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Real Change You Can Believe In

I just finally got around to reading Michael Chrichton's "State Of Fear," and it was... interesting. As a novel, it's pretty much a failure. But as a political/scientific work, it's very compelling.

The last time I read a work of fiction that was so thoroughly researched, footnoted, and documented, it was Larry Beinart's "American Hero." That book -- which postulated (in the guise of fiction) that the first President Bush had conspired with Saddam Hussein to arrange the first Gulf War -- was a bit of a better read, but not quite as compelling as political theory.

In Chrichton's book (I really can't call it a "novel"), he brings his scientifically-trained mind to the environmental movement -- and finds nearly every single argument of theirs lacking credibility. He does this mainly through repeated straw-man arguments, where he puts the statements and positions of most of those most concerned with global warming climate change in the mouths of well-meaning idiots, then has his proxies utterly demolish them. The repetition gets a bit tedious after about the seventeenth iteration, but even that is significant -- each time he finds a new aspect, a new argument, a new position, a new bit of "evidence" that he shreds in a different way.

The essential point he made when he wrote it is the same one I'd made independently a while ago: the core principle of the climate change movement is utterly, completely, irredeemably, fatally flawed.

Yes, the earth's climate is changing. But guess what? It's always been changing, and always will be changing. THERE IS NO "BALANCE OF NATURE." There is no magic equilibrium point that we are moving away from as we tilt ourselves towards extinction.

The history of the earth's climate is one of instability, of change, of progression and regression. We have eras of warmer and colder climes. Of flood and drought.

What is the "natural" state of the earth? Here's a way to model it. Take the state of California and toss it into a blender. (Hmm. I think I like that idea.) Put it on puree for five minutes, then take out a piece. You might get desert. Or you might get mountains. Or seashore. Or farmland. Or forests. Or verdant valleys. Or a piece of a glacier. Maybe a bit of a lake.

To declare that the earth's climate is changing largely in response to man's actions is the height of arrogance, and to demand that we devote so much of our energies and resources into "addressing" this concerns is the sheerest of follies. We would make King Canute standing at the shores of the ocean, commanding the tide to turn back seem humble.

The odd part is that the environmentalists, at their core, have it right. We SHOULD work to minimize our "footprint" (and not just carbon) we place on the world. We SHOULD improve our energy efficiency, across the board. We SHOULD cut down on the pollutants we inflict on the world.

But not because it will cause some global catastrophe. But because it simply is inefficient, it is wasteful, it is foolish, and it is wrong.

These things should be incremental, though. Done through manageable methods, with reasonable, achievable goals.

That's not what we have today. Today's "environmentalists" are, in essence, religious zealots who, in their divine fervor, decry the "heretics." They are not that far removed from the raving Islamists who talk about "beheading those who insult Islam" -- just with a bit more civil veneer.

I'm a bit late to the party, but I'd recommend anyone who's actually interested in the environment -- and not just looking to hop on the bandwagon of "concern" -- to take a look at Chrichton's book. (I still can't call it a "novel.") Skim over the plot, and look at the point where Chrichton actually looks at the environmentalists' arguments, research, documents, and whatnot with a critical eye -- and see how lacking it truly is. And especially look at the examples he cites where the environmentalists got their way, and put their theories into practice.

It ain't pretty. But it's true.


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Comments (40)

I read the book quite a whi... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I read the book quite a while ago. I agree, as a story (or novel) it was terrible, as a teaching tool, it is great. ww

Unfortunately, whichever of... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Unfortunately, whichever of the two major party nominees is elected, we'll get a President who wants to devote massive amounts of our money, both in the form of taxes and new regulations, to "addressing climate change." Both Senators have bought into the view that we can and should "do something before it's too late." On this issue, both have been brainwashed by the eco-radicals, IMHO.

he brings his scientific... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

he brings his scientifically-trained mind

Crichton was not trained as a scientist. He was trained as a doctor, an MD, which is something significantly different.

The history of the earth's climate is one of instability, of change, of progression and regression. We have eras of warmer and colder climes. Of flood and drought.

These changes typically take place over many thousands or even millions of years. The geologic record shows that Earth has rarely had to deal with major climatic shifts in a thousand years or less -- and when it has, the result has invariably been a major ecologic upheaval. Sometimes even a mass extinction. The organisms that survive are the ones that are best able to evolve to fit the new conditions. That group may or may not include humanity. We don't know yet.

In any case, I damn well wouldn't (and in fact I don't) base my counter-arguments against global climate change on something I read in a friggin' novel. I don't give a damn how "scientifically accurate" he says he tried to make it. I've read all of Crichton's novels up through Jurassic Park: The Lost World, and I know for certain he often played fast and loose with the facts for the sake of his stories. He even more often seized on "the latest research" and got left with egg on his face when that research turned out to be mistaken -- as when the claims of ancient DNA in amber and other fossils turned out to be wrong, undermining the entire premise of the Jurassic Park novels.

On top of all that, he has an axe to grind against the enviros. Never trust anybody with an axe to grind. Trust the data, and nothing else. And if your examination suggests the data is untrustworthy, or that it doesn't lead to any clear-cut conclusion ... then don't draw any conclusions. Right now the data on climate doesn't lead to any clear-cut conclusion. Anybody who says it does is lying to you. That includes the extremists on all sides of the issue, Crichton no less than those he excoriates.

Crichton was not t... (Below threshold)
jpm100:
Crichton was not trained as a scientist. He was trained as a doctor, an MD, which is something significantly different. Wrong. A doctor would make him an Applied Scientist as opposed to a Theoretical Scientist which is what you are picturing.

An Applied Scientist not only has to understand all the theories the that Theoretical Scientists deal in, but he has to relate them to the real world at hand. Basically taking someone's guess at a simplified versions reality packed with a ton of assumptions and making some useful outcome from it.

You have to develop a sense of when to discard scientific BS when the people around you are expecting a quick solution as part of your job.

crud, that blockquote shoul... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

crud, that blockquote should have ended at the first paragraph.

'State of Fear' it's a good... (Below threshold)
bill-tb:

'State of Fear' it's a good read, I read it a while back. You are right about the science angle and the novel. All the enviro-whackos do is spread fear, continuously, this book makes that point.

I predict after the coming crop failures of 2008, after the early winter of 2008 and the snows of 2008-9 winter, the people's appetite for global warming nonsense will wane. We either get the sun to cooperate, or we have big trouble ahead for planet Earth. Last time I checked, the sun wasn't answering it's email. The people's upcoming astronomical heating bills will do the trick. Warm is good, cold is bad, we are about to find out the meaning.

The ham radio operator Kevin VE3EN runs a very cool real-time website of sun data at www.solarcycle24.com where you can check the quiet sun for yourself. It's a nicely done display collection of real-time sun data from various sources.

If our actions do not creat... (Below threshold)

If our actions do not create some global catastrophe, then by definition they fall into the category of 'things I don't want or need to worry about' and thus you're wrong in conceding the environmentalists have it right. I've got a limited amount of time, energy and money, and I'm not going to spend it worrying about relatively unimportant things such as how much CO2 I pump into the atmosphere.

You're right that environmentalists are on a crusade and pity the fool who doesn't play along. But you're not helping things when you go along and admit there's a problem, albeit one that requires an 'incremental' solution, for like the lady aghast at being called a whore, you're left simply arguing price.

jpm100, you say I'm wrong, ... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

jpm100, you say I'm wrong, but then you argue in favor of my point: a doctor is an "applied" scientist, NOT a research scientist. Doctors typically apply existing knowledge rather than generating new knowledge. As such, they generally do not understand the background or the full implications of the knowledge they apply. They haven't got the time. Only a research scientist who specializes in climatology can understand the full scope of the arguments for and against anthropogenic global climate change. Their specialized knowledge may be college-taught or self-taught (and the field of climatology is new enough as a science that you can still self-teach your way to expertise in it), but you must be a specialist in that field. I know Crichton did a fair amount of research for the books of his that I've read, but not enough to reach expert status. I see no reason to think he did it for State of Fear either.

I liked it, Jay. He writes ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

I liked it, Jay. He writes so well that one can overlook shortcomings.

Yet no matter what, it's a great vehicle to put the facts on display, not that facts matter to greenies and Democrats.

In any case, I damn well... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

In any case, I damn well wouldn't (and in fact I don't) base my counter-arguments against global climate change on something I read in a friggin' novel.

You mean like "Earth in the balance"?

Crichton was not trained... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Crichton was not trained as a scientist. He was trained as a doctor, an MD, which is something significantly different.

Little you know about research or writing.

He is a researcher. He is a writer.

Writers research.

I was trained as a general dentist but made a couple of very significant discoveries in dentistry and have published more than 50 research articles in peer-reviewed journals.

So please shut up.

JayTea:Y... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

JayTea:

Yes, the earth's climate is changing. But guess what? It's always been changing, and always will be changing. THERE IS NO "BALANCE OF NATURE."

Ding ! Ding !

The 'theory' of 'climate change' (or acc or agm if you prefer) has been setup now such that it's essentially unfalsifiable. The universe is nothing if not under a constant state of change.

The 'climate change' dogmatist can now point to anything that did change as being attributable to 'climate change'. Instead of actually explaining everything, 'climate change' explains nothing - the reason being is that it's essentially not even falsifiable.

That which is not falsifiable is not scientific (see Karl Popper).

Crichton writes well and he... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Crichton writes well and he has some great ideas but his stories just get hella-lame toward the end. He needs to hire a closer...the Mariano Rivera of literature!!

To further refine WW's poin... (Below threshold)
epqdor:

To further refine WW's point:

Only a small number of physicians are also trained as research scientists. And a sad proportion of them aren't very good at it, if you look at the majority of tripe and what now constitutes "peer review" in the medical literature.

Yet there are some VERY GOOD research scientist physicians, and some of them even have time to blog. Not a small number of these blogs deal with debunking the pseudoscience that "woo" and "alternative" medicine try to present as science. Unfortunately, they are howling into the wind as the major systems of our society continue to promote snake oil and cure-all tonics, with a strong dose of anti-established medicine (the anti-vaccination crowd is one current example, thank you Jenny McCarthy).

The Global Warming scam run by AG is one example of a very lucrative approach to this long-established tradition in US and world politics. The science of climatology is disproportionately full of unsubstantiated hypotheses, making it ripe for such exploitation. Medicine remains an art (as described by WW's applied scientist), although there are proportionately more proven hypothesis to utilize in the practice of this art, there are still many who would ignore them (as they ignore common sense) and promote their own agendas that enrich a small core of fanatics [snake-oil promoters] to each "cause."

Seems to me most physicians... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Seems to me most physicians are trained to do the following...

Observe symptoms.
Hypothesize cause.
Perform tests/observations to determine validity of that cause.
Research applicability of symptoms to cause.
Modify diagnosis if symptoms don't match.

Therefore, I'd be willing to give Chrichton's opinions a fair amount of credence.

Something else that always puzzled me, re 'snake oil salesmen' - you ever think it odd that Al Gore comes up with a 'problem', and then right after comes out with a 'solution' that would net him big $$$?

It's VERY convenient he just happened to have that to sell, isn't it?

By the way - just what IS the temperature of the Earth supposed to hold steady at?

A STATE OF FEAR will never ... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

A STATE OF FEAR will never ever be made into a movie becuase it gose against the poppycock and bull kaka shown in such silly movies like WATTER WORLD and THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and besides the greens are the villians

Yep, State of Fear will nev... (Below threshold)
BigFire:

Yep, State of Fear will never be made into movie. Unless we're in deep freeze in 2015 and the specific Hollywood actor depicted in the novel (you know who if you read the book) is no longer with us.

The odd part is that the en... (Below threshold)
Paden Cash:

The odd part is that the environmentalists, at their core, have it right. We SHOULD work to minimize our "footprint" (and not just carbon) we place on the world. We SHOULD improve our energy efficiency, across the board. We SHOULD cut down on the pollutants we inflict on the world.

But not because it will cause some global catastrophe. But because it simply is inefficient, it is wasteful, it is foolish, and it is wrong.

Sorry, but I don't know how to do block quotes.

The alarming thing about the quote is the last word. Right and wrong are in the realm of morality in the land of religion. AGW or whatever you want to call it, has become a religion and the adherents couch their arguments in the language of morality. I agree that we shouldn't do it for some really good, concrete reasons, some of which you listed. I distrust people who use religious language to justify policy preferences.

I read State of Fear a coup... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I read State of Fear a couple years ago. I liked it. While I wouldn't rank it as one of the best I ever read, I did think it was an interesting story and I wasn't disapponted by it at all. I can't see why J.T. would have a problem calling it a novel. It clearly meets the definition in every respect so it makes no sense to not want to call it a novel just because you didn't like the plot.

Incidentally my favorite part was when the Alec Baldwin-like character "interacted" with the natives on the small Pacific island.

I liked the book. I agree ... (Below threshold)

I liked the book. I agree that it was a bit plodding in parts and the end? Yeesh. And seriously, he owes Clive Cussler something for borrowing Dirk Pitt.

He's no Asimov, but he does manage to educate people on science without completely boring us to death.

Here's a link to Chrichton'... (Below threshold)

Here's a link to Chrichton's 2005 Speech, "The Case for Skepticism on Global Warming."

Sheesh. JT didn't call Chri... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Sheesh. JT didn't call Chrichton an 'applied scientist', 'research scientist' or any other kind.
All he said was "..he brings his scientifically-trained mind to the environmental movement..". I don't see how that's debatable, unless you want to just pick nits. It's not like he described him as the second coming of Einstein or Newton.

Crichton is not to be trust... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Crichton is not to be trusted.

Here's the author of a study Crichton presents as evidence:

Our results have been misused as "evidence" against global warming by Michael Crichton in his novel "State of Fear" and by Ann Coulter in her latest book, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism." Search my name on the Web, and you will find pages of links to everything from climate discussion groups to Senate policy committee documents -- all citing my 2002 study as reason to doubt that the earth is warming. One recent Web column even put words in my mouth. I have never said that "the unexpected colder climate in Antarctica may possibly be signaling a lessening of the current global warming cycle." I have never thought such a thing either.

Our study did find that 58 percent of Antarctica cooled from 1966 to 2000. But during that period, the rest of the continent was warming. And climate models created since our paper was published have suggested a link between the lack of significant warming in Antarctica and the ozone hole over that continent. These models, conspicuously missing from the warming-skeptic literature, suggest that as the ozone hole heals -- thanks to worldwide bans on ozone-destroying chemicals -- all of Antarctica is likely to warm with the rest of the planet. An inconvenient truth?

Also missing from the skeptics' arguments is the debate over our conclusions. Another group of researchers who took a different approach found no clear cooling trend in Antarctica. We still stand by our results for the period we analyzed, but unbiased reporting would acknowledge differences of scientific opinion.

The disappointing thing is that we are even debating the direction of climate change on this globally important continent. And it may not end until we have more weather stations on Antarctica and longer-term data that demonstrate a clear trend.

In the meantime, I would like to remove my name from the list of scientists who dispute global warming. I know my coauthors would as well.

See here, here, and here for some more factchecking of Crichton.

I had a thought regarding W... (Below threshold)
btenney:

I had a thought regarding Windpower. Wind is caused mainly by the earths rotation.
At what level of Wind Generation does the Earth's rotation slow causing it to fall out of orbit?

State of Fear was not writt... (Below threshold)
newton:

State of Fear was not written in the format of a novel for its consumption as such. It was written as a treatise on the hoax we know today as "global warming".

This book reminds me of yet another book, written on the format of a philosophical discussion, but with the clear intent to let one huge cat out of the bag: the theory that the Earth rotates around its axis and revolves around the Sun once every year, thus challenging the Ptolemaic, earth-centered theory to its very core.

Of course, you all know that it guaranteed its author, Galileo Galilei, a nice little chit chat with the Office of the Inquisition at the Vatican.

I'm sorry if I misunderstan... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I'm sorry if I misunderstand, and certainly hope that I do, but are you drawing a parallel between Michael Crichton and Galileo Galilei? Galileo was a great writer and thinker, whereas Crichton is neither of these things.

Bad as Congo was on screen, it was actually a pretty felicitous adaptation of the book. The guy sucks.

The point that Chrichton ma... (Below threshold)
Wanderlust:

The point that Chrichton makes in State of Fear is that Fear itself is a wonderful enabler of looting the public purse for literally any reason, so long as the public buys into the sense of fear that underpins the spending.

Some "fears" are more legitimate than others, on the face of it (e.g., fear of nuclear armaggeddon during the Cold War; or fear of the adverse public health effects of smog in LA in the early 1970's); however, regardless of the original noble intent that underpins such spending at the outset, eventually the spend must be justified by more and more questionable means.

That's a fancy way of saying that Government can never ultimately be trusted to solve a problem, no matter how noble its cause, because it will eventually feed off the problem to justify its involvement in searching for an ever more elusive "solution" to the problem.

For example, air pollution was once a significant issue, back in the late 1960's and early 1970's, both in cities (smog) and rural areas (acid rain). Properly leveraged, legislation and research worked together to make both of these issues become history. Now LA, for example, has many more cars on its streets than it did 40 years ago, but its air quality is far better now, thanks to elimiation of lead in motor fuels and advances in catalytic converters. Modern scrubbing systems and advances in supercritical boilers have resulted in drastic cuts in emissions from coal-fired power stations; so much so that the only problems with such facilities these days are in places where the scrubbing equipment is deliberately disconnected upon commissioning (read: China).

Yet Chrichton points out in State of Fear that the rise in "concern" about global warming/climate change suspiciously tracks to both the declines in strategic threats from the Soviet Union and in the decline of worry about air pollution arising from automobiles and power plants. In a way, the focus on global warming/climate change is a tacit admission that the real problems of air quality have been solved. But, just like the programs that were created by Government to solve the economic woes of the Great Depression, efforts - and the funds required to pay for them - to fight the Cold War and air pollution have now found a permanent home in the issue of global warming.

As Chrichton pointed out, the issue of global warming/climate change has absolutely nothing to do with science, much less any legitimate concern. He deliberately sets up and demolishes every possible argument about this issue in his book to demonstrate that the true culprit is everyone who has a vested interest in bleeding the US government purse dry, for whatever reason, either from within the country or without (read: the United Nations).

I alluded to earlier that fact that we can talk about, and pay for, research into such a worthless topic is truly a measure of the affluence and relative safety in which we now live. Regardless of threats on the horizon such as islamofascism and the re-emergence of the Russian Bear as a power to be reckoned with (never mind the slow but inexorable rise of the Chinese as a post-Cold War superpower), we propose spending literally trillions of dollars to solve a problem that has no measureable, much less discernable, effect on our daily lives. In that respect, the global warming/climate change charade is the most transparent filching of governmental power, influence, and funding ever known by, or dreamt up by, mankind in the history of organized government. It is a testament to the failure of humanity to capitalize on the peace and prosperity in which we now live, and an indictment against us for latching onto easy "solutions" to problems like famine and war that perpetually feed off the money we spend at the wrong levels to solve them.

People generally assume that the US put a man on the Moon because of either some noble endeavor, or else to demonstrate that the US could build heavy lifters which could just as easily drop bombs on any part of the planet.

I say both points are wrong.

We put a man on the Moon mainly because John F. Kennedy and his administration (and in his footsteps, the administrations of LBJ and Nixon) figured out how to spread the honey of that project into all 48 states of the CONUS and several friendly countries, for years. Roughly $160 billion dollars (in 2008 dollars) for that program went a long way towards gaining support. Yet that figure resulted in the single greatest technological accomplishment Man has ever achieved.

And now we will squander many times that amount to halt our advances in the standard of living just to line our own pockets.

Disgusting.

To declare that t... (Below threshold)
jwehman:
To declare that the earth's climate is changing largely in response to man's actions is the height of arrogance, and to demand that we devote so much of our energies and resources into "addressing" this concerns is the sheerest of follies.

I hope you don't mind, Jay...I used this quote on my facepage profile, with proper attribution, of course :-)

Wanderlust, landing on the ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Wanderlust, landing on the Moon is the greatest technological accomplishment in the history of the world? I disagree. I think tiny flag lapel pins are a greater achievement. Or maybe combustion engines, or agriculture, or electricity...

Not trying to get off topic... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

Not trying to get off topic, hyperbolist, but I agree with the landing on the moon as the greatest technological accomplishment. Considering the state of technology (especially electronics/computers) and wide range of disciplines that had to be herded toward the goal it was a mind boggling achievement.

Nice post, Wanderlust.

I think, Ricardo, that the ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I think, Ricardo, that the landing was the culmination of a bunch of other more important developments, ones that actually make our lives better.

I think, Ricardo, that t... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

I think, Ricardo, that the landing was the culmination of a bunch of other more important developments, ones that actually make our lives better.

The sum was much greater than it's idividual parts.

If Crichton's "science" had... (Below threshold)
Pau:

If Crichton's "science" had any merit ... and deserved your belief and support ... the ideas he expressed vis à vis the science of climate change would either be

a) accepted for publication in a (ANY) scientific journal

b) already thought of and published by REAL scientists in such journals

Since neither a or b is true, your willingness to believe Crichton's scientific claims is likely due in part to your earlier bias, in part to your unwillingness to believe something you can't understand, and in large part to Crichton's mastery of persuasive rhetoric. Fortunately, thank God, those factors don't form the foundation of real scientific thought.

So Jay, I know you were imp... (Below threshold)
mantis:

So Jay, I know you were impressed by Crichton's footnotes, but did you read the links I posted? Are you as impressed now that you know he repeatedly and purposefully misrepresented scientific research?

The problem for me continue... (Below threshold)

The problem for me continues to be that Global Warming is based more on consensus than scientific method. If 100 scientists agree on something without any scientific method, that's opinion or belief, not fact. You can find 100 people to agree that the sky is lavender, that doesn't make it true.

And when those same scientists rely on Global Warming for their income? I'm skeptical.

Yeah, and those physicists ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Yeah, and those physicists who rely on gravity and the laws of thermodynamics to make their living. What a bunch of hacks!

mantis, regarding your imme... (Below threshold)
Wanderlust:

mantis, regarding your immediate comment, care to discuss how much of a political issue the laws of gravity and thermodynamics are, vs. global warming?

BTW thermodynamics is a bit of a political issue, if you want to put your toe into arguments for vs against the theory of evolution; other than that, though, how many people are arguing that changes to the laws of thermodynamics and gravity will potentially impact life on earth?

care to discuss how much... (Below threshold)
mantis:

care to discuss how much of a political issue the laws of gravity and thermodynamics are, vs. global warming?

Not really, do you?

BTW thermodynamics is a bit of a political issue, if you want to put your toe into arguments for vs against the theory of evolution;

I'll put my toe in there if you want, because I'm familiar with that particular line of bullshit from creationists who pretend the earth is a closed system. Do you want to get into that one? If so, I'll probably find it greatly amusing.

how many people are arguing that changes to the laws of thermodynamics and gravity will potentially impact life on earth?

I don't even know what you're trying to say there.

The fact that the Earth is warming is indisputable. The evidence that the activities of humans are greatly contributing to that warming is plentiful and convincing. The proposed actions (or lack thereof) do not change any of that, regardless of whether you think they are good ideas or not (FWIW, I think most of them are bad ideas).

The idea that scientists have invented global warming to rake in the cash is completely idiotic and should be mocked, mercilessly. If you push that line you are a complete and total moron.

Well, mantis, I used to enj... (Below threshold)
Wanderlust:

Well, mantis, I used to enjoy debating with you, but after this quote, you've once again proven that you simply don't know how to debate a topic logically:

The idea that scientists have invented global warming to rake in the cash is completely idiotic and should be mocked, mercilessly. If you push that line you are a complete and total moron.

First of all, I never suggested that "scientists have invented global warming to take in the cash". What I did suggest was that some may be manipulating data to escalate both the feeling of impending doom, and the relative importance of man in having created the problem, as a means to secure more research dollars. This argument is the counterfactual to the Left's oft-stated claims that researchers who dispute global warming are being sponsored by oil companies.

Last I checked, my fellow moron, scientists are human. That makes them infallible and subject to a host of temptations just as much as anyone else - including the idea that some scientists might have a vested interest in gaming the debate.

As for the rest of it, you completely missed the point. The poster before you wrote:

And when those same scientists rely on Global Warming for their income? I'm skeptical.

Your response to that person,

Yeah, and those physicists who rely on gravity and the laws of thermodynamics to make their living. What a bunch of hacks!

suggested that either you elevated global warming to a law of nature similar to the laws of gravity and thermodynamics, whereas others (including myself) see anthropogenic global warming as a political issue, not a law of nature. The laws of gravity and thermodynamics can be proven on many scales with empirical data, as opposed to relying on a healthy dose of theory and conjecture (such as global warming or evolutionary theory, as examples).

Finally, what you seem to be unable to process is that we are not disputing whether the planet is warming or not; instead, what many of us are disputing is the following:

* Measurement Scale (temperatures generally decreased from end of WWII on to 1990 at a time of unprecedented worldwide industrial expansion; medieval warming period vs. volcano eruptions; lack of precise historical data beyond a few centuries);
* Causation (anthropogenic via man-made carbon dioxide emissions vs other factors such as sunspot activity); and
* Consequence (whether if CO2 increases will plant life be able to take up the slack; do we understand the planetary climate system well enough to model outcomes; can outcomes be reasonably mitigated by human intervention).

Never mind the obvious, that we still cannot predict weather patterns to any degree of certainty beyond a few days into the future, but we presume to predict temperature outcomes on the most complex system (global weather) ever known to mankind for the next hundred years.

But you, dear mantis, can make blanket statements that bear the same logical weight as Chicken Little, and expect the rest of us to take you seriously.

Funny.

So much for that, mantis. Have a good day.

First of all, I never su... (Below threshold)
mantis:

First of all, I never suggested that "scientists have invented global warming to take in the cash".

I didn't say you did, but you are defending the argument of someone who clearly implied that.

What I did suggest was that some may be manipulating data to escalate both the feeling of impending doom, and the relative importance of man in having created the problem, as a means to secure more research dollars.

Prove it.

This argument is the counterfactual to the Left's oft-stated claims that researchers who dispute global warming are being sponsored by oil companies.

That is because we can offer all sorts of proof that they are being sponsored by oil companies (not all of them, but quite a few).

Last I checked, my fellow moron, scientists are human. That makes them infallible and subject to a host of temptations just as much as anyone else - including the idea that some scientists might have a vested interest in gaming the debate.

First, I didn't call you a moron. I said if you claim such, you are... Don't do it and it doesn't apply to you. Second, I think you mean fallible, not infallible, and I agree. Third, the idea that climate scientists from every university in this nation, from every respected scientific institution around the world, thousands of them, have all been tempted and are gaming the system with doctored data is paranoid conspiracy garbage.

suggested that either you elevated global warming to a law of nature similar to the laws of gravity and thermodynamics,

Laws of nature are theories just like global warming and evolution by means of natural selection. You seem to lack some understanding of how science works.

The laws of gravity and thermodynamics can be proven on many scales with empirical data, as opposed to relying on a healthy dose of theory and conjecture (such as global warming or evolutionary theory, as examples).

Just because you refuse to recognize the empirical data (a clumsy phrase, but I'll repeat if rather than give you an entire lecture about what data, evidence, laws, and theories all mean in science, knowledge you seem to lack) that supports those theories, doesn't mean it isn't there.

Finally, what you seem to be unable to process is that we are not disputing whether the planet is warming or not;

This is what I was responding to:

Global Warming is based more on consensus than scientific method.

The belief that the globe is warming is absolutely based on scientific data, and there are a great many people who argue that the globe is not warming at all. If you are not one of them, good for you.

temperatures generally decreased from end of WWII on to 1990 at a time of unprecedented worldwide industrial expansion

You've got your facts wrong.

medieval warming period vs. volcano eruptions; lack of precise historical data beyond a few centuries

There is in fact a lot of good historical data. I have no idea what "medieval warming period vs. volcano eruptions" is supposed to mean.

Causation (anthropogenic via man-made carbon dioxide emissions vs other factors such as sunspot activity); and

Just because some may buy into bullshit about sunspot activity, which absolutely cannot account for current warming trends, doesn't mean it's worth arguing endlessly. I can show you endless graphs of the data proving this, but it will likely have little effect.

Never mind the obvious, that we still cannot predict weather patterns to any degree of certainty beyond a few days into the future, but we presume to predict temperature outcomes on the most complex system (global weather) ever known to mankind for the next hundred years.

It's tiresome discussing this issue with someone who clearly doesn't know the difference between weather and climate. Here's a hint, there is no "global weather".

I know the game you play, and it's not science. See, scientists try to answer questions about the natural world using the scientific method. Denialists start at the conclusion, and grab onto whatever sciency sounding thing they can find and hold it up as proof that the conclusions of real scientists are wrong. When they are shown to be stupid, or lying, or just misinterpreting data, they just grab another piece of "proof" and run with it. And on and on and on. This guy is indexing all the different claims. I'll let you know if you come up with something new ("global weather" is funny, but I don't think it qualifies).

But you, dear mantis, can make blanket statements that bear the same logical weight as Chicken Little, and expect the rest of us to take you seriously.

People who push bullshit are either liars or morons. This conclusion is quite logical. I don't expect you to take me seriously, as it is quite obvious you don't take science seriously to understand it, though you feel quite comfortable talking about it as if you do.




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