Pollution to the rescue

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Last updated on August 2nd, 2017 at 02:15 pm

It isn’t easy keeping up with all this global warming nonsense. Now pollution is a good thing:

Cutting air pollution could trigger a greater surge in global warming than previously thought, suggesting future rises in sea level and other environmental consequences have been underestimated, climate scientists report today.

The warning comes after researchers investigated the effect of fine particles known as aerosols on climate change. Aerosols – particles smaller than one hundredth of a millimetre – are churned out from factory chimneys, from the burning of fossil fuels and forest fires … Cutting down on aerosols by improving air quality means that the Earth will in future be less shielded against the sun’s rays.

Buy an SUV, save a drowning bear.

“We found that aerosols actually have twice the cooling effect we thought,” said Nicolas Bellouin, a climate modeller at the Met Office. The consequence is that as air quality improves and aerosol levels drop, future warming may be greater than we currently think.”

Dr Bellouin’s study suggests that even by conservative estimates, climate models have got the impact of aerosols on the climate wildly wrong. “The discrepancy between the models and our observations is not good news,” he said.

Oh, well. Anyone can make a mistake.

Earlier this year, Peter Cox at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Winfrith, Dorset, warned that if the cooling effect of aerosols turned out to be greater, it could trigger faster global warming.

“It’s quite a bizarre thing, because the last thing you want to suggest to people is that it would be a good idea to have dirty air, but as far as climate change is concerned, that’s right.”

If Mr Cox actually cared about the planet, he’d get over his problems with dirty (or, as I prefer to call it, “enhanced”) air and encourage the greater use of Gaia-friendly pollutants. And he can cut down a few trees while he’s at it.

(Via Bernie “Ecologically Sustainable” Slattery)

Posted by Tim B. on 12/22/2005 at 01:50 AM
    1. climate models have got the impact of aerosols on the climate wildly wrong. “The discrepancy between the models and our observations is not good news,” he said.

      “Burn the heretic!”

      I’m shocked – shocked – to hear that climate computer models are not accurate. Shocked.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2005 12 22 at 03:04 AM • permalink


    1. Global Warming is like Cancer, everything and nothing causes it.

      Posted by lingus4 on 2005 12 22 at 03:05 AM • permalink


    1. All of this research that is published (eg the earlier kill-a-tree thread) is why i feel comfortable being sceptical of the climate doomsayers. The atmosphere and climate is so amazingly complex and the linkages and relationships so vaguely understood, that claiming to know, even within reasonable confidence intervals, what the effect of a given human action will be is bordering on hubris.

      Posted by Francis H on 2005 12 22 at 03:07 AM • permalink



      Posted by Dave S. on 2005 12 22 at 03:12 AM • permalink


    1. Greenie praying talking to the Environment:  “Oh, Mother Gaia™!!  Thou hast confused us!  Our studies and computer models give us conflicting answers.  We beseech you to answer but one question:  Are you getting warmer or cooler?”

      Mother Gaia™:  “Yes.”

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 12 22 at 03:19 AM • permalink


    1. Many have been wondering what the concerned global warming realist may do to play their part in fight against deadly warming.  Tim’s suggestion is excellent and I myself have been a long time proponent of this mitigation method with my 20 year-old black smoke belching shit heap of a 4wd.

      Furthermore, I can’t help but notice that my after work Cooper’s Pale Ale appears to be emitting frightening levels of CO2.  Henceforth, only nitrogen-bubbled Guinness (and the odd Cafrey’s) will be consumed in the Champy household.

      Finally, I propose to reduce CH4, the other major greenhouse gas, my slaughtering all cattle as soon as they’re born.  Have ‘em BBQd and on the plate within 24 hours of birth.  Don’t even give them time to eat their first blade of grass and destroy our atmosphere.

      It’s time to be proactive.

      Posted by champy on 2005 12 22 at 03:31 AM • permalink


    1. Shame on you.  Aerosols make make Mother Gaia cry.

      Um, no, aerosols make Mother Gaia jump around and dance like some acid-burnout at a Dead concert.

      Well, maybe, upon further consideration, aerosols make Mother Gaia feel like going down to her local Indian casino, slamming a couple of Long Island iced teas plus a duck fart or two, and blowing a thousand playing Pai-Gow.

      Who can tell, that’s one very confused babe we’re talking about.  (Whatever you do, don’t give her your phone number.  A drunken phone call at 2:30 in the morning sucks.)

      Posted by David Crawford on 2005 12 22 at 03:34 AM • permalink


    1. Time to break out the old two-stroke motorcycles again!  Where’s my Yamaha RD400?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 12 22 at 03:52 AM • permalink


    1. And he can cut down a few trees while he’s at it.

      The trees should be burned down.  Stone, birds and all that…

      Posted by profeti on 2005 12 22 at 03:53 AM • permalink


    1. It isn’t easy keeping up with all this global warming nonsense. Now pollution is a good thing:

      Oh, now this is getting absurd.


      Greenie praying talking to the Environment:  “Oh, Mother Gaia™!!  Thou hast confused us!  Our studies and computer models give us conflicting answers.  We beseech you to answer but one question:  Are you getting warmer or cooler?”

      Mother Gaia™:  “Yes.”

      How to recognize a cult: when True Believers™ can hold two diametrically opposed ideas at the same time and see nothing inherently wrong with it.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2005 12 22 at 04:01 AM • permalink


    1. aww Tim… you’re just taunting Lambert – and that aint nice 🙂

      Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2005 12 22 at 04:31 AM • permalink


    1. Deo. It is certainly not nice, but it is bags of fun!

      Anyone who supports the present global warming fashion has forgotten that the same do-gooder-peacenik-smelly-lefty-hippy drongo’s were also ardent believers in the global cooling fashion of the 70s. The basic belief system is:

      ‘Pollution is bad because it causes global warming/cooling and rising/falling sea levels with associated ice ages/heatwaves and America does all the polluting so it is all Chimpster W Neoconazi’s fault.’

      This is contained within the same ‘brain’, they believe it implicitly and facts or lack of them have nothing to do with it.

      It is their religion, and it is endlessly mutable.

      This explains why people like Lambert are the very model of a modern major moonbat.


      Posted by MarkL on 2005 12 22 at 05:24 AM • permalink


    1. It ought to be possible to create aerosols that cause heating.  I don’t know, color them black or something.  Then you can eliminate those.

      Assuming you want cooling (warming) rather than warming (cooling).

      Aerosol colorants could be attached to tailpipes and smokestacks, to keep abreast of the theory.

      A different color every year.

      At last we would be doing something about it!

      No-guilt cooling (heating) on every vehicle.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2005 12 22 at 06:52 AM • permalink


    1. Has anyone done a study testing the correlation between the “scaryness” of a published paper and it’s funding?

      Posted by Rob Read on 2005 12 22 at 07:21 AM • permalink


    1. or maybe it’s time to sacrifice the economy to GAIA?

      Posted by Rob Read on 2005 12 22 at 07:24 AM • permalink


    1. I can’t understand how Aussies can take these things seriously. Nicolas Bellouin, a climate modeller at the Met Office is someone that uses simulated computer models to predict environmental outcomes.  We can’t even get the weather predictions correct 12 hours in advance – specially in Melbourne, so how the hell do these guys think their models hold any weight.  A few years ago I remember the weather bureau purchasing one of the worlds most super duper computers and they are still hopeless.

      Posted by Melanie on 2005 12 22 at 07:51 AM • permalink


    1. A lot of the warming around weather sensors today is from heat dumped by weather bureau supercomputers.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2005 12 22 at 08:53 AM • permalink


    1. rhhardin, you may have reached an important insight.

      I’m ashamed I didn’t think of it. I’ve actually seen the basement at NCAR.


      Posted by Ric Locke on 2005 12 22 at 09:11 AM • permalink


    1. #14 Rob Read – yes, someone has, and I’ll see if I can dig up a link.  The finding was that although the global warming might well be valid, researchers are being pushed to make announcements in ever more alarmist terms so as to attract further funding.

      Posted by Pixy Misa on 2005 12 22 at 09:26 AM • permalink


    1. While Mother Gaia is saying “YES”, I suspect the computer models will be spitting out an answer of “42”. What I find amusing though is politicians and media are blaming a recent lack of rain and falling dam levels on global warming with no qualms or qualifications. In particuar, apart from ANdrew Bolt, no suggestions that a rapidly expanding population combined with no new dams might cause the odd problem waterwise. However just 7 years ago Warragamba Dam was overflowing, and Sydney Water had just built (or was about to build) an additonal overflow facility there for hundreds of millions of dollars if memory serves correct. If only the complete, infallible and computable computer models had warned us, the huge expense might have been avoided.

      Posted by Jim Geones on 2005 12 22 at 12:15 PM • permalink


    1. Well, here in LA we don’t trust any air we can’t see.

      Posted by Patricia on 2005 12 22 at 12:46 PM • permalink


    1. I remember back when there was much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments about how aerosols were putting a hole in the ozone layer, thus causing (you guessed it) global warming.

      Posted by Achillea on 2005 12 22 at 12:48 PM • permalink


    1. It’s really amazing. Global warming causes drought and flood. it causes hot hot weather and cold cold weather. It’s the foundation of everything.

      Now we find that everything we do or don’t do causes global warming.


      Posted by birdwoman on 2005 12 22 at 02:31 PM • permalink


    1. Uh, these are floating particulates, not propellents with eeevil ultra-reactive chemicals. At least we can measure that ‘ozone hole’ that’s been pretty much the same from year to year for the last twenty years or so, which is more than can be said for global temperatures.

      Posted by Jeremy Nimmo on 2005 12 22 at 03:02 PM • permalink


    1. You know, somehow this news item suggesting computer models are underestimating global warming does not convince me that global warming is false.

      Once again, if Tim or anyone else thinks that’s an idiotic belief, feel free to visit here and take my money away from me.

      Or go here and see how people who think global warming is happening are willing to put their money where their mouths are, and are finding very few takers on the other side.

      And now, let the evasive, nonresponsive insults begin.

      Posted by schmidtb98 on 2005 12 22 at 04:13 PM • permalink


    1. Quite a cute idea – (the betting idea) schmidt. Trouble is that it breaks the whole global warming controversy down to just one measure, the temperature.

      While some global warming sceptics doubt even that temperatures have risen – most acknowledge that, at least over the last twenty years, temperatures have risen and that we are in the middle of a warming trend.

      The issue at heart is – is the warming anything but a natural fluctuation, just as the cooling trend from the late 40s to the early 70s is now viewed as, or is it human induced? If the natural fluctuation theory is correct then you would expect it to downturn at some stage but it doesn’t mean the temperature wouldn’t continue to rise for maybe even a few more decades.

      A second issue is how robust are the computer predictions of extreme future warming? After the last Conference of the Parties meeting much play was given of the most extreme prediction (i think around 6 degree celsius). But most simulations were for much milder warming. Even these are doubtful as the work by Ian Castles on the economic growth assumptions embodied in the model suggested (sorry no link – could be found on the economist website i think). The evasive and ad hominem reaction to this work from the modellers didn’t engender much confidence.

      The other issue is what will be the climate impact of any higher temperature? This is where the other problem with computer models comes in – their (in)ability to capture accurately the myriad interactions of the aspects of climate. They are predicting all manner of doom from a rising temperature that i think has to be viewed sceptically. The aerosol issue just underlines how much is not understood.

      So in the end – Lindzen et al refusing the bet doesn’t necessarily point to a fundamental lack of faith in their own view – it just reflects that the debate is over issues that are much more complex than a simplistic reduction to a single temperature measure can capture.

      Posted by Francis H on 2005 12 22 at 04:56 PM • permalink


    1. I’ve got a bet specifically designed for those who believe we’re in a natural warming cycle, much like the allegedly-natural 1910-1945 cycle, here.

      As for whether the impact of increased temperature is positive or negative, I don’t have a proposed bet over that (although I do have one about melting glaciers,  here.)

      If you want to propose a fair and measurable bet that gets decided in 20 years or less, I’m open to it.

      Posted by schmidtb98 on 2005 12 22 at 05:11 PM • permalink


    1. You have been busy schmidt. Got to hand it to you. Clever idea and certainly focuses the mind on some of the issues. I’ve also thought that with a complex issue like this it comes down to “gut feeling” for the quality/quantity of the evidence. This gut feeling can be reflected in a bet.

      My previous post was specifically about the warming sceptics not accepting a point year temperature bet. Your bets certainly cover some of the other aspects.

      It’s an interesting study in a way. I would expect that global warming proponents would be more willing to bet than sceptics as proponents are more certain of the projected outcome (or at least the direction). The essence of scepticism is the uncertainty which would naturally reduce the expected return on a bet.

      I’ll have a look at your natural warming cycle one. Might put my money where my mouth is on that one.

      As for your proposal for a measurable bet on positive/negative. Probably best if i think of anything to comment through your site. Don’t want to hijack this comment section any further.

      Posted by Francis H on 2005 12 22 at 05:54 PM • permalink


    1. schmidtb98, if I thought that the odds could be calculated, one way or the other, I’d take your bet.  But the large degree of uncertainy, either way, is simply a measure of our ignorance on the subject.

      I prefer to admit my ignorance, and keep an open mind, than focus on one aspect of the problem, and possibly ignore relevant but inconvenient facts that may not fit my hypothesis.  That’s my basic problem with Ender and his ilk.  And betting will not answer the question either way…..it’s just a test of your faith (or lack thereof).

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 12 22 at 06:47 PM • permalink


    1. schmiddy, your wager is like betting with a nativist who believes continued immigration will lead to exploding crime rates.

      He wagers that immigration will rise in ten years. It might or it might not, depending on the law, but the bet has nothing to do with the “crisis” he claims. If immigration rises and crime levels drop, he still wins the bet despite the foundation of his bet being 100% wrong.

      In a previous thread, I pointed out to you the problems inherent in wagering with enviroreligionists. You made a non-sequitur reply to that. I haven’t checked back to see if you’ve made a legitimate reply. I will when I have time to search the archives.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2005 12 22 at 07:20 PM • permalink


    1. Alarmed by the by the report from Ken Caldeira from the Carnegie Institute on the environmental damage being caused by the wanton growing of trees,I immediately rushed to my local hardware store intent on arming myself with something to redress the environmental balance.I am now the proud owner of one litre of Glysophate 360 ($8.90)which I am reliably informed is sufficient to deal with at least 50 of these environment-destroying blots on the landscape,particularly those of the dreaded eucalypt species.This environmentally fiendly brew is so potent that no drilling is necessary,just score the trunk,as one might score the skin on the Sunday pork roast,and paint on the undiluted brew.Two weeks later it’s firewood.

      Posted by Lew on 2005 12 22 at 07:48 PM • permalink


    1. All this yanking back and forth over global warming has convinced me of one thing:  nobody knows what the hell is going on (including, and most especially, the envirocassandras), which tells me that nobody knows what to do about it.  My instinct is that it’s sometimes worse to do something blind than to do nothing at all.  So I’m going to throw another log on the fire and spray some Christmasy pine scent around (in case that aerosol thingy is right) and have some worry-free eggnog.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 12 22 at 07:52 PM • permalink


    1. #31, Lew, another way is to lovingly bathe the base of the tree with swimming pool salt. The local Council will appreciate this thoughtful approach.

      Posted by mr magoo on 2005 12 22 at 09:22 PM • permalink


    1. Air quality in “Western World” cities where I have seen data, has been improving for 3 or 4 decades or more.  A point our Green Govts & media have hidden from us for years.
      See; http://www.warwickhughes.com/air/
      Maybe “Third World” particle emissions could be increasing. Does anyone know of any multi-decade data series ?
      All for now.

      Posted by Warwick Hughes on 2005 12 22 at 09:26 PM • permalink


    1. Eggnog sounds great, Rebecca!  Enjoy!

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 12 22 at 09:49 PM • permalink


    1. Dave S., almost all betting involves some risk that even a good bet will turn out badly, but I’ve tried to design a bet so that both sides (warming position and denialist) will think the odds are good from their perspective.

      I couldn’t figure out what your other objection was in the earlier thread, and gave up.  My apologies for my moral/intellectual inferiority.

      There may be a difference between Rebecca and JeffS’ positions.  Rebecca denies we have any reason to believe the warming position is accurate, so she should be attracted to my bets, which are favorable to a person who thinks we don’t have a reason to expect a trend.

      JeffS says (I think) that he doesn’t know what weight to give the warming position, unlike Rebecca’s denialism.  For JeffS to be consistent while refusing a bet, the possibility range he gives to warming has to range up to a significantly-high chance.  If he gives warming a mostly-low chance, then he should bet me.

      And if you’re giving warming a reasonably-high possibility, you might want to favor doing something about it.

      Posted by schmidtb98 on 2005 12 22 at 10:35 PM • permalink


    1. And if you’re giving warming a reasonably-high possibility, you might want to favor doing something about it.

      Uh, no. That would involve being able to prove that humans are causing it, and that is something you can’t even begin to say with any kind of accuracy, since the models obviously can’t predict shit. Climate scientists still seem to have only the most tenuous of grasps about all the interactions, if they’re still making phenomenal mispredictions about basic stuff like the effect of aerosols.

      And your 35-year warming/cooling cycle idea is even dumber than that. Who says it’s a consistent cycle of 35 years? Who says natural warming couldn’t increase over a period of 100 years?

      In sum, you make a breathtakingly arrogant claim of absolute knowlege where ought to know you cannot. Most people have no desire to bet on something which we know we can’t begin to predict. It’s as fundamentally baseless as trying to predict the weather seven Tuesdays from now.  More importantly, the conclusion you’re trying to reach on the basis that no one wants to take you up on your bet is equally flawed. Most importantly, the conclusion you would reach if you won your bet would be just as unfounded.

      It’s a stupid thing to bet on, either way.

      Posted by Crispytoast on 2005 12 22 at 11:33 PM • permalink


    1. It’s a stupid thing to bet on, either way.

      But are you really surprised? Being a lefty is all about making yourself feel good, after all, and grandstanding about stupid bets seems to be this guy’s choice. Well, B+ for creativity, I guess.

      Posted by PW on 2005 12 22 at 11:48 PM • permalink


    1. If we are having a natural warming period similar to the multi-century Medieval Warm Period, then any bet with a horizon of twenty years is far, far too short.  To say “the only evidence [natural warmers] rely upon suggests they’re more likely to win than lose” is nonsense.

      Posted by Warmongering Lunatic on 2005 12 23 at 12:01 AM • permalink


    1. JeffS says (I think) that he doesn’t know what weight to give the warming position, unlike Rebecca’s denialism. For JeffS to be consistent while refusing a bet, the possibility range he gives to warming has to range up to a significantly-high chance.  If he gives warming a mostly-low chance, then he should bet me.

      No, schmidt, I’m saying that the science is uncertain.  Not that it matters with the Greenies and envirocassandras, who take the matter on faith with a dash of ignorance.  My consistency is not trusting a science where it’s easier to measure what we don’t know.  Your consistency is to taunt people over a bet.

      The question that I’ve asked before (not of Ender, as that would be a waste of bandwidth) is what the risk for global warming cooling or whatever the latest fad is, the risk to the human race.  The problem that you seem to ignore is that you can’t quantify said risk with any degree of certainty.

      An example, probably wasted:

      I can look at historical weather and hydrological records for a given river basin, and determine quite bit of useful data that will describe the frequency of floods, depths, coverage, etc.  From this, I can determine what the risk of flooding might be if I built a home somewhere in that river basin.

      That’s because the hydrology of flooding is fairly well understood, and there are decent computer models available.  It’s not an exact science by any means, since flooding depends on weather and climate conditions.  But it is reliable enough to quantify the risk for me to take action on, select suitable designs, and possibly include hazard mitigation.

      What you are missing here (deliberately, perhaps) is that climatic science simply isn’t understood well enough to determine a risk.  Given the conflicting studies, unknown relationships of multiple dynamic factors (hence the unreliable computer models), and the simple scale of the problem (the entire planet, for God’s sake!), your bet is worthless, because it is little more than a guess.

      I’d have better luck buying a lottery ticket or shooting craps, and hoping for 13 sevens with honest die.  Neither of which I indulge in, by the way.

      And while I don’t gamble, I’ve taken risks in my time, but not stupid or silly ones.  This one is silly.  Take your offer somewhere else.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 12 23 at 12:28 AM • permalink


    1. Nice points, crispytoast!

      PW, can we call this a sucker’s bet, given who is pushing it?

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 12 23 at 12:35 AM • permalink


    1. And if you’re giving warming a reasonably-high possibility, you might want to favor doing something about it.

      Unless the results of warming would be BENEFICIAL, which has been true in the past.

      Good God, why can enviroreligionists NEVER acknowledge this possibility? It’s like talking to autistics.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2005 12 23 at 01:35 AM • permalink


    1. I’m with the Real Jeffs here. There is evidence to bolster both hypotheses. There is not enough evidence IMVVHO to raise either to a theory. The computer models are useful tools towards developing a possible predictor at some distant future time, but there is something really screwy with the base data (I am astounded that it is not available to all – that breaches scientific principles in my view. See Warwick’s site). The computer models are worthless as predictive tools now, of course.

      We understand very little about the weather system, and next to nothing about the space weather which influences it.

      We do know that higher temperatures will not harm us, though. After all, a major Roman export from Roman Britain was wine. Vines died out there during the Middle Ages cold period, and hardly thrive there now. And we have no records of doom-monger style envirodisaster from the Romans, Indian, or Chinese civilisations.

      After all, I was told by the doom-mongers in the 70s that global cooling would kill me. Then the end of oil supplies in 1980s, then the 90s was going to kill me. Meanwhile, that cretin Ehrlich said I was going to starve to death in the 70s, 80s, AND 90s because Malthus said so.

      It was all purest, unadulterated bullshit, a scam which made the doom-mongers money.

      Now I am being told I am going to die from global warming.

      Yeah, yeah, heard it all before from the same people, go peddle it somewhere else.

      I am going to go for a drive in by 1973, V8, no-catalytic-converter-fitted, leaded fuel burning Leyland P76. Bend over and touch your toes, Gaia, here it comes again!


      Posted by MarkL on 2005 12 23 at 01:53 AM • permalink


    1. I love the word “doomscreamer.” I started using it after reading it in the best opening line of a sci-fi short story ever. This isn’t exact, but close:

      “Jim Johnson was sitting outside of Joe Turner’s Texaco station in the December heat, drinking a glass of unleaded, when the doomscreamer came.”

      Posted by Dave S. on 2005 12 23 at 02:07 AM • permalink


    1. Okay JeffS, you’re in Rebecca’s camp then, and should bet me.  You’re saying the scientists who believe in warming have established nothing, their work is useless, and we have no more legitimate scientific reason to expect it to be warmer 10 years from now than we have to expect it to be colder.

      If I offered you 2:1 odds that Dec. 22, 2006 would warmer than the same day in 2005, you should take that bet – there’s no scientific reason to think that being warmer is any more likely than being the same or colder.  (That’s ignoring global warming which will have little effect over a single year.)  The same reasoning holds true for the 2:1 odds I offer on a 10-year bet.

      Another example:  say an “envirocassandra” offered to bet both of us on 50:1 odds that temperatures will be warmer in 2015 than 2005.  I would accept the cold side of that bet, because the odds that 2015 will be warmer than 2005 are good, but they’re not 50 times better than 2005 being warmer.  You’re saying you would not accept that bet. Your position is illogical, in my opinion.

      Posted by schmidtb98 on 2005 12 23 at 02:08 AM • permalink


    1. Your position is illogical, in my opinion.

      Oi.  schmidt, my position would be illogical if and only if I accepted that a bet on global warming/cooling/whatever is worth my while.  In case you didn’t notice, I rejected that notion.  This silly bet that you push is little more than one kid telling another, “I double dog dare you to cross this line!  And if you don’t you’re a scaredy cat!”

      I really don’t care what you say (“illogical”?  PFFFFT!!!), and I mention it only to point out that your argument is repetitive, whereas several people haver pointed out that placing a bet proves nothing, and only makes you feel good.  And I don’t want to divert the conversation from facts and logic to meaningless displays of emotions.

      This bet fetish of yours is very similar to a demonstration where the Greenies put on some skit to “prove” their point.  This might get someone laid, but it does little more that (although I must label that as a noble cause unto itself…..).

      You’re saying the scientists who believe in warming have established nothing, their work is useless, and we have no more legitimate scientific reason to expect it to be warmer 10 years from now than we have to expect it to be colder.

      Partly correct.  I’m saying that we have no legitimate evidence demonstrating global warming is either a certainty or a threat.  Ditto for global cooling.  For all we know, this is a natural trend, and completely out of our control.  Human intervention may or may not work……and given the complexities of the system, I am not in favor of doing something just to give someone a warm and fuzzy feeling.

      And if a bunch of boffins have bet their careers on global warming being a genuine threat, that’s their problem….because they aren’t being scientists, they are whoring themselves for grant money.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 12 23 at 02:34 AM • permalink


    1. So here comes the “not worth my while” argument, also known as “I’m declining the bet not because I realize I’ll likely lose, but simply and only because I lack interest in such bets” argument.

      The awkward thing is the non-random distribution of this sentiment.  It’s believable coming from any single individual, but disinterest in betting seems to be widely distributed among skeptics and denialists, while warming proponents seem much more interested in betting.

      The disinterest excuse gets a little thin when it comes from multiple people.

      Maybe you’ll think it’s because they don’t want to deal with us annoying enviros, but I doubt it – I’d much rather win money from annoying people than from people I like.

      Posted by schmidtb98 on 2005 12 23 at 03:00 AM • permalink


    1. So here comes the “not worth my while” argument, also known as “I’m declining the bet not because I realize I’ll likely lose, but simply and only because I lack interest in such bets” argument.


      I actually believe that you are sincere in this bet of yours.  You don’t know otherwise about me.  Note that I have answered your request for a bet with logical arguments, and not brushed you off….and you have ignored those arguments.  Just who has a lack of interest in what, hmmmmm?

      Try again.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 12 23 at 03:07 AM • permalink


    1. What are the exact terms of the bet, Schmidt?  My only reluctancy on taking the bet up are such things as might be associated with any twenty year agreement (creditworthiness, statute of limitations, etc.)

      Posted by 2dogs on 2005 12 23 at 03:13 AM • permalink


    1. but disinterest in betting seems to be widely distributed among skeptics and denialists, while warming proponents seem much more interested in betting.

      That’s because believers have a strong motivation to demonstrate their beliefs, while non-believers are unconcerned with the question.

      Here’s what’s really annoying about this smug, victorious attitude of yours – you mistake unconcern for the question for fear of losing. I have no idea if it’s getting warmer or colder, and I don’t care except to the point that I hope it’s getting warmer. I have no idea if any of it is man-made or not, though I suspect that an insignificant portion is. And you want me to “put my money where my mouth is” and bet with you that “it’s gonna get warmer.” Huh? What does that prove? Hell, I want it to get warmer.

      It’s like you’re saying to me, “The Colts are gonna kick ass in the Super Bowl! Seven touchdowns, six interceptions and three safeties, guaranteed!”

      And I tell you, “Dude, you’re high. They’re a good team. They might win the Super Bowl, but the Pats look pretty tough. I dunno, it’s a toss-up. To tell you the truth, I’m a Bills fan, so I’m not that into it”.

      And you reply, “Oh, yeah? Well, why don’t you take Tom Brady’s dick out of your mouth for ten seconds and put your money where your mouth is, Pat-boy! I’ll lay you two-to-one that the Colts will score a touchdown!”

      You’re betting on something that has a decent chance of happening and not meaning jack shit, and thinking it proves some outlandish point.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2005 12 23 at 03:21 AM • permalink


    1. I notice each day that it gets a lot hotter when the sun is up, then cools after it goes down.
      Do we have any reliable data on the sun’s output each year for, say, the last 20 years? 30? 50? Longer?
      Those huge solar explosions in 2003(?) were (i) impressive, and (ii) evidence of its ability to throw the odd curve ball.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 12 23 at 06:59 AM • permalink


    1. Pollution is as pollution does..

      Posted by crash on 2005 12 23 at 10:48 AM • permalink


    1. 2dogs, my bet offers are here, the easiest logistics would be the charity bets.

      To be fair to JeffS, he could be sincere in his betting disinterest, but I and others keep hearing that over and over.  I think the truth for many of them (not all) is they really don’t have confidence in the positions they advocate so confidently, and they’re hiding behind the claimed disinterest.

      Dave S has a decent point (stated indecently) about leaping onto people who have only the slightest interest in the issue. The people I’m really interested in betting are those like Tim Blair who repeatedly and confidently proclaim that global warming is unproven, we’re in a natural warming cycle, etc.

      The test will be for people who continue to loudly claim that only idiots accept global warming.  I will mildly suggest they put their money where their mouths are.  My apologies in advance if this is considered insensitive.

      Posted by schmidtb98 on 2005 12 23 at 01:37 PM • permalink


    1. schmidt, you are either not reading the responses, or are being deliberately obtuse. Your bets are senseless. You claim to know something you simply cannot. This is proven best by the stupidity inherent in your ‘natural warming’ bet, which presumes 35-year warming/cooling cycles when there is absolutely no reason to assume something like that. In the end, winning would mean nothing. Losing would equally mean nothing. Please try to understand you sound like a moron when you repeatedly insist that these bets could prove something, and that the lack of takers also proves something. It does not.

      But I guess that’s too ‘evasive’ for you.

      Posted by Crispytoast on 2005 12 23 at 03:05 PM • permalink


    1. Just to put my two cents back in, schmidtwhatever, you didn’t read my post closely if you took it to mean “denial of global warming”.  What I said is that no one knows if there is real global warming, or if it’s just a natural cyclical phenomenon.  And let me add, no one knows if human activity is a cause.  Let me repeat, “a” cause, not “the” cause.  You can cite all the studies you like, but that’s not proof.

      Therefore, your so-called bet is stupid, not least because it would necessarily entail years, if not decades of waiting to see who’s right.  Who would want to make a bet like that, regardless whether they believed in their position?

      So, yes, I guess you can say JeffS and I agree with each other.  And several other people who commented here.

      By the way, your insistence reveals that you seem to like gambling a lot.  You might want to look into that.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 12 23 at 03:35 PM • permalink


    1. Okay, back to my natural warming bet is fair.  In the last 150 years, we’ve had one other warming cycle and it lasted 35 years.  My bet pays off at 2:1 ratio to my opponent if temperatures start declining in anything under 46 years from the start of our current warming.

      This data means someone who actually believes in natural warming should take the bet:  there’s no reason to expect the current warming is more likely to last longer than the last one, and even if there’s say, an even chance that the warming will last 50 years, the 2:1 payout makes the risk worthwhile.

      If you don’t have patience for a long term bet, that’s obviously your choice.  But, the first Simon-Ehrlich bet is often considered instructive in that the conservative (Simon) position won.  Simon’s later refusal to bet Ehrlich and Schneider over global warming is equally instructive.

      As for my betting, I’ve done little in my life.  I am interested in betting people over whether The Rapture or other mystical cataclysms will happen in the near-term though, but haven’t figured out a good way to structure it yet.

      Posted by schmidtb98 on 2005 12 23 at 04:20 PM • permalink


    1. Sorry, should be “back to WHETHER my natural warming bet is fair.”

      My apologies, and I regret the typing error.

      Posted by schmidtb98 on 2005 12 23 at 04:22 PM • permalink


    1. One warming cycle length = one data point. Only a fucking imbecile would try to extrapolate a trend from one data point.

      Posted by Crispytoast on 2005 12 23 at 04:31 PM • permalink


    1. You’re right crispy, and that data point is the only shred of evidence for a natural warming cycle happening right now.  Discard that, and you’re looking at human-caused warming.

      But if you’re going to try and build a natural warming argument out of that one shred of evidence, then you should bet me.

      Posted by schmidtb98 on 2005 12 23 at 05:06 PM • permalink


    1. Uh, no. The only way your ‘natural warming’ bet makes sense is if the planet has had the same temperature for millions of years, and we had accurate measurements showing temperature cycles averaging 35 years for those millions of years. The planet’s temperature has changed naturally quite dramatically in the past, but we don’t know the specifics of how OR WHY it changes, or what constitutes a natural cycle. You can’t claim otherwise, unless you don’t believe scientists are still making fundamental changes to their climate prediction models. So, to repeat, your bet doesn’t prove anything one way or the other.

      Posted by Crispytoast on 2005 12 23 at 05:46 PM • permalink


    1. So crispy, you’re saying “there’s no data, therefore I’m free to assume a 50 year or longer warming cycle that will wonderfully reverse itself just before things get really hairy, and doubling C02 in the atmosphere will have no effect.”  I’d say that in the absence of data you should make no assumptions either way, and not assume the current warming is a temporary natural cycle.

      If you do want to look at the data of the last 150 years, though, it provides very little support for the natural theory but does back up my bet.  I’d agree that if you go back far enough you’ll find long-term warming periods, but then it’s a pretty thin argument for denying what’s happening now is unusual, and therefore likely to be artificial.

      I will concede that a “natural warmer” who says, “I’m not relying on any information to back up my belief that current warming is natural, I just feel it to be so,” is someone who’s immune from a testable bet.

      Posted by schmidtb98 on 2005 12 23 at 06:34 PM • permalink


    1. I’d say that in the absence of data you should make no assumptions either way, and not assume the current warming is a temporary natural cycle.

      Which is why I’m not making assumptions either way. Your bets, and the conclusions you will draw from them, are making assumptions – for instance, that a current warming period lasting more than 35 years is unnatural, because it’s only happened once in the past ~150 years. What that means is that you are saying is that the climate pattern of the past 150 years is exactly the same pattern that’s been repeated over millions of years, that climate patterns cannot be more than 150 years long, that within those 150 year patterns you can have only one 35-year warming cycle, and one cooling cycle. That is the assumption you are implicitly making, and that is just not credible. You are taking one small period and saying “this is how it’s always been”, when you know that’s not true. You are also stuck on a belief that nothing can ever naturally change, and that things will get ‘really hairy’, whatever that means, even though Earth has been a lot warmer, and a lot colder, in the past. That all happened naturally. But now you are putting blind faith in inaccurate (or are you seriously claiming they are accurate?) climate prediction models, and saying that something which happened naturally in the past HAS to be happening ‘artificially’ now, because, well, just because you BELIEVE.

      I’d agree that if you go back far enough you’ll find long-term warming periods, but then it’s a pretty thin argument for denying what’s happening now is unusual, and therefore likely to be artificial.

      So if it happened in the past, it’s unusual that it’s happening now? What kind of argument is that? Why would I place a bet with someone who thinks like that?

      Posted by Crispytoast on 2005 12 23 at 08:08 PM • permalink


    1. You are taking one small period and saying “this is how it’s always been”, when you know that’s not true.

      Actually, given his output here, I suspect he doesn’t know that.

      Kind of reminds me of people who take the Bible as a literal description of how the world came into existence…except that in the case of enviroreligionists, the story is entirely self-constructed. (And tends to change with the hour.)

      Posted by PW on 2005 12 23 at 08:51 PM • permalink


    1. Crispy, if something’s very rare and hasn’t happened in a long time, and then starts happening, it’s more likely to have a different and artificial cause this time around than something that’s a common natural event.  Note the word “likely” and remember this is all about betting.  Also note I’m looking for bets that test evidence of warming or human-caused warming, not absolute proof.  You seem to think that because 40 years of warming is short of absolute proof, it provides no reason at all to think we’re having an effect.

      I expect if you go back 600-1000 years or so you’ll find a 50-year plus warming cycle.  To you that may be reason to ignore a long-term warming trend now, but I think most others would agree that the probability of you being right is low.

      Yes, I do more-or-less trust the models and mainstream theory, and it’s because you claim otherwise that I’m proposing a bet to test who’s right (sorry, a bet so you can take the money away from a stupid idiot like myself).

      Posted by schmidtb98 on 2005 12 23 at 10:28 PM • permalink


    1. #63 – Oh, arguing with enviroreligionists is VERY much like arguing with “creation scientists.” The only difference is that the former give you pseudo-religious science and the latter give you pseudo-scientific religion.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2005 12 23 at 10:43 PM • permalink


    1. Crispytoast, schmidt is either being deliberately obtuse, or he’s a full fledged Mother Gaia™ religious fanatic.  I’ve stopped wasting my time with him, especially since the wanker isn’t listening, and keeps on repeating, “If you don’t bet with me, I’m right by default!”  That last sentence doubtless translates into “LA LA LA LA LA!!  I CAN’T HEAR YOU! LA LA LA LA LA!!!”

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2005 12 24 at 01:35 AM • permalink


  1. We’ve actually made SLIGHT progress here – no one has attempted to support the arguments that temperatures aren’t rising now, or that temps will fall in the near future.  Both arguments are still commonly heard, and advocated by right wing warriors Richard Lindzen and Bill Gray (both of whom have refused to bet).

    If you all hear those arguments in the future, you know what to think about the knowledge level of the person making the argments.  Or, you can send them my way.

    Posted by schmidtb98 on 2005 12 24 at 05:11 PM • permalink