YouTube: Is Global Warming True?

I think this YouTube video gets an A+ for content as it presents a great lineup of the compelling reasons we can be very confident that the case for anthropogenic global warming is solid.


But on style it does lack a little, oh well. If you want style, Lord Monckton is your man!

This video might be good to pass along as an intorduction/overview to any friends you might have who are not already well versed in the science of this issue.

68 thoughts on “YouTube: Is Global Warming True?

  1. Sorry about the double post. Modern technology baffles old buffer who still thinks electric power tools are cutting edge science and cool beyond words.

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  2. Jack.

    We can all make statements based on ‘impressions’, all I’m asking is some sort of evidence of your claims, whether it be through evidence of reduced spending on environmental projects explicitly due to funds being diverted to climate change or specific case studies that show this, however you want to do it you need to do more than just make the statement.

    In my experience (and, though not as long as 35 years it is extensive) most measures to combat climate change (e.g. cut down less old-growth forest) or to mitigate against the effects (e.g. develop regions of salt marsh on coastal areas to act as a buffer against SLR and storm surges) go hand-in-hand with other environmental concerns. Perhaps, coming at this from the scientific side of the debate, I am missing certain issues, if so then let’s talk through them – give me some examples.

    My secondary point (food security) is that (again looking at this from an agricultural scientist position) many ‘environmental’ measures such as agri-environment schemes, reducing herb- and pesticides etc. have been sidelined in the name of productivity. Policy-makers (in Europe at least, and I think in the US too) in recent years have been pushing towards reducing imports in the name of food security, citing increasing threats to global security (terrorism, unstable Middle East, potentially hositle China and India etc.) and thus many schemes that aim to improve the environment have been axed as they reduce agricultural capacity. In my view it is this push towards productivity and growth that is a greater threat to ‘the environment’ than any climate change legislation, actual or potential.

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  3. Jack

    It looks as though we agree on many things – but not all. Habitat destruction and over-exploitation of resources are (in my opinion and apparently in yours as well) the most pressing environmental concerns facing us at the moment. I cannot agree with yout view that they are easy to deal with (“just stop doing it!”). If it were that easy, we would do it, but the reasons we are not doing it is exactly the same reason we are not doing anything about climate change. Because there are too many people with vested interests who are opposed to us putting the brakes on their profitss, and there are too many people who simply deny that there is a problem. These people put pressure on politicians, and they are too short sighted to see that short term greed and political expediency is causing long term problems from which it gets ever more difficult to recover, the longer we delay action. As I have said before, its like getting fat. It may not be much of a problem if you are a few kilos overweight, but the longer you eat excessively, the more weight you put on, the worse your health gets and the harder it is to lose the excess. But if you take action now – the prevention of the problem costs a lot less and is a lot easier to implement than a later cure. Why wait until climate change is a catastrophe? Wouldn’t it be better to avoid that occuring?

    These things are not mutually exclusive. As Chris has suggested, the solutions to one problem can often lead to improvements in the other. If we reduce habitat destruction, we reduce CO2 emmissions from logging etc, and we improve CO2 sequestration in the forests. If we reduce the pollution we put in the ocean, we improve the habitat for fish stocks to recover. Reduce CO2 emissions, and we reduce ocean acidification and the decline in phytoplankton, and improve fish stocks.

    I tend to think that all these things are pretty damn obvious – but apparently not so.

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  4. Chris S.

    My “claim” as you call it, should you care to re-read my post, was “I think that respectable and essential environmental concerns have been sidelined by the vexing Man made climate change meme and that this is a disaster.”
    I am afraid I can give you no evidence of this “claim” other than to repeat that I really do think it. That is why, when I say something that I cannot immediately back up with some kind of evidence, I am careful to say “I think” or “I believe”
    We can indeed all make statements based on our impressions, and I just did.
    Having said that….I have spent half an hour on the internet trying to get a handle on just how much has been spent by the US Government ALONE in connection with global warming/climate change. It is not an easy figure to pin down. It would seem the only research I can find is on a “denialist” site. (Sigh) I appreciate it is unlikely to carry much weight here, but there is a 20 year referenced table purporting to show dramatically increasing (134 million in 1989 to over 7 Billion in 2009 ) expenditure of $79 billion in total.
    http://joannenova.com.au/2009/07/massive-climate-funding-exposed/
    I have tried to find if anyone has had a go at debunking/disputing these figures,but with no success.Perhaps they were not regarded by anyone as controversial.
    If you believe other environmental spending has kept pace with this, then fine. I will accept it as YOUR “impression”. Ideally, produce your own table to support it.
    Sorry I could not whip up a peer-reviewed doctoral thesis.

    On your second point……how very interesting. And on the face of it, rather alarming. I have a deep distrust of agri-business although I appreciate it has brought us cheap food but I always thought it was at considerable cost to the environment. When you talk of “schemes” being sidelined do you mean cutting research or the wholesale cancelling of full-scale real world measures due to be carried out? Are there any websites where this is discussed/set out?
    I would be surprised if GB had reduced its food imports over the last few years. It is getting hard (and ridiculously expensive) to buy food grown or raised locally.
    We seem (here in Kent) to be either playing at farming, growing a few apples and fewer hops or claiming set-aside.

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  5. Jack

    Re the point about the ‘massive climate funding exposed’ link to Joanne Nova. Although Jo Nova has zero credibility on any climate issue, I have no real reason to doubt this number. Except the sensationalist headline is completely at odds with the content of the article. My reaction is not ‘shock, horror – look how much we are spending’. Rather, it is, ‘Is that all? Why aren’t we doing more?’.

    $79 billion over 20 years is a drop in the bucket, given that it includes:

    “…The US government has provided over $79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, foreign aid, and tax breaks…”

    To put that into perspective, the US has given $72 billion over the last 7 years into subsidies to the fossil fuel industries, while in the same period the renewables industries received only $29 billion – of which $17 billion was for ethanol funding.

    So – $79 billion to mitigate climate change? That’s an appallingly low number!

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  6. I am afraid I can give you no evidence of this “claim” other than to repeat that I really do think it.

    I’m struggling with how to even respond to this.

    What I might do is try this exact wording when next I submit an article for peer review, if anyone challenges my data and/or conclusions. (Have I been wasting my efforts all this time?)

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  7. Jack:
    Oh well, if you can’t think of any examples I guess there’s no way to continue that conversation.

    As to the agri-environment, most of what I know is through conversations with colleagues and collaborators at DEFRA, Natural England, IAH etc. but for a quick precis:

    Set aside:
    Set aside in the UK was instituted as part of the EU Common Agricultural Policy in 1992. In 1993 farmers were required to set-aside 15% of their land, this dropped to 10% in 2000. At it’s peak (2001) set-aside constituted around 800,000 hectares and drew £180 million in subsidies. In 2007 rising grain prices led the EU to decide the set-aside rate for 2008 would be zero. There has been no set aside in the UK since then.

    (Not sure how your comment that Kent farmers are claiming set-aside can be true in this context?)

    Agri-environment schemes:
    The good news: http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/farming/funding/aesiereport.aspx
    ca. £400 million is paid per year for agri-environment schemes in the UK alone, these cover 66% of agricultural land. Different schemes have differing benefits to the natural environment from zero to a great deal – there is (or was) ongoing research into the benefits. This stream of research funding was drying up rapidly even before the financial crisis (numerous researchers pers. comm.).

    The bad news:
    http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/latest-news/defra-cuts-are-tip-of-the-iceberg/32185.article (for example, I could give you more stories but I am aware of the link limit & want to avoid ending up in the spam filter).
    DEFRA have already had their budget slashed by more than 5% and that £162 million cut is likely to deepen in the near future. (“the clear message from the coalition Government this week was that these ‘efficiency savings’ are merely the prelude to more sweeping cuts from 2011 onwards”). This is bound to impact on agri-environment schemes as well as non-scheme conservation efforts and research. Everyone in the sector is awaiting the autumn spending review with some dread. There is already a recruitment freeze at several research centres and managers have been told to await mid-September, when the new redundancy payment caps come into force, before laying off staff.

    For further discussion of some of these issues I recommend you check out the Farming And Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), Wildlife & Countryside Link, Natural England and DEFRA websites as well as numerous charity bodies (e.g. RSPB, Buglife, Bat Conservation Trust etc. etc.)

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  8. re JoAnne Nova’s funding figures:

    I have not look at this link in detail (there is limited time and tremendous amounts of stuff to read out there, I do tend to prune out people like her based on past experiences of credibility issues) but I have seen numbers like this before and they typically do things like include the entire budget for NASA and things like that. It is probably not a trivial exercise to determine what is specifically climate change related and what is not and would require a lot of judgment calls.

    For example, I would wager a great deal that she includes all the funding for hurricane prediction at NOAA. But without AGW, we would still be trying to predict storm paths and seasonal hurricane trends, right?

    Society funds things it is worried about, but is it really credible that climate scientists, as a global community, has, over several decades, produced textbooks worth of fake science just so they can keep funding relatively modest lifestyles? I can easily see one researcher, or one small team getting away with something like that for a small number of years but this denialist meme is really out there even compared to your average conspiracy theory.

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  9. In response to Mclean et al,

    On what basis do you consider this to a “piece of tripe”, is this your own personal view based on years of study in this field or are you simply parroting the teams view?

    My beef as you call it is not with what the study says but how the peer review process was once again manipulated by certain individuals to get a result favourable to them.

    In fact i suggest we throw the peer review process out the window and now simply submit all papers through Jones, Trenberth, AKA “The Team”. This will save a considerable amount of time and money for all concerned.

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  10. Coby (and Jack Savage): it’s easy to get to large numbers, when you include any and all satellites used to monitor what’s going on on planet earth, and those that study the sun. Climate research benefits from the data those satellites provide, but most of them were not put in orbit because of climate science. There will be similar issues in many other areas, where funding was used for something that can be linked, some way or the other, to climate science.

    Crakar24: subversion of the scientific process would have been to publish McLean et al’s reply. Science takes a step back when authors are allowed to make false claims and not rebut the comment they supposedly are replying to. Any honest person should be lauding the refusal to publish McLean et al’s reply. Any scientist should be saddened at the failure of McLean et al to see how and where they erred.

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  11. is this your own personal view based on years of study in this field or are you simply parroting the teams view?

    He he.

    What was your cut-and-paste of Monckton’s blunder on CO2 residence time? Independent thought?

    Really therein lies your trouble, Crakar. Once you’ve gone off and cited things you haven’t read as authorities and plagiarized “contrarian” literature that is demonstrably wrong, you lose the moral high ground on accusing people of mindlessly accepting something based on preference.

    That being said, I neither accept nor reject McClean et al for the simple reason that I, like you, don’t fully understand it.

    What I *would* accept would be a reversal of the scientific consensus on the causes of global warming.

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  12. So much to say, but so little time…

    I shall limit myself to these comments:

    Skip.

    “I am afraid I can give you no evidence of this “claim” other than to repeat that I really do think it.

    I’m struggling with how to even respond to this.”

    That is because you struggle to understand the difference between my saying that I “think” (I have formed an impression)that something is happening and a “claim” or statement that I know something to be true as a fact. I “think” you might have difficulties understanding plain English, but I would not claim it was an undisputed fact just because I have formed an impression. That is why I can offer no “evidence”. The only evidence that anyone has formed an impression is that the impression is formed.

    mandas

    You ignore the fact that my thinking was related to the relative spending on climate change as opposed to other environmental issues. You compare the £79 billion to something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT and then says that this is “putting it in perpective.” It is “a” perspective, but absolutely nothing to do with the subject under discussion.
    Do you think that spending on research etc relating overfishing and pollution has kept a similar pace to the spend on climate change? Yes or no?

    Chris S

    “Oh well, if you can’t think of any examples I guess there’s no way to continue that conversation.”

    I did bring up the $79 billion and the enormous increases year on year and invited you to say that you thought spending on other environmental issues had kept pace. Your reply?

    Set-aside, schmet-aside. It is now the single Farm Payment or some such subsidy. My point was only that not much real farming goes on in Kent. Is that disputed ?

    DEFRA? Do not get me started!
    http://burningourmoney.blogspot.com/2006/04/whitehalls-worst-department.html
    If a 5% cut in their £6 billion per year budget is all that is happening at the moment I will not lose too much sleep about that. Nor will anyone else much, unless they work there. Ooops. Do you work there?

    Coby.

    I would get creamed here if I say things like you do! A minute of research revealed that NASA’s Budget for 2008 ALONE was $17.3 billion. Jonova’s Climate Change table shows $6 billion for that year. NOAA’s budget for 2008 was about $4bn. You would lose your wager.
    “It is probably not a trivial exercise to determine what is specifically climate change related and what is not and would require a lot of judgment calls.” No shit, Sherlock. Is that the same as me saying it is a hard figure to pin down?
    Jonova has worked long and hard to do so and her figures do not seem to be disputed….except by people who have “formed impressions”. You then wander off on a digression. My point was that I think that spending on ( and by implication concern with) climate change has increased far more in the past couple of decades than concern with real,damaging and immediate environmental problems. Do you agree or not?
    I think I will also take your view and “prune out” people I believe have credibility issues. That sounds like a fancy way of saying I do not listen to anyone who does not agree with me.

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  13. “I did bring up the $79 billion and the enormous increases year on year and invited you to say that you thought spending on other environmental issues had kept pace. Your reply? ”

    Now, are we going to get into the issue of not reading other people’s posts again? I asked for examples of your claim that “respectable and essential environmental concerns have been sidelined by the vexing Man made climate change meme”. You’ve provided one side of the equation but not the other. I will note that on the UK alone £400 million is (currently) spent on agri-environment schemes which is a small part of the full spending on environmental issues in the UK. I won’t touch on the specioussness of the Jo Nova claims as others here are covering that.

    “Set-aside, schmet-aside. It is now the single Farm Payment or some such subsidy. My point was only that not much real farming goes on in Kent. Is that disputed ?”

    Again argument without evidence, it shouldn’t be too hard to provide some links for this case study should it? I’m not going to do your homework for you. Once again though, there is no set aside in Kent or anywhere else in the UK.

    “If a 5% cut in their £6 billion per year budget is all that is happening at the moment I will not lose too much sleep about that. Nor will anyone else much, unless they work there.”

    So, lets get this straight; you are bemoaning the loss of environmental funding and yet are lauding cuts to the one government body that directly funds environment & conservation issues? Wow.

    And no I don’t work for DEFRA, I’ve had a few drips of money from them for work in the past but most of my funding comes from BBSRC and levy boards. The likes of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Natural England on the other hand…

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  14. “On what basis do you consider this to a “piece of tripe”, is this your own personal view based on years of study in this field”

    On the basis I have a passing understanding of basic statistics. I’ve also read (and (mostly) understood) the paper, the comment and the response – have you?

    I note you’ve sidestepped my question: “Or can you, crakar, demonstrate where MacLean et al. deal with the Foster et al. critiscisms?”

    I won’t hold my breath. But I am away for a few days so you’ve got time to work it out…

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  15. Jack, do you really want us to spend much time on Jo Nova? Because then you will not get your wish. She’s not worth it.

    NOAA’s funding is a good example of conflating climate science with everything related to studying the earth.

    What does NOAA do?
    “From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product.”
    http://www.noaa.gov/about-noaa.html

    Notice that climate monitoring is just one of many aspects? Even if there was no climate change, billions would be used just on monitoring the weather and the oceans, because they are vital for the economy.

    Regarding NASA: in 2010 its earth science section will get a total of 1.4 billion. This is the section that includes, but is not limited to, climate change. Compare that to Jo Nova’s 6 billion.

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  16. @ everyone

    Well, there is a thing.

    Here was me thinking I had formed an impression that more “workaday” environmentalism has been shunted on to the back burner and I tried to show you, in some small way, why I had formed that opinion. Apparently,however, according to you lot, I had not.
    It is extraordinary how you all could know what opinion I had formed better than I could myself. I am in the presence of great minds.

    You never really understand what I am saying do you? Once again from Chris S I hear I have made a “claim”. I voiced an opinion. I told you why I had formed that opinion.

    You all delight in obfuscation. Fine. As a debating technique, it can be quite effective in an appeal to the audience. But here there is no wider audience. It is just us.

    Chris S
    Marco
    Mandas
    Dappledwater
    Skip
    Crakar
    adelady (new?)

    and a few other drive-by types.

    I was finding this an interesting site for a while, if occasionally a bit too obsessed with “deniers” but I am now starting to see it is a bit of a club, with a small, and strange cast of commentators. Curious, but less and less relevant. It is as though, once Newton had produced his world shaking theory of gravity, there was a small group of people obsessed with trying to discredit anyone who denied it, rather than furthering his work. For people who are so sure you are right, you certainly loathe and fear those who suggest you might be wrong. It is unattractive.

    I think I will leave you all to it for the present,but you will all be pleased to know I have not given up on you. I will be coming back here to look for a follow up to Coby’s post about sea ice once the annual minimum has been reached. I want to see if, in the event no new minimum (in the last 30 years ) has been reached, whether he is still calling Steve Goddard a hypocrite and/or a liar.

    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2010/06/arctic_sea_ice_headed_for_a_ne.php#more

    ( Coby. Do delete this if you find it too off topic! I shall not be in the slightest bit upset as a consequence. I just had to get it off my chest and thought it may just be on interest on some level or other. Climate science is a funny closed world and it might be of interest to you all to hear the impression of a passing stranger.
    N.B. Impression, NOT claim!)

    Bis bald!

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  17. Jack

    You may not read this, but I can not let you go get away with some of those claims.

    Firstly, as I have stated quite clearly to you and to others here and on other threads, I agree with you that issues such as habitat destruction and pollution are probably much more of a threat right now than climate change. However, that is not the point.

    The point that I think you are trying to make is that climate change is hogging all the limelight, and these other issues which you (and I) think are more pressing problems have been pushed to the back and do not receive the resources and attention they deserve, because climate change is getting all the attention and funding. Is that right?

    Well, its okay to form that view, if it is based on evidence rather than just a ‘feeling’. I guess its okay to form any view you want – but your view should be based on evidence, and if you are shown evidence that your view is wrong, you should accept it. Does that seem reasonable to you?

    And that is the point that I have been attempting to discuss with you. You were critical of a paper on a decrease in phytoplankton, and were critical of us for supposedly accepting it without question. Well, did you actually read the paper? If not, on what basis were you critical of it? And you may have also noted that no-one else even discussed it, until I dug it up in response to your name-calling (Jessies). And you also note that I expressed doubts that the findings of the paper were solely due to climate change, and that pollution etc may have also played a part. But I (and you) have no basis on which to be critical of the findings of a reduction in phytoplankton, because neither of us has either done or read any research which disagrees with those findings. So once again, on what basis can you possibly criticise something you have not read, and for which you have no contradictory evidence?

    You also have produced no evidence to show that climate change is absorbing resources that would be better directed to other environmental issues. Your one piece of evidence re the $79 billion is meaningless. It just shows what one country is supposedly spending, not that those resources have been taken away from other spending. And in any case, a I categorically demonstrated, $79 billion is a pittance, not a ‘shock, horror’ amount of money.

    You have stated that you have been expressing an opinion. Fine. But what I and others have been suggesting to you, and which I will say once again, is to do a little more reading on the subject and do some research before forming to much of an opinion on the issue. You may well find your opinion is ill-founded (sort of like your opinion on the phytoplankton paper – you should read it before criticising it). However, if your reading does confirm your view, you will be in a stronger position to argue its case.

    Why would you think any of that is unreasonable?

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  18. Oh – and for those of you who are curious, here are a few snippets of information from the NOAA 2009 Budget:

    Fisheries Service Operating Budget:
    ESA/Protected Resources – $173.9m
    Fisheries Management – $360.8m
    Habitat Conservation and Protection – $53.7m
    Law Enforcement – $90.1m
    Other (aquaculture, Antarctic Research, Co-operative Research) – $75.5m

    Total for the NOAA Fisheries Service – $754.0m
    Total for NOAA Ocean and Coastal Planning 2010 – $580.6m

    Total NOAA Allocation for Climate Research 2010 – $464.9m

    Is THAT a better example to put it into perspective for you Jack?

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