How to argue with a global warming "skeptic"


This is worth sharing again.


Marasan I agree! The part to me that was so stunning - yet totally consistent with what we’ve seen from the likes of Spencer, Christy, Michaels, Lindzen, Curry - was that the resident skeptics at CATO outright admitted that they’d been misleading him when confronted about inconsistencies.

Mick that comment was directed to Shidoa, not you. My response to you was above that. You probably already know, the AR5 WG1 report does in fact quantify recent warming (post-1950) into anthropogenic (both warming and cooling factors) and natural factors… the overwhelming amount of warming is due to human factors, with other factors mostly cooling. However there are margins of error on these quantifications, so the ultimate conclusion is that it is “extremely likely (>99% certain) that human emissions have been the dominant (>50%) cause of warming since the mid-twentieth century.”


Ok, but I don’t understand what Michaels was wrong about exactly here…but help me out if he was wrong , but just a few months ago . CNN/Fox all same content.


:point_up_2:, calm and rational explanation versus chicken little’s the sky is falling.
Again, yes, we had warming temperatures, but an extra 0.9 degree’s worth? :fire:


Shiadoa I will post more later when I’m behind a keyboard, but just a couple quick things:

“one in the later part of the 20th Century that either slows down or ends depending upon whose data you use somewhere in the late 1990s”

Latest findings have been that there was no pause or statistically significant slowdown:

“So that means that probably about half, maybe half of that nine-tenths of the degree might be caused by greenhouse gases”

2/3 of the current warming has been since 1975:

What he says about climate models is gump. First of all observed temperatures have always been within the margins of error of model forecasting and right now are running pretty much down the center of the barrel.

Further, models aren’t done by “governments” but by agency scientists and other federally-funded scientists. Since studies have shown publicly-funded research to be much less biased than privately-funded, I’d say that is not a negative… but he makes it sound insidious - which is rich, considering he has admitted to being 40% funded by fossil fuel industries! Talk about issues of bias!


My focus was more on how there are sufficient reasons for any nation to move forward with measures that would limit the impact we have on the environment, even if you don’t fully accept human causes for global warming. Together with very the obvious economic benefits to be had, it is really, really, really foolish not to do so. So foolish, in fact, that you have to doubt the motives of any leader not supporting such measures.


No you are totally right. To me it was just satisfying to have someone on the inside admit what many of us have known for a long time - that the obfuscation is intentional and not out of error.


The downside of that argument is that the motives of those who do support various measures are not entirely clear either. It’s hard to tell whether (a) they want to do something useful but are hopelessly incompetent or (b) they see a big opportunity for a pork barrel extraordinaire. It seems to be a combination of both, depending on which country you’re looking at.


I don’t disagree. But I think there is a far greater danger/downside of doing nothing because of fear of (a) and (b) above. Pork barrel is everywhere and should be tackled as the pervasive problem that it is. Nothing too special about environmental projects in this regard.


True enough, but it seems to me the only people who are really doing anything useful are corporations who see it as a genuine opportunity here to make honest profit. Governments are just sucking out money from the system and preventing it from being invested in profitable projects which (coincidentally) tend to have a positive impact on pollution and/or CO2.

Just to put this in context: a crude napkin calculation suggests a billion mature trees - half a tree for every family on earth - would entirely offset anthropogenic CO2 emissions, and would also deliver serious profits to whoever tends to them. So why aren’t third-world governments encouraging people to plant stuff?

Of course you’re right that it is what it is; governments have wasted money since forever. I’m just having a bit of a whinge and a moan.


Let me just make a couple of comments without really thinking to refine the point I’m trying to make. As an American, I worry that we’re being left behind. I see other nations and how their governments are helping their corporations with all sorts of new environmental technologies. As a resident of Taiwan who would like to see the nation do well, I worry whether, for example, the recent reduction in feed-in tariffs will ruin the prospect of Taiwan becoming a wind farm center. Of course private industry is better than government, but aren’t there plenty of examples of how government involvement was indispensable to get things off the ground and thriving? (I’m too lazy to google this with lunch approaching.)


Ugh don’t get me started on Taiwan. If a country supposedly acknowledges climate change, but then iniates shut downs on all its nuclear power plants and replaces them with frickin coal plants, WTH is the difference? Or trees… has there been any attempt whatsoever to limit tree-cutting? In Linkou there used to be tons of native forest. But they’d rather have a huge paved over public space with nothing on it (not even benches or any kind of shade) than just leave the trees there.


Well… that’s a typical example of the left hand of the government not knowing what the right hand is doing.

Fossil fuels are cheap mostly because they’re subsidized. Apart from the obvious fact that externalities (pollution and its consequences) are magicked away by government intervention, Taiwan explicitly subsidizes electric power generation to a ridiculously low price.

In short, there would be no need for this kind of “support” if the dice weren’t loaded in the first place.

I’m not even sure if there’s a place for government subsidy of promising technologies. It caused a lot of misguided exuberance in both the US and Taiwan, resulting in some high-profile failures. Now of course capitalism unbridled results in a lot of failures too, but at least the people doing the failing are spending their own money.


Is this true? It’s the first I’ve heard of it.

If this subsidy was dropped it most certainly would result in many people eating crow and jumping on the wind/solar team. It might even drive some IQ energy toward innovation.




I don’t know who the ‘we’ you are referring to is, but the predictions of climate scientists have been accurate to those who are honest with themselves and others and can understand the data correctly.

The predications of climate scientists have been accurate and the trends confirm their theories. If you think otherwise, it is for political/power reasons and you want to identify with certain power groups, or you are simply misinformed.

Some people choose to see what they want, some people look at the evidence and data and base conclusions on factual evidence. Climate skeptics do not. They are delusional, and willfully so.


Data, empirical evidence, and demonstrable scientfic theories that can proven and confirmed with data and statistics are not political.

Ignoring scientific truths because of political biases and pretending nothing is happening is what is stupid. Ignoring trends that are demonstrable with facts, data, and evidence is stupid. Politicizing scientific truth for the sake of debating for the sport of it is stupid.

The data confirms the veracity of the claims of climate scientists that man made climate change is occuring, and to deny it at this point is either a political power play or plain ignorance.


The government sets power prices, and has done for decades. Since this basically amounts to decreeing that 1+1 must equal 3, Communist-style, there are only two possible outcomes: the power company goes bankrupt, or the government makes up the shortfall. Since Taipower basically is the government, the latter course of action is pretty straightforward.

Most other countries have equally ingenious ways of subsidizing fossil fuels, or the electricity produced from them. The amusing part is this: about 10 years ago, economists and other self-proclaimed experts were insisting that solar would have to reach an installation cost of $1/watt to be competitive with (subsidized) fossil fuels. I guess they were confident that would never happen: at the time, it was about $2.50/watt. The current price is around $0.8/watt. The economists have gone fairly quiet on this issue.


In fact the recent warming trends indicate that climate models may have under estimated the speed of climate change.
That’s only one year, but then again the last four years were historically the hottest on record !