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    Were Republicans Smart All Along? They Accept Climate Change But Not Global Warming
    By Hank Campbell | March 4th 2011 01:12 PM | 82 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0® and co-author of "Science Left Behind".

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone...

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    If we're being honest in retrospect, the first decade of the 2000s was bad for science journalism.    Too many journalists decided they wanted to be cheerleaders for science or, worse, had scientist envy and wanted to be included in cool discussions about the mysteries of the universe.  

    Basically, journalists stopped asking the awkward questions of scientists that journalists in other fields know makes their careers (see: Dan Rather and Richard Nixon).  Result: While the science audience is up and science knowledge has tripled since 1988, jobs in science journalism are down.  Few people read them.

    But bloggers were really no better then - unless it was about Republican science positions, then they had plenty of skepticism and fact-digging, but they didn't seem to care as much about real science outreach as they did garnering votes for Democrats.  Being frank, it's hard for a conservative who wants answers to read bloggers and be berated constantly because they don't think giving more money to the government is the solution to everything, and then believe the science answers will be any better thought out.    Anyone who has contended women don't go into science fields because there already aren't a lot of women can surely understand why Republicans couldn't even read a lot of science blogging by academics, much less have a career in academia.

    In the fifth year after Al Gore filmed the most successful Powerpoint slideshow presentation in history - and global warming acceptance reached its fevered pitch - things haven't changed very much in climate policy.   And that frustrates some people.   They believe that if the data is right there hearts and minds should be changed about taking action; the same way conservatives believe that giving more money to the government doesn't actually create a better world and wonder why everyone else doesn't accept it.

    Mindset and prioritization is really the crux of it.    When you discuss the science of the atmosphere, just like when you discuss economic policy, people are not always speaking a common language.  When you change the language, you get a different answer.

    60.2% of Republicans accepted climate change as science fact but only 44% of Republicans accepted global warming in a recent survey, but they were the exact same thing to progressives - 86% of them accepted it no matter which term is used.   But it isn't the same thing at all, as all have found out.   When the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) held a recent press conference to talk about snowstorms and climate change, they were shucking off the constraints of global warming that wasn't global and embracing a more nuanced model of climate instability.   That means 56% of Republicans turned out to be right and 86% of Democrats were wrong throughout the entire decade that global warming was big news.    Properly framed - I know, I know, only Democrats are allowed to frame results - it means Republicans were actually smarter about science all this time.

    And they're gloating about it.  

    James Taylor in Forbes showed no end to delight in the recent UCS conference because it gave him a chance to note that the IPCC stating global warming would accelerate and "milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms" along with “the science is settled” and “the debate is over” don't look all that scientific when instead snowstorms are heavier and Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground, had to quite patiently concede, "Have we learned a great deal since the IPCC 2001 report? I would say yes, we have. Climate science, like any other field, is a constantly evolving field and we are always learning."

    So why do Republicans buy into climate change but not global warming?   Language and presentation.   The incredibly flawed Kyoto protocol wanted American voters to accept that American cars were causing global warming and should be mitigated yet Chinese, Mexican and Indian cars were okay.    That was good science?  No, it was an economic/political agenda by competitors to America and it caused a rupture in acceptance that got attached to global warming as a term, because it picked just one greenhouse gas and tried to lay fault at the feet of one country.   'Climate change', on the other hand, feels egalitatian and exculpatory.     It's also more exact; change can mean temperatures go up or down and specific weather events are unimportant, which is why Al Gore holding an urgent global warming seminar during a blizzard looked silly but UCS using blizzards as a teaching moment on climate instability is not, regardless of whether or not a few pundits delight in sticking it to the climate experts forced to endure press conferences and take some lumps.

    People being people, there also may be some cultural revenge happening.   Environmentalists have been keen on sending the message that  'Mother Nature is awesome and we are puny and insignificant' for decades though perhaps it has been ingrained in the collective unconscious longer than that.   James Hrynyshyn at Scienceblogs.com discusses Simon Donner's recent American Meterological Society presentation:
    His experience among Pacific Island cultures suggests that this notion -- that climate change is by definition the purview of forces greater than ourslves -- is near universal, predating the Judeo-Christian canon and deeply embedded just about everywhere we go.

    He suggests that any communications strategy designed to shift public opinion on global warming literacy "needs to include the full history and development of human thinking about climate."
    10,000 years or more of nature being too big for us to imagine and now we are supposed to believe my incandescent light bulb is ruining the place?  

    Donner's message is simple and it's one that all science writers, and certainly the more militant science bloggers, should take home:



    Climate science is suffering some bad PR at the moment but it should not be a crisis of confidence.   The IPCC has vowed to rein in its Working Groups, climate scientists are not going to smugly declare "the science is settled" on something as complex as the climate and there should be fewer public relations blitzes designed to frame policy debates instead of getting people to accept science.

    If even 60% of Republicans accept climate change, and they do, the science is going to win.

    Comments

    Global warming is "warming" that is "global". Climate Change is what you use when it is not "warming" and "global". And yes, republicans are smart enough to detect this childish word game.

    Neven
    Incorrect. When the globe is warming (in other words, the system of atmosphere and oceans) it will sooner or later cause the climate (patterns) to change.

    And anyone who has looked into this knows that the childish word game was injected as a PR ploy by Republicans in order to confuse and delay. Google for "Frank Luntz + global warming".

    climate scientists are not going to smugly declare "the science is settled"

    But Hank, they never did. Besides, on certain aspects of climate science the science is pretty much settled for the time being (radiative properties of CO2, concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere).

    IPCC stating global warming would accelerate and "milder winter temperatures will decrease heavy snowstorms" along with “the science is settled” and “the debate is over”


    Likewise, the IPCC never stated this. Are you agreeing with James Taylor when he says it did?

    And do you know anything about the discussion as to why these heavy blizzards suddenly showed up this year's and last year's winter? Only people who don't use their brains properly think that's funny with regards to global warming.
    Hank
    It may be a poorly crafted sentence.   The IPCC certainly did say what I list them as saying whereas Al Gore is the "along with" that got listed as science expertise in the media.   I've been in any number of Al Gore talks by now and he did it every single time.  He used that exact phrasing in his movie also.
    And do you know anything about the discussion as to why these heavy blizzards suddenly showed up this year's and last year's winter? 
    You're joking, right?  If you are contending your grasp of physics is superior to mine, you have a long road ahead proving that.   Nothing I have written disputed the physics of climate change - this is about skepticism and acceptance due to language.    Republicans get hammered on virtually every blogging and academic site in existence but if it turns out they treat different terms with skepticism because they know what words mean - the same way I object when someone speculates and calls it a theory and I correct them - while Democrats believe anything no matter what it is called if it comes from an expert, most us want to be considered skeptical.

    There are big issues, of course.  Flat out denial that pollution can impact the environment is dangerous, but they are a kooky minority no different than the leftwing types who insist we have to euthanize half the planet.  We have to do something, that much is apparent.

    But articles claiming we are in the sixth mass extinction due to global warming are not helping the legitimate issues, they are hurting them.  The public is going to decide policy issues and 50% of them in America are Republicans so they have to be included.  Continuing to call them all idiots if they don't agree with everything they are told is going to be short-term satisfaction and long-term disaster.
    I have to admit..I didn't even read the article as soon as I saw the word "Republicans".

    Science is not politics. If you want to spout off on your political views, it should be in an arena or forum created for it. By using this venue, you "pollute" anything and everything scientific in regards to discussion.

    Why can we not have at least one single place where people don't push their own political agendas, or those of others? Why can we not have a place to discuss purely scientific data?

    Climate Change was a do it or die climate CONTROL, death threat of SAVE THE PLANET by imposing lifestyle restrictions to billions of people with suffocating taxes.
    Obama didn’t even mention this planetary emergency in his last state of the union speech and one would think these saintly scientists would be all over CNN. Now we find that the science was the study effects of climate change. In other words a fantasy science of the future on the basis of correlation.
    Meanwhile, the UN had allowed carbon trading to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for 25 years of climate control instead of needed population control.
    The Republican majority cut the IPCC's US funding on Feb. 20, 2011 and Carbon markets evaporated long ago. Funding for more research into CO2 effects have vanished and the NOAA declared "exaggeration" while the Weather Channel also bailed.
    There is now serious talk of criminal “treason” charges for this false war as the Republicans exploit a wave of former believer rage.

    Gerhard Adam
    I'm sorry, but I have to say that as long as the arguments keep getting framed as being "republican" or "democrat/progressive", then no progress is being made.  If people can't discuss issues and explore their differences, then framing any perspective in political terms will result in someone playing defense.

    This isn't about conservatives or liberals ... it's about science.  It should also be noted that any discussion about proposed "solutions" is NOT science and most definitely fits into the political/economic perspective of those presenting it.  Since we don't know nearly enough about the climate to manage how it works, any discussion of "solutions" is likely going to be wishful thinking.
    Mundus vult decipi
    This is life or death of the planet, not a disagreeable weather crisis. Is my kid going to die an unspeakable death on a dying planet YES or NO?

    Gerhard Adam
    Probably
    Mundus vult decipi
    Dear mememine69, if they share your intellectual genes, the answer to your question is HOPEFULLY. ;-)

    NO!

    Gerhard Adam
    Being frank, it's hard for a conservative who wants answers to read bloggers and be berated constantly because they don't think giving more money to the government is the solution to everything,
    I think in fairness, we shouldn't give either political side much credit for their financial wisdom.  I don't believe either side wants to turn down money, but rather they are simply haggling over how they acquire it.  Neither side is averse to taking taxpayer dollars.  The only difference is which taxpayers get ripped in the process.


    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Sure.  Now, that was in the context of comparison so extracting it as a standalone isn't much help - my point was both sides can be baffled why the other does not accept things that, to them, are perfectly obvious.
    Gerhard Adam
    Yeah, except you didn't actually compare it to anything.  Instead it left the impression (and I know this is also done to conservatives) that all liberals/progressives simply want to give money to the government.  I think we both know that that isn't an accurate picture for either political side.

    Although I do have to admit, that I find the current "we're broke" argument absolutely fascinating and amusing.  It most definitely provides a creative spin to the incompetence that rules Washington.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I've discovered a simple algorithm: the more times any particular climate-related article uses the words "Al Gore", the less actual science--and the more fantastical wishful thinking--it contains. (And I think I'll go ahead and call it my "AL GORE-ithm" before someone else does.) Seriously, when will denialists produce some peer-reviewed science that refutes any of the basic tenets of the theory of global warming? The planet is warming rapidly; it's warming because of CO2; and that COs is from man's activities. Until--and unless--a credible alternate theory is proposed, scientists have to go with the theory as it stands. In other words, denialists need to put up of...well, you know...

    Hank
    I think I basically agree with you, except when the only solution involves trillions of dollars in economic penalty for essentially one country, the burden is not on skeptics to disprove a negative.  "Prove CO2 isn't causing global warming" is just as impossible as me proving you are not a Mayan sent here from the future to prepare us all for your invasion next year, and instead I can only compile more data and hopefully converge on enough of it to feel accurate in saying you are not.

    All pollution is bad but the assertion that the only valid emission was CO2 and the only scientific target date was hand-picked by Germany and France so that Germany got to include post-merger-East-Germany Soviet era factories and meet their target easily and France got to have its date before it opened more nuclear plants (no CO2 emissions in that at all) and thus could meet their target.

    Good luck getting American environmentalists to agree that more nuclear power is the way to go.

    France, and Europe, were never going to agree to methane or NOX caps, for example, because they account for 85% of the entire world's agricultural subsidies and their people would go ballistic having to be less competitive on the world market.

    So if we're going to cap emissions, cap them all.   And in America, anti-science fundamentalists on the left have to get over their irrational hatred of nuclear power.   The big reason America got so much more dependent on coal was that nuclear power was run out of the country.   In that sense, we can thank environmentalists for more global warming.
    Gerhard Adam
    And in America, anti-science fundamentalists on the left have to get over their irrational hatred of nuclear power.   The big reason America got so much more dependent on coal was that nuclear power was run out of the country.
    In fairness, I'm not convinced that SOME of the fears are irrational.  I happen to think that nuclear energy is a great idea, but I'm not convinced that this country's government (or corporations) are prepared to manage it properly.  We try to take too many shortcuts or do it cheaply, invariably at someone else's expense.

    Therefore I  have little or no trust in how nuclear waste will be managed, nor do I have  confidence that companies will not take shortcuts and increase risks in an effort to save money.  While I have no way of knowing how things take place in France or Germany, I don't live in those countries, so my problem is how things are managed here.

    The history of environmental responsibility in this country has been to play fast and loose as long as the profits were good and then turn to the government and taxpayer when it comes time to clean up the mess (usually after some poor unfortunate has to sue the B'jesus out of the company for polluting their neighborhoods).  I realize I'm probably being unfair by putting too many companies together, it is the perception that they have managed to leave as their legacy.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Pollution is real but that doesn't mean the planet is dying and certainly not from the CO2 mistake.
    History will view this global dooming as modern day witch burning.

    Gerhard Adam
    You talk nonsense and your linked website is pathetic.
    Mundus vult decipi
    logicman
    Climate change - yes.  Always has changed, always will.

    Global warming - no.  It's colder than usual outside my house.

    N. E. D'nier
    What do you think is driving climate change, hmm? Idiot.

    Hank
    Patrick, here you discover that global warming detractors are not the only ones who take one sentence someone writes, makes a sweeping generalization about the entire breadth of their knowledge and then hurls an insult.
    logicman
    ... global warming detractors are not the only ones who take one sentence someone writes, makes a sweeping generalization about the entire breadth of their knowledge and then hurls an insult.

    ... while being blind to humorous noms de plume - such as N. E. D'nier - adopted ad hoc for purposes of light entertainment.


    Odonnell refutes Stieg

    peer reviewed refutation of a recent climate study cited by Nature magazine in 2009.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/doing-it-ourselves/

    when will the warmers face up to faulty science by their precious IPCC and the fraudsters working for them? Science? LOL warmers are naive and gullible

    Neven
    But if O'Donnell refutes Steig, then why did O'Donnell say: "I would hope that our paper is not seen as a repudiation of Steig’s results, but rather as an improvement."

    Ask yourself...
    logicman
    ... when will the warmers face up to faulty science by their precious IPCC ...

    But we do!  We fully accept that the IPCC has made mistakes -

    mostly by grossly under-estimating the rate of climate change - especially in the polar regions!
    MikeCrow
    Jim do you have any evidence CO2 is the cause of the majority of the warming other than GCM's?
    Never is a long time.
    See Figure TS.5. Global Mean Radiative Forcings

    See: "Climate Change 2007, The Physical Science Basis", p. 32

    Hank - thanks for this piece, its an interesting discussion. I've been trying get my head wrapped around the 'global warming' thing for sometime, and have yet to make any conclusions. As a quick preface, I have a masters level research background, but in no way am I a climatologist, but do try to apply some kind of method where I can weigh evidence and make a conclusion with as little influence from my personal values as possible - no easy task for anyone. I am not sure how to interpret the discussion above, most notably, with how the storms make a case for, or against, the greater question about climate change, and how or if humans are contributing to it - if I'm understanding this correctly? On its face we seem to question if the purportedly 'hotter climate' climate is actually occurring globally in light of the heavy storms in the eastern United States. Is it possible that global temperature averages have increased over a longer term periods (decade/centuries), but storms like this can still occur on shorter time-scale such as year to year? My question is leading, but I guess using the winter storm argument (short-term) as evidence against the possibility of a warming climate (long-term averages) is similar to saying a desert climate is not dry and pointing to a flash flood as evidence?

    Or is this discussion more focused on to what extent is the climate warming on a global vs. regional basis? If the latter, I'm curious what the regional temperature records indicate - I don't know where I could find those but would welcome anyone passing on a source.

    Questions/responses welcome.

    Thanks for moderating the discussion and providing a place to exchange reasonable thoughts among all the other nonsense out there.

    J

    Gerhard Adam
    I think discussing global averages is meaningless and ultimately irrelevant.  What different does it make if the global average temperature stays the same while the Arctic ice melts and Antarctica gets colder?  Sure the average stays the same, but the climate is turned on its head.

    As for the question of human intervention, there's two things to consider.  With respect to climate change it's like arguing that falling off a cliff is better than crashing in a plane.  Once again, while knowing a cause may be important, it doesn't change whether something is happening or not.  The second aspect of this, is that we need to stop pretending that 7 billion people on this planet can live "invisibly" with respect to global impact.

    You can't get 10 people to walk through the woods without leaving a trail that can be followed and having an impact.  Similarly we freely acknowledge the effect of locust swarms, or algae blooms, etc.  Every one is caused by excessive populations and they all have significant geographic impacts, but we're to believe that humans have little or no global impact?  Rubbish.

    Certainly we can argue that we would like to see more specific data and even possessing this information would not be sufficient to suggest a solution (since we likely don't know what the effects of any effort might be). 

    We should stop behaving like wide-eyed innocents and start recognizing that this planet's history is filled with radical and extreme changes that have occurred throughout its history.  Most dominantly by little more than microorganisms.  Therefore even if WE don't personally have a problem, we need to be cognizant of the simple reality that every action on this planet will affect something else ... and the "something else's" are generally more prolific and influential than we are, so we need to take it seriously.  We are NOT in charge, and if we upset the apple cart, we will be the most likely victims of our cavalier attitude.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Part of the point I hoped to make was that physicists always knew individual weather events were not climate change issues - but zealots (and that is by no means all climate scientists, instead a very small number who are active volunteers and therefore get on committees) used every weather event as evidence of global warming - when the foremost hurricane expert in the world disputed Al Gore's implication that global warming caused Hurricane Katrina he was vilified.  When the French heat wave occurred in 2004 and 10,000 elderly people died that was global warming.    But blizzards are not global warming they are climate change.

    It took a solid 20 years for climate scientists to get what physicists knew - focusing just on global warming was silly.  Climate instability is what would cause the problems, including increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather events.

    The worst snowstorm I can recall was 1977, long before global warming or climate instability was part of the cultural lexicon.   But that was in one part of Pennsylvania.   Local weather is not evidence of much regarding the world climate.

    We do know that more emissions are going to be bad.   There just is no way around it.   But there is a science solution to be found that does not involve kneecapping America and Europe while letting Asia pollute unchecked.   Onerous programs like cap and trade do nothing at all to spur innovation, it is just a tax on heavy industry.  Historically, we know taxing whale oil did not lead to the invention of petroleum, necessity did, and the programs that end up getting subsidized, like ethanol, more often than not have a political spearhead and not an evidence basis.
    Gerhard Adam
    I agree with you and I'm personally coming to the conclusion that if people don't object to paying $3.50 - $4.00 (or higher) for a gallon of gas, then so be it.  I'm getting tired of people complaining and then spending the money anyway.

    Basic supply and demand says that when people cannot afford to buy it, then the price will come down (or be replaced by something more cost-effective).  If that hasn't happened (and isn't likely to happen), then it will just run its course and there's little anyone can do to change things.
    Mundus vult decipi
    There are things about the climate that we understand quite well and there are areas where we wish we knew a lot more. The role of greenhouse gasses and their effect on our planet is well understood as it has been debated by scientists for over 100 years. The role of clouds, of aerosols, or the speed of change due to present forcings are not well understood as we have nothing in the past to go by. All present indications, however, have shown that nature is moving faster than predicted by our models. There are tipping points that we can only imagine, but know little about, that may bring on positive feedbacks that will soon take the whole issue out of our hands.

    MikeCrow
    Correlation does not imply causation.

    But I love this chart


    700 has a BB temp of ~285F, while 1,300 is -58F

    I wouldn't expect there to be a lot of IR flux at either of those temps, in which case I don't think it's going to cause much heating either.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    Correlation does not imply causation.
    No, it doesn't.  However, you can't deny correlations that actually exist.

    In fact, if CO2 as a greenhouse gas causes the atmosphere to retain heat, then any increase in temperature must be recognized as having a contribution from the increase in CO2.  While you can certainly argue that it is insufficient to account for all the changes, or that it only contributes a small amount of temperature gain, you can't discount the correlation.  After all, to do so would require that CO2 not behave as a greenhouse gas.
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    I agree with this, I think it'll end up being a small part of the increases we've seen.
    Never is a long time.
    vongehr
    Hank, with all respect, but as I said many times before, you really do not do yourself any favor by squeezing everything into this lame repubs vs dems battle you are obsessed with.
    Global warming means the global average temperature increasing, same difference between climate and weather, and you do know that, and I have no idea why you here desparately want to tell us that somehow more reps than dems are aware of the fact that global warming may increase local variability - they are not and there is little reason to expect more local variability without global warming! This is all artificial and leaves a really stale after taste. "Climate Change" instead of "Global Warming", and reps understood this the right way all along? You got to be kidding. You are way smarter than that and you know well that such battles about words like "intelligent design" are nothing more than trying to distract from the real issues and fooling the stupid to go along with utter bullshit.
    Also, this stuff again about all lefties wanting to give money to big government. Maybe that describes US democrats, but then US dems are hardly left wing - you always forget that. I do not know any lefties who want to give money to the US government so it can murder yet more people all over the world trying to spread bibles in exchange for taking oil. They want them to stay home and clean up their own mess, stop incarcerating so many innocent, teach children properly in school, not just bible thumping and in debate class exercising how to cheat people with word games, and so on.
    Hank
    I don't forget it but you and I have different audiences.   A million people a month don't all read the same writers.    Most of my audience are non-scientists and in the US.   And I write 2 or 3 things a day so I am not obsessed with Republicans and Democrats (those may be the only things of mine you read) but when virtually all of science blogging is bandwagon Republican haters, I am going to see the other side.

    Language and framing are very real topics of the science debate in the US when it comes to policy issues.    If Republicans accept climate change but not global warming while Democrats accept both, and both sides call each other stupid, which side is stupid, the side that believes anything they are told or the side that can't understand that the simplest concepts are the same thing even if they are different terms?

    vongehr
    I read all of your stuff and you are obsessing with reps vs dems (I have been accused of being obsessed with certain chemicals although only a few articles are about it). I am not sure why the type of audience has anything to do with it. What are you saying? Because your audience is US and non-science it is OK to talk nonsense? I refuse that.
    "Language and framing are very real topics of the science debate in the US"
    Exactly - it is naturally reflecting a culture that also confuses debate-class with proper education. But as far as I understand, and maybe I am not getting the deeper hidden layers of your post, you are just participating in this instead of bringing any enlightenment to us from an elevated perspective above the trenches. I applaud if you say dems are about as silly as reps, both giving science lip-service and so on, but you turn this too often into that repups are actually more clever about science, and that is where it becomes plainly ridiculous. They fund NASA to put the American flag on planets while inhibiting smart micro-probes that can do a thousand times more science at half the price, and you say that is proof for reps supporting science. No it is not! It is proof of them seeing science as a necessary means to ensure military might and national pride while refusing the message of science where ever they do not like it.
    Yes, science is in a deep crisis with publish or perish stabilizing some of the worst as the most powerful in science, suppressing necessary caution and oversight and breadth in approaches (e.g. non string approaches), leading to a whole lot of crap also in climate science, and so anybody who is fundamentally anti-science, like religious folks on average naturally are, will count more and more successes where their refusal of mainstream science turns out correctly. I doubt that further detracting from important issues by focusing on reps vs dems pseudo battles is the answer.
    I like to think of us faded "alarmists" rather as climate controllers or at worst, climate cowards. History is already calling us former believers the "modern day witch burners".
    Obama didn't even mention the CO2 mistaken crisis in his STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH. And were the scientists outraged? No, and now the majority of the voters are us former believers and yes we know what real pollution is. It’s just that CO2 wasn't one of them and the planet is not dying after all. REAL planet lovers are happy when a climate crisis is avoided. REAL progressives and REAL planet lovers welcome the challenges of the future with courage and optimism.
    Meanwhile, the UN had allowed carbon trading to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for 25 years of climate control instead of obviously required population control.
    Condemning our kids to a Bogeyman-like CO2 death just to get them to turn the lights off a little more often, wasn’t civilized but we meant well didn’t we. Fear was never a sustainable motivation.
    Lesson learned planet.

    Gerhard Adam
    Wow, it's hard to believe that such gibberish can emerge from an allegedly human brain. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Congratulations, Hank. I received a link to your text from Marc Morano. ;-) The world is pretty small, or you must be pretty important in it, or a combination of the two.

    Hank
    I assume it's the Science 2.0 name and he reads everything on climate topics he can find.   It can't be me.   As I have joked in the past, the number one comment I have gotten at science conferences, after saying my name and getting a blank look, and then mentioning Science 2.0 and getting recognition is, "Oh, you're that guy..."   so if I changed my name to That Guy I would be famous.
    It's easy to remember your name if one knows that you're a son of Hank Paulson (I don't remember even his name) from the treasury and the black model Naomi Campbell. ;-)

    I think that Marc indeed scans at least Google News for all climate-change-related articles and Science 2.0 is being listed in Google News. Sometimes I am doing this scan myself.

    Neven
    Hank, when people like Marc Morano and Lubos Motl like what you write, it's usually a sign that you are doing something wrong. I hope you do see that.
    Hank
    Perhaps, but argumentum ad verecundiam is dismissed as the logical fallacy it is.  If Hitler pops out of his grave and agrees with me, that does not make my stance wrong.

    They may 'like' this piece (Lubos, at least, has told me I am full of shit too many times to count so he doesn't like much, I have never talked with Marc Morano) because it is not the usual tired attempt to use science positions to gather votes for Democrats, which is what far too many in science do.   The reputation of climate science is in the tank, not just among the public but among other scientists, because people are expected to believe anything or be called stupid or, worse, anti-science.

    Instead, the path to success is to recognize that not everyone is wrong about everything just because they are Republicans - take what people accept and build on it.   Having 50% of the populace be sheep is not going to make a better environment.   By golly, I am not kidding when I say if I were in charge of marketing at UCS or anyone else my primary selling point to getting alternative fuel buy-ins from Republicans would be, "You realize most of those oil countries are run by terrorism-supporting dictators, right?   If we keep driving fossil fuel cars, the terrorists win."

    If Morano and Motl agree with me, good for them - it means even blind squirrels can find a nut once in a while, right??  :)


    Neven
    Perhaps, but argumentum ad verecundiam is dismissed as the logical fallacy it is.  If Hitler pops out of his grave and agrees with me, that does not make my stance wrong.

    Sure, but how would you feel if Hitler popped out of his grave and said he liked what you wrote about a subject that had to with Nazism? I don't know if I would be pleased about that. In fact, I would start to doubt myself.

    I think I agree with Gerhard Adam when he says that this whole piece only adds fire to the Reps vs Dems narrative, which is obviously nothing more than a divide and conquer tactic, as the US is ruled by one party. And has been for quite some time now. This debate does not need more fire.

    If you believe that
    "we have to do something, that much is apparent" you and your readers would be much better off if you wrote about that. And damn well make sure that Marc Morano and Lubos Motl don't like it.

    My personal impression is that you haven't researched the theory of AGW properly. There are too many debunked memes in the pieces I have seen you write on it. Despite your superior knowledge when  it comes to physics. That's why Morano and Motl like it. :-)
    Hank
    It's a science site, we show our data and don't make vague criticisms.  If I am incorrect - the word debunked is emotional verbage without any basis I have yet to see - show me.   I can't find a single assertion I made in this article that can be debunked or even considered atmospheric science.   If you simply resent that I outline the criticisms climate scientists face, then you are not interested in science or science outreach or changing minds, you want to preach to the faithful.   And I do not.   If I can reach 10,000 people and 5,000 of them were skeptical of climate science, and you reach 10,000 who already accept it, we are farther ahead my way.

    Please spare me the next comment calling me a global warming denier or a Holocaust denier or wherever you are intending to go if I don't start insulting Republicans to your satisfaction.
    Neven
    Hank, to be clear: I don't give a rat's ass about Republicans or Democrats. They are one and the same for me. Screw them both, and screw the elite they serve.

    Before I accuse you of psychological denial I think it would be better if I would know exactly where you stand with regards to Global Warming Theory:

    1. Do you agree that the the concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased?
    2. If you do, do you also agree that this increase has been the result of human activities since the Industrial Revolution?
    3. Do you believe science has got it about right with regards to the radiative properties of CO2 and other greenhouse gases?
    4. Do you believe science has got it about right that the globe (atmosphere + oceans) has warmed and will continue to warm due to the increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere?
    5. Do you agree that this warming could potentially lead to serious disruptions? And by disruptions I mean high costs to society due to all kinds of freak weather. How high would you say this chance is (in your view)?
    Hank
    I have zero interest in passing a customized litmus test for you since, as far as I know, you have no way to know if any answers I provide are correct, other than you agreeing with them.  It's obvious to anyone CO2 has increased - there are twice as many people on the planet since just I was born and they all have to be fed and go from place to place, which given our current engines means emissions.  I am not sure who is more stupid, you for needing to ask if this is the case or me for spending the 35 seconds it took to type a response to something so obvious.

    The radiative properties of gases are also simple, high school physics and thus so is their effect on a closed space.   I am not in the business of speculation - and there are plenty of clueless people who fabricate percentages with little knowledge so you don't need me adding to it - but anyone claims to put a percentage on 'serious disruptions', whatever those are, is full of nonsense.

    Basically, your questions are annoying because you (a) seem to know very little but (b) intend to accuse everyone of "psychological denial" if they don't blindly accept whatever you read last week.
    Neven
    I haven't accused you, Hank. And I won't hold it against you that you called me stupid, because I am. I have no problem acknowledging my level of competence.

    And as you are the host of Science 2.0 I think I'll leave it at that.
    Hank
    Paying the bills for the servers here gives me no special privilege.  The list of people who have told me I am wrong, or worse, is so long it can be seen from space.  But you said I was wrong and still haven't shown me where.   
    Hank, I have no idea which trash bin the user named Neven Acropolis came from but your behavior in this exchange is pathetic. When a little, loud, and dirty communist boy with a toy gun appears in front of you, do you always throw away all your honesty, courage, and values such as the respect to the main authorities of our contemporary civilization? You should be ashamed.

    logicman
    Luboš: you indicate that you know nothing of Neven, yet you categorize him as "a little, loud, and dirty communist boy with a toy gun".  On what do you base that psychological profile?  Evidence!  Citations!  Links!

    Why do you feel the need to insult people at every opportunity?  It may boost your ego, but it does nothing for your reputation as a writer.  I'll say nothing of you as a scientist because what you do in physics is not something I have studied in any depth and is way over my head.  But if you want to reach more people with your science writing, may I respectfully suggest that you "idiotic remark!" a lot less and "very interesting comment!" a lot more.  :-)
    Dear Patrick, my evidence - indeed, a proof - is the collection of comments that the Neven jerk has left on this very thread - the only "contribution" of this bastard to the mankind. Only illiterate "readers" may fail to see the proof of my description at this very thread.

    MikeCrow
    "my primary selling point to getting alternative fuel buy-ins from Republicans would be, "You realize most of those oil countries are run by terrorism-supporting dictators, right?   If we keep driving fossil fuel cars, the terrorists win.""

    I'm conflicted on this, I hate giving them money (and if they hate us now wait until we stop buying their oil). But I don't know if it's a bad strategy to burn up all of their oil, leaving all of our reserves untapped.
    Never is a long time.
    Terrible and dishonest article. I thought this was a real science website.

    Ill be adding it to our content filters to block it.

    Cheers.

    Hank
    If '60% of Republicans accept climate change so they're not as stupid as portrayed by environmental groups' is dishonest despite it being absolutely true, I know how you vote.
    Real planet lovers are happy the promise of crisis was wrong:
    After years of believing in climate change, I find myself now with the majority, that being the former believers. We see the scientists breaking ranks everywhere, especially after when Obama didn’t even mention the climate “crisis” in his state of the union address to the nation. Reasonable people now see the exaggerations committed by a science industry.
    We were all fools and history is showing climate change to be another Iraq War of false Weapons of Mass Destruction. Shouldn’t we all feel a little guilty for condemning our kids to a death by CO2 for 25 years of climate change warnings and needless panic? Remove the CO2 and continue stewardship of the planet anew I say.
    Let’s get ahead of the curve because history is watching this CO2 insanity die a slow death.

    Craig Dillon
    I don't know what planer your republicans exist, but on this one, in the USA, most republicans do NOT believe global warming is happening according to latest polls. Fewer republicans believe it now, than believed it in 2000, so I do not see any advance. And, like you, they will dance over some point of rhetoric like the difference between "global warming" and "climate change", when those terms ARE used interchangably in the climate literature, if any would care to READ it. The politicians create an abomination of a treaty in the Kyoto Protocol (European politicians btw) and you and the republicans throw out the science. Ridiculous. But, no matter. The Earth does not give a damn what we do. In all likelyhood, we have already past the point where we could do anything about it anyway. I suspect the methane and permafrost feedbacks have already kicked in. We stand now at 391 ppm CO2. Next year we will be at 394 ppm. For those republicans who cannot understand what that means....it means its going to get a lot warmer a whole lot sooner. But, thats OK, follow the propaganda put out by the Koch boys, while they recognize global warming/climate change by re-engineering the arctic pipeline to contend with melting permafrost, and by building shipping facilities to take advantage of the opening up of the northwest and northeast passages. The hypocrisy of the CG deniers is incredible. But, more amazing is how many people fall for their bull.
    Hank
    I don't know what planer your republicans exist, but on this one, in the USA, most republicans do NOT believe global warming is happening according to latest polls. 
    Thanks for reading the title and nothing at all in the actual article itself, much less the studies the data came from, and then ironically riffing about how your political opponents only see what they want to see.
    Craig Dillon
    I did read the whole piece, and I disagree strongly with its basic premise that "Language and presentation" are at the base of a simple misunderstanding. The Rs do accept global warming or climate change, all you have to do is keep your rhetoric straight dealing with them. I guess you feel they are very limited in language skills. But, in actuality, they are not true skeptics. Thay are really cranks, that have a point of view that is not based on reason, knowledge or understanding. The leaders of that parade are all about confusion and delay. Their intent seems to be to confuse people enough to ensure nothing is done. Now the science of global warming / climate change is in. There is no significant debate about it, there are detail questions that need to be understood better. Just as the Theory of Relativity is accepted, but there have been and will be experiments and observations from time to time to validate and refine our understanding of it, but it is pretty safe from being overturned. Global warming is like that now. The amount of evidence is so huge, and obvious, that I find incredible that people with degrees cannot see it. All I have to do is go Lake Michigan where I swam as a child in its chilly waters, that are chilly no longer. It is wintere here, where is the ice cover that used to need an ice breaker ship each spring to open up the shipping lanes -- no longer. The movenment of trees, insects, birds, fish, and deseases consistently show the effects of global warming. I really think any scientist that refutes this now has lost or never had the ability to think scientifically. It is as simple as that. And, please, don't confuse politics and facts. Just because the Kyoto protocol is shit, and that there was another agenda behind it, does not affect the science of it. Thats like saying because someone used the science of combustion to shoot someone, that I will now deny combustion and ballistics. It silly and non-productive. Next time you disagree with me please give me the courtesy of showing where I am wrong. This is the second time you accused me of not reading one of your rants. If I comment, then I read them, maybe you don't fully understand the import of what your write.
    Hank
    I agree with some of what you say here - that it is puzzling why people cannot see obvious facts.  But surely you can see why I would defend Republicans on occasion when it comes to science (that being since 90% of science writers will not) and they instead use some facts as a reason to vote the way they are already going to vote - and surely you must know that anti-agricultural movement, the people who want to ban circumcision, the anti-biomedical activists, etc. all vote Democrat.   Democrats are as scientifically illiterate, just on other issues.  Or it is not that 50% of people in America (whichever side you happen not to be) do not understand science, it is that they use it to rationalize their politics.

    If both sides do it, yet you can only see cranks in one party, as I said, it only tells us how you vote and nothing at all about facts.

    If the Kyoto protocol was shit, as you state, that was precisely the reason to dispute it, the same way you might object to being told to vote Republican if you don't want to get cancer - Kyoto had as little to do with science as your voting record has to your risk factors.
    Next time you disagree with me please give me the courtesy of showing where I am wrong.
    Disagree with that?  You contend Republicans are all idiots about science - how can I show you that you are wrong on a ridiculous negative assertion?  I can also not prove you are not Captain Nemo.
    Gerhard Adam
    Perhaps we can agree that there are Democrats/Republicans (i.e. Conservatives/Liberals) and then there's the real world.  The first is governed by rhetoric that is used to create artificial divides between people that are naive enough to listen to such rubbish, while those that are interested in actual science (or facts) are inclined to pursue them regardless of political orientation.

    In the real world, we have to put up with the marketing, hype, and nonsense that spews forth from both sides of the political spectrum, because their objective is not to solve problems or even arrive at the truth.  Their objective is solely to polarize the electorate so that they can get "their" side to win an election.

    Admittedly each side may have some ideas that we find more palatable than the other, but let's not confuse such rhetoric with actual solutions.  In the end, both sides have much to account for and little real ability to solve problems.
    Mundus vult decipi
    blue-green
    Just musing where free-will comes into play. Methinks it is in individual choices to pay or not to pay at the price at hand and prices to come. It’s all a matter of shades and degrees as to what we can control and not control (with room there for grey material that is not computable).
    Normality is a statistic … like a family having 2.2 children. Where there are free markets, there are free wills. I realize Gerhard that you do not agree with this, and know it’s all nature and nurture. (Back in 1978, I wrote an article for the Colorado Engineer (student mag) in which I made a great many projections about the future. I wrote that the earth would be like a giant ship with its stabilizers withdrawn ….I wrote the article so that I could dust it off 40 years later and see how well I did or didn’t.)
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    What else did you project about the future blue-green? Anything that's come true yet?
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    Where there are free markets, there are free wills.

    I realize Gerhard that you do not agree with this, and know it’s all nature and nurture.
    You're right.
    Mundus vult decipi
    blue-green
    Without its colorful context … my future projections article from January of 1978 is a tad dry. For your bemusement, here are a few excerpts. [begin quotes] Free enterprise will prevail. However, money will not be able to generate more money as easily as it does today. The high costs of energy will prohibit rapid growth and the fulfillment of many investments. Deregulation of our energy industries will allow them to mushroom in size while still delivering little net energy … There will be less emphasis on rapid transportation. People will work at home or in mini-offices within their neighborhoods. People will be more self-responsible, more do-it-yourselfers …. From their own homes people will be able to perform elaborate communications and consultations between co-workers, resource centers and their own selves …. Forestry will shift from pulp for paper products to lumber for building materials. Houses will be smaller, separately constructed, and individually maintained. There will be more stone, less concrete, less pavement, and less uniformity. …. Public works projects will focus on restoring and maintaining existing buildings rather than constructing new ones. … More open malls like Boulder’s and Aspen’s will appear. Many office buildings will become dwellings for people who work in the immediate vicinity. Noise levels will drop, the air will be cleaner, and windows will open. Universities will have fewer members, fewer departments, and much less uniformity. They will do less new research and more teaching that helps individuals adapt to their new conditions. …. Deficit spending will be much more disastrous since planners will not be able to count on the future being bigger and more powerful. As the spheres of controllable influence of individual countries shrink, defense budgets will decrease. By the early twenty-first century, the feeling that expansion is necessary will have been eliminated. …. More attention will be given to individual creativity and specialized strengths. Families will be smaller. There will be more interaction between relatives and hence less welfare. … For us, the intelligence of large scale systems, such as forests, coral reefs, or the biosphere as a whole has escaped our grasp in very much the same way that the intelligence of our bodies escapes the awareness of individual neurons. But in the future people will cooperatively communicate with the intelligent designs of large scale ecosystems. Out of this a high level form of ecological engineering will evolve. Insects will be controlled by birds … varieties of species will be planted in cultivated forests. Novel means of diffusing and separating our wastes will be employed. Medicine will move towards the source of our illness. Focus will be on improving our life support systems and diet. …. During the transition to a steady state, civil disorder … will increase. …. wild fluctuations in climate and human conditions will occur. Like an immense ship with its stabilizers withdrawn, direction of this planet will be difficult, challenging and exciting. [end quotes]
    Neven
    blue-green, do you have a link to that article for the Colorado Engineer?
    blue-green
    Sorry for the delay. … My 1978 article was typed on an IBM selectric … It’s text and drawings are not digitized … It was a follow up to a more scientific and quantitative article that I did in 1977 … about computing “net energy”. The inspiration came from systems ecologist extraordinaire, Howard T. Odum. I witnessed his exuberance on a few occasions in the seventies (long before he look like his wiccapædia photo). For a more recent taste of Howard’s work, one can dive into the short 2004 article by his wife Elisabeth titled “A Prosperous Way Down”. She published a full length book with the same title in 2001. http://www.unicamp.br/fea/ortega/energy/B.Odum.pdf I just did some inconclusive checking to see if Elisabeth is still alive …. Her husband, I see, has managed to posthumously publish a new book, a much longer and more substantial version of his 1971 book called ”Environment, Power and Society”.
    Neven
    Thanks, blue-green. I read 'Energy Basis for Man and Nature' last year and was impressed. It should be required reading for everyone who wants to discuss these matters.
    Hank
    For a slightly different take, check out Howard Bloom's articles here on consumption - there's a reason he is a best-selling author; he gets his point across in a creative, interesting way even if you don't agree.
    blue-green
    Funny how Dr. Bloom posted his screw sustainability article here three years ago,
    just before the economy tanked and consumerism and deficit spending were in for a long ... (ahem) correction.
    It doesn’t take a genius to note that the earth has a humongous amount of undeveloped real estate underground and out in the oceans. It takes a lot more intelligence than Howard is offering to calculate the full costs to pull off such development successfully … to bring it to market … and to make an honest unsubsidized profit. He just as well wring oil out of rocks in Colorado's desert.
    Of course, he can just hand wave that he is projecting a million years ahead ... give or take a few eons.
    Hank
    Funny how Dr. Bloom posted his screw sustainability article here three years ago,  just before the economy tanked
    Well, we should have listened to him.  If you look at newspapers back then, all they talked about was mitigation and rationing and cutting back.   Now we have crappy light bulbs and a lousy economy.
    logicman
    Now we have crappy light bulbs and a lousy economy.

    Which is a whole lot better than whale oil lamps and a crappy economy.  :)
    Hank
    Whale oil is a terrific example.    When you have groups in government wanting to subsidize it and to tax alcohol to mitigate and its use and make whale oil more attractive, it sounds ridiculous - but it happened.   Instead, the private sector quickly did an end run and found a way to use oil.

    What we need is for government to spend as little as possible investing in today's whale oil while some smart people figure out what a better fuel source for the next 150 years can be.  It sure as heck isn't windmills and terrible solar panels.
    blue-green
    Kind of inconsistent for you to note that “[Bloom] is a best-selling author; he gets his point across in a creative, interesting way …“ and then to whine that ”we should have listened to him.” Concerning the newspapers … yes, they had the glass reflecting right back at themselves yammering about “mitigation and rationing and cutting back.” If each Over-Employed person were counted as a full-time job PLUS the additional portion over 40 hours a week s/he is doing ... the “jobless rate” would be well below zero ... and unprintable. The economy is doing fine, yet different things than before (as Bloom predicted). I just ordered some additional LED task lights … they work great, yet are hard to find unless you know just where to look … or really need them. Quite inexpensive too.

    http://www.menards.com/main/lights-fans/indoor-lights/accent-lights/led-task-accent-light/p-1382984-c-6349.htm

    Comes with a 12 volt DC/120 AC adapter. You can easily connect three in series on the same adapter. Just one is very bright. You can drop it while it is on and it still shines.
    Hank
    Kind of inconsistent for you to note that
    “[Bloom] is a best-selling author; he gets his point across in a creative, interesting way …“

    and then to whine that

    ”we should have listened to him.”
    I don't see any inconsistency in saying he is creative and right.   And you used the word "whine" without any basis, which leads me to believe you don't know what any of the words you use means.
    blue-green
    "Well, we should have listened to him." Oh. So that line was written in good cheer as well as this one "you don't know what any of the words you use means" along with "Now we have crappy light bulbs and a lousy economy." It's all in how you wish to spin it ... which I believe was the point of your opening essay. Who's fooling who? Cheers!
    be berated constantly because they don't think giving more money to the government is the solution to everything

    Maybe they are berated for all the strawmen they throw up, as in the quoted sentence.

    radiative properties of CO2
    -----------------------
    CO2 can only hold infra red for a pico second.....and it doesn't put out any additional enery/heat. Energy in, equals energy out...plus the spectrums are limited to for absorption. So this myth of MMGW is what's being disputed especially since water vapor is the most abundent green house gas. Without these gasses, we'd be a chunk of ice orbiting the sun.