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back to article UK ice boffin: 'Arctic melt equivalent to 20 years of CO2'

A prominent British Arctic scientist and researcher says that the continued and accelerated melting of the polar sea-ice cap is not only a result of climate change, but is also a massive contributor to it. To explain in an overly simplistic nutshell, sea ice is reflective, bouncing solar energy back into space. When it melts, …

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Climate-change sceptics

It still baffles me how anyone with a brain could believe something like 97% of scientists are engaged in a mega-conspiracy to defraud the public to gain research grants, and refuse to even CONSIDER the possibility that the people who make Billions selling oil and gas could be the ones lying to try to protect their profits.

Maybe that's not the case, maybe all the climate-change sceptics are just people paid to sow doubt...but it does seem that there's plenty of people around utterly convinced that oil barons are decent, honest people, and it's the climate scientists who are the greedy, money-grabbing liars. Very weird.

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

Indeed, given the deeper pockets, more desperate motiviation (Shell and BP dont want to be the next BAT or Phillip Morris), and less people taking the cash (meaning all the more for me), if I were to get into the climate science game for money, I'd be taking the sceptics cash.

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

This straw man is getting tiresome. Let me summarize the position of most reasonable skeptics.

1. Is the global climate changing? Yes, that's it's inherent property.

2. Is the global climate warming? Yes, there's sufficient data to that effect.

3. Is the warming caused by CO2? Significantly, but it's not that straightforward. CO2 effect would be most prominent in the dry regions (e.g. deserts) and would be negligible in humid regions, dwarfed by effects of water vapor. Linear relationship that IPCC and alarmist try to present is bullshit.

4. Are we causing the change? We significantly contribute, but precise extent is not clear.

5. Is the change beneficial or harmful? That depends on specific regions. Warming may benefit fauna enormously. Harmful effects are also likely. However, the alarmism and politics has basically shut up moderate scientists and polarized the debate.

6. Can we reverse or stabilize the trend? Maybe. More importantly should we? Again, question 5 needs to be studied. The basic point is the answer to that is not an automatic Yes. Perhaps we should let things change? How many people considered that?

7. If we decide to prevent more warming (and the debate shouldn't have reached this point yet, given miserably incomplete climate models), what's the most efficient way to do it? This is where even most reasonable advocates of preventing climate change fail miserably. Carbon is simply too expensive to address by preventing the use of fossil fuels. There are 2.5 billion people in China and India and they want to have the same quality of life that you have. That takes energy, and thanks to the previous crusade by 'environmentalists' (people who have actually done most harm to the environment with their ignorance) nuclear was off the table for 2 decades. That only leaves fossil fuels. Whatever CO2 output can be reduced by Western countries at enormous expense to their economies, it will be dwarfed by India and China. That takes CO2 emission reduction at best stupid and at worst counter-productive. Western economies that adhere to some environmental standards are shot in the foot, while manufacturing moves increasingly to China to escape CO2 regulation.

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Boffin

Re: Climate-change sceptics

True, but the evidence doesn't care who says what.

Don't grace deniers with the term sceptic. True sceptics look at *all* the evidence and draw conclusions that are always provisional, even when they are strengthened by each new data set.

Deniers ignore the vast bulk of evidence (like the plummeting sea ice, say) and focus on anomalies, claiming that the provide falsification, rather than merely showing the boundaries of knowledge.

In this respect their logic is identical to that of holocaust deniers and every bit as disreputable. So the little shits can whine all they like about the comparison; they chose this method.

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

Feel free to focus on the extremists, if it makes you feel that your position is more defensible. However, evidence doesn't do anything by itself, it has to be interpreted - context and observer are important. The fact is, right now we have sufficient evidence to say the earth is warming and that we contribute to that to some extent. However, there seems to be a bizarre jump from point 4 to 7 on my list without doing the intervening steps. Trying to reduce carbon emissions is inefficient (if your goal is to reduce global warming) and short-sighted. Feel free to deny that fact as much as you want.

Also, I invoke Godwin's law.

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

> ...and refuse to even CONSIDER the possibility that the people who make Billions

Maybe it's a kind of low-level fear; if you consider it could be your fault then you have to do something about it. But what are you going to do? Protests make no difference, voting is hopeless "lesser-evilism" anyways, you don't have enough money to make a dent, and to take personal responsibility and ditch your car / electricity / etc will require a huge effort which many people are already too stressed (emotionally and financially) to be able to implement. So to remain sane you deny it. I'm not quite sure how I remain sane sometimes, to be honest!

> ...scientists are engaged in a mega-conspiracy to defraud the public to gain research grants

And there's the other side: scientists ("scientists"?) aren't exactly saints and certainly will beef up their claims and statements ("novely and significance" in the parlance) in the competition for grants and exposure. Few if any people given airtime in this debate are truly impartial - that's the way the media distorts debates unfortunately (people who are impartial are 'boring' and also not likely to claw for media attention).

Basically, you are going to have to make up your own mind and decide what you are going to do about it. Which seems to apply to most major questions of substance nowadays.

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

@solidsoup: your argument can be summarised as follows:

Climate change cannot be caused by human activities, because it would be very inconvenient to do anything about it.

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

"True sceptics look at *all* the evidence and draw conclusions that are always provisional, even when they are strengthened by each new data set."

Unlike AGW supporters who deny any evidence that doesn't support their thesis.

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

And your post is exactly the sort of swivel eyed rearrangement of the facts top create an ad hominem one comes to expect from AGW supporters. Never facts, always ad hominems, and ad hominems that are simply NOT justified on the face of the evidence.

No he is not saying what you claim he is saying. He is saying that irrespective of whether any warming that may or may not be happening is human made or not, there is nothing we can do to stop it in real practical terms.

Ergo we should not waste money and destroy our economies trying.

Now the fact that you attack this very rational statement suggests you have an ulterior motive for wanting us to spend money on alleged palliatives. I wonder who your employer is? If we are going to bandy ad hominems....

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

There's a well known prediction from yesteryear when climate skeptics were busy denying the world was warming (this was the late 90s/early 2000s).

It said that once it became impossible to deny the warming anymore they would switch to denying the cause. Then when it became impossible to deny the cause they would turn to denying the changes would cause harm. Finally when that failed they would claim it was too late to do anything about it. It looks like the last stage of denial is coming into play above with references to China, etc.

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

Do you actually know where the "97% of climate scientists" claim came from? In short, from a survey where 3000 responded but only 77 of those 3000 were used and of those 77, 75 said man-made global warming is real. Don't take my word for it, please verify this. Do your own research into the matter.

Do you want to know why I believe man-made global warming is a hoax? (1) If the science behind it is real, then why do the scientists refuse to follow the scientific method and make their data available and results reproducible? (2) If the science behind it is real, then why do the scientists who promote refuse to have an open, honest debate with those scientists who do not believe? If you are right, what do you have to lose? Science isn't the legal system where you have the right to remain silent. (3) If the science behind it is real, then why do the scientists work hard to avoid Freedom of Information laws.

I will conclude with this: Why is that these scientists ONLY talk about the Arctic and never talk about the Antarctic? Did you know that the Antarctic has had unusually high ice extent for years? Did you know that most of the melting in the Arctic is unrelated to temperature but to ocean currents and wind? Did you know that a strong polar storm caused the Arctic ice to sink a record low? Did you know the measurable ice records we have only go back to the 1970's?

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

Description of the Doran 2009 paper that surveyed 3146 Earth scientists is here:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm

To the question "Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?", 82% answered yes. Breaking down the yes's and no's into levels of expertise found that the no's were coming from those scientists with the least expertise. 77 is the number of those 3146 earth scientists who actually publish research on climate change. Of those 75 answered yes (97.5%).

Some climate skeptics would have people believe there is a 50/50 split among scientists on the issue, but really there isn't. Even many skeptics would answer yes.

"Do you want to know why I believe man-made global warming is a hoax? (1) If the science behind it is real, then why do the scientists refuse to follow the scientific method and make their data available and results reproducible? (2) If the science behind it is real, then why do the scientists who promote refuse to have an open, honest debate with those scientists who do not believe? If you are right, what do you have to lose? Science isn't the legal system where you have the right to remain silent. (3) If the science behind it is real, then why do the scientists work hard to avoid Freedom of Information laws."

Scientists are human too. Some climate scientists were turned off by character attacks on themselves, their peers and their field and as a result became hostile and resistant to cooperating with skeptics out of a personal dislike for them. That of course made them look bad in the long run as there is a string of events where they should have cooperated and shared data.

In any case the fundamental science behind man-made global warming is reproducible and available. In fact as a result of the extra demands and scrutiny of climate science there's probably more publicly accessible data available on the internet for climate science than any other scientific field. As to individual scientist behaviors, I would have to see evidence that other fields would behave differently in the same situation to think things were awry. I note that some skeptical scientists have refused or ignored requests to supply code or data for their own claims. It happens and it's because scientists are human and not perfect.

In other fields I can well imagine individual biologists dismissing and refusing to cooperate with creationists for example and ending up getting into a sticky situation where they are labelled anti-scientific for not sharing data. Indeed in particular to one of your points about debate, professor Dawkins has said he won't debate creationists because it's a waste of time, which of course makes him look bad in respect to your point and it could be argued he isn't engaging in necessary debate. I think scientists tend to expect scientific debate to occur in the traditional place in the peer reviewed literature, so the burden is on skeptics to publish their arguments. On the otherhand it would be nice to have written debates on the internet, but as this is a new idea I can't really condemn scientists for not adopting it already.

You ask: "Why is that these scientists ONLY talk about the Arctic and never talk about the Antarctic?"

The significance of the changes that are occurring in the arctic are far greater than what is happening in the Antarctic. Arctic sea ice decline has been much faster and greater than Antarctic sea ice gain. Plus the milestone of zero arctic sea ice beckons which is a step change that could affect the whole arctic climate and weather. There is no such imminent milestone with Antarctic sea ice.

"Did you know that most of the melting in the Arctic is unrelated to temperature but to ocean currents and wind?"

The decline in sea ice is very much related to temperature. The annual cycle of arctic sea ice has always followed temperature: shrinking in the summer and growing in the winter. There's a reason why the minimum occurs in early September, it's because that's when the water temperatures peak. The 2012 storms contributed to the record low, but even without it there still would have been a record. It was already going that way. Storms are not independent from temperature anyway. Why are we only just hearing about storms smashing the ice this year? As the arctic warms and more open water forms in summer there will be more evaporation and probably more and even bigger storms than in 2012. In addition the thinner ice will be more easily smashed to pieces by those storms. If a storm like the one we had this year had hit in 1990 the ice would have been thick enough to shrug it off.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Climate-change sceptics

@Pperson: All the data are available, just go to NASA or the Met office web sites also most scientists do debate they will discuss. However, they won't discuss with people who just shout abuse or are so ill informed that a discussion is worthless.

Nice straw man, though.

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@NomNomNom

What you're describing is a healthy skepticism that every scientific theory is subject to. That is how science works. A hypothesis is subjected to scrutiny which changes and becomes more granular as time progresses and understanding of it grows. You describe a reaction to the theory as evidence for it grows. What kind of reaction did you expect? An instant embrace?

For some reason, global warming and other environmental causes (e.g. anti-nuclear) represent the only area of science where adherents of certain theories expect to be excluded from this inherently scientific process of skepticism. Not only that, but any kind of skepticism or opposition is considered malicious, delusional, or worse, compared to Holocaust deniers (see above in the thread). Now why is that? Even the debate is coached in terms that have nothing to do with science, but are political in nature. "Incontrovertible" and "scientific consensus" spring to mind. Science done by consensus is not science.

Take this thread, for instance. I laid out my view and supporting arguments. The summary of my position: if (still a big if in my opinion) global warming is such a huge problem, we're going about it the wrong way. Did I get arguments to the contrary? Told I was wrong? A suggestion of alternatives? Links to studies that support CO2 (rather than methane or albedo) as the factor to be addressed? Nope, I was compared to a Holocaust denier and got a bunch of straw men arguments in response. If you honestly believe that global warming is a threat, how do you expect people to actually pay of addressing it if those are the tactics you use? It's not surprising then that in latest surveys more and more people don't believe in the doomsday scenario of global warming.

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Mushroom

Re: Climate-change sceptics

At least we wont have to worry about East Anglia for much longer. The middle of Essex must be worth investing in as the future new coastline with a mediterranean climate....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/mar/06/climate-change-coastline-joseph-rowntree

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

Re "In this respect their logic is identical to that of holocaust deniers and every bit as disreputable. So the little shits can whine all they like about the comparison; they chose this method"

I don't see the comparison. The holocaust is a historical fact , that happened , we have LOTS of records. Only the wilfully ignorant, and idiotic choose to deny historical facts that are backed up by a wealth of evidence.

Climate change on the other hand almost certainly happens, planet Earth has been warmer in the past than it is now , it has also been a lot cooler.

No one is denying the climate can and will change.

What some people do deny is that human kind burning lots of fossil fuels is going to create a lot of atmospheric CO2 that is in someway going to lead to runaway global warming. As a species we haven't fully run a test case on planet earth on this yet.

The logic of denying historical fact , and being sceptical about every chicken-licken-the-sky-is-falling-in-guesstimate-science are quite different.

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

"At least we wont have to worry about East Anglia for much longer. The middle of Essex must be worth investing in as the future new coastline with a mediterranean climate...."

EXCELLENT. That'll make my house worth shit loads, and I can have long boring conversation how I only paid a couple of hundred thousand for it , when it is worth several million, and all the super rich yachts are berthed a about 10 miles away in Chelmsford. Of course I've got to make it to 2050 , by which time I will either be dead (most likely) or some seriously old codger .

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Releasing billions of tonnes into the atmosphere swamps the natural carbon cycle, which causes CO2 to accumulate fast. Current concentration of CO2 is over 30% higher than at any time in the last 500000 years. Global temperatures are increasing as expected, sea levels are rising, ocean heat content is increasing, artic ice is melting fast.

There is nothing here one could be sceptical about. Either you do accept the evidence or you deny the facts.

The only kind of scepticism left is what exactly we should do about it. Continue burning fossil fuels like there is no tomorrow and find out the hard way whether we end up with runaway warming? Or trying to be more energy efficient and switch to cheaper alternative energy resources? Which choice will be cheaper and benefit humankind more in the long run?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Climate-change sceptics

"No he is not saying what you claim he is saying. He is saying that irrespective of whether any warming that may or may not be happening is human made or not, there is nothing we can do to stop it in real practical terms.

Ergo we should not waste money and destroy our economies trying."

Aha, I suspect this is actual mindset of most climate-change "sceptics", but rather than flatly admit it as itzman just did, they dress it up with this "we don't know quite enough about it, so let's just do nothing" argument, or vague defamations about how it's all just fabricated or exaggerated by the scientific community/environmental lobby groups.

Basically, all but the most ignorant of people would know by now - whether they admit it or not - that climate change is clearly happening and it's in all likelihood being dramatically caused by human activity. The most obvious and only realistic way to begin to combat that is to start to reduce CO2 output via various means - potentially at some economic cost, admittedly. Obviously, you can't just turn off a fossil fuel economy overnight, but baby steps are going to have a more positive effect than doing absolutely nothing. Most sceptics surely are blatantly aware of all this yet choose to espouse otherwise due to a selfish, short-sighted attitude of "I can't be arsed with the negative implications of this, plus it probably wont affect me in my lifetime or generation or two after, so why bother?".

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@AC 9:57

Your Aha! reminds me of South Park moment when Mrs. Garrison finds out Dawkins is an atheist. Well, I wasn't hiding. It's curious you chose to address itzman's post describing what I'm saying, rather than what I'm saying directly and what I suspect (and number of up votes confirms) position of most reasonable skeptics is. It's telling that most responses, including yours, chose to address an imaginary extremist view and then claim a debate isn't possible, all the while ignoring the actual skeptic position. Let me try again.

1. It's pretty clear that the earth is warming and that we significantly contribute to that.

2. It actually doesn't matter if we contribute a lot or not at all. If an asteroid is hurtling towards earth, who cares if we caused it, right? Let's first find out how big it is.

3. The runaway global warming scenario presented by IPCC and espoused by most proponents is bullshit. It relies not on greenhouse effect of the CO2 but on increasing number of speculative positive feedback loops, all the while ignoring negative ones. Doomsday scenario is sexy as, if you're a politician or an environmentalist, it allows you to force people to do a lot of stupid shit if your really convince them. This, however, is not the crux of the disagreement.

THIS IS:

4. If you truly and honestly believe in the runaway scenario of global warming and are trying to prevent it - YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG! If burning of fossil fuels can lead to a catastrophe, why are we faffing about with wind and solar? They are 2X as expensive and even if they weren't, they cannot be load-bearing without additional expense and so can make up no more than 15% of national infrastructure of most countries. Why isn't each country, pressured by environmentalists, developing a strategy to move most electricity generation to nuclear instead of fossil fuels? Could it be because the group of people who screams about global warming the loudest is the same one that killed nuclear 25 years ago? Why are environmentalists still screaming in Germany and France to close nuclear stations?

It gets worse. Not only are real and working solution of nuclear energy is not utilized in favor of renewable pipe dream, but a completely ludicrous solution of carbon caps is pushed. You can dismiss people who mention India and China, but you cannot wish away those countries existence. Whatever carbon you prevent from release here by handicapping manufacturing, will be released in double there because that's where manufacturing would move and their standards and equipment are a lot less efficient than our. Therefore, if you really and truly believe in the doomsday scenario, you would not argue for carbon caps, unless they were globally enforceable.

That's not to say there's nothing to be done if we decide to prevent warming (something I'm not yet convinced we need to be doing). There's methane, which has 23x more radiative forcing than CO2. There's agriculture: not ploughing before planting certain crops increases growth of topsoil which sequesters carbon. There's geoengineering and some ideas from it may actually be viable. But no, "only realistic way to begin to combat [global warming] is to start to reduce CO2 output". It is by pure coincidence that it also lets politicians tax any economic activity and environmentalists dictate how companies should behave to be on their naughty or nice lists. Well, good luck with that. But keep this in mind - if the wolf is as real as you say, then you, my friends, just royally screwed everyone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 9:57

You're lumping in a bunch of other arguments assuming that I have that position that the solution is renewables, you're also assuming I actually care strongly about climate change and stopping it - I don't really, but I don't make up a load of BS denials and smear attempts at those who do, which is where we differ.

As you said yourself:

"1. It's pretty clear that the earth is warming and that we significantly contribute to that."

Then it's pretty obvious the first thing to be done is reducing carbon emissions. Whether you go about that via nuclear or renewables or carbon caps or whatever isn't the debate here. I'm not sure why you've switched from that to the details of how it's done or why you think the statement I made that "the only realistic way to begin to combat [global warming] is to start to reduce CO2 output" somehow differs from the nuclear solution you just proposed, which is just a specific method of achieving exactly that.

Actual AGW sceptics don't share your views openly at all, they're blatantly stating that they either doubt climate change is a) happening at all (less so these days, but that used to be the norm) or b) is influenced by human activity. You seem to acknowledge both of those as facts, which leads me to think you're confused about what side of the debate you're actually on, and slightly delusional as to how sane/honest AGW sceptics really are.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 9:57

Basically, to summarise solidsoup: you're not a AWG sceptic, you just think you are, and not only that but you mistakenly assume that actual sceptics are people that share your ideological position - they're not.

Debating whether provisions to reduce human impact on climate change and if we do so then what methods should be used is absolutely fine, no-one here has really addressed that other than you. The problem is there's still a large chunk of people who for reasons of either ignorance, convenience, vested interest, or self-delusion are denying that AGW actually exists. That's the issue here.

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Unhappy

Re: Climate-change sceptics

Then I sincerely hope that you do not have Market Value Assessment for your property taxes. Here our taxes go up basically in lockstep with the rise in value of the homes in our neighbourhood, never mind that you have done nothing to improve the value of your house.

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Mushroom

Re: @AC 9:57

The irony that to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels we should use windmills which need massive cement foundations (even more so for offshore) is laughable. Perhaps some of the wind fanatists would like to consider the amount of CO2 released in the production of cement needed to hold down the windmill!

Then we get to solar, great for central heating but when it comes to electricity generation you need storage batteries for the overnight use to keep your fridge and freezer running so alongside the enviromental cost of the panels and batteries you need a backup power source.

And both will need a backup for when the wind doesnt blow.

The only way we can generate sufficient power without the use of fossil fuels is with nuclear energy but the AGW brigade cannot bring themselves to admit that the way to lower man made CO2 is to do so, instead we have windmills and some crappy hybrid cars, neither of which make the blindest bit of difference to CO2 output and have a massive environmental cost that no one in the AGW camp likes to talk about.

So rather than deal with the nuclear elephant in the room they would rather leave the economy in tatters and return us to the stone age with half baked answers whilst the Chinese look on, laugh and take over the worlds economy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Climate-change sceptics

I think it is the default assumption that the prime motivator for anyone is not a desire for a greater shift towards scientific objective accurate models of what is going on, but is based on conspiracy, untruths, and desire for monetary rewards that drives all of this. Perhaps the people so enamoured with this "deniers approach" (I refuse to dignify it with the label skeptic or sceptic) do so because they are either merely reflecting their own motivations in theior own daily lives, or they are so taken with the capitalist dream, that they distort it to fit others who do not behave in accordance with it, and hence transform it into the conspiracy theories. In other words, it may also be a reflection that they think everyone, deep down, embraces capitalism as some kind of universal principle for human behaviour, which also necessitates the need for conspiracies, lying, falsification of data on a massive scale.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Climate-change sceptics

"[...] Never facts, always ad hominems, and ad hominems that are simply NOT justified on the face of the evidence."

"Ad hominems" are not always fallacious, and can be acceptable arguments in certain kinds of discussion-types. See Walton, D. N. (1998). _Ad hominem arguments_. Alabama University Press, ISBN: 0-8173-0922-5.

As to whether this discussion is one of those types: the fact is you and your supporters have already conceded that it is! The first time one of you suggested some conspiracy or dishonesty on the part of someone is disagreement with you all on the matter, you also made use of an _ad hominem_ argument. So, you cannot now claim that having them used against *you* is necessarily always the sign of bad arguments. In fact, there are interesting issues about why some people routinely try to allege large-scale conspiracies that are totally unfeasible given the number of people involved who have to coordinate their untruths.

So, if you don't like the heat, I suggest you get out of the kitchen of your own making.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 9:57

"The only way we can generate sufficient power without the use of fossil fuels is with nuclear energy but the AGW brigade cannot bring themselves to admit that the way to lower man made CO2 is to do so"

That's rubbish. You're just equating pro-renewable environmentalists with everyone that openly believes in AWG (which is basically just everyone who's at least half-intelligent and honest). You yourself are practically saying AWG exists in your post, so why aren't you pro-windmill if you're technically part of this "AWG brigade" you seem to think everyone belongs to.

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

Why not? You DOOMERS believe the conspiracy of big oil bribing me and the scientists and telling me what to think as a denier, er "former" believer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Climate-change sceptics

"It still baffles me how anyone with a brain could believe something like 97% of scientists are engaged in a mega-conspiracy to defraud the public to gain research grants, and refuse to even CONSIDER the possibility that the people who make Billions selling oil and gas could be the ones lying to try to protect their profits."

Your words imply that 97% + of all scientists are involved in the same, single conspiracy, and tied with your title, this implies the conspiracy is involved with climate change.

Do you really think 97% or more of ALL scientists are even remotely qualified to study climate change, or are involved in such? What about CERN? What about pharmaceutical research? What about.... oh, the (made up figure here) 99,9% of all OTHER science out there? Has all that just gone away?

So I am calling your bullshit for what it is. A made up statistic, inflated to idiotic levels to support your view.

Ignoring that bullshit statistic, however, we have a slightly different stance: It is not the scientists who are corrupt, it's those who take the research data and report it inaccurately, adding their own politically motivated interpretation to it to 'big it up', just as you did with your 97%. They are the mega-conspiracy participants, and they are milking the scared public for all they can get.

Oil companies just milk the public for all they can get without resort to scare tactics. They don't have to lie or cheat... although they do that anyhow, possibly just because they can or feel they are left out from all the bull others are spouting.

In the mean time, there are real scientists out there trying to understand how the world works, and who are quite diligent and careful in what they report so as not to claim something they cannot prove. Instead, they produce theories that, in a polite and well run society, can be reviewed, challenged, criticised and corrected. Climate study is not polite and well run: Politics have gotten entangled in it and are messing up the process. As such, theories are reported as fact and attempts to check and challenge those theories are being blocked. This is why there are so many skeptics out here: We want real science, not politically twisted science. We want to know what the real data is, so we can look at what weighting is used and compare it to what else we know. Else we have floods that are attributed to climate change when in truth it's simply because some idiot cut all the trees down a mile or two up river. The latter was easy to fix, the former... well, that's still debatable.

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Re: Climate-change sceptics

The problem is NOT the science, its that its been hijacked by scammers like Al Gore who have set themselves up to be carbon billionaires by leeching and scamming the system they intend to set up. Have you EVER, even once, heard Al Gore and CO talk about putting Tariffs on China, who is belching so much pollution we in the USA pick it up on our west coast? Nope because they make mad MONIES off Chinese slave labor, you stupid peasant you!

Many of us are all for pollution being lowered, in fact there are several things we could be doing that don't need carbon credit scams to actually make a difference. putting a layer of light concrete to keep roads from being giant heat sinks, painting roofs white to reflect sunlight, and most importantly in the USA we need a "people's car" that costs less than $15k and gets 45MPG with subsidies to get the poor out of their used cars which get less than 16MPG here in the states.

But you'll NEVER hear or see any of those things come to pass, because the ALgore and friends at Goldman Sachs have already hijacked the platform and made sure the ONLY thing you'll hear about is cap&trade. The results of cap&trade? Since there will be ZERO penalty for sending your company to a country not part of cap&trade (which India and China have already said they won't play the game) the factories in the west that are left will be wiped out overnight, since it'll be cheaper for the companies to build a new factory in China than comply, and the 1% like Al will simply pay THEMSELVES through their Carbon shell corps to drive their SUVs and Lear jets, nope the ONLY ones being hurt will be the poor and middle class who will get more taxes because they can't set up shell corps and move overseas.

So offer REAL solutions? Many of us that fight the AGWers will be on board. Offer us the same old 1% scams designed to enrich the top, like crap&trade? then please go jump off the nearest bridge into the ever rising ocean, because the cap&trade scams will do absolutely ZERO to change anything, unless you consider making Al Gore a billionaire a positive change, I don't.

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Mushroom

Re: @AC 9:57 the AC at 08:51 on the 10th

You are confusing many things, not surprising really given the quality of your comment.

Firstly, believing we are chucking our more CO2 than we did before we had mass industry does not equate to a belief in AGW.

Secondly, you find a single current AGW supporter in the public eye who will make the nuclear argument over renewables, I have yet to see one, what we occasionally see is mutterings about nuclear but no one has the minerals to say what most of us realised a long time ago, and that is, with increasing energy demand it is, currently the only viable solution if we want to lower are demand for fossil fuels.

But worst of all, if we are to do something about this issue then we need to look much further than just CO2 but also at intensive meat farming and methane amongst others, which given our rising populations is not an easy fix either.

Wasting money on unworkable solutions and smokescreens whilst using carbon credit trading and imaginary offset stuff as a psychological panacea is not going to cut the mustard, but it does make banks and others very wealthy, whilst actually solving the problem by providing abundant nuclear energy at low cost doesnt pay the bonuses.

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Re: @AC 9:57 the AC at 08:51 on the 10th

"Secondly, you find a single current AGW supporter in the public eye who will make the nuclear argument over renewables"

George Monbiot.

There are plenty of people who believe in AGW and also believe in nuclear power. The problem is that the big environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth, are dominated by older people who have serious prejudices against nuclear power and keep a lock on the voice of environmentalism as much as possible. When the media want a comment on an environmental matter, they call a spokesperson for FoE or Greenpeace or whoever. So you seldom hear from any but the Old Guard on environmental activism. Unfortunately.

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FAIL

Re: Climate-change sceptics

You mixed science and political choice in your list.

The evidence does not care about the politics.

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Go Canada!

Looks like Canada and Siberia are about to get a lot more cropland.

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Re: Go Canada!

and even more mosquitoes, black flies, et al, which make living there intolerable (which is why the bears and other big game are generally bad tempered all the time during the summer season)....

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It just occurred to me that the earth, in order to exist for 4.5 billion years, must has great survival instincts. Also I have been observing the sun's, current, and it's long term activity. Currently the sun is experiencing the lowest activity in hundreds of years. Particularly, it is similar to the maunder era when we had a very cold phase and severe freezing.

With these thoughts in mind, I began to wonder if the earth is preparing itself for a cold era. What I mean is this....If the ice cover reflects the sun, it would be an advantage for the earth to reflect the sun back to space. I understand that this is the current fear. Conversely, the oceans, without the ice cover, will absorb the suns rays and store the heat that it absorbs. Now if the earth and mother nature, God or whatever, knows that a cold phrase is upcoming, wouldn't it be an advantage to have the oceans free of ice covering so to have the ability to store as much heat as possible.

Maybe we are looking at this all wrong. After all, humans are, by nature, fearful of change and we usually apply whatever knowledge or fearful thoughts we have. I think that this could be a instinct that we are endowed with so that we protect ourselves but, as we all know, sometimes it doesn't always work to our advantage.

As the current phraseology would put it.....I'm just saying!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: DataDon

Mate, I salute your courage in posting this on El Reg, but a hail of red arrows is inevitable!

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Re: DataDon

Your real name is Candide, and I want my other buttock back!

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You might be brilliant....

or not, of course. Let's take your idea as an extension of the Gaia hypothesis, in which the planet and its biosphere are a self-correcting mechanism. Since humans are part of the mechanism we could be unconciously polluitng in order to maintain global temperatures in the face of the oncoming cold. Conciously we believe we are doing something wrong, but it's not our fault, Gaia is making us do it ;-)

Now, I want to see an oil company executive use tha argument in public...

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Re: You might be brilliant....

Look its perfectly simple

Once upon a time the plants ruled the planet: there were no animals. And over a period of aeons the plants sucked up all the carbon dioxide, and turned it into coal. Then along came animals, and they ate a lot of the plants life, and turned it into useful manure for more plants, which was Good For Plants. Except some of them died and made pools of icky oil at the bottom of lakes and stuff instead.

The Plants put on their thinking caps, and decided the best thing to do was to breed a race of animals smart enough to dig up all the coal and drill all the oil and burn it, thereby making the planet warmer and rich in carbon dioxide and suitable for more plants. .

And everything is gouing according to plan.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You might be brilliant....

@Sandman: Gaia states that the planet is a globally regulating system, not a self correcting system. There is a subtle, but very important difference. Also, humans can do what they want, over time (and it'll be a long time) the planet will regulate, although we'll probably be extinct.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You might be brilliant....

@Itzman: You've totally misunderstood Gaia theory, so totally that your mockery goes out the other side of funny and into a bit sad really.

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Re: You might be brilliant....

except the plants didn't think that idea through enough and didn't count on the humans eroding thousands of acres/hectares a day and turning massive stretches of land into deserts or cesspits of polluted earth that nothing can grow on.

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And that's what we call a "non-linear" effect

The *rate* gets bigger as the amount gets bigger.

Like the greenhouse effect the *basic* physics of it have been known for decades.

I've always thought a layer of ping pong balls would float on the water and return the reflectivity to allow refreezing.

The question is how many *other* non linear effects are at play.

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Re: And that's what we call a "non-linear" effect

hm... let's think..

missing summer Arctic ice - 4,000,000 km2 or 4,000,000,000,000 m²

Number of 40mm ping-pong balls in 1 square metre with hex packing = pi/6 * sqrt(3);

(1000/40)² * pi/6 * sqrt(3) = 567 ping pong balls per square meter.

567 * 4,000,000,000,000 = 2,268,000,000,000,000 ping-pong balls... hm...

I'll leave it to you to calculate raw materials extraction, processing and manufacture, storage, transportation and deployment, and the carbon footprint involved to make it happen...

Clue - about 22 million ping-pong balls would fit in a 747 airliner.

We had the summer ice for free. Now it's really going to cost.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And that's what we call a "non-linear" effect

We had the summer ice for free. Now it's really going to cost.

Nah, I'm sure we've all woken up after a night at the pub and found we've walked off with the ping-pong ball more than once. If we pool our resources we can do it for free! Maybe chuck in some egg-shells or something to make up the shortfall

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And that's what we call a "non-linear" effect

" *basic* physics of it have been known for decades."

and falsified several times, but few seem to have noticed

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This is actually quite good for the UK power wise.

If - as seems to be the case - the melting ice and other condition lead to greater storms over europe and the UK we can assume that wind power will be an even more cost effective source.

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Re: This is actually quite good for the UK power wise.

How can something that isn't a cost effective power source become even more cost effective?

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FAIL

Re: This is actually quite good for the UK power wise.

Actually NOT good for wind power - the wind farms can't operate in storm conditions and need to be turned off when wind speed exceeds a certain level (Saturday morning, cant' be naffed to research the actual speed right now!).

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