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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 06/24/2008

Freedman: Increasingly Going to Extremes

By Andrew Freedman

As a swollen Mississippi River breached levees last week, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program released a report that warned of more heavy precipitation events and associated flooding in the coming years due to global climate change. The report, entitled "Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate," is possibly the most thorough overview yet of the changing landscape of extreme weather and climate events in North America and the policy challenges that lie ahead in order to adequately manage climate-related risk.

Keep reading to learn more about the risk of future climate extremes in the U.S. How extreme will this week's weather locally be? See Matt's full forecast and NatCast.

The report, which is part of a series of narrowly focused climate science studies published by the Bush administration, found that extreme weather and climate events have been occurring with increasing regularity and severity in recent years in North America, largely as a result of human-induced climate change.

The report details shifts in temperature and precipitation extremes, as well as extreme weather events such as hurricanes. It cites evidence that shows that precipitation is now coming in heavier doses courtesy of human emissions of greenhouse gases, with lighter precipitation occurring less frequently.

The crucial link behind this trend, the report notes, is the increased water vapor in the air due to warming (warmer air holds more water vapor). "Heavy precipitation events averaged over North America have increased over the past 50 years, consistent with the observed increases in atmospheric water vapor, which have been associated with human-induced increases in greenhouse gases," the report states.

None of this information is profoundly new, since the increasing likelihood of extreme weather and climate events has been well-known at least since the mid 1990s. What is more interesting is the finding that, in the near to mid-term at least, more frequent and severe extremes will be one of the most important manifestations of climate change in North America. "We will continue to see some of the biggest impacts of global warming coming from changes in weather and climate extremes," said report co-chair Gerry Meehl, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo in a press release.

Adapting to these new extremes, the report notes, will not come cheaply, nor will it be easily accomplished.

For an example of a broken human management system of weather extremes, look no further than the network of levees that have tried to hold back the Mississippi River and other rivers in recent days. As the New York Times described in its Sunday edition, the Mississippi's levees come under state, local and federal jurisdiction, with no single overriding authority present to perform regular inspections and require that levees comply with construction standards. In fact, the feds don't even know where all of the levees are!

The report makes clear that numerous sectors of society have a large role to play in determining how disruptive future weather and climate extremes will be. For example, policymakers will soon need to decide whether homes and businesses should be rebuilt in Iowa flood zones, or if policies should discourage such development. The decision in this case will have ramifications for the next major flood, be it in 10 years or 50 years.

In fact, levees may not be that great anyway. The report cites the "levee effect" as a contributor to escalating losses from major flooding events. This phenomenon, the report states, is when flood control measures such as building levees encourage development in flood-prone areas because of a perceived sense of safety. This can protect people from small flood events, but may make society more susceptible to losses when a major event hits, such as the ongoing flooding.

"Moderate flood control measures on a river can stimulate development in a now "safe" floodplain," the report states, "only to see those new structures damaged when a very large flood occurs."

The flooding in the Midwest could provide an opportunity for policymakers to rethink the pattern of development and flood control in that region. However, recent experience argues against such a development, the report implies, noting the demand to rebuild vulnerable neighborhoods after Hurricane Katrina.

The report was led by Meehl and Thomas Karl, the director of the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina. Because Karl had conducted some of the research that was included in the report (as did Meehl), his leadership of the team was called into question last week when University of Colorado atmospheric scientist Roger Pielke Sr. accused the authors of selectively excluding information that went against their own research.

"Since this assessment is so clearly biased, it should be rejected as providing adequate climate information to policymakers," Pielke Sr. wrote on his web site. "There also should be questions raised concerning having the same individuals preparing these reports in which they are using them to promote their own perspective on the climate, and deliberately excluding peer reviewed papers that disagree with their viewpoint and research papers. This is a serious conflict of interest."

Karl and Meehl are widely cited experts on weather and climate extremes, particularly concerning precipitation extremes. However, if they did exclude peer-reviewed research that disagreed with their own conclusions, without providing adequate scientific justification for doing so, then that would indeed call into question some of the report's conclusions. It will be interesting to see if Karl and the co-authors respond to this criticism in the coming days. I will note this in the comments section of this column, and also welcome readers' thoughts on this study and its importance.

By Andrew Freedman  | June 24, 2008; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Climate Change, Floods, Freedman  
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Comments

Are there any reports about what the local effects would be from significant climate change?

Posted by: Barnaby | June 24, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Roger Pielke Sr. has a valid complaint. But the problem is more insidious than excluding information that goes against their research, they use their social network as a method of getting their work "peer reviewed".

In short, it works like this -
Scientist A collaborates with scientist B on a paper. Previously, scientist A had collaborated with scientist C on a different paper. And scientist B had collaborated with scientists C and D previously. So all 4 scientists are close if not friends. They are all tied to each other via a working relationship at minimum. So when it comes time to have a paper "peer reviewed", they pass their papers amongst themselves and take turns patting each other on the back for their brilliant work.

And it goes even deeper than the peer review process. This social networking extends to the publishing process as well. Scientist B is not going to let a paper the completely refutes his buddy's work, scientist D, get published. That would make for an awkward week-end barbecue, now wouldn't it?

It is a pretty disgusting process.

Dr. Wegman has testified before Congress on the whole sordid affair. He blames social networking for allowing the extremely flawed hockey stick to perpetuate unchallenged despite its many flaws. For anyone interested in reading more about this you can start here -
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/StupakResponse.pdf
http://www.climateaudit.org/pdf/others/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr. Q. | June 24, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Barnaby -- The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments is looking at this in a report, currently in draft form (PDF). See starting on pg. 21 (I4: Recognizing Risks: Potential Impacts of Climate Change on the Metropolitan Washington Region). There's also this (now kind of old) report (PDF) from EPA.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | June 24, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I made it to pdf page number 11, paper page number VII, when all the doom and gloom reminded me of an article I read recently.

Warmists in Frantic Effort to Save their Failing Theory

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr. Q. | June 24, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Q: While there are certainly social networks among climate change researchers, that is not how the peer review process works with getting papers published in scientific journals. With journals, there is usually a blind review in which the paper is sent to anonymous reviewers who have no affiliation with the author. However, with a report like the one on weather and climate extremes, the process may be more informal and therefore closer to your rather extreme interpretation.

Posted by: Andrew Freedman, Capital Weather Gang | June 24, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I wrote, "And it goes even deeper than the peer review process. This social networking extends to the publishing process as well. Scientist B is not going to let a paper the completely refutes his buddy's work, scientist D, get published. That would make for an awkward week-end barbecue, now wouldn't it?"

Mr. Freedman replied with, "With journals, there is usually a blind review in which the paper is sent to anonymous reviewers who have no affiliation with the author."

Your reply is not incongruous with what I wrote. As a matter of fact, it supports what I wrote.

Allow me to further expound on what I was saying -
Scientist B is an editor at a journal of note. Scientist B is buddies with scientists A, C, and D, as previously outlined.

Scientist B receives a paper for publication in his journal from scientist H (for heretic) which disproves everything that scientist C, scientist B's buddy, recently proposed.

Scientist B isn't going to let his buddy look bad. So before publishing scientist H's (the heretic) paper, he passes the paper to scientists A, C, and D for "peer review".

Scientists A, B, C and D are not friends of scientist H. Scientists A, B, C and D are friends of each other.

What kind of peer review to you suppose scientist H's paper receives from scientists A, C and D?

Voila! Scientist H's paper has been officially rejected for publication.

Social networking wins again.

Posted by: Mr. Q. | June 24, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Freedman, Dr. Wegman discusses what you wrote. You really should read his paper. It isn't very long and it an interesting read.

Quoting Dr. Wegman,
-- begin quote --
One of the interesting questions associated with the 'hockey stick controversy' are the relationships among the authors and consequently how confident one can be in the peer review process. In particular, if there is a tight relationship among the authors and there
are not a large number of individuals engaged in a particular topic area, then one may suspect that the peer review process does not fully vet papers before they are published. Indeed, a common practice among associate editors for scholarly journals is to look in the
list of references for a submitted paper to see who else is writing in a given area and thus who might legitimately be called on to provide knowledgeable peer review. Of course, if a given discipline area is small and the authors in the area are tightly coupled, then this process is likely to turn up very sympathetic referees. These referees may have coauthored other papers with a given author. They may believe they know that author's other writings well enough that errors can continue to propagate and indeed be reinforced.

In order to answer such questions about the relationships among authors in the area of temperature reconstructions, we developed two datasets. The first specifically focusing on Dr. Mann was developed by first considering all of his co-authors and then examining the abstracts produced by the co-authors. We focus on Dr. Mann because he is the lead
author of MBH98/99 and because he is extremely influential in this area as can be seen by his high degree of centrality. Drs. Bradley and Hughes also appear in the social network, but do not exhibit the centrality that Dr. Mann exhibits. We used the Engineering Compendex database, which is available on the web, to develop the abstract database of his coauthors. Based on the expanded database we examined the co-authors of his co-authors. This first database is Dr. Mann centric with the idea of understanding the relationships among his reasonably close associates. This first database consisted of 43 individuals all of whom have close ties to Dr. Mann. The second database was developed by looking for abstracts in the Engineering Compendex that treated aspects of
temperature reconstruction. This second more expanded database contained more
authors. In our analysis, we considered only the top 50 and top 75 in terms of numbers of papers published. There were more authors who wrote only one paper in the area and are thus not consistent researchers in the area. We report here the analysis with the top 75 authors, i.e. the 75 most frequently published authors.
Figures 5.1 through 5.4 deal with the first dataset of the closest associates of Dr. Mann.

Figures 5.5 through 5.7 deal with the 75 most frequently published authors.
-- end quote --

The above can be found here -
http://www.climateaudit.org/pdf/others/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf
on pdf page number 37, paper page number 38

There is an excellent diagram of the allegiance plot on the following page.

It really is good stuff. You might want to take a look at it.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr. Q. | June 24, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

-- begin quote --
The crucial link behind this trend, the report notes, is the increased water vapor in the air due to warming (warmer air holds more water vapor). "Heavy precipitation events averaged over North America have increased over the past 50 years, consistent with the observed increases in atmospheric water vapor, which have been associated with human-induced increases in greenhouse gases," the report states.
-- end quote --


Interesting that they refer specifically to North America because there hasn't been that much warming in North America, at least according to Dr. Hansen -
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/fig1x.gif

Quoting Dr. Hansen -
"The U.S. has warmed during the past century, but the warming hardly exceeds year-to-year variability. Indeed, in the U.S. the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934."

The above quote can be found here -
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/

The warming in the U.S. "hardly exceeds year-to-year variability".

That sort of blows a big hole through the core of their argument, doesn't it?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm.... now that I think about it, Dr. Hansen's comment that the warming in the U.S. "hardly exceeds year-to-year variability" not only destroys their core argument, it also cuts the legs out from under your last column.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr. Q. | June 24, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Holy cow! I can't believe I missed this sentence from Dr. Hansen, "Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought."

Same link as above -
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr. Q. | June 24, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Q is clearly not willing to acknowledge the overwhelming consensus of reputable climate scientists that climate change is occurring and doing so largely in response to human activities. Yes, there are remaining uncertainties, which these same scientists readily acknowledge.

He is clearly good at cherry picking and focusing upon the positions of devoted naysayers who won't even consider the possibility that anthropogenic climate change is at work.

His filibustering should be blocked from this site. It is non-compromising verbal diarrhea that is a distracting turnoff. His use of this forum as a platform for his diatribes needs to be eliminated. I'd be very surprised if those who are truly interested in the realities of the changing climate do not feel the same way.

BTW: It's extremely doubtful that Mr. Q has ever published - or even tried to publish - a peer reviewed paper. He obviously seeks nothing more than a forum to gain attention - and that should be denied here.

Mr. Freedman is to be commended for his clearly researched, objective and honest appraisal of various issues dealing with climate change.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse


I kind of like Mr. Q.


I myself can get no farther than the "Climate has changed during the entire history of earth" debate in my head." Or the "suspension of climate change is a suspension of natural selection" argument.

He actually gets in the trenches to duke it out with the alarmists. I myself don't like to walk among the panic.

Posted by: PK | June 24, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

As I posted yesterday, we could already be seeing a change in the form of increased local thunderstorm activity.

Posted by: El Bombo | June 24, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

If fewer people listened to Al Gore & Co., and more listened to Mr. Q, we would all be a lot better off. We need more people like Q to stand up and tell things like they are, not out of a Political Correctness 101 textbook.

Floods and tornadoes have occured in the American Midwest all throughout history......yes, even before Al Gore was born. In fact, no area of the world, by actual climatological fact, is more prone to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes than the area between the Rockies and Appalachians. The Midwest is famous all over the planet for its severe storms.

Posted by: Mike | June 24, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Mike: Al Gore had nothing to do with the climate change report that was put out by the U.S. government last week. And yes, severe storms occur with regularity in the Midwest, but the pattern of extreme events has changed in a statistically significant way, according to the report.

Posted by: Andrew Freedman, Capital Weather Gang | June 24, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Interesting as usual.

Regarding Jim Hansen: Unfortunately, the hysterics that he has displayed in the last several days has relegated him to the same level as Al Gore. He is no longer to be taken seriously.

Regarding the recent flooding in the midwest. Please folks, have we so soon forgoten the tremendous flooding 15 years ago this summer in the same area?? Before anyone begins attempting to compare crest levels today to 1993, please be advised, you will be comparing apples to oranges.

Anyone with a reasonable level of intelligence understands that runoff potential from any given amount of rainfall is greatly enhanced by continuing human development.

5 inches of rain shorterm over any given chunk of real estate other than remote wilderness areas will result in significantly higher stream crest levels today, compared to 1993, 1973 or 1953. Everytime a house, highway, parking lot, building or dozens of other human fixtures are constructed, the runoff is much greater compared to the holding effect of natural vegetation. That is the reason for stormwater retention facilities, but the number of properly functioning retention dams is grossly inadequate to contain the enhanced runoff from development because they are largely constructed only for major construction projects.

The insinuation that a warming environment creates these events because warmer air can hold more water is quite interesting. THE PERIOD FROM MARCH THROUGH MAY WAS COOLER THAN NORMAL IN THE FLOOD RAVISHED AREAS OF THE MIDWEST !!

Dr. Joseph Goebbels would be thrilled with many of the items that compete for headlines within our print and broadcast media these days !!

Posted by: Augusta Jim | June 24, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Holy cow! I can't believe what Dr. Hansen wrote 9 years ago, talking only about the U.S.-

"In the meantime, we can venture two "predictions" on "whither U.S. climate". First, regarding U.S. temperature, we have argued (Hansen et al., 1999a) that the next decade will be warmer than the 1990s, rivaling if not exceeding the 1930s. ... Second, regarding precipitation and drought, even without analysis of regional patterns of change, we can offer the probabilistic statement that the frequencies of both extremes, heavy precipitation and floods on the one hand and droughts and forest fires on the other, will increase with increasing global temperature."

Hansen was right on the money 9 years ago! I wonder if his predictions today might be accurate?!!?

Same link as above -
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/

Jackie

Posted by: Jackie | June 24, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I find it both funny and very, very sad that many people in the denialist crowd (I hate the term "denialist" (gotta be a better one), but many people are well-beyond the respectable term of "skeptic") spend much of their time now attacking the messengers and not the message.

What on Earth does Al Gore have to with global warming, other than as a repeater for the scientists that we should be listening to?

And sorry Augusta Jim (I love your posts), but Jim Hansen has been saying this stuff for years. There is nothing alarmist in the stuff he is saying, and generally he has been on target. That he is getting ancy because the world just keeps barreling on its merry way is pretty evident, however.

I find it interesting also, that these columns don't provoke the kind of discussion that they use to since the move. The attacks start almost immidietly, squelching any real discussion.
Sign of the times, I guess.

Posted by: jbroon | June 25, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Holy cow, I can't believe the smears that are being promoted on Capitol Weather Gang blog!

The latest news from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program says -

"the last decade is the warmest in more than a century of direct observations in the United States. Along with temperature, other features of the climate have already been observed to change, such as an increase in the proportion of heavy precipitation events, especially in the last three decades, changes in snow cover and an increase in sea level."

http://www.climatescience.gov/

Poor James Hansen! Looks like someone is trying to swiftboat him. But he's a good sport about it -

"The bottom line is: I did not receive one thin dime from George Soros. ... By the way, in case anybody finds out that George Soros INTENDED to send me $720,000 but could not find my address, please let me know! We are pretty hard pressed here."

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/distro_Lawlessness_070927.pdf

That's called humor...

Jackie

Posted by: Jackie | June 25, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Q: Your latest post has been unpublished as it was a personal attack that resorted to name-calling ("buffoon") and contained information that is incorrect and defamatory. A second offense will result in your posts being suspended and/or blocked. Please be careful about what you post and be respectful.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | June 25, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

please see page 123 -
http://www.soros.org/resources/articles_publications/publications/annual_20070731/a_complete.pdf

My last comment, the one that was deleted was 100% correct. Every single word.

Please specify what you found to be incorrect or defamatory. I can provide supporting documentation to back up every single word of it.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr. Q. | June 25, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Mr Q: Hansen is on the record saying he received no such funding from Soros and the link you give provides no evidence of your deleted assertion. Whatever the case is, we're not trying him here. Please drop the subject and take heed of the previous warning about name-calling if you wish to continue posting here.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | June 25, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I will drop the discussion of Dr. Hansen because it is more important to me that I return here every week to counter your columns. I will respond with fact after fact to each and every one of your columns. I won't let you go unchecked or unchallenged.

Until then.

Mr. Q.

"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- Henry Louis Mencken

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis

Posted by: Mr. Q. | June 25, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

In a previous column, Dr. Tracton referred to me as Mr. Quibble. That is most definitely "name calling". No one deleted his comment. No one publicly chastised him for his name calling.

May I suggest that if you are going to have a standard, you should apply it fairly and evenly to all. Not just to the comments made by people with whom you disagree.

Mr. Q.

"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." -- P.J. O'Rourke

Posted by: Mr. Q. | June 25, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse


To quote Stephen J Gould, "In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." The analogue to the discussion here from Dr. Gould goes something like this: "I suppose that apples might start to rise, rather than fall from trees, but the possibility does not merit equal time in the physics classroom".

To paraphrase Ashley Montague - Scientists have proof without any certainty,
so called deniers of climate change have certainty without any proof.

In today's vernacular, that translates pretty close to denial being "faith based", rather than a reality based approach to the issues.

Posted by: Steve Tracton, Capital Weather Gang | June 25, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

jbroon:

Thanks for your comments.

As always, I am interested in an honest and reasonable exchange of thoughts, ideas, and evidence supporting mindset, regarding climate change or anyone of many other subjects.

And yes, the climate is changing, this is a continuing evolution that has been constant for millions of years. The great debate that continues to rage concerns the present and future course of this change within the brief snapshot of 100 years past and 100 years into the future, are present trends (warming or cooling) human activity influenced or natural as in the past?, will this result in all negative or some beneficial impacts on the earth and it's creatures? and do humans have the power to alter this course or would a focus on adaptation reap a greater ultimate benefit.

When a leading public spokesman for any political,social or environmental movement begins sensationalizing or uttering words that are somewhat extreme or radical in the minds of most reasonable people, the exclaimer often destroys their credibility either immediately or over time. Such is the case with Al Gore and now Dr. James Hansen is flirting with this reality.

This past Monday marked the 20th anniversary of Dr. Hansen's testimony to Congress back on June 23,1988, when he suggested that global warming exhibited "a cause-and-effect relationship to the greenhouse effect". Now 20 years later, obviously frustrated regarding his perceptions of failed progress, he suggests in interviews and another address to Congress that CEO's of Exxonmobile and Peabody Coal should be put on trial for "high crimes against humanity and nature" because of their actions related to climate change. He also indicates they are fully aware of the disinformation they are spreading. (my reference for yesterday's thoughts)

Is it possible that some may consider the errors that have been contained in the GISS temp.data that Dr. Hansen has been responsible for(discovered by Steve McIntyre)to also be disinformation? if so could this possibly also warrant investigation and trial?? As Albert Einstein once said: "If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts"

This would be a likely result if Dr. Hansen was taken seriously,therefore my kind suggestion, to not take him seriously may be in his best interest and a rationale for the lack of interest by the mainstream media regarding his recent statements.

interesting

Posted by: Augusta Jim | June 25, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Why do climate denialists hate America?

Posted by: Capital Climate | June 25, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Augusta Jim:
Nice to see for once, a little civility in this forum... But is it really disinformation if the errors found GISS temp errors were admitted?
(see Real Climate for discussion:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/08/1934-and-all-that/

But your point about Jim Hansen and even Al Gore may have some merit if they were the only scientists advocating change or reporting on the changing climate and its probable cause. What about the writers of the IPCC? What about the guys at Real Climate (realclimate.org), what about the other thousands of scientists? Do they all have some underlying agenda, some hysterical disease?

Your suggestion is that somehow, this is a two-man show.

And for the life of me, I fail to see the what is so hysterical about Al Gore's message. It is almost always one of hope, that we CAN make the changes necessary, that the Free Market has a role to play, and that its all within our grasp.

You want hysterical? Take a look at James Lovelock, who believes we are too late and doomed (which I don't believe by the way).

Focusing on personalities just clouds the issues. I would prefer to talk about global warming without the personalities, because so often, the discussion becomes Al Gore this, James Hansen that. James Hansen and Al Gore have nothing to do with my belief in climate change. Rather it comes from an interest in the science of it. If there were no Al Gore, and no James Hansen, it would not affect my belief one bit.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go to another board and make fun of James Inhofe. Kidding!

Posted by: jbroon | June 25, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Quoting jbroon, "What about the guys at Real Climate (realclimate.org), what about the other thousands of scientists?"

There are 10 contributors listed at realclimate. Senator Inhofe has a list of over 400 prominent scientists that disputed Man-Made global warming claims. He has the complete list by name.

Can you provide the names of your "thousands of scientists"?

Mr. Q.


"The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem." -- Milton Friedman

Posted by: Mr. Q. | June 25, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chicken Little!

Notice how they want to shut up Mr. Q. because he presents views here which don't follow exactly in line with the warmanistas who run control this board.

Free Mr. Q.!

Let him post here!

The fascist left never has tolerated dissent, and this board is no different.

Last year they bleated in unison to revoke certification from local mets who dared question warming religion orthodoxy.

Pathetic!

Stop pretending this is science.

Free speech and free debate ought to be norm for all political discussions.

Posted by: Artjohn | June 26, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Q/Artjohn/Chicken Little wrote:
"The rest don't get involved. Like pro-gay marriage believers."

Really? You couldn't just keep it to the climate subject? You have to drag all of the rest of this into it?

But then, I guess he who shouts loudest wins.
Such is the way it goes these days.

(Augusta Jim, you are certainly the exception in this thread.)


Posted by: jbroon | June 26, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Artjohn: This is supposed to be scientific discussion, not a political one. It's only certain commenters who have made this political. Andrew's column was about a major U.S. government report completed by a blue-ribbon panel of some of our country's best climate scientists. Have you read the report? Are you aware of the review and approval process it went through?

We cautioned Mr. Q not to name-call and publish what we believe are unsubstantiated and defamatory facts.

We have been tolerant in allowing a range of perspectives to be expressed...even when they were way out to lunch in our opinion and off-topic (though we've tried to steer discussions back on topic). We've actually caught heat for being as tolerant as we have been in allowing certain commenters to hijack the discussion.

And finally, see this FAQ

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | June 26, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

ArtJohn: The warnings to Mr. Q have had nothing to do with his message that is critical of mainstream climate science. This board welcomes all views on the issue. However, he has frequently made comments that have been antagonizing to our writers as well as other commenters, often resorting to name-calling, which is inconsistent with our policies for the comments board.

As for your comment about us advocating "decertification" of meteorologists for not speaking to climate science, that is a convenient revision of what I actually wrote, which was that climate science should be included as part of the AMS certification process. I never said that anyone should be decertified if their views on climate change don't match up with "global warming religion orthodoxy," as you put it.

Posted by: Andrew Freedman, Capital Weather Gang | June 26, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Chicken Little- The warning about name-calling applies to you too. One more offense and you will be blocked. Your comment in which you called a someone a "fool" has been unpublished.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | June 26, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Andrew Freedman wrote that I "... , often resorting to name-calling, ..."

Aside from that statement being untrue, isn't it also defamatory, Mr. Freedman? I made ONE posting in which I called someone a name. I hardly think one == often.

I challenge you to either find another post where I called a commenter a name, or make a public correction to your comment.

Mr. Q.


"Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." -- Thomas Paine

Posted by: Anonymous | June 26, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Q: You made only one posting on this comment thread in which you called someone a name. You have done this in other comment threads.

Posted by: Andrew Freedman, Capital Weather Gang | June 26, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Freedman, if what you allege is true, then you should have no problem pointing one out.

In your browser of choice, use the search function. Search for "Mr. Q".

I reassert the same challenge, I challenge you to either find another post where I called a commenter a name, or make a public correction to your comment.

Mr. Q.

"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- Henry Louis Mencken

Posted by: Mr. Q. | June 26, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Q: A brief search through the comments history shows numerous instances of you being generally rude, but I could not find an example of name-calling other than calling me an ambulance chaser, which I don't believe is against our guidelines. I therefore stand corrected, for the time being.

Posted by: Andrew Freedman, Capital Weather Gang | June 26, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Technically, I did not call you an ambulance chaser, but I will concede that your interpretation of the point that I was making is correct.

Mr. Freedman, during your search did you happen to see the comment where Dr. Tracton referred to someone, presumably me, as "Mr. Quibble"? Did you happen to notice that no one from the Capital Weather Gang deleted his comment? Did you happen to notice that no one from the Capital Weather Gang publicly cautioned him about name calling?

Do you see how this could be interpreted as a double standard? That question is obviously rhetorical.

I understand that you think that I am rude. I do not. However, I accept your criticism even though I do not agree with it.

I will cease replying to anyone who comments here. I will limit myself to making general comments that are a response to your column. I will try to not be rude, but I will not limit my free speech in the process. I do not do political correctness. I never have. I find political correctness to be nothing more than a tool that one side uses to attempt to limit dissent. They make the process of voicing your dissent too painful and time consuming. It is a clever trick, I will give them that. I however, will not self-impose a strangle hold on my ability to dissent.

Actually, that last sentence isn't entirely true. I am self-imposing a limit to my dissent. I am not saying what I truly think of your columns where you attempt to tie the recent natural disasters (and the suffering of those enduring them) to man made global warming. I can not find the words that would adequately describe what I think of that without being what you would no doubt call "rude" or "name calling". So I guess you win that one. You have silenced my opinion on that. Congratulations to you, sir.

Mr. Q.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis

Posted by: Mr. Q. | June 26, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr Q: Andrew did not need to correct himself. You have name called on more than one occasion. Back when you referred to yourself as "C. Quesenberry", you referred to Dan/Andrew as "crack reporters". See: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2008/04/freedman_gore_serves_accuweath.html

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | June 26, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Mr Q: While that individual probably shouldn't have called you Mr. Quibble and we'll be more careful about such characterizations in the future, there is a significant difference in calling someone a "buffoon" and a "crack reporter" versus a quibbler.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | June 26, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

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