“Cosmos” Host Neil deGrasse Tyson Speaks Out about the News Media, Flat Earthers, Science Deniers, Climate Change Skeptics, Religion, and Dogma

NeildeGrasseTyson - CopySubmitted by Elaine Magliaro, Weekend Contributor

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist and director of the Natural History Museum’s Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He is also the host of Fox Networks’ new science series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Last Sunday, Tyson appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources program and spoke with Brian Stelter. During the program, Tyson talked about “the hypocrisy of people dismissing scientific theory while simultaneously embracing the fruits of scientific discovery ‘that we so take for granted today.’”

Tyson said that our civilization “is built on the innovation of scientists and technologists and engineers who have shaped everything that we so take for granted today. So some of the science deniers or science haters, these are people who are telling that to you while they are on their mobile phone. They are saying, ‘I don’t like science. Oh, GPS just told us to go left. So it’s time for people to sit back and reassess what role science has actually played in our lives. And learn how to embrace that going forward, because without it, we will just regress back into the caves.”

Stelter asked Tyson if he felt that the news media should feel a responsibility to portray science correctly—especially with regard to controversial issues such as climate change. Tyson said he thought the news media was wrong to give equal time to the “flat-earthers.” He thinks the media “should stop trying to ‘balance’ the debate on scientific issues by hosting people who deny science.”

Tyson said, “The media has to sort of come out of this ethos that I think was in principle a good one, but it doesn’t really apply in science. The principle was, whatever story you give, you have to give the opposing view. And then you can be viewed as balanced.” He continued, “You don’t talk about the spherical Earth with NASA, and then say let’s give equal time to the flat Earthers. Plus, science is not there for you to cherry pick.”

Tyson added, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it. Alright? I guess you can decide whether or not to believe in it, but that doesn’t change the reality of an emergent scientific truth.”

The great American science divide (CNN)

Recently, Tyson spoke about the new version of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC. Tyson said that science and religion should not be painted as being “diametrically opposed to each other.” He said there were many scientists who believe in God. He added, “The issue there is not religion versus non-religion or religion versus science, the issue there is ideas that are different versus dogma.”

Tyson explained, “If you start using your scripture, your religious text as a source of your science, that’s where you run into problems, and there is no example of someone reading their scripture and saying ‘I have a prediction about the world that no one knows yet because this gave me insight.’” He continued, “Enlightened religious people know this, and don’t try to use the Bible as a textbook.”

Chris Mooney of Mother Jones said that Tyson has emphasized that the stance of the science series Cosmos is anti-dogma—not anti-religion. Tyson was quoted as saying, “Any time you have a doctrine where that is the truth that you assert, and that what you call the truth is unassailable, you’ve got doctrine, you’ve got dogma on your hands. And so Cosmos is…an offering of science, and a reminder that dogma does not advance science; it actually regresses it.”

Katie Valentine of ThinkProgress noted that Tyson had spoken previously “about the need for the public to accept scientific facts rather than the talking points of politicians.” According to Valentine, the astrophysicist said in 2011 that climate change deniers should “be mature enough to recognize something can be true even if you don’t like the consequences of it. That’s what it means to be a mature adult.” Valentine also reported that while appearing on CNN in February, Tyson said that “he hopes America doesn’t wait until climate change has drastically changed the Earth’s landscape to realize that our policies haven’t done enough to prepare us.”

Tyson said that he doesn’t know what to say “when politicians start analyzing the science. “Are we going to wait until the coastlines get redrawn as the glaciers melt off of Antarctica and Greenland?”

Good question, Mr. Tyson, good question.


Neil deGrasse Tyson tells CNN: Stop giving ‘equal time to the flat Earthers’ (Raw Story)

Neil DeGrasse Tyson To Science Deniers: ‘Science Is Not There For You To Cherry Pick’ (ThinkProgress)

Neil deGrasse Tyson Chastises Media For Giving ‘Flat Earthers’ Equal Time in the Climate Change Debate (AlterNet)

Neil DeGrasse Tyson: ‘Enlightened Religious People Don’t Use The Bible As A Textbook’ (Huffington Post)

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Cosmos, How Science Got Cool, and Why He Doesn’t Debate Denier: The host of the stunning new Fox series wants you to understand how science works. (Mother Jones)

697 thoughts on ““Cosmos” Host Neil deGrasse Tyson Speaks Out about the News Media, Flat Earthers, Science Deniers, Climate Change Skeptics, Religion, and Dogma

  1. As long as big money, via Citizens United (a decision supported by the founder of this blog), puts science deniers and other corporate toadies in office, Dr. Tyson will have to remain disappointed with flat earthers in the conversation.

  2. Tyson’s comments are disappointing. It is the bedrock principle of science that theories are not above debate and challenge. Yet Tyson says that the claim that anthropogenic global warming that will devastate society should not be challenged. But that theory rests simply on computer modeling based on feeding select data into those computer models. (We’re not talking evolution where they are looking at history to develop a theory.) There are people in the scientific community who have sought to challenge the theory and they are ostracized and marginalized. They are told that the theory can not be debated…instead it’s time for action! What Tyson should be doing is criticizing how science has become politicized. Instead he’s participating in that politicization.

  3. ” it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” (science) …but…. “Any time you have a doctrine where that is the truth that you assert, and that what you call the truth is unassailable, you’ve got doctrine, you’ve got dogma on your hands.” (not science).

    Those statements are contradictory. What he meant to say is that we should only believe something until more accurate information becomes available. We should always remain skeptics about all information. Nevertheless we need to act on what seems to be true until we have better information. We can see that fossil fuel extraction and burning reduces air and water quality and seems to increase the severity of climate events. We need to act on those observations.

  4. I like Dr. Tyson. I also like the way Morgan Freeman presents the narrative for Through the Wormhole, and Dr. Michio Kaku’s understandable explanations of complex physics. They are all worthy successors to Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman, although the latter did not have a network TV program.

    I have a physicist friend who knew Feynman fairly well. She said she walked into Feynman’s office one day to find her young daughter there with him. He was explaining some physical phenomena to the seven-year-old. Not talking down to the child, but sitting at eye level with the her by the window, pointing things out with a childlike sense of wonder himself.

  5. NDT is the perfect example of his own assigned charges against others. He is the true flat-earther when he proclaims his interpretation of data as “settled”. After all that is what the original flat-earthers did. He proclaims that since the majority of current scientists accept this position, the number is a majority and that means they are right. Yes, that too is what the original flat-earthers did. He proclaims that the science can not be denied, yet does not account for all of the retracted errors in scientific data on any number of subjects over…let’s just say the last 50 years. Hawkins himself declared multiple scientific concepts, right before he changed his mind due to continued query and declared himself wrong. The entire scientific community resisted the theory of a patent clerk named Einstein. NDT would like all other professions with ethos that require query to be quiet, so the masses can be delivered the one and only message…how flat earther is that thinking? I teach Neurological Rehabilitation and while we have many hierarchical generalized theories we have known for years that the human brain’s metacognitive ability combined with neuroplasticity is constantly changing and adapting to feedback from the environment and practice. NDT is promoting that all human brains fall in line with his environment and practice. That NDT, would result in many spinal cords functioning without the brain. There is real hypocrisy when scientists adopt positions that cannot be questioned and then proclaim any questioners as deniers, thus assigning their own flat-earther settled dogma behavior to others.

  6. Thanks for the Tyson post, Elaine. I am reminded of Carl Sagan and his great Cosmos series. Bill Moyer’s has a 3 part series where he talks with Tyson that is worth viewing: http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-neil-degrasse-tyson-on-the-new-cosmos/

    I congratulate the brighter minds at Fox for hosting this new show. Maybe they are moving in a more reality based directio. At least I can hope that’s the case.

    Tyson is spot-on with saying, “The principle was, whatever story you give, you have to give the opposing view.” It’s destructive to rational thought that both sides of an issue carry the same weight. The media becomes a platform of misinformation when it fails to disavow or question an other-side argument that is fallacious or purposely misleading. As an example, when 95% of scientists agree on climate change and the media gives the 5% deniers the same space to disavow climate change as the 95% are given to claim its authenticity. Or when anti-vaxers are given the same time as vaccine proponents to discuss the pros and cons of each, when there is undeniable evidence that vaccines are effective. I am always amazed that the Tea Party, which is supported by only 14% in a recent CBS poll are given much positive media attention but progressives are totally ignored even though Americans (and Republicans) support progressive ideas:

    Shockingly, 47 percent of Republicans preferred the House Progressive plan to the sequester. This means that Republicans supported the House Progressive plan just as much as they supported their own party’s plan.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/sequester-poll-replacement-bill-plans-obama-republicans-2013-2#ixzz2w2dbmt8C

    Of course, media can be even more destructive when it simply parrots the government and corporate memes of the day, such as pushing for the GWB WMD Iraq invasion, Edward Snowden/NSA or the corporate promoted keystone tar sands pipeline. .

    I digress. It’s great to see that the American people will have an avenue to more science and less dogma. ..

  7. Good job Elaine. One can see by the comments that the need for scientists to speak out and poke the religious and corporate naysayers is necessary.

  8. doglover– thanks for clarifying what Mr. Tyson was inadequately and his contradictory comment. If we don’t remain skeptical and always searching for answers, then we become a flock of birds following a leader to nowhere.
    Many religions looks for answers in the Bible and in science. I have seen where the only time religion and science clash, is when the value of life is diminished and preserved.

    Paul K. Ogden–I agree that global warming and other sciences need to be challenged. Look at the vast amount of environment groups and private corporations making millions on the fright of global warming–not for the good of humanity, but to line their own pockets. Stem cell research would have gone full bore had not the ethical groups, including religions, stepped in and halted the use of babies and human life; the thought now seems devastating. Now researchers are forced to look for alternatives–and are doing it. Cloning has been held at bay, because it has proven not to prolong life but to shorten it. That challenge is leading to new discoveries and better science. Even electronic technology has its pros and cons and must be challenged from time to time.
    The challenges must include moral and ethical conclusions as well as scientific data, so that science doesn’t run amuck.

  9. Jane L (@SunnyJL52)

    “The entire scientific community resisted the theory of a patent clerk named Einstein.”


    Scientists are skeptical of new findings/discoveries–as they should be. Scientists expect experiments to be able to be replicated. New scientific hypotheses/theories aren’t automatically accepted as truth because some scientist makes a claim. Their hypotheses/theories need to be tested. That’s much different from people who claim they get their science from the Bible. Such people are believers who have faith in the scriptures–not real science. Some folks close their minds to the science they disagree with.

  10. So, Jane, are you saying that religious dogma is a better model than the scientific method?

    Of course scientists change their minds. I change my own mind all the time as new data emerge. However, where climate change is concerned, he–and the rest of us–are saying that right or wrong, waiting until we have incontrovertible proof before we do something about it may be too late.

    There are some things we cannot do anything about. Tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, and an asteroid hitting the earth. But wait! The first three may well be related to a changing climate and other human activity. More La Niña and El Niño phenomenon, which changes weather patterns over much of the planet. More melting ice. We can change our habits, just as we are getting more in the habit of recycling trash, which reduces the amount of pollutants in ground water.

    Geologists are beginning to identify a connection between fracking and earthquakes, not to mention polluted ground water. One other thing, digging holes a mile deep in salt deposits near large bodies of water. What could possibly go wrong?

  11. Jane,
    your example of Einstein not being accepted immediately proves the point Dr. DeGrasse Tyson is making. Over time and multiple studies and experiments scientists do come to an agreement and accept what science has proven. As we all should when it comes to Global climate change.

  12. Here we see the danger of painting everything black or white. Not all vaccine avoiders avoid all vaccines. Not all climate change deniers deny it exits, but deny humans can change it and don’t like the carpet baggers manipulating governments saying they can ( while making a tidy profit) . Mr. Tyson gave an interview about how primitive and savage humans are for torturing, killing and eating animals yet he prides himself as a foodie. Who are these flat earthers that deny rational facts over belief?

  13. I admire and respect Dr. Tyson. But I wonder how he reconciles this new version of Cosmos appearing on Fox, a network which fosters and promotes the kind of attitudes and biases that he deplores in these interviews.

  14. rafflaw,

    “your example of Einstein not being accepted immediately proves the point Dr. DeGrasse Tyson is making. Over time and multiple studies and experiments scientists do come to an agreement and accept what science has proven.”


    Right! That’s very different from creation science.

  15. Unfortunately, sadly…..Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, is not the ‘communicator’ that Dr. Carl Sagan was…..

  16. Let’s suck the joy out of everything in order to make a political point.

    Why doesn’t MSNBC air this? Do you know why it’s on Fox?

    Big business…hummmm…You’re right! We should all pay for big business rather than allow the free market place to make the determination. It’s only fair comrade. We should do this without having any say, after all, the government knows what’s better for us than we do.

    The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:
    Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
    SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
    Solyndra ($535 million)*
    Beacon Power ($43 million)*
    Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
    SunPower ($1.2 billion)
    First Solar ($1.46 billion)
    Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
    EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
    Amonix ($5.9 million)
    Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
    Abound Solar ($400 million)*
    A123 Systems ($279 million)*
    Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
    Johnson Controls ($299 million)
    Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
    ECOtality ($126.2 million)
    Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
    Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
    Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
    Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
    Range Fuels ($80 million)*
    Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
    Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
    Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
    GreenVolts ($500,000)
    Vestas ($50 million)
    LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
    Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
    Navistar ($39 million)
    Satcon ($3 million)*
    Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
    Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)
    *Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.The amount also does not include other state, local, and federal tax credits and subsidies, which push the amount of money these companies have received from taxpayers even higher.

    I appreciate it though. I’m an independent and it opens my eyes.

  17. Elaine,

    This has to be one of your most informative pieces I have read to date…..

    I’ll state that people usually have no use for what they don’t understand and are afraid to try and even expand the possibilities of a mind……

    I’m not sure but it was either Edison or Eisenstein that flunked math…..

  18. @Stanley – just what is your Ph.D in and what is/are your areas of expertise? What I find amazing is the amount of ‘science fact’ that changes daily. I subscribe to Science Daily and every day I get at least one, if not many, cases where a new study or discovery has overturned old ‘facts.’ And some science is just a consensus of current opinion. At a poorly attended meeting of a science convention, a planet got demoted. Homosexuality was a mental disease treated by psychological and/or drug treatments. Same with narcissism Now it is nothing (although I think a lot of this has to do with the current President having this affliction). And fraud in the scientific community is rife. Science magazine long ago stopped dealing with plagiarism charges. How many times have we heard that a ‘scientist’ diddled with his/her data?

  19. Scientific theory and scientific discovery are not the same things. And tyson should realize that climate models have the modeler’s bias baked into the cake. Scientists know about four major ice ages. What ended them?

  20. I am a member of the only Christian denomination which embraces science as well as the religion practiced by those who consider themselves to be the descendants of Ishmael. We are the only Christian denomination that condemned the burning of the Koran. We practice tolerance. We believe in revelation. Isaac Newton, the author of the calculus and Newtonian Physics, was a professor of religion at Trinity College, Cambridge University. When confronted with a problem, Newton studied it carefully, experimented and tried new approaches. In 1839 the founder of my faith took a similar approach to problem solving. Why can’t we all be more like Isaac Newton and Carl Sagan?

  21. So, Mr. Tyson shouldn’t say that the science is there. Well, currently, it is. However, the marvelous thing about science (I was about to type the “marvelous fact” is that if new answers come along, scientists are adaptable, and generally eager to find out what those answers are. As to climate change, when I hear Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Michael Mann, and James Hansen, then compare them to the 3% who signed the letter (none of them climatologists), Michael Chrichton (who, by the way, didn’t even get the dinosaur era right), and
    James Inhofe, I’m certain in my own mind that, along with the reading I’ve done on my own, that the truth falls on the side of global warming. Actually, do you know that “climate change” isn’t used because global warming failed as a theory? Scientists realized that the climate is changing due to the increase in greenhouse gasses, and not the same everywhere. A great example is the “polar vortex” that seems to have plagued the east coast this winter. I’m in Georgia and have already heard the “so much for global warming” jokes. Well, January was actually one of the warmest Januarys in record, worldwide. California is in a 5-year drought, and crops are failing in areas around the world.
    Will some biblical scholar give me a better answer than either “it has happened before” (not at this speed), or “it’s the beginning of the end times” (which, if you re-read the New Testament, Jesus predicted in his lifetime, or that of his disciples).
    As for scientists being adaptable, in Geology, it was only in the early and mid-20th century that the idea of plate techtonics was realized and fleshed out, which now forms a lot of our theories about earthquakes. The idea of an original continent of Pangea didn’t exist before then.

    You learn something new every day, if your mind remains open (and, sometimes, your mouth closed!)

  22. Professor Turley, this is not a comment to your latest piece but a request for a comment or piece from you regarding the case of Roger Schuler in Alabama who is being held indefinitely without trial in a county prison for his investigative reports alleging a sex scandal involving the prominent Alabama Republican lawyer Robert Riley Jr. and lobbyist Liberty Duke. As you may know Andrew Kreig of the Justice Integrity Project has been writing almost exclusively on his plight. His latest piece can be found at:

  23. Oklahoma station drops evolution from showing of Cosmos
    The same week that a bill targeting evolution education passes the OK House.
    by John Timmer
    Mar 14 2014

    In our review of the new science series Cosmos, we noted that the program didn’t shy away from diving into scientific ideas that many in the US find uncomfortable. Apparently, local Fox affiliate KOKH found a creative way to protect the minds of its viewers: run a news promo over the bits about evolution. Naturally, the butchery ended up on YouTube the very next day.

    The station has since stated that the running of the promo was an accident and that it will re-air the episode in its entirety on Saturday night.

    But elsewhere in KOKH’s home town of Oklahoma City, people really are trying to alter how evolution is presented—in the public schools’ science classrooms. The state House of Representatives has just passed a bill that would keep any school authorities from punishing a teacher for doing, well, anything when it comes to students’ understanding of scientific theories, essentially inviting them to bring in non-scientific material in order to attack evolution.

  24. I haven’t watched the science series on Cosmos, but look forward to seeing it when it appears on FOX.

  25. rbshea, “I admire and respect Dr. Tyson. But I wonder how he reconciles this new version of Cosmos appearing on Fox, a network which fosters and promotes the kind of attitudes and biases that he deplores in these interviews.”

    Where better? Preaching to the choir doesn’t bring about change.

    I’m excited about Cosmos and hope it will be available soon via the internet or I’ll have to reevaluate my budget for cable. Tyson explains science in easy to understand terms. For me, reading science stuff is a bit boring, however, watching Tyson in enervating and I learn something new from each of his interviews.

    Of course science “facts” are constantly being challenged and refined and sometimes replaced but there’s a whole lot that IS pretty much settled (until the new data come in).

    I expect there will be a number of young people really turned onto science by this project, kind of like my cousin who didn’t know what she wanted to do until in a college lab she looked into a microscope and saw lots of super-tiny creepy crawlies. She is now a Phd professor at a university teaching all about those creepy crawlies. (She has a much more professional name for what she does.)

  26. I remember being taught in high school and college that science is NEVER settled. I reckon something must have changed?

  27. Galileo was twice charged with heresy–not by the scientific society…but by the Catholic Church. He lived out the final years of his life under house arrest.

  28. OK. There is climate change. What there is not is climate stasis. Duh! We should do what we can about what we correctly assess as anthropogenic and bad for us. Cigarette smoke, engine exhaust, industrial emissions, radiation, etc. Yeah, we get that! What we refuse to address, however, is that nothing man made can be bad for us but for the numbers of men making the bad stuff. Overpopulation is the first environmental transgression of mankind. Those of us against illegal immigration and an unsustainable birthrate (i.e. Mexico, China, India, etc.) have been dismissed and ridiculed as racists and nationalists. How about climatists?

  29. The Catholic Church was the sun and moon when Galileo lived. They were science, medicine, art, music, government, EVERYTHING. Sorta like our Federal govt. today, who control EVERYTHING. “Those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it.”

  30. The church may have been the sun and the moon. It was/is also a religious institution. Science was heretical when it went against scripture and church dogma. I understand history. That’s why I’m glad that we don’t have. a theocracy in the United States. There are some politicians and some factions in our society, however, who don’t believe in the separation of church and state.

  31. He was convicted of heresy and spent his remaining years under house arrest. Though ordered not to have any visitors nor have any of his works printed outside of Italy, he ignored both. In 1634, a French translation of his study of forces and their effects on matter was published, and a year later, copies of the Dialogue were published in Holland. While under house arrest, Galileo wrote Two New Sciences, a summary of his life’s work on the science of motion and strength of materials. It was printed in Holland in 1638. By this time, he had become blind and in ill health. from the Galileo Biography

  32. @Paul @nick
    Why yes… just look at the leaches hanging out in the hall of Congress with their Lobbyist pockets open for business ready to suck the life’s blood from the middle class.

  33. Tyson said: “Any time you have a doctrine where that is the truth that you assert, and that what you call the truth is unassailable, you’ve got doctrine, you’ve got dogma on your hands. And so Cosmos is…an offering of science, and a reminder that dogma does not advance science; it actually regresses it.”

    Interesting how he can recognize a true principle like this, yet Tyson fails to see how grand theories of origins and climate change are subject to scientific dogma and doctrine. By confusing technology based upon real time experimentation with the kind of model building and conjecture and assumptions that happen with full scale scientific theories of origins and climate change, Tyson builds a false framework for basically saying, “I’m right about everything because 90% of scientists agree with me.” He adds insult to injury by using false emotive terminology like “science deniers.” If you think differently, you are a science denier. It’s not science. It’s not allowed. It is to be censored from the science classroom. When was the last time you had someone shake your hand and say, “hello, I’m a science denier.” He invented this epithet to persuade people of his dogma. If the science is the proof, show the science. Don’t use rhetoric like this. What further evidence do we need that he is hiding something and being deceptive?

  34. Climate Scientist have all the earmarks of religious dogma. Should we be conservationists, YES. Is the sky falling, NO. And the louder folks scream the sky is falling the more apparent to critical thinkers it is not.

  35. Elaine M wrote: ” Science was heretical when it went against scripture and church dogma. I understand history.”

    I just visited Galileo’s grave last week in Florence, Italy, and I saw a few of his fingers and one of his teeth on display at the Galileo museum. Can’t help but comment now. :-)

    And I was at Tyson’s Natural History Museum Hayden Planetarium in New York City just last Sunday. Strange coincidences.

    If you understand history, you understand that the church established the educational institutions. Galileo was a creationist educated by the church and later employed by the church as a professor. He was a Christian believer in the Bible. He was not part of a culture which pitted religion and science against each other, like our culture has. That is a product of the Enlightenment period which evolved later. For Galileo, his belief was that science would never contradict Scripture. If science was at odds with Scripture, then something was wrong with the interpretation of Scripture, or something was wrong with the understanding of the science. He saw harmony between Scripture and science.

  36. I might add that there was no “scientific institution” to discredit Galileo. There was only the authority of the Church. In our culture, the authority is science institutions and government. They take upon themselves the same role of censorship that the church did during Galileo’s time.

  37. The church. Funny. People try to equate the scientific method with church doctrine. A church is an institution developed by man to fit man’s needs, fears, illusions and delusions. Out of thin air anyone can create a church, but you can’t create science based on fear and illusion, Science is not based on feelings of inadequacy or a desire for an afterlife….. Science offers all the opportunity to prove a theory or concept wrong. The church demands unbending loyalty to its rules that are based on controlling its subjects. People have complete faith in a book written, interpreted, and rewritten by men through the past 2000 years, but they refuse to consider facts set before them that have been presented with verifiable and measurable evidence

  38. Who are those people that everyone is talking about ? What is the best science, religion, country, gender, whatever ? My dad use to say regardless of who wins the next election, I shall still have to go to work in the morning.

  39. Paul K. Ogden – “It is the bedrock principle of science that theories are not above debate and challenge.” Yes, theories can be debated (using scientific reasoning, not personal belief systems), but global warming isn’t a theory. It’s a set of empirical findings that inevitably lead to a scientific *conclusion*. You really need to learn more about the scientific enterprise and scientific thinking and reasoning.

  40. It’s time someone took the media to task for giving pseudoscientists parity with scientists. Equal time applies to political campaigns, nothing more.

  41. Oxa – global warming is a theory unsupported by the computer models used to support it. It really is not a set of empirical findings since much of the data was scrubbed and cannot be duplicated. The Earth warms and cools periodically. Actually, we are coming out of the Little Ice Age. I am a high information reader and I particularly follow the pseudo-science of global warming.
    Just to make a point, during some of the worst car pollution Arizona had, we had 3 100-year floods in 18 months. In fact, it has gotten so bad for the global warming theorists that the new term is ‘climate change’ which covers everything. However, the climate is always changing for a variety of reasons, none of them having to do with Al Gore and his campaigners.

  42. davidm2575 – the Catholic Church was very supportive of science during this period and supported scientists and their work. Galileo was not the only person during this period that thought the Earth revolved around the Sun. However, he published at the wrong time and then republished, rolling the dice that he would get away with it. He did not, but his house arrest was not really severe
    Galileo was punished for being the climate denier of his day.

  43. Just to make a point, during some of the worst car pollution Arizona had, we had 3 100-year floods in 18 months.

    I’ve heard of arguing apples to oranges, but you’re off in the mangoes

    Get over you dislike of Al Gore, it’s not about him.

    and yes there are climate variations, but never in the history of homo sapiens has the arctic warmed as fast as it is now.

  44. Pete – polar bears are great swimmers so they are safe. Antarctic is iced in. The Great Lakes are frozen over. Al Gore has made this a crusade and he is the first to my hearing to say that the science was settled. I don’t just dislike Al Gore, I do not trust him.
    btw, would you like to cite a source for your claim about the arctic?

  45. The phrase “global warming” was changed to “climate change” out of back-handed deference to morons. Great scientists like Rush Limbaugh insisted on mocking climatologists whenever it snowed somewhere. And we are presently compelled to use language that isn’t confusing to dominionists.

  46. Darren – there is a cost to protecting the environment. The question is are you willing to pay it for the rest of us?

  47. Why should’t everyone pay. In the absence of that I don’t see where else we are going to go if we ruin this one.

  48. Darren – I do not see having to pay for something I do not believe in. If you want to pay, that is up to you. There should be check off boxes on your tax form for things like military, homeland security, nsa, epa, fda, nasa, etc. You would pay what you checked off. And each of the divisions would have to live on what they got.

  49. Paul Schulte:

    My credentials are merely the ability to read and comprehend. Furthermore, the rejection of climate science is a central tenet of Christian dominionism, which I suspect you already know. I also assume that you understand that your belief that you should not have to pay for something you don’t believe in is wholly incompatible with the notion of a functioning society.

  50. “A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

    Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that ‘the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history’. Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to ‘precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common’.” (EPH-3).

  51. “Once upon a time the Earth was flat, causing the stars and planets to orbit around it, because it was also the center of the universe.

    Weather on the flat Earth was stable, in that, it was always either winter, summer, fall, or spring at the same time on the vast flatness.

    Then the Earth was changed into a globe by librul scientists.

    So, all those planets went into orbit around stars like our Sun, and now even the stars are no longer orbiting the Earth.

    Additionally, ever since the Earth became no longer flat, instead becoming a globe orbiting the Sun, there has been both summer and winter at the same time on Earth.

    For example, now as we speak “it” has been threating to become 122 deg. F. (50 deg. C) in Australia, while “it” is super cold at the very same time in the flat lands in the U.S. Midwest.

    Libruls have made it difficult for some to “get it” now, because “it” is summer near Antarctica and “it” is winter in Kansas at the same time.” (The Damaged Global Climate System)

  52. Paul K. Ogden

    Tyson’s comments are disappointing. It is the bedrock principle of science that theories are not above debate and challenge.

    Actually, his comments are threatening.

    Which activates the cultural Amygdala and the physical Amygdala circuitry to react with the fear of death syndrome (Convergence – Fear of Death Syndrome).

    Your appraisal of a “bedrock principle of science that theories are not above debate and challenge” is utterly misapplied.

    The actual reality is like legal precedence in the sense of stare decisis.

    Any legal theory, such as women’s privacy rights concerning abortion, can be challenged at any time in the courts.

    However, the challenge must be legitimate, not frivolous.

    A challenge to scientific precedence is the same, in that, not any old flat-earth remake or anti-climate science challenge will change the global science.

    Willy nilly and helter skelter religious myths posing as mature views of science or law, are rejected because they are wrong and ill conceived.

  53. The Trial of Galileo
    by Doug Linder (2002)

    Galileo responded to criticism of his Copernican views in a December 1613 Letter to Castelli. In his letter, Galileo argued that the Scripture–although truth itself–must be understood sometimes in a figurative sense. A reference, for example, to “the hand of God” is not meant to be interpreted as referring to a five-fingered appendage, but rather to His presence in human lives. Given that the Bible should not be interpreted literally in every case, Galileo contended, it is senseless to see it as supporting one view of the physical universe over another. “Who,” Galileo asked, “would dare assert that we know all there is to be known?”

    Galileo hoped that his Letter to Castelli might foster a reconciliation of faith and science, but it only served to increase the heat. His enemies accused him of attacking Scripture and meddling in theological affairs. One among them, Father Lorini, raised the stakes for the battle when, on February 7, 1615, he sent to the Roman Inquisition a modified copy of Galileo’s Letter to Castelli. He attached his own comments to his submission:

    All our Fathers of this devout convent of St. Mark are of opinion that the letter contains many propositions which appear to be suspicious or presumptuous, as when it asserts that the language of Holy Scripture does not mean what it seems to mean; that in discussions about natural phenomena the last and lowest place ought to be given the authority of the sacred text; that its commentators have very often erred in their interpretation; that the Holy Scriptures should not be mixed up with anything except matters of religion….When, I say, I became aware of all of this, I made up my mind to acquaint your Lordship with the state of affairs, that you in your holy zeal for the Faith may, in conjunction with your illustrious colleagues, provide such remedies as may appear advisable….I, who hold that those who call themselves Galileists are orderly men and good Christians all, but a little overwise and conceited in their opinions, declare that I am actuated by nothing in this business but zeal for the sacred cause.

    In fact, Lorini’s letter appears more charitable than he in fact was. He would stop at almost nothing to destroy the “Galileists,” as is shown from his alteration–in certain key places–of the text of Galileo’s Letter to Castelli. For example, where Galileo had written: “There are in Scripture words which, taken in the strict literal meaning, look as if they differed from the truth,” Lorini substituted: “which are false in their literal meaning.” However unscrupulous his methods, Lorini’s denunciation succeeded in setting the machinery of the Catholic Church in motion…

    Some historians have seen Galileo’s decision to admit error as a “final self-degradation.” Others, including Giorgio de Santillana, have seen it as the only rational move open to him: “He was not a religious visionary being asked to renounce his vision. He was an intelligent man who had taken heavy risks to force an issue and to change a policy for the good of his faith. He had been snubbed; he had nothing to do but pay the price and go home. The scientific truth would take care of itself.”

    The trial by the Congregation moved to its conclusion. Several of the ten cardinals apparently pushed for Galileo’s incarceration in prison, while those more supportive of Galileo argued that–with changes–the Dialogue ought to continue to be allowed to circulate. In the end, a majority of the cardinals–rejecting much of the Commissary’s agreement with Galileo–demanded Galileo “even with the threat of torture…abjure in a plenary assembly of the Congregation of the Holy Office…[and] then be condemned to imprisonment at the pleasure of the Holy Congregation.” Moreover, the cardinals declared, the Dialogue “is to be prohibited.”

    The grand play ran its course, with the Pope insisting upon a formal sentence, a tough examination of Galileo, public abjuration, and “formal prison.” Galileo was forced to appear once again for formal questioning about his true feelings concerning the Copernican system. Galileo obliged, so as not to risk being branded a heretic, testifying that “I held, as I still hold, as most true and indisputable, the opinion of Ptolemy, that is to say, the stability of the Earth and the motion of the Sun.” Galileo’s renunciation of Copernicanism ended with the words, “I affirm, therefore, on my conscience, that I do not now hold the condemned opinion and have not held it since the decision of authorities….I am here in your hands–do with me what you please.”

  54. nick spinelli

    Climate Scientist have all the earmarks of religious dogma. Should we be conservationists, YES. Is the sky falling, NO. And the louder folks scream the sky is falling the more apparent to critical thinkers it is not.
    That appears on its face to be a  questionable assertion.

    Fear is the religion at play which is giving birth to denial:

    A recent paper by the biologist Janis L Dickinson, published in the journal Ecology and Society, proposes that constant news and discussion about global warming makes it difficult for people to repress thoughts of death, and that they might respond to the terrifying prospect of climate breakdown in ways that strengthen their character armour but diminish our chances of survival. There is already experimental evidence suggesting that some people respond to reminders of death by increasing consumption. Dickinson proposes that growing evidence of climate change might boost this tendency, as well as raising antagonism towards scientists and environmentalists. Our message, after all, presents a lethal threat to the central immortality project of Western society: perpetual economic growth, supported by an ideology of entitlement and exceptionalism.

    (The Memes of Penrose – 2, emphasis added). Competent historians know that the default reality is that the sky IS falling, the default always deadly fantasy is to poke fun at approaching catastrophe:

    A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

    Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.”

    (EPH-3). Denial is just as lasting as fear because fear goes to the bone, after it quickly bypasses the mind of those who think we are in heaven already.

  55. Climate scientists of today are the “Copernicans” of yore.


    Cyberbullying Scientists: Using Threats in an Effort to Silence the Discussion on Climate Change

    Climate Change and the Integrity of Science, the letter that was signed by the 255 scientists, spoke of their concern about the recent escalation in assaults on scientists—especially climate scientists. They said that the assaults on both climate science and scientists came from climate change deniers who “are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence.” The scientists called “for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association, the harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distractions to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them.”

    Not long ago, I was disheartened to learn that climate scientists in the United States and in other countries have become victims of cyber-bullying. In 2010, Douglas Fisher wrote an article for Scientific American titled Cyber Bullying Intensifies as Climate Data Questioned. Fisher spoke of how climate researchers have to purge crude and crass emails that they find in their inboxes every day. Some consider purging such correspondence as a task they must deal with as part of the job of being a climate scientist. Others, however, “see the messages as threats and intimidation—cyber-bullying meant to shut down debate and cow scientists into limiting their participation in the public discourse.”

    Clive Hamilton, an Australian author and academic said, “The purpose of this new form of cyber-bullying seems clear; it is to upset and intimidate the targets, making them reluctant to participate further in the climate change debate.” Gavin Schmidt, a scientist who works for NASA, said that “organized, ‘McCarthyite’ tactics aimed at specific scientists by various groups can be stressful.” He added “‘Frivolous’ Freedom of Information Act requests can tie up considerable quantities of researchers’ time.” Schmidt claims that the worst things of all are the “‘intimidating letters’ from congressional members threatening dire consequences to scientists working on climate change.”

    Last month, MIT scientist Kerry Emanuel, a Republican and the director of MIT’s Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate program, received a “frenzy of hate male” after a video that featured an interview with him was published by Climate Desk…

    Mother Jones reported that the emails contained “veiled threats’ against Emanuel’s wife—as well as other “tangible threats.” Emanuel said, “They were vile, these emails. They were the kind of emails nobody would like to receive.” He added, “What was a little bit new about it was dragging family members into it and feeling that my family might be under threat, so naturally I didn’t feel very good about that at all. I thought it was low to drag somebody’s spouse into arguments like this.”

    The Guardian reported last June that Australian climate scientists had been receiving death threats. As a response to the large number of threatening emails and telephone calls, the Australia National University (ANU) in Canberra moved some of its “leading climate scientists to a secure facility…”

    Ian Young, ANU’s vice-chancellor, said, “Obviously climate research is an emotive issue at the present time. These are issues where we should have a logical public debate and it’s completely intolerable that people be subjected to this sort of abuse and to threats like this.” Young added that “scientists had been threatened with assault if they were identified in the street.”

    Canberra Times reported last year that more than 30 researchers in Australia—including ecologists, environmental policy experts, meteorologists, and atmospheric physicists—told the paper that they had been receiving a “stream of abusive emails threatening violence, sexual assault, public smear campaigns and attacks on family members.” Some of the scientists installed upgraded home security systems and switched to unlisted phone numbers because they were fearful that their homes and cars might be damaged.

    One researcher even spoke of “receiving threats of sexual assault and violence against her children after her photograph appeared in a newspaper article promoting a community tree-planting day as a local action to mitigate climate change.

  56. An Excerpt from Cowards in Our Democracy: Part 1, Written by James Hansen, Climatologist and Head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

    Today most media, even publicly-supported media, are pressured to balance every climate story with opinions of contrarians, climate change deniers, as if they had equal scientific credibility. Media are dependent on advertising revenue of the fossil fuel industry, and in some cases are owned by people with an interest in continuing business as usual. Fossil fuel profiteers can readily find a few percent of the scientific community to serve as mouthpieces — all scientists practice skepticism, and it is not hard to find some who are out of their area of expertise, who may enjoy being in the public eye, and who are limited in scientific insight and analytic ability.

    Distinguished scientific bodies such as national science academies, using the scientific method, can readily separate charlatans and false interpretations from well-reasoned science. Yet it seems that our governments and the public are not making much use of their authoritative scientific bodies. Why is that?

    I believe that the answer, and the difficulty in communicating science to the public, is related to the corrosive influence of money in politics and to increased corporate influence on the media.

  57. Thanks Elaine: The link also lead to other resources. One most vital issue is how do we follow the money on these very serious public issues when private vested interests are threatened by truth?
    (embedded link from your reference):
    Bid to out the money behind the voice against climate change
    Should climate change think-tanks on both sides of the debate be forced to declare who is funding their work?

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/bid-to-out-the-money-behind-the-voice-against-climate-change-20120126-1qjfp.html#ixzz2w83k9uYw

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/bid-to-out-the-money-behind-the-voice-against-climate-change-20120126-1qjfp.html#ixzz2w83VBHOK

  58. A university professor, who teaches The History of Science, presents the history / pathology of the denial of anthropogenic climate change at an American university (video):

    Key times in the video (Note: GW = global warming; GG = greenhouse gas, CC = climate change):

    00:40 – Schwarzenegger: no debate, GW is happening.
    06:20 – Proper amount of GG is good, keeps us warm.
    07:00 – Too much GG is a bad thing.
    07:09 – Tyndall in mid 1800’s began research into GG.
    07:45 – Arrhenius did first degree calculations re: CO2 content.
    08:25 – Callendar discovered GG increases in 1930’s.
    09:02 – Hulburt accord in 1930’s.
    09:43 – Depression / war stopped GG research.
    10:00 – Gilbert N. Plass developed CO2 atmospheric calculations.
    10:49 – Suess & Revelle do paper in 1957 warning of GW dangers.
    12:30 – Dr. Revelle warned of polar ice cap melt in TIME interview.
    13:25 – CO2 levels discovered to be high.
    16:30 – Lyndon Johnson in 1965 says fossil fuels causing GW.
    17:00 – GW, CC not political originally.
    18:20 – White of NOAA, 1978, warns of GW dangers.
    20:52 – Polar Areas to be impacted 4 times more than other areas.
    24:20 – IPCC formed in 1979 with consensus on GW.
    26:00 – Bush I signed GW treaty.
    26:45 – Denial of GW begins.
    27:40 – Luntz injects GW denial propaganda into political debate.
    28:25 – Oil baron Cheney propagates GW denial.
    29:00 – Oil companies do massive scale denial propaganda.
    29:30 – Marshall Institute
    30:30 – Marshall Institute formed to support Reagan SDI (star wars)
    32:50 – Marshall Institute “cigarettes not related to cancer”.
    36:50 – Marshall Institute does GW denial campaign.
    42:54 – Marshall member Seitz worked for big tobacco.
    47:20 – Singer of Marshall Institute politically attacks GW.
    53:35 – Cigarette smoking is ok rhetoric applied to GW science.

  59. Giovanna De La Paz: There are no megaprofits to made in promoting climate change; you’re merely parroting corporate talking points. I’m surprised you didn’t bring up Al Gore, who never turns the lights out in any of houses, and his movie.

    Truth is, Ms. De La Paz, the amount of money earned by the climate scientists warning about how human behavior is changing the earth’s climate pales in comparison to the payoffs received by denial specialists, not to mention the enormous profits raked in by the corporations that are irresponsibly destroying the environment and shifting the costs onto societies worldwide.

    MarieK: The dollar amount you list for various alt energy groups doesn’t begin to compare to the amount of money that has been stolen outright during the recent various financial panics.

    I don’t know you, perhaps you’re too young to remember the S&L crisis in the eighties, or the trillion dollar bailout of the Carlyle Group, or the sub-prime mortgage meltdown. That was real money. You’re focused on pennies to the pound, or rather, whoever drew up you’re talking point is trying to distract you.

  60. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_denial
    “Climate change denial is a set of organized attempts to downplay, deny or dismiss the scientific consensus on the extent of global warming, its significance, and its connection to human behavior, especially for commercial or ideological reasons.[1][2] Typically, these attempts take the rhetorical form of legitimate scientific debate, while not adhering to the actual principles of that debate.[3][4] Climate change denial has been associated with the fossil fuels lobby, industry advocates and free market think tanks, often in the United States.”

  61. MarieK – The list of problem companies you posted really points out how government misallocates financial resources. Some economists call those who utilize government benefits as “political entrepreneurs”, who are very dominant in our society today. One individual I personally know, started a green energy company, knowing that it most likely had a very short fuse. They are now in bankruptcy, as he envisioned, with he and his original investors now trying to buy it out of bankruptcy. To me this is and should be a criminal offence, but apparently it is legal. The company was given both grants and loan guarantees. That like shorting your own companies stock, knowing that its was going to fail, and then scooping it up for pennies on the dollar when the stock collapses. Now you’re back in the majority shareholders position and all the investors took a blood bath.

    Throughout history there are examples after examples of when government interferes in the market place, the taxpayer and/or the consumers lose and the political entrepreneurs, the criminals, win. The banksters in 2008 come to mine.

    And people try to argue on how it’s capitalism that is the problem. In a true capitalist society none of the companies you listed would have ever gotten out of the seed capital stage and been in business because they would never have received a nickel from investors. I guess that people just do not understand the private/public partnership of the mixed economic model, seldom works out as planned.

    We have this capitalist, anti-capitalist adversarial paradigm going on and it is literally destroying our culture, our rule of law and our economy. The BIS just reported that the member governments are now $100 trillion is DEBT and most of us have no idea who we even owe this money to.

  62. Scientist have been lying to us for so long now, we have NO reason believe anything they tell us anymore…. from ‘eggs’ being bad for you, to good for you… to the earth is freezing/burning… i no longer listen to or trust these people – they will state as fact whatever the highest bidder will give them…

  63. Pete – I appreciate the cite, although it is clearly out of date. Three ships who went to the Antarctic to check on global warming got frozen in and had to be airlifted out. Very funny stuff.
    However, I do not comprehend the “You’re Batman”

  64. batman. Not all science is bad, like not all people are bad. Maybe 5% lol

    I believe that right now the human race has the ability to get off fossil fuels with at least two superior and much less expensive technologies. Fossil fuels are at the very least, polluting our world and making us sick which are good enough reasons to use these other technologies. Energy runs our world and if I and others are correct in what we believe, we can reduce our current costs by at least 90%, maybe higher.

    The only thing I can think of is that nobody wants these things to come to the market as they, those with the capital needed to advance these technologies are already to heavily invested in fossil fuels and the related infrastructure.

    A Cold fusion reaction creating excess heat was displayed at last years International Conference on Cold Fusion at the University of Missouri with some 25 countries represented. MIT is holding a symposium of some sort on cold fusion this month. Noted nuclear physicists such as Yeong Kim from Purdue, the US Navy and others from around the world have already tested it. They’re looking for partners and investors. If you’re waiting for some government to do it, you will be waiting for a long time Most of them are in the pockets of big oil which doesn’t include the Koch brothers. The Kochs are actually on our side but for some reason the anti-capitalists have made them the enemy instead of who the real culprits are. Koch Oil is not even in the top 25 largest. http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mef45edhmf/1-saudi-aramco-12-5-million-barrels-per-day-18/ but lets blame them because they’re privately held.

  65. Research ship gets stuck in Antarctic ice. So? There is ice at both poles, and open sea lanes are treacherous. The ice can overwhelm even a big ship. Big deal. Climate deniers get a grin out of it, but the fact one or a dozen research ships get stuck and crews airlifted out is not proof or disproof of anything. The navigators and skippers made some wrong choices in a part of the world that is particularly unforgiving.

    My oldest son has considerable experience on polar ice. The last time their icebreaker returned from a research expedition onto the arctic ice cap, it had a thirty foot gash in its side and was scrapped instead of repaired. News Flash: if you go to the north or south poles, you will find ice. For a while anyway.

  66. The research ship was there with a group specifically picked to measure the melting ice caps. They got trapped. Next ship in to rescue them got trapped. And the next one. The ice was NOT melting.:)
    Charleton, it is not so much that they don’t get stuck in the ice as it was the purpose of the particular voyage and the irony of it all.
    btw, we still don’t know what your ph.d. is in.

  67. There are new technologies out there. It seems as though the problem is that existing suppliers of energy do not want to lose the possibility to 1) make the most money on every last drop of oil they can squeeze out of the earth, and 2) not lose money on already existing infrastructure. Fascinated by the possibility of the use of thorium as an alternative to uranium/plutonium energy, but it seems from what I have read the NRC holds that technology at arms length. If it is all is appears, thorium could replace existing nuclear energy technology, making it a total loser for anyone with money tied up currently. Or, maybe more simply, taking care of their buddies like bankers do.

  68. Paul Schulte wrote: “The ice was NOT melting. :)”

    LOL. Well, when polar ice caps melt, it is evidence for global warming, and when polar ice caps do not melt, it is evidence of global warming too, or just an outlier that causes so-called dummies or deniers to grin. Get with the program, Paul.

    It is amazing how people do not acknowledge the kind of political spin of empirical data that happens. The global data for temperature warming is only +/- 0.5 degrees over the last 100 years, but the doomsday screamers create graphs with an expanded axis to make the data look as steep as possible. There has been a recent downturn over the last decade, and so now the spin goes along the following examples:

    “A new NASA study shows Earth’s climate likely will continue to warm during this century on track with previous estimates, despite the recent slowdown in the rate of global warming.”

    “The harsh season this year “is a reminder that winters are variable and that weather can always throw an outlier our way,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist and climate modeler at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.”

    Face it. Government grants are given to the scientists who can further global warming advocacy. More objective and honest scientists who might be open to alternative interpretations will be shut out of all that money. Politics and popularity rule science just as much as it did the Catholic Church in Galileo’s time. It’s human nature.

  69. David, you and your eristic little arguments, the real scientists, the ones with actual PhDs are in nearly unanimous agreement that the earth’s climate is warming and consensus is growing around changes in the atmosphere as a result of human activity as the cause. Two years ago a Koch-funded scientist changed his position and conceded that the evidence was pointing to an anthropogenic cause.

    Which brings up a point about funding. First, the government has been funding the study of weather and climate as a public safety service; just as it’s important to know about an impending hurricane, we need to know about significant changes in climate and how it will impact society. So government grants for climate studies are justified and critical to public safety. How else will you know when it’s time to pack up your Mickey Mouse costume and head for higher ground, or are you gonna wait for the ghost of Abraham to sound the alarm?

    Second, there are no big profits to made for climate scientists. The Koch Bros and their fellow chemical and energy developers outspend the government year after year in an effort to pay biostitutes to deny climate change is even happening. They spend many millions more to influence the media. Watch, a couple of Koch whores will respond downstream here with all kinds of nonsense about how the climate is just fine.

    The Koch Bros: They’re going to make a profit even if it kills you. I just wish they didn’t enjoy it so much.

  70. Nice try, Elaine, but nothing can kill a St. Paddy’s Day buzz. However, if it’s zombies ye be wanting, check back in tomorrow.

  71. slohrss29 – Nickel Hydrogen and not thorium is the one that is producing the best results. Nickel is the 2nd most abundant metal on the planet and the bi- product of the reaction is copper. Interesting that nickel and copper are next to one another on the elemental chart. There are some very good scientific debates going on to what is actually occurring as numerous groups are achieving excess heat using various materials. Instead of splitting atoms as in hot fusion, they are combining atoms. The cool thing, no pun intended, is that when a cold fusion reaction go out, the system does not continue to burn negated the potential ill effects of a meltdown as will hot fusion. The radiation output is so minimum the scientists don’t even protect themselves anymore during testing. It is like a built-in fail safe. The Tesla Ion Capture devise appears to be even more promising. We’re waiting to see the second University study.

    There is more recent information but this makes my point.

  72. Neil deGrasse Tyson on “Cosmos,” how science got cool, and why he doesn’t debate deniers
    By Chris Mooney

    Thanks in part to Cosmos, Tyson is arguably the single most visible public face of science in America today. And as such, he may have to walk a difficult line. Many science defenders want Cosmos to do nothing less than restore our national sanity by smiting all science denial, especially when it comes to the issues of evolution and global warming. It’s an impossible task, but the theme was nonetheless quite apparent at a November Library of Congress gala dedicating Carl Sagan’s papers, where Cosmos producer Seth MacFarlane denounced science’s “politicization on steroids,” and Cosmos writer Steven Soter remarked that Sagan would have been “appalled” by today’s attacks on climate scientists.

    Carl Sagan himself often took strong stands on science-based political issues of the day. He clashed with the Reagan administration over arms control and the “Star Wars” program, and the debate over his ideas about “nuclear winter” served as a kind of preview of the current battle over global warming. Sagan also openly debated pseudoscientists like Immanuel Velikovsky, who posited that the planet Venus had started out as a comet ejected by Jupiter, and had caused various events described in the Bible on its way to its current position. Indeed, Sagan even took on Velikovsky in the fourth episode of the original Cosmos, explaining in depth why his ideas were wrong.

    By contrast, Tyson made clear on Inquiring Minds that he does not plan to follow in Sagan’s footsteps in this respect (or for that matter, those of Bill Nye the Science Guy, who went straight into the creationists’ den to debate evolution last month, and was faulted by some for doing so). “Carl Sagan would debate people on all manner of issues,” said Tyson. “And I don’t have the time or the energy or the interest in doing so. As an educator, I’d rather just get people thinking straight in the first place, so I don’t have to then debate them later on.” (To be sure, Tyson has on occasion been drawn into such debates in the past.)

    The deniers, of course, are already out in force over the new Cosmos, whose first episode brought up both evolution and global warming, and whose future episodes will tackle human evolution in greater depth. At the creationist website Answers in Genesis, one writer even goes so far as to dispute the show’s treatment of the Big Bang, writing, “The big bang model is unable to explain many scientific observations, but this is of course not mentioned.”

  73. If “molecules-to-man evolution” is the explanation of how humans came to exist, why is / was slavery morally wrong?

  74. Elaine – Sagan did not debate Immanuel Velikovsky, he attacked him out of nowhere in that episode. I watched that episode and was appalled at the venom that Sagan unleashed on Immanuel Velikovsky. I stopped watching the program after that. I lost all respect for Carl Sagan as a scientist or a human being. Immanuel Velikovsky was alive at the time and he could have debated him on the issue, but actually Immanuel Velikovsky was a theory guy. He was interested in positing solutions to puzzles, but he always said it was only a theory. BTW, Immanuel Velikovsky never pretended to be a scientist or have special scientific knowledge. If you read his books rather what others have written about him, you would learn a lot.

  75. Is this the segment of “Cosmos” of which you speak? It doesn’t appear to me that Sagan unleashed venom on Velikovsky in this episode. BTW, the original Cosmos ran in 1980–and Velikovsky died in 1979.

    Cosmos: “Velikovsky”

  76. Elaine – having watched again after these many years I have the same opinion of Sagan and his attack on Immanuel Velikovsky, who had just died the previous year. It is his word choice that makes the difference. However, we now know that the destruction of Sodom was caused by blowback from a comet that sheared off a mountain top, I think in the Alps. This is the sort of thing the Immanuel Velikovsky was positing. I remember watching Sagan when we first landed on the moon and his response to something that happened was “Well, I did not expect that to happen.”
    What we should take to heart here those is Sagan fighting for the right to not censor anyone. Global Warming people keep saying the science is settled, but according to Sagan we should never cut off the debate.
    What I used to tell my students was that I was telling the facts as I knew them of that date, but things could change tomorrow. However, for testing purposes, what I said was correct.:)

  77. RTC wrote: “the real scientists, the ones with actual PhDs…”

    Did you just claim Charles Darwin was not a real scientist because he had no PhD in science? He never even earned any kind of science degree. He did earn a bachelor’s degree in theology.

    RTC wrote: “… nearly unanimous agreement that the earth’s climate is warming and consensus is growing around changes in the atmosphere as a result of human activity as the cause.”

    That is pretty much the way I see it too, so what’s the problem? My comments were about political spin in science over the issue. I haven’t even addressed the outright fraud.
    e.g., http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/smoking-gun-that-the-noaa-us-climate-extremes-index-is-100-fraudulent/

    Science is meant to be objective and fact based, but unfortunately it is not. We can’t even be self-critical anymore in science. Something is really wrong with this picture.

    RTC wrote: “Which brings up a point about funding. First, the government has been funding the study of weather and climate as a public safety service… there are no big profits to made for climate scientists.”

    You just don’t understand the pressure upon scientists to secure funding. It is not about getting rich, but about building a career and earning a living. The name of the game is publish and secure grants. That pressure affects the outcome of the science.

    In issues like climate science, I can’t help but think of a lecture by Feynman that discusses measuring the charge of an electron. It goes something like this:

    “We have learned a lot from experience about how to handle some of the ways we fool ourselves. One example: Millikan measured the charge on an electron by an experiment with falling oil drops, and got an answer which we now know not to be quite right. It’s a little bit off because he had the incorrect value for the viscosity of air. It’s interesting to look at the history of measurements of the charge of an electron, after Millikan. If you plot them as a function of time, you find that one is a little bit bigger than Millikan’s, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than that, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than that, until finally they settle down to a number which is higher.

    Why didn’t they discover the new number was higher right away? It’s a thing that scientists are ashamed of–this history–because it’s apparent that people did things like this: When they got a number that was too high above Millikan’s, they thought something must be wrong–and they would look for and find a reason why something might be wrong. When they got a number close to Millikan’s value they didn’t look so hard. And so they eliminated the numbers that were too far off, and did other things like that.”

    If you look at the data on global warming, is it any coincidence that the hockey stick shape happens right along with the growing popularity of the theory that man is causing the entire earth to warm up at a devastating rate? All these years, and then right around the 1980’s it starts going up? Is any of it from confirmation bias where scientists find what they are looking for? These are just questions. I’m not denying anything. It’s called being self critical and skeptical. That’s the right way for a scientist to think. The alternative is faith, belief, or presumption in scientific dogma and rhetoric.

  78. Paul,

    “Global Warming people keep saying the science is settled, but according to Sagan we should never cut off the debate.”

    The global warming deniers are the ones who are trying to shut down debate…and to silence the scientists who believe man is responsible for some of the heating caused by the burning of fossil fuels. They have even threatened scientists and their families. I haven’t read any stories of the scientists threatening the lives and/or families of deniers.

  79. David: First off, please stay on point. I understand the pressures to compete for funding within the scientific community very well, however I was speaking to our interest, that is to say, the government’s interest in providing such funding. That was my point: the government’s duty to study changes in weather and climate that may impact society.

    Nevertheless, that competition for funding cuts both ways, with those willing to shill for Koch denial dollars vying to to see who can make the most ridiculous claims with the straightest face. Just read any of Paul Schulte’s posts here and you’ll see what I mean. Maybe…you do drink a lot of kool-aid.

    And speaking of turning things on their heads, your notion of what constitutes political spin:

    The hockey stick, so called because of the shape of the data as it appears on a graph, came into being before global warming ever became popular knowledge. The data comes primarily from a monitoring site in Hawaii, well away from any metropolitan areas. This is not a chicken and egg thing; the data came first. Period. Conclusions were drawn from that. Yes, assumptions were made that excluded Intelligent Design from the mix, but they can address that later. The point is that society needs to modify its energy production now.

    What you call political spin is nothing more than society trying to reach consensus on what constitutes responsible behavior in light of what we know. An increase of a half degree in average global temperature is huge on a planet where an increase of two degrees will put much of humanity under extreme pressure and an increase of three degrees throws our survival into question.

    Do you want to be like the frog that remained in a pot of water as it warmed up to boiling, or do you want to use your god-given ability to study the world around you and draw conclusions from what you see. We started out predicting where game would be based on tracks in the mud; with greater sophistication, we’re able to track the changing climate and predict the outcomes. We also have the ability to change our behavior in ways that can forestall those outcomes.

    But, in a democratic society changes require agreement. Unfortunately, there are people like the Koch Bros who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and imposing the costs on society, and who have the resources to mix up a batch of kool-aid big enough any changes to the law and our behavior that hurt their bottom line.

    You’re claiming that the climate data is fudged; that the hockey stick was created after the fact and the data to support claims of global warming are being wedged in to fit predrawn conclusions. You are wrong. You’ve been told what to think without even knowing it. You’re sloshing in kool-aid.

    Would you feel differently if researchers claimed that an Intelligent Designer, AKA God, was causing global warming, thereby making the planet less hospitable for us, as punishment for desecrating the planet and squandering its resources?

  80. Science Deniers Are Freaking Out About “Cosmos”
    —By Chris Mooney
    | Mon Mar. 17, 2014

    If you think the first episode of the new Fox Cosmos series was controversial (with its relatively minor mentions of climate change, evolution, and the Big Bang), Sunday night’s show threw down the gauntlet. Pretty much the entire episode was devoted to the topic of evolution, and the vast profusion of evidence (especially genetic evidence) showing that it is indeed the explanation behind all life on Earth. At one point, host Neil deGrasse Tyson stated it as plainly as you possibly can: “The theory of evolution, like the theory of gravity, is a scientific fact.” (You can watch the full episode here.)

    Not surprisingly, those who deny the theory of evolution were not happy with this. Indeed, the science denial crowd hasn’t been happy with Cosmos in general. Here are some principal lines of attack:

    Denying the Big Bang: In the first episode of Cosmos, titled, “Standing Up in the Milky Way,” Tyson dons shades just before witnessing the Big Bang. You know, the start of everything. Some creationists, though, don’t like the Big Bang; at Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis, a critique of Cosmos asserts that “the big bang model is unable to explain many scientific observations, but this is of course not mentioned.”

    Alas, this creationist critique seems very poorly timed: A major new scientific discovery, just described in detail in The New York Times, has now provided “smoking gun” evidence for “inflation,” a crucial component of our understanding of the stunning happenings just after the Big Bang. Using a special telescope to examine the cosmic microwave background radiation (which has been dubbed the “afterglow” of the Big Bang), researchers at the South Pole detected “direct evidence” of the previously theoretical gravitational waves that are believed to have originated in the Big Bang and caused an incredibly sudden and dramatic inflation of the universe. (For an easy to digest discussion, Phil Plait has more.)

    Denying evolution: Sunday’s episode of Cosmos was all about evolution. It closely followed the rhetorical strategy of Charles Darwin’s world-changing 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, beginning with an example of “artificial selection” by breeders (Darwin used pigeons, Cosmos used domestic dogs) to get us ready to appreciate the far vaster power of natural selection. It employed Darwin’s favorite metaphor: The “tree of life,” an analogy that helps us see how all organisms are living on different branches of the same hereditary tree. In the episode, Tyson also refuted one of the creationist’s favorite canards: The idea that complex organs, like the eye, could not have been produced through evolution.

    Over at the pro-“intelligent design” Discovery Institute, they’re not happy. Senior Fellow David Klinghoffer writes that the latest Cosmos episode “[extrapolated] shamelessly, promiscuously from artificial selection (dogs from wolves) to minor stuff like the color of a polar bear’s fur to the development of the human eye.” In a much more elaborate attempted takedown, meanwhile, the Institute’s Casey Luskin accuses Tyson and Cosmos of engaging in “attempts to persuade people of both evolutionary scientific views and larger materialistic evolutionary beliefs, not just by the force of the evidence, but by rhetoric and emotion, and especially by leaving out important contrary arguments and evidence.” Luskin goes on to contend that there is something wrong with the idea of the “tree of life.” Tell that to the scientists involved in the Open Tree of Life project, which plans to produce “the first online, comprehensive first-draft tree of all 1.8 million named species, accessible to both the public and scientific communities.” Precisely how to reconstruct every last evolutionary relationship may still be an open scientific question, but the idea of common ancestry, the core of evolution (represented conceptually by a “tree of life”), is not.

  81. Elaine – you really need to read outside your comfort zone. If, and I say IF, scientists are getting death threats then it is because they are trying to shut down the debate. The data is fraudulent, we all ready know that from Micheal Mann. It cannot be duplicated because they “accidentally” scrubbed the original data. We know the debate was shut down because of the emails of Micheal Mann and then since non-compliers where not in ‘peer reviewed’ journals (that they had systematically been shut out of) it was used against them.
    You piss and moan over what happened to Galileo, but you are unable to face the truth of today. Global Warming scientists are doing exactly what the Catholic Church did to Galileo. You are using the Alinsky method to push them to the sidelines. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

  82. RTC wrote: “Nevertheless, that competition for funding cuts both ways, with those willing to shill for Koch denial dollars vying to to see who can make the most ridiculous claims with the straightest face. Just read any of Paul Schulte’s posts here and you’ll see what I mean.”

    I know that I do not receive any funding from the Koch brothers. Paul will have to speak for himself. If none of us here in this forum who are skeptical are being funded by the Koch brothers, then all your rhetoric about it being the cause for skepticism is false.

    By the way, I am an environmentalist and support clean energy. My critique is simply self criticism, which I believe is healthy. When fellow scientists engage in fraud, we should call them on it. When fellow scientists engage in confirmation bias, we should warn them about it. When fellow scientists are not open and honest about the many natural causations for global climate change, and the historical data indicating much more drastic changes in the past than what we currently observe, we should call them on it. That’s all this is about. Should we be concerned about using clean energy and moving away from fossil fuels? Absolutely. We need to work toward that kind of transition. Is the world going to end in the next decade if we drill for oil? No.

  83. Paul,

    Ah, what more would I expect as a response from a climate change denier? I don’t have a “comfort zone” when it comes to global warming/climate change. I wish the great majority of scientists who are experts on the subject were wrong.


    Is the following article “outside your comfort zone?”

    The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic
    Published: July 28, 2012

    Berkeley, Calif.

    CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

    My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.

    These findings are stronger than those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations group that defines the scientific and diplomatic consensus on global warming. In its 2007 report, the I.P.C.C. concluded only that most of the warming of the prior 50 years could be attributed to humans. It was possible, according to the I.P.C.C. consensus statement, that the warming before 1956 could be because of changes in solar activity, and that even a substantial part of the more recent warming could be natural.

    Our Berkeley Earth approach used sophisticated statistical methods developed largely by our lead scientist, Robert Rohde, which allowed us to determine earth land temperature much further back in time. We carefully studied issues raised by skeptics: biases from urban heating (we duplicated our results using rural data alone), from data selection (prior groups selected fewer than 20 percent of the available temperature stations; we used virtually 100 percent), from poor station quality (we separately analyzed good stations and poor ones) and from human intervention and data adjustment (our work is completely automated and hands-off). In our papers we demonstrate that none of these potentially troublesome effects unduly biased our conclusions.

    The historic temperature pattern we observed has abrupt dips that match the emissions of known explosive volcanic eruptions; the particulates from such events reflect sunlight, make for beautiful sunsets and cool the earth’s surface for a few years. There are small, rapid variations attributable to El Niño and other ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream; because of such oscillations, the “flattening” of the recent temperature rise that some people claim is not, in our view, statistically significant. What has caused the gradual but systematic rise of two and a half degrees? We tried fitting the shape to simple math functions (exponentials, polynomials), to solar activity and even to rising functions like world population. By far the best match was to the record of atmospheric carbon dioxide, measured from atmospheric samples and air trapped in polar ice.

    Just as important, our record is long enough that we could search for the fingerprint of solar variability, based on the historical record of sunspots. That fingerprint is absent. Although the I.P.C.C. allowed for the possibility that variations in sunlight could have ended the “Little Ice Age,” a period of cooling from the 14th century to about 1850, our data argues strongly that the temperature rise of the past 250 years cannot be attributed to solar changes. This conclusion is, in retrospect, not too surprising; we’ve learned from satellite measurements that solar activity changes the brightness of the sun very little.

    How definite is the attribution to humans? The carbon dioxide curve gives a better match than anything else we’ve tried. Its magnitude is consistent with the calculated greenhouse effect — extra warming from trapped heat radiation. These facts don’t prove causality and they shouldn’t end skepticism, but they raise the bar: to be considered seriously, an alternative explanation must match the data at least as well as carbon dioxide does. Adding methane, a second greenhouse gas, to our analysis doesn’t change the results. Moreover, our analysis does not depend on large, complex global climate models, the huge computer programs that are notorious for their hidden assumptions and adjustable parameters. Our result is based simply on the close agreement between the shape of the observed temperature rise and the known greenhouse gas increase.

  84. RTC – when liberals cannot win an argument they vilify the opponent. Which you are trying to do to me. I was an award-winning teacher and beloved by many of my students. I was also the bane of any liberal faculty because I was the counter-weight to their “facts.” Just as I am a counter-weight to the blarney you vomit out.
    I have the balls to write under my own name, but you hide in the shadows. You know your personal attack rises to the level of libel.

  85. Elaine – although I do read the NYTimes, I never read it without looking for the bias in each article. I subscribe to several newspapers thru Feedly and get about 1000 articles a day that I winnow thru. Of course, many of those are duplicates. I get the NYTimes, NYPost, Washington Times, Washington Post, LATimes, two British papers and my local paper. I also subscribe to several blogs including HuffPo and Salon. I also get Science Daily and am on the President’s email list. I am what is considered a HIGH information voter.
    Re Mr. Muller article, basically what he is saying is I cannot prove what I am saying but you cannot prove that I am wrong.:) Besides writing in the NYTimes, he is working at Berkeley. Do you think he would be able to publish an anti-Climate Warming article and stay employed at Berkeley? They would cut his funding and move his office to the broom closet. You and I both know that.:)

    And Elaine, you still haven’t gotten out of ‘your’ comfort zone.😉

  86. Paul, I suggest that most readers and commenters here are also high information voters. You are attempting to marginalize Elaine, I don’t think that tactic will work. Elaine has proven herself many times over here on the Turley blog.

  87. And Paul, you probably don’t want me to say that when conservatives lose an they marginalize their opponents.

  88. annie, I am not trying to marginalize Elaine, just get her to broaden her horizons. High information voter does not mean getting your information from people who get their information from the same source. One of the reasons I get the British papers is that they do a great job of covering events in the USA that American papers do not cover.

  89. Elaine – I am not sure how to contact Prof. Turley regarding RTC’s personal attack on me. Since this is your weekend blog, could you either delete his comment or get Prof. Turley to do it.

  90. annie, I cannot defend anyone who does it. I have stopped following people who did it regardless. I love a good debate, but hate when it gets personal or you try cheap tricks. I know that happens and I know why people do it. I try not to.

  91. Paul, your premise is that her horizons are not as broad as yours, based on your opinion only. You really have no idea how well read she is. That is faulty reasoning and most commenters here are smart enough to see through it.

  92. Paul – RTC in my opinion is now the worst offender of yellow journalism and use of logical fallacies on the site. Try to ignore him when possible. I know that what he writes almost always requires a reply and I can’t always stop myself, but it is best to ignore him if you can, unless you really like banging your head against a wall. lol Just kidding RTC, you know I love you.

  93. RTC was a “cool kid” not so long ago. He’s not made the adjustment yet. He is feeling “marginalized.”

  94. Paul, Mr. Turley has pointed out that people who use their own name are much more likely to be civil, truthful, etc. We people w/ the courage to use our own names, understand your point.

  95. rtc:

    “Paul : My feeling is, after reading some of your posts here, that you no more belong in a classroom of students than a common pedophile.”

    now how do you know that? The same way Tyson “knows” that climate change is man made? Just some feeling from Plato’s forms?

  96. annie, you are putting your thoughts in my mouth. My contention is that she has yet to offer evidence from a source other than liberal. She is still getting stuff from her comfort zone. I would like to see her move out of it.:) btw, I am sure she appreciates you defending her.:)

  97. Paul,

    You presume to know what I read/don’t read. You assume that because I don’t agree with your global warming denial view that I don’t read outside my comfort zone. I give much more weight to the views of people/scientists who are experts in their fields than to the views of those who may be funded by oil companies or have an ax to grind. For example, should I give Jenny McCarthy’s views on vaccines the same weight as those of doctors who work for the CDC/NIH? I think not.

  98. Elaine:

    Dr. Muller called me and said he it was getting really hot at Berkley so he wrote that paper to cool things off. Funding was hanging in the balance and the amount of CO2 spewed at him was setting off detectors in his office.

    It is all better now and he has been welcomed back into the fold.

  99. annie,

    I’m used to people who disagree with me implying that I only read certain news sources, can’t comprehend what I read, don’t use factual information or studies to back up my posts.

    What some of my critics do is projecting. They usually stay inside their comfort zone–where they are used to people always agreeing with them. When they stray from their comfort zone, they don’t understand how to handle the discussions–so they sometimes attack the knowledge, intelligence, character, motives of those who disagree with them.

  100. Nick: As far as people who use their full names being more civil, you are the exception that proves the rule.

    Byron: Whatever. Next time try to make sense

    Skip: I feel the same way about you. BTW, nice discussion about cold fusion. No, really.

    David: You are the king of confirmation bias. And you are an environmentalist without a land ethic, or have you forgotten your opposition to a state constitutional amendment to ensure clean water.

    And simply because you are trying to prove the existence of Intelligent Design means you wear the “scientist” label loosely.

  101. Climate change: time for the sceptics to put up or shut up
    If climate change sceptics have a coherent explanation for the events we are witnessing, it’s time they held an international conference and told us what they believe
    Henry Porter
    The Observer
    Saturday 15 February 2014

    Say I were to ask you to prove that the dinosaurs were wiped out when an asteroid collided with the Earth 66m years ago, in what is now snappily called the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event.

    If you were as weirdly obsessed by these catastrophes as I am, you would maybe start by citing the worldwide layer of sediment known as K-Pg boundary, which was first discovered near Gubbio, in Italy, and is thought to be the fallout from a massive explosion. You would mention the soot that is associated with this layer, the site of a huge impact in the Yucatán region of Mexico 66m years ago and, finally, you’d ask what else could have caused the dinosaurs to die out more or less overnight. A sceptic might respond that this is all supposition, evidence tenuously linked to fit a very recent theory: none of it constitutes proof and no one can ever know why the dinosaurs vanished to allow the rise of mammals and the eventual evolution of man.

    So you would quote more evidence, such as the presence in the K-Pg layer of iridium, an element rare on Earth but not in asteroids, as well as the altered state of quartz, which can only be made under extremely high pressure, such as is caused by a huge impact of a 10km asteroid. You would mention the long darkness when only ferns grew and the fact that the seas were emptied of all but the most tenacious species.

    Ah, but this is still all very hypothetical, the sceptic would say, at which point you might give up and tell him, yes, a spacecraft might have visited Earth and exterminated 75% of the world’s species, but you’re going with the best available evidence. The sceptic would walk away, satisfied that he had achieved a draw, not from the merit of his argument, but simply because he had not let you convince him.

    This is where we are with the climate change deniers. The absolute proof of manmade global warming is unlikely to arrive until it is too late and so the deniers are scrupulously indulged with equal time in the argument, where, taking the part of Little Britain’s wheelchair user Andy to our Lou, nothing is ever good enough for them.

    They are always the sniping antagonists, rarely, if ever, standing up to say: we believe in the following facts and here is our research. It is a risk-free strategy – at least for the moment – that comes almost exclusively from the political right and is, as often as not, incentivised by simple capitalist gain. Hearing Lord Lawson argue with the impeccably reasonable climate scientist Sir Brian Hoskins on the BBC Today programme last week, I finally boiled over. It is surely now time for the deniers to make their case and hold an international conference, where they set out their scientific stall, which, while stating that the climate is fundamentally chaotic, provides positive, underlying evidence that man’s activity has had no impact on sea and atmosphere temperatures, diminishing icecaps and glaciers, rising sea levels and so on.

    Until such a conference is held and people such as Lawson, Lord Monckton, Christopher Booker, Samuel Brittan and Viscount Ridley – names that begin to give you some idea of the demographic – are required to provide the proof of their case, rather than feeding off that of their opponents, they should be treated with mild disdain. I don’t say deniers should be banned from media outlets, as the website Reddit has attempted to do, but just that there should be agreement that they must now qualify, with argument and facts, for the balanced coverage they receive in such places as the BBC.

  102. Elaine – don’t read into it something I did not say. Use a source outside your comfort zone. So far all I have seen is stuff from people who march to the same drummer. Let’s hear from a different band, or at least a different drummer.
    BTW, how are you coming on my complaint about RTC?

  103. RTC – first admit that you libeled me. Apologize for doing it without repeating the libel. Second, use your real name plus a.k.a. RTC so we know who you are/were.

  104. Paul,

    I’ve been commenting on this blog since 2009. I have been a guest blogger since 2010. How long have you been around? Have you read everything that I’ve posted on this blog? Do you really know whereof you speak? Talk about a rush to judgment.

    Regarding RTC: Guest bloggers do not delete comments. I suggest you submit your complaint via email or snail mail to Professor Turley.

  105. Paul: I didn’t call you a pedophile. I am shocked that you attempt to teach children that global warming is a hoax. Therefore, I have nothing to apologize for.

    I am going to assume that you want my real name so that you can forward it to the Koch Bros thuggery division in order to commence harassment protocols. Is that what you’re implying by were?

  106. Richard Branson tells climate deniers to ‘get out of the way’
    Virgin chief writes on his blog that businesses should follow Apple’s example and take a stand against climate scepticism
    Adam Vaughan
    Monday 10 March 2014

    Virgin Group chairman and founder, Sir Richard Branson, has said businesses should “stand up” to climate change deniers and they should “get out of our way”.

    Branson said he was “enormously impressed” with Apple’s chief executive for telling climate change sceptics to ditch shares in the technology company.

    At Apple’s annual meeting last month, Tim Cook responded angrily to questions from a rightwing thinktank, the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), about the profitability of investing in renewable energy, saying: “If you want me to do things only for ROI [return on investment] reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

    Writing on his blog, Branson said he “wholeheartedly” supported Cook’s comments and that every business in the world should emulate Cook’s goal of wanting “to leave the world better than we found it”, an aim Branson said Virgin shared too.

    “The NCPPR stated there is an ‘absence of compelling data’ on climate change. If 97% of climate scientists agreeing that climate-warming trends over the past century are due to human activities isn’t compelling data, I don’t know what is,” Branson said, referring to a survey last year of thousands of peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals that found 97.1% agreed climate change is man-made.

  107. Climate change sceptics are ‘headless chickens’, says Prince Charles
    Charles uses green awards speech at Buckingham Palace to renew attack on ‘powerful groups of deniers’
    Ben Quinn
    The Guardian, Friday 31 January 2014

    The Prince of Wales has launched an attack on climate change sceptics, describing them as the “headless chicken brigade” and accusing “powerful groups of deniers” of engaging in intimidation.

    Charles, who has long campaigned to raise awareness of global warming and has hit out at sceptics in the past, unleashed his latest salvo during an awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace for green entrepreneurs.

    “It is baffling, I must say, that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything – until, that is, it comes to climate science,” the prince said in a speech on Thursday evening.

    “All of a sudden, and with a barrage of sheer intimidation, we are told by powerful groups of deniers that the scientists are wrong and we must abandon all our faith in so much overwhelming scientific evidence.

    “So, thank goodness for our young entrepreneurs here this evening, who have the far-sightedness and confidence in what they know is happening to ignore the headless chicken brigade and do something practical to help.”

    Charles made his comments as the inaugural Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize was awarded to Gamal Albinsaid, who founded the Indonesian social enterprise Garbage Clinical Insurance, which helps the poor gain access to health services and education through the collection and recycling of rubbish.

  108. Elaine – methinks thou durst protest too much.😉 I clearly have pushed a button since you are trying to marginalize me. Thank God for reading Saul Alinsky.:)

    Regarding RTC – there does not seem to be an email address for Prof. Turley. If you have one, could you post it? Johnathan makes a great case for civility and how he will handle the uncivil, but nowhere does he seem to have an avenue for reporting it.

  109. Death threats, intimidation and abuse: climate change scientist Michael E. Mann counts the cost of honesty
    Research by Michael E. Mann confirmed the reality of global warming. Little did he know that it would also expose him to a vicious hate campaign
    Robin McKie
    The Observer
    Saturday 3 March 2012

    The scientist who has borne the full brunt of attacks by climate change deniers, including death threats and accusations of misappropriating funds, is set to hit back.

    Michael E. Mann, creator of the “hockey stick” graph that illustrates recent rapid rises in global temperatures, is to publish a book next month detailing the “disingenuous and cynical” methods used by those who have tried to disprove his findings. The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars is a startling depiction of a scientist persecuted for trying to tell the truth.

    Among the tactics used against Mann were the theft and publication, in 2009, of emails he had exchanged with climate scientist Professor Phil Jones of East Anglia University. Selected, distorted versions of these emails were then published on the internet in order to undermine UN climate talks due to begin in Copenhagen a few weeks later. These negotiations ended in failure. The use of those emails to kill off the climate talks was “a crime against humanity, a crime against the planet,” says Mann, a scientist at Penn State University.

    In his book, Mann warns that “public discourse has been polluted now for decades by corporate-funded disinformation – not just with climate change but with a host of health, environmental and societal threats.” The implications for the planet are grim, he adds.

    Mann became a target of climate deniers’ hate because his research revealed there has been a recent increase of almost 1°C across the globe, a rise that was unprecedented “during at least the last 1,000 years” and which has been linked to rising emissions of carbon dioxide from cars, factories and power plants. Many other studies have since supported this finding although climate change deniers still reject his conclusions.

    Mann’s research particularly infuriated deniers after it was used prominently by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in one of its assessment reports, making him a target of right-wing denial campaigners. But as the 46-year-old scientist told the Observer, he only entered this research field by accident. “I was interested in variations in temperatures of the oceans over the past millennium. But there are no records of these changes so I had to find proxy measures: coral growth, ice cores and tree rings.”

    By studying these he could trace temperature fluctuations over the past 1,000 years, he realised. The result was a graph that showed small oscillations in temperature over that period until, about 150 years ago, there was a sudden jump, a clear indication that human activities were likely to be involved. A colleague suggested the graph looked like a hockey stick and the name stuck. The results of the study were published in Nature in 1998. Mann’s life changed for ever.

    “The trouble is that the hockey stick graph become an icon and deniers reckoned if they could smash the icon, the whole concept of global warming would be destroyed with it. Bring down Mike Mann and we can bring down the IPCC, they reckoned. It is a classic technique for the deniers’ movement, I have discovered, and I don’t mean only those who reject the idea of global warming but those who insist that smoking doesn’t cause cancer or that industrial pollution isn’t linked to acid rain.”

    A barrage of intimidation was generated by “a Potemkin village” of policy foundations, as Mann puts it. These groups were set up by privately-funded groups that included Koch Industries and Scaife Foundations and bore names such as the Cato Institute, Americans for Prosperity and the Heartland Institute. These groups bombarded Mann with freedom of information requests while the scientist was served with a subpoena by Republican congressman Joe Barton to provide access to his correspondence. The purported aim was to clarify issues. The real aim was to intimidate Mann.

    In addition, Mann has been attacked by Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican attorney general of Virginia who has campaigned to have the scientist stripped of academic credentials. Several committees of inquiry have investigated Mann’s work. All have exonerated him.

  110. What is the fixation with the new commenters regarding other commenter’s anonomonity? Could it be a way to silence them by publishing personal information about them? Seems like this is becoming a theme with new conservative commenters the last week or so.

  111. Paul,

    I would never feel free to post another person’s email address on a public blog. You’re an award-winning teacher. I bet you could figure out where you might find the professor’s email address…or snail mail address.

    I “durst” protest too much??? Is that a line from Shakespeare?

  112. Prince Charles, much like Al Gore, is not a scientist. At best he is an over-paid figurehead, at worst he is a twit. I speak not for myself here, but from the various British papers who are hoping he will step out of the line of succession and leave to his more stable children. He is currently being investigated for pressuring groups outside his authority. BTW, scientists (remember Carl Sagan say this) are often wrong. He uses the word “faith” which implies believing in that which cannot be proved. One should believe in scientists, not have faith in them.

  113. Paul,

    Well, you won’t take the word of climate scientists–the great majority of whom have come to a consensus on the subject of global warming. Whose word will you take?

    According to you and some others who have commented on this thread, no one should ever think that scientists have come to agreement on certain scientific subjects. Do you accept the fact that the Earth is spherical and not flat? Do you accept the fact that the Earth revolves around the sun? Do you accept the fact that it takes the Earth 365.25 days to orbit the sun? Do you accept the fact that the sun is the center of our solar system?…..?????

  114. Elaine – I was hoping that the professor was using a different email for this blog than his professional one. But now I will have to bother him on his professional email.

    I paraphased Shakespeare. Please do not blame it on poor Will.

  115. RTC said “If your alleging that I called you a pedophile, I did not. I feel, like most people, that pedophiles should not be allowed in classrooms with children.

    By teaching children that there is no factual basis to support global warming; that climate scientists have fabricated data; that climate scientists are “shutting down debate”, you are screwing with the minds of future generations. Period.

    Therefore, I am shocked to learn that you have been given access to children. I wouldn’t want pedophiles teaching children (I trust we agree), and I wouldn’t want you teaching them, either.”

    From what does RTC draw his moral boundaries? Did these boundaries evolve with the stardust?

    Why would “screwing with the minds of future generations” be inappropriate, and how does he determine which teaching meets this standard? From where does his standard emanate? How did it evolve from stardust?

  116. New meme in the conservative sphere, shhhh never utter the name of the holy of holies, “Koch Bros”. Try to marginalize people who bring the fact to light that they’ve bought one too many politicians, because it’s just a conspiracy theory, no basis in fact, right? Who has been claiming a thread is now closed because some commenter mentioned Koch?


  117. Elaine M,
    Perhaps Prince Charles would like to pay Restitution for all the people that is family has killed throughout the last 1,000 years by contributing to the various available technologies that would solve the problem.

    The various governments and the world governments associations, such as the UN are providing the money for the various conferences and most of their attendees – Provide some money for the other side and I assure you many would love to come and provide evidence and show some of the faux science of the CO2ers. By the way, many scientists believe the current ramifications of global warming?, are most likely being caused by Solar Flaring and will soon go away. Hopefully, the sun will soon stop doing that. lol

    However, wouldn’t it be better to fund available technologies that won’t pollute or cause other problems in our world? Over fishing is another huge problem. If we are to sustain our cultures we need to grow more food or start exterminating more people which seems to be the preference of various governments. A much higher percentage of people are being shot and killed today by police than ever before in the US. Hmmmm.

  118. I do not take the word of anyone. One, the Earth is not a sphere. Two, the Earth does rotate around the Sun. Three, the Earth takes more than 365.25 days to rotate around the Sun, hence the periodic clock corrections. Four, the Sun is the center of our universe. Climate change/Global Warming is based on bad data and Dr. Muller from Berkeley does not change that. Muller is just saying it is his best guess. He will keep his job.:)

  119. “But now I will have to bother him on his professional email. ”
    So if feel you are bothering Professor Turley by emailing him then why are you doing this?

  120. It seems Elaine’s writing of the Earth’s orbit of the Sun was not precise enough for some; that it was longer.

    Ok, how about 365.2563666 days.

  121. Not just the Koch brothers: New study reveals funders behind the climate change denial effort
    Dec 20, 2013

    A new study conducted by Drexel University’s environmental sociologist Robert J. Brulle, PhD, exposes the organizational underpinnings and funding behind the powerful climate change countermovement. This study marks the first peer-reviewed, comprehensive analysis ever conducted of the sources of funding that maintain the denial effort.

    Through an analysis of the financial structure of the organizations that constitute the core of the countermovement and their sources of monetary support, Brulle found that, while the largest and most consistent funders behind the countermovement are a number of well-known conservative foundations, the majority of donations are “dark money,” or concealed funding.

    The data also indicates that Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, two of the largest supporters of climate science denial, have recently pulled back from publicly funding countermovement organizations. Coinciding with the decline in traceable funding, the amount of funding given to countermovement organizations through third party pass-through foundations like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, whose funders cannot be traced, has risen dramatically.

    Brulle, a professor of sociology and environmental science in Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences, conducted the study during a year-long fellowship at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. The study was published today in Climatic Change, one of the top 10 climate science journals in the world.

    The climate change countermovement is a well-funded and organized effort to undermine public faith in climate science and block action by the U.S. government to regulate emissions. This countermovement involves a large number of organizations, including conservative think tanks, advocacy groups, trade associations and conservative foundations, with strong links to sympathetic media outlets and conservative politicians.

    “The climate change countermovement has had a real political and ecological impact on the failure of the world to act on the issue of global warming,” said Brulle. “Like a play on Broadway, the countermovement has stars in the spotlight – often prominent contrarian scientists or conservative politicians – but behind the stars is an organizational structure of directors, script writers and producers, in the form of conservative foundations. If you want to understand what’s driving this movement, you have to look at what’s going on behind the scenes.”…

    “The real issue here is one of democracy. Without a free flow of accurate information, democratic politics and government accountability become impossible,” said Brulle. “Money amplifies certain voices above others and, in effect, gives them a megaphone in the public square. Powerful funders are supporting the campaign to deny scientific findings about global warming and raise public doubts about the roots and remedies of this massive global threat. At the very least, American voters deserve to know who is behind these efforts.”

  122. Paul, You have read everyone quite well. Hang tough. It was exponentially worse just a short time ago. And, when they tell you about their length of service, and rank, you know you’re winning. Kinda like a politician asking angrily, “Don’t you know who I am?”

  123. nick,

    Once again you’ve misinterpreted a comment of mine–but that’s to be expected. Paul, who has been here for just a short time, claimed that I read/use only liberal sources. I wanted to know how he could be sure of that. He did not respond to my comment. I guess you felt it was your responsibility to insinuate yourself into our discussion by making snide comments about me. Things have not gotten exponentially better. You’re still up to the same old stuff.

  124. Global Warming Skeptic Organizations
    Union of Concerned Scientists

    An overwhelming majority of scientists agree — global warming is happening and human activity is the primary cause. Yet several prominent global warming skeptic organizations are actively working to sow doubt about the facts of global warming.

    These organizations play a key role in the fossil fuel industry’s “disinformation playbook,” a strategy designed to confuse the public about global warming and delay action on climate change. Why? Because the fossil fuel industry wants to sell more coal, oil, and gas — even though the science clearly shows that the resulting carbon emissions threaten our planet.

    Who are these groups? And what is the evidence linking them to the fossil fuel industry?

    Here’s a quick primer on several prominent global warming skeptic organizations, including examples of their disinformation efforts and funding sources from the fossil fuel industry. Many have received large donations from foundations established, and supported, by the fossil fuel billionaire Koch brothers.
    American Enterprise Institute

    – The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has routinely tried to undermine the credibility of climate science, despite at times affirming that the “weight of the evidence” justifies “prudent action” on climate change. [1]

    For years, AEI played a role in propagating misinformation about a manufactured controversy over emails stolen from climate scientists [2], with one AEI research fellow even claiming, “There was no consensus about the extent and causes of global warming.” [3] A resident scholar at AEI went so far as to state that the profession of climate scientist “threatens to overtake all” on the list of “most distrusted occupations.” [4]

    AEI received $3,615,000 from ExxonMobil from 1998-2012 [5], and more than $1 million in funding from Koch foundations from 2004-2011. [6]
    Americans for Prosperity

    – Americans for Prosperity (AFP) frequently provides a platform for climate contrarian statements, such as “How much information refutes carbon dioxide-caused global warming? Let me count the ways.” [7]

    While claiming to be a grassroots organization, AFP has bolstered its list of “activists” by hosting “$1.84 Gas” events, where consumers who receive discounts on gasoline are asked to provide their name and email address on a “petition” form. [8] These events are billed as raising awareness about “failing energy policies” and high gasoline prices, but consumers are not told about AFP’s ties to oil interests, namely Koch Industries.

    AFP has its origins in a group founded in 1984 by fossil fuel billionaires Charles and David Koch [9], and the latter Koch still serves on AFP Foundation’s board of directors [10]. Richard Fink, executive vice president of Koch Industries, also serves as a director for both AFP and AFP Foundation. [11]

    Koch foundations donated $3,609,281 to AFP Foundation from 2007-2011. [12]
    American Legislative Exchange Council

    – The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) maintains that “global climate change is inevitable” [13] and since the 1990s has pushed various forms of model legislation aimed at obstructing policies intended to reduce global warming emissions.

    ALEC purports to “support the use of sound science to guide policy,” but routinely provides a one-sided platform for climate contrarians. State legislators attending one ALEC meeting were offered a workshop touting a report by a fossil fuel-funded group that declared “like love, carbon dioxide’s many splendors are seemingly endless.” [14, 15] Another ALEC meeting featured a Fox News contributor who has claimed on the air that carbon dioxide “literally cannot cause global warming.” [16, 17]

    ALEC received more than $1.6 million from ExxonMobil from 1998-2012 [18], and more than $850,000 from Koch foundations from 1997-2011. [19]
    Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University

    – From its position as the research arm of the Department of Economics at Suffolk University, the Beacon Hill Institute (BHI) has published misleading analyses of clean energy and climate change policies in more than three dozen states.

    These economic analyses are at times accompanied by a dose of climate contrarianism. For example, BHI Director David Tuerck has claimed that “the very question of whether the climate is warming is in doubt…” [20] Claims such as “wind power actually increases pollution” can be found in many of BHI’s reports.

    BHI has publicly acknowledged its Koch funding [21], which likely includes at least some of the approximately $725,000 the Charles G. Koch foundation contributed to Suffolk University from 2008-2011. [22]

  125. Elaine – it is lunch time here and I was out refueling. I am only speaking about what you are using in this context. I have no idea what other context you use material from other sources.

    Sorry about the Sun thingie. My bad. should be ‘of our solar system.’ Good catch, Elaine.

    Darren – I am writing him because of the incivility of RTC.

    Godwin’s Law states that the longer a blog goes on the more likely Nazis or Hitler will be mentioned. Godwin’s Corollary adds the Koch Brothers. The law also states whomever mentions Nazis, Hitler or the Koch Brothers first automatically loses the debate.:)

  126. Paul,

    “Godwin’s Law states that the longer a blog goes on the more likely Nazis or Hitler will be mentioned. Godwin’s Corollary adds the Koch Brothers. The law also states whomever mentions Nazis, Hitler or the Koch Brothers first automatically loses the debate.”

    And who decided to add the Koch brothers to Godwin’s Law?

  127. Elaine, When you start using non left wing sources, myself and others will tend to believe your assertion. A conservative estimate on your sources are 80%, liberal, the rest “neutral” ala CNN. We have gone over this previously. Your answer is “You don’t know what I read!” That is true, we can only deduce. The NSA knows! Let’s just disagree and move on.

  128. Paul, I believe there were at least two other threads in the last two days that you declared were over because someone mentioned the Kochs. I don’t recall anyone appointing Paul rule maker.

  129. Godwin declared them over. True, annie I am not the rule maker, but I am very aware of the rule.:) And the first to use it loses. Ergo, once the debate is lost, it is over. The fat lady done sung.:)

    Elaine – good question on the corollary. I do not know, just know it was added. Just as I know there are corollaries to Murphy’s Law, but I do not know who added them.

    Darren – perception is reality. I think he has been uncivil, we will let Professor Turley decide.

  130. on 1, March 16, 2014 at 5:11 pmPaul Schulte
    “This thread has reached the Godwin corollary (Koch Brothers) so it needs to end.”

    Paul, Godwin’s law does not correlate to mention of the Kochs. That is something YOU believe and want to use to shut down discussion. Why does it seem like we have been invaded by political operatives, ok call me paranoid.

  131. Darren, Have someone let you read all his posts over the last 8 months or so. 90% yellow journalism and logical fallacies. It seems to be his MO. He can’t go two sentences with out ratfcuting you in a reply.

  132. RTC and Paul:

    I have deleted a couple of postings in this thread that have gotten unnecessarily personal and uncivil. You both have interesting points in this threat and I am not sure why it was necessary to get so personal. While I do not believe that RTC was calling Paul a pedophile, it was clearly gratuitous and uncivil. Moreover, it degraded the argument into a personal tit-for-tat. This blog tries to offer a small (and increasingly rare) island of civility and adult conversation in the blogosphere. We are not interested in scoring digs at other posters. If you have points to share for or against global climate change, make them. Leave your view of the other commenters or digs at the intellect or rationality to other blogs. I appreciate your help in maintaining our civility policy.

  133. annie – first their is Godwin’s Law which deals with Nazis and Hitler. Then there is Godwin’s corollary which deals with the Koch Brothers. BTW, I have not pushed any political agenda other than to call people on using exclusively liberal sites. Just for your information, there is a big difference between a corollary and correlate.

  134. Elaime M. – That was the UN not NASA. Here is an excerpt.
    “In its recently released Fourth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of 1,300 independent scientific experts from countries all over the world under the auspices of the United Nations, concluded there’s a more than 90 percent probability that human activities over the past 250 years have warmed our planet.”

    And how many of those 1300 scientists are on some government grant or payroll?

  135. Jonathan – thank you for your efforts. I do apologize to RTC for my part in any pay back. Still, I think that we should all post under our real names.

  136. RTC, there is so much sarcasm in our replies, that I can’t tell if you and I are being sincere or not. lol

    My problem, well one of them, is that I have to also work while I do this and I can’t read all the posts and probably miss a bunch of stuff. Sorry if my posts may sometimes appear unfamiliar or off point. I try the best to keep up.

  137. Paul Schulte:

    1. This is not a “moderated” blog. It is assumed that people will attempt to be adults. Comments are not censored or deleted because someone is unhappy. In the event of a truly egregious act, such as publishing personal information about someone, Prof. Turley, as the owner of the blog, retains the right to ban the publisher.

    2. Anonymity is respected on this blog. People choose to remain anonymous for a variety of reasons, none of which are any of the business of the rest of us.

    3. Posters are free to cite whatever sources they wish to use for their information (or no sources at all). Those who read the posts are likewise free to criticize the sources or post sources they find more credible. Whether a source is liberal, conservative, independent or merely stupid is immaterial.

    4. Posters who do not feel comfortable engaging in conversation on this blog are always free to refrain from engaging.

    5. This is not a debating society. Although there are posters who treat the blog as though it were some sort of competition, they usually find that others do not enjoy playing that game. We express opinions on a broad range of issues. Some people agree with us; others do not. No one wins a prize.

    6. A thread is “over” when people weary of adding to it.

  138. it is god dam cold in my neck of the woods. with snow, rain and ice.

    I for one could use an increase in the average global temperature, glaciers are so yesterday and Polar Bears can swim.

    As far as rising seas go, with a 1 or 2 degree rise in average global temps, they arent going to rise much.

    The weather/climate is going to change over time, it is a fact of life. Do we cause the change? Maybe a little bit, is that little bit worth shutting down our industrial civilization? When I was in college, the same liberals protesting man made global warming were the ones protesting nuclear power and saying we were going into an ice age.

    I have little respect for scientists who are funded by the federal government and cast a skeptical eye on their “scientific” pronouncements. They must walk the talk or talk the walk to be funded. They are beholden to the men with the purse strings, men who have agendas and political motivations.

    I think Dr. Tyson has figured out how to court those men and their tax payer funded grant money, I doubt he cares about truth anymore, if he ever did.

    Oh, the humanity.

  139. Mike Appleton, wrote: Some people agree with us; others do not. Who’s us??? I like to have that list of bloggers. Maybe I should get a group of “us” together to challenge your group of us. lol

  140. Mike – I would agree with hskiprob, it appears that you belong to a separate and therefore exclusive group call ‘us’ and the rest are outsiders. hskiprob – I will be part of your group. There is strength in numbers.:)

  141. Paul Schulte:

    LOL. I am a group of one. I have always posted under my own name, and my views are solely my own. If you feel more comfortable being part of a “group” of some sort, however, that is your business.

  142. Mike – I have been the Lone Ranger all my life. I don’t even have a faithful companion. I was once introduced in graduate school as “the guy who asks the questions you want to but are afraid to.”:)

  143. ron: Your post asking where I developed my moral boundaries and whether they came from stardust…that’s kinda weird and doesn’t really make any sense.

    The moral boundaries I received from my parents developed further when I became a parent and are informed by a very strongly held land ethic. By training I have come to believe in the importance of scientific understanding based on sound data.

    Therefore, since you brought up the moral issue, I believe it is morally wrong to teach children not to believe sound scientific data, just as I believe it is wrong to teach them to fear inoculations against dangerous diseases.

    While I believe in the value of critical thinking, I don’t believe Paul Schultz was instilling that when he told children that he was telling them the facts as he knew them. Telling the facts as he’s represented to know them in this thread would mean labeling every claim made by the scientific community as untrue. Considering that he hasn’t presented any relevant facts in this thread and has merely been repeating what some would call “spin factors”, I have to wonder what “facts” Mr. Schultz could be sharing with impressionable children. I think, if he is indeed a teacher, he is helping to spread propaganda for the denial industry. Even the qualification that the facts could change in time does not undo the influence that he exerts on their thinking in his position as an authority figure.

    My moral boundaries are such that I think it is wrong to use your position as an authority figure to push your political and religious beliefs. It is wrong for a Christian teacher to make a Muslim child feel inferior; wrong to tell a child who shares their parents Republican beliefs that they’re ruining the country; and wrong to tell children not to trust evidence, even when it’s inconvenient.

  144. Skip: I was being sincere when I said I thought your discussion of cold fusion was pretty good. It shouldn’t surprise anyone knowing your involvement in alternative energy development. I wish all your posts were as logical and informed as that.

    I get the sense that on a certain level you’re not a bad guy, you’re just pissed off at the events of the last two -three decades and you want someone to blame. I think we’re all pretty pissed off at what’s going with the govt and the economy, but eliminating govt is not the solution.

    Changing the way we elect our representatives is – beginning with getting the money out of the campaign process. That ain’t gonna change until, as someone suggested elswhere, we mass together to demand a change.

  145. DavidM: Declaring that the world won’t end in ten years if we keep drilling is both arbitrary and illogical. What if what we’re doing today screws up the world in twenty-five or fifty years?

  146. Paul Schultz: Bringing the Koch Bros up in a debate has no relation to bringing up Hitler or Nazis. The Kochs are contemporary and actively engaged in trying to reorder society. They use their money, power and influence to acheive their agenda. I believe you are proof of this.

    Godwin’s corollary would be illogical in 1935 or even 1945.

  147. RTC – If you are going to attack me or my teaching again at least spell my name correctly. For your information when I taught facts they were really facts not beliefs put out as facts. If something was in dispute, I taught both sides. I think it is wrong to teach children that science is always correct and the facts will remain facts forever. Are you aware of how much fraud goes on in science today?
    For instance, Tyson says that evolution is fact. Full stop. Well… that is not exactly true. It is a theory for good reason. If it were a fact, it would be the Law of Evolution. Most people do not know that Charles Darwin came back from his voyage on “The Beagle” with two notebooks full of material that did not fit his theory and still do not. There are enough holes in the Theory of Evolution to drive a Mack truck through. However, if you add Chaos Theory (another theory) to the Theory of Evolution some of those holes are closed. You are probably down to driving a pickup through it.:)
    And I never tested on a ‘fact’ that was in dispute. Speaking of facts not in evidence, you are quite willing to denigrate my teaching, but unwilling to share what it is you do or your real name. Little hard to take what you say seriously without these. From your writings I have made some inferences, but they are not ‘facts.’ Let us have the facts.😉

  148. DavidM:

    yeah, what about 25 or 50 years down the road? When we have even more technology and scientific knowledge than we do today, what about then?

  149. Paul Schulte; I apologize for misspelling your name.

    Since you dispute every “fact” put forth by the climate researcher, your tests must have been thin on the subject of climate and atmosphere.

    As for the facts surrounding climate change, you haven’t presented any. You’re not presenting facts, you’re presenting a list of talking points that sound suspiciously like everything the denial industry has been throwing into the media to confuse the public.

    Since I believe you are part of this denial industry – funded, in part by the Koch’s, secrecy notwithstanding – I’d have to crazy to put my name on the list for their intimidation and harassment division.

    But if you really must know, it’s Pogue Mahone.

    BTW: Why is it that you, DavidM, and Skip think every scientist who produces evidence of global warming is a liberal. That really does bring back memories of McCarthyism.

  150. Paul: As I said, Godwin’s Law, which is not a law, would not have been valid in 1940. Mentioning the KochBros twenty five to fifty years ffrom now may meet Godwin’s criteria, unless their spawn carry on their legacy.

  151. Byron: We don’t have the technology to deal effectively with the problems created by energy production now.

    I don’t have time to deal with your short-sighted foolishness now.

  152. RTD – Godwin’s Law is a law. It works every time.:) Just as the sun comes up in the east and goes down in the west. Of course Godwin’s would not have been valid in 1940. You have to have the Internet and Usenet before Godwin’s law was created, silly boy.

  153. Elaine wrote: “And who decided to add the Koch brothers to Godwin’s Law?”

    There are a lot of Corollaries to Godwin’s Law. The Koch brothers is known as Krieger’s Corollary to Godwin’s Law:

    Krieger’s Corollary to Godwin’s Law:
    “As an online political discussion that includes Democrats grows longer, the probability of the invocation of the Koch Brothers approaches 1.”


  154. davidm:

    I much prefer Appleton’s Conjecture on Political Economics: The more factually absurd the assertions in a political advertisement, the higher the probability that the advertisement was funded through an entity controlled by the Koch family.

  155. So many laws.

    The davidm2575 law states that:

    One only enters a discussion when their religious beliefs and political agendas can be furthered while disavowing both.

  156. gbk wrote: “One only enters a discussion when their religious beliefs and political agendas can be furthered while disavowing both.”

    Really? You can’t understand the difference between religion and theism? Really?

  157. dm2 . . .

    I understand the distinction quite well, thank you.

    You falter, given your many comments over time, in keeping this distinction clear yourself.

  158. Here’s a refinement of the dm2 law:

    One only enters a discussion when the intersection of their beliefs and agendas can be furthered while disavowing both.

    Is that better, dm2?

  159. dm2,

    “When was the last time you had someone shake your hand and say, ‘hello, I’m a science denier.'”

    Every time I talk to my neighbors that I’ve known for almost twenty years, which is everyday.

    “If you understand history, you understand that the church established the educational institutions.”

    What do you mean by “the church?” I thought you were a theist.

    If you are referring to Roman Catholicism then “the church” hoarded knowledge from more eastern lands for quite a few centuries, as I’m sure you know. To claim “the church” established educational institutions is to ignore the fact that “the church” only did so to advance their beliefs.

    “A comprehensive theory of origins should not ignore any data, and that is exactly the problem with selling Darwinism.”

    What “data” that should not be ignored are you referring to, dm2?

  160. nick spinelli

    “Elaine, When you start using non left wing sources, myself and others will tend to believe your assertion. A conservative estimate on your sources are 80%, liberal, the rest “neutral” ala CNN.”


    One could consider that 80% of my sources were left-wing depending on how one defines left-wing.

    Here are some of the sources that I used on about twenty-five of my posts. Why don’t you investigate to find out if they are mostly left-wing sources.

    Wall Street Journal
    Washington Post
    New York Times
    Pro Publica
    Scientific American
    Discover Magazine
    Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    The Catholic World Report
    The Buffalo News
    Investment Watch Blog
    Miami Herald
    Star Tribune
    First Amendment Center
    The Mac Observer
    Arkansas Times
    Associated Press
    Common Cause
    The New Yorker
    Library of Congress
    National Park Service
    Poetry Foundation
    Kansas City Star
    National Center for Science Education
    The Hill
    The Wichita Eagle
    Boulder Daily Camera
    Denver Post
    Boston Herald
    Portland Press Herald
    Maine Sunday Telegram
    U.S. Dept. of Treasury
    Nonprofit Quarterly
    Columbia Journalism Review
    Dallas News
    Houston Chronicle
    San Antonio Current
    Jewish Telegraphic Agency
    Providence Journal
    Pensions and Investments
    U.S. News
    Electronic Frontier Foundation
    Arizona Daily Star
    USA Today
    The Institute on Money in State Politics
    Business Insider
    Tuscon Citizen
    University of Michigan
    Stanford University
    Rolling Stone

  161. gbk,

    You’re up in the wee hours of the morning!

    “What “data” that should not be ignored are you referring to, dm2?”

    May I take a guess? The empirical data that proves there is a Creator.

  162. dm2,

    “A comprehensive theory of origins should not ignore any data, and that is exactly the problem with selling Darwinism.”

    Selling Darwinism?

    What does that mean?

    I’ve seen many collection plates passed around for “the church”, and have had many people over the years ask me for money for “the church” either by approaching me on the street or knocking on my door.

    None were selling Darwinism.

    Actually, they weren’t selling anything – they were begging.

  163. Elaine,

    The Columbia link is a one-to-many database structure. Many-to-one would be best, but there it is; searching back is not so difficult.

  164. dm2,

    So what exactly do you mean with your much repeated phrase of, “the church.”?

    Can you define your oft quoted phrase so as to elucidate your much claimed distinction between theism and religion?

    Can you accomplish this while not engaging in your typically tangential and otherwise purposefully obfuscatory verbiage?

  165. gbk wrote: “One only enters a discussion when the intersection of their beliefs and agendas can be furthered while disavowing both. Is that better, dm2?”

    lol. You are too smart for me, gbk. I have no idea what you are trying to say.

  166. Elaine: I notice that you don’t cite the Los Angeles Times among your sources, which announced last year that it would no longer publish anymore climate denial stories after determining the science was fairly well settled on the issue.

    I’ll bet that grumpy Italians everywhere are going to grouse about The Washington Post as a notorious Commie rag. You can’t trust that guy Bezos.

  167. DavidM: Do you mind if I call you dm2? It seems more efficient, somehow.

    How can anybody be too smart for you?

    I have a question of my own. Upstream here, you indicate that there shouldn’t be any problem with drilling for oil if there’s no danger of it causing the end of the world in ten years time. That seems like an oddly arbitrary deadline (no pun intended). Isn’t that the sort of short-sighted planning for the future you deplore in government?

  168. gbk wrote: [“What do you mean by “the church?” I thought you were a theist.]

    The contextual meaning was the institution of the Roman Catholic Church. Not sure why my theistic convictions would trouble you in regards to my statement.

    gbk wrote: “To claim “the church” established educational institutions is to ignore the fact that “the church” only did so to advance their beliefs.”

    That is about as fair as claiming that the government establishes public education to advance their secular belief system. The truth is that a doctrine developed in the church about the Logos that considered all knowledge and wisdom from eternity past to eternity future being found in the person of Jesus Christ. Logos is the Greek word translated “word” but with a connotation that is much deeper than conveyed by our English word “word.” Logos is the derivative of the ending on words like “biology” and “psychology,” often rendered as “the study of.” So education was viewed as the way to know God. The sciences developed in this culture of knowledge nourished by the church.

    David M wrote: “A comprehensive theory of origins should not ignore any data, and that is exactly the problem with selling Darwinism.”

    gbk wrote: “What “data” that should not be ignored are you referring to, dm2?”

    Data from the fossil record, of course. The fossil record is the clearest evidence we have for the history of the origin of species.

  169. Elaine, the list you offer really defies reality. Most of those sources I have never seen you quote, and your most often quoted news sources like the Huffington Post or Media Matters is missing from the list!

    I agree with Paul about the narrowness of your reading list. You certainly read, nobody questions that, but you read that which comforts your current system of assumptions about knowledge and life. You tailor your understanding around your inherent bias for liberal ideology. You do not challenge yourself to think outside your intellectual comfort box, and you often confuse an author’s opinion and interpretation with actual facts open to alternative interpretations. I do not say this disparagingly. It just is what it is. I’ve learned to live with it and not challenge you too much on the ridiculous news quotes that you love to post. I do appreciate your contributions here because they challenge me to get out of my comfort box. :-) However, sometimes the news quotes are so far out there that they make me feel comfortable right where I am, and that is not a good thing. We should always be growing in knowledge and intellect.

  170. dm2: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” Thomas Jefferson

    You didn’t quite answer gbk’s question regarding your claim that evolutionary theory ignores any data regarding Intelligent Design. I think Elaine nailed the real response, but I’d like to know what your response will be. You are writing a book about this, aren’t you. I certainly hope it won’t be page after page of evasions.

  171. dm2 said regarding the “narrowness” of Elaine’s reading: “I do not say this disparagingly. It just is what it is.”
    Noooooooooooo, nothing disparaging there,at all.

    dm, you are the king of narrowness. I posit that you started studying evolutionary biology with the sole intent of refuting the theory of evolution. When the data proved irrefutable, you set about trying to prove it was all due to an Intelligent Designer, who, ipso facto, must be God.

    You are the epitome of a weak sense reasoner; you don’t read or listen with an open mind, but instead with the purpose of defending your preconceived notions.

    I eagerly look forward to your book release.

  172. Elaine – I have to agree with David on your list of sources. You certainly have not used them in this discussion and all of the resources you have used have been left wing. And you did miss two big left-wing sources that you have depended on HuffPo and MediaMatters. BTW, the Tucson Citizen is a former Confederate newspaper.

  173. RTD – you are certainly the pot calling the kettle black. He who is without sin should caste the first stone. Your mode of argument is to attack the opponent not their argument. Kill the messenger, is your style. This is usually the style of someone who cannot defeat the argument. We see a lot of this from the left wing, hence the use of the boogie-men of the left, the Koch Brothers. Since they now symbolize all that is hated on the right, tying someone to the Koch Brothers supposedly nullifies their argument. It is probably going to hurt your feelings to learn that the right doesn’t care. Every time you bring up the Koch Brothers, Hitler, Nazis or racism, the right knows they have won the argument. They are infused with the warm glow of victory.:)

  174. Same old attempts at marginalization. It appears that even if a “lefty” publication comes out with an article agreeing with the same view of a problem and the same conclusion as a non lefty publication, it would be suspect to some. Funny that some of those complaining of Elaine’s source’s have also lauded Fox news and Sean Hannity.

  175. “Learning how totalitarian “science” worked was one lesson, but the other came with learning what a kinder, gentler “mixed economy” support of science means. And that has been provided by the global warming hoax—a phenomenon produced by government funding of climate research.

    What are we to think of a government-funded “settled science” that switches its line from “global warming” to “climate change”? Think of the implications of that. At least “global warming” was a position.

    Imagine a similar change in any other field. Imagine that biologists switched from “natural selection” to “natural change.” And imagine they did this sub rosa, never admitting that they had just yanked the guts out of Darwin’s discovery. Or, what if thermodynamics went from “entropy always increases” to “entropy always changes”?

    Imagine a stock market pundit switching from “Stocks will rise!” to: “Stocks will change!”—and never even acknowledging the switch.

    But the Orwellian substitution of “climate change” for “global warming” is par for the course when the goal is to gain government grants by generating public alarm.”

    Harry Binswanger

  176. Annie – when I complain about his tactics I am calling like I see it.
    FYI – I watch no TV news/commentators unless my wife happens to have them on when I walk in the room and she only watches the local news before work. However, Fox News is both the most trusted and least trusted news source.:)
    Is there anything I said about Elaine’s list that was not true?

  177. My wife writes fiction and that list is pure fiction. One diminishes oneself when they use fiction when nonfiction is required.

  178. annie,

    I think this proves that no matter what I do some people will find fault with it. David says he has never seen me quote any of those sources I listed–in effect calling me a liar. And Paul says I didn’t use any of those sources in this post–so therefore–it follows that I never have.

    There was one post I wrote on charters schools. Someone claimed I had only used opinion pieces from sites like Daily Kos as sources–which was false. Here’s the link to that post:


    Here’s the list of sources for that post:


    At Charter Schools, Short Careers by Choice (New York Times)

    The High Turnover at Charter Schools (New York Times)

    Charter schools are developing teachers with short tenure (Examiner)

    Teacher Attrition in Charter vs. District Schools (CRPE–Center on Reinventing Public Education)

    High teacher turnover in charters: Does student achievement suffer? (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

    A Revolving Door (Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff)

    Teacher Turnover in Charter Schools (Vanderbilt University)

    It’s harder for charter schools to keep teachers (My San Antonio)

    Teacher Attrition in Charter Schools 2007 (NEPC–National Education Policy Center)

    Professor: Why Teach For America can’t recruit in my classroom (Washington Post)

    Teacher Turnover Negatively Impacts Student Achievement in Math and English (The Journal)

    Teacher turnover harms student learning (University of Michigan)

    Teacher turnover affects all students’ achievement, study indicates (Stanford University)

    Churn, Churn, Churn, Is Not Good for Kids or the Teaching Profession (Diane Ravitch)

    High turnover reported among charter school teachers: With so many charter school teachers moving on each year, concerns arise about retaining quality educators and how stability affects student performance. (Los Angeles Times)

    LA students more true to their charter schools than teachers, studies say (UC Berkeley)

    Charter Schools Battle High Teacher Turnover (Texas Tribune)

    Teach For America: Let’s Stop Encouraging Teachers to Leave After Two Years, Maybe? (Policymic)

    Guest Post: Teacher turnover – who stays and who leaves (Stanford University)

    High Teacher Turnover Rates are a Big Problem for America’s Public Schools (Forbes)

    Teacher Attrition: A Costly Loss to the Nation and to the States (NCTAF-National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future)

    NCTAF Study: Teacher Attrition Costs U.S. Over $7 Billion Annually (American Association of Colleges for Teacher education)

  179. Some here might better be left alone to stew in their own spittle — they’re not worth the breath, IMO. Responding only serves to heighten an already-exaggerated sense of self-importance.

  180. Elaine – you are drawing a conclusion that I did not draw or infer. I just said that you did not use them in this discussion. I have no idea what you have used elsewhere.

    annie – I am rarely a victim. And I decry the victim culture that has grown up on the left. I think you may be guilty of transference.

    anon – if you were brave enough to write under your real name, I would take you more seriously. I have a clear understanding of my self-importance.

    Did everyone spend the evening re-reading Alinsky?

  181. The Public Editor’s Journal – Margaret Sullivan

    MARCH 18, 2014, 1:14 PM 54 Comments
    Introducing ‘AnonyWatch’: Tracking Nameless Quotations in The Times

    This post is the inaugural edition of an effort to point out some of the more regrettable examples of anonymous quotations in The Times. I’ve written about this from time to time, as have my predecessors, to no little or no avail.

    Let’s call it AnonyWatch. (I also considered The UnidentiFiles, the Quote with No Name, The Nameless, and am open to reader suggestions for something more memorable.)

    Here we go:

    1. In a column by Ginia Bellafante about how Mayor Bill De Blasio’s trip to Albany to plead for a tax increase to fund his pre-kindergarten program was hijacked by a protest over charter schools:

    “De Blasio went into this thinking that he and Cuomo were friends,” a Democratic insider said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of concern over retribution, “but Andrew Cuomo doesn’t really have friends.”

    Whoa! How does that square with The Times’s clear written rule not to smear people anonymously? (“Anonymity should not be used as a cloak for personal attacks.”) And what exactly is a Democratic insider, I wonder. A Cuomo insider? A De Blasio insider? A guy inside Democratic headquarters after hours with a mop?

    2. In a news story about the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, there’s this anonymous quotation, commenting on a suggestion (also anonymously sourced) that someone may have piloted the aircraft to as high as 45,000 feet, above the 43,100-foot ceiling for the Boeing 777. The passage reads:

    A current Boeing 777-200 pilot for an Asian-based airline said the move could have been intended to depressurize the cabin and render the passengers and crew unconscious, preventing them from alerting people on the ground with their cellphones. “Incapacitate them so as to carry on your plan uninterrupted,” the pilot said.

    As a reader, Danny Burstein, wrote to me: “There’s absolutely no reason to quote an anonymous source who’s making a ridiculous claim of this sort, and triply so since your reporter could have called any of a hundred other pilots who’d have gone on the record saying this was garbage.”

    I asked the managing editor, Dean Baquet, to comment on both of these instances. He described both as mistakes.

    On the Cuomo quotation, he said, “We shouldn’t let an anonymous source express opinion that way.” It is, he added, “a matter of fairness.”

    For different reasons, he agreed, the missing-plane quote should not have appeared in The Times.

    “It was a mistake to let an anonymous source speculate this way,” Mr. Baquet said.

    Ms. Bellafante, who wrote the De Blasio column, told me she didn’t see the Cuomo quote as personal criticism but rather as a way to express that “the ambitious governor, like so many politicians throughout history, has been a creature motivated by strategic alliance over personal affiliation.” It illuminated miscalculations the mayor has made “about the governor’s willingness to undermine him.”

    Anonymous sources and quotations sometimes have their place in Times stories – in those rare instances when there is no other way of getting crucial information. I considered the issue a few months ago in a Sunday column. Neither of these examples meets that standard, however, so it seems that some firm reminders to editors are in order. Mr. Baquet told me that he is doing just that.

    I am confident, though, that this will not be the last edition of AnonyWatch. (Even as I filed this post, Michael Calderone of The Huffington Post, on Twitter, was reasonably questioning The Times’s need to give a CNN executive the cover of anonymity to make such dangerous statements as that the missing plane is a “tremendous story that is completely in our wheelhouse.” He has since written an article on the quotes.)

    I welcome nominations from readers.

  182. swarthmoremom – I’m libertarian, I believe in the economic freedoms of the right and the personal freedoms of the left. When you average this out I’m “right” in the middle? So am I really left, right of center???

    For a better understanding of the left right paradigm, please take the following quiz and see where you really are in the political spectrum. You might be surprised at how different people are, no matter what side of the so-called isle you think you’re on. What you really find out, it’s not just one side or another. http://www.nolanchart.com/survey-php

  183. annie – you should read Alinsky. I have and found him very interesting. The DNC and the Obama administration follow his tenets religiously (and I am using ‘religiously’ correctly). I have also read Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Mao, Hitler, etc. You may not have read Alinsky, however you are using his techniques. Maybe Alinsky is a virus?😉

  184. swarthmoremom – I cannot speak to other discussions, but in this one the majority of Elaine’s posts have come from HuffPo (a left-wing or liberal blog), MediaMatters (a left-wing or liberal website) and the Guardian (a left-wing or very liberal British newspaper). Unless these represent the mainstream to you, she is not being “targeted” (loaded word) for using mainstream sources.

  185. Shulte:

    I notice that’s the second time you’ve misspelled my userid. I apologized sincerely when I misspelled your name. From now on, I’ll refer to you as BS instead of PS. After all, BS seems to be what you’re pedaling here.

    Another indication of your purpose here is your repetition of the charge I made against you earlier about calling the kettle black. This sort of thing is a tactic straight out of the Rovian/Lunzian debate strategy, wherein you accuse your opponents of the very behavior you’re indulging in, or of the very transgressions and crimes you’re guilty of. Thus, you say climate scientists have shut down debate, when in fact they have welcomed all serious input, in the form of peer review, and examined every criticism, no matter how ridiculous and trifling.

    You claim you teach pupils both sides of every fact in dispute. Here at this blog, you’ve declared that all the data supporting human responsibility for climate change is bogus, and therefore all those facts are in dispute.

    You have failed to cite a single meaningful fact on this blog to support your position. (OK, so the earth is not a sphere – so what. It’s more spheroid than cuboid.)

    What were you saying about killing the messenger? You have repeated the same baseless allegations made by the rightwing denial machine about climate scientists shutting down debate; fabricating data; fudging data to make it “fit” predrawn conclusions; conspiring to deceive the public and elected officials; and doing all this in order to become wealthy. Not a word of it is true. None of it involves any data that would support your position.

    Here’s a difference between you and me. I log on before and after work and during my lunch break; you said that you log off for lunch. That’s a clear indication to me that you’ve been assigned to participate here in order to help spread the rightwing message of deception, and I have little doubt that you would assign my name to the Koch Bros harassment and intimidation division for corrective action.

    The Koch bros are no boogar men; they are actively trying to remake society to align with their sociopathic agenda. Sunshine and more of it are the best way to prevent these demons from carrying out their plans.

    That warm glow you feel isn’t from being right, it’s caused by the planets rising average temperature. Smiley

  186. Hey BS: You’ve been participating here for a few short days. Elaine’s got a body of work here stretching back for years; the list she cited was a partial example of her sources. On what basis do you make these conclusions?

    In addition, Media Matters is a non-partisan media watchdog that reports on factual errors in journalism. It criticizes progressive mistakes in journalism as readily as it faults the rightwing infotainers. It’s not their fault that Fox News gets it wrong and/or lies more often than any other source.

  187. Maybe… Don’t think the new posters would be as concerned if Elaine cited Megyn Kelly or Ann Coulter as sources.

  188. from the article above-

    Stelter asked Tyson if he felt that the news media should feel a responsibility to portray science correctly—especially with regard to controversial issues such as climate change. Tyson said he thought the news media was wrong to give equal time to the “flat-earthers.” He thinks the media “should stop trying to ‘balance’ the debate on scientific issues by hosting people who deny science.”

    Huuumm….”trying to balance, [b]y hosting people who deny science.”…I see, well, I am NOT a “scientist”, BUT, I am all for giving Tyson et al their say……

    LOL, who saw what I did there?

    Anyway, so much for me ever taking anything Tyson says seriously again, Dir. of Hayden eh? They should be ashamed, Tyson certainly doesn’t, I have a feeling Tyson is past the point of humility.

  189. RTD – when you apologize to ME for your uncivil attack then I will use your id correctly. Clearly I have hit a nerve with you. You speak of sunshine and we have an administration with the worst record for transparency. BTW, my problem with the data is that according to Michael E. Mann they scrubbed the data and it cannot be duplicated. Therefore, no one can use the original data to test their findings. BTW, you are wrong about me in each of your suppositions. However, you have devolved to the Godwin corollary again.

    Anonymously Yours – I am also being targeted for posting here. Just read RTD’s post.:)

    swarthmoremom – two things. 1) Salon is a left-wing journal 2) the right is not terrified of Alinsky. We have adapted and embraced him. That is why RTD is having problems with me.:)

  190. If this blog mirrors the outside world politically, I don’t think either major party need worry about the right and the left getting together to form a third party.

  191. swarthmoremom – 1) I wish you would get a shorter name or one that is easier to spell:) 2) I am not sure where I stand on either Greenwald or Snowden. 3) Not sure about the established parties but here in Arizona registered Independents outnumber both Republican and Democrats. So neither party can win unless they can appeal to the Independents.

  192. RTC:

    “The Koch bros are no boogar men; they are actively trying to remake society to align with their sociopathic agenda.”

    What agenda is that? As far as I know they lean libertarian. I dont agree with no government but libertarians do believe in political and economic freedom, individual rights and limited government.

    So you consider the founding ideals of our country to be sociopathic?

  193. Those independents in Arizona must lean to the right considering some of the politicians they elect there.:)

  194. Alright, Shultzie: I’ve got the measure of you. Whatever.

    You’re still not presenting any facts to support your contentions. You’re repeating allegations. Apparently, Mann was able to use the data to convince the majority of reputable climate scientists about the legitimacy of his findings.

    Here’s a little item you might want peruse, entitled Ex-skeptic Says Climate Change Is Down To Humans:


    “Prof. Muller, head of the Berkeley Earth Project, is quoted as saying, ‘Call me a converted skeptic’.”

    “The team argues that the good correspondence between the new temperature record and historical dta on CO2 emissions suggests that human activity is “the most straightforward explanation” for the warming (trend).”

    Ah, but Berkley is a liberal college, right? The study was paid for by the Koch Bros. ” Prof. Michael Mann…said that there was a “certain ironic satisfaction’ in seeing a study funded by the Koch Brothers ‘demonstrate what scientists have known with some degree of confidence for nearly two decades: that the globe is indeed warming, and that this warming can only be explained by human-caused increases in greenhouse gas concentrations’.”

    I hope they kept the receipt.

    BTW: George Soros; still dead.

  195. RTC – wrote: “The Koch bros are no boogar men; they are actively trying to remake society to align with their sociopathic agenda. Sunshine and more of it are the best way to prevent these demons from carrying out their plans.”

    Please RTC, provide us with the specific details of the sociopathic agenda you believe these demons are trying to remake society with and please be real, real specific.

    America and it’s socio-economic system has many severe problems including many of the problems Professor Turley points out day after day. Corruption, injustice, severe economic problems, many social problems, huge levels of government debt, massive levels of unemployment especially among the young and older folks, increased poverty, diminishing middle class and an increasing super wealthy class, diminished individual rights and privacy, increased crime rates, increased killing by cops and of cops, 43rd sickest in health, Japan is 1st per the WHO. Poor educational performance against other countries, etc. I can go on and on but I would really prefer reading your answer to the above question. I will be impatiently waiting.

    You have a tendency to make statements you are not generally willing to support, so I’m calling you on this one. Make me proud.

  196. Byron: Not even Milton Friedman believed in complete economic freedom. He was heavily criticized for some of his critiques of the financial scandals of the past twenty – thirty years.

    He also recognized certain rights and interests in clean air and water, similar in fashion to the old Justinian principle of the commons, ius publicum.

    Libertarian ideal have been perverted beyond moral principle.

  197. RTC – you noted this article in your post at 2:13 PM. Do you actually read them or just the titles?

    It stated: “However, one collaborator on the previous tranche of Berkeley Earth project papers, Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology, declined to be included as an author on the latest one.

    Commenting on the paper, Prof Curry said: “Their latest paper on the 250-year record concludes that the best explanation for the observed warming is greenhouse gas emissions. Their analysis is way over simplistic and not at all convincing in my opinion.”

    How long do you actually think someone has been studying atmospheric CO2 levels with any accuracy? I can picture Ben Franklin with his kite? lol

  198. Skip: Quickly, I will say that the Koch’s are very active in Wisconsin, where they are trying to not only prevent the enactment of environmental regulations that would make the cost of enrgy production more expensive, but roll back some that are in place.

    Also, they have opposed every measure, by fair means and foul, to increase the security around chemical plants and increase the safe transportation of chemicals around the country.

    Furthermore, I supplied a link to news article upstream here, and I gave you a lead on a system of justice you might wish to look into.

    as for the body of your message, you’ve slipped back into scattershot unintelligibility. I can only say that the things you complain about are the fruit of the Reagan era.

    Got to go

  199. RTD – We discussed Dr. Muller yesterday and if you read my post the take-away from his paper was that it was his best guess. Regardless, it is Berkeley no matter who is funding the project. This paper kept Muller from having is office assigned to the broom closet.

    It would be nice if you could keep on topic, but apparently the DNC is paying you to denigrate the Koch brothers at every opportunity. Is your contract for x dollars for each mention?

  200. RTC, the land ethic you reference is summarized by the following: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” (3/18 7:13PM response)

    If the universe is as Richard Dawkins says (and one assumes Neil D Tyson would agree): “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”, then we all just came to be from the same small ball of gasses and dust. Why would it be wrong for one to deceive another? I submit that you borrow your ethic on deception from the Judeo-Christian ethic and simultaneously deny it. While ignoring the question on pedophilia, I would submit that you are borrowing your disapproval of the practice from the Judeo-Christian ethic and simultaneously denying the ethic.

    To be logically consistent, Dawkins, and those in the scientific community who believe in the Darwininan explanation of how human life came to exist, would not balk at the stronger specimen gaining and brutally exploiting advantages over weaker specimens. Survival would be the ultimate goal and whatever aided these means would be justified.

    Your moral code betrays your keyboard and acknowledges that there is the universal preexistence of moral authority to determine what is good and what is bad. It is contradictory to teach that “might makes right” and then decry deception and pedophilia.

  201. RTC wrote: 1. “He (writing on M. Friedman) also recognized certain rights and interests in clean air and water, similar in fashion to the old Justinian principle of the commons, ius publicum. 2. Libertarian ideals have been perverted beyond moral principle.”

    1. He however, indorsed the Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate on National TV and “of course” he was criticized by those in the main stream media and liberal academics.

    2. No they haven’t, Libertarians have always embraced the protection of water and air through the judicial process and I’ve been involved in the Party for many years and actually the entire principle of the part is based on a single moral principle that you’re not supposed to harm people or their property. People do not have the right to pollute the water and air, as it harms people and should therefore be sued and stopped from doing so. Doesn’t it, pollution take away our individual “rights” to have clean air and water? Polluters should even be made to correct the problems they caused through some sort of restitution and if necessary sell their companies and personal possessions to pay for it.

    However, it’s takes people like Erin Brockovich to create real change as the Judges are often in the pockets of government and big business and please don’t deny the collusion between big business and government.

    Before you write stuff you might want to read what libertarians really believe rather than listening to the oligarchy controlled main stream liberal media.

  202. RTC wrote: Skip: Quickly, I will say that the Koch’s are very active in Wisconsin, where they are trying to not only prevent the enactment of environmental regulations that would make the cost of energy production more expensive, but roll back some that are in place.
    Also, they have opposed every measure, by fair means and foul, to increase the security around chemical plants and increase the safe transportation of chemicals around the country.

    OMG RTC, how highly sociopathic and demonic. Many including myself believe we are over taxed and regulated. Maybe the transport companies would be able to take better care of their trucks if they weren’t taxed and regulated so much. Maybe, they wouldn’t have to drive such long hours in bad weather if they weren’t taxed and regulated so much.

    If regulation worked RTC it would be great but it doesn’t, because no one is regulating the regulators and those regulators, supposedly the politicians, are not regulated, except by the multi-national companies and their bankers, the oligarchs. How’s that for some truthful mumbo jumbo.

    The judicial system is what is supposed to deter people from harming others and why I place all emphasis on justice. Government regulation for all real intent and purposes is a farce and there are many stories of this such as. Bernie Madoff?

    Keep reading this until it sinks in: Government is the great Fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else – Frederic Bastiat

  203. Did someone put Nicky Spasmatic in a time out? I always like to hear his story’s. It reminds me of good family times camping. Of course we are of Italian descent and home made pasta was good on the campfire. It reminded we of my Nanas’ that we had in Italy one summer. We spiced it up a little more with pine nuts that we baked on the campfire.

    I hope he returns soon. I want to hear more about his wife’s book. He should write one as well.

  204. Paul, Trust me, don’t waste your time. The ideology is so ingrained as is the denial, many of these folks could pass a polygraph thinking they’re objective. I’ve seen that pathology in my work, and it is rampant on this blog. We have all questioned the compulsive left links MANY times. The “repeat a lie” comment confirms the pathology. Here’s a big difference from the tedious denials. There was a time when goons would have descended to rescue the fair maiden. They would have given the disclaimer that the women don’t need anyone to speak for them, then the brown shirts would have gotten REAL nasty and personal. This thread is so much better than those days. SO much better. Hell, no one has even been called a sexist, misogynist, liar, sociopath, etc.

  205. swarthmoremom wrote: “If this blog mirrors the outside world politically, I don’t think either major party need worry about the right and the left getting together to form a third party.”

    That’s really not that funny, but that really made laugh hard.

  206. hskip:

    he doesnt care, he has an agenda which is counter to ours. He wants a servile and subjugated populace.

  207. A third party will emerge w/ people who don’t obsess on politics, don’t read political blogs. It will be a practical party that the duopoly will scoff @, until they get their asses kicked.

  208. RTC wrote: “I get the sense that on a certain level you’re not a bad guy, you’re just pissed off at the events of the last two -three decades and you want someone to blame. I think we’re all pretty pissed off at what’s going with the govt and the economy, but eliminating govt is not the solution.
    Changing the way we elect our representatives is – beginning with getting the money out of the campaign process. That ain’t gonna change until, as someone suggested elswhere, we mass together to demand a change.”

    RTC, yes I am pissed off, but not for that reason. I’m pissed off at having to work very hard, way to hard, trying to destroy the brainwashing myths that the main stream media, government and the ruling oligarchs have done to the majority, through the voluminous memes over the last 120 years.

    They’re to lengthy to layout in detail and provide the evidence and that is a problem because many people believe that articles, videos and such supply the necessary data and therefore don’t read enough books to understand the complexities. Additionally everyone is writing a book today making it difficult to even decide what books are best to read.

    Obviously, we cannot eliminate government but we could eliminate a lot of it. There is empirical evidence from ongoing studies that those countries that best protect individual rights and property are wealthier than those that don’t.

    I have not even been able to convince you that voting and other political methods are a waste of time and energy and that democracy doesn’t work and you’re a pretty smart guy, surely smarter than most.

    Lets assume for this post that what I’m saying to you is correct. Politics is not effective for the majority because democracy doesn’t work in the way most people think or are led to believe.

    What evidence would I have to provide to people to get them to think out side the box enough, to even consider that I might be right.

    This is what is really making me angry.

  209. My brother used to be a turn key at Ft Leavenworth. He met a woman that I married that was a guard. The story’s they tell me about the inmates in uncanny. Of course they never open up about it until they have started drinking.

    My wife is writing a book about her time at the correctional facility.

  210. annie – thanks for the link to the paper and I guess thanks to Dredd. I am always amazed at what comes out of colleges and universities these days and purports to have validity. For example, the asst or assoc professor who assaulted the pro-lifer wrote her dissertation on “Brown Sugar: African-American Women in Pornography.” My hope is that she at least evaluated the sets, costumes and acting of the participants. I know that there is a need to academia to publish-or-perish (lose your job) so I know a lot of needless things get cranked out just to cya. I have been to enough academic conferences and heard enough papers to realize who is breaking ground and who is saving their job. This appears to be a cya paper. There are certain invalid assumptions made at the beginning of the paper which delegitimize it However, I was glad to read it because it opened memories of a certain mind frame in academia that I had forgotten existed.

  211. admit it annie – you didn’t think I would read it. And did you know the title of the dissertation or have you read it?😉

  212. Schultz: Since you had degraded into making baseless allegations and false claims, I thought I would return to the point: climate change.

    I am aware that you quoted Dr. Muller and I pulled up that article to prove that you were lying.

    Dr. Muller said, “Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming.

    “Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. Now, I’m going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.”

    You probably don’t realize that the words “conclude” and “concluded” has technical meaning within the scientific community. It means, “I’m not guessing.”

    Reread that quote; there’s no equivocation in his statement.

    Judith Curry, the lone dissenter among the researchers in the study, is the one who comes closest to saying that the study’s conclusion is a best guess. So in other words, you’re falsely attributing the remarks of a dissenting member to the principle author of the study.

    To put it another way, you’re a liar, and not even a good liar at that, and you’re not even honest about it when you’re caught lying.

    If the world worked the way you’re imagining here, Citizens United would mean that you’re employers, the Koch Bros, would be unable to buy off members of our govt.

  213. You know what, Schultz. On second thought maybe I shouldn’t have called you a liar. I apologize.

    You were probably working from the same booklet you were given when they hired you that hadn’t been updated since George Soros passed away and you didn’t know that Dr Muller had announced his conclusions.

    Let’s chalk it up to an honest mistake on both our parts.

  214. Or at least update their material. A little fact checking wouldn’t hurt either. Oh…wait a minute -that’s not gonna work.

  215. Actually RTF if you read the entire article, when you read how he came to his conclusions it was because it made the best case for what he saw happening with his data. However, and I do appreciate how he tried to set his data out, it was at best a guess, not a smoking gun. And you, dismissed the outlier because according to you she was just trying to keep her job. I made the same claim about him, because it is Berkeley for God-sake. After reading the entire article, I agreed with her, not him. That is how science is supposed to work.

    BTW, don’t you remember you were supposed to be civil? You agreed to that.

    Actually based on what he measured as the cause of global warming, humans could not “almost” be the entire cause. Besides that, even global warming scientists admit there is a cooling period going on. Muller did not deal with that. That means he either stopped his research prior to the cooling period or he has decided to ignore it.

    btw “If the world worked the way you’re imagining here, Citizens United would mean that you’re employers, the Koch Bros, would be unable to buy off members of our govt.” this does not make sense.

    I am not a scientist although I am very interested in science and try to keep up in some areas of interest. I also do not play one on TV. I did get an A in my Critical Thinking class in graduate school though.:)

  216. rtc:

    when did Soros pass away? Reuters had him dying last April but they were wrong.

    I cant find any mention of his death and wiki only gives his birth date.

  217. You clearly didn’t read it but George Soros is still alive and is involved in a nasty palimony suit with his ex-girlfriend. If he we dead the conservatives would be throwing daily parties and the DNC would be in a bigger panic than they already are.

  218. Shlitz admits “I am not a scientist”
    No foolin’. Otherwise you would know that scientists always make conclusions based on what makes the best sense according to the data. To not do so would be absolutely moronic.

    Muller didn’t equivocate, he didn’t shrug and say “Well, I guess this makes sense.” He was certain. Certain enough to cause one member to dissent and remove herself from the study. She is the one who characterized as a a best guess, you’re dishonestly ascribing her dissent to Dr. Muller. We have a term for that where I come from; we call it lying. Next time you prove that I’ve lied, you may apply the term to me.

    In the mean time, your attempting to speak for Dr. Muller, but the funny thing is, you are not his spokesman.

    as for the present cooling period, please cite to some article, preferably one not written by a Koch funded biostitute because I don’t believe you.

    BTW, There was a news report two days ago about the shrinking ice sheet in Greenland.

  219. Paul, These folks you are arguing with have a few pieces of the their puzzle missing and they accuse you of being paid shills.

    Here is what one study though of Muller’s study:
    “Other findings include, but are not limited to:

    · Statistically significant differences between compliant and non-compliant stations exist, as well as urban and rural stations.

    · Poorly sited station trends are adjusted sharply upward, and well sited stations are adjusted upward to match the already-adjusted poor stations.

    · Well sited rural stations show a warming nearly three times greater after NOAA adjustment is applied.

    · Urban sites warm more rapidly than semi-urban sites, which in turn warm more rapidly than rural sites.

    · The raw data Tmean trend for well sited stations is 0.15°C per decade lower than adjusted Tmean trend for poorly sited stations.

    · Airport USHCN stations show a significant differences in trends than other USHCN stations, and due to equipment issues and other problems, may not be representative stations for monitoring climate.”


    Four people authored this report and it is being presented to various peers prior to submission to the various journals.

    If you read closely, Muller’s Report had not been submitted to any journals yet either.

    Like I said in one post, trying to measure something that is constantly changing for a variety of reasons cannot yield data that means anything. Many scientists like Muller are like anybody else, bought and paid for.

    We’re talking about 0.15°C to 0.3°C per decade – Do you feel the heat brother? My girlfriend and I fight over 2 to 3 degrees. I need to convince her she’s causing global cooling by running the AC to much. lol

  220. RTC:

    I can gather all kinds of data which may or may not be right. I can also manipulate the data by inclusion or exclusion.

  221. you know what, although Soros’ official site doesn’t say anything about his activities after April of 2013, it does not mention his passing. By relying on press reports of death, I may have been mistaken. But I will continue to look for confirmation from a more trusted source than wikipedia.

    However, I still know more about global warming and climate change than you, Byron

  222. hskiprob – my wife is post-menopausal with recurring hot flashes. It is so cold in the house I can hang meat. I have an electric blanket to stay warm during the summer. And this is in Phoenix.:)

  223. “I can gather all kinds of data which may or may not be right. I can also manipulate the data by inclusion or exclusion.”

    You’re also pretty good at making specious and illogical arguments

  224. Skip: your posts are descending into gibberish again. I can only respond to the most intelligible.

    The problem with relying on the courts to resolve harms to the environment, like air pollution and water, is that it takes place after the fact more often than not. It also places a premium on hiding harmful activity. And if you’re drinking water has been poisoned or your coastline coated with oil, sometimes there just ain’t no redress.

    Friedman relies on compensation through the legal process, but when a mining company has pushed a three-ton boulder down on top of your three old child, there just ain’t enough compensation.

    The legal process is long. Too often, violators are able to drag out the process indefinitely, usually until it becomes more profitable to declare bankruptcy, without correcting their harmful activity.

    And at the end of the day, the courts can fail their duty to the people. Just ask the folks in Prince William Sound.

    You know, it just recently that you were ranting something along the lines of how we the people need to start doing more oversight of the financial sector, if only we could get rid of government apparatus. You do realize that we are the government, don’t you?

  225. OPINION
    Those Evil Koch Brothers 2
    By Post Editorial BoardMarch 18, 2014 | 8:58pm

    Those Evil Koch Brothers 2
    Wichita State’s Chadrack Lufile
    Photo: UPI
    Bad enough David Koch recently gave $100 million to New York-Presbyterian Hospital. And that he and his brother have contributed hundreds of millions to the arts in this city as well as other hospitals and medical centers.
    Now we learn of another dastardly act: One brother’s generosity is behind the only undefeated basketball team in this year’s NCAA championship tournament: the Wichita State Shockers, who are 34-0.
    Turns out that back in 2002, Charles Koch, who was born in Wichita, contributed $6 million toward the renovation of the Shockers’ basketball arena. It was the largest gift the university had received. Known officially as the Charles Koch Arena but popularly called “The Roundhouse,” it’s had its effect: In 2013, they went to the Final Four, and this year they’re the first team since 1991 to head into the tournament with a spotless record.
    The Post has vowed to shine attention on the nefarious donations these men make, and the millions Charles Koch has directed to a university in his Kansas hometown is an excellent illustration of their wickedness. This, after all, is a school that posts a 92 percent graduation rate for its athletes.
    Not that the Shockers are a sure bet. They have the toughest draw to get to the title game. They’ll likely have to beat the last two NCAA champions — Kentucky and Louisville. And then face the top team overall, the Florida Gators.
    We’ve already seen liberals march in protest when the Kochs donate to a hospital. If a Koch-backed college comes home with the NCAA crown, they will give all America a new definition of March Madness.

  226. RTH – I will admit that you can read at a certain level, but that does not correlate with knowledge about global warming and climate change. Still, we now know you have no especial knowledge in this area.:) You do not know the secret handshake or password of the global warming scientists. You are in the cold, just like the rest of us.:)

  227. Paul Schulte – Additionally, those demonic sociopathic Koch brothers had the gull to build a high school down here in So. Florida and gave a scholarship to my friends daughter. Damn them.

  228. I can blame my misspelling and awkward word choice on my stroke. What is your excuse, annie? demonic emoticons is really a stretch. There would have been a winking emoticon there, but you seem to be hypersensitive tonight. (smiley face)

  229. RTC – Do you really want to get into the Clean Air and Water Acts that have been around since the turn of the last century and how well government regulation such as through the environment slush fund in the 1980s, has stopped all the pollution from happening?

    Government itself is one of the greatest polluters. I’ve been in the political game along time and your belief in the quality of government regulations and results is not well supported and why we need the Erin Brockovich’s and Ralph Naders of the world instead of hoards of overpaid bureaucrats ripping off the tax payers.

    I think it would be interesting to see those, in especially the upper echelon of the federal government bureaucracy, earn a salary of say $40,000 a year and see what it’s like to live under the heavy levels of taxation and regulatory fees that the lower socio-economic classes must tolerate.

    Remember I said to keep reading it until it sinks in. All the facts are there. “Government is the great Fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else” – Frederic Bastiat

    Taxation is theft and coercion and therefore it cannot logically provide the economic foundation for a civil society, as many but not enough understand. “The State is a soulless machine. It can never be weaned from the violence to which it owes its existence” – Mahatma Gandhi. You should now understand what Gandhi meant by this statement. Think about it, let it sink in, if it can.

    If I, as an individual, am ethically prohibited from taking by force or the threat of force, property or money from another person, even if that money is to be used for charitable means, then would not the body politic be also ethically prohibited from taking property or money from others for the same reason. It is illogical to assume that by being in the majority, that this should somehow negate unethical actions, such as taking away the rights and property of the minority.

    Oh that’s right, now I see how government granted themselves the right to enslave others in 1778. Just make sure you come up with some bullshit reason such as only granting them the right to only be 2/3 of a person because you deem them inferior. Isn’t it interesting that there are always ways for government to find methods and rationale for being unethical. We’re told time and time again by the ruling class that their doing it for what is in the best interest of the majority. How is it then, that the oligarchs are getting richer and the middle class and poor are getting poorer in the country?

    At least our founding fathers understood that taxation, at best, is a necessary evil. It is an enactment that legalizes the initiation of force and coercion to commit theft. “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” – George Washington

    You so-called progressives just might want the take some time to read over and over the quotes of these three famous men. Please try to let it sink in.

    We know communist does not work well and we know that capitalism works pretty well, although not perfect. The fallacy is the socialist meme that only government can correct the imperfections of capitalism when in fact government always exacerbates the imperfections of capitalism. Only capitalists solutions can truly cure capitalist problems.

    How to cure fascist problems is now our greatest dilemma as the progressive movement has stale mated the libertarian movement with the oligarchs laughing all the way to the bank(s); they own. It would have been much easier if we would not have let it digress this far.

  230. That last one was supposed to be a devil face, didn’t work, turned into a laughing face, weird. Does anyone know if there is a WordPress emoticon chart?

  231. Pete:

    Yeah, its the :idea: one. I belive it represents a light bulb. Several of the emoticons are truncated at the top.

  232. You can hover your mouse pointer over the image and the Alt Text will show you what the underlying tesxt is. . Oh and I think you were referring to the :?: one. IC Now

  233. Chuck: That second link was the tragedy I was referring to and it should never have happened.

    I had not heard of the unfortunate incident in France, but it illustrates how precarious life is without having to worry about the blades of the industrial process whirling around us.

    That first link didn’t open, however. I’m kinda wondering what it was about.

    BTW, my post to ron got caught up in the filter. I tried several ways of posting it, so if you are able to free it up, please just post the first one. Thanks.

  234. Skip: The Clean Air and Water Acts were signed into law in 1972, not the turn of the last century, as you claim.

    I just stopped reading right there.

  235. RTI – Not sure if this is proof of life but you might take a look at it.

    George Soros’ ex-girlfriend requests a second chance to question the billionaire under oath
    Adriana Ferreyr, a South American soap actress and ex-girlfriend of 83-year-old George Soros, asked a Manhattan Supreme Court justice for another shot at the billionaire. She’s suing the Soros Fund Management head for breaking a promise to give her a $1.9 million condo.


    TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 2014, 7:13 PM

    Lawyers for George Soros want to depose Ferreyr and conduct the questioning at a courthouse with a court officer present.
    The ex-girlfriend accused of whacking George Soros in the head during his deposition wants another shot at the billionaire.

    At a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday, Adriana Ferreyr said she has more questions she wants to ask Soros under oath after his lawyers said he’d already answered her attorney’s questions for two days and was finished.

    “That’s a lie! The deposition has not been concluded,” snapped Ferreyr, who’s suing the Soros Fund Management head for breaking a promise to give her a $1.9 million Upper East Side condo.


    Adriana Ferreyr, 30, is the ex-girlfriend of 83-year-old George Soros, the head of Soros Fund Management.

    Adriana Ferreyr, 30, is the ex-girlfriend of 83-year-old George Soros, the head of Soros Fund Management.

    He later gave it to the woman he married last fall, Tamiko Bolton.

    In court filings, Soros’ lawyers claim Ferreyr, 30, went berserk while he was being deposed in her attorney’s office last month, clocking the 83-year-old Soros in the head, knocking the glasses off one of his lawyers, cursing out another and slapping one of his aides.

    The South American soap actress, who’s now representing herself, called the account by Soros’ lawyer Marty Singer “libelous” and “defamatory.”


    Ferreyr wants another opportunity to question her ex-boyfriend under oath, but his lawyers said he’s already answered questions from Ferreyr’s attorney.

    Ferreyr wants another opportunity to question her ex-boyfriend under oath, but his lawyers said he’s already answered questions from Ferreyr’s attorney.

    Singer was not present at the hearing, but Soros’ other lawyers told Justice Debra James they now want to depose Ferreyr – and asked that the questioning be done at the courthouse at 60 Centre St. with a court officer present.

    James said she would grant the request, and noted that Ferreyr had not disputed Singer’s allegations in her court papers.

    James said they’d be on their own for security, however.

    “The court does not have the resources to dedicate a court officer” for the duration of the questioning, she said.

    GeoJames said she’d consider Ferreyr’s request to continue Soros’ deposition if she makes a proper request through court filings.

  236. RTJ – Now you reveal what you handicap is. You can read, but you refuse to read. You don’t learn much that way. You seem to share that affliction with Elaine.😉

  237. Thanks Chuck, I’ll check that out. Any chance of freeing up my post to ron from last evening?
    Thanks for the article, Shulz, but like I said, I’ll wait til I get it from a source I trust before I’m convinced. For now though, I’m no longer certain. I’ll keep looking.

    And, yes, if Skip doesn’t know when the Clean Air and Water Act was signed into law, there’s no point in continuing.

  238. RTC wrote: “Skip: The Clean Air and Water Acts were signed into law in 1972, not the turn of the last century, as you claim. I just stopped reading right there.”

    U. S. Water Quality Legislative History: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae431

    Interest in protecting U.S. waters through legislation started at the beginning of the 20th century with the Rivers and Harbors Act (RHA) of 1899. The RHA included a provision (known as the Refuse Act) that addressed the dumping of refuse into waterways (Downing et al. 2003). Although the RHA with the Refuse Act included many environmental policies, few were actively enforced.

    The next significant water-related legislation was the 1948 Federal Water Pollution Control Act. This act placed responsibility for controlling water pollution on the states and primarily focused on the treatment of sewage wastes (Deason et al. 2001). Thus, early water protection efforts focused on “point sources” of pollution. (Point source pollution refers to pollution from a stationary location or fixed facility, such as a pipe, ditch, ship, or factory smokestack.)

    RTC: Once you mislead people with false statements, as you have now done a second time, it makes it difficult, just like with all the yellow journalism and anti-capitalist memes presented by the socialist/progressive movement throughout history, to overcome the lies, especially for those that trust people, who “appear” to be educated.

    Just as you lied about the Koch’s being sociopathic demons, it makes it more difficult for those that are trying to deliver the truth, so I wish you would continue to read and more importantly read everything, not just the liberal mythology so often delivered by the lame stream media and liberal academics seeking government grants. Obviously they rely on the old adage that “if you repeat something often enough, people will start to believe it.”

    Just so you know. I first became aware of the early legislation for Air and Water quality while involved with appraising the National Crocodile Wildlife Refuge in North Key Largo in the mid 1980s, as it entailed a majority of wetland habitat for the crocs. Not only is there Federal Legislation during the early part of the 20th century, many of the States, such as Florida enacted legislation during that period as well.

    What really appalls me though, and is a typical progressive blogging tactic, is your unwillingness to argue the merits of what we were discussing (Gov. regulation v. judicial redress) and instead used what you thought was a factual mistake, in an attempt to demean me personally.

    That gives you three strikes 1. the use of logical fallacy in an attempt to win an written debate, which you often do 2. your lie about the clean air and water acts, even after I had told you the truth and 3. the lie and defamation of the Kochs.

    I think it is time you stop posting comments on this blog, until you have reeducated yourself, as you’re hurting the efforts of those who are trying to improve the human experience. It is time for you to join Tony C. and Gene H. in bloggers hell, until you at least repent your sins. And please, invite some of the other progressive to join you. lol

  239. Once stuck…now free?

    There are many points of observable, repeatable experiments, utilizing the scientific method (which was developed by Francis Bacon, a christian http://rintintin.colorado.edu/~vancecd/phil1020/Bacon.pdf but is used and heralded by Bible deniers) that secular and Christian Scientists would agree on (gravity exists, and will continue)…but we disagree on the WHY and how this came to be. So, while the scientific community isn’t always wrong (the straw man you have constructed ” Telling the facts as he’s represented to know them in this thread would mean labeling every claim made by the scientific community as untrue. ” ), it is self-defeating when it condemns Christian scientists when using the moral code and precepts of Biblical Christianity that have provided the furtherance of science.

    Case in point: Scientists who denied Creation and Intelligent Design wrote off vestigial organs as leftover cells from evolution. Christian scientists were unsatisfied with this explanation, believing that the God of the Bible would not make organs that were placeholders without function, and devised theories that they then tested using Bacon’s scientific method to discover the uses for these cells.

    The Creator denying “scientific community” was wrong in this example, but they do utilize Bacon’s (*cough* Christian *cough* ) scientific method most of the time (to answer the questions they are willing to ask)…so they can, occasionally, stumble across the truth.

  240. RTL – All I did to check on the health of George Soros was go to Google News and type in his name and hit search. I know that is a stretch for you to do actual research, but you could try it. It might not hurt as much as you think. I really am not sure why you are so reticent to rejoice at the resurrection of Soros. There are several organizations that will dies with his money.

  241. Guys, just so you will know about the spam filter.

    I just dug ron’s last post out of the filter, and although it was posted only a few minutes ago, it was down three pages in the Askimet spam can. For some reason, spam is coming in at a rate I have not seen in the past year. A torrent, literally. Right now there are 1,200+ spams in the filter….sixty pages of it that came in just the past few hours. We let it go for a full day a couple of days ago and there were almost ten thousand. If your comment is not caught immediately by somebody, it becomes a needle in a haystack.

  242. davidm2575,

    I don’t know how you reconcile your disingenuous assertions with your claim of religious truthiness.

    You misread your own quote: “A new NASA study shows Earth’s climate likely will continue to warm during this century on track with previous estimates, despite the recent slowdown in the rate of global warming.” (emphasis added)

    The rate of increase diminished on land but increased in the deep sea.

    The rate of increase slowed down, meaning it is still increasing, but at a lower rate.

    It does not mean that the rate of increase has slowed down nor that global warming is decreasing.

    A climate scientists calls the misrepresentation of that reality a “faux pause.”

  243. Chuck: Thanks for the effort.

    Ron: I’ll work on reposting that response tonight

    Skip: You referenced the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts not the Refuse Act or the Rivers and Harbors Act. I’m not a mind reader.

    Part of your problem is that you’re not very clear about what you’re trying to say. That’s probably because you’re not very clear about what you want to say.

    Furthermore, I doubt you know what a logical fallacy is, since nearly everything you post is logically flawed.

  244. Charlton, Thankfully no child was crushed as RTC insinuated in his post on the 17th at 7:57PM.

    He wrote: “Friedman relies on compensation through the legal process, but when a mining company has pushed a three-ton boulder down on top of your three year old child, there just ain’t enough compensation.”

    That’s like thinking mandatory Drivers License regulations are going to stop traffic accidents and fatalities.

    As for coal, I love the stuff. It helped me from not freezing to death during the oil embargo in 1973, while in the Army. Coal is relied upon for heat and energy by many people around the world. Until people are willing to put their money where their mouth is, things aren’t going to change. Where are all the progressives and environmentalists when their money is needed to change the world.

    That is now the forth strike for RTC.

  245. Good catch, Dredd. I was wondering about the truth of Schultz’ claim that we’ve entered a cooling period. Seems there was no truth in his claims, once again.

  246. annieofwi

    … Thanks goes to Dredd who brought up agnotology on a different thread and made me look it up.
    Agnotology is an interesting and useful discipline.

  247. Skip: The second item Charlton posted a link to was a story about a child killed by a boulder pushed off a cliff by a bulldozer, and the residents of West Virginia cited company negligence.

    Do ever get tired of sounding like a pinhead?

  248. RTM – You really are incapable of playing nice in the sandbox. Since the climate used in climate models is flawed to begin all we have are current aggregate temperatures. Those have not increased at the projected rate, hence a ‘cooling period.’ BTW, George Soros is still alive.

  249. RTN – anyone with $125 can file suit. If you gave the clerk of the court $125 and your hat, they would file it.

  250. RTC

    Good catch, Dredd. I was wondering about the truth of Schultz’ claim that we’ve entered a cooling period. Seems there was no truth in his claims, once again.
    That specimen of Agnotology is being spread by the media who get a lot of Oil-Qaeda advertising dollars.

  251. Neil deGrasse Tyson Is Really Starting To Scare Conservatives
    By Amanda Marcotte
    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

    The wingnut panic over the show Cosmos is incredibly amusing to me. It’s understandable, because Neil deGrasse Tyson is really good at being clear and concise about science and he eviscerates right wing attempts to muddy the waters with precision. I particularly liked this quote from an interview on Inquiring Minds: “I claim that all those who think they can cherry-pick science simply don’t understand how science works,” because science, unlike theology or musical taste, isn’t a matter of just taking what you like and leaving the rest behind. What is interesting—and threatening—about Cosmos is it asserts interconnectedness of science. Evolution and the “big bang” theory are inseparable, and knowing how old and vast the universe is makes it much, much easier to understand how evolution works.

    This runs strongly counter to the conservative approach to science. Conservatives don’t want to be perceived as anti-science, so they claim a general support for it and then just suddenly and coincidentally have “reservations” about science that runs against their political interests. So you have people who wouldn’t dare dream of saying that physics as a field is wrong, but somehow still manage to convince themselves the that laws of physics are suddenly suspended when they point to the conclusion of man-made climate change. Or they have to accept that sexual reproduction, by its nature, creates descent with modification, but they somehow decide that this can’t be true over vast expanses of time. Cosmos makes that kind of cherry-picking hard to pull off. Tyson knows that if you understand, for instance, how dog breeds came to be, you understand evolution and can’t reasonably deny that, over much longer periods of time, you could get way, way more genetic diversity through natural selection.

    In my post last week about these issues, I asked why Christian fundies are much less interested in building the case against the old-and-vast universe, even though they clearly don’t believe in it any more than evolution, than they are trying to sow doubt about evolution. This, even though the age and the size of the universe tend to argue against their god more than even evolution does. I neglected to mention that I suspect the main reason is tradition. The fight between evolutionary biologists and fundies predates many of the theories about the universe and certainly predates the popularization of those theories. It’s an arbitrary accident of history. You know, like a lot of evolved features are.

    I cannot emphasize enough the arbitrary nature of the attacks on evolutionary theory. Fundamentalists are not interested in crafting legitimate criticisms of science. They just want to cough up a bunch of random “reasons” to disbelieve the science so that their followers can latch onto that as an excuse for why they reject science, and that’s it. That’s why they put astrophysics mostly on “ignore” and focus on evolution, because all their followers need to know is that “criticisms” exist and they can feel good about believing a bunch of bullshit.

  252. Shultz: That’s no sandbox you’re sitting in; it only feels like sand.

    RE Climate change: More specious reasoning. Rising temperatures are still rising temperatures, even if they rise slower than predicted. The trouble with climate science is the crudeness of our tools to study it with.

    RE Soros: I always say, if you can show me good evidence of something, I’ll accept it; I have an open mind. Unfortunately, you’ve been caught lying here about climate change too many times to be trusted.

  253. Paul,
    That is a red herring argument. A straw man. Medical care has not a damn thing to do with the fact that big coal is destroying huge swaths of the southern Appalachians, killing people in the process.

    Also, if the tea party and republican types had not set out to cripple the Obama presidency and keep millions of people uninsured, holes in the ACA would not be a problem.

  254. Elaine – Tyson does not scare conservatives, they are annoyed by him. BTW conservatism and fundamentalism are different things. Some conservatives are also fundamentalists but most are not. Amanda Marcotte might be comforted to think she has a direct pipeline into the conservative movement, but she does not. She is using facts not in evidence, as they say. As many progressive are want to do, she paints with a very broad brush. BTW, Elaine, rawstory is a liberal blog.😉

  255. Shultz: Conservatives are annoyed because he’s telling the truth. That sort of thing always gets under your skin.

    The rightwing denial industry tries to introduce lies into evidence as if they were facts.

  256. Charlton – ACA was passed with NO Republican votes. Both the House, Senate and White House were controlled by Democrats. This is ALL on them. Obama has crippled his own administration, his poll numbers are dropping thru the floor and he is considered a joke on the world stage.

  257. annie – I live in Arizona where a lot of Canadians come for their health care. During the fall they make appts with our doctors and then in the winter they get their needed health care tying up our doctors and making it harder to appts in a timely manner. If the Canadian health care system was so great, they would not be coming here. BTW, there is a very funny YouTube video of a guy trying to get a doctor’s appt in Canada. You are aware that like England there is socialized medicine and private medicine in Canada. If you are willing to pay the whole thing you can be treated by a private physician fairly rapidly. Still, to see how social medicine really works, you have to look at the NHS in the UK. It is appalling.
    And I was riffing off Charlton and RTP about the healthcare. They were the ones who got off subject. I am just attracted to shiny objects.:)
    I do not really care that you use liberal sources like HuffPo but it does not help your argument if you fall back on the same biased sources.

  258. Paul,
    Please explain the proximate connection between the ACA and rocks the size of a Volkswagen Beetle landing on sleeping toddlers at two in the morning?

    And the term ‘clean coal’ is an oxymoron. I do hold the administration at fault for not doing more to rein in mountaintop removal. Have you ever SEEN a mountaintop removal operation? Come visit me and we will take a day trip. By the end of the day, you will need the barf bags I carry in my car.

    When I heard the President say, early on in his first term, something to the effect we needed more clean coal, I realized somebody had been giving him bad information. If he wants to come visit me, I will be glad to give him a tour as well.

  259. Some people attack certain sources as being liberal or left wing. If they have a criticism about those sources, the onus is open them to prove that the information published by those sources is incorrect.

    BTW, when Jonathan asked me to be a guest blogger, he didn’t tell me which sources I could use/couldn’t use as sources for my posts. Neither did he give any restrictions as to the subjects that I write about. I know some people aren’t happy with that. They don’t like the fact that I’m a guest blogger. They don’t like my views on certain subjects. They enjoy insulting my intelligence, my reading ability, my integrity, my knowledge. That’s the way it is. I’m used to it.

  260. Charlton – as the British would say “It is early days!” It is 7:30 am here. Little early to declare a winner of anything, must less the ‘Internets.’ Just out of curiosity, how many Internets are there, Charlton?

  261. Charlton – you appear to be an educated person. You should be able to figure out the proximate connection yourself. I have been to strip mines, open pit mines and tunnel mines. Do not need a barf bag. Thanks for the invite though.

  262. Lt. Dan Taylor: You must be my FNG’s.
    Forrest Gump, Bubba Blue: [Dropping their duffle bags and saluting] YES, SIR!
    [Lt. Taylor swiftly grabs their arms]
    Lt. Dan Taylor: Get your hands down! There’s a lot of gook snipers around here who would love to grease an officer. [Pauses] Where you boys from in the world?
    Forrest Gump, Bubba Blue: Alabama, sir!
    Lt. Dan Taylor: You twins?
    [Forrest and Bubba look at each other]
    Forrest Gump: [Confused] No, we are not relations, sir.
    Lt. Dan Taylor: [To Bubba] What’s wrong with your lip?
    Bubba Blue: Well, I was born with big gums, sir.
    Lt. Dan Taylor: You better tuck that in; You don’t wanna get it hooked on a trip wire.

  263. I am writing under my own name. -PS

    How would we know? You’re not registered. You could be anyone claiming to be someone named “Paul Schulte”. Having said this, I don’t care who you are or claim to be in the comments section of a blog. Nor should you. It’s ideas that matter.

    “In Defense of Anonymous Speech ~pj”


    “Ben Franklin wrote anonymously sometimes too. It’s an American tradition…. The prudent founding fathers coped with difficult times and intolerance with practical methods designed to protect a man’s ability to keep speaking safely. The whole point of the Federalist Papers was to get readers to support the Constitution, and it worked.

    So, anonymous speech in the US holds an honored place…. The very First Amendment to the Constitution says that the government has no authority to establish what is “proper” speech or to make people say things they don’t believe or want to say. It was a revolutionary idea at the time, breaking completely with the European tradition….

    The First Amendment applies to the government, but one can broadly apply the principle. People talk about their rights to say whatever they wish, but the true right is the right to speak honestly without being viciously attacked for it. That is the historic American tradition of free speech, that you can express your true beliefs, and there is no penalty for doing so.

    The Constitution stands between the unpopular idea and any governmental entity wishing to punish anyone espousing that unpopular idea. The idea the founding fathers had is this: in a democracy, everything depends on an educated population, on a dynamic marketplace of ideas, and so protecting free expression was considered so vital, it was made a foundation legal value. They were sick of persecution and pressure to think or say anything but what they really did think or really want to say.”

    Don’t stop there. Read the entire piece. Educate yourself, whoever you are.

  264. AA – you have a simplistic view of the US Constitution and the 1st Amendment. Regardless of my 1st Amendment rights, I can be jailed for fomenting revolution or a riot. I will be jailed if I yell “Fire” in a crowded theater and there is no fire. There are limits on free speech, it is not always free. I can also be punished by my employers, school, etc for my speech.

    As for anonymity, it is highly over-rated. I belong to the John Hancock school – be loud and proud.

  265. It seems to be working since fewer people are self-identifying as liberal. We will never get rid of all of them, since some hide in the shadows.

  266. OT:

    Lawrence Walsh has died:

    By Pete Yost
    Associated Press


    WASHINGTON — Lawrence E. Walsh, the special prosecutor who spent six years investigating misconduct by Reagan administration officials in the Iran-Contra affair, has died.

    He was 102.

    Walsh was a highly successful Wall Street lawyer who served as a federal judge, president of the American Bar Association and as the No. 2 official at the Justice Department in the Eisenhower administration.

    But the most high-profile work of his life was as a court-appointed independent counsel in the Iran-Contra controversy who relentlessly pursued evidence of wrongdoing.

    Walsh’s detractors said the investigation was a clear case of prosecutorial abuse.

  267. http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/06/29/reviews/iran-pardon.html#1

    ‘Evidence of Conspiracy’

    “Mr. Walsh hinted that Mr. Bush’s pardon of Mr. Weinberger and the President’s own role in the affair could be related. For the first time, he charged that Mr. Weinberger’s notes about the secret decision to sell arms to Iran, a central piece of evidence in the case against the former Pentagon chief, included “evidence of a conspiracy among the highest ranking Reagan Administration officials to lie to Congress and the American public.”

    The prosecutor charged that Mr. Weinberger’s efforts to hide his notes may have “forestalled impeachment proceedings against President Reagan” and formed part of a pattern of “deception and obstruction.” On Dec. 11, Mr. Walsh said he discovered “misconduct” in Mr. Bush’s failure to turn over what the prosecutor said were the President’s own “highly relevant contemporaneous notes, despite repeated requests for such documents.”

    The notes, in the form of a campaign diary that Mr. Bush compiled after the elections in November 1986, are in the process of being turned over to Mr. Walsh, who said, “In light of President Bush’s own misconduct, we are gravely concerned about his decision to pardon others who lied to Congress and obstructed official investigations.”

    In an interview on the “McNeil-Lehrer Newshour” tonight, Mr. Walsh said for the first time that Mr. Bush was a subject of his investigation. The term “subject,” as it has been used by Mr. Walsh’s prosecutors, is broadly defined as someone involved in events under scrutiny, but who falls short of being a target, or a person likely to be charged with a crime. In the inquiry into the entire Iran-contra affair, a number of Government officials have been identified as subjects who were never charged with wrongdoing.”

  268. Hey Schilte: Sorry to hear about your stroke, but it’s nice that you able to find some work.

    I did read that article. I do not trust the source. The Daily Telegraph is owned by the Barclay Bros, and have maintained strong support for the Conservative Party in England since they purchased the paper from the disgraced Hollinger/Black media group. They also have business ties to Rupert Murdoch.


    The piece quotes Judith Curry, the same dissenting researcher from Dr. Muller’s study I linked to above. You paraphrased her remarks as claiming the groups conclusions were a “best guess” (not exactly what she said, but we’ll let that slide), and dishonestly tried to pass her remarks off as coming from Dr. Muller.

    So I think I’ll wait until I see what other climate researchers have to say.

    Incidentally, the leading reason Canadians come to America to receive cosmetic surgeries; breast implants, collagen injections, and liposuction, etc. Next would be joint replacements. For things like cancer treatment, heart surgeries, and other life saving procedures, they stay home. that’s because they get treatment more quickly and at more affordable cost than they could anywhere else. An overwhelming majority of Canadians think our system of healthcare sucks and that we’re nuts for accepting it. If you ever want to start a war with Canada, threaten to take away their social healthcare system.

    AA has presented a very sophisticated and not too nuanced rationalization behind the 1st Amendment. Yelling Fire in a movie theater is not an expression of any type of idea that the Founder’s had in mind, while Epistemic Closure would be. I’m just going to assume that you’re being deliberately obtuse, here.

  269. Global warming alarmists now faced with indisputable evidence which is in direct contravention to climatologists modelling and predictions have now dropped the chicken-little shrills about warming and have lofted high the flag of climate change to the fore front of their scheme in which a scientifically illiterate public clamors for a solution to a problem they can never hope to solve using various forms of taxation as the impetus for their bogus solution(s).

    These are a few of the leading processes driving climate change on Earth (please note they are all far beyond humanities ability to mitigate):

    1) Cosmic ray bombardment — cosmic rays emitted from the supernovae of massive stars light years from our solar system. More cosmic ray bombardment of Earth’s upper atmosphere more cloud creation and less potential energy warming Earth’s surface. Less cosmic ray bombardment less cloud creation and more potential energy reaching Earth’s surface.

    2) Solar variability — The star we humans refer to as “Sun” is a variable star that emits fluctuating levels of both visible and non-visible forms of energy. There is no thermostat that we can dial in for the human optimum.

    3)Precession — Earth as it rotates on it’s axis has an eccentric wobble that over thousands of year time lines serves to expose more or less of Earth’s surface to potential energy sources.

    4)Vulcanism — Erupting volcano’s spew tremendous amounts of fine sooty particulate and various gases into Earth’s atmosphere. The fine sooty particulate helps prevent potential energy from reaching Earth’s surface and one of the gases emitted Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) which when mixed with aerosolized water vapor in the upper levels of Earth’s atmosphere creates sulfuric acid (H2SO4) which is highly reflective and is responsible for the reflection of potential solar energy back into space.

    I could go on and on and on but i just don’t have the time.

    If you click the link you can do more research on your own.



    PS The scientific consensus back in time of Columbus was that the majority of leading scientific minds believed the world was flat. During Galileo and Copernicus’s time the leading scientific dogma of the day was that we humans lived in a heliocentric universe with Earth at it’s center.

    How did that “scientific” consensus work out?

    Folks who speak in absolute terms about science are not scientists but rather ideologues.

  270. Well, fair is fair RTQ. I don’t trust your sources and you don’t trust mine. None the less, the Telegraph is reporting actual news rather than hiding like the US papers do. BTW, the Telegraph has a great film section. You can accuse me of all the things you think you can get away with, but it does not change the fact that you are supporting the unsupportable.

  271. personanongrata – it is a common misconception that people in Columbus’s time thought the Earth was flat. Most scientists and all long-voyage sailors (including Columbus) knew the world was not flat.😉

  272. persona: It seems you just joined the discussion, so maybe you didn’t see the link to a study conducted by Dr Muller and funded in part by the Koch Bros. Dr. Muller concluded that global warming is occurring and that it almost entirely as a result of human causation. In other words, cosmic rays and vulcanism are contributing factors, but humans are causing the most of it.

    Interesting you should mention absolutism. Dr Mann cites the inability of science to make very precise, definite predictions which allows climate deniers to denounce their findings.

    You deniers are demanding to know what the temperature will be on a specific date. Science can only predict a possible range.

  273. RTC,

    In other words, cosmic rays and vulcanism are contributing factors, but humans are causing the most of it.

    You evidently did not click the link that I provided. If you had you may have learned something about Earth sciences.

    Please do explain how humanity is responsible for most of it?

  274. RTQ – regarding absolutism, it is the global warmers who absolutely believe that the ‘sky is failling.’ That foremost scientist Al Gore gave us dates that we would have to comply with his demands or the world would end, the oceans would rise and life would be intolerable.

  275. Elaine: Please never mind what the critics say. I’ve always found your posts to be informative and thought provoking. They are among the biggest reasons I continue to visit this blog.

  276. “PS The scientific consensus back in time of Columbus was that the majority of leading scientific minds believed the world was ”


    Busting a myth about Columbus and a flat Earth
    By Valerie Strauss

    If you learned in school that Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain in 1492 and crossed the Atlantic Ocean, disproving a common belief in those days that the Earth was flat, then the lesson was wrong.

    Historians say there is no doubt that the educated in Columbus’s day knew quite well that the Earth was not flat but round. In fact, this was known many centuries earlier.

    As early as the sixth century B.C., Pythagoras — and later Aristotle and Euclid — wrote about the Earth as a sphere. Ptolemy wrote “Geography” at the height of the Roman Empire, 1,300 years before Columbus sailed, and considered the idea of a round planet as fact.

    “Geography” became a standard reference, and Columbus himself owned a copy. For him, the big question was not the shape of the Earth but the size of the ocean he wanted to cross.

    During the early Middle Ages, it is true that many Europeans succumbed to rumor and started believing that they lived on a flat Earth.

    But Islamic countries knew better and preserved the Greek learning. By the late Middle Ages, Europe had caught up and in some cases surpassed the knowledge of ancient Greece and medieval Islam.

    Several books published in Europe between 1200 and 1500 discussed the Earth’s shape, including “The Sphere,” written in the early 1200s, which was required reading in European universities in the 1300s and beyond. It was still in use 500 years after it was penned.

    So how did it become common thought in the 20th century that people in the 15th century believed the Earth was flat?

    In a 1991 book, “Inventing the Flat Earth,” retired University of California professor Jeffrey Burton Russell explains how the myth was perpetuated in the 1800s by writers including Washington Irving and Antoinne-Jean Letronne.

    In 1828, Irving wrote “The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus,” which sounds like a biography but is mostly fiction. It says that Europeans learned from Columbus’s trips to the New World that the planet was round.

    Letronne insisted that early Christian writers thought the Earth was flat. Though they did not, he was widely quoted for many years.

    Others, too, helped perpetuate the myth.

    The 1995 book “Poetry of the Universe: A Mathematical Exploration of the Cosmos,” by Robert Osserman, professor emeritus of mathematics at Stanford University, makes clear that Columbus did not worry that he would fall off the Earth’s edge.

    There was, though, some concern about what would happen if he got to the bottom of the spherical planet.

  277. skip:

    that was great. RTC doesnt know his water, I wonder if he can hold his Koch?

    He certainly isnt doing very well and has lost any credibility he might have had about global warming.

    If he thinks Soros is dead and wasnt aware of the clean water acts in the late 19th century, he certainly cant be trusted with a complicated, multi-faceted problem like global warming or as they now call it climate change. That way they dont even have to have a position as everyone knows the weather/climate changes hourly.

    What a load of crap, climate change being cause by man, not RTC.

  278. “During Galileo and Copernicus’s time the leading scientific dogma of the day was that we humans lived in a heliocentric universe with Earth at it’s center.”

    That doesn’t make sense. A heliocentric universe would have the sun at its center.

  279. Personanongrata – RTQ forgot to add that Dr. Curry refused to sign off on Dr. Muller’s paper and that there are critics of the paper who believe the Dr. Muller over corrected his data. Personally, I think he made some initial assumptions that were not valid which means that his ‘results’ are his best guess. Now RTQ will tell you that he had conclusions and that he concluded, both scientific terms. I think his conclusions are based on invalid data.

  280. Persona: You are correct, I did not open the link; I’m pressed for time. I will this evening. I am an ecologist, however, so I’m well aware of the phenomena you mentioned.

    You should read Dr. Muller’s report for a fuller explanation, but our GHG production is among the factor.
    Shilte: I appreciate Gore’s role as a spokesperson, but he hasn’t done any research that I’m aware of. Dr Mann, on the other hand, is quite forth-coming about the drawbacks in climate study, among which is the ability to answer the rightwing denial industry’s demand for absolute precision.

    And this is all part of the strategy with you guys. You want to know precisely when it will warm up, how much it will warm up, and exactly what will happen when it does, as for instance, how high will the oceans rise. When researchers say it could warm up by as much as three degrees within the next thirty to fifty, maybe a hundred, years, you guys guffaw. “Three degrees?! That’s all?”

    That’s enough to alter the planet’s climate. That’s enough to eliminate much of the planet’s plant life, which has evolved to colder conditions. And it’s a falsehood that more CO2 is better for plants, it is not; too much is harmful.

    Look, I wish climate change wasn’t occurring. I like long drives. But the fact is that the longer you continue to deceive children and the public, the harder it’s going to be to achieve any solutions to the problems we face with changing climates

  281. RTClueless – I guess they would rather stay home and die then come to die here in the US?
    Canada does show us that socialized medicine doesn’t cure a crappy heath care system. Real capitalism would however, as many were curing cancers in the early 20th century such as Royal Riff and Renee Cassie before the anti-capitalists commies started social engineering our society, because they were so impressed by the USSR.

    This information was Produced by the Canadian Cancer Society, Statistics Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Provincial/Territorial Cancer Registries cancer.ca/statistics in 2013.
    An estimated 75,500 Canadians are expected to die of cancer in 2013.
    • It is expected that 1 in 4 Canadians will die of cancer in their lifetime. Males have a 28% lifetime probability (approximately a 1 in 3.6 chance) of dying from cancer. Females have a 24% lifetime probability (approximately a 1 in 4.2 chance) of dying from cancer.

    RTClueless – What does it feel like to realize that almost everything you believe in, are myths implanted in you pinhead brain, to deceive you and that these myths are perpetrated by the same people you abhor?

    That your fearless leader has lied on about 90% +/- of his campaign promises and you know who I’m talking about; good old Barry Satoero. FYI: I’m still trying to find out why did he and Cassius Clay, aka Mohamed Ali changed their names and what and if there associations with members of the Muslim Brotherhood had any influence on their decisions. Though you might know why Barry didn’t take his real fathers name.

  282. RTR – you are aware that we are just barely coming out of a little ice age? If I remember correctly Al Gore (inventor of the Internet and model for Love Story) almost failed the one science class he took in college. This gave him the gravitas to be the spokesperson for An Inconvenient Truth which was so flawed the British courts found fatal errors in the film.

    British judge finds nine errors in Al Gore’s “alarmist and exaggerated” Inconvenient Truth movie

    The British newspapers are full of stories this morning about a High Court judge’s criticisms of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth movie. See The Times, Daily Mail and Guardian.

    Mr Justice Barton had been asked to rule on the film after the British Government had announced plans to have it distributed throughout the nation’s schools.

    Justice Barton found ‘nine scientific errors’ in the film and accused Mr Gore of “alarmism” and “exaggeration”. Although he agreed that the film was “powerful, dramatically presented and highly professionally produced,” he said that it was a political film and was so “one-sided” that it needed to be accompanied with other materials that provided pupils with balance if the Government was to continue with its plans to distribute it to schools.

    The nine errors are summarised in the Daily Mail graphic that is reproduced on the right (click to enlarge).

    Even the environment analyst of the BBC – which has been at the forefront of campaigning for action on climate change and was recently forced into cancelling a day of programmes dedicated to the subject – said the ruling would be “embarrassing” for Al Gore.

    The Conservative Party’s environment spokesman, Peter Ainsworth, has called upon the Government to prepare “a proper, up to-date, education pack about climate change – based on current evidence” and distribute that to schools, rather than the Al Gore movie.

    October 11, 2007 at 11:07 AM in Climate change | Permalink

  283. Hey Byron: You’re obviously pretty dense, so I’ll go slow for you.

    The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts are specific pieces of legislation enacted in 1972.

    River and Harbors Act and Refuse Act are completely different laws which differ significantly from The CAA and CWA.

    This is a blog where educated people come to discuss ideas, but people like you and skip are allowed to participate here as well. When educated people speak, they often speak in precise terms.

    I know that bothers you, but we find that it helps with communication. If you want me to discuss the Refuse Act don’t call it the Clean Air Act.

    BTW: you must have missed the part where skip was yucking it up because he thought there never any child that was crushed by a boulder – when the link was to a story headlined “Child Crushed By a Boulder”. Then again, you don’t read for analysis, do you.

  284. RTR – Michael Mann would not have come clean on the problems if his emails had not been exposed. We found out that he and his minions were carefully controlling the ‘peer-reviewed’ journals so only the faithful would be published. Then they would make the claim that it was not published in a ‘peer-reviewed’ journal. If you have been around academia enough you know that peer review means nothing, but it sure sounds good to the hoi poloi.

  285. Skip: I’m not sure where you are right now, but it’s got to be too early to be drinking.
    Shillte: Attack Al Gore: I think it’s on page three of your employee handbook. Whatever. I appreciate his efforts, but that’s about it.

    Give yourself carpal tunnel writing about, for all care.

  286. RTR – you have admitted that you don’t read some of the links. I am not sure you are the person to complain about others. And with your anonymity, we do not know if you are educated or not. BTW, aren’t you supposed to be at work now or is it lunch time there?
    fyi, you and I have the same problem, we think faster than we type. You are missing words in some of your sentences again.

  287. RTR – you are not the arbiter of what is and is not an issue. My understanding is that it open and free-wheeling for educated people to discuss.

  288. Mann and his colleagues were cleared. the denial machine aka the Heartland Institute was found to have heavily edited and doctored hacked emails.

    Let’s see Al Gore: check

    Hacked emails: check

    Will there be any more lies you care to spread today? Check the workbook.

  289. RTC. – Your assumptions on global warming and it’s causes may be right but they could also be wrong as the various scientists argue. But you cannot fiend it in you soul to make that acknowledgement, which is the greatest problem you have; you’re arrogant. You truly believe that you are smarter guy in the room and that my friend is obviously ridiculous. You still babbling on about the mistake I apologized for on the industrial accident because you cannot come up with sufficient arguments as replies. Because of you intellectual weaknesses you attack others instead of really debated the issue with critical thinking.

    It OK though, everyone has intellectual weaknesses just own up and learn from them.

  290. Sorry about the typos. i hope you can still make out the message. I am killing time right now, and being irresponsible, yes.

    So we’ll pick this up this evening then?

  291. RTC:

    ” Wildlife Population Dynamics”

    you can actually take a course in that subject? Food, prey/predator, environment and reproductive rates.

    You paid money to have someone “educate” you on that type of thing? I bet the class on the backyard ecosystem was fascinating. Is that when you learned that insects are attracted to light and spiders spin webs to catch food?

  292. Last night my girlfriend and I finally decided that we are tired of being ripped off by the TV cable providers and we’ve tried three prominent ones all over the last 5 or 6 years.

    Since all the “progressives” on this site are always complaining about big bad corporations, wages, bla bla bla, I thought that it would be a good idea to get a boycott going. Boycotts and passive resistance has been two the most successful means of creating real change throughout history. You want to shake up Wall Street a little. Put down your stupid signs and start using your brains. It doesn’t have to be for very long, just a well coordinated.

    Here is the ultimatum and why:
    1. Either give us free television programing with advertising or;
    2. Give us advertising free programing, if we want to pay for it.

    Why: In all do respect to the program creators, if you take away the sales programs like beautiful butts in 4 weeks, etc, children programs, network programs and PBS that are free anyway, the religious channels, HBO and the sports networks which you pay extra for, there are only a handful of programs that are worth a crap. The History Channel, Smithsonian, TLC, Nat Geo, Fuel etc.

    The advertising on some of these programs feel like they are 50% of the programing.

    Come on, don’t tell me you can’t do this for a week or two. Read a book, have sex with your favorite pet or do something constructive.

  293. Have you noticed that in addition to adds that break up the program, the cable companies now present a logo for other programs or product, usually at the bottom of the screen, throughout much of the program.

    Even when you should be able to see the program the cable company is monetizing what you have already paid for. It would seem that if you pay to see the program, the cable company ought to at least give you a clear view of it.

    Also the cable company charges you for 24 hours of programming but on many channels, for many hours the programs are infomercials.

    How many hours of actual news and entertainment do cable companies actually provide in a month?

    And how many times has your movie channel run the same movie this year?

    How many times this year have you seen The Departed, one of the Godfather series, one of the Rockie series, a transformer movie, Woody slaying zombies, or Mel Gibson beating the English?

    Now these are all truly great entertainment. But how many times can you watch them with out reciting the dialog a beat ahead of the character on the screen?

  294. Neil deGrasse Tyson Squashes Creationist Argument Against Science on National TV
    Watching the Christian Right struggle to counter “Cosmos” each week is like watching a frightened, cornered animal that knows it’s about to die.
    By Dan Arel

    March 17, 2014 |

    Episode two of “Cosmos,” hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, aired this week. Toward the end of the program, Tyson made one of the best statements one could hope would sink into the minds of young and old viewers alike and—most importantly—creationists.

    The astrophysicist proclaimed that there is no shame in admitting you do not know something and that the real shame is pretending to know everything.

    Just as we saw Ken Ham do when debating evolution with Bill Nye, Ham was able to claim he knew everything Nye honestly claimed he did not know by simply saying, “Bill, I do know how X happened, it’s all explained in this book,” referencing the Bible. Ham is ashamed about the fact that he cannot admit what he does not know. Instead, he would rather go on pretending to know things he does not know, which is the definition of faith.

    Ham even claimed he believes in his views so strongly that nothing can change his mind — a sure sign of someone who believes to know things they do not know and does not care about finding the truth, only sticking to what he wants to believe.

    During this week’s episode, Tyson discussed the evolution of the eye, something declared for years by creationists as unexplainable by evolution, and thus evidence that life must be intelligently designed. Tyson masterfully explained how the eye evolved and how well scientists understand this evolution.

    The “Cosmos” host also touched on how many species have evolved an eye, but did leave out the fact that there are over 40 known independent eye evolutions, something that very clearly discredits any intelligent design.

    However, these facts mean nothing to creationists. Not long after “Cosmos” aired, Jay W. Richards, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute (DI), a non-science, religious based foundation that fights to discredit evolution and replace it with faith based creationism, tweeted:

    On eye evolution, the #Cosmos editors again failed to do a Google Search[.]

    Richards’ Twitter missive linked to a Discovery Institute PDF download that supposedly debunks the evolution of the eye claim. Yet the PDF is nothing more than praise for the Christian Right pundit Ann Coulter and a lambasting of Richard Dawkins, DI’s public enemy number one.

    Watching the Christian Right, especially the creationist wing, struggle to counter “Cosmos” each week is like watching a frightened, cornered animal that knows it is about to die. What else could explain the weekly grasping at straws, and the unremitting blasting of social media links meant to reel their following back in as their eyes are opened to the scientific method’s greatness.

  295. I can see why some people don’t comment much and just give links. I was taught to keep your mouth shut unless you had something to say.

  296. nicky, you especially should take this to heart.

    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
    Abraham Lincoln

  297. It does appear the malcontents aren’t happy w/ their little echo chamber and cowardly return. Sad.

  298. Evangelicals Urge Obama To Discuss Climate Change With Pope Francis
    By Jack Jenkins, Guest Contributor
    March 19, 2014

    A group of faith-based environmental advocates are encouraging thousands of religious Americans to sign a petition asking President Barack Obama to discuss climate change with Pope Francis during their upcoming meeting on March 27.

    The online petition, which is posted on the White House’s “We the People” website, was created by Richard Cizik, head of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a progressive evangelical Christian organization. In addition to asking President Obama to invite the pope to visit one of America’s national parks and monuments, the petition makes the religious case for action on climate change.

    “We ask that President Obama give the Pope a photograph of one of our majestic parks or new national monuments as an example of America’s proud tradition of conservation leadership, and discuss the sacred obligation of people across faiths to protect God’s creation,” the petition read, adding, “Conservation is a moral responsibility.”

  299. Elaine: I remember seeing a clip of Stephen Jay Gould about twenty years ago where he was explaining the trouble with the Christian Fundamentals and their efforts to deny the theory of evolution.

    He said that the effective length of a career for a researcher was about twenty years; unfortunately, it turned out to be somewhat shorter for him, but that’s about what he had it pegged at. Having to address the constant denials of what was so plainly obvious in the fossil record took valuable time away from the scientist to do research.

  300. Nick: Is introvert another word for anti-social. Or shut-in?
    Byron: It’s hard to understand you when you breathe through your mouth. There’s more to wildlife population dynamics than you would think, if you ever thought. And don’t fool yourself, backyards have the potential to serve as habitat for a wide range of wildlife, provided they have the right plants. I recommend Doug Tallamy’s, “Bringing Nature Home”, as a starting point.
    BTW: It’s great for improving property values.

  301. Skip: I’m holding out one last hope for a sensible, concisely reasoned answer from either you or Shillte – not so much from Byron.

    But tell me this: What is the harm with reducing human green house gas (GHG) production?

    Why should we run a pipeline that is certain to rupture over one of the most valuable aquifers in the world?

    If you could answer these two questions without mentioning Cassisus Clay I would appreciate it.

  302. annie – you are a one note band.

    RTR – I personally see no reason that you should not shut off your personal expulsion of greenhouse gases. I am behind that 100%

    I had a recognized wildlife preserve in my backyard, but had to clean it up to sell the house.

  303. Anonymous

    “nicky, you especially should take this to heart.

    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
    Abraham Lincoln”

    I think you need to take that quotation to heart.

    “The wonderful Yale Book of Quotations (YBQ) investigated the saying and presented the earliest known attribution to Lincoln in Golden Book magazine in November 1931: 23

    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

    Since Lincoln died in 1865 this is a suspiciously late instance, and it provides very weak evidence. Further, YBQ indicated that the phrase was in use years before this date with no attachment to Lincoln. The ascription of the saying to Mark Twain is also dubious.

    When Ken Burns filmed a documentary about Mark Twain in 2001 a companion book was released, and it listed the following version of the quote in a section titled “What Twain Didn’t Say”: 4

    Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

    The earliest known appearance of the adage discovered by QI occurred in a book titled “Mrs. Goose, Her Book” by Maurice Switzer. The publication date was 1907 and the copyright notice was 1906. The book was primarily filled with clever nonsense verse, and the phrasing in this early version was slightly different: 5

    It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.

    Most of the humorous content of “Mrs. Goose, Her Book” has the imprint of originality, and based on currently available data QI believes that Maurice Switzer is the leading candidate for originator of the expression. This 1906 citation was also given in “The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs”, an indispensable new reference work from Yale University Press. ”


    The rest is pretty interesting as well. If you are going to insult someone, at least have the decency to do it without ambiguity.

  304. RTC:

    I plant fruit trees, grapes, blackberrys, sunflowers, marigolds, and milo, millet and peanuts in the backyard and make brush piles and place gourds around the yard for bird houses. In addition my wife puts out wool for the birds and squirrels. And I need to put up some bat houses.

    I imagine there are other things to do but we have fox, turkey, hawks, squirrels, chipmonks, mice, shrews, groundhogs and assorted birds in our yard. We also have plenty of snakes and lizards because we have wood piles and mulch piles for them to lay their eggs in.

    I probably dont have it covered to the extent your reference has but stuff like this was being done by my grandmother when I was a boy so it isnt really new.

  305. Byron,
    I suspect that variations of that quote have been made by many people over the years….or centuries. In fact, it reminds me of some of the things written by Pliny the Younger. And speaking of Pliny, I remember reading somewhere that a friend asked Pliny the Elder why there wasn’t a statue of him in a prominent place.

    He replied, “I would rather people ask, ‘Why isn’t there a statue of Pliny,’ than, ‘Why is there a statute of Pliny.’ “

  306. Byron

    about a month ago i took a nap on the couch and woke up to the dog and cats going nuts. i thought it was because i had slept through their feeding time. while prepping the cat food i realized the animal by my foot was not a cat but a possum.

    fun with nature

  307. I am familiar with a lot of Roman and Greek plays and I do not remember that one. I am curious as to how you know the length of the run.

  308. pete,

    I read about Atanus yesterday. Maybe she’s got the answer for climate change: God’s mad about gays and same-sex marriage–so he’s warming the planet!


  309. RTC

    Elaine: I remember seeing a clip of Stephen Jay Gould about twenty years ago where he was explaining the trouble with the Christian Fundamentals and their efforts to deny the theory of evolution.


    Evolution as Fact and Theory
    by Stephen Jay Gould

    The basic attack of modern creationists falls apart on two general counts before we even reach the supposed factual details of their assault against evolution. First, they play upon a vernacular misunderstanding of the word “theory” to convey the false impression that we evolutionists are covering up the rotten core of our edifice. Second, they misuse a popular philosophy of science to argue that they are behaving scientifically in attacking evolution. Yet the same philosophy demonstrates that their own belief is not science, and that “scientific creationism” is a meaningless and self-contradictory phrase, an example of what Orwell called “newspeak.”

    In the American vernacular, “theory” often means “imperfect fact”—part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus creationists can (and do) argue: evolution is “only” a theory, and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is less than a fact, and scientists can’t even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): “Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science—that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was.”

    Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.

    Moreover, “fact” does not mean “absolute certainty.” The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science, “fact” can only mean “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.” I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

    Evolutionists have been clear about this distinction between fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory—natural selection—to explain the mechanism of evolution. He wrote in The Descent of Man: “I had two distinct objects in view; firstly, to show that species had not been separately created, and secondly, that natural selection had been the chief agent of change. . . . Hence if I have erred in . . . having exaggerated its [natural selection’s] power . . . I have at least, as I hope, done good service in aiding to overthrow the dogma of separate creations.”

    Thus Darwin acknowledged the provisional nature of natural selection while affirming the fact of evolution. The fruitful theoretical debate that Darwin initiated has never ceased. From the 1940s through the 1960s, Darwin’s own theory of natural selection did achieve a temporary hegemony that it never enjoyed in his lifetime. But renewed debate characterizes our decade, and, while no biologist questions the importance of natural selection, many doubt its ubiquity. In particular, many evolutionists argue that substantial amounts of genetic change may not be subject to natural selection and may spread through the populations at random. Others are challenging Darwin’s linking of natural selection with gradual, imperceptible change through all intermediary degrees; they are arguing that most evolutionary events may occur far more rapidly than Darwin envisioned.

    Scientists regard debates on fundamental issues of theory as a sign of intellectual health and a source of excitement. Science is—and how else can I say it?—most fun when it plays with interesting ideas, examines their implications, and recognizes that old information might be explained in surprisingly new ways. Evolutionary theory is now enjoying this uncommon vigor. Yet amidst all this turmoil no biologist has been lead to doubt the fact that evolution occurred; we are debating how it happened. We are all trying to explain the same thing: the tree of evolutionary descent linking all organisms by ties of genealogy. Creationists pervert and caricature this debate by conveniently neglecting the common conviction that underlies it, and by falsely suggesting that evolutionists now doubt the very phenomenon we are struggling to understand.

  310. A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. If enough evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, it moves to the next step—known as a theory—in the scientific method and becomes accepted as a valid explanation of a phenomenon.

    scientific theoryPin It A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing.
    Credit: alphaspirit/ShutterStockView full size image
    When used in non-scientific context, the word “theory” implies that something is unproven or speculative. As used in science, however, a theory is an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena.

    Any scientific theory must be based on a careful and rational examination of the facts. In the scientific method, there is a clear distinction between facts, which can be observed and/or measured, and theories, which are scientists’ explanations and interpretations of the facts. Scientists can have various interpretations of the outcomes of experiments and observations, but the facts, which are the cornerstone of the scientific method, do not change.

    A theory must include statements that have observational consequences. A good theory, like Newton’s theory of gravity, has unity, which means it consists of a limited number of problem-solving strategies that can be applied to a wide range of scientific circumstances. Another feature of a good theory is that it formed from a number of hypotheses that can be tested independently.

    A scientific theory is not the end result of the scientific method; theories can be proven or rejected, just like hypotheses. Theories can be improved or modified as more information is gathered so that the accuracy of the prediction becomes greater over time.

    Theories are foundations for furthering scientific knowledge and for putting the information gathered to practical use. Scientists use theories to develop inventions or find a cure for a disease.

    A few theories do become laws, but theories and laws have separate and distinct roles in the scientific method. A theory is an explanation of an observed phenomenon, while a law is a description of an observed phenomenon.

    The problem with the Theory of Evolution is that testing is included in selected areas. My favorite paper title in the area is Stephen Gould’s “Male Nipples and Clitoral Ripples”.

  311. Thanks Elaine, this was my good read for the day, although I should point out that Gould was a well known commie liberal.;) No doubt this article will set a certain god-fearing theist’s teeth on edge.

    Seriously, these are thoughts to consider when it comes to debating climate change.

    Interesting bits:
    How Reagan’s handlers included Christian FundaMental themes in his speeches as part of their effort to co-opt the movement. A convenient way to dumb down the country to ensure a more pliable – or gullible – electorate.

    Gould’s contention that a ” ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.’ ” How different that sounds from claiming such confirmation is only a “best guess”.

  312. Byron: Sounds like you’re doing an outstanding job with your yard. Keep up the good work. The only advice anyone could give you would be to ensure that as many of the plants in your yard are native to your area because those are the best food sources for pollinators and birds.

  313. RTS – How would you know if I have added to the debate? You only attack!!! Alinsky is alive and well this morning. Marginalize, marginalize, marginalize.

  314. RTC,

    I had the great fortune to hear Gould speak many years ago when the National Council of Science Teachers held its annual convention in Boston. He was a brilliant man…and a very engaging speaker. I’ve read a number of his books–including The Mismeasure of Man, Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes, and The Panda’s Thumb.

    Of course, we have science experts here who think they know/pretend they know more than Gould.

  315. paul

    discussion over, you lost. Petes corollary to Godwins Law; whoever is the first to compare someone to Saul Alinsky has run out of anything meaningful to say.

    (anybody can play calvinball)

  316. Elaine – Gould was controversial at his own school and in his own discipline. And your backhanded snide comments do not help the discussion move forward. What you have to realize, Elaine, is that for science to properly work, it has to be constantly tested. There are serious problems with the Theory of Evolution which is why Gould proposed his hypothesis, hoping to explain the problems. Personally, I think if you add Chaos Theory to the Theory of Evolution it closes some of the holes, but not all of them. I am surprised you missed reading his “Male Nipples and Clitoral Ripples” I understand it is a page-turner.:)

  317. pete – you do not have enough gravitas to have a corollary to any law, much less Godwin’s. Clearly you have run out of things to say.:)

  318. Says Paul Schulte: “My favorite paper title in the area is Stephen Gould’s “Male Nipples and Clitoral Ripples”.”

    You might want to curl up with it today. Read it again and again. (You’ve already mentioned it at least twice.) Keep reading it.

  319. Elaine M wrote: “I think this proves that no matter what I do some people will find fault with it. David says he has never seen me quote any of those sources I listed–in effect calling me a liar.”

    I did not say that I have never seen you quote ANY of those sources. I said that I have not seen you quote most of those sources. I was referring to posts you make in the comments section where you do not express your opinion but rather quote someone else’s opinion.

    My statement was not finding fault with you, just surprise that those sources you quote from the most were not even in your list. If someone posted that list and asked me to guess which blogger reads from and quotes from these sources, you would not be on my list of guesses because there was no “Huffington Post” listed. I think of the Huffington Post as being your most trusted and quoted news source.

  320. Dredd wrote: “I don’t know how you reconcile your disingenuous assertions with your claim of religious truthiness. You misread your own quote:…”

    I did not misread the quote. You simply assume improperly what I am trying to say with the quote. You misread me the same way you take opinions in articles as factual true. Look at the actual data, and acknowledge some of the fabricated data as fraudulent, and you will find the answer to your quandary of what I was trying to say. Furthermore, I make no claims to “religious truthiness.” You know that is just a jab at my being a theist who has not joined any religion or embraced any religious dogma.

  321. anonymous2 – I think Elaine is the one who has the interest in reading Gould’s papers and books. Check with her for a copy. I just like the title.:)

  322. RTC:

    thanks for that bit of advice on the native plants, when I am ready to plant this spring I will ask the local garden center for what they recommend.

  323. Elaine M wrote: “They enjoy insulting my intelligence, my reading ability, my integrity, my knowledge. That’s the way it is. I’m used to it.”

    Woe. Slow down and take a breath. You are taking comments way too personal. I don’t perceive anyone trying to insult you in these ways at all.

  324. “How Science Responds When Creationists Criticize Evolution”
    Boyce Rensberger
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    January 8, 1997


    Maybe you’ve encountered them, the perfectly nice people who stop you with a statement like, “Well, you know, evolution is just a theory, and it’s very controversial, even among scientists.”

    Or maybe they say, “There’s no way a bunch of gears and springs in a junk pile could suddenly fall together by accident and become a working watch. The existence of a watch tells you there had to be an intelligent watchmaker.” Sometimes, they’ll stump you by asserting that, on his deathbed, Charles Darwin renounced his theory of evolution.

    Usually the people who say these things mean well. But the statements are based on a faulty understanding of biology. Unfortunately, many of us challenged by those who call themselves creationists are not well prepared to respond.

    But science has good answers to these challenges to the theory of evolution. First, there’s absolutely no controversy within science about the reality of evolution. There is a well accepted, solidly established body of evidence showing that evolution is real and, although knowledge of some mechanisms is incomplete, much is known about how evolution works. From this body of information we’ve drawn answers to some of the most common challenges issued by creationists.

    Take that last one, about Darwin on his deathbed. Not only is it irrelevant to whether evolution is true, the statement is false. For one thing, Darwin would have had no motive to recant. Before the great naturalist died in 1882, he had the satisfaction of knowing that the Church of England and several other Christian denominations had declared there to be no conflict between his theory and the churchs’ teachings. Indeed, Darwin, an evolutionist to the end, was laid to rest in the hallowed ground of Westminster Abbey.

    In the generations since, most major denominations within the Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions have found Darwinian evolution compatible with their religious beliefs. The statement by Pope John Paul II in November that evolution was more than a hypothesis was the fourth acceptance of evolution by the Roman Catholic Church.

    For some people, fundamentalist Protestants most prominently, the issue likewise has been settled but with the opposite verdict.

    For them, Genesis, however poetic, never uses metaphor or simile to tell the story of how the world and its inhabitants came to be. To them, the Bible is a scientific document to be taken literally. If science makes a claim counter to the Bible, creationists say it is automatically understood that science is wrong and a literal reading of the scripture is right.

    Creationists believe that God created each kind of living thing independently and instantaneously about 6,000 years ago and all during the first six days.

    Evolutionists believe that all living things are descended, through a cumulative series of genetic changes, from one common ancestor, or perhaps a few ancestors. The first ancestors would have been primitive, self-replicating, cell-like structures that arose more than 3.5 billion years ago. Evolutionists are, however, quite far from explaining how the first living thing arose.

    Here with are criticisms you may hear, drawn from creationists and their literature, and responses based on what scientists have learned. What follows is not an attack on creationism but a defense of evolutionism.

    Evolution is just a theory; it hasn’t been proved.

    Well, yes, evolution is a theory, but not in the way that critics think. When scientists refer to it as the “theory of evolution,” the wording does not mean that they doubt it’s true. Evolution has been nailed down about as solidly as anything can be in science.

    The confusion arises because in science “theory” means more than “hypothesis.” A hypothesis is a speculation or a prediction. Experiments or observations are needed to verify it. A theory, on the other hand, is a broad explanation for a class of phenomena. It generally is bigger and grander than a single hypothesis, even one that has passed all tests.

    Thus, atomic theory is the coherent set of explanations of the structure and behavior of atoms. Einstein’s theory of relativity has passed every experimental test but still is called a theory.

    In science, an explanation becomes a theory if it is internally consistent, always agrees with observations and can be used to make testable predictions (hypotheses). Within a theory may be “laws,” which can be expressed more tersely, often with mathematical equations.

    So, has evolution been proved true? Strictly speaking, no. It is an accepted fact of scientific logic that you can never prove something true. Experiments and observations can only falsify theories or hypotheses.

    Scientists insist on many tests of a hypothesis, the results all tending in the same direction before they accept it as probably true. The more evidence, the more acceptable it is and the higher the probability of truth.

    Still, in science there is no such thing as 100 percent certainty. The evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that scientists say the probability of it being true approaches 100 percent. The fact that creationists say they are fully 100 percent certain of their view is based not on scientific evidence but, as their own literature says, on their faith in the literal truth of Genesis, which gives rise to doubts about the scientific case.

    In fact, evolution has massive amounts of supporting evidence from many fields of science—anatomy, geology, animal behavior, paleontology and even molecular biology.

    The odds against random chance producing a complex organism from lifeless ingredients are astronomical.

    If chance were the only factor, this would be true. But chance is only one of two key players, and the other, natural selection, is decidedly not random. It favors species better adapted to their environments and kills off those less suitable. The process applies to all living things.

    Here’s how it works. Every generation usually produces more offspring than can survive, given limited supplies of food, water, space and other resources in a given habitat. For no species are Earth’s natural resources unlimited. Individuals must compete with other members of their own species for these resources.

    The offspring, however, are slightly different from one another in genetic endowment. Because of mutations in genes—here’s the only random part—siblings differ in various subtle ways.

    As a result, individuals that happen to inherit traits that give them an advantage automatically will be more likely to survive than their relatives lacking the trait.

    They probably will have more offpsring, and the offspring will inherit the genetic trait.

    Far from being random, natural selection ensures that the only players in what Darwin called the “struggle for existence” are those that have passed all previous tests.

    There are no transitional fossils.

    The fossil record is rife with gaps where evolution says there should be intermediate forms.

    Far from it. Paleontologists have found many transitional fossils representing intermediate forms in the evolution of one major form of life into another.

    There are, for example, excellent skeletons of extinct animals showing the transitions from primitive fish to bony fish, from fish to amphibian (the first four-legged creatures walked on the ocean bottom, not on land), from amphibian to reptile, from reptile to mammal (it happened about the time the first dinosaurs were arising), from reptile to bird (the bird-sized Archaeopteryx specimen from southern Germany, for example, has feathers and dinosaurlike teeth) and even from land animal to whale (there are fossil whales with four legs, and modern whales still have remnants of hind legs buried in their flesh; their front legs have changed into flippers).

    There is abundant fossil evidence showing transitional diversifications among mammals into rodents, bats, rabbits, carnivores, horses, elephants, manatee, deer, cows and many others. One of the most finely divided sequences of transitions documents the evolution of apelike creatures through half a dozen intermediate forms into modern humans.

    Perhaps the oldest known transitional sequence involves the horse. It starts about 55 million years ago with a terrier-sized creature that had four toes in front and three in back. This is the famous species once called Eohippus, but now, for technical reasons, renamed Hyracotherium.

    The lineage evolved through at least 14 steps, each represented in the fossil record by a successful species, until the modern horse, a pony-sized Equus, the genus to which modern horses belong, appeared about 4 million years ago.

    Still, gaps in the fossil record will keep paleontologists busy for decades. Most kinds of fossils are extremely rare. After all, to become a fossil, the species not only must exist, but individuals also must die in places where conditions are right for preservation. In other words, the skeleton must be buried in sediments with preservative properties before scavengers or weathering can destroy it. Then only a few of those places will undergo erosion or uplifting that exposes the long-buried remains.

  325. Elaine M – for the purposes of THIS discussion, none of the sources that you listed have been used. And the sources you have used have are not on your list. That is all we are talking about. You have a habit of reading A and concluding F. You conclude things that are impossible to legitimately conclude given the information at hand. You have done this to me as well as david. You are finding the answer you WANT to find, not the answer that is really there.

  326. RTC wrote: “Dr. Muller concluded that global warming is occurring and that it almost entirely as a result of human causation. … You deniers are demanding to know what the temperature will be on a specific date. Science can only predict a possible range.”

    The term “denier” should not be used by intelligent scholars. It is a socio-political pejorative that has no direct meaning.

    If you include me in your list of “deniers” (I am not a denier), I will say that I am not at all looking for some temperature on a specific date. What I want is honest and meaningful acknowledgement that correlation analysis between atmospheric CO2 and temperature rise does not prove man has caused global warming. What the climatologists do is acknowledge this “statistical truth” but then go on with their opinion and rhetoric anyway that the causal relationship exists.

  327. A hands-off God?
    Stephen Jay Gould’s new study Rocks of Ages is a scientist’s response to the creationists. Chris Lavers learns why science and religion don’t mix
    Chris Lavers
    The Guardian, Friday 2 February 2001

    Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life
    Stephen Jay Gould

    One is tempted to assume that few people in their right minds these days would turn to the Bible for lessons in earth history, or to The Origin of Species for guidance on moral issues. However, while it is accepted in most western cultures that science and religion occupy largely distinct intellectual domains, the situation is much more complicated in the USA, and only with this appreciation is it possible to understand why anyone would bother writing a book like Rocks of Ages .

    Stephen Jay Gould, an American paleontologist and the closest thing to a polymath that science has produced in the last 30 years, is acutely aware that many of his fellow countryfolk are not in their right minds. His principle problem is with young-earth creationists, a frighteningly well-organised group of pseudo-intellectuals who insist on adhering to a literal interpretation of the Bible. To these people the world really is less than 10,000 years old and really was created by God in six days.

    Creationism is not entirely an American phenomenon, but it has become a grave problem there because a great many people take it seriously. Indeed, so powerful is the Christian fundamentalist lobby that in 1987 creationists and scientists (including Gould) ended up duking it out in the Supreme Court over the issue of whether evolution and creationism should be taught side by side in schools. Fortunately science won the day, but no one expects the conflict to end there. Truth be told, the spectre of creationism continues to scare the bejesus out of liberal intellectuals right across the USA.

    So, in large part to head off the creationists at the pass, Gould has penned an extended essay dedicated to the achingly simple argument that science and religion have absolutely no common ground and thus should not be confused with one another. He encapsulates this idea in the phrase Non-Overlapping Magisteria, or NOMA. A magisterium is a domain within which a particular school of teaching has the right tools to engineer meaningful discourse. Magisteria may overlap, but if, as Gould argues, those of science and religion do not, then the investigative and explanatory tools of science will not work anywhere within the magisterium of religion, and vice versa. Thus Gould maintains that religion has nothing meaningful to say about the empirical realm, while science has nothing to say about morality or ultimate meaning. The two magisteria are as chalk and cheese, and those who choose to eat the former or draw with the latter are being either pig-headed or just plain stupid.

    By exploring a number of historical examples ranging from Galileo’s spat with the Catholic church to the flowering of American creationism in the 1980s, Gould shows how violation of the NOMA principle inevitably generates tension between science and religion. Acknowledgment of the immiscibility of magisteria, he says, renders such conflicts meaningless; thus respectful adherence to the principle of NOMA might in the future prevent a lot of ill feeling and save everyone time and trouble. Here Gould is at his brilliant best, illuminating the present with the past, dissecting and reinterpreting historical events and ideas, and effectively cementing the principle of NOMA in the reader’s mind by sheer force of example. For those sympathetic to the basic idea (and patient with Gould’s convoluted prose), it is a typically convincing performance.

    But not everyone, I suspect, even in post-fundamentalist Britain, will be sympathetic to the principle of NOMA. Many ordinary Christians (although probably not many theologians) are likely to balk at the idea because it threatens two of their most cherished beliefs, namely that God can perform miracles and answer prayers. If the devout surrender the empirical world entirely to science, this is tantamount to admitting that God imbued the universe with natural law at the beginning of time and has not meddled with it since. But if God can alter the empirical world, either by temporarily suspending natural law (miracles) or intervening in response to prayer, then the magisteria of science and religion do overlap, and tools from both domains are required to understand reality. As science cannot countenance divine intervention, the only way to separate the two magisteria would be for the devout to accept a completely hands-off God, and I suspect that for many this is simply not an option.

  328. Elaine M – The Guardian is another source that you did not list but you have used at least four times in this discussion. RTS is offended when I use the Telegraph and I have commented that the Guardian is the most liberal paper in London. It is the go-to paper if you are going to leak state secrets.

    I don’t think most Christian theologians have a problem with the Theory of Evolution, except when people try to make a ‘religion’ out of it. There is a great difference between the views of “fundamentalists” and other Christians.

    Regardless of this article, science can and has accepted a hands-on God. There are many scientists who practice their religion accepting an interfering God. However, that God does not interfere often. For instance, the Roman Catholic Church has a long process to acknowledge events caused by an interfering God. The Devil’s Advocate is the person assigned by the Church to try to prove that God was not involved. The Devil’s Advocate takes their job very seriously. That same Church is a strong supporter of the sciences. Arizona is the home of one of the Vatican telescopes.

    The article is logically flawed.

  329. Paul,

    I am a product of parochial schools. Evolution was taught in science classes at my high school. I learned nothing about events being caused by an interfering God. I was also taught in religion classes that the Bible is not a work of nonfiction.

  330. Elaine – got to ask. Which religion taught the Bible was fiction? You have a double negative working there.

  331. Paul,

    Sorry you have a problem with nuance in language usage.

    I wrote: “I was also taught in religion classes that the Bible is not a work of nonfiction.” That doesn’t have the exact same meaning as the following: I was also taught in religion classes that the Bible is a work of fiction.

    The difference in meaning is subtle, I know. Maybe too subtle for some to discern.

  332. 7 ways to shut down a climate change denier
    Comprehensive rebuttals to contrarians’ pseudo-scientific explanations why global warming is just a myth
    John Rennie, Scientific American

    On November 18, with the United Nations Global Warming Conference in Copenhagen fast approaching, U.S. Sen. James R. Inhofe (R–Okla.) took the floor of the Senate and proclaimed 2009 to be “The Year of the Skeptic.” Had the senator’s speech marked a new commitment to dispassionate, rational inquiry, a respect for scientific thought and a well-grounded doubt in ghosts, astrology,creationism and homeopathy, it might have been cause for cheer. But Inhofe had a more narrow definition of skeptic in mind: he meant “standing up and exposing the science, the costs and the hysteria behind global warming alarmism.”

    Within the community of scientists and others concerned about anthropogenic climate change, those whom Inhofe calls skeptics are more commonly termed contrarians, naysayers and denialists. Not everyone who questions climate change science fits that description, of course—some people are genuinely unaware of the facts or honestly disagree about their interpretation. What distinguishes the true naysayers is an unwavering dedication to denying the need for action on the problem, often with weak and long-disproved arguments about supposed weaknesses in the science behind global warming.

    What follows is only a partial list of the contrarians’ bad arguments and some brief rebuttals of them.

    Claim 1: Anthropogenic CO2 can’t be changing climate, because CO2 is only a trace gas in the atmosphere and the amount produced by humans is dwarfed by the amount from volcanoes and other natural sources.Water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas, so changes in CO2 are irrelevant.

    Although CO2 makes up only 0.04 percent of the atmosphere, that small number says nothing about its significance in climate dynamics. Even at that low concentration, CO2 absorbs infrared radiation and acts as a greenhouse gas, as physicist John Tyndall demonstrated in 1859. The chemist Svante Arrhenius went further in 1896 by estimating the impact of CO2 on the climate; after painstaking hand calculations he concluded that doubling its concentration might cause almost 6 degrees Celsius of warming—an answer not much out of line with recent, far more rigorous computations.

    Contrary to the contrarians, human activity is by far the largest contributor to the observed increase in atmospheric CO2. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, anthropogenic CO2 amounts to about 30 billion tons annually—more than 130 times as much as volcanoes produce. True, 95 percent of the releases of CO2 to the atmosphere are natural, but natural processes such as plant growth and absorption into the oceans pull the gas back out of the atmosphere and almost precisely offset them, leaving the human additions as a net surplus. Moreover, several sets of experimental measurements, including analyses of the shifting ratio of carbon isotopes in the air, further confirm that fossil-fuel burning and deforestation are the primary reasons that CO2 levels have risen 35 percent since 1832, from 284 parts per million (ppm) to 388 ppm—a remarkable jump to the highest levels seen in millions of years.

    Contrarians frequently object that water vapor, not CO2, is the most abundant and powerful greenhouse gas; they insist that climate scientists routinely leave it out of their models. The latter is simply untrue: from Arrhenius on, climatologists have incorporated water vapor into their models. In fact, water vapor is why rising CO2 has such a big effect on climate. CO2 absorbs some wavelengths of infrared that water does not so it independently adds heat to the atmosphere. As the temperature rises, more water vapor enters the atmosphere and multiplies CO2′s greenhouse effect; the IPCC notes that water vapor (pdf) may “approximately double the increase in the greenhouse effect due to the added CO2 alone.”

    Nevertheless, within this dynamic, the CO2 remains the main driver (what climatologists call a “forcing”) of the greenhouse effect. As NASA climatologistGavin Schmidt has explained, water vapor enters and leaves the atmosphere much more quickly than CO2, and tends to preserve a fairly constant level of relative humidity, which caps off its greenhouse effect. Climatologists therefore categorize water vapor as a feedback rather than a forcing factor. (Contrarians who don’t see water vapor in climate models are looking for it in the wrong place.)

    Because of CO2′s inescapable greenhouse effect, contrarians holding out for a natural explanation for current global warming need to explain why, in their scenarios, CO2 is not compounding the problem.

    Claim 2: The alleged “hockey stick” graph of temperatures over the past 1,600 years has been disproved. It doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of a “medieval warm period” around 1000 A.D. that was hotter than today is. Therefore, global warming is a myth.

    It is hard to know which is greater: contrarians’ overstatement of the flaws in thehistorical temperature reconstruction from 1998 by Michael E. Mann and his colleagues, or the ultimate insignificance of their argument to the case for climate change.

    First, there is not simply one hockey-stick reconstruction of historical temperatures using one set of proxy data. Similar evidence for sharply increasing temperaturesover the past couple of centuries has turned up independently while looking at ice cores, tree rings and other proxies for direct measurements, from many locations. Notwithstanding their differences, they corroborate that Earth has been getting sharply warmer.

    A 2006 National Research Council review of the evidence concluded “with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries”—which is the section of the graph most relevant to current climate trends. The report placed less faith in the reconstructions back to 900 A.D., although it still viewed them as “plausible.” Medieval warm periods in Europe and Asia with temperatures comparable to those seen in the 20th century were therefore similarly plausible but might have been local phenomena: the report noted “the magnitude and geographic extent of the warmth are uncertain.” And a new research paper by Mann and his colleagues seems to confirm that the Medieval Warm Period and the “Little Ice Age” between 1400 and 1700 were both caused by shifts in solar radiance and other natural factors that do not seem to be happening today.

    After the NRC review was released, another analysis by four statisticians, called theWegman report, which was not formally peer reviewed, was more critical of the hockey stick paper. But correction of the errors it pointed out did not substantially change the shape of the hockey stick graph. In 2008 Mann and his colleagues issued an updated version of the temperature reconstruction that echoed their earlier findings.

    But hypothetically, even if the hockey stick was busted… What of it? The case for anthropogenic global warming originally came from studies of climate mechanics, not from reconstructions of past temperatures seeking a cause. Warnings about current warming trends came out years before Mann’s hockey stick graph. Even if the world were incontrovertibly warmer 1,000 years ago, it would not change the fact that the recent rapid rise in CO2 explains the current episode of warming more credibly than any natural factor does—and that no natural factor seems poised to offset further warming in the years ahead.

    Claim 3: Global warming stopped a decade ago; Earth has been cooling since then.

    1998 was the world’s warmest year in the U.K. Met Office Hadley Centre’s records; recent years have been cooler; therefore, the previous century’s global warmingtrend is over, right?

    Anyone with even a glancing familiarity with statistics should be able to spot the weaknesses of that argument. Given the extended duration of the warming trend, the expected (and observed) variations in the rate of increase and the range of uncertainties in the temperature measurements and forecasts, a decade’s worth of mild interruption is too small a deviation to prove a break in the pattern,climatologists say.

    Recently, Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein asked four independent statisticians to look for trends in the temperature data sets without telling them what the numbers represented. “The experts found no true temperature declines over time,” he wrote.

    If a lull in global warming continues for another decade, would that vindicate the contrarians’ case? Not necessarily, because climate is complex. For instance, Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Germany and his colleagues published a paper in 2008 that suggested ocean circulation patterns might cause a period of cooling in parts of the northern hemisphere, even though the long-term pattern of warming remained in effect. Fundamentally, contrarians who have resisted the abundant evidence that supports warming should not be too quick to leap on evidence that only hints at the opposite.

  333. And no one wants to shut down anyone’s free speech here, instead I think I can safely say climate change deniers can spout pseudoscience until the cows come home, others are free to disagree with the pseudoscience.

  334. Is that MASTER’S DEGREE from a Jesuit University in climate science? The witness should consider themself still under oath.

  335. Much of what is now accepted science, particularly in medicine, was once considered pseudoscience. Again, there is no “settled” science, accept in Al Gore’s groupie cult.

  336. Al Gore invented the Internet as we know it today. That is settled. What’s unsettling, is Nicky Spasmatics attack on people.

  337. Elaine M – you wrote “I was also taught in religion classes that the Bible is not a work of nonfiction.” That is a double negative. In the English used in the United States that becomes a positive. Therefore your sentence actually reads “I was also taught in religion classes that the Bible is a work of fiction.” I am really curious as to which religion taught you this.

  338. annie – you are in denial. The very use of the terms you use to describe your opponents means you are both trying to marginalize them and censor them. At least have the intellectually honesty to admit it.

  339. Why a Climate Scientist’s Libel Case Matters (Op-Ed)
    Seth Shulman, Union of Concerned Scientists
    February 12, 2014

    Back in 2012, after the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Review each published pieces that likened climate scientist Michael Mann to a child molester and called his work a fraud, Mann fought back with a lawsuit, charging them with libel. Now, in a preliminary ruling, a Superior Court Judge has sided with Mann, paving the way for the case to move forward and potentially setting an important precedent about the limits of disinformation.

    The ruling, in essence, reinforces the wise adage attributed to former New York Sen. Patrick Moynihan that, while everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, we are not each entitled to our own facts. But first, some background.

    Hockey stick, lightning rod

    Michael Mann, a world-renowned climate scientist at Penn State University, is perhaps best known as the author of the so-called “Hockey Stick” graph. Some 15 years ago, in 1999, Mann and two colleagues published data they had compiled from tree rings, coral growth bands and ice cores, as well as more recent temperature measurements, to chart 1,000 years’ worth of climate data.

    The resulting graph of their findings showed relatively stable global temperatures followed by a steep warming trend beginning in the 1900s. One of Mann’s colleagues gave it the nickname because the graph looks something like a hockey stick lying on its side with the upturned blade representing the sharp, comparatively recent temperature increase. It quickly became one of the most famous, easy-to-grasp representations of the reality of global warming.

    The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change featured Mann’s work, among similar studies, in their pathbreaking 2001 report, concluding that temperature increases in the 20th century were likely to have been “the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years.” But while Mann’s peer-reviewed research pointed clearly to a human role in global warming, it also made Mann a lightning rod for attacks from those, including many in the fossil-fuel industry, who sought to deny the reality of global warming.

    Years of attacks

    In the many years since Mann published the Hockey Stick graph, his research has been subject to an extraordinary amount of scrutiny. Despite the fact that the U.S. National Research Council endorsed Mann’s “hockey stick” findings in 2006 and subsequent research has substantiated them further, Mann has still faced a steady stream of personal attacks on his credibility, death threats and even a simulated anthrax attack.

    Many of the attacks Mann faced are chronicled in his recent book-length account, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars. Among these, in 2009, scientists’ emails were hacked — including Mann’s — and a trumped-up controversy ensued. Mann’s employer, Pennsylvania State University, along with multiple governmental committees, upheld his research and conduct. Still, former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, another climate contrarian, sued the University of Virginia, Mann’s former employer, to gain access to his private emails. After the Union of Concerned Scientists organized a letter from Virginia academics protesting the investigation, the university stood up to Cuccinelli in court and won. Another demand for his emails — this time from a group called the American Tradition Institute — is still working its way through the courts.

    When disinformation crosses the line

    Against this charged backdrop, Mann’s libel case stems from two particular articles that appeared in 2012. At the time, news had recently surfaced that officials at Penn State University had ignored or concealed evidence that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had allegedly molested children. That July, Rand Simberg, an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), wrote a post for the organization’s blog likening Mann’s work to the Sandusky case. Simberg called Mann “the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data.”

    Several days later, CEI deleted the passage, acknowledging that its publication was “inappropriate.” But Mark Steyn, a long-time contributor to the National Review magazine, quoted Simberg’s comments on the magazine’s blog. Steyn said that, while he might not have made the comparison, “Mr. Simberg does [have] a point. Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change ‘hockey-stick’ graph.”

    A ruling that matters

    The recent preliminary ruling in Mann’s libel case is blunt and clear. It is also surprising: in rejecting the motion to dismiss the case and opening the way for a trial, Washington, D.C. Superior Court Judge Frederick Weisberg gave the defendants something of a pass for likening Mann to child molester, noting that, “opinions and rhetorical hyperbole are protected speech under the First Amendment.”

    However, the judge ruled that erroneously and publicly accusing a scientist of fraud is another matter. As he put it: “Accusing a scientist of conducting his research fraudulently, manipulating his data to achieve a predetermined or political outcome, or purposefully distorting the scientific truth are factual allegations. They go to the heart of scientific integrity. They can be proven true or false. If false, they are defamatory. If made with actual malice, they are actionable.”

    Protecting speech, protecting science

    The distinction in the ruling is an important one. As a journalist who has written about the intersection of science and politics for three decades, I am a staunch defender of free speech. But libel is a special case. In the United States, the bar is set high — as it should be. A writer or publication can only be found guilty of libel if they knowingly publish false information that damages someone’s reputation.

    There’s little question that Mann’s public reputation has been damaged by the many spurious attacks against him. But the problem in this case is bigger than claims about one man’s maligned reputation. Attacks against Mann, after all, are mostly intended to further confuse the public about the importance of Mann’s scientific contribution to our understanding of global warming. Other scientists have faced similar legal attacks and a new Climate Science Legal Defense Fund is helping them respond.

    What makes this case so important is that science, like free speech, needs protecting too.

    Sadly, we have been living in a period during which many parties — often with funding from the fossil-fuel industry — have knowingly spread disinformation about climate change. They have sown confusion about scientific facts and damaged our discourse on the topic just as they have — in the personal smears Mann has endured — arguably harmed his reputation. In so doing, there is no question that this disinformation has been used to knowingly and seriously erode the public’s understanding of an issue with immense consequences for society’s future.

  340. Critics Dispute Global Warming Assertions Made by IPCC
    Skepticism warranted by past failures, global warming skeptics say
    Follow @FreeBeacon
    Head of the IPCC,Rajendra Pachauri, and co-chairman Thomas Stocker / APHead of the IPCC,Rajendra Pachauri, and co-chairman Thomas Stocker / AP
    BY: Lachlan Markay Follow @lachlan
    September 30, 2013 5:00 am

    Critics of a new United Nations report on global warming say their skepticism is based on discrepancies between the UN’s climate models and actual, observable conditions.

    The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its full report on Monday. It expresses 95% certainty that human activity is primarily responsibly for an observed rise in global temperatures over the past century. Environmentalists have said that even mild criticism of such reports on global warming as science “denial.”

    Skeptics have already pointed to what they say are flaws in the report’s methodology and resulting problems with its findings.

    Past discrepancies between the IPCC’s models and either subsequent environmental conditions or contradictory scientific work at the time demonstrate why those models should not be taken at face value, the critics say.

    The IPCC predicted in 1995 that global sea levels would rise by up to 55 centimeters by 2100 “for the range of emissions scenarios.”

    “Sea level rise is one of the most visible effects of climate change and the report found that sea levels are increasing more rapidly than in previous decades,” wrote Andrew Freedman of Climate Central about the IPCC’s new report.

    But recent peer-reviewed work has cast doubt on the linkage between global temperatures and sea level rise.

    “Confidence in projections of global-mean sea-level rise (GMSLR) depends on an ability to account for GMSLR during the 20th century,” according to a July study published in the Journal of Climate.

    That study found “small or no acceleration, despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing.”

    The rhetoric coming from global warming alarmists is inconsistent with actual findings, said Chip Knappenberger, assistant director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute.

    “There is a growing discrepancy between what real world observations are telling us about the evolution of the climate under increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, and climate model simulations of that evolution,” said Knappenberger.

    Knappenberger noted that despite the panel’s climate models, the earth does not appear to have warmed over the past 15 years.

    A peer-reviewed study by John C. Fyfe, Nathan P. Gillett, and Francis W. Zwiers of the Canadian Center for Climate Modeling and Analysis, published in the prestigious journal Nature Climate Change in August, faulted IPCC modeling for failing to account for the trend.

    “The evidence … indicates that the current generation of climate models … do not reproduce the observed global warming over the past 20 years, or the slowdown in global warming over the past fifteen years,” the study found.

    IPCC authors cautioned against reading too much into that data point, insisting that 15 years is too small of a window to draw conclusions about climate modeling. Natural phenomena such as solar cycles and volcanic eruptions can account for temperature fluctuations in the short term, they note.

    Fyfe, et al., acknowledge that possibility, but stand by their conclusions.

    “Although these three natural variations account for some differences between simulated and observed global warming, these differences do not substantively change our conclusion that observed and simulated global warming are not in agreement over the past two decades,” they wrote.

    IPCC’s failure to adequately account for these facts, Knappenberger insists, represents a fatal flaw. “This is why I cave called the report both obsolete and misleading,” he wrote in an email.

    “We have a situation in which the latest science on two key issues – how much the earth will warm as a result of human greenhouse gas emissions, and how well climate models perform in projecting the warming – is largely not incorporated into the new IPCC report,” Knappenberger explained.

    Other recent phenomena have cast doubt on predictions by IPCC models.

    Its 2007 climate change report predicted that Arctic sea ice would continue a decades-long trend of reduction as the Earth continued to warm.

    “Satellite data indicate a continuation of the 2.7 ± 0.6% per decade decline in annual mean arctic sea ice extent since 1978,” the report predicted.

    While Arctic sea ice remains below levels of the last decade, it has recovered about 60% of its mass this year, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

    IPCC’s 2007 report also predicted that Antarctic sea ice would continue to decline. But according to a peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Climate in March, that may also have been based on faulty modeling.

    “In contrast to the satellite data, which exhibit a slight increase in SIE [sea ice extent], the mean SIE of the models over 1979–2005 shows a decrease in each month,” the report explained.

    “The negative SIE trends in most of the model runs over 1979–2005 are a continuation of an earlier decline, suggesting that the processes responsible for the observed increase over the last 30 years are not being simulated correctly,” it concluded.

  341. Wednesday, 30 January 2013 13:37
    Leaked IPCC Climate Report Shows UN Overestimated Global Warming
    Written by Brian Koenig

    Not scheduled for publication until next year, a leaked report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presents evidence that fear-mongering over the magnitude of global warming may be a little too ambitious.

    The preliminary report, which is available for download online, was leaked this month by an individual directly involved in the agency’s review process. After sifting through the analysis, critics found a chart comparing four separate temperature models, each of which has overstated temperature rises that the Earth has actually realized.

    “Temperatures have not risen nearly as much as almost all of the climate models predicted,” Dr. Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, told Fox News January 28. “Their predictions have largely failed, four times in a row… what that means is that it’s time for them to re-evaluate.”

    The IPCC graph highlights various midpoints reportedly validating that the Earth would warm by about 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit to 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit between 1990 and 2012. However, actual warming was significantly lower than projected, with the world warming a mere 0.28 degrees, according to IPCC data.

    But other critics contend that this evidence doesn’t necessarily mean the IPCC models are wrong. “It’s important to keep in mind that there are natural short-term variations in global temperature that happen right alongside human-induced warming,” asserts Aaron Huertas, press secretary at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “For instance, it would have been impossible for the IPCC to predict if a volcanic eruption might temporarily cool the Earth, as the Mount Pinatubo eruption did in 1991.”

    Huertas claims that criticisms of the IPCC report are simply “an attempt to obscure the bigger picture,” and that global warming skeptics are blowing the leaked report out of proportion. “Climate change is happening,” he insists, “it is due to human activities, and the emissions choices we make today will have the largest influence on the extent of future climate change.”

    The climate report notes that “the model projections … do not fully account for natural variability.” Natural deviations including solar variability and basic weather patterns, such as the El Niño southern oscillation, can present arbitrary anomalies in the data. Climatologists generally feature a “margin of error” in their analyses to account for inadvertent variations such as volcanoes and other weather activity.

    Still, one IPCC model overshot the warming pattern, with the actual temperatures outside the analysis’ “margin of error.” The other three models presented a warming trend in the very lower levels of what they predicted.

    Stefan Rahmstorf, a Potsdam University physics professor who recently published a report asserting that the IPCC models are very accurate, now contends that it is likely unfounded. “The IPCC graph you refer to is just a draft version which still has a number of problems that will be ironed out,” he affirmed. “The IPCC’s claim is that they are 90 percent sure that humans have ‘contributed to’ the observed warming. Hell, even I would agree with that innocuous statement,” he told Fox News.

    However, Rahmstorf acknowledges that greenhouse gases are having a lesser impact on climate change than the agency predicted. “It is evidence that CO2 is not nearly as strong a climate driver as the IPCC has been assuming. This is the possibility they do not allow to be considered, because it would end all of their policy-changing goals,” he noted.

    Critics who have targeted the draft IPCC report note that the models combine analyses from partisan advocacy groups such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an issue that prompted third-party auditors to scrutinize the UN’s last report. “You’d think that the IPCC would have learned its lesson, that it would have told its authors not to rely on these sorts of publications,” Donna Laframboise of nofrakkingconsensus.com told Fox News. “The report currently includes, amongst its list of references, nine separate publications produced wholly or in part by the WWF.”

    There are numerous questions as to whether the WWF and other similar groups can present objective science, as they often push ideological agendas. The WWF, for example, invites people to join its “environmental campaigning community,” therefore characterizing it as an activist group. Yet the IPCC relies on the group’s so-called “objective” research.

    Such evidence has brought a number of critics out of the woodwork, as they challenge the UN’s assessment in determining the effects of so-called global warming. And the leaked IPCC report only solidifies this notion. “This one chart is all we need to prove, without a doubt, that IPCC analysis methodology and computer models are seriously flawed,” notes Ira Glickstein, writing for Wattsupwiththat.com. “They have way over-estimated the extent of Global Warming since the IPCC first started issuing Assessment Reports in 1990, and continuing through the fourth report issued in 2007.”

  342. Union of Concerned Scientists
    Committed to an “open-minded search for truth,” and armed with “unrivaled scientific expertise,” the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) “doesn’t say anything [it] can’t back up with solid evidence.” At least, that’s what its fund-raising letters say. The reality is quite different.

    UCS embraces an environmental agenda that often stands at odds with the “rigorous scientific analysis” it claims to employ. A radical green wolf in sheep’s clothing, UCS tries to distinguish itself from the Greenpeaces of the world by convincing the media that its recommendations reflect a consensus among the scientific community. And that’s what makes it so dangerous. Whether it’s energy policy or agricultural issues, UCS’s “experts” are routinely given a free pass from newspaper reporters and television producers when they claim that mainstream science endorses their radical agenda.

    Here’s how it works: UCS conducts an opinion poll of scientists or organizes a petition that scientists sign. Then it manipulates or misconstrues the results in order to pronounce that science has spoken. In 1986 UCS asked 549 of the American Physical Society’s 37,000 members if Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was “a step in the wrong direction for America’s national security policy.” Despite the biased wording of the push-poll question, only 54 percent disapproved of SDI. Even so, UCS declared that the poll proved “profound and pervasive skepticism toward SDI in the scientific community.”

    More recently, UCS pulled a partisan, election-year stunt in 2004 aimed at the Bush Administration. The group rounded up 60 scientists to sign a statement complaining that “the administration is distorting and censoring scientific findings that contradict its policies; manipulating the underlying science to align results with predetermined political decisions.”

    On issue after issue, UCS insists, the White House fails to embrace global scientific “consensus” — and that automatically means it has “politicized” science. But UCS itself is frequently guilty of that exact sin. For instance, it works overtime to scare Americans about a whole host of imagined environmental problems associated with genetically modified food. But every authoritative regulatory agency, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization, declares that biotech food crops are perfectly safe.

    UCS routinely abuses and politicizes science. Its crusade against farm animals receiving antibiotics presents guesswork as scientifically rigorous analysis, and is calculated to scare the public about risks it admits are groundless. UCS helped initiate the vicious attacks on Danish scientist (and “Skeptical Environmentalist”) Bjorn Lomborg, only to be repudiated by the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology, and Industry. And in 2003, the group dressed up its “strong opposition to the US invasion of Iraq” as an exercise in science.

    Like many environmental activist groups, UCS uses the twin motivators of cheer and fear. A giggly Gwenyth Paltrow and a catty Cameron Diaz headlined a series of short appeals about energy conservation that UCS produced. The two mega-stars crow that they turn the water off while brushing their teeth, switch off the light when they leave their bedrooms, and keep the thermostat at 65 degrees. “Its time for us to band together and really make every effort to conserve our natural resources,” chirps Diaz. That’s the sunny side.

    But UCS is more adept at producing horror stories than chick flicks. They are fear-mongers of the first order — turning the sober science of health and environmental safety into high drama for public consumption. For example, UCS recently warned that by 2100 the U.S. might suffer 50-80 million more cases of malaria every year if the Senate fails to ratify the Kyoto treaty. Such racy statistics are based on clumsy modeling of worst-case scenarios, and assume — against all evidence of human behavior — that no countermeasures whatsoever would be employed. “Not considering factors such as local control measures or health services,” in their own words. Of course, you won’t find those caveats in the press release.

    Genetically Modified Science

    Among UCS’s many concerns, “the food you eat” is at the top of the list. More than a million dollars went to its food program in 2001. Genetically enhanced foods — dubbed “Frankenfoods” by opponents — have caused worldwide hysteria even though no reputable scientific institution can find anything to be afraid of. But that doesn’t stop UCS’s “experts” from playing cheerleader to these unfounded fears.

    They warn that biotech foods could result in the “squandering of valuable pest susceptibility genes,” “enhancement of the environment for toxic fungi,” and the “creation of new or worse viruses.” They scream about “Poisoned wildlife” and “new allergens in the food supply.” Biotech foods, they claim, might “increase the levels of toxic substances within plants,” “reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics to fight disease,” “contaminate foods with high levels of toxic metals,” “intensify weedy properties” and cause the “rapid evolution of resistance to herbicides in weeds,” leading to “superweeds.”

    Rigorous scientific analysis led UCS to this list of horrors, right? Wrong. That was merely a “‘brainstorming’ of potential harms.” So how likely are any of these to occur? “Risk assessments can be complicated,” UCS says, and pretty much leaves it at that. In other words, they have absolutely no idea.

    In contrast, more reputable authorities have a very good grasp of the potential risks of genetically enhanced foods. The U.S. Environmental protection Agency says that genetically enhanced corn “does not pose risks to human health or to the environment.” The World Health Organization says that biotech foods “are not likely to present risks for human health” and observes that “no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population.” Even the European Union, which has gone out of its way to stifle food technology for political reasons, notes: “The use of more precise technology [in genetically enhanced crops] and the greater regulatory scrutiny probably make them even safer than conventional plants and foods.”

    The Food and Environment Program at UCS is headed up by Margaret Mellon and her deputy Jane Rissler, both of whom hold Ph.Ds and have held positions at prestigious universities. So what do a couple of highly trained research scientists, armed with nothing but guesswork, ideology and a million dollar budget, do? They fight biotech food every step of the way.

    Although UCS claims that it “does not support or oppose genetic engineering per se,” Mellon and Rissler in fact have never met a GM food they didn’t mistrust. That’s because they hold biotech foods to an impossibly high standard.

    In 1999, UCS joined the National Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and the Defenders of Wildlife, in petitioning the EPA for strict regulation of corn modified to produce large amounts of the bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin. Bt is a naturally occurring insect poison that protects plants from pests like the European corn borer. UCS’s letter was part of a major scare campaign to convince the public that Bt corn posed a risk to the Monarch Butterfly.

    Both the USDA and the EPA later concluded that Bt corn caused no harm to the Monarch. This reinforced the findings of federal regulators who had performed a comprehensive safety review of Bt corn before it was allowed into the marketplace. UCS remains unconvinced, even though the safest place for a Monarch larva to be is in a Bt cornfield. Rissler argued there was “insufficient data” to make such a conclusion.

    Precautionary Nonsense

    Of course, “sufficient” data can never exist for zealots like Rissler. She continued: “Do we assume the technology is safe… or do we prove it? The scientist in me wants to prove it’s safe.” It’s impossible to prove a negative, to absolutely demonstrate that there are no dangers whatsoever for any given product. The scientist in her knows that too, but she and her colleagues at UCS continue to be guided by the “Precautionary Principle.” This misguided maxim argues that, based on the fear that something harmful may possibly arise, we should opt for technological paralysis.

    The Wall Street Journal editorialized in 2000 that The Precautionary Principle “is an environmentalist neologism, invoked to trump scientific evidence and move directly to banning things they don’t like.” It’s a big hit among anti-technology activists because it justifies their paranoia and serves to bludgeon technological progress.

    Martin Teitel, who runs another misnamed activist group called the Council for Responsible Genetics, admitted as much in 2001. “Politically,” Teitel said, “it’s difficult for me to go around saying that I want to shut this science down, so it’s safer for me to say something like, ‘It needs to be done safely before releasing it.’” Requiring scientists to satisfy the Principle by proving a negative, Teitel added, means that “they don’t get to do it period.”

    It should come as no surprise that UCS joined Teitel’s organization and other die-hard opponents of biotech foods in an activist coalition called the Genetic Engineering Action Network. While acknowledging that “we know of no generic harms associated with genetically engineered organisms,” UCS consistently opposes their introduction to the market on the basis of purely hypothetical risk.

    Confronted with the real-world benefits of biotech foods, UCS simply changes the subject to its anti-corporate, socialist leanings. Rissler’s appearance on the PBS show Nova – on a program called “Harvest of Fear” — is a case in point. When the interviewer suggested that “genetically modified crops are arguably much less harmful to the environment” Rissler responded: “It depends on where you want to compromise. There’s another issue here with corporate control of the food supply.”

    UCS’s knee-jerk reaction to biotech foods is matched only by its animus towards agribusiness. A 1994 press release condemning FDA approval of biotech foods complained that some of the data used by the oversight agency was provided by private enterprises.

    In her zeal to decry increased food production from the corporate adoption of biotechnology, Mellon has argued that it’s “not clear that more milk or pork is good.” And UCS supports a radical vision of “sustainable agriculture.” That means no pesticides or herbicides; no fertilizer (other than E.coli-rich manure); and eating only “locally grown” produce. If it’s not clear under this plan where New York City would get its rice or how Chicago would scrounge up any bananas, there’s a reason for it. They wouldn’t.

    Pigs, Chickens and Cows, Oh My!

    Hogging It, a UCS report published in 2001, argues that the use of antibiotics in farm animals could result in human diseases that are resistant to conventional treatments. The report received a great deal of press attention, and UCS is not afraid to brag about it. “We developed the numbers that everyone uses when talking about… overuse of antibiotics,” trumpets a fund-raising letter. But how did they go about developing those numbers? “Rigorous scientific analysis”? Hardly. While the livestock industry actually calculates the amounts of antibiotics administered to farm animals using hard sales figures, UCS guesses at average drug dosages and then multiplies by the total number of animals. That’s “brainstorming.” Not science.

    The real experts, like David Bell, coordinator of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s anti-microbial resistance programs, aren’t impressed by Hogging It. Interestingly, UCS admits the weakness of its evidence. The executive summary of Hogging It complains about a “gaping chasm” in the data. Nevertheless, the authors are proud to produce the “first transparent estimate” of livestock antibiotic use in America.

    Estimate? That’s right. “The numbers everyone uses” are just estimates. Moreover, UCS measures antibiotic usage in total tonnage. But is that relevant in any way? UCS concedes that it’s not. The activist group wants the FDA to track antibiotic usage by “type,” since most antibiotics used in animals are unlike those used in humans.

    Consumer Reports quotes Margaret Mellon saying, “We know nothing. We are flying blind.” No wonder the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Coalition for Animal Health also reject Hogging It’s findings. But none of that stops UCS from scaring the wits out of the public. Mellon warns of an “era where untreatable infectious diseases are regrettably commonplace.” That might be worth getting “Concerned” about, if only it were based on good science.

    Unfortunately, political science masquerading as real science can have real-world consequences. In July 2003, identical bills introduced in the U.S. House and Senate threatened to ban the routine use of eight entire classes of antibiotics in livestock. Keep Antibiotics Working (KAW), a slick PR coalition of activist groups, was especially pleased with the news because its favorite statistic became the legislation’s main factual “finding.” Namely: “An estimated 70 percent of the antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs used in the United States are fed to farm animals.”

    Guess who “estimated 70 percent” for KAW? The Union of Concerned Scientists, a long-time coalition member. UCS admits that this estimate was created from mere guesswork, saying on its own website that “data to answer [the following] questions are not available”:

    What is the total amount of antibiotics used each year in the United States?
    How much of this is used to treat human disease?
    How much is used in animal agriculture?
    How much is used to treat sick animals and how much to promote their growth?
    How much of each major class of antibiotics is used as supplements to animal feed or water?
    Is agricultural use increasing? By how much?
    Which agricultural uses are most likely to contribute to problems in treating human disease?
    For a group facing so many unanswered questions, answers seem to come remarkably easily. While freely admitting that no good science exists to determine the effect (if any) of livestock antibiotics on human health, UCS managed to convince members of Congress otherwise. At the same time, UCS activists protested outside fast-food restaurants, holding giant “pillburgers” (prop hamburgers stuffed with oversized drug capsules) and chanting “Hey hey — ho ho — Drugs in meat have got to go.”

    By any real scientific yardstick, the Union of Concerned Scientists has a lousy track record. Their predictions are often laughably, and sometimes tragically, wrong. A few examples:
    In 1997 UCS organized a petition that warned of “global warming” and advocated U.S. ratification of the Kyoto treaty. It was signed by 1,600 scientists, and so UCS declared that “the scientific community has reached a consensus.” But when a counter-petition that questioned this so-called “consensus” was signed by more than 17,000 other scientists, UCS declared it a “deliberate attempt to deceive the scientific community with misinformation.”
    UCS invested significant resources in “a multiyear effort to protect Bacillus thuringiensis, a valuable natural pesticide, by bringing high visibility to a preliminary report on the toxic effect of transgenic [biotech] corn pollen on the Monarch Butterfly.” Unfortunately for them, both the USDA and the EPA have concluded that Bt corn is only a threat to the crop-devastating insects it’s supposed to kill.
    Based, we suppose, on some “science” or other, UCS’s Margaret Mellon predicted in 1999 that American farmers would reduce their planting of genetically enhanced seeds in the year 2000, saying it “probably represents a turning point.” What happened? Just the reverse. Planting of biotech crops has increased in 2000, 2001 and 2002 — and shows no sign of slowing down.
    In 1980 UCS predicted that the earth would soon run out of fossil fuels. “It is now abundantly clear,” the group wrote, “that the world has entered a period of chronic energy shortages.” Oops! Known reserves of oil, coal and natural gas have never been higher, and show every sign of increasing.
    To improve fuel efficiency, UCS argues for lighter tires on SUVs. But lighter tires are blamed — even by Ralph’s Nader’s Public Citizen — for tread separation. 148 deaths and more than 500 injuries were attributed to tread separation in Firestone tires alone.
    UCS apparently hasn’t learned from its many, many mistakes. But if at first you don’t succeed, scare, scare again.

    The Union of Concerned Scientists was born out of a protest against the war in Vietnam. In 1969, a group of 48 faculty members at MIT — the original “union” — sponsored a one-day work stoppage of scientific research. A conference that coincided with the strike included appearances from such notables as Noam Chomsky (who is now recognized as a leader of the 21st Century “hate-America left”); Eric Mann, who led the 1960s terrorist Weather Underground; and Jonathan Kabat, who argued: “We want capitalism to come to an end.”

    Later that year, when the founding document of the Union of Concerned Scientists was formalized, the United States’ relationship with the Soviet Union was featured even more prominently than environmental issues. Three of the five propositions in the founding document concern political questions of the Cold War — a topic about which even the brightest physicists and biologists can claim no particular expertise.

    UCS continues to involve itself in issues where scientific credentials carry little weight. For example, the group opposes urban sprawl, disputes a war in Iraq, and supports abortion. While these positions may be perfectly legitimate in themselves, they are hardly the product of “rigorous scientific analysis.”

    An early petition from UCS argues: “A new ethic is required — a new attitude towards discharging our responsibility for caring for ourselves and for the earth… This ethic must motivate a great movement.” So activists with lab coats are now presuming to instruct us on matters of ethics and politics.

    Among its ethical appeals that have nothing to do with science, UCS’s approach to farming stands out. The activist group advocates “a sustainable approach, based on understanding agriculture as an ecosystem.” They call it an “agroecosystem,” and label it “holistic.” They call it “science”; the rest of us call it Zen.

    At UCS, politics drives science — not the other way around. “We undervalue our scientists and agriculturalists if we accept today’s productive, but highly polluting agriculture,” UCS claims. Of course, UCS advocates organic-only agriculture, the widespread adoption of which (at today’s anemic levels of production) would result in mass starvation. So in this instance, some form of technology will surely have to save the day, even for organic farmers. But when it comes to something UCS opposes — like missile defense — they argue that the technology will never work.

    Respectable scientists operate by considering a question, developing a methodology to answer that question, and only then arriving at a conclusion. They disdain political interference, and go to the media only when their conclusions warrant immediate public attention. The Union of Concerned Scientists stands this process on its head. It develops a press strategy first, and then conducts politically tainted and methodologically flawed analysis. After all, it’s getting harder to convince the media that your environmental scare is more lurid than the next guy’s. You need good PR. That’s why UCS partners with slick Washington PR firms — to get attention, whether or not there’s good science behind the sound bites.

  343. Paul,

    All this information you’re posting for us–I’m sure it’s all from unbiased sources…right? Why not include links to the articles/reports?

  344. I have a comment caught in the filter. Could I please get a moderator to free it up. Thank you very much.:)

  345. Elaine M – I think you will find they are fairly balanced in getting reactions from both sides – both sides, not just one side.

  346. I know Chuck is a moderator, are you, Elaine? I would love to get that Article on the Union of Concerned Scientists freed up.

  347. Elaine M –
    this is the link to the article that is missing. Actually this is more valuable since it covers the Union of Concerned Scientists funding sources. BTW, they are flush.:)

  348. Elaine – now I have three in the spam filter. Evidently the spam filter does not like criticism of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Did they build the filter?

  349. Paul, Comment retrievals are not always conducted professionally or righteously. I have stopped requesting, they never get retrieved since January. You must be on the shitlist.

  350. nick – rts had one stuck yesterday and chuck got it out, so I am thinking it is not personal.:) At least I hope not.

  351. Darren is righteous and professional retrieving comments. If he sees it he will do it. Or, after this exchange, maybe even the malcontents will. We’ll see. Sometimes the comments are indeed eaten, Darren will be straight.

  352. paul,

    I went through ten pages of the spam filter–and retrieved three of your comments that got stuck there.



    You have no knowledge of how much crap gets snagged by the spam filter. Unfortunately, comments that aren’t truly spam get stuck there too. Many of mine have. At the moment, there are nearly 2,000 comments there.