Questionable Motives

March 7, 2014

What does honesty from coal producers sound like?

Filed under: Climate Change — tildeb @ 10:32 am

Just like this (make sure you stick to it for a while):

(h/t to Climate Denial Crock of the Week)

February 24, 2014

Should we assume that climate change is still debatable?

Filed under: Climate Change,Scepticism — tildeb @ 3:09 pm

Not when the science is settled and there are real consequences all of us have to face leaving us unprepared.



January 21, 2014

How can you detect climate change denialism in action?

Filed under: Climate Change,denialism,Global Warming — tildeb @ 2:39 pm

Easy: listen to the language.

When you hear someone include a phrase like “invented by Al Gore” or “the models are wrong” or “climate changes all the time” you know you’re about to face climate denial in action. Here’s a reminder why:


(h/t to Climate Denial Crock of the Week)

October 10, 2013

Can we afford to do so little?

Filed under: Climate Change,Science — tildeb @ 2:03 pm

If we think of climate as our life support system, then at what point – what milestone, what knowable data collected – do we decide that we no longer have time luxury to afford small incremental changes but must act to save the life of the system itself? This is the kind of answer we need from scientific consensus to overpower the short term interests and political capital of those who monetize their carbon assets.


April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day

Filed under: Climate Change,weather — tildeb @ 7:57 pm

Another addition from Paul Douglas. Enjoy.



(h/t to climatedenialcrockoftheweek)

April 19, 2013

Global warming? But it’s colder!

Filed under: Climate Change,weather — tildeb @ 9:52 am

I have seen several videos of Paul Douglas who, not only speaks beautifully, but offers excellent and clear explanations about how the weather relates to climate and how climate is changing more quickly than ever before. I think I will post more of these as they become available. Enjoy.

(h/t to climatedenialcrockoftheweek)

November 3, 2012

Why is it your civic duty to address faith-based beliefs in the public domain with public scorn and public ridicule?

Because reason doesn’t work.

How so?

Let me explain this way:

Question 13 (coincidence?) of the latest Public Policy Polling asks, Do you think it’s possible for people to become possessed by demons, or not?

What do you think the percentage of those Americans asked this question might be? Would you predict the percentage of Republicans would be higher or lower than average?

I’ll answer these in a moment, but first, I want you to consider the percentage of Americans who think global warming is a clear and present danger and then consider the percentage of Republicans who agree. Would that percentage be higher or lower than the average?

Well, the PEW Research Center provides us plenty of data about the increasing percentage of Americans who agree that global warming is on the rise, caused by human activity, and exacerbating climate change and altered weather patterns and more extreme weather. So let’s look at the numbers.

Regarding climate change, about two thirds of Americans accept that global warming is real, it’s here, and its human causes need to be addressed. That’s great. Better late than never. Among Republicans, about 43% agree that global warming is real but only about 16% think it’s due to human activity. And this is in the face of global scientific consensus.

Regarding demons, about 57% of Americans think they are real. The percentage of Republicans is about 68%. And this is in the face of no compelling scientific evidence.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

Let’s compare, shall we?

More Republicans believe in demons than they do anthropogenic global warming at a ration over 4:1, not because of any rational or compelling scientific reasons but because of the strength of confidence they place only in their faith-based beliefs.

So out of about 55 million registered Republican voters,  about 37.5 million of them believe in demons but only about 9 million believe in anthropogenic global warming. Public policy aimed at addressing climate change has very little support among this cohort and only slightly above a majority on average. Why? Because far too many people are willing to elevate their faith-based beliefs not equivalent (because the stats would show these as Undecided) but SUPERIOR to scientific consensus.

The cost of this lunacy, this elevation of ignorance to be considered superior to knowledge, is going to be high and all of us get to pay for it with unnecessary and imposed costs, pain, and suffering. So next time someone suggests that faith-based beliefs should be respected in the public domain because of some charity work motivated and organized by some well-intentioned but misguided religious activists, please remind these not-so- quaint fools that this respect is the very stupidity that sets the stage for the next Sandy, the next extended drought, the next flash flood, the next inundated slide. And that little bit of weather, as they say Down East, costs real lives and causes real damage in the tens of billions of dollars so that we can continue to pretend that faith-based beliefs in the public domain are not a net harm, are not a direct threat to our collective well-being, are not a danger to our lives (How much soup could you make and distribute, I wonder, for 50 billion dollars these days?).

We need to stop deluding ourselves that faith-based beliefs are in any way, shape, or fashion respectable when they are equivalent to malicious ignorance , and hold those who seem powerless to exercise reasonable critical thinking (when it comes to public policy contrary to their beliefs) to public scorn and public ridicule for their willingness to allow their superstitious nonsense to put all of us at real risk in the service of maintaining a faux-respect for their ridiculous faith-based beliefs.

July 30, 2012

What do you mean Muller now says climate change is real?

Filed under: Climate Change,Environment,Science — tildeb @ 8:36 pm

Peter Sinclair once again sinks a three-pointer with this video, showing just how out of touch and slow to the dance is previous climate skeptic and noveau convert Professor Richard Muller and the Berkley Earth Project. There has been compelling evidence for over 50 years and nothing but convincing data slotted into the case presented before Congress in 1988 that global warming was real, caused by human activity, and affecting climate. The growing scientific consensus should have been a clue for the esteemed Muller, but apparently the work of tens of thousands of climate scientists over many decades just wasn’t up to his snuff until he himself led his team of ten to the same ‘surprising’ conclusion. Well, I don;t think it will be too long before even the unemployed from the Heartland Institute try to convince us that they were on board reality’s ride long before we enjoyed today’s (shriveled) fruits of our greenhouse gas emissions.

(h/t to Misunderstood Ranter)

April 19, 2012

How can we determine a link between local weather and climate change?

Filed under: Climate Change,Global Warming,Scepticism,weather — tildeb @ 10:24 am

On a very cold day, one will probably hear someone commenting along the lines of, “So much for global warming.” On a very hot and humid day, you’ll hear few comments at all about global warming. In other words, weather than stands contrary to the notion of warming usually reinforces skepticism that the planet is getting warmer, whereas weather that stands supportive to the notion of warming reinforces what’s typical or normal. In other words, it’s easy to assume that claims about global warming are linked to the word ‘warming’ as presented by temperature in the weather we experience. Because we also experience weather that is colder than what we might be used to, we automatically tend to assume it justifies skepticism about these warming claims.

It doesn’t.

What links weather to climate is patterns.

If global warming is true, then we should see changes to these patterns… and we do. But how do we link these changing patterns to anthropogenic (human caused) global warming rather than natural changes?

This is the meat of climate science. What should we expect to see?

Well, the most convincing evidence to me would be if it could be clearly shown that the rate and frequency of changing weather patterns was accelerating when all other natural factors could be accounted for.

And this is exactly what we find. In fact, the projected rates of pattern changes to weather norms are actually too conservative; the conclusion revealed by nature seems to be that climate change due to anthropogenic global warming is happening faster than predicted and the frequency of hot AND cold, wet AND dry is also greater. To help explain how AGW causes more extreme local weather, Peter Sinclair offers this video:

February 15, 2012

What is the Heartland Institute and why should we care how it gets its funding?

The Heartland Institute is supposedly a non profit think tank whose self-described mission is to “discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems.” Finding solutions for problems? That sounds quite reasonable, doesn’t it? The problem is, that simply isn’t quite true; it’s goal is to lobby for corporate concerns regardless of the problems caused by these activities.

It’s major area of activity is to influence the The United States’ 8,300 state and national elected officials and approximately 8,400 local government officials in ways agreeable to its sponsors over issues it deems important… such as sustained criticisms against legitimate climate science and public education that attempts to deny parents the right to public money to pay for private schooling… schooling that includes altered curriculum to favour the corporate message.  As they explain:

people devote time to learn about subjects only if they believe acquiring specific knowledge will benefit them personally. Often, this seems unlikely. Consequently, most people choose rationally to remain ignorant about many public policy issues. The Heartland Institute has overcome the problem of ‘rational ignorance’ by inventing publications busy elected officials and the public will actually read and come to trust. Our publications are highly effective and inexpensive vehicles for communicating messages on public policy.

One might be tempted to think that a non profit doesn’t have any major sponsors so it would be less likely to follow a corporate, for profit, mission against governmental oversight and regulation wherever it may be found. One might be right… except this certainly doesn’t pertain to the Heartland Institute. It’s funding has been revealed at desmogblog to be very much a public relations arm of specific corporate interests.

According to its website, its mission is “to discover and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems”. Sourcewatch tells us that the Institute campaigns in support of:

  • “Common-sense environmentalism”, such as opposition to the the Kyoto Protocol aimed at countering global warming
  • Genetically engineered crops and products;
  • The privatization of public services;
  • The introduction of school vouchers;
  • The deregulation of health care insurance;

and against:

  • What it refers to as “junk science” (science that that could indicate a need for regulation);
  • Tobacco control measures such as tobacco tax increases (the Institute denies the health effects of second-hand smoke);

Regarding its current funding and responding to that assigned mission, Heartland’s central concerns are about disseminating anti-climate science messages and funding anti-climate science contrarians:

We expect to push up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to their network of philanthropists, if our focus continues to align with their interests. Other contributions will be pursued for this work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.”

Heartland’s influence can be heard in misleading soundbites issued by legislators over climate science findings, which explains why it is commonly referred to as a global warming denial machine working hard to find funding for high-profile individuals who regularly and publicly counter the ‘alarmist’ AGW (anthropomorphic global warming) message.

Forbes Business magazine and other business press are favored outlets for Heartland’s dissemination of climate denial messages, and the group is worried about maintaining that exclusive space. They note in particular the work of climatologist Dr. Peter Gleick:

Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.”

The Heartland Institute has a corporate sponsored agenda to fool people into supporting bad public policies by undermining good science to promote short term, short-sighted, unsustainable, harmful corporate interests. That – and not solutions to social and economic problems – is its real mission.

(h/t Cedric)

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