cuts through the Green Hype!

Via Henry Schliff
on Dec 27, 2008
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Waylon’s recent post on the Global Warming Rug caught my attention…and got me seething (the rug, not Waylon). There is so much BS out there about going green, that I finally want to say, I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE! I know, I know, it’s about movement, progression, awareness, etc. But for those of you that want some good solid talk on climate change, who want to do better than buy a conventionally-dyed high-priced rug made half a world away, go check out, a web site/blog run by scientists. This is their shtick:

RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science.

No-nonsense, no hype. To top it off I’m making a New Year’s resolution right now. To read up every week and educate myself on the issues of climate change. I mean, this is the single most devastating event (or chain of events or chain of human behavior) to ever set foot upon the planetary stage in humanity’s history…and what do the majority of us really know about it, or what we can do to slow it down? This is the challenge people, let’s get on it and start educating ourselves because knowledge leads to power, the power to change. For the sake of the planet and for the sake of ourselves.

Recently George Monbiot, writing for The Guardian, noted that much of the chatter on blogs about global warming is aimed at masking it with propaganda and outright lies. He put it best saying, “There is no pool so shallow that a thousand bloggers won’t drown in it.” For the most recent word countering the spin, see RealClimate’s blog on 2008 temperature summaries and spin. And also a Book List for reading up. I won’t sugarcoat it, these blogs are science-based and they ain’t easy to read (especially if you’re like me and your greatest scientific involvement is reading a thermometer). This stuff takes a little work—as will this issue. Let’s get to it!


About Henry Schliff


12 Responses to “ cuts through the Green Hype!”

  1. sidMerid says:

    “To top it off I’m making a New Year’s resolution right now. To read up every week and educate myself on the issues of climate change.”

    Here’s some educational material:

    “President Vaclav Klaus – Climate change & freedom”

    “Czech President Compares Global Warming Hype to USSR”

    “Apocalypse? No! – Why there is no Global Warming Crisis”

    “Henrik Svensmark on Global Warming (part 1)”

  2. Henry Schliff says:

    I think we often look for the simplest most apparent answers, not tending to enjoy the complexities that truly exist. Monckton and Klaus both cater to that desire. I would not recommend anyone take these videos seriously. Monckton has been widely discredited, not for some political agenda but because his claims are shown by reputable scientists to be inherently flawed or simply wrong. Klaus encourages those who wish to ignore the issue by suggesting that changing behavior and economic policy will devastate developing nations. This is patently absurd, and ignores the issue of many developing nations being the most effected by rising oceans and increasingly disastrous weather.

    This article notes the complexities of the global climate change issue:

    A brief rebuttal of Monckton’s ideas:

    And last of all an article from the Guardian, noting how the IPCC has often been conservative on its claims and not irrational or politically driven as individuals such as Monckton would have us believe.

    Thanks for the comments, let’s keep ’em going.

  3. sidMerid says:

    “I think we often look for the simplest most apparent answers, not tending to enjoy the complexities that truly exist.”

    I believe you are referring to what is called Occam’s Razor:

    Here is some commentary from today’s Telegraph:

    Please feel free to continue luxuriating in the complexities of this _debate_.

  4. Henry Schliff says:

    As I understand it, Occam’s razor refers to the simplest explanation of ‘phenomena’ being the best. My point was that people often tend to erroneously simplify complex ‘issues’. Climate change is one such issue. Therefore, it is my opinion that many people are comforted by Monckton’s propaganda, claiming that human caused climate change is a fiction. Primarily because it requires taking no responsibility and no action.

  5. sidMerid says:

    “As I understand it, Occam’s razor refers to the simplest explanation of ‘phenomena’ being the best. My point was that people often tend to erroneously simplify complex ‘issues’. Climate change is one such issue.”

    I hope you would agree that complex issues must be discussed rather than used as a bludgeon or fog to seize political power.

    “Therefore, it is my opinion that many people are comforted by Monckton’s propaganda, claiming that human caused climate change is a fiction.”

    What struck you as propaganda about what Mr. Monckton had to say?

    “[The argument against man-made climate change] requires taking no responsibility and no action.”

    Another extreme is writing a blank check of trust to allow a group of scientists and politicians to drastically redefine our actions.

    Who would determine what actions we should take? Al Gore? The IPCC?

    In other words– and this may be why people write that the eco movement looks more like a religious than a social movement– who are the priests who can communicate with the angry God Gaia and absolve us of the original sin of being human?

    There must be some middle ground that will allow for both points of view– protection of our ecosystem and protection of our civilization– to exist and complement each other on our planet.

  6. Henry Schliff says:

    I absolutely think that complex issues must be discussed even argued. I simply do not buy that the vast majority of the scientific community is involved in an elaborate scheme with various governments and/or political parties to engineer global dominance by concocting climate change.
    I am by no means a scientist and as stated in the blog have only now set the intention to learn more about climate change in order to do my part to slow its progression. Do I therefore base my actions on blind faith in the scientific community. No, rather I have dialogued with several close friends and family members, one of whom has spent over five years meticulously researching and considering the issue. Including the science, the economics, and the political implications and stumbling blocks.
    When it comes down it however, I admit, I do place a good deal of faith in science and therefore chose to listen to such voices as those writing for RealClimate as well as Dr. James Hansen ( Monckton’s claims widely diverge from what scientists say and he suggests, what seems to me to be an absurd conspiracy, therefore I would call his work propaganda.
    Next, when it comes to responding to climate change we should define our own actions. However, most of us are not doing that but trying to ignore it like a splinter when it is in fact a poison arrow. Our consumption does not slow, environmental degradation accelerates, and human behavior changes at a snails pace. This was my very point about the Global Warming Rug. We must stop focusing solely on personal comfort and individual luxuries, even when they are labeled ‘green’, and begin looking at the collective good of humanity, the earth, and -all- life therein, that is my position.
    I fully agree, civilization must continue but we must have a functioning planet for that to happen. Finally, who would ever suggest that civilization not continue, but our civilization (as well as others) MUST change its thinking and behavior towards the natural world.
    My thanks for your considered thoughts and comments.

  7. tom weathers says:

    There is a problem when lay people (like most of us) try to judge the merit of scientific arguments. We can try to become well versed in the subject and judge the truth for ourselves – but I’m not sure that’s possible with something complicated like climate science. An alternative I think is to figure out the consensus in the scientific community and go with that. That’s because science is a community enterprise. There will always be some crazy (but clever) contrarian with a PhD from MIT and a flair for language who manages to get some press (or a web site). And sometimes these idiots are actually right (and sometimes you can win the lottery and sometimes the earth gets hit by comets). But mostly, the truth evolves out of the great middle. So when Al Gore said something like “All peer reviewed science thinks global warming in real.” I pay attention to the “peer” part and believe him. The fringes and edges of theories will be adjusted during the normal course of scientific argument (which lay people mistakenly take for basic disagreement) but the central positions on global warming will likely stand. Thanks. Tom W

  8. sidMerid says:

    Here is an interesting counter point to an underlying premise of Dr. James Hansen:

    “CO2 might not be be cause of climate change By DR. DON J. EASTERBROOK”

    the previous link contains another link to an article published by The Geological Society of America :

    The upshot is, rather than dispute that the climate is changing– the question is posed, does a rise in CO2 cause climate change, or does climate change cause a rise in CO2?

    As for consumption and human comfort– the seduction of trying to legislate values is an interesting conversion, one that is too long for this comment section.

    I agree that setting goals of learning about your world, through increasing knowledge and expanding awareness are good things. I look forward to hearing about your contributions, Henry.

  9. […] the inevitable New Year’s backlash of “did I resolve that?!” If you read my last blog you know I vigorously proclaimed, “we should all stop global climate change! Now!” Or […]

  10. sidMerid says:

    Another perspective..

    “The main flaw in the AGW [anthropogenic global warming] theory is that its proponents focus on evidence from only the past one thousand years at most, while ignoring the evidence from the past million years — evidence which is essential for a true understanding of climatology. The data from paleoclimatology provides us with an alternative and more credible explanation for the recent global temperature spike, based on the natural cycle of Ice Age maximums and interglacials.”

    “The graph of the Vostok ice core data shows that the Ice Age maximums and the warm interglacials occur within a regular cyclic pattern, the graph-line of which is similar to the rhythm of a heartbeat on an electrocardiogram tracing. The Vostok data graph also shows that changes in global CO2 levels lag behind global temperature changes by about eight hundred years. What that indicates is that global temperatures precede or cause global CO2 changes, and not the reverse. In other words, increasing atmospheric CO2 is not causing global temperature to rise; instead the natural cyclic increase in global temperature is causing global CO2 to rise.”

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