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Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the so-many-notes-mister-mozart dept.

Earth 807

DJRumpy writes "The Danish political scientist Bjørn Lomborg won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists — that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic — are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It (in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we're grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg's work is 'a mirage,' writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. '[I]t is a house of cards. Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature' of Lomborg's work."

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807 comments

Cue the teabaggers. (-1, Troll)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241228)

Or maybe someone should call them "yeasties". In another thread, some slashdotter pointed out that yeast bacteria are perfectly content to ferment and ferment and ferment until alcohol kills off their whole colony. I wonder if, in their short life, some of the more "successful" bacteria scorn the ones who suggest that a different approach would be wiser.

Re:Cue the teabaggers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241268)

yeast (sacchromyces cerevisiae) is not bacteria.

Re:Cue the teabaggers. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241426)

"Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic" eh.

"Debunking" = "causing to adhere to orthodoxy". Otherwise this would be "Challenging a Climate-Change Skeptic" or "Debating a Climate-Change Skeptic".

Dune coons.

Re:Cue the teabaggers. (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241272)

The arguments on both sides are right. The climate is changing and the earth is warming. That much is true. However, it has not been shown that humans are the primary cause of this warming. This is also true.

So we should be studying ways to mitigate the impact of climate change, not trying to find ways to reverse the irreversible.

Re:Cue the teabaggers. (5, Informative)

hexghost (444585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241306)

However, it has not been shown that humans are the primary cause of this warming.

Incorrect, it has: Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming [skepticalscience.com]

Re:Cue the teabaggers. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241526)

Then I'm sure you know all about how the Earth's Milankovitch Cycle plays into past Earth cooling/warming cycles. And how because of this CO2 historically lags global temperature. Not to mention how we are defiantly in an interglacial because of our placement in a Milankovitch Cycle so it would be very odd if temperature was not increasing like we are seeing.

Re:Cue the teabaggers. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241568)

I feel ripped off, where's the bad analogy?

"However, it has not been shown that humans are the primary cause of this warming"

RF = 5.35 * ln(c2/c1) - Fourier 1824.

Re:Cue the teabaggers. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241692)

Fourier is one of my heroes. Weierstrass, and many others, put his work on a solid mathematical foundation. Then again, the paper you're describing is a simple paper in large scale approximations of gas behavior. Falsifiable, implied by real physics (so that falsifying his hypothesis would undermine a large fragment of physics as a whole), and confirmed to a high degree.

Re:Cue the teabaggers. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241274)

Or maybe someone should call them "yeasties". In another thread, some slashdotter pointed out that yeast bacteria are perfectly content to ferment and ferment and ferment until alcohol kills off their whole colony. I wonder if, in their short life, some of the more "successful" bacteria scorn the ones who suggest that a different approach would be wiser.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeast

Bacteria? You are trying to correct someone on science and you cannot even keep bacteria straight from fungi?

What's worse, this fungi is responsible for alcohol.. and you still can't keep it straight?

Yes, we should trust your view of science; failed highschool biology!

Re:Cue the teabaggers. (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241288)

Honest question, can you tell me off the top of your head what the difference is between bacteria and fungi?

Re:Cue the teabaggers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241364)

(not the above AC)

I can do so, but I fail to see your argument. The point under contention here is the accuracy of a critical post. This forum isn't Jeopardy. There is no time limit, so you really do have the option to look up everything in your post if you want.

Re:Cue the teabaggers. (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241728)

Yeah, I could, too. It was my bad. Fungi are a step up, closer to plants, much more complex organisms. Thanks for apparently jumping in on my behalf, but save your karma. I was just trolling.

Re:Cue the teabaggers. (3, Funny)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241280)

What if an ignorant yeast called you a bacteria, wouldn't you be offended? Fungi have feelings too!

Re:Cue the teabaggers. (3, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241708)

Touche. My bad, absolutely. But whatever; I was clearly trolling. I didn't feel a huge need to be totally accurate. For all the responses I got about yeast being a fungus, I guess Tinactin probably sells pretty well among the /. set.

Absence of Evidence (1, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241244)

This is, of course, not evidence that Anthropogenic Climate Change is real, but that public critics of ACC feel they can profitably resort to dishonesty to prove their point, since newspapers "report the controversy" instead of doing their own independent work, and most climate change deniers are happy to adopt any useful argument.

Re:Absence of Evidence (1, Insightful)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241294)

This is, of course, not evidence that Anthropogenic Climate Change is real, but that public critics of ACC feel they can profitably resort to dishonesty to prove their point

You know Lomborg was dishonest? Based on what?

You know he was WRONG? Based on what?

Maybe Lomborg was wrong, but you didn't read or research Friel's work, you're just assuming it's correct, which is precisely what the AGW folks are complaining about in regard to Lomborg's work.

You do realize, too, that we actual have HARD PROOF that global warming "scientists" were dishonest in their research, research that the IPCC relied on for its conclusions ... right?

Even if Lomborg was dishonest -- and you have no evidence of that -- the AGW side has been dishonest too, so by your own argument, anyone else could say, "grant-receiving scentists pushing AGW feel they can profitably resort to dishonesty to prove their point."

Re:Absence of Evidence (4, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241314)

Even if Lomborg was dishonest -- and you have no evidence of that -- the AGW side has been dishonest too, so by your own argument, anyone else could say, "grant-receiving scentists pushing AGW feel they can profitably resort to dishonesty to prove their point."

Here we speak of Lomborg, and you immediately begin talking about un-cited "other people" who somehow make Lomborg's mistakes disappear in a puff of equivalency.

Re:Absence of Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241576)

Here we speak of Lomborg, and you immediately begin talking about un-cited "other people" who somehow make Lomborg's mistakes disappear in a puff of equivalency.

What is sauce for the goose...

Re:Absence of Evidence (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241362)

This is, of course, not evidence that Anthropogenic Climate Change is real, but that public critics of ACC feel they can profitably resort to dishonesty to prove their point

You know Lomborg was dishonest? Based on what?

You know he was WRONG? Based on what?

Maybe Lomborg was wrong, but you didn't read or research Friel's work, you're just assuming it's correct, which is precisely what the AGW folks are complaining about in regard to Lomborg's work.

You do realize, too, that we actual have HARD PROOF that global warming "scientists" were dishonest in their research, research that the IPCC relied on for its conclusions ... right?

Even if Lomborg was dishonest -- and you have no evidence of that -- the AGW side has been dishonest too, so by your own argument, anyone else could say, "grant-receiving scentists pushing AGW feel they can profitably resort to dishonesty to prove their point."

So what you're saying is you're not going to read Yale's research that proves Lomborg was wrong, but you will make completely uncited and unfounded accusations that there's "hard proof" the IPCC was wrong. Brilliant. Why does America house so many nutjobs?

Re:Absence of Evidence (1, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241450)

"Why does America house so many nutjobs?"

Because it produces so many and issues so few passports.

Re:Absence of Evidence (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241382)

You know Lomborg was dishonest? Based on what?

Based on the fact that the numbers he used for deforestation were not applicable to the problem, aggregated over different collection methods, and completely irrelevant to the problem caused by deforestation: loss of habitat for endemic species.

And yes, I read his crap. It was a massive disappointment, and the only conclusion I could come to was that he was either ignorant beyond belief, or dishonest.

So yes, we can ignore him. As for your statement "that global warming "scientists" were dishonest in their research", that's not true either. The closest thing that has been demonstrated is that some researchers are human and petty in their responses to other people's requests and research. That's a long way from demonstrating that EVERY researcher has faked his research.

Feel free to argue otherwise, but to be credible, you're going to have to demonstrate that every single paper arguing for AGW is dishonest. Go ahead.

Re:Absence of Evidence (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241388)

"You do realize, too, that we actual have HARD PROOF that global warming "scientists" were dishonest in their research, research that the IPCC relied on for its conclusions ... right?"

And I suppose you can point to this HARD PROOF, right?

Anyone with any idea about climate science has known for years that Lomborg's work is an exercise in propoganda. The literary term for the style of writing in his book is called false document [wikipedia.org] , it's the same style used in other fictional works such as "State of Fear" and "The DaVinci Code".

I find it ironic that self proclaimed skeptics consistently fail to spot obvious propoganda even when it is repeatedly pointed out to them.

Re:Absence of Evidence (2, Interesting)

Arker (91948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241432)

A CD that was produced in response to a FOIA request which was ultimately denied after a court battle was nonetheless leaked. It is on wikileaks last I checked. Plenty of proof of professional misconduct there, including source code.

Re:Absence of Evidence (0)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241590)

Sigh...I asked for the alleged "hard proof" and all I get is more hearsay and inuendo. Source code has as much to do with science as Newton's quill.

Re:Absence of Evidence (0, Redundant)

Arker (91948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241638)

Not at all. Source code shows precisely how calculations were carried out.

When you have an algorithm, for instance, that produces the 'hockey stick' even when fed random numbers, that is positive proof that the numbers have been cooked - manipulated in order to produce the predetermined outcome. That isnt science.

Re:Absence of Evidence (3, Interesting)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241706)

When you have an algorithm, for instance, that produces the 'hockey stick' even when fed random numbers, that is positive proof that the numbers have been cooked - manipulated in order to produce the predetermined outcome.

Yes but we don't have such algorithms do we? Instead we have models such as GISS-E [nasa.gov] which you can download and run on your *nix box at home.

Re:Absence of Evidence (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241670)

It is on wikileaks last I checked. Plenty of proof of professional misconduct there, including source code.

No need for wikileaks. The source code that is used on the published models is all in the public domain. Given sufficient computing power you can download and run it yourself. No professional misconduct there.

Some unpublished code replete with bugs was revealed by the theft of emails from CRU. Two things: 1) It was never used for any science in publication; 2) Software bugs are not the moral equivalent of dishonesty.

If you could now tell us why you are so strongly motivated to deny science that you grasp at straws and believe obvious falsehoods such as the one you've just sprouted, maybe we can help you?

Re:Absence of Evidence (0, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241400)

This [cia.gov] is reason enough to believe that "climate change" is bullshit. Just like "saving the gay whales" was the issue du jour of the nineties.

I would like to tell you how I like to wipe my ass, but the method is Classified National Security Information. Now hand over your civil liberties, it's snowing again.

Re:Absence of Evidence (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241412)

You do realize, too, that we actual have HARD PROOF that global warming "scientists" were dishonest in their research, research that the IPCC relied on for its conclusions ... right?

Out of thousands of independent studies done by thousands of scientists that generally lead to the conclusion that climate change is happening and man is most likely the cause, you would ignore all of that because a few scientists might have been dishonest. Yet you would believe one man who has now been shown that there is some issues with his work. If you are truly skeptical you should throw his work too. That still leads to many, many more scientists who have hard data that climate change is happening.

Re:Absence of Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241520)

You do realize, too, that we actual have HARD PROOF that global warming "scientists" were dishonest in their research, research that the IPCC relied on for its conclusions ... right?

Out of *thousands of *independent studies done by *thousands of *scientists that generally lead to the conclusion that climate change is *happening and man is most likely the cause, you would ignore all of that because a few scientists might have been dishonest. Yet you would believe one man who has now been shown that there is some issues with his work. If you are truly skeptical you should throw his work too. That still leads to many, many more *scientists who have *hard data that climate change is happening.

*cititaion needed otherwise it's just hyperbole

Re:Absence of Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241658)

Out of thousands of independent studies done by thousands of scientists that generally lead to the conclusion that climate change is happening and man is most likely the cause, you would ignore all of that because a few scientists might have been dishonest.

Based on what a few of my conservative friends have said, yes, that's exactly what they want to do. Some of the data is suspect, so (in their minds) it must all be thrown out and all research repeated.

[Citation Needed] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241688)

In the wise words of our wikipedia overlords: Citation Needed!!

Re:Absence of Evidence (1)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241422)

You know Lomborg was dishonest? Based on what?

We are discussing a scholarly work which has shown Loborg's work to be dishonest. Assuming even that this scholarly work is correct "This is, of course, not evidence that Anthropogenic Climate Change is real, but that public critics of ACC feel they can profitably resort to dishonesty to prove their point."

you didn't read or research Friel's work, you're just assuming it's correct

None of us have, have we? So we necessarily need to work on a (rebuttable) presumption.

You do realize, too, that we actual have HARD PROOF that global warming "scientists" were dishonest in their research, research that the IPCC relied on for its conclusions ... right?

Well I for one don't, and I've been following the issue with some interest. Nothing in the selection of emails stolen from CRU could reasonably said to constitute HARD PROOF.

The much more serious issue of including grey literature (regarding Himalayan glaciers) without the requisite warning in the WG2 report comes closest in my mind. But you cannot mean that by "scientists being dishonest in their research." Nonetheless it should, IMO, prompted the resignation of the chair of that working group at least, after all we should be entitled to rely on the IPCC reports as authoritative and even an occasional slip like that needs to be seriously addressed.

Re:Absence of Evidence (4, Funny)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241300)

Damn right! There is a huge lack of respect for the amount of money and effort the petroleum industry has put into setting the story straight. Listen people, there is no story here, go back to burning everything you can lay your hands on, and we'll tell you if there is a problem.

Re:Absence of Evidence (5, Insightful)

JordanL (886154) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241414)

One of the things that REALLY bugs me about climate research is seeing LEGITIMATE scientists use the word "SKEPTIC" as a SMEAR.

Scientists are SUPPOSED to be skeptic, and I understand that this is not what the phrase is meant to convey, but the mere idea of labeling a scientists "skeptic" to smear him shows how political scientists in general have become. Remember when they were all about the pursuit of truth and knowledge?

I guess it sounds better than "denier", (which sounds like some McCarthy-era witch-hunt-ism), but why can't scientists keep their professionalism in situations which become politicized?

Re:Absence of Evidence (-1, Troll)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241458)

One of the things that REALLY bugs me about climate research is seeing LEGITIMATE scientists use the word "SKEPTIC" as a SMEAR. Scientists are SUPPOSED to be skeptic, and I understand that this is not what the phrase is meant to convey, but the mere idea of labeling a scientists "skeptic" to smear him shows how political scientists in general have become. Remember when they were all about the pursuit of truth and knowledge? I guess it sounds better than "denier", (which sounds like some McCarthy-era witch-hunt-ism), but why can't scientists keep their professionalism in situations which become politicized?

All scientists are skeptics at heart. Global warming denalists are not true skeptics, as they do not debate their ideas in the scientific forum where peer reviewers can tear through their research to find errors. They simply lie to the public and make boisterous claims about completely unfounded nontruths. They don't actually bring anything to the table.

Re:Absence of Evidence (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241554)

It's a smear only in a very specific context: Lomborg and his ilk are, unfortunately, often identified as "skeptics" in the press. They're no such thing, of course -- "denier" or "denialist" is much more accurate* -- but when you have a bunch of people spouting pseudoscientific garbage who are handed the "skeptic" label as a gift, it's inevitable that those who point out the garbage will appear to be "smearing skeptics." The only answer appears to be to point out as often as possible that they aren't skeptics by any reasonable definition of the word. There is simply no amount of evidence that will ever or could ever convince them. Their ideology trumps any data in their minds.

And not only is this the way they think, they assume that everyone else thinks that way too; thus the constant accusations of quasi-religion ("warmism") leveled against people who actually study the data and try to figure out what's happening to the environment. Arguing with denialists is closely akin to arguing with religious fundamentalists. Anything that is not of (their interpretation of) God must perforce be of the Devil. They just can't acknowledge that there are other worldviews that don't fit into their box.

*Since "denier" is often prefaced with a word beginning with "H," those who get called "deniers" often take refuge behind Godwin. "Denialist" works nicely, and in fact may be the most accurate term since it describes an ideology rather than just an action.

Re:Absence of Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241578)

One of the things that REALLY bugs me about climate research is seeing LEGITIMATE scientists use the word "SKEPTIC" as a SMEAR.

I agree, which is why I think we should never use the word 'skeptic' to refer to denialists.

when you meet a "round earth skeptic" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241596)

well, the person is only a skeptic because they're willfully ignoring the facts.

Re:Absence of Evidence (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241694)

"One of the things that REALLY bugs me about climate research is seeing LEGITIMATE scientists use the word "SKEPTIC" as a SMEAR.

Absence of evidence is an ironic title for this bald assertion, no?

How brave of Yale! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241254)

This is the same Yale University that prints a book about the Muhammad cartoons but removes the cartoons from the book!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32732243/ [msn.com]

Maybe Lomborg should just threaten to behead a few Yalies......that sure seems to work if you're Muslim.

Lomborg has a response (5, Informative)

ralphbecket (225429) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241298)

I'm sure everybody here will be interested in reading Lomborg's response [lomborg.com] before forming an opinion.

tldr (0, Troll)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241340)

but, he does seem to admit in the first page that they are both engaging in "selective or incomplete quotation, misrepresentation of
source material, and even outright fabrication". That is nice. Pages 0.5 through 27 may contain more interesting information, but the foam dripping from the authors mouth makes it a bit hard to read. Maybe he should have considered peer review BEFORE publishing, rather than frothing after critique.....

Re:tldr (2, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241396)

If he'd be interested in critique, he'd have published a paper rather than a book. This is par for the course for Lomborg. He's been pretty much laughed out of the room by any scientist. I haven't even seen the skeptics refer to his work in a long time.

Re:tldr (5, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241440)

but, he does seem to admit in the first page that they are both engaging in "selective or incomplete quotation, misrepresentation of source material, and even outright fabrication"

That's not what he says:

Unfortunately, it is obvious that Friel has no interest in fair-minded criticism or honest disagreement. Rather, he seems determined to portray me as devious, deceptive, and intellectually dishonest. Ironically, in his zeal to do so, he repeatedly commits the very sins he accuses me of—selective or incomplete quotation, misrepresentation of source material, and even outright fabrication. Rather than engaging with my books on their own terms, he caricatures my work and then attacks it.

Re:Lomborg has a response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241352)

Very cool Thanks!

Re:Lomborg has a response (1)

rmushkatblat (1690080) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241398)

I might even buy the book to see if his debunking of the debunking is correct. Frankly, I don't think he would risk sinking his career (further) by publishing more inaccurate statements.

Re:Lomborg has a response (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241474)

I might even buy the book to see if his debunking of the debunking is correct. Frankly, I don't think he would risk sinking his career (further) by publishing more inaccurate statements.

Lomborg doesn't have a career. No real scientist takes him seriously. This is why he submitted his "research" in the form of a book instead of to peer review. The whole thing was one massive fabrication, a lie to mislead the public. The scope of his deception is quite stunning. He must have been paid quite handsomely by his leash-holders.

Re:Lomborg has a response (2, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241548)

So one can also conclude that as friel is publishing his as a book that his is also one huge fabrication and should not be taken seriously?

From a quick reading of some reviews and lomborgs response it sounds most likely that they are both just publicity Whores with very little credibility.

Re:Lomborg has a response (3, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241546)

If lomborg had any faith in the veracity of his "science" he would publish it in peer-reviewed journals. As it stands his solitary journal publication [wikipedia.org] was in a sociology journal.

Considering the mountain of propoganda surrounding the issue of AGW (on both sides) any sane spectator will quite rightly continue to ignore his rants until he has the balls to submit them to formal scientific scrutiny.

This is not to say that your link is not informative in the current context and IMHO should be modded as such, just that it's contents are not worth the electrons they are written with.

Re:Lomborg has a response (3, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241622)

If lomborg had any faith in the veracity of his "science" he would publish it in peer-reviewed journals.

You mean like the peer-reviewed journals that were systematically fixed by pro-AGW scientists in order to exclude dissenting researchers?

Re:Lomborg has a response (5, Informative)

Puff_Of_Hot_Air (995689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241644)

But he hasn't done any science. Or is that your point? His book has collated a whole bunch of other peoples research to make the argument "Yeah climate change is real and human made and largly negative, BUT, our attempts at reversing it are a fools errand". I mean, this is the sort of thing you do when you write a book. He hasn't done any original research, so what is there to submit to a journal? Your creating a crazy argument "You have to submit your research to peer-review!" "But I haven't done any research..." "AHA!".

There is nothing to see here, move along (5, Informative)

Puff_Of_Hot_Air (995689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241610)

Reading that very lengthy rebuttal, one thing becomes clear. Howard Friel does not deserve our time or thought. If you are going to criticize someone's work, you need to be doubly careful that the things you take issue with are valid. Here it appears that the criticism is far less solid than the material it critisizes. This does not make the original material correct as a result, but truely; there is nothing to see here, move along.

Yawn (1, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241304)

So now we have a celebrity science pissing-match on our hands. This is simple, IPCC was married with politics, like much of the entire debate. Everyone back to the lab, the field, the research. Stop pandering to politicians and environmentalists, and come up with some science! Until then, no I'm not taking you seriously.

Re:Yawn (5, Insightful)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241372)

So now we have a celebrity science pissing-match on our hands. This is simple, IPCC was married with politics, like much of the entire debate. Everyone back to the lab, the field, the research. Stop pandering to politicians and environmentalists, and come up with some science! Until then, no I'm not taking you seriously.

That's absurd. Your sweeping generalization ignores the decades of research poured into the topic by research groups from all over the world. There is ongoing research continually improving upon current models with updated and refined data. You can go take a look at the thousands upon thousands of journal articles written by these scientists, assuming you can even understand the jargon.

Re:Yawn (1)

eloki (29152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241408)

The science will always be intertwined with politics though, because it's about people's lifestyles and the environmental framework we live in.

It's not about someone doing science to just to increase the bit density on hard disk platters.

The problem is that serious science in this field is still questionable depending on which data sources you believe to be reliable, which extrapolations are considered reliable. There will never be any more consensus than there already is, without actual climate catastrophe happening. If it doesn't happen then the naysayers will feel vindicated, and the believers will simply adjust their models and timeframes.

Re:Yawn (0, Troll)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241430)

Stop pandering to politicians and environmentalists, and come up with some science!

1950 called, it wants its appropriate response to AGW back.

Already knew (1)

Tibia1 (1615959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241308)

Anyone who says global warming is false doesn't need to have a book written about them to know they're full of it. Also, I'll be willing to wait 20 years for nanobots to fix the environment. No point in worrying for another second about the environment.

Re:Already knew (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241410)

But the environment is so big and nanobots so small... We could make big nanobots! Huge ones, like a house! Then they'd be powered by combustion engines and roll on caterpillars, armed with gatling guns and flamethrowers to remove obstacles and protesters. And.. wait. uhh

Still an "Environmentalist" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241322)

He may be skeptical, but he still is an environmentalist suffering mental malady...

Yet Again (2, Insightful)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241336)

In every thread about global warming I see the same nutjob denialist theories debunked over and over again, yet with no change in the opinions of the hardcore denialists.

Here we have yet another denialist conspiracy to mislead the public debunked by actual science. Previously we had the "smoking gun" theory debunked by a blogger.

How many times do these theories need to be debunked before denialist nutjobs give up their crusade against rational science? It's like dealing with a bunch of raving Creationist lunatics.

Re:Yet Again (3, Insightful)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241378)

such is life. Some look for truth; some for excuses. If your focus is truth, don't be dismayed by the bleating; smile and move on. If you can't help yourself, leave a sarcastic comment and move on. Those that need to justify themselves will do so, no matter the cost.

Does it matter that it exists or not? (4, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241404)

Does it really matter if we are warming the planet or not?

Even if we are how are we going to fix it? Limit CO2 emissions by something like cap and trade? Great concept but India, China etc are not going to play in
a game that is detrimental to their growing manufacturing industries. Or perhaps we create green energy solutions, problem is none of those solutions are cost
effective to be self sustaining. If we are warming the planet who is to say it is not actually a positive thing?

Re:Does it matter that it exists or not? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241502)

Does it really matter if we are warming the planet or not?

Yes.

Even if we are how are we going to fix it? Limit CO2 emissions by something like cap and trade? Great concept but India, China etc are not going to play in
a game that is detrimental to their growing manufacturing industries.

Depending on how fast the planet is warming, I would think the massive flooding would be detrimental to their growing manufacturing industries.

Or perhaps we create green energy solutions, problem is none of those solutions are cost effective to be self sustaining.

Sure they are, even on a small scale. You can buy a windmill for your house, and easily calculate how much you'll save selling that energy back to the grid.

If we are warming the planet who is to say it is not actually a positive thing?

That's why we run simulations and such, which tend to show that the amount of water locked away in ice is sufficient to cause massive flooding. That's ignoring predictions of storms and such... I'm not up on the latest developments, but it's clear you aren't, either.

Re:Does it matter that it exists or not? (4, Insightful)

TheSync (5291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241662)

Depending on how fast the planet is warming, I would think the massive flooding would be detrimental to their growing manufacturing industries.

The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report predicts sea level rises of 7 inches to 23 inches over the next 90 years depending on scenario. The truth is that while it is possible that there could be increases in hurricane activity, "massive flooding" is unlikely to have a significant effect on industrial production. An industrialized country like China can build up a seawall one inch per year, or move factories away from coasts.

Re:Does it matter that it exists or not? (5, Insightful)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241524)

Does it really matter if we are warming the planet or not?

Even if we are how are we going to fix it? Limit CO2 emissions by something like cap and trade? Great concept but India, China etc are not going to play in a game that is detrimental to their growing manufacturing industries. Or perhaps we create green energy solutions, problem is none of those solutions are cost effective to be self sustaining. If we are warming the planet who is to say it is not actually a positive thing?

I see this argument rather often, and I think it fails to see the point. The US has the largest GDP in the world BY FAR. It has the biggest and most robust economy by an order of magnitude, and nearly all gigantic leaps in technological innovation occur here because of the vast consumer market and potential profits (at least when Republicans aren't stymying innovation by giving away money to the rich). If the US creates a cap and trade system that rewards innovators and penalizes fossil fuel users, there is no doubt an explosion of innovation will arrive in the field. Companies like nanosolar would be only the tip of the iceberg.

Most European and Asian countries already have gas prices more than twice as high as ours. Just imagine the massive shift in capital to innovative startups that would have occurred over the last two decades had the US taxed gasoline appropriately. Imagine the massive private expenditures into developing consumer-grade alternative energy products. It's just mind-boggling to think what the US could do if it were as forward thinking as some other countries are.

Re:Does it matter that it exists or not? (2, Insightful)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241588)

If we are warming the planet who is to say it is not actually a positive thing?

Penguins, polar bears, people living in Alaska, Tuvaluans (the entire country is at most 4.5 meters above sea levels), anyone else living really close to a coastline....

Re:Yet Again (4, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241406)

In every thread about global warming I see the same nutjob denialist theories debunked over and over again, yet with no change in the opinions of the hardcore denialists.

But still we must debunk and continue to debunk. There are a fair few people who just dont know how accurate the science is, a common question I get is "How can we measure air (CO2) from thousands of years ago", I point them towards the Wikipedia page on Ice Cores and say "because it's been trapped there all this time".

A denialist wont listen, they are just looking to confirm their bias (and tabloids have made an industry out of doing this) but you'll occasionally find a rational person who will listen. We aren't trying to change denialists, it's the genuine sceptics we want to reach. The ignorant never hold any real power.

Re:Yet Again (1)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241456)

How many times do these theories need to be debunked before denialist nutjobs give up their crusade against rational science? It's like dealing with a bunch of raving Creationist lunatics.

The problem is that people are trying to use climate science to debunk the denialists. That's obviously not the appropriate discipline to consult on such matters. Psychology and psychiatry are.

And yes, it's exactly like dealing with a bunch of raving Creationist lunatics.

Re:Yet Again (0)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241542)

I found your problem: "nutjob denialist conspiracy crusade Creationist lunatics". You have a labelling problem. Try labelling them "the unconvinced" and go from there. Labelling people nutjobs does not win friends and influence people. If that doesn't work, try posting some graphs [wordpress.com] . I hear people have good respect for graphs.

Re:Yet Again (2, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241560)

It's not different than arguing with creationists, Richard Hoagland, 9/11 truthers, or holocaust deniers. They've made up their minds, the facts be damned.

Re:Yet Again (1)

brazilofmux (905505) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241580)

I guess after you finish labeling them with nutjob, denialist, hardcore, conspiracist, un- or non-scientific, crusaders (I particularly like that one), and lunatics, and after you associate them them creationists, there's nothing left to talk about? Well, count me convinced. I don't know why I didn't see it sooner.

Re:Yet Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241652)

I don't know why I didn't see it sooner.

Probably because you've been infected by one of them. Better report to a re-education camp immediately.

I usually just point out (0, Troll)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241350)

That their argument centres around a tabloid. 90% of the "sceptics" I have dealt with get their information from places like the Daily Mail (centre of the climategate non-troversy). For extra sarcastic effect I post a screenshot of the Mail's home page with giant red circles around the trashy celebrity stories (takes a few minutes, the Mail's homepage should be full of them). Also these tabloids have a long history of libel suits. If they refuse to be sceptical of their own information sources and blindly trust a tabloid, they fail basic scepticism and are just looking for confirmation bias [wikipedia.org] .

How to talk to a climate sceptic [scienceblogs.com] is a good site which has plenty of information, I've used this a few times with good effect but it helps to have an understanding of the subject matter (high school level of science education (Australian High School)). Above all else remain rational, point out their straw-mans and thought-terminating clichés rather then engaging in them yourself, however tempting it may be.

Many sceptics are not ignorant, many just don't know or understand the science. I've met a few people that did not understand we literally test air from 1000's of years ago that's been frozen in ice cores, nor that this is backed up with geological or palaeobotanical evidence.

Re:I usually just point out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241444)

This website is hilarious. If you really need a collection of what are essentially blog posts to try to refute opposing arguments, it might just be that your own argument is terrible. The fact that you actually suggest it as a tool for use in defending global warming makes a mockery of everyone who actually uses real arguments backed up by evidence to defend it.

Re:I usually just point out (0, Redundant)

rmushkatblat (1690080) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241506)

I've never heard of the Daily Mail, much less read it. Please read Lomborg's (relatively short) rebuttal.

Re:I usually just point out (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241594)

I've never heard of the Daily Mail, much less read it.

Then there may yet be hope for you, it's the UK's version of Fox news combined with the E! channel.

Please read Lomborg's (relatively short) rebuttal.

I assume you mean this one, [lomborg.com] I got to the third paragraph and realised it was just a foaming at the mouth attack on his critics.

If he was interested in a rational argument he would have published it as a paper, not a book.

Re:I usually just point out (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241674)

Many sceptics are not ignorant, many just don't know or understand the science.

Yeah, and some of us have downloaded the numbers and crunched them. Some of us who used to assume AGW based on reportage and graphs have become interested. We've become interested not because we care, but because the AGW supporters are such pricks. And now we're sceptical because the story doesn't hold water. That piques our interest even more because few intellectual pursuits are as rewarding as slapping a "scientist" in the face with some "inconvenient truth"s.

And when you crunch the numbers raw they don't add up to AGW. When you look at the written history it doesn't agree with the models. Any model you can use to mold actual observations into AGW will yield the same result when fed random noise as input, or Britney Spears' latest album properly scaled. That's not proof. When you look farther back in the climatic record, you find evidence of ages of ice, and before those then periods where the Earth was warmer even than now and gave rise to.. us. That's a history of Genesis, not Apocalypse.

And the closer we look at the evidence for AGW, the more it falls apart. But we need not even look so close because the alarmists have gone off the deep end - claiming an escape to climate infinity in 2007, evaporating Himalayan glaciers, SuperHurricanes and, well, every tin-foil hat climate theory you can think of. That's a situation ripe for parody we can milk for a few decades.

The climate is warming. Congratulations! You've observed that we're in an interglacial age. Now tell us something we didn't know 100 years ago [wikipedia.org] .

Ah, the old footnote trick (2, Insightful)

snowwrestler (896305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241442)

It's well established that most people don't actually check footnotes[1]. Thus you can construct an original argument, footnote a few contained facts [2], and the presence of the footnotes lends an air of support to the entire argument [3].

Without reading both books, I can't take sides on the merits. But I will say some of the stuff in TFA sets off my alarms--like spending a footnote on a WHO report just to cite the population of Europe.

1 [wikipedia.org]

2 [wikipedia.org]

3 [wikipedia.org]

faster than intended? (1, Offtopic)

Jorgandar (450573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241452)

This statement concerns me: "But its chairman, Josef Fendt, said later that the track was far faster than its designers ever intended it to be." How could designers NOT be aware of how fast a person would be flying down the track? Do they not have rudimentary knowledge of physics?

Re:faster than intended? (1)

Jorgandar (450573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241476)

Sorry slashdot, i plead temporary stupidity. I posted this response to the wrong story!!

Re:faster than intended? (1, Offtopic)

Tsunamio (465339) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241562)

"It came to the point where we were getting customer complaints from women who found the content getting too degrading and objectionable, as well as parents who were upset with what their kids were able to see."

I for one am sick of every open medium being censored in the hopes of keeping kids from learning about the naughty bits. Couldn't they just keep these in a separate, awesome part of the app store?

Lets steal their lunchmoney! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241472)

If ever a pair of nerds were in need of a knuckle sandwich, here is a pair.

Its All About Power and Money (1, Insightful)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241480)

Greenland was colonized during a period of global warmth. That it is why it was named that way. When the solar cycle became colder, Greenland lost population due to global cooling. The climate was not influenced then by Scandinavians driving gas guzzling, CO2 belching SUV's. Man is not powerful enough to change the earth's climate to any "significant" degree. But that big thermonuclear ball in the sky is. A billion petrochemical fueled cars will not influence the sun. But, I still think we should find better sources of energy. Petrochemicals can be very dirty. I think we should only use them for a feedstock for plastics and use Thorium reactors to make our energy. Thorium reactors could even be used to get rid of the deadly nuclear waste from Uranium/Plutonium reactors. http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2009/12/01/how-a-liquid-fluoride-thorium-reactor-lftr-works/ [howstuffworks.com] Scientists are men that can be influenced by propaganda just like any man can be. I think the climate change scare is just another way for politicians to steal our hard earned money. BTW, I also love this video from George Carlin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScDfYzMEEw [youtube.com]

Re:Its All About Power and Money (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241704)

We don't need to replace the cars. Just use those nuclear reactors to electrolyse water, react the hydrogen with CO2, and make the oil that's needed for everything.

Chamberlain versus Damon (3, Funny)

unitron (5733) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241486)

So The Lomborg Deception isn't about some spy novelist's later works being heavily ghostwritten?

Friel has a poor record in the realm of neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241508)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1880831147?tag=commondreams-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=1880831147&adid=0C788Y6PAJ4WTVVQ3K5T&

Edited by Friel.

The whole argument is tedious... (1, Troll)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241510)

It only makes sense to take precautions so as to avoid any chance of eliminating your own species. If you're wrong, you spent some money unnecessarily. Just like when you pay for homeowner's insurance, and your house fails to do you the courtesy of burning itself down before you die.

The question is really whether the human race is willing to its potentially infinite future to satiate the greed of a few during their comparatively insignificant lifespans.

Who are you, when compared to humanity?

Re:The whole argument is tedious... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241530)

lolll...how I could attempt to invoke the gamble involved, and forget the word "risk" is beyond me. Make that:

The question is really whether the human race is willing to risk its potentially infinite future to satiate the greed of a few during their comparatively insignificant lifespans.

This is like the Bigfoot argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31241528)

By that I mean there will be people that believe what they want no matter what the evidence. To be clear I mean there's zero solid evidence of Bigfoot yet some will always believe in it. I find it bizarre that people refuse to accept we are having an impact on the environment. The evidence is everywhere. I'm not talking global warming both sides of that argument are bordering on religion I'm talking how much the world has changed. Look at common resources. Ever watch any of the logging shows? What they are cutting now are so small no one would have bothered with them 20 or 30 years ago but in many areas it's all that's left and it's so bad that when they do find old growth trees the lumber mills aren't even set up for them. They are simply too rare to bother with. Look at swordfish. They said 200 years ago you could all but walk across the Grand Banks because of all the fish. Now the swordfish they take are virtually all immature fish that have yet to reproduce. Most fisheries have collapsed, a fact. When was the last time you saw a butterfly? How many and how often? When I was growing up you'd see them by the hundreds virtually any summer day. Now I see a few a year. Same with frogs. Most great apes are down to a few percent of their original populations. It'd take a good sneeze to wipe them out and they are our closest relatives. People say the snow storms proved global warming was a hoax. Well guess what I live in central Maine and we have already lost most of our snow and it's getting up into the 50s. This is supposed to be the worst time of year for snow and cold. Don't believe anyone or any study if you want. Trust your eyes. I see radical change everywhere I look. What people still can't get through their heads is the warming is overall and we are experiencing both extreme hot and cold days. It's the average that is towards warming. The real point is we are headed for more extreme weather and that is very bad. With species extinction people need to understand it took hundreds of millions of years to create this much diversity and it will take that long to restore it. Even if it came back in a few million years look at it this way we've been around for 200,000. That means no human will ever see it this diverse again. We will have evolved into something else by then. Don't care? Well guess what, no one knows how many species we can loose before we face a general collapse of the environment. We are in the middle of one of the worst extinction events in Earth's history and we are the cause and there's no debate about that one. Most species are dying from habitat loss, we call them cities. Most of the rest either from exploitation or things like pollution and invasive species we are importing. Most of us will live to see fish a luxury for the rich and the last wild tigers and gorillas dead. The population is projected to max out at 50% more than it is now so it's going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.

Politics, Politics, Politics (0, Offtopic)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241666)

If you read through the article you realize that both sides are whiney little children. As a scientist I'm offended by all of this.

He's more pragmatic than skeptic (5, Insightful)

brucmack (572780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31241684)

I haven't read his books, but I live in Denmark so Lomborg gets quite a bit of press here, especially under the climate change conference in December. In interviews he's always come across as a pragmatist more than a skeptic.

He has two main arguments:

1) Think about the return on investment.

Let's say we can cool the earth one degree by spending a trillion dollars. Is it worth the investment? What do we really get out of it? How many other problems could have been fixed with that money?

2) The current approach to fighting climate change is wrong.

UN treaties and money aren't going to stop the developing world from using fossil fuels. The only surefire way to get off of coal is to develop something that is cheaper. Instead of giving money to developing countries to bribe them not to pollute, we should invest the money in new technology, so that in 10, 20, 30 years we can say "here, this is cheaper than coal and doesn't pollute".

I think both of his points are important to consider, though I don't agree with him completely. There are risks to his solution - what if our investments don't bear fruit, and coal is still the cheapest energy source in 30 years? What if climate change causes political destabilization so we don't have enough time to get finished?

I don't think anybody has a perfect solution, but I do think that Lomborg contributes positively to the debate.

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