Thursday, December 10, 2009

These people have a lot of balls

First emails surface that suggest that top scientists in the field of climatology have been consispiring for years to find ways to doctor data and discredit anyone with a dissenting view. Then we find out that all of the original data that these people have based their conclusions on has beed destroyed. While they do everything to marginilize the significance of these facts world leaders are getting together for a major climate summit where they're trying to figure out what exactly we can do to stop this "cataclysmic event". I thought that the cap and trade deal was a bad idea. The same group of scientists who conspired, lied and fixed data to convince the world that we're all going to die if we don't do something now want the world's wealthiest nations to cough up 60 billion dollars over the next 5 years (that's just a lowball estimate...they admit in their report that it may actually end up being much more) to fund the measuring of every nook and cranny of the earth to fill in the huge gaps of knowledge that we have right now. In other words, they're admitting that they don't know what the hell they're talking about so they need billions more so that they can try to figure it out. I'm sure that this time they'll be much more careful with their communications to each other as they figure out how to tweak the data to ensure that their gravy train continues to flow and that they're always on the receiving end. Meanwhile, China's one child per family policy is actually getting serious consideration. Here's an article from Canada's national newspaper about it. Seriously....what the fuck.


David said...

I think you're kind of jumping the gun on the "climategate" thing. It certainly warrants investigation, but there is no hard evidence of fraud or deception, and certainly not of "conspiring for years." As far as we can tell, none of the data has been altered or destroyed in any way. What happened with some of the data is that the paper copies were copied to computer and then destroyed because they moved lab locations. There's a difference between skepticism and denialism.

I think this article ( does a good job of addressing the legitimate concerns while cutting through the hype.

The Urban Survivalist said...

I read the article. The author just came off as very bias while trying to sound reasonable. It's not OK for some of the dissidents to be extremely vocal about their distaste about how everything is being handled but it's perfectly fine for the likes of Al Gore to romp around the globe in his private jets, refuse to give up meat and out and out lie on several occasions in his movies, interviews and books all while trying to convince everyone that the world is going to end if we don't listen to him. Oh...did I mention that the woman who wrote the article about how China's one child per person policy is a good idea is a mother of two? When they're trying to convince everyone to take action the science is settled. When they're begging for grants there isn't enough information to be sure but we still have to act "just in case" while paying them billions of dollars to continue their studies. If this was just a matter of cleaning up our act then I'd be fine with supporting it "just in case". Unfortunately, the unintended consequences will be even more economic hardship, a sharp decrease in our standard of living and even more government interfering with our lives. This time it will be a global bureaucracy. I'm not interested in finding out how that will turn out.

David said...

I agree that Al Gore is being hypocritical, especially on his refusal to call out the meat/dairy/egg industry for being pretty much second only to dirty power generation in greenhouse gas emissions.

But I don't see the evidence that, as you say, all climate scientists are conspiring to defraud us all. First of all, it would be very unlikely that a conspiracy dating back all the way to Svante Arrhenius at the turn of the (19th) century could be perpetrated by so many millions of scientists without somebody whistleblowing. It's like the moon hoaxers -- it's implausible that so many people could have worked together. Second, what motive do these scientists have? I can see how Al Gore might possibly have a motive, but what about all of the climatologists and meteorologists? Why would they all work together to fool the public?

The Urban Survivalist said...

I'm not saying that they're all conspiring. First of all it's not millions of's in a couple thousand. Meanwhile, 30 thousand scientists have signed a petition stating that they're still skeptical. It's not that all of the scientific community is in on it. There are a few influential scientists at the top who have convinced enough people that they're right while managing to marginalize their dissenters.

What do they have to gain? Isn't it obvious? Money and power. They already receive millions of dollars in grant money (soon to be billions). They wouldn't be receiving anywhere near that amount if they hadn't managed to convince the leaders of the richest countries in the world that we're all going to die if we don't do something right now. Then there's the ego boost that they get from having the most powerful and influential people in the world coming to them for advice. The only way they can lose is if we don't act on their advice and the world turns out to be fine, anyway (like it has been every time in the past 50 years when we've ignored their cries that the world would end and it turned out to be fine). If we act then they get their billions and they go down in the history books as the brave men and women who A) saved the world from certain destruction just in the nick of time (when the world turns out to be fine as it always does) or B) did everything they could to save the world with the resources that they had. Anyone with a brain knows that the end result will be A. They'll get to claim that they saved the world and our world leaders will keep using their skewed data to continue to "save us" and make sure that we never get close to the brink again by continuing to regulate us into serfs. said...

Remember, big business is expert at spreading disinformation. Remember the tobacco industry hiring scientists to support their claims that cigs are not a health threat? You can rest assured they are doing the same to protect their oil and gas and coal interests.

David said...

But couldn't we make a conspiracy of everything? For example, maybe there's a conspiracy among conservatives to deny climate change. Can't you see the motives? Republicans are generally supported by oil companies, and it's no coincidence that many of them come from oil-producing states. Greenhouse gas regulation would cost those corporations money, so they would have less with which to bribe the GOP. Furthermore, if the public accepts climate change, then it would mean that Al Gore, a democrat, was right and the republicans would lose credibility.

Like I said before, skepticism is not the same as denialism. How many of those 30K scientists are part of the "global warming is bullshit" crowd? I would guess very few (I don't actually know). "Climate change is alarming, and it warrants further investigation before we can completely understand how it all works," is a skeptical statement, but it doesn't lend credence to the idea that it's all a farce.

The fact remains that there is enough evidence of AGW to tentatively accept it as fact. If contradictory evidence has come out, I and many others would like to see it. If it's something that completely discredits climate change (like finding rabbits in the precambrian would do to the theory of evolution), and it's verifiable, then science will scrap the idea of AGW and move on. That's how science works. Conversely, what would convince you and other climate change deniers that AGW is true? It seems like no matter what data comes out or consequences are documented, the deniers will never let go of their position. It's because of this unscientific attitude (whether perceived or real) that the scientific community doesn't take AGW deniers seriously.

PS: not trying to be antagonistic

The Urban Survivalist said...

Here's the biggest problem that I have with AGW. It's become a religion. There is just as much evidence that could contradict it (like the fact that the polar bear population has gone from 5000 to 25000 since the 70s or that the ice at the south pole is actually growing) as there is that supports it. Obviously, the climate is always changing. The question is how much of an effect do we have on it? The amount of "greenhouse gases" that we put out pales in comparison to the amount expelled during a volcanic eruption. Remember how we had to "save the rainforests" 10 or 20 years ago? Well they're expanding again. Part of that could partly be because we've put a stop to the slash and burn policy that the farmers down there were using. It could also be that the extra co2 in the air is creating a more hospitable atmosphere for plant life.

My biggest problem with the global warming debate is that it's become akin to a religious discussion. The people who support it cannot be convinced otherwise. You can't question the people who feel that they've proven their THEORY without being ridiculed or called a holocaust denier. Those aren't my words...they're their's. Meanwhile, there aren't enough facts to convince the people who are still skeptical. It wouldn't be such a big deal if their fixes won't effectively destroy our wealth, lifestyles and most importantly our freedom.

David said...

It's true that the polar bear population has increased since the 70's, but that's because people stopped hunting them. It had nothing to do with habitat. If you look at population numbers from, say, 10 years ago and today, it would seem that their numbers are falling. This is what a conservation organization that works with polar bears has to say:

As for the antarctic ice growth, that's not necessarily evidence against AGW. Antarctica is way different from the north pole in geography (ie all open to water vs mostly land-locked), so it's not surprising to find that it's behaving differently than arctic ice. There are a few ideas of why antarctic ice is growing that still fit into the theory of AGW, the most prevalent one being that warmer ocean temperatures are evaporating more water which is increasing snowfall. Furthermore, Antarctica's ice situation supports AGW because the antarctic glaciers are melting as quickly as the arctic ice is.

These things are all explainable within the paradigm of AGW, so I don't see how they're evidence against it.

You're right; dogmatic thinking isn't constructive when either side does it. If something is observed that contradicts AGW well enough that it casts reasonable doubt on the theory, then I and every other responsible scientist will turn on a dime and concede that AGW isn't as certain as we thought previously. Science is awesome like that. Conversely, what evidence would you need to concede that AGW is true beyond a reasonable doubt? You say there aren't enough facts to convince the skeptics, so how much evidence would be enough for you?

It sucks that someone called an AGW skeptic/denier a holocaust denier. The skeptic/denier issue is kind of tricky. "AGW is bullshit and there's nothing to it at all because it's a plan for Al Gore and Obama the muslim and the blue-helmeted thugs to take over the world!!!1!" is denial, not skepticism. Skepticism would be "AGW seems plausible at first blush, and there is some evidence to support it, but I have concerns about X, Y, and Z and because of those issues I don't think there's enough evidence to say it's true." Present company excluded, it sadly seems that the vast majority of people that disagree with AGW are of the former type and not the latter. But maybe it's just because they're the loudest and most obnoxious.

The Urban Survivalist said...

I have no idea what it would take to convince me that AGW is real. The biggest problem for me is that there are conflicting theories and there is evidence that those theories are being marginilized or outright dismissed out of hand by the people in power. Have you ever looked into sunspots? It's amazing how much cooling and warming trends correlate with sunspot activity. How about the fact that the "powers that be" almost had everyone convinced that we were entering a new ice age back in the 70s. They were considering dumping charcoal on the polar ice caps to save us from that "catastrophe". You can also look at Greenland. In the time of vikings there's evidence that it was actually green. They've found vikings buried in permafrost. When they were buried there obviously wasn't permafrost in those areas. It's just this kind of evidence that makes it hard for me to accept. Add to that the fact that "acting to stem global warming" will be a huge hit on all of our freedoms, wealth and way of life and you can see why the dissenters are so frustrated and vocal.

Let's look at evolution for a second. The evidence favoring it is so strong that it's blatantly obvious to anyone willing to look with an open mind. I welcome anyone to present to me any evidence against it. Unlike evolution, there's a lot of evidence to refute man made global warming and much of the evidence that's used to support it could also support other theories.

The Urban Survivalist said...

Here is a good explanation of what I see happening based on all of the information that I've been presented over the years.

I'm not a scientist and I don't have a huge reference list of all of the information that I've had access to over the years. I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. I'm just expressing my concerns because what they're telling us doesn't add up with what I already know.

Anonymous said...

As usual, follow the money

Joshua said...

I have to say this was an awesome debate to read on AGW and as much as I love your blog Urban Survivalist I must say that I am with David on this one and I personally would rather be safe then sorry when it comes to climate change as there is a huge amount of credited scientists that support this theory. To me just seems like we are gonna look like a pretty foolish species if we do nothing about this now and it becomes our downfall.