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Global Warming Debunked?

kdawson posted more than 8 years ago | from the concensus-or-what? dept.


limbicsystem writes, "I'm a scientist. I like Al Gore. I donate to the Sierra club, I bicycle everywhere and I eat granola. And I just read a very convincing article in the UK Telegraph that makes me think that the 'scientific consensus' on global warming is more than a little shaky. Now IANACS (I am not a climate scientist). And the Telegraph is notoriously reactionary. Can anyone out there go through this piece and tell me why it might be wrong? Because it seems to be solid, well researched, and somewhat damning of a host of authorities (the UN, the editors of Nature, the Canadian Government) who seem to have picked a side in the global warming debate without looking at the evidence." The author of the Telegraph piece is Christopher Monckton, a retired journalist and former policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher.

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you'll get answers (5, Funny)

aliscool (597862) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740077)

"Can anyone out there go through this piece and tell me why it might be wrong?"

This is /. buddy, what you'll get is a bunch of reasons why its right or wrong from people that didn't read the article.

Re:you'll get answers (1)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740105)

Article? We don't need no stinkin' article!

Re:you'll get answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16740167)

Just look to see if the article was funded by Microsoft.

Re:you'll get answers (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740411)

Once you swim the new northern polar navigational channel with me.

Re:you'll get answers (5, Informative)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740419)

A bunch of errors leap up from a random scan.

Hansen's testimony to congress: Hansen presented three graphs, giving three possible scenarios of future events. The 0.3 (in fact, 0.45 C) claim comes from Scenario A.

http://www.cato.org/testimony/images/pm072998a.gif [cato.org]

But the fact that it is called Scenario A is because there are also scenario B and C. A is a 'business as usual' scenario, involving exponential growth in emissions. What happened since 1988 was nothing like that. If anything, industrialisation declined in the West, creating a situation closer to B and C - moderate controls to emissions.

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/edu/gwdebate/00fig1.gif [nasa.gov]

It's not like this is secret information. NASA itself has discussed this.

The objective was to illustrate the broad range of possibilities in the ignorance of how forcings would actually develop. The extreme scenarios (A with fast growth and no volcanos, and C with terminated growth of greenhouse gases) were meant to bracket plausible rates of change.

By quoting this assertion, the author of this article has shown that he is either deliberately deceptive, or has not looked at all of the evidence. Don't listen to the regurgitated rants of this non-expert.

Re:you'll get answers (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740627)

The objective was to illustrate the broad range of possibilities in the ignorance of how forcings would actually develop. The extreme scenarios (A with fast growth and no volcanos, and C with terminated growth of greenhouse gases) were meant to bracket plausible rates of change.

Er, another way to phrase that is, "we made a bunch of sh** up." I'm shaking my head right now. That's EXACTLY what says! "Ignorance of how forcings would actually developed." Hell, I can give you "extreme" scenerios that would "bracket" plausible rates of change without knowing a damn thing!

Note that the article in question actually quotes NUMBERS and SCIENCE, versus the typical, "W-w-w-well, what if THE SKY STARTED FALLING!!! WE NEED TO TAKE ACTION JUST IN CASE!!!!"

probably but (4, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740079)

From the blurb: Can anyone out there go through this piece and tell me why it might be wrong?

I'm sure we got a couple thousand people here who will tell you why it's wrong... the question is; are they right?

I'm afraid that you're probably going to get a lot of shoddy answers to a legitimate question here.

Re:probably but (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740131)

having just read the article, it is actually very well done.

Re:probably but (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740437)

Yes, I also found it to be grammatically correct and an enjoyable read. Now, I just need someone to explain it to me.

Should I buy a new winter coat this year or not!

Re:probably but (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740701)

I barely needed a windbreaker last year. I doubt a coat will be needed. (I live in the Dallas area of Texas though... there HAS been big snow and ice storms out here in past winters. I just haven't seen any in the past 4-5 years is all...)

Re:probably but (2, Interesting)

bman08 (239376) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740275)

Without a control planet or two and a few billion years for testing, you're not going to get science that satisfies the flat earth crowd and their petrochemical bankrollers. Even then they're going to take cynical pokes at the methodology of the tests and a lot of smart people with good intentions are gonna be left scratching their heads. The fact is, these climate scientists are doing what they can with the information they have. It's not easily testable, let alone repeatable... so yeah, it's bad science in that sense I guess... but the guys who are most qualified seem to be in agreement and the rest of them seem to be bought-off cranks spitting noise to try to avoid doing anything while the froggy simmers.

Re:probably but (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740575)

Putting this in context. There are two distinct camps of theoretical physicists, those who believe that String Theory is plausible, and those who think it's hocus pocus. For the same reasons (measurement problems, no data, difficult to test) String Theory is seen as a sham by some, and as nearly a religion by others.

From what I've seen, there seem to be two distinct camps of backers to Global Warming, those who think it's getting hotter cause of what we did, and those who state "it's getting hotter." The world is inarguably getting hotter, the number of disciplines and variables required to determine a firm model for the earth's climate is daunting. What factor does the Solar cycle play in this? How hot was the earth before, how hot was the Sun before? What did our atmosphere look like (chemical composition wise) over a few million years? What was the axial tilt during that time period? What did the orbit of the planets look like at that time Where there any large masses that could have shifted our orbit to cause longer summers/longer winters? What affect does/did interplanetary impacts have on the Earth's climate?

That's just off the top of my head, and I'm no scientist, I'm certain there are piles and piles more variables and enough that looking at solely the chemical composition of the atmosphere and the ambient temperature is simply ludicrous. Especially since we have no way, that I'm aware of, of baselining what past environmental conditions were exactly enough to use for comparison in any large enough data set to prove this theory in any way conclusively in either direction.

Hell, what if the correlation is reversed? What if the increased temperature is driving more CO2 production by the atmosphere by increasing techtonic drift every so slightly as to produce more volcanic activity? How the hell would we know with such a limited dataset?

Re:probably but (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740615)

Why does the opposition have to be bought-off cranks? Can't also the ones you triumph be trying to justify grant-money, get published, etc? I'm not saying you are wrong, but it seems that in most cases where two opposing forces (and don't fool yourself, both are well funded) are at play, both tend to bend things to their advantage and otherwise try to discredit the opposition. Its sad things are this way, but this way they are.

"legitimate question" (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740315)

I'm afraid that you're probably going to get a lot of shoddy answers to a legitimate question here.

I'm actually expecting him to get flamed for daring to ask such a "heretical" question. Comparisons to George W are also virtually assured.

So...yea...that's why it's wrong. (5, Insightful)

Wah (30840) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740577)

"When men have ceased to believe in Christianity, it is not that they will believe in nothing. They will believe
in anything." - G.K. Chesterton.

There ya go. From his preface. People believe in climate change because they have lost their faith.

If that's not his argument...why is this one of the first things he says?

Also, he cites the concept that all climate scientists are saying there's a problem so they'll keep their jobs...before he gets to any actual numbers.

Then he says this...
The snows of Kilimanjaro have been receding. So have the glaciers in Glacier National Park,
Washington State, and many other (though not all) mountain glaciers in temperate or equatorial
latitudes. However, very nearly all of the world's 160,000+ glaciers (this surprisingly large figure is
from the UN's 2001 report) have never been visited by humankind or measured in detail. They are on
the high, central plateaux Antarctica and Greenland. The great majority are not melting. They are
This is not true.

Then he says.
I conclude that the rise in temperatures since 1900 has been far from uniform globally. Overall,
temperatures may have risen at only three-quarters of the rate assumed by the UN in its 2001 report. As
will be seen later, even a small discrepancy between the UN's assumed 0.6C and the true 20th-century
increase in temperature has a significant effect on the calibration of climate-projecting models, and
hence on the magnitude of their projections of future climate.
Which is a classic mistake of mistaking weather for climate..and local for global.

Then he says it's not greenhouse gases...but the sun that is getting hotter.
I conclude that the Sun is very likely to have contributed rather more to the past century's warm period than the UN has assumed, and that assumptions about the contribution of greenhouse gases to warming should be revised downward accordingly.
So, uh, it's not even that it's "global warming" that has been debunked...it's that the U.N. is wrong about what is causing it.

(yes, the headline is wrong).

Then he goes into the calculations...none of which is data he personally gathered (because if he did, that would be he is a climate scientist...which would mean he couldn't be trusted...as he would then be being paid to study the climate).

So...yea..that's why it's wrong.

Great Site For Debunking (1, Informative)

dammy (131759) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740091)

http://www.junkscience.com/ [junkscience.com] is always a good place to read.


Re:Great Site For Debunking (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740337)

Looks a bit cluttered.

Where's the science? Where are the links to scientific journals?

Re:Great Site For Debunking (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16740429)

I agree. Another great site is http://enterprisemission.com/ [enterprisemission.com] , which has always done a great job debunking those so-called scientists with their "facts" and "experiments" when it comes to extra terrestialism.

Re:Great Site For Debunking (5, Informative)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740497)

I'm hoping that was a joke, because I thought it was fairly common knowledge (amongst those interested in this kind of thing, anyway) that JunkScience is maintained by someone in the employ of ExxonMobil and Philip Morris, a Mr. Steven Milloy, who also works for Fox News. Hardly a neutral point of view, or an authoritative source.

There are plenty more reputable sources to find your debunkings, most of them far preferable than "JunkScience".

Ok, bookmarked it, will check it out in detail (1)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740645)

Although, on first pass, it comes off as a bit "condescending" even "acrimonious". I mean seriously, statements such as, "go look it up....we'll wait..." kinda leave me with the impression that this is one of those maniacal "ranting and raving" sites such as "forces.org". {go ahead....look it up...I'll wait -- *sorry, couldn't resist*}.

Then again, sometimes the lunatics have a point, I'll follow up as best I can with the material presented.

First to comment (2, Funny)

eko33 (982179) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740109)

I would like to point out TFA says nothing about Linux or Microsoft and I am confused.

Also, the graphs would be a lot sweeter if they were replaced with pictures of robots... or lasers.

Re:First to comment (0, Offtopic)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740185)

Or women in skimpy and/or airbrushed outfits.

Re:First to comment (1)

eko33 (982179) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740231)

They should be naked if it's going to get so damn hot.

women in bikini's fighting robot rabbits (1)

spicydragonz (837027) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740369)

Even better would be women in bikini's fighting robot rabbits with laser strapped to their heads. The lasers could be on the women or the bunnies whichever is cooler.

Re:First to comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16740363)

while clearly off topic, yours is a brilliant reply. chapeau!

My Two Cents (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740123)

After reading the article, it sounds like this is a case of some fanatics in power over exaggerating the effects of global warming. But you won't be able to convince people until the average yearly temperature about the world has passed the previously recorded high temperature. Then some more people will believe and then some more and maybe it will be too late. If we steadily head upwards of 0.1C per ten years, it will get there though. I guess only time will tell.

Statistics & empirical evidence is all we have for this case. Present confidence figures, not "+0.3C by 2000, for sure!" If you're a scientist, why not give them the raw data & your conclusions?

Re:My Two Cents (3, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740401)

If you're a scientist, why not give them the raw data & your conclusions?

Good point. What I'd like to see is a place where I can download the state-of-the-art models. That is, I want to be able to review their code, all assumptions going into the model, all justifications for the assumptions, and all historical evidence so I can replicate the predictions myself.

Since this is science, that information *should* be publicly available somewhere.

Re:My Two Cents (1)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740459)

But you won't be able to convince people until the average yearly temperature about the world has passed the previously recorded high temperature.

I disagree. I believe that there are people out there like me who just want to see the science behind the theory. I've been saying for a long time now that it's not that I don't believe in global warming, but I'm very skeptical of the current science (or lack thereof) that even shows a reasonable, human contributed component. The global warming theories seemed to come out of nowhere, and they all predicted dire consequences if we didn't make changes to our behaviors right now. The problem with this approach is that it doesn't take into consideration natural consequences, in which case the correct course of action may be significantly different, like relocating huge numbers of people. If you were to prove that the causes are primarily natural and that changing our behaviors would have little or no impact, wasting our valuable resources on the wrong thing is a bad idea. In this case it's kind of like fighting a wildfire - you allow some homes to burn to save others.

I want to be clear that I'm not stating the global warming is just a natural condition over which we have no control. All I'm saying is that the scientific community has hurt itself in the debate by raising the alarm too early and not providing enough evidence to show that any warming experienced isn't part of a natural cycle.

Re:My Two Cents (2, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740661)

make a choice:
1/ we wait until we see whether the earth warms up and take action ... OOPS TOO LATE.
2/ we take the prudent side and try to cut emissions ... not much happens, nobody knows whether a chance would have occurred

Too late (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740579)

There are a lot of things that can happen, and can't be undone until it's too late.
Global warming, Terrorists, or the Precrime unit from the movie Minority Report.

The problem is that without proof or understanding of what is happeneing how do you know you're doing the right thing?

Re:My Two Cents (1)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740697)

But you won't be able to convince people until the average yearly temperature about the world has passed the previously recorded high temperature.

You must be in a warm climate. I'm waiting for it to NOT hit -20F during the winter, then maybe I'll believe NY will sink in the Ocean.
I mean, really, as much as I wish Windows would just disappear, I still have to live in reality ;)

Song and Dance show (2, Interesting)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740137)

I think the biggest problem with the whole climate change debate, is that the common man can't easily do all the research to come to their own good conclusion. So they have to believe whoever in the media has the best song and dance show. This is the case with a lot of things though so there you go.

Re:Song and Dance show (1, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740671)

> I think the biggest problem with the whole climate change debate, is that the common man
> can't easily do all the research to come to their own good conclusion.

Exactly. I don't have the time to duplicate all that research and work and neither do 99.99% of people who are still responsible for voting. Most of us do what I do and apply some simple rules of thumb.

Judge the people making the doomesday claim. That includes the pointy headed scientists AND the supporters.

Global Warming fails this test for me. Look at the track record of the so called 'scientists' pushing the theory. Mostly the same bunch of misfits and freaks we have seen behind most of the othe missuses of science in 20th Century. Same bunch of environmentalist whack jobs, Alar scaremongers, Nuclear Freeze supporters, Fat Nazis, etc. And this time they are making the most extrodinary claims and demanding unprecedented upheavals in the world's economic and political systems on the flimisest of evidence.

Now we get to the political supporters of GW theory. An almost perfect mapping between belief in GW theory with non belief in both individual Freedom and representive forms of government. It seems impossible to believe in GW and a Free market, personal liberty or property rights. Given a choice of a slightly warmer and Free world vs a Gaian utipia with a population groaning in the chains of marxist despots I say screw the environment.

Why doesn't anybody do the easy thing? (3, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740141)

The answer to global warming is *very* simple, and *very* well known. We just need to plant massive amounts of biomass to soak up all the excess carbon. We just need to turn the United States into a temperate rain forest- with enough variety to ensure tree survival and food production from the rain forest itself. Lock up that carbon in wood- and then use the wood to build houses- locking up the carbon for decades, maybe centuries...

Re:Why doesn't anybody do the easy thing? (1)

Adelbert (873575) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740283)

When biomass dies, it either rots or is burnt.

If it decays, the bacteria feeding on it release the carbon stored in the trees/plants/whatever in the form of CO2.

If it is burnt, the carbon in the biomass is oxidized, and released in the form of CO2.

As much as I'd like the answer to Global Warming to be as simple as planting a few trees, it really isn't. Tree planting has its place, but isn't nearly as effective as reduction in man-made CO2 levels.

Re:Why doesn't anybody do the easy thing? (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740483)

"When biomass dies, it either rots or is burnt."

So all this oil and coal we are burning didn't come from biomass? You are right if we turn around and burn the stuff, but if we put it back in the ground from where we got the fossil fuels and we put back the same tonnage of carbon as we pull out (difficult I know), then wouldn't the atmospheric carbon levels stay the same?

Re:Why doesn't anybody do the easy thing? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740545)

Giant algae blooms in the oceans? When the algae dies, it sinks to be bottom and in a few million years someone can float an oil rig over it and get some free hydrocarbons. Or, grow the algae in long tubes filled with water in a desert region, and then harvest it to make plastics (i.e. crack and polymerise it keeping the carbon locked up, don't burn it. Or, at least, not all of it).

Re:Why doesn't anybody do the easy thing? (4, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740595)

When biomass dies, it either rots or is burnt.

Yes, which then goes to feed more biomass- the idea is to match our logrithmic curve of carbon production with a logrithmic curve of biomass creation.

As much as I'd like the answer to Global Warming to be as simple as planting a few trees, it really isn't. Tree planting has its place, but isn't nearly as effective as reduction in man-made CO2 levels.

Actually, if you could just replace the area lost in the Brazilian rain forest in the last 3 years, you'd do more than 20 Kyoto Accords put together. Trees are *extremely* efficient in this, and some trees that we've found that grow here in America can survive up to 20 centuries if taken care of.

Re:Why doesn't anybody do the easy thing? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740323)

So you're plan for fixing climate change is to turn the US into a rainforest by changing the climate? I mean it's not like most of the US recieves enough rainfall each year to make it even close to a rain forest. It seems to me that once we have a gigantic weather control machine capable of causing rainfall over the entire US we won't need to go to all of that trouble to plant trees, we can just turn the thermostat down on the weather machine.

Re:Why doesn't anybody do the easy thing? (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740387)

Some one mod parent up. If Kyoto added a bound carbon/biomass incentive, farmers everywhere could sell ghg emissions. Just back fill all the old strip mines with plant matter.

Re:Why doesn't anybody do the easy thing? (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740487)

I hope this means some seriously sweet looking tree houses, and if we get attacked by aliens with two legged walking robots of death we can easily roll some seriously huge tree trunks at them and watch em fall like a game of bowling. (And now for your next commercial break, thanks for watching Return of the Jedi)

Already happening (1)

feyhunde (700477) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740617)

The reduction of traditional family farms in NE that are now covered in 50+ year old trees along with the reduction in lumber used means there's a lot more tree cover today then 100, 200 or 500 years ago.

Remember, even before whitey came, man was messing with the environment in the Americas. Many Native American tribes had traditions of starting fires. Not out of reverence, but out of knowledge that if they burned down a forest, it would be come a meadow. That meadow would attract deer and other game easier. Despite our large farming, and the blight that is urban sprawl, much of the land in the US that is situated for trees has been regrown.

Of course if you really want biomass. Add a few cargo loads of iron powder to the ocean in equator regions to promote the growth of aquatic plant life. (Although that has plenty of other issues).

I am not a Climate Scientist either... (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740165)

...but I don't look to newspapers for serious scientific research, I look to peer-reviewed scientific journals. But, that aside, the accusations in the article all seem to be things (relative role of solar forcing, the "medieval warm period", etc.) that have been discussed and dealt-with repeatedly in the literature, both as to their accuracy and their impact, there doesn't seem to be anything, on the first impression, new here.

Blurb from The Economist (3, Informative)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740601)

..which is generally pretty levelheaded:

"Sir Nicholas may well err on the gloomy side. And it is certainly impossible to predict precisely what effect climate change will have had on the world economy in a century's time. But neither point invalidates Sir Nicholas's central perception -- that governments should act not on the basis of the likeliest outcome from climate change but on the risk of something really catastrophic..."

Re:I am not a Climate Scientist either... (1)

joeljkp (254783) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740633)

The problem is that everyone cannot reasonably "look to peer-reviewed scientific journals." First off, everyone doesn't have access to them, except perhaps through a local university library. Once they've found a journal (which one? Science? Something with a glacier on the cover?), they need to know which articles to look for, which requires some background knowledge of the field itself. Then, they need to find many other articles that treat different aspects of the problem before they can piece together a cohesive picture of the situation (not to mention background scientific knowledge that goes beyond the average high school education).

The solution is clearly survey papers written in an understandable manner by trusted sources, whether it's a "Does Global Warming Exist?" article in National Geographic, or a bit in USA Today. Which brings us to the survey article at hand, about which the submitter is querying its accuracy and trustworthiness, and to the reason your scolding line about looking in newspapers is completely missing the point.

Re:I am not a Climate Scientist either... (1)

Atroxodisse (307053) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740655)

I know a great many scientists who would tell you that science has very little to do with actual research and everything to do with publishing papers that seem right to the people in power so they can get their next grant.

Poking Holes is EASY (3, Insightful)

Petersko (564140) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740169)

Give me any conclusion on a topic involving a really complex process, and I'll find a way to poke a bunch of holes in it. I'll examine the process of investigation and nit-pick it to death, because no process is complete or fault-free. If necessary, I'll just go to the core assumptions and attack their validity. Easy enough.

Since none of the conclusions can be "proven", all we can do is go with our "best guess". In this case, the general concensus among scientists in the field is our best guess.

Not too surprising (4, Insightful)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740197)

Granted I haven't had a chance to read the entire article yet, but it sounds like it's in line with what the climate scientists at my University have been saying for a while. Two things actually.

The first is that funding shapes science whether you want it to or not. If the general consensus is that global warming is happening, you're much more likely to get funded if you decide to do research on "why global warming is going on" or "what are the major contributors to global warming" etc. However, if you were to submit a proposal along the lines of "what if any effect has global warming had on climate change", good luck.

Therefore there's going to be a lot of science out there saying "Yes, global warming is happening and is the reason for climate change!", since that's what pays the bills, gets you published, and gets you invited to all sorts of posh international conventions on global warming. No one wants to invite the guy/gal that says "yes it's happening but it's not the cause, or certainly not the only cause behind global climate change".

Just my two cents. Keep and open mind, even when reading "science". At the end of the day scientists are human beings too, they have to pay the bills, report to a boss, have a reputation among their peers. Science is rarely about pure facts. The facts usually need to be teased out of the agenda, aggrandizing and ego of those doing the work.

Re:Not too surprising (4, Insightful)

binarybum (468664) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740367)

but surely there are a lot of corporations and oil companies and the like that would certainly like to see research stating, "nothing to see here, move along." I imagine there is some decent funding to be found in the private sector for this kind of research.

Re:Not too surprising (1)

mattwarden (699984) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740551)

Granted I haven't had a chance to read the entire article yet

You're right. That isn't too surprising!

Global Warming Debunked? (1)

papason (4755) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740211)

Hello. I live in Alaska, and I vote for whoever makes sense, but like Democrats. We have been over the last 30 years, getting warmer weather every year. In 1978, I remember that was first year in memory when it rained in January. We saw so much rain last winter, 2005-2006, that we lost all our snow covering more than once for weeks during the period from January through April. We typically have snow from Halloween through March. So all in, I think the weather is changing, the plants are changing as it's warmer longer even on the tundra. So make your own conclusions.


Re: Global Warming Debunked? (1)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740239)

I heard it was because you guys fart too much.

Conclusion: you expect climate, you get weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16740325)

And sometimes they may even be similar.

While the plural of ancedote isn't data (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740503)

I used to live in Scotland, and if you look back through my high school log books, it seems that the lake next to our school would freeze to the point that they'd close the school and everyone would go skating.

In ~20 years of living in that area I only once saw the loch frozen sufficiently to walk around the edges, and never frozen over like the old photos and records show.

Re: Global Warming Debunked? (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740603)

Congratulations, you've spotted a local trend. And if there's a local warming trend, there must be global warming trend. It stands to unreason after all.

Check Wikipedia for the truth. (2, Funny)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740221)


Oh, I kill me. I really do.

Right/wrong is besides the point (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740259)

The real reason for the global warming vendetta is to convince Joe Public that it is a good idea to build more nuclear power stations. It has nothing to do with whether the temperature is going up/down, it has been going up and down for millions of years and will continue to go up and down for millions more...

Re:Right/wrong is besides the point (1)

RockClimbingFool (692426) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740467)

Its a bad idea to build more nuclear power stations?

Conspiracy theorist...? (3, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740261)

This is the very first paragraph:

" Last week, Gordon Brown and his chief economist both said global warming was the worst "market failure" ever. That loaded soundbite suggests that the "climate-change" scare is less about saving the planet than, in Jacques Chirac's chilling phrase, "creating world government". This week and next, I'll reveal how politicians, scientists and bureaucrats contrived a threat of Biblical floods, droughts, plagues, and extinctions worthier of St John the Divine than of science." [Emphasis mine]

OK, so not only is the American right-wing co-opting Evangelical Christians and 'values voters' to take away our civil liberties and conduct mass surveillance on the American public, but now hippies, greenies, and environmental scientists are also going to take away our freedoms by reducing greenhouse emissions, raising vehicle fuel efficiency, and sequestering carbon!?

Man, things are getting really weird when people on both sides of the aisle are starting to agree with Alex Jones.

ah, so you do care...would you like to buy a vote? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16740273)

global warming is to the left what terrorism is to the right. if you dont vote for me ------ will destroy us all. whatever wipes us out in the end...whenever it happens... ill be busy watching cartoons and the one who looks the least stupid by comparison.

Free HAH (1)

testudorex (1019214) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740281)

Have people not finally come to the realization that, yes the world is warming, the only real debate is whether or not man is directly responsible for it.

Re:Free HAH (1)

rhizome (115711) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740313)

Have people not finally come to the realization that, yes the world is warming, the only real debate is whether or not man is directly responsible for it.

The important thing is that we come to a unified conclusion as soon as possible. Once we know what/who to blame then each of us will have our relative quotient of blame assigned and we can go on to the next drama.

A Chinese proverb ... (2, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740285)

Any fool can ask a profound question that takes a wise man decades to answer. [This chinese proverb is distributed to you under GPL V2.0]

A bit UN-centric (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740301)

I think I'd give this article a bit more credibility if the author wasn't so dead set on demonstrating global warming was evidence of a UN conspiracy to take over the world.

Even if global warming does turn out to be wrong, there are *plenty* of ways for scientists to reach an incorrect consensus without resorting to black helicopters and secret cabals.

It's really annoying that politics has become so wrapped up in both sides of what should be a purely scientific issue.

I'll leave reviews of the science in the article to those more knowledgeable in the area than I am.

Three Points (1, Troll)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740339)

1) Galileo invented the thermometer in 1593.
I don't trust any temperature data for dates prior to 1593.

2) Isn't global warming better than another ice age?

3) You know Al Gore's movie, where they show the glacier photos, before and after?
Are the before and after both from the same season?
Because the glaciers change size seasonally.
Did Al Gore show winter 1980 vs. summer 2005?

Re:Three Points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16740667)

Haven't seen the movie, but the Columbia Icefield is known to have retreated 1.5kms and lost half it's volume since man first arrived there to take pictures in the 1920s. I've been there.

Man Made or Not (1)

TheDoctorWho (858166) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740343)

Global Warming, man made or not, misses the point.

The earth is going through a process where humans must change their ways.

Bush and USA are lagging behind greatly in this respect.

*gasp* (1)

chowdy (992689) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740381)


Best resource I've found. (1)

Azur2 (1023617) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740391)

I think there's reason to suspect there's a certain amount of sensationalism about the reporting on global warming, BUT that's not why I reply. I just wanted to say that everyone who's interested in thorough treatments of global warming, by pros, should have a look here: http://www.scitizen.com/screens/blogPage/viewBlog/ sw_viewTheme.php?idTheme=13 [scitizen.com] There's a ton of really good info there.

The issue isn't. . . (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740393)

whether global warming is happening. We know it is. We're recording it as it happens.

What is the issue is is this a natural process, a man-made process or a combination?

While we have evidence that warming and cooling cycles have happened in the past, this is the first time (that we know of) that the cycle has been recorded by man. If nothing else, it behooves us to study this phenomenon as critically as possible and determine if we are influencing things by our activities.

So no, global warming is not debunked. It is real and it is happening. The real question is why.

A JOURNALIST? (-1, Troll)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740395)

You're believing something written by a JOURNALIST? Lem,me tell you what a journalist is:

They're somebody that couldnt get a job actually DOING anything. Instead they go around to people that have done something, find a "lead", usually some irrelevant human-interest angle, then report what they thoguht they saw to people that know even less that they do.

For example, think back to some TV or newspaper story where you happened to have first-hand info about it. How close was the story to even being on the same planet as your information? About 88% of the time, mostly off base.

The problem with this "story", as that's an apt description, is that there are about 940 published peer-reviewed papers on global warming. Now out of 940 papers, guess how many of them are agin it? About 9. Guess how many totally crazy scientific papers get past the peer-review process? Maybe 1%. Hmmmmm....

So this mough-breathing, drooling example of a keypuncher has enough ammo to write several articles. And good sounding ones they will be too. All it takes is the ability to play up the 1% nutcase papers and ignore the other 99%.

Re:A JOURNALIST? (3, Interesting)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740549)

Excellent Ad Hominem attack.

If only you had put that effort into attacking his arguments, I might have been persuaded.

Your Premise (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740407)

...And I just read a very convincing article in the UK Telegraph that makes me think that the 'scientific consensus' on global warming is more than a little shaky. Now IANACS (I am not a climate scientist). And the Telegraph is notoriously reactionary. Can anyone out there go through this piece and tell me why it might be wrong?

The article referenced goes through several studies and papers and points out poor methodologies and statistical analysis that is likely fraudulent. From this you can conclude, these studies are possibly flawed. So where does that leave you? Can you logically conclude from this that global warming is not occurring or even not occurring faster than any time in the past? Of course not. Discrediting a study does not prove the opposite of that study is true. It simply provides you a reason to place more weight on other, more credible, studies.

From my reading I have little doubt that global warming is occurring. Just look in peer reviewed journals and other credible sources. It may not be as dramatic as some would like, and the dramatic, but ill-concieved, doomsday scenarios painted by the popular media are entertainment, not fact. The truth is, there are very real indications of climactic problems, which will probably be gradual, but may be practically irreversible by the time they are apparent to skeptics.

Just be careful of your sources and pay attention. Both industrial concerns and people working for government grant dollars have incentive to obtain particular results. Look for peer reviewed results from experiments and observations that have been repeated by numerous scientific studies. Be cautious of interpretations of this data by the popular media, who are more interested in selling ads than presenting the truth.

It is wrong (-1, Flamebait)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740421)

and I'll tell you why. You see global warming is one of the atheist apocalypses like peak oil. Atheism uses science to explain their faith, and atheists dominate science sources on the Internet and will debunk anything that proves their theories are wrong. You will get the pseudoscience label for one, and for another you will be called an idiot, etc. The works of people like Richard Dawkins are part of the atheist bible, and Dawkins is the Jerry Falwell of atheism anyway. Al Gore is one of the new atheism prophets and debunking him is blasphemy now.

Re:It is wrong (1)

TrekCycling (468080) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740643)

The beauty of science is that regardless of what you may think, most right-minded people who believe in science move on when something is debunked. That's what science is after all. You're talking more about people using science to back up their personal philosophical or political idealogy. This is nothing new. It doesn't mean that these theories can't be right. In fact, my personal opinion is that even if Global Warming isn't real, we have more to fear from Peak Oil theory anyway.

Monckton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16740433)

I have personal experience of Christopher Walter Monckton; I was at Cambridge with him. His long standing endocrine disorder led at the time to bouts of what was supposed to be eccentric behaviour, but he had a passion then for putting forward ideas that were contrary to widely accepted beliefs, especially if he could align them to his Catholicism and extreme right wing Conservatism. I think the conservatism was largely due to the fact that his peerage is recent and arose from services to the Crown of a somewhat personal nature; he is not old aristocracy but wished to be seen as belonging to it.

This does not, of course, invalidate his views except insofar as I would suggest from personal knowledge that he will not in fact hold them at all. There is likely to be some huge flaw or deliberate mistake in his argument that will repay careful inspection, and which he will already know about.

I will be interested to follow this thread and see what people come up with.

Of course it's warming (2, Interesting)

MetricT (128876) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740447)

Just from observing here in Tennessee, when I was young (30 years ago) I remember getting 4-5 good snows every winter. Now you're lucky if you see 1 good snow every other winter.

Tennessee is right on the border between "gets a ton of snow" and "no snow at all". So small differences in temperature are exaggerated.

The question is, is global warming man-made, or some sort of natural cycle, ala El Nino or something else we don't know about. I'd lean toward the latter.

Obvious. (1)

Pahroza (24427) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740453)

Global warming is what happens between ice ages. I don't know what else there is to say about it.

Why Article Seems Right? Limited Scope. (3, Insightful)

JLavezzo (161308) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740465)

Dear Submitter,

The reason the article seems correct and insightful is because of the limited scope. It doesn't take issue with the scientific consensus on global climate change, just with the recent report issued by the UN.

Oddly, though, instead of just pointing out why this report is wrong, it concludes that since the report is poorly written, then that proves there is no climate catastrophe.

I've actually come across other criticisms of the "hockey stick" graph that used it as a starting point for a discussion on good science vs. bureaucracy and the disadvantages of pegging all your arguments on a single "visual". (the biggest disadvantage? disprove the "visual" and that disproves your whole argument). Unfortunately that's not what we've got in this UK Telegraph article.

Canadian Government (1)

lazarus (2879) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740469)

The large, full-colour "hockey-stick" was the key graph in the UN's 2001 report, and the only one to appear six times. The Canadian Government copied it to every household. Four years passed before a leading scientific journal would publish the truth about the graph. Did the UN or the Canadian government apologise? Of course not.

The Canadian government changed. And scrapped the previous government's policy. Actions speak louder than words.

Debunking is irrelevant (2, Interesting)

GeekDork (194851) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740489)

Without reading TFA:

It doesn't matter whether man-made warming is real. It does get warmer, and the other riders of the apocalypse, namely storm, water and drought, are riding in in its wake. And oh, will they ever bring along the biblical set. With this in mind, it is our (as in mankind's) responsibility as a whole, to at least minimise our part in it, however small it may be. It is a fact that the enormous quantities of pollutants we release need to go somewhere, and that they do something, wherever they go. Those effects pose an incalculable risk to life on the planet.

So, no matter what lobbyists from either side of the fence may say, ignoring the problem (which is pretty real) is, as always, not the way to go. Governments and individuals are denying the greenhouse effect on various pretenses, which may even be valid in some ways. But when looking at The Big Picture, everyone who has not taken the short bus with the leaky exhaust, will clearly see a not so pleasant future that we may avoid by doing something, but that will definitely make life a lot less pleasant in the forseeable future if ignored.

I, personally, just hope that I will have a gun handy the day it gets too bad.

predicting chaos (3, Insightful)

sadtrev (61519) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740499)

The consensus is about as strong as that of evolutionary biologists' view of evolution i.e. they agree on the general premise but disagree on the details. They haven't developme models that can fully account for observed phenomena, and they take different sets of sweeping assumptions to be able to come up with a manageable model.

If you think about it the whole premise of any prediction is gouing to be wrong: "If we carry on as we're going now..." is not possible. China is industrialising. The price of oil will react to its scarcity. The percieved importance of rainforest is increasing as it becomes scarcer. Regional climatic shifts like what started the 1997 Indonesian smog will become more (or maybe less) common as ocean currents shift.

We can (and probably will) argue ad nauseum about the relative importance of the historical CO2 and temperature records, sunspots, methane from the tundra, oceanic absorption etc. but the basic fact is that we're releasing huge amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere whilst destroying the ecosphere's long-established buffers. Whether the system is stable unstable, metastable or whatever is probably impossible to predict with certainty. I would rather err on the side of caution. Those with a vested interest with us carrying on as we are would rather we ignore the doomsayers until it's too late^W^Wscientifically proven.

Move along. Nothing to see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16740521)

"The author of the Telegraph piece is Christopher Monckton, a retired journalist and former policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher."

The article was critical, not presentational (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740533)

That is, the article attacked many claims made by environmentalists, but did not itself make any claims.

That is easy to do with ANY argument, just go looking for a few morons that believe it.

Example: Here are 3 'arguments' about why it is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light: 1)Einstein said so. 2) The Angel Gabriel pulls you over and gives you a ticket when you hit 0.5 warp. 3) As your speed increases, mass also increases, so more and more energy is required to attain the same speed increase, so it would take infinite energy to accelerate you to Warp 1.

How would you react to someone that attacked argument 2 and left argument 1 and 3 alone? Similarly, the author of this piece may or may not have done a good job picking apart the statements he has attacked. So what? It proves nothing. To win, he must make a viable argument that we can not prove wrong, not simply pick apart some, but not all of our statements. He made no arguments, just attacked others. He is not convincing at all, for that reason. The facts continue to be that 1) weather has been observably warmer. 2) we KNOW humans can cause radical changes in the environment (ozone, artificial chemicals, measured air and water pollution), 3) as of yet we do not have proof about how much of #1 is a coincidence 4) As of yet we do not have a definitive prediction about the future temperature. Everything else is just a question of how bad it will be, and there is a LOT of evidence that he did not attack that indicates it will get a lot worse.

Yes, the naysayers might be right - we might be OK. But the radical changes in the environment that we have already seen mean we would be morons to assume that is the case. The safest course is to assume we are heading off a cliff so we should SLOW DOWN and take a long look ahead.

A world in denial (3, Interesting)

supersnail (106701) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740535)

Every year the evidence for global warming gets more convincing.
The scientific evidence just builds and builds.
And when youve just gone through a summer in northern europe
when the tempreture never went below 30c for 8 weeks who needs

The really scary bit is this:
The classic argument against global warming is that the climate
has always varied wildly -- sometimes it gets warmer sometimes
it gets colder, shit happens.
However historians have been patiently examining all the cool
spells and they all correlate to drop offs in human activity.
The last really big dip in temperature happened just after the
Black Death when approx. one third of humanity died.

Helpful link for debunking "skeptics." (3, Informative)

alex_guy_CA (748887) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740539)

I am a global warming believer. I personally have been concerened about the possibility of global warming since the 80's. A good site on the subject is http://gristmill.grist.org/skeptics [grist.org] It contains a complete listing of the articles in "How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic," a series by Coby Beck containing responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming. There are four separate taxonomies; arguments are divided by: * Stages of Denial, * Scientific Topics, * Types of Argument, and * Levels of Sophistication.

Now IANACS (I am not a climate scientist). (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16740541)

and therein lies the problem.

Why pile on the greenhouse gases? (1)

kherr (602366) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740557)

What I don't understand about the global warming skeptics is this unwillingness to say hey, we can generate energy in a better way. It's weird, really. There are huge financial opportunities to coming up with viable changes in the energy industries. We've seen changes throughout the decades in farming techniques (some good, some bad). Our desktop technology evolves. Does anyone still believe the GUI is a bad thing for computing like the skeptics decried in the mid-1980s? I still chuckle at people like Stan Kelly-Bootle writing endlessly in his Devil's Advocate column about how real men didn't use icons and the computer mouse would be the death of us all. But when it comes to burning coal and depending on petroleum it seems pursuing change is off-limits.

Whether or not one accepts global warming as a man-made phenomenon or just part of a natural cycle of the Earth, why wouldn't we still want to avoid contributing to making the situation worse? The drowning polar bears tell us there's definitely something happening. When your car is careening down a steep hill do you think it's smarter to use the brakes or the accelerator? We have achieved a technological level where we no longer need to generate energy the way we've done so since the 1800s. Time for a refresh.

Not a Catastrophe (1)

JonBuck (112195) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740571)

I would like to add to the discussion a viewpoint from a climate scientist who does accept AGW, but rejects the idea that it will be catastrophic. [bbc.co.uk] This is by Mike Hulme, who is the Director of the Tyndell Centre for Climate Research.

I have found myself increasingly chastised by climate change campaigners when my public statements and lectures on climate change have not satisfied their thirst for environmental drama and exaggerated rhetoric.

It seems that it is we, the professional climate scientists, who are now the (catastrophe) sceptics. How the wheel turns.

The louder the Drums of Doom are beaten, the more it makes skeptics wonder if the motivations are political rather than scientific. A couple weeks ago the journal Nature had an article about "Green Scares", and why radical environmentalists have rejected science.

Another web site I recommend is World Climate Report [worldclimatereport.com] , a blog that brings peer-reviewed science to light that does not support the current "consensus".

Still, I think it's important to hedge our bets. It behooves us to move away from fossil fuels simply because they are a finite resource.

Missed a key description (1)

Zabu (589690) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740585)

"I'm a scientist. I like Al Gore. I donate to the Sierra club, I bicycle everywhere and I eat granola."
You could have saved a few keyboard strokes and typed "I am a douchebag"

Taken alltogether (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740613)

I would say there is global warming. It's not just the snows of Kilimanjaro, but iceflows are retreating everywhere (Greenland and Alaska) not to mention that the coral reefs are dying off.

I also think that the effects of global dimming have been understated (and not even mentioned in this article) thus masking the effects of CO2 warming and thus would effect the CO2 numbers.

As one scientist puts it, you can't pump so much gunk into the atmosphere and expect nothing to happen, and that we are in effect creating one giant experiment on the atmosphere.

I do think that using misleading graphs is wrong and valid points are made in the article, and that the number of weather stations should be increased to measure and better understand the effect. And nobody is served by bad science. But to say that our enviroment is not changing, and probably for the worse, is putting your head in the sand.

Problem with climate models... (1)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740623)

The climate models described by the article point to the radiation received from the sun and the heat radiated into space but they don't seem to consider the heat originating from within the earth itself. It is obvious that the earth produces an enormous amount of heat from within, probably from radioactive decay, that affects temperatures at the surface (i.e. our 'climate') and yet the climate models never seem to consider that heat as an input into the model. The frequent and wide variations in the earth's climate over the last 500 million years may be partly caused by changes in the heat output from the Earth's core. Certainly there is no reason to think that that heat output is 'constant' if it originates from radioactive decay since there would have been a radioactive decay chain followed over that length of time that would have significantly changed the isotope mixtures and heat produced. It seems like at least the popular view of climate science is stuck on a simplistic view of climate driven by the 'greenhouse effect.' There must be some actual scientists somewhere who are a little more sophisticated in their modeling. Carbon dioxide and the 'greenhouse effect' simply don't explain the climate that the earth has experienced over the last 500 million years or even over the last 21,000 years.

Shouldn't the time scales be longer? (1)

Vokkyt (739289) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740625)

My understanding of Global Warming on the whole isn't as great as it should be, however, recalling a few classes where the subject came up, most of the professors discussed global warming over periods much greater than a couple thousand years. IIRC, I thought that the hockey stick diagram that is heavily referred to in the report is suspicious not because of the increase of temperature, but because of when it is increasing and the rate at which it has been increasing? Is anyone able to shed light on that?

tell me why it might be wrong (1)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740629)

"Because it's in the Torygraph" is surely to goodness an adequate answer.

Apart from its political failings, it panders to a most bizarre class of pornography consumers. Just take a look at page two - several times a week there will be a story about a dead child. Now, children do die, and this does from time to time make the news, and from time to time is legitimately newsworth, but the Torygraph seems to find far more of these stories "newsworthy" than anyone else, and they always put the stories in the same place in the newspaper where any sickos who are into dead-children-porn know where to look.

(For American readers: the Torygraph would probably seem a bit Euro-communist to you if you actually read it, but to us it's towards the right of the political spectrum. Not that that means as much as it used to, with Tony Bliar's "Labour" party even further to the right.)

WOW--- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16740637)

The Debate is realy heating up!

Debunking debunked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#16740665)

It's hardly surprising to learn that the author of this 'debunking' doesn't even understand basic thermodynamics, and who invokes a discredited claim about the Chinese navy sailing through the north pole in 1421:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/11/chinese_na vy_disproves_global.php [scienceblogs.com]

ManBearPig doesn't believe you (1)

Ranger (1783) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740673)

"I'm a scientist. I like Al Gore. I donate to the Sierra club, I bicycle everywhere and I eat granola.
ManBearPig [wikipedia.org] will not tolerate your attempts at deception that global warming is not real. The Scientific Concensus has spoken. The ManBearPig will crack open your skull and eat your brains like granola. The Scientific Concensus agrees this is yet another misuse of the question mark [thatvideosite.com] in the media.

Why'd you even bother reading it? (1)

Wolfbone (668810) | more than 8 years ago | (#16740689)

"Can anyone out there go through this piece and tell me why it might be wrong? ... The author of the Telegraph piece is Christopher Monckton, a retired journalist and former policy advisor..."

What more do you need to know? The UK newspapers and other news media, including the so-called "science" journals (cf. New Scientist's recent EMdrive farce), are so bad now that there's just no point in taking anything they say or write seriously. One of the reasons I stopped reading the UK newspapers some time ago was because I was so sick of being bombarded every day by appalling pseudo-science and relentless scientific "controversy" building in the name of "journalistic balance". UK media types are notorious for being scientifically illiterate and innumerate - and proud of it.
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