Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Coby Beck's Posts

Comments

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 …

Read more: Uncategorized

Comments

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 "crimes against humanity." This is a mockery of free speech, the antithesis of scientific investigation, and a clear indication that global warming "science" is just another religious persecution like the Catholic Church's persecution of Galileo. Answer: The accusation is simply false. James Hansen never called for punishment of climate skeptics. This urban myth is likely a deliberate misreading of his actual testimony, designed to turn …

Comments

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 in, yet another "correction" quietly contradicted this, and October was not particularly warm after all. This is yet another example of why the temperature record can not be trusted. Answer: Wow. Where to begin with this one? There are many versions of this myth around already at the time of writing (November 2008) and there will undoubtedly be many more as time goes by. They …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

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 losing their shirts. The original article is posted below: If you've been following the widespread coverage related to the upcoming election, you have likely been hearing about the rising cost of energy and the need for alternative sources of energy and fuel. At the surface, it may seem as though the energy debate is solely an economic issue, but when you become aware of the …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

‘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 is over 5000 degrees C! It's pretty far fetched to think a few parts per million of CO2 can have a bigger effect that all that heat! Answer: Although there is nothing wrong with the statement that the Earth is truly very hot at its center (actually as hot as the surface of the sun) the notion that it is a significant source of heat …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

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 alarmists. Yet another wheel falls off the global warming bandwagon. Answer: It is true that the minimum summer ice extent in the arctic ocean in 2008 was 9.4 percent higher than the minimum in 2007. But calling this a recovery is simply not justifiable, not by a long shot. Firstly, at 4.52 million square kilometers, this measurement is 2.24 million square kilometers below the average …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

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 what about that so called consensus? Answer: The APS has not reversed its position on climate change: Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes. The …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

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 upper atmosphere absorb outgoing long-wave radiation from the surface and reradiate it back, thereby warming the climate. But the upper atmosphere is colder than the lower atmosphere and the surface and the second law of thermodynamics clearly requires that heat flow from warmer areas of a system to colder ones, the opposite direction that greenhouse theory requires. The cooler atmosphere can not radiate energy to …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

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 see that in one year alone global temperatures dropped .6°C, an amount equal to the entire warming over the 20th century claimed by the IPCC.   Answer: This argument represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between weather and climate. Climate is generally defined as the weather conditions averaged over a long period, usually around 30 years. One can not discern a trend in climate …

Read more: Climate & Energy

Comments

Arguing from authority

Articles about climate skeptics

Even while rejecting the authority of the most comprehensive and reviewed scientific document on any subject, namely the IPCC report, one of the most common climate delusionist tactics is the argument from authority. Whether it is Alexander Cockburn responding to George Monbiot or some anonymous person on some blog, everyone has some personal "scientist" friend who assures them the rest of the world has gone mad. When an argument from authority is invoked it is perfectly legitimate to then examine said authority's, um ... authority, to see if there is really a good reason we should take their word over …

Read more: Climate & Energy