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By Tom Toles

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Friday rant -- heat exhaustion edition

This will be my last rant about the climate. Cartoonists sometimes look just like the archetypical cartoon character crawling across the desert. Gary Larson did a cartoon about two guys crawling across a desert, dying of thirst. They have come upon a drinking fountain. One is letting it run without drinking and saying he's going to let it run until it gets cold. That's about as sensible as the debate on climate change.

We are apparently going to let the debate on the science run until hell freezes over. If you can't accept the conclusions of 98 percent of the scientists whose FIELD IT IS, then why even bother with science? If that high a percentage of field of study is to be discounted ENTIRELY, then we are in deep trouble, which, of course, we are. It would be so simple if it were just a matter of ignoring the yelping commenters hereabouts: "Move on, Mr. Cartoonist! Chill out Tommy! There are more important things to worry about!"

Really? Which would those things be? This may be the only political issue whose results could be catastrophic PERMANENTLY. But the deliberate dust storm thrown up by fossil-fuel-centric interests has succeeded in contaminating and paralyzing the American response. Quite a victory for the deniers! It looks like mass-suicide to me. And so, my final rant on climate. Except not really. There has to be a drinking fountain out there somewhere. --Tom Toles

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By Tom Toles  | August 13, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  GOP  
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Comments

There are two sides to every argument.

For example, some people say the world is round [spherical], others say it's flat.

Why not teach both versions?

Sounds like a plan!

Posted by: tondelayo | August 19, 2010 2:46 AM | Report abuse

James Taylor...

We could the same remarks to disprove the skeptic view as you use to disprove the AGW view. Both side have their research showing "how many scientists agree", what areas of the earth are warming or cooling, etc... So at best you would have to agree that either side of the argument could be correct. And considering the consequences of rising temperatures, wouldn’t ignoring the issues seem foolish? Is this really a subject worth being wrong on? Aside from that, If you really want people to believe that it’s all nonsense then Heartland could at least be a little more respectable in their arguments. For instance, the Climate Conferences are mostly filled with easily refutable claims and presentations that don’t really present much scientific analysis. Half of the presenters claim the earth is cooling, the other half claim its warming but it’s not our fault. Shouldn’t skeptics at least agree on that? There are also often statements made such as "CO2 is good for plants", "CO2 can’t be a pollutant because we breathe it", "CO2 lags temp", “Co2 was higher in the past”, and "its the sun". One presentation actually went as far correlating the rise in life expectancy with the rise in global temps.. The authors point was that since temp and life expectancy rose together, GW must be good for human life... Now isn’t that ridiculous? And the sad part is that some of these easily refutable claims come from the most respected Heartlanders..... So you can claim that you have more people on your side but why would I believe your side as opposed to the actual scientists behind NASA, NOAA, EPA, etc? You cant deny that Co2, in some concentration will in fact raise the temps ( it is a green house gas). You can deny that the levels today are not causing it, but with the evidence for and the threat of continuing accumulation, why risk it?

Posted by: Robb876 | August 18, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Okay, okay... How about we put the shoe on the other foot:

How about you Climate Change Deniers provide proof, at the same level you demand from your opponents, that human activity has neither a measurable nor a reversible effect on global climate?

Yeah... well, obviously not.

Posted by: jonroesler | August 17, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I just want to point one more time to the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) article that Tom linked to:

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.short

PNAS is one of the most respected and prestigious scientific journals published in this country. This article itself was peer reviewed -- i.e. it's not someone's opinion, and it's not a quick and dirty hack job. What the article demonstrates is that 97 to 98% of the most active researches in climate science agree that man-made causes are contributing to an increase in global temperatures. It also demonstrates that, on average, the scientists who accept the reality of anthropogenic climate change have far more expertise in the field and prominence among their peers than the climate change deniers.

This article doesn't prove that global warming is happening, but it does remove one argument that the deniers constantly use: namely that there is significant disagreement in the scientific community on this issue. There isn't. This article is a slam dunk in that respect. Deal with it!

Posted by: tenor | August 16, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

After 8 years of Bush's anti-intellectual mentality and anti-science ideology, it's not supripising to see so many posters arguing against the 98% of the scientist that conclude that there is global climate change and that it is because of carbon emmissions and other man made polutants. The idea that if the scientists are correct, mankind is sealing their own fate by ignoring scientific evidence and refusing to make changes that will reduce and possibly reverse the damage. Mankind and many other animals will become extinct, but the earth will eventually rebound and heal, but it will have shaken off the so called advanced species who are too arrogant to believe that short term gains and not as important as long term health of the planet we live on.

Posted by: alexnyc8 | August 16, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Greater than 90% of scientists agree that little things called bacteria and viruses cause many of the diseases that make people sick and sometimes kill them. These so called "scientists" publish their findings in journals that are supposedly "peer-reviewed". But, many of these scientists are just after more funding. They know that this whole "bacteria and virus" thing gets a lot of attention, so naturally they're going to want to keep their funding coming in. So they keep reaching the same conclusions using this so called "scientific method".

Never mind that for thousands of years, people were being cured of these diseases long before anyone had "antibiotics". Bleeding a sick patient was done for hundreds of years. They must have been seeing some positive results, otherwise they wouldn't have kept doing it, right?

The next time my child is sick, I'm certainly not going to rely on some scientist with a bunch of degrees and history of publications. No sir. I'm going to do what I always do. I'm going to sacrifice an iguana to the moon gods. I did that last time my child was sick, and my child recovered. Explain THAT, scientists!

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | August 16, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Tom, you may have to take heart in this fact - ultimately, the planet will survive. It is merely us ants known as homo sapiens who will be lost when the tsunamis wash us away and then the big freeze overtakes the planet again.

And the likes of us who know we are on the fast track to extinction will perish right along with the folks who keep screaming "it's only 2*F - what's the big issue???"

Even critters know it isn't nice to fool with Mother Nature. Guess the GOP wants to pocket that last oil dollar right up to the point when they climb aboard their Arks.

Posted by: mnbucklew | August 15, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

@chrisd3

Yes we are well aware of this,

800 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of "Man-Made" Global Warming (AGW) Alarm

http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

Posted by: Poptech | August 15, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

The 98% of scientists believe... propaganda is based on a bogus study,

Google Scholar illiteracy in the PNAS

http://www.populartechnology.net/2010/08/google-scholar-illiteracy-in-pnas.html

"PNAS reviewers and author's William R. L. Anderegg, James W. Prall, Jacob Harold and Stephen H. Schneider are apparently Google Scholar illiterate since searching for just the word "climate" with an author's name will bring results from non-peer-reviewed sources such as books, magazines, newspapers, patents, citations, duplicate listings and all sorts of other erroneous results. Such as 16,000 from the Guardian, 52,000 from Newsweek and 115,000 from the New York Times. There is no "peer-reviewed journal only" search option in Google Scholar."

Posted by: Poptech | August 15, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

I survived Global Warming 2100

Posted by: jornolibist | August 14, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

@Maboomba:

"Freezing to death in Argentina"

Nothing about global warming says that it has to be hot everywhere, all the time. It's all about the GLOBAL AVERAGE, which just keeps on setting new records.

Posted by: chrisd3 | August 14, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

@pete1013

"The oddest thing about this whole "debate" is that both sides have assumed the position that the climate, the Earth, the Sun & for that matter, the entire universe are static systems."

No climate scientists say that. None. Natural causes of climate change are thoroughly recognized and have been extensively studied.

Why do you make such a silly claim?

Posted by: chrisd3 | August 14, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

So if it cools, will 98% of "scientists" quit? Let's hold them accountable for once.
Make them record their position and vow to resign if wrong. Like Al Gore resigned (or at least shut up) when we didn't get his 2 years of terrible hurricanes. Where is Al Gore now?
Freezing to death in Argentina:
http://www.examiner.com/creationism-in-atlanta/evidence-of-global-cooling-1

Posted by: Maboomba | August 14, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The oddest thing about this whole "debate" is that both sides have assumed the position that the climate, the Earth, the Sun & for that matter, the entire universe are static systems. Which of course they are not. Of course the climate is changing, always has, always will. This is is a repeatedly proven fact. Things will never be the same as they were. This too is fact.

The Sun is a nuclear furnace, over which we have no control. Fact.

Changing conditions in the Sun directly affect atmospheric conditions on Earth. Fact.

Does human activity affect the rate and severity of climate change? Probably.

Will things change regardless of human activity? Undoubtedly.

Conclusion: The Universe is NOT a static system, is subject to constantly changing conditions, very few of which are manmade. Does this absolve us of the responsibility of Stewardship? Absolutely Not.

When dealing with the only habitable planet we have found, it is wise to err on the side of caution. But who ever said the human race was wise?

Posted by: pete1013 | August 14, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

@Taylor:

"Too bad your Stanford scientist wasn't confident enough in his theory to publically debate any of them."

Perhaps you're unaware that science is debated in the peer-reviewed literature, not on a stage in front of an audience. That's exactly where the climate debate has been occurring, exactly where it's supposed to occur, for decades.

And, by the way, if you want to pretend to be a science expert, you should probably brush up on the meaning of the word "theory" in science. It doesn't mean what you think it means. Global warming isn't a "theory."

Posted by: chrisd3 | August 14, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

r3450n, you don't have to take my word for it. Take the word of the climate scientists from Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, MIT, NASA, NOAA, etc., who have all given presentations at our global warming conferences. Too bad your Stanford scientist wasn't confident enough in his theory to publically debate any of them.

James M. Taylor

Posted by: taylorjm1 | August 13, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Mann and other manmade global warmers bring it on....prove your hoax

Posted by: jornolibist | August 13, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

James Taylor,

Given the choice between climate experts from Stanford and the opinion of you, the former editor of a disability law publication and legal analyst for defenders of property rights (but no background in climatology) from the Exxon-backed Heartland Institute who refuses to publicly disclose their funding, I'm gonna have to go with Stanford. You are the extremist, sir.

Posted by: r3450n | August 13, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

@jgsr

"100% of the earth's population believed the Earth was flat,"

As others have pointed out, yo are dead wrong on this, too. The ancient Greeks believed that the Earth was probably round as far back as 600BC, and proved it as soon as they had the tools and techniques to do so.

So, the scientists were right about this all along. They, did, however have trouble convincing some of the public.

Sound familiar at all?

Posted by: chrisd3 | August 13, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

@jgsr:

"There were warming periods, cooling periods, ice ages, more warming periods. Those climate changes and adjustments must have been created and controlled by human government agencies and associations."

Is it your understanding that scientists believe that man's activites are the only thing that affects climate? If so, you are wrong.

Is it your understanding that the existence of natural climate change disproves the existence of anthropogenic cliamte change? If so, you are wrong.

Posted by: chrisd3 | August 13, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

@lderusso:

"You know, I can remember reading articles back in the '60s and early '70s about the impending Ice Age. Those predictions were based on scientific studies also."

No, they weren't. Almost no scientists predicted any significant near-term cooling. A study of the scientific literature from back then has proved this beyond a shadow of a doubt. Even back then, most of the peer-reviewed papers predicted warming, not cooling.

Go read the two famous articles from Time and Newsweek. They're both online. What you'll find is that they're talking about OBSERVED cooling, not PREDICTED cooling. There are no predictions of any kind, and certainly none from scientists.

Posted by: chrisd3 | August 13, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Taylor, you rock!

Posted by: bobbo2 | August 13, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

James Taylor is a professional denier who works for the oil backed Heartland Inst. Several polls and literature searches have shown that about 97% of climate scientists believe the Earth is warming at a dangerous rate and that human GHG emissions and deforestation are the primary causes. Opinions do differ over the magnitude of the warming and various regional impacts. Virtually none thinks this is good news. And this does not take into account new work on ocean acidification and the 40% decline in ocean phytoplankton.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/22/1003187107.abstract

http://newsjunkiepost.com/2010/02/26/97-percent-of-scientists-believe-in-man-made-climate-change/

Posted by: mike_midwest | August 13, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Sebsmith, thanks for the Wikipedia quote.

From the Bray/von Storch survey:

Less than half of climate scientists agreed that,
"Assuming climate change will occur, it will occur so suddenly that a lack of preparation could result in devastation of some areas of the world."

Less than half of climate scientists agreed that,
"Climate models can accurately predict climate conditions in the future."

Barely more than half of climate scientists agreed that,
"climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic (manmade) causes."

The fact is that scientists are deeply divided over the global warming issue, regardless of what activists would have you believe.

Moreover, Greenland in the 1980s and 1990s experienced its coldest decades since the 1910s. As Greenland temperatures have inevitably, and thankfully, moderated from their abnormally cold 1980s and 1990s readings, this is not a sign of alarm. It is a welcome sign that the 1980s and 1990s did not signal a return to ice age conditions.

James M. Taylor

Posted by: taylorjm1 | August 13, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The most important word in the term Global Warming is "global"...not "warming..cooling".
Global encompasses the entire Earth.
There is no doubt there is warming in the Arctic region.
There is no doubt that the ice sheet in Antarctica is growing.
Neither condition in either region constitutes a "global" diagnosis.
It would be equally wrong to declare a state of global cooling based on the increase of ice in Antarctica.
The definitive proof is no sudden rising. in sea levels worldwide.
Simple principle involved: If there is more ice melting, than growing then there would be continuously rising sea levels....and there isn't.
Global means the entire planet and not what is happening in one part.
We are grossly over-estimating our importance in a natural ongoing process that has been going on for billions of years before our arrival.
We absolutely should improve our stewardship of the earth.
We absolutely should stop anointing ourselves with importance in exerting change on a long existing climatic process of periods of warming, cooling, moderate periods of either and extreme periods of either.
Earth did just fine without us for billions of years.
Keep the earth cleaner...absolutely.
Assigning ourselves powers and abilities beyond our potential is nothing but ego and vanity.
We can't keep crabgrass out of a our on individual yards 2 years in a row, but we are going to change the world's climate?

Posted by: jgsr | August 13, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Umm... here's another delicious irony: The fact is that, up until 500 years ago, 100% of the population did NOT think the world was flat. People who wouldn't listen to scientists; maybe. And ones who didn't understand science, or didn't have access to that level of knowledge.

The fact is that, the Greek mathematician Eratosthenes closely estimated the size of our spherical planet more than 200 years B.C., and was so accurate that it took almost 1000 years for the estimate to be improved upon (by Posidonius, another Greek).

The reason King Ferdinand wouldn't support Columbus was NOT because he or any educated person believed the world was flat. He knew the earth was round, and the reason Ferdinand wouldn't support Columbus was because his advisors told him that Columbus was wildly incorrect about the earth's SIZE.

Columbus was very persuasive, however, and, yes, argued against the scientific consensus of the time and found people to fund him in his venture. Columbus found land, yes, lucky for him, but he certainly did NOT find what he said he would find.

Along the way, and I have no idea why this very basic fact is not taught well in most American schools, Columbus proved the conventional scientific and mathematical wisdom of his day to be really quite accurate. So, yes, Columbus the science denier... an appropriate poster child for other deniers of science.

Posted by: jonroesler | August 13, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

James M. Taylor,
FYI
Bray and von Storch, 2003
Bray and von Storch conducted a survey in 2003 of the perspectives of climate scientists on global climate change.[103] The survey received 530 responses from 27 different countries. The 2003 survey has been strongly criticized on the grounds that it was performed on the web with no means to verify that the respondents were climate scientists or to prevent multiple submissions. The survey required entry of a username and password, but the username and password were circulated to a climate skeptics mailing list and elsewhere on the internet.[104] Bray and von Storch defended their results.[105] and accused climate change skeptics of interpreting the results with bias. Bray's submission to Science on December 22, 2004 was rejected.
One of the questions asked in the survey was "To what extent do you agree or disagree that climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic causes?", with a value of 1 indicating strongly agree and a value of 7 indicating strongly disagree. The results showed a mean of 3.62, with 50 responses (9.4%) indicating "strongly agree" and 54 responses (9.7%) indicating "strongly disagree". The same survey indicates a 72% to 20% endorsement of the IPCC reports as accurate, and a 15% to 80% rejection of the thesis that "there is enough uncertainty about the phenomenon of global warming that there is no need for immediate policy decisions."

Posted by: Sebsmith_2002 | August 13, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

You're right, jgsr. There were no people during the time of the dinosaurs, which means there were no cars, factories, airplanes, or other man-made sources of greenhouse gas emissions, either. Can you see how adding those things means we have to take a more active role in managing the climate, since we're now influencing it?

And nice rhetorical sleights of hand there, Heartland Institute guy. You argue we should ignore Greenland ice sheet activity because . . . Antarctica has snow. Antarctica and Greenland are different places. And you argue global warming isn't a crisis because . . . some study casts doubt on "turning the global warming issue over to policymakers for government action." Whether the crisis exists, and what the proper response to that crisis is, are different issues.

Posted by: simpleton1 | August 13, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

jgsr,

yes, 100% of the ancient population thought the Sun revolved around the Earth,....before scientists stopped being persecuted to death.

And 100% of today's ignorant demographic who rail against the same league of scientists still can't wrap their empty heads around man's role in climate change.

Science isn't a

Posted by: garygfamily | August 13, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Maybe someone on this site can help me find an answer I've been looking for. I've run searches using every keyword and applicable phrase I can think of..and still no answer.
What I'm trying to find is the name of the government agency that was in charge of regulating the global climate for the hundreds of millions of years during the time of the dinosaurs.
Surely some government agency was in charge of climate, because the earth couldn't have possibly functioned on it's own.
There were warming periods, cooling periods, ice ages, more warming periods. Those climate changes and adjustments must have been created and controlled by human government agencies and associations.
Oh wait, for those hundreds of millions of years of dinosaurs, there WEREN'T any people yet.
Now I'm really confused. The earth's climate couldn't have possibly existed without government control....but there were no people.
It must have been aliens that managed the earth's climate before mankind.

Posted by: jgsr | August 13, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

This actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Wow.

lou
www.privacy.shop.tc

Posted by: clermontpc | August 13, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link to the PNAS article Tom! This is a valuable contribution to the discussion. I can use it as ammunition when I talk to my climate change denier friends. Although honestly, most of my friends accept the reality of climate change. Part of the problem with this "debate" is that we Americans have sorted ourselves into different camps on this and other issues. Rather than discussions among friends, we mostly have shouting matches with the "idiots" on the other side (and no matter which side you're on, the others are "idiots").

But on this issue, the deniers clearly have it wrong, and the consequences are potentially cataclysmic.

Posted by: tenor | August 13, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"....98% - - -". Up until 500 years ago 100% of the entire population of the Earth....not just 98% of one particular occupation.....believed the World was flat.
Because 100% of the earth's population believed the Earth was flat, didn't make it true. It only meant EVERYONE was wrong about the same subject.
100 years of "possibly" correct meteorological data out of a total statistical field of 4,500,000,000 years of Earth's existence makes ANY opinion about any climatic state having the odds of being wrong of 99.9999994 %. It's not the conclusion about climate that is wrong...it is declaring ANYTHING to be proven science when there is the statistical probability of being wrong, being 99.99999994%. Global warming, global cooling, global staying-the-same any of the 3 possible situations faces the same odds of being incorrect.
Being better stewards of the planet is something we all should absolutely do. Thinking the earth has just managed to be lucky for billions of years before mankind appeared to "save it", is just laughable.
We are one tiny little life form.....all the world's ants weigh more than all the world's people.....occupying a tiny bit of space on a huge celestial body that has been managing itself without our "vital" assistance for billions of years.

Posted by: jgsr | August 13, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I love the cartoon about the Greenland iceberg. Just like when Al Gore cried "The sky is falling!" regarding an iceberg "the size of Rhode Island" that broke off from Antarctica. Of course, Antarctica has been growing colder for decades and the Antarctic ice pack has grown to a record extent, but what do those facts matter when we can scare the public by claiming a large iceberg proves Antarctica is melting and Climate Armageddon is here?

I am also amused by Toles citing a propaganda article by climate extremist Steven Schneider as "proof" that 98 percent of climate scientists say we are facing a global warming crisis. Do you really believe such propaganda, or were you trying to make a joke? If you really believe it, then please explain how the Bray/von Storch survey of more than 500 climate scientists revealed less than half of climate scientists believe the science justifies turning the global warming issue over to policymakers for government action.

With fondest regards,

James M. Taylor
Senior Fellow for Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute

Posted by: taylorjm1 | August 13, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Tom doesn't need to rant about "global warming" or "Global change". The latest description is "Global Weirding". weird. (I didn't make that up)

In other words scientists and meteorologists are now seeing things that HAVE NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. Pakistani floods coupled with drought and fires in Russia, US, landslides and more rain in China, tornados in Australia, dead fish all over the place, etc.. All at the same time.

In fact there is no longer a clear explanation for anything.

It no longer matters what scientists or politicians think is the cause - as long as they find a way to do something about it. (Even if it is only to assume that the newest style of disaster needs "Organized, Massive Aid for Global Actions for Worldwide Disasters ". ie a new department called; "O,MA GAWD".

Posted by: Stonebird | August 13, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

So the more generally accepted something becomes within the scientific community, the more that proves that it is . . . wrong? Really?

Somebody better tell the physicists that relativity is wrong.

Posted by: simpleton1 | August 13, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

98% of the scientists who study in anthropogenic climate change believe in it. Wow!

That figure is taken from counting the people who study climate change and publish articles about climate change - not quite 2,000 of them.

Do you think that someone who didn't already believe in anthropogenic climate change would go into that field of study? Do you think that someone who didn't interpret his data to support ACC could ever GET published in a journal devoted to it?

People see what they want to see - even scientists. Scientists are neither unbiased nor infallible.

Posted by: OhReally5 | August 13, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

To Iderusso:

Facts are stubborn things...

Source: http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

"What was the scientific consensus in the 1970s regarding future climate? The most cited example of 1970s cooling predictions is a 1975 Newsweek article 'The Cooling World' that suggested cooling 'may portend a drastic decline for food production.'

'Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend… But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.'

A 1974 Time magazine article Another Ice Age? painted a similarly bleak picture:

'When meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe, they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.'

However, these are media articles, not scientific studies. A survey of peer reviewed scientific papers from 1965 to 1979 show that few papers predicted global cooling (7 in total). Significantly more papers (42 in total) predicted global warming (Peterson 2008). The large majority of climate research in the 1970s predicted the Earth would warm as a consequence of CO2. Rather than 1970s scientists predicting cooling, the opposite is the case."

Posted by: letsfindout | August 13, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Do I believe in climate change? Of course. The weather is always changing. Read your history. Droughts, unusual cold, and the ice age have plagued us since recorded history. I can still remember years ago when scientists were warning us that a new ice age is coming. Now they are saying that we are going to burn up because we use too much oil. Geologists can show how the earth has changed through the years. It's a good thing. Without Miami, where would criminals have to go to bring in those pesky drugs. Sorry, Miami. As for me, I am still waiting for California to fall into the Pacific and Atlantis to pop out of the Atlantic. One good theory is as good as another.

Posted by: lderusso | August 13, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

You know, I can remember reading articles back in the '60s and early '70s about the impending Ice Age. Those predictions were based on scientific studies also.

Another point people don't know is that the average global temperature for the past 500 years of land-based, multi-cellular, oxygen-using animal life has been 3 to 4 times higher than the current global temperature.

A significantly warmer globe isn't necessarily a bad thing; although it probably won't support the 8 billion people we currently have.

There is a positive correlation between the total volume of human produced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and average global temperature increase. But correlation does not equal causation. What our attention should be focused on is NOT anthropogenic global warming.

We need to focus on human-caused POLLUTANTS. Many human-made greenhouse gases are toxic. The production of toxins and pollutants in the air, the water, and the soil are what's really going to kill us. Fossil fuel use is not a sustainable resource, and costs to produce and use will continue to both soar and be dictated by the producers. Fix the fossil fuel use, fix the pollution production, and you'll fix any human-caused global warming.

Posted by: mhoust | August 13, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@bobbo2:

It is your belief that tens of thousands of scientists all over the world are doing fake research and writing fraudulent papers just so they can get grants to do more fake research and write more fraudulent papers? Why? Why would they do this?

It's certainly not for money, since the scientists get only minute fraction of the grant money for themselves. Look, these are the smartest guys in the room. If they're after money, they could make a WHOLE lot more of it elsewhere.

So again, why would they do this?

And where are the whistleblowers? Tens of thousands of scientists are doing this, and no one has spoken up?

Do you have ANY concept of just how nuts this is?

Posted by: chrisd3 | August 13, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

A cartoonist is concerned that it is getting warm.........no one cares

November is going to gut the democrats

Posted by: georgedixon1 | August 13, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Tom Toles: Please don't stop ranting on climate.

Thanks.

Posted by: chrisd3 | August 13, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

LetsFindOut --

There are not two sides of the climate debate; there is ignorance and informed concern.

We have only one planet and no assurance whatever of a "hereafter" in which any activity (including desert-crawling or water drinking) play a part. And if, as religionists assert, we have been given dominion and should be in charge, well then what of the responsibility of stewardship?

Posted by: Jazzman7 | August 13, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade, here's a good discussion and breakdown of those papers that supposedly "contradict" AGW.
http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/poptarts-450-climate-change-denier-lies/

Posted by: NickD1 | August 13, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I would suggest checking out this website which seems to provide some valuable information for both sides of the debate: http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

Posted by: letsfindout | August 13, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

From the NASA site evaluating the evidence:

http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century...

Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years...

The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969...

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005...

The number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing, since 1950. The U.S. has also witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events...

You have a right to your opinions, but not to your facts.

Posted by: Jeff-for-progress | August 13, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles I accept the experts. I agree CO2 warms the atmosphere. That is solid and good science and as a retired science librarian with an earned PhD I agree. But I also know there are other factors that they do not study - like astronomy that may cause other lines of weather change and that we need to expand our attention to include them.

There are more than one problem in our future.

So - I do not deny warming. I suggest it is not all we need to think about.

Let us get ready for all of them. And one has the name ice age.

Is it likely?

No.

But it is deadly enough to worry about.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | August 13, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

The likes of bobbo are a decent illustration. It was fun running over the the Heartland Institute. There's a list of 500 (!) papers contradicting man made global warming. After a few clickthroughs, one finds a randomly selected list of articles with no apparent correlation. Temperature instability in Tibet, etc. I wonder if Mr. Taylor would care to contact *any* of the scientists on these papers. Ah well, they get to organize their own meeting. That must make it scientific-like.

I would also like to thank you for setting me straight about scientists. I'd never had a clue that they need grants to continue their work. [I was also shocked that there's gambling in Monaco.] Well, checking my latest copy of Nature, ALL of these scientists appear to be doing grant-funded research. Clearly, all of their results are suspect. What a fiendish plot!

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 13, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Dear okyouguys, are you calling the National Academy of Sciences a laboratory? Without alternative voices we are supposed to just blindly follow their ideas and drive our ecomony into the ground? The scientists at the National Academy have a political agenda and a need to keep that Grant money coming.

Posted by: bobbo2 | August 13, 2010 5:04 AM | Report abuse

Your sketchpad comment should read, Iceburg breaks off a Greenland glacier that is four times the size the size of Manhattan, if the facts are to be accurate. The volume of the iceberg is perhaps half of one percent of the entire glacier and the surface area is perhaps 2.5 percent. The media has misinterpreted or distorted NASA's scientist Thomas Wagner's comments on this subject and the provided satellite images.

Posted by: dalyplanet | August 13, 2010 4:25 AM | Report abuse

When I read posts like the ones from Kevin71707, bobbo2, bignoisylawnmower, and SharpshootingPugilist, I lose hope for the U.S. and for humanity in general. Furthermore, if this group is a representative random sample of what people in the U.S. believe, then perhaps we deserve the climatological disaster that is upon us. I simply can't respond to these clowns. I just don't even know where to begin. For example, how does one even address a sentence containing the phrase: "a big juicy glass of LIB-U-TARD Kool aide chased with a shot of your Nigerian messiah juice"?

Posted by: ptgrunner | August 13, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

@bobbo2, Heartland Institute is a conservative think tank, not a laboratory, and James Taylor is a lawyer, not a scientist. So when he claims he knows better than all the climate change experts at the National Academy of Sciences, why on Earth would you put your faith in him? Just to strengthen Mr. Toles's point?

Posted by: okyouguys | August 12, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Us science types have been trying to convince people of the looming doomsday from exponential growth of the human population for decades (especially now that us old folks are able to live so much longer).
The People Bomb is, of course, the prime cause of deforestation, air and water pollution, disappearance of fish - ALL the secondary causes of environmental destruction - including global warming.
It doesn't help to keep hearing Dark Ages religious dogma concerning sex and reproduction practices! Sigh! and for our great grand kids (or perhaps even our grand kids - good night and good luck). P.S. It ain't got nothin' to do with any 2nd Coming!

Posted by: lufrank1 | August 12, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles, your cartoon would be more appropriate concerning Press Secretary Gibbs and the "professional left".

Posted by: bobbo2 | August 12, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

"So what if 98% of “climate scientists” believe their own bull, that’s about as meaningful as saying 98% of child molesters think its ok to drive cargo vans around schools with a box of snickers and a case of ice cold Pepsi."

Wow. Climate scientists have the credibility of child molesters while the opinions of weathermen are elevated above the consensus of the scientific community? The point to your rant has officially been proven, Mr. Toles.

Posted by: Kevin71707 | August 12, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Here is what James M. Taylor, Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy at the Heartland Institute, has to say about the climate scientists of the National Academy of Sciences. Mr. Taylor was the project manager for the 3-day meeting in Chicago of the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change on May 18. It was attended by more than 700 climate scientists, economists, policy makers, and opinion leaders. "NAS is comprised of global warming activists who are pursuing a political agenda and ignoring competing scientific data." Members of the NAS, Susan Moser, Pamela Matson, and Thomas Dietz have been promoting global warming for years. The authors of these biased reports do so to justify more Federal Grants and taxpayer subsidies. One thing these scientists do not look at is the impact on the poor and middle income citizens and the cost of this agenda such as seven dollar a gallon gasoline. Alot of people cannot afford that. But they could care less. Mr. Toles how much time do you put into your rants? Are the readers of the Washington Post getting quality opinion from you? Is the Washington Post providing the best cartoonist/columnist available? Does anyone at the Washington Post care? One thing business should always calculate is what some salaried employees cost by the actual hours they work.

Posted by: bobbo2 | August 12, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse


If the planet is in such a dire situation and carbon emissions are to blame why does the Washington Post keep sending all those carbon spewing vehicles out on the road to deliver newspapers every day? If you can't even change the actions of your organization don't blame others for denial.

Posted by: bignoisylawnmower | August 12, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Tommy ol boy, I love to see what you write and draw after swallowing a big juicy glass of LIB-U-TARD Kool aide chased with a shot of your Nigerian messiah juice.

Sure, we all can agree that there has likely been a 1.5 degree Fahrenheit rise in surface temperature over the past 100 years. This could easily be explained by natural variances, but fair enough, we can agree on at least that much. But consider that all future forecasts of climate are based exclusively on computer models that have not undergone even the most basic independent verification and validation. What more, individuals who work with computer models on a daily basis to predict atmospheric phenomenon (i.e. weatherman), are in much less agreement with the prevailing climate change theories passing themselves off as science. I say “passing themselves off as science” because the fundamental principles of the scientific method are as follows: observe, hypothesize, predict, test, repeat until discrepancies are gone. So far, all that you beloved “climate scientists” have done is observe, hypothesize, and predict. They won’t test because every time they run their models up against real world phenomenon (think Carl Sagan and Richard Turco’s modeling of the effects of gulf War oil fires), their predictive models fall to pieces. They certainly don’t work on discrepancies; in fact they are so secretive about their modeling code that they won’t let anyone else look at it because, as the Climategate scandal showed, they don’t want their work torn to pieces.

Climate science, as it has morphed into, aint science, it political advocacy masquerading with a scientific façade. So what if 98% of “climate scientists” believe their own bull, that’s about as meaningful as saying 98% of child molesters think its ok to drive cargo vans around schools with a box of snickers and a case of ice cold Pepsi.

As far as your carton goes, I guess you don’t see the irony in the fact that the crazies have been in charge of the DNC since 1974. But since they are your kind of crazies I guess its OK.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | August 12, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

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