Climate Change Denialists (who get all shy)


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  • #92267 Reply
    glenn_nl

      Comrades,

      In honour of Bayard, and at the kind suggestion of the Mods, I open this discussion for climate change deniers who seem to embrace every opportunity to voice their denialism (completely unprompted quite often, as in the example below), but then get all coy when it comes to discussing their bold assertions.

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2023/09/meanwhile-back-in-scotland/comment-page-1/#comment-1044955

      We have endless examples of discussions started by denialists, but they have never stuck the course. Never once, not on even a single occasion, in years of encountering this sort of behaviour.

      That wouldn’t be so bad, but after running away, they come back and do the same again and again. They never concede a point, they never argue it, just assert it and run away. Over and over.

      It’s not as if this is merely an irritating form of behaviour. This gives licence to politicians to ignore the largest problem that has ever existed in the recorded history of the world. They can refer to this pool of denialists, and right there, they have their excuse to carry on Business As Usual – which is what has led us to this disaster in the first place.

      C’mon denialists. Show some backbone. Argue your position, and have the intellectual honesty to admit it if you’re proven wrong – and in return, I – for one – will be absolutely delighted to admit _I_ am wrong, if you can convincingly show it’s all BS and there’s nothing to worry about.

      Any denialists willing to man-up and accept the invitation?

      #92272 Reply
      Bill

        Recently converted Climate Change Denier here. CO2 is now at 400 parts per million, or thereabouts.
        That comes to 0.04% of the atmosphere. It’s just too small an amount to have an effect in my opinion.

        #92275 Reply
        glenn_nl

          Bill – I appreciate your willingness to discuss this subject.

          This link:

          https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2021/02/25/carbon-dioxide-cause-global-warming/

          …discusses exactly the point you bring up, it is very accessible and well referenced. There’s a section quite early in called “How can CO2 trap so much heat if it only makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere? Aren’t the molecules spaced too far apart?”

          It makes the point that a couple of beers results in a blood alcohol level of about 0.04% – enough to be noticeable, given that’s the legal maximum for driving. And given the balance of the atmosphere only needs to change a little to make life quite different over time (increasing the average global temperature by a degree or so), 0.04% is not trivial since it’s a significant heat trapping gas which is now a third more than it used to be.

          You would agree that throwing a pot of ink into a large fish-tank of water would make a difference to its opacity, right? The proportions are not dissimilar. (My thanks to Clark for this analogy)

          What made you change your mind and become a denialist, by the way?

          • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by degmod.
          • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by degmod.
          • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by degmod.
          #92277 Reply
          Clark

            It doesn’t seem much but the atmosphere is huge, so 0.04% of it (by volume) is over 3000 billion tonnes. If the other gases weren’t there, just the carbon dioxide, how much would you bet that (1) it would produce no greenhouse warming at all, and (2) that increasing it from its pre-industrial ~2200 billion tonnes to its current ~3300 billion tonnes wouldn’t increase its greenhouse effect?

            And if 0.04% is really so insignificant, how come it supports plant life?

            #92280 Reply
            KFQ

              To begin such a discussion, it is important to clarify terminology.
              How could anybody deny that climate change exists? Climate is always changing; it always has and it always will.
              Sometimes cyclical and sometimes not. Maybe you need to specify what you are actually referring to.
              ‘Climate change denialism’ is just broad meaningless terminology, which is often used to disparage.

              #92281 Reply
              glenn_nl

                We’re talking about human caused climate change, rather obviously.

                Oh yes, that would be climate change on our own planet Earth – just in case you need that clarified too.

                • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by degmod.
                #92283 Reply
                Clark

                  KFQ, climate is not always changing, not according to palaeoclimatology. For instance, for the last 800,000 years it has been in a bistable state of Earth being mostly covered in ice, interspersed with briefer ‘interglacial’ periods, in the latest of which we currently live and all human civilisation developed.

                  What made you think it was always changing?

                  #92284 Reply
                  Fat Jon

                    Can I just say that climate is not weather. A particular climate is measured over decades and, more scientifically, centuries.

                    Did the UK’s climate change because of the 1962/63 winter, or the summer of 1976?

                    I suggest that it did not. Ok, so a small area of Lincolnshire reached 40°C on one day in 2022, but has that changed their climate? No. Were the temperatures over parts of southern Europe this summer always as high as the hysterical media tried to make us believe they were? No. I monitor these things on a daily basis, and many parts of Greece, Sicily and southern Spain have maximum temperatures into the mid-40s °C every summer, just like they did this year.

                    Unfortunately, this year a number of temperature reports shown were taken from geostationary satellites. With relatively clear skies and increasingly accurate infra-red sounding equipment, these orbiters can provide a pretty accurate map of ground temperatures.

                    However, ground temperatures and the meteorological definition of surface temperatures are not the same thing. Official surface temperatures have always meant shade temperatures measured 2m above the ground, and preferably with the instruments contained within a Stevenson’s Screen.

                    Sadly, this kind of scientific accuracy matters not to the current hysterical media who regard surface temperatures to be an temperature on the surface, whether measured in strong sunshine on a black tarmac road or by a hand held thermometer in the middle of Wimbledon centre court.

                    Are the ice caps melting rather rapidly? Well yes, due to global warming – but will that change the climate? Possibly, in that tundra may become taiga (or whatever it is called), but the sun will continue to vanish beneath the horizon for 3 months of the year, and land which has little or no solar radiation for that amount of time is still going to be cold.

                    Could the UK experience another 62/63 winter? I doubt it (unless the Gulf Stream reverses – but that is another subject entirely), and the reason for my doubt is due to the main driver behind many of the record breaking months for temperatures we have seen in recent years – the nights are getting warmer. This seems to be the result of a large increase in population over the last 60 years, and a big increase in the size of urban areas. This has extended ‘heat island’ effects to many parts of the UK which could be described as mainly rural many decades ago. Even the vastly increased traffic flow in large populated areas, has had a noticeable effect on the average overnight minimum temperatures.

                    If the day starts from a higher minimum, the same amount of solar radiation is going to produce a higher maximum; especially in areas which are covered in concrete and tarmac and have retained a good deal of the heat from the previous afternoon.

                    #92287 Reply
                    Bayard

                      [ Mod: This comment has been moved here from the BTL comments section under the article “Meanwhile, Back in Scotland“, as the instructions to stop posting off-topic comments there were ignored. ]


                      glenn-nl, I am not “making excuses”. I don’t wish to have a discussion with you on this or any subject. I don’t know why you think I should. The person who wishes to have the discussion is you and you have quite clearly stated that I am mistaken about established fact and that my statements are falsehoods. It is obviously to me that you only wish to put me right where you think I am wrong. I merely stated that I thought AGW a belief: I quite appreciate that you may think me wrong, but why will you not leave me in peace to be wrong? It wasn’t even as if my remark was central to my comment, which was about the prevalence of racism in the UK.

                      Clark, I don’t know why you take my reply as a personal insult. My experience is my experience. Perhaps it was not your intention in previous discussions to tell me I was talking shit, but it was certainly the impression I recieved, even if you didn’t use those exact words. If I am to explain why I don’t want to have a discussion with you about something, it is hard to do so without bringing you into it. That is not “playing the man not the ball”.

                      “You’re also disregarding a direct request from moderation to take this discussion to the forums. So you seem to consider yourself above the rules, “more equal” than other commenters.”

                      We are not having a discussion, so there is nothing to take to the forums. You and glenn_nl are trying to get me into a “discussion”, presumably so that you can point out where I am wrong, but I am refusing to go there, despite your feeble attempts to goad me with insults. Let me remind you how this all started. I said that AGW was a belief, not that it was a wrong belief. Socialism is a belief, too. You two then flew off the handle and attacked me for being a climate change denier and demanded a discussion. If the mods think that I am not complying with the rules, they are quite capable of refusing to publish my comments, so your bit of sneering is both unnecessary and erroneous.

                      #92295 Reply
                      pretzelattack

                        excellent point Clark, on the one hand you constantly hear “CO2 is necessary to life” on the other hand the same people will claim “how could the tiny amount of CO2 in the atmosphere affect the climate”?

                        #92299 Reply
                        glenn_nl

                          B: “< I don’t wish to have a discussion with you on this or any subject. “

                          Rather odd position to take, for someone that spends a lot of time posting on a discussion blog.

                          #92312 Reply
                          Clark

                            Jon, there’s something I’d like you to consider:

                            “Are the ice caps melting rather rapidly? Well yes, due to global warming – but will that change the climate?”

                            To melt a given mass of ice into water takes a certain amount of heat, so the melting icecaps indicate a heat gain at a certain rate – think, for instance, of how many power stations it would take to melt ice that fast. That flow of heat will not stop when the sea ice has all gone; it’ll have to have some other effects instead.

                            The quantity of heat that’ll melt a kilo of ice into water is the same as the quantity of heat that would raise a kilo of water from zero centigrade to almost eighty centigrade.

                            Think of an iced drink on a summer day; the ice melts slowly and so long as there’s any at all the drink remains cold, but as soon as the last sliver has gone the whole drink warms quite quickly.

                            The temperature of ice floating in water is in equilibrium at melting/freezing point, so gain or loss of heat does not change the temperature; some ice melts or some water freezes, respectively, instead. So the Arctic sea ice has been creating a relatively fixed point in Earth’s climate since at least the last ice age, and we’re about to find out what happens when its gone. I find that scary, but I got these facts and ideas from science and scientists, not the commercial media, which I avoid far more than most people do.

                            #92313 Reply
                            Clark

                              “Racism is a belief, like sexism, religion or AGW. It makes people believe things that are contrary to the observed facts.” [1]

                              “I said that AGW was a belief, not that it was a wrong belief.” [2]

                              Fascinating.

                              #92318 Reply
                              Fat Jon

                                “Jon, there’s something I’d like you to consider:”

                                Yes, you have explained latent heat very well. It is taking a large amount of energy to melt the polar icecaps, and after they have gone that energy will be ‘going spare’, but the ground will be exposed and it needs a lot of latent heat to evaporate water contained in the wet ground. This will form clouds, and contribute to the cycle of condensation/rain/evaporation.

                                I am not a climate change denier, just a person who likes to look at science in a calm and logical way, rather than via the hyped up headlines of the 24 hour media.

                                Yes, the climate changes over many areas of the globe, but those changes are mostly due to human interference, rather than an increase in atmospheric CO2. Deserts are tending to expand, mainly because humans prefer to chop down trees and use the land for animal grazing, or growing crops. But unfortunately, both of these activities drain the soil of moisture without putting anywhere near as much back. The result is the ground becomes progressively drier and the amount of latent heat needed to evaporate the moisture in the hot soil becomes nil, because there is no moisture left.

                                This can be seen in the Horn of Africa, where the apparent northwards movement of the sun, and subsequent tropical thunderstorm development which accompanies it each spring, still happens; except that the storms now miss out much of Somalia because the ground has been reduced to dust by human activity. The rains still appear in countries such as Ethiopia, South Sudan and even western Yemen, but there is no moisture to evaporate into clouds over much of Somalia. This situation could be partially rectified by soaking the ground there with billions of litres of water, but few want to spend large amounts of money on solar powered desalination plants and pumps/pipes when they can spend it on military equipment to fight never ending tribal wars. Climate change is simply a lazy excuse to blame everyone but themselves.

                                The Amazon forests are being felled at an alarming rate, for similar agricultural purposes; and these areas will soon change to a tropical grassland climate rather than one of equatorial rain forest. Global warming may have some accelerating effects, but nothing compared to direct human activity.

                                What humans seem unable to understand, is that trees are vital to climate stability. Most humans see them as a simple resource to be felled and used for building material, furniture, or firewood. They seem to forget the way forests can slow the flow of rain water from the sky to a nearby river. We need to plant them in their trillions in order to have any chance of keeping things under control.

                                Climate Change appears to have become the cheap excuse for just about everything disastrous which happens these days. Humans lighting fires in the woods, or lightning, can be the trigger for vast forest fires which get out of control – but no, it’s all down to climate change.

                                #92321 Reply
                                pretzelattack

                                  Jon, scientists all over the world have looked at the science in a calm and rational manner, and concluded that the most significant human interference causing the climate to change, all over the world, is fossil fuel emissions.

                                  #92323 Reply
                                  Fat Jon

                                    I’m sure you are right, pretzel; but could you post a link to where they state their conclusions and the evidence they gathered to come to those conclusions?

                                    #92324 Reply
                                    glenn_nl

                                      FJ: There is plenty of information for you right here, with lots of links to follow if you’re interested in more detail at any point:

                                      https://climate.nasa.gov/

                                      #92325 Reply
                                      Fat Jon

                                        I’m sure NASA has a lot of opinions.

                                        However, I read the report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and can’t find those rather sweeping and vague conclusions within that report.

                                        What they did say was –

                                        “Human-induced climate change is a consequence of more than a century of net GHG emissions from unsustainable energy use, land-use and land use change, lifestyle and patterns of consumption and production. Without urgent, effective and equitable mitigation actions, climate change increasingly threatens the health and livelihoods of people around the globe, ecosystem health and biodiversity.”

                                        https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGIII_SummaryForPolicymakers.pdf

                                        #92326 Reply
                                        Bill

                                          Thanks for the link. The analogy with blood alcohol levels of 0.04 having a great effect on the human body troubles me.
                                          It is a biological effect, whereas the greenhouse effect is a physical effect. You can’t make an inference about Physics from a biological system. You mention the balance of the atmosphere, but it is not in balance. It is a tumultuous and dynamic system. Again, ink in a tank of water is different from a mixture of gases. 400 parts per million seems a lot but expressed as a percentage it is seen in perspective.

                                          #92327 Reply
                                          Bill

                                            CO2 as plant food is a biological mechanism. CO2 as a greenhouse gas acts as a physical effect. You are comparing biology with physics.

                                            #92332 Reply
                                            Fat Jon

                                              “Thanks for the link. The analogy with blood alcohol levels of 0.04 having a great effect on the human body troubles me.”

                                              That is because it is a false analogy cleverly disguised as a scientific one.

                                              CO2 is not a poison in the atmosphere, as alcohol is to the blood (in simplistic terms). CO2 simply has properties which include allowing short wave radiation (from the sun) through, but blocking long wave radiation (heat radiated from the ground). The more CO2 there is in the atmosphere, the bigger effect it has.

                                              Over millions of years, the concentration of CO2 will vary and the planet will adjust slowly to the effects, (more cloud which blocks short wave radiation and re-radiates it back upwards again, etc); but raise levels of CO2 extremely rapidly (in astronomical terms where a millennium is considered short term), and there is no time for the balance to be restored slowly, i.e. during a human lifetime – which is just a blip in planetary terms.

                                              Methane (CH4) is around 25 times more efficient than CO2 towards the greenhouse effect. Some scientists argue that warming the tundra will cause large quantities of CH4 (which has been trapped under the frozen ground for millennia) to be released into the atmosphere.

                                              #92333 Reply
                                              Bill

                                                “The more CO2 in the atmosphere the bigger the effect.” And since the amount of CO2 and methane is tiny the the effect must also be tiny.

                                                #92334 Reply
                                                glenn_nl

                                                  Bill: A bullet hits your body. Since the bullet “is tiny the the effect must also be tiny.”

                                                  Right? Because we’re talking about physics here an’ all.

                                                  #92340 Reply
                                                  Clark

                                                    Bill:

                                                    “And since the amount of CO2 and methane is tiny the the effect must also be tiny.”

                                                    But the amounts of carbon dioxide and methane aren’t tiny; they’re trillions and billions of tonnes respectively. What makes you think their heat trapping properties decrease when they’re diluted?

                                                    And actually, the effect on temperature isn’t very great either. Temperature should be measured in kelvin, because zero kelvin really does mean zero heat – the more familiar scales have zero at the rather warm temperatures of water’s freezing point (Celsius), and the lowest temperature the experimenter could achieve at the time (Fahrenheit). Earth’s global average surface temperature was about 287 kelvin, so if it has so far risen by, say, 1.2 kelvin (which is also 1.2 Celsius), it has increased by less than 0.42% – for a 50% increase of carbon dioxide, and 2.8 times more methane.

                                                    It’s really a rather small change in temperature in response to very large changes in atmospheric gases. And you’ve already highlighted the importance of the temperature change yourself – it impacts upon biological systems, which are sensitive to small changes.

                                                    #92344 Reply
                                                    Bill

                                                      Ah well, as a famous scotsman once said, “Ye canny change the laws of Physics, captain.” but people keep on trying.

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