Are the Climate Skeptics “Uninformed” or “Intentionally Disingenuous”?

One of the comments in a post on global warming pointed us to what may well be the quintessential example of reality denial. It was in fact so good that I thought it was worth its own top level post. Lets have a look shall we?

Writing as a “contributor” of some kind at Forbes, one Larry Bell decides to take John Kerry to task for supporting science.

Let’s Be Very Clear Mr. Kerry: No Scientific Evidence Of ‘Dangerous’ Human Climate Influence Exists

That is a pretty strong headline statement. Maybe the editor who wrote the headline didn’t understand the subtle arguments being made and over sold the case? Or is there a weasel word helping deflect criticism in there? Is Mr. Bell trying to tell us there is no warming at all, or is he saying there is, but not caused by people, or even that there is warming, and it is caused by humans, but hey, it isn’t dangerous, so why worry?

Maybe he can make himself clear in the actual article.

Facts, as they say, are facts. On the other hand, untrue representations presented as facts are either uninformed, intentionally disingenuous, or a combination of the two. Secretary of State Kerry’s statements attacking those who challenge the existence of a human-caused climate crisis likely fall into the third category.

So if you challenge the people who are ignoring the basic science of climate change, then you, like Mr. Kerry, must be a combination of uninformed and intentionally disingenuous! Again, that is a pretty strong claim. The secretary is lying to you. Evidence?

Speaking at a February 16 press conference in a U.S. Embassy-run American Center held at a shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia Kerry described climate change as the world’s “most fearsome weapon of mass destruction”. He also referred to those who don’t subscribe to that hell-in-a-hand basket global warming apocalypse as “Flat-Earthers”.

It is possible that the reason he said such a thing, is because the pentagon has a number of pretty serious concerns about climate change. And the GOP has ordered them to stop paying attention to it. If a single foreign force where simultaneously threatening most of our bases, our food supply, our water supply, our energy supply, and causing cultural and economic stresses that made war more likely in almost every country, and created a refugee crisis, would you be worried? And if a single political party unilaterally announced that they ordered the pentagon to ignore that force, would we put the traitors on trial, or just execute them where they stand?

How dare Mr. Kerry suggest we actually take a threat seriously.

Kerry told the audience: “We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts. The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand. We don’t have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.”

File that under “no shit” and move on. But this offends Mr. Bell…

First of all, let’s briefly review just a few real facts:

There has been no statistical global warming for the past 17 years…most of today’s high school students haven’t witnessed it in their lifetimes.

There are just a few problems with this statement. First of all, it is phrased to leave you with the impression that temps are nice and normal and fine. But they are not. Even if there had been no warming for 17 years, the simple fact is that we have been above average for 19 years now. Those high school students Bell tells us have never seen warming? Every month of their lives has been lived in above 19th century average temps. Every single month. Imagine that your landlord told you that you would have a certain price, X, for your rental each month. Now imagine he charges you X+ some positive number Y every month for 20 years. Now imagine he tells you the price hasn’t gone up. Is he full of shit?

But that is just for starters. We know about a large number of influencing factors that should be causing cooling. Yet despite this, the temperatures are going up. The “17 years of no warming” aside, May and June of this year where the hottest May and June on record. Ever. And July of 2012 was the second hottest month globally on record for any month in 117 years of records according to NOAA. Those dates are within the last 17 years, in case Mr. Bell is unable to count.

Even that is unimportant compared to the very simple fact that even those numbers are based on atmospheric temps only. The world however is not comprised of only air. Oceans are currently taking up heat far far faster that the air, accounting for over 90% of the heat caused by warming. The oceans are far far warmer than they have been in the past.

But, being either either uninformed, or intentionally disingenuous, Mr Bell continues.

There is absolutely no credible scientific consensus that human activities, including fossil burning, are having a dangerous (or even measurable) influence on climate change…either for warming or cooling.

Does Bell know what consensus means?

When 97% of climate science papers say specifically that human activities are causing warming, and you say otherwise, are you uninformed? Or are you intentionally disingenuous Mr. Bell?

http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/05/15/climate-denial-s-death-knell-97-percent-peer-reviewed-science-confirms-manmade-global-warming-consensus-overwhelming

The climate crisis dogma-premised “sustainable energy” fetish has caused disastrous government policies in the U.S. and abroad, particularly in Europe where failures have produced economic distress.

No Mr. Bell, “economic distress” is what the 1.2 trillion dollar a year cost of doing nothing looks like. And the costs are expected to rise.

Climate changes without any help from us…has for millions of years…and as we can expect, always will…with Ice Ages occurring during about 90 percent of the time.

It is certainly true that the climate has changed in the past, and without help from us. The difference is that we can explain most of changes, know why the happened, and despite Bells distain for models, we can model them very accurately. Using the exact same methods, we know that the change we are experiencing today is driven primarily, almost exclusively by humans.

Not only is this a different cause, but at a significantly different speed. Current warming is far faster than most of the geologic changes on record. And many of those happened fast enough to destroy numerous species.

The difference is that we are supposed to be smarter than those species. The evidence of Mr. Bell and his ilk to the contrary.

  1. #1 by Richard Warnick on July 31, 2014 - 4:43 pm

    It’s rare to find a true statement by Larry Bell, but there’s this: “I’m not a climate scientist, and I never played one in the movies…”

  2. #2 by project spam filter on August 3, 2014 - 3:51 pm

    This priceless..pretty sure true believers with dough will jump aboard.

    http://www.orrazz.com/2014/08/luxury-cruise-line-offering.html

    • #3 by Richard Warnick on August 3, 2014 - 5:42 pm

      Refresh my memory. Which part of the cycle are you on now?

      1. Glenn denies the existence of global warming
      2. Glenn says global warming is happening, but only due to natural causes
      3. Glenn admits that humans are contributing to global warming, but says it’s too late to do anything
      4. Glenn goes away for a few weeks, comes back with (1)

      • #4 by brewski on August 4, 2014 - 3:40 pm

        Brewski’s posts all go to spam so you have no idea what I say.

      • #5 by Richard Warnick on August 4, 2014 - 7:31 pm

        Of course, I meant Glenn – not brewski. Edited.

  3. #6 by Anonymous on August 4, 2014 - 1:42 pm

    The article is not about Larry Bell it is about German environmental titan jumping off the sinking AGW ship.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/13/german-skeptics-luning-and-vahrenholt-respond-to-criticism/

  4. #7 by Johnsonville brat. on August 4, 2014 - 5:31 pm

    Even so its not that hard to make the top posters on this site look stupid…even with the censorship advantage.

    Liberal yodel…listen, they can hear themselves! Haha..funny while being pathetic.

  5. #8 by Anonymous on August 4, 2014 - 8:35 pm

    Sure you know what you mean? Looking befuddled there Rich..

    • #9 by Richard Warnick on August 5, 2014 - 9:07 am

      After a while it all dissolves into a lot of blah-blah-blah. Not the first time I’ve mixed up the handles of right-wingers.

  6. #10 by Anonymous on August 5, 2014 - 12:28 pm

    Glenn has never denied warming, 80 million cubic kilometers of melted ice since glacial maximum doesn’t lie.

    What he and many others question is AGW. How did the earth freeze solid when in its history carbon levels were 15 times greater than today?

    In the Permian. It’s time to make adaptation plansz and quickly.

  7. #11 by clear! on August 5, 2014 - 1:55 pm

    Yes, you sure do divert to a lot of blah, blah, blah, when the topic of AGW is proffered up. The theory is in the crapper, as dead as the ice age theory of the 70’s.

    What will be, will be.

  8. #12 by clear! on August 5, 2014 - 1:57 pm

    You reveal yourself despite any protestations as nothing more than a progressive shill. Then you turn around and say people who make you look dumb are right wingers. It isn’t too hard Richard.

    Some of us are actually doing critical analysis, not parroting a hack political line.

    The short of it, you aren’t fooling anyone that matters.

    • #13 by Richard Warnick on August 5, 2014 - 5:56 pm

      Saying that global warming isn’t happening, or that it’s not affected by humans (your first fallback position) does not equal “critical analysis.”

  9. #14 by clear! on August 6, 2014 - 11:46 am

    Never said it isn’t happening, this is your typical tack, placing what you imagine people say,and allowing no riposte.

    80 million cubic kilometers of ice have melted in 13 k years. Warming? Quite certainly. Causation? Undetermined.

  10. #15 by clear! on August 6, 2014 - 11:48 am

    Nothing replied gets through, you like to listen to your lips flap.

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