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« Light blogging | Main | Beddington on warpath »
Tuesday
Feb152011

Real sceptics

An excellent piece by Graham Strouts, looking at scepticism in general but with particular reference to Lomborg and Gore and the Horizon programme.

It seems to me that at some point the science ends and there is a cross-over into politics and ideology, and this is why Lomborg is important because he takes the conversation away from the purely technical issues of CO2 and emissions into what is the most cost-effective response. He could be wrong in his conclusions- I dont know. Pigliucci clearly thinks he is wrong, but his own ideology comes through most strikingly when he defends Gore against the charge of hypocrisy for his high-energy lifestyle while telling the rest of us we must cut back on everything to save the planet: “Gore pays for offsets to his travels in order to achieve a zero-carbon balance, just as he encourages the readers of An Inconvenient Truth to do.”

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Reader Comments (139)

I consider it my duty to increase my carbon (dioxide) footprint to as high a value as possible to try and offset global cooling and prevent the next ice age. Unfortunately I can only afford to do so much and I like my trees too much to chop them all down and burn them.

Is there a carbon onset that I can claim?

Feb 15, 2011 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

ZBD: I am going to break my own rule - here's a lovely quote that you might like from Al Gore on geothermal energy:

GORE: "It definitely is, and it's a relatively new one. People think about geothermal energy - when they think about it at all - in terms of the hot water bubbling up in some places, but two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, 'cause the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees, and the crust of the earth is hot"

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2009/11/18/al-gore-earths-interior-extremely-hot-several-million-degrees#ixzz1E2WFB7dP

Geothermal is not new - the Romans were using it at Aquae Sulis (Bath) around 2,000 years ago. I also think that Camborne School of Mines and other researchers might object to the "it's a relatively new one" label as they have been running this research for a little while now:

http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/sustainable/refs/geothermal/MacDonal.pdf

Refers to the review of the Camborne geothermal project after 15 years of the programme - in 1987! So that started in 1972. Actually, it turns out that Gore is also wrong about the "hot rocks in most places" - "most places" are totally unsuitable for geothermal energy as the crust is...too cool.

But I digress - Gore is even funnier when he says "two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks,". Er...no. The typical temperature gradient is 15–30°C/km, from a near surface temperature typically 11°C. So typically at 2 km the temperature is about 50 - 70 °C. In South Africa the deepest gold mines are more than 4 km below surface and the rock is only about 60 °C. I have been down to 1.7 km below surface in a deep mine and touched the rock myself. It was about as hot as you can stand ie about 45 °C.

If you go to a subduction zone where the highest thermal gradients of all are measured the gradient is about 200 °C/km, so at 2 km it would be about 400 °C.

As for the "several million degrees" in the interior of the earth I believe the best estimate of the temperature of the core is about 5,430 °C. Even the surface of the sun is only a chilly 5,800 °K or so.

Gore is a scientific ignoramus and that's why he won't debate anyone on the science of climate change and prefers cuddly "sofa chats" like he got from Sian and Bill at the BBC. And I ain't going to take any notice of an evaluation of science such as "An Inconvenient Truth" from a scientific illiterate. He can't even distinguish cause and effect in the Temp/CO2 record that he showed. Al Gore has no idea what he is talking about and wouldn't know reliable science if it smacked him between the eyes shouting "I am reliable science".

Feb 15, 2011 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Someone is wasting everybody's time.

Feb 15, 2011 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

"Carbon onset". Brilliant, Phillip Bratby.

Feb 15, 2011 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

Phillip Bratby

Not sure about carbon onsets, but you could buy coal, burn it to produce steam, to produce electricity, to turn the wind turbines when the wind doesn't blow, and consume electricity pointlessly

But that would be stupid of course.

Feb 15, 2011 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

Regarding Carbon Onsets.....In a fit of pique at the whole ridiculous CO2 thing a couple of years back, and needing a new vehicle anyway, I bought myself a pick-up truck. It gives me great pleasure to drive around knowing I must be incensing at least one green eyed zealot on every street. I love my truck.

Feb 15, 2011 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered Commentermikef2

ZDB

"ZDB
Al Gore claims to have invented the internet."
Feb 15, 2011 at 10:57 AM | Mac

Why am I not surprised to see tired old demonstrably false ad hominem attacks like this on this website.

I personally sat in the audience at one of his appearances in San Jose, CA (AKA Silicon Valley) back when he was running for President and heard him make that state. Please do not tell me that it didn't happen because I was there, I heard it, and it did happen.

Feb 15, 2011 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

mikef2

If it is 4 wheel drive, would you use your truck to tow a Prius out of a snowdrift?

Feb 15, 2011 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

"I personally sat in the audience at one of his appearances in San Jose, CA (AKA Silicon Valley) back when he was running for President and heard him make that state. Please do not tell me that it didn't happen because I was there, I heard it, and it did happen."
Feb 15, 2011 at 3:52 PM | Don Pablo de la Sierra

Nonsense - I was there for that appearance and he said no such thing.

Actually, I wasn't, but see how easy it is? Do you have anything concrete apart from your anecdotal evidence, because if you knew anything about qualitative evidence assessment, you'd know anecdotal is almost useless.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

golf charley

If it is 4 wheel drive, would you use your truck to tow a Prius out of a snowdrift?

Like mikef2 I have a pickup truck, a Toyota Tacoma 4x4, with big fat snow tires which I use to pick up gardening supplies as well as wood for my cabinet making. And to go to the store when we get hit with another blast of "global warming." And my answer is, "no". Any jerk out on the road with such a car is a fool. I hope one of the polar bears get him. If not, perhaps one of the local brown bears will. That would make a just end.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Do you have anything concrete apart from your anecdotal evidence, because if you knew anything about qualitative evidence assessment, you'd know anecdotal is almost useless.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:02 PM | ZedsDeadBed

Does not seem to stop you though

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

ZBD said to Don Pablo:

"Do you have anything concrete apart from your anecdotal evidence, because if you knew anything about qualitative evidence assessment, you'd know anecdotal is almost useless"

How about my anecdotal statement from earlier:

"I have been down to 1.7 km below surface in a deep mine and touched the rock myself. It was about as hot as you can stand ie about 45 °C."

Zed, if you want to try dipping your hands in water at say 70 °C you might like to confirm for yourself that whilst my statement is anecdotal the scientific point being conveyed is factually accurate.

My anecdote very nicely demonstrates that Al Gore is scientifically illiterate.

Disclaimer: Dipping your hands in water at 70 °C is very likely to hurt so please don't try this at home....

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

ZDB

Now look who is calling whom a liar? Get a life ZDB. You are in clinical denial.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

"Does not seem to stop you though"
Feb 15, 2011 at 4:09 PM | golf charley

So you can give some examples of when I've used anecdotal evidence then? Great - let's see them.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Don Pablo, Prius in snowdrift

During our recent attack of global warming, I did hear of a 4 x 4 driver helping motorists for free, but anyone with an AGW car sticker etc he charged £20.

I thought he undercharged!

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

"Does not seem to stop you though"
Feb 15, 2011 at 4:09 PM | golf charley

So you can give some examples of when I've used anecdotal evidence then? Great - let's see them.

Why should I supply you with information, when all you want to do is find something wrong with it?

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

"ZDB
Now look who is calling whom a liar? Get a life ZDB. You are in clinical denial."
Feb 15, 2011 at 4:12 PM | Don Pablo de la Sierra

Actually - I very carefully did no such thing. I was merely demonstrating how fallible anecdotal evidence is. If you had anything better - you 'd use it. If you want to make convincing claims about Al Gore/internet, you'll have to do better than that. I don't think you can though.

As ever, lot of lovely ad hominem attacks from you as well, which leads me to:

"Any jerk out on the road with such a car is a fool. I hope one of the polar bears get him. If not, perhaps one of the local brown bears will. That would make a just end."

You hope anyone driving a Prius meets a horrible violent death. And once again we see the Bishop Hill website is a place where hatred and thoughts of violence flourish.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Zed
Do not waste time.

You cannot control yourself and contribute here; you keep lashing out at every turn. This results in thread-hijacking even though you may not intend to do so (giving you the benefit of doubt here). You do not have to respond to every percieved misrepresentation.

I remember the thread you raised a hue and cry about polar bear populations and the word 'booming'. Your comments were (as usual) very self-assured and arrogant. That resulted in me reading up as much as I could about how polar bear populations are tracked and estimated. What a revelation it was. I would even thank you for the stimulus you provided, but for two points 1) the arrogant bluster by which you project confidence in your claims, turned out unfounded 2) the whole polar bear nonsense was peripheral to that thread, to begin with.

The end result is the same - inferior scholarship abilites combine with your passionate zeal for advocacy and this results in a toxic brew when added to your willingness to exploit this venue's toleration for thread abuse.

'Evidence' for Al Gore's this or that is incidental, peripheral and unnecessary in this thread. The Al Gore invented Internet is available for everyone. Go yourself and try to see if he said that. Do not waste time and hijack threads. Put some effort into being meaningfully hostile or adversarial.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Shub

Nicely reasoned and said. Unfortunately, it probably will fall on deaf ears. Our friend has a problem, and we should let it go at that.

Ignoring her is the best recourse.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Gore did not invent the internet, nor did he facilitate it. The internet grew out of DARPAnet which became Arpanet and was primarily intended for military use, the project began around 1968. It eventually became a worldwide network for academia. The TCP/IP protocols were developed to get the packets round the network and an incidental bonus was the development of the internet, originally for radio communications. The big advantage of Arpanet was that it didn't have the dead hand of the CCITT on the development of it's standards. As time progressed people had a better understanding of the great diversity of services that could be put onto a network once you separated the switching from the application, that was the first big breakthrough. The internet was in existence a long time before the public were aware of it, and the real breakthrough was the development of the search engine. I supervised some graduates at the Cambridge Computer Laboratories in the early 80s and it was clear then that the critical issue was finding the services. In true graduate style the gave this the name GOD (General Operations Director). The outcome of all this was that the principles of Arpanet and some of the applications began to move into the public domain and eventually in the late 80s or thereabouts the information superhighway was recognised as the future and the internet boom began. Al Gore, had absolutely nothing to do with any of this, it was organic, and unless he gave permission for some of the Defence Departments protocols to be used outside of their network it is difficult to see how any politician could have signed anything.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

"Our friend has a problem"
Feb 15, 2011 at 4:29 PM | Don Pablo de la Sierra

You seem deeply wedded to being personally abusive. It's telling regarding your discursive abilities, and reaction when you feel threatened.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Stop feeding the troll

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

ZDB, as you seem to be a well informed advocate for CAGW theory, I’d like to ask you a simple question: where is the real-world (i.e. scientific) evidence to support it?

More specifically, where within the IPCC’s AR4 WG1 reports (i.e. the ones that discuss the actual science) is real-world evidence presented that would enable anyone to verify/falsify CAGW theory via the Scientific Method?

Please don’t point me to a web site like RC (I’ve already been there, asked the question and been told to… well, I can give you the references if you want), just give me references to the peer-reviewed papers.

Thanks in advance.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

"Our friend has a problem"
Feb 15, 2011 at 4:29 PM | Don Pablo de la Sierra

You seem deeply wedded to being personally abusive. It's telling regarding your discursive abilities, and reaction when you feel threatened.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:40 PM | ZedsDeadBed

More hypocracy

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:01 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

geronimo

All you say about Al Gore "inventing" the internet is true. I have personally been involved with networking and the internet for many years as apparently have you.

Still, he did say what I reported. It was first hand witness information -- the strongest evidence in the eyes of the law. Nothing anecdotal about it. I witnessed it. Was the man bonkers to have said such a thing in front of a very large room full of people at Silicon Graphics, most of whom have advanced engineering degrees? Yes. And we were speechless.

Remember that this is the same Al Gore who a few years later would obtain a Noble Prize and and Oscar for his "brilliant and insightful" Inconvenient Truth. It seems to run in his blood.

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Not sure about carbon onsets, but you could buy coal, burn it to produce steam, to produce electricity, to turn the wind turbines when the wind doesn't blow, and consume electricity pointlessly

But that would be stupid of course.

Now who would be stupid enough to do that and how would they pay for it? Oh, I forgot about the stupidity of successive governments and I forgot that electricity consumers would be asked made to pay for such a stupid idea.

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Is Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi a climate change denier now that he has been indicted to stand trial on charges of paying for sex with an under-age prostitute?

It would appear not.

In a speech on climate-change action directed at other EU leaders Berlusconi said, "Drop these ridiculous excuses that it’s impossible! That it’s not in your narrow national interests! It IS possible! Our survival is at stake! What more compelling interest is there than that?"

Would Michael Buerk like to recant his statement that, "not long ago, to question multiculturalism - the precepts or the policies of successive governments - risked being branded racist and pushed into the loathesome corner with paedophiles and climate change deniers"

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Here is another clip of Albert Gore claiming that he "took the initiative in creating the Internet..."

Creating the Internet...What a genius!

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Since the subject of Al Gore has come up, I can only add that his career has been on an almost unwavering path of opportunism since he was elected to office. Now what evidence/scientific process do you suppose caused Al Gore to change his mind about this: ?

http://www.gargaro.com/lifequotes.html

Andrew

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

golf charley

I promised the Bishop sometime ago not to psychoanalyze people on-line. Although I am a physiological psychologist by training, I do have advanced training in clinical psychology. It was required as part of my doctoral program.

Time to move on -- and ignore her.

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

carbon offsets:

Even if we were to have to bring gaia's temperature down, EVERYBODY knows carbon offsets is not the way to go for. It is a scam.

We know no intnl institute is capable stewarding projects or market places with at least 10% wasted in fraud/corruption or plane waste.
This is not by agw sceptics account , this is by the very aparachnik's account that run these places:
eg the Worldbank thought of themselves they do a good job when only 10-20% goes into corruption and bribes in the 3rd world. But there is also examples like the UN oil for food scam in Iraq, and the "mgmt" of the EU's agricultural policies for the last 50years.

now, if we agree that 5-10% is unavoidable, then what is the purpose of a market mechanism for all unleashed carbon in the world, whereby the goal is to have gaia reduce carbon output 5% ?? If we know 5-10% is going to be scammed away anyways ?? hahaha. maybe Nurse and Beddington can explain us the science in this hahaha

go build us some windmills , buddies professorships.
And fund them by firing red rats in the BBC.Liquidating their outrageous pension funds.
That would be progress.

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo

If you want to make society more efficient, reduce the state services.

We do not need a "fair" NHS where bottles of ethanol are been tossed over @ 500 pound a liter.
Makes me think of the US army procurement during the Clinton years: 500 dollar for a hammer ..

We do not need chossologee or , for that matter , string physics,defty courses been throttled up in auditoria in 100 different places in the country by 70k+ professor calculuses. Make us a nice website, reduce online IPrights on all these books and reports if you want education. do not need the many meejah institutes and fancy buildings for educashion educashion educashion : Just listen to the full blown idiots who are on top of that educashion scam.

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo

Don Pablo de La Sierra> I have visited San Jose many times over the years and I was indeed involved in the whole business of local and wide area networking. I met many of the illuminaries of networking over the years and never came across Al Gore's name in any connection with the internet, or any of the technologies associated with it. To be fair to Gore there are many people who claim to have invented the internet when the cognescenti know it was a spontaneous organic growth of the technologies, and the applications that brought it about. In my own (very) modest way I'd written papers that converged all applications, voice, video and data onto a network that just moved the packets around without regard to the data, or the applications. We found at the time, and as Skype is testimony to, that voice was the hardest of all to get right because of the realtime nature of voice and the human ears incredible sensitivity to small delays. Nowhere in the many meetings and conferences I went to in those years was Gore present, or spoken of. But as ZDB says I could just be making that up.

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Al Gore is like the wealthy men during the Civil War who paid others to serve in their place in the military. "I'm right behind you boys - give 'em hell!"

Feb 15, 2011 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarkB

Fenbeagle, your cartoons get better & better. You'll have to liase with Josh & get a book out!

Feb 15, 2011 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

Buying Carbon Offsets is equivalent to joining the RSPCA whilst still kicking the cat. They might better be called "indulgences" to be bought by gullible people in order to give them a warm sense that they are protecting the planet whilst continuing a hedonsistic lidfe style by flying around in corporate jets (rather like Al Gore).

The vast majority of carbon offset schemes are little more that scams, with very little accountability that any carbon has actually been offset.

With respect to the hypocricy at the BBC it is of course hypocritical to espouse that everyone should cut their carbon footprint whilst doing nothing to do it yourself. Last time our little troll was here I asked her to point me to some examples of the BBCs so called green committments, but not surprisingly answer came there none.

Feb 15, 2011 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Given the tedious discussion of The Gore's inventing, engineering, facilitating, etc. the Internet I think that a brief review is in order. ARPANET was the precursor to the internet and was first tested in October, 1969 between SRI and UCLA (then Stanford Research Institute and Univ. of Calif. at Los Angeles) under the aegis of the US DoD's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Cerf and Kahn developed TCP in '73 and published it in '74. Al Gore was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1977 and the Senate in 1985 by which time a public access verson of the internet was in exixtence. Perhaps poor Albert was confused and he "facilitated" or "enginered" the WWW. Ooops. Tim Berners Lee did that at CERN in 1989 without Albert's assistance in so far as the public record indicates.

Feb 15, 2011 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterRayG

Thanks HaroldW,

now I know where to get my carbon offsetting for the price representing their value.

My CO2-conscience will sleep more soundly now

The link, for those not wishing to search for the original post, is...
http://www.freecarbonoffsets.com/home.do

Feb 15, 2011 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterGendeau

geronimo

You sound like a experienced technologist, and what you say is true. However, I lived and worked in Silly Con Valley for 25 years and for the last 10 years I have still been involved as a consultant to a well known venture capital firm, so even today I am in tune with it.

The reason why few mention Al Gore is because he is a laughing stock. A clown. He was also a very well connected clown, and so people deferred to his foibles -- it was good for business.

The incident occurred in the late 1990's. I am not sure which year, but I was working at Silicon Graphics in the networking group at the time. We had a number of visitors over the years, including Bill Clinton after he became president. Bill at least was mindful of his audience. That visit occurred in February 1993

Al was not. He shot his mouth off quiet a bit, but I have not found a record on the internet when he made the statement I witnessed. It clearly while he was still vice president and without Bill Clinton, who was in office until 2001. It would have been in the run up to the 2000 election, probably in 1999.

Shub pointed to a YouTube clip above were he made somewhat less definitive than what he had the bollocks to say at that meeting at Silicon Graphics. However, if you look at the clip Shub pointed to you will see a long list of other clips about the topic. I did not waste my time reviewing them, but perhaps you will find a more provocative statement. I suspect you will.

I do know what he said and the deadly silence from us. It was unbelievable. Yet he did. And he repeated the whole thing with Inconvenient Truth. I don't know if he is a pathological liar, but he is a politician. Or at least was.

Feb 15, 2011 at 6:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Don Pablo de la Sierra:

I don't know if he [Gore] is a pathological liar, but he is a politician.

Definition of PATHOLOGICAL
...
3: being such to a degree that is extreme, excessive, or markedly abnormal

Given the norms of politics, I'm not sure that any politician can be considered to be pathological in this regard.
/cynic (OK, I'll admit this is a cheap shot.)

The odd thing (to me) is that most people discount quite easily his campaign rhetoric -- "well they all do that, don't they?" -- but do not question An Inconvenient Truth despite it being from much the same cloth.

Feb 15, 2011 at 7:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

Let's not forget that perverted science and politics has crossed in the past, and seems to be crossing again...

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/the_nazi_origins_of_apocalypti.html

Feb 15, 2011 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

Don Pablo
I am finding that this whole drama about the 'Al Gore inventing the Internet' thing is an contentious area with even its own dedicated puffball Wikipedia article (complete with Connolley-style competing revisionisms).

Here is a picture of Al Gore and Clinton, creating the internet with their own hands, literally

Feb 15, 2011 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Apparently the only thing disappearing faster than climate science's warmonger credibility and ZedsDeadHed's intelligence quotient (yes, you have to spell it out for some) at this site are brilliant prose lost to a preview . . . sigh . . . I'll try again.

RE: “Gore pays for offsets to his travels in order to achieve a zero-carbon balance, just as he encourages the readers of An Inconvenient Truth to do.”

Sure he does. Here in Canada, The Profit Suzuki ('Profit' not a typo) does the same. His latest spiel on how carbon offsets (somehow) assuage his angst over air-miles accumulated on cross country tours to film and promote a documentary about ending all cross country tours (yours, not his) rings hollow to all but his most empty headed followers.

As some have pointed out (since I first tried to) it's more than hypocrisy, it's the gall. The Goreacle, The Profit and many others have been in on the carbon offset scam from the start. These unregulated, unaudited 'funds' are no more than saving accounts &/or tax shelters. When Al moves a wad of cash from his left pocket to his right, it has no more effect on reducing CO2 emissions than scratching his nuts will sooth the itch you get from seeing all the cash he's raking in saving the planet. Certainly some money will be spent on planting trees in the Amazon but that will be money coughed up by suckers - sorry - readers of An Inconvenient Truth and the like minded that bought into it and then doubled down on stupid. You can bet Al's money is safe and sound and if - sorry - that's WHEN the last of these CO2 offset scams goes offline Al's cash will be moved elsewhere. To do good. Really. It's his mission. Ask him.

The Chicago Xchnage is something altogether different altho just as useless (or more so) in reducing global CO2 emissions - only now we're talking $billions - serious moola. Surprisingly enuff, Al got most of his money out before the total carbon market collapse happened. Not only are Carbon Offsets buried within the various Foundations and GreenFunds controlled by the likes of The Goreacle, many like Al (but none better or pure of heart) had a stake in companies that bought and sold Carbon Credits. In fact, majority stockholders. These Carbon Credits of course were the basis of the whole Bait n'Switch - sorry, I mean Nod n'Wink - sorry - I mean Cap and Trade shell game. Al was a big(gest) promoter of Cap & Trade legislation in the U.S. and around the world. In spite of the collapse he continues to try and resurrect CnT as the 'only way' to save Mother Earth. The buy low theory kicks in here because it can't get lower. There's a hilarious (funny because it's not my money) scenario being played out now, where the Chinese (clever buggers that they are) have figured out how to make $billions thru European Carbon Credits manufacturing ozone depleting CFCs. And the Greenies are OK with it because well, the Chinese are good emitters and we're bad emitters - or something like that.

So to clarify:

Carbon Offsets are - sorry - 'were' intended to be indulgences sold by the church of AGW for the God Gaia. Remember it's only a sin if you don't pay up.

Carbon Credits are - sorry - 'were' intended to control the worlds economy.

Now Carbon Credits are dead. So apparently we're f*cked. Al's pretty pissed about it too. I mean the planet being doomed and all; not about the $billions that 'cudda been' . . . just ask him.

I'm thinking of starting up my own Carboloney Offset site and get in on this Green Economy before it's too late . . .

-barn

Feb 15, 2011 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterbarn E. rubble

Woodentop: With respect, the article from American Thinker is just embarrassing and I feel a need to distance myself from it. CAGW is Nazi science? Even if it is, this is such a crude rhetorical fallacy it is not even worth categorizing. Werner Von Braun was a Nazi, and although never put on trial there is evidence out there that implicates him as a war criminal. Does this invalidate rocket science?

Since we are at the Godwin stage of this thread, the whole "denier" pejorative I also find distasteful; but not because of associations with the past (I am a GenX/GenY, so way before my time). The pejorative when used by most CAGW faithful is used to imply "you are living in denial" or "you deny the abundant evidence against your present point of view", not "you deny the events of history". It is a negative comment on one's state of mind. It is something I regularly introspect upon; is my basis of CAGW scepticism based on a reluctance to embrace my "responsibilities" and a "brave new world"; or is my CAGW scepticism firmly grounded on reasonable standards of evidence? In the spirit of the title of this blog post "real sceptics", I regards my self as a true sceptic, and have expressed scepticism in a number of fields, some of which I have impeccable, technical skill and qualification in (computer science); and I have on a number of key occasions of taking the stick to the sacred cow have inflicted social pariah status upon myself, but I press on, because that is the way my mind is wired; second guess everything, including my own position on things.

Feb 15, 2011 at 8:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew B

Thanks to our pet troll, as I write my comment, this thread has attained 94 comments including several very tiresome shouting matches.

A few posts back, I left the following question for ZDB that he, she or it never answered and will repeat it here:

"(...) the BBC must balance our environmental policies against our responsibility to our licence fee payers, and we do not believe buying offsets represents good use of licence fee income."
Them's their exact words - and Doug's retort: "If it's not good value for them, why would it be for anyone?" has to be completely justified.
What have you got to say to that, ZED?"

Doug's retort also to me sums up a totally hypocritical attitude on the part of the BBC. That is why I would like an explanation from ZDB as to why it is not.
I will read the troll's answer but this is positively the very last time that I for one will feed it, so I hope he, she or it will make the very best of the opportunity.

Feb 15, 2011 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn in France

Andrew B - it's a fair observation; the title's overblown and doesn't really do the content any favours; but the article does lay out some of the historical links between what can loosely be termed the green movement, earlier "scientific" certainties and rather distasteful politics.

I suppose the take away point for me was that this sort of entryism has been around for a long time, and that loveable, peaceable, cuddly greens aren't always those with the best interests of humanity in mind.

Not that this latter point will be news to any of the regulars here, but as always, YMMV.

Feb 15, 2011 at 9:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

Re Geronimo

We found at the time, and as Skype is testimony to, that voice was the hardest of all to get right because of the realtime nature of voice and the human ears incredible sensitivity to small delays</quote>

I'd argue that the 'nets economic model is the hardest to get right, and still isn't right. Voice was just a bit tricky because it was being shoe-horned onto a network and protocol stack that was never designed for it, and arguably still isn't. Much of this is akin to the climate debate though where a bunch of bright young things (the 'net heads) vs the crusty old timers (the bell heads) argued about the best way to reinvent various wheels. We've reinvented telecomms to make it modern, but in many ways more expensive, lower quality and less reliable and now people are trying to do the same for the energy sector under the guise of preventing global warming. The disruptive new tech is cherrypicking the profitable bits and passing the problems onto the 'legacy' providers to solve, and fund.

As for ears, well, humans really need to be modernised. One of the weirdest things I came across was having made perfectly clear voice transmission paths, we had to add comfort noise :p

Feb 15, 2011 at 9:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

It's funny that a high comment count frequently signals "Troll at work" and a significant reduction in SNR. Nonetheless, there's a lot of good stuff in this thread. Thanks.

Feb 15, 2011 at 9:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

Hi Woodentop. In order to construct an argument in support a less than generous assessment of the green institution one only need comprehensively study their words and deeds; such as recent post here about Prince Charles' recent comments on the matter. It is not necessary, in fact I think it is counter-productive, to try and assert an association with institutions of the past and to imply this has any bearing on the assessment.

Playing devils advocate maybe trying to represent your opponent as a sociopath is just all in all pointless and unproductive; since they do exactly the same to us. The issue is an issue that passionately mobilises people into fierce tribal/partisan lines and we are currently in an era where being rude and brash with digital strangers is considered normal and acceptable behaviour. It feels as though it is rare and difficult to have a calm and polite debate on the matter. Maybe people in the green movement truly feel that the world around them is on the brink of collapse, and refusal to share their point of view (admittedly when I was in my early 20s I did also feel this way), impinges upon their capacity to pursue individual prosperity and security as they define it; as such opponents deserve to "be held accountable". And for my part, why should I impinge my pursuit of prosperity by accepting a path that I suspect will diminish it when my own standards of evidence have not been sufficiently satisfied (not even close) to justify the necessity?

The real victim in this is scepticsm. Seems that the only sceptisism that is permissible in polite company is harassing astrologers and young Earch creationists for sport and recreation. A substantial step back from the the scepticism that Carl Sagan espoused in his novel "Demon Haunted World".

Feb 15, 2011 at 9:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew B

I love Philip Bratby's idea of carbon onsets.

And I also think that zippedy do dah should start his/her/its own blog.

Feb 15, 2011 at 10:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

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