Global Warming: Man or Myth?

Scientists can also wear their citizen hats

How to Talk to a Conservative about Climate Change

with 28 comments

I spend a lot of time posting comments on blogs to convince people that humans are causing global warming and the impacts could be costly.  I have noticed that people of conservative/libertarian political orientation are generally unconvinced and often respond quite emotionally.  A study by Kahan, et al. (2007) called The Second National Risk and Culture Study: Making Sense of – and Making Progress In – The American Culture War of Fact ( reveals the reason.  Individuals who do not like the solution to a problem will deny that there is a problem.  However, if the solution offered is acceptable to those same individuals, the problem becomes real.

Conservatives abhor regulation and increased government spending (higher taxes).  Combating global warming entails both so it makes sense that some conservatives will deny there is a problem.  If conservatives are shown how climate change impacts their world view, perhaps they might get on board. 

Military and intelligence organizations from several countries are already considering the negative effects of climate change.  For example, the U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) published a study titled The Age of Consequences: The Foreign Policy and National Security Implications of Global Climate Change.  This 124 page document can be downloaded at:    Gwynne Dyer in his book Climate Wars also details the geopolitical impact of climate change.

The blurb below is what I thought would resonate with conservatives.  My hope is that some of you will be able to help me to crystallize these issues and perhaps add others that you think are needed.  Once we fine-tune this blurb, we can all use it when faced with a skeptical conservative.


In a “business as usual” scenario where emissions of GHGs continue to rise, the following consequences are realistic:  increased immigration, higher food costs, greater government subsidies (higher taxes), higher insurance rates, increased authoritarian governments, increased terrorism, nuclear proliferation in Arab states, and regional and global wars between countries with nuclear weapons.

  1. Due to expanding drought, ever-increasing numbers of immigrants enter the U.S. from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean creating political turmoil and dividing the nation.  Securing the border will be expensive and will divert military resources from abroad at a time when tensions are running high around the world.
  2. Due to increasing and wide-spread drought and frequent flooding, crop failures increase the cost for food to the general public and massive government subsidies (charity) must be used to prop up the collapsing agriculture industry thus increasing taxes on the general public.
  3. Agriculture may end in central California as rivers fail due to the lack of summer snowmelt from the Sierra and Rocky Mountains.
  4. Fisheries worldwide collapse as oceans acidify, corals bleach and die, and coastal wetlands are destroyed by inundation.  Food costs rise and there will be political pressure to subsidize the failing fishing industry – a cost that average citizens will bear.
  5. Rising sea levels flood our largest ports.  Stronger hurricanes batter the coast and heavy floods inundate cities and communities along our major rivers.  Insurance rates rise and taxes increase to pay for the recovery and to move ports inland.
  6. In Latin America, severe climate change will likely lead to fewer democratic governments and more “Chavez-like” ones.
  7. Authoritarian regimes will become increasingly popular in Europe, especially in Russia, as these types of politicians will exploit people’s misery and direct anger toward the US which caused much of the global warming.
  8. Fundamentalists Islamic groups will increasingly gain support from desperate people who wish to punish the US for causing their misfortunes.  What costs will we bear to combat the terrorism that undoubtedly results?
  9. Increased regional and global wars are likely.  Will the US stand by and watch or will we be plunged into several wars?  Areas of concern:
  • Nuclear-armed India will be under ever increasing political pressure to shut down the mass emigration from Bangladesh as that country increasingly gets inundated by sea-level rise and increased storm surges from stronger cyclones.  As India moves troops toward the east, will Pakistan saber-rattle to the west?
  • Iraq, Syria, and Turkey fight over Turkey’s control of the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, further destabilizing the fragile Middle East.
  • Arab countries increase their nuclear capabilities to desalinate water and, in doing so, proliferate nuclear weapons to protect their dwindling resources.
  • Rivers fed by glaciers in the Tibetan Plateau (Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Salween, Mekong, and Yangtze) will initially flood due to rapid glacial melt but will eventually dwindle thus causing water shortages to billions of people during summer when needed most.  This will lead to food shortages and cross-border conflicts between NUCLEAR nations such as China, India, and Pakistan. 
  • Will India redirect water away from Pakistan to feed its own people?  Will Pakistan use nukes to rest this resource back?
  • When China faces massive food shortages, will China move on a Siberia made agriculturally more productive from global warming?  China needs to feed its billions and Russia must defend its borders.  Tensions will be high between these two nuclear superpowers.

Mitigating the impact of climate change will be expensive but it appears that doing nothing at all could be far more costly in terms of food costs and more taxes, increased terrorism against the US, and the lives of our sons and daughters as they are sent to fight in the increasing numbers of conflicts around this warmer world.

Written by Scott Mandia

December 22, 2009 at 11:14 am

Posted in Uncategorized

28 Responses

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  1. Woops, big waste of time here.
    Climate change has nothing to do with conservatism.

    Mandia: Actually it does. If you read the study The Second National Risk and Culture Study: Making Sense of – and Making Progress In – The American Culture War of Fact linked in this post, you will see that conservatives as a group are the most reluctant to trust the science. That study also shows that their distrust for the science stems from their belief that the solutions are not aligned with their ideology.


    December 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    • Conservatism is limited government and literal following of the constitution, nothing more, nothing less. Science fluorishes on its own merits in a free society.


      December 24, 2009 at 8:11 am

      • “That study also shows that their distrust for the science stems from their belief that the solutions are not aligned with their ideology.”

        Trusting the science is one thing, trusting the scientist is yet another.


        January 10, 2010 at 9:00 am

  2. In addition to the nation specific consequences, there is the risk of a large increase in the number of failed states with multiple flow on consequences and additional sources of international unrest

    If Climate Change becomes too destructive, there is the potential for new terrorist threats that aren’t religion based but revenge based. ‘You bastards in the West did this to us. So you can share the pain”

    In addition to water threats from melting glaciers and AGW, there is also the inexorable decline of ground water reserves, particularly in India and China, but also the USA. If agriculture is hit in places like California due to AGW, this will only increase the pressure on things like the Oglallah Aquifer under the plains states.

    Lester Brown at the Earth Policy Institute has written about some of these things. Not necessarily a name you might want to drop to convince a conservative audience but his ideas are worth reading.

    Mandia: Thank you. These are definitely going to be in the first revision.

    Glenn Tamblyn

    December 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm

  3. Also, in your list of rivers, don’t forget the Yellow river. The impact in Northern China will probably be more profound than in the south.

    Also, China along with a number of other countries is buying/leasing land and other resources around the world. Not just to meet its needs now but as a safeguard for the future. What happens in the future when they start to use this to supply their own country with resources from these holdings in preference to the host country. What sort of political, military and civil disorder issues arise then?

    And problems won’t just be ‘out there’. In our globalised world, everything is connected so a problem somewhere else will become a problem at home. After several generations living in the cocoon of the Consumer Society, how tough and resilient will the citizens of the USA (or my own Australia) be in the face of declines within our own societies?

    As a general meme, once the world goes over the threshhold on resource depletion due to AGW, Population and Water Supply, the planet could turn feral and our capacity to tackle, manage and solve problems can be eroded away. When everything is perpetual crisis you never get to actually solve things. Prevention is the only viable strategy. And this is a National Defense issue. Contrast the cost of dealing(or not) with AGW against the Defense Budget. Not just that we might have to spend more on Defense (in the Military sense). But rather that spending on preventing AGW IS the Defense Budget.

    Mandia: Gwynne Dyer raised these points in his book Climate Wars. When countries are fighting over dwindling resources there is little hope that the world will come together to fix the problem. That is why action is required now.

    Glenn Tamblyn

    December 22, 2009 at 4:56 pm

  4. Speaking a libertarian, this part jumped out at me:“Conservatives abhor regulation and increased government spending (higher taxes). Combating global warming entails both…”

    You might have a better chance of achieving your goals if you fleshed out that last part. To wit: Liberals often seem to assume away the difficulties of getting government to be a help rather than a hindrance. They assume that if the battle is won and everybody agrees that money must be spent and regulations must be passed, that we’ll somehow just naturally manage to get the right spending and regulation, though a fair chunk of past experience argues against that conclusion. Why do you think that in this case giving more power and money to the government is likely to help more than it hurts? Not why it could in theory help if administered by perfectly wise and benevolent bureaucrat-gods, but why you think it actually will help when administered by the sort of fallible, corruptible, ignorant officials we’ve actually got. Maybe you could start by addressing why you think the US still has an ethanol mandate and what would prevent your preferred program from eventually turning into something like that but on a vastly larger scale – a way to enrich certain special interest groups at the expense of other groups while failing to address any of the stated problems it’s allegedly aimed at or even while making them worse.

    (Another good example: the sulfur dioxide scrubber mandate)

    The Green Lantern Theory of geopolitics says the US can get any foreign-policy outcome they want if we just want it badly enough, but the same dynamic can be seen just as clearly when we try to aim government at fixing the world’s perceived problems related to health care or schooling or the environment. Libertarian political theory has a stock phrase to cover this: “utopia is not an option”. You apparently have a vision of the future in which government “solves” the CO2 problem; that is your utopia. Tell us why you see it as an option. Tell us why we should expect the War on CO2 to be more successful in terms of achieving its desired end than were the War on Drugs or the War on Poverty or the War on Terror or No Child Left Behind.

    If enough clever people thought about it from a public choice perspective they might be able to come up with clever mechanisms that get the underlying incentives right. If so, and if you then committed to only supporting climate change regulatory structures that contained those mechanisms, that would be a huge improvement but as it is, it seems like people “on your side” tend to favor things like Kyoto no matter how useless or expensive they might be as being “a step in the right direction”; that sort of magical thinking is never going to convince a government skeptic that you’re making progress toward a solution that might actually work.

    In short, more emphasis on the exact nature of your “solution to the problem”, less emphasis on reatating your reasons for thinking the problem exists.

    Oh, and if you *really* want to convince conservatives that you’ve solved the institutional reasons they should be skeptical about your proposed government solution, there’s an easy way to do that: repeal the ethanol mandate.

    Mandia: Glen, I really do not have a “side” regarding politics nor do I think governments are efficient. My primary goal is to get people on board with the fact that climate change is a problem that is going to get worse and more costly with time. Once voters realize the impact that climate change will have on their lives, I think they will put more pressure on their elected officials to control GHG emissions and to promote greener technologies and energy conservation. With no will from the public there can be no will from government.

    Glen Raphael

    December 22, 2009 at 5:17 pm

  5. I was noting an odd tension in your original post. The very first part that you boldfaced was: Individuals who do not like the solution to a problem will deny that there is a problem. However, if the solution offered is acceptable to those same individuals, the problem becomes real. “ You seem to think this point is relevant to convincing “libertarians and conservatives” but then you immediately ignore it and focus instead on the problem. If I grant your premise that conservatives don’t see the problem as real because they don’t like the solution being proposed, how is describing the problem more – even doing so in terms you think will appeal to them – supposed to help with that? Explain the solution. And if they still don’t like it, improve the solution!

    For instance, you take it for granted that any solution needs to involve “increased government spending (higher taxes).” But does it really? Why not make any new taxes revenue neutral? Figure out which taxes you would cut to offset any new carbon taxes you want to institute, and fight for a plan that does that. Bam! You’ve just dealt with one conservative objection. You’ve made the solution more acceptable and – according to the boldfaced claim you started the post with – this will make the problem more real. Whereas just saying “look at all these bad things that might happen if we don’t act” won’t.

    I think the real problem here is that you don’t understand why conservatives don’t like making government bigger. You don’t see this as a valid preference so you’ve just tuned it out as irrelevant blather on their part. You think if you had the right arguments when talking to a conservative they would see how silly they are being to want government to stay small even while addressing this new issue. But suppose they don’t? Would you be willing to repeal regulations and cut taxes in other areas to make the new regulation “bureaucracy-neutral” overall?

    Mandia: Glen, you are correct but keep in mind that the “post” down the road will only be what appears after the dashed line. The point I am trying to make (albeit not very well it would appear) is that inaction is likely to have more costly consequences than solutions being offered today.

    Glen Raphael

    December 23, 2009 at 2:37 am

  6. The problem, Mandia, is that denialists will deny everything, from the fact that the Earth is warming to the formal attribution of the warming or the increase in greenhouse gases, etc… It is difficult to discuss everything, but it seems to me that you are focusing on IMPACTS (that are more difficult to discuss than the physical science), therefore I guess that your main references should be:

    IPCC WG II – Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability- Chapter 14 – North America

    Global Climate Change – Impacts in the United States (U.S. Global Change Research Program)

    Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate (CCSP, 2008) (brouchure)

    National Security and the Threat of Climate Change (Center for Naval Analysis)

    For me, the main global impacts are those derived from the sea level rise (100 million people live under the 1 m. increase projected for 2100) and water supply that is dependent on seasonal glacial melting. Check also this press release about wildfires.

    Mandia: Thanks. I have not viewed some of these documents but I think your idea of adding some “impacts” links is a good one. You will see this in the revision.


    December 23, 2009 at 7:19 am

  7. Scott – You are, of course, right in saying that there is a political dimension to this, just as you are correct in your assessment of the conservative/liberal fault line. However, it does not follow that conservatives (like me) can be persuaded by arguments that are designed to appeal to our self interest.

    Conservatives do not wish to tackle AGW because we do not believe in the science, not because we are unwilling to commit tax money. We do not believe it for two reasons: the first is that the argument has clearly been highjacked by a small clique of scientists, who, consumed with self importance and basking in the deference paid by Governments and NGOs, have committed the cardinal intellectual sin of falling in love with their theories and abandoning objectivity; the second is that we are unconvinced by the scientific arguments themselves, particularly the reliance upon models which, as time goes by, are increasingly show to lack predictive integrity.

    Mandia: The small group you refer to is only small if you think 95% of a group is “small”. If you follow the science you will also see that for many aspects the climate models are too conservative. The data shows that greenhouse gas emissions and many aspects of the climate are changing near the upper boundary of the IPCC range of projections. Many key climate indicators are already moving beyond the patterns of natural variability within which contemporary society and economy have developed and thrived. These indicators include global mean surface temperature, sea-level rise, global ocean temperature, Arctic sea ice extent, ocean acidification, and extreme climatic events. With unabated emissions, many trends in climate will likely accelerate, leading to an increasing risk of abrupt or irreversible climatic shifts. (Synthesis Report, 2009)

    I have no doubt that in a relatively short period of time – perhaps four or five years – the notion that the climate has changed because of human activity will be consigned to the scrap heap of embarrassing ideas, yet another delusion which, for a brief time, held credulous individuals in thrall.

    Mandia: Wanna bet?

    A more interesting question for you to ask might be this: what is it about human nature that draws so many people to apocalyptic theories? Goodness knows there have been plenty over the ages, of which AGW (complete with its own sacred text in the form of the IPCC Assessment Reports) is merely the latest.


    December 23, 2009 at 9:21 am

    • David: I agree, and would add that it’s a specific kind of apocalyptic theory you’re talking about. Not merely that the world-as-we-know-it is going to end but that things will go badly for us in a dramatically entertaining way as punishment for our hubris or wickedness. The bible is full of that – the Tower of Babel, the Flood (hmmm….), even the apple that starts it all. Michael Crichton recognized the problems with AGW so clearly because he was in the business of writing that exact story over and over again. Jurassic Park was at its heart a Frankenstein story: Man builds, gets a little full of himself, receives inevitable ironic comeuppance. The tricky part in selling a story like that is making your premise plausible. AGW makes a better story than many but you still need a certain amount of willing suspension of disbelief to buy into it – you need to meet the storytellers halfway.

      Mandia: The problem with betting on this sort of thing is that, as Keynes put it, “the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent”. I agree with David’s premise but wouldn’t like to commit to a specific date – this issue probably won’t entirely die until well after the current crop of scientists pushing it retire. The most direct recent parallel to AGW was the “population explosion” and Paul Ehrlich still thinks his book that included the statement “the battle to feed humanity is over” was “optimistic”. He’ll probably believe that to his grave.

      I still think you were on the right track in your opening paragraph. There are already hundreds of well-funded, well-meaning researchers propagandizing for the view that everything is always getting worse in every way and nothing is ever getting better and all trends are always “worse than we expectred” – you probably don’t have a comparative advantage there. What are you going to say on that subject that the IPCC and its popularizes haven’t already? If you want to make a difference and bridge a gap I see two routes open for you. (1) jump ahead to the next battle and talk about how you’re proposing to fix it, how expensive that will be, how long that will take, and what compromises your side is willing to make to accomplish that, or (2) pay close enough attention to what “the other side” is saying that you can address their take on your claims, rather than just trying to restate your own claims more clearly or in more conservative-friendly language.

      If you pick (1), pay particular attention that you don’t emphasize solutions that are exactly what you would have argued for anyway due to your priors. Consider the statement: “The globe is warming, therefore we need to recycle more and switch to florescent bulbs and pollute less and drive less and drive smaller cars and use more public transit and burn less coal” Does that sound like “your side” is making a big sacrifice to solve a major problem, or does it sound like you’re using a newly discovered problem as an excuse to push all the same ideas the environmentalist movement has favored since the 1970s? Remove the phrase “the globe is warming, therefore” from all your policy prescriptions – do you find you still favor those policies? If so, some fraction of your support for those policies is not really driven by your concern over global warming; conservatives are probably right to be suspicious that you’re trying to sell them old goods in new packaging.

      Glen Raphael

      December 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm

  8. DavidW,

    The physical basis of the AGW has been known for more than a hundred years. Since then, the amount of evidence has just been hughely accumulating so that we have finally (and gradually) reached an overwhelming worldwiede scientific consensus.


    December 23, 2009 at 10:18 am

  9. [snip]

    Mandia: Please stay on topic. You made your point that you do not think there is AGW.


    December 23, 2009 at 12:53 pm

  10. The Copenhagen That Matters by Thomas L. Friedman in today’s NY Times

    An excerpt:

    Although it still generates the majority of its electricity from coal, “since 1990, Denmark has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent. Over the same time frame, Danish energy consumption has stayed constant and Denmark’s gross domestic product has grown by more than 40 percent. Denmark is the most energy efficient country in the E.U.; due to carbon pricing, through energy taxes, carbon taxes, the ‘cap and trade’ system, strict building codes and energy labeling programs. Renewable resources currently supply almost 30 percent of Denmark’s electricity. Wind power is the largest source of renewable electricity, followed by biomass. … Today, Copenhagen puts only 3 percent of its waste into landfills and incinerates 39 percent to generate electricity for thousands of households.”

    Scott Mandia

    December 23, 2009 at 2:25 pm

  11. Prof. Mandia – nice start. I think discussing the geopolitical implications is important to win over the conservative side, and there is one far more direct than the ones you listed: the rise of China, and the eclipse of the US, as a superpower:

    The fact that China opposes a strong world-wide agreement should be reason enough for them to support it.

    Mandia: In the spirit of the UK…brilliant! A definite bulleted item to add.

    Arthur Smith

    December 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm

  12. I think the statement “nuclear proliferation in Arab states” could be somewhat touchy……the Middle East is certainly not the only area of the world susceptible to nuclear war, and Islamic fundamentalists are not the only violent minorities.

    Just a thought….this may just be a Canada thing….we have a fairly large Middle Eastern community.

    I would also recommend making it slightly less American-centered, perhaps replacing “US” with “Western society” or “developed countries”. There are a lot of Canadians (and Australians and Kiwis) out there who certainly need this wakeup call, especially as our senior leadership is less cooperative than yours with regards to climate change!

    Otherwise, I think it’s a great post. I like how you allude to Gwynne Dyer’s work with the possible geopolitical conflicts, and show how the disease IS in fact worse than the cure with regards to economic freedom and civil liberties.

    Mandia: Kate, thank you for your insights. I will definitely take the US edge off the blurb. I will have to think about the nuclear proliferation argument. Maybe I can make it a bit more general?


    December 23, 2009 at 4:19 pm

  13. It’s important to point out that a really statist, tyrannical approach to climate stabilization would be to create a new agency with broad powers to micromanage industry and transportation. The actual solutions that have been proposed–carbon taxes or cap-and-trade–use the power of the market to accomplish the same end more efficiently and at lower cost.

    Mandia: Good point, BPL. Take the devil we know over the one we do not know.

    Barton Paul Levenson

    December 24, 2009 at 6:38 am

  14. Actually, most conservatives would switch to nuclear in a minute. No ifs and or but about it. Another 10 years of lithium ion battery refinement, and voila, we could have a huge part of our fleet all electric.

    The irrational response here is that liberals overwhelmingly reject the science of nuclear and the amazing safety record of the technology.

    Mandia: Kahan et al. linked in this thread conducted an experiment with people who held a hierarchical and individualistic worldview (conservative/libertarian) where subjects were provided two versions of a newspaper article that cites a scientific study of global warming. In both versions, the report was described as finding that the temperature of the earth is increasing, that humans are the source of this condition, and that this change in the earth’s climate could have disastrous environmental and economic consequences. In one, however, the scientific report was described as calling for increased antipollution regulation, whereas in another it was described as calling for revitalization of the nation’s nuclear power industry.

    The experiment revealed that individualists and hierarchs who received the “nuclear power” version were less inclined to dismiss the facts related by the described report—that the earth’s temperature was increasing, that humans were the cause, and that the consequences would be dire if global warming were not reversed—than were individualists and hierarchs who got the “antipollution” version, even though the factual information, and its source, were the same in both articles. Individualists and hierarchs who received the “antipollution” version of the news report were even more skeptical about these facts than were hierarchs and individualists in a control group that received no newspaper story—and thus no information relating to the scientific report that made these findings. Individuals subconsciously resist factual information that threatens their defining values.

    Everyone I’ve met that embraces the theory of AGW is, at their core, anti-growth. Which is a religion of doom in and of itself. Except they won’t compromise their lifestyle in any way. It’s the others that must do that.

    Not sure why you equate conservatism with religion.

    Mandia: I do not. Are you referring to another commenter?


    December 25, 2009 at 2:51 am

  15. MattInSeattle,

    I’m interested in spreading the science behind the AGW without any interest in the political solution, and I know more people like me (one of them a physicist working on regional climate projections), that just want to move the debate to its legitimate field: politics. The problem IMHO is that some people are moving the debate backward to the scientific basis just because of political disagreement.


    Anyway, I don’t think that mitigation strategies are anti-growth. The European Union has reduced their emissions 10 % below the 1990 level without such an impact on their economies.


    December 25, 2009 at 3:00 pm

  16. The EU achieved their CO2 reduction by picking a start date that was near the end of the era of dirty coal and at the beginning of a growing nuclear industry.

    Over the last few years, the EU-15 and EU-25 are back to growing CO2 emissions by about 0.5%/year.

    Nothing to brag about.


    December 25, 2009 at 7:57 pm

  17. Well, MattInSeattle, the start date was “picked” by all the 192 parties to the UN Convention in 1997, as well as the target reduction assigned to each party (8% for the EU-15) .

    What about the US? Did they experienced a similar emissions reduction when they underwent that same industrial transition? Or are they still with an anti-nuclear and dirty coal industry?

    I don’t know what share of the reduction might be due to mitigation policies, but the EU have indeed been implementing these policies since 1991 (eg. here or here) without a great economical impact and they are still strengthening and expanding them as well as internally committing to more ambitious targets for 2020 (20% increase in energy efficiency, 20% reduction in GHG emissions, 20% share of renewables in overall EU energy consumption and 10% biofuel component in vehicle fuel), and I guess that their plan is not to live in the forests in loincloths. Compared to the commitment from other developed nations, it does seem something to brag about.

    As for the last few years, both the EU-15 and EU-27 have reduced their emissions (press release here):
    “EU greenhouse gas emissions decreased in 2008 for the fourth consecutive year. Compared to the 2007 official emissions published earlier this year, the annual reduction is estimated to be about 1.3 % for the EU-15 and 1.5 % for the EU-27. Based on these estimates, the greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 stand approximately 6.2 % below the Kyoto base-year emissions for the EU-15, and 10.7 % below the 1990 level for the EU-27″

    In general terms, regulating and limiting the use of dangerous goods and stimulating other choices is not considered to be anti-growth, and I think that’s precisely the case with GHGs.


    December 26, 2009 at 5:15 pm

  18. Scott, you come across as a blinkered individual who is not prepared to consider the sceptical argument.


    Mandia: Your comment is off-topic.

    Regards, Pete Ridley, Human-made global climate change agos(cep)tic

    Pete Ridley

    December 30, 2009 at 9:09 am

  19. Scott, I think your “snip” to my comment proves my point. Try learning from the sceptics. Here’s a good place to start

    Mandia: I will allow this comment but not the other two you just posted. Try to refrain from paranoia.

    Pete Ridley

    December 30, 2009 at 2:58 pm

  20. In his comment on 23rd December at 3:00 pm Arthur Smith linked to Mark Lynas’s Guardian article “How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room” (also posted on his own blog – Note 5). Mark is a staunch environmentalist with virtually no scientific expertise who will do anything to promote his cause and is happy to distort the facts if it gives support to his environmentalist objectives. He demonstrated this well in his propaganda booklet “Six Degrees ..”

    I have challenged Mark over this on several occasions and he has never tried to justify his deceitful story-telling. “Six Degrees .. “ is full of distortions and I pointed out a large number to him on his blog last year. QUOTE: It is obvious that .. “Six Degrees …” has never been subject to independent and thorough scientific peer review. If it had been submitted to a respected scientific publisher then none of the scientific omissions and distortions that it contains would ever have been published. Instead it was submitted to Harper Perennial, who claim to offer “the very best in new paperback fiction and non-fiction.”. Six degrees must be from the fiction section. UNQUOTE (Note 6).

    Instead of debating the issue all that Mark does is remove those comments that he doesn’t like, especially those in which I refer to his distortions (Note 7).His “updated précis” repeats the same old propaganda. UNQUOTE (Note 8).

    Pete Ridley

    December 30, 2009 at 3:13 pm

  21. I’ve had a little difficulty getting the references from my previous comment posted so I try again. Maybe it’s the number of links so I’ll take away the http://www and just copy the rest:

    5) see
    6) e.g. see on October 7th, 2009 at 11:44 AM in which I said QUOTE: At the head of his blogs non-scientist Mark Lynas proudly displays “Six Degrees”, the start of the title of his booklet “Six Degrees: Our future on a hotter planet”. Previously I have highlighted distortions and errors in Mark’s propaganda booklet (see his “World Saved .. “ blog 1st, 7th 14th, 21st December 2008 and his “The global warming deniers” blog 8th December). This piece of science fiction was awarded the 21st Royal Society Prize for Science Books. It does not say much for the scientific peer review process – which is much-heralded by supporters of The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis – that a book by a non-scientist which included so many distortions of fact could be awarded such a prestigious prize. UNQUOTE.
    7) see and
    8) see

    Pete Ridley

    January 1, 2010 at 11:43 am

  22. Hi, great post there! I like it very much.

    This is my fav part:
    Will India redirect water away from Pakistan to feed its own people? Will Pakistan use nukes to rest this resource back?

    Thanks for posting it!


    Effie Berry

    January 13, 2010 at 5:16 am

  23. During the past year, scientific findings emerged that made even the most doom-laden predictions about climate change seem a little on the optimistic side. And at the heart of the issue is the idea of climate feedbacks – when the effects of global warming begin to feed into the causes of global warming. Feedbacks can either make things better, or they can make things worse. The trouble is, everywhere scientists looked in 2006, they encountered feedbacks that will make things worse – a lot worse.

    Inversion table

    February 5, 2011 at 11:01 am

  24. Just plain awful. Just like everything on BBC3 really. I thought I’d give it a go and didn’t laugh once. If this is what the BBC think that young people like then perhaps I am not the most normal 16 year old in Britain as I would much rather watch the Two Ronnies than this load of tripe.

    Inversion table

    February 5, 2011 at 11:08 am

  25. The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, is a multimedia exploration of the theory that mankind evolved in response to climate change. At the main entrance, viewers are confronted with a giant graph charting the Earth’s temperature over the past ten million years, which notes that it is far cooler now than it was ten thousand years ago. Overhead, the text reads, “HUMANS EVOLVED IN RESPONSE TO A CHANGING WORLD.” The message, as amplified by the exhibit’s Web site, is that “key human adaptations evolved in response to environmental instability.” Only at the end of the exhibit, under the headline “OUR SURVIVAL CHALLENGE,” is it noted that levels of carbon dioxide are higher now than they have ever been, and that they are projected to increase dramatically in the next century. No cause is given for this development; no mention is made of any possible role played by fossil fuels. The exhibit makes it seem part of a natural continuum. The accompanying text says, “During the period in which humans evolved, Earth’s temperature and the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere fluctuated together.” An interactive game in the exhibit suggests that humans will continue to adapt to climate change in the future. People may build “underground cities,” developing “short, compact bodies” or “curved spines,” so that “moving around in tight spaces will be no problem.”

    Teeter Hang ups

    February 6, 2011 at 6:43 am

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