Climate Deniers the Biggest Advocates for CO2 Emission Reduction?

I know it’s going to be inaccurate to do so, however, I’m going to thank Pete Ridley (a denier who used to haunt these parts) for his comment on Greenfyre’s post Another Top International Climate Change Denier Silliness or Two! It got me thinking about something I should have already realised.

What Pete had to say was in fact, nothing new, it’s simply one of the cornerstones to the climate change denial movement. Basically, the argument is rhetoric to the point of sheer ignorance. Example:

Prove to me that CO2 is causing climate change.

We know CO2 is a greenhouse gas, with a radiative forcing of 1.66Wm-2 [1] and that we have increased the concentration of CO2 [2] in the atmosphere by more than a third in just over a century. Over this period, we’ve seen the temperature anomaly increase by roughly 0.65 [3] degrees C over this period.

But this does demonstrate climate change.

When we look at a why range of biological indicators (such as timing of bloom, migrations, growing season, increasing coral bleaching events etc) and physical indicators (such as the hydrological cycle; glacial activity, drought, storm activity: Hadley Cell activity etc) over 90%  have changed in the direction that would be anticipated in response to a a warming global climate[4][5][6][7].

But this doesn’t mean it’s because of CO2…

And so on. In short, this loop demonstrates total or selective ignorance of science in demanding one answer for everything, which as most of us would realise would be:

  1. weaker for it (compared the vast wealth of independent evidence covering a wide range of disciplines that together support the reality of Anthropogenic Climate Change [ACC], one report is quite limiting), and,
  2. impossible, simply due to the immensity of variables involved.

Basically, within the public debate arena (because, behind the scenes, it appears that even the most outwardly “sceptical” political groups don’t really question the reality of  ACC, see WtD, Cablegate and US climate policy: fighting a global price on carbon, fears of a German-US split on climate) we have a stalemate situation. Deniers feel confident to ignore all the telling signs of ACC, absurdly, because they think that it doesn’t prove climate change.

A recent example would be the noise earlier this year, first with freak snow storms and later with the heat waves (both in the northern hemisphere). Inaccurately, deniers screamed in the cold snap that climate change was dead and the more reasonable replied that a snow storm  or two proves nothing. Later the deniers were screaming that a heat wave means nothing because we refuted their snow storm claims. In reality, both the freak snow storms and unusual heats waves are probably the result of a pair of dice now rolling 2 – 13 instead of 1 – 12 (See here) as are many other events.

However, as this persistent “debate” demonstrates, no amount evidence will be enough to demonstrate to a climate change denier that CO2 has a greenhouse effect, that our activities have increased the amount of this greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and the results of this are overwhelmingly obvious, from the global temperature anomaly (where the night warming increase is greater than the day trend) to the many physical and biological indicators.

You’ll find instead strange notions of secret plots and vague references to science that doesn’t exist or is debunked (ie. it’s the sun, it’s the urban heat effect etc). Yet, these characters, apparently, really do want proof, or so they say.

I have an old thermostat in my office, which no-one knew if it was working or if it was hooked into any air-conditioning unti. To test this, I had to adjust it. That’s fair enough, isn’t it?

Likewise, the only obvious solution would be for us reduce our CO2 emissions and develop industry devoted to reducing the concentration of CO2 already in the atmosphere. So far, the trend has been going only in one direction and that’s not enough for some people to feel certain about.

Therefore, I feel certain that if any of these so-called climate “sceptics” are at all legitimate and are not yet convinced by the one-way trend, they too would want to know if adjusting CO2 levels do in fact work in both directions, thereby proving conclusively whether or not the greenhouse is a real phenomena or not (although I have little doubt).  If we are to take such criticism seriously, it must be based on individuals who truly desire clarity and evidence. If more than a century of data and investigation hasn’t been enough, this must be the only logical next step.

As for anyone else who demand proof but reject this option as well as the mounting evidence on offer, well, I feel confident in concluding that they can simply be ignored, because theirs is agenda devoid of reason.

* This is another argument under the “Alarming Religion” list.

References

[1] http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-2-1.html
[2] http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
[3] http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/
[4] Amano, et al, 2010. A 250-year index of first flowering dates and its response to temperature change. Proc. R. Soc. B. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.0291
[5] Rosenzweig et al, 2008. Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change. Nature. 453(15):353-357. doi:10.1038/nature06937
[6] Thackeray et al, 2010. Tropic level asynchrony in rates of phenological change for marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02165.x
[7] http://www.seaci.org/publications/index.html

* A late note.
In the comments below, Roger has provided yet another example of this nonsensical argument provided by such people: (basics rather than the detail)

You once said that, now your saying this.

Indeed I did say that and I still believe that, but this is why I refined my argument…

Don’t write a novel, just answer the question.

I did!?!?

Quite clearly, this form of useless debate is simply one of the tools for inducing paralysis.

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13 responses to “Climate Deniers the Biggest Advocates for CO2 Emission Reduction?

  1. “I also don’t really care about the so-called “debate” over human induced climate change; it’ll all be irrelevant eventually anyway”

    You once said the above to me. Had a changing of the thought processes then have we?

    Cheers

    Roger

    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

    PS I would have thought with your incredible expertise and education, you would know the difference between proof and correlation.

    • One is allowed to have change of heart. Indeed this public debate is largely pointless, however, but you’ve missed the point entirely from the very beginning of our conversations.

      I’m not surprised that you have ignored the majority of my work up until now but obviously got your knickers in a knot over this piece. Selectivity is the most obvious trait of a denier.

      As for proof / correlation – indeed. However, we’re beyond much of that. Based on many independent sources of data and evidence we can have a high level of certainty regarding ACC, so it really doesn’t matter. What people like yourself do is distort, misinform and confuse. Look at what the generally public now say about “scientific certainty” or have long said “it’s just a theory” – largely the result of resistance to evolution by theologians.

      That said, I really won’t entertain any further discussion with someone who thinks “God” is the major climate force at hand. Write what you will about this on your site for the bewildered conspiracy theorists and don’t pollute this space with spam leading back to your nonsense.

      Cheers
      Moth

      • True to form,

        Instead of addressing my comment, (which really was mainly an observation) you write several volumes. Apart from the immediate personal attacks, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

        “As for proof / correlation – indeed. However, we’re beyond much of that. Based on many independent sources of data and evidence we can have a high level of certainty regarding ACC, so it really doesn’t matter.”

        Are you for real?

        I would be embarassed to write that.

        Cheers

        Roger

        Now be a good boy and try and answer me without a single personal attack. Far more convincing that way. :)

      • Typical you can’t change. That’s your last one.
        1) instead of addressing the original post, you just attack my position (as if it’s actually a weakness to refine one’s in light of new information)
        2) as mentioned above – you fail to find an error in the science of the post
        3) several volumes? If a couple hundred words is “volumes” to you, that explains a lot
        4) yes, I am for real. But that would result from being well informed.
        5) I’m embarrassed for you.
        6) I don’t owe you not to point out your flaws (or as you put it, a “personal attack”)
        7) convincing? Come on Roger – nothing on earth can convince you of something you don’t want to hear

        Again, go back to your little conspiracy corner and leave the grown-ups to talk about the problem at hand.

  2. when I didn’t read your post title correctly, I thought you were talking about how Big Oil was allegedly behind carbon emission reduction.

    Which are often 2 quote mined facts, that BP & Exxon Mobil being on both sides of the regulation preference, one prefers carbon tax, another prefers cap & trade, both prefer carbon freedom if that was an option.

  3. Hi Tim, you continue to rant on about “deniers” and distorting what sceptics lik eme say. I have said this many times before but you insist on ignoring it. Most of the sceptics that I know make absolutley no denial of climate change. We accept that changes hace occurred to the different global climates since the world began. Most of us also accept that CO2 is a “greenhouse gas” and rsults in a very small anount of global warming, but equating this with causing global climate change is like saying an apple is a pear.

    What we do not accept is that there is convincing evidence that our continuing use of fossil fuels to power the growth of our economies (especially the underdeveloped ones) will lead to catastrophic changes to those different global climates. You simply refuse to accept that there is a difference between that and denying climate change.

    You said in your response to Roger that “you fail to find an error in the science of the post”. What science did you present in this article of yours – or are you refering to something else?

    On Mike Kaulbars “Another Top International Climate Change Denier Silliness or Two!” thread (http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/another-top-international-denier-silliness-or-two/comment-page-1/#comment-9365) you made a couple of comments about me to which I tried to respond but Mike refuses to post comments from “deniers” that he doesn’t like but allows anything from “disciples”. I’ve previously complemented you on the fact that you do not censor the comments of others, even “deniers” like me so here is the comment of mine that Mike has left on moderation for days. You’ll be most interested in the part directed at you.

    QUOTE:

    REMOVED – I’m not you’re window to vent where others have barred you.

    Hi again Tim(othincarnate), I see that you persist in distorting what I say. You say “Interesting.. Pete’s moved on from denying climate change completely to now denying that it’s important” but you know full well that you will not be able to provide a single quote of mine where I deny climate change. What I repeatedly say or imply is that I have seen no convincing evidence that our continuing use of fossil fuels to power global economies (especially the underdeveloped ones) will lead to catastrophic global climate change. This is the reason that I keep referring to The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis. I also repeatedly acknowledge that the different global climates have changed, do change and will continue to change. What I deny is that humans have any significant impact upon those global climates.

    As I said on your “The future of the Climate Debate” thread (http://mothincarnate.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/the-future-of-the-climate-debate/) “please don’t distort what people say. I know that it is a common tactic of supporters of The Hypothesis but it does lower your credibility”. I appreciate that you did acknowledge that you do incorrectly claim I have said things when I have not but others will not have seen that acknowledgement and some (especially the gullible “disciples”) will just accept your distortions as truth.

    REMOVED

    UNQUOTE.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    • Careful Pete, you’ve had about as many warnings as Ol’ Roger here and I’d prefer, if it comes to it, to have to block him first as I dislike him more (you’re at least somewhat coherent).

      Fair call for me to include references (done so now), but honestly, this came from you?? I’ve provided the same or equivalent references to you previously, all of which you’ve ignored.

      “your “It is not for me to respond” seems to be your answer whenever you are challenged to offer a scientific argument”
      Come on Pete, is your bias that strong that you’ve completely ignored every reference to scientific literature that I’ve offered? Clearly, I’m wasting my time on you.

      I’m sorry, but I’ve had to cut your comments relating to the other post and to Mike, because there is a reason that he didn’t want it live, thus, it’s not fair for me to be your window. Post it on your own blog.

      So, let me clarify the rest of your bag of sugar-filled goodies:
      1) you do not question CO2’s role as a greenhouse gas (the radiative forcing?),
      2) you do not question the increase in atmospheric concentration of said gas due to human activity,
      3) you do not question the observed climate change (do this include things, such as the observed night warming trend being greater than day – ie. more trapped heat – and that over the past 30-40 years, the absorption of long wave radiation associated with CO2 and CH4 has noticeably increased? ie. Harries et al 2001 etc)
      4) you do not question the observes changes to bio-physical indicators of climate change
      5) you only question that 1 to 4 are at all related?

      Come on Pete

  4. Tim, let me clarify the last sentence of para. 1 of my previous comment before you jump in with mention of probable global climates without the benefits of the “greenhouse effect”. My comment, as usual, is directed at our emissions of CO2 through using fossil fuels.

    “Most of us also accept that CO2 is a “greenhouse gas” and that our emissions from using fossil fuels has resulted in a very small anount of extra global warming, but equating this with causing global climate change is like saying an apple is a pear.”

    Best regards, Pete

    • It might interest you, seeing as you’re convinced that anthropogenic climate change is nothing more than a scam to create a one world government, that here, on planet Earth, in reality as we know it, the world leaders don’t really share your scepticism. In fact, it seems from the leaked cables that they are more concerned about economic loss than whether or not the science is compelling (hint: it is and they know it too).
      Check out Mike’s coverage of it here and here.

  5. REMOVED – Not relevant, scientific or at all beneficial

  6. Hi Tim, thanks for adding the references in your article. The first three are not new to me , All of your other references are concerning the impacts of climate change not the causes. I can find nothing in them that provides convincing evidence that our use of fossil fuels causes significant global climate change. Ref. 5) bases its coinclusions on “ .. the conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely to be due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations”.

    If I missed something convincing then I’d appreciate you pointing to it specifically.

    Regarding your list of items:
    1) OK with that.
    2) I have long questioned the validity of the estimates made about past and present global mean atmospheric concentration of CO2. As of yesterday I have started questioning the contribution claimed to have been made through our use of fossil fuels (see “Slaying the Sky Dragon” section challenging the IPCC’s AR4 WG1 comments about C13/C12 in “The Physical Science Basis” (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_ipcc_fourth_assessment_report_wg1_report_the_physical_science_basis.htm) Page 139 (“Chapter 2. Changes in Atmospheric Constituents and in Radiative Forcing”).
    3) Once again you make the mistake of equating the claimed slight increase in mean global temperatures since the start of the industrial revolution with changes to the different global climates. Although temperature variations have a significant impact upon each of the different global climates, mean global temperature or changes in it does not equate to or dictate climate (or can you show otherwise?).
    4) OK with that
    5) I have never questioned “that 1 to 4 are at all related.

    As usual you choose to ignore important details in my comments, like “very small “ “catastrophic” “apple is a pear”.

    I repeat “What we do not accept is that there is convincing evidence that our continuing use of fossil fuels to power the growth of our economies (especially the underdeveloped ones) will lead to catastrophic changes to those different global climates. You simply refuse to accept that there is a difference between that and denying climate change”.

    REMOVED – pointless ad hominem remark

    And where does “dislike him more” come into what you claim is a scientific blog?

    You give the impression that you do not bother to read what I write, simply form an opinion about what you imagine that I said and respond on the basis of your opinion. Let me give an example. When I said “It is not for me to respond” I was clearly saying that to Mike Kaulbars, not you . If you had bothered to read the earlier comments on his thread before you joined in you would have seen that it was Mike Kaulbars who said “It is not for me to respond” and in my submission to your blog I made it absolutely clear that I was including my full submission to Mike’s thread that he has left on moderation. Once again Tim you have your nickers in a twist.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    • So ref 5. is invalid, in your eyes, because it’s based on the IPCC report? That’s pretty weak Pete.

      2) so, you question CO2 atmospheric concentration increase, in response to anthropogenic emissions of CO2 (seems a no brainer to me, I mean, how many tons of fossil carbon have we pulled from the ground and converted into a gas?) based on not the scientific literature, but yet another piece of grey literature that continues to confirm your bias (oh, and it’s a book subtitled “Death of the Greenhouse Theory” yet you don’t question the greenhouse gas theory?!?!), co-written by at least a few known misinformers… hmmmm…
      3) I mistake equating the observed increase in the global temperature anomaly to the observed climate shifts? Okay… That sounds ah… well…

      Again you pull out a strawman – like so many deniers, you use the loophole, “catastrophic”. It’s an ambiguous word and one I personally don’t use and finds itself in reducing use within academic circles. In fact, I agree with some of the paleo-biology work that suggests climatic events don’t necessarily correlate with extinction events. Species are good at adapting… when resilience is maintained. This is why I began my blog to argue conservation, rehabilitation and improving on our landscape use – not climate. I got drawn into climate debates because of the ill-informed, such as ol’ Roger here, who just can’t grasp the basics. That’s also why I developed the Innovation is Key piece – to outline that climate isn’t really the major problem, but will put increased pressure on many issues that we’ve already brought on ourselves. So statements like, “prove to me the reality of catastrophic climate change,” are stupid, meaningless and ultimately flawed / unprovable – giving a denier a false sense of accomplishment. Indeed it’s “apples and pears”.

      Thus, I don’t refuse to accept any difference, what we have is an illogical argument (ie. your “catastrophe”) or blatant denial. I feel confident to group the two to save me effort.

      This is a scientific blog. What, a scientist is not suppose to like/dislike? I thought I explained this… oh yes, I did: “you’re at least somewhat coherent”. Roger here employs the crudest denial tactics – nasty and pointless rhetoric. It’s not a sensible debate with him on any level but instead no different than two children hurling dirt rocks at each other. I gave him ample opportunity to act like an adult (as you’ve said yourself, I do try to give everyone a voice) but even his final statement was no different to what I was used to hearing, 20 years ago on the playground, nothing more. At least you have thought about some of it – albeit only elements that help strengthen your bias. At times it’s been illuminating and enjoyable to talk with you, however, for the most, that offering you literature is like trying to educate a rock, it’s been rather frustrating. You too, unlike Roger here, seem able to read more than a couple of lines. This is why I’m more accommodating to you.

      No, I don’t read all the comments in a thread – who would? Geez – look at some of the interactions between yourself and I. It would be pointless to most others to read through that! I found your comment interesting, so responded. It really doesn’t change a great deal. For instance, you’re happy to ignore as much science as possible. The mere mention of the IPCC gets your malfunctioning “communist/nazi/goblin” alarm firing. Why provide you the science – indeed how could anyone?

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