"The Great Global Warming Swindle" on Sundance Channel

Anyone see the documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle on the Sundance Channel or at any other time? It only served to reinforce my belief that the CO2 causation is completely inacurate Sure, I think the planet’s warming but I also smell a rat. The biggest thing that caught my attention was that based on ice core data that the warming trend drives up the CO2 not the other way around. This fact alone changes the forecast models we’ve been deluged with over the past several years. We are experiencing IMHO a normal change in the weather patterns. We all owe it to ourselves to research and verify the information presented in the documentary. Sure the eco-extremists will scream bloody murder at the masses daring to question their “facts” but I say let’em screamll ! There are huge amounts of money riding on the CO2 myth and we’re the ones who’ll be paying through the nose.

I’m moving this out of General Questions, as I don’t see a General Question here.

Not that this board is short of threads on Global Warming, but let’s start this out in Great Debates where it will likely wind up.

samclem Moderator, General Questions

Wiki’s take. Offered without comment for reference.

So, what process prevents CO[sub]2[/sub] from causing warming, and what is causing the warming instead? We can easily measure the infrared opacity of CO[sub]2[/sub] in the laboratory, and can model what that would do given sunlight and the current amounts of the gas in our atmosphere, and it matches what we’re seeing.

I can’t help but laugh every time I see this old canard. You want to know where there’s huge amounts of money? Think about all the money made by fossil fuel companies. Exxon would really love for people to think that global warming isn’t occurring, or that it isn’t due to carbon dioxide, and they’ve got more money available to convince people of that than all the environmental organizations combined. Anyone who just wanted to make a buck without caring about the truth would be shilling for Exxon, not for the Sierra Club or whatever.

Yep, I’m putting all my spare change into wind turbine company stock. The big CEO’s running those companies are pulling in 7 figures now, and I"m gonna get me some of that cash too!

Plus, I heard that one a them climate scientist guys just pulled in a $68,000 grant (distributed over 4 years). And that, after only 9 years of postgraduate education, 2 years as a post-doc and 5 years in a junior position. It’s like they’re printing themselves money!

We have to tell you that you are late by 3 years.

You are looking at a documentary full of ignorance, laziness and lack of research:

Nope, facts do not follow ideology, but for the denial machine it does, funded denial organizations exist to confuse the public:


But, back to the swindler documentary:

Plus or minus global warming, all the climate scientists at the EPA would still have a job. Half of all climate scientists are employed by private business. The EPA has been lead by conservative-leaning scientists almost exclusively since its foundation by Republican president, Richard Nixon. The EPA supports the global warming theory and in fact approved the submission of the IPCC report for the UN.

In studies of the effects of monetary incentive on scientists varying their expected output, only 15.5% did so. Given that every bit of science that supports the global warming theory has been reproduced by a dozen or so independent and competitive groups, that 15.5% who are releasing data that can’t be replicated will end up being ignored. Given that half of all climate scientists are employed by private business, it’s likely that they have a monetary incentive to disprove anthropogenic global warming and hence there’s an even 15.5% who will attempt to skew the data in that direction.


Not in comparison to the amount of money riding on ‘proving’ AGW wrong. You owe it to yourself to verify that.

What? Exxon, BP, guys like that? What are penny-ante operations like that compared to the awesome Gore-ACORN juggernaut?

This is really the gist of it. If CO2 isn’t causing global warming, then where is that energy going? In fact, the IR peaks for CO2 are in such an odd place in the spectrum, that I’ll bet you can measure the absorbance pretty well from a satellite. You won’t even need a background spectrum because nothing else resonates there.

What does the lag of CO2 behind temperature in ice cores tell us about global warming?

The key here is that no scientist is saying that CO2 is the only contributing factor ever to global warming. Only that in the last 50-100 years, it has been the main one, and that while solar has been a factor, when you model the various factors, solar alone cannot account for the total increase, and CO2 seems to have a greater contribution to this period. And also that the accelerated rate of CO2 increase is historically novel.

I don’t think the question is really that there’s a relationship between CO2 and temperature. Pretty much every climate scientist and physicist agrees that CO2 increases will increase temperature, all else being equal.

The more interesting question is whether the estimates for climate sensitivity to CO2 forcing are correct. To get to the more extreme predictions of 6-7 degrees of temperature rise by 2100, you have to assume a lot of positive feedback mechanisms, and I think the science is much less settled around these (hence the fairly wide error bars on the IPCC estimates). There is still some question about how long CO2 remains in the atmosphere after being produced, which affects the long-term accumulation rate.

The problem I have with this debate is the attitude on both sides:

AGW opponents: “Global warming isn’t happening! And if it is, it has nothing to do with CO2! It’s all lies.”

AGW Proponents: “CO2 is causing warming, and humans are spewing out more CO2. Therefore… We must take drastic action NOW to stop it.”

The opponents are guilty of ignoring the real science behind this. The proponents are taking a wild leap from the basics of the solid science to demanding sweeping economic changes NOW. And both sides are guilty of ignoring the science or exaggerating it. The opponents refuse to accept what is a very solid understanding of CO2’s contribution to warming of a gas when you shine sunlight on it, while proponents tend to exaggerate the effects or claim that the extreme ranges of predictions are fact. The recent Copenhagen report does this. Al Gore does it all the time. Both sides throw up so much smoke that it’s hard to find the truth in either direction.

Both sides have a vested interest in keeping the debate at this primitive level. For AGW proponents, the more they can keep the opposition fighting against the basic physics, the more they have the ‘truth’ on their side. For the opponents, they feel that they have to deny the entire thing, because they feel that conceding any of it means they lose.

But let’s look at where we’re at with the science, economics, and sociology once you get past the very basics of “More CO2 = warmer”. First, we have very weak understanding of what the Earth’s feedback mechanisms are, either positive or negative. We also have a weak understanding of what our future economic and energy landscape will look like. The IPCC builds ‘scenarios’ for development that continue out for 90 years. But of course, five years ago they couldn’t predict the current recession, or the major reduction in CO2 that resulted. No one knows what our energy needs will be in ten years, let alone ninety.

The farther you go out on the predictive timeline, the fuzzier it gets. The farther you get from the basic physics of CO2’s interaction in the atmosphere, the shakier the science gets.

Then there’s the problem of discount rates. Even under the IPCC’s more extreme scenarios, if we assume reasonable discount rates on our investment the math says we shouldn’t do anything. So people like Stern have assumed a discount rate of zero, meaning we should spend a billion dollars today to prevent a billion dollars of damage ninety years from now. Which is a ridiculous thing to assume. But now we’re out of the realm of science and into philosophy and ethics. How many deaths of poor Africans today are warranted to prevent the deaths of a million unborn poor Africans in 2100? How much economic pain should a person of today pay to prevent the possible economic pain of his or her great grandchildren? These are not questions of science. There is a healthy debate to be had here, but we can’t have it so long as everyone is arguing over the basics.
Then we have the assumptions regarding the damage, which attempt to predict how humans will react to global warming as it slowly encroaches on them. But no one really knows this. We don’t know how development patterns will change. We don’t know how immigration patterns will change. Much of this stuff is a guess or a gross simplification.

Technology has shown itself to create huge discontinuities in human development, yet we have no idea what kinds of technologies will be invented in the next 100 years, or how we will react to them.

Then there’s the ‘problem’ that even the IPCC’s ‘best estimate’ of around 3-4 degrees of warming really isn’t that big of a disaster for humanity. In fact, it might actually be a benefit. Under their own scenarios, it’s generally accepted that warming below 2.5 degrees will have a net economic benefit for the planet (longer growing seasons in the temperate zones, lower heating costs, etc). Even if it eventually gets to 4 degrees, it will spend a lot of time in the 0-2.5 degree range, benefiting the planet, before it starts to hurt. Applying discount rates again, and realizing that the benefits come before the liabilities by decades, even warming of 4 degrees might not be a net negative for the planet from today’s perspective.

The fact is that the ‘settled science’ only exists on the first rung of a ladder of assumptions that’s about ten steps long. Everyone’s squabbling over that first step, but even if everyone on the planet could agree that man is probably causing some additional warming, we still would not be anywhere near a reasonable consensus over what to do about it. The worst mistake the AGW propnents make is assuming that if we can just all agree that warming is happening, then it’s clear what must be done. But it’s really not. Not even remotely.

I’m curious what you think the alternative ‘pro’ position should be instead.

“Therefore… We should delay correction for a while, in the hopes the laws of physics will suddenly change!”

“Therefore… We should delay correction for a while, in the hopes that we’ll all die before things get bad, leaving only our descendents to suffer!”

“Therefore… We should all invest in air conditioning stock!”

“Therefore… We should all kiss our butts goodbye!”

“Therefore… We should pay lip service to making change, while at the same time doing absolutely nothing!”

Cite for this? If you claim that they do exaggerate the effects or claim that they say that the extreme ranges are a fact, you need to point on what you base that. I’m getting tired that you continue to say this with no good support.

In any case we are now discussing a movie that, has been demonstrated before, that play fast and loose with the evidence, I have not seen any good examples of the more in tune with the evidence side doing this.

AFAIK the reports I saw said that at best it grave us a few years of a breathing space and a better chance to control the situation, of course the problem is also ignoring that the USA is not the whole world.


And you continue to ignore that the basics are not being argued much about, now, if you include the ones that are not gaining much support in the research world and academia, well of course there is arguing, but like creationism against biology the basics of the science regarding the effects of greenhouse gases are not a matter of controversy nowadays.

Once again, no.

Speaking for myself, you must be confusing me with someone else. Put your wide brush away.

Sam Stone.

I love you.

That was one of your best post ever IMO.

Well that isn’t exactly setting the bar high. :smiley:

You know, the other day, I was just thinking, “Man, it’s been a long time since we’ve debated global warming on this board.”.

Do you people ever sleep!?

I mean for heaven’s sake, the last three threads on the topic are still on the front page.