International Adventurer, Entrepreneur, and Man of Science.
It's about as credible and balanced as the guy who was not given a chance to speak: the right honorable 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, who if he doesn't suffer from inbred insanity, tertiary syphilis, the acute psychosis brought on by a good old fashioned attack of hepatic porphyria, or any of the other neurological impairments common to British royals, is still a nutjob with a journalism degree, and not a scientist of any sort, who believes the Chinese sailed across the North Pole in 1421 and found it completely free of sea ice, and in fact uses this highly improbable and completely unproven bit of alternative history speculation as a major point in his global warming denial tirades. In other words, he's a kook. I don't care if he was an advisor to Thatcher. All that means is not only is he a kook, he's a kook with a right wing bent. Alberto Gonzales was an advisor to President Bush, and he's such a dimwitted ideologically driven hack that I wouldn't retain his services as a lawyer to help me fight a parking ticket.
Before you get your knickers in a twist about the alleged evil machinations of the global warming conspiracy and the information they supposedly suppress, you might want to do a little more looking into just who is being shown the door at these sorts of presentations.
As for it being doom and so we might as well give up... no, it won't be doom, just like the current economic crisis won't be doom, the 1918 flu epidemic wasn't doom, the black plague wasn't doom, WWII wasn't doom, the Al Qaeda attacks on 9/11 weren't doom, and so on. It'll be expensive, dangerous, and drastically change the global economy and culture, plus result in a lot of needless death and displacement, just like the other crises I listed. The reason people don't advocate going down in an orgy of self destruction isn't because people don't think this problem is real, it's because sane people look at data, make decisions based on credible information, and then seek to solve the problem, not blow their fucking brains out when it looks like things might be a little tough.
And don't call me "pardner". Your suggestion that I'm so vigorous in slapping down nonsense like Coleman's is because I secretly know he's right is about as plausible as, for example, suggesting that you're so vigorously and single mindedly set on attacking Al Gore (who, by the way, isn't a scientist and is far from the last word on climate change) because you find his combination of chubby cheeks, beaky nose, and little beady eyes [link] so beguiling that it fills you with strange and confusing sexual lust, which angers you and drives you to attack him.
I'm intent on stamping out pseudoscientific hogwash where I see it because it's delusional information which misrepresents what scientific thinking has concluded on the subject. If it was "intelligent design" or newagey crap like "quantum healing" or other such bullshit which tries to don the mask of science to lend credibility to a bunch of nonsense, I'd be just as strident in point out the shortcomings, factual errors, and fallacies in it. I hadn't even heard of Coleman before you posted about him, but I've heard that argument ad nauseum from conservative shills since the early 90s. It's that old and tired of an argument, and it's out of touch with what the data shows.
No one is saying that variations in solar output don't contribute to the climate, nor does anyone think that the climate is constantly and eternally stable, with or without human activities. I can't believe that you trot that sort of completely obvious nonsense out there as if you've discovered some amazing new theory with pompous blather like:
"Of course it would be remarkable indeed if the earth, and other solar system entities, did NOT progress through cycles of warming and cooling totally of their own accord based on solar activity including the present cycle."
Yes, it would be remarkable indeed. And, that's exactly why the Earth's climate DOES vary with solar output. To bring this up as if no one knows it and make as if it's the big secret behind what's really going on with the climate is kinda like claiming you've overturned Einstein's theory of general relativity and its prediction of gravitationally induced curvature in space-time because you've made the stunning new discovery that things fall when you drop them. Stop the presses! I've discovered something totally new!
The latest IPCC report covers the contribution of changes in solar output to global climate change. It's all worked out in great detail with lots of supporting data. I suggest you read it.
Guess who figured out there's a correlation between sunspot activity, solar flares, and total solar output? Climatologists.
Guess who figured out what happened during the Maunder minimum and the associated "Little Ice Age"? Climatologists.
Who tracked the Dalton minimum and calculated its effect on climate? Once again, climatologists.
And who wrote the fucking IPCC report that includes the effect of solar variance in climate change and concluded that its total contribution is less than 10% of the climate change effect coming from anthropogenic sources? That's right! Climatologists.
You'll notice that there's a lack of local TV weathermen in the developers of the IPCC report, and you'll also notice that there's a lack of local TV weathermen in the names of people who've made important discoveries about the climate.
John Coleman is a 74 year old crackpot who made his living standing in front of a green screen and reading things off a teleprompter. He is not a credible source of scientific information. See: [link]
There he is in all his glory. He's a cranky old man who thinks he knows what's going on simply because he's old and cranky, and his climate change denial schtick is the equivalent of standing on his front porch in his PJs, shaking his fist, and yelling at kids to get off his lawn.
So he can trot out a few scientific facts like the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, so what? That doesn't make him a scientist any more than the incessant use of the word "quantum" by that newage fraudster Deepak Chopra makes him a scientist.
Also, to address some of the claim that the old crank makes, here's a graph of surface temperature data, hot off the satellites from NASA: [link]
OK, so there are two slightly lower points in the last couple years, but that doesn't make a trend. Look at how variable the data is normally. Those last two years are well within typical variance for a continuing upward trend. They're not at all statistically significant, and Coleman's claim that climatologists are now talking about a new ice age based on this data is utter nonsense.
You don't know jack about this issue, Hotrod, and neither does Coleman.
A local weatherman with no degree is qualified to offer an informed opinion on a very complex climatological issue? Sorry, no. Sure, he can have an opinion, but there's no reason to think that his opinion has any basis in reality.
As for increase in solar output... Do you think that the vast majority of scientists who study the climate, and who have concluded that global climate change is primarily anthropogenic don't know about this? Of course they do. It's been built into the models and the effect is tiny and insignificant. There has been no long range increase in median solar output, and the recent increase is very small and cyclic on a short duration which doesn't tend to drive long range deviations as seen in climate data.
The scientific community is, of course, open to dissent and this is part of what makes it self correcting. So, far from being a reason to believe a few random people, many of which are either not scientists or don't specialize in the subject matter in question, it's a reason to believe the majority consensus that anthropogenic climate change is real and well validated. There is plenty of dissent as to the degree of change, the types of effects that will be seen, and whether or not normal carbon sequestering processes on Earth can mitigate some of the effects, but there is little question that the effect is real and caused by humans.
I would also like to point out the false parallel you draw between Al Gore being a point man for political action on climate change and other groups, such as that led by Imhofe. Gore started out by listening to the conclusions of scientists, and then set about to work on gaining political support for working on these issues. Imhofe started out with a political position, that of the status quo, and set about to try to find "scientists", or at least people who kinda sorta look like scientists to uninformed laymen, who would back up and give an aura of credibility to his political actions. These courses of action are not at all similar, and only a fool would consider them equivalent.
Which include such luminaries of the scientific community as Chris Allen, a local TV news weatherman who doesn't have so much as a meteorology degree and who thinks the main reason to be skeptical of global warming is that it dismisses the role of god in the global climate, as well as such noteworthy skeptics as Dr. Steve Rayner, who published a criticism of the Kyoto protocol and found himself on Morano's list. Dr. Rayner has critiqued the Kyoto protocol, but, like the vast majority of climatologists, he find the evidence for anthropogenic global warming convincing and has asked repeatedly to be removed from this list, to no effect.
your link about taxes in Sweden is completely full of shit. Why does this not surprise me? I actually didn't know what taxes in Sweden were like, so I looked it up. The Economist has good country profiles, and the CIA World Fact Book isn't bad either. In addition, there are all sorts of EU stats on taxes published by the EU. Overall, income taxes paid by a median earner in Sweden are lower than for a median earner in the US, and a higher percentage of Swedes than Americans pay no taxes at all. Their top income tax rates are much higher, however, at 60%. Of course, back in our boom days of the 50s and 60s, we had top marginal rates that were even higher than that. Corporate profit tax rates are lower than in the US, at 26.5% versus 35%. One thing that is shockingly high is the VAT, which is assessed in one of three tiers, 25%, 12%, or 6%, depending on the product type. In Sweden there are also no property taxes or inheritance taxes. So, an average Swede does pay more in total taxes, but that's mostly due to VAT, not income tax. Sweden is also considered one of the best countries in Europe in which to do business due to light banking regulations and low corporate tax rate.
They don't seem to be doing too bad, either, given that they have a trade surplus of $40B, 8.7% of their GDP, whereas we have a trade deficit of $820B, 4.7% of our GDP. The GDP per capita is higher, too, so Swedes are more productive than Americans. Their economy is growing faster, as well, with an average of 2.5% over the 2004-2008 period, versus our 1.8%. I might add, too, that this slow, relative to earlier periods, GDP growth for the US came on the heels of the largest tax cut ever passed, and the last time we had sustained growth in this country, back in the 90s, taxes were significantly higher, especially capital gains taxes and top marginal income tax rates.
The last Swede I had a lengthy conversation with, which was just earlier this year, was very enthusiastic about their latest energy efficient building standards, and how they were even better than the German standards, and how this was creating a boom in jobs for alternative energy and efficiency engineering of buildings, both for retrofits and in new construction. Also, judging from the guy's Brioni suit and Bruno Magli shoes, he didn't look like he was having a particularly hard time making some serious disposable income. Sure, he wasn't a typical Swede, they're not all that well off, but overall they seem to be doing just fine.
Looks like Sweden is actually working pretty well, and the Nordic model of socialism plus capitalism is quite robust.
which have been quite a few since I've done business with the Swedes, have all been very happy people. What you fail to realize is that not all cultures counts success on individual income, money retained by individuals, or even individual "freedom". The way a French person I know once put that last one was "Yes, in America you're free: free to be uneducated, free to go broke trying to pay for an illness, free to be homeless, and so on. How much of your money that you retain do you use paying to avoid these things? Here, I'm free to enjoy my life since I don't have these things to worry about, or stockpile money to try to avoid.".
I've heard much the same attitude expressed by Swedes. When you get down to it, what do people want money for? It amounts to security, primarily. How often do you hear someone who is well off described as "financially secure"? Quite often. That's usually the first goal of someone earning, saving, and investing money. You want to have enough so that random events like job loss, illness, accidents, and other loses don't land you in the gutter. In most of the more socialist countries in the world, people are basically born financially secure, something most Americans strive towards and don't achieve until they're middle aged, if at all. So, pointing out that Swedes don't make a lot of money is kind of ridiculous. They don't need to make much money since they have education through university, health care, housing, and many other things already secured. This is a hot button issue for Americans because we need to make a lot of money since we're pretty much on our own. So, when we see numbers like that we think that this means the Swedes are in a perilous situation personally, but Swedes themselves aren't too concerned about the lack of income because they have the essentials taken care of already.
As for scaling back of global warming initiatives, if you weren't so illiterate, you might have read that article with enough understanding to see that this is a political issue as far as gaining support for swing votes, many from coal producing states, and not a scientific conclusion. So, your point would be exactly what, now? That coal producing states don't like the idea of producing less coal? Hardly a stunning insight.
You're way too illiterate? Seriously, it's as if you read nothing that anyone else writes, and barely conprehend what you yourself wrote.
See, you just keep throwing out unsupported statements like that. The Swedes have a very large government per capita. When's the last time they went about efficiently killing people? Same can be said for the Swiss, or the Danish, who consistently rank as one of the happiest nations on Earth, or any of a number of countries who kill far fewer people than ours does. And, for that matter, there are many cases of small, failing governments, those without income to do effective things for their society, but with with a standing military, which rapidly devolve into brutal dictatorships, often attacking minorities within their own country in order draw attention away from their failings. The Sudan, the on-and-off wars in Rwanda, and many other conflicts can be looked at as failed governments that got too small to do anything good, and turned to thuggery to survive.
Size isn't the most important factor in any of these cases, but the fact that we have violent and deadly small governments and peaceful and successful large governments out there shows that your assertions are just plain stupid. It's as if you keep insisting that the key factor that determines a car's performance is the color you paint it. Efficiency comes from good structure, good management, and accountability, not from being small. It's easier to implement these things in a small organization, but smallness itself is no guarantee of these things and a small organization has less inherent capability than a similarly well managed large one.
is that we now have a multitude of small boys doing the job, but if we get a Libertarian in there, we'd have only one small boy doing the job. Don't blame me if you can't parse your own analogies.
But, your analogy is crap, anyway. Efficient is efficient, and smaller, but efficient, is less effective than larger, but efficient. So, yes, we do need a focus on efficient and effective government, but smaller doesn't always mean this. Smaller sometimes just means weaker and less capable of handling large jobs. Larger does tend to mean more institutional momentum, but that works both ways. It can lead to slowness of response, or it can lead to more effective follow-through, and which it does, and the degree, depends on organization and management.
elect a Libertarian president, it would be like hiring a small boy to do the job?
I think I'd actually agree with that.
Do you also think we can win a war just by sending in Rambo instead of a multitude of well-supported troops? Or, the best way to build a house involves hiring one worker?
Just because you insist on something, it doesn't make it true. Large, complex jobs require large, complex organizations. Management of such organizations is difficult, true, but difficult does not mean impossible, and when properly managed a large organization will get things done more quickly.