Saturday, October 11, 2008

Science Gore Ignores

UPDATE: below

When warming-zealots swarm, point to Dr. Roy W. Spencer, author and principal research scientist at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, who spoke to the Texas Public Policy Foundation on Tuesday:
The major climate models used by global warming advocates all assume a far greater sensitivity to atmospheric carbon dioxide changes than what we observe in the empirical satellite data. That’s why all of these scenarios produce such outlandishly high forecasts about future global temperatures. . . Al Gore’s apocalyptic temperature scenario assumes that carbon dioxide causes temperature changes. Except there is one problem -- global temperatures precede carbon dioxide levels by approximately 800 years. Ice core data reveals the opposite of what Gore claims.
Spencer's presentation included this chart:

source: Spencer at 2
According to Planet Gore's Drew Thornley, Spencer also said:
Only 39 out of every 100,000 molecules of air are CO2, and only about 5 percent of CO2 is man-made. Furthermore, it takes 5 years to go from 39 molecules of CO2 to 40 molecules.

Nature consumes about 50 percent of our CO2 emissions.

Some 90-95 percent of the greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor and clouds.
Spencer was interviewed by the Houston Chronicle that same day, and it's worth a read:
You've argued that temperature doesn't necessarily move in lock step with carbon dioxide emissions. But it's still not a good idea to emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Pre-industrial levels of carbon dioxide were 270 parts per million in the atmosphere. We're now at 385 or 390 ppm. Big greenhouses run CO2 at 1,000 ppm. I think the assumption that CO2 is necessarily bad is a philosophical assumption, not a scientific statement. Nature has picked a certain balance, but I don't see it as preordained, or necessarily the best balance. If you talk to some plant physiologists they make it sound like life on Earth is actually starved for CO2. I think that is a position that ought to be impassionately considering, rather than automatically assuming that putting more CO2 into the atmosphere is bad because that is not a scientific statement.

If you and other global warming skeptics are right, and the IPCC is wrong, why do so many scientists feel so strongly about climate change?

Most scientists don't understand the big picture, and they are willing to defer to the climate modelers. The climate modelers are willing to put all of the different pieces together into the climate model. And then the climate model is supposed to magically give you the answer. I'll bet a lot of the scientists are skeptical, but they won't admit it publicly. If you talk to most of the scientists who are ardent about the issue, they have a political or ideological worldview that says mankind needs to stop putting CO2 into the atmosphere. It's a religious belief and it's widespread in the scientific community.


Surf to Planet Moron's astute take:
[Spencer's talk] is a standard smear tactic used by global warming deniers in which they take observed data and apply it in a straightforward manner to reach verifiable conclusions.

Okay, that doesn’t sound as bad when you say it out loud. However, we’ve already established that The Consensus is true so the real question is not so much how do we subject it to critical examination that may yield superior climate models and in so doing generate information that could be better acted upon by policy makers, it’s how do we defend it from any and all criticism.

Fortunately, Al Gore has two suggestions on how to better shore up the science underlying The Consensus:
1. Vandalism
2. Suppression
(via Planet Gore)


OBloodyHell said...


Nature is like a great river of materials and forces that can be directed in this or that channel by human intervention. Such intervention is justified because the natural channels are not necessarily the most desirable, either for the human species OR for other species. It is not true that 'nature knows best.' It often creates ecosystems that are inefficient, wasteful, and destructive.
- R. Dubos(Science, 6 Aug 1976, pp. 459-62)


OBloodyHell said...

Yosemite Valley in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California is one of my favorite places on Earth. When the glaciers, which formed its sheer vertical walls, receded some ten thousand years ago, they left a large lake in the upper half of the valley, dammed up behind the detritus of gravel and boulders deposited by the melting ice at the lower margin of the active glacier. Over a few thousand years, the lake silted up, creating the flat floor of the valley. When tourists first started visiting the valley in large numbers, less than a century ago, the valley floor was a mix of forest and meadow, with a large, clear lake at the upper end of the valley, reflecting the spectacular, granite faces which surround it- - Cloud's Rest, Half Dome, North Dome, and Washington Column. Today the forests have taken over more of the valley floor, and the siltation of Mirror Lake continues, so that even in years of normal precipitation the lake is reduced to an expanse of mud with a small stream meandering through one side during half the summer and fall.

A conservation ethic, dedicated to the preservation of the biosphere in its status quo, would be just as lethal- - both to ourselves and to the rest of the system- - as it would be to pave the entire planet with concrete and asphalt. If we were to attempt to preserve Yosemite Valley, unchanged forever, which Yosemite should be preserved: the Glacial Lake, the silted marshland of a few thousand years ago, the Yosemite our grandparents knew, or the Yosemite to come, with very little meadow space and no Mirror Lake?

How shall we use and shape the planet?

- J. P. Vajk, "Doomsday Has Been Cancelled" -

OBloodyHell said...

Also, to see how well the antecedents of these geniuses have done with past "bioengineering" projects, let's look over Michael Crichton's example:

Complexity Theory and Environmental Management

Carl said...

The only upside to doomsday would have been to see if Mort Sahl got the last New York Times headline right.