The Global Cult

Today, Easter Day of 2013, I had to become embroiled in a religious controversy, of course. It arose from a a long discussion on my blog in the form of comments to my posting Bush’s War -2. It’s about the religion of global warming. Why the discussion comes from this particular short political posting is both complicated and uninteresting. My main adversary is Prof Terry who went to the same graduate school as I. He is a frequent liberal critic of this blog. Here are the last things he said in the Comments:

“Maybe they’re not like the flat-earthers of yore; maybe they have reasonable objections. Perhaps the collective wisdom of climate scientists is wrong about the causation of the planet growing warmer.”

The essence of science is gathering data to try to falsify tentative explanations. Do you and Jacques actually believe that the same science that generated evidence of fluctuations in global temperatures is somehow unaware of those fluctuations?

Let me put it this way. On the one hand there is a global collection of scientists in different disciplines that gather and analyze data of various kinds. And you’re right – they’ve reached a collective judgment. The world’s climate is growing warmer and it’s due to human activity changing the composition of the atmosphere.

What’s on the other hand? Jacques’ collection of teapublican conspiracy theorists. The data is false. Christian creationists. The data is not relevant because the bible says so. The occasional mouthpiece of energy companies.

I await the ‘reasonable objections’. I hope at least one is better than the ‘it used to be warmer so global warming can’t be happening’ non sequitor that our host is so fond of.

Wow. Not only was it warmer in Greenland a thousand years ago….wait….wait…. THE WHOLE WORLD WAS WARMER 40 MILLION YEARS AGO!!!! For millions of years!!!!

Which means nothing. I sometimes wonder if you actually read what you write.

I don’t need to read what I write. I think about what I write before I write it.

And Prof Terry does not seem to know that a “sequitor” is a specialized ranching tool used to castrate steers!

Prof. Terry has frequent nightmares about imaginary but really threatening “teapublicans” who often borrow my face ( my ravaged face) in his sleep. He thinks attributing to me statements he thinks they have made and which I am sure I have not made will make his utterances sound real.

Prof. Terry knows for sure that I am not a “Christian creationist” nor that I am tempted to follow such. He is childishly trying to shame me before the whole faculty club by using the “C” word in connection with my name. Well, I don’t shame easily and I don’t give much of a (Saxon copulation word) about the faculty club. In my long academic experience, the faculty club was usually a good place to go to find the wrong, the false, the absurd, the ridiculous.

It’s probably useful to to others, so I am again reacting to Prof. Terry’s nightmarish vision. (See also my other essays on the issue. Just search my blog for “global warming.”)

I don’t think the global warming  apocalyptic narrative results from a conspiracy. From time to time, I have made moderate statements I can easily resume, like this:

Global warming (now called something else) is a successful religious cult. Like new cults in general, it is sometimes served, but also possibly hurt by small-scale conspiracies. (Ask me for examples.) The mass of the people who think that there is a man-made significant trend of globally rising temperature that we must worry about now, or soon are not (NOT) conspirators. They are just not thinking. Many are misled by those who ought to know better, including college professors.

There are many examples in history of otherwise intelligent people who stop thinking in the service of their beliefs. Thus, the gold plates on which were written God’s New World revelations and that an angel gave Joseph Smith, the prophet of Mormonism. The plates were lost. Rotten luck!

Note: Mormonism is the common name for the faith of those in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Understand what I am not saying: Those who believe the plates existed and were lost are suspending disbelief, often forever. That makes them weak, not stupid. I know one who is a distinguished scholar in Prof. Terry’s and my discipline.

Prof. Terry invokes the authority of a category he calls “climate scientists” Two problems with this.

There is no such category with a fixed meaning if you are allowed to exclude anyone you don’t like: “What, Peter the Prophet says that there will be no Second Coming of Christ? Why, Peter is a false prophet!”

If there were such a category and if you admitted anyone into it without a consistent test of credentials, the category would also have no value. It would be irrelevant. You may not say: “Carpenters think that….” if anyone at all is a carpenter.

Additionally, if there were such category as “climate scientists” and if most of its members said that the earth is flat, it would not make the earth flat. What is professor Terry thinking? Did climate scientists take a vote? Did the warmists win by 99,6%, like in People’s Republic Chinese democracy, or did they win by a moderate and more believable 56%?

Small digression here: During the primaries, one Republican candidate declared point-blank that “97% “ of climate scientists asserted that there was climate change. In my mind he was out of the race that very second, not because I did not agree with him but because if the 97% figure were correct, there would be no way for anyone to know it. That man was not thinking. He lacked criticality. I am even glad Barack Obama was elected rather than he!

In general, I refuse to fall into the common trap of having to chose to argue with specialists about their specialty or of accepting uncritically what they declare to be true (or, in this case what they are said to have said, as asserted by people who are obviously in the throes of religious experience.) I find that I rarely have to make this kind of freedom-constricting choice. I know little about the internal combustion engine, for example, but I know damn well when the mechanic who is working on my car reeks of beer! If I find out that many people die after submitting to a small, supposedly benign operation to erase their wrinkles, I chose to keep my wrinkles, smart guy that I am! I don’t initiate a discussion with medical doctors.

Prof. Terry thus invokes the “collective wisdom” of an undefined category. I have often been confronted by collective wisdom like that, by the sententious declarations of various kinds of priesthood. When I was thirty, all the social scientists I knew who were interested in the topic but four or five affirmed that capitalism was finished. They affirmed that a revolt of the poor countries would finish it (the “Lin-Piao thesis”) What has happened instead is that some of the same poor countries are catching up with us and some are about to pass us because they implement capitalism better than the old capitalist countries have ever done. (Singapore, that happy flagship of unrestricted capitalism, has for several years enjoyed a higher GDP/capita than its former colonial owner, welfarist UK.)  So much for collective wisdom!

Prof Terry is also trying to suggest that I am wrong and that he is right by wrapping himself in the scintillating mantle of science like a grotesque version of the  statue of the Madonna in some Spanish processional.  N. S. ! In fact, he momentarily forgets what he surely knows about science. A small example of what one should know:

If you throw a ball in the air and it fails to come down, if you make sure it’s not on the roof somewhere, if some joker or an athletic dog did not catch it, what are you supposed to think?

The answer is that if you are certain there is no mundane explanation, you are obligated to think that the Theory of Gravity maybe faulty or seriously in question. My point is that in good science, it takes only one non-conforming event, if you are certain it’s a real event. ONE! Try it yourself: If a single object is shown to travel faster than the speed of light, then ….

The importance of the warm Greenland story that Prof Terry alludes to is that it’s one of the many possible single instances that must undermine the belief that industrial civilization, cars, manufacturing, heating houses have recently raised average world temperature. You decide how fatally the facts of the story undermine the warmist view.

For a sub-period of 1,000 to 1,300 , approximately, the Norse settlers of Greenland ate significant quantities of beef. Now there were only two possible sources for that beef. They imported cattle from Iceland or from Norway in their little boats to eat them. Or they raised cattle right in Greenland. The first explanation, I discount as technically and economically absurd. So, the Norse evidently raised cattle in a part of the world where you could not do it now. You could not because Greenland is too cold to produce the hay necessary to feed cattle during long winter season. Greenland was warmer then than it is after nearly two centuries of big, human CO2 emissions.

Incidentally the now famous “hockey-stick” fraud perpetrated by major environmentalist leaders was made necessary by the fact that there is abundant evidence that the average temperatures of the known world were higher than than they are now for centuries during the Middle -Ages. Solution for this disturbing problem: Don’t show the temperatures for that period even if you have data.

Changists either refuse to talk about this matter or worse, they insist on telling us that we must believe that the latest rise in temperature is uniquely due to human activity although the dozens of other rises that preceded it could not possibly have roots in human activity. It’s like this:

It’s rained often, but this particular rain comes from the fact that you peed in the sky last week.”

Incidentally, I don’t think there is any significant rise in global temperatures except, everywhere, every day between seven am and noon. I am just playing along.

As I said any single instance would do. I like the particular instance of the warm Greenland story because of its source. I gleaned the basic facts from reading Jared Diamond’s Collapse. Mr Diamond is the same respected intellectual to whom we owe the masterfully told story of the ruin of Easter Island by its inhabitants’ unsound exploitation of their physical environment. Mr Diamond is no “denier”! If he knew me, I am pretty sure he would dislike me.

If I were in the name-dropping business, by the way, I would also recommend reading the very skeptical Bjorn Lomborg, an environmental activist who also has the merit of being a trained statistician. Prof. Terry’s friends confronted by such a heretic would like to burn him at the stake. As they don’t have the power to do so, they will resign themselves to gross calumny. (Also, they don’t want to contribute to more warming by burning fagots.) Anyone who disagrees with them and who sounds the least bit credible must be brought down at all costs. Just as you would imagine with a cult. As Prof. Terry himself suggests  in general, well-informed contrarians or heretics are  (with no specific reference to L Diamond)  merely the mouthpieces of (huge) “energy companies” Well, I am still awaiting my payment, damn it! What do I have to do?

Often, one is not sure of one’s competence to judge . That’s OK. You can usually assess, judge the credibility of a group, a tribe, a cult, by the company its members keep. It’s completely fair: Though you do not worship Satan yourself, if you regularly meet Satanists for drinks, you are probably evil. So, with changists.

This spring day, it’s snowing again in Brittany. It’s a peninsula bathed by the Gulf Stream and bordering the sea on three sides. Twenty years ago, local people would have told you that it “never” snowed in Brittany. The locals who never left their area could reach age fifty without ever seeing snow. What do I think the implications of the unusual abundant snow in Brittany now and earlier, in February, have for the global warming creed? Well, I keep telling you that I am a serious man. I think it’s interesting the way anecdotes can be interesting. I don’t think for a second that the unusual cold in Brittany and in much of Europe should ad anything to my incredulity. These events ad nothing (NOTHING).

Now conduct a mental experiment and imagine that it were today, Easter day, unusually hot in Brittany, or across the Channel, in England. Suppose it were 90 F in the shade. Do you have any doubt (ANY) that there would be many commentators, on the news and elsewhere, who would assert that, of course, the high temperature is another example of global warming (or something). Naturally, the scientific warmists would tell us that those are uneducated people who don’t know anything. Conduct another mental experiment. (It will hurt but it won’t take long.) How many credentialed, scientifically trained warmists, such as Prof. Terry, would raise their voice to tell the commentators that anecdotal evidence does not count, that it means nothing, that they should shut up? Would there be even one? Does it ever happen?

Warmists who ought to know better are passive but conscious accomplices to crimes of ignorance. Why should anyone in his right mind respect them?

I know there are warmists who would affirm that the unusually cold temperature in Brittany is a proof of warming. Likewise: the more neighbors my wife has affairs with, the more she must love me! I don’t have time for such nonsense until they describe with great clarity what kind of evidence would change their belief.  (Footnote 1, below)

Warmists routinely try two things against people like me, “deniers.” First, they attempt to intimidate me: Do you think you are smarter than anyone, JD? The answer I have given many times is that I am often smarter than most because I don’t believe much. I don’t think the gold plaques of Mormonism were lost. I don’t believe, on this Easter Day, that Jesus walked out of his tomb looking fresh as a rose. And, for good measure, the Hebrews were not “slaves” in Egypt. I am inclined to libertarianism but the best example of statelessness right now is Somalia where you can die for a used tire. Skeptical there too. And, I was anti-communist in academia before conservatism was cool. It’s in the record. Not being encumbered with creeds is a kind of intelligence; I am not embarrassed to admit to it.

Note: I like many of the people who believe those things. I don’t want to argue with them but I don’t want to hide my disbelief either.

The second way warmists try to fight me is by adopting the Jehova’s Witnesses’ switching and crowding strategy. They keep changing the subject and they make me dizzy with a flood of words. It does nothing to persuade me. It does not do much to influence witnesses. It helps them however cling to their unexamined beliefs. I respond by requesting that my opponents give it their one best shot. I don’t have all day. All kinds of unimportant things call my attention. Don’t ruin my life with the misconceived products of your weakened brain. Say one thing and make it count. It’s not difficult if you are clear in your own mind about what you want to say. I can do it in three sentences.

Today, as it happened, I met briefly a young stranger who majors in environmental studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz, the environmentalist Rome and Mecca rolled in one. He volunteered that even a one inch rise in the ocean level is a serious matter. On the rare occasions when his fellows speak clearly, without detours, they seem always to demonstrate a lack of grip on reality. Or, they demonstrate that I lack a grip on reality. How can a one inch rise in the ocean be a serious matter? Until the advent of satellite measurement, we couldn ‘t even perceive changes with that degree of accuracy. It may have happened many times without anyone even noticing. A one inch rise is a small technical problem for the Dutch. Just call them!

The brief encounter was surprising. I liked the young man on sight and he also majors in history, a big plus in my book. I invited him to give it his best shot. His one best shot: tell me what terrible thing will happen if I am wrong. One! Of course, I promised him I would not censor him. What a strange request! What’s going on in his young mind? What mental world does he live in?

Any of you, patient readers, I hereby invite also to give it your best shot. Either, tell me of one thing about which I am wrong and why, one thing. Or, tell me also what horrible consequences there will be and when, if we do nothing, zilch. If you do, please begin with a sentence or two telling me why I should read you. Too many take my invitations as an offer to ramble on. I am not asking for much: “You should read this because….”

And don’t take any wooden nickels.

PS: The biggest rats leaving a sinking ship first:  Economist Magazine Now Admits It’s Unsure About Global Warming

Footnote 1 : The next day, there is a big title on MSNBC:

Global Warming Increases the Antarctica Ice Area.

Would I make this up? Would I even dare?

OK, it was April 1st but you know that MSNBC does not  joke with sacred matters. MSNBC does not joke, period!

About Jacques Delacroix

I write short stories, current events comments, and sociopolitical essays, mostly in English, some in French. There are other people with the same first name and same last name on the Internet. I am the one who put up on Amazon in 2014: "I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography" and also: "Les pumas de grande-banlieue." To my knowledge, I am the only Jacques Delacroix with American and English scholarly publications. In a previous life, I was a teacher and a scholar in Organizational Theory and in the Sociology of Economic Development. (Go ahead, Google me!) I live in the People’s Green Socialist Republic of Santa Cruz, California.
This entry was posted in Socio-Political Essays and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to The Global Cult

  1. Jim Kress says:

    Nice commentary.

  2. Terry Amburgey says:

    Way too much here for 1 reply, so I’ll do it piecemeal.
    “Prof. Terry invokes the authority of a category he calls “climate scientists” Two problems with this…”
    What I said [and it's quoted above] is:
    “On the one hand there is a global collection of scientists in different disciplines that gather and analyze data of various kinds.”

    Now there may actually be a category called ‘climate science’ just as there is a category called ‘management studies’. You mention above an ‘environmental studies’ program. You and I know that there are very different disciplines involved in ‘management studies’. The only people I know personally involved in climate research are physicists; I supect that there are many more disciplines than physics involved.

    My simple rule of thumb is that you are what you do. If you’re a scientist doing scientific research on climate you’re a climate scientist. If you’re a blog diswcussant you’re not.

    • Terry: I admire your efforts to try to introduce a little rigor to your categories under my prodding. I wonder if your correligionists care. OK, this is hypocritical. The answer is NO!

      Forget the small stuff if you are too busy: How about them Norse munching on steak while surrounded by some of the best fishing grounds in the world?

  3. Terry Amburgey says:

    “Did climate scientists take a vote? Did the warmists win by 99,6%, like in People’s Republic Chinese democracy, or did they win by a moderate and more believable 56%?”

    It looks closer to the 99% than the 56%. Two blurbs re consensus:

    “A question that frequently arises in popular discussion of climate change is whether there is a scientific consensus on climate change.[113] Several scientific organizations have explicitly used the term “consensus” in their statements:
    American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2006: “The conclusions in this statement reflect the scientific consensus represented by, for example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Joint National Academies’ statement.”[28]
    US National Academy of Sciences: “In the judgment of most climate scientists, Earth’s warming in recent decades has been caused primarily by human activities that have increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. … On climate change, [the National Academies’ reports] have assessed consensus findings on the science…”[114]
    Joint Science Academies’ statement, 2005: “We recognise the international scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”[115]
    Joint Science Academies’ statement, 2001: “The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science. We recognise IPCC as the world’s most reliable source of information on climate change and its causes, and we endorse its method of achieving this consensus.”[21]
    American Meteorological Society, 2003: “The nature of science is such that there is rarely total agreement among scientists. Individual scientific statements and papers—the validity of some of which has yet to be assessed adequately—can be exploited in the policy debate and can leave the impression that the scientific community is sharply divided on issues where there is, in reality, a strong scientific consensus…. IPCC assessment reports are prepared at approximately five-year intervals by a large international group of experts who represent the broad range of expertise and perspectives relevant to the issues. The reports strive to reflect a consensus evaluation of the results of the full body of peer-reviewed research…. They provide an analysis of what is known and not known, the degree of consensus, and some indication of the degree of confidence that can be placed on the various statements and conclusions.”[116]“Network of African Science Academies: “A consensus, based on current evidence, now exists within the global scientific community that human activities are the main source of climate change and that the burning of fossil fuels is largely responsible for driving this change.”[24]
    International Union for Quaternary Research, 2008: “INQUA recognizes the international scientific consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”[117]
    Australian Coral Reef Society,[118] 2006: “There is almost total consensus among experts that the earth’s climate is changing as a result of the build-up of greenhouse gases…. There is broad scientific consensus that coral reefs are heavily affected by the activities of man and there are significant global influences that can make reefs more vulnerable such as global warming….”[119]”

    Re the numbers: Here’s 2, there are another 4 with similar results I can post if necessary.

    A 2010 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS) reviewed publication and citation data for 1,372 climate researchers and drew the following two conclusions:

    (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC (Anthropogenic Climate Change) outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.[110]

    “In an October 2011 paper published in the International Journal of Public Opinion Research, researchers from George Mason University analyzed the results of a survey of 489 scientists working in academia, government, and industry. The scientists polled were members of the American Geophysical Union or the American Meteorological Society and listed in the 23rd edition of American Men and Women of Science, a biographical reference work on leading American scientists. Of those surveyed, 97% agreed that that global temperatures have risen over the past century. Moreover, 84% agreed that “human-induced greenhouse warming” is now occurring. Only 5% disagreed with the idea that human activity is a significant cause of global warming.[111][112]“

    • NeedI repeat, again! Anything that begin with that body is doomed : Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,

      Isn’t this the body that accepted the affirmations of a teem composed of an activist and of a journalist as evidence that Himalayas glaciers had melted?

      THis a real question. If the answer is Yes, everything in the paragrah is tainted. If you think it’s NO, let me know, I will instruct you(again).

      A small detour: What is the Panel’ s best (worst) prediction about the rise of the ocean in one hundred year if we do nothing? If you don’t know the answer, just say so and I will instruct you (again).

      This is a new tack: What’s the history of scientific consensuses? Do you know what the consensus was around 1850 about the idea that Africans and Europeans had a commmon ancestry.

      You have not convinced me that there is a procedure that allows one to say “consensus,” or “majority.” If you had, it would not do much against my assertion that global warming is a religion.

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        “This is a new tack: What’s the history of scientific consensuses? Do you know what the consensus was around 1850 about the idea that Africans and Europeans had a commmon ancestry.”

        Not too bad all-in-all but scientific consensus is not Truth with a capital T by any means. All scientific theories are provisional. When Amburgey, Barnett, and Kelly was essentially falsified by Delacroix and Swaminathan I took my lumps, that’s the way things go.

        Back to ‘on the one hand’ and ‘on the other hand’

        “You can usually assess, judge the credibility of a group, a tribe, a cult, by the company its members keep. It’s completely fair: Though you do not worship Satan yourself, if you regularly meet Satanists for drinks, you are probably evil.”

        I certainly agree. I can go with scientists, doing science or I can go with the company you keep, the conspiracy theorists, creationists, teapublican cranks, and petroleum geologists working for energy companies. It’s a very easy choice, one hand has credibility, the other does not. Enjoy your drinks with the environmental satanists.

      • Neat trick, Prof Terry: False humility. The scholars you mentioned did something only important to us, in a small corner of a small something or other. They did not show that the sun sometimes rises in the west, for example. That’s what the warm Greenland does to the warmist creed, I think. That’s what the “hockey stick” swindle attempted to conceal.

        The traveling companions you mention for me are admittedly all yahoos and I am, in fact, in their company. I think they are ignorant. I think none of them is deceitful. On the other hand, scratch a warmist leader and you always find a liar. Al Gore is only the easiest example with his polar bears supposedly dying on floating ice. (They did not, they don’t, it’s all invention. See my blog on that.)

        I will now answer my own questions: In mid-eighteenth century, the scientific consensus was that black Africans and Europeans (whites) were so different, (with the former so inferior) that they must result from different creations. Scientists who were not religious also believed that.

        “Scientific consensus” is a bunk notion. I suspect that it’s mostly because what’s presented as a consensus is usually obtained through the political engineering of expressed opinion. Sometimes, it results from coercion. I was present one time in the seventies when orthodox liberal sociologists assaulted an early sociobiologist in an elevator during a scholarly conference.

        Incidentally, it’s difficult to imagine something more ridiculous than middle-aged social scientists trying to fist it out like school-boys.

        All in all, Prof Terry you are the most honest warmist I know. Of course, it’s like saying you are a smart Moonie!

  4. Terry Amburgey says:

    “As Prof. Terry himself suggests in general, well-informed contrarians or heretics are (with no specific reference to L Diamond) merely the mouthpieces of (huge) “energy companies”…”

    Intersting bit of ‘anecdata’ here. What’s the one scientific society that disagrees about warming and its primary cause?

    “As of 2007, when the American Association of Petroleum Geologists released a revised statement,[103] no scientific body of national or international standing rejected the findings of human-induced effects on climate change.[10][11]”

    Fancy that…

  5. Terry Amburgey says:

    “My main adversary is Prof Terry who went to the same graduate school as I. He is a frequent liberal critic of this blog.”

    Not true. I LOVE this blog. I am, by nature and nurture, opinionated and argumentative. I have more fun here than any other site on the internet

  6. Terry Amburgey says:

    “Either, tell me of one thing about which I am wrong and why, one thing.”
    Certainly. Pointing out that you’re wrong never loses its pleasure despite the constant repetition. I posted this before but as always, facts don’t matter…

    Jacques says: “Incidentally, I don’t think there is any significant rise in global temperatures except, everywhere, every day between seven am and noon. ”

    What does actual data say?

    “The three major surface temperature data sets (NCDC, GISS, and HadCRU) all show global temperatures have warmed by 0.16 – 0.17°C (0.28 – 0.30°F) per decade since satellite measurements began in 1979. The two satellite-based data sets of the lower atmosphere (UAH and RSS) give slightly less warming, about 0.14 – 0.15°C (.25 – .27°F) per decade (keep in mind that satellite measurements of the lower atmosphere temperature are affected much more strongly by volcanic eruptions and the El Niño phenomena than are surface-based measurements taken by weather stations.)”

    You are wrong. You are wrong because you’re opinion conflicts with empirical data. Going to pull out one of you’re conspiracy theory cranks to claim that all the data is falsified? I forget his name, haven’t seen him for a while.

    • Terry: Dry your tears. You have already answered my challenge about scientific consensus, for all to see. You describe well what the smartest of warmists believe. La, la, I SAID IT !

      You also just gave a tangible answer to m another of my challenges with temperature indexes that change so much per decade. If you think you understand what you are saying, it you will affirm it openly and if you give us the source you use, it’s well worth looking into. I have to ask for your personal guarantee because warmists have been caught cherry-picking too often in ways that would shame he worst sociology journal, the worst!

      Also, there is a big problem of credibility associated with the fact that grotesque and thoroughly dishonest Al Gore appears to be your Grand Poopah. It would help if people like you (presumably honest warmists) just said loudly several times, “He isn’t; he isn’t!” But, I digress.

      Of course, I am intrigued and made suspiscious by the fact that you omit to indicate the source in your short lecture. I believe such an omission would not ever occur if you were arguing some point of Organizational Theory, for example. (Something I think lies outside your religion.)

      Good teaching of reticent students, Prof. Terry.

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        “If you think you understand what you are saying, it you will affirm it openly and if you give us the source you use, it’s well worth looking into.”

        Grant Foster and Stefan Rahmstorf.”Global temperature evolution 1979–2010″.Environ. Res. Lett. 6 (2011). Pp 1-8. It’s a plain vanilla least squares regression with autoregressive moving average error terms.

        The 5 temperature datasets are publicly available. The data for other factors comes from a variety of sources:

        “We characterize the ENSO by the multivariate el Nino
        index, or MEI (Wolter and Timlin 1993, 1998). For volcanic
        influence we use the aerosol optical thickness data from Sato
        et al (1993), or AOD. To characterize the solar influence on
        temperature we use the total solar irradiance (TSI) data from
        Frohlich (2006). To test whether the results might be sensitive
        to these choices, we also did experiments characterizing
        el Nino by the southern oscillation index (SOI) rather than
        MEI, characterizing volcanic aerosols by the volcanic forcing
        estimate of Ammann et al (2003) rather than the AOD
        data from Sato et al, and using monthly sunspot numbers
        as a proxy for solar activity rather than TSI. None of
        these substitutions affected the results in a significant way,
        establishing that this analysis is robust to the choice of data
        to represent exogenous factors.”

        “I have to ask for your personal guarantee because warmists have been caught cherry-picking too often in ways that would shame he worst sociology journal, the worst! ”

        Mort de rire! I only provide personal guarantees for my work, no one else. I know as much about aerosol optical thickness as I do proper etiquette for fine dining.

      • Prof. Terry: Wrong! You actually know more about actual dining etiquette!

        I don’t fault you, of course, for the fact that the demonstration you provide is complicated and completely opaque to the average reader. Some things are inherently complicated.

        I could not figure out from the description you provided how human-generated CO2, the most important variable, is measured in the study. Please, tell us. Drop everything else. This is tremendously important. Depending on your answer, we might stop wasting your time.

        What your explanation shows is that it’s possible to produce a demonstration with generally acceptable methods, and possibly with sound data (I don’t know but not your fault), a demonstration that will be in agreement with the beliefs of your religion. It’s much better than not being able to do so.

        Now, you could complete this bout of teaching with two things: 1 Tell us about the place where this was published (I would like to know whether it has ever published anything environmentally unorthodox; one single thing will do. If you wish, I will remind you why I ask);

        2 Give us some concrete examples of rises in temperature drawn from that study between a given year and another given year, during the period considered, like this: “In 1986, the average global temperature was higher than it was in 1977 by_____ .” Or maybe, you can use any set of three year averages. I will make it my task to explain to the reader.

        I ask, because it’s possible for a measurable change to be worth ignoring. Let me manufacture an illustration, a change that I am sure you would declare worth ignoring:

        “Between 195 and 1990, the income inequality between the richest 20% of Americans and the poorest 20% decreased by seventy-five cents.” (Again, this is not a real example; it’s made up.)

        Now, is it your claim that the study of reference (see above) disposes of my warm Greenland objection? For good?

        I ask because I find myself doing something I said I would not do, except much worse: I declared that I wouldn’t fall into the trap of arguing with an expert in an area where I have no expertise. I find that I am arguing in an area where I have no expertise with a declared non-expertt. It’s like me arguing about theology with a representative of the Pope who dropped out of junior high-school!

        I appreciate your patience and your efforts. I just hope you don’t end up in tears.

  7. Bruce says:

    It does not matter if they say we have global warming or global cooling, what matters is that we have a crisis and that capitalism is to blame. Professor Amburgey does not want to confront the fact that he’s a cult follower. Maybe the cult check list developed by Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. will help him ant others see the light. Here are the characteristics:

    The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.

    ‪ Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

    ‪ Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

    ‪ The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).

    ‪ The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).

    ‪ The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.

    ‪ The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).

    ‪ The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).

    ‪ The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.

    ‪ Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.

    ‪ The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

    ‪ The group is preoccupied with making money.

    ‪ Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.

    ‪ Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

    ‪ The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.

    This checklist will be published in the new book, Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias (Berkeley: Bay Tree Publishing, 2006). It was adapted from a checklist originally developed by Michael Langone.

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      “Professor Amburgey does not want to confront the fact that he’s a cult follower.”

      I think you’ve confused me with our beloved host. I will admit that one point on the checklist was partly true in the past…

      “Mind-altering practices … are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).”

      I did spend a significant period of time excessively altering my mind but it was purely recreational and it seems like a very very long time ago.

      • Prof Terry: That confession must make your religious soul feel better. Sorry but the mind alterations of yesteryear left sequels. You demonstrate a typical religious delusion here: the myth of the complete redemption by God’s grace.

  8. Terry Amburgey says:

    Sigh. Have you lost the ability to use the internet?

    “We analyze five prominent time series of global temperature (over land and ocean) for their common time interval since 1979: three surface temperature records (from NASA/GISS, NOAA/NCDC and HadCRU) and two lower-troposphere (LT) temperature records based on satellite microwave sensors (from RSS and UAH). All five series show consistent global warming trends ranging from 0.014 to 0.018 K yr−1. When the data are adjusted to remove the estimated impact of known factors on short-term temperature variations (El Niño/southern oscillation, volcanic aerosols and solar variability), the global warming signal becomes even more evident as noise is reduced. Lower-troposphere temperature responds more strongly to El Niño/southern oscillation and to volcanic forcing than surface temperature data. The adjusted data show warming at very similar rates to the unadjusted data, with smaller probable errors, and the warming rate is steady over the whole time interval. In all adjusted series, the two hottest years are 2009 and 2010.”

    Let me remind you of the genesis and nature of this portion of the thread

    ““Either, tell me of one thing about which I am wrong and why, one thing.”
    Certainly. Pointing out that you’re wrong never loses its pleasure despite the constant repetition. I posted this before but as always, facts don’t matter…

    Jacques says: “Incidentally, I don’t think there is any significant rise in global temperatures except, everywhere, every day between seven am and noon. ”

    I’ve pointed you to to 5 publicly available ‘raw’ datasets of temperature measurements. They show significant rises in global temperatures. I’ve pointed you to a paper that makes statistical adjustments to the raw data to remove the impact of ‘known factors’ on short-term temperature changes. The trend is still there, global temperatures are rising.

    Back home we’d say it’s time to ‘put up or shut up’. Or You can point Me to a peer-reviewed empirical paper that shows that there Isn’t a rise in global temperatures.

  9. Prof Terry: You are doing very well the difficult job of teaching the unreceptive. I am sure I am not the only one who appreciates. You have done more than anyone I know. I am saying this with no sarcasm and no irony. However, you are overestimating me (again). Would you please translate into a measure ordinary people understand the statement you make in the preceding comment( by way of a coup de grace)?

    0.014 to 0.018 K yr−1

    What is it in F or in C and for what period? Better, give us a numerical example directly derived from the formula.

    I ask because I could show you with great certainty a rise in temperature of several degrees F in Santa Cruz, California between 4 A.M. and 11 A.M nearly every day. And then, I can argue that it does not matter. I could probably produce a consensus of indifference about it. It would not be a scientific consensus as you have argued there is about the existence of global warming that is man-made, it would be a political consensus about the urgency of the situation. It would say, “We don’t care, forever!”

    Thanks to your efforts, Terry, we are discovering (re-discovering?) an urgent fact: Establishing even a small part of the formula below is so complicated that the experts and the partisans of rolling back prosperity are reduced to telling us to trust the experts. That’s why they are collaborating in the production of a mitos of “consensus.” Of coursed, we should never trust the experts. In a democracy, the experts have to convince the unwashed masses. They have done a piss-poor job so far of convincing us to reverse prosperity. They have been so bad that even the most intelligent left-liberal press organ, The Economist, is wavering. And, repeating myself, what do you expect from a______ ((fill in blank) whose Grand Poopah is Al Gore?

    For what it’s worth, Terry, you may be the best we have. You are certainly the best of the faithful I have encountered. Please take the trouble to answer the question above.

    Now, I need to repeat myself because I can read from here the accusation forming in your mind:

    The fact that an explanation is complicated does not make it false. It does not even make it suspect. The fact that I, personally, don’t understand an explanation does not make it false. It may all be about my brain defects. Or, it may be (MAY BE) that it’s absurd. I am keeping an open mind.

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      This seems the simplest description I could find that includes both land surface and atmospheric measures. Temperatures in centigrade not fahrenheit which is ok by me I don’t think in fahrenheit anymore. Also the numbers are absolute, not deviations from a baseline. It’s time to admit you were wrong and move on. It’s getting warmer.

      “The Earth’s average surface temperature rose by 0.74±0.18 °C over the period 1906–2005. The rate of warming over the last half of that period was almost double that for the period as a whole (0.13±0.03 °C per decade, versus 0.07±0.02 °C per decade). The urban heat island effect is very small, estimated to account for less than 0.002 °C of warming per decade since 1900.[27] Temperatures in the lower troposphere have increased between 0.13 and 0.22 °C (0.22 and 0.4 °F) per decade since 1979, according to satellite temperature measurements. Climate proxies show the temperature to have been relatively stable over the one or two thousand years before 1850, with regionally varying fluctuations such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.[28]”

      “Of coursed, we should never trust the experts. In a democracy, the experts have to convince the unwashed masses. They have done a piss-poor job so far of convincing us to reverse prosperity.”

      They never will. The reason I don’t get worked up about climate change is not that I don’t think it’s happening, it’s that I don’t think anything can get done about it. It can’t be prevented. It may be possible to fix it later but not by me, I’ll be long gone. It sucks but tht’s the way it is imo.

  10. Recap. I asked you to put your one best foot forward. You obliged by offering one specific study. That was go (that study) in terms that ordinary well educated people can understand.

    Is that what you did to arrive at the 0.74±0.18 answer, above?

    And, if not, why not? How was your best foot forward not suitable to answering my straightforward, my simple question?

    I would like to clear this matter before we proceed to yet another reason why I don’t share in your religion. Here is a preview but, please. answer the question above so our readers -some of whom may have a real job keeping them busy – don’t get confused:

    Next time there is a warming of less than one degree centigrade occurring over a century, please, don’t wake me up for another five hundred years, and then, only if it continues that long..

  11. Terry Amburgey says:

    “Is that what you did to arrive at the 0.74±0.18 answer, above?”

    No. I found a different source that listed the temperature changes in centigrade so you’d quit whining. It was also useful to have both surface and atmosphere temperatures. The downside was having unadjusted temperatures.

    “And, if not, why not? How was your best foot forward not suitable to answering my straightforward, my simple question?”

    It was perfectly suitable, you just whined about the metric.

    “Next time there is a warming of less than one degree centigrade occurring over a century, please, don’t wake me up for another five hundred years, and then, only if it continues that long..”

    It’s too late to qualify your rash statement about the nonexistence of global warming; you don’t get to set a ‘Delacroix hurdle’ that change of less than X degrees over time period Y “doesn’t count”. The temperature changes are statistically significantly different from zero.

    I’ve gone ‘the extra mile’ several times now. It’s time to admit you were wrong.

    • Thank you, Professor Terry: Two things:

      1 I don’t mind admitting I am “wrong,” or may be wrong (WRONG) It’s quite possible that the average global temperature rose by 0.92 centigrade- less than one degree centigrade – in a century. It’s not worth investigating further. It’s too small to matter. It’s too small to quibble over. It would not even be enough to make Greenland suitable to raise cattle.

      You are right and you lose!

      2 On your self-selected best shot, ” Grant Foster and Stefan Rahmstorf.Global temperature evolution 1979–2010 .Environ. Res. Lett. 6 (2011). Pp 1-8.”, I assure you I was not “whining.” It may be that you are overestimating me. I did not understand what the implication of the findings of that paper were in terms of real degrees (Centigrade, or Farenheit, or something more exotic.) In other words, please do for that best-shot study what you did for the not best-shot stud you turned to recently.

      Changing horses in midstream always makes a bad impression even if there is a good reason to do so. Hence, I would appreciate you to take a few more minutes to say, ” This study – the best shot -indicates that for/ during the 31 years under consideration, the [average] global temperature went from____ to______ .” Something equivalent would be fine. I am not trying to dictate your substantive answer; I just want one.

      Incidentally, is it true that there has been no rise in temperature at all since about 1995? If it is true does this fact have any significance for you?

      I admire and appreciate your patience. I am sure many of our readers who say mute feel the same. You are the most rational spokesperson on fanatical cult circuit.

      I don’t add this out of pure perverseness – although there is some perverseness involved here, somewhere. Remember that the two of us are not in symmetrical positions in this on-going discussion. I don’t believe anything. Therefore, I can turn on a dime without any sense of self-betrayal.

  12. Bruce says:

    Lets put the global climate change debate on the back burner for a moment and get down to brass tacks. Here’s what I came up with after a big swig of Kool-Aid:
    The United States should only be allowed use entirely renewable energy resources until the playing field is leveled worldwide. When that milestone in equality has been achieved, the United Nations should allocate energy fairly throughout the planet according to need.
    There, even though you can’t get Dr. Delacroix to accept junk science, this bold progressive concept should make you feel better for a while.

    • Bruce: My guess is that you are underestimating the assembly of bishops of this movement. They would b e happy to assent to a mere 20% reduction in energy use over three years in the US, for a start.

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      “There, even though you can’t get Dr. Delacroix to accept junk science…”

      In what way is it ‘junk science’? Please be very specific and unambiguous in your commentary, Jacques needs clarity. Do you have anything substantive to say or is this a variant of ‘I don’t like chocolate, I like vanilla’ opinion?

  13. Jim Kress says:

    Here’s 31, 487 actual Scientists who happen to agree with Dr. Delacroix and have published in the field of Climate Research or related specialties, including myself.

    http://www.petitionproject.org/

    Signatories are approved for inclusion in the Petition Project list if they have obtained formal educational degrees at the level of Bachelor of Science or higher in appropriate scientific fields. The petition has been circulated only in the United States.

    The current list of petition signers includes 9,029 PhD; 7,157 MS; 2,586 MD and DVM; and 12,715 BS or equivalent academic degrees. Most of the MD and DVM signers also have underlying degrees in basic science.

    All of the listed signers have formal educations in fields of specialization that suitably qualify them to evaluate the research data related to the petition statement. Many of the signers currently work in climatological, meteorological, atmospheric, environmental, geophysical, astronomical, and biological fields directly involved in the climate change controversy.

    The Petition Project classifies petition signers on the basis of their formal academic training, as summarized below. Scientists often pursue specialized fields of endeavor that are different from their formal education, but their underlying training can be applied to any scientific field in which they become interested.

    Outlined below are the numbers of Petition Project signatories, subdivided by educational specialties. These have been combined, as indicated, into seven categories.

    1. Atmospheric, environmental, and Earth sciences includes 3,805 scientists trained in specialties directly related to the physical environment of the Earth and the past and current phenomena that affect that environment.

    2. Computer and mathematical sciences includes 935 scientists trained in computer and mathematical methods. Since the human-caused global warming hypothesis rests entirely upon mathematical computer projections and not upon experimental observations, these sciences are especially important in evaluating this hypothesis.

    3. Physics and aerospace sciences include 5,812 scientists trained in the fundamental physical and molecular properties of gases, liquids, and solids, which are essential to understanding the physical properties of the atmosphere and Earth.

    4. Chemistry includes 4,822 scientists trained in the molecular interactions and behaviors of the substances of which the atmosphere and Earth are composed.

    5. Biology and agriculture includes 2,965 scientists trained in the functional and environmental requirements of living things on the Earth.

    6. Medicine includes 3,046 scientists trained in the functional and environmental requirements of human beings on the Earth.

    7. Engineering and general science includes 10,102 scientists trained primarily in the many engineering specialties required to maintain modern civilization and the prosperity required for all human actions, including environmental programs.

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      “Since the human-caused global warming hypothesis rests entirely upon mathematical computer projections and not upon experimental observations, these sciences are especially important in evaluating this hypothesis.”

      Could you elaborate on this point. The temperature measurements I’ve been discussing with Jacques are not experimental observations but they certainly are empirical observations not the result of any computer simulations. Are you talking about simulations of future outcomes such as rise in the levels for the ocean?

      • Prof. Terry: You have angelic patience (just as a blogger should have). Please, don’t let my last request slip your mind. A reminder: It’s about providing a real example of global warming drawn from: Grant Foster and Stefan Rahmstorf.”Global temperature evolution 1979–2010″.Environ. Res. Lett. 6 (2011).

        That was the paper you provided in response to my request that you put your best foot forward (not feet).

        There was a good reason for my making such a request. Namely, when there is a lively debate on a blog, it tends to go in several directions at once and it’s easy for readers to become lost. I don’t want our readers to become lost before they receive a rational answer to the single most important issue in this complex debate:

        Is there a global warming trend large enough that we even need to think about it?

        If there isn’t , there is no need to discuss at all what causes what.

        Thus, one would have to be a religious fanatic to be concerned at all about the global warming that travels around the globe pretty much daily morning. I mean between 7 A.M. and 9 A. M.

        Please, give us a “for instance” from Foster and Rahmstorf.

        Everyone else: Hold your fire to give Prof. Terry a chance to comply with my request undistracted. Thank you.

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        “Please, give us a “for instance” from Foster and Rahmstorf.”

        For the 5 datasets the change of temperature in degrees centigrade per decade. The first column is the raw series, the second is the adjusted series. The numbers in parentheses are the standard errors. Jacques is very familiar with this sort of format. This comes from Table 1, page 3.
        GISS 0.167(25) 0.171(16)
        NCDC 0.162(22) 0.175(12)
        HadCRU 0.156(25) 0.170(12)
        RSS 0.149(40) 0.157(13)
        UAH 0.141(44) 0.141(15)

        “Is there a global warming trend large enough that we even need to think about it?
        If there isn’t , there is no need to discuss at all what causes what.”

        No changing the rules in midstream unless it’s done explicitly. Now that you’ve acknowledged that warming is occurring you want to change the conversation to the magnitude of the change. That’s ok, but you should start a new thread for a new topic. I hope you realize that ‘how big is big enough’ is a topic that is inherently a matter of opinion with wide variance.

        Personally, I think you’d get more traction following up on a previous comment:

        “I could not figure out from the description you provided how human-generated CO2, the most important variable, is measured in the study. Please, tell us. Drop everything else. This is tremendously important. Depending on your answer, we might stop wasting your time.”

        I ignored you at the time because it was a bait & switch. We were discussing the ‘dependent variable’ (temperature) and you wanted to switch focus to an ‘independent’ variable. But it’s your blog, you set the agenda.

      • First things first:

        The highest rise in temperature in the study you selected as your best foot forward in 0.17 degree centigrade in a decade. Is this correct?

        That would mean that the temperature would rise by smidgen over one degree centigrade in sixty years. I would rise by two degrees centigrade in 120 years. I doubt that would be enough to make Greenland suitable for cattle raising. With this kind of “global warming, temperatures would still be lower than they were in 1100.

        Is this correct?

        This is not bait and switch, Terry. If those figures are correct. I have lost interest because there is nothing that urgently need that we return the world to an era of widespread misery and of common starvation.

  14. Thank you for reminding me. JIm. I should have mentioned this when we were discussing consensus. I guess I did not because I am too addicted to eh vice of inducing intelligent people to make absurd statements.

  15. Terry Amburgey says:

    “The highest rise in temperature in the study you selected as your best foot forward in 0.17 degree centigrade in a decade. Is this correct?”

    Worst case from their adjusted data would be 0.187 centigrade/decade.

    “I doubt that would be enough to make Greenland suitable for cattle raising.”

    They’re doing global average, and fitting a linear trend to the last 30 years. I didn’t see anything about regional variations.

    You are free to set whatever threshold you want for what you find worrisome in climate change just as the rest of life. Just out of curiosity, do you know what the insurance companies are projecting weatherwise for the next decade or so? They’re rent-seeking organizations with big bucks on the line they’ll want to have premiums in line with their assessment of risk. If you knew their opinions how would you evaluate them?

  16. Thank you for the correction.

    Your worst case scenario in the study you selected as your best foot forward, as providing the best evidence of global warming, says that there will be a rise in temperature of one degree centigrade in fifty years. (ONE)

    That’s much less than happens in Santa Cruz nearly very day between 8 and 9 A.M. If this rise in temperature actually happens, it will not matter. It will be a tiny issue among the many real problems humanity is facing. The real problems are the same old ones: viruses and bacteria, plus a couple of new ones. Among the latter, a huge Chinese population that may soon become unable to support itself because of crazy social policies pertaining to a hysterical fear of overpopulation. That hysterical fear reminds me of course of the current hysteria du jour: Global warmingism.

    Given the negligible magnitude of the phenomenon you describe, its causes are unimportant. Even if it were the case that there is really a rise in temperature of global proportions, it could not be worth worrying about whether it’s due to automobiles, manufacturing in general, or cattle farts and burps (as has been seriously suggested) . The magnitude you describe certainly does not warrant rolling back the industrial civilization that gave comfort and dignity to the many for the first time since there have been human beings.

    Believing that there is something important where there is next to nothing requires religious delusion.In this case, it’s not even the noble kind of religion, – such a Christianity – that at least carries a complex message of redemption. It’s more like seance religion: The table did move a little; it proves that there a spirit is present in the darkened room.

    A religion that has only sin, sinners and an Armaggedon is a piss-poor religion.

    Why do so many intelligent and well educated people share this pathetic set of beliefs? I am not completely sure, at this point. I note, however, that it would not be the first time. In the Middle Ages, in the West, intellectuals, as a well-defined group , the only well-educated people of their age, assented to the burning alive to those who denied that in the sacrament of communion, it was the real body of Christ that the faithful ate. Correction: They not only assented to the burning, they conducted the prosecution. The most important non-Jewish philosopher in Germany pre-1940 became a Nazi. (His name will come back or a reader will help my memory. Trust me I am not making this up.) The poor intelligent idiot kind of liked the idea of being a member of a “master race” !

    The main conquest of the Enlightenment is more important than ever because we have known totalitarianisms of all sorts: Men and women of virtue do not embrace foolishness. They don’t because individual dignity matters. They don’t because they now know that foolishness often results in mass cruelty.

    Wildly irrational environmentalism is the latest avatar of the collectivism we destroyed when it called itself ” communism.”
    It’s a stubborn wish to self-destroy and to negate individual will. As a social movement, warmism has amply demonstrated its totalitarian component.

    CO2 is plant food, including the CO2 our cars produce. Warmer temperatures mean more food and easier circulation of goods. We have been there before. It was all good.

    What insurance companies do or don’t do does not matter. I would bet they are edging their bets. That’s their job. It means nothing. Many things we observe have no meaning. Giving meaning to the meaningless is a mark of the primitive mind.

  17. Terry Amburgey says:

    “What insurance companies do or don’t do does not matter. I would bet they are edging their bets. That’s their job. It means nothing.”

    I’ll remember that the next time you invoke the wisdom of capitalism. It’s good to know that I have greater faith in the decisions of those that have money to make or lose on events than you do. When I get a chance I’m going to check on the property insurance companies and see how they’re betting their money.

  18. Please, do tell us. It’s useful information but probably not very useful unless one understands their formula. It may not be useful either if one understands the formula.

    I don’t know much about that kind of calculations but if I were an insurance company, would I take into account the possibility that average temperatures are going to be one degree centigrade higher in fifty years? I would hope I would remember. Then, I would make bets both ways: More sunburns in north Siberia and the international price of wheat drops because of systematically bigger crops worldwide.

    This is not nothing , Terry but very close to it.

    I was working on my boat today – thanks to the early heat -and I accidentally scrapped my knee. Someone called 911, of course. Thank God! The abrasion might have become infected. It might have come into contact with rusted iron bearing a smidgen of horse crap. Then, I might not have kept up with my tetanus shots. And then, I might have forgotten to take a shower with soap this evening. And then, I might have died of tetanus in four or five days. This is the Precautionary Principle at work!

  19. Same old stuff! Some insurance companies are affected. I don’t see that they have a choice. If I were a stockholder and a warmist, I would ask why the management of the company does not go with 65% (or was it 95?)of “experts.” If I were a stockholder and a skeptic, I would ask why the management is missing an opportunity to make me money by insuring against a risk that exists in the imagination of so many.

    You are raising the wrong question. The right question is this: Are there any insurance companies that do not treat global warming as real? If there are such, why do they take this big competitive bid risk?

    On your way to other places, you are caricaturing capitalism in a way that is not good for your credibility.; I have read extensively on the subject. I don’t remember reading anyone of note who argued that capitalism was a perfectly rational arrangement of society. I have read many times, and I believe myself, that it is more rational than other ways that have been tried.It’s often infected by fads for a while.

    Terry: Global warming is a dead horse for me. You did put your best foot forward and did not move an inch. I will start paying attention again when someone explains to me why it does not matter that Greenland was warmer in 1,100 than today. My way of not disputing with experts works well. Again, when I see the mechanic working on my ca drinking beer at 11 am, I don’t need to know much about the theory of the internal combustion engine. I will just take my business elsewhere. That’s good enough.

  20. Terry Amburgey says:

    “Terry: Global warming is a dead horse for me.”
    Then I won’t make my final post in this thread a kick of the dead horse. Given recent events I’ll make it a posthumous celebration of that notorious vicar of what you call the Church of Warming, that bleeding heart liberal, that enemy of capitalism: Margaret Thatcher.

    http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/108237

    • Terry: I did not say you cold not post on this blog om global warming. Post away. I just think it’s only polite to let the other person know when you have lost interest in a conversation.

      I don’t know that there might be others, readers, who want to continue your slow execution. There are sadists!

  21. Interesting discussion about beliefs. I’d like to take a quick poll, if possible:

    How many of you here believed Nancy Pelosi, Bill Clinton, John McCain and George W. Bush when they claimed Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons?

    I know I sure didn’t (even though I’m going to be the one footing the multi-trillion dollar bill)…

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      For me it was a split. Chemical weapons, yes. People can do chemical weapons in a garage. And in fact there was a cache of old corroded chemical shells found someplace in Iraq. Biological weapons? Not a chance.

  22. I did not think about it much. I did not think it was important. As I have said repeatedly ,there were hundreds of good reasons to wipe out the Hussein regime. But I agree with your main implied point: Consensus are a dime a a dozen, don’t mean much. Maybe your reminding us of the consensus around WMD will get to Terry. Never know!

    While you are at it, talk to Terry about all your bills.

    “Multi trillion dollar” bill for Iraq? Interesting. Do show!

  23. A week later, I have not heard from the UC Santa Cruz student who was going to explain to me how a one-inch rise in the ocean would be a serious, grave matter, something worth worrying about. People are busy, I know. Stuff happens. Or else, he read this blog and he lost heart. Happens all the time. I am cynical from a great deal of experience. Global warming is the special kind of cult you can’t really hold in your hands. It’s slippery.

    Justin?

    JD

  24. Pingback: Has Foreign Affairs Been Reading NOL? | Notes On Liberty

  25. Pingback: Is It Time to Reject African States? | Notes On Liberty

  26. Pingback: The Climate Change Report for Government Officials: a Meaningful Glance at the Meaningless | FACTS MATTER

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s