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  • What is there to say?

       August 31, 2005

    With Louisiana and Mississippi struggling with the aftermath of Katrina, what is there to say that doesn't sound trite?

    I've watched the news over the past few days with growing concern over what's going on in the gulf states and it's very nearly overwhelming. Really. Imagine losing everything...your city, your home, your job, your way of life. That's what so many people are faced with right now. And although we can offer condolences and prayers, is that enough? What can someone say in this situation?

    Fortunately, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. stepped up to the plate with a column that will undoubtedly provide comfort for all the victims of this disaster. In a nutshell: It's Bush's Fault:

    On March 13, Bush reversed his previous position, announcing he would not back a CO2 restriction using the language and rationale provided by [Haley] Barbour. Echoing Barbour’s memo, Bush said he opposed mandatory CO2 caps, due to “the incomplete state of scientific knowledge” about global climate change.

    In other words, Bush changed his mind because he figured that before he started setting up costly regulations that would potentially screw up our economy, we should maybe check into the underlying science first and perhaps resolve the controversies. Of course, that led to:

    Well, the science is clear. This month, a study published in the journal Nature by a renowned MIT climatologist linked the increasing prevalence of destructive hurricanes to human-induced global warming.

    Ah. Damn it, if only we had CO2 caps! Then that hurricane wouldn't have been so bad.

    But wait a minute. He cites a "renowned MIT climatologist." That guy is none other than Kerry Emanuel, and interestingly enough he says about Katrina in this article:

    Professor Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also claimed, less than a month ago, that ocean surfaces had become warmer, which doubled the destructive potential of tropical storms in the past 30 years.

    But he said that Monday's storm "is part of a natural" cycle of powerful Atlantic storms that have struck since 1995. He told The Independent: "I don't think you can put this down to global warming."

    I hate it when my scientist doesn't agree with me.

    In fact, the article goes on to say:

    Other scientists point out that the 150-year record of Atlantic storms show there is ample precedent for hurricanes of Katrina's power. They say it is part of a natural upswing that has taken place since the mid-90s.

    Interesting. Ample precedent such as, oh, the class 5 hurricane in 1935 that hit the Florida Keys, maybe? Or maybe the class 4 that hit Texas in 1900 and killed around ten thousand people? Did we need CO2 caps back then, Mr. Kennedy? What were our CO2 emissions in 1900 versus today? And in the wake of all of this Mr. Kennedy, how telling that you have to immediately try to pin this on the Bush administration. News to me the weather was under the domain of the Executive Branch.

    John Edwards jumped the shark when he said people in wheelchairs would walk again if only John Kerry were elected. At the time I thought that kind of hyperbole was limited in your party, Mr. Kennedy. Guess not.

    Click here for more on Hurricane Katrina


    Posted by John Tant at August 31, 2005 12:20 PM

        The trackback entry for this page is : http://www.inthehat.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/1057

     

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    Comments

    #  August 31st, 2005 1:09 PM      Laura
    "In 1998, Republican icon Pat Robertson warned that hurricanes were likely to hit communities that offended God. Perhaps it was Barbour’s memo that caused Katrina, at the last moment, to spare New Orleans and save its worst flailings for the Mississippi coast."

    1.I've tried to explain to my liberal brother that he and the Kos Kids waste their time tracking Robertson and Falwell's follies. I don't know any Repubs or Christians who take these idiots seriously.
    2.So far as I can tell, New Orleans has not been spared. We don't need a "my hurricane damage can beat up your hurricane damage" pissing match with MS, but really, at this point comparisons are a)too early and b)useless. As WOPR/Joshua said in the movie Wargames, the only way to win that game is not to play.  
     
    #  August 31st, 2005 7:02 PM      kris
    Dear Looney Lefties:

    This is neither the time nor the place to be spouting your crazy anti-Bush rhetoric.

    If you want to talk about how everything is Bush's fault, then get your own website and do it there. Your comments here will be gleefully deleted.

    Thank you.  
     
    #  August 31st, 2005 7:17 PM      Daddy
    Aw, Kris!!

    You're no fun anymore! ;)

    Can you email them to some of us, so we can...I don't know, put them on our OWN websites and disembowel them there?

     
     
    #  August 31st, 2005 7:51 PM      frank567890
    In other words, Bush changed his mind because he figured that before he started setting up costly regulations that would potentially screw up our economy, we should maybe check into the underlying science first and perhaps resolve the controversies.

    There is no controversy except in insane-spin-land. The Bush administration's own report, prior to the withdrawal from the Kyoto treaty (and before it was apparent that Bush would not follow through on his campaign pledge to mandate reductions in CO2 emissions) came to the same conclusion:



    But he said that Monday's storm "is part of a natural" cycle of powerful Atlantic storms that have struck since 1995. He told The Independent: "I don't think you can put this down to global warming."

    No one is claiming Katrina was definitively created by global warming. But climatologies, oceanographers, and others, having been saying for years that the incidence of extreme weather will increase as temperatures rise and ocean currents change course.

    When you pump billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, SOMETHING IS GOING TO CHANGE. The Earth is a complex system of uncountable, interworking variables. Even if there was as much disent on the global warming issue as critics like to claim, the cost of not acting is too great.
     
     
    #  August 31st, 2005 8:14 PM      JohnTant
    OK, Frank. How many tons of CO2 had we pumped into the atmosphere by 1900, when the deadliest natural disaster in US history hit us in Galveston, TX?

    Far from settled science, global warming is at best a controversial subject. To portray it as anything else more neatly fits the definition of "insane spin land."

    And as for your assertion that "no one is claiming Katrina was definitively created by global warming," you may want to reread RFK Jr's column, particularly his "update"... Or hey, read the Independent article I also linked, where Sir David King said flat out:

    "The increased intensity of hurricanes is associated with global warming," Professor King told Channel 4 News yesterday. "We have known since 1987 the intensity of hurricanes is related to surface sea temperature and we know that, over the last 15 to 20 years, surface sea temperatures in these regions have increased by half a degree centigrade.

    "So it is easy to conclude that the increased intensity of hurricanes is associated with global warming."


    Like NRO's Jonah Goldberg, if people can so freely "associate" weather they don't like with global warming and those who are in office, then I'm going to start associating weather I *like* with global warming. "Hey, it's 72 degrees out here and not a cloud in the sky. Thank GOD for global warming and the Bush administration!!!"  
     
    #  August 31st, 2005 8:40 PM      Daddy
    "We have known since 1987 the intensity of hurricanes is related to surface sea temperature..."

    Yeah, that's why these things happen IN THE SUMMER!! Particularly the end of summer, after the water's been warmed for months.

    It gets hot in the summer. It took you til 1987 to figure that out??

    Why am I not impressed with these scientists?

     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 4:12 AM      frank567890
    OK, Frank. How many tons of CO2 had we pumped into the atmosphere by 1900, when the deadliest natural disaster in US history hit us in Galveston, TX?

    Next are you going to quote Noah's great flood?

    Look, natural disasters happen. They have always happened. Don't try to convince me that because there were disasters in the past global warming is a myth. That makes absolutely no sense.

    "So it is easy to conclude that the increased intensity of hurricanes is associated with global warming."

    And as for your above quote, the operative word is "INTENSITY." The extremes of the climate - drought, heat, hurricanes - have increased as the earth's temperature has increased, at a rate not precedented in our understanding of past temperature flucuations.

    You certainly can't deny that the average earth temperature has increased over the past 1-3 decades, faster than in the past, can you? By definition, when temperatures change, climate changes. Are you that obtuse?
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 7:37 AM      JohnTant
    Next are you going to quote Noah's great flood?

    What, and get the ACLU on my case?!?

    Look, natural disasters happen. They have always happened. Don't try to convince me that because there were disasters in the past global warming is a myth. That makes absolutely no sense.

    That's quite correct. Natural disasters do happen. And they've always happened. So to take one and tie it with the controversial scientific theory du jour while tossing in a political criticism actually makes no sense. Thanks for making my point for me...which was actually my point, not that I was trying to disprove global warming by citing earlier disasters. I was making the point that if you're going to tie one with the other, then those natural disasters that "have always happened" is a pretty big matzo in your soup.
    And as for your above quote, the operative word is "INTENSITY." The extremes of the climate - drought, heat, hurricanes - have increased as the earth's temperature has increased, at a rate not precedented in our understanding of past temperature flucuations.

    Here we go with the parsing. So you're telling me the hurricane that hit the gulf coast was more intense than the Cat 4 that hit Texas in 1900? What, were you there?

    We can also mention (again) the Cat 5 that hit the Keys in 1935...again, how many tons of CO2 had we pumped into the atmosphere at that time to merit such an intense hurricane? I guess there was so much CO2 that it also created a small drought that you may have read about in your history books around the same time. Something having to do with a dustbowl, if I remember correctly....

    You certainly can't deny that the average earth temperature has increased over the past 1-3 decades, faster than in the past, can you? By definition, when temperatures change, climate changes. Are you that obtuse?

    Save the intellectual bullying for someone who's impressed by it, Frank. One of the most basic (and non-obtuse) concepts in analysis is the representative sample. So you're telling me that in the millenia of the planet's history, a sample that runs at most 30 years is sufficient to draw a definitive conclusion?
    Say, what were the average global temperatures in 1433? 22 BC? Did Augustus go out there with his thermometer every morning and dutifully record the temperature?

    Interestingly, ~30 years ago (I remember it...do you?) the big fear was global cooling. The idea was we were all headed to a new ice age unless the U.S. did something drastic.

    Yep. Pull the other one. :)

    To close, I posted my column to illustrate how quickly some factions would trample on dead bodies in order to make a political point. Whether it's a psychological need to bring order out of apparent chaos, or a pathological need to blame Republicans for them is not for me to say. However, the relevant taste of doing so is for me to say, and I'm of the opinion that it has none.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 7:45 AM      BrianH
    Frank,

    Human caused global warming IS a myth. We are slightly warmer than we were a hundred years ago (the end of a longer unusually cool period), but still MUCH cooler than we were in say the "Middle Age Warm Period" (look it up, it's interesting reading). Not only that, but recently the proponents of global warming had a problem. It seems they have some beutiful computer models that show exactly what they predicted they'd show, human caused global warming. Unfortunately, their computer models don't match the MEASURED temperature of the earth. Since their computer models couldn't be wrong, they decided that the DATA was wrong and adjusted the data. Now it fits their models perfectly.

    Next time you get paniced over some "sky is falling" claims (global warming, various cancer panics, various cancer cures, holistic medicines, etc) go check out places like:
    http://www.junkscience.com/

    P.S. I EXPECT you to treat this post with as much skepticism as I'm asking from you WRT Global Warming. Check it out. Find out both sides of the story. Look at the evidence and how it was derived. Apply something called the "Scientific Method" which you hopefully were taught in school.

     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 8:03 AM      JohnTant
    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdec.shtml

    Interesting reading. Shows that "intense" hurricanes haven't been on the rise at all....

    Hat tip: National Review Online
    http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg200509010805.asp  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 8:24 AM      BrianH
    "Interesting reading. Shows that "intense" hurricanes haven't been on the rise at all...."

    What!!!! You mean the facts don't match the rhetoric!!!! Well then those facts must be changed! We know that global warming caused more severe hurricanes so the data can't be right!

     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 9:23 AM      original_tubino
    Bush didn't cause the hurricane. But he sure doesn't understand what he DID do to stop preventative work on the levees:

    George Bush on ABC's Good Morning America, Sept. 1, 2005:

    "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees."

    UNBELIEVABLE. Now go read what was anticipated, and what Bush did, and try to keep from howling at that weasel:

    http://tinyurl.com/dc6rw
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 9:47 AM      BrianH
    Hi tubino,

    You haven't been around for a while!

    The federal government provided $3.9 million for building up the levees, it's not what some people wanted. There's never enough money to give everyone what they want. But it's obvious that some people DID expect a need for better levees and it's obvious that the federal government HAD been providing funding for it.

    I played the GMA clip of his interview. I didn't hear that quote.

    P.S. There have been people commenting about the need for improved levees for decades. Why didn't Bill Clinton fix them? Why didn't the mayor of New Orleans make sure that the levees were better? Why didn't the governor of LA allocate state money for the project?
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 9:59 AM      JohnTant
    Well, let's just go ahead and strangle this meme in its cradle.

    Why was that budget cut? Who would be pushing for cuts to the ACE who only wanted to strengthen the already-cat-3-certified levees?

    Turns out the groups pushing for those cuts were...environmental groups:

    What has really gotten the Corps into hot water, however, is its continued penchant for aggressively pushing large and costly construction projects with dubious public benefits... link


    Yep, the National Wildlife Federation has been complaining for quite a long time about "threatening and wasteful Corps projects." link

    But if the rabid Anti-Bushies want to excoriate government for not having psychic powers, then they're certainly entitled to that position, as well as the derision that follows. And if it was such a cut and dried forseeable situation, why didn't the State actors step in and reinforce their own bloody levees? Hmm....  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 10:29 AM      BrianH
    Another case of the liberal's "holier than thou" attitude causing death and destruction on a grand scale.
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 11:10 AM      Craig
    The right wing lacks any sense of responsibility.

    No matter how bad a mistake great leader makes, any criticism is 'partisanship'.

    I took my time to form an opinion on global warming; finally seeing a top official describe it as one of the most well-researched scientific issue ever with the thousands of scientists who have found human-caused global warming is an issue, and seeing the facts about the special interests such as Exxon who alone has spent large sums on over 40 phony 'research' group who will question it, including the trash site listed above 'junkscience.com', I think it exists.

    When Bush chooses spending priorities that result in huge cuts to disaster preparedness, he should be held accountable. If slashing disaster preparation over half has no effect, then the budgets were bloated to begin with - and if they weren't, he's putting people at risk. The people have every right to question his priorities for how their money is spent.

    The Bush cult covers their ears and yells la-la-la and deletes posts.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 11:23 AM      BrianH
    The junkscience.com site is donor supported, not an Exxon project. Nice try.

    The changing of temperature data to make it match the models is not just a charge by the right. The people purporting Global Warming have trumpeted their successes in making the data match the models.

    The scientific method I was taught is:
    1. Observe a phenomenon.
    2. Develop a theory (or model) that explains the phenomena.
    3. Test your theory by testing or gathering data.
    4. If the data doesn’t match your theory, modify your theory to match the data and retest.

    What the global warming supporters have done is modify the data to match the theory. They got it backwards.
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 11:26 AM      BVBigBro
    Get a grip people. This hurricane has no man-made component whatsoever. The problem was, and will be, the fact that coastal cities are highly vulnerable to various ocean phenomena. Any dike can be breached by a sufficiently large force. As to disaster response, because we don't yet know the specifics of what needs to be done, I find criticism of anyone's response to be entirely politically motivated. The last thing New Orleans needs is a politician visiting.

    The question that needs to be resolved is the wisdom of rebuilding parts of the city that are particularly susceptible to flooding.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 11:28 AM      BrianH
    "I think it exists."

    That's very nice. There were many people including top scientists who believed that Global Cooling was being caused by human activity in the 70's. They thought it existed too. Funny that many of the same people made the same arguments to support Global Cooling then and supporting Global Warming now.

     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 2:52 PM      frank567890
    [[Say, what were the average global temperatures in 1433? 22 BC? Did Augustus go out there with his thermometer every morning and dutifully record the temperature?]]

    There are several techniques for determining past temperatures.

    [[Here we go with the parsing. So you're telling me the hurricane that hit the gulf coast was more intense than the Cat 4 that hit Texas in 1900? What, were you there?]]

    We can cite indiviual cases all day. How about an a statistical analysis instead? Last month the journal Nature reported on that an extensive study showing that hurricane intensity has increased 50% over that past half century. If do don't have a Nature subscription, you can read about it in this article.

    [[To close, I posted my column to illustrate how quickly some factions would trample on dead bodies in order to make a political point. Whether it's a psychological need to bring order out of apparent chaos, or a pathological need to blame Republicans for them is not for me to say. However, the relevant taste of doing so is for me to say, and I'm of the opinion that it has none.]]

    Kennedy didn't blame Bush for the hurricane, and you're really stretching for straws trying to claim so.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 3:04 PM      frank567890
    BrianH -

    Human caused global warming IS a myth. We are slightly warmer than we were a hundred years ago (the end of a longer unusually cool period), but still MUCH cooler than we were in say the "Middle Age Warm Period" (look it up, it's interesting reading)


    ABSOLUTELY FALSE. Follow the link, please. The current earth's temperature has risen at an unpresedented rate, and as you can see on the graph, has certainly surpassed the "medieval warm period." Your data is probably about 5 years old.

    [[Next time you get paniced over some "sky is falling" claims (global warming, various cancer panics, various cancer cures, holistic medicines, etc) go check out places like:
    http://www.junkscience.com/]]

    junkscience.com is indeed funded by TASSC, whose members include 3M, Amoco, Chevron, Dow Chemical, Exxon, General Motors, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lorillard Tobacco, Louisiana Chemical Association, National Pest Control Association, Occidental Petroleum, Philip Morris, Procter & Gamble, Santa Fe Pacific Gold, W.R. Grace.

    See here for more information. TASCC is defunct, but it's former executive director is the one responsible for continuing the site.
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 3:16 PM      james
    do you really believe everything you read on the internet, frank? esp at a site like wikipedia?

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE! Follow the link, please.


    that article is funded by dummocrats.
    thanks.
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 3:29 PM      BVBigBro
    Well, the false applies to the human induced warming as well. The unprecedented only applies if you only consider data since 1000, ignore the enormous error in the temperature recording, and smooth out the data, as has been done for the some of the data. Even then some of the reports show a temperature today about the same as in 1000. If the errors are taken into consideration, Brian H's statement could in fact be true.

    Perhaps you should read the actual reports cited, many of which do not support a human cause to global warming, and the rest of which reach a conclusion of a human cause based on the fact that they can't explain a cause. This is no different than a stone age man blaming lightning on the gods for lack of a better explanation.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 3:33 PM      frank567890
    Funny, James.

    I prefer a peer-edited document with give and take to baseless accusations like I'm seeing here, any day.

    Read the "Reconstructions" section of the document, providing references to all the studies that were cribbed from. I googled for a historical temperature graph containing the medieval temperature upswing, and that was the first that popped up.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 3:42 PM      frank567890
    BVBigBro -

    You're changing the topic. Motivations of the data collectors is irrelevant, and in any case you're claim to have know the beliefs of the scientists is lame. When was the last time you curled up with a copy of "High-resolution Palaeoclimatic Records for the last Millennium: Interpretation, Integration and Comparison with General Circulation Model Control-run Temperatures"?

    As for your specific statement:

    The unprecedented only applies if you only consider data since 1000, ignore the enormous error in the temperature recording, and smooth out the data, as has been done for the some of the data.


    The graph contains multiple reconstructions, certainly each created by scientists who understand statistical error. The highest estimate of the medieval-era temperature peak is still considerably less that last year's world average. Which, of course, is what I was refuting.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 3:53 PM      BVBigBro
    No actually, it is not, if you look at the graph you cited, look at the reports, and look at the errors. Yes, they do understand errors, which is why most of the reports used to create the graph conclude very little. The errors, if you choose to look at them, are of a magnitude to include the entirety of the graph you cited. Having said that, it appears that the earth is warming. Anyone who claims to know with any degree of certainty the cause of that warming is lying. The reports you cited were done, by and large, in an effort to improve the understanding of global warming. A great deal more research is needed, as our understanding of the subject is poor, and if people are significantly contributing to warming, the effects are potentially large.. Unfortunately, some people like to act as if there is a valid, testable, reproducible theory that explains that humans are responsible for climate change, calls for additional research are somehow offensive, and we must act immediately by dumping money into the pet project of some "scientist". Until I see some actual hard science to that effect, I am not willing to do so.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 3:53 PM      james
    oh please. first, the term is "peer reviewed," not "peer-edited." those are very different things. second, no one editing that document is a scientist, they're all politically motivated hacks.

    don't talk to me about scientific review journals, i still have my subscription to PNAS.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 4:03 PM      BrianH
    Yes I've seen the hockey stick. I've also seen refutations of the hockey stick.

    Follow the link please!

    http://www.techcentralstation.com/102704F.html
    or go here:
    http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/04/10/wo_muller101504.asp

    Sorry, the sky isn't falling.
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 4:13 PM      frank567890
    James -

    Wikipedia is both "peer edited" and "peer reviewed."

    BVBigBro -

    You are certainly correct, there are errors in any reconstructions not relying on actual temperature readings. We could get into a big back and forth here and not accomplish anything. In any case, the data is a mean, and the mean doesn't support the point which I was refuting.

    I appreciate your honesty that human caused global warming, if true, is a concern. I remember reading a George Will article a few years ago where he stated, yes, we are causing global warming, but no, we shouldn't stop it - because, essentially, some warm weather would be nice.

    I fear, though, that you're never going to get the perfect proof you need, given your requirement of a "testable, reproducible theory." We've only got one earth, and we can only project into the future using computer models, which are never perfect and always being tweaked. However, while I agree that "our understanding of the subject is poor," it's a matter of degrees (no pun intended). There is a consensus that human factors are involved, even if it's not large enough to meet your satisfaction.

    Given that the CO2 content in the atmosphere has increased 30%+ since the industrial revolution, this should be cause for alarm. This hasn't been the case for 10s of millions of years. It's awfully hard for me to believe such an increase over less than 3 centuries is precedented, or that it's without consequence.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 4:20 PM      BrianH
    "Given that the CO2 content in the atmosphere has increased 30%+ since the industrial revolution,"

    Do you have a reference for that figure? That seems to be a bit on the high side.
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 4:20 PM      frank567890
    Brian, did you yourself read the article? Just finished the first one - and I'm sorry to say, the methods being questioned suggest that the referenced North American temperature study underestimated temperature change.
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 4:31 PM      frank567890
    WRT the 30% number, you can read about here.

    It also contains a graph similar to the one linked prior, but including the full error range of the calculations (on page 3). C02 numbers are on page 6.

    oh btw, the page numbers references are the numbers at the bottom on each page, not the pdf page numbers.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 6:10 PM      pazure
    Every time talk turns to global warming, some bonehead trots out the tired, old "didn't they predict a cooling in the 70's" mantra.

    To those people I say this. Science has been wrong. It will continue to be wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, this is part and parcel what it is all about. The more it a theory (not a religion) can stand up against scientific assault, the more codified it becomes.

    If you really believe that we should discard all modern global warming estimates based on past errors, then imagine the following:

    It was once believed that the earth was the center of the universe. We now know that isn't true, so by your reasoning all modern astronomy is wrong.

    It was once believed that bleeding a sick person was beneficial. We now know that isn't true, so bollocks to all modern medicine.

    I could go on and on.

    Next time you plan on using this assinine retort, try putting your brain to work first.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 6:15 PM      mbrlr
    I have relatives in Monroe in north Louisiana and I know folks in Ruston and across the river over in Mississippi, but no one near the coast, so I don't believe I'm going to be personally affected by all this in that way, but our country has lost an enormous amount, both in lives and trust, and that's not even taking into account what we've lost culturally and historically with the damage to New Orleans. I hope no one here has loved ones there or is in doubt as to their safety.

    Delete this if you will, but the response of this administration to this tragedy has been beyond belief. Let me clarify --- bad beyond belief. May God and their fellow citizens and others in the world (did I mention the administration told the Canadians "no, thank you" when help was offered?) help the citizens of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama through this horror. But our President? He's not doing his job and actions taken by the administration and the Republican Congress have contributed to our seeming inability to respond to a tragedy within our borders. If there had been something similar in Iraq after our conquest, I somehow suspect it would have been deemed vital to our national interest to respond quickly and adequately. Now? Here? Well, he'll come back to Washington after a couple of days. Tha1nks, George. I'd go all medieval and wish a pox upon you, but that would mean President Cheney and...well, keep in good health, George W.

    Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, pray for the folks along the Gulf Coast and take whatever actions possible privately to deal with this and *lean* on your congressmen and senators to get into gear. Just understand, those of you on the right, that for many of us this administration's lackadaisical response to the tragedy simply confirms our worst suspicions and we're waiting and hoping for January 2009.

    Any ideas as to how we might deal with trying to make sure this sort of situation where our response time to tragedies such as this might be better? And please tell me you agree that not allowing the Canadians to help is just dumb as dirt...  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 6:50 PM      BVBigBro
    No Pazure, science hasn't been wrong, it will not continue to be wrong, and that's precisely the point. Science wasn't wrong about global cooling because global cooling had nothing to do with science. For global warming to be "science" it needs to be based solely upon testable hypotheses that produce reproducible results. That's what science is. The problem is that we have lots of theory and lots of models and lots of untestable opinion masquerading as science.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 7:03 PM      frank567890
    BVBigBro:

    [[No Pazure, science hasn't been wrong, it will not continue to be wrong, and that's precisely the point. Science wasn't wrong about global cooling because global cooling had nothing to do with science. For global warming to be "science" it needs to be based solely upon testable hypotheses that produce reproducible results. That's what science is. The problem is that we have lots of theory and lots of models and lots of untestable opinion masquerading as science.]]

    What a bizarre argument. Of course it's science. The fact that we can't "test" a hypothesis with 100% accuracy until a period of time has elapsed (when we get hard weather data in the future) doesn't change that.

    The computer weather models are built up of many smaller pieces, which can be tested, and of course are.

    From your previous post, I thought you were being a reasonable sceptic on this matter. But with your threshold for proof, we would need to wait a century to act after our current hypothesis have been "tested" by the earth's actual weather. How ridiculous.
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 7:17 PM      BVBigBro
    What do mean "how ridiculous"? Lots of hypotheses go decades and centuries to be verified, and they are not accepted as scientific fact until they do. No, long term computer models are not tested long term, and in the periods of time thay have been tested, they haven't proven accurate. The reasons for this are rather simple, namely the smaller pieces to which you refer are not well understood and are incomplete. Why on earth would you accept a computer model that predicts anything about anything a century from now?  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 7:42 PM      frank567890
    Let me get this straight. Please clarify, because I can't tell if you're trying to get into a symantical argument or make a specific point about global warming.

    Are you suggesting that we should do nothing about global warming until enough time has elapsed that there is no doubt whatsoever that the earth has already warmed because of human activity?

    If so, that's what is ridiculous.
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 8:03 PM      BrianH
    Frank,

    I think the point of the hockey stick refutations is that the data analysis that Mann did had the effect of "hiding" the Middle Age Warm Period. If the temps really WERE warmer then (as previously thought) then the slight warming we've had recently is not out of the normal range of variations.

    Thanks for the pointer to the increase CO2 data. I was not aware that it had been proved that there was that large of an increase. I can't respond to the validitiy because I haven't read the whole thing and haven't had time to research other data.

    And yes, I think it's too early to take action on global warming until more data is available. In the 70's the meme was global cooling. There were strong cries to do something about that too. Some of the suggestions included taking drastic action to melt the polar ice caps. Don't you think it was a good idea that we waited till THAT theory was proven wrong?
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 8:04 PM      BVBigBro
    If doing something requires a large change in society, then yes, that's exactly what I'm suggesting. Are you suggesting that we alter our way of life based on someone's speculation of what the world may be like 100 years from now? If so, that's ridiculous.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 8:20 PM      frank567890
    I think the point of the hockey stick refutations is that the data analysis that Mann did had the effect of "hiding" the Middle Age Warm Period. If the temps really WERE warmer then (as previously thought) then the slight warming we've had recently is not out of the normal range of variations.


    Right, I understand - but as the raw data in that article shows, (plotted in black) current temperatures are still higher than then. Granted, the data isn't perfect so it's not worth arguing about too much.

    In the 70's the meme was global cooling. There were strong cries to do something about that too. Some of the suggestions included taking drastic action to melt the polar ice caps. Don't you think it was a good idea that we waited till THAT theory was proven wrong?


    It's not a coincidence that we're not still discussing that today. The core idea of global warming, that an increase of greenhouse gases will cause an increase in the earth's temperature, has been around for over 2 decades. It's worth pointing out, though, that those predictions of an impending ice age were based on natural historical flucuations, not human influence. And the time range was in the 1000s of years area, not in the decade to century scale.

    If doing something requires a large change in society, then yes, that's exactly what I'm suggesting. Are you suggesting that we alter our way of life based on someone's speculation of what the world may be like 100 years from now? If so, that's ridiculous.


    When it's more than idle speculation, yes. When we're toying with the only life support system we have, double-yes.  
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 9:44 PM      BrianH
    " It's worth pointing out, though, that those predictions of an impending ice age were based on natural historical flucuations, not human influence."

    I may not be remembering it correctly now (it's been a while) but my recolection was that particulate matter caused by burning fossile fules would block solar radiation. There was some basis for such fears since volcanic eruptions have been known to cause a dramatic temporary change in climate. Fortunately (or unfortunately) their fears were greatly exaggerated.
     
     
    #  September 1st, 2005 11:12 PM      pazure
    Anyone familiar with the OJ trial will know that the man got away with murder. Question any and every fact, attempt to cast as much doubt on clear as day rock hard evidence as you can, bury the prosecution in a mountain of minutae, muddy the waters and the next thing you know, the jury decides that there is a reasonable doubt as to the man's guilt.

    One can cast doubt on anything in the known universe.

    The right (and I think I can generalise in saying this) has done exactly this. Here they have us arguing tiny details in a massive science while SOMETHING is happening out there...or not.

    In having discussions with my right-wing friends, I have cornered them to the same untenable position that Frank reaches above

    >> Are you suggesting that we should do nothing about global warming until enough time has elapsed that there is no doubt whatsoever that the earth has already warmed because of human activity?<<

    This is precisely the position they hold.

    I like using comparisons to past events to prove certain points. Let's take the total collapse of the cod stocks off the coast of Newfoundland. Here's a nice read:

    http://egj.lib.uidaho.edu/egj17/mason1.html

    If you have the patience to finish the whole document, you'll see that during the whole drawn out decline, there were many detailed, expert arguments put forth "proving" that the cod were not in decline.

    So what has happened to Newfoundland cod? I'll quote from the paper

    "In 1992, the once abundant cod stocks off the coast of Newfoundland collapsed and a moratorium was placed upon fishing them."

    In placing blame, the author writes:

    (Amongst other things)..."In this situation, the state held too much power, and was open to being swayed by economic and political considerations that were not in the interests of the conservation of the resource."

    Sound familiar?

    Anyone want to tell me what the economic and political considerations are of pro-warming climatologists? Just how exactly do they benefit from their scientific theories?  
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 1:00 AM      frank567890
    I may not be remembering it correctly now (it's been a while) but my recolection was that particulate matter caused by burning fossile fules would block solar radiation. There was some basis for such fears since volcanic eruptions have been known to cause a dramatic temporary change in climate. Fortunately (or unfortunately) their fears were greatly exaggerated.


    Ah that's right. Thanks.  
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 7:52 AM      BrianH
    pazure,

    I think anyone familiar with the Washington Monument will know that stone is hard.


    The Left (and I think I can generalize here) tends to prostest and panic over their pet theories. They propose solutions that are painful, have unintended consequenses, don't address the real problems, ignore data that doesn't fit their theory, and demonize anyone who doesn't agree with their plans.

    (Insert any leftist theory you like, poverty, economics, health care, retirement, Global Warming, Global Cooling, animal rights, etc.)

    "Just how exactly do they benefit from their scientific theories?"

    Have you seen the research funding for Global Warming? But that's not totally fair, most of them do believe the theory and are working hard to prove it. (Adjusting data to fit the theory goes beyond the limits in my opinion.)

    (Frank, I'm not including you here, this is aimed at asinine remarks from people who don't think.)
     
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 8:26 AM      BVBigBro
    Pazure, the problems with acting without an absolute scientific basis are first that there is no proof that anything you are doing will do any good whatsoever, and second, without an absolute understanding of the problem the action you take may be in fact detrimental.

    If you want a good example since you like them so much, this country spent hundreds of billions during the early cold war to counter the theory of various "bomber gaps" and "missile gaps". Lots of scientists and engineers telling us we had to match the Russians, lots of models showing how we would be behind and the Russians would nuke us to oblivion. The truth was far different, our solution, building a vast arsenal of nukes, addressed a problem that did not exist, and our solution in addition to spending a fortune, may have contributed to lengthening the cold war. That was not the intention of those who proposed it.

    What I find untenable is that we shackle future generations to unproven speculation.

     
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 9:00 AM      pazure
    BrianH,

    We're now in the middle of a costly war because an assinie, unthinking myopic administration chose to, and let me borrow your custom made description here.. "propose solutions that are painful, have unintended consequenses, don't address the real problems, ignore data that doesn't fit their theory, and demonize anyone who doesn't agree with their plans". And the Iraq war is just one in a long line of similar fiascos. Coming from an administration (I'm assuming that you support) that specialises in this sort of blindness, don't you feel a bit odd casting such blame?

    And why don't you tell us about these "Painful solutions" and then about the unintended consequences? By painful, do you mean denying a Hummer to a 110lb city-dwelling woman who uses it to drive to the local Starbucks?

    Finally, I have to admit you're right about the Global warming funding. Climatologists have a known weakness for nice cars and huge houses. This is one reason that such large numbers are jumping on the global warming gravy train. You will, of course, provide us with side by side proof of the funding both camps receive to back up your claim...won't you?  
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 9:10 AM      BrianH
    No pazure,

    By "painful solutions" I mean a treaty who's implementation is estimated to cost somewhere around $18 Trillion with an outcome that even under the treaty supporter's estimates would have only a minor impact on global warming (assuming their theories are even correct).
     
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 9:26 AM      pazure
    BVBigBro,

    I fully agree with you. But as Frank alluded to above, there are times that one MUST err on the side of caution. In this case, we are talking about our only life support system. As I tried to point out, one can NEVER have absolute scientifc proof of anything - doubt can be cast onto even the most concrete of theories.

    A doctor tells you that based on his examination, you have to stop smoking within the week or face certain death. But smoking makes you more productive, it makes you think more clearly, more sociable, which helps you make new contacts and more money etc.

    So you get more opinions, most of them agreeing with doctor A. One doctor (B), who was put through RJR Med School, tells you that everything is fine, and that doctor A is overreacting.

    Which opinion are you going to take? If you stop smoking, you'll certainly get benefits. And wouldn't you err on the side of caution? Your stance seems to want to wait until your lungs show cancerous spots. But then of course, Doctor B would explain this away.

    At what point do you finally trust the original diagnosis, and do you want to wait this long? Will your tombstone read "Doctor A has been proven, with Absolute Scientific basis, to be right. I should have listened"

    I asked BrianH this, and I'd like to now ask you this. You both only talk about the potential negatives and have used scary sounding words to describe the "burdens" of taking action. You use "shackle" BrianH uses "painful".

    Please elaborate.

    And If we must talk about the burdens, let's also talk about the benefits. I'll begin with your cold war example. Our spending made us the worlds only superpower and contributed vast amounts of technological and scientific progress to humanity. Not a bad by-product.  
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 9:38 AM      pazure
    BrianH,

    Just out of curiosity, where did you get your cost figure? And how accurate do you think this number is? We've all heard our leaders throw around numbers that in the end NEVER come true. Why do you so trust this figure?

    Since you seem to love engaging in theory smashing, I'll engage in a bit of my own, using the same exacting standards you use.

    Is there any proof for this figure? I want to see hard, unassailable financial data that absolutely and mathematically proves that it will cost this much. And be forewarned that at each step of the way, I will question every single theory and figure you put out.

    Until that time comes that your figure is proven correct, I say we start the spending now and keep on spending until....we reach that number. Then I'll admit that you were right.

    And why only concentrate on the costs? Why not talk about the benefits to this kind of spending?

    Interesting link:

    http://policyresearch.gc.ca/page.asp?pagenm=v6n1_art_10  
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 10:16 AM      BrianH
    "Is there any proof for this figure? "

    Good question. NO. It's an estimate from an article I found with a quick google. I've seen estimates much higher and much lower.

    I derived it in about the same way that most of the global warming estimates were derived. I picked a data point that matched my pet theory.

    "Why not talk about the benefits to this kind of spending?"
    I did mention the (lack of) benefits when I said that Kyoto "even under the treaty supporter's estimates would have only a minor impact on global warming".

    Now your turn. You said:
    " By painful, do you mean denying a Hummer to a 110lb city-dwelling woman who uses it to drive to the local Starbucks?"

    Do you have proof that the Kyoto treaty would deny that poor woman her only meeans of transportation? Is that the only thing that would be required? What else will be denied?

    Do you have any proof that the Kyoto Accord would prevent global warming?

    P.S. The article you linked to includes this:
    "According to base case modelling assumptions, if a GHG cap and tradable permit system (or GHG tax) were applied nationwide to achieve the Kyoto target of six percent below 1990 emissions by 2010, the permit price (or tax) would be about $120/tonne CO2. For Canadian households, this translates into consumer price increases for electricity of 2 to 85 percent (depending on the region and pricing policy), natural gas of 40 to 90 percent, and gasoline of about 50 percent."

    That seems like a pretty steep increase just in the additional TAX on energy. It says nothing for the costs of converting to lower CO2 generating equipment, the drag on the economy of the higher energy tax, etc.
     
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 11:33 AM      pazure
    It's always clear when someone has been painted into a inescapable logical box...they begin inelegantly trying to use your logic in their argument and then bury the effect of your cogent points with a slew of distractive questions.

    Why don't we deal with your arguments on a case by case basis.

    CLAIM #1: These are just "pet theories" of scientists in which they fit the science around their theories.

    Can you provide proof that these are just "pet theories" of climatologists? Have you professionally examined the huge amounts of existing data? What is your line of work? Are you a trained scientist (preferably one familiar with this branch of science) who can authoritatively call the work of these scientists "pet theories". Please answer each of these questions without trying to redirect the discussion.

    My Refutation of your Claim #1:

    Common sense argues against this ridiculous notion.

    Any scientist knows that being the one to come out with the "great find" that upsets established thought is the brass ring to shoot for, assuring induction into the Science Hall of Fame. If the widely held scientific theory is that there IS anthropogenic global warming going on, why would all these scientists not independently go for the lure scientific fame of upsetting this apple cart of consensus?

    What vested interest do they have in holding these "pet theories"? Gaining tenure? Gaining a name for themself in the already overcrowded field of other scientists who are also claiming the same thing? Just why do you think the majority of climatologists believe that all data points towards human caused global warming?

    I'll get to the other points you raise when we flesh this one point out.

    P.S. I'm still waiting for you to provide a side by side comparison of the funding both sides get.  
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 12:28 PM      BrianH
    "It's always clear when someone has been painted into a inescapable logical box...they begin inelegantly trying to use your logic in their argument and then bury the effect of your cogent points with a slew of distractive questions."

    Yes it is clear. If I recall, you referenced the OJ trial, Bush invading Iraq, the RJR med school (cancer I assume), implied that the only cost of the Kyoto treaty is to take away a woman's hummer, spoke about cod fishing, and gave a long list of scientific failures.


     
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 12:48 PM      pazure
    Wonderfully done BrianH!!

    I get down to brass tacks, focus the spotlight on a single absurd claim made by you (to avoid all the offshoots, including mine), and you attack the questioner with more evasive maneuvers than a Rove trainee.

    Come on BrianH, have you got the gajones to answer my questions? Getting hot under the collar? Why not stick to the point?

    After addressing my points, please provide a side by side comparison of the funding both sides get. Still waiting.

    Oh and BTW, the RJR med school doesn't exist. It was a fictional prop used in a hypothetical example. Amazing...well maybe not...that you didn't catch onto that.  
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 1:34 PM      BVBigBro
    That's nice pazure, but your wrong. There are an infinite number of scientific facts which we know with certainty. As to smoking, a theory was proposed, it was tested, and then the results were replicated. That has not been done with global warming.

    A more apt comparison would be to go the doctor and have him tell you he thinks you have a brain tumor and he wants cut open your skull. "What's your evidence?" you say. "Well, a brain tumor fits the symptoms." says the doc. "Aren't there some tests and shouldn't we have some more evidence?" you say. "How dare you challenge my opinion! If it's a brain tumor we need cut open your head now, there's no time for tests." says doc. In my case, I'll get a second opinion before I let anyone cut my head open.

    Also, without the scientific proof, you can't say you're erring on the side of caution. The alternatives to fossil fuels have hardly been investigated better, and it's entirely possible, and perhaps likely, that the alternatives are in fact worse.  
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 1:37 PM      herby
    No one can blame a human being for the storm. The blame goes to those in power who did not prepare for the storm. Who shut off the natural gas? No one. Who provided money to rebuild the dyke, congress tried, Bush vetoed.

    The old slogan goes a long way here, "Lead, Follow, or get the hell out of the way." Our present leadership stinks when we can loose a major metropolitain area because there was no plan of action for this eventuality.

    Just keep making excuses and our country will be excused out of existance, and it will be "nobody's" fault. I can help. No one is to blame. Who knew? Who could have possibly predicted that a hurricane could hit a major metropolitan area along the coast? Especially how would a "C" student have figured this out? The President may be a moron, but he has smart advisors who could not figure out how to provide money to fix the dyke. Don't find fault in the President's shortcomings now because people are dying. Wait until the crisis is over and nobody will listen. I enjoy observing the decline of what used to be a great nation. It's all Clinton's fault. bin Laden isn't important now. Mostly Democrats are dying anyway, and we all know they aren't Ameri  
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 1:52 PM      BrianH
    pazure, I understood your insunation. The RJR med school would dispute cigarettes cause cancer because they are funded by RJR. It was a shot at anyone that disputes global warming and other forms of junk science with the ad hominem attack that they only hold their opinions because of their funding source.

    "I'm still waiting for you to provide a side by side comparison of the funding both sides get."

    Pro-global warning research - all of it.

    Anti-global warming research - $0
     
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 1:58 PM      BrianH
    "congress tried, Bush vetoed."

    Bush hasn't vetoed ANYTHING let alone funding for the levees. Go lie to someone else.

     
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 4:27 PM      frank567890
    No point in arguing here - we already have it on the record that the only acceptable proof for action is pre-existing climate change.

    35% antarctic ice cap reduction, 31% increase in atomospheric CO2, similar increases in methane and other greenhouse gasses.

    Oil consumption increasing every day. US energy market soon to be dwarfed by China and India. In otherwords, accelerating potential climate change.

    The only hope I hold out against those who refuse to acknowledge something is happening is this: we'll reach peak oil production something within the next half century, and we'll be FORCED to change our way of life. Don't want to do it now? Thankfully most of humanity is, with the evidence we have, less fatalistic.

    And, soon, we'll have real leadership to guide us.
     
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 4:49 PM      james
    "35% antarctic ice cap reduction, 31% increase in atomospheric CO2, similar increases in methane and other greenhouse gasses. "

    and an over 1000% increase in the number of DVDs being produced each year... maybe DVDs are the cause of the problem.

    yeah, that must be it.
     
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 4:58 PM      kris
    And, soon, we'll have real leadership to guide us.


    what the hell does that mean? you planning on staging a coup or something? i assume you don't consider our current administration as possessing "real" leadership.

    of course, it's only 2005 and unless you succeed with the coup thing they're going to be there for awhile.  
     
    #  September 2nd, 2005 5:03 PM      james
    he's a troll, why argue with him?
     
     
    #  September 3rd, 2005 3:29 AM      frank567890
    Hello, thank you so much for what you have added to this conversation. It's so worthly, it's worth quoting again:

    [[Dear Looney Lefties:

    This is neither the time nor the place to be spouting your crazy anti-Bush rhetoric.

    If you want to talk about how everything is Bush's fault, then get your own website and do it there. Your comments here will be gleefully deleted.

    Thank you.]]

    [[what the hell does that mean? you planning on staging a coup or something? i assume you don't consider our current administration as possessing "real" leadership.

    of course, it's only 2005 and unless you succeed with the coup thing they're going to be there for awhile.]]

    Thank you again, Kris. Your participation in our democratic system is invaluable, and without your insight, we would all be lost.  
     
    #  September 3rd, 2005 3:47 AM      frank567890
    [[and an over 1000% increase in the number of DVDs being produced each year... maybe DVDs are the cause of the problem.

    yeah, that must be it.]]

    When making such statements to prove a point, it's good to make them "relevent" to the "discussion." Let me "explain":

    The "atmosphere" is the thing that regulates "weather," while "DVDs" display "video." When the "atmosphere" changes "composition," those things it "regulates" inevidably also "change." In light of the current "discussion," the "change" is the "weather," or "climate."

    Next time you engage in an "analogy," please try to make it "relevant" to the "discussion."
     
     
    #  September 3rd, 2005 9:32 AM      kris
    do you have any idea how much people like you absolutely disgust me? we're in the midst of dealing with a horrible natural disaster and your only interest is in seeing how you can make the circumstances fit into your worldview: which is that Bush and conservatives are responsible for everything bad that happens in the world.

    go to hell.  
     
    #  September 3rd, 2005 3:40 PM      frank567890
    Re-read the only comment I made about Bush:

    [[Kennedy didn't blame Bush for the hurricane, and you're really stretching for straws trying to claim so.
    ]]

    go to hell.  
     
    #  September 3rd, 2005 6:53 PM      mbrlr
    kris, those of us who keep raising questions aren't doing it because we hate Bush, at least I'm not. I just watched cities I liked and a city very important to our history blink out of existence, although I hope that's not final, and then watched our government sort of sit on its...well, not respond appropriately or adequately. I want questions answered because we weren't prepared for this and both the attitude towards FEMA and budget cuts and the lack of response in an appropriate time or in an appropriate way needs to be examined and dealt with so we *don't do this nonsense again*. And GWB has some questions he has to answer and it's seemed in the past that questions are never answered when the initial queries are quashed for whatever reason raised, whether it be national unity or their being deemed somehow inappropriately respectful of the President.  
     
    #  September 22nd, 2005 2:07 PM      damonhastings
    FYI, the study quoted in this article is out of date and has been superceded by a study of larger scope by Peter Webster:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/09/0915_050915_hurricane_strength.html

    This new study shows that sea surface temperatures and hurricane intensity has been increasing *globally*, i.e. not as part of the regional "natural cycles" mentioned by Kerry Emanuel. (Those "natural cycles" involve the sea temperature/hurricane intensity going up in one place and down in another, maintaining a constant global temperature overall; whereas this new study is seeing a global increase in both.)

    From the above link:

    "If the increases in hurricane strength and sea surface temperatures were part of a natural cycle, as some scientists believe, then there would be decreases in other regions to compensate for them. But the increases found in the study are both worldwide.

    "There's a plus and minus with oscillations," said Webster, an atmospheric scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. "What we see is a universal increase [in temperature] and a universal change in hurricane intensity."

    So, yes, a portion of the current upswing in hurricane intensity in the Gulf is due to this natural 30-year cycle -- but another portion is due to global warming. And the global warming means that we're unlikely to return to the meteorological calm of the 60's and 70's even when this upswing is over in 30 years, and that meanwhile this upswing will be worse than the previous one and will get noticeably worse during the course of the 30 years. And the next upswing that will happen in 60 years, well... just don't encourage your grandkids to live near the gulf. ;)  
     
    #  September 22nd, 2005 2:56 PM      BVBigBro
    Unless, of course there is no global warming, or the warming is caused by solar activity, or radioactivity in the earth's core, etc. etc.  
     
    #  September 22nd, 2005 8:40 PM      JohnTant
    Damonhastings:

    I think what you really meant to say is:

    "This new study from National Geographic is closer to what we want to be true than this other story, so pay attention to it instead."  
     

     

     


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