Saturday, October 01, 2011

Reporter Asks Buffett: You Support Higher Taxes So Why Not Just Write a Check to the Government ?


In the interview above with Warren Buffett, he first responds to questions about the economy and says that we are still in a recovery and not in a double-dip recession based on the fact that the 70+ companies he owns are doing quite well. The discussion next turns to his support of higher taxes on himself and some of those in his elite "super-rich" club.

Then at about 4:30 in the video, the reporter asks Buffett the ultimate question: If he wants the rich (including himself) to pay more in taxes, why doesn't he simply voluntarily write a check to the government for the extra millions that he thinks would be "fair" for him to pay? Buffett fumbles around without giving a clear answer, and the reporter presses him again and asks "Warren, since you're a large proponent of higher taxes, why not write a check to the government for several billion dollars just to underscore a point?"  Buffett then fumbles some more and claims that he doesn't want to act alone, but would join a group of other "ultra-rich" taxpayers who are supposedly "under-taxed" and they would all pay higher taxes as a group?? 

That begs the question: Why wait for anybody else, why shouldn't Buffett be the first to voluntarily pay higher taxes and set an example for others in his "ultra-rich" club.  Isn't Buffett's position kind of like saying: I think it's a good idea to donate blood, but I won't do it unless: a) I'm forced to by the government, or b) a bunch of my friends do it with me?  

96 Comments:

At 10/01/2011 4:04 AM, Blogger Stone Glasgow said...

Seems like a pretty happy old guy for someone who rapes the families of dead men for a living.

http://stoneglasgow.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-warren-buffett-supports-higher.html

 
At 10/01/2011 8:34 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Sorry, but that's just silly. You can't resolve the deficit problem with voluntary contributions. Nor is it reasonable to ask people to voluntarily pay higher taxes in order to hold a political position on higher taxes. It's nonsense.

 
At 10/01/2011 9:07 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Why wait for anybody else, why shouldn't Buffett be the first to voluntarily pay higher taxes and set an example for others in his "ultra-rich" club.

Because it wouldn't work. If one person gives this won't solve the deficit problem, won't solve the inequality problem, won't solve the problem of lack of aggregate demand, which is the reason companies won't hire.

I'm concerned about global warming. I'd be happy to have regulations imposed that limit my carbon emissions. But if I just do it on my own it won't make any difference. Won't solve the problem. And it's difficult for me. I'll do it if I expect it will do some good. But why would I do it if I don't expect it would do any good?

 
At 10/01/2011 9:21 AM, Blogger Innovation rules said...

Buffett pays himself a $100k salary and lives in the modest house he owned decades ago.

The irony is that raising taxes on income for the ultra-rich will not affect Buffett.

The only way to get at Buffett's billions is to tax assets; not dividends or salaries. Is that what he wants? That is the question someone should ask him.

Because a tax on assets, like we do houses, would surely make it more difficult to become Buffett.

 
At 10/01/2011 9:33 AM, Blogger K Parsons said...

Sure - why voluntarily give up your own money when you can force others to give it at the point of a gun (which is what the law is).

 
At 10/01/2011 10:03 AM, Blogger marmico said...

It's nonsense

Nonetheless, it is hypocritical. But the sanctimoniousness of the laissez-faire libertarian jug carriers represented by Ayn Rand and Friedrich Hayek is beyond the pale.

 
At 10/01/2011 10:24 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

marmico: Nonetheless, it is hypocritical.

Hypocrisy is the state of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, ideals, thoughts, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually have. Advocating for higher taxes doesn't mean having to pay higher taxes voluntarily.

Similarly, it isn't necessarily hypocritical to receive benefits to which you are entitled even if you disagree with the programs, but it is certainly contrary to Rand's stated views to accept any such largess from the government.

 
At 10/01/2011 10:48 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Good point, Zachriel. These right wingers that receive social security checks should refuse them if this logic applies.

 
At 10/01/2011 11:16 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

First, The "Sage of Omaha" seems to be forgetting that the money that these people are shuffling around has already been taxed once or twice and in some cases three times before it's taxed at the lower rates he claims are so unfair. Income, corporate and dividend taxes for example. He's also ignoring the effect of inflation on capital gains. Buffet has a "child like faith" that the $20 billion that the government forces out of higher income individuals will be used to rein in the deficit or pay down the debt. The Obama administration has already squandered billions of dollars on "green economy" subsidies, of which he was a recipient. How many families, at $1000 a family, have suffered a loss of earnings related to that, Warren?

 
At 10/01/2011 11:28 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"... it is certainly contrary to Rand's stated views to accept any such largess from the government." -- Zach

"Good point, Zachriel. These right wingers that receive social security checks should refuse them if this logic applies." -- Jon

Since there is no such thing as the right of some men to vote away the rights of others, and no such thing as the right of the government to seize the property of some men for the unearned benefit of others—the advocates and supporters of the welfare state are morally guilty of robbing their opponents, and the fact that the robbery is legalized makes it morally worse, not better. The victims do not have to add self-inflicted martyrdom to the injury done to them by others; they do not have to let the looters profit doubly, by letting them distribute the money exclusively to the parasites who clamored for it. Whenever the welfare-state laws offer them some small restitution, the victims should take it …

The same moral principles and considerations apply to the issue of accepting social security, unemployment insurance or other payments of that kind. It is obvious, in such cases, that a man receives his own money which was taken from him by force, directly and specifically, without his consent, against his own choice. Those who advocated such laws are morally guilty, since they assumed the “right” to force employers and unwilling co-workers. But the victims, who opposed such laws, have a clear right to any refund of their own money—and they would not advance the cause of freedom if they left their money, unclaimed, for the benefit of the welfare-state administration.

-- Ayn Rand

 
At 10/01/2011 11:39 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"I'm concerned about global warming. I'd be happy to have regulations imposed that limit my carbon emissions"...

Good one jon, its nice to know you still have a child-like faith in fairy tales but the idea that thinking people should join you in your delusions is ridiculous...

 
At 10/01/2011 11:46 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"You can't resolve the deficit problem with voluntary contributions"...

Why not? Apparently the deficit was driven by the voluntary actions...

Why shouldn't the deficit be paid for the same way?

"Nor is it reasonable to ask people to voluntarily pay higher taxes in order to hold a political position on higher taxes"...

Ahhh, how typical... You're all about talking the talk but not walking the walk...

Yes you do know something about nonsense...

 
At 10/01/2011 2:34 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ayn Rand: The same moral principles and considerations apply to the issue of accepting social security, unemployment insurance or other payments of that kind.

Except that Rand thought that only people who oppose all forms of welfare had a right to those benefits. In other words, she carved out an exception for herself.

 
At 10/01/2011 2:39 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

juandos: Apparently the deficit was driven by the voluntary actions...

Huh? It was driven by policy decisions by America's elected leaders.

juandos: You're all about talking the talk but not walking the walk...

If Buffett were saying to raise taxes on others, but carved out an exception for himself, then you might have a point, but that's not the case.

 
At 10/01/2011 3:00 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"Except that Rand thought that only people who oppose all forms of welfare had a right to those benefits. In other words, she carved out an exception for herself." -- Zach

We don't need someone incapable of discerning the problems inherent in programs like SS to interpret Ayn Rand for us. Those high heels are much too big for you to fill.

 
At 10/01/2011 3:48 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Che is dead: We don't need someone incapable of discerning the problems inherent in programs like SS to interpret Ayn Rand for us.

Um, that's what she said. It's from the same essay you quoted above.

"Those who advocate public scholarships have no right to them; those who oppose them, have."

In other words, the right to the benefit depends on the political view of the recipient conforming to her views.

 
At 10/01/2011 5:21 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

" ... the right to the benefit depends on the political view of the recipient conforming to her views." -- Zach

The "benefit", in this case, is simply the return of money taken against the will of the person in opposition. Rand isn't requiring you to accept her political views. She is saying that you have absolutely no right to forcibly impose the cost of your political views on others, including her.

Objecting to the "welfare state" is not "objection to all forms of welfare" , as you assert. Millions give freely to charities without government coercion.

I know that it is hard for leftists to understand, but there was an America before the welfare state and people did not starve in the streets - read Tocqueville. People joined benevolent associations which they contributed to of their own free will and upon which they could count in the event of unemployment or disability. They gave to their churches and other civic groups that ran hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens and thrifts. Importantly, they were allowed to decide for themselves who was making the best use of their money and that it was spent in a way that was consistent with their values. So, opposing "public scholarships" is not the same as opposing all scholarships, it is simply opposition to the use of government coercion.

 
At 10/01/2011 5:42 PM, Blogger Itchy said...

Buffet is just dishonest or at least playing coy. In the past he has said things along the lines of [paraphrasing] if you want a tax code that requires the rich to pay 25% the rate should be 25% i.e. do away with all the special deductions and set the tax rate to the desired effective tax rate.

Recently he is trying to make friends or ingratiate himself to the political left with statements like "I pay fewer taxes than my secretary"

Why Mr. Buffett how is that possible? Oh because you don't make most of your money as salary you pay on long term capital gains or dividends and holding an asset for 366 days makes it less expensive to sell than if you've only had it for 364.

Buffett could actually use his influence to to drive a real tax reform debate, but instead he wants to score political points and just create a new kind of AMT. He clearly doesn't think Obama's plan to set the bar at $200K, but he won't directly stand up for that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koDhgSLa-Wk

 
At 10/01/2011 5:53 PM, Blogger marmico said...

Have you noticed which bloggers are adjunct scholars of the Cato Institute?

Boudreaux (Perry's Ph.D. thesis advisor at George Mason University [GMU]) of Cafe Hayek , Cowen & Caplan, also at GMU of Marginal Revolution, Kling of GMU at Econlog. Do you notice something? I do. Money baffles brains.

Come on Che is dead because Che died an ignominious death (Duh! I forgot my password). Let's see the reductionism of the 1973 Koch letter to Hayek, you dimwit.

juandos is just living proof that idiots are entitled to minimum wage. ROTFLMAO

 
At 10/01/2011 6:20 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon: "I'm concerned about global warming. I'd be happy to have regulations imposed that limit my carbon emissions. But if I just do it on my own it won't make any difference. Won't solve the problem. And it's difficult for me. I'll do it if I expect it will do some good. But why would I do it if I don't expect it would do any good?"

That's the question, Jon, why would anyone do it, or ask for stricter limits on emissions, if they don't think it will do any good?

While you mention stricter limits on yourself, I suspect you mean stricter limits on everyone. Share the pain, so to speak. In your view, those who don't share your views should be forced to accept your solutions nonetheless.

What type of limits would you tolerate? Restrictions on how much electricity you could use? Perhaps limits on the amount of air conditioning you could use, or how many hours per day you can have lights on? How about limits on how many miles you could drive your car each day?

North Korea has an effective CO2 emission limiting strategy, as can be seen in the picture. They are obviously leaders in the effort to save the planet. Should we follow that lead?

 
At 10/01/2011 6:29 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Nonetheless, it is hypocritical. But the sanctimoniousness of the laissez-faire libertarian jug carriers represented by Ayn Rand and Friedrich Hayek is beyond the pale."

It isn't hypocritical to be opposed to something, yet if forced to participate in a program, to also accept benefits from it.

If you are forced to pay a share of a group meal, it isn't hypocritical to eat some of it.

 
At 10/01/2011 6:34 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon: "Good point, Zachriel. These right wingers that receive social security checks should refuse them if this logic applies."

What logic is that? Try reading Zach's comment again. He stated just the opposite.

 
At 10/01/2011 6:35 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Innovation: "The only way to get at Buffett's billions is to tax assets; not dividends or salaries."

And why are you advocating "getting at" Buffetts billions?

 
At 10/01/2011 6:48 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Huh? It was driven by policy decisions by America's elected leaders"...

So those weren't voluntary actions zach? Was there someone holding a gun to the heads of the leaders or to the people who voted those leaders into office?

"If Buffett were saying to raise taxes on others, but carved out an exception for himself, then you might have a point, but that's not the case"...

Well zach if Buffet's past performance is an indicator to his future actions he will be carving out another self-serving niche for himself...

Mind you I'm just guessing...

 
At 10/01/2011 6:55 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"juandos is just living proof that idiots are entitled to minimum wage. ROTFLMAO"...

Oh dear! I must've stepped on the marmico's tender sensitivities at some previous time...

What you are apparently incapable of understanding marmico is that I don't need or want the government to steal from my fellow citizens to finance some asinine socialist program based on delusions...

I also question your competency when it comes to reading and understanding the contents of the Constitution...

 
At 10/01/2011 7:03 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Ayn Rand: "The same moral principles and considerations apply to the issue of accepting social security, unemployment insurance or other payments of that kind."

Z: "Except that Rand thought that only people who oppose all forms of welfare had a right to those benefits. In other words, she carved out an exception for herself."

Wow! If you are referring to something other than comments on this blog, perhaps you could supply a reference for this unconventional interpretation of Rand.

We see no "carving out" in her views, only consistency in opposing a program, and yet accepting back some of what was stolen.

 
At 10/01/2011 9:35 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Marmico:

1. Don Boudreaux was not on my dissertation committee at George Mason.

2. Bryan Caplan does not blog at Marginal Revolution.

3. Arnold Kling is not at George Mason.

 
At 10/02/2011 9:41 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Che is dead: The "benefit", in this case, is simply the return of money taken against the will of the person in opposition.

Ah, so she should stop accepting Medicare when it exceeds her contribution.

Che is dead: Rand isn't requiring you to accept her political views. She is saying that you have absolutely no right to forcibly impose the cost of your political views on others, including her.

That is directly contrary to her stated position, "Those who advocate public scholarships have no right to them; those who oppose them, have."

Che is dead: Objecting to the "welfare state" is not "objection to all forms of welfare" , as you assert. Millions give freely to charities without government coercion.

Yes, that's a valid distinction. We are discussing government welfare programs, such as Medicare or Pell Grants.

Che is dead: People joined benevolent associations which they contributed to of their own free will and upon which they could count in the event of unemployment or disability.

Unfortunately, the problems of industrialization and of the economic cycle overwhelmed and undermined private associations.

Ron H: He stated just the opposite.

That's right. One can oppose Medicare politically, but accept Medicare benefits, especially having paid into the system. What might be hypocritical would be saying that Medicare recipients are leeches on society, then quietly accepting Medicare benefits.

juandos: Apparently the deficit was driven by the voluntary actions...

Zachriel: Huh? It was driven by policy decisions by America's elected leaders.

juandos: So those weren't voluntary actions ?

Just because people have a vote doesn't make government taxes or debt voluntary.

Perhaps you are referring to the voluntary action of the people considered as a whole. That's a rather stretched phrasing of your premise. Anyway, the people considered as a whole have responsibility for the direction of their country, and they certainly have a responsibility for paying the debt.

Ron H: If you are referring to something other than comments on this blog, perhaps you could supply a reference for this unconventional interpretation of Rand.

It's in the same essay as Che quoted above. "The recipient of public scholarship is morally justified only so long as he regards it as restitution and opposes all forms of welfare statism. Those who advocate public scholarships have no right to them; those who oppose them, have." She admits to the apparent paradox adding "If this sounds like a paradox, the fault lies in the moral contradictions of welfare statism, not in its victims." {emphasis in original}

 
At 10/02/2011 10:43 AM, Blogger Jon said...

"That's right. One can oppose Medicare politically, but accept Medicare benefits, especially having paid into the system. What might be hypocritical would be saying that Medicare recipients are leeches on society, then quietly accepting Medicare benefits."

Agreed. I'm saying if Mark's logic applies then right wingers that accept SS checks are hypocrits. Of course Mark's logic does not apply so right wingers should continue to accept their checks and work to change the law. Buffett should continue to take tax deductions but work to change the law.

As far as global warming, on the one hand you have 98% of climate scientists and every scientific body of major international standing. On the other hand you have a website that says it's a liberal hoax. You people are depressing.

 
At 10/02/2011 11:15 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"That is directly contrary to her stated position, "Those who advocate public scholarships have no right to them; those who oppose them, have." -- Zach

Like I said, you are either too stupid to understand what she is saying, or too dishonest to acknowledge her point.

"What might be hypocritical would be saying that Medicare recipients are leeches on society, then quietly accepting Medicare benefits." -- Zach

It's not so much the recipients that are the leeches as the neo-socialist political class that creates entitlement programs designed to promote dependency. There is absolutely nothing hypocritical with arguing that a program like Medicare "leeches" of the productive element of our society while trying to reclaim the money forcibly taken from you to promote and sustain it. Or, as Rand puts it:

The victims do not have to add self-inflicted martyrdom to the injury done to them by others; they do not have to let the looters profit doubly, by letting them distribute the money exclusively to the parasites who clamored for it. Whenever the welfare-state laws offer them some small restitution, the victims should take it … the victims, who opposed such laws, have a clear right to any refund of their own money—and they would not advance the cause of freedom if they left their money, unclaimed, for the benefit of the welfare-state administration.

 
At 10/02/2011 11:22 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"As far as global warming, on the one hand you have 98% of climate scientists and every scientific body of major international standing. On the other hand you have a website that says it's a liberal hoax." -- Jon

As far as the theory of general relativity , on the one hand you have 98% of physicists and every scientific body of major international standing. On the other hand you have a patent office clerk with no standing in the academic community that says he knows more than Newton.

Appeals to authority are not part of the scientific method.

 
At 10/02/2011 11:50 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Che is dead: Like I said, you are either too stupid to understand what she is saying, or too dishonest to acknowledge her point.

Not an argument. In any case, her position is quite clear. She is saying those who advocate social welfare programs are thieves and have no right to the proceeds of their thievery, while those who are victims have a right to a return of their goods. Even in a democratic society. Very convenient for her that only those who agree with her are justified in receiving such benefits.

Che is dead: As far as the theory of general relativity , on the one hand you have 98% of physicists and every scientific body of major international standing. On the other hand you have a patent office clerk with no standing in the academic community that says he knows more than Newton.

Einstein had something modern climate deniers do not have. Einstein proposed a theory that explained the existing evidence, such as why Newton's Theory worked so well, while also explaining anomalies and making novel predictions. Notably, Einstein published his theories in scientific journals, because it wasn't the public he had to convince, but other physicists.

Che is dead: Appeals to authority are not part of the scientific method.

They are certainly a part of any reasonable discussion, though. Just about every scientific paper includes appeals to authority in the nature of citations to previous results. Nevertheless, all scientific findings are subject to being revised or discarded based on the evidence.

 
At 10/02/2011 3:23 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "That is directly contrary to her stated position, "Those who advocate public scholarships have no right to them; those who oppose them, have.""

As we have previously pointed out, your ability to understand libertarian or utilitarian concepts is limited by your statist views.

Even in this limited context, it should be clear to anyone familiar with the writings of Ayn Rand, as you appear to be, that her point is this: Those who advocate public scholarships favor theft from others to pay for something, and therefore don't deserve to share in that ill-gotten gain, whereas those who oppose them, but are forced to pay for them, are entitled to take advantage of what they have unwillingly paid for, if it is offered.

Thieves don't deserve to share in their ill gotten gain, but victims of that thievery deserve to benefit from anything their lost booty provides.

That doesn't require any particular approval or disapproval of all welfare programs, and there is no "carving out" in this simple concept.

We hope that helps.

 
At 10/02/2011 3:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Not an argument. In any case, her position is quite clear. She is saying those who advocate social welfare programs are thieves and have no right to the proceeds of their thievery, while those who are victims have a right to a return of their goods. Even in a democratic society. Very convenient for her that only those who agree with her are justified in receiving such benefits."

Sorry, We see that you had already made our point for us.

What you are missing, though, is that believing one is not a thief doesn't make it so.

Taking bread from you to feed hungry people doesn't make us less a thief.

I believe our readers can appreciate these distinctions, even if you cannot.

 
At 10/02/2011 3:40 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Ah, so she should stop accepting Medicare when it exceeds her contribution. "

That's just silly. She has been forced to pay for something against her will. She is entitled to the benefits she has paid for, whether that exceeds her "contribution" - or should we say "ransom" - or not.

 
At 10/02/2011 4:08 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"Einstein had something modern climate deniers do not have. Einstein proposed a theory that explained the existing evidence ..." -- Zach

I'll let Atmospheric physicist, MIT Professor of Meteorology and former IPCC lead author Richard S. Lindzen explain it to you: The State of Climate Science

As Prof. Lindzen explains, we still have a lot to learn about cloud formation, but the most current scientific evidence so far does not support alarmist hysteria:

The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth. The research, published with little fanfare this week in the prestigious journal Nature, comes from über-prestigious CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest centres for scientific research involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more than 600 universities and national laboratories ... 63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have done what global warming doomsayers said could never be done — demonstrate that cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds ... Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth’s atmosphere, the sun determines the temperature on Earth. - Financial Post

Maybe this is your problem:

"A new study by the Cultural Cognition Project, a team headed up by Yale law professor Dan Kahan, shows that people who are more science- and math-literate tend to be more skeptical about the consequences of climate change. Increased scientific literacy also leads to higher polarization on climate-change issues ..." - Freakonomics

 
At 10/02/2011 4:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Unfortunately, the problems of industrialization and of the economic cycle overwhelmed and undermined private associations. "

Actually, private associations continued to provide value, and some still do, until overwhelmed by ill conceived government programs intended to replace them. The idea that Big Brother should take care of all our needs is a fairly recent development in human history.

 
At 10/02/2011 4:36 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Perhaps you are referring to the voluntary action of the people considered as a whole. That's a rather stretched phrasing of your premise"...

No it isn't zach, I believe adults should take responsibility for their actions...

"Just because people have a vote doesn't make government taxes or debt voluntary"...

Read the Constitution lately zach?

"I'm saying if Mark's logic applies then right wingers that accept SS checks are hypocrits"...

Well jon the problem is that the federal government has already extorted the money from the paychecks but you do bring up some interesting points in the rest of that particular comment...

I have a question for you jon, what if instead of having federal extortion being taken from each paycheck it had to be paid quarterly instead...

Do you think people would have a different point of view about all the programs that pander to parasites and reconsider their votes when the time came?

 
At 10/02/2011 5:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon: "Agreed. I'm saying if Mark's logic applies then right wingers that accept SS checks are hypocrits."

Who are these "right wingers" you keep referring to?

"As far as global warming, on the one hand you have 98% of climate scientists and every scientific body of major international standing."

There's that "consensus" thing again.

You are aware aren't you that Wikipedia is is a really poor source of information on global warming, as its chief editor, U.K. scientist and Green Party activist and Realclimate.org member William Connolley, a well known alarmist, acts as chief editor and website administrator, repressing information skeptical of the "consensus", and as such, has rewritten Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling.

Just try to find something skeptical of global warming on Wiki.

"On the other hand, you have a website..."

Do you mean this one?

LOL

Carpe Diem is the least of your worries. There are many, many serious websites skeptical of global warming alarmism, that include contributions from real scientists.

Try this one for some serious scientific discussions.

 
At 10/02/2011 7:11 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Lindzen: The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth.

Lindzen apparently only read the press releases.

“We find that ion-induced binary nucleation of H2SO4–H2O can occur in the mid-troposphere but is negligible in the boundary layer. However, even with the large enhancements in rate due to ammonia and ions, atmospheric concentrations of ammonia and sulphuric acid are insufficient to account for observed boundary-layer nucleation.”
Kirkby et al., Role of sulphuric acid, ammonia and galactic cosmic rays in atmospheric aerosol nucleation, Nature 2011.

In other words, the experiment is insufficient to account for cloud formation, hence can’t be seen to be determinative.

Ron H: Actually, private associations continued to provide value, and some still do,

Sure they do, but they are often insufficient for large scale problems, whether natural or due to financial collapse. It was the failure of existing institutions that led to the development of national solutions. Of note, you did not respond to the point about changes in society due to industrialization.

Che has mentioned benevolent associations several times, and like you, has failed to modify his position to account for contrary facts. Thousands of benevolent societies failed during the Great Depression, overwhelmed by the size of the problem, and due to loss of membership as people migrated to obtain work.

juandos: I believe adults should take responsibility for their actions...

We sought a clarification, but for whatever reason, you have not bothered. Yes, the people of the United States ran up debt, and are responsible for it.

Ron H: There's that "consensus" thing again.

An appeal to authority is valid when
* The cited authority has sufficient expertise.
* The authority is making a statement within their area of expertise.
* The area of expertise is a valid field of study.
* There is adequate agreement among authorities in the field.
* There is no evidence of undue bias.

The proper argument against a valid appeal to authority is to the evidence. This is a valid appeal to authority:

"Climate change is real."
National Academies of Science, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, United States.
http://www.nationalacademies.org/onpi/06072005.pdf

With regards to climate science, no other theory has been proposed that can account for the evidence, in particular, the signature of an increasing greenhouse effect is a warming troposphere and a cooling stratosphere.

 
At 10/03/2011 1:37 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"We sought a clarification, but for whatever reason, you have not bothered"...

You got a mouse in your pocket zach old son? Who is this 'we'?

BTW zach your comment, "Just because people have a vote doesn't make government taxes or debt voluntary" still has me laughing everytime I think of it...

 
At 10/03/2011 1:57 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10/03/2011 2:06 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"An appeal to authority is valid when
* The cited authority has sufficient expertise.
* The authority is making a statement within their area of expertise.
* The area of expertise is a valid field of study.
* There is adequate agreement among authorities in the field.
* There is no evidence of undue bias.
"...

OMG! What absolutely inane nonsense!

This is NOT scientific method at work, its merely repetitive insanity...

I can understand why some one like a jon or a zach would subscribe to such wikipedia whinings though...

No science need apply...

«Klimapolitik verteilt das Weltvermögen neu»

Here you go, do some homework so you can get a grip on climate: Watts Up With That?

 
At 10/03/2011 2:34 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Sure they do, but they are often insufficient for large scale problems, whether natural or due to financial collapse. It was the failure of existing institutions that led to the development of national solutions."

Reference please.

If you are referring to the Great Depression, it is of note that many institutions of all kinds failed at that time, not just mutual aid societies, and recovery was prevented for a very long time by the inept attempts by government to correct problems of which policy makers had little understanding.

If your argument is that national government social solutions were necessary during the Depression to replace inadequate private mutual societies and associations, then those those national solutions could have been wound up when that exceptional need was gone, and voluntary organizations allowed to resumed their beneficial roles, but as we know, government never shrinks, but only grows.

""Of note, you did not respond to the point about changes in society due to industrialization. "

But I did: "Actually, private associations continued to provide value, and some still do, until overwhelmed by ill conceived government programs intended to replace them."

Industrialization, and the growth of cities, rather than reducing need, actually increased the need for and the proliferation of mutual societies, well into the 20th century.

Some of the more successful mutual societies have been those created by various ethnic groups for the benefit of newly arrived immigrants.

 
At 10/03/2011 2:40 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Lindzen apparently only read the press releases."

Lindzen is one of the most well respected atmospheric physicists in the world, and for you to dismiss him so easily, indicates that you are not to be taken seriously on this subject.

Despite revelations of fraud and deception in some academic circles, as well as shoddy work and deception by the World's self described premier climate authority, the IPCC, a political body with an obvious agenda, you choose to cling to your convictions, which are in serious doubt.

It's not clear where to begin a rational discussion of climate change, as it's hard to imagine anyone still has the child-like certainty of their convictions you seem to have, after all that has transpired in the last several years.

 
At 10/03/2011 2:57 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"In other words, the experiment is insufficient to account for cloud formation, hence can’t be seen to be determinative. "

Interpretation: While his is an interesting line of inquiry, it's not enough by itself to account for level of cloud formation we actually observe, so it's too early to break out the champagne.

Hopefully you didn't read Kirkby's comment as a refutation of Svensmark

 
At 10/03/2011 4:00 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "The proper argument against a valid appeal to authority is to the evidence. This is a valid appeal to authority:"

This is not an appeal to authority, but an argumentum ad populum. "If 98% of scientists believe it, it must be true."

"Climate change is real."
National Academies of Science, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, United States.
"

Sea bears are real! Squarepants et al.

Yes, we're aware that all of those political bodies subscribe to the alarmist view of climate change. But, are you aware that many of the members of these groups don't agree?

" With regards to climate science, no other theory has been proposed that can account for the evidence, in particular, the signature of an increasing greenhouse effect is a warming troposphere and a cooling stratosphere."

"It MUST be anthropogenic, as we have no other explanation."

Is that about it?

"Einstein had something modern climate deniers do not have. Einstein proposed a theory that explained the existing evidence..."

Actually, Einstein had something modern climate alarmists don't have - a theory that explains the evidence. Nor do they even have evidence. Instead, they have models.

Using highly suspect historical estimates of past temperatures, unreliable modern day tempreature measurements, and a variety of assumptions about atmosphereic dynamics and a poor understanding of Earth's carbon cycle, and plugging in constants where functions are unknown, so called climate scientists create models that are mere caricatures of the real world, and run them, to get results that can be little more than guesses.

Based on this flimsy nonsense, those who stand to benefit from continued research proclaim: "We must act at once to reduce our CO2 pollution!"

And it appears you still fall for this stuff. Pathetic.


Notably, Einstein's theory is still known as a theory, and always will be as it can't be proved, but only falsified. Since he published, several of his predictions have proven to be correct.

Global warming theory, on the other hand, provides no causal link between changes in atmospheric CO2 and temperature change, but relies strongly on the notion that correlation is causation.

 
At 10/03/2011 8:03 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Zachriel: We sought a clarification, but for whatever reason, you have not bothered...

juandos: Just because people have a vote doesn't make government taxes or debt voluntary" still has me laughing everytime I think of it...

We sought a clarification, but for whatever reason, you have not bothered.

juandos This is NOT scientific method at work, its merely repetitive insanity.

An appeal to authority is not necessarily a fallacy. If, for instance, you consult several doctors, and they agree you have cancer, then absent direct evidence otherwise, it would be reasonable to accept that diagnosis.

An appeal to authority is not decisive, and in science all conclusions are considered tentatively.

juandos Here you go, do some homework so you can get a grip on climate:

Che had cited the Financial Post on climate science, which claimed that "The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth." However, the actual paper does not support such a claim.

Ron H: If you are referring to the Great Depression, it is of note that many institutions of all kinds failed at that time, not just mutual aid societies,

That's right. Industrialization had undermined many such organizations, while amplifying the problems.

Ron H: government never shrinks, but only grows.

The government shrank as a percentage of GDP during the Clinton era.

Ron H: Industrialization, and the growth of cities, rather than reducing need, actually increased the need for and the proliferation of mutual societies, well into the 20th century.

Yes, as well as government institutions working at all levels. The complex interplay of institutions is a hallmark of modernity.

Ron H: Lindzen is one of the most well respected atmospheric physicists in the world, and for you to dismiss him so easily, indicates that you are not to be taken seriously on this subject.

Anyone can read the paper and see that it does not support "The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth."

Ron H: This is not an appeal to authority, but an argumentum ad populum. "If 98% of scientists believe it, it must be true."

Sorry, no. An appeal to authority depends on a consensus within the relevant peer community. It doesn't "prove" the claim, but is considered reasonable first-order support. Any contrary claim has to show why the consensus is wrong and provide an alternative explanation.

Ron H: Yes, we're aware that all of those political bodies subscribe to the alarmist view of climate change. But, are you aware that many of the members of these groups don't agree?

Consensus is not unanimity.

Ron H: "It MUST be anthropogenic, as we have no other explanation."

It's a signature empirical prediction.
Ron H: Global warming theory, on the other hand, provides no causal link between changes in atmospheric CO2 and temperature change, but relies strongly on the notion that correlation is causation.

That is incorrect. Increased greenhouse gases cause warming at the surface resulting in increased evaporation. This will result in a warming troposphere, but a cooling stratosphere.

Ron H: Actually, Einstein had something modern climate alarmists don't have - a theory that explains the evidence. Nor do they even have evidence.

Einstein proposed a theoretical model.

There is a great deal of evidence supporting anthropogenic climate change, but we'll start with the warming troposphere and cooling stratosphere.
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/globalwarming/ar4-fig-3-17.gif

 
At 10/03/2011 9:20 AM, Blogger Joshua L. Lyle said...

I see lots of objections that seem to think that Buffet shouldn't have to cough up the money unless his peers do so as well. This mistakes the matter for one of revenue rather than one of spending. It doesn't matter how much is raised beyond what Buffet contributes, what matters is how it is spent. If Buffet really believes that the government will make wiser use of his money, then he should give the money to the government rather than spend it himself.

But Buffet clearly thinks he's doing a better job spending his own money, and given the relative priorities of the federal government and the Gates Foundation, I quite agree with him -- if for no other reason than that the later seems to murder far fewer people.

 
At 10/03/2011 12:39 PM, Blogger Marko said...

I will keep saying it - if he gives 1 dollar to private charity and none 'extra' to the federal government, that shows that he considers charities better than taxes, which I think deflates his entire argument.

 
At 10/03/2011 1:45 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Sorry, no. An appeal to authority depends on a consensus within the relevant peer community."

Well, not exactly: Jon wrote the following:

"As far as global warming, on the one hand you have 98% of climate scientists and every scientific body of major international standing."

He doesn't appeal to any particular authority, only a majority.

To once again invoke the Einstein example, a consensus of his peers believed his theory was wrong, and wrote to tell him so.

His response was that it only required one of them to *prove* him wrong.

They still haven't done so, while some of his predictions have proven correct.

Recent work in quantum physics may show Einstein's theory to be incomplete, as his theory showed Newton's to be.

 
At 10/03/2011 2:25 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: He doesn't appeal to any particular authority, only a majority.

98% of *climate* scientists is an appeal to the scientific consensus in the relevant field of study, as is an appeal to virtually every major scientific body that has examined the issue.

Ron H: To once again invoke the Einstein example, a consensus of his peers believed his theory was wrong, and wrote to tell him so.

On the merits. Scientists generally will not accept a new theory without a great deal of skepticism. Even today, Einstein's theories are subject to constant scientific attacks, and there are still unexplain anomalies pointing to a richer theory. Yet, it would be wrong to equate criticism of this or that detail with having undermined the overall theory. The closest is one of the various string theories, but they lack empirical validation.

In the case of climate science, no one has proposed an alternative theory that can explain the data. There is no there there. Take cosmic rays as a for instance. Critics cling to these sorts of results, when a simple reading of the paper shows that it doesn't undermine the current consensus on climate science. When this attempt fails, the clingers will cling to something else. It shows the weakness of their position. In order to make any real inroads, critics have to propose a new model, one that explains why the current models are seemingly correct, while making new empirical predictions. Just like Einstein did.

 
At 10/03/2011 2:49 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "The government shrank as a percentage of GDP during the Clinton era."

Due to accounting gimmicks that have been discussed ad nauseam in previous threads. We won't go back there at this time.

In any case, to point out such an insignificant hiccup in the long, steady trend is the equivinent of picking nits.

"That's right. Industrialization had undermined many such organizations, while amplifying the problems. "

We don't believe that's correct. Can you support that with something other than your opinion?

We're not sure why you would point to misguided government policies, intented to correct problems caused by previous misguided government policies, as an improvement over existing structures, in any case.

"That is incorrect. Increased greenhouse gases cause warming at the surface resulting in increased evaporation. This will result in a warming troposphere, but a cooling stratosphere."

No, *that* is incorrect. Increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere cannot warm the surface, as they themselves have been warmed by IR radiation *from* the surface. Your frying pan doesn't add energy in the form of heat to your stove burner.

As to increased evaporation, you must be aware that the most important result is cloud formation, which, depending on other atmospheric conditions, may cause either increased or decreased surface temperatures, depending on the type of clouds formed, amount of precipitation, if any, wind patterns, ocean currents, etc., etc.

Clouds are not well understood in the real world, and are poorly represented in GCMs, thus making the output of those models meaningless for predictive purposes.

You might find this recent article by Roger Pielke Sr. of interest.

By the way, R. A. Pielke Sr. is another well respected authority on climate change, who believes that man made CO2 IS causing climate change, but that it's effects and importance are uncertain, and not nearly alarming enough to justify a rollback of the industrial revolution.

A vast majority of our readers consider his work to be serious climate science.

 
At 10/03/2011 3:31 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "On the merits. Scientists generally will not accept a new theory without a great deal of skepticism. "

And that is as it should be. Our point being, that appealing to a majority of opinions on any issue, especially if it involves any actual science, is of little value.

That this process has been subverted by political and financial considerations in the field of climate science, should lead us to even more skepticism, not less.

"In the case of climate science, no one has proposed an alternative theory that can explain the data."

And, no one needs to. No one proposed an alternate theory to Einstein's either, but only attacked it as incorrect.

The vast difference is that unlike relativity, many of the attacks on AGW have succeeded in finding major problems with the theory, with the data, and with measurements, dishonesty in the institutions entrusted with research, suppression of opposing views, manipulation of peer reviewed journals, and the list goes on and on. It has become a political issue, rather than a scientific one.

More importantly, it should be apparent from the level of uncertainty - although you may not agree that any exists - that there is just not enough known about climate, something that can only be modeled, not replicated for experimentation, to make meaningful predictions about future conditions.

If you believe the study of AGW is still on solid ground, we suggest that you do some reading to catch up on recent developments.

 
At 10/03/2011 4:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"In order to make any real inroads, critics have to propose a new model, one that explains why the current models are seemingly correct, while making new empirical predictions. Just like Einstein did."

You appear to have this backwards. The current models are neither seemingly correct nor incorrect, because they predict things that won't be known for a very long time, and there is no way to produce empirical evidence by experiment.

Einstein predicted some things that have since been verified by observation and experiment. Climate models have not been verified, and cannot be.

To pretend that a great deal can be known about Earth's future climate based on the small amount of knowledge currently available, and the short time period, geologically, for which there is any semblance of certainly about that knowledge, is sheer hubris.

To suggest that major policy, that has serious consequences for billions of people can be implimented, based on so little, points out the political rather than the scientific basis.

 
At 10/03/2011 6:22 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: Due to accounting gimmicks that have been discussed ad nauseam in previous threads.

Handwaving. Federal spending as a percentage of GDP dropped, in fact. This was due primarily to decreased defense spending and welfare reform.

Ron H: In any case, to point out such an insignificant hiccup in the long, steady trend is the equivinent of picking nits.

It's the difference that makes for a healthy fiscal policy.

http://seahorseadvisers.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/fed-spending-and-revs-as-a-percent-of-gdp.jpg

Zachriel: Industrialization had undermined many such organizations, while amplifying the problems.

Ron H: We don't believe that's correct. Can you support that with something other than your opinion?

"Privately funded mutual aid societies, the first defense for most Lower East Siders, collapsed under the stress. The number of mutual aid societies on the Lower East Side dropped from 6,000 in 1920 to 2,000 in 1938, in part because of out migration. In addition, 400 private social services institutions - one-third of such agencies in the city - closed their doors within the first three years of the crisis."
http://www.tenement.org/encyclopedia/ecodepress_greatdepression.htm

Zachriel: Increased greenhouse gases cause warming at the surface resulting in increased evaporation. This will result in a warming troposphere, but a cooling stratosphere.

Ron H: No, *that* is incorrect. Increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere cannot warm the surface, as they themselves have been warmed by IR radiation *from* the surface. Your frying pan doesn't add energy in the form of heat to your stove burner.

Putting a lid on your frying pan increases the heat in the frying pan, and cools the air above it (at least until equilibrium is reestablished). Not sure what you're trying to say otherwise.

Ron H: A vast majority of our readers consider his work to be serious climate science.

But do his colleagues?

Ron H: Our point being, that appealing to a majority of opinions on any issue, especially if it involves any actual science, is of little value.

Actually, quite the opposite. If we don't have access to the data or methods, then we rely more so on appeals to authority.

Ron H: That this process has been subverted by political and financial considerations in the field of climate science, should lead us to even more skepticism, not less.

Well, that's one valid argument against an appeal to authority, that the cited authority is biased. However, in this case, we're talking the vast majority of scientists working in very different political and social environments, with methodologies from varying fields of study, all reaching the same conclusions.

Ron H: And, no one needs to. No one proposed an alternate theory to Einstein's either, but only attacked it as incorrect.

There have been many proposed theories to replace Einstein's.

Ron H: It has become a political issue, rather than a scientific one.

It is only a political issue. There is no significant debate within science about whether humans are changing the climate. They are. The questions now concern the relationship between the damage from climate change and possible human policies.

 
At 10/03/2011 6:26 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: The current models are neither seemingly correct nor incorrect, because they predict things that won't be known for a very long time, and there is no way to produce empirical evidence by experiment.

Heh. Above you pointed to a blog about a paper by Suki Manabe that the blog claimed falsified a prediction of the climate models. In any case, climate models make many predictions concerning greenhouse warming. For one, that the stratosphere will cool as the troposphere warms. And that is what we observe.
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/globalwarming/ar4-fig-3-17.gif

 
At 10/04/2011 2:51 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Handwaving. Federal spending as a percentage of GDP dropped, in fact. This was due primarily to decreased defense spending and welfare reform. "

The fact that the size of government has grown since the founding is indisputable. To use a ratio of federal spending to GDP as support for an argument that government shrank in some few years, while ignoring the accounting gimmicks used to create that impression is truly disingenuous.

The fact that total federal debt increased each year during that period, shows your numbers games to be meaningless sleight of hand.

 
At 10/04/2011 3:19 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Privately funded mutual aid societies, the first defense for most Lower East Siders, collapsed under the stress. The number of mutual aid societies on the Lower East Side dropped from 6,000 in 1920 to 2,000 in 1938, in part because of out migration. In addition, 400 private social services institutions - one-third of such agencies in the city - closed their doors within the first three years of the crisis."

Our request was for support for your claim that Industrialization had undermined many such organizations, while amplifying the problems. Instead you have provided an account of conditions in New York during the Depression.

That many suffered during this time, and many organizations failed, has not been disputed. Our disagreement was with the need for government programs, and your claim that industrialization harmed voluntary private associations.

We see from your reference that people helped each other as they will always do in times of need.

We also notice that Federal funds were used by the City to help the poor by clearing slums in order to build public housing. In other words they evicted people who were already desperately poor so that they could seek more expensive housing elsewhere.

It should be obvious that public housing has, after all this time, not solved the problems of poverty in New York, in fact, new and larger problems have been the result.

Talk about unintended consequences.

 
At 10/04/2011 4:14 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "However, in this case, we're talking the vast majority of scientists working in very different political and social environments, with methodologies from varying fields of study, all reaching the same conclusions."

And what is that conclusion?

Perhaps we need to better understand what is you are really claiming regarding climate.

"But do his colleagues? "

Apparently so, as he is cited frequently in their work, and is regularly reviled by those at RealClimate, a sure sign that they consider him a threat to their single minded dogma.

"Putting a lid on your frying pan increases the heat in the frying pan, and cools the air above it (at least until equilibrium is reestablished). Not sure what you're trying to say otherwise. "

You have described warming due to reduced convection, something not addressed by our comment, and not a condition that exists in the atmosphere.

Refresh your understanding of thermodynamics, then reread our comment carefully.

"There is no significant debate within science about whether humans are changing the climate. They are."

"The debate is over." "The science is settled."

Hmm. Where have I heard that before?

"The questions now concern the relationship between the damage from climate change and possible human policies."

Damage? What possible reason could you have for believing that climate change is harmful?

You really seem stuck in a mindset that was common 5 or 6 years ago.

 
At 10/04/2011 6:37 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: The fact that the size of government has grown since the founding is indisputable.

So has the population. A reasonable measure of government's influence in the economy is as a proportion of the economy.

Ron H: The fact that total federal debt increased each year during that period, shows your numbers games to be meaningless sleight of hand.

http://www.cbo.gov/budget/data/historical.pdf

There's no slight of hand. The definition of a budget surplus is taking in more money than you are spending. Structural surpluses were set to reduce the public debt to zero over time. If you want to only consider on-budget, then the budget was roughly in balance, meaning there were sufficient monies available to set aside for the Social Security Trust Fund as well as meet all the government's other obligations. And the federal government had been reduced in size as a proportion of the overall economy—an important accomplishment which refutes your previous point.

Not only that, it's apples and oranges. We were discussing federal spending, not deficits.

Ron H: Our disagreement was with the need for government programs, and your claim that industrialization harmed voluntary private associations.

If private organizations are being overwhelmed by the market cycle, as exemplified above, then it is quite obvious that government may be called upon to fill the gap.

 
At 10/04/2011 7:27 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: And what is that conclusion?

"Climate change is real... It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed
to human activities."
http://www.nationalacademies.org/onpi/06072005.pdf

Ron H: Apparently so, as he is cited frequently in their work, and is regularly reviled by those at RealClimate, a sure sign that they consider him a threat to their single minded dogma.

RealClimate is not a peer journal. It's a lay blog whose purpose is to provide to the public information about climate science, including debunking the claims of climate skeptics. Again, any controversy is entirely political.

Ron H: Refresh your understanding of thermodynamics,

The Greenhouse Effect is not a mystery. The blackbody temperature of the Earth (ignoring albedo) is ~−19°C. But the surface is a balmy ~+14°C due to the natural Greenhouse Effect.

Energy from the Sun comes in the form of radiation; as infrared, or as visible light which passes through the atmosphere to the surface and is then reradiated as infrared. The infrared is absorbed by greenhouse gases, which in turn reradiate the energy. In the upper atmosphere, some of this energy is emitted to space, though some is emitted towards the lower atmosphere. In the lower atmosphere the energy is usually reaborbed by other greenhouse molecules in the thick atmospheric blanket. The more greenhouse gases, the longer the energy will remain trapped in the lower atmosphere. The lower atmosphere will warm until equilibrium is reached. If you continue to increase the amount of greenhouse gases, then the point of equilibrium will rise. A blanket is warmer underneath than above.

Ron H: "The debate is over." "The science is settled." Hmm. Where have I heard that before?

That's fine. All scientific conclusions are considered tentative. But handwaving is not evidence.

Ron H: Damage? What possible reason could you have for believing that climate change is harmful?

Climate change will disrupt agriculture and cause coastal flooding. This in turn will result in human migration, political instability and human misery. It will also disrupt ecosystems, which will result in deforestation, desertification, and the spread of various pathogens.

Fixing the problem they created is well within human technical capabilities. It will require a smart mix of economic growth and scientific advances.

 
At 10/04/2011 12:37 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"RealClimate is not a peer journal. It's a lay blog whose purpose is to provide to the public information about climate science, including debunking the claims of climate skeptics. Again, any controversy is entirely political. "

You're funny. RealClimate is a peer blog moderated by a small tag team of "climate scientists", mostly members of the so called Hockey Team, whose purpose is to defend their own demonstrably incorrect position that global warming in the 20th century was unprecedented in recent history, the only possible cause being increased atmospheric CO2 caused by burning fossil fuels.

The Team continually claims to possess the "truth", by showcasing each other's work, and debunking the work of others who they don't agree with. Serious comments that present opposing views are regularly removed from the comment section, it is, in reality, a giant echo chamber, not a serious forum of ideas. You are correct that it is political, but it masquerades as serious science information.

The "Hockey Stick", still held up at RC as serious science, has been repeatedly trashed by serious statisticians, and the data used shown to be useless. The dishonesty involved has been exposed in emails among team members, and even the IPPC won't use it anymore, whereas it was prominent on the cover of earlier reports.

Is that what you consider a legitimate source of information for the public?

"The Greenhouse Effect is not a mystery. The blackbody temperature of the Earth (ignoring albedo) is ~−19°C. But the surface is a balmy ~+14°C due to the natural Greenhouse Effect. "

Here we have a perfect example of oversimplification so common to claims of dangerous warming.

Albedo *cannot* be ignored. It is an important factor, and isn't well represented in GCMs, as clouds are not well understood.

While your statement is basically correct, as to greenhouse effect, no attribution is made for this effect, but it should be clear that it is mostly caused by atmospheric H2O, with CO2 playing only a minor role.

 
At 10/04/2011 4:50 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "http://www.cbo.gov/budget/data/historical.pdf"

You win! You have pointed to a larger collection of numbers than we have.

All those interesting numbers! Everything but what we really want to see, and that is total public debt: Something that has increased almost continually for years, and certainly all during the Clinton administration.

"So has the population. A reasonable measure of government's influence in the economy is as a proportion of the economy. "

While that is a non sequitur, thank you for attempting to make our point for us. I suppose we should have cited a reference for our comment so you would have been limited in how far astray you could go.

This chart shows a dramatic growth in government since only 1965. although we generally prefer other measures than per houshold, that suffices to illustrate our point.

The increase per capita would be even more dramatic, as household size has decreased since 1965.

Mmany legitimate functions of government don't increase in size proportional to population. For instance, national defense should be adequate to defend against perceived threats, regardless of population size.

"If you want to only consider on-budget, then the budget was roughly in balance..."

But we don't want to only consider on-budget. We want to consider federal spending, revenue, and debt as totals. We don't want to consider money taken from our left pocket and placed in our right pocket to be called revenue, and thus contributing to a budget surplus.

"And the federal government had been reduced in size as a proportion of the overall economy—an important accomplishment which refutes your previous point."

This is meaningless. If GDP doubles due to GDP per capita doubling, and government spending only grows 50%, you would claim a reduction in govrnment size, when individuals would see a 50% increase in their portion of government spending.

"Not only that, it's apples and oranges. We were discussing federal spending, not deficits. "

We haven't mentioned deficits. we are interested in *debt* which, in total, grew each year dueing the Clinton administration, as you can see at our previous link.

 
At 10/04/2011 5:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Climate change will disrupt agriculture and cause coastal flooding. This in turn will result in human migration, political instability and human misery. It will also disrupt ecosystems, which will result in deforestation, desertification, and the spread of various pathogens. "

We asked what reasons you had to believe climate change would be harmful. We didn't request a list of doomsday scenarios.

Isn't it just as likely that climate change could have many beneficial results? Why must it all be negative? After all, most advances in human well being have occurred during relatively warm periods, while cold periods have meant misery and death.

Plants grow better in warm climates than cold, and incidentally, they grow better in higher concentrations of CO2.

Perhaps a warming climate will allow billions to lift themselves out of poverty and prosper.

 
At 10/04/2011 6:15 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: RealClimate is a peer blog moderated by a small tag team of "climate scientists",

Yes, they are mostly climate scientists, but it still isn't a journal. They do not publish original research that has been peer reviewed.

Ron H: The "Hockey Stick", still held up at RC as serious science, has been repeatedly trashed by serious statisticians, and the data used shown to be useless.

Final Investigation Report Involving Dr. Michael E Mann, Pennsylvania State University: "Most questions about Dr. Mann' s findings have been focused on his early published work that showed the "hockey stick" pattern of climate change. In fact, research published since then by Dr. Mann and by independent researchers has shown patterns similar to those first described by Dr. Mann, although Dr. Mann' s more recent work has shown slightly less dramatic changes than those reported originally. In some cases, other researchers (e.g., Wahl & Ammann, 2007) have been able to replicate Dr. Mann' s findings, using the publicly available data and algorithms. The convergence of findings by different teams of researchers, using different data sets, lends further credence to the fact that Dr. Mann' s conduct of his research has followed acceptable practice within his field."

Ron H: While your statement is basically correct, as to greenhouse effect, no attribution is made for this effect, but it should be clear that it is mostly caused by atmospheric H2O, with CO2 playing only a minor role.

Well, so much for your previous statement that "Increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere cannot warm the surface, as they themselves have been warmed by IR radiation *from* the surface." In fact, increasing greenhouse gases will result in a warmer lower atmosphere.

 
At 10/04/2011 6:40 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: Everything but what we really want to see, and that is total public debt: Something that has increased almost continually for years, and certainly all during the Clinton administration.

Debt held by public (last column):

1997, 3772 billion
1998, 3721 billion
1999, 3632 billion
2000, 3410 billion
2001, 3320 billion

Zachriel: A reasonable measure of government's influence in the economy is as a proportion of the economy.

Ron H: While that is a non sequitur, thank you for attempting to make our point for us.

Not sure why proposing a better measure is a non sequitur, especially as the measure is very common in economics. Notice in your graph how the cost per household held steady during the Clinton Administration even while incomes made rapid gains. In other words, the private sector grew, while the federal government was held in check.

Ron H: But we don't want to only consider on-budget. We want to consider federal spending, revenue, and debt as totals.

On-budget refers to most programs, except those with their own revenue streams, such as Social Security. The unified budget includes on-budget and off-budget programs. Clinton left the unified budget with large, structural surpluses.

Ron H: If GDP doubles due to GDP per capita doubling, and government spending only grows 50%, you would claim a reduction in govrnment size, when individuals would see a 50% increase in their portion of government spending.

They would see a smaller proportion of their income being used to pay for government spending. Assuming fiscal balance, their tax rates would drop.

Ron H: We asked what reasons you had to believe climate change would be harmful. We didn't request a list of doomsday scenarios.

Disruption of agriculture, forced migration, political instability, won't be the end of the humanity, or even the end of civilization. But it is largely avoidable.

Ron H: Isn't it just as likely that climate change could have many beneficial results? Why must it all be negative?

It won't be all negative. Some areas will have improved agriculture, and the Arctic Ocean will become more passable for trade. People will still get rich. However, overall the effects will be detrimental. There have been five mass extinctions over the last half billion years. We may be experiencing the sixth.

 
At 10/04/2011 8:19 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Energy from the Sun comes in the form of radiation; as infraredI, or as visible light which passes through the atmosphere to the surface and is then reradiated as infrared. The infrared is absorbed by greenhouse gases, which in turn reradiate the energy. In the upper atmosphere, some of this energy is emitted to space, though some is emitted towards the lower atmosphere. In the lower atmosphere the energy is usually reaborbed by other greenhouse molecules in the thick atmospheric blanket. The more greenhouse gases, the longer the energy will remain trapped in the lower atmosphere. The lower atmosphere will warm until equilibrium is reached. If you continue to increase the amount of greenhouse gases, then the point of equilibrium will rise. A blanket is warmer underneath than above."

That's very good, and almost correct except for a few minor problems.

First of all, you should be aware that IR energy from the Sun, heats the atmosphere directly. Not all of it reaches the Earth. As you can see from this chart, most of the Sun's energy arrives as visible light, Peak energy being centered around the wavelength of green light, although that information isn't included on the chart, and has no bearing on our discussion.

The Earth, being warmed, radiates in IR frequencies, some of which are absorbed in the atmosphere by so called greenhoiuse gases, mostly water vapor, and in a narrow range of frequencies, CO2.

Rather than imagining a thick blanket, try to picture 1 out of every 2500 molecules in the atmosphere being warmed by heat energy radiated from the Earth.

The picture you create above is of heat energy bouncing back and forth between CO2 molecules and the Earth, but this isn't correct. As you must be aware, heat flows from a higher level of energy to a lower level, so although those poor lonesome CO2 molecules in the atmosphere do radiate in all directions, the Earth cannot be warmed further by them, as they are at a lower energy level than the Earth. Heat radiates from surface, through atmosphere, to space, at a standard lapse rate that causes a drop in temperature of 6.5deg C per 1000 meters of elevation above sea level. The atmosphere does not reheat the surface, although this is often incorrectly shown in diagrams of atmospheric energy flow.

This was the point of my frying pan example, and you responded by descrribing convection

 
At 10/05/2011 1:31 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Final Investigation Report Involving Dr. Michael E Mann, Pennsylvania State University: "Most questions about Dr. Mann' s findings have been focused on his early published work that showed the "hockey stick" pattern of climate change. In fact, research published since then by Dr. Mann and by independent researchers has shown patterns similar to those first described by Dr. Mann, although Dr. Mann' s more recent work has shown slightly less dramatic changes than those reported originally. In some cases, other researchers (e.g., Wahl & Ammann, 2007) have been able to replicate Dr. Mann' s findings, using the publicly available data and algorithms. The convergence of findings by different teams of researchers, using different data sets, lends further credence to the fact that Dr. Mann' s conduct of his research has followed acceptable practice within his field."

Are you serious?

Of course other team members are able to replicate his work. Different data sets? How many data sets of tree ring measurements do you think there are in the world, and how many dendrochronologists taking those measurements?

Do you understand what "hide the decline" refers to?

If tree rings weren't good thermometers in the 20th century, why would anyone trust them in past centuries when little else existed to corroborate them?

One could expect U of Penn to defend its cash cow Mann. He represents tens of millions in research grants. Similarly, U of East Anglia predictably defended Jones.


"Ron H: While your statement is basically correct, as to greenhouse effect, no attribution is made for this effect, but it should be clear that it is mostly caused by atmospheric H2O, with CO2 playing only a minor role.

Z: "Well, so much for your previous statement that "Increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere cannot warm the surface, as they themselves have been warmed by IR radiation *from* the surface." In fact, increasing greenhouse gases will result in a warmer lower atmosphere.
"

Huh? Are you confusing radiation with conduction and/or convection? There's nothing inconsistent in our comments. Perhaps this will help.

 
At 10/05/2011 1:58 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Debt held by public (last column):

1997, 3772 billion
1998, 3721 billion
1999, 3632 billion
2000, 3410 billion
2001, 3320 billion
"

Are you being deliberately obtuse? We are not concerned with debt held by the public, but with total public debt:

Check for yourself using any date range you chose.

This, from a previous referencwe we provided. Please note headings aren't alligned with columns.

Fiscal
Year Year Ending National Debt Deficit
FY1993 09/30/1993 $4.411488 trillion
FY1994 09/30/1994 $4.692749 trillion $281.26 billion
FY1995 09/29/1995 $4.973982 trillion $281.23 billion
FY1996 09/30/1996 $5.224810 trillion $250.83 billion
FY1997 09/30/1997 $5.413146 trillion $188.34 billion
FY1998 09/30/1998 $5.526193 trillion $113.05 billion
FY1999 09/30/1999 $5.656270 trillion $130.08 billion
FY2000 09/29/2000 $5.674178 trillion $17.91 billion
FY2001 09/28/2001 $5.807463 trillion $133.29 billion

 
At 10/05/2011 2:51 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"It won't be all negative. Some areas will have improved agriculture, and the Arctic Ocean will become more passable for trade. People will still get rich. However, overall the effects will be detrimental. There have been five mass extinctions over the last half billion years. We may be experiencing the sixth.

We asked for reasons and you haven't provided any. Your response is dogma. You have no rason to believe either of the statements we highlighted.

The ability to mitigate any natural condition, whether a current destructive event or a future change in climate that affects a particular population adversely, is to encourage and allow people everywhere to become wealthy enough to deal with such problems, as those in most wealthy nations can today. The answer isn't to deny poor people the ability to generate electricity, before they even start to do so.

You haven't acknowledged that government, in fact, hasn't shrunk in real terms, at any time in recent history. there is no reason for government to maintain any proportion to population or GDP.

As one example, improvements in communications and data handling over the years should decrease government costs for those services.

Without questioning whether any particular government department or agency should exist at all, we see no reason why Dept. of Energy, for example, should grow with increases in population or GDP. National energy policy for 300 million doesn't cost more than energy policy for 200 million.

You haven't responded to our request that you support your claim that industrialization had undermined many private charities and mutual associations. Shall we assume that you don't plan to, and perhaps misspoke when you wrote that?

 
At 10/05/2011 7:14 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: First of all, you should be aware that IR energy from the Sun, heats the atmosphere directly.

Zachriel: The infrared is absorbed by greenhouse gases, which in turn reradiate the energy.

Ron H: The picture you create above is of heat energy bouncing back and forth between CO2 molecules and the Earth, but this isn't correct.

The picture we drew concerned energy within the atmosphere; a warmer troposphere and a cooler stratosphere. However, the surface temperature of the Earth would be much lower without the Greenhouse Effect.

 
At 10/05/2011 7:19 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: Are you serious?

Handwaving. Mann's results have been replicated in many different studies. To reply, you might consider pointing to published research showing otherwise.

Ron H: Perhaps this will help.

"When you pile all of the layers of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere on top of one another, they form a sort of radiative blanket, heating the lower layers and cooling the upper layers."

 
At 10/05/2011 7:41 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: We are not concerned with debt held by the public, but with total public debt

Yes, and using your own figures, on-budget was near balance in 2000, as we stated above. That means that the U.S. was paying its day-to-day expenses without significant borrowing, and the Social Security surplus was then used to retire America's debt. As we said.

Ron H: Isn't it just as likely that climate change could have many beneficial results? Why must it all be negative?

Ron H: "It won't be all negative. Some areas will have improved agriculture, and the Arctic Ocean will become more passable for trade. People will still get rich. However, overall the effects will be detrimental. There have been five mass extinctions over the last half billion years. We may be experiencing the sixth.

Ron H :We asked for reasons and you haven't provided any.

You asked why it would all be negative. As it won't all be negative, we provided some examples. Now, your question seems to be why there will be detrimental effects. If that is your question, we can start with the simple fact that agricultural practices require some stability so that farmers have the crops and techniques suitable to their environment. When the climate changes, it disrupts agriculture. It also increases the process of desertification and coastal flooding, reducing arable lands. Warming encourages he spread of pathogens and pests that can attack crops (and farmers, too).

When farmers can no longer subsist, they are often forced to migrate. This can put strains on urban environments. And migration across international borders causes political strife. Just look at the U.S. and immigration, then multiply the problem many times in countries with much weaker political institutions.

Ecosystems become strained, and extinction occurs. Though extinction is a natural process, the current rate of extinction will result in a mass extinction event not seen since the demise of the dinosaurs. Good times!

Ron H: The ability to mitigate any natural condition, whether a current destructive event or a future change in climate that affects a particular population adversely, is to encourage and allow people everywhere to become wealthy enough to deal with such problems, as those in most wealthy nations can today. The answer isn't to deny poor people the ability to generate electricity, before they even start to do so.

Agreed. Indeed, development is essential to solving the climate problem. However, as China is learning, the rush to industrialization is leaving vast environmental damage in its wake, and is robbing future generations of their right to a healthy world.

Ron H: You haven't acknowledged that government, in fact, hasn't shrunk in real terms, at any time in recent history. there is no reason for government to maintain any proportion to population or GDP.

Of course it hasn't. It has to increase with the population, of course. Programs such as Social Security and Medicare must inevitably grow if people want to maintain the same level of individual benefits.

Ron H: National energy policy for 300 million doesn't cost more than energy policy for 200 million.

National energy policy is growing because of changes in the world energy economy.

 
At 10/05/2011 7:54 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: You haven't responded to our request that you support your claim that industrialization had undermined many private charities and mutual associations.

We did support it. Industrialization led to the classic boom-and-bust cycle (due to overproduction), along with increased urbanization of society. When the big bust of the Great Depression occurred, large numbers of private organizations were overwhelmed by the collapse, including banks, businesses, and mutual aid societies. People migrated over long distances, using rail and car, in the search for work, breaking up not just aid societies, but families. Not sure why you are having troubles with this.

 
At 10/05/2011 8:10 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H,

Do you think that some bureaucrat should be able to tell you when to stop (red light) and when to go (green light)?

 
At 10/05/2011 3:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Handwaving. Mann's results have been replicated in many different studies. To reply, you might consider pointing to published research showing otherwise. "

MvIntire and McKitrick 2003
McIntyre and McKitrick 2005
The Wegman Report

Wegman Report: "Findings
In general, we found MBH98 and MBH99 to be somewhat obscure and incomplete [meaning: this is sloppy work] and the criticisms of MM03/05a/05b to be valid and compelling.[those guys have it right] We also comment that they were attempting to draw attention to the discrepancies [errors] in MBH98 and MBH99 , and not to do paleoclimatic temperature reconstruction. Normally, one would try to select a calibration dataset that is representative of the entire dataset. The 1902-1995 data is not fully appropriate for calibration and leads to a misuse in principal component analysis. [questionable data] However, the reasons for setting 1902-1995 as the calibration point presented in the narrative of MBH98 sounds reasonable, and the error may be easily overlooked by someone not trained in statistical methodology [they are inept, not evil. We note that there is no evidence that Dr. Mann or any of the other authors in paleoclimatology studies have had significant interactions with mainstream statisticians.[they could benefit from consulting someone who understood statistics]"

There is no shortage of additional information, but we fear triggering a spam fillter, and it isn't our job to educate you. You can obviously find information on your own.

Note that it isn't necessary to provide an alternate explanation, only to point out problems with the original work, in this case the data and the methothodology, and that therefore, the conclusions are erroneous. Everything else was fine. There are no grammatical or spelling errors in MBH98.

For an excellent overview and chronology of this entire subject. we would recommend "The Hockey Stick Illusion" by A. W. Montford, which you can find at Amazon.com.

 
At 10/05/2011 4:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z

The Hockey Team, with their collective bowels all in an uproar, had this to say about the work of M & M.

 
At 10/05/2011 6:23 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "You asked why it would all be negative. As it won't all be negative, we provided some examples."

we asked for reasons. You gave us examples. You must enjoy obfuscating through wordplay.

"Now, your question seems to be why there will be detrimental effects.

Our question is, and has been why you believe that climate change is a bad thing, rather than something that just happens, and to which people, especially the farmers you mention, adapt.

If your concern is for warmer temperatures, you must explain why you think future warming is the most likely possibility, when there's no reason to believe that, and realistically, based on past history, we are overdue for another glacial period.

In addition you must explain why warming, on balance, is a bad thing, rather than an ovrall good thing.

You are making assumptions not supported by fact.

"If that is your question, we can start with the simple fact that agricultural practices require some stability so that farmers have the crops and techniques suitable to their environment. When the climate changes, it disrupts agriculture. It also increases the process of desertification and coastal flooding, reducing arable lands. Warming encourages he spread of pathogens and pests that can attack crops (and farmers, too).

That's the dogma, sure enough. It's really weak. Lots of baseless assumptions.

For instance, if you actually bothered to check for yourself, you would find that prevalence of pathogens is more closely correlated with poverty than temperature.

Even the IPCC estimate is for sea level rise of 18-59 cm by the year 2100. Can you really believe that people would be unable to deal with this amount of rise occuring over almost 100 years? How did people deal with the "coastal flooding" of 4.4-8.8 inches that occurred in the last 100 years?

You would also find, if you chose to, that most of the desertification that has occurred recently is caused by people, all right, but because they overuse their scarce resources due to their extreme poverty, not their contributions to atmospheric CO2 levels.

Adaptation to climate requires elimination of poverty, not limits on CO2.

 
At 10/05/2011 6:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z

By the way, to believe in the fairy tale that is Mann's Hockey stick, one must believe that global temperatures varied little in the past millennium until the 20th century, and that there was no Medieval Warm Period, and no Little Ice Age, periods for which there is overwhelming evidence.

 
At 10/05/2011 6:38 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Yes, and using your own figures, on-budget was near balance in 2000, as we stated above. That means that the U.S. was paying its day-to-day expenses without significant borrowing, and the Social Security surplus was then used to retire America's debt. As we said. "

And as yet unexplained, is how, despite the budget miracles, the total federal debt increased each year during the Clinton administration.

 
At 10/06/2011 7:11 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: MvIntire and McKitrick 2003
McIntyre and McKitrick 2005
The Wegman Report


The National Research Council examined the question, though there were errors in Mann's original study, there were also errors in McINtire and McKitrick. The conclusion was that "It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries."

"The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence"

http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11676&page=R1

 
At 10/06/2011 7:21 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: Our question is, and has been why you believe that climate change is a bad thing, rather than something that just happens, and to which people, especially the farmers you mention, adapt.

Adapting takes time, especially in less developed countries. Crops don't adapt very quickly, short of genetic engineering, which is still in its infancy, and has its own problems. Increasing desertification is already a problem, and along with coastal flooding, will reduce arable land and force people to migrate.

Ron H: You would also find, if you chose to, that most of the desertification that has occurred recently is caused by people, all right, but because they overuse their scarce resources due to their extreme poverty, not their contributions to atmospheric CO2 levels.

Yes, poor human agricultural practices, overdrawing water resources, and regional overpopulation is also a factor in desertification, not to mention the high rate of extinction.

Ron H: Adaptation to climate requires elimination of poverty, not limits on CO2.

Yes, sustainable development is an important factor. Humans will adapt even if they trash the planet, but finding a solution to climate change will lead to a better future, and earlier solutions will be cheaper, leave less damage, and help reduce human misery due to climate change.

Ron H: By the way, to believe in the fairy tale that is Mann's Hockey stick, one must believe that global temperatures varied little in the past millennium until the 20th century, and that there was no Medieval Warm Period, and no Little Ice Age, periods for which there is overwhelming evidence.

You do realize that the vast majority of paleoclimatologists, the ones who provided you your knowledge about past climate periods, think that humans are altering the climate change.

 
At 10/06/2011 7:31 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: And as yet unexplained, is how, despite the budget miracles, the total federal debt increased each year during the Clinton administration.

These are the numbers:

On-budget: $18 billion deficit.
Unified budget: $236 billion surplus.

On-budget was nearly in balance (within 1%) meaning that the U.S. was paying its day-to-day bills, while the Social Security surpluses were being used to pay down the public debt.

Unified budget encompasses on-budget and off-budget revenues and expenditures. It says the same thing. The U.S. was bringing in more money than it was spending. The surplus was used to reduce the public debt.

These structural surpluses meant the U.S. would have been on track to retire its public debt over a period of years. This would have left the U.S. in a much stronger financial position today, while cooling the bubble that was forming in the markets.

 
At 10/06/2011 7:41 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Warming troposphere, cooling stratosphere.
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/globalwarming/ar4-fig-3-17.gif

 
At 10/06/2011 10:49 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

These are the numbers:

FY2000

 
At 10/07/2011 12:53 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "The conclusion was that "It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries."

LOL! That was never contested. One would expect that temperatures in the 20th century might be higher than they were in the middle of the Little Ice Age.

We are also familiar with the NAS report, but don't find a conclusion of "maybe" to be very convincing.

"The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence"

So, despite using questionable data, and statistical methods that will produce a hockey stick shape even when used on a set of random data, Mann magically got the right answer? Is that the answer you want to stick with?

Did any of that subsequent "evidence" include spaghetti graphs that used "Mann's Nature Trick" to "Hide The Decline"?

 
At 10/07/2011 1:32 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: LOL! That was never contested.

This was your claim:

Ron H: The "Hockey Stick", still held up at RC as serious science, has been repeatedly trashed by serious statisticians, and the data used shown to be useless.

In fact, the integrity and results have been vindicated, repeatedly. Read it again:

"The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence."

 
At 10/07/2011 6:46 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Adapting takes time, especially in less developed countries. Crops don't adapt very quickly, short of genetic engineering, which is still in its infancy, and has its own problems. Increasing desertification is already a problem, and along with coastal flooding, will reduce arable land and force people to migrate. "

What problems do you see with GM crops, that are so serious, that you would deny starving people their use?

The primary "problem" we are aware of, is fear of cross pollination by those who think their "organic" crops will become contaminated, thus eliminating their value. This isn't a concern often voiced by people who don't have enough to eat.

The dogma regarding desertification and coastal flooding have been dealt with previously. Repeating it won't give it any additional weight.

 
At 10/07/2011 8:05 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Must every comment or question entail a straw man?

Ron H: What problems do you see with GM crops, that are so serious, that you would deny starving people their use?

There are hundreds of millions of people who live on their own land who can eke out a living. What you are proposing is that they be forced to rely on expensive monoculture seeds. It's sort of the climate change equivalent of "Let them eat cake." It makes them dependent on multinational corporations, which have not always considered the needs of people in developing nations.

Ron H: The dogma regarding desertification and coastal flooding have been dealt with previously.

No, you didn't "deal with it." You noted that there are other factors in desertification, which is correct, but the process will be increased with climate change. Coastal flooding is an inevitable result of global warming.

 
At 10/07/2011 11:50 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "You do realize that the vast majority of paleoclimatologists, the ones who provided you your knowledge about past climate periods, think that humans are altering the climate change."

Yes, and no one seriously doubts that. The question is, is it significant, and is CO2 the primary driver of climate? The answer is almost certainly no to both. If that's the case, there is no reason to consider taking draconian measures to limit or reduce anthropogenic CO2

 
At 10/08/2011 12:38 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "These are the numbers:"

No. Actually, these are the numbers, as shown in the chart. The total federal debt increased each fiscal year. You can find it for yourself here. Select any time period you like.

"Warming troposphere, cooling stratosphere.
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/globalwarming/ar4-fig-3-17.gif
"

You are repeating yourself.

"This was your claim:

"Ron H: The "Hockey Stick", still held up at RC as serious science, has been repeatedly trashed by serious statisticians, and the data used shown to be useless.

In fact, the integrity and results have been vindicated, repeatedly. Read it again:
"

Perhaps "useless" was too strong a word, but other than that, our comment is accurate.

Essentially the same data, tortured into the desired shape, using essentially the same methods used in MBH98 by other members of the Hockey Team, and peer reviewed by members of the same team, hardly constitutes an "array of evidence".

You might want to read some of the criticisms of the various data sets used, including mud cores and tree ring histories, including incomplete series, insufficient numbers of series used befort 1400 AD and after 1900 AD.

You should be aware that where the thermometer record is pasted on in the period covering the 20th century, the dendro series used indicate that temperatures dropped from 1960 to present. We don't think any one believes that, so if that part of the record cant be trusted, how can we trust time operiods when there is no other corroberation possible?

"The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence."

Repeatedly quoting from the NAS report won't halp support your claims. You need to find fresh material.

 
At 10/08/2011 1:23 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Must every comment or question entail a straw man?

Ron H: What problems do you see with GM crops, that are so serious, that you would deny starving people their use?
"

You are correct. You didn't suggest letting people starve.

"There are hundreds of millions of people who live on their own land who can eke out a living. What you are proposing is that they be forced to rely on expensive monoculture seeds. It's sort of the climate change equivalent of "Let them eat cake." It makes them dependent on multinational corporations, which have not always considered the needs of people in developing nations."

We aren't suggesting anyone be forced to do anything. That's something you approve of, not us, remember? More choices would be nice, though.

GM crops can provide more per acre, under adverse conditions, using less water and less fertilizer and pesticides. That's why they have been developed. This is an improvement over existing crops, and we aren't sure why you think being dependent on multinational corporations, whatever that means in this context, and having more to eat and more to sell, is a worse condition than eking out a living.

Developing regions must be allowed to do just that, develop. People in poor regions need the ability to develop their own resources, and that requires lots of energy, in the form of electricity, produced any way necessary, be it coal, gas, hydro, or nuclear.

There is also no reason to believe, as you suggest, that people grow all there own food. With increased wealth, food can be imported, as is common in wealthier contries.

"Ron H: The dogma regarding desertification and coastal flooding have been dealt with previously.

No, you didn't "deal with it." You noted that there are other factors in desertification, which is correct, but the process will be increased with climate change. Coastal flooding is an inevitable result of global warming.
"

Again, you are correct. We didn't deal with it, as there's nothing to deal with. You have only your faith that deserticication will increase with climate change, or that coastal flooding is inevitable. There's no arguing with faith.

"Yes, poor human agricultural practices, overdrawing water resources, and regional overpopulation is also a factor in desertification..."

Overpopulation isn't the problem, poverty is. Most of the underdeveloped and poor areas of the world are some of the least populated. Some of the most densely populated, are the wealthiest. Think Hong Kong, Singapore, Manhatten, Tokyo, etc. There are no 3rd world hell-holes anywhere with the population density of those four. Come to think of it, none of them grow their own food, either.

"...not to mention the high rate of extinction."

More nonsense. To determine a high rate of extinction requires that we know what a normal rate of extinction is.

 
At 10/08/2011 8:21 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Zachriel: These are the numbers: On-budget: $18 billion deficit. Unified budget: $236 billion surplus. On-budget was nearly in balance (within 1%) meaning that the U.S. was paying its day-to-day bills, while the Social Security surpluses were being used to pay down the public debt.

Ron H: No. Actually, these are the numbers, as shown in the chart. The total federal debt increased each fiscal year. "FY2000 09/29/2000 $17.91 billion"

Um, $17.91 billion ~= $18 billion. In any case, when economists say the U.S. was in surplus, they are referring to the unified budget. Public debt decreased $236 billion during the period, while total was in near balance. If we include securities provided to Social Security in the total debt, then the budget was in near balance. The U.S. used the Social Security surplus to pay down its public debt and gave Social Security special-issued securities. This reduced public debt, still leaving the on-budget nearly balanced. The important point is that the public debt decreased, which was a very good thing, and if it had continued, it would have left the U.S. in a much strong fiscal position.
http://www.cbo.gov/budget/data/historical.pdf

Not sure why you are having troubles with the distinction.

 
At 10/08/2011 8:33 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: Yes, and no one seriously doubts that. The question is, is it significant, and is CO2 the primary driver of climate?

Some people do express doubt about warming. In any case, the more important scientific question was whether human emissions were the primary driver of the current warming trend, and if so, what is the long term results of the emissions.

Ron H: The answer is almost certainly no to both.

The vast majority of climatologists, including paleoclimatologists, disagree based on their understanding of the science. The skeptics rarely publish papers that do more than nip at the edges of the question, and no one has proposed any alternative theory that explains the data as well as human-forcings.

Ron H: Perhaps "useless" was too strong a word, but other than that, our comment is accurate.


The "conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence."

Ron H: Essentially the same data, tortured into the desired shape, using essentially the same methods used in MBH98 by other members of the Hockey Team, and peer reviewed by members of the same team, hardly constitutes an "array of evidence".

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences, along with many other Academies, have reviewed the data and found the conclusions warranted. Nor is this the only evidence supporting the theory of anthropogenic climate change.

Ron H: Repeatedly quoting from the NAS report won't halp support your claims. You need to find fresh material.

They are authoritative. It is up to you to provide some solid evidence showing that their conclusions are unwarranted.

Ron H: We aren't suggesting anyone be forced to do anything.

If human-caused climate change destroys a community's way of life, and you do nothing, then yes, you are forcing them.

Ron H: You have only your faith that deserticication will increase with climate change, or that coastal flooding is inevitable.

It's the conclusion of the scientific community based on the panoply of evidence, so it is hardly based on "faith."

Ron H: To determine a high rate of extinction requires that we know what a normal rate of extinction is.

Yes. Do you think that biologists haven't considered that?

 
At 10/08/2011 11:48 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Zachriel: Warming troposphere, cooling stratosphere.
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/globalwarming/ar4-fig-3-17.gif


Ron H: You are repeating yourself.

And you are ignoring the point. A warming troposphere and a cooling stratosphere are a signature of greenhouse warming.

 

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