The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:07 PM GMT on November 25, 2009

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In 1954, the tobacco industry realized it had a serious problem. Thirteen scientific studies had been published over the preceding five years linking smoking to lung cancer. With the public growing increasingly alarmed about the health effects of smoking, the tobacco industry had to move quickly to protect profits and stem the tide of increasingly worrisome scientific news. Big Tobacco turned to one the world's five largest public relations firms, Hill and Knowlton, to help out. Hill and Knowlton designed a brilliant Public Relations (PR) campaign to convince the public that smoking is not dangerous. They encouraged the tobacco industry to set up their own research organization, the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR), which would produce science favorable to the industry, emphasize doubt in all the science linking smoking to lung cancer, and question all independent research unfavorable to the tobacco industry. The CTR did a masterful job at this for decades, significantly delaying and reducing regulation of tobacco products. George Washington University epidemiologist David Michaels, who is President Obama's nominee to head the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), wrote a meticulously researched 2008 book called, Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health. In the book, he wrote: "the industry understood that the public is in no position to distinguish good science from bad. Create doubt, uncertainty, and confusion. Throw mud at the anti-smoking research under the assumption that some of it is bound to stick. And buy time, lots of it, in the bargain". The title of Michaels' book comes from a 1969 memo from a tobacco company executive: "Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy". Hill and Knowlton, on behalf of the tobacco industry, had founded the "Manufactured Doubt" industry.

The Manufactured Doubt industry grows up
As the success of Hill and Knowlton's brilliant Manufactured Doubt campaign became apparent, other industries manufacturing dangerous products hired the firm to design similar PR campaigns. In 1967, Hill and Knowlton helped asbestos industry giant Johns-Manville set up the Asbestos Information Association (AIA). The official-sounding AIA produced "sound science" that questioned the link between asbestos and lung diseases (asbestos currently kills 90,000 people per year, according to the World Health Organization). Manufacturers of lead, vinyl chloride, beryllium, and dioxin products also hired Hill and Knowlton to devise product defense strategies to combat the numerous scientific studies showing that their products were harmful to human health.

By the 1980s, the Manufactured Doubt industry gradually began to be dominated by more specialized "product defense" firms and free enterprise "think tanks". Michaels wrote in Doubt is Their Product about the specialized "product defense" firms: "Having cut their teeth manufacturing uncertainty for Big Tobacco, scientists at ChemRisk, the Weinberg Group, Exponent, Inc., and other consulting firms now battle the regulatory agencies on behalf of the manufacturers of benzene, beryllium, chromium, MTBE, perchlorates, phthalates, and virtually every other toxic chemical in the news today....Public health interests are beside the point. This is science for hire, period, and it is extremely lucrative".

Joining the specialized "product defense" firms were the so-called "think tanks". These front groups received funding from manufacturers of dangerous products and produced "sound science" in support of their funders' products, in the name of free enterprise and free markets. Think tanks such as the George C. Marshall Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heartland Institute, and Dr. Fred Singer's SEPP (Science and Environmental Policy Project) have all been active for decades in the Manufactured Doubt business, generating misleading science and false controversy to protect the profits of their clients who manufacture dangerous products.

The ozone hole battle
In 1975, the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) industry realized it had a serious problem. The previous year, Sherry Rowland and Mario Molina, chemists at the University of California, Irvine, had published a scientific paper warning that human-generated CFCs could cause serious harm to Earth's protective ozone layer. They warned that the loss of ozone would significantly increase the amount of skin-damaging ultraviolet UV-B light reaching the surface, greatly increasing skin cancer and cataracts. The loss of stratospheric ozone could also significantly cool the stratosphere, potentially causing destructive climate change. Although no stratospheric ozone loss had been observed yet, CFCs should be banned, they said. The CFC industry hired Hill and Knowlton to fight back. As is essential in any Manufactured Doubt campaign, Hill and Knowlton found a respected scientist to lead the effort--noted British scientist Richard Scorer, a former editor of the International Journal of Air Pollution and author of several books on pollution. In 1975, Scorer went on a month-long PR tour, blasting Molina and Rowland, calling them "doomsayers", and remarking, "The only thing that has been accumulated so far is a number of theories." To complement Scorer's efforts, Hill and Knowlton unleashed their standard package of tricks learned from decades of serving the tobacco industry:

- Launch a public relations campaign disputing the evidence.

- Predict dire economic consequences, and ignore the cost benefits.

- Use non-peer reviewed scientific publications or industry-funded scientists who don't publish original peer-reviewed scientific work to support your point of view.

- Trumpet discredited scientific studies and myths supporting your point of view as scientific fact.

- Point to the substantial scientific uncertainty, and the certainty of economic loss if immediate action is taken.

- Use data from a local area to support your views, and ignore the global evidence.

- Disparage scientists, saying they are playing up uncertain predictions of doom in order to get research funding.

- Disparage environmentalists, claiming they are hyping environmental problems in order to further their ideological goals.

- Complain that it is unfair to require regulatory action in the U.S., as it would put the nation at an economic disadvantage compared to the rest of the world.

- Claim that more research is needed before action should be taken.

- Argue that it is less expensive to live with the effects.

The campaign worked, and CFC regulations were delayed many years, as Hill and Knowlton boasted in internal documents. The PR firm also took credit for keeping public opinion against buying CFC aerosols to a minimum, and helping change the editorial positions of many newspapers.

In the end, Hill and Knowlton's PR campaign casting doubt on the science of ozone depletion by CFCs turned out to have no merit. Molina and Rowland were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1995. The citation from the Nobel committee credited them with helping to deliver the Earth from a potential environmental disaster.

The battle over global warming
In 1988, the fossil fuel industry realized it had a serious problem. The summer of 1988 had shattered century-old records for heat and drought in the U.S., and NASA's Dr. James Hansen, one of the foremost climate scientists in the world, testified before Congress that human-caused global warming was partially to blame. A swelling number of scientific studies were warning of the threat posed by human-cause climate change, and that consumption of fossil fuels needed to slow down. Naturally, the fossil fuel industry fought back. They launched a massive PR campaign that continues to this day, led by the same think tanks that worked to discredit the ozone depletion theory. The George C. Marshall Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heartland Institute, and Dr. Fred Singer's SEPP (Science and Environmental Policy Project) have all been key players in both fights, and there are numerous other think tanks involved. Many of the same experts who had worked hard to discredit the science of the well-established link between cigarette smoke and cancer, the danger the CFCs posed to the ozone layer, and the dangers to health posed by a whole host of toxic chemicals, were now hard at work to discredit the peer-reviewed science supporting human-caused climate change.

As is the case with any Manufactured Doubt campaign, a respected scientist was needed to lead the battle. One such scientist was Dr. Frederick Seitz, a physicist who in the 1960s chaired the organization many feel to be the most prestigious science organization in the world--the National Academy of Sciences. Seitz took a position as a paid consultant for R.J. Reynolds tobacco company beginning in 1978, so was well-versed in the art of Manufactured Doubt. According to the excellent new book, Climate Cover-up, written by desmogblog.com co-founder James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore, over a 10-year period Seitz was responsible for handing out $45 million in tobacco company money to researchers who overwhelmingly failed to link tobacco to anything the least bit negative. Seitz received over $900,000 in compensation for his efforts. He later became a founder of the George C. Marshall Institute, and used his old National Academy of Sciences affiliation to lend credibility to his attacks on global warming science until his death in 2008 at the age of ninety-six. It was Seitz who launched the "Oregon Petition", which contains the signatures of more than 34,000 scientists saying global warming is probably natural and not a crisis. The petition is a regular feature of the Manufactured Doubt campaign against human-caused global warming. The petition lists the "Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine" as its parent organization. According to Climate Cover-up, the Institute is a farm shed situated a couple of miles outside of Cave Junction, OR (population 17,000). The Institute lists seven faculty members, two of whom are dead, and has no ongoing research and no students. It publishes creationist-friendly homeschooler curriculums books on surviving nuclear war. The petition was sent to scientists and was accompanied by a 12-page review printed in exactly the same style used for the prestigious journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A letter from Seitz, who is prominently identified as a former National Academy of Sciences president, accompanied the petition and review. Naturally, many recipients took this to be an official National Academy of Sciences communication, and signed the petition as a result. The National Academy issued a statement in April 2008, clarifying that it had not issued the petition, and that its position on global warming was the opposite. The petition contains no contact information for the signers, making it impossible to verify. In its August 2006 issue, Scientific American presented its attempt to verify the petition. They found that the scientists were almost all people with undergraduate degrees, with no record of research and no expertise in climatology. Scientific American contacted a random sample of 26 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to have a Ph.D. in a climate related science. Eleven said they agreed with the petition, six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember the petition, one had died, and five did not respond.

I could say much more about the Manufactured Doubt campaign being waged against the science of climate change and global warming, but it would fill an entire book. In fact, it has, and I recommend reading Climate Cover-up to learn more. The main author, James Hoggan, owns a Canadian public relations firm, and is intimately familiar with how public relations campaigns work. Suffice to say, the Manufactured Doubt campaign against global warming--funded by the richest corporations in world history--is probably the most extensive and expensive such effort ever. We don't really know how much money the fossil fuel industry has pumped into its Manufactured Doubt campaign, since they don't have to tell us. The website exxonsecrets.org estimates that ExxonMobil alone spent $20 million between 1998 - 2007 on the effort. An analysis done by Desmogblog's Kevin Grandia done in January 2009 found that skeptical global warming content on the web had doubled over the past year. Someone is paying for all that content.

Lobbyists, not skeptical scientists
The history of the Manufactured Doubt industry provides clear lessons in evaluating the validity of their attacks on the published peer-reviewed climate change science. One should trust that the think tanks and allied "skeptic" bloggers such as Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit and Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That will give information designed to protect the profits of the fossil fuel industry. Yes, there are respected scientists with impressive credentials that these think tanks use to voice their views, but these scientists have given up their objectivity and are now working as lobbyists. I don't like to call them skeptics, because all good scientists should be skeptics. Rather, the think tanks scientists are contrarians, bent on discrediting an accepted body of published scientific research for the benefit of the richest and most powerful corporations in history. Virtually none of the "sound science" they are pushing would ever get published in a serious peer-reviewed scientific journal, and indeed the contrarians are not scientific researchers. They are lobbyists. Many of them seem to believe their tactics are justified, since they are fighting a righteous war against eco-freaks determined to trash the economy.

I will give a small amount of credit to some of their work, however. I have at times picked up some useful information from the contrarians, and have used it to temper my blogs to make them more balanced. For example, I no longer rely just on the National Climatic Data Center for my monthly climate summaries, but instead look at data from NASA and the UK HADCRU source as well. When the Hurricane Season of 2005 brought unfounded claims that global warming was to blame for Hurricane Katrina, and a rather flawed paper by researchers at Georgia Tech showing a large increase in global Category 4 and 5 hurricanes, I found myself agreeing with the contrarians' analysis of the matter, and my blogs at the time reflected this.

The contrarians and the hacked CRU emails
A hacker broke into an email server at the Climate Research Unit of the UK's University of East Anglia last week and posted ten years worth of private email exchanges between leading scientists who've published research linking humans to climate change. Naturally, the contrarians have seized upon this golden opportunity, and are working hard to discredit several of these scientists. You'll hear claims by some contrarians that the emails discovered invalidate the whole theory of human-caused global warming. Well, all I can say is, consider the source. We can trust the contrarians to say whatever is in the best interests of the fossil fuel industry. What I see when I read the various stolen emails and explanations posted at Realclimate.org is scientists acting as scientists--pursuing the truth. I can see no clear evidence that calls into question the scientific validity of the research done by the scientists victimized by the stolen emails. There is no sign of a conspiracy to alter data to fit a pre-conceived ideological view. Rather, I see dedicated scientists attempting to make the truth known in face of what is probably the world's most pervasive and best-funded disinformation campaign against science in history. Even if every bit of mud slung at these scientists were true, the body of scientific work supporting the theory of human-caused climate change--which spans hundreds of thousands of scientific papers written by tens of thousands of scientists in dozens of different scientific disciplines--is too vast to be budged by the flaws in the works of the three or four scientists being subject to the fiercest attacks.

Exaggerated claims by environmentalists
Climate change contrarians regularly complain about false and misleading claims made by ideologically-driven environmental groups regarding climate change, and the heavy lobbying these groups do to influence public opinion. Such efforts confuse the real science and make climate change seem more dangerous than it really is, the contrarians argue. To some extent, these concerns are valid. In particular, environmentalists are too quick to blame any perceived increase in hurricane activity on climate change, when such a link has yet to be proven. While Al Gore's movie mostly had good science, I thought he botched the treatment of hurricanes as well, and the movie looked too much like a campaign ad. In general, environmental groups present better science than the think tanks do, but you're still better off getting your climate information directly from the scientists doing the research, via the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. Another good source is Bob Henson's Rough Guide to Climate Change, aimed at people with high-school level science backgrounds.

Let's look at the amount of money being spent on lobbying efforts by the fossil fuel industry compared to environmental groups to see their relative influence. According to Center for Public Integrity, there are currently 2,663 climate change lobbyists working on Capitol Hill. That's five lobbyists for every member of Congress. Climate lobbyists working for major industries outnumber those working for environmental, health, and alternative energy groups by more than seven to one. For the second quarter of 2009, here is a list compiled by the Center for Public Integrity of all the oil, gas, and coal mining groups that spent more than $100,000 on lobbying (this includes all lobbying, not just climate change lobbying):

Chevron $6,485,000
Exxon Mobil $4,657,000
BP America $4,270,000
ConocoPhillips $3,300,000
American Petroleum Institute $2,120,000
Marathon Oil Corporation $2,110,000
Peabody Investments Corp $1,110,000
Bituminous Coal Operators Association $980,000
Shell Oil Company $950,000
Arch Coal, Inc $940,000
Williams Companies $920,000
Flint Hills Resources $820,000
Occidental Petroleum Corporation $794,000
National Mining Association $770,000
American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity $714,000
Devon Energy $695,000
Sunoco $585,000
Independent Petroleum Association of America $434,000
Murphy Oil USA, Inc $430,000
Peabody Energy $420,000
Rio Tinto Services, Inc $394,000
America's Natural Gas Alliance $300,000
Interstate Natural Gas Association of America $290,000
El Paso Corporation $261,000
Spectra Energy $279,000
National Propane Gas Association $242,000
National Petrochemical & Refiners Association $240,000
Nexen, Inc $230,000
Denbury Resources $200,000
Nisource, Inc $180,000
Petroleum Marketers Association of America $170,000
Valero Energy Corporation $160,000
Bituminous Coal Operators Association $131,000
Natural Gas Supply Association $114,000
Tesoro Companies $119,000

Here are the environmental groups that spent more than $100,000:

Environmental Defense Action Fund $937,500
Nature Conservancy $650,000
Natural Resources Defense Council $277,000
Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund $243,000
National Parks and Conservation Association $175,000
Sierra Club $120,000
Defenders of Wildlife $120,000
Environmental Defense Fund $100,000

If you add it all up, the fossil fuel industry outspent the environmental groups by $36.8 million to $2.6 million in the second quarter, a factor of 14 to 1. To be fair, not all of that lobbying is climate change lobbying, but that affects both sets of numbers. The numbers don't even include lobbying money from other industries lobbying against climate change, such as the auto industry, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, etc.

Corporate profits vs. corporate social responsibility
I'm sure I've left the impression that I disapprove of what the Manufactured Doubt industry is doing. On the contrary, I believe that for the most part, the corporations involved have little choice under the law but to protect their profits by pursuing Manufactured Doubt campaigns, as long as they are legal. The law in all 50 U.S. states has a provision similar to Maine's section 716, "The directors and officers of a corporation shall exercise their powers and discharge their duties with a view to the interest of the corporation and of the shareholders". There is no clause at the end that adds, "...but not at the expense of the environment, human rights, the public safety, the communities in which the corporation operates, or the dignity of employees". The law makes a company's board of directors legally liable for "breach of fiduciary responsibility" if they knowingly manage a company in a way that reduces profits. Shareholders can and have sued companies for being overly socially responsible, and not paying enough attention to the bottom line. We can reward corporations that are managed in a socially responsible way with our business and give them incentives to act thusly, but there are limits to how far Corporate Socially Responsibility (CSR) can go. For example, car manufacturer Henry Ford was successfully sued by stockholders in 1919 for raising the minimum wage of his workers to $5 per day. The courts declared that, while Ford's humanitarian sentiments about his employees were nice, his business existed to make profits for its stockholders.

So, what is needed is a fundamental change to the laws regarding the purpose of a corporation, or new regulations forcing corporations to limit Manufactured Doubt campaigns. Legislation has been introduced in Minnesota to create a new section of law for an alternative kind of corporation, the SR (Socially Responsible) corporation, but it would be a long uphill battle to get such legislation passed in all 50 states. Increased regulation limiting Manufactured Doubt campaigns is possible to do for drugs and hazardous chemicals--Doubt is Their Product has some excellent suggestions on that, with the first principle being, "use the best science available; do not demand certainty where it does not and cannot exist". However, I think such legislation would be difficult to implement for environmental crises such as global warming. In the end, we're stuck with the current system, forced to make critical decisions affecting all of humanity in the face of the Frankenstein monster our corporate system of law has created--the most vigorous and well-funded disinformation campaign against science ever conducted.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone, and I'll be back Monday--the last day of hurricane season--with a review of the hurricane season of 2009.

Jeff Masters

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Our state's in very hot water

DEADLY marine stingers such as the box jellyfish, algal blooms and tropical fish could all be regular features of NSW's marine environment as climate change increases sea temperatures.

More than 70 Australian marine biologists have produced the first comprehensive report on how Australia's oceans, seas and coastline are already being altered and what may lie ahead.

"We are now observing changes in our marine climate and impacts on our marine biodiversity," the scientists warned.

Ocean water temperatures in NSW have already increased 0.7C compared to the early 1900s and are predicted to reach an extra 1C by 2010 and 2.5C by 2100.

The report reveals the East Australian Current, which Nemo famously rode in the hit movie Finding Nemo, has become stronger and is pushing 350km further down the east coast than just 60 years ago.

It is now pushing past Tasmania and is expected to strengthen again - by 20 per cent - by the end of the century.

The report reveals little penguins, such as those in Sydney's famous colonies, are changing breeding habits and chicks of other seabirds are growing more slowly as altering currents change fish availability.

Tropical fish - from small, brightly coloured specimens to large pelagic predators - will ride the currents far down the NSW coast, the scientists believe.

Temperate water species would be forced out and would have to find more suitable habitats further south.

Sydney might see its own breeding colonies of tropical species as the warmer water allows them to stay permanently.

While scuba divers might delight in the new residents, other changes could make enjoying the ocean more difficult.

The warming water and stronger currents have produced predictions of venomous stingers crossing the border from Queensland this century. And "extreme rainfall events" - downpours from storms made stronger by a warmer ocean - and the warmer water itself, are tipped to bring more nasty algal blooms like the "red tides' which already blight the state's Mid-North and North Coasts.

"This report highlights the need for urgent action to address climate change," Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett said yesterday. "Report after report tells us the likely impacts on our natural environment, and more and more those forecasts are becoming a reality."

The scientists behind the report - including experts from the University of NSW, Sydney University, Macquarie University, the CSIRO and the Australian Institute of Marine Science - have warned that fisheries, marine and coastal management plans must include the impacts of climate change.

Courtesy www.news.com.au
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15987
I do not doubt that the tobacco industry would do some of the things they are accused of. As far as I am concerned they can ban smoking completely.

But spare me more of the far left propaganda on global warming. As a Christian I believe in protecting what God has created. What I don't believe is doing so in the manner the extreme left wants to take us.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
39 degrees Celsius = 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit
I love google.

I love my Nokia. it has a converter application on it.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15987
39 degrees Celsius = 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit
I love google.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
A few hours ago


39.0C = 102.2F
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15987
892. Skyepony (Mod)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 236 Comments: 39766
886. Great post, not a fan of lucky charms? Good night everybody!!!
Latest National Hurricane Center Tropical Weather Outlook

000
ABNT20 KNHC 280537
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
100 AM EST SAT NOV 28 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$

GOM Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130493
Quoting AussieStorm:
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
AUSSIE, #863 is to give you a laugh.

Yeah. I read that story. very funny. I've been to a piggery and they are smelly
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15987
Quoting barryweather:
881. How about car seat laws for children. However, I should have said seat belt laws that require seatbelts to be installed in all vehicles. Industry fought pretty hard against those from what I've heard. A nickel to anyone that can tie that to Al Gore somehow. tee hee :)


Completely different story.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
887. jipmg
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
how about ice rain


oh you are right, it definately isn't in the freezing mark in the upper layers since the moisture is streaming from mexico
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
886. Skyepony (Mod)
quasigeostropic ~ Your right about what I opened with. Notice though The point is still lost even after a graphic that the Arctic has been on average ~9C above average..the spread isn't an even 1ºC globally. The warming is very much concentrated at the poles, especially the Arctic, which ends up with more pollution.

Your ending was pretty far out there. I live & promote a greener life for my offspring & the animals. Saving a lot of money is a nice bonus.. I'm not stealing anyone's money just not giving it to Monsanto to grow me "food" or spewing pollutants to have it shipped a thousand miles to my mouth. Every upgraded appliance/insulation pays me. Starting to check out solar water heaters. It really cuts down on the living expenses.. One $20 stainless steal waterbottle or buying bottled water. Green is like buying. Bigger investment up front that pays you back. The alternative is rent~ pay less constantly & forever.. Rather give the kids a home with no electric bill & gardens that cuts the grocery list then some place a bunch of renters trashed. We don't need an experimental world to prove oil spills kill animals, coal mines cause black lung, our energy ways are costing us huge in our health or a crystal ball to realize that we put our security & economy at risk to have to depend on other nations for our electricity.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 236 Comments: 39766
Quoting barryweather:
871. Replace alarmist with concerned global citizens and you are there. I don't think that we were saying the same thing though. I think regulation IS what it will take. Well crafted sharp regulations leave little room to evade. some regulations are very important for our safety and work very well. ie OSHA, Seat Belts, Surgeon General Warnings, etc. The rich companies who profit from these electronic carbon words will only change for two reasons.

One: we runout of fossil fuels
Two: government control/regulations(which are going to take time to really change our ways)

We the consumers aren't going to do it as sure as I burn the coal that charges this lap top. Kinda like my kids would much rather eat lucky charms than plain cheerios. So what do I do....that's right, I don't buy the lucky charms. I don't know if cap and trade will work or if it will make me homeless. Not one of us here do either.

I have spoken with plenty here that refuse to even eat the figurative cheerios once a week though. Some of the things I have heard over the last couple of years addressing our carbon footprint was like a call to action though. They seemed to be saying, come on America, we can do this. Follow a few simple practices and our collective CO2 emissions will go down. We can be an example to the rest of the world.

Almost like they were begging in the hopes that government wouldn't feel like it had to step in (that much). In a free market if we the people demand the clean sustainable energy and the hydrogen powered and/or electric cars, then the market organically changes to fit our needs. The public is more likely to take the path of least resistance though, and that path was paved with fossil fuels.


Oh, and surgeon generals warning on tobacco? 20% accuracy.

Regulation = Collusion

Govt = Monopoly

Capitalism doesn't work well with either.

Before Ma Bell broke up, what was it? $3/min east coast to CA?

Before airline deregulation, could you buy a ticket from NY to FL for less than $1K?

Convince individuals.

I wear a seatbelt, btw... sometimes... at my choosing.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
881. How about car seat laws for children. However, I should have said seat belt laws that require seatbelts to be installed in all vehicles. Industry fought pretty hard against those from what I've heard. A nickel to anyone that can tie that to Al Gore somehow. tee hee :)
AUSSIE, #863 is to give you a laugh.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting barryweather:
871. Replace alarmist with concerned global citizens and you are there. I don't think that we were saying the same thing though. I think regulation IS what it will take. Well crafted sharp regulations leave little room to evade. some regulations are very important for our safety and work very well. ie OSHA, Seat Belts, Surgeon General Warnings, etc. The rich companies who profit from these electronic carbon words will only change for two reasons.

One: we runout of fossil fuels
Two: government control/regulations(which are going to take time to really change our ways)

We the consumers aren't going to do it as sure as I burn the coal that charges this lap top. Kinda like my kids would much rather eat lucky charms than plain cheerios. So what do I do....that's right, I don't buy the lucky charms. I don't know if cap and trade will work or if it will make me homeless. Not one of us here do either.

I have spoken with plenty here that refuse to even eat the figurative cheerios once a week though. Some of the things I have heard over the last couple of years addressing our carbon footprint was like a call to action though. They seemed to be saying, come on America, we can do this. Follow a few simple practices and our collective CO2 emissions will go down. We can be an example to the rest of the world.

Almost like they were begging in the hopes that government wouldn't feel like it had to step in (that much). In a free market if we the people demand the clean sustainable energy and the hydrogen powered and/or electric cars, then the market organically changes to fit our needs. The public is more likely to take the path of least resistance though, and that path was paved with fossil fuels.


I despise seatbelt laws. If there is any living proof of government over reaching, that is it.

Don't tell me what to do. I'll wear a seatbelt if I want to. None of your business. You nor the govt is my parent.

Appreciate the thought, but forcing one's views on another is... never mind...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
871. Replace alarmist with concerned global citizens and you are there. I don't think that we were saying the same thing though. I think regulation IS what it will take. Well crafted sharp regulations leave little room to evade. some regulations are very important for our safety and work very well. ie OSHA, Seat Belts, Surgeon General Warnings, etc. The rich companies who profit from these electronic carbon words will only change for two reasons.

One: we runout of fossil fuels
Two: government control/regulations(which are going to take time to really change our ways)

We the consumers aren't going to do it as sure as I burn the coal that charges this lap top. Kinda like my kids would much rather eat lucky charms than plain cheerios. So what do I do....that's right, I don't buy the lucky charms. I don't know if cap and trade will work or if it will make me homeless. Not one of us here do either.

I have spoken with plenty here that refuse to even eat the figurative cheerios once a week though. Some of the things I have heard over the last couple of years addressing our carbon footprint was like a call to action though. They seemed to be saying, come on America, we can do this. Follow a few simple practices and our collective CO2 emissions will go down. We can be an example to the rest of the world.

Almost like they were begging in the hopes that government wouldn't feel like it had to step in (that much). In a free market if we the people demand the clean sustainable energy and the hydrogen powered and/or electric cars, then the market organically changes to fit our needs. The public is more likely to take the path of least resistance though, and that path was paved with fossil fuels.
HUH? You mean the little purple critter on the show for babies that some whacky minister thought was gay? AS IF! I'm sure gay people everywhere thought that was hilarious; I did.

I'm not sure if you're insulting me or not...I'm tired, and...watching Craig Ferguson, now HE's funny.

The "bowl" = New Orleans. Flooding. Symbolism. Geesh.

Oh, this is in response to 872, as if anybody cares. Too silly, I shouldn't even have responded.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Anyone know of a model run that gives less weight to CO2 iso just less CO2?

I would love to see the model spread with CO2 as a 0% factor.

Can't run the models myself, but seems likely that actual temps would be in the middle of the cone. Certainly in the cone at the very least.

The Cone
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The closest Weather Station to my place about 3miles away.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15987
Hello from a stinking hot Sydney. Once again the temps have hit 40F(104F)
The sky is cloudy with a smoke or dust haze, The wind is blowing very hard and is quiet gusty.

Sydney: Heat sounds like a "broken record"

With yet another 30 degree day to hitch under it's belt, Sydney's November is shaping up to be the hottest in 150 years of records, with little to stop this bar a freak blizzard.

The city has now had five days above 30 degrees, something more common in January than November. The average maximum temperature has been about 26, a two degrees above the norm. This may seem small, but over an entire month this is a significant difference!

And it's even more impressive in the west. Penrith has been averaging 32 degrees, a whole five degrees above the normal value. The town has also had the same amount of 40 degree plus days as February and January this year: a real testament to the earliness of this heat.

As well as being hot, there has also been an unusual lack of rainfall, despite some amazing storms. Observatory Hill has only recorded 12 millimetres(0.4inches), which will make it the driest November since 1962.

With only two days left in the month, there is a good chance these potential records will stand. Today will be another hot one, at 35 degrees on the coast, grading to 39 inland*.

- Weatherzone

* my car's outside temp reading was 40.5C(104.9F).
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15987
Quoting jipmg:
Well this is interesting the temperuatre is 45 in new orleans, and is likely to drop into the 30s, and there is a stream of moisture headed there way.. snow?
how about ice rain
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873. jipmg
Well this is interesting the temperuatre is 45 in new orleans, and is likely to drop into the 30s, and there is a stream of moisture headed there way.. snow?
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Quoting barryweather:
Hey Awake, you were right to assume that I meant here on the blog in reference to some of our angry posters. Love the pig story. Feel free to PM me stories like that or post them to my never visited blog. I'll miss em' after the anti-banning freedom we've had for the past two days.

Likewise!!
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
BarryW. -- We're all tuckered out after watching Ice Age - The Meltdown, LOL.
Funny how I couldn't even watch a funny animated comedy without relating some bits to the blog. My husband just wanted me to shut up and watch the movie.
But gosh, when the dialogue mentioned the animal characters were in a "bowl" and had to watch out for the impending flooding, I gasped. The movie came out in '06 and I don't know if it was actually written before or after Katrina...I suppose that info is prob. in a blog or movie review somewhere.

Sorry my "defense" was lame-o and my words got mis-quoted and the meaning was twisted. We who are not extremists are going to have to hang together and shore up our ignore lists.

Have a great night, don't know where you get your energy!

Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Hey Awake, you were right to assume that I meant here on the blog in reference to some of our angry posters. Love the pig story. Feel free to PM me stories like that or post them to my never visited blog. I'll miss em' after the anti-banning freedom we've had for the past two days.
866. xcool






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Hello everybody! Pottery, Interesting use of acacias. Sorry to hear the observational experiment was cut short. Through the observance of invasive organisms escaping into the environment, our government has strong regulations that require testing invasive potential before releasing new plants or any new organism into the environment. Just one instance where government "control" is a very positive thing...(hint, hint to certain bloggers here). I'm glad you've switched sides though, ;) I always love a good debate which is why you see me posting during the Dr.'s AGW blogs.

BTW. I have mentioned tree planting here on several occasions as an important and cost effective way for us to help reduce our collective carbon footprint, I think Gore mentioned this on a special I saw once to.

Awake, thanks for sticking up for me while I was away.

To those who believe that these leaked emails are one hundred percent true and factual: I still haven't seen an interview with the scientists involved where the emails are read to them and they say "oh yea, I wrote that. Those are my words exactly." It's kinda like the bible or any other holy text that you'd like to prescribe to. You just never know how much get lost/added in translation. All you can really do is decide where your faith is rooted. These emails have had plenty of time to be changed and when reporter A reads one email and climate scientist B says "yep, I wrote that" then the interview is printed and ascribed to every bit of the information that was illegally obtained. This fact casts a major shadow over the legitamacy of the arguments you guys are presenting.

Quasi...I made the same point last year during one of these dabates. I think I pissed off a few people then. I was in a pretty sarcastic mood that day. My point was that we need several carbon copies of the Earth. Some would serve as control Earths and others as the experimental Earths. Without replication the experiment would be statistically meaningless. Of course we couldn't legitimately publish our results without copying the Earth many more times so other scientists could repeat the experiment with the same results.

Such an experiment is not possible, so we have computer models and sparse data to rely on. It is pretty extreme to believe that global warming will cause enough damage to destroy humanity as we know it....but it could. It is equally extreme to believe that it is a complete hoax and the economic consequences will destroy humanity as we know it....but it could. Logically we are changing the way the natural systems on our planet work, in many cases to our own detriment, just as some will take advantage of our fears to make a buck.
The most likely outcome is probably somewhere in the middle though.

No scientist will be able to accurately predict it, and I bet if you went up to most of these guys they have no problem admitting where they have been wrong. Case in point, the scientist who admitted that he did write the one or two emails that seemed incriminating. If he was an evil government tool bent on dominating the worlds populace, why didn't he just say, "Nope...It wasn't me. These emails were obviously fabricated."? He didn't do that though did he? Apparently he admitted to a couple of these emails as the truthful kind of guy he must be when faced with such allegedly incriminating evidence. Pretty straight up fellow if you ask me.

I've covered a lot of ground here so please blast away.
864. DVG
Manufactured doubt, as oppossed to manufactured data?
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Pig farts spark Australia gas scare
Thu Nov 26, 3:08 am ET

SYDNEY (AFP) – A flatulent pig sparked a gas emergency in southern Australia when a farmer mistook its odours for a leaking pipe, according to officials.

Fifteen firefighters and two trucks were called to a property at Axedale in central Victoria state after reports of a gas leak, the Country Fire Service said.

"When we got there, as we drove up the driveway, there was this huge sow, about a 120-odd kilo (265-pound) sow, and it was very obvious where the gas was coming from," said fire captain Peter Harkins.

"We could not only smell it, but we heard it and it was quite funny."

Harkins said the pig's owner was "a little bit embarrassed to say the least," and it took fire crews a little while to compose themselves.

"It was fairly obvious what it was. I think we dealt with it fairly professionally and had a bit of a giggle when we got back to the station," he told public broadcaster ABC.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
thats what this blog has been last few days one big cartoon


Yup :)
BYW, it really is on... and I must be getting goofy in my old age.. its hilarious so far... and I have absolutely no idea why I am watching it?
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Re-post 826:

Just because you can't figure the math to increase melt doesn't mean ships didn't sail the NW passage a few weeks ago or houses aren't falling due to melting permafrost.

That analogy is terrible...First of all, it doesn't answer his question, and second, it is completely irrelevant to his question...All of AGW is based on theory that cannot be proven...Anybody can slap together 2 variables that are increasing with time and declare they are both somehow connected...This is why the scientific method is used to verify hypothesis...In order to test the theory of man made global warming, one must do a PLANETARY experiment, to determine what percentage of it is caused by human and what part is caused by natural variability...Having a controlled experiment where you are testing the theory of man made emissions is impossible and absurd(due to the fact that there are millions of variables to test and control for the experiment)!

AGW is a curse upon this world! And I think the people who perpetrated it ought to go to prison for this scandal! Nothing more than STEALING people's money for the rich's gain...How wicked!

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Quoting Orcasystems:
Ok, I finally found a show on GW I can understand..and its on TV right now :)

Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
thats what this blog has been last few days one big cartoon
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Ok, I finally found a show on GW I can understand..and its on TV right now :)

Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
heh NIDA is one storm that dos not no when too give up
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GOM IR loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130493
Quoting spathy:
Keep in mind.
Just My correct humble opinion.

How about Man Made fear resulting in congressional overreaction.
Producing a net result of Chinese Mercury laden light bulbs Filling our landfills!
While GE jumps in and is happy with only middleman profits and jobs overseas.

And who is playing on our fears?

Lets mandate a product that has Epa standards of hazardous waste cleanup.
So the government can clean up the hazard they created in the first place.
When in my estimation Pretty soon LED technology would in the private sector produced a better SAFER energy saving product.

Actually thank God the clueless power hungry leaders of America as we knew it.
Didnt jump in the better solution and ruin it!


LED is excellent and OLED even better. But, still too expensive for general consumption.

Modified: As a light source.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Go take a look at this post from earlier :)

672. IKE 1:15 PM GMT on November 27, 2009


With the way the Blog is going... I hope this post #672 pans out

LOL. Armageddon? Hell freezes over?
I looked. I try. I fail. I need words, in anglais, s'il vous plait...but plenty here to translate if necessary.

Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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