Donald Trump commits the U.S. to his anti-science climate change denial (Updated)

Last week the New York Times reported, Arctic’s Winter Sea Ice Drops to Its Lowest Recorded Level:

After a season that saw temperatures soar at the North Pole, the Arctic has less sea ice at winter’s end than ever before in nearly four decades of satellite measurements.

The extent of ice cover — a record low for the third straight year — is another indicator of the effects of global warming on the Arctic, a region that is among the hardest hit by climate change, scientists said.

“This is just another exclamation point on the overall loss of Arctic sea ice coverage that we’ve been seeing,” said Mark Serreze, the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, a government-backed research agency in Boulder, Colo. “We’re heading for summers with no sea ice coverage at all.”

Dr. Serreze said that such a situation, which would leave nothing but open ocean in summer until fall freeze-up begins, could occur by 2030, although many scientists say it may not happen for a decade or two after that.

Less ice coverage also means that there is more dark ocean to absorb more of the sun’s energy, which leads to more warming and melting in a feedback loop called Arctic amplification.

The data center said on Wednesday that sea ice in the Arctic had reached maximum extent, of about 5.5 million square miles, on March 7. That is an area nearly twice the size of Australia, but about 470,000 square miles less than the average maximum from 1981 to 2010.

Much of the ice also appears to be thinner than normal, Dr. Serreze said, another result of the unusually warm temperatures in the Arctic this winter.

“The Arctic Ocean was extremely warm over the winter, and there was a very impressive series of heat waves,” Dr. Serreze said. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

On Monday, new research from Penn State University supports the notion that extreme weather events like floods, drought, heat waves and wildfires are happening more often and that there is a link between the increase and rising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“We are now able to connect the dots when it comes to human-caused global warming and an array of extreme recent weather events,” said Michael Mann, a respected atmospheric scientist and and director of the university’s Earth System Science Center.

So today, Donald Trump committed the U.S. to his anti-science climate change denial. Trump Signs Executive Order Unwinding Obama Climate Policies:

President Trump signed on Tuesday a much-anticipated executive order intended to roll back most of President Barack Obama’s climate-change legacy, celebrating the move as a way to promote energy independence and to restore thousands of lost coal industry jobs — jobs that are not coming back. Trump promised to bring back coal jobs. That promise ‘will not be kept,’ experts sayCoal Mining Jobs Trump Would Bring Back No Longer Exist.

Flanked by coal miners at a ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Trump signed a short document titled the “Energy Independence” executive order, directing the agency to start the legal process of withdrawing and rewriting the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s policies to fight global warming.

The order also takes aim at a suite of narrower but significant Obama-era climate and environmental policies, including lifting a short-term ban on new coal mining on public lands.

The executive order does not address the United States’ participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement, the landmark accord that committed nearly every country to take steps to reduce climate-altering pollution. But experts note that if the Trump program is enacted, it will all but ensure that the United States cannot meet its clean air commitments under the accord.

Mr. Trump advertised the moves as a way to decrease the nation’s dependence on imported fuels and revive the flagging coal industry.

But energy economists say the order falls short of both of those goals — in part because the United States already largely relies on domestic sources for the coal and natural gas that fires most of the nation’s power plants.

“We don’t import coal,” said Robert N. Stavins, an energy economist at Harvard University. “So in terms of the Clean Power Plan, this has nothing to do with so-called energy independence whatsoever.”

Trump’s executive order will not result in reversal of the Clean Power Plan any time soon, as Nancy Le Tourneau explains at the Political Animal blog. The Glaring Omissions in Trump’s Climate Rule:

In an effort to get his administration back on track after a miserable week, today Trump will sign a new executive order that initiates his efforts to roll back Obama’s climate change policies.

President Trump will take the most significant step yet in obliterating his predecessor’s environmental record Tuesday, instructing federal regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions.

The sweeping executive order also seeks to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and remove the requirement that federal officials consider the impact of climate change when making decisions.

The language there is important. Trump will instruct federal regulators “to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions.” In other words, this is a directive to begin the process. Here is the catch:

The centerpiece of the new presidential directive, telling the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rewriting the 2015 regulation that limits greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants, will trigger a laborious rulemaking process and a possible legal fight.

The agency must first get permission from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where the rule is tied up in litigation, to revisit the matter. Then, agency officials will have to justify reaching the opposite conclusion of the Obama EPA, which argued it was technically feasible and legally warranted to reduce carbon pollution by about one-third by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.

“So, for the president, even if he would like to revoke the Clean Power Plan, he doesn’t have legal authority to do that,” said Jeffrey Holmstead, a partner at the Bracewell law firm who opposes the Obama-era rule. Holmstead, who headed the EPA’s air and radiation office under President George W. Bush, said he thinks the agency can justify reversing the regulation. But “they have to justify why they have changed,” he added.

The key phrase there is that “they have to justify why they changed.” Way back in 2009, Obama laid the groundwork for the Clean Power Plan with something called the “Endangerment Finding.”

The Environmental Protection Agency formally declared on Monday that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases constitute a threat to human health and welfare. The move empowers the agency to regulate these emissions and gives President Obama an important tool if Congress fails to pass legislation to reduce global warming emissions.

One of the most significant things about the order Trump will sign today is that revocation of the Endangerment Finding is not included. In other words, as federal regulators begin the process of re-writing these key rules—which will certainly face court challenges—the underlying policy that supports the Clean Power Plan will remain in place.

Why would the Trump administration do that? Because overturning the Endangerment Finding would trigger massive legal battles that would require them to prove that greenhouse gases do not constitute a threat to human health and welfare. Regardless of all the climate change denials from people like EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, it is very possible that they know the science doesn’t support them. Meanwhile, they are left with the challenge of winning legal challenges to any new rules they write with the Endangerment Finding in place.

* * *

The other item that is not included in the order Trump will sign today is a statement about pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord. It looks like the president will go with the idea of leaving that one up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. It was earlier reported that Trump was getting advice from some people to frame that as a treaty requiring Senate approval. It will be interesting to see if McConnell wants to go there.

But let’s be clear, while what Trump will do today isn’t a complete roll-back of Obama’s climate policies, it will have an affect on the biggest challenge we face as a globe.

“Meeting the U.S. terms of the Paris Agreement would require full enforcement of the current regulations, plus additional regulations,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton University. “It takes a comprehensive effort involving every country doing what they committed to and more.”

He said Mr. Trump’s order “sends a signal to other countries that they might not have to meet their commitments — which would mean that the world would fail to stay out of the climate danger zone.”

All I can add to that is, when it comes to staying out of the climate danger zone, elections matter.

UPDATE: The Washington Post editorializes, “Children studying his presidency will ask, ‘How could anyone have done this?'” Trump puts the planet on a dangerous path. The New York Times editorializes, President Trump Risks the Planet.

No worries, Trump’s supporters believe that we are living in the “end times” and that Armageddon and Jesus are coming any day now.

The ironic part is that their misguided environmental policies could make this a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, as mankind is already living in the the Anthropocene epoch: “the striking acceleration since the mid-20th century of carbon dioxide emissions and sea level rise, the global mass extinction of species, and the transformation of land by deforestation and development mark the end of … the Holocene epoch.”  The sixth mass extinction event will be the doing of mankind.

God’s a-comin’ and he’s going to be pissed at what lousy stewards of God’s creation mankind has been been.

31 Responses to Donald Trump commits the U.S. to his anti-science climate change denial (Updated)

  1. John Huppenthal

    The idea that science can be determined by consensus is laughable when you understand anything about the history of science. Consensus has been proved wrong over and over again.

    The idea that CO2 is toxic is laughable. The air in your lungs is 40,000 parts per million CO2, the standard for submarines is 8,000 parts per million.

    If the forecast for the 21st century is true, that would be a good thing, a very good thing, an incredibly good thing. CO2 is such a healthy thing that the food crop and forest growth would increase by over 20%. Higher levels of CO2 as anyone who has ever operated a green house knows, enable plants to grow with much less water, thus increasing the arable land of the planet by over 10%.

    Yes, Blue, we do have a system of satellites to measure the ice. And, what do those satellites tell us? Well, they have lasers that can measure to an incredible degree of accuracy. So, we know ice volumes of the earth very accurately.

    Measured ice is at an all-time high, never been higher in the history of measurement. That’s an incredible fact, determined by hundreds of millions of measurements funded by the United Nations no less. By screaming, absolutely screaming, the results of small subsamples, the mob has been able to dominate the discussion – but the mob doesn’t determine truth.

    When the first IPCC report came out, the author was Joseph Stiglitz who won a Nobel prize in economics. I went to my nephew’s graduation ceremony at ASU and there he was, sitting right next to me on the dais. So, I asked him a very simple question. “If you add it all up, the artic, antartic, greenland – all the ice shelves, how much ice would that be?” I would have accepted a good estimate in any metric- cubic miles, cubic kilometers, gigatonnes. He did not have a clue. The author of the report himself did not have a profound knowledge of the subject. It was obvious that he had never even thought about or considered that number even though the whole theory of climate change is that number changing by a statistically significant amount.

    It hasn’t – not even close.

    It showed immediately as to the quality of the product. Temperatures ended up at the 5th percentile of the warming forecast. As a forecast and a model, not worth a bucket of warm spit.

    Now, with each subsequent IPCC report we see unbelievable contortions as they apply every bit of intellectual corruption possible to the proof of a theory ending up with the ultimate corruption – rewriting history. They now have gone back and reduced all the historical temperatures so that they can say that current temperatures are at an all time high.

    Not since Lysenco in the Soviet Union have we seen such a performance. Go read about him to understand what is happening in this debate.

    And, if you still believe in scientific consensus after reading about Lysenco, go read about Ignaz Semmelweiss.

    • Care to cite your sources that ‘measured Arctic sea ice is at an all-time high’?

      Also, are you referring to winter maxima? Because the measurement of note is primarily the summer minimum.

      Satellite measurements have actually shown that the yearly winter minimum has continued to decline from 6 million km^2 to less than 4 million km^2 since 1980, and that, if this trend continues, will hit zero by the mid 2030’s.

      You really do like your global conspiracy theories, where literally the entire scientific community is in lockstep to dispute the U.S. Republican party, the one major party among all developed nations which disputes the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change.

      And your very first sentence shows that you have absolutely no idea how the scientific process works. It doesn’t work by ‘mob vote’, but rather by the accumulation of thousands of studies, over 99.9% of which since 1980 have supported the conclusion that climate change is real and man-made. You are welcome to live in fantasy land and rely on a bullcrap anecdote that Stiglitz, an economist, doesn’t himself keep up to date on the minutiae of the scientific results, but you failed to prove anything other than that Stiglitz, unlike you (or I, for what it’s worth), is wise enough not to speak outside his area of expertise and experience.

      • John Huppenthal

        I actually read studies, a couple a day, go past the abstract to read the detail. Fascinating when you do that. The truth comes out. Whole different culture when you get past the abstract.

        Did you read about Semmelweiss? No different today. Are you aware of the 70 year frenzy and overwhelming scientific consensus behind eugenics? Thousands and thousands of studies in the very highest ranked peer reviewed journals – organized insanity.

        Are you aware of the mess in nutrition research, how badly it was botched – for decades, how scientists knew it was botched but how crap scientists lined up behind the “consensus.”

        The National Reading Panel spent $10 million evaluating the top 10,000 studies on reading research and concluded that 96.45% of them were not worth the paper they were written on and the remaining 4% were suspect.

        Do you see all the top policy makers in the Valley line up behind and extol the virtues of full day kindergarten when the very best study ever done in the history of education shows that it permanently damages kids? They spent $140 million just collecting the data and they separated data collection from analysis to avoid the bias that permeates education studies by doing so. They followed 20,000 kids from the start of kindergarten all the way through 8th grade. Full day kindergartners were 1/10 of a standard deviation behind half day kindergartners at the end of 8th grade, a difference equivalent of the entire 12th grade year of education. The sample size was so large the sophistication of the measures was such that you could control for everything.

        I’ve been reading research papers for 40 years – thousands and thousands of them. Don’t lecture or sneer at me, you don’t have either the IQ or the intellectual altitude to pull it off, put your facts out.

        Climate change is not just a hoax – it is the opposite of the truth, its not even just in error, like eugenics, nutrition, all day kindergarten and the germs that Semmelweiss discovered, it is dangerous error.

        • Arctic sea-ice is at record low levels, in direct contradiction to what you’ve just claimed:

          Put up your facts with sources or shut up, Huppenthal.

          • John Huppenthal

            The waxing and waning of sea ice is a distraction in the analysis of total ice volumes. 90% of all ice in the world is the mainland Antarctic – 26.5 million cubic kilometers and that mass has grown since the 70’s, not shrunk.

            The arctic has less than 8% of the total world’s ice. So its natural, as a small sample, it will experience enormous variation. Meaningless variation.

            So, when you see an analysis that has the number in the thousands of cubic kilometers, you have a problem. Somebody is trying to deceive you or you are trying to deceive someone. You are just looking at normal statistical variation.

            The average thickness of sea ice world wide is about 6 feet thick. The antarctic ice shelf is over 2 miles thick.

          • The sea level has been rising at a rate of about .125 inches per year, according to the NOAA, and is currently about 2.6 inches higher than it was 25 years ago.

            All of these fluctuations in Arctic sea ice, of course, have absolutely zero effect on sea level; that’s the basic principle of buoyancy at work. The only reasons why this would be the case are that the total mass of land ice has shrunk – the loss of glaciers in Greenland and elsewhere more-than-offsets any such gain of Antarctic land-ice. Or, that the average temperature of the oceans has risen.

            But of course, NOAA just directly contradicts you. Antarctic sea ice has actually been declining at a rate of over 100 gigatons per year since 2002 (about 25 trillion gallons of water equivalent.)


          • John Huppenthal

            NOAA is the same organization that went back through history and adjusted historical temperatures so that they could say that our current temperatures are an all time record.

            Their structure is corrupt because, like a referee working for one of the teams, their scorekeeping can’t be relied on. They have to keep the scare going to justify their budget. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.

            This is why the laser measurement of the Antarctic is so critical. Paid for by the United Nations no less. 140 million data points. The author pointed out that his measures cast doubt on the accuracy of sea level rise measurement. Not in the abstract or summaries but deep within the study itself.

            The sea level rise you quote is not actually an estimate of sea level rise at all. It includes an adjustment factor for the bottom of the sea falling. It also includes an adjustment factor for the measurement apparatus falling relative to sea level. These adjustment factors are the source of the entire measured gain that you falsely attribute to global warming. You live in an alternative reality where everything is fake.

            The scorekeepers, the people making these adjustments, have hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. Big no no in research. We know that bias is a huge source of error in all research even when you are attempting to be even handed. Put money in the game without an independent scorekeeper and an intellectual sewer is the result.

            Look it all up. Go to original data, compare readings from the different satellites. Find out how the satellite data is converted to measurement. Unlimited sources of error and bias.

            if there is one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone else in the world it is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change. And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.
            Despite fluctuations down as well as up, “the sea is not rising,” he says. “It hasn’t risen in 50 years.” If there is any rise this century it will “not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm”. And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by
            Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.

            The reason why Dr Mörner, formerly a Stockholm professor, is so certain that these claims about sea level rise are 100 per cent wrong is that they are all based on computer model predictions, whereas his findings are based on “going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real world”.

            When running the International Commission on Sea Level Change, he launched a special project on the Maldives, whose leaders have for 20 years been calling for vast sums of international aid to stave off disaster. Six times he and his expert team visited the islands, to confirm that the sea has not risen for half a century.

          • So, I decided to do a little bit of research on Dr. Morner, and the Maldives study. The results were, so far as I can tell, corrupted by the use of bad calibration metrics in the analysis, but since Morner did not provide the data used in his 2004 paper to which you refer (itself a cardinal sin in research), other researchers have been unable to decisively prove this fact. (See Nerem, et al 2006)

            But it gets worse, since Morner was later found to have been installing cronies and corrupting the peer-review process while the editor of ‘Pattern Recognition in Physics’ in order to serve as a publication mill for climate change skeptics, publishing work from a known Algerian petroleum scientist who has every economic incentive to lie about the extent of climate change.

            You are harping on about the economic incentives of government agents. Will you do the same and analyze who is writing the checks for these individuals publishing from the other side? I would say taking checks from fossil fuel companies or lobbies should be seen in the same light.

      • John Huppenthal

        How much of the sea “rise” calculation is actually the estimated drop of the ocean floor?

        How much of the sea “rise” calculation is actually water “expansion” estimation?

        • The average sea-level rise is about 2.6 mm / year. Notably, off the southern coast of Alaska, the relative sea level is actually falling because of regional shifts in the sea bed.

          And about 1/3 of the calculation is due to water expanding on account of rising temperatures, which you would know if you followed through on the link above. But even that should be taken as proof in and of itself that average ocean temperatures are rising.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Edward, you’re far more elegant in your responses and more patient than I am, but Steve and Falcon9 are saying there is a massive conspiracy and fraud being committed by thousands of scientists.

            Since they’re accusing people of committing a serious crime, stealing from the American taxpayers, probably with RICO implications, we should be asking them for proof.

            This would cause them both to walk away muttering something about Benghazi and the Clintons.

          • “Since they’re accusing people of committing a serious crime, stealing from the American taxpayers, probably with RICO implications, we should be asking them for proof.”

            Oh Tom, Tom, Tom, you are so much fun when you get a little frustrated! RICO implications, indeed…you’ll get no proof from me unless I get full immunity! (Ha! Ha! Ha!) Proof?!? There isn’t any proof you would accept because you already know the answer.

            “This would cause them both to walk away muttering something about Benghazi and the Clintons.”

            Walking away? Muttering? That sounds like fanciful and wishful thinking. I can’t speak for John, but I am here with a bullhorn as long as they let me…and I eagerly seek you out, my friend, because you are so much fun to argue with…

          • For Sure Not Tom

            So another words you’re accusing people of crimes yet you have no proof .

          • “So another words you’re accusing people of crimes yet you have no proof.”

            See?!? You’re a hoot! Acting as if you are some sort of special prosecutor grilling a potential suspect. Silly. Silly. Silly. Besides, there would be no crime and you know it. You are pulling everyone chains with the little sidebar to the bigger discussion about inter-planetary warming. I have presented the proof that their studies are flawed, and that’s all. It is a purely academic issue.

            Now, if they had to testify before Congress about their grant money and their findings, like any other witness going before Congress when they are investigating something, they would do well to get grants of immunity before testifying. At some point they might be forced to admit they “overlooked” certain factors in their evaluations. Some of them might even acknowledge they ignored certain factors. But it would take a really rabid prosecutor to go after them for fraud or some other crime. Still, if they didn’t obtain immunity, they would be fools.

  2. I have always agreed with the left that is you want to get to the bottom of a scam, a scandal, or other such malfeasance, you just have to follow the money. Never is that more true than in the myth of man caused climate change. There is no question that the climate is changing; the only question is why is it changing? So ask yourself: Where is the money in this scam?

    • For Sure Not Tom

      We did follow the money, it all went to Exxon. And Shell.

      BTW, both company’s have climate change acknowledgements posted on their websites, they admit their products are harming the climate.

      Sadly for you, your attempt to “turn the tables on liberals” actually disproves your point.

      And based on your statement, you haven’t actually read the reports or looked at the data.

      I wanted to be a scientist and work for NASA when I was a kid, it was the early 1960’s and America’s space program was glorious. My room was filled with models of the Saturn V and Lunar Landing Modules. When I wasn’t playing baseball or fishing I was in front of a chemistry set, or playing with electronic circuits.

      So I did review the data a few years back, because I was skeptical, took a few months, and I read the “other side’s” work as well. They cherry pick and their reports don’t hold up, and they’re almost always funded by the Petroleum Institute or Exxon.

      And guess what else? Exxon is currently under criminal investigation, because they knew in 1977 their products were harming the climate, and paid to cover it up.

      I suspect a shareholder lawsuit will eventually get your attention. It seems like multinational corporations can get away with anything except misleading shareholders.

      Of course if you have reviewed the data, I will apologize. Maybe you could show the money trail that leads to the multi-millionaire climatologist?

      Or, maybe you could just explain why really smart scientist guys would lie to get grants so they can make 80K a year when they live in a world where really smart guys are in high demand for better paying jobs?

      Climate change used to be a bipartisan issue until the fossil fuel companies paid off right wing politicians and AM radio talk show hosts. You should just admit you don’t have the slightest clue as to what you’re talking about and cut your losses.

      • “We did follow the money, it all went to Exxon. And Shell. BTW, both company’s have climate change acknowledgements posted on their websites, they admit their products are harming the climate.”

        You can be confusing, Tom. First you say you followed the money and it led to Exxon and Shell (I assume as deniers of the man caused climate change chorus). Then you say (you follow the money and) Exxon and Shell drank the Kool-Aide and are on board the band-wagon of man caused climate change. What point were you making?

        “Maybe you could show the money trail that leads to the multi-millionaire climatologist?”

        Are you actually suggesting, Tom, that the only money motivation would be the ones who might make millions? If so, you are naive. People are usually motivated just to make adecant living.

        “Or, maybe you could just explain why really smart scientist guys would lie to get grants so they can make 80K a year when they live in a world where really smart guys are in high demand for better paying jobs?”

        I don’t knoiw if you are naive or just obtuse. Do you honestly think that the “really smart science guys” are the only ones who do the research and produce the studies? Do you think they even do the bulk of the research and studies? The majority of the research and studies are done by scientists in a broad range of skills. Not all of them are able to get those “high demand, better paying jobs”. Most of them need to make a living with their research, and you don’t get grants and funding by saying you are questioning if the climate change is the result of man’s causation. You want the funding? You “assume” the climate change is man caused and you start your proposal from there.

        Peer reviews? Give me a break. If the party line is that man is causing it, then peer reviews become a cinch. Say that man is causing it and you pass. Say it is questionable, and you are rejected. It’s not rocket science. ;o)

        “They cherry pick and their reports don’t hold up, and they’re almost always funded by the Petroleum Institute or Exxon.”

        Baloney about the Petroleum Institute or Exxon. As you clearly stated, they have rolled over and are playing dead. There are two issues that can not be ignored, although the “Man Made Disaster Group” try very hard to ignore it:

        1) Geological Climate History – In the last 20,000 years (it actually goes back millions of years, but 20,000 is easier to envision) there have been inumerable times when the climate has heated up and cooled down much more than what we are experiencing now. Heck, even in the last 1,000 years the climate has fluctuated greatly. In the 800’s there were high temperatures for more than 40 years. In the 1200’s, there was a cold snap that lasted more that 30 years. In the late 1400’s and early 1500’s there was a hot period for almost 100 years. In the 1790’s, it snowed in New England in late July. You also have to ignore:

        (2) The Warming of the Other Planets in the Solar System – The other planets are also warming. It got so obvious that recently the “Man Caused Disaster Proponents” have had to address it, and they have refuted it by assigning 101 (my made up figure) different excuses for why each separate planet and moon is warming up. Imagine that! All these planets and moons are warming up at the same time as earth, yet there is, according to these “experts”, no common cause (like the Sun, maybe?). Each planet and moon has a different reason for warming up. After all, to acknowledge the possibility that there is a common cause for the warming of all the planets might cause doubts about man being being the culprit here on earth. We can’t have that, now can we?

        Now, when you look up “Global Warming of the Planets” on Google, Tom, and you read the comments of the naysayers, please try to apply a little common sense. Which is more likely? A bunch of different reasons why all the planets and moons are warming up at the same time, or a single common reason why. And if we have had historic cycles of warming and cooling, how do we know if the current climate changes are not just another cycle?

        “So I did review the data a few years back, because I was skeptical, took a few months, and I read the “other side’s” work as well.”

        So did I, Tom. And I noticed that, consistently, the studies went to great lengths to play down the effects of naturally occurring elements that cause warming and cooling. There are such things besides what man does, and what these things nature produces dwarf what man does. A single volcanic eruption produces more greenhouse gases than man can possibly produce. Plants do an amazing job producing oxygen and carbon dioxide. Again, more than man does. These natural sources are either ignored, minimized or discounted as unimportant by most studies. But if you start out believing in them, it is easy to overlook their flaws.

        Yes, I know the vast majority of scientist are on board that man is the cause of climate change. At various time, the vast majority of scientists thought the cause of disease was “bad humors” in the body, the earth was flat, horse hairs in water would turn into snakes, night air caused disease, the sun revolved around the earth, that germs did not exist, etc., etc. , etc. Science has always had a “popularity contest” facet to it. Certain theories have always been popular and passed off as the latest science until they were debunked by a few hard headed scientists who risked everything to point out the obvious. I think this “man caused climate change” is arguably one of those subjects. There are just some things that cannot be explained away.

        There is a sociological facet the “man caused climate change” that exists wherein the self destructive nature of the extremist envionmental movement took the reigns of power on the subject and pursued a destructive path down the road to acheive their agenda. Now it is a quasi-religion with articles of faith and serious ramifications if you don’t conform to it’s dictates. At this point the science means less than the need to conform and be part of the group.

        • For Sure Not Tom

          I love it when you guys call environmentalism a “religion”.

          You’re admitting that religions aren’t real, you get that, right? If it’s a religion you can dismiss it.

          You call baloney on Exxon and the Petroleum Institute paying for studies?

          Those are the sources of funding for 99% of the climate denial studies and websites. Where else do you think the money for those would come from?

          Seriously? You want to use the liberal “follow the money” cry against us, pony up, who are the funders of those studies? Who funds the websites pedaling climate denial “science”?

          I’ve been to some of those websites, they spend more time talking about “liberals” than actual science. It’s propaganda, and pretty bald propaganda at that.

          Exxon and the other fossil fuel industries are not drinking any Kool-Aid, what are you talking about? They’ve been trying confuse people like you, and succeeding.

          They have to admit climate change is real, because science is real, the problem is at the same time they’ve been paying shills to do studies and claim it’s not to protect their profits.

          That’s why they’re being investigated for crimes in more than a dozen states.

          And this one, OMG, there is ZERO evidence that other planets are “warming”, that’s maybe the most ridiculous claim deniers make.


          We’ve been taking the Earth’s temperature for a few hundred years, we have thousands of stations set up across the globe, we have monitoring buoys in the oceans, we have weather balloons and we have a satellite system dedicated to tracking climate change (until Trump shuts it down).

          We can drill core samples in the Arctic and study layers of history, and study tree rings going back thousands of years. We even have written records of climate events going back a thousand years or more.

          How many thermometers are there on Mars? Maybe a dozen? And how long have they been there? Since the 90’s? Continuous? No. Covering the planet? Nope.

          We can say, based on what we can measure from afar, that Mars is warmer or colder today than yesterday, that’s not a sign of climate change, that’s called “weather”, you need more data than you will ever see in our lifetimes to claim climate change on another planet.

          And you tell me to apply a little common sense?

          Climate change was a bi-partisan issue until a decade or so ago, until Exxon and others starting paying off politicians.

          They’ve managed to change this from a science based discussion to a left vs. right argument. Science isn’t liberal or conservative.

          The theory of man causing climate change is actually pretty simple, if we do A and B, C will happen.

          C is already here.

          And while the climate is always changing, speeding it up faster than the earth and humans can adapt is dangerous. An extra few weeks of warmer weather sounds nice until you realize that’s an extra few weeks for crop pests to reproduce, and now your crops are gone, because bugs like to get down.

          You start losing a few hundred yards of farmland a year, because the viable land for farming is moving north, and pretty soon your farm is gone.

          It’s actually not the planet that needs to quickly adjust, it’s us, and in fact a lot of scientists are starting to say maybe instead of funding climate studies so much we should start funding planning of what to do.

          For crying out loud, the Pentagon knows we’re causing climate change and has called it one of the ten most serious defense issues of our time, they’re planning for it.

          Despite a few actual tree huggers around the fringe, most environmentalists are not trying to “save the planet”, the planet will be fine without us. They’re trying to save you. Sometimes I’m not sure why.

          Since you “believe” climate change, like everything else, is some kind of liberal plot, trying to convince you otherwise is getting boring.

          Global warming of the planets! Talk about junk science! 🙂

          You believe some weird stuff.

          • “I love it when you guys call environmentalism a “religion”. You’re admitting that religions aren’t real, you get that, right? If it’s a religion you can dismiss it.”

            What the heck are you talking about,Tom? This is pure gibberish. You can’t dismiss religions. People who believe in them will do astounding things in the name of their religion. You have to take religions VERY seriously even if you think a particular religion is poppy cock. And that is true for the quasi-religion of environmentalism. Much damage has been done, is being done, and will be done if the environmental extremists have their way.

            ”Since you “believe” climate change, like everything else, is some kind of liberal plot, trying…

            Tom, you have NEVER heard me say I don’t think climate change is real; quite the contrary. I think we are going through climate change right now. I just think man is NOT necessarily causing it. THAT is the real issue. And it is an important issue because we are trying hard to hurt ourselves in the mistaken belief that we are responsible for the climate change. We are going to punish ourselves to correct what is actually a natural phenomenon.

            ”And this one, OMG, there is ZERO evidence that other planets are “warming”, that’s maybe the most ridiculous claim deniers make. / How many thermometers are there on Mars? Maybe a dozen? And how long have they been there? Since the 90’s? Continuous? No. Covering the planet? Nope. / Global warming of the planets! Talk about junk science!”

            I condensed all of your naysaying about planetary warming into one short paragraph for ease of responding. You obviously did ZERO research into it. If you don’t think we have the science to measure temperatures on other planets and develop a history for what is happening on them, you are obviously as ignorant about the subject as you are on the importance of religion. Even the scientists who argue against the planetary warming concept don’t deny the planets are warming, they just deny it is from a common cause. We can and do measure temperatures on the other planets and have for years. Yes, we obviously know much more about Earth than the other planets, but we can make comparisons based on certain basic measurements. If you want to bury your head in the sand and call it junk science, go ahead; but it doesn’t mean you have a clue about it.

            ”For crying out loud, the Pentagon knows we’re causing climate change and has called it one of the ten most serious defense issues of our time, they’re planning for it.”

            Do you have any idea how many things the Pentagon plans for? Do you have any idea how many “Contingency Plans” they have in their files? Do you realize the sheer breadth of subjects the Pentagon plans for? The Pentagon literally has hundreds of thousands of Contingency Plans on file, developed over the years on such subject as Alien Invasions, Warfighting on the Moon, Fighting on every spot of Earth that exists, Martial Law, etc. I am certain that Climate Change would be a subject they would plan for. If it is one of the Big 10, I am also certain it is there to please the civilian bosses of the military. They need funding, too.

            ”You start losing a few hundred yards of farmland a year, because the viable land for farming is moving north, and pretty soon your farm is gone.”

            Yes, any climate change will cause some land to become unusable, and cause other land to become usable. The change will move things around. It has always been that way. The Sahara Desert was once fertile grasslands. Where we live was once under water. Our fertile prairies were once under a sheet of ice hundreds of feet thick. Things do change, but every change brings both good and bad. You choose to only see the bad.

            ”We can drill core samples in the Arctic and study layers of history, and study tree rings going back thousands of years. We even have written records of climate events going back a thousand years or more.”

            Yes, and all those samples and records make it very clear that climate change been around time immemorial. The same type and version of change we are experiencing now has occurred many times before. But THIS time, man is causing it…BS!

            ”…trying to convince you otherwise is getting boring.”

            I don’t think it is as boring as it is hard to argue with me. I think you know I’m right and you don’t dare admit it. To admit I might be even a little correct would make you a heretic and you like being part of the grand fraternity. It’s comfortable to hang with the crowd and dangerous to think for yourself. You are, if nothing else, a diehard adherent who has swallowed the whole story, hook line and sinker.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Your comprehension skills are fading.

            You called environmentalism “quasi-religion”, not me, I pointed out that you said that.

            You claim climate change on other worlds, and I’m saying there is no way you can prove that.

            There are mountains of evidence to support climate change on Earth going back thousands of years, and that there is ZERO chance you have that same amount of data to support climate change on another planet.

            NASA is studying the planets and their atmosphere, but there is not enough data to support your claim.

            Since there is ZERO chance there is anywhere near the amount of data needed to confirm climate change on Mars, you are being lied to.

            Show me a few thousand years of historical data for Mars. You can’t.

            The climate on Mars may well be changing, but you do not have enough evidence to say for certain.

            How many different ways do I need to tell you that there is not enough data to support your claim?

            Why is it conservatives are so susceptible to propaganda?

        • I want to take issue with your use of the “Little Ice Age” during the 17th Century AD and the preceding Medieval Warm Period during the 12th Century.

          For all the hype that you have attributed to these events during the last 2,500 years, the global average temperature change from 1900 until today is already 3-4x the maximal effect of the Medieval Warm Period, and is as large as was the Little Ice Age, and all studies currently conducted suggests that the rate of warming is accelerating still.

          And while there have been larger changes in Earth’s temperature over the course of geological history, these have occurred over geologic timescales; warming of the magnitude we’ve experienced since 1900 would typically have occurred over 10,000 or more years instead of just a century.

          But I have to ask:

          Which do you think is more likely? That virtually every major political party except for the U.S. Republican Party, 97% of all climate scientists, environmentalists, and decades of peer-reviewed research is all a grand conspiracy against U.S. conservative beliefs? Or that a few isolated ‘scientists’, including some of the same individuals who published studies disputing the link between tobacco and cancer, and GOP politicians are being paid off by the fossil fuel industry to sow the same Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt tactics that Big Tobacco was using 30 years ago?

          • For Sure Not Tom

            I would also ask Steve what the Martian ambassador’s take is.

          • “I want to take issue with your use of the “Little Ice Age” during the 17th Century AD and the preceding Medieval Warm Period during the 12th Century.”

            Before I do anything else, I want to congratulate you on at least being aware these events occurred. Most people don’t know about them.

            “[list of causal factors]… is all a grand conspiracy against U.S. conservative beliefs?”

            No, I don’t. I have never thought of the issue in terms of liberal versus conservative. “Not Tom” attributed that to me, but he was wrong. What I think it is stems from groups of like minded individuals who really do not know what is causing but who see the pollution in the world and decided man must be the cause. This was perfectly in line with the early eco-system pioneers who taught and wrote in the early 1970’s, when I first went to college. Everything was being destroyed by man in their opinion and it was not hard to make the leap and assume that climate change was obviously man caused. Subsequent research and peer reviews started with man caused factors as a given and went on from there. Because it blamed man, it was a very popular position to take and it caught on quickly. A few years ago, the British researchers who produced the initial research upon which much of the subsequent research was based were proven to have falsified their their data. Did that stop people from using it? No. It was a convenient formula to start any research so it continued to be used as a starting point. Do you remember the old computer saying “Garbage in, garbage out”? Well, it applies equally to research. Accuracy is not important in the climate change research arena; only results matter.

            I am not going into why I think the man caused climate change theory is wrong. I did that rather extensively with “Not Tom” and you can read it there. “Not Tom” rejects it as “junk science” without explaining why, but I’m used to that from him. He often confuses his opinion for fact. Anyway, there are some serious problems with the man caused climate change theory that really should be addressed but aren’t because no one requires the issues be answered. Everyone is happy with the current concensus. Despite your not being happy with the term, John Huppenthal described it well when he called it “science by concensus” because a lot of the man caused climate change theory is exactly that, science arrived at by concensus.

            Anyway, you are at least trying to understand the issue. That is commendable. ;o)

          • For Sure Not Tom

            I reject it as junk science because it is. And it is a left/right issue, read the party platforms for the Dems and GOP.

            I did not attribute that to you, I was stating a general and well known fact. You really do have comprehension issues.

            You are exposed when you try to use temperatures on other planets as an reason to dismiss man made climate change here.

            There is not enough data on the climates of other planets to say that.

            It’s effective propaganda, though, because if you believe Mars is getting warmer and there are no humans there, then there is no problem on Earth.

            That’s third grade level thinking.

            On the playground: Jimmy did something worse!
            From the White House: Obama did something worse!
            From the Petroleum Institute: Mars has temperatures, too!

            But maybe you’re right, all those Martian ray guns are probably putting out a lot of heat.

          • So we have an impasse. You are comfortable with your position and I am comfortable with mine. What I don’t understand is why we care one way or the other what the other one thinks. It must be for the sheer fun of arguing. I know that is what I enjoy and you are a good person to go up against. You are smart, have an agile mind, and are emotional enough to make the exchanges interesting. Thanks for all the fun I have when we are blazing away at each other! :o)

          • For Sure Not Tom

            I care because you’re spreading propaganda and hurting my countr. People like you were when we have a corrupt New York real estate developer in the White House

          • It’s not propaganda if it’s true, Tom…and it’s true. And I did help put Trump in the White House to keep Hillary out. But I have to admit that I like a lot of what Trump is trying to do so maybe my vote was well cast after all. ;o)

          • For Sure Not Tom

            I hate auto correct

          • “I hate auto correct”

            It was not a problem. You write clearly enough I understood what you meant.

      • “You are exposed when you try to use temperatures on other planets as an reason to dismiss man made climate change here. / There is not enough data on the climates of other planets to say that.”

        One last word from me on the subject, Tom. You are wrong when you say there isn’t enough data. We have been collecting data on the other planets since the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Temperature was of the first things we started collecting. We were discussing it in astronomy classes in college in 1973 when I took the class. But let’s say we have only been collecting it since 1980, whuch is a common start point for temperature graphs here on earth. That is 40 years of data to show a temperature gradient moving upward pretty steadily. 40 years of data is sufficient to cause concern here on earth, but you are saying that 40 years of data is insufficient when we see the same thing occurring on the other planets? Why is it sufficent for earth but meaningless on the other planets? I am really interested in hearing it if you have an explanation that makes any sense.

        If there is “junk science” afoot, Tom, it is to be found in syudies that ignore a significant point such as simultaneous warming of the planets and moons in the solar system, and pretending it is unique to earth. This is one of those things that future scientists will look back on embarassment that their discipline was highjacked for less than noble purposes. It has happened so many times before.

        We often wonder why people once thought the earth was flat. Well, scientists of the day “proved” it was flat; of course they did so by ignoring the fact that ships gradually sank below the horizen. In fact, “93% of all period scientists were in concurrence the earth was flat” and those who disagreed were declared heretics and burned at the stake. (NOTE: That is my made up factoid)

        • For Sure Not Tom

          Okay, last word.

          There are millions of data points taken to measure the weather and climate on Earth.

          There is not enough data from Mars to say that man is not causing climate change.

          Contrary to your nonsense, climate scientists absolutely do pay attention to the weather on the planets and they do pay attention to solar phenomena.

          Some climate scientists are saying maybe we should spend less time on man made global climate change and more time on planning for the changes.

          All the talking points you and Falcon9 provide have fossil fuel money attached, but you seem fine with that, because contrary to another statement you have made, this was made into a left/right issue years ago.

          Science did not used to be partisan and political until the fossil fuel companies started hiring the same lawyers and PR firms that the tobacco companies used in the 1990s.

          Remember those days? John Boehner handing out checks from tobacco companies in the Senate floor?

          Once they painted environmentalism a liberal cause we lost people like you.