Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Observant Among the Anonymouses. . .

are neither celebrating Ramadan, not fattening up for Yom Kippur, nor out there spotting the tree for Christmas, but rather have noticed that Eli has added another blog to the list on the right, the Idiot Tracker, with its Idiot of the Day feature (and there are some beauts).

Anybunny who wants to start somewhere (and who does not?) could do worse than

Between the science and a hard place:
The intellectual incoherence of lukewarmism.
Part One: jimming the Overton window.

which does a good job of how the break in artists
avoid three major pitfalls of denialism:

1. They do not have to deny the basic physical laws which dictate that greenhouse gases cause warming.

2. They do not have to refute the massive physical evidence that the climate is warming.

3. They do not have to pretend that the vast majority of scientists who accept the theory of AGW are participating in a vast conspiracy to hide the truth about (1) and (2).

The lukewarmist position also allows one to position oneself as a moderate threading the needle between two extremes.
pointing out that
Here's the problem. Lukewarmism doesn't get its adherents where they want to go – because even if we accept at face value their claims, the world would still require intense efforts to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases in order to stave off disaster.

Scientists estimate a warming of 2C as the upper limit of what our civilization can adapt to, and not suffer disaster on a planetary scale. This is probably an optimistic number:
and that with current emission rates even using a climate sensitivity of 1.1 C/CO2 doubling
put us on course for 2.5C of warming this century. In other words, the lukewarmers' own numbers belie their causal attitude to reducing greenhouse emissions.

Now the deniers – sorry, excuse me, the "lukewarmers" – may say the projected emissions are much too high; that the IPCC is way off with those numbers as well. Or they could take the bull by the horns and claim, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that warm can tolerate warming of 3C or 4C without any major problems (the last time the world was that hot was several million years ago; there were no ice caps to speak of and the sea level was hundreds of feet higher). The trouble with that position is that it undermines the whole thrust of lukewarmism – which is to acquire credibility (or, to be fair, possibly to exercise intellectual honesty) via the advantages (1), (2), and (3).

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah I see the point, it is "you are either with us or against us".


Hmm who else said that? Irony abounds in Rabett Land.




Celery Eater

Former Skeptic said...

I've been following IT for a pretty long time now. I'm pretty surprised it has not been highlighted more.

manuel "moe" g said...

Channeling Celery Eater - If a car is balanced on a cliff edge, don't fall for the false choice of stepping on the gas or jumping out of the car. Just unbuckle your seat-belt and turn on the radio.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

"that warm can tolerate warming of 3C or 4C without any major problems (the last time the world was that hot was several million years ago; there were no ice caps to speak of and the sea level was hundreds of feet higher)."

I think you meant to say "that earth can tolerate" which it can. You fail to mention that those temperatures have been reached at other points in history, yet there were ice caps and the sea level was lower. Furthermore Eli, since there were no ice caps to speak of, what's to say that won't happen again, naturally. I guess in your opinion, it is bad when scientists discover a tree stump where a glacier has melted over.

I'd like to approach this from another standpoint also. Because the earth is below GAT, aren't you essentially betting on the average? In other words, a return to GAT? It seems to me, the good doctor gives you a strong argument, maybe you should consider? Of course, I would argue a return to GAT would be indistinguishable between manmade or natural activity. Because, after all, it is simply a return to the average.

EliRabett said...

There were no bunnies then either, let alone lower mammals like the peoples. Why do you hate peoples and bunnies J?

Anonymous said...


Of course, I would argue a return to GAT would be indistinguishable between manmade or natural activity. Because, after all, it is simply a return to the average


This is almost certainly above Jay Cadbury Pizza Home Delivery's pay-grade, but some others here may find it interesting/relevant: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/04/26/0913352107.abstract?sid=511111d6-a7df-4e55-843d-a751fb821c5a

--caerbannog the anonybunny

Anonymous said...

The problem with 2C is that it's just an arbitrary number rather than a number that represents equilibrium. At 2C, natural processes (CO2 and CH4 emissions from sub-Arctic sources to name 1) take over, and we'll be in the unenviable position of having to actively extract GHGs from the atmosphere. It's a forcing and a feedback!

Jeffrey Davis

David B. Benson said...

Insanity, insanity, where is thy sting?

Horatio Algeranon said...

Hares to the "The Idiot Tracker"

...Following the trail left by an idiot, full of conspiracy and mathturbation, signifiying nothing...

Horatio suspects that even Olaus Murie -- who wrote the classic "Field Guide to Animal Tracks" (which also featured scat on nearly every page) -- would have been impressed.

Neven said...

The series on lukewarmism on the Idiot Tracker made it unnecessary to ever spill another word on the subject. The description fits Steven Mosher like a glove.

Horatio, a couple of days ago I wrote an alternative version to a song in your honour: How Thick is your Ice?

David B. Benson said...

Eli might care to soon depart with Mrs. Rabett for the hills until the biblical deluge is over...

Anonymous said...

Charles Monnett is back at Ak Region BOEMRE tomorrow:

http://www.npr.org/2011/08/25/139953618/polarbeargate-scientist-to-head-back-to-work?ft=1&f=1001

WhiteBeard

David B. Benson said...

WhiteBeard --- Thanx.