of dollars into careers and institutes and they feel threatened," said the professor. "I can tolerate being called a skeptic because all scientists should be skeptics, but then they started calling us deniers, with all the connotations of the Holocaust. That is an obscenity. It has got really nasty and personal." Richard Lindzen, the professor of Atmospheric Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology [...] recently claimed: "Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labelled as industry stooges. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science."'"
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Scientists Threatened For "Climate Denial"

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  • I Don't Buy It (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:11PM (#18318345) Journal
    If he's trying to clear his name, he's doing a bad job of it.

    I found an article by him [canadafreepress.com] in which I hoped to hear his logic and reasoning against global warming.

    He claims it is just a natural cycle. That he's seen two of these in his career and he'll see one more before he dies. If his "death threat" was someone saying that he won't see temperature returning to normal before he dies, I don't think it was a death threat.

    I can't find a formal report of his research but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. If this is his argument, he leaves out a lot of things that need to be explained to me before I let it go. Like, why are polar bears suddenly on the endangered species list? What's happening to all the snow on the tops of mountains? Where are the ice glaciers (with ice that has been around for thousands if not millions of years) going? What is his retort to the CO2 levels being their highest ever--even after looking at ice core samples?

    His article only mentions a professor from MIT but not what his criticisms are.

    If their work is being derided, I want to know what their work is. I'm a skeptic also, if these people are being published in newspapers, you would think that they wouldn't waste their time on death threats and counter-counter-criticisms but would instead try to get the truths they have been finding in their research out to the public. If you're conducting good science that, in and of itself, will clear your name in the end.

    The more I search for information on Timothy Ball, the more he seems like he's playing just as dirty as the people he's fighting. Check out his lawsuit [sourcewatch.org] for a journal publishing a letter. I feel we're not hearing the full story here.

    When I'm at work and I enter situations in which someone is decrying someone else and vice versa, I just present everyone with facts. If I had done research and I received death threats, I would submit to major newspapers two things: my research published with permission to reprint it & the death threats in their original form. Nothing could boost my efforts to get the truth out there more. The fact that I see a PhD and scientist spending more time saying his life is in danger than presenting me with his findings tells me a lot about what his motives are.

    He was published, I guess in Ecological Complexity [elsevier.com] which I do not have access to. If anyone has papers from his work, I would love to see it--otherwise I'm going to tune this soap opera out as emotional noise in what should be a stoic process.

    Question everything. Question both sides. And if you have something that is true, present it. I'm not calling him a liar, I just can't call him anything right now because all I can find are stories about who called who what.
    • Re:I Don't Buy It (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ajs (35943) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:19PM (#18318501) Homepage Journal
      You don't have to buy anything, just walk up to a representative sample of people who think that global warming is anthropogenic and say, "actually I think it's probably just a natural cycle."

      The shock, hostility and downright hatred you will come across will very quickly render claims of death threats highly believable. Is this guy a jerk? Maybe. Is his science on-par? I have no clue. But, there is no denying the fact that this has become such an emotionally charged issue that climatology is probably the hardest field to do real science in today. I really wish we could de-politicize the whole process, but I fear that we would have had to start slowing this train about a decade ago in order to accomplish that feat.
      • Re:I Don't Buy It (Score:4, Interesting)

        by AlanS2002 (580378) <sanderal2@@@hotmail...com> on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:25PM (#18318595) Homepage
        "I really wish we could de-politicize the whole process"

        If the process was de-politicized something would of probably been done about global worming 10 - 15 years ago, however due to lobbying from very wealthy interest groups it's only now that something is starting to be done about it.
        • Re:I Don't Buy It (Score:5, Insightful)

          by sumdumass (711423) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:35PM (#18318801) Journal
          What if what "was done about it" was the wrong thing? And what iof nothing needs to be done about it?
          • Re:I Don't Buy It (Score:5, Insightful)

            by misleb (129952) on Monday March 12, 2007 @01:07PM (#18319411)

            What if what "was done about it" was the wrong thing? And what iof nothing needs to be done about it?


            Depends on what was done about it, but I can't help thinking "better safe than sorry." When our greatgrandchildren look back on this time 100 years from now, I'd rather them laugh at our paranoia (or whatever you might call incorrect and alarmist views on climate change) than lament our complacency.

            That said, I don't think it is worth any kind of violent revolution or some such. That woudl certainly be something to lament.

            -matthew
            • Re:I Don't Buy It (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) on Monday March 12, 2007 @01:19PM (#18319655) Homepage
              Global warming worries is so 1990's.

              We won't have get to the point where it will really matter, Peak Oil will come and we won't HAVE anything to burn to create greenhouse gases.

              Not that it would matter, when billions starve and get shot, bombed and nuked in the energy wars.

              (perhaps I'm just kidding, perhaps not).
              • If we keep on this fossil fueled path we're going to choke to death on our own smoke.
              • Re:I Don't Buy It (Score:4, Insightful)

                by vonhammer (992352) on Monday March 12, 2007 @01:44PM (#18320163)
                Don't put your faith in Peak Oil solving our CO2 problem. The US is the MidEast of the world's Coal reserves, with about 1/4 of the entire reserves in our country. Also, before we resort to burning coal for fuel, we have natural gas to run through. It won't reach Peak Gas (sounds ominous :-) ) until after Peak Oil. There's lots of carbon to throw into the atmosphere. We have to find a way to sequester this CO2.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward
              Except the CO2 could be keeping us from an ice age and our paranoia could plunge us into one. Try feeding 6 billion people with large amounts of farm land covered in ice. The climate is really complex and needs to be fully understood before we try to start changing things.

            • Depends on what was done about it, but I can't help thinking "better safe than sorry." When our greatgrandchildren look back on this time 100 years from now, I'd rather them laugh at our paranoia (or whatever you might call incorrect and alarmist views on climate change) than lament our complacency.

              How about them cursing you for having trashed the economy so their standard of living is far below that of your time - and no resources are available for solving whatever the REAL problems of their day are - whil
              • How about them cursing you for having trashed the economy


                i find this notion fascinating -- I can't think of any other situation in which funneling research and development into more efficient and automated technology has resulted in anything other than economic progress. The entire western world is built on replacing the cheap, easy and obvious method of doing things with expensive but vastly more scalable and efficient technology.

                Outlawing child labor didn't result in an energy or manufacturing crisis, it resulted in a more educated society while causing all the industries that relied on child labor to invest in better tools that wound up being MORE effective and profitable.

                All that environmental concerns accomplish is to change the economic incentives so that the market has the motivation to cover the startup costs of technologies we know will be more productive in the long run anyways. Building more efficient and cleaner power plants and vehicles is a great idea that we know will benefit all aspects of the economy and society. So why not make it profitable for the market to move to that stage sooner rather than later?
              • by Red Flayer (890720) on Monday March 12, 2007 @03:33PM (#18322045) Journal

                Kyoto alone talks about cutting the global economy by about a third
                Source, please? I've never seen economic impact statements with any kind of estimate that damaging for the Kyoto treaty. Time and again, we've seen pollution controls result in better economies, not worse -- despite dire predictions of the opposite.

                for an "improvement" predicted (even by its advocates) to be too small to measure.
                Huh? What advocates of the Kyoto Treaty have said that? Please cite a source, since everything I've read has predicted a measurable impact on global atmospheric CO2 levels.

                Even super-critical-of-Kyoto analyses [heritage.org] put the GDP impact in 2010 (if we had adopted under Clinton) at 400 Bn, which is less than a third of projected 2010 GDP... and that calculation uses a base gas price of $1.10, with a Kyoto impact of about 0.40... since the base gas price is slightly less than double the $1.10, we can expect the impact (in the worst-case-scenario, without technological discoveries and improvements) to be significantly lower than the $400 Bn.

                Furthermore, this 'study' totally ignores the economic positives associated with alternative source development -- it only looks at the negative impacts. Any wonder, since it was funded by the DoE, which is a stomping-ground for energy lobbyists?
              • by cephal0p0d (1052252) on Monday March 12, 2007 @06:18PM (#18324493) Homepage
                We need to shift off of fossil fuels anyway for strategic, economic, environmental, and geopolitical reasons: - De-funding terrorist petrostates - Neutering the Big Oil lobby - Removing the possibility of OPEC style embargo politics - Creation of a native energy industry increases GDP and keeps the money in-country - Expanding biofuel use eliminates the need to subsidize farms and farmers - Co2 from biofuel was in the air months prior, so no net CO2 gain. - Clean Coal tech such as emissions scrubbing and carbon sequestering has gotten to the point where it is viable as a greenish energy source, and the US has coal coming out its.. seams. - Nuclear has gotten a lot safer. Slowing/eliminating human inputs to climate change is just the cherry on the un-fossil sundae.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by AlanS2002 (580378)
            Then we've saved the fossil fuels from running out for a bit longer. If we are wrong, better that and look silly than be right and not doing anything in time. That would have to qualify the whole human species for a Darwin award.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:53PM (#18319185)

        While I am concerned about the future of our planet and our species' place upon it, I am growing increasingly sceptical of the wild claims surrounding a looming global warming catastrophe.

        My main area of surprise and shock was learning that past concentrations of carbon dioxide were much higher than they are today, as revealed in the interview below:

        RES: Professor Robert E. Sloan, Department of Geology, University of Minnesota [ucl.ac.uk]
        JC: Dr Joe Cain, interviewer

        We are talking about carbon dioxide levels 6 to 10 times the present carbon dioxide level. When you have high amounts of carbon dioxide in an atmosphere up to a certain limit, which is considerably higher than it is now, the result is green plants grow very much better... And it is precisely at this time that the recovery from the first dinosaur extinction takes place. When the super plumes come and carbon dioxide increases, and the oxygen correspondingly increases as a result of photosynthesis... And yet the super plumes did not last forever and they started to die at the end of Cretaceous.... In any event, large dinosaurs really required to be living in an oxygen tent. An atmosphere in the neighborhood of 35 percent oxygen would be considerably more compatible with large dinosaurs than one in the neighborhood of 28. And so this suggested to me that this was perhaps a significant reason for the first dinosaur extinction, and probably one of the major factors in the second, the terminal dinosaur extinction, other than the birds. It also neatly tied together all of the really bizarre features about the Cretaceous... The Cretaceous is clearly a green house period as opposed to the present ice house that we have... Well, the rich carbon dioxide of course provides for a much greater biogenic diversity.

        I have come to learn that these past carbon dioxide concentrations have been documented in peer-reviewed research journals [harvard.edu]:

        We find that CO2 emissions resulting from super-plume tectonics could have produced atmospheric CO2 levels from 3.7 to 14.7 times the modern pre-industrial value of 285 ppm.

        My interest in past CO2 concentrations began by reading a (somewhat) more partisan [americanthinker.com] summary of this information:

        When dinosaurs walked the earth (about 70 to 130 million years ago), there was from five to ten times more CO2 in the atmosphere than today. The resulting abundant plant life allowed the huge creatures to thrive. . . . Based on nearly 800 scientific observations around the world, a doubling of CO2 from present levels would improve plant productivity on average by 32 percent across species.

        I have also seen a great rejection [canada.com] of the global warming panic in the scientific community (it is unlikely that "big oil" funds have "bribed" so many faculty members of such prestigous universities):

        Sixty scientists call on Harper to revisit the science of global warming... If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.

        And I have also seen a growing political backlash [cnsnews.com] against scientifically-unfounded runaway global warming panic:

        Politicians who build campaigns around "alarmist" global warming claims are themselves becoming quite alarmed because of growing skepticism, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said.

        When I see interviews such as

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          "When dinosaurs walked the earth (about 70 to 130 million years ago), there was from five to ten times more CO2 in the atmosphere than today. The resulting abundant plant life allowed the huge creatures to thrive. . . . Based on nearly 800 scientific observations around the world, a doubling of CO2 from present levels would improve plant productivity on average by 32 percent across species."

          Human beings are neither dinasoars nor plants- we can't take the added CO2 concentration. So this is entirely irrel
      • Re:I Don't Buy It (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Monday March 12, 2007 @01:02PM (#18319337)

        You don't have to buy anything, just walk up to a representative sample of people who think that global warming is anthropogenic and say, "actually I think it's probably just a natural cycle."

        The shock, hostility and downright hatred you will come across will very quickly render claims of death threats highly believable.
        I don't think it's a "representative sample" you have in mind.

        There are extremists on both sides, who, unsurprisingly, are among the most vocal. Just look at the anti-AGW types who start screaming about dirty hippie globaloney-worshipping libtard Gorebots the instant the word "warming" leaves one's mouth.

        But, there is no denying the fact that this has become such an emotionally charged issue that climatology is probably the hardest field to do real science in today.
        Eh, the majority of the climatology community is probably fairly insulated from the political debate as far as their actual practice of science is concerned. It probably even remains true in general, with the exception of a relative handful of high profile scientists (e.g., the ones who end up testifying to Congress) and those who intentionally insert themselves into the political scene.

        It is, however, way over-politicized to the extent that none of the real scientific debates accurately trickle down to the public.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Peter Trepan (572016)

        You don't have to buy anything, just walk up to a representative sample of people who think that global warming is anthropogenic and say, "actually I think it's probably just a natural cycle." [...] The shock, hostility and downright hatred you will come across will very quickly render claims of death threats highly believable.

        You'd get the same reaction if you said, "I think homosexuality is a conscious choice." Is it really? I'm not sure, but I know that it's in the best interest of religious conserva

      • Re:I Don't Buy It (Score:5, Informative)

        by TopherC (412335) on Monday March 12, 2007 @01:05PM (#18319377)
        The public have a disturbing lack of understanding of the scientific process. Yes, climate change is a hot issue, and rightly so! It takes an extraordinary level of public awareness of global warming just to push against a government that is normally driven by corporate interest. In many other fields, the government has demonstrated incredibly poor management of scientific programs, and also a complete disregard of scientific rationale when it comes to policy-making.

        Now that the stakes are so high, the public simply has to get involved. That presents a new difficulty for the scientists. The scientific process is that of constant questioning and evaluation. One has to be as objective as possible, exploring different sides of an argument, and so on. To attack a scientist for their professional opinion in their own field is to attack the scientific process. But the result of this process (which when you look at forefront research may seem chaotic and governed by sociology more than science) is firm conclusions that have withstood the storms of controversy.

        Another aspect of science that needs to be understood are the various relationships between theory and experiment. With global warming, I think this translates into climate models and the search for evidence of warming. I'm not aware of *any* climate models that deny any correlation between greenhouse gases and global temperatures. And I even suspect that all reasonable climate models give (within an order of magnitude) the same level of warming. The leading-edge global climate research is concerned with one aspect or another of *evidence* for climate change that's already occurred.

        What level of evidence do we require before we change our behavior and set new policies? Does any climate scientist feel that we can continue increasing the levels of CO2 without any serious consequences? I don't think so. Do I think that if I bite a cyanide capsule then I will die? Well, I haven't tried it so I guess I don't know for certain. But there is a well-established theory which strongly suggests cyanide will be fatal to me. I don't know how fast it would kill me, but it would most likely take much less than a day. Do I have enough information on this to decide on a policy of, say, not leaving such capsules lying around the house for my kids to discover? Of course I do! Now, this isn't a perfect analogy since there are many people, some of whom have performed this "experiment" already. But there's only one planet Earth. But even so, even the most simplistic models of the Earth's climate force us to conclude that we're hurtling toward catastrophic climate change.
        • Re:I Don't Buy It (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ajs (35943) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Monday March 12, 2007 @01:28PM (#18319857) Homepage Journal

          Now that the stakes are so high [...]
          Are they? What stakes?

          I mean that quite seriously. If we're to reduce the rhetoric and move forward, we have to stop relying on fear and TALK rationally and plainly.

          The UN predicts several centimeters of raised sea-level over the coming century. That's what you're concerned about? What? The fact that fertile growing regions might shift north by a few hundred miles? The fact that a few new shipping lanes might be opened up? The fact that Tundra wildlife might explode? What, exactly are the stakes? I'm not sure warming is a good thing, but I'm also not convinced that it's the cataclysmic event that we're being told by some.

          WHAT are these stakes? Al Gore's alarmist fears of Florida disappearing under the waves? Honestly, I like Al Gore. I voted for Al Gore because I watched his career in the 80s and 90s and was hugely thankful for the work that he did (and later took undeserved heat for) in building the Internet in the 80s. But, on this I think he's done an issue that he clearly cares about a disservice.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Greyfox (87712)
        Yuh huh. If you want to elicit additional levels of anger, ask them if they're willing to do their part by not driving their Maibatsu Monstrosity and instead walking, biking or taking public transportation.

        If they didn't have the pitchforks and torches out before, that should just about do it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sciros (986030)
      Well, when you mention polar bears and ice caps on mountains, etc., it seems like that's a whole other topic altogether. The scientific community isn't saying that global warming isn't happening; they're just not agreeing about how it is being caused. While it [sort of] correlates to CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, it correlates to other things as well. On top of that, ocean current changes (which can have an effect on climate), as well as other phenomena, are not fully explored or understood and may w
      • Re:I Don't Buy It (Score:4, Insightful)

        by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:39PM (#18318905) Journal
        What money is there to be made on the green side? Where does the majority of research money in the world actually come from, people who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, or those who have a vested interest in changing it?
    • He's not alone (Score:5, Interesting)

      by slashkitty (21637) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:27PM (#18318641) Homepage
      The Great Global Warming Swindle

      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9005566792 811497638&hl=en [google.com]

      It covers both the politicization of the issue, and many scientific facts ignored by global warming films.

      • Re:He's not alone (Score:5, Informative)

        by LionMage (318500) on Monday March 12, 2007 @01:11PM (#18319509) Homepage
        Kind of interesting that "The Great Global Warming Swindle" gets mentioned a lot in the comments on this article. So I might as well mention the RealClimate debunking [realclimate.org] of this documentary (mentioned briefly in another comment thread).
        • Re:He's not alone (Score:5, Insightful)

          by srmalloy (263556) on Monday March 12, 2007 @02:50PM (#18321343) Homepage
          You have to admire some of the handwaves that the RealClimate [realclimate.org] article resorts to in order to preserve the global-warming doctrine. "Temperature leads CO2 by 800 years in the ice cores. Not quite as true as they said, but basically correct; however they misinterpret it. The way they said this you would have thought that T and CO2 are anti-correlated; but if you overlay the full 400/800 kyr of ice core record, you can't even see the lag because its so small." It's either true or it's not. The RealClimate site admits that the "Great Global Warming Swindle" statement is correct, but that when you look at the 800,000 year range of the ice cores, this lag is insignificant. Excuse me, but if you make the claim "X causes Y; just look at these graphs, where you see X and Y moving in similar patterns", then ignoring the fact that X happens after Y makes your entire claim invalid.

          If increasing CO2 levels cause increased global temperatures, then the historical record would show that the CO2 levels increased before the temperature rise. But the temperature rises actually occurred prior to the CO2 rise; making the claim that an effect is due to a cause that happened after the effect makes you look like an idiot. If the CO2 level changes mimic the temperature changes from 800 years earlier -- but not the current temperature changes -- over the measurement period, then it doesn't matter that the lag is 0.1% of the measurement range, then the CO2 level changes are not a cause of the temperature changes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022)
      Even if he is a POS shill for the fuel industry, does he deserve to have his life threatened? As an aside, I have seen way to many facets of weather lately blamed on global warming such as hurricanes. This is complete and utter bunk.
    • Re:I Don't Buy It (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stratjakt (596332) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:33PM (#18318735) Journal
      TFA is more about the death threats he's recieved, and the general unwillingness to believe anything other than worst-case "day after tomorrow" type scenarios.

      I don't think any true climatologists have such a dim view - but the media does, and Al Gore does, and a large community of activists do. And those activists have the same mindset of those who murder doctors at abortion clinics, or assault people wearing fur coats.

      How are you going to have any sort of open discourse or intelligent discussion, or any sort of pursuit of the "truth" with such people involved?

      Believing something other than "mainstream science" these days has some nasty consequences. Science has sort of replaced religion to a lot of people, and people vehemently defend Darwin like a religious fundy would defend the Bible.

      I wonder if there are any true-life Galilleo's out there, muzzled and silent, who's name won't be known for centuries, when they're proven right?
    • Re:I Don't Buy It (Score:4, Interesting)

      by malsdavis (542216) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:43PM (#18318981)
      I think the article is intending to mislead.

      I've also read up on some of the reports by this "scientist" and many are anything but scientific. Scientists criticise other scientists all the time for this.

      The only difference here seems to be that the issue is a politically sensitive one.
  • by Seoulstriker (748895) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:11PM (#18318359)
    This really begs the question: are the climate scientists who dissent really tools for corporations or are the climate scientists who advocate (consent to global warming caused by man) really tools for government/special interest groups?
    • by Reapman (740286)
      Both?

      Regardless of what side you feel is right, you'd have to be blind to not realize that there are groups out there on BOTH sides that will do what they can, moral or not, to find proof saying they're right and the others are wrong. I have no doubt that big business gets scientists to say (via grants or whatever) what they want, just like I have no doubt that there are special interest groups that do the exact same or try to (a bit harder I'll admit if you don't have the billions the oil industry has)

      Hen
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by slashkitty (21637)
      http://skepdic.com/begging.html [skepdic.com]

      You have no idea what begging the question means. You're welcome to ask other questions though.

  • by AlanS2002 (580378) <sanderal2@@@hotmail...com> on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:12PM (#18318371) Homepage
    from oil companies to speak at conferences full of other climate change deniers.
  • by mikesimaska (660104) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:12PM (#18318377)
    from the original article... " the theory of man-made global warming had become a "religion", forcing alternative explanations to be ignored. "
    • I understand him. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DeeDob (966086)
      Coming from an ecology based formation at the university, i have learned some principles of ecological research.

      The first thing that needs to be understood is that ecology "scientists" need funding for their research (which is more often than not government-funded).

      They NEED their research to make an impact in order to receive further funding for more research.

      In ecology, you never have an "absolute numerical value" to your results. You will obtain a "range" of values, the minimal of that range being the "b
  • Flat Earth Society (Score:3, Insightful)

    by krbvroc1 (725200) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:20PM (#18318513)
    This raises the larger question...At what point do you stop funding the scientists investigating that the Earth is flat? At some point, the evidence becomes overwhelming and those who ignore it really are 'deniers'. I'm not sure about this particular scientist, but a lot of those skeptics are funded by the very corporations who have a vested interest in doing nothing. For how long was there a group of scientist who claimed that cigarette smoking could not be linked to any negative health effect data?
  • by FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:20PM (#18318515) Homepage
    This guy actually believes he's targeted for death? When scientists on his side of the spectrum start dying off mysteriously, I'll care.
  • by dylan_- (1661) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:27PM (#18318629) Homepage
    These guys are back public eye because they recently appeared in a UK Channel4 documentary called "The Great Global Warming Swindle". Basically a rehash of all the outdated silly arguments you've heard a thousand times before. You can read the RealClimate response here [realclimate.org] if you like.

    But that's pretty boring, science type stuff. What's much more fun is watching the right-wing contingent defending this piece of crap, proclaiming its truth and accuracy, when the film was produced by members of the Revolutionary Communist Party! Regular contributors to the RCP's journal, "Living Marxism" no less.

    What an interesting meeting of minds.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SirTalon42 (751509)
      You do realize realclimate.org is owned by Environmental Media Services which is owned by a Fenton Communications which is an advertising company?
  • by AlanS2002 (580378) <sanderal2@@@hotmail...com> on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:31PM (#18318707) Homepage
    people deriding them when they complain about 'both sides of the argument not being heard'. 'both sides of the argument being heard' implies that there is equal support/strength on both sides, which is simply not the case in this issue. The overwhelming consensus on this issue is that climate change is a phenomena brought about chiefly by societies burning of fossil fuels.
  • by AtlanticCarbon (760109) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:34PM (#18318765)
    ... it's that the dissent is being irresponsibly over-exaggerated and manipulated by certain parties (namely the Bush administration). It's somewhat similar to holocaust or evolution denials. It's not a problem, perhaps even healthy, that there is dissent. However, if decision-makers start cherry-picking oddball positions to further their policy (like the Bush administration on the environment or evolution and Iran on the holocaust) then you have a problem. The problem is with the decision-makers, not the various individuals expressing their thoughts.
  • by moore.dustin (942289) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:36PM (#18318811) Homepage
    Almost all of the skeptics or deniers only deny or are skeptical about the _cause_ of global warming, not the fact that the planet is indeed warming.

    Like many others areas of the world/media, /. likes to attack these same people for not seeing things their way. It is commonplace here to attack and mod down people who present other or counter evidence, no matter how valid it may be. The media has successfully nullified the scientific process when it comes to global warming. The media and political interests are causing global warming to be such a polarizing issue that any one person, or entity looking to present evidence counter to the what the media/politicians feed us, is going to think twice. The implications of publishing an article/paper counter to what many believe to be true are far reaching and could end your career [slashdot.org].

    All I hope for is that the scientific process can be saved from the media in the future when issues like this come up. By that I mean issues that demand action based on conclusive scientific evidence of a problem. We could all certainly be wrong about global warming and if you do not at least concede that, then you too, are contributing to the fall of one of, if not the most important advancement of our modern society, the scientific process. (Sanitation puts up a good fight for #1 :) )
  • Believe it. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by d3ac0n (715594) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:40PM (#18318913)
    This is the kind of crap that has been going on for the last 5 years or longer.

    If you don't believe him, all you have to do is to look back at ANY Slashdot article on global warming in the last 5 years to see an incredible amount of vitriol and hate directed at those like myself who are highly skeptical of "Global Warming" as a man-made phenomena.

    We are called "Deniers", fools, idiots, trolls, tools, apologists for "big oil", ignorant, and any number of insults that you can imagine. Our intelligence is derided, our ability to research and think critically is questioned and our honesty is doubted. We are treated much like those who "insult Islam" are treated by Muslims. With disrespect, derision, and hatred. That some of the eco-religious would choose to "take it to the next level" with death threats is NOT SURPRISING AT ALL.

    There are many many scientists, not funded by big-oil, who seriously doubt or outright disagree with the conclusion reached by a few high-profile scientists in regards to the veracity of man-made global warming. Many of them have signed on to a petition that states:

    There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.


    You can see the petition online here: http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p37.htm [oism.org]

    and a scientific abstract that further explains their position here: http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm [oism.org]

    Their science is sound, and after doing my due-diligence I agree with them. I will not be shouted down by eco-religious fanatics or ideological thugs, and neither will these scientists.
    • Re:Believe it. (Score:5, Informative)

      by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:53PM (#18319181) Homepage Journal
      Yes, and if if people on slashdot starting saying the earth was actually a giant cube, they owuld have the same results.

      Before throwing your hat in with this guy, you might want to research his motivations.
      Also, he is a geographer, not a climatologist. Has written zero papers on climatology, has no experience in climatology.

      SUpposing he actually got death threats, it isn't suprising, because tere are stupid people in every 'group' an dit is a shame. it is wrong, and I hope they get the person who wrote them. That in know way is an arguement against or for global warming.

      "Their science is sound, and after doing my due-diligence I agree with them. I will not be shouted down by eco-religious fanatics or ideological thugs, and neither will these scientists."
      actually it is not, and also MOST scientists agree that humans have impacted the enviroment and are a major contributer to global climate change.

      However, I offer some proof.
      China does not want there to be global warming, they want to have the same things the Western worlds has. With all ther political might, the best influance they had on the paper was some minor down grade in the language. This speaks volumes. If there was any strong scientific support against global warming China would have brought it up.

      You go ahead and bury your head in the sand; where you can make yourself believe the humans haven't impact their enviroment at all.
  • by ElScorcho (115780) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:43PM (#18318999)
    I'm not a climatologist, but I am a scientist, and some of these responses (and indeed, responses all over the place) are scaring me. Global warming is not the issue. There's a very clear trend of increasing global temperatures, you can check meteorological websites and see it. There's also a very clear trend of an increase in the CO2 levels in the atmosphere, even just since they started recording it, to say nothing of what it might have been 100 or 200 years ago.

    The argument is whether the global warming that we see in hard data is caused by humans. There's a correlation between rising CO2 and rising temperature, but as any Pastafarian can tell you, correlation does not equal causation. That's what people should be arguing about. We KNOW temperatures are increasing, what we don't know (and it's one of those things that might be impossible to prove, as so many things are in science) is whether these increases are caused by us. If they are, then we might possiblly be able to reverse them given reductions in CO2 output and carbon sequestering. If they aren't, then rising CO2 probably isn't helping and should still be reversed, and we might also look into other solutions for it.

    The Earth has cycled between hot and cold for its entire existence, and we don't know why. It might be life, it might be the planet's internal processes, it might be the Maunder Minimum.

    Anyone denying that the planet is heating is living with their head up their butt. Anyone denying that the heating is caused by humans is simply skeptical, and has good reason to be. Anyone convinced that the warming of the planet is caused by humans is too credulous and should always remember that science is falsifiable and therefore can never be certain.
  • by Yonder Way (603108) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:47PM (#18319045)
    Scientists should be skeptical. It is only under much scrutiny and skepticism that the truth can be truly known. Petty tactics against skeptics only serve to make the more popular global warming theories appear as dogma rather than real science.
  • by Serveert (102805) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:52PM (#18319169)
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Tim_Bal l [sourcewatch.org]

    Dr. Timothy Ball is Chairman and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project (NRSP). [1] Two of the three directors of the NRSP - Timothy Egan and Julio Lagos - are executives with the PR and lobbying company, the High Park Group (HPG). [2] Both HPG and Egan and Lagos work for energy industry clients and companies on energy policy. [3]

    Ball is a Canadian climate change skeptic and was previously a "scientific advisor" to the oil industry-backed organization, Friends of Science. [4] Ball is a member of the Board of Research Advisors of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a Canadian free-market think tank which is predominantly funded by foundations and corporations. [5]


    The links to PR companies is what bothers me. PR companies have studied and refined group psychology for decades, centuries even if you look at how it evolved from greek study of rhetoric, and it has even gotten us into wars like the 1st gulf war ( http://www.prwatch.org/books/tsigfy10.html [prwatch.org] ). They make Hitler's propaganda team look ineffecient in comparison. Stalin would be envious of them. Having observed PR campaigns for decades, this is a very high level and well funded campaign. I see their tactic - attacking global warming advocates as emotional and vindictive. Basically taking the science out of global warming and turning themselves into victims, because everyone likes a victim. I wish I wasn't so skeptical and negative but having seen PR companies in action, this has all the hallmarks of a PR campaign. The best PR goes unnoticed, it's not obvious to those uniniatied in PR tactics, but it is most definitely happening.

    I personally only want to see peer reviewed data, nothing else matters. The PR companies want to take this to the people rather than to the journals.
  • Where's the science? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Phat_Tony (661117) on Monday March 12, 2007 @12:59PM (#18319273)
    Given the vitriol I've witnessed, I have no doubt that people doing work that might contradict greenhouse-gas driven anthropogenic global warming receive all sorts of threats and probably funding problems. Surely anyone who put their name out there as an anthropogenic global warming critic is going to receive threats from loonies, and surely there are at least some anthropogenic global warming critics who's research is being de-funded, but that doesn't mean the two are related. Their research could be being de-funded because it's bad research.

    It seems to me that anyone who wants to be civil about the debate over global warming (rather than taking up arms in a useless flame-war) needs to look at one thing; peer-reviewed scientific literature.

    Likewise, to make the case regarding political bias affecting research into global warming, what one needs to look at is submitted papers and grant proposals. Let's not hear one side complain about how they're being repressed; let's see evidence of repression. Do you have a history of quality research, and had your quality grant proposal rejected because the research you proposed could contradict the theory of anthropogenic global warming? If so, put the information out there for people to judge. Did you submit a quality research paper to journals, only to have it rejected due to political bias, not the quality of the paper? Put it out there. The laymen might not be able to evaluate all this on their own, but there are still plenty of unbiased scientists and organizations that would review these cases carefully if these claims were advanced with appropriate evidence.

    Is research being suppressed? I don't know, it wouldn't surprise me either way, given how politicized this topic is. But if they want to make a case for it, the thing that they need that's been lacking so far is substantial evidence.
  • by Shuh (13578) on Monday March 12, 2007 @01:42PM (#18320101) Journal
    It seems that any particular "science" does not exist for the politically-driven masses until someone makes a movie about it a la Al Gore. So with no further ado, I present the really inconvenient, inconvenient truth:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9005566792 811497638&q=The+Great+Global+Warming+Swindle [google.com]

    The movie was produced by the BBC4 and is titled "The Great Global Warming Swindle." It shows an honest, reasoned response to the Global Warming Scare on a point-by-point basis from scientists and at least one journalist. The scientists all have credentials out the whazoo and are recognized leaders and contributors in their respective fields. A few of them have their names on the IPCC report (the report the Warmingistas always cite) and one has even sued to have his name taken off the document.

    Particularly chilling (no pun intended) is the part that shows how the IPCC policy-wonks have redacted the IPCC report to remove comments from the scientists that explicitly state there is no proveable link between man-made CO2 and global warming.

    As a technical person, I have always suspected the "consensus" results "proving" man-made Global Warming have been primarily a political scam. For one thing, science rarely (if ever) deals in absolutes, and complex models always deal in probabilities rather than yes/no answers. Further, as an undergraduate engineer, I spent plenty of time in college science labs doing experiments to acquaint myself with the scientific method. Working in simple straight-forward conditions:
    1. Indoor lab,
    2. Properly calibrated equipment,
    3. One simple, universally-accepted equation,
    4. One single variable,
    we (me and all the other undergraduates) never got an exact match between the equations and the real world. There was always a fudge-factor. This experience has taught me that anyone who thinks scientists can model the entire world and get every equation and every theoretical assumption correct (down to a degree Celcius with no fudge-factor) is either ignorant or just a shill. They have the kind of faith that would put any religious bigot to shame.


"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan

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