24
Nov
09

WHYS and the climate change sceptics

Mark writes :

Before you read the rest of Ros’s post…have a look at this

**********

We got a number of complaints about yesterday’s programme. I’ve published several at the bottom of this post. The nub of the criticism is that we had too many climate change sceptics on the programme. So if you too had these concerns, here is why we invited the guests that you heard. It’s a long post, but I wanted to respond in detail….

Yesterday’s programme discussed if those who deny and question the nature and cause of climate change are a great threat to our planet. We decided upon this subject for two reasons.

Firstly, the leaked emails and the way they’ve been used by sceptics has clearly infuriated many people. Because of the leaked emails much to some people’s irritation the news agenda was dominated by consideration of the science and not by what deal can be struck at Copenhagen.

Secondly, all of last week we discussed with you the reasons for the underwhelming response that we get when we ask questions about climate change. Ask our audience what they’d like to happen in Copenhagen and the reality is that we get very few calls, emails, texts or blog comments. And this happens every time we discuss climate change.

So last week Mark posted about why you’re not engaging with the issue and we got a reasonably large response, with a number of you expressing doubts and confusion about the science that lies behind climate change negotiations.

And there is no doubt that some of that confusion is caused by those who keep the questions in the public eye.

So we had one discussion last week you showed little interest in (copenhagen), and one discussion you responded to (disengagement with climate change).

Then at yesterday’s meeting – we had two options as well. Talk about Copenhagen (Kevin Rudd’s role was announced over the weekend, as was the attendance of 60 world leaders), or talk about the emails and the way they were being used.

Again, when we looked at online response, the heat of the discussion was around the email, their contents and the motivation behind the leak. Copenhagen negotiations weren’t generating the same level of comment.

WHYS is about reflecting conversations that are happening, not about generating discussions or taking a position on what ought to be discussed. And that is why yesterday’s programme concentrated on climate change sceptics.

Now if you want to discuss a group of people you need to invite them onto the programme. So we did. Richard Lindzen from MIT, the author Christopher Booker and Patrick Michaels from the Cato Institute all have different positions but all have doubts about the majority view of climate change and what to do about it.

Also on the programme were Martin Ågerup, CEO of Centre for Political Studies in Copenhagen, Michael Tiampatti of of the Pastoralist Development Network of Kenya, and Bo Shellen of the Stockholm Environment Institute. All three believe that climate change is happening, is caused by mankind and requires urgent action.

The invited guests weren’t meant to reflect world opinion on climate change. They were there to represent the tension between those who who deny and question climate change, and those who feel this debate is preventing crucial decisions being taken.

Are keeping the debate alive as Laurie suggests?
No the debate is alive and well anyway. Just look online, and look at the reasons some people give for not doing more.

Are we suggesting that you should believe the sceptics as M suggests?

We’re not telling you do believe on thing or another. I did point out that the sceptics are in a minority. And asked repeatedly if they should feel grave concern that their attempts to stop a Copenhagen deal could endanger generations to come. You may well be wrong, I put to them several times.

Are we trying to create dramatic radio as M suggests?
We do not. Drama is not on the list of things we’re aiming to achieve.

Did we ignore the scientific consensus as Ben suggests?
Bo Shellen of the Stockholm Environment Institute has advised the EU and the Swedish government on climate change policy. He is one the best qualified people to represent the consensus. He spends his working day, arguing for it, and working on action to respond to it.

Ben writes…
‘You gave a radical minority free, unchallenged airtime to pretend both that there is a still a “debate” on the reality of global warming, and to pretend that it is a debate that has so far not happened.”

The sceptics were challenged repeatedly by me and by some of the other guests. And there is still a debate. That fact may be infuriating but there is definitely still a debate. Every time we discuss climate change on WHYS, people tell us they don’t believe it’s as serious as is made out.

SOME OF THE COMPLAINTS THAT WE RECEIVED

Laurie, Oregon USA
Something like 95% of active climate researchers conclude that a significant fraction of 20th century warming was due to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, and that by 2100 the human contribution will be totally dominant if we don’t change our energy production methods.

So, why do shows like WHYS today provide a forum for two of the world’s most prominent deniers, and only have two (weak) proponents of the consensus view? If you want the public to know what scientists really think, you should have had 19 scientists from the “AGW” camp for each denier.

So, the media are keeping the “debate” alive by skewing the talk show guest lists towards “fair and balanced”. I don’t have any problem with Professor Lindzen publishing research that challenges the current paradigm, but giving his view equal or higher weight to the “AGW” scientists is irresponsible.

M
I am very disappointed that the format of World Have Your Say is promoting the airing of opinions in a muddled, relativistic way, without sufficient critical capacity for learning. It’s just “he said, she said.” This can be seen most clearly in the current “debate” over the reality of climate change, and its implications.

We need to converge on what the science is telling us – not what this fringe person said, or that fringe person said. You may get cockamamie opinions from callers, but it seems to me you need to be sure the guests who frame your debate are truly literate in the science, and not merely shills for some ideology or special interest. IN the former camp are about 95% of scientists; in the latter, perhaps 5%. But on shows like yours and others, one gets the impression it’s much closer to 50%-50%.

And the science is clear enough. You do your listeners a disservice if that doesn’t come across.

Look, if I get 19 diagnoses form doctors that I have lung cancer and need treatment right away, and one doctor gives me a great herbal supplement that he says will cure me overnight – or better yet, that doctor denies I even have lung cancer – then who am I going to believe? Your show suggests I might just as well believe the 20th doctor as the other 19. As the result of falsely skewed debate like this, we are not learning, and we are not converging.

Without the capacity for learning and convergence, we are paralyzed. We might as well spend all our time worrying about whether 9/11 was a conspiracy of the CIA, or AIDS is not a virus, or any one of a number of other things for which there are plenty of people around who would like to promote a fringe perspective as, at best, one of two equally plausible alternatives.

Unfortunately, I fear your show, in its effort to promote good dramatic radio, has played into that. And incalculable damage is being done to our critical ability to act intelligently as a species – by your show and others.

What a shame, that even the BBC is suffering from this kind of “infotainment relativism.”

Cheers, m

Dr Ben Young in the north of England

Hi,

Re. World Have Your Say, 23rd Nov.

I simply cannot believe what you just broadcast.

In the time I was listening, you had *three* climate change deniers (including one from the Cato Institute – you might as well have had Bush himself); one feckless “moderate” voice from Copenhagen; and one sincere but easily discredited African correspondent.

No representatives of the scientific consensus were given airtime. Indeed, you gave your pundits space to make vacuous and evidence-free challenges to the consensus by undermining the IPCC, with no voices of response. You gave a radical minority free, unchallenged airtime to pretend both that there is a still a “debate” on the reality of global warming, and to pretend that it is a debate that has so far not happened.

Partly, I am concerned that you have fallen foul of coordinated media manipulation by climate-deniers. But primarily I am concerned that you have broken BBC guidelines. For in what sense was this a balanced debate? In the absence of eloquent and authoritative scientific views opposing the climate change-deniers, you have aired a biased and distortioned debate. I am therefore forwarding this email to the BBC complaints mail box, and also to Medialens.

Yours faithfully,

Dr Ben Young

FROM KATHRYN IN THE UK

Dear Mr Atkins
Thank you for in some measure holding Christopher Booker in check on Monday’s programme, the man was driving me demented, dismissing all computer models out of hand, as if he were more expert than the collective brains of the IPCC….

I would have liked you to have another voice on the programme, in the studio, someone from well informed NON – denier of climate change camp, someone measured and articulate# to refute some of the spurious ideas of Mr Booker and Prof Lynton. Could you have achieved MORE balance. # eg Miles Allan from Oxford

Yours sincerely
Kathryn Poolman


47 Responses to “WHYS and the climate change sceptics”


  1. 1 steve
    November 24, 2009 at 14:58

    You to admit, the charge that caused someone to hang up, that even questioning whether humans cause all climate change (ignoring geologic history of the earth, that it has warmed and cooled on its own throughout time) was like “denying slavery”. The far left thinks 100% of climate change is due to humans, and that’s an outright lie, and you’re being called out on it. Trying to silence the truth is going to fail. Humans contribute to climate change, they don’t CAUSE it. They aren’t the sole cause. If your argument is based in a lie, then you have no argument.

  2. 2 steve
    November 24, 2009 at 15:01

    I would also add, that denying that nature has the majority role in climate change is like denying that Africans themselves had a role in slavery (ie the capturing of people and giving them to slave traders).

  3. 3 John costigane
    November 24, 2009 at 15:17

    Hi All,

    I am in the happy position of having no extreme views on GW. One thing that does disturb is the so-called belief in GW. What has belief got to do with science?

    This computer model has to be questioned as well. Parameters in any computer system must cover all relevant aspects of the actual system investigated. Failure to include all possible factors will give misleading results. The onus on ‘believers’ is to prove their case.

    • 4 James Dumigan
      November 25, 2009 at 22:38

      Who do humans think they are to think that they are so powerful that they can permanently change the climate? Computers are only as good as the data being entered.Those on the other side of the debate could enter data to “prove” the opposite. Computer Models? Spare me.

  4. 5 Maccus Germanis
    November 24, 2009 at 15:17

    I’m afraid I missed the show, but it reads like you did something, that is novel in today’s journalism,…. and covered the story.

  5. 6 William
    November 24, 2009 at 15:21

    Dear Mr Atkins,

    I was also rather disappointed by your program yesterday.

    Mr Booker and Dr Michaels are well known deniers and self-publicists.
    THe latter is in the Cato Institute!! Not exactly known for its climate research.
    The Czech President, Mr Vaclav Klaus, has given speeches there and
    he is a well known climate change denier and a free market fundamentalist.

    Let’s not forget the funding that the CATO Insitute and other deniers have had from the oil lobby who do not want to accept the science.

    You say that you don’t get much response about Copenhagen and climate change, so what do you do? You liven it up by having a “debate” Why didn’t you invite someone from th IPCC?

  6. 7 Roberto
    November 24, 2009 at 15:32

    RE “” The far left thinks 100% of climate change is due to humans, and that’s an outright lie, and you’re being called out on it. “”
    ———————————————————————-

    ——— Well, now Mr. Steve, 90% of the world falls in the moderate camp on the bell curve.

    However, it’s the 5% far left and5% far right who are lying and causing 90% of the problems, two bad apples being a worse variation on the one bad apple theory.

    And a bad apple is a bad apple no matter which side of the barrel it comes from, so you’ve been properly informed.

  7. November 24, 2009 at 15:34

    Hell’s Bells, what do they want? It sounds like they are the deniers and only want to hear their side of the story and everybody else shut up. Mostly, no all the stories are on climate change and the need for action now. It was good to listen to the other side of the story for a change. Anyway there is theory that the world is going to end in December 2012 and a movie that proves that its true so nobody has to worry about climate change.

  8. 9 Roy, Washington DC
    November 24, 2009 at 16:20

    I listened to yesterday’s show live as usual; not only did it not seem biased either way, I remember thinking a couple of times that the guest had made a good point. It was a vibrant discussion, which is exactly what it should have been.

    And, inviting people onto the show doesn’t mean WHYS endorses their views. I’ve been invited onto the show a few times myself; each time, I was able to state my view and defend it on air, but not once did it feel like the show was promoting one side or the other. It was a good experience each time, and one that I hope to repeat.

  9. 10 T
    November 24, 2009 at 16:22

    Unfortunately, much of this “debate” is presented in the screaming heads fashion. And I’m sad to say that WHYS is part of that. So a suggestion. If you talk about this again, no more “scientists” that sound like little kids fighting on-air. Frankly, that’s boring radio.

  10. 11 Ben Young
    November 24, 2009 at 16:28

    Thanks very much for your post; your explanation of the background is helpful.

    I fully accept that you had to have climate change deniers on the show in order to discuss their views; however, they needed to be properly managed.

    Climate change deniers are extremists (literally: they expound an extreme view, which is wildly at odds with the evidence). They are well funded (a benefit of expressing industry-friendly views), and they are highly educated and comfortable with controversy (it is what they are hired for).

    They dominated the other guests, who in any case were expressing very weak views, mostly without any sense of conviction (none that came across on radio, at least), and which did not speak directly to the topic.

    My complaint is not that the denier-extremists won the argument. It is not WHYS’s fault if that happens; but you are at fault if they are handed massive, overwhelming argumentative advantage and a global audience, at a crucial moment in which deniers need to spike any possible intergovernmental action. And this is what happened.

    Balance (which I appreciate is not easy to legislate for) would have been better served by dropping two of the deniers (keeping one), getting in one informed scientist who could speak to the issues generally, and one extreme-climate-change-*affirmer*.

    James Lovelock, for example, thinks that human civilisation will be reduced to small warring bands within a few centuries, unless there is an immediate switch over to nuclear energy (he also recommends leaving the nuclear waste lying about in rain forests, to preserve them from humans). I am not sure if this counts as extreme or centre, however.

    As the presenter, you cannot provide an effective challenge, since the listener knows that you are playing devil’s advocate. The very fact that it is your role to balance the show means that you cannot do it. The listener (as radio people, you will know this better than I) is hyper-sensitized to whether a speaker is sincere and informed, and has a fine sense of whether an argument has been lost or won.

    My other concern is that you inadvertently played right into the hands of whoever hacked into the Hadley Centre and selectively posted obfuscatory material. Their aim, clearly, was to generate media coverage for climate-change-deniers. Whether such stunts come from political left or right, we trust the BBC to explode them.

  11. 12 jens
    November 24, 2009 at 16:50

    denying the opinion of somebody who does not believe in what you believe is the begining of faschisme. just because you belive that global warming is 100% due to human activity, does not make it either right nor gives you the right to shout others down.

    • 13 Laurie, OR USA
      November 24, 2009 at 18:27

      Absolutely *nobody* believes that climate-change is 100% human-caused. The claim, backed by multiple lines of evidence, is that humans caused the bulk of the climate change in the 20th century, and will cause most change in the 21st century unless we act.

      And nobody has shouted anybody down. Nobody on this thread has said that the deniers have no right to speak. The issue is about balance on a specific radio show.

      This approach of pretending *your* opponents believe something they don’t, so that you can shout us down with claims of absolutism or “fascism”, is getting old.

  12. 14 patti in cape coral
    November 24, 2009 at 17:08

    I thought the show was interesting, even though Mr. Booker had a kind of sneering attitude that made it hard to even want to listen to him. It didn’t really change my mind one way or another, or illuminate me in any way, though.

  13. November 24, 2009 at 17:23

    The question was: Are climate change deniers the greatest threat to our planet.We needed to hear from them to know if they are threatening or not.We did’nt need a re-telling of the CO2 story,it is quite well versed.If the above complainers(Laurie,M,Ben and Kathryn)are worried the deniers can alter the Copenhagen Summit,then they are not sure of their argument! I would like to remind M, that Galilleo was a fringe denier,now a scientific hero! And to compare a doctor with a herbalist is not on.I did not think that the programme was drama.Every side needs to be heard,and truth will out.

    • 16 Laurie, OR USA
      November 24, 2009 at 18:33

      Copenhagen and follow-up meetings are based more on politics than science. If politicians here in the U.S. hear from their constituents that they aren’t willing to tolerate changes in energy policy, then there won’t be a U.S. commitment to action. It is more important to be re-elected than to be right.

      So yes, anyone who influences public opinion, taking advantage of the public’s general scientific illiteracy, can sway Copenhagen and beyond. Good science won’t win anything by itself.

      • November 25, 2009 at 00:17

        Yes Laurie,I agree with your first paragraph.Also,The UK has seen some horrendous crisis.But the people then in power,were only interested in retaining their offices,until the public said otherwise.Your second paragraph however,could be used against you,if you deny other views being heard,and I underline your word; anyone:1st sentance 2nd para.

  14. 18 Ros Atkins
    November 24, 2009 at 17:41

    Hi Ben. Thanks for your long reply. I’m at risk of repeating myself here but it’s not WHYS’ job to ‘explode’ a story or to ignore it. The reality is that the leaked emails were one of the biggest single news stories being blogged all weekend (and I refer to the blogosphere as a whole, not the British one). We didn’t do that. It happened because because people were interested, inspired or infuriated by what happened.
    Believe me as someone who’s presented my share of discussions which haven’t taken off, we have far less influence over what people talk about that you might think.
    Yesterday’s programme happened because a discussion was already underway well before any of us got to work on Monday.

    • 19 Ben Young
      November 24, 2009 at 18:53

      Hi Ros, Thanks for your reply. What you’re saying implies that if someone pulls off a really successful media stunt – such that it actually becomes news itself – then you have a duty to report it. I can’t argue with you on that.

      But BBC World also has a policy of treading carefully where the act of reporting a story can also aggravate the situation be reported on. This was the case for the leaked emails story.

      If you had had a panel composed of an extreme denier, and extreme affirmer, two people saying it’s serious – tho we’re not going to die next week, and some other interesting voices, I think you would have negotiated the problems fine.

      I do sympathise with how difficult it is to run a discussion programme and juggle readers’ views with institutional requirements: but in this case I think that there was a straightforward way out to resolve the problem, but it was not taken. And as a result, the BBC was, in effect, hijacked for propaganda purposes.

  15. 20 Gerry in Prague
    November 24, 2009 at 17:50

    Ros/WHYS
    The problem with this programme was their was disproportionat time and heat coming from the ‘no problem’ camp. Ros does an incredible even amazing job trying to control these discussion, but when you have ‘personalities’ who can impose themselves in these situations, you need to have an even number of such personalities on both sides! It is unfortunately also true that those who don’t want to admit the actuality of damage to our environment and the robustness of the science are likely to attack the messengers and the one thing that people might be suspicious of – the computor models. Of course the evidence for climat change and man’s role in it is not in a computor model. That’s only generating a range of predictions for how much worse it’s going to get.

    Keep up the good work, but think about balancing the personalities as well as the viewpoints………

  16. 21 steve
    November 24, 2009 at 17:55

    Why isn’t there a campaign to stop plate tectonics? I mean, it’s also a natural phenomenon, and could be catastrophic for life as contients crash into each other, and all the earthquakes involved. Humans must have some impact, right? So what can we do to slow down plate tectonics?

  17. 22 steve
    November 24, 2009 at 17:57

    I’m curious, when will “climate change denial” which in reality is just questions human’s role in it, I doubt anyone could claim with a straight face, that there is no climate change, be regarded as a hate crime?

  18. 23 Tom K in Mpls
    November 24, 2009 at 18:07

    The show was disappointing in two ways. One, lack of control, many speakers walked all over Ros. Two, the question as posed was the worst, most biased question I have ever seen on any topic.

    Other things, people saying it is wrong to spend public money when we don’t know enough were regularly denounced as blindly anti. Those that want to spend public money refused to acknowledge steps take by many companies in the leading industrialized nations to adapt to the valid aspects of the problem of pollution.

    This reminds me of topics regarding the validity of religion. A cold, hard, us or them mentality.

    • 24 Ben Young
      November 24, 2009 at 19:01

      How can a *question* be biased? Even “Have you stopped kicking your dog?” is not biased, since you can answer “I have never kicked my dog.”

      The extremist positions are being expounded by commentators who have, for some reason, set themselves against established facts. It is they who emotionally supercharge the debate. In such circumstances it is disingenous to complain that it is all getting rather “cold, hard” and “us and them.”

  19. 25 Ros Atkins
    November 24, 2009 at 18:17

    Hi Tom. I’m at a loss to understand how this question is biased. Some people argue that to keep on questioning the case for climate change holds us all up dangerously. Others argue questions still have to be answered. Our question invited both sides to may their case.
    I’ll let others judge if i was walked all over or not.

    • 26 Tom K in Mpls
      November 24, 2009 at 19:21

      Ros, regarding you getting walked on, you tried. But the emotions and reasoning of others were a bit chaotic. Regarding the question: “Are climate change deniers the greatest threat to our planet?”, it focuses on putting blame on some. It also clearly had the effect of grouping those that want better information with those that refuse to acknowledge the possibility. IMO the better question would be “what science related to climate change can we agree on?”.

      Also, I don’t believe taking bad action is better than taking no action on any topic.

  20. 27 Tracy in Portland,OR
    November 24, 2009 at 18:34

    I say kudos to you WHYS. An impassioned debate is the goal is it not? The topic got people talking. And talking is good. I would complain if the topic was boring, like say about Britney Spears.

    Tracy
    Portland OR

  21. November 24, 2009 at 18:42

    This is a vital subject which should generate informed discussion. It is an excellent subject for food for thought. Perhaps articulate professionals should have been invited to give their views. On such an important subject half-baked ideas do not add to the discussion. The sad aspect of yesterday’s programme was that empty vessels made a lot of noise and got away with it. The BBC moderator needs to weigh in when discussions become meaningless.

  22. 29 Alan in Arizona
    November 24, 2009 at 19:17

    I LOVER THE SHOW!!!!!!! How often do you get to listen to semi-intelligent people make utter fools of them selves without listening to George W. Bush. At one point I had to double check and make sure I wasn’t listening to BBC7 and a comedy show. I think it was an excellent way to demonstrate the deniers totally inept way of looking at the facts, evidence and their take on the whole subject. I don’t think Ros could have planned a better stage for them to put their feet in their mouths. 3 cheers for WHYS!

    So you know if the deniers said it! The opposite is probably the truth!

  23. 30 Alan in Arizona
    November 24, 2009 at 19:18

    I LOVED THE SHOW!!!!!!! is what I meant!

  24. 31 steve
    November 24, 2009 at 19:43

    Why not test on humans? Last I checked, I’m not a rat, and curing cancer in a rat is great news for rats, but not for humans. So human testing makes sense given we are humans, and not rats.

    • 32 Tom K in Mpls
      November 24, 2009 at 20:38

      Human tests are the last test in clearing medical products by the FDA in the US, I’m sure it is much the same in all leading industrialized nations. As I understand it, new procedures are used commonly in nonprofit research hospitals on terminally ill people. Those with nothing to loose by those with no motivation to abuse.

  25. 33 Tom D Ford
    November 24, 2009 at 20:03

    I agree with Ben, Laurie, Kathryn, and M.

    And I think that part of the problem is the very queer idea pioneered by right wing media channels of “fair and balanced” replacing “honest and verified” reportage and discussions. The idea that some right wing fringe non-scientist Denialists deserve the same air time as scientifically credible people is just ridiculous, in my opinion.

    There are honest and credible scientists that question and disagree with the climate change scientists and it would be right to include them in a discussion on climate change denial.

    But trying to provide the illusion of “fair and balanced” by including right wing purely political propagandists was out of line.

  26. 34 Kertesz
    November 24, 2009 at 22:16

    Science isn’t about a “consensus”. You can have as many people as you like believing something but if what they are believing is wrong then their force of numbers does not make it right.

    Check out the BBC website and listen to its radio and TV shows and you’ll quickly see that news items featuring sceptics are vastly outnumbered by those featuring alarmists.

    And hey, if you alarmists have all the right answers then surely you’d welcome some debate with sceptics if for no other reason than that you’ll be able to demolish them. The fact you’d rather censor them tells its own damning story.

  27. 35 NRGREER
    November 24, 2009 at 22:17

    Is it not funny that the alarmists are throwing a hissy fit because a free press is allowing the public to hear both sides of a debate.

    It is hysterical that the alarmists are upset because people with alternative theories are seeking publicity (Mr. Pot meet Mr. Kettle)

  28. 36 Marty in Texas
    November 24, 2009 at 22:51

    As I mentioned in a post elsewhere yesterday, all you have to do is follow the money. Bo, Ben, Al and all the other recipients of governmental largess all have a very vested interest in the success of the Copenhagen conference. Us deniers have only ourselves. We are the ones who would pay and pay, to the tune of billions, when Cap & Trade legislation passes. Now that the warmists have been shown to be liars, and caught in their nefarious subterfuge, it is time to ring down the curtain on Copenhagen, and everyone go home and prepare for another very cold winter.

  29. 37 Kevin PE
    November 24, 2009 at 23:47

    One thing is for certain, this will become a major political issue. Another certainty is that whatever changes are made Joe public is going to foot the bill. Big business, big energy, big anything will find a way to profit – you want clean air – pay, you want wind – pay, you want solar – pay some more! If people think that current energy conglomerates are afraid of competition from alternate energy sources – think again, they already own them,
    The biggest maker of solar panels is British Petroleum with Shell not too far behind. Similarly, the second biggest maker of wind turbines is General Electric. It must be understood; a significant change to large scale cleaner energy is very questionable from a capacity point and not least, paralyzingly expensive. I suggest that people put more thought into the practical aspects, because for sure your life as you know it will alter dramatically.

  30. November 25, 2009 at 00:59

    WOW! and I didn’t tune in to NPR yesterday.
    First, all the scientific data that I have read (fair amount) shows that our earth does have cycles of warmth and cold. I know of no scientists that are studying climate change that disagree with this. Greenland is called that because the Vikings landed on it during a “warm” period.

    Still, the evidence is that the earth is warming at an alarming rate, way faster than it has ever done before. This is why we are sampling ice cores in the Antarctic, measuring glaciers, etc. All of these show a massive acceleration of our earth’s warming, and all point to man made gases such as CO2 and methane. Our CO2 level is way above where it has ever been, and soon it will become irreversible, this is not worth the risk for humanity.

    I might add, that since I am not only a Chemist, ret. but a sailor, perhaps those deniers should sign on to one of the sail boats that are sailing around the American continent.

  31. November 25, 2009 at 01:01

    Marty of Texas. I understand what you are saying, but you are missing the point. Cold winters here in the USA are due to the earth warming and the Arctic melting. Check it out.

  32. 40 brucerobbins
    November 25, 2009 at 11:03

    Kenneth (D Scott)

    “Still, the evidence is that the earth is warming at an alarming rate, way faster than it has ever done before. All of these show a massive acceleration of our earth’s warming, and all point to man made gases such as CO2 and methane. Our CO2 level is way above where it has ever been, and soon it will become irreversible, this is not worth the risk for humanity.”

    This is precisely the kind of language that gets alarmists their label. Alarming, way faster, massive acceleration, irreversible. Now that you’ve piled in with the alarmist rhetoric, can you please supply empirical, uncontested data to support it? And, please, nothing from the CRU, Phil Jones, Michael Mann or James Hansen. Their bolts are well and truly shot. If you can’t provide the empirical data then please stop repeating parrot-fashion the same old guff. Every time someone comes away with that another few sceptics pick up arms.

    Please take a look here: http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/11420
    to see why most of the talk about warming of fractions of a degree is very unlikely to be accurate.

    • 41 Ben Young
      November 25, 2009 at 21:02

      “CRU, Phil Jones, Michael Mann or James Hansen. Their bolts are well and truly shot.”

      This does not appear to be true. The sole allegedly-damaging claim from the emails concerns the well-known “divergence” problem, whereby proxy temperature data from tree rings, which agrees with three other measures over the past thousand years, diverges from **observed** data in the last forty years.

      This means that **nothing at all** has come out of the stolen emails that is at all damaging to the CRU’s science.

      Worse, it could also mean the exact opposite to what the hack-hypers are saying: perhaps the warming climate explains the odd groth pattern of the trees. Perhaps they are starting to “pant.”

  33. 42 Ken MacLean
    November 25, 2009 at 14:55

    If in the next two weeks, say, the BBC (World service and UK domestic) put out a dozen programmes in which climate realists, and only climate realists, were permitted to expose man made global warming as a global fraud, this would effect only the most minimal balancing of the BBC’s output on climate change, the simple reason being that for years now the BBC has acted as a major producer of climate alarmist propaganda.

    It is only in the last few weeks that there have appeared some faltering signs that in the BBC – or some parts of that over large and over fat organisation – there has occurred the semi-realisation that the climate realists might just have something of value to say about about climate change. And perhaps it is that in some corner of the corporate brain there has posed itself the question “what if the theory of anthropogenic global warming becomes widely rejected – wouldn’t the BBC look very foolish if it had not taken the precaution of putting on the record at least a token nod in the direction of a balanced treatment of the subject”.

  34. 43 T
    November 25, 2009 at 15:49

    I have many problems with the climate change skeptic hackers who stole the emails re: global warming. They say this PROVES that it’s a lie.

    Really? Are any of these skeptics trained scientists? I have yet to see one who’s posted online who has any scientific training at all. Yet the MSM is giving them endless hype. And once again avoiding an opportunity to have an actual debate.

  35. 44 Kertesz
    November 25, 2009 at 16:45

    T says, “Yet the MSM is giving them endless hype.”

    More hyperbole. Where is this endless hype? Please document it or withdraw it. Why can’t alarmists use measured language? Is it because they are no good with measurements?

  36. 45 Heli-Skier
    November 25, 2009 at 17:15

    If Copenhagen goes ahead I’ll be getting my own helicopter in February.

    I’ve made some 2-way trading positions in Carbon Credit futures and I collect big bucks either way.

    My only worry is if the conference is cancelled or postponed. I’m talking to bookmakers about covering that position as well.

    Thanks to all the little people everywhere who make this possible for me.

  37. 46 Jaksa Popovic
    November 25, 2009 at 20:50

    Climate change “science” has little to do with science. It is 90% politically influenced speculation.

  38. 47 vijay pillai
    December 2, 2009 at 00:20

    limate change is real but the majority of therd world nations have astrangle hold on western world using moral arguments about them and us attitude ,like it was cased by the west so you pay for it attitude ,if third world antions like china and india dont live up to their responsibility to reduce co2 deom coal fired power stations and replant trees wherever we can and stopping the destrction of rainforest, not much reduction in co2 will be seen and west like uk would have steep hike in carbon tax fro everything from travel,cars,not fixing antyihg susatiable energy use like composting,saving energy from home and so and there wont be any noticable redcution in polar icecaps melting and the Maldive islander have to think of settling in australia or newzeeland instead of conducting affairs under water as seen recent advert.


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