A Debate I’ll Call “Roger and Me”…Catchy.

Figure 1(b) from the Intergovernmental Panel o...

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

I am going to bring Roger from New Zealand into a fresh post.  It is fair to present both sides in a debate and why conduct a debate in the comments section?

Roger is calling me out on my post that offers a way to explain global warming to people who deny it is happening based on fluctuations observed in daily weather.  Roger cites information from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to support his argument which seems to be that climate change isn’t such a big deal. 

In particular, in the last comment shared with me, Roger suggests that we need to understand the facts better because a IPCC report suggests that the sea level rises caused by the deterioration of the Greenland Ice Sheet will not reach 7 meters for at least a thousand years or more. 

I’m not sure a 7 meter sea level rise is the point when we start to have problems.  It has been argued by scientists that even a rise of a few inches can start to cause problems, surely a few feet would be catastrophic for some coastal areas, islands, rivers, etc.   Seven meters — more than 20 feet for us metric-challenged Americans — is quite a devastating accomplishment.  Bye bye Manhattan.

Queenstown, New Zealand.

I am happy Roger shared this information.  There is a lot more at the IPCC to read and study.  The site is a treasure of reports and links to studies and data.  The IPCC also is a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2007.

I would encourage people to look beyond one or two examples that appear to be outrageous or set far into the future.  The IPCC produces an annual report on Impacts, Adaptations, and Vulnerability of climate change that can be read online or downloaded.  There is a lot of information about threats other than sea level rise.  Drought, floods, deforestation, disease, etc.  They even have a section dedicated to New Zealand!

But I have to wonder why someone — anyone — wouldn’t see climate change as an opportunity for broader changes and advancement in the way we live.  The world is getting more and more crowded with more and more people living a higher standard of living mostly on unsustainable energy sources.  That seems like a disaster waiting to happen whether the climate changes or not. 

Moreover we are at an economic crossroads.  Familiar capitalist economies that have largely depended on regional trade advantages at the global level are quickly ceasing to exist.  The United States is doomed to lose in the global labor market, for example.  New economies equal new opportunities and vice versa.

I will put my faith behind the scientists and researchers who have committed their professional lives to studying and understanding our climate and how human activity impacts it.  Perhaps if I saw global warming scientists growing fabulously rich and powerful perpetuating a minority opinion about global warming threats I might be skeptical, but I see nothing like that.  Do you?

I do, however, see a minority of big business, especially fossil fuel execs, growing fabulously rich holding a minority opinion. 

If you were a betting man, where would you put your money?

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14 thoughts on “A Debate I’ll Call “Roger and Me”…Catchy.

  1. Christine

    HI there –
    I see you have been visited by the ubiquitous Roger. Roger enjoys dropping by articles about climate change and spreading his pro-pollution, anti-science message. I love your response, especially the graphic – well done!

    Reply
    1. Tour Guide Post author

      Christine…Why can’t I get to your blog? The link is to Gravatar…and I’m not sure what that is. (Don’t tell Roger, but I’m not as smart as I look!)

      Reply
  2. rogerthesurf

    Thats funny, all I did was ask you this question.

    “Seeing as how you are taking it upon yourself to preach to the world about how we should behave here is a little test of your knowledge.

    According to the IPCC, how soon will it be before we are fully effected by the 7 meter sea level rise caused by the melting of the Greenland ice cap?”

    Which you were unable to answer.

    And then supply you with this answer:-

    “Tour Guide,

    Thank you for your reply.

    Actually, with all due respect, I think you need to read the IPCC reports just a great deal more to make sure you understand fully exactly what you are taking upon yourself to preach to us all.

    According to the IPCC, that epitome of exaggeration, the answer is more than 2000 years. I kid you not.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-projections-of.html#table-spm-3

    Note the use of the word “millennia”

    Do you think it is good reporting to write so obscurely so that people think there will be an imminent inundation?

    Why am I denying climate change? I don’t but there is no proof or any real likelihood that CO2 has anything to do with it.

    If you would like some authority on that, well for a start you could read my blog and check the references there.”

    Then you are so defensive that you start up a whole new post to argue with me.

    The point of the question and answer was to 1. test your knowledge of your own beliefs, and 2. point out that 2,000 years is looking forward just a tad far for most people so the 7 meters is simply trying to sensationalize a non relevant fact. A little like the prediction of the himalaya glaciers melting in a twisted sort of way.
    Incidently, if one does the arithmetic, the contribution of the Greenland Ice Cap IF it is going to have any effect at all, (The IPCC also says “IF”) would be 3.5mm a year. Well thats not going to drown us for quite a few centuries is it?

    Incidently, I see Christine is accusing me of being unscientific. Quite the contrary, I am demanding that climate science meet at least the basic standards for good scientific procedure.
    Where Christine gets the idea from that I am pro pollution, I have no idea.

    “Perhaps if I saw global warming scientists growing fabulously rich and powerful perpetuating a minority opinion about global warming threats I might be skeptical, but I see nothing like that. Do you?”

    Well how about Al Gore? OK I know he is not a scientist but I believe his beach front property is pretty smart.

    Anyway, why not try and make some particular assertions to me, I always will answer in a scientific well referenced way? Its quite difficult to point out all the assumptions and easily discounted assertions in a whole post, just using comments.
    Did you read my blog?

    Cheers

    Roger

    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

    BTW Christine, thank you for publishing my last comment on your blog, have been expecting a well referenced and logical reeply for some time now.

    Reply
  3. Tour Guide Post author

    Hello Roger…Not only did I read your blog, but I posted a link here so anyone reading our little debate can go and see what you say.

    I’m sorry, but I still don’t see what gripe you have with me. I answered your question. (IPCC gives us 1000 years for the seas to rise 7 meters.) I’m not sure that we are in the clear until we hit 7 meters, however, and I make that point in my post. I’m also not sure that rising sea levels is the only concern. I make that point, too.

    Finally…sure, I’ll enter a new post to make my point. It is my blog, after all. And why not? It makes it easier to follow our debate, right?

    It seems to me that you are very fixed on one paragraph from the IPCC report and even more specifically two words from that report: “Millennia” and “If.” I don’t know…what about the rest?

    Does Al Gore have a beach front house? I thought he lived in Tennessee. Tennessee isn’t quite beach front property…at least not yet, but maybe he’s betting on global warming wiping out North Carolina in a millennia or two.

    Reply
  4. rogerthesurf

    “Does Al Gore have a beach front house?”

    What planet are you on?

    I understand Al Gore has three houses, located respectively in Nashville Tenn, Carthage Tenn and Montecito Cal.
    Here are some photographs. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/17/photos-al-goree-new-8875_n_579286.html#s91230

    Cost something like US$9 million.

    If you do a google search you may learn even more.

    “(IPCC gives us 1000 years for the seas to rise 7 meters.) ”

    Incorrect. The word “Millennia” means two or more thousand years. In other words to even consider the contribution to sea level rise of the Greenland Ice cap melting is scare mongering because contribution is inconsequential in real terms.

    I notice in your post, that you do not mention the number of previous warm periods, that occurred within human historical times, which are an important part of my blog.

    Do you think they were caused by itinerant sword sharpening perhaps?

    Cheers

    Roger

    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

    Reply
  5. Tour Guide Post author

    Good lord, Roger…I won’t pretend to be an expert on Al Gore’s homes and I don’t see how that matters in a debate about Global Warming.

    And “millennia” is a period of 1000 years.

    Reply
    1. rogerthesurf

      Well I am just answering your question :- Has any scientist grown fabulously rich over AGW. Although Al Gore is not a scientist, he certainly acts like an authority and I would describe him as fabulously rich. You brought that up as a relevant point not I.

      “And “millennia” is a period of 1000 years.”

      Incorrect. The word millennium is a period of 1,000 years, the word “millennia” is the plural form which means more than one millennium.

      Do you have any other points you would like me to clarify for you?

      Do you still feel yourself qualified to preach unproven AGW theories and hearsay on a public forum like this?

      Cheers

      Roger

      http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

      Reply
  6. Tour Guide Post author

    Fine, you’re right…millennia is the plural. Good work. But irrelevant.

    You represent global warming denying very well. The issue itself doesn’t matter, but side issues do. Your points are absurdly off the mark. Who cares where Al Gore lives? All Gore isn’t one of the scientists warning us about global warming, he is a politician behaving responsibly by taking up a serious issue.

    You don’t think 1000 — or 2000 — years is a big deal. for sea level rises of more than 7 meters. Fine. That’s hardly the tipping point for environment hardship. Denying the immediate facts for the sake of one distant possibility seems rather unsophisticated.

    This side debate is boring. I have put a link to your website on these posts. Let’s leave it at that. Good luck and stay warm.

    Reply
  7. rogerthesurf

    First of all, you are the one that has taken it upon himself to 1. Preach the AGW message when you show that you have very little understanding of the real issues. A little like the sheep in Orwell’s “Animal Farm”
    and 2. with some ill conceived false confidence have taken it upon yourself to “prove” to the rest of the world how erroneous I am in my views by spouting a somewhat naive blog where all you say in effect is that because the IPCC is irreproachably correct, like all good little sheep, we should do what the IPCC says, because they are part of the UN we can trust them and their hired scientists and other advocates who have fingers in the honey pot (such as Al Gore) and therefore we should all condemn ourselves to poverty, very likely for no better reason than their instruction.

    The example of the 7 meter sea level rise which the IPCC obscurely admits will take more than 2,000 years is just one example of the duplicity that we are facing.

    Does CO2 have anything to do with Global Warming? Well you conveniently omitted from your sort of synopsis of my blog, any reason why the world has managed to heat up and cool down many times before (at least 4 of those times within history) before there was any anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Furthermore you are obviously unaware that all “evidence” for the “anthropogenic CO2 causes Global Warming” hypothesis relies on a few correlations, which if you ever studied statistics, you would know are not proof at all.
    This is why so many scientists do not support the IPCC, some of the IPCC scientists are fighting to get their names removed from the IPCC references and why tens of thousands of scientist actively oppose the conclusions of the IPCC.

    Unless you are able to counter these facts with appropriate scientific references, I reiterate, you are little better than a corner preacher, preaching aboutthings which you know little about and have even less basis on fact.

    If you want references for the above, first of all read my site more carefully, for any outstanding questions I will point you to the appropriate SCIENTIFIC authority.

    Cheers

    Roger

    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

    This conversation will be also posted on my other blog. http://www.globalwarmingsupporter.wordpress.com where my readers will look forward to your responses with interest.

    PS. Al Gore has certainly made plenty of cash and poised himself to make many times more if we all do what he says. Why don’t you google his name and read more about him?

    Reply
  8. Tour Guide Post author

    Roger…I’m going to trust the nerdy scientists. I’m just not seeing any duplicity or conspiracy or anything else that makes me doubt their work. When the overwhelming majority of scientific research points to a problem, I’m going to pay attention. I see no point in trying to overthink it.

    Reply
    1. rogerthesurf

      My main criticism of you is that I think you are not qualified to preach about AGW because you do not have sufficient grasp of the issues.
      Issues of which we have barely scraped the surface.

      You are welcome to believe what you like but unless start really understanding the issues, my advice would be to keep your beliefs to yourself.

      Cheers

      Roger

      http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

      PS Just in case you ever become serious here are a few of the many published papers circulating around that disprove just about every point the IPCC asserts. Ever heard the term “cherry picking”?
      An assessment of validation experiments conducted on computer models of global climate using the general circulation model of the UK’s Hadley Centre
      (Energy & Environment, Volume 10, Number 5, pp. 491-502, September 1999)
      – Richard S. Courtney

      An Alternative Explanation for Differential Temperature Trends at the Surface and in the Lower Troposphere (PDF)
      (Journal of Geophysical Research, Volume 114, November 2009)
      – Philip J. Klotzbach, Roger A. Pielke Sr., Roger A. Pielke Jr., John R. Christy, Richard T. McNider

      Altitude dependence of atmospheric temperature trends: Climate models versus observation (PDF)
      (Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 31, Issue 13, July 2004)
      – David H. Douglass, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer

      A test of corrections for extraneous signals in gridded surface temperature data (PDF)
      (Climate Research, Volume 26, Number 2, pp. 159-173, May 2004)
      – Ross McKitrick, Patrick J. Michaels

      – Are temperature trends affected by economic activity? Reply to Benestad (2004) (PDF)
      (Climate Research, Volume 27, Number 2, pp. 175–176, October 2004)
      – Ross McKitrick, Patrick J. Michaels

      A null hypothesis for CO2 (PDF)
      (Energy & Environment, Volume 21, Number 4, pp. 171-200, August 2010)
      – Roy Clark

      A natural constraint to anthropogenic global warming
      (Energy & Environment, Volume 21, Number 4, pp. 225-236, August 2010)
      – William Kininmonth

      A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions (PDF)
      (International Journal of Climatology, Volume 28, Issue 13, pp. 1693-1701, December 2007)
      – David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearson, S. Fred Singer

      A Climate of Doubt about Global Warming
      (Environmental Geosciences, Volume 7, Issue 4, December 2000)
      – Robert C. Balling Jr.

      A 2000-year global temperature reconstruction based on non-treering proxies (PDF)
      (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 1049-1058, December 2007)
      – Craig Loehle

      An empirical evaluation of earth’s surface air temperature response to radiative forcing, including feedback, as applied to the CO2-climate problem
      (Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Volume 34, Numbers 1-2, pp. 1-19, March, 1984)
      – Sherwood B. Idso

      An upper limit to global surface air temperature
      (Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Volume 34, Number 2, pp. 141-144, June 1985)
      – Sherwood B. Idso

      Reply
  9. Tour Guide Post author

    Geez Roger…give it a rest! I am starting to like you only because I think you are too crazy to be dangerous.

    You call me out for preaching and not being qualified to do so. Well, dear friend, I am not preaching. I am expressing my support of an opinion which is congruent with the scientific conclusions of people much smarter than me on the subject of global warming. To be fair, when I have time I’ll see what Balling, Michaels, Idso, et al have to say…ok?

    Reply
    1. rogerthesurf

      Well you are the one who instigated this debate and found yourself over your head.

      I would say “A Debate I’ll Call “Roger and Me”…Catchy.” is more than expressing an opinion.

      I suggest that you read and digest what Balling, Michaels, Idso, et al before you do any more preaching.

      I have at least anothe thousand papers for you to read, or I can find one for any point you may wonder about.

      There are also people with scientific conclusions who are no doubt much smarter than you or me who vermently contradict the opinons which you are supporting.
      It is only the people that YOU are supporting who claim there is any consensus.

      I hope you will be a wiser man after this interchange.

      Cheers

      Roger

      http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

      Reply

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