Climate Change Dialogue IV

In two weeks my Old Friend has not responded to either my comments on the link he sent me or on the Berkley Earth study He did send the following yesterday to his whole email group most of whom are, as nearly as I can tell, right-wingnuts.

It is an opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal by Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer: In Defense of Carbon. “The demonized chemical compound is a boon to plant life and has little correlation with global temperature.”

My Old Friend’s note was: Who Knew????

My response: Actually, I knew; well, I knew that CO2 is used in greenhouses to stimulate growth. The ambient CO2 is about 340 ppm; when it goes down very much as can happen in greenhouses, it has an adverse effect on plants; raised to 1,000 ppm can have a positive effect. Unfortunately CO2 levels can’t be raised in the fields (if it could, you may be sure some farmers would be doing it) because CO2 doesn’t hang around near the ground but goes up into the atmosphere.
The authors of this piece are unaware of the Berkley Earth study and deny the research of 97% of the climatologists in the world; paragraph 2 is total nonsense. I was surprised that neither of them was a biologist or agronomist–even a paleontologist would have been interesting. Kinda makes you wonder where they are coming from.

Dear followers of ThomasD, I’m sorry if I have bored you with this dialogue. It has been going on for a number of years with me questioning myself occasionally: “Why am I doing this?” I think it is because I am trying to understand thought processes that fly in the face of reason. I found myself picking apart one of the pieces my friend sent me under the assumption it was a denier piece [] when I realized that there was valid information in it. I read it again and found that I agreed with the author. Then I did some research on the author and found that it was a respected climatologist. My friend had misread the piece and thought it supported his denier position. We are probably all guilty at times of putting our bias ahead of objectivity.
I leave this dialogue with the following for your amusement:
OF: You do notice that the PCC wants to track changes from 1990 so they can show a tiny temperature increase, but the deniers want to use 1998 (one of the hottest years in recent history) as the starting point to get a distinct record of global cooling.
ME: Did you reread your last before sending it? It sounds like something I should have said. “The deniers want to use 1998 (one of the hottest years in recent history) as the starting point to get a distinct record of global cooling.” Yeah, take the hottest year in recent history and lo and behold the subsequent years will be cooler. Climatologists are tracking 250 years and the increase is significant.

1 thought on “Climate Change Dialogue IV

  1. ThomasD, I’d be willing to bet that your old friend isn’t willing to bet on this.

    Before Intrade ran into some troubles that led to not letting Americans bet there, they had some pretty active climate markets. You could bet on the minimum arctic sea ice extent (I won a bundle on that last year), last named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, and a whole slew of monthly, annual, multi-annual, and decadal global surface temperature anomalies.

    Three states recently passed online gambling laws, and the DoJ has said they will not interfere if people from other states want to gamble on line with sites in those states.

    So, we should have some prediction markets like Intrade back soon, if not Intrade itself, and we can all go settle this like gentlemen–by putting our money where our mouths are.

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