Patterico's Pontifications

3/28/2014

L.A. Times Once Again Misstates Evidence on Global Warming

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:49 pm

Scott Martelle, writing in the L.A. Times:

Here’s a statistic for you. Out of 10,855 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals last year that dealt with some aspect of global warming, all but two accepted human behavior as the primary cause.

Wow. Over 10,000 articles, all of which “accept” human behavior as the “primary cause” of global warming. Pretty impressive, huh?

Except . . .

Except that Martelle has written a check that his links can’t cash. The links offered by Martelle all relate to some dubious research by a fellow named James Powell, which does not even purport to establish what Martelle claims it does. Powell does not claim that over 10,000 articles “accept” human behavior as the “primary cause” of global warming. Rather, Powell claims — based on a rather odd (as we will see) analysis of 10,000+ articles — that the articles “do not reject” human behavior as the “primary cause” of global warming.

But what if the articles don’t even address the issue? In fact, as we will see, many (perhaps most) of these articles don’t analyze — or even address — whether humans are primarily responsible for global warming. So, although they may not “reject” this premise, they don’t necessarily “accept” it either. They just don’t say a thing about it, one way or the other.

Now, it could be that some of these papers “accept” that global warming exists. It could even be the case that some of them “accept” that humans contribute to it. Powell does not claim this, but it could be the case. Even then, that would not mean they “accept” that humans are a primary cause of global warming. And, again, Powell doesn’t claim they do — merely that they don’t “reject” that claim.

Indeed, this is my own personal position. I do not “accept” the thesis human behavior is the primary cause of global warming. But at the same time, I do not feel qualified to “reject” that thesis either. Like many, a) I accept that global warming exists, b) I accept that humans probably contribute to it, but (and this is important) c) I do not profess to opine as to what is the “primary cause” of global warming.

So the difference between “fail to reject” and “accept” is quite significant indeed. Just because I do not necessarily “reject” your questionable hypothesis does not mean I “accept” it. And if that is true for me, it may be true for thousands of authors of scientific studies.

This becomes painfully evident when you look at Powell’s list of studies, because it quickly becomes clear that many of them have nothing to do with analyzing the “primary cause” of global warming.

Let’s examine Martelle’s proof in more detail.

Martelle links an annual roundup by Powell and an article in Salon summarizing Powell’s findings. Neither link makes any claim that the articles reviewed by Powell “accept” that humans are the primary cause of global warming.

Powell states his methodology here. Basically, he searched a database of peer-reviewed scientific articles for terms like “global warming” or “global climate change.” As you would expect, while this process produces a list of articles that mention global warming, it certainly does not provide a list of articles that analyze whether humans are the “primary cause” of global warming, as opposed to examining other topics. Also, Powell admits that it “does not capture every article on global warming, nor every article that rejects AGW.”

Nevertheless, once he had his group of articles, Powell then performed the following step:

Read some combination of titles, abstracts, and entire papers as necessary to judge whether a paper rejects human-caused global warming or professes to have a better explanation of observations.

He’s not looking to see whether the articles “accept” that proposition. He’s only looking to see if they “reject” it. If they don’t say anything about it, but instead mention global warming only in passing, Powell counts them as another article that does not “reject” the “humans are the primary cause of global warming” thesis.

It’s an important distinction because many of the articles have nothing to do with that issue. Powell’s roundup of articles is here (Excel file). It consists of articles such as “Life Cycle Assessment in Switchgears for Primary Electrical Distribution” (#1234) or “Larval development of the feline lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in Helix aspersa” (#1217) or “Life cycle assessment of a waste lubricant oil management system,” (#1239) or “An investigation into the usability of straight light-pipes in Istanbul” (#142) or “Assessment of weed establishment risk in a changing European climate” (#212).

I have not read all these articles — nor has Powell, as you can see from his methodology above. But based on their titles, they certainly don’t seem to be concerned with whether humans are the primary cause of global warming.

But what if you looked at the articles themselves? Maybe you would find that the author, in the middle of expounding on the larval development of the feline lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in Helix aspersa, included an aside to the effect: “By the way, as we all know, humans are the primary cause of global warming. Now, what was I saying about that larval development again?”

Gaining access to the articles themselves is tough. Most of them are stored on academic databases that charge silly amounts of money to access one article. But my tipster gave me the entire text of one of the articles, so we can look at that one article as an example. It is titled LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT OF LEAD ACID BATTERY. CASE STUDY FOR THAILAND. How does global warming come up in this article? Well, here is the abstract:

Over the past ten years, the automobile manufacturing basis has shifted to Thailand, thus transforming the country into an automobile industrial hub in Asia. An integral part of this industry, lead acid battery manufacturing has exhibited tremendous growth with increasing trends toward new manufacturing technology. This research aimed to study life cycle assessments of lead-acid automobile battery manufactured in Thailand by comparing conventional batteries with calcium-maintenance free batteries. Global warming and acidification are the largest environmental impacts associated with both battery types. Changing from conventional batteries to calcium-maintenance free batteries is able to reduce environmental impact by approximately 28% due to longer usage life and reduced utilization of manufacturing resources and energy. The greenhouse gases and acidification caused by one conventional battery amounted to 102 kg CO2 and 0.94 kg SO2, respectively. These amounts decrease to 72 kg CO2 and 0.56 kg SO2, respectively, when calcium-maintenance free technology is used. Raw material procurement is found to have the greatest environmental impact, followed by product usage. In this study, the information on environmental impact is incorporated with MET matrix principles to propose guidelines for environmental improvement throughout the battery life cycle.

As you might suspect from this abstract, this paper says nothing about whether humans are the “primary cause” of global warming. (If you doubt this, click on the link above and read it for yourself.) As the abstract suggests, the closest the article comes to discussing global warming is when it examines possible environmental impacts of two different types of car batteries. The article does not pretend to assess whether humans are the primary cause of global warming.

Yet the article figures into Powell’s group of articles that “don’t reject” the thesis that man causes global warming.

Well, sure. The Internet is full of blog posts, news articles, and other media that fail to reject that thesis. Or even address it all. That doesn’t mean that they “accept” it.

It is utterly bogus to assert that the study about life cycle assessments of lead-acid automobile battery manufactured in Thailand “accepts” the unproven theory that man is the primary cause of global warming. Thus, we have already proven Martelle incorrect when he says “all but two” studies “accept” that thesis. At a minimum, there are the two identified by Powell which actively reject that thesis, and the car battery study (and likely thousands of others) which don’t indicate acceptance or rejection of the thesis.

Which means Martelle owes readers a correction.

My tipster G.H. (who has tipped me in the past on global warming issues) has already written Martelle demanding a correction. With the publication of this post, I plan to write Martelle and the Readers’ Representative to add my voice to the chorus.

72 Responses to “L.A. Times Once Again Misstates Evidence on Global Warming”

  1. Should be some red faces and elevated temperatures over there at the LAT… should be, but we all know that lefties don’t embarrass easy.

    Colonel Haiku (cd2f41)

  2. The science is settled, deniers!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  3. Did this post make sense? I spent a while writing it today, but now I wonder if I somehow failed to make the point clear.

    Patterico (15551a)

  4. The real question, of course, is:

    Of the papers that attempt to estimate the magnitude of the effect of human behavior on global temperatures, what proportion find the magnitude to be (in some sense) substantial?

    Even if the authors of a paper conduct research on the assumption that human behavior has a substantial effect on global temperatures (or temperature patterns, or whatehaveyou), it doesn’t mean their research vindicates their assumptions.

    The question with regard to the hypothesis that human behavior has a substantial effect on global temperatures (call this hypothesis “H”) is whether the results of an experiment or observation (call this “E”) are likely given that H is true vs. H is false. This is standard Bayesian inference, and I’d be interested to know the proportion of papers that assume H which perform this kind of Bayesian analysis.

    CliveStaples (bfc68d)

  5. The kind of consensus that Martelle, et al., are investigating is: What proportion of scientists involved in areas related to global warming agree that human behavior has a significant (in some sense) effect on global temperatures?

    Maybe there’s one very, very influential paper with tons of citations that most scientists in the field are persuaded by. But maybe there’s a bunch of other studies that failed to reproduce that paper’s claims; Martelle’s statistic would not detect this event.

    Maybe there’s actually a lot of debate (among those climate scientists investigating the effect of human behavior) about methods, data, reproduction, etc. Martelle’s statistic would not detect this.

    Maybe there’s almost no debate (among those climate scientists investigating the effect of human behavior) about methods, data, reproduction, etc., because they’ve done a whole bunch of studies and they’ve all agreed to an amazing degree about the magnitude of the effect of human behavior on global temperatures. Martelle’s statistic would not detect this event.

    CliveStaples (bfc68d)

  6. well we know the base data, the hockey stick, is fraudulent, but this is more in the manner of the
    Bloomberg group that had the Tsarnaev bros, as victims of gun violence,

    narciso (3fec35)

  7. Hey Scott Martelle, here’s a statistic for you. Taking two hours minimum to read 10,855 science papers would take you 10.4 years at 40 hours per week.

    Perfectsense (4d5c72)

  8. Your point is quite clear, and Martelle is an obvious fraud, as is Powell (if it is fair to call such a deluded idiot a fraud).

    But the LAT rejected accuracy years ago. It’s so 20th Century.

    Estragon (ada867)

  9. Patterico, now you see how the “consensus” is created. By fraud.

    SPQR (768505)

  10. My personal opinion is that virtually all “studies” confirming human involvement causing global warming rank just below the denial of the Holocaust on the veracity scale.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  11. Hell, between 1950 and 2000, global warming clearly did exist. Temps were going up. So was CO2. So, of course it made sense to connect the two. Never mind that during the same interval the solar cycle was at historical maximums as well. Now it isn’t.

    So, one could say that man/CO2 could be the primary cause of global warming. One could probably not say that that man/CO2 was not the primary cause of global warming. But there are other factors and ignoring them is NOT SCIENCE. It’s dogma, and dogma has no place in science.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  12. When they tell lies (or distort the facts) to back their claims, then you know the “Science” isn’t settled.

    jakee308 (f1b953)

  13. 100% of all people asked, acknowledge me as their Maximum Leader and Spiritual Guide to the New Millennium.

    Yes, indeedy do.

    jakee308 (f1b953)

  14. Since Mark Twain made a famous notation about stuff like this, this sort of shenanigans has existed for quite a long time.

    Almost a hallmark of the con man.

    jakee308 (f1b953)

  15. Lefties don’t embarrass because they don’t admit error.

    jakee308 (f1b953)

  16. Not sure why anyone would think that “global warming” is an issue, particularly with this last winter and the fact that global temperatures have been steady or declining for about a decade. In fact, the issue has been transformed into “climate change” by the deep thinkers in the dogma study groups. The sun is the big deal, and it has been unexpectedly quiet for some time now. My guess is that we are more likely to experience another cold spell than to see more warming. Oh, and by the way, 20,000 years ago most of North America was just emerging from a sheet of ice that at one time or another was about a mile thick over New York. I’ve read that you can see the scars etched in the rocks in Central Park by the passage of the glaciers. The continents are still rebounding from the removal of all that weight.

    And I hear L. A. has been hit with some earthquakes this morning. I hope that settles down. Nature is a bitch. She just wiped out a couple of hundred people in a huge mud slide up here in the Puget Sound region. In the past, the solution was to throw a few virgins into the volcano. Our political establishment hasn’t demonstrated any significant evolution since those days. It’s all about exploiting emotions. It’s just a lot harder to find the virgins these days.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  17. I don’t care if AGW is real. The mother of my child was just doing some neuroscience stuff in a children’s hospital in Cameroon. The poverty there is unimaginable to Westerners. And Cameroon is one of the more “advanced” of the African countries. They need industry, and mining, and intensive farming to even bring their population above malnutrition level. And half the world is that way. And to have people like Prince Charles, and Al Gore, and Tim Cook tell them that they should not have those things because it’s melting the North Pole …. Prince Charles with his palaces; Tim Cook with his internet browsing devices built in China’s soft-coal factories; Al Gore just “blech” for him. They can just bite me.

    nk (dbc370)

  18. Wow. Global Warmism consensus. The kind of consensus that hasn’t been seen since Lysenkoism was in vogue in the Soviet Union. It was considered so correct no other theory was allowed to be taught. And that consensus existed for much the same reason.

    Except in this case…

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html#General

    1350+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skeptic Arguments Against ACC/AGW Alarm

    …read ‘em and weep, Global Warming Lysenkoists!

    Bonus addendum!

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/03/20/American-Physical-Society-Sees-The-Light-Will-It-Be-The-First-Major-Scientific-Institution-To-Reject-The-Global-Warming-Consensus

    American Physical Society Sees The Light: Will It Be The First Major Scientific Institution To Reject The Global Warming ‘Consensus’?

    The American Physical Society (APS) has signalled a dramatic turnabout in its position on “climate change” by appointing three notorious climate skeptics to its panel on public affairs (POPA).

    They are:

    Professor Richard Lindzen, formerly Alfred P Sloan Professor of Meteorology at Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a highly regarded physicist who once described climate change alarmism on The Larry King Show as “mainly just like little kids locking themselves in dark closets to see how much they can scare each other and themselves.”

    John Christy, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, who has written: “I’m sure the majority (but not all) of my IPCC colleagues cringe when I say this, but I see neither the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for most of the warming we see.”

    Judith Curry, Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, a former Warmist (and still a self-described “luke warmer”) who has infuriated many of her more extremist colleagues by defending skeptics and by testifying to the US House Subcommittee on the Environment that the uncertainties in forecasting climate science are much greater than the alarmists will admit.

    Super bonus addendum!

    http://www.amharicmovies.com/mobile/mobile/news/world-news/9683-uk-professor-refuses-to-put-his-name-to-apocalyptic-un-climate-change-survey.html

    A climate scientist has accused the United Nations of being too alarmist over global warming – and demanded his name be removed from a crucial new report.

    Professor Richard Tol, an economist at the University of Sussex, said fellow UN academics were exaggerating climate change and comparing it to the ‘apocalypse’.

    His comments are a blow to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which on Monday will publish its first update in seven years on the impacts of climate change.

    …Prof Tol, the lead co-ordinating author of the report’s chapter on economics, was involved in drafting the summary for policymakers – the key document that goes to governments and scientists. But he has now asked for his name to be removed from the document.

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  19. Despite their smug assumptions that they are the Party of Science, I’ve never actually met a Democrat that was much of a deeply scientific thinker. The vast majority of them simply equate global warming with AGW and go on from there.

    From that perspective, any article that assumes global warming must by definition be assuming AGW.

    QED.

    Idiots.

    Pious Agnostic (ac89e5)

  20. Man-caused Global Warming is every bit as valid as Obama’s Birth Certificate, or Hillary’s cattle bellies, or Susan Rice’s Benghazi fantasies, or Lois Lerner’s integrity, or Harry Reid’s memory.

    Or, protecting the borders, or shovel-ready jobs, or keeping your doctor, or snooping into your email, recording your telephone calls, buying tens of millions of hollow point bullets.

    ropelight (0db9a9)

  21. Like many, a) I accept that global warming exists, b) I accept that humans probably contribute to it,

    Patterico, then you’re way less of a skeptic than I am.

    Although I’m a novice in meteorology, I at least know that high (or above average) temperatures are caused by what’s known as high-pressure zones, or the “H” that one sees on a weather chart. Since I dislike hot weather, I’ve long been aware of that aspect of climate. Yet in all the years that people have been yakking away about global warming, I’ve never heard anyone of them mention the way that CO2 affects (or doesn’t affect) those ridges of high pressure. If anything, I come across things like this…

    Forbes.com, July 2013: Expert witnesses called by Sen. Barbara Boxer to testify during Senate Environment and Public Works hearings yesterday contradicted a key assertion made by President Barack Obama on climate change.

    Speaking at a Democratic fundraiser less than a month before directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to impose costly new restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions, Obama said, “we also know that the climate is warming faster than anybody anticipated five or 10 years ago. I don’t have much patience for people who deny climate change,” Obama added.

    However, climate scientists including United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lead author Hans von Storch report temperatures have remained essentially flat for the past 10 years, and indeed for the past 15 years. Storch told Der Spiegel that 98 percent of IPCC climate models cannot replicate the prolonged pause in global warming, and IPCC may need to revise its computer models to correct their apparent warming bias.

    During yesterday’s Environment and Public Works hearings, Sen. David Vitter asked a panel of experts, including experts selected by Boxer, “Can any witnesses say they agree with Obama’s statement that warming has accelerated during the past 10 years?”

    For several seconds, nobody said a word. Sitting just a few rows behind the expert witnesses, I thought I might have heard a few crickets chirping, but I couldn’t tell for sure. We’ll give Obama the benefit of the doubt and count the crickets in the “maybe” camp.

    After several seconds of deafening silence, global warming activist Heidi Cullen, who formerly served as a meteorologist for the Weather Channel, attempted to change the subject. Cullen said our focus should be on longer time periods rather than the 10-year period mentioned by Obama. When pressed, however, she contradicted Obama’s central assertion and said warming has slowed, not accelerated.

    ^ The people most passionate about the perils of global warming remind me of all the nitwits (certainly in government) who continue to believe that Daylight Saving Time actually saves energy, actually means the sun sets later in the evening (ignoring what’s known as the summer solstice), and doesn’t negatively impact people’s health (and, yep, surveys have shown that people aren’t any less likely to be couch potatoes when there’s more sunlight at the end of the workday).

    There was an Age of Stupid back when many people believed the Earth was flat. Today, we’re experiencing another Age of Stupid.

    Mark (12c2a8)

  22. http://freebeacon.com/columns/gas-attack/

    Some lies just won’t go away. In February the Washington Post published an article with the following headline: “Why There’s No Democratic Version of the Koch Brothers’ Organization.” It was the umpteenth attempt to explain, in a particularly simplistic manner, how the millionaires and billionaires who donate money to the Democratic Party are nothing, absolutely nothing, like those meanie cancer research philanthropists Charles and David Koch.

    The author, Reid Wilson, interviewed “Democratic strategists who deal frequently with high-dollar donors,” and these Democratic strategists told him, strategically, that their high-dollar donors are better than Republican ones. “For the Koch brothers, electing the right candidate can mean a financial windfall,” Wilson wrote. “Democratic donors revolve more around social issues.” On the one hand you have petty, greedy rich men, and on the other you have committed liberals willing to sacrifice for causes they believe in. The morality play writes itself.

    “Their billionaires” aren’t better than our billionaires. Global warming was invented to make it look that way. One reason among many. But an important one.

    The Koch brothers never pretended to be in the business of saving the world. The world doesn’t need saving. It needs energy.

    Their billionaires need to be in the gub’mint subsidized business of saving the world. While pretending to provide the energy, oh by the way, it also needs.

    Solyndra, anyone?

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  23. I hate the fact elissa has taken such a dislike to me.

    elissa, I’m not dominated by some need to be right. I just wish I could break the arm of the thing that keeps forcing a tongue depressor down my throat causing the gag reflex.

    Obama’s “green energy” plan is a money laundering job. Pure and simple. To tax people who aren’t his base to fund his cronies who are his base. Which will in turn fund his type of leftist.

    This is a battle for our souls.

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  24. “Like many, a) I accept that global warming exists, b) I accept that humans probably contribute to it”.

    Wish I could agree with you Patterico, but I can’t. I can accept the climate change exists because over thousands of years it’s been shown to do so. And the climate changed all the time even before humans, ask the dinosaurs. Now if you mean “humans probably contribute to it” in the same sense that butterflies, dogs, swamps and anaconda’s do then I agree. Everything in the ecosystem to one degree or another “contributes”. However, if you believe man contributes to such a degree that all future progress must be curtailed in deference to mother Gaia, I’m out.

    One thing I notice when they talk AGW they always point at the US as if we are somehow polluting more than Nepal, India, China and every other crap hole on earth. Who on this planet spends more on so called “green energy” or on ridiculous “green initiatives” than we? Where would you rather drink the tap water, here or in Venezuela?

    Hoagie (511e55)

  25. The Little Ice Age ended about 1850 after affecting the earth since 1300 or so. The Maunder Minimum was present from 1645 to 1715, the peak of the little ice age.

    The Medieval Warm Period preceded the little ice age. Greenland was amenable to farming. Note the NOAA graph that still contains the discredited “Hockey Stick” of Michael Mann.

    The Holocene Epoch is the period in which we live. Why did the ice ages stop ?

    Since then, there have been small-scale climate shifts — notably the “Little Ice Age” between about 1200 and 1700 A.D. — but in general, the Holocene has been a relatively warm period in between ice ages.

    The UC Berkley site regurgitates the usual guff about global warming but the fact is that we would not be alive if the Holocene Epoch had not begun and warmed the planet. Let’s hope it isn’t ending. That is a far more important topic.

    This is useful to see the effect of climate on humans.

    MikeK (cd7278)

  26. If more people had the ability to understand the college level math required for engineering and science majors, there would be far fewer English and Journalism majors, let alone any major with the word, “studies” in it.

    anchovy (16257f)

  27. I’ve been convinced. Now I believe in Global Warming.

    When I die bury me at sea.

    So I can rise again.

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  28. It’s an interesting point anchovy, but everyone can’t be an engineer or scientist. We just don’t need that many. On the other hand we don’t need ANY person with “studies” in their degree.

    If one is not studying a profession, and I don’t mean the profession of lay-about with a degree in modern dance, black studies or such nonsense, then one should be in a business associated study, the military or be a farmer. But contribute something of worth or starve. After all, if you’re really a no good, stupid buffoon you can always go into “government service”.

    Hoagie (511e55)

  29. It doesn’t require that much math, but it does require the proper mindset, such as an unearned arrogance in our capability to affect the weather,

    Anyone who has seen a hurricane, a tsunami would be more humble,

    narciso (3fec35)

  30. Coincidentally and amusingly, the following was just posted to the drudgereport.com.

    news.yahoo.com, Reuters: Switching over to daylight saving time, and losing one hour of sleep, raised the risk of having a heart attack the following Monday by 25 percent, compared to other Mondays during the year, according to a new U.S. study released on Saturday.

    By contrast, heart attack risk fell 21 percent later in the year, on the Tuesday after the clock was returned to standard time, and people got an extra hour’s sleep.

    A link between lack of sleep and heart attacks has been seen in previous studies. But [cardiologist Dr. Amneet] Sandhu said experts still don’t have a clear understanding of why people are so sensitive to sleep-wake cycles.

    The clock typically moves ahead in the spring, so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less, and returns to standard time in the fall. Daylight saving time was widely adopted during World War I to save energy, but some critics have questioned whether it really does so and whether it is still needed.

    The reality of today is amusing because the same government that deems global warming is a threat to our well-being, and that human health is so crucial (hey, Michelle Obama!), and that healthcare is so important (hey, Obamacare!), is also the same government that is responsible for the dumbness of Daylight Saving Time.

    And so we should rely upon our supposed betters in government (or elsewhere, including in the field of meteorology) to know which end is up?!

    Nope, not when we live in the Age of Stupid.

    Mark (12c2a8)

  31. Anyone who has seen a hurricane, a tsunami would be more humble,

    Exactly and that is why I was always suspicious of the AGW people, long before the skeptics showed the fallacy at the heart of the scam.

    MikeK (cd7278)

  32. I liked the cow flatulence theory of some years ago. Because I figured that also explained how dinosaurs became extinct. There were so many of them and farted so much that they caused the climate change that killed them off. What happened to that theory, anyway?

    nk (dbc370)

  33. Hey!! What’s with this AGW s**t?

    If it wasn’t for me you would be on a frozen rock flying through space with no destination in mind.

    To quote Kojak: “Who loves ya baby?”

    I get no respect.

    Just wait until I finish growing and engulf you; then you’ll see.

    The Sun (8c018c)

  34. Wish I could agree with you Patterico, but I can’t. I can accept the climate change exists because over thousands of years it’s been shown to do so. And the climate changed all the time even before humans, ask the dinosaurs. Now if you mean “humans probably contribute to it” in the same sense that butterflies, dogs, swamps and anaconda’s do then I agree. Everything in the ecosystem to one degree or another “contributes”. However, if you believe man contributes to such a degree that all future progress must be curtailed in deference to mother Gaia, I’m out.

    You quoted a and b but not c.

    Patterico (15551a)

  35. Patterico, I’m not sure it matters whether human contributions are a “primary cause”.

    My sense – which is drawn on a cursory reading of the scientific literature combined with my pre-existing conceptions of how complex systems change – is that it’s a threshold effect: warming beyond quantity [x] will cause systemic self-reinforcing changes, while warming below quantity [x] won’t.

    If that model is true, who cares whether human contributions are a primary cause of the warming? What matters is (a) are human contributions substantial, and (b) are human contributions large enough that, without them, we wouldn’t cross the threshold?

    aphrael (5cffd4)

  36. It does matter, because it directly affects policy,
    climate has fluctuated over tens of thousands of years,

    this is being used to suppress energy development, to make economic growth that much harder, to create ‘the new normal;

    narciso (3fec35)

  37. But contribute something of worth or starve

    Wealth, for the most part, is created by growing a crop of some sort (whether animal or vegetable), accessing natural resources from the earth or sea, and manufacturing/building goods from those natural resources.
    Everything else is just a periphery that allows a higher use of the foregoing.
    Government is essentially a parasite that drains resources from the economy.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  38. 32-
    A Seaman’s Prayer:

    ‘Oh God thy sea is so great and my boat is so small’

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  39. We’re on a slippery slope here. Your initial statement, Patterico, clearly said “global warming”, and now it’s transmuted to “climate change”. The global warming thing is pretty much dead. All the terrifying predictions from the 1990′s for the apocalypse that would confront us in 2013 or 2014 are demonstrably wrong. The temperature did not rise 1 degree C, it dropped. So now we are supposed to say the issue is “climate change”, which is absolutely meaningless in any operative sense. Of course climate “changes”, so what’s the issue. The issue turns out to be centralized control of our lives. In fact, NASA has dropped all pretense of scientific competence, and is now embarked on science fiction speculation about income distribution and the fall of western civilization.

    This whole thing is driven by the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, but the only real consequence of this increase is that on very cold days in Siberia (in the middle of winter) when there is no moisture in the air, no clouds, just radiational cooling, the minimum temperature may drop only to -39C not -40C.

    We have a lovely view of a cove in Puget Sound, and on very cold mornings, say -4C, it is fascinating to watch the mist rise from the sea and drift along the surface of the water. That water vapor in the lower boundary layer will have more “green house” insulation than all the CO2 in the air above it. If this seems unrealistic, think of how warm it can be when there are clouds at night, versus nights with clear air when all the stars shine brightly. If our lefty comrades would spend a little time experiencing nature instead or pretending to control it, they would know that water vapor and clouds are the big insulators (and paradoxically the big reflectors) and would be embarrased by their advocacy, if they were capable of embarassment, let alone shame. This focus on climate change is all so bogus it boggles the mind.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  40. Comment by aphrael (5cffd4) — 3/29/2014 @ 10:11 am

    But, the models have no way to factor in atmospheric changes (because they are too complex to model) that would result from higher temperatures such as increased cloud cover (causing a general cooling), increased rainfall (possibly causing cooling), and an increase of tillable land in northern latitudes from warming (Hello, Greenland!).
    And, they do not explain what caused the increased temperatures prior to industrialization (Medieval Warm Period), or Mankind (the Age of the Dinosaurs).
    In fact, as more and more “climate scientists” are forced to admit, the data from the last one-hundred years cannot reliably predict the climate today; so how can “today’s” data predict what will happen in the remaining years of this century?
    It – from the fears of a new Ice Age, to the Ozone Hole, and then AGW – has all been a scientific/political scam for funding so that marginal “scientists” would not have to find employment in private industry “…where they expect results!”

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  41. bob, in my two years in Alaska, they one thing we hated in the winter was a prediction of high atmospheric pressure and the accompanying clear skies.
    Yes, we could get a good view of the stars, and the Northern Lights (if active), but that high pressure meant that we would be getting a dump of cold air from the upper Troposphere and lower Stratosphere.
    It could get very chilly.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  42. the one thing we hated in the winter was a prediction of high atmospheric pressure and the accompanying clear skies…. It could get very chilly.

    Meanwhile, in southern California, high pressure in the atmosphere has always been like mother nature’s bad bread to me, because an “H” invariably means hot, sweaty weather, often even more brownness and drought, and, worse of all, frequently more smog than normal.

    If CO2 causes or exacerbates zones of high pressure, then, yes, by all means let’s tax everyone out of house and home and give to businesses like Solyndra.

    Another thing: Think of how the medical community and related group of nutritionists — running parallel with the food industry — for decades were wringing their hands over fat!, fat!, fat! Bemoaning that as either a detriment to one’s health or, certainly, as a major factor behind obesity. Yet in all that time, during all those years, those same experts (and the flunkies that hover around them) said nothing, or very little, about sugar or carbohydrates.

    Consider that the human body is a bit smaller than the planet’s atmosphere and presumably can be scrutinized a bit easier than all the huge stuff that surrounds this planet. But we as a society still lived through many years of “LOW FAT!” or “NON-FAT!,” while saying or doing nothing about all the sugar loaded (and still loaded today) into most foods—much less raising a ruckus about things like fake sugars and high fructose corn syrup.

    We is stupid.

    Mark (12c2a8)

  43. “Like many, a) I accept that global warming exists,

    I do not accept this basic premise.

    JD (f49f7c)

  44. The planet did not warm over the past 15 years because the heat is hiding in the deep oceans. Everybody missed it sneaking down there. Now the secret is out. Ask any reputable, non-denialist, scientist.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  45. I have a global warming puzzle if anyone cares, and it goes like this:

    If you look at multiple global warming temperature graphs, you can often notice that the beginning of the chart on the screen is 1900 but the data points only start in 1906. And if there are data points before 1906, they are usually in a different color.

    Why? What happened in 1905 that makes the graphs all begin in 1906?

    (Google may help, but it won’t get you the answer straight away.)

    luagha (1de9ec)

  46. LA Times is fake but accurate.

    Al Gore’s 2007 Nobel acceptance speech containing this gem:

    Last September 21, as the Northern Hemisphere tilted away from the sun, scientists reported with unprecedented distress that the North Polar ice cap is “falling off a cliff.” One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study, to be presented by U.S. Navy researchers later this week, warns it could happen in as little as 7 years.

    Seven years from now.

    Okay there Mr. Gore and here we are those 7 years later and with an equal if not greater degree of unrecedented distress I see there are 5.58 million square miles of arctic ice.
    Arctic sea ice news

    The site I linked has sea ice declining 3% decade over decade which should have us totally ice free in 22 or so years… so mark your calendars and save ahead for that Viking archeology tour of Greenland.
    Interestingly, we should be 1/3 of the way to ice free right now if Gore’s speech was accurate, but according to Ice News, the 22 years got a reset button… I’ll bet it gets another reset button in 2021

    steveg (794291)

  47. I made a big error… that is what I get for mocking science when I don’t even understand the difference between “decade over decade” vs “year over year”

    steveg (794291)

  48. ==I hate the fact elissa has taken such a dislike to me.
    elissa, I’m not dominated by some need to be right. I just wish I could break the arm of the thing that keeps forcing a tongue depressor down my throat causing the gag reflex.
    Obama’s “green energy” plan is a money laundering job. Pure and simple. To tax people who aren’t his base to fund his cronies who are his base. Which will in turn fund his type of leftist.
    This is a battle for our souls.
    Comment by Steve57 (a017ec) — 3/29/2014 @ 7:55 am==

    And if, in fact, I have “taken a disliking” to you–which I have not, as I will explain in a minute –this dishonest post of yours attacking “addressing” me would surely give me good reason.

    You inexplicably brought up my name as if you were refuting something I’d just said. Of course, I had neither read nor even posted on this thread yet. You seemed to want to leave the impression that I support global warming initiatives and that you were compelled to call me out whether I liked it or not. Your bringing my name into the discussion when I was not even present is just bizarre. And of course your implied assertion that I’ve been convinced by the AGW fraudsters or that I support Obama’s green energy money laundering is a lie pure and simple. How did you even come up with that? And did you think I’d let you get away with it? I dare you to do a multi-year search of this site to find any occasion where I have taken the position you appear to want to tar me with. A tip, though, Steve57 you’ll be wasting your time. You won’t find any because there aren’t any.

    No, I have not taken a disliking to you. It is more a case of my feeling sorry for you for your neediness–for your eternal self focus, for your obvious attempts to dominate threads with your singular wisdom, and especially for your seeming need to falsely interpret and diminish others’ opinions in order to justify your own lengthy screeds.

    elissa (aa6b49)

  49. nk@18 Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

    elissa (aa6b49)

  50. don’t ever forget
    They say fittest shall survive
    yet unfit may live

    Colonel Haiku (46391f)

  51. #42, aSceptic, And I’ll bet a lot of ozone-depleted air came down in that drainage. Since the upper atmosphere in the high latitudes of the northern hemisphere doesn’t get any sunlight in the winter, the production of ozone stops. The same thing happens over the antartic in their winter, only on steroids since there is a very high mountain range over the southern pole, and the cold land mass enhances the drainage. This vertical convection complicates the ozone “hole” problem. Conversely, I think LA gets a load of ozone-ladden air when the Santana’s blow over the San Gabriels due to the high pressure in the high desert that is driving the phenomena.

    Curiously, the wonderous “climate models” do not handle such vertical transports very well, if at all. Many use artificial diffusion coefficents if memory serves.

    bobathome (ddfe1d)

  52. L A Times “brings it”
    Propaganda to masses
    Oh, please make it stop

    elissa (aa6b49)

  53. 49. … I will explain in a minute –this dishonest post of yours attacking “addressing” me would surely give me good reason.

    …No, I have not taken a disliking to you. It is more a case of my feeling sorry for you for your neediness–for your eternal self focus, for your obvious attempts to dominate threads with your singular wisdom, and especially for your seeming need to falsely interpret and diminish others’ opinions in order to justify your own lengthy screeds.

    Comment by elissa (aa6b49) — 3/29/2014 @ 12:29 pm

    I am perhaps in need of psychoanalysis. Still I must ask, in pursuit of the issue I raised, where is the evidence of Obama’s political skill?

    In prior eras great politicians like FDR (whom I dislike) demonstrated their political skill by wheeling and dealing withe the likes of Churchill and Stalin.

    Or Reagan with his “bring down this wall” coalition of JPII and Maggie. That was an example of political skill.

    Obama, it seems to me, is just a campagner. A “Milli Vanilli” front man for a good vote getting machine. But unlike a good politician, he collapses and deflates between campaigns. Mr. “I won” has no skills to put deals together here or abroad. Good politicians of previous eras (errors?) could. This guy can’t.

    I’m open to evidence I’m wrong. Where is it? Can somebody point to it? I’m just drawing a distinction. I think Barack Obama is a good candidate. I think Barack Obama himself thinks he’s a good candidate, which is why he’s acted like one since 2008.

    He won. You’re right. In 2008 and 2012. Good candidate Obama won.

    But where’s the evidence good candidate, perpetual candidate, Obama is a good politician?

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  54. U B on the wrong thread, Stevo. This one’s about global warming. Remember?

    elissa (aa6b49)

  55. No there isn’t his signature effort was the non proliferation treaty, ask the Ukrainians, how that worked out, some deal about whistleblowers, ok I stopped laughing now, and something about the Congo,

    narciso (3fec35)

  56. 56. U B on the wrong thread, Stevo. This one’s about global warming. Remember?

    Comment by elissa (aa6b49) — 3/29/2014 @ 5:29 pm

    Thanks for the heads up. Sorry. Had phone call. It was my mom. Lost track. So, on which thread were you berating me about my neediness? Cuz I think my observations about Obama are so important they should be #zillionth and three where no one will ever see it. So I want to make sure it gets to the right place.

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  57. 52-
    L.A. does not need to “import” O3, we make a sufficient supply all by ourselves.
    And, when it gets all “Santa Ana’y” here, it’s usually because a High is parked over Utah or Central Nevada, forcing air down to the coolness of the Pacific, and warming as it gets compressed through those mountain passes and canyons.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  58. ==So, on which thread were you berating me about my neediness?==

    I was making that observation on this one–the global warming thread– after you imputed a position to me that I do not have, and under circumstances where I had not even commented on the thread yet–and after you bemoaned that I had “taken a dislike to you”.

    I’m sorry if you have trouble keeping your threads and pontifications straight, but that’s not my problem. Actually reading people’s comments and considering them before responding is generally considered good blog form.

    elissa (aa6b49)

  59. I’m sorry if you missed it, elissa, but I hadn’t lost track. I was trying to say in a joking manner that it wasn’t worthwhile to pursue the matter further.

    With that, I wish you and everyone else a good Sunday morning.

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  60. Somebody please tell me this is a spoof article: http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/28/white-house-looks-to-regulate-cow-flatulence-as-part-of-climate-agenda/#ixzz2xHqYITaT

    How can you mend a broken fence?
    How do you keep the hay from falling down?
    How can you keep a cow from farting?
    Why do we dig our wells round?
    – The Farmer’s Lament

    nk (dbc370)

  61. 63. …Why do we dig our wells round?
    – The Farmer’s Lament

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 3/30/2014 @ 6:28 am

    You can’t dig a well there you wetland violator you!

    Sincerely, the EPA Clean Water Division.

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  62. If it’s a joke it’s been being set up for a while, nk. Unfortunately. Flatulence has been on “their” radar screen as a cause of warming at least since 2012.

    A new study suggests that dinosaurs may have helped keep an already overheated world warmer with their flatulence and burps 200 million years ago.

    The research published Monday in Current Biology suggests that large dinosaurs made a significant contribution to the greenhouse effect back then. Study author David Wilkinson of Liverpool John Moores University in England estimated that about 570 million tons of methane came from dinosaurs. That’s similar to total atmospheric levels of methane today produced by livestock, farming and industry. Cows alone now produce nearly 100 tons a year of methane.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/dinosaur-farts-burps-contributed-warming-earth-killing-article-1.1073968

    elissa (aa6b49)

  63. Teh Dinosaurs didn’t have an EPA to put a stop to that $@hi**.

    See? See? Big gub’mint ain’t so bad, ya dumb conservatives!

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  64. I swear, elissa, when I made that joke about the dinosaurs yesterday I thought I was making it up. There’s nothing so ridiculous that a “scientist” hasn’t received a grant for it, I guess.

    nk (dbc370)

  65. MikeK @26: Thanks for the information. The Bradshaw Foundation site is fabulous. Makes you wonder why we need to publicly support the Smithsonian. Except, of course, for all the great gear they’ve collected for the air and space museum … which I haven’t seen since about 1972!

    bobathome (ddfe1d)

  66. And, when it gets all “Santa Ana’y” here, it’s usually because a High is parked over Utah or Central Nevada, forcing air down to the coolness of the Pacific, and warming as it gets compressed through those mountain passes and canyons.

    I’m still waiting for the global warming alarmists, particularly in the research community, to mention how high pressure zones are affected by CO2. I ask that seriously too. For example, since areas of high pressure are known as containing a heavier amount of atmosphere, do extra doses of man-made CO2 make such floating gaseous masses more prolific than they’d otherwise be?

    Since I dislike hot weather and hate drought conditions, I’ve long treated a hovering “H” in the atmosphere as Earth’s own version of a big fart. In turn, I’m amused when people like John McCain — no fan of anti-AGW skeptics and cynics — lives (and can survive) in a sweat-box place like Arizona.

    Mark (12c2a8)

  67. @Patterico @ 3
    Nonsense, lacking internal consistency, resists pithy summarization.

    The tally of warmists available to be reasoned out of their dogmas is probably quite small; their representation here, smaller. Your effort to do so is magnificent but quixotic. Love ya anyway.

    phunctor (cf242c)

  68. Comment by nk (dbc370) — 3/30/2014 @ 6:28 am

    Just saw this, great!

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  69. WHY THERE IS GLOBAL WARMING

    People in the USA, are being told by the U.S. government and media that global warming is man-made. If that is true, how can the government and media explain the high temperatures the earth has experienced in past years when there were far fewer people? Let us look back in the world’s history: for example, between roughly 900AD and 1350AD the temperatures were much higher than now. And, back then there were fewer people, no cars, no electric utilities, and no factories, etc. So what caused the earth’s heat? Could it be a natural occurrence? The temperature graph at the bottom of this article shows the temperatures of the earth before Christ to 2040.

    In the book THE DISCOVERERS published in February 1985 by Daniel J. Boorstin, beginning in chapter 28, it goes into detail about Eric the Red, the father of Lief Ericsson, and how he discovered an island covered in green grass.

    In approximately 983AD, Eric the Red committed murder, and was banished from Iceland for three years. Eric the Red sailed 500 miles west from Iceland and discovered an island covered in GREEN grass, which he named Greenland. Greenland reminded Eric the Red of his native Norway because of the grass, game animals, and a sea full of fish. Even the air provided a harvest of birds. Eric the Red and his crew started laying out sites for farms and homesteads, as there was no sign of earlier human habitation.

    When his banishment expired, Eric the Red returned to congested Iceland to gather Viking settlers. In 986, Eric the Red set sail with an emigrant fleet of twenty-five ships carrying men, women, and domestic animals. Unfortunately, only fourteen ships survived the stormy passage, which carried about four-hundred-fifty immigrants plus the farm animals. The immigrants settled on the southern-west tip and up the western coast of Greenland.

    After the year 1200AD, the Earth’s and Greenland’s climate grew colder; ice started building up on the southern tip of Greenland. Before the end of 1300AD, the Viking settlements were just a memory. You can find the above by searching Google. One link is:

    http://www.greenland.com/en/about-greenland/kultur-sjael/historie/vikingetiden/erik-den-roede.aspx

    The following quote you can also read about why there is global warming. This is from the book EINSTEIN’S UNIVERSE, Page 63, written by Nigel Calder in 1972, and updated in 1982.

    “The reckoning of planetary motions is a venerable science. Nowadays it tells us, for example, how gravity causes the ice to advance or retreat on the Earth during the ice ages. The gravity of the Moon and (to a lesser extent) of the Sun makes the Earth’s axis swivel around like a tilted spinning top. Other planets of the Solar System, especially Jupiter, Mars and Venus, influence the Earth’s tilt and the shape of its orbit, in a more-or-less cyclic fashion, with significant effects on the intensity of sunshine falling on different regions of the Earth during the various seasons. Every so often a fortunate attitude and orbit of the Earth combine to drench the ice sheets in sunshine as at the end of the most recent ice age, about ten thousand years ago. But now our relatively benign interglacial is coming to an end, as gravity continues to toy with our planet.”

    The above points out that the universe is too huge and the earth is too small for the earth’s population to have any effect on the earth’s temperature. The earth’s temperature is a function of the sun’s temperature and the effects from the many massive planets in the universe, i.e., “The gravity of the Moon and (to a lesser extent) of the Sun makes the Earth’s axis swivel around like a tilted spinning top. Other planets of the Solar System, especially Jupiter, Mars and Venus, influence the Earth’s tilt and the shape of its orbit, in a more-or-less cyclic fashion, with significant effects on the intensity of sunshine falling on different regions of the Earth during the various seasons.”

    Read below about carbon dioxide, which we need in order to exist. You can find the article below at:

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/ice_ages.html.

    FUN FACTS about CARBON DIOXIDE.

    Of the 186 billion tons of carbon from CO2 that enter earth’s atmosphere each year from all sources, only 6 billion tons are from human activity. Approximately 90 billion tons come from biologic activity in earth’s oceans and another 90 billion tons from such sources as volcanoes and decaying land plants.

    At 380 parts per million CO2 is a minor constituent of earth’s atmosphere–less than 4/100ths of 1% of all gases present. Compared to former geologic times, earth’s current atmosphere is CO2- impoverished.

    CO2 is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Plants absorb CO2 and emit oxygen as a waste product. Humans and animals breathe oxygen and emit CO2 as a waste product. Carbon dioxide is a nutrient, not a pollutant, and all life– plants and animals alike– benefit from more of it. All life on earth is carbon-based and CO2 is an essential ingredient. When plant-growers want to stimulate plant growth, they introduce more carbon dioxide.

    CO2 that goes into the atmosphere does not stay there, but continuously recycled by terrestrial plant life and earth’s oceans– the great retirement home for most terrestrial carbon dioxide.

    If we are in a global warming crisis today, even the most aggressive and costly proposals for limiting industrial carbon dioxide emissions and all other government proposals and taxes would have a negligible effect on global climate!

    The government is lying, trying to use global warming to limit, and tax its citizens through “cap and trade” and other tax schemes for the government’s benefit. We, the people cannot allow this to happen.

    If the Earth’s temperature graph is not shown above, you can see this temperature graph at the link:
    http://www.longrangeweather.com/global_temperatures.htm

    Harold Faulkner (f2c5fa)


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