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Climate Change Skeptic Results Released Today

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the on-second-thought dept.

Earth 776

Irishman writes "A leading climate change skeptic, Richard Muller, will release results today showing that global warming is indeed happening. He has shown that two items skeptics look to, urban heat islands and unreliable weather stations, do not skew the data. The amazing part is that this research is funded by the Koch brothers, two investors who fund climate change skeptics whenever possible."

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Not news (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893792)

Huffington Post is about a week behind schedule on this. Slashdot story: http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/10/21/1239258/global-warming-confirmed-by-independent-study [slashdot.org]

Different thing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37893890)

The previous news was that the research didn't find flaws in "mainstream" view of climate change being happening. The new news is that one of the most outspoken skeptics decided to change his views based on that... which doesn't always happen. Thus, these news are about a less important event but still an interesting and different event.

Now... the denialists on SlashDot are saying "Fine, CC is happening but we don't agree that humans cause it" which just boggles the mind. We have scientific proof that CC is happening and we know of the mechanics through which greenhouse gasses (to which human activity significantly contributes) increase heat in atmosphere. So, we *do* know that human contribute to the CC that we know to be happening.

The only thing left to argue about is how much do we contribute... 80%? 50%? However, I've not once seen a denialist argue "The mainstream claims that we contribute 80% but I think it's only 50% because of this evidence..." but instead it always seems to be "Ok, CC is happening but it's all because of sun spots!" or whatever... which is the reason why I call them "denialists".

Re:Different thing (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893910)

The prominent skeptic in question was the author of the research that was revealed last week.

Re:Different thing (4, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894222)

The prominent skeptic in question was the author of the research that was revealed last week.

Title of the TFA: Richard Muller, Global Warming Skeptic, Now Agrees Climate Change Is Real

The problem is that the supposed skeptic is not a skeptic at all. Here [grist.org] is what he said in 2008:

The bottom line is that there is a consensus -- the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] -- and the president needs to know what the IPCC says. Second, they say that most of the warming of the last 50 years is probably due to humans. You need to know that this is from carbon dioxide, and you need to understand which technologies can reduce this and which can't. Roughly 1 degree Fahrenheit of global warming has taken place; we're responsible for one quarter of it. If we cut back so we don't cause any more, global warming will be delayed by three years and keep on going up. And now the developing world is producing most of the carbon dioxide.

I'm not a climatologist. All I can base my opinion on is what I read and what I make of what I read. On one side, I see global warmongers saying that those that don't believe in Global Warming are flat-earthers and science obviously proves that GW is happening and it's all man's fault. On the other side, I see "skeptics" claiming that Global Warmongers are government supported scientists looking for grants and anti-capitalists looking to gain power. Who is telling the truth?

I find it really difficult to believe that Global Warming believers are telling me the truth when they trot out guys like this claiming that a skeptic has seen the light and all who are non-believers should follow his lead. After all, who can give a more non-biased story than a climate skeptic to begin with, right. The problem is, as I've stated, is that this guy was NEVER a climate skeptic and those that say he was are lying to my face. Why should I believe anything else the warmongers tell me?

More:

Do you consider yourself an environmentalist?

Oh yes. [Laughs.] In fact, back in the early '80s, I resigned from the Sierra Club over the issue of global warming. At that time, they were opposing nuclear power. What I wrote them in my letter of resignation was that, if you oppose nuclear power, the U.S. will become much more heavily dependent on fossil fuels, and that this is a pollutant to the atmosphere that is very likely to lead to global warming.

Yeah... This guy is no "skeptic". Why do the Global Warming believers need to lie to me if the science is as solid as they say it is?

Re:Different thing (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894078)

Of coarse the earth went into and out of an ice age all by itself, no humans around. Good thing you were not around during the ice age, you would think that that was the normal temperature. How do you know what temperature the earth is supposed to be? How do you know that warming is bad?

Re:Different thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894132)

If it doesn't have us in it, it's 1) not relevant to us, and 2) there's nothing we can do about it. If the climate shifts too rapidly for the usual normal coping mechanisms to work properly, well, you like to eat? How do you expect agriculture to work if the very systems it depends on go haywire? There's going to be plenty of pain to go around when the oil runs out and the expectations people have of magical technology will be sorely tested.

And no, space-based solar won't help, Elon Musk won't help, astronauts tumbling in low Earth orbit won't help.

Re:Different thing (2)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894150)

We don't, but if we're responsible for it, we need to take action to slow or reverse it, if we're not, we need to prepare regardless.

Remember, Britain was linked to Mainland Europe before it was flooded as recently as 8,000 years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doggerland [wikipedia.org]
Natural or not, if warming is happening, and is increasing, our civilisation is in jeopardy.

Re:Different thing (5, Informative)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894156)

Warming is bad because it will make the earths inhabitable area diminish. This significantly changes the available land mass that humans, and other animals, can effectively colonize and live fruitful childbearing lives. Also, warmer temperatures will create more hostile weather patters further limiting usable land area as certain weather patterns hit certain regions harder. (ie. hurricanes on the east coast). Lastly, increasing temperatures melt polar ice and raise sea levels. Further limiting usable land mass. You try to act like its all about temperature, but clearly you don't really understand the full breadth of the idea. How about this fun fact. Hotter summers make for colder winters. How long before we trigger another ice age. Perhaps you should look up positive feedback loops.

Re:Different thing (3, Informative)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894174)

Warming isn't bad for the earth, the earth doesn't care. The earth was completely molten at least twice, and it got through those hot flashes just fine (albeit, to be fair, those were several billion years ago).

Warming is bad for humans, at least humans who live close to sea level or who depend on doing their farming where they've always done their farming and don't feel like moving.

Re:Different thing (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894234)

Not only bad for humans, bad for all the other extant species we share the Earth with. The sheer level of biodiversity that the Earth currently supports is wonderous, stupendous, fascinating. It would be a shame if even a small proportion of that rich diversity was lost.

Re:Different thing (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894184)

I don't care what temperature the Earth is "supposed" to be, I care about keeping it at a temperature which allows human civilisation to maintain itself.

Re:Different thing (4, Insightful)

monkeythug (875071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894214)

It's perfectly true that there isn't a "correct" temperature for the Earth. In the past the planet has been both much hotter than now and much colder and, well look at that, it seems to have come through OK.

However what with the predicted extensive desertification, rising sea levels, more extreme weather conditions and what have you, CC is likely to be somewhat inconvenient for the soon-to-be 7 billion people wandering about.

Re:Different thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894162)

The problem I have with cc is who stands to make money while most people will have to pay more with no real benefit.

Re:Different thing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894220)

Exactly! You can tell all those CC scientists guys 'cause they're always going around in those fancy cars and fancy suits and reporting year after year of record profits and record bonuses and how they have all that lobbyist influence with Congress and the White House. Damn them! Damn then to hell!

Re:Different thing (2, Funny)

sanzibar (2043920) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894188)

Now... the denialists on SlashDot are saying ..

Such a weak strawman. No wonder you had to post as Anonymous Coward...
The real news of this story is that the co author slammed him, accused him of hiding data and put forth more data that shows you are basically full of shit.

Scientist who said climate change sceptics had been proved wrong accused of hiding truth by colleague
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2055191/Scientists-said-climate-change-sceptics-proved-wrong-accused-hiding-truth-colleague.html [dailymail.co.uk]

Re:Not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37893918)

The actual report comes out today.

Re:Not news (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894022)

"Muller recants scepticism" is not news, though.

Re:Not news (1)

aldousd666 (640240) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894072)

maybe not, but if he were trying to make a buck on all of this, it's a damned good start for him.  he could now write a book that his former enemies would buy and scour.

Re:Not news (3, Insightful)

finarfinjge (612748) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894084)

Not to mention that Mullar was never even close to a skeptic and his co-author (Dr. J. Curry, a prominent climate researcher who would hardly be called a skeptic either) is disputing his comments about what the data shows. The great thing about the BEST project is all of the data and methods are available. Unlike Hadley CRU who have lost their original data, and still refuse to provide the various Ural data sets.Or GISS that won't provide the method(s??) used to 'normalize' their data. With the BEST project, we can see things like this comparison of what Mullar released to the press and what the data actually shows. Note that the two graphs have different time scales on the x axis, which is not quite cricket, but the point is valid.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2055191/Scientists-said-climate-change-sceptics-proved-wrong-accused-hiding-truth-colleague.html

No, it is more likely that Mullar, who has always been on the mainstream side, knew his data set would show 10 years of no warming while CO2 increased. This would be fuel to the fire of climate skeptics, so he pre-empted with a press release stating that the data shows one thing when it actually shows the exact opposite.

Given the number of true believers here (people I equate with the deniers on the skeptic side), I am wondering how long this post, all of which is factual and can be confirmed with relative ease, will be modded "troll". Seems to happen to all posts that are in any way skeptical.

Re:Not news (0)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894118)

That's fantastic. You just don't get to see that kind of cognative dissonance in action these days. Bravo.

Re:Not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894244)

No, it is more likely that Mullar, who has always been on the mainstream side, knew his data set would show 10 years of no warming while CO2 increased. This would be fuel to the fire of climate skeptics, so he pre-empted with a press release stating that the data shows one thing when it actually shows the exact opposite.

Yes. Your retarded conspiracy theory is what's "more likely".

They're all out to get you.

Re:Not news (2, Insightful)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894326)

Denialists rely upon a narrative. After all, they are faced with an insurmountable amount of repeated observations stretching back 100 years - the entirety of human reasoning and science is against them. The only way for Denialism to seem reasonable is to formulate a narrative, a myth based on an evil conspiracy of scientists colluding to hide the actual truth. Its all a conspiracy! That explains why the science is all in agreement!

Muller has destroyed that narrative. By formulating a test outside of the conspiracy in the narrative, he has demonstrated that the narrative is myth. The CRU was right. GISS was right. The narrative that they colluded to fake the data is debunked.

Re:Not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894194)

http://lewrockwell.com/spl3/global-warning-lie-exposed.html [lewrockwell.com]

Prof Curry is a distinguished climate researcher with more than 30 years experience and the second named co-author of the BEST projectâ(TM)s four research papers.

Her comments, in an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, seem certain to ignite a furious academic row. She said this affair had to be compared to the notorious âClimategateâ(TM) scandal two years ago.

Like the scientists exposed then by leaked emails from East Anglia Universityâ(TM)s Climatic Research Unit, her colleagues from the BEST project seem to be trying to âhide the declineâ(TM) in rates of global warming.

In fact, Prof Curry said, the projectâ(TM)s research data show there has been no increase in world temperatures since the end of the Nineties â" a fact confirmed by a new analysis that The Mail on Sunday has obtained.

âThere is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasnâ(TM)t stopped,â(TM) she said. âTo say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate.â(TM)

I wonder (2, Insightful)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893800)

How many more lines are left on the list? We've got past the "it's not warming at all" stage. So next up is "it may be warming, but it's not us" then "ok, it's us, but we can't/shouldn't do anything about it" and eventually "it was us but it's too late." What comes after that?

Re:I wonder (3, Insightful)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893854)

We've had hints of that already. After that comes "But is it really a problem if poor people die? Don't the environmentalists say there a too many people? They should be happy to see these people dying!"

Re:I wonder (0, Troll)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893916)

What they've confirmed is that there was indeed a warming trend from about 1970 (or so) through about 2000. Before that, nothing significant. Since then, nothing significant. So we have a 30-year period of warming. That's an extremely short period when you're talking climate science. It also inconveniently doesn't match up with carbon dioxide emissions growth.

So the questions remain, as you say: "is it caused by man?" and (if I may paraphrase) "what, if anything, should we do about it?" Those two questions are quite significant, and completely separate from the furor about the earth warming/not warming.

For what it's worth, things still aren't on the up-and-up [dailymail.co.uk] regarding the data, even in this case.

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37893954)

According to the Space Nutters, we'll find magical elements in the Periodic Table of Elements so we can build fantasy-level spaceships to leave "this rock" and spread the species among the stars. Yes, even the dirt-poor third-worlders will magically float away on space elevators made of tachyons. Amazing! Thanks, space!

Re:I wonder (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894092)

According to the Space Nutters, we'll find magical elements in the Periodic Table of Elements so we can build fantasy-level spaceships to leave "this rock" and spread the species among the stars. Yes, even the dirt-poor third-worlders will magically float away on space elevators made of tachyons. Amazing! Thanks, space!

Or equally plausible Jesus/Muhammad/Highly advanced aliens will step in to save us so we might as well carry on as usual.

Re:I wonder (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894010)

How many more lines are left on the list?
We've got past the "it's not warming at all" stage.
So next up is "it may be warming, but it's not us" then "ok, it's us, but we can't/shouldn't do anything about it" and eventually "it was us but it's too late." What comes after that?

How do we make money off of it? That's what most conservatives have been thinking for quite a while now. Consider the prices of agricultural land as an indicator.

Re:I wonder (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894058)

How many more lines are left on the list? We've got past the "it's not warming at all" stage. So next up is "it may be warming, but it's not us" then "ok, it's us, but we can't/shouldn't do anything about it" and eventually "it was us but it's too late." What comes after that?

What comes next is "its the scientists fault for not being definite and unambiguous". Plus lots of minor attacks on specific ways of reducing emissions - you know the "smog reflects heat rays so cars hep combat climate change" things

Re:I wonder (3, Insightful)

amorsen (7485) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894154)

The final stage is "Why didn't the scientists warn us that it would be this bad?! Sue them!"

Re:I wonder (1)

Mateorabi (108522) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894290)

Last ditch, hair-brained schemes and desperate measures where the cure is almost as bad as the problem. Then human misery as it all crumbles apart Mad Max style.

Actually, Discovery channel had a great program on this that was a "100 year history" from the point of view of 2100. Very creative way to present a scary but realistic projection of today's business-as-usual. Made me cry at the end.

Re:I wonder (1)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894316)

How many more lines are left on the list?
We've got past the "it's not warming at all" stage.
So next up is "it may be warming, but it's not us" then "ok, it's us, but we can't/shouldn't do anything about it" and eventually "it was us but it's too late." What comes after that?

After that, we realize that it is indeed too late and everybody dies. But at least we die with rich energy companies. Successful collection of the manmade concept of currency is more important than the survival of society, after all.

I think your post will be modded out of the "flamebait" category after people compare it to mine. :P

global warming is big business (-1, Troll)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893808)

wind turbines, solar panels, bio fuels will be the big money makers in the near future. it's not like these things will be made by fairies and given away free. no one wants to drill for oil in the US and the easy arab oil is almost gone so it's time to sell "green" because the return on investment numbers are favorable now. just like when oil became cheaper than whale oil.

of course the idiots will buy the climate change nonsense which ironically most of the charts say the warming trend started around 1815 right after a big volcanic explosion caused a 2-3 year cold spell

Already called out by co-author as hiding results (0)

MobileDude (530145) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893810)

I doubt we'll see the editors report this rebuttal from one of the co-authors and a leading member of his "team"...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2055191/Scientists-said-climate-change-sceptics-proved-wrong-accused-hiding-truth-colleague.html

Re:Already called out by co-author as hiding resul (1)

crossword.bob (918209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893850)

So long as it's reported in the Daily Fail, I'd be inclined to ignore it too.

Re:Already called out by co-author as hiding resul (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894038)

Yup, people won't see it because any dissent from credentialed researchers invalidates the drum-beat of 'consensus!' The argument is closed forever, and any challenge makes you an ignorant redneck 'denialist'!

Whenever questions and dissent are not welcome you have dogma, not science.

Re:Already called out by co-author as hiding resul (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894180)

I get it. He's getting people to look at his data by saying "I'm on your side" and then when they analyze his data they'll say "wait a second, he was right all along"...pure genius.

other shoe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37893816)

When will it drop. People like the Koch Brothers don't do something unless it grossly profits them.

Re:other shoe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37893888)

You mean people like George Soros and Al Gore?

Judas (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893834)

Richard has betrayed the cause. In Australia, the previous government threatened to defund the CSIRO if they published or mentioned the results of their climate modelling - and similarly, climate scientists were subjected to death threats and had members of their families threatened by thugs, after they spoke publicly on the subject.

Richard should therefore keep his head down. These aren't people that follow the path of reason, and there is a lot of money at stake.

Re:Judas (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893982)

That's ok, Richard Muller is on the big money side of this one, and has been all along.

Re:Judas (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894128)

Oh yes. Now that he is debunking rather than supporting the denialist mythology, his motivations can be called into question.

Re:Judas (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894226)

He has never been a skeptic of man-made global warming. He has been a proponent of the theory since the 1980s. He even wrote a book in 2008 called "Physics for the Futue President" in which he called he said the next President would have to institute policies to address it.
This is what most makes me question his motives. He has been preaching man-made global warming for decades, now he has a new study and is claiming that he was a "skeptic" until he completed this new study.

where is the actual disagreement? (1)

hedrick (701605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893868)

The skeptics I've read agree that temperatures have gone up. The questions are about models showing continuing rises, and what approach to take in dealing with it.

My concern is that we not exhaust the public's willingness to do something with approaches that will have almost negligible impact.

Re:where is the actual disagreement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37893926)

I've never been willing to do something about it. I won't change my lifestyle, buy green(washing) products, and green taxes are nothing but corruption and waste.

Re:where is the actual disagreement? (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893932)

Actually, the sceptics have been claiming that temperatures have not been rising. Muller's study exists entirely because of their refusal to accept that idea.

Re:where is the actual disagreement? (1)

Pragmatix (688158) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894046)

It seems from reading on some of the skeptic's websites, they always knew that the temperature was rising, and this study confirms nothing, has not been peer reviewed and is flawed is several ways. The kettle defense!

Re:where is the actual disagreement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894304)

"Temperature" is a stupid gauge.

The sceptics have been claiming that the "temperatures" have not been rising as much as the doomsday models (the cause for So Much Concern) predict: Any first year physics/engineering student at any university/college anywhere could show you that the models are obviously ignoring some non-trivial damping.

The flaw in modern climate science is that (most of) the researchers are focusing on a secular variation in order to win "points" politically (western governments are responsible for distributing research funding), rather than trying to understand the whole system (who on earth would intentionally rub egg all over their face?).

Muller is the biggest skeptic the world. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37893880)

Indeed, Muller is such a skeptic that he has a business, "Muller & Associates" which advises companies and governments (for a small fee) on clean energy.

http://www.mullerandassociates.com/greengov.php

That's neither here nor there, since it has been widely demonstrated that if you actually plot his data, you will find that there has been no warming for the last ten years, contrary to the statements he has made to the press:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/29/uh-oh-it-was-the-best-of-times-it-was-the-worst-of-times/

Re:Muller is the biggest skeptic the world. (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894004)

I see that Watts has changed his opinion on Muller's credibility rather abruptly.

Re:Muller is the biggest skeptic the world. (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894014)

That's neither here nor there, since it has been widely demonstrated that if you actually plot his data, you will find that there has been no warming for the last ten years, contrary to the statements he has made to the press:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/29/uh-oh-it-was-the-best-of-times-it-was-the-worst-of-times/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

Now the denialists are denying the denialists' study because it conflicts with denialism! LOL!

Actually when I first read about this study, I thought it didn't contribute anything new, and was just repeating past experiments under Koch funding to rule out any possibility of bias due to TEH GLOBAL AGW CONSPIRACY!

But this study is actually based on a much more robust data set than any other before in history, so it at least more concretely proves the observed warming record:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204422404576594872796327348.html [wsj.com]

Re:Muller is the biggest skeptic the world. (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894106)

if you actually plot his data, you will find that there has been no warming for the last ten years, contrary to the statements he has made to the press

So, when climate scientists analyse their data carefully, but they omit even the slightest potential source of error, their results are worthless. If a climate skeptic throws the raw data into a big lump in a spreadsheet and makes a wiggly-ass, clearly nonphysical chart, that's a convincing analysis.

And you wonder why these people don't get past peer review.

Science is based on skepticism (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893882)

Maybe this will show alarmists that it's not about denial but collecting enough evidence before assuming something.

Re:Science is based on skepticism (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894036)

What is "enough evidence" in this instance? Why were the previous two nigh-identical studies on the same data set not sufficient? Why should we imagine that Muller's study will somehow convince the doubters? He's already getting hung out to dry by armchair scientists and former supporters like Anthony Watts.

Re:Science is based on skepticism (2)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894082)

In this case, it wasn't even about that... All the data we needed was there... But kept from anyone outside their group... And then modified, and the original data deleted.

That's just not how science is done. There's no way for an independent group to verify the results.

So this new research, using different data, means a LOT more. It's actually been verified, and (I assume) others could also use the data to verify as well.

So I've switched my stance on AGW. It does appear to be a real thing, and could be a problem. Now my worry is that people will 'solve' the problem by creating a bigger one. CO2 isn't a pollutant, but a lot of the options for removing it have been. We could do far more damage than we fix.

Re:Science is based on skepticism (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894212)

You didn't switch your stance at all. You just changed your rationalization for it. Your previous stance was "I don't want to do anything about it" and that's identical to your new stance.

Re:Science is based on skepticism (1)

next_ghost (1868792) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894232)

You mean the mountain of evidence as big as Mount McKinley that has been piling up since early 1950s which the deniers so conveniently fail to notice?

Rather than pointing the finger at the Koch bros (3, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893884)

Instead of making grandiose statements that the Koch brothers fund global warming skeptics "whenever possible", why not link to their official position [kochind.com] on global warming and what we should/shouldn't do about it?

Re:Rather than pointing the finger at the Koch bro (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894034)

Their official position seems to support the idea that they have an agenda that would be in favor of supporting skeptics whenever possible.

Re:Rather than pointing the finger at the Koch bro (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894050)

Instead of making grandiose statements that the Koch brothers fund global warming skeptics "whenever possible", why not link to their official position [kochind.com] on global warming and what we should/shouldn't do about it?

Have a look at this summary of their activity [climatesciencewatch.org] and tell me their position is anything but skeptical. Not that there is anything wrong with that, they are self-proclaimed libertarians and as such are expected to be of the opinion that government has no place influencing the environment (or much of anything else) so it is natural that they will do whatever it takes to prevent public opinion from boiling over on this issue.

I am wondering, at this point, if Richard Muller isn't simply a very talented troll who agreed to take the Koch's money after presenting himself as a deep skeptic of climate change, only to turn around and use it to point out that the data was right all along.

Re:Rather than pointing the finger at the Koch bro (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894138)

No for all his faults it seems that he is a Real Scientist, because changing your mind, when you have tested and confirmed your opponents position as true, is how science is supposed to work.

Re:Rather than pointing the finger at the Koch bro (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894252)

they are self-proclaimed libertarians and as such are expected to be of the opinion that government has no place influencing the environment (or much of anything else) so it is natural that they will do whatever it takes to prevent public opinion from boiling over on this issue.

That makes no sense. The environment is an externality (Tragedy of the Commons), without the government restricting or enforcing taxes based on the damage caused, it effectively allows businesses to take out loans that have to eventually be paid back by other people by dumping crap and wrecking everything (hey, more illness from poisoned water, food and air means more money being paid into the medical system! There's no way that could be a bad thing, right? Just think of all the jobs we can create by sending out people in hazmat suits with shovels to scoop up all the toxic sludge!).

Re:Rather than pointing the finger at the Koch bro (5, Informative)

openfrog (897716) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894098)

On the said website:

Koch companies believe in the efficient use of all resources and are committed to maintaining a clean and healthy environment. But we also think there should be open and honest debate about climate change and the likely effects of proposed climate policies on the energy that drives the productivity of our society. In recent years, a vocal group of self-declared environmentalists has repeatedly insisted that our planet is in peril because of man-made greenhouse gases. Many take their cues from Al Gore’s 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,”...

Seems the new tack is to say that it happens after all, but all those who said so before are sensationalists and "so-called environmentalists"...

By the way, about Muller's turnaround: How to make yourself a reference in a field where you have no competence? First deny forcefully and get headlines, then say that after careful verification, you found out the truth. Don't forget to continue to berate the real scientists treating them as sensationalists!

And further by the way, the Koch brothers do fund denialists (not skeptical as they claim) research and are the funders (and true founders) of the Tea party.
Who modded the parent up?

Re:Rather than pointing the finger at the Koch bro (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894114)

Published position != Official position.

Their official position is simple: Do what ever generates the most revenue at the highest profit margin or positions the company to do so in the next quarter.

If that means lobbying to get emissions and safty regulations lightened, they will. If that means buying out other companies producing solar or wind generators, they will. What ever it takes to increase their income.

-Rick

Re:Rather than pointing the finger at the Koch bro (2)

ScooterComputer (10306) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894142)

At the risk of being tagged "flamebait", I'm going to second this. It seems to be rather -unscientific- to snarkily jab at "investors who fund climate change skeptics whenever possible"; science needs research, and the more the better. True scientists are --BY DEFINITION-- skeptics, at least they should be. From the link posted above, it seems to me that the Koch brothers have a pretty rational mindset: research, research, research, research.

Besides, at 7 Billion mouth-breathers and doubling quick, if climate change is proven to be anthropogenic, we're screwed. There is no amount of "reduction" we could do at this point short of Logan's Run scenarios to rewind the damage (nor was there, by the time we were scientifically advanced enough to start to figure it out, the damage was already done).

Air quality and fuel efficiency (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894200)

We should continue to concentrate on air quality and fuel efficiency - i.e getting off of our foreign oil addiction AND lowering costs. If we do that, emissions that cause global warming will take of themselves.

Or to put it another way, some times I think global warming skepticism (from business people, at least) is a distraction from the real goal - to eliminate air quality regulation and allow industry to pollute indiscriminately.

Re:Rather than pointing the finger at the Koch bro (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894260)

...because Koch brothers are political hacks and don't deserve our careful review of their position. They also don't deserve apologists like you covering their asses.

The real answer (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894306)

Anybody can say whatever they want. If you want to see what the Koch's REALLY think, look at where they've spent their money.

Never a Global Warming Skeptic (4, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893906)

The problem is that Richard Muller was never a global warming skeptic. He was talking about the "need to address man-made global warming" back in the 1980s. In 2008, he wrote a book,"Physics for Future Presidents" [grist.org] , advising either John McCain or Barack Obama to prepare to address man-made global warming. This whole story is a fraud. The guy is claiming that he used to be a global warming skeptic, yet, he has been preaching Anthropogenic Global Warming pretty much as long as anyone.

Re:Never a Global Warming Skeptic (2)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894104)

A skeptic is supposed to be someone that is interested in finding out the truth even if they believe a statement is not true. A denier isn't interested in what is real, just convincing people to follow them.

Re:Never a Global Warming Skeptic (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894192)

A denier isn't interested in what is real, just convincing people to follow them.

Which is what Richard Muller appears to be, except that he wasn't denying man-made global warming, he has been shilling for it. He has never demonstrated any skepticism of the theory. He has been promoting it. Even though he has been talking about global warming as "settled science" for a well over a decade, he has come out with a new study that supports what he has been saying all along, but that wouldn't make news, so he claims he was "skeptical" of man-made global warming until he did this study and "now, he is convinced".

NOW, we might see some action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37893912)

Sadly, the neo-cons will scream that the dems have done nothing about it.

Of course the planet is warming (1)

Gonzodoggy (118747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893922)

We've been warming for several thousand years. If we weren't, I'd be living under or on top of, a two mile thick sheet of ice.

The main debate is, is man causing the warming?

And the next great debate: (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894016)

"OK, maybe we are causing it. But are more banana thongs really a bad thing?

Re:Of course the planet is warming (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894020)

Not much of a debate on that either, unless you count astroturfing by the same PR firms that tried to tell us smoking is good for you

Koch Brothers (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37893998)

Obviously you made mistake, you cannot buy everything. Scientists are not like mindless media cheerleaders, you are used to.

well, it makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894334)

What they think:
Scientists are part of a global conspiracy by liberals to use junk science to force people to be tree huggers.

If that is true, its likely that you could BUY scientists by similar methods to get the results you want and the IMPACT of getting a big name (with liberal reputation) to say what you want would be huge!! So I can see how they thought this was worth the "investment" (plus they likely get a tax break for it.)

Its like they have no understanding how professional (especially academic) science works-- if they were bribed to do junk science it ruins their careers long term, where the only jobs they can keep would be industry related ones (like junk science think tanks) not to mention their status and reputation would go down. There are plenty of horrible ones out there but they rarely do stuff to wreak their career. We've got one over here who does illegal animal experiments who just pays the fines and continues-- the school unofficially supports him because his research looks good even though his methods are illegal. He could be a bugger and they'd be quiet.. until it hit the news, maybe then they'd have to do something.... sex scandals are all that seem to matter to people. (look at bush vs clinton)

Won't make a difference really (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894006)

This guy had some actual scientific doubts about global warming, he wasn't against it because it was what his "gut" told him, or because it was the party line, he actually had some reservations, which is what any good scientist should have, and wanted to do some more study. He did, and upon further investigation he had his doubts assuaged. This is the scientific process in action.

However, probably only 1% of the AGW are like this guy and are legitimately uncertain about the science and want to know more Most are like Glenn Beck or Rick Perry and don't believe in global warming simply because it is(for them anyway), politically and economically expedient to do so. They will of course evoke the word "science" as if somehow just using that word automatically gives credence to what they are saying, but those guys don't even have a basic grasp of climate science, or even the scientific method as a whole.

I remember one of the rabid right-wing blogs going crazy because a new paper had shed more light on a particular topic and thus they seemed to think that it somehow "disproved" all climate science.... BUT THAT IS HOW SCIENCE FUCKING WORKS! The beauty about the scientific method is that we are constantly getting a clearer picture of what is going on and increasing our understanding of how things work, and reversals of some research is inevitable AND a good thing. However, these people look at changing your beliefs in response to new information as an anathema, you must be ideologically pure and no amount of empirical data should ever change how you view the world.....

Anyway, getting back on topic, this data will not convince the 99% of the AGW whose beliefs about global warming aren't even remotely rooted in science, and so the dark ages in the US will continue.

Great, bullshit Slashdot title. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894028)

One of the co-authors of the paper, which by the way hasn't been accepted for publication, or peer reviewed, has attacked Muller for this. Judith Curry says [judithcurry.com] it's nothing more than a pure PR operation, with no basis in fact. The actual data shows there's been no warming over the last 10 years, despite an increase in CO2. But Muller "hid the decline" in the graph that he published, by changing the scales on the graph to make it look insignificant, and use a 10 year average, thus cutting off the last 5 years of data. I know slashdot is astro-turfed by global warming cretins, but get your facts straight on this for once please.

 

I told Rose that I was puzzled my Muller’s statements, particularly about “end of skepticism” and also “we see no evidence of global warming slowing down.”

J.Curry.

A co-researher disagrees (0)

Kurofuneparry (1360993) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894048)

Another researcher working on the same project seems to disagree. Judith Curry is the second name on the paper according to the daily mail [dailymail.co.uk] and she's contesting the analysis of his own data as incorrect with some rather strong language.

Then again.... I'm an idiot.....

Re:A co-researher disagrees (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894264)

Judith Curry is frantically backpedalling on her blog, having been fooled by the Mail reporter, David Rose, who has prior form, see:
http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/12/rosegate_rose_does_to_data_wha_1.php

And the rest of the article turns out to be a misrepresentation too:
http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/judith-curry-opens-mouth-inserts-foot/

His second author is livid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894060)

Judith Curry thinks Muller has taken way too many liberties with the data. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/29/uh-oh-it-was-the-best-of-times-it-was-the-worst-of-times/#more-50286 [wattsupwiththat.com]

Her comments, in an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, seem certain to ignite a furious academic row. She said this affair had to be compared to the notorious âClimategateâ(TM) scandal two years ago.

She's accusing him of "hide the decline". ie. He shows continuing warming through the last decade whereas most credible analysis shows that the average global temperature hasn't warmed and may have cooled slightly.

Re:His second author is livid (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894144)

Is "they hid the decline" the new "teach the controversy"? I'm seeing that phrase a lot lately.

Oh goody... (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894070)

Reading Slashdot arguments about climate change is one of my favorite things to do.

A Slashdot global warming discussion is like old people fucking. It's messy and not much gets accomplished.

Re:Oh goody... (3, Funny)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894246)

A Slashdot global warming discussion is like old people fucking. It's messy and not much gets accomplished.

And...
...While everyone technically has the right equipment for this, not everyone's seems to be working quite right.
...Things are stretched and distorted beyond recognition.
...People take completely unrealistic positions and refuse to admit they can't hold them.
...It sounds like it might be entertaining, but it's mostly just disturbing.

Why has the warming stopped? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894116)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2055191/Scientists-said-climate-change-sceptics-proved-wrong-accused-hiding-truth-colleague.html

ooo, the Koch Brothers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894126)

Wow, the Koch Bros, the latest in a long line of liberal idiots' boogeymen. Gosh, if they were involved it must be *serious*.

Not News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894136)

Okay, the scientists agree/disagree that carbon/life is responsible for global warming/cooling. How about agreeing that we eliminate all the passible causes of the change first. Eliminate that hot ball of gas that shows up in the sky, Take away the atmosphere, and the water that hold the heat from the ball of gas, and see if the planet stays warm. If there is some warmth, eliminate the fissionables, and the flammables lastly. And whats left?
My problem with all the scientists, is they say to tax it out of existance. Too me, not logical. We need more carbon, for growing, people, plants and animals.

Where to learn more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37894168)

There is much emotion and strong politics involved in CC.

I'm not a scientist nor trained in climate science. and find it hard to gather information that is neither too science heavy/too dispersed nor too politicised/emotional.

For the unitiated like myself, can the community recommend a book that can give good primer on where we are on CC, with compelling evidence of AGW?

All suggestions welcome.

Even if everyone will finally agree ... (1)

jopet (538074) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894190)

nothing of substance will happen, simply because there is no way to solve the main problem: an increasing hunger for energy from an increasing number of people.

Christ on a bike, this again? (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894206)

Look, can we please all just wear badges showing what camp we're really in?
  1. Actual scientists who know what's going on and why (0.0001%).
  2. People who are profiting from screaming that the skies are falling but if you buy their book / fund their institute, they'll sell you a solution. (0.001%)
  3. People who are profiting from selling more of the problem. (0.01%)
  4. People who are just so angry about the corporations, because they're all... corporationy, man... so smash the system, dude, burn it down - but capture the carbon man, because the planet, man, the planet (0.1%)
  5. People who don't really care much one way or the other, and are pretty sick of listening to you yap on about it on computers that are overwhelmingly powered by burning fossil fuel instead of doing something about it by turning them off and knitting yourself a rainbow. (99.8889%)

Are we all clear on that now?

What would it take... (2)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894242)

What would it take to prove that climate change is caused by man?

Now that even the previously skeptical are finally admitting climate change is happening- how do we prove that man is responsible- what would it take?

To me it seems like evolution- where no matter how much evidence and proof we collect there remains those that keep on saying "well- I don't believe it so nah!"

Perhaps it isn't coincidental that those that deny evolution always seem to be the same ones that deny the impact man is having on the environment.

So- what does it take- what will it take to prove man is having an impact on the environment- or is this just one of those issues that no matter how much evidence we find- it will still be denied?

150 years from now, if my anti-aging drugs allow me to live that long- and I sit on oceanfront property in West Virginia- will the young whipper snappers that get on my lawn be thinking that global warming has nothing to do with man?

HOW DO WE CONVINCE YOU?

Re:What would it take... (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894280)

Incidentally, I don't even know that we ARE 100% responsible- some of it may be natural- we may just be contributing to a natural rise in temperature (quickest rise known to man).

I just see it as next to impossible that with all our deforestation, industry, heat-centre cities, ecological manipulations, aeroplane contrails, etc- we're not having SOME affect.

How can we not?

No peer review; not "science" (2, Informative)

davide marney (231845) | more than 2 years ago | (#37894248)

This report has not been peer-reviewed, and no one should draw any conclusions yet. The "pre-publication" of this report is reportedly the work of the report's primary author; none of the co-authors were consulted. The Daily Mail is reporting that one of the co-authors, Prof Judith Curry, has even begun to distance herself [dailymail.co.uk] from the report. I predict that nothing good will come of this pre-publishing gambit; this entire approach will confuse rather than clarify, and real science will bear yet another black mark.

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