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[News] Global Warming: Media Hype ?

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DeeperBlue.com Editorial
Apr 7, 2006
Is there a scientific consensus regarding global warming, or is it a media mantra with little basis where the science is actually done? Newly-published analysis and commentary from the (U.S.) National Center for Policy Analysis is available here.


This is an news discussion thread for discussing the following DeeperBlue.net News item: Click here for original DeeperBlue.net News Item
“Global Cooling” Was Just as Realistic: Several publications warned in the 1970s that global cooling posed a major threat to the food supply. Now, remarkably, global warming is also considered a threat to the very same food supply.

Glaciers Are Growing or Shrinking: The media continue to point to glaciers as a sign of climate change, but they have used them as examples of both cooling and warming.

Global Warming History Ignored: The media treat global warming like it’s a new idea. In fact, British amateur meteorologist G. S. Callendar argued that mankind was responsible for heating up the planet with carbon dioxide emissions – in 1938. That was decades before scientists and journalists alerted the public about the threat of a new ice age.

New York Times the Worst: Longtime readers of the Times could easily recall the paper claiming “A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable,” along with its strong support of current global warming predictions. Older readers might well recall two other claims of a climate shift back to the 1800s – one an ice age and the other warming again. The Times has warned of four separate climate changes since 1895.


Global Warming now and a few years ago Global Cooling ?

Most of the environmentalists propaganda is based on junk science and the only thing all of them have in common is the absolute hate of the western culture and the incessant anti-western anti-american ranting. Ultimately this has very little to do with environmental science and everything to do with extrimist leftwing politics.
The Washington Times is owned by Rev. Moon's Unification Church.

The NCPA is not a government agency but a privately funded think tank..

I agree there is misuse and distortion of information among non-scientific groups - the two institutions involved in this article are both cases in point and can hardly be regarded as credible sources for anything other than views supporting the premises upon which they are founded.
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Haven't you been listening to your Republican Governor? The debate is over. Your criticism of the US media is justified - they only give what the general public wants to hear. They have said that themselves over and over. Hey, they are businesses. What do you expect?
As for the science, the basics are elementary school level. Blow bubbles (a higher percentage of CO2 than the ambient air) in a glass and watch the pH go down. Put more insulation in your walls and watch your house retain more heat. What's so hard to understand? Arne is right - face it.
I saw your photos - well done. What camera are you using?
I heard an interesting anology of global warming.... you don't look at a growing child.. who at 1 year old is 25 inches tall, and at 15 years old is 5 feet tall and say to yourself, at this rate in another 30 years the child will be 15 feet tall.
Well - everything's an hypothesis until it happens to you; right?

The Inuit have some interesting things to say on the issue. But everyone knows they're just a bunch of liberal extremists. After all, like so many people; they are not us.
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" ...The Inuit have some interesting things to say on the issue. ...After all, like so many people; they are not us. ...."

It is amazing how you were able to work the "racist angle" in to the argument about " global warming". You think that added to your credibilty ? Yes, when in doubt play the race card, - left's modus operendi.

What's next ? Will you be quoting the marxist propaganda from the socialistworker.com and then accuse the scientists who disagree with you of fascism ? LOL!

Thanks for the good laugh !
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Science vs. Propaganda

The AP article quotes Robert Correll, the chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment group. It appears from the article that Correll has a personal relationship with Gore, having viewed the film at a private screening at the invitation of the former Vice President. In addition, Correll’s reported links as an “affiliate” of a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that provides “expert testimony” in trials and his reported sponsorship by the left-leaning Packard Foundation, were not disclosed by AP. See http://www.junkscience.com/feb06.htm

The AP also chose to ignore Gore’s reliance on the now-discredited “hockey stick” by Dr. Michael Mann, which claims that temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere remained relatively stable over 900 years, then spiked upward in the 20th century, and that the 1990’s were the warmest decade in at least 1000 years. Last week’s National Academy of Sciences report dispelled Mann’s often cited claims by reaffirming the existence of both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. See Senator Inhofe’s statement on the broken “Hockey Stick.” (http://epw.senate.gov/pressitem.cfm?party=rep&id=257697 )

Gore’s claim that global warming is causing the snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro to disappear has also been debunked by scientific reports. For example, a 2004 study in the journal Nature makes clear that Kilimanjaro is experiencing less snowfall because there’s less moisture in the air due to deforestation around Kilimanjaro.

Here is a sampling of the views of some of the scientific critics of Gore:

Professor Bob Carter, of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia, on Gore’s film:

"Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention."

"The man is an embarrassment to US science and its many fine practitioners, a lot of whom know (but feel unable to state publicly) that his propaganda crusade is mostly based on junk science." – Bob Carter as quoted in the Canadian Free Press, June 12, 2006

Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, wrote:

“A general characteristic of Mr. Gore's approach is to assiduously ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse.” - Lindzen wrote in an op-ed in the June 26, 2006 Wall Street Journal

Gore’s film also cites a review of scientific literature by the journal Science which claimed 100% consensus on global warming, but Lindzen pointed out the study was flat out incorrect.

“…A study in the journal Science by the social scientist Nancy Oreskes claimed that a search of the ISI Web of Knowledge Database for the years 1993 to 2003 under the key words "global climate change" produced 928 articles, all of whose abstracts supported what she referred to as the consensus view. A British social scientist, Benny Peiser, checked her procedure and found that only 913 of the 928 articles had abstracts at all, and that only 13 of the remaining 913 explicitly endorsed the so-called consensus view. Several actually opposed it.”- Lindzen wrote in an op-ed in the June 26, 2006 Wall Street Journal.

Roy Spencer, principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, wrote an open letter to Gore criticizing his presentation of climate science in the film:

“…Temperature measurements in the arctic suggest that it was just as warm there in the 1930's...before most greenhouse gas emissions. Don't you ever wonder whether sea ice concentrations back then were low, too?”- Roy Spencer wrote in a May 25, 2006 column.

Former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball reacted to Gore’s claim that there has been a sharp drop-off in the thickness of the Arctic ice cap since 1970.

"The survey that Gore cites was a single transect across one part of the Arctic basin in the month of October during the 1960s when we were in the middle of the cooling period. The 1990 runs were done in the warmer month of September, using a wholly different technology,” –Tim Ball said, according to the Canadian Free

Pretty biased links you threw up there Roy to support your point. It seems that your 'junk science' guy works for FOX news- or should I say FAUX news.rofl

You also listed some government website for your data but you only took postings from the Majority (republican) page and ignored the information on the minority (democrat) page. Not very fair and balanced there. ;)

I guess we know whose using subjective data to support their ideology now. ;)


That hadn't occurred to me. (the 'race card')

I was thinking more in terms of people who may actually be experiencing the impact of global warming - because they do live up there in the arctic - and because they have a long cultural history in the area and their lifestyle is undergoing some pretty intense changes right now.

My intention was to point out how short our attention spans are - comparitively - and how we are, culturally, all about expediency and not much about the long view. Tangentally I was alluding to the trend in politics to value opinions based on the political impact of the demographic they represent as distinct from their factual merit or lack thereof.

I don't, personally, have a position on global warming. I do wonder why so many big corporations and really angry sounding groups of people want me not to think about it. Just as I question views expressed by anyone employing autosuggestion, hidden premises, programmed catch phrases and other opinion engineering technologies in their writing - it makes me think they lack confidence in their arguments. In addition to the degrading presumptions about their audience that are, to my mind, implicit in the use of such techniques.

My reply to Fjohnson was harsh - I don't think the analogy is germaine - but I had no business coming across with so much attitude and I apologize.
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I like to step away from the "my facts / your facts" side of this issue and approach it from a different angle. Although both sides may potentially have something to gain (notoriety; ego; etc) from being "right" about this issue, one of those sides (the fossil-fuel industry) has much more to lose. It makes perfect sense to me, that they would distort, fabricate, or attack any efforts made to subvert their profits. That's business; I can understand (albeit not condone) that type of response. What isn't as clear to me is why so many people who stand to gain nothing, so vehemently attack the hypothesis of global warming. Seems to me, that they would have much more to lose if the hypothesis is correct. You suppose this is more "gotta support the team" mentality? Have the politicians succeeded in making us all completely incapable of independent thought?

I'm still weighing the facts for myself... But, given the stakes, I would prefer to error on the side of caution. Even if it turns out that the theory in its entirety is wrong, what will our descendants think of us when they read that we never cared enough about their future to tread lightly? I'd rather be cautious and wrong than selfish and lucky.
Jon said:
I guess we know whose using subjective data to support their ideology now. ;)

I guess you are willing to tolerate junk science, blatant propganda and bias only when they come from the left ? What's good for goose .... is good for the .. (fill in the blanks) ? LOL!
Roy here thinks only in "left" or "right", but there's no left or right with the fact that the current atmospheric percentage of CO2 is at 385 parts per million and has been rising steadily since 1957 when continual measurements began to be taken in Hawaii. If you've ever been to an academic conference, you know there is a lot more going on here with scientists than just science. It's a lot about egos, and sometimes even politics. If you want a balanced assessment of the issue, check Michael McElroy's lecture series, "Global Warming, Global Threat" put out by the Modern Scholar. People like Roy will be put off because McElroy is a Harvard professor. Those on the left will be put off because he criticizes the Kyoto Protocol. You'll find out that that there's more to this than CO2, but you'll also find out that it's a real threat. I'd certainly trust him more than I'd trust Michael Crichton.
I remember well that when I was a young man in the 1970's, all dewey-eyed Caring People (and the hordes of academic scientists who had grant proposals to pitch to foundations and government agencies) were in total consensus: the Earth was to be covered by a sheet of ice as a New Ice Age overcame us by the end of the 20th Century.

They were every bit as certain of this as the present-day global warming true believers are of anthropogenic global warming. Then, as now, the solutions offered boiled down to higher taxes and more government control of everything human beings do. More government control -guided by the self-appointed Enlightened. Like in Revenge of the Nerds. Virtually all of my Ivy League university professors recited this dirge at every opportunity - which in the context of neuroanatomy practica often seemed a bit odd.

Yawn. Heard this song before. Aren't there any others on the playlist ?

Actual science is much more interesting. I'm particularly charmed by those investigators who are able to distinguish between their models, and those things the models are meant to model. They are less prone to embarrassing forecasts, like that of the fellow in 1898 whose caluclations convinced him -and several New York newspaper editors- that all of Manhattan would be under 2 meters of horse manure by 1906.

In retrospect, the New Ice Age would have come along just in time to mitigate the dung disaster, eh ?
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I think that guy was right about New York.

Have you read Velikovsky? In his book 'World's in Collision' he made predictions based on some far reaching hypotheses concerning the Long Day and Long Night reported in opposite areas of the world - in the Bible and Incan ruins - anyway - part of all that concerned the origins of the planet venus. Velikovsky made predictions concerning the temperature of venus and was eviscerated by the scientific community - virtually all of whom - including the famous Carl Sagan - based their opinions on the viewpoint of one astrophysicist who - as a matter of fact - had judged Velikovsky's book without ever even looking at it! Turns out he was dead-on about venus.

Anyway - I was just musing to myself. Back in the 70s there was this big push for gas mileage - probably triggered by the Oil embargo. All that got undone with massive government subsidies for the Oil Industry. But if that trend had been allowed to continue...

A good question is government control of what? Right now we have corporate control of government and government is primarily concerned with manipulating public opinion. We've got these idiots debating about things like a man taking his wife off life support. So, we just drive our SUVs and, when the Oil runs out - have a war to get more.
Don't know what the weather is like in LA or Miami right now, but winters are becoming a thing of the past in my neck of the woods. When I was young we always had a ton of snow, and cold weather, to ski in all winter long. This past winter was so warm that many of the scuba divers I know had to cancel their ice dives up here- and we only barely got ours in! Lake Wazee never fully froze and everyone ended up doing openwater dives in the middle of winter instead of driving out onto ice thick enough to park a semi on. This was not a one year anomaly, it's been getting progressively worse for more than two decades. We used to be home to the largest XC ski race in the country, the Birkebiner, and they have had to reroute, cut short, or just flat out cancel it in the past few years.

UNIRDNA has a day job collecting ice and water samples from all the surrounding lakes to enter them into a data base for our local scientists- as well as getting to do the odd job for NASA scientists looking to check ice thickness from space. He could tell you much more about it, since he's out there every day, but one thing I have found interesting is the lake freeze/thaw dates that he has collected, and which the university has cataloged back well over 100 years. It seems that we now have a lot less ice around here than we used to.

Talk about theories all you want but I know what we see on the ground, and in the water, around here.

I see that Exxon mobile just got busted for making an Al Gore parody flick and tried to pass it off on the net as some high school kid playing around on his home computer. Like I would trust any of their scientists when their lobbying groups pull off that kind of silliness.rofl

BTW: I also remember when tobacco scientists did studies that proved smoking wasn't harmful to you. ;)

It seems to me our kids have a lot more to lose by our increased consumption, and waste, than if we went overboard to try and clean things up- might even mean cleaner lakes for us to spearfish in around here.

Media? Don't ask the media, just open your window, smell the air and forget about the media.
As a senior editor in a daily newspaper, they pay me to decide what's worth to be published or not, which news are to be boosted or not. Well, I don't really decide: I just pick from the menu. Back on topic, nor me or any of my colleagues ever sustained any pressure from "above" towards warming or non warming positions. For sure some big media groups are related to lobbies who DO have interest to deny that any warming is going on. But the group I work for is quite indepedent from that, and no such campaing is carried on in our pages.
The point is: being so "independent" (...are we?...), my colleagues and me could be in an excellent position to give a honest information about changing weather issues. But we can't, because we don't know for sure what is going on. We're not scientists, we just report what is said by the so called "experts".
Ours is a silly job: as reporters, we don't take any position about right or wrong, we just select news and comments who can "catch" the readers' attention to make our daily paper be amazing (or amusing?). Yes, amazing, amusing, as if it were Mickey Mouse and not a source of information and culture as it's supposed to be: like it or not, that's it.
BTW: the upper Mediterranean sea is getting full with barracudas and parrot fish nowadays. Ten years ago they didn't exist in these waters. Is this a warming or non warming thing?
I am an ocean scientist... Global warming is a reality. There is evidence which supports the fact that global parameters (as a whole) are changing towards a warming climate at a faster-than-normal rate (when compared to our records of climate from our last 100,000 years). This is most evident by the increase in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere which is probably the fastest rise in CO2 - a powerful greenhouse gas - the earth has ever seen. This is also supported by the increase in ocean temperature, increase in atmospheric temperature, increase in ocean acidity, decrease in the extent and duration of polar ice caps - both in the Arctic and Antarctic... the list goes on.

Remember, global warming is a phenomenom which is occurring to the globe as a whole, as an average. So temperatures can be cooling and glaciers thickening in some parts of the world, but other parts are warming to an even larger degree, therefore the average is global warming.

As for the analogy of global warming for being similar to the age of a child and his/her height, I think it is not quite the same. Humans, and other organisms grow to maturity, at which point the structural growth slows. The earth is not like that, and carbon dioxide is not like that. While it is true that if we reduce/halt carbon dioxide emissions, there will be some point in time carbon dioxide will diffuse out of the atmosphere and organisms (plants) will utilize carbon dioxide until it is back to "baseline" concentrations. But the rate of these "loss" processes has been estimated to be 1000's of years (based on the dissapation of radioactive carbon which was injected into the atmosphere throught the use of atomic weapons/ and weapons-testing). It appears that the "gain" for carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is much larger than the "loss." It is not to say that this period of warming will not reverse, there are many scenarios in which this could occur.

Lastly, I want to make it clear that it is not unnatural for the earth to warm and cool. It is part of a natural cycle, which occurs on many timescales, one of which is familiar to most of us is glaciation and deglaciation cycles, driven by the eccentricity (relative tilt) of the Earth. On 10,000 year time scales, the earth warms and cools. There are many examples of warm/cool periods. There is a key difference in these "natural" warming/cooling periods... The Earth has not warmed at a rate as fast as it is now, and it was not caused by greenhouse gas emission into the atmospher by one species. Organisms are very adept at making changes gradually over time periods, and most organisms are unable to cope with such a large change (in terms of finding new habitat, coping with shifts in temperature, rises in sea level).

The future of the Earth is very uncertain, there are predictions which run the gamut, but I think I speak for most of us, that I would rather do as much as I can to slow the rate of warming, as humans, to reduce the possibilty of an ecosystem catastrophe. I don't mean to tread on anyone's beliefs, but I wanted to get the scientific facts out there. I am a scientist, I conduct experiments and examine data to separate out and understand the components of natural processes. Most scientists have a hard time commnicating scientific evidence and I hope that I have been helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

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pkotik said:
Yawn. Heard this song before. Aren't there any others on the playlist ?


You have succinctly demonstrated my point perfectly. You have slammed down a hypothesis because others may have made incorrect assessments in the past. Your argument is based on nothing other than your ability to wield sarcasm. This style does nothing to persuade, it only curries favor among others who already share your opinion.

Modeling has improved. Science has improved, and continues to improve. Those in the past, who may have been incorrect re: certain controversial hypotheses, were still likely trying to help avoid a catastrophy. Although such predictions, if incorrect, can inconvenience our schedules, I don't see how they warrant such derision.

It's almost as if we think we can will the truth by our words without reviewing the hypothesis in whole.

Since my first post, I have followed through on stingraydd's advice, and I checked out a couple point/counterpoint articles from the campus library.

The only thing I'm 100% sure of is that when/if the correct hypothesis comes along re: a global catastophy, someone [with no information, but lots and lots of sarcasm] will be there to say it's all crap, and he will surely find company.

Acknowlegding that you don't know everything, is the best first step to discovering the truth. An open, yet sceptical analysis of the facts is what we need - not sardonic critiques.
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I'd be fascinated by any evidence you can point me to of US government subsidies to oil companies. I do know that in the US, state and local governments tax consumers on every gallon of gasoline they buy. Since these governments don't provide the capital which makes it possible to make gasoline available at the retail pump, it seems to me that it is the oil companies which subsidize governments, rather than the other way around.

My recommendation to people who feel threatened by corporations is to join the 70% of Americans who own shares in them. That is, if you don't already. Anybody with any savings of any kind probably does, either directly or at once removed.
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