Coby Beck

Former musician, turned tree planter, turned software engineer. Same old story... I have been blogging about climate change since 2006 at A Few Things Ill Considered.

A roomful of cynics

A look at the non-experts speaking at Heartland Institute's denialist sideshow

When the science behind Gore's CO2 "hockey stick" slaps you down, there's nothing like indulging in old-fashioned denialism. What is to be done when the world's leading experts in a field come together in the largest, most extensively peer-reviewed inquiry in the history of science and arrive at a conclusion that is diametrically opposed to your own long-held worldview? Most of us would reevaluate our ideas so they actually mesh with reality. That's called learning. But if you are the staunchly "free market," anti-regulation think tank called the Heartland Institute and the conclusion is that humanity must cooperate to get the world out of a worsening climate crisis ... well, then what you do is simply manufacture a conclusion that is more to your liking. Make no mistake, this is what the Heartland Institute's "International Conference on Climate Change" is all about. Set to begin Sunday in New York, the gathering's guest list includes the standard roster of "scientist-denialists" -- a large group of "experts" who have never published a single peer-reviewed study in their lives, along with a handful of fringe researchers who do (though rarely) publish in the field of climate science. The conference tagline is: "Global Warming: was it ever really a crisis?" and the conclusion is predetermined. "Was it ever a crisis?" ... as if it isn't right now. By conception, the Heartland gathering seeks to establish itself as an authoritative gathering of genuine experts in climate science. The claim the Heartland Institute makes is pretty simple: "more than 70 of the world's elite scientists specializing in climate issues" will be there. So, Heartland says to the unsuspecting, the experts are all coming to this event, and they all say there is nothing to worry about. That actually makes the whole charade pretty easy to unmask. We don't have to examine every particular scientific or pseudo-scientific argument that will be advanced during the conference (that's been done repeatedly), because the whole thrust of this conference is about who is attending, not what they are saying.

Hansen wants the skeptics thrown in jail–Did James Hansen really want to try the climate skeptics?

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide)   Objection: In his June 23, 2008 testimony before the United States Congress, James Hansen called for the punishment of climate change skeptics for …

October 2008, yet another phony record

Was there another breathless announcement of another phony record, and another quiet retraction?

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide) Objection: In October 2008, Al Gore’s science adviser, James Hansen announced yet another “hottest” month on record. After all the alarmist banner headlines sank …

It was asbestos times, it was the worst of times ...

Oil refineries are full of asbestos, not just carbon

I received this article about the connection between mesothelioma cancer and oil refineries via email along with a request to share it. As we continue to rely on oil, some will face worse consequences than …

‘Global warming comes from within’–Is heat at the Earth’s core the real cause of global warming?

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide) Objection: We all live on a thin crust that floats on a huge ball of molten iron, and at its core, the Earth’s temperature …

Summer ice in the Arctic has recovered–Was the Arctic ice retreat a climate anomaly?

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide) Objection: Sea ice at the north pole recovered a whopping 9.4 percent from 2007 to 2008 despite the doom and gloom predictions of the …

The American Physical Society denies the so-called consensus

Is the American Physical Society a crack in the climate change consensus?

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide) Objection: The American Physical Society with tens of thousands of member scientists no longer believes that the science of global warming is conclusive. So …

Greenhouse theory violates the laws of thermodynamics

Is the IPCC so wrong their theories contradict a basic laws of physics?

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide) Objection: The so called “Greenhouse Effect” which is the underpinning of the entire theory of anthropogenic global warming claims that greenhouse gases in the …

Temperatures plummeted in 2008

In 2008, did temperatures drop as much as they rose over the whole 20th century?

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic guide)   Objection: Temperatures plummeted over the last year (2007-2008). If you look at this data from the Met Office Hadley Centre you can clearly …

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