Re: [asa] ESA: Wilkins Ice Shelf under threat

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Wed Dec 03 2008 - 13:11:15 EST

Hi Burgy,

Not so much a comment on the piece as a sympathetic (?) observation;

I'm becoming increasingly cynical of the anti-GW position on the simple basis that it's adherents so often seem to resort to rhetoric rather than reason.

I'm sure there are at least SOME reasons to question GW, and I imagine that there are credible scientists who still hold out against GW, but given that we seem to be reaching a position where it becomes (as per the Judson article you cited) simply a case of bashing scientists as biased, incompetent, or dishonest, I don't know that I want to play.

And as for suggesting that GW is merely a grand left-wing political conspiracy - well, I think that the fact that people even raise politics as a central issue should tip us off as to where THEIR interests lie. When one's own motives are primarily political / ideological it becomes so very hard not to assume that others are motivated by the same sort of considerations - albeit the values of the left rather than the valued of the right.

I welcome your contributions on this - particularly as they pertain to the science rather than the politics of the debate. The later are, of course, important but hardly serve to inform us as to what's actually happening in the world climatologically speaking.

John Burgeson (ASA member) wrote:
> Good exchange here. The anit-GW people seem to be largely composed of
> Luddites. That does not translate into ALL anti-GW people are kooks,
> but those who are not need to acknowledge and criticize the kooks,
> among which are Rush Limbaugh, many other RR talk show "hosts" (don't
> try to talk with them and introduce reason -- you will get shouted
> down).
> I do know some anti-GW folks prety well who are not Luddites. I think
> them wrong, but we can have civilized discussions.
> I just sent my December column to the Rico Bugle. Here it is: I'd
> appreciate comments (reasoned ones).
> Burgy (column follows)
> On Global Warming
> The subject of Global Warming, climate change, and the like has heated
> up since I last wrote about it back in September 2007. It's time we
> all became more familiar with the issues. The IPCC site (
> is a one place to start. It collects the work of thousands of
> scientists and presents it well. In sum, it makes these six points:
> 1. CO2 levels ARE rising (100% chance of this claim being correct)
> 2. Global Warming IS happening. (95% chance of this claim being correct)
> 3. CO2 levels DO tend to drive the earth's temperature higher. (90%
> chance of this claim being correct)
> 4. An increase in the earth's temperature is NOT a good thing. (No
> chance limits stated)
> 5. Humanity IS the driving factor in increasing CO2 levels. (90%
> chance of this claim being correct)
> 6. It MAY be possible to do something about this. (No chance limits stated)
> Now a typical denier may call in question any of points 2, 3, 4, 5 or
> 6. Since there are still some of these around, among them many on the
> extreme right, the young earth crowd, Rush Limbaugh, Fred Singer and
> even one member of Congress (Inhofe, Republican from Oklahoma), you
> may want to check out their claims. There is little evidence for their
> positions. For comparisons of this kind, see the continuing
> discussions at
> This site is a commentary site on climate science by working climate
> scientists for the interested public.
> Yes -- there are anti-GW sites. Generally, reading them with a dash of
> skepticism and common sense will reveal how shallow they are. Here are
> a few; google can find many more:
> The following site is a listing of known skeptic organizations.
> /
> WARMING, by Christopher Horner. 345 pages of ad hominem attacks,
> muddled thinking, suspect "cherry picked" data, and adjectival
> (shrill) editorializing. It reminds me of the many books on the "young
> earth" published by The Institute for Creation Research. Published in
> 2007, it is already out of date.
> By the way, this ought NOT be a political issue. Alas, it seems it is.
> A news release 10/30/08 showed that 51% of Republican supporters are
> skeptical about (or uninvolved with) climate change compared to just
> 19% of Democratic supporters.
> A comprehensive set of rebuttals to Inhofe, Singer, Limbaugh, and
> other GW contrarians may be found at
> A reputable blog which discusses the issues is at
> A reputable government site is
> An NOAA site with Q's and A's is at
> Spode's letter last month, supposedly from the year 2048, indicates
> the contrarians won out. If his letter is genuine, then I suspect
> Houston and New Orleans joined Florida in becoming sea bottom. Not to
> mention Holland, Bangladesh, many Pacific islands. Estimated deaths,
> 100.000. Estimated displaced persons 1,000,000,000.
> John Burgeson
> On 12/3/08, Michael Roberts <> wrote:
>> Thanks Rich, beautifully put. You could have added the Acton Institute,
>> ramblings of our Lord Nigel Lawson and some others. There is also a centre
>> in Seattle who are also into GW denial and few other
>> things..................
>> Michael
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Rich Blinne
>> To: Lynn Walker ; Randy Isaac ; Murray Hogg ; Don Winterstein
>> Cc: John Burgeson (ASA member) ; Glenn Morton ; asa
>> Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 2:52 PM
>> Subject: Re: [asa] ESA: Wilkins Ice Shelf under threat
>> On Dec 2, 2008, at 11:36 PM, Lynn Walker wrote:
>> John Burgeson: "But whether the IPCC is right -- or not -- we still
>> have an energy "situation" to challenge us."
>> Exactly.
>> Cooling Down
>> IBD Tuesday, December 02, 2008
>> Climate Change: Policymakers and other busybodies trying to save the
>> planet will one day learn that, despite all the hype about global warming,
>> most people are focused on issues that for them are more meaningful.
>> During economic boom times, developed and developing nations have the
>> luxury to indulge in meaningless gestures, such as the trendy campaign to
>> beat global warming.
>> But when the economy slows and energy costs increase, the people in
>> those nations become a bit more focused and find that environmental issues
>> might not be as important as they thought. This evolution of thought can be
>> tracked by looking at how the public regards global warming now compared
>> with last year.
>> Our current economic and environmental crisis has the same roots, extreme
>> economic libertarianism. All the information "sources", e.g. Heartland
>> Foundation, Marshall Institute, Hoover Institute, IBD, Wall Street Journal,
>> Daily Telegraph, and Rush, push this don't regulate ever, no way, no now,
>> agenda. They did this for the link between cigarettes and cancer. Don't
>> worry it's just media hype. Acid rain, ditto because cap and trade couldn't
>> possibly solve the problem (it did). The ozone hole and the Montreal
>> Convention, ditto. They opposed CAFE standards for automobiles resulting in
>> the destruction of the American auto industry. They pushed the Gram Leach
>> Bliley Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, because we needed to
>> deregulate the financial industry. Results: the Second Great Depression.
>> Next up, destroy the planet. The temerity that we should not solve this
>> problem because of another problem that their economic theory caused frosts
>> me. Ironically intelligent regulation is good for business. Xcel Energy
>> opposed a citizen's initiative in Colorado to require alternative energy in
>> our electrical production. Once it passed they came back to the legislature
>> and asked them to double the targets! When are we going to stop listening to
>> these guys?
>> Rich Blinne
>> Member ASA
>> P.S. I recommend "A Very Short Introduction to the Great Depression and
>> the New Deal". The parallels concerning this radical deregulation and the
>> resulting economic carnage is scary. It's interesting all these op-eds act
>> as if their side won. Oh well, the adults are in charge now. Not only must
>> we solve these problems simultaneously, we can. Note to Don: one thing I
>> noticed while listening to the President-elect's stump speech when he was at
>> CSU is how popular his call for sacrifice is, particularly amongst young
>> people.

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Received on Wed Dec 3 13:11:59 2008

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