Two more scientists change sides in the AGW debate

posted at 11:00 am on February 8, 2012 by Bruce McQuain

In fact, it seems as if it isn’t really much of a debate anymore.

First, let me be clear, the debate among scientists isn’t whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas or whether, even, it can cause warming, but instead on what real (if any) total effect it has overall on the climate. In other words, is there a saturation point where additional CO2 has little marginal effect, or does it build to a tipping point where the change is radical? Robust climate or delicate climate?

Evidence is building toward the robust climate theory, which would mean that while there may be more CO2 being emitted, it has little to no effect on the overall climate. That, of course, is contrary to the AGW crowd’s theory.

So, on to the latest high profile defections:

One of the fathers of Germany’s modern green movement, Professor Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, a social democrat and green activist, decided to author a climate science skeptical book together with geologist/paleontologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning. Vahrenholt’s skepticism started when he was asked to review an IPCC report on renewable energy. He found hundreds of errors. When he pointed them out, IPCC officials simply brushed them aside. Stunned, he asked himself, “Is this the way they approached the climate assessment reports?”

Vahrenholt decided to do some digging. His colleague Dr. Lüning also gave him a copy of Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion. He was horrified by the sloppiness and deception he found. Persuaded by Hoffmann & Campe, he and Lüning decided to write the book. Die kalte Sonne cites 800 sources and has over 80 charts and figures. It examines and summarizes the latest science.

Vahrenholt concluded, through his research, that the science of the IPCC (if you can call it that) was mostly political and had been “hyped.”

Germany’s flagship weekly news magazine Der Spiegel today also featured a 4-page exclusive interview with Vahrenholt, where he repeated that the IPCC has ignored a large part of climate science and that IPCC scientists exaggerated the impact of CO2 on climate. Vahrenholt said that by extending the known natural cycles of the past into the future, and taking CO2′s real impact into effect, we should expect a few tenths of a degree of cooling.

That, as I said, points to the “robust” climate model.

Once more to make the point before I leave the subject:

Skeptic readers should not think that the book will fortify their existing skepticism of CO2 causing warming. The authors agree it does. but have major qualms about the assumed positive CO2-related feed-backs and believe the sun plays a far greater role in the whole scheme of things.

As Dr. Roy Spencer says, CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Adding CO2 should cause warming. The argument is “how much” and that’s based on competing theories about the climate’s sensitivity. Skeptics think the sensitivity is very low while alarmists think it is very high. The building evidence is that rising CO2 has little warming effect in real terms regardless of the amount of the gas emitted. That there is a “saturation level”. If that’s true, and indications are it is, then there’s a) no justification for limiting emissions and b) certainly no justification to tax them.

That, of course, is where politics enter the picture. Governments like the idea of literally creating a tax out of thin air, especially given the current financial condition of most states. Consequently, governments are more likely to fund science that supports their desired conclusion – and it seems that in this case there were plenty who were willing to comply (especially, as Patrick J. Michael has noted, when that gravy train amounts to $103 billion in grants).

What Vahrenholt is objecting too is the IPCC’s key definition in which it clearly states that “climate change” is a result of and because of “human contributions”. As noted above, he thinks that the sun is a much greater factor (something mostly ignored in the models) and he finds past CO2 trends to forecast nothing like the IPCC’s forecast.

What we’re finding as this argument goes forward is that Patrick Michaels was right – “AGW theory functions best in a data free environment”.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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ROTFLMAO… Meanwhile in the <a href="Study: Scientific information has a minimal effect on the public’s view of climate change“>Headlines “Scientific America” scold Americans for refusing to believe the AGW hoax.

SWalker on February 8, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Convicted felon George Soros pumps his money onto his socialist yellow journalism tabloid site and Climate Progress.

I suspect Joe enRomm is blowing a gasket and trying to shift the “narrative”

This is a game changer for the carbon tax scammers.

seven on February 8, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Today is a warm day for February, therefore, by definition, it is warm…thus global warming, end of debate. Oh, and a car drove by and I smelled the emissions, proof it is man made.

right2bright on February 8, 2012 at 11:05 AM

One more point…

The Oceans are the greatest emitter of CO2 and the the oceans emit more CO2 when they are warmer.

This point inverts the cause and effect of concommitent warm eather and greater C02 in the atmosphere: Instead of greater C02 causing warmer weather, it could be that warmer weather is creating greater C02 in the upper atmosphere!

Deafdog on February 8, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Climate change?
The major media won’t change! They will always follow Al Gore around, as if he is the Pied Piper.

KOOLAID2 on February 8, 2012 at 11:09 AM

I don’t know how or why. I’m not one of the many climate experts around here. It’s funny how many there are.

I do know this is another warm winter here with little snow.

Moesart on February 8, 2012 at 11:10 AM

libs – you just have to win the conversation

DHChron on February 8, 2012 at 11:11 AM

After plugging all this information into computer models, they found that access to scientific information has a minimal effect on the public’s opinion about climate change, while weather extremes have no noticeable effect whatsoever (which slightly contrasts with a 2011 study). Media coverage seems to exert an important influence, but the researchers conclude that this coverage is inextricably tied to other factors, such as political opinions and the state of the economy.

J_Crater on February 8, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Obviously Big Oil outbid Big Government.

NoDonkey on February 8, 2012 at 11:13 AM

That, of course, is where politics enter the picture. Governments like the idea of literally creating a tax out of thin air, especially given the current financial condition of most states. Consequently, governments are more likely to fund science that supports their desired conclusion – and it seems that in this case there were plenty who were willing to comply (especially, as Patrick J. Michael has noted, when that gravy train amounts to $103 billion in grants).

True, but that’s just a fringe benefit. AGW gives government the excuse they need to curtail freedom and exercise more power. All for our benefit, of course.

cartooner on February 8, 2012 at 11:14 AM

The complete discrediting of the pseudo-science of “global warming” won’t stop the left from using the weather as an excuse to push their agenda.

East Anglia University recently admitted the earth has not warmed since the late 1990s, and evidence suggests we may be entering a cooling. You know, like the earth has been doing without any input from humans for a couple billion years now.

The prospect of a “little ice age”, even if it can’t be blamed on capitalism, will be used by the left to call for tighter regulations of pretty much everything, just like during the “global cooling” scare of the 1970s.

The fight against progressivism never ends.

MidniteRambler on February 8, 2012 at 11:16 AM

The Scientists forgot about SCIENCE while trying to prove their “Global Warming” theory.

gullxn on February 8, 2012 at 11:16 AM

reminds me of Get Smart, “missed it by that much!”

Dr. Demento on February 8, 2012 at 11:16 AM

If you’ve never seen the AWG Nazis at work, take the time to listen to this whole Glenn Beck email exchange and interview with Neil Sheppard from Newsbusters. I know not everyone likes Beck and it’s 10 minutes, but it’s an eye-opener regrading the strong arming the AGW has always engaged in. If you just want to listen to him talk about the email, it’s only about 7 minutes.

hawkdriver on February 8, 2012 at 11:16 AM

What we’re finding as this argument goes forward is that Patrick Michaels was right – “AGW theory functions best in a data free environment”.

Hmmm, kind of like Darwinism, the Big Bang Theory, et al…

jwally on February 8, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Today is a warm day for February, therefore, by definition, it is warm…thus global warming, end of debate. Oh, and a car drove by and I smelled the emissions, proof it is man made.

your sarcasm is appreciated :)

Just returned from Britain. It was DAMN COLD and the fear is the Thames will freeze over for the first time in over a century.

Nice that in liberal-land’s isolated bubble, their dreary asses are warm and cozy. But their deductions from their cozy current state can’t be extrapolated so easily…BUT if you are a liberal, you can be rolled easily into believing the sky is falling :)

BigSven on February 8, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Okay, you see that huge bright thing in the sky?
Yeah, me neither.

Jeffster on February 8, 2012 at 11:17 AM

So what is the half life of a fraud?

The latest articles go half way there to stating the truth once more.

One day a courageous writer will finally say that there is no glass covering between the atmosphere and outer space, and therefore there are no CO2 heating effects at all…zero effects.

But the long march back from a total lie goes forward half way each time like the NFls half way to the goal line penalties.

jimw on February 8, 2012 at 11:18 AM

“FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACTSSSSS!!!!!!!”

/james t. kirk

GrassMudHorsey on February 8, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Evidence is building toward the robust climate theory, which would mean that while there may be more CO2 being emitted, it has little to no effect on the overall climate. That, of course, is contrary to the AGW crowd’s theory.

The real issue here is lack of evidence, not evidence for a new theory. AGW, at its core, relies heavily on radiative forcing. The problem is that there is just about zero evidence that CO2 has much, if any impact on radiative forcing. That is why the Church of AGW never talks about forcing anymore when shoveling their garbage to the public. Instead they continue to use bogus modeling that assumes such forcing exists without any actual data to support their algorithms.

NotCoach on February 8, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Climate change has been threatening global weather patterns since the beginning of man. This scam could be the biggest threat to the overall security of the peoples of the world in many ways. Granting controls over your lives in the name of global warming is perfect if the New World order is on your agenda. When I read that the Persian Sea was once a vast desert, it demonstrated to some degree that we are dealing with natural phenomenon much greater than man-made devices. First it was the mortal threat of global cooling towards an new ice age, now global warming and the rising seas on our coastal lands. Present the truth rather than doctored theories of liberals who seem incapable of the truth.

volsense on February 8, 2012 at 11:19 AM

First, let me be clear, the debate among scientists isn’t whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas or whether, even, it can cause warming, but instead on what real (if any) total effect it has overall on the climate.

Changes in CO2 levels trail changes in mean temperature. There is most definitely a debate about whether CO2 causes warming or vice-versa.

By giving in to their false premise, you’re helping prolong the alarmists’ screeching, last ditch effort to remain relevant.

Lost in Jersey on February 8, 2012 at 11:20 AM

I don’t know how or why. I’m not one of the many climate experts around here. It’s funny how many there are.

I do know this is another warm winter here with little snow.

Moesart on February 8, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Depends on where you are. In Europe they are having record low temperatures. They fear the Thames will freeze for the first time in a century. Siberia is suffering much lower temperatures than usual.

Oh wait, I suppose now we are only talking about weather not climate.

Lily on February 8, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Thanks for the excellent summary of Vahrenholt’s book, Bruce. This is not a trivial issue even if candidates aren’t talking about it. Global warming is at the heart of the Natural Man myth that liberals embrace–that we would all be better off if technical progress ceased for a while. Conservatives can make a pretty good argument that capitalism works better than Marxism in raising living standards, but just when we are on the verge of proving our case and sealing the deal, liberals shout out, “Yes, but we don’t really want improvement and better living standards in our lives, because that will just lead to global catastrophe anyway.” It puts conservatives in the real bind that the better our arguments, the less we convince.

Burke on February 8, 2012 at 11:25 AM

By giving in to their false premise, you’re helping prolong the alarmists’ screeching, last ditch effort to remain relevant.

Lost in Jersey on February 8, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Actually, excellent point.

hawkdriver on February 8, 2012 at 11:26 AM

A true scientist is skeptical of every new theory FROM DAY ONE.

Anyone who took this freaking long to admit the obvious has nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics. They haven’t learned a damned thing. They’re just flip-floppers.

logis on February 8, 2012 at 11:29 AM

These two can’t be scientists, they’ve broken with consensuses!

RMOccidental on February 8, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Changes in CO2 levels trail changes in mean temperature. There is most definitely a debate about whether CO2 causes warming or vice-versa.

By giving in to their false premise, you’re helping prolong the alarmists’ screeching, last ditch effort to remain relevant.

Lost in Jersey on February 8, 2012 at 11:20 AM

What’s funny is how AGWers don’t even try to square this circle. They just pretend that the geological record indicating CO2 is a lagging indicator doesn’t exist.

NotCoach on February 8, 2012 at 11:30 AM

They will never receive another Federal grant

faraway on February 8, 2012 at 11:31 AM

But, we have a consensus!!

/s

Logus on February 8, 2012 at 11:35 AM

They will never receive another Federal grant

faraway on February 8, 2012 at 11:31 AM

That was my thinking, hope they are independently wealthy…grants, jobs, publishing, education, all of that closed to them.

right2bright on February 8, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Two out of tens of thousands…that will be the argument.

right2bright on February 8, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Gosh! What about the Polar Bears? Aren’t they out there stranded on floating ice daily?

kirkill on February 8, 2012 at 11:36 AM

In short: there’s nothing wrong with the climate, and CO2 has nothing to do with it.

In Long. Two points: 1. There’s nothing wrong with the climate / current temps are not unusual (hockey stick has been debunked). And 2. CO2 has only been shown to be a result (NOT a cause) of temperatures. There is NO actual empirical evidence (just theorizing) the CO2 effect climate scale temps. This 3 minute video, which also shows Al Gore in a fundamental deception, provides nearly all that is needed to support point # 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg

This issue is about leftist politcs, not their trumped up “science.” Some point to Europe, where supposed conservatives back AGW, to downplay the left – right divide on the issue. But, Europe is notorious for its social welfare state: hence huge debt and all. A “right wing politician in Europe” is an oxymoron. Europeans are not loathe but in love with the idea of big govt controls on everything… so global whatever fits right in.

My recommendation, the best starting point for skeptics, an easy hub: http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/

anotherJoe on February 8, 2012 at 11:39 AM

“AGW theory functions best in a data free environment”

Perfect! Let’s do it!
/Democrats

ted c on February 8, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Vahrenholt concluded, through his research, that the science of the IPCC (if you can call it that) was mostly political and had been “hyped.”

Ya think?!

Conservative_Hippie on February 8, 2012 at 11:47 AM

I just posted a link to the notrickszone piece on my Facebook account. How long before I have folks screaming at me that this just further proves what a “hater” I am? 8)

LibraryGryffon on February 8, 2012 at 11:50 AM

That, of course, is contrary to the AGW crowd’s theory.

It’s a theory like evolution is a theory. It can’t be questioned or you’re guilty of heresy.

yhxqqsn on February 8, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Climate change?
The major media won’t change! They will always follow Al Gore around, as if he is the Pied Piper.

KOOLAID2 on February 8, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Dunno about Fat Al, he seems to have gone somewhat quiet lately, maybe since the assault on the masseuse in Oregon. (the ‘crazed sex-poodle’ incident) It may be that having made nearly a billion dollars off the scam he has decided to retire.

slickwillie2001 on February 8, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Algore just got into his limo headed for the airport to board his private jet to get over to Germany as quickly as possible to have a word with the doctor about this quackary of his. Doesn’t Vahrenholt know that the debate is…ovah?

NOMOBO on February 8, 2012 at 11:57 AM

James Delingpole is about to release his new “Watermelon” book…it should be a doozy.

d1carter on February 8, 2012 at 12:07 PM

This should bring the usual shrill denial from our friends at LGF.

Funny that everyone loses track of the fact that it matters very little WHICH phenomonon is occurring, that it stems from natural causes, and the rational response is to adapt to the particular.

irongrampa on February 8, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Several others above made a key observation: this assumption that is stipulated by the poster here – CO2 is a greenhouse gas, is central and false. This sort of error is not uncommon. I have even read comments about a very prominent “skeptic” (again – even the use of the word “skeptic” to describe those who reject the outlandish hypothesis of AGW is a gigantic blinking sign that the discussion isn’t remotely scientific to begin with) who just adopted the “climate forcing” concept without debate.

This is known as “begging the question” (assuming something that is supposed to be the focus of debate). Yes, kids, “begging the question,” or “begs the question” does NOT mean “raise” the question. Another casualty of sloppy English, and one that is costly, as the concept of begging the question, assuming the point in contention, is a key logical fallacy to understand and which is the very heart of THIS post and discussion.

Anyway (language geek switch off), the most fundamental hypothesis of AGW – that CO2 turns the troposphere into a greenhouse – should not be accepted, as it is outlandish on its face, and as far as I know has not been demonstrated (if it’s even testable – one hallmark of AGW non-science is that its premises are not falsifiable, a screaming hint that science is nowhere present). The atmosphere is not a greenhouse, CO2 cannot make it one, in any concentration. There, that’s my premise – let’s stand it up against the absolute foundational presmise of AGW.

One commenter above touched on a key, devastatingly depressing observation – science has been dumbed down and corrupted like other key institutions of modern society. Journalism/media (not being too romantic about a bygone golden era, but still), academia – and let’s not forget the judiciary, where ridiculous crap is just barfed up by judges from all levels of the federal bench all the way up to the SCOTUS. The very concept of “public service” is corroded by unionization of the public sector (police averting eyes from criminal mischief by protesting teachers and state workers in WI, anyone?). The rot is across the board.

IceCold on February 8, 2012 at 12:17 PM

b) certainly no justification to tax them.

Of course the entire purpose of the AGW theory is to provide a justification to tax. The fact that the theory is complete crap has little import to those with that singular goal.

peski on February 8, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Well, I guess AGW just needs better buzzwords provided by the Political Scientists.

Let’s see what the buzzword of the day is… ah, here we go.

Weather on steroids, dude!

For benefit of the retards that watch ABC, we’re “doping our atmosphere.”

MNHawk on February 8, 2012 at 12:22 PM

It’s a theory like evolution is a theory. It can’t be questioned or you’re guilty of heresy.

yhxqqsn on February 8, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Wrong. You can question both theories all you want. Just don’t offer religious arguments to make your case. As in “Intelligent Design”, previously known as “creation”.

peski on February 8, 2012 at 12:25 PM

The credibility of the entire Science community was at stake here. The science was NOT settled and dissenters were/are being black listed by the alarmists.

Daemonocracy on February 8, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Wrong. You can question both theories all you want. Just don’t offer religious arguments to make your case. As in “Intelligent Design”, previously known as “creation”.

peski on February 8, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Excuse me? Are you serious? People don’t have to listen to an argument or take it seriously. But a diktat on what arguments are allowed?

NotCoach on February 8, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Changes in CO2 levels trail changes in mean temperature. There is most definitely a debate about whether CO2 causes warming or vice-versa.

By giving in to their false premise, you’re helping prolong the alarmists’ screeching, last ditch effort to remain relevant.

Exactly. In fact the idea that Earth acts as this perfect greenhouse is on thin ice. When it became obvious to everyone that CO2 lagged temperature, the argument then became “But this time is different because of man”. But the original argument was that CO2 was the driver. They must get tired of moving goal posts. Anyway, we could have increasing CO2 levels while global temperatures lower. Which is what we seem to be seeing now. CO2 levels are rising as temps level off. So given the limited thinking of Alarmists, you might then expect them to claim “CO2 causes global cooling” next.

MechanicalBill on February 8, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Me thinks they that the good Dr. Vahrenholt is in for an audit of a lifetime…

What amazes me the most is how long it has taken for ‘real’ scientists in this field to actually look at the data and not just the executive summaries.

Bunsin2 on February 8, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Bbbbuuuttttt the ‘Science is Settled’!!!! Yeah, right!

Bob in VA on February 8, 2012 at 12:46 PM

I don’t claim to know all the science for and against AGW. However, I agree with Bjorn Lomborg that we are doing the very stupidest and most harmful things about it. Check out his documentary, “Cool It”. He explains things much more eloquently and more smart-like than me.

sobincorporated on February 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM

AGW is a completely faith based cause, proof is irrelevant.

esnap on February 8, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Excuse me? Are you serious? People don’t have to listen to an argument or take it seriously. But a diktat on what arguments are allowed?

NotCoach on February 8, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Well, you wouldn’t want dangerous thought to sneak into the discussion, would you?

swinia sutki on February 8, 2012 at 1:00 PM

“Global Warming” is a religion.
One only has to believe, facts are always trumped by faith.

albill on February 8, 2012 at 1:10 PM

All else aside, I love that shot of New Yawk under water. Can we just make that happen by itself without all the other AGW bad stuff? I’d love to find out if Bloomie can swim.

Coast Guard: “Mayor Bloomberg! Get out of that boat and back into city hall!” Bloomie: “B-B-But.. I stumbled! I was pushed by a wingnut gun-loving wacko!”

Marcola on February 8, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Everybody (conveniently) forgets to mentions the fact of the Earths Precession cycle and where it is in its cycle right now.
We might actually be in the part of the precession cycle where the northern hemisphere is tilted more towards the sun an will be warmer for quite a few years.

Precession is the wobble of the Earth on its axis, (not the seasonal tilt that produces our seasons) an takes about 26,000 years to complete it’s cycle

Vodkanockers on February 8, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Excuse me? Are you serious? People don’t have to listen to an argument or take it seriously. But a diktat on what arguments are allowed?

NotCoach on February 8, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Diktat? Ok, fine, make religious arguments to counter a scientific theory. Whatever floats your boat. “Evolution is false because I believe in God”. Good one!

peski on February 8, 2012 at 1:21 PM

the sun plays a far greater role in the whole scheme of things.

Wait, you mean that big fireball in the sky burning at tens of thousands of degrees might have an effect on the temperature of the planet? The deuce you say.

Odysseus on February 8, 2012 at 1:25 PM

“AGW theory functions best in a data free environment”.

Virtually all liberal theories follow this statement.

Bitter Clinger on February 8, 2012 at 1:26 PM

but have major qualms about the assumed positive CO2-related feed-backs and believe the sun plays a far greater role in the whole scheme of things.

This.

nukemhill on February 8, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Another win for that big, bright, yellow, glowing ball of fire in the sky.

Yakko77 on February 8, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chairman of the IPCC’s third working group:
“But one must say clearly that we distribute to the climate policy, de facto, the world’s wealth. That the owners of coal and oil which are not enthusiastic, is obvious. You have to free yourself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has nothing to do with environmental policy, with problems such as deforestation or ozone hole, nothing more.”
http://tinyurl.com/44msvqw

gatorgreenwell on February 8, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Please take a look at http://geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html.

The way I read it, CO2 levels were many times higher about 400-600 million years ago and the average global temperature was about 25 Celcius (77 degrees F), with one notable drop during a relatively brief time of perhaps 30 million years. I assume these drops represent ice ages, you know, climate change before SUVs, smokestacks, and exhaust pipes.

Yes, there are fluctuations where temperatures go down at the same time as CO2 goes down, but the relationship does not appear to me to be in good correlation. How can CO2 levels about 1800 times higher than today exist when the global temperature was 77? How can CO2 levels be 4.7 times higher today in another period when the average was once again 77?

It appears from the chart that the global temperature swings from 25 C to 10C, sometimes with and sometimes against CO2 levels.

I would say that something other than CO2 is at work causing the temperature to change. But what do I know???

billrowe on February 8, 2012 at 1:40 PM

‘Climate change’ is and always has been bogus. ‘Global warming’ has been a losing argument from the start. Now, if they’d gone with acid rain or something like that, I could have gotten behind them. Acid rain is something we can control and can reliably measure.

Interestingly, we didn’t have a problem with ‘acid rain’ until the environmentalists won their push to get lead out of gasoline. Unleaded gasoline creates sulfuric acid in the atmosphere which is what acid rain is.

Not real systems thinkers those environmentalists. They don’t really understand that their ‘cure’ is worse than the ‘problem’.

PorchDawg on February 8, 2012 at 1:41 PM

That, of course, is contrary to the AGW crowd’s theory.

It’s a theory like evolution is a theory. It can’t be questioned or you’re guilty of heresy.

yhxqqsn on February 8, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Wrong. You’re either misunderstanding, or misrepresenting, what the term “theory” means.

AGW, despite what others may claim, is not a theory. It is an hypothesis. A poor one, admittedly, but an hypothesis nonetheless. People have been scrambling madly in an attempt to find evidence that proves the “tentative” conclusion that has been reached. And, of course, many people have tried desperately to elevate AGW to the status of a rock-solid theory. But it’s not.

Evolution and, to a lesser extent, the Big Bang theory, are much more scientifically grounded. The evidence proving Evolution, for example, while it will never be conclusive (theories can never be conclusively “proven”; to argue otherwise is sophomoric), is overwhelmingly in its favor. Are there questions around the edges? Yep. But there is example after example after example of evidence directly demonstrating how evolution works. And evolution does a brilliant job of forecasting the future, based on verifiable pre-conditions and measurable inputs.

So, while Evolutionary theory may not be quite as solid as, say, Gravitational theory, to argue that it is “just a theory” and is on the same level as AGW is to make the argument of a moron. And to question it is to demonstrate lack of sophistication worthy of a chimp.

Go ahead and question it. Knock yourself out. But you’re not committing a heresy. You’re just relegating yourself to a double-wide. And the ridicule of people who are, you know, scientifically literate, and capable of critical thought.

nukemhill on February 8, 2012 at 1:42 PM

I watched a great video on National Geo about historical climate change. It dealt with the region of South America at it’s Southern most tip. Using geology they were able to determine that the area had been both frozen waste land and lush jungle many times over and over. The explanation was global climate change. Fine. We all believe this and know it to be true because of empirical evidence at so many different places on our earth. But then, normal for a liberal outfit like NatGeo, they tried to blame man made pollution of CO2 as the cause of a faster cycle time. They figured that the normal cycle was about 600,000 years and that we are coming up on a 500,000+ year period and if we don’t stop the CO2 emissions we may get the cycle, wait for it, a few thousand years early! These people are so pathetic and small that they cannot see the forest for the trees. One meteor could hit us or the super volcano in Yellow Stone park could erupt in that same period and we wouldn’t even remember CO2 emissions.

inspectorudy on February 8, 2012 at 1:56 PM

First, let me be clear, the debate among scientists isn’t whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas or whether, even, it can cause warming, but instead on what real (if any) total effect it has overall on the climate. In other words, is there a saturation point where additional CO2 has little marginal effect, or does it build to a tipping point where the change is radical? Robust climate or delicate climate?

Thanks for coming up with basic questions about AGW I’d never heard of or even thought of.

The danger of climate change has become like so many other liberal shibboleths — when the subject arises, you must simply cluck your tongue and shake your head and say it’s a scourge and more must be done to prevent it. To even ask a single question about it is to show the wrong sympathies, revealing you are one of the enemy.

It’s like asking what was the source of anti-Semitism in 1930s Germany, or what were the American slave owner’s best argument in favor of slavery in the 1850s. Many people won’t or can’t go beyond “Germans were evil, Southern slave owners were evil”. People don’t want to hear facts. If the facts confirm their beliefs, they’re extraneous. If the facts contradict their beliefs, they’re to be rejected. It’s all about sympathies and feelings.

By the way, I was taught about the “greenhouse effect” of CO2 on the earth in middle school, in the 1960s.

Paul-Cincy on February 8, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Save the rainforest … emit more CO2. Plants deserve to breathe too!

Lost in Jersey on February 8, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Is it too much to hope that someday there will be a “Truth Commission” to hold accountable all the miscreants that were guilty of active malpractice concerning AGW? There is ample evidence that multiple conspiracies exist to deceive the public, and to profit from that deception personally, institutionally, and politically.

drunyan8315 on February 8, 2012 at 2:08 PM

I’m thinking we’re due to have Al Gore swoop in on one of the private jets he has at his dirposal, and get us all back in line…

stacman on February 8, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Earth’s Polar Ice Melting Less Than Thought

If the amount of ice lost between 2003 and 2010 covered the United States, the whole country would be under one-and-a-half feet of water, or it’d fill Lake Erie eight times, researchers say. Ocean levels worldwide are rising about six tenths of an inch per year, according to researcher John Wahr.

Bet the states with yearly fire seasons and droughts would love the melting of the glaciers…

Y314K on February 8, 2012 at 2:29 PM

fortunately for the leftists their little project gained enough momentum among a compliant, dumbed down, population of sheeple that no change in direction will have to be made in the apparatchik

So more Volt’s please…54mph is the Goal! O_Bam_A. And no, you nasty little boy, we can’t drill more because of Gaia!

Oil is Dirty, Wind is Clean…The sun gives her power to Gaia, to let us live.

r keller on February 8, 2012 at 2:32 PM

I move the Academy take back Al’s Oscar. Any bids on his carbon credits?

StevC on February 8, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Oil is Dirty, Wind is Clean…The sun gives her power to Gaia, to let us live.

r keller on February 8, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Just ask Eagles & other birds how clean Wind is… By Obama’s EPA regulations…. All wind turbines would be shut down because of the number of wild life it kills…. But u know… They are the “good” kind of energy… Blood and all…

Y314K on February 8, 2012 at 2:45 PM

First, let me be clear, the debate among scientists isn’t whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas or whether, even, it can cause warming, but instead on what real (if any) total effect it has overall on the climate.

Therein lies the rub, doesn’t it. No skeptics are arguing that CO2 CANNOT cause the climate to warm. Rather, they are arguing that a rise in CO2 DOES NOT cause climate to warm. BIG difference, little words. If you want to get even more specific. AGW skeptics are not actually skeptical of climate CHANGE, they are skeptical of ANTHROPOLOGICAL global warming. The debate is about the CAUSE not the effect.

Pattosensei on February 8, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Okay, you see that huge bright thing in the sky?
Yeah, me neither.

Jeffster on February 8, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Indeed. When it comes to “climate change”,

It’s the sun, stupid!

ITguy on February 8, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Evolution and, to a lesser extent, the Big Bang theory, are much more scientifically grounded.

Only when they are grounded in untestable assumptions based upon the theory itself. Evolution has no more scientific proof than ID or even Creationism. They all use the SAME evidence. The difference is in interpretation.

The Big Bang Theory is no different than AGW. Neither is based on any testable (or even observable) scientific facts. Rather, they are based on assumptions derived from the theories that spawned them.

Pattosensei on February 8, 2012 at 3:07 PM

But wait, THERE’S MORE!

On 9/24/2011, Damion Carrington, the climate change reporter form the left-leaning UK Guardian wrote an article titled: “Melting ice is Earth’s warning signal – and we cannot ignore it; From the Himalayas to the Arctic, the signs of danger are visible”

TODAY, he authored an article in the same paper titled: The Himalayas and nearby peaks have lost no ice in past 10 years, study shows;Meltwater from Asia’s peaks is much less then previously estimated, but lead scientist says the loss of ice caps and glaciers around the world remains a serious concern”

OOPS!

Opposite Day on February 8, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Great article. Welcome relief from all the political stuff. Regarding global warming, I wonder why more is not written about the effects of El Nino and La Nina. The weather (not climate) is directly affected by these two, and weather extremes can be readily explained. I think people get confused over climate vs. weather. But then, perhaps that’s what the media/politicians want.

elintex on February 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Only when they are grounded in untestable assumptions based upon the theory itself. Evolution has no more scientific proof than ID or even Creationism. They all use the SAME evidence. The difference is in interpretation.

The Big Bang Theory is no different than AGW. Neither is based on any testable (or even observable) scientific facts. Rather, they are based on assumptions derived from the theories that spawned them.

Pattosensei on February 8, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Complete and utter rubbish. Equating Evolution with ID/Creationism (they’re exactly the same thing, doofus) is the height of scientific illiteracy.

Come back when you’ve passed a basic 9th grade biology class. Then we might be able to have a semi-intelligent conversation. Until then, you’re a complete waste of air.

I’ve come to believe that G-d puts people like you on the Earth to test the patience of those of us who actually possess the ability to think. So far, I’ve failed the test. I hope He has more patience with me than I do with idiots like you.

nukemhill on February 8, 2012 at 3:56 PM

OK, so the CO2 thing didn’t work out for the IPCC.

They should have known better: It’s not nice to ignore mother nature (and especially the sun and clouds)!!

NO PROBLEM: TIME FOR A NEW THEORY:

namely: LIBERALISM CAUSES DESTRUCTIVE CLIMATE CHANGE!!!

Plenty of evidence for this exists.

LOL!

landlines on February 8, 2012 at 3:57 PM

What we’re finding as this argument goes forward is that Patrick Michaels was right – “AGW theory functions best in a data free environment”.
Hmmm, kind of like Darwinism, the Big Bang Theory, et al…

jwally on February 8, 2012 at 11:17 AM

I don’t know anyone who would put AGW in the same class as The theory of Evolution or the Big Bang Theory. AGW is a hoax – these others are verifiable theories that might not ultimately be proven correct but are backed by data as we know it today.

ArthurMachado on February 8, 2012 at 3:58 PM

In the halls of academe, when Reagan was the president, I was taught in graduate school: never Never NEVER Trust research that is funded by the government for their own purposes. At that time, a lot of the scholarly research in Europe sounded really foreign to us, except in the really pure sciences.

So when I heard that they increased the grant money to the UK team that came up with global warming, and that UK raised tax money off it, which provided no impact on any climate change, you knew it was a scheme.

Then, what followed was a bunch of frauds in the Cap and trade business, as if it wasn’t fraudulent enough! It was revealed that it was only a money making scheme. And Al Gore was making himself rich just by talking to our congress about climate change?

Oh right, it’s ok to be rich if you are a liberal or a democrat.

Fleuries on February 8, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Complete and utter rubbish. Equating Evolution with ID/Creationism (they’re exactly the same thing, doofus) is the height of scientific illiteracy.

Come back when you’ve passed a basic 9th grade biology class. Then we might be able to have a semi-intelligent conversation. Until then, you’re a complete waste of air.

I’ve come to believe that G-d puts people like you on the Earth to test the patience of those of us who actually possess the ability to think. So far, I’ve failed the test. I hope He has more patience with me than I do with idiots like you.

nukemhill on February 8, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Wow, did I ever hit a nerve.

ID and Creationism have a similar base, but they are not the same thing.

Biology cannot prove evolution any more than it proves ID. There is no observable evidence of one kind of animal slowly morphing into another. Hypothesizing that something must have happened because evolution must be true is not science.

Evolution cannot be proven by science. It is not falsifiable or observable. You can observe adaptation, but not evolution (as in change from one kind to another). If that wasn’t bad enough, Evolution can’t even pass a test of simple logical reasoning.

Regardless, I’m not the one that demands evolution not be taught in schools in the fear that students might actually learn critical thinking skills and make an educated choice instead of regurgitating whatever the elites dictate.

Pattosensei on February 8, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Pattosensei on February 8, 2012 at 4:18 PM

You have absolutely no understanding of what those words mean. You should stop using them now, before you prove what an absolute fool you really are.

Oops. Too late.

nukemhill on February 8, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Here’s what I’m going to do about “global warming.”

-Take arm
-Bend it backwards
-Pat self on back for having opposed this sham from the start.

KillerKane on February 8, 2012 at 6:25 PM

You have absolutely no understanding of what those words mean. You should stop using them now, before you prove what an absolute fool you really are.

Oops. Too late.

nukemhill on February 8, 2012 at 5:09 PM

The above speaks for itself. I find little point in making a reply of any substance as you are clearly incapable of debate. Enjoy your evening.

Pattosensei on February 8, 2012 at 6:36 PM

nukemhill on February 8, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Is it possible to have a sober, non-smart assed debate with you along this subject?

Oops, too late.

listens2glenn on February 8, 2012 at 6:45 PM

What we’re finding as this argument goes forward is that Patrick Michaels was right – “AGW theory functions best in a data free environment”.
excerpt: Bruce McQuain

That’s one of the most fantastic quotes I’ve heard, in a political debate.

That quote works well, for almost any subject. Just replace the initials ‘AGW’ with the word ‘Communist’, or ‘Socialized Medicine’.

See what I mean? : )

listens2glenn on February 8, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Skeptics think the sensitivity is very low while alarmists think it is very high.

It’s actually a little more than that. The alarmist theory says that increased CO2 warming serves as a trigger to unleash much greater warming due to water vapor concentrations. The effect of CO2 directly, even under the most dire views is insignificant. The much greater effect from water vapor was theorized to cause runaway warming. However, the causal chain from CO2 to H2O is highly speculative and proving to be outright non-existent.

MJBrutus on February 8, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Turns out, liberals are really the anti-science deniers. In typical liberal fashion, whatever they say, the opposite is true.

Amazing how many people were conned by the likes of Al “I’m making millions off this scam” Gore. And even today, some deadbeats are so entrenched in the idea, no amount of science will convince them otherwise.

BruthaMan on February 8, 2012 at 7:13 PM

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