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 the word of ... well, just about everybody who would know.
Over at RealClimate today, they present and debunk another fraudulent reconstruction from German school-teacher-plays-skeptic-scientist E. G. Beck. First it was his groundbreaking (as in stick your head in the sand) work on CO2; now he turns his attention to temperature reconstructions for the past millennium. When bad science still doesn't get the result you want, why not spice it up with a bit of plain and simple fraud?
From the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA): An international poll finds widespread agreement that climate change is a pressing problem. This majority, however, divides over whether the problem of global warming is urgent enough to require immediate, costly measures or whether more modest efforts are sufficient. Read the rest at their website. One data point: 39 percent of Americans think global warming is an important threat, 46 percent think it is a critical threat, only 17 percent think it is not important at all.
This quote from Bertrand Russell just caught my eye: When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others. I think the climate change deniers would do very well to keep this in mind.
Check out a post from James Annan, who details how, out of 438 documents on Whitehouse.gov the contain the phrase "global warming," only a single one is returned when using the Whitehouse.gov search engine. Color me stupefied. It's almost like they are trying to hide something. On purpose even. Who'da thunk it? [Update] As most of you probably know, this may be one of those "don't attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence" moments. (see more detailed update here). I'd have to say that in analyzing the current Whitehouse policy on just about anything, figuring out which it is, malice or incompetence, is a black art. Of course, the end result is one and the same, from Katrina to Iraq to fiscal policies to the environment to homeland security to international diplomacy to...
Be sure to check out this week's compilation of global warming news, brought to you by H. E. Taylor each week via A Few Things Ill Considered. It is quite comprehensive, so if 300+ links intimidate you, here are a few highlights:
(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide) Objection: The United States absorbs more CO2 into its land than it emits into the air. The world should be grateful. Answer: As often the case, at the heart of this talking point is a grain of truth. But it does not serve the purpose for which it's been enlisted. According to the U.S. Department of Energy land-use changes in the U.S. between 1952 and 1992 have resulted in a net absorption of CO2. But this is only true of natural CO2 -- the natural flux of CO2 into and out of forests and peat bogs and soil, as well as carbon that's been sequestered as lumber and other wood products. These fluxes are actually much larger than anthropogenic emissions, but they go both ways, whereas fossil fuel burning only emits carbon.
(Part of the How to Talk to a Global Warming Skeptic guide) Objection: The kind of drastic actions required to mitigate global warming risk the destruction of the global economy and the deaths of potentially billions of people. Answer: Is this supposed to mean the theory of anthropogenic global warming must be wrong? You can not come to a rational decision about the reality of a danger by considering how hard it might be to avoid. First things first: understand that the problem is real and present.
Seeing as Grist likes to bring humor to environmental issues, I figure, why not art? So here is a climate-change-debate-inspired bit of original digital art. It is entitled "Global Warming on Enceladus (v. 1)."