Sensitive spot? Galileo Movement ban Idiot Tracker, WtD comments on that “issue”

Most interesting see here.See here for the evolving conversation on Shaping Tomorrow’s World, and my comments on perceived antisemitism.

I posted this in response to a commentator stating my claims were crude jibes wereas I believe there is a great deal of nuance.

The post contains links to resources andconcepts that may inform understanding of some parts of the sceptic community. I don’t think all skeptics are the same, and there are many, many sanded and  opinions.

Watching the Deniers at 00:47 AM on 11 September, 2012

@ Ben Pile

Having read thousands of posts, spoken to deniers, read dozens of books and watched their fillms, videos and YouTube videos I believe I have an understanding of the sceptic community and the broad spectrum of views. I do not view it as monolithic. It is diverse, with lots of voices. Agreed we are.

I believe I have a sophisticated understanding of the GM and work of Evans, and place it the category of producerism:

“Producerism sees society’s strength being “drained from both ends”—from the top by the machinations of globalized financial capital and the large, politically connected corporations that together conspire to restrict free enterprise, avoid taxes and destroy the fortunes of the honest businessman, and from the bottom by members of the underclass and illegal immigrants whose reliance on welfare and government benefits drains the strength of the nation. Consequently, nativist rhetoric is central to modern producerism…”

It has many influences, expressions and nuances. However, scholars of conspiracy culture have noted the parallels to classical antisemitism: if you want a rich history with context start here:

Every conspiracy theorist is unique, offering their own very personal interpretation of facts and events. Indeed, that is the very nature of the almost entrepreneurial style of fashioning these unique world views. Personally, I am fascinated by them and enjoy both reading and attempting to understand their work.

With all due respect, you have not answered my question. I am not suggesting all climate sceptics fall into the same category as Monckton and Evans: I’m asking your personal opinion on the materials.

It is a question for you Ben: as an obviously articulate, informed individual what is your response the claims?

I believe it is a reasonable ask of you.

Re creation/evolution you said it has no policy relevance. I suggested it does, perhaps we crossed wires. Or not.

I belive I am appreciative of the cultural divides or culture wars which impede not merely policy but education and an informed population. There is a complex interplay, and I believe I have stated the nuances cannot be under estimated.

Creationism as an idea makes a policy. It informs attempts to inject its teaching into public schools. It informs the broader objectives of conservative evangelical movements. I’m fully appreciative of its broader cultural and sociological drivers. In addition to denying climate change, the GOP Presidential candidates denied evolution. Every year in US the conservative politicians try to introduce “teach the controversy” legislation at the state level. I suspect you know this.

Do you not think policy implications flow from this? Agreed we are there are broader issues at play.

By turning science into a culture war issue, we inhibit policy that by necessity must be informed by science.

My point is, which I think are both trying to articulate, values and culture wars can distort policy debate. Is that a fair enough assessment?

Do my values inform my world view? Of course! But in order to avoid cognititive dissonance or rejecting vital knowledge that seems to challenge my values, I endeavor to practice a kind of mindfulness.

16 thoughts on “Sensitive spot? Galileo Movement ban Idiot Tracker, WtD comments on that “issue”

  1. Keith AB says:

    No you are simply wrong.

    What is it about CO2 that leads you to predict a catastrophe for humankind? That is the only issue we have. One degree C is manageable and we will have to burn everything there is to get there.

    Everything else you reference is extraneous. Give us the evidence that man made CO2 is causing a catastrophe so severe that the only way to avoid it is for us to stop burning stuff. Despite the fact that burning stuff is what has got us this far you wish to stop it. Why, what is wrong with individual self actualisation? What makes you think that that your vision of my future is better than the one I choose for myself?

    The world can only be saved by the application of ubiquitous and inexpensive power, without it the entire habitat will be destroyed.

  2. Sammy Jankis says:

    What is it about CO2 that leads you to predict a catastrophe for humankind?

    I simply do not believe that this questions is being asked in good faith. What would you say to someone who drops into the comments of a blog to ask “What makes you think vaccines are safe and effective?” or “What makes you beleive evolution is true?” or “What makes you think the holocaust really happened?” or “What makes you think smoking causes cancer?”. Would you not smell a rat? The science behind anthropogenic climate change spans several disciplines over several decades. There is an extensive body of literature which supports the consensus position of the scientists actively researching in these areas. There are numerous books and websites which explain this complex scientific field in laymans terms to make the science more accessible for those who don’t have advanced degrees in atmospheric physics, climatology, oceanography and so on, but you ignore them. Instead, you stop by a blog and demand that its residents write a blog comment for you which summarises everything the scientific community understands about human induced climate change. You ask not because you are genuinely curious, but because you know many simply don’t have the patience, and a lack of detailed responses can be spun as “warmists avoiding discussion of the science”.

    One degree C is manageable and we will have to burn everything there is to get there.

    Have you told the IPCC? NASA? The scientific academies of the world’s developed nations? What did they say?

    Give us the evidence that man made CO2 is causing a catastrophe so severe that the only way to avoid it is for us to stop burning stuff. Despite the fact that burning stuff is what has got us this far you wish to stop it.

    Your setting up a false dichotomy. It’s not a choice between burning stuff/having energy and not burning stuff/not having energy. What proposed is making energy without burning stuff. Also, the ends do not justify the means.

    Why, what is wrong with individual self actualisation?

    Nothing, as long as it doesn’t negatively impact on others. Did restrictions on dumping waste into rivers and lakes prevent checmical plant owners from “self actualising”?

    The world can only be saved by the application of ubiquitous and inexpensive power, without it the entire habitat will be destroyed.

    See above re: false dichotomy.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Oh, snap 🙂

      • Keith AB says:

        I note that the response is that man made CO2 is changing the climate in a severe and threatening way is as valid a scientific theory as vaccines and smoking are, or that it is as real as the Holocaust was. The question I raised was sincere and simple yet all you have done is question my motives without actually answering.

        Let me precis my issue if I may. Man burns stuff which causes CO2 to be released into the atmosphere raising the concentration from 280ppm to 390ppm over the last 150 years. During this same period the global temperature has increased by 0.6 Deg C and the AGW theory says that the two are directly coupled with CO2 causing the temperature increase. Where is the evidence for this? The evidence that the increase in CO2 concentration is because of us entirely? The evidence that the 0.6 Deg C rise is entirely due to increasing CO2?

        It seems to me that the whole of the AGW movement is rather like an upside down pyramid with all of its carefully crafted models and predictions resting on a tiny CO2 molecule put there by man and the proof for that is sorely lacking. What would it take for your theory to be disproved?

  3. zoot says:

    Keith, seriously, don’t waste your time posting here you’ll just look like a troll.
    Publish your ideas as a paper in a peer reviewed journal (preferably a science journal) and just wait for the Nobel Prize Committee to come knocking at your door.
    Fame and riches will be yours. That’ll show those stupid warmists.

  4. Hello Keith,

    With all due respect, you are arguing from ignorance. Because you don’t know how CO2 could cause warming, you doubt it. Your question, where is “the evidence that the increase in CO2 concentration is because of us entirely” reveals this quite clearly.

    Swedish geologist Högbom wrote in 1890s that the anthropogenic CO2 emissions from coal burning were comparable to the major natural net emitter of CO2, volcanoes, and would probably lead to increased concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere in the long run. That was 120 years ago, when CO2 emissions were hundred times lower, and he was quite right.

    Today we know how much CO2 there is in the atmosphere (first properly measured by Charles David Keeling in 1958), we know how much we have emitted CO2 (simple, just calculate how much fossil fuels the economy is using. Högbom knew how to do this in 1890s) and we know how much oceans are removing CO2 from the air (first quantitatively assessed by Roger Revelle & Hans Suess in 1957), and we can actually measure the resulting changes in ocean water acidity (basic chemistry). Also, fossil carbon has different isotopes from atmospheric carbon, and we can measure the changes in carbon isotope ratios in the atmosphere (first signs of this change were noticed in 1955 by Suess). All this paints a very coherent picture of the reason why the CO2 concentration is changing: human emissions of fossil fuels. There is no reasonable doubt.

    Now, as you also doubt the effects these changing greenhouse gas concentrations would have on temperatures, let me tell you a story. It’s a story of a nice, warm, ice-free planet teeming with life. Some people might call this planet Earth, but you’d have to wait 56 million years for someone to give it a name. A sudden geological event happened, which, along with natural carbon feedbacks, caused the release of some 5000 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere over 20 000 years. This caused a temperature rise of some 5-8 degrees Celsius over that period, which you can see in paleoclimate proxies, and acidification of oceans and extinctions in seafloor life – land based and marine life largely managed to migrate or adapt to the changing climate. It took the Earth’s natural thermostat (rock weathering) nearly 200 000 years to bring the temperature back down to “natural” levels. This event is called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM.

    So why am I concerned about current global warming? PETM was a rapid climate change in geological time, caused by an influx of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Today we are in the process of releasing the same amount of carbon in a few hundred years, causing a climate change that could be hundred times as fast if we continue business as usual burning all available fossil fuels. I don’t want to know what that would mean to the Earth as we know it.

    This is just a small thread in the coherent body of knowledge we call climate science.

    A layman who is actually interested in science


    Arrhenius 1896

    The Discovery of Global Warming, Spencer Weart,

    The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum: A Perturbation of Carbon Cycle, Climate, and Biosphere with Implications for the Future, McInerney & Wing 2011

    Slow Release of Fossil Carbon during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Cui et al 2011

    • Keith AB says:

      Thank you for your condescending response . . .

      The CO2 story doesn’t work for several reasons and you are misguided if you think I am unaware of the mechanisms relied upon in your narrative. My understanding is that we are increasing the atmospheric CO2 at 2 ppm/yr so to double it at todays levels it will take almost 200 years to double it leading to a 1 Deg C rise in temperature.

      I am also aware that at a concentration of 200 ppm CO2 is basically saturated in its ability to absorb LWIR so further increases will have little or no impact on temperature.

      I am also made to understand that both CO2 levels and global temperatures have been, significantly, higher than they are now and yet no run away climate catastrophe occurred.

      What we have here is not a failure to communicate but more a failure of logic. Just because you can measure atmospheric CO2 does not make it relevant to our condition. The Arrhenius and Tyndal experiments are in serious need of being repeated so that we can actually see whether we are doomed or not. My read of their efforts is that we are not.

      You characterise yourself as a layman who is actually interested in science. Well done, but you sound like an activist to me.

      • john byatt says:

        keith, this is complete nonsense and displays an ignorance that we rarely encounter

        anyway you might at least try to understand that we have actual data that is a contradiction of your claimed saturation

        Satellite and surface measurements observe an enhanced greenhouse effect at the wavelengths that CO2 absorb energy. This is empirical proof that the CO2 effect is not saturated.

        The warming will not wait until we reach the next doubling of CO2, the warming will be linear from now on because as we increase emissions the ability of the ocean to absorb the extra is lost this will in effect cancel out the well understood logarithmic effect, radiative forcing will continue increasing.

        There is no need of runaway greenhouse to cause catastrophic warming, just six degrees would be catastrophic, three degrees will be very dangerous,

        • Keith AB says:

          Thank you for the link regarding the oceanic uptake of industrial carbon.

          Do you have a link to a paper that covers the saturation of atmospheric CO2 with regards to LWIR?

          thank you

      • john byatt says:

        You could take a look at the following

        Harris 2001
        griggs 2004
        Philipona 2004
        Chen 2007
        Evans 2006

  5. Keith AB says:

    My attitude to the whole global warming industry is probably best articulated by another engineer of note . . .

    Click to access EngrCritiqueCAGW-v4o3.pdf

    • john byatt says:

      Warning, place on head vice before reading Rutan, he makes just about every rebutted denier claim in existence,

      • john byatt says:

        The classic was that ” while i give this talk, the temperature in this room will go up more than the global temperature has in the last century”

        Is Rutan’s understanding really this pathetic?

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