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Don't Worry About Global Warming, Say 16 Scientists in the WSJ 1367

Posted by timothy
from the no-true-scotsman dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, there's 'no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy'. From the article: 'The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2. The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key component of the biosphere's life cycle.'"
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Don't Worry About Global Warming, Say 16 Scientists in the WSJ

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  • Oh no, not again. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2012 @06:38PM (#38851945)

    I thought this global warming denial nonsense was long sense refuted [skepticalscience.com] for anyone willing to look at the facts in an objective manner.

  • Re:Oh no, not again. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Troyusrex (2446430) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @06:44PM (#38851997)
    RTFA. The scientists agree that there's been warming. The main thing they say is that the climate benefits of massive curbing of CO2 emissions aren't worth the substantial costs.
  • Claude Allègre (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2012 @06:51PM (#38852049)

    I see Allègre in the list of scientists. He is a very competent *geologist*. He has no clue in climatology. That did not stop him from writing a book about the topic in which he *falsified* data to fit his own personal views that are not supported by science. Here is one of several examples http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/04/claude-allegre-the-climate-imposter/ . No need to say that the people who published the original data are horrified by his fraud. So in the end the WSJ publishes crap. Nothing unusual.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2012 @06:52PM (#38852063)

    Here are the hottest ten years on record, in the past 130 years, in order: 2005, 2010, 1998, 2003, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2007, 2004, 2001
    Notice a pattern? How about the fact that they are all in the past decade.

    I notice also that of the 16 scientists, only 2-3 have titles that directly related to the study of climate and atmospheric sciences. The rest are the usual mismash of experts in other subjects who (as "smart" people are won't to do) apparently claim equal expertise in global warming, who are simply doing the classic trick of "donning a labcoat" to look authoritative.

  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @06:55PM (#38852091)

    False flag.

    "The lack of warming for more than a decade" is contradicted by e.g.

    "An increasing amount of seaborne traffic is moving along a new Siberian coastal route, cutting journey time and boosting trade prospects"
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jul/05/arctic-shipping-trade-routes [guardian.co.uk]

    The sea north of Siberia is opening up, for the benefit of transport! So, some in the industry are already using the global warming. Russia is planning expanding some of these harbors for summer traffic.

    So, even if those WSJ jerks are wrong, there are some beneficial outcomes. Not all parts in the world suffer from droughts or desertification.

    Still, the poor people in Nevada, California, Spain, Italy and elsewhere will suffer from an even drier climate.

    The winners are the already affluent people in high latitudes, with an already booming industry.

  • Re:That's unusual? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:00PM (#38852129)

    Global temperatures during the Medieval Warming Period were actually lower than they are today. The warming you are describing was a local phenomenon experienced in the Northern Atlantic region.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:00PM (#38852131)
  • Re:Oh no, not again. (Score:4, Informative)

    by kermyt (99494) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:06PM (#38852191) Homepage
    RTFA this article is trying to suggest that there has not been the well documented +2c rise in global temps in the last decade. From the Article: "Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 "Climategate" email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." But the warming is only missing if one believes computer models where so-called feedbacks involving water vapor and clouds greatly amplify the small effect of CO2."
  • This isn't news... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Esteanil (710082) * on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:06PM (#38852195) Homepage Journal

    It's a biased op-ed from a right-wing newspaper. To quote Forbes:

    But the most amazing and telling evidence of the bias of the Wall Street Journal in this field is the fact that 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences wrote a comparable (but scientifically accurate) essay on the realities of climate change and on the need for improved and serious public debate around the issue, offered it to the Wall Street Journal, and were turned down. The National Academy of Sciences is the nation’s pre-eminent independent scientific organizations. Its members are among the most respected in the world in their fields. Yet the Journal wouldn’t publish this letter, from more than 15 times as many top scientists. Instead they chose to publish an error-filled and misleading piece on climate because some so-called experts aligned with their bias signed it. This may be good politics for them, but it is bad science and it is bad for the nation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:12PM (#38852245)

    1. Fill an ordinary pot with ice water.
    2. Set the pot on a hot stove eye to boil.
    3. Monitor the temperature of the pot's contents as the ice melts.

    Amazingly, the temperature of the water will not begin to rise until the ice has melted. All the heat applied to the pot goes into melting the ice, not heating the water.

    This is called a "phase change [zonalandeducation.com]" (a reference to the phases of matter), and is a possible explanation for the Earth's not having burst into flames despite humans' venting unprecedented amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

    I suspect once the ice caps melt, the real fireworks will begin.

  • "Don't Worry About Global Warming, Say 16 Scientists in the WSJ"
    should be
    "What Murdoch wants you to think."

    It seems reasonable to guess that, if Murdoch finds a way to make money from curbing CO2 emissions, there will be a new article proposing that.

    The Wall Street Journal, never a useful publication, is now just a massive advertisement for Murdoch.

    "Never a useful publication"? Did the Wall Street Journal tell us of the plans by the financial community to steal hundreds of billions of dollars? No. The book Fiasco: The Inside Story of a Wall Street Trader [amazon.com] did, in 1999, with huge amounts of exact detail. Warren Buffett did, in 2003, when he said, Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction. [bbc.co.uk]
  • by SerpentMage (13390) <[ChristianHGross] [at] [yahoo.ca]> on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:19PM (#38852325)

    There is a change taking over. I have been living for 16 years in Zurich and this was the warmest winter yet. The mountains have plenty of snow, but in the valley it is just nuts. We are supposed to get some cold in the next week, but this winter has been completely out of whack. The fact that you are getting plenty of snow is actually correct. Having lived in Canada for 18 years snow = warm temperatures = changing fronts where cold meets warm...

  • by RichMan (8097) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:20PM (#38852341)

    "exhaled at high concentrations by each of us" is wrong.

    The air that enters a person's lungs is 78% nitrogen 21% oxygen, 1% argon and less than 1% CO2.
    The air that leaves a person's lungs during exhalation contains 14% oxygen and 4.4% carbon dioxide.

    since when is 4% high concentration ?

    The article is trying to hard.

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:21PM (#38852349)

    Worldwide meltoff of glaciers + clearing of Arctic sea ice + longer summers in the high latitudes = climate change.

    Your local weather this week = who asked?

  • by overshoot (39700) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:25PM (#38852379)

    the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections

    Ah, yes. Dr. Curry uses an inappropriate statistical model (simple linear regression) to the team's data set, which ends with two unusually cold months. The result is to nearly eliminate the warming trend in the result (end points have unusual weight in a simple linear regression.) Drop those two months and you get about the same warming trend as the models predicted, or add the following two months (which were unusually warm) and again you match the models.

    Impressive work, and the WSJ makes the most of it.

  • by the gnat (153162) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:28PM (#38852407)

    The best sources I can come up with (things like this [wsj.com] and this [transworldnews.com]) suggest that hundreds of millions are spent on one side, and billions on the other.

    The big difference here is that those billions are mostly spent on scientific research, while the oil company money is mostly being spent on PR and lobbying.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:29PM (#38852423)

    - Stop heating our homes with anything other than wood (other avenue of pollution)

    Build them with adequate insulation and they don't need heating at all.

    Stop generating electricity with anything other than wind and solar (inadequate with current technology)

    And hydro, wave, and tide. etc. No one is suggesting switching from fossil fuels to renewables overnight. Just that it can happen a lot faster than it is doing.

    Stop commuting to our places of work. (Of course, as a software engineer, I wouldn't have a place of work without adequate electricity)

    No one but you said there wouldn't be adequate electricity. And there is no reason why people can't live closer to their work than they do now.

    Stop producing plastics (stop recycling them too)

    There are lots of non-fossil fuel and biodegradable alternatives for lots of uses of plastic. And lots of plastic that just isn't required. for example: The fact that so much waste is plastic water bottles, when every home and office has tap water is a scandal.

    Stop mining or refining metals (stop recycling them too)

    Says who?

    Stop large-scale farming (or, at least mechanical planting/harvesting)

    You're an idiot troll.

  • by the gnat (153162) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:33PM (#38852451)

    The last and most subjective objection I have is that the people screaming loudest for decarbonization tend to do so in a way that makes it hard for me to distinguish what they are saying from "blah blah blah Socialism Is Great blah blah blah I get to ride in private jets but you have to ride a bike to work and turn down your thermostat in the winter blah blah blah"

    Funny, I have the exact same subjective response to the "skeptics": it's hard to take their arguments seriously when they keep claiming that global warming research is actually a massive conspiracy of socialists bent on world domination, and suggest that a cap-and-trade regime to reduce CO2 emissions would effectively revert us to a pre-industrial economy. (I've even seen a few claim that we should be increasing CO2 emissions because it will improve agricultural productivity.) You do realize that most of the actual climatologists doing real research (as opposed to, say, Al Gore) don't own private jets, right?

  • So who signed it? (Score:5, Informative)

    by IICV (652597) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:36PM (#38852469)

    Well, let's look at the sixteen climate scientists who signed this, shall we?

    Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris: Sounds reasonable, though it looks like the proper name for the "University of Paris" is the "Paris VI University", or "Pierre and Marie Curie University". Unfortunately, it looks like the man is kind of a crank [wikipedia.org], and he hasn't been the director of that Institute since 1986, which makes it weird that it's the one thing they list about him.

    J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting: That's pretty reasonable, but forecasting and climate science aren't exactly the same thing; forecasting is the study of what's going to happen tomorrow or next week in any topic, while climate science is trying to figure out what will happen in the next year or the the next ten years with the weather. Also, Armstrong's professional background [wikipedia.org] seems to be primarily in advertising, not forecasting, and he hasn't actually published any papers on climatology that I can see.

    Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University: I'm not exactly sure what he's doing on this list, since presumably it's a list of climate scientists? I mean, just because he's a researcher in one field doesn't automatically qualify him in others; it's like taking your car to ten mechanics and ignoring what they say, then asking your doctor about it and following his advice.

    Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society: This dude seems to be a writer [nytimes.com] for the NY Times, and I can't seem to find anyone by that name on the list of Fellows of the American Physical Society [aps.org]. Maybe he received his fellowship before 1990? In any case, it doesn't signify much in terms of his ability to evaluate any kind of science; those fellowships are kinda prestigious, but they're handed out for all sorts of things.

    Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences: What can I say? He's an electrical engineer [wikipedia.org]. Would you trust him to diagnose a heart condition? An expert in one subject is not automatically an expert in all subjects.

    William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton: What can I say? Damnit Jim, he's a physicist, not a climatologist! Sure, they're related - but would you trust this guy if he was talking on the way that chemists all over the world are trying to fool us about the mind control properties of fluorine? (as a side note, he's also [wikipedia.org] a Fellow of the American Physical Society - why didn't they mention that?)

    Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.: This dude is kinda hard to Google because he shares a name with a fairly famous guitar company and a well-respected journalist (who died in 2003); however, it looks like he's done some pretty awesome work [cam.ac.uk] on semi-conductors. Unfortunately, that doesn't have anything to do with climate research.

    William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology: Well, for one thing, he hasn't been the head of the ABM since 1998 (this seems to be a theme, you know?); for another, he's trained as a meteorologist, not a climate scientist. Just because they both deal with the weather doesn't necessarily mean that his word carries extra weight, but I do have to admit that he's one of the better signatories of this list.

    Ric

  • by some1001 (2489796) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:39PM (#38852493)
    You have to be kidding. Just look at the wikipedia page. Heck, go look at any MSDS for CO2.

    "Odorless." "Colorless."

    I don't know the exact concentration of it being exhaled by us, but seriously, don't go yapping about things being "lies" without at least looking it up.
  • by martyros (588782) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:41PM (#38852507)
    And here's the reference, for those who want to take a look for themselves: Remarkable Editorial Bias on Climate Science at the Wall Street Journal [forbes.com] The brief article contains a link to both the letter written by the National Academy of Sciences, and the WSJ.
  • by Cyberax (705495) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @07:59PM (#38852631)

    Pure CO2 has a distinctive odor (sharp, almost metallic), it's caused by carbonic acid forming on mucous membranes.

    Here it's described as 'acidic': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide#Physical_properties [wikipedia.org]

    It's not really a problem for MSDS datasheets, because at these CO2 concentrations you're going to faint in a few seconds.

  • by jayveekay (735967) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @08:04PM (#38852673)

    Critters that live in the oceans and are killed by increased acidification resulting from CO2 dissolving in seawater would disagree with the assertion that CO2 is not a pollutant.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification [wikipedia.org]

  • by Snocone (158524) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @08:05PM (#38852675) Homepage

    > What was it like ... Before 1300?

    Good bit warmer than now. We can tell because in Greenland receding glaciers are exposing Viking settlements, where beech tree stumps can be found in permafrost.

    > ... Before 800?

    Good bit warmer than it was just before 1300. We can tell because receding glaciers in the Alps are exposing Roman trading routes through passes that were considered permanently glaciated until the last few years; and unknown in the records extant at the time of moderate climate in Greenland, evidenced above.

    > ... Before 300?

    It is generally suspected that the Minoan Warm Period was warmer than both the Roman Warm Period and Medieval Warm Period because of descriptions of crops grown, but there's no "go look for yourself" smoking guns like the above.

  • by Elrond, Duke of URL (2657) <JetpackJohn@gmail.com> on Saturday January 28, 2012 @08:08PM (#38852701) Homepage

    Keep in mind the global warming predictions are things like "1 degree Celsius in 20 years", not "January 2013 will be 50 degrees hotter than normal!!!!!"

    Oh, come on now. Those predictions are for changes in the average temperature. And I think you probably know that already.

    For a long time now the predictions have been that we will likely see a 4-5 degree Celsius increase in the average global temperature by the end of this century, and along the way we will experience an increasing number of extreme and/or unusual weather conditions and patterns.

    These changing patterns could be an increased number of hurricanes due to warmer ocean surface temperatures, unexpected tornadoes during the Winter months, unusually warm Winter months, and so on. And single one of these, or even a couple, could easily be explained as a one-time fluke. But when every season and every year brings some new bizarre weather change, it's time to do something about it.

  • Re:More hot things? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @08:23PM (#38852789)

    Their argument? Look at temperatures! Even if the temperature is warmer: that doesn't prove/disprove anything. The argument is causation.

    "Look at the temperatures" isn't the actual scientific argument. The actual argument is causal and has to do with the atomic spectroscopy and radiative transfer physics of the greenhouse effect, along with the associated laboratory and observational studies that support that physics.

    I'm not even going to pretend to say that I've thought out the science behind this, but I never hear anyone address: maybe things are warmer because there's more hot stuff?

    World energy consumption is about 15 x 10^12 watts. Spread over the surface of the Earth (5 x 10^14 square meters), this is about 0.03 watts per square meter. Energy balance arguments show that you need roughly 4 watts per square meter to raise the temperature of the planet by 1 degree Celsius. (Divide this by about 3 or so if you include climate feedback effects that may amplify warming.) Let's say that "more hot stuff" raises the temperature of the planet by about 0.01 degrees Celsius. That's about two orders of magnitude smaller than the greenhouse effect of CO2.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2012 @08:37PM (#38852881)

    It is about ~40% co2. The rest is carbon/water/ozone/other... (mostly water ~60%).

    The heat from the reaction creates pretty much 2 major by products water and co2. Almost 99% of that ends up in the atmosphere. Some ends up in the filters (you change those every few thousand miles and is negligible). Some just blows right out onto the road (you see it as road grime). Some becomes particulate mater and floats around. But that is really a small percentage of the overall and is contaminates in the gas. For some cars there is even a percentage that comes out as gas. This is gas that did not combust due to lack of oxygen. It goes out the exhaust pipe onto the road usually.

    To hear some people talk you would think it is 100% co2.

  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @08:43PM (#38852939) Homepage Journal
    The Wall Street Journal has always been a traditionally conservative newspaper, but it was at least respectable until Rupe Murdoch bought it out and Fox-ified it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 28, 2012 @08:54PM (#38853041)
    The WSJ article gave arguments? I see a claim that the world hasn't been warming in the last 10 years (ignoring that the last 10 years have been the hottest on modern record), a claim that CO2 isn't a pollutant because trees need CO2 (and by similar logic I need water, therefor I can't drown), a claim that the evil AGW conspiracy tried to get some guy fired (but he kept his job), comparing AGW consensus to Lysenko [wikipedia.org], accusations of corruption by grant money (which having been paid by grant money for many years made me laugh, then cry when I thought about my finances), a strawman about AGW conspirators wanting to "decarbonize" the economy, and one mention of one economic study alleging that it's best to do nothing for 50 years as that will maximize the benefit to cost ratios, with the exact nature of the benefits, costs, and how no regulation bests any and all regulation left unexplained. What a pile of crap.

    Oh, and that science article written by 255 members of the National Academy of Sciences wasn't a rebuttal. It was published in 2010 [guardian.co.uk].
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @08:59PM (#38853083)
    Ahem... except... you should look up the actual statistics. We have not been experiencing an increase in extreme weather.

    Certainly, as news has become more global we have learned about more extreme weather events, but when you look at the actual statistics, there has not been any increase. There just hasn't. In fact, hurricane and typhoon activity have been at a 40-year low.
  • Re:Wrong take (Score:4, Informative)

    by gtall (79522) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @09:03PM (#38853111)

    Well, it depends. Right now, we're conducting a planet wide experiment of which no one knows the outcome.

    (1) The increase in greenhouse gases is handled by the system that is the Earth.

    (2) The increase in greenhouse gases overwhelms the system that is the Earth.

    Now, the question is: Well, do you feel lucky, Punk?

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @09:09PM (#38853153)
    Sorry, but the Earth is not a pot of water. Changes happen locally, not globally. If there are enough local changes, global change can happen. But as the other poster pointed out, on Earth you can have one hand in a boiling pot, and another one in a freezing pot, and there is no contradiction because it is not even remotely a homogeneous system like a small pot of water.
  • by colinrichardday (768814) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Saturday January 28, 2012 @09:23PM (#38853247)

    Not according to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air [wikipedia.org]

    Air is the name given to atmosphere used in breathing and photosynthesis. Dry air contains roughly (by volume) 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases.

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @09:25PM (#38853263) Homepage

    Except for outlaws cutting down on protected forests, that's not really true: wood producers want to actually continue to stay in business, so they plant new trees when they cut down the older.

  • by Galactic Dominator (944134) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @09:54PM (#38853471)

    Biologists have determined that Polar Bears probably evolved in an area somewhere around Ireland, believe it or not. So a bit of warming will probably not hurt them a hell of a lot.

    First a correction:

    A team of 18 biologists whose findings and methodologies are questioned by other experts in the field have determined that Polar Bears probably evolved in an area somewhere around Ireland, believe it or not. So a bit of warming will probably not hurt them a hell of a lot.

    Interesting supposition. What is it exactly which makes you think the Ireland of 110,000 years ago resembled the Ireland of today in climate? Another fascinating part of this is the fact that experts in the field think this might harm the species, yet a seemingly layperson who appears to have read a headline on the topic thinks everything is A-OK.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/07/polar-bears-rooted-in-ireland.html [sciencemag.org]

  • by Snocone (158524) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @09:54PM (#38853475) Homepage

    Nope; the CET temperature record, our longest instrumental record, shows that the beginning of the 1700s had a steeper slope than the last couple decades. So even that position doesn't hold up soundly. We're somewhat unusually higher than the 350-year trendline right now yes, but that'll have to continue for another 18 years and top the ending in 1730ish warming cycle before unprecedented in magnitude and length is a true statement.

  • by Stephan Schulz (948) <schulz@informatik.tu-muenchen.de> on Saturday January 28, 2012 @09:56PM (#38853485) Homepage

    I read the rebuttal letter, it was printed in Science magazine.[...] I am a little confused as to why the letter was such a poor rebuttal (I believe in climate change, personally).

    It wasn't a rebuttal, it was an independent letter published ~18 months ago. The probably reason why there is little science in the letter is because actual science, as opposed to pseudo-science, is complicated. It's a favorite tactic of anti-science debaters to throw out large numbers of wrong claims that take some time to properly refute. So when time or patience run out, the audience is left with the impression of doubt and open questions. And since you are always playing to different crowds, there is no need to take out refuted arguments - just re-run the whole show. Even a very much compacted version of the science, on the other hand, requires not a short editorial, but a 104 page report [www.ipcc.ch].

  • by Coryoth (254751) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @10:32PM (#38853689) Homepage Journal

    Good bit warmer than now. We can tell because in Greenland receding glaciers are exposing Viking settlements, where beech tree stumps can be found in permafrost.

    Can you provide a reference for "receding glaciers ... exposing Viking settlements"? All the historical documentation of Vikings referred only two Greenland settlements -- the Eastern ad Western settlements. You can look at Googlemaps images of the sites for the Western and Eastern Settlements:
     
      Eastern settlement area [google.com], and Eastern settlement map [wikipedia.org]
      Western settlement area [google.com], and Western settlement map [wikipedia.org].
     
    Just for reference, here is a zoom of the area of the Brattahlid and Gardar farms (two of the largest/richest farms) [google.com], and a zoom of the Sandnes farm area [google.com] from the Western settlement.

    Want more? How about on the ground photos of the ruins?
    Gardar ruins [rudyfoto.com]
    Bratthlid ruins [greenland-guide.gl]
    Hvalsey church [rudyfoto.com]

    They are a long way from receding glaciers, and quite green in summer. So again, at least some reference for these newly discovered Viking settlements that were underneath glaciers would be appreciated, because otherwise I'll just have to assume you are making shit up.

  • by Niscenus (267969) <ericzen@ez-nTEAet.com minus caffeine> on Saturday January 28, 2012 @10:49PM (#38853811) Homepage Journal

    In reality, the arguments actually are all valid on their face. Everything there is factual, except the laissez-faire attitude. The problem comes from the writer(s) choosing to strip the context of each point.

    I'm literally going to read it now (I chose not to when it popped up on a science blog recently), just to see how quick it is to correct (being written after the fact, it was about an hour):

    It starts with Ivar Giaever, who, despite expert work in Quantum Physics and a solid background on Biophysics and coming from the country bordering the one where the discovery of global warming happend...a century ago, has chosen to ignore recorded, glacial, oceanic and tree records to declare, not that global warming is fictional, but his distrust of anthropogenic climate, due to the apparent popularity among physical, atmospheric, oceanic and glacial climatological scientists. Skepticism based on popularity is not uncommon, and you could likely pull up a couple more nominated Nobel Prize winners. His attack on the APS seems to ignore the difference between theoretical physics and real world macroscale examination. I believe it was Planck who said, "Science advances one funeral at a time."

    Then there's the COv2 is not a pollutant, even though, as a relative output outside of the natural chemistry of the Earth (the effect of living creatures and other processes) it does count as a deposit which changes the chemistry of the surrounding environment, ergo, pollution.

    The now over-used 10 year decrease/steady state analysis ignores the natural wave of environmental change. If you look at the larger source, search for "Global Temperature Anomaly 1880-2010," you would find that there is always a downward period, but taking the total effect of cycles, it average has always increased. Claiming the effect is related to changes in evaporation truly ignores that heating that much ocean to increase the level of evaporation is and incredible amount of energy...we use steam power for electricity...imagine how much electricity it would take to move the increased precipitation as just water from one side of a continent to the other.

    To hit on "ClimateGate" is quite humorous within itsown context. As those who know what the supposed terrifying things said were, it's great to poke fun at those attacking it. First, it's a group of people who were amazed that faulty meta-research was actually included in the IPCC assessment; then, the, "mathematical trick," that they used was not only a justifiable, "We know the energy is there since no satellites have shown it disappearing," logic, but that mathematical trick CAME FROM THE PERSON WHO SUBMITTED THE FAULTY META-RESEARCH. It's one of those moments that only look bad out of context, and that's how denialists want the public to see it.

    Also, recently explicitly justified: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-029 [nasa.gov]

    The IPCC's own projections were, in part, based on the larger than average spike during the 80's, possibly assuming the aforementioned wave-effect might have become reduced. Calling the first set of projections embarrassing is, to say the least, childish, and suggesting it was alarmest ignores how frightening the 80's spike was then perceived. To dismiss extreme weather's effect as a mitigator ignores the point of the previous paragraph.

    While I've already covered carbon dioxide as a definition of pollution, the unique mention of a benefit to plants have ignored recent studies that plant have been decreasing their stomataphors in count and opening period in areas of higher COv2 concentrations, thus indicating and upper-bound limit to COv2's usefulness to plants.

    Next, skimming past the unidentified fields of study, unidentified quantity, unconfirmable scientists, we have Dr. de Freitas, who is another well recognised name to those aware of the field. He's had some interesting logic. One: Human beings didn't use significant amounts of fossil

  • by ssmokee (1124477) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @11:10PM (#38853917)

    maybe its not the weather that is out of whack, but our expectation of it. maybe the seasons have decided they don't want to conform any more to the three monthly slots we've allocated for them.

    Careful with that opinion, it could get you fired. ""Although the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted—or worse. They have good reason to worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years. The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job."". Quote sourced from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop [wsj.com]

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Saturday January 28, 2012 @11:21PM (#38853971)

    "ultra-wealthy SierraClub and PETA members!" ROFLMAO!!!

    So wealthy they're pitching tents on Wall Street.

    On what planet are there "ultra-wealthy SierraClub and PETA members" ?!?

    Good news! You don't have to save up to buy a rocket ship to find out!

    Mayor Bloomberg Donates $50 Million To Sierra Club [npr.org]
    Sierra Club - Green Home - Advisory Board [sierraclubgreenhome.com]

  • by pseudofrog (570061) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @12:18AM (#38854257)
    Quick point-by point:

    Methane breaks down in about 12 years due to ultraviolet light. We're also pumping far less of it into the atmosphere. Excess water falls as rain.

    Plenty of scientists have looked at and are looking at the sun. There is no compelling evidence that it's causing global warming. (If you find some, please cite it instead of slurring scientists lazy).

    Computer models are one of many tools used by scientists. They have their strengths and weaknesses, but they are not, by any means, the primary reason why climate scientists believe current global warming is human-induced.

    Sometimes, some scientists are wrong. One of the authors of the WSJ article, for example, claimed that asbestos was completely safe.

    Freeman Dyson is a quantum physicist.

    Any other arguments you'd like me to refute in two sentences or less?
  • by Chas (5144) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @12:25AM (#38854289) Homepage Journal

    Pure CO2 has a distinctive odor (sharp, almost metallic), it's caused by carbonic acid forming on mucous membranes.

    So yes. CO2 is odorless.

    What you're smelling is carbonic acid

  • by microbox (704317) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @12:39AM (#38854357)
    The WSJ refused to publish an open letter on the topic written by the NAS -- but publish this junk because it supports their politics. Yep, that's bias. Textbook case. Couldn't be clearer.
  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@@@hotmail...com> on Sunday January 29, 2012 @01:21AM (#38854575) Journal

    Instead of regurgitating conventional wisdom

    Conventional wisdom? Are you insane?

    I worked for many years on the WA Department of Mines [wa.gov.au] Contam monitoring [google.com] program which has been collecting airborn particulate data, including asbestos for several decades. In addition, I've consulted to many companies on asbestos identifiaction and management for the past 25 years.

    Australia has the highest rate of mesothelioma in the world, and we've experienced three phases of asbestos related disease, from the mining of asbestos, asbestos use in industry and most recently from DIY home renovators who demolished their own asbestos structures.

    The Australian Mesothelioma Registry tracks incidenses of mesothelioma and publishes an annual report: http://www.mesothelioma-australia.com/home-page.aspx [mesothelio...tralia.com]

  • by tbannist (230135) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @01:25AM (#38854591)

    Check again, they rounded up a few know nothings about climate change with titles. I stopped reading about halfway through the list because I couldn't be bothered to finish reading the poorly laid out "signatories" section. The most relevent title I saw was "former head of climate change for meteorology". For the most part it appears to be the usual bundle of physicists and other people with little to no expertise in the field.

    The Wall Street Journal is likely under the same orders that other Rupert Murdoch owned papers are under: Under no circumstances can they say anything positive about global warming. Much of the so-called controversy is generated directly from Rupert Murdoch's publications. I'd attack the arguments but they're just the usual gish-gallop of idiocy meant to reassure conservatives that climate change doesn't exist.

    I skimmed the article and it looks like most of the stuff in there can be corrected from this article [skepticalscience.com].

    Climate change is here, it's happening, there's 14 separate lines of evidence that all indicate the world is warming, and 13 other lines of evidence that indicates the current global warming is casued by humans. It's time to end the idiocy.

  • by mmarlett (520340) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @01:42AM (#38854687)

    The Wall Street Journal has published one of the most offensive, untruthful, twisted reviews of what scientists think of climate change; the WSJ Lies about the facts and twists the story to accommodate the needs of head-in-the-sand industrialists and 1%ers; The most compelling part of their argument, according to them, is that the editorial has been signed by 16 scientists.

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/01/two_incontrovertible_things_an.php [scienceblogs.com]

  • by tbannist (230135) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @01:45AM (#38854703)

    I think they would tell you this:

    Every year since 1997 has been warmer than 1997. Every single one. Every one. So you're absolutely 100% wrong.

    If you look at the second graph on this page [skepticalscience.com] you'll see how you've been lied to. It's getting warmer, the people who are trying to trick you are simply cherry-picking picking two arbitrary points on a noisy line and claimin those two points are the trend. In some cases you're being deliberately deceived, in other cases, the people telling you this junk are just completely ignorant. Oh and if you really believe in climate change denial, Not-actually-a Lord Muncton (one of the most prominent anti-global warming spokespeople), also has a pill that simultaneously cures AIDS and cancer [climatecrocks.com]. Seriously. That's the kind of people who claim that anthropogenic global warming isn't real and that you can't trust scientists.

    Muncton also advocated that every man, woman and child in the United States should be tested monthly for AIDS and anyone detected with signs of an infection should be "permanently removed from the population". He a right-wing conservative crackpot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 29, 2012 @05:04AM (#38855535)

    NASA provides an entire website dedicated to showing out of control CO2 levels are measureable and statistically significant over a long period of time.

    http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

    "The Earth's climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.

    The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years."

  • by Jappus (1177563) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @06:03AM (#38855775)

    From the English Wikipedia:

    "CO2 is toxic in higher concentrations: 1% (10,000 ppm) will make some people feel drowsy.[7] Concentrations of 7% to 10% cause dizziness, headache, visual and hearing dysfunction, and unconsciousness within a few minutes to an hour.[8]"

    [7] is http://www.inspect-ny.com/hazmat/CO2gashaz.htm [inspect-ny.com]
    [8] is http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/fire/co2/co2report.html [epa.gov]

    So, if they say that 7-10% causes already unconsciousness in a few minutes (at the upper echelon of 10%), you can imagine what a bit more than that must do. It's just like anesthetics. Up to a certain ratio, you only feel numbness and mild euphoria; at some percentage you fall unconscious; a little bit more than that and you reach induced coma; a little bit more and you stop breathing or your heart stops beating (depends on the drug).

    Just like with anything -- water, oxygen, sugar, etc. -- the dose and circumstances determine what is a poison and what not.

  • by sirlark (1676276) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @06:04AM (#38855781)

    If the case for man-made global warming was so compelling, there would be no need for all these shenanigans. The science should be able to stand on its own. And yet, it clearly does not.

    Science is never able to stand on its own when challenging broadly held opinions. It takes 20 to 30 years on average for cutting edge science (i.e. the stuff getting published in per reviewed journals) to filter down into textbooks used to educate children where the ideas will gradually, over the 12 ~15 year course of those childrens' educations, be absorbed and start to form a new boradly accepted social idea. That's 32~45 years before non-radical science gets accepted. If the anthropogenic climate change camp are even half right, we as a species can't afford to wait 45 years, maybe even longer because of such organised resistance.

    But on the other hand, the "it's happening and it's all human activity" side is RIFE with corruption, falsified studies, poor models, groupthink, and generally shitty behavior too.

    Some might call it fighting fire with fire ;)

  • by St.Creed (853824) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @06:11AM (#38855815)

    There goes my mods for the discussion. Anyway: See http://www.uigi.com/MSDS_gaseous_CO2.html [uigi.com] (no explanation but a confirmation of the statement). See also http://www.sae.org/misc/aaf99/visteon.pdf [sae.org] for a report on what happens when a CO2-fueled cooling system leaks its contents into your car.

    What I know is that when you inhale CO2 the acidity of your blood will increase. At a certain point your blood will be to acidic to sustain life. This is what happens when, for instance, you have a heart problem and your body starts to "compensate". I put that in quotes because the way it compensates keeps you alive for a bit longer but kills you in the long run and leads to a lot of damage to organs, especially the heart. But I digress.

    The rising of the acidity in your blood (lower Ph) is also cited as an important cause for its lethality in a report from the Dutch ministry for public health and the environment, http://www.rivm.nl/milieuportaal/images/20091002_Evaluation_toxicity_CO2.pdf [www.rivm.nl], that writes:

    "It is generally believed that CO2 toxicity is caused by displacing oxygen, leading to asphyxiation, similar to the mode of action as inert gases. This is only partly true. The inhalation of high concentrations of CO2 can lower the pH of the blood and thus trigger effects on the respiratory, cardiovascular and central nervous systems (HSE, 2007)".

  • by Eunuchswear (210685) on Sunday January 29, 2012 @09:04AM (#38856605) Journal

    In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years. The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.

    Of course that isn't what happened at all.

    De Freitas was an editor, not the editor.

    De Freitas arranged that Soon and Baliunas's paper was published without proper peer review. When people complained about the poor quality of the paper to the editors for Climate Research five of the editors (half the editorial board) resigned in protest of the actions of De Freitas.

    So now the WSJ publishes simple lies in it's Op Ed pages. Interesting.

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