Re: [asa] agw: Skeptics vs Believers

From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Sun Dec 06 2009 - 15:47:51 EST

I certainly agree with your last sentence but I presume it was a Freudian
typo and you were really telling me where to go.

Your note does clarify how we differ in the types of data to consider. Your
view of Gore's character (I have admonished you several times that on this
list we expect authors to attack ideas, not people's character) is a
datapoint that I certainly am aware of but its effect is negligible. Neither
I nor any scientist I know has ever used information from Al Gore as a data
source. He conveys information to the public (well, at least a subset) but
he isn't a scientific source and his character could be anything, for all I
care. As for the negative feedbacks, we do have historical records that
indicate bounds so I don't believe these have been totally ignored. Wishful
thinking is easy to incorporate into these decisions but not very wise.

I fully agree with you that the debate should be about the magnitude of the
impact, the cost tradeoffs and the most effective ways of achieving our
ends. I had not detected that from you before. To do that, a good discussion
would be the economic cost of a one meter sealevel rise vs the cost of
maintaining carbon emissions at approximately their current level for the
next 50 years. Care to take a crack at it? Both are intermediate risk levels
and not extremist or alarmist levels.


From: "John Walley" <>
Sent: Sunday, December 06, 2009 8:35 AM
To: "Randy Isaac" <>; <>
Subject: Re: [asa] agw: Skeptics vs Believers

> Randy,
> I take issue with this. You seem to imply that it all comes down to the
> data and that is the trump card that settles everything. But it isn't. All
> the current emperical data can decide is that humans are adding CO2 to the
> atmosphere, that is causing warming, and there is some window of time in
> which to reverse these effects. But as for myself, I have already conceded
> these points so the data is now irrelevant to the rest of the debate.
> What the data that you are referring to doesn't answer is the relative
> values of the tradeoffs being offered to solve the problem and like
> Schwarzwald said, whether the cure is worse than the condition. And what
> else the data doesn't decide is any possible other negative mechanims that
> Bill brought up and Lindzen suggests that may mitigate the catastrophe and
> that is simply because we don't have any data on those. But that doesn't
> mean they don't exist. Sure all the current emperical data that we have
> leads to your conclusion but it is very myopic and a shallow analysis of
> the overall situation and a selective view of what the data is to keep
> repeating the data mantra.
> All these other points such as unknown negative mechanisms, the expected
> effects, the costs and value of the tradeoffs are valid data as well! And
> even the subjective ones like Al Gore being a complete and total charlatan
> and new agers who want to exterminate the world are data points as well.
> Yes lets look at the data, but lets look at ALL the data, not just your
> selective view of the data. This is more shell game trickery like the CRU
> guys who manipulate the data and the peer review process as well.
> Further, Malthus's predictions were supported by data, but he was wrong.
> The earlier Global Cooling scare was supported by data. Jimmy Carter's
> boneheaded doomsday predicitions were supported by data. The model
> predictions of continued warming were supported by data, but they were all
> wrong! And that is valid data to consider in itself. And the theology of
> whether we believe God has created us just to allow us to perish
> hopelessly is also valid data as well.
> So I agree with you, we should look at the data, but I should take your
> own advice first.
> John
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Randy Isaac <>
> To:
> Sent: Sun, December 6, 2009 7:22:47 AM
> Subject: Re: [asa] agw: Skeptics vs Believers
> That is a great site. Thank you.
> It also seems noteworthy that on this list, those who are not convinced of
> AGW have not yet engaged with the data. They either haven't provided any
> reasons for their view, or have offered subjective perspectives such as
> not liking the attitude of AGW advocates or fearing that there might be
> connections with New Age philosophies, or simply not trusting the
> scientists involved. Many simply persist in expressing their doubts but
> fail to respond to any data that are presented. I think it is important
> that the discussion focus on the basic scientific methodology. I like
> having people on both sides of the issue on this list. That is important
> for an effective dialog. But let's see the data! Or hear some substantive
> arguments. Attitudes and fears of New Age aren't in that category,
> important though they may be.
> Randy
>> I enjoyed the below site - found it useful for succinctly showing the
>> basic pro and con positions.
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Received on Sun Dec 6 15:47:59 2009

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