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My Obligatory Global Warming Myth Busting Post

Yikes, Bill goes wildly off course in his update here. Not a big deal. He gets a whole heap of facts wrong but, I'm just not in the mood to even read the whole thing much less reply. So be it. One of the things he gets wrong is that he says I was going to make a global warming post... I offered to if he wanted, I never said I was going to... but what the heck...

Lemme do this in as few words as possible.

Proving that the global warming crowd is wrong is, by definition, impossible without the benefit of decades. Proving a negative always works out that way. But we can look at the theory critically and determine if it is even credible. As soon as I post this, 100 believers will try to play semantical word games... Especially since I'm doing this (again) in as few words as possible, I'm sure someone will have a problem with the way I say something. I challenge them to skip the word games and stick to the larger points.

While it can be expanded for days, the basic "global warming we're all going to die" theory goes like this: We release nasty things like CFCs and CO2 in to the atmosphere. This causes a hole in the ozone layer (and/or acts as a thermal blanket) allowing more radiant energy from the sun to hit the earth causing the earth to warm... which in turn causes any number of scenarios, all of which end with, "and we're all going to die." (nobody said I couldn't have fun with this post.) [yes I know I greatly simplified that-- deal -Ed]

The "evidence," such that it is, can be lumped into 2 broad categories.

1) We are getting warmer than we were a few years decades ago so it is already happening and

2) We can measure the hole in (or the thinning of) the ozone layer and that proves the theory is true.

Additionally, it is ASSUMED that these 2 phenomena are caused by humans. We can't even prove the first 2 much less that we caused it. Let's look at each:

#1) Depending on who you talk to, the earth is about 4.5 BILLION years old. We have reliable temperature data from about the last 200 years. The "believers" routinely compare the temperature today with the temperature just a few decades ago. That is just silly. Even using all 200 years of data we are looking at the last 1/22,500,000th of the history of the planet.

To put that in terms you can wrap your mind around, we just had about 120 million people vote in the last election. Imagine Gallup releasing a poll where they sampled 5 registered voters, all in the same city and called it scientific. They would be laughed at because the sample size was so small.

Yet the environmental crowd expects us to consider the last 20 years of temperature readings important on a planet 4.5 BILLION years old. 20 years would be (statistically) the same as asking 1/2 of 1 person how they were going to vote and from that, predicting a winner.

THEN toss into the mix we know the temperature of the planet has swung wildly thru history and it quickly becomes obvious the people citing this data have a screw lose.

But I'm a generous guy.... I'll give them the point. [Are you out of your mind? Trust me. -ed]

Let's pretend we really can tell something from the fact the average temp raised 0.8 degrees in the last 200 years. AND I'll be even more generous and give them that man did it.... OK, Why did it happen?

Which is more plausible:

The established theory: CFC's (et al) don't destroy ozone at seal level, (or we would not have smog) they magically hold there electron stripping potential till they get to a higher altitude where they strip electrons off ozone and blah blah blah blah blah (there are tons of holes in the theory but I won't even bother poke holes in it now)


Paul's Theory: You know, if we are getting hotter for the last 200 years, it might have something to do with this little thing called "heaters." You know, those things we use to warm us up. Those of you in the Boston area might be familiar with them. To see the effects of man made heat generation, just watch the evening news during the winter. They give one temp in the city and one for the surrounding area which is generally 4 or 5 degrees cooler. Where do you think all that heat goes?

Hundreds of years of us producing heat to keep ourselves warm and produce steam for electricity is far more likely to be the cause of any warming that the nonsense the environmentalists are touting. If we can change the temperature locally by as many of 5 degrees, it is too much to believe that over hundreds of years we can move the average 0.8 degrees? (assuming man is moving the climate which is doubtful)

The environmentalist love to point out that sparsely populated nations have not had as large a temperature increase. DUH! They don't have as many heaters, hot engines, electric generating plants etc etc.


So what have we learned?

First, the data that we have is worthless because the dataset is too small and second, EVEN IF you hold stock in the data, there is a FAR more plausible explanation than the one the environmental community is spreading.

Which brings us to #2.

I so eviscerated #1, I really don't even want to bother with #2. (I'm beat) But I will add this to the mix briefly and expand later if needed.

#2) Much of the ozone data suffers form the same incompleteness as the temperature data, (or worse) we've only measured it for about 20 years. But there is more to be said:

The theory goes that we are "depleting" the ozone layer. I love when people tell me this, I ask them how much ozone we have now and how much we need. It is a great way to make people realize they are arguing from complete ignorance. I literally had a girl one time tell me she thought there was a fixed amount of ozone up there and when we depleted it, we all fried. I disabused her.

Ozone is produced by lighting -- that's what replenished the ozone layer naturally. The theory holds that as the globe warms we get more freak storms. hmmmm More storms means... (say it with me....) more lighting!

So even if we have all these freak storms they will produce more ozone, keeping it in check! Ain't the earth cool?
[Note: I've only posted 1/10th of the flaws with the theory, there's plenty more.]


Have I proven a negative? No, you never can.

Have I proven the current theory to be fatally flawed?

I think so.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference My Obligatory Global Warming Myth Busting Post:

» A Dusty Life linked with Global Warming

» Weekend Pundit linked with Global Warming - A Good Thing

» Henry's Idle Musings linked with Paul, Paul, Paul

» Deltoid linked with Science Links

Comments (59)

Amazing! No one has "hugged... (Below threshold)

Amazing! No one has "hugged" a tree in the thread yet.

One additional note to the ... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

One additional note to the whole "we have observed a short period and know everything" line of reasoning: We have only been able to observe the ozone layer for an even shorter time than we have recorded temperatures. We don't know what it has done historically. In fact, scientists have discovered evidence in Antarctica that may show that there have been fluctuations in the size of the hole in the ozone layer going back centuries.

Of course, facts like that disagree with the theory, so they must be discarded.

I've read your detractors' ... (Below threshold)

I've read your detractors' statements time and time again, and figured they were really overreacting, but this post proves their point, I'm afraid. You really are a dangerous man, Paul. You have, in no uncertain terms, said something now that shows just how vile and evil you really are.

You've gone and injected logic and common sense into a scientific debate.

How dare you!

(tongue now extracted from cheek)

This, like evolution, is a scientific theory that has been sheltered from the long-standing rules of scientific research. To prove a hypothesis, you must both state supporting evidence, and then test against the hypothesis. If it can be supported by data and cannot be disproven by testing, only then should that hypothesis advance to "theory" status. At that point extensive data collection and testing, both supportive and antagonistic to the theory will either lend credibility to the theory or debunk it entirely.

On the two aforementioned topics, however, the scientific community has relied solely on supportive data, totally ignoring any alternative explanations or antagonistic data, and for the most part have elevated both ideas to the level of scientific law with virtually no testing.

Of course an overhaul in scientific opinion on global warming would require a much more extensive overhaul of the EPA and its similar groups. I am afraid there's entirely too much money being made by those groups to expect much of a change in the near future.

Any grade schooler can do a... (Below threshold)

Any grade schooler can do an experiment to disprove the "THE ICE CAPS WILL MELT AND FLOOD THE EARTH - WOE!" myth.
Take a large glass. Fill with ice then fill to top edge with water. Wait several hours. Measure the water that flows over the top as the ice melts. There will be NONE.

(((((tree)))))... (Below threshold)


Meezer, I'm a Global Warmin... (Below threshold)

Meezer, I'm a Global Warming skeptic at least as much as Paul, but your ice cap experiment overlooks one thing: although the Arctic ice cap is floating, the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps are not. They each lie atop a landmass, and if melted would indeed result in a rise in sea level.

The question is whether (1) global climate change is occurring, (2) whether humanity is the cause and therefore can avert it, and (3) that it would be a bad thing. I still have yet to see anything from a source I would rely upon, that proves any of these is the case.

Thanks Julie.. I knew there... (Below threshold)

Thanks Julie.. I knew there would be at least one.

BTW Paul these people seem to agree with you: Humans 'may have saved world from ice age'.

"HUMANS may have unwittingly saved themselves from a looming ice age by interfering with the Earth's climate, according to a new study."

"The findings from a team of American climate experts suggest that were it not for greenhouse gases produced by humans, the world would be well on the way to a frozen Armageddon."

Like all utopian movements ... (Below threshold)

Like all utopian movements the enviormentlist whackos would move (or remove) humanity to accomadate a pristine and primitive (pre-human) echosystem. I guess the few of us that would survive this progrom would live in tee pees (unheated of course). Except for the elite who could of course study it all.
The problem with global warming is that nothing has occurred yet outside the norm already contained in the geologic record (i.e. core samples from glaciers and polar regions).
I have no doubt that human activity affects the enviornment. Our cities as you said cause locally warmer temperatures. All the pavement we have laid in this country results in a tremendous amount of direct runoff for rainwater that was not present even 60 years ago. Our sewer systems and water sheds indicate a need to clean up after ourselves. It dosn't mean signing something like Kyoto and strangeling ourselves to death.

I don't feel saved. Curren... (Below threshold)

I don't feel saved. Currently 16 degrees in NH. It will not be over freezing until this weekend (hopefully) I am running out of fire wood. I wish this global warming thing would hurry up.

OK, let a newbie to this bl... (Below threshold)
Scott H:

OK, let a newbie to this blog cast the first stone.

The fundamental question about global warming is to what extent man's activities are accelerating or retarding the Earth's temperature swings. From this question flows two other questions: what harm could come from any acceleration or retardation; and what can, or should, be done to address that harm.

My problem with Paul's post is that it ignores the debate and focuses on the easy target of smacking granola-eating Earth-Firsters around. Now I grant you, this is as much fun, and as difficult as killing baby seals. But it hardly advances the conservative side in this debate.

Paul sets himself up for an easy rebuke by focusing on ozone depletion and ignores the "blanket" effect of CO2 and other greenhouse gases; an effect that plays a larger role than ozone depletion in impacting global temperature swings.

In fact, his example of heating being caused by the generation of power, and the heating of homes supports the "tree huggers" argument, since it is this activity that generates the greenhouse gases that are warming the Earth...and underlies most of their proposed solutions of increased regulation and government intervention.

Instead of proving the "theory of global warming" to be fatally flawed, Paul has only succeeded in lobbing a few nerf balls. Conservative argument, I believe, works best when it demands that a debate come down from 30,000 feet and deal with the practical issues of resolving problems.

Grant the tree-huggers the basis of their argument: the Earth's temperature does vary, Mankind (as part of nature) has some impact on that variation through his actions and inactions. And then challenge them by saying "So what?"

Challenge them to be specific about any harms (what are the harms, who will be harmed, when will it occur, how much harm will be done).

Ask the tree-huggers what their solutions are; what do they cost in human, political and economic terms; ask them to quantify the benefits of taking action and the harm of not taking action. In essence, engage in the real implications of policy, and not in some academic pissing contest about what is and isn't a "theory".

It's when conservatives force the debate away from the touchy-feely level (that neither side can ever prove or disprove) and onto the concrete realm of specific action, that fuzzy-headed liberals are best exposed and debates won.

And if that doesn't provide enough fun, just remind the tree huggers that conservatives are deeply concerned about global warming...since it's much easier to club baby seals on pack ice, than in the open water.

Scott said:The ... (Below threshold)

Scott said:

The fundamental question about global warming is to what extent man's activities are accelerating or retarding the Earth's temperature swings.

Wrong. The fundamental question about global warming is whether it's happening or not. How can you go to causality when you have not established is even happening?

(remember when I said)
Especially since I'm doing this (again) in as few words as possible, I'm sure someone will have a problem with the way I say something.

Without typing 10,000 words I can not be immune to the "Well you didn't mention XXXXX compliant.

I DID NOT ignore the heating blanket theory. (look very close, it was small) I specifically said I was glossing over #2.

But you can't prove to me GW is in fact happening so debating the 'whys' is just silly.


Paul,You are waaay... (Below threshold)


You are waaay too uninformed about basic atmospheric chemistry to make a serious argument and you conflate two different phenomena.

First, "global warming" and the ozone hole are not two parts of one problem. The ozone hole over Antarctica and the thinning of the ozone layer has nothing to do with global warming. The consequences of a thinner ozone layer is exposing the Earth's surface to more ultraviolet radiation, not global warming. The ban on CFCs introduced by the Montreal Protocol in the 70s is in the process of solving the problem (since CFCs take about 100 years or so to break down in the atmosphere).

Second, ozone (O3, an unstable molecule) in the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere is caused by solar radiation interacting with oxygen molecules in a regular cycle of creation and destruction (there is NO lightning at that altitude). CFCs at that level cause significant interference in that cycle. Ozone at the earth's surface is caused by pollution and breaks down quickly enough that CFCs do not play much of a role in that cycle. If there were no humans on earth, there would still be an ozone layer in the upper atmosphere (again, to reinforce the point, NOT caused by lightning) and only a little on the Earth's surface (caused by lightning and natural combustion).

I've been a sceptic of the wild claims about the consequences of global warming ever since I did PhD work in it several years ago, but arguments that you are making Paul are emotional, lacking in a basic grounding in the science, and simply not credible. Ironically, much like the environmentalists that you heap scorn upon for the same flaws.

I tell you what Scott, (I k... (Below threshold)

I tell you what Scott, (I know how this game is played)

I know how you are going to do this. You are going to mention 1000 things outside of the scope of my post and then say unless I reply to all 1000 points, my post is wrong.

I'm not going to play that game again.

Let's do this. You prove for me that global warming is happening and I'll continue the discussion and answer any questions you ask.

Until you can prove that global warming is happening, you have nothing to talk about but conjecture.

Paul, what Scott was attemp... (Below threshold)

Paul, what Scott was attempting to talk about was the fact that air pollution has two sources, natural causes and man-made cuases. I made the argument a while ago in a comment that the natural causes of air pollution produced far more in the history of the planet than man can ever produce.

My argument basically puts forth that the earth was bombarded with all sorts of "natural" shit that she has put up with so far. How are we a threat?

Paul,The problem her... (Below threshold)
Bryan in Texas:

The problem here is that you are guilty of blasphemy against the religion of “Science” with your statements against one of its most cherished tenets. The religion of “Science” ignores all data that does not support their preconceived ideas on how things work. They will occasionally conduct experiments to prove their point, but only when they can be absolutely assured that the outcome will support their pet theory.

Real science conducts unbiased research to see if a theory has merit. The religion of “Science” stacks the deck in their research so that the theory they support will always appear as a near certain fact. The media no longer gives credence to real science, and adherence to the dictates of the religion of “Science” has long been the foundation of much of the far Left’s philosophy. But there are now a growing number in the conservative camp who grew up being taught this pseuoscience in school that have joined their liberal brethren in the pews of this new church. This does not bode well for those of us who want real evidence of a problem before we start dismantling our civilization in order to save mankind.

Two of the most cherished commandments of the religion of “Science” are:
1) Thou shalt not disparage the law of evolution.
2) Thou shalt not question the environmentalists’ prophecies of doom.

I have a few things to add,... (Below threshold)

I have a few things to add, if that's okay. Mt St Helen's, Chernoble, Desert testing, bombs and other destructible things that goes on naturally all over the world have something to do with global warming. The size of our planet has changed from a globe flattening at the top and bottom plumping at the middle. I don't think that we as a people personally with our vehicles, et al, caused global warming.

et al


You are waaay too uninfo... (Below threshold)

You are waaay too uninformed about basic atmospheric chemistry to make a serious argument

Can you forward me a copy of your resume'? Any work you've done on it?

You say, "The consequences of a thinner ozone layer is exposing the Earth's surface to more ultraviolet radiation, not global warming.

OH so we banned CFCs for what reason exactly?

I love you goofballs. You claim you have such vast superior knowledge they you say something stupid.

I said:We release nasty things like CFCs and CO2 in to the atmosphere. This causes a hole in the ozone layer (and/or acts as a thermal blanket) allowing more radiant energy from the sun to hit the earth causing the earth to warm

If you disagree with the fact that more UV radiation will warm what it hits you are a loon.

Thank you playing.

I agree with Dave that the ... (Below threshold)

I agree with Dave that the ozone thing is a separate issue entirely from global warming.

But Paul, I also think you left out two other facts.

1)The fossil record shows that the Earths climate fluctuates widely over time. They also show that the Earth has been warming for the last 10,000 years, at least, and possibly 20,000 years. If you believe the fossils support evolution, you must accept that they support that the Earth has been warming for a very long time. So there should be no doubt or arguing over whether the Earth is warming. But this particular warming trend started thousands of years before the industrial revolution.

2) The Krakatoa eruption in 1883 was a once in a millennia event that most certainly had a global climactic effect for years afterward. It could be argued that it dwarfed any effect that man has had. At a minimum, it skewed data for the next 20-30 years.

Jmater I left out 1000 fact... (Below threshold)

Jmater I left out 1000 facts. It's a blog post not a book!

Poor Paul! He was crucified... (Below threshold)

Poor Paul! He was crucified for our environmental sins.

Paul --So I'm no t... (Below threshold)

Paul --

So I'm no tree-hugger (skeptical about GW, etc), but our understanding of ozone science is pretty well-developed, and not nearly as uncertain as climate change. A number of the things you present as facts are simply not right. A couple points:

- GW and ozone depletion are coupled, but they're different issues. While some scientists may say one contributes to the other, I'm not aware of anyone saying one is the main cause of the other. Sure UV light can heat up the atmosphere, but the main concern -- and the reason we banned CFC's -- was the direct damage UV can do to living tissue.

- Lighning makes ozone, but it's not the main source in the atmosphere -- light's the main source. If the ozone layer were to be destroyed, replenishment of the ozone layer would take ~50 yrs. So that girl was wrong that it won't come back...but it takes a while.

- Ozone's been measured for more than 20 years (though still on a timescale small compared to the age of the earth). Global Nimbus data started in 1970; local monitoring goes back to at least 1926.

- No one's ever claimed a "magical electron stripping potential" of CFC's. The CFC's don't destroy ozone directly -- free radicals do. When exposed to light in the far UV, CFC's fall apart to free radicals. There's no far UV at sea level, so there CFC's are inert; there's plenty in the upper atmosphere, so there CFC's lead to ozone destruction.

In any case, none of this affects legitimate skepticism of GW. Just thought I'd pass it on.

Official Notice Anyo... (Below threshold)

Official Notice Anyone says "Well, you didn't talk about XXXX will be deleted.

I know damn good and well what I wrote and what I didn't. (I'll say it for the 10th time...) This is blog post not a freaking book! There is no human way to post every nuance of the whole debate. THAT'S WHY I FOCUSED ON ONE PART!

If you have evidence to contradict something that I said, I'm all ears.

If you can prove global warming is happing, lemme know.

If you want to talk about something that I did not, I suggest you get your own blog.

Well, I like your heaters t... (Below threshold)

Well, I like your heaters theory. But you forget that one of the reasons cities are so much warmer is the concentration of smog from the auto exhaust (increased density in the urban area) and ambient heat in the (extra) pavement.

Here's something freaky: In Portland, it rains in the city more on the weekends in the spring & summer. When I asked why, an enviro friend of mine told me that it was because the extra heat in the city during the work week affects the weather fronts in a way that it pushes them back from the city (all that hot air rising?); but when everyone goes home for the weekend the weather fronts come through naturally. I don't know if that's true or not but it's an interesting side-note.

It seems to me that the evi... (Below threshold)

It seems to me that the evidence as to whether or not global warming exists should be apparent from the polar ice caps: if global warming exists, the ice caps should be growing. Even the most extreme global warming claims are only a few degrees - not enough to melt the ice caps, but certain to cause increased evaporation from the oceans. Much of that moisture should find its way to the ice caps.

Anyway, if global warming exists, there should be non-temperature empirical evidence to demonstrate that fact.

Jesse nothing you have said... (Below threshold)

Jesse nothing you have said contradicts anything I've said --- well other than that it's been 30 whole years we've monitored ozone and not 20. Woopie!

(I'm old it seemed like only 20 years to me. ;-)

Can you make the case that 10 years of data is statistically valid on a planet 4.5 billion years old?


Then you didn't really add to the discussion, you played word games. Thanks.

First let me make a small p... (Below threshold)
Opinionated Vogon:

First let me make a small point. One reason for the disparity between urban and rural temperature for the same region might have to do with thermal mass. All of the concrete that is laid on the ground and in buildings will retain more heat than the uncovered rural grounds.

I ran across this new republic article a few weeks ago and it makes some very valid points.

As Glenn says... read the whole thing :¬)

Just wanted to add somethin... (Below threshold)

Just wanted to add something to what you stated Paul.

We have to remember that while we have been compiling those 200 years of (likely) accurate data, our cities have been growing up around the measuring stations. For instance, here in Dallas/Fort Worth the official station is at the D/FW Airport, which is smack in the middle of the metroplex. Where I live, 45 miles away from Dallas, the temperature is typically 3-5 degrees cooler than the official numbers. While the station remains the same, the environment surrounding the station does not. 30 years ago it was nothing but a field at a small airport, but now it is surrounded by houses, freeways, and tons of concrete and asphalt. This alone will skew the temperature numbers up a degree or two due to the urban heat island effect.

Also, I have one comment with regards to more extreme weather, especially tornadoes. Maybe it isn't so much that weather is becoming more extreme as it is we are better able to track it and quantify it. 50 years ago if a tornado dropped in the middle of eastern Kansas and nobody saw it, according to official documents it never existed. Our population now is spread out so much and our technology is advanced to the point that we can more accurately define where these event occur.

Just my $0.02. Good writing Paul.

Paul, the problem with your... (Below threshold)

Paul, the problem with your post is not that you left stuff out, but that the stuff you wrote was wrong. For example, the cause of anthropogenic global warming is not ozone depletion, but an increase in the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere that cuts down the quantity of heat that escapes into space.

You also don't seem to understand sampling. You seem to think that the size of the sample relative to the size of the population is what matters, when it is actually just the size of the sample. For example, to predict national vote percentages you need the sample size (say, 1000) as you do to predict the the vore breakdown in one state.

Paul --"Word games... (Below threshold)

Paul --

"Word games"? What do you mean I didn't contradict anything you said?!? I directly contradicted:

(1) your statement that CFC's "magically hold there electron stripping potential til they get to a higher altitude" (I'll add to that: CFC's, or specifically the free radicals from CFC's, don't "strip electrons off ozone", as you say. They strip oxygen atoms: Cl+O3-> ClO+O2)

(2) your argument that lightning is the main source of ozone. (By the way, there are no lightning storms in the stratosphere, where the ozone layer is located.)

If you're not willing to listen to real science, and admit you may be wrong once and a while, how are you any better than wacko environmentalists?

I didn't at first, but now I'm starting to agree with DaveW: "You are waaay too uninformed about basic atmospheric chemistry to make a serious argument."

Paul, I hate envi... (Below threshold)


I hate environmentalists. Global warming is crap. But you have just ignorantly and arrogantly brushed off two legitimate posters on the chemistry of atmospheric ozone. It's chemistry dude. It's not opinion. Now the impacts from an ozone "hole" are purely speculative, but damnit man, the chemistry isn't. That's not a fucking word game.

You are acting like an ass.

Global warmiong doesn't matter because it doesn't exist. Ask any greenie about global cooling, why dontcha? That was the rage in the 1970s. Now it's global warming. There are quotes all over the internet from scientists about how they have to scare the public to keep grants coming in. Bottom line is that global warming can't be proven because the advocates are disingenuous interested parties.

Furthemore, how much CO2 was in the atmoshpere during the Jurrasic?, the Precambrian? At some point, CO2 levels were much higher now and the earth managed to survive just fine. It, and we, will continue to do so.

Since DaveW and Jesse have ... (Below threshold)

Since DaveW and Jesse have showed pretty well that Paul is quite uninformed when it comes to, well, science in general, I'll just add one point. If you seriously think that a single election is an apt analogy to analysis of global climate over billions of years, you really need to go back to classes, or at least read a book. Global climate is quite complex and more importantly is continually happening. An election is one day, and if we are to believe your analogy, we must assume that all work that has been done on climate change has completely ignored the history of climate on this planet beyond the last 20 years, of which we know a good deal more than you seem to think.

DaveW--Since you a... (Below threshold)


Since you appear to have the technical background to provide guidance, can you recommend some good sources (at an Undergraduate level--it's been awhile and I didn't need that much Chemistry for my engineering degree) that lay out the scientific issues, absent raw emotionalism?

Global climate is quite ... (Below threshold)

Global climate is quite complex and more importantly is continually happening.

Weather happens every day? That's so fucking profound!

Julie,Meaning a dy... (Below threshold)


Meaning a dynamic and constantly changing system is not analogous to a one-time election concerning people's attitudes and not facts. And by the way weather and climate are actually two different things. Anything intelligent to add?

Mantis: But that's not wha... (Below threshold)

Mantis: But that's not what you wrote. If you meant it, you would have written it in your initial post. Or, maybe, you really need to go back to classes, or at least read a book on how to express complete thoughts.

Julie,That is what... (Below threshold)


That is what I wrote, though apparently not simply enough for you to understand. And forgive me for not taking advice on complete thoughts from someone who cherry picks quotes only to oppose some meaning other than what they have in context. How's the climate today where you are?

Mantis:Oh, I don't... (Below threshold)


Oh, I don't think one who writes what you did could be any more simple. Or, maybe, you really need to go back to classes, or at least read a book before you complain about other people cherry picking your quotes. The weather's great.

Paul is correct... there is... (Below threshold)

Paul is correct... there is no way to take a sample of 200 (or 2000, 20,000 or even 200,000) from a population of 4.5 billion and come up with any credible statistical inference.

Given a much larger sample size, you can better determine the population mean, variance and standard deviation. From these, you can determine if today's temperature falls within the variance. If it falls outside so many (2 in a bell curve) standard deviations from the mean, then you MIGHT have an argument that will stand up. (this is presuming the bell-shaped frequency distribution, but even if it's not, it is evident that IF temperatures that are outside this range are not life-sustaining, then they have not occurred. If they had, we would not be having this argument.)

One of the problems with global warming THEORY is the claim that 100 years from now, the daily temperature WITHOUT A DOUBT will fall outside that range.

That claim is backed ONLY by computer models, which are subject to the pre-determined assumption that CO2 levels will rise at a constant rate of 1% a year, and the belief that the ONLY cause of that increase is MAN and ONLY MAN can lower that rate.

More bad science: That all other causes that could lead to rising CO2 levels have been irrefutably rejected and all that is left is mankind.

Jesse,I don't know... (Below threshold)


I don't know anything about this debate, but to play devil's advocate here, you tell Paul, "Lighning makes ozone, but it's not the main source in the atmosphere -- light's the main source." Then you tell him, "(2) your argument that lightning is the main source of ozone." But Paul says..."Ozone is produced by lighting -- that's what replenished the ozone layer naturally. The theory holds that as the globe warms we get more freak storms. hmmmm More storms means... (say it with me....) more lighting!" Paul isn't saying lightNing there, so either Paul is a bad speller, twice in one sentence, or Jesse needs to read more careful.

D-Hobbs,I noticed ... (Below threshold)


I noticed that too. But look at the context: he's talking about "freak storms". How can more freak storms lead to more "lighting"? If anything, they should lead to less. In any case I should've been more specific: ozone is made by UV light. Unless you can show me how more storms leads to more UV light, we should just assume it was a typo and Paul meant "lightning".

I meant D-Hoggs. Sorry abo... (Below threshold)

I meant D-Hoggs. Sorry about that.

Jesse, I agree with ... (Below threshold)

I agree with you about the context. The only reason I bring it up is it seemed a bit odd that lightning would be mis-spelled twice in a row, and given the argument, it would seem an important mis-spelling. Oh well, I guess only Paul can tell us which it is.

PaulWhile it's tru... (Below threshold)
Scott H:


While it's true I felt your arguments disproving the existence of global warming were weak and ineffective; you seem to have missed my larger point.

I feel that conservatives tend to do better when they debate concrete policy and not theories which cannot be proven one way or the other.

Engaging in a debate about whether or not global warming exists keeps the argument just where the environmentalists want it...in the realm of theory. As you yourself said, you can't prove a negative; and the environmentalists love to see conservatives waste time and resources trying to do just that.

Besides which keeping the debate focused on whether or not GW exists, and its causes, allows liberal environmentalists to continually position themselves as protectors of Mother Earth and conservatives as pollution-spewing demon sapwn.

My point, which I thought was pretty clear, is that instead of engaging environmentalists on their ground; debate them on the hard-headed conservative ground of specific policies and their impact on mankind.

Make the liberals come down from the clouds and propose specific actions and policies. Because just as the Devil is in the details, so too is the liberal love for state expansion and regulation over individual freedom revealed in their policies. And it's that revelation that is their greatest weakness.

I understand your position about giving a point away. I just feel debating that particular point is not as effective as attacking specific policy proposals. At the end of the day we disagree over tactics and strategies.

In addition to heat, heavil... (Below threshold)

In addition to heat, heavily populated areas have more pavement and cement.

I note that no one on this ... (Below threshold)
Pink Pig:

I note that no one on this thread appears to be willing to take up Paul's challenge to show that global warming exists. In fact, let me simplify the discussion even further: what exactly _is_ global warming? Is it a measurable aspect of nature, or a number generated by a computer program? Does it refer to global temperature? Maybe global average temperature? If so, average temperature of what, land, sea, air, something else? If ocean temperature is a component, why don't the global warming researchers take the oceans into account? Or what about air temperature, since we have over 25 years of accurate satellite data measuring air temperature? Wouldn't one expect to see some change in air temperature over that period, particularly since the "hypothesis" projects that air temperatures will rise first? How is temperature to be measured? And where? And when?

I have a hypothesis of my own: that the people who designed and implemented the computer models on which the Kyoto Treaty is based specifically set out to "prove" that humans are destroying the planet, and are deliberately ignoring all evidence to the contrary. (This hypothesis is refutable, so have at it if you want.)

By the way, if you are going to pick nits, it might work better if you checked your facts. The Montreal Protocol went into force in the early 90's, not the 70's. CFCs do not react with either ordinary oxygen (O2) or ozone (O3). There is no evidence that CFCs even exist to any measurable degree in the atmosphere, although there is an abundance of semiplausible conjecture on this point. The ozone hypothesis does not even address the question why CFCs do not damage the ozone layer except in one remote spot over the most pristine untouched place on earth, many thousands of miles from the source of the CFCs. The ozone hole was first noticed in the 50's, ever since the ozone measurements in Antarctica began; there has never been a time when the ozone hole was known not to exist -- for all we know, it has happened every year for millennia. Let me ask just one other question: is there a single recorded case of sunburn which could plausibly be attributed to the ozone hole?

Oh Geez Paul...You... (Below threshold)

Oh Geez Paul...

You should have stuck with commentary.

Lightning replenishes the Ozone layer??

"Heaters" contributing significantly to localized climate change?!

Try Heat Sinks. e.g. Pavement, concrete, structures, and the insulating effect of smog.

You demand people prove you are wrong about your contention that the world isn't warmning. Then you use as part of your argument one wildly wrong point, and one almost close to the mark point that actually, if true, helps make the counter-argument. You can't really blame people for pointing out the terrible flaws in the examples you used.

You argue that we can't move on to causality of Global Temperature changes until we establish it is happening? Paul... I can guarantee you this, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, our planet will either be in the process of a long term Warming trend, or a long term Cooling trend. What's so bad about determining ways we humans can affect global climate? Indeed, I argue that we should be interested in vetting ways that we can manipulate the climate. I sure as hell hate the cold, and be damned if I'd wish an ice age on my descendants.

Man, I can't even give you an "A" for effort. There is so much material quickly available to make a good argument, like Scott H and DaveW and Jesse have for instance, against the enviromental chicken-littles. You don't have to be a scientist or a PHd to join the debate. Resume takes a seat far behind research and hard analysis.

Hobgoblin is right. You are acting like an Ass to people who obviously have more knowledge on the subject than you. Bill/InDC was no less an Ass for insisting you apply the scientific method to commentary, but you just took the bit in your mouth, and stampeded right into what he, IMO, unfairly critisized you to be doing in the first place. Hell, in your place, I'd probably ask those people to write a better article for me.

Lighten up a little. You do great work here. You did an admirable job doing your part in the Rathergate mess. You had a good commentary about the chicken-littles in the environmental movement. I suggest you leave it at that then, or actually research the subject if you intend to debate it at a high level.

Paul, sorry to but in, but ... (Below threshold)

Paul, sorry to but in, but we banned CFC's for their ozone depletion factor. When talking about refrigerants, there are two different enviornmental factors needing to be brough up: Ozone depletion, and Global Warming. Oddly enough, the HFC's (R-134a, and the new 'legal' refrigerants) have generally higher global warming factors than some of the HCFC's, even. Here's a list of a few of the different Refrigerants:
Refrigerant: Ozone Deplet: Glob. Warm:
CFC-11 (R-11) 1.00 1.00
CFC-12 (R-12) 1.0 3.20

HCFC-22 (R-22) 0.055 0.3

Heck if you wanted to go nuts, we could talk about the merits of ammonia, which has excellent refrigerating qualities, the only problem is its high toxicity and moderate flammability. Which is why its only used in industrial applications.
HFC-32 (R-32) 0 0.12
HFC-134a (R-134a) 0 0.31

Excellent point, Pink Pig.<... (Below threshold)

Excellent point, Pink Pig.

The computer models used by the Global Warming crowd most definitely do not come close to predicting what is actually being measured.

Peer review is killing this theory.

Apologies for my last parag... (Below threshold)

Apologies for my last paragraph screwing up my table of refrigerants, but basically I was saying that ozone depletion and "global warming" are two different concerns, with different thigns causing each of them. CFC's were banned because they affect the ozone, and as far as I know, nothing has been "banned" because of global warming factors.

(Table taken from Indust... (Below threshold)

(Table taken from Industrial Refrigeratoin Handbook by Wilbert F. Stoecker)

This discussion could use s... (Below threshold)

This discussion could use some facts and I'm currently reading a book "Satanic Gases' which has some. GW is real, although the causes are not really known. Some certainly are not man-made and some probably are. Data exists which shows that by 2099 the warming extent will be about 2 deg. at night in the Winter and 1 deg. during the day in Summer. The warming is not distributed the same by season/time of day. This Winter warming should result in reduced heating costs and fewer hypothermia deaths. Overall soil moisture content will increase slightly. This coupled with higher CO2 will result in increased crop yields. The more even temperature differentials around the globe should result in lessened severe weather - hurricanes, El Ninos, etc. The sea level will probably rise a few inches. Bad for the Maldives not much of a problem for anyone else. Since all of this is from real measured data, and disagrees with the apparently still very immature models of the Chicken little GW 'industry' we now see 'tipping point' arguments. Their arguments seem to be that OK the data doesn't look very bad but just a degree or two of change will somehow tip the environment into a completely new, and very BAD, mode and kill us all. There is no evidence for this.

Accurate temperature data i... (Below threshold)
John S.:

Accurate temperature data in U.S. cities is barely 100 yrs. old. For 99% of the earth's surface, we still don't have any data.

But look at a map. If the worst case came true and the ice caps melted, nearly every blue county on both coasts would be flooded. And the problem is? I think I'll go out and leave my SUV idling in the driveway.

You know krakatoa, It’s har... (Below threshold)

You know krakatoa, It’s hard to lighten up when everybody is attacking you no matter what you do or say.

He sez it’s commentary; he gets slammed right and left for it not being factual complete with citations and references. He tries to write a more factual article; he get’s slammed for not making it a treatise. And all these people that you say know so much more, I don’t see them writing their own refutation of the report – just slamming Paul.

And a lot of the criticism has been unnecessarily personal, for example, the person who wrote, “you are acting like an Ass.”

So, maybe you and others are the ones who need to lighten up. And let's see some articles by the know it alls, so other people can have an equal opportunity ripping it and them personally apart.

Actually, there is temperat... (Below threshold)

Actually, there is temperature data around the world, but for many of the undeveloped countries it is satellite only data. While that is somewhat reliable, it only goes back a couple decades.

For what it's worth, every meteorological computer model is flawed. They can't accurately predict the weather in three days, much less 30 years from now. The guy I rely on for most of my forecasts (Joe Bastardi from Accuweather Pro) uses the models, but then takes them apart for not picking up small things that affect the weather. For hurricanes, every computer model has them going on different paths.

Granted, climate modeling is a different animal than weather modeling. I don't see how they can be accurate either, because they are only as reliable as the data entered into them. That data can be skewed to make the model say anything, so it depends entirely on the viewpoint and bias/lack of bias of the modeler.

Bottom line, I think that GW is a bunch of crap. However, this doesn't mean we don't look for ways to clean the place up a little bit. Let's raise emissions standards and find other sources of fuel. Let's keep the air clean, not because of GW but for health reasons.

OV- "First let me make a sm... (Below threshold)

OV- "First let me make a small point. One reason for the disparity between urban and rural temperature for the same region might have to do with thermal mass. "

hmmm then the delta should be greater during the summer than winter yet the opposite is true. Certainly thermal mass is part of it but the fact people are heating their homes is the bulk of it.

(I'll read your link)

ProphetCat that is a hell of a point. (cities growing)


Tim, I mentioned both the 03 depletion AND the thermal blanket effect. I stressed the measuring of 03 over the thermal blanket effect because that is the one we have numbers for. We have numbers of C02 concentration but we have no wat to correlate that to temp... (Think about this for a second, it might not be clear at first) The thermal blanket stuff is NOT in #2 but #1. (We can measure temp)

So no, I did mention it and I got it correct.

As for your sampling issue, that is assuming even distribution. We (obviously) don't have that. That is why I said "in a single city" go read it for yourself.


Jess, yes word games. Most of what you said is a superset of what I said.

As far as lightNing vs lighting I meant both of them. I typed that part at like 3 am then saved as draft and went to bed. The next morning I did not catch the goof. I should have read something like

Ozone is produced by lighting -- that's what replenished [should be "replenishes"] the ozone layer naturally. [One theory is that as we the earth warms we'll have more freak storm which means less *lighting.* But lightNing also produces Ozone.] hmmmm More storms means... (say it with me....) more lightNing!

So even if we have all these freak storms they will produce more ozone, keeping it in check!

What I'm trying to say is that even if we have more storm we still produce ozone.

Oh and if you think lightNing doesn't produce much ozone. read this.


Hobgoblin: "But you have just ignorantly and arrogantly brushed off two legitimate posters on the chemistry of atmospheric ozone"

Where? point me and just for you, I'll address them.

Mantis: "If you seriously think that a single election is an apt analogy to analysis of global climate over billions of years, you really need to go back to classes, or at least read a book"

Mantis, my analogy is fine. Use a nickel to buy a life. If you talk about elections or coin flips, statistics always uses analogies. You have taken a statistics class, right? right?

Scott... Now THIS is irony. YOU beat be up for discussing the actual global warming debate and not the policy debate... that's funny. Did you notice the name??

My OBLIGATORY Global Warming Myth Busting Post

I called it that because I am addressing GW now because (here's the irony) I got beat up on my last post (discussing policy) for not addressing GW.

I discussed the policy deabate earlier and I got beat up for not discussing GW. Now you beat me up for the reverse!

It just goes to show no matter what I post, one of you will whine. lol

I realize that at times att... (Below threshold)

I realize that at times attacking the messenger rather than the message can be counter-productive, but I thought I'd take a look at the folks who produced this report. Turns out the Center for American Progress bills itself as a "progressive" organization (we all know what that means). Their home page (today) features an article on "Bush's assault on women's rights". This is not some scholarly, or scientific group, it's a left-wing think tank.

Paul --You're joki... (Below threshold)

Paul --

You're joking, right? I said "Lighning [sic] makes ozone, but it's not the main source in the atmosphere" and you respond with "Oh and if you think lightNing doesn't produce much ozone..." Huh?

Look, I'm aware of the research you cited. But unlike you, I also know the difference between the troposphere -- where those measurements were made -- and the stratosphere, where the ozone layer is. I repeat, there is no lightning in the stratosphere, so lightning is not what will replenish ozone depletion.

Also, did you really just call my corrections of scientifically incorrect comments you made a "superset of what [you] said"? Is this the closest you get to admitting you got your facts wrong?

Henry said:"Paul, ... (Below threshold)

Henry said:

"Paul, sorry to but in, but we banned CFC's for their ozone depletion factor."

Geeze Henry That is what I freaking said!

If you are going to contradict me at least say the opposite of what I said!


Never mind, I'm done.

ya'll have fun.

You're joking, right? I ... (Below threshold)

You're joking, right? I said "Lighning [sic] makes ozone, but it's not the main source in the atmosphere" and you respond with "Oh and if you think lightNing doesn't produce much ozone..." Huh?


No you fucking didn't!

or you didn't understand it!

geeze, I've learned my lesson.


EDIT: Ok the show is over. I've learned my lesson for like the 5th time.

No matter what I say someone will whine. I talk about policy and not GW and Bill whines -- so I talk about GW over policy and Scott whines.

Henry corrects me by repeating what I said... What's up with that?

And Jesse, POTENTIALLY one of the smarter people here is so worried about winning a rhetorical debate he leaves his brain in the drawer and says things that if he thought about he would not have said. (multiple times)

This has devolved into nothingness.

I'm done.






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