laughing gas, part two


It looks like I wasn’t only person to notice the absurdity and misinformation provided by the Wall Street Journal article referenced in the last post.

  • Forbes has an excellent rebuttal, and points out, among other things, that the WSG recently turned down an opportunity to publish an article by actual climate scientists.
  • Pointing out the silliness of asking people in unrelated fields to write about climate, Media Matters, runs the headline, “The Journal Hires Dentists to Do Heart Surgery.”
  • A writer at the New York Times speaks with an economics professor, William Nordhaus, whose research is quoted in the WSG article. “The piece completely misrepresented my work,” says Nordhaus.
  • Meanwhile, at Intersection, Chris Mooney, ask an interesting question. Aside from the majority of the scientific community, who is taking climate change seriously and taking action? Among the answers are the Pentagon, ExxonMobile, BP, and Chevron.

The Times article quotes Mr. Nordhaus on his actual view of the economic consequences of climate change. His answer is that climate change is unlikely to have catastrophic effects in the short-term, but has a potential for serious damage in the long run. A salient quote: “The total discounted economic damages with no abatement are in the order of $23 trillion. These damages can be significantly reduced with well-designed policies, but poorly designed ones, like the current Kyoto Protocol, are unlikely to make a dent in the damages, will have substantial costs, and may cool enthusiasms for more efficient approaches.” I recommend the article.

Please note that there is no hue and cry here about “exponential” warming and imminent destruction. Those who deny climate change use the very same tactics used by the “9/11 was a U.S. conspiracy” believers, by the people who want to teach creationism in science class, and by the once vibrant “cigarettes aren’t bad for you” lobby. The tactics: find and use anyone who can sound like an expert without regard to actual expertise, distort the position of the opponent, and take quotes out of context to support your opinion.


4 thoughts on “laughing gas, part two

  1. yacman

    I mean, honestly, what can one expect from a rag that is now owned by Rupert Murdock? I’m really not shocked that an extreme right-wing propagandist exists, what amazes me is that anyone listens.

  2. Well, I read every one of your links… excepting the last and NONE of addresses the cogent facts as stated in the editorial piece. Global Warming HAS NOTOCCURRED FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS! Look at the EPA website graph (once you find it.) They won’t say as much, but the graph aptly displays it. NOT OCCURRING is far from ‘expotential’ as it can get! You can quote a hundred sources, quote a thousand eminent authorities, convince everyone to vote for your point of view… but if the temperature hasn’t risen, it’s crazy to claim Global Warming. And if that’s stupid, I’ll go with stupid every time.

  3. dangblog

    Calm down, Carl. Once again you bring up the fake argument about exponential warming. I never said it. You said it.

    You also say I can quote 100 sources, but if temps aren’t going up, then it’s crazy to claim global warming. Well, I’m quoting sources that say temps *are* going up. Here’s a NASA study updated a year ago (Dec. 2010). “Contrary to a popular misconception, the rate of warming has not declined. Global temperature is rising as fast in the past decade as in the prior 2 decades, despite year‐to‐year fluctuations associated with the El Niño‐La Niña cycle of tropical ocean temperature.”

    I have to repeat what I said in a comment in my last post. I’m not a climate scientist. Every notable climate science organization around the world says we are undergoing major climate change. I’m going with the consensus global scientific opinion. I was on the fence 10 or 12 years ago, but the evidence keeps building and building and now there’s a world-wide scientific consensus. If the evidence goes the other way and the consensus changes, I’ll change my mind. All you need to do is go to the climate scientists like the ones I just cited and convince them that you (or the motley group assembled by the WSG) know better than they do.

  4. yacman

    Okay Carl,
    I’ll jump in, briefly anyhow. You claim above that ” Global Warming HAS NOTOCCURRED FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS!” (according to the EPA.) Actually, I don’t know if the claim is that the change is “‘expotential'” (I assume that what is meant is “exponential”) but it seems that there is a pretty strong linear increase.

    So, like Dan, I’m not a climate scientist either, but what do you make of the graph contained in the below article? Is it a lie? Is it propaganda?

    Besides, I’m a bit confused at what sources you trust. You seem to rail against government sources–but then you cite the EPA as a primary source. Bizarre.

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