Rebuttal to Micheal Francis

I found this post, and decided to compose a rebuttal – since his blog only allows comments 250 words in length, I decided to post it here.

You can find the full text of his commentary here.

Global Warming, More than a Heated Debate

Below please find my rebuttal.

Hello Micheal – I have read your article, and I think you have some misconceptions – I will address your comments point by point.

I do find it remarkable the number of people who deny the existence of global warming. And these are not credible scientists, but laypeople who would defer to an electrician or plumber where appropriate but commit to an ideological position that will damn the globe with views contrary to the experts.

Very few credible skeptical scientists deny the existence of global warming – I have been in touch with Dick Lindzen, one of the worlds foremost atmospheric physicists – he certainly does not deny that the globe has warmed – he is merely skeptical of the role of CO2 in the matter. You should try emailing him and asking him why he feels this way. I am sure he would be happy to respond.

So I do have an understanding of science as a process and how it is constructed. I also know “real” scientists and I know how consensus is created in the natural sciences.

I also know “real” scientists, and they also know that consensus is not science – there was once a consensus view on the scientific facts about eugenics.

All the media hype about “Climategate” and other denialist positions are premised off of a solid base of ignorance. A small group of scientists fudged some data, but this does not throw global warming into doubt as it is represented.

I think you should take climategate more seriously – here is what I consider to be the most damning email from the climategate event – and it has nothing to do with fudging data. But a side point before you read this email – do the “real” scientists you know hide and destroy data, lie, and generally have little regard for the scientific method? You should ask them sometime.

Hi Tom
How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter.  We are not close to balancing the energy budget.  The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not!  It is a travesty!

Dr. Trenberth clearly states that:

“The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not!”

So Dr. Trenberth is convinced that any attempt to “cool” the planet is doomed to failure as we would not be able to understand what would happen, and if it would be effective.

Since those who lend credence to the proposition of AGW, or CAGW for the “acolytes of the church of Gore”, feel that the “excesive” amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere is a kind of unintentional Geoengineering, and Dr. Trenberth obviously is of the opinion that we as a species currently have no ability to understand what the effects of this geoengineering would be, it follows that this particular theory should not be used to drive our decisions with regards to the releasing of CO2 into the atmosphere and all of the associated anti-gwroth policies that emerge from it, as

“we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not!”

If you would care to refute this line of reasoning, please fell free.

That is media misrepresentation and spin-doctoring of a rather blatant kind. Please do not supply links to random non-peer-reviewed websites at this point as “proof”. And definitely do not supply YouTube videos as even more proof.

I will only one peer reviewed paper – Richard S. Lindzen, and Yong-Sang Choi – On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implications


Please give it a read.

I also find it really strange that my experience with denialists of global warming always seem to be rather right wing of some sort or at least rabid individualists.

I would really appreciate it if you would stop using the word “denialist” it is an ad-hominem, and is used only to dismiss out of hand the views of serious people.

How would you like it if I called you a warmist?

Global warming needs to be treated with urgency. Global warming is happening and faster than we expect. And we are not doing enough.

You should ask Dr. Phil Jones – deposed former head of the CRU – what he thinks of that statement.

I’ll post his comments below.

B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

JONES – Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

C – Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling?

JONES – No. This period is even shorter than 1995-2009. The trend this time is negative (-0.12C per decade), but this trend is not statistically significant.

So what do you think of those statements?

We have massive amounts of water and it is really *%$#ing cold so a few degrees will not damn us in the way it will the Sahel regions of Africa that will become full deserts.

Please provide a reference for this prediction – is it based on GCMs?

And we really do treat each other badly. I was watching a documentary and in the film there were whole villages of people living off of a garbage dump in India. They were paid a pittance to recycle plastic, tin and steel. I still feel like crying when I think of it. Little children were digging through the dump looking for little bits that they could eat, sell or use.

In North America people used to do this as well – but then we became rich enough that our poor did not have to engage in this behavior merely to survive – I saw that with the help of inexpensive fossil fuels, we make the poor rich, so they won’t have to do this just to survive – as well maybe we should stop send them our “recycling”to sift through.

But again I digress from what I was saying about global warming being a strange topic online. I am really puzzled why global warming denialists always seem so right wing. Videos abound that link ideas on global warming to global governance. As if a global will to fight a global problem will lead to global government based on socialism.

I don’t know, maybe I am spending too much online and get exposed to stupid views far too often.

I agree – you are.

You should visit – no conspiracy theories – just scientific analysis.

As for Africa and the rest of the global south there seems to be a strong view that because of poverty in the south pollution and industrial standards do not matter. Issue of rampant population growth are downplayed as the poor have a small carbon footprint. The real problem with this view, no matter how accurate, is that to maintain this level of population requires the world to maintain the current levels of inequality.

Actually many people such as Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren, Henry Kissinger, Ted Turner, Mikhail Gorbachev, and many many others do not downplay the issue of rampant population growth – you should see what they say on the subject – mostly it has to do with radical depopulation of the earth.

A low fertility rate is strongly correlated with wealth – with the exception of the USA, the entire western world has a replacement rate of below 2.

The lack of environmental controls is also dismissed due to the level of industrialisation. It is argued that a factory in the south can be allowed to emit more pollution because of the small number, yet these plants and factories poison the people that work on them and live near them.

Who says this? Can you provide some quotes?

China is building a coal fired power plant a day, not because they don’t care about the environment – but you could argue that they don’t especially if you are a “deep green”- they care more about raising a billion people out of poverty. They also have negative population growth

Global strategies to combat global warming must be global in scope without compromises over past inequalities or we will continue to destroy the only earth we have.

Please read “The Skeptical Environmentalist” by Bjorn Lomborg – let me know what you think of his arguments.

Best Regards

E.A. Blair


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