AGW (Human-Caused Global Warming)

AGW  (Human-Caused Global Warming)
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First, listen to this youtube NASA video soundtrack and watch it show the cycle of seasonal changes and movement of CO(2) in the earth's atmosphere and where in the world it is concentrated:

My article titled Answer to “How Well Can You Reason?”, answered a challenge presented in another of my articles (by the name in quotes) that involved a logical loop. This made every condition depend on every other condition for its satisfaction. There was only a single, logically unambiguous answer that could possibly be correct. In contrast with my expectations, only three of many article readers took the challenge to solve this problem. There was one correct answer. Although the right answer might have been deduced using correct logic, the answerer insisted that the answer was not unambiguous, which if true would have required a different choice for the answer that stated there was insufficient evidence to draw a definitive conclusion. So ironically, even the right answer was in fact a wrong answer by the answerer’s own criterion.

Those conservatives who most relish leaving highly critical but logically inane comments under my articles refrained from participating at all. Several have stated that the motivations in writing the article were repugnant to them and they therefore refused to participate. However, the utterly logic-free but intense passion with which they attempt to refute any arguments I present in other articles transparently fails to legitimize this lame excuse.

Yet these same hard right conservatives pretend to argue intelligently about climate change, some without the slightest clue regarding what the high school science concept of the greenhouse effect even is. The overwhelming evidence for AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming or human-caused global warming) involves physical feedback loops and solid if simple, basic scientific knowledge. The logic required to understand the relationships in these feedback loops very clearly exceeds either the intellectual know-how or willingness that heated and passionate deniers have been able to muster in either of the two challenges my articles have presented to them. (See also my article Challenge to Strange New Conservatives).

However, their lack of any demonstrable skill in logical endeavors or willingness to exercise them obviously fails to serve any useful purpose in deterring their insistence on denial. Some even invoke wild theories regarding AGW of massive collusion within the entire scientific community as part of an alleged Marxist conspiracy to implement socialism in the United States and around the world. This is, of course, not a product of any reasoning process based on the slightest scientific understanding, but simply blind parroting of nutty right-wing news sources.

AGW deniers virtually never deal in any remotely valid way with scientific data revealing these relationships. Instead, they merely attack each piece of data as if it existed in isolation from all the other data, obviously parroting some source that provided them with the “argument” in the first place, as anyone can attest who ever notices the ideas such sources of “infotainment” peddle. The implied assumption is that if you take one thing out of context and make it appear wrong, you’ve demonstrated that the whole argument is invalid. Such thinking is, of course, invalid on its face. It’s truly sad to see how many remain oblivious to this.


The Core Principles Underlying AGW

First, the bottom line understanding we all must have for even the slightest chance of any kind of informed discussion of this subject to exist is fairly simple. If some equilibrium temperature did not physically guarantee that the energy coming into the earth is balanced by what leaves it, temperature would increase indefinitely and fry us all. Fortunately, higher temperatures increase the rate at which energy leaves the earth until equilibrium is reached. However, there is nothing to guarantee that this equilibrium temperature will be hospitable to 21st-century civilization and its vital infrastructure. The essential understanding is that there is an equilibrium point in the long-term average temperature of the earth at which all the energy coming in will also go back out into space.

This temperature is affected by only two fundamental factors:

1. How fast energy is coming into the earth.

2. How fast energy can leave the earth at any given temperature.

This second factor is determined by both the reflectivity (albedo) of the earth and in the case of lower wavelengths (infrared or IR), how much of it does the atmosphere absorb on the way back out and radiate back to earth. Solar energy comes in at a wide range of wavelengths. The visible wavelengths can enter and leave very easily. However, when visible sunlight strikes the surface, whether ocean or land, it heats it. Heat is infrared (IR) and is of lower wavelengths than visible light. Just as the glass in your car windows let sunlight in to warm your upholstery, dash, etc. and prevent the resulting heat (lower wavelength IR) from getting back out, greenhouse gases do that for the earth. The equilibrium temperature for your car on a hot day, as I’m sure we have all witnessed, can be quite unbearable. This is precisely how greenhouses work to keep plants growing that would otherwise perish in winter weather, hence the name “greenhouse” gases. Greenhouses, however, easily regulate the temperature with thermostat-operated ventilation systems.

In other words, factor number 2 above depends on how much resistance the atmosphere offers to energy leaving the earth; how much does it require the temperature to rise in order for the same amount coming in to get back out. The heat from the sun varies. So does the composition of the atmosphere, both in terms of clouds and chemical constituents, including gases and also aerosols, which are particulate matter that is tiny but solid. There are other sources of energy, such as the energy from the interior of the earth we label geothermal and which is responsible for volcanoes, fumaroles, etc. and tidal energy, which ultimately comes from the slowly decreasing kinetic energy of the moon’s orbit. However, these forms of energy are very stable over the long run, and so are not responsible for climate change if we ignore temporary effects of volcanic eruptions.

This implies directly that there are only three mutually exclusive points of view possible, ignoring for the moment which is right or wrong:

1. Variation in incoming solar energy is solely (pun intended) responsible for climate change, which assumes the atmosphere is essentially stable over time with regard to how fast energy can leave the earth at any particular temperature. These variations in solar input to earth can come from the intensity of energy leaving the sun and cloud cover, which affects how much light is reflected back into space. Cloud cover is, in turn, affected by solar activity and its effect on cosmic rays, but this effect is now accurately measurable with satellite technology and relatively quite small with regard to what is actually occurring.

2. While the sun is essentially the only significant variable factor in how much energy enters the earth, the atmospheric constituents nevertheless change enough to significantly vary the rate at which energy can leave the earth at any particular temperature.

3. The temperature is not currently changing in the long run, so both of the previous positions are moot.

AGW deniers assume either 1 or 3 or both. Scientific experts in climate science show clear evidence that 2 is correct and concur in this conclusion with an overwhelming consensus (i.e., 97.4% among peer-reviewed scientific papers from climate specialists with the remainder reporting neutral results except for a small fraction of 1%). Some deniers argue naïvely but convincingly in terms of popular understanding that we cannot even predict the weather accurately for ten days, let alone predict climate change over multiple decades or a hundred years. This sounds very logical.

The difference and resulting invalidity of this argument becomes clear when we recognize that weather prediction involves different, very specific local patterns in thousands of places around the globe while climate change deals with change in the long term average temperature of the entire planet. We can use a car analogy once again to highlight the difference. The turbulence in the air at each little locality around a car traveling at 75 miles per hour is so chaotic and complex that it is impossible to simulate even with the most powerful supercomputers that currently exist. Yet we can state with certainty that the average movement and speed of the air around the car is in the direction toward the rear of the car and exactly 75 miles per hour with respect to the car.

Another vital consideration is absorption of carbon dioxide or CO(2) in ocean water. Coca-Cola is carbonated (carbon dioxide in solution). A warm Coke bottle in hot weather will spew Coke and CO(2) foam all over everything when the cap is removed to reduce pressure inside the bottle. This is because the amount of CO(2) that can remain dissolved in water is affected by both heat and pressure. The higher the heat, the less CO(2) can remain in solution. The higher the pressure, the more CO(2) can remain in solution. Removing the cap reduces the pressure allowing the effect of the heat to show up. However, since atmospheric pressure is relatively constant, the main loop affecting AGW is essentially the relationship of heat and the solubility of CO(2) in ocean water. The chief feedback loop in AGW exists between heat (IR), and atmospheric and oceanic CO(2).

In the past, the earth’s orbit has occasionally averaged less distance from the sun, raising the average global temperature and releasing CO(2) from solution in the ocean water that covers three fourths of the earth. In those times, temperature increase preceded the increase in atmospheric CO(2) , since it was the initial cause. However, the story doesn’t stop there. Increased CO(2) in the air trapped more heat in the lower atmosphere, increasing the surface temperature further to release even more CO(2) from ocean water.

Polar ice melted; ocean levels rose; land area shrank, exposing more ocean surface to the air for more efficient exchange of CO(2). This is the feedback loop anciently triggered by heat in which an increase in heat led all past increases in CO(2) as far back as we can go. At some threshold the loop becomes so strongly self-reinforcing that you get tropical vegetation at very high latitudes. This happened very slowly over very large periods of geological time, which AGW deniers are extremely fond of ignoring. They also ignore the previous absence of a vast and extremely vulnerable infrastructure, both soft and hard, on which billions of people depend for the basic necessities of life.

Worse, many AGW deniers have used these past changes in which temperature increase led increased atmospheric CO(2) to support their claim that the sun’s heat is the sole cause of global warming and increased CO(2) as opposed to human CO(2) production. First they ignore the reversal in the current case…that now CO(2) is leading temperature rise. With some small contribution from geothermal sources, virtually all the heat comes from the sun, of course, but that skirts the issue, which is how much solar heat coming in can get back out without raising temperature at the surface of the earth and its ocean water.

Atmospheric CO(2) content strongly affects that just like the windows of your car make the air hotter inside than out even though the sun is the source of heat for both. So this argument would be laughable in light of how this feedback loop works if it were not so serious in its political and, ultimately and not very distantly, extremely negative practical consequences.

CO(2) increase is well known to cause temperature increase and vice versa, no matter which starts it. It is, after all, a feedback loop. Not only do AGW deniers seem to never notice that this time CO(2) increase is leading temperature rise, but also that it is occurring at roughly one hundred times the rate of any past, naturally occurring increase. With current ground and satellite technology together with computer technology that integrates information from multiple sources, we know that the upper atmosphere is cooling while the lower is getting hotter despite the recent plateau in average surface temperatures. We now use spectral analysis to detect even what specific gases are absorbing and radiating energy. We can now do this both from space and on the earth’s surface.

We must also remember that long term averages are what count, rather than a single anomalous temperature plateau covering no more than a decade that without AGW would have been just one more normal temperature dip.  Concluding anything from such a short term perspective is rationally equivalent to making a huge stock buy in Smith’s Super-Wonderful Widgets because their stock price closed high today. Yet AGW deniers use this kind of “reasoning” with apparent impunity as far as their congregation of believers waiting eagerly to be comforted by such denial is concerned, along with their apparently incurable desire to believe things are still just like they always thought they were.

We also know how much CO(2) we’re producing globally and that only 40% of it is actually showing up in the atmosphere. There is only one place the rest could be going. The ocean is sequestering it for us as it dissolves into the water. Water becomes increasingly acidic as it absorbs CO(2). Our major reef systems are already paying dearly for that. Shell fishing in some locations is decreasing because acidic water inhibits the absorption of the minerals needed to build the shells, so fewer young are surviving their predators. As temperature continues to rise, CO(2) absorption is not only going to stop so that 100% rather than 40% goes straight into the air and stays there, but shortly afterwards all the CO(2) the ocean has sequestered has to come right back out and snowball what is already happening. (Please indulge the irony of the snowball metaphor in this highly caloric context.)

People who make their living from shell fishing generally tend to be politically conservative, but they are not arguing against AGW now. It’s odd how money talks when it comes to what we want to believe. In that regard, the fossil fuel industry has an enormously larger incentive to exert influence against belief in the reality of AGW than grant money provides any scientist to argue for it.

President Nixon switched the dollar from the gold to the black gold standard (e.i., U.S. dollars became “petrodollars” effectively based on crude oil by requiring everyone who buys crude to pay for it in dollars). This made it possible to increase debt and inflate the dollar. Inflated dollars under this condition amount to a tax levied on every entity in the entire world that buys crude. Further, the banking procedures required for crude purchases up the ante in several other ways to our so far virtually unending benefit at the expense of everyone else.

That's why no one, including both parties, ever paid much attention to running up the national deficit. We set it up so the whole world pays for it and we didn't have to care that much. Many countries are making significant progress in weaning themselves off petroleum. We suddenly have to care now and this is one very important reason why. Another is an unintended consequence of the recent congressional fiasco by Tea Party idols. This has scared the already angry overseas prey of this petroleum-based financial strategy, most notably China and Russia, to the point of talking about ending their need to use petrodollars at all. They are in a better position to do this than ever before.

Our little game, which every top level of government in the world knows about and naturally is not overly fond of, is only one of many that leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth. Now we're getting called on it owing to less effective and stable governance in the United States that is highly visible around the world in combination with dependence on fossil fuels that is slowly disappearing in our country and much faster in many others. However, the pace of this disappearing dependence is accelerating and likely to do so dramatically in the next few years, as it must if we are to survive in any currently viable economic form.

This puts tremendous financial pressure from oil and coal interests on everyone to discourage alternative energy sources, since in the near term it is a tremendously disruptive technology for them at a very deep and powerful level and at every level, especially for the U.S. and its petrodollars. So the really powerful financial incentives are not on scientists to lie about AGW, but quite the opposite. There are inconceivably more powerful incentives for the fossil fuel industry to finance any willing partners who can help them lie about it. Lest we be tempted to think these interests are morally above such behavior, it would behoove us to remember the conspicuously missing morality of the tobacco industry, a tiny financial insect compared to the fossil fuel industry.

Yet most AGW deniers are completely reversing this, ignoring the irrational imbalance in their assumptions regarding financial incentives. This also completely reverses again the practical results from our science and technology they use every day as strong evidence for the relative objectivity in scientists versus the infamous frequency with which objectivity is lacking in the realization of corporate interests. It all turns rational thinking wrong side out and bends what should be common sense over backwards.

To illustrate, one comment in an AGW-related discussion stated a central reason for his objection, saying, "Also, it’s always doom and gloom -- nothing good might offset whatever bad might happen -- another reason I find it much easier to be skeptical of climate alarmists than I otherwise would."

Ah, so there is a Freudian slip showing here, isn’t there? Where is the reason in this? First, there is a lot of good that can, should, is already starting to, and, we must hope, very likely will offset what bad could happen. (See my article Take Heart! (New Energy & Climate.) The same comment had made an accusation that accepting AGW is virtually a religious conviction. So what is not religious about arguing that global warming, whether human caused or not, must be wrong because it's bad news…"gloom and doom" as he prejudicially phrased it? That kind of talk is not reason, but rhetoric. Where is there anything logical, unprejudiced by emotion, in that kind of thinking? And this barely touches on the very many blatantly irrational, emotionally prejudiced, and quasi-religious convictions in AGW denial.

All of these deniers so far have mentioned only one source: the political sources they choose to listen to for whatever "reason". They accuse those who accept the threat of AGW of irrational religious adherence to dogma while they vehemently and dogmatically maintain that AGW is a massive, incredibly well orchestrated scientific hoax. Every intelligent person knows that politicians are the least reliable sources of any kind of information no matter what party they belong to, so they choose them for their information on global warming. How rational and non-religious is that? One of the things I notice about religious people, and I'm extremely familiar with them as a preacher's son, is that they pick someone to believe in and then blindly follow. Some will even drink lethal Koolaid if that someone tells them they should. Right now, the U.S. is full of people drinking the not-so-long-term lethal Koolaid of AGW denial.

Imagine that you had a 50% chance of dying relatively soon of a fatal disease, but that $10,000 would buy you medical attention that would guarantee a complete cure. You don’t know for sure that the $10,000 would not simply be wasted, since there is also a 50% chance that you’re perfectly healthy. This is exactly equivalent to a $10,000 lump sum premium that buys you protection against a 50% chance of a very premature demise. Who in their right mind would not pay that premium even with those extremely generous odds compared to the scientifically assessed 95% likelihood that AGW is real? If we didn’t have the money, we’d do everything in our power to get it even with 50/50 odds.

By contrast, only 2% of total GDP around the world, although an enormous amount of money considered in isolation, would be more than enough to skirt around any potential disaster if only we act before we hit an irreversible trigger point for one of the many feedback loops affected by AGW, such as the Gulf Stream, for example. Discover Magazine published an article by Timothy Archibald (June 2009, p 38) in which he interviewed four climate change experts. One of these experts, Ken Caldera, posed an interesting question. He states that economists have estimated that achieving an economy that emits no carbon dioxide might cost as much as 2% of our annual wealth-generating capacity worldwide. However, he projects a situation in which we have already achieved this, then pops this fascinating question, hypothetically inverting the time sequence:

“You can make 2% more money each year, but in return for being 2% richer we’re going to have to melt the ice caps and acidify the oceans and shift weather patterns. Now, would you trade all that environmental risk in order to be two percent richer?

Caldera reports that even climate skeptics answer that if we already had such a carbon-neutral energy system, they would just go with it and forego the 2% gain in annual wealth. But the reality projected by most climate change scientists and the economists’ estimates are the precise logical equivalent of Caldera’s hypothetical deal. The only difference is the time sequence, which has absolutely no logical impact on the smart choice in considering it. What is rational about ignoring the highly likely reality of AGW considering the relatively low price we need to pay to avoid it as opposed to the tremendous human cost if we collectively bet against it? How can betting against AGW make any sense at all even if the odds for it were even instead of 95%?

There is still another consideration relevant to the burning of fossil fuel that is logically independent of appreciating the very real threat of AGW, although of course the latter is the most urgent consideration. It is quite simply immoral to burn up all the fossil fuel. We talk about another hundred year supply from this or that fossil fuel reserve. A hundred years is just one long human lifetime, for crying out loud. It’s nothing! I have an uncle who is approaching 102 years of age!

How long has it been since Shakespeare, for example? What if they had used up all our fossil fuel? In the many thousands of years of human history, what guarantee did we have that the industrial revolution wouldn’t have already occurred in Shakespeare’s time? What would we think of the people of that time if they had wantonly burned up our entire supply of fossil chemicals and just left us to deal with it? Petroleum is a source of invaluable chemical stocks used for a huge variety of purposes, including things like plastics, tires, lubricants, synthetic fibers, fertilizers, etc. Renewable energy is by its very definition the only energy that can last indefinitely and not immorally dump the planet into chemical poverty even if AGW were not a problem. So these arguments against the development of renewable energy, from a clear and unarguable logical perspective, are either deaf, dumb, and blind or immoral…and most likely suicidal.

Copyright October 2013 © Robert P. Wendell

Redistribution freely permitted contingent upon the unmodified inclusion of this copyright notice.


Autumn Cote Added Oct 29, 2013 - 3:19am
“CO(2) increase is well known to cause temperature increase and vice versa, no matter which starts it.”
In your opinion do the deniers agree with the above relationship? If yes, does their argument boil down to the fact humans aren’t responsible for a measurable increase in CO2. If no, I would think that we have the scientific knowledge to answer that question with certainty.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 29, 2013 - 7:49am
Is this article about Global Warming, or just Robert taking another opportunity to bash the people who don;t agree with him on everything? If he wants an honest discussion about GW, then he should not bring up Marxism first.  As usual, I will wait for him to ask one simple question before I respond.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Oct 29, 2013 - 8:21am
I cannot believe that 50 odd years down the track there are still people arguing that human activity does not cause global warming and using every excuse they can think of for doing nothing about it.
Big Oil has done a great job in muddying the waters here.  Carry on driving your cars... it'll be OK.  After all what can one person do etc etc.
What will future generations think of us?  Arguing whilst Rome burns.  Too selfish to change our behaviour to limit the damage.   Shame on us all!
Steve Borsher Added Oct 29, 2013 - 8:25am
Logic is not supposed to loop. It is supposed to lead to a conclusion. Logical loop is an oxymoron; and, therefore, totally irrational. Like a value whose fraction keeps repeating ad infinitum.
Jeff Kunkel Added Oct 29, 2013 - 9:24am
Hi Robert.  Very nice crossing paths with you again. 
I don't disagree with anything in your well-presented article.  I'd just like to add that, given our plutocracy, there are certain well-defined strategies for acquiring and maintaining power, two of which are: 1) "Divide and Conquer," and 2) Create chaos and profit from it. 
There is obvious merit to Global Warming.  At the same time, it is such a hot topic that it's an excellent medium for plutocrats to create chaos and divide us further.  Whether "Accepting" or "Denying" the existence of Global Warming is not the political issue.  Rather, it's how the subject of Global Warming can be used to acquire further power, such as keeping us all chasing our tails, while the plutocrats sneak through their self-serving legislation.  I think it's even possible that "Deniers" don't really "deny" and "Acceptors" don't really "accept."  
"United we stand, divided we fall."     
Steve Borsher Added Oct 29, 2013 - 9:24am
OK, so I'll put my two cents in now about GW, since a well defined discussion has begun.  If MGW (man made global warming) started during the Industrial Revolution, some 150 years ago, then if we stopped all carbon emissions, it might take 150 years to return to pre-IR conditions. That is not going to happen.  Therefore, it is merely a guessing game in trying to figure out whether and to what point MGW, if it exists, can be reasonably reversed.  It is probably a good idea to try to cut down carbon emissions by some amount, but there will always be arguments surrounding that amount, because there is just no way to quantify it to everyone's satisfaction.  And I have no problem with that because I don't believe anything that my own senses can't verify.  Here is what I know via my senses about climate change: the sun is much hotter than when I was younger.  There is more melanoma, and I am a survivor. I go outside to work, and I sweat more, and have to wear sunblock even now, with the temps in the 40s and low 50s. I want to know why the sun is hotter. No one is addressing that directly.  The other stuff may or may not be happening because of carbon emissions; we won't know that through our senses for many years.  Again, IME, smog has been greatly reduced, because we don't have the permanent smog domes over major cities, like we did 40 years ago; when I would look for to a hurricane blowing them away temporarily.   And I don't smell the smog now when I land in major cities, like I did even back in the early 90s. So, I would say there has been major emissions improvements since then.
Science is now as political as Washington, DC.  Most scientists embrace the party line, IMO, lest they be ostracized. Also, IMO, the Nobel Prize for the Sciences is now a total sham.  I am particularly a disbeliever in the Higgs particle and scientific theories about the Universe.  I'm not from Missouri, but, again, you really have to "show me" something my senses can detect.  I want science to tell me things that jibe with my senses; not stuff they write merely to remain active and "relevant".
Pamalien TW Added Oct 29, 2013 - 9:59am
Why in this case, someone would reply with "If he wants an honest discussion about GW, then he should not bring up Marxism first." Do you even know the meaning of Marxism? Really? (Here comes my Jeff Foxworthyish impression) You might be a conservative if your first, best argument consists of accusing someone of being a Marxist/Communist/Socialist.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 29, 2013 - 10:12am
Thanks, Nathan.  I would not have been so cordial.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 29, 2013 - 10:22am
I live right in the middle of one of those alternative energy battles; in Narragansett.  My daily reading of the ongoing battle tells me that Deepwater Wind is making so many concessions to keep on playing, that it will never make any money on that project, and we will end up footing the bill; just as we did with Studio 38.  Projects like this are a politician's dream.  They get to look like they are doing something popular, at the taxpayers great expense. I lived through the exact same thing in SE MA with the rail extension, that has been on and off for nearly 20 years.  THat is yet another political boondoggle.
Now, my friend Pamela would say that I am anti-alternative energy; just as she wrongly accused me of being a conservative.  The truth is that I want to see more projects being built as test sites, in order to walk into alternative energy conversion.  Running before walking never turns out well. Put a couple huge turbines off shore somewhere and see how they work out first; especially where there are frequent hurricanes. There are some, but have they been in place long enough to be vetted? I would like to see some statistics on that.  I just moved two years ago, and am back to designing solar and geothermal systems for this house.  I have the ability to do them myself; but right now I haven't had the time, while getting the house converted to be user friendly first. I there are cheap solutions out there, I will find them.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 29, 2013 - 10:24am
Amen. And I am an Atheist.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 29, 2013 - 10:47am
What about water vapor and dust in the atmosphere? The sun heats them up too.  And there is a lot more H20 the C02 at any one time.  Maybe the Earth is just becoming more humid. I could not find a hard figure the % of dust in the atmosphere, but some numbers put water at 4%; a couple orders of magnitude above CO2.
Mike Haluska Added Oct 29, 2013 - 10:50am
Regarding man-made "Global Warming", I would like to point out that the source of ALL electromagnetic energy is a thermonuclear furnace located 93 million miles from Earth, the output of which is constantly and unpredictably fluctuating.  The amount of energy provided by the Sun DWARFS anything produced by humans.  Saying humans cause the Earth's temperature to rise is like saying the ocean's temperature rises when somebody urinates in it!
As far as "Deadly CO2", there is about 4 parts per BILLION of CO2 in the upper atmosphere.  That's like scattering 4 ping pong balls on a thousand square miles of ocean and expecting the ping pong balls to reflect enough heat to warm the ocean!
The Earth's climate has been changing for millions of years WITHOUT the "help" of humans.  It is a non-deterministic, non-linear complex system which by DEFINITION cannot be modeled with linear programming computer systems.  Read about Chaos Theory and you'll understand that the "Climate Change" gang is a bunch of disingenuous frauds who are only interested in securing more government grant money.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 29, 2013 - 10:52am
At least I don't swear at God, as many Christians do. In fact, I feel like I am in God's good graces most of the time; even with all the illnesses I have had in the past 11 years. But I have an entirely different concept of God than most people. And Heaven and Hell? Right here on Earth; right now. There is no life after death. Dead is dead. But, could there be Life after Life? I'm working on that too.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 29, 2013 - 11:40am
If I had a large tract of land and was approached to sell some into the Fractured Fairytale; would I?  Maybe early on, but not now.  There are sinkholes forming around the country lately without that additional stress on the substrates.  I may be a lot of things, but I am not an Earth killer.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 29, 2013 - 11:44am
That's the risk you run with me.  If something you say triggers something I am thinking about, you might get an unexpected earful. I don't know if it is stream of consciousness or stream of unconsciousness, but I stopped editing myself several years ago.  Just FYI; and others'. I get accused of going off topic a lot. But, it often starts up other interesting conversations that don;t have to take place where they started.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 29, 2013 - 12:22pm
Maybe we should all stop breathing then. Or stop cutting down the forests.
Pamalien TW Added Oct 29, 2013 - 12:38pm
Honestly, I did not read the whole article, being an elaboration on a prior article. I didn't see Steve asking why Marxism was presented; just stating that he should not have opened with Marxism. This was my folly. Without reading further, I relived every time a conservative told me directly, blew over a bullhorn or held a sign over a bridge stating that anything not capitalist is communist or Marxist. Even though Communist China is now Capitalist while maintaining Communist government rule. I let my feelings towards ignorance allow me to sound ignorant. I know this is off topic but, I've grown up with "Global Warming" presented to me since the 3rd grade. Granted, my views have evolved over the past 20 years, I'm open, yet skeptical of any new information presented by the bought-and-paid-for talking heads of the GOP, infotainment pundits and Fox News parrots with zero scientific evidence will sway my view. I refuse to read more deeply into the GW issue until presented with further credible evidence. I suppose what I am saying for any issue in which I have settled a personal theory, is that I won't read completely or argue any points until new, unbiased evidence is presented. So, I've hit my head against a wall when it comes to issues I have personally settled yet, still strike an emotional cord when I see others who insist on arguing over whether the string is red or green when everyone can see it but a few colorblind people are too proud acknowledge their disability. Robert, I'm sorry I labeled you. That is certainly not something I meant for you specifically but, something I meant for generalized conservatives. Not all conservatives are fools. It's the loudest fools who created a stereotype for their constituents. (P.S. Feel free to correct my grammar. I'm getting annoyed with myself playing the "Who, whom, that, which" game in my head.)
Robert Wendell Added Oct 29, 2013 - 1:05pm
Well, I just published this late last night and already there are 23 comments. There are only a very few that are not very well addressed already in the article if the people who commented would only learn to read with enough comprehension to even notice and without their partisan filters fully on. There are a couple of comments or so that my article did not answer preemptively, however, and I will address them now.
The most intelligent question comes from Autumn, who made the very first comment as follows:
(Quoting me)  “ 'CO(2) increase is well known to cause temperature increase and vice versa, no matter which starts it.'
"In your opinion do the deniers agree with the above relationship? If yes, does their argument boil down to the fact humans aren’t responsible for a measurable increase in CO2. If no, I would think that we have the scientific knowledge to answer that question with certainty."
I quote from this source: -
"In order for molecular vibrations to absorb IR energy, the vibrational motions must change the dipole moment of the 
molecule. All molecules with three or more atoms meet this criterion and are IR absorbers."
IR is infrared radiation, which has longer wavelengths than visible light. If all light entering the atmosphere were merely reflected back out into space (albedo), there would be virtually no net gain in energy on the earth. However, we all know the earth's surface, both land and water, absorb solar energy and warm up as a result. This energy is slowly radiated back into the atmosphere as low wavelength IR, which does not all get back out into space, since CO(2) and any other gases with three or more molecules, includng water vapor, captures some of the energy and radiates it back, increasing temperature at the surface, whether water or land. In the case of water, it causes an increase in water vapor in the atmosphere. Since water vapor is an even more powerful greenhouse gas than CO(2), this amplifies the effect of any additional CO(2).
For more detail, also see:
This second site just above is dedicated to skepticism regarding false science. It is very rigorous in doing that. Here it is debunking the debunking of climate science.
In the article itself, I gave an empirical example of the relationship between heat, pressure, and the solubility of CO(2) in Coca-Cola or any other carbonated beverage. This is empirical evidence of these relationships that pretty much everyone has experienced at one time or another. Yet none of the deniers here act like they read or understood any of that. I quote sources that are scientific, directly from the scientists themselves. I notice that all the deniers quote non-scientists lying about what scientists are saying. Of all the peer-reviewed papers by experts on climate change, 97.4% say AGW is real and human-caused. Most of the rest are neutral and those opposed are a small fraction of 1%. That fraction is mostly composed of scientists either employed by the fossil fuel industry or financially beholden to them in some other way. Some are weather people who, although meteorologists, are not usually involved in any serious scientific research beyond short-term weather prediction.
It is high school science that heating carbonated water causes the the CO(2) to bubble out, not to mention personal experience with hot Coca-Cola. We know how much CO(2) we're putting into the atmosphere. We also know that only 40% of it remains there and that the rest is making ocean water more acidic. We know that what CO(2) stays in the atmosphere is increasing the temperature and that this increase makes less CO(2) soluble in ocean water. We see the effects of acidity in the ocean as coral reefs die and shellfish survival rate goes down to the point of scaring the shellfish industry regarding their immediate future.
In the past, temperature increases have preceded atmospheric CO(2) increase because of the decreased solubility of it in ocean water, which in turn increased the temperature with the greenhouse effect and on around and around in the feedback loop. This has a trigger point at which it really takes off.
Now we're seeing CO(2) increase lead temperature increase because of the greenhouse effect. All this is clearly stated in the article. Yet no one, not one denier, has addressed any of this. I have seen nothing but accusations of having to be always right with zero attention to the scientific information and arguments I've presented. All I see is repeated
Mike Haluska Added Oct 29, 2013 - 1:17pm
What you call "Science" is a notch below alchemy and on a level with religion.  Real Science uses the Scientific Method - "Climate Change" Pseudo Scientists use correlation thinking.  "Climate Changers" first state their conclusion (man causes global warming) and then sift through speculative "data" selecting only that data that supports their pre-determined conclusion.  They also use correlation (neg & pos) as the equivalent of cause-effect - see your CO2 statements.
In addition, you have reclassified "Global Warming" as a Religion, calling those who disagree with this jibberish "deniers", just like the Creationists calling Evolutionists.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 29, 2013 - 1:29pm
How about this for a logical statement: pseudo-science is exactly what should be expected from a pseudo-intellectual.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 29, 2013 - 4:18pm
Yes, it's all a lot of carefully, or not, massaged bull, except for the methane part; which IS largely bull and cow.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 29, 2013 - 6:29pm
@ Steve Borsher - Quoting Steve:
"If he [referring to me, Robert] wants an honest discussion about GW, then he should not bring up Marxism first."
So talk to Nathan Kelley about that. All I did was refer to one of his comments under another article that AGW is a hoax perpetrated by Marxists to force the world into economic socialism with government subsidized alternative energy. I didn't say that. I just referred to his having said that and didn't even name him in the article. He's commenting right here on this article, so ask him what talk of theories about Marxist scientists conspiring to hoodwink us all into a Marxists economy does to promote objectivity in dealing with this subject and what that has to do with any kind of science.
You're helping to make what was exactly my point, but somehow in your twisted interpretation of what you read, it ends up blaming me for what he said just because I used it to preempt the very thing your accusing me of? Whew! Take a course in reading comprehension.
I preempted a lot of the useless nonsense in the comments here in my article because of its mindless repetition everywhere the subject gets discussed on this site. Notice how it all gets repeated anyway without addressing any of my preemptive rebuttals. Nothing preempts any nonsense for you and these others because you're all guilty of everything you accuse me of. I support what I say. That means nothing to you people and you show that clearly by never doing it yourselves. When I do it, you're simply remain impervious to it. I guess I'm just supposed to say, "Yes, sir...Yes, ma'm," and then shut up?
The last three comments above from you, Mike, and Christopher are cases in point. You just call perfectly clear science, about which you all write as if you understand nothing about it at all, and call it pseudo-science. So back that up! Point to the pseudo-science and show why you think it is pseudo-science. Any idiot can rebut any argument based on science by simply calling it pseudo-science, but what the hell is that worth? What does that buy anybody? It sure doesn't do anything at all to get at the truth, yet you accuse me of obscuring the truth while none of you ever say anything specific to back that up.
So enough with empty comments about pseudo-science unless you can where you think you think there is pseudo-science and why you think it. If you can't do that, do yourselves and everyone else a favor and just shut up.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 29, 2013 - 6:41pm
@ Steve Borsher - 
Quoting Steve:
"Logic is not supposed to loop. It is supposed to lead to a conclusion. Logical loop is an oxymoron; and, therefore, totally irrational. Like a value whose fraction keeps repeating ad infinitum."
Well, first 1/3 is a rational number and it repeats ad infinitum 
1/3 = 0.333333333...............................
Oh, and aren't you the one who challenged me with a problem containing this logical loop in the first three parts, with the solution of last step remaining independent from this loop? Here it is with the correct answers underlined:
Q1. Which is the first question where c) is the correct answer

a) Q3
b) Q4
c) Q1
d) Q2

Q2. Which is the first question where a) is the correct answer

a) Q4
b) Q2
c) Q3
d) Q1

Q3. Which is the first question where d) is the correct answer

a) Q1
b) Q2
c) Q4
d) Q3
So don't you find yourself with an intense contradiction here?
Robert Wendell Added Oct 29, 2013 - 7:29pm
Quoting Kenneth Davis:
"I am not sure you understood my comment on the ambiguity of the test. I got it right based on the evidence you posted, however I simply meant that while we can come to a logical conclusion based on the evidence, we cannot know for sure the true answer since we do not have omniscience in reality."
Well, Kenneth, I still don't understand. Your statement here clears up nothing for me. Do you consider omniscience necessary for finding a correct answer to 2+2 = ? 
A = B if and only if B = D
D = C and B = C
So does A = B? Of course it does. B = D because both D and B equal C, which means they equal each other. Since B = D, then A= B, since the first statement said A = B if and only if B = D. So do I have to be omniscient to know that this is the only correct answer to this? The problem I posed is no different in principle than this, so there is a uniquely correct answer and no one has to be omniscient to figure that out. So I don't have a clue why you say this and what bearing it has on anything real. I believe in intuition, by the way. It is responsible for a massive number of scientific breakthroughs, but after you get the answer with intuition, you have to be able to confirm it with more than mere intuition.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 29, 2013 - 8:59pm
I thank those who have contributed positive comments and questions. The blatant insincerity of most of the rest has nothing to do with being right or wrong. It is simply the very transparent lack of sincere truth seeking. So many comments are in this sense so blatantly insincere it raises a moral stench in the nostrils. I'm through with these empty accusations and substance-less arguments that amount to nothing except restatements of dogma.
Contrary to most of these comments, my article contains no dogma, but scientific facts and clear, valid, logical arguments based on them. If there is anything wrong with anything other than a conclusion you don't happen to like, anything wrong with the facts or the arguments, either show specifically what you think is wrong with that fact or argument or get out of the discussion. Restating dogma does not constitute discussion. You show me where I state dogma rather than presenting an argument. Dogma provides nothing anyone can intelligently deal with, so it's useless. Arguments give you something to deal with.
If you refuse to deal with the supporting scientific facts about the proven behavior of greenhouse gases, the solubility of CO(2) in water and its relationship to temperature, etc., or the logic based on these facts, then you are just restating dogma while idiotically accusing me of that. So enough! Deal with the science and the arguments or get out of the discussion. If you're incompetent to do that, that's you're problem; not mine.
All readers who see this comment, please take note of the following comments from those who respond and note whether or not they address any scientific facts presented or any of the arguments based on them. If any comment fails to do this, or fails to specifically show where I fail to do this in the article, then it is nothing but regurgitated dogma...a badge of well deserved shame for those shameless ones who wear it.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 29, 2013 - 9:21pm
@ Halling - I'm not impressed with your credentials. I'm technically knowledgeable in physics and electronics and I can't count the number of engineers and even PhDs in science who merely parrot knowledge they essentially learned by rote and have little to no depth at all or understanding of first principles. I'm impressed by the ability to understand basic scientific facts and reason from them in a valid way. If you want to discuss my arguments, then address them rather than spewing out a bunch of nonsense you gleaned from who knows where. Don't just look at my arguments. Go to a real source of scientific knowledge from specialists on the subject and deal with that, too. Here's a place you can start:
Robert Wendell Added Oct 29, 2013 - 9:58pm
Here's another important link:
Some deniers cite our inability to predict the weather for even a few days out as cause for doubt about long-term climate change prediction. This is invalid on its face...a comparison between apples and oranges. You cannot predict with any precision all the local movements in the air turbulence around a fast moving vehicle. It is very chaotic and no algorithm or computer is currently up to that task. However, it is a simple matter to predict that the net air flow around the vehicle at 75 mph is going to be 75 mph. That is the simple and what should be the obvious difference between local weather forecasting and long term climate change modeling. And contrary to popular opinion, there are some computer models of climate that have been forward tested (not looked at retrospectively) over many years that have been highly accurate. IN that regard, see the following:
I don't see any deniers here referencing any credible sources of anything, including those who claim to be scientists and engineers. I include Halling in this statement because his link points to a source that is laughable and credible only to those how impressed by doctors, infotech specialists, people with only B.S. and B.A. degrees, etc. in other unrelated fields. I give him some credit, however, even for this half vast attempt at providing some kind of source. Nonetheless, this is a petition loaded with purely stupid hack work that would only impress the extremely naive. Here is a real source of credible information on peer-reviewed studies:
Robin the red breasted songster Added Oct 30, 2013 - 3:06am

Over the last 35 years the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. However global temperatures have been increasing. Since the sun and climate are going in opposite directions, it is reasonable to conclude that the sun cannot be the cause of recent global warming.

The only way to blame the sun for the current rise in temperatures is by cherry picking the data. Big oil has, I am sure, funded a number of quasi scientific projects to do just that.

On the question of how long have we been concerned about C02 emissions causing warming.  You dispute my statement that we are "50 years" down the track.  Look to the English scientist Callendar's work in 1938.   That is not 50 years, I agree.  It is nearly 80 years ago.    The Canadian Gilbert Plass expanded on this work in the early 1960's... 50 years ago.   When I was a physics student in the early 1970's it was very much a live debate.  We saw nuclear power as the way out... until the Government took fright and chose short termism over the longer term threat to the planet.

And still today we argue.

However some believe that for the planet we are already way too late.   A one time head of the Gaia Foundation said that "we might as well all drive Ferraris... we have already screwed the planet for our descendents."

As a species are we fundamentally unable to help ourselves?
Steve Borsher Added Oct 30, 2013 - 7:56am
If you were referring to my reference to the sun being hotter, IMO, it is effectively hotter; whatever that means.  And that is the answer I would like from the scientists.  If the sun is cooling off, then changes in the atmosphere are allowing more radiation to penetrate, like the thinning of the ozone layer that was, supposedly, caused by CFCs, and the like. CO2 is hardly our only problem up there.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 30, 2013 - 7:57am
I'm still waiting for your solution to the last logic problem I sent you. Recycling the one you did solve doesn't count.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 30, 2013 - 9:49am
Quoting Borsher:
"I'm still waiting for your solution to the last logic problem I sent you. Recycling the one you did solve doesn't count."
Avoiding the issue again? I solved two of your challenges. You solved nothing. The point is you said logical loops are invalid after challenging me with a problem that I solved just fine and it contains a logical loop. Then you just try to skate around that with an irrelevant reply. That characterizes every single one of my detractors and it's fundamentally dishonest! If anyone here wishes to engage me in an honest discussion of this issue, I will honor that. So far I have no takers. Pitiful! Halling pretends to discuss it honestly and comes closer than anyone else except Autumn, who merely asked honest questions and drew an honest conditional conclusions. Halling claims to be technical and scientific, but blatantly cherry picks while making that very accusation and cites a completely off-the-wall-petition.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 30, 2013 - 9:58am
Halling, how the heck do you think the article at that link even remotely supports your statements? Can't you read with even a little comprehension and without incredible cherry picking. The article mentions one maverick scientist with whom hardly any other climate scientist agrees and talks clearly about the greenhouse effect and carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and you ignore that. Good grief. Some education you got. Plugging numbers into memorized equations and getting answers doesn't bestow any ability to think.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 30, 2013 - 10:10am
I did solve your puzzle, based upon logic and experience.  It wasn't my fault you gave "too much information".  That does appear to be a chronic problem with you.
So, for the fourth or fifth time, I will hold an honest discussion with you.  State one, and only one, very specific topic that you want to discuss, and we will focus on that. I know that will be difficult for you, but please try. One very specific topic. Go.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 30, 2013 - 10:19am
Autumn, as you can see, most here do NOT even except that CO(2) is a greenhouse gas or that it's presence in our atmosphere is sufficient to cause global warming. There are even people here who think that because CO(2) is vital for life and naturally exists on the planet, we're just giving it a bad name for no reason.
That is so ridiculous it doesn't even merit a reply, but I'm finally getting to it in my answer to you. Water is essential for life on this planet and at the same time its vapor is an even more powerful greenhouse gas the CO(2). It's a question of how much. Too much CO(2), methane (also much more powerful), and flourocarbons are increasing an overall imbalance that increases surface temperatures on the earth that damages current infrastructure, food production, and whatever other essential components of our current, highly vulnerable life support system. When we get high enough temperatures, we trigger a feedback loop that accelerates temperature increase. For example, too much CO(2) causes temperature rise that puts more water vapor into the air and amplifies the greenhouse effect. That causes ocean water to release even more CO(2) because of the hot Coca-Cola effect. CO(2) is less soluble at higher temperatures and our oceans are very acidic now because they have had to absorb too much CO(2).
There are all kinds of side effects to show this is precisely what is happening. With our satellite technology, we can measure what gases are radiating heat back to the earth. We see that the upper atmosphere is cooling while surface temperatures increase. This alone eliminates the sun as the cause of global warming other than the simple fact that it is the source of all heat on the planet besides geothermal heat from the earth's interior.
Ultimately, the same amount of heat always has to leave as comes in if temperature is not to spiral indefinitely upward. Physics guarantees that all the heat that comes in will leave. The question is at what temperature this equilibrium occurs. That equilibrium temperature is increasing. The know-nothings who talk about CO(2) as beneficial and therefore not harmful could make the same statement about water while they drown in it. It's a totally bogus argument that should be obvious to anyone even remotely competent to discuss the subject. It's all about equilibrium; about balance.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 30, 2013 - 11:24am
You are correct for once. I do not EXCEPT CO2 from greenhouse gases. When you get wound up you do start making silly mistakes. Calm down, and ask me that one very specific question to get our discussion started.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 30, 2013 - 11:41am
Quoting Kenneth:
"What disturbs me about the above statement is the fact that you 'label' discenting arguement as 'blatant insincerity'."
Not true! This is a blatantly false and dishonest reading of what I said and a clear case illustrating the truth of what I did say. Read it again, Kenneth. I explicitly, clearly stated that the blatant insincerity has nothing to do with who is right or wrong. It is the manner in which some discuss whatever issue, and I'm not even referring the name calling. I detect no sincere truth seeking in my detractors, and they are not just disagreeing. There were 23 comments already here before I saw the first one. Most of them were saying nasty things about me for blasting without naming those who in the past, in other articles, have contributed no substance, but merely adamant repetition of unsupported dogma. I support what I say by citing well established facts from respected resources. I do not ignore the arguments of those who disagree with my positions. I address them head on. Where do those who disagree with me do that? Merely restating an opposite opinion does nothing to address my arguments or my data.  They either misrepresent what I've said by either leaving crucial parts of it out, as you just did, or they utterly and completely twist it.
This does not happen repeatedly by accident. It happens when people are so attached to their positions that they resort to whatever underhanded tactics allow them to continue believing whatever they believe. This is not sincere truth seeking. Even if the underhanded tactics are not consciously intended as underhanded, they are clearly the result of a total lack of sincere truth seeking. That is the point. It has nothing to do with your or anyone else's position, but how how you attempt to support it or refute the position with which you disagree.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 30, 2013 - 11:43am
Do you mean you do not accept that CO(2) is a greenhouse gas or that you do not except CO(2) as a greenhouse gas?
Robert Wendell Added Oct 30, 2013 - 11:58am
Quoting Kenneth: 
"Oh, and there is apetition of about 35,000 scientist that disagree with Global Warming and man made catastrophe."
I already pointed out the bogus nature that article at Halling's link. It's an absurd piece of political crap. I also gave a link to a real study of peer-reviewed papers by real experts on the subject. The Skeptical Science site is well known for its rigor in debunking bad science. Their study completely refutes the stupid petition at Halling's link. How somebody who claims to be any kind of scientist could use that link and the other Halling gave to support his position is beyond me.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 30, 2013 - 12:38pm
"Do you mean you do not accept that CO(2) is a greenhouse gas or that you do not except CO(2) as a greenhouse gas?" You first, per your:
"Autumn, as you can see, most here do NOT even except that CO(2) is a greenhouse gas"
Robert Wendell Added Oct 30, 2013 - 3:07pm
@ Halling
In your article you ignore tidal energy, which comes from the gradual reduction in the kinetic energy of the moon's orbit around the earth. It is vastly more significant than energy from the stars. However, it is also constant. So is the small contribution from geothermal energy, so we can discard both as the source of any change in surface temperature if we ignore the relatively short-term effect of atmospheric composition from volcanic eruptions.
The bottom line is simple, as you point out in your article. There is an equilibrium point in the long-term average temperature of the earth at which all the energy coming in will also go back out into space. If some equilibrium temperature did not physically guarantee that what comes in is balanced by what goes out, temperature would increase indefinitely and fry us all. Fortunately, higher temperatures increase the rate at which energy leaves the earth until equilibrium is reached. However, there is nothing to guarantee that this equilibrium temperature will be hospitable to 21st-century civilization and its vital infrastructure.
This temperature is affected by only two fundamental factors:
1. How fast energy is coming into the earth.
2. How how fast energy can leave the earth at any given temperature.
This second factor is determined by both the reflectivity (albedo) of the earth and in the case of lower wavelengths (infrared or IR), how much of it does the atmosphere absorb and radiate back to earth. In other words, the second factor depends on how much resistance the atmosphere offers to energy leaving the earth; how much does it require the temperature to rise in order that the same amount coming in can get back out.
So there are only three points of view possible, ignoring for the moment which is right or wrong:
1. The sun is solely (all puns intended :  ) responsible for climate change, which assumes the atmosphere is essentially stable with regard to how fast energy can leave the earth.
2. While the sun is essentially the only significant variable factor in how much energy enters the earth, the atmospheric constituents change enough to significantly vary the rate at which energy can leave the earth.
3. The temperature is not changing, so both of the previous positions are moot.
AGW deniers assume either 1 or 3 or both. Scientific experts in climate science show clear evidence that 2 is correct. Take your pick, but defend it intelligently with well established facts and valid reasoning or leave the discussion, please.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 30, 2013 - 3:28pm
Spot on.
Leave which discussion, your's or everyone elses's?  Still waiting for that specific question. And you call everyone afraid for not taking you logic challenge. The reason no one took it is because it had too much information, which you dispensed as if you were talking to a bunch of 5 year olds.
Condescending is not a criminal falling out of the sky.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 30, 2013 - 7:20pm
I'll bet Robert believes that the speed of light is constant too, across time and the universe. IMO, scientists find this a convenient approximation, but there is no hard evidence that it is true. It does seem to be true lately and nearby; but 14B years ago, and 14B light years away?  I seriously doubt it.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 30, 2013 - 9:09pm
Time can only be measured against itself via comparisons between sequential phenomena, such as oscillations (whether of pendulums or atoms like cesium). It therefore cannot be said to move or change at any particular rate, since rate is temporally defined. So rate would in this case be consequently circular and therefore meaningless. The same is true of space, by the way. Most theoretical physicists currently believe that neither is fundamental, since there is now strong empirical and theoretical evidence that they aren't, which I will refer to again further below.
From this it clearly follows that we cannot measure past time against current time. This opens the door for some physicists to speculate that time varies with respect to itself over time in a way roughly analogous to the way it varies with respect to itself in Einstein's model in Special and General Relativity. One theory based on this speculates that the alleged Big Bang did not happen 13.7 billion years ago. Instead, it proposed that 13.7 billion years is an illusion based on current time perception and actually represents an asymptotic compression of infinity analogous to cutting your distance from the wall in half each step and so never reaching the wall, but approaching it as you approach infinity.
Another words, time has no beginning (or end). I find this rather compelling, since that theory eliminates the need to postulate the existence of dark matter and energy. It's also interesting that recent relativistic experiments with correlated particles clearly point to the very real possibility that time and space are generated from a deeper, fully unifying level of reality that transcends time and space. This would explain why correlated particles demonstrate non-locality, since they would be connected at a level beyond space-time, so I'm very much open to the idea that the speed of light varies over time, but never within the current time frame.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 30, 2013 - 9:52pm
@ David Durgin - I only blasted those who repeatedly regurgitated their positions without backing them up with any kind of solid evidence or logic and who never addressed my facts or logic in their pretend rebuttals. It only addressed those who do this, so if anyone feels attacked, it is only because they know they do this. I did not aim those comments at anyone else and named no one, so what is your point in saying that?
I do not respect the sincerity of people who ignore others' arguments by simply repeating their own position ad nauseum and attacking as condescending those who call them on this as you're doing in this comment. You and others like you are the only ones calling me an intellectual. I never said such a thing about myself. So where is that coming from?
If you think I'm intelligent, thank you. However, I doubt that you associate intelligence with intellectualism, so exactly what criteria are you using to classify me as an intellectual? I'm literate. I use language well and know how to write without making tons of spelling and grammatical errors. Does that somehow make me a despicable intellectual in your eyes?
I have opinions. I back them up with evidence and logical arguments. Virtually none of my detractors do this, as you also fail to do. Do you dislike me because you somehow feel inferior? I don't know you and have never made any kind of judgment against you unless you count this rebuttal as a personal attack motivated by something other than the baseless crap you just slung at me. It's a judgment against your arguments, so if you want to take that personally, that's your business. You somehow think being a choir director disqualifies me as having anything important to contribute? Are you being condescending about that and my being from Tennessee? Are you a bigot, prejudiced against southerners? Does that mean I don't know anything about anything else besides music? What in your psychology is motivating you to sling all this crap?
I always have a clear, concrete reason for blasting people for circular reasoning, straw man arguments galore (of which there are many right here in these comments), and simply repetitious regurgitation of positions that amount to nothing more productive than saying, "I'm right and you're wrong."
There is nothing sincere about that kind of participation in what otherwise could be productive dialog. You accuse me of having to be right. Well, show me with some compelling evidence and reasoning where I'm not and I will show you how quickly I will change my mind. I have changed my thinking radically over my fairly long lifetime at this point and based on exactly that kind of objective functioning. Have you? Do you just expect me to agree with you and everyone with your apparent mindset because you shout the same opinion again and again? I spent a lifetime learning what I know. I'll be 70 in April. I'm still changing my mind when the evidence and good arguments indicate I should. What criteria do you use to choose your beliefs, or do you just shop for what appeals to you the most and then look for "reasons" that support that?
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 12:09am
@ Borsher - You're right about the "except" versus "accept", which did indeed start with my error. Just a stupid mistake on my part. Didn't notice it until you called me on it. But when I call people on their logical fallacies and non-arguments (just adamantly repeating opinions), they all take it as a personal attack, as apparently you do also.
Your statement about too much information I addressed previously multiple times in the corresponding article. It's bogus and you know it. You never address my rebuttals on that, but simply keep mindlessly repeating the same accusation. That's precisely what I so dislike about the way most disagree with me. It's not the disagreement per se. I can't count the number of times people have disagreed with me and been right. I change my mind instantly. Give me a good, solid reason to do that and I'll change it again. You don't even try, just as most others don't. Too bad. Lousy way to live. Your problem, not mine.
Spartacus Added Oct 31, 2013 - 12:12am
"Time can only be measured against itself..."
That entire comment starting with the above quote summarily re-writes 400 years of science according to Wendell's own theories in which his above words remove all doubt regarding his scientific ignorance.  This is not surprising as AWG'rs enjoy frolicking in their own semi-lucid reality inventing new cause and effect relationships to suit political agendas.  Additionally, I would propose that Wendell's new science does not do any justice to the few reasonable scientific theories climate scientists have formed which at least try to apply 400 years of knowledge.
I would break down each and every fallacious sentence but I would lose at least 20 IQ points in the ensuing debate . . . fearing they could never to be recovered.
Currently, weather models and forecasting can predict with some accuracy up to 10 days . . . no more.  The AWG proponents believe that this limitation can somehow be ignored and we can now predict weather decades from now based on new theories which don't have to be proven to true, they just have to say they are true . . . just like Wendell's own unique scientific manifests.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 12:16am
@ Halling, quoting him:
"You ignored the Physics.  We do not know that the output of the SUN is constant - as AWG Koolaid drinkers believe."
So when did I ever say that and what physics am I ignoring? No intelligent scientist thinks the sun's output is constant. We now can measure it quite precisely from space. We have found correlations with longer-term weather patterns, but not nearly enough to explain the changes in long-term temperature averages. The best models do include the sun's influence and are more accurate as a result. The sun's effect has been counter to global warming in the last large increase in global, long-term temperature averages. 
Steve Borsher Added Oct 31, 2013 - 8:10am
After all our near acrimonious exchanges, you finally hit on something we could reset with, and discuss civilly. Why don't you post that relatively concise comment about time as an article, and we can discuss it there. If you already have, then please point me to it. I have several theories about the universe and humanity that I have reached through though experiments and logic, and I am constantly on the lookout for someone who can disprove them.
"You never address my rebuttals on that, but simply keep mindlessly repeating the same accusation. That's precisely what I so dislike about the way most disagree with me. It's not the disagreement per se."  What you don't see is that that is precisely what you do.  People repeat their disagreements with you, because you never address them directly.  You mostly repeat what you have already said, or use refutable "evidence" to try to bolster your position. You can't prove your point by merely restating it.   I might try to discuss our disagreements a couple times, but then I just give up, because it isn't worth my time. You are the one who feels attacked, and you do not react well to it.  And that does not play out well this venue; mostly, it wastes a lot of everyone's time, and time, whatever it is, is a truly priceless commodity. I will try to find some examples of you doing this, if I have the time.  Maybe others can do it for me.
"Give me a good, solid reason to do that and I'll change it again."  It would help if you would explain your criteria for qualifying as a "good, solid reason" is.  I like discussing one specific point at a time: because you can drill down difference by difference.  That is why I keep asking you to give me one specific point to discuss with you.  Instead, you always bring up multiple items at a time.  I even once picked on to discuss with you, and you never came back on it.  Your criteria for making you change your way of thinking is so specific that no one can figure it out.  My guess at this point is that you will only consider new information if it is delivered by someone you already think may be smarter than you.  And, no one in these threads qualifies; in your thinking. "Too bad. Lousy way to live. Your problem, not mine."
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 8:21am
OK, Steve Borsher, do you understand that CO(2) absorbs infrared (IR) and radiates it back to earth, raising the temperature until the energy going out from earth is equal to that coming in? This is the hot car on a summer day analogy. All the heat is coming from the sun, but the air outside is much cooler than the air inside the car, just as the upper atmosphere is getting cooler while the surface temperatures are getting higher. This is not "too much information". It is one mechanism illustrated with the car example.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 8:36am
@ Stockton - The statement you quote about time is universally accepted among theoretical physicists. It is also trivial and obvious to any who thinks about it even a little. Einstein had to understand that to even begin to consider his theories. His theories are bound to be modified in the future, just as he modifies Newtons' theories, which are a special case of Einstein's theories. If you plug into Einstein's equations the assumptions underlying Newton's theories, you get Newton's equations. That what's "special case" means, or are you even familiar with that elementary idea?
So if you can show me a single example of something against which you can measure time other than something else happening sequentially in time, go ahead and good luck! Your crediting that idea personally to me is highly complimentary while your ignorant derision of it bounces right back to you.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 31, 2013 - 8:53am
Was there something to discuss in there? What does that have to do with too much information in your logic challenge? See, you are mixing things together right there, and making it impossible for me to determine what you are asking, if you are asking anything. If you want me to respond to your statement about the hot car analogy, then please pose the question this way: do you agree or disagree with the hot car analogy as I stated above.  Or do you want me to respond to whether you hot car analogy is too much information? Then please ask that question. By mixing things together the way you just did, you did create an analogous situation to your logic challenge. where you threw in too much information, making it impossible for one to determine exactly what you were asking, or what information and experience to use to answer the challenge properly. But I am sure you still won't see it that way, because you do not see me as smarter than you.  I see us as equals, and am willing to accept (not except) information from you. as long as you state it clearly, concisely, and egolessly.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 9:39am
@ Borsher - Man! You are one over-complicated dude! You asked me to give you one point at a time to discuss and I did. Asked you a simple question that at botton boils down to this:
Do you understand why the air in a closed car on a hot day is much hotter than the air outside the car when the energy from the same sun is heating both. You have a choice. You can either say, "Yes, I understand that, or you can explain why it's true to demonstrate that understanding. One point and you have a choice of how you want to answer it. End of story. Why don't you just get simple and respond to what I wrote instead of the ridiculous confusion your elaborate response indicates? Isn't that exactly the same thing you accuse me of? Just answer the question. That's all. I did my part in complying with your request. The "too much information" part was an obviously futile attempt to preempt that response from you again. Didn't work very well, did it.
So please do us all a favor and ignore all the tripe and just answer the simple question I asked any way you like.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 31, 2013 - 10:11am
"Do you understand why the air in a closed car on a hot day is much hotter than the air outside the car when the energy from the same sun is heating both."
You finally asked a concise and specific question that I can answer, although you still followed it up with uneccessary tripe, ase you called it. Without looking it up, my immediate answer would be that the energy from the sun heats up the air molecules making them move faster.  Because the air is contained in a relatively small volume, the molecules keep colliding and speeding each other up, causing more fiction and increasing the heating effect.  Outside the car, the the air molecules are able to dissipate their energy by colliding with a larger number of slower molecules. And this would be particularly true on a breezy day. Now, that may just be the local explanation.  If you are also asking why the air outside never reaches the same temperature as the air inside the car, it is because the sun eventually sets, allowing the molecules to slow down again.
As a separate note, when my now 11 year old grandson was 6, I asked him the same question.  He replied it was because my truck was black.  His question was also correct; partially.
Jeff Kunkel Added Oct 31, 2013 - 10:47am
Wow! 490 views, 90 comments and counting!  While our plutocracy has us all right where it wants us with this mammoth, irreconcilable issue, I propose we add further emotion-evoking, chaos-inducing, dividing issues to this thread, such as same sex marriage, women's reproductive rights, healthcare reform, immigration reform, the XL Pipeline, fracking, abuses of Walmart and Apple workers, not to mention "Save the Sea Turtles."  Meanwhile, while we all bicker among ourselves, the plutocrats can continue sneaking through their self-serving/American-screwing legislation like "Citizens United," buying out government, hiding RFID chip technology legislation in Obamacare,  building up our military, inviting the Chinese military to train on U.S. soil, installing more FEMA camps, eliminating the middle-class through further American-screwing, destructive trade agreements like the "Trans-Pacific Partnership" (TPP), censoring our internet, controlling our information, and making $trillions of dollars disappear on Wall Street.
"Divide and Conquer!"  "Create chaos and profit!"  It's "The American Way!" 
Jeff Kunkel Added Oct 31, 2013 - 11:03am
Thanks, David Durgin.  I forgot to mention "Destroying our education system."  Stupid people are easier for plutocrats to control.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 31, 2013 - 11:15am
Wow, and people accuse me of going off topic.  Jeff, why don't you make an article of your comment, so we can all discuss it there.  Your sentiments will ultimately be lost in this thread. How to fix the gumment is one of my favorite topics, but I won't get into discussing it here.  When you post that article, why not propose one or more potential solutions, and I will be glad to chime in.  If you already posted such an article and are merely trying to advertise it here, then point me to it.  And let me know if and when you do post it, as I don't have the time right now to go searching. Thanks.
Jeff Kunkel Added Oct 31, 2013 - 11:37am
Hi Steve Borsher.  Funny.  I think I'm totally on topic.  If I do post such an article, it will have to be when I have time.  I'd anticipate that I'd have a lot to answer to.  It appears we've got a lot of conservatives, here, and I'm more aligned with George Carlin's political ideologies.  But, thanks for your advice and offer!
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 11:41am
@ Durgin - Apparently you missed Mr. Kunkel's first comment on this page, which contrasts enormously with yours.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 11:51am
Quoting Borsher:
"You finally asked a concise and specific question that I can answer,..."
That's exactly the same question I had asked in the previous comment, or don't you get that? Your reading comprehension is a true marvel. Also, you just demonstrated your total lack of understanding of the greenhouse effect as it applies to closed cars on hot days. The light that goes into the car heats up the interior surfaces, which upon becoming hot, radiate low-wavelength infrared, which cannot get back out through the glass. That is not the whole picture, but a big part of it. The sun also heats the body of the car and would heat a black body even more. This also gets both conducted and radiated into the interior as infrared and again cannot get back out through the glass while visible light has no trouble getting in. If you enclosed the same amount of air with nothing inside that would heat up and convert the light energy to infrared and enclosed it with a material that would pass the all the energy that went in back out, the temperature would be no different from that on the outside, so your explanation that the molecules are trapped in an enclosure has nothing to do with anything and is completely off the mark.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 11:58am
@ Borsher - This greenhouse effect is so elementary and so completely essential to the issue under discussion that if you don't understand that, you have absolutely no basis upon which to even discuss the subject. This is true of the vast majority of AGW deniers. So they have no choice but to either learn a little basic science or depend completely on whomever they arbitrarily pick as an authority and simply parrot whatever they say. That's most of what's going on with this issue, which should not be a political issue in the first place.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 12:17pm
@ All AGW deniers:
No one who fails to understand how closed cars on hot days or greenhouses work can possibly understand anything essential to the discussion of AGW or any of the scientific arguments in my article. So what in the heck makes you think you have anything to say about this issue except what you parrot from political sources? I preempted in my article most of the disagreements in comments here, as I previously stated. I can only assume that the comments that the article itself had already answered came from people who did not bother to read my article. Predictably, because the article is clearly supporting the reality of AGW right from the beginning, most who pretend to disagree did not think it worth reading.
Consequently, they don't even understand what it is they are disagreeing with at any level at all deeper than merely disbelieving in global warming. If you refuse to follow arguments supporting anything you don't believe in, how can you possibly ever grow in any understanding of anything beyond what you already believe? Have any of you ever stopped to ask yourself that question?
The most popular in terms of followers among the well-known AGW deniers is Pat Michaels, who refused to testify in a Vermont court case because he would be forced to reveal who funds the AGW denial operation upon which his livelihood depends. Here's the link, which I had already posted in an earlier comment here, but was typically ignored by those who relish evading reality:
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 12:21pm
Joy, I predict that most, if not all of the deniers here fail to accept any need for anything you're proposing.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 31, 2013 - 12:26pm
Once again you are discussing something entirely different from what you asked me. You did not ask me to explain the greenhouse effect; you asked me: "Do you understand why the air in a closed car on a hot day is much hotter than the air outside the car when the energy from the same sun is heating both."  You made the assumption that I would relate that to whatever you think is the greenhouse effect. You did not even ask me to explain it. I could have just answered: "yes".
I did answer your question correctly. The sun heats up the air inside.  It does not matter how it heats it up. It does not matter how the sun's energy it transferred to the air molecules/ The inside of the car is hot because of the air molecules, not because of the interior surfaces.  Have you never gotten in a car on a sunny day and opened the doors to let the air out?  Sure. the surfaces may be hot, and you might have to sit on a towel, but once you let the hot air out, the air inside the car is no longer hot. Energy got transferred to the air that originated from the sun.  If you wanted a completely detailed explanation of how that happened, then you should have asked for it.  You are the one who gives too much information all the time; not me.  Here is something else you won't understand in terms of yourself:
"An intelligent person can adequately explain complicated issues to another intelligent person; a very intelligent person can adequately explain complicated issues to a 3 year old; and within the 3 year old's attention span."
Steve Borsher Added Oct 31, 2013 - 12:30pm
I also suggest that you post that question as a separate article, so that we can all respond to it directly, without having to slog through the muck and mire that has accumulate here. That is a very good question and I would like to address it. Point to it with a comment after you do.  I would very much like to see this forum become a discussion place for all such ideas.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 12:40pm
For anyone who is seriously interested in a reliable source of information on climate change, here are three links to articles on the American Institute of Physics site:
Steve Borsher Added Oct 31, 2013 - 12:40pm
I have participated in many threads in the WSJ and NYT, and such discussions often end up this way.  That usually happens when the topics are not well focused, and others bring up unrelated topics because of their specific agendas.  That is why I keep proposing that anyone who has anyhing important to say, and I think we all do, should start a new article, stating outlining their specific thoughts, and offering potential solutions that we can all discuss and add to.  The problem with discussing Robert's articles, is that he has already formed an intractable opinion, and is not looking for information from others from which to learn; he is merely looking for others' opinions to ridicule. He will go as far as he can to try to make another person appear to be wrong, even to the point of making himself look as ridiculous as he thinks everyone else is. When he goes off on those tangents, I picture Biden in that absurd "debate" with Ryan: throwing his hands up in the air, in mock wonderment of why everyone doesn't completely agree with him, and spouting unsubstantiated "evidence" to back up his statements.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 12:56pm
@ All those who are not seriously interested in reliable information -
What sources of scientific information do you choose to follow?
Are they really scientific?
If so, how do you know they are not like Pat Michael's site, biased by the sources of his funding by fossil fuel interests?
Do you ever read scientific journals, even popular ones such as Discovery Magazine, Science Magazine, or better, Scientific American? Do you ever watch shows like Nova on PBS?

In other words, do you ever pay any attention to sources that do not necessarily support your position.?

Did you really read my article?

If so, did you even understand the scientific arguments at all?

If you don't read anything but what supports your opinion, didn't read my article, then you are guilty of what you accuse me of: not listening to the other side. If you never watch or listen to scientific programs, you don't even know about the plastic island in the middle and just below the surface of the Pacific ocean that is larger than the state of Texas. You don't know that many sea creatures have become sexually crossed from eating and absorbing these plastics. You don't know anything about what's really going on in the environment or happening to it because you only listen to those who pretend these problems don't exist and you may even agree with Halling that people who care about the environment are evil.
Jeff Kunkel Added Oct 31, 2013 - 12:58pm
Hey, Guys.  I'm not a scientist.  I'm a musician.  As such, I'm not in a position to argue scientific specifics.  But, I am astute on the subject of "Mass Mind Control."  As so few people control all that is important to us, including information (ie. Rupert Murdoch), I don't think it's unreasonable to think those few people are organized, and are hep to controlling people's thinking.  We create "thought environments" around other people every day to get what we want (for example, salespeople).  When we wear suits to job interviews, we influence potential employers' impressions of us.  As such, I don't think it's unreasonable to think that Mind Control can be imposed upon the masses and that plutocrats---leadership in general---are hep to this.  I cannot say whether, or not there is any merit to AGW.  What I am trying to communicate is that, plutocratically, it doesn't matter.  As we can see from this thread, the subject of AGW is an excellent tool (as well as those others I mentioned) for plutocrats to use to divide the American people; in effect, to control our thinking.  They know damned good and well that "...divided we fall."  And, they use that strategy to acquire power and control.
Irrespective of AGW, I think we should all take care of our individual environments and, thus, take care of the world.  Germany is the cleanest, "Green-ist" country I've visited thus far.  I don't know if they have large scale legislation for protecting their environment.  But, of the many Germans with whom I communicate, they're all ecologically aware.  And, when I was there, I saw everyone taking care of their homes and surrounding areas, whether they owned the property, or not.  They were all trying to be as ecologically aware and responsible as possible.  It's a whole different mentality one would expect from a country much, much older than the U.S.  There seems to be a greater, long-term concern and respect for future generations.  And, that's all I can really say about AGW: 1) I think we should take care of our planet based on what we know and not ignore potential dangers, and 2) It's obviously being used as a political weapon for creating division among the American people.  
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 1:10pm
Durgin, before you answer a comment, do a searchon Kunkel and find his first comment. He liked the article, and stated clearly that he didn't disagree with anything I said in it. He said it was well presented. You don't even bother to check that out, or if you did, you just ignored it? How can you pretend to discuss anything with anything remotely resembling sincerity with that kind of MO (modus operandi, not Missouri).
Steve Borsher Added Oct 31, 2013 - 1:16pm
Just because a website is funded by sector money does not necessarily make their information unreliable. I am probably more a cynic than you are, but I never automatically dismiss any information just because of its source. Even the National Enquirer had its 15 minutes of fame. The trick is to use your experience and logic to validate the information, along with correlating it to other information you already validated.  Nothing can be trusted in a vacuum.  If you want me to read opinions based upon other sources, you must first tell me how you validated those sources.  I typically don't bother to cite my sources of information when I first issue an opinion; but I am prepared to supply them if requested.
Steve Borsher Added Oct 31, 2013 - 1:19pm
Germany treats its people with respect and dignity.  They learned the hard way from Hitler on how not to treat people.  The lesson has stuck. How will we teach our own politicians the same lesson?
Mike Haluska Added Oct 31, 2013 - 3:33pm
Mr. Wendell - With all due respect, your assertion about the funding source of a website determines its truthfulness is specious.  You assume that a government funded website is somehow more "objective" or reliable.  Where is it written that Political Self Interest is somehow NOBLER than Economic Self Interest?  If Goebbels had access to the internet would you deem his websites more unbiased because they're "government websites"?
As I stated before, AGW is fundamentally flawed because it is NOT the result of Scientific Method, for the following reasons:
1) AGW proponents start with a conclusion (man causes GW) and then looks for data to support the conclusion.  This is the Ass-Backward - not SM.
2) AGW advocates substitute "correlation" for "causality" (CO2).  In the case of CO2, they have somehow managed to put "effect" before "cause".  I can produce a neat chart showing "Nut gathering by squirrels" vs "Leaves changing colors" and AGW advocates would conclude that squirrels gathering nuts causes leaves to change colors!
3) The tool used by ALL AGW advocates to predict climate change is being mis-applied and the AGW advocates KNOW it.  All computerized forecasting systems are based on linear programming algorithms.  They can model linear, deterministic systems (like electrical resistance vs temperature) but are utterly USELESS for modeling non-linear, non-deterministic, sensitive to initial condition systems like the climate, stock market, earthquake activity, solar flares, etc.  Look up Dr. Edward Lorenz and educate yourself
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 5:58pm
@ Haluska - The AIP is a government funded organization?...since when? What does Goebbels have to do with the U.S. government? Are you equating the two? Who told you that the scientific community started out with the assumption of AGW and then sought to prove it? What is your source for that?...Faux Muse or some other similar source that does just what you accuse scientists of doing?
Did you bother to read the history of research at the AIP site on the issue and see how it evolved as new knowledge came to light? Science has been, at different times, on both sides of this issue, and now has come down on the side of AGW and some of you jerks use that against them instead of recognizing that the level of knowledge changes and scientists, unlike you and those like you, are honest enough to change their minds when the evidence requires it. How much money do you think the fossil fuel industry has and does puts into marketing anti-AGW propaganda as opposed to government grants to scientists, not nearly all of whom get government grants or even work in this country? The financial incentives for scientists to promote anti-AGW propaganda far outweigh those for scientists who seriously research the subject, yet most scientists have enough integrity not to go with the corrupt side of this issue. In short, your head is on upside down. Of course, I already knew that from all your previous cow poop in other articles. Answer my questions or PLEASE LEAVE!
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 6:03pm
@ Haluska - I bet you didn't even read my article and follow the arguments in it or you would have realized I already addressed you comment in the article itself. In your rebuttal you say nothing to address those arguments or what you find wrong with them. Don't bother to comment on my articles if you're not willing to read them in the first place. If you did read this one, specifically address the arguments in it instead of making broad, unsupported statements that my article already debunked.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 9:34pm
@ David Durgin, quoting him:
 I agree with a single point which a man makes does not mean I have to agree with all of his points. I respect the intelligence of the people I speak to until they prove that assumption untrue."
You're right and I apologize. I misunderstood your intent and I don't like it when others do that to me, so I owe you a double apology.
Robert Wendell Added Oct 31, 2013 - 11:02pm
Quoting Borsher:
"You made the assumption that I would relate that to whatever you think is the greenhouse effect. You did not even ask me to explain it. I could have just answered: 'yes'."
Yes, you could have. Why didn't you? A "yes" would have not been true, though. I indeed did assume you would relate the greenhouse effect to the car example. I even used that example in the article to illustrate the greenhouse effect with something everyone has experienced. If  you can't even relate the car example to the greenhouse effect all by yourself, then you have no business saying "yes" to the first form in which I asked the exactly the same question from the point of view of the science involved. Even if you're so lacking in scientific knowledge, if you read my article with any understanding I had already made the connection for you. Did you even read the article? I don't understand how people think they can discuss a subject like this without reading the article unless they already have that kind of basic scientific knowledge; knowledge you can even get from watching science programs on TV or reading science publications aimed at laypeople. If you don't have enough scientific curiosity to acquire that kind of high school science and you can't even understand my article, how do you pretend to yourself that you can discuss this topic intelligently? That's what I don't understand about most of the people dissenting here. The ones who know some science, even claim to have worked with it professionally, are so biased they can't even apply it intelligently to this issue, such as their claims may actually be. I've personally worked with enough cookbook engineers and applied science people, though, to know their academic credentials don't necessarily mean diddly. Some of them can't think their way out of a bear's bathroom. All they can do is run numbers through formulas they either memorized or looked up in a scientific reference.
The Russian engineers I've worked with were a very different story, though. They knew everything...not just their own field, but just about everybody else's and they  understood the underlying principles so they didn't have to have worked in a particular area yesterday to know what they were doing. They were very flexible and incredibly knowledgeable. They put most of our engineers to shame. I don't know why we're so different in that regard. We have some like that, too, of course, but they are much fewer and much farther between.
Jeff Kunkel Added Nov 1, 2013 - 6:35am
Hi Robert.  In your Oct 31, 2013 - 11:02pm comment regarding Russian engineers with whom you've worked, you stated, "They knew everything...not just their own field, but just about everybody else's and they  understood the underlying principles so they didn't have to have worked in a particular area yesterday to know what they were doing. They were very flexible and incredibly knowledgeable. They put most of our engineers to shame. I don't know why we're so different in that regard. We have some like that, too, of course, but they are much fewer and much farther between."

I don't know if I have "The" answer to your question.  But, I think I have "An" answer, which I think is "Specialization."  

I have an old friend who was a heart surgeon.  He was no slouch in his field.  He graduated with his B.S. as the "Harvard Honor Student," got to spend a year studying at Cambridge, and lived that year in the same dormitory room as JFK did when JFK was the Harvard Honor Student.  He went on to get his Ph.D and did heart transplants, artificial heart installations, and all kinds of cardiological miracles.  He was a very accomplished physician by American standards.  I have a cousin who, about 25-years ago, was very ill with some kind of endocrine problem.  None of her doctors could figure out what was wrong with her.  I remember talking to my friend about my cousin to see if he had any answers.  His reply was, "I don't know.  I only do hearts."  As a non-physician, I thought his answer was peculiar.  I thought, doesn't the human body function as a system?  How can one take into account only one part of the body without considering its effects on all the other parts, and vise-versa?  He was not blowing me off with a short answer.  He was a passionate teacher by nature and would have taken the time to share his knowledge with me if he had it.  But, he honestly didn't know.

Perhaps the scientists here will think I'm a screwball.  But, I enjoy studying the magical grimoires of antiquity; those written before WWII and on back to the 15th-century (and just to remind any of you, Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was an alchemist and astrologer).  Most of the theurgists/magicians/authors of those grimoires are European, or Americans relocated from Europe.  Granted, they were limited to the available knowledge of their days.  But, what impresses me most about their writing is their breadth and depth of knowledge in so many diverse fields.  They truly were "Renaissance Men."

I have another friend who was the Chief Medical Officer of a fairly large pharmaceutical company located in the city where I live.  Back in 1995, the company was conducting 85% of its research in the U.S.  For some reason, it had contracted a laboratory in Poland to do the research on some compound it was developing.  My friend travelled to Poland to check on their research.  His story was heart-warming.  He told me, when he arrived at the laboratory, it looked like a shelled out, small, low to the ground cinder block building.  The scientists, there, were using computers that were entirely out-dated by the, then, current standards.  But, he said, when he sat down to go over their research, he started welling up with tears; it was so excellent and thorough; superior in quality to what his company was getting from American laboratories.  

When he returned, he shared his experience with his colleagues.  At that point, the company decided that, by 1998, it would be conducting 85% of its research outside the U.S.  Their complaints about American laboratories were "Entitlement Issues" and "Shotty Research."

The point I'm getting at is that I'm not confident we have the caliber of intellectuals---and by that, I mean the all-encompassing mindsets---of thinkers from days of yore.  And, I'm certain we don't have as many of them in the U.S. as their are in Europe and other parts of the world (ie. Asia).

My father has a heart condition and has to visit physicians regularly.  When something comes up, first he has to go to his general practitioner, who refers him to a "specialist," who usually cannot make the diagnosis and refers him to another specialist, and on, and on...

While I think the trend in the U.S. has been toward "Specialization" in most every profession over the past several decades, I think the "Renaissance Man" mentality is still alive and well in other parts of the world.

So, for whatever it's worth...

Steve Borsher Added Nov 1, 2013 - 7:42am
"I don't know why we're so different in that regard."  There was a time when  we were that way.  Back in the 80s we were buying various pieces of hardware from Japan.  I met with their top software engineers, and, at that time, they could not figure out how to effectively program the hardware they could build.  Maybe that was because they were just stealing the basic hardware designs from US.  Anyway, I was able to do things with their hardware that they never dreamed of. Today, the Asians are eating our lunch in all things electronic. I think of it as the "eye of the tiger" and/or Avis effect: they had the will to try harder.  We are now fat and lazy compared to Asians and Russians.  The West is no longer the best.
Steve Borsher Added Nov 1, 2013 - 9:11am
"5)  The increase in biomass will continue and accelerate, ultimately bringing CO2 back to pre industrial levels, i.e. this is an inherently stable system."
Yes, according to a show I watched about the formation of the Earth's bio-system, using Australian sites as examples, we owe our atmosphere to bacteria: cyanobacteria. I think that no matter what happens to the Earth, the atmosphere will be regenerated again, because the bacteria will be the last to go.  We could be on our way to the second generation; assuming that science is correct about the timing of the first one.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 1, 2013 - 9:23am
I think you're right, Jeff. The question for me is why. I have some ideas about that. My father was a generalist. He was a child prodigy as a musician (as was my mother and my sister, who is a prodigiously talented performer now). My father also taught chemistry and physics. He taught us science and bought us all kinds of interesting scientific toys from our earliest years and explained to us how they worked even when we were in the early grades of elementary school.
My brothers and I complained about our teachers and how narrow and conventional-minded they were, but we had no idea how lucky we were compared to what most kids get today. So I think our problem is education and family environment. Kids today slavishly follow the pop trends of their peers like sheep while rebelling against their parents. Even their non-conformity with traditional values manifests as conformity with non-traditional values. We were taught to disdain that. We showed no interest in our day in thinking and acting the same way all our peers were.
The mindset that results from the kind of conformity that I see in our educational environment, which includes the influence of all the other kids and their electronic toys and Internet interactions, is manifest here, too. Durgin puts me down as pretentious about my physics knowledge because I'm a choir director from Tennessee. Just witness the kind of box that puts me in. I've done everything from load and unload trucks on docks in Chicago for McCleans, Terminal Transport, Roadway, etc., shipped out as a merchant seaman, taught school, worked in electronics for ten years, worked in soil science for a U.S. agricultural firm in Latin America, got a prize for the highest grade in my college physics section, scored post-graduate level in reading comprehension in the seventh grade, scored in the 99+ percentile on my GRA exams after graduating, etc. I've worked in software tech support, was a very successful recruiter of avionics contract engineers (no "head hunting"), etc. I teach voice, I improvise jazz, I speak several languages. I have a keen interest in comparative religion and early Christian history. I've been meditating daily for over forty years. We were trained to be generalists, mostly by our family environment. We resented the way most school teachers tried to box our thinking in.
The Russians I mentioned, like your Polish example, apparently had very poor physical resources compared to ours. They had to make do with what they had and became very clever and creative at doing that. The electronics engineers knew mechanical engineering and vice versa. Their Russian software experts knew the hardware down to the bare metal and laughed at the relative incompetence of not only their American counterparts, but the people who put so many bugs in the operating systems. Some of what one of them did required him to maintain frequent contact with the operating system designers to correct their bugs so he could do what he needed to do. He expressed frequent disgust with the "stupid bugs" he kept running into.
I also once read a book on astrophysics, the evolution of stars, etc. that was originally in Russian. It was pretty technical, but very readable by any interested layman with a good background in basic science. I found out it was very popular in the Soviet Union in the original Russian. Such a book wouldn't have the chance of an ice cube in a volcanic lava flow for popularity here in the U.S. Hardly any "everyday" U.S. citizen would tolerate the rigor required to follow the simple but extensive technical content of that book. I notice that many of those commenting on my articles like this one have no idea what they're talking about scientifically, but nonetheless boldly pronounce their positions as if they were experts. If any bother to only defend them at all, they do it by referring you to links, but never discuss the actual science except to either pan or praise it, depending on whether it supports their position. Yet we live in a highly scientific age. Much of our best technical and scientific talent is imported from India or China now. That is not sustainable in the long run.
Steve Borsher Added Nov 1, 2013 - 9:39am
"So I think our problem is education and family environment."
Another great topic for a separate article and discussion.
Steve Borsher Added Nov 1, 2013 - 11:53am
I just stumbled on this, so to speak, in a reread:
"Man! You are one over-complicated dude!"
I'm actually very easy to understand if you look at everything I do logically. Maybe you don't have the depth of stack necessary to understand me. "Inconceivable", you would most likely say; as did Vizzini in Princess Bride, once too often.  If you want help, I will be glad to interpret myself, so you can fully understand me. I used to hate being misunderstood, but I had another epiphany recently that ended that. I know the reasons for everything I do. My grandsons often ask me the same question, and I explain why I did what I did to them, as a very intelligent person might do. Logic can teach logic.
Steve Borsher Added Nov 1, 2013 - 3:39pm
I agree with you that the population growth, or maybe even the current population level, is unsustainable.  I really wonder what the situation in 50 years will be. Probably man eat man.  But even a small population in an area that cannot produce produce is unworkable.  You might enjoy this comedy routine by the late Sam Kinison on that; please mind and excuse some of the language within.
Steve Borsher Added Nov 1, 2013 - 4:54pm
I am all for helping people in trouble, and getting them permanently out of harm's way. I am not for helping people stay in harm's way, as the insurance companies have done for years in this country, subsidizing houses in forests and hillsides; for instance.  Just because there is space for people does not mean they should live there.  As soon as there is a problem, they MUST be made to relocate. If there are too many people in an hostile envirronment, then nature should be allowed to take its course.  The govenrments, government being the wrong word, is supposed to be a facilitator, a better word, not a nanny; and to handle wide area problems. Each individual chooses their environment themselves, and should take full responsibility for that choice.  Parents who mindlessly have children that they can't support, MUST be stopped.  We had a Zero population Growth initiative back in the 60s. Most likely, the politicians put an end to that.  China expects to reach it by 2030. They see the writing on the wall.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 1, 2013 - 9:07pm
Anthony Simeone quoting me (Robert):
"First, I would like to take time to correct a statement by Robert which I do not expect he will take personally. When referring to AGW, the A stands for Anthropogenic: Caused by humans: anthropogenic degradation of the environment."
No, I don't take this personally at all. On the contrary, I appreciate the correction and am about to correct it. Some here have copied my error unfortunately, so I apologize for misleading terminology that has caused others to imitate my error.
I thought "anthropogenic" was what I had said and failed to even understand what you were talking about until I tried to find more than one instance of the correct word and was unable to. When I searched on "anthro" alone, I found mine and others' mistakes in repeating it. I often use the word "anthropomorphic" in discussions of religious fundamentalism that postulates a god who looks a lot like us when "he" looks in a mirror because of a literal and blatantly materialistic idea of what "made in the image of God" means. I'm so used to typing that word that I guess it just came out that way automatically. Thanks for the correction, Anthony! I'll fix that now.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 1, 2013 - 9:18pm
Quoting Haluska:
"Mr. Wendell - With all due respect, your assertion about the funding source of a website determines its truthfulness is specious.  You assume that a government funded website is somehow more "objective" or reliable."
Uh, duh, don't you think there might be a slight oversight here regarding enormous conflicts of interest? Alternative energy, especially whatever sense of urgency there is behind it, is motivated largely by AGW. It represents a very highly disruptive technology for the fossil fuel industry. They poor tons of money into slowing it down, even as some of them claim to be working on developing it (very slowly). Witness Exxon's advertisements, which always add the caveat that it's going to take a very long time before their research is going to come up with anything commercially viable. I find your comment either unbelievably naive or highly disingenuous.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 2, 2013 - 7:48am
@ Borsher - The fact remains that you didn't even connect the car example with "whatever you think is the greenhouse effect". Your language is peculiar and somewhat entertaining. You seem to pin the greenhouse effect and what it is on MY thinking? This is a very elementary high school science concept. Your inability to instantly connect the car example with the greenhouse effect indicates clearly that you were, and may still be for all I know, completely clueless about what it is. You read my comments and seem to skip over the whole first part and have to reread it to even notice the "over-complicated dude" part. I don't see how you can follow any logic or scientific argument of any kind with that kind of rigor, or rather, total lack of it. Pray tell, what do you find different about "whatever you [I] think is the greenhouse effect" and how the whole scientific world defines it if you even understand enough to be able to answer that? The comment about "over-complicated" referred to your apparent inability to simply focus on the simple, single question you requested to the point of not even noticing that I had asked it and your dancing all around the ring of rosy in your next comment as a result.
Steve Borsher Added Nov 2, 2013 - 8:44am
"Necessity is the mother of invention"; and action.  Let's continue to hope that things can be fixed when it becomes "necessary" to fix them.
Steve Borsher Added Nov 2, 2013 - 8:48am
Speaking of pinning things on people, how much did it make you feel better to spread your blame for misusing "anthropomorphic"?
"When I searched on "anthro" alone, I found mine and others' mistakes in repeating it."
BTW, I did not use that word. I specifically referred to it as MGW.
Steve Borsher Added Nov 2, 2013 - 9:48am
My position on all of that is, as stated elsewhere (or maybe here too), that the politicians are the main roadblock in the path to getting any improvements accomplished. Solving the problem of the political environment in this country, and much of the rest of the world, is the first step to solving the problem of the all other environments on the planet.  In the current political environment, improvements must be of the type that will greatly benefit the politicians; and their vision is extremely short sighted and narrow. Solving the political problems is my #1 focus these days. Nothing much will happen until then, IMO.
All that said, I am fully aware of the environmental problems you mentioned. It took billions of years, supposedly, to reach the delicate balance on this planet that supports intelligent life. Very few people appreciate the probabilistic miracle that is Earth. It used to be said that driving a car was not a right, but a privilege. Living on this planet is the ultimate privilege. Yet, few honor that privilege; the politicians being the worst example of such.  And the bad examples set by the politicians have trickled down to the rest of the population. The Earth is a very fragile ecosystem, but, since its problems do not manifest themsleves within the attention span of most humans, they go unnoticed or unacknowledged.  And very few people want to make sacrificies on mere "scientific" predictions; I admit I am one of them. But some things are obvious, like the impact of plastic. I am so glad that recycling of the flimsy plastic has started here.  I do what I can to help, and I have been an avid recycler since the beginning.
All seriousness aside, watch this:
Steve Borsher Added Nov 2, 2013 - 10:54am
I did not say that people should move to other countries; although that is one of their options.  It still comes down to politics.  A country's "government" as the facilitator it should be, has the responsibility to make the country livable, and to provide infrastructure for its citizens.  In the case of many countries, the politicians suck up all the resources and just let the people starve.  People living in that sort of environment should not have children at all, as there is no hope.  Yes, we were lucky enough to have been born here, but even that luck is running out.  I saw all this coming and did my best to prepare for it.  I am very much surprised that there is still social security money left for me to collect. It makes for a much better retirement than I was expecting.  That could still come to an end at any time.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 2, 2013 - 10:57am
Quoting Borsher:
"Speaking of pinning things on people, how much did it make you feel better to spread your blame for misusing 'anthropomorphic'?"
Borsher quoting me (Robert):
"When I searched on 'anthro' alone, I found mine and others' mistakes in repeating it."
Wow, man! You're really getting desperate, aren't you? I was apologizing for having used the wrong word and influencing others to make the same mistake! I guess you once more indulged your habit of skipping important parts missing completely the previous paragraph? I quote myself:
"No, I don't take this personally at all. On the contrary, I appreciate the correction and am about to correct it. Some here have copied my error unfortunately, so I apologize for misleading terminology that has caused others to imitate my error."
Maybe it's time for you to apologize for something. There's plenty for you to apologize for, that's for sure. I'm not eagerly searching for things to find wrong with what you say, contrary to what you apparently think. I just don't like ridiculously false reasoning and unjustifiable assertions to go by unanswered. You do indeed provide plenty of that. You just throw tons of silly stuff like this at me. I'm through with this kind of banter with you. I'm just going to delete your comments from now on unless it's an apology of some kind.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 2, 2013 - 11:10am
Borsher, if you want to call me haughty for my vigorous response to other peoples' haughty manner in promoting pitifully bad reasoning and unjustifiable assertions, that's too bad. I deleted your comment, since it was about as sincere as your desire for honest discussion and integrity in seeking truth as all the rest of your comments. I truly pity anyone who ever had to work for you if you ever managed anything.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 2, 2013 - 1:00pm
Mr. Wendell - please stop assuming that your position is axiomatically unassailable just because you say so.  I think you are incredibly naive to believe AGW websites are unbiased!  If the NSF took away the grant money for this nonsense these parasites would move on to some other "cause" they think they could bullshit the American public into getting alarmed about - just 30 years ago when these people were predicting we should be living in an Ice Age today! 
I don't work for the oil companies, I have no dog in this fight.  I am a Registered Professional Engineer with 30 years of experience and I know when someone is sidestepping Scientific Method and hiding from peer review and criticism.  Did Einstein ever declare "the debate is over regarding Relativity"
Robert Wendell Added Nov 2, 2013 - 5:07pm
Quoting Haluska:
"I know when someone is sidestepping Scientific Method and hiding from peer review and criticism. Did Einstein ever declare "the debate is over regarding Relativity"?"
First, Einstein's theories are comprehensive theoretical structures that are quite general models used to accurately relate natural phenomena and allow us to calculate these phenomena accurately, The models are not these phenomena and do not pretend to be "true". AGW is a either a phenomenon that exists or not. To affirm or deny that it exists is not a theory, but a hypothesis. Hypotheses have truth value. They are either true or false. I don't assume AGW is true, but I give it a 95% chance of proving true in the not very distant future and am firmly convinced that to bet against it is a very bad idea.

Theoretical models only exist conceptually and are valuable because they have explanatory power, but they don't have any truth value. Einsteins' theories are even more accurate than Newton's, yet are based on assumptions that directly contradict Newton's. But in small space domains, Einstein's theories are too unnecessarily complicated, since Newton's theories work just fine in that kind of application. I bet as an engineer so proud of his 30 years of experience this sounds like gibberish to you, but it is fundamental to having any depth at all in the sciences.
Einstein's and Newton's theories are based on assumptions that are completely opposed to each other, yet Newton's appears true at small scales while Einstein's work more comprehensively. In fact, Newton's theories are contained within Einstein's as a special case. That means if you plug Newton's assumptions into Einstein's equations, you get Newton's equations. This is because a special case theory can appear to be "true" everywhere locally, but nowhere true comprehensively. This is precisely the case with Newtonian theory, while Einstein's work much more comprehensively.

So it should be obvious it makes no sense to talk about true or not when it comes to theoretical models. An even more general theory than Einstein's is bound to come along and make both Einstein's and Newton's theories special cases of an even more general, more comprehensively accurate model. We'll still use Newton's for most local, practical purposes, however, because it's much simpler and highly accurate in that context. "Accurate" doesn't mean "true". You can't have two theories based on opposing assumptions with one contained within the other and still talk legitimately about their being "true". Theory evolves.

On the other hand, whether or not my eyes are blue does have truth value. It is a phenomenon. Phenomena either exist or not and so have truth value. The problem with your rhetoric is you don't seem to notice you're comparing apples to oranges. AGW is a phenomenon that will either become manifestly and measurably obvious or or not, and that has nothing to do with anyone's theory OR hypothesis. It is an eventually verifiable fact that it does or does not exist. To assume it does or it doesn't is not a "theory" but a"hypothesis", which is an utterly different matter. AGW is a hypothesis with a ton of evidence, both direct and theoretical, to substantiate it, whether you believe that or not. However, no matter who's right and whether as a hypothesis it is true or not is an entirely different matter from whether a theory is "true" or not, since theories have neither positive nor negative truth value. No serious scientist who knows more than cookbook science assigns truth value to theoretical models or confuses them with hypotheses.
So maybe you need to get it that engineers are not scientists and working with science as an engineer doesn't necessarily imply any depth of understanding. Your conflation of theory and hypothesis clearly indicates you don't have much. The popular use of the term""theory" is very unscientific. So-called "conspiracy theories" are not theories at all, but hypotheses. This idea of theory is a naive lay concept that has nothing to do with science. Ignorance of that is ignorance of science at a very fundamental level.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 2, 2013 - 5:24pm
Quoting Haluska again:
"I know when someone is sidestepping Scientific Method and hiding from peer review and criticism."
So what tells you that specifically, other than someones else's declaration that it's so? I already answered the following bogus comparison of yours with Einstein's theories, which demonstrated an extremely naive comparison of apples and oranges. Now back up the first part. I provided a link to an article on the long history of the AGW argument showing that scientists have come down on both sides of this at different times. It gives you something solid to chew on. Have fun picking it apart, if you can, but without cherry picking and without ignoring the context of the whole article. Making your own baseless affirmations to the contrary gets us nowhere, so pick with the science only with a solid basis in established scientific principle and valid logic or forget it. Repeating positions is equivalent to merely saying, "I'm right and you're wrong!" That's what you people accuse me of. Not much value in that. So don't do what you complain about when you pretend I'm doing it. Here it is again for your convenience:
Mike Haluska Added Nov 3, 2013 - 7:33am
Here are my responses to your 3 questions:
1) 400 PARTS PER BILLION (supposed concentration of CO2) is insufficient for frakkin' LEAD to retain enough heat to affect the Earth's temperature! 
2) Ever heard of PHOTOSYNTHESIS?  Thank God we (humans and animal life) add CO2 so plants can survive and process it into O2 and glucose - without which LIFE ON EARTH IS IMPOSSIBLE!!!
3) The Earth's temperature has increased .... and decreased, then increased .... for MILLIONS of years before human existed!
Please learn the difference between correlation and cause-effect!  All the AGW data shows CO2 rising AFTER temperature went up.  Did the CO2 molecules get together and build little Time Machines and go back in time to raise temperature?
Mike Haluska Added Nov 3, 2013 - 7:47am
Here's the problem I have with Wendell and other AGW proponents:  They want ME to pay TAXES to finance THEIR "research", completely upset the Free Market system with a One World Planned Economy, throw millions of people out of work, go back to the Stone Age, fund the Solyndras of the world, etc.
For 40 years I have been listening to this hysteria.  According to their "scientists" predictions from the early 70's we should be in an Ice Age because CO2 would block the Sun.  Then when that didn't materialize they switched to "Global Warming" and Florida was supposed to be under the Atlantic by now, currently their data is showing indications of cooling the last few years and they renamed their cause "Climate Change" - that covers all the bases doesn't it?
This is simply the deliberate hysteria of a group of parasitical pseudo-scientists pandering to the fear of an ignorant public in hopes of securing more research grants and political power - period!
Robert Wendell Added Nov 3, 2013 - 12:56pm
@ Hluska - Where do you get this kind of "information". What are your sources...politicians and their proxies in the media? Your comments are full of scientific naivete. How do you know the changing positions of scientists aren't due to their integrity that it takes to change your mind when the evidence shows you were wrong? Your interpretation is not scientific at all. It is purely political. All your "scientific" objections have already been thoroughly debunked both in the my article and the links I've provide there and in my comments, but I bet you haven't bothered because you're so sure you're right, the very thing you accuse me of. You exhibit a psychology that shops for opinions that appeal to you and then find "reasons" to justify them.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 3, 2013 - 2:26pm
@ Ken Mapp - You make some good points, although a bit oversimplified. They ignore the essential issue of feedback loops. Most people automatically assume that temperature will increase, if at all, in direct portion to increases in greenhouse gases. Feedback makes the response to increases in long-term average surface temperature about as proportional (linear) as the relationship of a microphone distance from a speaker in a PA system. There are trigger points (some say tipping points) at which things take off very rapidly, and in the case of the earth, quickly become irreversible.
Haluska ignores that the tiny fraction of the atmosphere CO(2) represents has an effect that is quite easily calculated with great precision. That kind of thing is the really basic and easy part, yet he doesn't have enough scientific knowledge to know that we are easily capable of very precisely calculating that one little piece of the problem. We even do it with other planets. I guess he doesn't has no idea of what the field of planetary science is capable of.  Of the very few scientists who remain skeptical of AGW, none of them would support his argument that the amount is too small to have any greenhouse effect, or that we are unable to calculate that with precision. They argue instead that there are other factors that counteract this effect. (I'm assuming real, honest-to-God scientists here.) Haluska apparently doesn't even understand the most convincing arguments against AGW. I do. I was, for a time, on the other side of this issue.
I had not considered cloud cover and its effect on albedo, the earth's reflectivity. Clouds send a lot of solar light back out into space right away. They have a cooling effect on the planet. There is increased cloud cover when cosmic rays are strong. When there is a lot of sunspot activity on the sun, the sun's magnetic field is strong and blocks more cosmic rays from the earth.
Cosmic rays cause tiny particles in the atmosphere to become electrically charged and clump together to attract moisture. Decreases in cosmic rays due to increased sunspot activity causes global cloud cover to decrease with high sunspot activity. This means things get hotter on earth.
When I learned of some few scientists who were AGW skeptics and who cited these facts to counter the greenhouse hypothesis, I became convinced for a while that AGW was not human-caused, and would not escalate due to feedback loops. This was quite a long time ago, a couple of decades, I would guess. However, with our modern space technology and the ability to measure these effects with incredible precision today, this cannot in any way explain the long term increase in average global temperature. In fact, since around 1980 the solar part of this has been in the cooling direction while long-term average global temperature have continued to climb. The last decade is not long-term average temperature. Decade-long downturns are as common in this context as they are in a bull market.
Ken quoting me:
"So you give people an intelligence test that consists of one logic puzzle.  Only 3 people respond.  The fact that more people don’t somehow proves that your opponents can’t think.  I don’t think I can buy that. "
Hmmm...I would never say that the learned, cultivated skill of using valid logical reasoning processes and critical thinking are a measure of intelligence. It requires intelligence, but doesn't represent it. Learning to play an instrument truly well requires intelligence, too, but who would use that as a measure of intelligence? All those who have never learned to play would fail miserable to show any.
So, you must have got this idea from someone else's comments. I had hoped that people of all political persuasions would enjoy the challenge and try to solve it. I was disappointed. It is interesting, however, that all those who so passionately disagree with me use such bad logic. I did want to see whether they would try, but I honestly didn't expect many if any to do so.
They have even made clear implications in their comments that they think logic is somehow irrelevant. They passionately shout their positions again and again. If that fails to convince me, they ironically accuse me of thinking I just have to be right all the time. They rarely if ever even address my logic as if they were, once again, irrelevant.
The only conclusion I can draw from this is they think we all just have opinions and that's it, None of them are actually justifiable using reliable information and logic. I wonder how they think we developed all the technology we have with this kind of thinking. They also seem to feel they have a right to think their positions are right, but I don't. They can be passionate about the correctness of their opinions withou
Robert Wendell Added Nov 3, 2013 - 2:27pm
...without supporting them with "irrelevant" facts and logic, but I can't
be firm in my convictions based on relevant, solid facts and valid logic. If I am firm, I'm just a hopeless victim of my
bull-headed thinking even though they never make any rational attempts to give me a good, solid reason to change my mind.
Yes, they seem to think I should change my mind without any good, solid reason to do so and remain absolutely blind to the
illogical double standard they apply to me versus themselves.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 3, 2013 - 2:49pm
@ All - Take a look at this cited from the article at the link provided:
By the early 21st century, however, evidence of connections between solar activity and weather was strengthening. Extremely accurate satellite measurements spanning most of the globe revealed a distinct correlation between sea-surface temperatures and the eleven-year solar cycle. The effect was tiny, not even a tenth of a degree Celsius, but it was undeniable. Similarly weak but clear effects were detected in the atmosphere near the surface and, somewhat stronger, in the thin upper atmosphere.(56a) The practical significance of these effects was minor — after all, if the sunspot cycle had a truly powerful effect on weather, somebody would have proved it much earlier. The new findings, however, did pose an important challenge to computer modelers. A climate model could no longer be considered entirely satisfactory unless it could reproduce these faint, but theoretically significant, decade-scale cycles.
Rough limits could now be set on the extent of the Sun's influence. For average sunspot activity decreased after 1980, and on the whole, solar activity had not increased during the half-century since 1950. As for cosmic rays, they had been measured since the 1950s and likewise showed no long-term trend. The continuing satellite measurements of the solar constant found it cycling within narrow limits, scarcely one part in a thousand. Yet the global temperature rise that had resumed in the 1970s was accelerating at a record-breaking pace, chalking up a total of 0.8°C of warming since the late 19th century. It seemed impossible to explain that using the Sun alone, without invoking greenhouse gases. "Over the past 20 years," a group reviewing the data reported in 2007, "all the trends in the Sun that could have had an influence on the Earth's climate have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global mean temperatures." It was a stroke of good luck that the rise of solar activity since the 19th century halted in the 1960s. For if solar activity had continued to rise, global temperatures might have climbed slightly faster — but scientists would have had a much harder job identifying greenhouse gases as the main cause of the global warming.
The most advanced computer modeling groups did manage to reproduce the faint influence of the sunspot cycle on climate. Their calculations showed that since the 1970s that influence had been overtaken by the rising effects of greenhouse gases. The modelers got a good match to maps of the climate changes observed over the past century, but only if they included the effects of the gases, and not if they tried to attribute it all to the Sun. For example, if they put in only an increase of solar activity, the results showed a warmer stratosphere. Adding in the greenhouse effect made for stratospheric cooling (since the gases trapped heat closer to the surface). And cooling was what the observations showed.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 3, 2013 - 2:57pm
@ All - The citation above was taken from the Website of the American Institute of Physics. Unless you believe in a total lack of scientific integrity in this community and have delusions that they are all involved in a leftist co-conspiracy with the government in attempts to establish socialism with green technology subsidies as Haluska and others assert, this is a highly reliable source of scientific information. The members of this institute are responsible historically for the discovery of many of the principles underlying the development of a major part of the technology we use daily,
Robert Wendell Added Nov 3, 2013 - 3:11pm
@ All - By the way, I said in a recent comment that decade-long downturns are as common in the long-term global average temperature of the earth as they are in a bull market. The last decade has not even been a downturn, but merely flat, sideways movement, as they say in the markets. Yet the deniers are rejoicing that somehow this proves global warming is not even happening, let alone human-caused.
I addressed this very clearly in the article, but notice how they repeat that position without even addressing the preemptive rebuttal in the article. This is precisely what I'm talking about. They don't even bother to read or process anything from the other side of the argument, or they simply ignore it, yet accuse others of being bull-headed and needing to be always right.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 3, 2013 - 5:28pm
Mr. Wendell - produce all the articles you wish.  I know for a fact that non-linear, non-deterministic complex systems like the Earth's climate CANNOT be modeled with linear programming any more than you can divide by zero. 
It can be mathematically shown that you could have precise data sensors 1 meter apart (longitude/latitude/altitude) all over the Earth and a computer powerful enough to process the data instantly and you would have no increase in forecast reliability!  Go read about Dr Lorenz' experiment in the 60's that gave us the insight into complex system behaviour - especially Sensitivity to Initial Conditions
You could run one of your forecasts, go back and re-run it with a 0.0001 difference in initial temperature and get COMPLETELY DIFFERENT RESULTS!  The AGW gang realized this early on and found out they could fiddle with input data until they got a forecast that fit their hypothesis.  That's what you call Scientific Method????   
Robert Wendell Added Nov 3, 2013 - 6:09pm
@ Haluska - AGW doesn't require weather forecasting. Long-term average global temperature forecasting for the earth is much simpler. Are you ignoring the 75 mph car example? One of the arguments AGW deniers love to use is that we can't sample the average long-term global temperature well enough to have accurate data on it.
So thank you for your very cogent rebuttal of that argument in your middle paragraph above. You also are ignoring that the equilibrium point for long-term average global temperature is determined very simply by how much energy comes into the earth from the sun and how much can get back out at q given temperature. That is a very much simpler situation than predicting local weather patterns, again referring to the 75 mph car example. You're doing the exact logical equivalent of assuming that we have to be able to calculate all the local turbulence patterns around a car moving at that speed to know that the average speed of movement of air over the car is 75 mph toward the rear.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 3, 2013 - 11:12pm
@ Haluska - I just now saw this in one of the huge library of comments that has accumulated here. Quoting you:
" The amount of energy provided by the Sun DWARFS anything produced by humans.  Saying humans cause the Earth's temperature to rise is like saying the ocean's temperature rises when somebody urinates in it!"
Do you even begin to realize how utterly scientifically absurd that statement is? You are directly saying that an enormous amount of energy cannot be controlled by anything that is in comparison a vanishingly small amount energy. Well, I used to engineer for a radio station and with a flick of a finger I was able to completely shut off an enormous amount of energy going to our antenna. Clouds reflect light right back out into space, cooling the earth below. That represents much greater amounts of energy still. If the earth were a polished mirror, it would absorb an extremely small fraction of the solar energy impacting it. In fact, one side of the earth never receives direct light from the sun and this is accomplished by the angular momentum of the earth with essentially no expenditure of energy at all or the earth would wind down and eventually burn up on one side. You pretend to know  something about science and then make a statement like this? Do you realize how absurdly inapplicable your urinating into the ocean analogy is? This would be laughable if it weren't so pitiful. You just completely disqualified yourself as having anything useful to add to any scientific discussion of any kind no matter what credentials you claim. If you really have any such credentials, whoever provided them to you would probably want to disclaim you that after this one.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 4, 2013 - 7:36am
I will put my engineering degree from Purdue University, Registered Professional Engineer's License and 30 years experience in the real world against your credentials any day.  If you read the papers, lots of folks from some little school back east called MIT are saying the same thing as me.
Your example of cloud cover affecting the Earth's surface temperature makes my point for me.  In comparison to cloud cover (water vapor),  CO2 is INSIGNIFICANT.  And would you please get off of the 75mph car kick!  If you can't predict the main variable in the linear equation (solar output), how the hell are you going to put out a meaningful forecast?
Here's what this ridiculous debate is all about.  A group of people who want to feel morally superior to the rest of us need a "cause" to show their "enlightened state of mind" against the evil Capitalist Pigs.  A bunch of opportunistic "scientists" desperately in need of grant funds come to the rescue and ignore valid Scientific Method by starting with a conclusion then searching only for data that supports their conclusion.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 4, 2013 - 8:16am
Nathan - you make a valid point but your selection of adjectives leaves much to be desired.  Please review (or research) the concept of "significant digits/relative significance".  The "accuracy" and "precision" of calculations based on constantly varying, very limited data sample over a huge population (Earth surface area, atmosphere, mass, etc) is speculative, at best.  Just because you can precisely write an entropy equation doesn't mean that it can overcome crappy input data.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 4, 2013 - 8:51am
@ Haluska & Kelley- Haluska, I don't care one whit about those credentials. You're not backing them up with your thinking. Your urination analogy is a pitiful joke and any engineer or scientist with any real feel for either engineering or science would never make a comparison so stupid. If what you say is true concerning them, you're a cookbook engineer who can't think his way out of a bear's bathroom. You can't see the forest for the trees. You don't even get it when I spell it out for you.
Nathan, you're ignoring the forest, too. All those points you mention about variables are moot if we can measure the resulting amount of CO(2) in atmosphere. We even know how much humans put out and how much stays. The rest is going into ocean water and killing our coral reefs with acidity or aren't you aware of that? What are either of you aware of except YOUR political agenda and YOUR foregone conclusions that apparently make you impervious to any sensible understanding of data? Nathan, we have incredibly accurate solar output measurements. We know the variations are miniscule compared to the effects of greenhouse gases. If you believe this is not true, read again the paragraphs quoted from the article above. If you don't believe we can measure these things, then show me a credible source (e.g., MIT) that refutes that (not something else irrelevant to this point). You two remind me of the folks who think our trip to the moon was produced in Hollywood.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 4, 2013 - 9:06am
@ Haluska, quoiting you:
" I know for a fact that non-linear, non-deterministic complex systems like the Earth's climate CANNOT be modeled with linear programming any more than you can divide by zero."
Congratulations on having made a true statement! Too bad it's completely irrelevant, though. Who said the computer models assume linearity? You? This is just another silly non-issue that you try to make important in the minds of others as ignorant of real science as you.
I sat by a person in of my physics classes who made straight A's by taking detailed notes of everything and memorizing them. We had paired desks and this person was my desk partner. I found out fairly quickly that this straight A student understood NOTHING. It was all rote memory with near-zero understanding of underlying principles. Welcome to that club! You qualify in spades.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 4, 2013 - 9:19am
Mr. Wendell, you are embarrassing yourself.  There is NO SUCH THING as a non-linear computer model!  That's why you can't predict the location of an electron, or any other multi-variable system with any variable having an exponent other than 1.  You can try and APPROXIMATE a non-linear system with a linear model, the problem is accuracy falls off the table in very short order. 
By the way, NOBODY gets an "A" in Physics using just "rote memory".  There are too many scenarios to try and memorize them all, that's why studying previous exams is a waste of time.  Sound like you just resent a brilliant guy because he was a lot smarter, that's all. 
Mike Haluska Added Nov 4, 2013 - 10:32am
So much for "The debate is over" ... here you go:
Top MIT scientist: Newest UN climate report is ‘hilariously’ flawed
1:27 PM  09/29/2013

 Not all scientists are panicking about rel="nofollow">global  warming — one of  them finds the alarmism “hilarious.”

A top rel="nofollow">climate scientist  from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology lambasted a new report by the UN’s climate bureaucracy that blamed mankind as the main cause of global  warming and whitewashed the fact that there has been a hiatus in warming for the  last 15 years.
“I think that the latest IPCC report has truly sunk to level of hilarious  incoherence,” Dr. Richard Lindzen rel="nofollow" target="_blank">told Climate Depot, a rel="nofollow">global warming  skeptic news site. “They are proclaiming increased confidence in their models as  the discrepancies between their models and observations increase.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on rel="nofollow">Climate  Change claimed it  was 95 percent sure that global warming was mainly driven by human burning of  fossil fuels that produce greenhouse gases. The I.P.C.C. also glossed over the  fact that the Earth has not warmed in the past 15 years, arguing that the heat  was absorbed by the ocean.
“Their excuse for the absence of warming over the past 17 years is that the  heat is hiding in the deep ocean,” Lindzen added. “However, this is rel="nofollow">simply an  admission that the models fail to simulate the exchanges of heat between the  surface layers and the deeper oceans.”
“However, it is this heat transport that plays a major role in natural  internal variability of climate, and the IPCC assertions that observed warming  can be attributed to man depend crucially on their assertion that these models  accurately simulate natural internal variability,” Lindzen continued. “Thus,  they now, somewhat obscurely, admit that their crucial assumption was totally  unjustified.”
Scientists have been struggling to explain the 15-year hiatus in global  warming, and governments have been urging them to whitewash the fact that  temperatures have not been rising because such rel="nofollow">data would  impact the upcoming climate negotiations in 2015.
The Associated Press obtained documents that show the rel="nofollow">Obama administration and some European governments pressured UN climate scientists to  downplay or even omit data that shows the world hasn’t warmed in over a  decade.

Read more:
Robert Wendell Added Nov 4, 2013 - 11:40am
@ Haluska - I don't give a hoot about the IPPC report. That's a political organization and the lull in temperature increase is not a decrease, even though decreases in the long move upward are perfectly normal and expected. I haven't paid any attention at all to the IPCC report and that't NOT where I get my information.
So you have a right to ignore my articles, but your articles are "proof" that you're right? double standard there, I see. This is one man who happens to be at MIT. This has become a political issue, but it is in fact at bottom a scientific one. You have already demonstrated way beyond the call of duty that you don't have a scientific mind.. I don't care how much education or experience in engineering you've had, you've proved here that you don't really understand even simple science. Anyone who does and even many who don't can easily see that for themselves. I've had contact with many engineers who can do any kind of nuts and bolts stuff they've recently had experience with, but their ability to transfer that ability to other technical scenarios was quite poor because they didn't really understand what the were doing. That's if you really are an engineer. The comments you've made here make me wonder; they truly do.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 4, 2013 - 11:51am
Mr. Wendell - I just went to your profile and checked your credentials.  You are a MUSIC major who dabbled in physics, which means you took
"PHYS 101A - Physics for Liberal Arts Majors" 
You took a 100,000 foot overview of a subject the mathematics of which you haven't a clue.  You never took ACTUAL calculus, differential equations, mechanics of moving objects, statics, chemistry, organic chemistry or basically ANY full courses on anything technical.  I don't know a Renoir from a Monet but I at least have the common sense and respect for those who do to not criticize, debate or pose as an "expert".  You would be wise to emulate this behavior when it comes to science.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 4, 2013 - 1:43pm
@ Detlev - Good points, Detlev. I appreciate your kind words.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 4, 2013 - 3:03pm
Please specify where "in our human past track record" humans have caused Florida to go under water, Los Angelino's to freeze to death, tornadoes in NYC, and all the other hyper-nonsense you describe. 
You know, not every modification to the environment by man has resulted in permanent disaster.  In the Great Plains states inedible sawgrass once grew in fields where now enormous crops grow that feed most of the world's population.  Manhattan and Chicago were once useless swamps.  The energy of Niagara Falls provides clean power to the eastern seaboard.  If you fly over the continental United States you can look out the window and see vast areas of land unaltered by man.  Since trees make lousy food, you'll have a hard time convincing hungry South American peasants that replacing some of the Rain Forest with crops is a bad thing to do.    
Even when we screwed up like the Dust Bowl of the 30's, technology and Mother Nature managed to make things right again.  We are intelligent creatures fully capable of learning from our past mistakes.  Let's focus on real problems and dismiss the past 40 years of AGW hysteria as just that.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 4, 2013 - 4:13pm
@ Haluska - You're making a lot of false assumptions again, Haluska. I majored in physics and math for two years and then switched to music because I was disgusted with the physics department. I received a substantial award in physics for the highest grades, though. I worked in electronics for ten years and had a First Class Commercial Radiotelephone Operator's License back when the FCC required that.
I was the top trouble shooter for a major audio firm, including outboard Dolby units for open reel tape decks that involved both DC and audio feedback loops that interacted and required a different kind of thinking from circuits in the usual serial configuration. This was all analog stuff. I had two thousand hours of lab experience when I graduated from high school because I was able to get in all my college prep courses and still study electronics at the electronics school that had been integrated into the school system. I knew semiconductor chemistry and physics as well as vacuum tube physics when I graduated from high school. We even covered tunnel diode applications.
You also ignore that formal education is never necessarily the whole story. In my case it is not even close. I've been following developments in theoretical physics ever since my college days. I never lost my interest in physics, among a lot of other things. More importantly, I know how to make distinctions you seem to be completely clueless about. If you think the pissing in the ocean analogy has any connection with solar energy and the ability of greenhouse gases to trap it you are beyond hope regarding any real understanding of these issues.
Whatever your education put in there, it's all scrambled up in a conceptual jungle and you're getting cow poop for output. Why do think I should respect your credentials when your understanding of the most simple principles is so whacked out? Please don't pretend I'm claiming that AGW is a simple issue. I'm merely stating that you cannot see or refuse to see a simple thing like how your analogy fails to connect at all in terms of principle with the solar energy/CO(2) phenomenon. To appreciate the difference is ridiculously simple, but you don't get it. That is pitifully incompetent for any genuine scientific understanding of pretty much anything. I judge you by the quality of your output. That has nothing to do with AGW or who's right or wrong about that. It also has nothing to do with formal credentials. It's about basic understanding of trivially simple principles.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 4, 2013 - 4:27pm
By the way, I wouldn't be so strident with you if you weren't so haughty, condescending, and strident with your clueless attacks on the arguments I present. Your whole "logic" is based on the assumption of a political conspiracy among almost the entire community of climate scientists and scientists in a wide swath of closely related disciplines. Your "scientific" logic is conspicuously flawed right down to the most elementary concepts, your much-touted credentials notwithstanding.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 5, 2013 - 11:05am
Thanks Mr. Birkhead!  There is perhaps 50 years of accurate global weather data available.  In geological terms that is a blink of an eye.  Trying to forecast climate (which takes 10's of thousands of years to shift) with 50 years of data is like watching 3 frames in the 2nd reel of a 3 reel movie and trying to predict how the movie will end.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 5, 2013 - 12:27pm
@ Birkhead, quoting you:
"You know the old "hockey stick" phenomena?  What a crock!"
So we don't know how to measure the average long term global temperature of the earth? What is your source for that? Did you read the following in Haluska's comment above?
"It can be mathematically shown that you could have precise data sensors 1 meter apart (longitude/latitude/altitude) all over the Earth and a computer powerful enough to process the data instantly and you would have no increase in forecast reliability!  Go read about Dr Lorenz' experiment in the 60's that gave us the insight into complex system behaviour - especially Sensitivity to Initial Conditions."
Then my reply:
" One of the arguments AGW deniers love to use is that we can't sample the average long-term global temperature well enough to have accurate data on it.
"So thank you for your very cogent rebuttal of that argument in your middle paragraph above. You also are ignoring that the equilibrium point for long-term average global temperature is determined very simply by how much energy comes into the earth from the sun and how much can get back out at a given temperature."
So Lee, if you can't address the physical arguments intelligently, but simply want to come in here and blabber about whatever you think about the politics of AGW, please don't bother. I could just laugh at Einstein's theories and say it's a bunch of bunk because time doesn't change like that and time and space are completely separate issues that have nothing to do with each other until I'm blue in the face and what would that prove? His theories seem to defy common sense, as quantum physics does also, but they both have generated technology we would have never had without them.
Your GPS navigator wouldn't work if both Einstein's theories of Special and General Relativity were not taken into account in calculating your position. It's all determined by reference clocks whose timing is critical, but affected by both theories. The Special theory is needed because the relative speed of the satellites involved are a significant fraction of the speed of light, which changes the inertial frame. That means both time and space are changed with relation to yours. Also the satellites are much higher in the earth's gravitational field, which also affects the inertial frame and invokes the General theory. His mathematics is what allows us to calculate these effects so very precisely to eliminate the errors that would these effects would otherwise cause.
So I could just say about Einstein's theories, "What a crock!" But what use is that kind of cow poop? Try saying something intelligent that contributes to the discussion. You don't have to agree with me to do that and it would put you head and shoulders above the rest.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 5, 2013 - 12:28pm
By the way, "phenomena" is plural. The singular is "phenomenon".
Mike Haluska Added Nov 5, 2013 - 2:16pm
Mr. Wendell - Please tell me the number of years, that if no substantial (outside normal fluctuation) and permanent changes in the Earth's climate you will finally admit you were wrong.  There's little point in arguing with you, so I will just wait.  I am 58 years old, so how about a number within a normal life expectancy?
Robert Wendell Added Nov 5, 2013 - 2:17pm
@ Birkhead and quoting myself in a previous comment:
"IR is infrared radiation, which has longer wavelengths than visible light. If all light entering the atmosphere were merely reflected back out into space (albedo), there would be virtually no net gain in energy on the earth. However, we all know the earth's surface, both land and water, absorb solar energy and warm up as a result. This energy is slowly radiated back into the atmosphere as low wavelength IR, which does not all get back out into space, since CO(2) and any other gases with three or more molecules, includng water vapor, captures some of the energy and radiates it back, increasing temperature at the surface, whether water or land. In the case of water, it causes an increase in water vapor in the atmosphere. Since water vapor is an even more powerful greenhouse gas than CO(2), this amplifies the effect of any additional CO(2)."
So you ignore that this is about balance and trigger points in feedback loops? You ignore that this is intrinsically highly non-linear? You ignore that the amount of water is constant and recycles, but has no long-term net increase in the atmosphere? You ignore that we can use air bubbles in cores that go back over 500,000 years and see exactly how much CO(2) was in the atmosphere during ice ages and tropical years? You ignore that we know that this time atmospheric CO(2) increase is leading temperature increase when every time in the past, temperature led CO(2)? You're ignoring that the current CO(2) increase is happening at roughly 100 times the rate it ever happened before? You're ignoring that exceedingly small changes can switch huge amount of energy flow?
Do you need the same potential energy represented by the water behind Hoover Dam to convert it into kinetic energy that powers industry and homes over a large region? Compare the amount of energy it takes to switch that on to the amount of energy you switched on and maybe you will admit it's comparatively insignificant? If you're half the engineer you claim to be, you know it makes no sense to deny that!
So why don't you explain to everyone specifically why your statements about how the small quantities of atmospheric CO(2) are to small to upset the energy balance at a given temperature and cause it to rise? Why don't you explain specifically why CO(2) doesn't cause the temperature to rise enough to release more CO(2) in solution in ocean water and multiply its effect, not to mention vaporizing more of our unchanging water supply to create the much stronger greenhouse effect of water vapor? Why don't you explain how a stable amount of water on the planet can cause long-term changes in climate unless the amount in the atmosphere is triggered by something else? Why don't you explain all this without cherry picking little pieces of the puzzle and basing your entire argument on a fraction of the total picture as you just did?
So that's a lot of ignoring you're doing with your simplistic statements. It's also a lot of explaining needed to justify them. Let's see how much real science you know, Mr. Engineer, by actually addressing these issues instead of evading the science and the logic by merely repeating your positions and citing little pieces of the picture in isolation. If you think an electronic circuit would still work if you just put one tiny little crack in a circuit board conductor, then maybe your arguments can work, too? You think? Huh?
Robert Wendell Added Nov 5, 2013 - 2:23pm
Haluska, I boldly predict that within ten years you will either know that you were wrong or we'll have technology that made the whole thing moot. Even in the latter case, I suspect that what we've already done will manifest strongly enough in spite of the technology that you will still know you were wrong. It might be even less than ten years, unless you're as impervious to clear observation as you are to facts and logic.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 5, 2013 - 2:50pm
@ Haluska - I bet, though, with the mentality you demonstrate here, you will not be man enough to admit you were ever this vehement in expressing your opposition to the reality.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 5, 2013 - 3:42pm
Mr. Wendell, you sound like Kreskin!  You BOLDLY predict that either:
a) global warming catastrophe will have occurred within 10 years
b) if nothing happens, it is because of the foresight, courage and intelligence of people like you that saved my ass
This looks suspiciously like "Heads You Win, Tails I Lose" ....  You must be tower of Jell-O to make such bold predictions!  Of course, if you applied your "10 Year Window" to the past 40 years of gloom and doom forecasts you would have eaten crow 4 times by now.  And you wonder where your credibility went ???
Mike Haluska Added Nov 5, 2013 - 3:53pm
Mr. Wendell:
By the way, what "technology" do you envision being invented in the next 10 years to stave off disaster?  Let me guess:
   - A giant thermostat installed on the Sun?
   - 40 billion airborne CO2 scrubbers in low Earth orbit?
   - a humongous retractable "moonroof" that allows thermal energy to   escape back to space?
    - new government program that rations exhaling to humans under the age of 7?
    - surgically implanted Lithium Hydroxide canisters? (careful - you don't want to mix up the round canisters with the square ones like they did on Apollo 13!
Robert Wendell Added Nov 5, 2013 - 5:07pm
Haluska & Kelley - You're both already copping out while you accuse me of it. I didn't leave an escape route. I'm only saying alternative energy and a consequently huge reversal in our CO(2) output could conceivably stave off AGW enough to reduce its effects, since that after all that is my whole purpose in discussing the subject. You two don't seem to admit of any possibility that we can do something about it if it's real. Well, if you're right, you will have been proved doubly wrong. That is a stupid loophole, so you're already hedging your bets as I predicted.
People like you are politically threatening the possibility for preventing AGW, but I am enough of an optimist to think you're not going to win this one. The rest of the world is not full of as many suckers for nutty right-wing propaganda as you and those like you. We're going to have to compete, so even if you win here, you will lose for the country. Too bad for us, Good for the world. Hope you don't win here. Think you probably won't, but that's very "iffy".
I notice Birkhead just spewed out more of this content-free trash talk and failed to address any of the arguments in my article or my reply to him. Every one you here has refused to address any argument of mine head on. You come up with separate arguments that YOU seem to think prove your positions correct, but never dissect my arguments piece by piece as I do yours. There is no give and take here. I address your arguments and you do not address mine. None of you have even bothered to really attempt to understand the arguments on the other side. You don't follow the arguments on the other side of the issue. How can you be objective if you refuse to do that? I've already stated that I've been on both sides of this. I have and do listen to the other side. I don't hear anything from any of you that is a remotely viable scientific argument and you never demonstrate an accurate understanding of any of mine. This has been a totally asymmetrical "discussion" through no fault of mine. I've tried fruitlessly to discuss this scientifically and no one on the other side of this issue has shown the slightest desire to respond that way. 
That doesn't mean you haven't tried to argue scientifically. You simply refuse to make sure you understand my arguments and then rebut them. I have rebutted yours at every turn. That is where the asymmetry is. Why can't you do this? Birkhead just completely cops out when I give him a serious set of things to think about. That's because he knows very well he can't. He doesn't want to know the truth for the same reason you two don't. You don't think we can do anything about it if it's real, so you decide it's not. Not too swift! You just revealed yourselves with your doubts that we can do anything about it...your real motive: fear of the truth. You're fake proposals for solutions are absurd and have nothing to do with alternative energy, but only geo-engineering, which would be an absurd mistake in my opinion loads of potential unintended effects. Birkhead is just a straight-up intellectual coward who runs when the going gets tough.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 5, 2013 - 6:12pm
No more time to debate with you, Mr. Wendell.  I figure I will spend the next ten years designing a surgically implanted Lithium Hydroxide canister.  A more interesting project would be a filtration system to remove the smoke you blow out of your butt.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 5, 2013 - 6:31pm
Corrections to the end of my last comment:
Your fake proposals for solutions are absurd and have nothing to do with alternative energy, but only geo-engineering, which would be an absurd mistake in my opinion, with loads of potential unintended effects. 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 6, 2013 - 5:52am
CO2 levels in atmosphere now 141% higher than pre-industrial age.  Other industrial pollutants also at record levels.
There seems to be a desire to deny all of these things.  Why is that?  Is it a desire to remain in a childhood state, to have rights but no responsibilities?
What is the psychology driving these people?   The widespread availability of "scientific" research funded and directed by various industry interest groups is eagerly eaten up and used to justify doing nothing.
Are we all slaves to the big corporates now?  Take control of your future.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 7:53am
When I click on your link, I get redirected to:
There are quite a few charts on this page. Which one are you referring to?
Mike Haluska Added Nov 6, 2013 - 8:10am
Mr. Logiodice - my criticism of the AGW advocates has NOTHING to do with the accuracy of data or their intentions (good or bad).  It has everything to do with their methodology and attempts to forecast the Earth's climate.
Is the Earth's temperature warming? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  Is there "proof" that human activity is CAUSING (not CORRELATED TO - huge difference) global warming?  Absolutely NOT!  The simple truth is there is no way to know given the complexity of the Earth's climate.  Computer models are all based on linear programming.  The Earth's climate is a non-linear, non-deterministic system ... IMPOSSIBLE to model with computers.  Any serious scientist knows this, otherwise everybody would be making a fortune using computer models to predict other non-linear, non-deterministic systems like the Stock Market, Gold Futures, etc.
Also, real scientists don't START with a conclusion (AGW exists) and then selectively collect data that supports their conclusion.  Scientific Method requires the exact opposite - collect ALL available data, organize the data, look for statistically valid relationships, form a hypothesis, test it (forming and testing hypotheses takes MANY iterations), if a viable hypothesis is found you publish for peer review (that includes ALL peers, not just those that agree with you).  When have you EVER heard of an open, honest debate on AGW?  I can point you to literally thousands of references to "the debate is over" - when did legitimate science become based on consensus??  
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 9:40am
Quoting Haluska:
"Also, real scientists don't START with a conclusion (AGW exists) and then selectively collect data that supports their conclusion. "
So the implied assumption here is that the scientific community that has concluded that AGW is real is doing this. On what basis have YOU concluded this? Are you doing what you accuse them of doing? I see NO evidence that anyone started with a conclusion and then cherry pick the data to prove it, but you have done a lot of that in your comments. So again, what is your source or basis of this conclusion other than your political speculations and conjectures?
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 9:49am
@ Haluska - I asked Birkhead, who was also cherry picking isolated pieces of the picture, a series of questions after which he simply fled the discussion. You have simply ignored them. So why don't you attempt to answer those questions in my reply above to Birkhead? Those questions, if answered honestly and with any scientific rigor at all, eliminate cherry picking by their very nature.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 6, 2013 - 10:19am
Mr. Wendell - Please list your questions (no endless commentary please) and I will address them.  If you reply with anything OTHER than the 4 questions, I will ignore them.  Fair enough? 
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 11:12am
No. What four questions? Rather than paste the comment I referred to here, just copy this and paste it in your page search:
Nov 5, 2013 - 2:17pm
Those questions collectively eliminate cherry picking. The key word is "collectively", which is the opposite of cherry picking and countermands it. You admit that climate change of any kind, warming or cooling, is a complex issue, but you want to cherry pick? Not thanks. Not interested. You don't have to answer each question separately. It is quite possible to address them collectively in a way that neither avoids any of them nor violates any of them. I could argue that water doesn't boil at 212 degrees F, and be right for one specific pressure. That doesn't mean that it's not true at one standard atmosphere. The problem so far with you and others here is that you pick one issue, pretend to show how inadequate it is to prove anything, which is true of course, and then pretend that kicks one leg out of a three-legged table and destroys the whole argument. Well, it's not a three-legged table and you haven't shown anything whatsoever when you do that.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 6, 2013 - 11:34am
How in the hell does one answer separate questions "collectively"???  If I demonstrate that it is mathematically impossible to divide by zero, you won't be satisfied unless I do a zillion division problems!  It is IMPOSSIBLE to model a complex, non-linear, non-deterministic system with a linear program computer simulation.  I don't need to endlessly check every reference you make to some article where they are using linear programs! 
You are constantly asking if I "believe" in this or that.  This line of questioning shows that you view AGW as a Religion, not science!  Those who disagree are "Deniers"!  Consensus is NOT science.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 6, 2013 - 1:14pm
Mr. Wendell - found your questions"
Q1) "why don't you explain to everyone specifically why your statements about how the small quantities of atmospheric CO(2) are to small to upset the energy balance at a given temperature and cause it to rise?"
A1) Heat transfer is dependent on relative mass.  Put an ice cube next to a Basic Oxygen Furnace and the molten steel temperature stays the same, although equations show an infinitesimally small increase.  400 Parts/Billion doesn't even make my ice cube comparison.   
Q2) "Why don't you explain specifically why CO(2) doesn't cause the temperature to rise enough to release more CO(2) in solution in ocean water and multiply its effect, not to mention vaporizing more of our unchanging water supply to create the much stronger greenhouse effect of water vapor?" 
A2)  Suppose you're sitting next to a roaring fire, feeling the radiant heat warming you all over.  A guy sitting next to you lights a match - are you going to die of heat exhaustion in 5 seconds?  The ocean is being warmed much more by cloud cover (1/2 or more of the surface of the Earth) than by a relative smidgen of CO2.
Q3) "Why don't you explain how a stable amount of water on the planet can cause long-term changes in climate unless the amount in the atmosphere is triggered by something else?"
A3) This question is not a question but a nonsensical comment.  Please rephrase coherently
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 2:23pm
Your answers are absurd and you're supposed to be an engineer who has worked in science? Good grief!
A1 confuses thermal transfer by conductivity and storage by specific heat of a medium (CO(2) in this case) with infrared radiation and the ability of infrared to penetrate the atmosphere on the way out. These processes are completely, utterly different physically, so how in Sam's hill can you confuse them? Your answer is totally irrelevant and demonstrates a dismal lack in understanding even high school level science. 
A2) Your analogy again has nothing to do with the solubility of a gas like CO(2) in water or how much is released by a particular temperature increase. You might know, if we're lucky, that water vapor is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO(2). So any long term increase in temperature from greenhouse effects from anything at all increases long term average water vapor. The initial greenhouse effect is amplified by increasing water vapor, which at lower temperatures would not have stayed in the atmosphere in such increased quantities. In case you have noticed, water vapor condenses upon becoming cooler. It is permanently getting recycled and the long term average of how much is in the air depends on long term average temperature. The fixed amount of water on the earth cannot change the long term temperature of the atmosphere at the surface of the earth precisely because it is fixed and gets perpetually recycled, which is all that Q3, which you imply is incoherent and say is nonsensical, asks you to address. You can't validly consider these things in isolation because they interact and influence each other. That's "why the hell" you have to consider them collectively, but you don't even understand them individually. The incoherence here is in your understanding of how anything connects with anything else. You can't validly discuss science with pin-headed thinking.
The long term average amount of water in the air is constant for a fixed long term average temperature. If CO(2) is perpetually increasing, though, the long term average of atmospheric water vapor will increase, too, greatly amplifying the temperature increase precisely because water vapor is a much more powerful greenhouse gas. Ironically, AGW deniers absurdly attempt to use this very fact to refute CO(2) as having any significance. Just more pin-headed thinking.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 2:29pm
I call you deniers because you deny AGW out of hand. You don't understand enough science to think your way out of a bears bathroom, yet you pretend to debunk AGW and have the unmitigated gall to accuse others of religious conviction concerning it. I guess you think that if I believe enough heat can boil water, that's a religious conviction.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 6, 2013 - 3:29pm
Mr. Wendell - my points are valid.  Whether heat is radiated or transferred by direct contact it can't be multiplied.  I wish the idea of significance and perspective could get through your skull.  CO2 is soluble in water - duhh.  What do you think plankton and algae do with the soluble CO2?  That's right - convert it to oxygen so we can breath! 
Of the 400 part per BILLION of CO2 in the atmosphere, less than 1% of it can be attributed to humans.  Want to see the difference cloud cover makes on retaining heat versus CO2?  Walk outside on a clear, cold night when there is no cloud cover to reflect the Earth's radiated energy. 
Please get a sense of proportion about things - the ocean isn't going to boil in 10 years. 
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 6:15pm
When did I say the ocean was going to boil in ten years?
Your points are NOT valid! Blocking the exit of infrared through the atmosphere has nothing to do with the proportions you cite or the transfer of thermal heat. Radiant heat has no temperature and is unrelated to specific heat and conductivity. The example you gave as well as your ridiculously ignorant rebuttal to my critique of it is strictly applicable to thermal energy transfer. It is irrelevant to the greenhouse effect.
Look, Mr. Brilliant, if I take a mirror and reflect radiant heat back at some object that is radiating it, it is going to be hotter than if I remove the mirror. There is no thermal transfer. There is only radiant energy returning to its source and converting back into thermal energy. The mirror doesn't have to absorb one iota of that energy and the source could be tons of hot metal and the mirror a micro-thin layer of mercury on glass for that to happen no matter how much the energy involved.
Whether you're brilliant enough to know it or not, you are saying that's not true, or implying it in terms of principle. So you are nuts if you continue to insist that your example has any relevance at all. Do you even know the difference between the Brownian motion in a gas or oscillating atoms and molecules in a molecular or atomic structure and the electromagnetic radiation of infrared LIGHT? The latter doesn't have anything to do with temperature or specific heat.
Do you even know what specific heat is? Can you even explain it without having to look it up? If you look it up and find out, then still don't get it that radiant heat has nothing to do with the relative quantity or specific heat of any two things, you didn't understand at all what you have read. You can repeat the definitions here, or an explanation of the differences, even copy and paste them, but until YOU can explain why there is no thermal heat, no conduction, and no specific heat involved that would make your proportions relevant, then you haven't understood the definitions or difference at all. The fact that you don't already understand this irrelevance is pretty pitiful for an engineer of any kind, not matter what your specialty is. It's basic high school science.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 6:48pm
Let me ask you to answer two simple questions of elementary science. If you answer correctly, we have to depend on the honor system that you didn't have to look it up before you could answer. If you lie about that, we don't have to care. You will know and that's good enough for me.
1. What is the exact mathematical relationship between total thermal heat distributed evenly (isothermically) throughout a uniform object consisting of a single material, a change in its isothermic temperature, and its total mass?
After you've done that, assuming you may have been able to, answer this:
2. Exactly how do you apply that to radiant energy in the form of infrared light and CO(2)?
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 9:27pm
Al, your comments are on the mark and quite welcome. It's so refreshing to have someone commenting who isn't rabidly opposed a priori  to whatever I have to say. Haluska's fundamental problem is that he lacks even the most basic handle on the scientific principles he pretends to use in his counterarguments to AGW. He demonstrates this at every turn, even to any good science student who made high grades in a strong high school science program and actually understood the principles taught rather then rote memorization of factoids and standard algorithms for doing calculations.
The ability to do either of the latter doesn't necessarily imply any understand of the underlying principles. Rote learning is not merely extremely inefficient, requiring great effort for little gain, but it is inflexible and often completely wrong-headed in its application to real world problems. Such people can work in engineering situations where everything required is what we call cookie cutter or cookbook engineering. I've seen a lot of those, but they have to have done nuts and bolts A, B, and C yesterday or they can't get up to speed on a project fast enough to earn their keep unless the work is highly routine. However, there are enough positions like that to support a lot of cookbook engineers. I notice European engineers, especially German, Russian, and now Indian and often French engineers find the typical American engineer to be sadly lacking in flexibility, creativity, and depth of insight. The notable exceptions are many, of course, and we have many top scientists, too, but even these are increasingly imported.
Haluska says he is an engineer with 30 years experience. If there is any truth in that at all, his knowledge of science is not only very poor, but so downright pitiful that if I were he I would be ashamed to admit to anyone that I was an engineer
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 9:46pm
Al, in addition, to respond to the use of "conclusion" versus "hypothesis", I would say that "conclusion" is a much stronger word than "hypothesis", so I would strongly recommend using them as anything very close to synonymous.
A hypothesis is by definition open to question. In science, conclusion has a much stronger connotation as having evidence that has confirmed a hypothesis. I believe you likely already understand this, but I would not concede even a millimeter toward substituting "conclusion" for "hypothesis". It is most certainly deleterious to scientific method to pretend you have a firm conclusion without testing it. Nevertheless, the history of science if full of brilliant people who strongly intuited that something was true and then confirmed it experimentally. Einstein is an incredibly successful case in point. So the argument against having a conviction before you test it is weak to begin with. Often that is the motive for testing it. Why would anyone test a hypothesis that they felt had no chance of being confirmed?
AGW is quite different in nature and premature convictions would not be appropriate in this context, but the history of AGW research roundly contradicts Haluska on this. Scientists have been on both sides of this issue as evidence accumulated and technology became more adequate for researching it. Ironically, there are even those right here on this site who have used this in attempts to debunk AGW, but you can't be on both sides of the same argument at the same time.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 10:03pm
@ All readers of these comments. Please note whether Mr. Haluska, who claims to be an engineer with 30 years experience and substantial experience working in science, responds to my comment of Nov 6, 2013 - 6:48pm. (You can paste that into a find on page to read it.) It asks a simple high school physics question directly related to a false argument Mr. Haluska proposed as refuting the possibility of AGW.
If he fails to answer it, he has demonstrated a lack of the most elementary understanding of any of the basic issues involved in AGW, despite his much-touted credentials. If he answers it, but fails to specify exactly how it relates to radiant heat in the form of infrared light and atmospheric CO(2), he has debunked his own argument, which he has so vehemently insisted is valid.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 10:52pm
@ Nathan - So I see that your position is apparently that AGW is happening, it's but not human-caused because what humans have contributed to the situation is miniscule and powerless in the face of natural causes. (And even if it were human-caused, it doesn't matter because both CO(2) and warming are good). Please correct me if this summary of your position is in error.
The chart you refer to is at this link:
Referring me to this chart, you said, "Can you not see that we are in a brief warm period, in between extended periods of glaciation?" Now, even with the expanded view of this chart on my widescreen laptop at the link above, the resolution is about 120,000 years per inch, so I wonder how in tarnation you can conclude anything about what's happening right now with an accuracy no better than about +-5,000 years accuracy in timing? That's most of our history since prehistorical times and we could be talking about 5,000 year into the future just as easily. Either way, it says nothing about what's happening now.

You, like Haluska, lay claim to all kinds of engineering and scientific credentials, then you come up with stuff like this! You also tried to refute my statement about the increasing acidity of ocean water and our loss of coral reefs around the world with a straw man argument about non-marine vegetation. Are you really ignorant about such a big, well publicized issue as coral reefs dying, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, for example? See the link below:

Do you really believe we're unable to test and/or are unaware of increasing acidity in ocean water? Did you even read my article, or are you denying that shellfish are dying because the acidity prevents the minerals required for shell growth from forming adequate protection from predators? Do you just deny basic news items like this as part of a huge propaganda conspiracy?

Your scientific arguments patently and transparently fail to back up your credentials. If you really have them, they're pretty meaningless in terms of any insight into real science. As I've stated earlier in reply to Haluska, what do credentials really tell us if you can't even deal intelligently with high school science or believe you can conclude anything about what's happening now from a chart with a time resolution of around 120,000 years per inch and using which you can't conclude anything about timing with an accuracy much greater than +-5,000 years? What does it say about the significance of your credentials if you keep pretending that we can't conclude anything about climate change if we can't accurately predict local weather out more than ten days? There is no scientific, statistical, or mathematical basis of any kind that could validate that kind of meaningless comparison, so why don't you know that? This is trivial stuff. Don't give me another straw man argument and argue that climate change is not a trivial subject. I said the knowledge YOU CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU DON'T HAVE is trivially simple science and math. Not only that, but your thinking shows a marked inability to string facts together in larger, coherent context, because you repeatedly spew out context-free, cherry picked factoids, some of which aren't even valid, like your absurd attempt at interpreting the chart to which you referred us.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 10:56pm
Oh, and I guess it doesn't matter to you that all this good warming you so eagerly anticipate is not really quite so prosperous as you claim, since it will put Florida and most of the port cities and seaboards around the entire world under water? Or don't you know that geologists can easily measure how high sea levels were under the same past conditions you eagerly await in the future? You have to ignore a ton of stuff to hang onto your ideas, you know?
Robert Wendell Added Nov 6, 2013 - 10:59pm
Oh, here's a good reference refuting all the hullabaloo about bad climate change models from one of the most rigorous organizations dedicated to debunking the kind of bad science Nathan and Haluska love to promote:
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 7, 2013 - 6:10am
What I am finding very interesting is the way that a number of people seemingly seek to deny things which clearly make sense to the human race as a whole but which they fear will change their own circumstances for the worse, in particular the taxes that they might pay.
With things like global warming the wealthy (most of us in this discussion) can insulate themselves against the effects (at least for a time).   The less wealthy, more exposed to changes in climate and extreme weather events suffer.
Some people, because any attempt to look after the planet is likely to cost money... therefore deny that these problems are "real".
The same seems to happen with much else.   The idea that universal medicine free at the point of delivery will increase overall human happiness is self evident... yet many seem to oppose it.  See the same in educational debates, social security etc etc etc.   The phenomena repeats itself.
This all seems to be about the tension between those who consider the individual and his rights to be of utmost importance (by which they mean themselves) and those who consider that we all have a responsibility to look after each other.
Yet those in the first category don't want others to think badly of them.  So they construct arguments to try and prove that they really are the "good" guys.   One particular peice of nonsense that I read recently, from an apologist for big business, claimed that profit was an index of altruism.  It was hilarious, yet taken completely seriously by the author and used as an argument for not doing anything to alleviate the suffering of others.
I find it all rather depressing that we are so uncivilised.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 7, 2013 - 8:09am
Nathan you seem to argue for doing nothing and sit back with folded arms while the world goes to hell in a handcart.
How to reduce carbon emissions:
1.  First put your own house in order by using less polluting and less carbon emitting forms of energy coupled with using all energy more efficiently.   In the UK, for example, a levy on electricity usage is used to subsidise better insulation in existing homes.   This both modifies behaviour by encouraging people to reduce usage and provides funds to help them do it.
2.  Once established moral authority, persuade emerging nations to follow suit.  China has already started to recognise that raping the environment in favour of economic growth is not a great idea.  They have yet to buy into the idea that we all have to work on this together because it is a world-wide problem (so has the USA BTW, the US's behaviour seems very selfish ... not at all commensurate with a so-called world leader.. quite the reverse).
3.  Work on public opinion world-wide to encourage a greater feeling of shared responsibility and stewardship.
4.  Yes, find ways to help the poor who have been harmed by our selfishness.  There are some technological solutions.  Funds are required to make them affordable and to roll them out.
Some how I get the feeling that I can't count on you to put your hand in your pocket thought.   But I bet you come up with a good argument for:
a) Not doing anything
b) Not giving anything... either through taxes or through long term charitable commitment
Mike Haluska Added Nov 7, 2013 - 8:20am
Mr. Wendell - I apologize for not responding sooner.  I had important engineering work to do for a living.  So you have a couple of questions on thermodynamics for me?  You pre-qualified them by saying that even if I ANSWER CORRECTLY, you'll just assume I "looked up the answers" and cheated.  Yet another "Heads you win, tails I lose" proposition from a guy with admittedly NO EXPERIENCE actually working in a technical field attempting to discredit someone who is.  Quick question - how the hell do we know YOU didn't just grab a thermo textbook and copy down some questions???
If you want to validate my credentials, go to the State of Indiana website.  Click the Professional Licensing icon and follow the instructions - you can look up the status of any practicing PE in Indiana.  You can call the Purdue University Alumni Office and they can verify my engineering degree  Of course, this won't satisfy you because you'll then claim I'm using an alias. 
My point is that no matter what I say you will simply claim I am unqualified, stupid, ... choose your insult.  Tossing insults is the last refuge of losers and frauds.  Just do us all a favor - if in 10 years the Earth is still spinning and life is going on and nobody is complaining about their Miami Beach condo being 25 feet under water, you will have the integrity to say "I WAS WRONG".  Since you have had 4 opportunities to do so in the last 40 years, I doubt we'll hear it. 
Mike Haluska Added Nov 7, 2013 - 8:33am
Robin - you need to read "Atlas Shrugged" and stop apologizing for the wealth you have that was earned honestly serving others.  You assume that the main reason people object to AGW claims is greed.  Did it ever occur to you that the so-called scientists advocating AGW are being paid with government research grants, and donations from those who benefit financially if our current practices changed?  Take a look at the video (link below) and learn from Dr Friedman:
Robert Wendell Added Nov 7, 2013 - 9:22am
Another Ayn Rand disciple! You people are so predictable. Markets are magically self-regulating for the good of all, unbridled selfishness works for the collective good, etc. Lots of flaws in her thinking, that's for sure. Flawed thinkers seem to love flawed thinking, like an addiction.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 7, 2013 - 9:36am
Quoting Haluska:
"You pre-qualified them by saying that even if I ANSWER CORRECTLY, you'll just assume I "looked up the answers" and cheated.  Yet another "Heads you win, tails I lose" proposition from a guy with admittedly NO EXPERIENCE actually working in a technical field attempting to discredit someone who is."
I said "if". Do you know what that word means? I said:
"If you answer correctly, we have to depend on the honor system that you didn't have to look it up before you could answer. If you lie about that, we don't have to care. You will know and that's good enough for me." That's not an accusation, but just covering a real possibility, not a fact. And you're right. You just have to take my word for it that I know this stuff without looking it up. Another fact, and I'm just fine with it.
So if you're so well qualified, where's your answer to the darn question.? I notice you never respond to simple high school physics questions and just continue to tout your credentials. I already said I don't care about them. Show me what you know. I don't even care whether you look up the answer to the first part. I'm interesting in exactly how you would apply it to the second question.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 7, 2013 - 9:37am
Wendell cracks me up!   
"Markets are magically self-regulating for the good of all" What could be more self-regulating or moral than a system in which the only time a transaction occurs is when it is the mutual interest of both parties?  The USA overcame a 3,000 year head start by the rest of the world and converted a wilderness into the most prosperous nation with the highest standard of living in history - by simply allowing individuals to pursue their own self interest!
"unbridled selfishness works for the collective good"  Wendell (like all liberals) confuses rational self interest with irrational greed.  EVERYONE acts in their own self interest, to deny it is to deny Human nature.  Wendell, please watch the Youtube video link and you may get a clearer understanding.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 7, 2013 - 9:46am
Haluska, if you can't answer a dumb question like this or refuse to, for the umpteenth time, why do you expect anyone to value your credentials? If you cop out as usual by pretending you're so well qualified that you won't dignify the question with an answer while you continue to make super-stupid unscientific statements, you're just confirming what we all know already.
Those two questions are a deliberate trap, since to answer them correctly you have to trash one of your own arguments. To avoid them for that reason is absurd. It's the same as wiping all the pieces off the board after the other player checkmates you. You created the trap yourself by making an asinine, unscientific statement involving a really elementary principle and then insisting that it is totally valid. That's a trap you set, but you refuse to admit it exists while refusing to go near it.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 7, 2013 - 9:56am
"You pre-qualified them by saying that even if I ANSWER CORRECTLY, you'll just assume I "looked up the answers" and cheated."
Another twisting of what I actually said, as I show above in a previous comment. You guys are full of straw man arguments.
Kelley and Haluska, Ayn Rand's and your analysis of how we got where we are is very flawed. If you've read my political articles with any minimum degree of understanding, you know I am firmly against any system of government that assumes anything other than self-interest. For exactly that reason, I'm also against any system that assumes self-interest is never misguided or criminal and fails to police it. Laissez-faire capitalism left to itself results in monopoly and extractive economies that disallow trade by mutual agreement.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 7, 2013 - 10:24am
The ONLY cases where monopolies have formed and lasted any significant length of time are those who get their monopoly powers by grant of government!  It only takes ONE competitor to break a monopoly - which is why the numerous attempts of OPEC to throttle oil production in hopes of forcing higher prices ALWAYS fails!  Some nation (acting in their own self interest) cuts a "secret" deal to sell their oil slightly below the monopoly price and the whole cabal collapses in days.
The best protection against monopolies is Free Trade!  There is NO system that eliminates "misguided" or criminal behavior.  As Dr. Friedman so eloquently points out:
"Do you of some society that doesn't run on greed?  Do you think Russia doesn't run on greed?  Do you think China doesn't run on greed?  Is Political self-interest somehow NOBLER than Economic self-interest?  Where do you find the "Angels" who are going to run society for us?" 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 7, 2013 - 10:35am
Not everything can run on greed.  The health service is a good example of this with the majority of those in it mainly being there to serve others.   This is an alien concept to some.
BTW what makes you label me as a "liberal".  I have no political affiliation whatsoever.
The wealth I have, I have been able to accumulate because, to paraphrase Sir Isaac Newton, I have been standing on the shoulders of giants.
If you do not think that living in the West has been a privileged existance that has allowed you to amass wealth through the expolitation of others, then you obviously have not traveled (at least not with your eyes open).
You owe it to mankind to give something back.   Most in this thread, whilst finding reasons to not do anything about global warming, seem to follow a very simple philosophy.   I can sum that up very easily.   It's
Me Me Me.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 7, 2013 - 11:05am
Please try and understand that we have different definitions of "greed".  In my definition, greed is simply acting in your own rational self-interest.  Stealing from people or exploiting them is not rational, so I neither condone or accept those activities as rational.
That being said, those health care professionals whom you believe are mainly there to serve others sure get paid a lot.  With all the costly education, sacrifice, training required the high pay is perfectly justified.  I seriously doubt very many intelligent people would subject themselves to the hard work required and go hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt if the pay was that of a clerk at Starbucks. 
We live in a country that was built on a capitalist system allowing anyone to freely pursue his own self interests.  Lumping the USA in with India is not a fair comparison.  The great accomplishments of humanity did not sprout from some government bureau, they arose from free men willing to risk their capital with no guarantee of success.  I grant you that what is called free market capitalism today is what I (and Ayn Rand) would call "Crony Capitalism".  Instead of being rewarded based on merit, people get rewarded based on "political pull" (see Solyndra). 
The largest charitable benefactors in human history are all capitalists.  Don't agree with me?  Name the socialist counterparts of Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller and Bill Gates - men who freely (not thru coercion of taxation) gave BILLIONS to charity.  We don't "owe" anything to our fellow man, but I have faith that we all have compassion for those in need.  I do know this based on observing the world, FORCED CHARITY inevitable results in everyone (except politicians) being equal - that is EQUALLY MISERABLE. 
Robert Wendell Added Nov 7, 2013 - 11:11am
Haluska, answer the two question or get lost. You brag about your meaningless credentials and your cookbook engineering job that apparently a robot could do if you can, and avoid the questions. Look up the first one if you have to, If you don't, then good! Just answer it. Then answer the second question. Quit avoiding these questions. If you don't, then what do your really know?
Mike Haluska Added Nov 7, 2013 - 11:32am
Nathan - something you should consider under the title "Best Intentions Lead to Unintended Consequences:
Regarding the Sherman Act -
The converse argument is that if lowering prices alone is not the goal, and instead protecting competitions and markets as well as consumers is the goal, the law again arguably has the opposite effect — it could be protectionist. Economist Thomas DiLorenzo notes that Senator Sherman sponsored the 1890 William McKinley tariff just three months after the Sherman Act, and agrees with The New York Times which wrote on October 1, 1890: "That so-called Anti-Trust law was passed to deceive the people and to clear the way for the enactment of this Pro-Trust law relating to the tariff." The Times goes on to assert that Sherman merely supported this "humbug" of a law "in order that party organs might say...'Behold! We have attacked the trusts. The Republican Party is the enemy of all such rings.' "[34]
Dilorenzo writes: "Protectionists did not want prices paid by consumers to fall. But they also understood that to gain political support for high tariffs they would have to assure the public that industries would not combine to increase prices to politically prohibitive levels. Support for both an antitrust law and tariff hikes would maintain high prices while avoiding the more obvious bilking of consumers."[35]
If you look at the ACTUAL RESULTS of anti-trust legislation, you find in ALL cases that the regulatory boards who were supposed to oversee the industries were taken over by the industries themselves.  John Rockefeller took over the oil industry by doing consumers a favor - making oil prices rock-bottom low!  Competitors couldn't stay in business because of his capital investments making low prices possible in the first place.  Eventually, properly capitalized competitors arose who could match the process technology advantage and compete successfully. 
Mike Haluska Added Nov 7, 2013 - 11:38am
Mr. Wendell - I have never debated the soundness of thermodynamics.  Solving thermo problems does nothing to settle the point I am making, which is the following:
1) AGW does not practice Scientific Method. 
2) It is impossible to forecast non-linear, non-deterministic systems like the Earth's climate.  And climate is NOT "smoothed out weather". 
Mike Haluska Added Nov 7, 2013 - 11:45am
And by the way Wendell, the last time I checked this website is the property of a gracious young lady named Autumn Cote.  Who the Frakk are you to tell me to "get off of this website"? 
Robert Wendell Added Nov 7, 2013 - 12:12pm
"Who the Frakk are you to tell me to "get off of this website"? [sic]
I didn't. "Get lost" means participate in the discussion of the scientific issue at hand by addressing my arguments or quit commenting on my article. Your arguments are absurdly specious, your credentials and absurd pretentions to scientific knowledge don't tell me nearly as much about you as your non-arguments and your transparent scientific incompetence. Kelley is another one who can't think his way out of a bear's bathroom scientifically. This is not a credentials contest. You seem to think they're proof of something while you ignore 97.4% consensus on AGW in peer-reviewed research papers with the rest neutral save for a fraction of 1%. In that context, why should I honor your credentials while you prove them meaningless. Why are you asking me to honor some dumb piece of paper your school handed you while you refuse to honor 97.4% of peer-reviewed articles on AGW?
I have a brother who has no more than a high school education and he has done amazing things in both mechanical and chemical engineering. He happens to have qualified for five-sigma Mensa. His IQ is 185. He has no credentials. So what? He's a hundred times more scientifically knowledgeable than either you or Kelley.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 7, 2013 - 1:14pm
Nathan - nice job!  Mr. Wendell, I don't desire to be contentious or insulting to anyone on this website.  I apologize if comments I made about you personally offended you.  My wish was to present not my opinion of anyone's personality, beliefs, etc. but to illustrate why I have such difficulty with AGW.  I really don't care whether or not CO2 reflects thermal radiation or other isolated phenomena.  My issue involves using common sense and a grasp of proportion.  You want to turn this into a "who is smarter" debate - I don't. 
Think for a second, 400 parts per billion concentration - of which less than 1% is contributed by human activity ... do you really believe eliminating the less than 1% would have any effect at all???  Go read the articles from 40 years ago - their predictions proved to be ludicrous today. 
I have read the dialogues from Neils Bohr and Einstein, the Solvay Conferences and other scientific discussions.  NOWHERE was anybody called a "Denier" if they disagreed with another's view.  CONSENSUS was never used as a means of resolving debate.  Yet the AGW proponents throw this out on almost a daily basis or whenever it is questioned.  I'm sorry if you think this is legitimate science - God help us it ever is. 
Robert Wendell Added Nov 7, 2013 - 4:23pm
Haluska, you have been ludicrously pompous with your dogmatic arguments and deprecatory remarks and it's all documented right here for anyone to read. Kelley, you're doing that less now, so thank you. But I have a certain reaction of disgust when anyone comes in here and blabbers when it is apparent that they either did not even to bother to read the article, or at least certainly failed to follow the arguments or to address anything the article actually says beyond the level of attacking the basic thesis as a bunch of bunk. What is more pompous than to ignore solid arguments, invent your own on the basis of flawed science and "facts" you got from other folks who just happen to be publishing the same garbage and level of incomprehension. I seriously have wondered how old Haluska is, thinking he might be some 12-year-old just in here trolling.
You both cite all sorts of blatantly false "facts" and use glaringly erroneous ideas with regard to elementary high school science principles while bragging about your credentials and your jobs. When you attempt to argue science, you reveal that you really don't understand it in terms of any kind of underlying principle. I don't care how many formulas you know or how many algorithms you can execute to calculate anything. None of that requires anything but rote understanding necessary.

In the end, no one here so far, including both of you, has bothered to get specific to actually show where any of my arguments are flawed. You don't even address them. Instead, they change the subject and isolate some issue they cherry picked and use it devoid of any larger context. So if you can't answer the questions I've posed for you, how do you manage to fantasize that you're capable of discussing this topic intelligently?
I just gave Haluska, and I offer them to you, too, Nathan, two questions that bear directly on his outrageous denial that his analogy involving heat transfer via temperature difference and conduction and/or convection has nothing to do with radiant energy in the form of infrared light and CO(2) in the context of the greenhouse effect. He's not touching it. This is simple high school science. If neither of you touches it, all your pomposity and credentials are just hot air. Maybe that's somehow appropriate to the issue of AGW, but that's about as close as it gets so far.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 7, 2013 - 5:01pm
On Haluska's reference to Einstein, et al, he confuses the AGW hypothesis and evidence concerning a complex, non-linear phenomenon like climate with comprehensive theoretical models that have no truth value. He also keeps implying that computer models are inherently linear, which is absurd on its face.
More importantly and to the point, theoretical models are not "true". They have by definition not truth value, either negative or positive. They are simply either are useful for their explanatory power or not. I've said all this before, but it whizzes right around these people's heads. Newton's theories seem to be "true" locally, but turn out to be "false" more generally and comprehensively in astronomic space-time domains. Newtonian physics is contained within Einstein's theories as a special case. Yet the premises underlying Newtonian mechanics and Einstein's models completely contradict each other. So how can we say these models are "true", especially since Einstein's theoretical models are destined to become special cases of a still more comprehensive theory. etc.? I bet neither Haluska nor Kelley can begin to explain how something can appear to be "true" everywhere locally and turn out to be nowhere "true" globally. That is counterintuitive for most people, but there is a very simple way to explain this that I've already presented elsewhere on this site.
So no one talked about deniers in Haluska's example because truth value is irrelevant for theoretical models from the outset. Also the implications were not so immediately practical and in fact were pretty much strictly theoretical at the time. Climate change models, in contrast, are not theoretical models at all, but deliberately practical tools never designed to be theoretically precise, but instead designed to approximate the actual dynamics well enough to get accurate predictive value in practice. This is an utterly different situation both practically and in terms of its underlying philosophy and raison d'etre. Such distinctions are apparently way beyond the comprehension for the AGW deniers here. We call them deniers precisely because they clearly deny AGW, repeatedly averring that it couldn't possibly have any validity while they contradict themselves in pointing out that no one denied anything in the discussion involving Einstein et al.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 7, 2013 - 5:25pm
A major trait of inflexible minds, many of whom are therefore politically conservative, is internal inconsistency in their world views and their arguments.
To all conservatives:
Unless you like to identify with inflexible minds, please don't get angry over this statement. Remember that all dogs are animals, but not all animals are dogs. So it is also that inflexible minds tend to be politically conservative, but not all conservatives have inflexible minds. Please note that if you don't have an inflexible mind, I'm not talking about you. If you want to identify, however, with people who have inflexible minds, please feel free to take offense at this statement. 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 8, 2013 - 2:42am
Perhaps simply talking about the global warming issue in isolation gives too much scope for people to cloud the issue.
The core issue is as follows:
Currently we have seven billion people on the planet using about 1.5 planets worth of resources, pollution and, if you accept the global warming science, contributing to warming up the globe.
Although we have reached the age of "peak child" (the population of children has plateaued ... mainly due to decreasing infant mortality breaking the belief that you need lots of kids for insurance), we still have enough growing people to ensure we reach a population of somewhere between 9 and 11 billion within the next 50 years.   Nearly all of that growth will come in Africa and Asia.   Europe and the Americas have about a billion each and are broadly stable (Europe birth rate slightly negative).   Today it works out as Europe 1, Americas 1, Africa 1 and Asia 4.   Likely to become 1145 in the future.
The richest billion (those on an income average of $100 a day) use around 10 times as much resource as the middle billion (around $10 a day) and 100 times as much as the poorest ($1 a day).
The trends are all towards everyone getting a little wealthier.  Of course an extra $1 a day makes no difference to one of the richest but a huge difference to one of the poorest.   A doubling of consumption by the poorest billion also makes little difference.
However a move from the second richest billion to increase consumption to the same level as the richest, has a massive effect.
We already use 1.5 times as much as the planet can sustainably provide.   Therefore the only answer for the longer term is for the richest to learn to consume less... and likewise for the noveau riche.
This does not mean that we have to have a "poorer" lifestyle.  We simply all need to realise what actually leads to happiness and that it does not lie in consumption of energy and material resources.
Those who are "under the thrall of money" will struggle with this idea and seem to feel that they have a God given right to rape the planet doing damage to their fellow human beings and, ultimately, themselves.
Happiness does not come from driving round in a Humvee.  We just need to properly open our eyes and realise that.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 8, 2013 - 7:54am
Good points, Robin. It's definitely a bigger picture, which is always welcome and more enlightening. I especially find interesting the factor of 1.5 over what is sustainable consumption of resources for the planet. What is your source for that kind of information?
Mike Haluska Added Nov 8, 2013 - 8:25am
Wendell - the next time you post an article, place an advisory notice that anyone who disagrees with you shouldn't waste their time.  You are the biggest pompous ass I have ever met during my 58 (not 12) years.  Citing endless articles about dipolar molecules and entropy and assigning thermo problems is simply your way of attempting to frighten away anyone with a valid point you want to avoid.  Half of what you pontificate is jibberish, the other half is irrational name calling. 
Let's get down to brass tacks - if the Earth was under assault from AGW and the forecasts for the past 40 were accurate the Earth should be a vast wasteland by now.  If accurate non-linear forecasting was possible, it would be applied commercially to economics, stock market, etc.  Non-linear forecasting is academic mental masturbation.  Getting a model to mimic past data is simply a matter of revising coefficients of variables until you get a plot you like - big woop!  Want to completely screw up somebody's forecast plot?  Make a 0.0001 change to any variable and watch as the plot starts off close but in short order is all over the place.  Mind you, we can't even measure climate variables with that degree of accuracy!
Regarding CO2, I could understand the concern if the entire upper atmosphere was a layer of CO2.  400 Parts Per Billion, of which less than 1% is attributable to human activity is Frakkin Insignificant!  The volume of the Earth's atmosphere is 4 Billion Cubic Kilometers!  If we could wave a magic wand and COMPLETELY ELIMINATE the CO2 attributable to human activity were down to 396 Parts Per Billion!  The deadliest toxins known to man can't harm us at those levels of concentration.
Instead of name-calling, questioning my credentials, assigning trick homework problems, or other evasions ... address the 2 points I just made.    
Mike Haluska Added Nov 8, 2013 - 8:43am
To those folks having trouble getting a mental picture of CO2 concentration in the Earth's atmosphere, try this.  The circumference of the Earth is about 25,000 miles.  Now imagine a square that is 36,200 miles x 36,200 miles - that would be almost a billion square miles.  This square is about 4.5 times the size of Earth.  Now color in 400 squares - a box 20 x 20.  What AGW proponents want you to believe is that this 20x20 square is going to retain enough thermal energy to warm the rest of 36,200x36,200 square and kill millions of us in 10 years.  Now, the real kicker - I have oversimplified things using area instead of volume.  Using the volume the comparison becomes ludicrous.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 8, 2013 - 8:56am
By the way, Robin, are you familiar with Turchin's theory of history? He shows that not only current U.S. and European economies are cyclic with regard to variations in income inequality, which in itself is natural, but that this is true of medieval and ancient Roman societies as well.
When the labor supply increases rapidly, it naturally depresses wages and allows both the rich to get richer and the more enterprising in the middle and lower classes upward mobility into the rich class. This eventually increases the number of the very rich while also depleting the middle class, widening the gap between rich and poor. At its height, this part of the cycle engenders intense competition among the wealthy, conspicuous consumption and often deadly political rivalry, sometimes leading to civil war and the decline of empires.
Turchin also states the obvious that "The US political system is much more attuned to the wishes of the rich than to the aspirations of the poor." He calls these cycles "secular cycles" since they often cross or even span centuries. However,, in modern times these cycles tend to be shorter, I assume because of the accelerated rate of economic activity. Here's a link to one of Turchin's more interesting articles, mostly due to its relatively compact and less technically dense character:
Mike Haluska Added Nov 8, 2013 - 9:42am
You two have absolutely NO sense of proportion!  What is the pre-occupation regarding the "gap" between rich and poor?  The "poor" in most nations on Earth aspire to attain the standard of living of what we call "poor" in the USA.  You two would rather see the poor "poorer" as long as the gap between them and the rich was smaller. 
The honest truth is that most people, while they may aspire to be rich, do not have the talent or discipline to do so (I am speaking of the USA here).  There are endless examples of people starting out dirt poor and becoming wealthy in this country.  If you don't believe this - imagine what would happen if the USA lifted all immigration restrictions and welcomed anyone.  Despite UN surveys, people vote with their feet and would gladly leave their socialist paradise's for a chance to prosper in the US. 
And if both of you are ashamed of your wealth, end your hypocrisy by donating it all to charity instead of spouting platitudes about how the rest of us should be "more caring".
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 8, 2013 - 9:56am
This is where I pulled the "1.5" figure from.
I have not checked out the methodology for the production of this figure as I am more interested in the overall trend.   I don't think that this is exact science.  I have rounded numbers to illustrate the fact that I am not getting tied up in spurious accuracy.
The key is this:
Good news:
We have reached "peak child" which means that, within a lifetime, population growth should plateau (probably at around 11 billion from 7 billion today).  This has been achieved because of dramtaic improvements in child survival throughout the poorer parts of the world.  This has largely come about through relatively modest (by western standards) expenditure on public medicine. People have gone from expecting one child in four to die to expecting practically every one to survive.  They no longer think that they have to have lots of babies for insurance.
As a consequence the number of children born per woman is around 2.5 just about everywhere.  This is a fact that public perception has yet to catch up with.   The average Briton, when polled, thought that the figure was around twice this in poorer countries.
Bad news:
The resource consumption curve has an exponential relationship to income.  The richest billion people on the planet use 100 times as much as the poorest.   Within the richest billion, the richest 100 million (mainly in the US), use even more.
Good news:
Because of this the poorest people on the planet can double their consumption, and probably impact their happiness, without it having a significant effect.
Bad News:
If the moderately wealthy start to follow the very wealthy (especially those on more than $100 a day), then resource consumption shoots up.   Very quickly we would be needing 3 planets to support the consumption of the 2 billion wealthiest people.
Good News:
Happiness is only really affected by resource consumption up to a moderate level:  food, shelter and health care security.   This can be achieved on about $10 a day equivalent consumption.  Socialisation, achievement, time for reflection etc etc take over as a main "happiness driver" past that point.  We can be very happy without over consumption.
Bad news:
Corporate America and Corporate Europe depend on keeping us hooked on consumption for their success.   They want to keep us addicted and will use whatever means to do so.
Good News:
Here at least (can't speak for elsewhere) the recent recession has led a number of people to re-evaluate what life is about.  Happiness (measured through satisfaction surveys) has actually increased through the recent tough economic times.  Fewer people now seem to feel the slavish desire to buy big brands.  Instead we have been spending money on experiences, many of which are light on consumption:  music festivals, hiking, singing... all great ways to spend time and be happy.
Hopefully it is a process that will continue and that we will break the bonds of corporate slavery.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 8, 2013 - 10:25am
Robin - please explain:
The resource consumption curve has an exponential relationship to income.  The richest billion people on the planet use 100 times as much as the poorest.   Within the richest billion, the richest 100 million (mainly in the US), use even more.
What exactly (potatoes, sugar, Cadillacs, etc.) do the "rich" use 100 times as much as the "poor"?  They sure as hell can't eat 100 times more than a poor person does, they can't use 100 times more water, etc.  Does it ever occur to you to use your common sense when reading an article?
Another question - If you (rich person) gather up 10,000 poor people, take every nickel they have (can't be much because they're poor), subtract the cost of collecting the money (they sure as hell won't voluntarily give up their last nickel if they're poor), how much can you benefit?  So, exactly HOW did you become "rich off the backs of the poor"?
Never mind - you already stated you don't want to be caught up being accurate.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 8, 2013 - 12:37pm
Quoting Haluska:
"What exactly (potatoes, sugar, Cadillacs, etc.) do the "rich" use 100 times as much as the "poor"?  They sure as hell can't eat 100 times more than a poor person does, they can't use 100 times more water, etc."
Man, you are a pompous whatsit, aren't you? Where's your common sense? Never heard of private jets? Never heard of spending thousands of dollars a day just because you have it? You've never been around anyone like that, have you, so you why do you pretend to know anything about them while you make stupid conjectures about their eating 100 pounds of potatoes for every pound Joe Blow eats? There's something called conspicuous consumption and many people with loads of money use it as a kind of intimidating show of power or just a heady sense of rivalry and being on top. Many people with tons of money are addicted to this kind of show.
Does that mean that all are or that it's bad to be rich? No!
Does it mean that income and wealth inequality are bad? No!
However, if you study history as Turchin has, you will find that there are cycles of wealth inequality and that the extremes are very telling. It indicates that when income inequality is at its highest extremes, the overall economic health of the society is lowest. It also shows that a moderate level of inequality is natural and healthy, allowing both the rich and the rest a much more comfortable general environment.
By the way, your characterizations of what other people are saying are reliably and absurdly skewed, no matter what the topic. The result is a lot of straw man arguments and jousting with windmills.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 8, 2013 - 1:33pm
Dear Mike:
In answer to your question.
The main way in which we wealthy types in the West consume more is through energy and water.
Travel takes a huge chunk...especially if you do so by air.   That car you are sitting on looks like it probably gobbles up quite a lot of petrol and uses rubber etc.   Some places in the USA have been laid out with no real regard for energy consumption... you virtually have to get in a car to do anything.
Air conditioning and heating especially if we have a lot of living space also tend to gobble up energy.
On food:   it takes about 7 times as much resource to produce meat as vegetable based nutrition
Gadgets like mobile phones, iPods etc etc use up a huge amount of scarce minerals.
But it is mainly energy.
I would point out that you can be rich and still have a great time without destroying the planet.   But some people are totally self centred and thoughless... seemingly believing that the world is there just for their sole use and gratification.
BTW we all lose if consumption continues to deplete resources.   The result will be conflict over control of those resources:  probably with quite severe consequences.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 8, 2013 - 1:35pm
Mike:  The poorest billion and a half have no option other than to walk every where.
The next billion and a half have access to a bicycle.
The only fossil based energy they use is for cooking
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 8, 2013 - 5:24pm
What are you smoking Nathan?   Where can I get some?
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 8, 2013 - 5:41pm
Just thought I would share a song with you that I performed tonight on the subject of happiness:
The Happy Man

How happy's that man that's free from all care
That loves to make merry, that loves to make merry
O'er a drop of good beer

With his pipe and his friends puffing hours away
Singing song after song 'till he hails the new day
He can laugh, dance and sing and smoke without fear,
Be as happy as a king 'till he hails a new year.

How happy's the man that's free from all strife
He envies no other, he envies no other
But travels through life
Robert Wendell Added Nov 8, 2013 - 8:49pm
Halling, where do you get the kahunas to tell me that I hate humankind and hate life? You couldn't convince an Alaskan grizzly that salmon is good food with the kind of arguments you, Haluska, and Kelley have to offer. You have no business talking like that about people simply because they don't bow down automatically and admit you're right about everything despite all your absurd twisting of fact and logic. You don't even bother to listen to what others say. If you can't even get what people actually say straight enough not to come back consistently with arguments against things we never said, how can you get anything right? You are not typical men in the first place and despite that neither I nor probably anyone else here hates you. Your inane verbal hemorrhaging and empty boasting of credentials you can't back up with any understanding of anything are another matter.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 8, 2013 - 9:09pm
Quoting Nathan:
"What you fail to understand is that the richest 1 billion create far more than everyone else too."
Nathan, write the following quote from one of my previous comments on the blackboard 500 times before you go home:
"However, if you study history as Turchin has, you will find that there are cycles of wealth inequality and that the extremes are very telling. It indicates that when income inequality is at its highest extremes, the overall economic health of the society is lowest. It also shows that a moderate level of inequality is natural and healthy, allowing both the rich and the rest a much more comfortable general environment."
I forgot to mention in this particular paragraph that this extreme inequality at the top of the cycle also has historically caused too much competition among the top contenders for power and causes tremendous political polarity and potential civil war...even the permanent collapse of empires. Does the political polarity part of this sound familiar? Yes, income inequality is natural. I think we all understand and agree with that. But do you really think that means it's OK for ten people in a village to rake in tons of money from the work of the other 990 while the 990 barely have enough to eat? Where do you draw the line? Your principles have practical limits or do you think not? And if you think they do, why do you deride us so much for believing that, too?
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 9, 2013 - 6:14am
Was that from the Walt Disney book on energy economics Dale?
People are the best resource blah blah... birds twittering in sky.. whatever the problem the human spirit can overcome etc etc
True, humans are very resourceful.   But there are fundamental limits to material resources.
In energy terms:
The ultimate source of all energy that we use is the sun.  For all current practical purposes, we have an absolute limit of harvesting the sunlight that falls upon the face of plant earth:  pi r squared.
Of course their have been hare brained ideas of orbiting sunlight harvesters... but the problems are severe from dramatically screwing up the climate to stopping the microwave beams used to transport the energy to earth from wobbling and maybe taking out the odd major city or two
So effectively this is a limit.   Of course there are various efficiency ratios to look at in terms of how much of this you can actually "harvest".   But it is a hard limit.
Anything we use beyond that in terms of fossil fuels is burning up past sunlight energy stored in other forms.  When its gone, its gone.  Quite apart from questions of global warming and acid rain etc etc.
Ultimately we will need to balance the books and live within this limit.  It is just like economics... if you use more than you produce... you can borrow for a while but ultimately you will run out.
There are clearly other materials which, unless effectively recycled, would soon run out.   Many of these are essential to modern conveniences such as mobile phones.
Living space is of course another hard limit.  This may actually decrease as the population increases with rising sea levels due to global warming (however you believe this warming to be produced).  I can understand that an under populated country like the USA may not feel this way but try visiting Bangladesh to get a feel for how space is ultimately limited.
None of this is a message of doom.  We simply need to modify our highly selfish behaviour.   Stop behaving like naughty kids who don't want to stop gobbling sweets.   Just grow up and realise that you have responsibilities to the planet and not just rights.
And, when you do, you start to realise how precious and beautiful this planet is... and really enjoy your time here.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 9, 2013 - 6:19am
On the subject of the richest billion and what they actually "create".
A comment from my Aunt to a hedge fund manager after he had introduced himself at a party:
"So then dear, what is actually the point of having you?   I mean what do you actually do for the rest of us?"
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 9, 2013 - 6:23am
For you lovers of true scientific inquiry, here is an interesting snippet:
Solar cells have a higher efficiency if you play rock music to them:
Mike Haluska Added Nov 9, 2013 - 1:19pm
Robin - your entire premise is based on 2 assumptions:
1) there are "too many" people
2) we are dangerously close to exhausting key natural resources
There are an estimated 7 billion people on the Earth.  Most of them live in squalor and poverty despite the fact that there are abundant natural resources around them.  I would agree that there are too many people (for whatever reason) are not using the abundance around them - not that there are just "too many people".
Back in the 70's the environmentalists told us that  we had "at most 30 years of recoverable oil left before the world went dark."  In the early 1800's newspapers were reporting that the whale oil supply would soon be exhausted and we would all freeze or whatever.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 9, 2013 - 5:22pm
Robin, the absurdity Haluska promotes is that we can just use everything in the next however many generations, accelerating the pace per capita and enormously increase the number of heads to boot, and ultimately, no matter how long it takes, royally screw whoever comes next out of everything. It is a fundamentally immoral perspective that essentially says it doesn't matter after we or the next however many generations are gone. This ignores that sustainable means either indefinitely sustainable or we use limited, ultimately exhaustible resources as conservatively as we possibly can. They ignore that we're like unhatched chicks living off egg yolk and so they feel no need to ever hatch.
No matter what these jerks say, I'm fundamentally conservative even though I don't subscribe to any of the insanely near-sighted positions many so-called conservatives who don't really want to conserve anything except their fictitious world view are currently promoting. I believe in the right to mutual exchange in free markets just as they say they do. But in my understanding, genuinely free markets are those in which corporate power cannot corner and monopolize markets. Free markets don't force people to sell their labor at bargain basement prices just because a few in power can get away with paying you practically nothing, having used their leverage in the government to legally take away your right to negotiate freely and make such trade truly free and mutually agreeable, etc.
These people are conservative only in the most counterproductive sense of that word, which means they refuse at all costs to believe anything is really changing in an incredibly fast-changing, highly technological world. They don't want to think very much is very different from the way they always liked to think it was.
Fossil fuel is cheap and effectively unlimited. Food is produced and distributed virtually the same way it was when they were little children and is just the same as it always was. People don't affect the environment with garbage, pollution, or anything else because we're just tiny little ants who are impotent in the face of nature no matter how many of us there are or how rapidly our technology enables us to consume ultimately irreplaceable resources that took hundreds of millions of years for nature to manufacture for us, etc., etc, etc.
In a phrase, they have their heads inside a provincial little sack that eliminates any ability to adapt to change. Change scares the toots out of them, so they take refuge in a manufactured sense of security in an imaginary world that doesn't actually change in any really fundamental sense.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 10, 2013 - 4:10pm
Mike:  If everyone believes and acts as you do, we are screwed as a species.
There are not too many people.
But we are using too much resource.  It is unsustainable.
We can exist sustainably, even with the expected 11 billion we will reach before population levels off.
However we cannot carry on as America does today.   If just 20% of the planet behaves the same way in 25 years times, we will use 300% of sustainably produced resources.  Three planet's worth.
The result would be conflict for resources on a global scale.  You could say that, if we do not manage ourselves, nature will do it for us with plague, famine and warfare
It does not have to happen, but we do all need to grow up and work together in order to avoid it.
Selfishness is our main enemy.  Work together and we will all do very well and be very happy.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 11, 2013 - 12:36pm
@ Nathan - By the time we are advanced enough to mine space, etc., if we survive until then, we will be wise enough to have learned to use sustainable agricultural and energy production. When you say our resources are unlimited for all practical purposes, you ignore that we are filling the ocean with junk.
You probably don't look at anything that would inform you of the Texas-size island just under and touching the surface of the Pacific made of plastic and metal that is affecting the health of marine life there, causing bizarre mutations and sexual ambiguities in them, nt to mention the ugly mess it is. Most people in your part of the political spectrum never look at anything that would inform them of that kind of stuff because even pointing to anything like that marks whatever source as "liberal" in that mindset. In other words, unpleasant truths get reflexively labeled as "liberal". This mindset doesn't want to admit that the burgeoning population together with enormous technological power to modify our environment can cause anything to go awry and become counterproductive for our long term well being.
The bottom line is this:
The mindset of many on the right just wants to indulge in Utopian fantasies that we can have as much technological power per capita and as big a head count as we want with nothing but short term market dynamics to steer this boat and nothing bad could possibly come of that. In that view, long term vision and basic human wisdom are left out of the picture and even frowned upon as "liberal".
Mike Haluska Added Nov 11, 2013 - 1:02pm
Bob, Bob, Bob .... a "Texas size island of garbage"?  Doesn't an island start at the bottom of the ocean and extend up past sea level to for a land mass?  See the article below folks - Bob is wildly exaggerating again:
Now I don't condone polluting the Earth, but lying and exaggerating just causes serious people to tune out. 
Mike Haluska Added Nov 11, 2013 - 1:11pm
Bob haughtily and smugly assured of his "moral superiority" states:
Man, you are a pompous whatsit, aren't you? Where's your common sense? Never heard of private jets? Never heard of spending thousands of dollars a day just because you have it? You've never been around anyone like that, have you, so you why do you pretend to know anything about them while you make stupid conjectures about their eating 100 pounds of potatoes for every pound Joe Blow eats? There's something called conspicuous consumption and many people with loads of money use it as a kind of intimidating show of power or just a heady sense of rivalry and being on top. Many people with tons of money are addicted to this kind of show.
You mean .... there are jet aircraft, bought by people with their own money, for their private use???  Well Bob - I made a living for 12 years as the owner/operator of a classic car restoration shop and met LOTS of clients with a penchant for spending money - their money.  Most were very generous, decent people who just loved old cars.  Some weren't so nice.  Virtually ALL of them wouldn't give a rat's ass what you think of them!  
Robert Wendell Added Nov 11, 2013 - 2:15pm
Kelley: "A liberal covers his ears and screams "La, la, la, I can't hear you!" when presented with any information which conflicts with his belief."
What do you think you and Haluska have been doing? Why do you expect me to change my mind until you give me a valid reason to?
Robert Wendell Added Nov 11, 2013 - 2:52pm
@ Haluska - Thanks for the link. It is much more balanced than you are. For those who want more context, here's the link again:
The article is based on an interview with a marine biologist named Miriam Goldstein. Here some quotes from the link target:
MYTH: There is a giant island of solid garbage floating in the Pacific.
FACT: There are millions of small and microscopic pieces of plastic, about .4 pieces per cubic meter, floating over a roughly 5000 square km area of the Pacific. This amount has increased significantly over the past 40 years.
"Microplastic debris in the North Pacific increased by two orders of magnitude between 1972–1987 and 1999–2010 in both numerical and mass concentrations." [Quoted from a paper Goldstein co-authored.
" do see a lot of dead chicks with their stomachs absolutely stuffed with plastic," Goldstein explained [during the interview].
My comment: An order of magnitude increase is a factor of ten. Two orders of magnitude is approximately a hundred times more.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 11, 2013 - 4:46pm
I'm semi-retired. I have to work part time to survive. Our retirement income is not adequate to fully support us. 
So your approach to solutions is just to continue doing stupid stuff until the problem becomes big enough for people like you to notice and do something about it after we're all way behind the eight ball and the problem is really difficult to fix? Not if I can help it. Publishing articles that intelligent, objective people can read and become aware is one approach to helping even from where I live. I also do not spend anything like twelve hours a day on Writer Beat. I have lots of open spots in my schedule that allow me to drop in for a few minutes several times a day. I also get emails advising me of comments just as many others do.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 11, 2013 - 4:59pm
@ Kelley - Your answers to comments also expose you and others like you for who you really are and how you "think". From my perspective, that's a really big help for my side of these issues as well. I absolutely love it that those in your camp are such a loud-mouthed minority that you make yourselves so highly visible. It allows the majority to see how just whacked out your thinking actually is. I wouldn't even bother to debate with you if it weren't for that.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 12, 2013 - 8:11am
"Yes, believing in the Constitution and personal responsibility - absolute crazy talk.  I can't dispute that people who believe in freedom and personal responsibility are in the minority.  When all of the majority's socialism finally collapses under its own weight, then I suspect we won't be the minority anymore.  I sure hope the country survives what you've done to it."
So I'm a socialist because I believe there is at least a 95% probability AGW is real? What does AGW have to do with the U.S. Constitution? Why do you accuse those of us who think AGW is almost certainly real of having a religious conviction that it's real when we only talk of probability and you openly state that it couldn't possibly be real? What is not whacked out about that kind of thinking? We talk odds and you swear it couldn't possibly be a significant threat again and again, but w'ere the ones with a religious conviction on AGW? You're full of double standards and projecting  your religious conviction onto the other side of all your issues. AGW and socialism are somehow synonymous, etc. I have Roth IRAs that I'm not taking distributions on yet, but you say I should have saved more. You assume that with no evidence or any knowledge about how much I've saved. I love my work and don't have to take distributions until I decide to. You're just full of whacked out thinking in just this one part of one comment.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 12, 2013 - 12:12pm
Good grief, your comprehension is fascinating, or lack of it. You accuse those who give credence to AGW of being religiously dogmatic about it even though I always have said to bet against it is a really bad bet. You, on the other hand, keep reiterating that it's absurd and a Marxist conspiracy. So what's this cow poop below all about? -
"I'm sure you have no idea what my religious convinctions are and whatever they are, I certainly don't project them into my political beliefs."
You do have a strong tendency to ignore context on just about everything, don't you? Meaning is always context dependent. For example, I can say that someone is a really nice man and it's a compliment. However, if I see an effeminate man and whisper to someone that he seems a just little too nice, I'm putting someone down for some specific personality traits and possibly their sexual preference by implication. The word nice has a very different meaning in these two contexts. Yet you never seem to put anything into a larger context. You cherry pick information and consistently fail to look at how lots of pieces of information fit together to logically or physically imply a bigger picture.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 12, 2013 - 12:14pm
Quoting Kelley:
"No evidence?  I have witness testimony.  Did you or did you not say, "Our retirement income is not adequate to fully support us."  That indicates to me you've not saved enough.  What am I missing?
"I was really just poking the bear a bit on the retirement thing, Robert.  Lighten up.  :-) "
Do I notice another example of self-contradiction here? You can't have it both ways. You're either lightening up yourself or not. You need to decide for yourself. I can't do that for you.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 13, 2013 - 1:52pm
"I showed you a graph of global temperatures through the previous four ice ages, and you pointed out that the scale was so big you couldn't even see the changes due to AGW..."
The point is this: the scale is so huge these large changes are irrelevant to our time frame. You're looking at moving a hair this way or that to move more than a century. In that chart, as you pointed out, we're looking at changes that would be utterly catastrophic for current civilization, but that occur in time frames of hundreds of thousands of years.
In order to be relevant, you have to look at a time frame that is relevant. You can't see anything in that time frame that tells us what is likely in the next thousand years, not to mention a century. Aren't you the one who said we can't predict the weather out ten days from now, so how can we predict longer term climate change? That is a blatant contradiction of your thinking about this chart, which is an exactly opposite assumption in such extreme form that it doesn't even apply.
What long term means in our time frame is less than a century. Long term and what it means is very relative to some reference frame. Then you go and look at something that covers hundreds of thousands of years in a few inches and act as if that says something intelligible about what is going on now. This is not rocket science. You can't do science if you don't have the ability to interpret intelligently simple graphic representations of data.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 13, 2013 - 2:32pm
Just watching coverage of the plight of people in the Philippines.
Whether you "believe" in global warming or not, it does seem to me that these sorts of tragedies are happening more often.
Here in the UK the weather is certainly not what it used to be.  We have had warm Marchs and cold Junes.   Farmers struggle to earn a living.
Something is happening whether caused by us or not.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 13, 2013 - 7:49pm
@ Robin - The deniers argue correctly that we can't associate causality with AGW for any specific weather phenomenon like a cyclone. This goes to the same reason we can't predict weather accurately only ten days into the future, so deniers wonder how we can predict climate change decades ahead. It's because the fundamental nature of the two kinds of prediction is radically different.
This is precisely the reason,we can't assign causality to AGW for any specific weather phenomenon like a cyclone. However, our highly accurate climate change models (ignoring the irrational disbelief in this of the deniers) do indeed predict that AGW causes greater extremes of temperature, changes in the jet stream and ocean currents like the Gulf Stream, and ever more violent storms.
They were predicting this long ago and no one can remain honest at all and deny we are experiencing colder winters, hotter summers, and more violent storms. The key understanding here is that tying AGW to any specific event is so complex as to be impossible, but predicting that changes in general conditions will increase changes in things like temperature and the violence of storms is another matter and apparently quite within our ability to do.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 14, 2013 - 7:51am
Mr. Wendell -
For the past 40 + years your "highly accurate" climate models have predicted ice caps melting, oceans rising 15', Kansas turning into the Sahara, etc.  Yes - it is possible to program a computer to ATTEMPT to simulate a non-linear, non-deterministic complex system.  That doesn't mean that it actually DOES make accurate projections.  By the way, what don't you understand about the term "non-deterministic"?
And you never addressed my point about CO2 concentration - I'll ask again:  According to AGW data, the concentration of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere is 400 parts per billion, of which less than 1% is attributable to human activity.  EVEN IF we could completely eliminate human attributable CO2, the concentration would only drop to 396 parts per billion.  No rational scientist (especially with no proof of causality) would state that the drop from 400 to 396 ppb would make a significant difference!
Robert Wendell Added Nov 14, 2013 - 1:30pm
@ Kelley - That's true, but the big changes in warming you see there did happen over long periods according to the very chart you linked to. This doesn't change the essential point, which is that you can't tell when that's going to happen from a chart with that time scale. More importantly, the possibility of entering into a sudden deep freeze, contrary to your thinking, is increased if AGW is real. Take a look at this quote from
"Looking ahead to the future, Patterson said there was no reason why a big freeze shouldn't happen again.
" "If the Greenland ice sheet melted suddenly it would be catastrophic,' he said.
"This kind of scenario would not rel="nofollow">discount evidence pointing toward global warming — after all, it leans on the Greenland ice sheet melting.
" 'We could say that global warming could lead to a dramatic cooling,' Patterson told LiveScience. 'This should serve as a further warning rather than a pass.'
" 'People assume that we're political, that we're either pro-global-warming or anti-global-warming, when it's really neither,' Patterson added. 'Our goal is just to understand climate.' "
Robert Wendell Added Nov 14, 2013 - 2:07pm
1) I never said that ALL climate change models are accurate. You talk as if because some guesses at how to design an accurate model were complete misses, that is an indictment of all climate change models. So where do you get the kahunas to accuse anyone else of cherry picking?
2) It's now 400 ppm and ppm means parts per million, not billion as you indicate. Even more to the point, in 1958 CO(2) was at 316 ppm, so the increase has been 84 parts per million instead of 4 parts per billion as you delude yourself it was. Moreover, if in your already clearly demonstrated scientific ignorance as basic as misunderstanding what units are under consideration, you continue to insist that the increase is insignificant, please provide something more substantial than your clueless amateur speculation to support that.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 14, 2013 - 2:23pm
By the way, 84 ppm over 316 ppm is a 26.6% increase, and enormous increase compared to any such historical increase in that time scale. Further, it is leading temperature increase this time instead of trailing it as it has historically. So it is a huge anomaly in rate, size, and in the reversal in the way it correlates with temperature.
In the past, temperature led because it was the cause of CO(2) leaving solution in ocean water just as it does in a hot Coke. This in turn increases the greenhouse effect long term, which water vapor cannot, since it is a long term constant that gets recycled. This time, the CO(2) is the initiator, causing the greenhouse effect to increase temperature instead of the other way around. Feedback loops can start at either end and they still remain feedback loops, but which one leads points to causality rather than mere correlation. You seem to very happily ignore that.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 14, 2013 - 6:14pm
I "very happily ignore" this jibberish because it is as far-fetched as can be imagined.  I have scooped lots of water out of the ocean and never shook it an watched oodles of CO2 bubble out like 7-Up! 
And we are still talking PARTS PER BILLION - and you still want to claim causality.  Look out the window at the clouds, there's your leading cause of heat being retained. 
Robert Wendell Added Nov 14, 2013 - 9:52pm
So you just want us to swallow that because you, the world's foremost authority on climate science, said it? Look at his from:
"An instrument near the summit of Mauna Loa in Hawaii has recorded a long-awaited climate milestone: the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere there has exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in 55 years of measurement—and probably more than 3 million years of Earth history."
Also from the same source:
"The last time the concentration of Earth's main greenhouse gas reached this mark, horses and camels lived in the high Arctic. Seas were at least 30 feet higher—at a level that today would inundate major cities around the world.
"The planet was about 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (3.6 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer. But the Earth then was in the final stage of a prolonged greenhouse epoch, and CO2 concentrations were on their way down. This time, 400 ppm is a milepost on a far more rapid uphill climb toward an uncertain climate future." [My emphases (Robert)]
Robert Wendell Added Nov 14, 2013 - 10:29pm
Has anyone else noticed that Haluska keeps insisting that what scientists call ppm (parts per million) is actually parts per billion? I have been called on a number of mistakes I've made in my comments. Every time I admitted and apologized for them. So far I haven't had one of my detractors return the favor, but somehow I continue to be the one who can't ever admit he's wrong.
Also look at this, quoting Haluska:
" I have scooped lots of water out of the ocean and never shook it an watched oodles of CO2 bubble out like 7-Up!"
So hey, everybody! Just how stupid is that?!?! And this guy actually claims he knows something about science.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 15, 2013 - 6:51am
In further evidence of climate change, an English vineyard has announced that it has successfully grown a crop of Sauvignon Blanc.  Apparently the northward movement of warm climate is now making it very difficult for "appellation controle" regions in France to produce the style of wines that they are know for.
Apparently the vine is one of the most sensitive things climate wise.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 15, 2013 - 8:03am
You are correct - ppm.  That's still orders of magnitude LESS than cloud cover (H2O)!  Hawaii is also surrounded by active volcanoes that affect CO2 readings.  And I keep repeating (with no response) that for 40 years running "global warming, now "climate change" (since that covers all the bases) have been predicting "doom and destruction in the next 10 years unless we act now!"  Nothing AGW advocates forecast came true - even in the slightest - so there is NO reason to believe anything they predict now.  
Robert Wendell Added Nov 15, 2013 - 10:31am
Haluska: 'And we are still talking PARTS PER BILLION - and you still want to claim causality."
Thank you, finally, for your admission, despite your continued insistence above even after you were corrected. On another of your points, water vapor is a long term constant that gets continually recycled. It can't cause long term climate change despite its vapor being a much more powerful greenhouse gas.
There is, however, an important difference between water vapor and cloud cover. Cloud cover cools, while water vapor is a greenhouse gas and its increase therefore warms, but again, cannot do so in the long term. Having said that, despite the impossibility of long term changes in total atmospheric vapor as a primary driver of temperature rather than an effect of it, average cloud cover could conceivably change long term if there were long term changes in X-rays making it through both the sun's and the earth's magnetic fields.
Ironically, pollution from the same sources that produce excess CO(2) increases aerosol content that increases cloud cover, which has a cooling effect, if you like pollution as a solution. (Pardon the rhyme.) More to the point, sun's magnetic fields do have an eleven-year cycle due to sunspot activity. Heavy sunspot activity increases magnetic shielding of X-rays. X-rays are believed (not proved) to increase cloud cover through increasing electrical charges in the atmosphere that cause particulate matter to clump microscopically and attract moisture to form clouds.
So strong solar magnetic activity shields the earth from X-rays, decreasing cloud cover and warming the planet. However, this is cyclical; not permanent. There is a slight, measurable fluctuation synchronized with the eleven-year sunspot cycle that reduces the accuracy of climate change models if not taken into account. This is convincing evidence that X-rays do indeed influence cloud cover and therefore also climate.
This mechanism is the ONLY even remotely legitimate objection a small minority of real scientists have raised to AGW. However, it remains a very slight and strictly cyclical effect that does not explain any long term changes. It also raises the only remote possibility that you (Haluska) could be right in your AGW skepticism, but it is also the only objection that you have not raised until I mentioned it and provided links to articles that included it. This is not to mention how many laughably ridiculous arguments you did raise.
So this only possibly legitimate objection to AGW is not proved any more than anything else and the little evidence that exists for it is strictly from the implications found in our models, which is a problem for anyone like you who poo-poos those models. It is relatively tiny compared to greenhouse gases in those same models, which are quite accurate. One has been shown to be accurate with forward projections (not "backcasts") within a few hundredths of a degree for well over a decade:
Robert Wendell Added Nov 16, 2013 - 6:26pm
If you want to believe in the Cosmic Ray theory of variations in cloud formation as an explanation of climate change, take a look at this:
Robert Wendell Added Nov 16, 2013 - 11:00pm
To get a handle on the greenhouse gases, which total only 1% of the atmosphere but keep the earth on average 33 degrees C (more than 54 deg F) than it would be without them, take a look at this:
And this:
Haluska's and also Kelley's endlessly repeated point that 400 ppm (parts per million) is too insignificant to have any appreciable effect on the atmosphere is truly silly. We use radiative transfer theory, which has been around for a long time and is irrefutably an accurate theoretical tool. We use it all the time to understand what is going on on Mars and other planets. We have used it to get theoretical results that represent actual measurements here on earth with an accuracy well within the accuracy of our measuring capabilities.
What these objections based on only 400 ppm miss is that the atmosphere is miles deep and nitrogen and oxygen have no greenhouse effect at all. That leaves only the extremely small trace gases to exert the greenhouse effect and keep us over 54 degrees F warmer than we otherwise would be. We couldn't live on this planet without greenhouse gases which A anti-GWA nuts absurdly attempt to use as a case against AGW. It's called too much of a good thing. Their arguments ignore that the issue is one of balance and not that CO(2) per se is bad. The whole way of thinking deniers demonstrate is extremely simplistic.
The important greenhouse gases in order of importance are:
Water vapor
Carbon Dioxide [CO(2)]
Note that water vapor is much more important than CO(2) in its greenhouse effect. However, the amount of water on earth is constant. Remember that this issue is all about balance. So in the long term water vapor does not increase unless the temperature increases. Then it actually amplifies the effect of whatever initially caused the temperature to increase, but cannot itself be a driver, but only an amplifier of climate change in either direction. Note also that water has a powerful trigger point as ice melts, since it takes 330 joules per gram (one gram = one cc or cubic centimeter) to melt ice. 330 joules is the amount of energy a 100-watt bulb delivers in 3.3 seconds. That's how much energy only 1 cc of ice requires to melt. This tempers warming until it's gone, then things go fast. It can also ironically trigger an ensuing very rapid onset of an ice age after dumping huge amounts of cold water into the oceans and switching other tipping points in multiple feedback loops in the earth's ecosystem. It can bounce back things back the other way after a peak in warming. Ice age onset can be very rapid while historically, warming is relatively slow in its extreme manifestations that put tropical vegetation at the poles.
Note also that methane is a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO(2), and some use this also to argue against CO(2) increase as a cause of AGW. However, there is much less of it in the atmosphere than there is CO(2). Nevertheless, whatever effect it has is increased if we add methane to the atmosphere. We do pump it out of the ground, so there is some human-caused component here that increases methane. Often cited bovine flatulence and that of other biological sources is ultimately recycled just as water vapor is, so cannot contribute to long-term climate change except as we extract it from under the ground.
There are many other minor greenhouse gases after ozone, but their amounts are very small and contribute very little individually. However, while most are also natural, humans are adding some to the atmosphere. None of these are alternative explanations for CO(2) as a contributor to AGW, but simply add to it.
The bottom line is that greenhouse gases total only about 1% of the atmosphere, with the rest either non-greenhouse gases or in such small amounts they are not significant contributors. Water vapor and CO(2) are by far the most significant contributors, with human-added CO(2) driving AGW and water vapor powerfully amplifying that in a mutually reinforcing relationship, a powerful feedback loop. This and that the atmosphere is miles deep is what the "only 400 ppm can't be significant" argument completely overlooks. This is not even to mention that we know radiative transfer theory is very accurate in practical application to CO(2) and its properties as a greenhouse gas.
One of the most telling points is that temperature and CO(2) increase each other in a feedback loop. The argument that in the past temperature always led CO(2) increase, which is often used to debunk the Al Gore movie, completely leaves out the all-impor
Robert Wendell Added Nov 16, 2013 - 11:01pm
the all-important truth that today that is reversed. CO(2) increase is leading temperature increase. That is the single most important and obvious indicator that AGW is just that: human-caused.
Al Gore is not a scientist anyway, and I don't believe in using politicians or their proxies in the media to get scientific facts, no matter which side of this issue they're on. If you want truth, politicians and their propaganda machines are the least reliable places to find truth about anything. The same goes for political arguments. Note that my political articles cite research results, not politicians, blogs, or editorial opinions.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 17, 2013 - 8:10am
"The all-important truth"????  AGW is a RELIGION to you Wendell!  "Feedback loops" can't amplify the amount of matter.  And because the atmosphere is so huge the dispersion between CO2 molecules is orders of magnitude GREATER!
You're objective, Wendell?  Go back and read through all the publications over the past 40 + years and check to see how many of the "If we do don't do "something"about AGW we'll all be (choose: freezing, boiling, drowning, eaten by polar bears, etc.)" predictions came true.
Here's the facts:
1) AGW is a tremendous source of grant revenue for hacks
2) The ONLY reason governments support it is because they can add another source of tax revenue
Robert Wendell Added Nov 17, 2013 - 1:04pm
""The all-important truth"????  AGW is a RELIGION to you Wendell!  "Feedback loops" can't amplify the amount of matter.  And because the atmosphere is so huge the dispersion between CO2 molecules is orders of magnitude GREATER!"
Taking something out of context again to "prove" a point? That statement aimed very clearly and specifically at the simple truth that today CO(2) increase is leading temperature increase. Do you deny that? That is the truth that this refers to, NOT AGW. AGW will always remain probabilistic, since it is virtually impossible in principle to "prove" on a strictly theoretical basis because the theory will almost certainly not be so complete in the foreseeable future, if ever, that we can prove it.
Does that mean it's not real? Do you believe absence of proof is proof of absence? You talk like you do. You admit no possibility whatsoever that you could be wrong. I just admitted that there is a remote possibility that I might be. So who has the religious conviction and not based on science, but on politics, for Pete's sake?! How stupid to take the word truth out of context like that and try to turn that into a religious conviction. You're full of that kind of cow poop, pal!
Who said feedback loops amplify the amount of matter? Do you not understand that feedback loops exist in nature, or that there are processes in nature that are delicately balanced and easily upset? How does the miles deep atmosphere dilute 400 ppm? 400 ppm is 400 ppm, period! If you take a fixed dilution of mud in water and poor it into a glass dish, the deeper it gets, the harder it is to see through, or is that too complicated for your poor little brain to absorb? It apparently is as long as it fails to support your religious agenda of AGW denial. This kind of idiocy is just demonstrating publicly that you're some kind of basket case when it comes to understanding the simplest, common sense principles of science.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 17, 2013 - 4:06pm
Wendell - not this time!  There are no "degrees" of truth!  You can't claim something as "all-important truth" and then run away and say you didn't really mean "truth".  And YES I don't believe CO2's influence on the Earth's temperature is significant NO MATTER HOW WELL the correlation may be!  You still want to equate "correlation" and "cause-effect" and I won't let you get away with it!
Robert Wendell Added Nov 17, 2013 - 4:28pm
Your arguments are sophomoric and you don't even seem to know it. Again, you're confusing what I said about "truth" with the whole issue of AGW. I only stated that there is and increase in both CO(2) and temperature over the long haul and that CO(2) is leading this time. This is clear. It is true. It doesn't prove AGW is real, but it's a strong indicator. I never said there were degrees of truth. I said there is a strong probability (roughly 95%) that AGW is real and that is not a statement of truth or untruth. So you are the one twisting things here and it's obvious to anyone with half a brain.
I never said correlation is cause and effect, either. I said the correlation is reversed from what it has been anciently, which is an anomaly that indicates a LIKELIHOOD that this time is not natural, since temperature always led in the past. Why should CO(2) be leading this time when it always lagged in the past? So what is it again that you're not going to let me get away with?
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 18, 2013 - 12:09pm
If I were you Robert, I would give up on this guy Mike.   He is either working for Big Oil or has swallowed their propaganda hook, line and sinker.
If we are to save mankind, I don't think we can count on Mike's help.  He is batting for the other team.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 18, 2013 - 1:17pm
Robin - I was chuffed to bits after reading your comment about me "batting for the other team"!  In my view, the "team" I am batting against consists of guilt-ridden haters of humanity, hell-bent on destruction of our modern way of life.  These are the same people who helped get DDT prohibited because "maybe" some fish died - and in return MILLIONS of innocent people who were once freed from malaria are now dying from it. 
They are also being duped by their own brand of industrialists - those who would benefit from fossil fuels being eliminated.  The reason these special people need to resort to propaganda/hysteria about something imaginary is because they can't compete honestly in a Free Enterprise system (see Solyndra and the dozens of other federally subsidized "green companies" that went bankrupt). 
The real litmus test (and the one Robert won't touch) is the record of these frauds over the past 40+ years - predicting "global disaster within the next 10 years" if we don't trade carbon credits with under-developed nations.  Use your common sense here: 
If "rich" nations are allowed to continue using fossil fuels in exchange for buying "carbon credits" from "poor" nations, how much will fossil fuel use be reduced?  Not at all is the answer!  This is all about a giant "transfer of wealth" from the US to 3rd world nations.  That's why NO wealthy industrialized nation will sign the Kyoto Treaty until the US does - they're afraid they'll be the lone Top Dog paying the bill!
Robert Wendell Added Nov 18, 2013 - 1:43pm
Thank you, Robin. I never thought I was ever going to convince this guy with either facts, reason, or anything else in the universe of reasoned discourse. Such discourse is clearly impossible with him. Discussing issues with people like him allows me to expose not only how deficient, but how personal bias can distort intelligent, well reasoned discourse.
In his case, since he claims certain scientific credentials, the discussion helps people with no science background understand that having an engineering degree and some experience with scientific projects does not guarantee at all that the person really understands science beyond plugging numbers into equations they got out of a book. That doesn't require any understanding of principle at all, and certainly no wisdom or critical thought of any kind. It's just rote algorithms routinely executed. It's basically like a kind of mental assembly line in a factory.
I've worked with electronics technicians who could fix equipment up to a point as long as they were very familiar with it, but didn't really understand how the electronics actually functioned. That limited their ability to becoming extremely familiar with specific electronic circuitry. I had to fix the really tough problems. They were working on a kind of statistical memory of past problems and the likely causes in terms of changing some component, finding a poor connection, etc.
That doesn't require much real knowledge of electronics and underlying principles of operation. This guy is clearly in that category and this discussion has revealed that in spades. That's the reason I bother.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 18, 2013 - 1:46pm
Robert - I am a Civil Engineer, not an Electrical Engineer.  That being said, electronics has nothing to do with the Earth's Climate.  You are awfully arrogant for a person who QUIT hard science before he could have possibly taken the hours of physics, calculus, differential equations, chemistry, structural dynamics I did. 
Your utter disrespect for the profession of engineering is an indicator of your ignorance and jealousy of those who actually DO productive work in the real world.  The reason you don't "bother" to refute my points is because you can't.  You can't explain decades of dire predictions that were completely wrong.  You can't explain why a non-linear, non-deterministic system can't be modeled/forecast.  You can't explain that there is no proof of a trace gas in the atmosphere (CO2) CAUSING temperature of the Earth to rise.  You'll never convince me with "facts, reason" because you HAVE NONE! 
Robert Wendell Added Nov 18, 2013 - 1:58pm
P.S. It also helps reveal that his agenda is really not scientific at all, but purely based on his personal political assumptions and biases. Haluska is clearly misleading in what he said I won't touch , to put it politely. I have not only conceded a number of times that scientists have been on both sides of this issue in the past, but that I was personally convinced at one point that the cosmic rays and their influence on cloud formation was being modulated by solar activity and this was the cause.
I changed my opinion after further evidence emerged. That evidence is now overwhelming and the cosmic ray phenomenon is taken into account in the most accurate models, but is a minor nuance. Scientists change opinions with the emergence of new evidence. That's something Haluska has no apparent ability to understand, since it is so clearly alien to his personal experience. The point is that it's smart to seek truth and not merely to prove yourself right. Of course, the need to be always right is what he accuses us of doing. In psychology it's called classical projection.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 18, 2013 - 2:01pm
Robin - my daughter Amy lives in London and attends graduate school at Regents College.  She was introduced to London when she was still in high school.  I was consulting to British Steel and brought her along during a business trip for an extended weekend.  In 2 days she learned the Underground and fell in love with London.  It is a beautiful city with great people and is by far the most cosmopolitan city on Earth.
She lives south of London in Trellick Towers and commutes to school and her clinic (she is getting her doctorate in Behavioral Counseling) and is careful to "Mind the Gap" when she gets on the train. 
As far as this "AGW" stuff, don't believe everything you hear/read.  God made a beautiful world, a world that has been around a lot longer than us and has wonderful recuperative powers.  Remember the "horrors" that the BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was supposed to cause?  My best friend was down there a few months ago - you would never know anything happened.
Want to be afraid of something?  Be afraid of Iran getting nuclear weapons - some nutty dictator/Imam gets in power, pushes a button and "Bob's your uncle". 
Robert Wendell Added Nov 18, 2013 - 2:12pm
Haluska, why don't you just flake off? You've proved beyond a doubt that you can't think your way out of a bear's bathroom when it comes to science. All your math background doesn't change that. You say an atmosphere miles deep just dilutes 400 ppm and so nullifies my argument . This is not even high school science. A particular dilution is just that. 400 ppm doesn't diminish because the atmosphere is miles deep. I already used a simple example; not an analogy, but a precise example of this principle with muddy water. If diluted mud in water stays at the same concentration and you make the water deeper, it becomes more opaque. Any third grader can understand that, but you made the idiotic statement that a miles deep atmosphere just dilutes 400 ppm. 400 ppm is 400 ppm. How can anyone who claims any understanding of much of any kind of principle make a cosmically stupid statement like that?
Further, I DO NOT DISRESPECT ENGINEERS! There are plenty of excellent ones. You're just not one of them. You're what the good engineers I've worked with call a cookbook engineer, and that's being generous. Don't bother to throw more credentials, awards, etc. at me. The proof is in the pudding and you've pooped a lot of pudding in your comments here and there's no way you can undo that with your silly little credentials.

By the way, the way you assume that electronics and other specializations are so unrelated to each other just points more strongly that you're a cookbook engineer who is unable to generalize because whatever knowledge you have is only skin deep.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 18, 2013 - 2:48pm
Bob - uhhhh regarding the density of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere ..... (makes sense since CO2 is 1.5 as heavy as air)
Just to keep things relative, if I am a "cookbook engineer", then you are a "comic book wanna be scientist with an Art degree"
Mike Haluska Added Nov 18, 2013 - 2:52pm
Mike Haluska Added Nov 18, 2013 - 3:23pm
For some comic relief .... Global Warming protest brings less than 50 people due to snow storm ... you can't make this stuff up ladies & gentlemen! 
Mike Haluska Added Nov 18, 2013 - 3:36pm
Here is a terrific example of Wendell's gobbledeegook logic straight from his confusing politics with science brain:
"Imagine that you had a 50% chance of dying relatively soon of a fatal disease, but that $10,000 would buy you medical attention that would guarantee a complete cure. You don’t know for sure that the $10,000 would not simply be wasted, since there is also a 50% chance that you’re perfectly healthy. This is exactly equivalent to a $10,000 lump sum premium that buys you protection against a 50% chance of a very premature demise. Who in their right mind would not pay that premium even with those extremely generous odds compared to the scientifically assessed 95% likelihood that AGW is real?"
This pure bullshit analogy is right out of Saul Alinsky's playbook: set up a "legitimate sounding concern the average person can relate to and substitute a more terrifying version that they will gladly buy into". 
Bob - for over 40 years you and your ilk have been predicting our demise "within the next 10 years" and NOTHING has happened - period!  There is no "scientifically assessed likelihood that AGW is real".  And I sure as hell don't want to pay pseudo-scientists $10,000 or more to be told that more "carbon taxes" will get rid of CO2 gas in the atmosphere!  Nobody with half a brain is buying this crap anymore, and it has nothing to do with political party affiliation!
Robert Wendell Added Nov 18, 2013 - 4:29pm
"Just to keep things relative, if I am a 'cookbook engineer', then you are a 'comic book wanna be scientist with an Art degree' "
There you go with credentials again which you can't back up with any demonstration that you understand the simplest scientific principles. I notice you avoid your goofball idea of 400 ppm getting diluted by an atmosphere that is miles deep. You don't even seem to understand what 400 ppm means. If you really dilute it, it's not 400 ppm anymore. Such a simple idea, and you get it bassackwards! How does an engineer even start to think like that?
On your link, it's full of conceptual holes that I've already covered and for which there is plenty of scientific debunking. The statistics at the beginning on the number of AGW-dissenting scientists are downright false. I read the whole thing, by the way, which I would bet you never do with my links, speaking of religious conviction and gospel-inspired certainty that you are right.
The bottom line is simple, Haluska. Every time I point out one of your cosmic intellectual blunders, you simply skate around it. You come up with your own counters to whatever I say that merely are your idea of what supports your position. They often have nothing to with anything I said and when they do, they're as absurd as your 400 ppm stupidity. You don't need differential equations to get that.
You accuse me of disrespecting engineers, which I do NOT! It's just that having a degree doesn't mean you know how to think straight. Thank you for providing ample proof that you don't. Meanwhile, you DO disrespect my art degree...surprise, surprise...just what you falsely accuse me of with engineers. I have worked in soil science. I've worked in electronics. I understand acoustics pretty darn well both with my mind and my ears. I'm a generalist. You're a narrow specialist who doesn't even understand his own discipline beyond rote learning of standard procedures. You've made that perfectly clear. So dump on art and artists as much as you like. It just makes you even more highly qualified for cosmic dunce-hood.
By the way, we use the same radiative transfer theory to study how atmospheres behave on other planets as we use here on earth and it works just fine everywhere. It's a well established and super-well confirmed tool. I'm not going to bother right now to point out all the wrong-headed stuff I found at your divinely inspired link, but I can if you insist.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 18, 2013 - 8:35pm
O, Haluska, in case you didn't know, Leonardo Da Vinci was an artist. I guess that made him inept at science and engineering, especially since he didn't have a degree in any of that stuff, including art.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 19, 2013 - 7:36am
Mr. Wendell - I don't disrespect your Art degree.  I disrespect your unwillingness to even consider deferring judgment to someone with an engineering degree and 30+ years experience. 
If this was a discussion on Classical Music Composers I wouldn't assume I knew more about the subject than someone educated and experienced in the Arts.
One of the things that EXPERIENCE in science, engineering and technical fields teaches us is a sense of proportion when trying to analyze and understand complex systems.  If I am standing next to a 400 ft tall steel tower I am much more concerned about lightning than the static electricity in my wool sweater.  I don't "deny" that the Earth's climate is changing - it always has.  When I look around for causality, I see the sun, clouds, land masses, oceans, huge volume of the atmosphere, etc. as much more predominant variables than a trace gas that doesn't even exist in the upper atmosphere.  Occam's Razor has served me very well over my career.
The primary thing I detest about most (not all) AGW "scientists" is their absolute condemnation of anyone who questions their techniques or motivation.  My "Bullshit Meter" gets pegged every time I hear proponents frame their position as unassailable and anyone who questions/disagrees is a polluter, wants children to starve, only cares about oil company profits, etc.  Al Gore flunked out of theology, has no scientific education/background, claimed to have invented the internet, lives in a huge home, drives around in limo's, flies in private jets, invests in companies in that would benefit from destruction of any industry related to fossil fuels, sold Air America to Arabs and enjoys "hero" status with AGW proponents.  The "fanatics" are all on the side of AGW, directly benefitting financially.   
Mike Haluska Added Nov 19, 2013 - 11:24am
AGW proponents, read the definitive dissection of this topic by Dr Michael Crichton:
So much for "Consensus Science"
Mike Haluska Added Nov 19, 2013 - 11:26am
Final quote from Crichton:
What is wrong with us that we ignore this human misery and focus on events a hundred years from now?  What must we do to awaken this phenomenally rich, spoiled and self-centered society to the issues of the wider world?  The global crisis is not 100 years from now — it is right now.  We should be addressing it.  But we are not. Instead, we cling to the reactionary and antihuman doctrines of outdated environmentalism and turn our backs to the cries of the dying and the starving and the diseased of our shared world. 
And if we are going to remain too self-involved to care about the third world, can we at least care about our own?  We live in a country where 40% of high school graduates are functionally illiterate.  Where schoolchildren pass through metal detectors on the way to class. Where one child in four says they have seen a murdered person.Where millions of our fellow citizens have no health care, no decent education, noprospects for the future.  If we really have trillions of dollars to spend, let us spend it on our fellow human beings. And let us spend it now. And not on our impossible fantasies of what may happen one hundred years from now.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 19, 2013 - 8:33pm
Nathan, thank you for at least recognizing that I've researched the topic and you haven't concluded that I don't know anything about science simply because I happen to have an advanced music degree. My problem with Haluska is his utter lack of a scientific mind. He is clearly unable to deal with the simplest scientific principles in a way that shows he understands them even a little. He keeps pooping on my understanding because instead of having a science degree, I have only two years of undergraduate physics and mathematics, three years of intense electronic training, and ten years of experience working in electronics.
What he doesn't understand is that I'm also self-educated in a lot of science and understood a lot of science as a little boy because my father was a science teacher (as well as a child prodigy musician). He gave us scientific toys and explained to us how they worked since I was in the first grade. Just because I switched to music doesn't mean I lost my interest in science. Ten years after I graduated I was able to reconstruct knowledge of mathematics, re-derive theorems and identities that I had forgotten, etc. because although I didn't remember them, I knew how they worked, the principles on which they were based, and without having to look anything up (the Internet was still decades away), I was able to reconstruct what my memory failed to recall.
Haluska insists on showing us again and again that he is incapable of doing the scientific equivalent of adding 2+2. He doesn't seem to realize that 400 ppm doesn't become less than 400 ppm just because the atmosphere is miles deep. The point about the depth was that only 400 ppm becomes significant when you put enough atmosphere in the way of infrared light. He responded that the atmospheric depth was in his favor, diluting the 400 ppm. This ignores the very meaning of 400 ppm, since diluting it would would not result in 400 ppm, but would reduce it.
It's an absurd argument that no remotely scientific mind would seriously entertain for a millisecond. This is so elementary it's ridiculous, and all the science and especially math education (since this is, after all, a very simple arithmetic concept involving no higher mathematics whatsoever) doesn't change the simple fact that he thinks this way. Education is not the same as aptitude, and he demonstrates a very poor aptitude for scientific thought. He may have gotten by (somehow, who knows?) with working in civil engineering for a long time, but he can't process really, really simple ideas with any understanding.The 400 ppm snafu is only the tip of the iceberg. I don't understand how anyone can be an engineer in any discipline and not understand specific heat, but his comments show he can't understand that radiative thermal transfer doesn't require anything like the mass he imagines it does because it is not limited by the specific heat of CO(2) and an amount large enough to store the amount of energy as temperature he seems to insist it does. He never answered two simple questions I asked him because if he does so correctly, it will show what a pitiful joke that his thinking on that one is.
So notice how Haluska keeps bringing up credentials and verbally pooping on mine while he gets junior high arithmetic concepts all wrong...not just one, but a series of basic principles nobody who knows any science argues about, all wrong. So if and when he gets the guts to confront this head on and answer my questions, explain how his assumptions involve specific heat, define what that means in specific, mathematical terms, and then show me where it fits into radiative thermal transfer, he's just spitting in the wind.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 20, 2013 - 7:44am
I would wager that Wendell plays the "Bloviataphone".  Bob - your endless attempts to simulate a scientific mind are just somebody trying to prove he's smarter by asking unrelated detailed questions that have been discredited by all of my responses.  The "density" response (see 10 responses back) showed that because CO2 is 1.5 as heavy as air, it rapidly disappears as altitude increases.  Who gives a rat's ass about specific heat of a trace gas in the lowest part of the atmosphere - only people desperate to come up with ANY connection between CO2 and the Earth's temperature.  Here's a common precept of logic - I can't be called on to prove a negative!  Arguing with you is like arguing to prove God doesn't exist.  I don't have to prove AGW doesn't exist - you have to prove it does!
And here (for the umpteenth time) are the 3 questions that blow Bob's arguments out of the water that I KNOW he won't answer, but drone on endlessly about thermo equations:
1) Explain decades of dire predictions about AGW that were completely wrong and contradictory. 
2) Explain why a non-linear, non-deterministic system can't be modeled/forecast. 
3) Acknowledge that there is no proof of a trace gas in the atmosphere (CO2) CAUSING temperature of the Earth to rise.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 20, 2013 - 8:29am
I have no qualifications in climate change science.  I am not sure that reading the various bits of propanganda at face value would get me very far either.  Some fundamental research of my own would be necessary to have data that I could really trust.
However I am a student of human nature.  I have studied consumer behaviour and methods of manipulation.
Because I know that I am not an expert, and accept that to become one would take many years of work, I have to take a different approach to judging what is likely to be right and what is likely to be wrong.
I look at motive.
There is clearly a very obvious motive for those who want to decry the idea.  That is that they would like to carry on raping and pillaging the planet, generally having a good time at everyone else's expense.  And, of course, Big Oil (tm) wants to keep on enriching itself.
So the big battalions self interest is clearly against.
In whose interests is it to argue for cutting back emissions?  It is clearly not going to win you votes from consumers?   Do you think that a few small makes of wind turbines can should down Big Oil(tm).
I have also watched very sober, and clearly non financially motivated, people at the met office explaining the whole thing.  They clearly believe it, and they have been thinking about it for years.
And I see that something is definitely causing climate change.  Droughts are increasing in Africa.  Wine growing regions moving north.   Unpredictable weather.
That industrial activity is causing this, along with acid rain and various other forms of pollution, seems quite reasonable to me.   At least I reckon the likelihood is very high.
So why take the chance of destroying the planet Mike and Nathan.  Take the measures now, before its too late.
It does not mean that you have to suffer a poorer life.  Far from it.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 20, 2013 - 9:22am
Haluska, YOU were the one who brought up the idea that such a small amount of CO(2) couldn't absorb that much heat.. That argument implies the need to consider thermal transfer involving convection, conduction and therefore temperature, mass, and specific heat in connection with transfer from higher to lower temperatures. I did not ever propose such an argument. I  simply asked you to back up YOUR argument by first showing you know how your own idea would work (involving an understanding of specific heat, a simple high school science principle). I then requested that you try to apply it to radiative energy transfer, which doesn't involve temperature difference and is therefore not limited by specific heat. Specific heat goes directly to heat storage in a medium and you were the one who said there is not enough CO(2) to store that much heat.
You have refused so far to even define the essential idea behind YOUR OWN ARGUMENT! In addition, I asked how you would apply that essential idea to radiative thermal transfer. I know very well that it doesn't apply to radiative transfer. YOU are the one who apparently doesn't get that.
You also refuse to confront your goofball statement that atmospheric depth doesn't dilute 400 ppm, which is a global density meaning that it encompasses the entire atmosphere. Reduced density with altitude is therefore moot. Further, that measurement was made at high altitude and since confirmed in multiple measurements elsewhere. That would tend to imply that heavier CO(2) is even denser at lower altitudes. All gases become less dense at higher altitudes and 90% of all gases exist below 6 miles. CO(2) is now at 0.04%, which is 4% of all gases other than nitrogen and oxygen. These last two constitute 99% of our atmosphere and have no greenhouse effect. Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas, but is a long term constant that varies between 0 and 2% short term. I address your three questions in my next comment.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 20, 2013 - 11:00am
My prediction came true - Wendell couldn't answer any of my questions that invalidated his entire argument.  Again, he quibbles with the insignificant to avoid answering the obvious:  Why haven't the AGW predictions of the last 40+ years come even REMOTELY true?     
Robert Wendell Added Nov 20, 2013 - 11:04am
Nathan, I teach voice and have worked as a professional singer. My undergraduate degree is in violin with a minor in voice and piano. I grew up playing trumpet in bands. I now mostly do jazz improvisation on the trumpet, but am currently playing in a 9-piece classic R&B band (Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Little Milton, etc.) I teach voice in multiple genres, although my training was almost exclusively classical. I have a Master's degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Florida, graduating with a 3.95/4.0 GPA in May 2006 on top of decades of choral conducting experience. Although I directed a choir for three and a half years after graduating from UF, I currently just teach voice and play occasional gigs.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 20, 2013 - 11:09am
Robin - two quick points:
1) You assume an awful lot by believing AGW proponents are pure as snow.  There is literally billions of grant dollars at stake, not to mention "green" industries that are economically non-viable unless fossil fuel industries are eliminated.
2) Science (despite what AGW proponents claim) is neither a popularity contest or based on consensus.  At the turn of the 20th Century, every physicist at Cambridge believed that everything there was to be known about physics had been discovered, and all that was left to do was "refine the constants" (speed of light, etc.) ..... then a patent clerk in Switzerland turned the entire science of physics on its head. 
Robert Wendell Added Nov 20, 2013 - 11:16am
Haluska, I'm in the process. Patience, please. I've actually already answered them, but you're apparently not only guilty of refusing to reciprocate by answering mine, but are jumping to conclusions as is your apparently incorrigible habit on everything else. Your failure to recognize that I've already answered your questions, although I'm in the process of indulging that request once again, can only be due to one of the following reasons:
1) You don't bother to read them.
2) Your lack of scientific aptitude renders them so incomprehensible to you that you fail to recognize that they are answers.
3) You refuse to accept that they are answers, in which case you should not be accusing me of not answering, but explaining where the flaws are instead of bringing up arguments for your position that are irrelevant to pointing out flaws in mine.
You have no right to expect answers from me as long as you refuse to answer my questions. However, I'm answering anyway. Patience is all I ask. I have to answer in ways that preempt your predictable responses. That takes time and thought and will likely be of no avail anyway, but I'm dumb enough to respond despite your intransigent and arrogant refusal to reciprocate.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 20, 2013 - 11:25am
1/ What is the motivation of those you say are providing billions in grants?  Why do it?  What do they hope to gain if this is all a sham?
2/ The whole basis of science is to formulate a theory to fit the observed facts.   This is used as a way of predicting the future until the facts no longer fit the theory.  Then a new theory has to be postulated.  No such thing as ultimate "truth"
You are arguing these points as if it were a pure academic issue.
People are dying now as a result of global climate change.  If there is a chance that your personal actions are aiding that, that you are, in effect, party to killing people, then you should seriously consider what you are doing.
You act as if it were some kind of religious crusade for you to overturn accepted science.
This is my planet too and I would like you to treat it with some respect.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 20, 2013 - 11:31am
By the way, Haluska, one of the many things I've done in my almost 70 times around the sun on this planet is technical writing. I had to interview engineers on the operation of complex equipment and often had only an hour to do so. For example, I wrote the CNC (computer numeric controller) and glass cutting methodology chapters on a glass cutting machine that shot at Mach 2 a slurry of fine-grained garnet with various options for coarseness of the grain and cutting speeds through glass several inches thick. I understood the machine and all the technical aspects of the operational options so well after a one-hour interview with the engineers that I needed virtually zero further consultation with them in writing the chapters. Later the operators, who had at least one year of experience operating the machine, reported that after reading my chapters they were able to make much better choices of the options and virtually no trial and error as they had before. They said that reading my chapters completely clarified how the various parameters affected the glass cutting. So I guess I didn't have to understand any science to do that? Maybe my ignorance of science was why I was hired over thirty competitors for the same writing job?
Robert Wendell Added Nov 20, 2013 - 11:35am
Nathan, I failed to mention I studied voice at New England Conservatory for three years under Lav Vrbanic, who had previously chaired for 26 years the vocal department of the Zagreb Academy of Music in the former Yugoslavia. He was widely considered in Europe to be one of the four of five top vocal pedagogues in the world at the time.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 20, 2013 - 11:48am
Haluska, back in the 90s I wrote the Spanish translation through to the polished final draft for the NT Network Administrator A+ certification exam as well as the one for computer repair technicians. 900 questions with at least 5 multiple choice answers each. I never went to school to study these specific areas. I've done simultaneous translation from English into Spanish many times, sometimes on highly technical or philosophically complex subjects. One year of high school Spanish is the full extent of my formal training. I guess that means I don't really speak and understand Spanish just like my meager formal training in science means I don't anything about that either. Sometimes quality is more important than quanitity, and aptitude and interest far more important than formal training. I learned long ago never to speak Spanish with non-native speakers who teach it and who have 4-year degrees in the language. They blush and keep speaking English, change the subject, or just manage to terminate the conversations somehow. Yet they are professionals who supposedly teach the language. Hmmmm.....???
Robert Wendell Added Nov 20, 2013 - 11:57am
Haluska, by the way, most of those 900 questions on the two A+ certification exams were complex, multi-paragraph questions.
Autumn Cote Added Nov 20, 2013 - 1:18pm
I wonder if you all realize that this post has 346 comments.  The next closest post has 203 comments and that post was written in May.  I love how this post started out as a discussion about global warming and now we're discussing top vocal pedagogues.  Keep up the good work!  
Steve Borsher Added Nov 20, 2013 - 1:32pm
Exactly why I stopped commenting here quite a while ago.  I think that the article writers comments should not be counted in the total; and once those are effectively removed for counting purposes, any sequential comments by anyone else should be grouped and counted as 1.  That would give a much truer count of pointed activity.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 20, 2013 - 2:07pm
Robin -
My responses:
1/ What is the motivation of those you say are providing billions in grants?  Why do it?  What do they hope to gain if this is all a sham?
The vast majority is National Science Foundation grant money (taxpayer money - yours & mine).  The government wants to use the "excuse" of AGW as a reason to take over more of the economy, increase taxation and reduce individual freedom.
   2/ The whole basis of science is to formulate a theory to fit the observed facts.   This is used as a way of predicting the future until the facts no longer fit the theory.  Then a new theory has to be postulated.  No such thing as ultimate "truth"
Not according to Bob & AGW crowd!  How many times have you heard "the debate is over", "global warming is real and happening", sea levels will rise 10' in the next few years", ad nauseum.  They KNOW they can't prove anything and their track record for prediction the last 40 years is 100% wrong.  What is at the core of Bob's & AGW argument???  They want me to prove a negative - that they're NOT wrong!  This is a total violation of logic and scientific method.  Their position is the same as the guy who says "Prove God DOESN'T exist"!
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 20, 2013 - 3:19pm
My God you are seriously paranoid aren't you.
They are not all out to get you Mike.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 20, 2013 - 3:22pm
Actually seeing you argue here Mike and the things you say, I despair.   We are totally buggered because of people like you.   You will argue black is white and be quite happy for the world to burn down around you whilst you do it.
Try and get a soul whilst there is still time mate...
Mike Haluska Added Nov 20, 2013 - 4:18pm
Robin - I didn't realize I was corresponding with the "arbiter of human souls"!  People that disagree with you (and have been right for 40 years running on this topic) are soul-less? 
Robin, I despair for you!  I love this world and life and thank God every day for His boundless blessings.  People like you want to destroy the progress of the human race in some sort of twisted rage of guilt about the "crime" of being human!  You come from privilege and have been "conned" by intellectual nit-wits into believing you should be ashamed of who you are. 
This world has seen and lived through far greater disasters than anything humans can cook up, and it will continue to.  I just wish there was a way for people like you to go to your own little country and live under your ridiculous fear based laws and leave the rest of us are free to live and enjoy life. 
And to be paranoid means to be afraid - I haven't the minutest bit of fear of the Bob Wendell's of the world.  I am a productive citizen of the world and I am proud of the accomplishments of the human race that were born out of love of life - not fear or hatred of it.  You detest the modern world and industry like BP?  Quit being a hypocrite and live someplace where none of this evil technology exists.   
Robert Wendell Added Nov 20, 2013 - 6:41pm
"Not according to Bob & AGW crowd!  How many times have you heard "the debate is over", "global warming is real and happening", sea levels will rise 10' in the next few years", ad nauseum."
If you include me in the crowd that says AGW is proven, you either can't read or you're a bald-faced liar. I have always been talking in probabilities, not truth when it comes to AGW. I talk about denying it in terms of making a very bad bet. YOU, sir, are the one who insists absolutely that AGW can't possibly be real.
Do you understand how downright sick it is for a supposedly spiritually oriented person to keep repeating this kind of garbage about me after the upteenth time I've addressed that? You find me one place in my article or my comments where I've ever said AGW is proved. Overwhelming evidence, yes, but never proof. High odds that it's real, yes, but never proof. 

You are the one who refuses to admit any possibility that it's real and yet you have the gall to turn around and accuse me of that!? Everyone who knows me knows I'm an incurable optimist and I enjoy life tremendously. So get off this paranoid trip of yours and quit reversing the truth about who is religiously convinced with your repeated lies about that. It's your fear that keeps you in denial. You and Kelley have revealed in past comments that if it were real, we would be doomed both economically and physically. That's far from true. Sustainable energy is the only long-term viable technology by its very definition. I predict that it will be vastly more economically productive when we finally make the transition.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 21, 2013 - 12:38am
Well, Mike, Nathan:
It seems to me that your attitude represents the image that many have of America in the world:  greedy, selfish and totally indifferent to the harm that you cause others.   It is part of the reason that many hate you.
On the plus side I saw a US carrier doing a lot of good in the Philippines on the news today.   Using at least some of your tax dollars to help out a bit.  It is just a shame that more of you are not interested in trying to avoid causing damage in the first place.
BTW I don't hate you, but I do wish that you were just a little more compassionate and human.  I don't claim to have a monopoly on the truth (whatever that is).  But I do try to give the benefit of the doubt on the side of the greatest benefit to humanity.  With you two, you act giving benefit of the doubt to your own, very narrowly defined, self interests.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 21, 2013 - 6:53am
BTW Mike, I do not detest the modern world.  Far from it.  In the past people did not live in harmony with nature.  They died in harmony with it.  The current model of industrialisation has given us a brief period where we have been able to increase wealth and improve living standards.   All good things.
But we need to design the future world.
The old ideas of consuming as fast as possible are unsustainable for a number of reasons.  We therefore need to design new ways of living fulfilled happy lives which do not require high levels of consumption.
This would be perfectly possible if it were not for dinosaurs clinging on to the vision of a fossil fueled world being the only route to happiness.
Open your mind and your heart.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 21, 2013 - 7:02am
And Mike, don't rush to assumptions and to insult.   I do not come from a privileged background.  Quite the reverse
When I was 18 I was essentially homeless.  In fact I was a professional "house guest".   Everything that I have, I have acquired through effort... plus a bit of good luck.
I have to say that Government policies have given me a lot of help... in particular funding me through my University course in Physics back in the 1970s.  Without that I would probably be working as a baker today.  As it is, as well as doing well for myself and my family, at the last estimate, I have created at least 5000 man years of direct employment, plus a bit more amongst those who have supplied my various enterprises.
Today, now that I have enough material stuff to keep me and the family happy, I try to do my bit for the IFRC and help to provide informational based aid to those affected by natural disasters.  (If anyone is interested in contributing to the TERA project, please let me know... we need funding badly).  
I have seen the effect of climate change at close hand and it breaks my heart.
When I here the way that you deny and rant about it... I feel depressed.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 21, 2013 - 8:49am
See the link below:
Mother Earth has her own ideas about what goes on ecologically, we're just along for the ride.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 21, 2013 - 9:14am
Sure Mike... but no reason to not try and do what you can.
BTW for those of you who are interested in doing something to alleviate the suffering of those hit by climate change, here is a video of my presentation on the TERA system.
This uses SMS text to help communities to prepare for disasters and to help themselves once one strikes.   We need funding for this programme.   If there is anyone out there who can/would like to help... please let me know
We would like to get this in place in 40 countries and cover 500 million people within the next five years... but lack of cash is holding us back.   So far the system is live in Haiti and in Sierra Leone.  Hope to add more countries soon.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 21, 2013 - 11:36am
Robin - I entered your link, sounds like a promising concept.  What is preventing better communications now?  I agree with the idea of doing something about things we can control or affect.  Would you rather I write a check to TERA to help alleviate suffering now, or prefer limited funds be spent on something that might happen 10,000 years from now that in all probability we have no control over? 
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 21, 2013 - 12:09pm
Nathan:  I told you what many people say in the rest of the world.  I did not say it was my view.
Mike:   By all means give me the cheque now.  How much would you like to donate?
I think you can affect global warming... because you are helping to cause it.  Americans are doing so more than anyone else because of their inordinate high levels of consumption.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 21, 2013 - 1:54pm
Robin - In Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged" there is an illuminating scene between steel industrialist Hank Reardon and his "activist" younger brother Phillip.  It seems Phillip has never got around to finding a way to support himself, so he lives off his wealthy older brother. 
One evening Phillip approaches Hank in his study and tells him he is a member of "Friends of Global Progress" and he needs to raise money for them.  Of course Hank sees right through the charade and asks Phillip how much money he needs to raise and Phillip responds $100,000. 
Hank tells Phillip to come by his office tomorrow and his secretary will have a check ready for him.  Phillip acts surprised, but then asks if he could have the money in cash.  Hank asks "why cash"? and Phillip replies that "Friends of Global Progress" is a progressive organization and it wouldn't look right if greedy industrialist Hank Reardon was on their esteemed list of contributors! 
Your comments about my donation to your group strongly reminded me of that scene in "Atlas Shrugged".  You'll excuse me if I choose to not donate money to someone while they insult me and my countrymen.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 21, 2013 - 7:50pm
Haluska keeps coming back to a basic theme that underlies all his assumptions, with no science necessary. He believes that no matter how powerful our technology gets and how many of us end up living on this little globe, Mother Nature is just too big and powerful for anything we do to matter. He always ends up taking recourse from his other silly arguments to this idea as his last refuge. But just because it always seemed that way and was effectively true for all but the last century or even more recently doesn't make it so now.
There are two kinds of conservatism:
1) One kind wants to keep long treasured, practically valuable traditions that support the well being of society and change the things that no longer work. This conserves the traditional good while maintaining the ability to adapt intelligently to real change.
2. The other kind just wants to be comfortable with the breakfast his mother always made for him/her (metaphorically speaking), think things continue to be the same as they always thought they were and are generally allergic to change, period. They are inflexible and unable to adapt either their thinking or their behavior. 
Haluska qualifies in spades for number two above and demonstrates clearly all the psychological traits research shows are found in this mindset as opposed to the thoughtful conservative in number one. 
With reference to Haluska's reply to Robin below:
"You'll excuse me if I choose to not donate money to someone while they insult me and my countrymen."
Haluska, you and those like you are an insult to your countrymen and would take us to the bad place on a freight train if there were enough of you.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 21, 2013 - 9:12pm
Haluska, how about telling everyone here how in Sam's hill a professed engineer with 30 years experience in scientific work can't discriminate between controlling energy and multiplying it? Even after your confusion is corrected you continue to confuse them, which means one or more of the following three things:
1) You're an absolute scientific know-nothing.
2) You're fundamentally dishonest despite your professed religious orientation in that you refuse to admit you're wrong even after you've been proved wrong in your confusion of controlling and amplifying energy.
3) You have a severe learning disability evidenced by your inability to discriminate between controlling and multiplying energy even after a full explanation of the difference and receiving multiple practical examples of that difference.
Oh, and you also seem to overlook that digital computers are now able to replicate just about anything analog systems can do with incredible accuracy, since we have enormously faster clock frequencies in the gHz range and huge amounts of RAM even on laptops, not to mention supercomputers. Regarding digital processing calculations for non-linear dynamical systems, take a look at this software that runs on ordinary home computers:
Robert Wendell Added Nov 21, 2013 - 10:01pm
@ Haluska - By the way, the end of my last comment answers one of your three questions. Regarding non-deterministic, I've already answered that in talking about how scientists approach modeling complex, non-linear dynamical systems that are perhaps never going to be completely understood theoretically. However, let's do it here, too, and make it more thorough.
Chaos theory tells us that minute, even undetectable differences in initial states in such otherwise identical systems result after some relatively short time in enormous differences in their system states. This is often expressed with the example of a butterfly in Mexico causing a tornado in Texas. This principle is provable mathematically.
Weather systems qualify in spades for complex, non-linear systems whose exact initial conditions we can never know. It is also perhaps true that neither can we ever know all the theoretical principles that determine it. Yet we can fairly accurately predict now even two or three days out what the local weather in locations all around the globe will be. How?
Statistical correlations between major known contributors to a phenomenon are frequently used as proxies to exact theoretical knowledge when the latter is unknowable, that is, indeterminate, as you put it. That's what we use to predict weather. It's amazing, considering the proven theorem from chaos theory mentioned above that we do as well as we do with weather in thousands of locations around the world. How is that possible?
As you point out, correlations are not synonymous with causes. However, they can take into account on a practical level causes that we don't even know about, because these correlations are empirically derived and also tested empirically. Guided by the empirical results of testing the model against reality, they are then tweaked to reflect reality as accurately as possible. This is why, compared with weather, the inherently much simpler task of predicting broad, averaged, global climate change is possible in practice without knowing every little theoretical piece of the picture. This can yield highly reliable assessments of probability, but that is exactly why we cannot ever say "proof" and be correct. It is likely impossible even in principle to ever obtain a full theoretical understanding of climate change. (Never mind that you pretend that AGW couldn't possibly be real, which is an absolute position that implies truth value as opposed to a probability.)
A simple example of what all this means is flipping a symmetrical coin and predicting what the odds will be for heads and tails. If the coin is truly symmetrical, we don't have to know anything about the initial condition, angular momentum, average speed, and exact path length of each flip to predict that the odds are 50/50 for heads and tails. We can "prove" this empirically by flipping the coin thousands of times and the longer we flip it, the closer the results will converge on equal totals for heads and tails. This is a case in which we would have to know every theoretical detail of a single flip with incredible accuracy to know how the coin was going to land. Yet without knowing anything about the details of a single flip, we can confidently predict over time as we continue flipping it, the total of each head or tail result will converge on equality between the two.
So here is an example in which we do understand quite well all the theory involved in a coin flip. We just need to know the initial orientation, the exact path length, the average speed, and the angular momentum of the coin and we could, assuming accurate data, predict the result correctly for each flip. Since this is very difficult to achieve in practice, even with full theoretical knowledge of the mechanics of coin flipping, we predict probability instead for a long term result in the total number of each. Simple!
Jeff Kunkel Added Nov 22, 2013 - 12:03am
Nathan Kelley: re your Nov 21, 2013 - 10:46am comment "@ Robin:"

Speaking of 'blind men,' are you frigging serious?  Try justifying your view to Chinese Apple workers, Bangladeshi textile workers, American Walmart workers, or any citizens of the OPEC countries.  In its current state of (d)evolution, I would rephrase your comment as:

"Wherever western capitalism led by the US runs amok in the world, poverty is growing and there is government corruption, oppression, overregulation, economic stagnation, abuses of human rights, and slavery, not to mention mass murder (war)."

By the way, music notation is not 'rocket science;' pitch, duration, and expression.  That's all it is.  I'm astonished by how so many "musicians" find it so elusive. 

Robert Wendell: I had no idea you were such an accomplished musician!  Cool!  

Autumn Cote: Sorry.  I couldn't resist :-)  
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 22, 2013 - 1:34am
I knew you would not donate Mike.   You conform to stereotype, don't you. 
I guess you would invoke Ayn Rand, God and anyone else that you can to justify yourself.   You may be one of those religious types who believes you have a right to use the world and everything in it for your own personal gain, ignoring the fact that there are 7 billion other people here sharing it with you.
Happily I have met many Americans, in various parts of the world, who do not conform to stereotype.
Instead they are selflessly working to try and make a better world giving of their time, effort, money and compassion.   Many I would count as firm friends.  These include a peace corpsman working in a village in Botswana and helping to run an orphanage and a young woman working in Nepal on helping to prepare people for earthquakes (Incidentally: she is promoting silver whistles as "jewelry" to raise the consciousness of the threat amongst the young)
But there does seem to be a very vocal group of people like you.  Far from being ashamed, as you should be, you seem to be proud of your attitude. 
You are the problem.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 22, 2013 - 8:01am
Robin - You are the height of arrogance!  You insult me and the people of the US while you ask for contributions.  You pronounce me as selfish and you have NO CLUE how much I donate to charity in time and money.  You insult people of faith as selfish "exploiters" of the world.
Knowing the history of the past century, I would think you would be particularly averse to accusing ANY American you didn't know personally of being less than charitable.
The US is by far the most generous (blood & treasure) nation that ever existed.  Like Britain, we have fought all over the world to preserve freedom.  Unlike Britain, we didn't colonize entire continents around the world.  Instead of annexing countries we liberated, we established the Marshall Plan, funded 90% of Western Europe's defense during the Cold War, etc.   
When it comes to fitting stereotype, "pompous, self-righteous, haughty Brit" wears very nicely on you.  
Mike Haluska Added Nov 22, 2013 - 8:11am
Wendell - the difference between an ANALOG computer and a DIGITAL computer is that uses analogous equations and the other is numerical.  And if you understood anything about complex systems, is that it makes NO DIFFERENCE how powerful the computer is or how much data is collected, the results are no more accurate.  Dr. Edward Lorenz proved this in the early 60's. 
And somebody with your music background should stop trying to be what he isn't - a practicing engineer or scientist.  You may flummox your adoring liberal arts students by quoting from "Scientific American" but you don't fool me for a minute.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 22, 2013 - 8:45am
And Wendell ... how in the hell do you have any idea regarding my religious affiliation?  Just to satisfy your curiosity, I am a practicing Byzantine Catholic of Ukranian descent.  We are part of what is called the Eastern Catholic Church.  It's a recognized religion, unlike AGW. 
Jeff Kunkel Added Nov 22, 2013 - 9:03am
Mike Haluska, re: your Nov 22, 2013 - 8:01am comment @ Robin: "Like Britain, we have fought all over the world to preserve freedom.  Unlike Britain, we didn't colonize entire continents around the world.  Instead of annexing countries we liberated..."

If you believe that, then "I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you."  Capitalism (ie. the misnomer, "Democratization"), or for that matter, Communism, wears many masks.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 22, 2013 - 10:43am
Quoting Haluska:
"And Wendell ... how in the hell do you have any idea regarding my religious affiliation?"
When did I say I did? Just as with AGW, your reading comprehension is virtually zero because of your self-blinding attitude. I simply took your word for it (quite generously, all things considered) that you are religious and pray a lot. The same goes for me. I never ventured to guess what religion, but you should know that I'm quite familiar with the Eastern Orthodox tradition, since although I'm not a member of that church, I frequently attend a Greek Orthodox service in their incredibly beautiful church about three miles from us because I love the Byzantine chants and the atmosphere of silence, respectfulness, and reverence that pervades the atmosphere of their services. I'm also very fond of the Russian Orthodox musical tradition and have conducted choral music from that tradition, including Rachmaninoff's Vespers. One of my past choirs went absolutely nuts over his Alliluyia and they did it beautifully. You can hear a high renaissance work by Giovanni Perluigi da Palestrina I directed with a choir I founded in 1994. This was recorded in the spring of 2003:
Mike Haluska Added Nov 22, 2013 - 10:43am
Jeff -
Please indicate which continents or nations we annexed as part of the "The Empire of the United States of America".  Capitalism is an economic system that can be practiced by anyone - the US doesn't have a copyright on it.
As General Colin Powell once said:
When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush.

He answered by saying that, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."
It became very quiet in the room.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 22, 2013 - 10:57am
Quoting Haluska:
"And somebody with your music background should stop trying to be what he isn't - a practicing engineer or scientist.  You may flummox your adoring liberal arts students by quoting from "Scientific American" but you don't fool me for a minute."
Who do you think you're fooling by professing to be an engineer with 30 years experience in the sciences, but who apparently can't distinguish between controlling and "multiplying" energy even after I school him in the difference with half a dozen practical examples? You quote sophisticated sources, but demonstrate vast scientific ignorance at every turn.
I don't give a hoot about analagous versus numerical. We can record any analog signal we wish with as much accuracy as we want with digital technology as long as the sample rate is high enough. You think I'm quoting "Scientific American" in my comments to you? Think again! I just type it out straight from my head because I already know this stuff. The examples I give and the explanations that accompany them are mine and not copied from any other source outside of my own brain. The stuff I quote is in quotation marks with references to their source.
Also, when are you going to get it out of your head that being a musician doesn't disqualify anyone for anything else? Einstein played the violin, for Pete's sake! There are many musicians in some very good amateur orchestras who are scientists and engineers. There is one in California, I forget which, that is mostly constituted of scientists and engineers. I believe it may be San Francisco or one of the cities in that general region.
Mike Haluska Added Nov 22, 2013 - 10:59am
It has become quite fashionable for European nations over the past few decades after WWII to bash the US.  The critics are typically the succeeding generations after the war, and have no Frakkin' idea why they're bashing the US, except it gets popular approval among liberals.
In regard to the topic of this discussion, the US is frequently bashed for not signing the Kyoto Treaty - by nations who have not signed it either!  The dirty little secret is they all know this treaty will do NOTHING to reduce CO2 emissions - it is a naked attempt to "shake down" the US for money.  A bunch of financially mismanaged socialist nations have run out of "other people's money" to confiscate and are desperate to keep their fantasy of "something for nothing" alive.  Kyoto accomplishes this for them by forcing the wealthiest industrialized nation on the treaty to "purchase" CO2 emission rights from countries with declining economies.  Whoever the "Top Dog" is that signs on will be stuck with the check, every other country is waiting for the US to sign and assure that they won't be "Top Dog".
Robert Wendell Added Nov 22, 2013 - 11:08am
Haluska, many people who do science fail to understand science at any deep level. You quoted Richard Feynman, who made this very observation on many occasions. This one is one of my favorites of his:
“I don't know what's the matter with people: they don't learn by understanding, they learn by some other way — by rote or something. Their knowledge is so fragile!”
You have, right here, made yourself a prime example of precisely those to whom this quote refers.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 22, 2013 - 11:41am
Quoting Haluska:
"They want me to prove a negative - that they're NOT wrong!  This is a total violation of logic and scientific method.  Their position is the same as the guy who says 'Prove God DOESN'T exist'!"
You're so logically challenged, Haluska, that you don't even recognize that you've turned this around backwards. I have acknowledged multiple times that we cannot theoretically prove that AGW is real. We can only gather enough empirical evidence to become confident that it is highly probable that it's real. 
You, on the other hand, repeatedly assert that because we can't prove AGW is real, it must not be. In fact you go so far as to say that AGW could't possibly be real. This assumes that absence of proof is proof of absence, which is the same goofball stance that atheists take.
It also assumes that just because it is virtually impossible in principle to prove AGW is real, since it involves such a complex system, we should wait until we can prove it (likely never) to do anything about it no matter how much evidence indicates that it is very probably real. How logical is that?
Robert Wendell Added Nov 22, 2013 - 11:46am
"It has become quite fashionable for European nations over the past few decades after WWII to bash the US.  ...[They] have no Frakkin' idea why they're bashing the US, except it gets popular approval among liberals."

No, it's because they observe the insane behavior of the idiots you elect to congress.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 22, 2013 - 12:04pm
Quoting Jeff Kunkel: "I had no idea you were such an accomplished musician!  Cool!"

Thank you, Jeff. I love music and was fortunate to be born to parents who were both child prodigies and also have a sister who is prodigiously talented musically. I got both the genes and the environment, so I'm extremely grateful for that. In fact, because I was in such a prodigiously talented musical environment, I had to overcome an inferiority complex, since I was not a child prodigy, but simply blessed with a good, healthy measure of musical talent. Everything is relative, and they were my very close relatives. :  )
Robert Wendell Added Nov 22, 2013 - 12:15pm
@ Jeff Kunkel - I am somewhat loathe to inform you that because you apparently know how to read music, you must not be any good whatsoever at your engineering job. :  )
Thanks for demonstrating that people with good scientific minds and engineering ability are often also musicians and vice versa. When I decided to switch my undergraduate major from physics to music, I had earned a substantial award for the highest grades that year in physics. The physics faculty was shocked at my decision and tried to dissuade me. The music faculty, on the other hand but with some exceptions, couldn't understand how I would be interested in something they considered so dry as physics and mathematics. A wise friend, upon hearing this, later told me they were both shallow in their fields. I find this to be true. People who think in such narrowly exclusive terms are indeed shallow, and not just in their fields. They are simply shallow. Then there was the farmer who was out standing in his field.  :  )
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 22, 2013 - 1:16pm
Mike:   America has been very generous in many ways over the years that is very true.   Many parts of the world are grateful for it.   In fact part of my TERA programme has been funded by the American, as well as British, Norwegian, Swedish, Irish, Malaysian, Red Cross/Crescent Societies.
I meet many Americans who are thoughtful about their place on the planet and do a great deal to contribute.   I also meet many who are rather like you in their outlook.  Every nationality has its good and bad. 
There are some real heroes, like Bill Gates for example, who accept that you can only drive one Maserati at a time and are instead using their vast wealth to try and do some real good.  Those are people you can be really proud of.
So I am perhaps being unfair in making assumptions.  Please do tell us all about your charitable work and donations.  We would love to hear it.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 22, 2013 - 1:20pm
BTW what is the Byzantine Catholic view of earth stewardship?
Also BTW, I sing in a choir which occasionally does Georgian chants.  I understand and enjoy the power of such songs.
Robert Wendell Added Nov 22, 2013 - 1:35pm
@ Robin - Do you mean Gregorian chants?
Mike Haluska Added Nov 22, 2013 - 1:38pm