Global Warming Book Comment Thread

I turned off comments on the published HTML version of my Skeptical Layman's Guide to Man-made Global Warming    (pdf here) to avoid spam problems.  However, it was not my intention to forgo the ability of readers to comment.  So I am going to link this comment thread from the bottom of each chapter.

I have gotten several comments back similar to what Steven Dutch says here:

So You Still Don't Believe In Global Warming?

Fine. Here's what you have to do....

  • Show conclusively that an increase in carbon dioxide will
    not result in global warming. Pointing to flaws in the climate models,
    possible alternative explanations, and unanswered questions won't cut it. We
    know carbon dioxide traps infrared and we know climate is
    getting warmer. There's a plausible cause and effect relationship there. You
    have to show there is
    not a causal link. You can do that either by
    identifying what
    is the cause ("might be" or "possible alternative"
    isn't good enough) or by showing that somehow extra carbon dioxide does

    not trap solar heat.

This might be correct if we were in a college debating society, where the question at hand was "does man contribute to global warming?"  However, we are in a real world policy debate, where the question is instead "Is man causing enough warming and thereby contributing to sufficiently dire consequences to justify massive interventions into the world economy, carrying enormous costs and demonstrable erosions in individual freedoms."  Remember, we know monetary and liberty costs of abatement with a fair amount of cerntainty, so in fact the burden of proof is on man-made global warming advocates, not skeptics, who need to prove the dangers from the man-made component of global warming outweigh the costs of these abatements.

That is why the premise for my paper is as follows:

There is no doubt that CO2 is a
greenhouse gas, and it is pretty clear that CO2 produced by man has an
incremental impact on warming the Earth's surface. 

However, recent
warming is the result of many natural and man-made factors, and it is
extraordinarily difficult to assign all the blame for current warming to

In turn, there are very good reasons to suspect that climate
modelers may be greatly exaggerating future warming due to man.  Poor
economic forecasting, faulty assumptions about past and current conditions, and
a belief that climate is driven by runaway positive feedback effects all
contribute to this exaggeration. 

As a result, warming due to man's
impacts over the next 100 years may well be closer to one degree C than the
forecasted six to eight.  In either case, since AGW supporters tend to grossly
underestimate the cost of CO2 abatement, particularly in lost wealth creation
in poorer nations, there are good arguments that a warmer but richer world,
where aggressive CO2 abatement is not pursued, may be the better end state than
a poor but cooler world.

Interventionists understand that their job is not to prove that man is causing some global warming, but to prove that man is doing enough damage to justify massive economic interventions.  That is why Al Gore says tornadoes are increasing when they are not, or why he says sea levels will rise 20 feet when even the IPCC says a foot and a half.  And I will leave you with this quote
from National Center for Atmospheric Research (NOAA) climate researcher and
global warming action promoter, Steven Schneider:

We have to
offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little
mention of any doubts we have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance
is between being effective and being honest.

Comment away.  I don't edit or delete comments, except in the cases of obvious spam.

Update:  Here is another reason why there is an important difference between "man causes any warming at all" and "man causes most of the warming."


  1. enquiries:

    It's not just a standstill. It's a 30 year natural slight decline from 1998 to 2028. Read what Geoff Wood (qualified in astrophysics) has explained ..

    The following are excerpts ..

    "As Doug has said about a dozen times, gravity modifies the mean free path between collisions. That is ‘every’ upward, ‘every’ downward ‘every’ sideways, ‘every’, ‘every’ free molecular path between collisions is modified. Therefore it is impossible for the modified ‘collisions’ that result, not to impart the gravitational ‘information’ into the macroscopic development of the gravitational thermal profile. This is the ‘diffusion’ process.

    "At this point, we have a reasonable depiction of the thermal profile of ANY atmosphere. FROM BASIC PHYSICS.

    "Given a simple reason why any atmosphere tends towards this isentropic profile as depicted and described by entry level physics, why would anyone look for a more complicated reason to explain what we already know!"

    The point which Geoff and I make is that the "33 degrees of warming" supposedly caused by water vapour and carbon dioxide etc was already there due to the effect of gravity on the atmosphere. This happens on all planets, and also fully explains why the poles of Venus are over 720K, even though they receive less than 1W/m^2 of direct insolation from the Sun. For more detail read my article "The 21st Century New Paradigm Shift in Climate Change Science" easily found with Google. I've also recorded an introductory 10 minute video here

    Doug Cotton

  2. MB:

    Coyote: "...take a look at the blue bar...they are saying there is some natural effect that is warming things until 1950 and then turns off and starts cooling....I challenge you to read the IPCC assessment, all thousand or so pages, and find anywhere in that paper where someone dares to say exactly what this natural effect was, or why it turned off exactly in 1950."

    Challenge accepted! IPCC: "During [the past 50 years], the sum of solar and volcanic forcings would likely have produced cooling, not warming."[1] "These changes took place over a time period when non-anthropogenic forcing factors (i.e., the sum of solar and volcanic forcing) would be likely to have produced cooling, not warming."[2] ""Blue shaded bands show...only the natural forcings due to solar activity and volcanoes."

    Now, you may disagree with the calculations (aka, models) that produced those blue bars - but it seems pretty clear to me (after a few moments of research) that the "natural effect" is both solar and volcanic activity (which each get a chapter of their own).

    As for "turning off exactly in 1950", I think that's partially an artifact of them plotting "relative to the to the corresponding average for the 1901-1950", which ends up with 1950 as a near-peak. It's possible as well (but not clear) that they're plotting "decadal averages...against the centre of the decade" - they spell that out for the observations, but not the models. At any rate, if the idea of a stable global mean temperature is reasonable to begin with - then a regression to that mean isn't surprising; there needs to be cooling to counteract the previous warming. So having a cooling period isn't exactly surprising, unless you were expecting a continual increase. Also note that since this chart shows "anomalies" (ie., difference between value and reference) a downward trend doesn't necessarily indicate "cooling" per-se (eg., that temperature's are *lower* than the reference value), but a smaller anomaly value (eg., that higher temperatures are dropping *towards* the reference value or "cooling" from previous high temperatures).

    Coyote: "...they have modeled the non-anthropogenic effect by running their models, tuning them to historical actuals, and then backing out the anthropogenic forcings to see what is left."

    Not exactly. At the most, they ran their models without anthropogenic forcing. Though even that isn't entirely clear - it's possible that they're completely separate models. At the very least, they're a different *set* of models, since there's only 5 non-AGW models and 14 AGW models.

    Coyote: "There is no actual empirical data to back up the blue line..."

    Of course there isn't - it's based on modeling (as clearly stated) and never actually happened. It'd be impossible to have empirical data on something that never occurred, I think. The point is that models without AGW do a good job of predicting historical trends (as expected, since it'd be a stupid model to include if it didn't) prior to the 1950s. But that those same models do a poor job since the 1950s. If you're arguing that the post-1950 blue bar is "wrong" and should be closer to the black line, you'd need another non-AGW natural effect to make up the difference (or amplify the effects of the solar and volcanic activity the models already account for). Since the existing models without that effect do a good job prior to the 1950s, you'd also need to make sure your natural effect didn't wildly affect that half of the line. And, of course, your new natural effect would need to be consistent with both theory and observation on its own. Presumably, no natural effects the scientists have looked at fit the bill - but perhaps you know of one and can produce such a model? That would likely be a better point of attack than trying to claim that this global conspiracy of scientists, who've managed to hoodwink all of civilization, can be undone by simply looking at the blue bar.


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