2011-07-01 13:47:34Will wonders never cease!
John Hartz
John Hartz

Here's what I posted in response to caracoid's lengthy tome reposted in Parts I, II, & III of my Kind and Gentle Denier Drone blogs:

A good place to start your quest for objective information about the causes and consequences of climate change is SkepticalScience.com.

Here's caracoid's response (it's definitely not the one I had expected.):

I took a look at the site for a few hours.  This is what I came away with:

Arguments in favor of AGW are compelling until you hear the contrary points, which are allowed into to the site (much to the credit of the authors), which seem to come up with different data and disagreement on assumptions at every turn.  In reading the point-counterpoint blog--which for the most part seemed to be conducted by mostly professionals--a layman's quest for a deep truth is indeed nearly impossible to determine.  Much of the discussion is held through the nomenclature of the field and, in essence, is impenetrable.  

However, one thing I did come away with is that--drum roll--I am now ready to switch sides on perhaps the most important issue:  it does appear that the earth is probably warming.  The reason for my change in opinion was the section on sea ice levels.  While my opinion is subject to change according to any future revelations, the only ones claiming that sea ice is not decreasing appear to be playing a shell game.  Saying that the ice is regained in the winter doesn't accurately depict what is happening.  Most of it is regained, but a clear decrease over decades is abundantly apparent. 

It still seems unlikely that this small increase in CO2 can possibly account for such a marked change.  This is even stated by at least some of the AGW believers.  After all, of all the greenhouse gasses, CO2 is amongst the least apt to affect the weather on a molecule-on-molecule basis.  And it does only account for roughly 1/100th of the volume of the top two atmospheric greenhouse gasses when combined (methane and water).  Essentially, what the pro AGWs said was that--although granted the amount in the atmosphere is small--it is the only realistic variable that has indeed changed over time that could be causing it.  

On solar changes affecting earth's warming there does seem to be perhaps a preponderance of evidence that the earth's atmosphere has continued to warm regardless of the sun's activity.  Temperatures taken of other planets in the solar system do seem to be rather shaky in that the evidence has appeared contradictory and way too incomplete to draw any references from.

So for what its worth, in a nutshell here is where I'm at.  Until further notice, I now officially think there is more reason to believe global warming is occurring than not.  And, although as unlikely as it may be, CO2 is the only thing we've got at the moment pointing to the cause.  

Whether CO2 or not, there probably is something humans are doing to warm the earth's surface.  But I think Sherlock Holmes said something like, when you have eliminated all other possibilities, the one you are left with--however unlikely--is the culprit. 

Now, as far as convincing the other side--if anyone wants to know--I think I can help out.



2011-07-01 14:41:53
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Nice job!  Keep plugging away, good things happen.

2011-07-01 15:16:09Baby steps
John Cook


I'd think emphasising the observation evidence that CO2 is trapping heat (http://sks.to/agw) a next good step. It's rooted in hard, empirical data - the language of skeptics (genuine ones). It's not just guess work that CO2 is the cause of the warming - it's demonstrated by many lines of evidence.

2011-07-01 15:43:04Every win counts
Glenn Tamblyn


Badger, I just posted a comment to caracoid after his last comment, just some food for thought for him. Perhaps give him tiime to reply then see what specific areas at SkS he has looked at and make some more suggestions.

Converted skeptics who want to keep on communicating are a precious resource.

Well done.

2011-07-01 18:56:31



You might point out to him that the GHE depends not on the % of CO2 but on the absolute number of CO2 molecules. CO2 doesn't have to "compete" with other gases to make its impact: In the frequency bands of interest, it has a "monopoly."

Think of a bunch of people in a marsh, looking for ducks. If you have enough hunters, you can shoot down a lot of ducks. It doesn't make any difference if the % of hunters among the people is high or low, it only matters if you have enough hunters. So the ducks are like the infrared photons and the hunters are like CO2 molecules, among the people (gas molecules in general, including H20).

2011-07-01 22:16:31
Paul D


I tried logging in to disqus but had problems. It could be that it is my cookie settings (I don't normally enable third party cookies).
Christian Monitor didn't used to use that system. Seems like a lot of them are doing it now.

2011-07-02 00:11:32Paul D
John Hartz
John Hartz

Disqus can be a pain in the arse -- especially when creating a new account.

2011-07-02 00:20:53
Paul D


I have an account. It doesn't let me use the Telegraph either and with that I tried enabling third party cookies.

I can't install Chrome or Firefox 4 on my Mac (it's getting old) so it could be that. I might try Safari.

2011-07-02 00:37:08
Paul D


It seems to work using Safari on my Mac.

I'm guessing that my older version of Firefox doesn't like disqus.

2011-07-02 01:18:55
Paul D


I've added some comments as Hampyre.

In particular I responded to LuapLeiht1 and their view about Carl Sagan.
I found a quote that Carl Sagan made about Venus and the greenhouse effect which is an appropriate reposte.