Let me count the ways

Marc Sheppard deconstructs the factual assertions Gore makes in his recent Rolling Stone interview.  Al Gore’s ultimate conclusions about climate change may be right but, for me, it saps his credibility when he relies on hysterical, inaccurate statements to make his argument.

24 Responses

  1. The biggest problem with Al – aside from being a wet smack at parties – is that everything out of his mouth is an assertion. No opinions – which would be okay – just “this is how it is.” Whatever he says: when he says it, it’s settled. For all time. That’s it.

    The world being what it is; and changeable, as it is, what he asserts is often not the case, but that never seems to slow him down, and an admission of wrongness – or wrong-headedness – is a concept that doesn’t run in his family. Part of his inheritance from his father, a person I regarded as genuinely horrid.

  2. To my understanding, the biggest source of green house gas is water evaporation from all over God’s green earth. The biggest reason for climate change (not just warming) is the sun’s own behavior. Neither of which Algore can control. And since the left is all about ever greater government control of our lives (of course, for our own good!) I believe the issue of climate change is just another way for the left to forward issues of control and redistribution of wealth that they have always been pushing. Along with punishing the West for their ‘unfair’ use of energy. His hysteria makes me glad every day that this man is not the President of the U.S. and leader of the free world.

  3. The moral of this story is that people shouldn’t rely on Al Gore (or Rush Limbaugh or any of the other ignorant people) and should instead read the IPCC report.

    The biggest reason for climate change (not just warming) is the sun’s own behavior.

    Actually, most of the Ice Ages are explainable by the complex dynamics of the earth’s orbit. And the IPCC report demonstrates that the sun is not the cause of the current warming.

  4. The fact that I admittedly haven’t read the IPCC report doesn’t change the fact that Algore can’t ‘control the complex dynamics of the earth’s orbit’ either, and doesn’t change my conclusions about the real goal of all the hysteria.

  5. This is a very good journal article on solar forcing of the climate.

    http://www.fel.duke.edu/~scafetta/pdf/2005GL025539.pdf

  6. I have to admit to being impressed by your faith in the IPCC report, Ophi. I freely admit that I haven’t read it, but I’m suspicious of anything that is a political compromise document emanating from the UN. To me, it is one more piece of evidence, perhaps, but certainly not a conclusive report from a trusted organization.

  7. The IPCC report “demonstrates” nothing, beyond the opinions of the signers. (Hopefully this time it was the opinions of the actual scientists, unlike the 1995 report, which was altered from, in essence “we don’t know’ to “there’s a discernible human influence” after the scientists themselves had left the room.)

    The scientist’s version – and the altered one that was released by the UN – are both available online, and what they establish is that the IPCC is primarily – if not absolutely – a political organization, and only peripherally, when convenient, a scientific one.

    Now, if we could only get those Martians to give up their SUVs, maybe we could get the observable warming of Mars under control.

  8. What Marguerite said. AND what Bookworm said. A political organization issued a political report. This doesn’t hold much authority for me.

  9. jj, and Tap, I issue you the same challenge I have issued everybody else: read the IPCC report and point out any errors you find. In the absence of such specifics, you’re just blowing smoke.

  10. It’s very hard to point out “errors” in projections or predicitons – the reason they’re called “predictions” is because they haven’t happened yet, thus there’s no knowing if they’re correct or not.

    However, with regard to expired-time predicitons (i.e., a “in the next ten years” statement from the 90s would qualify) point me out a prediction or projection regarding world-wide climate that’s turned out be accurate. Otherwise…

    The guy who got all this started (not solely of course, but he was the big name who made the big announcement (in 1988) that global warming had arrived) was James Hansen. He made a prediciton. Time proved him absolutely wrong. So in 1998 he had to say that the forces that govern climate change are so poorly understood as to make long-term prediciton impossible.

    In 2001, (quoted in the IPCC report) he was compelled to say it again: “In climate research and modelling (sic – he misspelled “modeling”) we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

    “Not possible.”

    But now, magically, with the 2007 report it is? Pardon my skepticism. The track record so far isn’t too good.

  11. Sorry, Ophiuchus. Someone’s blowing smoke for sure, and fortunately for me your opinions on smoke blowers hold no more wieght than any one elses.

    I’m not interested in spending hours pouring over a political report porporting to state scientific facts and projections. We can both find scientists who agree and scientists who disagree with the political report.

    In fact, we can find scientists whose names are ON that report who disagree with its’ general findings. And of course the inverse is true. So what?

    None of this leads me to assume that the IPCC report was handed down by God. There is no reason for me, as a layman, to form my opinion based only on this report as you seem to want us to do. Along with anyone else interested in the controversy I have to chose my sources in the course of informing myself.

    Chosing a one-sided political report to be one’s primary source of information would be an exceedingly imbecilic thing to do. I prefer primary sources.

    Like most people, I am ill-equiped to delve too deeply into the more intricate details. However, I am a reasonably intelligent person well able to understand scientists who make an attempt to explain the science in terms a layman can understand. And it’s easy to find many different scientists of different views doing just that.

    If you think the IPCC report is all you need to be well-informed, well, I’m pleased it makes you feel so good about yourself.

    But let me assure you, your repeated attempts to squelch all opposition by crying IPCC REPORT, IPCC REPORT do absolutely nothing to increase either your credibility, the credibility of the point you are trying to make, or the credibility of the report itself.

    The IPCC report is a political report issued by a political agency with a political agenda. You are presenting it as immutable science. So who’s blowing smoke?

  12. jj, you’re wrong on several important counts. First and most serious, interest in global warming did not begin or get started in 1998. The first mention of the possibility was in the nineteenth century. During the International Geophysical Year (IGY), scientists began tracking CO2 concentrations precisely because they suspected this might be happening. Research into the greenhouse effect in the earth’s atmosphere and climate change steadily accelerated thereafter. That was nearly 50 years ago.

    It’s very hard to point out “errors” in projections or predicitons

    I’m not asking you to find errors in the predictions (Chapter 10, I believe). I asking you to find errors in the underlying science (Chapters 1 – 9). If the science is so seriously flawed, you should have no problems exposing the sham.

  13. “I’m not asking you to find errors in the predictions.”

    But you are asking us to accept vast changes in the way we live based on those predictions. Otherwise, why are we even talking about this?

  14. I’m not interested in spending hours pouring over a political report porporting to state scientific facts and projections.

    Yes, I know how difficult it can be to get the facts.

    We can both find scientists who agree and scientists who disagree with the political report.

    Yes, you can find a handful. I can come up with thousands, including the National Academies of Science of almost every country in the world that has one.

    There is no reason for me, as a layman, to form my opinion based only on this report as you seem to want us to do.

    How about the fact that there isn’t anything as detailed, thorough, or well-documented as the IPCC reports? Can you suggest a better source?

    Chosing a one-sided political report to be one’s primary source of information would be an exceedingly imbecilic thing to do. I prefer primary sources.

    Can you cite a single primary source that prefer? Do you know what the term “primary source” means?

    And it’s easy to find many different scientists of different views doing just that.

    Oh really? Credentialed, respectable scientists? I agree, there are a handful. Since it’s so easy to find them, why don’t you give me a list of, say, twenty reputable scientists who reject the basic AGW hypothesis.

    If you think the IPCC report is all you need to be well-informed, well, I’m pleased it makes you feel so good about yourself

    The fact that you admit that you’re not well-informed, and that you haven’t read the IPCC report, kinda blows away your comments on it, don’t you think?

    your repeated attempts to squelch all opposition by crying IPCC REPORT, IPCC REPORT

    I’m not trying to squelch opposition; I’m trying to show how wrong it is. Go ahead and listen to Rush Limbaugh, for all I care. Read whatever amateur screeds you care to. It’s a free country and if you desire to proudly continue wallowing in your ignorance, be my guest. But declaring your ignorance of a subject as a means of establishing your credibility doesn’t impress me.

    The IPCC report is a political report issued by a political agency with a political agenda.

    Put your money where your mouth is. Show me where it’s wrong.

  15. I didn’t claim that it did, and the year Hansen got excited and issued his pronouncement that first got the current thrill under way was in fact 1988, not 1998.

    Throughout the sixties, the concern regarding atmospheric CO2 was that it would bring about global cooling – leading to the covers of such as “Time” and “Newsweek” – and even “Science” – blithering about the coming Ice Age.

    It isn’t up to me to find errors in the underlying science: the science – if it’s actual science – is supposed to be what’s observed. What you find errors in are the conclusions, and for every scientist who has concluded “A”, there is one who’s concluded “B”.

    And I’ve yet to hear a conclsuion from the past dozen or so years that panned out.

  16. Poor lil’ feller. You just don’t get it, do you? Yes, I know what a primary source is, but apparently you don’t. Let me help you out. The IPCC report is a
    s e c o n d a r y s o u r c e.

    Did I type that slowly enough for you? It cites, comments on and BUILDS on primary sources. If you need help with the definition, let me know.

    “The fact that you admit that you’re not well-informed, and that you haven’t read the IPCC report, kinda blows away your comments on it, don’t you think?”

    Uhhhhh…where do you see such an admission? The fact that you think reading a political report makes you well-informed on science does a little more than blow away your comments. The fact that you are seemingly completely unaware of your ignorance only adds to your problem.

  17. Throughout the sixties, the concern regarding atmospheric CO2 was that it would bring about global cooling – leading to the covers of such as “Time” and “Newsweek” – and even “Science” – blithering about the coming Ice Age.

    You’re flat wrong in three ways:

    1. The concern about atmospheric CO2 has ALWAYS been that it increases global temperatures. It comes from the basic physics — which of course you don’t understand.

    2. The whole global cooling thing was the result of two scientists publishing a paper showing that it was a possibility under certain circumstances. The thrust of their paper was, “Hey everybody, look at this: if such and such happens, we could actually get global cooling instead of global warming!” The rest of the scientific world raised and eyebrow and ignored it because their paper really wasn’t very convincing. Then Newsweek got a hold of it and decided to make a big story out of it.

    3. As I read the story, the brouhaha was created by Newsweek, and neither Time nor Science published cover stories about them. If you have evidence to the contrary, produce it.

    It isn’t up to me to find errors in the underlying science:

    How can you have an opinion on a scientific question if you refuse to even read the documents?

    the science – if it’s actual science – is supposed to be what’s observed.

    Oh, lordy, you really don’t know anything at all about science…

    for every scientist who has concluded “A”, there is one who’s concluded “B”.

    Oh, really? So let’s talk about Einstein’s 1905 paper. How many scientists accepted it and how many scientists concluded otherwise.

    Don’t know about that one? OK, how about Gould’s punctuated equilibrium hypothesis? How many people accepted it and how many rejected it?

    Or how about plate tectonics? What was the distribution of opinion on that theory? Chandresekhar’s stellar structure work? Brilloun’s paper on Maxwell’s Demon? The 1938 paper extending the correspondence principle to thermodynamics? The 1960s work on altruism and kin selection?

    You really haven’t the faintest idea of what you’re talking about, do you?

  18. Yes, Tap, I know that the IPCC is a secondary source. But you said that you prefer primary sources. So, back that claim up with references to some of the primary sources you prefer.

  19. I’m more interested in findout why you think we should change our way of life based on the predictions in the IPCC report. What do YOU think is the reliability of those predictions? Do you agree that those in developing countries should not be allowed to develop advanced industrial societies? How far should we in more advanced societies be forced to regress? What is an acceptable standard of living? Who should get to make those choices? The UN? Are you going to insist that these changes be uniform here in the U.S., or are we going to have an elite who are enable to maintain a certain standard of living? Are you going to insist that these changes be uniform worldwide? If so, who will enforce it and how? If not, then what is the point of some adopting new standards? Afterall, China alone can undo any improvement the rest of the advanced world forces on its’ citizens.

    Why don’t you answer a few questions for a while?

  20. Oh, and if you could: Explain why you discount the UN’s bias in your reliance on the IPCC report and why you prefer this secondary source to primary sources (afterall, you base your entire argument on the IPCC report)?

  21. Tap, please read this comment for some expectation of how Op will react if you do certain things.

    Link

    So long as you stay within boundaries, things will be okay.

  22. #
    Bookworm, on November 15th, 2007 at 12:35 pm Said:

    I have to admit to being impressed by your faith in the IPCC report, Ophi. I freely admit that I haven’t read it, but I’m suspicious of anything that is a political compromise document emanating from the UN. To me, it is one more piece of evidence, perhaps, but certainly not a conclusive report from a trusted organization.

    Trust your own mind and abilities at reasoning, Book. For no propagandist and psychological warfare expert can take that away. Everything else, such as trust in institutions and documents, can be taken away or maligned or doctored.

    P and P warfare uses human trust and distrust to manipulate human behavior and thoughts. It is an insidious capability that wrecks as much destruction as the daily bomb or two. More so since a bomb can only be used a certain time before there are political repercussions while P and P can be waged 24/7.

    I think in the end, Op has a very strong faith in goodfacts. As opposed to badfacts.

  23. “I think in the end, Op has a very strong faith in goodfacts. As opposed to badfacts.”

    Okay, THAT was funny. Now I need to clean my screen.

  24. I’m done talking about the IPCC. Here, read about it yourself – from some scientists. You know those guys who believe science is based on systematized observations.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/whytheipccshouldbedisbanded.html

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