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The ABC's of Climate Skepticism



September 01, 2011 – Comments (11)

The ABC's (Anything But Co2) of climate skepticism 

The pro ignorance blogosphere is alive and well and fueled by lazy. Our own Catoismymotor recently penned a post alerting us to an IBD editorial written by an un-named author claiming that cosmic rays are causing global warming.

The article Cato shares with us has all the intrigue of a summer crime novella. It mentions Al Gore, and Joe Biden. It has a news media coverup and an unamed author who says it is a coverup. Truth will save us he says. Global warming is caused by cosmic rays he tells us. 67 scientists studied it and say so he says.He even goes so far as to quote libertarian writer and non scientist James Delingpole for his expertise - "Its the sun" James says and then he gets a hat and puts on sunscreen to prove it.

In chapter two Cato's article argues against its case for cosmic ray caused global warming. The globe is not actually warming at all the article says, it cannot be because NASA says that sea levels have gone down.

It really does. I'm not kidding you. Check the link for as long as it lasts. Please don't be lazy. Those IBD readers might be really smart investors. Perhaps the author is suffering from dissociative identity disorder, or is simply two-faced.

Anyway if you want to learn more and read something that is non fiction, you can check this link on the cosmic ray study which includes real scientists and wherein the studys lead scientist and non-libertarian is quoted as saying "At the moment, it actually says nothing about a possible cosmic-ray effect on clouds and climate, but it's a very important first step," which doesn't sound like the game changer the novellas author would have us believe the media is covering up by not bumping Irene off the front page.

Besides the article tells us even if cosmic rays are warming the planet, the article also says the planet is not warming, according to NASA a supposedly reliable source because the ocean level went down. If I was lazy I would not bother to check with NASA when I have a quote from a libertarian non-scientist. But I'm not lazy so I googled NASA and discovered this article, which was also not written by a libertarian. And I discovered that despite ocean levels that rise and fall over the short term, they are steadily rising. Where did I put that link again? - 

Just like one single extreme weather event, such as a drought in Texas that just won't go away does not make a trend, but might be part of a larger trend of extreme weather events. One misleading article about climate change does not make a trend of misleading articles about climate change but might be part of a larger trend of misleading articles about climate change. And one idiotic libertarian writer does not make a trend of idiotic libertarian writers, but it might be part of a larger trend.

I hope you will appreciate my sarcastic wit and the effort I went to to bring balance to Cato's post even though mm2252 or 5525 or whoever did not ask us to, with recs and of course, equally witty replies that I may or may not respond to as personal freedom and discretion dictates.

Best wishes,


11 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On September 01, 2011 at 10:39 PM, TheDumbMoney (42.99) wrote:

I think it is fairly obvious the globe is warming.  I think it is fairly obvious it has been warning for at least fifteen thousand years.  I think that is why there are no longer glaciers where the great lakes are.  I think when people say, "yes, the globe IS warming," they are making a conclusory statement as if it proves something.  I think we are at or near a cyclical temperature and CO2 high we tend to reach every 100,000 years or so, as evidenced by multiple ice cores pulled from around the world that all correspond with each other.  The primary question in my mind is whether humans are contributing to further warming, and what that may mean.  I have actually read the latest IPCC report, and I am simply unconvinced.  I am primarily worried about the sample size for our data.  It is meaningless to me that temperatures are warmer now than 200 years ago.  It is meaningless to me what has happened since the middle ages.  These are, in timescale terms, a hummingbird's fart in the wind.  Nor are the CO2 changes particularly large when compared with these massive cyclical swings we have seen for ffour hundred thousand years, or, if one looks at sediment data (less accurate), for five million.

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#2) On September 01, 2011 at 11:12 PM, devoish (99.07) wrote:


It was still a pathetic article, and does little to further our understanding. It would certainly be better to say that the globe is warming at historically unprecedented rates than to just say the globe is warming. I think it is great that you are considering the possibility that the cause is Co2. Most skeptics seem determined to go the ABC route - Anything But Co2.

Best wishes,


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#3) On September 01, 2011 at 11:32 PM, TheDumbMoney (42.99) wrote:

I'm not determined to go with anything.  The science is very, very clear about one thing:  We do no know why the amount of CO2 and the temperature have fluctuated regularly up and down in tandem (the causal versus correlation relationship is actually not fully worked out) in approximately 100,000 year cycles.  

The sun theory is one (so yes, any article saying that is the definitive cause is absurd).  Another theory is that it is caused by a broader array cosmic rays as our solar system passes through various rings of the Milky Way as the sun orbits the galactic center.  (Seriously, look it up.)  We don't know.  We don't know any of it.  Which is why I get fairly irritated by the absolute and quite frankly near-religious certainty I see on your side of this divide.  There are a lot of quacks and industry shills on the skeptics' side, but they are, and there are, still skeptics.  I'm a skeptic in virtually every area of my life, including this one.  Nothing I have read settles the issue for me.  At the end of the day, there is always an Appeal To Authority to bridge the final logical gaps.  I am not one of those who thinks "experts" is a bad word.  Far from it.  But I am one of those who expects the experts to be able to explain their reasoning in a fully satisfying manner, without every asking me to "believe" something because there is scientific consensus.  If you know anything about "scientific consensus," you should know it can change extremely quickly, and has, and will, on many issues, which is why I am utterly unmoved by an Appeal To the Authority of Scientific Consensus, especially when it can't seem to explain itself very well.  The fact that 9 out of 10 people on your side of this use the meaningless phrase "global warming" as opposed to the correct "anthropogenic gobal warming," and that they often do imply that because/if there is global warming the debate is settled (which is nonsense), does not win very many Brownie points with me.  It looks like either ignorance and incompetence (mainly on the part of reporters) or a deliberate effort to mislead (on the part of some Experts I have listened to).

Finally, as a long-time environmentalist, I think your side of this debate ironically shows an awful lot of arrogance about what makes the world work, as well about our ability to control it.  There have been ice ages that covered all of Europe with glaciers.  There will be again.  Maybe not within 100 years, maybe not within 1,000, but certainly within 50,000.  We cannot control this.  The polar bears have survived multiple cycles like this, and are vastly more likely to be wiped out by humans shooting them, settling their habitat, and over-fishing their food supply, than they are to be wiped out by "climate change."   

In short, "Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

A Midsummer Nights Dream Act 3, scene 2 ln. 115 

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#4) On September 02, 2011 at 10:01 AM, lquadland10 (< 20) wrote:

We could say it is just the end of the ice age that happned millions of years ago because of the meorite that hit the earth. Maybe it is because of the plastics the world uses and we need to go back to glass containers.I wonder how much the changing of the Oceans currents affect the tempature.

Yet I don't see the Climate change people going after the plastic industry which we really should. With these Ocean Dumps that would also cause Water levles to rise..

Before we tax air we really should clean up the Oceans first but the Powers that be can'r make money off of that now can they?

Then again mother nature is just plain Prickly. NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing.

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#5) On September 02, 2011 at 11:44 AM, TheDumbMoney (42.99) wrote:


See, e.g., #4: quack.

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#6) On September 02, 2011 at 12:59 PM, ChrisGraley (30.25) wrote:

When you rely on the false premise that global warming is caused by Carbon expect skeptics Steven

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#7) On September 02, 2011 at 1:20 PM, devoish (99.07) wrote:


Yes you could say it is the garbage patch, but that would be wrong. You could say heat is escaping into space faster than expected because the earth is warming faster than expected. That might be correct.


It is not a false premise. Co2 has to be included because it is the only answer that matches the warming.


I will write you a longer response, you seem like you want to understand.

Best wishes,


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#8) On September 02, 2011 at 8:29 PM, devoish (99.07) wrote:


I agree with you that there is always more to learn. That's why i read Cato's article and investigated the lack of value in it. None of the Libertarian free market folks bothered to, they just chose to cheerlead each other along and see how many fools they can take with them.

But I am one of those who expects the experts to be able to explain their reasoning in a fully satisfying manner, without every asking me to "believe" something because there is scientific consensus.

Scientific consensus is something you get after the experts have explained themselves to each other in a satisfying manner.

We do no know why the amount of CO2 and the temperature have fluctuated regularly up and down in tandem (the causal versus correlation relationship is actually not fully worked out) in approximately 100,000 year cycles.

We do no know

Is this we do know or we do not know? Because when this idea was first proposed by milankovitch it was investigated. The causal vs correlation relationship is pretty much worked out.

The 100,000 year cycle is due to fluctuations in the earths orbit and angle which combine for their maximum impact every 100,000 years. Science can measure the intensity of solar radiation, and we can calculate how much additional heat should be generated by increased exposure to radiation due to beiing closer to the sun, having a steeper angle, a little more wobble from Jupiters gravity, etc. And by itself the changes in orbit do not provide enough additional radiation to account for the temperature so something else has to be adding to it.

Enter Co2 from the ice core records. Scientists know that the greenhouse effect from Co2 is real from repeated and verifiable experimenting since sometime in the 1800's. The amount of warming from increasing Co2 can be measured in exeriments and when you add the measured Co2 and its expected temperature increases to the milankovitch cycles and its expected temperature increase you get the result we see actually being measured every 100,000 years. Of course there is some variability from additional forcings but if take out the CO2 you don't get close to actual temperatures. So you need the greenhouse effect to match the glacial temperature cycles.

Easy enough to understand what the scientists are saying, but it still leaves a big hole in the idea. Where is the additional Co2 coming from? It certainly is not coming from humans 400,000 years ago, and it is unlikely that alien beings are shooting us with an interstellar Co2 ray gun. Scientists say that when the earth warms slightly due to the orbital push, the oceans warm and a little Co2 is released by warmer oceans. The released Co2 increase the greenhouse effect and creates a little more warming and more Co2 is released, and more warming and more Co2. For 400,000 years of milankovitch cycles, that cycle has been repeated with Co2 fluctuating from a high of 290ppm during warming milankovitch cycles down to 190 ppm when the orbit changes decrease its heating effect, and the oceans cool a little and begin absorbing Co2 back in and as both solar radiation is reduced and Co2 is absorbed back into the oceans the cycle goes into a cooling phase. The average temperature difference between the coolest and the hottest we have been is 14 degrees farenheit. At one end you get ice ages, at the other end you get the climates humanity has enjoyed.

Now the question that needs answering is if the earth has warmed from orbit cycles and Co2 feedback before, why should we worry today? And the answer is simply that the greenhouse effect is real, borne out by 400,000 years of ice core data. The normal change is from 190ppm to 290 ppm Co2, 290 ppm is hot, but so far we have added an additional 100ppm bringing todays Co2 concentrations up to 390ppm which is going to make us hotter until humanity reduces it Co2 contribution. And we are increasing it, not decreasing it due to the politics of deniers and free market politicians.

Scientists also tell us the majority of normal warming between an ice age and todays temperate climate is from the Co2 feedback, not the increased radiation from facing the sun more straight on. That average temperature difference between an ice age and today is 10 -14 degrees farenheit. If more than half of that is caused by a 100ppm increase in co2, our adding another 100ppm is going to give us at least five more degrees of increased warming, mabe seven, and a pretty dramatic effect on climate. Except it is not warming an ice age, it is adding to the warmest side of normal.

I think climate science shows the effort of an awful lot of work on the subject. Not arrogance, but study.

As compared to the moronic IBD article which used imagined political issues to emotionally distract those willing to be distracted, at least I gave you something to answer your question. And I am not getting paid like the IBD editor is. I am not getting paid at all. And he either lied to you about what the article he was describing said or he did not check the article against what he was told it said. I checked, and I have been checking for five years now.

Best wishes,


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#9) On September 12, 2011 at 11:06 AM, TheDumbMoney (42.99) wrote:

I'll look into it more.  

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#10) On September 12, 2011 at 11:25 AM, catoismymotor (38.90) wrote:

This is devoish's way to telling me he likes me. It is the 21st century version of dipping my pigtails in the inkwell.

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#11) On September 12, 2011 at 12:11 PM, catoismymotor (38.90) wrote:


Please place a link to this blog in my two posts you referrence above. I see that the one dated 09/01/11 you did not feel free to express your ideas at all in the comments. Please don't hold back.


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