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What We Know

Another week in the war on science.



Pretty good video - I don't care for graphical presentation of data that is shown without any specific explanation of what is being displayed. Also, I hate to pick, but ... If you mispronounce Arrhenius's name and you show methane as a flat molecule, you do little to bolter the confidence of any freshman chemistry student that you know what you are talking about.


No sorry Tim, you said, bolter and not bolster. You comment is clearly invalid. It's Boltgate. Your comment is part of a conspiracy by bleeding heart liberals who hate human beings to undermine our way of life.

You comment is clearly invalid.

You comment? Your invalidation is clearly invalid and part of the worldwide conspiracy to undermine the public's confidence in possessive adjectives.

Two Words: Medieval warming period

The "period" must be punctuation then.

It is the end of everything.

climate denial denial of blog comments wait for "twenty-twelve"!

climate denial/ denial of blog comments/ wait for "twenty-twelve"!

arg formatting makes/me look as if I'm writing/non-sequitors - gah!

Whew! Well, that takes care of the misshapen beliefs of the sub-90 IQ crowd!

Hopefully they now understand that CO2 warms the atmosphere and that the earth has been getting warmer in recent decades.

Now if only someone could explain in video format that greenhouse gas theory alone only gives us incremental warming and no catastrophe. It is a second theory that Earth’s climate is dominated by strong positive feedbacks that multiplies warming of perhaps a degree over the next century from CO2 to 3,5, or more degrees of warming.

Keep up the good work :)

Like melting ice and ocean currents. It's true.

Send us good stuff when you see it, Gary.


Actually, there's not a lot of evidence for that second theory.

Hmm so that's where the goalposts are now? The Theory of the Second Theory? Interesting...


Well, do you suppose that the current amount of warming demonstrates that catastrophic warming must follow? I think a lot of people conflate the two.

I think the definition of catasrophic is somewhat ambiguous in this situation.

I think there is a great deal of certainty that the future temperature change will be more expensive than reducing our greenhouse gas emmisions.


Do you think that because you expect 1 deg C of warming per century to cause an enormous amount of damage, or because you expect the 1 degree we'll get from CO2 will get multiplied by positive feedback and turn into something like 4 deg C, causing an enormous amount of damage?

Because CO2 by itself (the part of the science that is well-agreed) won't get us to the bigger numbers. We need something else to get us the rest of the way.

I think both are probably true. The first because climate shift will require farming to move millions of people and enormous amounts of infrastructure.


Interesting. I think that puts you in a small minority, probably because the 0.6 deg we've experienced in the 1900s has been virtually unnoticeable. Or are more folks worried about 1 degree change than I'm aware of?

The people of africa might disagree. and anyone taking their current water from summer glacial melt will likley disagree in the next 20 years.


I haven't heard anybody worry that major world glaciers will dry up within the next 20 years - not since the IPCC corrected its claim about the Himalayas. What am I missing?

I didn't know all that many folks were drinking from the major ones. Mountain Glaciers are the ones that are endangered and the ones supplying water in europe, the american west, etc.


Wikipedia says "Ten of Asia’s largest rivers flow from [the Himalayan mountains], and more than a billion people’s livelihoods depend on them."

Ad Hominem attacks and conspiracy theories.

This certainly explains away the melting Glaciers.

Or maybe I had a religious moment the last time I was in Glacier National Park.

Can calling someone's arguement ad hominem be an ad hominem? Just curious.

Calling it a conspiracy theory can.

That comment was just based on the first 3 or 4 minutes.

Seems accurate for that part of the talk.

I was hoping to hear a better talk from Lindzen - one where I could really learn more about the issue. On the science, he offers the best criticisms of the current state of the issue. The first part of the talk was annoying and at times blatantly disingenuous. (Challenging an administrator and then acting off-put when you get an administrator-like answer is bullshit.) Some of the answers to questions were disgustingly 'political' for a guy who pretends to deplore the 'politics'. (Most egregious example: Carter's policy of increasing the use of coal for electricity generation was not rejected by "liberals" because they hated fossil fuels - that's just bullshit. Indeed, I lecture to chemistry students about metallurgical processes all the time pointing out which processes are historically and economically preferred: they use the cheapest reducing agent around - carbon. As long as coal and power companies were will to pay the true environmental costs of coal mining and burning, I'd still be for coal - if global warming weren't an issue. In other words, far from grasping at global warming as an excuse to prevent the use of coal, I regret that GW weighs against its use.)

The middle of the talk seemed quite similar to articles that Lindzen wrote a couple of years ago and it has the same strengths and weaknesses. Lindzen's strongest points come when he presses the models weaknesses. Even if you don't agree with him, you need a guy like him around to keep workers in the field focused on finding new kinds of data to test their models. Unfortunately, I was interrupted about halfway through the questions - did anyone challenge him on his offhand dismissal of glacial melting and biological evidence?

I think someone asked him if glacial melting added significantly to ocean level rise. Thanks for watching it Tim, I doubted anyone would take the time.

he said they did not and thermal expansion accounted for the majority of the change.

As a non scientist 3 things really bothered me.

  1. He argues at the beginning that the heating going on is insignificant and then goes through a series discussions on glacial melting. If tenths of a degree is essentially meaningless than why are significant changes occurring. I know, arctic heat inversions, caused by....

  2. He conflates Global warming and Climate change at one point. I know that in the common usage makes both the same thing, but one is just about global average temperature and the other are observable changes in climate. So when some global warming "believer" says climate change is accelerating, he puts up the average temperature and asks the crowd if it looks like an acceleration. But the person he was referring to obviously meant that climate change was accelerating. Meaning that things like climate shift, ice melt, migration changes, were all happening at a pace faster than expected.

  3. He takes the first part of his talk to quote the email-gate scientist out of context. As if we didn't already know that this guy was a bit of a loose canon. Like we don't know there are thousands of scientists that work on climate issues and overwhelmingly agree. I also don't doubt that those quotes are less offensive in context.

I would just add that what he mostly does is question models. I think its a valid point, but at the end he is asked for his prediction of climate over the next 30 years. He basically has none.

If he is serious and there is science behind what he says, than he should work to develop a different model and we should weigh the various available models as we set public policy.

Wikipedia says "Ten of Asia’s largest rivers flow from [the Himalayan mountains], and more than a billion people’s livelihoods depend on them."

Why is it so hard to tell what side of the issue you are on?


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