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Shut Up and Write, or Doubt Climate Change?

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God knows we don’t want this to become a climate change blog, but we keep getting letters like this one that make us think – and write, much to Jeff Murphy’s chagrin:

The Car Connection needs to stick to what it does best - reporting on the automotive industry. The constant political statements about global warming (and yes, it is just what the name says) is unfortunate and takes away from you credibility. Please leave out your comments denying or casting doubt on global warming and report on the auto industry. You might want to investigate your position on the subject as well. I think you will find that your ideas doubting the existence of this phenomenon are outdated, unscientific, and downright ignorant.

The problem is, skeptics are out there – and they have credibility. Take, for example, the Reuters story from today on skeptics, who say they’re having trouble getting heard.

Scientists who doubt the scope and cause of climate change have trouble getting funding and academic posts unless they conform to an "alarmist scenario," said Roger Helmer, a British member of the European Parliament, at a panel discussion on appropriate responses to rising global temperatures.

Benny Peiser, a professor at Liverpool John Moores University, questioned the methods used by climate scientists. He said many were recognizing that using computer modeling to predict an "inherently unpredictable future" was illogical.

"Today's scientific consensus very often turns out to be tomorrow's redundant theory," he said. He said that scientific journals refused to take papers from scientists who doubted climate change.


Or listen to Roy Spencer, a research scientist at the University of Alabama and a former NASA scientist, who says he doesn't believe man is causing catastrophic climate changes.

"I don't think we understand what happens. We can watch it happen on the (climate) models, we know it happens, but we don't know for sure how it happens," Spencer told an Alabama paper.

What is so dogmatic about climate change that should stifle discussion? TheCarConnection.com has a few readers who won’t entertain any opinions other than their own. This, despite our excellent coverage of climate change and CO2 laws and the heated discussion here on our blog.

What’s your side?


Climate change skeptics say it's hard to get heard--Reuters

Scientist: Warming not caused by humans-www.AL.com
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Comments (25)
  1. "He said that scientific journals refused to take papers from scientists who doubted climate change."

    Nonsense! Scientific journals refuse to take papers that fail the peer-review process. They refuse to take papers where the raw data and/or analysis fails to support the conclusion. They refuse to take papers that are merely offer opinion/editorials on others' methodolgy and conclusions.

    "…But we don’t know for sure how it happens.”

    Not knowing the mechanism of an effect does not invalidate the effect. We don't know the mechanisms behind gravity, but no one refutes the effects of gravity.

    Yes, we know there are doubters of Global Warming theory, but unless their independently gathered and analysed data support their conclusions, withstand peer-review and satisfy the editors of refereed journals, they're little more than background noise - justfiably filtered out.
     
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  2. I Agree!Yes, we know there are IGNORANT doubters of Global Warming theory which they 've no qualified opinions,neither Scientific and objective mind!, but unless their independently gathered and analysed data support their conclusions, withstand peer-review and satisfy the editors of refereed journals, they’re little more than background noise - justfiably filtered out,They should be!(Throw them to the Seine!)The unrealistic yaking folks deserves no attention!My darling pretty wife said just now 'The hell be with the doubters',I add I hope they burn there(here gonna be hell of heath pretty soon,in spite of their doubts!,those butt heads!!,Let them come like the rest of the charletands to the White house to meet their prez.!
     
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  3. I dont understand what the whole debate is :
    1.we all know that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere is NOT a good thing.
    So then why not use this oppurtunity to stop it.
    2.We all know that Automotive emissions produce a deadly cocktail of gases which is not good for any living organism -- then why not reduce/stop it by using our formidable talents and resources.
    3. We all know that hydrocarbon is the biggest source of conflict in the world right now-- why dont we de -addict ourselves from this menace , use our innovation to get out of this mess.
     
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  4. Stuff and nonsense, as my Scottish friend used to say. Reminds me of the days of the flat earth society, or long-held erroneous beliefs about causes of diseases, or Adolf: "He who is not with us is against us." Or, more recently, the forgotten/ignored stuff about Acid Rain, in which granitic-bottomed lakes downwind of NOTHING were acidic and the Sky Is Falling crowd just brushed off contrarian facts rather than going back to the lab. They had their witch tied to the stake and the flames going. Human nature loves to demonize.

    Meanwhile, as to integrity of "peer-reviewed" scientific journals, may I suggest those with such perfect faith review the scandal of the British journal Lancet invading U. S. presidential politics by running an obviously flawed, NOT peer-reviewed report claiming 100,000 Iraqi civilian deaths which the American author demanded be published just before the November 2004 elections. Lancet has been nailed at least once since for a bogus or politicized article and yet is supposed to be one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals. These journals are only as honest as their editors, who are, after all, human beings with political leanings. Another problem is that no one knows about legit contrarian papers which are refused publication because they didn't conform to "the conventional wisdom."

    A PhD is not a license to steal our minds. They're not called "piled higher and deeper" for nothing.
     
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  5. There will always be skeptics. Ahmadinejad in Iran denies the holocaust. Many people still believe the world is 6000 years old, notwithstanding that a dinosaur fossil 68 million years old was recently unearthed. The United Nations ICC report, saying that global warming is very probably man made, is a consensus document attested to by a large number of scientists from around the world. What's the point of fighting over this issue? Tessil's response points out that dealing with it can only have good results. What do the skeptics have to offer?
     
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  6. Why does every counter-CO2 argument end in Holocaust references? If the UN's own scientists deem global warming a "probability" they are inherently acknowledging the potential for other causes.

    Skeptics here just want more answers. Why is this such a huge point of contention? And why has no scientist tried to disprove other possible causes?
     
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  7. No debate is possible with people who make statements that start with "We all know that..." The classic (and often metaphorically fatal) problem-solving error is to choose a solution, then structure your arguments and experiments so as to support that solution. A second error, often literally fatal, is to mess with complex systems about which you have insufficient knowledge. ("Don't worry, honey, I can fix the generator myself.") Both these errors are being made, because politicians listen to voters, and too many voters think carbon dioxide is a poison, and that it is generated only by internal-combustion engines.

    Putting less CO2 into the atmosphere is certainly a wise and prudent first step, but expecting the automotive industry to bear the majority of the burden is unrealistic. In addition, causing economic and social upheaval, while acting from a position of technical ignorance, is stupid and immoral.
     
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  8. Thanks for your support of free thought in today’s Nazi like global warming cult world. This sounds like the time when there was a scientific consensus that the world was flat and Europe was the center of the universe.
     
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  9. Every animal on this planet contributes CO2. Why not do away with animals. Oh wait, we are animals too!
     
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  10. OK! You know you read all these replies and you listen to all the people on TV and Radio and you just begin to get really pissed off! Your right there will always be skeptics and yes everyone has a right to their opinion. But at some point there has to be a time when talking needs to lead to action. Many other countries are not even having this debate and are already making changes. So why aren't we? Simple, we don't like how inconvienent it is. How many people are willing to give up their Excursions or their Hummers? I love being an American but sometimes we are so frickin' selfish. The biggest problem with these skeptics is, they don't want to alter their lives to help save the planet. Instead we do nothing! The end result, like so many things in this world, is that we continue to destroy the very world our children are going to live in.

    I was talking to to a peer about her baby on the way, and I asked her "What kind of world do you want your child to grow up in?" She said the common answer, "A good one." Who's going to do that? We should all think about that the next time we get in our big SUVs by ourself and drive to the store. We have the ability to make a difference! So do we do it? Or do we sit here until it's too late and then bitch about everything that's going wrong? It's about time we (the world) start doing the Human thing, and look out for each other and the only home we have, The Earth.
     
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  11. Science requires a theory to be proven by a scientific experiment. The experiment has to be duplicated by others and the same results have to be achieved in order for the theory to be proven. Since this is the rule ALL scientists live by then why does there have to be a "consensus"? Shouldn't the data provided by duplicating the experiment support the theory proposed and provide an exact result? Unfortunately, the climate is always changing thus rendering this method unreliable.

    should we try to improve the planet? yes. should we strive to find alternate sources of energy that are cleaner? yes. should we stiffle progress by taxing or legislating industry and society into submission? no.

    CO2 is required for plants to survive and if can't predict tomorrows weather what gives us the power to predict the future with the certainty the UN and others claim?
     
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  12. That big brown smog cloud over L.A. just appears naturally right? That big black exhaust cloud comming out of those trucks on the highway could not possibly harm anyone right? My first question to these scientists that doubt climate change is, how much is big oil paying them? I remember the same arguments from a small group of scientists years ago that smoking tobacco does not really harm you. Until we found out tobacco companies were paying them off. Follow the oil money.
     
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  13. SHUT UP! is what we skeptics hear from the global warming true-believers, which can only pour gas on the fire of global-warming skepticism. By the way, the skepticism tent is large enough to include those who are convinced that the phenomenon is real, and quite possibly man-made, but simply not the pending catastrophe that the Al Gores of the world claim it to be. Humanity is now more adept at adapting to change, especially gradual change, than ever; to say nothing of the earth's own capacity for adaptation.

    As far as claims that this discussion has no place on a site for auto enthusiasts, well, read the Supreme Court's recent decision regarding the EPA and global warming and tell me that this issue isn't a great trojan horse for private-transportation-hating leftists.
     
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  14. "All animals produce CO2."

    I have seen this argument for uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels several times before, and it betrays a misunderstanding of the carbon cycle. The carbon that I am breathing out right now was taken out of the air by corn plants within the last 2-3 years (see Michael Pollen's Dilemma, 2006).

    The carbon we burn in our cars was taken out of the atmosphere in shallow seas by phytoplankton between 40 million and 500 million years ago. The carbon that's powering my computer right now (mostly from coal) came from swamps of primitive land plants 400-300 million years ago.

    Yes CO2 fluctuates, climate fluctuates, other things than CO2 affect the weather on any given day. However, CO2 has not been this high for millions of years. Whenever it was that high in the past, the temperature also was much higher, and sea levels were higher, and there were no glaciers.

    Climate scientists have been studying this stuff for many years, make computer simulations that can predict most past yearly temperature fluctuations with the equations built into their models. The problem is that none of the skeptics can make models that both predict past weather and simultaneously paint the rosy picture that the military industrial complex wants you to believe about the future.

    The reason to stop "waiting" for "science" to come in is that action now can be effective and less traumatic to our economy. Action later will not help alleviate the suffering, most of which will be felt by poor nations who will hold us responsible (bringin Restitution and Terrorism), and will devastate our economy.
     
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  15. Frank is exactly right about the scientific method. Climatology is less of a science than economics. All of these predictions depend on models, and a model, by definition is never 100% accurate.

    Global Warming Chicken Littles love to bring up historical analogies like the Holocost and Flat Earth people, but they never mention the scientific and popular convention that we were headed for another ice age back in the 70s?

    The real issue is what do we do about it? Global warming alarmist should now put their hands on top of their heads to keep their skulls intact. Instituting the KYoto protocol will increase global CO2 emissions. That's right kids. If you cap emmissions and reduce them in the advanced world, you will only send those activities that can be transplanted to places like hHina and India, who are far less energy efficient per unit of GDP than we are, plus throw in generally more polluting. Inflate those bike tires and shut off your air-conditioner, which you'll have to do because all our manufacturing jobs will be sent overseas.

    If you have a global problem, you need a global solution.

    And for god's sake, keep climate scientinsts from making political/economic decisions and politicians from making scientific decisions. This is a zone defense, everyone should play their role.

    And by the way, if you don't think that many on the left don't see the new green as the old 'Red', you really have the blinders on. Collectivists have given up on controlling what you make, so they will control what you can spend. Smaller houses, cars, trips, and lives along with higher taxes, regulations, and scrutiny. According to some we should all become vegetarians to really fight global warming. If we aren't careful, we'll all be living in caves when the next iceage comes.

    For real fun, run a Lexis-Nexus search on terms like "nuclear war" and "global warming" from say 1980 to the present. One goes down, as the other goes up. Throw in the blips for Killer Komets and you have the triumverate of things we can't really control that will kill us all. That's why a common tactic is to compare Global warming to terrorism. Pay no attention to the guy behind the subway door with a suicide belt, its the cow farts that are going to get us.

    Why am I right? Because I have a Chemistry and an MBA degree? No becuase I've been involved with seeing how energy policy and building codes are developed and it makes sausage manufacturing look like Intel's clean room production. You have all these PhDs running around whipping these politicians into a froth. The scientists say that we need more government regulation to prevent the problems that they find when they are given money for research from the government. And you think il money is corrupting. The military-industrial complex is so 20th century. Look our for the educrat-politico complex!
     
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  16. Report On!

    Weather forecasting models have difficulty making a seven (7) day forecast prediction, why should reliance be given to a forecast 20, 30, 40, 50 years away?

    Additionally, all of animal kind exhales CO2, which collectively adds to the accumulation. Will regulation of breathing be next, with an associated tax.
    Beware those that desire to govern, because they "desire" to govern!

    Its undisputed that temperature is increasing, but "why" in certainly not undisputed.
    Not to explore other reasons beyond CO2 is simply inferior scientific approach and study.

    Report On!
     
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  17. Global Warming deniers line up by the dozens claiming lack of certainty as the defense for their indefensible position. Deniers claim there IS evidence to the contrary but have yet to provide any.

    Where is it? Where is the evidence that supposedly rufutes the Global Warming concensus: that the effects are disturbing and the fault is our own. Certainly, with the level of confidence exuded by deniers here, they can easily link us to a peer-reviewed articles in a refereed publications that provide contrary evidence to the IPCC report.

    Instead they use argumentative falacies and try to appeal to (un)common sense, but NEVER do they link to studies, surveys nor treatises. Instead, they are contributors to Global Warming in all the traditional manners, but mostly with their hot air.
     
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  18. God love ya Car Connection - you do love to pander to the doubters! My opinion is there are natural cycles in the life of our planet. Just as in the life of each human. The planet may be experiencing a natural warming. And like with the life of humans, our own actions can aggravate these cycles. How come fat people tend to populate the temperate zone of the planet? How come most of the worlds pollution tends to come from the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere? On the whole I support the notion that "we" (humans) are aggravating the warming cycle, in fact, accelerating it.

    As Americans we have to stop living in denial about a host of things. Global warming is one of many. I'll turn to other media for this discussion.

    Please stick to cars. How they run, who builds them and what's on offer to buy. You do that very well. Don't take your eye off the ball.
     
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  19. Keep up the good educational fight TCC.
     
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  20. Dirty little secret. Global warming is only happening because the temps are going UP. No arguments, fact is the Temperatures are being "Cherry Picked" to give the GW promoters their data. PROOF: as little as 20 years ago the ocean temps were all surface temps, now temps are taken at great depths. So in the past 20 years the average worl temp has gone up. Do you think man has made the deep blue sea change temperature on the ocean floor or maybe the Earth's own heat source, magma and 45,000 mile of under sea vents and volcanoes? Quit driving your SUVs underwater NOW! Man could not stop Global Warming if he had too, but accidentally he has caused it to foul up? I love the way forecasters blamed GW for the Hurricanes , but did the Earth cool off last year? No major Hurricanes, but it was going to be worse than ever! Apples are bad for you too and stop eating those eggs, they'll kill you!
     
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  21. I guess I am the stupid one among all the talk of Global Warming and those that don't believe in it. Perhaps if you look at it this way, maybe it will get you thinking. Why are the Earth's temperature's going up? Shouldn't they be going down? Whether you believe in Creation or Inteligent Design, when the Earth burst on the scene it was a Firey Ball of Molton Rock. As it cooled down, water was added or made. Life then started to happen.
    Now, doesn't it stand to reason, the Earth continued to cool down and hasn't stopped since there is nothing to make it stop, naturally. As it is warming up, there has to be a factor causing that. The Sun isn't getting any warmer so, what could it be that is warming the Earth's Atmosphere? Does this make any sense to you? If it does, can you explain it to me, I'm totally confused.
     
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  22. Some inconvenient truths:
    1.) Computer models that can't come to the right conclusion when back-tested with known data cannot be expected to accurately predict the future. Such is the case with climate change. It's even worse when you use assumptions instead of data.

    2.) If it truly is "global" warming why are China, India and others not required to meet any mandates? In reality, it's an attempt at global economic redistribution. Europe has spent lots of money trying to reduce CO2 emissions and has gotten nowhere. That money could have done MUCH, MUCH more good if it were used to provide a verifiable benefit like increasing the amount of drinking water in the world, reducing poverty or some other thing that yields real, verifiable results. Any benefit assigned to reducing CO2 is speculation at best. There's plenty of evidence there are benefits from higher CO2 levels that can offset potential negatives.

    3.) If there is so much consensus on the potential dangers of global warming why are there so many different scenarios about what form it will take? Will sea levels rise 1 foot or 20 feet? Why have many of these estimates been revised downward? Why is so little attention given to the percentage of natural sources of CO2? One good volcano and/or the ocean pump a lot more of it into the air than what comes from vehicles. And let's not forget emissions from animals, including us. Politicians and lawyers have to be worth at least a few thousand Hummers, right?

    4.) Coverage by the mainstream media, polls and political rhetoric do not change the data. They just tend to selectively use it for their own gain. True science always has a healthy dose of skepticism built in, that's how the truth ultimately comes out. There is only one real scientific truth, regardless of what the "consensus," rhetoric and media coverage might imply. In today's sound bite society there rarely is the opportunity (or the motivation) to dig deeply enough to find the real truth. Too many people are making far too much money and justifying their existence by perpetuating the self-serving consensus in the name of what's moral and ethical. No matter how many times it's repeated, by how ever many people, the fabricated truth will eventually yield to the scientific truth. It's just a shame so much equity and effort have to be misdirected and squandered in the interim. You can feed a lot of poor people with the cost of one ethanol plant and you know you will get a benefit because you will see the results right away.

    5.) Good public policy should always strive to do the "most good for the most people for the least cost." The activity surrounding global warming fails this test, horribly. Politicians and journalists tend to make very poor scientists because the former rarely are objective and tend to work in opinion rather than data. Scientists are not perfect, of course. They can be incompetent and/or biased as well. The scientific process, however, has many more safeguards against this built in. It may not always work, but it's got a much better record on an historical basis.

    Having said all of this, it's still a great idea to find valid ways to use less oil and wean ourselves off of our dependence upon imports. There is still an awful lot that can be done in terms of reducing waste and improving efficiency. To a very limited extent there is a place for incentives to change behavior. The best changes will come from market driven forces that reduce costs while also reducing petroleum use. We don't need mandates to make that happen, they would only add cost and complexity while causing delays and corruption. In the aggregate, consumers and businesses really do know what's best for them, they don't need government, the media and special interest groups/activists to tell them. They just need these groups to step out of the way and let the free market work to provide the win-win situation that will reduce oil consumption and dependence. How much better off would we be right now if we had more nuclear plants that reduced the amount of oil, coal and CNG we use? We'd be making lots of safe, clean, CO2-free electricity, just like France and others. We're not there because of the politics, rhetoric and bias in the media. The true science says nuclear is a great solution, we don't have a lot more of it because of non-scientific causes. It's the same with global warming. Someday, when ALL of the real science is fully debated and reported in public the global warming fad will fade away just like the ica age scenarios of the '70's did. Unfortunately, we'll lose lots of equity in the pursuit of something that was never a valid issue and we'll still have to deal with all those who will just go on to find another scare story they can feed off of to make their living at other peoples' expense. If you really want to help the planet don't listen to the politicians, media and activists who cherry pick the data to tell you only the part of the story that supports their cause. Rely instead on the true scientific process with all of its debate and disagreement as well as the free market to really solve the problem in a meaningful and much more efficient manner. Mark Twain ("figures lie and liars figure") and Thomas Jefferson ("He who governs best is he who governs least") had it right. The media and Al Gore, etc., are self-serving hypocrites. Get ALL of the facts not just what they want you to hear before you chose a side.
     
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  23. Whilst I duck spewed venom and fisticuffs (mostly from the left because I dare refuse to unquestioningly believe in their cause with all my heart, mind, soul), might I recommend a fun read? Crichton's "State of Fear" illuminates the environmental movement with an unconventional light. Here we have a leftie who hooked right because he looked at commonly available facts that anybody can understand. If you don't want to buy and/or read the book, go to your local library and just read the book's appendices. Then you can quit feeling guilty every time you fart.
     
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  24. The sun IS getting warmer. Along with the Earth, Mars is also experiencing "global warming." Is Mars getting warmer because of all the human-caused activity from those two Mars explorers up there? All the CO2 that is being generated is coming from some carbon-based fuel, and if you listen carefully to the scientists they will tell you all that carbon-based fuel is from plant and animal matter that died millions of years ago. So, when those plants and animal were alive they hadn't sequestered that carbon yet, so at one time all the carbon in the CO2 the anthropologically-caused global warming believers are screaming about was, at one time, in the atmosphere. The Earth and the plants and animals on it survived that time, and will survive this one, too. Even the United Nations report only claims a 20 cm increase in global mean sea level. I think almost everyone agrees there is global warming, but by how much and caused by what is the disagreement. Oh, and since they are all screaming about a 1 degree increase in mean global temperature over the past 100 years, how much of that is real and how much due to the massive increase in the number of reporting stations, manned and automatic, that are now in use compared to what was out there in 1907?
     
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  25. I love this global warming debate. The Earth has been warming and cooling for as long as there has been an Earth. I doubt the Earth gives a rip what we do or not do.

    On the other hand politicians have been lying to their constituents for as long as there have been politicians. The bigger the lie, the bigger their chances of success.

    Al Gore? Isn't he the guy who campaigned on the premise "everything that should be up is down and everything that should be down is up"? Everywhere Gore has gone lately there have been record cold and snow. Go figure.

    I see the global warming debate as being between the clinically insane and those that pay attention to history and the scientific method.

    We have seen clinically insane people before. Nazi Party and Hitler in Germany ring a bell?

    I had a co-worker tell me recently that Oregon had its warmest summer on record last year. I found a website listing temperatures and number of days at those temperatures taken at the airport in Portland. The temperatures were not even close to being the warmest summer in the last 40 years, let alone on record.

    If you want to be fleeced of most of your freedoms and much of your money, support the global warming crowd. If you want to keep your freedoms and more of your money remain skeptical and vigilant.
     
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