The Truth About the Truth About Greenhouse Gases


I’ve been asked to comment on William Happer’s “The Truth about Greenhouse Gases“, and finding no competent discussion of it anywhere on the first three pages of hits have agreed to take it on.

To give you an idea of the tenor of the document, it starts off modestly, like this:

“The object of the Author in the following pages has been to collect the

most remarkable instances of those moral epidemics which have been

excited, sometimes by one cause and sometimes by another, and to

show how easily the masses have been led astray, and how imitative and

gregarious men are, even in their infatuations and crimes,” wrote Charles

Mackay in the preface to the first edition of his Extraordinary Popular

Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. [more]

More on George Will

Much, much, much more… All tolled, (and not yet all told) this is the first major league blogstorm emerging from the non-denialist climo-blogosphere and is thus a historical event regardless of your position on it.

If there’s one thing you should understand about this event it is this one: Jonathan Schwarz tells an old Noam Chomsky story about George Will in an article entitled “So Much Nicer To Be George Will Before The Internet”. [more]

Opinions Expressed by My Employer

My opinions aren’t necessarily those of my employer, and the opinions of my employer aren’t necessarily mine, either.

My employer, the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas, has invited Fred Singer to give a talk this Thursday to a public lecture series that has required student attendance. The lecture is entitled “Nature — Not Human Activity — Rules the Climate“. [more]

We Need a New form of Outreach

American Thinker has a particularly compelling and polished version of the usual vile garbage, put together in what starts to look like a coherent argument. Of course it is built on the usual foundation of overvalued nitpicking:

“We can’t even believe in “official” measurements, as data sets relied upon to track global temperatures have again been shown to be contaminated and otherwise compromised.”


“Remember the sea ice that doomsters warned would soon be gone? [more]

Not about religion

Back when Irene’s Mom used to live in Mississippi and we were in Wisconsin, we’d find ourselves driving through the deep south on occasion. A couple of times I heard some pretty extravagantly strange preachers on the radio. One I’ll always remember said something like

“We have nothing against freedom of religion. [more]

The third most important, version 87

I saw the following in comments on Steinn Sigurðsson’s blog in his article on the new sunspot minimum:

Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third most important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate well with global warming or cooling either; in fact, CO2 in the atmosphere trails warming which is clear natural evidence for its well-studied inverse solubility in water: CO2 dissolves in cold water and bubbles out of warm water. [more]

Theory of Everything

You might have thought our problems originated at least to some extent in the fact that the USA had been run by a tribe of drunken lemurs for eight years, but you would be wrong. No, the cause of our problems, all of them, the wars, the economic collapse, the budgetary problems, the international hostility, the decline of civility, the prosecution of innocent people for political purposes, disease, depression, beach erosion, mercury pollution, the lack of due recognition of the Longhorns as the #1 college football team this year, in fact everything that troubles us, all of it, is entirely due to the IPCC and their vile coterie of nefarious co-conspirators:

The establishment of the Church of Global Warming immediately attracted as acolytes those leftists orphaned by the collapse of the old Soviet Union, those who saw, and continue to see, free-market capitalism and individual liberty as grave threats. [more]

Meanwhile back at the ranch

The disastrous trend that got me started blogging is not abating. According to Craig Miller’s Climate Watch blog at KQED

Across much of the country (California being a notable exception), recent public polling would seem to indicate an eroding public acceptance of climate science, increasingly divided along party lines. A survey by the Pew Research Center last spring found that 71% of those surveyed accepted the basic premise of climate change but less than half believed it was related to human activity (“Republicans are increasingly skeptical,” noted Pew). [more]

The end of Darwinism is nigh

The Darwinist hegemony over our culture has definitely peaked, according to a recent claim. Unfortunately, similar claims have been ongoing for well over a century. This does not bode well for the not-the-IPCC denial crowd going away anytime soon.

I guess we were getting that picture already, but it’s grimly interesting to see how long these sorts of things can persist. [more]

Snippets from the Pseudo-Debate

In looking through all 203 responses to Tierney’s anti-Holdren screed to date I came up with some interesting nuggets. Alas, the idea that “global warming” is some sort of conspiracy is not going away. Witness, then,  a grab bag of comments from John Tierney’s recent anti-Holdren screed in the NYTimes blogs that I think are sadly representative:

#73, Steven Walser:

none of us KNOWS what the correct response is, should be publicized far more widely. [more]

No theory has weaknesses

With friends like this…

Fisher said, “We actually have more evidence for evolution occurring than we do for the law of gravity. … Something doesn’t become a theory if it’s got weaknesses. There may be some questions that may yet to be answered, but nothing that’s to the level of a weakness.”

Uh, right…

Meanwhile the opposition argues thus:

“I’d argue it doesn’t make sense scientifically to take it out,” Don McLeroy, R-Bryan, the state board chairman, said of removing the “strengths and weaknesses” language. [more]

De Nile

Everybody’s favorite river seems to flow in every corner of the world.

For instance, consider how quickly Floridians stop worrying about hurricanes.

Meanwhile, Dot Earth reports that US science agencies shy away from the question of how to deal with the fractured communications between science and the public. I have to say that when I first heard about this issue I had some doubts about Glantz’s association with NCAR but he makes a very cogent case. [more]

Ludicrous Article on Slate

Andy Revkin is taking bait set by Ron Rosenbaum in a ludicrous article on Slate.

Here is my response.

Well, I’ve been advocating you cover dissent too, but from a sociological perspective. You should report on Naomi Oreskes’ work uncovering the roots of the pseudoscientific footdragging that bypasses the scientific community entirely and goes directly to the press. [more]

Mashey on Oreskes (Guest posting)

John Mashey sends along the following. (Note that I am not the farmboy in question. I never roped a steer ’cause I don’t know how, and I sure ain’t fixin’ to start in now…) –mt

Synopsis of Naomi Oreskes:
You CAN argue with the Facts
Full Talk, April 17,2008 – Stanford U

( 40 minutes )

Naomi is an award-winning geoscientist/science historian, a Professor at
UCSD and as of July, promoted to Provost of of the Sixth College there. [more]

Science, Impartial Honesty, Advocacy, Stridency, Idiocy, Dissembling, Lying Through Your Teeth

Once in a while, I suppose, even lies are necessary. If a person in your surroundings is insane and behaving dangerously it may occasionally make sense to play into their delusion. In my opinion, such cases are extremely rare, although it appears to me that lying to young children about Santa Claus is somehow considered charming. [more]

John Holdren On the Climate “Skeptics”

John P. Holdren, professor at the Kennedy School of Government and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard and the director of the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts, summarizes effectively in an op-ed that appears in the International Herald Tribune.

First, they have not come up with any plausible alternative culprit for the disruption of global climate that is being observed, for example, a culprit other than the greenhouse-gas buildups in the atmosphere that have been measured and tied beyond doubt to human activities. [more]

Skepticism regarding “thermodynamics”

It’s time the conspiracy of engineers promoting their “thermodynamics” stopped getting a free ride.

It happens I believe in Phlogiston Theory. But so did all the Nobel winners, not just in physics and chemistry but also economics and peace. Without exception. Also Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi not to mention Babe Ruth and Bobby Orr and Joe Namath…

I understand that the contrary “thermodynamic” theory is motivated by economic self-interest on the part of engineers who want to keep getting money for designing their so-called combustion chambers and engines and such, but their pretense that the science is settled is very far from true. [more]