Disconnect exposed

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Last updated on July 24th, 2017 at 11:50 am

When they get serious, folks just don’t care about environmentalism:

A vast majority of voters favors stronger policies to protect the environment, but the issue still ranks low on their list of priorities, according to a survey released Tuesday.

The survey found that 79 percent favor “stronger national standards to protect our land, air and water,” including 40 percent who strongly support the idea. But only 22 percent said environmental issues played a major role in their recent voting …

Only 10 percent of voters identified the environment as one of their top concerns, compared to 34 percent for the economy and jobs.

Says former EPA boss William K. Reilly: “There is a clear disconnect here.” Yes, but maybe not the one Reilly is thinking of.

Posted by Tim B. on 09/21/2005 at 01:09 PM
    1. What people say and how they vote aren’t always the same. Here in Maine, opinion polls always show support for gay-rights legislation. Every time it comes up for referendum, it’s defeated.

      Posted by Dave S. on 09/21 at 01:42 PM • permalink


    1. Or, to paraphrase Sideshow Bob:

      “Your guilty conscience may force you to poll Democratic, but deep down inside you secretly long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king!”

      Posted by Dave S. on 09/21 at 01:48 PM • permalink


    1. Polls, like fleas, are everywhere.  Generally, they’re junked up with loaded questions and will tell you anything you want them to.  I distrust polls almost as much as I do lefty newsmen.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 09/21 at 02:34 PM • permalink


    1. Conclusion: Voters routinely lie to pollsters, and lefty politicians and activists are too stupid to figure it out.

      Posted by PW on 09/21 at 02:36 PM • permalink


    1. Ahh Sideshow Bob as political analyst. Interestingly, I recently had a discussion with a man who has been given major awards for environmental care and conservation; and he said he thought global warming was garbage.

      Posted by Wolfbane on 09/21 at 04:56 PM • permalink


    1. Nothing wrong with taking care of the environment.  It’s just way down my list.  Western Civilization is more endangered than the environment, and that gets my time and energy.

      A dirty little secret among the environmentalist activists is that when people have children, the environment becomes unimportant—just the opposite of their rhetoric of preserving the place for future generations.  When you actually have a future generation in the flesh, the environment only gets your attention when there is some actual, active poison about.  Theoretical problems of condors and species habitat in 2030 are revealed as trivial.

      Posted by Assistant Village Idiot on 09/21 at 05:31 PM • permalink


    1. It’s certainly easier to mouth what you see as caring platitudes when they don’t cost you anything then it is to actually put your hand in your pocket.

      Of course this disconnect might just be because we’re all evil urban consumers thinking only of our own economic security – i know i am.

      Posted by Francis H on 09/21 at 06:14 PM • permalink


    1. I like my pizza with snail darters instead of anchovies.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 09/21 at 07:45 PM • permalink


    1. I care about the environment – desalination, cuddley Koalas, clean water, etc – but I don’t think the Greens do. ‘Environment’ to them is code for Communisim.

      John Howard’s Gov’t does plenty to look after the environment. What the Greenies are really upset about is that no one falls for their propaganda that they own the issue…

      Posted by kipwatson on 09/21 at 08:12 PM • permalink


    1. disconnect is a verb…..the utterance of which surely must allow us to recognise the illiterates among us.

      Amazing what post-modernism has achieved.

      Posted by Louis on 09/21 at 08:28 PM • permalink


    1. By sheer coincidence, an NRO Article this morning about the dreadful effects of zany (as opposed to sensibly conservative) environmentalism – eg. bans on the toxic chemical chlorine causing cholera outbreaks in the exotic developed world (toxic to germs too).

      Posted by kipwatson on 09/21 at 08:41 PM • permalink


    1. The disconnection happens because we are disconnected from the environment.  We get food from supermarkets, water is piped to us and we get power from places we never see.  So to most of us the environment does not matter.  Our farming methods really use the ground as a growing medium that we pour fertilisers into to get plants to grow.

      However when it turns bad we now all about it.  With Global Warming possibly causing climate change then it is quite likely that we will know all about the environment in the future as it becomes less and less able to sustain our society.  The residents of New Orleans had somewhere to go when the environment turned bad – where do you go when the global climate changes?

      Posted by Ender on 09/21 at 10:49 PM • permalink


    1. “When they get serious, folks just don’t care about environmentalism”

      Then why does your supporting evidence show they DO care?? (Just not quite as much as they care for security and the economy – that’s a different proposition altogether to not caring.)

      BTW – do you have any similar survey data from Australia? As far as I’m aware “folks” doesn’t mean just Americans.

      Posted by kywong73 on 09/21 at 10:59 PM • permalink


    1. Ender,

      If the Roman Warm Period and the Early Medieval Warm Period are any guide, the thing to do would be to stay and enjoy it.

      Apart from the deceitful false connection so often made between human activity and climate change, there is also the wrong assumption that a warmer climate will necessarily be bad. Historically, warmer periods have been significantly more hospitable for humans.

      Bring It On, one might say.

      I *wish* human activity were responsible for climate change, so we could induce a permanently warmer climate and eliminate the threat of a returning Ice Age forever. Then those awful glaciers, that killed and tormented our distant ancestors, would retreat and be forever banished – good riddance!

      Posted by kipwatson on 09/21 at 11:04 PM • permalink


    1. Ender soulds a lot like population control demagogue Paul Ehrlich. And we know how his predictions turned out.

      “where do you go when the global climate changes”

      I dont need to go anywhere, Ender. If it is 0.25 or even 0.5 degrees warmer on average where I am (Canberra) in 50 years, I doubt that I nor my children will notice. And dont try to scare me with predictions from flakey computer models about rainfall and hurricanes.

      Posted by niobium2000 on 09/21 at 11:12 PM • permalink


    1. Kipwatson – so what do you think is causing the warming?

      niobium2000 – The predictions are for rises of 2 degrees if we limit CO2 and over 10 degrees if we do not.  That is only about the average temperatures not what some areas could fluctuate to.  Having lived in Canberra I know how hot the summers can be so the maximum could well not be 38 degrees but 48 or higher.  I am not trying to scare you – this is what could happen.  If you fly in a modern airliner I am sure that you never give a seconds thought to the ‘flaky’ computer models that the aircraft was designed with. Yet a lot of the same equations in aircraft flow simulators are used in the CFD atmosphere models.  No-one says that they are perfect however they can give quite a good idea of what might happen with increasing CO2.

      Posted by Ender on 09/21 at 11:54 PM • permalink


    1. #1

      What people say and how they vote aren’t always the same…

      Exactly. Opinions are cheap – people will say anything, often adopting an extreme attitude for the sake of it.  A decade or so ago we (in Australia) had a survey or poll in which people were asked how much they were prepared to pay, as individuals, to preserve the Kakadoo wilderness.  Of course, no one was ever going to be asked to actually pay anything.  Since ticking the box was cheap people felt they could afford to be generous.

      The sum of everyone’s ‘donations’ was more than the total value of all the real estate in Australia.

      Unbelievably this was a Government-paid for professional survey with a serious intent.

      Posted by walterplinge on 09/22 at 12:12 AM • permalink


    1. Ender,

      What do *you* think is causing the parallel ‘global warming’ phenomenon on the planet Mars?

      What do you think caused the Medieval and Roman Warm periods? How is it they grew grapes in the north of England in Roman times? And for that matter, what caused the Little Ice Age in the 1500s?

      Going back further, why have there been so many Ice Ages, and warm periods in between? and why was there long ago no permanent ice at the poles?

      No doubt it’s all very complex, but clearly it’s all very natural.

      Posted by kipwatson on 09/22 at 12:13 AM • permalink


    1. I think the consensus here is that global warming is a lefty conspiracy.

      Might be right too (although I suspect you give the mad lefties way too much credit). But what if those mad lefties are right? Whilst we can accept that global warning is an unproven threat, sufficient credible evidence exists to suggest it is reckless to ignore the risk. 

      One invests in insurance not because one’s house will burn down, but because it might. Recognising and acting to mitigate the risks is just common sense. Simple risk management suggests we take the threat seriously. It’s going to be a bit hard to get insurance when the house is already on fire.

      The challenge is to seek the balanced view. Tricky one, of course.

      And Mr Niobium, if you struggle to contemplate the impact of a warmer Canberra, consider instead a dryer (drier?) one. Your children will notice it, even if you don’t. Certainly here in Sydney, where I am, it’s a major concern.

      Posted by Nemesis on 09/22 at 12:18 AM • permalink


    1. Nemesis,

      OK – there’s some merit in what your saying, except the Kyoto protocol path seems to be more like an insurance company that requires me and my descendants to sell ourselves into poverty for perpetuity, in order to insure against a flood in the garage…

      …I’d rather take my chances.

      (and maybe buy a bucket to keep handy)

      Posted by kipwatson on 09/22 at 12:23 AM • permalink


    1. The predictions are for rises of 2 degrees if we limit CO2 and over 10 degrees if we do not.

      10 degrees?  I thought the IPCC (or whatever that acronym is) were predicting 1-5 degrees by 2100.  I’ve never heard anyone predict 10 degrees!

      Yet a lot of the same equations in aircraft flow simulators are used in the CFD atmosphere models.

      What like “F=MA”? There’s only so many Laws of Physics to go around, Ender… 😉

      OK, seriously though, predicting air-flow over-an-object-of-a-certain-shape-in-a-wind-tunnel, etc, etc is one thing.  But trying to predict the global weather system where there are just so many variables is quite another.  Particularly when you are trying to isolate the effect of just one variable (CO2)…

      No-one says that they are perfect however they can give quite a good idea of what might happen with increasing CO2.

      How do we know they “give quite a good idea”?  What’s their track record so far?

      Posted by ekb87 on 09/22 at 12:26 AM • permalink


    1. Nemesis, you’re completely ignoring the cost involved with dealing with the ‘unproven threat’.

      For example, you wouldn’t buy home insurance if it cost $100,000 a year so why would you incur the massive costs associated with Kyoto if the threat is unproven?

      Posted by ArtVandelay on 09/22 at 12:28 AM • permalink


    1. Ender sez:

      If you fly in a modern airliner I am sure that you never give a seconds thought to the ‘flaky’ computer models that the aircraft was designed with. Yet a lot of the same equations in aircraft flow simulators are used in the CFD atmosphere models.

      ekb87 gave a good answer, but I’ll bring up an additional point:

      Modeling the aerodynamics of an aircraft is vastly different from modeling global climate changes.  One model deals with the dynamic flow of air across an air frame that can be as large as 400 feet long.  The other model dealings with an entire friggin’ planet, including solar influence. 

      The difference in detail alone means the models will differ in nature and scale. Other than being run on a computer, I mean.

      I do trust structural frames designed and tested using computer models.  I’ve actually done the same myself. 

      But global climate computer models?  Please!  Our technology and basic knowledge of the global climate isn’t up to the task.  Anyone that glibly states “The predictions are for rises of 2 degrees if we limit CO2 and over 10 degrees if we do not” (yes, you) is merely declaring a simple faith in something they don’t really understand.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/22 at 01:21 AM • permalink


    1. The_Real_Jeffs – yes the actual model is different however the cellular approach of the GCMs treat small cells with very similar flow equations.  The faster the computer the smaller the cells.  The latest GCMs take into account the sea and land interactions.

      The predictions are not set in stone – the modellers use probablities to see what is the most likely scenerios.  The 2 deg figure is if we manage to keep C02 under 500ppm by cutting emissions 40% or 50%.  If it rises more that this then all bets are off.

      ekb87 – the IPCC goes for the most probable scenerios so they conservatively quote 2 to 5 degrees. Local temperarture variations will be higher and lower than this.  A local variation of 10 degrees is not impossible and it is likely that temperature extremes will become larger.

      kipwatson – The previous warming events such as the MWP have not been proven to be as bad as the warming today or that might occur in the future.  The past ice ages are natural however by releasing massive amounts of CO2 we are doing what nature has not done for thousands of years.  We are using a natural technique to warm the planet which is not the same as saying that the present warming is natural.

      Sure you might think that Global Warming is a lefty conspiracy however if/when it happens it will affect mad lefties along with righties with no discrimination.  If you cannot grow food to eat then it really does not matter what your politics are.

      Posted by Ender on 09/22 at 01:40 AM • permalink


    1. I love science, but I’m sceptical of scientists. They’re always keen to blow their own trumpets, I’ve heard more than just one or two scientific doomsday scenarios in my lifetime – none of which turned out to be true – and I’m not even very old!

      I have been conned once or twice in my time, and this is a con, I have no doubt of it.

      The convenient hockey stick that relied on math software that wasn’t made public, the way dissenting viewpoints are shouted down, the assumption that all conflicting evidence somehow doesn’t count, the vocal support of the mainstream media…

      …not to mention, Mars, water vapour, satellite readings…

      …and the fact that IPCC is part of the UN, a.k.a. scam-central…

      … and the fact that the ‘solution’ (by an *amazing* coincidence) turns out to be the imposition on us all of a huge powerful international bureaucracy.

      Posted by kipwatson on 09/22 at 02:33 AM • permalink


    1. Ender, I think you need to be concerned, you’re making Nemesis sound level-headed by comparison.

      the IPCC goes for the most probable scenerios so they conservatively quote 2 to 5 degrees. Local temperarture variations will be higher and lower than this.  A local variation of 10 degrees is not impossible and it is likely that temperature extremes will become larger.

      In other words, we’re back to the ol’ switcheroo where any kind of change in temperature is bad. Heck, by that logic if the average change in temperature is 5 degrees and some place’s change is only 2, then that place is even worse off because it’s not following the trajectory of the rest of the world. Or maybe you’re labouring under the mistaken impression that the only kind of variation that can happen is to even higher temperature changes?

      Seriously, you’re emoting bigtime here, listing the most outlandish claims as sensible predictions, as you have in almost all threads you’ve posted in, and then you have the gall to post this:

      I am not trying to scare you – this is what could happen.

      What “could” happen is that an asteroid hits you in the head tomorrow, achieving much the same results as it did for Margok. Unfortunately, I actually have a grasp of probabilities, so I won’t go holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

      Posted by PW on 09/22 at 02:44 AM • permalink


    1. Nevermind the “…labouring…” sentence. I see you addressed that in the part I quoted (oops!). Still, I’m kind of wondering why one end of the bell curve is so much more worthy of your attention than the other, and indeed more than the vastly more important center.

      Posted by PW on 09/22 at 02:50 AM • permalink


    1. I care a lot about the environment and within reason,try to live a fairly sustainable lifestyle.However the prospect of being blown to bits on a train or being forced to live in a religious fundamentalist state has to be addressed quickly.Meanwhile we try to save and reuse water,buy carefully,save power(no air conditioning,turning off lights etc),save petrol and use environmental products for cleaning and doing the washing,use rain water etc etc.Don’t believe the Greens,specially Bob have much to do with it.That’s just to lure people in.

      Posted by crash on 09/22 at 03:13 AM • permalink


    1. Anyway, the whole “a few places could get warmer by as much as 10 degrees!” doom-mongering mostly elicits one reaction in me…so what? I won’t deny that it’ll be sad if certain areas were to become inhospitable due to localized, extreme climate change, but really, basing policy on the outliers is much like saying that the continued existence of some poor people in the U.S. proves that capitalism doesn’t work. Tough cookies, but “everyone can be a winner” only works in misguided education policies. And that goes for climate change too, especially when you’re going for blatantly emotive ‘arguments’ such as “If you cannot grow food to eat then it really does not matter what your politics are.”

      On that point, what about large additional swaths of Canada becoming great places to grow food in many climate models that predict warming, for instance? But yeah, I forget, we’re only ever “concerned” about the places where conditions might get worse. Otherwise the neatly built house of cards might fall apart, and we can’t have that.

      Posted by PW on 09/22 at 03:29 AM • permalink


    1. All true environmentalists should abhor the Kyoto scam. There are some genuine environmental needs in the world, clean air and water for the poor folks being one, and another dam in Victoria (so I can get back to wasting water) being another.

      But as Lomberg pointed out, Kyoto would be such an insane waste of money—to such little effect*—what chance would any worthy project have?

      I support cleaning up oil and coal powered electricity plants, but Carbon Dioxide isn’t a pollutant, unless you take such an absurdly broad definition of ‘pollution’ that the word ceases to have any meaning.

      Anyway. fossil fuels are wonderful, we owe our fabulous lifestyles to them after all. Gov’t should eliminate taxes on fuels, use more coal, drill more wells. Talk about killing the goose that laid golden eggs.

      (*even assuming Climate Change is caused by Man, which I believe in the space of 2 lines, I demonstrated incontrovertibly that it isn’t)

      Posted by kipwatson on 09/22 at 03:37 AM • permalink


    1. This recent Australian survey showed that the environment was a relatively high concern after health and the price of petrol. Statistics are only useful when they agree with you, I guess.

      Posted by dirtbikeoption on 09/22 at 05:47 AM • permalink


    1. The_Real_Jeffs – yes the actual model is different however the cellular approach of the GCMs treat small cells with very similar flow equations.  The faster the computer the smaller the cells.  The latest GCMs take into account the sea and land interactions.

      Say what?  Computer modeling does indeed break down the system into components or “cells” of some sort.  But what makes the model work best is not just the “size” of the cell, it’s how each “cell” interacts with adjacent “cells”.  Basic modeling uses the same approach for each problem, but is unique in the variables that are included in the model.  An air frame model deals with forces (i.e., physical pressure) on the structure.  A climate model deals with the resulting weather (i.e., wind, temperature, precipitation, etc).  Comparing the two models is like comparing the painting of a bowl of fruit to a 3 dimensional sculpture of the same bowl.  Similar in concept, dissimilar in detail.

      Speed is an issue only with the size of the model, and how soon you want an answer.  That’s why many computers are rated in “FLOPS”, or “Floating-Point Operations Per Second”, AKA Million instructions per second.

      In short you don’t know what you’re talking about.  Heck, I’m 10 years out of date, and I know you’re full of it.

      The predictions are not set in stone – the modellers use probablities to see what is the most likely scenerios.

      No duh!  PW spoke best about this, but I’ll emphasize one point:  Probabilities are really a description of our ignorance of the outcome.  That’s why the Bell Curve is so useful in determining which are extreme events. 

      So identifying the “most likely scenario” with a computer model is really just an estimate of the most common event; the value of the estimate depends on how good your model really is.  By “good”, I mean, “Does the model accurately reflect all possible and reasonable variables that influence the system under investigation?”

      My point is, producing a good model of the global climate is, at best, difficult.  People are working on it, but if you can sit there and glibly state that a certain city will have a 2-10 degree temperature increase, you are full of it.  Especially if you are using the Celsius scale, which means a major warming trend. 

      If you had said that there may be such a rise, I would have asked, “What is the probability?” But you did not, which is why I know that you are out of your league here, being the doomsayer that you are.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/22 at 06:25 AM • permalink


    1. DBO—any poll is suspect.  And comparing polls from different sources is even more suspect.

      In this case, the ABC poll surveyed voter issues and history.  The Sensis Consumer Report surveyed consumer concerns.  Granted, a voter is a consumer, but the poll objectives drive phrasing of the questions.  “Voting” and “Consuming” are not the same thing, although one does influence the others. 

      For example, how does one vote on the price of gasoline in Australia or America?  I mention that because the ABC survey didn’t ask about the price of gas.

      Also, the results are tallied different (percentage versus ranked scoring). 

      So your comment, “Statistics are only useful when they agree with you…”, comes closer to home than you realize.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/22 at 06:37 AM • permalink


    1. JeffS – correct.

      Posted by dirtbikeoption on 09/22 at 08:02 AM • permalink


    1. Well, Ender, let’s put it this way:

      I trust the science of aerodynamics, because they’ve built multi-ton metal vehicles that stay off the ground because of the shape of their wings.

      I trust medical science, because when I have trouble breathing, I can take a little bottle out of my pocket, breathe the contents in, sit down for a minute or two and my chest clears up.

      So, Ender, why do you have faith in “Climate Science?” Apart from weather forecasts, which are very uncertain, why do you give them more credence than someone who claims wearing a hat will ward off invisible tigers?

      Posted by John Nowak on 09/22 at 09:29 AM • permalink


    1. Ender, “global warming” is a scientific fact.  The globe is getting warmer, no doubt about it.

      The period which we now enjoy as humans is not typical of world climate historically – there is plenty of scientific evidence to show that cyclical “Ice Ages” of c.100,000 years to c.120,000 years are the norm, with tiny bursts of c.15,000 to c.18,000 year “Interglacial” periods between them.

      Currently, we (the human race, not just Tim’s acolytes) are enjoying 18,000 years since the last Ice Age.

      During this 18,000 years, mankind has developed civilisation and all of its accoutrements.  We don’t really know the status of human civilisation during the closing years of the last Ice Age, as there are no written records.  Suffice it to say, any human activity was a “Kumbya” community effort, just in order to survive.  Or, it could well have been a Zimbabwean nightmare of “dog eats dog” – who would know?

      Other posters here have referred to the Medieval Warming Period – a period which was significantly warmer than today.  How else can you explain retreating glaciers exposing evidence of plant growth?

      There were no evil neo-cons burning fossil fuels in their SUV’s at that time, I’m sure you will appreciate.

      You will also appreciate (and reading your comments, it is apparent that you do possess a modicum of intelligence) that man-made carbon dioxide pales into utter insignificance when compared with natural carbon dioxide emanations.

      However, let’s not stop at carbon dioxide, the “pollutant” poster child of the loony left.  Let’s look at ALL “greenhouse” gases. 

      The most significant greenhouse gas is water vapour, accounting for some 95% of greenhouse gases.  Of the remaining 5%, roughly four fifths (or 4% of the total) is carbon dioxide.

      Man-made carbon dioxide accounts for less than five percent of this four percent.  95% of carbon dioxide comes from the oceans (dead fish), and the land mass (dead plants).

      For someone to presume that man-made carbon dioxide has any effect at all upon the planet is the height of ignorance.

      You would no doubt not believe for an instant that the land mass of the USA is in fact a net carbon sink, insofar as it absorbs 25% more carbon dioxide than is produced by the country.

      The “climate change” aficionados exhibit an almost religious zeal – do you think, in the 21st century, that we can communicate with the weather any better than our Neanderthal forebears?

      Naturally, you and your co-religionists become upset when presented with hard scientific evidence – this has been human nature for many, many years. 

      It is the height of utter audacity for any human being to think that they have an immediate and lasting effect upon Mother Gaia.

      Posted by Kaboom on 09/22 at 09:42 AM • permalink


    1. Sorry, I used bold code again.  I know, I know, it is so expensive and time-consuming to format bold comments. 

      Please send the bill to the usual address.

      Posted by Kaboom on 09/22 at 09:46 AM • permalink


    1. …that man-made carbon dioxide pales into utter insignificance when compared with natural carbon dioxide emanations.

      To be fair, there are plenty of systems in which even such a minor change can lead to chaotic outcomes. However, I think it’s pretty safe to say that global climate (or “nature” in general, really) has plenty enough feedback mechanisms to be largely self-correcting.

      Still, it’s really not so surprising to see that “climate change” scares the bejesus out of lefties. After all, one of the tenets of modern Leftish thought is that all things are perfectly determinate (e.g. human beings are a a clean slate whose behaviour can be shaped any which way, there is no such thing as coincidence so every undesirable event is part of a conspiracy, etc.), so naturally people on the left assume the worst of a changing climate. They can’t control it, and they can’t completely understand it, so the only solution is to try to prevent it from happening at all.

      Lefties sure do sound more and more like stuffy conservatives of two centuries ago with every passing day, don’t they.

      Posted by PW on 09/22 at 12:06 PM • permalink


    1. #19 Nemesis
      Noone else has corrected this so I will

      And Mr Niobium, if you struggle to contemplate the impact of a warmer Canberra, consider instead a dryer (drier?) one.

      If the planet gets warmer it will also become wetter, not drier, alternatively if it becomes colder then it will get drier.

      Warmer global temparatures will lead to less water being locked up in the polar ice caps, and more water evaporation, which will in turn lead to more rainfall.

      Posted by RhikoR on 09/22 at 07:58 PM • permalink


    1. It’s just another example of the utter self-involvement of the can’t-pass-soon-enough boomer generation.  They’re probably truly upset that Reagan DIDN’T spark a nuclear Armageddon with the USSR, so they could rise up in the ashes screaming, “I told you so!” Now we are asked to believe that we can bake an entire planet with our materialistic self-indulgence.

      For my part, I’ll believe global warming is a: a new phenomenon and b: something to get arsed about just as soon as you can convince me the Vikings who named Greenland were really just a bunch of hep postmodern ironicists…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 09/22 at 08:19 PM • permalink


    1. Kaboom – you are right about water vapour however not about the science.

      There is a thing called the carbon cycle where emitted carbon from various sources is absorbed by the environment in the ocean, plant mass and in fossil deposits such as oil and coal and some released again.  In the main part this is in balance maintaining the CO2 level a reasonable level.  What we are doing is releasing large amounts of sequestered CO2 by burning fossil fuels and at the same time cutting down a lot of the forests that store large amounts of CO2 and replacing them with grasslands that do not store as much.

      Water vapour condenses and evaporates and does do most of the greenhouse effect that makes our planet 30 degrees warmer than without it. However water vapour will condense and then it ceases to be a greenhouse gas ie: it does not remain in the atmosphere for up to 100 years like CO2.  The extra CO2 and methane from human activities builds up in the atmosphere and traps more of the suns heat enough to warm the planet already 0.6 degrees and is called the Enhanced Greenhouse effect.  The CO2 has increased from 290ppm to 330 ppm and is still increasing.

      This is the science not the psuedo science of the skeptics.

      PW – most of the feedback mechanisms are positive not negative.  Already the Siberian tundra is melting causing more CO2 to be emitted increasing warming.  As the oceans warm they can hold less CO2 also increasing the rise.  To my knowledge there are no negative feedback effects other that enhanced plant growth however that is dependant on available nutrients and is not being observed.

      And yes there were ice ages etc in the past however this does not meand that THIS event happening now is nt caused by us.  The past ones had other triggers such as the Yosemite or Indonesian super volano or like what might have happened in the Permian a meteorite ignited a huge seam of coal that smouldered for thousands of years releasing CO2.

      Posted by Ender on 09/22 at 09:25 PM • permalink


    1. Ender,

      I wish you were right, I really do.

      As mentioned before, one of the things we do know about climate change is the high likelihood that some time in the future an Ice Age will return. Perhaps it will be as little as one or two thousand years, which may sound like a long time, but those with a sense of history will understand it really isn’t.

      It appals me imagine that our not-all-that-distant descendants will be cursed with the return of the glaciers – thousands of years of bitter murderous cold – and all our wonderful culture may be lost in a new barbarism.

      If only we really could influence the global climate for the better – ie. warmer. Sadly it’s a near certainty that human-induced climate change is nothing but a cruel cruel hoax.

      But I wish you were right, I really do…

      Posted by kipwatson on 09/22 at 09:52 PM • permalink


    1. With a state of the art in global climate model cell resolution of 250km (155.34 miles), significant climate oscillations like common Mesoscale Convective Systems are parsed or lost altogether to the global climate models. Attempts are made by pasty grant consumers to make up for these gaping data holes by formulating algorithms to explain what they don’t really understand.

      On a smaller scale our best forecast track models for tropical cyclone systems can’t reliably predict to within 100 miles where a major global heat mover – such as a 140 mile wide tropical storm – will be tomorrow…Much less it’s local intensity or wider effect on regulating the temperature of the tropics.

      Given the obvious blindness in the aforementioned localized models and projecting such error across the earth’s surface (196,935,000 sq miles) as well as many miles up through another spatial dimension riddled throughout with literally countless layers of such sub-resolution oscillations, common friggin’ sense would indicate that the accuracy of the climate-wide model is questionable at best.

      These are the same data-starved myopic models that watermelon headed zealots expect will suffice to scare evil industrialised nations into parting with hundreds of trillions of bucks in citizen earned wealth for a promised negligible reduction in a lesser greenhouse gas.

      Meanwhile these lefties have managed to invent another flawed moral higher ground bandwagon ‘model’ from which they can berate any and all who oppose them by simply citing a variation in the weather.

      “Hey Frank, how’s the weather treating ya’?”


      Posted by monkeyfan on 09/22 at 11:34 PM • permalink


    1. Ender, I’m afraid that the “Global Warming Industry” has become a cash-cow for some scientists to continue sucking off the public teat until well into retirement.

      You articulate the standard responses, with no evidence whatsoever.

      Let’s look at some of these, shall we?


      “The extra CO2 and methane from human activities builds up in the atmosphere and traps more of the suns heat enough to warm the planet already 0.6 degrees and is called the Enhanced Greenhouse effect.”

      Already 0.6 degrees, is it?  Can you tell us 0.6 degrees from what?

      Is it the average temperature of the atmosphere at sea level all over the globe?

      Is it the temperature at an altitude of 10,000 metres directly over the North Pole on Midsummer day at 12:00 noon?

      You can no doubt see where I am coming from.  How is this 0.6 degrees measured with any degree (excuse the pun!) of accuracy?

      What’s more, how is this 0.6 degrees ascribed to anthropomorphic forces, rather than natural forces?  The ice caps are melting on Mars as well, and I don’t think it remotely possible that Mars is affected by SUV drivers on Earth.

      You have stated that human generated CO2 and CH4 have been “enough to warm the planet already 0.6 degrees” – all I ask is some scientific evidence of this.

      You say “This is the science, not the psuedo science of the skeptics.”

      Ender, it’s time to dazzle us skeptics with a bit of science!  Go right ahead.

      Posted by Kaboom on 09/22 at 11:51 PM • permalink


    1. Kaboom – The average is taken from yearly records from instruments all over the world.  They are collated and averaged to give a figure for the global average temperature.  From this it can be seen that the global average temperature has increased about 0.6 degrees from the start of the instrument climate record.  It is also the surface temperature.  The upper troposhere has also showed warming even by Christie who until recently was the person skeptics turned to to show that there was cooling.

      The ice caps are melting on Mars because of natural forces just as they are here.  We are making a natural forcing (CO2) larger and the result is heating.  No other forcings that we can measure are doing as much.

      Perhaps you can tell us all what natural forcings would cause this degree of heating?

      Posted by Ender on 09/23 at 12:06 AM • permalink


    1. Ender, dazzle me with science!

      I want to see the data.  I want to see the peer-reviewed theses.

      You can’t simply say “the average is taken from yearly records from instruments all over the world…”

      Are these instruments measuring the daily maximum at their particular location?  Do they all take a measurement at the same time of day? Do they “average” between the daily maximum and minimum?

      You say that the average is taken from “yearly” records.  This is truly scary stuff.  Are you saying that each location produces one temperature figure as the average temperature at that location during the year, irrespective of summer or winter, night or day?

      Who checks the hard data?

      Are the locations of these temperature monitors evenly distributed over the surface of the Earth (including oceans)?

      Oh, for natural “forcings”, or natural forces as I would prefer to say, I can suggest for a start Astronomical cycles, such as:-

      (1) 11 year and 206 year sunspot activity cycles.
      (2) the 21,000 year “precession of the equinoxes” cycle, being the earth’s combined tilt and elliptical orbit around the sun.
      (3) the 41,000 year cycle of the +/- 1.5 degree wobble in the Earth orbit, and
      (4) the 100,000 year “cycle of eccentricity” in the shape of the Earth’s elliptical orbit.

      Just a thought – maybe this is what is happening on Mars!

      Dazzle me with science, please.

      Posted by Kaboom on 09/23 at 12:25 AM • permalink


    1. Kaboom—extremely well put! 

      Monkeyfan, I really am outdated on computer modeling technology…more so than I thought.  Thanks for the much better explanation.

      As an interesting counterpoint, and a demonstration of just how ignorant we are of the global climate, let’s dicuss the LittleIce Age.

      This historic climatic change is not well understood.  Human industry was not enough to influence the climate, yet there was a definite shift.  Coupled with the Medieval Warming Period, this is a good example of what we just don’t know.

      My point being, Ender, that any projections, predictions, or forecasts based on a science with such glaring gaps, have to be taken with a large grain of salt.

      But PW brings up a good point when he says “They {lefties} can’t control it, and they can’t completely understand it, so the only solution is to try to prevent it from happening at all.

      Ender, you appear to be reaching for straws.  Every time someone here offers you a comment, based on knowledge or hard facts, that directly contradicts your comments, you brush it off.  You don’t provide a counterargument, you say (to the effect of) “Yes, but look at this”, and offer up yet another talking point.  It sounds like you are reading from a brochure.

      As Kaboom says, dazzle us with the science. 

      Show us how that “average rise” of 0.6 degrees was determined. 

      How does CO2 in small amounts outperform water vapor in huge amounts as a greenhouse gas, given that a temperature increase creates the amount of water vapor?

      And so on.  No more talking points, please.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/23 at 01:10 AM • permalink


    1. Sorry, one correction:

      given that a temperature increase creates tends to increase the amount of water vapor?

      PIMF.  🙁

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/23 at 01:17 AM • permalink


    1. Dazzle me with science, please.

      Not much chance of that. If you look at Ender’s blog:

      Now don’t get me wrong.  I am not rubbishing science or scientists. I am a huge fan of science.  I follow the Mars missions and generally love learning about Nature. I also have the greatest respect for people who have committed to study to earn scientific qualifications – something that I did not do.


      Posted by ArtVandelay on 09/23 at 02:04 AM • permalink


    1. Hmmm, I didn’t look at the linky to Ender’s site.

      Oh well, they say that “Ignorance is Bliss” – Ender must be positively orgiastic.

      Posted by Kaboom on 09/23 at 02:20 AM • permalink


    1. Sure – The temperatures from ground instruments is collated and averaged year to year.  Exactly like the average temperature for Perth today is 23 degrees.  If you look at the graphs from thermometers there is a bump around 1940 however a clear upward trend now.  I do not really know how to say it better than this.

      CO2 does not outperform water vapour it ADDS to it.  The amount of heat trapped is sufficient to warm the Earth about 30 degrees.  When you add more and powerful greenhouse gases like methane and CO2 it adds to this normal greenhouse effect and warms the earth more.  CO2 has a particular physical property that blocks the long wave radiation after it hits the Earth stopping it from radiating into space.  This is very basic science and is not in dispute.  These are not talking points but basic science.

      And yes I am not a scientist however I have done enough science to grasp the basic details of the global warming mechanism.

      If you want the science from a scientist look at this site.

      it also has a page where you arguments and talking points come from

      Posted by Ender on 09/23 at 03:03 AM • permalink


    1. Ender and I’ve studied more than enough statistics, econometrics, modelling and forecasting to know bullsh*t when I see it.

      Posted by ArtVandelay on 09/23 at 06:46 AM • permalink


    1. Well Ender, I’ve seen a lot of global warming scaremonger sites.

      This time, give yourself an uppercut.

      Schneider presents a “Global Warming for Dummies” sort of site, and immediately falls into the Mann-trap.

      Jeff_S (#$47) has noted that you sound like you are reading from a brochure – now I’ve seen the brochure.

      Indeed, I made comment about your anomalous use of the word “forcing” above (#46), but it seems that this is your mentor’s favourite expression as well.

      Look, let me just quote one pearl from Schneider:

      “Could the warming of the last 140 years (as shown in Variations of the Earth’s surface temperature (a)) be a natural occurrence? Might Earth’s climate undergo natural fluctuations that could result in the temperature records documented? Increasingly, the answer to that question is “no.” We would be in a better position to decide if the temperature rise of the past century has been natural if we could extend the record further back in time. Unfortunately, direct temperature measurements of sufficient accuracy or geographic coverage simply didn’t exist before the mid-1800s. But by carefully considering other quantities that do depend on temperature, paleo-climatologists can reconstruct approximate temperature records that stretch back hundreds, thousands, and even millions of years.”

      This poppycock actually relates to MY question to YOU, which you failed to answer.  Now I know why, because your mentor Schneider fails to answer it as well!  If he doesn’t know, you surely don’t!

      Schneider is addressing the issue of whether the 0.6 degree increase in the last 140 years could be as a result of natural global warming.  What does he say?

      “Might Earth’s climate undergo natural fluctuations that could result in the temperature records documented? Increasingly, the answer to that question is “no.””

      Why Schneider says the answer is increasingly “no”, but does not elaborate as to WHY the answer is “no”, is a modern mystery.

      Schneider’s entire site is just poorly researched clap-trap, and he should have the basic scientific decency to at least remove his site from public display given the recent discrediting of Mann’s data, and remove his snout from the public trough.

      When I asked you to dazzle me with science, I certainly didn’t expect this piffle.  Is this the best you can do?

      Posted by Kaboom on 09/23 at 06:47 AM • permalink


    1. Thanks Jeff, like you I learn new stuff through posters here all the time. Kaboom being the latest Sensei of science wielding the mighty cluebat.
      ;^)Anyway, one of the major arguments Kyotoists have trumped up to squash debate in this latest social engineering experiment, is the trumpeting of the so-called ‘consensus of scientists’ theory – kinda akin to the ‘chickenhawk’ madness they so adore.

      As if facts were subordinate to some shallow watery eyed politburo…

      Even if their silly ‘consensus’ notion hadn’t already been debunked in the real world, one can usually cause a full watermelonheaded implosion by pointing out that at one time a vast ‘scientific consensus’ resisted the very idea of plate tectonics and that a similarly universal scientific consensus once concluded that the earth was flat…Or that Phrenology wedded to Eugenics was rather widely considered to be the savior of mankind.

      In my estimation Kyotoite lemmings are acting out yet another globally consequential manifestation of this collectivization of “science”.

      Dangerous stuff, but I have to admit, at times it’s quite fun to watch and even lend my kindly helping hand as wave after wave of them MoveOn march indignantly over the edge of their cliff of choice.

      Posted by monkeyfan on 09/23 at 03:38 PM • permalink


    1. Kaboom – I spent ages typeing a response however forgot to login and lost it.  As I have the flu I may not bother to retype it.

      So in the interim everything you said is correct the Earth is fine and there is nothing to worry about.

      Posted by Ender on 09/23 at 09:01 PM • permalink


    1. Why do the climate-change fetishists never answer the questions about the Earth’s history of climate change before industrialization? Do they put their hands over their ears and hum?

      It’s really simple – the Earth has ALWAYS warmed and cooled. And the warm parts are always better than the cool bits. Period. End of story.

      If global warming is really happening – GOOD. Bring. It. On.

      Posted by Dave S. on 09/23 at 11:19 PM • permalink


    1. That’s OK Ender. I understand.

      By the way, placing children in a Honda Jazz is a serious form of child abuse in most jurisdictions.

      But, hey, at least it’s green!  I can just see you now, peering over your steering wheel resolutely doing 80 km/h in the 110 km/h overtaking lane, convinced of your moral superiority over people who want to go faster.

      Any time you want a rational debate on global warming climate change, you know where you are welcome.

      Posted by Kaboom on 09/24 at 02:51 AM • permalink


    1. Kaboom – remembering to login this time …

      The surface tempertures are measured all over the world in a quite standard way because of mainly air navigation.  A sample is http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_013007.shtml
      As you can see the temperatures are presented in max/min and averages.  The scientists take all these measurements from all over the world since measurements started and collate them with standard statistical techniques to get the overall trend.  To forestall the next item on your script they allow and compensate for any heat island effect.

      BTW a forcing is the standard term for anything affecting the atmosphere.  The forcing for CO2 is 4W/m^2.

      You keep on resolutely saying that climate change happened before.  Yes it did however THIS TIME is is human influences that are doing it.  Just because it happened in the past one way does not mean that it is happening that way this time. 

      When Stephen Schneider said those things that you quoted he assumed that you read and understood the preceding page.  He did not say those things in isolation as you imply.  The climate science is quite clear.

      Yet another one from the script – the scientific world did not resist plate tectonics or the flat earth.  It was scientists that promoted these ideas through the peer review process that you seem to not understand.  How about the extension to Newton by Einstein or replacing classical physics with Quantum physics.  Surely if the scientific community was as you say then neither of these ideas would have seen the light of day.  The list is endless – string theory, the big bang, the germ theory of disease ……..

      So what does your script say when confronted by the measured and indisputable fact that the Earths CO2 concentration has increased to 330ppm?  Where do you think the heat is going?  Do you try to deny that CO2 affects the long wave radiation leaving the earth? 

      I provide references to research not scripts. 
      Have a look at these:
      This is research from the same scientific method that produced the PN junction that your computer works by.  The example of the aircraft computer model is valid because these scientists use computer models to test ideas.  They do not expect them to be perfect anymore that an aircaft engineer would expect to build an airliner straight from the computer models.  Ask an aerodynamicist to calculate where the boundary layer on a wing will turn from laminar to turbulent exactly and he cannot tell you.  The reason is that this region is chaotic and cannot be calculated.  However this does not stop him from designing an efficient wing.  In the same way, even though we do not have a complete understanding of the climate we can still make reasonable predictions.

      So are we still rational?

      I have no idea why it is thought that global warming means that the Earth will just get a bit hotter.  This is not the case at all.  All weather systems are powered by heat.  You saw Hurrican Rita increase in strength over warm water and decrease again over cold.  More heat means more frequent and violent weather. It also means that ocean currents could change course making wholesale changes to climate possibly rendering parts of the Earth unihabitable.  The more we force the atmosphere the worse it will be.  It will not be just a bit hotter.

      Just a final note – let see you at the petrol pump when I fill up the Jazz with $2.00 per litre petrol – see who is peering over the windscreen then.

      Posted by Ender on 09/24 at 03:55 AM • permalink


    1. Ender, a couple of things.

      Firstly, I unreservedly apologise on the “forcings” issue.  It appears that this is indeed a scientific term bandied around by climatologists.

      I had merely thought that you were illiterate, but it merely exposed me as a proponent of armchair rationality, as opposed to a climate scientist.

      Enough warmth.

      Your sample from the Bureau of Meteorology provide the following ten datasets:-

      (1)Mean daily maximum temperature (over a month)
      (2)Highest maximum temperature in the month
      (3)Mean daily minimum temperature in the month
      (4)Lowest minimum temperature in the month
      (5)Mean 9:00 a.m. air temperature in the month
      (6)Mean 9:00 a.m. wet-bulb temperature in the month
      (7)Mean 9:00 a.m. Dew Point temperature in the month
      (8)Mean 3:00 p.m. air temperature in the month
      (9)Mean 3:00 p.m. Wet-bulb temperature in the month
      (10)Mean 3:00 p.m. Dew Point temperature in the month

      Which dataset was used to prove this 0.6 degrees Celsius increase in average world temperature in the last 140 years?

      If, for some arceane reason only known to pro-Kyoto climatologists, the selected data-set was the mean 3:00 p.m. wet-bulb temperature in the month, was this used by everybody in the last 140 years, or has there been a bit of (ahem!) “extrapolation” and “gap filling”.

      But, forgetting all about the location and numeretical spread of these temperature monitoring stations (I would assume that the most of these stations are on the land-mass of the U.S.A., and the least are in the middle of the South Atlantic), nothing approaches the BIG question.

      The BIG question is this:  Even if the 0.6 degree increase over 140 years was true, how much of this was as a direct result of man-made carbon dioxide, and how much was an increase in natural levels of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases?

      Can you answer the BIG question?

      You say it is human emissions causing climate change: “You keep on resolutely saying that climate change happened before.  Yes it did however THIS TIME is is human influences that are doing it.

      Well, prove it.  Prove that it was the human related 4% of all carbon-dioxide emissions over the last 140 years that has caused greenhouse warming.

      Indeed, can you prove that it was carbon-dioxide on the whole, and not the other 95% of greenhouse gases that caused this?

      Of course you cannot.  The anthropomorphic (man-made) carbon dioxide produced yearly is 4% of the 5% CO2 content of greenhouse gases.  That is human “forcing” of two one-thousandths of all “greenhouse gases”.

      Sure the Kyoto kids have consensus on their side – given the religious (almost Mohammedan) zeal in which the Kyotoists pursue their precious dream of the destruction of the capitalist/consumerist society – they will have consensus.

      Let me say this only once:  Consensus is NOT science. Never has been, never will be.

      Final note.  When petrol is $2 per litre, I will be peering UNDER my LandCruiser to see what that bump was.

      Posted by Kaboom on 09/24 at 06:40 AM • permalink


    1. All weather systems are powered by heat.  You saw Hurrican Rita increase in strength over warm water and decrease again over cold.  More heat means more frequent and violent weather.

      And thus, once again, he COMPLETELY IGNORES historical precedent (that hurricane seasons run in long cycles and we’re just starting a strong-storm cycle) and blames it on man.

      Ice Ages? Yeah, but this time it’s us.

      Warm periods? Yeah, but this time it’s us.

      Shorter, 7-8 year cycles of cold/warm caused by cyclical sunspot activity? Yeah, but this time it’s us.

      Strong storm cycle? Yeah, but this time it’s us.

      Jesus H. Christ. Why doesn’t this crew just throw some virgins in the volcano and be done with it?

      Posted by Dave S. on 09/24 at 10:00 AM • permalink


    1. How DARE you fascists blame Mother Nature!

      Posted by monkeyfan on 09/24 at 05:37 PM • permalink


    1. Dave S – Not saying anything about Katrina and Rita other than storms are powered by heat and you could see this as Rita passed over warm water it went to CAT5 however it fell to CAT3 when it encountered the cooler waters closer to the coast. (Thank goodness)

      Also the changed in the suns intensity has be shown to insufficient to account for the warming.  Also you would see a 7-8 year variation in the temperatures which is not there.

      Kaboom – As I do not claim to be a scientist so I do not know the exact mechanism used to calculate the average temperatures however an idea can be gained from this http://www.met-office.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/obsdata/globaltemperature.html
      Perhaps if you are intersted you can look up the papers mentioned.

      I do not think that they use the wet-bulb temperature as this is measure of humidity as this definition states

      “Wet-bulb temperature is measured using a standard mercury-in-glass thermometer, with the thermometer bulb wrapped in muslin, which is kept wet. The evaporation of water from the thermometer has a cooling effect, so the temperature indicated by the wet bulb thermometer is less than the temperature indicated by a dry-bulb (normal, unmodified) thermometer. The rate of evaporation from the wet-bulb thermometer depends on the humidity of the air – evaporation is slower when the air is already full of water vapour. For this reason, the difference in the temperatures indicated by the two thermometers gives a measure of atmospheric humidity.”

      I am sure professional scientists would know this.

      Before answering your questions how about answering the questions I posed?  The 4% or 5% of CO2 is significant because it is not accounted for in the Carbon Cycle that recycles carbon and stores it and builds up in the atmosphere.  Also the effects are additive.  Clear measurements show that the CO2 in the atmosphere has increased about 30% which you have not explained.

      So I would like to hear you thoughts on what this extra CO2 will do.

      Posted by Ender on 09/24 at 10:20 PM • permalink


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